Hi folks.

Weasel here.

Well, here it is - chapter two.....

Not very long awaited. I've got to say that this chapter has

come together at breakneck speeds (and at times, both Stasya

and I have felt like breaking the necks of either/both of

the main characters).

This may be the end of Confession as a series. It may not.

Certainly for now, this is it! Both of us need the break.

Personally, I think I'll go and write something cheerful for

a change.

Until then..... enjoy  :)


Stasya here...

My turn to say  "Weasel pretty much said it all." 

Writing this has been rewarding, traumatic, frustrating,


It's been an *experience*.  One I'm glad happened.  :)

No, Mark is not me.  Not completely.  The following from a

conversation with Weasel sums it up.

"Mark said and expressed some things I wouldn't have.  What

fascinates me is that he really dug into my subconscious and

talked about some things I had never considered.  It flowed

easily from him but I was sitting there gawking and

muttering 'where the hell did that come from?' "

Hope you enjoy it. 

Once again, this is dedicated to 'G' and his wife.  :)


Confession - Chapter two

by Weasel and Stasya

(or, by Stasya and Weasel

 Take your pick.  )

The morning after the night before. 

Waking. Alone.

Freshening up in the bathroom. Alone.

Making and eating my breakfast. Alone.

The house has been empty before, but this time, there's a

difference. I used to know that there was a marriage here

for either of us to come back to. A happy home. Now?.......

Jazz gazes at me reproachfully throughout. Asking me where

Mark is. Asking me when he's going to come back to us. 

I endure the routine for as long as I can, but the sight of

my breakfast dishes on the kitchen table bring back images

of last night. Painfully intense memories.

Me, shocked and numb. Him, guilty and torn up inside. Jazz,

padding over to take *her* place in the relationship. Her

*real* place.......

This can't go on. I can't stand it any more. 

When will he come back? How long do I have to wait for him?

I feel a sudden burst of irritation at myself.

'Don't be a fool, Helen! You don't *have* to wait for him.

Try taking charge of your *own* life for once! If you want

to talk to him, go and find him. 

'Or is that too much effort for you? Are you *really* that



An hour later and the job is done.

I've called in sick for the day. I couldn't face work at the

moment anyway.

I know where my husband is staying. Four phone-calls and a

few innocent enquiries were enough to get me his location.

Today - finally - we will talk.

As I get dressed in the bedroom, my troubled thoughts turn,

once again, to Jazz.

Should I take her with me?

Mark would certainly be pleased to see her.  (another brief

bolt of pain in my heart)

I don't *want* to take her. She threatens me by her very

presence. Together, *they* threaten me.  I want my husband

back, and I can't have him while the dog is there.

In the end, though, neither of those arguments sway me.

Jasmine decides the issue.

Jazz wants to see Mark. She's going to be unhappy if she

can't. She already thinks I'm punishing her, and she doesn't

understand why. 

It's *not* her fault. She's just caught in the middle of

this whole mess. I won't hurt her again.

Jazz comes with me.


I've had breakfast.

It was a silent one at the coffee shop next to the motel.

When I woke up, the loneliness hit me finally.  

No Helen to snuggle with before getting out of bed.

No Jazz insisting on getting *her* breakfast before we got


No soulfull brown eyes gazing at us to welcome us to a new


No Helen.

The absence of the center of my life tears at my soul.

No Helen.

Oh, I miss Jazz as well.  I can't deny that.


It is Helen I miss the most.  The two of us together and

Jazz orbiting both of us.  Her bouncing joy tying Helen and

I in the all encompassing circle of her love for the two of


Strengthening my and Helen's love for each other.

As I sit gazing out the windows of my room, I smile bitterly

to myself.

'Women can love more than one person at a time.'

'Dogs can love whole families.'

'Why then, is it impossible for a man to love more than one

at a time?'

How can I explain this to Helen?  I'm still searching for

the words.

Are there words for this?

Or is it something you can only *feel*?

How do I tell her that a part of me sometimes needs to


Forget everything that makes me human.

Become a pure, unreasoning animal.  

Jazz gives me that escape again.  

With her I can give and take on a level that communicates

without words.  Without that vaunted *intellect* getting in

the way.  The two of us *know* what the other is saying.

There is no doubt.

How do I tell Helen that there are times when I *need* to

abandon the very things that make me human?

So, that when I take them up again, I am more human than I

was before.

