A Lost Daughter Ch. 03
My night was consumed by the thoughts of a million potential scenarios running tirelessly through my mind. I mostly lay in the dark next to a soundly asleep Amber, who seemed oblivious to my sleeplessness, and recounted every last detail of the day’s events. Especially the ones toward the end of the evening and the last thing that Amber had said—like mother, like daughter. Many times I scanned my memory banks for any potential misreading of that statement or even if I had imagined it. Did she in fact intend on utterly defiling our only recently discovered daughter in the same debased manner that she herself had experienced?
I wondered about my commitment to this plan that Amber had seemingly already set into motion, at least in purpose. I wondered if I could stand idly by while Amber pushed her into a potentially life-altering series of decisions, most of which could very well lead to all kinds of issues for her down the line. Amber had been lucky in that she was not an addict. She had been addicted to the experience of becoming a junkie but had not triggered a latent gene for addiction that would trap her in that life. I had never dabbled in substances myself and wasn’t aware of any addiction issues in my family history but that didn’t mean they didn’t exist. If Amber successfully led Sienna into that life, there were no guarantees that she’d win that game of genetic Russian roulette.
What was also on my mind was the possibility that she would not be successful, and that Sienna would resist Amber’s attempts at corruption and it would corrode her trust in us and damage our budding relationship. That was what probably scared me the most. It had only been a day since I met my daughter, but already the thought of losing her again terrified me. I had never been keenly aware of my own desire for a family, but something had been awakened inside of me and now I desperately wanted to hold onto it. But these were all one-way conversations that I had with myself throughout the night and provided no answers and no relief. Thus, when sunlight began poking through the blinds and birds began chirping to signify a new day, I struggled to remember sleeping at any point.
Even still, when Amber’s hand snaked it’s way to the bedside table from under our white down comforter and retrieved a cigarette, lighting it immediately upon waking up—a surge of energy pulled me out of my thoughts of lost sleep and into the wonderful reality I was currently living. Regardless of my hesitations, I still had a day off to spend with the love of my life and my beautiful daughter and that was enough to instill a sense of calm in me that would clarify how fortunate I was. Amber rolled over to face me, her eyes surprisingly wide and bright for having just woken up. Helplessly I smiled at her, always in awe of how much I loved her and how beautiful she was at any hour.
She smiled back, maintaining her grin as she pulled hard on her Newport 100 and snapping a picture-perfect ball of smoke into her lungs for the first of what would be many times that day. She wasted no time in getting the day off to a good start by snuggling up to me and giving me a smokey kiss that sent a bolt of lightning directly to my nether regions. It almost surprised me sometimes at how easily she was able to manipulate my sexual arousal. She’d been awake for less than five minutes and already had yanked me out of my troubled thoughts and replaced them with a desire to make love to her. It might actually scare me if I didn’t trust her as much as I did.
“Not yet baby,” Amber whispered softly into my chest after a series of successive drags on her already half-smoked cigarette.
“What exactly are you planning?” I asked, struggling to think of what devious plan she had in mind.
“You’ll see,” she replied. Giving me no indication or clue as to what she had in store.
I contemplated pushing the issue but decided to allow Amber to stay in the driver’s seat on this one. I couldn’t honestly think of a single time where her insight into what turned me on had been misguided. At his point, she quite possibly knew me better than I even knew myself, anticipating my kinks before I was even aware of them. I figured I was in very good hands.
Amber finished her cigarette while snuggling under my chin, bathing me in each of her exhales while I lay there between Heaven and Hell, a purgatory of extreme arousal and delayed gratification. I still considered it one of the loveliest ways I could have started my day even if I was denied a sexual release. I hoped I wouldn’t have to endure too many more of them though, as I really didn’t want to have to be hiding a raging erection from Sienna all day. The couch escapade of the previous evening was all my heart could take.
Amber stubbed out her Newport and practically vaulted out of bed and into the shower, no doubt energized by the prospect of spending another day with Sienna. I decided I would take a moment to peek across the hall and see if she had woken up yet. It was nearly 10 am güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri and I really had no idea what kind of sleeping schedule an 18-year-old girl fresh out of high school kept. A bit surprisingly, the door to the guest room was slightly ajar and I could hear a voice speaking from the other side. I stood in my doorway and listened, trying to determine if it was Sienna or from something she may be watching or listening to on her phone.
