Bears Know Best
Part 26 of 28
Edited by Carla Ann
Thirteen year-old Taylor Landt’s step-mother believes that he should be the next great football player for the high school he’ll be attending in the fall. Having a dad who is an accomplished professional linebacker, and growing up surrounded by professional football coaches and players should all but guarantee his ability to dominate on the field. Unfortunately he hates playing football, and knows his height and build will never allow him to be successful at the sport. Faced with an obsessive step-mother who ignores his obvious talents in other areas but instead thinks he is a blight on his father’s reputation, Taylor does the unthinkable and moves to Ohio to live with his mother who abandoned their family and left him with his father eight years ago.
Soon after his arrival, Taylor discovers there’s more to his inability to follow in his fathers’ footsteps than just his height. Will it be possible for him to make friends in a new town in the middle of nowhere outside the shadow of his dad's fame? Will Taylor be able to finally make peace with his mother who abandoned them all those years ago? And how long can he keep his secrets to himself?
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The Legal Stuff: Bears Know Best © 2012 By Tiffany Shar
This is a work of fiction. Names, Characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 By Tiffany Shar. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
Like the first three books I posted here on BigCloset, I will be posting a full copy here on BigCloset. I will be posting it up in approximately 32 installments, but that may change if I feel like a posting needs more. The book has a total of 35 chapters and a short epilogue. The full version should be completely posted by September. For those that cannot wait however, I have an e-book version of the full book available from Lulu.com as of today. You may find it at My Store. My assumption is that the majority of my readers would be more interested in this edition of the book rather than a hardback or paperback. There are two types of eBooks available depending on how you wish to read it. One is the ePub format that you should be able to load on any e-reader (you may need an additional app, but I believe all will read it), and the other is a standard PDF formatted file. I believe the PDF is the best way to read it on a computer screen personally. If you enjoy this work perhaps you will consider supporting me by purchasing it ($8.95 for the eBook formatted files).
Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy reading Bears Know Best!
Caution: This part contains some violence.
Chapter 32: Slumber
“GIRLS, WHY DON’T you go to your rooms and change into pajamas, and then we’ll have a girls night downstairs?” A pleasant Rachel suggested.
“Okay,” we agreed and walked back upstairs.
“Make sure you take your makeup off and brush your teeth before you come back downstairs,” she called up after us too.
I grumbled a bit in my mind, but just shrugged about that one internally. That was a motherly thing to be saying, but not really something you had to tell us. I was just entering my door though when I realized I had a problem, just as Alyssa was the last girl to close her door. There wasn’t just a zipper on the top of the dress; somehow a flap had been worked in to hide the zipper from view. I was about to go knock on Alyssa’s door when Rachel walked to the top of the stairs.
“Need help?” Rachel asked.
I sighed and nodded, “It’s a pretty dress, but why did you build in the top button?” I asked as she undid the back of the dress for me.
“I’ve always liked hiding seams as much as possible,” she answered. “If you’d like, I’ll show you some more of my designs tomorrow?”
For some reason I thought I would actually enjoy that, “Sure,” I said with a smile.
She stayed long enough to pull the dress over the top of my head, placed it on a hanger and left. Thankfully the door had been closed, or I had a feeling Dad might have had a show he didn’t want to see. ‘Not that Dad didn’t see more of me in the hospital than he wanted to,’ I grimaced to myself. It was a moment later that I noticed a pair of pretty pink satin pajamas sitting on top of my bed. They looked like they were really comfortable, and as I held the fabric I couldn’t help but try them on. The pants had a simple elastic waist, and they were a very simple design.
