Stephen Heart came to live with his mother and stepfather, the Hamilton's, when Jode was ten. At the time, he was thirteen and Jode thought he was pretty handsome although different because of his deep auburn-brown hair that contrasted with his dark skin.
He had pretended she didn't exist for a couple of weeks when he came, until one day when he came to get Kasey down at Jode's house.
"Mom said come home," he ordered his sister gruffly.
Kasey immediately left, leaving him alone with her best friend. Although Jode's mother was home, Karen Price paid more attention to the idiot box than she did her own daughter - which Jode found out later, it was because of several miscarriages her mother experienced, but at the time her parents kept this all from her. Jode didn't find this out until she was seventeen, away at college and her father called to let her know Karen had taken an overdose of sleeping pills.
Stephen stood above her looking down as if Jode had done something to him. She met his burnt-orange eyes, waiting for his next move. Without any warning, he grabbed a handful of skin, pinching so hard tears actually sprung from her eyes.
"Why'd you do that?!" she cried, rubbing the bruised area.
"Because I can," he snickered, and then shoved her to the ground. "And you better keep your stupid mouth close, slim." He walked away.
More events of this nature started to happen at least once a week. He would wait until she was alone - either walking home from school or going to and from the store. Once on her way home from school, he grabbed her kicking and screaming and carried her over his shoulder like a potato sack behind an abandoned building where he threw her to the ground, then laid on top of her. His hand covered her mouth and nose. When she stopped struggling and screaming he removed his hand to only replace with his mouth. Jode tried to fight even more, but it was useless.
He was bigger and stronger.
When she ceased her fighting he'd jump up and run away.
This attack would happen every once in a while between the pinching, shoving, and pigtail burning.
Kasey realized her friend was terrified of Stephen and told her father about Stephen scarring her, but Jode would never tell her or Kasey's father the details, too scared of what Stephen may do to her.
# # #
"Eric ordered Stephen to leave me be and I think it got worse after that because he'd wait until I would be alone for long periods of time. Sometimes he'd make me late coming home just holding me down and groping me until I was crying and begging, or once he stuffed me in a locker after school when he snuck in the middle school. He always knew where I'd be alone as if he were stalking me all the time. Sometimes he'd just pinched me, and other times he'd make me kiss him for a long time."
"Make you, Jode?" Kevin questioned.
Jode sighed tiredly pretending she didn’t hear her friend and continued.
# # #
Stephen had come to get his sister for his mother. Kasey convinced Jode that if they hid he wouldn't be able to bother Jode. There was this space behind the garage, which was like a clubhouse to them. Jode's father had built a shelter where the girl's could play.
At thirteen, Jode and Kasey thought this was a perfect hiding place, but Stephen found them and chased both girl's around the backyard until he caught Jode. He picked up her writhing body and threw her over his shoulder like a potato sack.
Kasey tried to fight him, but Stephen only shoved her into a pile of leaves.
"Leave her alone!" Kasey demanded. "Daddy said to stop bothering her."
"Shut your mouth and go home!" he ordered.
Jode moaned in desperation.
"You won't hurt her, Stevie, will you?" Kasey asked worriedly.
"GO!" he ordered.
"I'll be right back Jode," Kasey promised her friend and ran off leaving them alone.
Jode cried softly defeated. He dumped her in the pile of leaves and before she could scramble up, Stephen pinned her to the ground in the same fashion he always had. Today she wore a skirt and it was hiked above her crotch.
She tried to twist away, but he pulled on her arms until the pain in her shoulders made her cry out and become still.
"Do it!" he ordered above her.
"Stephen no! Please - ouch"
He was pulling her arms upwards. "Do it and you'll get it good if I even feel those damn braces."
Shivering, she raised her head up, pressing her lips together and connected her mouth to his. Instinctively parting her lips, her tongue moved to intertwine with his own until he moved away just a little and she laid her head back down to the ground.
"More," he ordered.