Suddenly I recognized the voice and my blood seemed to freeze in my veins. The voice belonged to a smoking model named Willow, one of my favorites, and she was being interviewed about her smoking habit. I should have recognized the danger of Sienna getting on the computer and snooping around given how curious she had been about anything and everything she could find yesterday but the thought had completely slipped my mind with everything that had happened. My heart was pounding in my ears and my mind raced to think of what I was going to say that wouldn’t result in incredible awkwardness. Should I even address it?
I considered just heading to the kitchen and making a bit of noise to tip Sienna off that I was awake and then just hope that she didn’t bring it up. The problem was that I knew that she knew, and that also meant that last night’s smoking events were framed in a much stranger manner. Perhaps I should wait and talk to Amber and see what she thinks before barging into the room and saying anything dumb. It felt like my feet were glued to the floor and my body was paralyzed. I decided to slowly step back into my room and wait for Amber’s input, maybe a coward’s decision but I needed more time to think. Unfortunately, the wooden floorboards had other plans. An audible creak and groan seemed to erupt from the bowels of the foundation in almost comical way.
The voice from inside Sienna’s room stopped and I stopped right along with it. I held my breath and listened to the thump of my heart reverberating in my ears and awaited the most awkward encounter of my life.
“Hello?” Came Sienna’s voice from the other side of the door across the hall.
Do I run? Do I reply? What do I do? Once more the universe laughed at my indecisiveness, absolving me of any ideas of agency I might’ve had over the situation.
“What are you doing?” Amber asked from behind me, wrapped in a rose petal colored bath towel.
I opened my mouth with no thought as to what I was going to say but before I could utter a single word Sienna appeared from behind her door and stepped into the hallway.
“Dad? Are you ok?” She asked, apparently reading the shock and embarrassment on my face as some sort of physical malady.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just didn’t want to wake you up so I was trying to be quiet,” I replied. Hoping my meager explanation would encounter no resistance.
“Oh..,” Sienna responded, seeming to mull the viability of my words over in her mind.
“Did you sleep okay, honey?” Amber asked, again stepping in to fill the void my verbal failings were causing.
“Yeah, the bed was really comfortable and I was super tired so it wasn’t hard to sleep at all,” Sienna replied, her eyes still trained on me as I did my best to drain whatever anxiety still lay there.
“That’s great, it can be hard sometimes to sleep when you’re not in your own bed,” I chimed, doing my best to direct the conversation in the most benign way possible.
“Yeah.., I guess it just kinda felt like my bed,” came Sienna’s reply, surprising me with her trademark big, bright smile.
“So, are you hungry? Do you want to go out for breakfast?” Amber asked, now stepping into the doorway next to me.
“Um, sure. That sounds fun,” Sienna agreed.
“Great, you can shower in the bathroom next to the laundry room. There are fresh towels and should be shampoo and soap in there too. I’m going to get dressed and I’ll see you when you get out,” Amber offered, walking back into the bedroom and into the closet.
Sienna waited for Amber to walk back into the room before looking back up at me with a strange grin on her face. I silently hoped that she was going to turn and head toward the bathroom but the look on her face indicated her intent to say something I was fearing would reintroduce the awkwardness of a few moments ago. I was right.
“Hey dad, I..,” Sienna broke eye contact for a moment and glanced at the floor, probably thinking of what particular insult she was about to use to describe what she found on my computer.
“There’s something I wanted to ask you about,” Sienna teased, inching her way toward the topic in a manner that reminded me of the playfulness of her mother. She was definitely Amber’s daughter.
“Sure, what is it?” I asked, still foolishly hoping she was going to ask me about my favorite color or the last good movie I saw instead of what I knew she was thinking about.
“Can you come in my room for a minute?” She asked.
I wished I could revel in the happiness I felt in güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri hearing her refer to it as ‘her room’ instead of feeling like I was about to break out in a full body sweat. I did my best to keep my composure though and instead just nodded my head and followed Sienna into the room. Upon entering I did my best to ignore the computer, going so far as to turn toward Sienna who stood next to the bed, still clinging to the denial that this was actually happening.
