Joe walked in the door, his sister tagging along close
behind him. She closed the door, and they both headed to the kitchen
to get a drink. The two sat at the table, chatting about their day and
just relaxing from another long, ugly day at school.
Finally, Jamie said, “Where’s Mom?”
“Dunno. Maybe she went out to get something.” Their
mother, Erica Braden, worked at home. Her children believed her to be
the webmaster for three websites owned by a small company in Detroit.
She was, of course, able to work out of their home, after having the
appropriate broadband connections installed.
“You got much homework?” Jamie asked him.
“Just math and history. Why do they have to give me
history homework over a fuckin’ weekend?”
“Otherwise, you might enjoy yourself.”
Joe laughed at her. “Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Jamie stretched, and got up from her chair. She
automatically grabbed her brother’s empty glass along with her own,
rinsed them both, and put them in the dishwasher. “Well, I’m going to
my room to watch some TV, unless you’ve got something fun we can do.”
“Sorry. I was just going to check my email and do some
“You and that computer. You’re going to marry an
android!” She’d heard the word on TV, but was barely aware of what an
“Am not!” He swatted at her, but she moved out of the
way. He nearly fell out of his chair, and she laughed at him, but then
she hustled down the hall, to avoid retaliation.
Joe laughed at himself as he got up from the table. His
sister was wonderful. Oh, they kidded with each other, and teased, but
they never fought. She was the one bright spot in his school day, and
she was great to have around at home, too. Since they were twins,
they’d grown up together, and they’d experienced all the ills and joys
of getting older. She’d come to him, not her mother, when she’d had
her first period. Of course, all he could do was tell her to go see
Mom, but he remembered that she came to him *first*.
He wandered back to his bedroom. He looked into his
mother’s room, wondering if she’d decided to lie down, but didn’t see
her there. He wondered, briefly, if things were okay, but nothing bad
had happened to the family since Dad died, so…
Steve Braden had been a good father and a good husband, but
he had contracted bone marrow cancer early in his life. The disease
had strung itself out, and finally, when none of the treatments were
doing any good, they had put him on morphine and simply waited. It was
an awful, painful thing to see, and it had brought the three surviving
members of the household together more tightly than any of them could
have imagined. It was hard living without Dad, but in the last two
years, Joe had adjusted. He didn’t like it, but he could live with it.
Once inside his room, he closed the door, and then kicked
off his shoes. He yanked off his socks, and then sat down at his
computer. Waking it from Sleep Mode, he clicked open his email
program. Junk, junk, and more junk filled his Inbox, and he deleted it
all. There were two emails from relatives, and he read through those,
but they didn’t say anything of import.
Having cleared away his email for the day, Joe wondered
what to do next. He could surf to some of his favorite sites – most of
which involved naked girls – or he could go over to Usenet. He decided
to see if there was anything at all interesting in the newsgroups this
day, and so he opened his news reader.
Most of what he found on the Usenet was pure junk. Either
it was old, out of date, or it was bogus. He was just about to give up
when he ran across one message that caught his attention.
The message itself wasn’t unusual; it was just another ad
for just another video porn site. However, one of the things that Joe
had learned was to look at such messages carefully. There was an
underground password-sharing network, and this ad fell into that
category. It wasn’t easy to decipher the information, unless you had
the program they used to produce the message.
Joe had gotten that program from a friend over a year ago.
He copied the message, and ran it through his program. Out
popped the appropriate URL, the username, and the password that he
would need to access the site for free. In many cases, these
username/password combinations didn’t actually go to an account, but
had been written as back doors into the system.
Joe smiled as he added this site to his growing list of
accessible sites. He wasn’t really a hacker; he couldn’t break into
these places himself. He wasn’t averse to using the information,
He closed down his news reader, and fired up Internet
Explorer. He typed in the URL, and waited for a brief moment for the
pop-up dialog asking for his authentication. He carefully typed in the
information he’d gotten from the message. Sure enough, he was in.
