The sun had just hidden itself under the horizon so Robert decided that now was the perfect time to go to sleep. He filled Fran in on his plan, which she replied, “Goodnight… and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Robert knew that this was a just a childish expression, but in this house, which hadn’t been in prime condition, it could very well be a bit of sound advice.
He hadn’t scoped out the house much earlier on, and he knew that Clayton had already took off for the master bedroom about an hour ago, so he thought that he might as well just sleep in the car. The only other place that he could think of was that rotting couch in the living room, but he didn’t feel like taking his chances with that. Bed bugs would probably be the least of his worries if he had slept there; ear wigs and ticks and other nocturnal critters likely called that couch home, that is, until they found some new real estate, aka. A fresh human host.
Robert headed for the garage. Seeing as electricity hasn’t existed in this house for a number of years, and Clayton hadn’t set up any candles before he went off to bed, the house was almost pitch black. That didn’t seem to affect Robert though; his experience with trudging down dark hallways helped him get to the garage. He opened up the hybrid’s passenger door, hopped into the seat, then reclined it to a point where he was almost laying down. He had been an expert sleeper when it came to moving vehicles because of all the travelling he had down between Chicago and Minneapolis when he was younger, so getting to sleep in the stationary vehicle should be no problem. He was right. He started thinking about the day’s events, and soon enough, he drifted off to sleep.
Robert woke up to the sound of one of the back doors opening. He didn’t know what time it was, or how long he had been sleeping for; the only thing he knew was that the sound gave him the fantods. He tried to look into the back seat but it was too dark to make anything out. “Who’s there?” he eventually yelled out.
“Sssssshh. It’s just me,” whispered Francine.
“What are you doing here?”
“I couldn’t get any sleep in the house. There’s nowhere good to sleep and I thought that there must be tons of room in the buggy. So here I am.”
“Once again you scared the living shit out of me.”
“What was I supposed to do? Knock on the window? That would probably be even worse.”
“I don’t know; maybe just let me rest in peace?”
“You’re forgetting that I could have done that earlier.” Francine let out a silent laugh that sounded like two consecutive weak sneezes.
“Real clever,” replied Robert. “Give me enough sleep and I can be clever too.”
“Meh, I doubt it. Hey, could you move up your seat? I got no room back here.”
“Yes your highness.” Robert put the seat into a position that actually resembled sitting. “Now it will take forever to get back to sleep.”
“You could start by talking to me. That might wear you out.”
“Now that I can believe.”
Things went silent for a moment except for a few fidgeting noises coming from the back seat. Robert guessed that Francine was trying to get comfortable. Good luck, he thought, they only made back seats for children. She won’t ever be comfortable, unless she was a munchkin, but he had already ascertained that she wasn’t one of those. Once the fidgeting stopped, the interrogation began.
“Soooo Robert, I figured that you’re a PR silencer, but you haven’t told me why you’re out of the city.”
“Well, I didn’t really want you to know. You’re on the other side of things, so I figured that you wouldn’t want to hear about it. It would just get you upset.”
“You know, me narcing out one of your brethren isn’t exactly going to make you happy. Plus, outside you had a gun, so making you mad wasn’t really part of my game plan.”
“My brethren?” She sounded offended. “My people don’t do anything that would register PR or security measures.”
“What about that beef jerky that Clayton had?”
“Ohh come on. That’s small scale. That isn’t anything compared to those importer/exporters that you guys seem to despise so much.”
“It still is importing.” Francine let out a sigh of frustration. “But I don’t care about that. I would never try and pull someone in for something like that.”
“So you don’t do your job too well?”
“I guess you can say that. I’m selective in a way.”
“But selective probably doesn’t fair well with your bosses.”
“Hmmmm. I don’t get you right now. Are you trying to drive at the fact that I don’t do my job properly? Are you trying to find the weaknesses of a silencer? Or are you finding out whether I have satisfaction in my work or not?”
“Whoa, easy there. There’s no reason to get edgy. We’re just chatting right now, it’s nothing more than that.”
“Well it seems like you’re putting pressure on me.” Robert stalled for a second. “Like I’m being cross-examined or something.”
“What a twist of fate, now you’re the one being cross-examined,” said Fran in a good natured tone.
“And all I wanted was some sleep after a hard day on the road.”
“Once you answer my question I’ll let you get some shut eye. What assignment brought you out of the city?”
