The Natural Pecking Order - Lady Devreux - ebook

Life is based on a natural pecking order- people with more money have more things, and stronger people are able to use their wit and their wiles to have their way with those whom are weaker. Susan had always wanted more from life, and that is why she ended up with Ted, a naturally dominant man whom got things done. As Susan discovers that what she wants is more control rather than more things, she discovers a new pecking order, based on true dominance. This is a full length erotic novel, which traces the development of Susan, her husband Ted, and their eighteen year old son and his best friend, as they learn their place. This novel includes: bisexuality (m,f), female domination, full family incest, interracial sex, masturbation, mom/son, orgies, swinging, and voyeurism! Excerpt There sat Arne, about to start playing his game, and when she walked in, he turned, his eyes meeting hers. There was no hiding now- she was naked, in front of him, a dildo in one hand, her dripping cunt as moist as a recently used bath towel, tits and ass and everything there for him to see. He was in her house- what was he doing in her house, he didn't live here- but she felt like she was the one who was caught in the act. “What are you doing here?” she asked, not bothering to try and cover herself- he had seen her, her clothes were back in her room, and so it was too late to attempt modesty. “My parents threw me out,” he said, his eyes looking her over. Arne may or may not have been stealing glances at her before now, but now he got to see everything that Susan had. From the curve of her hips, to the wet slit between her legs, from her breasts with their large nipples, to her firm backside- his eyes looked at her approvingly, and she knew that this eighteen year old man was more than happy with what he saw. You'd love to fuck me, wouldn't you, Arne- Ted was right! “Ok,” Susan said, “Well, this is awkward.” “Why?” Arne asked. “Arne, you see what I was doing,” Susan said, “It's obvious...” “Yes,” he said, “I can see that.” She couldn't say anything, really, about him being here- he had gotten used to having free access to their home, and though he had never asked, it had never been an issue before. She couldn't even say anything about him seeing her naked- she should have known better. It had been a matter of time until someone had caught her in one of her naked romps around the house, and it was better that the person to catch her was Arne, rather than TJ. Now that he had a long minute to stare, it was time to stop this from going any further. Yes, Susan was to blame, but the situation had to end before it turned into something even more serious. Something that involves more than just looking at each other. “You know what Ted would do if he knew you were here, right now?” Susan asked, “Do you?” “I do,” Arne said, still staring, “What would he do if he knew you had a Black cock fetish?” Ted would definitely not like that, not one bit. Arne may have been surprised by her entrance into the living room, in the state she was in, but he was definitely not some bashful kid- he was a young man with street smarts. “So what happens next?” Susan said. This wasn't intended as a question- more of as a statement, a way for her to make it clear to Arne that this wasn't going anywhere. Arne didn't say anything, he simply got up off the couch, and he unbuttoned his jeans. Arne had an idea where this was going, and as he began to pull out his cock, Arne was showing Susan exactly what he wanted to happen next! “Arne, I can't, we can't,” Susan said, “I'm married, I'm your best friends mother”  

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Chapter One

If we are taught anything by society, it is that the solution to all problems in life, whether they are family problems, health problems, or a simple lack of enjoyment, is having more money.

It does not really make a difference the amount of money someone has, as long as a person has more than what they have now; then, so the common belief goes, problems will be solved. The person who does not own a car thinks that with more money they can buy a used model; the person driving an used car thinks that a showroom fresh model is the solution. The person who rents a room wants an apartment, the person in the apartment wants a house, and the person with a house wants a bigger, newer house.

No matter what station in life one is in, the solution is always having more money.

Everything from better clothes to new teeth and tits, a firmer body, and tighter skin, can all be solved with the application of money to the source of the problem.

Don't like your neighbors?

More money, you can move to a better area.

Don't like your employer?

More money, and you can quit; of course, if your employer pays you double or triple what you are getting right now, suddenly the demands and petty annoyances of every work place seem much less so. Who cares if the person in the next cubicle burps and farts and never excuses himself throughout lunch, when you are making double what you are making now?

Don't get along with your family?

More money, and you can buy them more stuff. Sure, their sudden change in attitude towards you may be as real as an honest politician, but at least with money, they will pretend to like you, and show an interest in you. And sometimes pretending can feel almost as good as the real thing.

