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Authors Note

As always my thanks go to Neuroparenthetical, for the amazing work in turning my random thoughts and ideas into something half readable. Any residual mistakes are mine and mine alone, and you are welcome to them

Caleb 12 – Meet the Parents.

I sat in the back seat, staring out the window as the scenery flashed by unnoticed.

Mary had taken my hand and was holding it between hers. I had felt her flex her power and had been ready to reject it, but all I felt from her was love, and just then I needed that. I needed the reassurance that what we had was real. I had been badly shaken by the illusion.

I considered all that I had learned. From birth, I had been manipulated. Granted, for most of that time it had been more of an omission than an active form of manipulation, but I was going to have words with my parents. I had been denied knowledge of who I was - of what I was. I had been denied access to family members: aunts, uncles, cousins, and, yes, even great-great-grandmothers.

They’d claimed it had been so I wouldn’t use my powers, and on one hand I could see the point. But they wouldn’t have had to tell me about the amulet. They could have prepared me, telling me it was a maturity thing - that when my body was ready, it would allow me access to the powers. I had never seen the amulet as anything more than a birthmark, after all. The hypocrisy of that thought struck me. There was I, furious at being lied to, now advocating more lies - or at least different ones.

The more I thought about it, the more I utterly rejected the logic of hiding the existence of powers from a future power user. It was a system shock – gigantic lies revealed at a pivotal developmental moment, some of which were reinforced by the entire world.

Worse, the manipulation hadn’t ended there. Next, I considered the twins.

My deep love for them wasn’t enough to stop the dark thoughts from surfacing. Sending those two after me had simply been another way to control me. Dianna – and probably everyone above her, too – had looked to exploit a primal, fundamental weakness that a teenage male was almost certain to have. I briefly wondered who might’ve been on deck if I’d turned out to be outright gay.

Even if the bond itself hadn’t been deliberate, Maggie must have pretty much orgasmed when she’d heard about it. ‘Bond’ was, perversely, exactly the right word. It was a leash. If ever I couldn’t be manipulated directly, then she’d have a second and third bite at the apple with Mary and Amanda, respectively. She could work them psychologically or emotionally, or resort to even less savory means. I was sure she would if it came down to it.

After that, I had been manipulated into becoming a ‘Consultant.’ Dianna had used my desire to help Jules to force me to accept everything that I had, less than thirty minutes prior, finally rejected. My mother had brokered the truce. That was someone else I had lost respect for and trust in - and my father too, almost certainly.

I knew I had been thinking about getting into law enforcement, and I had to admit the FBI had been on my radar, but now they were the last organization I wanted to work with. I was increasingly concluding that I wouldn’t have a choice in the matter. The phrase ‘With us or against us’ kept running through my mind, and I had no illusions that I could hold the entire U.S. government at bay, no matter how powerful I was.

I could probably tout my powers to other countries, but I doubted that the politicians and military leaders there were any different than in the U.S. Besides, I didn’t want to leave the country. Despite my current ‘disagreement’ with the administration, I liked it here.

A memory of me standing in school - I guess I must have been about five - hand on heart, reciting the pledge of allegiance, sprang into my mind. I had known even then that I wasn’t just reciting words - that they’d meant something. I asked the hard question: did they still?

My silent response was immediate: of course they did. I wasn’t mad at the U.S. I supposed I wasn’t even mad at the FBI. I was mad at certain people within that organisation. But I had talked myself into a corner. I had sworn never to work for them.

As much as I hated to admit it about myself, I’d also put my own pride on the line. I was extremely reluctant to swallow it.

I sighed, feeling Mary’s hands tighten on mine.

“Are you ready to talk now?” she asked quietly.

I realized that we had been traveling in complete silence for some time. I couldn’t guess how long. Nobody had spoken a word since we had set off. Amanda must have had some idea of where we were going because she hadn’t asked for directions.

I turned my eyes to Mary. “I’m tired, Mary,” I said. “Tired of all the bullshit, of the pissing contests, of being treated like a winning lottery ticket and an unexploded bomb all at the same time. I have been persuaded, cajoled, bullied, forced, driven, and pushed down a road I never wanted to travel, and lied to my entire life.

“I am certain that you and Amanda were part of it too,” I said quietly, “before the bond, at least. The easiest way to control a horny guy is by leading him around by his dick. You guys have a very liberal attitude toward sex, and Dianna even told me that we weren’t supposed to fuck that morning. You were just meant to get me so hooked on the pair of you that I would be controllable.

Mary didn’t look away, but she didn’t deny it either.

I closed my eyes wearily, dropping my head back against the headrest.

“I guess we really screwed up getting bonded, huh?” I said. “It screwed you, tying you to a guy who was no more than a passing fancy and an assignment for your grandmother, and screwing me not only by tying me to two girls who I now know didn’t love me, but also creating the biggest Achilles’ heel ever to plague a power user.”

I glanced across at Mary. Tears were streaming down her face, and she was making no attempt to wipe them away. She was still projecting strong feelings of love, but I could feel pain through the bond from both of the twins. I knew they were probably feeling my pain equally.

Only Jules had been honest with us when she joined our relationship, but we had not been honest with her. We had portrayed ourselves as people who were deeply in love with each other, but I didn’t really know if that was the case. It was just more difficult, painful questions: was the bond love? Was it a perfect substitute for it, if not?

More likely, it was a Compulsion foisted upon us by a ritual designed to maintain the sanctity of marriage in a bygone era.

I looked at our bond, seeing it for the first time, not as a boon - a blessing, something to be treasured - but as cancer - something that had infiltrated my being and sent its tendrils out, sapping my life force and intertwining itself so completely in my being that the only way to remove it would be to kill the host.

“Will you share with me what happened?” Mary asked.

“To what end?” I replied. “Will it change anything? Will you be able to tell me how I can get out of this cesspool I am currently drowning in? Will it get rid of the bond?”

Both girls gasped at that, and I felt the car jerk a little. Amanda’s reaction twitched the steering wheel.

“Amanda,” I heard Jules say; she sounded angry. “Pull over at that diner. We need a break.”

Amanda pulled in and parked, and we all piled out of the car, sad and angry. I was sure the waitresses were not happy to watch us come in.

Jules led us all the way down to the end of the diner, as far away from everyone else as we could get, and directed me to slide into the seat of a booth. She slid in beside me. Mary and Amanda sat opposite.

We sat, staring, regarding each other for a few moments until the waitress made the trek down from the other end of the diner. She didn’t seem thrilled by the extra walking, but she felt the vibe. She understood why we’d given ourselves some distance.

“What can I get ya?” she asked.

“Four coffees and some privacy, please,” Jules said handing the waitress a hundred-dollar bill. “Keep the change if you can close this section off?”

The waitress nodded, brought us our coffees, and then pulled out a rope to close the section off, ensuring that there nobody could sit within four booths’ distance from us.

Jules turned to me. “Caleb,” she asked gently, “do you love me?”

I looked at her, dumbfounded.

“You know I do,” I said.

“How do I know?” she asked. “How do I know that you just didn’t bring me in because you pitied me, because you felt responsible for me, having talked me down off that roof?”

“Jules, I thought you could feel it,” I said. “I thought you could tell by the way we talk, the way we are together, and the things we do for each other.”

“But we never have sex,” she persisted. “So how can you?”

“Love isn’t all about sex and you know that,” I said, becoming a little irritated. “You know I love the way you are. I love the way you snuggle up to me, the way you’re not afraid to tell me the truth - no matter what that truth is - the way you look, your eyes... I love everything about you.”

“So, you’re sure you love me?”

“Jules, what’s this about?” I demanded.

“Do you think I love you?” she ignored my question, obviously she was leading up to something.

“Yes,” I said, deciding to just answer her questions and let her lead me where she wanted to go.

“Why?” she asked. “Why do you think that I love you, and am not just using you as a safe person to hide with until something better comes along?”

“I can feel it,” I said.

“Through our bond?” she asked.

“Yes, through the bond, but also outside that. When I am with you, I can feel the love almost radiating off you. When I hold you, or you snuggle up on my lap. When you kiss me or hold my hand, or even just look at me, I can see it.”

She nodded.

“Look at that love,” she said. “Look closely, and compare it to the love you feel for, and from, Mary and Amanda. Tell me what is different about the love you have for me, and the love you have for them.”

I had walked into it.

“They are bonded to me,” I explained, “so even if the love feels the same, its source may be due to psychic meddling rather than genuine feelings. Not only that, but they’re Empaths. They can radiate psychic feelings on command. They can surround somebody in a bubble of warmth, love, trust, safety, and security no matter how they actually feel about them, or even what’s going on all around them.”

The twins didn’t like that; it leaked through. Amanda reacted viscerally. Mary was more measured.

“But you’re powered too,” she countered. “You’re wise to their tricks. You know they don’t do it all the time.”

I nodded; it was a fair point.

“So that leaves the bond,” she said. “Tell me why that matters.”

I opened my mouth to answer but had to take a second to think.

“Because they didn’t want it in the first place,” I finally came up with, although even to me that didn’t seem to be right.

“You think that everyone who falls in love wants to?” she asked. “Never heard of arranged marriages, extramarital affairs, holiday romances? Do you think I went up on that roof hoping to fall in love? People fall in love all the time for all kinds of reasons. The reason for falling in love doesn’t matter. Also, didn’t Dianna tell you that the bond would only work if all parties wanted it to? If they didn’t have feelings for you, they could never have been bonded in the first place. You showed me the memory. I remember you realizing that you wanted the girls in your life long-term, before you were bonded.

“The fact is that you love them, and they love you, and that love is true and unassailable. Yes, it’s enforced by the bond, but that should give you more confidence in them, not less. You are in a far better position with them than any other person in the universe is with their lover or lovers. You are in a better position with them than even with me. I could move on, fall out of love - they cannot.

“Something happened today to make you doubt that love. It shook your confidence in them. I can see it affected you badly, but you can’t let it. I don’t pretend to understand half of what goes on with you guys; it’s all way above my simple engineer intellect, but I know this: I love you, and you, and you.” She pointed to me and the girls in turn. “You guys all love me, and each other. We are together, and no matter what else is going on the world, we will support and protect each other.

“Amanda, that was a shitty thing you did,” she added, “trying to use your power in the house to manipulate him. Sorry, but it had to be said. But we know it was done with love, and we forgive you and still love you.

“Now,” she concluded, “I’ve said my piece, I’m going to drink my coffee. Caleb, you’re up.”

