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Tami Beethoven

 

 

1.

        “Here’s some burnt connective tissue,” she said, wiping a small grease splatter off her nipple and forking three strips of bacon onto Rod’s plate.  Before turning back to the stove she snapped off a piece for herself.  Burnt connective tissue tasted so good sometimes, especially on a late winter morning like this.

 

        Her comment was playing to her vegetarian guests, Jen and Leisha, married three years ago under the laws of the State of Vermont, who were taking in Tami’s famous soy flour pancakes.  Dressed in flannel shirts, jeans, and sneakers with nice thick wool socks, they also took in the trim butt cheeks as Tami worked the stove, cheeks that were always bare like the rest of her and were a prime display of her trademark tan.  It was well observed in the Campbell-Frank College community that Tami’s summer skin was copper, but her winter skin was a light brown, a change like the summer and winter colors of certain birds.  But at any time of year, her permanently nude body was one of the glories of the local countryside.

 

        She turned to slide another pancake onto Jen’s plate.  “Nice, what is that, burgundy, Tam?” Jen said.  Tami stood back, playfully tossing her shoulder-length hair like in a shampoo commercial, then looking down to her full length nudity.  Her hair, her fingernails, her pubic hair (“lower hair”, she called it), and her toenails were all the same reddish color, a shade lighter than her natural hair color.  “No, more magenta-ish.  The box calls it ‘Plum’,” she said.  “Goes well.”  “Thanks.  I might stick with this for a while.”  “I still like the all-black look on you.”

 

        As Jen said this she brushed aside a few of the beer bottle caps that had some time ago spilled over the top of the big round oatmeal carton that graced the end of the table.  Most of the caps reflected Tami’s favorite brand.  The carton had been there a year but, still, that was a whole lot of caps.  Behind the mountain of caps, on the wall, a bulletin board with various pictures and notices, many way out of date.  And a little framed note that said, in Tami’s neat hand,

Would you spend your life

With a naked wife?

 

        Next to that, a Pawtucket Red Sox hat, push-pinned into the board.

 

        Rod, about ten minutes from having to leave for work, ready for the outside world in his gray button-down shirt, dark pants and engineer’s boots, looked up from reading this morning’s news on his laptop.  He reflected on how Tami’s appearance had changed over the past three years.  Her face, for one thing.  Longer, a bit more angular, more like a mature woman.  Looking back at those old photos now, like from the Black Formal he had taken Tami to during her first semester, her face seemed more babyish, almost chubby.  Now it was more “beautiful”, as if to catch up with those bright green eyes.

 

        Her body, too, was a bit more angular, the muscles slightly better defined, especially around the midriff and that tight little butt typical of white girls.  Her breasts seemed a bit larger.  Remarkably they did not sag, being without the benefit of a bra all this time.  Maybe not so remarkable.  When she was a sophomore Tami had dug up a study showing that bras, for all their other purposes, do not really prevent sagging.  Sounded wrong, but in Tami’s case the theory was correct.

 

        Looking at her matching hair and nails, Rod was glad that her personal fashion sense, or what fashion choices life had permitted her in light of her allergy, had calmed down.  That sophomore year, at least the second half, was a wild ride.  Blazing colors, half-buzz cuts, shaving into a “T” for Tami, Bride of Frankenstein shocks -- Tami’s crotch was like a dazzling billboard bopping around the campus and town, making it even more the center of attention that it already was wherever she went.  Her upper hair was no less flamboyant, one month almost a Mohawk, the next green dreadlocks, and usually different color nail polish on each finger and toe.  It was a trial to be seen with her, though he never admitted it.  Just when he was hoping people would get used to this naked girl walking around, she calls attention to herself.

 

        Then that summer internship in Germany, working with a famous math professor on six-dimensional polymers or whatever it was -- he never could quite understand her attempts to explain it, even though he was about to complete an engineering degree with two years of calculus.  When she came back in August she was so enthusiastic.  “Germany is such a totally nude friendly country.  It’s where nudism began.  They go out naked to the parks.  I’d walk out and, it was like, I’m not the only one for once.  It was so nice not being stared at.  Everyone was so polite and grown-up about it.  One day they had an exhibit at an art museum; it was a really hot day, so if you went naked you got in free.  I was just one of the crowd.  I wished all the time you could be there and we’d be naked together.  Of course,” they were on the bed at the time, late at night, “I wouldn’t be able to control myself, looking at this!  Roarrr!”  Whereupon she grabbed his dick, swung it around from the base like a floppy baseball bat, then took it into her throat.

        When she came back from that summer she was full of German phrases.  He had learned a little bit from his father, who had been stationed there during his Army days, and had thought it a military and harsh language.  But then he heard Tami speak it in a gentle, musical way and it was enchanting.  “I love the way you wrap your lips around those umlauts,” was his favorite phrase for a while.

 

        She had also, really for the first time, embraced what she called “the theory of nudism” -- the beneficial effect of the elements on bare skin.  She was determined to live in as natural a state as possible and it was almost as hard to take as The Year of the Dazzling Pubic Hair.  She let her legs and armpits go unshaved, let her hair grow wild and long, till it was almost to her butt.  And she would take long hikes at night in the woods behind the house.  He had quite a shock the first time he woke up in the middle of the night to see a wild naked white woman, autumn leaves in her hair, perched in the opened bedroom window, dirt-covered toes curling over the sill, green eyes glowing in the dark, then pouncing across the room onto him, pulling the covers off, commandeering his dick, and jumping on it to ride him through her many orgasms, his crotch scratched by crumpling leaves that had gotten caught in her lower hair.  She did this a number of times until the novelty wore off.

 

        Maybe he was too buttoned-down.  Maybe there was a wildness inside him that she was trying to tap, without saying so.  Certainly when they were alone she was wild enough for both of them.  But it was good to see her calm down and settle on “Plum”.

 

        He returned to reading his laptop.  Tami kissed the shaved smoothness of his ebony scalp and scooted in across from him, beside her old roommate Jen.  While shoveling in her third helping of potatoes she turned a bit, drew her leg up toward the microwave with her gymnast’s flexibility, and with her dexterous toes tapped in ninety seconds for the eggs.  A flick of her pinky toe and it turned on.

 

        “Ooo ooo ooo,” Leisha said in a raspy voice.  Tami smiled.  Her friends sometimes made chimp sounds when she used her feet like hands.  For her it had been a natural progression, going around in bare feet for three years with toes always out there and available.  It also made the wedding band more noticeable, on the third toe of her left foot, matching the larger one which Rod wore in the conventional place.

 

        “Going to Killington today?” Rod asked.  (The biggest ski center in Vermont.)

 

        “Not sure.  Might be too warm,” Jen said, leaning against Leisha.  They were more or less bumming around the region until Leisha’s next anthropology conference in Montreal.  Jen, daughter of wealth, was conducting a very low-key job search, hoping to land an assistant professorship next fall.

 

        Rod tapped a few keys.  “Says it’ll be cloudy today, possible rain, up to 40.”

 

        Tami stretched and thrust out her breasts.  “No, that’s wrong.”

 

        Jen smiled.  “Accu-tits weather.”

 

        The naked 22-year-old got up and stretched again, giving Jen and Leisha a mouth-watering view of her breasts riding up on her perfectly formed body.  She tapped on her dark brown, permanently erect nipples with her index fingers and then flicked them up and down, making her breasts jiggle, giggling as her guests swooned.  “Let me go out and check.  I forgot the mail yesterday anyway.”

 

        After she had gone, Rod, checking sports scores, said, “See Tam’s latest rescue?”

 

        Jen and Leisha looked at each other with a flash of realization.  “So that wasn’t a dream.”

 

        “No, another girl from Teaser’s.”  Rod exhaled.  “Luci, the manager, called around midnight.  I keep telling Tam it’s not her place to put herself out so, but you know how she is.  At least this one was just weepy and drunk.  We put her on the couch in the sun room.”

 

        “I think Herr Remmler would have approved,” Jen said, referring to the deceased professor emeritus at Chalfont who had willed this little house to Tami and her husband for as long as she was associated with the college.  Rod shrugged helplessly.  Providing emergency shelter for wayward strippers was one of many things he had to resign himself to, as husband of Queen Tami the Nude.

 

        Tami returned sorting mail in her hands, tapping last night’s fluffy snow off her toes, having padded silently down the driveway to the mailbox and no doubt waved at the ever-present Mrs. McBreer across the street.  Having sampled the outside air, her nipples could give a more accurate forecast.  “It’s about 25 now, going up only to 35.  Clear all day.”

 

        Leisha said, “Clear tomorrow too?”

 

        “Vielleicht,” Tami said, parking her butt down where it was before.  One of the German words she still occasionally used -- they knew by now that “vielleicht” means “probably”.

 

        Another huge scoop of potatoes into her mouth, to the amusement of Jen and Leisha.  It was often remarked that during the cold months, Tami ate like a hog.

 

        They breakfasted silently for a moment, Rod reading his laptop, the two African-American women wiping up the last of the syrup as they leaned against each other, about as true as true love can get.

 

        Rod could sense it before it actually happened.  Beneath the table, Tami’s snow-encrusted toes now caressed the crotch of his pants.  “How about a quick go-round?”

 

 

2.

 

        “Babe, you’re going to kill me,” he said for about the ten thousandth time.

 

        “You’re the one who attacked me, last night,” the naked girl countered.

 

        “It was more like you attacking me,” he said.

 

        “That was only the second time.”

 

        “And the third.”

        After a quick wink to Leisha, Jen quietly slid under the table.  A quick inhale from Tami ensued.

 

        “Thanks, Jen,” Rod said.  The experiments that Tami had been coerced into undergoing at Chalfont during that awful freshman year had created within her an insatiable sex drive which had not diminished after all this time.  Rod knew that Tami’s dedication to him was total, but also knew that he just did not have the time or the energy, or maybe the staying power, to keep her from climbing the walls all by himself.

 

        It got worse after that bra and panties that had been so diabolically designed for her at Chalfont, with the bristles and dildos inside, got too uncomfortable for her to wear.  It was a shame.  It was the only thing she could wear after her allergy set in.  They would be happily hanging out on the porch on a fall evening, him in his sweats and her in that bikini, conversation interrupted only by her quivering now and then as she worked the remote in her hand.  Afterward she would be sated and happy for hours.  But then, not far into her sophomore year, she felt confined with those straps around her back and her hips.  According to Dr. Kantor, the behavioral therapist at Chalfont who had been assigned to cure her clothes aversion, it was simply another manifestation of the allergy.

 

        Now the bristle bra and dildo panties hung, unused, in the closet.  Add to this the odd fact that Tami just could not reach orgasm by her own hands.  The help of others was just necessary.  Rod had adjusted to that fact a long time ago.  So he appreciated Jen’s help.  Besides, Jen had a kind of seniority.

 

        Under the table, Jen’s tongue worked her magic.  It never took long with Tami.  She swallowed, then lay her head back, eyes half-closed.  Then soft, breathy moans escaped between her deepening breaths.  Tami’s orgasms had a wonderful diversity, every one was different, but the general signs of her ascent were well known.  One foot came up to brace against the wall next to the microwave, as if she was about to defy gravity and walk up sideways.  Leisha cradled the other foot in her lap.  Toes spread and the naked young woman swallowed quickly, then held her breath as she waited for the onslaught.  Rod lifted his coffee off the table.

 

        “Zhh!!  Zhh!!  Zhh!!”  Eyes exploded open.  Her knees jerked up with each jolt, banging up against the table and causing plates to clatter (but not coffee to spill).  Rod disengaged himself from today’s news and looked at his beautiful wife.  One could only smile.  He never tired of seeing her face registering the greatest physical pleasure a person can know.  This was a really violent one, her body showed incredible strength – he almost believed she could lift a car with her upward jerks.  He admired Jen’s virtuosity.  He had gotten better at oral sex over   the past few years, but maybe it takes a woman to really know what works best on another woman.

 

        In fact he was convinced of it.  Tami and her female “fans” (as he thought of them) seemed to occupy a world different from his.  A totally female world.  The last time Jen and Leisha visited was memorable.  It was one of those Saturdays he’d had to work.  He left after lunch, Tami sitting like she often did, cross-legged on top of the living room table, with her two seated friends holding her hands.  Jen had brought some white wine and bread and cheese; Jen liked to bring in some elegant props and it was unspoken that they were getting ready for one of their little “events”.

 

        He got to the project -- restoring an old dam near the Canadian border -- and it was hard for him to concentrate.  His mind wandered so much that the jeep he was driving almost drifted off the service road at one point.  He kept wondering, what are they doing to her now?  His mind relaxed after about three o’clock, realizing they must be finished and sitting around, maybe while Tami took one of her frequent afternoon naps.

 

        The job took longer than he thought.  At six he called home but there was no answer.  He left a message on the machine promising to be back at nine sharp.  When that time finally rolled around, bleary-eyed and exhausted, he rolled into the driveway and stumbled into the living room.

        He was stunned.  They were still at it.  Tami was on the table, on all fours, covered in sweat, her hair dripping around her face.  Behind her, Jen was slowly working a big ribbed dildo in and out of her rectum, while licking her pussy, drawing out the lips, poking at the clit with the tip of her tongue.  Leisha, sitting on the other end, had drawn the end of Tami’s stretched breast into her mouth, vigorously sucking on the nipple while reaching over to rub the other nipple between her thumb and forefinger.  Tami’s whole body was tight as a drum, her toes twitching, suspended right on the brink.

 

        Had they been going all this time?  Jen and Leisha were still fully dressed, not a button undone.  Had Tami been pleasured for nine hours straight?  Had they given her a breather?  How many times had she come?  Were there any limits at all to the sexual capacity of his naked wife?  Questions flooded his suddenly awake mind.  The wine had almost all been drunk, some crumbs of bread still on the plate.  It was as if Tami was the main course.

        He had sometimes resented it -- he sometimes imagined they were seeing how many orgasms they could get out of her, playing her like a pinball machine.  Yet that was not it.  It was something more like communion -- maybe Tami, raised Catholic, got some kind of fulfillment out of it, Catholicism had always been something alien to him -- or maybe more like worship.

 

        It turned out, unexpectedly, to be romantic.  The three women did not appear to notice his approach.  But then as he got near the table Jen and Leisha accelerated their ministrations, and as he circled Tami’s shaking body and came around to her sweaty face, he caught a look in her half-opened, feverish eyes that could only be called pure love.  He then knew what to do -- he bent over and kissed her, a full-throated kiss, and as he did she lurched forward, moaned loudly into his mouth, and her whole body spasmed, and spasmed again.

 

        More followed.  It was a powerful orgasm even for Tami.  Her whole body quaked and quaked, as Jen and Leisha hung on for dear life and he kept his lips on hers, grasping the damp hair behind her head, and she held her lips to his to the extent she could.  The whole event, the whole nine hours, had been a preparation, waiting for him to join her as she scaled and reached what must have been the pinnacle of ecstasy.

 

        Rod thought of that time as, now at the breakfast table, he saw the post-orgasmic catching of breath, the slight sheen of sweat, the hands that went under the table to caress Jen’s hair, which nowadays was set in short cornrows.  Tami was descending to the plateau now, from whence she could rise and then rise again -- “going up”, she called it.  Leisha watched intently too.

 

        Inconsequentially, the microwave beeped and the eggs were ready.

 

        Now the ascent to the second orgasm.

 

        “Rrringg!!”

 

        Rod was about to get up when Tami reached up with a sharp motion and got the phone.  Maybe it was her good-girl, straight-A sense of duty, her Catholic upbringing, but she would not let her orgasms interfere with anything.  She pushed down the crest with a visible effort.  “H - hello.”

 

        “Oh hi Wanda,” she said with a smile and she relaxed and went back to riding Jen’s tongue.  She looked and fondled the cornrows.  “Wow.  C - congratulationsssss!!”  She seemed happily surprised and glad for her old friend.  To Rod and Leisha she said, “W - Wanda’s b - been hired by th - the B - Boston D.A. off -- off -- office -- Ohhhh!”

 

        Her eyes opened to the ceiling and lost focus as they always did just as an orgasm began.  She was listening to what Wanda was saying, or at least trying to.  How did she do that?  He had asked her once -- “I just play back in my mind what I just heard.”  It probably took practice, but of course, she had had plenty of that.

 

        Spasms and little grunts followed.  She was holding back her vocalizations so she could hear better.  Then she looked down at Jen.  “W - wanda says hi.”  She hadn’t needed to mention Jen’s name.

 

        “Ohh!”  Her pelvis jerked.  Jen had apparently delivered a little rough suction to Tami’s clit.  This was Jen’s way of saying, “Hi, Wanda.”

 

        Jen and Wanda continued to converse through Tami’s body for a little while, sentences, pauses, commas, an occasional exclamation point.  Then: “T - tomorrow night then -- ohhhh!. . . OK . . .”  After replacing the receiver with great effort Tami exhaled and caressed Jen’s hair, lurched one final time, then came down from the plateau at last.  “Mmmmm . . .”  After a few moments Jen came up to lay her head against Tami’s breasts, like a contented baby with a tummy full of mother’s milk.

 

        Rod felt his dick, recently given up for dead, stirring.  It was Tami’s musk, which filled the room and made it hot and humid.  He might or might not be able to get fully erect again but it was a moot point; it was time to go to work.  He put the laptop on “hibernate” and went to get his briefcase.  When he returned a couple of minutes later he said, “Your guest is up.  I found her in the hall.”

 

        Tami, by then back in this world with her orange juice and eggs, said, “Tell her to come in.  She must be hungry.”

        “She’s too shy.  She’d rather stay in her room. . . Well, good-bye Babe.”  Off to his new engineer job in Burlington, his first real job after the year with the Army Corps of Engineers which had been a condition of his scholarship to Campbell-Frank.

 

        Tami stood her naked self in front of him, her breasts jiggling as she straightened his tie.

 

        “Thanks Mom,” he said.

 

        “‘Clothes make the man,’“ she said as she looked him up and down admiringly.

 

        Which was greeted with a snort.  He put his finger behind his tie.  “Akk.  If the world is ruled by men, how come we have to wear ties?”

 

        “Because it’s not ruled by smart men.”

        “What’s on today, Babe?”

 

        “Aside from the usual, I have the presentation in Fashion Design with Gretchen.  I think she’ll be all right.  Also they want to see me about something.  Then Kantor.”

 

        Rod exhaled in exasperation.  “It just goes on and on.  Why doesn’t Kantor or Abu Jamal talk to you?  I think they’re holding back on something.”

 

        “Oh I know they’re holding back,” Tami said.  “They’ll tell me when they’re ready.”  Once again, the odd fact: Rod wanted one of the many therapies they had tried to finally work, while Tami seemed to take it one day at a time.

 

        A slow kiss on the lips, bare arms around his coat, tan midriff against his belt buckle, toes wrapping around his gumshoe boots, and Rod was gone.

 

 

3.

        She woke groggily but then with a sudden sense of alarm.  She was in a strange bed.  The strap of her camisole had pulled off her shoulder and she straightened it.  Her black vinyl pants were bunched up too.  She poked her head up from the covers like a ground hog.  What had she gotten herself into?  Had somebody dragged her half-naked drunk body into bed and humped her?  She had heard of that happening --

        Fortunately her private parts did not hurt.  She felt more or less in one piece, except for the hangover.  And this sun room she was in did not seem sleazy, in fact it seemed respectable and neat.

 

        Taking care not to move too fast -- with her hangover she could easily get dizzy -- she got up and saw that her shoes were placed neatly on the floor.  She clumsily slipped her bare feet into the glass-bottomed, four-inch-high platform sandals and, straightening out her long black hair behind her, took stock of where she was.

 

        A nice little house.  As she lurched into the next room, a living room, she tried to dismiss the weird dream from last night.  Practically being thrown into the cold night air, a cold ride in a pickup truck with someone who spoke gibberish, then a naked super-woman picking her up like she weighed nothing and carrying her inside.  It was obviously a dream, at least the last part.

 

        Pierre, Pierre . . . I know he won’t forgive me for this . . .

        She heard voices far away somewhere.  Trying to trace their source she found herself in what must be a master bedroom.  A queen-size bed, recently slept in.  An open closet with lots of clothes -- just men’s clothes.  She looked around for women’s clothes and shoes and found none.  Just a guy must live here.  She also noticed that the covers were thrown back on only one side of the bed.  Single.  And a gentleman, not to have screwed her last night.

 

        There was a big window showing the back yard, and a computer table with books and papers, a monitor and keyboard.  The mouse and its pad were on the floor, under the chair.  Weird.

 

        Her eyes were arrested by the pictures on the dresser.  Naked girls.  No, they were all the same girl.  That super-woman?  The big photo, in the middle, with her standing on a riser in front of a cheering crowd, flowers in her hair, next to a young black man in a white formal type coat.  It could be a wedding picture, but for the missing bridal gown.  A young lady in a minister outfit is next to them, and a straggly-looking bearded guy in a blazer and jeans.  The naked girl looks so out of place, with everyone else fully clothed.

 

        Another picture, the same naked girl, sitting on a throne wearing a tiara, with an exaggerated haughty expression.  Below her, on some steps with a red carpet, three girls in matching red and black, bowing to her.  One was white, one was thin and black, another was Hispanic-looking with giant tits almost spilling out of her low-cut dress.  Another picture, of the naked girl in the tiara, this time with her arm around another girl, thin and white and kind of no-nonsense looking, in a kind of business suit.

 

        Some smaller pictures of the naked girl with what must be a brother and her parents, cropped at her bare shoulders.  Now the same brother it looked like, in uniform next to an American flag.  There she is with her shoulders again, next to the black guy, this time he’s in a black graduation gown, with what must be his parents.  The father is bent over and supports himself with a cane.  Quite a contrast in that photo, with her bare white skin.

 

        On the other wall a large painting caught her eye.  Somehow she hadn’t noticed it before.  It was the same girl, in a chair in what looked like the stacks of a library, pausing from reading a book as if pleasantly surprised to see the viewer.  The book is half-open in her hands over her flat tummy.  Totally naked, her pubic hair and breasts on full view, yet not showing them off either.  Her attitude was strange -- not at all like a stripper, just the opposite.  As if she didn’t even know she was naked.  Both her face and her body are beautiful, as if the artist was in love with her.

 

        Now on another little table, set apart, a frame with photos of a tall, friendly-looking guy with black curly hair, wearing a long black coat, and a girl in red lipstick in a black dress with a real long string of pearls, leaning against a lamp post, her hips playfully swayed and her head tilted, like a hooker.  This is the white girl from the throne photo.  Between them, a photo of the World Trade Center.

 

        She looked at the doorway, thinking she heard a movement.  I shouldn’t be in here.  So she scampered back into the hall, realizing how loud these ridiculous stripper shoes were on the hardwood floor.  Still a bit hung over and disoriented, she made a wrong turn and found herself facing a bathroom.  Too late to turn back.  So she went in, her shoes stomping on the little tiles, and closed the door.

 

        No sound.  She found that she did have to pee and sat down.  The bathroom was tiny.  As she exhaled and let it flow she looked at the bathtub and shower right next to her and realized that there wasn’t just a guy living here.  Three bottles of shampoo, one of conditioner, then some hair coloring.  They couldn’t be for the guy because his head was shaved.  On the sink were a brush with reddish hair in it, and a long comb.  Also a very short little comb, like guys might use on a moustache.  Odd, the guy in the pics didn’t have a moustache.  What’s the little comb for?

        Reaching over for the toilet paper she was startled to see a big blue rubber bag on the floor with a narrow tube coming out of it.  Where had she seen that before?  Oh right -- that dancer Lita had one, who kept talking the virtues of anal sex.  Ewww, an enema bag.  Well, now I know more about this girl living here than I really want to.

 

        And now she detected the faint odor of vomit.  She thought: great.  She’s bulimic too.

 

        Back to the bed in that little sun room.  She waited and there was no motion.  She got up again.

 

        “Oh,” she said, startled in the hall by a tall black man about 25 years old, with a shaved head and wire-rimmed glasses, in a suit and big brown boots.  This was the guy from the photos.

 

        “Hello, are you feeling O.K.?” he said, with concern.

 

        “Oui . . . Merci . . . yes. . .”  She was babbling.

 

        “You were quite a mess last night.  You probably need some food in you.”

 

        That would ease the hangover, at least.  She smelled eggs and pancakes cooking from somewhere.  A telephone rang and there were female voices.  Uh - oh . . . a woman gasping as if she were crying.  Some kind of scene was going on.

 

        “I still am need to sleep,” she said.  She couldn’t concentrate to speak good English right now.

 

        “O.K. I have to go.  My wife’s name is Tami.  You can’t miss her,”  he added with a smile.  “She’ll take you to the help center.  Good luck getting back on your feet.”

 

        She watched him go.  She wanted him to stay.  Anything to keep from the clutches of this Tami girl.  She was getting a very bad feeling about her.  Into anal sex, bulimic, takes naked pictures, even with her family -- and now she’s breaking down in the kitchen.  How did this O.K. seeming guy get involved with her?  And why was he leaving her to cry in the kitchen?  It made her own situation seem positively normal.

 

        She tumbled back onto the refuge of the bed, wearing her shoes in bed even though it was impolite.

 

        She couldn’t stay there forever.  It was about fifteen minutes later that she got her courage up to traverse the narrow little hallway, the walls studded with ornately framed black-and-white photos of old men and old women like from a hundred years ago.  Then she turned the corner and --

 

        “Hi, Yvette!”

 

        The cheerful girl was next to the stove with a spatula in her hand, facing her as if glad to see her.  And without a stitch of clothing.  The naked super-woman, in the (bare) flesh!  And with no sign of having cried.

        Yvette, her mouth open, took in the bare breasts and pubic hair and bare legs.  The only thing this girl was wearing was a little golden ring on one toe.  Yvette shielded her eyes.  “So sorry -- “

 

        “No, it’s O.K.” she said with a laugh.  “I’m Tami.  Excuse my appearance.  I’m allergic to clothes.”

 

        “That’s right, she is,” said Jen with a mouth full of pancakes.  Leisha, also eating but a bit more refined, nodded in agreement.

 

        Yvette slowly unshielded her eyes and accepted the invitation to sit down.  There was a table setting in front of her.  She nodded to the black women.  Do they live here too?  What kind of kinkiness was going on?  Does the fact that this Tami is the only white person in the house have something to do with her showing her skin all the time?

 

        She watched Tami’s backside as she worked the stove.  Yvette was a stripper and had seen plenty of naked women walking around, but only on stage or in the dressing room.  At home, strippers tended to cover up.  This was decidedly weird.

 

        Yvette quickly blinked and realized: and what a body.  Thin, firm, narrow waist, nice tits.  And a pretty face with striking green eyes.  She’d never seen a girl on the circuit so good-looking.

 

        “Eggs, pancakes, bacon, cereal, oatmeal?” Tami said.  “Tami’s diner, at your service.”

        Yvette had taken in the ordinary, good-natured atmosphere in the room and decided it was impolite to act freaked out by Tami’s nudity.  After all, she should be grateful, a safe night’s sleep in a clean bed.  “Oatmeal, s’il vous plait.”

 

        Her mettle was tested again as Tami crouched and then leapt three feet up onto the counter.  Her naked host opened the cupboard and stood up there and reached into a shelf near the ceiling.  In the meantime she resumed a conversation she had been having with Jen.

 

        “So what kind of job is that?”

        Jen described a position that had opened up at Middlebury College that she was interested in.  Tami said periodic “mm - hmm’s” as she pushed aside boxes of cereal to get at the oatmeal.  Meanwhile her toes reached over to the sink and turned on a faucet.  Having found the oatmeal she searched further in for the honey.  Two quick passes of her toes under the spigot to test if the water was getting hot, then the foot stretched over to the back burner for the kettle.  “Mm -- hmm. . . Sounds kind of boring . . . Aren’t you overqualified for that?”  Clasping toes placed the kettle under the spigot.  Tami hopped down with the oatmeal and honey, so gracefully that the only sound was the soft click of the toe ring as it hit the wood floor.

 

        Yvette thought: this girl is like a monkey.

 

        The oatmeal was very good, if a bit rough going down.  Tami had simply poured the oats into a bowl and added hot water.  “Better fiber that way,” she said.

 

        “Well . . .” Jen said.

 

        Tami laughed.  “Actually if I try to make it the real way, it’s awful.”

 

        Jen and Leisha had to leave.  Their bags were already packed in the hallway.  They each hugged Tami’s bare bod, but casually.  They would be passing by again in a few weeks.

 

        “If you don’t mind, next time we come, let’s make a day of it,” Leisha said.

 

        Tami paused and said, “I’d love that.  The pleasure would be mine.”

 

        “You know that’s not true,” Jen smiled.

        And now Yvette found herself alone in the kitchen with this naked Tami girl.

        She almost choked on the coffee.  “Sorry, I don’t realize how strong I make it,” Tami said.  Yvette had to load it with milk and sugar to make it drinkable.

 

        “This is a ‘safe home’,” Tami said.  “I’m supposed to take you to the help center here, part of the Campbell County Social Services department.  I’m in no hurry, I don’t have anywhere to go till ten.”  She paused as if for effect.  “You don’t have to talk to me, but I am here to listen if you do.  I’ll keep it a secret if you say so.”  Another pause.  Tami began to stretch, her breasts jutting out, then seemed to check herself.  She stretched out one leg and rested the bare heel on the far corner of the table.  “You were quite a mess last night.  I heard you threw up on stage.”

 

        “I almost threw up on you too, when you picked me off the ground.”

        “Actually you did.”

 

        “Oh -- I’m so sorry.”

        Tami smiled.  “It’s O.K.  It’s happened to me before.”

 

        Yvette sipped and thought.  “I miss my boyfriend.”

 

        “What’s his name?”

 

        “Pierre.  He got me this job and then we had a fight.”

 

        “Where is he now?”

 

        “Ste. Catherine.  He biked there yesterday.”

 

        “Quebec.”

 

        Yvette ventured a smile.  “Oui.”

        “Sorry, my French is poor.  That’s ‘ja’, right?”

 

        “No, I think it’s ‘si’.”  Yvette hadn’t used this knowledge since high school.  She suddenly remembered her mother saying, “You’re smarter than you think you are.”

 

        “Funny, I thought it was ‘da’.”

 

        The two young women giggled.  Yvette’s first giggle in a long time.

 

        After a quiet moment Tami said, “You like that job?  At Teaser’s?”

 

        “There’s nothing wrong with being a dancer.  The pay is good and it’s safe,” Yvette said defensively.

 

        Tami looked as if she’d heard that a thousand times before.  Then she took a deep breath.  “I didn’t mean to sound, like, judgmental.  A lot of girls from there seem weirded out.  Others are O.K.  Or so I’ve heard.  I’ve never actually been there.”

 

        Yvette looked at the bareness of Tami’s breasts and did not know what to think.

        “Do you want to talk more about it?”

        At the risk of being impolite to her host, Yvette said, “No.  Sorry.  No.”  She wondered about calling Pierre.  No, it would be long distance from this phone.  Also impolite.

 

        “Well then let’s get going.”  Tami got the keys that were hanging from the doorway.  Yvette got up and followed her, with another twinge of disbelief.  Surely she wasn’t going outside in the winter -- like that??  There were no coats or boots in the doorway.

 

        Tami opened the door and a gust of cold air hit Yvette.  She shivered in her camisole.

        Tami turned and put her hands on Yvette’s shoulders.  Yvette looked down at the tanned perfect body.  Tami looked at the camisole, the vinyl pants, the sockless feet in platform sandals.

 

        “The first thing to do,” the naked girl said, “is to get you into some decent clothes.”

 

4.

 

        In the driveway, next to the tracks in the snow left by Rod’s jeep, was an old, old yellow Volkswagen Beetle.  Yvette, freezing in the doorway, watched in astonishment as Tami, holding up the key chain with one hand to separate out the correct key, walked over to it slowly and casually, bare feet slopping through the slushy snow covered with two inches of fluffy powder from last night.  As she got to the driver’s side she called back.  “C’mon, Yvette.  You’ll be O.K.  It’s all in the mind.  Besides, it’s a real short ride.”

 

        It was a bright morning.  The new snow was almost blinding.  Yvette looked both ways, wondering if anyone saw this crazy naked girl, then rushed into the car.

 

        She watched silently as Tami pumped the gas, bare toes curling over the padless metal that must feel colder than ice.  Her breasts jiggled as she pulled the manual choke -- this was a really old model, like her grandfather used to have in Abitibi.  Then Tami got out to the rear, opened the hood, and threw some kind of switch that got the motor to reluctantly kick over.

 

        “Six volt system,” she explained as bare buns settled back onto the ripped vinyl of the driver’s seat.  “The juice doesn’t carry in the cold, so I had to put in a bypass on the fan shroud.”

 

        Yvette nodded like she knew what Tami was talking about.  And then the old car lurched into action.

 

        “Whoaa!” Yvette cried out as it swerved along the driveway, steadily propelled from behind but with the destination of the front end more uncertain.  Tami swung the steering wheel back and forth like it was a bumper car in an amusement park.  Yvette didn’t feel in danger.  This was fun.  Tami laughed.  “VW’s are great in the snow.  That’s why I got this one.”

 

        Yvette was hoping for some heat, but then remembered that her grandfather’s car was always cold.  As they came to a stop sign she looked at the blank knobs on the dashboard.  “Is there heat?”

 

        “Theoretical heat, but not real.  This has a stale air system.  It’s O.K., you don’t really need heat in a car, unless you’re on a long ride.”  Yvette did not ask what this naked girl did for long rides.

 

        Now they turned onto what looked like the main street.  Yvette had never been in the center of this town; Teaser’s was on the outskirts.  She looked around to see if anyone was noticing Tami’s bareness.  The tops of her breasts, at least, would be showing.  But now a professor-looking type on the sidewalk waved at her.  And a young couple carrying bookbags.  Now, an old lady toting a cart with groceries.  Tami waved back cheerfully to each.

        Yvette smiled.  “Everyone seems to know you.”

 

        “I’ve been here almost the whole four years.”  Then she turned closer to Yvette’s face.  “Also, I’m easy to recognize.”

 

        They pulled up to a church.  Good God!  Is she going to walk naked into --

 

        When they got out it turned out they were actually going into a small clapboard house next to the church.  A knock on the door and . . .

 

        It was Rev. Josiah Stipend, a tall and strong-looking man in a rumpled minister’s suit with gray hair almost covering his collar.  “Welcome, Miss Tami,” he said, not in a Southern accent, but in that lilt that Baptist preachers sometimes have.

 

        “Good morning Reverend,” Tami said respectfully but amiably.  “This young woman stayed with me last night.  Her name is Yvette.  She could use some clothes.”

 

        The reverend nodded at Tami for a long second, then without looking below either woman’s face, led them in a gentlemanly manner through a hallway, down some stairs, and into what looked like it might have originally been the house’s garage.  Aisles of donated clothes and shoes beckoned, so narrow that there was hardly room to get through.

        A middle-aged woman, a kerchief holding back her hair, sat nearby sorting clothes on a low table.  Behind her was a washer and dryer.  “Hi Tami.”

 

        “Hi Mrs. Stipend.”

 

        Tami led her guest into the aisles, obviously knowing how the place was organized.  “First you’ll need some real pants . . .”

 

        The Stipends looked at each other and then at the nakedness among the clothes.  Rev. Stipend could not help reflecting on his past experience with Tami.  He used to be a real firebrand, one of the hellfire members of the college Scholarship Committee.  He could not forget the committee’s visit to the Dixon Mill to see Tami at her grounds crew assignment, her sweating nakedness on display as her bare feet trod the blades of that awful double treadmill.  How he had berated her sinfulness then, and also later when she was summoned to appear before the committee in those special bra and panties which contained protrusions invading her inner cavities, bringing her to climax after climax while being forced to answer their questions.

 

        It was only later that he found out that she was a modest girl who did not want to be naked, and who had been forced into that escalating series of humiliations by Dean Jorgon and Henry Ross who were trying to get her to renounce her scholarship.  And that, after Jorgon had resigned and Ross had disappeared and the whole injustice came to light, she discovered she had developed an allergy to clothes and shoes of any type.

 

        What remarkable iron within those young features!  He wrote her a letter of apology but knew that was not enough.  He prayed for several nights trying to find forgiveness.  Finally he met with her in the faculty lounge and asked her forgiveness in person.  For a person of his pride it was not easy.  She said nothing for a long moment, and then to his surprise she embraced him tearfully.

 

        That experience profoundly changed him.  Also, events in the outside world over the past couple of years had convinced him that fundamentalism was perhaps not the way to go.  Fortunately most of his congregation followed him as he edged leftward.  The lengthening hair was but a trivial sign of it.  He peppered his sermons less and less with condemnation and more and more with social justice and compassion.  It turned out not to be that hard.  Support in scripture was certainly easy to find.

 

        The idea that came to him to set up a clothing closet had such an obvious and questionable origin that he resisted it for a while, but it was simply the right thing to do.  In this often cold climate there were many poor people, not so much in town but in the surrounding area, that would benefit.  He was aware why he got the idea, through his partial embrace of Freud.  Herr Remmler’s mentor had made some penetrating observations.  Rev. Stipend wanted most of all to give Tami Smithers clothes.  Setting up the closet was a sublimation of that desire.  Sublimation, he now knew, sometimes had its uses.

 

        Tami and Yvette emerged from the aisles, Yvette carrying jeans, a coat, a flannel shirt, and tall leather boots.  Tami carried a furry, Russian-style hat.

 

        “You can take more,” he said, then realized he was actually talking to Tami.  What a cross she had to bear.  Yet she carried it almost joyfully.

 

        Tami seemed about to turn back, then said, “No, this will do.  Thank you.”

 

        “Any time, my dear -- Tami.”

 

        Going back to the car, Yvette remarked, “For a cleric he is a nice man.”  Tami laughed.

 

        Another quick jaunt in Tami’s cold little metal crate and they were back at the house.  Tami sent Yvette into the shower.

 

        Yvette came out wrapped in a towel, with another around her hair.  “Come over here.”  She followed the voice to the master bedroom where Tami had her “new” clothes laid out on the now completely made-up bed.  Tami was rummaging through a drawer.  As she bent over with a total lack of bashfulness, the brown asterisk of her butthole was almost in Yvette’s face.  Yvette tried not to look.

 

        “You probably want some socks under those boots,” Tami said.  “Rod has some extras.  Sorry I don’t have any women’s underwear.”

 

        “No?”

 

        “No.  I don’t own any clothes of course. . . I’ll be in the kitchen, calling the help center.”

 

        Yvette took her time with dressing.  She couldn’t help but smile as she presented herself to Tami in the kitchen.  Though second-hand, the shirt, jeans, the coat, even the Russian hat, looked very good on her.  This Tami had excellent fashion sense.

 

        She felt like a little girl getting ready for a party as Tami fussed over the blouse and the coat.  Absently looking at the jiggling bare nipples, she said, “Tami, your body is most fine.  You could make a million dollars dancing on the circuit.”

 

        At this her clothesless host just smiled.

 

        A few minutes later, the old VW, back in town, parked on the main street.  They were about to get out and Yvette, sensing their time together was about to end, could not resist asking.  “Tami.  How can you stand being without clothes in this weather so cold?”

 

        “It’s mostly in the mind,” Tami replied, as if having been asked this question many times and having rehearsed and refined the answer.  “To some extent my body has gotten used to it.  In the cold weather I eat like a pig and my metabolism is higher.  Of course I can’t stay out for, like, hours or anything like that.  Or if it’s super-cold.  Keeping moving is important.”

 

        “How long have you been like this?”

 

        “This is my fourth winter.  The first one was rough.  The second one, I kept testing my limits, seeing what was possible.  By the third winter, I knew how to handle the cold so automatically, that I hardly thought about it.”

 

        They were getting out of the car now.  A tall woman in stylishly bohemian clothes and stiletto heel boots stopped by.  Next to her was a much older woman with a cane, in a big fake-fur coat and a green flowery hat.

 

        “Hi, Tami,” Assistant Dean Vanessa Congi said.

 

        “Hello dear,” the lady in the green hat, Professor Emeritus Mildred George, said in her scratchy old voice.

 

        “This is my friend Yvette,” Tami said graciously as she shuffled around the back of the Beetle to turn off the bypass switch.  Yvette shook hands with each, a little ladylike clasp.  As the naked girl came around to where they were, Professor Congi said, “That’s a beautiful shade of hair, Tami.”

 

        “Oh thanks.”  Tami looked down at her pubic patch.  This made Yvette half cover her eyes.

 

        “I see your nails all match your hair color,” Mrs. George said admiringly.

 

        “I did them myself.”

 

        “It looks professional.”

 

        “Gee thanks,” Tami said, blushing over and above the usual flush from the cold.  As they looked down she lifted a foot and spread her toes.  The plum-colored toenails, graced with crystals of fresh snow, sparkled in the bright morning sun, a strange and beautiful sight.

 

        Professor Congi looked a bit further up.  “Did you also color your clitoris?”  She remembered what Tami had been like as a sophomore.

 

        “No,” Tami laughed, looking down there with the rest of them.  She spread her labia with her thumbs.  “That’s just my lips.  See, on cold days she stays inside.”  The little pink clitoris, lighter in color than the lips or the hair, poked out wetly and tentatively in the cold brightness as the two older women, bundled in their winter clothes and boots, looked appreciatively, Mrs. George leaning on her cane.

 

        “Hi!” Professor said playfully with a little wave.

 

        “Hi hi,” Tami said in a high-pitched singsong, with little jerks of her internal muscles making the clit jump up and down twice.  The older women got quite a kick out of that.

 

        Yvette, feeling faint, stood up and looked at the blue sky and took a deep breath.  After some minor chit-chat the two grown-ups left.

 

        As they were getting Yvette’s bag out of the car, her mind returned to the main subject of her curiosity.  “And this fourth winter?”

 

        “What?”

 

        “You said how you dealt with going through the first three winters.  This is your fourth.  How is it?”

 

        “Well,” Tami said, standing next to her.  “Now -- it’s -- fun!!”

 

        She kicked snow up with her toes, pressed it down on the other foot, then all in the same motion with a soccer player’s skill kicked the little snowball right into Yvette’s face just as she said “fun”!

 

        “Eeeek!”  Yvette brushed it away but it was followed by another.  She ran behind the car, laughing, and decided retaliation was necessary.  When she emerged a big sloppy snowball hit Tami right on her tanned concave tummy.  This elicited a left-handed curveball that hit the shoulder of her coat.

 

        The two young women ran around and around the Beetle, Yvette clumping around in her boots, bits of snow flying back from Tami’s toes.  It was not a fair fight, of course.  Tami seemed to be a natural pitcher, and could produce an “eeek!” whenever she hit Yvette’s face or neck.  Landing snowballs on Tami’s naked skin, already used to the cold, did not have the same effect.

 

        The Quebecois girl was flushed and disheveled when Tami brought her into the help center, but was cheerful and smiling which would make her easier for the case manager to work with.  “Thank you, thank you, merci,” was all Yvette could say as she said goodbye to her naked new friend, hugging her tightly, enjoying the soft feel of the breasts crushed against her coat, and even betraying a sniffle or two, only partly from having been out in the cold.

 

       

5.

        “I have come into your life to redeem your image of bio majors,” said Gretchen, a tall, blonde, blue-eyed, somewhat chunky girl Tami’s age.  “We are not all dweebs.  We are not all virgins.  We do not all spend our time trying to make Tami Smithers miserable with fourth-grader antics.  In fact, most of us are not any of that.”

 

        Gretchen had made this declaration to Tami three years ago during their freshman year, sharing a salad in the dining hall after a particularly odious episode of abuse from Gretchen’s classmate Lorinda and her friends.  On that occasion Tami, having been outfitted for the day with the bristle bra and dildo panties ostensibly for scientific purposes, defended Gretchen against chatter that was too loud not to be overheard, spreading their opinion to half the world that Gretchen had faked a sprained ankle to avoid a big exam.  Standing in the middle of the circle of dweeby girls outside the bio building on a gray spring day, the 18-year-old Tami labored to articulate her protest amidst the internal frictionings and vibrations activated by the remote controls that had somehow made their way into their hands.

