“From the beginning of the program, under the Metz administration, New Modesty communities have had a good deal of latitude in developing their policies with regard to the guidance given for young couples’ bedrooms,” said Doctor Francis, in a voice so bland that Willa had to concentrate very hard on the words to extract any meaning. The family doctor’s generally avuncular tone came across so strongly that Willa could hardly grasp anything concrete at all about what he said—besides, of course, what every inch of his white coat and every movement of the stethoscope in his pocket seemed to tell her: I’m your healthcare professional, and I’m here to help.
What Doctor Francis said, though, had entered a realm that made a hot rush of blood come into Willa’s face. She had visited the clinic on Main Street in the little New Modesty community of Red Creek twice before, and those appointments hadn’t involved the word bedroom.
Willa Stevens’ parents had settled in Red Creek after Willa, the younger of their two girls, had turned eighteen. Nineteen now, Willa had found Doctor Francis just as helpful a town physician as everyone said he was—after one of his nurses had done her gynecological exams he had spoken with Willa in just this bland way and reassured her that her health was perfect.
As her high school’s tennis team’s top player, now working as a junior pro at the Red Creek country club, that meant a good deal to Willa. She had given up the pipedream of a real pro career, but she planned to keep playing tournaments for the joy of it, even after she and Rex got married.
Saturday. Only three days, now. It hardly seemed real. Rex Mason: twenty-five, six-foot-one, clean-shaven so that you could see the seriously breathtaking strength of his chin. Sitting in Doctor Francis’ office trying to pay attention to the physician’s words and figure out what she must do to finish her paperwork, she got lost in a daydream of her match with Rex at the club on Sunday.
He had come closer to beating her than he ever had before; he had begun to discover her little weaknesses at last, and Willa knew the day would probably come very soon when her fiancé—her husband by then—would exploit her two-handed backhand with his passing shot just enough to negate her net game. That made her smile. Willa had fallen for him, though she had never even told Rex this, because he had come the closest to beating her of any man at the club. She saw the smile on his face that had said Rex, too, knew he would take a match from her in the next few weeks, but that he felt no impatience.
Just as he seemed to feel no impatience about waiting to be fully intimate with Willa. Well, not much impatience. She had told him on their third date, six months before, that she wanted to wait for marriage, moving his big hand from the front of her sweater—where it had felt so very good that Willa had needed every ounce of willpower to tell Rex no. He had nodded gravely, though she had seen both disappointment and a kind of fiery hunger in his dark eyes that had made butterflies flutter in her tummy.
“Are you sure?” he had asked very seriously. “You know the rules in Red Creek, right?”
Sitting in his car outside her family’s home, after the best date of her life, Willa hadn’t felt completely sure. She did know the New Modesty rules, though: she had learned them in the wellness class she had had to take after moving to Red Creek. Her older sister June, at twenty-one, had attended a different kind of orientation for singles, and their parents had gone to the couples seminar. June and Willa had found their courses so embarrassing that they never spoke to one another about them, and Irene and Bob Stevens seemed content to let the town administration take care of orienting their daughters to their new lives in Red Creek.
June had started dating Rex’s best friend Greg Shaughnessy soon after they had arrived, and their wedding had happened only three months before Rex proposed to Willa. The Stevenses’ idea of moving to Red Creek, where the New Modesty’s corporate partners subsidized wedding expenses for couples who agreed to adhere to traditional family structure, had paid off.
As the rules allowed, Greg had, with June’s permission, gone to their father to tell him that he intended to be intimate with June, after their fourth date. June had confided in Willa about the momentous occasion, or else Willa wouldn’t have known about it at all—or about the disapproval June had seen in Mr. Stevens’ face the next morning, though their father loved his daughters so much that Willa herself had never even seen him frown at June.
Willa hadn’t heard anything about that night, or about what happened in June and Greg’s bedroom. How could she help being curious, though it turned her face crimson to think about it? Before Greg had gone to Mr. Stevens to inform him of the upcoming intimacy—as was a boyfriend’s right, according to the rules, after a third date—Willa had intended, in a vague way, to save herself for marriage. The hot blush she had experienced when June had told her about the look on their dad’s face the first time he had seen his no-longer-virgin older daughter had turned that idea into a solid fact.