More money is the only way to get more from life.

Susan had always believed this.

It wasn't hard to understand that the reason her childhood had been such a sick sad mess, was a dire lack of money.

It wasn't the occasional trouble in paying the bills that almost all people went through at one time or another, it was a constant glaring fact that they never had any money for anything. As plain as the nose on her face, and the bright blue eyes she looked back into in the bathroom mirror every morning, their lives sucked because they didn't have money.

Not some money, no money.

Was it that her family had somehow fallen through the cracks?

Or was it that her parents didn't try hard enough?

Either way, the result was the same- Susan had next to nothing. As the oldest child, with the arrival of every additional sibling, her share of what nothing there was grew smaller and smaller, as her amount of responsibility increased exponentially.

When she was six, the one thing she wanted more than anything else was a Barbie car for her birthday. Instead, she got four pairs of tights and a new (well, from the thrift, but new to her anyway), pair of black patent leather shoes that were just a size too big. No worries, though, that just meant that she would be wearing them next year as well. As she frowned in disappointment, her mother reminded Susan that her little brother didn't get much more, because mommy was going to be bringing home a new brother or sister by summer's end.

Christmas came around, and still holding out the hope that she would get the plastic toy car, she instead got a secondhand coat, and a new chore of washing the family's clothing. With the new baby, mommy was too tired to do it all, and she needed Susan's help. Sorry Susan, the electric needed to be paid before the heat was shut off; daddy needed to work two shifts, and the last thing anybody thought about was what Susan needed, let alone wanted.

Other kids showed off and bragged about their new toys after the holidays had ended, and the cold pall of January had arrived. Susan sat in the back of the class and tried to stay warm, closing her ears and her eyes up inside a style of coat that had been popular five years before she was born.

Susan wasn't disliked or picked on in school.

Pig Pen, the one kid who was probably worse off than her family, and who always smelled like onions, was the kid that got the brunt of teasing. Thirty years later, Susan still had never learned his name, but she remembered the day he had tried to sit down next to her on the school bus. Instead, she had preferred to stand the entire forty five minute ride rather than smell him.

She didn't really have friends, either; if not the poorest family in her neighborhood, they were measurably worse off than most, and whenever she saw other girls with their bikes and their dolls and their pretend make-up kits, Susan simply had never felt a sense of belonging. True, she didn't know these girls, didn't really know if they actually were than her, but she felt they were. How else did they have, and she did not?

Susan didn't necessarily want to be them, but she wanted what they had. She was disconnected from them, because she couldn't relate to what it was like to have even the most basic of toys, to have more than just old clothes to wear and food to eat. Susan wasn't angry because they had what they had; she was angry because she didn't have, and somehow, she knew she was missing out on an important stage of her life because of it.

Puppies and children grow, people get old, and mom had seven more kids in the passage of time.

In high school, Susan was known as the quiet girl who sat in the back of the class and always looked so tired. Her teachers had little to say about her that was bad. She didn't smoke in the girls bathroom or get into fights, she never wore clothes that showed too much, and her classwork was always on time, if unremarkable. Susan was thought to be a loner, but as long as she was the kind of loner who didn't get in trouble, what concern was that of anyone on the faculty?

She was always tired, because Susan was essentially the live in house help- negotiating arguments between the younger ones, changing diapers, thawing meat, and scrubbing and scrubbing, always scrubbing.

Her mother spent more and more of each year in the dim hypnotic blue light of the old cabinet television that dominated the living room, smoking her Virginia Slims and watching reruns, and abdicating her responsibilities. Her father still went to work every morning, tired and soundless as he left the house, to return late at night, usually after Susan had went to sleep.

As Susan listened to the radio, trying to fit in her homework, she would think about how she was not going to let this become her.

She wasn't a dumb girl, if not a Sally Ride; she wasn't unattractive, even if she wasn't Brooke Shields.

As she looked in the cracked bathroom mirror, scuffed and dirtied from years of moisture, she told herself that if anything, she wasn't going to be poor. She was going to get out of here, out of this house and away from this life, and she was going to have things.

