The husband's tale
Sharon Best, Aurora Universe, Copyright 1995,1996,1997
(Aurora Universe materials are strictly for Mature Readers over 18 years of age!)
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IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY EXPLICITLY SEXUAL OR VIOLENT MATERIAL, ARE UNDER THE AGE OF MAJORITY IN YOUR STATE, PROVINCE OR COUNTRY, OR IF EROTIC MATERIAL IS PROHIBITED BY YOUR LOCAL LAWS, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER!
The sexual acts and occasional violence described in these stories are only fantasies and would be impossible for real living people to perform! These stories are strictly for the private non-commercial enjoyment of the authors and of those who share an interest in this genre.
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This story is strictly for us 'grups', for those of us who remember the comic books and their limitations and who dare to go where the comics could not go. And for those of us who still have a fertile imagination, a love of fantasy, a sense of wonder and an appreciation for All The Myriad Ways...
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The husband's tale
"Yes, there's been some changes" he said, sipping from a glass of beer.
Anne Straits watched him closely. She was a reporter. John Harris was the story. She knew if she paid attention he would tell her more than just what he said.
"It's been about a month now, hasn't it, since Kara was here?" she asked. "You and Megan are probably still adjusting." Straits knew very well how long it had been. She had covered the two-day "Women and Leadership" symposium hosted by the Lawrencedale Women's Club at which Kara -- Superfemme -- had been the keynote speaker and guest of honor.
And she had burned with jealousy afterward when she had not (repeat, had NOT) been one of the two Lawrencedale Women's Club members Kara had chosen to enhance.
I would have been a perfect choice, Straits told herself for the millionth time, even as she questioned Harris, and tape recorded his replies. I'm young, I'm fit, I'm gorgeous, and I'm smarter than anyone in this hokey town.
And I'm a reporter. How totally appropriate it would've been!
Instead, for reasons known only to her, Kara had picked a 22-year-old waitress; and this man's wife, a mousy, brown-haired 40-year-old book editor and conferred the power of the gods on them. They were to be Kara's assistants and representatives in this part of the country; protectors of Lawrencedale and environs, just as Kara was the world's protector. Part of Superfemme's world-wide network.
Why not me? Why not?
Reflexively, Straits smoothed back her long blond hair. She forced her attention back to the interview. Barely one month ago, Harris' wife had become an invulnerable superwoman, with strength in excess of a thousand men. How was her man handling it? What was life like in that man's castle now?
The Journal's readers -- most everyone in Lawrencedale, population 90,000 -- wanted to know. More importantly, Straits' editor wanted to know, and wanted to run the feature in this Sunday's "Living Section."
They sat comfortably in the living room of the Harris' modest one-story home, he in the recliner, Straits on the leather sofa. On the glass coffee table in front of her, coffee cooled in a china cup and saucer.
"I didn't even see her for a week after the symposium," Harris was saying."The police deputized her and the other woman, and then they had to go through a week of classes and briefings on police procedure, and go through a ton of paperwork to make them legal deputies. And they had to ride around with the cops on a couple of 24-hour patrol shifts."
"I'm sure you missed her," Straits said. "What else did you feel?"
"Well, I felt I could stay up as late as I wanted and smoke cigars," Harris said with a grin. "I'm just kidding. I really did miss her."
There was something smart-alecky and mocking about his smile; Straits liked it.
"But I was also curious about her powers," he continued. "She comes in the front door about three hours late after the last night of the conference, really excited, and says 'Hi honey, you're not going to believe this, but I've got super powers!' I thought she might've been drunk, though she doesn't drink much.
"I told her to calm down and repeat it a little more slowly. Super powers? What?"
"So she explained it to you?" Straits asked.
"No, she didn't say a word," Harris replied. "Just drops her purse and keys -- and I'll never forget this till the day I die -- she rises up in the air -- she's floating, honest-to-God -- and she floats over to me and wraps her arms around me, under my arms, and picks me up in the air, and mashes her lips against mine and we float around the room -- this room! I'm still not over it."
