Copyright 2002 by E. Z. Riter writing as Ezra Zane
Housewife 1946: Flatland, Texas
Lucy Jane Stigert turned eighteen on August 28, 1943. She had soft green eyes in a pretty face, strawberry-blonde hair, and a voluptuous body with full breasts and hips made to welcome a man. She was sweet and caring, but with a singular purpose of mind.
She was one of those fortunate people who knew exactly what they wanted from life, and she'd known since she entered puberty. She wanted to stay in Flatland, be a wife, and have babies. She wanted a good man to be her husband, a man who would care for her and treat her right, a man to lavish with her love as she made his home. When she was fourteen, she set her sights on the best man available and never wavered. His name was William Luke Wesley, but everyone called him Cotton.
In 1943, girls like Lucy Jane didn't go to bed with boys. They flirted and teased and held out unspoken promises. If things got serious, they let him feel their breasts through their clothes, but hands rarely strayed below the waist. No one taught them how to tease a man yet hold him at bay. It was instinctive.
Cotton's hands knew Lucy Jane's breasts. His mouth knew hers and the soft, white heat of her neck. And he knew there was a time or two or three as they petted in the front seat of his father's pickup on a dark and lonely country road that Lucy Jane's virginal resolve had crumbled and all he needed to do was lay her back to receive her eager surrender.
He didn't. Boys like Cotton didn't push girls like Lucy Jane to go all the way. In places like Flatland, those were the rules. Each night they both went home to masturbate in their own beds, calling the other's name, until blessed relief temporarily assuaged their agonies.
The war changed the rhythm of courting but it didn't change the rules. There was an undertone of urgency, for the war could carry the boys away and they might not come back. Maybe it was programmed in men to marry and conceive before going off to die, or maybe it was only a sexual need, but in wartime, the marriage rate soared.
December 27, 1943, First Baptist Church, Flatland, Texas, U.S.A.
Twenty-one-year-old Cotton Wesley stood tall and proud at the altar waiting for his bride to come down the aisle. His A&M College Corps of Cadet uniform was pressed. Its Sam Browne belt and brass buttons gleamed. In the spring of 1944, he would graduate from A&M, receive his Army commission, and join the war in progress, but today he was going to marry Lucy Jane. His father, Charlie, stood as his best man. His brothers, Seth and Mark, and his three best friends stood as groomsmen. Cotton's only regret was that his mother wasn't there to see him. Bertie died in the summer of 1942 and all her men missed her.
After the wedding, they drove to a hotel in Lubbock. Cotton wasn't a virgin. Like many Aggies, as A&M students were called, he was a regular visitor at The Chicken Ranch in LaGrange, the biggest and oldest whorehouse in Texas, where a plain, thin, little country girl taught Cotton how women liked their loving.
"Let's undress, Honey," Cotton said. Quickly, his uniform was neatly folded, but Lucy Jane remained fully dressed. He yanked down his Jockey shorts. She gasped and plopped on the edge of the bed, staring at his erect appendage.
"Lucy Jane, has your mother been telling you those old wives' tales?" She nodded. "It'll hurt some at first, but I'll make you a promise. Before you and I go back to school, you will love sex," he said, drawing out the "o" in love. He helped her stand and began undressing her.
Lucy Jane's mother hadn't filled her head with negative tales about sex. Her mother told her what Lucy Jane knew instinctively-sex was magnificent and wonderful and the greatest thing that could happen to a girl next to having babies. Her mother had told her to be shy and reticent because her husband would expect it.
Lucy Jane knew her groom was correct. She would love sex. She was dripping in her eagerness to begin. As much as she anticipated having Cotton between her legs, she was stunned when the reality of her enjoyment exceeded her wildest dreams.
They moved into a small apartment in College Station. In May, Cotton graduated and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. His orders sent him to the 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Division, VI Corp, Seventh Army. The 36th Division, Texas National Guard in peacetime, was nicknamed the T-Patch because their unit insignia was an arrowhead with a big "T" in it. The T-Patch, which had been slogging through the Italian campaign, came "off the line" on June 29, 1944. Cotton arrived while they were on R&R preparing for the invasion of southern France on August 15.
With Cotton gone to war, Lucy Jane didn't consider even once living with her parents. She wanted to be the woman of the house and to have a man to care for. She lived with Charlie who was alone in the big farmhouse outside Flatland since both Seth and Mark had enlisted. Lucy Jane was happy there. She worked hard as all farm women do. She clucked over Charlie and he watched over and cared for her, too. The bond between them grew. She wrote her husband every night, sending him long missives filled with love and small talk.
She missed Cotton with an ache inside her that sometimes made her crazy, an ache that made her nipples so sensitive the brush of her dress against them made her moan. The thought of what she was missing made her sex ooze. Her hands, skillfully applied in the quiet of her room, only relieved the ache for a few hours and then it returned stronger than before.
On a hot, dry Saturday in September, 1944, she came downstairs dressed in her finery. Charlie asked, "Where are you going, Lucy Jane?"
"There's a big USO party at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock. A bunch of us are going in the church bus. I'll be back late, Charlie."
She fought to meet his eyes and tried to smile innocently. Acting innocent was difficult when your husband was six thousand miles away fighting a war and your diaphragm was tucked neatly in place. Lucy Jane danced with every airman who asked her until she let one guide her from the floor. In a sad, quick coupling in a broom closet, she became an adulteress with a man she couldn't identify an hour later.
As the bus carried the exhausted women back to Flatland, Lucy Jane stared out the window. Waves of remorse flooded over her and she fought back her tears, but when the guilt ebbed, the need flowed greater than ever. Her turmoil carried her to the edge of explosion.
Charlie Wesley heard the crunch of tires as the bus stopped in front of the house. He walked down the stairs to meet his daughter-in-law.
"What are you doing up?" Lucy Jane asked.
"I'm waiting for you. Did you have a good time?"
"Yes, I did. There's another dance next Saturday. I'm going again."
"No, you're not. Get to the barn, Lucy Jane."
Lucy Jane cringed. "No," she gasped. She, like most women on the plains, knew the punishment for adultery. "I'm not your wife, Charlie. You can't punish me," she said defiantly.
"Cotton asked me to care for you as a husband would."
"Then do it, Charlie. I've been caring for you like I was your wife. Except for one way, you care for me like you're my husband," she countered. She stepped toward him, her hands clenched in fists of frustration and her eyes beacons of honesty. "Do you think I enjoyed tonight, letting some man I'll never see again have me like some cheap whore?" She fell against him, burying her face in his chest to sob uncontrollably. His strong arms held her and she felt safe there. He ached from wanting her as he stroked her back and comforted her until her crying ceased.
Lucy's shoulders drooped as she trudged toward the barn with Charlie right behind her. She stared up at him balefully as he wrapped the coarse rope around her wrists. She didn't resist when he guided her over the middle slat railing of the stall and tied her bent double, wrist to ankle. She shivered when he raised her skirt and pulled her underpants to her knees.
Lucy Jane heard the sizzle as he yanked his belt from his jeans. She steeled herself for the first blow on her naked and exposed backside. Instead, she felt a callused hand gently stroke her bottom cheeks. She moaned. His breath came in rasps as his hands explored her legs. "Yes, Charlie," she whispered.
"No," he barked and jerked her skirt down to cover her. He yanked the knots free and strode out the door. Ropes still dangling from her wrists, she ran after him, grabbing his arm to make him stop and look at her. "I'm sorry, Lucy Jane," he said.
"Don't be sorry. Take me back to the barn and do what you want to do. Like we were, with me tied over the railing and you behind me."
"You're Cotton's wife."
"Am I? I live with you and cook your meals and wash your clothes. And deep down in my heart, I love you more than I do Cotton. You're a big, handsome man in the prime of your life, Charles Wesley, and you make me hunger." She raised on tip toes, took his head in both hands, and pulled his lips to hers for a passionate kiss. "And don't pretend you don't want me. I've seen the way you look at me when you think I don't know." She waited for his reply, but Charlie was mute. "Please do it, Charlie. Don't make me beg you."
"A begging woman is hard to resist," he gently teased.
With big, hot eyes and husky voice, she begged for what she wanted as she led him back to the barn. "Hurry," she pleaded as he tied her across the rail again.
Her sex was bloated and wet. Her hips twitched. "Fuck me good, Charlie. Fuck me good," she demanded. His strong hands seized her by the hip bones as he rutted into her. "Oh, God. Oh, God." No human but Charlie heard her screams as he wrung orgasm after orgasm from her before filling her with his sperm.
He undid her ropes, put his arm around her, and led her to his bedroom. "You 'll sleep in here from now on," he said. He tugged her hair to raise her face to his. She melted under his kiss.
"Now undress me and make love to me," she whispered.
Charlie and Lucy Jane tried to hide their new relationship, but love made subtle changes and small town eyes knew their neighbors. Small town tongues wagged like a rattlesnake's, smelling out the worse and spewing their venom. In peace time, they would have been ostracized, their condemnation gloated over in the pews of their church. In war, they were understood, forgiven by some and tolerated without comment by most.
Despite their sin, each day their love grew. On Christmas Day, 1944, Lucy Jane lay in Charlie's arms in their bed.
"I love you, Charlie. I don't want to be Cotton's wife. I want to be your wife, here on the farm in Flatland. And I want babies. Your babies."
"I want the same thing."
"I'll write Cotton and tell him."
"No! Men at war do dangerous things when their women write that kind of letter. You keep writing like nothing has changed. I'll tell him when he gets home."
April 21, 1946, Flatland, Texas, U.S.A.
Charlie was waiting at the station when the train pulled into Flatland. The men embraced before starting the journey home in Charlie's pickup. On the way to the farm they talked of war and family and friends. The farmhouse was in sight when Cotton asked his father to stop.
"Dad, I don't love Lucy Jane. I came home to get a divorce." Father and son stared out opposite windows without speaking as the long minutes passed. Cotton sighed. "We married because there was a war and we were young and impetuous. Lucy Jane wants to live here and have babies. I don't. I'm not the right man for her and I never was, but I didn't know it then. I want to go to law school... to see the world... to live in a city where there are more people than coyotes and real trees rather than cotton and tumbleweeds."
"I'm sure Lucy Jane will understand, son," Charlie said, and turned away, unable to face this man and what he needed to tell him.
"She has someone else, doesn't she?"
The wind whipped dust devils across the horizon as father haltingly explained to son how he and Lucy Jane lived as man and wife, how they loved each other and Adam, their baby. The son listened with his mouth hanging open. Then he began to laugh. He laughed until tears ran down his face.
"Damn, but you don't know how happy that makes me. I've felt so guilty, so damn guilty, about asking her for a divorce, and for wanting to move away and leave you alone here. I'm glad you have each other. I wish you all the happiness in the world."
Lucy Jane was overwhelmed by anxiety and near tears when the pickup pulled up outside the farm house that was now her home. Charlie came in alone and explained. She sobbed on his strong shoulder in relief. Then the three of them talked and cried and talked together.
Three days later, the divorce documents separating Lucy Jane Stigert Wesley from her legal husband were filed. Cotton was ready to move on.
"Where are you going?" Charlie asked.
"To visit some new friends in Houston and then on to Washington, D.C. I want to be there by May 1."
Housewife 1946: Kansas City
On December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Martha Brown was the socially active, thirty-year-old wife of Dr. Edmund Brown, a prominent surgeon in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a registered nurse with extensive operating room experience, but he insisted she quit working when they married. She was tall, patrician, and naturally lean with long black hair. Light brown eyes, medium lips, and a straight nose anchored her handsome face. Her best feature was her warm and sincere smile.