Better things, she would tell herself as she tied up her long blonde hair with just a tint of red; new clothes, as she put on an old pair of her mother's shoes. Hot water that was always hot, not just lukewarm, as she brushed her teeth. Earrings that were actual diamond, not cubic zirconium, as she put them on.

Finally as Susan left the house every morning, still riding the bus even though she was a junior and most of her classmates were driving- or had boyfriends that were, at least- she would look at her father's broke down Dodge pickup with the cracked windshield, sitting on it's blocks. It was parked on the side of the small house at the end of a dirt street with the roof that needed patching, permanently fixed into place. This truck had ran at one point, her father claimed it would run again, yet there it was, year after year. It's sea green paint first fading, then flaking off; rust and time chewing away at it, yet there it sat.

This was her life, for now, but she would have more money, whatever it took. She would not end up here the rest of her life, slowing fading, then rusting away, into the Alabama red dirt.

Boys, as boys will do, notice pretty girls, and although Susan Corrigan sat in the back of the class- the back left corner, not the bad kid's corner- and wore clothes that didn't show much, it was hard to miss the pretty blonde girl. On the bus, the younger junior high boys would sometimes even try to sit with her, but she always ignored them, no matter what words they tried to tell her to get her attention. The older boys who weren't driving, who had to ride the bus like she did, were generally the outcasts who didn't have friends ,or were too inept to pass the state driver's exam. They would sometimes try to touch her as she walked by, or whistle at her, and Susan would shove past them, unmoved by their displays of youthful stupidity.

These boys were just that, boys.

Puppies turn into dogs, and Bulldog puppies become Bulldogs. These boys were future versions of their fathers. Just as a Bulldog puppy didn't grow up to become a Greyhound, these boys weren’t going to somehow grow up (for the most part) to be any different than the men who had raised them. They were not going to amount to much more than what most men in this town amounted to.

They were going to end up getting jobs after school ended, and then work their whole lives. Living in the same place they always had, maybe two doors down at most, producing too many children, driving their pickups and their old Cadillac cars and eventually growing old and grey headed. This wasn't a sin, but it was the life you would have if you ended up with them.

Boys were what trapped you here in this town.

If you were to start dating them, eventually you get pregnant, ring or no ring. Ten years later, you ended up eating Ben and Jerry's in front of the Zenith, waiting for him to come home so you can bitch about the electric being shut off tomorrow.

Some boys might move away- they would go in the Army or go to college, move down to Birmingham or up to Nashville, maybe even further on, to places like San Diego and St. Paul.

These boys, though, were not dating material either.

Sure, they would want what they wanted, of course, but either you would end up giving it up and get left with the result of indiscretion, or you would trap them down into an unwanted familial prison. Unhappy, they would be sitting down at the Wagon Wheel Lounge ten years from now, drinking up their paycheck and trying to nail your cousin.

That wasn't a fair deal, not to them, or to you.

They might not know it now, but Susan was doing these boys a favor by not getting involved with them. Trapping someone was not the way you kept them- even if you succeeded, you still never could make them be happy, or make them truly love you.

Susan was going to move away.

She wasn't sure where- all the family she knew of, her Uncle Jake and her Aunt Tammy and her grandmother- all lived right here in this hamlet, that was too small to be more than a wide spot off the road. There were two more uncles, of course, Billy and Bobby, who were up in the hills somewhere out further in the county, but they rarely made an appearance. Her father, never the talkative sort, was the only one left out of his kin folks, and she only knew his people were dead before she was born.

Susan was going to have more.


Chapter Two

“Hello,” Susan said, answering the phone, as she turned down the music.

“Hi,” Ted said, the sound of a car alarm blaring in the background, “I'm going to be late again tonight. Not sure when I'll be getting out of here at this point-”?

“Umm-humm,” Susan said, pausing the DVD player, “So should I set you a plate, or what?”

“No, that's fine,” Ted answered, “I'll just grab a burger on my home.”

“When will that be?” Susan asked.

“I told you, at this point, I don't know,” Ted said, frustration creeping into his voice, “The Bear is leaning on us to get this estimate written up on the Franklin project. The board is demanding an answer, and we were supposed to break ground last January. God damn city inspectors, like to throw wrenches into everything...”?

“I know about the inspectors, Ted,” Susan said, “I hear about them every time you are running late... Seems to be a lot lately...”?