I thought about what Jules had said. People did fall in love all the time, and, even outside of power users, people were manipulated into relationships - by their parents, by their families, by politics, or even just by circumstance. If you spend enough time closely interacting with someone, then feelings of some kind are bound to develop - not necessarily good ones, but feelings all the same. You only have to look at reality shows where people are artificially forced into each other’s company for an extended period of time to see that. Nearly every one of those shows ends up with at least some of the participants entering some kind of relationship, even if they don’t long survive the reintroduction to the real world.

In my case, in so many ways, I was unsure of where the artificial bubble ended and the real world began. Worse, I’d put my faith in the bond as a kind of anchor – a foundation upon which to build my new life. I worried that I was so invested in it that I would will myself into believing that it was real, true, uncorrupted, incorruptible, and basically anything and everything I needed it to be. With a grim chuckle, I contemplated the possibility that I’d managed to break out of James’ and Maggie’s illusion because I’d firmly believed in something that hadn’t even been true.

Then I asked myself yet another terrible question: what if the love had been the result of a manipulation, but the bond had locked it in somehow? How would I deal with a lie made manifest? Did that make it true, an even-worse lie, or some weird combination of the two?

The only conclusion I could draw with any confidence was that I didn’t actually know anything.

I looked to the girls. If nothing else, we were stuck in similar situations. They were deliberately suppressing their powers. They were trying to show me I could trust them. I could see love for me in them; I could feel it radiating off them, and could see it in their auras. I knew it wasn’t their power; it was genuine feeling. That didn’t mean it wasn’t enforced by the bond, but at least I knew the love was there.

With a heavy sigh, I made a choice. The three of us were prisoners in the same cell. Fighting amongst ourselves made little sense, especially if the forces outside of that cell were still trying to control our lives. I hoped they felt the same. I hoped that either their feelings, their consciences, their good sense, or all three would lead them to the same conclusion. Jules being with us would help, I felt. She was the most innocent of all of us, and she truly believed in the power of our love, no matter how it had come about. Unlike the twins – or even myself - she had no emotional attachment to any powered people outside of the bond. Dianna was going to be an issue; I didn’t kid myself about that.

It was a hard choice to make, but once I made it, I felt an unexpected sense of peace and relief. Something must have shown on my face or in my bearing, because Jules took my hand and smiled up at me. She nodded her head, prompting me to speak.

“I met Maggie Forbes this morning at the training session,” I began. “She didn’t speak to me, and…let me show you.”

I sent all three of them the memory of my day, including the illusion and my thoughts as we had been driving. It was a lot. Transmission and absorption were incredibly fast, but only technical absorption – intellectual absorption. The girls needed more than a few moments to appreciate the emotions. It shook them. I felt it through the bond as exactly that: sympathetic aftershocks of the earthquake I’d been suffering through.

“Caleb,” Mary said, “I know right now that the bond feels more like a shackle than anything else, but you need to put that feeling aside.

“Yes, you were right, we were told to give you a good time, and help keep you safe and in line. But it was my choice to give you my virginity. I decided that on my own, because I wanted you, and I wanted you to be my first. Even before the bond, I had feelings for you. Amanda also had decided she wanted you to be her first. Even though you had only recently met, she shared what I felt for you, and felt it too. We were sent into that room by Dianna, but what went on in there was our choice, and ours alone.”

I heard Maggie’s quiet voice in my head: of course it was.

I really, really hated her.

“I promise you,” Mary continued, “that I wanted to be with you, not to control you, or to fulfil some obligation to family, but because I had genuine feelings for you. When I learned of the bond, I was shocked, yes, but it made me feel happy. Look for yourself. You have the power. Look into my mind and search where you will. You will see I’m telling you the truth.”

I shook my head. “I couldn’t do that to you.”

“Maggie is right though,” she continued. “You are powerful, and people are nervous. The FBI are not going to let you just walk away. We need to come to some kind of an agreement with them – one that we can all live with.”

“Such as?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” she said. “But I’m sure that between us, we can come up with something.”

Jules looked at Amanda, waiting for her to speak.

“I’m not smart like Mary or Jules,” Amanda began. “I see what I want to do, and I try and do it. If someone is hurting, I try and make them feel better. I can see you’re hurting, Caleb, and I want to help, but I’m frightened that anything I try is just going to make things worse.

“When we talked last night, about the Vardys, you made me think about things in a totally new way. I had never even dreamed that what I was doing was wrong, that I was in some way violating those poor people. I saw people that were hurting and I knew I had the ability to stop that hurt. Mary-Beth needed to trust you for you to help her, so I gave her trust. Becky needed forgiveness, and so I helped out there too.

“I forgot that they also needed to want to trust, or want to forgive – that that is their choice, and I was taking that choice away from them. Then today, in the house, again I saw everyone hurting. You were hurting because of what they did; Dianna was hurting because of what you did and said to her. Even Maggie, your great-great-grandmother, was hurting. She didn’t show it, but I could feel it radiating off her. I thought that if you could just forgive them…

“But again, I forgot that you didn’t want to forgive, not then, possibly not now, and maybe not ever. I was trying to take that choice away from you. Yes, Dianna suggested I try to help, but it never occurred to me that she might be trying to manipulate me. It’s even possible that she wasn’t. She didn’t tell me what to do, after all, but she knows me well enough, I suppose, to know what I’d do.

“I love you, Caleb, and I hate that you think that our love is not genuine, but I understand why you might think that. I hope that someday, soon, we can regain some of the trust I destroyed with my stupidity. I will say one more thing, and I am not defending her, but I don’t think you realise how much your great-great-grandmother loves you. I felt her pain when you rejected her, but you and she have more in common than just blood. Her pride wouldn’t let her back down. She is a big dick in the bureau, and she couldn’t be told off by a mere strip of a kid like you, particularly her own great-great-grandson.

“I know you impressed her – that you passed the test, that you figured out that you were in illusion and that your tell had been compromised, and even that you told her to take a hike. You weren’t looking for it in the house, but I could see her aura. There was pride there, and love. You both really hurt Dianna too. Jules, she was starting to think of you as another granddaughter, so when you refused her hug it hurt, and I don’t know what passed between her and you, Caleb, but it tore her heart out.”

I looked down, a little ashamed. I had been very angry and had lashed out. Intellectually, I knew that Dianna hadn’t really had a choice. She was a cog in a big machine and had to do as she was told. As long as the bond hadn’t been a deliberate act on her part. No matter the orders from above, that would be unforgivable.

I sighed. It was all a big mess, and that made finding people to blame very difficult – or, alternatively, at least a few people who were blameless. Jules was about it. That was something, but it didn’t feel like enough.

“So now,” said Jules after finishing her coffee, “we have three goals for the next couple of weeks. One, and we are going to do this right now, or we are not leaving this fucking table. We reconnect. OUR love is unassailable. What came before is gone; all that matters now is we know that what we feel for each other is true and lasting.

“Two, we go to my parents, and make them love you all as much as I do. And break the news that they are going to have a few extra in-laws, and probably at some point a shitload more grandchildren than they were expecting.

“Three, we figure out a plan for when we go back. We know the FBI isn’t just going to go away, so you, or we, even, are going to have to work for or with them. But whatever happens, I will refer you back to point one. WE will do it together.”

She held her hand out in the middle of the table, looking at me. I placed mine on top. Mary, then Amanda, covered our hands. Jules put her other hand on top of the pile, pressing our hands together.

“I love you, all,” she said, and I reached out with my Empathy, covering us all with love and forgiveness, both giving and requesting. I put everything I had into it.

Even Jules flushed.

“Man, that was WAY too much horny!!!” she said.

We hit the road again, the waitress wishing us a good journey. I was in the back with Jules, and Mary was driving. Jules had programmed the navigation system, and we still had a little ways to go.

I held Jules’ hand. “Thank you,” I said. “You helped me find my feet again.”

She looked across at me. “I know how it feels to be lost like that,” she said. “You saved me when I was lost and gave me love. I know you think there’s no debt owed, but to me, it’s one that can never be repaid. I love you, and you love me. We will always be there to save each other whenever we need to.”

I lifted her hand and kissed the back of it. She smiled.

“Tell me about your parents,” I said. “What are they like?”

“Daddy is a farmer,” she began, though she’d already covered that much. “He has a few head of cattle and some land. He used to be a Marine, so he can be a little bit overwhelming sometimes, but he is a pussycat once you get to know him. Mom keeps the house. They have been married twenty-two years and have two children; me, and my little sister, Vanessa, who is seventeen. Ness is dying to meet you guys.”

“Do they know about…” I asked and her face fell a little. She nodded.

“They were contacted by the counselor. They wanted to bring me home at once, but I think Dianna spoke to them and persuaded them that I was better off staying at PSU with you guys. Be prepared for questions. They don’t really know the status of our relationship. They just know we are sharing a house and are friends.”

“Are we going to tell them, or…”

“Were you not listening in the diner?” she asked. “Item Two?”

I thought back. That was that. We were going to make one hell of a first impression on Jules’ family, good or bad.

“Caleb, I know you are sick to your stomach with people testing you,” she said, “but please don’t be mad at Daddy. He’s an ex-Marine, and I have no doubt he will want to see what kind of a man is dating his daughter when he finds out - especially when he finds out that man is also dating two other girls.”

I sighed. She was right about me being utterly done with tests. It didn’t come as a surprise, though. Every man, when his daughter brings a boy home for the first time, wants to get his measure. It was a kind of a rite of passage. I loved Jules, so I knew I could tolerate it. There was even a chance we might come to like each other.

“And what’s your mom like?” I asked.

Jules looked at me sidelong. “Why? Are you looking to ‘share’ with her too?” she asked, deadpan.

“No, no….” I blustered, “I was just…”

All the girls laughed at my discomfort.

“She’s nice,” she said, “but then, she’s my mom, so I would say that. She’s a little taller than me and has blonde hair. Never sits down and would give you her last cent if you needed it. Sometimes she’s too gullible and Daddy has had to get stuff back that she gave away to con men, but it doesn’t change her. She will always see the good in people.”

“So that’s where you get it from,” I said.

“My gullibility?” she asked wide eyed.

“No, no, I mean your generosity,” I said hastily.

She grinned at me again. “It’s so easy it’s almost not fun.”

I looked at her again, wondering if I should ask the next question that had occurred to me.

She smiled. “Go ahead, ask,” she said.