The top was a satin camisole that had a band that stopped just below my breasts and supported them a negligible amount. The cami fully covered my breasts, and I thought it was one of the more modest ones I’d seen. The satin material was soft and really comfy! There was a small band of white lace sewn into the area at the top of the neck opening, and a matching white lace fringe sewn along the bottom edge as well. ‘It’s like a more innocent Victoria’s Secret set,’ I mused as I looked at myself in the mirror. I suddenly remembered that my pad probably needed to be changed again, and went to go take care of that. It was just as used as before, and I was glad that there was a thicker one for tonight. ‘I’ll have to get Dad to take me shopping tomorrow,’ I thought. As much as it would embarrass him, I was still a little leery of Rachel.
As I finished up, I washed my makeup off, brushed my teeth and went downstairs to the family room where I could hear my friends talking. The girls and Rachel were all identically dressed to me. Well, Rachel was a little bit different since hers was lacking the lace, but other than that even hers was the same. “I was wondering if you’d fallen asleep or something,” Rachel teased.
“Just had to use the restroom,” I said.
“Everything okay?” She asked, I guess maybe concerned I was sick.
“Umm… yeah,” I answered. I didn’t feel like talking about periods with Rachel.
“Okay, you girls probably shouldn’t stay up too late,” she said, “but… I thought we could watch a movie together or something.”
I looked at her again and wondered what was going on. Something about all of this just felt weird and wrong after all of the history between us. Her smile just seemed too perfect.
“Sounds like fun,” I found myself answering with my friends adding their approval.
“Okay, well we’re missing a few guests I think,” Rachel said. I stared at her like she was truly an alien from another planet, and she figured I was as clueless as I was, “Your dolls?” She said with a smile.
“Oh.” I said. “Okay,” I added with a bit more enthusiasm. The four of us all went upstairs to get our dolls and came back downstairs to find Rachel sitting with four gift boxes on the coffee table.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Wait until the others catch back up,” she said as she handed me a box. When all of us were downstairs and holding our dolls she said, “Okay, open them.”
Inside each box was a matching set of pajamas for our dolls. “I hated that Taylor and Danielle were the only two close enough in size to wear the same pajamas as their pretty little dolls,” she said with a smile, “so I had a friend put these sets together real quick.”
“In one day?” Breanna asked, shocked. The detail on the pajamas was identical to mine, right down to a scale version of the lace at the collar of the camisole.
“She’s good,” Rachel told her, “I know her from when I was running my store.”
We were all just touching the pajamas for a few moments before she said, “Well, aren’t you going to change them into their pajamas so we can start this party?”
It was silly, even a little beneath fourteen-year-old girls to be playing with dolls like this. I mean, besides the other day when the girls had been just having fun catching me up on a missed experience. This felt different. Odd.
All of us went along with it, and I could tell Danielle and Alyssa were enjoying the look of their dolls and enjoying cuddling them a bit while Rachel left for something. I was enjoying it too, but I could tell Breanna had the same, ‘What’s going on?’ thought in her head.
Rachel came back in carrying four spools of ribbon, pink and white, and said, “First things first, your hair!”
I felt like Rachel was trying to script everything along the lines of our normal sleepovers, but more forced. I watched her take Alyssa’s and Breanna’s hair and braid two pigtails on either side of their heads like we had the other week. She used the ribbon to do more than just tie bows, since she was using a larger ribbon than we had used, the bows looked gigantic when she was done. Okay, maybe not gigantic, but they seemed bigger than normal. She did something with a small rhinestone pin on each side that made it look cuter, but also probably would hold the bow better I guessed. Each bow was identical and perfectly tied, and I wondered why in the world she didn’t stay in the fashion industry.
I hadn’t realized how tightly my hair was pinned until it was my turn and she started unpinning the mound of hair she had made. ‘I’m glad she’s the one doing it,’ I thought as she pulled out a seemingly endless number of pins. When she finished she began brushing through my hair and I didn’t quite feel as annoyed with her as I had earlier in the day. ‘I think she is really trying,’ I told myself.
Once she finished my hair, she handed me two smaller spools of ribbon and she had us all braid our doll’s hair and tying it the same while she did Danielle’s hair.