“Look out the window,” Ted said, “Tell me you don't like what you see out there, huh?”

Susan rolled her eyes.

Whenever Ted didn't want to answer a question or didn't like a comment she made, this was his response- look out the window.

“I know, it's a very nice car, Ted,” Susan said, not bothering to look.

“It's a black Mercedes convertible,” Ted reminded her, “With heated- and cooled- leather seats, GPS, and every other god damn thing you get for two thousand dollars a month. Two thousand dollars a month. You know that's more than we pay most of our workers?”?

“I know,” Susan said.

“I'm just making sure you know what it takes to get that car,” Ted continued, as he usually did when he was complaining- on a roll, he called it; a diatribe, she called it.

“And those nice wood floors your standing on. The deck that cost more than most people's trailers in this state,” he added.

“It's called me working sixty hours a week, when I need to,” Ted reminded her, “It's called me doing what the god damn Bear tells me to do, and you understanding that. I'll call when I'm on my way home; maybe then I won't catch your boyfriend over there, huh?”?

“Very funny,” Susan said.

“I see how Arne looks at you,” Ted said, “I know what's going on.”

“Yeah, okay, Ted, I'm really going to cheat on you,” Susan said, knowing he was just bullshitting, “Especially with some eighteen year old.”?

“I don't think he would mind,” Ted added.

“Well, I would mind,” Susan reminded him, “Doesn't that have something to do with it, anyway? That I'd mind?”

“Take the car out for a drive, and you'll forget I'm stuck here again,” Ted said.

“It is a nice car,” Susan admitted.

With that, Ted clicked off the phone.

She hated when Ted called her from the parking garage- it was like he wasn't even allowed to speak to his wife at work. Considering how much money he made for the company, they should give him a little more slack.

It was a beautiful car, they lived in a beautiful home, and these things cost money.

They could have made even more money.

After all, she did still hold a real estate license, and although times were bad as a rule, the type of people that she and Ted knew were still buying and selling properties. Especially here in middle Tennessee. So if he wanted to spend a little less time at work to pay for all of their things, she could go back to selling homes again.

Yeah, and I could go back to waitressing again, too.

Susan wouldn't mind working again. The real estate was kind of a hobby, kind of a job, until TJ came along, but after that, well, Ted wasn't going to have his wife paying some babysitter while she was running around trying to sell homes to people.

She still worked, every day, even if not by carrying plates of hot food to truck drivers, or by driving around Yankee retirees and convincing them that Tennessee was the place to be. She was a mother, and a wife, and she kept her house up.

Looking after her husband and her son was a job, isn't it?

Susan had hired a cleaning person to come in twice a week starting about two years ago.

What good was having money if you didn't actually enjoy it?

Ted was bit of a dick- he was bossy, he was rude, and he was often downright insulting.

Half of time Susan didn't even think that he realized what he was actually saying, when he was saying it. If it wasn't his words, which were often bad enough, it was the tone and intent. Ted let you know what he thought, when he thought it, and god damn you if you didn't get up and snap too it.

When she had first met Ted, he was driving an old Cadillac like the boys in Alabama she had grown up with, wearing a secondhand suit and shoes that had seen better days.

Her first impression was that she noticed for a man who wasn't very big, he was very full himself.

Five ten and maybe one sixty, one seventy, he walked like he was Andre the Giant. Sitting himself in her section, not bothering to wait for the hostess, he told her that he knew what he wanted, and he wanted her to bring it to him. Within a half hour, he told her that he wanted her phone number, and that by the time he was thirty, he was going to be worth a million dollars.

Working in busy place right off of I-24 at the time, Susan was used to being hit on by everything from truckers to drunks to college students, and invariably, she shot them down.

Her first response was to tell him where he could go and what he could do when he got there. His car was not the car of a man with means, and he sure seemed to think that everything was on the menu, not just grits and eggs. In another man, his attitude would have been glaringly abrasive, but on him, somehow, it was more than arrogance- it was the statement of a man who knew what he was on about.

Now here she was, twenty years later, setting her nine hundred dollar cellphone down on a teak table, as she unpaused the DVD on her fifteen hundred dollar TV, dressed in her designer work out clothes. The people who worked for Ted made less a month then what her car's payment was, but Susan didn't think about those things.

