Blizzard — Chapter 9 by Redsliver* * *
Sleep came to me easy and pressed onto me hard. I was encapsulated in loving warmth. I squeezed Max against my chest. Sam knitted her knee through mine. She snaked an arm under my waist and under my upper arm. She molded against my back. Alex lay against Max’s front. Alex laced her fingers with mine and laid her ear on my palm. My queen-sized bed was filled to capacity.
I could feel the cold, the winter, but we were protected from it. I was dreaming; I was sure of it. I remained in bed with the women who had come to me. I looked over Max’s shoulder and into Alex’s peaceful face. She smiled in her sleep between loose-jawed bouts of drool. Her nose twitched with every breath.
I heard the wind stop. I heard the door close. I saw the pair climb the stairs into my apartment.
What to call her? ‘Faye’ was the first name I had learned. Had ‘Gretchen’ and ‘Carmine’ even been real? Maybe ‘Faye’ wasn’t either, but the name had calcified in my brain. She wore her shredded skirt green dress. Her hair was curled, and framing her worried frown. Her green toque and knit sweater seemed too little to have on for such a storm.
Winter was a pace in front of Faye. She was regal. Her dress was white, slit up one leg, the skirt hung below her knee. She wore black leggings and walked in white crystal shoes. Her black shawl, lifted over her hair, shadowed her face. She scrutinized me with icy blue eyes.
“He’s asleep,” she announced.
“You sound uncertain.” Faye was surprised. “He’s only a mortal.”
“He’s practically a king for the riches you’ve foolishly heaped upon his lap! Earth, fire, and gold. The air stinks of sex.”
“I find it a quite charming aroma.” Faye took a deep breath. The girls forced themselves tighter to me. I could feel Alex shivering. I reached down and pulled my blanket higher. It blocked their faces from view but we were all better covered. “Like the mixture of flavors of a grand meal and well-paired wine.”
“You oversell your mucking-up. You won’t redress your fault by claiming it a triumph,” Winter scoffed. “Save your breath, Girl. Your excuses should have been petitioned and discarded well before this was brought to my attention. You’ve made no inroads in correcting anything. That, I suppose I must forgive. I don’t think you would’ve been capable of rectifying this, even if you hadn’t been simpering over his brown eyes.”
“I wasn’t surprised by his looks. I’m no creature ruled by animal desire. I acted out of earned respect. I was welcomed into his home and treated beyond my station. It was right to reward him.”
“You give a good craftsman a clever trinket or bear him a son,” Winter shook her head. “We save these gifts for someone regal. Even the ginger is too good for him.”
“Your barbs will not wound me.” Faye laughed. The mellifluous sound forced me to smile. “He claimed his home needed a woman’s touch or three. I only offered him his pick.”
“Then give him one or all of your faces. He’s hardly worthy of this boon.” Winter was very near the bed. She examined each girl. Her nose liked Alex, but Winter’s head nodded upon evaluating Sam.
“I fear he would agree with you.” Faye tutted. I never had a dream like this before. I kept pushing on my teeth with my tongue, certain they would wiggle and pop free, and I’d wake up and be away from this bizarre commentary. They’d be gone from my home.
“You fight for what he is smart enough to reject?” Winter retreated to stand by Faye. They finally looked each other in the eye. The room was infinitely colder. I held the warmth of Max even tighter. Sam’s breath on my neck kept me strong. “We should be off. Break the charms and let me return my focus to more interesting games.”
“I fight for his worth, because in this, I would not call him smart. He was knightly.” Faye shook her head. “I will not break the charms on a whim and a word. Everything he has done is worth love and home.”
“A whim? A word? No, this is by my word, Girl! You don’t speak to me that way.”
“Apologies, Lady.” Faye sounded so sweet and deferential. I could feel the insincerity and the sarcasm billowing off of her.
“I do not compromise lightly. This one, the truly wealthy one,” Winter said. “Leave her to him, as she’s the only one he’s devalued. He had three nights and he has chosen. It befuddles me that he abstained. They should all be fattening with children. Surely he sees them for their beauty, their youth, if not their worth?”
“Men will often surprise you,” Faye replied. In a heartbeat too long to go unnoticed she addended: “Lady.”