In spite of everything she does for me, Helen cannot give me

that escape.  The escape I find myself needing to let me

survive in this world.

Sighing deeply, I continue to stare out the window at the

world that is

passing me by.

Cold from more than the morning chill, I shiver as I

contemplate a possible future without Helen.  Without Jazz.

Without love.


How long have I been standing outside this door now? Ten

seconds? A minute?  Five minutes? More?

Endless time spent trying to work up the courage to do

something as *simple* as knocking on it.

What do I do if he isn't in?

What the *hell* do I do if he is?

All I know is that I need to talk. I don't have the faintest

idea of what I'm going to say....

So I hesitate. Again.

If I go into that room, I will find more grief, more

frustration, more reality. Possibly more than I can face.

If I go in, I *may* also find a path to my future......

Out here there is nothing. No hope at all.

I'll knock.

My hand raises to the solid wooden barrier...... and then

drops again.

'Coward!' My mind screams at me.

'I have a right to be scared,' comes the child's rejoinder

from within.

As I struggle with my uncertainty and fear, Jasmine looks up

at me again.

Somehow, she knew where we were going. As soon as I put the

leash on her, she knew. It was as if all of her training had

been forgotten. There were times when she pulled me along so

hard that the leather strap cut into my flesh. 

I think that if I had tried to turn back, she would have

pulled me over and dragged me the rest of the way.

Now, finally, she grows impatient with my indecision.

Standing up suddenly, she utters two short, commanding barks

and tugs my arm towards the door.

If Mark *is* there, he will recognise Jazz's distinctive

'woof'. I know it.  Somehow, I get the impression that Jazz

knew it too.

No. She doesn't. She's just an animal. Stop trying to

humanize her. She's a *dog*, that's all!

I knock on the door. Somehow, I don't want him thinking that

I was scared of facing him.

Even though I am.

We wait. A short pause that seems like an eternity.

The door opens, and I face my husband again.

He's here. Relief, renewed pain, fear, apprehension and love

all jostle for position within me.

He looks stunned to see me. Neither of us speak or act


Again, Jazz is the tension breaker. She has no qualms about

expressing herself. Her front paws are already up on his

chest, and she is licking his chin with the fervour of a


He strokes and calms her, but his gaze never leaves my face.

"Helen?" he asks, softly.

The word means so much more than, 'how did you find me?' and

both of us know it.

"Can we talk?"

God, my voice is shaking. *I'm* shaking.

Mark looks nervous, but he gestures for me to come in.

He sits on the bed, I take my place on a nearby chair.

Jazz dances between us, whimpering in excitement, before

settling, predictably enough, with her head on Mark's lap.

Why does that hurt so much? If the two of them had done that

24 hours ago, I wouldn't have given it a second


24 hours ago, I didn't know who - what! - Mark was.

He opens his mouth to speak. I shake my head.

"Don't say anything. This is going to be difficult enough as

it is."

I take a deep breath, and search for the best words. There

are no *right* ones.....

Looking at the wall behind him, avoiding the sight of him

and Jasmine together, I begin.

"I've had time to think about what you told me.

"I don't like it. Hell, I *hate* what you've done. What you

want to do.

"I'm still not sure whether I can live with this situation.

Is there anything worth saving? I don't know.

"But I'm willing to try. If you still want to."

Tears threaten and I stare unblinkingly at the wall while

trying to hold them back. I *won't* let my tears flow. Not

here. Not now.

My fingers twist around each other in suppressed agitation.

I try to keep my voice steady.

"It's not much, but it's all I can offer at the moment.


('Don't say it!!' screams the child's voice inside my head.

'Don't give him the chance to hurt you again!')

With difficulty, I force the child back into the recesses of

my mind again.

I swallow and try again.

"I still love you."

Finally, I force my gaze back to the two of them and wait

for his answer.

Does he still want me? Or is he only interested in Jasmine



I jerk my head towards the door.

Did I hear...?

Then, a series of knocks.

Can it be?

Both of them?  Would Helen bring Jazz with her?

Did Helen track me here?

Admittedly, I made no effort to hide from her.

Yet, I have to wonder why.

If it is her.

If that demanding series of barks wasn't my memory talking.

By now, I'm at the door.

I open it.

It is Helen.  (Why is she here with Jazz?  Is this goodbye?

She doesn't want me at the house?)

Absentmindedly, I barely notice Jazz as she tries to devour

me in her happiness to see me.

