Note: This story was dynamically reformatted for online reading convenience. Rebbecca And Luis - Naked In School by Orblover CopyrightÂ(C) 2007-2010 by Orblover ------ Description: What happens when a jock and a shy art student are partnered in The Program? Rebbecca and Luis find out they are in the program, as partners, and manage to survive the week. Codes: mf ff cons rom bi het 1st oral mastrb pett squirt exhib voy size slow ------ I'm a new writer to the "Naked in School" universe. I would like to thank Karen Wagner for coming up with the original concept and allowing others to adopt it. I'd also like to thank Frank Downey for introducing the Partner concept to the series. Plus the many others that have added to and expanded this universe -" PeregrineF for the Carl and Beth stories, CWatson for Arie and Brandon, and the many all that have expanded this concept. You have all brought me here. Thank you for paving the road, putting in the infrastructure, and allowing others to play in this world. Thank you tenyari for creating the collection and keeping the universe alive! Here is my attempt to take it where I need to. If you are new to this concept, please visit the Naked In School pages at ASSTR ( or Google "Naked in School". Long live Karen Wagner! The first student written about that went "Naked In School" and the first person to write about it. Many thanks to Ian (you know who you are) for editing and all my on-line and off-line friends that have reviewed, commented, and supported me through this. The Lady G gets the most credit for tolerating my hours with pen in hand and hands on the keyboard. "Cold hearted Orb that ruled the night, Steals our colors from our sight..." Moody Blues, Knights in White Satin ------ Part 1: Monday ------ Chapter 1: Monday - Daybreak Rebbecca His lips were tracing sparks across mine. His hands were moving to my bodice. The cool wind was flowing over us and not cooling our passion. "Yes, kiss me. Take me." My bedroom door opened. "Good morning sleepyhead, time to get up, school day." Mom retreated from my room and went down to make breakfast. My dream slowly faded. The soft meadow of heather replaced by my covers. The haphazard collection of paintings, sketches, and charcoals that lined my walls replacing the mists on the hills in Scotland. My imaginary lover would have to wait until tonight to finish seducing me. I hopped out of bed, straightened my nightgown, and reached for my robe hanging on my easel. "Just a few more strokes and you're done," I decided as I studied the oil mounted in the easel. I needed the paints to settle a bit before adding the last few details. "Maybe tomorrow." Just before opening my door I looked at my "Wall of Inspiration." Sketches that I had at one time thought might be hiding a painting and I wasn't in the right frame of mind to see it. No sudden inspiration from any of the sketches pinned to the wall. Yet, I decided they would all survive another day before taking the trip to the archive in the back of the closet. I crossed the hall still wrapping my robe around me. My younger brother and I traded the bathroom and I made some noises. He mumbled something back. It was our private morning ritual and joke. Neither of us is a morning person. Yet, he'd already been out for a run. At least I'd gotten an extra hour of sleep. In the shower I started a new short story, hearing the dialog in my head, seeing the scene, hearing the characters, and watching it unfold. I've learned to not force my dreams. A long, hot shower usually lets them come out in story form. I let the story wash over me as I finished rinsing off. This one was a keeper. I'd capture as much as I could on paper this morning. Kind of funny that it was about being naked in school and the Program would be starting up for the year today. The Program. It was some silly thing that came from another school system a few years ago. We all got pamphlets about it each year. There were two naked teenagers on the front of it. Kids were "chosen" to go through school for a week naked. Something about discovery and becoming more comfortable with themselves. Blah, blah, blah. I could ignore it. No way I'd ever be in the Program. After wrapping myself in my robe, towel on head, I headed for my room. Time to apply the camouflage. My wardrobe was mostly ankle length skirts, mostly vintage with some retro. Flowing and not at all revealing. My tops tended towards baggy, almost shapeless. I wanted to keep my body private. I used to dress like everyone else. Then my body started to change and I got boobs before anyone else my age. Girls can be so cruel and boys only want to stare or touch. Or worse. Besides covering myself from ankle to neck I looked for the right scarf, shawl, hat, or other accessory to continue the illusion. Mixing colors, textures, and lines in a way that stood out yet was ignored. I got away with my eclectic attire by being the artist. My large bag of sketchbooks, pens, pencils, charcoals, journals, cameras, and such just made it obvious. I had perfected hiding in plain sight. "Thanks for the wake up, Mom." I kissed her on the cheek as she cooked. I fixed my cereal, juice, and grabbed some toast. My brother was well into his 4 egg omelet as I sat down. We ceremonially grunted at eat other, a slight smile on our lips. "Neandertal," I mumbled louder. "Hippie," he retorted. "Morning Daddy," I said to the Wall Street Journal at the head of the table. Home delivery no less. "Morning Rebbecca," the paper said. I pulled out my journal and captured the gist of the new story while I ate. "Want a ride today?" Jason was finishing his 20,000 calorie, cholesterol laden breakfast and getting ready to go. I don't have a car. I'm really not a good driver. I spend too much time in my head writing, thinking about my next painting, or just seeing the world my way. Not enough attention on the road, I'm afraid. On my 16th birthday I had traded the offered car for a nice camera, some lenses, a really good easel, and the tools to make my own paints. I had never regretted it. I'm sure the other drivers hadn't either. "Sure, Jase, thanks." I finished up my notes, knowing I had a few more minutes while he gathered his books. Mom and I did the kissy-cheek thing, the Paper wished us well in school, and Jason and I went out the door to his car. "You know the Program starts today," Jason said as we settled into the car and he backed out the drive. "Who do you think they will pick?" The Big Secret we kept from our parents was we actually talked to each other, a lot. We got along really well. Far be it for us to burst their bubble about sibling rivalry and all. As a matter of fact, I considered Jason my best friend. "Don't know. I only hope I can get some artistic inspiration from them." The Program. Damn. Is that going to be the only topic for conversation today? Being naked. Getting fondled under the guise of a request. "The boy or the girl?" "Both and maybe together!" I laughed. "It would be too much to think they'd be in my art class." "Bec, what if our parents signed us for the Program?" "No way. They really don't know we're around except as tax deductions." That's why I was so safe from it. Parents had to sign their kids up for it. "Don't be so hard on them, Bec." Before I went off on my parents it hit me. Jason is everything they'd wanted. Six feet two, 240 pounds of solid muscle. A star running back as a Junior including All State and All American honorable mention. National Honor Society. Popular. "Sorry Jase. I'm just not the daughter they wanted. I'm not the social princess, the cheerleader, or even the gymnast. I'm not all that popular. I don't want to be. I want my writing and my art. That's all." "Oh Bec. Don't think they don't love you or really care about you. They really do. They also respect that you have something rare and special, your artistic talents." "Yea, like they see that." I almost spat out these last words. My dear brother, all big handsome hunk of him, able to find a hole in any defense and get five more yards, looked at me. His eyes were starting to tear. "We all see it, Bec. They just don't know how to relate to you." What could I do. I broke and cried. I leaned on my "little" brother, my rock, my friend and bawled. He put his arm around me and hugged me. "We all see the magic you have with words and painting. We're all in awe, even a bit jealous. You make something we can't imagine doing look so easy. But we see it, we respect it. Mom, Dad, and me, we do love you." Jason pulled into the parking lot, found a spot, and shut down the car. I was still leaking rivers. Sobbing. Almost heaving. He handed me a towel and helped me start to pull myself back together. "I'm such an emotional time bomb, aren't I?" "I guess it comes with the artistic vision, Sis." He gave me a gentle punch on the arm. Eventually I did get myself together. My rock helped by just being there and not judging me. I thought, 'how could someone so physical be so gentle'. I almost lost it again. Composed again, the perfect picture of the eccentric artist, we walked up to the school together. As we got closer I let him go on. Part of me wanted to just see and feel the early fall changes happening around the school. The other part began the 'hide in plain sight' ploy. I watched as Jason joined the other football players outside the office. In that crowd his size looked average. I'd never noticed that before. I just held back at the edge of the crowd. Happy to observe and not be seen. It took on the flavor of a hanging. Everyone wanting to be a part of it and at the same time not wanting to be the star. Except, this lynching, no one in this crowd knew who the stars were going to be. The rubberneckers and gawkers waiting for the car wreck packed around the door to the main office. The PA system came to life and the crowd grew silent in anticipation. "Would the following students report to the main office: Rebbecca Davis..." ------ Luis "Oh, God! Oh, Yes! You're a God! Harder!" This incredible blond was riding my cock and screaming while I fondled her nipples. Her face twisted with pleasure, her nipples rock hard, her fluids running down my balls. Then the alarm went off. Shit. I was almost there with my fantasy girl helping me along. I managed to control my hand just before I crushed the stupid little box making all the noise and waking me from THIS. After finding the snooze button, I pulled my arm back under the sheet and started the process of waking up. Find this cramp. Stretch. Find this pain. Relax. As much as I wanted to stroke that rock hard thing tenting my sheets, I needed to piss and shift gears. The beginning of the third week of school, a Monday. I was still a little sore and tight from the football game Friday night and was looking forward to getting to school early and using the whirlpool to loosen my muscles. "Another ten minutes and I'd start my morning routine," I said to the room. My body sank back into the warmth of the bed. "No Good. Get Up!" Yea, it was a Monday, it was in season, it's transition day. "The weekend is for recovery, Monday is transition day. Wake up stiff and sore, get out of bed with a focus on the next game. Get past it." I repeated my Monday Mantra a couple of times. By now, I found myself in my running shoes, jock strap, shorts, and a t-shirt, at the door ready to begin my run. Monday through Friday -" rain, shine, snow, or whatever -" 5 to 7 miles. My run. By myself. A few stretches and I headed out, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture on my headphones. Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops version that I'd ripped from my parent's vinyl. All the energy of that long ago July the 4th evening channeled through this wonderful composition. I needed it this morning. Start out depressed, build, retreat, build, and then win. Just what I needed. When I turned back into the driveway of our house and the last cannon had shot, I realized I wasn't that stiff anymore. I had a new visualization of the carbon cycle within a protostar, and I was beginning to think about our crosstown rivals we'd play Friday night. I went into the basement door of my apartment within my parents house. I stripped off my clothes and began the Short Yang Form of T'ai Ch'i. "Thank you Dad for introducing me to this," I said to myself before emptying my mind for 15 minutes and focused on moving slow, breathing, and feeling my imaginary opponent. Into the shower, dressed for school in dockers, oxford shirt, loafers, no socks (my rebellion point). Up the stairs from my hideaway to the house and into the kitchen. "Ah, Luis!" Mama said as I walked into the kitchen. "Hi Mama, you look good enough to eat!." I bent down and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Some wonderful 1920's Jazz playing in the background. "Oh, you guys and your sweet tongues. You say sweet things and all you want is our sweet things! Good morning, sweetie. You sound chipper." She returned to cooking eggs and bacon. She wore a long robe that accented her trim body. Over it she was wearing a chef's apron. Fitting, as she owns and is the head chef of the best restaurant in town. Italian food, imagine that. "I had a good run this morning and feel recovered from Friday." I headed to the fridge and fixed a large glass of orange juice and another of milk. As I was settling in at the kitchen table Dad came into the kitchen from the garage carrying the morning paper. "Morning, Papa." "Well, Luis, you seem to be in better shape than this weekend." He tossed the paper on the table by me as he went to kiss Mom and get a cup of coffee. When he came back he took my hand in a shake. He always tried to out squeeze me. In the last few years I had let him win. Ever since the first time I saw real pain on his face. "Fully recovered and getting ready for East on Friday." Mama brought plates of food to the table and we all dove into breakfast and the paper. We chatted about news, plans, and just general stuff. About halfway through breakfast a tornado whipped through kitchen. "Hi, Sis." She grabbed a bottle of juice from the fridge. "Hi, Honey." She grabbed some toast from the table. "Good morning, Margaret." She blew kisses to each of us. "Hi. Late. Gotta run. Love ya. Bye!" Peace returned slowly as the wind died down. The three of us just went back reading and chatting. Just another morning in the Contadino household. Margie was off to some meeting before school. As a sophomore she seemed to be involved in everything. A gifted planner and organizer, as well as a great person, she was in constant demand. Even the seniors deferred to her when they needed to get something organized and done. Half a dozen eggs, half a pound of breakfast meats, four different fresh fruits, and a liter of fluids later, I bade my parents goodbye and headed out the door. Bending, folding, and cramming my body into my car I took off to school. The stereo cranking One Way Out by the Allman Brothers, the live version. Duane's guitar rifts powering the car to school. I got to the gym early enough that all the whirlpools were open. I cranked up the full body tub, went to my locker and stripped, grabbed a towel, and settled in to the magic of hot water and bubbles up to my neck. I'd slipped in some old Motown into the resident boom box and was drifting into space on My Girl when it started to get crowded. "Yo, look at the wimp defensive lineman pampering himself." Spoken by the only person on the team that out weighed me, our center, Mike Holloway. He only had me by five freaking pounds. "Yo, Hollow Dick, what's your complaint? That I got here first and got the good tub? Did you remember your rubber duckie?" "Better than that rubber dickie of yours, wimp." He settled into the tub next to me. Both of us were serious students of the game of football and immediately dropped into a critique of Friday's game. We compared what we'd felt and seen on our side of the field and gave our observations when we were off the field. It worked out well since we were rarely on the field together and respected each others ability and observations. As other starters wandered in they joined in the critique. Better us to talk about our strengths and weaknesses than our coaches! Not that we wouldn't hear from them later in the day. Yet, they knew us well enough to know that we were tough enough on ourselves. Always striving for that unobtainable, perfect game. They'd taught us well. Most of us had played together since 5th grade and the youth leagues. Last year we'd missed the State Championship by one field goal. I blamed myself for letting their offense get an extra field goal. Mike blamed himself for not letting our offense get an extra score. I started to climb out of the deep tub, feeling a bit like rubber. "Mike, what do you think of Jason Davis? How's he coming along?" "Man, I'm impressed. I don't even have to open a hole for him, he makes them. I spend half my time following him down the field!" "Can he catch?" "What ya' thinking, WOP?" Yea, I'm Italian. And I like the words. I'm proud of where my family came from. Just don't call me worthless! "By now, all the scouting reports are gonna focus on his running. We haven't used him as a receiver. He comes out of the backfield without the ball, everybody's ignoring him. We should work with him as a receiver and save it for when we need it." "Gotcha. Done deal." Our starting QB, Paul Rogers, said stepping up, "I'll work with him. I'll let you two pieces of beef tell us when to use it." "Yo, Hollow Dick, when did we let management into the labor talks?" I shouted as I left the wet room. "Next thing you know, they're gonna think they run the place." I couldn't hear Mike's response over the laughter and objections. Yea, we're in the mood to get ready for East. Relaxed enough, still working as a team, and good energy. A quick workout in the weight room focused on my legs, into the showers, dress, and to the hallway outside the offices. Like everyone else. It was Monday. The start of the Program. We all wanted to see who was going Naked this week. The football players tended to group together. Mike and Paul joined me, as did others from the team. Jason had just come up to us when the PA system started up. They announced in descending class order starting with the Seniors. "Would the following students report to the main office: Rebbecca Davis," I was trying to place her and almost missed the next name, "Luis Contadino..." ------ Chapter 2 : Monday - Welcome Rebbecca Just before complete shutdown, I managed to think to myself, "so much for 'hiding in plain sight!'" Like a fattened cow taking the last walk up the ramp, I moved forward. I could see over the crowd the office door opening and closing as other names I was not hearing were called. Just like the last door cattle enter at the slaughter house. I took one last look around for Jase. He and his football buddies were laughing and pointing. I don't think he saw how hurt I was that my own brother, my rock, would be making fun of me. Mrs. Grant gave me a kind smile and pointed down the hall to Dr. Cavenaugh's office. The room was cramped. I must be the last one. All the seats were taken around the conference room table so I began to fade into the corner and disappear. "Mr. Contadino, it would be polite for you to stand and give your seat to the lady." Dr. Cavenaugh was looking directly at me, compelling me forward with his eyes. Then this monster arose from the chair. He was HUGE. He just kept standing and standing. Unfolding and unfolding. My God, he made Jason look tiny. His neck was bigger than my waist. Two of me would fit his width with lots of wiggle room left over. Almost no body fat yet none of the sharp definition of a bodybuilder. It was obvious he was very, very strong. Amazing for his size and sheer physical power, he very gently offered me the chair. I did my best to disappear into it. Retreat into my own little world and not let this be happening. Dr. Cavenaugh was talking. I couldn't hear the words. Didn't really want to. I just wanted to wake up in my bed, real soon. After a bit, the mountain behind me spoke a few words. His voice very deep. I heard him say his name was Luis and something about the football team. That made sense. I felt Dr. Cavenaugh's eyes on me and heard him say, "Rebbecca?" Something about introductions flashed through my brain. I don't really remember what I said. I'm sure it was a whisper. Dr. Cavenaugh was speaking again. I think it was something about me, it sure felt like it as I sensed every eye in the room on me. Yet, I couldn't be here, now. Not with what was going to happening very shortly. I focused on my hands in my lap. Willing myself to wake up from this dream. ------ Luis "What the FUCK!" I'm sure a seismograph in Australia registered my explosion. Before I could get my feet under me, my breath back in my body, it felt like the entire football team was pushing me towards the office door. They were laughing and pointing at me. I couldn't hear there jokes, I'm sure they were good. Alone, I was propelled into the cavern of the outer office. Mrs. Grant, the school's secretary, was behind the counter and casually hooked her hand towards the Principle's Office. I could feel every muscle trying to lift my feet, coordinate, keep my balance, and walk down the hallway. There was no music. Not even Muzak. A funeral dirge would have worked. I entered Dr. Cavenaugh's office and discovered I was the first one there. "Well, Mr. Contadino. Welcome to the Program." Dr. C. was one of those few people that made me feel short. At 6' 9", he had had a brief career in the NBA. After, he had returned to school and received a doctorate in education. His mere presence was enough to quieten any hallway. "Feel free to relax here while we wait for the rest." He pointed to the back of a chair and handed me a copy of the Pamphlet to occupy my hands. I played with it while I tried to process all this. Could I even get my head around it? SHIT. I think I sat down in the chair. One by one the others came in. I only felt them enter the room. I was focused on the naked couple on the cover of the Program's pamphlet. When I was in my stance on the football field, I was aware of most every player on the field. Yet, right now, all I could see was that naked couple. "Mr. Contadino?" Dr. Cavenaugh cleared his throat to get my full attention. "It would be polite for you to stand and give your seat to the lady." "Oh, um, yeah. Sorry." I dragged myself into this world. Standing, I saw the others. West High was a big school. To get everyone through the program, we had 4 people per class in the Program each week. Sixteen at a time. Naked. As I turned, I notice Rebbecca, the school's resident artist, standing and offered her my chair at the table. She looked about like I felt. While Rebbecca sat, I looked around the room at the others. WHAT! Why is Margie here? Dr. C.'s voice took over. "Before I go through my little speech, I'd like you each to introduce yourselves. Please share with us your name, class, and little about your activities at school. Mr. Contadino, please start us off." Somehow, my mouth worked. I guess all those sports interviews I'd done over the years helped. "Luis Contadino. Senior. Starting defensive lineman and co-captain of the football team. Also, Science and Chess Club." "Ms. Davis?" Dr. C. prompted the girl seated in front of me. "Rebbecca?" When she didn't immediately respond. "Hm, ah, I'm... I'm Rebbecca Davis. Senior. I'm an artist..." Her words were barely above a whisper. Dr. C. spoke up. "If you look at the signature of most of the murals around the school, you'll see her signature." The back of Rebbecca's neck, I noticed, was becoming very red. "Tim Carter. Senior. I just transferred this year. Theater is my main interest." Three weeks and I'd never noticed him. About 6 feet. Very red hair and medium build. Seemed like a nice guy. "Shirley Koen," she pronounced it Key-oh-en. "Senior. Editor of the school paper and class editor for the yearbook." "Mike Watson. Junior. Nervous." We all broke up at that! Yeah, we are too! Dr. C. wasn't letting him off easy. "I will add National Honor Society and the school's first ever Chess Grand Master." Didn't I know it. Although he killed me most times we played, he was also a patient teacher. Short. Skinny. Just what you'd think a nerd looked like. Really funny when you got to know him. "Ah, oh..." The next victim started to choke. Mike reached out, put his hand on her shoulder, bent, and whispered something in her ear. He left his hand there, squeezing lightly. "Stacy Williams. Junior. Photographer for the paper and annual." She managed to blurt out, then put her hand on top of Mike's. Stacy and Mike had been an item since their Freshman year. She was nearly coal black and large framed. The odd couple. Despite her size, when she was in photographer mode, she could disappear. "Jane..." "Chris..." "One at a time. In a rare breech of protocol, gentlemen first. Mr. Flanagin?" "Chris Flanagin. Junior. Pitcher on the baseball team, Latin Society, and Debate." He looked down at Jane. "Jane Chung. At least that's my American name. Junior. Choir and Spanish Club." A beautiful girl with an incredible voice. Although she was squeaking a bit now. I am certain I'll be buying her recordings in the not too distant future. So far, everyone had been on the same side of the table as Rebbecca and I. The Sophomores and Juniors were across the table. Margie. ------ Rebbecca After my intro, Dr. Cavenaugh told everyone about my murals. I'm sure I was red as a California sunset. Suddenly, my artistic muse smacked me in the back of the head. Screaming, she said, "Listen! Watch! Observe! You need to capture this. You cannot miss the tension, energy, emotions. Think of the stories, the paintings this experience will bring!" I started agreeing with my muse. WHAT! "Look," my muse spoke as she appeared standing on the hands folded in my lap, "this is going to happen. You can be self-absorbed and miss the unfolding motions, actions, energies, and emotions of the others. Watch. Listen. Learn." All the Juniors and Seniors had introduced themselves. Suddenly, I felt Luis's energy change. It became very cold, not angry, just cold. Something was really wrong. I wish I could see his face. I split my attention to observe the kids across the table and feeling Luis behind me, or at least his energy. "Stanley Rosenberg. Sophomore. I'm a transfer student and am joining the Math and Science clubs." He looked a little bit like a young Albert Einstein, at least his hair did! I could easily use his image as either the great teacher or, with a few shifts in his face, the perfect mad scientist. "Rosalee Tuner. Sophomore. Token trailer trash and aspiring class slut." She got a case of the giggles. Dr. C. gave one of his looks, the kind down his nose. She straightened up a bit. "Okay, frustrated actress, piano and wannabe conductor." That was Rosalee. Always on stage. I think she would have been a great actress, but she was better with music. It would be interesting to see how this week played out for her. I already had in mind a scene with her as the great courtesan. "Luke Nguyen. Sophomore. Point guard on the basketball team, at least I hope!" We all chuckled. He was maybe 5' 6". But he could shoot. He'd made varsity as a Freshman and was the team's leading scorer. Good thing I liked sports or I wouldn't know half these folks. Wiry is the best way to describe him. I found myself wondering what his shoulders look like. Well, I'd find out in a minute! "And, soon to be National Merit Scholar." Dr. C. added. Then he nodded to the next person. If Luis was cold before, he was frozen now. Anger? No, that was usually heated. Fear? Could be. I wish I could see his face. "Margie Contadino. Sophomore. Class President, cheerleader, and assistant stage manager for the Drama Club." She looked at Luis and gave a little wink. He was unmoving. His energy had not changed. As people started to get the connection, Dr. C. spoke up, "Yes, they are siblings. Our first in the Program at the same time." "Jorge Borges." He pronounced it Whore-Hey Bore-Haze. "Freshman. Somehow, Freshman Class President." One look at him and you knew why. A serious line to his face, yet mirth in his eyes. Someone you wanted to trust. I could see an older version of him in the scene with Rosalee. "Sherri Jackson. Freshman. Ah, just here." We all laughed with her. Dr. C. added, "Shirley, you'd better watch out. She's a damn good writer!" Sherri tried to turn purple. Jorge rested his hand on her shoulder to reassure her. I felt Luis's energy change, beginning to warm up some. Just a hair. "Paul Templer. Freshman. Wannabe river guide. Ecology Club." Rugged looking. Very deep tan. His accent sounded British, but not quite. Talk about stereotypical! His looks and accent and wanting to be a river guide in deepest, darkest Africa. He would definitely make it into at least one of my works. Dr. C. felt compelled to speak up. "Paul joins us from Zambia." That explained the accent. "Um. Crap. Why am I here?" A cute little waif. "All you guys are so unreal. I'm just a nobody." Oh, oh. A meltdown. Before anyone could say anything, Paul leaned down and place both his hands on her slender, freckled shoulders. He whispered, but had the kind of voice that just carries. "It's okay, Ginny. We're all in this together. We all want to meet you." Whatever it was -" his words, touch, his energy -" she looked back at him, smiled, and while holding his eyes spoke. "Ginny Smith. Freshman. Confused." No one laughed. She would make the perfect girl taken and held by the natives. Bound and waiting for Paul to rescue her. I felt Luis beginning to return to his normal energy state. I wish I could see his face. Dr. C. waited for a second to see if she was done. "Ginny has test scores that would scare most of you and with this group, that's saying something. She also volunteered for the Program. She has some special circumstances that you need to respect. Get to know her and you will understand." Ginny blushed so hard her freckles disappeared and her skin blended with her flaming red hair. Mmm. That was going to be fun to try to paint. "Okay. Welcome to the fourth year of the Naked in School Program at West High School. Everyone in the school and your parents have all been given the pamphlets explaining the program. You sixteen are the first group this year. I expect you to set the tone for the year, help each other, and help those that come after you." Tone? I knew about color tones. How could I set a tone? Wait. I'm going to be getting naked in a minute. My eyes drifted down to my hands again. ------ Luis Margie is in the Program? Isn't this week going to be bad enough for me without this? What is Mama going to think? Papa? What are they going to expect of me? I knew they were beyond the typical Italian-Catholic crap they were raised with, but this? While they didn't come to the States until they were teenagers, they had become fully American, even liberal in their social attitudes. As the introductions came to Margie, I shut down. No other way to say it. When she finished and gave me a little wink, I know she saw me doing a great impersonation of a slack-mouthed, idiot-eyed jock. The near meltdown with the cute, redheaded Freshman -" Ginny, yeah -" brought me back. Dr. C. was saying something about expecting us to set the tone. "I'm looking to the Seniors to be the leaders I know them to be and act as mentors for you all. Each person in this group has already shown themselves to be outstanding in some dimension. In your own way you are already leaders and carry a lot of influence. The rest of the school will be watching how you behave this week." "What? Scared shitless and embarressed?" Sherri blurted out. "Bare assed is more like it," quipped Rosalee. "Sherri," Dr. C.'s voice pulled our attention back, "If you weren't scared, I'd be worried. Rosalee, how many times have you performed on stage?" "Um, around a hundred, I guess." "Do you ever get nervous about it?" "Every time but once. Butterflies about the size of 747's." "How do you deal with it?" "Turn it into the energy I give my audience through my playing. The one time I wasn't nervous was the worst performance I ever gave." "Nervous now?" "Better believe it!" We all laughed with her. "Getting ready for your biggest and longest performance to date?" "Besides Trailer Trash Queen?" We all laughed. It was an act she'd been using since I knew her. "I'm still dressed! But, yes." "Luis?" I was now in Dr. C's gun sights. "On the playing field you are focused. Nearly a machine. Do you get nervous before a game?" "I'm already getting nervous about East and it's just Monday!" "Yet, we don't see that on the field. Why?" "I have a ritual I go through in the training room when I'm getting taped up for the game. It takes about 30 minutes so I use the time to turn all the nervous energy into focused energy. Focused on winning the game." He went through a few others. Okay, I knew how to do it for football. Could I do that this week? What was a win? Making it through the week alive? All of us must have been zoned and thinking because it took Dr. C. a minute to get us to focus on him again. Must have been a record. "Now, I have a request of the gentlemen." We all stood up a little taller and focused on him. He looked more serious than I have ever seen him. "The Program still has its dark side. A very dark side because all of society has not embraced its concepts. As a result, there are still cases in this and other schools of abuse -" and worse." He let it sink in for a minute and then pointedly look at me, Chris, Luke, and Paul. "I expect you gentlemen to provide as safe a space as possible for all the Program participants this year. I want you to help others understand that no means no. Maybe means no. And what is reasonable when requests are made. The Program is about pushing limits, not about inviting abuse." He again looked each of us, this time all the males, in the eyes. Looked at each of us until we nodded. "Good." As our commitment settled in, I looked at the others. It was easy to see the commitment in every eye. We were bonded. "Thank you, Gentlemen." Damn, he was good. "Two more things. First, we will be doing the Partner version of the Program. Gentlemen, you are currently standing behind your partner for the week." "Secondly, ladies..." He did the eye contact thing with each of them and began talking to them. I wasn't listening. I tried to consider what being partnered with Rebbecca would be like. Yet, I kept thinking about how to deal with my little sister being in the program at the same time as me. Hell, I was having trouble dealing with ME being in the program! ------ Rebbecca "Partners" and "Time to strip." That's all I heard of that part of Dr. Cavenaugh's speech at the end. My muse left. On automatic, I somehow undressed except for my sneakers and socks and put my clothes in the box with my name on it. Cloaking myself in my artistry, I looked around and observed the others move. Undressing, hiding, exposing. Here I had 15 nude models of almost every body type and for free! Luis, my partner for the week -" got to get used to that, was massive. He didn't have chiseled sharpness, yet in a more primal way I knew he was incredibly strong. As large as he was, he was very graceful when he removed his shirt and his pants. His muscles moved in a well choreographed dance that wasted no energy or motion. Almost a ballet. I was glancing around catching a scene here and there. The long sinuous motions of the pitcher Chris. Tom's dramatic flare, movements almost larger than life. Rosalee's bold confidence. She was putting on a very sensuous, no, very erotic show. You could see the effect it was having on Stan by the bulge in his shorts. I felt a change in Luis. As his hands moved towards his waist to remove the last of his clothing, his grace had disappeared. I could see the muscles in his arms, shoulders, chest, and torso begin to work against each other. The primal power he had just naturally exhibited was replaced with doubt and uncertainty. Certainly, he's not ashamed of how small he is, is he? WHOA! Where did that come from! I suddenly thought about the Greek and Roman sculptors of long ago. They showed the average man, from what I had read, in size when flaccid. Not like many of the artists today. Size seems to be everything to the point the average male must feel inferior. Was that why he was nervous? I promised myself not to react in a negative way. He was still fumbling with his waistband. Moving to catch his eyes, he looked up for the first time. "It's okay, Luis, just look me in the eyes." He looked at me with surprise. I could feel him relax, his power was not back, but his doubt was gone. As he finished stripping, I kept eye contact and smiled. He smiled back and turned to put his boxers in the box. When he did, we broke eye contact. I couldn't help myself, I looked down. "OH!" That was it. My mouth stopped working. Like the rest of him, his penis was massive as well. It hung halfway to his knees and was still flaccid. I heard a few gasps, a few "Oh My Gods!", and Rosalee's "WOW! Mama Want!" I forced myself to look up and found him turning very red. I sought his eyes. The hurt in them caused my compassion to flow towards him. He hadn't chosen his size, yet by the end of the week that's probably how people would remember him. My heart went out to him. I reached out and touched his arm, feeling the massive muscles for the first time. He was trembling. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to draw attention to you." His eyes said thanks as he spoke. "It's okay. It was bound to be noticed eventually." I couldn't help but giggle a bit. That seemed to relax him some. Then he looked me over for the first time. He scanned my entire body slowly. When his eyes met mine, he simply said, "You're beautiful." Still looking at his eyes, I know he meant it. I must have blushed to my toes again. I was getting a lot of practice today with that. My nipples hardened and I notice him glance down for a second. A little smile appeared on his face. His gentleness back. "Okay, folks!" Dr. Cavenaugh's voice came through our silent communications. "First period is about over. Your teachers have all been notified of your absence, no notes will be needed. Any homework assignments will be in your box at the end of the day. Time to head to your second period classes." "Luis, would you help me?" I don't know where that came from. "Would you walk me to my next class?" "Sure, partner!" With that, all 16 of us headed out into the hall. It was empty, the bell had not rung yet. Maybe we can make it to my next class before... RING! ------ Luis "Strip." Couldn't Dr. C have found a gentler word? I pulled Rebecca's chair back for her, watched her stand. Funny, as shy and introverted as I'd always thought her to be, she didn't hesitate about starting to disrobe. She wasn't stripping. She was disrobing. I looked down to unbutton my cuffs and the focused on the buttons down my chest. By the time I was tugging my shirttails out of my pants, she was nude. She wasn't naked, she was nude. It was almost as if she was cloaked in something. I've shucked my clothes many times in locker rooms, at the swimming hole, and with girlfriends. I've been watched many times. She was observing, studying. When I moved my hands to the elastic on my boxers, I felt clumsy. Afraid. Actually ashamed of my size. I was the envy of many men, yet my size seemed to have scared every girlfriend I'd ever had away. Suddenly, I didn't want to scare Rebbecca. I froze. I felt her eyes on my face, so I looked up and into her eyes. "It's okay, Luis. Just look me in the eyes." I suddenly felt okay. I slid my boxers down, turned, bent, picked them up, and put them in the box. The turn was to hide myself from her. "Oh!" Then a massive intake of breath. I guess I don't hide so easily. I've scared another one. I heard the others comment. Rosalee's almost made me laugh. At least one volunteer, my libido noticed. When I looked back at Rebbecca, I expected to see fear, revulsion, anything but what I found. I saw tenderness, warmth, caring. She touched my arm and apologized. I guess I shrugged my shoulders and let her know it was okay. After all, how long could I hide this thing this week? I couldn't help it. I had to check her out. Yet, with the cloak she was wearing, I found myself seeing and not leering. I mean, I'm a healthy teenage male. Hormones and all that. I'm pretty sure I'm not gay. Here in front of me is a nude woman. Rosalee was naked. Rebbecca was nude. Here's a girl I've seen around for years. Barely have exchanged 10 words with her. She obviously dressed to conceal. She was Venus Di Milo with arms and infinitely more perfect breasts. Wonderful. Spectacular. Magnificent. "You're beautiful!" Wow, Luis, you dumb son-of-a-bitch. Could you not come up with something better than that! Yet, when I looked in her eyes, I could see that she sincerely accepted what I had said. She did turn an interesting shade of red, though. I'm sure I was pretty red myself. Blood being elsewhere in my body would be the only reason that Junior had reared his ugly head. Her next words almost triggered a full fledged reaction, though. "Luis, would you help me?" Of course, my hormone ladened, teenage mind began to think "help her to the floor or over the desk..." Praying that her next words had something to do with an itch, I waited for her to continue. "Would you walk me to my next class?" That brought me back to the here and now. Plus, I began to shrink before anyone else noticed the difference. "Sure, Partner!" I really do need to work on my lines. We all headed out into the empty hallway. Rebbecca seemed fine until the bell rang. I could feel the meltdown starting so I reached out and took her hand. "It will be okay, I'm here." ------ Chapter 3: Monday - The Fun Begins Rebbecca Luis took my hand, which I gladly allowed to happen. The halls filled with vultures and jackals sensing fresh kill. I didn't realize so many hands could touch the body at the same time. My ass, my boobs, well -" all of me, was stroked, touched, poked, prodded, and squeezed. "OW!" Someone had turned one of my nipples almost all the way around. Luis's voice rang out, "Reasonable!" He didn't shout or scream, yet I'm sure it was heard downtown. The touching didn't stop, but it became more gentle. For the next 15 feet down the hall at least. Then someone, from behind, tried to ram a finger into my cunny. Not only am I a virgin, I'm still intact. "Shit!" I screamed and almost doubled over from the pain as the finger tried to ram through my dry lips and push through my hymen. Luis's hand left mine but was immediately replaced by his other hand. While I was trying to pull my eyes back into my head I heard a definite scream of pain and Luis growl, "That was NOT reasonable." Then his arm was around my shoulders and he whispered by my ear. "Are you okay?" "I am now, thanks." Automatically, I moved closer to him. Except for the occasional pat on the butt, the touching stopped. I felt very safe in Luis's arms. I could feel his energy and his power. Even after the unwanted touching and the pain, I found myself getting damp. I thought about what had happened. I knew at some point, something is going past where my hymen is. I couldn't stop it. Frankly, I didn't know that I wanted to stop it. I looked up at Luis as we got to my class. "Would you do me another huge favor?" "If I can." "Would you meet me after class and walk me to my next one? I'm just not quite ready for all the touching yet." We were in third period together. "I'm right across the hall. No problems." "Thank you." I smiled up at him as he released me and held the door. I wrapped my artistic cloak around me as I walked into AP English. I'd observed these folks for three weeks. Now, let's see what the "change of seasons" looked like! Yet, a very core part of me was thinking about how to solve my "problem." There were only ten people in this class. I guess very few people really wanted to study literature of the Victorian Era. Eight of us girls and two boys. Yet, the class was always lively. Mrs. Richardson had turned it into a seminar and did an excellent job of keeping it hopping and on track. "Rebbecca, delightful to see you today!" Mrs. Richardson had a kind smile with a bit of laughter in her eyes. "Do you need relief today?" I almost lost my cloak with that. I'd forgotten about relief. I was allowed to relieve my "tensions" in the first five minutes of the class. In front of the class. With someone helping if I wanted. "No ma'am. Not today." Class started. Except for the obvious but silent interest in my dress and a few outright leers, not all of them from the boys, it was like a normal class. The bell rang and I tried to hurry out into the hall to wait for Luis. Mistake. I found myself trapped in the doorway. There was the usual groping and fondling, even some actual requests. I only wanted it to stop, get all the way into the hallway. Get to Luis. I did keep my legs closed, though. Lesson learned. "Rebbecca, pose for us and open your legs." So much for protecting myself. Before I could move the crowd parted in front of me. Luis was walking straight towards me as if he were the only one in the hall and I was his target. My observer noticed how people just moved out of the way, as if he had an invisible plow in front of him. For the first time, I noticed all the hands on him. Four grabbing his penis at the same time with room left over! "Yes, Rebbecca. I'd love to see you pose." Luis said this very gently while looking me in the eyes with a bit of a wink. "Why don't we all give her some space. THAT was a reasonable request. An uninvited finger between her legs is NOT. Nor are trying to twist her nipples off." At that, the crowd did move back and gave me room. I weakly smiled thanks to him, then I tried to become an art model and pose, opening my legs and bending my knees a bit to give a better view. I was waiting for the next request when Luis spoke up again. How he could talk with that many hands stroking his cock -" wait, did I just say that? "Thank you, Rebbecca. Now, we need to get moving to make it to History class." There were a few grumbles and a few thank yous. He was smooth. I was so relieved that I didn't even mind that this huge mountain with a monster of a hard cock was putting out his hand to walk me down the hall! The walk to our first shared class was easier. There were requests and a fair amount of uninvited fondling, yet it wasn't as bad as before and didn't make me want to run away screaming. I didn't like it, but it was becoming easier to handle. Or was it being with Luis? ------ Luis Could that first walk down the hall been any weirder? Rebbecca's near meltdown when the bell rang, then all the poking and prodding. No doubt about it, more people have touched Junior so far today than in all my life! I think HE likes the program. Then some asshole tried to twist Rebbecca's nipple off. "Reasonable," is what I think I nearly growled. It did get better for about 5 of my steps. Then some dickwad tired to shove his fingers into her pussy from behind. I reacted to her scream of pain and almost doubling over. I let go with one hand, turned, steadied her with my left. My right found the arm still between her legs. I wanted to feel his bones crushing, but settled for a nice screeching yell instead. "That was NOT reasonable." Let the asshole try to explain that bruise. I put my arm around her to check on her and asked if she was okay. She moved closer to me and let me know she was better. The walk to class was much quicker and easier. When I dropped her at her classroom door she asked me to meet her after class and walk her to our shared class. "No problems." Hey, Luis, you stud -" way to smooth talk a real beauty and damsel in distress! The walk across the hall did nothing for my hardon. I thought a little Freshman darling was going to join me for AP Physics! "Thank you." She grinned as she finally release me, turned and ran giggling to her friends. Must have been a dare, they were staring in disbelief. "Anytime, sweetheart, anytime!" Oh, that made her day and her friends drop their jaws to the ground. Chuckling to myself I walked into class. "Well, I see we have a splendid example of defying gravity today, class." Thanks, Mr, Thomas, that helped a lot! Right! "Luis, do you need relief?" I thought about it then realized my only choice for assistance (something I was going to use all week) would come from one of the five other guys in class or the teacher. "Not today, Mr. T." Looking around the room I realized I'd heightened more than one inferior complex. I took my seat and we went into an intense discussion of gravity and its effects on star formation. Class ended too quickly. This was my favorite subject and something I wished to pursue all my life. Then I remembered Rebbecca and a potential meltdown. I almost ran, but kept it to a walk as I heard a real, reasonable request being made. Ah, an opportunity to create a "safe space" and make my thoughts known on the reasonable caveat. Plus, it would give me a chance to look at Rebbecca. She was worth looking at. Damn hot! I had to wonder why she had always hidden herself. I extracted her from her fans and walked with her to our history class. We chatted about minor stuff. I realized I liked holding her hand. Small, no tiny. Yet, it fit just right in my paw. The walk seemed easier, although there seemed to be at least one hand on my prick at all times. Not just holding it either. Some definite pressure was beginning to build in my balls. When we got to the door, our hands parted naturally and comfortably. It felt, well, right. I let her go first. Yeah, part of me wanted to check out her ass -" it's gorgeous. Mainly, my parents raised a gentleman. This was a large class. Over 30 people and pretty evenly split between the sexes. A little more than half the class was very happy to see Rebbecca. Over half the class was very happy to see me. Must be some switch hitters in this group! Ms. Chin spoke from the front of the room. "Ah, the Program starts. Do either of you need relief?" "No, not today," Rebbecca answered and headed towards her chair in the back. I think I was enough of a distraction that she managed to get their unmolested. Watching her perfect, swaying ass just made me harder. "Ah, yeah Ms. Chin. I could use some relief." You would have thought cancer had been cured by the cheers and excitement. Didn't look like there would be a problem finding help for my problem! After sitting my books down at my desk, I walked to the front of the class. "Do you want assistance?" I felt like asking Ms. C., 'is the Pope Catholic?' "Please." Before Ms. Chin could ask for volunteers there were around 18 hands in the air. Needless to say, not all the girls raised their hands and more than one boy had. I got a weird feeling when I noticed that Rebbecca hadn't raised her hand. "Who will it be?" She kept looking down at Junior. Did I just see her lick her lips? Damn. "Let's use the lottery." This was something Dr. C. had started last year in response to one of the more beautiful and slutty girls going through the programs. Every guy in every class volunteered. The lottery was a simple way to prevent riots. I think I was the first guy to use it! Ms. C. counted out the white marbles, less one, for the number of people now in the line halfway around the class room. Those plus a black marble she put them all into an opaque jar. The line moved forward selecting their marble. The fourth person in line screamed and held up a black marble. Fortunately for me, she was all girl. The losers went back to their seats while she headed straight for my cock with both hands. She was a very cute brunette with short hair, glasses, and a huge grin -" lust driven it would seem. She couldn't have been 5' tall. About a foot and a half shorter than me. "Oh, goodie, goodie, goodie! All mine!" She was bouncing and giggling as she latched on to me with both hands. Neither came close to getting more than a little past halfway. She went right to it, stroking firm, hard, and just the right speed. She's done this before! I started groaning with pleasure. Damn, that felt good after all the teasing and looking at Rebbecca. If my eyes could have focused, I would have sought her out as a visual aid. Sweetie on my cock started stroking her thumbs under my cock and pressing delightfully hard. Damn. "Shoot on me, shoot all over me, give me your cum. Mark me, oh god, yes, shoot all over me." She was ignoring the offered towel. She kept up her requests, demands really, for me to shoot all over her while making other interesting sounds. For the next two minutes, she never missed a beat. Most girls stop, adjust, shift, rest -" not her. "It... Won't... Be... Long... Ah, shit, here it comes..." I had to shut my eyes and lean my head back. This was intense. All these people watching. This little darling wanting my cum all over her clothes and face. Rebbecca nude and watching me. I started a growl that came from my toes, my balls felt like they pulled up into my throat. My toes curled. The first spasm and shot felt more powerful than ever. Driven on by the sounds of joy and delight the girl jacking me off was moaning, hell, screaming. The first person in my life that had wanted to do this. Was in joy for doing it. WOW! I think I screamed with every spasm and there must have been 5 or 6 big ones. I couldn't even count the small ones. I felt like my entire being was being pumped out of my cock. When it ended, the sweet thing was gently fondling my cock and cooing. I came back to Earth and looked down. "Damn, I'm so sorry, I've covered you! Oh, I'm so sorry!" It was everywhere. In her hair, all over her face, her clothes, arms, and hands. Amazingly, I couldn't see any on the floor. "Don't be silly. I'll proudly wear this load all day! Thank you!" She smiled and rubbed the strands into her clothes, occasionally licking her fingers clean and savoring the taste. "I'll do that any time you want, big boy!" "WOW! Well, thank you. That was great." I was searching my mind for her name. Oh, yeah, "Susan, that was really wonderful. The best." She positively beamed as she gave me one last, loving squeeze. "Any time, Luis." Unsteadily, I walked back to my seat. Junior receiving some very appreciative pats on the way. I noticed that Rebbecca had this wide-eyed stare going. Part lust, part wonder, part -" I couldn't place it. ------ Chapter 4: Monday - Midday Rebbecca I was shaking inside. I had just witnessed the most awesome -" no, hottest thing I had ever seen. The observer was in overdrive trying to commit all the details to memory. It had been raw, direct, sex for sex's sake. Pure release. Pure dominate male marking his harem. The energy was raw -" primal. Intense. Overpowering. The moral me was in terror. Watching this. The whole lottery. The pleading to worship this massive cock. Then the submission of this girl. Her joy in being marked in a most humiliating way. Subsuming her pleasure for his release. Becoming his property. She seemed two feet shorter than him. At least 200 pounds lighter. Her hands, together, couldn't reach around Luis's penis. That part of me was a bit angry. The deeper me was more sexually excited than I had ever been in my life. I was going to leave a puddle when I stood up. I was leaving a puddle already! Well, this week is about extending limits. "Mmm... Ms. Chin?" "Yes, Rebbecca? Too late to ask for relief." I noticed that she was flushed and had a couple of beads of sweat on her brow. That's when the smell of the room hit me. It wasn't just me making a puddle! "Ahem, no, Ms. Chin. However, may I use the towel please? I don't want to leave a mess behind." She nodded her head and tossed me the one that she had offered Susan. With the titters and giggles there was more than one "after that, I need one too!" As smoothly as I could, I spread the towel on my chair and sat back down. As the class calmed down and Ms. Chin started a conversation about the early 1900's in the US, I tried to process what I had just experienced. The artist was thrilled. So much inspiration that it was going to take days to process it all. The moralist in me was horrified. I guess another word for the moralist in me is prude. The sexual me, that I was discovering today, was turned on and wanted relief. Wanted to loose the hymen and get a cock in me. It hit me that I had been a little jealous that Luis hadn't picked me as a partner. Then I realized the prude hadn't raised my hand. I had never kissed a guy before and I wanted to masturbate my Program partner? 'Girl, you had better pick a more manageable one for your first time!' Damn my muse, why was she in this discussion. 'Just helping your art, dear.' What? 'Wait, you'll find out.' First time? What? The rest of the class passed with me bouncing all around my head. I did know what I'd be drawing in art today! I took Luis's offered hand after class. It just seemed natural. I didn't notice much or talk much as we walked to lunch together. "Rebbecca, do you want to sit together at lunch? No one is supposed to bother you during break. Plus, I thought it would be good to talk about the Program. Maybe get some of the others to join us?" His first words sounded like an invitation to a date. I got my hopes up. Talk about the Program. Others. Dashed. At least he wanted to include me. Yet, I could see the logic of what he was saying. "Sure. Makes sense." We got our food and saw that Paul had already staked out a table and was waving us over. Ginny was there, looking down. Stan and Rosalee were just sitting down as we got there. Paul waved Chris and Jane over, then sat. The school had three lunch periods, with this the primary one. Not surprising that there were eight of us there. "Wow. So many hands, such little time!" Leave it to Rosalee. I think most of the guys agreed. We all laughed, though. Even Ginny, who wasn't looking down any more. "I thought I was going to die," she said. "But, Paul really helped me out." I nodded agreement with her, having a partner really helped. "Luis?" He turned to me or should I say the mountain came to the little girl? Damn, that boy was big. "What did you do to that guy? You didn't kill him did you?" That got everyone's attention. Looking around, Luis thought an explanation was in order. "Some dickwad tried to ram his hand into Rebbecca from behind. She screamed. I only removed his arm." Paul broke in. He wasn't a small guy by my standards before Luis. "And screamed! He was mouthing off about going to the office and complain until I told him I saw the whole thing I reminded him of the concepts of reasonable and request." He had that smile guys get when they've done something brilliant in their own minds. "Made sure he heard me by grabbing him by the bruise Luis gave him." "Well, you should have sent him my way! Too many timid guys out there." Was Rosalee really a slut or just playing her game? "I have to admit that the right person, at the right time, in the right place I'd welcome someone taking my cherry. But a stranger in the school hallway while I was so freaked I was dry as a bone?" Was that me that just said that? "You're a virgin?" Both Ginny and Rosalee asked at the same time. "Intact, too. At least, I think I still am." "The bastard. I'm going to kill him." Luis's growl was quiet. Yet, it sent shivers down my spine. "Paul, who was it?" "NO!" I was scared and horrified. "Leave him alone, please? I couldn't handle you guys hurting him again." I was shaking. I never been around raw anger before. Ginny reached out to me and took my hand. "It's okay, Rebbecca. The guys just need to release the energy. They want to protect us. Which is good. They are reacting right now, they'll think it through before they do anything. For some reason, I trust these guys. I need to." "Rebbecca, don't worry about it." Chris looked at me. "Luis is not dumb. Look, he's good on the field because he can control his emotions. He's reacting right now, he'll calm down. If he does anything, he'll have a plan and he'll have thought out the consequences. Now, if some bozo with a bruise on his arm about the size of Luis's hand does something like that around me this week, all bets are off!" He winked at me. Everyone started talking, speculating about who it was and what should happen. I looked at Luis while he was engaged in a lively conversation with Paul and Chris. I noticed his eyes for the first time, dark and deep. I guess with his size, very few people took the time to study his eyes. I watched as they went through various emotions. Yet, you could tell he was in deep thought the whole time. This massive hulk of a person was a deep thinker. Imagine. So much for jock stereotypes! I could also see his heart in his eyes. Compassion, a love of life, humor. No, mirth. When he laughed, it was from his soul. Susan walked up. Sorry, strutted. My partner's release was dried in her hair and in strips across her face. Her clothes were stained with it. "Thank you Luis, you made me very happy." And she floated away. ------ Luis Suddenly every eye at the table is on me. Even Ginny looking at me in a bit of awe. Damn. Everyone was looking at me with questions in their eyes. Wait, this is High School. The whole lunch room, hell -" the whole school knew about it now. Except for the others at the table. Well, Rebbecca knew about it. That just made it tougher for me to talk about it. "Okay. I assume you want to here the story?" Everyone nodded and leaned into me. "For some reason, Junior..." "Who?" Jane asked, perplexed. "Junior. My cock." "Oh." She turned an interesting shade of red. "Small name for such a wonderfully big thing," chuckled Rosalee. I'm sure there were a few more red faces at the table, including mine. "Well, Junior has been getting a lot of attention all morning. With the Program, I figured I have a chance to gain some diversity in experience, if you know what I mean." All the guys were nodding their heads. "Well, by last period, I needed relief. Badly. When I said I wanted assistance, there were too many hands, so I chose the Lottery." "You didn't choose your partner?" Jane, Chris, and Ginny all asked at the same time. "Ahem, she didn't raise her hand." Everyone looked at Rebbecca like she was nuts or something. "Hey, I'm still getting used to all this." Rosalee gave Rebbecca a look that said she though her a fool. Ginny and Jane seemed to understand, kind of. As they turned back to me, Rebbecca quiet enough that only I heard it, "I was too damn slow." "Go on, what happened? Why is Ms. Prim and Proper wearing your cum like a badge of honor?" Thanks, Chris. I wanted to get Ginny to continue, she had left off at a key place, I thought. Everybody was looking at me expectantly, though, even Ginny. "Like I said, I chose the Lottery..." "Someone, in class, said that he was the first guy to chose it." Thanks, Rebbecca -" go back to being shy! Damn, I didn't mean that. Not at all. I was beginning to like this Rebbecca, a lot. "Well, there was a line halfway around the classroom, including some guys." I paused for a minute, maybe an hour, hoping for the bell. I looked down and said, "this morning, my greatest fear was scaring everyone with my cock. With the girls I've dated, the reaction I've gotten was fear when it got to that point. Being left excited while they ran away is no way to have a relationship. In the locker room, it's the jokes and envy." It flashed on me what had happened that morning, "I was beginning to freak when it came time to drop drawers. Then," I took Rebbecca's hand, "this sweet lady told me it was okay and to stay focused on her eyes. Becca, thanks. What did you think was happening?" She turned a nice shade of red, yet held my eyes. Nice eyes. She gave my hand a hard squeeze. "I was thinking you were worried because you might feel inadequate about your size. Hmm, Junior as you call him." "That explains your gasp! Yet, you didn't pull away. Thanks." I squeezed her hand back. "Oh, get a room, you guys!" Leave it to Rosalee. "Luis, get back to the story, lunch is about to end. So, you did the Lottery? Cool. I've used it each period so far! Never know what's going to happen." "Well, like I said, I didn't think I'd get many takers. So when I did, that's the path I took. Well, the fourth girl in line won, Susan -" I can't remember her last name! She came straight at me, latched on with both hands, and went to town." I slowed down at that moment, remembering and reliving the handjob was causing Junior to take notice. Rebbecca noticed the pause and added, "What a contrast. Here's Man-Mountain and a very petite girl. She looked 2 feet shorter and 200 pounds lighter than Luis. With both hands she couldn't reach all the way around... Junior. Yet, she seemed... committed." "Then she started telling me how she wanted me to mark her, claim her. I was freaking a bit on that until she did something with her thumbs and I lost it. Hardest I think I've ever cum." Rebecca's eyes glazed as she took over, "Luis closed his eyes, reared his head back, and this animal noise came out. It shook the whole room. Susan was nearly knocked backwards on his first blast. Hit her right in the forehead. Then it seemed she was using him to paint her face and clothes. It was the most intense thing I've ever seen." I watched Rebbecca flush, she was panting! Junior was definitely taking notice. "When I recovered, I tried to apologize. Damn, she was covered. Drenched. Yet, she looked and acted like she had just won Miss America and a Noble Prize at the same time." Junior wanted, no demanded, a repeat performance. A thousand questions started when the bell rang. Ah, on to English. On to relief! ------ Chapter 5: Monday - Changes Rebbecca What is happening to me? Luis is walking me from the lunch room. Obviously, the retelling of the Susan Story excited him. Junior was leading the way down the hall. Here I am with this lake between my legs. Every step and my boobs bounced, every bounce sent this really nice shock down and made the lake bigger. Hey, I focus on my art, on my writing. Yeah, I rub my cunny every now and then to help me go to sleep. This is different. Every request just made things more intense. I welcomed the stares, the touches, the caresses. We made it to my Trig classroom before anyone challenged Man-Mountain's presence to touch my cunny. Damn. As I disengaged from Luis and entered class, my Muse let me know I should have drug him in with me. "Miss Davis, do you need relief?" My Trig teacher asked. "Yes, please." Who said that? "Would you like assistance?" Well, here I am having committed to having an orgasm in front of the class. Did I want someone to help me? HELL NO. Maybe I could fake one real quick and get it over with. "Yes, but he just went to his class." Who is talking? I managed to get my books down and sat in the chair at the front of the room. My observer noted the towel. Thank goodness. My hand was spreading my juices all over my out lips before I realized I was in front of the class. My other was pinching and pulling on my nipples. My outer lips spread as I opened my legs to the class. I started stroking my inner lips and opening them all the while my thumb had found my clit and was running it hard. My eyes could not stay focused. What was left of my mind blanked out the class. Instead I saw Susan stroking Junior. No, I was stroking him. No, Junior was pushing into me, Luis was hovering over me. It felt gentle but so raw. My universe exploded. I died. The Muse was celebrating, opening champagne -" seems each cork caused another massive spasm. She was setting off fireworks, which is all I could see. A thousand people were cheering. The observer noted people with towels cleaning up a big spill. Hands and arms helping me to my seat. Then the bell rang. Somehow, I got into the hall. Luis was there. I did my best to snuggle in as we walked. A millisecond later, he was dropping me at the entrance to the Boys Locker Room. I think I said something about PE. I think he said yep, here you go, you have to use the Boys. Well, that was easy. Just walk on through into the Gym. We had a volleyball game that day. I didn't even notice I was nude until I started coming down from my release earlier. My boobs bouncing everywhere. As I became more aware I noticed that most of the shots were coming my way. Amazing how having a naked target improves people's aim. My muse let me know that every time my feet hit the ground after a jump I was landing in a better place. TWEET. Game over. I started to follow the other girls into the locker room when one of my classmates pointed to the Boys door. Thanking her, I gladly headed that way. My cunny telling me I wanted to feel the fireworks again -" NOW! I walked into the Boys Locker Room and straight to the showers. The warm water washing over my body felt wonderful. Sadly, I had to soap myself up and only had a few requests for poses. Damn, where are the touches! WHAT! Oh shit. I'm turning into a slut. Somehow I got out of the shower without being touched. I found a towel, dried, put on my shoes, and walked out the door. Luis was standing right there. I started crying. What is happening to ME!?! "You're doing fine," I thought I heard my Muse say. ------ Luis As I walked Rebbecca to her next class after lunch, Junior proudly led the way. Hey, the telling of the Susan story, looking at four beautiful naked girls, and walking with Rebbecca -" would he want to do anything less? I tried to talk to Rebbecca, but the constant invasion of hands and fingers left me trying to keep from making a large puddle on the floor. That along with the reasonable requests of both of us, I barely got her to her Trig class. Then I had twins doing their best as I crossed the hall to my English class. God, four hands moving as if connected to one person. Oh, Lord, let this week come to an end! Here I was worried about Junior scaring people. Well, as