By that evening, Lou had calmed down enough to convene a meeting at her rented house of the 4 potential sperm donors, to tell them in person of her decision.
"So," she took a deep breath, "I've decided NOT to decide among you."
'Geez, I wasn't expecting THAT,' Pablo thought, grimacing.
'What the fuck???' thought Jay.
'This chick's batshit,' thought Braylen.
'Come on, Lou,' Edwin begged silently. 'Please don't screw this up!'
"So here's what I HAVE decided," Lou announced brightly.
"I want a sperm sample from EACH of you. Then I will ask my doctor to select one of those samples at random--even HE won't know which of you is the ultimate donor."
"Then he will harvest eggs from me, fertilize them with the randomly selected sperm, and place the embryo into the uterus of the gestational surrogate I've chosen."
The room was dead silent.
"THAT way," Lou went on, "I won't know who the father is, and none of YOU will know who the father is, either--it's a WIN-WIN!"
The room was still dead silent.
Still reeling from Lou's announcement, the guys headed to the Rattlesnake Bar.
"Well, that's the damnedest thing I've ever heard!" Pablo declared, stunned.
"Hey, getting paid for jerking off into a cup?--Count me IN!" Braylen exclaimed.
Jay was in fact relieved--he was happy not to know whether or not the baby would be his.
"Good morning, Jewel! Good morning, Patrice!" Lou called out gaily as she strode into the hospital the next morning.
"Seriously?" Patrice asked Jewel, incredulous. "I didn't think the bitch even knew my name!"
"I guess even Satan occasionally has a cheerful day," Jewel remarked.
"Hi, guys," Braylen called out as he showed up to work for the day.
"Hmmm," Jewel mused. "Don't YOU look like the cat who swallowed the canary!"
Braylen just grinned and walked away.
Confident that she had at last ordered her personal life to her satisfaction, Lou was happy all day.
She wasn't even mean to children.
Leaving the analysis room mid-day, she ran into Braylen.
"Hey, Doc," he said, "just wanted to let you know--after we left your place last night, all of us guys went out for a drink, and we decided we're all in with your plan."
"Terrific!" Lou said, delighted. "I'll check my surrogate's schedule, and get back to all you guys with a date."
And, in what Lou considered to be a sign, she was promoted to Surgeon that day.