It's Helen I watch.

After an eternity, I remember myself enough to speak.


I make a question of her name.  'Why are you here with Jazz?

For what reason did you take the time to track me down?'

'Are you here to say 'goodbye' or 'come home'?'

"Can we talk?"  Her voice is trembling and barely above a


'It's not goodbye!'  I begin to feel hope.

Is this my chance to get through to her?  I hope so.  The

prospect of failure scares me.

I step back and invite her in.

As she finds a chair, I sit on the bed.  Jazz is...  Well,

Jazz is being Jazz.  Happy to have both of us together.

She's bouncing back and forth between us.

Can't Helen see that Jazz wants us together?  She wants

Helen and I next to each other.   All Helen has to do is

reach out and touch Jazz.  How come she won't let herself

see?  Jazz would stay with her if only she'd reach out a

little.  Let Jazz know.

Finally, Jazz gives up and settles next to me on the bed.

Jazz gives me one last look and then rests her head on my

lap and focuses on Helen.

I start to tell Helen how glad I am to see her.  She stops

me before I can start.

I hear her bitterness.

I also hear her ask for help.

"I still love you."

I'm ecstatic over those simple words.

I let none of it show.

Now, the hard part.

How do I break through her denial?  I need to gently lead

her to open her eyes and see things around her.

Finally, I rise and go to her.  Jazz starts to follow me and

with a gentle pressure to hold her in place, I silently tell

her to stay.  Jazz relaxes and watches from the bed.

Never removing my gaze from Helen, I sit cross-legged on the

floor in front of her.

Wordlessly, I reach up to enfold her hands in mine.

I feel the trembling.  Her slight flinch as I touch her.

I feel the restless twisting of her fingers slow and finally


I reach up with one hand and use a finger to gently brush

away the tears that have started to flow.

How do I start?

"Wait.  Please.  Just listen for a bit.  Don't try to answer

what I'm about to say. Just listen."

I take a deep breath and struggle to keep my voice calm.


"All three of us are changing.

"Jazz is changing.  She's growing up.  Trying to understand

her place in our lives.

"I'm changing.  Not as much as you may think.  Just

relearning some things I tried to hide from.

"You're changing as well.  What I'm about to say will hurt.

A lot.

"You and I are growing up.  Again.

"Jazz is the only one of us who isn't afraid of growth.

"She has no concept of denial.  She knows she simply is.

She's happy with that.

"Me?  Well, I know all about denial.  I've spent the last

several months realizing how damaging it is.  I've had more

time to adjust.

"You?" I reach up and use a finger to gently touch her lips.

A silent request that she not speak yet.

"I don't know why but you've been in denial as well.

Refusing to let yourself see some things.  Focusing on

others to the exclusion of all else.

I smile wryly.  "You're human.  It's normal for us.

"Jazz is a dog.  Yes.  She has feelings though.  Deep ones.

She's not a child.  If anything, she is a young adult still

learning about life. Someone who doesn't hesitate to ask

questions and expect answers.

"Try to see her as I do.  Look back.  She has made countless

requests that you become more than just her friend.  But, in

most cases, you ignored her.  I'm not saying that you don't

care for her.  In your way, you love her as deeply as I do.

"Jazz wanted more than friendship.  She wanted

companionship.  The reassurance  that she has a permanent

place with us.  She let *you* define how you and she


"Think of her as a foreigner.  She doesn't understand the

language completely.  She tries to communicate but we have

to make an effort to understand her.

"Because of my past, I noticed and understood much of what

she has asked.  I could respond in ways she easily


"I know you know she has feelings.  If you thought she

didn't, you wouldn't have brought her with you.  I know you

too well.

I sigh and pause.  Then, softly, I continue.

"If you'll let me, I'll always be here for you.

"I can help.  I've missed you

"I love you.

"I know you have problems.  Many problems.  

"I had them too.

"The way our culture raised us ensures that.  Monogamous

human only relationships are normal.  A culture that denies

that any other types are possible.  A culture that ignores

humdreds of other types of relationships that have been

successful for thousands of years.

"Because I've discarded that type of thinking, I think I

know what troubles you the most amongst all the things

bothering you.

"It's that I've had sex with a bitch and want to have sex

with Jasmine.

"Isn't it?"  I receive a nod.

"I know you'll have a lot of trouble with this.

"Has it occured to you that she wanted sex with me first?

