We arrived at Scarborough Faire for the opening ceremony. So the selection of costumes was still very good. I had planned to dress as a peasant, but Bev persuaded me to choose a "gypsy bellydancer" costume. Scarlet and gold, with a top which was basically a string with a gold fringe. Bev helped lace me into the outfit, pronouncing it "definitely you."

Brian is going to kick himself when he sees the photos.

Bev was in her princess garb, and was accompanied by two maids, Yolanda and Laurel, and a jester, Charles. No Carrie - Bev said the Faire wasn't her thing. Since it so much is Bev's thing, I'm left thinking that if they're not still having problems, they soon will be.

Charles flirted with all of us, princess, maids, and me. It was part of his job as a jester, but it was a role he was getting into.

Bev recruited one of her Faire friends, Shawna, to teach me belly dancing. Practicing in an open space beside a group of Faire musicians drew a small crowd. I think I did okay.

Bev knows several members of the "Court" well, and we spent some time with the Faire royalty, who are in an odd position, being treated with apparently quite genuine deference by the other players.

The "Flaming Idiots" are no longer part of the Faire, as announced last year, which is a disappointment. "Zilch the Tory Steller" had me doubled up with laughter, or as he'd probably say, "lubbled up with dafter". At least he didn't pick me as his example of "clowing some sheavage", but he did say he could tell I've "falked in the worest". I bought his tape, "For Gits and Shiggles".

Aack, I just realized, I don't have the tape. My costume didn't exactly have a lot of space for carrying anything, so I asked Charles to look after it. ("You could put it there", he said, then, as I glared at him, he said, "No, I guess there isn't much room". I faked a kick, and he rolled on the ground clutching his groin.)

He still has the tape. I need to call him to get it back.

The day began cool and dull - Bev wouldn't have gotten me into a costume like that had she not assured me that the forecast was for the day to turn warm and sunny. It turned out she was right., though I needed a shawl during the morning.

I stayed away from the "Drench-a-Wench" (the dunking booth) this year :-) Apart from the rented costume, it wasn't warm enough.

Beer selections are pretty good, especially for an outdoor environment. But you can't get Dr. Pepper, which seems to me little short of criminal for Texas. We spent time in the "pub", "quaffing ale", singing with "pirates" and "gypsies", refreshing our drinks before the Royal Joust.

When we left, I was quite tipsy, then Bev drove us back to her apartment, where we all became much more so. I was the only one who had rented, so I was in tee shirt and jeans still among a roomful of costumed loonies. (Still no Carrie.) I called Brian about ten to pick me up, leaving my car at Bev's to pick up today.

Before I'd left in the morning, I was still peeved with Brian that he had backed out of coming to the Faire with me, and I guess I still am, but by the time we got home, after the booze and the great time I had, I had plenty of energy to share with him, with the result that today I am tired and aching. But feeling great.


Part of the reason I've been depressed is just the changes that have happened lately, I think. Especially Clarice. I rarely see her. We were inseparable before Rob came here. I'm sure if you've been reading the diary since its inception, you know that.

I don't have any objection to her relationship, I think I've made that clear too. I think it's great, for both of them. Nor for the pregnancy, which she becomes more excited about every time I see her. (Who'da thunk it? :-) I haven't lost her as a friend in any way. But I miss her. I miss the beer and the ribald comments, laughing with the guys in the bar, or the details of the occasions when things went beyond flirting. I guess I just hadn't noticed how big a place she filled in my life until she was no longer there.

And I think I missed it while it was happening, having been so focussed on Brian. Last month, with him being away, I saw quite a lot of her with Jill in town, and I think that's when I noticed just how much we'd changed. Jill was more like Clarice used to be to me than Clarice herself.

Eventually I'm sure I'll settle into our new relationship, but right now I guess I'm having a hard time letting go.

I think another part is what is probably glaringly obvious to those of you who read my journal regularly. And that is: what happened in San José? You're wondering if I haven't said anything because I don't know, or if I haven't said anything because I don't want to.

Which is in fact very similar to the position I find myself in. No, I don't know. Is that because there's nothing for Brian to tell me, or because he doesn't want to say? If nothing happened, after all my predictions about Julie, wouldn't he at least tell me that I had nothing to worry about? And if nothing happened, why has he been so tightly wound these last couple of weeks? Unless he's wound up because he can tell that I'm depressed / upset / whatever. God, what a mess.

But if something did happen, why is he so stressed out about it? (If that's what he is stressed out about. If he is stressed out, and I'm not misreading him.) I told him it was okay. Surely he knows by now that I meant it.