I walked into English class I learned. The Lottery Queue was already halfway around the classroom awaiting my arrival. "Mr. Contadino. I assume you want relief. If not, then you deal with them." Ms. Richard said this while sweeping her hand around the room indicating the queue. She had an interesting smirk on her face. "Well..." I let my words hang as the class went dead silent. "Sounds like a good idea." She couldn't help but laugh. "Let me guess. You don't want assistance?" "Hadn't really thought about it." I shrugged my shoulders. Yet, I couldn't help the grin on my face as we played this game with the class. Talk about some anxious and antsy people in that room! "Well, your options are self relief," GROAN, "you can pick a volunteer," hands everywhere, "or choose the Lottery." Cheers. "Hmm. Let me think." I started slowly stroking Junior. Wow! Seems every eye in the place was tracking the movement of my hand. "Oh, let's go with..." How long could I pause? "The Lot-" The singular shout of fifteen plus happy campers cut me off as the line moved forward to pick out a marble. Groans and disappointed looks accompanied every white marble pulled. It didn't stop the losers from walking by and fondling Junior. He enjoyed it. The fourteenth girl through the line got the black marble. Okay, the scientist in me was tracking the numbers. I really didn't know her. She sat in the back of the class and rarely participated. She was large framed with really comfortable looking padding. Someone I wouldn't snap like a twig. As she approached, the class started chanting: "Shashana, Shashana..." With the grace of Nubian royalty, she approached me. Her coal black skin already glistening with moisture from excitement. "Hi, Luis! I have a reasonable request. I'm giving you a blow job." "Ah, yeah, sure." There goes that Contadino wit and smooth manner again! She gracefully doubled the offered towel, placed it on the ground in front of me, and knelt with the comportment of a queen. Her hands went behind me and cupped my ass cheeks. Slowly, her mouth approached Junior's business end. Her tongue came out, wrapping around him like a serpent as her head continued forward. Her lips surrounded me and her tongue went wild laving every bit of me in her mouth and still to enter! Without changing her Regal pace, she took me to the root. Her eyes were locked on mine while I tried to cope with this whole new feeling of a throat massaging the head of my cock. God, I must have been in her stomach! She stayed all the way down for a few seconds then moved off of me at the same speed as she went down. Stopping at the crown, her tongue continued it's magic. A couple of seconds, and slowly down again. "Oh, Shit! That's wonderful, Shashana! Oh, God!" There was no pause, no barrier when I entered her throat. Hell, she got me all the way in her mouth. This was new for me! The next time down, that magical tongue managed to lick my balls! I'm sure some sound came out of my mouth. What is was, you'd better ask others. I was a bit distracted. My first deep throat. DAMN! And, she licked my balls while I was buried in her mouth! She sped up slowly on each intake. I had to put my hands on her head just to steady myself. I'd love to have a video with sound of this. That way I'd know what sounds were coming out of me! God, she could tease. Almost enough, not quite enough with her throat and tongue and the speed. Then, she stopped on one withdrawal. I was ready to climb a wall, promise undying devotion, anything! Without warning, she seized my ass hard and slammed all the way down on me. Her throat and tongue going into overdrive. And she started humming! FUCK! I tried to warn her. Nothing came out of my mouth except some growls and wails. My balls pulled up. Every muscle in my body contracted. My vision went black, with stars. I could feel the ropes pumping through my prostrate and into my shaft. I know I was thrusting uncontrollably, even though I was buried in her mouth and throat. As I finished and turned into complete jelly, Shashana stood and wrapped me in a huge hug. I babbled and shook as she held and snuggled me. When my mind returned from it's journey around the galaxy, I looked down and met her eyes. My mouth wasn't working yet, but she could see the thanks in my eyes and beamed. I kissed her forehead, then her nose, then her lips. As I tasted myself, she tried to pull away. I hugged her and managed a whispered "thank you" just for her. The class was applauding, even Ms. Richards. She had a glazed look in her eyes and the front of her dress was wrinkled as if she'd been rubbing between her legs. Vigorously. I escorted Shashana to her seat, thankful for the support as my leg functions returned. Another thanks. I found my own seat and a very flustered teacher began class. I have no idea what was said or happened in that class. Note to self, get someone's notes. The bell rang and I managed to find the hall and Becca. No holding hands, we snuggled to each other as I walked her to her PE class at the gym. When I stopped at the Boys Locker Room door she had a confused look. "PE," I said. "Yeah?" "You have to use the Boy's..." "Oh. Yeah..." I was bent down so I could hear her. Before I could stand, her lips brushed my cheek with a quick kiss. It left a trail of fire and tingles. WHAT!?! I had just received the BJ of a lifetime and a slight peck on the cheek was igniting my being and soul? She scooted and I headed for my last class of the day, Political Science. Since it was on the other side of the school, I was hustling. Note to self, when moving with speed and determination, not many hands found Junior. Most people take Current Events or other such courses. Not me. Advanced Placement Political Science. The interest came naturally to me. My parents had taken Margie and I traveling every summer for as long as I can remember. Different continents, countries, and cultures. The way the world related to itself was a constant topic of conversation at dinner in our house. How do the different cultures within a country manifest itself in that society's identity in the world. I loved the class because it helped me gain a deeper view, plus I planned on pursuing Poly Sci in college, at least as a minor. With Junior temporarily happy, I managed to get to my seat as if it were a normal school day. That's when it hit me, for everyone not in the program it was a normal day. Except when a program participant was near. For the next four plus days, the attention would be normal for me. After this week, my view of others in the program would be way different. I was no longer a visitor to Rome. This week I became a Roman citizen. Which means the way I act is how the visitors to Rome will judge Romans. "When in Rome..." Damn. As soon as first bell rang, I hoofed it back to the Gym. As soon as Becca latched on, she started crying. "What's the matter, Becca?" She was working up to sobbing and people were leaving us alone. I had taken her book bag and art bag to free her hands. That's when I realized she was no small girl, she was strong to carry all that weight all day long. "I'm so confused, Luis." The sobbing was calming, the tears had not slowed. "Do you want to talk?" "Not right now. I need to get to art. I need that time to think and sort it all out. It's a safe place for me." I wrapped her in, close to my side. Hiding her as best I could as we headed to the Art Department. Girls appeared to respect my need to focus on Becca and the guys weren't about to try to get through my human shield. Pax Romanus ruled. At the door to a large art studio, she turned and attempted to get her arms around me. She made it a little over half way. "Luis. It's not you. It's me. I'm confused and just need to think. Can we talk later?" Her tears had stopped. She didn't seem scared, just pensive. "I finish with football at 6." "I stay here working on art projects and ride home with Jason. Why don't you guys meet me here, okay?" "Ah, sure." More brilliant wit, wake up you asshole! You're hugging a beautiful, naked girl. One who wants to be in your arms at the moment. She whispered thanks and I walked her into her class. I wanted to get a look at some of her work. Just curious, I kept telling myself. ------ Chapter 6: Monday - They Call it Art Rebbecca What was wrong with me? I wanted to go into hiding, being my normal self. Safe from the world. I wanted to be touched and fondled more. I wanted the feeling again, it was wonderful. I'd been a willing and ready participant into the group conversation at lunch about sex! And, I desperately wanted to hide in my art. I realized I was still mad at Jason for this morning. I wanted to be wrapped in Luis's arms and feel his heart and, yes, his hard-on. I wanted to touch it, stroke it, put it in my mouth, maybe in my cunny. I was scared that he didn't want me and petrified that I was going to do something wrong. Now, he was coming in the studio with me. "Ah, Rebbecca! In the program I see." "Hmm, yes Ms. Rotella. This is Luis, my partner for the week." Francesca Rotella had been a major gift to the school and me. A noted sculptor with an international reputation, she had moved to the area and volunteered to teach an advanced art course. She took at most 10 students a year. I'd been with her for 3 years. "So good to meet you, Luis, Francesca Rotella." She used the very Italian pronunciation of his name and shook his hand as she appraised him. It was nothing sexual or raw, just the way an artist takes apart a subject. "Luis Contadino, ma'am." The other students were filtering in. "Ah, paisan!" They shifted into Italian for a minute. "You're parents are from the South, no?" "A little town in the south, Rotondella. They came over as teens." "Bene! I'm from just outside of Napoli, we're almost neighbors." She studied both Luis and me. "Would you pose for us, Luis?" Damn, I'd like that! "I'd love to, Ms. Rotella. This is normally a free period for me, but we've got East High this Friday and I need to spend time in the weight room." "Please, Luis, call me Francesca. Let me ask you this, are you getting nervous about the game?" "Yes ma'am. Always before a big game." "An hour today through Thursday that you can use to relax, not think about the game, would that help you?" "I practice meditation everyday already." "You'd be surprised how much of a workout you will get just holding still." "Okay, I'll do it, but only through Wednesday." Wow! I as doing flips inside. Finally a chance to study him. "Deal. Rebbecca, you will be posing with him." "What?" Yeah, WHAT! "You are in the Program. I'm a teacher, right?" "Yes ma'am." Shit. She didn't have to ask. I had to comply with requests from teachers. "I'd rather you do it willingly, though." "Okay." Wait, who said that? Not me! Nine other people were looking at us now. Suddenly, I realized I wanted to pose with Luis. Ms. Rotella had Luis fetch a divan from the storage area and place it on the posing stage. He made lifting and carrying the piece of furniture look so easy and effortless. It was interesting watching his muscles shift was he worked different sets. The divan only had half a back and one arm. She draped it with silk sheets and adjusted the modeling lights. "Okay, class. We have a change of plans for the week. Today through Wednesday, we'll have two live models. For Thursday, just one. Friday will be an optional day so we can all get ready to support our male model this week when he beats East. This is Luis Contadino, defensive lineman and co-captain of our West Warriors. You all know Rebbecca, she'll be our female model. Any medium, we'll be doing 15-20 minute poses." Wow, she knew a lot about Luis. More than I did. "Francesca, you follow football?" Luis asked. "I prefer Italian football, soccer. But, I've found I enjoy high school and college football. And, yes, I'm a big support of the Warriors." With that she directed us onto the stage. She had me lay on my back with my hair draped over the back of the arm of the divan. My inside leg, my right, bent at the knee and my hips twisted out slightly to show my pubic hair to the room. My left leg was straight. My left arm casually dropped to the floor. She positioned Luis so Junior was hidden by the back of the divan. Damn. Oops. I didn't think that! She had him bend at the waist, just enough to show his massive shoulders. His left hand was inside my head on the arm and his right on the outside back of the divan. She had him turn his head so he was looking down into my eyes. As soon as our eyes met, the rest of the world disappeared. Just then, Ms. Rotella pulled my inside arm up and put it on his arm just at his shoulder. Damn. Does cunny juice stain silk? We are about to find out. Luis and I began a conversation with no words. There was openness that comes from looking at another person's soul. At the same time, my nipples were crinkled so hard they almost hurt. I knew that if he just licked one, I'd cum. And cum. Yet, I felt safe. Comfortable. Perfect. We were swimming in our own universe. At the same time, I found it very stimulating. I was building an orgasm that was going to be intense, yet all we were doing is looking each other in the eyes. What was going on with me? Yet, I continued to swim in his eyes, soul, and the energy around him. "Okay, time to shift positions. Why don't you get up and stretch a bit first." As soon as Ms. Rotella finished, I reached up and put both my hands behind Luis's neck, pulled myself up, and gave him a kiss. Just lips. Then his hand went behind me and he kissed back. OMG. Did we kiss! Our tongues were doing this wonderful slow dance. A waltz, I think. "Oh, you two are lovers?" "Ah, mmm, we just really met this morning." I managed to say. "Not yet." Oh, Luis! Yes! "Ah, you two are lovers. You just haven't had enough time! I saw it in the pose and definitely in the kiss at the end. Now take a break so we can get you in the next pose." I hadn't broken eye contact with Luis through the kiss and the conversation. I could see mirrored in his eyes my feelings. Fire, passion, fear, doubt, fire -" did I mention that? ------ Luis What the hell was going on? Here I am on a Monday afternoon posing nude in an art class and finding myself engaged in the most intense, passionate, loving, caring kiss of my life. The Program is supposed to be about becoming comfortable with ourselves and our sexuality and helping others do the same. Yet, if this is what kissing Becca is like, I'll die if we ever make love! Rewind. Hit play. Make love? No. I fuck. I think I want love, like what my parents have. But the few girls that have let me go all the way it was fucking. And this kiss, in front of the art class was better than all those. Way better. Just a kiss better than a fuck! Wow! It was Duane Allman and Eric Clapton jamming and together hitting the perfect note. It was a cannon blast for the "1812 Overture" that blew out windows miles away. It was scarier than facing East's offensive line in the nude. Yet, our eyes stayed connected. I wanted to know the stories in her head, now that I had connected with her lips and her soul. "Either you two need to finish what you've started in private," Francesca interrupted us, "or get up, stretch, take a break. I'd suggest you walk around and see what the class has been up to. We'll do only one more pose before class ends. You held that one so well, I let it go on. For that, I thank both of you." We broke eye contact and separated, reluctantly, and walked around the class to see how the others saw us. Since this was an advanced class, all the artists were good. Damn good. My size and strength as compared to Becca's smoothness and grace. Yet everyone captured the energy in the eye contact. Most had managed to do quick sketches of the kiss at the end. I was looking at one of them when the girl said, "Would you like a finished version of this?" "Most definitely! Thank you. I'm Luis." "Kathy. Thanks for posing for us. You and Rebbecca are really into each other." Thank god these were sketches or she'd be puzzling how to match the red in my face after that! "I'll have it for you by tomorrow." "Thanks!" That's when Francesca called us back up. She had me lay on my back on the divan, my right foot flat on the floor, my left leg pulled up, and my hips twisted slight towards the class. Junior was only semi-hard until he noticed the class looking at him. Damned exhibitionist! She had me rest my head back on the arm and look up. A bit later, Becca was seated on the back with her right leg along the top, her other foot on the floor I guess. She twisted at the waist and looked down. We locked eyes again. Francesca directed us to hold hands. Junior stayed at attention the entire pose. Our eyes stayed locked the whole time. I could see out of the corner of my eyes that her nipples were quite erect and they stayed that way. Who knows how long it was. We didn't care. Our souls talked through our eyes. I could see questions, awe, excitement, fear, care, and interest. I'm sure she saw the same in mine. "Thank you, both," Francesca said as we broke the pose. "Do you both need relief?" I think we said yes at the same time. I looked at her and saw her nod to my unasked question. I picked her up off the back of the divan, stood, placed her gently on the main seat, both feet on the floor. "You first, my lady." I bent and kissed her. While our tongues found each other and her hands went to the back of my head, I slowly sank to my knees. I felt her breast for the first time. God, they felt good in my hands. Just right in my massive paws. Her nipples were hard to start with but managed to get harder as she moaned into my mouth. It felt as though I was squeezing it slowly out of her and into me. Reluctantly, I ended the kiss. With a little smile to her I bent and took one nipple in my mouth. While I suckled that one, I rolled the other between my fingers, gently. More moans and gasps escaped her between the building pants. My free hand slowly slide down her side, tracing gently to her bellybutton and lightly circling it. "Oh god, that feels so good!" She was growling more than moaning now. I switched breasts with my mouth, the bellybutton hand now keeping her very wet nipple happy. My new free hand traveled down her other side to her bellybutton. I opened my eyes and noticed the flush to her chest and the little beads of sweat. I looked up into her eyes. At first I saw they were almost feral with lust, then shifted to something deeper when we connected. I moved off her nipple and gave light kisses and licks all through her cleavage. Then started south, keeping eye contact as best I could around those magnificent globes. Her eyes got really wide. I think she had figured out that I was just going to finger her. When I got to her bellybutton and plunged my tongue in, she growled and her head snapped back. I worshiped her navel for a minute before continuing my journey south. By the time I got to her pubic hair, her legs were already splayed wide. Her thighs covered with her juices. Damn, had she already had an orgasm? Well, didn't matter. I was going to give her a proper one. I stopped teasing -" relief time was short -" and dove in. My first contact in this new world was that delicious skin between the labia and the anus. Her taste was... it was... her. Unique and wonderful! Her outer labia were already swollen and open. I licked, kissed, and lightly nibbled up each one. Then started again at the bottom, working my tongue between the inner and outer lips, savoring each moment. She was squirming, panting, her hands were on my head trying to pull me into her. My first time into her vagina she started babbling incoherently. She tasted sweet, beyond my dreams. Just enough of the taste every girl has but a huge overlay that was uniquely her. Her juices were flowing freely, giving me lots of chances to taste and feast. The first time over her clit I could tell she was right there So, I sucked it into my mouth and my tongue did a mad dance on the tip. I've had offensive linemen not hit me as hard as her legs when they snapped closed on my head. I rode her with my mouth as she shot off the seat and her feet came off the floor. She was convulsing big time. Even with my flesh ear protectors I could hear the wail! Then she squirted. I've heard about female ejaculation. Even seen some porn featuring it, allegedly. Never experienced it or completely believed it until now. I drank as much as I could. Slightly acidic at first, then more or less neutral. Yet, a slight flavoring of her. Nectar! Her plentiful vaginal juices more than aiding! Sorry Grandmama, but she tastes better than your Christmas sweets, even your Peta! She was still cumming, I was still latched on to her clit. Whether it was one long one, the next one, or ten down the road, I didn't know. Just as I was making a note-to-self about bringing a snorkel next time so I could breathe, she collapsed. Melted would be a better description. Her bones had simply vanished. I had my hands under her ass. Delightful, I assure you. So I helped her settle gently into the divan. I could finally hear her again. Yes, she was breathing. Ragged, but it was breath. The quiet in the room concerned me at first until I heard the sounds of scratching on paper. It seemed as fast and furious as Becca's orgasm! I also heard the unmistakable sound of a digital camera shutter in high-speed capture mode. I came up, staying on my knees, and lightly kissed her stomach and stroked her sides. Eventually, this wobbly head appeared in my vision. The eyes had trouble focusing. Her mouth tried to form the word 'wow', I think. I gently gathered her in my arms, pulling her into my lap while I sat on the floor. I showered her hair with a thousand little kisses and gently stroked her. Slowly she came back to the world. She tried to talk a few times before the words finally formed and her voice returned. "Thank you, Luis. Oh God, thank you. Shit. Wow!" I continued to hold her. Eventually, she looked up at me. "Luis, I... I... I really... I want to..." "Becca, listen." Her eyes focused on me. "I'm fine. Don't worry. What just happened pleasured me too. There's no rush, you and I have all the time in the world. You just enjoy right now." She looked at me, her eyes filled with understanding and yet demanding. "Ask for assistance. But, aim here." She waved over her face, boobs, and stomach. "Luis, I can't move -" thank you for that." She winked and smiled. "But, I want to feel like Susan. Now." I tried to tell her I was okay, but before I could find my voice, she found hers. "Luis needs relief and I can't do it right now. Are there any volunteers..." There was no need to say more. Hands lifted Becca to the divan and laid her out. Then helped me off the floor standing in front of her. Too many hands to count grabbed Junior. I locked eyes with Becca. It took less than ten strokes and I was jetting. The anonymous hands aimed my cum. I was standing outside of myself watching Junior as he jetted 4, 5, 6 massive ropes of cum onto Becca. Then my orgasm slowed and the hands moved me closer so I was dribbling my spend onto her stomach. She was painted from her pubic hair to the top of her head. My knees began to buckle. Becca's eyes never left mine. Hers were glowing. The hands helped me down on the divan to snuggle up to Becca. All I could do was say thanks with my eyes and give her a little kiss. My strength slowly returned and I glanced at the clock on the wall. Shit, only 10 minutes to the team meeting. "I've got to get moving. I've only got 10 minutes to the team meeting." "I know. I'll be here when you're done. We can talk then you can give me a ride home. Okay?" "Sure." I gave her a quick kiss and managed to walk out of the art studio. On automatic, I made my way to the team meeting room. "I've got to clear my head. Focus on football. Focus on East." I told myself as I walked rapidly. "I need a nap after that! Damn!" Just then, the B. B. King, Eric Clapton song "Riding with the King" came to mind. Humming it, I shifted gears and made the meeting just in time. "Well, good of you to join us, Luis." Ah, Coach McFarland. Extreme task master. Perfectionist in all things. Great coach. Perfect in my mind. "You'll be happy to know that the Program now allows the regular football uniform for contact practices and the game. You are currently dressed for all other occasions." His pronouncement was met with the usual round of locker room humor. In my opinion, best left there and quietly washed down the drain. Lots of industrial strength cleaner required. Testosterone and manners don't seem to mix in a locker room. Something more primal occurs. And is going to stay there. Coach got the melee under control again. "There are conditions, though. First, for practice you can dress no earlier than 15 minutes before the start. For the game, 30 minutes. You have to disrobe immediately after both practice and the game. Oh, you have to dress and undress in public. For games, standing in the middle of the 50 yard line." Shit. I hadn't even thought about that aspect of the program. I'd been so wrapped up in the rest of it. For practices, it takes 15 minutes to tape. For games, it's over 30 minutes. Now, I'd have to tape, carry my uniform out, and put it on midfield. "Ah, Coach?" "Yes?" "Taping. Some of it goes over the uniform. How do we handle that?" "You tape your ankles, knees, elbows, and hands in the training room like always. Then go out and dress. We'll have a trainer and equipment manager available to help you and tape your shoes and pads once the uniform is on. They'll be available when you undress as well. Don't worry, you won't be the only one parading around nude. The cheerleaders will be nude for the game as well." Needless to say, that produced hoots and hollers. Then I remembered Margie. I hadn't seen her all day. And I twigged on something Becca -" sigh -" had said about Jason that morning. I owed it to him to warn him of the brewing storm. We settled into a review of last week's game with Mike and I adding our analysis before Coach could point out our weaknesses. Then into a review of the game films of East so far this year. We began mapping out our strategy for handling them on both offense and defense. Mike and I would be taking copies of the films home tonight for further study. Then we outlined the real plays versus the plays designed to throw off the other side. Look, all teams spy on the other team's practice. We threw in plays that may or may not be part of our game plan. We might even practice the real plays behind locked doors in the gym. Anything to gain an advantage. That's enough of that aspect of the team meeting. What gets said and decided stays. Everyone else finds out what we decided on on Friday. At the same time East finds out. We hoped they liked our little surprises! At break I motioned for Jason to join me outside. "Jason, you know Rebbecca is my partner this week in the Program?" He got kinda strange. "Man, it's okay. As long as you respect her." "Dude, no problems." No kidding. Respect? Me, the Italian? "She said something about this morning you need to hear." "Huh?" Don't ya just love us football players. Quick on the uptake! "She thought you were making fun of her this morning when we all got pulled into the office and put into the Program. She's hurt, dude." He thought for a minute. Smart guy. "Damn. You know she and I are tight, best friends?" "I got a glimpse." "I'll talk to her. Thanks. You guys connect today?" What do I say? Connect? Does her pussy juice all over my face and my cum all over her count as connecting? Does the kiss while being drawn and photographed in art count? That our souls touched each other? Shit. "Ah, she's my partner. We've spent time together." He looked in my eyes. Hard. "Yes, she touched my heart." Breathe, bastard, breathe. "She's waiting for me in the art studio and wants me to give her a ride home." Breathe. He didn't say anything. Just looked up at me in a way that made me feel small. I could see and feel how close he was to Rebbecca. "Jason, if in your mind I ever do anything to disrespect your sister, I won't fight back when you come after me." Okay. I'm like a foot taller (almost) and 100 pounds heavier. Yet, I felt the love and concern he had for his sister. "Give me a few minutes with her, okay?" I nodded agreement. We went back to the team meeting. ------ Chapter 7: Monday - After School Rebbecca I don't know how long I lay on the divan. My brain was fried. I am covered in Luis's semen. I've just had the best orgasm of my life. My hormones are in overdrive, which was totally new. This is just Monday! What was Friday going to be like? Who was I going to be on Friday? Who was I now? Not shy, hidden Rebbecca. That's for sure. "Nothing wrong with you, girl!" Hi, Muse. On top of it all, I'm attracted to someone. Not someone shy and withdrawn like the old me. Not like the perfect characters in my dreams. Instead, I'm falling for a mountain. Kind and gentle, yes. Mountain -" yes! Huge in every dimension. Okay, shut up hormones. That thing -" okay: penis, cock, dong... Junior. Junior would split me in half! Yet his touch, his tongue. Divine. Here I am. Miss Invisible. Laying naked in Art with semen, okay -" cum, drying on me. There because of an activity suggested by my teacher. With the full participation of the class, at least it seemed it. And me? Instead of feeling abused or debased, I'd had a small orgasm when the first stream hit me. Or, it could have been another after shock from the mammoth one earlier. Oh, god! I'm openly naked in school. I also hadn't really thought about it in a couple of hours. Not since the beginning of PE! I posed without noticing I was nude. Damn, some of those sketches are hot! I wonder who the girl is in them, though. Certainly not me! "Good night, Rebbecca. Thank you for posing. You and Luis did a wonderful job." "You're welcome, Ms. Rotella. Believe it or not, I enjoyed it!" "I know, dear. He's a keeper, you know. See you tomorrow." "Tomorrow." I managed to get my legs under me and wander over to my easel. I removed the painting in it and loaded a new canvas. From memory, I sketched out a new scene. It was forever burned in my mind. As I began to mix the paints on my palette, I went into my zone. Only my muse and I are allowed in that space. The paint flowed onto the canvas. Only once or twice did the image in my mind need to change to make the two dimensional canvas work. Soon, the canvas was nearly filled. I'd finish the background and the details later. "Oh my god, Bec, that's intense!" I was so into my zone that I didn't hear Jason come in. I'm so used to being interrupted that it no longer startled me, it's more like a doorbell or phone ringing. "Hi, Jason." I know I sounded distant. The pain from the morning coming back. "Bec, I want to apologize to you." I looked at him in the eyes. "When Luis was called, we were all making fun of him and I didn't hear your name being called. We were making fun of him, not you." He sounded and looked saddened by the error. "Thanks, Jase. I guess I was so shocked about being in the program I was being overly sensitive." "How's the Program going so far?" "About like you'd think. I'm generally red head-to-toe walking down the hall. Yet, I've been in here for four hours and have only thought about being naked once, briefly." "Sis, I hate to say this, but you look really good without clothes. If you weren't my sister..." He looked away blushing. "Thanks, Jase. My ego needs to hear it. I have to admit, something woke up in me today. I'm not only not embarrassed about walking around nude, I'm kinda scared it's turning me on." "Bec, I'd have a problem all day if I were doing it!" Jason laughed. "I understand." I chuckled. "Luis has been 'leading' the way to classes!" I couldn't help it. I broke up laughing. Jase could help not laughing. "Yeah, that's... a big... problem for him!" Jason said, gasping between howls. I was laughing so hard my side started hurting. When we finally calmed down, I took his hand and looked him in the eyes. "You know I'm a virgin, right?" He nodded. "I don't want to be by the end of the week." "Your decision, sis. Have fun, but be safe. Okay? One thing, though, I'll take apart anyone that hurts you." "Even Luis?" "I'd try. But he told me that should he mess up and hurt you, he wouldn't stop me." He looked me deep in the eyes and at the painting. "You falling for him?" "I think so." "I think he's got it for you to." "God, Junior scares hell out of me." He looked at me questioning. I ended up telling him the Susan story and the lunch conversation. Even the posing and what we did after. "He'll be here in a few minutes. They're moving all his stuff over to the Girls Locker room for the week. He won't come until I give him the word. He wanted to give us time to talk." He got real serious. "Bec, I've got nothing but respect for Luis. With his size, he could be a bully and an asshole. He's anything but. He's a natural leader. The whole team looks up to him and Mike Holloway. And they run the team on a tight leash. No bullshit, no cheap shots. Honor and respect at all times." He paused for a minute, searching. "I don't know what I'm trying to say." "Jase, I think I understand. You care for both of us in different ways." He nodded. "Just be yourself to each of us, okay?" He smiled, bent down and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead. "I'd better run. Your boyfriend must be waiting outside by now!" He chuckled as he left. BOYFRIEND? WHAT! "I'll let mom and dad know you're going to be late." Luis walked in to my deer-in-the-headlights look as I tried to process "boyfriend" then "late." "Becca, are you okay?" Luis had a scared look. I took his hands, paws, and just couldn't help laughing and dancing around. "I think I missed something..." "Jason just called you my boyfriend." Still dancing! "I'd like to be." When I jumped up on him and wrapped my hands around his neck, I swear I moved the mountain! When I tried to wrap my legs around his waist, lets just say I need more leg. He put an arm around me and one under me to take my weight. I gave him the deepest, wettest kiss I could. When he recovered and kissed back I melted into him. As we explored each others mouths and our tongues cavorted, I could feel his heart through my boobs. I could feel the slight changes in his muscles. All that power and strength. Yet his kiss was tender and sweet. The touch of his arms was warm, welcoming, gentle. We slowly broke the kiss. During the mutual shower of after kisses I managed to whisper, "I'd... like... to be... your... girlfriend." He took charge of the next kiss. Given our position, I'm sure Junior was getting a "Becca" shower! I shivered at the thought of that in me. "Are you okay, Becca?" He was looking deep into my eyes. God, I could see his soul. I'm positive he could see mine. "I'm scared." "Of what?" "I'm a virgin and Junior..." "Becca, we don't need to do that." "But, I want to." I realized I did, I really, really did. "Not right now, but soon." "Dear, when you're really ready, we'll do our best, okay?" "Yes." We melted into another kiss. God, I could get addicted to kissing him. Then something hit me, what would it be like kissing someone else while nude? The same? Better? Worse? Was it hormones or something more? "Becca?" "Hmmm?" As I snuggled against his chest. Warm. Happy. Curious. Excited. Dripping. Content. Did I say happy? "What just went through your mind?" "Honesty, always, between us?" "Always. No matter what." "I was loving being lost in your kiss. Then it hit me that you're the first boy I've ever kissed nude. You're like the third or fourth boy I've ever kissed. I had questions..." "Curiosity?" "Yes." I tensed some. "It's okay, Becca. It would be strange if you weren't curious." "But, we just decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend." "We did. That doesn't mean I own you. Just the opposite. It means we're partners in exploration. If that's something you need to explore, you should. This week is all about exploration. Even after this week it's okay. Just be honest with me. You don't need to hide anything." At first I was relieved. I could experiment. Then a little voice in my head started telling me he was just looking for an excuse to play around on me. I got scared. Then it kept on. I got mad. I actually got mad enough to hit him in the chest. Damn, he's solid. That hurt me! "You're just saying that so you can do what you want!" "Becca, look me in the eyes." His voice was soft and kind. I did and saw the gentleness of his soul. "This is what I believe. Jealousy is fear on steroids. It's a person's insecurities pointed outwards. I don't do fear or feel my insecurities are someone else's fault. If you're honest with me, I'm fine. That's how I am and how I feel. You're not used to my world, so I'm willing to accept limits, up to a point. That point is asking me to hurt others or myself. Or ask me to live too long in your fears." I held his eyes, letting his words into me. "I'm scared." "You should be." I raised my eyebrows. "Oh, yeah. Scared means you're facing something new. Just like I'm scared to be naked in school. I'm scared about facing East on Friday. I'm scared about you and I." I really raised my eyebrows. "It's new, it's different. It may not work out. I'm having to go inside and see what I have to give. Scared is facing something new or dangerous. Fear is giving into a story in your head." That hit me. I really didn't know much about this Mountain, but I wanted to find out. "Luis?" His eyebrows raised. "Jason's already told my parents I'm going to be late tonight. I'd like four things right now. First, you be late with me." My mountain just walked us over to his bag, crouched, pulled out his cell phone, and punched a button. "Hi, Mama... I'm fine... I, she told you? Yeah, it's cool... I'm gonna be late, okay?... Love you, too!" He hung up. "No problem. What are the other three?" "I want to continue this conversation and work on a painting that I need you to pose for." "Done. Fourth?" "I'll ask later, okay? Right now, I need my easel closer to the divan or the divan closer to my easel. I don't want you to see what I'm painting yet, okay?" "Be easier to move the divan, I think." He gently set me down and with the ease of me picking up a brush, he lifted the divan and brought it over in front the easel. I directed where to put it and then posed him and went behind my easel. "Luis, I zone when I paint, so forgive me if I miss something you say. I want to understand you and you to understand me. What you said about being scared and fear really hit me. That's me. I'm scared and I'm fearful. When you were telling me to explore the voices started." I started working. Filling in the details like the shape of his muscles and how they caught the light. "My Dad introduced me to meditation and T'ai Ch'i Chuan when I was young. I guess that's where I come from. I'm from an Italian Catholic family. I could have been raised with all that fear and guilt. Instead, my parents got over it and never pushed it on us. Instead they taught Margie and I to live in compassion and understand the fine line between being fearful and scared." "Hold your right shoulder up, just a bit more. Perfect. Okay, what do you mean? How do you tell the difference?" "I sort of know how to explain it. The body feels both the same way. Get too close to a ledge and you will have a physical reaction. Your body doesn't want to be near the ledge and fall. A reaction to being scared is to back away. Yet, a person with fear of heights starts living the story in their head and becomes irrational." I stopped painting and gave him a confused look. "Okay, on Friday, my first play against East. I'll be scared. That's normal. I haven't played these guys. I don't know what's going to happen. I'm going to get hit and hit. I might get hurt. If I weren't scared I'd be insane. If I were fearful, I'd begin to question my abilities and talents. I'd get so wrapped up in those stories that I wouldn't play well because my mind would be in the stories, not on playing the game." "Turn your head to the left. Hmm... Now, twist your waist the same way, just a bit. That's it. Thanks. Back to fear. How do you deal with the stories?" He chuckled. "Sometimes, not well!" I laughed with him. "Meditation and T'ai Ch'i is how I've learned. That and football." "I've heard of T'ai Ch'i but I don't really know what it is." "I can tell you know and show you later. It's an old Chinese martial art that is founded on emptying the mind and practicing in slow motion. The practice forms look like a really strange slow dance. Yet, you are training your body to move in combat while teaching your mind to stay out of the way. It's call a soft art since it relies more on focusing and manipulating energy than about hitting and striking. Those are the words. They don't mean much until you see and experience it." "Okay. You can show me later. I'll be finished with this in just a minute." "Sure." "Back to stories." "What meditation does is teach you to quiet the mind while increasing awareness. When you've done it for a while, the stories just go away. In India, they call it calming the monkey mind." I gave a questioning shrug. "Think of a cage of monkeys that are excited. Chattering. Running around. Getting each other excited. Meditation is quieting them. When you do that, you connect in a whole new way to the universe." "Will you teach me?" "Sure. Yet, I think you already have some of the tools." "Huh?" "When you paint, are there voices in your head?" "Only my Muse." "Does the muse help you or question everything you are doing?" "Ah, helps. Drives me, is more like it." "Maybe the muse is the real you." "You might be right. She really likes you, bunches." I blew him a kiss. "That's from me and her." "Well, if she's the one that made you visible today then I really like her too!" He blew me two kisses. "One for each of you!" "Back to stories, fear, and exploration. Help me understand. I hear myself saying that if I have a boyfriend, he's the only one I can kiss and mess around with. Yet, my body wants to experience new things. My heart tells me we are connecting. It all seems to conflict." "Becca, the only thing that conflicts is the story about your boyfriend. Think about this. You body wants to experience and explore. Your heart is happy. Is exploring going to hurt your heart? No. Because one of two things will happen. While you're exploring and gaining experience either your heart stays happy with the connection you have or it finds a better one. Either way, you're better off." "What about you?" "I am too. If I'm not your soulmate, best find out early. My mom tells me something all the time that might help. She says you can love many people. The more people you love, the more people you can love. But, being In Love is rare and precious. She also says that good sex with a stranger is still good sex. With someone you love, it's better. When you're in love, it's beyond anything else." "I wish I were that close to my mom so we could talk like that." "Do you let her get close to you or are your stories in the way?" Damn. I felt like I had run into a brick wall. Pull out club and begin to beat myself. I dropped my brush and buried my head in my hands. I wanted to be invisible again. Damn him. Damn this Program. What the hell was wrong with the way I was? I was happy! What is happening to me! OH, FUCK! Suddenly, but gently, two massive arms swept me up and cuddled me into a massive chest. He moved and then sat and snuggled me tighter. My tears began and flowed down his chest. He was silent, just holding me. "He's understanding and patient." Thanks Muse. I'd rather have my suffering. "He'll wait 'til you're done." I wanted to tell her to fuck off too. Yet... Damn... It was simple. Honest. Pure. My stories were in my way. And did I have some. Seventeen years worth. Yet, they were just a house of cards. And they were tumbling down, like my tears. Release. Grief. Mourning. My Mountain was still there. Hard as he needed to be, yet soft where I needed him to be. God. Pain was flowing out with my tears. My Muse was quiet. Had she run away? No, she hadn't run away. The me that was the house of cards had gone. I didn't need my Muse anymore, since she is me. Oh Shit. Am I hiding in Luis? No. NO! He's enabling. A partner? Oh shit. More rivers of tears. "You just had an epiphany?" His voice soft. The kiss on top of my head gentle, but electric. "Damn this program. Damn Jason. Damn you." There was no anger in my voice. Just saddness. "My carefully constructed house of card's of a life just tumbled down. I'm lost and scared." "Welcome to the real world!" It took me a couple of seconds to process this. Yeah. Living in the world as it is, not in my house of cards as I want it to be. Yeah. My tears stopped. It took me a few minutes to collect myself. Was I going to miss my Muse? Why? She's me! I really buried myself deep, didn't I. But, I didn't loose myself. I pushed away from My Mountain's chest just enough to put my arms around his neck. Looking him in the eyes, I came clean. "Thank you, My Mountain. A dam broke inside me. I've been using my stories to hide myself, to not live in the world. The voice I call my Muse, that's the me I've been hiding. And, now... Now, I'm scared. Not fearful. Just scared." Before he could answer, I pulled his head down. I must be strong, it took me no effort! Then I gave him what I hoped would be a toe curler of a kiss. I know it was for me! Junior's appearance was a pretty good indicator I was doing something right! Damn, I've never even touched him. When we broke, I softly put my hands on the sides of his face and held his eyes with mine. "Let me finish the painting. Then I'll get to request number four. Then, I'd like to ask one more favor. Trust me?" "You're okay now?" "Beyond okay, I'm me now." "Then let's get back to painting. The sooner you finish, the sooner these mysteries will be revealed to me!" I gave him a quick kiss and we disengaged. I now know where to go when I want to be "in my cave." He's chest is wonderful! Us introverts, we need our caves to recharge. How tiring it is being around crowds. My Mountain was not stressful like that. After all, he was My Mountain! Nice caves. Plus, a Mountain that can really kiss! I put him back in his pose. Looked at him and the canvas and decided that it only needed a couple of details. "Becca, what just happened?" "I'll tell you all about it later. I'm dealing with your face at the moment and need you to hold still." He froze his face in a bad, fake grimace. I roared. "Nice. Now, without moving your body, unfreeze your face. Think about... eating my pussy. Yeah, I like that look!" I got busy. Hormones? Yes! Lust? Yes! Love? Yes. In love? Think so. I worked on the last of the details. I wanted to wake up to this painting! This is the first painting I've ever done just for me. "Done. Thank you, Luis. Come look at it, please?" ------ Chapter 8: Monday - Breaking Boundaries Luis I hadn't really ever looked at Becca's work before. The murals on the walls were just there. So, when I came around the easel, I was expecting the level of work I had seen in class earlier. Preconceived notions. Bad. I stood there with my mouth hanging open. There was me in front of me. As she saw me. Massive, gentle, raw, warm, sexual, open, deep. Powerful. There I was leaning on the divan. My muscles visible but relaxed. My face showed all the emotions I just mentioned. Here was a very large, yet complex, person. "Becca, that's incredible!" Ah, the Contadino wit. Who needs foot-in-mouth disease. "You're very, very good!" "I had great material to work with." She gave me a hug and quick kiss. I'm already addicted to her kisses. Yep, got it bad for this one. "This is the first painting I've done just for me. I want to hang it in my bedroom." "So, I get to watch you at nights? I like that idea." "I see someone else does too!" She reached down and wrapped her hand around me. She was tentative at first. Slowly she started stroking and exploring. "You know, that's the first time you've touched him." "I've wanted to all day, well, most of the day. I'm glad my first time is in private, though." "He likes you a lot." "I'm beginning to like him a lot. What about you?" "Probably falling in love with you." "Probably?" "It's been less than a day, but yeah. I've got it bad." "Me too." With that, she started stroking me for real. After a minute, she got on her knees and started examining me. Her other hand lifted my balls, carefully weighing them, caressing them. A groan escaped my lips. When she looked up, she had the most delicious grin on her face. Her tongue came out and gave Junior's head a light lick. A shiver shot through me. The look in her eyes when she did that made it the most erotic experience I'd had so far in life. I can only describe what she did next as loving Junior. It wasn't worship. It was loving, tender, gentle, and powerful. She licked and kissed all of him and my ball sack. Not as direct as Shashana nor as wanton as Susan's need. Sexual? Yes. Sensual? Hell yes. Erotic? Damn straight. Loving? Better believe it. When I could open my eyes, I could see she was looking up at me when she could. Desire. Love. Then she took Junior in her mouth. I thought I would pass out. My knees got weak. "Oh god!" came out as a moan of pure pleasure. I could feel her experimenting. Discovering the texture, the taste. Her tongue working around him. Her lips caressing. It was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Eventually, she took in a couple more inches. Her tongue was everywhere. She suckled the head. My legs were shaking. She was still stroking me with one hand, her other making love to my balls. She began sucking hard, her tongue moving faster, stroking me faster and faster. "Ah, Becca! Shit! I'm gonna cum!" Instead of pulling off, she stroked harder and more deliberately. Her mouth, tongue, lips, and other hand still loving me. I did my best not to stroke into her as my balls pulled up and I felt the first surge. It felt like it was coming from my toes, up my legs, and out through Junior. When it hit her throat, I expected her to pull off. She groaned, shook, and sucked harder. I gave. She took. I gave more. She wanted more. I could feel her swallowing while still trying to work more out of me. My knees were beyond shaking, buckling. She had emptied me. I had to sit. Now. I managed to stagger to the stool at the easel and rested my ass on it. Becca never broke contact. She continued to suckle and nurse Junior. "Oh my god, Becca. Thank you. Shit. Ah... Let me... Get... my breath... back." Somehow she knew I was starting to get too sensitive and pulled off. Yet, she showered Junior with little kisses and "thank yous." Standing, she walked between my legs and hugged me. "Thank you, My Mountain. That was part of number four." "Part?" My breath finally coming back. "Am I gonna live through the other part?" I bent my head and kissed her. It was a very deep, mutual kiss. I held her, she held me as the kiss continued. I made a new discovery as the kiss came to the end. We seemed to know when to end a kiss. They were just right for both of us. "Was that your first blow job?" "With Junior. Yes. Any... okay, I can say it, cock. Yes. First time I've ever touched one, even." "Oh god, I'm in trouble." "Why? What? Did I do it wrong?" "Like it? No." I felt her slump. "Loved it? Yes! Incredible? Yes! Wonderful? Yes! Best ever? Yes!" Ever try to talk when being showered with kisses? It's kinda fun. "My point was that if that had been any better, it would have killed me. But, what a way to go!" She hit me! Yes. She HIT me! "You bastard! Teasing me like that!" "But, your bastard." "Yeah, I like that. My bastard." "So, what's the rest of number four?" She got fidgety. "Honesty. Remember? Spill it." She tensed, then relaxed with a sigh. "Straight out honest?" I nodded. "I don't want to be a virgin by the end of the week. And, I want Junior to do the honors. Yet, I still have my hymen and him ripping that scares me. So, number four is for you to use your fingers and break my hymen while you're going down on me. When I peak, that would probably hurt the least. Then get me ready for Junior another day. Please?" "Here? Now? Why?" Bewildered? Who, me? "Yes. Right here. On the divan. To me, it's already a special place for us. Now? Damn straight. I'm going to be fingered as part of the program all week. I want to be able to enjoy that. Plus, I want a little time to recover so when I take Junior I won't be sore anymore. It's you I want. It's Junior I want. I don't want anyone else to take my hymen or my virginity." "I want you too. I don't want to hurt you and that scares me." I took a deep breath. Cleared my head. "I still have some stories around the reactions that Junior has gotten in the past. That really scares me." She grabbed my head and directed me to look in her eyes. "Do this for me, now. On the divan, my love. My Mountain. We'll tend to your stories later." I melted. I picked her up in my arms and walked her over to the divan. The silks were still there. I laid her out with her head on the rest and left foot on the floor. Her right leg I draped over the back. We kissed with me hovering over her, not touching except our lips. We kissed deep. Connecting deeper than we had before. I could stay here forever! Then that perfect mutual ending. I moved to kiss between her breasts, to taste her lovely cleavage. To love it the way she had Junior. On the way, I took a side trip to her ears, playing them with my tongue and lips. Then the hollow of her neck where it meets her shoulders. By now, her hands were on my head, more as acknowledgment than directing me. Slowly, tracing each curve of her body with lips, tongue, and fingers I approached her breasts. Starting in wide circles around each one, with a lot of time spent enjoying the taste and fragrance of her cleavage, I made love to her large breasts. Before I got to her left nipple, I switched to her right. That got me a groan with a moan! While my lips and tongue made love to her left breast, my hand caressed and fondled her right, avoiding her nipple. When my lips finally got to her nipple, my hand began working on the other. Her hands pulled me into her. Her back arched. The moans shifted to something more like a growl. I licked, sucked, nibbled first one then the other. Damn near pulling the rock hard bud into my throat. Suddenly, she stiffened, wailed, and convulsed. I didn't relent my attack while her orgasm washed through her body. When she started coming down, I moved South. No more teasing. I pulled her knees back and arched her back up. She took her knees and spread herself wide open for me. I attacked with tongue, lips, fingers, chin, and nose. I rode her through her second orgasm. When she started building for her third, I probed deeper into her vulva. My fingers lightly brushing her hymen. Exploring. This orgasm was going to be huge the way she was bucking and straining to get there. When every muscle in her body hardened, I got ready. Then the convulsions hit, hard. I thrust my finger into her, straight through her hymen. I was surprised, there was very little resistance. No screams or jerks from her. Her orgasm sucked my finger deeper into her with each wave. By the time she came down, my finger was all the way inside her. I held still as her pussy adjusted to me. "God, Luis. That feels so good! Put another finger in me and fuck me with them! And don't stop with the tongue. Oh, god!" She came for the fourth time as I pumped two fingers into her and sucked her clit. She had adjusted and my fingers moved easily, though it was wonderfully tight. This orgasm was deeper and longer. Not as violent. Her waves felt like a velvet glove that suddenly turned into a velvet vise. When she came down, she went completely limp. I eased my fingers out, stretched her out and snuggled up next to her. While she struggled to get her breath and vision back, I showered her face with kisses. ------ Rebbecca "WOW! WOW! WOW!" So much for AP English. My Mountain, my lover, is snuggling up to me as I recover from more orgasms in an hour than I've ever had in a week. And none of these was by my own hand. And each was better than any I'd ever had before. He talked about living through this! I'm ready to die right now. And, my hymen was gone. A little tug, it felt like a pop. Then the feeling of being filled. Then being full. For the first time. Overwhelming. I wanted this again. And again. And again. Next stop two fingers. Soon, Junior. Bring him on! Not now, though. I showered his face with kisses. "Thank you, thank you." And, "My Mountain." More kisses, more words. More joy. More love. More thanks. I grabbed The Hand that had taken me. It wasn't red. Okay, a bit of pink. Covered with my juices. I took The Finger and sucked it into my mouth tasting me and my blood. When I cleaned it, I offered the other covered finger to him. He paid homage to it. He was slow, deliberate. His eyes told me how much he relished it. "Now, we are bonded with my blood." He kissed me and we bonded with our saliva as well, mixed with me. I really want to remember the clouds I'm walking on. I want to paint them one day. Perfect. My Mountain and these clouds. Hummm... "Now, My Mountain. Your stories about Junior. I've seen him. I've felt him. I've tasted him. I've given a part of me to you. I want him. Not tonight. I couldn't live through another of those orgasms. And, I'm gonna be sore. Soon, though. He doesn't scare me. Just the opposite. I felt your tongue in me. That was heaven. I've felt your fingers in me. Two of them are bigger than most guys cocks that I've seen. Yes, I'm comfortable saying that word. My Cave wants Junior to fill her. Desires to be filled while My Mountain makes love to me." The kisses that followed had words, none of them important. Just two lovers being together and doing a happy thing. Sweet nothings flowed. Kisses. Touches. All gentle. Together, it seems, we hit a point in time. "Let's go." My Mountain said first. "Where to?" "I have to eat. Sorry. Training. Then there is some work I have to do tonight to fulfill some promises. Maybe some homework as well. Anything you need to do?" "Some homework. Food would be good. Not training, but famished after that!" My stories started. I remembered our promise. Honesty. "Do you need to be alone?" I watched his face, carefully. Felt his muscles. Thinking I was a human lie detector. Another story? Yeah. Rejection. "I'd get my work done quicker if I were alone." He paused. My heart started to sink. Collapse. "But, I'd rather it take me longer..." Okay, I like jumping on My Mountain. And smothering him with kisses. Even when he teases me like that! And playing with his ears. And his nipples. They're really sensitive! He started tickling me! The BRUTE! The torture! "Pax! Pax!" I tried to scream while catching my breath. I was about to pee everywhere. "About to loose control?" "YES!" Thank god, he stopped. "Wait 'til I have you in my bathroom!" He was twisting a pretend mustache like a 1920's screen villain. That just started me laughing again. Okay. I snorted. Sometimes I do. It's not my fault. "You just snorted!" No kidding. Well, that just got us going again. Okay. My Mountain was gentleman enough to go steal some towels to clean up the puddle. And we laughed through that! He's ticklish too! I'm not telling where. My Mountain. My Secrets! Finally, sanity, for the moment, prevailed. "I picked up your clothes from the front while you and Jason were talking." "He told me you were moving your locker into the Girls?" "That meant the Equipment Manager showed me where I was now located for the week. He enjoyed doing the actual move with all the girls teams showering!" "Perv." "Like I'm not?" "But, you're my Perv." "Yes I am!" "So, what do we do for food?" "Well, my family is about to sit down for dinner. Care to join us?" Was I ready for that? Actually, was I ready to put on clothes yet? WOW! "Honesty?" He nodded. "I'm sort of comfortable being naked. I'd like to try to stay that way out of school tonight. It would really help me." "Then my place it is. Let me call Mama and tell her to set another plate. Then ask Margie if she wants to do an Outreach as well." Damn. Okay, when did I start with the profanity? Oh, my Muse, I mean me, used it all the time. Cool. I'd forgotten about Outreach. It's part of the Program where we're encouraged to extend our nudity beyond the school into the world around us. Was I ready for this? Breathe. Trust? My Mountain? Yep. "Okay. I'm game." Sounding cooler than I felt. "Tomorrow night at my house?" WHAT! He nodded vigorously as he dialed his cell phone and I started dialing mine. We related plans to our families. He finished first as Jason asked me questions about my day. My Mountain started poking through my clothes, which made me loose track of what Jason was saying. Damned if the man didn't wrap the sash from my dress around my waist and put my hat on my head. I felt more deliciously nude than before! Somehow, I finished with Jason. "Bellisimo! Perfecto!" We gathered our stuff, including my painting, and headed to his car. The idea for my next painting of him rushing into my mind. My pussy, not my cunny any more, my pussy was beginning to drip at the image. And here we are, arm in arm, deliciously nude. "Oh, what was the other mystery, My Lady?" "We're doing it, My Mountain." "Why mountain?" "Big and strong. Yet, with wonderful, safe caves for me to crawl into. Plus, the thrill of climbing the peak!" "And the next, and next..." I danced at his words. Did you know that Mountains don't really dance? Yet, they're real fun to dance around! Oh, he can sing, even if he doesn't know the words. My Mountain loves music. The inventory in his car was huge. Overwhelming! All types of Jazz, Blues, Rock, Classical in many forms, Show Tunes, and... and... and... When I couldn't decide, he started Joe Cocker's "You are So Beautiful" and started the car. While he was driving, he held my hand and sang it to me. Damn him. He made me cry. Not sad tears. Joy. He was telling me through music how he felt like I did through my art. Note to self: I need to do a painting of me for Luis. Of me? WHAT! I'll work on it. Maybe a photo for now. One step at a time. Hmmm... In the sash, hat, and some high heels. Yeah. ------ Chapter 9: Monday - Veal Santa Rosa Luis I pulled into the drive and parked. We finished Cocker's "With a Little Help from My Friends" before emerging from the car. The song made me think of becoming a Roman Citizen. "Friends, Romans, Countrymen..." I took her hand as we walked to the front door. "We're here! Feed us!" I shouted as we entered my house. Hand in hand with my beauty! Margie came bounding down the stairs. Stopped and took one look at Rebbecca. "Wow! You look great! I love what you've done. Classy and sexy!" "Luis dressed me." She giggled. "You're looking good, yourself, Margie." "Well, Really Big Brother, I'm impressed." My very nude sister told me. My family is casual about it. We aren't nudists, but had no problems going around the house in whatever. So, I'd been "Really Big Brother" for a while. I'd like to think it wasn't because of Junior. Now, I know she was impressed because of Becca. "Good evening to you, Delicious Little Sister." She ignored me as usual and took Becca's hand. "Mama says I'm to escort you to the dining room. He can come along." She grinned at me. "She's pulled out all the stops in only 15 minutes. That woman amazes me." Mama had pulled out all the stops. Our two best candelabras framed a centerpiece of fresh fruits. Massive tapers lit the buffet and sideboards. The family's 'really good' china and flatware decorated the table. We only used the best for weddings and funerals. The smell of fresh, hot bread filled the air. Our best olive oil was on the table right next to a wonderful balsamic vinegar. Two wine glasses were at each setting. Margie walked Becca around to my side of the table where two settings were put very close together. Just as we got to our chairs, Mama and Papa came out of the kitchen. She was carrying a platter of Antipasti and he was carrying two bottles of vintage Italian wine. They were both nude. Outreach had reached their home! "Mama, Papa, this is Rebbecca Davis, my partner in the Program this week and new girlfriend. Becca, my parents. Doctor and Doctor Contadino." "Rebbecca, such a pleasure to meet you." My Mama put down the platter and took Becca's hands. "Welcome to our home. Welcome to our family for as long as you will have us. This place setting is here for you, always." She then kissed both her cheeks. Did I mention I love my Mama? "Thank you. Doctor Contadino. I'm honored." I could see happy tears forming in Becca's eyes. My eyes were a bit moist. Had to be an allergic reaction. "Please, Rebbecca, call me Carmella." She moved aside so Papa could step in. "Rebbecca, I'm Pietro. Peter." He kissed both cheeks as well. "I think I've raised my son well. Yet, should he hurt you, you come to me. He's not that big. Capisci?" He winked at her, yet I knew he was serious. "Welcome to our home and family." "Thank you, both." She took my hand. "I'm not worried about Luis. The things I've already learned from him and where he got them..." She winked at my parents. "I'm happy with him. Might even keep him." Oh, two can tease? "Thank you both for the welcome. And you, too, Margie." We sat, finally. We feasted. Mama took off Sunday and Monday from her restaurant, so we were lucky to have her home. Even running a professional kitchen, she still loved to cook at home. Knowing my schedule for the week, she had shown some restraint. We only had a three course meal. Although, she did extract a promise from Becca to come for Sunday lunch and a real feast. Nine courses and long naps after! The conversation flowed. My parents went light on the wine for Becca and I, since we still had homework to do. They gave Margie a bit more, but not much. The starter was traditional Antipasti. Yeah, not antipasto. It's the plural since there is more than one type of food before the food. We had marinated artichoke hearts (Mama won't even share with her only son the recipe for the marinade), four different salamis, plump black olives, slices of Roma tomatoes, sweet onion sliced thin, anchovies, five cheeses from soft water buffalo to a hard Romano style, three different kinds of peppers, and other fresh veggies. Plus, three different breads for dipping in the olive oil and vinegar. When we got around to the Program, I was open about my day. Becca was too. I know we both turned a bit red. Thankfully hard to see in the candle light. Margie shared her day as well. So much for my thoughts about her innocence! Yet, her day is her story. I'll let her tell it another time. My parents took it all in and talked about their day, as if what we kids said was normal. Becca learned of the connection between my mother and the best restaurant in town. She also discovered that my father did consulting work for her father. Papa is one of the top economist in the world, if you believe what you read. Hey, he's my Papa. They say he's THE expert on currencies and trade policies. He's a consultant because, as he told me once, never have a boss you don't trust and can't respect. I guess he never found one. It was good, because he worked out of the house. When he wasn't traveling, I got a lot of his time and attention. I found out I could get Becca to try new things if I feed them to her. I introduced her to anchovies by putting one on a slice of sweet onion like a cracker and feeding it to her. I don't think she knew what she had eaten until I told her. After that, she took great delight in stuffing hot peppers in my mouth! But she did eat a few more anchovies that way. Mama's Veal Santa Rosa was the main course. When she's not at the restaurant, it's not on the menu. She refuses to share this recipe with anyone. It's a milk fed veal fillet pounded out wafer thin. She then fills it with backfin crab meat from Blue Jimmy's and her secret mix of spices and "stuff." She flash cooks it in wine and capers, then reduces the pan liquor and adds cream to make the sauce. The bottom line? It teases while it assaults. It assaults while it teases. It's named after her mom who is the master teaser of the family. A pasta dish tossed with fresh, blanched veggies was the side dish. When Becca took the first bit of Santa Rosa, she turned to Mama. "Oh my... This is... I'm sorry, I don't have the words! Wow is too trite." "We call it the tease that assaults, after Grandma." Mama gave me a little glare. "Rebbecca, thank you. That's the most sincere compliment I've had on this dish. Do you cook?" "Compared to this? No. I attempt." "We'll find some time and I'll teach you how to make this." Okay. I should be pissed. No, livid with anger. Out of my mind. I've been working on Mama for years to teach me. Less than an hour and she's offering to teach my girlfriend! I knew then and there that I'd better do right by Becca or I'd have to move and change my name. The conversation flowed again. Music, economics, nudity, the news, movies, books. I noticed that my parents had Vivaldi playing. "The Four Seasons." A wonderfully complex and beautiful work. Dessert was my absolute favorite. CrĂ"me BrĂ>lĂ(C)e. Not even Italian, but we should have invented it! When she served it, I stood, bowed, and kissed her hand. We tarried a bit at the table after. The fresh fruit was now fair game. I had to convince Becca it was okay. Our centerpieces were designed to be eaten! As the meal wound down, Mama turned to us. "You kids have some homework?" "Yes, Mama." "Yes, Ma'am." "Well, what's keeping you? We'll clean up." She started picking up dishes. "Oh, Rebbecca, will you be here for breakfast in the morning?" I know my jaw hit the table. A look at Becca told me the same thing had happened to her. She's quicker to recover than I am! "Carmella, I don't know. I'd like to be. I don't think it's all up to me. As my... Okay, boyfriend... I'm