So she had nodded to Rex, in the car after their third date, and that had represented the end of it. They had kissed goodnight, then, and on their fourth date, too, after he had proposed. Those kisses, and the ones since, had a good deal of heat in them—Willa didn’t have a huge amount of experience, true, but she had gone on a lot of dates both before and after moving to Red Creek, and kissed a fair number of boys.
Rex’s kisses made her almost think she wouldn’t move his hand if he put it on her shirt, or even under it, but like the true old-fashioned gentleman he had told her he aspired to be, he never did. His tongue could get positively indecent, as if he wanted to remind her about everything she had learned in wellness class about what happened in a young couple’s bedroom. He could make Willa almost pant with a kind of need she wouldn’t even let herself name. But his hands stayed on her head, or her shoulders, or her back. Never any further down, though Willa could feel her resolve weakening as one of his dominant kisses went on and on.
“Red Creek is kind of a special community, within the New Modesty program,” Doctor Francis said. Willa frowned, her mind again trying to put together the doctor’s words into a meaning that would make sense in the context of this premarital checkup.
Willa had supposed, given her experience of Doctor Francis’ office, that she would have a blood test and—because of the embarrassing, frankly pretty invasive nature of the New Modesty program—maybe a gynecological exam from one of the nurses though she wasn’t due for one for a few months. She had thought it must mostly represent a paperwork thing, since she knew the towns that had survived by going to NM in the midst of the global slowdown needed to dot the i’s and cross the t’s if they wanted to keep the money flowing and the lights on—pretty much literally, with the energy system falling apart.
No one Willa knew seemed really to understand the rationale behind the New Modesty, beyond its basic appeal to old-fashioned values. That appeal had definitely attracted her parents, and Willa and June, old enough to strike out on their own, had instead followed dutifully. They had signed the papers that pledged them to uphold the community’s traditions of family life or face traditional consequences of a nature so embarrassing Willa never thought about them.
Now, like every citizen of the town—all of them eighteen or older, a requirement for residence in an NM community—Willa received a subsidy check. If she wanted to keep receiving it, and she wanted her wedding paid for, she had to get Doctor Francis’ signature on the premarital checkup form.
So she had to figure out what the physician had begun to tell her: something about things in the bedroom, in Red Creek, being… what? Different? Special? Willa frowned and concentrated on the actual meanings of the words emerging from Doctor Francis’ pleasant, avuncular mouth.
“When the town fathers applied for a New Modesty franchise, a few years back, they requested that a certain traditional practice that had served the town well for nigh-on two hundred years be made part of their official charter under the New Modesty administration.”
Willa felt her frown deepen. “What kind of… practice?” she asked.
“Well, I know how this sounds, Willa, but a part of the tradition is that your husband is going to be the one to tell you about it. You’ll find out on your wedding night.”
Willa’s lips parted, but she couldn’t think of a single thing to say. Her cheeks felt as hot as an oven.
Finally she stammered, “Can’t you… I mean, Doctor… can’t you… tell me anything?”
Doctor Francis shook his head kindly. “I’m afraid not. My job here is to make sure you understand that when…” he looked down at the file on his desk, “…Rex tells you about what happens on a girl’s wedding night here in Red Creek, you’re ready to do as he says, and you don’t make a fuss about it.”
“But…” Willa protested. “But why are… why are you telling me, Doctor?”
A slight frown appeared on Doctor Francis’ face at that. “I think that should be fairly obvious, Willa,” he said. He glanced down again at the file. “I see you passed your wellness course with a B+, which indicates that you have a pretty good understanding of what’s involved on a girl’s wedding night.”
Willa couldn’t look at him, now, as kind as his medical intentions seemed to be. She stared down at her hands, in the lap of her best blue miniskirt—she was supposed to have tea with her mom, June, Rex’s mother, and some of her mom’s friends at the country club after this appointment.
“Yes,” she mumbled. It had something to do with sex, clearly. Sex represented a delicate matter in New Modesty community: old-fashioned values existed, as Willa had learned in wellness class, to make sure its remarkable power didn’t prove too much for the orderly running of society and the family and the space in between.