 

        Gretchen, hobbling unnoticed toward them on crutches, would never forget the scene.  “She’s -- ohhh! -- more dedicated than you -- ohhh -- will ever -- beeeee!!!!!”  The girls squealed with delight as the last word stretched out under the influence of the vibrations and bristlings as Tami crested.  “Woo hoo!  Another one!  Up to fifteen!” said Betsy, reading the LCD display on the tiny pubic covering.  “Come again, baby!!” Lorinda joined in, immediately renewing the assault.  Tami’s body bounced up and down like a marionette, her feet slapping crazily on the cold concrete, as they coordinated their attack, sliding the rheostats up and down in unison and enjoying Tami’s words cadencing up and down accordingly.  “You are acting so -- imm -- mm -- mature . . . If she d - didn’t have to g - go to the same class she wouldn’t -- OHH!” (she arched her back here) “have anything to do with youu . . . Kchkk . . .Eeeeeee!”  Her eyes bugged open as the rear dildo vibrations were shot up to maximum.

 

        They saw Gretchen and fled.  At the risk of letting her crutch drop the lame girl put her arm around Tami’s bare shoulders as her quaking gradually ceased.  When Tami was breathing more or less normally and it seemed none of the dozens of remotes at large were in range, they went to the dining hall, Tami walking stiffly under the influence of the dildos and bristles that still rubbed on her and within her with every step.

        Since then Gretchen, who had been hanging out with Tami but had not gotten close, became a good friend, and after the graduation of Jen and Rebecca and Marisol, probably her best friend on campus.  Tami, without any effort, inspired deep devotion in anyone who got to know her, and Gretchen was no exception.  From a different but equally conservative background as Tami -- Gretchen was from a straight-laced dairy farm family in upstate New York with a fiancé in the Army -- she and Tami put their work ethics and majors together and developed a joint term project, developing a biodegradable polymer from which fabric could hopefully be made that both insulated against cold and breathed in the heat.

        So it was that they could be found together, at 10:30 a.m., in the biochem lab in Rockley Hall.  Gretchen, in goggles and an apron, had poured the contents of a test tube onto the aluminum substrate.  Tami, holding her goggles up to her eyes because her allergy did not allow her to put the straps around her head, watched from behind, glancing downward to make sure her feet were not touching anything on the floor that looked like a chemical stain.

        The solution partially dried on the aluminum amid a slight cloud of smoke.

 

        “We’re getting there,” Gretchen said.

 

        “Do you think my nucleotide formula was correct?”

 

        “I assume so.  Your calculus is a lot better than mine.”

 

        “Maybe we need less alkyne,” Tami said.

 

        The solution was supposed to dry almost immediately, then be rolled into a thread for weaving.  This was the third try and they were getting close.  Their professors had already given them an A for the project but both had further ambitions for it.

 

        Tami looked at the clock and smiled.  “It’s almost showtime.”

 

        Gretchen smiled behind the goggles.  “You’re really making me go through with this, right?”

 

        After cleanup they were on their way to Thayer Hall, where the “Department of Fashion Technology” classes were held.  Professor Wanamaker, looking quite the denizen of the fashion world with his ascot and paisley shirt, sat in the back of one of the basement classrooms while his Reinventing Fashion class did their midterm in-class reports.

 

        There were three scheduled today.  Tami, who was only minoring in Fashion but, being Tami, was headed for an A, was first up.

 

        Bracing her hands behind her on the front table where her papers lay, Tami stood bolt upright in front of the class, giving them an unembarrassed full frontal view of her statuesque nakedness.  Her topic: measuring bra size.

 

        “My, uh, project is on a very basic topic, but I think one that maybe could be done better.”  Tami had little trouble with public speaking, having been Vice President of the student government in her sophomore year.  “I think you girls, anyway, could identify. I remember --”  she looked up at the ceiling, maybe a bit uneasily, her big toe twisting onto the dusty tile floor, “buying a bra that I was sure was the right size, only to get home and it was, like, too tight, or else I was swimming around in it.  Or maybe, did you ever,” she said, looking at a couple of the female students toward the front, “maybe you hadn’t eaten all day, and your, uh, breasts” (one could tell that in this classroom setting she had stopped herself from saying “boobs”) “were far apart, like this” -- she looked down and, cupping her breasts, separated them -- “and the bra didn’t bring them together, or if you ate a lot of pizza or something, they were bigger and more mooshed together” -- the ideal model for what she was talking about, Tami compressed her breasts so that they met -- “and the bra pulled them apart?”

 

        Some sounds of agreement and nodding from the female students.  There were three male students, and being gay they were less interested, but polite.  Tami was popular with them too.

        Wanamaker said, “So what is your solution, Tami?”  Tami didn’t need it but, after years of seeing students freeze up while giving oral reports, he automatically interjected to help things along.

 

        Turning around to pick up the papers, giving the class a view of her beautifully formed butt, Tami turned back to say, “The problem arises from the, uh, conventional method of measuring bust size.  Look at page 137 of the Basics of Design text.”

 

        They could all see a slight sheen of sweat on Tami’s face and her concave tummy, but this was not due to nervousness.  It was well known that in the winter Tami, with her increased metabolism, often felt hot after spending some time indoors.  Also this basement room was stuffy.  Tami looked at Claire in the back row.  “Claire, could you read the first step in that list, on the left?”

 

        Claire, a very thin Asian girl in a silk puff-sleeve blouse, white jeans and high-heel black boots, found the page and said, “You mean where it says measure rib cage, then across nipples?”

 

        “No, before that.  The first step.”

 

        “O.K.  ‘Step One.  Stand upright in a bra that fits correctly.’”

        She looked up at Tami who had a little smile on her face.  It sank in quickly.  Wanamaker laughed and so did some others.  With a big smile Tami said, “Now how it tells you how to measure the rib cage and across the nipples, but first you have to wear a bra that fits.”  She was a little animated now, moving her hands, her breasts jiggling.  “It’s like the joke about the germ killer that says, ‘use only in well-ventilated area’.  But if it was well ventilated, there wouldn’t be germs in the first place.

 

        “My solution involves some calculus,” she said, turning to the blackboard, making some of the students groan.  Wanamaker good-naturedly said, “O.K., people.”  As she wrote Tami held the papers in her right hand, her butt jiggling ever so slightly, quarter-phase glimpses of her bouncing breasts sometimes being seen.  She was drawing a section of a cone, some curves, an integral... “Make it understandable, Tami.  I don’t want to clip your wings but we’ve never had a math major in this class before.”

 

        Tami got into the explanation of it and most of the class could partly understand, or thought they did.  “My model is that of a parabola.  Almost all women have breasts that can be fitted into parabolic cups.  I made some computer models.”

 

        The room went dark and the big screen to the side lit up.  A purple torso with two blue parabolic solids jutting out with some equations on the bottom in a neutral font.  “Ooooo,” someone said teasingly.  “Finally, someone uses our new flat-screen,” Wanamaker said.

 

        “This is the paraboloid of a C cup.  And now, D, and double D, or E in the British system.  Here’s B and A.”  A few more images and Tami darted to her right and turned the lights back on.  “You can see that, with the breasts free and not wearing a bra, the cross-nipple measurement is plugged into the parabolic formula, and you translate that into cup size.”

 

        “How do you know this would be comfortable for all women?”  Wanamaker said.

 

        “Breasts are more pliable than even a lot women think, at least I believe so.  I’ll show you.”  Tami walked forward so that she was between the two students in the front row.  “This would be a spherical model,” she said, grasping her breasts from the front with her palms almost flat against the nipples.  “From there you can go to the paraboloid, then the hyperboloid.”  She cupped her hands around her breasts, then squeezed a slight bit and then a bit more.  “Finally there is the cone shape.”  She squeezed now so that her nipples were sticking out.  “This was the ‘bullet bra’ from the 1950’s.”  She stood in profile, both hands on one breast now, squeezing toward the base with one while the other pulled out on the nipple, extending out from her body quite a ways.

 

        “And those were very uncomfortable, I hear,” Wanamaker said.

        “But that’s because of the materials used, which were specifically designed to extend the shape.  If the softer fabrics are used, and of course, if the bra size was measured correctly to begin with...”

 

        “It sure looks like you’re squeezing your tits out,” another girl said, then looked back at the professor.  “Sorry about the language, but it looks painful.”

 

        “I ask everyone to try it, all you women, next time you’re in the shower,” their naked classmate said.  “It’s not as bad as you think.”

        Wanamaker thought of saying, “All I can think of is B & D pornography, where women get their breasts tied up and clipped,” but of course he didn’t.  As a heterosexual male, he had a fascination with breasts that practically no one else in his field shared.

 

        “Anyway,” Tami said, “we’re not talking about conical projections, like that bra Madonna wore in the ‘90’s.  They would not be a good idea anyway just before you’re period when you naturally have lumps, especially around here,” she said, lifting her arm and tracing the side of the mound under her shaved armpit.  “My model is with paraboloids.  And now, my real life model,” Tami said.

 

        Gretchen, leaving her coat on the chair, got up from her place near the door.  Protectively draped in her white sweater, she bashfully folded her arms in front of her as she stood next to Tami, a tall girl slouching, looking down at her uneasy suede boots next to Tami’s confident bare feet.

 

        “Gretchen is a bio major who graciously, uh, I mean was cajoled, into serving as my guinea pig.  Now up here on the screen, these are CG fill-ins -- NOT photos, I’ll have you know -- of her breasts.  Note the measurements, plugged into the formula, and it shows she’s a 38C.  Now here is an actual photo of her wearing the cotton turtleneck she’s got on now. . . Of course, now she has a sweater over it.  Note the bulging on top in the photo.  Though she measured herself in the standard fashion, it came out to 38B and the bra did not fit.”

 

        The lights were on again and Tami and Gretchen looked at each other.  “I can tell you’re nervous,” Tami said, glancing down slightly at her own erect brown nipples that had sensitivities well beyond being able to predict the weather.

 

        As Gretchen bit her lip and took off her sweater, Tami said, “Here she is wearing a paraboloid bra I cobbled together in the dress lab, 38C.  Come on, stick ‘em out,” she teased.

 

        Gretchen took a deep breath and stood up straight, all five feet eleven inches of her, and turned this way and that.  Her breasts stood out proud and paraboloid.  No bulges or straps were visible.

 

        “It looks excellent,” Wanamaker said.  “Very nice lines.”

 

        “Great set of guns, wouldn’t you say?” Tami said.

 

        The class laughed, and for a second Gretchen swayed this way and that, like a runway model.  Then her upbringing kicked back in and she turned to snatch her sweater and slip it back on.

 

        “That concludes my presentation,” Tami said, gathering her papers.  Gretchen scurried back to her seat.

 

        “Thanks, Tami,” Wanamaker said, but before Tami could sit down he added, “Let me say, that’s beautiful hair color you’ve picked.”

 

        “Oh thanks.”  She looked down modestly, separating her legs slightly, pushing her pubic patch forward and placing her hands on both sides of it as if to frame it.  “It’s called ‘Plum’.”

        Wanamaker was at a momentary loss.  He had been referring to the hair on her head.  But it was the same color so he let it go.  Besides, come to think of it it looked good down there too.

 

        After Tami sat down the professor, sitting in the back, used a few seconds of silence as most good professors know how to do.  “Thanks, Gretchen, for helping out, and good to meet you... Tami Smithers: A, as usual.  Good project, very inventive.”  A few people clapped.  “Now the next, Claire, you’re up...”

 

 

6.

 

        Scholar’s, the bar the Campbell-Frank students went to, or at least those who were of drinking age, was hopping tonight.  It was packed despite the trouble one had negotiating the frozen slush that made the sidewalk an obstacle course.  The people having a smoke outside stood perfectly still so as not to lose their balance and slip as they chatted with each other.  Bill Patton and Howie, his old high school buddy who was visiting from Dartmouth, waited patiently to present their proof of age and get the backs of their hands stamped.

 

        “Are you sure she’s here?”

 

        “Pretty sure.  70 percent sure.  Friday nights all the regulars are here,” Bill said.

 

        Inside it was very loud.  Oldies night.  Nirvana tunes blasting away, and everybody talking loud to be heard over the tunes.  It was hard to see more than two feet in front, with all the people.  “Hey Bob,” Bill said, suddenly colliding with a friend from the dorm.  He introduced Howie and they got to chatting, or rather yelling.

 

        “So is Tami here?”  Bill didn’t know her personally but everyone called her “Tami”, except those close to her that might have more endearing names.  It used to be “Naked Tami”, but with her popularity, it got shortened.

 

        “Saw her a minute ago,” Bob said, pointing thataway with the top of his longneck Budweiser.  “You have to keep a sharp eye.”

 

        Bill knew that well.  The eyes of half the guys in the bar were glancing here and there, looking for that glimpse of bare skin that was so conspicuous in this crowd of parkas and overcoats. Others looked downward, looking for the flash of bare feet darting through the thick forest of boots and sneakers.  Tami, being unburdened by any of these, could slip quickly through the crowd with ease, and slip across the entire bar within seconds, making her all that more elusive.

 

        These Tami-watchers, dedicated as bird-watchers trying to sight a rare jaybird, suddenly found their efforts unnecessary as Tami hopped up onto the bar.  Standing upright, longneck in her hand, she naturally attracted everyone’s attention.  The whole bar cheered, because she was Tami, the guys also cheering because, well, she was a naked girl.

 

        She stretched her lips over her teeth and whistled loudly.  Then took a sip of beer as Justin, the bartender, cut the music as planned.

 

        “Attention everyone,” she said.  “I will now sit on this bottle.  Just kidding!!”  A loud chorus of, “Awwwww!!” from the guys.  “No really, we have an alumna, or alumnae, or -- some kind of alumnimunim,” another sip, “who just got a job as prosecutor in the Boston D.A. office and I want to dedicate a song to her.  It’s... it’s...”

 

        “Who -- is -- it?” a number of people shouted in unison.

 

        “Wandabitch!!” Tami shouted, breasts bobbing, then she pointed her bottle down at Wanda Percival, looking not quite like a prosecutor in her sweatshirt, parka and jeans, hefting a bottle of cola.  Tami bent down, in the process shaking her butt at some guys on the side who reflexively whistled, and pulled Wanda up onto the bar.  Wanda clumped up onto it in her hiking boots.

 

        The naked girl and the new prosecutor faced the crowd.  Tami grabbed Wanda by the shoulder of the parka, and said, “You remember Wandabitch.  Let’s hear it!”

 

        Indeed they did, or at least the juniors and seniors.  The chant was spontaneous.  “Wanda-bitch!  Wanda-bitch!  Wanda-bitch!”

 

        When it died down a bit Tami said, “The meanest, most vicious, rottenest R.A. in Campbell-Frank history” -- she looked at Wanda as she said this and then put her arm around her -- “is now the meanest, most vicious, rottenest D.A. in New England.  Don’t mess with Wanda!!”

 

        “Booooo!!”  The boos were good-natured (mostly).

 

        “There’s only one song for you.  I dedicate this to Wandabitch.  We love you!!  BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT HERE ANYMORE!!”

 

        She had to shout over the first notes of “Bad to the Bone” that now blasted out.  As the song went on and everyone went back to talking, the two young women hugged, Wanda wrapping the arm of her fur-lined parka around the small of Tami’s bare back.  Both were a little bit teary-eyed.

 

        Bill, Howie and Bob, having had a nice view of Tami to hold them for awhile, circulated around the bar.  A few minutes later Bob saw a flash of skin and happened upon Wanda and Tami speaking to a couple of others.

 

        “Where are you going to live?” Bob shouted to Wanda.  He glanced at Tami who was casually lifting her foot and turning the sole inward to check it.  Must really be disgusting, walking barefoot on this sticky, beery floor.  Sure enough, Tami’s sole was black except under the arch.  She put her foot down again, not seeming to mind.  Probably she’s used to it, just like she’s used to the snow and the cold.

 

        Wanda shouted, “Back Bay, probably.  Or maybe Comm Ave just near BU.”

 

        Bob, not having known Wanda well, was not really interested in this conversation; he just wanted to look at Tami.  But out-and-out gawking at Tami was simply not done.  Any Campbell-Frank guy would find that out pretty quickly.  After a few more words he said goodbye and went to find Howie and Bill.

 

        Talk, shout, drink.  About ten minutes later Bob finally found them, near the benches, watching what was a frequent sight at Scholar’s.  Tami, leaning back on a bench, was facing some girl who was sitting opposite with her long-lace boots planted in front of her.  Tami was doing that trick of undoing and tying shoes with her toes.  Arms draped behind her on the bench, one hand still grasping the longneck, Tami leaned back with her thighs wide open and her knees bent, skillfully lacing and looping the girl’s boots from the bottom up.  She paused to take another sip and then resumed.  It looked like she was using all her toes.

 

        Some, mostly guys, chose to stand behind the shod girl, facing Tami and studying the ripples of her abs as she worked, the wiggling of her breasts, the pussy that was slightly open between the wide-spread legs.

 

        “Man, how does she do that??” Howie said.

 

        “Practice, she can do anything with her feet,” Bill said.

 

        Bob took a thoughtful sip and said, “Being barefoot for four years, she probably just learned to use them.  You could probably do it too with practice.”

        Bill said, “Howie?  I think I’ll pass on seeing that.”

 

        They laughed.

 

        Now the first girl’s boots were all tied and people clapped.  Another girl, this one with sneakers, took her place.  Tami’s big toes, anchored by her pinky toes, undid the big loops and she got to work.  Tami could do this on almost any kind of footwear, even after three beers.

 

        The last glimpse Bob, Bill and Howie had of Tami that night was after they had left the bar and were walking back to campus.  They only made it about a hundred feet from the bar when Bill suddenly felt the pressure of a full bladder.  Drinking a lot of beer and then going out into subfreezing air will do that.  Bob and Howie stood around in the middle of the snow-covered town commons as Bill hunted through the tall shrubs for an inconspicuous spot.

 

        As they waited they saw Tami with Wanda and another girl standing some distance away, near the convenience store.  The three were apparently waiting for someone to come out.  The other girl was smoking.  Tami, arms at her sides, listened to the smoking girl, now and then rubbing her feet on the snow and lifting her soles inward to check them, tilting them just so to take advantage of the nearby streetlight.

 

        It was the kind of still winter night when sound carries.  So as not to be overheard, Bob and Howie spoke in quiet voices much unlike the yelling of a few minutes ago.  “How does she do that?” Howie said.  “She’s standing there naked like it’s not even cold.”  He blew on his hands.  “Just my hands are freezing already!”

 

        “She must have got used to it.  For a few minutes, anyway.”

 

        “She’s married?”

 

        “Yup.  And totally faithful.  Don’t even think about it.  She’d kick your ass if you tried anything.  I hear she’s real strong.”

 

        “When she said she was going to sit on that beer bottle, for a second I believed her,” Howie laughed.

 

        “Oh man,” Bob said, looking at the sky.  “I hear with her friends she does that kind of thing on a dare, especially if she’s had a few.  I heard one time at an outdoor party, I think a birthday for one of her friends; she upended some beer into her pussy, then sat up, spread her legs, and squirted it out clear across the lawn.”

 

        “Holy Christ.  Think of the muscles in there!  Her husband must be the luckiest guy in the world!”

 

        “I’ll say.  Or maybe not.  I’d be worried about her squeezing my dick off!”

 

        Howie laughed.  “So what’s the story with her being naked again?  She’s allergic to clothes or something?”

 

        “She said nudism was her religion when she was a freshman. She must have been a crazy kid then.  Later she volunteered for some experiments, then at the end she found out she was allergic to clothes.  They’ve been doing therapy to cure it ever since.”

 

        Howie was speechless for a moment.  “Man, I should hope so.  She should sue the hell out of them for that.”

        “That’s the big mystery.  Why she never sued.  I suppose she wants to leave it in the past.”

 

        The girl with the cigarette dropped it in the snow and stamped it out.  A guy came out of the convenience store.  Tami, walking slowly and casually over the crusty, refrozen snow, followed them into his car.

 

        Bill, sighing deeply, came back from the shrubs.  He caught the last glimpse of Tami’s bare soles disappearing into the back seat of the blue Chevy.

 

        “Damn, missed her,” Bill said, adjusting his fly.

 

        “She might want to leave it in the past,” Howie said, “but she’s a senior now.  What’s she going to do when she graduates?  Is she going to stay here forever?”

 

        “It would be rough, going into the outside world as a naked girl,” Bob said, his voice fading into the cold winter night as the three of them started on back toward campus.

7.

 

        Tami looked so beautiful, her eyes half-closed in that combination of love and ecstasy, the look she always had when she was atop him.  Rod gently rubbed her forearms up and down as her breath shortened and she began another ascent -- “going up” to that mountaintop of euphoria that she visited so often.

 

        She knew he was a little tired tonight.  So preoccupied with work.  He was grateful to get home, and they did the usual thing, him tonguing her while she lay back on the kitchen table.  It didn’t take much tongue work, fortunately.  He brought her to four orgasms in fifteen minutes, about the usual to hold her through supper.  He declined her offer to suck him, fearing that after he came he would fall asleep when he had so much work to do.  Then they cooked up a quick macaroni and cheese.  Tami further fortified herself with a tuna sandwich.  And a bowl of soup.

 

        They spent the next two hours working, he in bed going over the plans for the next phase of the project that he was supposed to supervise, she on the computer finishing an English Literature paper.  English was not her favorite subject; she was sometimes afraid of the unthinkable, getting a B, but of course that possibility was remote.  Looking up at her at the computer table, he couldn’t help but fall in love all over again despite his weariness.  Such a lovely, intelligent face, such a beautiful, golden body... He did not mind that so many others admired it, it made him proud.  He especially liked her response to the many well-intentioned suggestions that she get a tattoo.  “Absolutely not.  A tattoo would be on display all the time.  It would be a message to everyone who saw me.”  Why ruin such perfection?

 

        She still had the basic modesty that she always had, but had gotten comfortable with her nudity.  Of course -- she had no choice, did she?  She expressed it once to him during one of their post-sex chats.  They were lying on their backs, looking up at the ceiling, holding hands.  “I had a dream once where I was a serving maid for a king in a palace and I was naked all the time.  All the other maids were fully clothed.  For some reason I had to earn my clothes back.  The king and his rich friends kept visiting me in the kitchen, or walking by when I was mopping the palace floor or something, saying, ‘All you have to do is this floor, or be a good server at the next feast, and you’ll get your clothes and shoes back.’  And I was ever so industrious, saying to the other maids, ‘All I got to do is this job,’ and when it got done the king would say, ‘Just one more thing and you’ll get clothes’, and give me another task, while the other maids just rolled their eyes at my stupidity.  All those men really wanted to do was look at my body, stringing me along.  Well, f**k that.  I’m not going to be that stupid.”

 

        That was only the second time he ever heard her use the “f” word.  “So how did the dream end?”

 

        “I’m not sure.  I think I just escaped.  Hopped out the window and into the meadow.  Naked and free and smart.  I wasn’t going to bargain with God any more.  That was what that dream was about.”

 

        Still basically modest, but not above flaunting her body when he was around.  He remembered the graduation party for his class.  It was at a swanky estate the college owned not far away -- formerly lived in by that creep Henry Ross.  Rod was out there on the lakefront patio with the full bar and the buffet table, sipping a soda and trying to stay interested in what his Architectural Design professor was saying.  He glanced around the crowd of students and professors and administrators, wondering where the hell was Tami?

 

        He looked out to the pond and saw, far away near the marine dock on the other side, a fish or goose or something splashing in the water.  Looking at it more he saw it was not a fish.  It was someone swimming toward them.  As he sipped and looked a smile started across his face and grew and grew.  By the time Tami was a hundred feet away everyone’s attention was drawn.

 

        Like it was nothing, she got to where her feet could touch bottom, then walked up to the transfixed and silent crowd, water coursing off her hair and chin and now her nipples and now her knees, her copper sleek wetness the most beautiful sight of his life.  Casually she hopped her naked dripping self up onto the patio, greeted a couple of people she knew, accepted the offer of a big cloth napkin to quickly dab herself dry, then went up to Rod and gave him a full-body hug and a kiss on the lips.  And then ordered a martini and took her place among the suits and dresses, blending in with the party as the general buzz of conversation gradually returned.  What an entrance!

 

        Water was definitely her element.  Another vivid memory was last May when he came to meet her when she got off work.  She was on that grounds crew job, the replacement for her gymnastics scholarship.  She probably could have sloughed it off, but being Tami, felt obligated to continue.  So she had always put in her twenty hours a week.  The day had been brutally hot.  Sweating buckets in his suit, he found her hefting uprooted shrubs into a chopper while the chopper driver, union labor no doubt, sat up in his cab.  She grunted with every heave of the heavy shrubs, her body stained with dirt and sweat and leaves.  As always, she had an audience, people stopping for a moment before going on with their business.  When Tami saw Rod and knew her time was up, she said, “Hit me Jose!”  Another worker, walking by past a water pipe, picked up the hose and trained it on her.  She danced and spun around as the water pelted her all over, with her trademark “Woo - hoo!” as Jose laughed.  One could feel, with some envy, her delicious sense of relief at being clean and cool.  As she put it later, “Only I get to experience that!”

 

        She was now proud of being naked, though the fact her condition had been forced on her was never mentioned when she was around.  By now it was an open secret around campus that as a freshman she had declared nudity her religion and been cajoled into various research that left her with an allergy to clothes and a greatly increased sex drive.  And that she had spent her first summer making it back from California without clothes or money or outdoor gear, just her bare body.  But not all the details were known, certainly not the more unpleasant ones.  The original reason for her nudity -- that she had been caught streaking on a sorority dare her first week, then to avoid expulsion frantically gave the excuse that nudity was her religion, which turned out to make the college afraid to expel her on First Amendment grounds, causing Dean Jorgon and Henry Ross, the campus attorney, to coerce her into an escalating series of humiliations to get her to admit that the religion claim was a hoax -- had never gotten out.

 

        As to her family back in Providence, information was tightly controlled.  She was absolutely clear that they should know nothing except for her decision to go naked and her allergy which was being cured.  It would greatly concern her if they found out she had been so mistreated and been through so much shame and abuse.  Even as to that horrible summer, the cover story she had fed her parents during her calls, that she was doing a project for one of her math professors -- they had never learned anything to the contrary.  Fortunately there was little danger her parents would find out anything.  Except for Tami and Rod, they didn’t know anyone up here, and on the rare occasions that they spoke to one of her teachers, she would take the teacher aside first to make sure no hints of anything but a happy life leaked out.

 

        Her current life really was happy though.  One time a half-drunk guy at a party told her, “Too bad you can’t wear clothes.”  Rod felt about to slug him when Tami, draining her beer, said, “Too bad you can’t be naked.”

 

        Professor Congi, always well-meaning if a bit dense, once asked her, on a hot sunny day outside the Student Union, “There are probably some advantages to being naked.”  Tami, basking in the sun, said, “Too many to list.  Es gemutlich.”  Which he then explained, trying to translate as Tami looked on in amusement, meant “Naked is warm and fuzzy.”  They laughed at that.  Another awkward Congi comment that they performed a judo move on to make it turn out well.

 

        Tonight Rod’s mind had been filled with these thoughts as he watched Tami zip through her assignment.  There was nobody faster on a computer; her high school had been little more than a vo-tech school, with everyone taking typing and data entry.  As with any fast typist, using a mouse slowed her down, but she inventively solved that problem by placing the mouse on the floor.  Blazing away at the keyboard while working the click buttons with her toes, she flew through anything she was doing.

 

        By and by Rod had gotten tired with his work and at a certain point he had lain back in his pajamas and closed his eyes, the blueprint falling to the floor.  A few minutes later he felt gentle hands pulling down his bottoms, the warm engulfing mouth, and he smiled...

 

        Now, with Tami on top of him, he watched as she crested and jerked through a series of spasms. What’s that now -- number ten?  Rod chided himself.  Tami hated being kept score of.  She came down slightly from the last orgasm, but only slightly.  He knew what she wanted to feel and kept his hips thrust up.  He held her hands down on the bed.  In this way she could rub her clit against his pubic bone and stay on the brink.  She liked doing this usually around the middle of their lovemaking.  Eyes half-closed, breathing in short gasps, he could swear he felt her heartbeat on his dick as she lay suspended on the brink of orgasm, now and then giving into it, then coming down a bit, only to go up again when she chose.  All during which he felt the end of his dick flicking back and forth against her cervix.

 

        She could stay suspended like this for half an hour or more.  It was difficult sometimes for him to hold his ejaculation, the pulsing of her inner muscles felt so good massaging his dick, the cervix relentlessly flicking his sensitive penis head, but being so tired tonight, he did not feel himself approaching the danger zone.  Not that it was always “danger” -- “Rod, you can go again!” Tami often said after he came, milking his softening dick with the supple internal muscles of her pussy, or her mouth, until he had another erection.  Tonight, though, he felt like after one load he would be soon fast asleep.

 

        His mind wandered to his work difficulties as he looked up at her surfing along the edge from crest to crest.  He liked working with building materials but as a newly minted engineer he was learning that dealing with people was just as important...

 

        She knew his mind was elsewhere.  She gave a little glance down and said, “it’s -- uhh -- going to be all right -- lover -- ohhh... Fill me up, Baby.”

 

        She shifted her feet and pivoted on his dick so that she was facing away from him.  He moved up and started on her doggy style.  He could penetrate very deeply in this position, and had to be careful not to go sideways and poke an ovary, something which he’d heard was as painful as getting a poke in the balls.  Now he began to get a rhythm and emit the low groans that always turned her on.  With a short, sharp breath, she launched into what she often saved as her last orgasm, the longest and most powerful one.  “Ohh!  Ohh!  Ohh!”  He counted six spasms and then he let himself go, filling her up with his semen that seemed like the last of his energy and power draining from him, leaving him spent.

 

        They lay there, waiting for sleep.  As always she lay on top of the covers while he went underneath.  For a long time now, being under a blanket had been too suffocating for her.

 

        But he was actually too tired to get to sleep.  Wordlessly they both got up, he getting into his pajamas again, and padded to the kitchen for some decaf tea.

 

        As she often did, she sat cross-legged on top of the kitchen table.  She had become quite the table sitter over the past couple of years.  He sipped, and played idly with the pubic hair in front of him.  Finally she spoke.

 

        “You’re worried about work, aren’t you?  What’s going on, Baby?”  She stroked his smooth shaved scalp.

 

        He looked up and put it the best way he could manage.  “My boss is hard to get along with.  Very, well, bossy.”

 

        “Why is he like that?”

 

        “Well Babe, he’s what you might call an ‘alpha male’.  Head of the herd.”

 

        “Alpha male?”

 

        “Right.”

 

        She sipped.  “Or as we women call it, an insecure jerk.”

 

        Rod laughed and kept laughing.  He had never heard that female viewpoint and it was refreshing and liberating.  “Yes.  That’s exactly what he must be.”

 

        “Rough to deal with that kind of person, I bet.”

 

        Rod recognized this as a counseling move Tami probably picked up from Marisol, who had been with the campus crisis intervention service.  Still, it was effective in getting him to open up.  “Yes.  Sometimes I think he already knows he will answer ‘no’ before I even talk to him.”

 

        “Is he like this with everyone?”

 

        “In a way.  But with me, the impression I get is, he thinks I’m unqualified.”

        “How can that be?  You have a degree and one year of Corps of Engineers service.”

 

        Rod exhaled.  “He thinks I got the job just because I’m African-American.  I just know it.”

 

        “Did you?”

 

        “Did I what?”

 

        “Did you get the job because you’re black?”

 

        One could never lie to Tami.  Rod searched his mind.

 

        “Yes, I think I did,” he said finally.  “They have an affirmative action obligation, and the other guys who applied, I saw them during the interviews, they seemed older and more experienced.  And white.  And they hire me, a black kid almost right out of school.”

 

        Tami scratched a nipple and stirred her tea.

 

        “So what do I do now?” Rod said, looking up at her.  Then he looked a little lower and couldn’t help himself.  He stetched up and kissed one sun-darkened nipple and then the other.

 

        She cleared her throat and said, “What you do is be the best damn engineer that insecure alpha jerk ever had.”

 

        Rod nodded to himself.  “Yes.”

 

        “It’s a gift that history has given you.  Think of your ancestors.  ‘I am the dream of the slave’...”

 

        Rod smiled to this reference to the famous Maya Angelou poem.  “Indeed.”

 

        Continuing the quotation, Tami said, “‘I rise; I rise!’“

 

        The smile on him was now ear-to-ear and he was almost in tears.  “I rise!”

 

        They looked at each other and sipped one last sip.  A moment passed.

 

        “Speaking of which,” she said, lying back and wrapping her nimble feet behind his ears, “can you take me up again Baby?”

 

        “Of course, Babe,” he said, putting his tea down and gently moving in with his tongue...

 

 

8.

        Up on the fourth, top floor of Thayer Hall, in the office of Department of Fashion Technology Chair Albert Girardo, that person sat with Professor Shel Wanamaker as they absently gazed out the big bay window that overlooked the bright snow-covered campus.

 

        Then Girardo, an old guy in a turtleneck sweater, black pants and moccasins, looked down again to leaf through the portfolio, as if he were looking at photos of persons with two heads.  “There’s only one word for these: weird.”

 

        “Also inventive, ingenious, possibly groundbreaking if you ask me,” Wanamaker said.  “Come on, admit it.  If you didn’t know it was Tami Smithers --”

        “I just can’t get my mind past it.  Clothes designed by someone who can never wear any.  There’s no denying there’s some kind of genius here, but it’s a genius from another dimension.  How long has she been ‘au natural’?”

 

        “Three and a half years.  Not one stitch, not so much as a pair of flip-flops on her feet either.”

 

        “Is this a pant or a very long boot?” Girardo said, turning the portfolio sideways and then upside down.  “I hate to say it, but she’s probably forgotten what clothes feel like.  Maybe she doesn’t really know what she’s doing any more.”

        A moment went by.  “We’ve got to send someone to the International.  We haven’t sent anyone in five years.”

        “That’s because we haven’t had anyone good enough in five years,” Girardo countered.  “And even that last time, it was a close call.”

        “You know the problem as well as I do.  If we keep on not sending anyone, they’ll drop us from their panel.”

 

        “Where is it this year?”

 

        “Montreal.”

 

        “Oh Christ!  I forgot.  Right in our goddamn back yard.”

 

        “So this is something we might have to do.”

 

        “She’s not a major,” Girardo said lamely.

        “And...  We’ve sent submissions from students minoring in fashion before.”

        Girardo put the portfolio down.  “What if she makes the cut?  We can’t send a goddamn naked girl to a goddamn fashion award show.  And what if she wins!!  What if she wins!!  The most prestigious fashion industry fellowship in North America, and it goes to a naked woman!  They’ll get publicity like never before, but not the kind they want -- a naked woman who will be bopping around the campus of --”

        “They would never give the fellowship to a naked woman.”

 

        “Then aren’t we setting her up to fail?  And besides, there’s no way she’s going to win.  Even if she was clothed.  They’ll give it to one of those inbred French kids like they always do.  The odds are a thousand to one.”

 

        “We could make that clear to her when we tell her.  She could handle that.  Fashion isn’t the center of her life.  Her being a minor is actually an advantage as to that.”  Wanamaker continued, “Time is short.  You know how I feel.  We should tell her we want to submit her as our candidate.  The deadline is in three weeks, and we have to give her a chance to put together her submission portfolio before that.  She won’t win, but at least we’ll stay on their panel.”

 

        “Here she comes,” Girardo said, looking out the bay window.

 

        “Where?  Oh.”  On the main concourse, in the middle of dozens of students going here and there for the next class, the naked girl, easy to pick out of course, was happily chatting on her cell phone, bookbag flung over one shoulder, hanging down to where it bounced against her bare buns as she walked with the swiftness of someone who was used to a tight schedule.

 

        “Seems like she’s in a good mood,” Girardo said.

 

        “She usually is.  Everyone loves her too.  And she’s got a statue named after her.”

 

        “What?”

 

        “Ever see that girl sticking her arms out like she’s about to fly?  Near the Union?”

 

        “I hardly ever go there.”

 

        “It’s called ‘Tami Takes Flight’.  Latimer did it.”

 

        “When was that?”

 

        “The year you were on sabbatical.”

 

        “Oh... Well that’s certainly interesting, though not relevant... Look at her,” Girardo said as Tami broke into a little skip, going off the path to take a short cut toward them, kicking up snow with her toes.  “She’s traipsing through that snow like it’s summer and it’s sand on a beach.”

 

        “A nude beach, it would have to be.”

 

        “Right.  My point is, how is a person like that supposed to know what anyone wants as far as clothes go?  The International is not a bunch of dilettantes who design monstrosities for the Oscars red carpet.  They affect real mass-production decisions, like what the chain stores will carry.  The first thing a person wants clothes for is warmth.  And there she is,” he said, motioning toward the approaching Tami, “skipping barefoot and naked through the snow... What’s her needs status?  They take that into account these days, or least they’re supposed to.”

 

        “She’s married, to a recent engineering graduate, who’s working for base pay on his first real job.  She’s from Providence -- that’s another thing in her favor.  Her family is working class, she has a younger brother in Iraq, no other source of income aside from her father’s Navy pension and his hardware store, which according to our search is not doing too well.”

        “Think she knows that?”

 

        “Probably not.  I hear the father is proud of her but is a real stubborn, Irish beer drinking kind of guy.”

 

        “Not your typical designer background.”

 

        “I’ll say.  She also had a couple of close friends who died in 9/11.”

 

        “What, that plaque in the admin building?  What’s their names again --?”

 

        “Mandy Rabinowitz and Jeffrey Dillon.”

 

        “Oh right.  The kid who had the show on the 68th floor.  Man.  What a horrible loss.”

 

        They both sat in silence.  Before they were ready for it, they heard the door to the stairwell close shut and the approaching slap of bare feet.

 

        Though their door was open, they saw a bare arm reach around and knock.  “Come on in, Tami,” Wanamaker said.

 

        She moved into the doorway slowly and politely.  “Hi Professor, hi Mr. Girardo,” she said with a little nod.  “How did you know it was me?”

 

        Wanamaker said with a smile, “We heard the stairwell door close.  Everyone else takes the elevator... I told Mr. Girardo about your presentation on bra measurement.  It was excellent as always.”

 

        A blushing “Thanks.”

        Putting on sociability, Girardo looked up and said, “That’s a wonderful new hair color you’ve selected, Ms. Smithers.”

 

        To his surprise Tami looked down at her crotch and opened her legs slightly.  “Thanks.  It’s called ‘plum’.”

 

        Girardo gave a quick and pointed look to his colleague.

 

        Sitting right next to where Tami was standing, Wanamaker tried very hard not to notice the dark red curls right near his face.  Or the interesting fact that her pubic lips, jutting out slightly, were the same color as the surrounding curls.  He cleared his throat, looked up at her face, and said, “We’ve been enjoying your... portfolio.”

 

        “Oh that,” Tami said.  Then perhaps thinking she shouldn’t have been so dismissive, she said, “I hope it’s O.K.”

 

        “It’s more than O.K, Tami, it’s very... inventive,” Girardo said, paging through the computer graphics and freehand drawings, accompanied by more explanatory text than usual and, very unusual indeed, mathematical equations of some sort.

 

        “Thanks.”

 

        “This uh, tank top or whatever it is,” Girardo said, resisting the urge to turn the damn album upside down, “design 17A.  How did you get the neckline so high with so little material?”

 

        “Well it’s in the equations there,” Tami said.  She dropped her backpack and turned toward it, apparently not aware that her butt was sticking in their direction.  She fished a kind of ruler out.  “Let me show you.”

 

        Girardo had some kind of vague memory from his 1950’s high school days of this sticklike thing Tami now waved in front of him.  “The neckline is a catenary, which you get by calculating the hyperbolic sine -- “

        “The hyperbolic -- what?  What is this thing?”

 

        “It’s a slide rule.  I got it off the internet.  These are really great, in fact they’re beautiful.  This one’s a Hemmi.  You see the SH scale here, you read it along with the C scale for radians -- “

 

        As Tami went on and on in what seemed to Girardo like a foreign language, his mouth slowly opened in utter incomprehension.  Halfway through he realized Tami’s left breast was almost slapping him on the side of the face as she leaned alongside him so they could both see these sticks she was sliding back and forth.  Wanamaker looked on in amusement.

 

        When she was done, Girardo said, “I’m afraid it’s been a while since --”  Actually, he had never, ever been able to --

 

        Tami stood up and started over.  “The slide rule is based on logarithms rather than linear relations.”  Her fingers danced along the scales as she explained.  “See how the distance from 1 to 2 is the same as from 2 to 4?  It’s because that distance is a factor of 2.  From 4 to 8 is also the same.  Now let me set it to  show 6 divided by 3 is 2.  See?  Without moving the scales you see at the same time that 12 divided by 3 is 4, 38.4 divided by 3 is, 12.8, and so on.  The whole operation of division unfolds before you in one panoramic sweep!”

 

        Tami was trying to light a bulb over Girardo’s head with this picturesque phrase but there wasn’t even a bulb there to turn on.  “Oh,” he said weakly.

 

        By way of nudging Girardo in the right direction, Wanamaker said, “Tami, I wonder if you have any ambitions for your designing talent.”

 

        Tami thought for a second, then said, “I’ve designed dresses and clothes for my friends.  It seems whenever there’s a wedding or a formal dance I get called.  It’s just my minor, though.  My major is math, and my project is math with biochemistry.  My friend Gretchen and I are working on a biodegradable, toxin-proof fabric that holds heat in the cold and breathes in the heat.”

 

        “That would be quite an accomplishment.”

 

        “I heard about that project from Professor Ling,” Wanamaker said.  “That’s Gretchen Spaulding, right?”

 

        “Yes, Gretchen and me.  What we want is to develop something that can be used by our troops in Iraq.  My brother tells me it gets both very hot and very cold there, at least where he is.  Gretchen’s fiance is there too.”

 

        “I hear they need equipment there,” Wanamaker said.  Then, perhaps tactlessly, “I hope they’re safe.”

 

        “Joe is in a part of the country where not much happens, and Roger, that’s Gretchen’s fiance, he’s training helicopter pilots.”

 

        “I see,” Girardo said.  “Well, good for you.  And good for Gretchen too.”

 

        “Thanks.”

 

        There was an uneasy silence, at least uneasy for the two professors.

 

        “Well, Ms. Smithers,” Girardo said, “we just wanted to say that we’re very impressed with your work, not only on your biochem project, but also in our classes.  I hope you stay interested in this field of endeavor.  See you around.”

 

        “Thanks again.”  She picked up her backpack and started to leave.  From out in the hall she said, “What happened to that cartoon thing?”

 

        “The what?”

 

        “You know, that old magazine thing?”

 

        She was referring to an old National Lampoon item entitled, “What high fashion would look like if designers were heterosexual.”  It had a picture of a so-called designer in a sweatshirt and jeans, pointing to his new “design”, an invisible dress on a naked woman.  “And if she gets cold, she can always wear a car,” he was saying.  Girardo, who was gay, had put the item up some years ago as a joke on himself.  But he took it down recently out of sensitivity to Tami’s plight.

 

        “Um, it was time to change the board a bit,” Girardo said.

 

        “Oh.  Too bad, it was pretty funny.  Well, bye.”

 

        They heard the bare footsteps receding and then the stairwell door close.  Soft descending footfalls faded into silence.

 

        Wanamaker said, “I knew you’d chicken out.  You won’t get many more chances.”

 

        Girardo sighed and said, “Shel, you know I’m always swayed by you.  I have to admit, strange as it is, this girl’s work is exceptional.  She probably really does deserve to be our candidate.  But a naked fashion designer... This is the weirdest situation I’ve ever been in.”