getting used to that... said, honesty." She hesitated. Looked at her hands, much as she had done this morning in Dr. C's office. "I'm scared. Today has already been overwhelming. I probably need some space tonight. Plus, I do need to spend some time with my folks." "Whatever you decide, dear. Please think of this as home." "Thank you!" Becca ran up to Mama and kissed her. Those two were already thick as thieves. "Mama, get Rebbecca to show you the painting she did today." Yep, I'm evil. Becca stared daggers at me. Then she saw in my eyes that I really did think it was the right thing to do. She nodded her head and I ran out to the car to get it. When I came back, she was relating the history of the painting, if four hours can be a history. "Viola!" I pulled it out from behind my back and held it out for them. I had no idea the reaction I was expecting, what I got made me think. Mama hugged Papa closer, tears forming in her eyes. Margie just kept looking from me, to the painting, and to Becca with awe in her eyes. Papa hugged Mama tighter with a huge grin on his face. He looked at me and nodded with pride. Mama broke the silence first. "Rebbecca, I don't know what to say. That's the absolute best likeness of my son I've ever seen. You caught his soul. At the same time, it's impossible not see his love for you." Her eyes glazed a bit and she flushed. "Or miss his lust for you either. Ah..." Papa was gonna get lucky tonight! "Rebbecca, you're in trouble." She looked quizzically at Papa. "When I look at Carmi, that's how I feel." She looked questions at him. "In love, deeply. You're just starting down this path with my son and you've got it bad. Yep, you're in trouble." "Trouble?" Becca was clearly confused. "Yep. Next thing you know, you're our age, with kids, making a good living doing something you enjoy, happy with life, and still deeply in love." That got a quick kiss from Mama. They were both going to get lucky tonight! "Now I know where Luis gets his teasing gene from!" We all laughed. I used the moment to say we're off to do our homework and I led Becca down the stairs to my room. "This looks like you," she said, looking around. A desk with two computers on it and two servers under. Bookcases that she was scanning the titles on the contents. Large screen TV and associated electronics with surround sound aimed at the king sized bed. A large, comfortable sofa and two chairs perfect for snuggling in and reading. An open area with a mat for exercise and practice. On the edges, a curling bar and hand weights. Two walls with windows, because it was a daylight basement. The wall area not covered with windows or bookcases had photographs, not posters. Most all images I had captured through the telescope I had in the backyard. "Becca, I need to review some game films. Make yourself at home. Put on some music if you want, it won't bother me." I popped the game disc in one computer while I brought up the mapping program I had written on the other. It was designed to let me quickly map out plays and save them to be printed later. "Hmmm... Thanks, sweetie. Why don't you pick something. I like your taste in music." She gave me a quick kiss as she studied the titles of the books on my desk. "When I finish exploring, I'm going to do some reading for English." "Ah, figured me out yet?" "Not yet." She winked and started on the photographs. Jupiter, Saturn, tons of the Lunar surface, studies of the Sun's corona during an eclipse, and the deep space objects. Star clusters, nebulae, and clouds. Each was 11'' by 14'' and had taken me as long as four hours to photograph. I went to work understanding East. I was aware of Becca the whole time, yet felt very comfortable working. I'd look over at her and she'd look up and smile. I'd feel her looking at me and turn to smile at her. After an hour, I had mapped out a couple dozen plays and had starting printing them. "Wanna take a kissy break?" I asked. Her answer was to beat me to the sofa! We played smoochie, grabby, and feely for a bit. "How's your reading?" "Okay. I love Dickens, but have always had problems with Great Expectations. How's your stuff? What are you doing, anyway?" "I'm going through the games East has played this year. From that, I'm watching how their game unfolds. What plays they run and when. How they align their defense. From all that, I'm trying to get into the coach's head and understand their key players. I've got a good idea about them now." "What are you printing?" "Maps of their offensive plays and defensive movements with my notes on when they tend to use each." "Now what?" "Devise a strategy for us to defeat East." "Isn't that the Coach's job?" "Yep. But it's also my job and Mike Holloway's, the Offensive Captain. He's doing the same thing right now. So is every member of the coaching staff and a few other players that might want to get into coaching sometime. Coach takes all our input, then he decides. He loves having this many eyes on the field and enjoys teaching us the game from a coaching perspective." "Do you ever want to coach?" "I've thought about it. Don't know. Right now, my physics comes first. In a perfect world, I could do both! But college ball is a fulltime coaching job and that's what would interest me." "Why physics?" "It sounds really trite when I say it, but to solve the mysteries of the universe that can be solved through investigation and science." "Like what?" "Well, the Holy Grail of Physics is called The Theory of Everything." "Do you think it exists?" She looked a bit perplexed. "In the literal sense, no. As a unification of all the branches of physics so we have a common reference point? Yes." "Yours?" She was pointing to the photo wall. "Yep. You like?" "They're beautiful." "They represent the other reason I like physics. The sheer beauty of the universe. I'd like to think I can find a way to share that with the world." "Like me and my art?" "I only wish my photos were as good as your art. I'd love to see more." "Tomorrow. I'll show you my portfolio and you'll have a chance to see my personal projects at home." "Back to work?" "Slave driver!" Well, we didn't go right back to work. We played a bit more smoochie face. Quickly becoming one of my favorite sports! ------ Chapter 10: Monday - Homework Rebbecca Luis went back to his desk and came back to the seating area with a pad of paper, pen, and the maps, as he called them. I went back to Pip and Dickens and my notes on the rise and fall of ego. Before I got lost in the argument I was building, it hit me. Ego. Stories. Expectations come from ego. They are nothing more than stories we carry around in ourselves. They are the house of cards. It made sense to me now. I GOT IT! And I got what Luis had been saying earlier about jealousy and fear. All stories within. Stories that have nothing to do with loving someone but trying to enforce your view of them on them. I looked over at Luis. He'd write, look at the maps, and then write some more. My Mountain is also a student. A serious one at that. His books span so many topics. Heavy on math, physics, and astronomy. Balanced with biographies of world and thought leaders. Religious studies. Tons of Eastern Philosophy with a smattering of Western. A huge collection of Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, and Arthur C. Clark. Boys. Plus Cussler, Lescroart, Clancy, and Grisham. Again, Boys. Then the classics. Well read but well cared for. From Plato to Dickens. YES! Stacks of magazines. Physics journals in English and German. Astronomy rags. Scientific Americans with tons of sticky notes in them. Plus some academic journals I didn't recognize. What was CERN? Then stacks of stapled papers. It was all organized and neat, yet well used. The bed was neat and made with no clothes scattered about. Did he do it? Or his mom? His mom, WOW! I really connected with her. A kindred spirit and willing co-conspirator! My Mountain is in real trouble. Back to Pip. Then I remembered a book I had seen on the bookshelf. Freud's The Ego and the Id. It fit with my thesis. Luis smiled at me as I walked back. I couldn't resist. I walked over to his chair. I bent and gave him a quick kiss and Junior a good squeeze -" OMG, it felt really neat soft! Then turned, bent, and shook my ass at him. HE GAVE ME A SPANK! "Brute!" "Tease me, will you!" "Ah, I've got you pegged. He's gonna help me." I showed him the book. He roared. "He got part of the way there then fell into over analyzing!" "I agree. But I can still use him for my essay. It just hit me a minute ago. Id. Ego. Stories. Freud. Dickens. Great Expectations. Pip. Me. Today. Thank you!" I gave him another kiss. As I pulled back, I searched his face and watched for his reaction. "I'm still scared." "I am every day. You heard what Dr. C. said today?" Forget his reaction, what did he just say? "Sort of. Honestly, I was cloaked and withdrawn and in my house of cards." "He chose those of us he knew had conquered fear in specific circumstances. Then had us tell how we overcame it." What? I'd spent the time looking at my hands, talking to my Muse. What conversation about fear? Why was I hiding? All I'd done is gotten boobs before anyone else. Now, they weren't the largest, nor the smallest. Yet, I'd been different. I didn't choose to change. I just had. Why did all the others have to be so mean? Of course I tried to hide! But... WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME? As I thought about the comments of the girls, the leers of the boys, my eyes began to water. "Freak!" "Weird!" "Gross!" "Oh, sweet!" "What knockers!" I started to convulse and the rain fell from my eyes. What did I do wrong? Two massive arms softly pulled me into my cave. Through the voices of the past in my head I heard his heart. Strong. Slow. Steady. "I wish I'd been there," I finally croaked out. My chest tightened and I sobbed. Still, his heart was there. His arms... Stupid, idiotic me! Why did he care? What did he want from me? Sex? Just his pleasure? I just wanted to go back into hiding. I miss my Muse! "Becca?" I moved my head in his chest. "It's okay." "How?" "Well, let me see. Someone just nuked the world as you knew it. Right?" I sort of nodded my head. "And the foundation you had is gone, right?" Another nod. His heart is still strong, slow, comfortable. "You're scared. Freaked?" "Duh!" "Perfect!" "WHAT! Are you out of your mind?" I hit him. Note to self: don't hit brick walls. "Perfect. Yes. Because now you get a fresh start. Nothing to undo and rebuild." "But, I don't want to be scared." "Nobody does. Everyone has to deal with it because we all are. Winners just do it better." "Is that why you're a winner?" Wow! Was my voice that sarcastic? "One of them. The key, actually." How could he be so calm and patient with me after that? I took a deep breath. "How?" "Being scared gives me the energy to do those things I need to do but don't want to." "Like what?" I noticed the tears were gone. The rhythm beating in his chest hadn't changed. "Getting up at half past too early in the morning and running when it's freezing outside and snowing. The energy to spend an extra hour in the weight room when I'm hurting. To go into the offensive line one more time when I'm so tired I can hardly stand." "How?" I hope he understood. I really didn't feel like talking. Just listening and feeling his heart made it all okay and easier to understand. "I clear my mind of the stories that say I can't. When one pops up, I focus on doing instead of listening. I use the energy to focus. Same as you already know how to do." "What? I don't know what to do!" "How about when you paint? Any voices saying you can't?" What the hell! "No." "Figured. I've seen you when you paint. You are focused. In one area of your life, you are already very successful and a winner." "Yeah, but that's different..." Huh? "How?" "I'm not scared." Yeah, my Muse is with me then. "I'll bet you a kiss that at some level you are. You're just not aware of it." "It's a bet." Easy bet. I win, I win. I lose, I win. "How do you feel when you show someone a painting?" "Okay. Scared. But, that's after I've painted it." "So, when you paint, it's never to give or show someone?" "Yeah, but... But..." Asshole. He's worse than my muse! "Give me the kiss. I won!" "Bastard!" I grabbed his ears and planted a big, wet, juicy smack on his lips. I knew he was right. I knew what he was saying was right. It's nice listening to your heart instead of all those stories. Fuck the "Monkey Mind." I melted into the kiss. A lovely way to empty the mind! "Will you teach me?" I whispered when we broke the kiss. "You already know what you need to know. Now it's about finding the practices that will help you remember and build on it." Practices? What, like piano lessons? "What works for you?" "In general, meditation. T'ai Ch'i is all about teaching the body without the mind getting in the way. I also empty my mind when I listen to music, lift weights, mow the lawn, wash a car, kiss you..." That earned him another one. I liked this practice! "What can I do?" "The path I know starts with learning to breathe right and builds from there. I know you exercise. I can feel it in your body. What do you do?" "Yoga." "Explains why you're so limber. Yum!" "Dirty Old Man." "But, I'm too young!" "Pervert!" "But I'm your pervert." That got him another kiss. Yummy! I like this reward system! "Maybe I can teach you some Yoga and you can teach me T'ai Ch'i?" He nodded. "You were going to show me some of it." "Okay, but just the opening. It wakes me up to much to do the whole form this late. After all, I'm a growing boy and need my sleep!" "If you grow much more," I said, grabbing Junior, "this will come out my throat when you fuck me." Wow. Did I just do and say that? Yep. And it felt right. Plus, he laughed with me. "Throat job while fucking. Now there's a concept!" I rolled out of his lap laughing while he collapsed. Okay, I snorted again. Really bad, too. Two or three times while imagining Junior in my pussy and coming out of my mouth and trying to say I didn't like it. "Ergh... Aumph... Agh... That's what I'd sound like!" I snorted again. That got him tickling me. Me tickling him. No pee this time. But we did end up in one hell of a kiss with him over me and between my spread legs. I almost grabbed Junior and finished what we'd started earlier today. No. I still wanted candles and the bed and soft music and... ------ Luis We broke the kiss at the same time. Uncanny. No, perfect. How easy it would have been to just slip Junior in given our position. Yet, I couldn't and I wouldn't. She wanted to wait. Honor and respect. Yep, that's me. I gotta keep telling myself that! "I hope you don't mind. I need to get going. I want to take Carmella up on her offer, just not tonight. Okay?" "Love, whatever your heart desires. I will use all the powers of my Mountain Kingdom to satisfy my Queen." Okay, I'd been asking for silver tongue to come out all day. Wait! No, that was truly from my heart. She looked at me with fire in her eyes and a misting of joy. She tried to talk. When that failed, I got another Becca kiss. "Take me home?" "Sure." "It won't be a bother?" "For another few minutes with you?" That got me another kiss. She started packing up her stuff. "Here, take Freud with you if it will help." I handed her the book she'd taken off the shelf about 100 years ago. "Thanks!" I was blessed with THAT smile. Damn. I needed to work on my legs. I can't beat East with these rubber legs I keep getting around her. Her bags packed and over my arm, we headed upstairs. My parents were in the living room listening to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto Number 4. One of my all time favorites. The Berlin Philharmonic with von Karajan conducting. Powerful. They both had books in their laps, but were holding hands enjoying the music together. Mama moved to turn the music down. I waved her off and just pulled Becca closer. She looked up with complete understanding. We snuggled while the passage played out. Mama hit the pause. Before I could say anything, Becca was headed for the couch. "Thank you both for such a wonderful evening." Mama and Papa were beaming and said appropriate things. I was wondering where this girl had come from. So comfortable making the first move. Nude. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I just hadn't expected it! Then she and Mama disappeared. I sat on the edge of the sofa. A bit shell shocked. "Son. Feel like a 2-by-4 just hit you in the head?" "Yes, sir." "Welcome to the club. Just enjoy the ride. Twenty, thirty years from now you'll be giving your son the same advice. Trust me!" "I do, Papa. This is just way new for me." "Scared?" "Better believe it." "You know what to do." "Yes, sir. I do. Funny thing. She wants me to teach her. Her 'house of cards', as she calls her stories, fell down today." "You're lucky, son. It seems you've already got trust and honesty with each other. Combine that with being in love and you can't lose." Before I could answer, Becca and Mama came back into the room. Arms around each other. Giggling. With grins the Cheshire Cat would have envied. What were they up to? My baby pictures? Telling the tale of Kindergarten when I peed my pants? Was Mama really going to give Becca the Santa Rosa recipe and not ME? What if today had all been a set up? I didn't know Becca that well, although I've known of her since first grade. Did Mama know about my crush-from-afar in fifth grade? What if... ? My father's words replayed. I took a couple of really deep breaths and just let the story go. I stood. Grinning back. Just in love. Yep, in love. On the drive to Becca's house, no words were spoken. None were needed. We held hands. She wanted to listen to the Bach my parents were listening to. No problems. I escorted my Queen to her castle. "Tomorrow night, here. Dinner. You meet my family. Okay?" Before I could answer, she kissed me and played with Junior. I melted. I think I mumbled something about okay as she vanished behind the gates and the drawbridge rose for the night. "See you at school, sweetie!" As her words came to me, I drifted through my fog back to the car. In a total daze and on rubber legs, I got home. Greeted the parents, went downstairs, and managed to get some work done before the bed became the center of my world. What a day! Yeah, but it's all good. ------ Rebbecca Okay, how many times in one day can I say 'Oh My God!' I've just walked in my front door. Luis's kiss still on my lips. My plan with Carmella burning in my center. I'm still naked with a hat. No idea where the sash had gone. I needed a shower, sort of. I just lay against the front door collecting myself. "Hi, sweetie." My mom said coming up to me. Okay, she called me something she hasn't since I was maybe 10 or so. What's up with that? She took my hands and kissed my forehead. Motherly. Then it hit me. I was overdressed by one hat! I had forgotten about being naked? She pulled me into the Living Room. My mom being naked was a big enough of a shock. My father was on the sofa, Jason in a chair. I was still overdressed! Mom said, "We wanted to support you any way we could." Again, it hit me. My house of cards. Jason's comments this morning about my parents. Here was my whole family supporting me. Damn, Damn, Damn. I might have said that out loud before my legs collapsed. Mom tried to hold me up. Jason was right there. My dad too. They got me to the sofa. The soft, supple leather was cool on my skin but warmed quickly. It hit me. Without my cloak, I could see they were on my side. "I'm so sorry. I've shut you out of my life. Thank you Jason -" and Luis -" for that revelation. Thank the Program and Luis for me being here and not hiding." I cried. Hard. Mom held me. Dad held me. Jason was in there somewhere. Whispered words of support and love drifted through my sobs and tears. I remember being scared versus living in fear. I gathered myself. I turned my feelings into energy. At least for a moment. "Thank you all. For this. Today, I woke up. I have a boyfriend. A serious love. I'm finding my love for my parents." The hugs got tighter. "And, now I'm the real me. Scared? Hell YES! Yet, I'm learning that's okay. It's what you do with it. I'll need help." I let go of the old me. I let myself feel the love and support of my family. My parents. Jason. I felt it in my heart. "Mom?" I asked as the tears cleared. "Yes, Rebbecca?" "Can I be Becky again to you and Dad?" Mom collapsed into me. "You always have been, Becky." "Becky," my Dad said, "thank you. You will always be Becky, my little sweetheart." He was crying on my shoulder. Tears of joy all around. I wrapped my arms around both of them. "Daddy, I love you." We all cried. Four nude people on the sofa crying. I then remembered the rest of my request. "Mom, Dad. I invited My Moun... ah, Luis, to have dinner with us tomorrow night." That's all I could get out. Mom and Dad were ecstatic. "Of course, dear!" "Ah, well... I want to make it... special." "Of course." Thanks Mom for understanding. "I don't know what to do. I want to help, but..." "Becky, I'll pick you up right after Art. We can make this happen. No problems." We got teary-eyed together. I knew she was already planning. She knew I was too wiped out. Breakfast, we silently agreed looking each other in the eyes. When did that start? I went up to my room and undressed. Okay, I took off my hat and shoes! I hung the painting of Luis where I could easily see it from the bed. Then I replayed the day and collapsed into the bed. My hands went right to my cunny... No, damnit! My pussy! My pussy and nipples. Yes! I thought of Luis as I stared at his face on the wall. And Junior. When my orgasm hit, I didn't care. I let it out. Hard and loud! The first time I think I have ever made noise masturbating. Spent, I sank into my bed and dreamed. ------ Part 2: Tuesday ------ Chapter 11: Tuesday Morning - A Little Organ Music Luis I woke before the alarm without my normal erotic dream but with wood. Yesterday began to flood into my brain, but I put it on hold until after my run and morning routine. I started to grab my usual running outfit and said to hell with it. If the Greeks and Romans, even the Scots, could do it bare assed, I could. Socks and running shoes plus my music box in an armband. After stretching, I headed out of the driveway at a comfortable pace. It was weird feeling the wind all over me as I ran, though real easy to keep a steady pace with the metronome bouncing out in front of me. Fortunately, it was a bit brisk so Junior's friends had retreated some. I hadn't paid a lot of attention to my route, some mornings were like that. This morning was ... WOW!! I had a selection of Bach organ music set up to time my run. E. Power Biggs. Fantastic. Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor (BWV 582) was playing as I noticed I was coming up on Becca's house. Jason was just coming out of the driveway and had turned to head the way I was going. "Jason!" "Hi, Luis." He was running in place while I caught up. "Mind company?" "If you don't mind being seen with a lineman." "I'd rather run with you than into you!" We ran on a bit at a good pace for both of us when he said, "nice outfit." "It's the latest. You should try it." "I just might tomorrow." Again, a comfortable silence as we ate up another half mile. "You had a big impact on Bec yesterday." "Is that good or are you going to pound me?" He gave a quick laugh. "Good. Very good." We both went back to our running and consumed another half mile. "We all had a good talk when she got in last night. Actually, more of a joyous cry. She reconnected with our parents." "Fantastic." Neither of us was winded. Good. We'd be in shape Friday. "Be careful with her today, she might freak." "I will." "She's got it bad for you." I damn near tripped. Recovered from the near fall, another half mile gone. "Time for sprints. See you at school, lineman!" Thank you, Jason. I needed time with my stories right now. "Later, Jason." He took off like a rocket. I went to full speed as well. I actually hung with him for about 30 feet, then he easily pulled away. When I rounded the next corner he was already out of sight. "I guess that's why he's a running back," I mused out loud. I misjudged the route I took and ended up going a couple of miles further than I had planned. That's a first. Maybe that would help the rubber legs I was experiencing yesterday. Half an hour later I was emerging into the kitchen from my basement hideaway. "Morning, Momma." We exchanged kisses. I stopped for a second when it hit me she only had on an apron. "Morning, sweetie. Like my outfit?" She did a full turn and a modeling pose. "You look great. New uniform for the restaurant?" I winked. "You know, I might. This feels good." "Business would definitely pick up!" I faked a Groucho leer complete with raised eyebrows and pretend cigar. The Marx Brothers are very popular around our house. "Just don't say 'grow.'" She used her fingers to make the quotes. It looked hard to do with a spatula in her hand. "MOMMA!" I blushed. I actually blushed. Damn it. "Sit and eat, tease." She gave my arm a gentle pat as she handed me breakfast. "Thanks for last night." I sat and started on my calorie laden plate. "It was my pleasure. I really like Rebbecca and I meant everything I said. Capisce?" "Capisci." I sat and tore into breakfast. Poppa came in with the paper. Momma was overdressed by one apron. Benny Goodman was serenading us in the background. Big Band, breakfast, and good banter. Perfect. "Morning, son." He tossed me the paper. "Hi, Poppa. I like your suit." "Latest in Board Room fashion." He pretended to straighten his non-existent tie and then snapped his non-existent lapels. Momma joined us with their breakfast, sans apron. We chatted about the world, as usual. The food slowly disappeared while topics flowed naturally. The World. Politics. The Economy. I loved this time of day with my parents. I was an adult in their eyes and treated as an equal. "How was your first day in the Program, son?" "I could say it had its ups and..." Momma hit me! She was laughing though. Margie's entrance broke up that conversation before it went too far downhill. "Morning, sis." "Good morning, Really Big Brother." She had gotten the memo about the uniform of the day. "Is it cold in here?" "Huh?" I pointed to her erect nipples. She and Momma both hit me. "Ow! Poppa, save me!" "Son, you dug that hole. I suggest you either get in it or start throwing dirt back at them." They were still thumping me. "Okay, Pax!" Margie and Momma looked at each other and they punched me, hard, in opposite biceps. "Shit!" "Pax," my sister quickly declared. "Pax and watch your language young man." "Sorry, Momma." I hung my head in penance. "Back to my original question, now that sanity once again reigns in the Contadino household. How was the first day?" Margie went first. Ladies first and all that. That's her story to tell. My take? She really enjoyed the experience (exhibitionist) and the support she received from her partner, Luke. "Plus, Really Big Brother helped all of the females in the program." "How so, sweetie?" "Well, Momma, the story around school is that RBB established early that twisting nipples half-off and unwanted insertions are..." She pulled herself up, voice went deep, "NOT REASONABLE." "More growl, please." I insisted. They ignored me. "The insertion guy apparently has a new temporary tattoo about the size and shape of RBB's hand as well." "Son, violence at school?" I hoped my scowl Friday is half as fierce. "No Sir. I just removed his hand from Becca with emphasis. He went at her from behind, the coward. No request, just tried to cram into her dry." "Ouch! Is she okay?" Momma asked. "She's fine. She had her hymen and it didn't break, but she was in pain for a while." "She HAD her hymen?" Margie's a smart girl. Too smart at times. Like now. "Yes," I felt myself turning red. Again. Or had I not bothered with fading? "As in past tense?" "Yes." Is embarrassment terminal? "And you and she..." She poked one finger in and out of a circle of fingers on her other hand. Hey, you know us Italians. Tie our hands behind our backs and we can't speak. "Not yet." Damn this girl. And my parents doing nothing to stop it. To think, a few minutes ago I liked them. "Then how?" I could tell by looking at her face that I wasn't going to get by with simple answers. "How what?" A little offense of my own. Lame, yes, but something. "Would you just tell me how she lost her hymen?" She waved her fist at me. "Let me see if I remember. Horseback riding? Nope. Gymnastics? No. Bicycle? Nah ... My finger? Yep." "She didn't want Junior?" I arched my brows. How did she know the name? Oh, High School Rumor Mill. Duh! My parents looked like they wanted to ask a question, so I blocked them by responding quickly. "I think she does, just scared. She wanted me to use my fingers to open her and get her ready." "Well, your fingers are bigger than most penises." "And how would you know, young lady?" Poppa asked. "The Program." That shut him up for a minute. "Doesn't sound romantic." So, Momma was getting into my sex life as well. "It was, actually. She had just finished the painting she showed you last night. I made love to her with my mouth and hands. When she got to her peak, I broke right through. She barely felt it." I can't believe I'm telling my family this! I know we're open with each other. But, this? Open is one thing. These are things I wouldn't tell my friends. I would share them with Becca, though. "Well, let's hope the main event is more romantic." Poppa said with slight grin and a faraway look in his eyes. Momma had a wistful look on her face as well. "What was your first time like, Momma?" Margie asked, drawing Momma back from her memories. "A bit awkward. Rushed. Fumbling. Painful at first. Confusing. Scary. At the same time, I knew I wanted to do it again." She grinned at Poppa and turned to Margie. "Why don't you help the boy instead of teasing him?" "Okay, Momma." I watched as she shifted gears. Smooth. "Really Big Brother, make it special for her. Every girl remembers her first time for the rest of her life. Don't rush. Make sure she really enjoys herself. Lots of hugs and cuddles. Be patient. And, with that monster between your legs, be careful!" "I plan on it. I don't want to scare Becca off. Not like other girls." The sight of a date screaming in horror ran through my mind. Cindy ... something. "Well, it's not like she hasn't seen it! Ever deflowered a virgin before?" "Not that I'm aware of." Had Momma left the oven on? "Oh, you'd know, Mr. Big." Thanks, Momma. "Poppa, I've noticed that we're not dissimilar in size. Anything you can tell me?" "Yes. Beware the overreacher." "Sir?" I admit it. I was confused. "No need to be formal right now, son. Overreachers are those that think they can, but can't. And, when they can't they find a way to make it your fault." Before I could ask a question, Momma jumped in, "Luis, women are built to give birth. You are smaller than a baby, trust me!" We all laughed. "Even though, at times your father doesn't feel that way. That's when I know I'm not as ready as I should be." "Son, be patient and get your partner ready. That's the best advice I can give you." "Exactly. And, you need to be sure she's ready. She might be willing before then and it will hurt." I let Momma's words sink in. My analytical self grasped the notion that I was responsible for my partner's pleasure. But, her preparation? Yes, I had to do my job. But, when would I know better than her when she was ready? "Ditto," Margie added. I added her comment without finding any resolution. "Son?" "Yes, Momma?" Pulling my attention back to the moment. "Remember, the most sexual organ is the mind. Be empathetic." Ah! Now it started to make sense. Some. I'd need to think on this and see. "RBB, I heard another rumor that I didn't believe." Great, what is Margie going to come out with now? Does blushing cause sunburn? "What's that, sweetie?" Ah, women. They stick together. Although, Poppa was showing interest as well. "I understand someone took Junior all the way down." She giggled at me. Both ovens, the gas cooktop, hell -" the grill must have been moved into the kitchen. I'd just run more than five miles and hadn't sweated like this. "Junior?" Momma and Poppa both asked at the same time. Their question from before. They weren't in the High School network so of course they didn't know. Duh! Another private part of me gone. "Ah ... When I first started showering in the locker rooms, my team mates named my penis Junior." Poppa about fell off his chair laughing. "Mine got nicknamed Giovane. Italian for Junior!" That got us all laughing, hard. My side was starting to hurt when I looked at Poppa and he nodded his head and we laughed harder. Okay, maybe not so bad as I thought. When things settled into controlled chuckles and giggles, Momma asked Margie, "Take it all the way down. Does that mean what I think it does?" "Deep throat?" Margie was turning a bit red, admitting she knew about it. "Dio Santo! So young?" She got a faraway look in her eyes, then gave Poppa 'the look.' It bothered me thinking that my parents were going to have sex. They've been open with Margie and me, yet the thought of them actually doing anything... "Okay, okay. I'm in the hole this deep. It happened when I asked for relief." Perhaps, overnight my skin decided to be red instead of its usual Southern Italian, slightly olive complexion. "You didn't force yourself on her, did you?" Poppa asked, he was very serious suddenly. "No sir!" So I told them about Susan, Shashana, and the Lottery. I finally made it out alive and on my way to school early. We'd all still be there if Momma hadn't had to get to the restaurant and Poppa hadn't needed to prep for a conference call. Margie rode with me. When I hit the player in my car, appropriately Aerosmith's Livin' On the Edge came on. Yep. Sounds like my week so far. What could possibly happen now? "So, Really Big Brother, how goes the week, for real?" I swear she can read my mind. Fortunately, she's usually too busy to bother with me. "Weird. And that's one day. More hands have been on Junior than in my whole life. Plus, I've got a girlfriend. You?" "Actually, I like it. I guess most people know you're my brother, so it's been respectful. Sometimes a little too!" She chuckled. "Well, the girls haven't been shy around me. Becca got upset yesterday afternoon because no one was touching her in the showers after PE. She's come a long way in a day." "Maybe too far." She thought for a second while I thought about what Jason had said earlier about Becca being fragile today. "She's really nice. You've done well. But, be careful today." We got to school and split up. I went to the gym for a hard workout on my upper and lower body since I'd been lax the day before. I was just getting ready to press 160 kilos when my spotter, Mike Holloway, asked, "man, what's it feel like?" I lay on the bench and scooted under the bar and asked, "What's what feel like? 350 pounds? You've done it before." "No, dickhead. Going around naked all day." "Actually, it's not that bad." I reached up for the bar and got a good grip taking the weight down my arms not my hands. "What about ... Junior?" "Well, he seems to be the main attraction." I planted my feet and settled my back into the pad. "Yeah, thanks for setting that standard so high for the rest of the football team." I realized he wasn't joking. Shit. I focused, exhaled, and lifted the bar off the supports. Slowly brought the weight down to my chest drawing in energy with my breath. Blowing out, I smoothly moved the weight up to full extension. Held it. Then did nine more reps. My arms were beginning to feel it on the eighth lift. I powered through. At the end of the tenth, I put the bar back on the rest. Mike, without a word, took 20 kilos off the bar. Silently I did another 10. Another 20 kilos off and a final 10. Mike wasn't talking. We usually traded friendly insults, talked football, or encouraged each other. SHIT. Not before East! I got up and wiped the bench down for him. I set the weight back to 160 kilos as he chalked his hands and settled down on the bench. He pulled off the rests and fully extended. When he went down and kissed his chest, I put my hands on the bar. I didn't push down, but I didn't let him push up. "What's eating you? We can't go into East like this." I growled at him. He was straining to lift 350 pounds of weight and me. Finally, he looked up. "Sorry man. Envy. Stupid, I know. But the girls were all over you because of Junior. I'm scared shitless I'll be ignored when my time in the Program comes." I helped him lift, two finger help that is. Encouragement without taking any of the weight. We did this for each other all the time. I talked him through each lift, like I normally would. We went through the same routine I had done. When he finished and stood, he put out his hand and we shook. "Luis. Sorry." I could see sincerity in his eyes, yet a hint of bad energy was still there. "For what?" I had more edge in my voice than I wanted. Breathe, Luis, breathe! "Blaming you for my size." Why this week of all weeks? "Dude, have you ever had a woman complain?" I looked at him hard. "Ah, no." "I've had 'em run away screaming when they see Junior for the first time. That's no fun." "Shit, I never thought about that." Still looking at him intently, our hands still gripped from the shake, I said, "Mike, right now, we don't need any bullshit between us. We've got a job to do this week. We have a goal to achieve. You and I can deal with this, I know we can. We just can't let the rest of the team feel it. Okay?" He thought for a minute. He firmed up his grip. "Done. Let's get ready to crush those bastards." We finished our workout carrying on as normal while others from the team joined us. While we set out for homeroom, that 20 wasted minutes every morning, I tried to get my head around this week. Prepping for a big game was tough enough. Having problems by being forced to be naked just added to the stress. Well, I could deal with it. I had to. I walked out of the gym whistling and noticed it was the main theme from Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565). The old horror movie organ music. How did that end up on my mind? ------ Chapter 12: Tuesday Morning - Foggy Mountain Breakdown Rebbecca I'm trying to get to my classroom, yet the hallway seems impossibly long. Hands are everywhere. Touching me. Squeezing my boobs and my ass. Pinching me. Poking my pussy and my nips. Stroking my clit, running in and out of me. There's a finger pushing on my asshole. It hurts and at the same time if feels good. DAMN! It wouldn't stop! The hands. The fingers. Some of it feels really, really good. Some is painful and makes me want to scream, yet only sounds of pleasure and wanting more are coming out of me. My nipples are crinkled up so hard they ached. Every touch is sending bolts of pure energy to my core. I'm right on the edge of a really, really, really big orgasm. Nobody will help me get there, and they are keeping my hands out to the sides, a hard cock in each. My core keeps getting hotter and hotter. Like a spring winding tighter and tighter seeking release. Fluids were leaking down my legs. My cunny is a lake. "Damn it, I need relief NOW!" I moaned, but no one heard me. There was a knock at my door. "Becky, time to get up!" Mom shouted through the door. I heard her footsteps fade down the hall. The hands faded, the hall turned into my room. The memory of a twisted nipple and dry pokes at my vulva remained. Horny and confused, I opened my eyes. I don't remember getting under the covers last night, but it feels nice. Damn. I was naked! The Program was real and I'm in it. I had a boyfriend! No, I had a mountain with wonderful caves. Yet, my house of cards was gone. And right now, I'm alone. Lonely. Horny. I'd never been horny before. Not like this. Was I turning into a slut? Would everyone know and make fun of me today? As I got out of bed, I felt stiff and sore between my legs. I'd lost my hymen! A guy had driven me to some fantastic orgasms with his tongue and fingers. I had a boyfriend! And, I wasn't hiding anymore. No more house of cards. Where is my muse? I reached for my robe. "How silly," I said to the painting on the easel. "I'll be back to finish you next week, sorry." My art. Oh, my art. Suffering because of the Program. Stupid Program. Then I saw my painting of Luis and I felt calm. My core heated more. "God, my Mountain, I'm sorry. I'm a slut. I'm scared." I told the painting, hoping he could hear me and wrap me into my cave. As I opened my door, I felt naked. Exposed. Oh God, and this was just at home! As I walked to the bathroom door, I couldn't get the picture of the hallway in my dream out of my mind. I felt the hands touching me. I felt my body responding. Would Luis still want me? "You okay, Bec?" Jason had just come out of the bathroom. He was dressed like I was but his hair was damp. "No," I squeaked. I hugged him and started crying. "I can't do this..." He let me cry. His chest didn't feel like my Cave, but it helped. "I'm ... I'm ... I don't know what I am. Scared? Confused?" "You're doing fine, Bec -" all things considered." I hugged my thanks. "I ran into Luis this morning." "When?" He chuckled, "well, I didn't run into him, literally. We ran together for a couple of miles. Look, I'll get you to school and to Luis, okay?" His arms surrounded me and comforted me. I felt safe. I nodded into his chest. My eyes were drying, finally. "Jase, am I doing the right thing?" Was I using Luis, and him using me? Did I have any control over my life? Had I ever? I thought I had, but... "What thing?" His voice was gentle yet concerned. "Falling for Luis." Am I? I think so. Or... "What do you mean?" "I feel like I'm using him to get through the Program." "You and he need to work that out, Bec." He paused, "I don't think you are." He collected himself and held me at arm's length. "Take your shower, dress, eat, and I'll take you to school." "I'd rather not dress and have to do the strip. I'd rather not go to school." I'd rather just go back to the way I was before school yesterday. "If you don't go, it's another week." He paused. "Without a partner and without relief." "I know. I still don't want to go." Breathe, Rebbecca, breathe. Just like Luis taught me. "Take your shower. We can talk at breakfast." "Thanks, Jase." I went into the bath. I tried to let the water wash my fear away. Fear. DAMN LUIS! Fear and stories. I liked my stories and my house of cards and hiding in plain sight and ... Pull yourself together, Becky! This seemed so simple yesterday. Now, dressing was deciding which pair of shoes that went with being prodded all day. Prada would be perfect -"don't have any. Maybe I should splurge on a pair for this week. I grabbed my bags and went down to breakfast wearing comfortable Dr. Scholl's flats. Mom was dressed just in an apron. Dad was in his usual three-piece business suit, but not hiding behind the paper. Jase was still nude. "Good morning, Becky. I'd be dressed in the uniform of the week, but I have an early meeting. Forgive me?" My dad, asking me for forgiveness? Standing in the middle of the kitchen, I dropped my bags and started bawling. I didn't deserve their support. Not after the way I've treated them. "I can't do this!" I wailed. Before my knees gave out, I was the center of three people huddling me, petting my hair, holding me up. Loving me. Another cave. They held me until I finally wound down to the occasional sniffle. "Becky?" Mom got my attention. "We need to plan tonight. Okay?" It was the right thing to say -" a focus outside of my stories. "Okay, Mama." The group got me to the table. There was food and juice in front of me. Before I could shrink into myself, she asked, "What did you have last night?" "We started with, I think they called it antipasti, and..." I told about the rest of dinner while staring down at my food. 'Buck up, kiddo.' Oh, hi Muse. When did you come back? 'When you started this oh woe-is-me BS. That is not us!.' I felt her shudder right down to my core. "Veal Santa Rosa?" Dad asked. Coming back to the moment, I nodded. "His mom is a chef?" I nodded again. "Helen, pull out all the stops. Luis's mom owns and is the chef at the best restaurant in town. We've been there before. Cuccina Rosa." "Okay..." Mom really drew that one out -"at least three syllables. "We have our work cut out for us. I can't out do her on the high end, so we should go with our family's best. Cozy, homey, good, and plentiful. That should appeal to a football player." My Mountain. Yes, that's how I'll get through the day. Focus on the mountains! I vigorously nodded my approval. Mom smiled. "She told me she'd teach me how to make the veal." I was finally able to look up and engage. "WHAT!?!" My father almost fell off his chair. "Do you know that's a more closely guarded secret than the nuclear launch codes?" His shrill voice made me flash to memories of my youth and being in deep trouble. "Ah..." I was confused. What did I do wrong? I thought I had done well and that Carmella liked me. "She offered. Then Luis got upset..." My eyes started to mist. "Now you..." The mist turned to a river as my insides turned to mush and my brain went into overload. "I don't know what I did wrong!" I finally wailed. My father gathered me in his arms. "Becky, I'm so sorry. I was shocked and reacted. I take clients there all the time and know how strongly Carmella protects that recipe. I'm actually very proud and honored she cares that much for you and trusts you ... You must have made a big impression. I'm sorry. Forgive me?" Naked in school. Boyfriend. Parent's supporting me. Being called Becky again. Now ... Now, my father apologizing to me? Pride? Honor? I'm so lost right now and need a safe place to think. God, where is my Mountain and his Cave? "Yes, Daddy, I do. Thank you." The words came out before I realized it. It felt good to hear myself say it. "I love you." That got me a smile and another hug. "Mama, I really need to get to Luis. Yet, we still have dinner..." Want. Need. Which one should rule? "Becky, you go. I'll plan a good meal and get things ready. I'll pick you up right after Art and we can get everything ready. Does that sound good?" "Thank you, Mom." I gave her a big hug. I could really get accustomed to all this hugging. I whispered, "I love you." "I love you too, Becky. Now git!" She turned me towards the door and gave my butt a little swat. "Let's go, Bec. We can catch Luis coming out of the gym if we hurry." Jason, my hero of the hour. I was unaware of the drive. I was trying to sift through all that was happening to me. My father apologizing. And proud of me. My mother helping and asking if a plan was okay. Everyone being supportive. One minute feeling good, the next crying my eyes out. I know it's not about my period, that's a couple of weeks off. Thank goodness. The Program would really suck then. Did the Program suck? Or, was I really learning and growing and just didn't like changing? How am I going to look at this a year from now? Ten years? How am I going to get through today? "Bec, we're here." Jason's words pulled me from my thoughts. I gave him a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek. I was out of the car headed from the gym before he turned off the engine. Luis "Well, good morning Becca." I'm sure my smile cracked something in my face. It felt bigger and wider than ever. A new sensation of warmth spread through me. Joy? Love? "What a wonderful surprise." "I guess." She came into my arms and I hugged her to me. Breathe, kiddo. Breathe. Try to remember that women think differently. Way differently. Center! Hard to do with a beautiful naked girl in your arms whose breasts are pushed into your bare stomach. "Is everything okay?" In through the nose, out through the mouth. Forget Junior. Yes you, Junior! "No. No it's not." Her anger surprised me. Breathe! "Tell me what's going on, please?" Stay calm. Is she going to dump me after less than a day? "I left my old world behind. I'm scared that I'm using you. Just inventing another story as a way to survive this week. I don't know. I'm scared. I don't want to hurt you..." She started crying. I held her and let her wind down. "You did blow up your world. You did a damn good job of it!" That got a little chuckle out of her. I remembered how different my awakening this morning had been. "Let me guess, you had weird dreams all night?" "I went to bed happy and woke up scared in the middle of a bad dream." I walked her to homeroom and found us seats in the back. Everyone left us alone. We talked quietly so no one could hear us. "What was your dream?" I held her hands and her eyes. "A long hallway filled with hands. Poking and prodding. Pinching and squeezing me. I was..." I'm glad I'm not the only one that blushes. She looked down, "I was also excited." "Excited?" "Um ... I wanted to, but I couldn't..." She finally looked up at me again. "I couldn't ... I couldn't get off." I avoided a chuckle -"somehow. Instead, I held her eyes. "Which was worse? Being scared and not being able to get away from the hands or..." She cut me off. "Yeah. The second part." She looked down and got real quiet. "I think I'm turning into a slut." Oh, Shit. Breathe, Luis. Breathe. In -"slowly. Hold. Out -"slowly. Hold. Repeat as often as necessary. It was very necessary! "What do you mean by slut?" "I ... I think I'm starting to like sex too much and think about it all the time." "So, you're becoming a guy?" I couldn't help it. I had to laugh. She gave me a strange look. It was if I had just grown a tit in the middle of my forehead. "I'm not a guy!" I couldn't help it; I smiled and nodded my head. "Duh!" She lifted her tits up to prove it. I really hadn't looked at them today. Beautiful. Full. Firm. I knew from personal experience how they felt. Oops. Better come back to this conversation or Junior is going to make an appearance. "What's wrong with being a slut?" I asked seriously and coming back to her eyes. "Huh?" I do love how she knits her brow when she's uncertain or sorting her thoughts. "I said, what's wrong with being a slut?" I lightened my tone a touch. She relaxed a touch. "It's not a good thing." She said this as if a statement. Flat -"as if she was repeating the words of someone else and had no conviction about it. "So, Rosalee is doing a bad thing by saying she is?" I watched her eyes and brow as she sorted her thoughts. Her brow did its dance. Knit one, twist two, flex three... "Well, no. It's just an act." With some certainty in her voice, but not conviction. "Is it?" I kept relaxed. I'd found a chink in her armor and didn't want to wound her, just get her to think for herself. "Huh? Well, why don't people talk about her ... you know, rumors and stories and such?" "Because, she doesn't care. No matter if what she proclaims is true or not, people can't use it against her." She started her sort again and it appeared she was testing her outcomes. I love her face, eyes, and brow. I love getting lost there and watching her think. I could tell she was seeing something new. "So, calling someone a slut, and meaning it in a bad way, is about power?" I know she saw my delight. Her eyes were doing a little dance like the one she had done around me the night before. "Completely." She was no longer wounded. Now open and relaxed. "Explain." How could I not love her and her ability to see beyond my façade and see into me so deeply, just as I could see into her? All we had to do was work out some of the language problems. "Let me give you two examples. Do you remember Katie Jones from our freshman year?" "Vaguely." "She left school after rumors spread about her being a slut." I'm sure she saw the pain in my eyes. "Oh. What I remember, she was a nice person." "Was and is. I still run into her. She goes to Catholic School now and lives just down the street. What's stupid about the rumors is she's still a virgin. She wouldn't go out with a guy, so he started the rumors." I paused. Should I say it? No need. She got it. "To get even." We shared a look of disgust. "In a very nasty way. The guy that started the rumors left school as well. Seems, he started having a lot of accidents." I tried to hide the stories that flooded my mind. Not some of my proudest moments. "Let me guess. Mountain climbing accidents." That got a laugh from both of us. Yet, she did acknowledge my pain. "What do you think of Maureen Johnson?" She easily shifted gears with me as I mentioned another member of our class. "She seems like a nice girl. Prim and proper." Her brow did a thing that could only mean confusion; she seemed to not know where I was going. I could sense that she wanted me to continue and not interrupt my story. "She's just very careful who she goes out with." A caught a moment of fear cross her eyes. "Have you?" It really wasn't a question I could avoid -"more of a statement seeking confirmation. "Yes." Junior twitched at the memory. I'm sure she caught it and the flash of lust in my eyes. "That's all your going to say, isn't it?" "Yep." I said with a grin. She hit me. What is it with the women in my life hitting me today? "So, be careful is what you're saying." She smiled in acceptance of my story and a hint of something to hold over me later. "It applies to anything. Either don't care and carefully construct a persona like Rosalee, or be discreet and only hang with people you know you can trust like Maureen does. Katie couldn't deal with it. Her protests of being a virgin were scoffed at." "Why?" We shared a moment of pain for Katie -"a moment of compassion. Our eye language translations were improving. "My guess is that people want to believe the nasty rumors. It makes their lives more interesting." We shared a look that pledged never to be like that nor fall for it. "Luis?" I looked deep into her eyes, again -"a simply wonderful place. I'd rather be looking at her eyes than my favorite place in the universe -"Barnard 33, the Horsehead Nebula. I love her eyes. "Will you love me if I turn into a slut?" "As in you're gonna love sex and want it a lot, or you're gonna love sex and be indiscriminate?" I kept my eyes on her watching the play of emotions run through her. "As in will you love me if I like sex too much?" I'm positive she could see the joyous laughter in my eyes. "Becca, I think I love you. I don't know, but it feels like it. It's kind of new for me." She smiled and nodded. I knew she meant it was new for her and she shared my concerns. Outside our world, I'm sure there were the usual morning announcements as we worked on the eye language problem. We didn't hear them. "I do know that I will have very deep feelings for you no matter what. As for you loving sex a lot -" I'm a guy!" "Thank you. I think you know I feel the same way. About the feelings, that is." She paused. Her eyes showed a thousand stories, and then cleared. Bright and loving. She squeezed my hand sweetly. "I want you to enjoy yourself this week." "What do you mean, Becca?" "I want you to enjoy the Program and all the attention Junior gets. As a matter of fact, I'm not going to give you relief, during school, this week." That hit me. But, looking in her eyes, I knew it wasn't because she didn't want to. "Why?" I asked softly. "That should be private. Between us. Maybe in other circumstances, but not during class. Just don't forget me." I could see she was thinking about the Art, just as I was. "How could I?" Her smile and her eyes were the kiss I needed at that moment. And, all I was going to get in homeroom! "Even Art?" "Okay -"one exception." She squeezed my hand and we both chuckled. Junior started to join the conversation. Her nipples were paying attention as well. "I want you to enjoy yourself as well. Please?" "Let me get past being uncomfortable in the halls, first! Plus, get past that dream I had." Her eyes held determination with just a hint of uncertainty. "Fair enough! Do you want me with you in the halls?" "Please." I could see in her eyes she wanted me to be with her and help her but not keep things from happening. Just help her through it all. "I'm hoping something will happen in the showers after PE." She said that very softly. I could see in her the frustration from yesterday and her dream this morning. I smiled at her and we squeezed hands. The bell rang. Becca gave me a quick, discreet kiss, and pulled me out of my seat towards the door. She was quick enough that we got all the way into the hall before the first request came. "Pose for us, Rebbecca?" She let go of my hand, handed me her bags, put a painted smile on her face, and her hands on her hips. She opened her legs a bit and thrust out her chest. I could see the worry in her eyes, but I smiled at her and she got lost in my eyes. Everyone played nice, and played nicely with her titties and that magnificent ass. It was enough to bring Junior to full mast -"in a hurry. Soon, he had his share of hands worshiping him. I was too lost to notice if requests had been made and whether or not I responded. Everyone said thanks and drifted off to their next class. She took my hand again, gave me a small smile, and we headed down the hall. "How was that?" I asked. "It was ... okay, I guess." She walked a few more steps. "Did it bother you?" I sorted through what I was feeling. "Well, I have to admit that seeing you being touched excited me." I pointed down to Junior, still leading the way. "Yeah, it did bother me a little." "Why?" "Hmm ... Part of it was that I wasn't the one doing the touching." I sorted through all the feelings -"some of them quite new. "And there was a little pang of jealousy." I got a huge, wet kiss for that. I delivered her to her classroom leaving her with a quick kiss and a pat on the butt. I walked to AP Calculus. That's when it hit me; she's in Biology. Everyone knew the myths and stories about Program participants and Biology. Would she be able to handle that today? Oh, shit! Could I handle it? Double Shit! ------ Chapter 13: Tuesday Morning - Dazed and Confused Rebbecca I walked into Biology with tons on my mind. Yes, okay ... Stories. Damn his precious, darling heart. 'A pang of jealousy.' He was human after all. And, he really wanted to be touching me. I'd like that. A lot. I guess the requests and the trip down the hall hadn't been that hard. Well, Junior had been. Next time, I'll have to hold him as well. It took me a moment to see Ms. Carlisle waving to me. That's when I noticed she had three chairs sitting up front. Uh-oh. "Rebbecca, up here please." Caught! I'd heard about Biology classes and the Program. For the rest of the week I was the demonstration model. Why three chairs? Wait, she was adding a fourth. Tim and Shirley walked in hand-in-hand. Grinning. Naked. Looking more than a little flushed. Ms. Carlisle invited them to the front. We put our stuff down and sat, said hi to each other, and awaited our fate. The rest of the class settled down. Needless to say, all eyes were on us. Ms. Carlisle turned to us and checked each of us out. With a little chuckle, she asked, "Anyone need relief?" Three negatives, so she turned and addressed the class. "We're not doing mammals yet, so no live demonstrations -"this week." "That sucks," said a male voice in the back. "Mr. Allen?" Ms. Carlisle asked while raising her eyebrows. "Yes, ma'am?" Will Allen, class creep. "Since you want to participate, why don't you join us in the front, please." I recalled that teachers could request anyone to participate in the class, naked, as long as they weren't exempt. And not many were. A few for religious reasons and one because of diplomatic status is all I could recall. "Why?" His voice hard, defiant. "Because I said so. And, I like having an equal numbers of males and females sitting here." "Naked?" Now I have a good reference for what incredulous sounds like. I filed this in my writing folder. "Of course. Any arguments, you could find yourself finishing the week that way and doing your normal week later." I remembered that punishment time in the Program didn't count towards fulfilling your requirements for graduation. I was glad I was on the end with Tim and Shirley between me and the empty chair. Shirley didn't look that happy. Will was skinny with really bad posture, ragged clothes, bad acne, and he smelled. He didn't often talk to us girls -"he leered. When he talked to us, it was always rude or disgusting -"focused on chests and other bits. When he stripped there were no cheers. No cat calls. Everyone looked at other things around the class. "Class." We all looked at Ms. Carlisle. "Will is not being punished. He's doing this just for this class at my request. Unless this whole class wants to go naked for the rest of the day, you are going to show some appreciation and respect for Mr. Allen." The class politely, and quietly, clapped. Tim leaned across, looked at Will, and asked, "Are you okay?" "Yeah, thanks." His eyes actually showed appreciation. I gave him a thumbs up and Shirley patted him on the arm in support. He glared at each of us and didn't say a thing. For us nude people, the class passed almost normally. We just sat there naked, on display, instead of in our normal seats. We were expected to participate in class like everyone else. It was impossible to take notes, though. We weren't allowed to cover ourselves, so no notebooks in our laps or laptop computers. I'd have to ask someone to email me a copy of theirs later. The new Electronic Classroom hadn't reached out school yet, so no video, audio, transcripts, notes, and references online -"yet. About ten minutes from the end of the class, Ms. Carlisle took a different direction that shocked the four of us up front. "Okay, from now through the end of the year, we're going to reserve the last ten minutes of class to question our Program participants. That is, when we have them. "First, a question from me to each of you. Are you a virgin? Rebbecca?" "Yes, ma'am." I looked down and felt myself turning really red. "No." Tim and Shirley answered in unison and then smiled at each other. "Will?" Ms. Carlisle asked into the protracted silence. "Ah, yeah." I think he might have turned brighter red than me. "Thank you for sharing. Fifty percent virgins is a little high for seniors in High School, about average for teenagers. This small a sample size might account for it." She shook off the question about sample size and looked at the class. Her eyes showed true concern. "Anyone that is being pressured, think about that. You're really not alone." She paused to let it sink in. "Okay, any questions from the class?" Hands were raised and she pointed to a girl in the third row. Stacy? Amanda? I couldn't remember. "Ah, Rebbecca ... Since you're a virgin ... Do you still have ... I mean ... Are you ... intact?" She looked as embarrassed as I felt. Ms. Carlisle didn't say anything for a minute. I think it was a contest to see which of us could turn the reddest. Finally, she gave us a break. "Being intact is having a hymen, which is the membrane that protects the vagina. Having, or not having a hymen is not an indicator of virginity. Even though many ignorant cultures have, and still do, consider it so." Ms. Carlisle preached, and then turned waiting for me to answer. "I was intact until yesterday." I managed to get that out -"somehow. My core responded with my recall. It heated and I felt the need to squirm. 'Oh, God. Everyone will know I'm a slut.' Tim turned and asked, "Because of what happened in the hall?" Concern written all over his face. Now I was red all over and having trouble breathing, recalling the sudden pain. 