Chapter Description: The second half of Thanksgiving dinner is as bad (or worse) than the first half. Anna has no choice but to sit and hope for the best when the men around her feel like sharks circling. In the course of sitting with the family she discovers something about herself that leaves her shocked.
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Anna knew she wasn’t acting according to the rules laid out by Ryan but she couldn’t sit there for another minute whilst she was groped at like that. She hurried out of the dining hall and into hallway which headed back towards to the main Foyer entrance. If she could’ve she would’ve kept walking all the way out of the house and then down to the car.
“Anna?” Ryan’s voice stopped her. She could hear him hurrying down the hall until he was stood in front of her again, “What’s going on? Are you feeling OK?”
“Your father…” Anna was trembling slightly, “He… grabbed by knee.”
“I was worried this would happen.” Ryan massaged his temples, “I’m sorry. He’s…”
“An asshole!” Anna exclaimed. Her voice was raised enough that Ryan looked over his shoulder to make sure no one heard her.
“Look, just take your time and calm down.” Ryan said.
“Can’t I just go to our room?” Anna asked.
“My father wants everyone to do as he says.” Ryan replied, “If he doesn’t get his way he gets… angry.”
“Ugh, fine.” Anna finally said, “Just give me a moment.”
“Of course.” Ryan replied.
Anna expected her husband to turn away and return to the dining room but instead he simply backed up a couple of paces and looked at the wallpaper as if there was something on it to interest him. Anna held out her hands to say “what are you still doing here?”
“Sorry.” Ryan shrugged, “My father told me to bring you back and…Wait, are you?”
“Shh.” Anna hissed as her cheeks went red.
Anna had frozen in place and was looking past Ryan and back down the corridor as she relaxed her bladder. She hadn’t been allowed to go to the bathroom so this was, of course, inevitable. She felt embarrassed as Ryan looked down at her crotch before remembering his manners and belatedly turning away.
The splashing warmth spread around the disposable diaper and Anna shivered slightly as she finally finished. The wet padding was so much thicker and spongier than when it was dry, she could feel the outer plastic of the diaper being pulled tight by the new weight she had put into it. With only a short dress on she felt like the bottom of her diaper would now be poking out below the high hemline.
“Alright, let’s go…” Anna finally said when she was done.
“Oh, one more thing… Sorry.” Ryan reached into his pocket and pulled out one of Anna’s pacifiers, “I’ve got to look like I’m in control…”
Anna sighed but opened her mouth. The pacifier was pushed between her lips and she took Ryan’s hand as he led her back to the dining room. All eyes turned to her as she waddled into the room, she kept her eyes down to the ground as she took her seat again. She looked down at the plate of food in front of her and was grateful for the pacifier making a convenient excuse not to eat because she was anything but hungry.
“Do you have something to say to Michael?” Harold asked as she settled in her chair.
Anna frowned. She wasn’t sure what she was supposed to say to the man who had just freely groped at her like that. She wanted to ignore the question but people were turning her way.
“You should apologize.” Michelle suggested before quickly looking down at the table when Harold stared at her.
“For… what?” Anna asked around the pacifier.
“I think what she means is…” Ryan started as he seemed to search around for words, “What should she apologize for first. Go on Anna, apologize to my father for making a scene.”
Anna looked at Ryan with hurt eyes. It didn’t matter if she knew that he was only doing what he had to do to keep them both safe it still stung. She was really expected to apologize to the man sexually harassing her at the dinner table. Her whole body shook as the rational side of her brain desperately tried to force the anger back into a box.
“I’m sorry.” Anna finally mumbled around the soother.
“What was that?” Michael asked as if he hadn’t heard what she had said.
“I’m sorry for making a scene.” Anna said louder.
Anna’s face was staring down at the table but she looked out of the corner of her eye to see Michael smirking. He waved his hand like it was nothing, like he hadn’t just seen the whole of the table basically demand she say sorry. A tear fell from Anna’s eye directly on to the food on her plate.
“You need to keep an eye on her.” Harold said towards Ryan, “I’m telling you, if you start letting her think she can get away with these displays you’ll have a big problem. She’s too headstrong for her own good.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” Ryan replied as politely as he could manage.
“We should all say what we’re thankful for.” Michael finally said when everyone was settled again. It seemed that Anna’s humiliation didn’t warrant even the barest of acknowledgements from Ryan’s father.
“That’s a brilliant idea.” Howard nodded his head sycophantically.