“Yes, until they don’t.” Winter shook her head. “He’s no hero. He claimed her; she will be his. Break your charms and—”
“Yet, she is empty of his seed. The golden-haired one is filled,” Faye countered. “Surely she is the best for him.”
“Yet she remains unspoilt,” Winter argued.
“I expect that’s of less value to him or to any other suitor to whom she might be given,” Faye rebutted.
“Some things are not as modern as you’d believe,” Winter scoffed. “Very well, the sullied one remains his bride. The vessel may be handmaiden to the claimed. We’ll at least break loose the pristine girl. Lessen the charm so that it will fade in time.”
“Yet, the fire, as you say, is in his arms. She’s the one he holds dearest. You even named her the least. Why should he not retain her?”
“Because three is too many!” Winter’s voice hardly changed in pitch. Her impatience was the wind rattling the building. “Wealthy, unsullied, fecund, courteous, beautiful, clever brides for a creature of sloth? He should strive for their station, as unattainable as that should have been for him. You perverted that. One such bride is too many. Three is a farce! Break the redhead free, and twist the bearer of seed so that her bond will break when Summer commands and you cannot force her love to hold.”
“My charms are only strongest in the snow,” Faye replied. “Our bickering has brought in every inch of snowfall I could muster. I am not able tonight.”
“You’re stalling.” The apartment rocked in time with Winter’s frustration.
“ I am currently unable to alter the charm. I could break it, but I will not punish him for his kindness,” Faye said. “Let us return, in three nights.”
“Why not make it a year and a day?” huffed Winter. “He’ll have every one of them debased and heavy in three nights, Girl.”
Faye shook her head. “I think he’d protect them from that. They are too young to bear his heirs.”
“Ludicrous!” Winter scoffed. “You overestimate him and underestimate the three of them.”
“I may do the latter,” Faye had to admit. Sam stretched and yawned, drawing the blanket down so I could see our guests again. Winter, though smaller, more feminine, more dainty, imposed upon Faye. Winter’s impatience was at its peak. She threw a dismissive gesture at Faye.
“Hurry, this is childish.”
“Three nights,” Faye reiterated. She rolled her shoulders back and dared Winter. It seemed suicide to make such a demand. I watched, confused but honored that this act was for me. I squeezed Maxine tighter. I rubbed my butt into Samantha’s belly. I traced the shell of Alexa’s ear. “Surely he’ll have narrowed his choice by then.”
“This is the third night already,” Winter scowled. “Your incompetence has forced my hand. I cannot play with your charm but I can tear it away. I’ll do it myself. Their minds and hearts will writhe. Remember, Girl, you robbed these three of their solace and him of my compromise. You denied me... you denied them... and you denied him.”
“No! Let me, I can at least save them heartache...” Faye sounded panicked now. She whimpered. “Please, Lady.”
“You’ll waste more of my time.” The wind wracked my building. “What is this? Still more snow? So, you were holding ba—”
The wind blew itself out with a last roaring gale. I was startled into wakefulness.
“Gene?” Sam whispered. “Is the storm over?”
I shushed her, but couldn’t get out of bed without upsetting Alex and Max before me. “I don’t hear the wind anymore.”
“Is it still night?” She yawned. The windows were still dark.
“It’s still night.” I rolled my head back but I couldn’t see her sleepy face. “Go back to sleep.”
She already had. So did I. I forgot a timeless dream before I opened my eyes again. Alex’s fingers tugged on mine. I looked over Max’s ear and could see just the silhouette of Alex’s ear and hair.
“Mmmm, that’s nice,” Max mumbled.
“What is?” Alex said.
“I feel Gene poking at me.”
“You know what that means?”
“He thinks I’m hot.”
“No, it means he needs to pee.”
“What?” Max woke up too loud and too quick. Sam groaned. There was a bump and a struggle—actually several bumps and a half-dozen to spare. Max had flipped and was face to face with me. Alex pushed in tighter, and Max yelped to be pushed hard against my chest.
She wasn’t panicked. I had just had a ridiculous dream of my neighbor and a waitress with many names. I reflected Max’s smile. I had been eating myself up for days. I was looking for any excuse to hate myself for taking advantage of these girls. I had fucked that teenager behind me. There were two other amazing girls in my bed. I needed a lungful of fresh air and a long shower.