 

        “I think you’re being hyperbolic.”

 

        “Oh shut up.”

 

 

9.

 

        The second, mezzanine level of the college library was quiet on this dark afternoon. The sound of the heavy rain outside was all that could be heard, a rain that was quickly turning the snow into slush. A slush that this time, according to the forecast, would not freeze overnight. It was taking a while, but the deep freeze this north country was famous for had broken and it was warming up, if ever so slowly.

 

        Tami Smithers was parked at her usual table in her usual position. One leg curled up, the other heel up on the table, her foot facing in, markers of various colors slotted between her toes. With her left hand she was grading papers from the remedial math class she tutored, selecting the appropriate marker according to her own system. Red = incorrect, Black = correct but incomplete work, Blue = correct, Green = helpful comments.

 

        Next to these papers were a couple of textbooks. Her backpack was on the chair next to her. She worked quietly in the quiet library.

        Another creature lurked nearby.

 

        At first it was just a shadow in the stacks behind her. Watching, waiting...

 

        It was Rosaria, tall and athletic with cropped hair, travel pouch around her waist. In wool jacket, leotard top, tights and long wool socks over her duck boots, looking like the Latina lesbian she was. She silently circled in front of the table and, when Tami looked up, she leaned across the table and kissed the big toe.

 

        Standing back at attention she whispered, “My Queen.”

 

        Tami smiled and whispered, “In a minute.”

 

        A quick glance down told Rosaria the reason. Tami wanted to give her students’ work her undivided attention. Rosaria sat down at the next table and pretended to text message on her cell phone.

 

        A moment later Tami put the papers away, took the markers from her toes, stretched her arms back, her breasts riding high on her chest, and sighed. Rosaria’s mouth almost watered at the slight scent that issued. No doubt it had been several hours since the Queen’s last release.

 

        Gracefully she removed the chair next to Tami, bent under the table, and sat cross-legged in front of her altar. It was then that Tami emitted a quick, sharp gasp. As Tami read her text with quivering hands Rosaria did what she had learned so well to do. A moment later the sudden long breaths, then the jolting hips, told her she was successful. Tami turned the page as Rosaria laved the engorged lips for a few seconds with the Queen’s nectar and then gently rolled them back into her mouth. In less than a minute Tami went up again. The edge having been taken off, this one was longer, more peaceful.

 

        Rosaria kissed the palace entrance gently, then scooted around behind to plant a kiss on the naked girl’s butt. In response Tami got up on her knees, transferred one knee to the next chair and bent forward, her head over the edge of the table as she kept reading. Rosaria separated the chairs and, tall girl that she was, could sit cross-legged while reaching up to insert her tongue in a different place. Queen Tami was very considerate of her subjects and kept herself clean and well-irrigated for the benefit of those who wished to enter her palace from the rear. Now she bestowed on Rosaria yet another reward, the sound of her Queen’s pleasure. “Mmmmmm...”

 

        All the while Tami kept reading, now and then emitting an “ohh. . .” or a little gasp. Now her subject inserted fingers into her pussy so that the tongue could play off against them. And, of course, the G spot, playing off the fingers of the other hand pressing rearward against the clit. Soon Tami was shaking violently and, another gift, Rosaria sensed her laying her forehead down on the text until the spasms were over. Then with a deep breath and a slight smell of sweat, Tami, future valedictorian that she was, went back to her assigned reading for her English Literature class. That she could concentrate on it and be able to retain it afterwards was in no way taken as a sign of disinterest. It was just part of her mystique.

 

        It was some five minutes later, when Rosaria, exploring the delights of Tami’s rectum, was in the middle of enjoying Tami’s fifth orgasm of the session, that Ms. Tami Smithers was approached by Sarah Wickland.

 

        Sarah Wickland, in-law of Henry Ross, the evil college lawyer, author of Tami’s freshman year torments, who had escaped outside of her reach as well as of everyone else’s. Sarah Wickland, law partner of Brian Cook, whose “rent” at his Pacific coast estate had been to have all his female tenants stay naked, a sore trial for Nina West and company but just a part of everyday life for Tami. Sarah Wickland, whose clients tended to specialize in bondage and discipline, and included the Cronenberg School, and Taft McNamee and his trade in pony girls.

 

        Yet for all the strange things she had seen in her business, Sarah was quite unprepared for what she now witnessed as she drew near. Glad to see Tami after a space of two years and, expecting that Tami, having finally trusted her, would be glad likewise, she stopped when she saw the look of orgasm on her face and, upon further viewing, the crossed legs visible behind her on the floor.

 

        She stopped. Then she continued. She signaled behind her and another woman, a little older than Tami and strikingly beautiful, obediently emerged from the stairwell and followed her.

 

        Not sure how she should handle this situation, Sarah smiled as she stood at the table. Tami smiled too, or tried to, while keeping her eyes determinedly open. In the clutches of orgasm the look in her eyes changed instantaneously. She was a surprised friend, a sleepy fawn, a scared child, a lost soul, a witness to a birth, the Creator of the Universe, an eager girl scout, a sprinter straining for the finish line, a proud countess, a gambler counting cards -- fear, love, death, life, redemption . . . every emotion except the one Sarah expected, shame.

 

        “H - hi Ms. Wick - ck -lannnd,” Tami said.

 

        “Hi Tami. You just won’t call me Sarah, will you? They told me I could find you here. Is this a, uh, bad time to talk?”

 

        “N - not at all -- ohhh!”

 

        Sarah pulled up the chair across from Tami and sat down. “I bring you greetings from Taft McNamee and his board of directors.” As she spoke the other woman, in a bulky black leather coat and spiky black boots, approached but stayed standing behind her. She wore a studded collar that nicely set off the gorgeous face.

 

        Tami looked up and nodded to her with some effort.

 

        “This is Katie, one of the ponies from the farm. You might remember her. She was your stable mate for a short time.”

 

        Tami’s head jerked a bit as she looked up again. There might have been a look of recognition but her kaleidoscope eyes made it hard to tell. “Hi.”

 

        Katie looked at Sarah, who said, “You may speak.”

 

        Katie said, “Tami, you were called ‘Naked’ when you were with us ponies. I have been elected to say on behalf of all of us, thanks to your bravery the lives of all ponies are greatly improved and we will always be grateful.”

 

        Had Rosaria been listening, she would have found this exchange quite arresting. But she was in another world. Tami experienced the noodlings of Rosaria’s tongue in her rectum, and the fingers bringing her to another orgasm, as she continued to engage in conversation.

 

        “Th-thank you,” Queen Tami said from her throne. “H - how is M - Mr. Cook -- ohhh...”

 

        Sarah looked down. “I’m sorry to say that Brian passed away a few months ago. He never did recover from that stroke.”

 

        Tami’s body quaked on the brink but she reached around and firmly placed her hand on Rosaria’s head. Rosaria understood what that meant. She withdrew her tongue and hands, even though it meant leaving Tami quivering and unsatisfied, only a few licks from orgasm.

 

        “That m-makes me very sad,” Tami said, controlling her metabolism.

 

        “Yes,” Sarah Wickland said. “It seems like the creator of our entire universe passed away.”

10.

        [this chapter left blank in memory of Peter (Leviticus), founder of writingsofleviticus.com, who died in 2004]

11.

        Sarah and Tami looked at each other and then looked down as if in respectful silence. Then Tami looked up at Sarah and motioned behind her and Rosaria once again drew her fingers up front into her crotch. She inserted her tongue deep into Tami’s rectum, making Tami flinch and gasp. Sarah, having watched Tami’s all-fours orientation, already had figured out what Rosaria had been doing and knew that she was simply resuming her prior attentions. During this entire time Tami did not break eye contact with Sarah.

 

        Sarah was about to instruct Katie to speak again when Tami launched into a climax, especially violent due to having been left near the peak. Tami seemed waiting for Sarah to say something but it was Sarah, ironically, who was too distracted to continue. The quaking naked student and the well-dressed lawyer looked at each other across as wide a gulf as two human beings can look. When Tami had come down again Katie spoke.

 

        “We bear a gift for you.”  She looked to Sarah, who said, “Tami, your trials while you were trying to prove that you had been falsely corralled made a great impression on the farm and indeed on the entire pony girl culture. You were tested by Taft and his board and did not betray your parents even while the tail you were wearing was being made to press against your ovaries. Taft had told me that this was the maximum level of pain that any master was allowed to inflict in his or her pony, equivalent to a man being hit in the testicles. Further neurocerebral research shows that is incorrect. In fact, the pain you underwent is more equivalent to a man having his testicles placed in a vise and gradually tightened until they rupture.

 

        “This discovery, as well as your example, had quite an effect on the pony farm directors, particularly the men. It forced a change in the pony system. As you know, it is an entirely voluntary and humane enterprise. Key to this is the new model of tail. We would like you to have one.”

 

        Katie, drawing from a bag hitherto concealed within her coat, brought out a highly polished wooden shaft about a foot long with a beautiful, multi-colored tail of what looked like horsehair about twice the length of the shaft, and carefully draped it across the table.

 

        “UHH!!” It was Rosaria’s strangled scream, issuing from behind Tami.

        Tami, eyes wide open, moved forward a bit and Rosaria fell backward to the floor. The naked girl quickly leaped back and picked Rosaria up, without much effort hefting the tall young woman and sitting her on the table. Rosaria had her hand to her mouth and was in tears. Sarah and Katie looked upon all of this with puzzlement and alarm.

 

        Rosaria put her head against Tami’s breasts as Tami held her head close. “I’m sorry, Ro.” She looked up to Katie. “It’s not your fault, Katie... Let me see.” Rosaria tentatively stuck out her bruised tongue. “Looks O.K. Don’t worry.” Again, Tami held Rosaria against her breasts. Then looked up. “Sorry for the interruption. Seeing this... thing... well it was, like, a shock. My anus contracted.”

 

        “I should have asked her to take her tongue out first,” Sarah said. “I’ll never forget what Figvee said to me. ‘Her rectal tone is amazing’.”

 

        Tami smiled as if she should feel she was being complimented. Meanwhile Rosaria disengaged from Tami’s embrace and said, “I think . . . bleahhh . . . I think I’ll be all right. Her thphincter is tho thexy.”

 

        She giggled which gave everyone else permission to laugh, including Katie.

 

        Tami took the tail into both hands. “This was the most humungo thing that was ever in my butt,” she said objectively. And that was saying a lot. “I was so totally impaled, like a specimen of a butterfly.”

 

        Sarah brought forth a little remote and pushed a button. Amazingly, the wood was not wood, it was a convincing plastic imitation. In Tami’s hands the tail began sinuously twisting, like a snake. The naked girl gasped and then, after a long moment, started to giggle. “This is so weird!”

 

        “Tails used to be for pain,” Sarah said. Now they’re for pleasure. The protrusion you see coming out now is designed to rub against the G spot and various other places in the vaginal wall through gentle pressure on the rectal wall. Now masters control their ponies not through punishment but by withholding the reward of orgasm.”

 

        “Reinforcement, rather than punishment,” Tami said. “Or I think. I’m trying to remember back to that Intro Psych course I took.”

 

        “Precisely. And reinforcement is a more powerful motivator. Our ponies have become orgasm addicts, and to get their reward they will do things for their masters that they didn’t in the past. Everybody wins.”

 

        Tami looked at the tail in her hands again, apparently deep in thought.

 

        “It is yours, Naked,” Katie said, “whether you want to use it, or just keep it as a token of our affection and gratitude.”

 

        Tami smiled. “‘Naked’?”

 

        “That is how I remember you.”

 

        “Your pony name was never officially changed, so that’s how you still appear in the farm records,” Sarah said. “Of course, your status is listed as ‘released from contract’.”

 

        Katie said, “I remember how you wrote that call for help on that post-it and reached around with your toes to put it on the stable door.”

        Tami said, “I thought you were sleeping.”

 

        Katie smiled. “We real ponies are more aware than you think.”

 

        Sarah said, “Katie is quite an intelligent woman. She and her master have become a professional writing team, writing in technical journals, in the field of heuristics, I think.”

 

        “Ohmigod . . . Amazing!” Tami enthused.  “I took a course that last year.  Wow.  I feel like I should get your autograph.”

        Katie said, “I even wrote a story about you. It’s about how you got into clothes again.”

        Tami looked at her a long time.  A thoughtful, faraway look.

        Sensing the visit had run its course, Sarah said, “Tami, here’s my card. I gave it to you on a previous occasion but, um, you didn’t exactly have a place to put it. Don’t be a stranger. And of course here’s the remote.”

        And with that, Sarah and Katie said their goodbyes and left. Rosaria went back to Tami’s embrace and they sat there for a long time, in the quiet library mezzanine with the wind and the slushy rain pounding away outside.

 

       

12.

 

        In the Student Union, along the wall farthest from the snack bar, at one of those tables that were usually empty, seven young women, of various styles of dress, their winter coats draped on their chairs, sat silently as papers were distributed.

 

        Another meeting of the Tami Lickers.

 

        They had tried other, more dignified names, such as The Priestesses of the Temple, or The Queen’s Court, but none had stuck. As a kind of code they had shortened the painfully obvious name to “the TL’s”.

 

        Georgene spoke.  “This shows the full clitoris. As you can see, it’s not just the ‘man in the boat’.”

        “Tami refers to it in the feminine,” Myra, a scholarly-looking black girl in glasses and a granny dress, said.

        “That’s a good idea . . . But as you can see, it’s actually a pretty big structure. The clit is like the tip of the iceberg. The bottom of it is the G spot. You can feel it yourself.”

        “Actually I hate poking around in there, at least in my own,” Marianne said.

        “I know . . . But the important thing is, when you get into Tami’s front chamber, try to feel the G spot -- it’s like bifurcated.”

        “I’ve felt it, when I licked her on Tuesday,” Jeane said. “It’s like two little grapes, almost, connected by a stem.”

 

        Georgene said, “The important thing is, don’t be too poky. Tami responds well to stroking that’s gentle. As she gets excited you will feel the two ‘grapes’, like, get a little firmer and more prominent. Tongue the clit at the same time. I haven’t experimented a great deal, and actually I haven’t licked her all week.”

        “Poor baby,” said Marianne in a pitying voice.

 

        “Yeah I know, I’ve just been so damn busy. I only see her when she’s outside walking to classes.”

 

        “Then just do her there!” said Spica, a freshman in a punk hairdo and outfit.

 

        “You KNOW she won’t let you do that,” Marianne said.

 

        Barbara, a grad student who was about 30, spoke to Spica in her usual slow and thoughtful manner. “The administration tolerates what we do, because they know Tami needs it. But Tami doesn’t want to cause them embarrassment and all kinds of other problems by the sight of her being licked in public. That’s why we have to find her in semi-private spots like her library table.”

 

        “I think Rosaria’s finding her there now,” Marianne said. “At least that’s what she told me she was going to do.”

 

        “Jen McIntyre was in town, I hear,” Spica said.

 

        “Really? Man I’ve been out of touch,” Georgene said. Jen, foremother of the TL’s and a bottomless spring of useful information, was quite a celebrity to this bunch.

 

        “She had to leave though,” Spica said.

 

        “Damn, we’d like to talk to her about some pointers,” Marianne said.

 

        “Next time I see Tami I’ll try to get Jen’s cell phone... Well, getting back to the G-spot, has anyone found whether alternate clit and G-spot strokes work better?”

 

        Spica said, “I did simultaneous licks and strokes yesterday and she came and came and came.”

 

        “That’s what Tami does,” Marianne said.

        “I counted 17 times,” Spica added.

 

        This met with calls of “Brag! Brag! Brag!”

 

        “Just don’t tell her. Tami really hates it when people count,” Jeane said.

 

        “Why is that?” Marianne looked at Barbara.

 

        Barbara thought for a second and said, “I don’t know.”

 

        “When you really get into it, you lose count yourself,” Teresa said. “You’re in such another world, just you and her.”

 

        There was a general murmur of agreement. Except for Melissa, a blonde girl who looked like a model and was new to the club. She sat silently on the side and was taking this all in. She looked at the handout and studied it intently.

 

        She spoke up. “I wonder how that feels like,” she said, “to come so many times, like that?”

 

        Marianne said, “I actually asked her that once. She said it was like being lifted up into the sky, and looking down on all of life from above.”

 

        “Strange,” Jeane said.

 

        “I kind of feel like I’m up there with her at times,” Georgene said.

 

        “It’s what it’s all about,” Marianne said.

 

        Spica said, “That’s not how my own orgasm feels.”

 

        “Well of course it would be different,” Barbara said. “If you have thirty or more orgasms a day, you develop a different perspective.”

 

        “Oh gosh -- you think she has that many?” Spica said.

 

        Barbara shrugged. “Just an estimate, between us and what she does at home.”

 

        “I’m surprised Rod isn’t dead by now,” Jeane laughed.

 

        “What about her nipples?” Melissa asked.

 

        “Gentle rubbing between the fingers, after you start the buildup,” Georgene said.

 

        “Can I suck them?”

 

        “Of course, she responds well to that, even a little mild biting. But watch where you are. It can’t be too public. That’s why it’s best to work from below.”

 

        “What if somebody comes by? What if they want to talk to her?”

 

        “Just continue. She can converse through an orgasm. She doesn’t want you to stop. It’s hard to explain, but she kind of feels that asking us to stop would be impolite to us.”

 

        “She’s very considerate. I would hate to have my Tami licking interrupted.”

 

        “A very good, kind Queen,” said Marianne, with equal parts of whimsy and seriousness.

 

        After a brief lull, Georgene brought out a little plastic box. “O.K., let’s get the beat.”

 

        Spica started snapping her fingers in rhythm. Others followed, some trying to push the beat faster, others trying to slow it down, but all snapping more or less together. Far across the room, some guys at a table looked over momentarily.

 

        “O.K., stop.” Then Georgene pushed a button on the box. It was a metronome. Tick - tick - tick - tick -

 

        “Shoot. Too fast again,” Jeane said.

 

        This was part of the training they gave themselves. The metronome was set to tick every 0.8 seconds -- the length between orgasmic contractions, according to what they’d read. They knew that, by licking just ahead of the beat, they could extend Tami’s orgasms by a few spasms. So predicting the next spasm was key.

 

        After the business of the meeting was over they got back to regular small talk.

 

        “I got a dress code letter yesterday,” Jeane said.

 

        “Oh God. The crackdown continues,” Barbara said. “What did you do? Show a bit of ankle?”

 

        “I had on a pink tee and they must have seen my navel poking out,” Jeane said. “All this, under my coat that was probably open for a few seconds. That was the part they underlined, anyway.”

 

        She was referring to the campus dress code, which this year was starting to be actually enforced. It was an old dreary document prohibiting bare midriffs, backless or strapless tops, torn jeans, very short shorts, and the like. Any student seen violating it would get an intracampus note with the relevant provision underlined.

 

        “Last week I took off my shoes in the library and they dinged me. I couldn’t believe it,” Spica said.

 

        “Were you wearing socks?”

 

        “No.”

 

        “Well there you have it. Is that a big deal to wear socks?” Marianne said.

 

        “Claudia got dinged for wearing a tube top -- under a shirt!”

 

        “Was the shirt open?”

 

        “Well yes.”

 

        “All she has to do is keep it closed. Her own fault.”

 

        “Remember back in October on that nice day when they dinged Roger because he was playing frisbee in bare feet on the grass?”

 

        “That was ridiculous.”

 

        “If they enforce the no flip-flops part when the weather gets warm, there will be a massive revolt.”

 

        “I don’t think they’d be that stupid.”

 

        “Well what did you expect? This is still basically a conservative Baptist college. Us, and Congi, we’re practically the only exceptions.”

 

        The conversation was halted by the approaching sound of bare soles on the cold tile, and the clip-clop of boots. It was Tami and Gretchen with sodas, Tami also with a hero sandwich. Gretchen was toting an umbrella and her overcoat and boots were wet. Tami’s hair was disheveled and wet but her skin was already almost dry, just a few drops on the small of her back.

 

        “Guten tag,” Tami said, placing her soda and hero down. As she stood there she stretched and sighed, apparently unconscious of the near-swoon that the TL’s underwent upon seeing her tan, concave tummy and navel.

 

        The TL’s worshipped Tami’s body, had made drawings of it, taken pictures of various parts of it (with Tami’s permission), knew every naked inch in detail, inside and out. Jeane, whose proclivities were in that direction, even had pet names for each of Tami’s toes. Other common nicknames for her various body parts were “nubs” (nipples), “forest” (pubic hair), “winkie” (anus), “slopes” (the bottom curves of her breasts), “knob” (cervix), and “vault” (rectum). Tami’s body was not only their place of worship but also their playground. As Spica once inartfully but enthusiastically put it, her pussy was their soccer field, her cervix was their monkey bars, her anus the slide into the play shed, her rectum the shed itself, her pussy lips the ropes. Her clit and G-spot together were the see-saw. The TL’s celebrated Tami and in so doing celebrated themselves, the beauty and strength and capacities of the human female.

 

        After Tami stretched, Myra said, “Your forest is beautiful. I like that color.”

 

        Tami looked down and slightly parted her legs. “Thanks. It’s called ‘plum’, according to the box.”

 

        “Wow, did you get every single hair? Even the ones near your winkie?” Spica asked.

 

        “I sure did,” Tami said with pride. She turned around and bent over, spreading her butt cheeks, cheerfully displaying the last hairs on her perineum. They were plum color, every single one. Further down, a space of clear, tanned skin, then the darker brown skin around her much-photographed anus.

 

        “Beautiful job.”

 

        “Thanks, it took a long time,” Tami said as she turned back around, again not seeming to notice the near-swoon of her audience. Or perhaps having gotten used to it.

 

        Tami and Gretchen pulled up chairs. Tami got right to work pigging out. As she did, a couple of the TL’s leaned over and kissed her on the forehead as she smiled through munches.

 

        Sessu, an architecture major from Japan, walked by. He waved to the TL’s and bent down to kiss Tami’s knee. “My Queen,” he said, smiling good-naturedly, then walked on. No male had tried to become a TL, it being unspokenly clear that Tami, faithful to her husband, would never accept it. It was a standing joke that the Queen’s male subjects were restricted to kissing her on the knees, though in fact friendly hugs and kisses on her cheeks (the cheeks of her face, that is) were permitted as with anyone.

 

        Tami practically inhaled the sandwich. As she was finishing she said, “Sorry Gretchen, about that class report.”

 

        “What?”

 

        “That joke about the guns. I was trying to put you at ease but it was stupid.”

 

        “Oh... Well that’s O.K.” Gretchen was glad she hadn’t had to bring it up herself. She had been really quite embarrassed by the presentation, more than she expected, and Tami’s little joke hadn’t helped. She decided to add, “Apology accepted.”

 

        “What’s this about?” Marianne said.

 

        “Nothing,” Gretchen said.

 

        Some more small talk. Seeing a book half-out of Spica’s bookbag, Jeane said, “What is that?”

 

        “The Kama Sutra,” Spica said. “It’s an Indian book of sex positions.”

 

        Gretchen looked at Tami and rolled her eyes.

 

        Looking at the pretzeled couple on the cover, Barbara said, “How could you possibly do that without throwing your back out?”

 

        “Well you old folks have to worry about that,” Spica teased.

 

        “It looks painful to me,” Jeane said. “Tom and I tried something like that once and I almost broke his dick off.”

 

        Talking about sex again. What girls do when they’re together, at least some girls. Gretchen politely excused herself.

 

        “I’ll catch up with you,” Tami said.

 

        After Gretchen left, Marianne said, “It’s more like an athletic event than making love,” looking at the cover.

 

        Barbara said, “Call me old-fashioned, but there’s no getting around the fact that missionary is the most intimate position.”

 

        “I think it’s when we go down on each other,” Jeane said. “He looks up at me, and I look up at him.”

 

        Some thoughful silence. Then Barbara said, “What do you think, Tami? What’s the most intimate position?”

 

        Tami thought, leaned back on her chair sipping her soda, then swung her foot up onto the table, wiggling her toes slowly in thought. Playing with the straw, she said, “Anal sex.”

 

        “Akkk,” Myra said. “That’s painful.”

 

        “It takes some practice,” Tami said.

 

        “How can you say that’s the most intimate?” Myra said.

 

        “Because you’re opening yourself up to him totally, surrendering your body to him, above and beyond what nature intended, a place not designed to accept a penis.”

 

        That thought stilled the conversation for a bit. Then Tami said, “I have to go. Auf wiedersehen.”

 

        “Bye, Queen,” Marianne said.

 

        Tami smiled and stood up. After tossing her empty soda into the waste can with a breast-jiggling jump shot, she gave them a royal bow, then grabbed her bookbag and walked out with a relaxed, upright pace that was decidedly queen-like, regal.

       

13.

 

        The wind and icy rain continued to pelt the quad.

 

        One might think that, of all people, changes in weather would affect Tami, whose naked body had no protection from the elements, the most. In fact it seemed to affect her the least. Summer or winter, hot sun or cold rain, gentle breeze or gale-force wind, Tami walked across the quad with pretty much the same pace, on this occasion her feet splashing casually through the melting slush, her upright frame accepting the cold shower from above, her hair unconcernedly plastered to her shoulders as it got wetter and wetter, rivulets of water ski-jumping unnoticed off her stiff nipples, her tan skin sleek and wet.

 

        Everyone else trudged slowly, shielding their faces from the rain, struggling with balky umbrellas, lurching ponderously in ponchos and raincoats, heavy steps in heavy boots. Tami passed through them easily, having learned the truth: that short term exposure to these conditions, once gotten used to, is not harmful.

 

        True, it was only in warm weather that Tami exhibited what Jeane’s boyfriend Tom called her “earth mother” walk -- slow, languid, shoulders thrown back, breasts arched out as if in offering to feed the whole world, soles broadly pressing against the earth as if joining it, arms swinging gently at her sides.

 

        But most times her walk was that of the high achiever she was -- a bit quick, purposeful, sure of where she was going and intending to get there on time.

        On this afternoon Tami glided effortlessly through the rain and into Rockley Hall, where in the basement lab she found Gretchen leaning over a table. Gretchen turned around upon hearing Tami dropping her backpack. Gretchen’s smile was so broad that it made her goggles slide up.

 

        Tami knew what that meant. Watching where she stepped, she made her way over to the lab table where Gretchen proudly showed her an entire tub filled with golden brown thread.

 

        “Woo hoo!!” Tami yelled, and she picked up the surprised Gretchen, who outweighed her by some 40 pounds, and twirled her around and around in a tight hug. “Come on, let’s go!” She tried to pull her by the hand.

 

        Gretchen made her wait while she cleaned up. Then she covered the tub and started for her coat and umbrella. “I’ll go,” Tami said breathlessly, “take your time.”

 

        A minute later a naked girl could be seen running across the freezing puddles of the main concourse, holding a closed tub above her head, breasts wobbling wildly from side to side in rhythm with her strides, a big smile on her face. Even those well used to seeing Tami in all her moods wondered what was up and looked back at her after she passed. Others moved out of the way so as not to get hit by the wide-angle splashes from her tough bare feet.

 

        As to Gretchen, she did take her time, deciding to record the day’s work, though with a hand shaking with excitement. She battled the elements and finally made it to the dress lab in Thayer Hall. There she found Tami, as expected, seated at a sewing machine. Nearby was the high-speed automatic loom, where almost all the fabric had already been woven.

 

        Tami was using the sewing machine she preferred, the real old style one she had found in a closet and reconditioned last year, the one operated by a see-saw pedal on the floor. She had one eye on a printout of one of her computer generated boot designs. As she worked the see-saw pedal with one foot, her other foot was up on the table where the thread was guided into the machine between her second and third toes, which grasped tightly and then let slack as required.

 

        Tami finished with what looked like a sock. She stuffed it into an unlined rubber boot she had been keeping under the machine.

 

        “OK. You know what to do,” she said.

 

        Gretchen bent down and slipped off one of her waterproof Uggs. A bit bashfully, she took off her white sock, exposing a pale white foot. She put on the new boot and stood up.

 

        “How does it feel?”

 

        Gretchen looked down at the boot next to Tami’s foot and wiggled her toes. “Strange. A little like cotton, but kind of like I’m in steel wool.”

 

        Tami looked down thoughtfully, in the process flicking a lingering drop of rain from her right nipple. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing... It’s good that it feels unique without being uncomfortable.”

 

        The two young women walked out of the dress lab and a bit down the hall, all the while looking at Gretchen’s foot. They sat down in one of the little alcoves that dotted the hallways. Tami sat up cross-legged as Gretchen turned the boot as if modeling it.

 

        This was a below ground level floor. High up on the wall was a little window half-encrusted with melting snow, sustaining the patter of raindrops.

 

        “It’s bunched up a little bit at the toes,” Gretchen said.

 

        “That’s just my fault. I was in such a hurry I didn’t cut it right.”

 

        “Do you think this material will ever get to Joe and Roger?”

 

        “Actually I hope they’re home before then. Joe comes back in three months.”

 

        “Roger comes back in four. Oh Lord...” Gretchen shook her head. “I hope they’re safe.”

 

        They sat awhile in silence. Tami clasped her fingers with her toes with the same ease that anyone else would clasp their hands.

 

        As their minds wandered a bit, Gretchen looked at the nearby candy machine. Resist... resist... she was a chocolate addict and was trying to reform. Suddenly she realized that this was the perfect time. She had thought and thought and thought about it...

 

        “Tam, I’m going home the weekend after next. Want to come with me?”

 

        Tami looked at her for a moment. “What?”

 

        “Come see my family. I’ve told them about you.”

 

        “About me?”

 

        “About you being my good friend,” she quickly said. “I’d love for you to meet my folks, and the rest of the clan. It’s about a two hour drive. We can go Saturday morning, come back Sunday night.”

 

        “You mean Jim-Bob and all that?”

 

        It was Gretchen’s standing Waltons joke about her family. She was the second youngest of seven.

 

        Gretchen looked down at the boot and then made herself look up at her naked friend.

 

        Tami smiled. “If it’s OK with you, it’s OK with me.”

 

        This was a relief, but it also would have been a relief if Tami had said no. Gretchen was trying to treat Tami as a regular good friend. Her upbringing said it was just courteous to invite her. But then --

 

        Suddenly Tami looked up at the window. “Whoa! This is the perfect time! Let’s go outside!” She hopped out onto the floor with a determined double slap.

 

        “What?”

 

        “There’s freezing cold puddles out there now. It’s like the perfect way to test whether it holds heat!”

 

        Gretchen’s mind quickly changed gears. “Tami, it’s a mess out there.”

 

        “Exactly. Who knows -- this might be the last time it’s that cold outside. It might be an early spring. And in the cold water the loss of heat will be the most acute. Wicking properties!”

 

        “Uh, yes...” Gretchen had to admit that Tami was right. And so she followed her naked friend as they ran out of the building.

 

        Unfortunately Gretchen had forgotten her umbrella, but a few minutes of freezing rain on her head was a small price to pay for what would be a great breakthrough. Tami took her by the hand out to the grass, where there were still soft patches of snow. Hunting around, they found a large puddle that looked especially deep.

 

        And so it was. Planting the boot in it, the water came halfway up. There must have been a rut here. It was so wide that Gretchen had to stretch a bit to keep her other foot out on the relatively firm snow. Tami stood in the puddle next to the test boot, the water up past her ankles.

 

        Tami said, loudly so as to be heard over the rain, “Does your foot feel cold?”

 

        “What?”

 

        “Does... your... foot... feel... cold?”

 

        Gretchen saw Tami’s bare foot submerged in the freezing cold water right next to the boot, icy mud swirling from between her toes.

 

        “Does your foot feel cold?” Tami shouted again. Sometimes Tami could get a little impatient and testy when she was excited.

 

        “Oh Tam...” Gretchen thought of her foot in the boot and sock and could not stop looking at Tami’s bare toes in the icy puddle.

 

        Tami appeared to recognize the problem. She climbed out of the watery rut and said, “I’ll be at the doorway. Wait one minute if you can. Feel your foot!!”

 

        Gretchen took a deep breath and looked down, finally undistracted. She wiggled her toes again. Then closed her eyes, trying to feel. Yes, her foot was staying warm. There was no chill, or at least very little, possibly due to the poor fit of the sock. She felt the cold rain pelting her hair and face and vowed to endure...

 

        Sixty seconds later she was splashing back to Thayer Hall, each step a great effort trying to lift the test boot, and the Ugg on the other foot, out of mud that was like glue. Tami was in the doorway as promised, but came out to the sidewalk to meet her. “Well?”

 

        Gretched smiled as if to bring warmth to her friend. “Yes! It’s nice and warm and snuggly!”

 

        “Yes! Yes!” The two friends, rain pouring down on their heads, hugged. Tami once again picked Gretchen up and twirled her around, the water from their wet hair spraying out in a double helix around them, prompting a second glance from the passersby as they trudged slowly through the wind and the icy rain in their umbrellas and boots and raincoats.

14.

 

        Rod was lucky this day.  They were ready to work on the new dam, had all the kinks worked out, but the rain came and would not let up.  There was no planning or paperwork to do while waiting; it had all been done.  So he got to go home early.

 

        Driving back home he realized how tired he was.  He was doing better recently.  Inspired by Tami’s pep talk, he had quit trying to decide whether his boss was a good boss or a bad boss or whether he was being treated fairly or unfairly.  Instead he decided to act like a major league rookie who knew he was lucky to be invited up to the big time and determined to do the best job he could.  As a result things were going more smoothly.  His boss seemed to be easing up on him.

 

        Looking at his watch he saw that Tami would be in the middle of one of her “therapy” sessions over at the Chalfont Institute.  He thought about stopping by.  Dr. Kantor, a pleasant but boring man, had said hi to him now and then when he came to pick Tami up.  He had also met Dr. Abu Jamal, who after Dr. Schnitzer retired had become the new director at Chalfont.  A rather high-strung guy from Pakistan.  Both were undoubtedly well-meaning, obviously feeling obligated to cure Tami after all that she had been through under their roof.

 

        They had seemingly tried everything.  Tami didn’t say much about it, but when he pumped her for details she told him about the talking therapy, the behavior modification therapy, hypnosis, the testing of her skin responses.  The last time he came by, Tami was in a lab room standing up on an exam table, stretched out into an “X”, grasping a long metal bar near the ceiling, wires taped to her skin, while Dr. Kantor and his assistants positioned loops of fabrics around her body.  He could see the goose bumps, the stiffening of her already erect nipples, even her pubic hair seemed to stand on end when the “covering” got too close.  These therapies seemed very mild and tentative, but they were the experts, not him.  Also, to be fair, they probably didn’t want to risk causing any further harm.

 

        He decided he was too tired to go to Chalfont and went straight home.  He fell on the bed without taking off his clothes and was soon asleep.

 

       .  .  .  .

 

        It was a scary, uncomfortable feeling.  He felt decidedly out of place with his suit and attache case, following El Hamad down the stone steps.  As special American envoy this was the most important assignment of his life.  But thus far El Hamad had been rather chilly and almost brusque, with little of his famous charm.

 

        The passageway got darker and the steps more uneven.  A sentry followed him.

 

        Yet another, increasingly narrow stairwell down, and the air got downright chilly.  As they passed under a bare light bulb he could see his breath in little clouds.  Finally they reached the rock bottom, the subbasement.

 

        It took his eyes a while to adjust to the darkness.  It was an enormous room divided by a stone wall.  The floor was rocky and uneven, as if bedrock had been chipped into to create this level with no attempt to make a true floor.  He could feel the pointy outcrops through his shiny, leather-soled shoes which slipped and bent as he tried to keep up.

 

        He sensed her dark silhouette as they approached.  And then was spooked by dull green flickers that turned out to be her eyes.  The sentry lit an oil lamp on the wall.

 

        It was recognizably Tami, but this naked girl was almost his height.  Standing upright, legs apart, her dirty bare feet cuffed to rivets in the rock.  Her skin was brown, in fact almost as dark as his own, contrasting with her green eyes in the flickering light.  Her arms were drawn back, a heavy chain connecting her wrists to the wall behind.  Her breasts were enormous, standing straight out like brown mountains over her concave tummy.  Her nipples, gigantic and stiff in the cold, were pierced with rough thick iron rings three inches across that hung down in the chilly air.  Below, one could dimly see her abundant pubic bush.

 

        “Irish,” El Hamad said.  “Strong race.  She could kill me with her bare hands, and probably wants to.” She looked at him with undisguised hatred, her tummy breathing in and out with her passion.  Then as he feared, she turned her gaze on him.

 

        “What was her offense?” he said as blandly as he could.

 

        El Hamad shrugged.  “I forget.”

 

        He looked around.  Except for them the entire level was empty.  “Is she being punished?”

 

        “No, this is her usual position when not performing hard labor.”

 

        “Where is her cell?”

 

        El Hamad looked at him and waved his hand.  “This IS her cell.  She sleeps with one ankle cuffed.”

 

        There was no bed, no toilet.  She slept naked on these pointy rocks?

 

        “It’s very cold down here,” he said.

 

        “Like I told you, a strong race.  She’s been naked for three months now.  Hard labor keeps her toned.  Of course, we have a purpose.” El Hamad took out a flashlight and took him behind her.  He gasped.  Coming up out of the floor at an angle was a rusty iron shaft about two inches thick that disappeared between her taut butt cheeks.

 

        As if to increase his consternation, El Hamad asked his sentry, “What’s the penetration?”

 

        “Eight inches.”

 

        Open-mouthed in astonishment, he just couldn’t forsake his duty and said what he had to say.  “You must be aware that this violates the Geneva Convention.”

 

        El Hamad laughed.  “Oh really.  And what country are you from?”

 

        He bit his lip.  This was untenable.  His country was aware of El Hamad’s human rights abuses, and had been willing to look the other way because they needed his help.  But now El Hamad was rubbing this outrage right in his face.

 

        He saw a way out.  This might be a vital interrogation.  “What information do you hope to get out of her?”

        Another laugh.  “This is not a spy movie.” A small recorder emerged from El Hamad’s pocket.  Resplendent in his full-dress uniform, he faced the the naked prisoner.  She spat at him.

 

        El Hamad laughed and wiped it off with a handkerchief.  “Good thing we’d rather have you alive...  Now confess to the bombing.”

 

        She glared at him, her huge breasts heaving, the rings rising and falling.

 

        El Hamad slowly twisted one of the rings ninety degrees.  She was stoic but by the time he twisted to 180 degrees she was clearly trying to hide her pain.

 

        The recorder came out again.  “You know the words to say.  Whether you actually did it or not is of no moment.  Say what needs to be said.”

 

        She refused.  The sentry, with a hammer from his coat, struck the iron shaft fiercely.  The clang reverberated through the dank empty basement.  The naked prisoner tried to shift her feet and stifled a cry, her breasts bouncing ponderously.  The pain in her abused sphincter and rectum must have been horrible.

 

        She looked right at him with green fire in her eyes.  She had not said a word.  Was she demanding that he help her? Or condemning him for not doing so?

 

        Now, the sound of rushing water from behind.  He turned around -- was the basement being flooded?

 

.  .  .  .

 

        Rod awoke with a start.  He found himself still in his suit and shoes, lying on the bed.  He staggered to his feet, disoriented.  He had had dreams about Tami before -- sometimes as a naked superheroine, saving the world in comic book fashion from evil, sometimes as a naked Olympic swimmer whom he was coaching, often as a naked Queen on her throne whom he approached in supplication, even as a naked paper girl who delivered the newspaper every day.  But this was the first time his dream-Tami had been imprisoned or abused.

 

        It was past seven o’clock.  He had been asleep for four hours.  Glad he was in the comforting real world again, he lurched to the bathroom and the sound he knew so well, of Tami taking one of her bubble baths.

 

        She had just turned the faucet off with her foot.  This was one of those old-style free-standing tubs with legs.  Lying fully submerged except for her head and her bent knees, her eyes closed, a little smile on her face.  “Mmmmm...” Despite the bubbles he could see almost her entire body, her breasts buoyant.

 

        She opened her eyes as if expecting him.  He told her about his dream.

 

        She giggled, a low, womanly giggle which made the water ripple.  Lifting her feet up to the sides of the tub and wiggling her bubbly toes, she said, “Fortunately my circumstances are not quite that desperate.”

 

        He put the toilet cover down and sat next to the tub.  He noticed the unadorned third toe and picked up the wedding ring she had she placed on the floor.  “I think it’s getting too tight,” she said.  “It gets uncomfortable sometimes.”

 

        He looked down at her.  “You don’t seem to be gaining weight.”

 

        “No,” she looked down at her tummy.  “The rec center takes care of that.”

 

        Rod watched absently as Tami’s nipples broke the surface and then submerged in the little ripples, and thought again about his dream.  “You were in a dungeon.  That was like at the pony farm, right?”

 

        “No, I wouldn’t call it a dungeon.  They kept us in a stable with straw on the floor but everything there looked pretty expensive.  The food was certainly better than here.”

 

        “Ho ho,” Rod said with a smile.  A reference to his disastrous attempt at lasagna last night.  Which Tami, with her winter appetite, ate anyway.

 

        “So what were you working on today?”

 

        “Dragging seedlings out to the campus lawn.  It was a slippery, muddy mess in that rain.  I fell three times.  I needed this bath b-a-a-d.”

 

        “No, not the grounds crew, I mean at Chalfont.”

 

        “Galvanic skin tests.”

 

        Rod exhaled in exasperation.

 

        “And,” Tami said with a smile, “we got the polymer to thread.  I made a boot out of it.  Gretchen put her foot into a puddle and said it kept her warm.”

 

        “Great! -- So where is this headed?”

 

        “Ling told me the government is interested.  They might send us some things to sign.”

 

        “Wow...”

 

        “And not only that,” Tami said, “I got an interesting gift from a visitor.  Look under the sink.”

 

        Rod at first did not know what this huge object was that he was dragging out of the cabinet, but as he supported it in his hands he suddenly looked at it in horror.  “God...  this isn’t...”

 

        “It’s not exactly what they stuck in me.  Mrs.  Wickland says it’s improved and they’re not into punishment any more.  There’s a remote there too.  Push the purple button.”

 

        Rod found the remote and dropped the huge tail in surprise as it buzzed.  “So now this is a vibrator?”

 

        “Ja.  Sehr nett?” Which meant, “Very nice?”

 

        Rod held it in his hands.  “I can’t believe this whole wooden part went inside you.”

 

        “I had had a lot of practice at the time.”

 

        Rod remembered Tami’s account of the huge dildos pistoning into both her holes at Chalfont under McMasters’s direction.  “It seems impossible.”

 

        “No, it’s possible.”

 

        He thought again about the old plantation grounds, the pony girl system.  That the slaves were there by choice made it in way worse.  “What a sick enterprise.  Playing master and slave.”

 

        “I had a dream about it once that wasn’t too bad.”

 

        “Oh really.  I suppose you were the lady of the manor?”

 

        “No, I was the barefoot Irish kitchen girl.  You were a field slave out picking cotton.”

 

        Rod cocked his eyebrow.  A black person and a white person would have different ideas about such a dream.

 

        “We would wink at each other, and one day we both escaped into the countryside, made love under the stars, and built a little hut to live in.”

 

        “If I was a field slave I wouldn’t get a chance to see you, much less wink at you.”

 

        “It was a dream, Rod!”

 

        Well maybe that was not so bad.  Tami sat up in the tub, water coursing from her nipples, and kissed Rod’s adorable shaved head.  He watched as she settled back in.  Her famous pubic fronds, buoyed by the water, waved to and fro like wheat in a lazy summer wind.  Plum-colored wheat, of course.

 

        “Got home early?” she said, sliding down some more.

 

        “Yes.  No work at the moment.”

 

        “Me too.  It’s a night for chilling out.”

 

        He took one last look at her submerged charms and then started out the bathroom.

 

        The ominous whoosh of water into a cave.  He looked back and she had braced her feet against the sides with toes spread.  He knew this well -- she was a cobra rising to pounce.  He tried to make a run for it and almost made it into the kitchen.  But fifteen feet was well within her range.  She raised her body up and a long thin squirt of bath water arced out from her womanly depths and hit him square in the back of his jacket.  The female hunter-gatherer had once again arrowed her prey.