I reach and silence her again


"I have refused every time Jazz has asked me to have sex

with her.

"Yes, a bitch can tell you they want even that.  Often


"And that's a problem *I* face.

"I love you just as much as ever.  I love Jazz as well.

"Jazz, in her way, thinks of me as a sort of strange dog and

loves me for what I am.  To her, sex is just another form of

affection.  It doesn't carry all the trappings we humans

wrap it with.

"It makes you and I happy.  She wants to be happy.  So, if I

deny her that happiness, I will hurt her deeply.  I have

hurt her already by refusing her.   Deeply.  She doesn't

understand, but she accepts it.  She'll never understand

that I refused to show my love for her in this most basic of

all ways because of my love for you.

"Can I continue to refuse her?  Not for long.  To do so

would violate a very basic part of myself.  Love and sex are

intertwined in me.  Denying one is to deny the other.  Love

without sex is love.  A shallower love though.  A refusal to

commit myself completely.  

She and I would feel that incompleteness eventually.  And it

would hurt deeply.  Just as it would hurt you and I.

"This is the change I'm talking about.  I quit letting

others tell me what to think and decided for myself.  I

still have problems at times.

"In order to understand or even accept me as I now am,

you'll have to be able to accept that humans and animals

aren't really all that different.  Different forms?  Yes.

Different languages?  Yes.  Animals as children? No.  They

are adults in their own right.  And, if we but make the

effort, we can deal with them on those terms.  As equals

sharing life."

Finally, I pause.

I gently squeeze Helen's hands to try and give her some of

my strength. To remind her that I care for her.

I wait.


His words bring new thoughts. New emotions.

Anger is uppermost. Incensed outrage.

How can he say that I ignore Jazz? It's not true!

I open my mouth to deny it vehemently. To deny it


To deny.



My thinking echoing his words.....

*Is* he right? *Have* I been deaf to what she was telling


Sudden, unwelcome memories, of my own thoughts and


'Doesn't he understand that she's just an *animal*?'

'She didn't ask for his love. How could she? She doesn't

even understand what the word means!'

'She's just an animal. Stop trying to humanize her. She's a

*dog*, that's all!'

My own thoughts. Betraying me.

He says she can ask for sex......

She *did* ask for that kind of attention. When she was in

heat. I saw her doing it, and dismissed it as pure instinct.

Now? Suddenly, I'm not so sure.

My actions. Doing what is best for Jazz. Protecting Jazz.

Deciding for Jazz.

I gaze into the distance again, trying to make sense of my

troubled thoughts.

Shouldn't I protect her? She's in my care. It's only

natural, isn't it?

She's my responsibility.

It is then that I remember the pain in her eyes when I shut

her away from Mark. Me, acting upon her, forcing her to do

my bidding, in direct constrast to her own preferences.

I don't know what to think. Child or adult? *Just* a dog, or

*fully* a dog?

Capable of feeling love?

Certainly capable of feeling pain. If pain, then why not


Why is that so hard for me to accept?

Is Mark right? Am I denying Jazz her natural place within

the family?

(But she's just a dog!)

This time I suppress the thought, almost before it has a

chance to surface.

Maybe I *have* ignored her needs. Grudgingly, I allow the

admission to drift through my mind.


But does that change anything?

*If* she's capable of making her own choices, and telling

Mark and I what she really wants, that's one thing. Does

that give her the right to expect what she does from him?

She has the right to demand, but dammit, he has the right to

refuse! So what if she's an adult? Adults don't get their

own way all the time! Adults have to learn to live with


He talks of disappointing Jazz. Upsetting Jazz. Hurting


(He's disappointing me. He's upsetting me. He's hurting me

too....) I shrug the pain away - for now - and try to think


Is *that* why he feels the need to have sex with her then?

Just for *her* sake?

What is it with the two of them? Lust? Love? Obsession? A

combination of them all?

If all she's demanding is sex, we could get another dog. We

could breed her, or - or something! If she wants love.....

well, I love her. Mark loves her.  That should be enough.

He's turning everything the wrong way around. It's not fair!

Other people have pets. Happy pets. Without having to have

sex with them. I don't understand why Mark and Jazz are


He still loves me. That thought brings a wash of relief over


But I still don't understand where my place is now.

That troubles me more than anything else. I have to know.

Mark is still waiting. Silently patient, he holds my hands.

I look at him. Not angry any more. Just confused.