The site was titled “Slut Wives and other Hot Mamas.” Joe
always found it stupid how they tried to come up with unique names for
these places. His glance through the first page showed that there were
some very nice looking women on this site. A little older than he
usually looked at, perhaps, but it was still good viewing for a
He spent a few minutes just learning to navigate the site
before he bothered digging into the place. He considered just setting
it to download everything to his hard drive, but he realized on a site
like this one, that could eat up his entire hard drive. He’d have to
be selective about his downloads.
After another fifteen minutes, he ran across “Tanya”. He
knew better than to think the name was real. What caught his attention
was the picture of a smiling brunette with deep green eyes.
*That looks like… no way, it can’t be.*
He clicked on the link, and up popped a bigger picture of
“Tanya”. A *nude* picture of her. He stared. The face was an exact
*She wouldn’t be doing this kind of thing. Would she?*
He really wasn’t sure. He scrolled through the thumbnails
that represented the videos. It was obvious Tanya had been doing this
for quite a while. Near the bottom, Joe stopped scrolling, his hand
frozen on his trackball.
*That outfit. I’ve *seen* that outfit on her! She’s
*worn* that outfit around town!* It was impossible for him to deny it
now. Seeing those clothes, under that face, he was struck by the
*My Mom makes porn movies.*
Slowly, his hand shaking, Joe clicked on the link.
Erica Braden stood before the camera in a tight, light-blue
blouse and jean shorts. Her shoulder-length brown hair was done up in
a ponytail. She was wearing white high heels that accentuated her long
legs. Her chest was straining the blouse, and she had a come-hither
look on her face.
There was no music, and she had no script. Her hands moved
of their own accord, sliding along her sides until they reached up to
cup her tits. She moaned out loud for the camera. Her hands rubbed
her breasts repeatedly, until she couldn’t take any more of that. She
let her hands slide back down to her hips, keeping contact with her
body all the way. She turned around, and then spread her legs apart.
Sliding her hands down the outside of her thighs, Erica
bent over until she was again looking at the camera. Her tongue
slipped out to lick at her lips. She knew the cameraman, sitting in
his own home several states away, would zoom in or switch cameras as he
saw fit. She continued to massage her thighs, and then she slipped her
hands up and back, onto her ass. She squeezed her ass cheeks through
her jean shorts, and moaned again. It felt good to her.
Finally, she stood back up, and turned her torso without
moving her feet. She was half-facing the camera now, and her hands
strayed back up to her tits. She played for a few moments, and then
her fingers moved up to the buttons on her blouse.
She switched her gaze to a different camera, but didn’t
change her body posture. She looked at the camera through hooded eyes
as she slowly manipulated the buttons, opening each one slowly. As she
reached the bottom, she pulled the blouse free of her shorts. She held
it close against her chest as she turned all the way around, giving
whichever camera was in use a good shot of her entire body.
She pulled the blouse open, allowing her navy blue bra to
show clearly to the camera. It was lacy and almost see-through, and
she loved the feel of the fabric against her tits. Her blouse was
pulled slowly off her shoulders, and then down off her arms. It was
thrown unceremoniously off-camera. Erica’s hands returned to her tits,
squeezing and molding her flesh. She pinched her nipples through the
thin bra, and she groaned in pleasure. Her one hand strayed down to
play between her legs. Even through the heavy denim, her hand pressing
up against her crotch was enough to get her hot.
Erica moved over to the hope chest, and raised her leg to
put her foot up on it. She stroked the skin of her calf and then her
thigh, staring with lust at the camera. Slowly, she undid her shoe,
pulling it off her foot. The process was repeated with the other one,
and then she returned to her soundless dance of passion. Standing
barefoot, she spread her legs again, her hand straying there and
pressing strongly up against her wet pussy, though the pants were in
Erica decided to correct that, and moved her hands to undo
the shorts. Once undone, she danced and wiggled her hips as she pushed
the heavy garment down off her hips. It fell to the floor, and she
stepped out of it. The removal of her shorts revealed matching blue
bikini panties, which it was clear were soaked.
Unable to resist, Erica pushed her hand deep between her
legs. Her fingers pressed her panties upward, pushing the material
between her cunt lips. She cried out in passion, lost in her own
arousal. Her other hand mauled her tit, pulling the cup of her bra out
of the way so that she could pinch her nipple directly.
