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Belonging to the Steer Brothers(2)

By:Sam Crescent

Her nerves were getting the better of her. She was seated in the kitchen with two of the handsomest men she’d ever seen. There was a nine year age gap, but who cared?

As the days passed, Anna grew more accustomed to being with the Steer brothers. Friends at school stared at her and would whisper as she passed. She chose to ignore them. Her family was laid to rest, and she was happy to visit them.

She became a part of the Steers’ life, and she was the happiest she’d ever been.

Four years later

Paul glanced out of his office window to look at the gorgeous beauty near the swimming pool. Anna Myers lay reading a book as the sun baked her skin from its usual pallor to a golden colour. He knew the only pale parts remaining would be under her bikini. Shit, look at those luscious, full curves. He didn’t know how long he stood watching her. Whenever she was near he couldn’t stop staring. She’d grown from a gawky teenager into a beautiful, intelligent young woman. These days all he seemed to do was stand and watch. Out of the corner of his eye he saw David, his younger brother, approach their young companion. She’d lived with them for the past four years, and she’d turned twenty a few months ago. He knew he wouldn’t be able to keep her close for much longer. Ever since she’d turned eighteen, he’d been fighting to keep her at home. Not only to care for her, though. The other reason was because he didn’t know how he’d be able to live without her presence in his home. She was the one sparkle he looked forward to.

Paul didn’t know when he had stopped seeing her as a person he had to look after to seeing her as a desirable woman. It was like a switch had been changed within the sensors of his brain. She’d come down one morning looking refreshed with a figure that any woman would be proud of. He had glanced at his brother and had seen the similar look of longing he knew was reflected in his own eyes. Loving her would be a huge mistake.

He pulled himself away from the vision of seeing his brother with the woman who was creating a constant ache within his heart as well as incessant stirring in his groin. How many times had he thought of approaching her? Of telling her about his changing devotion? Asking for her body and her love? Until he’d discovered the book that had severed any chance he had. The diary lay open for all to see on his desk, and Paul cursed the damn thing. The secret of their family line lay open and exposed for him to see. Not only did he have to deal with his own disgust at desiring a woman who was too young for him, but also seeing the truth of past wives’ thoughts almost destroyed him.

All of his hopes, wishes and dreams shattered by the revelation of the most important diary of generations. He wondered if his own fathers knew about the private thoughts of past generations of women who’d been shared by the Steer men. Glancing down at the old-looking diary he fingered the pages, wishing he could ignore the thoughts and concerns of these women.

The Diary of Belonging to the Steer Men, a fitting title for the occupation of the women of their line. The first entry went back over one hundred years. It had been written by the youngest of the women, Fanny Steer, at the ripe age of eighteen.

“I’m nothing short of a trophy for their pleasure. No one knows what they demand behind closed doors. The line of love we’d been fed was nothing more than a means to get a woman in their lives. They need heirs, and I was too stupid to see what was before my own eyes. The Steer men were after nothing but the continuation of their male line, and I’m nothing but a mere vessel to acquire the final product...”

For most of his young life Paul had believed the women came to the Steer men willingly. His family line was a closed off secret within their family, but the small town of CapeFalls where they lived was always rife with suspicion and rumours. How strange it was for all the brothers to live in the same house with one woman. For all of CapeFalls’ good points, their complete lack of accepting something different always hindered them. They didn’t accept relationships easily. Paul thought about Laura and Dean Riley. The couple were still scorned by most of the town-folk, even though their love shined through wherever they went. The twenty year age gap meant nothing to the couple. Yet the whole town, including her family, scorned them. He wondered what would happen if he let his feelings for Anna become apparent. Would her friends and the folk shun her?

Most knew something happened with his family, but the Steers made sure no one found out. The Steer men of past generations picked one woman to love, honour and cherish for the rest of their lives. Paul and David had lived like this for all of their lives, growing up under the love and happiness of his three fathers and one mother. He would have known no differently but for this diary. This abomination told of another side. A revelation, the outcome for the woman. A side he’d never given much thought to before. It didn’t paint the men in a colourful light. The diary was old and probably from a bitter union  , but Paul couldn’t help but read the book and think of Anna. She was so young, and he couldn’t force such a life on her. Part of his brain couldn’t accept any woman not enjoying the complete devotion of one or several men.