Zach sipped on his scotch and sighed. He had been dreading his daughter Danielle’s 14th birthday for months. Not for the reasons most fathers did; he wasn’t worried about the music she was starting to listen to, or the fact that she was getting older and more independent. Even her ‘hanging out with friends’ slowly starting to look a lot more like double dates didn’t bother him.
“Honey,” his wife Olivia’s voice called softly from the kitchen. “You’ve been hiding in there all day. Go mingle with the guests.” The tone of her voice was understanding but he knew she was right. The guests had no idea what was on his mind. Most of them anyway.
He made small talk with a few of Dani’s friend’s dads and his own parents and hoped that nobody noticed him avoiding his in-laws. Even chatting with his daughter made him a little uncomfortable though he knew he couldn’t avoid her.
She was wearing a tight white spaghetti strap tank top with a black shear vest over top. He had tried not to notice but especially now was very aware of how her short, thin, athletic figure was starting to get some serious curves. She had tan skin and long light brown hair just like her mother.
Finally it was time to open presents and Zach melted into the back of the room with another glass of scotch. He hoped no one was counting. Dani opened and promptly freaked out over a pair of concert tickets, more coolly received some clothes, and finally got the phone she’d been yammering about for months. Overall it seemed a very successful birthday. He noticed his wife having a long conversation with her father, Gerald, downed the rest of his drink and retired upstairs for the evening. His daughter was too busy putting new apps on her phone to notice him missing.
A couple hours later after all the guests except for Dani’s closest friends had left Olivia came up to the bedroom. She had a sympathetic look on her face as she sat behind her husband and started rubbing his shoulders.
“I know today is rough for you,” she said, resting her head against his. “But there’s something we really need to talk about.”
‘There’s something we really need to talk about.’ ‘There’s something we really need to talk about.’ The word echoed in Zach’s head. They were the words that Olivia had used many years ago, just before the thing they talked about had set Zach’s life on its current course.
“There’s something we really need to talk about” a much younger Oliva told a much younger Zach. They were only twenty years old and their relationship was just starting to get serious. He had asked her if they were exclusive. It wasn’t the answer he had hoped for, but he continued listening. “I really like you. Like, really, really like you. I could see us having a future together; it’s the only reason I’m willing to tell you about this part of my life.”
Zach’s mind raced. There couldn’t be another guy she was dating. They spent so much time together he would know about it. Did she have a child from when she was a teenager? Did she have some medical condition? Whatever it was Zach couldn’t think of anything that would make him stop being in to Olivia. He hadn’t told her yet but he had already decided he was in love.
“I probably should wait to tell you, because it’s ... risky for me. But I care about you, and I respect and trust you enough that even if you can’t handle it you’ll be willing to let me go about my life without causing me any problems.”
“Of course,” Zach said. “Whatever it is, I’m sure we can work through it.” Olivia forced a smile; she was starting to get nervous.
“The short version is, in my family, the women are submissive to the men. Sexually I mean.”
“I’ve, uh, noticed,” Zach stammered, trying to figure out what the big deal was, “you know, you wanting me to take the lead and everything.” Olivia shook her head.
“No, in my family, all the women are sexually submissive. To all of the men. In my family.”
In his head Zach went through every potential way to parse those thoughts until he hit on the correct interpretation. He nearly fainted.
“So you’re telling me you fucked your dad?” he asked, his voice half confused and half angry. Olivia took a deep breath.
“My dad and I make love, yes. My brother, uncles, cousins and I do as well, but not as often, and when my grandfather was alive we did too.”
Zach’s jaw dropped. He waited to see if she was kidding, if this was some sort of perverted test. Olivia just searched his face for a reaction. She decided to put the last bit of information out in the open.
“If we dated, this would continue. If we started a family and had children, I would want our daughter to continue the lifestyle.”
“You WANT this?” Zach asked incredulously. “I thought this was like a cry for help or something!”
“My family, and I, feel that it’s a healthy, loving aspect of family life. If you can’t accept it then I’m disappointed but understand.” Olivia suddenly looked upset. She had no clue how Zach would react. She didn’t want to lose him, but it was too late to change anything now.