“Do your family know about your sexuality?”

“Yes,” she said. “I came out to them about two years ago. At first, they thought it was a phase I was going through. They didn’t hassle me at all, just let me get on with my life to see if I would grow out of it. Eventually they figured out that I wouldn’t, and they love me for who I am. My mother was a bit upset at first, thinking I wouldn’t be able to give her grandkids, but I told her that whoever I ended up with, or even if I ended up just being alone, I had plans to have children. At least two.”

She looked at me. “I know we haven’t discussed this for real, but I was serious before. If I can, I would like to have children someday.”

“I hadn’t really thought about having children until you’d brought it up,” I admitted. “Since then, the universe has conspired to distract me.”

“Are you dead set against it?” she asked.

“He’d better not be,” said Mary. “I’m having at least two, and Amanda wants a couple too.”

“I’m being managed again, aren’t I?” I groaned.

“Don’t you like children?” Amanda asked.

“I like them well enough,” I said. “But what if we can’t afford…”

Amanda turned her head and looked at me. I was reminded of the money they had. Quick math, however, suggested that six children could burn through a couple of million dollars in a hurry.

“Are you dead set against it?” Jules asked again. “If you are, then we need to reconsider. Joking aside, I wouldn’t do that to you, and neither would these two.”

I shook my head ruefully. “No, I’m not dead set against it. It just came as a bit of a shock is all. I’m barely twenty and already I have six kids planned.”

Jules looked around. “We’re nearly there,” she said. “There’s a mile marker coming up, then a road on the left just after take that.”

Mary turned onto the road, and I peered ahead, looking for a house.

“It’s a little way yet,” she said. “About another five miles.”

“Didn’t we pass under a property marker just after we left the road?” I asked.

She nodded. “I said Daddy had a bit of land,” she said.

“Define ‘a bit,’” I said, and she shrugged.

“You’d have to ask him.”

Eventually, we arrived at a house. Calling it a house didn’t really do it justice. Calling it a mansion didn’t get the vibe exactly right. If I’d been told it was four times the size of the house the FBI had put us in, I wouldn’t have been surprised – and that had been enough for more than five adults to live in comfortably.

Jules got out of the car and stretched. I got out and walked around beside her. The twins seemed to be taking their time getting themselves together.

Suddenly there was a terrific snarling and barking, and a pack of four huge hounds came tearing at us from behind the house.

Before I had time to think they were on us. I grabbed Jules and spun around, putting her between me and the car, and shielding her with my body. It had happened so fast that I hadn’t even considered using my power.

Jules giggled as one of the hounds wormed its nose between me and the car and started licking at her, whining.

“Caleb, it’s fine,” she said. “They’re my dogs. They won’t hurt us.”

Blushing furiously, I let her up, looking around to see whom I’d made a fool of myself in front of. The front door of the house was open and there were three people standing, watching us.

Jules’ father, Mr. Steadman, was about six feet tall and broad as an ox. He looked like the kind of man that, if one of his cows took lame, would simply pick it up on his shoulders and carry it home. He was tanned, with dark brown hair, which was buzzed short. He was dressed in jeans, a lumberjack shirt, and boots.

Her mother was pretty much as Jules had described her. She had an open face and a sunny smile.

The other person I guessed was her sister Vanessa. If I hadn’t known their age differences, I would have sworn they were twins. Ness had longer hair, almost down to her waist, but other than that she was identical to Jules. There was something different in her stance though, although I couldn’t define what. They both had their fathers’ eyes.

Mary and Amanda had gotten out of the car and were fussing the dogs with Jules. The dogs were happy to see Jules and were busily investigating us.

Jules grabbed my hand and walked me over to her family. My mouth was dry.

“Daddy, Mom,” she began, clearly a bit nervous herself, “this is Caleb. My boyfriend.”

I saw Mr. Steadman’s eyebrows go up almost imperceptibly. Mrs. Steadman’s expression didn’t change, and Ness looked me up and down appraisingly.

Then Jules dropped the bomb. “And this is Mary and Amanda,” she continued, “our girlfriends.”

Mr. Steadman’s eyebrows tried to climb onto the back of his head as his jaw fell open. Mrs. Steadman lost her smile as her jaw reacted similarly. But the biggest surprise, to me at least, was Ness, who burst out laughing and hugged her sister.

“Way to go, sis,” she said.

She moved to me, giving me a bear hug. “Welcome to the family,” she said before moving on down the line and hugging both Mary and Amanda. By the time Ness had completed the round, the Steadman parents had regained their composure.

Her Dad held his hand out to me. I prepared for a bone-crushing contest but got a surprisingly warm, firm handshake, which I returned in kind.

“Call me Dean,” he said, and I nodded.

“I’m happy to meet you,” I said.

“Cheryl,” said her mother, stepping up to me and hugging me, and even giving me a peck on the cheek.

After a second I returned the hug. Dean and Cheryl hugged the twins, and then we were invited into the house.

“You have a beautiful home,” I said as we were seated in a room into which most of our former house would have fit. We each held a glass of lemonade.

“Thank you,” said Cheryl. “Let me guess: Jules told you her daddy had a few cows and a bit of land?”

I nodded.

“Don’t blame her,” she said. “It’s a reflex for the pair of them now. When boys find out that their daddy is rich, they either run for the hills or start looking to see how they can get some of that money for themselves.”

“I’m not going to do either,” I said. “I know it was a shock to you when Jules introduced us, but we love Jules, and for as long as she wants to be, we are together.”

“I saw that,” said Dean, “when you saved her life in the front yard.”

I blushed hotly.

“I didn’t save her life,” I said. “I just made a fool of myself. They weren’t attacking her.”

“I know that,” he said, “but you didn’t. In that instant, you saw a threat and you reacted, putting yourself between her and, as far as you knew, a pack of ravaging hounds. The threat wasn’t real, but the instinct was.

“I also understand that wasn’t the first time you saved her,” he added.

I looked at Jules and she looked down.

“She was in a bad place,” I replied, “and we were lucky enough to be able to help. I don’t think she really wanted to be there; she just needed a reason not to be. We were very happy to be able to give her a reason.”

He nodded again.

“I saw a lot of good men go to dark places,” he said. “Some returned, others didn’t. Thank you for bringing my Jules back to me.”

I saw, with some surprise, that his eyes were wet. Jules got up and went over to him, sitting on his lap and hugging him.

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said. “I didn’t mean to hurt you so bad.”

“I know you didn’t, Button,” he said quietly, “and it’s over now. Just promise me that if you ever feel that bad again that you talk to someone. Caleb, or the girls, your mom, me, even Ness. Hell, talk to the fucking dogs. Just talk to someone; believe me, it helps.”

I got a flash of memory from him, of him, a picture of a military squad in one hand and a gun in the other. He’d been to his own dark place. Fortunately, he had returned. I didn’t pass that information on.

“I guess we are going to have to rethink the sleeping arrangements,” her mother said when things had settled down some. “I had Jules in her room, Caleb in the white room, and Mary and Amanda, I thought you wouldn’t mind sharing.”

I heard the unspoken question in her mind.

“We kind of all just pile in together at home,” I said.

She took a breath and looked at her husband, gauging his reaction.

“The white room has a king bed in it,” she said. “Will you all be okay in there? It has an en suite as well.”

“I know this is all new to you guys,” I said. “It’s kind of new to us too. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable so…”

“The white room will be fine,” interrupted Jules. “Thanks, Mom.”

I looked at Dean and he shrugged. “You get used to it,” he said. “Wait ‘til they start choosing your skivvies.”

“We’re past that already,” I said, and he laughed.

Jules glanced at me, and I felt a question in the bond.

“What do you think?”

“They are lovely people,” I sent back. “Your father is nowhere near as scary as you made out.”

“Protecting me from the dogs impressed him - Mom and Ness too.”

“I was slow to react. Lucky break, actually, or I might have used powers.”

“Are you going to tell them?”

“Given they are going to be family, and their grandchildren may well have powers, I guess we should. Will they keep it secret? I know your dad is ex-forces so I’m sure he knows how to keep secrets, but you said your mom is trusting to a fault. Ness is still young.”

“Dad will make sure Mom gets it. Ness knew about me since we were seven and five - well before I came out to my parents. We had the usual spats growing up, but no matter what, she never once breathed a word to anyone. Still hasn’t. She’ll keep our secret.”

I sent the memory of the conversation out to the twins via the bond, and they both nodded in agreement.

I saw Ness narrow her eyes. “Okay,” she said. “What was that?”

“It was the twins providing a conversation opener,” I said, knowing they had done it deliberately to try and elicit a response. I thought that Dean had noticed too, but he had chosen not to comment.

“There are some things that you need to know about Mary, Amanda, and me,” I said. "It goes some way to explain how we all ended up together.”

“You’re Psi,” Dean said.

Even Jules’ jaw dropped at that.

“How…” she said.

“I recognized the signs just now,” he said. “When I was in Iraq, our unit was attached to a small unit of Psi-Ops, which, yes, was an intentionally confusing pun. They were there primarily to ‘interrogate’ terrorists we brought in. They were an amazing bunch of guys and girls, but every now and again you could see them holding conversations.” He tapped his head.

“I saw you and Jules do exactly that, I presume to ask if we were safe to be told, and then I guess you asked Mary and Amanda. Their nod, I guess, was for our benefit.”

“I know Jules doesn’t have the gift, so I guess you drive,” he said to me.

“Kind of,” I said. “Mary and Amanda are both Empaths,”

“That explains the foursome,” Dean said. “Empaths need to share.”

Jules was looking at her father like he had grown a second head.

“What?” he said. “Does your old man knowing something surprise you that much?”

“About this, yes,” she responded. “You never mentioned anything about it in all your stories about your time in the corps.”

“Have you heard the term ‘Top Secret?’” he asked.

She nodded.

“Well multiply that by about ten,” he said. “But since you guys are all involved anyway…”

I glanced across at Ness, and my eyes widened when I saw her Aura. She was staring at me, and it was a deep, rich purple.

I sent the memory to the twins who both giggled, and to Jules, who smiled.

“Ness, you are too young,” she said. “Ask again when you’re eighteen if you’re still interested.” It was said with love, and I got the feeling she actually meant it.

I cleared my throat. The last thing I wanted to do was to give Dean the impression I was after his underage daughter.

“So, what are you?” asked Dean, looking at me.

“Sir?” I said reflexively. He had caught me thinking and I hadn’t caught his meaning.