Her neck hurt from craning to meet his lips. He made nothing easy for her. "No more, please," she begged.
His hand came up to her chin to hold her head upward. "You'll do it until I say so, slim. Now do it."
She slowly parted her lips and extended her tongue between them. His mouth descended and -
# # #
"Good Lord, Jode that wasn't bullying! It was molestation!" Kevin interrupted.
"Are you going to let me finish?"
He ignored this impatient question. “How old were you on this incident?”
Jode had to think about it, but finally answered, “thirteen.”
“You were just a baby! He bullied you like this since you were ten?”
Shaking her head, she said, “It started about a year after he moved in. I’m bunching them all together, but it was few and far between. Sometimes I’d see him alone and he’d just pretend I wasn’t there.”
"Why didn't you tell anyone?"
Jode shrugged. "He told me if I did I would get in just as much trouble, so I kept it a secret."
He sighed concerned. "And you've never confronted him about what he did?"
"It was all part of some game of bullying. I just don't know why he chose me. I was lanky, pimple faced, with braces. By the time he hit high school all the girls his age and not his age wanted him."
"But he picked on you only? Are you sure there weren't others?"
"Kasey would know. I even heard once Eric and Kasey's mother, Michelle, discussing about the fact that he didn't seem to be interested in any girls, but he was definitely not gay." She blushed. "Now can I finish?"
Still appalled, Kevin asked, "What else is there?"
# # #
Their tongues moved together like a symphony. By this time she knew what he wanted from her when it came to kissing and she was an excellent student, learning fast. He let go of her wrist and chin. Instinctively her arms circled his neck and shoulders and his hand moved down to the side of her body. He moved over on her side never breaking the kiss and his hand descended down under her skirt and into her underwear. This had been his first venture between her legs, but Jode's body responded by parting her legs to give him full access.
His finger slid easily between her virgin skin fueled by her own wetness, brushing the sensitive nub making her shudder, then she gasped as he pressed gently inside of her.
A car door slammed nearby breaking the moment and the kiss. Both their eyes looked down to where his hand stayed and when their eyes met they both knew he'd crossed into a new territory very forbidden.
His eyes seemed to glisten and dance before her. Jode had never seen him look that way.
Footsteps coming broke the tension and he jerked up and leaped over the backyard fence into the next yard to escape.
Jode's father reappeared over her asking if she was all right. She lied and told him she was, and then followed him in the house. As always she went straight to the bathroom and brushed her teeth repeatedly. She then took the longest hottest shower and scrubbed her skin until it was raw and sore, trying to rub the internal guilt of what she had done with Stephen away.
Kasey called her before dinner to let her know she hadn't returned because Michelle told Kasey they were going to have a sleepover to celebrate her past birthday last weekend with a sleepover. Jode tried to be happy, but after her ordeal with Stephen it was hard, until Kasey swore her mother would order Stephen to his room for the whole night. Jode was very grateful.
Along with Jode, Kasey invited Tonya and Rita Mitchell (fraternal twins that were like fat and skinny) and Andrea Parker. All of them were in the same grade with Andrea being the oldest since she'd dropped back a grade. She had a major crush on Stephen and often told her group of friends they would marry. In the past, Andrea told Kasey it was best if Kasey dumped Jode as a best friend and took her on since they would be sisters once Andrea married Stephen.
Kasey told Andrea that was a load of bull and Jode would be her best friend until eternity ended.
The night of the party, Jode was having a great time. Being an only child, any chance to get out the house was fantastic. Kasey's mother was a wonderful hostess. She had pizza kits and chocolate ice cream then let the girl's bunk down in the living room watching horror movies before she went to her bedroom.
Eric was away on a business trip.
All the girls sat up and started gossiping about different thing keeping their voices low.
Andrea asked everyone, "Has anyone seen a boy's thing?"
"It's called a penis," Tonya snipped. "And we have." Indicating her sister also.
Kasey and Jode giggled quietly.
"Where?" Andrea asked.