Once we cut enough ribbon for two pigtails each, I began working on separating Julie’s hair out into two sides first. I had done this for someone about a total of three times, but I had never done it on someone with so small a head obviously. I was tugging at one side of her hair to get it to keep from just going insane and frizzy for several minutes before getting the first side done.
‘There you go Julie,’ I thought. ‘Now let’s make the other side.’
Without realizing it I knew I was treating Julie like she was a person, or more likely a little kid as I worked on the other side. ‘She’s not a baby though,’ I reminded myself, and understood why older girls would play with these dolls. It didn’t make sense to want to keep changing diapers and fake feeding a baby doll to me at all, but I could see the appeal of this one.
In the meantime I was so focused on trying to braid Julie’s hair that I didn’t even notice that Danielle had surpassed me and finished sooner than I had. “Need help?” She asked me. I noticed, the other two were done too and looking at me with amusement.
“Well, you’re talking to Julie more than us,” Alyssa snickered.
I didn’t realize I’d been thinking towards her out loud as I fought with separating out the doll hair into the pigtails. I stuck my tongue out at Alyssa before looking at Danielle, “I’m almost done,” I said as I finally managed to do a final twist with a strand of hair and managed to tie the ribbon. My bows definitely didn’t look as good as the ones Rachel had put into our hair.
I hugged her to my chest and said, “See, I can do it!”
“I guess you really are a big kid now,” Alyssa teased.
“What is this, a pull-ups commercial?” Breanna asked.
I flushed red with embarrassment but laughed with them. Rachel had us pose on the couch together, and again on the staircase. She’d done all of our hair so we offered to do hers too, but she declined, “I don’t want to take up too much more of your time girls, you probably should go to bed here in the next hour or so.”
I smiled, “We usually stay up later than this at each other’s houses.”
She shook her head, “Still, not too much longer okay? At least be in your sleeping bags watching the movie,” she insisted to us.
I nodded, “Okay…” I thought for a second, “What sleeping bags?”
Rachel came through with a four sleeping bags. Two of them were shorter and were Disney Princess sleeping bags, the other two were pink too, just not quite as little girlish. “I figured you and Danielle were short enough to use your ‘old’ ones,” she told me with a slight grin.
‘Why was she so intent on giving me an ‘old’ version of myself?’ I pondered that as I unrolled it. The length of the sleeping bags was fine for Danielle and I, although she was almost too tall. Rachel also brought down some fluffy pillows for us to use and helped us make a sleeping area come together.
“I thought we’d do one last thing before bed,” she said to us with a smile.
We all looked at her inquisitively and I fell on the sword and asked, “What?”
I looked at her like she was nuts, but apparently at least Alyssa and Danielle understood. “What’s that?”
“They’re kind of like mixed alcoholic drinks, but no alcohol,” she explained to me.
“Oh,” I heard Breanna echo me simultaneously.
We followed her to the kitchen where she became the bar tender and made some drinks with some fruit juice, ice, and club soda. I tasted a sip of mine, but thought it tasted odd. ‘Yuck,’ I thought, but didn’t say anything. She followed us back to the living room and we put ‘Never Been Kissed’ on as we had all seen it before and figured we could talk. Rachel disappeared to the bathroom at one point and I took my glass back to the kitchen and discreetly dumped it out. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings with as excited as she was.
When I returned to the living room I was surprised by how tired the other three seemed to be already. “What do you say we call it a night?” Alyssa asked.
“Already?” I asked back.
“No, I’m really tired too,” Danielle said.
“Make that three,” Breanna said.
“Truce on jokes tonight?” Alyssa asked sleepily.
“Sure,” we all agreed. It seemed like not three minutes later they were all snoring and I was sitting inside my sleeping bag trying to sleep. I closed my eyes and heard Rachel come in to check on us, she stood over me for a moment before heading out of the room and turning the lights off. I looked up when I heard her leave and wondered about what we would be doing tomorrow. I noticed that the girls mocktail glasses were all empty, ‘They must have liked them,’ I thought as I too fell asleep finally.