Ted had indeed made a million by thirty.

Ted always did what he said he would do.

That was Ted- an asshole, a horrible boss, but someone who got shit done.

Unlike most men who have means, Ted had no problem in sharing the wealth, if not with his employees, with her at least; and that, of course, was what mattered.

Their son, TJ, wasn't spoiled- Ted had been adamant that only child was not going to be the atypical scion of a rich family. So TJ had went to public school, he drove an old pickup truck like most teenagers in the South, and as a result, he was going to go somewhere in life, with or without his parents help.

Susan did like what she saw when she looked out the window.

When she looked back to what she had come from, and where she was now, she liked things even more.

Her parents still lived in that old Alabama house. Her family still lived in that old red-dirt town. Her uncles still lived in the woods, somewhere.

Susan drove her Mercedes and ate her organic non-GMO foods and cooked for herself because she wanted to, not because she had to.

She didn't have to do anything that she didn't want to, other than live with a hard man like her husband. He didn't beat her, he never would, he was just a difficult person in his way. All men are assholes in their own way. Most people had to put up with a hell of a lot more, for just scraps and scrips and shreds of what she had.

She should be happy with things, she should not still want more.

Yet she still did.

Turning on Billy Blanks, muted so she could hear the sounds of her work out music, Susan got back into her daily exercise routine.

“There goes your figure, and probably you're rich husband,” her mother had told her when TJ was born, “Give it five years and you'll come home crying.”?

There was no better way to motivate Susan than to threaten her with going back to where she had came from. Three months after TJ arrived, Susan was working out, making sure she wasn't going to turn into her mother.

You can't stop what another person will do when they have decided to do it. If Ted ever wanted to leave her for some reason, fine, but she would always keep her looks.

Looking in the full length mirror, she still told herself she was no model; she was thirty eight, not some twenty year old anymore. Susan, running her hands over the sides of her fit body, liked what she saw, and that was what was most important.

Her hair, wet with her perspiration, clung to her forehead; her eyes were still as blue as they had always been, her nose small and perfectly formed, her lips still full. The very slight lines that were just beginning to form on her face, around the corners of her eyes, told her that she was not twenty anymore. She was mature, she was a mother and a wife for twenty years, and that did entitle her to a line or two of age.

Glancing at the phone- it was two thirty, and she would have the house to herself for at least another hour- she then removed the sweat soaked work out top that she wore, tossing it aside. Underneath, the tight fabric of her exercise bra clung to the skin of her breasts, and she removed it as well.

Susan clutched her breasts with her hands, feeling their weight and their softness, their smoothness yet firmness, under the touch of her fingertips.

Susan was not a very large breasted woman- after all, the women in her family generally were not- but unlike the lopsided twins her mother had carried, Susan's girls were still holding up nice. They were freckled lightly in the V between them, and still were firm to the touch, not bad at all for a woman in her forties. Her fingers traced down to her nipples, touching them. They responded to her familiar touch, growing hard as two little marble shooters, pinkish-purplish in color.

Funny how her nipples could grow hard- and even the same color- like a cock.

Sometimes, Susan liked wearing no clothes around the house.

Once her husband had left in the morning, her son was at school, and the cleaners weren't present, she would strip off everything . Walking around the run of the house, enjoying the unique freedom that only came when one was nude.

Animals were nude all the time- maybe that's why they were so happy?

Working out naked had just recently become an enjoyable habit.

Susan didn't do it all the time- no, she couldn't dare if she knew anyone was going to be around.

More and more, though, in the privacy of her alone time, she would start the session dressed fully, and end it topless at a minimum. Sometimes, she would even be completely stripped, ending her routine fully nude, her entire body covered in the purity of honest sweat.

Today was feeling like one of those days.

Pulling off her tight work out shorts, her hand brushed against the mound of her pussy. Still smooth, nice and pink, the bare flesh was extra sensitive from shaving it the other day.

If Ted only knew how much the endorphin rush of a workout can lead to burning sexual desire, maybe he would take an hour out of his day to start exercising.

Maybe he would surprise her and come home early.

If Ted walked in right now, bent her over the teak wood table, and shoved his cock into her , the only sound that would have come from her mouth would have been a grunt of deep pleasure.