“You need to pee?” Max whispered with frightened excitement. I kissed her nose. Just to touch her, and feel better for touching her. “Alex, move, he’s gotta get up.”
“Sam, you gotta let go.”
“Don’t wanna!” she moaned.
“You gotta let go,” I stroked her hair.
“You wouldn’t let me go...” She snuggled in tighter. I smiled.
“I would let you go to the bathroom.”
“But you’d come rescue me if I needed you.” She rubbed her nose on my shoulderblade as she shook her head.
“Of course I would,” I whispered. She still seemed more asleep than awake despite her active squeezing. “Can I go pee now?” She kept her arms tight. “I’m going to put you in the hands of someone I trust. Do you want Max? she’s cuddly.”
“But she always sleeps in her own bed, and doesn’t share. I don’t know how to make her… be my friend.”
“Sam… Samantha...,” Max murmured. She and Alex had gotten out of bed, but they were now both leaning over Sam and me. I picked at Sam’s arms and tried to slide forward. She came with me. “Let Gene go to the washroom. We’ll keep the bed warm for him. We’ll be friends. We’re going to be closer than any girlfriends have ever been. Thanks to Gene. Thanks to Alex too.”
“Um, how close?” Alex chirped. “This close?” She strangled up Max in a tight embrace. I dragged Sam another handful of inches across the bed. “This close?” Alex wrapped a leg around Max’s and snaked her arms under Max’s armpits. She squeezed the redhead’s boobs tight together.
“Almost there,” Max said, and I realized they were riffing on something.
“This close?” Alex stuck two index fingers into Max’s mouth and pulled her friend’s lips wide open in a Joker-ish smile.
“Zackly tha clobe,” Max nodded.
“That’s pretty close.” Alex reached over me and put her slightly-damp-with-Max’s-spit finger into Sam’s ear. Sam shrieked and let go of me as she thrashed and pushed herself away. Alex’s eyes widened. “Oh my god! Sorry! I’m sorry! I wasn’t being mean! I was being funny! I’m sorry!”
“It felt mean,” Sam whimpered, then laughed hugely. “But it was pretty funny.”
“That’s my girls,” I said as I inched across Max’s front and went into the bathroom. As I did, the last candle, the one on the stove, burned out. There was no window in my washroom. I retreated back to the main room.
“You OK?” Max asked, holding the blankets up as Alex wormed her way in next to Sam.
“Grabbing my phone,” I whispered with a smile.
“Oh, a number 2.” Max yawned and climbed under after Alex.
“OK Google,” I whispered and enunciated, “Turn on flashlight.”
I was thankful that the peppy helpful voice didn’t say back “OK, turning on your flashlight.” Did it do that? She did answer sometimes. Did I have the volume up? I reached the washroom and could see where my dick was pointing now. I closed the door and started to pee. Only then did I think to check the lightswitch. No, the power was still off. I untwisted myself and aimed for the center of the light.
Yawning, I looked happy in the mirror. I realized this was the only time I’d have to get a shower in peace. I rigged up my phone, only dropping it once, and I caught it. The catch was not how I often treated my phones. I rigged up a spotlight off the top of the medicine cabinet.
I didn’t think twice about how the sound of my shower filled my apartment. It was a one-person studio. I don’t think I’d ever had anyone else take a shower here before all of this madness with Team Girlfriend. I was laughing to myself when I ducked my head under the shower. I’m so glad our heater ran off oil and the pressure was handled by the city. I grinned. The door opened.
“What are you doing?” Max asked. Sam poked her head in too.
“Do you think Alex will be mad? We’re leaving her alone in bed.”
“She got back to sleep. Lucky her.” Max grinned. “How’s the water?”
“I didn’t even think of locking the door,” I told the universe.
“It’s one of those ones you can unlock with a hairpin or a toothpick anyway,” Sam said. She stuck her hand in beyond my shower curtain. “Ow.”
“Jesus!” I moaned. “I liked it that hot!”
Sam and Max stepped in and faced me. They blocked most of the water. Sam still reacted. “We’ll get used to it and turn it up.”
The shower was dark, my little phone light showed between the curtain rings and through the semi-transparent curtain. The girls were dark beauties, except where Max’s fair skin glowed on her neck and shoulder. I saw she was still wearing her panties. I said nothing.