Then my gaze wanders over to the bed. Jasmine stares at me,

head slightly to one side. She needs to know her place as


Gently, I slide my hands out of his and stand up. I feel

both pairs of eyes on me as I walk over to the bed and sit

down beside Jazz.

She shifts her head so that it lies on my lap. I run a hand

along her flank, caressing her soft fur. Somehow, the simple

gestures bring me close to tears again, but this time the

emotion is not a hurtful one.

At last, I speak.

"Tell me what she means to you. I'm trying to understand.

It's important."

I listen.


I get up and walk to the window.

Gaze unseeingly out.

Now comes the hard part.  Is she prepared enough?

I don't know.

My mind tumbles over the rocks of my past.  The things *I*

had to unlearn those many years ago.

How much more difficult will it be for Helen?

I turn to look at the two of them.

Helen and Jasmine.  Jasmine and Helen.

The two I love most in this world.

I can't help but smile as I see that Jazz has relaxed into

Helen's unconscious caresses.  Helen is watching me but her

hand tells another story.

Jazz is limp under those strokes.  Eyes closed, she is the

picture of doggy contentment.

The tenseness I've felt leaves me.  My whole body relaxes

and my smile becomes conscious and genuine.

Whatever Helen's conscious mind says, I can deal with it as

the last dying words of a child.  She's accepted that she

and Jazz will have to share me.  She doen't know it though.

Not completely.  Not consciously.

I turn back to the window and speak.

"Jazz means as much to me as you do."  (There, I've said


"Maybe more at times.  But then, except for those times, you

mean as much to me or far more than Jazz ever will.

"Those times when I need Jazz more aren't very often.

"I'm not sure of all the reasons myself.

"Sometimes I wonder if it has to do with how sensitive I am.

"The one thing I know for sure is that once in a while I

need to escape.

"Escape from being human.  Totally abandon everthing that

makes me human.  Become a pure unthinking animal for a


"Reacting with my emotions only.  No intellect to confuse

things.  No worrys about all the things that humans think


"Even with you, I haven't had that total abandonment.  Oh,

we get close. But with Jazz, it can be total.  I *know* that

much with a certainness beyond words.

"I was that way with Beth.  Even without the sex, I could

give up what makes me human.  I can do that much with Jazz


"So, if I get that, how come I want to have sex with her?


I turn back to the two of them and walk over to sit at

Helen's feet.

I look up.

"Yes, part of that escape means escaping from you.  I don't

mean that in a negative sense.  When I say abandon my ties

with humanness, I mean leave all of them behind.

"I can't do that during sex with any human."

Tears of frustration begin to flow.

"Lord knows I've tried.  For years I've tried to capture

that with you.  I get so frustratingly close to that but

always, there is a little bit that remains.

"A lingering bit of humanness that I can't shake when I'm

with you.  Part of my denial was convincing myself that I

could abandon myself totally when with you.  

"Once we got Jazz and she learned her place with you and in

our family, she turned to me.  I started unconsciously

responding to her attentions based on what I had learned

from loving Beth.  That forced me to remember what I had

received from Beth.  Then, when Jazz asked me for sex, I

knew that I'd have to tell you eventually.

"Sex with Beth was a total abandonment of self.  When I was

sick of dealing with people, I could go to her and become

one with her.  One in a way that no matter how hard I try, I

can't be with a human.

"When I came back from that and took up the trappings of

being human, I was always able to think more clearly.  I was

relaxed.  All the hurt, the pain, the frustration, would be

gone or so muted that I could step back and deal with it.  I

could go back and deal with the world again.

"For me, those times when I had sex with an animal, were a

time of restoration of my humanity.

"Sex with Jazz.  That total commitment and acceptance that

occurs only during sex, will let me be more human.

"It's not a case of loving you less.  It's just that

sometimes the pressures of being human get to the point I

have to walk away from them for a bit.  Jazz can give me

that again.

I smile somewhat bitterly.

"I can point to some things.  Others?  Well, they just are.

Jazz and I speak a language born of pure emotions without


"Language shapes and limits how we view the world.  Being

bilingual across species, I see the world differently than

'normal' people.

"Simpler sometimes?  Maybe.  Part of me sees the strength of

emotional ties though.

"I guess you could say that because my first love was with a

bitch, I'll always have a special kinship with them.

"Women and dogs are acknowledged to be able to love more

than one at a time.  How come I can't?

"I speak two languages.  One is human.  The other is dog.