“So, I’m really sorry but I was kind of snooping. I..,” Sienna’s demeanor seemed to change a bit, the playfulness fading and a tone of guilt seeping in, “..was looking around on your computer and I found something,” she described evenly.
With that she walked over to the computer whose screen had gone black from inactivity and moved the mouse, awakening the monitor and revealing Willow’s beautiful face and filling me with absolute dread.
“I know I really have no right to ask, it is your computer and everything. And I honestly wasn’t trying to find dirt on you or something, I’m just genuinely curious. I hope you’re not mad,” Sienna spoke with a deep sense of guilt now, taking me by surprise.
I tried to see this scenario from her perspective and realized that she was just trying to understand her parents and definitely didn’t anticipate finding what she’d found. I tried thinking of what it must be like to be trying to make up 18 years of lost ground where each piece of information is a piece of who you are. I also finally understood that she wasn’t the warden and I wasn’t the inmate awaiting trial. She was just a sheltered kid, unsure about what was and wasn’t off-limits in a relationship that had began less than 24hrs ago. In this new light, the dynamic of the conversation changed and I immediately felt guilty for having put her in a position to have to be the one to bring it up and not taken the initiative myself.
“I’m not mad, don’t worry,” I started, wanting to put her at ease right away.
She responded by replacing her sad puppy look with a smile of relief, clearly having been worried at what wrath she might’ve incurred by confronting me with what she’d found.
“It’s kinda strange, I know. It’s called a ‘smoking fetish.’ Basically, I find it attractive when women smoke cigarettes. That’s kind of my deal for as long as I can remember. I can imagine this is a pretty weird thing to hear from..,” I hesitated, unsure about whether to refer to myself as ‘dad’ yet.
“My dad,” Sienna finished, answering my hesitation in a most pleasing way.
“Yeah.. I didn’t know if I should really call myself your dad. I don’t want to disrespect the man who raised you,” I replied, amazed at how smooth this was going.
“You’re my dad. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be alive. And it’s not that weird, I know guys like different things. My boyfriend always wanted me to put on my cheerleader outfit because he thought it was h-” Sienna caught herself and decided to revision her word choice given her audience.
“I understand, that’s a pretty common one. The smoking thing is a little more obscure so I get why you’d have questions,” I conceded.
“Yeah, I didn’t even know that was a thing. Most guys I know hate girls who smoke, so I guess there’s a lot I really have no idea about,” she mused, clearly reflecting on her own relative inexperience given her rather sheltered upbringing.
“Yep, that’s generally true. Especially now, it feels like being a smoker is worse than being a child molester,” I joked, giving us both a nice chuckle that further decreased the tension in the room.
We stood there for a moment, both unsure of what to say. I searched my mind for a suitable segue but sensed Sienna’s ever curious nature had not yet been satisfied.
“So..,” again Sienna searched her young mind for the right words, clearly charting new territory, “is that why mom smokes?” she asked, bringing the conversation full-circle.
I was caught a bit off-guard at the personal nature of the question and although I didn’t want to lie, also didn’t want to present myself as the original culprit for Amber having starting smoking given how that might appear to the uninitiated. I decided to compromise.
“Sort of. I told her about my.. preferences.. and she tried it for me. But she keeps smoking because she likes it and if she didn’t, I wouldn’t want her to do it. I know that probably doesn’t make it sound any better, but I’d rather not start out by lying to you about who I am,” I explained, hoping my appeal to honesty would blunt the potential offensiveness of my answer.
Sienna thought about it for a moment, but didn’t appear to be disgusted.
“Nah, it makes sense. I mean, you just told her what you like and she did it to make you happy, right? That’s what people are supposed to do in a relationship—make each other happy,” Sienna concluded with a shrug, seeming to ignore the less charitable perspectives of my behavior either intentionally or otherwise.
“We güvenilir bahis şirketleri have a different relationship than most people and we don’t really expect other people to understand all of it. We do our best to keep it to ourselves, but I guess I should do a better job of that in the future,” I replied with a wink and a smile.