'Breathe, ' I recall Luis telling me. Good advice. "Almost. That hurt." I said that? "How?" Thanks, Shirley. Wait until your turn. "Luis, at my request, took it with his fingers." My core fluttered at the thought of his kisses and what his tongue had done to me. "I wanted it ... gone." I just gave them confirmation that I am a slut. I'm going to need a towel -"soon! My hands look very nice in my lap. Ms. Carlisle came to my rescue at that point. "Let me educate the two of you that don't know about what happened yesterday. Plus, correct the information most of the rest of you are carrying around. Rebbecca was assaulted in the hallway. A person -"unknown -"came up behind her and attempted to push their fingers into her vagina. Ram would be a better word." She looked over at me and saw the astounded look on my face. How did she know this? "Rebbecca, I'm very aware of what happened. The teachers have as good a grapevine as the students. I hope better!" The class chuckled. "I totally agree with what Luis did -"although not officially." She turned back to the rest of the class. "There is someone in this school sporting a new tattoo on their forearm today. It's temporary and resembles a bruise. Coincidentally, it is the size and shape of Luis's hand." Will had been wearing a long sleeved shirt before he stripped. No one had paid attention to him then or since. However, as soon as Ms. Carlisle finished explaining, he tried to hide his right arm. The movement in the otherwise still classroom was like a beacon to a moth on a dark night. It caught everyone's attention. The bruise on the inside of his forearm was not so easily hidden by his small hands. "Mr. Allen. Do you have something to add to this conversation?" When he didn't speak, she went on, measuring her words carefully. "The school's official position is that Luis acted within acceptable boundaries. In fact, the faculty and staff think he showed considerable restraint and maturity. The person that committed the assault has one, and only one, chance to do the right thing and show their maturity. Again, do you have anything to add to this conversation, Will?" He sat. Not speaking. He just glared at her, then at me, then back again at Ms. Carlisle. Whenever he looked at me, my skin crawled. Ms. Carlisle let the silence stand for about a minute. It seemed like a month to me. Will finally muttered something unintelligible. "Excuse me, Mr. Allen. I didn't hear you." Ms. Carlisle sounded just like a Drill Sergeant in the movies. "I didn't say nothin'." His tone and manner added the word bitch to the end of the sentence. "Miss Keon, did you hear anything?" Ms. Carlisle asked Shirley. How is she doing this? She's so collected and together. "Ma'am?" Shirley looked scared. Tim leaned over and whispered something to her. She straightened as a new resolve appeared in her eyes. "Yes, I did. He said, 'I'm gonna kill that cunt.'" Did he mean me or Ms. Carlisle? My blood ran cold. The bell rang. No one in the class moved. Before Ms. Carlisle could say anything, Will jumped up and attacked me. Fists swinging! I fell off the chair trying to defend myself. ------ Luis I was letting the differentials fade from my mind, not to mention all the hands on Junior as I walked to Becca's classroom door. Faint memories of Biology and the Program rattling around in my mind. Then, Susan walked by and gave Junior a tender, sweet squeeze. "See you in History, Luis!" She smiled and gave me a wink. I stared at her ass as she walked down the hall. The way her dress swayed was ... Interesting. What Calculus class? Biology? Oh! Yeah ... Becca! Junior twitched at that notion. The second bell rang. Nothing. It was too quiet. The door was still closed. Then I heard a scream followed by angry voices and more screams. The door was opening by my own hand before my brain registered that one of the screams had belonged to Becca. It was still trying to catch up to the moment when I found myself with a double handful of slimy flesh. It had been on top of Rebbecca hitting her. She was curled up on the floor in a protective posture. The thing in my hands, now high over my head, was screaming in rage and thrashing worse than an eel on a hook. Ms. Carlisle was yelling in an attempt to be heard and restore order. Shirley was backed up against Tim, screaming in terror. Tim looked shocked and was trapped from any action by Shirley. Everyone else seemed frozen by the suddenness of it all. "DON'T!" Becca's voice cut through the confusion. Her eyes held fear and determination. Her hair was a mess. Her arms red from the beating. "Don't do it, Luis. He's not worth it!" My training had kicked in. I had removed the danger and done nothing more. Looking at Becca, though, made me want to beat this little shit to a pulp. I didn't. Her eyes and voice kept me from doing it more than my training. I set him down on his feet. As soon as he got his balance, he swung at me. Idiot! I caught his fist in my hand, which made a sound like a wet rag hitting a steel floor, and squeezed until he was on his knees. "Don't move," I managed to get out of my mouth through gritted teeth. I was doing everything in my power to keep from just crushing his hand. "Becca, are you okay?" "I ... I don't know." She was sitting up now. I breathed a slight sigh of relief. "Shirley, check her out, please? I can't let this fool go right now." Shirley, Tim, and Ms. Carlisle surrounded Rebbecca and began to check her over. I looked at Will and saw absolute hate in his eyes. They were wild with rage and not at all human. The same look I had seen once with a trapped, feral dog. Dr. C came running into the classroom. Part of me registered that I had never seen him run before. He saw me holding Will down with one hand and that I was relaxed, not moving. He headed straight to Ms. Carlisle. They moved away from the crowd and had a quick, whispered conversation. I didn't think I was in trouble, not with things the way there are today. I remember Poppa telling me about "Zero Tolerance" and all the problems that caused. Under that system, I would have been expelled for what I did. That, along with the cultural notion of Personal Responsibility being personal, not legislated or regulated, had actually reduced violence in schools. "Luis, escort Mr. Allen to my office. I expect him there in one piece, but get him there. Okay?" His eyes bored into me. I knew exactly what he was asking of me. Use only the force necessary to get him to the office. I nodded. "Mr. Carter, accompany him." Tim got it and nodded. We both knew his job was to monitor me. "Miss Davis, I'd like you to go to the nurse's office and get checked out." "Dr. Cavenaugh, I'm okay. Just in shock. I'd rather be with Luis right now." Her eyes held only a hint of fear. The rest was pure determination backed by resolve. "Are you sure?" His voice much softer. Another thing that has changed, according to Poppa. In days of old, she would have been forced to go to the nurse so the school could avoid a lawsuit. She now had personal choice on her side. "Yes." My Becca had more than a note of defiance in her voice. Damn, I love that girl. Just took a beating, yet knew what she wanted and was going to get it. She got up, very slowly, and came to me. "I want to hold you and hug you. Right now you're a little occupied. Later, please?" I winked at her, not trusting my voice right then, and blew her a kiss. I was so proud of her and the way she was handling all this. I twisted Will's arm a little harder. Reflex ... Right! He yelped. Becca looked at me in a way that reminded me of one of Momma's scoldings. I let some of the pressure off of Will's elbow. Her eyes briefly flashed a smile. Dr. C gathered up Ms. Carlisle and the front row of the class with a few glances and a wave. "If anyone else would like to share their observations of the incident, please let Mrs. Grant know and we'll contact you during the day." The entourage headed out into a crowded hallway. Dr. C led the way and parted the seas. I was holding Will's hands behind his back with one hand, my other on the back of his neck propelling him forward. I kept him a little off balance without the danger of him falling over -"so he couldn't use his feet as weapons. He was screaming a constant rant of obscenities and threats. I wanted to gag him, but neither of us was overdressed enough to provide materials to cram into his foul mouth. That's when it hit me that he was nude as well. Plus, I saw the bruise on his forearm. A huge part of me wanted to waste him right in the hallway. Pull his limbs off, one by one, and roll his torso into a little ball and flick it into space. Then play soccer with his skull. He fought me every step of the way, which was all the excuse I needed to make sure his hands would remember this day for a very long time. When we got to the office, Dr. C whispered to Mrs. Grant and then led the key players into his office and directed the rest of the troops to the seats in Mrs. Grant's domain -"the Cavern. "Mr. Contadino, please place Mr. Allen in the chair in front of my desk. I trust that you will not allow him to get up?" I nodded and walked him to the chair. Just as I released his hands to seat him, Dr. C went on. "I've instructed Mrs. Grant to call the police and..." Will went nuts. He pushed the chair back into me as hard as he could using, what was to him, some superhuman strength. Then he slithered out from my relaxed hold on his neck and picked up Dr. C's letter opener from the desk. He attempted a roundhouse swing towards me. Me disappeared. Mind registered the weapon and the need for prudence. Body did what it had been trained to do. It kicked the chair out of the way, moved into him, and let his hand go behind it. Hand met his wrist as Body turned away from him. Then Body levered him. Arm, hip, side, legs -"only four ounces of force. Perfect T'ai Ch'i. He went upside down, dropped the letter opener, flew across the room, and slammed into the wall with way more than four ounces of force. Mind was screaming for restraint and prudence. Body began advancing on the crumpled figure, very intent on finishing the job. Dr. C stepped in front of Body trying to block its progress. Body reached arms out and grabbed him by the waist. Mind was aghast. Body proceeded to pick him up and started to move him out of the way of the target. "Luis. Put. Me. Down. Now!" He didn't raise his voice, yet it was the loudest command I'd ever heard. Body still moved him out of the way and set him down. As Body prepared to advance again, Mind heard him say, "LUIS!" His voice wasn't loud. Emphatic, yes. Mind stopped my foot two inches from crushing Will's skull. "Thank you. I'll take over. You go tend to Miss Davis." We locked eyes. He saw Body begin to unwind the tension. He stayed with my eyes until I totally relaxed and Mind quieted. Spirit stepped forward to take control. "Thank you, Dr. Cavenaugh. I apologize." I bowed my head and shoulders to him. He shook my hand and held it. "You've done better than anyone could expect. Thank you." He gave me a little head bow. He checked out my eyes carefully. He could see that my body had unwound, my mind was quiet, and my heart was running the show. For me, it was hard to hold his gaze. I was ashamed. And, quite frankly, I'm not used to looking up to another person. "Now, go tend to your girlfriend." It was an order I gladly complied with. I gave him another bow, from the waist this time. I worked on coming completely back to Center and focused on breathing deep and slow. Letting the air move the energy through me. Trying to wash the adrenaline out and minimizing the muscle shakes. Breathe into my Dantien -" my Center. Well, mostly. The energy beginning to flow properly, Dr. C saw it and released my hand. "Mr. Allen. I would advise you not to move. I'm not as gentle as Mr. Contadino." Dr. C rearranged him carefully then put plastic cuffs on Will's wrists and left him moaning on the floor. I turned, took Becca into my arms, sat, and snuggled her in. "Are you okay, sweetie?" She looked up, eyes full of tears. Fear and confusion on her face. She snuggled in tighter. I could feel her heart beating faster than a Gene Krupa drum solo. "Hold me..." Was all I got out of her. I wrapped her into my chest. Losing her eyes, feeling her warmth and tremors. "Are you hurt? Do you need a doctor?" I could feel her shake her head and borrow in deeper. She pulled herself into a little ball and disappeared in my arms. About then, the police arrived. A couple of uniformed officers exchanged plastic for metal and escorted a slow moving Will out. The ignored me. A formidable female detective took charge. "We need to interview everyone, one at a time, and separately. Please go outside until you are called. Don't talk among yourselves about events. We'll start with..." She looked at her PDA, "Rebbecca Davis." Becca looked up at me, pleading. I hugged her and looked up at the detective. "Ma'am, she's really freaked right now. She needs to calm down." "Who are you?" She studied me as if I had just arisen from the primordial sludge. I felt she knew everything about me, including the number of fillings I had. "Luis Contadino." She referred to her notes again. She must not know everything! I assume she had a wireless connection and was pulling my file. Why am I wasting time thinking about that? "Mr. Contadino, if I were you, I'd be more worried about myself right now. I'd advise you to have legal counsel when we speak -"later. And, since you're under 18, you need a parent here as well." SHIT! WHAT! Breathe! Maybe Zero Tolerance wasn't completely gone. "Ma'am, in the moment, I'm not concerned about myself. This girl in my arms needs help. I'm not letting her out of my sight." Turning to Dr. C, "Could I ask you to have someone call my Dad, please?" I quickly put together a To Do list in my head. "No problem, Luis. Already done." Whoa! He used my first name and his tone was supportive. Almost friendly. "Have Becca's parents been notified? Jason?" "Her parents are on the way. Jason should be getting word about now." Dr. C informed me. Two items off my list. "Ma'am," I directed towards the detective, "I need to stress that my girlfriend needs space, love, comfort, and support right now. I'd suggest you start with the others." I turned my attention back to the number one item on my list -"the precious bundle in my arms. Her Cave as she calls it. She looked up at me with tear filled eyes, sobbed, and tried to say 'thank you' before she buried her head again. She was this tiny ball in the large expanse of my lap. A silly thought hit me -"is this how big I'd be if I were Santa? Dr. C stepped into the conversation. "Detective Alvarez, I know you have an investigation to do. We will not interfere. I can assure you this young man has done nothing more than protect someone he loves and has shown incredible restraint in the process. I suggest you start with the teacher and other witnesses." "Doctor Cavenaugh, stay out of this." Can you say command voice? The coming battle of wills drew my attention. Just as the 'conversation' heated and the tension rose, Jason burst into the room. "Bec? Are you okay? Where is she? What happened?" The detective started in on who Jason was. Dr. C was trying to calm him down and answer the detective. I know he hadn't seen her yet, she was pretty well hidden in my chest and arms. "Becca," I whispered to her. "Jason is here. We each need to talk to the detective, without each other, and then I'll be back with you. He can be with you in the mean time. Okay?" She shook her head violently and grabbed my arm. Damn, she's strong. "I'll stay as long as I can." She nodded and held me harder. I snuggled her tighter. Jason, the good running back that he is, scanned the field for openings. He engaged the tacklers at the line of scrimmage effectively and broke through the Detective's questions. Scanning the secondary, he finally noticed Becca in my arms. He paused for a moment and made his decision. Dr. C and Detective Alvarez continued their debate. I couldn't hear it. Jason came over to me, he appeared a bit calmer. "How's Bec?" I wouldn't say he was glaring at me, but he was pissed. "Physically? Okay except for some potential bruising on her arms. She's not bleeding. Little wimp isn't that strong." "He's still alive?" Anger spilling out of his eyes all over the floor. "Yes." I felt the need to apologize. At the same time, I knew I'd done the right thing. The need passed. "Why didn't you kill him?" Becca started to shake her head and cry. He softened a touch. "Following my lady's orders." She nodded and clutched me. "Plus, I think she'd rather have a boyfriend she could see outside of prison visiting hours." She violently nodded. "Jason, they want to question us separately." He looked me in the eyes, his anger draining away. He picked up on my thoughts. First things first. "Don't worry, Luis. I'll take care of her if they do that. Plus, Mom and Dad are on their way." We gave each other a nod of understanding and agreement. Jason sat next to me, ready in case he was needed. I returned my attention to Becca and tried to feel what she was feeling. Letting go of self, I opened to her being. First, I focused on her body pressed up to mine. In other times, this would be delightful. Right now, she was trembling, her heart beating way too fast, and her breath too rapid and shallow. I then tried to focus on her energy and pulled back a bit. Fear has a unique energy pattern and she had the strongest I'd ever felt. Before I let my own sympathetic reaction get out of hand, I went back to basics. 'Breathe.' I did. Ten deep, slow cleansing breaths. As I returned to Center, I realized how far off I had gotten. She must have felt my energy shift, for her breathing slowed some. Not enough. "Becca?" She slowly pulled her head out of my chest and looked up. Once I had her eyes locked with mine, "I want you to breathe with me." Confusion crossed over her. I focused on yesterday and the two of us posing on the couch in Art. I let the feelings of love and peace flow over me. She started to feel it and her eyes changed. She nodded. "Breathe with me. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Try to go slow and stay with me, okay?" She may have been good at hiding in the past, but she never learned to have a poker face. As the war of emotions played over her -"that cute brow doing its knitting again, she calmed slowly, and then nodded. "Do you need to blow your nose?" Jason heard me and held up a box of tissues. She looked up with a 'huh?' look. "So you can breathe through your nose, silly!" A look of hurt crossed over her face. I didn't give into it, instead held out my love to her through my eyes. After a couple of seconds, she smiled. When she tried to breathe through her nose she reached for the tissues. Between Jason and I, we had her sitting up in my lap, tissues in hand, and honking away in no time. Dr. C must have been keeping an eye on us as he continued his 'discussion' with the detective. He carefully nudged his trashcan in our direction with his shoe. Jason and I worked together as any good team with a goal. When Becca finished with one wad of tissues, it was out of her hand and into the trashcan. To be quickly replaced with a fresh batch. After five or six cycles, she began to breathe more freely through her nose. She looked up curiously trying to figure out where all the spoiled tissues had gone. Good. She's coming back to the world. "Ready to breathe with me?" She hesitated only briefly then nodded. "It will help if you look into my eyes. Plus, I like it." That got a brief smile of joy. "Breathe in slowly." I matched her and when I felt her coming to her peak, "now hold it." I let a few heartbeats pass. "Now, slowly let it out. It should take as long as it took to breathe it in." She did and emptied. "Now, push the last out and hold it." I could feel her tense as she pushed a bit more out of her lungs. "Good, now in slowly..." The breaths got longer and deeper. Slowly, the fear flowed out of her. She kept going even after I stopped coaching her. I looked deep into her eyes seeking the soul I found yesterday. Slowly the new Becca emerged. Not with the same brilliance as last night, yet it was still strong. She reached her hand up and stroked my cheek. "Thank you." I could feel the depth of her voice in my body. At a loss for words myself, I just smiled and gave her a little squeeze. "What happened?" "I..." Dr. C cut me off. "Mr. Contadino, Miss Davis, I'd suggest you hold off on such conversations until after you finish your police interviews." He waited for us to respond. Something about his voice just makes you want to do the right thing. We both nodded. "Good. Now, we need to help the police sort things out. That means you two need to be interviewed, separately. Are you up for it?" I looked back at Becca. Something in Dr. C's voice always drew your eyes to him. She looked at me as well. The sparkle was back in her eyes and she searched mine. I could see the concern for me in her face. I went inside for a second and checked myself over. Was I ready for this? Did I believe she would be okay? Did I need more strength from her? I took a deep breath into my Dantien. I pulled in to my limit rolling the energy ball as I did. Growing energy roots out of my feet into the Earth. On the hold, I let the energy spread through me. Breathing out I expunged the fear in me. I knew I couldn't fake an answer to her. Was I ready? I took another deep breath. Was I ready to be so close to another? Before the stories got hold, an image of my parents came up -"and their joyous life together. I knew our path was right. As I exhaled, I gave her a yes with my eyes. Hers said yes. A new strength shining through. "Dr. C, we're ready." As I said that, Becca's Mom came through the door. She saw Becca huddled to me and smiled, nodded her head, and turned to talk to Dr. C. Two minutes later, her Dad came in. He saw us and gave me a wink and a nod. He joined his wife in the conversation with Dr. C and Detective Alvarez. Becca reached her arms up, pulled me down, and kissed me. Hard. We broke panting. She locked eyes. "My Mountain. Thank you. I can do this now." I saw the strength in her eyes and nodded. She unfolded from my lap and stood. She took my face and kissed me again, then walked over and joined the group putting an arm around each parent. Dr. C looked at me and indicated the door with his eyes and a sweep of his head. I mustered all the grace I could and went out into the Cavern. I took a seat normally reserved for those awaiting punishment. How fitting. I was oblivious of all the others around me and was just letting my stories start to bubble up when Momma, Poppa, and our family lawyer walked in. Momma sat on my left leg and hugged me. Poppa took my right hand and shook it, putting his left over it. "You know we're on your side, no matter what?" Momma said softly. I cried. I know, I know ... I'm supposed to be the big, strong silent type. Too damn bad. With Momma and Poppa supporting me, I just let go. Momma cradled my head on her shoulder. Poppa held onto my hand. Momma was whispering in my ear how healthy and normal it was to let my emotions out. "After all, we're Italians." Poppa agreed with her. I remembered to breathe. After ten good ones, I realized I was in a circle of love and compassion. It took five more to deal with having left Becca in the other room. I know I'd need a lot more to deal with my actions and the police. I was okay now. Custis Coleman, our family lawyer, started in about keeping my mouth shut and blah, blah, blah, blah ... Lawyer speak. "Momma, Poppa, I did my best to protect Becca." I went on to recount the incidents as best I could. "I could have stopped him by just taking the letter opener out of his hand. I didn't. I wanted to hurt him. I threw him into the wall. Then Dr. C stepped in front of me..." Ten more breaths. I was ashamed of what I had done to him and let my parents know as I related that part of the story. "I owe it to myself to tell my story without editing it and take whatever punishment they see fit." Mr. Coleman started, my parents joined him. They all went round and round about what I should do instead. I let them go on for a bit then looked Momma in the eyes. "You taught me to accept the consequences of my actions." I turned to Poppa. "You taught me to be a man and stand tall." I looked at the lawyer. "Everyone says I showed restraint. All I know is that I wanted to kill him. But, I didn't. Then I picked up Dr. C. Only his voice kept me from really hurting Will." I took another deep breath. "I can only say what I did, take what comes my way, and accept it." Momma hugged me. Poppa shook my hand and was busting with pride. Mr. Coleman was bursting at the seams and it wasn't pride! The door to Dr. C's office opened. ------ Chapter 14: Tuesday Morning "Requiem" Rebbecca "Why don't we sit?" Detective Alvarez indicated the conference table. The same place where my life began a massive change slightly more than 24 hours ago. "Are you okay, Rebbecca?" I nodded my head, somehow, and looked at my arms. No bruises -"yet. The Detective's whole manner was so different than before. She seemed relaxed, yet just as much in control as earlier. It must have been some power play on her part. "If you need to take a break at anytime, please do." I nodded. "I would like you to see the nurse as soon after the interview as possible." Again, I nodded. I needed to get The Shot anyway -"thank you modern birth control. "Now, what happened in Biology class today?" I related to her what I remembered from walking in until the attack. Yes, attack! She asked a few questions, drawing from me details I hadn't remembered the first time around. Well, nothing like a vicious attack to make me forget I was naked. Still. "You're an artist, correct?" "Yes, how did you know?" "I have one of your paintings." I looked questioningly. "Ms Rotella gave it to me. It's 'Sculptor #2.'" I was trying to figure out why Francesca had given her one of my paintings. "We're close friends." I recalled the painting. It was part of a series I had done of Francesca starting with her examining a rough piece of marble to putting the finishing touches on the sculpture from that block of stone Number Two was the most intense. The rough form of the statue was just emerging from the stone. Francesca was deeply focused on it and covered in marble dust. Her look had been overpoweringly sexual ... Then I GOT IT! They had to be lovers. She gave me a discrete wink when she saw I had figured it out. "The reason I asked if you were an artist, I would like you to draw Will's face when he came at you. As accurately as you can. Are you game?" I ran through the 'snapshots' of the event in my mind. Letting the artist take over and trying to stay uninvolved personally. When I got to the pictures of Will as he came at me, I shivered. "If I can have Luis with me," I answered softly. "Why?" "Rebbecca, there is only so much I can say." Her brow scrunched. I could see many things playing through her eyes. None of them were happy thoughts, not like her eyes when we talked about the painting. Just as intense, though. "Will has been known to us for a while." She studied her manicured hands. Clear polish. She looked up, locked with my eyes, and found my heart. "We want to see he gets the help he so desperately needs. Your pictures will help." "What about his parents?" Mom asked. It did not break the bond I had with the detective. "Mrs. Davis, that's the core of the problem." Her eyes never left mine. "I can't say more except his parents have yet to respond to his incarceration. Again." I suddenly felt like my legs had been swept out from beneath me. I had thought until last night my parents didn't care. Yet, they were always there. "Damn!" Did I say that? A picture of a house came to mind. Suddenly, a blinding flash of light. The paint on the house blisters then the whole thing is blown away. So much for a "Universal Truth" that homes are safe. Detective Alvarez pulled me from my thoughts and went on with questions, drawing out of me what I remember during and after the attacks. I wasn't too helpful since I had withdrawn almost completely. While tears were dripping down my face, I didn't lose it again. Where is my muse? Where is Luis? I needed my cave. "Rebbecca, are you sure you don't need to see a doctor?" She had real concern on her face. That brought me back to now. I checked my arms. Amazingly, no bruises. Just a little red. "No, I'm okay. Still shaky, though." "More than understandable. You're a very strong woman." I stared at her. Strong? Me? How? I'm sure I looked bug-eyed and perplexed. I wish we had the bond we had shared before. "Trust me. I've dealt with too many victims of attack. You've handled this well. Whatever you're doing, keep doing it." "Luis." It slipped out before I knew it. I felt myself heat up. Looking at Detective Alvarez, she had a knowing smile on her face. My parents had it too. Jase, when I looked at him, had a shit eating grin on his face and a wink for me. Christ! I'm naked. I've just been attacked. And, everyone knows I've got it bad for Luis. I came back to Mom's face and stopped. I saw love, compassion, concern, and something I didn't quite understand. I felt my brow raise in question. She looked back at me with ... Damn, I got it. She wanted Becky and Luis to work. I knew I had another partner and co-conspirator. I'm sure she saw thank you, and help, in my eyes. I came back to the moment and looked at Detective Alvarez again. "I'll do the pictures you want. With Luis by my side. The memory..." I shuddered and wondered who had turned down the A/C. "He protected you?" "Saved me. But, not just that..." I thought of how wonderful he was and how he had melted my heart. How he could see into my soul. How gentle yet strong he was... "Girl, you've got it bad." She just chuckled. We finished up and headed out of Dr. C's office. I introduced my parents to Luis's. I'd forgotten they already knew each other. Jason was being all formal and proper. Carmella would have none of it and it was hugs all around. Then we met Mr. Coleman. That was formal. I snuggled into Luis's lap and felt the warmth and strength flow into me. Outside of checking on me, we didn't talk. It was amazingly comfortable not to. Just being with each other was fine. I was worried for him, what might happen. I knew I would stand by him no matter what. Our parents and the lawyer were off in the 'who knows who' game. As I watched their interactions, I realized that this was not about status or one-up-manship. This game was about extending the networks in which we live. It's a way of being comfortable with new people. Wow! Not meaningless conversation, but akin to me looking at Luis's books and getting to know him that way. Finding common ground. I looked up at Luis and saw him watching them as well. "Social lubrication," he said when he noticed me looking up. "That's what my parents call it. Adding oil to the social machinery to help it run smoothly. Weaving a comfort zone is what I just thought of." "Maybe it's both and creating a shared language with known reference points for context." He looked down at me with a growing smile. "What?" I demanded. "Beautiful. Not to mention a gifted artist. Now, I find out she's brilliant as well!" That earned him a kiss. Right there in the school office. Right in front of our parents, Jason, the other students, and Mrs. Grant. It wasn't a 'melt me to the core' kiss, but my pussy -"YES! PUSSY! -"responded. One more and I'd need a towel. When we broke and I looked at the crowd, I saw that my parents had big grins on their faces and were holding hands. Luis's parents were the same. Jason gave me a big thumbs up. Mr. Coleman tried to scowl, but had a grin in his eyes. Mrs. Grant had found something to do in another part of the Cavern. The other girls just giggled. The guys trying to be suave. "Oops!" Who turned up the heat? I think I knew why my nipples were poking out. I looked up at Luis and saw he was blushing too. "Did I mention you turn my legs to rubber?" He grinned again. Then, he got this mock serious look. "Were you sent here by East as some secret weapon?" The others heard his comment and shared a good laugh. I could see in his eyes that it went deeper. He was really concerned. Lightly placing my hand on his cheek, I whispered, "What's wrong sweetheart?" I swear My Mountain had an earthquake in that moment. A deep shudder went through him. "I'm scared." I waited for more. Instead of words, I felt another shudder. I realized I was breathing through my nose. "Is it about today?" I pushed the air all the way out of my lungs, just like he had taught me. A small nod. Another tremor. "Friday?" He closed his eyes and nodded. A 6.0 sized quake racked him. I gathered up every ounce of love and strength I had. I was working hard to get the air into my lungs. "Us?" Saying the words made me have my own quake. Ever seen granite turn to water? I have, now. I don't like it. My Mountain is in pain and I love him. Time to act. I put my hands on his face and made him look me in the eyes. I did my damnedest to pour my love into them. "I love you no matter what." I struggled. I wanted to kiss him. Himself wasn't there. I wanted to put my arms around him. I didn't have enough arm. I put my arms around his neck and pulled his head down, patting the back of his neck, making soft sounds into his ear. His body was shaking and tears were dripping onto me. Still, he put his arms around me and we rocked together. Never underestimate the perceptive power of a mother. Let me say that again. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE PERCEPTIVE POWER OF A MOTHER. Suddenly, both were there. Comforting Luis and supporting me. And the fucking door opened. Yes, I said that. The fucking door. And the fucking detective was calling Luis for his interview. Thank God, or whomever, that the detective was a woman. She immediately understood the clatch. "Mr. Coleman, are you representing Mr. Contadino?" "Yes, Detective Alvarez." "Please present your client and his parents for an interview in the next ten minutes." With that, she winked at me and the Moms then closed the door. The lawyer went into lawyer mode and wanted Luis to go in now. Stupid man. I put my hands behind Luis's head and pulled him to my lips. The Moms didn't stop me. It started with me forcing the kiss. Finally, he opened his mouth to my invading tongue. I thought about him breaking through the offensive line. Silly game. I checked for cavities, carefully inspected his tongue for lesions, and probed for his adenoids. Nope, none. It took a few moments for My Mountain to come back to me. The Moms helped by hugging us, effectively giving us some privacy. The quakes subsided. He started returning the kiss. Umm ... Oh, wait ... I'm here for a reason! Support. Yes. Definitely part of the granite was returning! I could feel Junior on my butt. "Before you guys give me a grandchild, right here, we have other things to deal with." Thank you, Mrs. Contadino -"Carmella. My mom hugged me tight and laughed hard. "Seems like they're working on at least twins!" Mom managed to say through her convulsive laughter. Hmm ... Yes. Babies. Junior is right there. That's what he needs. That's what I need! WHAT? Yes! But not here. Not now. My Mountain needs my support right now, not my lust. My 'social lubrication' is with me and supporting. No, make that 'life lubrication.' I broke the kiss and gently pushed him back. Reluctantly, I climbed off his lap and helped him up. Luis and his parents, with their lawyer in tow, went into the office. My parents and Jason found a way to keep me from hitting the floor -"somehow. I didn't even register the nurse checking me over or when she gave me the Shot. ------ Luis I got up and headed to the office door. Mrs. Grant had a classical music station playing softly in the background. How appropriate. Mozart's Requiem. The Master's masterpiece and allegedly the amount of work he put into claimed his health and life. As I walked into Dr. C's office -"my execution chamber -"Momma held my arm. Poppa had his hand on my back. The absurdity of everyone's dress hit me. Momma in her chef garb, minus the hat and apron. Those stupid, institutionally laundered, checkered pants. Comfortable black tennis shoes and her double-breasted chef's blouse with the top buttons undone. A thermometer in a pocket on her sleeve. Dad was in loafers, no socks (okay, so I'm not the rebel I think I am), and a golf shirt. Detective Alvarez in nice, upscale "street cop" clothes. A tasteful mid-calf skirt, silk blouse, and a jacket. Unbuttoned with the bulge of a very large handgun on her hip. Her badge holder on a chain around her neck. Mr. Coleman. Yeah. I swear he must sleep in three-piece pajamas! His Allen-Edmonds wingtips were polished to perfection. Dr. C in his stylish, tailored suit. Light gray with a subtle pinstripe. His tie was striped with his NBA team colors. And the condemned is naked. Absurd. Detective Alvarez indicated we should sit around Dr. C's conference table. Just yesterday, standing at this table, I had begun a journey that seemed to become more bizarre by the minute. And, I'm facing East with my college career hanging in the balance. Not to mention criminal charges and school expulsion. Great way to start a career. She started with the usual police show stuff -"Miranda reading, introducing everyone. For some reason, the theme for "Cops" played in my head. "May I call you Luis?" Detective Alvarez asked. "Yes ma'am." "As you might be aware, I'm investigating the attack on Miss Davis. There are other officers and detectives interviewing witnesses. I think I have a very clear picture so far." Had I missed all the traffic in and out of the office? I must have. Hell, a gaggle of three headed aliens could have gone by and I would not have noticed. "What I need to understand, more fully, is your role in this matter. You understand that your actions might lead to criminal charges?" In through the nose, out through the mouth -"although it is closed up, it seems. Breathe! "Yes, ma'am." I managed to squeak that out somehow. "Dr. Cavenaugh, is there anything you need to add?" "Thank you, Detective." He turned to me. "We have a low tolerance for violence at this school. I will be making my decision on your behavior as well. It could result in punishment, suspension, or expulsion." You pull the diaphragm down towards the Dantien. That forces air to enter the lungs. Shift the tongue so the tip touches the roof of the mouth near the soft palette. This pulls the air in through the nose. I felt every molecule of that air enter. It felt cold compared to the heat of my body. Chilling, raw as it made its way through my sinus cavities and into my throat. As the air made its way down past my larynx into my lungs, I realized how dry it was. The feeling was glass shards and needles. Just as my body was beginning to absorb the life giving oxygen in the air, I gasped. Expelling the air, needles, and glass shards. Somehow, I forced the next breath in and squeaked out, "Yes sir. I understand." I felt the warmth of Momma's hand holding mine. Papa's hand was on my other arm. I saw Becca, in my mind, hugging me and felt the love and warmth. Slowly, I fell into a regular, deep breathing rhythm. My vision normalized. I looked into Dr. C's eyes then Detective Alvarez's. "I'm ready." Mr. Custis Coleman, Esquire, began yammering about rights, protections of the law, legal loopholes, and whatnot. I just looked at him. Okay, it was more than a look. About the look I give any offensive lineman that I'm about to remove one or more organs from. "I believe in honesty. I believe in consequences for my actions. I need YOU to ensure I receive nothing less than I'm due. And, no more." Momma squeezed my hand. Pappa damn near hugged me. I could see nothing but respect in Dr. C's eyes. Detective Alvarez looked a bit off center. She recovered quickly. I gained respect for her in that moment. I was worried about the stroke that Custis was about to have. A vein on his temple was throbbing very hard as he tried to make words come out of his mouth. "Tell me what you remember," Detective Alvarez stated. She relaxed a hair. The same diaphragm that had been causing me problems began working properly. Cleansing air came through my nose, up to the crown point, down into my body into my lungs. Only my abdomen expanded as I took in five very deep breaths. "I was waiting outside of Becca's classroom when I heard..." I related the story from my perspective. When I got to Will on top of Becca, my body tensed. My hands pulled into fists. I took time out to take ten cleansing breaths. I relaxed and continued. I had no muscular reaction to the letter opener attack. Okay, maybe a small one. I hadn't been concerned for my welfare at that point, only the others. I had no idea how much damage he could inflict; I just wanted to stop him from inflicting any more. I had to stop him. He had rushed my actions. I related all this to the group in front of me. Then I got to where I picked up Dr. C and started to move him out of the way. I could only offer that I had and not why. I had stopped when I finally heard his voice. I felt only shame as I looked him in the eyes. "I'm so sorry, sir." He held my eyes. Hard. No matter how many tears came into them from losing control, I held the eyes of the man I had the highest respect for. "Thank you Luis, I accept your apology." My tears started to slow. I had to rebuild this relationship and earn his trust anew. Detective Alvarez asked a few additional questions and I did my best to answer them. I struggled with how I had hurt those around me with one moment's loss of control. "Thank you, Luis. Please wait outside." Detective Alvarez waved towards the door. Dr. C gave me a quick nod. We trooped outside. Becca was still there with her family and launched herself at me. I do love this new chest ornament of mine! Should I say the sudden mass of delicious flesh that belongs to me? My heartthrob? I kissed her back as hard as I got. She brought me back to life. Our parents headed down to the other end of the office. Mrs. Grant must have changed stations, there was some Sinatra playing softly in the background. Fly Me to the Moon. Becca definitely did that to me. "Are you okay?" Her eyes probed mine. Her hands held my face towards hers. "Yes." Honesty, damn it. "Well, no." Suddenly, her tongue was halfway down my throat. My hands had been holding her up by the ass when she jumped on me. They responded by squeezing and enjoying the feeling of her flesh. We paused. "Thank you." She started to kiss me again. I stopped her. "No. Thank you for being here for me." We both pulled back and looked into each other's eyes. "I love you." WHAT! Who said that? Well ... I did. "I love you too." The world vanished with the contact of her lips. I have no idea how long we were wrapped up and kissing. Eventually, I sat down with her in my lap. Carefully, I put her legs across mine, not around my waist. One temptation down! Our kisses slowed and we just snuggled. This felt different than when she is "in her cave" as she calls it. Delicious. Nice. WONDERFUL! "Einstein said if you want to understand relativity, sit on a bench waiting for a bus. When you're by yourself, a minute takes an hour. When you're with a beautiful girl, an hour passes in a mere minute. Thanks for teaching me relativity." I smiled at her. "Only you could think about physics with a naked girl in your lap!" She smiled back. "The beautiful comment, though..." I began to wonder if addiction to her kisses might present health risks. How long can a male stay excited without doing damage? I know she had to be well aware of my state. Junior is difficult to hide when he's soft. He wasn't right now. Plus, the bastard was drooling a bit. Damn him. As soon as Dr. C's door opened, Junior retreated. I could feel Becca tense. I was doing my best to stay relaxed. My best was not very good. "Luis, come in please." Dr. C paused, looked around. "Rebbecca and both families as well, please." We stood. I hesitated as I tried to figure out how to walk through the door with my arm around my sweetie. Hell, I barely fit through the door by myself. I didn't want to push her in front of me. It would be rude to go first. As I start working through the problem, she just grabbed my hand and dragged me along behind her. "I know you're not chicken, come on." "No, just working out logistics." She stopped and looked at me with an eyebrow raised. "No way we fit through that door side-by-side. I'm too much a gentleman to go first. I didn't want to appear to be a coward by not going first." "Looks like I have to be the woman!" She got a death grip on my hand and dragged me into the room. She had a big grin on her face. I just shook my head. Three hundred pound linemen have trouble moving me. She must be in charge! Suddenly, I'm in the execution chamber. Again. I walked up to Dr. C. Thankfully, my right hand was free. I might get my left back from Becca this year. I offered my hand for a shake. There was something my heart needed to say. He took my hand. "Dr. Cavenaugh, I want to offer my sincerest apologies for the disrespect I showed you. I consider you one of my role models and I failed to live up to the sterling example you've set." "Thank you, Mr. Contadino. Again, apology accepted. I hope we can build new and stronger bonds now." His shake was firm, yet warm. There was a slight twinkle in his eye. Detective Alvarez broke the moment and directed us all to the conference table. "After careful examination of the statements of all the witnesses, plus the known history of Mr. Allen, I am prepared to conclude this investigation. Mr. Allen has been formally charged with felony assault and battery on Miss Davis." She let the words settle in. "I'm assured by the District Attorney, who I just spoke to, that accommodations are going to be made and Mr. Allen will be receiving the treatment and care he so desperately needs." She looked at both Becca and I. There was a question in her eyes. Did we approve? We both nodded. "Now, unless there are other police matters to be dealt with..." She looked at Dr. C. He shook his head. "Then, we're done." She gave me the subtlest wink. "Now, I will leave you and let Dr. Cavenaugh have his say. Thank you all." She shook our hands and moved to stand by the door, out of sight lines. I'd always wondered about the literary concept of the pregnant pause. Now I understood it. That relativity thing again. Seconds as eons. "As far as the school is concerned, the incident is over." He paused and looked at me. "Some of us have some work to do." I nodded my head. Contrite didn't begin to express how I felt. His eyes were serious, yet they had softened some, letting me know I had a chance. There was an opening and now it was up to me. I gave Becca's hand a squeeze and realized she had had a death grip on me the whole time. I thought about what Becca must be feeling. No one was saying anything. Nobody was moving. I was still doing my deep breathing and had just peaked on an inhale. With that measured pause, I suddenly understood. I stood as gracefully as I could. Extended my hand to Detective Alvarez. "Thank you, Ma'am. We appreciate everything you've done." She took my hand and gave me a firm grip back. Much stronger than her size would indicate. Her left hand covered the shake. "You're welcome, Luis. You're a good man. Keep being that way, okay?" She gave me a smile and a wink. I turned next to Dr. C and extended my hand. "Thank you Dr. Cavenaugh." While he took my hand, I held his eyes. "I want you to know that you have, as always, my greatest respect." His left covered our grip. "Luis, twice today you've used my full name. I don't want to get used to it. Go back to calling me Dr. C." Our grips tightened. Not in competition, acknowledgement. "Now, when your adrenaline goes down, I'm open to seeing if you can pick me up again. Maybe on the wrestling mats in the gym?" His eyes were smiling. "After the football season, of course. I'd hate for one of us to get injured before then. In the meantime, I want to spend some time with you talking about leadership." "Thanks, Dr. C." We smiled easily with each other. I had work to do, but an open path. It was time to move forward. I thanked the suit. He, no doubt, would cause me to lose enough allowance by doing nothing while I repaid my parents the $400 per hour for his time. I turned to Jason and he met me halfway. We hugged. "Thanks for protecting Bec," he said. "Thanks for being there for her. And me." We broke the way athletes do with those lung rattling back slaps. I turned to Becca's parents. As I reached my hand out to shake Mr. Davis's, Mrs. Davis wrapped me in hug. "Thank you Luis for protecting and caring for my daughter. And, thank you for bringing her back to me..." She started crying in my arms. Mr. Davis took my hand and pulled my eyes to him. "Thank you, son. We'll talk later tonight." He paused as he pumped my hand. "Thank you." He pulled his wife into his arms, allowing me to move to my parents. Formality disappeared. An uncle once told me, "for the joy of sex, read a book. For the joy of life, be Italian!" I was almost expecting the wine and antipasti to appear. What other culture in this modern world would form the Slow Food Society! As the family celebration wound down, I turned to Becca. You know, if I'm going to beat East's offensive line, I need to work on these rubber legs. I wanted her. I could tell she wanted the same thing. Here? Our souls, through our eyes, were working on the logistics to satisfy our mutual desire. I couldn't wait. I just picked her up and wrapped myself around her. She wrapped herself into me. We just stated into each other's eyes. I fell into the infinite gravity well of her soul. A few discreet coughs brought us back to reality. Somebody might have said something about a bucket of ice cold water. "Ready for class, sweetie?" ------ Chapter 15: Tuesday Midday "Cheeseburger in Paradise" Rebbecca Am I ready for class? Am I ready to be at school? Can I possibly know the answer? That's the better question. Let me see ... Basket case this morning. So much so that my brother practically had to carry me to school. Comfort in My Mountain's cave for too short a period of time. Then the confusion of Biology class. Then, then, then... It was so much easier to be hidden. 'Hi!' My Muse said. 'What are you doing here?' 'Getting ready to slap you upside the head you, because girl, you need it.' 'What? Why?' 'Because you're being stupid.' 'Wha... ' 'Think about all the good things that have happened because you weren't hidden.' 'Like what?' I demanded of my Muse. 'Luis. Reconnecting with your parents. Your art -" that painting of Luis was the best you've done. All because you're fully alive now.' 'Today, then?' 'To be clichĂ(C), bad things happen to good people. And, you're learning to be scared and handle it. It's all about how you use the experience.' I looked up from the floor and my hands, letting my arms relax, and found the sweet eyes of My Mountain. I didn't have to fake the smile that appeared on my face. "Let's go get 'em!" I grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the door. "That's the girl I love." We both looked at the clock, as did Mrs. Grant. "Only fifteen minutes left in class. Why don't you two go to lunch early? I've taken care of letting your morning teachers know. They've all communicated that there were no homework assignments tonight." "Thanks, Mrs. Grant." We said in unison. That gave all three of us a case of the giggles. Okay, she and I did. Luis rumbled. "Go on, you two lovebirds. I've got work to do." She made a motherly, shooing motion towards the door. We strolled towards the cafeteria, hand-in-hand. I didn't feel the need to talk. With the hallways empty, no requests. I felt good, despite this morning. And, yes, I was still bloody naked in school! I just didn't feel weird about it. But, I did need to use the restroom. I gave Luis a quick kiss and went into the boys' room, as per The Program. That felt really weird and made me feel how vulnerable I was. It was empty, thankfully. Dirty, but empty. A different dirty than the girls' room. Luckily, I had shoes on. I splashed some water on my face and examined myself in the mirror. Who was this girl -"no, woman -"looking back at me? I suddenly felt tired. I dragged myself to the door and managed to open it. I actually looked up from the floor for a second. Okay, more than a second. 'My God, he's huge!' 'But, gentle, ' my Muse said. 'Why me?' 'Because... ' Yeah. Because ... what? A column of cold, hard marble melted within me. I saw a new canvas that was destined to be me. Now was the time to own the brush strokes on it. I've emerged, now it was up to me to determine what I became. A new warmth spread through me. I wasn't alone anymore. And this was a good thing. I felt my body move towards Luis, without the need to command it this time. It just followed my desire. Strong. A new resolution. A new self. His eyes showed concern for a brief second. Then they shown with the infinite possibilities of love. Together. Each being us, while us was each. I touched his face and gave him a quick peck between those muscular breasts he had. I felt his heat. I heard and felt his heart through my lips. I lifted my head towards the peak of My Mountain. "I love you." He placed his hands lightly on my face. Yet, the power behind them ... all directed towards my heart. I think he said he loved me. I was too out of it to hear. The touch was enough. Two heartbeats passed, a thousand years -"Luis calls it relativity -"I said, "Let's go to lunch." "You sure you're okay?" "More than!" I gave him a light pat on the chest and pulled him along. The cafeteria was still crowded from first lunch. No one was in line, so that went faster than normal. Service was its usual surly self. When we emerged into the main room, it was just like in the movies. A sudden hush spread outward from where we were. Tim Carter stood up. "Hey, Naked Table over here!" A wave of laughter preceded the conversations starting again. Speculation? Rumor? Truth? The Letter by the Box Tops was playing at one table. Some Shag could be heard from the corner where kids would dance in sock feet, just like their parents did. As I looked around, I could feel myself getting red, embarrassed at the center of attention. More so after that incredibly intimate moment we had just shared. On display again. Naked. "Chin up, sweetie. Be proud of your beautiful self. Be proud of making it past this morning." "Yeah, right," I said to the floor. Then I rejected that. "Sorry, let's go for it!" We paraded to the table and put down our trays. Luis stood on his chair, like he needed that to get attention! "Folks!" He waited for things to die down. I had no idea what he was doing, so I just stood there. I'm sure I was catching flies with my mouth. At least I wasn't getting any redder. "Yo! People!" His voice was not shrill or angry. It was loud, deep, and ... commanding? Yeah, commanding. "I'm sure there are a ton of questions about this morning. Probably as many as the number of rumors." His pauses seemed natural. A few voices agreed with him. "I figured." That got a few chuckles. "Here's everything in a nutshell, the real story." He had every eye in the place. Amazing, add orator to the long list of his good points. "You all know Will Allen of the senior class?" "Creep!" A few dozen voices volunteered. "Weird!" Another contingent weighed in. "Sick!" A small minority, but not silent. Luis raised his hands and got quiet. I watched as he moved them slowly to his sides, palms towards the crowd, and he began speaking again. "Yes, we called Will many names. Did any of us know him well enough to justify them?" He paused and let the crowd reflect. They stayed glued to him. "Did we even try to get to know him? Get past our own judgments, fears, and doubts?" Again, a pause. Just when tensions started to build into the silence, "I know I didn't try to get to know him. As a result, I didn't know about his problems. None of us did. His problems ran deep. They all came out today, trying to get the attention they needed." He let that sink in. "Rebbecca, this beautiful lady ... My girlfriend!" That got a few hoots. He let them settle down. "She was the random target of his appeal for help. He didn't physically hurt her." All eyes shifted to me. He reached a hand down and I automatically took his. As soon as my fingers were in his, I calmed. I stood tall and showed my forearms. "No bruises," I said confidently, albeit quietly. Yet, it carried through the room. "He's getting help now." He subtly dropped my hand. His arms, still at his side, palms out, rose slightly. He made eye contact randomly around the room. "Everything from that point to now has been addressed by all the parties involved, including Dr. C and the police. All the players, families, and authorities are okay with the outcome. So..." Again, he let the pot stew a bit. "So, that conversation is over. Period." He didn't raise his voice; it just seemed to project through and around everything. His hands had slightly risen during all this. "Now," his hands came above his waist, "we'd like to go back to being just naked in school." That actually got a few chuckles. "I would also hope you find it in yourself to offer thoughts and prayers for Will." A few murmurs as he lowered his hands a bit. "I know I didn't feel compassion for him before this. I don't think anyone did. Instead of friends he could turn to for help, all he had were people that didn't care, people he couldn't turn to, talk to, seek help from." Every eye was on him. Some were nodding. Everyone was looking serious. Everyone! Even a few tears! Damn, he's good. "I'm a football player. A jock. I'm also a budding physicist and a lover of music." He took my hand again. "Rebbecca, who until yesterday was damned good at hiding, is a brilliant artist, a serious student, and my girlfriend." He was beaming more than me, I think. "We're both naked, so we're unable to hide our bodies, yet no one in the past two days has bothered to look into our minds or souls. Just touch and feel our bodies." He looked around the room. Catching eyes and holding them until some connection was made, then moving to the next. "I want to offer a challenge to you." I'm beginning to learn the power of a pause. "Find out something new and nice about everyone you interact with today. For the rest of the week, even. Do that, and I'll make sure we beat East." "Luis, that's no challenge. You're going to beat them anyway!" The crowd laughed with the lone male voice. "Okay. What then? What would you want to be nice for a week? Connect with each other for a week? Be a better school for a week?" "You naked for the rest of the year!" That voice was definitely female. "And Rebbecca!" A male voice. Whoa! WHAT! Yet ... Yet ... I looked up at My Mountain. I took his hand and we talked with our eyes. I gave him my trust and permission. He gave me his power and love. Support, too! Definitely agreement! I nodded my head slightly. What have I just done? 'The right thing, ' my Muse said. "You're on!" Whoops and cheers until My Mountain raised his hands over his head. The room slowly quieted. There is some kind of magic with his hands. "Here's the deal. Becca and I will stay naked after this week until one of us sees people being ignored, disrespected because they're different, or abused. We stay this way until ... Hell, I'm not sure. Let me think about this, talk to Dr. C and others, and we'll work out the bet. Plus, he'll choose how to oversee this and monitor it. Is that sufficient?" The volume of suggestions and debate was overwhelming. The agreement on the concept was universal. This was going to happen. Part of me wanted to close up and run away. Luis looked me in the eyes. He could see that I was scared shitless and, at the same time, open to the adventure. He took my hand, that was all the support I needed. His eyes let me know that it would be okay. I told him that I was proud of him and wanted to make a worthwhile change to things. When we finally sat at the Naked table, everyone joined in and volunteered to be part of forming the bet and taking part in it. "Why don't all of us Nakeds this week talk with Dr. C and see what we can arrange. Ms. Carlisle should be part of it, since she is the Program Sponsor. I'll have Mrs. Grant ask the Nakeds to come to the office when it is set up. Does that work?" Everyone agreed. Damn, my man is good. He's found a way to make this whole mess a positive. I looked up at him and my eyes began to water. When he felt me and looked down, my eyes were running rivers. His first look was alarm, then joy. Then, he looked deep into me. I definitely felt it. "I just realized how much I love you and how proud I am of you, My Mountain." As our look deepened, I could feel his heart through my eyes. His eyes misted with tears of joy as well. Less than two days, yet a lifetime. Maybe there was something to not wearing clothes! Well, not hiding either. I realized in that moment I had known him all my school life. He was not one of my tormentors when my boobs started growing. I suddenly knew that he had been distant with me in fifth grade because he had a crush on me and didn't know how to approach me. I could see in his eyes and soul he knew that I knew. His smile got bigger. "Okay, guys. Get a fucking room, would ya'?" We all broke up on Margie's comment. She turned to her brother, "something honest and personal about you, then, My Really Big Brother. When did you first fall in love with Rebbecca?" That got everyone's attention. I'd just discovered the answer, let's see what he says. Damn, am I testing his integrity? Well, he is male. Of course I am! "Margie, I don't have a simple answer to that." Luis turned to his sister and got a very thoughtful look on his face. "We met in first grade. Somehow, I knew she was different and special. When I got to the point of 'liking' girls around the fifth grade, I was really interested. But, I didn't know what to do. How to approach a girl. Anything like that. Then something happened to her and she ... Disappeared is the best way I can describe it. Yesterday, it all came back and blossomed into something more than I ever imagined. We're still discovering what it is..." He looked at me with a big smile. I felt warm and loved. I think I smiled back. We melded. Spoke without speaking. Kissed without touching. Margie cleared her throat, pulling us back to the moment. I turned to her, "I'd like to talk about the other side of the story. What happened in fifth grade was I grew boobs. Obviously!" I cupped my hands under them and hefted the twins. "The comments and abuse I got I didn't know how to handle. So, I chose to disappear. Did a damn good job. Yesterday, when we stripped..." I looked him in the eyes and they said to go on. "He hesitated before pulling down his boxers. I think we reconnected then. I knew he was worried. The story in my head was he felt he was too small..." I hadn't realized my hand was on Junior, which made me laugh when I looked down and notice. The laughter of the group just made me laugh harder. "When he finally flashed it -"Okay, I was -"shocked? Surprised? Scared! Oh. My. God! Could that thing fit in me? Me, technically a virgin?" Shirley asked, "Technically?" "Totally, until yesterday afternoon. Intact and all." "Now?" "No longer intact, thanks to the wonderful mouth and sweet fingers of my gentle mountain." I looked him in the eyes again, promising the future. "And?" Shirley, ever the journalist. "Ask me at the end of the week." My Mountain stuck his nose in. It's a cute nose. Looks like it has been broken a few times. "Sorry Shirley, no press allowed. It's personal. Strictly between us, if and when it happens. I think it should be special." He looked at me, deep. I melted into him again. Some sauce from his meal had dripped on his chest. With a grin and an evil thought, I licked it off. Oh! I like the feeling of my tongue on his swarthy skin. He just groaned a lovely sound of pleasure. Another clearing of the throat. I don't know who this time. "Okay, Margie-the-curious. My turn. First question, and sorry for seeming so selfish, tell me how your Really Big Brother treats you away from school." I challenged her. The Damn, Stupid Bell rang! "Later," Margie said as she got up, "I promise to tell you." ------ Luis I was still coming down from the intensity of the morning. The physical aspects were nothing compared to the emotional. I really wanted to hear Margie's honest answer while still processing Becca's comments. As the table cleared except for the two of us, she looked at me. I melted into her eyes again. Damn, I can feel her heart. Feel her energy flow. Her essence is before me in vivid detail. I've had crushes before, even thought I was in love once. It was nothing like this. WOW! "Why don't you finish lunch quickly, then before the next group gets settled in, go talk to Dr. Cavenaugh." I could see the grin as she read my face, "okay, Dr. C. He likes that from you. I think it's okay for me to say that to him as well. Anyway, get everything set up. I'll hold the 'Naked' table." She paused. Her look said everything, but she spoke it anyway. "I love you. I trust you. I'm yours. Now, go!" I shoveled another five thousand calories into my mouth. Okay, us jocks had special meals. High protein, high fiber, and tons of complex carbs. It would be well digested and fueling me by the time I got to the practice field this afternoon. Someone at the next table had Jimmy Buffett's Son of a Son of a Sailor album playing. Ah, for a simple cheeseburger and being with Becca is paradise. I kissed her again when I got up. Damn those time distortions in the Universe! Thank you Albert for explaining relativity. Two relative seconds for a two minute kiss. Two hours in the hall for a two minute walk. Okay, the walk took a bit longer. I hadn't realized how hard Junior was. Seems everyone in the halls knew and "helped" him. I was too focused on my mission to pay much attention. That is until Susan stopped me. "I have a request, Luis." She was grinning at me and batting her eyelashes. Damn! She was sexy. Junior thought so too. She wrapped her fingers around me. "Hi, Susan. Any request, as long as it's reasonable." I tried to focus on her while thinking about the Bet, getting to the office, and back to lunch. "Well, it is to me. It's a repeat of what we did yesterday." Her smile broadened and her eyes started to smolder. My cock jerked at the prospect. Yet, I did need to get to the office. And there was this thing about Rebbecca... "But, I asked for relief then." She squeezed Junior and I felt it all the way down to my toes. Then she licked her lips. Damn! "Well, now is my turn to ask you." Her smile and eyes were getting to me. I was starting to melt. "Ah..." Smooth, Luis. Ever the sweet talker and glib person. Her hands were stroking my cock just right. As one hand came off the crown with a little squeeze, the other would wrap around the base and start its movement. "Ah ... Erg..." "So, you agree to my request?" "Erg..." I was turning to mush. Where was I headed? Why? Who? Reb ... Eck ... Argh ... Susan was using her thumb to spread my precum over the head. Oh. My. God! Lightning bolts were shooting right through me. "Ah..." Pull yourself back, Luis. Think Becca. Finally, I could see straight again and looked into her eyes. "Susan, a reasonable request is to touch and explore. Anything more intimate..." Shit! She started the thumb pressure thing on the underside. Think, Becca. You slug! Think Becca. In-through-the-mouth... "Anything more depends on ... other ... factors -"and may not be reasonable." "Factors? Like a girlfriend?" Her eyes flared. "Yes," I said as calmly as I could. "Rebbecca." It felt really good to say that. "We'll see!" With that, she turned and stormed off. Oh, well. Get yourself back together. Bet. Program. Becca. Yeah. Ten deep breaths. I settled into my feet, my energy roots descending to the center of the Earth. I walked on. Still forcing my breath, calming slowly. When I got to the office, Ms. Carlisle was there. Perfect. One of the first really good things to happen all day. Under the Boardwalk by the Drifters was playing a little louder than normal. "Ms. Carlisle, I have a request that has to do with the Program." "Oh, I thought I was supposed to make the requests." Her grin was disarming. She gave Junior a quick glance. When she looked up, there was a twinkle in her eyes and a grin on her face. "Got me on that one." I chuckled as Mrs. Grant walked away with a snort of suppressed laughter. "The current 'Nakeds' would like to meet with you and Dr. C to talk about the Program. I'm sure by the end of third lunch, you'll know what I offered as a bet. Becca bought in, so did the first lunch Nakeds. We think it is a way to make the Program more powerful. We still need to work on it some, though. Could you and Dr. C give us some time after the lunch periods?" At first, it looked like she wanted to ask me about the bet. Then she must have seen the commitment and passion in my eyes for the changes we wanted to propose. About the same level of commitment I saw in hers to make the Program work. "Luis, I'm going to trust you. When?" "Anytime after third lunch. I need to get back for second. Oh, Mrs. Grant? Rebbecca and I will need excuses for third lunch so we can stay for that and talk to those Nakeds." Ms. Carlisle nodded to Mrs. Grant. "Luis, do us proud. I know you will," Mrs. Grant said as she handed me two notes. In a flash, I Got It -"Leadership. This is what my parents do. What I do on the gridiron. We lead, not demand. We ask others to come on our journey with us. We find a compelling reason, build trust, and go. I took both their hands, "Thank you. Thank you both for believing. I promise I will not let you down." Mrs. Grant came across the desk and kissed my cheek. She actually blushed and said, "You've always been my special son. Go. Do!" Ms. Carlisle, Jean in the moment, looked at Mrs. Grant. As Mrs. Grant turned away, I had a wonderful, mature woman pressed fully against me, pulling my face down and kissed me hard. "For my warrior champion." She smiled at me when she broke the kiss. "I know. Come home with my shield or on it." Only deserters and losers lost their shields. Winners always kept theirs, even if they paid the ultimate price. "With it, please!" Her smile lit up the room. I got back to the lunchroom a few minutes later. Now what? I was winging this and needed a plan. I needed a compelling goal as well. Approaching the table and the collection of Nakeds this week, I couldn't ask for a better group to help and do something amazing. Dr. C had done well, his strategy was working, I realized. Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy by the Tams drifted over the table. Must be Carolina Beach Music Day! "Hi, sweetie." I gave Becca a quick kiss. I noticed she was doing sketches of Will. God, she was good. Damn, she can sit there so calmly while remembering something that intense coming at her? I suppressed a shudder and hung on a smile. "Hi, stud!" She watched my reaction and laughed. "Gotcha!" "Well, not your stud, yet!" That got a laugh from the table and made Becca turn red. "I filled everybody in on this morning and the bet. Well, more like your declaration and the bet." "Thanks, sweets." I turned towards the rest. "What do you folks think?" We talked, explored, planned for twenty minutes. About then, people started leaving lunch. Speech time. I made the same basic one as before but left out details of the bet. I did tell them the current Nakeds were meeting that afternoon with Dr. C and Ms. Carlisle. When I was done, the first lunch Nakeds joined us. Shirley leading the group as they approached us. "Luis, we talked about it. We're in and thought we should be here and next period. We believe you can pull off something really good and want to support you." "Shirley, we all can do something good. This can't be just about me. Or Rebbecca. Or any single person. It has to be about the Program and making it work the way it should." "That's why we're here. By the way, we got notes for everyone to stay through third lunch." "Just like you Yanks," said Paul Templer. "Fomenting a little revolution. Well, looks like I'm on your side this time! Up the rebels!" "Here's to the Naked Revolution!" Who else but Rosalee. "Tits and Ass will rule the world." After we calmed down from Rosalee's demonstration of Tit-artillery, we got down to some serious discussion. I found my role to be interesting. An idea would be proposed. I'd make sure everyone contributed to the discussion of it. All sides were heard, all options considered. Then, I'd summarize what I'd heard. We'd record it and move to the next. Actually, my obsessive-compulsive, over organized, and incredibly cute sister took on the role of recorder. As the lunchroom emptied, I knew we had about fifteen minutes before the next lunch was in full swing. Instead of working through the noise as people got settled, I thought we could use a break. "Why don't we spend a few minutes practicing what we're about to preach?" I declared and everyone agreed. "You go first, Luis. Tell us something." It didn't even register who said it. I'd been expecting it, though. "That would be fast and easy. Yet, would we accomplish our goal of finding ways to personally connect with others?" After a few seconds, they got it. Instead, we had a fifteen minute long free-for-all which, thankfully, led to promises to spend more time one-on-one and in small groups. A promise was made to set the best example possible. The rest of the Nakeds had joined us and were brought up to speed by the group. That left me free to see the next steps. The path was easy to see, now. "A commitment is a good thing. Yet, without making a commitment to a specific person, it lacks power and purpose. That's why on the football team, we each make a commitment to Coach McFarlan. He makes a commitment to each of us, individually. We also make individual commitments within the team." Chris Flanagan looked me dead in the eyes, "Coach Contadino, I commit to you to find a way, every day, to make deeper connections. Not only within the Naked team, but within the school and my community. I'm open to any standard you set as my coach. I expect it to be beyond my comfort zone, yet something you see in me that I can achieve." He held out his hand to me and we shook. "Chris, you're on. Let's meet before school at the strippers' entrance and I'll set the standards." "Done, Coach L." Chris's grin was infectious. Becca took my hand, looked me in the eyes, and said, loud enough for everyone else, "Sweetie? Help me out. Explain coaching, commitments, standards, and such. Obviously, you and Chris understand it from sports. Help the rest of us." God, I loved her. The Invisible Woman has definitely come out of hiding! I kissed her, not as hard and as long as I wanted. A quick nibble on her ear and I whispered, "thank you, my love." "Thank you, my love ... and my coach." She nibbled a bit and then pushed me back. "Coach, time to go to work!" She took some of the heat out it by placing the sweetest, most delicate kiss on my lips. "As Chris pointed out, teams are formed around a purpose and a set of standards. There is one person that sets them. Every other member of the team commits to that person under the conditions framed by the purpose and standards." Luke Nguyen spoke up, "so, we need a team leader, a coach. Someone that has the passion, skills, and respect to make our revolution work. Okay, I'm with Chris. I'll meet my coach tomorrow morning." He pointed his finger at me, "you!" "Luke, thank you. Chris, thanks." Before I could get another word out, everyone at the table agreed. I was the coach, the team leader. We'd work out the details by tomorrow morning. Before the two thousand pound weight could hit me in the chest, my Becca grabbed my hands. A butterfly kiss on the nose, then a hard kiss on my lips. She pushed back, got my full attention with her eyes. "Hi Coach! Lead us to your dream." SHIT. It is Tuesday, at lunch, and this week is already out of control. What's next? ------ Chapter 16: Tuesday Afternoon - "Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes" Rebbecca Okay, maybe I am lovestruck, but I can still see. Well trained observer, you know. My Mountain is a natural leader. He didn't ask for the job, yet he was given the job of Coach unanimously. Then he let his team go to work while he went to work managing the team. But, his happiness was dimmed, I could see it in his eyes and feel it in him. My Mountain was in pain. What was causing it? This was definitely the most interesting lunch I'd ever had at school, naked or not. Naked! Oh-My-God! I'm still naked! Only a day and a half of parading my naked ass around school and I was getting used to it. When speech time came around, he asked Tim if he would do the honors. He wasn't getting out of something, but deploying the best person for the job. Tim didn't hesitate. Shirley and Sherri had already written an outline and presented it to Luis. He'd made a couple of suggestions. The Ss went to work on their brand of magic and Tim ran with it. I felt My Mountain's energy shift through the spectrum -"pain to joy and part way back to pain. What was it? I have a whole new respect for actors. Tim studied the script for a minute. He nodded, stood, and gave as impassioned a performance as Luis. Sorry, soon to be lover, Tim was better. He was flawless, yet it felt as if he was speaking off-the-cuff -"metaphorically, since he was naked. I was in awe as he presented for the team and still managed to speak so deeply from his heart. I felt My Sweetie settle into himself. Accepting. Growing stronger. WOW! At one point, Tim had Luis and me stand. Needless to say, My Mountain towered above me. He casually grabbed my waist and held me up! When Tim was done with us, Luis spun me around and gave me a very wet, sloppy, public kiss before setting me down. I heard a splash of music just as I sat. Flock of Seagulls or Phil Collins or something like that. Not as good as Luis's selections. I was in shock from the suddenness, wobbly from the intensity, embarrassed by the public display, and very horny from the show of strength. Yes. HORNY. I don't want an orgasm, I NEED one! I managed to sit again. My Mountain sat next to me. I offered my hand to hold, which he readily took. Then I placed it between my legs and pressed it to my very wet pussy. Yep. I can still say pussy. Not cunny, pussy! "Sweetie? I need you to get me off, please? Now?" I swear I found myself batting my eyelashes at him. Who was this strange person that had taken over my body? "Get you off? Off of what?" He had a completely innocent look in his eyes. That was about the time he gave my clit a little squeeze. "The puddle I'm about to be sitting in when you keep that up!" I tried to muster up my innocent face. I think I achieved wanton. "Well, knowing how vocal you are, are you sure you want me to do this? Here?" Right as he said that, he thrust a finger into me. Phil Collin's was saying something about in the air tonight. With his thumb, he teased around and occasionally attacked my clit. When his finger tip inside hit the soft ridges, that was it. Lightning bolts! I really, really, really, really did my best to be quiet and composed. Honest. I did. I'm not sure who was driving the car, though. If Tim hadn't made a point that drew a lot of comments and applause, everyone in the cafeteria would have known what I was doing. 