"How'd that make you feel?"
"I thought maybe I was the one who was drunk. Though I'd only had one beer," Harris added, hastily. "I'm 6-2 and 180 pounds, and she's just 5-2 or 5-3, but she's not having any trouble with me -- we're not even on the floor for chrissakes! Thank goodness I'd seen a little about Superfemme on the news recently, so I at least had some point of reference."
"I heard you had bruised ribs," Straits said, eyeing Harris' large shoulders.
"I'm solid, I lift pretty regularly. Otherwise she might have cracked them. She's got a better sense of her strength now, but then it literally felt like I was being crushed. She thought she was being gentle."
"Healed up now?"
"Mostly." Unexpectedly, Harris lifted his gray t-shirt to show the well-muscled torso beneath. Faint purple marks showed along the side of his body. He covered back up.
"So you see," he said, "not too bad."
Straits nodded. Not too bad at all, she thought.
"So you wrere curious about her powers," she continued. "Did you get your questions answered?"
"Some," he replied. "She wasn't around much that first week, though. She -- Megan -- had to take off a week from work to spend with the cops. She'd come home to shower and change clothes, but that's all. She doesn't need to eat, and she can go weeks without sleeping, so her deputy training just went around the clock."
"How much has that interrupted your routine? Her being a volunteer police deputy?"
"They haven't called her yet. She wears a police beeper. As I understand it, they won't call her or the other woman unless they have a really big problem. Drug dealers with automatic weapons or terrorists -- something like that."
"We don't get too much of that in Lawrencedale," Straits commented.
"Not too much," Harris laughed. "Megan does stuff on her own though."
"I've heard spousal and animal abuse really punch her buttons."
"She can see and hear it from a long way off. And obviously walls can't hide anything from her. There's been a few times she's left me in the car or a restaurant while she flew off to somebody's rescue."
"So what is the routine of life with a brand-new superwoman?"
"Not as different as you might think," he replied. "We both still go to work. Megan makes dinner in the evening -- she's always loved to cook."
"I heard she's writing a cookbook."
"Yes. It's for other super-- other people like her. How to cook with tachyon vision. You know, the purple heat beams from her eyes. 'An eye for the kitchen,' or something. Megan's own publishing company wouldn't go for it. They thought the market was a little too narrow. Evidently Kara thought it was a great idea, though, so one of her subsidiary companies is picking it up."
"You know, I'm surprised that you and Megan still work," Straits said, conscious of 'work's' double-meaning, but not caring. "With her abilities, I'd think she could effortlessly set you up for the rest of your lives."
Harris nodded and set his empty beer glass on the table. "She could. She won't, but she could. She's had some incredible offers so far to use her powers to advance the fortunes of certain really big corporations. Won't touch them, though. Won't use her powers for personal enrichment in any way."
I sure would have, Straits thought ruefully. "You sound like you disagree with that," she remarked.
"Well, in a way," he admitted. "Life's easy for Megan, now. She's never tired or sick, never makes a mistake. She's perfect. Perfect and then some. I'm not."
He paused. He looked down.
"You just don't know what living with a perfect person is like," he said.
Not perfect, evidently, Straits thought.
Harris looked up at her.
"I didn't mean that," he said. "Let me take that back."
Straits turned the tape recorder off. She had an idea. A wild, dangerous, exhilarating idea -- they were the best kind. She couldn't have a superwoman's powers, but maybe she could have something else that belonged to a superwoman. She did have some powers of her own, after all, and she knew how to use them. Megan Harris' husband wasn't bad at all, either.
There was some risk, but Megan Harris would probably never find out. And once the deed was done, wouldn't that show that she, Anne Straits, girl reporter, was in some sense superior? Superior even to a superwoman?
She returned his gaze, her clear blue eyes filled with sympathy, concern and friendly understanding.
"Let's go somewhere for a drink," she said. "I'm buying." She knew it wouldn't be a problem. He was used to obeying strong women. The only difference was, she sure as hell wouldn't bruise his ribs.