Coming to her senses only slightly, Erica stepped backward,
and then sat down on the bed. She lay back and then pushed her panties
down off her hips. She kept her legs high, sliding the panties up her
legs until she could get them off. She sat back up, her legs spread
lewdly, and she unfastened her bra. Now naked, she scooted herself
fully onto the bed. Her legs remained spread, and her hand now
assaulted her bare cunt, which she kept neatly shaven.
Erica’s fingers played against her pussy lips, occasionally
dipping between them to tease her own hole. Her other hand was
twisting her nipple, and she was moaning loudly in pleasure. Finally,
her middle finger sunk deep into her cunt, and she groaned at the
sensation. Erica brought her free hand to her mouth, sucking on a
finger as she continued to finger-fuck herself.
Erica’s finger was fairly flying in and out of her twat,
but she wanted more. She pulled her finger out of her pussy, and
reached over to the nightstand. There, she picked up a vibrator,
shaped like a dick, and rather long. She turned it on, and loved how
it hummed in her hands. She brought it to her mouth, licking it a few
times to get it lubed. Then she brought the plastic phallus down to
Erica writhed as she pushed the vibrating dildo inside of
herself. Her pussy loved this. It wasn’t as good as real sex, but it
was still damned good. Finally, she had it in her, and she moved
around, making herself comfortable with the large instrument. Its
buzzing was driving her pussy wild, and she was already fighting the
waves of pleasure. She began to slide it in and out of herself,
driving her ever nearer to her orgasm.
She returned to licking her finger for a few more seconds,
but then it strayed down behind her. Erica kept moving the dildo in
her cunt as she pressed her middle finger against her ass. She kept up
the pressure, loving every second of it. Her finger finally sunk in to
the first knuckle, and then, slowly, to the second. Now, she began to
move her finger in rhythm with the dildo, alternating them in and out.
Erica knew it would not be long before she came this way.
She was already holding back the wave of her orgasm. She wanted to
enjoy the pleasure just a little longer, just a little…
Erica screamed out as her climax overtook her. Her body
was wracked with spasms and she thrashed around on the bed. Her finger
came out of her ass, but her pussy had clamped tightly to the dildo,
and it was sending delicious shivers throughout her cunt. She
continued to twist back and forth on the bed, just letting her orgasm
wash over her. She blanked for a moment, seeing only the burst of
pleasure in her mind.
Finally, she came down from her peak, pulling the vibrator
out of her still-tingling cunt. She turned it off and dropped it on
the bed. A quick look told her that the cameras were no longer
watching. She collapsed on the bed, exhausted, and sated, and happy.
Joe was out of breath when the video clicked off. He
looked down and realized that, without having touched himself at all,
he’d come in his pants. That was mildly embarrassing, but more
troubling was that he’d done so, *while looking at his mother.*
As he changed his clothes, he thought about it. *God, what
is she doing? I mean, why? I thought her webmaster job paid pretty
well. Are we this hard up for money? I know she wouldn’t want to tell
me and Jamie about it, but… shit! What do I do about it? Do I do
*anything* about it?*
One thing he knew for sure he *was* going to do about it,
and he was only mildly ashamed of himself. He was downloading every
damned one of those videos. He set his computer at that task, which he
knew would only take about an hour. Then he flopped himself down on
As he stared up at the ceiling, he just couldn’t seem to
wrap his mind around the thought. *Mom… is… a stripper? Worse, I
don’t think strippers go that far. My mom makes porn. Other guys are
staring at my mom, right now. Other guys are… whacking off… to
Mom. Jesus! Fuck, what if the kids at school found out about this?*
* What about Jamie?*
That thought nearly sent him into a panic. Jamie probably
would not like the idea of their mother selling her body for money. It
*had to be* the money. Joe would not let his mind consider any other
possibilities. Mom needed money, and this was how she was getting it.
He figured they were spending too much on stuff for him and Jamie, and
so, first thing, he would cut down as much as possible on the amount of
money he was costing his mother. She didn’t need to be doing that.
Certainly, she didn’t need to be doing it just so he could have new
sneakers every six months.