So, Doctor Francis obviously wanted her to understand, the town’s family physician handled this part of the paperwork to ensure that there exist no possibility of miscommunication: old-fashioned values meant husband-led marriage, in Red Creek anyway—and something about how that worked might, it seemed, take an innocent, modest girl by surprise. Whatever it turned out to be, when Rex—whose family had lived in Red Creek for generations—told her about it, Willa would know that her bridegroom had the full authority of the community behind him.
“Well,” the doctor said, “why don’t you go ahead and take your clothes off for me, then, and hop up on the chair, and we’ll get the exam over with.”
Willa’s eyes rose to Doctor Francis’ face, and went very round, as her jaw dropped slightly, before she could manage to squeak, “But—”
The doctor raised a hand. “I know you’re used to having one of the nurses do your pelvic exam, honey. But for a premarital exam I’m the one who has to sign off. It won’t take very long—I’m just going to make sure you’re ready for a healthy beginning to your married life.”
Rex Mason looked at the plans his friend Greg Shaughnessy had just given him, on the table at Reilly’s, Red Creek’s oldest all-purpose café, bar, grill, and special-occasion restaurant. The last few years of New Modesty money, from the program’s corporate partners, had brought a couple of chain restaurants to the town’s shopping center, as well as a more tony bistro type of place, two doors down from Reilly’s.
Rex had taken Willa to Lutetia—the bistro—on a few dates, and he didn’t mind that kind of food sometimes, but Reilly’s was where it was at, and always had been, especially when hanging out with Greg. He couldn’t help smiling whenever he remembered that Willa felt the very same way, or when he imagined the years to come, with Willa and June and Greg and Rex around a table of a Reilly’s booth. Burgers and fries and even a milkshake sometimes, if they had just played a few sets.
Then, as they got older and the kids came for both couples, the dinners would move to the club, of course. Rex didn’t feel ready for that, and he knew Willa shared that view, despite her job being there at the end of West Desert Road. The club had represented an important part of Rex’s life for as long as he could remember—and, he knew, for longer than that, since his great-great-grandparents had helped found it as the successor to the ranchers’ monthly dances at the church hall.
Those Masons had sold all their cattle and turned the real estate boom of the 1920s into the making of their fortune, and Greg’s ancestors had followed suit: the Masons and the Shaughnessys had made Red Creek into the kind of place that had a country club. Hard times had come a century later, with the upheavals in energy markets and supply chains, but through the New Modesty program the corporate winners had stepped in to help the communities left high and dry by the slowdown—in Red Creek’s case, almost literally, since the pumps needed power to keep people alive and in town. Traditional lawns had been outlawed a year before the New Modesty stepped in, and the club’s golf course had been a subject of heated debate.
Now all that seemed a distant memory: Red Creek wasn’t booming—nowhere was booming, now. But Rex’s real estate office had a decent flow of customers, and Greg’s properties at the shopping center paid good—and rising—rents.
The time to get married and to start a family had come. At twenty-five, with a solid business and a girl who bewitched him daily, Rex felt on top of the world. He had envied Greg’s good fortune with June, when his friend had told him about asking her out at the club soon after the Stevenses had moved to town. Indeed, he had longed for the same kind of luck more than he had felt comfortable letting on: when he met willowy, brown-haired June’s sister, the petite, blonde Willa, he had fallen like a ton of bricks.
Rex had felt himself falling in love before he had even taken to the tennis court with her. The sight of her coming to net and punching a volley past him had threatened to undo him.
“Rex? You there?” Greg asked, after Rex had zoned out, not seeing the plans on the table but rather his future with Willa for several moments.
Rex looked up and laughed, a rather sheepish expression on his face.
Greg laughed too. “Thinking about Willa, right?”
The left corner of Rex’s mouth went up in a wry smile. He didn’t answer in words, but picked up his bottle and clinked it against Greg’s. “Fuckin’ A,” he said, and took a swig.
Greg chuckled. “Easy there. This is a New Modesty town, now, bro.”