“I’ll start.” Michael said with a big smile. He looked down the long table to where his wife was sat alone and for a second Anna thought he was about to make a romantic gesture, “I’m thankful for my wife’s excellent surgeon! Hey, son, I can give you his number if you want. Anna here could use a few upgrades.”
Anna turned red as the men laughed. She knew Ryan had to join in to keep up the charade but it didn’t lessen the pain it caused. She shivered as she imagined an alternate reality in which Ryan would follow in his father’s footsteps, a reality where she would end up like Annie. She couldn’t imagine being turned into something like her.
“Well I’m thankful that my daughter’s in-laws are such wonderful people.” Howard’s sucking up to the richer Michael was equal parts pathetic and depressing to Anna, “We couldn’t hope to be connected to a better family… or a better golfer.”
Michael laughed heartily and reached over to smack Howard on the shoulder. Anna was just glad the focus was off herself at least temporarily.
“How about you, Ryan?” Howard asked as he turned to the other side of the table where Ryan and Anna sat.
“Me?” Ryan foundered for a few seconds, “Well, I… I guess I’m thankful for Anna…”
Anna looked up from the table for the first time since sitting back down and she could see everyone else was looking at Ryan as well. Ryan, meanwhile, was looking down at his plate and was looking a little red.
“She is everything I wanted.” Ryan finished with a shrug.
For a second there was silence around the table and when Anna glanced at her parents and Michael it felt like they were trying to decide how to react. She sat there with baited breath and struggled to keep the little smile that was developing from being noticed by the others.
“I think what my son is trying to say…” Michael finally broke the awkward silence, “Is that Anna is fantastic in the sack! I have to say you’ve trained her well, she was like a wild animal when I first met her and now she’s a docile little housecat.”
All the men started laughing again, including Ryan. Anna didn’t mind this time. Even it was their little secret she understood what Ryan’s real meaning. She felt her heart swelling as she smiled. She felt warmth flood through her system as she thought about her husband, she wanted to reach out and hold him. To kiss him…
“Oh God!” Anna thought as she felt a sinking feeling of realization in her tummy, “Am I really falling in love with him.”
Anna almost felt like she needed to excuse herself from the table again. Her face was going red and she was sucking on the pacifier almost subconsciously to calm herself down just a little. Her heart was beating much faster than normal and her mind quickly became a whirl of thoughts. What she really needed something that would break up this situation.
“How about we go through to the lounge?” Michael asked as he leaned back in his seat and drank from his glass, “I’ve got some fine brandy in there and some cigars that were imported just last week. They are incredible.”
“That sounds wonderful.” Howard said with a wide smile, “But what about the…”
“The women?” Michael waved a hand dismissively, “We have something set up for them. Annie is well trained in that department. Come on.”
Anna thought that the way Michael talked about his wife was like an owner who was particularly proud of a trick his puppy learnt. She felt a lurch in her abdomen as she watched Ryan stand up next to her. He looked down and gave her a quick smile before walking away with the other men. Anna looked around at her mother who was still smiling politely, meanwhile Annie stared straight ahead until the men left the room and then stood up. Her movements were almost robotic with how precise they were. Anna wondered how much of her mother-in-law’s personality truly remained.
Annie waved for the other two women to follow her. Anna had to be honest, she wasn’t entirely sure if the poor woman could speak, she certainly wouldn’t have put it past Michael to render his wife a mute.
Anna was the last of the three women to leave the dining room. No one spoke as they made their way out to the hallway and then up the stairs. The only sounds that echoed off the high and wide corridors were the clacking of high-heels and the crinkle of diapers. The women traipsed down a long hallway to a door that had a sign hanging from it that said “Female’s Lounge.”
Annie opened the door to allow the two guests to walk in. When Anna stepped inside she could only shake her head though she didn’t know what else she could possibly have expected. The “female’s lounge” was basically just another nursery, but it was one that had been obscenely set up as if it were a proper lounge. Instead of big leather chairs there were small plastic ones, instead of bottles of alcohol there were bottles of milk and juice, instead of cigars to suck on there were pacifiers. A little play table was set up in the middle of the room with coloring material on it and other toys were scattered around.
“Figures.” Anna mumbled around her pacifier.
Once all three women were in the room Annie closed the door and walked wordlessly towards the table. Anna went to follow when her mother turned and wrapped her in the tightest hug she had ever experienced.
“I’m so glad to see you’re alright!” Michelle sounded like she was sobbing. Emotions pent up for weeks flooding out.