Chapter 33: Morning Darkness
THE NEXT THING I knew I was confused, as I felt my body moving under someone else’s power. I was being carried, upstairs and wondered why I was being carried quietly like this.
“Huh?” I grumbled.
“You’re awake?” I heard Rachel say, “You’re supposed to stay asleep,” it seemed like she almost muttered.
“Why are you carrying me upstairs?” I asked sleepily. I realized we were already at my room.
“I just wanted to get you up and have you with me to go get some groceries without waking up the other girls,” she said quickly. Oddly.
“Oh,” I said. I thought about asking for her to let me down, but I decided that she was willing to carry me, so I’d make her carry me. ‘She woke me up so early,’ I complained to myself.
When we got to my room she said, “Umm… you said you’d be interested in seeing some of my other dress designs?”
I looked at her like she was speaking another language, but nodded.
“Okay then, let’s try this on,” she said as she pulled out another dress. I got just a brief look at it before she said, “Pajamas off, you’ll have to put Julie down for a moment,” she said in an ordering voice that sounded odd. I had to put down Julie, whom I hadn’t even realized I was still cuddling from the night before, onto my bed. Julie’s hair and my hair looked surprisingly still intact.
‘I must not have moved much last night,’ I sleepily thought to myself. I was too tired to be embarrassed about being naked in front of her again, and just did as she asked. She didn’t hesitate to tell me, “Arms up,” and I was soon in another dress with a built in tulle lining. ‘Thankfully this one doesn’t look as thick as last night’s…’ I thought as she zipped the back of the dress up and tied a bow with the ribbon that defined a high bodice that came just below my breasts. I felt like the dress was again trying to hide my assets instead of showing them… it just seemed weird for someone who was in the fashion industry to dress me that way.
I caught a quick glance in the mirror and saw the dress was white at the base of its fabric, but the print was full of large bright, blue, pink, yellow, and green flowers. The flowers were something I would expect on a toddler or pre-schooler’s dress. Maybe an eight-year old would be happy with the dress, but I didn’t like it for me. It was embarrassing.
“I don’t think this one suits me as much,” I started to say.
“Come on Taylor, let’s go, don’t worry about your purse or anything,” she said.
“May I at least go to the bathroom first?” I asked. ‘Geeze, what’s her hurry?’
“You can go at the store; I want to get out of here before anyone wakes up from our noise.” She told me.
That seemed odd, and I noticed that my iPhone was sitting next to Julie. I made a split second decision, “Can I take Julie with me?”
I watched her face widen, her eyes ponder for a moment, and she said, “Yes, but hurry up!”
I grabbed Julie and simultaneously slipped my iPhone under her pajama shirt before hugging her close to me. ‘Something’s not right…’ I thought to myself, ‘I want to be able to call Dad to come get me if she gets crazy…’
I cuddled Julie close to me, and kept the phone side away from Rachel as we went downstairs to the car. I expected her to go for the convertible, but instead she opened the backdoor to the ‘5’ again. “Get in,” she told me.
I looked in and took a double take, “I thought we talked about this,” I told her. “I don’t need to be in a booster seat.”
“That was before you lost weight in the hospital Taylor.” She tried to argue back.
“I told you weight and height aren’t the issue, it’s bone structure…”
“Just please get in?” She asked. “I’m only worried about your safety here.” She paused before saying, “I won’t make you sit in it when your friends are around.”
I looked at her, thinking about what I looked like holding a doll, in such a juvenile dress, and wondered why in the world I needed to be in a booster seat! I sighed though, ‘Not worth the fight, I’ll talk to Dad later.’