Ted's job, as he saw it, was to take care of the expenses, to ensure that they would not have to worry about bills, and more importantly, to have the money to enjoy life. He told her they would never end up in a nursing home like his grandparents did, spending their last days around strangers and the smell of death.

No sir, they would die at their own pace, not worrying about Washington's latest run on social security. TJ would not be saddled with the responsibility of worrying about paying for aging parents- like everything else, they would have the funds to take care of their own needs.

Ted was a traditional male- he had his job and the money. Everything else, he left in the care of Susan.

Men start life by expecting a woman- their mother- to tend to their needs, to make their beds and feed them, and to care for them when they are sick. They expect their wives to take over, and if they live long enough, usually have a young female LPN to finish out the task when their wife cannot do so anymore.

Susan's taking care of everything else included ensuring that she looked good.

It made a man feel good when other men noticed the beauty of his wife, it made a man feel important. Although it may not be said, when a man introduced his wife to his male friends, he was silently stating, Hey, look what I'm fucking. Not bad, huh?

I'm not bad at all, Susan thought, her eyes looking lower.

No, not at all.

Susan laughed as she stepped back onto the treadmill, wearing just her running sneakers, and she ramped the setting up to a pleasantly strenuous “8”.

Her breasts heaving, sweat cresting and running her down her body, the need between her legs growing, Susan thought how much she wished her husband would join her. Right now.

Ted did not have the time, so he said, or maybe he just didn't feel it was his job to worry about appearances- not that he was a bad looking man, not at all. He was only two years older, only forty, but he was showing his aging far impending more than she was.

Susan remembered how her black headed man with the blue eyes used to turn her on by just looking at her the right way. She thought about the times when they could not wait to be with each other- the time Ted had fucked her in her dad's old beat up truck that still sat on the blocks, in the middle of the day, even though her extensive collection of siblings were all present just a few feet away in the back yard at a family barbecue.

Four times a day, on some days, was not unheard of for his cock to make an appearance inside of her in those early years.

Now Ted was a money man, an upper manager at a very large commercial construction firm, not the broke young man with a hard cock and a shiny Cadillac but only a dream before him that she had met and married.

Sometimes- even if just for an hour here and there- Susan missed the man with the hard cock who would take her body and senses over. That man had the time to fuck her- sometimes, too much time to fuck her- and this man, well, he worked late and kissed the asses of those above him, while he kicked the asses of those below. He should find the time to smack the still- firm ass of his wife in between.


Chapter Three

“What is this shit?” Ted spat out the water he had just taken a swallow of, “Horse piss?”

“Sir, it's the water you asked for,” his assistant said, “I'm sorry if...”

“No, it's not the water I asked for,” Ted said, “What I asked for is Evian. E_V_I_A_N. What does that spell?”

“Evian, sir?” the flunky said, lowering his eyes as he spoke.

“Correct-o-mundo, Waldo, that's right,” Ted said, “I see that your minor in English was a worthy investment after all. Now, when I tell you Evian, I do not mean Poland Spring. I do not mean Ozarka or Sam's Choice. And I sure as hell don't mean Cumberland River swill.”

“I'm sorry,” the intern mumbled.

“You're apology and two dollars buys a cup of crappy coffee,” Ted said, “Now, get off your ass, and get me Evian. If you have to wear thicker glasses, I don't give a damn. But when I want something, I get it, got it?”

“Yes sir,” the intern said.

“Now get lost, and go get it!”, Ted said with finality.

As the intern closed the door- carefully, of course, as Ted had told him on day one that nobody slammed his door but him- Ted smiled at himself.

Yeah, I am being an asshole. But so what?

The clients that his company dealt with knew the difference between eggshell and white. They could discriminate between three quarter inch flooring and five eighths of an inch. With an average project right costing around 100,150 million now, they not only had the right to get exactly what they wanted, they demanded it.

Ted was known by the interns, and all of the lower echelon office staff, as Mr. Asshole Junior.

Ted knew this. And he didn't care.

So what if they only pretended to like him?

Nobody had ever succeeded in life by being liked by everyone.

People liked the guy who made their coffee just right at Starbucks.

People liked the girl who put an extra hashbrown in their value meal.