Rex couldn’t help looking around, at his friend’s reminder of some of the less welcome changes the NM program had brought. Reilly’s did a fairly brisk business in the middle of the day, and a good deal of it naturally came from the newer people in town—people like the Stevenses, who had settled in Red Creek because of the emphasis on traditional values that the subsidy program had brought.
Establishments like Reilly’s, which had accepted subsidies, had agreed to maintain speech codes: even Rex Mason could get banned from his favorite watering hole for using offensive language. As a real estate developer, conscious of the importance of NM, Rex knew the dilemma Bill Grandy, a sixth-generation descendant of the original Reilly, would face in such a case.
In fact, Rex saw Bill had his eye on their table, from the other side of the bar. When Rex’s gaze fell on him, the owner raised his eyebrows and nodded. Rex returned the gesture with an apologetic look.
“Bro,” Greg said. “I need to get going in a few. Look at the plans and tell me if you think you’re going to need my help.”
Rex turned his attention back to the table. What he saw on the yellowing sheets of paper before him seemed particularly striking in its contrast with Greg’s admonition about the swearing. You couldn’t say Fuckin’ A in Reilly’s—or most of Red Creek’s business establishments—but you could pass on to your best friend the plans for a marriage saddle.
The town elders, whose number counted both Rex’s and Greg’s fathers, had made the preservation of Red Creek’s customs, established in the days of the town’s founding, an essential part of their agreement with the New Modesty authority. As the NM program had spread across the nation and even around the world, the ever-innovative minds in the executive suites of corporate partners—heck, you might just as well say it: Selecta—had made many such deals.
Rex couldn’t help admiring the business acumen involved. To increase NM’s reach, and thus Selecta’s influence and brand awareness, existing communities in more traditionally minded parts of the world received permission to include, in their franchise agreements, their own variations on the standard NM regulations.
It produced a win-win situation that many struggling communities found hard to keep down. Oak Hills, a few towns over, had made an agreement to allow cursing during their annual Shoot ‘em Up days each summer, as a valuable folkways tradition. Further afield, Rex’s dad had told him about a village in Japan that had won from Selecta the concession that women of eighteen and older be punished in cases of extreme disobedience with a cane slightly thicker than the one specified in the standard agreement. That sort of cane, Joe Mason had told Rex, had been used in the village for a thousand years—and it still would be, under the New Modesty, to enforce traditional values and the importance of discipline in the home.
The elders of Red Creek had happily accepted the specifications for corporal punishment laid down in the agreement Selecta had offered. Canes used in the correction of a disobedient or disrespectful girlfriend or wife were to be no thicker than a half-inch, and paddles, straps, and belts used for whipping must fall within analogous constraints.
Rex had just completed the NM-mandated training in how to discipline his bride the previous week, so these details remained quite fresh in his mind. As they should be, he thought to himself as he looked at the timeworn sheets of paper on the table.
He knew from Greg that June had given him some disciplinary problems since Greg had taken over her punishments, as occurred when a man informed a girl’s father of his intention to be intimate with her. According to her husband, June got the belt on a nearly weekly basis, for sassing Greg or failing to check in when out with her friends.
Rex knew discipline in the Stevens home had been rather lax, which probably explained June’s trouble. He could see in Willa at times, too, a rather confrontational spirit—when she argued a call on the tennis court, for example. It didn’t change his affection for his bride a bit, but Rex also suspected it would lead to more than one session over his knee or even over the arm of the sofa or the pillows on the bed, with his young wife’s panties around her knees as she learned a stern lesson in traditional family values.
He had no intention of sparing the rod with his young bride. If he had to whip her in the marriage saddle itself, the most extreme punishment a Red Creek wife could receive, he wouldn’t hesitate.
He finally focused on the plans. This set, he knew, had come from Rex’s dad to Greg: the tradition was that a friend passed saddle plans on, rather than a relation. That way the masculine half of the community as a whole remained in a sort of fraternal solidarity around the special practice, and social bonds stayed strong.