I need to talk to him about it. I know that. But I'm having trouble imagining a way to say something without making it sound like an accusation.

And I guess I'm still afraid of what I'll feel if and when he tells me that he succumbed to Julie's charms.


What a beautiful day yesterday turned out to be.

Since today is a holiday, I decided I'd let myself leave early, and by the time Brian came home, I had cooked a light dinner and warmed up the spa.

Brian was in full agreement with my plans, and we were soon sitting out int the bubbles, out in the evening warmth.

We'd been talking about work for a half-hour when he asked the questîn that floored me.

"Who's Jill?"

It wasn't so much that the question caught me off-guard as that it made no sense. If anyone else had asked (not that anyone could) or had he asked about anyone else, I'd have understood. As it was... "What?" I asked.

"Jill. On your website. I read a very erotic story she wrote."

"Oh, God, you don't read the journal, do you?"

"No, you know I don't."

"And you wouldn't know her by her alias."

"No - you mean she is someone I know? I wondered if you'd recruited Clarice."

"Nope. Not Clarice." I started giggling, and couldn't stop.

"What's so funny?"

"Oh, Brian, you're going to love this. Jill is your little sister."

His jaw dropped. "You mean... Jill" [Of course, he used Jill's real name. I hope this doesn't get too confusing] "writes porn?"

"Erotica," I said, pained. "Yes, she does. "

"And when I was reading it, I was being turned on by my own sister? That's..." he shuddered, "weird."

"I should have warned you. I meant to. I'm sorry, I guess I haven't talked to you much the last couple of weeks. Or anything else."

"It's okay, I can learn to live with it," he grinned. "I'll have to, 'cause I'm not gonna stop reading."

I moved around in front of him, and leaned forward. "So, now we've talked, how about the else?" I didn't give him chance to answer as I kissed him.

His hands found my breasts, and I squatted down in his lap. I could feel him hard against me. But he didn't let me squat down onto him. Instead, he lifted me to kiss my breasts, then further, so that I had to support myself against the other side of the spa as he lifted me to float on the surface.

Kneading my butt, he kissed my stomach, letting his lips drift down to my pussy. I closed my eyes as he started working on me.

It's an amazing feeling, getting off while you're floating. There's a loss of control, a yielding to the feeling that you can't get when you have something to push against. You find yourself given over to arousal, there isn't a part of your body that isn't tingling with pleasure. And if he's good, he gets the arousal to a level that you just can't tolerate, and keeps you there.

And he is good.

If you could bottle up that sensation in a drug, you'd have something truly dangerous. As it is, it has to be close to the ultimate in non-addictive pleasure.

When he sucked and shook my clit in his lips, it was as though all of the charge that he'd built up into the extremities of my body was suddenly released in a torrent in my groin, and I writhed in his grip as I could barely control my body.

I released myself and drifted down, wrapping my legs around him and guiding him inside. He came almost immediately, but rocked me into climax a couple more times before we separated.

I was glowing as we held hands in the bubbles, and I rested my head on his shoulder.

"I think I've put you in an impossible position," I said.

"How so?"

"After the... thing with Clarice, I was upset because you didn't tell me. But I think forcing you to tell me whatever you do gets in the way of the freedom to... follow your conscience. It says that I trust you, but only if I can keep tabs on you, and it means that if you take advantage of the liberty I said was yours, you have to worry how I'll react when you tell me. Whether I'll blow up like I did after Clarice."

He nodded slightly.

"Clarice was different. Because she's such a good friend, and everything would have gotten very complicated. But also because I hadn't really thought this through, and hadn't understood that I didn't need to deny you other relationships. So I don't want to insist on you telling me anything."

"Okay," he said, with a serious expression.

"Later, if you want to tell me what's been bothering you, I promise to try to be a good listener. Unless there's a problem between us, don't feel like you have to tell me if you don't want to."

"There's no problem between us, Helen," he said.

"Good," I said. "Then let's dry each other off and see just what there is between us."

Which is where we left it. After determining again that there was plenty between us when there was nothing between us.


Bev called yesterday afternoon. She had the photos from last weekend's Scarborough Faire visit. Brian and I went over to see them and pick up the copies she'd gotten for me.

I was right, his eyes bugged out at my costume.

"You could have come," I told him.

"Yeah, I know. I wish I had done. I didn't have much to do at work anyway. I could have caught up Monday."

I shrugged. That's what I'd thought.

"Come with us Sunday," suggested Bev. "There are special Easter ceremonies. 'High Church'."