“Don’t call me ‘Sir,’ son; I work for a living,” he said. It was obviously a reflex phrase he had used a million times.

“Sorry Pops,” I said, and he guffawed.

“Okay, I asked for that,” he said. “Dean is fine. I asked what kind of Psi are you? Are you an Empath like the girls?”

“I am an Empath,” I said, “and I have Telepathy.”

“A multi?” he said. “I only ever met one of those before.”

“And Telekinesis,” I said. “And Compulsion.” I will admit that I milked it. There was some light chiding from Mary, and some mirth from Amanda.

He fixed me with his own copy of Jules’ eyes. They were not hard, but they were calculating. “You know I have to ask,” he said.

“I could show you,” I said, “but Jules would have to agree.”

Jules was looking backward and forward between us, not understanding the byplay.

“Jules, he knows about Compulsion,” I sent to her. “He needs to know I am not Compelling you in our relationship. The best way to show him is to show my memory of us bringing you in, but it’s up to you.”

“Button?” he said, looking at her where she still sat on his lap.

For a long second, she looked into his face, before finally nodding.

“And your mom?” he asked.

She looked over to where her mother was sitting, her eyes fixed on her oldest daughter.

She nodded again. “Ness too,” she said. “She should see.”

“Wait, what?” I asked. “Ness is only seventeen. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to expose her to something so traumatic.”

“You have good instincts, Caleb,” said Dean, “but I know my daughters. Excluding Ness from this would be far more damaging than allowing her to see it.”

I looked across at the twins. Even without the bond, they understood my look: be ready.

I sent snatches of memory from when I first heard the song, to looking for Jules, to seeing her cross the corridor, all the way to when we were in my room and I had convinced her to join us.

I saw Dean’s eyes glaze for a second as he assimilated the memories. Then he put his arms around Jules and hugged her to him. Cheryl got up and crossed the room, joining the hug, and Ness followed immediately after. They held each other for a long moment. I could hear murmurs from the huddle and let them have their privacy.

The huddle broke up and Jules stood up. Then so did Dean. Crossing to me, he grabbed my arm and dragged me to my feet, throwing his arms around me in a crushing bear hug. Before I knew what was happening, I was the center of my own huddle, with Cheryl and Ness clinging to me also. I felt some shifting, and Mary, Amanda, and Jules entered what had now become a scrum.

“I was wrong,” he said, a slight catch in his voice. “It’s four times, not twice.”

“Four times?” I echoed, not understanding.

“There was outside in the yard.” I blushed, and he laughed. “It’s the intent that counts. Then there was when you talked her down. Then when she slipped, you caught her. Most would think their duty was done at that point. But you followed through. You loved her. That is probably the only thing that could have saved her in the end.”

“So what’s the difference between pansexual and bisexual, really?” Ness asked me, utterly destroying the moment.

I was torn between groaning inwardly and being surprised. The word must have cropped up in one of the memories. I took a beat, though, and considered that if she’d known about Jules being asexual for a decade, she was probably a lot more ‘with it’ when it came to sexuality than even most other kids her age.

“It means I’m not preemptively ruling out space aliens,” I said, shooting her a goofy look. “To me, it also means that I really just don’t focus on sex or gender all that much in the first place when I find myself drawn to various people.”

“Emphasis on the ‘various,’ huh?” she joked. “Three girlfriends. That’s really something.”

I tried reading the room again. All I felt was a general sense of amusement that I’d been put on the spot by a precocious teen.

“So how can you love them all?” she pressed. “Don’t you love one more than another?” I felt some familial loyalty towards Jules radiating from her, then. I actually found it adorable.

“Well, I don’t want you to answer out loud,” I replied, “But think about this: who do you love more? Your mom, daddy, or Jules? I’m not talking about who you would go to if you wanted to bum some cash, or you had a boy problem. Look inside and see which one, if you had to make a choice, you love the most.”

“Well yeah,” she said, “but that’s family.”

“Your mom and dad are family to each other,” I countered.

“Yeah, but there’s just the two of them,” she shot right back. I could tell she wasn’t trying to get a rise out of me. She was, completely unintentionally, being a pest.

“There’s plenty of love to go around,” I said. “If it works out right, there’s even more than when you started. I have no doubt that, given time, Mary and Amanda will love you just as much as they love Jules, for example, and you won’t be fighting over it. You’ll both have your share, and maybe a bigger one than you otherwise would, since we’ll all be family, and you and Jules will keep loving each other too.”

“But not you?” she asked. “You won’t love me?” Her lip quirked up for an instant; she barely suppressed a wicked grin. She had, suddenly, become an extremely self-aware pest.

“Let’s put a pin in that for a while,” I replied. “That should be enough time for me to make sure your dad isn’t going to turn me into fertilizer somewhere on this extremely large, extremely private plot of land.”

There were chuckles all around, and Ness didn’t push anymore. I think she knew the real answer already. She was a smart kid. I liked her.

Cheryl stood. “Let’s go get some supper,” she said. “You guys must be starved.”

We moved into the kitchen and were directed to sit around the large farmhouse table there. It could have comfortably seated twenty people, so we congregated at one end.

While Cheryl, Ness, and Jules bustled about, bringing crockery and cutlery to the table and refusing all of our offers to help, I sat beside Dean and decided to try and find out more about his farm.

“Is it beef or dairy?” I asked, hoping it wasn’t some kind of insult to either to ask.

“Dairy,” he said, “eighteen thousand head on fifteen thousand acres.”

I nodded knowledgeably and then grinned. “Sorry, that’s all I got,” I said, “and I had to google that on the way up.”

He laughed. “Well at least you tried,” he said. “What do your folks do?”

“My dad is a mobile farm mechanic, arable mostly, although he has a couple of small dairy farms he deals with. My mother keeps house.”

And tells lies, I added silently to myself.

“What about you guys?” he asked, turning his attention to the twins.

“Our parents died in a plane crash when we were young,” said Mary, to coos of sympathy from the girls.

“Sorry to hear that,” Dean said.

“Our grandmother brought us up,” said Amanda, but then glanced at me and stopped talking. She anticipated that might be a sore spot.

“Problems with the in-laws?” he directed this question to me.

I gritted my teeth to prevent what was running through my head escaping from my mouth. “You could say that,” I finally managed.

I felt Jules’s hand on my shoulder, and she leaned in to kiss my cheek. “Relax, Caleb,” she said. “We will figure it out. Daddy will help.”

I looked at her gratefully. I had been winding up, and she had unwound me. Ness looked on, surprised.

“Kissing boys now?” she jabbed at Jules, who grinned.

“When you’re old enough,” she returned, “I might tell you what else I’ve been getting up to with him.”

“Jules!” said Dean, a note of disapproval in his voice.

“What, Daddy? Is holding hands wrong?” she enquired in a little girl’s voice.

He snorted as the twins tried not to snigger. Cheryl and Ness grinned.

Dean looked at me. “Are you sure you know what you are getting yourself into?” he asked.

“Nope,” I replied with a laugh. “But whatever it is, I’m sure it’s going to be entertaining.”

Bowls of soup were placed in front of us, with chunks of buttered bread on the side. I noted Ness watching me. She waited until I had taken a mouthful of soup before asking the next question.

“So how many kids are you going to have?” she asked cheekily, grinning.

I guessed she was hoping for a bigger reaction than I gave because she pouted a little at my answer.

“Do you mean with Jules,” I asked levelly, after swallowing my mouthful, “or all together?”

Cheryl’s eyebrows rose at that response.

“Jules told me on the trip up,” I said, “that she had promised your mom two grandkids. Mary and Amanda each want a couple, so I guess you’re going to have a lot of nieces or nephews to spoil.”

Cheryl looked at Jules, a question in her eyes. Jules read it and nodded in response.

“But not for a while yet,” I said. “We all have quite a lot to get done before we are ready for that.”

We finished the soup in companionable silence, and the plates were cleared away. Another plate was put in front of me, and before I knew it there was a huge roast on the table, surrounded by vegetables, potatoes, and gravy.

I was stunned It was like a feast at Hogwarts; it had appeared as if by magic. Yes, there had been scents in the kitchen, but I had never imagined such a spread. I thought the soup had been it; it had been filling and delicious. I hadn’t realized it had just been the first course.

Cheryl loaded my plate, and then the twins’. Dean, Ness, and Jules just helped themselves. There was enough food on my plate alone to feed a family of five. I looked at Dean, and he laughed.

“Do what you can,” he said. “The dogs will welcome anything you can’t manage. Cheryl is used to plating up for us. Dairy farming is hard work, so we burn through the calories. Believe me, if you are not too ‘city’ to help out, by the end of a couple of days you will be putting that lot away and looking for more.”

“City?” I adopted an injured tone. “I’ll have you know I’m a country boy, born and raised.”

“We’ll see tomorrow,” he said, “Early start, mind you. Breakfast is at five-thirty for the workers.”

I thought of telling him that I usually rose at about four-fifteen these days, but I decided that would just sound like I was boasting.

“I guess I should get an early night then,” I said.

He grinned. “Probably best.”

Once again, our offers of help - this time to clear the dishes - were refused, and the three Steadman girls worked together as a team. My plate looked as full when it was taken away as it had when it had been placed in front of me, and I was uncomfortably full.

“You’ll be the dogs’ new best friend,” Ness said as she scraped the plate into the bowls, ready to take them outside.

Dean stood and walked to the fridge, grabbing a couple of beers before walking to the back door. He opened it and looked at me meaningfully before going through it. I looked at Jules and she smiled. “Don’t worry, he took two bottles,” she said. “If he were planning to hurt you, he wouldn’t give you a beer first.”

I went out onto the deck to find him sitting on a lawn chair, another beside it, separated by a low table. There was a bottle of beer beside the empty chair.

“You drink beer?” he asked indicating the bottle.

“Very occasionally,” I said. “I’m still technically underage.”

He huffed. “You can go to war at sixteen, marry at eighteen, yet you can’t have a drink until you are twenty-one. What a screwed up world we live in.”

“Amen to that,” I said sitting on the chair and picking up the bottle.

He raised his bottle to me in a toast and spoke. “To women, wives and lovers.”

“May they never meet.” I finished the old saw, raising my own bottle.

He grinned at me. “Meet?” he queried. “They are all sleeping in your bed.”

“There is that,” I said.

He settled a little on his chair. “Jules has asked me to talk to you,” he said.

