I’ve been busy and haven’t talked much about this book at all. A reader and friend, Mary G., messaged me this morning about it and I decided to write a post that’s long overdue.
I don’t write dream scenes often, mainly because it’s difficult to get into the sub-conscious mind of a character. I’ve always believed that the sub-conscious has no mind of its own, and that it picks up things along the way through the conscious mind when we don’t even know it’s happening. Hence, why I also believe there are no accidents in life.
So when I wrote the dream scene in The Virgin Billionaire’s Little Angel I had to think long and hard about how I wanted to execute it. The problems were that Luis and Jase were trying for another child. Jase wanted a surrogate, and he wanted that surrogate to be Luis’s best friend, Hillary. But Luis wasn’t sure that’s what he wanted. For those who have read other books in the series Luis and Hillary, though good friends, have always had a complicated relationship. And Luis has always resented the fact that Hillary can be pushy and take control of his good nature. The last thing he wanted was to have Hillary be the surrogate for their child, and then have Hillary force herself into their lives forever. She was always telling them how to raise their son, Hunter, and he wasn’t even related to her.
This conflict in the storyline, among other things going on in Luis’s life at the time, drives him to distraction. And one night, about the same time he starts to worry about his twin brother’s health, he has a nightmare that shakes his entire life. All the things that have been happening to him for months finally come to the surface in this dream. But like all dreams, these things come out in a twisted, convoluted way. In the dream, Luis discovers that Jase, who made his billions inventing things, has invented a way for men to get pregnant. And Luis winds up being the surrogate for their unborn child. It’s not something to be taken seriously at all. I wanted it to parody all the things happening in Luis’s life at the time, and went more for humor than anything else. I also needed this lighter scene in the book because there’s a very serious life and death incident coming in the following chapters.
Here’s an excerpt from the dream scene in the book. This isn’t the pregnant scene. It’s the scene where Luis realizes he’s going to be the surrogate. And this is the raw version, before edits. Nothing has been changed. It’s just easier to copy and paste a Word doc to HTML than PDF.
In the dream, Luis woke in a cold room that was lit with harsh white lights, bright white walls, and a long row of windows that looked out to a pale gray sky. It smelled of rubbing alcohol and mild disinfectant. He heard people mumbling in low, deep voices somewhere behind him. He glanced down and saw he was wearing a white cotton hospital gown, the kind with the open back. He was lying on one of those examination chairs that reminded him of the dentist’s office. But he knew he wasn’t at the dentist. When he looked at his legs, he blinked. They were up in stirrups and spread so wide he felt a cool breeze on his bare ass. But even worse, he was wearing the same white high-heeled boots he’d worn in the photo shoot on Martha’s Vineyard.
He tried to sit up and lift his legs over the side of the chair, but his ankles were strapped to the stirrups and they wouldn’t budge. He moaned and tried to turn to see who was talking behind him but he wasn’t able to move. “What’s going on? Where am I?” His voice sounded hollow, as if on the verge of an echo in the large, empty white room.
The moment he spoke, Jase rushed to his side and reached for his hand. “You’re at the clinic in Philadelphia,” he said. “Don’t you remember? We came today so the doctor could implant the egg.”
Luis furrowed his eyebrows. “What egg? What doctor? Implant the egg where?” He didn’t like the sound of this at all.
The same doctor with the fuzzy hair he’d met with Jase at the surrogacy clinic in Philadelphia walked over to him and smiled. He patted Jase’s shoulder and said, “It’s normal. Sometimes they react this way while they are coming out of anesthesia. No need to be alarmed.” Then he crossed to the end of the chair, sat on a stool at the bottom of the table where Luis’s legs were in stirrups, and proceeded to put on beige rubber gloves.
Luis felt light-headed; everything around him was blurred and slightly distorted. He held Jase’s hand tighter and said, “Why was I under anesthesia? What’s going on here?”
Jase smiled and caressed his forehead with his other hand. “There’s nothing to worry about. You’re here for The Procedure, so you can carry our child. You had robotic surgery, and then the doctor implanted the egg. There’s only one step left and we’re all finished.”
“Yes, don’t you remember it was my latest invention? I was going to work on a new and improved cheese maker, but decided that since we were interested in building a family I might as well invent a procedure where men can get pregnant and carry babies instead. It’s all the rage now. Gay men all over the world are getting it done. I hope we have triplets.”