I giggled. They both looked at me. "Oh, I'm just remembering last year. The way Brian reacted to just a spring outfit, if he takes me to church in this," I waved the photo of me in my bellydancer costume, "King Henry's bouncers will kick us out. It is supposed to be a family event, after all."

Brian looked pained. "I can't believe you said that."

"You should hear what we say when you're not around," I retorted. "All I'm saying is you were very affectionate."

"Riiiiight," said Bev, with her eyebrow raised.

"They probably won't let me in any kind of church, even a re-enactment, wearing that, anyway."

"You'll be okay," she said.

"Would I have to rent a costume?" Brian asked.

"Hey, you said last year you would," I reminded him.

"I did?"

He obviously remembered. "Own up," I said, "or we'll have Bev decide what you'll wear."

She assumed a predatory expression, and Brian relented. "Do you want to go?" he asked me.

"Why not? Though a repeat of last year's Easter Sunday might be nice..."

"Shhh!" he complained.

So, was being out of sorts keeping me from writing, or was I depressed because I didn't have any ideas, or did not writing for a time goad me into starting in earnest? In the last two days I've finished one story that I was trying very slowly to get to come together, and written a whole new one.

I like them both, but I'm not putting them on the site for another week. I want to give Jill's story pride of place for a little longer yet. The top story on the list always gets about twice the number of hits of the ones below it, even if they're both marked "New", and I'd like for as many visitor's as possible to discover Jill. (Please excuse the shameless plug :-)

Expect "Parents' Night" and "The Meeting" to be up by next weekend. If I recover from tomorrow's trip to the Faire by then...


In the end, I didn't get the same outfit. Brian and I dressed as Highlanders. His Scottish accent is as awful as his English one, though I'm sure I was no better. He referred to me as his "wee lassie", and I threatened to toss a caber in his direction.

The Easter ceremonies were fun, though the Faire was much more crowded than last week.

Similar group at Bev's after the Faire. Deduct Charles, add Brian. Yolanda and Laurel, still dressed as wenches, decided he needed initiating into the group. They sandwiched him on the sofa, pulling one of his arms around each of them, while I sat with Bev to watch the fun as they took turns whispering in his ear and tickling him.

Brian was enjoying every minute of it... quite obviously so.

"Just how far is this initiation going to go?" I asked.

"Until you tell us to stop," replied Laurel.

"Which you should do with great dispatch," said Yolanda, in her best fake British accent, "or... pop goes the weasel."

"I'm not gonna tell you anything," I said. "Not my responsibility."

"Don't I get any choice in the matter?" whined Brian.

"Not much, me lad," said Laurel.

"What do you think?" Yolanda asked Laurel. "Ritual deflowering?"

"Him?" replied Laurel. "I'm sure Helen's taken care of that, love."

"He could deflower us," said Yolanda.

"Too late for that," retorted Laurel.

"Hey, I can pretend. Besides, it's the thought that counts."

They were each hanging onto his shoulders, talking across him. Bev was chuckling quietly to herself. Me, I wasn't laughing, I was... I was aroused, to be honest.

"Then we're already too late," said Laurel. "He's been thinking about deflowering us for ten minutes now."

"Or longer."

"Or longer," agreed Laurel. "Much longer, know what I mean, dearie?"

"This is getting a bit thick, don't you think?" interrupted Brian. "I need to go home before you get me in trouble here."

"Surely, you are not turning your back on our hospitality?" asked Laurel.

"No, you mustn't," cooed Yolanda. She had rubbed her bodice against his arm, her nipples were almost exposed.

"Maybe your lady wife would like to help us," said Laurel.

"We're not married," Brian argued, "and if you keep this up, we probably never will be."

"How about it, dearie?" said Yolanda to me.

I shook my head. The idea of these girls seducing Brian was exciting, but I didn't want to share him. "We can't just steal Bev's apartment and leave her alone."

"Why not?" "We did last week," they said. "Charles was very obliging."

I looked at Bev. She nodded, grinning. "Yeah, after you left it got interesting. Poor Charles. I didn't get much sleep. I'm surprised my neighbors didn't call the cops. Hell, I'm surprised Charles didn't call the cops. Probably didn't have the energy to make the call."

Yolanda took Brian's head between her hands, but rather than turning his face towards her, which I thought she was doing, she twisted his head away from her, and into Laurel's lips. His eyes were wide for a moment, looking panicked at me. I shrugged and grinned at him, and in a moment he closed his eyes and seemed to be enjoying it.

Finally, Laurel broke free, and turned him back towards Yolanda. The latter fastened herself to his mouth, but was more demanding than Laurel had been. She took his hands in hers, tucked them up against her ribs, then leaned in close.