Since the adoption of the marriage saddle as the way of introducing a newly married girl to her sexual duties, more than a hundred years before, the town of Red Creek had had a vital means of letting younger men, just coming to the altar, learn from the experience of older ones. Greg might serve this function of giving Rex the plans, but Greg’s dad, Paul Shaughnessy, would be ready to give advice as well—not to mention half a dozen other men at the club, whom Rex might consult at any time. The training seminar had made clear to the soon-to-be-married men of Red Creek that while the New Modesty authority provided a good many resources for family life in and out of the bedroom, their town’s own traditions should hold at least equal importance for them.
The most notable of those traditions lay before Rex’s eyes now. At age eighteen, young men in Red Creek started to hear stories about the lives of their older friends. An occasional reference to the saddle crept in, but, as Greg had done a few moments since, older men cautioned younger ones not to speak out of turn about the marriage saddle, so that no one could get incorrect ideas about it. Rex, to this moment, had known for certain only what he had heard in the family discipline seminar: a bridegroom built a saddle for his bride, and showed it to her on their wedding night, telling her that if she misbehaved very badly she would have a naughty girl’s ride on it with the strap across her bare backside.
Now he could see from the plans Greg had just given him that the place Rex hadn’t let his mind go, with the information received at the seminar, represented precisely the place Red Creek’s founders had staked out for their novel device. If Rex had noticed the small drawing in the lower right corner of the document, he thought now, he would have focused on the plans with laser intensity from the moment Greg had put them down on the table.
It showed a marriage saddle in use. A girl of eighteen or so, to judge from the slimness of her thighs and the pertness of her bottom—which made up nearly the entirety of what the viewer could see—had been strapped down atop the leather covering of the wooden structure. The saddle itself looked a little like the front of a riding saddle, with the rising back cut off to leave the young woman’s bottom, and the untried charms between her legs, very much available.
The bride’s head, scarcely visible in the three-quarters view, hung down, her face averted. Her backside rose, secured by stout restraints at waist and knees that kept her thighs well apart, to greet her bridegroom, clearly in the act of inspecting her naked charms before taking her virginity. Despite the small size of the line drawing, Rex could easily make out the demure pout of the bride’s bare pussy and even the sweet little rose of her young anus.
Below the drawing, a brief caption ran.
The Red Creek marriage saddle, admirable in every respect for training a young bride in the ways of family life.
Willa felt tears come into the corners of her eyes as she stood up and turned toward the exam chair that stood at the other end of Doctor Francis’ office from his desk. She felt so silly for crying that it made her battle not to let a tear actually fall even harder.
Something about the idea that a part of her wedding night awaited her about which she knew nothing—a part to which Rex would introduce her, when he decided the time had come—made her tummy do flips even as her cheeks burned. It had to do with sex. Obviously. The expression on Doctor Francis’ face when he had asked if she remembered from wellness class what happened to a girl on her wedding night came back into Willa’s mind, and her nose prickled with the beginning of a sob.
But it’s just a checkup, she told herself as she pulled her pink-striped top off over her head and put it on the regular chair next to the exam chair. She looked down as her hands found the zipper of her skirt, so that she wouldn’t have to look at the doctor’s special chair itself: its stirrups always made Willa feel funny just to look at them, and she didn’t want to feel any funnier now if she could help it.
She saw her peach bralette, barely even necessary for her little breasts. Willa had considered not even wearing one today because her top’s fabric had enough thickness that it definitely wouldn’t show. The idea of Doctor Francis seeing her without a bra made her forehead crease, now, though she could hardly figure out why—the doctor would soon see so much more, wouldn’t he?
Her fingers managed the zipper of her pleated skirt, and Willa stooped automatically to step out of it. She thanked God that she had decided on nondescript gray briefs, thinking that it would be better to show panty lines at the club than to wear a thong and make her mother’s friends wonder if she were wearing underwear—not that with the pleated skirt there was much danger of that.
She liked to wear thongs sometimes, especially under jeans. When Rex looked at her, Willa didn’t want him to think about her panties, and knowing that he wouldn’t see those lines across her backside made her feel a bit more confident. On the court, in a tennis skirt, her white spandex boy-short panties didn’t give him anything to look at, either, which pleased Willa, too. She knew girls, even here in conservative Red Creek, who wore thongs under their skirts when they played with men—whether to distract them or to attract them. Willa’s mother had taught her better than that.