“About?”

“I didn’t understand, at first,” he said, “what the issue was. But now I know you’re Psi, it makes sense. Particularly given you’re a multi with Compulsion.”

“Ah,” I said. “That.”

“You know they won’t let go, Caleb,” he said.

I nodded sadly. “I know,” I said. “I must look like a stupid kid to an ex-marine like yourself. I’m sure you took shit that I can’t even imagine, even before deployment. But I never signed up for this. It’s not what I wanted, and I’m just being swept along in the current. They are using the girls against me; it’s how they got me to agree to being a consultant in the first place. I never wanted to do that, but I needed a place for us all.”

“For Jules?” he asked.

“Not just for her, no,” I said hastily, and he smiled.

“You are a decent man, Caleb,” he said, “and that is your weakness. They are not decent people. They will lie, cheat, steal, kill and worse to get their way. Your only choice is to go along to get along, and hope they need you enough to keep you. I guess your power has them shitting their britches, so if they don’t think they can control you…”

“A fifty-cal at long range,” I said. “They did mention it.”

“Have you considered other agencies?” he asked.

“Such as?”

“Well, you could look at the military,” he suggested. “Military intelligence would be so desperate to get you that they’d actually pay you living wage, but the disadvantage of that would be probable posting overseas. Then there’s Homeland Security, the NSA, CIA, the Secret Service. You could really stick it to the FBI by signing up to one of those others, and they wouldn’t be able to touch you.

“I would probably steer clear of the Secret Service,” he continued. “They would be up your ass even worse than the FBI. The CIA, like the military, would mean overseas posting, but the NSA might be an option, at least as a bargaining chip.

“If you say to the FBI, ‘No thanks, I’m going to raise sugar cane in Kansas,’ then you’re a liability - an uncontrolled power that they may feel they have to deal with. If you say ‘I’m going to the NSA,’ you’re in a much safer position. You are still controlled by the US government, and yes, the NSA will be as difficult to work for as the FBI, but by playing them off against each other, you might be able to get a deal you can live with.”

That actually sounded like the beginnings of a plan. I imagined standing in front of Maggie Forbes and telling her I had a better offer, seeing her fury as a rival agency got her prize. It brought a smile to my face.

Dean grinned at me. “That’s more like it,” he said. “You realize that’s the first real smile I’ve seen?”

“I can see where Jules gets her sense from,” I said.

“Not from me,” he said, “I’m just a dumb jarhead farmer. Cheryl is the brains of this outfit.”

I looked at my watch. It was after ten. “I guess I need to turn in if I’m up early,” I said.

“Cheryl and Ness will be disappointed,” he said. “They are enjoying chatting.”

“Oh, the girls come to bed when they are ready,” I said. “I need my beauty sleep far more than they do.”

We walked back into the kitchen, a sudden silence falling as we entered.

“Whatever they said,” I said to Cheryl, “it’s only partially true, and I have an excuse.”

She laughed.

“I’m heading off to bed, “I said. “Thank you for a lovely meal, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I got a hug and kiss from all the girls, including Cheryl and Ness, and Dean showed me where the ‘white’ room was.

The bed was small in comparison to ours at home, but a king was still plenty big enough for four, and after a shower, I settled down to sleep.

Amanda padded into the room as I settled.

“Will you let me help you sleep?” she asked, and I nodded.

We curled up together, and within moments, I was fast asleep.

++++++

My eyes snapped open at four in the morning.

For a second I was confused and disoriented. I didn’t recognize the room, and the bed seemed crowded. Then my brain woke up fully and I remembered where I was. The bed had no more people in it than usual, but since it was smaller, it felt more crowded.

Amanda was still curled up in front of me, with Jules in front of her. Mary was behind me.

I slid down the bed, managing to extricate myself without disturbing them too much. They were used to me getting up early by now. I went into the bathroom. I would shower after my training, but I needed to attend to some other matters before then.

I walked down the stairs carefully, wondering if I was about to get attacked by a pack of dogs. I was starting to doubt the wisdom of doing this, but I decided it was too late to backtrack now. I went into the kitchen and crossed out onto the deck.

It was cool and fresh on the deck as I began my training, losing myself in the exercises and the katas I had learned. When I finished, I turned to find I had an audience.

Dean, Cheryl, Ness, and four dogs were all looking at me from their positions by the back door, the dogs sitting in a line, watching intently. I half expected them to hold up scorecards.

“How long have you been out here?” Cheryl asked.

I looked at my watch. It was five fifteen. “An hour,” I said, “I try to get a couple of hours’ training in the morning, before my run, but you guys get up earlier than my girls. Give me ten minutes for a shower and I’ll be ready to go.”

I rejoined them in the kitchen after my shower. Jules had gotten up, but the twins were still asleep.

She came over and hugged me. “Morning,” she said. “Did you sleep well?”

“I did,” I said. “How come you’re up so early?”

“I always get up this early when I’m home,” she said, maintaining her hold on me.

“Save your canoodling for later,” said Dean. “Come get breakfast. We have a long day ahead.”

The plate that Cheryl placed in front of me would have fed me, the girls, Josh and Louise. I couldn’t imagine how they thought I would possibly get through it.

“Eat up, you’re going to need it,” said Dean. “I want to check and repair the fence on the west pasture today.”

After breakfast, Cheryl gave me a rucksack with enough sandwiches to start a deli, a couple of thermoses and several bottles of water. She gave another one to Dean.

Jules came over and kissed me on the cheek. “I’ll see you later,” she said.

Checking and repairing the fence was backbreaking work. Dean had loaded his truck up with spare poles and wire, along with a host of tools to do everything from extracting broken posts to digging new holes to splicing wires.

I could tell I was slowing him down, so I began to cheat.

We were replacing a broken post and reattaching the wires to the new one. The most time-consuming part of the operation was extracting the stump of the broken post, as they were driven several feet into the ground, which was hard and unyielding. We had to dig around the post and then set up a tripod, drill into the stump and draw it out. We could have used a backhoe to do the job in a tenth of the time, but Dean liked to do things the more traditional way.

“To be honest,” he said while we were setting up the post puller, “these days, I’m only playing at being a farmer. It gives me something to do, to occupy my mind. I have a farm manager and a large staff who run the farm far more efficiently than I ever could. Cheryl runs the business and I just putter around doing odd jobs. The farm manager tells me what jobs need doing, and I’ll pick one and go do it. I enjoy the work, and being out here.”

“So how much am I slowing you down?” I asked him ruefully.

“We are a little behind,” he said. “I had hoped to get this whole stretch done today.”

I chewed my lip, then looked around before concentrating on the stump of the post still in the ground.

It wriggled for a second before jumping out of the hole and setting itself on the ground beside it. The new post jumped off the truck and plunged itself into the hole vacated by the stump. I tapped the top of it with my hammer.

“Will that help?” I said.

I looked at him a little nervously. I didn’t know how he would react to me using my powers.

He closed his mouth, which had been hanging open, then grinned.

“I think that will help a lot,” he said, starting to pin the wires to the new post. I could have done that too, but I limited myself to only replacing posts where they were needed, which was only when they were rotten, cracked or completely broken – about one in twenty.

By lunchtime, we were well ahead, and he had thoughts of working to a time, rather than a set point, which was only about one hundred posts away.

“It’s midday,” he said, looking up at the sun.

I looked up too. “How can you tell?” I asked, thinking to learn some Marine bushcraft.

“I looked at my watch,” he said, grinning, and I laughed.

“Let’s have lunch and then work until five,” he said. “I’ll bet we can get another three hundred to three hundred fifty posts checked if we set to.”

We got our rucksacks out of the truck. I had been raiding mine all morning for water, but I still had four bottles left, along with the two thermoses, and the package of sandwiches that looked to me to be enough to feed a small army. I was hungry though, so I dug in.

One of the thermoses had soup in it, and I gratefully drank that, still dipping into the sandwiches as I sipped. It was only when I reached into my pack for another sandwich to go with the last of the soup that I realized there were none left. I had eaten an inordinate amount, and if I was honest, I was still a little hungry. TK still qualified as hard work, apparently.

We actually managed another four hundred and seventy-four posts before Dean called it a day, and I was not sorry to be done. I had drunk all my water, and the coffee from the other thermos, and I was hungry again. Setting aside my hunger and fatigue, though, I felt great. The psychic workout had been fantastic. I was flexing muscles I had not really spent much time working with, and as the day had worn on and I’d pulled more and more poles, they’d gotten easier and easier to manipulate. At five exactly, we packed our tools in the truck and headed back to the house.

“Go shower,” Cheryl said as we came in through the door. “Dinner will be thirty minutes.”

I got back to the kitchen just as another Hogwarts feast was being laid out. Dean had been right. I cleared my plate, and was grateful when Ness piled a second helping on for me. I noticed Cheryl and Dean exchange a glance, but didn’t worry about the significance of that. I was just glad to be getting fed.

Finally replete, I sat back.

“That was amazing, thank you,” I said to Cheryl. She shook her head.

“Ness was tonight’s chef,” she said, and I looked at the young girl with awe. Then I looked at Jules.

“Can you cook like that?” I asked, but she shook her head.

“Mom could never interest me in learning,” she said. “I had too much fun tinkering with stuff in the workshop.”

“Well, that was absolutely wonderful,” I said to Ness. “Thank you.”

She blushed and smiled. “It was nice to see you had worked up an appetite,” she said.

“How far did you get?” Cheryl asked Dean. “Billy was asking. He was hoping you would at least get five hundred done today. But since you had a new guy with you, I told him you might not make that.”

Dean smiled, “Well I have to say, he did kind of slow me down,” he said. “We only managed eight-fifty.”

“Eight…” began Cheryl, stunned.

“Turns out having a Psi on staff kind of speeds things up,” he said. “So, Caleb, if the alphabet agencies don’t work out…”

“Believe me,” I said, “right now I’m so tempted.”

Ness stood up and started clearing the table, The girls and I stood up to help, deciding to ignore the protests. We got everything cleared away and the kitchen tidy once again.

“You didn’t have to do that,” said Ness. “It’s my job.”

“After that meal, it was the least we could do,” I replied.

Dean hit the fridge again. Carrying two more beer bottles, he headed out to the deck. I followed him out, and took the proffered seat and beer.

“I reached out to an old buddy of mine last night,” he said without preamble. “He was the CO of the Psi unit I was telling you about, that I worked with in the desert. He currently runs a small section for the NSA.”