 

        “Damn,” he laughed.  The only thing to do was swear revenge.

 

 

15.

 

        In the kitchen, his wet jacket drying on a chair, Rod puttered around for something to make for supper.  It was his turn again.  He decided on what he was good at, salad with hard boiled eggs, cheese, and a side of toast.

 

        As he was getting out the lettuce he heard the splashing and dripping of water.  Tami was getting out of her bubble bath.  She used to try to invite him in with her but the tub wasn’t really big enough and, besides, she liked the water really hot, which he found suffocating.

 

        “Aiee! Damn!” she suddenly shouted.

 

        When he got there he saw his dripping nude wife looking at a big white towel on the floor.

 

        “That thing is like fire!” she said.  She reached down for it but drew her hand away at the touch.

 

        Rod picked it up.  It felt like the same old towel as always.  The two searched for an explanation.  “Maybe you’re allergic to the detergent.  Did you buy a different brand? I know I haven’t.”

 

        “No.”

 

        He went to the linen closet.  Unfortunately their other towels (all four of them) were in the dirty clothes hamper, leaving just some scratchy wash cloths.  He threw three to Tami.  In spite of his concern, Rod always found it sexy seeing her dry herself off.

 

        He put the white towel in the hamper, intending on doing the wash later, then went back to the kitchen.  Now a voice from the living room.  “Rod.”

 

        He found her there sitting cross-legged on the upholstered couch, leaning against a pillow.

 

        “I don’t feel so good.  I feel...  I don’t know, like I’m going to throw up.”

        Now he was really concerned.  In all the time he knew her Tami had not once gotten sick.  In Pilgrim Hall she was famous for it.  They both figured it was because the constant exposure to the elements had toughened her.  It was something she cited with pride during her embrace of “the theory of nudism” last year.

 

        He didn’t know what to do but she seemed so confused as to be helpless.  He pulled her up by the hand and led her to the kitchen.  Once on the cold tile floor she sighed.  Then she sat down on it, breathing deeply.  She opened her eyes and seemed to have recovered.  Then she drew a glass of water.

 

        “Rod,” she said, “let’s get some air.”

 

        Tami led him out the back door.  The half moon was out.  The forecast had been wrong; it looked like it was freezing up again tonight.  They stood on the re-freezing crusty snow in the back yard.  He watched as she took some more deep breaths, exhaling in little clouds of condensation, over her nipples that were stiffening with the cold.  Wisps of mist emanated from her body, still hot and moist from the bath.  Then she squatted and peed.  She never had a bashful kidney when it was just her and Rod, or some of her close friends.  Sometimes they would stand in a circle around her, conversation going on without interruption as she relieved herself.

 

        Rod and Tami both watched the steaming yellow hole that formed in the snow.

 

        As the jet of urine slackened she looked up and said, “I want some eggs.  Let’s go eat at the Plaza.”

 

        In this town, that meant the Plaza Diner, three blocks away on Water Street.  The snow crunched under her feet as she slowly sauntered to the side gate with an even gait.

 

        “Wait, Babe, while I get my coat.” Rod also changed into his boots.

 

        In a minute they were walking hand in hand down the small side street.  He tried not to look over at her.  Fortunately she seemed OK.  By the time they got to the diner and she waved to Theo, the owner, and they got their favorite table at the back, it was back to being a normal night.

 

        It would be too much to call the three-eggs-and-steak plate the “Tami winter special”, but that would have been appropriate, because hardly anyone else ordered it.  Rod picked at his own pancakes as she started wolfing it down.

 

        He brought up something that had been bothering him.  “I still can’t believe you were so...  casual about accepting that tail thing, that monstrosity, as a gift from that lawyer.  Don’t you remember what they did to you?”

 

        “It was mistaken identity.  Anyway, it seems like it was a hundred years ago.” She leaned over and rubbed his scalp like it was a Buddha’s belly and she was wishing for good luck.  In the process her breast leaned into her potatoes.  She wiped it off with a napkin as she said, “What am I supposed to do, relive it over and over? If I dwelt on all that old stuff I’d go crazy.”

 

        She had a point.  That summer was three years ago, almost.  She was just turning 19 then.  From 19 to 22 is a long period in a person’s life.  More than 22 to 25 was, as with him.  It was a condescending thought, and Tami had been through enough trauma and shame for several lifetimes.  But nonetheless true.

 

        Rod wondered about that dream he had.  What did it mean? That Tami was being tortured inside and it was up to him to help? Yet she seemed so well-adjusted to what life had handed her.  Except for Henry Ross and Dean Jorgon and a few others, all of whom were gone, she had forgiven everyone involved in her freshman year torments.  As she put it once, they were simply under mistaken impressions created by a couple of bad people.  She was even on good terms with Homer Winant now, that clever creep.  And who was Rod to say that this peace of mind was not real? It certainly seemed real to him.  She never had unsettling dreams, like the one he just had.

 

        As she sipped orange juice she giggled.

 

        “What.”

 

        “I was just thinking -- what if I wore that tail around campus?”

 

        All Rod could think of was how uncomfortable it would be, but he saw how it might be funny and played along.  “Maybe just to parties?”

 

        “Or special occasions.  Like graduation.”

 

        Now he did laugh.  “Your valedictorian speech.”

 

        He thought about sitting in the audience, using the remote to bring her to orgasm after orgasm as she spoke.  Maybe he shouldn’t be turned on, considering her freshman year experiences.  But still...

 

        Stuffed for now, Tami sat back and put her feet up on the opposite seat, on each side of Rod.  She fondled the sides of his jeans with her toes.

 

        “How are your fans doing?”

        “Attentive as ever.  Spica keeps bringing up the idea of an after-hours get-together.”

 

        “Who?”

 

        “Spica.  She’s a freshman.  I don’t think you’ve met her yet.”

 

        “Is this the ‘Tami-thon’ idea again?”

 

        “Kind of.”

 

        The two of them had never gotten each other’s views on this long-standing proposal because neither was sure what they thought about it themselves.  But now Rod found himself saying, “If they want to do it at our house, that’s O.K.  I’d like to be there, though.”

 

        Tami looked at Rod.  “It sounds too, like, intimate for you not to be there.  Think of it as having Jen and Leisha visiting.  The expanded version.”

 

        “I don’t know if we can afford all that fine wine.”

 

        “Not for me.”

 

        “No?”

 

        “No, I prefer keeping my senses sharp.  Like when I’m with you.”

 

        So there he had it.  The marathon, multi-tongue party idea had been OK with Tami all along.

 

        Tami said, “You know, about this tail...  If it does what Ms. Wickland says it does, it would come in handy, like the bra and panties from Chalfont.” Which she couldn’t wear any more.

 

        The tail would certainly mean less work for him every night.  He could just watch, or maybe work the remote, while her immense sexual thirst was quenched, instead of doing all that work of humping from below, from above, licking, sucking, always holding back, managing her orgasms so to speak.  Instead, he could hold her hand as she spasmed to her heart’s (or clit’s) content, and just “come in” for the finish.

 

        “The important thing is that I am with you, Babe.”

 

        Tami inserted a sausage in a hole in Rod’s pancake, which made him chuckle.  “You know I was doing all sorts of tasks while wearing that tail thing.  Chopping branches, pulling buggies...”

 

        “Babe, please -- I don’t want to hear about it.”

 

        “My point is, sometimes I think it’s all work for you and all pleasure for me.”

 

        “I don’t have your capacity.”

 

        “Still.  The tail will free up my hands and mouth and everything, to give you pleasure.”

 

        “You DO give me pleasure.” At least as much as he could stand, considering he could only come once or maybe twice a night.  Sundays, which they tried to reserve for being alone, he could usually come four times during the course of the day.

 

        “What I’m thinking of is the TL’s,” Tami said.  “They don’t ever want pleasure for themselves.  All they want is to make me come a lot.  And it’s not like they’re playing me like a pinball machine like you say.  It’s kind of selfless.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the way they get into it seems almost mystical.” She finished the last of her toast and then looked out the window into the black night.  “I’m too much on the receiving end.  I should devote myself more to pleasuring you.  Be an RL.  A Rod Licker.”

 

        Rod did not know what to make of this strange turn of the conversation.  After a moment, he changed the subject.

 

        “How’s Joe doing?”

 

        “O.K.  It’s a crummy situation all around but at least he’s not getting shot at and he enjoys what he’s doing.”

 

        “And what’s that? He’s with the 101st, right?”

 

        “Yeah, but he’s in ordnance.  The guys who repair stuff and put it back together...  I’m still amazed that Joe found his calling so quick.  He used to be a total klutz mechanically.  I told you about the time I had to run all the way to church to jump-start the car on Christmas morning because he didn’t know how.”

 

        Yes, Rod remembered that story, from her freshman year.

 

        “And his grades were never very good.  Then after high school he decided to enlist.  He was inspired by 9/11, of course, but then when they put him in mechanic school he suddenly took right to it.  Really the first thing he’s ever tried that he was a ‘natural’ at.  .  .  If only they could have kept him at Killeen, instead of going to Iraq.  They’re really stretched for troops.”

 

        “Yes.  I hear.  My cousin’s there.” Actually a rather distant cousin, from relatives in Detroit.

 

        “Oh right, I forgot.  Well a friend of Joe’s tried to get a hardship transfer back to the States because his uncle died.  He couldn’t get it.  You have to be practically the only remaining source of support for 23 disabled children.  Well,” she said, stirring her coffee, “at least Joe’ll be back soon.”

 

        “May?”

 

        “Either that or early June.”

 

        “I’m curious.  How did your father react to his picking the Army instead of the Navy?”

 

        Tami chuckled, while wiping a drop of ketchup off her nipple.  “That business about competition between the services is really not true.  At least not with Dad.”

 

        The diner was almost empty on this winter night.  Tami’s position at their table was always facing away from the door.  This way, if an out-of-towner walked in, which was unusual, he would see only her bare shoulders and naturally conclude that she was in a strapless dress.  Now Rod saw a couple of scary-looking guys come in and sit at the counter.  Maybe not scary.  They were more like goofy and loud, and Tami’s shoulders caught their attention.

 

        Rod choreographed the situation as he usually did.  Before they got too curious he asked for the check, then got up and made a show of flapping his coat around before putting it on, blocking the view.  Tami got the signal and shot out the back door.  Rod followed and the two walked back to the house along the path hidden behind a row of shrubs.

 

        When they got back they sat around in the kitchen while Rod examined the tail minutely and tried the remote.  There was a purple button but also a small touch-pad like a laptop has.  Running the finger along the touch pad caused a little bump to travel along the shaft at the same speed.  They both laughed at this, amazed at the ingenuity.

 

        She got up on the table on all fours.  Maybe some day she could accept this huge thing inside her again, but he didn’t dare try that yet.  Instead he got out one of Tami’s selection of regular size dildoes, dabbed it with lubricant, and slowly worked it into her anus.

        He hadn’t done work in Tami’s back door in a while.  For now, he satisfied himself with using the tail as a big vibrator, pressing it against her clit as he worked the dildo in and out.  He was rewarded with several short, sharp climaxes.  Small climaxes for Tami, but no less satisfying to see.

        Back in bed, he tried training the vibrating tail on her clit again as he slowly screwed her from below.  Unfortunately the vibrations on his dick were too direct and his dick went numb, which was pretty funny.  He ended up not coming himself, finishing the evening by licking Tami to several long, slow, rolling orgasms.

 

16.

 

        Melissa, the new TL, smiled as she sat down at one of the chilly concrete tables in the Student Union courtyard.  Tall, blonde, beautiful, she looked like a model and instinctively dressed like one, this time in a black carriage coat with blue scarf, black snow cap, straight leg jeans and long black boots.  Every passing guy gave her a long look, but she was used to that and ignored them, focused on the object of her desire and thanking her luck.

 

        It had become cloudy and a bit windy, but the courtyard was still filled with students and faculty during this lunchtime hour.  Some were sitting at the round tables, some were standing, but none were at the table in the middle except Tami Smithers, lying on her back right on top, arms and legs spread out, snoozing.

 

        The morning had been sunny and gloriously warm, a preview of the spring that was still some weeks away.  Melissa had heard that Tami had taken an early lunch with some friends, sitting cross-legged on the table as she often did, and then as they left dropped off into one of her famous midday naps.  When Melissa heard the news, the sun had disappeared, the clouds had come out, the temperature dropped.  She had rushed over.  Fortunately the cold hadn’t awakened Tami yet.

 

        This was not an unusual scene and the people in the courtyard took the naked slumberer in stride, almost as if she were a sculpture of a naked woman that was always there.  They drank coffee, ate, chatted about their business, only a few glancing at the naked form, mostly passing guys who stopped by on a pretense but were careful to get going lest they be thought gawking.  A few brave persons began to sit at Tami’s table, careful not to be too near a bare foot.  In the process of turning in her sleep, Tami had been known to kick over sodas and worse, one fine autumn afternoon having upturned a plate of spaghetti into a professor’s lap.  All the while without waking.

 

        She was bound to wake up soon.  Continuing to nap in this chill would be impossible even for her.  Melissa watched, entranced, at the sight of pubic hair being ruffled by wind in the midst of the crowded courtyard.  Tami stretched and turned onto her side, facing her.  Her nose twitched, then little twitches of the hands.  Tami’s pinky toes extended.  Her breasts trembled ever so slightly, the stiff nipples pointing right at Melissa.  Tami must be dreaming.  What was she dreaming of? There was always speculation.  Maybe she was dreaming of running.  Maybe of gymnastics, her old sport.  The most common speculation, oddly, was the most ridiculous: that she was dreaming of wearing clothes and shoes.

 

        Now Tami lay on her back again, legs straight out, arms stretched over her head, sticking out from the end of the table.  Her nipples poked up to the sky.  It was hard to believe that she could sleep like this, bare skin scraping against cold concrete, but everyone knew she had slept on all kinds of rough surfaces during her legendary cross-country journey.  Now her legs separated again, one knee slightly bent.  Melissa could see the lower lips parting ever so slightly, perhaps the nub of her clit showing, she wasn’t sure.  Tami’s mouth opened and Melissa suppressed a giggle as Tami started snoring.  There were other smiles too.  On the inhale Tami sounded like a revving motorcycle.

 

        Now that guy in the wheelchair from the administration, whom everyone called Homer, wheeled up with a tall guy in a suit and with Assistant Dean Congi.  All were wearing overcoats, Congi in suede gloves.  They stationed themselves in front of Tami, practically between her spread legs, and chatted, then turned to her as if expecting her to wake.

 

        Wake she did, cutting off in mid-snore, opening her eyes, blinking back into a consciousness of her surroundings, then lifting her head to say hi to the three with a total lack of surprise.  With her legs still spread, she spoke a little in that position, just her head lifted.  To look her in the eye they probably had to look right past her open pussy.  Yet Tami made no attempt to close her legs or change position until a minute later, when she laid her head back, stretched like a yawning cat, then sat cross-legged to continue the conversation.  Midway through she gave Melissa a thril by idly scratching one of her big, dark brown, permanently erect nipples, making her breasts dance for a second.

        The exchange was obviously cordial, though Melissa couldn’t make out what they were talking about.  Soon Homer, Congi, and the tall guy left.  It was time to make her move.

 

        She decided not to be hokey with any “my Queen” business, it being her first time.  “Hi Tami,” she said, standing next to the table.  She slowly extended her hand, being unable to resist a quick glance down at those nipples whose sensitivity made further words unnecessary.  Tami smiled a royal-looking smile and allowed Melissa to help her off the table.  As Tami stood up she brushed bits of concrete grit off her butt cheeks.  Then Melissa led her from the courtyard, up toward the library walkway.  Tami kept up with her as they went up silently.

 

        Tami had nothing with her.  She kept her things in a locker in the Union with a combination lock, walking without carrying anything whenever possible.  Nobody knew why this was.  Maybe it reminded her of her journey across the country with no money or clothes or things, just her bare body.  It just added to her reputation, the icon of female strength that the TL’s all but worshipped.

 

        Melissa had planned it well and the area turned out to be deserted.  It was the series of concrete tables on the edge of the big plaza outside the upper library level, near what was technically the main entrance but rarely used because the whole plaza was so out of the way.  She guided Tami to one of the tables and sat Tami down at it while she herself sat on the bench.

 

        Tami’s pussy was at her eye level and she looked up as if asking permission.  Upon seeing the silent smile Melissa began.  She kissed the plum-colored forest, the opening to the royal palace, then stood up to kiss and then tenderly suck each nipple.  Tami closed her eyes, her head back, and began to breathe deeply.  Melissa grabbed one bare foot in each hand and intertwined her fingers with the rough cold toes.  The toes clasped back with amazing strength.

 

        Now a gentle series of kisses down the tan, concave midriff, on the navel, and down the thickening forest.  A hot breath on the lower lips.  Melissa’s hands wrapped around the taut butt cheeks and her breath quickened as she inhaled the first scent of Tami’s secretions.  Her tongue inserted, at first pointed and now flat against the inner lips, and she got her first taste of the famous nectar.  Not sweet, not bitter, a mellowed yet distinctive essence, grown-up womanly and frisky girlish, so hard to describe yet so immediately recognizable, this essence of female.  She burrowed deeper, remembering what she had learned, flat tongue side to side, regulating her own breathing, and now, an occasional swipe of the clit, rewarded by the little gasps above.

 

        She continued for a couple of minutes before a slight grinding of Tami’s pelvis told her it was time to “take her up”.  More determined, deeper burrowing, now up and down to include the clit, the nerve-rich uniqueness of the female, the only body part devoted exclusively to sexual pleasure, and now Tami found her own rhythm, and the two women synchronized their breathing, together in the ancient dance, and the naked goddess now cried out over and over, gasping as if for air but also to the skies and to the earth.  Now the bare feet braced against Melissa’s thighs on the bench and the great arching of the pelvis, the inhaling of air between clenched teeth, and now the great waves beat upon the shore, one after the other.  Melissa was with her all the way, spasm after spasm, holding on for dear life, as if hugging a little motor boat bouncing across a choppy sea, as Tami took her up with her.  The last irregular spasm spent itself, and now Melissa slackened just a bit, then returned to the flat tongue rhythm, keeping the naked girl on the plateau.

 

        They were together up in the sky, whirling around this axis of tongue and clit.  Now Melissa darted in, way in, and pulled the butt cheeks apart and in toward her, and her Queen moaned continuously as the tongue melded into her femininity, as if the tongue reached all the way in to snake around each ovary to caress and stimulate it, to secret itself into the cervix and all the way up the uterus, to the essence of the female and her gift of life.  Melissa felt a hot sweat on her face, hotness under her many clothes, privileged to be present at this sacred moment, as Tami crested again and exploded with a loud cry.

 

        Tami and Melissa traveled through the ages, looked down on empires and civilizations as they rose and fell, the projects and intrigues of men, while they themselves flew on, ageless and all-knowing and indestructible.  Their joy was the joy of the universe, the pulsating, orgasmic surge of life.  They were the sun and earth, earth and moon, and now they were a double sun revolving around each other, setting the universe ablaze with light, spiraling out radiation and hot sun spirit.  .  .  Tami caressed Melissa’s hair, her supple feet wrapped around and caressed the coat and scarf around her shoulders and back, the embrace mutual.

 

        Thousands of years went by, and countless eruptions, as like a volcano Tami quaked and subsided and quaked and subsided.  Now Melissa felt the call of ambition.  She inserted her fingers way, way in, then gently hooked upward, finding the little twin grapes and pressed them toward her tongue.  Tami lurched.  “Ohh!! Y - yes!” Melissa tongued the clit, then pressed, working the clit and G-spot like a see-saw, as the pelvis shook and shook some more in unbearable escalating tension.

 

        Now Tami’s legs shot out straight with terrific force as if dealt a death blow.  She shrieked as the first jolt hit, the first of a new and stronger series, and Melissa wrapped her arms more fully around her butt in a looser yet more all-encompassing embrace.  Shriek after shriek echoed off the cold concrete architecture of the big deserted plaza.  Melissa could not keep count but imagined someone might be watching, counting the contractions of this prolonged orgasm with awe and envy.  With each jolt Melissa felt herself shooting up to the heavens with Tami like an astronaut in a rocket.

 

        After it was over Melissa looked up, tongue still inserted in its home, to survey the quietness of Tami now lying back in rest on the table, breasts heaving with the recapture of oxygen, sweat drying, her body a strewn landscape after a violent storm.  Now for a little comedy.  Melissa flicked up to the clitoris to see Tami’s whole body jolt upward.  Another flick, another jolt, making Tami giggle, her belly and breasts jiggling.  More flicks, in a steadily quickening rhythm, and now Tami’s body jerked and jerked and she laughed and trilled like a bird, and the Queen bestowed her last orgasm on her subject like that, light-hearted trilling and laughing as she went up and then came down, like the last act of a Shakespearean drama, after all the heights and depths of drama, a little comedic epilogue to make the audience go home happy.

 

        Melissa rested the side of her head on Tami’s forest, like a child at her mother’s breast.  Now she separated, lying back on the back of the bench.  Her tongue was sore, but only a little, and her whole body, recovering from the experience, was pleasantly tired and a little sweaty.  She became aware of the chilly wind again and was grateful for the coolness.  She held her hand up to her nose to whiff the drying scent.  She had never felt so satisfied, so...  fulfilled.

 

        Now she found Tami hugging her.  “Thanks,” the naked Queen said softly, “I’m glad you came.” After a tender moment Tami separated and said, “What time to you have?”

 

        “Uh...  Five minutes to two.” It seemed like but moments but in fact they had been in commmunion for almost half an hour.

 

        “Gotta get going.  See you around.” And with that Tami sprinted off across the plaza, pumping her arms like an athlete, her soles a sandpapery whisper on the concrete.  She passed a few people coming this way and waved as they waved back.  Just before she turned out of site at the far end, her fingers scraped the back of her head, as if to unstick hair that had gotten sweated on.  And then with a final flick of an upturned sole she was gone.

       

.  .  .  .

 

        Marianne watched, more or less helplessly, as Tami hefted the big trunk onto the top of her little BMW.  At least she was of some assistance when it came to tying it down, holding the rope down with her thumb as Tami did the knots.  Soon the loading was done and Marianne, up until now a TL, stood there in her sweater coat and jeans and sneakers, car keys in her hand, looking down at Tami’s bare feet and legs on the wet gravelly shoulder, then again at her car, aimed down High Street in the direction of the interstate ten miles away.

 

        “It still seems odd to quit in the middle of your last semester,” Tami said.

 

        “It’s what I should do, Tam.  My mother needs me at home.”

 

        “She has the nurse.”

 

        “Yes but she needs ME.  I should be there.  I think of all the times she took care of me when I was sick, all those years as a single parent, just me and her.  Now it’s my turn to take care of her.”

 

        That her mother would likely recover from her latest relapse was known to both of them.  Of course Tami did not point this out.

 

        “It was you who put me in a place where I could make this decision, Tami,” Marianne said, deciding this was the time to look her full in the face.  “When I first came here I was a spoiled kid, only interested in myself.  To make any kind of sacrifice was just not something that would have occurred to me.”

 

        Tami did not correct her, tactfully, because both of them knew it was true.

 

        “But with you I learned selflessness.  At first I thought Georgene was some kind of New Age airhead for talking about the mysticism of licking you.  But as I got better at it, and more into it, and you took me up with you to see the whole world at a glance, all around us, without having to turn, with you holding onto me to keep me from falling, my perspective expanded.  It went way beyond sex.  You taught me how to give of myself.  How one gets more out of giving than out of taking.  Any good mother knows that.  As I now realize.  And it is high time I become a good mother to my own mother.”

 

        “Best of luck,” Tami said.  “Stay in touch.  Tell your mother I said hi and we pray for her.”

 

        Marianne reached around Tami’s bare shoulders and gave her the biggest, teariest hug she ever gave.  “Bye, my Queen,” she said with a chuckle and a sniffle.  She got in the car and turned the key and then stuck her head out the window to say a few more words.

 

        She saw Tami waving in the rear view mirror and then the road curved and her permanently naked friend was out of her line of vision.  Fortunately as she reflected on her long drive home, down past Brattleboro and Springfield and Hartford, the words she left Tami with, well-rehearsed, remained the exact words she had wanted to say.  They were the words of a 21-year-old who was trying to be profound but was utterly sincere.  “If we are lucky, we meet someone who shows us who we are, what the really important things are in this life, and how to pursue them in a way that is honest and worthwhile.  It is hard to say in words because it cannot be taught in words, just by example.  In the life that happens to be mine, that person was you, Tami Smithers.”

 

17.

 

        Homer Winant wheeled himself into the Recreation Center atrium, the big, high-roofed arena that held all the center’s equipment, the weight machines, the gymnastics area, the pool, and the volleyball court, with an oval track running around everything.  He liked to come here every once in a while, as he did now on this cloudy late winter evening, to see if everything was in order, the equipment in shape, the heat on.

 

        He wheeled with his hands, hating those mechanized wheelchairs, and wore his trademark “Grafton Transmissions” baseball cap.  But he was still in his suit, being a college bigwig now.  He was the Assistant Dean for Administration, in charge of the physical plant, the dorms, the meal plans.  As he put it, “I keep the lights on around here.”  Actually he was just the “Acting” Assistant Dean; he did not have the advanced degree for a permanent appointment, despite having been encouraged to get one.  Sitting in classes always bored him.  And his job was not in jeopardy.  When old Hicks finally retired, they were forced to admit that Homer Winant, who had been doing most of Hicks’s job anyway, was the logical replacement.  He knew the campus inside out.  And he “knew where the bodies were buried”.

 

        Tonight the rec center was a sweaty cacophony, the thumping of sneakered feet along the track, the grunts coming from the weight machines and the clanking of metal, the soft patter of chalked hands and feet from the gymnasts on the parallel bars and on the mats.  Homer wheeled up toward the most arresting feature of the rec center, set up on a raised platform overlooking everything else: a double treadmill of the kind once used for water power, with bars added overhead for the hands to push up on.  The little sign called it the “full body flexer”, but to the students at Campbell-Frank, it was known as “the Beast”.

 

        Tonight there was a small cluster of students hanging out in front of the treadmill, Georgene, Myra, Spica, Melissa, Sessu, Jeane and Tom.  All dressed in the sweats, socks and sneakers required here.  Homer wheeled up to them.

 

        “What’s up?”

        It was apparent that they were having a conversation which ceased when Homer approached.

 

        “Not much, Homer,” Tom said with easy familiarity.  “How are you?”

 

        Homer glanced back at the weight machines.  “I might try some dumbbell work later on,” he said.  “You, why don’t you use this? It’s a fine machine, if I do say so myself.” Which was true.  Originally trod by Tami Smithers for that electricity generation project three years ago, the treadmill was designed by him to also provide a full-body workout.

 

        He still congratulated himself on getting Hicks to agree to move it to the rec center.  Better than have it gather dust in the Dixon Mill to look like evidence against him after the Tami Smithers situation blew up.  He had also noticed that Ms. Smithers, at the time a sophomore, was developing a bit of a tummy and was freaking out about it.  It got installed, and after some hesitation she became the most frequent user.  And, along with everyone else, he noticed that the naked girl’s tummy quickly slimmed back down, for which she could only have been grateful.  Again, a stroke of genius on his part.

 

        He now appeared to have her trust.  He was aware, through his extensive grapevine, that her husband considered him a “clever creep”.  But the husband was graduated and off campus.  Someday Tami Smithers would be too.

 

        “It’s pretty hard work to get this thing moving,” Jeane said.

 

        “There’s a dial, you can set it for as wimpy as you want,” Homer said, waving to the controls he had installed.

 

        “It’s still hard,” Myra said.  “That’s why we call it the Beast.”

 

        “Weenies.  And don’t call it that, you’ll hurt its feelings,” he said, looking up to it as if pacifying a huge, well, Beast.  “I’ll see you, I’ve got to do real man things like sit in front of a TV and drink beer,” Homer said.  As usual, he amused his audience.  In fact he wheeled toward the rec center office, to shoot the breeze with the attendant.

 

        Tom, a tall, skinny kid with wild hair and an attempt at a beard, leaned against the treadmill and looked up at the bars.  Jeane looked at him and said, “Well, my manly man?”

 

        It was not that the treadmill was hard to turn, at least not on the lightest setting.  Few admitted it, but most students were just too bashful for it.  It was the setup of the thing, two treadmills three feet apart, with bars over each for the hands to push on.  It stretched you into an “X” and pushed your chest and crotch forward.  And it was on a platform to boot, easily seen from any point in the atrium.  Even through sweats and underclothes, it exposed a guy’s -- or girl’s -- endowments, or lack thereof, to the whole world.

 

        Tom, being dared by his girlfriend, smirked and climbed up.  He planted one sneakered foot on each treadmill and put his hands on the bars.  Jeane looked up at his crotch.  “Oh baby,” she said.

 

        What guy could not proceed, given such encouragement? He pushed down with his left foot and pushed up with his right hand.  It took a loud grunt but he got it to move.  The double treadmill slowly turned as Tom looked forward into the far distance, obviously too shy to look down at his friends as they stared intently.  He felt like he was shoving his package out into everyone’s face.  But now he looked down at Jeane with a little smile.

 

        There was a general turning of heads around them and the friends knew what that meant.  Nobody slid in here faster than Tami, who needed no ID to get in and had no need to go to the locker room to change.  She was easy to see once you turned to the weight machine area.  Clanking away on the shoulder press, the total bareness of skin easy to pick out in the sea of sweatshirts and sneakers and shorts.

 

        Myra and Sessu ambled over first.  They said hi, idly watching Tami’s breasts vibrate as their naked friend, on her back, hefted 120 pounds with only a moderate amount of effort, her plum-colored pubic hair almost in their faces between the legs that splayed apart at the end of the bench, her bare feet flat on the floor.  Tami said a quick hi but then started focusing on her exertions and Myra and Sessu, perhaps shamed into exercising, found things to do on the other machines.  Those nearby who glanced over saw Tami’s face start to get red, her breathing get louder, as she continued her reps.  Like any dedicated exerciser, once she got into the reps she was in her own world.

 

        Seesu tried to read as much as he could into the little smile Tami had sent in his direction.  He was afraid he was still a little on the outs with her, a rare situation here on campus.  Only Lorinda and some of her immature friends were not on Tami’s good side, who had gotten such a kick out of the teasing and abuse they had put the naked girl through.  But lately even they had been a little subdued.  Lorinda herself, now a senior like Tami, had even gotten into student government a little and even found herself in meetings with her.  But according to her roommate, Jeane’s friend Celine, she was still “a nasty bitch” to live with.

 

        Sessu’s concern had arisen from a recent incident.  He hung out with the TL’s and it was no secret that he wanted to be one, but as a male his desires had to be sublimated.  So he hit upon a solution.  He had spent some weeks hearing the TL’s talk about a Tami-thon -- a long session with all of them licking and sucking every part of Tami’s body -- and that had given him an idea.  An architecture major, he had privileges at the metal shop and he spent several late nights staring at all that tubing, then once the idea was in his head he roughed out the drawings and got to work.

 

        Not that the Tami-thon would ever happen.  Georgene had hinted at something like it during one of Tami’s pass-bys at the Student Union and Tami had seemed turned off.  Not that the proposal was ever spelled out directly.  The Queen’s permission was never directly asked for.  They were too afraid the answer would be “no” and they wanted to hold onto the fantasy.

 

        So it was a bold stroke, perhaps do-able only by someone who could never participate, when Sessu asked Tami to come with him to the metal lab because he had something to show her.  The TL’s went with him as he escorted her to the art building and down the hallway scented with acetylene and burnt wood.  She must have thought he had made a sculpture of her, based on the many drawings he did of her when she sat chatting at the Union.

        She was puzzled as he introduced her to the jumble of tubing on the floor.  Then, taking off his jacket, he eagerly got to work, fitting this tube into that, banging some struts into place with the ballpeen hammer, climbing on top of the lower rungs to put the upper crossbars in place, then the final touch of screwing the cushioned wood seats onto the four threaded uprights.

 

        The structure was a bit taller than he was and, after shoving it to and fro to show how sturdy it was, he hopped onto it, his arms and legs stretched out into an X, his legs slightly forward as he bent at the hips, his boots resting on cross-bars.  Now Myra and Rosaria took off their coats and got into the raised seats a little to the sides so that their faces were on each side of his chest.  Jeane got into the seat behind so that she was staring right at his butt.  Georgene got into the plushest seat, so that she was eye level with his crotch.  Not that she looked at it, or the considerable hardness that had developed there.  She turned her head and, like the rest, looked back at Tami, who stood with her hands at her side, one foot sideways on the dusty floor, silent.

 

        “Forgive me for taking your throne temoparily, my Queen,” Sessu said in his Japanese accent.  “But I hope you approve of what I made for you.  Think of it as the seating arrangement for your court.”

 

        Its purpose was perfectly obvious.  With Tami perched as Sessu currently was, Myra and Rosaria could comfortably suck her nipples for as long as they wanted.  Georgene, or whoever sat there, could sit before Tami’s crotch and suck and lick.  And Jeane could sit forward, arms resting on Tami’s thighs, and noodle around in the rear chamber of the palace.

 

        Tami stood stock still.  Then her eyes got wet and she looked upset.  Then she blinked a few times and said, “Uh .  .  .  Thanks .  .  .  Sessue .  .  .  that’s .  .  .  interesting.  Gotta go.”  And she turned and walked quickly out, and from hearing the receding slapping of her feet they could tell she almost ran out of the building.

 

        They were stunned.  What to make of that? They were in a funk for two days, until finally the TL’s couldn’t resist their horniness any longer and went back to licking Tami, for which she seemed grateful.  As for Sessu he was depressed all week.  He thought about apologizing to Tami, but felt like she wouldn’t wanted to be reminded.  As for why she had reacted that way to his invention, they really had no clue.

 

        That was a month ago.  Since then he had gotten good signals from Tami as if all were forgiven, like smiling when he kissed her knee in the Union last week.  And now this little “hi”.

 

        Tami finished her 50 on the shoulder press, then went to the bench press, the pectoral fly, with her hard nipples sticking out halfway across the atrium, and now was on the hip adductor.

        Who could not watch? Sitting upright as the weights clanked up and down behind her, her legs went way, way, way apart, as far as the machine allowed, almost a ballet dancer’s split.  Guys came by and looked down, then said hi as they passed.  Tami sometimes acknowledged them, sometimes not, being too focused.  By now a thin sheen of sweat covered her, as if someone had atomized water over every inch of her body.

 

        Tom and Jeane sauntered by.  Tom was sweating too from his five minutes of agony on the Beast.  He looked down into Tami’s crotch before waving at her.

 

        It was a good long look, maybe five seconds.  In the well-lit gym he could see inside the lower lips that were well pen as the weights pulled Tami’s legs apart, the redness of the cave within.  Every guy on campus was familiar with the sight of the interior of Tami’s pussy.  Mentally they compared it with that of their own girlfriends, if they had one.  Jeane, like most Campbell-Frank women, had come to accept “the long look”; it was practically a reflex for the average male.  Tom told Jeane that he fantasized, not about Tami, but about her being naked like Tami was, and Jeane believed him.

 

        Tami tolerated the looks too with an easy humor.  Just so long as the guy was polite and it didn’t go on to extended gawking.

 

        Forty minutes later activity in the atrium was muted as Tami was into the last stages of her workout on the Beast.  As she always did, she had put it on the heaviest setting.  Arms and legs apart, heaving out sweat in waves that filled the whole room with the scent of her exertion, hands pushing up, her toes curling over the blades as her bare feet pushed down .  .  .  those gathered around felt privileged to see such a perfect specimen of the female form as they examined her from every angle, some looking up at the straining breasts, others down at her concave tummy, or at the muscles of her thighs and calves, the strong feet, others looking from behind at her bare shoulders and tight butt, sweat running down her back between her cheeks, then emerging in rivulets down her legs.  Spica, standing right in front, made no secret of smacking her lips.

 

        The timer went off and Tami relaxed.  The great apparatus slowly creaked to a halt.  Homer wheeled up.  “Hi Homer,” Tami said, catching her breath, looking down at him past her widely spread lower lips, her soaked pubic hair.

 

        “You’re looking good, Tami,” he said with a smile, then he wheeled off.

 

        And now the great moment, at least great for the TL’s.  They were chatting at the base of the Beast, and Myra looked up and said in a stage whisper, “Tami, I could just lick you all over right now.”

 

        Tami smiled.  “That .  .  .  would be nice.  I have to get going though.” The flexing toes, curled over the blades, indicated her horniness.

 

        “Too bad,” Myra said.

 

        “I’d like to lick you too,” Jeane said.

 

        “Me too,” Spica said.

 

        From her perch, looking down, the sweating naked Queen said, “Then why don’t we get together sometime?”

 

        The mouths of the TL’s dropped open.

 

        As Tami dismounted, jumping down with a soft thud, she said, “My place sometime.  Rod will be there.”

 

        Now that was a letdown.  Having this man around would disrupt all that female energy.  Not that this could be expressed to Tami.  For one thing, she was always too down-to-earth to believe that “female energy” stuff.  And he was her husband, of course.

 

        By the time they had meandered to the exit with her, though, they had reconciled themselves to it.  Having Rod around at the Tami-thon would not be so bad.  They didn’t know him well but he seemed to be a nice guy.  Maybe he could help out with the refreshments.

 

        Their ruminations were interrupted by the clap of thunder.

 

        “Shit!!!” Spica said, looking out at the icy rainshower.  “I left my umbrella in the dorm.”

        “Me too,” Jeane said.  They had their things in the locker room but it was just coats and boots, no umbrellas.

 

        Tami seemed to look at them in sympathy.  Then she said, “Well, gute nacht,” and opened the door and sprinted out into the cold rain, her feet slapping the slush to both sides.  They saw her sleek, wet body pass under the lights and disappear into the darkness.

 

 

18.

 

        Albert Girardo, Chair of the Department of Fashion Technology, just could not find that damn cubbyhole.  At least that was what everyone called them, the tiny rooms overlooking the multipurpose room in the Student Union where they had those dances and other big events.  Every student tutor had one, and the one he was looking for was 2-07.  But they only went up to 2-06 and then there was the fire exit.  So he had to backtrack .  .  .

 

        He hardly ever came here.  All his work was in Thayer Hall right next to his special parking place.  On this sunny, melting-snow day he had unwisely worn moccasins and his feet got a little wet coming down that unfamiliar concourse.  He got his first real look at that statue Wanamaker spoke about: “Tami Takes Flight”.  A good piece of work, abstract but not too weird.  That was his motto, a good rule to live by in his field, how he and his department fought for and won a measure of respectability during his fifteen years at its helm: Don’t Be Too Weird.

 

        So this little errand cut across his grain in so many ways.  But with a student who lived without the benefit of clothing it was just no surprise that all the usual rules were reversed.  That she was a salt-of-the-earth, working class type, so unusual in his field, made her all the more unforgettable.  He vividly remembered the last time he was down this way.  It was last spring, a warm day in May, flowers in bloom.  They hadn’t cut the grass yet and the lawn in front of the Union was a bit overgrown.  He had been roped into one of those godawful Department Head get-togethers, spending all morning in the multipurpose room with the twelve most boring persons on the planet.

 

        It was a relief to finally get out, around lunchtime.  Clouds were overhead, possibly threatening rain, and the air was heavy with the scent of growing grass, a gentle warm breeze.  He approached the lawn and saw people lined in front of it, maybe two dozen, most still well clothed as if it were still a chilly spring, some more appropriately in shirtsleeves.  He ambled up to the edge in his lazy, old-man way, and stopped short when he saw what they were looking at.

 

        It was Campbell-Frank’s only naked student, sleeping in the lush uncut grass.  Other free-spirited students had occasionally dozed off there, in the sun, but always on blankets after a little picnic.  And always clothed.

 

        She was on her side, upper leg extended in front of her, in blissful slumber.  Grass stains were on her soles.  Her butt cheeks were parted and everyone could see her anus -- was it winking at them in the breeze? Now she turned, pulling her leg across, and in the process uprooting some grass.  It stayed between her toes as if she had grabbed it deliberately and now she was on her back, her legs splayed wide open so that everyone could see inside her womanly cave.  She stretched her arms up and her tummy became almost freakishly concave, ribs visible over the tracery of well-developed abs, breasts high and firm with erect nipples poking up at the gray sky.  A few strands of grass were caught up in her lush pubic hair.  And now she sighed.  “Mmmmmmm .  .  .”, as earthy and natural as the scented breeze.

 

        It was a wave partly of lust but also of wonder that riffled through the watchers.  And envy, how it must feel like to roll naked in the grass.  Two of those old Chalfont Institute professors stood next to him, one puffing on his pipe.  You could tell those old German guys anywhere.  “I’m jealous now,” one said.  The pipe puffer said, “Ah Fritz, if Youth only knew, if Age only could!”

 

        Girardo had stayed to watch her lolling around for a few minutes and then she awoke, sitting up with wild hair, elbows on her knees, smiling a little absently at the people around her as if remembering an old joke.  Then he left, as the crowd dispersed, some saying hi to the naked girl, others as if embarrassed at having been caught looking.  Girardo was gay through and through, but a sight like that sticks with you no matter who you are.

 

        Now -- this one’s 2-01, now 2-03, this must be the odd numbers corridor finally --

 

        Her door was open and he hesitated before making his presence known.  She was facing away from him, leaning back on her chair, reading a text, pencil in her mouth.  One foot was way, way up over her head, the heel propped up on the wall in the tiny room.  Only a trained gymnast, like she was, could stretch like that.  The other foot was up on the ledge of the little window that looked down on the multipurpose room.  She held a pen between the third and fourth toes that she tapped idly against the sill.  Girardo was reminded of the student who did that project on toe rings a few years ago, who said, “Toes are the new fingers.” Well for Ms. Smithers, it was all the same.

 

        Her desk was strewn with books, papers, a laptop.  And what looked like a wedding ring, though it seemed too small to go on her finger.  There was a shelf above that had some pictures and some type of geometric sculptures with magnetic sticks.

 

        Finally he cleared his throat.

 

        “Oh hi Mr. Girardo,” she said, quickly swiveling around, putting her book down, and about to stand up.

 

        “Stay seated, please,” he said, quite surprised.  Years ago students would stand up when a professor came in, but not recently.

 

        She sat obediently waiting for him to speak.

 

        “Um, how are you doing?”

 

        “Fine, busy as always,” she said.  “I like it that way.”

 

        He looked at the upper shelf.  “Did you make this? It’s very pretty.”

 

        “It’s a dodecahedron.  One of the regular polyhedrons.”

 

        “Oh.  A dodeca .  .  .”

 

        “That means twelve.  It has twelve sides.”

 

        “Hmm .  .  .Looks like more than twelve to me.”

 

        “The sides are pentagons.  You have to stellate them to make it rigid.”

 

        “Oh right .  .  .  of course.” He looked at it for a moment as if knowing what she was talking about.  “Tami, mind if I sit?” He grabbed a chair that had been out in the hall and sat facing her.  She was upright in her chair, hands folded attentively.  Her feet were on the floor, curled inward, the pen still in her toes.

 

        “Dr. Wanamaker and I agree, your portfolio is outstanding.”

 

        She seemed to blush.  “Thank you.”

 

        “We have a proposal for you.” Knowing he was about to explain something totally new to her, he went slowly despite her high intelligence.  “There is something called the International Fashion Industry Foundation.  It’s a group endowed by various fashion houses, that acts as like a trade group, a clearinghouse of information, and also advocates for designer and models and other tradespeople.  And every year the foundation has a, uh, competition for students.  This year is the 37th annual.  We would like you to invite you to make a submission, enter the competition.  In other words, sponsor you.”

 

        She seemed stunned.  “But .  .  .  I’m not a fashion major.”