The blue skirt went on the chair atop her shirt, and then, trying not to hesitate as she wondered whether Doctor Francis were watching or looking at paperwork on his desk, she stripped her panties down over her slim hips. She stepped awkwardly out of them, heat rushing to her face at the feeling of her naked knees moving against each other and the thought of what the doctor could see if he looked.
He’s a doctor. And he’s about to see everything. Willa again felt the tears rise, at her own inability to keep her rising embarrassment at bay more than for any other reason.
Now she had to look straight ahead at the exam chair, not so much because she would have to get into it even as in order that she not have to look down at the little tuft of yellow hair that crowned her pussy, or worse, at the gusset of the panties she put on the chair, careful to fold them seat up. She felt reasonably sure the strange feeling that had come over her, when the doctor had started talking about her wedding night, hadn’t left a damp spot there, but she wasn’t certain and she didn’t want to see or to think about it any further.
“Go ahead and take off your bra, too, honey,” the doctor said from behind her.
Willa turned her face over her shoulder, feeling her eyes go wide, to see that the doctor had risen from his chair, and his eyes were most definitely upon her. He wore the same kind smile as before, but that didn’t make the matter any less embarrassing.
She felt her face go crimson as she turned back to the chair and started to strip the bralette over her head. Part of her wanted to demand the reason for the need to bare her breasts, but another part said she shouldn’t make a fuss—just as the doctor had told her she must not make a fuss when Rex told her about the special marriage customs of Red Creek.
What could it be? Her brow furrowed as the funny feeling came over her again, and she had to bite her lip to keep a humiliating little sob of shame and frustration down in her chest.
Willa dropped the bralette on top of her other clothes and took as resolute a step toward the exam chair as she could. Behind her she heard the doctor washing his hands in the little sink to her right.
What could it be? alternated now with Why did I have to take off my bra? as she clambered into the chair, feeling her face pucker just before she had to turn around and, with her eyes anywhere but in the vicinity of kindly old Doctor Francis, start to lift her feet into the stirrups.
She expected him to sit back down on the little rolling stool that stood near the sink, on the other side of the exam chair from the ordinary chair where she had placed her clothes, but instead he came to stand beside her. Now she couldn’t avoid looking up at him, feeling her fingers curl with tension as the tightness in her chest grew greater—in direct proportion to the redness she knew the physician could see on her cheeks.
Naked. Willa tried so hard not to think the word, but of course the harder she tried the more it sounded in her mind. Naked. Nude. I’m naked, and he… he can see everything. Everything.
You would think an athlete, used to locker rooms (though of course every locker room in which Willa had ever changed had private cubicles) wouldn’t have a problem with it. But although Irene Stevens hadn’t ever made the point with any particular force, Willa’s mother had made her wishes clear practically every day, simply in the way she dressed and the way she carried herself, in the requirement that her daughters never appear—even in their own rooms—without at least a bathrobe on.
Mrs. Stevens had impressed on her girls, practically without saying a word, the fundamental wickedness of removing their clothing, let alone allowing someone else to do it, for the purpose of forbidden pleasure.
Why did my mind go there? Willa wondered then, looking up at the doctor, who certainly hadn’t asked her to undress for forbidden pleasure. Because of… the unknown thing. Because of my wedding night.
Willa swallowed hard, fighting for composure. Naked. The way… the way Rex will want me, on my wedding night. But I’ll have my new nightgown, won’t I?
The thought of the filmy nightgown made Willa smile, though it came also with the thought of Rex’s big hand at its hem, lifting it up, which made her heart jump in her chest. For an instant she tried to reconcile her embarrassment at her nakedness with the way it had felt to have that strong hand on her chest, just for that one moment, six months ago—and the way it felt when Rex kissed her.
She couldn’t… she just couldn’t, and she stopped thinking about it because it made the funny feeling so much worse. The funny feeling had to do with Rex’s hand, of course, and Rex’s kisses, but… but the hand and the kisses felt… warm, while what Willa experienced when she thought about being naked on her wedding night felt… hot—no… scalding.
“Alright, Willa,” said the doctor. “I’m going to stimulate your breasts for a few moments. Most girls find this a little embarrassing, but there’s no reason to, really. Your body’s reactions to sexual stimulation are perfectly natural.”