“What do users do for the NSA?” I asked.

“Spy on American citizens, mostly,” he said flatly. “Oh, they say it’s all about national security, and imminent and credible threats, but mostly you’d be spying on your neighbours. He hates it, but he’s trapped with them, as surely as the FBI want to trap you.”

I sighed. “So that’s that idea out,” I said sadly. “I couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t feel right.”

“Don’t be so hasty,” he said. “You don’t have to actually go work for the NSA. You only have to make the FBI THINK you are going to work for the NSA. We’re talking bargaining power here.”

“So how can we make them think that?” I asked.

“Easy,” he said. “I set up a meeting with him. He would recruit you in an instant, but as soon as they start doing background checks, your FBI buddies will hear about it. The NSA won’t offer you anything until the background checks are complete; meanwhile, the FBI gets their noses rubbed in the fact that another agency is getting their golden boy. The beauty of that scheme is that if it doesn’t work, you could try again with one of the other agencies – more background checks, more nose-rubbing for the FBI.

“From what you said last night,” he continued, “and what I have observed, you really want to do the work that the FBI do – stopping rogue or, what was it you called them, ‘wild’ users - but they don’t need to know that.

“It’s simple supply and demand. When they had you convinced that they were your only customer, you were screwed. If you can show them that you know that you have options, none of which they can meaningfully object to, I suspect their attitude will change.”

“When could I meet him?” I asked, liking the idea.

“He said he will be in town on Friday,” he said. “We should be able to finish off all of the western pasture fencing by Thursday night, so we could all take a drive on Friday. The girls can have a shopping trip, and you and he can sit down.”

“Perfect,” I said.

After an hour or so, the girls came out and joined us on the deck, and we spent a pleasant evening chatting together. Ness was a little subdued, but joined in the conversation when she had something to say.

At about nine-thirty, I excused myself and went for a shower, in preparation for sleep. When I came out of the shower, Jules was laid on the bed, waiting for me. She looked nervous.

“Hey, Kitten,” I said, “how’s it going?”

“I’m horny,” she said simply.

I climbed on the bed beside her and held her to me.

“Okay,” I said, “I’m here to help. What would you like me to do?”

“I...” she said quietly, “I don’t know. I never did this before with anyone else.”

“Jules, I love you,” I sent to her gently. “You know that. If all you want is for me to hold you while you scratch your itch, then I would love to help you. If you would like to try something more, then we can do that too.”

I felt embarrassment from her. She didn’t think she could bring herself to direct me while she was involved. It would feel too weird.

“You don’t have to ask,” I said. “Just relax and let your mind go. I will hear your wants, and take care of them for you.”

She nodded. “Hold me?” she said a little timidly, and I slid my arm behind her, pulling her to me and gently stroking her hair.

She sighed, and then I felt her embarrassment peaking again. She couldn’t bring herself to masturbate with me there.

“Let me help,” I said, using my Empathy to surround her with love and support, and this time I meant to push horny too. It worked. She moaned, her back arching a little as her hand sneaked down her front, and she started a gentle, circular motion on her clit.

She moaned again, closing her eyes, and then I heard her.

“Kiss me!”

I leaned in and placed my lips on hers, kissing her as we always did. She had other ideas though. Her tongue invaded my mouth, just as it had in the cafeteria the day that she had wanted to show Jasper that she was no longer interested in him. Surprisingly, she was a really good kisser. The hand that was not engaged in massaging had come up to the back of my head and was holding me firmly to her while she continued to plunder my mouth.

Her hips started to move, then faster, and she moaned.

“My tits, play with my tits.”

I brought my hand from my side and began to gently massage her breasts, stroking and playing with the firm flesh. She wasn’t huge, but each breast was a nice, firm handful.

“Harder, pull my nipples.”

I complied, increasing the intensity of my massage, and tweaking and pulling her nipples as she began to writhe under me. I used TK to replicate what I was doing with one breast, so each was getting full attention.

She was grinding her hips hard, her fingers flying over her clitoris, and I could sense her orgasm building. I also sensed that she was holding back, trying to control her thoughts. Once again I hit her with a wash of emotions, once again heavy on the horny.

She shuddered.

“SUCK ME!”

She screamed into my mind but I already knew it was far too late. She was so close to orgasm that I wouldn’t get there in time. Instead, I released her breast, continuing the massage with TK, and, after swiping my fingers the length of her slit to pick up the juices that were bubbling out of her, pushed her hand out of the way and attacked her clit.

She screamed into my mouth, her back arching as she spasmed, her pussy squirting onto the bed. Her hand kept gripping the back of my head as she continued to devour my mouth all through her orgasm.

“Yes, yes, yes, dontstop, please, yes, no, dontstop.”

I continued to stimulate her until I felt her relax. Then I backed off, releasing my TK and lightening my kisses to gentle pecks and licks at her lips. I stopped rubbing her clit when she jerked, showing she was oversensitive, and I swapped to stroking her belly as she came down.

I noticed her eyes were open, and she blushed when she saw me looking at her.

“You have beautiful eyes,” I said. “Did I ever tell you that?”

“I think you might have mentioned it one time,” she said with a smile.

“Thank you,” I said.

“Shouldn’t I be the one thanking you?” she asked, but I shook my head.

“These times for you are so precious,” I said. “Maybe once or twice a month when you enjoy physical love. Thank you for spending one of them with me.”

“But you didn’t…” she said. “We didn’t really…”

“You shared yourself with me,” I said, “let down your guard and showed me a part of you that I suspect very few people, if anyone else, has seen.”

She blushed again, and I saw a brief image of a pair of young sisters giggling together.

I settled onto my back, and Jules snuggled into her favorite position against me, her leg thrown over mine. Her pussy was still slick and I could feel the wetness on my thigh.

“Have I left you frustrated?” she asked, her hand straying toward my cock, which I had to admit was paying attention.

I intercepted her hand, bringing it up to my face and kissing it. “I am happier than I could imagine. You gave me something very special tonight, and I don’t want to sully that memory. Just let me hold onto you and it.”

“Caleb?”

“Yes?”

“Can I steal one more kiss?”

I turned my head to hers, and she captured my mouth again. It wasn’t as hard or needy as before, nor was it her usual chaste lip contact. It was somewhere in between. Her tongue gently roamed my mouth, exploring, investigating, and massaging my tongue, before withdrawing. She pecked my lips a couple of times more, before sighing happily and settling down to sleep.

There’s an old joke.

What’s the difference between light and hard?

Don’t know?

You can go to sleep with a light on.

Tonight, it didn’t hold true. Yes, I was still very aroused. What had happened had been one of the most erotic things I had ever been involved in. On the surface, it hadn’t amounted to much, but when put against the backdrop of who Jules was, it had been amazing. I felt so fulfilled by the experience that my own need was immaterial.

Jules’ regular, deep breathing lulled me to sleep.

+++++

“Caleb.” It was Jules, whispering so as not to wake the girls, but shaking my shoulder gently.

“Huugh?” I said intelligently.

“Caleb, it’s Ness.”

I was awake instantly.

“What’s up with Ness?”

“Same as was up with me,” she said quietly. “She has the same problem I have, only she can’t take the pill just now, so it’s even worse. She has it really bad. Can you help her?”

“Of course,” I said, slipping out of bed. I was halfway to the door before I realized I was naked. I put shorts and a tee on and followed Jules to Ness’s room.

Ness was curled up in a ball in her bed, her breathing coming in sobs as the pain wracked her.

“Ness?” I said, gently trying to remember not to ask stupid questions this time. “Ness, I need to know, is this your normal pain, or is it something else?”

“It’s the normal pain, but it’s worse than usual,” she gasped.

I decided that we could have the rest of the conversation after I helped her, and so I stroked her hair gently as I reached inside with my power, searching for the pain signals. There were a lot of them, and I blocked them all.

Ness relaxed, and I felt a wash of relief and confusion from her.

“How did you…” she said before throwing back her covers and hugging me to her.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she sobbed with relief. “I didn’t know what I was going to do it hurt so bad. None of the usual pain meds worked and the heating pad actually seemed to make it worse.”

“How long do the pains normally last?” I asked her.

“They are normally bad for a day,” she said, “but then tail off over the next two. It’s a pretty miserable three days every month.”

“I blocked the pain for three days,” I said. “I don’t want to block it for more than that in case there is something wrong and you need to get help. But as long as this is your normal period, you should be fine. But if you feel unwell in any other way you need to tell your mom, okay?”

“Okay,” she said, and I tucked her back in.

“I’d best get out of here,” I said, “before your dad finds me and I end up in that unmarked grave.”

She giggled.

“Goodnight, Ness.” Reflexively, I kissed her forehead, then realized what I had done.

My eyes widened and I was about to apologize, but Jules put her hand to my face and shook her head.

“She is fine with you showing her you love her too,” she thought at me.

I smiled as I opened the door and came face to face with Dean.

“Okay,” I said. “This kind of looks bad.”

He raised an eyebrow.

“Will you let me show you?” I asked.

He nodded. I sent him the memory from when Jules had woken me to the moment, we had come face to face. I saw his eyes glaze for a moment, and then his expression softened.

“I didn’t know you Psi guys could do that,” he said softly.

“It’s a function of Telepathy,” I said. “I use it very cautiously because I don’t want to hide real symptoms, but since Ness told me that that is her usual pain, I thought it would be safe to help her.

“I’m sorry if I overstepped. I just hate to see them hurting when I can do something about it. Especially over something so stupid. If men got that pain every month, you could be certain they would figure out a way of stopping it.”

He jerked his head, indicating we should move from Ness’s doorway, and led me into his bedroom. Cheryl was sitting up in bed in a dressing gown.

“Have a seat,” he said, indicating the edge of the bed.

“Could he help her?” Cheryl asked, and I looked from Dean to Cheryl.

“Wait, you knew why I was in there?” I asked incredulously.

Dean smiled. “I guess,” he said. “Jules had told Cheryl about when you helped her, so when Ness was so bad, I sent Jules a text. She always picks up, day or night. I asked her to ask you to help.”

“And the scene outside Ness’s door?”

“A guy’s got to have a little fun with the new son-in-law,” he said. “I’ve been going far too easy on you so far.”

“Are you sure you want to go there?” I asked. “Two days of ring itch can be miserable.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“Try me.”

We mock-glared at each other for a few minutes before Cheryl interrupted.