 

        “That’s not important.  What is, is that we think you display an extraordinary amount of originality.  Maybe it’s you’re, uh, situation .  .  .” He found himself glancing down at her clit and immediately regretted the reference.  Her clit was poking out a little -- he heard it always did, except when she was out in the cold and it retracted between those plum-colored lips.  He thought he detected a faint whiff of female musk.  Then he brought his mind back on track.  “But you have a view to fashion that is unique and should be made better known, and should be further developed if you wish .  .  .  We don’t just ask anyone.  We don’t do this every year.  In fact we haven’t sponsored a student in five years.  So you see what a compliment this is meant to be.”

 

        “Gosh .  .  .  thanks .  .  .” She was still in shock.

 

        “You will need to put together a submission portfolio.  You can select from your existing one -- the limit is ten designs -- or make up a new one.  Probably selecting from the one you have is best, because the deadline is only in two weeks.  Dr. Wanamaker will help you out with the details.”

 

        Tami looked down.

 

        “That’s the first stage.  Then they select the ten or twelve best entries and present a fashion show, slash, awards ceremony.  I have to say that they have several hundred submissions every year, so the odds of getting picked for the show are slim.  This year it’s in Montreal.  And then, there’s the prizes.  First prize is a fellowship with room and board at a leading institution.  This year it’s somewhere that you especially might have an interest in.”

 

        “What do you mean?”

 

        “The fellowship, which would begin next fall, is in your home town, at the Rhode Island School of Design.”

 

        Tami looked up, nonplussed.  “Rizdy?” Which is how Providence natives refer to RISD.

 

        Girardo nodded.  “Again, I have to say, excellent as your work is, the odds of getting chosen are quite long.  But even being allowed to submit is an honor.  We get to put forth candidates because our department is on the International panel.  Only about sixty schools around the world are on it.”

 

        Tami looked at him and then looked over at a pad on the desk.  “I -- I don’t know what to say.  This is so .  .  .”

 

        “Now Tami, you don’t have to go through with this.  I know you are involved in other projects and fashion is not the center of your life.” God, was that ever an understatement, he told himself.

 

        “Well yes, I was working on that polymer fabric with Gretchen -- “

 

        “Maybe you can incorporate that into your submission.  Ever think of that?”

 

        “The fabric -- it’s designed for military use.”

 

        “So? Does that mean you CAN’T use it to design regular clothes? Look Tami, the International is not a red carpet type fashion show like you see on TV.  These are serious industry people who help decide mass production.  What regular people wear.  Practical stuff.”

 

        He told himself: I’m dropping hints that are so heavy that they’re apt to break this poor girl’s [bare] toes.  Best back off.  She will submit what she wants to submit, as weird as it may be.  That is, if she accepts.  Part of him wanted her to refuse.  That would be a relief.  On the other hand, Shel was right.  Offering her the chance was really the right thing to do.

 

        “Rizdy .  .  .But can I go there if I’m .  .  .” She looked down at her breasts, the big dark brown nipples, toughened and always erect.

 

        Quite unlike the little pink nips Girardo had seen on countless anorexic models.  What would Tami be -- a 34C? He was under no illusions about it -- gay designers really would rather be working with breastless young men.  One of Wanamaker’s pet peeves.  He kidded Wanamaker about his name and his lusting after certain models, his hetero desire for the female form, his breast fetish, but his colleague had a point.  To be true to what they were doing, designers of women’s clothing should use models who look more like this superb naked young woman.

 

        “From what I understand,” he said, “your allergy is being treated at the Chalfont Institute.” At least that’s what Abu Jamal told him when Girardo called him last week.  It was hard to understand that guy’s Pakistani accent.  He was polite but hesitant to give details.  Girardo was well aware how sensitive the topic was over at that place, and couldn’t really blame him for that.

 

        “Well yes,” Tami said uncertainly.  “.  .  .  Can I think about this?”

 

        “Of course.  When you decide, call Shel, Dr. Wanamaker.  His extension is 2141.” To his surprise Tami brought her left foot way up, the one with the pen, and scribbled the number on the pad, all without moving her arms or hands.

 

        “Well let us know,” he concluded.  “And if you accept, congratulations.” He got up and turned to leave.

 

        “Mr. Girardo?”

 

        “Yes?”

 

        “I -- I don’t know.  But thank you very much.”

 

        He smiled.  “You deserve it, Tami.  .  .  And oh, before I forget.” He turned back to her.  “The submissions are not secret, of course.  The names of candidates are listed in the trade publications.  So you might be, in fact probably will be, getting calls and offers to market your designs.  It’s O.K.  to get into contracts, we don’t have any business telling our students what or what not to do.

 

        “But we always suggest that the student create a brand name and logo for his or her work, and attach it to every design.  Get copyright protection.  The way I learned it was to mail the designs to yourself and keep the envelope sealed.  That fixes the date you came up with the ideas.  And be careful what you sign.  Professor Konrad, two doors down from me, he’s also an intellectual property lawyer and can advise you on common pitfalls.

 

        “But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me repeat, no matter how good you are, the odds of actually winning are very low.  But I think you should give it a shot.”

 

        Tami seemed about to say something but then stopped.  She looked down and stretched her arms downward, then placed them on her lap.  She idly tugged at her pubic hair.

        Then she looked up and said politely, “Thank you.  I’ll let you know in a few days.”

        “Good.” Girardo left the naked student to be alone with her thoughts.  And then passed her cubbyhole a few seconds later because he was lost.  Tami had to get up and walk him back to the elevator.

        As the elevator opened, a tall Latina-looking girl in sweat clothes came out.  She gave Tami a little kiss and went with her back to the cubbyhole where they closed the door behind them.

 

19.

 

        “Sorry to interrupt your work, Tami,” said Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Vanessa Congi.

 

        “That’s -- uh -- O.K.  I’m -- uh -- almost done anyway.”

 

        “They put you through your paces, don’t they?” said Dean Congi’s administrative assistant, a quite overweight forty-year-old black woman named Barbara Barlow with a cute face.

 

        Tami smiled and shrugged.  The two watching women huddled in their heavy coats, hats and scarves on this near freezing, blustery day.  Almost all the snow had melted but spring had not yet brought flowers to the bleak campus.  The biting wind made them shiver despite their coverings.

 

        And wondered once again how Tami Smithers, her bare body hard and tight and reddened from the cold, could stand it.  She was on the last few minutes of this morning’s grounds crew shift, putting down pebbles for a new pathway across the lawn in front of the Student Union.  She had rolled the full wheelbarrow halfway across campus, which is how Vanessa first saw her from afar, along that long windy path from the physical plant building to San Beueno Hall, and then onto the busy part of campus, a different creature from the many heavily clothed students with backpacks battling the wind on the way to class.

 

        Now, having dumped the wheelbarrow’s contents next to a tree, she had climbed onto the little mountain of pebbles and was pushing it down flat with her tough bare feet.  An overhead branch came in handy; she reached up to it and pushed up with both hands, increasing the force she could exert downward.  The two administrators watched the cold-tightened breasts jiggling in the wind, rebounding with her motions, the brown nipples seeming as hard as the pebbles, and the concave stomach down below that they both secretly envied (though for Barbara Barlow it was pretty much an impossible dream).  The dusty feet worked the pebbles with what looked like a practiced motion, first pushing down with the heels, then scattering the pebbles with spread toes that were also reddened from the cold.

        Looking at the perfect feet, Vanessa thought: I wish I had feet like that.  Or a body like that.  And she knew she was not alone.  Almost every woman on campus under the age of 50 had similar thoughts.  And felt a little guilty about it, if they knew the price Tami had paid for that body.

 

        Others stopped and watched the laboring naked girl, then went on with their business.

 

        Dean Congi fastened her eyes on the pubic hair ruffling in the wind.  Then she wondered how it must feel to have icy wind on one’s pubic lips.  She decided she must make some kind of comment.  “I can’t get over how your hair color matches your labia exactly.  It really looks very nice.”

 

        Tami, bent arms pushing up against the branch, smiled and then laughed as she worked, her breasts and tummy quaking with each chuckle.  “You’re about -- uh -- the tenth person who’s told me that.  Honest, it was -- just a coincidence.  I didn’t know I was such a -- uhh! -- fashion plate.”

 

        Congi and Barlow thought about laughing but then stopped themselves.

 

        Homer Winant rolled by.  “Hello, Homer,” Vanessa Congi said.  Everyone called him Homer so calling him “Mr. Winant” or even “Dean Winant” would sound too offputting.  But her hellos to Homer were always a little forced.

 

        He rolled up to join the two women in watching the laboring nude.

        “Isn’t this a bit rough on a day like this?” Barbara Barlow said, clenching her gloved hands against the cold.  “Maybe you can get Omar to ease up on her.” Omar had Homer’s old job as grounds crew chief.

 

        “It’s -- O.K.,” Tami said, pushing one foot far forward to expand the area of pebbles.

 

        “Nonsense,” Homer agreed.  “This girl is the best crew worker we ever had.  She’s smart, she listends to you, never slacks off, and she’s strong as an ox.  Get a look at her butt cheeks, her muscles are like iron.” Of course, everyone already knew that.  “She should be in the crew worker Hall of Fame.”

 

        Vanessa Congi didn’t know what to think about a comment like that.  Should she be offended? Tami as a beast of burden.  But he did say she was smart.  Tami just smiled.  Then Homer wheeled off.

 

        The old clock tower over at Old Main struck twelve just as the pebbles appeared have gotten fully spread out into a flat rectangle.

 

        “There, I’m finished,” Tami said, bringing her arms down from the branch and wiping her hands, then bending down to scuff the dust off her feet and a stray pebble from between her toes.  She parked the wheelbarrow upright against the tree.  “I can get that later.”

 

        “Like Vanessa said, let’s lunch,” Barbara Barlow said.

 

        Fifteen minutes later the three women were sitting in the cafe on the second floor of the Union.  Barbara Barlow was a considerable eater but had to take second place to Tami, who had devoured a plate of spaghetti and was working on a double helping of mashed potatoes.  Tami sat at the end of the table, her leg way up, her foot up on the top of the little wall behind them.

 

        She was spreading her charms for the benefit of Simon, an art student who sat cross-legged on the carpeted floor and did a quick sketch in pencil.  Vanessa watched Simon, a good kid with a lot of talent, who seemed to be doing a good rendition of Tami’s vulva.  Usually he liked to sketch her anus.  Tami never charged for posing.  So long as she had a few minutes, she would pose for any of the many art students who asked.

 

        The three women “chewed the fat” for a few minutes.  Then Simon left with abundant thanks and Vanessa felt free to approach the subject on her mind.

 

        “Tami, did you think of a theme for your valedictorian speech?”

 

        Tami laughed.  “I keep telling you, don’t remind me!” She hated to be reminded that she had, by a good margin, the highest GPA in her class.  “It’s like telling a pitcher that he’s got a no-hitter going.  It’s a jinx.  .  .” She looked up at her foot, still up on the wall despite Simon leaving, and wiggled her still-dusty toes.  Then took a sip of soda.  “I just know I’ll fail a class now.  Or something will happen.  I’ll screw up somehow and get suspended.”

 

        “Girl, you are talking crazy,” Barbara Barlow said.

 

        “Seriously, Tami,” Vanessa said, “graduation’s only two and a half months away.  What are your plans?”

 

        “Well, Rod is still on that project up near Burlington, he’s not sure when he’ll finish.  Professor Hamid told me I could be his grad assistant.”

 

        “What, a Master’s in Mathematics?”

 

        “Yes, N-Dimensional.”

 

        Their conversation was interrupted by Trent and Cyrus who passed by on the way to taking another table.  Vanessa and Barbara were quick to say hi to Trent, a tall, melancholy blonde-haired kid who was the campus’s only “9/11 widow”, so to speak.  Over the past year he had partly gotten out of his funk after losing Jeffrey, at least well enough to hook up with Cyrus, an even taller African-American kid with a shaved head and goatee.

 

        And now Georgene passed by, bookbag slung over her shoulder, cell phone parked in her hand.  “Hey Tam, whatcha doing later?”

 

        Tami blushed into her soda and said, “I’ve got Modern Dance II, then I’ll be around.”

 

        “O.K.”

 

        After she too had left, Vanessa said, “A master’s program in just math doesn’t seem like enough to occupy your time.”

 

        Tami brought her foot down and crossed her legs.  Scratched a nipple.  “Well, Mr. Girardo has asked me to .  .  .  um .  .  .”

 

        Vanessa already knew but she pretended not to.  “To what?”

 

        “Enter a fashion competition.  I’m flattered but I’m not a fashion major.  It should go to someone else.”

 

        Vanessa said, “You mean the International? Tami, congratulations!” She smiled broadly.  “That’s great!”

 

        “What do you think I should do?”

 

        “You should go for it!”

 

        Tami remained noncommittal.  Not much else was said through dessert (Barbara: butterscotch sundae; Tami: cheesecake and fruit plate; Vanessa: decaf).

 

        Barbara had to go back to the office but Vanessa walked with Tami downstairs, to Tami’s locker with the combination lock.  It impressed Vanessa that Tami wanted to go unladen as much as possible, going through the world with nothing but her bare body.  “When it’s just me I feel like I can tackle anything,” is how she once put it.  Which must have been true, on that incredible cross-country journey.  But now apparently she needed her bookbag.

 

        In the Union foyer, Tami waited patiently while Vanessa put on her coat and gloves.  Then Vanessa braced herself for the oncoming wind.  Striding across the bleak concrete, she looked down at her boots clip-clopping next to Tami’s bare feet.  Tami’s feet never seemed to get dirty.

 

        Vanessa looked up into the wind and found herself yawning.  “I should have had a coffee.  Maybe I’ll get one after my next appointment.”

 

        “Get me one too,” Tami said.  “If you can, please.”

 

        “Sure.  What’s next for you?”

 

        “Modern Dance, then I do my own exercises.  I’ll be at Studio T afterward.”

 

        “That’ll work out perfect.  I should be done with my thing in an hour and a half.”

 

        “See you,” Tami said as she was about to walk into the dance building.  She turned to see Vanessa looking at her.  Then, obviously remembering their last hello on Main Street, she opened her legs a bit and spread her labia with her thumbs, holding the strap of the bookbag back with her right shoulder.  “Bye bye!” she said with a smile, making her clit jump twice.

 

        Vanessa smiled and watched her go in.  She stood there to ponder how at ease Tami was with her body.  That horrible freshman year, during which the girl’s modesty was so sorely tested, all that body consciousness had been obliterated, wiped out.  Surely Vanessa could wish such an ordeal on no one.  But the end result .  .  .  !

 

        Five minutes later, in the dance building, Vanessa looked in through the little window to Studio K and watched Tami in her Modern Dance class.  The barefoot students, two-thirds female, some in leotards, others in loose shirts and drawstring pants, all facing the big mirror, went through their coordinated warm-up steps, the naked girl on the end keeping pace with the others, distinguished only by her lack of clothing.

 

        Vanessa wondered what it would be like if all of them were naked.  In spite of everything, Tami had shown that being naked had its advantages.  In fact, a whole lot of them.  “Too many to list”, as she had put it once.

 

        Vanessa sighed and walked out the building to her appointment.  In an hour, she planned on returning, going to Studio T with two of those wonderful lattes they made at the Java Cafe on the other side of campus.

20.

        Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Vanessa Congi, carefully carrying the two “grande” lattes, managed to open the rear door of the dance building with one gloved finger and started up the long corridor.  Studio W, Studio V .  .  .  She couldn’t remember the last time she had been through here.  As she looked into the little windows on the closed doors of the empty rooms, she noted that these studios at the end were a little smaller than the rest but were still fully equipped, with wall-length mirrors, all-around barres on the other three sides, and usually a piano.

 

        She looked into the window for Studio T, where Tami said she’d be, and saw no one.  But it was a little window and her view was mostly blocked.  Again using a gloved finger, she hooked onto the door latch and opened it and, looking down at the coffees, walked slowly into the room, her boots tacking onto the fine-paneled floor.  She told herself she was probably breaking two rules: bringing in food and wearing street shoes.  She passed a piano and what looked like a freestanding overhead beam apparatus, six feet high, like gymnasts swing from.

 

        She heard breathing from the corner and imagined Tami must be exerting herself.  But then that odor of --

 

        OH GOD!

 

        Tami was under attack! Pinned in the corner, hands stretched out on the barre, legs spread wide, wide apart, as Georgene and Spica hungrily sucked each nipple, someone -- it looked like Myra, from the Afro -- knelt in front and, hands around poor Tami’s butt cheeks, burrowed her face into the naked student’s crotch -- and another woman, cross-legged, her back tucked into the corner under the barre, was assaulting from behind.

 

        “Ohh -- ohh -- eeee -- G - godd -- ”

 

        Tami crested into orgasm as her eyes burst open in Vanessa’s face, in ecstacy, in embarrassment, in apology, in amusement -- it was hard to tell through Tami’s intense emotional storm but it seemed she was partly laughing at their predicament, the two of them, Vanessa and Tami --

 

        Vanessa stood there open-mouthed, the lattes in her hands.  The heavy clothes and boots of the attackers were a sharp contrast to Tami’s nakedness.  As Tami’s orgasm ran its course and the attackers continued unabated, it seemed like the four hungry mouths were sucking the life out of her.  Tami’s eyes closed only slightly.  She seemed to be trying to form words.  But then, amazingly, she went up to orgasm again!

 

        It was too intense to look at.  Vanessa turned and got the hell out of there.  Out in the hall, she heard the door close behind her and wondered what to do.  All her years of activism on sexual assault issues came back to her.  She had helped set up rape crisis centers at other colleges, had done awareness trainings here at Campbell - Frank.  She saw an actual assault once, when she was a student in Boston, late at night on campus, back in the 1970’s.  She had been lucky to find one of those police call boxes nearby and the attacker was arrested.

        Now what??! Should she call 911 on her cell? Or just go back in there and break it up?

 

        She caught her breath and her brain took over.  This was Tami and her friends.  Doing what they always did.  Or at least that’s what she heard.  But it was always one-on-one.  Again, what she’d heard.  Tami had never been set upon by four women at once.

 

        “Set upon” was the right phrase.  It didn’t look like this was Tami’s idea.  Not with Tami expecting Vanessa to show up with coffee.  It was clear that Tami had been exercising, doing some stretching exercises at the barre maybe, when her friends came in and took over her bare body.  She found herself imagining Tami bent foward, touching her toes, and Georgene walking in and placing her tongue flat against the wide-exposed anus, and then .  .  .

 

        “Ohh -- ngghhh -- nghhh -- ”

 

        Tami’s grunts could be heard through the closed door, here out in the hall.  Vanessa looked both ways.  Nobody else was around.  Still holding the lattes, feeling a bit ridiculous, she decided to go outside and get some air.

        Once outside, she took a sip of her coffee and tried to calm down.  This rear entrance was rarely used, fortunately it was always kept clean.  Like Tami’s, she thought, then she blushed at thinking this.  She looked out at the campus, a few faculty and students walking here and there, a little hurriedly on this raw, cold day.

 

        More odd thoughts filled her mind.  Right now, Tami Smithers is not 50 feet away from me, having multiple orgasms.  I wonder who the next nearest person is who is having an orgasm right now.  She looked up into the distance, the hill going up to town, the buildings and apartments there.  Maybe someone up over there is having sex right now.

 

        She looked down at her boots and took a deep breath and brooded.  She judged that maybe ten minutes had passed when she decided to venture inside again.

 

        The grunting, a little different now, told her the Tami-lickers hadn’t finished.  Hating herself for doing so, she gave the longest possible glance through the window as she walked past the door.  Tami, sweating now, was hanging from the overhead beam, stretched out in an “X”, her hands wide apart as two kneeling women licked her front and rear, Georgene and Myra.  Her feet were stretched way, way apart, and Jeane was sucking her toes on one foot, Spica on the other.  This was kinky.  And Vanessa found herself wondering what it felt like to be sucked and licked that way, on the anus, on the toes.

 

        She turned around and passed the door again.  Georgene and Myra were alternating licks, bouncing Tami between them as if they were playing tennis and Tami was the ball.  Vanessa remembered something she had read about long ago -- about hanging from the hands stretched out every muscle and made for a full-body orgasm that was more intense.

 

        And so -- Tami held her breath, eyes squeezed shut and teeth gritted, her entire body flushed, and now a great jolt nearly knocked Georgene off her knees.  Jolt after jolt shook the entire apparatus as the four lickers held on for dear life, as if they had hooked a huge fish and were determined to reel it in.

 

        “Zhhhoohh -- zhhhohhh -- zhhhohhh -- ” Tami’s grunts were shouts now and Vanessa looked up and down the hall again.  A horrifying thought occurred to her.  What if a faculty person passed by? One of the Department heads? The head of the Dance Conservatory was Dr. Lena Yevgeny, an old Russian ballet type who struck her as being very conservative.  If any of those people passed by here there would be an incident.  Disciplinary action, certainly.

 

        Vanessa sat in a nearby alcove and sipped, and put Tami’s latte onto the bench.  She felt soiled, like a voyeur, like one of several male faculty who had gotten in trouble over the years for peeping on female students.  What creeps.  And she -- ?

 

        She waited a few minutes and hoped it was over.  From Studio T there was silence, then sounds of things sliding around on the floor.  She got up again and walked uncertainly toward the little window.

 

        She was almost there when she heard Tami’s grunts again.  Jesus, will this never end? Tami was on the floor now, face up, legs wrapped around Georgene’s head, her toes flexing.  Spica and Jeane were sucking her nipples, Maya cradling Tami’s head in her lap, massaging her plum-colored hair.  Tami’s eyes were wide open, looking up at Maya -- in agony, supplication, amazement? It was so hard to tell.

        Now came a slow, rolling orgasm, with full-body waves accompanied low moans.  The three lickers worked as a team, like rowers on that crew team she was on at her undergraduate school, sucking together in a decreasing tempo, and Tami’s contractions slowed down too which seemed to be their aim.  By now Vanessa could look at the scene clinically.  That’s interesting -- they can slow the orgasm down like that, extend it.  It must have taken a lot of practice.

 

        It was five minutes later when the Assistant Dean of Students felt it safe to re-enter Studio T.  She found the four clothed women in a big circle, surrounding their naked friend who lay snoozing in their midst, on her stomach, her head on its side, her arms and legs sprawled crazily in all directions.

 

        Vanessa sat down cross-legged with the others.  “Hello all,” she said, setting the coffees in front of her.  “Tami and I were going to have a couple of lattes.”

 

        Her mind was a mass of conflicting emotions but she focused and knew she had to be stern.  Like any skilled administrator, she knew how to use silence.  Then she broke it.  “I think you realize that if the wrong person came down the hall, you would have gotten into quite a bit of trouble.  You would have gotten Tami into trouble too.”  She was going to say “poor Tami” but stopped herself.

 

        After a few seconds, Georgene said, “Sorry, Ms. Congi.”  Usually everyone called her Vanessa.

        “You’ve got to be discreet,” she further advised.  Not that she could stop it entirely.  After all, the college was to blame for Tami’s hyperized sexual hunger in the first place and could hardly object to it being satisfied.

 

        “Sorry,” Myra said.

 

        Then Tami turned onto her back, legs stretched out, arms out too.  Her plum-colored pubic hair parted a bit to show the cleft between her lower lips.  Her bare feet, which never seemed to get dirty, pointed outward.  Then she started snoring, really loud.  It echoed off the bare walls.

 

        A couple of the students giggled.  Vanessa couldn’t help but smile.  It was like a buzzsaw.

 

        “It’s just that it’s so much fun to do,” Spica said.  “I like making her come and come and come.”

 

        “It gets spiritual at times,” Georgene said.

 

        “The hell with that,” Spica said, punky and irreverent as always.  “I like seeing her get off and get off.  Maybe I’m sadistic.  I’d like to see how many times I can make her come.”

 

        Well, Vanessa knew the answer to that.  She had seen the Chalfont report: 136 orgasms during four hours of what must have been the strangest torture any woman had ever experienced.  And that was just the final session of a semester filled with similar tortures.  Like the other well-meaning people who had unwittingly enabled Henry Ross’s evil plans that year, it took Vanessa a long time to stop blaming herself for having been so dense, and to get over her guilt for being complicit.

 

        “I don’t think you can break any records in Studio T,” Vanessa said, being stern again.

        Jeane said, missing Vanessa’s point, “It was only six times this time.  They were good strong ones though.”

 

        “Only” six times! Vanessa herself, age 47, had never had more than three orgasms at one time.  Once again she felt jealous and once again she told herself she shouldn’t dare feel that way.  For a few seconds they watched Tami’s breathing, the rise and fall of the firm breasts with the big, brown nipples, erect even as she slept, the hip bones setting off the concave tummy.

 

        Vanessa cleared her throat and changed the topic.  “I think we’re all violating the rule.  You see the sign.  Let’s take our boots off.”

 

        Having left their boots by the door, the five women sat down in a circle again.  Jeane had a hole in her sock showing her big toe which obviously embarrassed her.  She tucked that leg underneath.

 

        Tami’s toes wiggled a bit.  Her eyelids twitched, then her nose.

 

        “I wonder what she dreams about,” Myra said.

 

        Everyone thought: clothes.  But no one said it.

 

        “Mmmmm .  .  .”  Tami lazily turned onto her stomach again and drew her knees under her.  She was facing away from Vanessa and her knees parted and she stretched her arms out on the floor in front.  Her trim butt cheeks separated and Vanessa was treated to a wide-open view of her anus.  Which now winked.

 

        “Hmmm .  .  .”  Tami’s eyes opened.

 

        “Hi Tami,” said Georgene, who was sitting next to Vanessa.  Tami responded to this voice behind her by winking her anus again, an unspoken “hi”.  Vanessa knew about Tami’s twice-daily enemas but had never seen this before.  She was fascinated by the aperture that opened widely twice, the dark cavity within.  Practically public parkland to her legion of admirers.

 

        Uncomfortable, Vanessa got up and padded over to the other side and placed a latte next to Tami’s face.

 

        “Mmmmmm.  Latte.  Thanks, Dean,” she said.  The latte was lukewarm by this time but she obviously didn’t mind.  She now sat up cross-legged in the middle of the little circle, sipping.

 

        “Sorry about what happened, Ms. Congi, I mean Vanessa,” Tami said, still groggy.  “I tried to apologize but I couldn’t get the words out.”

 

        “No, it’s our fault,” Georgene said.

 

        “You were great as always, Tam.  Your ass ring grabbed my finger like death,” Spica said enthusiastically, which brought a blush to the coffee-sipper in their midst.

 

        “Strongest anus in the Eastern Conference,” said Myra with a laugh.

 

        Jeane, after looking around with a conspiratorial grin, brought something out of her bag and rolled it in Tami’s direction.

 

        “Oh God, not here,” Georgene said, half embarrassed.

        It was hard rubber and round.  In fact it was an orange lacrosse ball, with a six-foot-long nylon rope threaded through a drilled hole.  Vanessa was totally puzzled.

 

        Tami sipped her coffee, looking at the encouraging glances of Spica and Jeane and Myra and finally Georgene.  “Ta - mi! Ta - mi!” Spica chanted, a chant taken up by the others.  Finally Tami stood up and said, “Well, O.K.”

 

        Jeane threw Tami a small tube and a tissue.  To Vanessa’s astonishment Tami wiped the ball off, lubricated it, then squatted down.  She closed her eyes and grunted.  She stood up and looked around, the rope hanging from between her butt cheeks, like a long tail.

 

        “Me! Me!” Spica said, like a kid asking for a turn at a piggy-back ride.

 

        Spica padded over behind Tami, then pushed back her heavy coat and sat down.  She put her gloves on and held the slack rope securely with both hands.  Tami stood upright, took a deep breath, then the muscles in her concave tummy flexed and she took a careful stride with a flexed bare foot on the smooth, polished wood floor.  The next stride followed and the rope went taut.  Now Tami was pulling Spica in a big circle around the periphery of Studio T without using her hands, and now to the accompaniment of applause, and Spica’s shouts of “woo - hoo!”

 

        Vanessa was stunned, her mouth hanging open.  She thought she had seen everything remarkable about this amazing young woman but she kept getting surprised.  Then she found herself laughing.  She imagined Tami on her grounds crew assignment, pulling the wheelbarrow full of pebbles via a rope coming out her butt, as no doubt Omar found other things for her to carry with her arms.   And Tami casually conversing with friends as she carried and pulled across campus.  Vanessa’s laughs turned into giggles, the vision was so ridiculous.

       

 

21.

 

        That night Vanessa’s husband’s voice came to her out of the darkness.

 

        “Can’t sleep again?”

 

        “No.”

 

        “Let me guess.  Tami Smithers.”

 

        “Ricardo . . . how can I not think about her? And those -- followers of hers.”

        “Ah yes.  The Tami Lickers.”

 

        “I wish you wouldn’t call them that.”

 

        “Sounds like the obvious choice for a name.”

        “It’s just that they...  they devote themselves so.  It’s all about her pleasure, not theirs.  It reminds me of the bad old days, when it was a woman’s duty to give a man pleasure.”

        “There you go with that Women’s Studies bit again.  Honestly, you feminists talk so much about the ‘bad old days’ that sometimes I think you miss them.  Say,” he said, grabbing her breasts, “I hear you feminist chicks really put out!”

 

        This was one of their old gags: “Ricardo’s Guide to Making It with Feminists”.  Vanessa smiled but wasn’t in the mood.  “All they care about is Tami’s pleasure, not their own.”

 

        “What’s wrong with that?”

        “It doesn’t sound very equal.  I don’t understand how you can do that without making yourself subservient.”

        “Well I, for one, understand it.  Any man can understand that, perfectly well.”

 

        “Really?”

 

        “Of course.  Bringing a woman to orgasm is the most satisfying thing a man can do.  And it’s not about ego, showing you’re a stud.  At least not for a man who’s mature.  It’s about love.”

 

        Vanessa thought and thought.  Ricardo gave up massaging her breasts.

        “They bust in on her while she was exercising, and dragged her around that studio like she was a dummy, or a mannequin.  And spread her legs, put her up on a high bar, dragged her across the floor, just so they could force orgasms out of her.”

        “Now you’re saying she’s subservient?”

        “It just didn’t seem right.  When I broke in on them and saw them attacking her, it reminded me of rape.”

        “Oh come on . . . ”

        “Well, it did.  It kind of messed me up.  I’m reminded of Liz.”

        “Who?”

        “A teenager I counseled at the center at Boston College.  She got raped and in the process of him thrusting, she got her first-ever orgasm.  It messed her up for quite a while.”

        “I suppose it would...  This was not Tami’s first, though.  From what you say, you probably broke in on orgasm number 35,467.”

 

        Vanessa sighed.  “Yes . . . She triggers such conflicting emotions.”

 

        “I think you should just let her live her life.  I think she’s quite fine.”

 

        “Oh really?” She reached down and placed her hands firmly around her naked husband’s testicles, as if threatening to squeeze.  Another old gag of theirs.

 

        “I keep telling you,” Ricardo said in mock agony.  “I imagine it’s YOU who’s always naked.”

 

        That seemed natural enough.  To see a woman always naked was the most basic male desire.  But...  “I can’t just let her live her life.  I’m the Assistant Dean for Students.”

        “So . . . Did you have lunch with her? Did she tell you what her plans were?”

        “No, she cagily avoided that, like always.  She’s a shoo-in for a grad assistantship.  She says she’s thinking about Hamid in math but that seems like a cop-out.”

 

        “Think she suspects what’s up?”

        “I highly doubt it.  Oh Ric, if she only knew...  I feel sorry for Tony Noyes sometimes.  What a decision.”

        “Wow.  Sympathy for that old coot.  That’s new.”

 

        “Well, he’s not a creep, at least.  Not like that old crowd that Jorgon and Ross kept so pacified.”

 

        Vanessa repeated, “If that poor naked girl only knew...  what awaits her.  Life has been so unfair to her.”  It was pitch dark in the bedroom but Ricardo could tell her eyes were wide open.

 

        “There’s only one thing to do,” he said, sliding his head down under the covers.  “I’m a Vanessa Licker.  I’m going to -- damn you woman, must you wear panties to bed! I’m going to lick you for a solid half hour and make you come, maybe twice.  And then me and my unused dick will go to sleep.  Happily.”

 

 

22.

        “OK, now put your arms down.”

 

        Gretchen gratefully did so and looked at what was, at the moment, a shapeless white tunic covering her torso.  She had a T-shirt on under it but could feel this new fabric against her forearms.   It was weird but not bad.  A little like chain mail, or how she imagined chain mail might feel like, but also a little like satin.

 

        From her perch on the modeling socle she looked around here in the Fashion Lab.  About six or seven models were up on their socles, mostly friends of the student designers who flitted about busily beneath them.  Gretchen had learned to respect the science of clothing design.  It wasn’t easy.

 

        She looked down at Tami, who had pins in her mouth, by turns scurrying to her plan book and looking at the tunic with concern, just like the other designers but for her nudity.  The others, being fashion majors, were of course fully and stylishly covered.  Gretchen wondered how Tami could run about on bare feet with no apparent concern as to falling pins.  Maybe she had a sixth sense as to where they might be.

 

        Tami and the others were planning for the “Spring Zing”, the annual fashion show the Department of Fashion Technology put on for the campus and the community.  Fortunately this tunic thing seemed to be holding together well.  For Tami and Gretchen this was the first real test for their new fabric.  They really had to decide on a name for it.  Tami was also trying to decide on a logo for her designs.  Because she had decided to put in a portfolio for the International.  Tami had explained it on the trip out to Gretchen’s home that Friday afternoon, three days ago.  “Why not go for it?” is how she put it.

 

        It was practically the only good news that weekend.  The whole thing was just a bad idea, though Tami as always was a good sport.  Gretchen had been telling her parents for a long time now about her friend, who always had to be naked because of a clothing allergy.  It took a while for it to sink in, that this girl was for real.  Finally they seemed interested and would ask Gretchen how Tami was doing.

        Inviting Tami over, though, was a different deal.  It was only a moment’s hesitation before her mother said of course, she can visit, but Gretchen should have recognized that moment as her chance to cancel the idea.  It was a nice, chatty ride over in Gretchen’s car, up into the Adirondacks, where there was still a blanket of snow.  But then to arrive for dinner and see that her parents had put up a low sheet barrier in the middle of the table so that they would not be caught looking at Tami’s nakedness.  It was Gretchen and Tami on one side, her parents and her brother Freddy on the other.  Her parents were not naturally effusive but the polite conversation was even more stilted than usual.  And poor Freddy, still in high school, did not know how to act.

 

        That was bad enough.  But Gretchen made it worse on Saturday morning by suggesting that Tami go to Freddy’s hockey game, out on the outdoor rink.  It was a sunny day with no wind and Tami could probably have stayed for most of the game.  Tami resisted the invitation while Gretchen stupidly kept pushing it.  Tami was adamant and finally Gretchen realized what a situation she almost put her parents and her brother in.  She was, if only subconsciously, trying to score points with herself by bravely appearing in her home town with a naked person.  While not taking into account the feelings of others.

 

        Instead she drove Tami out to the gorge, where the two sat and watched the little waterfall.  She wished she could take Tami up the path to Point Peter and see the view from there, but that was an hour’s hike and impossible for a naked and barefoot girl.  At Tami’s insistence they did get out and walk along the ice-bound edge of the pool.  As Tami idly kicked chunks of ice into the water, they ended up with a sullen talk about Roger and Joe in Iraq.  There was a scary moment when Gretchen took off her engagement ring to show it to Tami and it slipped out of her hand into the pool.  But the water was clear enough to see it lying on a rock under ten feet of icy water.  As Gretchen cringed, Tami dove in to retrieve it.  Of course Tami had to go immediately into the car where Gretchen cranked up up the heater.

 

        Now, clothed in T-shirt, tunic, jeans, thick socks and boots, looking down at Tami, and thinking of that weekend, Gretchen realized what a terrible loneliness her friend lived with.  Tami seemed to have it all together -- strong, popular, a high achiever, a loving family, a good husband.  But there were so many places she could not go, so many people she could never meet, so many things she would never connect with.

       

.  .  .  .

 

        Rod was not psychic.  Nor did he have his wife’s ability to sense what people were thinking, though to be fair that ability had been developed through her nipples, exposed to the elements and to the world’s gaze for so long.  Rod’s nipples did not have that kind of experience.  Though Tami tried to suck them once in a while.  Rod hated that.  Though maybe he shouldn’t.  Was it ultimately homophobia? Too sensitive? Or just too weird?

 

        Nevertheless as he sat in the trailer on the dam site that Monday morning, looking over the plans while drinking that terrible hot-plate coffee, he had a premonition that Tami would call with something along those lines.  He remembered what she had said during that strange conversation at the Plaza Diner: “I should devote myself more to pleasuring you.”  And they hadn’t really spoken in three days and he had an inkling that she had done some thinking in that time.  She had spent the weekend with Gretchen while he had been down in Boston, helping his mother organize the attic.  Poor Mama.  She had tried to keep house for the two years since his father died, but finally had to admit it was just beyond her capabilities.  It was time to get the house ready for selling and move in with Auntie.

 

        The call came at 11:30 on his cell.  “Wait for tonight, lover,” she said.  “This week is my week to serve you.  Don’t even try to make me come first.  You come first tonight.  Love you!” Then she hung up.

 

Monday

        As he entered the kitchen he at first thought there was a power failure.  It was pitch dark.  But the light in the driveway had been on.  Where was Tami --

 

        “Boom. . . pa-chik!  Boom . . .  pa-chik!  Boom . . .”

        The blast of disco came from the living room, specks of light wandering over to grace the kitchen cabinets opposite.  In the living room was a glitter ball spinning multicolored stars into the darkness.  A ghostly figure stepped forward and positioned herself underneath.  The lights caressed her breasts, her tummy, her thighs.  She slowly turned, and now the glitter ball worked its magic on the bare shoulders, the beautifully formed bottom.  As his eyes got more adjusted to the light he saw that her arm was pointed to the ceiling, the other hand placed on a jutted-out hip.

 

        Then she turned to him and danced.  A vigorous, disco-style dance.

        Rod couldn’t help himself.  He snorted and hated himself for doing so.  But he couldn’t help it.  At first he thought she was being jokey but he then realized that this was an earnest attempt.  As a disco dancer Tami was bad.  Really, really bad.  She might have been a fine gymnast.  And he still remembered her performance at the Black Formal when they first met, her glow-in-the-dark, kente-colored fingernails and toenails flying in the darkness as she did basic gymnast moves in the darkness of the Multipurpose Room.  But now, trying to be funky, she looked spastic.  She twirled and looked like she was trying to swat a mosquito that kept going behind her.  She jumped up and looked like she was trying to adjust a light bulb with a itchy butt.  Then she went down low and looked like she was constipated.

 

        He lurched around until he found the stereo and turned it off.  She didn’t seem to want to stop but he held her in his arms, her sweaty nakedness against his work clothes as the disco lights rotated around them silently.  Then he gave her a long, long kiss, or tried to, his lips unfortunately breaking into a giggle at the critical moment.

 

Tuesday

 

        He entered the kitchen, which was fully lit again, and found himself facing Tami’s bare butt practically pushed up in his face.  With a little American flag sticking out of her butthole.  She was on all fours, her head down and her butt up.  “Wooo -- wooo! Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-”  As she made these train sounds she turned her head and smiled at him, face against the table top.  More train sounds, and the flag dipped up and down in rhythm with the flexing of her well-practiced rectal muscles.

 

        Now -- “Warning! Big train entering tunnel! Watch out!” A few flips up and down with the little flag pole and then the pole dropped to the floor.  Tami’s patented anal gape now claimed his attention.  The dark aperture, slick with lubricant, expanded to an inch and a half across, then closed, then opened again, in time with the -- “Woo -- woooo! Woo -- woooo!” As always, her toes flexed and spread each time she opened up.  Rod had his own gape which did not close, his jaw dropping and staying dropped.

 

        “Big train coming. . . here comes . . . open up the tunnel . . . yummm . . . big hot dog...  yumm...”

Wednesday

        Once again Rod stepped into a pitch black kitchen, by now with a sense of dread.  This time it was soft music coming out of the living room.  No disco lights.

 

        Gingerly making his way toward the flickering dimness, he turned into the living room to see two glasses of wine on the table with a lit candle between them.  There was something black draped on the chair.

 

        A whisper from the shadows.  “Have a seat.”

 

        The candle glowing in her green eyes, Tami’s nude form approached silently.  She floated behind the chair and approached him with her luminous eyes full of desire and love.  She tilted slightly, then raised her foot and caressed his ear with her toes.  Now she delicately picked up the soft black form that had been draped on the chair.

 

        It was that black evening gown he had bought her early in her sophomore year, after he had found out the truth about her freshman year ordeal, after Jorgon had resigned and Ross had disappeared and Tami was finally free to wear clothes.  He had, impulsively but in an act of devotion, blown his entire bank account on the dress, presenting it to Tami, only to hear her confess that she was now allergic to clothes.

 

        Rod’s eyes were wet as he remembered her breaking down, crying as she sank to the floor caressing the gown, saying, “Please God please...  clothes...  please...”  He had picked her up and laid her on the bed, licked her gently, and she was soon fast asleep.  She told him later that this was the last time she had prayed for clothes.  In the morning he had cooked her a big breakfast which he brought to her in bed.  As she woke she was bright and cheerful and a different person.

 

        The gown was kept in the closet, preserved in a plastic bag.  And now she had brought it out.  She held it in front of her, the spaghetti straps in her fingers at shoulder height.  Now she leaned down and, the gown between them, kissed him.  “Wearing” the gown in the only way she could.

 

        She meant it to be romantic and a prelude to lovemaking but Rod just could not think about sex.  Instead, he hugged her and the gown as tight as he could, tears blinking in his eyes as the candle light went all blurry.

 

Thursday

 

        The kitchen was lit again as Rod entered.  Three empty bottles of beer on the table, one fallen on its side.  The naked girl stood unsteadily, leaning back on the table for support, and as Rod watched she downed another beer, gulp, gulp, gulp, all in one draft.

 

        With great concentration she managed to place the new empty behind her.  She looked down as if about to vomit, but instead --

 

        “B - U - U - U - R - R - PPP!”

 

        -- rattling every teacup in the cabinets.

 

        She looked up at him with an unsteadily cocked eyebrow.  “Wanna f . . k?”

Friday

        Oh no.  Another dark kitchen.

 

        This time, no disco lights or music leaking in from the living room.  It was pitch dark, silent.  He stood there for a few moments.  He thought of turning on the light but that was evidently not Tami’s plan for tonight.  Slowly he crept around the kitchen table, feeling his way, putting his briefcase down.  Now around the corner to the living room.  He sensed a presence.  This was creepy.  Tami was here somewhere.  He kind of knew her scent.

 

        He thought he heard a motion near the couch.  He turned toward it.  He could barely see its vague couch shape in the dark.  No, not there --

 

        “Oh Jesus!” His heart nearly stopped as he was jumped from behind.  He felt the nude skin all over him, like an octopus enveloping its prey with what felt like ten arms and legs.  He was wrestled to the floor and turned face up, his arms pinned above his head, the bare knees holding down his thighs.  At least tonight’s event was successful in getting him aroused, and he felt his dick begin to grow in his pants just below the plum-colored forest he could sense right above it.  For a while there was no sound except for the female predator’s hard breathing.

 

        Now his shirt buttons were being undone, and his belt buckle.  He lay there passively as his shirt was peeled off his shoulders and his fly unzipped.  Then the wild naked woman stopped.  Seconds passed.  What was going on?

        It took a while but Rod figured it out.  She wanted him to resist, like a dog who wanted him to try to keep a ball away from her.  He obliged by straining to get up, finally overcoming the strength of his naked attacker.  Then he started to run for the sun room.  She grabbed his pants as he tried to pull them up.  Harder and harder she yanked as he reached the passageway.  Suddenly her hand slipped --

 

        “OW!”