The interview's second stage took place in a booth in a bar. Being away from the house filled with his super-wife's things, along with a couple stiff drinks, loosened Harris up quite a bit.
And though the story was supposed to be about him, Straits couldn't keep from asking about Megan Harris. She was envious and fascinated, and her professional resolve to get the story was weakened by a few drinks of her own.
They laughed together when Harris told her how Megan had friction-burned their carpet trying to vaccum at super-speed.
There were husband and wife disagreements -- mostly over Harris' not doing his share around the house -- and Megan had to try mightily not to use her powers to get her way. She wasn't always successful.
"One time she wanted me to do the dishes -- she's afraid I'll get too lazy now that she's a superwoman, too dependent on her powers, so she's always after me to do stuff around the house -- stuff that she could do a thousand times better and faster than me -- and I just didn't feel like it. So I told her I'd do them tomorrow.
"'That's too long for the dishes to sit,'" she says.
"So I told her to do them herself if they absolutely had to be done -- after all, she's 'Mighty Megan' or 'Mega Megan' or whatever, and her super strength should be equal to the job."
Straits listened, enthralled.
"So then there's a 'whoosh,' and next thing I know, I'm standing there naked, not a thing on. Even my watch and wedding ring are off. And I see her for just a second, floating about two feet off the floor, glaring at me like I was Lex Luthor or Hitler. Then she's gone. God, she can move fast."
"Where were your clothes?"
"On the roof. In just a few seconds she had stripped me, then emptied out my closet and all my drawers. Socks, shoes and belts. Every stitch, on the roof."
"No! Dirty laundry too?"
"She left that. I had to put dirty clothes on to retrieve my stuff. It was November and kind of chilly. I guess there was some kind of connection that I was supposed to get -- dirty clothes and dirty dishes -- but I was too annoyed, and frankly, a little scared and shakey, to think about it much."
"What did you do?"
"I did the dishes. After all, she could have just as easily have left the clothes in the house and put me on the roof. Or worse.
"She came back around dawn and we made up. But now, when she tells me to do something, I do it. Whether I want to or not."
"Where had she been all night?"
"Out flying, is what she said. I had to get ready for work, so I didn't really have time to question her about it. Not that I would have anyway, considering."
"I think that's the part I'd like best about being a superwoman," Straits said dreamily. "Flying. It must be wonderful."
"She does use her flying power in some remarkable ways," Harris said.
"Really? Like what?"
"Well -- you know."
"You mean. . . sex?"
He nodded, grinning.
"Tell me about it," she prompted, her eyes bright with excitement.
Harris laughed, excitement coming into his own eyes. "I can't believe I'm telling this stuff to the Journal!"
"It's all off the record. I switched off when we left your house,"Straits assured him.
Harris looked around as if checking for eavesdroppers. He leaned across the table toward her, and she met him halfway.
"You know, I'm just now realizing how much I've needed to talk to someone about all this," he said.
She nodded sympathetically and put her hand on top of his. "Of course," she said. "You were saying?"
"The first time -- after she got her powers -- I was on top. She just floated up. With me on top of her," he whispered. "God, I went deep. She slowly went upright, holding me to her with one hand on my butt -- tight. The effect on me was incredible."
"Very big. Bigger than ever before. And then -- nuclear."
Straits chuckled softly. "How about her?" she asked.
The conspiratorial smile left his face and he sighed.
"She says it feels good," he said, shrugging. "I know she has to hold herself back quite a bit, or she'd hurt me. I do everything as hard as I can, but she is invulnerable. I just can't tell how much my teeth and nails and muscles are affecting her. Probably not much."
Straits nodded and was silent.
"John, may I ask a favor?"
"How are you to drive?"
"Oh, I'm fine. Would you like me to drive you home?"
"Would you? I'd be really grateful. I shouldn't have had that last G&T."