"Hey," said Laurel, after a time. "Leave some for me."

My stomach was feeling very strange by that point. It wasn't jealousy, I don't think. Seeing Brian's reaction was really turning me on, and I was very uneasy with the feeling. I don't know what I'd have done if they had succeeded in persuading him to go along with them.

But when he finally broke free, breathless, he shook his head. "No, my good wenches, much as I'd love to spend a pleasant evening in your company, I need to take my lady and depart this place."

Laurel pouted, but Yolanda said, "Hey, that was pretty good."

He hugged them and kissed their foreheads, then stood. With difficulty.

Yolanda hitched her bodice back up. From the flush in their faces, I'd say both girls were really hoping he'd be unable to say no.

As we walked to the parking lot, Brian expressed his bewilderment. "I couldn't believe they were serious."

"Oh, they were serious," I said. "You wanna go back in there and try calling their bluff?"

"No, no, I believe it now. You know, if I'd had even a little to drink, or if you hadn't been there, I don't know if..."

I knew what he meant. I'd thought at first that they were just flirting, as I'd seen them do plenty at the Faire. I think it just built from there for them. Charles was unattached, I can't believe they'd seriously considered making a play for a guy whose girlfriend sat across from him... until I'd said okay, and until things started to get out of hand.

In the parking lot, he grabbed me, and we spent minutes trying to devour each other. His hands were on my hips, and I wanted... God, I wanted...

"I made the right choice," he said, hoarsely.

"Get me home, right now."

In the end, I'm not sure if Brian wouldn't have had a more relaxing night if he had succumbed to the wenches' charms. The episode had left both of us unbelievably aroused, and I made sure that we didn't lose the feeling during the far-too-long drive home. Even though it meant that Brian had to drive especially carefully...

Monday I survived work, weary and with a splitting headache. Brian came home late, not much better than me, even though he hadn't been drinking Sunday.

"You have interesting friends," he said.

"Yeah. I hope you're okay with last night."

He shrugged. "I enjoyed it. There's no point pretending I didn't."

I shook my head. "Any regrets?"

"Well, you know... I'm glad you were there."

"What would have happened if I hadn't been?"

"Jesus, I don't know." He thought for a moment. "I wouldn't have let it go that far, I think. It was only because you were there, and you seemed to be encouraging them."

"Oh, I was."

"Why?" he asked, suddenly. "Were you testing me?"

"No," I said immediately. "No, I wasn't. I was... I don't know what I was doing. I was enjoying it. Very much. If you'd gone with them, God, I don't know how I would have felt, but I wouldn't have held it against you."

"Really?" he asked, in obvious disbelief.

"No, I don't think I would... I knew it was a possibility. Hell, I thought you would, the way you couldn't keep your eyes off Yolanda's... revelations."

He colored slightly.

"That's okay," I said, "they would have been hard to avoid. But no, it wasn't a test."

Brian seemed satisfied with the answer. But I wonder... if I'd accepted Laurel's invitation to participate, would he still have refused? Would he have been disappointed with me for getting into something like that? Or would he have accepted because it was what I wanted, not what he wanted? I'd hate to push him into something that he'll later regret.

Although I think it would have taken very little for him to have made a different decision.


Brian and I drove down to a nursery today. It's a place I have always liked to go, but Brian had never been. This is a really cool place with mainly native plants and knowledgeable staff. I spent a lot on perennials and antique roses. Brian contented himself with looking, but he didn't seem bored.

We planted most of the flowers but left the roses until tomorrow, because I want to prepare the beds.


Morning at the hardware store, buying peat and compost for the flower beds. Afternoon wielding a shovel, planting the roses.

Not an hour after we finished, a thunderstorm rolled in, drenching everything.

I made the mistake of calling my mother. Will I never learn? She was nice as pie for a few minutes, then started in on Rob, how could he have left that perfect wife? Not that she had such good words for Pam when they were married. Didn't he know better than to get a girl "in trouble"? She as much as called Clarice a whore. I don't know if she knew that Clarice is my best friend. I certainly didn't want to add that as a factor if she didn't, so I did my best to ignore it.

Obviously, Rob had finally told her about Clarice. I managed to excuse myself and hang up before I started screaming at her.

We went over to Clarice's in the evening for a month-delayed birthday celebration for her, and I talked to Rob about Mom. He said that when he'd talked to her she'd been shocked, but had sounded unconcerned. Apparently she saved the viciousness up for me.

Clarice is beginning to balloon :-) She looks so good, though.