 

        Holding his forehead which had hit the door jamb, he landed on his butt.  Game over.

 

       

.  .  .  .

 

        Rod, in his pajamas, lay on the bed holding the ice-filled bag to his eyebrow.  It was a nasty cut.

 

        “I’m sorry, Baby,” Tami said, caressing his cheek.  She was leaned over so that, being so limber, her foot was planted on the bed next to her shoulder.

        “It’s OK, Babe.  You get an ‘A’ for effort.”

 

        Tami sighed.  “I want to do things for you.”

 

        “Maybe you tried too hard.  Just relax.”

 

        Tami moved her foot down and opened the fly of his pants.  She drew his dick out with her dexterous toes and rubbed it.  “How about a blow job?”

 

        Rod laughed.  “That . . . would be perfect.”

 

        She went to work.

       

.  .  .  .

        And now, three days later, the snow having almost all melted, driving home past campus, he stopped to see an unusual sight, a bunch of students (and what looked like a couple of professors) playing an impromptu game of softball on the muddy field.  They were having a great time.  And of course there was Tami, in nothing except her left-handed mitt from high school, out in center field, now slopping through the muck in her bare feet to snag a long fly ball.  She effortlessly threw it in to the pitcher, mud flying off her toes as the followed through.

 

        He had never seen Tami play softball.  She was not a natural disco queen but a natural ball player.  A few minutes later her team was up and Tami waited for the pitch, her slim body upright, mud striping her bare butt and her feet and ankles, as well as a large smear down her side, maybe from having made a diving catch.  She pulled a sharp line drive to right field.

 

        He waved at her and people waved back.  When the game was over she ran to his jeep and cheerfully parked her muddy butt on the easy-to-clean vinyl of the passenger seat.

 

        When they got home Rod, being muddy himself from his work on the project, undressed and was the first one in the shower.

 

23.

 

        And now he emerged in his towel to see Tami sitting on the kitchen table, leaning against the wall, pounding her mitt and looking down gloomily at the dried mud encrusting her toes.

 

        “What’s wrong Babe?”

 

        “You know what I miss?” Her eyes had a faraway look.  “The Pawsox.”

 

        Rod, a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts, knew what she meant.  He had never been down to see them but he knew about the Sox’s top farm team, the Pawtucket Red Sox.

 

        “My dad would take me and Joe to McCoy Stadium.  We would sit on the grass behind the center field wall and eat hot dogs.  I always brought this old thing,” the naked young woman said, pounding her tattered glove.  “One time I almost caught a home run hit by Johnny Damon.  A fat man got it behind us but then he gave it to me and Joe.  We still have it in the living room.”

 

        Rod sat down, letting her talk.  “And...  I miss hanging out with my girlfriends watching the cool college kids on Thayer Street, and playing frisbee in Hopkins Square...  Visiting my cousins in Woonsocket...  I would bicycle to Attleboro Mass and back with Charlene...”  Tami looked to her side, up at the Pawsox hat pinned to the bulletin board, less than a foot from her head.  As if wishing she could put it on again.  But no.

 

        He had dreaded this day coming, but it was also a relief.  With Tami about to graduate she had to decide on what her ultimate plan would be.  Obviously she could stay at Campbell - Frank as a grad assistant, for a while.  But not indefinitely.

 

        Last year, during her embrace of “the theory of nudism”, they had gotten a little drunk and spoke about countries where she might move about freely.  Germany topped the list.  Then they listed Sweden.  Indonesia.  Austria.  Brazil.  Spain.  These were just guesses.  It never got further than that.

 

        “We don’t have to stay here, Babe,” he said.  “There’s other countries -- “

 

        “Yes, but Rod, I’m an American.  I do want to stay here.  It’s where I’m from.  I liked Germany, but I’m from here.  The people I love are here.”  Pounding the mitt again, then flexing her mud-caked toes and looking down at them.  “Charles Street.  Child Street.  Charles Street.  Child Street.”

 

        “What?”

 

        Tami leapt off the table, being so light on her feet, and without any drama landed on the floor, her landing muffled by the stuff on her soles.  She slouched in front of Rod like a tired outfielder, mitt on her hand, though this was a totally naked, barefoot outfielder with dried mud streaks across her nipples and her concave tummy.  If she wasn’t distressed Rod would have found this view pretty hot.  “A Providence native -- I mean someone from Pwovidince -- they would say those the same.  I’ve lost my accent.  Charles Street.  Child Street.  Damn!”

 

        She was overstating a bit now.  “It’s natural to lose your accent in college,” he said, if a bit condescendingly.  Rod had always had a standard, neutral African-American accent, pronouncing his R’s and such, but he had noticed the loss of accent in others.  Tami certainly had lost hers, though even when he first met her as a new freshman, when she was freshly nude, she didn’t have much of one.  Her family’s accent was very strong, as he noticed whenever they went down to visit.  Rod could see what was going on here.  Tami had always proud of being from Rhode Island.  And except for their brief and occasional visits, with her slipping out of the car into her parents’ house when the coast was clear, she couldn’t go back.

 

        Tami stood silently, then flexed her toes and began to move one foot after another, toward the bathroom, heading for the shower after a long game.

 

        Rod pondered a while and decided Tami would bring up the topic again when she wanted to.  He got into his jeans and sweatshirt.  Time to finally bring in that stuff from the jeep.  The wind had kicked up and it was cold again.  He brought in the four big boxes, his old things from his trip to Roxbury.  It was sad to have to sell that old house he had grown up in, but it just had to be.  His mother just couldn’t take care of it any longer.

 

        Now he smiled as he brought in the trombone case.  He hadn’t played this thing since his high school marching band days.  Sitting in the bedroom, listening to Tami in the shower -- she’s doing her off-key humming, a good sign she’s feeling better -- he looked at the case and contemplated the loss of childhood, Tami’s as well as his own.

 

        What the hell.  He opened it and assembled the old thing.  This was a regular tenor trombone.  He never liked those extra valves and crooks.  Simplest is best.  A naked trombone.  He snorted.  He preferred to put his mouth to something naked.  A sign of the future, though he hadn’t known it.  Then he chuckled at himself for making this joke, the product of a high school mentality.

 

        He wet his lips and pressed them against the mouthpiece.  Wow -- this thing was COLD!  Well, what did he expect? It had been lying in the jeep for three days.  He inhaled and tried to blow a first-position B-flat ---

 

        “Thbbbbb!!!!”

 

        God, that wasn’t even a note.  He wet his lips again, tightened them up, and tried again.  The next attempts were hardly better.  Now he tried a pedal tone and all that came out was hissing air.

 

        Tami sauntered in, all clean and ruddy and glowing from her rough toweling, and giggled at his atrocious musicianship.  It was good to see, her breasts dancing with her laughter.

 

        “Where are you going?” he said, as she gathered her things and hefted her bag over her shoulder.

 

        “SGA committee,” she said, casually glancing down at her toes to make sure she’d scrubbed all the mud off.  She was still doing the Student Government Association committee thing.  “Later.”

 

        After she’d kissed him and left, Rod, feeling sleepy, placed the trombone in the corner and lay back.

 

.  .  .  .

 

        “Thbbb!  ...  Th-thbb!”

 

        He licked his lips and tried again on the next group of sixteenth notes, pressing against the mouthpiece that felt like a block of ice no matter how much he blew into it.

 

        Even through his full-length wool uniform, and the long underwear, he could feel the frigid wind knifing right through him.  It wasn’t just him, of course, as he tried to pt-pt the notes of “Little Giant” along with the seven other trombonists in the front row.  The rest of the band wasn’t sounding much better.  It was nerve-racking being a trombonist, having to be in the front row of the 60-member band to make room for the trombones’ slides.

 

        But this was a great day for the band, for their families, for their high school.  They had won the national competition down in Atlanta and were privileged to lead the parade into Foxboro Stadium for the Patriots’ last regular season game.

 

        They had expected cold this time of year, but not THIS cold.  It had snowed two days before and the banks were piled up high on each side of Washington Street.  Behind the snow, crowds five deep watched, bundled up, and cheered, or made ridiculous muted clapping with their heavily gloved hands.  There was some talk about the parade being canceled, but that was only a dream.  They couldn’t pass up being seen on national TV.

 

        It was a poor, mostly black school, T----- High, but the marching band program was its pride and joy.  They had quite a reputation in the Boston area and were often invited to march in other towns’ parades, like St.  Patrick’s Day and Memorial Day.  Their uniforms were resplendent, the tall plumed hats and the braided jackets with the shoulder tassles and striped pants, though with the district finances the way they were, upkeep required frequent fund-raising.  He hated doing that.

 

        But like for any kid it was worth it, being a proud member of this famous band, marching strictly in step as they were trained to do in their daily morning practices, out on the football field and in the gym in bad weather.  The big glass case in the school lobby, right after the metal detector, had a slew of trophies, and annual band photos going back to 1937 when it was a segregated school.

 

        Now “Little Giant” ended and they would switch to “Our Director”.  After the last cymbal crash from the half-frozen arms of his friend Jared ten rows back, he and the other trombonists counted three beats and then dropped their instruments down to waist level in “ready” position.  The next tune after that was “Washington Post” and then “Manhattan Beach”.  This was part of their regular rotation, the traditional marches then “Hold That Tiger”, during which the band could finally do a little swinging around to get their blood moving again.

 

        Anything was better than straight marching on a frigid day like this.  His feet were getting numb, and the tips of his gloved fingers.  The wind was now blowing into their faces as they began marching downhill with the road.  He could feel his nose sniffle and hoped snot didn’t run down where he couldn’t wipe it.  Unnecessary motions were much discouraged, they ruined the formation.  He thought of their band director, Mr. Weaver -- they called him “Sarge” because he used to direct an Army band -- who was marching to the side twenty feet back.  He glanced furtively down at his white fake-leather gloves.  Would snot show on them?

 

        The drum guard, way behind him, did their vamping and he looked straight forward as he was supposed to.  He could see the city ahead, and the stadium in front of it, looking like it was ten miles away.  It wasn’t that far, but this was a long parade -- first going down to the park, then a short break, then the final leg down Broadway, in front of the reviewing stand, then finally into the stadium.

 

        The sound off, and now into “Our Director”.  D-flat was not his favorite key but this was an easy tune, not too many notes.  The band didn’t make as many flubs on this one.  Now he looked a little to the right, to their regular majorette, a white girl named Brigid, prancing and twirling her baton all alone at the head of the parade, and contemplated her very interesting skin.

 

 

24.

 

        He had noticed it in the photos in the glass case.  As the uniforms for the rest of the band got more abundant and ornate over the years, with the addition of high boots, cummerbunds, epaulettes, the majorette’s uniform got more and more skimpy.  The 1940’s majorettes wore mid-length skirts which showed some leg, but otherwise their uniforms were much like the rest of their band’s.  And then over the years the big “shako” hat got smaller, the jacket shrank to a vest, then disappeared, the blouse and skirt shrank to leotards, then in the 1980’s the midriff appeared, the boots shrank to sneakers . . .

        He liked looking at Brigid’s beautiful skin, very white with freckles over the shoulders, a product of her Irish heritage.  It was certainly well on display.  Her uniform began with a little pillbox-style cap, a shrunken version of the shakos the rest of her band wore, black and white, the school colors, with a “T” on the front.  It was pinned to her red, braided-up hair.  Her nipples were covered by circles of white fake-leather (called “circlets”) maybe three inches across, little rounded cones, with again each with a black “T” on them.  He wondered how the circlets were attached so they didn’t fall off as she went through her vigorous paces.  That was something the girls in the locker room would know, though for obvious reasons, Brigid had emerged from there this morning well before the others.

 

        Further down, her closely-shaved pubic area was covered with a little white V-shaped triangle, certainly the smallest bikini bottom he had ever seen, held on securely by sparkly silver strings that went low around her waist, meeting in the rear at the crack of her butt where they formed a delicate “T” with the band that went down and disappeared between the cheeks.  Add a pair of low-heeled, dressy flip-flop style sandals, held on with just the thinnest silvery straps, and that was Brigid the majorette’s uniform.

 

        He was fascinated by white girls’ skin, how it changed color, getting a tan in the summer, blushing, turning whiter when they were afraid, red when they were mad, red and blotchy in the cold.  White folks’ skin was pretty funny in general.  During the competition in Atlanta, watching the other bands, he and his buddies almost lost it during another band’s audition, an all-white band from Kansas or someplace.  Five trumpeters did consecutive solos and the face of each started out white and turned red, one after the other.

 

        Brigid was beautiful, though.  Nothing ridiculous about her or her skin.  He didn’t really know her.  Her regular instrument was clarinet, and the clarinets were across the band from the trombones.  She always sat between her friends Debra and Virginia, black girls who were pretty O.K.  And her skin, especially today, was interesting, fascinating really, like a canvas of a painting created by God called, “On a Freezing Cold Day”.  Her shoulders were reddish, her arms blotchy, her bare back a little lighter, her legs and feet a little purplish, her toes a little more so.  Her sacral dimples, a few inches above the T-string, were lighter than the blushing butt cheeks below.

 

        It was kind of callous of him to think of her this way, of course.  She must be suffering on a day like this but she didn’t show it.  She was a real trouper.  They had never marched on a day this cold.  Feeling his cold hands and chilly arms in their gloves and two layers of sleeves, he thought of how her bare hands and arms must feel tossing and twirling that baton.  Feeling his whole body trying to get some blood moving under his full-length wool uniform and long underwear, he felt sorry for her bare torso, the breasts tightly bouncing in the freezing air behind the -- were they glued on? -- little circlets.  His butt was freezing -- but how much more freezing Brigid’s must be, entirely naked to the winter wind except for the ridiculous tiny string.  And his feet were almost numb in their heavy socks and boots.  Meanwhile the frigid wind whistled between poor Brigid’s bare toes!

 

        But like always, she kept a smile frozen on her face, alternately twirling and the jabbing the baton in the air to keep the beat, then when the band was marching in place, tucking the baton under her arm, stepping in place.  He wondered how she kept those backless sandals on her feet while whirling around.  It must be hard to grip with toes going numb.  Only once did she falter, one heel slipping a bit on black ice, but she recovered right away and hardly lost a step.

 

        His mind went back to September.  It seemed so long ago now.  The measuring for uniforms, one by one in the practice room, though how Brigid was measured, it would have been interesting to see.  Then the meeting in the auditorium.  One by one the members were called up by the band secretary, Ms. Jillian, to get their uniforms.   A big travel bag held up by a coat hanger, with a smaller bag attached which held the boots.  The bags were huge, massive, five feet high and heavy.  Some of the girls had trouble hefting theirs back to their seats.  Then Brigid was called.  She was in the back and walked down the aisle in her usual outfit of black jeans, white-collared shirt, jean jacket and sneakers.  Ms. Jillian handed her a tiny black thing like it was a little birthday present.  It was the flip-flops tied together with a tiny black pouch the size of a CD case.  Her uniform bag.

 

        During the rest of the year the uniforms had been hung up on those racks along the walls in the rehearsal room.  Big heavy travel bags, except for a hanger that looked like it had nothing on it until you looked and saw the tiny black pouch with flip-flops.

 

        Now “Our Director” ended.  Instruments down.  The band halted, Brigid having been instructed to stay at least fifty feet behind the flashing fire truck.  The whole band, the majorette and the instrumentalists and the drum guard, marched in place, little steps, two inches up, as they had practiced.  During those early morning sessions at the school Brigid had taken off her shoes and socks, so she could practice in those backless sandals.  Her bare feet were striking with everyone else so fully clothed.  He wasn’t a foot fetishist or anything but it was pretty sexy.

        Of course, now she was almost all bare.  He watched her butt cheeks intently, as they jiggled ever so slightly with each in-place step.  Nice and tight, a white girl’s butt.  He knew she was on the soccer team and she was in such good shape.  Of course, a majorette at this school had to be.  Real narrow waist, flat tummy, nice legs, nice boobs too, not especially big but sticking out firm without a bra.  He threw furtive glances at the crowds behind the banks of snow, looking for the TV cameras.  None yet; they had to be further down the route.

 

        And the newspapers.  The crowd was all bundled up.  Standing in place it was easier to get cold.  Most of the faces were all but covered with scarves or ski masks.  He tried to detect their expressions and supposed they were cringing at the sight of the nearly naked majorette in the cold.  He could picture tomorrow morning’s front page of the Globe, tabloidy as always.  The headline: “CRUEL!  School makes majorette march near-naked in freezing parade!” Pictures of horrified onlookers.  And of course, a big picture of Brigid front and center, so all the outraged readers could jerk off to her under the breakfast table.

 

        He told himself: I’m obsessing.  He had obsessed on Brigid all year, being in the front row of the instrumentalists, having such a constant view of her.  And he told himself that exposure to the elements was just part of the life of a majorette.  He and the other trombonists had gotten used to following her around during the whole football season, watching her body soak up the sun those hot September days (and being a little envious back then, stuck in their sweaty wool uniforms), mesmerized by the sleek wetness of her bare curves in October drizzles, then counting the goose bumps on her butt during those windy November weekends.

 

        So it was more than just watching her bod.  He wanted to get to know her.  He admired tough girls.  What was she like?

 

        Now on to “Washington Post”.  This was a livelier tune.  He got with the program and concentrated on his playing as they again advanced.  Then Brigid spun 180 degrees, twirling, and his thoughts wandered again.  That tiny triangle bottom, it’s really narrow - maybe no more than like two inches across at the top.  Does she have to shave all her pubic hair? Or just pare it down so it’s like a pubic Mohawk? Is her pubic hair red like her head hair? Someone told him that all white girls, no matter what their head hair is like, their pubic hair is like a dull brown...

      

.  .  .  .

 

        Rod groaned and stretched on the bed, feeling something hard in his jeans like a baton, then turned and curled up on the other side...

 

       

.  .  .  .

 

        It felt so good to wolf down this big burger.  Being out in the cold makes you hungry.  He sat up, munching on fries, his shako on the table, his trombone bell-down next to him on the bench.

        And then Brigid sat down across from him!

 

        Her breasts with their circlets wiggled a bit as she and Debra and Virginia, on each side of her, sat down with their trays.  They sucked on the sodas and chatted about this and that as he tried not to look too directly.  He could see down to about the middle of her tummy, and her almost total nudity, all that white skin, now turning white in blotches now that it was finally exposed to warmth again, contrasted with her fully-dressed black friends with their gold braids and buttons and epaulettes.  Debra and Virginia had taken off their gloves to eat, carefully setting them to the side, but still had their tall shakos on.

 

        It was a big room, with the whole band around them sitting at tables, and over the hubbub the girls were talking about their driver education class, namely that old big Chevy the school had.  “It’s hahd to control that cahh,” Brigid said, and Virginia agreed.  “Girl you know it.”  Brigid’s accent seemed a little different than the standard white-person Boston accent.  Maybe more like a Providence accent.  Then she shifted on her hips and he knew that she had dropped her sandals to the floor and was sitting cross-legged.

 

        Now she pivoted her body toward Debra, still engaged in conversation.  Girls talked a lot faster than guys and by now they had gotten into going to the mall next weekend with Maria and Shonday.  He realized Brigid was pretty popular.  It was such a big school, though, that there was no point of contact between his circle of friends and hers.  Now as he finished his burger, trying not to look, Debra scooted away from her and put ungloved hands down, and he realized she was massaging Brigid’s half-frozen feet.  His eyes leapt as he caught a glimpse, the warm black hands rubbing the circulation back into the white toes, stretching them, spreading them.  He supposed it wasn’t so skanky if the person was essentially barefoot all day like Brigid was.

 

        “Hey Brigid!” It was a guy he knew as Willy, something of a wise guy.  He held up an ice cream on the way to his seat.  “Want some cold ice cream?”

        Brigid squinted sarcastically as he passed by.

 

        He straightened up a bit, automatically, as Old Lady McPherson came around, the Principal.  She could be (A), an old witch, or (B), a nice old grandma.  Right now it was (B).  “How are you doing dear?” she said.  “Pretty good,” Brigid said.  “You look fine out there.  You all do,” she said glancing over at the rest.  “We’re proud of you.”

 

        Looking down at Brigid’s feet, then at her hands, Ms. McPherson said, “You did a good job on the nails, girls.  I didn’t think you could get another year out of those old bottles.”

 

        “Well they WERE about empty,” Virginia said.  “I did the feet,” Debra said proudly, as she held them up for the Principal to see, Brigid trying to spread her still-reviving toes with some effort.  This was no small matter.  With the disappearance of boots and gloves, fingernail paint and toenail paint had become part of the majorette’s uniform.  And like everything else about the band members’ appearance it was expected to be meticulously perfect.  The paint was the school colors, black and white, alternating on each finger and toe.

        After the old lady had gone on, another guy came by with a giant-sized soda.  “Brigid -- want some -- COLD -- soda?” The majorette stuck her tongue out with a sour face.

 

        Sarge came by.  “Don’t eat too fast,” he said.  “We’ve got a mile and a half to go.  How’s everyone doing?”

 

        Having finished his burger and used his napkin, he spoke up with a smile.  “It’s hot in here,” he said.  Indeed he was getting sweaty indoors, encased in his thermals and full uniform.

 

25.

        “Pfft,” Sarge said with a good-natured dismissive wave.  “Talk to Brigid about that.”

 

        It was the first time he referred to Brigid’s plight.  With the forecast being for cold, there was some talk about canceling the parade.  But that was just impossible.  It was to be their big day.  At the last band meeting Sarge had talked about it.  “Now it will be chilly out, so it will be all right for all band members to wear thermal underwear, except the majorette of course, providing it’s not bulky and doesn’t show.”  Half the guys must have looked over at Brigid sitting in the clarinet section.  Brigid showed no reaction to this passing mention, but Debra and Virginia glanced sideways at their friend.  Everyone could wear thermals except the band member who needed them the most.  Of course everyone knew for the majorette it would be impossible.  Even a body stocking or something like that would look ridiculous.  It probably would make the sandals slip off.  And mabye there would be no way to keep the circlets on.

 

        “Hey Brigid,” another guy said as he passed, “are ya -- frigid?”

 

        He could detect Brigid giving him the finger from under the table.  He was fascinated by her even more now.  She could give as well as she got.

 

        “Woo!  Look!  The girl scouts!” Debra’s announcement got the three of them up.  Careful to put her sandals on first, Brigid joined the rest of them as they went up to the big window facing the street.  They stepped up onto the low sill and pressed their hands against the glass, waving at their old troop leader, Miss Pikarski, who waved back as she passed by leading the pack of smiling little girls in overcoats.  Debra and Virginia, standing against the window covered all up in their jackets and long-legged trousers and boots, and in between, Brigid in her backless sandals, her total nakedness from the rear interrupted only by the little T-string in her butt, and the little cap clipped to her hair.

 

        They got down and for a while they ate silently.  Now another clown came by and said, “Were ya frigid, Brigid?” He could see it might become a nickname now whether she wanted it or not.  Frigid Brigid.

 

        Her eyes were darting around the room, as if making sure no one was looking.  Then she said, “This uniform is killing me.”

 

        Debra and Virginia seemed to know what she meant and looked around too.

 

        “Make sure the coast is cleah, O.K.?” And then his mouth dropped as Brigid took the circlets off with a little sideways squeeze from each hand.  He saw now they were kept on by springy metal clips like you use to keep papers together, or on a clipboard -- “bulldog clips”, he thought they were called.  God, they must hurt!

 

        Her nipples stood out, stiff and red, like they were angry at being tortured all morning.  Brigid sighed and closed her eyes as she massaged them between her fingers.  It was almost as if taking them off was as painful as having them on.

 

        And then she opened her eyes and looked up at him for the first time -- smiling and giggling a little bit, with a shyness and sense of slight embarrassment that was unusual for this tough girl, as she cupped her breasts in her hands.  He smiled back and felt at that moment like he was in love.

 

        She returned to massaging her abused nipples then put her hands at her sides.  Her breasts wiggled a bit more freely now with the motions of her arms as she ate.  She looked up warily now and then.  Any T---- High majorette was aware of public indecency laws and knew she shouldn’t be out like this.

 

        Her breasts looked even more protruding, more pointy, with her red nipples exposed and sticking out.  Again, a fascinating aspect of white girls -- he had never seen a real live white girl’s nipples before, so expressive, angry and red.  Especially against the breasts which were returning to the normal white color, as they spent more time in this warm fast food place.

 

        Brigid’s breasts needed more soothing, apparently.  She finished her soda with a loud slurp and then she stuck her fingers in it.  She fished out two chips of ice which she now held up against her nipples.  “Mmmm...”  It was a sensual sound that made his dick hard.  Fortunately it wouldn’t show under all his coverings.  She checked around for grown-ups, rubbing the quickly melting chips againt her.

 

        Now a clap from across the room.  Sarge’s signal.  “Quick, do me up heah,” Brigid said, turning to Virginia and sticking out her breasts.  Virginia hurriedly clipped the circlets on.  “Ow ow ow,” Brigid said, taking off the left one.  Virginia had clipped it too near the end of the nipple.  He imagined it must have hurt like hell.  Virginia re-did it.

 

        “How do I look?” Brigid said, turning to Debra.  “This one’s crooked,” her friend said, resetting one so that the “T” stood straight up.

 

        Then Frigid Brigid shook her breasts violently side to side, making them bounce like miniature soccer balls.  This took his breath away.  But it was the only way to make sure the circlets were secure.

 

        The band got up and made for outside.  He put on his shako and picked up his trombone and followed.  Having gotten hot in his uniform, he was almost grateful to feel the freezing air hitting his face as they emerged onto the sidewalk.  They were bottlenecked as members filed through the narrow cutout in the three-foot-high snow bank to get back onto the street.  Brigid was needed at the front and couldn’t wait.  So she took off her sandals and, using her baton as a walking stick, scaled the snow bank in her bare feet, her toes grabbing the refrozen slippery chunks of white with care.  It caused people to look but it was simply the sensible thing to do.

 

        Now out on the street, they got into formation.  Sarge and Brigid stood in front.  When everyone was all set Sarge said, “How are your toes, Brigid?”

 

        Standing in front with the other trombones, he saw her look down, flexing her toes in the dressy flip-flops.  “OK”

 

        “Folks,” Sarge barked out, “I . . . know . . . we don’t . . . sound too good . . .  today.”  He was speaking slowly so as to be heard clearly, his breath forming little clouds.  “This is probably the coldest parade we’ve ever been in.  There’s just no way to play well in this temperature.  Don’t . . . worry about it.  Concern yourself with formation.  We’ll be in front of TV cameras soon . . . so how we look . . . will be what counts.

        “I’ve noticed the formation isn’t too good.”  He pointed over to the majorette.  “Watch...  Brigid.  She’s freezing her . . . BUNS off . . . for us.  The least we can do is follow her beat.  Brigid,” his voice lowering, “lead as much as possible.  Twirl only when the band seems in step, and only one throw at a time.”  Brigid nodded.

 

        And with a sound off from the drum guard, they were off, marching forward, beginning “Son of a Preacher Man”.  They were still going downhill and now the wind was so stiff that it was an effort to push ahead.  The cold sun disappeared and now it was overcast.  He glanced up and it looked like snow clouds.  Brigid led, her baton jabbing into the air, stepping high, the icy wind no doubt piercing like needles into her near-nakedness...

 

        In a few moments her skin was multicolored again, and he was grateful for his thermal underwear.

 

        They got to the reviewing stand and stopped.  Aside from entering the stadium itself, this was their big moment.  As planned, the majorette turned and faced the Governor and the other important, formally-dressed personages up there in their top hats, overcoats and white gloves, as the drum guard marched single file around the instrumentalists and formed behind her.  Cameras were everywhere, on the reviewing stand, perched up on scaffolds here and there, all aimed at Brigid.

        The drum guard did the sound-off, then launched into a furious barrage of gunshot-like drum shots and cymbal crashes as Brigid twirled and spun and pranced.  Her skin was a little purplish now, maybe from her exertions.  He could tell she was breathing heavily, and realized what an athletic workout it was.

 

        Now she flung the baton high, high up into the air, spun around once, and deftly caught it over her head in time with the last cymbal crash.  She stayed in that position, baton up, her breasts wobbling for a split-second before coming to rest, her pelvic bones framing her concave tummy, one foot in front of the other, the other arm straight out from her side, the majorette’s permanent smile frozen on her face.

 

        The men and women up on the stand cheered, as did the rest of the crowd.  He would have cheered too if he had been allowed.  If she had dropped the baton it would be all they would hear about in the media, it would be how T---- High School would be known.  But she had come through.  Good old Frigid Brigid!

 

        Now they marched down the hill again, behind the fire truck, as they went the last leg down to the stadium.  Another easy tune, “Under the Double Eagle”.  Brigid’s body stayed purple as she led the beat.  He wondered how long she could go like this.  Her exertions would heat her up to some extent, but there had to be a limit.

 

        As he worked the slide his mind went into fantasy.  He pictured the fire truck stopping and the firemen jumping off it with their hoses.  And training them on Brigid, the great arcs crashing onto her and splashing her all over.  Now there were more firemen, from all directions, coming out of the crowds, till there were ten or more big jets of water bombarding her.  It was cold water of course, but to her it would feel warm and she would be grateful.  Swinging her baton wildly over her head, she would dance in the massive downpour like it was a shower, kicking her sandals off, laughing as she flung up her bare feet.  Her breasts were hit to and fro by competing jets and now the circlets came off, one after the other, and she gratefully accepted the water on one nipple then the other, soothing them.  Another shot to her crotch and the little triangle flew off, shooting away from her with the tiny strings, and now Brigid the majorette danced joyfully nakedly in the fire hose shower, and now the whole band put down their instruments and cheered.

       

.  .  .  .

        “Wha -- ”

 

        Rod awoke with a start.

 

        He felt disoriented and overpowered, like someone had just shaken him violently.  As he blinked and sat up in his bed he saw Tami looking at herself in the dresser mirror.  For some reason he smoothed his scalp as if to check if he was wearing a hat.

 

        “Hi Baby,” she said, turning around, her cute little white-girl butt presenting itself in profile.  Her bookbag was on the floor next to her.  She must have just gotten back from campus.  She was playing with her hair.  “Guess what?”

 

        “Um . . . what?”

        “The College - Town council asked me to grand marshal this year’s St.  Patrick’s Day parade!”

 

        “Wow.”

 

        “My Irish half is real proud.”  She laughed.  “I wonder what I should tell my Dad.”

 

        Rod chuckled.  Much to think about there.  “That’s very open-minded of them.  A naked grand marshal.”  “Rod, Rod, Rod,” she said, shaking her head tolerantly.  “I’m not naked.  These are my clothes!”

 

        She shook her head, scattering her shoulder-length hair like a shampoo ad model.  Then she opened her legs and surveyed her “lower hair”.  This was a point she had made now and then.  She gloried in her hair, loved making fashion statements with it.  She really did think of it as her “clothes”.

 

        She bit her lip appraisingly.  “Now the obvious question.  Should I go green for the parade?”

        “Does it come out?” He knew the answer, from long experience of living with her.  Taking hair dye out was a real chore, but letting it grow out would take a month or more.  Both above and below.

 

        Tami didn’t answer, but turned gaily in the mirror and twisted her hips.  “Maybe I should paint a green shamrock on my butt.”

 

        Rod smiled and got up.  “I love you Babe,” he said, giving her a full body hug.

        “Whoa, what is this?!” She looked down at his dick bulging out in his jeans.  Prevented from standing straight out, it ran down his thigh.  The hardest it had been in a while.

 

        He hefted her in his arms like a caveman claiming his woman, and threw her onto the bed.  As soon as he could unzip his jeans he fell on her and ravished her energetically, taking charge much more than usual.  Not that there was any chance he could outlast her.  But tonight he was determined to give it a try!

26.

 

        The atmosphere in the crowded dining room was electric.

 

        The seven onlookers stood around the seated, slightly overweight figure of Mayree, Tami and Rod’s old friend, back in town for the St.  Patrick’s Day weekend.  Mayree’s husband Brad, tall and dark and silent as always, stood behind her, watching what she was doing with a quizzical interest.  As was Rod.  Not so quizzical was the interest of Georgene, Spica, Melissa and Jeane, their eyes glued to what was on the edge of the table, the brightly-lit, widely-spread crotch of Tami Smithers as she lay on her back.

 

        “Ow!” their always-naked friend said.

 

        “Stop jerking!” Mayree admonished, readjusting her sweatshirt, shifting in her jeans as she leaned forward in concentration.

 

        “Zhhh,” Tami said next, suppressing all motion, yet somehow giving the impression she was about to laugh.

 

        The track lighting, like all eyes, was trained on Tami’s partly green, partly reddish pubic hair, so bright that everyone could see each hair casting its own shadow.  Peering closely through the bottoms of her bifocals, Mayree worked carefully with tweezers and swabs on what was turning into a hair-by-hair de-greening of Tami’s lower hair.  The smell of polish remover competed with the smell of Tami’s musk to give the air a unique pungency.

 

        This uncomfortable procedure was necessary unless Tami was to wait two months or so, up past graduation, for the green to grow out.  The head hair was easy: Mayree, yesterday morning, had henna’d it, and Tami had shampooed it out an hour ago.  But her lower hair -- “Tam, your shorties are as nappy as mine” -- had required the more permanent stuff.  Which needed special care to remove.

 

        Two of the TL’s, Melissa and Jeane, helped by holding Tami’s feet back and out so as to maximize the outstretching of her limber, gymnast’s legs.  Jeane’s interest in Tami’s crotch alternated with her interest in the toes cradled in her hands.  She badly wanted to suck them, from “Hester” (her name for her Queen’s right pinky toe) on up to “Hera” (the big toe), but held off.

        “Ow!  Christ, that hurts!” Tami said, once again almost giggling as if at her own stupidity.

 

        That hair was right near her left lip.  Having stretched it out to its greatest extent with the tweezer, Mayree wet the swab in the solution in the little cup next to her and dabbed the hair down to the root.  Which then stung.

 

        They had been like this, Mayree, Tami, and their rapt audience, for twenty minutes.  They watched as Mayree now spread and inspected Tami’s lips clinically, well apart and wet, in the bright lighting.  They could see inside too, into her pink cave.  Now Mayree pulled the hairs on the sides near the thighs as Tami cringed and tried not to cry out.

 

        “OH!  Shit!” Tami said.

 

        “Sorry,” Mayree said, examining the hair that she had yanked entirely out.  She set it down carefully to the intense interest of the TL’s who looked at it like a religious relic.  “I think that one’s time had just about come anyway.”

        A few more yanks and stings and Mayree seemed satisfied.  Now: “Turn over, I’ve got to get the ones down near your winkie.”  Mayree had listened patiently to the TL’s enthuse over lunch in front of the blushing Tami, and had decided to humor them by adopting some of their terminology.

 

        As her husband and friends watched, Tami exhaled and lethargically rolled over.  They were the motions of a woman with a heavy pelvic area, congested with the fluids of sexual desire, an inevitable outcome of Mayree’s ministrations, and the fact that she hadn’t had an orgasm since the three that Rod had given her upon awakening that morning.

 

        Tami got on all fours and then lay her head down on her crossed hands.  She stuck her butt out, legs spread so that her anus was clearly visible.  As Mayree began pulling the hairs on the perineum one by one, Tami’s toes wiggled and her anus twitched, signs of her frustration.  Then another “Ow!”

 

        “I’d love to lick her right now,” Spica said, smacking her lips, though whether it was Tami’s pussy or anus she was looking at was unclear.

        “No licking!” Mayree said firmly.  “Not for two hours at least.  You don’t want this remover in your mouth.”

 

        “Two hours!” Spica said.

 

        “That’s how long it takes to dry.”

 

        “You can have some too,” Spica said, as if Tami was a pie that the TL’s didn’t mind sharing.

 

        As she swabbed another hair, Mayree said, “Not me.  I’m no funny bunny.”  A stern face that dissolved into a tolerant smile.  Like most of Tami’s old friends, Mayree found the TL’s quaint and amusing, like eager kids.

 

        This was a female affair so Rod and Brad decided to retreat and sit on the couch.  As Rod watched from across the room, Tami’s butt sticking into the girls’ faces, he thought of her decision to “go green” for the parade yesterday.  At first she was afraid it might be undignified.  The grand marshals of previous years were always old professors or some other eminent personages.  But then she decided that after all, her hair was her only clothes, and “One has to wear green, right?” And then she set things up with Mayree, who had done such a wonderful job on her on Tami and Rod’s first date, the Black Formal, so long ago.

 

        While Tami was gathering with the rest of the marchers yesterday Rod had lunch with Brad and Mayree, up from Boston, catching up on each other’s lives, then the three of them had stationed themselves midway down the route.  Campbell was a small town, largely an appendage of the college, and it seemed like every single person was out along Main Street.  He wished the weather was a bit better.  A damp, chilly day, the kind where the cold dampness just pierces right through you.  Impossible to stay warm even in an overcoat and scarf, especially when standing waiting.  And then a flurry began, wet early-spring flakes that looked as big as marshmallows.

        The street was cleared and the sound of drums and horns told them the parade was nearing.  Sure enough Tami was leading.  She had been given the option of standing up in a float but had decided to just walk.  As he knew well by now, feeling the earth against her bare feet gave her confidence and energy.

 

        She plied the big marshal’s stick in her hand, using it as a walking stick, as she paced carefully but proudly all alone in front, her bareness totally on view, wearing her nakedness as if it was the most resplendent outfit in the parade.  Her hair was green and shiny, one of Mayree’s masterpieces, dancing as she walked, framing her beautiful face and being the same shade of green as her eyes.  The big snowflakes stuck to it like God was adding his own highlights to Mayree’s handiwork.

 

        Green sparkles were over the tops of her breasts, and down below on her concave tummy.  Her green pubic hair was abundant, teased out and fluffy, as carefully done up as the hair on her head, and catching its share of snowflakes too.  Green was also the color of her fingernails and toenails.

 

        What was most striking was her bearing.  Her feet paced the wet asphalt with the well-bred gait of royalty.  And her smile and her wave to the crowds.  She was like a good-natured and popular queen “doing my queen thing” with aplomb but also a good dose of whimsy.

        And the cheering.

 

        Everyone knew Tami, of course, and every single person whistled and applauded as she passed.  It made Rod, once again, proud to be hers.  And then he felt himself privileged as she saw him and ran over, giving him a big kiss and hug, before scampering back out to the middle of the street to continue her queenly duties, her breasts bouncing into place.

 

        Now she went on and Rod and Brad and Mayree found themselves looking at the Mayor’s float, then the firemen, then the high school band, the majorettes in long-sleeved leotards and protected from the cold by what looked like three layers of black tights.

 

        Their last glimpse of Tami made them laugh once again.  As her bare buns retreated from them they could see the green shamrocks painted in the exact center of each, jiggling very slightly with the motions of her tight glutes.  “Good work, Mayree,” Rod said with a chuckle.  “Fine job,” Brad said, giving Mayree a kiss.

 

        Later the three of them went to Scholar’s with half the rest of the town and watched Tami drink buckets of green beer, tie and untie about a dozen pairs of shoes with her toes, and give an only partly off-key rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” while standing on top of the bar.  They drank too but could not keep pace with their naked companion.  By then it was dark, and he had to prop her up as she staggered through the slush back to the house.

 

        As she fell face-down onto the bed and immediately started snoring, Rod contemplated her flushed nakedness, her slush-crusted soles, the now-smudged shamrocks, the disheveled green hair, with a mixture of joy and sadness.  Tami Smithers had a happy, happy life.  She was the most popular person in town.  And yet it could not last...

 

        Rod shook himself into the here and now as he heard Tami squeal and watched Mayree pull on and swab the last of the pubic hairs.  No green left, Tami’s lower hair was now back to its natural dark red.  Her horniness was palpable.  Her butt up in the air, the anus twitching, the lips below moist with arousal, the toes squirming.  Rod felt his dick stirring and wished he could shoo everyone away so he could thrust in deep.  Brad and Mayree had to get going for Boston momentarily anyway.  Unfortunately he and Tami had invited the TL’s for a reason.  This was to be their “Tami-thon” afternoon.

 

        The wait enforced by the polish remover procedure was something no one had planned on, though.

 

        “Two hours!” Spica said again, like an outraged, spoiled child.

 

        “Two...  hours!” Mayree repeated sternly.

 

        The TL’s, who seemed to act in telepathic concert, took seats at the table, looking up at Tami from every angle.  Between the four of them, they held her hands and her feet.  Tami exhaled a ragged breath.  Her head still down, she said, “Sorry guys.”

 

        Rod suddenly knew what to do.  Time for the unveiling.

 

        It was best done silently.  He got up and retreated to the bedroom.  When he came back he stood up next to Tami and held the tail up over her.  The soft tendrils of the ends of the hairs whispered against her back, making her shiver.  Without looking she knew what it was.  “Ohhhh...  yes...”

 

27.

 

        The TL’s looked at it open-mouthed.  The new, improved “pony girl” tail that Katie had presented to Tami that time in the library when Sarah Wickland visited.  The two-foot long hair was beautiful, blond with a shade of red.  But all eyes quickly fastened on the incredibly long and thick dildo end.  Finally Georgene untied her tongue.  “Th - that’s not . . . what I think it is . . . ?”

 

        “There’s no way that’s going to fit into her pussy!” Spica said.

 

        Rod shook his head portentously, then gently directed the end toward Tami’s anus, where the barest contact made his naked wife jolt.

        “Oh . . . my . . . God!” Spica said.  No one could see it but Spica’s own buttocks clenched in response.

 

        Rod put the tail into Georgene’s hands.  She held it reverently like it was fragile, even though considering the pony girl “industry” it was designed for, it could be termed, quite literally, “industrial strength”.  Then he got the remote out of his sweater pocket.  It was a big remote with a lot of buttons and a little touch pad.  In anticipation of this, the first actual try-out of the tail inside Tami, he had taped Ms. Wickland’s business card to the bottom in case he and Tami had any questions.

 

        He pressed the white button and the base of the dildo, near the hair, expanded to three inches across.  Now his first words.  “This is what you do at the beginning.  It prevents the tail from being ejected during, uh, excitement phase.  Press it again before taking it out.”  Another push of the white button and the base diameter shrank to its original inch and a half -- still huge, but workable for an experienced anus like Tami’s.  “The dildo part works by pressing against the wall inside Tami to touch her G-spot.”

 

        The TL’s nodded.  Tami’s internal center of pleasure was a topic they had studied and discussed much.

 

        He playfully threw the remote to Spica.  “Experiment a bit.”

 

        The punky 19-year-old TL, fascinated, pressed another button and then another, as bumps appeared and disappeared at various points.  Georgene almost dropped the moving thing in her hands while Spica whooped with glee.  Then like children she and Jeane and Melissa started fighting over the remote.  They eventually settled on taking turns, trying out all the buttons, and then the touch pad, a refined delight.  Moving one’s finger along the touch pad caused a bump to move along the shaft of the huge dildo.  It was amazingly responsive and moved almost as quickly as the controlling finger.  Tami, her face against the table, eyes closed, smiled, amused by the sounds of their childish delight.

 

        Now the naked student turned to look up at Rod with heavy-lidded eyes.  As if saying, “Now is the time.  Please satisfy me!”

 

        Rod got the remote back and took control, like an instructor showing his students how something was done.  Dabbing the dildo generously with a jar of vaseline he had brought, he set the greasy end against Tami’s anus and gently pushed.

        “Ohhh . . .”  The TL’s didn’t know whether to look at her distending sphincter or her face.  It was more than amazing to them.  Though Spica might not have admitted it, not one of them had ever been anally penetrated themselves.

        “Ohhh . . . oh God . . .”  Tami’s breaths became deep and deliberate, as if she was trying to inhale the dildo.

        Georgene leaned forward and said, “How do you do it?”

        “Make . . . believe . . . I’m . . . pooping . . . push . . . down . . . ohhhh . . .”

        Rod twisted the tail and slowly increased the penetration until it was in about six inches.  Georgene and Melissa each grabbed one of Tami’s hands and held tight in support.