'Oh, what are you doing?' My Muse asked. 'Ah ... Um ... Watching the world disappear into this ... Ah ... huge fireworks display, then go quite black. Oh, shit!' 'And, why?' 'Leave me alone, Damn it! Ah ... YES! ... Right there ... I'm having the best cum of my life.' 'Hope no one slips on the puddle!' My Muse said this with a giggle just as I blacked out. When I came back to the cafeteria after a tour of the known universe and a short meeting with my creator, I found myself in the arms of My Mountain. On his lap. Deliciously snuggled in. In the background, Zeppelin was talking about the juice running down a leg and lemons. No lemons. Lots of juice running down my legs. Tim was speaking to the crowd. "She's fine. Just the stress of today finally caught up to her. Luis is taking good care of her..." There was another hand on my face. A soft, female voice penetrated my fog. "It's okay, Rebbecca. We've got your back. You needed that. We're taking care of you." "And the puddle!" Luis actually chuckled. Note to self: take the Charles Atlas course. Put on two hundred pounds of muscle and punch him. For the moment, I'll just snuggle here and love him. That was just his finger. What about when we make love the first time? It had better be in a bed and I have to plan on not moving for a few hours. YES! "Sweetie?" I said more to his chest than his face. It was like chiseled marble, but warm and alive. "Yes, Becca?" "Just putting you on notice. Before dinner tonight, I already know what my appetizer is." "Notice?" He's cute when he is confused. He scrunches his brow and bites the corner of his bottom lip. Yep. Cute. "I'm going to drain Junior's balls down my throat." "You don't have to." Junior let me know his opinion with a healthy twitch. "I know, sweetie. Just warning you. I'm going to make you feel like I do right now." He actually shivered. Yes. GIRL POWER! No ... doing my man proud. Okay. Something. I just wanted Junior in my mouth. I wanted him to give me his essence. I want to taste and savor it. I just don't know how! Promise to self: I'm going to take him all the way down, eventually. I don't know how or when. I've never had a penis in my mouth, why now? Whatever the reason, I need to learn. I know a potential coach. Now to find Shashawna and learn! Okay, that would mean both of us using Luis or someone else. Was I that committed to share? That comfortable? That loving? YES! I want this for my love. I want this for me. "God, I'm so envious of you, Rebbecca." The voice from the fog was back. Rosalee. "Why?" I felt hurt. Envy of me? "You've got that marvelous cock now." I reached out and found her face. Held it, pull her close, and kissed her closed lips. "No need to be envious. I believe in sharing." She put her hands on my face and looked in my eyes. "Why?" "Because I love him. I want to please him. And ... I don't really know how." She stared me in the eyes. Her eyes misted. The tears leaked out. "I'll do anything I ... can." "What's..." I almost said something wrong. "What's going through your head right now? Honesty, please?" "Seeing what Luis is doing, for all of us and for Will ... Well, it has me thinking. Then, you and Luis. There is so much love there. And you not wanting to impede his happiness. I'm blown away. Plus, I find you ... Oh, hell! I find you attractive." "Wow!" She was attractive. Was that post orgasmic bliss speaking, raging hormones, or real interest? "Would Luis share you? Would you want me?" I stroked her face, gently. "I can't answer for Luis. As for me, I honestly don't know. I've never thought about it. Of course, I never really thought about boys either! Look at me now!" "I can't believe Luis did that to you at lunch!" "He didn't start it." We both giggled. Okay. I said it. Giggled. Better than snorting. "Well, aren't you the little slut." She had a twinkle in her eye. From anyone else, I would have been insulted. "Scared of the competition?" The music in the background drifted into focus for a second. David Bowie agreed about changes. So I turned and faced the stranger -"well nearly a stranger -"and winked at Rosalee. "Not really. The more the merrier!" Her grin was infectious. "So, you are your act?" "I try to be. I am discreet, which is why there are no stories about me other than the ones I spread." "Smart girl." That got me a quick kiss. Soft. Sweet. Completely different than Luis's. Not better, different. I kissed her back. Her lips parted. Mine weren't far behind. She tasted nice. My eyes closed, melting into the feeling. She put one hand behind my head and one more on my waist. It felt so good and so right. I did the same to her. We kept exploring each other's mouth. No hurry. No pressure. "This is ground control to Major Tom... " drifted through my head when I felt a very large, strong arm across my back. "You two look very good together," Luis whispered in my ear. SHIT! I'm caught cheating, with a girl, after less than a day of being his girlfriend. I'm a slut. I tried to pull away. Luis wouldn't let me, neither would Rosalee. "It's okay, sweetie. Finish what you started." He held us together with a loving hug. Rosalee went back to the kiss. Who was I to refuse, after all, I am a slut. Rosalee took it up a notch, her hand slid up from my waist and cupped my boob. She was tender and gentle. I was ... stimulated. I got lost in her kiss and Luis's arm around me. I had his approval, at least in the moment. Oh, to hell with it. I'll worry about him in a minute. In the now, I moved my hand up and touched my first female breast other than my own. I explored, experimented. Felt the tightening of the aureole, the hardening of the nipple, and the rise in heat. Damn, no wonder guys like to touch us there. It's nice, both ways. "Before anyone else notices, I'd suggest we take this elsewhere." Luis's voice penetrated into my new playground. Rosalee and I broke apart. I opened my eyes and looked into hers. "Thank you." She smiled, "You're welcome. Thank you." "I'd like to do that again." WOW! I can do better than that. I need to be seducing her. WHAT? "I know this sounds weak, but ... me too. That was incredible. Thank you." Her eyes were soft, sweet, and loving. A Rosalee I had never seen before. I felt that few ever saw this side of her. "That WAS incredible, thank both of you!" Luis's voice again invaded our private little world. Yet, it wasn't an intrusion. His lips touched my ear, "Thank you, sweetie." He leaned over to Rosalee's ear and whispered something. Her smile warmed my heart. We completely separated with a quick kiss with promises. We both kissed Luis. "Sweetie, I'm so sorry..." I started. "Luis, I apologize..." Rosalee said over me. "Whoa!" He put his arms around both of us and hugged us in close. "Becca, did you discover something new about yourself?" "Yes, but..." I hung my head, ashamed. Disgusted with myself for being so self-centered and such a little slut. He lifted my head gently with one finger on my chin and looked me in the eyes. "Fantastic!" Wha... ? The positive energy he was sending -"confirmation, validation -"overrode my building feeling of guilt. God, I could cum just looking into his eyes. Appropriate. "Rosalee? How did you feel?" He lifted her chin up with his other hand. I could feel the positive energy he sent her way. For a second, I could see her through his eyes and him through hers. As quickly as that happened, it went away. Yet, I felt the love and, while I can't explain it, it felt right. "Attracted. I'm sorry, Luis. I came on to her and..." She didn't finish, but looked down. "So?" She looked up surprised. I could feel the love for me in his touch and see the compassion for her in his eyes. "Did you force her?" "NO!" I almost shouted, then remembered where we were. Luis patted my back. "Did you enjoy it?" "Very much!" "So, why is anybody apologizing to me?" We both attacked him. 'Thank yous.' Kisses. Lots of kisses. A few were just between Rosalee and me. Rosalee held Luis's massive head in her petite hands. Hands that had recently been driving me wild while she played with my nipples. She bored into his eyes with her look and had his full attention. "Take her. Soon. Be as kind, loving, and gentle as I know you will be. Make it incredible. Then, can I have my turn?" "Me or her?" He managed to squeak. "Yes." We both answered. "Together." Rosalee added with me nodding my head. "Why?" My Mountain asked. A Paesano in the headlights! "Coach, you talked about making promises -"commitments. Finding ways to team, grow. Am I right?" "Yes." "Honesty, as you both have asked me?" "Yes." We both said. "I know the joys and pleasure of sex. Yet, I see in you two love. If I can learn anything, that's it. I also see something else. What you, both, did for Will, what you've done for everyone around you..." She sobbed. Tears were flowing down her face. I took her in my arms. Luis's wrapped around both of us. Something inside said I should be jealous. My Muse appeared, pulled out a gun, and shot the feeling. 'You're doing great!' It seemed she was grinning and blowing the smoke from the gun barrel. "Rosalee, Luis and I have talked about this. I want to explore. You asked if Luis would approve? Yeah." I turned to him, "Thanks, sweetie." He kissed me thanks. I turned back to the very cute Rosalee. "Yes, I want to. I want you." Luis, in that moment, sealed it. "Then go for it." Rosalee looked at both of us. "After Luis and you. Not before." A fine example of Nakeds we were being. Slobbering happy tears everywhere! Yet, that's what we were being! Being open. Being honest. Exploring. Luis has added compassion. I want to understand all this deeper. Much deeper. "Later." All three of us promised each other. Eventually, the group came back together and the conversations of the Program began again. After rattling around a bit, it was Rosalee that brought up a critical point. "Something I want to ask all of you. What is a Reasonable Request? I mean, the rules are vague. At best! I want to understand the limits." She looked more serious than I've ever seen her. Troubled. "Rosalee," I asked her softly, "did something happen?" "No one thing. It's the whole hallway scene. Look, I don't mind someone coming up to me, asking, and then feeling me up. I do mind uncaring, rough, anonymous hands. Worse, penetration without permission. I enjoy sex, but that's not. It's loss of control and, quite frankly, an invasion of my person." "I had something like that happen not long ago," My Mountain said. That made my head snap around and I'm sure my look was not as loving as it should have been. Did he mean me and Rosalee? He looked at me, saw my expression, and gave me a quick kiss. "In the halls between lunches, I was headed to the office. I got stopped for a request and refused it." "What was the request?" Rosalee beat me to it. I realized I had jumped to the wrong conclusion. Leapt, actually. I need to listen first and then use compassion. 'Yep!' Thanks,. Muse. "To cum on them." He looked a bit disgusted. Talking about it seemed to drain the pain from him. "It made me feel like a machine to be commanded for someone else's entertainment or pleasure. It was not about learning or exploring together." Before I could ask who, the group started debating Reasonable Requests. Everyone one of the Nakeds had something to contribute. Some incident that stood out or a general feeling like Rosalee's. Everyone but Ginny. Before lunch came to an end, all we could decide was that something needed to be done, but not exactly how. "Would all the participants in this week's Program report to the office." The PA system blared in Mrs. Grant's voice. As a unified group, we got up and headed towards the cafeteria doors. Margie was giving Luis a rundown of our discussions. Shirley and Sherri were handing him hand written pages of notes and points. Tim was giving advice on presentation. My Mountain was trying to process everything but becoming agitated. "Margie, what are the key points?" I asked while I squeezed his hand with all my love. That shut everyone up. She listed them. "Shirley and Sherri -" on the top one, what do you have?" They gave him the spin points and arguments. "Tim, recommendations on how to present it?" He helped Luis with how serious, how light, and how forceful to be while suggesting hand movements, posture, and such. By the time we got to the Office, we'd walked through every point, the spin, and strategies to present it. When we got to the door, I stopped us. I stretched up and grabbed My Mountain's head. I could see in his eyes, he was ready. Centered, he calls it. "Go get 'em Tiger." And I kissed him, hard. Shirley and Sherri followed my lead, although their kisses were a bit more reserved. They'll learn, he kisses great! Rosalee laid a scorcher on him that caused MY toes to curl. Tim grabbed his hand, then changed his mind, and hugged him. That turned into a group hug with sixteen naked people. Then a light went on in my head. Team. Unified. We have a purpose and a goal. We had some measures for progress and a commitment to develop more. There were consequences, both for succeeding and failing. We were a team and committed to something larger than any one of us. And, we could make it happen. I felt a feeling of fullness and pride. We entered the Office, Luis leading the way. Mrs. Grant smiled and pointed towards Doctor Cavenaugh's office. She winked at Luis and said, "Go right in. Best of luck." We filed in, taking our positions from the morning before with Dr. C at one end of the table and Ms. Carlisle at the other. Doctor Cavenaugh started, "I believe you have something to present to us?" He was looking right at My Mountain. I now understand the word pride. It was flowing out of me and didn't seem to empty me at all. Luis Breathe, Luis, breathe! Let the positive energy flow from the ground and through the body powered by the pump in my core. Let my breathing turn that pump and expel the poisons within my body including negative thoughts. Come down into center, feel the roots move into the earth, deep. Breathe... I opened my eyes and scanned the table, recalling all that had been said at lunch. Feeling the commitment of each member of the team; playing each comment over in my head. When I looked down at Becca, I felt awe at the incredible job she had done getting us organized as we walked down the hall. A hidden talent? Damn, she was good. Pretty as hell, too! That make out session with Rosalee ... Better not go there. Junior was already a bit full. No, I don't mind sharing. When I look in her eyes, I know what we have. I have no fear there. Nothing to generate jealousy. Looking around the room, it was just like yesterday morning, yet so different. I felt different, I assume everyone else did as well. Becca was a whole different person, more than I had ever hoped for. I knew I loved her without reservation. I also had a new level of respect and admiration for everyone at the table. Plus, a new sense of closeness with them. A growing love for each of them as a person. As I went from one to the next, looking them in the eyes, I thought of something I wanted to say to each and ask about each. It all felt very positive, until I came to Ginny. I felt her pain and in an instant knew we all had to do something to help her. I just knew this group was the key to unlocking some door to her heart and allowing her wounds to heal. At that moment, I came back to center. I knew that what we were embarking on was not only important, it was crucial to us, the school, and the program. For once, there was no song in my head. Just the moment. "Thank you, Dr. Cavenaugh and Ms. Carlisle for seeing us." They chuckled. As I realized what I had said and how we were all dressed, I blushed. Damn it! Settling down and breathing again, "We know today has been a trying day for everyone. We," I swept my arm around to all the Nakeds -"thanks Tim -"they all nodded like some wave, "would like to take the incident this morning and turn it into something positive." I could see Dr. C wanted to say something, so I nodded to him. "Luis, we've heard what you said at lunch and, later, Tim carrying on the message. I want you all to know the Allen's have heard as well. They wanted me to convey their thanks. The school does as well." My heart soared with this news. It made me feel stronger and closer to this team. "Thank you, Doctor Cavenaugh." He gave me a look but nodded to the formality. "I know I have some work to do before I regain your respect. Be assured, I will." He looked stunned. Almost as if I'd hit him! "Luis, you have my respect. To be honest, all I am is a bit rattled. I have never felt physically intimidated by anyone before. I'd just ask you to reserve that for East in the future." "Will do, Dr. C." We shook and I could see in his eyes we were okay. They twinkled with joy. "I understand a bet was proposed today?" He was back in School Mode, but his tone was light, fun. We all chuckled. "Yeah, me and my big mouth." "Everything is big about that boy!" Count on Rosalee. "Even his heart." That wasn't expected. I blinked back some moisture in my eyes. Becca squeezed my hand in support. I caressed her shoulder in acknowledgment. We both turned to Rosalee and simultaneously blew her a kiss. Before anyone could react, I came back to the moment. "I've declared I would stay naked until everyone developed some real, serious connections with everyone else in this school." "We've declared." Tim, Rosalee, Becca, and Margie all spoke at the same time. Everyone else agreed. "We need some help setting up the bet and monitoring it." "Your thoughts?" I could tell from his eyes and posture he was being open, receptive. Not in the least trying to shut us down. "The goal is to make sure that every student has a real connection, several in fact. That would be highly costly to measure with any degree of accuracy. Yet, our resident expert on Freud," I looked at Becca, "suggested that a random sampling made throughout the day of how well two students know each other would allow us to set a baseline and measure progress." No one but Becca and Ms. Carlisle got the twist of my statement. Freud was not statistically oriented at all! "What would this sample entail?" "You or Ms. Carlisle would randomly stop two students. You ask Joe Doe if he knows Mary Smith and if he'd care to share something about her. Based on the reactions of both students, rank the meeting as a zero for don't know each other at all to a five for best friends. Both names and the score would be entered into the model and a weekly analysis would be generated and reported." "This model. Developed by?" "All of us." I swept my arm around the Nakeds. "We all have unique skills, talents, and interests. Everyone wants to contribute." "The reasoning behind this?" "Social networks are the basis of human interaction." I looked at Becca for confirmation. I got such a nice smile that I almost forgot what I was saying. Damn, here comes those rubber legs again. Breathe! "Once we understand the size and power of individuals in their connections to others, the network will emerge and be measurable. We need to do a lot of research and some of it is in the optimum size and strength of connections for a healthy community. That's the foundation. We figure that everyone should have a very close network made up of best friends and lovers. They have a wider circle of friends they consider close, but not as close. Then, they have a much wider circle of acquaintances. The goal is to expand and diversify the close circles. Those are the kind of networks that could have been there for Will." I paused for a second and went for it. "Or, Becca before yesterday morning. Who knows how many others." Gathering strength from the team through their eyes, processing it through my "pump" and letting it fill my heart, I continued. "Or, provide a safe place to learn about love." I looked at Rosalee. She got it and nodded. "Like Rosalee is seeking." I let the next wave wash through me, giving me the strength to continue. "And, someone you know that needs help, but isn't so public..." I watched Dr. C's eyes. After a second -"that Relativity thing again -"they flashed and I saw Ginny in them. A second later, he smiled. "Well, I'd say you, and I mean all of you, have come up with a very noble project. I'll also confess my spies informed me after first lunch. Before I say anything else, Ms. Carlisle, do you have anything to add to this?" "Thank you, Dr. Cavenaugh." She turned to Becca and me. "First, let me say, when we put this group together, we had hopes for some good to come out of it. Now, I'm blown away and can't wait to see what unfolds. "To help, I already have a stack of research in my office and a bunch of references for more on social networks. Since I'm the Program Sponsor and this does involve the 'Nakeds' as well, I'm going to sponsor this initiative. Dr. Cavenaugh and I have already talked. Based on the performance, which means research, theory, testing, modeling, math, analysis, and so forth -"we will award extra credit in related classes." I looked around at my team. Yes! Team! I connected with each set of eyes. What I saw was resolve to do our very best and I also saw delight at the rewards and recognition. Beyond I saw a glow of awe. That we, as a team, could do this, do it well, and really make a difference. "We thank you, Ms. Carlisle. That was more than we were expecting. We will not let you down." "All I want to add is that you have the school's full support. I would like to be an advisor on the project as well." Dr. C looked positively proud at that moment. "Thank you," I said. "Before we end this, we also started talking about Reasonable Requests and where the boundaries are." Both Dr. C and Ms. C looked guarded. She ventured into the minefield first. "What about Reasonable Requests?" "There are a lot of things happening in the halls that have nothing to do with the spirit of the program. When there are requests, many are not reasonable." I could see the responses coming, before they did, I held up my hand and went on. "We know the program is about discovery, learning, growing, and being open. But, does being put into the position of just being a sex toy for someone else fit with it? "It's one thing to be there as a tool for learning. Or, even being compelled to learn. It is quite another to be there as an unwilling actor in someone's fantasies or a victim of their hormones -"or worse, their frustrations. At the far end of the scale, it is unconscionable that we are required to be the object of other's desire to abuse, control, subjugate, or rape." Ms. Carlisle thought for a minute. "I can see what you are saying. Perhaps the rules are a little too open and it has strayed from the goals. But, tightening them down..." "We don't necessarily have to tighten the rules, but maybe change the enforcement." "Explain," Dr. C said. "We talked about this, briefly, at lunch. In just a day and a half, each of us has felt invaded, subjugated, and humiliated. All of us have had to perform with no request. While being open is a good thing, at what point do we surrender ourselves?" "Hmm..." Dr. C stroked his chin with a massive hand. Yet, the action was slow, deliberate, not at all an act of power. "What do you suggest?" "I think it ties to networks. We'd like to work with you and Ms. Carlisle to help put both reasonable and request into Reasonable Request -"without undoing the purposes of the Program." "Okay, let's tie them together, that okay with you, Joan?" Ms. Carlisle nodded. We all agreed and started getting ready to go. "Good. Now, if we hurry, I can make it to my next class, which a few of you are in. I'll stop by my office and bring the materials. I expect something from you by Thursday that we can announce to the school at the Pep Rally that night." I checked with the team using my eyes. Everyone seemed willing, yet looked at Margie. Okay, I need to get to know the Tornado better this week. Another commitment! Shit! Physics, Math, Football. Political Science. Trying to get laid, okay -"make love. Now, so many more. Girlfriend. East. Program. Scholarships. Leader. Grades. Classes. Family. Friends. ARGH! Yet ... Becca! Worth it! Margie did some scribbling, looked back at each person on the team, got nods, then looked at me and smiled, nodding her head. She also gave me a thumbs up. e Did I trust this team to perform and succeed? Yes. I turned to Dr. Carlisle. "Done." To my delight and wonder, everyone nodded in agreement. As we were moving to the door, Dr. C stopped me. "Luis, one thing I have to know. Could you have picked me up without the ... stimulus?" "Sir?" Where was he going with this? "Could you lift me now?" "Sir, I leg lift over twelve hundred pounds. I bench press over four hundred." I down played my peaks. "Just lift me, okay?" Damn. As gently as I could, I latched on to his waist. My breath automatically fell to my center. Two seconds later, he went up two feet in the air. I could have easily put his head through the ten foot ceiling. I gently turned 45 degrees and set him down. "Sorry." I really felt bad about what I just did. "Why? With your strength and you character, East doesn't stand a chance!" "I just need time this week to get ready." It really hit me when I said that. Today was my last day to torture my muscles to make them stronger. I needed time to rebuild after breaking them down. I was behind in my program. "Coach, who is also my Really Big Brother, your job this week is to beat East. When we need you, we'll call you." Everyone started to agree. "And take care of Rebbecca!" Thank you, Rosalee. That got a kiss from Becca for her and me. Plus, more than a couple of catcalls. Hell, even Dr. C and Ms. Carlisle were beaming and laughing. Becca was turning beet red. Somewhere in what little functioning brain I had left, it registered that if my blood pressure got any higher I might have an aneurysm. Not good for football or my love life. Then a thought hit me and I said in my best caveman speak, "Beat East. Love Becca. Prevent attacks. Ugh." After the initial round of laughter, the team tried to pick me up. Even with that small failure, we walked into the halls in high spirits. Despite our positive mood, my joy was clouding. East ... Susan!?! Becca!!! Rosalee ... College? Scholarships ... Future ... East. Ginny??? The Bet... My heart was bursting with joy. My head was clouding with worry. My being was glowing with love. My body becoming weary with doubts. I squeezed Becca's hand, suddenly realizing she'd been holding it the whole time. I smiled and did my best to send her my love. Yep, the big, dumb jock being mushy. She and Rosalee were holding hands as well. As much joy as I felt looking at them, I knew I was just in the eye of the storm. I felt the wall of wind and rain approaching. "On to Ms. Carlisle's class!" A very happy Becca said, pulling me down the hall as she and Rosalee began skipping along. ------ Chapter 17: Tuesday Afternoon - Brownian Motion "Brownian Motion" Rebbecca The Nakeds broke up outside the office. As we did, Margie handed out a list of 'to dos' for each of us based on our conversations. It also had her email and cell phone number. On the bottom half of the page were the commitments we'd each made or identified that needed to be made. Some had initials for the person holding the promise and the person doing the commitment -"requesters and performers in her lingo. At the very bottom was a note to email her our contact information and she would distribute a full list to the team. How had she had the copies made that quickly? "Team!" Coach Contadino called the meeting to order. "I want to thank each of you for your commitment." With that, he hugged each of the Nakeds, whispering something in everyone's ear, which produced a look of pride on each person's face. I was last. The hug was one of thanks and appreciation, not like our normal. "Becca, thank you. Your insights into psychology, your creative talents, and your love of your coach will make this a success." "Coach Contadino, I am committed to this. You will lead us to victory!" We broke the formal hug and gave each other a quick smile, trading love. "Team, huddle around." We quickly formed a loose circle. Luis stuck out his hand, palm up. Chris, Luke, and Paul immediately laid their hands down in a stack on top of Luis's. The rest of us caught on and added to the stack. "Nakeds on three." Luis growled, his field voice I assumed. "One ... Two ... Three..." The stack dipped down then flew up, driven by Luis's strength. "NAKEDS!" Resounded through the halls. We broke up and headed to our classes. All the Clotheds looking at us strangely. Not a surprise, there were no requests and only a little bit of anonymous fondling. 'To hell with it!' I thought as I failed to get my arm around Luis to snuggle to him as we walked. So, I grabbed Junior and 'held hands' with him. He was a real gentleman because he rose up to greet me. Luis, not to be left out, put his arm around my shoulder and fondled my boob. "Not that I mind, teenage boy after all, but what's gotten into you?" "Well, My Mountain, the best answer to that is me is finally me." I started slowly stroking Junior as we walked. "And, I'd like this to be in me, soon." I swear, he stopped walking. That almost cost him Junior and me my book bag because I didn't stop right away. He leaned his head back and just roared with laughter. As he tried to get his breath, he looked at me. He tried a couple of times to get the words out, but would start laughing all over again. Tears were starting to stream from his eyes. Finally, he calmed enough. "I just had a vision of us going at it ... and ... Junior popping out of your mouth." He went back to laughing, hard. It took me a second to get it. Okay, I want to go on the official record that I do NOT snorkel-snort every time I laugh. Just when Luis gets to me this bad. Damn that man. I'm really not used to laughing so hard, so free. "Do I need to steal some towels?" He managed that with a perfectly straight face and a slight bow like a waiter. As I was almost ready to double over and ask for the towels, Ms. Carlisle walked between us. She slipped her arms through ours and said, with a wicked little grin, "Ah, a happy student is a good student! Good students belong in class." Her arm was very warm and she smelt really good. Luis and I stole glances at each other and started laughing all over again as soon as we made eye contact. I have to be acting like this because of my newfound freedom of self. Just as I thought that, it hit me that Luis probably is as well. Yeah, he smiled and stuff before, but I don't think I've ever seen him melting with unrestrained laughter. "Well, Ms Carlisle, you'd better separate us in class so we can continue to be good." He managed to say that with a perfectly straight face and a perfectly horizontal Junior. Okay, slightly angled upward! Damn! I'm with a teacher. Okay, breathe. I should be... Ms Carlisle doubled over as she cracked up. My stifled laughter turned into a snort-snorble-snort. Luis just bent in half and was laughing so hard he couldn't inhale. He actually slapped his knee and it sounded like a cannon blast in the empty school hallway. Ms. Carlisle recovered the quickest, "Okay, kids. We need to get into the classroom now." She was still looped arms with us. Tears starting to stream down her face from laughter. Face flushed. She felt nice and I don't mean just the physical contact. Luis opened the classroom door and we went through as a unit. Me first. Damn, it's hard to suppress a good laugh. Even when you don't always understand why you are. Luis and I tried to break away, but Ms. Carlisle held on and led us to the front of class. This is a senior class so Tim Carter and Shirley Keon were there. Directing the two of us, she waved Tim and Shirley up as well. Asking for four chairs, they were produced in a heartbeat. She huddled with the four of us. "The Program is about exploration, pushing barriers. Do you agree?" "Definitely," my mouth said as my brain tried to catch up. I caught general agreement from others as I turned my affirmative over in my head. Yes, I did agree with it. "I'm going to do the standard and ask if any of you need relief. Then I'm going to ask you to participate in class. I'm going to ask. I want to make that clear. Let me add two things. First, I'm not going to time relief." She let that absorb. "And, if you tell me you'd like relief alone or in any combination in private, I'll send you off for supplies or whatever. On the other hand, if you want to explore and experiment in front of class, feel free." She put her hand out and we all stacked on. "On three, Nakeds. One ... Two ... Three..." "NAKEDS!" There was again that feeling of unity. Commitment. More importantly, choice. Oh! My! God! I'm so used to living within self. This was so strange! Yet so wonderful. Having the support of a team is ... awesome. Overwhelming, yet awesome. I looked at My Mountain. Did we want to get supplies? Play together? Alone? Or did we feel okay experimenting? What did I want? Strangely, I was feeling open. I had discovered real, powerful orgasms and I wanted to find out more. Plus, it really is kinda fun watching a guy shoot. I guess I wanted to be happy. I know Luis made me happy. I wanted to make him happy. Yet, I wondered, could other people make me happy and feel good? I wanted to find out with Rosalee. Ms. Carlisle's -"Joan's -"arm had felt really good. Did I want to explore that? YES! In public? With Luis? But, what if it was with another guy? "Do you want to experiment some?" He broke my spinning thoughts. Do you know how much I love this guy?! I nodded. "Here or in private?" "Right now, I'd like you to be around and here. Maybe another time apart, in private. Okay?" "Go for it, sweets! Do you want me to participate, just watch, or do my own thing?" "Um ... All of the above?" I felt my heart beating. "Tell me your dream." Did I say love? YEP! "We pick a person to give relief to both of us." There. I said it. Now, time to get really nervous. What's he going to say? Is he going to pick? Breathe! Breathe! Trust. Breathe. Love ... Whoa! Oh, yeah! Wait a minute. I proposed this. I asked the question. I didn't tell him, honestly, what I wanted. Was I trying to set him up? I looked him in the eyes, only to realize I had been the whole time. He had a really kind and cute smile in his eyes. "There's more?" was all he said. Could he read my mind? I hoped so. "You're not upset with sharing me?" As I asked, I saw a bit of ... hurt? "Share? I don't own you, do I?" "NO!" I think I said that too fast and too loudly. "You've met my mom, sampled her food. If I go and have Chinese some night, am I cheating on her?" "Ah, no." "Will I love her any less or she me?" "No." "And?" "I want to share." His eyes practically glowed. "Thank you for being honest. How?" "We could pick someone. What if I wanted to pick a guy?" "Remember, I chose the Lottery with guys in line. Don't rule it out." "And, if..." His eyes cut me off. Decide, they said. He'd support me, no matter what. It was only my questions (and stories) getting in the way. Ms. Carlisle asked us, privately, if we had decided. "Yes," I answered while checking with Luis again. "Supplies?" She asked, seeming to think that we wanted privacy. "Nope. We want relief in class." Surprise crossed her face for only a second. Nodding her head, she then went and checked with Tim and Shirley. I looked over at the classroom clock and was amazed how little real time had passed since we walked in. "Would any of you like relief?" Ms. Carlisle was back in teacher mode. Luis and I nodded, I gave his hand a loving squeeze. Tim and Shirley shook their heads. "Okay, then. Tim, I need you to get this list of supplies for me." She handed him a list and then grabbed a stack of papers off her desk and handed them to Shirley. "Would you deliver these to the office, please?" They both nodded and headed out to "run their errands." While all this was going on, Luis and I talked with our eyes. "How would you two like relief? Each other?" Luis nodded for me to answer. Decision time. "We'd like to find one person willing to help both of us." There. I said it. Shy, hidden me. I didn't know whether to giggle or run and hide. Crying felt like an option. Then My Mountain gave me hand a gentle squeeze. Damn him. He goes and makes everything okay with one little squeeze. "My I ask why?" We seemed to be surprising Ms. Carlisle a lot today. "Sure." I looked up to My Mountain's eyes. His smile nearly melted my being. A slight nod of his head, and I continued. "We feel like this week is about discovery and exploring. While we've connected and it is something we hope lasts a long time, we still want to ... explore." "I agree with Becca. I know we have something ... powerful is the best word I can come up with." He looked at me and gave me another core-melter of a smile. "This week we're discovering each other and with the Program, we have a chance to explore beyond ourselves." Okay, I wanted to crawl all over My Mountain at that point. "How do you want to pick?" We scanned the room and noticed a lot of interest. The comments were hard to miss as well. Seems playing with the two of us was popular. We didn't need to talk, we knew. "The lottery." Before Ms. Carlisle could say anything, a line was forming. Already eight girls and two guys had lined up for the drawing. Every time Ms. Carlisle thought she had the right number of marbles, she'd look up and find the line had gotten longer. "Okay, that's it. No more volunteers!" A couple of last minute deciders groaned, but sat back down. The line began to move forward. Who is it going to be? Am I ready for all this? When is Becky going to crater and go back to her old self? ------ Luis What's happening to me? Yesterday morning, my biggest concern was rebuilding my body and beating East. Okay, get some studying done too! Now, I'm sitting naked in front of class with my girlfriend. Damn, that sounds nice. Girlfriend. Plus, I'm getting ready to have someone get my girlfriend and me off. I don't know if it is going to be a girl or a guy. This is an interesting week to let the world know I'm probably bi. That should go over in the locker room like itching powder in a jock strap. This 'not fucking with my leadership of the team' is about as likely as the weight bench taking itself on a couple of flying laps around the stadium. WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING? I looked at my sweetie and I knew. The right thing. For some reason, I also thought of my parents. They lived their life with love and compassion. At the same time, they didn't let the naysayers get them down. Their passion for life was boundless. Papa told me once, 'The best revenge is living better, and longer, than your enemy.' It was up to me, then, to deal with my choices. I just needed to remember my parent's dignity and grace. Their passion didn't hurt either. Plus, having a loving partner seemed to help. I looked at Becca again and smiled at her. Yep, gotta do something about these rubber legs. Our eyes were pulled apart when we heard an ear-piercing scream of joy. Alice Murphy was bouncing up and down holding the black marble. When she bounced, it was a whole body kind of thing. Long, black hair going every-which-away, arms and legs moving in a fashion physicists would call Brownian Motion -"completely random. While people say she has 'A Great Personality, ' she really does. While not a beauty, not really even cute, she was in no danger of scaring little kids. She has an energy that is infectious. "Oh-my-God, Oh My God! Oh! My! God!" She charged towards Becca and me, pulling up short, and still jiggling everywhere. "Thanks, you guys. This is way Kewl!" "Hopefully, our pleasure," Becca beat me to the punch. "Are you ready?" "Ah, guys ... Ah ... Umm ... I don't really know what to do." She looked down at her shoes. In a softer voice, "I'm like ... completely inexperienced. I mean I want to..." Both of us hugged her at the same time. Sweetie surprising me, yet making me proud, Becca took the lead. "No problems, we'll help you and make it fun for all of us. Okay?" Alice looked up, beaming. She nodded her head so strongly, she started the whole body-jiggling thing again. It felt really neat holding her while she was doing it. "Luis or me first?" "I ... Ahem..." Alice turns redder than I do. Becca took her hands and waited until she looked up. "Do you masturbate?" Alice sputtered, started to deny it. "Everybody does," I added,while trying to project calm -"in spite of my red face. Alice finally collected herself, some. "Ah ... Yes..." "Then why not start with me? At last I've got plumbing you're familiar with." Wow! Where did I find this gem? Shy? Hidden? Wallflower? HA! Alice looked into Becca's smiling, calm face and seemed to relax some. Suddenly, she looked at me, questions in her eyes. "Alice, relax. Enjoy yourself. Learn. Explore." I felt the love flowing between Becca and me. In the moment, it seemed to wrap itself around Alice like a warm, fuzzy blanket. She relaxed and her excited, jiggly self returned. "Play with my nipples, if you want to. You could even kiss them..." "Ah ... Luis ... Would you help me?" Her eyes pleaded. I smiled at her and winked. I knelt down beside Alice and put my hand on the small of her back. "She really likes to have her nipples teased. Touching, rolling, light squeezing." Alice slowly hefted Becca's beautiful, left breast. Carefully, tentatively at first, she began exploring the orb with her fingers and teasing the nipple. I watched, fascinated, as Becca's nipple puckered and hardened. I looked up to see Becca's eyes were closed -"she was already headed to her special place. The place where her really good orgasms come from. "Alice, if you'd like to explore more, I'd suggest going south. She's already about to blow." "Already?" "Oh, yes. Look at her face, the blush on her chest. Look how her hips are moving without thought, seeking. I'll be she's really wet right now." "Would you mind ... I mean ... Could I ... Like, taste her?" "Why should I mind?" She looked at me, smiled, and literally dove between Becca's legs. How wicked is this, I've got a front row seat! I had one hand on Alice's back, lending my moral support. My other arm was around Becca's waist, feeling her energy build. I studied Alice's technique. If she's a beginner, she's learning quick. She moved her tongue from side to side, brushing ... pushing ... stretching Becca's nether lips. She seemed to tease at the top with light touches, and grind at the bottom. Randomly, her tongue would slip inside Becca. Probing. Seeking. Pulling out juices and savoring them. Becca's energy turned to squirms and jerks. She did her best to look down to see what was happening to her. Then Alice would touch her clit and her head would shoot back on its own. Becca was unusually quiet, from what I've seen so far. Her breathing was sharp, panting at times. Occasionally, a rumble would escape from deep inside. Her whole body began resonating with Alice's tongue movements and some special, inner song. I wished I could see more of what Alice was doing. After a particularly viscous tongue thrashing, or so it seemed to me, Alice sucked Becca's clit deep into her mouth. The resonating, vibrating girl I had my arm around turned to hot marble. Frozen. Eyes clamped shut. Mouth wide open in an unheard scream. Breathing stopped, muscles locked while Alice continued trying to deep throat Becca's clit. Then she pushed in a couple of fingers. A good friend, when I was growing up, was an epileptic. Becca out did the wildest Grand Mal seizure I've ever seen. I don't think she was trying to swallow her tongue, though. No breath, no sound. Just random and violent muscle firings all through her body. Every muscle was playing the game. I started to pull Alice away, but Becca had already trapped her head with both hands and wasn't about to let go. About the time I thought I'd need to get EMTs for both, Becca collapsed. She didn't relax, the marble that came alive just turned to a mass of protoplasm and melted onto the chair. Thankfully, I had my arm around her and kept her from oozing onto the floor. Alice came up sucking air, but with a grin that would melt Pluto. I could only look at her with awe. She kissed me on the nose, and then fed me her fingers. "For you!" Ah, essence of Becca with a slight hint of Alice. Delicious. Ms. Carlisle came up behind Becca and supported her. "If we have to wait for her to recover, it will be the end of the next class." I heard more than one giggle from the class. Alice looked at me, with Becca's juices on her face. She looked perplexed. "I don't know what to do for you." Ms. Carlisle jumped in. "Explore. Right, Luis?" "Alice, it's okay. Just explore. I'll help and I'm sure when Becca returns to the land of the living, she'll help too." That got a chuckle from Alice and Joan. "Just have fun. I'll answer any question that you have. I'm sure Ms. Carlisle will contribute as well." "Ah ... Thanks, I guess." She reached out and put her hand around Junior, feeling his weight. "Why are you so big?" Before I could answer, Joan jumped in. "Alice, just as you have no choice about the size of your clitoris or nipples, Luis has no choice about his size." "But ... He's HUGE!" "Yes, he is." Joan paused for a minute. "Alice, think about this. A woman's vagina comes in different sizes as well. They are short, average, and long in length. Just like a man's penis. With Luis's size, over 80% of the women in the world would not be able to rub pubic bones with him without experience discomfort, if not outright pain." "Oh!" Alice's eyes got really big. "So, how does he fit? My fingers feel huge when I put them in." "I imagine most women would find him uncomfortable on entry, no matter how well lubricated they are. A large percentage of women wouldn't be able to comfortably adjust to his girth." Before Alice could say anything and before I completely lost my erection thanks to the 'good' news, Joan went on. "Now, think about Luis and how he feels. So much pleasure denied him." "Oh!" Alice's eyes got big as she looked into mine. I'm sure she felt my pain. I couldn't help but brighten up as I looked into her eyes. So eager to learn -"yet so unsure. Yep, about like me. Joan continued, "You have a unique opportunity to touch, feel, measure, and stimulate a very unique specimen. Why don't you heft it the same way you did Rebbecca's breast and start from there." "How big is he... ? Excuse me, Luis, how big are you?" "Alice, I don't know. I've never measured him. Junior has actually ended most of my relationships just because of his size." "Scared?" Joan asked. I noticed that since the kiss I thought of her as Joan, in private. Always Ms. Carlisle in public. I need to be careful. "Oh, yeah. Too much to go into right now. Alice wants to explore. Alice?" She looked up. "Have fun. Okay?" She nodded her head and put her hand around the crown. God, that felt nice. The warmth was overwhelming. Joan took her on a tour by suggesting places to touch and different ways of touching. Alice's hand was stroking the whole time while she explored with another. When student and teacher got around to hefting and exploring my balls, I almost lost it. I wanted to give Alice more time, so I forced my mind to think about the Cosmological Constant and how the notion and definition has changed over ... Shit, that feels good. Over time, that is. Oh, God! She's kissing her way down the shaft now. Think of something else. East's big center. Yeah. Hairy bastard. And she's got an inch of me into her mouth now. Oh, yeah ... Ummm ... Okay, bench-pressing 600 pounds ... that would be easier than trying to get my mind off Alice sucking on my cock. She's swirling her tongue on the head and teasing the spot at the base of the crown. I want Becca to share this with me. If I could only open my eyes. I have ... TO ... HOLD... Alice started jacking my shaft harder and faster. SHIT. SHIT. FUCK! I could barely hear Becca whisper in my ear, "Do it, My Mountain. Give it to her." Just before my moans and grunts blocked my hearing, I heard Joan telling Alice to be ready. "Don't stop stroking, whatever else happens." A lightning bolt came through the crown spot at the top of my head, my toes met my heels, my balls must've retracted because I couldn't feel the hands -"yes, hands -"on them anymore. There were whispers I couldn't make out. The voices sounded familiar. A moan from a third person that rattled my very core. Just as the first surge started its journey, a finger found my prostate and pushed. I shot -"not spurted -"shot. I shot again and again. The world went black, yet was filled with explosions. A few millennia passed. Slowly, Becca's voice entered my dreams. "Thank you, My Mountain." "WOW!..." Cough, cough, "is there ... always..." Cough, cough, "so ... much?" "Alice, I'm sorry. I pressed on his prostrate." Was that Joan's voice? Becca was nibbling lightly on my ear and cooing. Someone was still gently stroking Junior. An occasional lick sent shivers up and down my spine. Was that applause in the background? "Ugh ... Augh..." I think I was uttering. My vision was slowly returning. "Hmmm ... My Mountain has marked another love slave." Becca whispered in my ear as I finally managed to pry my eyes open. "Thank you, Alice..." Breathe. Remember. Breathe. "That was wonderful!" She beamed. Marked was right. She had a small stream running out of the corners of her mouth and puddles on her blouse. "Thanks guys!" Ms. Jiggles started up again. I couldn't help but smile as she talked rapid fire without breathing. "Luis, that was so neat! And, Rebbecca ... WOW! Thank you, so much. I can't believe I did that. To both of you. This is so cool. Awesome. And, Ms. Carlisle. Thanks for your help and teaching me and making this just so wonderful..." "Breathe, Alice." I managed to get out. Hell, I was running out of breath listening to her. "Alice, my pleasure." Becca assured her. "Mine, too." I smiled at her. Whoever connects with her is gonna be in for a treat. She's just so nice and eager! "Thank you for the wonderful gift." "Me too." "Okay, this could go on all day. Let's get class started for real." Ms. Carlisle handed towels to the three of us. Alice proudly turned hers down. Becca cleaned me as I cleaned her. I kinda like that! Ms. Carlisle indicated that Becca and I should stay in our chairs up front. Alice was welcomed to stay up front, but declined and proudly strutted/jiggled back to her seat. Tim and Shirley had returned. Judging by the smiles on their faces (and Shirley's glow), they had done an excellent job of mutual relief. The rest of class was a discussion of the Program, moderated by Ms. Carlisle. Pretty standard stuff, but she did lead it around to our role as seniors. She left us with the charge that we were the role models others should emulate. Our walk to Art was quiet. A welcome break from the day. Becca and I held hands and she seemed to be content not to talk. I was just enjoying being with her and the calmness of the moment. This day has been a whirlwind. Just as we got to class, she spun in front of me and wrapped her arms around my neck. Okay, I had to bend down, but who am I to complain! All my thoughts disappeared when her lips met mine. We were doing a decent mutual oral exam with our tongues when Francesca walked up. "Well, there's no public around, so I guess this isn't PDA." We broke our kiss and tried to look ashamed. I think our grins gave us away. "More kissing, less war. That's the way the world should be." "Hugs are good too!" I held out my free arm to Francesca. Becca did the same and we enjoyed a brief three-way hug. There was more than one chuckle shared. "Luis, I want to release you from your promise to pose -"this week. If I can have you pose from time-to-time during the year." "I'd appreciate that. Any Wednesday during the season and whenever you'd like after." "Deal." She held out her hand. I shook it, and then hugged her before she went into class. "I was looking forward to posing with you today." Becca looked downhearted. "I was too, sweets. But, today is my last day to build strength before Friday." "Why?" "After the workout I need to do, it will take my body three days to recover. I'll be at my physical peak for the game." She reached down and grabbed Junior. "Seems like you've already peaked today." "Keep doing that and I will again! Plus, I'll be worthless in the weight room." Ah, the sacrifices I make for sport. She gave me a mischievous smile. "Later, then. See you at seven?" It took me a minute to shift gears. Dinner! Her house! "I'd be there with bells on, if I had any place to put them." "Just take a shower and bring your appetite. Both of them." With a wink and a kiss, she went into the studio. This was not the same girl I watched hesitantly strip yesterday morning! I practically floated to the gym. I went through the girls' locker room, just because I could. Damn! No one there. My smile disappeared as I walked into the weight room. Coach McFarland was standing there with two assistants. They didn't look happy at all. Coach Mc stared into my soul with a look of absolute disgust. My bowels started to turn to water as I realized the only time I had ever seen that look from him was when he was getting ready to throw someone off the team for some great crime. Something like drugs, being arrested, or other bad shit. What had I done? The two assistants pointed to the weight bench and said, in stereo, "Sit!" Coach Mc took one last look at me, turned and walked out of the room. As he was leaving, he waved to his executioners to take over. ------ Chapter 18: Tuesday Afternoon - "Trading Secrets" Rebbecca When I walked into art, I tried. I really, really tried. I had so looked forward to posing with Luis. Something magical happened when we posed together. With everything else that has happened today, well ... Damn it! "Rebbecca?" Ms. Rotella's voice cut through my pity party. "I have a project for you today." I think I stared blankly until I saw the warmth in her eyes. "Yes, ma'am?" I really wanted to go hide and be miserable. I'm really good at that. "I want you to produce a series of sketches for me today. I want you to do Luis's eyes when he looks at you." At first it felt like a punch in the stomach. She was going to make me dwell on what I wanted to have right then and there. Just as I started to work up a combination of anger and pity, the creature that lives within me took over. I had thousands, no, millions of mental snapshots of Luis's eyes. "If you'd like to do a canvas, I'll accept that." It took me a minute to process what she said. "Thanks, Francesca. Oops. Darn. Sorry, Ms. Rotella." "Rebbecca, that is the kindest thing you could have said." Her smile was soft and warm. "I'm having him over for dinner tonight." I don't know where that came from. "Well, you should get out of here and go get ready, then." Her eyes lit up. I think she was happier about what was happening than I was! "Mom's not picking me up until after class." God, I couldn't even get fired up about getting closer to being with Luis. "So, call her." "Thank you." I hugged her, then called mom. She'd be there in five minutes. What the hell? "You might want to take this home as well." She handed me the portfolio she'd been helping me prepare for college. I'm sure I did the perfect John Belushi with my eyebrow. Yes, my parents had Animal House and had insisted I watch it more than once. "Don't you want to show Luis?" She feigned perfect innocence. In that moment I found something. I don't know what. It was burning inside. A new ... growth? Whatever it was, there was a lightness that came with it. "Then how could I attract him in here to use the divan?" I swear the person driving my body batted my eyelashes. Francesca patted my hand and said with a delightful chuckle, "You'll do just fine." Okay, I hope so. In a daze I left the studio, Francesca's little chuckle bouncing around in my head. When I got into the car with mom, I tried to evaluate where I was, who I was, and what was going on. She had the radio on, tuned to one of her Classic Rock stations. I had no idea what the song was. Something about a white room at some station, I think. It was the same music that Luis liked. He has such broad tastes. I haven't seen much current stuff in his collection -"the kind of thing I blindly listen to without really hearing. "Hi, Becky. Ready?" Oh. My. God! It felt so good to hear that. "Hi, mom. I think so." I tried to brighten my smile. "You've had a day, haven't you?" I think this new thing growing in me took over. Or, maybe I just let it out. One way or the other, I told mom about my day. Everything, including getting relief and my disappointment over not posing with Luis. I tried to explain the weirdness I was feeling. Mom listened with only the occasional question to get me to explain or amplify. Now, the market where we shop is a fifteen-minute drive from school. Yet, here we were already. "Becky, thank you." She hugged me. I hugged her back and started crying. "Mom, what's going on with me?" "Becky, I wish I could give you a simple answer that would make you feel good. You're just doing a whole lot of growing up, real quick. It's confusing. It's scary." "Why does it hurt sometimes?" "It always does. You're just finding ways to talk about it. That's part of growing up. Now, let's prepare dinner for your monster." "Mountain, mom, My Mountain." She was chuckling, having said that just to get a rise out of me. I laughed with her. Then, one of the 'Oh, Crap' moments. "Oh, God, Mom! I don't know what to serve him!" "It's okay, Becky. I've been feeding a football player for years, plus I talked to Jason about what he knows about Luis's diet. Stop worrying. Let's go shopping." She hooked her arm in mine and practically skipped towards the store. Okay, why not? Why? I stopped her. "Mom. I'm confused ... Lost? Yeah, lost. What's going on?" She stopped, took me by my shoulders, and looked me in the eyes. "Becky, I'm a bit lost myself. I got my daughter back last night and I don't want to lose her again." "Mom, I promise I won't push you away again. It was all so stupid. I got lost -"confused -"and decided that no one could help, so I just disappeared." "You did it well. You pulled into yourself and dove into art and writing. You pretty much stopped having anything but necessary contact with people. I am glad that you kept a relationship with Jason, though." "You know about that?" "I'm not blind! I've always had an idea of what you were up to. I never gave up on being your mom. I just knew I couldn't push you." "I really convinced myself that you and daddy didn't care. I even told Jason that yesterday morning." "Hopefully, that's the past." "It is." I gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. When I pulled back, I had to ask, "You know, mom ... I'm standing in a store parking lot. Naked. And ... I don't feel strange. Why?" "I'm really not surprised. That's the old you." She had a grin on her face and looked like she was repressing a chuckle. I'm sure I was doing the John Belushi thing again. "Huh?" "I had trouble getting you into clothes. Then I had trouble keeping you in them." "I don't remember that." "Oh, yeah! My little nudist. You probably don't remember the long, family vacations we used to take." "Vaguely. I remember I got the top bunk because Jason was too young." "Do you remember that it was a nudist resort?" "WHAT?" "We'd go in June for a month. I'd spend the rest of summer trying to get you back in clothes." "No, I don't remember ... Really??" "Oh yes! Becky, my exuberant nudist!" "So ... This is like reverting? Escaping. Isn't that bad?" I guess all my study on psychology was helping. At least with the terminology. "Do you think it's escapism? I don't. I see the positives of the 'old you' coming out. You're required to go nude at school and that's just awoken something that's been sleeping too long. That person was very comfortable with her body." "Then ... does that explain why I'm suddenly so comfortable in my skin?" "That and all that has happened in the last two days. You haven't had much time to really think about it, have you?" "No. I guess not. It seems I've had too little time for a lot of things." I thought of Luis. We had only spent a couple of hours alone last night. I wanted more time with him. Alone. Just to be with him. Not sexual, just being with him. Talking, snuggling. Okay, the occasional kissy-face break! I was still bothered about the nudity thing, though. "I just keep waiting for the freak-out to happen, though." "If you wait for it, it might very well. If you just live in the moment, it won't." God! She sounded just like Luis. Which is not a bad thing, is it? "I love you, mom." I kissed her, put my arm through hers, and started to skip into the store. "So, what are we shopping for?" "Well, not Italian food! There is no way I can compete with his mom." Mom is actually a very good cook, but I understood what she was saying. "After last night, I have a whole new appreciation of food." She giggled with me. Yep, there was that silly, girly sound. It felt really good, though. "So, what are we going to fix?" "We're going to have my grandmother's leg of lamb with fresh vegetables and some homemade bread. For dessert, an old fashioned English pudding." "Ooh ... We haven't had the lamb in a while. That sounds so good." "Well, I'm going to teach you how to make it." I stopped. "Really?" Can we say dumbfounded? Family secrets? "Yes, my sweet, lovely, precious, beautiful, smart, talented princess." Okay, my eyes got moist. "Thanks, mom." "I love you, Becky." Okay, more than moist. Part happy tears, part regret. "Now, let's go talk to the butcher. I called this morning and he has a few choice legs for us to look at." We were going to look at legs and I guess the butcher was going to get to look at more than legs! I tried to decide if I liked that thought or not. 'What's not to like?' 'Oh, hi Muse.' 'You're a beautiful girl. He should enjoy looking.' 'You're biased.' 'Yep! And don't you ever forget it!' I learned all about legs of lamb. Broken bone and unbroken bone. Shanks and such. The quality and thickness of the sheath and ... And ... And not to buy frozen. He had some locally grown legs that were fresh. One was a monster that, by my guess, could feed a family of twenty. Or, as mom pointed out, three normal people and two football players. Lambie-pie in the cart and we were off for the veggies. I learned which should be hard, which should be soft, or which should be 'just right.' How smell really mattered. What worm holes looked like. How to look beyond the outer leaves of some. What bruises looked like on the outside and how to avoid them. A graduate course in veggies. "Mom, Luis got me to eat anchovies last night. I really liked them on a thin slice of sweet onion. What can we introduce him to that I can feed him?" "Appetizer?" "Yeah, I guess." We talked strategy, family history, and spent more time than we should have finding the perfect things. We rushed home and I learned how to cook. Okay, I began to learn how to cook, really cook. It is part art, part science, and a whole lot of experience. Spending time with mom was great. She even stripped and found aprons for both of us. Mine said, 'Kiss the Cook' and hers, 'It's My Kitchen/I Have Knives/Questions?' I never realized how much there was to learn. It really is an art with a lot of science, just like painting. You don't just chop each vegetable the same way. Instead, you have to treat each as a unique individual and find a way to bring out its flavor. The leg of lamb preparation was part religious ceremony and part arcane science with strange incantations. We worshiped for about fifteen minutes. I kept thinking how I wanted this to be perfect for my new boyfriend. Best of all was the way mom and I were interacting. Two nude females -"am I a woman yet? Well, two almost nude females working together in the kitchen. Mother teaching daughter new skills and family secrets. "Thank you," I hugged mom, just before we put the leg in the oven. "Becky, I..." Sniff. "Love..." Sniff. "You, too." We enjoyed a mutual, happy tears fest. "So, do tears add flavor?" I asked, trying to wipe the tears off my cheeks. "The best. This will be our secret ingredient." We put the leg in a very hot oven and set the timer, then took a break. "Secret ingredient?" "Becky, my mom was ... Let's sit, we have nothing to do but talk for fifteen minutes." We sat next to each other at the breakfast bar. She put her arm around me. "Honesty?" This honesty thing seems to be a two-way street. WOW! "Sure, mom. If we can't be honest with each other..." "Well said." Mom collected herself. "Your grandmother was a total bitch. She wanted to control every aspect of my life, including the way I thought. I hated her. Her mother, for a while, was my only savior. So, when you changed ... I'm so sorry." Tears streamed down from her eyes. "It's okay, mommy. I made my choices, not you." "I know sweetie. But I let you because of my mother. I should have talked to you, understood you, instead of abandoning you. There was a middle ground I didn't see between the controlling bitch I grew up with and the hands-off mother I became. I fucked up." "MOTHER!" "Yes, Becky, I fucked up. I gave you the freedom I thought my grandmother had given me without realizing how important all the talking we did was. I let you stop talking to me. I'm so sorry." "Mommy, I didn't give you a choice." "Oh, but I did have choices. I left you to it, figuring you would come out of it. Five years later, you hadn't. I insisted you be in the Program." My arms and my mouth went into independence mode because my arms ended up wrapped around my mother's neck and my mouth saying, "Thank you!" Who is this person driving my body around? Well, after two days of ... Yeah, two days of! Actually, I kind of like her and I think I'll keep her. 'Good idea.' 