“Not a moment to myself,” I sighed, and smiled. I gave the girls a hug. They snuck in tight enough for me to weasel my way around them and back into the full force of the spray. I raised the temperature. Not all of the way up, but I planned for quick increments. Sam didn’t seem to mind.
“How are you, Gene?” Sam picked up my scrubber and Max poured my body wash onto it. “Was last night OK?”
“It was fantastic,” I reassured her. I leaned down and kissed her. She seemed hesitant. Max harrumphed.
“C’mon, Sam: like this!” She grabbed my ears and kissed me hard. She was still slow to move her tongue. She didn’t get sloppy. I held her hips but it wasn’t enough. She tumbled down into the bowl of the tub.
“You’re going to wake up Alex, beautiful,” Sam rubbed Max’s hair as Max rubbed the hip she had dinged off the lip of the tub. I squatted down.
“No, you already woke me up, Sam,” Alex turned on her own phone’s flashlight. She tried to mount hers next to mine. “Oh fuck!”
I closed my eyes at the sound of the splash. “Oh God! Oh crap!”
It was hard to see in the very dark. I rubbed Max’s legs and she thanked me. Alex panicked and I heard the other phone clatter about in the sink.
“It’s still good, it’s still on,” she announced as she pulled it from the toilet.
“Then turn it off quick and let it dry out. I have some rice in the cupboard. We still have mine.”
“Um, actually, we still have mine,” Alex apologized. She lifted up a phone and shone it into the tub. “Yours is shutting do—Nope, it just turned itself totally off.”
I slumped in mixed disbelief and exhaustion. Max yelped as I sat on her foot. Sam stepped over my shoulder and stuck her head out the curtain.
“I’m not tall enough to set it up like he did,” Alex announced. “And, I’ve only got like eleven percent battery.”
Sam lowered her hips until she was rubbing her pussy on my shoulder. I slapped her wet ass. Sam jumped. Alex jumped higher, startled by the noise of a wet spank.
“Alright, this wasn’t the best idea. How about we get dried off and convene out in the apartment?” I kissed Sam on the belly and she reluctantly moved off of me. I reached forward and brushed Max’s bangs aside. “Are you OK?”
“Please don’t be too mad with Alex? She was trying to help,” Max asked worriedly. Alex had retreated back from the curtain as Sam cranked the taps. She wore a mischievous smile and she went the wrong way first. I shook from the very momentary blast of cold water.
“Sorry, sorry! I thought it’d be funny.” She kissed the top of my head. “This’ll be fun with lights and power. I promise.”
“Yeah, I promise too.” There was just enough light for me to see that Max was nodding. Sam climbed over me and out onto the towel I was using as my bathmat. Alex wrapped her up in one of the ones off the rack. Were there enough clean towels for all three of us?
“Is your foot OK?” I asked Max
“It’s fine. Let me use you as a ladder to climb up.” And she did, pulling up by pushing down on my shoulders and head. Her soaked panties clung tightly to her ass as she edged by me and out onto the towel. I sighed. Cranked the water all the way off. Stood up. Exited the tub.
“You mind sharing with S—”
“Hey Max.” I bent over and wiped off my face in the towel she was drying her hair with. Alex giggled. Sam circuited the three of us and started rubbing down my back, butt, and legs. Max pushed me off of her head, giggling. The towels became weapons and the girls ganged up on me. Then I was dry, and Sam was the next victim.
I rubbed off the bottom of Max’s foot. I slapped her butt. Her panties were still dripping. The noise cracked across the room.
“It probably won’t be comfortable in those, c’mon,” I said. She took my hand. Alex and Sam followed behind.
I never wore it. A big fluffy red and black lumberjack tartan bathrobe. Or the other ones I had been bought for random Christmases over the years. It was too big for Max: even belted around her slender hips, it still fell off one of her shoulders and dangled beyond her fingertips. She wiggled, blushed, and squelched as she pulled off her panties from underneath it.
“Can I wear this one?” Sam pulled a red and white Montreal Canadiens robe I had been gifted in high school. That one was less big. I was going to do more than run everyday.
“And that leaves gold-trimmed black evil warlord for Alex.” I pulled out the last robe and handed it over to her. Max gave me a hug. I felt the wetness of her underwear on my hip. “You might want to change those.”
“I do,” she said. She walked over to my closet. She took down a folded outfit and slipped out a pair of striped blue panties.