“I wouldn’t mind quadruplets.”
Luis had always been proud of all Jase’s inventions. The man was a genius and his mind never stopped working on ways to change the world. But Luis didn’t remember this invention. “And I agreed to get pregnant?”
“Isn’t it wonderful,” Jase said. “You’re going to be the surrogate now, not Hillary or a stranger we don’t know. You’re going to be my sweet little pregnant husband.”
The doctor’s hands went between Luis’s legs and he started to probe Luis’s anus with something cold that felt like it was made out of metal. He smiled and said, “Don’t worry, Jase. This is a perfectly normal reaction. He’ll remember everything in an hour or so.”
“What the hell is he doing down there between my legs?” Luis asked.
Jase said, “Try to relax and settled down, Luis. There’s only one step left to get you knocked you up, and then we can go back to the farm and rest for the rest of the weekend. And just think, in a couple of months you’ll be pregnant and starting to show with our second child…or children if it is multiple births. Hunter is so excited he can’t stop talking about his new brother or sister, or both. You’re going to look so cute with a big fat belly.”
Luis trusted Jase completely. He knew Jase would never do anything to harm him. Though he didn’t remember anything about The Procedure, he knew that if Jase said he’d agreed to do this creepy thing he must have. The doctor’s head went down and he started probing Luis’s anus deeper with the cold metal instrument. It didn’t hurt; it just felt intrusive and peculiar. The most any doctor had ever done to his anus was check his prostate during a routine exam with his middle finger. For Luis, this was nothing.
While the doctor probed, he started to whistle, La donna e mobile. Luis glanced up at Jase and said, “I don’t feel any different. I just feel confused and out of it. You said they gave me The Procedure and implanted an egg?” He couldn’t seem to grasp the entire surrogacy concept.
Jase caressed his forehead again. “Yes, Hillary provided the egg. And the next step is to get the sperm. We’re doing that the old fashioned way because that’s what you wanted.”
“Hillary’s egg?” He almost moaned out loud. He wasn’t sure he’d want a child with Hillary’s pushy genes. And if his kid turned out anything like her high-strung Justin, he’d lose his mind for sure. Besides, he wanted to gag at the thought of Hillary’s egg inside his body.
“Wasn’t that nice of her? We’re going to do it the old fashioned way now.”
“The old fashioned way?”
Jase leaned forward so he could whisper. The doctor was still whistling La donna e mobile, probing Luis. “In a minute the doctor is going to allow a group of young interns to come in and I’m going to give you the sperm the old fashioned way.”
Luis’s temples began to pulse. The doctor’s whistling grew louder to the point where he pulled his hand away from Jase and covered his ears. He knew, intellectually, none of this made sense and yet it all seemed so real. As the doctor went deeper with the metal instrument, everything in the room distorted. The white walls tipped sideways; the ceiling began to rotate. Luis held his hands to his ears and closed his eyes as tightly as he could to drown out the whistling and stop the room from moving.
When he opened his eyes again, he was standing in the kitchen at Cider Mill Farm in his bare feet in front of the sink. He was wearing something he would normally never wear, not even to work outside in the garden: a loose baggy T-shirt with a character from Sesame Street on the front and over-sized cut off jeans that had long frayed strings hanging down to his knees. The T-shirt had stains and the jeans hung low on his waist. He glanced through the window and saw Isabelle and Mary sitting on the patio in white dresses, fanning themselves. Hunter was running around on the back lawn with a puppy Luis had never seen before. But it wasn’t a cute puppy. This one had green-gray patchy fur, bugged, lopsided eyes, ears that came down to his paws, and saliva dripping from his mouth. He pressed his palm to his torso and felt something peculiar. When he glanced down at his waist, he saw a huge mound that had to be at least forty-four inches round.
Jase came up from behind, looking sexier and better than he’d ever looked before. He reminded Luis of the young version of Jase he’d once met after he’d dreamed he went back in time to when Jase was eighteen years old. Jase gave Luis a playful pat on the behind and said, “How’s my chubby little husband doing today? Did I tell you today how much I love all the cellulite on the backs of your legs?”
Luis’s jaw dropped. He pressed his palm to the huge mound that used to be his perfectly thin, flat waist, and said, “I’m not sure how I’m doing.” He remembered being in the clinic and having The Procedure, but nothing in between then and now.