“Since you’re driving so hard at it, and it will never cease, I guess I’m forced, probably at gun point, to tell you.” Robert gathered his thoughts. His duty wasn’t entirely clear to him, so describing it to somebody else was going to be difficult. “A lot of Homesteads in southern Virginia and the surrounding region are experiencing high rates of desertion. Apparently there’s this commune or co-op or whatever you want to call it that’s offering a better way of life, so Alpha Corp. employees are leaving the Homesteads and joining up with this group. I guess I’m supposed to stop this from happening.”
“And how are you supposed to do that?”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s it? That’s all you have to say about it? You ‘don’t know’ how you’re supposed to do this assignment?”
“I answered your question, didn’t I?”
“Yah but you’ve only made more questions. I want to know how you’re supposed to stop these people from leaving, or making them go back to the Homesteads. It sounds like a difficult task to me.”
“It’s probably too difficult.” He halted for a moment. “Look, I’m indifferent to the whole thing. If you want my opinion, that’s it.”
“Uh huh. I deal with importers. That’s about it. I don’t know what to do with deserters. Plus, I don’t even think what they’re doing is wrong. If they leave a Homestead, so be it. Alpha Corp. should have made things better in the first place. That would have encouraged them to stay, wouldn’t it?”
“Ahhhh, I knew it. That’s why you didn’t want to tell me in the first place. You didn’t want to hear it. Not me. You didn’t want to remind yourself of your impending task. Ha. Never underestimate a woman’s intuition.”
Robert briefly thought about his conversation with Tim earlier that day. Or maybe it was the day before; Robert had no clue what time it was. Anyways, he recalled the story about Rebecca and the radishes. There was a woman with bad intuition. Robert could underestimate her intuition and not think twice about it. But Francine was different. She was too bright. He couldn’t sneak things past her, mentally, and he knew it. “I don’t know about all women, but I’ll never underestimate you’re intuition. Never again.”
“Hey, what’s that supposed to mean. ‘All women?’”
“Come on, you do know that I was raised by a fairly adamant feminist, don’t you? After growing up with these views, a comment like that isn’t gonna slip by me. Elaborate.”
“I was thinking about a woman who has devout faith in Alpha Corp. That’s all. I wasn’t generalizing about all women. It’s just that she doesn’t have intuition like you do.”
“Ohh, okay. I’ll take that as a compliment.” Fran went silent for a moment. “I guess I’ve found out enough about your journey, and indirectly, enough about you that I now have to shut up so you can get some sleep. You stayed true to your promise so I’ll stay true to mine.”
“Now hold up for a second. What have you found out about me?”
“That you don’t have devout faith in Alpha Corp. That you question your work when you’re given an assignment that you don’t agree with. That you’re skeptical of your company’s fate. I don’t know, there’s probably a few more, but I’m running out of ideas here.”
“You’re right. For the most part. I guess that makes me seem like a weak person to you. Oh well.”
“No, not necessarily. Maybe you don’t have any other options, or you aren’t aware of the options.”
“This might be a little too much to get into right now.”
“I agree, but I don’t really want to end our conversation like that. I just want you to know that despite what I think about your occupation, I still think that you’re a good person.”
“Thank you. I appreciate it. Good night Francine.”
“Good night Robert.”
They both tried to sleep but nothing came of it. Robert’s mind was racing, as was Francine’s. They were stuck in the stalemate that happens when two preadolescents have a sleepover together; they’re in need of sleep but their thoughts and company keep them from having it. Finally, cuing into to the fact that Robert was probably feeling the same way, Francine broke the silence. “Do you ever get lonely?”
“Huh? Where is that coming from?”
“I know you live in the city, where there are people all over the place and everything like that, but I wonder: do you ever get lonely?”
“Yes, but everyone does at some point or another. If you think of it that way, I’m just like anyone else when it comes to that.”
“And everyone gets bothered by it ‘at some point or another.’ Come on Robert, I want to know how you really feel about it.”
“Sometimes it gets at me. I long to be with another person, but then again, it’s such an effort. It’s hard to meet people in a city dominated by Alpha Corp, and I don’t feel like sifting through HR’s Personals in order to find a partner. It just doesn’t seem natural.”
“I don’t know much about that.”
“There’s not much to know. You go to Human Resources, they hand you over a folder that has females in the same age group that are looking for a partner, then you find one that matches you, so you meet them at a cafeteria. I’ve never done it, but from what I’ve heard, they barely ever work out. It’s like internet dating, which I hadn’t had much luck with in the first place.”
“But aren’t you curious at all?”
“Sure, but the whole thing seems too bureaucratic for me. It’s probably just a system that ensures reproduction, so you know, Alpha Corp. can have a new generation of land labourers.”