“When did those get there?”
“When I came over to do my homework,” she said, and dashed off to the washroom to change.
“I thought I told her to take her stuff when we went to breakfast,” I said.
“Did you say ‘her stuff’, or ‘her books’?” Sam asked.
“Well shit,” I said, admiring Max’s deviousness.
“No time to worry about it now. You don’t have a robe for yourself,” Alex said. She didn’t even bother belting hers. Sun was beginning to illuminate the snow and ice over my windows.
“I’ve got pjs,” I said, pulling out a pair of flannel pants that matched Max’s borrowed robe.
“Cool, do you girls wanna see if the milk is OK?” Alex asked. “Gene and I are going to set up a game of Ascension.”
“I guess we are,” I smiled. “What about the milk, though?”
“No power, no oven.” She shrugged. “He keeps his bowls over the sink and the cutlery in the left drawer.”
“We know, Alex,” Max said. “Do you only buy Honey Nut Cheerios?”
“I don’t eat much cereal, so I don’t really get tired of one flavor,” I admitted. “I got work at nine, girls. I better—”
“There’s no way in hell you’re going out in that,” Sam said, waving at the nearest window. I frowned. I looked as Alex opened the box. “Five big reds and five little white gems for every player,” I told her.
“You two wanna play by yourselves first?” Max suggested.
“Ten and ten,” Alex assured me she had the count right. I grabbed a parka from the closet and looped the railing to head down the stairs to the front door. Shit! We had been supposed to get barely six inches last night. There was at least a foot and a half wall right where my door opened. The city was shut the fuck down.
“Dammit,” I sighed. “Looks like we got a snow day!”
I hurried and closed the door but there was little wind so the cold wasn’t stifling. I rushed up the stairs. “Shit, I’d still better call in.”
“Oh my God! I didn’t put your phone in the rice!” Alex panicked and I realized I didn’t know the number off the top of my head.
My laptop bag was the closest thing I had to a briefcase. It was a quick check to see that I didn’t have the number written down. “Girls, can I borrow a phone?”
“Of course!” Max jumped into action but hers was ringing by the time she had recovered it. Sam just looked at Alex until the theatre student caught a clue and handed me her phone.
“Dad. it’s really early!” Max hissed quietly. “No, I didn’t. We all stayed with Gene. You talked to him last night. Well, no, he’s not asleep. I don’t think—He went to take a shower a couple of minutes ago!” She looked really proud of herself for coming up with that half-truth. “We, not just me. Alex and Sam. I’m with girls I trust to look out for me. That you trust to look out for me. OK, I’m—Dad! I’m safe. I love you too.”
Max took a big breath and slumped. She almost fell into my chair. She grabbed the arm. She flashed me a crooked apologetic frown. I shrugged. It was a comfy seat. It was probably the best place to collapse into.
I was not surprised to get the answering service at work. I explained the weather, with less giddiness than I had the morning I had met Faye barely a week ago.
“Thank you, Alex.” I handed her back her phone and moved to toss my bag back into the closet. I frowned. “Hey, which one of you moved those boots?”
“Well, I didn’t!” Sam threw her back up instantly.
“Even if you had, I’m not angry, just curious,” I shrugged. “What about—”
“Even if I had? You don’t trust me!” Sam barked sharply. Alex, Max, and I looked on in shock.
“I do, it’s not a big deal. They’re just not mine and—”
“Not a big deal?! It’s a huge deal! The biggest deal! I could be in love with you!” She was stark white.
“You mean last night? That was a huge deal, Sam. That was amazing and important for me too.”
“But I—” She had a hand on her chest and she was trying to calm herself down. “Something’s wrong.”
“Then c’mere,” I reached for her hand but she didn’t take it right away. “We’ll sit and figure out what’s wrong. We can do this together.”
“All of us can,” Alex smiled. “We’re Team Girlfriend, right?”
“And you’re what? Team captain?” Sam scoffed. She still only wore my robe as she grabbed her jacket and galoshes and rushed around the railing.
“No, Sam! You can’t go out like that!” I flew down the stairs after her.
“I’m never going to get to play this game with him, am I?” Alex sighed.
“I’ll play with you, Alex,” and I heard Max set a bowl down on the table. “But let me help him with Sam before we tend to you.”