Anna didn’t know what to say. She knew her mother was trapped in this society just like she was but she still felt a little resentment towards her. She let Michelle hug her for a little bit before untangling herself.
“I’m fine, mom.” Anna said.
“I know, I know.” Michelle was wiping her eyes. She was wearing a pair of denim shortalls that bulged with the thick diapers underneath, “How has Ryan been? Are you sure you’re alright? He hasn’t hurt you has he? He hasn’t mentioned… surgery, has he?”
Anna saw her adoptive mother glance warily towards Annie as she asked the last question. For a second Anna laughed before she realised how weird that reaction was. She considered coming clean with Michelle and explaining that Ryan wasn’t all that bad at all, that she liked him and he liked her and that she thought she might…
Anna stopped herself before she got carried away. She couldn’t say anything about the true nature of her relationship with Ryan, she couldn’t tell her mother that she was actually alright for the most part. It pained her to make her mom worry about her but it was the only way they could keep up the deception. Still, she didn’t need to lie necessarily.
“No, Ryan hasn’t mentioned anything about surgery.” Anna said. She belatedly pulled the pacifier out of her mouth.
“That’s a relief.” Michelle said as she sat down on one of the small chairs, “It’s just I know you can be a bit prickly and-”
“Prickly?” Anna felt somewhat affronted even if she knew her mother was right.
“I just mean that these sorts of people… they don’t tolerate insubordination.” Michelle replied.
The next couple of hours felt exceptionally awkward for Anna. Her mother had a barrage of questions about everything going on in her life and all Anna could do was lie. It was exhausting having to keep track of everything she was making up. She had to tell her mother that she was worked to the bone and not shown an ounce of respect, keeping her story straight made it feel like she was being interrogated. In the end she left herself feeling miserable about this fictional alternate reality she had constructed.
By the time there was footsteps outside of the door Anna was very ready to go back to her room. She was tired and her diaper, as much as she hated to admit it, was soaked. The door opened and the men appeared. Ryan quickly beckoned Anna over and the pair of them were soon back in their guest bedroom. It seemed he was in just as much of a rush as she was.
“Are you alright?” Ryan asked as soon as he was sure there was no one in earshot.
“Yeah.” Anna replied as she walked over and sat on the bed, “Just exhausted. Who knew lying all the time was so tiring?”
“I know.” Ryan snorted as he walked away from the door and towards the en suite bathroom, “Don’t forget how this marriage started. I spent weeks having to lie and pretend that I saw you as a baby and maid rather than the beau-… erm, rather than who you are. I’m surprised I could keep the charade up as long as I did.”
Anna nodded. She stretched out as Ryan went into the bathroom. Anna could hear the water running in the sink as she looked around the room again. She reached down to her diaper and felt the thick padding that had expanded massively over the hours since she had been put in it.
“I think I’ll need a change.” Anna said as Ryan walked back into the room.
“I would’ve thought you would’ve done that whilst I was in there.” Ryan replied as he pointed to the bathroom.
“I just thought you should do it.” Anna said as she looked down, “What if someone walked in and I was changing myself?”
“Sure. You’re right.” Ryan said as he went over to the suitcase and pulled out a fresh diaper.
Anna laid back and tried not to smile or blush. It was pretty much impossible though as she could feel the heat rising in her face. Whilst this did indeed keep up the deception she would be lying if she said she was upset with the arrangement. She could barely even believe she was thinking that way, she felt so confused at her thoughts and emotions.
So wrapped up in her own mind Anna didn’t pay attention as baby wipes touched against her private areas she jumped at the sudden touch but couldn’t help a small moan escaping her, the wet wipe felt like it was a source of electricity and when it was pressed against her she felt it surge through her most delicate and sensitive nerve endings.
“Sorry.” Ryan muttered.
Anna’s eyes widened at the entirely unexpected reaction. She dared to look at Ryan but it was impossible to tell if he had noticed that her response hadn’t just been shock. Anna felt more confused than ever, she had never liked a man even as a friend before so the feelings that were now swirling through her mind were strange and confusing.
It wasn’t long before a fresh diaper was pulled up between Anna’s legs and taped closed. Once that was done Anna was happy to crawl into bed. She was exhausted and couldn’t wait to leave the following day. The only negative being that they wouldn’t be leaving until the afternoon.
“Goodnight.” Ryan said as he slipped under the covers as well.
“G’night.” Anna replied sleepily.