'I'm glad you agree, Muse.' "I really mean that, mom. Thank you for putting me in the Program." "I know you do, sweetie. It's been tough, yet..." She struggled to find the words. "Me, a writer, and I can't come up with the words either." I hugged her tighter than I ever have. I could feel our mutual happy tears on my shoulders and chest. "This is what you mean by the special, secret ingredient? Love." "Yes." We added an extra helping. My father walked in and did the most perfect thing. He laughed. Not mocking. Trust me, my observer is well attuned to that. No, just pure joy and love. And the stupid, fucking timer went off. Oops. I hope I kept that one to myself. Dad's laughter and the well-intentioned timer were a catalyst. Mom was laughing and chuckling as she tended to the leg. I was trying to suppress a snorkel as I started prepping the veggies. Daddy hugged and kissed us. I noticed that the one he gave mom was more like what I'd do with Luis. That put a big grin on my face. Mom whispered something about later to him, and then he headed out to change, shaking his head on the way and still chuckling. I never realized how much fun cooking actually was! Mommy taught, I learned. We talked the whole time. We laughed; we cried a bit more. To me, watching the food we bought a few hours before become a feast was awesome. I hoped My Mountain would like it. "Becky, think of it this way. I watch you create with a brush or a pen. No matter how hard I try to learn and how patient you are as a teacher, I'll never be able to do what you can. This is my canvas. I'm not as talented as Ms. Contadino, but I ain't half bad!" I felt like I got it. "Cooking is more like what Francesca does when she sees a block of marble. I cheat, in a way. I don't worry about the painting the canvas wants to have on it, or the story the paper wants to tell. I see that cooking is listening to the food and what it wants to become." "That ... You amaze me Becky. You're so smart. But, you don't cheat. You see a picture in your head and can make others see it as well." She paused and dabbed at her eyes. "When you say it that way, it is the same with relationships. It's about two people finding the best in each other and finding ways that build on that to make a strong relationship." As I said, we talked. We laughed. We cried a little bit more. Not that we were being weepy females, just five years of shared tears that needed to come out. As mom pointed out, finding the best in each of us. I had ignored her and closed myself off from her. Now I felt deeply connected to her. The dinner hour slowly approached. The meal only needed occasional tending. So, we prepared the dining room. Even daddy pitched in to make it right. When mom started talking about the meal in the store, I knew how the dining room had to be. After all, that's my gift -"light and texture. They followed my direction without question. Mom told me that she'd already asked Jason to pick up a flower arrangement for the table. I was impressed the way my family was jumping in to help. Daddy even ran out and picked up the finishing touches. While he was gone, mom and I talked about attire and our presentation. We traded time for showers and prepping ourselves, she also gave me advice on makeup and hairstyles. We even raided each other's closets and dressers looking for the right things to almost wear. Quarter to seven rolled around and Jason came home. Right according to plan. Mom and dad briefed him on the evening and attire while I tended to the feast in the kitchen. The smells were wonderful. So good, in fact, that my tummy growled impatiently. Fortunately, no one heard it. Then we waited for My Mountain to come to the Maiden. Or should that be the Virgin Princess? Nervous? Me? Without mom's help, I'd have locked myself in my room and dove into a painting for about a month. Instead, here I stood in the kitchen, of all rooms of the house. I'm wearing high heels, sash, and one of mom's hats. Waiting. Waiting and hoping that Luis and I could find some time to be alone. I just wanted to snuggle into him and feel him next to me. I want to get lost in his eyes. Hell, I just wanted to see him again. ------ Luis Coach Ames, the defensive coordinator, and Coach Hammer, the offensive coordinator, just stared at me. They didn't move. Just examined every pore on my face and, from the way they were looking, the detestable, fetid sewer beneath. My bowels churned. "Charlie," Coach Ames asked his counterpart, "where did I go wrong with this one?" "Scott, I'm sure you did your best. Some of them just ain't gonna get it." "Do you think this one can be salvaged?" They pulled out their microscopes again and examined every square inch of my soul with their eyes. I couldn't tell if there was a change in their assessments. If I had had the nerve, I'm sure I would be shaking. "Well, maybe. Might be more work than it's worth." Coach Hammer turned his head and spit into his Styrofoam cup -"always in his hand. He loved his Red Man. I felt like the bottom of that cup. "Let's see if we can purge the devils out of him. It seems he likes to lift heavy objects. Think we can find his limits?" "Either that or we break him." They both grinned. It flashed through my mind how Lucifer must look as he got ready to torture a new soul for eternity. I think they outdid him. "What do you think, Olympic lifts?" "Yeah, I think he needs to burn a little energy. Snatches first?" They just chuckled as they loaded the bar with weight. One of them hit the button on the boom box. Donna Summers, later followed by the Bee Gees and other alleged scions of the Disco era blared out. Oh, they knew how to torture every part of me! At least it wasn't Abba or most of the current crap clogging the airwaves today. The two assistant coaches kept me in the weight room for over two hours. From the snatch to the clean-and-jerk, then on to individual muscle group lifts. Penance for my sins? Atonement for my mistake? I paid the gods in sweat and muscle mass. Free weights the whole time, setting personal bests for each exercise and got close to Olympic records on the snatches. It never seemed "good enough" for the coaches as they continued their discussions about me while ignoring me. Then the bench. I swear they sat on the bar or brought in the whole team to do it. They certainly offered no positive feedback or spotting support. They were at least positioned to keep me from being too crushed should my hands or arms fail. They didn't talk to me after the opening "SIT", yet kept up a constant chatter between themselves. They talked about the interior offensive line of East. They mentioned, more than once, what an honorable man Dr. C was. Respect was the common theme. There seemed to be a constant, underlying theme of how some good people can turn out to be pure scum. When it seemed I couldn't raise a thought, they brusquely dismissed me. I don't think I've ever been so glad to stagger out of the weight room. I'd rather have Becca's version of rubber legs than the rubber body I had at the moment. Somewhere in the process, they had removed all the bones and just left a deflated, pulverized mass behind. Dressing for the rest of practice was easy, at least in terms of logistics. The actual process was hell on Earth. Tuesday's were padless walk-thrus. Pair of socks, cleats, and my helmet and I was dressed. And, I wanted to die. When I got onto the field, one of the equipment managers helped me into a mesh vest indicating I was playing defense on the first string. It was a good thing I had help. Lifting my arms seemed the insurmountable obstacle at the time. Coach Ames was all business as he walked the first string defense through formations and plays with the second string offense pretending to be East. I was secretly pleased that many of the maps I had done the night before were being used. Every now and then, Coach A would call me over to discuss and tweak one of them. No mention was made of the weight room, Dr. C, or Coach Mc's opinion of me. For the moment, I could only assume I was still on the team. Perhaps in a bit of the doghouse -"okay, the doggie basement, but still on the team. After a bit, I came out of the exhaustion induced fog from the weight room. It dawned on me that no one was making contact with me. Normally, there was a fair amount of banging about in the walk-thrus. I pulled the defense together. "Guys, is it bothering anyone the way I'm dressed?" I got the expected denials and bullshit. "Do you want East to win just because I'm in the Program?" Some head shaking, at least. "Well, if we don't get fucking serious, right now, you're gonna find out I can hit you a lot harder than those wusses from East can." Grumbles. "What, if you touch me, you might be a fag? That's bullshit and you know it." Nods from most everyone this time. "Let's show this offense that we mean business. Let's lay these little puppies on their asses this next play. Maybe the next play they'll want to get serious too." Less grumbles, but a long way from enthusiasm. "Okay. Here's the deal. This week I'm in the program. Next week, any one of you might find yourself this way. Get past it. Yeah, this is the first year they've targeted football players during the session for the Program. Let's show them it doesn't matter." That got their attention. "Let's lay them out." Thanks, Marcus -"our wrecking ball of a middle linebacker. After the next play, not a member of the offensive unit was standing. Coach's whistles and the phrase "next week it could be you" were heard all around the field. As the center came up to the line for the next play, I said, "Just think, next week you could be showering with the cheerleaders." Things straightened out after that. We got serious and people forgot I was naked. Hell, so did I. I'm sure it was because of the attitude my parents had about it. While we're not formally nudists, clothing has never been an issue around our house. Well, maybe not in the moment. I was too worn out to think that deep. Maybe not! I was doing good getting through plays at half speed after my "little" workout! We spent the last few minutes of practice in the gym running through our secret plays. Out of the sight of scouts and spies for East and the other schools we would be playing this year. When practice ended, the coaches called us over. They covered our game plan for Friday and reminded us that tomorrow was media day. The juniors and seniors would have to stay late and handle questions from reporters. Standard stuff and necessary for getting more players onto All-Conference and All-State teams. They dismissed us, but indicated I should stay behind. I think my bowels were too tired to churn this time. How I was standing is still a mystery to me. "Your head on straight, son?" Coach Mc asked me, staring hard in my eyes. "Yes sir!" I looked back, but was not challenging him. I don't think I was pleading through my eyes. Take it like a man. Bullshit. I just wanted to find out where I stood. "Good. Now, don't cause me any more problems." "Will do, Coach. And, I apologize." "Accepted. Now, take 5 laps before you hit the showers." Off I went. Even with the relief of being fully on the team, it took every ounce of energy I didn't think I had left to pick up foot, move forward, pull body over top of it, repeat. For twenty-two hundred yards. Sixty-six hundred feet. Ten billion steps, or so it seemed. I was so dead when I got to the girl's locker room, the sight of all the naked cheerleaders did nothing for me. Junior would not even respond to the reasonable (and unreasonable) requests in the showers. Their bloody music didn't help. Aren't they a little old for the Hanna Montana types? I finally managed to escape estrogen hell and found Jason waiting for me outside the door. "Are you ready for dinner tonight?" He looked at me with real doubt in his eyes. I know I must look like hell. "Jason, right now, I just want to crawl in a hole and die." Where's the nearest shovel. Could I get Jason to dig the hole? "They work you hard today?" Here's your sign, I thought. "No shit, Sherlock! If I had the energy, I'd punch your arm." "I'll take a rain check. Look, I've got to stop by the florists on the way home. Some stuff for the table, apparently. Did you want me to pick up anything for you?" My oxygen-deprived brain finally started cranking and managed to get up to snail's pace. On crutches. "Damn, I didn't even think about that." "After your day today, I'd have been surprised if you had." "Could you pick up something for me? Something for Becca and your family? I'll pay you for it." "Luis, you get at least two sacks and shut them down up the middle and it's on me. When I score with those plays you came up with, that will be gravy." "Deal." We sealed it with a shake. I ran by the house, changed into my "semi-formal/better than causal" attire for the evening. A pair of nice, leather sandals and a silk scarf around my neck. At two minutes to seven I was knocking on Becca's door. Mrs. Davis answered the door. She was wearing a very stylish, wide brimmed hat, a matching sash, and matching gold high heels. Being around nudity for a couple of days, it took a moment to realize that is all she had on. She looked damn good. I could instantly see where Becca got her beauty. "Luis, welcome. Please come in." She gave me a friendly hug, or tried to. She's a little shorter than Becca and with the correspondingly shorter arm reach. "Thank you, Mrs. Davis. I brought these for you and your family." I presented her with a nice arrangement of flowers that Jason had left outside for me. He has good taste, if I do say so myself. "Why, thank you, Luis. You didn't have to bring anything." "Ma'am, hopefully my parents taught me better than that," dodging the fact that Jason reminded me. "Besides, unexpected gifts..." "Yes, they are the best. The flowers are beautiful. They'll be perfect in the dining room on the buffet so we can all enjoy them at dinner. Now, before we go any further, call me Helen." "Yes ma'am." "No, Helen." She was smiling, though. If nothing else, my parents had drilled manners into my thick skull. Another form of social lubrication, my father said. Plus, a sign of respect. She led me into the living room while we chatted aimlessly. "My husband, James Davis. Jim, this is Luis Contadino." He was in proper attire as well. A nice pair of dress, but casual, slip on shoes. No socks. No pants or shirt either. He had a silk tie on -"maroon with gold stripes. Harvard, if Poppa had taught me right. Looking a little closer without staring, I noticed the little 'HBS' stylized initials throughout the fabric -" Harvard Business School. You done good, Poppa! "Mr. Davis, a pleasure to meet you. My mother and father send their best to you and..." She caught my eye. "Helen." "Please, call me Jim. If I'm correct, we're going to be seeing a lot of you around here." "Thank you ... Jim." A little trick my father had taught me. Look 'em in the eye and hesitate. If they want you to be informal, the eyes will let you know. He looked genuinely pleased. Helen produced glasses of wine. "Is it okay?" She asked before handing me the glass. They indicated a wing chair for me while they sat close on the couch. In the background, they had some Haydn playing -"Cello Concerto No. 2, the D Major -"down right cheery for a Concerto. I glanced around the room and noticed a huge collection of CDs and Vinyl. Plus, a sound system made up of individual components with what looked to be a VPI turntable -"absolutely top of the line and worth four times what my car was! "It's pretty standard on our table. My parents have been trying to teach me about wine for years." It was a nice little white with a delicate fruit bouquet. Not too sweet. Perfect. "This is wonderful, thank you." "I've worked with your father for years. He's one of the most brilliant economists I know. And, your mother ... Well, let's hope that you enjoy our modest fair this evening." Jim's words belayed the pride he took in his wife's cooking. "Jim, Helen, I'm sure I will. After all, I have to eat my own cooking five nights a week." We shared an easy laugh. "Do you plan on following in either of your parent's footsteps?" Jim asked. "Well, as you can imagine, The Economist and The Financial Times are required reading around our house. Momma has also made sure I know my way around the kitchen and don't poison myself and others. Yet, they've let me find my own path." The Concerto had reached the Rondo (Allegro). "Pardon me, Jim. Is this Haydn the one by Pablo Casals?" No doubt, one of my favorite Cellists. Right up there with Rostropovich. "You have a good ear. It is an enhanced copy from the original 1917 acoustic recording." Jim had a big smile on his face. "Lovely. I've only heard copies from 78s, scratches and all." This version was flawless. "Well, later we can look through my collection." Jim looked like a little kid wanting to show off his toy collection. I understood his pride. "That would be wonderful. Thank you." Helen had been patient with us until now. "Becky has said something about Physics or perhaps coaching football?" Helen inquired. Pulling us back from Toyland. "Ah, she already knows too much. Guess I'll have to keep her." That cracked her parents up. "I know I want to pursue physics at some level, I just don't know exactly the field. It will definitely include cosmology, though. As for coaching, or even playing after this year, it all depends on how it meshes with physics." "As I understand, you could have a very promising football career if you choose." "Jim, I play football because I enjoy it. It has never gotten in the way of my studies. Yet, if I could put physics and football together, that would be heaven. MIT, Cal Tech, and Princeton don't exactly have powerhouse football programs, though." "Who is recruiting you?" It was the peak of high school recruiting time. I've been getting stuff since May of my sophomore year and calls since the first day allowed by the NCAA -"the guardians of young student athlete's morals, I guess. "I've made four official visits so far and have gotten calls at one time or another from almost all the Division One and some Division Two coaches. What I'm really doing is shopping academic programs and professors to give me a solid foundation for my graduate studies." "I didn't realize high school recruiting was so formal. I guess we should learn something about it." Jim looked thoughtful. No doubt considering Jason's future. "Definitely. It isn't a matter of choosing the school that offers the best car." A laugh all the way around. "The NCAA is very strict about how colleges can approach high school students, what can be discussed, and when. It wasn't until May of this year that I could actually talk to the coaches directly or even talk about possible offers. Then I've got until signing day in February to decide. They are also very strict about how athletes can make money or what gifts they can accept, even before college." Just then, the Rondo ended. Jim grabbed a very nice looking LCD remote and started keying it. He just smiled at me as he made his selection. As the music started, he looked at me with a challenge. I listened to a few measures, settling on the one it had to be. "Too easy, Jim. Wendy Carlos, Switched on Brandenburgs ... Number 6, the Allegro." "If you play football half as well as you know music..." Jim was shaking his head as he turned the volume back down to a more comfortable background level for conversation. "Official visits?" Helen's patience once again strained, brought us back from Grown Up Kid Land. "Poppa and I travel to a school for the weekend. Meet with some of the players, the coaches, and, in my case, the professors in the physics department. I also have a workout where the coaches see what I can do on the field. At the end, so far, there's been an offer of a full ride scholarship and a chance for a place on the team at all four." "Which four?" Jim was now back into the conversation. "Illinois, Stanford, UT Austin, and Georgia Tech." I ticked them off on my fingers. "Damn good schools all around. Any non-football schools?" "Well, the top three I mentioned have all let it be known that an academic scholarship would be no problem. Even if I don't play football for them." I couldn't help chuckle thinking of playing football at MIT. "I can see the score of an MIT game -" Pi to E." Jim laughed with me; Helen just gave us that patient look all women seem to give men when sports is brought up. We sipped our wine, each lost in our own thoughts for a minute. "Luis, I don't envy the decision that you're going to have to make. I'd be willing to be another sounding board for you if you want." "Thank you, Jim. I will take you up on it. I know the decision is mine and mine alone to make. At the same time, it impacts a lot of people around me. I haven't even had a chance to talk to Rebbecca about it. I don't know what her plans are. As we grow together, that has to be a part of it." As if scripted, the subject came into the room looking radiant. Jim and I both stood. I didn't get a chance to check out his reaction. I'm sure my eyes were as big as basketballs and my tongue was mopping the floor. Oh, God! Junior was taking notice as well. Not now! I'm tired, I'm exhausted. I needed to keep telling him that. His response was that he hadn't worked out that afternoon and now he was with his favorite person. I could face an offensive line without hesitation or fear. I had no problems fiddling with the mysteries of the physical universe. I could prepare a fine meal. I could hold my own in current events and economics. Yet, my Becca walks into a room and I turn into a blithering idiot. An idiot with the beginnings of an erection. Magnificent was too weak a word to describe how she looked. She had on high heels, a diaphanous material as a waist sash, and a large brimmed hat. Exactly like her mom, except in a ruby shade that set off her complexion, hair, and those beautiful eyes. Helen went and stood by her daughter, linking arms. What a tableau they made. Helen's breasts were slightly fuller with a slight sag. She had that wonderful curve of a mature woman in her tummy, where Becca's was flat and tight, thanks to Yoga. Becca was a bit taller and Helen's nipples a bit larger. Jim came over to me and put his hand on my arm. "As one man to another, wow! As a father to one and the husband of the other..." "If I had Becca's artistic talents ... No disrespect, sir, but I've got a new definition of the word beauty now." "Luis, the disrespect would be to not capture this. Let me get my camera." When he left, I found myself with an arm full of Becca and a set of wonderfully soft and hot lips on mine. I couldn't help but pick her up and spin her around. When Jim returned, it took a couple of coughs and one ahem to get our attention. Finally separating from Becca, we set about taking pictures of our goddesses. We each had a turn with them while the other took more pictures. The women took turns behind the camera to get pictures of their men, as well. Eventually, the head goddess informed us that any more picture taking and dinner would be ruined. I got a quick kiss from Becca before she left. "Missed you, My Mountain." She smiled and touched my face. God, I could just fall into her eyes and live there. "Missed you, too, My Goddess." "I can't wait until later. I want some serious snuggle time with you." "At your service. Milady." I bowed and kissed her hand. I very much enjoyed the view of her walking away. Jason joined Jim and I as we headed into the dining room. He was dressed in the uniform of the day and sporting a natty bow tie. Cheryl, sua regazza del giorno, was on his arm and dressed like the other women: floppy hat, high heels, and a sash. She had a glow to her that I doubt was 100% embarrassment. I snuck a peek at Jason's cock and noticed it looked tired and well used. Good for them! The dining room was a trip to earlier times. No electric lights, just candles. Pewter plates and goblets at each place. The room had a very Colonial feel to it. I felt as if I'd walked into a tavern in Williamsburg. I almost expected a young Thomas Jefferson to be joining us for supper. Becca and Helen had donned small aprons, as if they were serving wenches. Well, they didn't have the long skirts nor the accentuated cleavage, I wasn't complaining. The assault on my nose made my mouth water and my mind started picturing luscious eats. The view was having its effects as well -"Junior was beginning to rise to the occasion. I sensed that all three males were feeling the same way, yet we stood there waiting to seat the ladies. Jim had selected modern classics for the background music. King Crimson was telling us about The Court of the Crimson King. It wouldn't surprise me if he had some old Pink Floyd queued up, like Ummagumma or Saucerful of Secrets. Becca and Helen curtsied and said, in a very wench like voices, "Aye, our heroes are here. Let the feast and debauchery begin." I carefully seated My Goddess and managed some degree of near grace seating myself. When Becca draped a linen napkin across my lap, she took a moment to fondle and stroke Junior. Nervously, I looked around to see if anyone noticed. Helen appeared to have her hand in Jim's lap. Just as I started to look away, he looked at me. Oh, shit. Busted. Then, he grinned and gave me a little nod. Crap, shit, fuck! My girlfriend's father is acknowledging that his precious daughter his giving her boyfriend a handjob while he's getting one himself. Looking at Jason and Cheryl, I could see they were enjoying the temporary freedoms at the table. The food was arrayed across the table in a most attractive way. There were nuts, fruits, and sweets for nibbling on. A wonderful looking round bread, rolls, and steamed veggies. Typically Southern relishes of miniature sweet pickles, pickled watermelon rind, and spiced peaches. And the lamb! Oh, the lamb! Being a basic carnivore, it looked fantastic! And, bless their wonderful hearts, not a speck of mint jelly anywhere. Helen began passing dishes around while Jim carved the lamb, setting the pieces on a platter. I couldn't take my eyes off that wonderful meat, even with Becca entertaining Junior. Eventually, dishes were coming our way and my appendage lost his friend. My Goddess popped a piece of watermelon rind pickle in my mouth. "Try this, sweetie." I enjoying the sweet, yet tart flavor, "Thanks, Becca. That's one of my favorite kinds of pickle." "Drat. I wanted to find something you hadn't tried before!" Her smile faltered. "Around my house, that would be tough. Momma has us try everything." "Well, I'll have to keep looking then. A challenge, I love it." Her smile returned full force. Damn, I love those eyes. Helen poured wine for each of us. A deep ruby merlot, if I wasn't mistaken. As we settled into our food, the conversations began again. After praising the cooks, it drifted off into little subgroups. The girls talking about school, shopping, clothes, and whatever. The guys into sports and apparently my career. I guessed right, the music shifted to Ummagumma and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene." An interesting song for a meal. Fortunately, it was playing very softly. "So, Luis. Should you go to, say, MIT. Would you still have an interest in football?" "Actually, that scenario has come up. Apparently MIT and Boston College have some joint undergraduate programs. I could focus on physics at MIT, get my liberal arts and play football at BC. The only downsides, I'm not a real fan of Boston -"it's too cold -"and I'd have to take a lot of hours at both schools to be a full time student for my degree at MIT and be eligible for football at BC. The same with Cal Tech and either USC or UCLA." Jason looked at me, "I didn't realize you were being recruited so hard. What's it like?" "At first, it's fun. I mean, having that many head coaches interested in you and pitching their schools and everything. Then it starts to get a bit old. By now, the word is out on who I'm generally interested in, so the Division II schools aren't calling anymore and anyone not in the top 30 last year has stopped as well. Jason, you and your dad need to read up on the NCAA's recruiting rules -"soon." "What generated all the interest, Luis?" Jim asked. I hesitated. I just play the game to the best of my abilities. All the awards and stuff are the results of my coaches campaigning. They had a lot to do with who was recruiting me as well. Jason jumped in. "Luis doesn't talk about it, but he was All Conference his freshman year, unheard of for a lineman. Then All State his sophomore year. All American last year and is rated one of the top defensive linemen in the country, according to" "You're right, I didn't realize that. Quite impressive." Jim was truly impressed. I don't remember if he was at the end-of-year banquet last season. I don't remember if Jason was there. Hell, I barely remember being there, especially after I got the unexpected All American award. "I just enjoy the game and try to play it well." Here comes that artificial sunburn again. Jason laughed. "Well? I wouldn't want to run into a line with you on the other side. But, what's all this talk about non-football schools?" Jim saved me. "Luis was telling me earlier that he is split between studying at a school that focused on physics versus one where he could get his undergraduate grounding and still play football." "What about the NFL?" Jason asked. A sophomore and already thinking Pro! "Too far down the road." I said. This conversation was going places I didn't want it to go. "Jason, when Luis and I were chatting before dinner, he was expressing concerns about the decision for college. So thinking about the Pros is a bit premature. It is a long way to get from college to the NFL." "Yeah," I said, feeling the wind leave my sails. I'm sure Becca noticed Junior getting soft. "The horns of the dilemma I face. My mind and a huge part of my heart want to focus on physics. Yet, a big part of me also wants to continue in football as far as I can and one day coach. I don't see any way to do both. That's my problem in a nutshell." What had happened to my carefully scripted week? Now I was opening a door that I didn't want to open yet, but I knew I had to soon. All that on top of today and the Program! Conversation had stopped. Becca had moved her hand to my thigh and was patting it lovingly. "Luis, I apologize," Jim said sincerely. "I've turned a festive meal into a serious life conversation. I apologize to our two wenches as well, who have done such a magnificent job putting on this feast." He took a deep breath, held it, and let it out slowly while he settled. I found myself trying to do the same thing. "Now, before we move this party back on to track, I'll make my offer to you again to be a resource for you. Yet, those conversations should be done over brandy and cigars in the study. And, not tonight. But, soon." "I'd be delighted to take you up on that. I need to decide within the next two months." The complexity of the choices was still flooding my head. That's the real reason I kept putting it off, because I didn't have a perfect solution. Now, I also had a new complication to it. She was sitting right next to me. I took her hand and squeezed as much love into it that I could. I got a very loving squeeze back. I turned and blew her a discreet kiss and got a radiant smile in return. "Well, that's decided. I suggest we go back to enjoying this delightful meal and allow the ladies to tell us how they plan to spend our fortunes." "Hear, hear!" I said a split second before Jason, as we raised out goblets in a toast. Becca chose that moment to whisper in my ear. "I want my dessert directly from Junior tonight." I missed Jim's goblet and almost made a mess with the wine. He looked at me with concern until he saw Becca at my ear. He broke into a shit-eating grin. "To the ladies!" Was all he said, but with a chuckle in his voice. Junior was again rising to the occasion when she whispered again. "Maybe you'd like some of my hot, cherry pie for dessert?" Corny? Yes. Effective? Hell yes! Junior went to full periscope height. If Becca hadn't pulled him forward when she started this round of stroking and whispering, he'd be above the tabletop trying to look around. When Becca got up to help her mom clear the dishes, she released her grip on Junior. He sprang up and hit the bottom of the table with a resounding thud. It was more embarrassing than painful. Becca immediately dropped to her knees, grabbing Junior rather tightly. She pulled him out from under the table so she could inspect him. "Oh My God! Oh! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you. Poor Junior. I didn't mean to kill him!" She was nearly wailing. Helen got up to see what the fuss was. When she looked down and saw her daughter with a death grip on my inflated cock, she stopped dead in her tracks. Mouth open. Eyes fixed. Mr. Davis got up to see why his wife stopped and what was happening. I hoped his middle name isn't Eugene. When he saw what his daughter was doing, he roared... ------ Chapter 19: Tuesday Evening - Teach Your Children Rebbecca "I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!" I pleaded with Luis to forgive me. I held on to Junior for dear life, afraid he might fall off or something. Junior's head was turning dark purple. Oh My God! I did that when I banged him on the table! NO! I can't believe it. I've killed Junior. I heard my parents and realized what I was doing. I was on my knees, holding my boyfriends penis! Looking up, I first saw Mom. She was frozen, mouth opened. Shocked no doubt at the slutty behavior of her daughter. When I looked at Daddy, I was in tears and couldn't see well. Surely he is going to yell and scream. Then he's going to throw Luis out and ground me for life. Even in my panic I realized I was hearing sounds I didn't expect. My Father was roaring with laughter. My Mother let out a few squeaks and started laughing hard as well. What? Then I heard Luis start to chuckle. Did you know, he rumbles when he chuckles? What is going on here?!? By now, my parents are falling all over themselves. I could tell they were trying to suppress their laughter, yet every time one would calm down, the other would start right back up again. "Like mother, like daughter." My Father got out between fits, earning a smack on his arm from Mom. "What's going on?" I heard Jason ask. "Nothing." My Mother choked out. "Why don't you and Cheryl step out for a minute, okay?" "Whatever." Apparently Jason and Cheryl got up to leave. "Honey, you might want to lighten your grip. You don't want to break it off." Mom said, still chuckling. "But, I think I killed it." I started crying big time. Mom was instantly by my side whispering love into my ear. "It's okay, Becky. Everything is fine." She kept reassuring me. After I started to calm down, she suggested I let off the pressure. I looked up at Luis. He had a really freaked out expression on his face. As soon as I realized it was probably my death grip on Junior, I relaxed and let go. I've killed Junior! I was playing with his penis in front of my parents! I'm a slut. I wanted to run to my room. I wanted to hide in my art. I wanted to get lost in my writing. I wanted to put clothes on and hide. I really wanted to let go of this world and bring back the world I owned. Being naked didn't matter, but I can't hide that way. I let the curtain of my hair do its best for the moment. After Jason and Cheryl left, my Father spoke to Luis. "Stand up, please." "Sir?" In less than a second, a thousand emotions ran across My Mountain's face. I know I was as confused -"no, perplexed. "Please, just stand up and trust me." Dad's voice was gentle, yet commanding. CRAP! Sorry ... NO! It's the way I feel. Damn, damn, damn! What is Daddy doing? Slowly, Luis stood. His face red. His eyes didn't contain fear, but a wariness. His hands automatically trying to hide Junior. He wasn't fully hard, but still obvious, even with the size of those hands. His wariness turned to sheepishness. "Luis, hold your head up. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You got an erection. I imagine that you had some assistance. Personally, I don't want to know the details." Luis tentatively nodded his head. "Son, your cock is the envy of most men and I imagine it has caused some problems in the past." "Yes sir, it has." My father said cock? I better go place a bet on a snowballs chance! "Look, it's what you've got -"what God gave you, don't ever be ashamed of that. And, don't ever be ashamed of getting an erection. Okay?" "Yes sir." Some of the wariness returned to My Mountain's eyes. As if he were waiting for the other shoe to drop. D-do my parents think that's the only reason I love him? "Don't worry, Luis. Actually, Helen and I are quite amused. That is, if you're okay." "I'm fine. Actually, the treatment was almost worse than the injury." "Did I hurt you? I'm so sorry!" My eyes teared up again. The stairs are just around the corner, across the hall... Luis wrapped me up into his arms and pulled me to his chest. "No, sweetie, you didn't." I was so relieved. I snuggled into him, My Cave. I didn't even think when I said, "Good. I didn't want to kill Junior before I had my way with him." Luis's chest started shaking like he was trying to suppress a sneeze or something. Behind me, I heard some snorts and snickers. OH. MY. GOD! My parents heard that! My eyes flew open and I looked up. That did it. All three burst out laughing. I really wanted to hide! My face must be scarlet by now. Appropriate for a slut. Maybe I should brand the A on my forehead. "Sweetie, it's okay." Mom said. "Think about all you've been through in the past two days. How much has changed in you. You saw your boyfriend in distress, forgot all of us, and tried to tend to his cock." "MOTHER!" "What? Can't I say cock? How about penis? Or, wanger? Wand? Johnson..." "Tallywacker, rod, one-eyed trouser snake..." My Dad jumped in with. "Willy, the one-eyed wonder worm..." My parents, at least I think it was them and not pod people, started laughing uncontrollably again. Even Luis was shaking with laughter. "Sweetie, don't you think we know this stuff?" Mom was red-faced trying to control her laughter. She took my hand and pulled me out of My Cave. Dad took Luis into the kitchen while Mom and I sat. "Honey, have you and Luis had sex yet?" "MOM!" I know my jaw hit my lap, my eyes must be the size of the dinner plates, and I could feel myself turning as scarlet as the letter. "Honey, I'm not prying. Really. It's important that we talk. Talk about everything. We need to be completely honest with each other and trust each other. Sex is the most hidden topic of all. If we can be honest and feel comfortable telling each other about it, all else will be easy." Mom's voice was loving -"caring. She was holding my hand the whole time. "I'll try, okay?" Mom nodded. "To answer your question, no, not yet..." I choked up a little. "Becky, what's the matter?" "I-I ... I'm a slut." And the tears started. "What!" Mom hugged me into her. "You're not a slut. Your hormones just finally woke up." "F-finally?" "It was only a matter of time. I'd guess that part of your hiding was repressing them." "But..." "Honey, have you felt like dragging anyone but Luis into the bushes?" "Well..." I thought about PE and the shower yesterday and today. The looks I got from boys and girls. How those looks excited me. I remember, clearly, the look I had received yesterday and today from Rashad, a quiet boy in my art class. Then, I thought of the kiss today at lunch. "Yes. Rosalee." Mom actually giggled, then got serious again. "Does Luis know?" "Ah -"yes." "What did he say?" "Go for it." "And Rosalee?" "After L-luis and I-I ... consummate." "Experimenting doesn't make you a slut." She said that with authority. Perhaps from experience? "W-what if it's not an experiment?" "Then you'll know something you didn't know before." "You wouldn't be upset? I-I mean, another girl..." Mom got a brief look of wistfulness in her eyes. "If it makes you happy and doesn't hurt anyone, how could I be upset?" "Thanks. I love you." "I love you to. Now, what about you and Luis ... when are you going to 'consummate'?" She giggled while she did air quotes. "Ah ... Soon?" "I thought so. I thought it wouldn't be a long wait." She gave me a wink and a smile. "Not if I can help it." Damn! When I open up, I open up. Maybe I'm the pod person. "When?" "Tomorrow night." Mom's eyebrows went up, yet she gently squeezed my hand. "You sound pretty sure about it. It's a big step. Are you ready?" "More than. I talked to Mrs. Contadino last night. She doesn't mind me spending the night there with Luis. S-she ... encouraged it." Finally, my sniffles were going away. "I know that a football player in season doesn't have many nights during the week, so tomorrow night seemed the best time." "It doesn't seem that way for Jason." She chuckled, "After seeing him at the start of dinner..." "MOM!" "And? Honesty, remember?" "I know, Mom." We shared a little giggle. "Seriously, apparently the physical demands on linemen are a lot different. Mrs. Contadino was telling me that it takes Luis most of the weekend to recover from a game. Often on Saturday, he never comes out of his room except to eat." "I can see that. His body must take a terrible pounding." "I'll find out." I took a deep breath and thought about the week. "That's what worries me about Friday's game. I think I'm a distraction and he might not be ready for it." "Well, for the game, we can sit together and worry together. I've gotten gray hairs in every game Jason has played in. As for you being a distraction ... that's something you and Luis need to work out. As long as you two communicate and be honest with each other, it will work out." "Thanks Mom. I'm sure sitting together will work. As for being honest, Luis insists on it." "Good. Now, back to tomorrow night. Are you sure?" "More than I've ever been about anything." I knew it at the core of my being. She raised her eyebrows and just searched my face for signs. I was so positive, I knew in my heart so strongly, that I wasn't even blushing. "Two things, then we'll get back to dinner. First, enjoy teasing Luis tonight, but be a little more attuned. Okay?" She looked like she was fighting down a chuckle. I couldn't blame her and managed a giggle myself. "Attuned?" "Slamming his penis against the table..." She was starting to loose it now. "God, that was priceless! And your reaction!" I couldn't help laughing with her, even while blushing. "Damn, girl. You almost ripped that thing -"Monster -"off in concern." She gasped, howled, and gasped again -"trying to get herself under control. The horror of what I had done, hurting him, flooded over me. I started to cry. "Becky, it's okay. Really. It is okay. One thing you will learn, the penis is tough and tender. Just like a male ego." I think I managed my best poleaxed steer impersonation. Mom just laughed at my expression. It was a gentle laugh, not at all mocking. "With experience, honey, you'll understand. That, and you can always ask me about it." "I'll try, Mom. I will." "Don't say try, Becky. Either do something or don't. You either succeed or fail. Try doesn't exist. I'm here to help you. Sometimes, that will mean picking you up when you fall, like tonight. Okay?" "Thanks Mom." "Now, the second thing. Are you prepared for tomorrow night?" "Prepared? Huh?" That stunned bovine was back again. "Prepared. First, are you protected?" "Yes, I got the shot yesterday." She gave me a grin and a wink. "Good. Aside from being responsible, that should help you with your periods as well." "MOM!" "That's part of being open. And periods are part of being a woman." "You're right. It's going to take me a while." "I know, sweetheart. You're doing great so far." The squeeze of her hand confirmed the warmth and love in her eyes. "Thanks Mom." "Now, what about wardrobe?" "Huh? I've been going around naked all week, if you hadn't noticed!" We both giggled at that. "Trust me on this. If you walk out of the bathroom in something special, you'll really arouse him. Plus, you give him the joy of undressing you." "Huh?" I seem to be saying that a lot these days. Well, the last two days, anyway. "You're going to remember tomorrow night, or whenever it happens, for the rest of your life. Trust me on this. You only get one chance to make it special." "O-kay ... What do you mean 'if it happens'?" "Nature has a way of changing your plans. I hope everything goes as planned, you just never know." "I can buy that. Now, what do I wear? I haven't a clue." "I'll help you tomorrow, if you let me." I could see the faraway look in her eyes and a flash of a special time in years gone by. "Thank you!" I stood and helped her up. We hugged. Damn, did that feel good. I'm convinced now that hugs are addictive and good for you. "Still feel like a slut?" "Ah-mmm..." "You're not." "What about Rosalee and Alice?" I had told her ALL about my day while we were shopping and fixing dinner. Or, maybe that was the pod person. "It sounds like Alice was experimentation. Rosalee ... That's something you, she, and Luis need to work through. Soon." "I guess. It's ... It's weird." "You have a big heart. You'll do the right thing. I wouldn't worry about it. You know I'll support you no matter what you do." "Thanks." I got one of those hugs I've become addicted to. "Well, shall we let the others back in so we can finish dinner? I'm sure you want to show him your etchings later." "MOM!" "Don't give me that, young lady. I expect you to take him to your room tonight and let him know how much you love him. He can stay the night if you want." "Wow! Thanks. But, I don't think so tonight. I know he's got to be dead on his feet. Jason says they put him through the ringer today. Twice." Was that the pod person or the shock stunned one? "Your call, dear. Now, let's get our men back in here so we can go back to fondling their cocks." "MOTHER!" "What? You think you were the only one? Even Cheryl was playing the game." "Huh?" That damned bull with the headache was back. "For someone that is normally so observant you are missing so much! I think you're head-over-heels, aren't you?" "Huh?" Pod or poleaxe? "Let's just get everyone in here and finish the main course. We'll have lots of time to talk. Okay?" "Okay ... I think." "Trust me, Becky." "I will, Mom." We hugged again, fiercely. I did trust her, completely. We walked into the kitchen and hugged our significant others and led them back to the dining room. "Jason, see if Cheryl will let you up so you two can join us for the rest of the meal." Mom couldn't keep a straight face when she was yelling into the darkened family room. We all laughed. "Just ... A ... Minute ... Mom..." Was Jason's breathy reply. He must be lifting weights. Yeah, about 120 pounds worth! Damn. I blushed and got excited at the same time. I'm glad we had put towels down on the dining room chairs. Walking back into the dining room, I had a chance to check out the table for the first time. We had been so busy getting ready, I hadn't had the chance before now. Everything did look perfect, even though we had already dug in. The platter of lamb was perfect. Everything had turned out the way I saw it my head. Inside, I clapped my hands and did a little happy dance. I really have to ask Luis about this music. It really flows, but there is an abstractness to it. Maybe Daddy can help me and I'll surprise My Mountain. If only I hadn't tried to put my boyfriend out of commission! I put my hand on his leg -"near his knee, when he sat down after doing the gentlemanly thing for me. My Mountain. My Knight. Literally, my savior and protector. "I'm sorry for hurting you. I promise to be more gentle in the future. Forgive me?" "Becca, I love you. Nothing to forgive." He kissed me. With his hand on the back of my head, I did my best to devour his tongue. "Get a room, you two!" Jason demanded. I laughed with the rest, although I did sort of blush. I get so wrapped up in Luis that I blank everyone else out. I hadn't heard Jason or Cheryl return. Conversation started again, as if nothing had happened. It seemed more relaxed now, it flowed. The music ... Oh! I know this! Crosby, Stills, and somebody. About teaching your parents, I think. The food was wonderful. Our secret ingredient really did make the lamb. It was a marvel watching My Mountain and Jason inhale the food. My hand was near enough to Junior, that I could feel him pulse every time Luis had some of the lamb. I think Daddy spent most of the meal carving more for the boys than eating his own food. As the food disappeared, Daddy got our attention. "Helen, Becky, such a wonderful feast. The lamb is perfection. The beauty of the presentation, and our serving wenches ... it is beyond the worthiness of us mortal men. Gentlemen, I think a toast of appreciation is in order. Luis, would you do the honors?" "Err -"Thank you, Jim." My Mountain rose and raised his goblet. "To Helen, for passing down a tradition from her family. To Rebbecca, for learning it, well. To Cheryl, for adding her beauty to our Outreach. To our fair lamb ... We've enjoyed you almost as much as the beauty and grace of these fine women. Thank you all." He raised his goblet. Daddy and Jason stood, "Here, here!" They each offered to clink -"does pewter clink or clunk?--with their significant others first, then each of the other fair maidens. Finally, they clunked-okay, stick with clinked -"their three together. Fair Maidens. In that moment, I knew a painting I had to do of Luis. The Great Warrior preparing for battle. His nude form coated with oil, his armor arrayed around him. His concubines (I almost thought odalisques, but those are virgins and these girls aren't) beginning to dress him. The muscles pumped up, yet relaxed. The glow of an orgasm radiating from him. And, them. Conversation stayed light until the last knife, the last fork was resting on empty plates. Mom even agreed to share the lamb receipt with Luis, less the family's secret ingredient. "Helen, you can trust me with your family secret." My Mountain said pleadingly. "Luis, I trust you with my daughter, but this ... Talk to Becky about it. She's the new keeper of the family secret." I only half-listened to the continued buttering up. Mom had just entrusted a family secret to me? As I digested that, I looked over at her. I saw the love and affection in her towards me -"connection. "Luis, My Mountain, I promise to make this for you, sometimes. I may even let you help. But, the secret ingredient? Well, that's not mine to share outside of the family." I gave Mommy a wink and a smile. She beamed back at me. I reached over and gave Junior a gentle tug to distract my man. Males! It worked. "Luis," my Father said with mock seriousness, "I was thrown out of the kitchen while they were making this ... this..." he looked at the remains of the lamb with a sad look. Oh no, he didn't like it! "Masterpiece!" Good, no need to dig his grave tonight. Mom signaled her agreement. Although, keelhauling for teasing was still a possibility. I let the conversation swirl around me while I thought about my erotic dreams. The music was helping me drift. My dad sure has strange tastes. Good, but strange. The current song has something to do about knights, satin, and the moon. My hero was always based on a larger-than-life character who swept me off my feet and took me -"ravished me. Here I am, sitting next to my larger-than-life hero! He's swept me off my feet, now it's time he took me. I reached over and gave Junior a little squeeze. My Mountain looked down at me and smiled. I melted, oozing over the sides of the dining room chair. Mom caught my eye. Loving is the only way I can describe her eyes. I saw a glint of moisture, a small tear forming at the corner. I could feel the happiness and love she wanted me to find. I felt our secret ingredient forming in my eyes as well. Discreetly, she wiped the corner of her eye and winked. I wiped mine and gave her a wink back. My hand found its way back to Junior. My mountain was in such trouble! With the backing of two incredible women ... No, add Francesa. Oh, and Ms. Carlisle. And Mrs. Grant. Rosalee! I had an Army! Wow! Mom and I served dessert and pleasant noises were made all around. I fed Luis and he attempted to feed me, but I didn't give him many chances. I was so lost in thoughts of tomorrow night and giving myself to him that I can't even remember what we made! That, and I kept falling into his eyes. Dark and deep. Gentle and intense. As the meal wound down, Mom and I attempted to get up and clear the table. Daddy stopped us. "My Fair Ladies, you prepared this perfect meal. It is only right that your warriors now step forward to battle the kitchen." With that, the guys tackled the dishes and carried their plunder off. Mom topped off her wine and mine, giving Cheryl a token half-goblet. Mom broke the silence at the table. "I like the Program. Best family meal I've had in a long time." "I feel ... special? No, honored! Yes, honored to be, like, here and share this." Cheryl said. "How are you and Jason doing now?" Mom asked. "Much better now. Me being gone most of the summer and then, like, when I get back, he's off to football camp. Like, that almost killed us." "He's over it now?" "Yeah, and I'm almost over his..." I faded out. I thought I was close to Jase. Well, he was closer to me than anyone else before this week, yet I didn't know about Cheryl. God, I've really been selfish the last few years. My hiding was just another excuse to be self-centered. I had been alone not because no one would have anything to do with me. I had been alone because I had pushed everyone away. "Becky?" "Uh, yes, Mom?" Internally, I shook the pity-party off. "Any advice you can give Cheryl about dating a football player?" She discreetly winked at me. Our conversations earlier rolled over me. Apparently, Jase and Cheryl had hooked up off-season. "Cheryl -"" "Please, call me Cheri." I smiled and winked at her. Chair-ee ... Bim-Bo. The lights are on and no one is home. "Cheri, you have to understand their week and the different demands on them." "Yeah, I think I do. They, like, play games on Friday and have practice until dinner time during the week." And the giggle. Oh my! "Yes, and... ?" Something I learned from my Father. "Well, like, what's with the rest of the week?" Do we females really whine like that? Am I coloring my perceptions of her with my own stories? The music answered my question. All that hammered in was round-a-bout. "What do you mean?" "One day he's got more energy than, like, a nuclear power plant, the next day he's, like, wiped out. There are days he hurts for no apparent reason." Yes! I got it! I understood! I can help! She's not really a bimbo, just tuned into her peers and not into Jason! She's going round-a-bout. Stuck! "Let me walk you through the week, okay?" "Yeah, I guess." I could see the act in the feigned reluctance now that I knew what to look for. Interesting. Want to see a bimbo, see one. Want to look past it, then you see the person. "Cheri, it is real important. I grew up with Jason and now Luis -"I have to survive the week with them." Although she was nodding, I could tell the Vacancy sign was 'like' still on. "On Monday's, they get up early and start their first serious work out since the game on Friday. Jason gets up an hour earlier than I do, Luis even earlier. They run. They run over five miles. Luis lifts weights. Then, about the time we're struggling with the day, they get ready and go to the gym before school starts for more of a workout. So, while we're working hard to not surrender to our sleep, they've already had more physical activity than I'm going to have in a month." The vacancy light was starting to flicker like a cheap neon sign. "I've seen Luis's home weight set, I couldn't lift the bar by itself, much less with weights on it. He says it's a light set compared to what he uses at school. They both eat breakfasts that would kill us normal humans." Mom grunted in agreement. The sign was now flashing on and off in a regular beat. "Monday afternoon is a team meeting. They review their plays from the Friday before and look at what their opponents have been doing." "So, it's easy or something." She said with certainty. The light was staying on more than off, suddenly. "Not physically. Um ... ever had someone film a mistake you made and then show it over and over again?" Ah, back to a uniform blinking now. Her eyes were starting to round. I was actually getting through! Plus, freaking myself out that I was putting all this together. Thanks Mom, I tried ... no, attempted to tell her quickly with my eyes. "Now, imagine in that room is the head football coach, the assistant coaches, and all your teammates. And they show the clip of your mistake over and over and over. Commenting, critiquing the whole time." Her perfectly round eyes and open mouth mirrored the way I felt inside, living through this for the first time with Luis and looking outside myself. I realized that strength is not always on the outside. 'In and around the lake... ' echoed in my head. "On Tuesday, they do the hard workouts. An athlete in excellent condition takes three days to recover from a strenuous workout, which will give them greater strength and stamina. Tuesday is their day. Both boys ran over eight miles together this morning, then hit the gym for a workout before school. After school, Luis spent two hours being tortured in the weight room, then practice. In practice, they walk through plays over and over. Plus, for some, a special practice in the gym. Jason went through something similar, but probably not as brutal. I know Luis has to hurt right now." "What ... what about Jason?" Her voice beginning to quiver as the Vacancy sign finally turned off. "You'll have to ask him. I imagine he does. I know he sleeps like a log on Tuesday nights." "The rest of the week?" She was ... crushed? Becoming attuned? Hmm... "The next two days are pretty much the same, without the brutal workouts. They'll wear full uniforms for the next two days and push a little harder tomorrow. But, not much. They don't want anyone injured during practice." "I don't think I understand all of it. The practices, at least." Looking into her eyes, I realized she's not a bimbo after all. No way. She seems pretty smart. I'm glad Jason is not dating a complete airhead like he has in the past. "Ever work on dance moves?" She nodded. "You practice the moves over and over until they become automatic. You don't have to think about them, right?" "Yes!" Understanding dawning bright in yon window. I've got to stop reading so much Shakespeare. "Football is like a complex dance. The offense, Jason's side of the team, is trying to create moves that Luis's side of the team, the defense, can't match. The defense is trying to do the same thing to foil the offense. They practice against each other all week, then we get to see how well they've done on Friday." "I see it now. Wow!" She processed it for a moment. "How did you get so smart about football?" "I grew up around it and just absorbed it." Mom spoke up, "We've always gone to each of Jason's games and he talks about it all season." "I don't know a lot, just what I've observed and heard. Luis is the real student of the game. I like the games, it is a great way to see muscles in motion." We all giggled at that, I'm sure for different reasons. I was thinking about studying muscles for art. Then I remembered the last two days. Okay, maybe we were giggling for the same reason! I felt my cheeks warm and was again glad for the towel on the chair. "So, like anything, if you want to be good..." Cheri started. "Practice, practice, practice!" Mom and I said at the same time. We all broke up at that. Cheri, Mom, and I drifted off into taking about classes, colleges, and -"pinch me -"girl stuff. After missing the last five years, I was catching up on clothes, boys, music, boys, makeup, boys, hairstyles, boys, dance moves, boys, gossip ... Mom was right on top of it too. For the first time in my life, I felt like a normal teenage girl. I liked it. No! I reveled in it. Luis Jim, Jason, and I cleared the dishes and tackled the kitchen. Jim directed his troops and in short order the place was squared away. In the process, we prepared tea, coffee, and brandy, which we placed on a silver serving tray with all the necessaries. Jason was "volunteered" to carry it in to our ladies. Jim looked at me after Jason left. "Are you okay?" "Yes, si ... Sorry. Yes, Jim. Just tired. Today was 'kill me to make me a better lineman and person' day. I think a good portion of it was penance for what I did to Dr. C." "I'm sure you'll sleep well tonight." "I'm already dreading moving when I wake up. And, then, a long run to loosen up! Argh!" Jim shared an easy, sympathetic laugh with me. "Luis," he turned very serious. "I meant what I said earlier." I think I had my clueless look on. That one that comes from having your brains sucked into a black hole. Addled-Brain Syndrome (ABS). "About being available to you to help with your future. I've known your father for years. I see in you all the things that make him the best in his profession -"a quick, disciplined mind plus the ability to synthesize as well as analyze ... I also see in you your mother's dedication, hard work, and passion for life." He paused and a bit of moisture appeared in his eyes. "In two days, you've given Helen and I our daughter back." He visibly pulled himself together. "I would help out of respect for your parents. Now, I want to out of respect for you." "Thank you, sir." I thought about that for a microsecond. It was proper. There was more than a bit of moisture in my eyes. "I'm going to take you up on it. After this week?" A smile split his face and total understanding illuminated his eyes. "Deal!" We shook hands. "I see the way you look at my daughter." The sands of the Sahara washed through my mouth. I'm sure fear covered my face. My mouth stopped working for a second. "It's the same way I think I look at Helen. I know Becky looks at you the same way Helen looks at me. Are you ready for it?" "It?" Can you say confusion? ABS! Damn that black hole. I just wished it would suck up the moisture building in my throat. That flood before you void your stomach. "A very serious relationship." I relaxed, my chest actually heaved in relief and I chuckled internally. Just once. "Yes sir. More than ready. I wasn't until yesterday. Now, I know in my heart I'm more than ready." He thought for a moment, nodded his head, and gave me a playful punch on the arm. "You'll do just fine." I know I still had that vacuous cranium look, 'cause that's how I felt. Breathe, you dumb jock, breathe! His chest shook with a few internal chuckles. "All I can say is pick your advisors well. Your parents for one. I'd be honored. Helen would be another good choice. I'm sure you've got some trusted friends as well. We can all help make it work." It had been one hell of a day. I was physically hanging by a thread. Emotionally, I was everywhere. "Thanks." I think I got out. My body suddenly felt like a plate of jelly in a microwave. His smile told me he took pity on me. "Come to any of us. Questions. Concerns. Advice. You'll figure it out. We're here to help." My brain was still vacuum addled at this point. Yet, when I looked him in his eyes, I understood how he had gotten to his position in life and why Poppa respected him. "Jim, thank you." I stuck out my hand and we shook again. His other covering mine. "Let's go treat the ladies with the love they deserve." The twinkle and energy in his eyes looked just like Poppa's. It was contagious. "Charge!" It was all I could think of. Yep, there's that Contadino wit bursting forth again. "Into the fray for God and Country!" He chuckled as we headed back into the dining room with Jim's excellent collection of classic 70s rock playing. The Moody Blues were on. Same album as Knights in White Satin. Kewl. We had a comfortable and, fortunately, short after-dinner conversation. I had a cup of Darjeeling tea, as did Becca. Jim and Helen had snifters of brandy and cups of coffee. Jason and Cheryl sipped water. I couldn't help it. It snuck up on me. I yawned. Big! No way to hide it. Of course, my yawn triggered Jason. His triggered my second one, which triggered his second one. All those yawn-neutrinos bouncing around causing others to join in. "Becky," Helen got her attention, I was in mid-yawn, trying not to expose the Grand Canyon to everyone. "You wanted Luis to see your portfolio?" "Mmm ... Yeah." She looked a little sheepish; her cheeks turned a bit rosy. Damn, I love looking at her. "Well, before he falls asleep..." Becca got it. She grabbed my hand, "helped" me up, and led me to the stairs. As we got to the first tread, my energy picked up. To be allowed in Becca's room, to see her paintings, and to make out a bit. I know I hurried her up the steps. Her ass cheek fit perfectly in my hand. Not to mention how good it felt. Yep. Male. Subspecies: teenager. Distinguishing behavior: horny while breathing. She stood in front of her door and made no move to open it. I could see fear and doubt in her eyes. A glint of moisture. She hung her head and her hair became a curtain closing over her face. "My Becca, it's okay. We don't have to do this." She melted into me. "I want you to see my work, I'm just..." Do all males have the stupid gene? Or a missing gene? Maybe it's that missing chain that makes us a Y instead of another X. "You invited me upstairs to see your etchings." Dumb. Stupid. REALLY DUMB. I wanted to reach out and pull all those words back. Instead of being upset, she cracked up! She looked up from her Cave. "You say the sweetest things." And, she kissed me. No. She KISSED me. As in make the world go away and curl my toes. Okay, what's going on? Before I could even think about it, she opened her bedroom door and propelled a suddenly weightless me in. If East's line only knew! My knees weakened. Her art was everywhere. I was bombarded like a loose ball on the playing field. The first sketch I saw made me want to laugh. It reminded me of a Marx Brothers movie that my parents had forced me to watch and I came to love: "A Day at the Races." I felt it in my bones. Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush right in front of me. Yet, the sketch had nothing to do with the movie or the Marx Brothers! My eyes were next pulled to one that made my muscles relax. I felt myself automatically drop into my center, combat mode. It was a simple sketch of two people in a bare room ... I just knew, though, a fight was imminent. The next was just the face of a little girl, but it brought tears to my eyes. My throat closed in sadness and pain. I pulled my eyes away. Then I saw the painting on the easel. It immediately drew me in. Captivated would be a good word. Enthralled? How about mesmerized? The rest of the room melted as I went through a series of emotional releases. I wanted to cry while leaping with joy. I wanted to dance in the moonlight and wail at the Wall. Becca saw my face and hugged me. "Thank you," was all she whispered. "Becca ... That is ... WOW!" Tears were streaming down my cheeks. My heart was leaping, skipping, running with joy. "You've just given me the best compliment anyone could." Tears of joy and sadness, hope in my heart, questions in my mind. I was still whirling when I managed to pull Becca to me. "Thank you..." My throat closed. My eyes watered. The girl that knows how to draw and paint like this loves me? My knees started to buckle. Becca seemed to effortlessly carry me to her bed. "Wow! I didn't ... realize ... how ... good ... you are!" Her mouth touched mine. The shock through my system woke me up more than a can of energy drink and a shot in the arm. I felt every part of her lips. The heat. The moisture. The little valleys and ridges. When her lips opened, she effortlessly parted mine. Her tongue came out and began to tease my lips and teeth. Her hand snaked around my head and she pushed me into her. My world became her lips, tongue, breath, and her heartbeat. Her warmth flowed through me. The kiss deepened. Instead of feeling sexual, it was a deepening expression ... love? Our hearts started to beat in the same rhythm. I felt her heart more than my own, the energy running through her and into me. Even though I was bending over to reach her mouth, it wasn't uncomfortable at all. She melded with me, her body pressed into mine until we became one. As our kiss broke, we still gave each other little kisses, refusing to pull away. No talk. No need. What we had went beyond words. I knew in that moment why poets struggled to say what couldn't be said. The compelling need to say it and impossibility of limiting the feeling with mere words. We finally pulled away from each other, keeping eye contact. "WOW!" I'm not sure how I found the breath. "Yeah, WOW!" With her words caressing my ears, I could fall into and live in her eyes forever. "Becca, I love you." Our hearts still beat as one. No lightning bolts from heaven ... or hell. Just 'tis. "And, I love you, Luis. Now and forever. No matter what happens." Our world swirled into a kaleidoscope of infinite possibilities. Together. One. "And I you." What else could the dumb jock say? We melted into a second kiss. This kiss deepened, yet I was very aware of her physical presence. The hardening of her nipples, the warmth hidden behind her pubic hair -"the building moisture as well. The complex, beautiful curve of her breasts and hips flowed beneath my fingers. The soft, yet strong feeling of her ass as I cupped the cheeks. The smoothness of her flesh and how the muscles underneath rippled and seemed to be following my fingers and hands. While our breathing and hearts synced, I could feel my hands on her as if I were her. I felt her inside me feeling her hands and fingers on me. Coherent thought ceased. Einstein, Feynman, and Hawkins would be proud. We stopped time. Again, when we broke, those wonderful, intimate little kisses. I pulled back a little bit so I could see her face. "If today had been different..." More little kisses. Fingers touching, exploring the other half of the new self. She smiled. "And, if today hadn't been 'Kill Luis' in the weight room, I would attack you!" "You mean?!?" ABS Alert! "I told you yesterday. I meant it. I live with a football player, though, and know the weekly routine." "And, you want to?" Smooth, Luis. Smooth. Taking the remedial fuckwit class next week? And you spell it m-o-r-a-n. "Luis, you may want to become a rocket scientist, but you are such a dweeb at times. What do you think? What did you feel in our kisses just now?" "Love. Absolute. Oneness. The infiniteness of the universe and the singularity just before the Big Bang." "Imagine how that's going to be when Junior is inside me." I shuddered. She melted. "Tomorrow, My Mountain, My Love. Tomorrow." "Tomorrow?" The Addled Brain Alert was now a five alarmer. "Trust me." I found myself filled with her love. I did trust her. Completely. We melted into another of our now patented kisses. When we broke, I knew what I wanted right then. "Show me your art, please." She looked up at me. Every fiber of my being wanted to join with her -"wanted to make sweet, gentle love to her. I didn't know how. My experience to date was frustration. It all came flooding back. The few times I'd penetrated another ... the pain, for both of us. The frustrations. The emptiness. I needed more strength than I had right now. We were still connected. One energy. "Sweetie, it's my first time too." I felt her fear, doubts. I heard her words. Our joint energy melted both of our concerns. Our hearts were one. One energy. One mind. No fears. Fullness. One. We shared another deepening with our lips, arms, naked flesh, breath, and souls. "Tomorrow, my love." After a quick kiss that lingered on my lips, she turned on some music and took me on a tour of her art. We went through her portfolio for college admissions -"we needed to talk about that, soon. "We will," came into my head without words. The connection still there. I took a minute to find another station. One where the songs were based on more than two guitar chords. She smiled when I did. Then her other active projects, finally the Inspiration Wall, as she called it. Instantly, I fell in love with one of the sketches. It was a self-portrait. "Sweetie?" I nuzzled her neck, "If you choose to archive this, may I have it?" Her eyes moistened with my request. In this one sketch, I could see what she had hidden all these years, her very soul. Now that I had felt it, I wanted this sketch. I needed that for a daily reminder, a reconnection. Either that, or the finished product. No, the rough sketch was perfect. Greatness to become. Like us. She looked at me very seriously, "I think I know why, but tell me." I studied her eyes and saw her soul, again. "Because, when I look at this, I feel you, like I'm seeing you now. And I want to keep feeling that, everyday." Three nanoseconds later I had a warm, huggable girl in my arms and we were deeply involved in another of our special kisses. I'd picked the perfect radio station. Just my Imagination came flowing through and into our kisses. Two, maybe three, millennia later, when we did our "come back to the moment" kissy routine, I had to say, "Just like I feel your soul when we kiss." She hit me in the chest! My eyes popped wide open. "Bastard!" If she hadn't had one hand around my neck, I might have gotten upset. Instead, I kissed her. Just a short one and then looked into her eyes again. "Is that wrong of me?" I asked her. "Yes!" And, she started to cry on my chest. So, I wrapped her up into our Cave. Yes, it works for me too. Oh! Did her definition of the Cave work for me too! My Becca snuggled into my chest, our hearts touching? Definitely, YES! "Is it wrong that I feel your heart beat and I want to feel it when I'm not around you? Is it wrong to see the hidden you, the real you, and us together in that one piece? Is it wrong to be overwhelmed by it?" She pounded my chest. "Why ... do ... y-you ... see me ... s-so well?" Amidst her crying, she snorkeled. I couldn't help it. I chuckled. I got hit on the chest again, she snorkeled again. I chuckled more. She snorted. "Should I get a towel?" I put an image in my mind of a waiter bowing. We both lost it and collapsed together. Laughter pushed tears and tension right out the window. "Now, show ... me ... your etchings." I managed to get out around my laughter. "Better etchings than a puddle." That just got us going again. She rammed a finger into my ribs attempting to tickle me. I took the softer approach with light fingertip touches. We were successful in producing copious quantities of laughter, but not the accident. Our connection grew stronger. We made a half-assed attempt to finish going through her work. I really wanted to be fresh and be able to focus for her. Somewhere around her third stifled yawn, I made up my mind and pulled her to me. "Sweetie, why don't we do this another time when we're both fresh. We're both wiped out from today." "I'm sorry..." She was interrupted by yet another yawn. "It's okay, love, believe me. They nearly killed me in the weight room. I know only part of that was getting ready for East." "The rest because of this morning?" "Yep." She snuggled as we sat on the floor of her closet. I didn't want to leave, but I had to. I knew how I would feel in the morning already. Plus, I had to do some homework, stuff for the Naked Project, and some things for the game. Do you know how hard it is to get off a closet floor with a girl snuggled into your chest? Wearily, we made our way down the stairs. The yawn-neutrinos were bouncing everywhere. Her parents were in the family room enjoying a movie. Helen hit pause when we came in. "So, what have you kids been up to?" Jim asked, with a sly grin on his face. "Becca was showing me her etchings." I managed that with a straight, but tired, face. "I haven't heard that in a while," Helen said. That caused her and Becca to crack up. Jim and I shared a look that simply said, "Women." For some reason, we all laughed. After calming down, we all went through the pleasantries, thanks, and goodbyes. I got a very sweet kiss that was pure love and a promise of a wonderful future. Then, out the door. The rest of the evening was a bit of a haze. When I dragged myself in the door, my father didn't even ask me to sit and talk, just bid me on my way. In honor of the earlier kisses, I hit my Motown mix when I got downstairs. I finished a paper in PoliSci, which, thankfully, only needed a few minor changes. Then I drew up the play changes based on today's walk-thrus. I handled a few Naked Program emails, but really couldn't focus that well. Bed called. Junior told me I wasn't Becca and to leave him alone. I fell asleep while my head was still moving towards the pillow. The Temptations sliding away. Rebbecca As soon as the front door closed, I yawned again. Luis's sweet taste still on my lips. His scent lingering in my head. I managed to stumble into the family room and sat on the sofa next to Mom. "Long day, huh?" She said as she brushed the hair out of my face and gently rubbed my neck. "Too long." I felt like purring at her touch. "Some days happen like that," Daddy said. His voice full of love and support. "So, when's the big moment?" Mom's gentle massage was turning me into putty. I didn't even care that my father was in the room. "Tomorrow night. I'm spending the night at his house." Wow! I guess the pod person running my life had made a firm commitment! "Are you ready?" It wasn't a challenge, just a check-in. "More than ready. I wanted to tonight when I was..." I yawned again. "Showing your etchings?" Daddy finished with a chuckle. "I can't believe I'm having this conversation." I yawned again. Mom's fingers were performing pure magick. I was totally relaxed. I could feel every bone in my body turning to jelly. "I'm glad we can support you, Becky." Mom's love poured out and washed over me. "I was a fool..." "Becky, no regrets. No recriminations. Move forward. Learn from the past, don't live in it." Daddy's voice just flowed through me and made me feel so loved and supported. I laid my head back as my neck totally relaxed. My eyelids suddenly weighed more than Luis. "I love the both of you." I couldn't open my eyes. Then, I couldn't think of a single reason to. Mom pulled my head to her lap and worked on my shoulders and back muscles. I vaguely remember Mom and Dad tucking me into my bed and kissing me. I smiled and got all squiggly inside when they both said they loved me and called me Becky. How I got there, I don't know. I pried my eyes open and looked at my likeness of Luis. "'Night, Sweetie. Love you." I sank into a deep, deep sleep. Scotland would have to wait ... again. ------ Part 3: Wednesday ------ Chapter 20: Wednesday Morning - Purple Haze Luis Will was sitting at lunch in a corner by himself, as usual. I waved to my friends and teammates, then headed to his table and put my tray down. "Do you mind if I join you?" I asked the hunched over figure staring down at his tray. Not eating. Not moving. "Whatever." His voice was as flat and void as a newbie karaoke singer. He didn't look up, nod, nor move. I took a calming breath and sat down. "I have a Reasonable Request. Would you tell me why you're hiding over here?" Suddenly, his head jerked up. His eyes glowing red -"lasers pointed directly at me. His gaunt, scrawny frame tensed like a hunting bow at max pull, ready to release at any second. "FUCK YOU! I'm NOT hiding. You bastards think you can do anything..." He launched himself across the table, his body growing to something the size of the Incredible Hulk. His voice screeching... Just like my alarm clock. My alarm clock? Shit. Dragging myself from this nightmare, I moved to turn off the obnoxious sound generator. Every muscle, joint, fiber, and molecule in my body screamed at me. Had he really hit me in the dream? Damn, it felt like it. 'Fear is internal, ' said my teachers, through the fog of pink pain, as I began cursing the universe. "I'm mad!" I screamed. It sounded to my own ears like some growl instead of words. My body screamed back at the injustice of being forced to move. Hell, even my toenails hurt. 'Anger is fear.' "Fuck you!" I groaned to all my teachers living in my head. 'Your path is not supposed to be easy. Just the path that is yours alone.' I moved my legs off the bed with care. Shit, I've had hangovers that felt better than this. "I just want to be miserable!" 'Too Bad.' The alarm screeched again. Had just moving my legs taken 10 minutes? "NO!?!" The built up adrenaline from the dream found a release through my fist. Now I needed to get a new alarm clock. Great. 'Your choice.' Great, it's still speaking to me after I killed it. "What choice?" I was beginning to hear actual words coming out of my mouth. Almost. It was better than a groan. More like a wounded growl. 'Your choices brought you here. Your choices take you from here.' I made the mistake of shaking my head. WOW! A whole new set of muscles I didn't know about. "DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! FUCK... ! Fuck! Fuck... ! Shit..." With that I managed to sit up in the bed. "Are you always so grumpy in the morning?" Through the pink fog, I thought I heard Becca's voice. Couldn't be. I shook my head to clear the cobwebs. MISTAKE! "I'd come over and kiss you, but..." There was that voice again. "Huh?" I wanted to collapse back on the bed. Death sounded like a good option right now. How had I ever managed to do reps with 475 on the bar? "I love you..." That voice was back. Small and ... scared. Shit. Choices. Yeah, I said to myself. More choices. I made mine and screwed up my courage. Slowly, I forced my eyes open. The pink fog was replaced by a blinding, headache-inducing glare. Slowly it focused into an image of Becca standing away from the bed. As my vision slowly cleared, more details came into focus. She seemed small. Her eyes were red and tears streaked down her cheeks. Her nose was red and her breathing ragged from a stuffy nose. She was absolutely beautiful to me. It didn't hurt that she was naked. I reached out to her. MISTAKE! Thanks muscles. The pink fog was coming back. "I ... Ugh ... love ... Argh ... you..." She took a step back, the flood now released anew. "I'm sorry ... I ... I ... thought ... you'd ... be happy ... to ... see me." God! More choices. I need to reassure her quickly. "Becca ... Your being here ... is..." My body was deprived of oxygen from the stress of sitting up. Breathe, bastard, breathe. She collapsed. Choice made. I jumped up and scooped her up before she hit the floor. In the same motion, I twirled and sank onto the sofa. Okay, fell onto the sofa. My muscles reminding me that I shouldn't be doing that. I ignored them and wrapped her up in my arms, let her fall into her Cave. Choices. My next words, and the way I said them, made the choice of which future we had. The strength of my desire for one with her helped push the pain away. The warmth of my love for her eased the stiff joints in my body, and hopefully my mouth. "Becca..." Now where did that muscle in my right foot come from? "I love you." My aching chest got wet. She was starting to move and fight against my trembling arms. "I ... I hurt ... from all the ... exercise yesterday. If ... I could..." I had to breathe. I'm sure a groan escaped as I did. "Reject me!" She spat out, through the tears and sobs. The pink fog completely evaporated. While somebody might want to patent this cure, I don't think my heart could take it too often. I tilted her head towards me and pushed my lips onto hers. The warmth, the energy flowed through me, healing me while I tried to push into her lips all my love for her. Our lips stayed closed, but the energy rose. She wrapped her arms around my neck and tried to join our heads permanently. She opened her lips and pushed her tongue against me. I held firm to the chaste kiss. Slowly, I broke our kiss. We did our kissy-break thing with short, light kisses. "I love you." My pain gone. My mouth working fine. I put all of my hopes and dreams of a future with her into those three words. Her eyes searched mine, checking. The hardness of the imagined rejection fading. "Y-you still w-want me?" She sniffled out. "More every second." "W-What happened?" Her fear was changing to concern, her eyes told me. Something deep inside her shifted, I could feel the change in her energy. "A weird dream and waking up in a very sore body from my torture session yesterday." She gently rubbed her hand along the edge of my jar. The warmth of her finger tips pulled the residual pain from my head. "They figured that if I could lift a 275 pound plus Principal, then setting new personal weight lifting records shouldn't be a problem. Since I made that look too easy, they decided that doing reps with high weight loads would lessen my urges." "Where do you hurt?" I could feel her energy continuing to grow and sense a new strength within. "Everywhere, including a few places I didn't even know existed. I haven't hurt like this since my first two-a-days back in middle school." "Is ... Is ... Junior okay?" Concern, shock, fear, disappointment, shyness, fear ... The range and the quickness of emotions passing through her eyes was amazing. I couldn't help myself. Must be the male gene (or lack thereof) that explains what I was going to do. "Why?" I had the most confused face on I could muster while hiding a smile. "Well ... Er ... I ... Um ... I t-thought ... you know..." Her eyes were down, the curtain of hair threatening to close over them. Her skin beginning to turn a nice rosy color. "Know what?" I said in a fair act of innocence and sweetness. Any second, my side was going to rupture with the built up laughter. "Y-you know. Guys ... Um ... w-wake up with ... Er..." Rosy to fire engine red in point four microseconds. "Wake up with ... what?" I said softly. She looked up and into my eyes. Shit! Caught! She can read my eyes as well as I'm learning to read hers. "You bastard! You're teasing me!" She hit me! She actually hit me! HARD! It hurt! Really!!! "Yes," I confessed. Before she could inflict any more damage on my already abused body, I pulled her to me and kissed her as hard as she had hit me. She struggled at first. Slowly, she melted into the kiss. Finally, she started giving as good as she was getting. While our tongues waltzed, our hearts synchronized. While the kiss was one of pure love, Junior decided to prove he wasn't broken. Becca felt his interest and moaned in pure passion into my mouth. She slowly pulled back. "Junior still works! Goodie!!" She actually clapped her hands, her eyes lit up, and she played patty-cake on my chest. If she had been standing, she would be doing the Snoopy Dance. As it was, it was a damned erotic lap dance. I couldn't help it. I laughed. Roared, actually. Damned that hurt. My diaphragm was in pain. From lifts? Wow! "You can't go running with Junior like that. What would Jason think?" She was tisking like I was a little boy. With a sad shake of her head, she slid off my lap onto the floor. Her look and voice reminded me of a teacher. "You need relief." "Ahmm..." I think that was my last coherent sound as her lips descended over Junior's crown. Her tongue traced around the ridge with unexpected trips through the slit. Her touch was as gentle as a butterfly and driving me insane. She slowly jacked the shaft while sweetly making love to Junior. What sore muscles? What stiff joints? Now, this they should patent! She locked her eyes onto mine. I saw infinite love and raw, wanton desire. Slowly, her cheeks caved in as she sucked more of me into her mouth. A sharp gasp strangled the moan I was about to release as she moved the head to the entrance to her throat. The suction, her lip action, and her tongue were creating sensations I had never felt. Intense. Yeah! That's the ... word... Either seven eternities had passed or I was being a teenager. The familiar feeling in my center started building, moving past the point-of-no-return. "Oh God! Becca..." Her left hand squeezed my balls, just right. Perfect! "Shit! I-I'm ... Oh God! I'm..." Her eyes told me yes. Do it. Do it now. The building sensation, the tensing forced mine closed. Every muscle tensed. I felt a hundred times stronger than yesterday. She stayed with me as I began vibrating and bucking off the couch. I was seeing stars. My hands killed the cushions with the grip I used when tackling. My toes curled. I tensed and went rigid and unloaded. Exploded. Deconstructed. The only physical sense I had was waves being pushed out of my body through Junior. I heard her ecstatic groan, muffled as she swallowed. That sensation drove me higher, pulling more from me. Even after the well was dry, she sucked and swallowed. Her hands were now softly running over my abdomen and thighs. I was hyper-sensitive, yet this felt incredible. It kept me on the edge without being painful. Some century or two later, my whole being collapsed. I fell onto the sofa and became one with it. She slowly backed off Junior, cleaning him thoroughly. It was the most tender and loving thing I had ever experienced. I opened my eyes. It took a moment to clear the fireworks and gain focus. Slowly, the most beautiful vision emerged. My Becca, looking into my eyes. She was looking deep into my soul. What I saw in her soul was contentment, pride, joy, and unbounded love. "Thank you," she said with a smile. Her voice sounded reverent. "Umph. Ah ... Agh ... Er..." The delight twinkling in her eyes brought a face splitting smile to my face. "You're welcome, My Mountain. I love you." Her eyes spoke of the infinite beauty of the universe. The love I felt sent a shiver through me. Slowly, I found my voice. "I love you," emerged from every fiber of my being, powered by the beating of my heart. The world was eclipsed as I was engulfed in a fierce hug. Her nipples pushing into me. Her arms around my neck. Her breath in my ear. The warmth, the absolute connection made me realize the depth of love my parents had. What Momma has tried to tell me for years. I gently wrapped her in my arms and let the feeling wash over us, our hearts still beating in sync. Slowly, I pushed her up to look into her being again. I felt a tear in my eye. I saw hers and knew we were both just watering our love. I laid her back down on my chest, heart to heart. My tears of joy now flowed freely and I felt hers dropping onto me. Suddenly, my body tensed. PANIC! Uncertainty flooded through me as easily as my happy tears a minute ago. Becca pulled back and looked at me. Worried. "Sorry, cara micina. This is so new to me." "Me too." Her eyes held an intense certainty of the perfection of us that supported and strengthened me. We both dove back into a hug and our lips met, washing away the uncertainty. A minute, a lifetime. Promises of more. We broke. "What was that you said?" Her brow furrowed in a question, not a demand. "When?" Confused? Me? Never! "When you told me how new this was, you called me something..." "I really don't remember after that kiss." She helped me lose more of my memory. "Jason's waiting for you." That was worse than her hitting me. "Huh?" Have I mentioned my addled mind before? "My warrior, go prepare yourself for battle. Yet, think of me all day. Think of tonight when we share more of our bodies." "I..." Was all I could get out as I tried to process what she'd said. "And, I love you too, My Mountain." With a quick peck and a wink, she let me up to start my morning routine. When I started stretching, I realized I'd never had such an attentive audience before. I hoped my muscles were warning up faster than my face. "Thanks for the interesting beginning to my morning routine!" "Trust me, it was my pleasure. I never thought I'd like that. With you, though ... And, the taste was something I want again." She smiled and turned pink at the same time. Junior wanted to rise up and thank her too. I managed to control myself. Somehow. "I'm going to have to sneak over and wake you up some morning with my tongue." "T-That would ... be wonderful." She was now glowing red, yet panting some. "For your information, I didn't sneak. Your mom let me in, after my mom dropped me off." "I think I'm in trouble." "I think you'll like the outcome." She turned redder, if possible, and still managed a giggle. Her nipples crinkled. I was so tempted to bend down and give each a kiss. "But, you need to get going. Jason should be at the end of the drive." I did bend and gave her a quick kiss. But, I couldn't help it. I bent further and gave each bud a quick suck and lick. I thought I was going to have to scrape her off the ceiling. "GO!" She screamed as she shuddered. I was out my private entrance in a flash. I went through my leg stretches again. No sense in taking the chance of pulling something this close to The Big Game. When I came up the driveway in an easy jog, I didn't see Jason. Then a flesh colored bullet went by. He jogged back from his sprint with a big smile on his face. We were in matching uniforms today. Although Jason is shorter and smaller than me, he's still a big guy and well muscled with excellent definition. "Nice outfit." "Seems to be all the rage these days." We both laughed. "Actually, it feels really neat running this way." "Our ancestors thought so." "They didn't have a lot of choice. Now, are you going to keep up with me today?" "You gonna keep up with me in tackling practice?" "Let's go, slow poke." With that, he took off. Over his shoulder, "Catch me, you can tackle me." I hauled ass after him. I really didn't want to tackle him and break our rising-star running back. Yet, the more he pulled away, came back, ran around me, and took off again, the more I wanted to catch him and slam him into the ground. Yep. Pure testosterone. Ah, teens. Quick recovery. Most defensive linemen aren't the leading tacklers on a team. Normally, they control the line and clear lanes for the linebackers to make tackles. Yet, I was the leading tackler on our team and in the state. Also, had the most sacks and tackles for loss. Don't give me a tempting target like a running back who is showing off. I watched him run. Time and time again, he approached me, played his little games, and ran off. I studied his movements, as I do with films of our opponents. It didn't take long to pick up his cues. Plus, I was letting him get closer and closer to me. I could have easily taken him down on his last five passes, but didn't. I'm not about to take down one of my own teammates on a hard surface road. It wouldn't do either of us any good. The way we were dressed wouldn't have helped at all. We were passing a local park when I struck. I faked a move towards him. He cut and headed closer to the grass. Then I committed my movement to where he was ending up, struck him solidly in the chest with my shoulder and wrapped him up in my arms. I pushed him onto the grass before taking his feet out from under him. At the last second, I resisted slamming into him with all my weight. Still, there was a very satisfying whoosh of air as he hit the ground. "JESUS!" He managed to get out when he caught his breath. "You okay, Jason?" "Shit, you hit East like that and we win." "Jason, I pulled up." "Shit." "Hey, we need you Friday night, not smeared all over the ground in a park." "Thanks, I think. Shit." He rubbed his chest. "What took you so long to get me?" "I was studying you and your moves. Just like East has been doing all week. Then I waited until we were by the park." I helped him up and we went back to our run. The blood flowing rapidly through my system was easing all the sore muscles. We ran about a mile. "I'll be glad to tell what I saw. You know East will be keying on it." I was hoping Jason would be open to learning. We needed him for this year and to carry on our legacy of State Championships. "Thanks." I could see in his eyes he wanted to. Good. "At Practice, then." We consumed a bit more road. "I thought you'd be too sore after yesterday to run." "Your sister cured me." "Huh?" He actually stopped. "You didn't know she came over this morning?" I'd run by him and came jogging back. "She did?" His eyes were huge. "My sister?" He looked like he was thinking about trying to take me out. "Hey, dude, no offense. I've been on enough of an emotional roller coaster this morning." "What happened?" He tensely demanded. Hey, I knew what it was like to be a brother to a cute sister. "You probably have an idea of how sore I was when I woke up this morning." "Yeah." He looked me in the eyes. "Your eyelids probably hurt, right?" "Bingo. Well ... I woke up grunting, groaning, and cursing the gods. All with my eyes closed because of those painful lids. Didn't want to admit existence of the world until I had gotten full out of bed, either. Becca had snuck in to awaken me and took my mood as..." "You rejecting her. Shit!" "We got past it, though." "How?" "Jason, that's something I will NOT share with you. Or anyone." "Yeah, but ... she's my sister!" "All the more reason not to share it. Look. I respect her. Hell, I'm past falling for her, I'm big time gone. And ... I don't talk about what we do. Okay? Or ... Do I need to follow through on the next tackle?" "Dude, if you hurt her..." I stood in front of him and stuck out my hand. "Jason, same promise. If I ever intentionally hurt her, or unintentionally and then don't do anything, I won't fight back. Deal?" "You're known as a man of your word. Deal." We shook. "Now, before I stiffen up completely, let's get back to running." We hit the road again at a brisk jog to warm back up. While we consumed more pavement, I willed my mind to settle and compelled my muscles to get stronger, faster, and more flexible. "So ... You guys are okay now?" "Yeah. She reluctantly threw me out of my own room to come running with you." "My sister? Threw? You?" "Yeah." I had to laugh. "She hits." "You?" "Yep. It's abuse, I tell ya." Laughing hard and running don't mix well. "My sister? Aggressive? Hell, sneaking into your room for a wake up..." His eyes were as large as my mom's lasagnas and he was starting to blush. He had stopped running. "My timid, vanish in any situation sister?" "That sounds a bit like the girl I sort of knew before Monday. Definitely not the woman I'm going with now." "My sister?" "Do you mean that incredible human that I've gotten to know in the past few days?" "My sister?" "Yep. That's the woman." I took off running. Finally, I got a lead on a running back and got ahead of him. He kept mumbling something about sister as he easily caught up with me. He actually tried to tackle me by jumping on my back and wrapping his arms around my neck. I didn't break stride. I'm not fast. I'm consistent. What's another 200 pounds? "Damn! I can see why they use you on trick plays as a fullback. Fall down, damn it!" He struggled trying to get me to lose my balance. I think he discovered how thick my neck was when he attempted a choke hold. "Shit! At least slow down!" "I'd throw your puny ass off, but I wouldn't want to run into Coach for the rest of my life." He laughed with me and slid off my back. We got back up to speed. "She says you're real gentle." I could barely hear him he was speaking so softly, looking down. "What?" "How? I-I ... mean ... how do you go from this ... well, this!" Using his hands, he exaggerated the size of my body, I think "To being gentle? How do you go from picking up Dr. C to being compassionate about Will?" "Huh?" That addled bastard is back, again. "I always turn to physical action first." His voice was small and pain was evident in his face and eyes. He was definitely related to Becca. "Jason, that's usually my first reaction." Our pace was picking up. I could feel the warmth of my blood nurturing my abused muscles. "Yeah, but..." "Reactions are. They just are. Actions count. You have to learn to intercept the reaction before doing damage, then find the right action." "How?" "Practice. Like anything. Coaches help, but lots of practice." "How do you do it?" "Badly, usually!" His glare gave me a chance to get serious. "My parents got me into meditation practices early. That's a good first step of becoming aware of yourself. Then T'ai Ch'i, where there exists no move for attack. It's all about controlled response." "Would you teach me?" He wasn't quite pleading, but something was going on. This was not the right setting. Not the right week. Yet, he was having one of those 'Oh Shit!' moments that is the beginning of real change. "Meditation, yes. It's an easy practice to start. Matter of fact, I'm working with Becca on it." "Hey, thanks for not calling her Bec." I almost missed a step. We slowed to a fast jog. I couldn't help but smile. "No problem. I didn't know at first that that was your special name for her. To me, she just feels like a Becca." "Back to teaching, why not T'ai Ch'i?" I used a bit of road to gather my thoughts. "If a hundred people work for twenty years, maybe one will master it. I'm not a master, I can't teach you. My teacher is, though. I can introduce you." "Does it work?" "How many people have you seen my size that aren't klutzes in everyday life?" "Well ... None. Except you around my sister!" He snorted. I snorted back. "Okay, introduce me and start me on meditation." "Done. After this week, okay?" He nodded agreement and we started running hard again. We worked up to a decent pace for both of us. "Why 'My Mountain'?" "She likes my caves." "Your ... What?" Did he hit a low-hanging limb? Sure looked stunned to me. "She likes to snuggle into my chest, it's a safe place for her. She calls it her Cave." I was grinning. "Do you have any pet names for her?" "Yes." "So..." "She hasn't heard them yet." I briefly flashed to earlier. Had I let 'my dear little kitten' slip out? Well, it sounds better in Italian. "Why?" "I haven't used them yet. When the time is right. Why so curious?" "I ... I'll tell you later." He blushed a bit. Must run in the family. "See you at school." He headed for his house and I headed towards mine. When I got to my door, I grabbed a jump rope and started working it. Yes, most Mountains can't jump. Yet, this helped me with agility and balance. Plus, it is a great way to cool down after a run. I was breathing deep and doing a series of easy hand crossovers with alternating feet when Becca opened the door. She didn't say anything, but I could see the artist creating pictures. That prompted me to do a Rocky-style finish, spinning the rope as hard and fast as I could, then planting with an arms-over-the-head victory whoop. "Do that often?" Her breathing was a bit labored, panting, actually. That rosy glow was coming back. "Jumping rope?" "Mm-Hm..." Damn, those rubber legs were back, with just one look! "A few times a week." "Damn!" She smiled. It was ... sultry? Sexy? Passionate? Hungry? Hell! All of the above and more! Junior definitely noticed and decided to investigate. She winked, gave Junior a short wank, and said, "You need a shower." I took a chance. "Wash my back?" "Some other time, stud. I have to fix My Mountain breakfast." She winked, turned, and headed in. I could only hang my mouth open and stare at her ass. Was Rosy ever going to get a workout in the shower. Was that cheating? "No cheating. Save it for later," she said while finally disappearing up the stairs. I did a short form for T'ai Ch'i, only 15 minutes long. Just enough to settle my body. Usually it settled and emptied my mind as well, helped me find my center. I couldn't get Becca out of my mind today. Her eyes and how I fall into them. Her mind and how it intrigued me. Her emotions and how they confused me. After a long shower, and no cheating, I headed up to the kitchen. My teachers stressed that staying on center was not the goal -"impossible, actually. Life was about how quickly and gracefully you came back to center. I could see that Becca was going to help me learn my lessons well! Hell, better than being thrown on the mat. Of course, she does hit. As I came to the closed door at the top of the stairs, the giggles of multiple females filtered around it. The sounds of Shostakovich mixed and obscured their conversation. The whispers, shrieks, and cackles served an excellent counterpoint to the piano voicing the melody. My hand hesitated, waiting to see if I could figure out the nature of the estrogen party I was going to walk into. A grumble from deep within me ended my attempt at espionage. Even if they didn't hear it, I had to eat ... Now! I opened the door. Imprinted on my being for eternity will be the picture of three beautiful nude women in aprons. Becca was bent over at the waist looking for something in a lower cabinet. Junior really liked that view. Margie was bent over looking for something as well. When had she grown curves like that? Momma turned and caught my leer. Giving me a wink, she bent, at the waist, and whispered to Becca and Margie. They all giggled and started wiggling their asses at me. Oh! My! God! I'm in deep shit. ------ Rebbecca I watched Luis stretch and then head up the driveway for his run. Looking around his room, I couldn't resist and dove into his bed and burrowed under the covers. Some of his heat was still trapped in the soft fabric and his scent rolled over me. As my hands found the right places, I thought how I'd like to wake up in this bed every morning. After a surprisingly quick build and fantastic release, I just melted into Luis's scent. My head was dancing. If my feet had wanted to move, I'd be doing a happy dance. What was the line from one of Luis's songs? Something about excusing me while I kissed the sky? Bend down here, sky! When my mind returned to the here and now, I flashed on my waking dream. Sorry Scotland, your heather just lost to Luis's covers! 'Then you'd better get past your insecurities.' 'Hi Muse. Enjoy the show?' 'Both of them!' 'Glad we could entertain you. Now, what should I do about breaking down like I did?' 'Just don't do it again.' 'Thanks, you're a lot of help.' Yet, I did think about it. It was my choice. If I remember, Luis called it my action after my reaction. I did control that. It was time to grow up. It was time to trust Luis. More importantly, it was time to trust myself. I can do this. I have to do this. After making the bed, cleaning up, I headed up to the kitchen. Carmella wrapped me in a big hug, sat me down, and joined me for some tea. "How did it go?" Oh. My. God! Am I going to have to discuss my sex life... ? Whoa! Reaction. What's the right action? I looked at her face and saw ... love, a true concern, and caring. There was no judgment. Just empathy. Now I had a working definition of that word. "He woke up in pain and I took it wrong." Amazingly, I didn't breakdown, didn't dissociate, didn't flee. I went through the whole episode, less the blowjob. I'm pretty sure she knew something happened, though. Yet, her questions, looks -"actions!--spoke only of love, empathy, and ... a new working definition -"compassion. As a writer, I'm definitely growing this week. Problem is, who would believe this story? "Your son has taught me a key lesson. No matter my reaction, I own my actions. I'm tired of being invisible, hidden, small, less than..." "You'll do just fine." She patted my hand. "And, remember, it takes time to make a change. Don't berate yourself if you fall back into your old pattern. Just pick yourself up from it and go on. Now, what should we fix that man of yours for breakfast?" "Man of mine ... I like that." Shivers traveled my spine and I felt a sudden burst of warmth in my chest. Not to mention the effects in my ... Luis called it 'the Center.' She handed me an apron and helped me plan an Everest sized breakfast for Luis with enough for everyone else. Eggs, ham, potatoes, toast, juices, and other drinks. I knew Jason ate a lot during the season, but he ate like a bird compared to My Mountain. "Good morning, ladies." Dr. Contadino -"oops, Pietro -"cheerfully greeted us when he came in. "Morning, Poppa." Margie gave him a hug and a peck as she joined us. "Good Morning, Love." Carmella's kiss was ... Yeah! "Well, my other daughter?" He held his arms open. I practically ran to him. I hugged his waist and buried my head in his chest for a moment. Yep, he's My Mountain's father! Nice cave, but not My Cave. I gave him a quick kiss. "Thank you. And, good morning ... Dad." He blushed while I felt contentment. I see where Luis gets many things, now. "Dear, I'm sure you have things to do in your office while your ladies fix you breakfast." Carmella did that masterfully, her tone and look left him no options but a graceful exit. "Ah, well ... I do need to check on the Chinese markets..." As he left, his expression said staying and watching us would be his first choice. And his second choice. And third... Carmella shook her head, but had a patient grin. Her love for him was plain. So was her desire. Do I look like that when I look at Luis? Hope so. It's the way I feel. "Margie, are you willing to help Rebbecca and I tease your brother today?" "Momma, is the Pope Catholic? Oh, this is going to be fun!" We plotted strategy, and giggled. We plotted tactics, and giggled. I listened to Carmella, then Margie tell "embarrass" Luis stories, and we all giggled. We cooked what we could ahead of time, and giggled. I could get used to these special moments with other females. Now that I've found it, I'm not letting go. I saw Luis come back down the drive through the kitchen window. I pulled off the apron and ran downstairs to greet him. By the time I got to the back door, he was jumping rope, of all things. It looked so strange at first. It jarred my notion that it was an activity only for young girls, the movie Rocky notwithstanding. Yet, he did look good. I started to record images for later drawings while I opened the door. Even though I was in artist mode, I could feel the lake building between my legs. His muscles were really pumped. He didn't jiggle anywhere, except that log and two softballs. Damn, this man turned me on! "Do that often?" I managed to get out, despite the image of Luis driving Junior into me. "Jumping rope?" His eyes were going to make me trip over the edge if he kept staring. "Mm-Hm..." Remember, breathe! "A few times a week." Could I last the day teasing? Who cares! The buildup was fun. "Damn!" I felt my face curl up in a smile, his flush wasn't because of the workout. I was purring inside when I say Junior begin to respond. I gave Luis a wink with a promise and gave Junior a tender caress. "You need a shower." Being in control could be fun! "Wash my back?" I almost melted at the thought, but kept to the tease. "Some other time, stud. I have to fix My Mountain breakfast." I gave him another wink, turned, and put as much runway model sway into my walk as I could. I figured he might be ready to relieve himself. Can't have that right now. Over my shoulder, I cooed, "No cheating. Save it for later." I waited until I was out of sight. My knees felt like buckling. Not from fear. Okay, not completely from fear. This was so far outside my norm, yet I was turned on. Completely. 'You're doing better than fine.' 'Thanks Muse. It's hard at times.' 'Yes it is!' The chuckle in my mind left little doubt the hardness she was talking about. 'So, this change has its fun moments.' 'Mind blowing.' I couldn't help but laugh out loud. As Luis would say, I roared. Damn this feels good. The stairs were easy to bound up with the new energy I felt. Laughter is better than crying. "I bet he does a short form today," Carmella said as I burst into the kitchen. She tossed me my apron. "Huh?" Call me the Cheri-Bimbo. Now, how do you tie this thing? Yeah. Carmella hugged me. "He was introduced to T'ai Ch'i through me and Pietro. There are many forms, but one only takes 15 minutes. That's what we call the Short Form." "Ah, thanks." It made sense. A slow, 15 minute long dance. And then the Mountain coming to the maiden! "Yeah, he needs to rush so he can beat off in the shower," Margie giggled. "Margarette!" "I told him no cheating with Rosy today." Carmella and I had talked over each other. All three of us broke up. We continued to laugh as we executed the breakfast plan and add to our Tease plan. "You know, funciulla... You won't be that at the end of the day." Carmella looked softly into my eyes. "Fun-cella?" "Funciulla. It means young maiden. Pure." Did it suddenly get REALLY hot in here? "Ahm ... Well ... Sounds like a plan to me." That got us all giggling again. The cooking and plotting continued. Even Margie wanted to tease, mercilessly, her 'Really Big Brother.' Carmella suggested the first tease. After she told us, she turned on the kitchen tap real low. When it increased flow on its own, she started the countdown. "Given how short his shower was," Margie said wide eyed, "I'd say he didn't cheat on you. What did you threaten him with?" "I just asked him not to." I wanted to burst with pride. "Wow!" Margie's eyes got even wider. Carmella was looking at me with ... admiration? No, respect. The three of us hugged and then positioned ourselves. I aimed my ass at the basement door, locked my knees, and bent to 'find' something on the bottom shelf. Margie bent, not quite as far, but oriented the same. "Thanks, Rebbecca. This is so cool." "Margie, call me Becky, please." "No prob, sis." I melted and kissed her check. "No prob, sis!" We giggled and practiced our hip wiggle. "Here he comes." Carmella, Momma, announced. The door ... didn't open. Instead, Poppa entered the kitchen and started to say something. Momma hushed him and waved him back, out of sight of the basement door. Finally, the door opened. Momma bent down. "His jaw is on the floor. Time to wiggle," Carmella whispered. We did. Oh, it felt so naughty! I slowly straightened up, turned, and sashayed up to him. "Hungry?" I asked. His face hadn't changed. "I think we killed him," Margie giggled. "What have you ladies done to that poor boy?" Pietro couldn't keep the laughter out of his voice. We eventually got Luis's legs working and sat him in a chair. Then we had a breakfast like I've never experienced before. It was fun, friendly, loving, educational, serious, light, engaging ... And, I was included. It felt perfect. "So, the jock is going with the art chick. How does that work with the cliques at school?" Pietro asked. "Huh?" I think Margie, Luis, and I asked that at the same time. "The cliques. You know, jocks, nerds, geeks, and such." He went on to describe them. "Ah ... Not really, Poppa. I mean, as a football player, during the season I hang with my teammates more, but..." My Mountain carefully framed his response. "At lunch, I sit with different groups depending on my mood. This week, it's the Nakeds. Next week, whoever joins Becca and me." "I guess I was a clique of one!" I couldn't help it. I was. "Now, hopefully, I've joined a clique of two." I felt a warm, gentle -"and very large -"hand on my leg. He gave me a loving squeeze. "No hopeful. It is." That's right, My Mountain, make me melt right here. Hmm ... I love that feeling of warmth that spreads through me when he says things like that. "I move between groups all day long, so I guess I'm in all the cliques." Margie still looked a little confused about the concept. We talked about it for a while and discovered in our parents' day, your "position" in school was defined by who you ate lunch with and the activities you were involved in. I think all of us considered this to be yet another strange story of another time that didn't exist. I could almost feel Carmella and Pietro thinking that kids just don't understand. Of course school was that way. It was for them, so it had to be for us. Before long, Luis and I were in the car headed to school. How he folded himself into that small a space, I'll never know. Well, he is the physics guru and should be an expert on folding space! His hand felt so nice holding mine as he drove. The music was interesting, piano only. He explained the works were written by Chopin, something called The Ă0/0tudes -"very difficult compositions used to perfect or show technical skills. Quite beautiful. "Sweetie, I know it is a little early to be thinking 'Rest of Our Lives' kind of things, but you and I will need to start making college choices soon. You faster than me." Had I overstepped? "Hmm ... you're right. I've been thinking about it since the discussion with your dad last night. I don't know what you're thinking." Nope. Good. "Well, art school, definitely. I've only just started looking. Francesca is helping me put together a list of professors that would help me grow." "So, kind of like I'll choose my graduate school." "Yep." "Do you know what schools?" "Actually, there are a lot of places I can go. I'm pretty sure I can find something that would be perfect for me wherever you end up." A flash of uncertainty flew through me. I opened the door and let it go on about its way. Find someone else that wants you! "I love you." "I know. I love you too." This feels so right. Planning with 'My Man.' "We'll find something that works for both of us." The warm spot grew and consumed me. I leaned over and kissed My Mountain's cheek and laid my head on his arm. The strength of his muscles, the power of his mind, the sensitivity of his soul -" "SHIT!" He yelled as the car jerked this way and that, the brakes squealing, the tires screaming on the road. I screamed as I was thrown into my seat belts. "Asshole!" He screamed out the window while adding a universal salute. "Bastard ran a stop sign and almost rammed us." I couldn't move. From comfort, love ... lust! To terror in no time flat. I fought against my throat trying to swallow needed air. My hands came up and tried to put my pounding heart back in my chest. "Are you okay, Becca?" Just the sound of his voice, his deep breathing calmed me. I found myself breathing in sync with him. Settling. "I'll be alright, just ... rattled." He slipped his arm around me. Reassuring. Comforting. Reaffirming. I leaned my head against his massive shoulder and just melted into him again. Reaction. Action. Choices. Yeah! The rest of the ride was spent in a very comfortable silence, the music and our love washing over me. I could feel the pulse of his heart and it matched my own. Touching him, being with him, it all seemed so right. So ... Perfect. "Where are you going to hang out this morning?" Luis asked as we pulled into the school parking lot. "The art room. Francesca gets in real early to work on her own projects." "I'll meet you there after my workout and much needed whirlpool. Love you." With a kiss and a hug, the contact was broken. Yet, the real connection was still there. I felt it. Our hearts were bound to each other. I let Francesca know I was there. She didn't even look over, but I knew she heard me. I pulled out some charcoals I wanted to polish up for my portfolio. Any second, I expected the doubts, fears, and insecurities to come crashing down. Oh, the succubi still lived in my head, but I no longer felt compelled to live their lies. My hands worked on the sketch while I focused on breathing. In with energy, out with fears. "Rebbecca, that's amazing," Francesca said over my shoulder. "Ma'am?" She's seen these before. All I was doing was adding some shading. "There is a lot more emotion in your work now. Does it have anything to do with your young man?" I pulled myself into the present and looked down at the two figures on the paper. Unconsciously, I had added more than shading and really changed the work. I could feel a much deeper connection between the people ... No, they were lovers now. Intensely, deeply in love and speaking rivers of emotions with just a look and a touch. "Wow! I didn't even know I was doing that." I was aware of something different. What? "You've taken a critical step with your art. Don't push it away." Her actions were tentative, as if a wrong move could make 'it' vanish. "How so?" "Before, you could invite the observer to have an emotion. Now, your art is living that emotion. It is a rare and powerful thing." She helped me understand more of the change and made suggestions as to how to keep the growth happening. This I'm going to have to process later. Then we drifted into colleges. I passed on Luis's list of possible schools and explained what he was looking for in a school, as I understood it. "Sounds like his first would be an excellent football program with a head coach to mentor him. Second would be a solid enough physics program to get into the right graduate school." "You make that sound simple!" "He has many talents, but the two he is focusing on (and is exceptional at) have different lifespans. Football is a young man's sport when you're playing. Physics will always be there." "That makes sense. I wonder why he hasn't seen that yet. Or, has he?" I went on to explain to her the dinner conversation last night and Luis's angst. She suggested professors for me that would fit with most of Luis's plans. All of them, she said, would be good for me since I was far past the learning of the skills phase of art. "Now, you need someone that will allow you to blossom. Also, someone that will help you present your art to the world, while protecting you until you can handle that world." "I think I understand." I'm sure my face said anything else, like understand rocket fuels... "The art world can devour you if you aren't prepared. You need teachers that can mentor you in surviving in that world. Capisi?" I couldn't help a laugh at the Italian and the sudden connections. "Yes, I understand. Or, should I say capisco?" "Bene! You're learning." We went back to our individual projects. With a new insight, I was adding subtle lines and shadings to the charcoal sketches in front of me and seeing in my mind the same distinct changes I could make in the oils I was going to submit that would breathe new life into them. Breathing. That, of course, made me think of Luis, which produced that delicious warm feeling in my core again. Thoughts of our time this week and our time to come began swirling in my head and through my body. I could almost feel him covering me, spreading my legs... "Oh. My. God!!!" That brought me out of my revelry with a jolt! I looked around and saw a wide eyed Rosalee. "Hi," I said, tentatively. Would the sparks come back? Had I made a mistake assuming? Whoa, girl. Confidence. What is will be. Breathe! Thanks, My Mountain. "That is SO good! I can't ... I'm ... Well ... Wow!" She stared reverently at the sketches in front of me. I took her in. The complexity of her eyes and the emotions behind them. The lush, inviting lips. The graceful and sensual curves of her neck. The sultry pose she adopted naturally. The fascinating way her breasts flowed into her chest. The rippling power of the muscles under her skin, exposed with every breath she took. Slowly, while taking in every pore, small hair, and sublime curve, my eyes traveled upwards, locking onto hers. She felt me and drew me into her being when she focused on me. Our lips moved towards each other, drawn by a force beyond our understanding. The kiss was light, brief, yet full. All encompassing. As powerful, yet as different, as when Luis and I kiss. All thoughts left my head as our lips slowly approached each other again. Eyes hungry. Our tongues made love while our hands began to explore. She eased over my lap, straddling my legs with hers. Our nipples were gently stroking each other. Our hands on each other's boobs keeping them in contact. She suddenly tensed and pulled back enough to look me in the eyes. "W-We ... C-can't..." she exhaled through her panting. "Why?" Rejection, shame, fear started running through my mind. "W-What w-would ... Luis say?" The desire in her eyes for me was almost as strong as the fear. "Why don't you ask me," came his deep voice. I felt the love. Rosalee's eyes rounded and I felt her body tense, ready to spring up and flee. Before she could, he wrapped us both in a hug. He gave me a quick, but sweet, kiss and a loving smile at Rosalee. "Sweetie," I said as calmly as my lust would allow me, tripled since he showed up. "What do you think about me smooching with Rosalee?" "Are you being forced?" "Nope." "Do you need me to rescue you? "Nope." "Then I'm cool." "B-But ... Why?" Her eyeballs are going to fall out of her head if she opens any more. "The simple answer is I love her." "Wha ... What's the not simple answer?" She was recovering. I wanted to hear it too, but I think I knew what he was going to say. "Since I love her, her happiness is crucial to me. It is only my fears which would make me upset. Since I love her, then it is my job to banish my fears. I ... It's ... Well ... It's more complicated than that." She looked at him, then me, and back at him. Slowly turning back to me, she asked, "What would you feel if I kissed Luis?" "I would hope I'd feel joy for you both, since I know how wonderful it is to kiss you both. I'm just learning about my fears. This week, I've taken great strides in facing them. Hopefully, I'm getting past them." Her hands slowly encircled his neck and pulled him to her. Just before their lips met, both closed their eyes. A twitch of desire started inside me, threatening to take over. 'That is so hot!' 'God, isn't it, Muse. I want to join in.' 'Give them a minute to explore each other.' 'WOW!' The twinge was gone. Instead, I felt my love for Luis skyrocket. I also felt a deepening and growing of what Rosalee and I started yesterday. When they pulled back, I moved my lips forward and caught both of theirs. Six lips, three tongues all joined and explored. There were hands all over me and mine were everywhere. The raw strength and power of Luis, the gentle softness of Rosalee over firm muscles. Lithesome. All that existed was the physical touch, the synchronization of our hearts. The beginning of ... Something. What, though? "WOW!" All three of us managed when we came up for air. A quiet contentment settled over us. Each taking turns diving into the eyes of our partners or feeling the joy when the other two meshed. "God, I hate to cut this short, but the other Nakeds are waiting to make their Commitments." She sweetly touched each of our cheeks and followed with a brief touch of lips. I packed up quickly. None of us wanted to talk, trying to prolong the enchanted moment. With smiles, touches, quick kisses, looks of promises, and lots of questions on our minds, we left the art room and headed to the front doors of the school. I was ensconced between Luis and Rosalee. That felt ... delicious? Right? Perfect! Margie spoke up as soon as we arrived to let us all know that the school had given us all the three lunch periods this week to use for planning. Then we each stood in front of Luis and made our promise to him of what we were willing to commit to for this project. For some, like me, it was a simple "whatever I can contribute to make it succeed." When we were done, Luis told us what the two main goals where -"make the Naked program better and prevent another Will from happening. Then he talked about standards for the team. Simple things that all centered around communicating. He offered to explain more at our combined lunch, since other students were beginning to arrive in droves. This was a good thing, as I was still reliving him and Rosalee in my very core. Once again, the group hug and Team declaration. I hugged Rosalee, almost not wanting to let go. Luis and she hugged, but it was more casual. Friendly, sexy even. But not the hug of lovers. Then we were off to Homeroom. Luis and I held hands, stopping for requests, which were all reasonable. At least I thought so at the time! "Sweets, how do you feel about Rosalee?" I asked Luis. Am I going to answer that for myself? "Becca, I like her. I don't feel for her what I feel for you. How do you feel?" "Confused. No ... Well ... Yes..." Our talk was interrupted by announcements. I half listened as I let my thoughts process the morning. I knew where I was with Luis. It grew by leaps and bounds this morning. Then there was Rosalee. I felt a very strong pull towards her. How would she fit? Was it just exploration or -" "We can use all the support we can get. I'm glad they're encouraging attendance at the games." He tensed, then slightly relaxed. "The Pep Rally should be fun." Talk about shifting gears! There was something in the announcements about all that. His tone sounded different, though. "You seem worried about East." "Just getting prepared." I could feel a growing ... Hardness? "Jason calls it 'getting on his game face.'" Luis nodded. "What's Media Day?" "It's a chance for reporters to interview us and get our opinions of the game. Plus, sometimes, college coaches or members of their staffs show up to meet potential players. Today, I understand, we might have some excitement. Paul Rogers is going to sign his letter of intent." "He's the quarterback?" "Yep." "What's he signing?" "A commitment to play for a specific college. He hasn't told us which one, so we all get to find out today!" "Should be interesting. Can I come?" "I think you've already proven that." I hit him and tried to look stern and upset. His outrageous cries of abuse made me lose it. The bell rang and we got up still chuckling. We held hands while we headed towards the door. "Hey, Luis! Some chick named Susan was looking for you this morning," someone said as they entered the classroom. I couldn't see who for all the people converging at the door. ------ Chapter 21: Wednesday Morning - "Clarity" Luis You know, in football, they call a penalty for piling on. Susan? Where's the ref? He's an out-of-towner, that's where he is. It is a given in football that out-of-town refs are a bit biased -"the wrong way. So, here I am. Still trying to wrap my mind around being with Becca. Pondering Becca and Rosalee. Then the three-way kiss we shared. Not to mention the Naked Program, Will, and, oh ... East in two and a half days. Throw in football scholarships, college, the future. Will my car start in the morning? What is bugging Jason... ? Now, Susan. What did she want? I almost thought it. Caught myself. I learned my lesson in 8th grade. It was the last game of the season. We were ahead by four points. On a goal line stand as the clock was running out, I ended up on the bottom of the pile. My face down in a muddy puddle. At least eight other people on top of me in various forms. I actually had said to myself, 'It can't get any worse than this.' Murphy has really good hearing. Right about the time I was wondering if I could grow gills, someone landed on my hand. With their cleats. Hard. Plus, the other team scored and won. I can still see the scars, faintly. The broken bones healed. All my fingers work, as well as they did before -"mostly. The lesson about not tempting Murphy lives on. Burned into my being. I wasn't going to say it. I banned the thoughts from my mind. I prayed that it was enough. Slowly, I came back to the moment. Becca's hand in mine. Her sweet, adorable, lovely face looking at me. Her eyes asking the question, 'What does she want?' I shrugged my shoulders and gave her a quick kiss. I think to reassure myself more than her. Then we moved through the funnel of the door and into the cauldron of the hall. I was praying the whole time I could shrink about a foot and not be so noticeable. We had just broken the kiss and had been temporarily separated by requests, when Susan appeared from nowhere. She scanned the crowd, then approached me. "Well, since your partner isn't around," Becca was behind me at the time, actually leaning her back against me. "I'd like to ask you out for Saturday." Color me stupid. "Erg ... I can't, Susan." "Do you already have plans?" "Nothing firm, yet." She put her hands on her hips. "Well, then, what's the problem?" "I've kinda hooked up with Rebbecca this week." Cocking her head to the side. "Anything formal?" "Not yet." "So. What's the problem?" "Susan, I appreciate the offer. I can't, though." I could feel Becca squirming behind me. Obviously getting very excited. Susan edged closer. "I'm better for you than that art freak." I felt Becca tense behind me. "Art freak?" I managed to get out. Becca's hand gently ran over my butt. "I'd have to say a very talented and gifted artist." That got me a loving squeeze. Is the cavalry coming to my rescue or what? I have no idea what to do when a female shows her claws other than to run. The male of the species is just not equipped to handle them. "Yeah, and what does a big, strong football player like you need to know about art?" Was she actually cooing? Is this what they mean by vamping? Where is the ref and his yellow flag? The sweet bundle of loveliness behind me began quaking then tensed. I could faintly hear her gasps and then the moaning sigh as she relaxed. Before I could say anything to Susan, Becca thanked the person for the orgasm and gracefully slid under my arm, facing Susan. "Well, I'd say he appreciates fine art and wants to explore it further. Plus, I like to have strong, virile models around." She squeezed me with the arm behind my back and then patted my chest. I think I know what the process of a supernova looks like now. Susan's eyes collapsed and she tried to suck all the mass and energy of the Universe into her being. Then her eyes exploded, throwing all that energy back out to create havoc and chaos. "At least I know what to do with a hunk like him." I wonder if they're going to start pulling each other's hair and trying to gouge out eyeballs? "I know enough to swallow, like when I woke him up this morning." "When you ... WHAT?" "Let's go sweetie, we're going to be late to class." Becca turned us, gracefully I might add, and started moving us down the hallway, leaving the remnant of a dead star, spluttering energy aimlessly. Had I just witnessed this allegedly shy, retiring -"no, retreating girl just zap another girl verbally in a cat fight? As I was trying to wrap my head around it, I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. "I don't mind you playing around and having fun, even falling in love. Just be choosy, okay?" She gave me a hug. "Er..." Maybe it is the effect of intense gamma rays. "My Mountain, just go with it. Okay?" "Erg..." Lord only knows the number of particles that went through me during the supernova. That must be it. "Strong silent type! I love it. I love you." "Er..." Is that Mission Control? "Ah ... I love you too." She actually escorted me to my next classroom. Calculus. Yeah. Pretty numbers and symbols. I can focus on that instead of the scattered thoughts in my head. I'm sure I made noises in response to the requests being made, because there were hands other than Becca's on Junior. "See you after class, okay love?" She gave me a quick, discreet kiss as she said that, then moved gracefully through the crowd to her class. Somehow, I made it to mine and folded myself into the seat. These school chairs and desks just weren't made for someone my size. They were better than the airlines seats I've wedged myself into over the years. Not much, though. As I got out my notebook for class, the thoughts just kept rolling on. The airline seats reminded me of my travels this summer. Not only did the family do a couple of countries in Europe, I had traveled to one football camp in Los Angeles and made unofficial visits to Boston, Atlanta, and Austin. I tried to remember anything about the art departments at the various schools. Then it hit me that I wouldn't know good from bad. I knew that a few of the schools I was looking at had excellent music conservatories either on campus or nearby. And music has to do with East, how? "Luis?" Mr. Singh's voice penetrated the play maps in my head. "Ah ... Sorry sir." "That is quite alright Mr. Contadino. I do understand that the Program week to be a distraction for the participants. More so on a Wednesday than any other day. It would be a most fascinating study." His sing-song accent wasn't hard to understand and actually quite pleasant to listen to. "I-I'm sure it would be, sir." "You have had no problems with simple integrals thus far, have you?" "No sir. I've been using them for a couple of years. I did enjoy learning the history and basis behind them, though." "Good. Good. Most outstanding. This week, we will cover rotating an integral around an axis. In other words, double integrals. Do you feel comfortable?" "Yes sir. I do. Not until we get to logarithmic and trig integrals do I have problems." "Most excellent. Then your program distractions will not impact you this week. I will refrain from calling on you." "Ah ... Thank you, I guess." He went back to the board and started showing rotating a simple integral about the Y-axis. Just like East is going to try to rotate around our defensive line. I need to make sure the outside linebackers play their assignments and not get sucked into fakes. I wonder how many assignments I have messed up this week. It couldn't have been too many or I would have had notes from my teachers. Notes. Maybe I should write something for Becca. A poem? Hell, I'm not a poet. I could write her an equation! What are all the variables I need to look at when selecting a college? I'm assuming that most of them would want me, at least academically. I know quite a few wanted me athletically. I haven't seen my T'ai Ch'i teacher this week. Did I need to? I need to breathe. As soon as I said it, my body started a relaxing, focusing series of deep breaths. Ah, all I had to do was remember to start it! My body knows. In. Feel the rush of rejuvenating energy flow through my Crown and into my Center. Hold. I hope the refs will be watching holding. East is famous for it. Out as slowly as in. Push up from my Center, pull the built-up toxins from my toes while pulling in grounding energy from the Earth. The painting on Becca's easel -"WOW! Hold. Repeat. Just like my lessons in school and in T'ai Ch'i. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Why we run plays over and over in practice. Breathe. Let the energy in my Crown pull me up. Let the Earth ground my feet. Relax into the energy flow, like I relax into a Becca hug. Breathe. Let the thoughts go without engaging. The soft acoustic guitar of John Meyer drifted through my head. Breathe. Let the sounds become just that -"sounds. Don't label them. Don't name them. Just let them flow through you. The music flowed until it became background. Breathe. Relax into the chair while letting the energy flow naturally. Become seated with the chair. Let go the chattering mind. Breathe. Accept the ringing of the bell. Know that it is time to become aware around you. Engage without surrendering again. I packed up my stuff and noticed that I had actually taken some notes. So some of the class had filtered in. I felt calmer. Not completely centered, but calmer. I headed towards the door. Time for Physics. Not three feet from the door, I had my first request. I smiled, gave permission, and a sweet little thing wrapped her hand around Junior. He was very pleased. I actually found myself enjoying just feeling and not giving into the chatter in my head. I scanned around the hall and didn't see Becca. Given the number of people changing classes, I wasn't surprised. Yet, you'd think a beautiful naked girl would stand out. Every time I took another step towards her class, another request was made. Wasn't the novelty of the Program supposed to wear off by the third day? I guess the disruptions of yesterday delayed it. I looked down at one point and counted four small hands playing with Junior and two playing with his friends. At least that many hands were rubbing my butt and countless number where stroking the muscles of my arms, legs, chest, and back. I gave into the feelings and just drifted with them. Every chance I got, I took another step down the hall. The girls were all very polite, asking before touching and looking me in the eyes for answers. Yet, I really wasn't engaging with the person. How should I? I filed that question to tackle when there wasn't so much stimulation. The door to the classroom for physics appeared long before the requests ceased. While I wasn't in danger of cumming, Junior was pretty pumped up. Mr. Thomas's class was one place I doubted I'd ask for relief. "Ladies, I need to go to class now." "Aww ... Just a few more strokes!" "We can make you cum if you want." "Please, just a minute more!" "Mr. Contadino, care to join us for class today?" Mr. Thomas was eying Junior the way the girls were. With a chorus of disappointment, the hands disappeared and I found a seat. "Do you need relief?" "No thanks, sir." I settled in and tucked Junior under the desk, got out my notebook, and prepared to take notes. Breathe, boy. Breathe. I calmed and slipped right into my center. The first time today. You know it when it happens. The world shifts. You feel connected, completely. The energy just flows. The roots grow from your feet down to the center of Earth. Physics was ... Physics. We worked with the Newtonian gravity equations and dove into Einstein's view to add relativity to the mix. While he was explaining gravity lenses and drawing pictures on the board, a picture started to build in my head. The planets were key considerations. The star light was the different paths I could take. Comets, asteroids, solar winds, and debris were distractions. I could see there were many paths. And, yet, those paths bent, joined, and mixed. Suddenly, I grasped that the first few steps would allow me to see more, without closing any of my paths. As long as those steps were in the general direction of where I felt pulled. Undergrad was about football, with enough of a basis in physics to get me to the next step. Later. Football was my path now. Becca was my path now. Soon, we needed to really talk so I could learn about her choices. At the same time, some of the things I was thinking about for college no longer made sense. It was time to focus on schools that would be in the top five in football consistently over the next five years. All of them had talked to me. All of them seemed eager. I still had four official visits to make. Which of those schools would have a good art school? I could find my way, now. I knew how. All I had to do was keep the fears and doubts at bay. Stop from losing my head. In other words, get my ass back on Center! I wonder how I missed Becca during passing period. Miss her I did. In a little over 48 hours, she's taken possession of my heart. I've given it willingly. The tigress that showed herself this morning. Wow! Where did that come from? Here I was hoping for the cavalry and I got something better. Becca. The new, improved model. Damn! She hit Susan as hard as I hit offensive lineman, and she did it without pads! Plus, she's as complex as cosmology, wrapped in the soul of an artist. She's beautiful. She's wonderful. She's ... WOW! As class drew to a close, Mr. Thomas assigned problems calculating the bend of light around various masses -"gravity lenses -"as homework. Simple now. Plus time to work on my own homework. Out into the teeming masses, again, to find Becca and head to our long lunch/planning session. ------ Rebbecca Okay, who is this pod person occupying my body? 