He hopped up off the bed and went and turned off his
monitor. It was wasting electricity. He sat at his desk and thought
about what else he could do. Could he get Jamie to help him? But how
would he do that, without telling her? He’d have to think of something.
He was confused about what had suddenly happened. His
mother had always been a stabilizing influence; she’d gotten them all
through the death of their father. This seemed so out of character for
*But what if it’s not?*
Joe shoved that thought deep down into his mind. It *was*
out of character for her, and that was final, his conscious mind said.
That little voice remained quiet, for the moment, but there was still a
nagging feeling in the pit of Joe’s stomach.
*What do I do? Tell her I know? She’d kill me for looking
at that stuff! Then again, if she’s *making* that stuff, she can’t
yell too much… but I don’t think she’d like to know that I’ve seen
it. So what do I do?*
Joe moved back to his bed. He tried lying down, but he was
just too restless now. He paced back and forth, trying to get his mind
to come to terms with this concept. The thoughts played over and over
in his mind, but there were no answers. He didn’t have a clue what he
was supposed to do in this situation.
*Can I ask anyone? Jamie? Hell, no, she’d freak. Someone
at school? Who? Maybe a teacher? God, no, they’d call the cops on
her…* Joe was thoroughly worked up by the time he heard the front
door open and close. He heard his mother announce that she was home,
but he was in no condition to see her just now. Not with that *other*
image of her still so fresh in his mind.
*What the hell do I do?*
Erica came through the front door loaded down with three
plastic bags full of Chinese takeout, and another, darker colored bag
with her own special purchases in it. She nudged the door closed with
judicious use of her shoulder and foot and then walked through the
living room and into the dining area of the kitchen to set down the
“Kids, I’m home!” she called up the stairs as she headed
Jamie stuck her head out of her bedroom and looked back
down the stairs, and the gentle sounds of Don McLean’s farewell to
American Pie followed her voice down.
“Hey Mom, you need some help?”
“No,” Erica answered, maybe a little too quickly, “I can
handle it. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”
“Okay.” The young lady disappeared back through the
doorway and shut her door again, cutting the music off in mid refrain.
*That’s the last thing I need right this second…her to come
help me.* Erica lived in a state of elevated anxiety; she worried that
her children would discover her secret and hate her for it. Since her
husband’s death, she had lived for her children, and the thought of
them discovering how she was making that living was terrifying to the
young widow. *No,* she told herself as she headed toward the locked
basement door, her special bag in hand, *be honest, it’s the thought
that they’d reject you if they learned that terrifies you.* Erica was
forced to admit that her conscience was right…the idea of them
learning about her activities excited her just a little bit, but she
knew they’d never understand why she did it.
Erica quickly squelched her current train of thought as she unlocked
the basement door with one of her keys…the only key to this door that
existed. She was glad that they had never needed to use the extra
space, for it had allowed her the room to set up her own permanent
recording studio when she’d gotten this job. She flipped on the light,
stepped onto the stairs, and tossed her package onto the bed with a
practiced throw. She didn’t bother unwrapping them & putting them up
yet because she intended to use them in her video tomorrow morning, and
besides, dinner was getting cold. She snapped the light back off and
headed back to the kitchen, making sure to shut & lock the door behind
As she headed back into the dining room she forced her work life to the
back of her mind and pulled her motherhood around her like a warm
blanket. This was family time, and if there was one of Stephen’s rules
that she kept, it was that work worries were not welcome at family
time. That held even more true now…*her *work wasn’t welcome at the
table at *all*, not even the good parts. She hummed a nameless tune as
she set the table and wondered what had happened in her children’s
lives today. *Well,* she thought as she called to them to wash up,
*I’ll find out soon.*
Joe had reached no answer at all by the time his mother
called them to dinner, which wasn’t too long after she’d gotten home.
That meant take-out food again. Not that Joe minded at all; he liked
fast food. He tried to pull himself together before opening his door
and heading down the stairs.
Jamie met up with him just as he got to the dining room.