Unless you learn the second, you'll never truly understand

how I straddle two worlds. Because of *that*, I need Jazz.

I need you.  Neither one of you will ever fully replace the

other.  The two of you complement each other and fully

complete me.

"My love.  My dearest Helen.  I'm sorrier than you'll ever

know that my preoccupation with finding a way to tell you

this caused us to start drifting apart.  That what I am

makes you question your place in my life.  Makes you

question that you can ever have a place there again.

"You've never lost that place.

"Look at Jazz.  She's content with what is.

"I can accept what is."

I get up and sit next to her.  Wrap my arms around her and

hold her next to me.

Then, I whisper.  "Look at your hand.  At Jazz.  You can

accept too.  If you try."


'You can accept too.'

Can I?

I look down at Jazz. Content, happy, unconcerned.


Why can't I do the same thing?

He said that she means as much to him as I do. Sometimes.

*I* mean more to him. Sometimes.

But other times, *she* means more than me? My mind struggles

with the concept.

I feel an instinctive sense of rejection. One which

surpasses mere words and logic. 

I still can't shake the idea that what he's doing is

*wrong*. There are no clear words or thoughts to go with

this feeling, nevertheless it is a strong driving force

within me.

Wrong? Something about the word tugs insistently at me.

Why is it wrong? I need to understand.

Instant justifications race through my mind.

Nobody else does it. It's not normal.....

It's against the law.....

My upbringing - everything I've been taught - says it's


I shouldn't have to share him. He's my husband.....

Then Mark's words come to mind:

'I quit letting others tell me what to think and decided for


For the first time, I consider the meaning of his words.

Is *that* all that it comes down to in the end? Worrying

about what the neighbours would say? Worrying about how the

community would view us? Is it just 'I'm too weak to decide

for myself'?

I don't know what to think. I search within my mind for

arguments I can use to reject the idea of his zoo.... his

zoo-whatever-he-called-it. I try to pin down just *one* good

reason why *I* can justify the inherent evil within his


Many, many reasons.

None that satisfy me.

Law, religion, society, rules, rules, rules. Because *we*

tell you to. It's for your own good.

Again, I look at Jazz. I believed I was doing what was best

for her. Telling her what to do. For *her* own good.

All that I managed was to cause her grief and distress.

*If* Jazz has a right to decide for herself, then so do I.

Why is it wrong?

Because he lied to me. Because he hurt me. Because the

feelings he has for Jazz scare me.

Those thoughts are jerked out of my subconscious with all

the rawness of a fresh wound. I flinch with the intensity of

the pain that I feel.

No matter what I do, I can't escape from the fact that he

hurt me so badly.

For just a moment, all of the anger and bitterness is back

again, and I nearly surrender to the powerful emotions.

My mind refuses to give up so easily, though. I still feel

the need to understand.....

He lied to me. Did he? Or was he lying to himself,

primarily? Was it deceit, or just confusion so vast that he

couldn't find his way through it?

An uncomfortable thought occurs to me. If he *did* know, he

should have trusted me, surely? I would have repaid the

trust by.....


by turning my back on him and considering him to be a

monster. By getting angry and shutting myself away from him.

Trust me? Why should he?

Now I begin to feel the first stinging of uncertainty. *Is*

it wrong?

He hurt me. He scares me.

My mind is relentless. Ruthless. 

Would I be so hurt and scared if I allowed myself to

understand and accept him? 

The answer comes reluctantly. Probably not.

So, who is hurting whom? My own decisions - or lack of them

- are the only things that damage me.

Helen hurts Helen. Helen can stop hurting Helen. If she

wants to.

If she accepts.....

Accept? Accept that Mark can love our dog as much - more! -

than he loves me?

No. It's too big a leap. I can't do it.


Jazz shifts on my knee, uttering a little snort of

contentment, and I look down at her fondly. My fingers

continue their gentle caresses through her fur.

She's so affectionate. So trusting.....

All at once, I see the contrast.

I sit here, worrying my private worries, thinking my private

thoughts, and silently withdrawing from my husband. Making

him wait until I am ready to speak, or act.

Jazz gives what she has to give, without fear of the

consequences. She is open and honest, in a way that no human

could ever be.

Is *that* what Jazz gives him that I can't?

I sit there, stunned in the realization that Mark's love for

the two of us may not be more, or less, but just different.

There is no human that can compete with Jazz, and there is

no dog that can compete for his human love.