“I guess that’s another way of looking at it,”
“And besides,” Robert interrupted, “I’m too old. They probably don’t have anyone in my age class, seeing as women of my age can’t reproduce and all.” Robert realized that he was going off on a tangent. He sensed that Fran was becoming displeased with the dialogue, so he brought it back a step. “Sorry, that’s enough about me. Francine, do you ever feel lonely?”
“Yes. Of course. It has been almost six years since Howard has died. Sure, I have the family to keep me company, but they can’t keep me company in certain ways.”
This statement made Robert tremendously nervous. It has been a number years since he has had a conversation with this sort of content. He froze up.
Eventually, Robert gained enough confidence to mutter out, “You mean, like, sexually?”
“If you want to say it explicitly, then yes.”
“I’m not trying to scare you away, Robert. It’s just that… Oh god, maybe I shouldn’t be talking like this.”
“It’s okay, go on.”
“I’m in the prime of my life and I don’t have a man.”
“I don’t want to seem like I’m coming onto you, it’s just that,”
“I’m over 20 years older than you. Remember that.”
“Don’t jump to any conclusions here. Anyways, age has never been an issue with me. Howard was over ten years older than me.”
“I’m not jumping to any conclusions. It seems like you’re coming on to me. You might deny it, but to me, it certainly sounds that way.”
“Because you’re such a catch? Right.”
“I only kid.” A moment of silence broke the conversation. “Well… If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s much more comfortable back here.” Francine patted the back seat two times.
Resisting was futile; the enticing had got to Robert. Despite the corniness of how the offer was brought on, he knew that he couldn’t turn it down. It had been over ten years since Robert had been intimate with a woman, so obviously, curiosity was getting the best of him. Some men his age would decline the offer because of the embarrassment issues and the self-pity that would come about due to erectile dysfunction, but he knew his machinery worked. When he woke up last morning, his sheets were lifted in the pelvic vicinity after all. And despite Francine’s charred skin, she still possessed a number of attractive qualities; her trim physique was enough to get Robert hard just thinking about it. Robert would have to be an idiot to turn down this invitation.
He climbed between the two front seats in order to get to the back of the vehicle. This was a difficult task; he had stubbed his toe on the cup holders and he had to move one shoulder at a time. His movement was awkward, but things only got more awkward when he lay down on the back seat.
“Ummmm. I’m over here,” said Francine.
“Opps, sorry. I knew that didn’t feel like a head.”
Robert changed position so that he was now face-to-face with Francine.
“It sounded like your voice was coming from the other side of the car. These hybrids I tell you, not the best acoustics,”
“They don’t make them like they use,” said Robert jokingly, but before he could finish his sentence, another tongue was found in his mouth, thus hindering his attempt at forming a coherent word.
Robert got the clue and started moving his tongue. Their movements were sloppy at first, but they eventually got a rhythm going. Every so often they would retract their tongues back into their mouths and they would kiss each other’s lips, then go back to kissing the way in which the French had taught the world. It felt good. Robert had missed this feeling.
After some time kissing, Francine unbuttoned her jeans and unzipped the fly. It had been a long time for Robert, but he knew that this was an invitation to explore that region. He slid his right hand underneath her panties and continued downwards. His middle and index finger eventually got to an area that was moist and warm. He gently touched her labia and clitoris. She moaned.
“It might have been a long time since you’ve done this, but that doesn’t mean that you’re bad at this.”
“Shhhhh,” replied Robert.
After a few minutes of fondling, Francine reached for Robert’s appendage. He had been sleeping in a pair of boxer shorts, so access to his erection was easy. She pulled down the waist band of his shorts with one hand, then started massaging his intromittent organ with the other. After a few seconds of this, Francine said, “Sit on the seat.”
Robert obliged. Francine took of Robert’s boxer shorts, then proceeded to take off her jeans. This took a while because she had on such a tight pair of denims, so to fill the time she talked. “I haven’t done it in a car for… oh I don’t know, eighteen or nineteen years maybe.”
“I’ve never done it in a car.”
“I’m glad to initiate you into the club.”
The anticipation was killing Robert. As each second passed, he wanted more and more to slide inside of Francine. It was painful to sit there and hear her attempt to take her jeans off.
Despite the intermission, he still hadn’t lost any blood from his erection. That was a good sign.
Francine finally got the last cuff over her foot. She quickly got her panties off then mounted Robert. This is it, thought Robert. She grabbed his erect penis and guided it in. She started moving up and down while Robert held onto her flanks.
What a way to end off an already great day, thought Robert. His train ride had taken a little longer than expected, and he may have had a gun pointed to his head, but he did make conversation with two new and interesting individuals and he never once had to do any paperwork. Oh, and yah, he got to break his twelve year period of involuntary abstinence.