Zach asked for some time to think things through, which Olivia granted him. A few days passed, then a week, then a month. Zach had met her parents, and the mental image of her under her father revolted him. Her uncles, her grandfather, everything just disgusted him. He felt a profound emptiness in his life without her though. Being 20 he didn’t give too much thought to his hypothetical children in their hypothetical future, and once he decided he could get over knowing that she was intimate with her family he gave her a call.
They hadn’t spoken at all during the month he had been contemplating their relationship but as soon as he called it went right back to normal. They hung out just like the old times, making jokes and laughing when only each other knew the reasons. After reassuring himself that this was still the woman he loved he decided there was only one way for him to begin to make peace with her reality. He had to know about it.
“Are you sure you want to hear about it?” Olivia asked a very drunk Zach after he’d requested more information one night. “Things are really great between us and I don’t want to freak you out.”
“If we’re going to have a future together I want to know how your situation works.” Olivia couldn’t help but agree. “How often are you ... with your family.”
“Well, dad and I get together pretty much every time I go home. If I go home for a week we probably sleep together two or three times.”
“Do you like it?”
“With dad I do. With my uncles I don’t dislike it, but I don’t have the same intimacy I have with him. Or with you.” Zach’s stomach churned at the idea of being in a sexual category with her father.
“What would happen if you didn’t want to do it? Or if you had decided when it first started that you didn’t want to?”
“If I decided to stop now then there’s nothing they could do. I’m an adult. I’m never going to decide that though. If I’d not wanted to do it when I was younger it wouldn’t have been an option though.”
“What would they have done?” Olivia was quiet for a few moments. “Olivia, I’m trying to wrap my head around how all this works. I need you to be open with me.”
“That’s fair,” she said after a little more silence. “My sister...”
“Wait, Becca is involved in this too?” Zach asked. He hadn’t even considered that Olivia’s sister, older by two years, was part of situation.
“Of course she is. Anyway, when dad first approached her she was ... reluctant. She hadn’t had any exposure to the lifestyle until she was 14 and ready to, well, join the family. I didn’t really know what was going on at the time but I knew she was more or less locked in her room and my brother dad and grandpa would go in there for a few hours at a time. I’d hear her screaming and crying at first, then mostly just crying.”
“They were raping her,” Zach said to no one in particular.
“Literally, yes. Afterward they would hold her and tell her how much they loved her though. Be extremely kind and nice toward her. After a few weeks she just sort of ... clicked. She understood that they were doing it because they loved her.”
Weeks. Zach shook his head but didn’t say anything. That was enough information for one night.
As the months went on Zach started to normalize her situation. The rational part of his brain knew it was horrible, but he loved Olivia and was willing to overlook whatever he had to to keep her. That Christmas when he watched her go off to a back bedroom at her parent’s house with an uncle she hadn’t seen for a while it hardly phased him. When all the men in the room smiled at him knowingly he just nodded. Olivia didn’t have the sultry good looks and curves that her sister Becca had but she did have an air of innocence about her to go along with a pretty face and fit body. She was very popular at these parties.
By the time they were engaged even the act of walking in on her giving her father head didn’t phase him. He even paused for a moment to watch, not just from shock, as his wife continued to bob her head up and down on her father all the while knowing her husband had just walked in. He passed up on an offer of Olivia’s mother or sister to ‘make up for how weird it was, ‘ which pleased Olivia but worried her a bit as well. She expected him to buy in to the family’s customs once they were married.
He never really did though. His willingness to allow Olivia to continue her lifestyle didn’t mean he was willing to change his own. When Becca showed up to the honeymoon suite on their wedding night for a threesome Zach politely declined. When Olivia caught Zach looking at pictures of her brother Charles’ daughters on facebook and volunteered to set them up he also wasn’t interested. When Olivia got pregnant Zach hoped beyond hope that it would be a boy so that he wouldn’t have to join the cycle, but they got Danielle. Olivia had asked him on the way home after finding out the gender if he was positive he would be able to let his daughter walk down her mother’s path. He just silently nodded.