“Wh-what?” Willa stammered as she watched the doctor’s long fingers reach toward her chest. Her own hands rose from her naked flanks as if to ward off the masculine grasp, but only traveled a few inches before she forced them back down.
Don’t be a baby. He’s a doctor.
Doctor Francis didn’t answer her question, at first. Instead, he did precisely what he had said he would: he took hold of her little breasts, one in each hand, and squeezed them gently. He put his thumbs on the tiny nipples and rubbed them, so that to Willa’s horror they stood erect and, much worse, down below, her hips gave a little jerk over the crinkly paper that covered the exam chair.
“Nice,” the doctor murmured to himself. “You’re very responsive, Willa. That’s good. This exam is just to make sure you’re ready for marriage. Your fiancé has introduced you to this kind of stimulation, I imagine, even though you decided to wait to have coitus?”
Willa’s lips parted. She didn’t know how to answer, but she decided that it would be best to make herself sound as experienced as possible, in hope of getting the doctor to say less, and to do less.
“Yes,” she said as decisively as she could.
“Good. Good,” Doctor Francis replied a little absently, still working her breasts with a kind of professional skill that made Willa nearly moan. He took his hands away abruptly, as if satisfied with what he had found.
Willa watched him with dismay as he took a plastic speculum from a drawer, and squeezed some lubricant onto it.
“Here’s the uncomfortable part,” the physician said. “This is for the records. I promise you won’t get in trouble if I don’t see your hymen, Willa, even though it was there the last time the nurse took a look. The New Modesty program just likes to keep the statistics.”
Willa’s face burned with heat. “Oh, no…” she couldn’t help saying, though she tried to keep the words back. “It’s there.”
Doctor Francis smiled and nodded as he sat on the rolling stool, and put on the funny headband with the light on it. “That’s good to hear, honey.”
She tried to keep her eyes on the acoustic tile of the ceiling, but Willa found she couldn’t help looking down her naked body to see Doctor Francis as he wheeled himself in between her thighs. To her horror she saw a look of very slight distaste appear on his lips.
“Has your mother given you any advice about hygiene?” he asked, glancing up into Willa’s face and then looking back down at her pussy. “You’re a tennis player, aren’t you? I’ll let you talk to one of the nurses about this, but with your tennis, and your wedding night coming up, you may feel like being tidier down here would be a good idea. If you like, I can have a nurse come in when we’re done and shave you, if you’re not planning to do it yourself.”
Willa didn’t think she had ever felt so mortified in her life. Her cheeks aflame, she said, “No… no, thank you, I mean.”
“Suit yourself,” said Doctor Francis, his voice reassuring now. Then, though, it got worse. “You’ll talk with your husband about it, I’m sure. He’ll let you know his preferences.”
Willa had to close her eyes at that, but when she saw Rex on the backs of her eyelids she needed the ceiling tiles again to keep her thoughts in some kind of line. She almost believed she had succeeded, until the beak of the speculum touched her, down there, and the doctor murmured, “Not much lube needed at all. That’s good, Willa. You’re a healthy young woman, ready for marriage.”
She felt the instrument opening her, and she closed her eyes again, her face scrunching in discomfort. At least she could focus on that, on how different it would be, Saturday night. On how Rex would touch her… would show her… would take off his own clothes…
Her eyes flew open again at the sound of the doctor clearing his throat. She had… down there… she had clenched… while Doctor Francis was looking. She wanted to sink through the floor.
“Everything looks healthy in here, Willa. I’m going to take a quick look at your anus now, and then we’ll be done.”
“Why?” Willa gasped, though she tried to keep the word back, because a big part of her absolutely did not want to know.
Again Doctor Francis refrained from answering immediately. Willa felt the speculum press against the tight, wrinkly little ring, enter there, and expand so that she whined from deep in her throat.
“That’s it. Try to relax, honey,” the doctor said. Then, very simply, he added, “A lot of husbands like to have sex in here, so I need to make sure your anus is ready for intercourse. Looks fine. It won’t be comfortable for you at first, but most young wives get used to it after a few weeks, and even get to like it.”