They stood up, and as Harris stepped away from the booth, Straits swayed, just a little. Harris steadied her, holding her a moment longer than necessary. She turned to face him and their eyes met and locked.
"Thank you," she said.
"Don't mention it," he replied.
The end of the interview began in Strait's small house, in her big bed.
He was on top, pinning her to the sheets with his weight and strength, but using his elbows and knees to keep his full weight off.
She moved slowly and rhythmically beneath him, arching up to him, then falling back, admitting defeat before his strength, then trying again. Harris responded, keeping her down with gentle mastery.
He loves this, she thought exultantly. He loves being with me, a real woman, instead of a steel statue. She may have the strength, but I have the power. I took a superwoman's man as casually as I might pick a flower. Who else could do that? Who else would even dare?
He nipped her.
"Owie," she giggled softly. "You're a wild beast! That hurt."
"Sorry," he whispered, surprised in spite of himself. "I'm used to tougher meat."
They broke up, snorting with laughter.
As they caught their breath, Strait put a finger over Harris' lips.
"Forget about her," she said, stretching languorously beneath him.
"That might be hard to do considering I'm right here," said a cool voice beside them. They froze. It was Megan's voice.
The chair had been empty just a second ago. She sat calmly in it now, legs crossed, watching them, a frightening light in her dark eyes.
Despite her fear, Straits found herself making mental notes, as if to later describe the superwoman for a story she knew she'd never write:
Dark brown hair, short, but thick; large brown eyes; patrician nose, lips pursed -- lord, she's mad -- pale skin, creamy; short-sleeved black leotard, modestly cut; short skirt; black tights, black low-heeled boots turned down at the top a few inches beneath the knee -- she's just a tiny thing really. I'm much taller and stronger -- well, stronger-looking, anyway. She does look firm though. She looks good -- but not that much different from any other fairly fit woman --
"Megan, I know this looks bad --" Harris found his voice.
"Get dressed. I'm taking you home."
Harris rolled off Straits and sat up on the bed. "Now, just wait a minute, I'm getting tired of you telling me what to do all the time. I know I'm in the wrong here, but --" He stood up.
Megan stood up also, interrupting him. "You can go home in your clothes or not, I don't care, but you're going."
Straits swung her long legs over the edge of the bed and sat up. "Ms. Harris, this is my house and I'd like you to leave it right now," she said. She was scared, and the reporter in her was interested to see what Megan would do, but Straits was angry, too. How dare this woman interrupt her privacy! And honestly, she didn't look that tough.
"Don't worry," Megan said, watching her errant husband pulling on his pants. "I'm just getting my husband and getting out of here. We'll be gone in a minute."
Straits relaxed. If I was the superwoman here, I would've splattered my competition all over the ceiling by now, she thought. She left the bed and walked into the kitchen. She picked an empty champagne bottle out of the blue recycling bin. It was heavy green glass. She hefted it by the neck, like a club.
Megan was watching Harris fumble with his shoe laces as Straits stepped up behind her and smashed the bottle on Megan's head. The heavy glass shattered explosively, harmlessly against the small, invulnerable woman. Harris looked up from his boots, startled.
"I said, get out," Straits repeated. She added, a little uncertainly, "This is my house." She hadn't expected the bottle to do any damage, but still, it was a little unnerving to see the fact of Megan's invulnerabilty.
Megan faced the tall naked blond. Straits held the broken, sharp-edged bottle in front of her. It' s like a cat-and-mouse game, thought Straits. Only this time the mouse is super and the cat's in trouble.
"Ms. Straits, I really didn't want to hurt you," Megan said calmly. "But it's bad for business to let people break bottles on my skull, thick as it might be. So there's going to have to be some punishment --"
Straits lunged, desperately jamming the jagged edges of the bottle into Megan's chest, the only effect a further breaking of the glass. Too quickly to be seen, Megan flicked a finger against the larger woman's chin, as if brushing away a gnat. The blow lifted Straits off her feet and slammed her into the wall. She slid down to a sitting position, dazed.