“There’s something we really need to talk about.” This time Zach knew exactly what it was. He’d put off her efforts to discuss their daughter’s sexual awakening as long as he could. She was 14 now and Olivia’s dad was already asking when the girl was going to be brought in to the family.
“I’m not sure what there is to talk about. You ... we already made up our minds about her. Take her with you to your dad’s house and get it over with.” Zach knew she wouldn’t accept that answer, which is the only reason he gave it. Olivia didn’t immediately respond and Zach worried he may have misjudged the situation.
“That girl adores you,” Olivia said finally, emotionally. “There’s no reason in the world why you shouldn’t be part of her life in this way.”
“There’s a lot of reasons. A lot of reasons.”
“You think it’s weird. That’s it. That’s all you’ve got.”
“Society thinks it’s wrong! It’s illegal. It’s ... it’s the way you were raised so you’re used to it. It’s not the way I was raised at all.”
“It’s the way we agreed to raise our daughter though. You know it’s not abusive. You know”
“Becca. It was abusive for Becca. And any other girls who had to go through that.” Olivia turned red.
“You know Becca. You know she’s fine with how it had to happen. Sometimes kids don’t know what they want.”
“You’d want me to do that to Danielle? Lock her in her room, tie her up, fuck her? Rape her? Invite your brother, dad, anybody else that wants some 14 year old ass over to rape her? That sound fun?” Zach raised his voice and Olivia shushed him.
“Of course I don’t want that. And I don’t think that’s what will happen. Becca and dad didn’t have a great relationship before they started having sex. That was the problem. You and Dani do.”
“And if she didn’t want to. You’d want me to do to her what they did to your sister?” Zach asked quietly.
“Yes,” Olivia answered, even more quietly. Zach shook his head and rolled over. The conversation was over for the night.
Two nights later and after even more tough conversations they had reached a shaky agreement.
“I don’t like this at all,” Olivia said, pacing back and forth in the bedroom. “It should be you and her for the first time at least. If that’s the only time you want to do it then that’s up to you, but you shouldn’t be pushing this off on my dad.”
“I told you, I’m willing to sit down with you and talk to her about it. I’m willing to tell her I support you and her doing this.” He paused. The next part was the toughest, and it was the thing he’d argued the most about before finally conceding. “Then I’m willing to watch my little girl sleep with Gerald the first time. But I’m not going to have sex with her.”
“You’re going to make her upset.” Zach rolled his eyes. “You will! You’re going to tell her it’s ok for a dad and daughter to make love, then tell her you don’t want to do it with her? She’ll feel worthless, like you don’t love her enough.”
“I guess I’ll just have to hope she’s smart enough to figure out that isn’t true at all.” Olivia was still upset but she knew Zach wouldn’t budge, and her father was starting to become incessant that he get to be with Danielle before Zach changed his mind about the whole thing.
It was a Saturday and Olivia had made sure that Danielle’s schedule was empty. No mall dates with friends, no soccer practice, nothing except family time. The following week wasn’t completely empty but due to fall break there wouldn’t be any school to explain her absence to if things went sideways at least. She prayed they wouldn’t. Olivia called her down to the living room, where Olivia and Zach were already sitting down. Olivia waited for Zach to speak but he didn’t, so finally she started things.
“Honey, can you sit down for a minute? There’s something pretty important that we need to talk to you about?” She looked at her daughter’s developing body. She was wearing a white tank top and denim shorts. Her breasts were already larger than her mothers’; she’d gotten Becca’s genes on those fortunately. She was developing a bit of a peanut shape; wide hips and chest with a small stomach.
Danielle looked a little worried. She’d heard her parents fighting recently but didn’t know about what. “You’re not, like, getting a divorce or anything, right?” Olivia smiled and laughed.
“Of course not honey. This isn’t that, this is ... it’s about a good thing. Zach, would you like to say something?” Zach bristled but knew he had to do what he’d agreed to.
“Well, Dani, you’re getting about the age where ... Well I guess I should start by asking, have you had sex?” Danielle blushed.