Many people at this company enjoyed the mentally challenged janitorial staff, who, despite their personal disabilities, somehow always came to work a minimum wage job with a smile on their face , and a spring in their step. They were more reliable than any one else at this company.

All of these were great people. They were great to have working for you.

None of these people drove a hundred thousand dollar car. None of them spent ten thousand dollars on a company dinner. None of them probably ever would.

This did not make them bad people in the least- this made them the grease that the wheels of society turned on.

All cogs need grease. Without grease, any machine would jam up.

Ted had never wanted to be a cog- he was more like the mechanic, ensuring that the machine ran smoothly. That every cog was in place and did it's job, the right way, as it was supposed to.

Lighting a cigarette- he wasn't supposed to smoke, his wife really hated it and state law prohibited it in a public place, but so what?- Ted contentedly took a deep draw of the Kentucky grown tobacco, blowing a blue-grey smoke ring out with the pleasure of a bulldog licking his testicles.

Hell, if I could lick my own balls, I probably would.

Once upon a time, in a place that was miles away from the verdant greenery of Tennessee, Ted had not been raised to be man that he was- he had been raised to be a cog.

His mother, a surly overweight waitress, and his supposed “father” were pitiful people.

When Ted was born, they were only in their thirties, but may as well have been dead for ten years. As his mom served food for a living, his “?dad” went through a succession of jobs- prison guard, retail clerk, machinist at a silverware factory, none of which lasted any length of time.

His “dad” was a bald little slip of a man with bad teeth. He had the will, but not the way, to do something. His dreams were grand and his actions were small.

The old man's dreams always crashed and burned, like a comet streaking across the sky- the crater that was left was the man. The old man was always asking his wife for ten bucks for gas, or a dollar for a pack of smokes. It was easier for this so-called man, his “?dad”, to accept the indignity of begging from his wife, then it was for him to accomplish even the smallest task on his own.

Some people love to talk about humility, about “acceptance”; like the chant of a monk, it is the mantra that keeps them going through their inadequate lives.

One time as a lark, Ted had sat in the back of a cold church basement as he listened to a room of people talk about “accepting”? the fact they had problems. They were “helpless” to overcome these problems, so they spent three hours or better on whining about how these problems had ruined their lives.

These same people would be back, of course, next week, and repeat the same stories of loss, of failure, and the fact that they “accepted”? it, they were “powerless” . Somehow they were a better person for it, and this was supposed to help them deal with their issues.

These people had ruined themselves long before they had stuck something in a vein or up their nose- they had set the stage for a lifetime of failure when instead of actually doing something useful, they had decided to take the easy way out. They had “?accepted” their bad lives as normal, as unchangeable, and whatever substance they had chosen, it was because they wanted to distract themselves from making the decisions that had to be made to actually change.

Why was it so much easier for people to give up and collapse into themselves, then it was for them to keep trying?

His old man accepted when his wife disappeared for three days to “go to some concert”.

He tolerated it when his mother would “hang out” with some of the guys she worked with. This hanging out, of course, usually ended when he would find her in some roach motel, Ted waiting in the car as they argued.


His mother had always claimed the guys she hung out with were gay- Ted remembered her saying that in an argument one night. Supposedly Joe or Jack or whoever the hell she was hanging out with at the Starlight Lodge was gay and had no interest in her.

Gay guys always take their female co-workers overnight to a motel room, right?

His mother had disappeared for three weeks after that incident.

Ted's old man took some job the next day- school bus driver, if Ted remembered correctly.

When his mother came back, as she always did eventually when her fun was over, she kissed her husband, and gave him a carton of off-brand cigarettes as a peace offering. After that, things went back to normal. His “dad” quit his job again, his mother drank every night again, and the process renewed itself.

See how far “acceptance” gets you?

Acceptance was bullshit.

If Ted had accepted the cards he'd been dealt in life, he would have been no better off than that poor bastard. Last he knew, his mother was somewhere in Texas, and his “dad” was probably with some new woman who was running around on him, but paying his way through life. The last time he had spoken to either one of them was over twenty years ago, and honestly, Ted cared no more about what they did with their time, then he did the price of tea in China.