I moved to get in and I found her ‘helping me’ by setting me down in the seat. The last one I sat in didn’t have a harness anymore by the time I stopped using it, you just used a seatbelt across your lap. This seat still had the harness setup! “Do I have to use the harness straps?” I asked as she was already forcing my arms through the straps like I was two or something. I nearly dropped Julie and my iPhone, but somehow just managed to keep hold of her and the phone hidden as she buckled the straps closed.
She pulled at the adjustment buckle for a second and then said, “Yes, you’re less than sixty pounds.”
As she closed my door I noticed she messed with the end of the door. ‘Did she really just toggle the child door switch????’ I was really starting to get freaked out as I sat Julie down on my lap. My dress was being crushed oddly under the middle belt that went down my crotch, and I suddenly thought about how bad it was going to be to be wearing a dress with so much white in it when I hadn’t changed my pad that morning!
“Umm, Rachel?” I asked as she closed her door. “I need to go back upstairs for something,” I said as I clawed at the release button on the harness and was unnerved when it wouldn’t open. ‘I’m not that weak, am I?’ I thought to myself.
“No, you don’t.” She said, and put the car into drive and left the garage. She was driving her normal aggressive way, but wasn’t going to the normal grocery store we used.
She drove for a few minutes and then said, “You know, if that damned idiot in Canada hadn’t sold me the wrong pills we wouldn’t have this problem.”
“What?” I asked. I slid my iPhone from Julie’s shirt to next to my leg, just underneath where my dress was bunching up.
“You’d never have started growing breasts, and I wouldn’t have had to worry about you and doctors lying about you really being a girl.”
‘Huh?’ I thought. ‘She’s completely out of her mind!’ I was scared. I sat petrified, and had absolutely no idea what to do. ‘What if she did something to the buckle to keep it from opening? I was at the top end of the height for this seat I figured, and I knew the buckles on the harness wouldn’t have any opening room left to wiggle out easily… I quickly felt for my phone and turned the volume all the way down by feel. I couldn’t see the screen, so I just had to hope that I was able to dial the numbers right by guessing. ‘9-1-1’ I thought to myself before imagining where the green button was. I quickly shoved the speaker as much into the padding of the car seat as I could.
I gave it an imaginary three rings, and then said, “Be quiet if you’re going to kidnap me,” as loudly as I thought I could without her thinking I was up to something. “Besides, you are absolutely crazy. What are you talking about pills?”
‘I need to keep her talking, and I have to hope the operator doesn’t hang up.’ I thought to myself.
“Well, with your daddy being all high and mighty about not wanting to alter your body with growth hormones he was dooming us to being poor and worthless in a few years when he retires. I knew that if I could get you to grow two feet, and put on at least a hundred pounds you could play pro too. I mean, let’s be honest, you’re the scrawniest boy anyone has ever seen, but you’ve been around football players well enough to know the technique. That’s what I told the coaches at least,” she told me.
‘She talked to the coaches?’ I thought. ‘No wonder they didn’t do what Dad told them to.’ “What are you talking about pills though?”
“Well, I knew that if I could go ahead and get you taking them, without either of you knowing about it, you’d be able to both claim ignorance. No one would doubt that his son would hit a big growth spurt, and everything would work out okay. The idiots though!” She cursed again.
“Idiots?” I asked.
“They sent me estrogen pills instead of human growth hormone, that’s the only explanation for all of this. And then, you were such a sissy already you were able to convince your mommy that you wanted to be a girl.”
“Umm… Rachel, that’s because I am a girl.”
“Bullshit!” she yelled. “That’s just what you had the doctors say to lie to your dad and me. I know it was just a ruse.”
“Rachel, if it was, then why did I have my first period a few weeks ago, and why is there a blood stain forming on my panties and dress right here,” I said as I flashed my panties and the spot at her as she was at a stoplight and turned around. ‘I have to do something; I have no idea what she’s planning…’
She turned around in her seat and looked closer before saying, “That’s just some sort of tear in that fake opening they gave you sweetie, don’t worry, it won’t matter if you bleed from that.”