 

        “Ohhh . . . oh man . . .”

 

        Rod was beginning to get concerned.  This was as far as he had ever put a dildo inside Tami.  He knew she was capable of more, but he had never witnessed it himself and he always had a fear of hurting her.  He bent down next to her face and said, “Are you O.K.  Babe?”

        Tami, beginning to sweat, swallowed and nodded.  For about the millionth time Rod marveled at her self-control, her ability to control her body and make it do what she wanted.  He figured out a long time ago that she had learned it the hard way, during that awful freshman year, learning to control her intense desire for clothes, almost shaking at times from the strain of resisting the urge to grab something and put it on.

 

        The TL’s leaned closer to her butt.  Only half the dildo was in.  Jeane wondered if Tami’s flat tummy would begin to bulge outward from the displacement.  Brad and Mayree couldn’t help standing up and watching from across the room.  The fully clothed friends watched intently as the naked young woman continued to be anally penetrated in their midst.

 

        “Zhhh . . .”  Rod gently pushed it in two more inches, then felt some resistance.  He had met the top wall of Tami’s rectum.  Tami would have to shift a little to make the dildo go through what she called her “inner butthole”, up into her colon.

        Tami lifted her head and her shoulders, then twisted her hips by getting off her left knee and planting her foot flat upon the table.  When she was ready she nodded and Rod pushed in some more, this time meeting no resistance as the dildo began its journey up her digestive tract.  Tami’s mouth opened as if the object was about to emerge past her tonsils.

        Pushing in was easy now.  Rod slid in the last two inches and then pushed in the first of the two little flanges designed to rest on each side of her sphincter, one inside and one outside.  Otherwise the tail would fall out or be sucked in by the natural motion of Tami’s internal muscles.  Tami’s anus was now seated against the beginning of the horse-style hair.  The TL’s sat there open-mouthed with awe at this remarkable creature in front of them.

 

        The naked girl took a couple of deep breaths.  Jeane noticed no bulging, Tami’s tummy was as concave and smooth as always.  Then the naked student pushed up with her arms and stood up on her knees, the rest of her body upright, her head almost up in the little chandelier, the newly swabbed pubic hairs teased out and fluffy.

 

        Awkwardly, with the help of the TL’s and Rod, she climbed down from the table, bare feet slapping onto the hardwood floor, and lurched stiffly to the center of the room.  Without thinking about it everyone got up and gathered in a circle around her.

        She stood there, bolt upright as if “at attention”, hands at her sides, her breathing ragged.  Then a crooked smile.  “Pony Tami, at your service.”

 

        Rod supposed he should laugh though he couldn’t.  The power dynamics were now clear to him.  She was putting herself at the mercy of whoever had the remote.  The situation that, after all, the tail had been designed for, at Taft McNamee’s farm with its dominant owners and submissive ponies.

 

        Rod pressed the white button and Tami inhaled and closed her eyes, obviously intensely feeling the expanding bulb within her.  Her toes spread, grasping the floor, as if she was in danger of falling off the earth.

 

        It had to be Rod’s turn first, but he was feeling magnanimous and wanted to make it up to the TL’s for not being able to lick Tami’s pussy as they had fervently planned.  He gave the remote to Georgene, who he supposed could be best trusted to start gently.

 

        Georgene looked down at the remote carefully and slid her finger carefully along the touch pad.

 

        “Eeeee!” Tami leapt up seemingly about three feet into the air, arching her back!  Her eyes bugged out!

 

        This greatly concerned everyone.  Then Georgene did it again.

 

        “Eeeee!” Tami leapt up again and then fell forward and crumpled to her knees.  Rod was about to tell Georgene to stop when he realized Tami was quivering and on the verge of orgasm.

 

        A few presses of buttons and Georgene had forced Tami down to all fours, where she shouted and bucked and launched into a terrific climax.  As she spasmed they noticed that the tail, moved by her anal contractions, waved to and fro rhythmically in a wide sweep like a parade color guard waving a flag.  After a few more irregular flourishes the tail subsided and once again hung down straight.

 

        Georgene handed the remote to Melissa, who stroked the touch pad and got Tami to yelp and jump back up onto her feet.  Tami realized how ridiculous she looked and started laughing as Melissa, relieved that all was well, stroked and stroked the touch pad as Tami leapt here and there, practically up to the ceiling, nearly bumping into people and furniture.  She jumped toward the back window, breasts bouncing, and then fell onto all fours again as she spasmed and spasmed, her tail again wagging wildly.

 

        “Oh Jesus . . .”  Tami tried to focus her gaze on Rod.  “This thing is incredi -- eeee!!”

 

        The remote had been passed to Spica, who did not show mercy.  Laughing, Tami yelped and yipped and jumped, feet slapping against the floor, finally succeeding with fumbling fingers in sliding the back window open and escaping into the back yard.

 

        It was a warm sunny day, not like yesterday, though the outside was sodden with mud and melting snow.  The TL’s followed Tami outside.  Rod, Brad and Mayree, once getting over their amazement, had no choice but to follow.  When they got to the back yard they saw the TL’s at the four corners of the little yard, throwing the remote to each other in a game of keep-away as Tami frantically lurched toward one and then the other.  Her bare feet, caked with mud, slipped and soon mud was covering her breasts, her thighs, her knees, her hands.

        It took three TL’s to hold her but they did so as Spica flicked the touch pad furiously, causing the naked pony girl to flail about wildly and scream, crazy-eyed, her feet kicking up bits of mud, her hand stretching out uselessly for the remote that was three feet past her grasp.  There was underlying good humor.  As the orgasm subsided Tami gasped, “You-ll -- pay -- for this -- Spica -- damn you!!”

 

        Tami wrested free and shot through the bushes.  The TL’s, more prone to worry about getting scraped, had to go around the far end.  Rod and Brad and Mayree followed, laughing at this bizarre turn of events.  When they emerged out onto the street they saw the pony-girl, her tail swishing behind her, pumping her arms and trying to maintain a rhythmic, athletic pace as she pounded the wet broken sidewalk with tough bare feet, trying to increase the distance between herself and her tormentors.

        Rod thought to himself: what is the range of that remote? Tami being Tami, she was soon well ahead of the TL’s, almost at the corner of Spruce Street by now, over two hundred feet.  Yet the odd splays of leg and jerking of pelvis showed that the remote, now in the hands of the quickly tiring Jeane, was still having its effect.

 

        Rod and his friends followed the TL’s up to the corner of Spruce and then turned up the path to Hightop Park.  They would never forget what they saw as they pulled even with the TL’s at the park gate.  Way over across the park, just shy of the woods, Tami had slipped in a patch of mud and was face down in it, her butt up in the air.  The TL’s had her where they wanted her and did not move as they passed the remote around between them as they caught their breath from running.  Tami’s bare sweaty butt, glistening in the spring sunshine, heaved up and down as she climaxed for the, well, who was keeping count? The tail swished to and fro, every 0.8 seconds...

 

        Now, trying to get to her feet, her toes squirming and sliding, she slipped and flopped onto her back, all but covered now in mud from face to feet like a naked primitive dancing in a fertility rite, her muddy tummy and hips bucking up with the spasms as if she was having intercourse with the air, the sky, the entire universe.

 

        Rod and Brad and Mayree took in this scene in silence and wonder.  Then Brad, who had not gotten any more talkative since his days as Campbell-Frank’s most laconic SGA President, spoke up.  “I know this sounds wack, but I envy her.  I wish I had her ability to feel all that pleasure.”

 

        Rod looked up at his friend and then out again at Tami in the distance.  As if by rote, he said, “Well, she deserves it, after what she’s been through.”

 

        “She certainly does.”

 

        After another moment, Rod said, “No, you’re not wack.”

 

       

28.

 

        “G - got - to - be - k - kidding - mmee - ohhh!”

 

        The blonde guy (prospect no. 3) was so obviously phony in his attempt at bad ballad singing that Tami’s appraisal was echoed by the TL’s.

 

        “You got that right, mi amor,” Rosaria said, looking sideways at the TV as she plunged her tongue deep into the pink cave between the lower lips that she was spreading with her fingers.

 

        “He’s better than number 1 though,” Myra said, sitting next to Rosaria, bending forward to suck one of the upturned nipples while rubbing the other one between her fingers.  “Number 1 wasn’t even as good a faker.”

 

        Jeane, on the other side of Rosaria, smacked her lips as she interrupted her sucking of Tami’s toes.  “You should have seen last night.  I’m surprised the three guys didn’t turn that bimbo into a dedicated lesbian.”

 

        “Maybe she WAS a lesbian,” Melissa said, sitting on the floor, resting her head next to Tami’s, sucking on one of the smoothies Tami had made for them, now and then handing it up to Tami’s lips so she could have a sip.  “This is all a fake, you know.”

 

        Responding to Jeane, Tami said, “Th - this is on every night??”

        “Three nights a week,” Jeane said.  “I admit I’m hooked.”

 

        “You must l - lose three IQ points every time you watch this -- ohhh,” Tami said.  Rosaria had just inserted her greased thumb into her anus and was turning it round and round inside her.  Then she sucked Tami’s clit hard in between her teeth.

 

        “Khhh!  Chkkk!  Gaaahh!  Ohhhh!” The whole couch rocked as Tami exploded again, the four TL’s grabbing whatever part of her that was handy with a mixture of lust and tenderness.

        “I think -- ” Melissa was about to say something but waited as Tami kicked through one last, unexpected spasm.  “I think a lot of lesbians watch this.”

 

        “Like us,” Myra said with a snort.  Among them only Spica, who was not there tonight, was a declared lesbian.  But the standing joke was they made an exception for licking and sucking Tami.

 

        Tami, catching her breath, said, “Jeane . . . Doesn’t this show make you stupid?”

        “It’s just fun.”

        “I suppose so . . . A waste of time though . . . ohh . . .”

        The three TL’s on the couch turned Tami over, once again.  This gave Melissa another chance to do some deep-tongue kissing as she turned her head up to Tami’s.  Rosaria, recently inducted into the delights of licking Tami’s rear entrance, stuck her tongue into the orifice that Tami had cleaned via enema earlier, performing the ablutions in the bathroom as the TL’s stood around and watched.  At Rosaria’s request Tami had done an extra strawberry enema she had brought.  As a result Tami was scrumptious!  Jeane got to licking the toes on the other foot, trying out the taste of a grapefruit-scented lotion she had bought.  As for Myra, she contented herself with tracing her fingers over the beautifully formed, tanned back, running her fingers down to the sacral dimples and onto each butt cheek, then back up to the shoulders, making Tami shiver.

 

        They had been like this for over an hour, another “girls’ night in” at Tami’s place, on a night when Rod was working late.  At Tami’s request it was always a low-key affair.  “Let’s just hang out like we’re in the dorm,” she said the first time.  “I kind of miss those days.”  So they either watched TV or sat around chatting.  Though there were probably no hang-out sessions in dorms where one girl was naked and constantly being licked and sucked, propped up, spread out, or like tonight munched on like a five-foot-five hero sandwich, all the while chatting with the rest to the extent she could.

 

        Tonight began with sitting on the floor, in their stocking feet (except for Tami, of course), over potato chips and smoothies, moved to an intense session with Tami pinned on top of the kitchen counter, her ankles up past her face, from whence they carried her recovering body to the couch to watch the latest “reality” show.

 

        “When is the Spring Zing?” Jeane said in between licks of “Isis” (Tami’s right third toe) and “Osiris” (the fourth toe).

        “N - next Th - thursday . . . Seven o’clock in the M - multipurpose roommm . . . R - reception later . . . ohhh . . . But it’s at the air - port . . .”

        “The airport?”

        “The -- ffaculty -- cafe is under c - construction -- so -- th-there’s a nnnice -- ohhh!  -- restaurant there -- the C - county airport . . .”

 

        “County airport?” Melissa said.

 

        “It’s about five miles down Route 218,” Myra said.

        Jeane said, “What’s your entry going to be like? A dress? Or a sports outfit?”

 

        “I’m not tellin’ -- ohhh -- God, what a creep!”

 

        Prospect no. 2 had just said to an off-camera interviewer, “I think like girls just like want to be basically controlled?”

 

        “I’m not going out with him,” Myra said, grabbing Tami’s right butt cheek forcefully.

 

        Rosaria, diddling Tami’s clit from below, extracted her tongue to say, “He’s just brave in saying what a lot of guys think.”

        “You can let them think they’re in control even when they’re not,” Jeane said.  “It flatters their ego.”

 

        “But if you do th -- that,” Tami said, “th - they might get into the -- ohhh” -- Rosaria was diddling her clit more and more furiously now, and the others quickened their attentions to bring Tami up to another crest -- “habit -- OHHH!”

 

        Tami bucked and bucked as the TL’s held on.  Rosaria timed her diddles at 0.8 seconds and then, judging her time carefully, decelerated very slightly.  This extended her orgasm as hoped.

 

        “Ohh -- ohhh -- oh hi -- Roddd!!”

 

        Rod, standing there in his suit and briefcase, smiled and kissed the gasping face of his wife.

 

        As Tami quieted down again, Jeane said, “What do you think, Rod?”

        Rod enjoyed watching his wife “come down” and waited until she was back at what, having been educated by the TL’s, he had learned to call her “plateau” stage.  He thought for a moment.  “I think you shouldn’t let the guy get away with thinking he’s in control if he isn’t.  The important thing is to be honest.”

 

        “Sometimes it’s diplomatic to lie a little,” Jeane said, pensively licking Tami’s little toe like it was a lollipop.

 

        “Well you don’t have to be honest right away,” Rod said, speaking louder as he retreated to the kitchen and took off his coat.  “The church I went to as a kid, the preacher would say, ‘Never go to bed with a argument unsettled.’ That’s bullshit, of course.  Just get some rest and things will look better in the morning.”

        As he returned, he said, “What he meant was, don’t keep secrets, if there’s a disagreement, deal with it, and soon.”

 

        He had no jealousy about the TL’s involvement in his wife’s life.  He was actually glad there was someone else to have Tami’s needs taken care of, now that work was heating up and he had to come home late and tired.

 

        The only restriction, which he and Tami agreed on, was that the TL’s couldn’t use the tail inside her.  That touch-pad was incredibly powerful and he was afraid Tami might injure herself jumping around like that.  And both of them were a little unsure that the TL’s could be trusted to be gentle in inserting such a huge object in such a vulnerable place.

        Even he himself was wary about the touch pad.  Though its operation was silent, it seemed too much like torture, like whipping her from the inside.  He conceded it was his own hang-up; Tami herself felt nothing but intense pleasure.  But he much preferred the more mellow delights afforded by the purple button, which turned the tail into a simple vibrator.  Sunday afternoon had been particularly pleasant.  He had sat on the porch, taking in the sunshine, watching the last of the snow melt, the remote in his hand, as Tami writhed on the floor next to him, periodically spasming and moaning, the buzzing inside her faintly audible.  Trent had stopped by and the two men had chatted about this and that, idly watching Tami as she climbed one orgasmic peak after another, lost in her own world.

        Now he sat in the big chair, sipping an orange juice, and watched the TL’s feast on her.  He was impressed with their dedication to her.  And he remembered what Georgene said once.  “Tami is our feminist hero.  Men stripped her, but she came back in her nakedness and defeated them.”  Sounded almost like Jen.

 

        He looked up at the TV and said, “Oh God.  Not again.”  That idiotic dating show.

 

        “Their p - plan to make me s - stupid,” Tami said.

 

        “For you, Tam, that would take a long long time.”  Rod said.  He snorted as he saw Prospect Number 2 try to sweep tonight’s bimbo off her feet and fall on his butt.

 

        And now the big moment when the bimbo made her selection.  Would it be Prospect No.  1, Prospect No.  2, or Prospect No.  3? Unfortunately Tami was cresting again.  Rosaria had turned her onto her side and her bare foot flung out, blocking Myra’s view.  Myra tried to reach out and push it out of the way.

 

        Biting her lip the blonde on the screen said, “I pick -- “

 

        “Ohhhh . . . ohhhh!  OHH!”

        “Shhhhh!!” the TL’s said in unison.

        “Mmmphh . . . mmphhh . . . mmphhh . . .”  Tami stifled her remaining spasms with a mighty effort.

 

        The bimbo lingered speechless for an excruciatingly long time.  Then she said, “Number 2!”

 

        “Give me a break!” the four TL’s said together.  Tami, catching her breath, said, “That girl is stuuuu - pid!” Sounding like her 19-year-old friends, except for the orgasmic moans, of course.

 

        Now the credits rolled onto the screen and Tami caught her breath and staggered to her feet and sat in the big chair with Rod, her bare leg draped over his knee.  The TL’s knew it was time to go.  By the time Rod came home they could hang out for a bit but not too long.

 

        After they left, Tami curled up in Rod’s lap like a satisfied cat.  Strong as she was, she knew how to act like she needed his protection.  It made him feel good, pretense though it was.

 

        Tami stroked the limp package within the pants.  “You want some tonight, Baby?”

 

        “Maybe I can dream about it, Babe.  Sorry but I’m just about pooped.”

 

        .  .  .  .

 

        Scene: same living room, the next evening.

 

        Event: Second meeting of the SGA Activities Day Committee.

 

        Personnel: Seated on chairs taken from the kitchen, Celine, dressed in a fluffy black sweater over a pink blouse, jeans, hiking boots with white socks, little assignment pad, pencil; and her roommate Lorinda, in buttoned sweater over nerdy white shirt, black pants, saddle shoes with green socks, white loose leaf sheet over a textbook, pen.

 

        Seated on the long couch: Myra, black flannel shirt under a blue parka, long wool skirt, tights, Birkenstock sandals over thick brown socks, laptop; and Roberto, SGA President, athletic sweatshirt over Oxford-collar shirt, jeans, fake-snakeskin boots, a stack of papers in his hands.

 

        Seated, or rather slouched, on the big easy chair: Trent, in long black coat over a plaid lumberjack shirt, purple velour pants, Pro Keds with blue socks, note pad, pen.

 

        Seated on the floor, leaning against the easy chair: Committee Head Tami, no clothes, right knee up with a notepad on the thigh, pen in left hand; and on the floor in front of her left foot, a clipboard, rested on which was a pen grasped between her second and third toes.

 

        Finally, on the little couch, Samantha, head of the Inter-Greek Council.  Samantha was one of the sorority pledges dared into streaking across campus that fateful September evening three and a half years ago.  Tami had been caught by campus police, and she had not.  On this evening Samantha wore an exquisitely tailored jacket with matching V-neck blouse, houndstooth pants, and argyle socks under ballet slippers.  She was fitfully engaged to a blueblood at Dartmouth named Sterling whom she suspected of cheating.  She had never had an orgasm.

 

        Roberto handed out the papers, a one-page chart, and waited for the others to absorb its contents.

 

        The first reaction was a snort from Celine.  “What the hell is this?”

 

        “My proposed layout for the Multipurpose Room on Activities Night,” Roberto said presidentially.

 

        “That’s not what I mean,” Celine said.

        In student government there are two groups of people: the ones who make the noise, and the ones who do the work.  Roberto was mostly a noise-maker but the serious types gathered here gave him some respect because, unlike the previous two presidents, he at least did some work.  Though not very well.

 

        “You put the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance next to the ROTC?” Samantha said incredulously.

 

        “The Arab Student Union next to the Jewish Student Union??” Tami said with amusement.

 

        “Planned Parenthood next to the Right to Life Committee!?” Trent said, beginning a laugh that quickly spread.

 

        “Some of these folks, they deserve it,” Lorinda said humorlessly.  Her roommate, Celine, rolled her eyes at Tami, who smirked in sympathy.

 

        Roberto, at a loss, said, “I was hoping the juxtaposition...  the juxtaposition (he liked to say this word)...  of opposing groups would put them in contact and get them to know each other better.”

 

        “Roberto,” Celine explained patiently, “This might not be the right time.  It’s a nice idea but if it fails it fails big.”

 

        “So when else and how else can we get them into contact?”

 

        There was silence.  He had a point.  The campus was more contentious recently.  When else could these strident activist types, who stayed away from each other as far as possible, be forced into proximity? They all had a strong interest in showing up at Activities Night.

 

        Tami exhaled, scratched her nipple with the end of a pencil, making her breast jiggle for a second, then tapped the pen in her toes, looking around the room.  She waited for three or four beats and then said, “Maybe he’s right.  I say let’s go for it.”

        “If it fails, it fails big,” Celine repeated.  “Well, okay, if you’re in, I’m in.”

 

        The amazed consensus was soon achieved.  Tami as Committee Chair wrote it down in the Official Minutes.  While writing the same thing on the pad with her toes, just as neatly, to send to the SGA Secretary.

 

        “Ooo ooo,” Trent said, making chimp sounds as he looked at Tami’s busy foot.  Myra, the TL, followed with her own “Ooo ooo!”, maybe a bit more lustfully.

 

        Tami smiled as she continued writing, with just the barest knowing eye-flick at Myra.  “I’m a polywriter.”

 

        “A what?” Samantha said.

 

        “A Thomas Jefferson invention,” Celine, a history major, said.  “But he used a steel bar to connect the two pens.”

 

        “Maybe started with his toes, who knows?” Tami said.

 

        “He probably diddled two slave girls at once that way,” Trent said.  This made Tami and Celine chuckle.

 

        Tami’s phone rang, not the cell phone, but the phone on the wall.

 

        “Excuse me,” she said, handing her pad to Trent.  “Be right back.”

        They saw Tami disappear and waited.  And waited.  Finally Trent got on with the next order of business, what to do about publicity.

 

        After a space of ten minutes Tami came back.  Trent, who had known her the longest, saw the change.  She looked shaken, like she’d seen a ghost.

 

        The business of the committee finished up shortly after.  Trent stayed behind.

        “Tam, what’s wrong? What was that phone call about?”

 

        The naked girl exhaled, and as she blinked and looked up at Trent he saw her eyes were a little moist and red.

 

        “It was Jen’s dad,” she said.  “He says he’s found Henry Ross.” 

29.

 

        “Hear, hear!  All rise, Campbell County District Court, State of Vermont, Honorable Prudence Stanton presiding.”

 

        All rose, the lawyers and the crime victim and the three dozen or so spectators in the gallery and overflowing to the jury seats on the side, as the wrinkled old lady in black robes entered and ascended the bench in the historic old courtroom, built in 1773 according to the cornerstone outside.

 

        She sat down and everyone else did too.  She nodded to the young male stenographer to her side, who poised his hands over the little machine.  “Court now in sesson.  Good morning, all.  As y’know I have strict standards of decorum in heah,” she said, lilting in her old-Vermonty accent.  She put on the reading glasses hanging from her neck and looked down.  “I have here a note from the state medical examiner as to our complaining witness’s allergy and I give it due respect.  Sorry if it’s a bit chilly in here,” she said to the only unclothed person in the room.  “It’s cold in this place even in the summer.

 

        “Now I see we have only one case on the calendar today, People versus Henry Ross.  The charge is endangerment in the second degree, which has a statute of limitations of two and a half years, and the motion is to upgrade the charge to first degree, which has a statute of four years.  The two and a half years runs out today, which under Section 789 means also that this is the last day the motion can be made.  Miss Granby-White?”

 

        At the lawyers’ table were the assistant D.A., a thin, young white woman in glasses and a smart business outfit; Jen’s father, Marcus McIntyre, in his three-piece suit and shined black shoes; and Tami Smithers.  The assistant D.A.  and Mr. McIntyre got up and stood in front of the bench.  Ms. Granby-White looked up and said, “Your Honor, I believe you have our out of state attorney application for Mr. McIntyre for this case?”

 

        “Yes I do,” the judge said, looking at the thin file in front of her.  “And it’s granted.  Welcome to our court, Mr. McIntyre.”

 

        “Thank you, Your Honor.”  Marcus McIntyre motioned for Tami to stand up next to him.  She hesitantly and nervously stood her barefoot and naked self beside the two well-dressed lawyers, her hair, once again plum color, carefully braided up, her fingernails and toenails done up nicely in the same color.

 

        Marcus was well aware of Tami’s fear of lawyers and courtrooms, a fear well justified by what she had been through.  But he always liked to have his clients in court if it made for good theater.  This was certainly true of Tami, whose nakedness vividly illustrated the wrong that had been done to her.  Last night he had sat down with her, with Jen and Rod in attendance, and went over what was to happen.  He explained the status of his investigation, the legal issues involved, the importance of her being there, and the probability that the judge would ask her questions.  Tami bit her lip and agreed to appear for the motion.

 

        He began in his usual poised manner.  “Your Honor, my client as a freshman at your local college underwent a horrible and unending series of humiliations and intimidations at the hands of the defendant.  Her clothes were stripped from her, all her shoes too, and she was forced to spend the entire academic year totally naked, not only while on campus, but wherever she went.  Naked and barefoot through the cruel blizzards of winter, the cold rains of spring, her most private areas on view for anyone to see, while being prohibited from showing any sign of modesty upon the threat of having her scholarship revoked, the scholarship which was such a source of pride to her and her family --”

 

        “Yes, yes, I’ve read the indictment,” the judge said.  “Now why should the charge be upgraded?”

 

        Marcus was used to giving long, lurid accounts of his clients’ suffering and did not expect to get cut off.  He quickly sized up this judge as one of those old yankees who hated wordiness.  He changed gears.  “Since the scheme was exposed, I have had investigators looking for Mr. Ross, necessary because the police could not do it, it being clear that Mr. Ross had immediately left the state.  For two years we could not find him.  Last month an investigative search finally retrived a ‘hit’, an airplane ticket bought by Mr. Ross a year ago in Phoenix, Arizona for a trip to Beaumont, Texas.  We subpoenaed the airline records and found an address in Arizona, but by that time the residence had been deserted with no sign of where he had gone.

 

        He dramatically lowered his voice.  “Then, four days ago, a person matching Mr. Ross’s physical description was seen purchasing a handgun at a shop in Boca Raton, Florida.  Unfortunately we could not get verification.”

 

        “Why is that?”

 

        “Well as you might know, a new federal rule requires all background information as to gun purchases to be destroyed within 24 hours.”

 

        The judge rolled her eyes.  “Oh, right.”

 

        “By the time we got a subpoena signed and served it, it was too late.  It would be a grave miscarriage of justice if at the last moment this person, who had subjected my client to such abuse, solely for his sadistic purposes, who took a young female of her tender years and -- “

 

        “Get to the point!”

 

        “Uh, my point being that we are this close” -- he put his thumb and forefinger an inch apart -- “to capturing this man.  Witnesses can be interviewed, and the gun shop owner himself seems cooperative.  It was a cash sale and he had kept the paper receipt, which said ‘Henry Ross’, which he had checked by asking to see the buyer’s driver’s license.  So it seems we finally have a real lead on tracking the defendant down.”

 

        Marcus went to the table and took out a folder from his briefcase.  “I would like to present documentation of what I’ve told you.”

 

        “That’s all right, Mr. McIntyre, I stipulate to what you say, and I say so on the record.”

 

        “Well if you don’t mind, I’d like to put it in your file anyway...”

        Ms. Granby-White whispered to Marcus, “What are you doing?” She whispered as lowly as possible but in the quiet courtroom it was impossible not to hear.

 

        “I’m building a record on appeal,” he whispered back.

 

        “If she rules against us, it’s not appealable,” she said.  “Not in this state.”

 

        Marcus missed only a beat before putting the folder back.  Best not to piss the judge off.

 

        The judge said, “Mr. McIntyre, I see your point as to imminent capture” -- with her accent it was more like “capcheh” -- “but that is not relevant to why the charge should be upgraded.  I see you have your client with you.  If it’s OK with you, Miss, I’d like to ask you something.”

 

        Tami had been standing quietly, her hands clasped politely in front of her, as it happened over her pubic bush.  She cleared her throat and said, “Y-yes, Ma’am.”  Marcus bit his lip.  He had told her to address the judge as “Your Honor”, not “Ma’am”.  But Tami’s upbringing was too strong.

 

        “Miss Smithers . . .”  The judge turned to the stenographer.  “Off the record, please.”  She looked down at her file and then up at Tami.

 

        She was at a loss for words, seeing what she saw.

 

        Tami, still looking up at her obediently, had crossed one arm over to cover her breasts, and put the other hand over her crotch.

 

        Tami never did that.  There was a silent gasp from the audience, from Rod and Jen in the gallery behind her, and especially from those in the jury seats to the side who had a better view.

 

        Marcus looked over in surprise, then down at Tami’s bare toes nervously flexing against the polished wood floor.  Tami’s motions were great theater, but that could not be why she did it.  And any sense of modesty had been burned out of her long ago.  Maybe this was an expression of “modesty” in the deeper sense of the word, the modesty that Tami always had.  A sign of respect for the judge and an uncertainty as to how she should be presenting herself.

        The judge collected herself and said what she had been about to say.  “You’re not under oath, my dear.  Let’s discuss this informally.  I see here, from what I read, what amounted to a threat to take away your scholarship if you put on any clothes.  That fits the bill for endangerment in the second degree.  But there’s first degree endangerment if the threat was physical.  At any time, did Henry Ross, or either of the persons listed as accomplices here, Percy Jorgon or Nevada McMasters, or any of that whole crowd, did they threaten you physically, threaten you with bodily harm?”

 

        This was the key point.  Last night Marcus had gone over this carefully.  He could not, of course, coach his client as to what to say, but had gone as far as the ethics of his profession allowed: “Tami, you should search your memory and think, were you ever physically threatened? At any time, did Henry Ross, or anyone involved in this say, Tami, if you put on the merest scrap of clothing, or show any sign of trying to cover up, you will be harmed bodily? Beaten up or something? It didn’t have to be in so many words, it could be indirect, or a matter of you putting two and two together.  Of course,” he continued, dropping his voice, “with all the horrible deeds that will go into evidence at trial, if Henry Ross testifies that he never threatened you, and you say he did, it’s obvious who the jury will believe.”

 

        Tami not answering, the judge said again, “Did they ever threaten you physically, dear?”

 

        In the chilly courtroom everyone held their breath, all eyes on the naked young woman.  Rod and Jen could see goose pimples rising on her butt.  She seemed to clutch her nakedness tighter and looked down at her flexing toes.  For the first time in a long long time, she seemed uncomfortable with being naked.  She looked frightened and cold, like a scared 18-year-old away from home for the first time and overwhelmed by her unwanted nudity and the powerful clothed men determined to break her.

        Then she looked up and said, “N-no, Ma’am.”

 

        “Never?”

 

        Tami looked down and shook her head.  She sniffled and rubbed her nose.

 

        The judge and Tami looked at each other for a second, perhaps with a common understanding as women, but mostly across a wide gulf, separated by age, power, and the ownership of clothes.

 

        The judge turned to the stenographer.  “Back on the record.  Mr. McIntyre, the statute is clear as can be.  Without an allegation that there was a threat to Ms. Smithers’, uh, body, there is no basis for an upgrade.  Motion denied.  The statute of limitations has run.  The case of People versus Henry Ross is closed.”

 

        She banged her gavel.  In the gallery there was weeping, Jen’s.  A couple of TL’s also sobbed.  The judge got up to leave.

        “Your Honor,” Ms. Granby-White piped up, presenting a paper from her jacket pocket.  “Will you sign an order of protection?”

 

        The judge hesitated and then took the paper as it was handed up to her.  She put her glasses back up and read it.

 

        “On this matter I do have some discretion,” she said, sitting down.  “I’ve never signed an order of protection against someone who has never threatened bodily harm, but in this case I don’t mind.”  As she signed it she said, “Also I don’t like it that this man bought a handgun.  Here you are, dear.  Henry Ross is not allowed to enter your home, or call you, or go within 50 feet of you.  If he does any of that, Sheriff Wheeler will toss him into jail and I will personally throw away the key.”

        Tami, still clutching her breasts and her crotch, approached hesitantly as the judge beckoned.  She read the official-looking document as she returned to her place next to Marcus and the assistant D.A.

 

        “This court is adjourned.”  The judge gathered her robes and went back to her chambers.

 

        Tami’s hands dropped from covering herself as she passed by Rod and took his hand on the way out.  Rod folded up the order of protection and put it into the pocket of his coat.

 

        Outside it was a nasty, freezing, blustery day.  Everyone had to put on their hats and gloves right away, Tami in their midst.  They stood around silently, not knowing what to say, feeling pretty miserable as they watched Tami’s nipples grow stiff in the frigid breeze.

 

        Finally Marcus spoke up.  “Sorry, Tami,” he said, putting on his gloves and suppressing a shiver.  “You are a rare gem . . . You’ve had it rough.  Let me suggest that the best thing for you to do right now is get drunk.  Let me take you and Jen and Rod to the pub for some brews and something to eat.  It’s all on me.”

 

        Tami seemed tempted.  But after a moment she said, “No thanks.  I’d rather be alone.  I’m going home.”

 

        And she left them, off to her house by the shortest route, which involved cutting across the village green.  Rod started after her but tactfully not too close, as if he was in a marching band and she was the majorette whom he was to follow at a certain distance.

 

        As they watched her stride across the bleak commons, icy wind biting every inch of her nakedness, her bare feet squishing through the freezing mud, they thought of Henry Ross, sitting on a warm beach in Florida somewhere, or maybe in elegant clothes living the high life on an offshore casino.

 

        Wherever he was, Henry Ross was now off the hook.

 

        And, with very minor exceptions, free to go wherever he wanted.

 

       

30.

        Acting Dean Anthony Noyes, tall and a little grayer and a little heavier, no longer being able to fit into the three-piece suits that had been his trademark, stood behind his desk and looked out the big bay window on this rainy March day, having hung up the phone.  His people had told him just what he had expected.  No filings yesterday in state court, and in federal court (the more likely forum) no filings either.  The statute of limitations on any suit Tami Smithers could bring against the college had expired.  The college was finally in the clear.  At least as to lawsuits.

 

        A relief, but not really unexpected.  From all signs, she had made her peace with the college a long time ago, blaming her freshman year misfortunes on the machinations of Dean Percy Jorgon and the college attorney Henry Ross, and to some extent Nevada McMasters.  Which so far as he knew was pretty close to the truth.  Others who were probably culpable too had left before they found themselves in the cross-hairs.  Professor Brignon.  McMasters’s aides, Brendo and Mr. Zipkin.  Not Homer Winant, of course, that wily S.O.B.

 

        So now -- what to do about her?

 

        As he looked down on the campus Tami appeared as if on cue, hefting a big bag of dead leaves over her shoulder, squishing through the grass toward the front lawn, oblivious to the cold rain that plastered her hair to her shoulders and had everyone else scurrying around in raincoats.  Now she came to one tree with a branch which the brown leaves had somehow clung to throughout the winter.  As if she was born to do it, she scurried up on prehensile toes and reached over, her breasts crushed against the rough bark, shaking the leaves free.  Then hopped to the ground and stuffed them into the bag with her bare hands.  Remarkable.

 

        He turned and sat down at the big oak desk and pondered.  The presence of a naked student had never stopped being a trial for the college and its conservative benefactors.  There was just no getting around it.  It had paralyzed the Dean Hiring Committee; there was no way to say to candidates, “We are a religiously based, conservative institution,” and then say, “By the way, we have a girl who walks around naked all the time.”  As a result the Acting Deanship had been a hot potato passed around between him and Vanessa Congi and even Mildred George, who was 75 years old.

 

        Tami Smithers was only two months from graduation -- but sure to get a graduate assistantship if that was what she desired.  That would mean two more years of enduring her public nudity.  And then what if she became an adjunct, or even a professor? She could be here for 20 years!  Noyes held his forehead just at the thought of it, it was so agonizing.

 

        The commencement ceremony itself was all too much to contemplate.  She would be the valedictorian and giving her speech.  It was a near miracle that the college had avoided national press thus far, but commencement exercises were always publicity magnets.  “The Naked Valedictorian.”  A Newsweek cover for sure.  Some of the trustees had suggested canceling the commencement on some pretense.  But he just could not do that.  Tami had earned the right to give her speech in public just like any the college’s 212 other valedictorians throughout its history.

 

        It would be easy if she was a troublemaker, but she was anything but.  Her behavior during her long ordeal, and ever since, had been exemplary.  Tami Smithers enjoyed an immense amount of respect, from faculty, the other students, recovering fundamentalists like Rev.  Stipend...  Even the more stuck-up benefactors grudgingly admitted she was a credit to the college, at the same time as they were waiting on pins and needles for her to leave.

        As far as finding out what she might do, he had run into a brick wall.  He certainly couldn’t ask her directly.  What would be the point? There was no way he could say, “We like you Tami but we want you to leave.  Here are some possibilities . . .”  Or even hint it.  He had called Abu Jamal about their attempts to cure her allergy but the Chalfont people absolutely would not talk to him.  He could understand their position.  They had been traumatized by the fallout from the McMasters experiments and were forever in debt to Ms. Smithers for voluntarily re-doing them when their accreditation was threatened.  If anything, it would be better for him NOT to know her plans.  That way, if he suddenly hit upon an idea that would get her out of here, he could spring it on her more innocently.

 

        He had similar bad luck with the Fashion people.  It would be strange, but great, if she won that International competition and got sent back to Rhode Island.  But Girardo would not tell him what her chances were.  And he had no pull with the people running the competition, of course.

        A knock on the door.

 

        It was Tami Smithers herself, wet and muddy, though she had been careful to wipe her feet.  She stood in his doorway, naked and strong, her bookbag slung over her shoulder, carrying a four-foot long narrow thing that looked like a folded-up easel.  “Hello, Mr. Noyes,” she said, respectfully but with an air of familiarity.

 

        “Hello, Tami.”  He was aware, of course, of yesterday’s ruling refusing to extend the statute of limitations in the criminal matter.  Tami seemed to have bounced back from what must have been a bitter disappointment.  Of course, the college itself being in effect an accomplice, there was no way he could express his condolences or anything like that.

 

        “Can I ask you something?”

 

        “Sure, Tami.”  He glanced at her up and down, from her wild, wind-strewn hair, the tanned wet breasts, then down to the fragments of leaves in her pubic bush, finally to the widely-spread toes covered with bits of grass, as if she herself were a wet tree and her toes were the roots.  “Is Omar working you too hard? Have a seat.”

 

        “Well no, I shouldn’t, I’d mess up your chair...  I’d like to ask your permission...  Could I please wear something?”

        “Uh -- ” He had never been so astonished at a simple question.  He almost gasped.  Had her allergy been cured? If so, why was she asking permission?

 

        Tami, realized how absurd her request sounded, smiled and set down her bookbag and held out the easel, which it turned out was a narrow, four-foot-long case.  “This was a present that was given to me.”

 

        As soon as he saw her bend down to open the case, her breasts wobbling in front of her, he realized with dread what it was.  He had been told about it by Sarah Wickland, that West Coast lawyer with the kinky clients.  The immense dildo with a two-foot long tail of horsehair.

 

        “It’s called a tail.  Ms. Wickland gave it to me.  You know, from the pony farm.”

 

        A reminder of Tami’s further horrible tribulations.  Which again she had made peace with.

 

        Obviously unaware that he knew about it, Tami stood up with the object in her hand and explained it.  “This part goes into my rectum and up into my sigmoid colon.  There’s a remote control that makes it into a sexual stimulator.  But without the remote, just as a fashion accessory, I think the tail is pretty neat looking.  I think I look good in it.  See?” She approached him with a photo of herself, half-turned to the camera, with the tail waving behind her, coming out from between her bare butt cheeks, the smile on her face as innocent as if she were seven years old and showing off her First Communion dress.  It was jarring to see.  As she evidently knew: “I’m asking you because I can see why some people might, um, freak out.

 

        “I won’t wear it anywhere on campus,” she said quickly.  “But I was thinking of wearing it to the reception after the Spring Zing.  There will be faculty there, so I wanted to know what you thought.”

 

        He looked at the tail and at the picture.  He just could not imagine where there was space in that slim body for that gigantic thing.  But then, Tami Smithers was remarkable.

 

        He also knew that the Spring Zing reception was traditionally a time when the fashion majors would show off with their most outlandish creations, kind of like a costume party.  “I trust you to exercise your good judgment.  You have always shown good judgment as a student here, Tami.  I think...  I think it will be OK But let Mr. Girardo know about it ahead of time.”

 

        “Thank you, Mr. Noyes.”  He was relieved to see Tami put that thing away, into the long case.

        As she was about to leave he thought of something.  “Tami, I have some things for you.”

 

        With the results of those phone calls he was going to send for her to get them anyway.  It might as well be now.  He couldn’t wait to get them off his hands, and with the statute of limitations having run, the college had no duty to preserve them.  He led Tami into the large storage closet down the hall and took a box off the shelf.

 

        “These are some things that were found at Henry Ross’s place after he escaped.  Mostly videos and discs that show some of the, uh, things that happened that year.  From what I understand the criminal matter against him is now closed.  So there is no need to keep them.  If you ask me they should be destroyed.  But a sense of justice compels me to give them to you.  You should be the one who destroys them.

        “There are also some DVD’s of the Chalfont experiments.  As you remember you deleted the computer files in Dr. Schnitzler’s office.  But it turns out Nevada McMasters took his own videos from a hidden camera in Lab 6.  Possibly to use as evidence against Ross, I don’t know.  I really have no idea what was going on between those two.  But he left them in a cabinet in Lab 5.  So these are yours too, Tami.  I know I’ve said it a hundred times, but we are very sorry what you endured, Tami.”

 

        He got a kind of rolling briefcase off another shelf, like people use to pull packages in at airports.  “This is called a trial bag, lawyers like Mr. Halifax use it.”  George Halifax being the person who replaced Ross as the college attorney.  “This one’s extra.  Here, let me put the things in here.”

 

        Soon, Tami Smithers, with her bookbag and her horse-tail-dildo and all that odious crap from Chalfont and Ross, was gone.  Anthony Noyes looked outside the bay window and saw her leave the building, strolling casually and nakedly through the rain.  He exhaled as he saw her wheel away the DVD’s and videos, and though it was Tami who was getting wet, he felt like it was he, and Campbell - Frank College in general, who had been showered clean.

 

31.

 

        Rod, sitting at the kitchen table in his pajamas, looked at the sample logos that Trent had made for Tami’s clothing designs.  It seemed unlike the naturally modest Tami to blow her own horn so, but apparently it was recommended for fashion students to create a “brand” for their designs, for copyright protection purposes.  He could understand that.

        Trent was an art major and, unlike some of the others, was actually good at drawing human bodies and faces.  Rod respected that, down-to-earth engineer type that he was.  Trent and Tami had gone through a hard time after 9/11, dealing not only with their grief but also their guilt.  Both had been invited to Jeffrey’s photo exhibition that day and had not gone; Trent because he had the flu, and Tami declining the ride down with Mandy because she didn’t want her nakedness to distract everyone from what was supposed to be the first big day in Jeffrey’s professional career.  Like many others who had lost loved ones that day, Trent and Tami had formed a bond.

 

        Trent’s empathy for Tami came through in his drawings.  They were not detailed but they were realistic.  The one Tami preferred was a plain line drawing of a girl holding a long coat in front of her.  You could tell she was naked from the shoulders, the exposed hip, the toes on the feet below.  It was unclear in the drawing whether she was offering the coat to the viewer or about to try it on herself.  The ambiguity was a nice touch.  Below, the motto: “It’s a Tami Original”.

 

        Now Tami padded in, rolling that damned “trial bag”.  She hefted it onto the table and sat up next to it in her usual cross-legged position.

 

        “I don’t really want to look through this stuff,” Rod said.

 

        “I don’t either, but I suppose we should see what’s here,” she said.  “So what do you think of Trent’s logos?”

        “They’re a product of real talent,” Rod said, “speaking as an engineer who can draw nothing but blueprints.  I like the one you circled too.  Tami, you really are ‘an Original’.”

 

        “Oh Baby.”  She was so limber that it was easy for her to bend her head down and give him a wet kiss.  “Not an original-sounding motto, though.  I can’t think of anything better at the moment.”