“Oh god, this isn’t ‘the talk’, right? You know I get that in school?” Zach shook his head. She blushed harder, now not sure what to make of this. She shook her head no, answering his original question.
“Your mother’s family has a tradition, or a custom I guess. Just kind of a way they do things.” He looked to his wife. He was floundering. She smiled and nodded for him to continue. “Basically what it is, is, the girls in their family have sexual relationships with the men in the family.” For a moment, he felt proud of himself for getting it out but quickly he became worried about how his daughter would react.
Her reaction was like how his had been all those years ago. Disbelief followed by confusion.
“Does that mean that mom, and grampa...” her face drained of color. Olivia and Zach simply nodded. “Why are you telling me this?”
“Danielle,” Olivia tagged in, knowing her husband couldn’t do much more, “you’re old enough now to join the family in this way. Your father has decided not to be a part of your life in that way because it isn’t how he was raised, but your grandfather, uncle Rick, and eventually some other members of the family are excited to get to know you in this new way. I hope you’re excited about it as well.”
“This is a joke, right? This is some sort of sick joke?” Danielle yelled incredulously. Olivia’s face flushed red.
“Danielle, do not yell at your parents. You’re very lucky that your family wants to enrich your life like this. You’re very lucky.”
“No! No! I won’t do it!” she yelled back, starting to cry. Zach dropped his head and had to fight back tears himself.
“Honey, this is part of your mom’s, and your, family.”
“No! No! I won’t! You can’t make me.”
“This is getting out of control,” Olivia said, looking up at her husband. He wouldn’t look back. She shook her head. “Danielle, I’m going to ask you one more time to calm down. Please don’t make this difficult, it should be a great memory, not a bad one.” Danielle screamed incomprehensibly. “I’m going to need some help in here,” Olivia exclaimed loudly.
Olivia’s brother and father had been waiting in the guest bedroom in case they were needed. The plan had been for her parents to go with Danielle to her bedroom where she would have an experience with her grandfather, but since it seemed like the experience would be more complicated than that they decided on the guest bedroom to avoid unpleasant associations.
“Grampa! Uncle Rick! Help me!” Danielle cried. They walked right past the girl’s parents and each took one of her arms. Before she knew what had happened she was in the guest bedroom, her hands cuffed to the bedposts, a gag in her mouth.
“Give us just a minute with her please,” Olivia asked. Her brother and father nodded and stepped out into the hallway. Zach joined his wife in the room with their restrained daughter. “Honey, we don’t want it to be like this. We want this to be a positive experience. And eventually it will be. It’s completely up to you how long you let this upset you.” Danielle shook her head from side to side.
“Let’s go and let them get started,” Zach said. He wanted to throw up. He wanted to be anywhere but here, watching his only child tied to a bed, screaming and writhing about.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Olivia said. “She needs us here, and I need you here.”
“I can’t watch this!” Zach hissed, eyes wide. I agreed to watch her first time having sex, not her first time getting raped!” Olivia looked down at her daughter.
“Unfortunately they happen to be occurring at the same time.” She motioned for her brother and father to come back in the room.
“This is why you start them earlier,” her dad said, “and ease them into it. That’s why it was so easy for you.”
“Not helpful daddy,” Olivia said, even though she knew he was right. “Just get this started.” She took her husband’s hand and led him to some chairs in the corner of the room. He sat down and she sat on his lap, both to comfort him and to stop him from any sudden changes of heart.
“Now Danielle, pumpkin bear,” Gerald started, sitting on the bed next to her. She tried to roll away from him. “You know I love you, right? And your parents love you? You know we’re doing this because we love you, right?” She shook her head violently. He patted her on it. “Let’s make a deal. I’ll take off that gag, because I really want to know what you think about what’s happening. But you have to promise not to scream. Is that a deal?” She shook her head again. “That’s too bad.”
Gerald reached down and rested his hand on his granddaughter’s stomach. She tried to pull away but couldn’t. He stroked down toward her crotch but stopped just short each time. “See? I want to go slow. I want to go the speed you want to go. But I need for you to be calm and tell me what you’d like. Can you do that?” She shook her head again. He nodded and began letting his hand wander all the way down to her shorts.