‘She’s not worried about me bleeding internally?!?’
“What are you going to do with me?” I asked, tears starting to stream down my face.
“Well, I can’t keep up this lie. What happens when some poor boy meets you and thinks he’s really with a girl?” She asked incredulously, “I won’t have that.” She shook her head and started driving again. “I’d hoped you’d just come out and tell the truth to your dad as I kept making you look younger and younger to your friends. I mean, your room really is a six-year-olds dream room.”
“You were trying to embarrass me?”
“Of course!” She said and continued on like I was an idiot. “I know I wouldn’t be caught dead in the dress you’re in past age four. It actually would probably sell really well to mothers of toddlers…” she said as if she was contemplating the market. “Too bad for you that you are in it! But just think of how much everyone will enjoy the pictures of my ‘beautiful little step-daughter,’” She laughed in a giggle that just didn’t sound right, or sane.
“Please, just take me home,” I pleaded.
“I’m afraid you won’t be going home again,” she told me. “Hopefully we can get this done before your friends and Dad wake up.”
Something clicked then, “What did you do to them?!?” I asked, now fully panicked.
“I just slipped everyone some medicine to make you sleep last night.” She looked up in the rearview mirror again, “Or at least I thought I did. How you were able to wake up while I was carrying you is beyond me.”
“You put it in those awful mocktails didn’t you?” I asked.
She nodded, “Good idea, huh?”
“Not really, they tasted terrible so I threw mine out when you weren’t looking.”
She looked thoughtful as she pulled off of a freeway and drove into a suburban area with lots of trees around. “Should have stayed there the whole time I guess,” She said, “oh well, I’d played my part well enough by making you think I was a changed person that you still went along with this.”
“Why take the black BMW ‘5’ anyway?” I asked. I needed to give the operator on the other side of the line some hints I was afraid. I was glad to glance down and see that the screen said 9-1-1 and the call was current and going through. The clock was now at over twenty minutes, and I hoped they’d find me soon.
“I didn’t want to ruin my convertible.” She told me. “Plus, this is a better family car to take my little girl for a Sunday drive. It’s just too bad that the car stalled on the railroad tracks,” she told me. I looked up and saw railroad tracks ahead and was afraid I knew what she was doing.
“Won’t you be killed too?” I asked, now sure she wanted to kill me.
“Nope, I tried and tried to get you out of your car seat. I just couldn’t get the buckle to release on the harness, and jumped away to save myself just in the nick of time.” She had a sick and twisted grin on her face that reminded me of the last time at the barbershop.
“Why Rachel? This will kill my dad too!”
“I’m depending on it, he told me two weeks ago that he was willing to divorce me if I didn’t start being nicer to you. As if I’d ever let him!” She snorted very unladylike. “This way I’ll get all of the money, and I’ll be rid of the little fag that I’ve loathed since I figured out you were worthless.”
I could feel my face was wet and salty from tears, and desperately began struggling at the buckle release, the adjustments at the top of my shoulders, anything to get out of the prison I was in, but I couldn’t.
“If only I hadn’t been so insistent on you being in a car seat,” she laughed at me. “I might just feel guilty about that for the rest of my life.” She giggled now an unnatural sound.
“Just let me out of here,” I told her.
“I couldn’t even release the buckle if I wanted to Taylor, I had a guy set it up to where once it was buckled it won’t release. The only way out of that for you is when they cut you out of the seat after the crash.”
I was so terrified, I didn’t know what else to do, I started bawling, “Please Rachel, let me go.” She was pulling up onto the tracks now. I could see that the lights a few intersections down were already blinking red and knew it wouldn’t be long before a train hit our car. It would be from my side too, the driver’s side.
I looked down at Julie, still clutched in my arms and then, closed my eyes and tried to calm myself down when I felt the crunch and screeching of tires.
Chapter 33 To be continued…
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