Rita, the pudgy one, said, "When our cousin Jackson moved in, he was lying on the basement couch after he'd taken a shower. Me and Tonya sat on the basement stairs while he watched a dirty move and touched himself."
Tonya's eyes went as big as saucers. "It grew!"
"Of course it grows, silly," Andrea always acted like the know-it-all.
"Have you seen one?" Tonya challenged her.
"Me and this boy was kissing and he asked me to show him my stuff. I told him I would if I saw his first. He did and he even let me touch it."
"Was it big?" Kasey asked.
"No," Andrea said disappointedly.
"The one I saw was," Kasey confessed.
Tonya and Rita gasped. "Who?"
Kasey blushed. "My brother."
All the rest, except Jode, leaned into hear more.
"He was getting out the shower and I opened the door. It was so long!"
"Did it grow?" Rita asked.
"No, it was soft, but long and thick."
"Like a hot dog?" Andrea teased.
Kasey shook her head seriously. "A polish sausage."
This sent them all in a fit of giggles. Jode only laugh cause she would have looked out of place if she didn’t. Everyone looked at her for a confession.
"I've never seen one," Jode confessed. She knew this was because she didn't have any males in the house, except her father who only took his clothes off in his room, and she wasn't pretty enough to have any boy wanting to touch her like Andrea. Admitting this made her seem like a baby compared to the other girls.
"You're not missing anything," Kasey snorted.
They laughed again.
"I wish I could have seen it," Andrea said to Kasey, referring back to Stephen. "I think he's so cute and I bet he looks real nice without clothes."
"Why don't you go up there now? He sleeps naked,” Kasey teased disgusted at Andrea’s wantonness to her brother.
Andrea didn’t care what Kasey thought. She gasped excitedly, "No way! How do you know this?"
"Because when I go sometimes to wake him up, his hairy butt is sticking out the covers.” Kasey dramatically choked in repugnance. “I heard my mother tell my dad that he's overdeveloped like his dad - whatever that means."
They peeled in another round of laughter. Jode again only laughed because the rest of them laughed.
All of them finally dozed off asleep, Jode and Kasey being the last ones.
Jode was awakened near daybreak fighting for air. Her eyes popped open to stare up into Stephen's upside down face.
"Get up and follow me," he sneered.
Quietly, she got up and in the darkness he took her hand to lead her upstairs to his room. Once he dragged her inside, he closed the door and turned on a small lamp. This was the first time in his room, because he kept it locked tighter than Fort Knox whenever she came over with Kasey, who never dared to venture in. It was a normal blue color with the usual current hit singers of the eighties on the wall. There was a bookshelf on the wall with different schoolbooks, a set of encyclopedia's, other reference books and a collection of Iceberg Slim books.
The sound of his voice so low drew her attention back to him. "Take off your clothes," he ordered.
Defying him of course would be some sick punishment he'd already planned for her, yet this went pass torture and she knew it, but was hopeless in stopping. Once she stood bare in front of him, he ordered her to lie on the bed.
She did and waited as he moved along side of her. Automatically her arms moved above her head and she waited for his next command. His eyes moved from her mouth down her body and he saw her flushed knowing his eyes didn't miss anything.
One hand supported his head to give him the leverage to look down at her, while his other hand was free to roam her body starting at her neck, moving over the small of her breast. At fourteen, her body was just developing. Her breasts were still tender and the womanly curve of her waist had just started to show.
Jode never broke eye contact with him, knowing he was waiting to defeat her, even as tears streamed from her eyes in humility. "Please-"
His finger pressed against her lips to stop her words. "Can you tell me you've never been touched like this?" he asked as his finger lightly rubbed against her bottom lip.
His inquiry caught her off guard. There was a weird need in his voice. "No," she answered in a whisper.
She blushed. "Boy's don't like me like that."
"And no ones touched your lips like me, slim?"
His response was to kiss her on his lips, neck, chest, then-
Red Heart Chapter 4 (c) Sylvia Hubbard