She could tell something was bugging him, but she didn’t know what it
was. Seeing the way he was trying to keep his face straight, she knew
it wasn’t something he was going to talk about, at least not in front
of their mother.
Their mother was setting the Chinese food out on plates as
they entered the room and sat down.
“Hi guys, how was school today?” she asked brightly.
“Okay,” Jamie replied noncommittally.
“um… fine, I guess,” Joe said, uncomfortable to be so
close to his mother right after having seen her… *Stop it! You’ve
got to stop remembering the images!* But he couldn’t.
Their mother laughed at the two of them. “That’s what I
love about you two… you never bore me with too many details. Really,
anything cool happen?” Erica prodded.
“Nope, just the usual sh…uh, I mean junk,” Jamie said,
blushing at her almost-slip.
Erica chuckled at her daughter. She’d never bothered with
punishing them for swearing in front of her, but she had asked them to
keep it to a minimum. She turned to wait for her son’s response to her
question, but Joe wouldn’t look at her, and he was fidgeting
uncomfortably in his chair. She eyed him, but it was obvious she
wasn’t going to get more of an answer than the brief shake of his head
that he’d given her.
Giving up on him for the moment, Erica said, “Well, let’s
eat.” She noted that Joe dug into his food immediately, and he didn’t
seem interested in the usual banter he would normally have kept up with
his sister. Although she considered asking him what was bothering him,
she decided to let it lie. If he wanted to talk about it, he would.
Her thoughts were interrupted by her daughter.
“Hey Mom, where were you when we got home?” Jamie asked.
Erica motioned to the food on the table. “This didn’t get
here by magic, you know.”
Jamie laughed at her mother. Erica noticed that Joe did
not, though he did give a slight smirk. This was unusual for her son,
who was usually so open with his family. She wondered if she could
prod him into talking about it.
“Joe… Everything okay, Son?” she asked with concern.
Joe wriggled even more, but tried to keep his voice even
while talking to her. Even speaking with her was now a chore. “Uh…
yeah, Mom. Just… uh, school stuff… homework, that kind of jazz.”
Erica laughed, hoping to lighten the mood. “Yeah, I
remember homework. That’s the only kind of work I do!”
Joe smiled dutifully at his mother, and Jamie laughed
easily. Joe, wondering if he could get his mother to say *something*
about what he’d seen, said, “Funny, Mom. Anything interesting
happening at the website?”
Erica was slightly more cautious with her answer, and Joe,
for the first time, noticed some evasiveness from his mother. “No, not
really. Just the same old stuff.” Joe didn’t say anything, but he did
look askance at her before returning to his meal with gusto.
Jamie looked at her brother in puzzlement, but could see
now that he was clearly not willing to talk about whatever it was that
was bothering him. She vowed to herself that she’d get to the bottom
of it before the night was over. If something was bothering her
brother, it would soon be bothering her.
“So, Jamie… You got a lot of homework, too?” Erica asked,
trying to keep up a light conversation.
Jamie replied, “Not really… I guess my teachers don’t
like giving it over the weekend as much as *his* do.” She stuck her
tongue out at Joe, who looked at her balefully, but didn’t bother with
any kind of retort, which was very unusual for him. Erica, noting
this, cocked her head at her son in curiosity.
“Must be a big project…what class?” she asked.
For a moment, Joe panicked. He’d lied to his mother, and
he hadn’t really thought it through. Of course, she’d lied, too, but
he couldn’t very well call her on that, now could he? Thinking
quickly, he came up with, “Uh… Science. You know, biology.” Nearly
blushing from the double-meaning of that particular phrase, Joe looked
away, back down at his dinner. He wasn’t used to lying to his mother,
“What do you have to do?” she asked, more just to keep him
talking than anything.
“Just some research on the Internet… gotta find different
examples of… life cycles and things like that,” he responded, pulling
something meaningless out of thin air.
“Oh. Sounds like fun,” Erica said, trying to put some
enthusiasm into her voice.
“Um… well, yeah, kinda,” Joe replied. He was embarrassed
that, yes, he *had* found watching his mother strip for him extremely
Erica laughed lightly. “As long as you can use your
computer, right?” She felt the strain of this conversation, but she
was determined to pull him out of his shell.