Megan advanced on her.
"Megan, no!" Harris leaped to hold his angry super-wife back from inflicting further damage on the fallen reporter. He seized her from the back, enveloping her small frame in his weightlifter's arms, but only for a second. An instant's super-speed wriggle of her hips and shoulders, and the big man fell away from her like a discarded shirt. He crumpled to the floor stunned, and breathless.
Megan kneeled down in front of Straits. "My husband is off-limits," she said. "You can quote me on that."
Straits squinted, trying to focus on the petite woman in front of her. "I should've. . ." she mumbled.
"What? You should've what?"
"I should've been the superwoman," she said weakly.
"Well, you're not. I am. Don't forget that."
"But I took you on anyway. . ." her voice trailed away.
"Yes you did." Megan smiled in spite of herself and stood up. "Probably not one of your more brilliant ideas." She whipped a blanket off the bed and covered Straits.
Megan picked up the phone and dialed 911.
"Hello, this is Megan Harris, could you please send -- yes, THE Megan Harris -- could you please send an ambulance to this address?" She listened for a moment. "Yes, that's the address. Blow to the head, possible concussion," she told the operator. "Conscious? Yes." She looked at Straits, who was rubbing her forehead.
Harris groaned and pulled himself up into the chair.
"Yes, I'm keeping her warm," Megan said. "No, I'm not moving her. No, I won't be here.
"And please make sure the ambulance ride and treatment get billed to me," she said, hanging up.
"The ambulance will be here in five minutes," Megan told Straits.
"I don't need --"
"You can tell them," Megan said. "C'mon 'darling'," she said, roughly jerking her woozy husband to his feet. He grunted as she suddenly pulled him tight against her with one arm. There was a quick breeze and the whiffling sound of displaced air, and Megan and mate were gone.
Harris sat on the sofa, looking at his feet. Megan stood nearby.
He looks like a penitent, she thought.
No one spoke for awhile.
"So are you going to beat the snot out me, now?" Harris asked finally.
"No, of course not," Megan replied. "But why'd you do it? To hurt me? My feelings aren't invulnerable, you know."
"I know. I'm sorry. I don't know what got into me." He continued to look down.
She wanted to lecture him, but something deep inside prompted her to refrain. She was quiet. Then he spoke again, though hesitantly.
"I guess it was just kind of different being with her, because, you know, she was listening to me and not telling me what to do all the time."
She floated over and lit on the sofa beside him.
"Well, honey, I admit I'm a little bossy sometimes," she replied gently. "But I've been bossy for 10 years and you never went out on me before."
He looked her straight in the eyes. "It's just that now there's no arguing with you. You're a superwoman. How can I -- or anyone -- stand up to you?
"Maybe I did think you're feelings were invulnerable after all," he added. "You seem to think mine are."
"John, it's just that if I see something you need to be doing, or if you're doing something wrong, I need to speak up. For your own good."
"Megan, I know you worry I'll turn into an alcoholic if I'm ever allowed to drink more than three beers in an afternoon. I know you're afraid I'll have an accident on the highway if I stay up late the night before and watch monster movies. But let me.
I know you can make me go to bed when you say. I know you can stop me drinking whenever you want. Let me do it anyway."
She put an arm around him. "Just let you be you? Is that it?" she asked.
"I know I'm not very good at talking about feelings, and stuff, but, yeah, I guess that's about it."
Megan sighed. "I guess I do have a tendency to want to control everything," she said.
"Yes, and now you have the means!"
She nodded. "I'll try to do better," she said. "But you better stay away from other women, unless they're relatives!"
Harris laughed. "I learned my my lesson."
"So," Megan asked, "how was she?"
He snorted. "Another two minutes and I'd have found out!
"Life's tough," she said.
He pulled himself to her and kissed her.
"So are you," he said, "but I love you anyway."
# # #
Sharon Best, Aurora Universe, Copyright 1995,1996,1997
(Aurora Universe materials are strictly for Mature Readers over 18 years of age!)