“When you two have stopped measuring your dicks,” she said, half-amused and half-irritated, “can we get back to Ness?”

“I blocked her pain for three days,” I said. “I told her if she gets any other problems to come straight to you. She says it’s the same as her period pain, and I assume the timing is right, although I forgot to ask, I wouldn’t want her to miss anything more serious.”

“And it worked?” she asked.

“Can I show you?” I asked, and she nodded. I sent her the memory from the time I entered Ness’s room to the time I left. I included the encounter with Dean.

I saw her assimilate the memory, and then sigh with relief. She also shot Dean an amused look.

“Thank you, Caleb. How close do you have to be to do that?”

“Jules I could help from anywhere, Ness I would have to be close, probably in the room, maybe in the same house once I get used to the feel of her psychically.”

“So why can you help Jules from anywhere?” Cheryl asked.

I explained the bond, the nature of it, and why and how we had included Jules.

“So couldn’t you do that with Ness?” she asked. “I wouldn’t ask, but we have tried everything, and she has tearing agony every month. She has been begging me to let her get a hysterectomy just to stop the pain.”

“Yes and no,” I said. “Yes, I could, but it’s a very adult decision. A very adult situation.”

“Ah,” said Dean. “Right. Mary and Amanda are Empaths. You too, actually, along with everything else.”

“’Ah,’ what?” demanded Cheryl. “All of this is just magic to me, so maybe I should just blindly accept the wizard’s vague proclamations, but my poor girl is in terrible pain every single month. Isn’t there some way to make this work? If it’s magic, can’t we magic up a slightly different solution?”

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get through the explanation myself. It was too much, too soon, and she was already thinking about Ness in relation to it all.

“Jules, help. I need you in your parents’ bedroom.”

“Sharing with them already? That was fast work.”

“Funny. Get your fanny in here, pronto.”

There was a knock on the door and Jules poked her head in.

Cheryl looked from me to Jules.

“Jules will explain it,” I said. My plan had been to get up and leave her to it, but she foiled that by the simple expedient of sitting on my lap.

“Jules,” I began.

“Hush,” she said. “What am I explaining?”

“Why it might not be a good idea to add Ness to the bond.”

“So you can block her pain from distance; good idea.”

“NO,” I said, “not a good idea.”

“You are much better at controlling it now. She will be fine.”

“Are you prepared to take that chance? With your underage sister?”

“Maybe you should ask her.”

“MAYBE,” said Cheryl, getting a little irritated, “you should explain it in words that regular people will understand.”

“When Caleb is having sex,” Jules said in a matter-of-fact voice, “he uses his powers to enhance the process. It means that everyone involved can feel everything that everyone else is feeling. So, as well as feeling your own orgasm, you get to feel your lovers’ orgasms too, As well as all the other sensations they are feeling.”

Cheryl flushed, and I saw Dean’s eyes widen.

“Now, consider there are three Empaths in the relationship. Threesomes are routine, and foursomes and even moresomes happen too.”

Cheryl swallowed hard.

“In our house, we all sleep together, but I have my own room, too. Caleb insisted so I would have a place to go if I ever felt I needed alone time.

“When Caleb and the twins have sex, I stay with them, obviously. I don’t join in, but I kind of like to see them having fun and be near them. But when they play with others, especially if there’s another guy in the mix, I leave them to it, and go do something else in my room.

“The first Saturday after we moved in, Caleb and the girls had Josh and Louise in with them. They were having a great time, and Caleb was using his power as usual. I felt Caleb nudging me with his power, and I answered, thinking it was him checking in, as he often does. It feels good. What I didn’t realize was that it was an invite to share; it had slipped out accidentally. I felt everything that happened to all of them. Every sensation, every orgasm.

“Caleb was mortified. It took me a long time to convince him that he hadn’t hurt me, and that it had been a wonderful experience because along with the orgasms I felt the love - the love they had for each other, and the love they had for me.

“He is more in control of his power now than he was then, but he is worried that if Ness is bonded, something like that might happen, and she might get caught up in one of their sharing sessions.”

“She’s only seventeen,” I said. “She has no frame of reference for what sex should feel like. Aside from the ‘underage’ issue, it could seriously damage her for future relationships.”

Cheryl was actually panting now, and I could see her aura was a deep, rich purple.

I looked at Dean, whose aura was also deep purple, but there were bands of steel grey, which spoke of control. I tried not to notice the tenting at the front of his shorts.

“I think we need to go,” I said, “and leave your parents to discuss it.”

“Or you could ask the twins to join you,” Jules said. “I’m sure they would be interested in hearing the discussion too.”

My jaw didn’t just hit the floor, it went through and explored the basement.

“You’re not suggesting…” I began,

“That you show them what you are afraid of,” Jules said. “Yes, I am.”

“But…”

“Mom, Daddy? What do you think?”

I checked every tell I had, and tried desperately to break out of the illusion I knew that I had to have been trapped in. It was no good. Either I was seriously trapped, or this was reality.

Dean looked at Cheryl and they both gave the tiniest of nods.

I felt Jules nudging the twins through the bond.

“Wait,” I said, “this isn’t right.”

Jules looked at me. “Why not?” she asked.

“They’re your parents,” I said.

“Dianna is the twins’ grandmother,” she returned. “Do you love the twins more than me?”

That was a low blow.

“But…” I said, “they’re your parents.” I wasn’t able to articulate anything else.

“I’m not suggesting you and Daddy fuck,” she said. “I don’t think he swings that way. But the twins are not unwilling, and Mom currently looks very interested.”

There was a knock on the door, and the twins padded in, both wearing baby doll nighties that I hadn’t even known they owned.

Out of desperation, I checked everyone for Compulsion. Then I looked for illusion again. I could not believe any of it was actually happening.

Mary crossed to me.

“Caleb, they both want this. You know we love to share. You also need to share; it’s who we are. Incidentally, we are not at all concerned about Ness being added to the bond. She will be fine. But for now, just relax, and show them how much love we have - for each other, and for them.”

“Cheryl?” I asked.

She just nodded, her cheeks scarlet with arousal.

“Dean?”

“Looks like you got managed again,” he said. “Don’t sweat the small stuff, Caleb. Cheryl and I are happy to share sometimes too. I said before I worked with Psi in Iraq. They had needs, and so did the rest of us. It was win-win… win-win-win.”

“Okay then,” I said, and Jules smiled.

She got up and moved to the door.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“I don’t want to see my parents having sex,” she said. “Ew. I’m going to sleep with Ness tonight. I’ll make sure she’s okay, and that she stays put.”

I turned back from talking to Jules to find Cheryl standing right behind me. She had removed her robe, and was wearing a long T-shirt which came to just below her ass.

Before I could say a word, she pulled me into a kiss.

I heard Dean groan from somewhere behind me, and I guessed the twins had already gone to work on him.

Cheryl’s kiss was gentle but firm, claiming my mouth and exploring. I had the errant thought that it had only been a couple of hours since her daughter’s tongue had been playing that same game with mine.

Strangely, that excited me even more.

She pulled at my T-shirt, lifting it up, breaking the kiss momentarily to pull it over my head.

She ran her hand down my chest and abs. I was nowhere near as bulky as Dean, but I still had good definition. She traced the outline of my abs with her fingers before slipping them lower to untie my shorts. The whole time, her tongue kept up the battle against mine.

My hands weren’t idle either. I started at her hips, and began running my hands up her body under her shirt. Her skin was soft, but hard work on the farm meant that there wasn’t much in the way of extra fat, and I could feel firm muscle underneath.

I did find a couple of very nice fat deposits eventually, though, and I moved my hand over them, gently stroking them, feeling her nipples harden as my fingers grazed them.

My shorts had fallen down partway, but got hung up on my erection, which was standing proud and ready for action. It had been denied earlier, but was back, and expecting to take full advantage of the opportunity.

I walked Cheryl back to the bed until her knees touched it, and pushed gently. As she sat, I lifted her T-shirt, stripping it off her in a single movement.

She was beautiful. Her skin was flawless, and her breasts, although not large, were firm, without a hint of sag. Her nipples were large and dark, with silver-dollar sized areola which were puckered and crinkled around the rigid flesh of the nipple.

Cheryl took her opportunity also, unhooking my shorts from my erection and pushing them down, almost incidentally taking my cock into her mouth on the way.

Had I had the wherewithal to look across the room, I would have seen that Mary was on her knees, her mouth working on Dean’s cock. He was slightly shorter than I was at about five and a half inches, but it was half as thick again as mine and had a bulbous mushroom head which Mary was slathering with her tongue, much to his appreciation.

What would have impressed me, even more, was that Amanda had her legs over his shoulders, and he was holding her up, cupping her butt cheeks in the palms of his hands while he feasted on her pussy. It was as if he didn’t notice her weight at all. She was holding onto his head and pulling him into her.

Cheryl was starting to build up a rhythm on my cock. She couldn’t take me all the way down her throat, but had crooked a finger around my base and was pushing forward then bobbing her head on me, all the while using her tongue to massage and slather my cock with a mixture of her spit and my precum, which had begun drooling out of my slit. She made slurping, squelching noises as she worked my cock with her mouth.

I decided to wait until the blowjobs were over before sharing. I wouldn’t have a problem with the feeling of Dean’s cock in Mary’s mouth, but I wasn’t sure how Dean would take to it.

I nudged the girls to move things along. I had promised to show them sharing, and there was a risk that he might cum before we got there.

Mary released Dean’s cock from her mouth, and, using it as a handy handle, drew him to the bed, where I had just disengaged Cheryl from my cock and was encouraging her to slide fully onto the bed.

When they were laid side by side, I reached out to the pair, and offered the share.

Cheryl looked a little confused for a second, but then accepted. Dean accepted without pause.

That was when I ran my tongue up the length of Cheryl’s pussy.

Cheryl moaned at the sensations, licking her lips. She wasn’t just feeling my tongue on her pussy. She was feeling her pussy on my tongue, as though it were hers.

Dean jumped a little, the sensation of feeling ‘his’ pussy being licked totally alien to him.

Amanda had re-joined Dean on the bed, and knelt over his face.

He took the hint and wasted no time, digging back into the juicy teen pussy she was offering. Once again, the dual sensations of pussy-licking and pussy-being licked hit everyone. Cheryl was starting to tremble. Having two pussies being licked at the same time was starting to get to her, and she showed no signs at all of being confused or turned off by the feeling of licking them. I could feel her orgasm building rapidly.