Those who refused to accept their circumstances were the ones who could smoke in their office, and those who accepted them were no the ones who made lattes for the people who they wished they were.

Ted didn't hate Waldo or Willie or whoever this years intern was.

The way he had treated him, and all of his other interns, was doing them a service.

They could have interned with old man Fred, who had been at this company nearly thirty nine years. Fred was great guy, like the unofficial company grandfather, who never had a bad word to say to anyone.

Fred was a person who believed in “acceptance.”

If these new graduates didn't want to live in a thirty thousand dollar shack and drive a fifteen year old Dodge Dynasty after working at a major corporation for four decades like Fred, then Fred was not the person to learn to emulate.

Being kind earned you a lot of friends, and whenever Fred did retire he would be sorely missed around the office. Unlike Ted, when Fred finally did leave, people here would miss him.

Being gentle and kind was also the reason the Fred was assigned to small potato projects, despite being here the longest. Fred should be one step above the president of the company, not a simple associate.

This kindness was the reason that Fred was nearing seventy, and still working the long hours that this company demanded, instead of running the show.

Of the people Ted had interned over the years, the three who still worked for the company were in their twenties and thirties, and earning double or more than what Fred was earning.

Ted knew he was a prick, and that's what got him what he wanted out of life.

From his career, to his home, to the woman he was married to, all of it wasn't simply because he wanted these things- it's because he demanded them.

If you wanted something, that was great, but wanting things never got you anything.

You need to have the gumption to reach out and take what you want- and the viciousness, when needed, to keep it.

Ted had taken what he wanted, and he kept it.


Chapter Four

Arne didn't think he was a bad kid; no, not in the least.

Sure, he wasn't perfect, and at eighteen he already had developed a couple of bad habits.

He enjoyed smoking cigarettes, and drinking when he could bribe some bum into buying him a forty ounce.

A lot of people did a lot worse, and they came from much more than he came from.

Popularity was one thing that had never come to Arnie.

Growing up in one of the wealthier areas of Tennessee, people who didn't know Arne would think he lived in a half million dollar house, and that he drove a new Mustang or Charger to school. Plenty of his classmates did, so kids in other schools had the idea that Franklin people were all loaded.

Arne's parents, however, were not part of the population movement from up north over the last twenty odd years that had transformed this area from a small old Southern town, into one of the richest Nashville bedroom communities.

The McMansions had replaced the old farm houses on the land, new foreign cars had replaced the old GM models on the streets, and the tar streets themselves had replaced what not very long ago had been gravel country roads.

Wealth was all around him.

It was his environment, surrounding him, but he was not of it- his family were hangers- on, remnants of the poorer people who had lived here before the developers and the Michigan folks had started moving in. His people were like the old Ford tractor parked in front of the new Franklin Farms Estates development, leftovers from the past.

Arne resented these people who seemed to move here in a never ending stream from Michigan and New York and Pennsylvania.

He didn't resent them because these people had the things he wanted- it was that they had, had so much, and he had so little.

Living in poverty among the rich is like going to a grocery store on an empty stomach, with an empty wallet. Arne was hungrier for what they had and he did not, because he could not open his eyes without seeing it.

Being poor had not made him a popular person in high school.

This was the end of his senior year. So while his classmates talked about going to Vanderbilt or even to Yale, while they talked about whether the Tundra or the new Ram was a better truck, Arne thought about if he was even going to have a roof over his head in just over a month,

College wasn't likely for Arne's future.

He could go to MTSU like half of the state of Tennessee seemed to do, but going to college when you weren't sure what you were going to do with yourself, made as much sense as buying a Ferrari jacket when you drove a Neon.

Just because you bought the equipment to play a game did not guarantee that you would win, and how could he even play the college game, when he didn't know what he wanted to win from it?

The only thing Arne knew for certain was that he wanted to get laid.

He hadn’t even had a girlfriend yet, he was a virgin, but that was through no fault of his own.

Six feet tall, with black hair and blue eyes, Arne was not a bad looking guy- not that he spent time checking out other guys, mind you, but when he looked at his classmates and compared himself to them, physically he was their equal or better. Arne didn't wear glasses, and he wasn't soft around the middle- maybe he didn't play football or any other sport, but result of his poverty was that he did a lot more walking than these rich bastards ever did.