 

        Rod smiled.  “I like your new clothes.  I mean your old clothes.  That really is your color, Babe.”

        Tami, still sitting cross-legged, opened her legs some more to show her lower hair.  “Plum is for me, I think.  It matches my little thing.”  She leaned back a little, spread her lips and made her clit jump.  “Hi hi!  Now...  what do we have here?”

        As they rummaged through the bag they saw it was a collection of unmarked DVD’s and a few VHS tapes.  They sifted through them silently.

 

        “I say, throw them all out,” Rod said.  “I don’t know how you can stand viewing them anyway.”

 

        “Maybe...  Let me think about it.”  She laughed.  “Maybe I’ll get Gretchen to sort them out.”

 

        Rod chuckled, glad that so much time had passed that she could laugh at such things.  “Don’t torture that poor girl...  So you’re going to go down with her?”

 

        “Yes.”  Tami was going to Providence to see her parents this weekend.  Rod couldn’t go; he had National Guard service.

 

        “I don’t think the VW is going to make it,” Rod said.  They drove in it yesterday and it pooped out on a hill, forcing them to turn it around and jump-start it by pushing it back down.

 

        “It just needs the timing checked.  I can do that next week.  We’re taking her car anyway.  Wow, look at this.”

 

        A brown bag obviously holding VHS’s.  On top was a handwritten note: “Found these at the house.  George Halifax.”  Halifax had moved into the college attorney’s house formerly lived in by you-know-who.  “Oh Lord!” They were commercial porn tapes.  Tami took out the first one.  On the box was an interracial couple that looked almost exactly like Rod and Tami!  “This we’ve got to see!”

        Rod wasn’t that into it but Tami set it up like a movie night.  She had him microwave popcorn while she pushed the couch in front of the TV and dug out the VCR that hadn’t been used in about two years.  She cut the lights and they sat in their usual TV-watching position, him with the popcorn beside him, she stretching her naked self along the couch, her legs over his lap so that he could idly play with her pubic hair.  Her dexterous toes tapped on the remote sitting on the arm of the couch.

 

        Rod had seen more porn than he liked to admit, but for Tami it was a new experience.  She watched entranced as the first few minutes showed the white woman with red hair writhing on a bed in a tiny negligee, stroking herself, not very skillfully portraying a bored, frustrated wife.  She must have been bored by the decor as well: her “bedroom” looked like a motel room.

 

        Now a sudden blast of gangsta rap and a black man in a pimp outfit climbed through the window.  He wrestled the woman until she was pinned to the bed, her eyes showing that she was not very interested in resisting.

        “Oh Babe, this is insulting.”  Rod was offended and embarrassed by hip hop culture.

 

        Tami had long been aware of that, but said, “Let’s see what happens,” as she inhaled another handful of popcorn.  Now the man had his pants off and was slapping his half-erect penis across the woman’s face.

 

        “Wow,” Tami said.  “That guy is huge.”

 

        “She’s got awfully big hands too,” Rod said.  Tami guffawed as he saw what he meant.  The effect of the camera angle and what must have been a fish-eyed lens became clear as soon as the woman put her fingers around the porn star’s dick.  If his penis was huge, her fingers must be the size of bananas.

 

        Then they both got a laugh as she started sucking him.  The camera was from above and the lens made her nose get dramatically bigger with each upstroke, throbbing in size like a cartoon character who has just gotten punched.

 

        About five minutes later, with no discernable advancement of either plot or technique, Tami said, “This is getting boring.”

 

        “Welcome to the world of porn, Babe.”

 

        She flexed her pinky toe and was about to hit “stop” when the man pulled back and shouted, “Take this, bitch!!”

 

        As the music crescendoed the woman smiled and a big spurt hit her on the chin.  Then a few dribbles before the black penis above her stopped quaking.

 

        “That’s weird,” Tami said.  Rod was surprised at this comment but then reminded himself: the “money shot” might be a convention of the genre, but despite what Tami has been through, she’s hardly ever seen any porn.

 

        “That’s called a ‘facial’,” Rod said.

 

        Tami decided to give up on this movie.  “Let’s try one more.”  Rod sighed in resignation.

 

        This movie -- apparently Henry Ross only liked interracial, black male-white female porn -- was a bit easier to take.  The black male was a tall skinny guy who was always smiling.  No gangsta rap.  He seemed to get a kick out of having two blond girls chasing him.  At one point he had his pants half down and was trying to run down the stairs away from them, his dick flopping in front.

 

        Ten minutes later, he too doused the white woman’s face with a few hits of semen, with great yowls that sounded like, “Yeeahhhhh --- ohhhhh --- yeahhhhhhh!!”  Rod snorted.  But Tami said, “It’s great that he can express himself like that.  Why should women be the only ones who get vocal?” It was only then that Rod realized he had snorted to cover his embarrassment.

 

        The blonde gathered up the semen with her finger and slurped it up like it was caviar.  She really hammed it up, rolling her eyes.  Again Rod snorted.  But Tami said, “That’s exactly how I feel.  Semen is the stuff of life.”

        “It must be an acquired taste,” Rod said.

 

        “Only the first couple of times.  When I realized how much your body works to produce it, and how much you loved me, it became yummy.”  Of course, they kissed after she said that.

 

        “One more,” Tami said as Rod sighed.

        In this one, the black man talked constant trash while humping the white woman from behind.  “Take this bitch, you stinkin’ ho, take this n----r dick all the way, you ain’t nothing but --”

 

        “UGHHH!” Tami said, thudding the “stop” button forcefully with her heel.

 

        They looked at the blue screen for a moment.

        “Who watches stuff like that?”

 

        “White guys.”

 

        “So what do black guys watch?”

 

        “Me, I used to watch black on black porn.  There’s not a lot of it around though.”

 

        Tami brought her foot up and stroked behind Rod’s ear with her toes, and behind the other ear with her hand.  She was getting good at knowing this sensitive area and his dick began to stiffen.  With her other hand she munched on a handful of popcorn.  With a half-full mouth she said, “What if I told you to pick out what porn you wanted and masturbate to it, what would you pick?”

 

        “I don’t think I would watch porn now.  Or even jerk off.  It just doesn’t compare with being with you.  It’s like playing with a toy, then having the real thing.”

 

        Holding onto Rod’s neck, she did everything with her feet, tapping the “off” button on the remote, then reaching forward to hit the “eject” button on the VCR, then, swinging a leg over, grabbing the tape with her toes and dropping it into the bag.  “Ooo ooo,” Rod said playfully.

 

        Rod hefted his naked white prey onto his shoulders and carried her to bed.  He kept one eye on the clock radio and decided to lick her for one hour exactly.  He realized with some amusement that his motivation was to do better than the TL’s.  Pacing himself, he succeeded in managing her orgasms so that she came once every two minutes, ending up with 28 for the hour.  Like the TL’s, he knew Tami hated being counted (though only he knew the reason), so he kept the number to himself.

 

        At the end Tami was sweating all over and Rod’s tongue was tired, in fact his whole body was tired.  But Tami was not winded in the least.  After holding his head against her breasts for a few minutes, she made him stand up and revived him by sucking him.

 

        The porn movies had made an impact on her.  As he got close she said, “Come on my face!”

 

        He was surprised and might have been turned off, her sucking tonight was especially ardent and deep.  He pulled out at the right moment.  He hadn’t come in a few days and it was a big load.  He even let himself groan out loud -- “Ohhhh Babe!”  The four biggest arcs landed on her face, striping it from forehead down to her chin, a little dripping onto her breasts.

        Rod, drained, catching his breath, looked down at his handiwork with mixed emotions.  He did NOT want to be one of those pimped-out porn minstrels.  But he was proud of being able to produce such a big load for Tami.  Almost her whole forehead was coated.

 

        Tami quickly unmixed his feelings.  She was able to open her eyes and led him to the bathroom where they looked in the mirror, her face next to his.

 

        “You marked me, you dog,” she said with a giggle.  “I’m your bitch.”  Then she smeared the semen over her face.  “Well, it’s good protein, right? Good for the skin.”

 

        He kissed her gently, not even minding that he got some on his own face.  Tami could make just about anything sexy and loving.

32.

        “Baby, after looking at these I think we should keep them somewhere.  They are my testament to my dedication to you and my folks and all the people I love. Tam.”

 

        This was unusual, this almost Biblical language from Tami.  On this Sunday evening Rod sat in the kitchen and pondered the note she had left yesterday next to the little stack of DVD’s before heading down to Providence with Gretchen.  The note just added to the unreality of this weekend, this sense that his world was beginning to tip out of control.

 

        He had left for his National Guard service like always, at 5 a.m.  Saturday morning, while she was still asleep.  He could barely stand to leave her, as she lay sprawled atop the covers, arms and legs splayed out in all directions, the forest of her lower hair the highest point on her body.  Then up to Camp Grafton and it was all hup-hup-hup.  The last few services had been disturbing.  A platoon of engineers and architects, second lieutenants, and they were being put through paces like infantry.  Nobody dared mention the I-word, but it sure looked like they were getting conditioned to go to Iraq.  And not to build bridges either.

 

        Worse, some of the guys had not been showing up.  He couldn’t believe they would just blow it off, risk getting reported.  Some were volunteers of course; they weren’t doing their tour as a condition of having gotten a scholarship like Rod was.  But how could you have such a delinquency on your record? At the very least it would come back to haunt you someday.

 

        Rod looked at the note again and at the stack of DVD’s.

 

        “They are my testament to my dedication to you and my folks and all the people I love.”  He supposed she meant for him to take a look.  And she wasn’t going to be back from Providence until late.  Well...

 

        Rod set himself up in the living room and popped in the first DVD.  Oh God --

 

        The mechanical, factory-like sound was almost deafening and he had to turn the volume down.  The sweaty, naked body of Tami, seen from the waist up, against the brightly lit background of Lab 6, three years ago.  She was only 18 then and she looked like a child, not quite as muscular as now, with whiter skin.  Her eyes were closed, her breathing ragged.  Her sweat-soaked hair was plastered to the sides of her face.  Her arms were stretched out to the sides -- hands tied to the posts that were out of camera range.  He knew the sliding, clanking sounds were from the unseen dildo shafts below, pistoning on their cams aimed at her widely-spread, tied-apart legs, plunging past her cervix, and deep into her colon, in an alternating rhythm.  Under her ribs he could see her concave tummy lurching slightly forward and back as she was penetrated front and rear, a mixture of chills and sobs going through her frame as she felt the ridges on the front dildo bump past her clit and inside past her G-spot.  Her nipples were stuck in those awful suction tubes that went up and out, bristling and sucking and stimulating...

 

        Oh Jesus -- entering the camera’s range, the face of Henry Ross!  In his lawyer suit.  And now next to him McMasters in his tacky blazer and open collar.  “Good afternoon Miss Smithers,” Ross said affably.

 

        Tami’s heavy-lidded eyes opened.  Her lips parted slightly but she said nothing.

 

        “So as I understand it,” Ross said to McMasters, “during orgasm her eyes dilate?”

 

        “That is one of the many things we have discovered about female orgasm, thanks to Tami’s participation,” McMasters said eagerly.  “To be precise, her pupils dilate, and her eyes lose focus.”  He looked down, presumably at dials on a console.  “Why don’t you watch on her next orgasm?”

 

        “You mean she’s had more than one?” Ross said with perhaps too much of a play at naiveté.

 

        “Good Lord, Mr. Ross, Tami is the most multi-orgasmic girl we ever heard of.”  Looking down again, he said, “She’s been hooked up for about an hour, and has experienced orgasm twenty-two times.”

 

        “Twenty-two times!” Ross looked at Tami’s face, her eyes now closed again.  “That’s hard for one to imagine,” he said with a convincing tone of innocent wonder.  “The greatest physical pleasure a human being can know, and she’s enjoyed it twenty-two times in just the past hour...  You are a lucky young woman, Miss Smithers!”

 

        “I’ll say,” McMasters said.  “And each one is an unusually intense experience in its own right.  She averages twelve contractions, which is more than the typical person has.”  He leaned down out of sight and must have turned a knob, as casually as if he were adjusting the throttle on a lawn mower.  Tami’s eyes popped open and she strangled a loud grunt.  “There, I’ve increased the RPM and the depth of insertion somewhat.  She should climax again soon.  Excuse me, Mr. Ross, I have to go down the hall to get a refill for our EKG scroll.  Why don’t you stay here and watch.  I’ll be back in five.  Tami,” he said now in a slightly louder voice, “Remember to open your eyes and look directly at Mr. Ross on your next orgasm, okay?”

 

        Tami, eyes closed, trying to hold back the quaking of her body, waited a second before slowly nodding once.

 

        Rod felt miserable.  At the time this was happening, he had no idea.  Neither did Rebecca or Jen or Marisol or anyone else.  They all thought of Tami as a happy, though quiet, girl who had decided to be a nudist.  And he supported her and said he admired her for it!  Tami kept her torments a secret from him and everyone, not wanting to let them down, and especially, as he knew now, not wanting to jeopardize her scholarship.  Totally out of her element, the first person in her family to go away to college, too frightened and intimidated to tell anyone, too frightened to seek legal advice.  He thought of what Rebecca had during her little sermon at their wedding.  “One of the hardest things to do is to be brave, when no one can see that you are being brave.”

 

        Now, back on the DVD, Ross could be seen watching McMasters leave.  Then he turned to Tami again.

 

        “Totally naked,” he said, looking her up and down.  “I can see every inch of you, Miss Smithers.  So has everyone else.  How does it feel, to be naked all the time and not cover any part of yourself for even one second? This jacket, for example,” he said, grabbing his lapels.  “I’m also wearing a shirt, pants, shoes, socks, underwear.  Quite comfortable and handy on a chilly day like this.  Yet you have nothing.”

 

        He walked around behind her, out of camera range.  “I understand many people have seen your, uh, anus.  Few people can stand to have anything inserted into this, what most people consider their most private spot.  Yet this, uh, dildo like thing is going into you and it is huge.  It must be penetrating deep into your gut.  In...  out...  now in again...  out again...”  Now he moved around in front again, looking down, stroking his chin.  “And this front dildo thing is no less remarkable.”  He bent down, out of range.  “The way it stretches your, uh, vaginal lips wide apart is amazing.”  He stood up again.  “I understand those ridges provide intense sexual stimulation, both inside and outside.”

 

        He let a moment go by, listening to Tami’s labored breathing and watching her closed eyes.  Now he stood up now aggressively, literally getting into her face, not more than a foot away.  His tone now was menacing.  “Feel those thrills!  And that rear shaft going right up into you!  You can’t escape me, Miss Smithers!  That is ME, going up into you!  ME, driving you to orgasm!  ME, reaching right into your soul at your most vulnerable moment!

        “Ah, I see now you’re beginning to crest up to yet another climax!  You MUST open your eyes and look at me!  Otherwise I will have evidence that you’re modest and you will be exposed as a liar!  ‘Religious nudist’, indeed!  Declaring that you don’t believe in modesty, indeed!  You were just streaking that night, admit it!!  An expellable offense!  Keep your eyes closed and you will be EXPELLED!”

 

        Tami’s eyes strained open in anguish and terror.  Her body quaked with the onset of orgasm.

 

        “You really think you can win, Miss Smithers?!” Ross got even closer, looking right into her eyes.  “You think you’re being heroic, don’t you!  The scholarship that made your parents proud!  Sticking it out for your stupid, beer-swilling parents!  And your stupid, N----R boyfriend!!  It won’t work!

 

        “LOOK AT ME!!  I WON’T GO AWAY!”

 

        She opened her mouth and her eyes twitched with the strain of keeping open as she launched into a convulsive climax.  Her shouts reverberated through the cold lab.

 

        “AHHHHH!”  -- “Again!!” Henry Ross shouted into her face, his hateful eyes gleaming into her terrified ones.

 

        “AHHHHH!”  -- “Again!!”

 

        “AHHHHH!”  -- “Yes!   More!!”

 

        “AHHHHH!”

 

        Was she berating him?  Yelling at him?  Crying for help?  Shouting a prayer to God?  Her shouts were unearthly, weird.  Rod had heard Tami cry out in orgasm hundreds, possibly thousands of times, but never heard sounds like these.

        The orgasm went on and on.  Of course, everything being done to her was designed to extend and intensify her “pleasure”.  After the last few, irregular cries she dropped her head and started sobbing.  So young, her crying sounded like a little child’s.  Rod was about to cry himself.

        McMasters returned and she raised her head and sniffled, trying to compose herself, though this was not totally possible as the dildos, unaware that she had just suffered an intense, mind-ripping orgasm, kept on pistoning inside her with their constant rhythm.  McMasters looked down.  “I see she just had number twenty-three,” he said genially.  “Did she open her eyes for you?”

 

        “No, I don’t think she did,” Ross said blandly.  Tami’s eyes opened and she looked dully at the floor.  A tear formed at her right eye and rolled down her face.

        “Well, that’s OK, just wait until she has her next one,” McMasters said.  “Sometimes she’s too distracted to follow instructions, as you might imagine.  At the onset of orgasm ideation and perception become scrambled.  That’s another thing we’ve learned.  She cries, she sobs, she prays out loud sometimes.  Sexual ecstasy can be a religious experience.”

        “So one could imagine,” Ross said.  As they watched her catch her breath he observed, “This could be a disturbing sight.  If one didn’t know she had specifically agreed to it in writing.”

 

        “Indeed.  We are eternally thankful to her.  Well, like I said, let’s just wait.  It shouldn’t be long.  She’s on a plateau from which she can peak easily, come down a bit, and peak again.  Here,” he said, leaning down.

 

        Tami’s tortured eyes were forced upon and another cry was ripped from her throat.  Evidently McMasters had intensified the stimulation again.

 

        “Here she comes, so to speak,” McMasters said as Tami looked up to the ceiling with increased bucking of her hips.  He raised his voice.  “Now Tami -- look Mr. Ross in the eye!”

 

        Tami’s agonized expression again reluctantly focused on her nemesis, Ross’s vicious, sadistic leer staring into the look of pure terror in her tortured eyes --

        -- Rod couldn’t stand it any more.  He hit the “STOP” button and sat back and covered his face.  “Jesus,” he said.

 

       

33.

        Rod turned in his bed, then untwisted the pajamas that had tangled around his arms.   Tami used to encourage him to sleep naked but he just couldn’t get to sleep like that.  Wasn’t she back yet? His bleary eyes looked at the clock radio.  It was only 11 o’clock.  She said she’d be midnight or later.

        He was still upset by that Chalfont DVD.  Then he thought of Tami, the Tami of today, the self-assured, proudly naked 21-year-old.  He smiled.  Ross might be free and off the hook, but in many ways Tami ended up with the better part of the deal.  Ross lost his job and his reputation.  Where could he find work now?  And Tami, happily naked, sexually satisfied, popular . . .

       

.  .  .  .

        He waited anxiously, nervously fidgeting with the slide of his trombone.  Mr. Watson, whom everyone called “Sarge” from his years as a bandleader in the Army, waited impatiently as Jamal fiddled with the A-V equipment.  It was first period practice in the crowded rehearsal room.  They had just gone through their usual warm-up tune, “Captains and Kings”.  Now they were snorting with anticipation.  Except for him.  And Brigid in the clarinet section, sitting between Debra and Virginia, in her usual jean jacket, white turtleneck, black jeans and Doc Martens.  She was easy to pick out because she was one of only five white kids in the whole band.  She bit her lip and was as nervous as he was.

 

        Finally -- the big screen lit up blue.  The screen was ripped here and there.  T--- High School might be known locally for its marching band but this was not a school district with a lot of money.

        Some out-of-synch blurry images and now the genial, grandmotherly face of Melba McCann, the anchor of the local news show.  “And now, we have with us guests from the famous T--- High School marching band, who will be performing at this Saturday’s regional title football game between their school and Brookline High School.”  Her first words sounded like she was talking underwater but then Jamal’s hand slammed down on something in the control room and the sound cleared up.  “Here we have -- ”

        The camera panned over to the three guests, Sarge in his business suit with the black tie, Brigid in her majorette uniform, her baton laid primly across her bare thighs, and he himself in his braided wool uniform, holding his trombone in “rest” position in front of him.

        Watching the screen, he cringed as he saw the beads of sweat on his forehead.  It wasn’t just nervousness -- it had been hot in that studio.  Sarge had insisted on getting there half an hour early.  Already burdened with his trombone case, he had needed Brigid’s help in hefting his big uniform bag out of the car and through the many hallways before finally getting to the dressing rooms.  Brigid went in front of him, holding up the boots end of the bag, her baton slung over her shoulder.  At the end of the baton dangled her own uniform bag, a tiny pouch like a beanbag.

 

        Then it had taken him forever to struggle into his uniform in that tiny cubicle, what with the cummerbund, the epaulettes, the big boots.  Finally he emerged into what they called the green room, where guests were made up before walking onto the set.

 

        Brigid was there sitting up on a high stool, already dressed, while the gay-looking guy powdered her with makeup.  He supposed that a white person would look like a ghost on TV without some cosmetic help.  Especially Brigid, whose Irish skin was very white, with a smattering of freckles across her bare shoulders.

        She smiled at him as she said, “I’m gettin’ the royal treatment.”  The makeup man had a lot of skin to cover, what with her entire uniform consisting of two little circlets covering her nipples, and that tiny triangle over her pubic area held on with silvery strings that went low around her hips and the other string that disappeared between her butt cheeks.  Below, her bare feet rested on the bottom rung, the flip-flop style majorette sandals on the floor.

 

        He got the trombone out of his case and sat and watched, having nothing else to do.  Brigid’s circlets seemed to have gotten smaller.  The uniforms had just come back from their twice-yearly cleaning.  Maybe the majorette uniform was subtly altered before it came back.  He thought about the photos in the glass case, and wondered about the shrinkage in the majorette uniform over the years, how it was done, how past majorettes dealt with it.  Around about 1970, for example, how did the majorette for that year find out that her short skirt and blouse had morphed into a leotard? How did the 1990 majorette deal with a short short that had become a bikini-style bottom? Or the 1999 majorette who found that the strings on her top had disappeared and she now had to wear circlets?

 

        Those first circlets were huge compared to the ones Brigid had to wear.  Her breasts were round and firm, maybe a bit bigger than average; and around her circlets all her breast slopes, top, bottom, and sides, were in full view.  He wasn’t about to do math calculations but the circlets covered maybe 15% of Brigid’s total breast area.  He thought of the big plastic eyeball model in the science room, the area formed by the iris and pupil.  About that much.

        He saw the makeup man do his work, puffing the powder between Brigid’s breasts.  He had seen boobs bounce before, of course, but always in tank tops or bikini tops.  Brigid’s breasts, not strapped to her body or to each other, moved independently, one wobbling a bit while the other was still, sometimes bobbing the same way, sometimes toward each other, one moving in a tight little circle while the other lurched left to right...

 

        The makeup guy bent down and Brigid parted her knees as he got that area around her uniform where she had shaved her pubic hair.  The triangle bottom seemed to have gotten smaller too, more like a narrow “V” now.  She looked down with a neutral expression as the guy powdered industriously.  “Spread a little more, please...”

 

        Sarge came in.  “We’re on in five minutes.  How’s it going?”

 

        The two band members smiled and nodded.  Now Brigid spread her toes as the guy powdered them.  Pretty toes.  She had carefully painted the nails in the black-and-white school colors.  Cummerbund and epaulettes and braided jacket and high boots were part of his uniform; toenail paint was part of hers.

 

        He put on his white gloves and looked at them.  Even one of his gloves provided more coverage than Brigid’s entire uniform.

 

        Then he remembered getting suddenly nervous as Melba McCann came in to get them, and Brigid picked up her baton and followed Sarge into the big room with all the cameras surrounding the set, and he followed Brigid...

 

        Sarge sat down in one of Melba’s guest chairs and chatted with her quietly while a commercial was being shown.  Rod and Brigid, waiting by the big camera setup, looked at each other.  Rod was so enchanted with this shy Irish white girl that he choked up whenever he wanted to speak.  Finally he croaked out, “How do I look?”

 

        He stood up straight as Brigid, holding her baton in her armpit, adjusted his jacket and tugged at his epaulettes.  “Great.  How about me?” She held up her arms and her breasts stuck out.  “Are my ‘T’’s straight?”

        Rod was open-mouthed, unsure of what she meant, looking down finally at her ribs and the hollow tummy below.  “Your -- ”

        “My ‘T’s!”

 

        He swallowed and felt flushed as he realized she meant the “T” school logo on each of her circlets.  He bent down a bit so that Brigid’s breasts were at his eye level.  “Fine.  Both straight.”

 

        “Good.  Oh no!” Brigid opened her mouth and out came a retainer.  “This’ll show!  I forgot entirely!”

 

        She frantically looked around for a place to put it.  He heroically took it and held it in his gloved hand.  “It’s safe with me.”

 

        “Oh thanks, you’re a dear,” she said.  He felt his heart skip a beat.

        Then Sarge motioned for them to sit down next to him, and the camera guy counted down...

 

        Now, in the band room, watching with everyone else, he sat through Melba McCann’s introduction and then smiled as Sarge fell over his words in describing the marching band, at first saying it was founded in 1527 instead of 1927.  Sarge, sitting on his conductor’s stool, covered his face in good-natured embarrassment.

 

        Melba then said, “We have here also Brigid O’Dierna, the band’s majorette, and Rod Sykes, first trombonist.  You’re part of a proud tradition.  How do you like marching with the band?”

 

        Looking at the big screen, the band saw Brigid and Rod smile at each other shyly.  Brigid giggled nervously, her breasts bouncing with her laugh, then jiggling for a second after her body had stilled.  He said something to the effect of, “It’s a great band and it’s great marching with your friends.”  Brigid said, “We all work together.”  Not memorable words, exactly, but what the heck, they were petrified.

 

        “The forecast for Saturday is cold and drizzly,” Melba said.  “In your majorette outfit,” she said, looking up and down at Brigid, “how do you stay warm on days like Saturday?”

 

        “You keep moving,” Brigid said.  Her stock response.

 

        And now in the band room there was a general shifting of chairs with anticipation as Melba McIntyre announced Rod and Brigid were going to do a tune.  His friends in the trombone section smiled at him but he was not nervous because he knew what was coming.

 

        The two band members on TV stood up, him with the trombone up to his lips, her with the baton tucked under her arm.  Then she nodded and he launched into a verse of “American Patrol” which was flawless.  Watching in the band room, he smiled.  He had been so afraid he was going to botch it but he hadn’t.  Good tone throughout, not one note flubbed -- while successfully hiding Brigid’s retainer carefully in his slide hand.  Meanwhile Brigid twirled.  She couldn’t do any throws in Melba’s little studio but she did everything else, spinning, fanning, switching arms, down through the legs, even that special trick she did where the baton seemed to crawl back over her shoulders on its way from one hand to the other.  She spun around, leading with one breast and timing it so that the other breast followed.  A performance as flawless as his.

 

        At the last note he and Brigid froze, as planned.  He was sweating in his wool uniform.  She was not immune to the studio heat, either.  As she posed, her breasts coming to rest, a trickle of sweat was visible that had started below her neck, rivered between her breasts and down her flat tummy, and delta-ed at her navel.

 

        Melba and Sarge clapped, then it went to a commercial and the clip ended.  Jamal turned off the screen light.  Everyone in the band room applauded.

 

        “Stand up and take a bow, well done,” Sarge said.  He stood up in his sweatshirt and long jaMs. Brigid stood up in her jean jacket and turtleneck and black jeans.  Local stars!

 

        “One fine performance deserves another,” Sarge said.  “Time for a big tune.  Let’s do ‘March Grandioso’!”

 

.  .  .  .

 

        Rod turned and was again awakened by the twisting of his pajamas.  Again he untwisted them.  A soft rain raised up and started pelting the roof, feeding the night grass outside, hypnotic, lulling him to sleep...

       

.  .  .  .

 

        “The long walk”, they called it, from the locker rooms to the football field, everyone trudging through the wet grass before game time, the team and the band and the cheerleaders in front.  It was a chilly day, no doubt about it, and it was almost noon and hadn’t warmed up a bit.  It had rained yesterday and there were sloppy mud patches to be avoided.  Of course, the football players were resigned to getting all muddy, but for a variety of reasons that did not bother them so much.  The odd conversation between them mixed with the more subdued chatting of the band members and the much quicker talking of the cheerleaders.

 

        He finagled it so that he was walking near the front, next to Brigid, who was mindful of the cold.  Parades were one thing, but games, where the band had to sit for long periods in the stands, were another.  She wore her green wool poncho over her uniform, her sandals in her hand as she trod the wet grass with red Converse All-Stars on her sockless feet.  The poncho barely came down past her butt and she looked like she was naked underneath.  Some of the football players said hi to her as they passed.

 

        He looked up.  The clouds were gray but it looked like the sun might break through.  With luck...

 

        They got to the field and waited for Sarge, as the players, led by their captain, charged onto the field to go through their warmup plays while the visiting team from Brookline went through theirs.  Brookline was a wealthy town and their football uniforms were a dazzling gold and green.  The almost all-white team looked like a bunch of future executives.  T--- should make short work of them today.

 

        He noted, with irritation, the ten or twelve cops hanging out around the stands.  Just because we’re a mostly black school they send riot control.  Well, at least the cops they usually sent were nice.

 

        Brigid chatted with a couple of the cheerleaders, who wore coverall sweats over their short skirts.  They had long sleeves too.  Brigid’s bare legs and arms really stood out.  He listened to their conversation.  They were going bowling later.  Cheerleaders traditionally were pretty snobby, and didn’t like the band majorette -- maybe they thought she upstaged them during the halftime shows -- but they had made an exception for Brigid.

 

        The cheerleaders went off to get their stuff at the storage shed as Sarge showed up, with his little briefcase, wearing thermal gloves, and an open overcoat over his business suit.  “Band, this is a big day,” he said, in his “announcement” voice.  “Also a cold day.  It’s thirty-eight degrees and it might rain.  But you know what I say, if our team has the courage to play out there, we can play too.

        “We have one tune before the game, then we sit and then at halftime we’ll do the roll-off with Brigid and the drummers and then ‘Washington Post’.  Local TV will be here.  But before that happens they’re presenting a dedication to Roddington McNeil.  You know who he is? No? Well he was principal here for 25 years.  He retired ten years ago.  They’re dedicating the new scoreboard to him.

 

        “Now this is the big game for our team.  They go to the regionals if they win.  While we’re sitting up there waiting, I want you to cheer them on.  Remember, we’re their biggest fans.”

 

        He looked up at the sky.  “Looks like we might get lucky.  Maybe the sun will even come out.  Well, let’s go.”

        He led them as they walked, not in formation, to the admissions area where the ticket takers were setting up their tables.  Past it, the Dad’s Club was setting up their refreshment stand.  They had a big metal tub on a dolly with Jamal’s uncle using tongs to put big ice chunks into the tub and then filling it with water to keep the cans of soda cold.  Sarge had a brief call to make on his cell phone.  The band stood around and watched the tub fill up until he was done.

 

        Now they walked behind the stands, under the announcer’s booth where Mr. Simonelli was opening up, trying to pry open the top compartment which was submerged in three inches’ worth of yesterday’s rainfall.  The band, with its majorette right behind Sarge, turned under it.

 

        It was then that the first of Brigid’s many misfortunes that day occurred.

 

       

34.

 

        Walking behind Brigid, watching her bare legs flushed with the cold under her poncho, he followed her as they turned into the narrow passage between the two grandstands.

 

        At first they thought it was a sudden downpour.  But then they saw that the only person getting poured on was Brigid.  She shrieked as a narrow but persistent torrent of water came from way above and doused her on her poncho-covered shoulder.  Everyone stopped in alarm, trying to help but afraid of being doused themselves.  Sarge looked back.  Brigid tried to dodge the gush of water but it seemed to follow her as she zigzagged left and right in the narrow passage.  Finally a few dribbles and it ended.

 

        Brigid stood there miserably, arms out, her poncho totally soaked and lying heavy and flat against her body, probably weighing about twenty pounds, dripping onto her equally soaked sneakers.

 

        Sarge looked up and yelled.  Mr. Simonelli looked down and, mortified, apologized frantically.  There was no time for recriminations, though.  Brigid breathed heavily, on the verge of tears, and starting to shiver.

 

        “You’ve got to take that thing off, you’ll get hypothermia,” Sarge said.  Wearing a sopping wet cold poncho on a day like this was not healthy.

        Rod was glad to help.  He put his trombone down on the pavement and helped Sarge as they carefully lifted the poncho off her.  Sarge folded it up and put it on one of the grandstand benches.

 

        As the band members came up from the rear and encircled Brigid, everyone looked at her, her arms still out to the sides, her white goose-pimpled skin interrupted only by her majorette uniform, the little circlets covering her nipples and the little “V” down below with the strings.  Everyone looked around for a towel or something to dry her off or cover her with, but under a grandstand such things are not to be found.

 

        “Maybe we should get you inside,” Sarge said.

 

        “No,” Brigid said, realizing that she would be needed momentarily to lead the band’s pre-game performance.  “My uniform’s not wet,” she said, holding up her breasts to get a close look at the circlets.  She seemed to be speaking to them as she said, “The rest of me will dry off in the air in a little bit.”

 

        Which was true.  The band members had noticed it during that first wet game, the first game of the year back in September.  There was a downpour early in the game.  At the halftime show everyone else was still soaked except for Brigid, whose bare skin and minimal uniform dried swiftly.

        “I’d best get rid of these, though,” Brigid said, noting her sneakers.  She got the poncho from Sarge and put it on the ground, then untied the sneakers, wiped her bare feet on the poncho, then slipped on the low heeled silvery flip-flops that were part of her uniform.  The rest of the band, fully covered and in their big boots, looked on silently as she wiggled her toes in the sandals as she stood up.

 

        “OK then,” Sarge said, as they resumed their journey through the grandstands.

 

        The stands were filling up quickly and they didn’t have long to wait.  The sky looked like it might be clearing up.  The wind subsided.  This might not be a bad day after all.

 

        Sarge ambled over to Coach Gunderson, who was corralling his players to the sidelines.  They chatted a bit and when Sarge came back he said, “Five minutes”.

 

        They stood around and waited.  Rod worked the slide of his trombone.  On a cold day he was sure to prep with a lot of valve oil, but it looked like it wouldn’t be that cold.  So now he was worried he might have used too much, and it might drop onto his gloves.  Or worse, his jacket.  He kept the trombone away from it, the expanse of white with black borders, with the big “T” on the right side next to the row of black buttons.  Behind him, the rest of the band was playing with their instruments too.

 

        He looked over across the field where a van was parked, near the visitor’s grandstand, which of course was a lot smaller, and half-filled with dedicated Brookline fans.  They looked almost like a country club crowd, except maybe for some beefy guys with “B” sweatshirts standing up on the top bench.

 

        The van looked like a TV van, and sure enough a crew was getting out.  They didn’t look like they would be ready to catch the pre-game set.  At least they’d catch the halftime show.

 

        He worked his slide again.  Sarge examined the sky.  Brigid checked her fingernails with the alternate black and white polish, looked down at her circlets, and then clutched the baton between her bare thighs as she examined her spreading toes on one foot and then the other.  He looked down.  It must be hard to get the polish on those pinky toes.  He pictured her in the locker room, sitting on a bench, carefully painting them while the other girls were pulling on their long trousers, their braided jackets, attaching the epaulettes and cummerbunds, and pulling on the tall boots.

 

        He thought of the time he had seen her in the girls’ gym class, as he was walking through it with the other boys on the way to the b-ball court outside.  The girls were doing jumping jacks.  In their white T-shirts, black shorts and sneakers with socks, even though Brigid was wearing the same exact outfit as the other girls, the rest of them looked as bare as he’d ever seen them -- except for Brigid, who looked unusually covered up.

 

        He looked at the smattering of freckles across Brigid’s shoulders.  She had a great body, possibly the best in the school -- it was impossible to say, of course, only hers was ever on display like this -- but just her skin was so interesting to look at.

 

        Did she really have 83 freckles?  Jamal and he had joked about it in the locker room before coming out.

 

        “You mean you really counted the freckles on her shoulders?” he had asked incredulously.

 

        “Of course.  During that long roll-off at practice yesterday.  She has one on her butt too.  On the right cheek, halfway down to her butthole, under that little ‘Y’ over her crack.”

 

        He laughed as they put their shakos on and headed toward the door.  “I can’t believe you count the freckles on a white girl’s butt!”

 

        “Hell, no sisters will go out with me, I’ll take what I can get!”

 

        He thought: Jamal won’t admit it but he’s probably as in love with Brigid as I am.

        As they emerged, he had said, “Man, another cold day.  Brigid will be freezing her circlets off.”

 

        “So what? She’s used to it!” Jamal said.

 

        As they trotted out he had laughed.  “Lord, you’re awful!”

        Now Mr. Simonelli, evidently having gotten over his guilt at spilling all that rainwater, cranked on the P.A.  system and said, “Welcome to our last game of the season!  To our guests from Brookline, welcome to T--- High School!  Today -- “

 

        It was his usual long-winded introduction.  He talked about the season record, the presence of the TV crew, rules as to trash and conduct, the snacks and soda and coffee available, the thanks to the Dads’ Club, etc., etc.  Sarge waited impatiently.  He joked quietly to his band, at least the ones in front who could hear, “The whole game won’t last this long!” Meanwhile Brigid shook out her body, arms and legs, trying to get circulation going.  As she did her breasts jiggled tightly.

 

        Finally Mr. Simonelli introduced the band and the crowd woke up and cheered.  The band was this school’s pride and joy.  Sarge marched out smartly and they followed in double file.  They followed him as he detoured around a nasty-looking patch of mud at the sideline, then got into formation astride the 50-yard line.

 

        Sarge, as was his tradition, yelled out, “My name is Herbert Quincy Watson and this is our band -- the T--- High School Tunemasters!!”

 

        Loud cheering from the stands as Sarge walked off the field.  It was his style not to hog the spotlight.  The band was a product of his hard work, on both the music and the marching, but he didn’t wear a uniform himself, and didn’t lead.  He just got out of the way and let the band shine.

 

        Which it certainly did.  They stood there in “attention” position -- Brigid in front, feet together, arms down, her baton upright with one end in her left hand (she was left-handed) with the other end pressed against the front of her bare shoulder -- and behind her, he and the rest of the line of trombones, then the flutes, clarinets, trumpets, the tubas in back, and on the side, the drum guard.  The uniforms were splendid, even Brigid’s, scanty though it was.  The black and white colors were the same, the T’s on her circlets and on her little cap matched the T’s on the chests and on the big shako hats of the rest of her band.  Her uniform might be different than everyone else’s but it fit in as one of the band.

 

        The cheerleaders, having reluctantly gotten out of their sweat pants, assembled to the side, shivering in their shortish skirts, and posed with their pom poms at their hips.  Their uniforms were fine-looking too.  All in black and white, the school colors, yarn bows in their hair, long-sleeved sweaters (which they wore in the cold weather -- in hot weather they wore tank tops) with an embroidered black “T” over a megaphone.  Then pleated skirts that came to just above the knee, long white socks and black sneakers.  They would stand there still during the band’s performance and then, at the final flourish, jump and cheer and wave their pom-poms and begin their cheerleader thing that they would do throughout the game.

 

        With a swing of the baton, Brigid started marching in place.  That was the drummers’ cue and they started vamping.  Now she did her first throw which was the cue for the roll-off.

 

        Rod blasted away as they launched into “Stars and Stripes Forever”, the cut-down version.  They didn’t have to march in place or anything but he could feel his boots give a little.  He glanced down and saw that the field was still pretty muddy.

 

        As they played, Brigid pranced and twirled and threw.  That was how majorettes stayed warm, he mused.  Only they were allowed to move around so much.  He could see the wisdom of a majorette’s scanty uniform, having free movement in the arms and legs.  To go through those moves in a full uniform like his would be uncomfortable, and hot, even on a day like this.  Now -- a really high throw.

 

        Brigid was serious about her twirling.  She did it a lot during recess and after school in that little out of the way courtyard past the gym, pretty much out of view so that people wouldn’t think she was showing off.  But he watched her once and noted her diligence.  (She was in her regular clothes of course; the majorette uniform would have violated the dress code.) She was totally concentrated on it, trying more and more difficult throws, doing the same throw maybe fifty times or more until she was satisfied she got it right.  She would vary what she was wearing, sometimes even throwing while she was wearing a coat.  She would use different size batons, and even tied little weights to them.  The idea was to be able to throw accurately under any type of condition.

 

        Still, today one could tell that the mud was gumming up her style a bit, the heels of her sandals sinking in and taking an extra split-second to pull up.  Being flip-flops, they separated from her feet at the heel and slapped back up against her sole on the upstep more smartly than usual, though with the band playing he couldn’t hear it.

 

        And now a big spin and one real high throw, maybe thirty feet in the air.  Brigid spun around and looked up.

 

        It came down a hundredth of a second sooner than she expected and hit her pinky.

 

        Brigid dropped the baton.

 

        It fell on the wet ground and she missed only an eighth of a beat, picking it up and starting the next twirl, but the sense of shock was palpable.  The whole season and this was her first drop.  Her face was deadpan as she continued her paces and the band finished up, and it was not the end of the world of course, but everyone who knew Brigid knew she had to be mortified.  One of the baton knobs was smeared with mud, a reminder of her shame at letting down the band which would not go away.

 

        One final throw, perhaps not as high and risky as she would have done otherwise, and the band finished with a cymbal crash.  The crowd cheered, but it was a muted cheer.  Not because the crowd appreciated the performance less but because they were stunned.

 

        The cheerleaders did their woo-hoo pom-poming and the players got ready to take the field.  The drums started the walk-off vamping and Brigid began to lead them off, baton tucked under her armpit, the mud-smeared knob hidden.  She must have still been distracted by thinking about her drop, and eager to get out of view as quick as possible.  At least that was the theory everyone had afterward.  It explained why she marched straight for the grandstand gate and did not see the patch of mud.

 

        Brigid’s foot slipped back out from under her and she fell forward, face first.  As she tried to pry herself up from the cold mud her hands slipped and her face and upper body hit the mud again.  Mud slopped to the sides.  On her third try, quaking by now, just one hand slipped and she flipped over onto her back.

 

        Across the field, some of the big beefy guys in the visitor’s grandstand hooted.

 

        The band was in disarray.  The cheerleaders looked over from their places with concern.  Sarge rushed out and shooed the rest of the band to leave the field.  Everyone carefully stepped around the patch.  Sarge helped his majorette up.

 

        She was crying.  One flip-flop fell off and her bare foot squished into the mud.  She slipped her muddy foot back into it and almost twisted her ankle before she finally righted herself.  Her white face was all muddy.  Mud was all over her front, covering her circlets, and actually appearing to be shoved in under them.  Mud was over half her tummy.  Down below it gummed up and covered the lower half of her uniform such that it looked like she didn’t have a bottom at all and had simply stuffed mud into her crotch.  As for her back, brown goo dripped from her butt down her thighs, making it look like she had had a bad “accident”.

 

        In the stands, people stood up to see what was going on.  As the band walked up to their reserved area halfway up, trying not to look back, Debra and Virginia stayed behind to help Sarge take the crying majorette under the stands.

 

        Rod felt miserable, about to cry himself.  He hated the jeers coming from the visitors’ stands.  This was horrible.  Aside from the humiliation he just could not imagine how Brigid must feel with gritty cold mud over her body.

 

        The game started and he couldn’t get focused on it.  He sat on the near side of the band section, looking down at his trombone and weakly moving the slide.  A few moments later he looked over and saw Debra and Virginia with their muddied friend at the Dads’ Club stand, evidently waiting for Sarge who was on his cell phone.  They had tried to wipe off the mud with the little paper napkins available but it was pitifully inadequate.  Poor Brigid was still smeared from her face down to her bare toes.  The wind had kicked up and lifted the used napkins out of the trash.  They scattered around the feet of the brown-smeared majorette, looking like used toilet paper.

 

        S