I considered blocking it, but decided against. Cheryl could orgasm many times. I decided I would only block mine and Dean’s for now, to make sure everyone got the full experience.

Mary decided to get in on the act again. While I was still lapping at Cheryl’s pussy, feeling her climbing higher and higher, Mary swung her leg over Dean, and, in a single, liquid thrust, took him all the way to his root.

The sudden feeling of having her pussy stretched wide by her husbands cock, even though it was in Mary’s pussy at the time, was enough to send Cheryl over. She hissed, arching her back, and I felt her pussy fluttering on my tongue as I continued to savage it while she rode out her orgasm.

Dean froze. For the first time in his life, he was experiencing a female orgasm, and it had momentarily short-circuited his nervous system. His body had wanted to come in sympathy with Cheryl, but I had blocked that, along with my own sudden urge to orgasm. Mary and Amanda, though, got to enjoy theirs, which then fed back into Cheryl, Dean and I, meaning I had to block our orgasms yet again.

This was turning into an exercise in concentration for me, far more so than an exercise in giving or receiving pleasure.

Cheryl finally stopped twitching from the combined orgasms of the three girls and grabbed my head, pulling me up her body. As it came into reach, her hand grabbed hold of my cock and guided it unerringly inside her.

Her tunnel was slick, and, while not as tight as the twins’, still gripped my shaft and generated some wonderful sensations on my head as I slowly worked in and out of her.

As she had pulled me inside her she had claimed my mouth with hers again, and was kissing me with abandon. Her tongue was a sensuous snake, generating feelings I had never encountered from a kiss before. Everyone else seemed to agree that her technique was unique and exciting – including Cheryl herself.

Dean had moved Amanda and was currently rimming her, sliding his tongue over and around her asshole. I absently wondered what his reaction would be if he actually pushed it into her and felt the sensation of a tongue going up his own.

Mary was holding Dean’s cock inside her as far as it would go, enjoying him stretching her pussy. Her clit had popped out since her pussy was stretched so wide, and she was grinding it against him, her hips making circles. Her hands were on his chest, and she rolled his nipples in her fingers while her mouth captured Amanda’s nipple and nipped and sucked at it

I was loving the feeling of Cheryl’s pussy on my cock – and everything else at the same time, of course When I pressed into her, I felt her cervix kissing the tip. I pulled back a little and pushed in again, encouraged by her hands on my ass to drive into her as deeply as I could possibly go.

Once more I hit her cervix, but rather than pulling back, Cheryl wanted me to push deeper. I obliged and felt the tip of my cock pushing into her cervix, rubbing against it like a small pair of lips. It seemed to suck at the head while my shaft was gripped and massaged by her pussy walls. Dean and I were overwhelmed by the new sensation yet again; the three girls were in heaven, and it was only a moment or two before they dragged us up there with them.

I set a couple of TK mouths to licking and sucking at Cheryl’s nipples, and she groaned, her climax starting to build again. I decided that this time would be the big finish. Not only would I remove the blockers, but I’d fully open up the share. Five orgasms would begin a feedback loop, which would start an earthquake and an avalanche.

Mary’s orgasm was climbing also. Up to that point she had had multiple little tremors, just from the feeling of being stretched so wide, but there was a big one coming. We could all feel it rising in her belly, and she began to pump her hips up and down, lifting off and impaling herself on the thick slab of meat embedded in her pussy.

Amanda was almost delirious. Dean had his tongue deep in her asshole. It was her second favourite thing, she decided, only surpassed by a cock up her ass. Mary was suckling on her nipple, and she was strumming at her own clit like she was playing a flamenco guitar. It would be a race between the twins as to who would reach their peak first, but Cheryl was a dark horse, not far behind.

The feeling of my cock pumping deep into her, and rubbing against her cervix at every thrust, was causing her to hyperventilate. Unfortunately, I was controlling her breathing now with my kiss. Her nipples were being licked and suckled with TK. She could feel a tongue in her ass, courtesy of Amanda and Dean, and her clit was being played like a banjo, also courtesy of Amanda.

Not only that, but she could feel me pushing deeper inside of her than she had a cock since before she’d gotten married, and yet she could feel the girth of her husband’s cock as it stretched out Mary. Her body was totally confused at all the sensations that were bombarding it, and it finally decided that the only way to sort them all out was to give her the biggest orgasm of her life.

She broke away from my kiss and drew in a deep breath in preparation. Then the oxygen rush hit, and she shrieked as the orgasm hit her like a tsunami.

Her legs came up and locked around my waist, clamping tightly and pulling me deeper inside her than I had reached so far - so deep, in fact, that my glans was pressed tight up against her cervix. It felt like I might, at any time slip right through into her womb. The feeling of that extra penetration pushed her higher still.

Her pussy spasmed, feeling like a sucking mouth on my cock, and she squirted copious amounts of her juices on my balls and upper thighs. The sensations that her pussy had created on my cock added to the feeling of her orgasm ripping through her body, caused me to plummet over the edge.

Reflexively I thrust forward, pushing my cock even deeper into her as I began to dump what felt like a week’s worth of backed-up cum directly against the opening to her baby chamber.

Spurt after spurt of spunk launched up my cock and into her, filling her up and draining my balls in the same moment. She groaned as she felt the heat of my cum inside her, and the rest of us felt it too. From that point on, it was all groans, moans, and gasps for air. They all blended together. It was impossible to tell which mouths and throats were doing which at any given moment. We were all too far gone.

My orgasm, along with the feeling of being filled with cum, triggered both the twins simultaneously. Amanda squirted all down Dean’s neck and chest. Her asshole pulsated around his tongue, which had gone rigid as he had been overwhelmed by all of the orgasmic sensations.

Mary, too, was coming. Her cunt gripped Dean’s cock tight as it undulated, sucking the cum out of his balls in a long stream. Dean arched his back as his hips jerked and twitched, his balls giving up his load, trying to keep up with all the different sensations and orgasms he was feeling. Mary, on feeling the cum jetting inside of her, and as though she were doing the jetting herself, climbed immediately to a second, more powerful orgasm, which rocked through us all.

That sent Cheryl into a final, bone-crushing orgasm that finally overwhelmed her, and she blacked out. It was miracle the four of us didn’t do the same.

I lay panting on top of Cheryl, taking my weight on my arms so as not to squash her. Amanda was leaning back against the wall above the bed, her ass still firmly planted on Dean’s face.

I lifted her off gently with my TK so he didn’t suffocate, and laid her down on the bed beside him.

Mary slid forward, laying on his chest, his softening cock slipping out of her with a pop, before globs of his cum and her juices combined ran from her and down over him.

I was trying to gently disengage from Cheryl, but her legs were still locked around my waist. Eventually, she sighed and opened her eyes. She looked up at me, taking my face in her hand and kissing me tenderly.

“Thank you, Caleb,” she said. “I don’t think I would survive ever doing that again, but it was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.

“Jules was right. And wrong, too. The orgasms weren’t just nice, they were indescribable. But she was right about the love. I felt it. I could feel the love you have for each other - you, Jules, Mary and Amanda. I could also feel the love you have for us and for Ness. It’s fresh and it’s new. It’s innocent, though I can’t believe I’m using that word. But it’s there. It’s already there. That’s truly incredible.”

She finally released me, and I moved off her. My cock slid from her, and I was expecting to see a pool of cum run out of her. It didn’t, and I had a momentary worry that I might have just impregnated my girlfriend’s mother.

“She had her tubes tied,” Mary sent. “She told us yesterday when we were talking about babies.”

Dean groaned.

“You okay over there?” I asked.

“Nope,” he said. “I’m dead. That’s the only explanation I have for what happened.”

I chuckled. “I thought you had shared with Empaths before,” I said.

“Not like that,” he said. “Nice feelings - love, trust. Not sharing like that. Is that really what a woman’s orgasm feels like?”

“I guess so,” I said.

“I’m feeling short-changed,” he said. “Next time I want to come back as a woman.”

“I’m sure Ness wouldn’t have agreed with you earlier,” I countered.

“Point,” he conceded. “I’ll stick with what I know. Cheryl was right, though. Actually seeing the love you have for Jules and each other would have removed any doubts I had about your arrangement. But I knew as soon as I set eyes on you that you loved my daughter. Even before you did what you did, which, yes, was dumb but also very sweet, I saw it in your eyes when you looked at her.

“Cheryl was also right. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. I’ll treasure it, but I don’t think I could stand another go-around. I am also going to ask if you would still consider helping Ness. She has begged us to let her have surgery to stop the pain, but I know it would break her to not be able to have children. She has wanted her own children since before she understood she could have them.

“The risk is more than outweighed by the reward. Jules says that you are more in control now, and that will only increase. I know I don’t have a right to ask, after everything you have already done for my family, but please Caleb, please help my daughter. I would be happy to…”

I caught his thought.

“Don’t finish that sentence,” I said. “If we decide to do this, and by ‘we’ I mean me, Mary, Amanda, Jules, and Ness, it will be for our love for Ness. And it will be freely given. And if we decide not to, then no amount of money will change that.”

I decided not to prolong the misery, though.

“Jules, you still awake?”

“Kind of difficult to sleep with the noise. Just what did you do to my mother?”

“Do you really want to know?”

“Ew, no.”

“I’m ninety nine percent sure of where you stand on this, but the bond for Ness, yes or no?”

“Yes, of course.”

I sent the same question to the twins and got a unanimous yes.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll speak to Ness tomorrow, and if she agrees, then I’ll include her in the bond. That way I should be able to block her pain, even when we are back there, and she is here.”

“Thank you,” said Dean.

“I know we said our family was complete…” sent Amanda, and I knew instantly where she was going.

“Stop,” I sent back. “I do not want to hear a single word about Ness joining us, nor do I want to find out that you, any of you, have been talking to her about it. If she asks, we are FOUR.”

“You would reject her?” Jules asked, shock and hurt in her send.

“When she’s still a child, yes, I would,” I said. “She needs a normal adolescence. Grooming is grooming, no matter how good the intentions. Until she’s eighteen, this is about pain management, period.”

“Ha-ha,” replied Amanda.

I felt a swell of emotions from all the girls after that. They knew what I’d left unsaid. I couldn’t hide my feelings for Ness from them, and they had zero desire to hide theirs. I lay back, worried that I had robbed poor Ness of the remainder of her childhood. What worried me more was one particular emotion that the girls hadn’t been able to hide from me, just then:

Triumph.
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