Sienna responded with her favorite gesture—the eye roll. I laughed aloud, feeling more and more like a goofy dad with every passing moment. Sienna joined me in the chuckle but I could still see behind her eyes that gears were turning and questions remained unanswered.
“So like, is it any girl that you see smoking? Or does she have to be your type? Your age? How does it work?” She asked, treading awfully close to setting a trap where I’d be inadvertently admitting to being aroused watched her smoke the previous evening—a revelation I didn’t even want to consider about myself.
“Well, I have to be attracted to her in general. If I’m not attracted to someone I’m not going to magically change my mind just because she lights a cigarette. It’s more like an enhancement of my attraction to her. If that makes sense,” I described, trying to remain as clinical as possible.
“Hmm, that’s what I figured,” Sienna responded, again lost in the process of prepping her follow-up.
“I have sort of a weird question then,” she offered, causing my awkwardness radar to start beeping internally.
“Sure, what is it?” I asked as nonchalantly as I could muster.
“What did you think when I smoked last night? I know you’re not like, attracted to me or something. I mean like.. if I was just some random girl or whatever,” she asked, quite possibly reading my mind and asking the one question I hoped she wouldn’t.
“You’re my daughter so, I can’t really imagine you any other way. I don’t.. I mean.. I didn’t really think about it,” I stumbled, unsure of what I needed to say to get the hell out of this situation ASAP.
“So you didn’t think it looked..,” Sienna seemed to be disappointed and searching for the ideal word to use to describe it without giving herself away.
“..yeah, I guess that makes sense,” Sienna relented finally.
“Well, you better jump in the shower. We’re going to miss breakfast,” I interjected, desperately wanting to redirect the conversation.
Sienna just nodded and offered a somewhat half-hearted smile. I sensed that she didn’t quite get what she was after in the conversation but didn’t want to prolong it for fear of how much more uncomfortable it could get. I was relieved when she walked down the hall and into the bathroom. I went to shower myself and 20 minutes later we were in the car headed to a local diner.
We made light conversation about the area, the weather, what we wanted to order, and various observations. Once there we had a pleasant meal splitting a heaping pile of pancakes and sharing a plate of bacon, eggs, and sausage. We were all quite hungry and besides a few lines about how good the food was and a joke about one of the strange looking customers we didn’t talk all that much. By the time we reached the house with full bellies, I felt like everyone was about ready to go back to bed for the day. As we walked into the living room Sienna let out a large sigh and plopped on the sofa.
“I am so full..,” she announced jovially.
“Way too many pancakes,” I replied, echoing her sentiments.
Amber barely made it in the front door before lighting up a cigarette and sucking the smoke into her lungs audibly, and then making another exaggerated motion of exhaling it and smiling.
“Oh my God that’s better,” came her response.
“Why do people always smoke after they eat?” Sienna asked, taking any opportunity to feed her boundless curiosity.
“Because it tastes the best after a meal and it makes you feel less full, which I really need right now,” Amber explained, emphasizing ‘really’ in a way that almost made me jealous of the relief she must be experiencing.
“Really? It makes you feel less full?” came Sienna’s response.
“Yep. Best thing about it. It gets the saliva flowing and before you know it the bloated feeling is gone,” Amber replied, clearly advertising it to her impressionable young audience.
Predictably, Sienna soaked up Amber’s words and her mind began working. I wondered if Amber’s blatant attempt to encourage Sienna to smoke was actually going to work, as I could plainly see behind the curtain. I wondered if everything, from the decision to go out to breakfast to getting an ultra-filling meal like pancakes was all orchestrated just to facilitate this exact scenario. I silently marveled at Amber’s deviousness.
“Can I have a cigarette, just to like, make my stomach feel better?” Sienna asked, falling right into Amber’s trap.
“Sure, honey,” Amber replied in a tone that almost convinced me with how unassuming it was.
I watched as Amber walked over to Sienna and handed her a cigarette. Sienna rolled it between her fingers a moment and stared at it, mentally preparing herself for what was to come. She eventually placed the cork-tipped filter between her lips and looked up at Amber with doe eyes that made her look even younger than she was. Amber flicked her lighter to life and inched the flame toward the cigarette.