Now, at last, I can feel some hope.

This new world may not be wrong. It may not be threatening.

It's too soon to tell. My logic and my emotions still try to

tell me two different things. The pain cannot simply be

thought away.

Finally, though, I have reached my decision.

I turn to Mark. A thousand things pass through my head.

I could explain. I could justify. I could set my terms with


None of that seems important. None of it is necessary. Not


My fingers curl around his hand, while my other hand rubs

softly at Jazz' ears.

"I want to try again," I tell him softly. "Come home with



'Come home with me?'

I soar inwardly.  My Helen is back!  It may take a while,

but there is hope within me again.

I tighten my arms around her.

"Come home?

"Home is where you and Jazz are.

"I'm already there."

With that, I finally cry tears of joy and release.

I lean my head on her shoulder.

"Thank You."  There is a world of shared thoughts in those

simple words.

After months of separation, we are a family again.


-- Epilog --

It is years later.

Helen and Jazz and I have made our peace.  My zoophilia is a

hidden but normal part of our lives.

Our lives are routine now.

I'm at work.  My co-workers are gathered around a computer


I hear laughs, snorts and muttered comments.

Finally, "Hey Mark!  Come take a look at this."

Wondering what is so important to them, I wander over.

"Look at this.  You'd think these sick perverts were


Another mutters... "Damn perverts.  Must not be able to find

any human partners."

I wonder how come the emphasis on *human* partners.

I look at the screen.

My God!!


There, on the screen are words.

One of the words is zoophile.

It's a web site for zoophiles.

Impossible! My mind screams it.  Refuses to believe.


As my co-workers laugh and make ribald and ugly coments, I

numbly reply to some of them.

"Yeah, sick." My voice is weak.

"They need help."  Inwardly I'm thinking.  'They're helping


Numbed, I barely remember one of the urls.

I drift back to my desk.  When I'm sure nobody is paying any

attention, I write down the url and put the paper in my


One thought beats in my mind for the rest of the day.

Is it true?  Is it true?  Or is this some macabre nightmare

to put me in my own personal hell?

Dear merciful God, let it be true.

* * *

As I walk in the door at home, I'm shaking, Trembling from

reaction to the day's discovery.

I hear Jazz's welcoming barks.

Helen hugs me and  asks what's wrong.

"Mark!?  You're trembling!"

"The computer, the computer."

I mumble the words as though they are some sort of mantra.

Jazz dodges out of my way as I let go of Helen and enter the


I stagger to where the computer is.  Paw through the drawer

of disks like some frenzied Terrier.

All I can say is a repeated mumble...

"There are others, there are others, there are others...."

Helen is staring at me.  "Other WHAT?"

In my frantic searching, I ignore her demand.


I hold up a disk containing the internet software we never


Hands shaking, I insert it and do the installation.  Agree

to the payment plan.

I whisper...

"Dear GOD if it's true, I don't care how much I pay."

Helen is standing behind me now.  I barely notice her.

Hands trembling, I bring up the web browser.

I dig out the piece of paper and haltingly type in the url I

so carefully remembered.

I look up at my wife and whisper...

"I just discovered there are others on the net.  People like

me.  Like us."

I see her stunned amazement.


"Are you sure?"

I gaze into her eyes.

"My God, I hope so.  Otherwise my day has been some cruel


I look back at the screen.

Tremblingly, haltingly, I force myself to hit the enter key.

Then with one hand I reach to hold Helen's hands where they

tremble on ny shoulder.  The other automatically reaches to

my lap.  Jasmine has rested her head there and trembles

along with us.  All she understands is that something has

changed.  Good, bad, she doesn't know what's going on but

she wants to share it with us anyway.

Forever in a second.  An eternity.

Then, a screen.  The one I remember from work.

Helen's arms go around me.  I barely feel her hug.  Her

breath is a stunned whisper in my ear.

It's not a dream.

Both of us are trembling as we explore.

Sweet jesus!  There are so many of them!

Web sites.  Stories.  Information....

We spend hours just skimming from place to place.

These people really are out there.

As we finally shut down the computer, Helen comes around to

sit in my lap.

All I can say through my drained emotions is...

"I'm not alone.

"  *We're* not alone."

It is enough.






(or: A note from Bitzer)

OK  so maybe I didn't write this, but several people

have already asked how closely it is based on my RL

experiences with Weasel. There is a simple answer to that: