Things were different in the breeder's world. In the hundred years since the great epidemic a great many things had changed from the way they were before. For starters, the epidemic had wiped out over three fourths of the world's population. Most of the males that had survived the original infection were rendered sterile. The ones that weren't were almost rendered obsolete by a radical feminist movement that took over governance for the next 75 years. Scientific advancements during this time almost eliminated natural conception and childbirth, replacing them with designer babies conceived in labs and developed in incubators.
While this practice had eliminated the virus in the general population, the gene pool for such conceptions was finite. There were certain members of society, including some in powerful places, who understood this basic fact, and realized that 'natural' population had to resume or the entire human species would face imminent extinction.
Their hope for this natural conception was in the ones who had natural immunity to the virus and who had survived without being rendered sterile or suffering permanent genetic damage. This relatively small portion of the population had been relegated to an out of the way existence in tiny backwoods villages. At first the new ruling class had tried to eliminate them, but eventually had given up the pursuit in the belief that the 'scrubs' would slowly die out anyway due to lack of medical care, among other perils.
What happened to the scrubs was quite different. Left to their own, their males slowly adapted to the new world, developing keen, almost animal-like senses that allowed them to sense when a female was most fertile and susceptible to breeding. Over further years and frustrations with trying to lure partners, they developed sensory touch, a skill that allowed them to literally take control of a woman at her fertile peak, bending her mind to their will and ensuring her willingness and cooperation in mating. After this their population began to grow, though 75% of their offspring were still female.
Slowly, the breeders, as they came to refer to themselves, moved out into the general population, infiltrating the feminist controlled world and beginning to exert their influence. Many of the early ones were unfortunately lost, as they failed to exercise restraint and just took whatever women they came across. This sudden 'outing' resulted in many of the breeders being killed by jealous families and women who no longer believed in childbirth and instead wanted to preserve the vanity of their bodies. Fortunately there were a few who were smart enough to stay behind the scenes, and some influential women, and men who still held power positions even though sterile, who understood the role natural population growth needed to play. Over the course of the next 25 years or so, these people displaced the feminists in control of the government and passed new laws allowing the breeders to not only live in the open, but to be protected from harm.
There were rules for the breeders to follow, of course, to remain eligible for the protections. Most of them related to the women who were considered 'eligible'. Eventually the rules were condensed to a few main laws which the breeders agreed to abide by. As these were accepted, society settled away from the 'wild west' mentality that had been and into a comfortable, easy existence. Some women contacted the breeders for appointments, desiring to return to bearing their own children. One of the rules was that if these women were married, the resulting children would be treated as the husbands and raised by the couple. The husbands were agreeable, as they realized that a boy had a high possibility of being a new breeder, and this could bring prestige, and wealth, to the family.
The primary rules were that women had to be 'of age', which was held to be at least 18 in their society. If there was a question the breeder had to verify age before proceeding. This task was made much easier by the invention of a DNA assessor which was developed after several breeders were lured into feminist traps or wrongly accused by women claiming to be underage. Now all they had to do was touch the small assessor to her skin and it would take a painless cell sample and reveal her exact age and birth date, as every birth was logged by DNA record in the main database.
Also, a woman's home was a safe haven, even if the breeder was invited, unless he was specifically summoned for a breeding appointment. Even in that case, other females in the house were still protected. Only the woman with the appointment could be bred.
Any woman in public during her fertile period was 'fair game', except those who were at jobs. The breeders were not allowed to disrupt working, as this would be considered stealing the employers' time, and also the women would have little choice but to be out, if their job required it. All other times, the women were responsible for knowing their cycles, and remaining at home during them, if they did not want to be available for breeding.
Families, husbands, and lesbian partners understood these laws and did not interfere if a woman was taken by sensory touch. The fact that the punishments for interfering, and especially for harming breeders, were very severe helped to ensure cooperation.
There was another rule that the breeders observed by 'gentleman's agreement' even though it was not law. That rule was that a female would not be bred on the occasion of her first sexual experience. With few exceptions, they revered a woman's virginity, and strove to make her first experience a pleasant and memorable one. This resulted in the rise of 'break in' appointments. These were typically scheduled be a young woman's parents, normally with her blessing, sometime after her 18th birthday. While most were within the 18th year, some waited years longer for their break-in. Some thought this would give them a sort of immunity from the breeders, but they were still subject to the public rules, and the ones who tried this generally ended up losing their virginity in 'unplanned' settings. Most of the breeders would still not impregnate these first-timers, but a few did, thinking they deserved it for trying to beat the rules.
Even in what was generally regarded as a civilized society, there were still threats to the breeders from those who wanted to end their existence and return to the post epidemic ruling class society. For this reason the breeders lived in secured houses, and generally had observer/protectors with them when they were out in public. Surprisingly to some, most of these protectors were females. Being sterile from the virus's lingering genetic effects (it affected females, too) they were not a threat to the breeders, or subject to them, and as such they made perfect companions. This arrangement allowed the breeders to blend in to the surroundings in public, as there was no visible difference in them and the sterile test tube males.
There was, in fact, no difference in them until the breeder's 24th year. For some reason still unknown, their sensory touch ability and virility did not surface until that point in their lives. Generally, the time between 24 and 25 was very stressful in a young potential-breeder man's life. Very few developed after they turned 25. Their scientists knew this was a genetic defense, but could not pinpoint how or why it happened. And so it was a great relief when they woke up one morning with the sudden, secure knowledge that their transformation had occurred. This would be confirmed by tests, but no breeder had ever been wrong about the knowledge of his development.
Most of the new breeders went thru a hunting period, questing to impregnate as many females as possible. This phase usually passed quickly, normally with some influence from the companions. The 'young' breeders were typically given preference for scheduling breeding appointments with established women, which helped to quell their wildness somewhat. Some of them still got into trouble by trying to force issues or breaking the rules of law. Occasionally a repeat, habitual offender would not listen to reason, or chastising, and would have to be sterilized. This generally settled down the others who might have wanted to be mischievous.
Caleb, like many of the breeders who had a few years in, had settled into a nice rhythm. He mostly preferred working by appointment, and was highly recommended. He did still enjoy an occasional public troll for what he called 'the society bitch'; those women who still thought natural childbirth was barbaric and that children should be incubated and raised by servants. These were the ones that Caleb found made fun conquests.
Kim was Caleb's companion and protector. She was a perfect complement for him, as was the case with most companions. She had lived in close quarters with him since he was 15, though they had never been intimate. No breeder was sexually active prior to his sensory awakening, and even after most of them showed little interest in sterile females, and none had been known to bed their companion.
.... There is more of this story ...