Joe finally smiled at his mother, but it was brief, and not
what he would usually have given her for the remark. “You know I love
my computer, Mom,” he said.
“I know…well, finish your supper, guys, then go take care
of your homework. I’ve still got some stuff I need to do, too,” she
said, giving up, for the moment, on figuring out what her son was upset
“I bet,” Joe mumbled to himself, low enough that neither of
the others caught the remark.
“What’d you say, Joe?” his mom asked curiously.
“Huh? Oh, nothing, just…thinking out loud, is all.
Sorry,” he said, embarrassed that she’d heard him at all.
“Okay…” Erica returned to her meal, but continued to
watch her son out of the corner of her eye. Joe studiously avoided
looking at his mother, instead focusing entirely on what he was putting
into his mouth. Meanwhile, Jamie was staring blatantly at both of
them, trying to figure out if there was a sudden problem in her family
that she didn’t know about.
*Well, I’ll find out just as soon as dinner is over, that’s
for damn sure.*
The remainder of the meal was eaten in silence.
As soon as he was finished eating, Joe excused himself to
head back up to his room. He sat down at his computer, and stared at
the screen. He didn’t know what to do now any more than he had known
before dinner. He realized, though, that he had to come up with
something, because dinner had been the most awkward thing he could have
He sat, doodling aimlessly with the cursor, when he noticed
himself straying toward the folder where he’d downloaded his mother’s
videos. He consciously moved the cursor as far away from that as he
could get it. *Shit! I’ve got to find an answer. This is going to
drive me nuts if I don’t come up with something!*
Just then, a knock at the door startled him. He swallowed
his heart back down into his throat and called out, “C’mon in.” Jamie
opened the door and stuck her head in.
“Got a minute?”
Joe activated his screen saver and said, “Sure.”
Jamie closed the door behind herself, and then walked over
to his beanbag chair. Flopping herself down in it, she stared him in
the eye and said, “Spill it.”
“Huh?” he said, just as an opening position. He knew what
she was talking about, unfortunately.
“Don’t give me that shit! You know what I mean. Eating
dinner was like being stuck in some damned movie where the world is
about to collapse but only the people watching know that! What the
hell is going on between you two?”
Joe had no intention of telling Jamie. It would only make
things worse. Jamie would definitely be as confused, if not more so,
than Joe was, and he didn’t want to put her through that. He did have
to tell her something, though.
“Look, if I tell you, you’ve got to swear not to say
anything to Mom.”
Jamie leaned forward. “Okay.”
Joe swallowed a couple of times, then decided to run with
it. “I think Mom’s working a second job. I’m not sure what it is, but
I’ve been putting some clues together – don’t ask me about them, okay?
– and I really think Mom is working too hard.”
Jamie’s eyes had opened wider at the thought. “Why would
she be doing that?”
“The only reason anyone takes a second job, Jamie, is
because they need money.”
“I thought we were doing okay…”
“So did I, but maybe that’s what Mom wants us to think, ya
know? I can’t tell her I know, and you can’t, either. She obviously
doesn’t want us to know this, but I don’t like what she’s doing.”
“Yeah. So, what do we do?”
“Try to save as much money as we can. Turn off lights,
don’t use lots of things at once. Don’t buy as many new clothes. Make
your sneakers last longer. Stuff like that. Pretend *we* have to pay
for it, and live like that.”
“Geez, Joe, you’d think she’d talk to us about this stuff.”
“Ever since Dad… you know… well, she’s tried to be Mom
and Dad at the same time.”
“I guess. So, that’s what the thing at dinner was about?”
“Yeah. I just figured it all out today.”
“Well, I’ll do my part. You can count on me, Big Brother!”
He finally laughed. ‘Big Brother’ was a joke. He’d
preceded her by all of a minute and a half.
“Great,” he said. “Now get outta here and let me get some
She swatted him in passing, but headed out the door.
*Well, that should at least keep Jamie out of it, and if it
really is the money, doing that stuff should help. But what if it’s
not the money?* He slapped his mind down again. *It IS the money,
But Joe still didn’t know what he should do about it.