'Maybe the pod person has just surrendered and given you your body back!' 'Could be, Muse. Could be.' My plans this morning, almost destroyed because I didn't understand how sore -"and grumpy -"Luis was going to be. That got back on track, but the collapse... Just don't do it again, my Muse had said. Yeah. Well ... I'll do my best. Then Rosalee this morning. Oh. My. God!! Then, just now, leaning back-to-back with Luis while Rashad, from my art class, gave me a nice little orgasm. Did I really say that to Susan? Yep! So much to think about. Just as I was walking into biology, Ms Carlisle stopped me. "Rebbecca, given how your Program week has been going, please take your normal seat and I'll give you a lot of space today. Okay?" "Thank you, Ms Carlisle." She winked at me and patted my arm. "Wednesday is 'adjustment' day, you'll need the time." I returned her smile with a nod of my head and went to my seat. I guess it is adjustment day, kind of like when Daddy adjusts a rock in the yard with a sledgehammer. When class began, she kept her promise and made it a review session. Since I was ahead in the class, I didn't feel bad about zoning out. I sat and waited for the shakes to start. I was expecting the overwhelming desire to retreat and hide. It was my normal behavior for the past five years. Why wasn't it happening? Did just saying I wasn't going to do it any more really work? I let some boy bring me to orgasm in the hallway. It was a nice one. Not howl-at-the-moon and shaking-earth strong, but a nice one. He had requested to touch my ... pussy. Okay, I can still say it. Not cunny. Pussy. While he was touching, I was thinking about Luis's bed, his ... cock -"I can say that too -" in my mouth, and drinking his cum. I started to get more and more turned on. The feeling of squirming against My Mountain while getting off was incredible. Yet, shouldn't I feel guilty? It wasn't him getting me off. But we did share it. Susan. I can't believe she was hitting on him. I guess she hadn't seen me at first. Then her attack. Art freak? I guess I marked my territory, not with Luis's cum, but with words. What all has changed this week? Other than walking around nude. And, gaining a boyfriend. It would seem my art has taken a turn for the better. But, I'm not writing at all. I haven't even thought about writing since Monday morning. That is way out of the norm for me. I picked up a pen and opened my writing notebook ... Okay. Write. Any time now. Ahm ... Any time now. The insolent blank page just stared at me. Unblinking. Mocking me. My hand started moving. The soft wind swept through the hills as the clouds played tag with the blossoms of spring. In the distance, the sounds of the village... I zoned. Moving into that place where my characters live. Into the world where they let me observe and listen, hopefully catching their spirit. The words flowed onto the paper. The bell marking the end of class startled me. I did a quick scan of the notebook. Ten full pages of writing in less than an hour. Nope, that old part of me was not dead. Good. Even better, what I had written felt right. Now, the painter/writer who has discovered love and sex needs to get her ass to her next class. I packed up and started towards the door. "Rebbecca?" Ms Carlisle called. "Yes ma'am?" I couldn't have knocked that smile off my face if I had tried. "Feeling different?" "Very." "I take it from the smile that this is a good thing?" I gave a little laugh. "Yep. A very good thing." "Good for you. Come see me if you have any questions, though. Or doubts." "Oh, I'm sure I will. Thanks." With a nod of my head, I headed out the door. At least I made it outside before the first request. Some boy with a camera I didn't know wanted me to pose for him. He took a couple of pictures while making suggestions. He actually made me feel good about myself. "If you give me your email, I'll send you copies." "Thank you, I'd like that." I realized I really would and I wasn't embarrassed. Another step and the requests for touching started. I managed to get all the way to my English class without stepping over the orgasm cliff or running into any walls. It was pleasant, yet a little annoying, because I missed Luis. I so wanted to see him. Hold his hand. Give him a little kiss. Just be around him. It wasn't to be. I'll see him next period, though. We've got that long lunch together. Oh, Rosalee will be there too! Goodie! I made it to class with seconds to spare. "Rebbecca, do you need relief?" Mrs. Richardson asked. "No, not today, thank you." I loved this class. It was one of the few that I had actively participated in before. I had handled all the required reading years before, so all I had to do was brush up and then expand my knowledge of each of the writers. Not many have patience with 19th century English writers, as witnessed by having only ten people in this class. I loved the stories, yet wading through the archaic language could be challenging at times. "Very well, let us begin. We're going to move beyond Dickens today and begin a discussion of the BrontĂ<< sisters. Rebbecca, would you like to start us off?" "Yes ma'am. The BrontĂ<<s, while prolific writers, starting at a very early age, didn't have much success publishing until later in life. A poetry book, their first publication, only sold two copies..." And the discussion began. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey all achieved success, yet two of the sisters died shortly after publication. Only Charlotte lived long enough to publish more. It was her unfinished novel, Emma, that we focused on. Class flew by. When the bell rang, I felt ... High. No other way to describe it. I wanted that feeling again. And again. All from engaging and actively participating. I quickly gathered my stuff and headed out the door. "I have a request." I'd know that deep, rumbling voice anywhere. "Only if it is reasonable," I giggled. "I'd like to escort you to lunch, my sweet Becca." "Not only is that reasonable, kind sir, it is desired." His very large hand swallowed my offered hand. A quick kiss and a loving smile for each other, we headed towards the cafeteria. "Sorry I missed you between classes." "Me too. The requests started as soon as I left biology and didn't stop until I was to my English classroom." "Same here, from Calculus to Physics." "Were they all reasonable?" "So far." "What about Susan's request?" "Erg..." "My, we're articulate today." I really like this teasing game. "Ahm ... Er..." I couldn't help a little giggle. "It's alright, My Mountain. You're just not used to women fighting over you." "You're right about that!" I looked over to catch his blush. "Did it give your ego a boost?" "No. It confused me more than I was already this morning." "Still confused?" "Let's just say I have a lot of things to work on, but I'm feeling a lot more centered now." He paused for a second. "What..." I tried to hide a smile with a serious, concerned mask. I could feel what he was going to ask. Yep, teasing is fun. "What about what?" "Hmm ... W-What happened with Susan this morning?" "What do you mean?" Damn, this was fun watching him sputter and blush. "I, um, s-saw a different you." "No, you saw the real me. I've been hiding too long. Not going to do that anymore. Still love me?" He looked me in the eyes and a shiver when through me. My legs got weak. "Yes, I do. I think I like the real you. No ... I love the real you." "Good." I thought for a few seconds. Teasing was nice, but we had something more important to deal with. "I'm glad you do, because now it is time to start putting on your game face for Friday." Okay, add 'double take' to the list of words and phrases I now have good mental pictures of. "Yeah, you're right." "Damn straight I am. I don't want you getting hurt because your mind isn't in the game." "What will that do to us?" "You getting hurt? A lot." I couldn't help laughing at him. He gave me a mock frown. "Sweetie, I understand. As long as we still have snuggle and kissy time, no problems. Maybe even a little more -"or a lot more!" He growled. Like an angry grizzly bear. And set his face in this scowl. Yet, I could see in his eyes laughter. I couldn't help but laugh. "That's your game face? I think you can do better than that!" "Okay. For real." We stopped walking. He relaxed. I mean, he relaxed. From the position he was standing, he could move in any direction without having to relax any muscles. His face relaxed, yet his eyes turned to ... That I'm going to have to think about. He was seeing everything, he focusing on nothing -"looking through, not at. This was a man you did not want to try to get by. A shiver ran down my spine, hoping he would never aim that look at me. I looked around the crowded hallway to see reactions of others. I saw Susan turn and head the other way -"rapidly! Others were instinctively giving him a wide berth. I briefly saw Rashad's face in the crowd. His naturally dark complexion turned ashen gray. "Wow!" I managed to whisper. Slowly a smile appeared on his face and his entire being changed. "Yeah, wow. This morning, I was scared shitless that I couldn't center enough to be able to do that." "Well, let's just keep you centered until Friday night!" "No, let's keep me being able to get back onto center. Forever." "Deal." He put his arm across my shoulders as I wound mine halfway across his back. I still needed more arm. "Now, let me shovel some calories into this body. It's been a long morning." "And, we need to plot a little revolution with the other Nakeds." Note: The title of this chapter comes from John Meyer's song Clarity, which can be found on YouTube and (a great online music source). ------ Chapter 22: Wednesday Lunch - Sultans of Swing Luis The feeling of Rebbecca's arm around my waist, at least as far as it could reach, was better than almost anything I've ever felt before. Okay, honesty with self--the best so far! I can't believe that Becca got me to show my game face. I think I scared a few people off. That's fine, I could stand a trip down the hall without being pawed at. That lasted two steps before the requests started. 'I'm Luis Contadino and I'm naked in school, ' I thought to myself. 'I'm so-and-so and I'm naked in school. Blah-blah-blah... ' When we became aware of the Program, everyone was looking up things about it. Amazing the number of journals that have been published online, aside from the official sales pitches. Many have that line. Bet they can't say they've got such a beautiful, intelligent, talented lady walking with them! We separated as requests were made, but stayed within eye contact. When we got a chance to take a few steps, our hands found each other. Finally, the bell rang and the stragglers headed off to class and we had the hallway almost to ourselves. I should have predicted it. She started skipping and swinging our hands. "We're off to see the Nakeds, the wonderful Nakeds of West." She sang, not too badly, either. "The Wizard of Oz? That I never would have predicted." "Yep. I even have new lines I'm trying to work in." "Can I hear them?" Addled brain. Yep. "Because, Because, Because ... Because of the wonderful cock he's got." She started giggling while stroking Junior. "Erg..." Smooth Luis, smooth. Such the articulate wit we are. "Well, you do." Junior was about to make the floor slippery thanks to her wonderful hand. "Er..." I think I found the same low branch Jason had discovered this morning. "Poor baby. I won't tease you any more. Well ... Not too much." Another bout of giggles. "Thanks." I managed to draw it out. My stunning wit and repartee, don't you know. Fortunately, the lunchroom approach-eth. All I got in return was another bout of giggles and being dragged down the hall by a bouncing, naked female. Damn, her ass looked wonderful. Perfectly shaped, from my perspective. Of course, being the expert that I am on bare asses... Not! Yet... We made it into the cafeteria line and I had to wait a couple of minutes as they prepared my special meal. "Sweetie, what are we waiting for?" My Beautiful Becca asked. "My training table meal." "Huh?" "Trust me, it's not better food, just a lot more of it." The food service folks passed my tray over to me then. I thanked them and turned to see Becca's eyes getting big as she examined it. "What ... No, I won't even ask what it is." Her nose turned up slightly. "I did ask what it was once. Better that I don't know. Plus, lots of ketchup and hot sauce ... well, it becomes sort of edible." "How many calories?" "More than a human should consume in one week, except really big athletes," came Dr. C's voice from behind us. "See what happens when those big guys get older." He showed us his tray with a chefs salad and some strange dressing. "I don't think I could duplicate the color of that dressing, thank God." Becca said, as if to herself. Dr. C and I both cracked up. My Beautiful Becca became Blushing Becca. Getting himself under control, and not looking at his tray, Dr. C said, "Luis, if you don't mind, I'd like to join the Nakeds for a while." "Please, Dr. C, you are more than welcome as far as I'm concerned. Are you going to join us ... all the way?" I put on my best innocent smile. The same one I give quarterbacks when they come to the line. The one that says, 'I'm not going to eat you for lunch, honest.' He stopped for a second, got a real thoughtful look. "Good for the goose... ," said Becca. "There is that... ," he looked internally for a few seconds. "Let's sit and talk about it. Since you're working on improving the Program, this fits." Tim and Shirley had already claimed a table. We all exchanged greetings and settled in. "Dr. C asked if he could join us for a bit. I've tentatively said yes, but want to hear from everyone once they're here." "No problems," Tim said. "I think it's a good thing," Shirley said with her editor-in-chief voice. I could see her running a seemingly chaotic newsroom with great authority, extracting the best from each person. The conversation flowed easily as the Nakeds gathered. I was glad to see that no one was intimidated by having Dr. C at the table, not even the freshmen. Everyone made an effort to include him in the group and he readily contributed, acting more as a peer than an authority figure. The whole time, my Micina had her hand on my leg, slowly tracing her nails on my inner thigh with the lightest, yet most intense pressure. If I had to stand, everyone was going to be quite aware of the effect. Junior wasn't waiting for me to stand, though, and was beginning to act like a periscope. Suddenly, Becca squealed and quickly pulled her hand from my thigh leaving some definite lines. Ready to fight, I turned ... to see Rosalee bent over Sweet Becca's shoulder. She was cupping her breasts and nibbling on the ear away from Dr. C. DAMN! Definite periscope! Somehow, I managed to pull my eyes away from the erotic display and tried to assess how Dr. C was handling the blatant PDA. God, I wanted to learn how to keep my face that inscrutable as he "observed" something on the other side of the cafeteria. More amazing, to me, was how he controlled the energy in his body. No indication that anything was going on right in front of his eyes. Becca's hand returned to my thigh and sought out Junior while Rosalee draped herself over my back, attempting a reach around. This was more than the circuit breakers in my teenage mind could handle. Junior was going to explode any second... "Ahem... ," rumbled across the table in Dr. C's deep voice. Instead of guilty reactions, there were giggles, sweet kisses on my face, and two definite squeezes that almost added special sauce to my meal. "Are you okay, sweetie?" "Ergh..." "I think we killed him, Becky." "Er..." "He doesn't appear to be in full possession of his mental faculties." Dr. C's bass voice floated up to my cloud. "Erg..." "What did you ladies do to this poor man?" Paul Templer asked, a chuckle escaping halfway through. "Us?" Rosalee and Becca responded simultaneously. I swear I could hear batting eyelashes. Then ... then, they giggled. Apparently, all the Nakeds had arrived and were quite enjoying my Moment. The comments and laughter continued, unabated, as only high schoolers can manage. And I thought the locker room was ... course? Graphic? Ribald? They ain't got nothin' on Naked People At Lunch. "Breathe!" My sweet whispered in my ear. As soon as I finished the first full cycle, I felt myself coming back on center. I turned my head and gave her a wink and a smile. A few more deep breaths and I was ready. The room returned to normal. All the sounds of a busy lunchroom. Conversations, squeaking chairs on the floor, laughter, and kids just being kids. Music from half a dozen sources added to the texture of the room. The only one I could pick out sounded like some classic Dire Straits, 'Way on downsouth way on downsouth London town'. "Dr. C, would you like a moment to finish your... ," I waved my hand towards the mass of wilted green covered in puke orange on his plate, "Or, would you like to address us now?" "Luis, when I was playing basketball seriously, and I was younger, I could eat like you do. Now, I have to be a bit more prudent." His eyes had a smile, no matter how serious his voice sounded. "Why don't we enjoy our food, first." "And whatever that is!" Fingers pointed and the words echoed around the table. "I notice that your meal is a level or two above the normal sized servings of this establishment." "This is one of those times it pays to be a football player." I looked down at my plate and added, "Except the taste." While we ate, the conversation stayed light. Dr. C did participate and added a few choice tales from his youth. His powers of observation did startle us, as he was up on all the latest gossip and goings on. "Dr. Cavenaugh," Margie started, "our family had a conversation recently about cliques in high school. It doesn't seem like we have the same problems as my parents. Why is that?" "Are you referring to social status being related to your clique?" Dr. C asked. "I think so." "That's a complex subject. The simple answer is we've changed, as a society, in our view of what is important. It used to be the social status was defined by sports, perceived beauty, and the wealth of your parents. Of course, that was about the same time that the educational system in this country was going down the tubes." He really should be in a classroom. "Well, the educational system was fixed and in the process, success in school became important. That, plus many changes in society, I think, destroyed the old system." "But, we have cliques today in school," Shirley observed. "There will always be some form of grouping. It is only natural. Humans are culturally oriented to tribalism. We need and want to belong to groups. The cliques haven't disappeared, just their makeup and importance. This group would never have functioned in the old culture." "Why so?" Ginny asked. It was good to see her participating considering how shy she had been in the beginning. "In the old system, very few of you would have been in the same clique. As a result, putting you together like this would have created turmoil, at best." The conversation continued, but I just faded out. I'm glad people are interested in the soft subjects. Give me the hard sciences any day. My meal disappeared at about the same rate as Becca's sandwich and Dr. C's "salad." I felt my body beginning to stiffen up again, though. I would need to hit the whirlpool before practice. Fortunately, I only had a light workout planned. More get the blood flowing, loosen up, and do some aerobic conditioning. I didn't need to worry about adding muscle mass, but needed keep my system oxygenated and blood flowing at this point to rejuvenate after yesterday's session. And, keep my joints loose. How many hours to the whirlpool? I understand at the college level, the trainers also give massages. Enough of that dream, I needed to plan my workout. As I lost myself in the weight room and visualized my workout, my spotter started speaking to me in Becca's voice. "Sweetie?" Wait, I need to lift this bar one more time... "My Mountain?" The weight room vanished and was replaced with the detritus of teen-consumed cafeteria slop. "Sweetie? Time to start the meeting." Becca's lyrical voice drifted into my ears, her breath registering on every nerve ending of the battle hardened surface. Damn! Shivers were rolling down my spine, right to... Breathe. Nod head. No, not that one. Breathe again. Collect self. Begin. "As you might have noticed," I said as I scanned the Nakeds at the table, "there is one of 'them' amongst us." Eyes danced all around the table, missing the obvious. The relaxed looks from the banter earlier turned to confusion. "We have ... one of ... the Clothed at our table." All eyes went to Dr. C and I swear, he blushed. "Becca, Becky, and I made a reasonable request that he join us naked. Yet, alas, here he is. Clothed!" Man! Did his energy go up! Too far? No. We had points to be made and this was a viable path. Yet, I had to soften it some. "Dr. C asked if he could speak with us. On the part of the team, I accepted." I looked around the table and got nods of approval from everyone. "Plus, I thought it would be a good for him to hear some of our conversations." Again, nods all around. "So, Dr. C, welcome to the Nakeds table." He snorted out a laugh. "I feel like I'm back in the NBA and I'm facing Byrd, Jordan, Magic, Shaq, and LeBron on the other team." As if anyone needed to be reminded of his days as a pro playing power forward. "The talent, skills, drive, and energy I see at this table humbles me. Yet, it makes me proud. You give me hope. Not just for the Program, which is why you were chosen first this year, but for the future." He took a second to collect himself. "The official reason I'm here is to convey a message." Damn, he was good. He used the ensuing pause to gather our full attention. "Will's family has sent their heartfelt thanks." Wow! The reactions around the table were all over the place. Dr. C continued, "Without the compassion that this group exhibited, a bad situation could have become a tragedy for the whole school. They've also heard of the commitment to prevent another 'Will' from happening and offer their full support." How is it that optimism can also include the press of the full weight of the world? "As I said, I believe in this group. I know that you will do great things." Paul, Chris, Luke, and I preened as only athletes can. That cracked the whole table up, including Dr. C. Even Becca's glare couldn't hide the smile on her face or the corner of her eyes. Stress relief is a good thing. "Well, that's all I had officially. Now, I do have some free time, so..." "Of course you're welcome to stay," I said after checking with everyone. "Well, there is an outstanding request... ," Becca smiled an evil smile as she squeezed my leg. Note to self: don't ever do anything to earn that smile from her! "There was a request. The question is, was it reasonable?" Dr. C countered with. "What are you guys talking about?" Asked Margie. There was a general consensus that others wanted to know as well. "We requested that Dr. C join us naked," I told everyone. "Okay, why not?" Paul asked Dr. C. "Let me ask all of you this, what would you think if you saw me walking down the halls naked?" "Oh, YEAH!" Thanks, Rosalee. She grabbed Junior in her excitement. There was enough room for both girls' hands. "Kewl!" From Margie. Many nods followed her statement. "I wouldn't think it was right," said Shirley, looking very contemplative. With a smile, Dr. C asked, "And why, Shirley?" "Well, two reasons. First, if I remember, not all the nudity laws have been removed from the books. So, potentially, you'd be doing something illegal." "Correct, it is still technically illegal for males over 21 to appear nude in certain places, including schools. Although it is rarely enforced. And?" "Propriety," Paul Templer said. "Ah, the Colonial speaks. Tell us more." It was easy to see that Dr. C had been a teacher. A good one. "In a way, it would be the same as the King walking down the street in cutoff jeans and a ratty t-shirt. It is not something a monarch should do." "And, school principals should look like school principals," Margie contributed. "Until the legal and social codes change, that's why I won't be going around the halls naked. Now, should you see me at the beach or other place away from school, then you might not have to ask." I noticed that more than one female at the table had a dreamy look in their eyes. "Well, Dr. C, I can understand your reasoning." He nodded to me. "Now, if we can get this show on the road." "Before you do, one piece of official school business I almost forgot. It seems that I've been designated messenger." Dr. C proceeded to hand out messages to Luke, Becca, Shirley, and me. I immediately opened mine to find a note from Coach Mac. 'I need you to stay for a bit after media day. Let me know if that's a problem.' "Becca?" I turned to her. She was holding open her message and just staring at it, eyes wide and mouth open. Not really meaning to pry, I did look down and could read it. 'Dean Massey from the Fine Arts Department at USC called and would like you to return her call, ' and there was a phone number. "Becca?" "I-I..." "Sweetie, does this mean what I think it does?" "I-I..." I hugged her and whispered in her ear, "This is great." "And a surprise." "Do you think the Italian Pixie of an art teacher had anything to do with it?" "I'm positive of it," she said as she pulled herself together. "That is, if this is what I think it is." "And what's that?" "An invitation to submit my portfolio!" "You need to find out, then we can celebrate tonight." She nodded her head and gave me a quick kiss, then folded the note and put it in her bag. I looked over at Luke and Shirley, curious now about their notes. Luke must have already read his and put it away. Shirley was huddled with Stacy and Sheri. "Now, let's get this show on the road," I said, interrupting the newspersons conclave. Margie immediately set about handing out a batch of papers as if there had been no interruption. I couldn't wait for the perfect personal device that would eliminate paper. I quickly reviewed what she'd put together. Before I could get a word of praise out, Dr. C spoke. "This is excellent, Margie. How did you have time to do this?" My sister beamed. Everyone at the table began to praise her organizational skills and telling little stories about how she gets things done and keeps it all together. I'm going to have to live with that swelled head! Yet, it did make me proud that she was gaining an identity of her own. A strong one at that. Too often, I've seen my own friends trying to overcome the identity of a big brother or sister. This was cool. "Okay, let's get back to it. We've got a lot to cover. Any suggestions of how we can best use Dr. C's time?" "Sure," said Shirley, "why doesn't he give us a history of the Program and what the thoughts and hopes of the administration are." There was universal nodding of heads. "Dr. C?" He gave the standard spiel about the Program in general, but focused on the history in our State and school district. Nothing much new, society was loosening up and the Program was designed to help school kids with that. "Dr. Cavenaugh," Ginny spoke up, "That explains the nudity requirement. It doesn't come close to explaining the Reasonable Request." It seemed a hundred voices spoke at once. I let the commotion go for a few seconds, then coughed. "Dr. C, maybe you could explain the history and the reasons behind the Reasonable Request. We'll save you from our discussions," I caught every eye until they agreed to wait, "until we have a unified voice." "The Reasonable Request. No doubt it is the most controversial aspect of the Program. All I know about its history is that it wasn't in the initial proposals nor was it in the initial research. But, it appeared by the time the legislation passed. Fortunately, it is also the most loosely worded part of the requirements for the Program." "What do you mean?" "It means I have the most latitude on how it is applied here." "Good, because that might be an area that we'll have the strongest recommendations." "Any other areas? I need to get back to old guy stuff." "Uniforms." I think all the jocks said that at once. "Expand." "I'll start. I'm glad that sanity finally prevailed and declared the football uniform as both protective and supportive. I don't even mind the dressing in midfield, although it complicates the logistics and interferes with my game prep. I can live with it. But, I can't go in the locker room at half time." "Why not?" "I have to strip, then redress. A lot of my taping is over my uniform. To strip would take five to ten minutes. I've already missed the beginning of halftime. Then it takes 10-20 minutes to handle the exterior taping -" halftime is only 15 minutes." "Good point." "Baseball. Our uniforms are protective as well, unless you expect us not to slide into a base or dive for a ball." "I'd say the same goes for soccer and volleyball." "For women, not having support up top is an issue in all sports. Men at least have built-in mechanisms to retract their vulnerable parts." "Track is okay for us guys, but the field events are an issue." "In swimming, the suit can provide a competitive edge." "Okay, okay! I get it." Dr. C shook his head. I could tell he was getting overwhelmed. "And the Prom." Jane Chung doesn't speak out often, but when she does, watch out. "Homecoming," added Stacy, getting Jane's drift. "Any of the dances," Margie finished. "What about the Prom and the dances?" "People don't know ahead of time they are in the Program. I'm already thinking about my dress for the Prom. I'd be royally pissed at having thrown away hard earned money on a dress I couldn't wear, if I'd been chosen for the Program during Prom week," Jane expanded her original thought. All the girls nodded agreement. "Another good point." He nodded. I could see him building a list of items in his head. "I don't have any answers, but it sounds like you've got a lot of work to do putting all this together. On that note, I'll leave you to it!" With the grace of an athlete, he quickly disappeared. "I think Dr. C was in a bit of a rush to get out of the lunchroom. Was it something we said?" You can always count on our Rosalee. "Thanks, Rosalee. I mean it. We needed a little comic relief after that." "Speaking of relief..." That got laughter from everyone at the table. "Okay, let's tackle Reasonable Requests..." I'm sure that was the last coherent sound for the next few minutes as everyone began talking, trying to have their points heard. Wow! I let it go for a few minutes to see if some order would emerge. I leaned back and put my arm around Becca and, without even thinking about it, put my arm around Rosalee as well. They both snuggled in and I felt their hands move across my back and find each other. It was interesting feeling their fingers intertwine. I'm not sure what's going on here. I mean, I like Rosalee. I find her attractive and fun. Interesting. Engaging. Yet, I don't feel for her the way I do Becca. Confusing? Completely. 'Focus brings clarity.' Thanks Sensei. Now, how do I focus this group? And, how do I find clarity with Becca and Rosalee? It really didn't help that my joints and muscles were starting to scream at me again. Focus! Breathe! Bring order. Lead. At that moment, my sweetie chose to sigh. A full, deep expression of contentment. Even with that, my hormone-addled brain managed to see a path. A deep cough on my part got everyone's attention. "It is apparent that we all have very deep feelings and opinions about requests and the definition of reasonable. Here's what I'd like you to do. Pull out a piece of paper--" "Is this a test?" It didn't matter who said it. "In a way. More like getting our collective thoughts organized. Now, I want you to list three positives about reasonable requests." Groans. "Then list your top three negatives about reasonable requests." A quick glance at Margie and she read my mind and nodded. "When you're done, give them to Margie and she'll organize it all for us." "Do you want us speaking from our own experiences and beliefs, or about our feelings about the Program in general?" No surprise this came from our resident, naked editor-in-chief. "I want us to give our personal feelings, based on what we've experienced in two and a half days." "Thanks, Coach." Not that again! Everyone got busy. I stared at the paper for a minute or two, organizing my own thoughts. Well, number one on the positives was easy. Becca. I picked up my pen and started to write. ------ Rebbecca How did I feel about the program? 'You got Luis out of it and possibly Rosalee.' 'Thanks Muse. You're a lot of help.' 'Anytime!' Positives? Was it positive to be running around naked and not hiding any more? If you had asked me Monday, I would have said no. Now? I guess so. After all, casual nudity was becoming a cultural norm, or so they said. But, is it a fair way to do it? Forcing kids, against their will? That's a question I'm not going to be able to answer in a few minutes. Exposing my art to others? I guess that was a positive. I had done the murals anonymously, or so I thought. But, I was outed now. I guess that's a good thing. Was awakening my sexuality a positive? As long as I didn't turn into a slut, I guess. Reaching out to others? Yes. A good thing. Easier than I thought. Now, which three do I chose? Reaching out, outing my art, and ... Okay. Awaking my sexuality. Luis is damned important, but I won't base our relationship on the Program, damn it. My first negative? Requests. Now there is a topic for a doctoral thesis! The forced nudity wouldn't be a bad thing, but the requests ... Now, that is ... Wrong? Yes. Completely. Exposing my body is one thing. Being required to let people touch me, that's another. Where does my private space begin? Bringing it closer to my body, that might be reasonable. And, the nudity does that. But pushing that private space inside me? No, that's abuse that's been legalized. Has it been legalized or just not challenged? So, Requests is number one. Choice about the Program. Is that still a negative? Well, in a very personal way it is. But, remove the requests and it doesn't seem to be that negative. Another negative. Hmm ... Just two more. Easy. Piece of cake. Ahem... Staring at the paper isn't helping. I took a quick glance at Luis's. He only had two negatives. Requests and the sports issue. I could see that. But, it really didn't directly impact me, so I couldn't use it. Maybe after Friday I'd feel differently. Just two more... I wonder if Luis and I are going to be able to go all the way tonight. God, I so want to. Yet, I'm scared of it"Anyone finished?" Asked My Mountain, pulling me back into the moment. "No!" I wasn't the only one. Sounded like a unified voice, but not the one Luis was expecting! "To be honest, I'm having a problem as well. Does everyone have at least one for a positive and at least one for a negative?" Everyone indicated they had. "Why don't we pass them to Margie and she'll do some magic-" "Give me five minutes," she cut Luis off as she focused on her task. "So, what was harder, positives or negatives?" Another free-for-all started. My Mountain regained control and polled each of us. By the time he finished, Margie signaled that she was finished. "Let's hear what Margie has put together." All eyes turned to the cute girl. She took it in stride. I think I'd be blushing like mad. "Well, a quick look through shows that, for the most part, the nudity isn't a problem but a positive." Nods all around the table. "And, the clear number one negative-" "Requests!" Rosalee broke in with. Everyone agreed. "Rosalee, I thought you'd like requests," Luis said. "At first, but after a while, it got really old. Plus, I found out I didn't like the loss of control." "That's one way of putting it," said Shirley. "I didn't mind some requests, but not having a choice-" started Sheri. "Isn't part of the program about expanding what we are comfortable with?" Mike Watson asked. "How would you like it if someone stuck a finger up your ass?" Jane Chung spit out. "I ... I ... wouldn't," Mike said, meekly. "Well, that's what we're talking about. That's not expanding what we're comfortable with." "It's more about loss of control and violation?" "It feels like ... rape." Ginny said quietly. That got everyone's attention. "Have you... ?" I asked her, softly. "No. Well, other than stray fingers while in the Program." "That's the same thing!" Shirley nearly shouted. "No ... No where near close..." Ginny's already quiet voice slowly faded. Everyone tried to talk at once. Luis let it happen and eventually, smaller groups of conversations emerged naturally. I settled into a group with Tim Carter, Shirley Keon, and Jane Chung. While Luis, Rosalee, and Stan Rosenberg formed another group. "Becky, since you've ... uhm... ," Shirley started. And, blushed. "Discovered my sexuality?" I said, more confident then I felt. "Ahem..." "It's okay. I'm aware of it. For the lack of a better word, I was a prude." "I wouldn't go that far," Jane joined in. "More like unaware." "Not really. I was hiding from it just like I was hiding myself." "Why?" Tim asked. "Tim," Shirley said, "This beautiful lady, about five years ago... ," She looked at me and I nodded, "Just disappeared." "It was when my boobs grew, way ahead of anyone else in my class. I felt like such a freak and was teased by everyone. So, I just hid." "Damn, Becky, I didn't realize that," Shirley said. "I'm so sorry, did I ... uhm ... Did..." "I don't remember you saying anything, but I was really confused. I didn't know how to handle it, so I just retreated. I shut everyone out, including my parents." Breathe! That's what My Mountain would tell me to do. "No need to be sorry, Shirley. It was my choice. I realize, now, a bad one. But, I'm past it. I hope..." "Well, we like the new, improved Becky and we're not going to let you retreat again," Shirley said, with Jane agreeing. A couple of seconds later, Tim joined in. "Thanks! I don't want to go back to Rebbecca the Wallflower. She's gone. Becky, the alive and aware one, is here." "So, this week has been a bit confusing for you?" Tim asked. "That's an understatement." "How did you feel at first, coming out of the office naked and then the requests starting?" "Freaked! Especially after that hit I took to my ... uhm ... pussy. See, I can say words like that now. Then I had real problems when my body started responding to all the touching, stroking, and squeezing. I-I had ... I thought ... Oh, heck, I thought I was turning into a slut." I suddenly had trouble seeing and my cheeks started to feel wet. Yet the tears felt cool compared to the heat of my skin. Shirley and Jane immediately enveloped me in a hug and told me over and over that it was okay. And, I'm not a slut. Just waking up. It's overwhelming at times, they told me. No kidding. Tim got my attention with a gentle hand wiping my tears away. "Becky, welcome to the mad, twisted, confusing, and freaky world of teenage hormones-" "And, when the pussy-," Shirley started. "And, the cock-," Tim added. "Take over and rule," Jane finished. "A friend of mine," Tim said, "found some articles on the Net. One was called 'The Facts of Life'. One of the facts was that Physics rules the universe while Biology rules life." "As I heard it," Shirley jumped in, "Physics is King and Biology is Queen." "And their rule is absolute." Tim finished. "To ignore the drives within us is just as dangerous as ignoring gravity." "Slut is such a horrible word, a relic of past generations and cultures, I hope," Jane stated, pulling us back to the original topic. "A word meant to demean any woman that enjoys and celebrates her sexuality. Just another means men had of controlling women and forcing them to be submissive." "W-Was it ... really ... that bad?" I sniffed out. "You remember the conversation about cliques?" "Y-Yes." "Labels like slut, dweeb, nerd, jock, and such were all used to keep us apart. Create pigeonholes to put people in because it's easier than getting to know a person. I mean, look at this table, this group--I'd be the dweeb, maybe even the homo, queer-" "And, I'd be the little brown fuck bunny or slope or-" "And, I'd be the A-List Perfect Girl," Shirley said while making haughty gestures and primping her hair. Just the opposite of the focused, driven person we were all getting to know. As shocked as I was, I was able to laugh and add, "And, I'd be the resident, eclectic artist slash nerd slash class slut." Luis chose that moment to turn towards us. "Hmm ... I don't know. Being associated with an artist is bad enough for a Jock, and it does nothing for my A-List status. But, an artist that is a nerd?" That got all of us laughing harder. "What about me being a slut?" "Why don't you show me, little girl?" He said with an exaggerated leer, pushing one eyebrow up in his head, and waving an imaginary cigar around. "Is that the Empire State Building in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" I retorted in my best Mae West voice and sexy moves. "Why don't you come sit in my lap and we'll see what comes up." "When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better." The whole table joined in throwing out their best lines. Hey, we're teenagers. Our life has been too short take things too seriously! I'm amazed, though, at the number of classic film buffs. Luis, struggling for breath, said, "Well ... Ahem ... Glad to see we're all so focused. Serious..." That got everyone going again. "Okay, okay! Let's focus for a minute. I think we all agree that something has to change with Reasonable Requests." The nodding heads were unanimous. "Now, instead of sixteen of us trying to come up with something, how about two or three of us work out something that the rest of us can consider, tweak, add to, or approve?" "Sure!" "Perfect!" "Great." "Kewl." And on. "Any volunteers before I pick them?" Chris Flanagin spoke up immediately, "I'll do it. The Jock/Debate Nerd to the rescue!" If he was seeking snickers, he got them. "Baseball? A sport? The players Jocks?" Luis growled. "Better than that pansy-assed game called Feetsball," Chris growled in return. Everyone at the table was losing it; their caricature of jocks was too much. The rolling on the floor began when Luke, all five foot, a half, and a smidgen, stood and did his impersonation of a Pro Wrestler posing. "You puny punks ain't got nothin' on us B-Ball players!" Eventually, My Mountain got them settled down. Chris, Shirley, and Jane took on Reasonable Requests. Luis, Luke, and Paul tackled sports and uniforms. Tim, Stacy, and Margie joined to address extra-curricular activities. Margie's pronouncement that plays with random naked characters were insane assured her position. "We spend weeks, sometimes months, costuming a play. Finding out five days before an opening that a lead character is going to be nude is just plain stupid. Plus, we use the costumes to hide props and in some cases safety devices--like a harness when a character 'flies.'" I felt Luis about to object to her deeper involvement, until we could all see the fire in her eyes and how important this was to her. While the others talked about connections, preventing another Will, and our "bet", I looked at Luis and felt my insides melt. Could I be this in love, this quickly? What is love anyway? 'You know it when you feel it!' 'Thanks, Muse.' 'No need to be sarcastic with me!' 'Sorry, this is just hard to figure out.' 'And easy, once you know it in your heart.' 'But, how will I know?' 'Your heart knows for sure, it is a matter of seeing if your mind thirsts for the same. Your body will know by how it ... well, fits.' 'That explains Luis. But, what about Rosalee?' 'What about her?' 'I feel it in my heart. So far, our bodies seem to fit.' 'Your mind?' 'Turmoil.' 'You need to figure out what it is thirsting for. Whether it is the love of another or the lust of an attraction, or the exploration of something new.' 'I need to learn to listen to myself and then trust it?' 'Bingo! You know, this is the longest conversation we've had this week.' 'I'm hiding again, aren't I?' 'A blinding glimpse of the obvious.' 'Back to sarcasm?' I felt her smile at me. I pulled myself together and looked at Luis. Really looked at him. At the same time, I could see Rosalee. I felt myself take a deep breath and realized that with that simple act how deep he was already inside me. And, how right it felt. Not manic, not obsessive. Not needy. Just right. Rosalee... I feel something strong in my heart. My body definitely responds to her. It is my mind that hasn't decided- "Cara Micina mia? Are you okay?" My Mountain whispered in my ear. I turned into him and looked up at those wonderful, dark eyes. Once again, I saw his soul, how open he was with me. Now it is my turn. "Pondering, my sweet." "About?" "My love for you ... and, how I feel about Rosalee." There, I said it. Now, how will he react? "And?" I used my artist's eyes to study his face, seeing the muscles and the subtleties of his feelings expressed there. He was ... calm. Loving. Respectful. Above all, deeply concerned. My Muse was right, I'd know. I did. "I feel so sure about you. It's how I feel for Rosalee that concerns me." There. I admitted it. His eyes and face softened and became more loving. Damn! "I'm here for you and to help anyway I can." It's a damn good thing I was already in love with him. My body and soul wanted to climb into his lap right there and start making babies. My mind was trying to find all its pieces from the fracturing his non-judgmental support had given it. "I just can't figure it out." While a huge part of me wanted to run, hide, and cry, I managed to stay in the present. "You were just talking to your Muse, weren't you?" The acquisition started to rip through me ... until I saw the love in his eyes. He wasn't accusing me, just seeking confirmation for an observation, trying to understand himself how far into my head he was getting. "You know about her?" "Of course and I'm glad you have her." "Why?" "She helps you be you. As I told you a day or so ago, she's the 'you' you want to be. I'd be a damn fool not to love her. So, what did she tell you?" "It's more what I told her that I think I need to tell you." He nodded. "We talked about love and how I would know." I paused as I read his face and eyes. I had to know how he was reacting. Okay, so I didn't trust one hundred percent, yet. Hey, this is new to me. Looking at him, I knew I could trust. There was also a trace of a smile on his lips. A joyous smile. I can do this. It is right and it does fit. "I know I love you with all my heart, my mind, and my body." Before I had a chance to assess his reaction, he ... enveloped me? Yep. Enveloped. He wrapped his arms, body, mind, and soul around me. I let go and did the same. "I love you, completely," He said, so softly. Yet, it screamed through every fiber of my being. It was finishing the perfect painting, a great orgasm, and talking to God all rolled into one. Just hugging, looking into each other's eyes--in a crowded cafeteria--became the most intimate moment of my life. Slowly, we returned to the room and the questions in my mind. I could feel him coming with me. That was intense. "And?" He knew the right moment, even. "Rosalee." Knowing what he was asking. "And?" "I'm confused!?!" "Tell me." It wasn't a demand. He was lovingly opening a space of trust, lined with silk and with his strength, for me to walk into and share with him. "I'm concerned about you and how all this will affect you." "Don't be. Your happiness is all I seek. True happiness, not self-destructive 'happiness' like hiding." "Caught me! Okay, my heart has feelings. Similar but different from you. My body definitely responds to her. It's my mind that is confused." "You need to spend time getting to know her. I mean, while we've not known each other deeply, we have, for many years, at least been around each other. Then, Monday night, we-" "Connected." "Yes. You need to find out if the same thing happens with Rosalee." "Why would you want me to?" "Because I love you." His words traveled through me. My body resonated, my soul cheered, my mind saw the logic, and it ... fit. "I will." Now I have seen a smile split a face and a soul radiate joy out of the eyes. The dear, sweet man put an arm around Rosalee and pulled her towards us. "Rosalee," he said, "I think you and Becky need to have a talk." I felt my skin heat from her blush. "No, no, no. Nothing bad." He paused as he looked back at me, then her again. "I know you feel something for Becky." She nodded. "And, Becky feels something for you. You two need to figure out what it is." "B-But ... Wait! I'm not getting between you two ... You're not breaking up are you?" "Not planning on it." "Well ... How do I fit?" "Don't know. Plus, it's really not up to me." "Huh?" Rosalee gasped. "What!?!" I exclaimed. "It's not. This is something you two need to work out. Just as Becca and I have to figure us out." "What about you and I?" Rosalee asked him. "We'll have to see. I don't know you well, but when you and Becca figure things out, we'll have to figure us out, won't we?" "So," I said, "This all comes down to me?" Luis laughed. Remind me not to slap his arm. That hurts me! Like hitting a rock! "In a way, you are key to what happens with Rosa and me." "Rosa?" We both asked him at the same time. "Do you mind?" My Mountain asked her. I got it right away. He was offering Rosalee his beloved grandmother's name. Why does melting feel so good? "M-My father called me that ... be-before he was k-killed." Tears were running down her face. "I-I'd ... be ... honored." "Rosalee, are you sure?" I felt tears on my cheeks as I leaned across Luis to see her. Our eyes locked. Oh. My. God! I'm going to leave a big puddle. Big enough that someone might need to think about building an ark. Right here. Right now. "Would you call me that too?" She looked so hopeful when she asked me. "I will." A certainty spread through me. "May I call you Becca?" I would never have guessed she was so vulnerable, at least showing it to us. Before I could tell her to ask Luis, he broke in. "I don't have a problem." "Rosa, welcome to our world!" I said. "What do I call you?" She asked Luis. "Anything-" he started to say. "Our Mountain," I said for him. It felt right to me. He and I looked at each other in the eyes. We did it again, that connection. We gave each other our souls. Our minds joined around it. Without thought, our lips touched. A half-a-second or 65 million years later, we parted. Yet another lesson in relativity. He'll get me hooked on physics yet. Rosa's voice gently rolled onto our cloud with a long drawn out, "Hell-o?!?" Was that desire for both of us? Damn, this is confusing. "Uhm ... I think I need to get this meeting back on track," he managed to get out of his mouth. "Becca, I think you broke him," My other sweetie said. I finally managed to open my eyes. The poor boy did look shell-shocked. "Not broken. Doing just fine," he said drunkenly. Junior looked like he was doing great, though. "I think that I need to conduct an experiment," Rosa said. With that, she wrapped her arms around Luis's neck and pulled him into a kiss. Suddenly, I could feel their lips together. And, not just with my artist's sight, but felt it. I knew the moment their lips opened and when and how their tongues danced. I was in the kiss. I was in both their hearts. My body responded as if they were both kissing me. Oh boy, did it respond. I felt them breaking the kiss. That moment where they were still actively engaged in it, but mutually ending it. It was too soon! God, I could have tripped over the edge into the abyss if... "Wow!" They said simultaneously. "Look, we broke her!" Rosa's voice filtered through my clouds. "Oh. My. God! I almost ... Almost... ," I tried to say. "Came?" Rosa completed for me. "Did you guys feel-" Luis managed to say. We both nodded our heads. "We still have one more test," Rosa said, giving me a definite look. The look changed to ... I saw her. Her soul. Just like I could see Luis's. "Whoa... ," I heard from Our Mountain as Rosa and I leaned into each other, across his chest. Quickly, the heat built as we got closer. I could taste and feel her before our lips met. As soon as they did ... I felt her soul. No. Not felt. Became. Rational thought left ... Yes, we were leaning across Our Mountain's chest, yet his soul, lips, and being were ... Joined? Yes, joined with me. Slowly, after a very nice tongue waltz, we pulled apart. Our eyes locked. I felt her within me, strong. I also felt Luis inside me, yet he wasn't inside Rosalee and she wasn't inside him. This I need to think about. We smiled at the same time and sat up. "Wow!" Rosa said. "Yes!" I agreed. "Well, I have an early analysis of the testing," she said. "Let me guess, you and I were fun, nice, and sweet. You and Becca were intense and connected," Our Mountain said. "Exactly. I have a connection with Becky I've never felt before." "I felt both of you inside me, no matter who was kissing who. On the last one, I felt both of you inside me, but Luis wasn't inside you." "So, what now?" Rosa and Luis asked at the same time. "I don't know why you're looking to me for answers!" "Well, you're the central point in this." "I-I don't want to be. I mean, I started this week off as my perfect hidden self. And, two and a half days later I find myself with two exceptionally strong ... connections?" "Good word for it," My, Our, Mountain agreed. "Look, what I feel for Rosa is affection. Maybe it becomes love as we get to know each other. I don't feel-" "In love?" Rosa finished for him. "Exactly. But I do feel that for Becca and I'm pretty sure you two feel that way for each other." "How do you feel about it?" I had to ask him. "Happy. Joyously happy for you. Concerned." "Why? Explain. And, remember-" "Yes, hoisted by my own words, so to speak. Honestly, I am happy that you've broken out of the trap you've been in for five years. In joy that we have such an incredible connection. Concerned for you--this is so much, so fast." "Sweetie, that's a fear of mine. But, so far, I haven't felt ... threatened?" I really hadn't felt threatened. "Everything I've done and felt with you, and wanted to do, doesn't seem to be something I would regret later. Just the opposite! Not taking advantage of this week would be something to regret." "Thanks, Becca. One thing does bother me." "What's that, sweetie?" "Rosa's age." I hadn't thought about that. I wonder what else I've been missing. "This is a good time to talk about that," Rosa said. "I heard you mention honesty. While I'm two grades behind you guys, I'm only a few months younger." "How?" Luis asked just before I could. "I'm a military brat and went to local schools overseas. When I came back, in the 3rd grade, they held me back a year. I could have easily advanced, but I was having way too much fun. That, on top of the birthday cutoff, I just missed by a day. If my mom had not pushed for about another hour..." "Why didn't you go forward?" I asked. "Honestly?" "We demand it!" I said, as both Luis and I smiled. "Kewl. Well, I'm headed for a life and career in classical music. I want to conduct one day. As soon as you get to a conservatory, your life becomes music; the pressure is intense. I want to enjoy my teenage years. Thus, Rosalee--Trailer Trash Slut." "And, now?" "This insane ride called the Program made me realize that I needed ... No, I wanted to grow up and stop playing." I looked into her eyes and saw the truth. Then, Rosalee being Rosalee struck again, "Where are you guys thinking about going to college?" "Why?" "I can be there with you next year." "You-" "Would?" I had to interrupt Luis. "If there is a good music school." "UT-Austin, USC, Illinois, the Boston area, Atlanta..." Our Mountain said, sadly it seemed. "I'm..." "Confused?" Rosa jumped in before I could. "No shit. Right now, as much as is happening, I have to focus on East. Without that win, I might not have the college choices for football. Yet, I also want to study physics." "Have you and Becca talked about it?" "Given his preferences, I won't have a problem finding a good art school." "So, your choice, Luis?" She asked. "That is the sixty-four million dollar question." We could both tell he was starting to pull into himself. "Rosa, he's torn between what could happen with his football career and his love of theoretical physics." "Ah! The Jock/Nerd Conflict." Which got us all laughing. Luis shuttered, as if clearing his body of something. "I think your father had the right idea, Becca. Pursue football as long as it's still fun. Learn and grow that side while I can. Academically, set myself up for graduate work in physics." "Okay. I've missed a lot of the background. I want to catch up, but what does that mean now?" Thank you Rosa for asking that! I gave her a smile and a wink, which she caught the full meaning of and gave it back. Our Mountain, bless his huge heart, missed it. "USC, UT-Austin, and Illinois come to the top of my list. Others might argue, but I feel I would fit both academically and athletically. Well, USC and Texas tied for first. Illinois third, but not a distant third." I had to laugh. My Mountain looked hurt a bit until our eyes connected. "Dinner last night comes back to haunt me?" He saw the agreement in me and smiled. That led me to filling Rosa in on the conversation and us wishing Our Mountain luck with his dreams. I could see that LA or Austin would fit with her dreams as it would with mine. The three of us moved inside ourselves, yet the energy between us deepened. In that moment, I understood what Luis meant by the Monkey Brain. There were no voices in my head. It was ... Joy! Peace. Powerful. I moved inside Luis as he moved into me. I felt his heart as ours synced and became one. And a third presence came inside me and I into her. I could feel, as did Rosalee, that Luis could sense our connection, yet wasn't directly a part of it. And, it felt ... right. No voices. No confusion. Just... Love. A happy tear fell from eye just as I saw one from Rosa. Luis hugged us both tighter and time become unimportant, yet critical. "Coach?" Shirley's voice brought us back to the moment. Judging by the other two, we all had shit-eating grins on our faces. "Connection time?" Feeling Luis's voice coming from inside me was intense. "Ah, my team ... Such horrible task masters!" As the chuckles died down, we wordlessly paired with others that we didn't know that well. Amazing that just using eye contact we found our partners to begin a new connection. Tim and I found each other as The Trio slowly disengaged. We might be physically apart, but maintained a new, deeper connection. 'I should be scared.' 'No reason to. Just listen to your heart.' 'Thanks Muse.' 'Love Ya!' Tim and I sat facing each other and began talking. In a very short time, I learned a lot about him. I found it easy to see that he would be a great actor, he generally loved life, but there was a deep sense of ... angst. Yes, angst. Not a word used often in high school. As it turns out, his parents are fundamentalist Christians and hated everything he represented. "I hid from everyone and everything, even the love of my parents, because of my stupid perceptions. I can't imagine trying to hide from the disapproval of my parents." "Well ... one thing it has done is made me look deep inside. I found myself and the strength to continue being me, regardless of my parents." "So, your parents really hate you wanting to go into the theater?" "Well, that and ... uhm... ," he blushed a bit. Then, it was almost as if he exploded when he told me, "I'm gay. I-I think." He carefully watched my reaction. For some reason, I was shocked or surprised. Or maybe just curious. Almost an accusation, he said, "You don't have a problem with that?!?" "Tim, think about it. You 'think' you're gay. I was just in terminal lip lock with Rosalee. Why would I find anything wrong with it? And ... I keep noticing your eyes flick downward when we're talking." He started to object. "I'm a trained observer. Don't try to pretend. You may be a great actor on stage, but your heart is giving you away. And, let's not forget how you look at Shirley." He just looked at me like Luis had hit him from behind. "Think about this. Monday morning I was asexual. Heck, I was anti-sexual. Now, I'm becoming a confirmed bisexual--while still a virgin! Tell me about the possibility of being confused." "Well, fine. But, it's okay for women to be bisexual. Hell, it is almost expected by most males!" We both laughed about that. "But, males have to be hetero or homo. In between is not accepted by either side." Tim saw it hit me as I processed the injustice of that surviving to this day. Looking each other in the eye, a connection of understanding and respect built. "It's good to know I have one person in my corner." "More than you think." We shared a smile. "Time to switch," came My Mountain's voice. Before we could say thanks and move on, Chris Flanagin spoke up, "Coach. I think we all need to hear, share, one story." A quick scan of the table and Luis gathered attention. It was easy to see that everyone had been deeply sharing. Tim and I weren't the only ones with a new connection. "Well, this is supposed to be about creating individual connections." "Coach, this is worth it. And, it's the right time." Luis thought for a second and nodded his go-ahead to Chris. Chris stood, walked behind Ginny, and placed his hands gently on her shoulders. Bending down, he whispered in her ear. She straightened up and looked at each one of us. Her face was a mixture of pain and ... sorrow, with a dose of loss and anger. For a moment, I could see the scars on her soul. "I've been raised by my Aunt and Uncle for as long as I can remember. That is until a couple of weeks ago..." Her voice faded out. Her face went through another maelstrom of emotions. I thought one of them resembled the look of someone being hit in the stomach with a baseball bat. Deep pain with a full-body reaction. Chris diligently rubbed her shoulders while Paul Templer held her hand. She slipped back into this reality with a new determination and resolve. "I told myself, convinced myself, that my parents had died in a car accident." She took a deep, ragged breath. And another. "I had ... a moment-" "You might call it that," Paul said with nothing but love and support in his voice, now holding one of her hands with both of his. "Okay, as Paul," She gave him a look of pure adoration, "Has hinted, reality came along and crashed into my carefully built fantasy. I found a picture of my parents a-and ... a-and ... th-that night came back." With tears streaming down her face, Paul supporting and not smothering her, and Chris standing by steadfastly as a friend, she continued, her voice stronger. "My dad came home ... a-a bit in his cups. He and mom fought. And ... a-and ... she-she pushed him." A deep breath. A new river of tears. "He ... He reacted. I know he didn't mean to-but-he-hit-her-I-could-see-it-in-his-eyes-as-soon-as-it-happened-and ... and ... she fell back and hit her h-head on-on the fireplace." There was a collective whoosh as we all inhaled. Suddenly, we were all watching a car wreck and wanting to scream, "WATCH OUT" or cover our eyes, yet... "I could suddenly remember Mom's head hitting the bricks. The blood. Her-her e-eyes as they lost life. My Dad's wail. The burn of tears on my face and in my throat as I screamed." A car wreck would have been a walk in the park. Central Park at midnight with a neon sign proclaiming "Cash and diamonds on board". Then, the writer in me went on vacation as the rawness of the emotions was too much for words. The artist could only see black and crimson. "M-My D-Dad ... He-He threw himself on her. Tried. Cried. Stood up. Pull a gun from his shoulder holster. P-Put it i-in his mouth..." 'OH GOD! DON'T SAY IT!' My Muse screamed in my head. "And p-pulled the trigger. All I remember after is a hot, pink rain." She shuddered. Paul and Chris held her together. Somehow. My Mountain, Our Mountain, had his arm around me. Rosa's hand was in mine. Tim was gripping my other hand. All around the table I could see the physical, mental, and spiritual connections. Joined. Supporting. Absorbing this as a whole so we could give our love and support back to Ginny. We absorbed it as one. No stories of our own. No pity. No sympathy. Just empathy returned. "Oh, Damn! Thank you!" Ginny cried to all of us. Her voice becoming frantic. "Dr. C was so right. This was the group to tell my story to. Tha-" She stopped so suddenly it shocked all of us. "Ginny," My (Our) Mountain said in a voice so pure and soft it traveled through all of us, straight into our souls. "We're here for you." She shuddered and almost collapsed. Yet managed to look around the table. Into each of us. When her eyes connected with mine, I couldn't not open myself completely to her. When she finished with everyone, in a voice that rang like a pure, crystal bell, "Thank you." Chris stood her up, turned her towards him, and hugged her. Then Paul. Then everyone at the table. When I pulled her into my arms, I felt our hearts touch. In that moment, I really understood the power of a hug. Slowly, we all settled into our original seats. "Thank you, Dr. C," Ginny said to her absent hero. "Thank you, Ginny," Our Mountain said, with all of us agreeing. Ginny took a few seconds to gather herself and then she raised her empty hand as if holding a goblet and toasted all of us. After a few minutes, or a hundred years, of just being in the space around us, we all came back to the moment. Ginny's tears hadn't abated, just the energy had been redirected. "I just 'knew' that the reason my mother had confronted my father that night was because of the toys I had left on the floor-and-that-she-had-been-mad-at-me-just-before-he-came-in-and-it-was-all -my-fault-because-I-didn't-pick-them-up-and ... and ... Now, I know better. Now, I really know it wasn't my fault. I'm not to blame." Talk about hearing a pin drop. Although the touches, looks, and silent communications went into high gear. As we were all beginning to collapse from the emotional marathon, Our Mountain spoke again. With a squeeze around my shoulders and the instant response from Rosa's hand, he said, "Ginny ... For your courage, thank you. For your trust in us, thank you. For sharing yourself and accepting us so deeply, thank you." Ginny cried. Part release, part pure joy. I know I joined her. Then another of Luis's patented time distortions occurred. Eventually, conversations resumed. Touches and reassurances to Ginny. Affirmations of life and love to each other. "He's good," I said. "Luis?" A few people asked. "Well... , Yes! But I was thinking of Dr. Cavenaugh." Another pin had the opportunity to ring out as we fell into another of Luis's time black holes. Then Rosa spoke up, "Sooooo ... Here we're all Nekkid. And..." Both of us kissed her. I got her lips! And, conversations resumed. We all paid attention to Ginny, but didn't smother her. Eventually, she laughed at something Paul said to her and we collectively let out a sigh of relief. Once things returned to normal, as normal as sixteen naked people can be sitting around the lunchroom, Luis said, "My Becca, I really, really need to go to the training rooms. I'm tightening up badly." "I know sweetie. We'll carry on the connections and I'll leave a little early and see you before my PE class." "I'll see you inside the boy's locker room then." "In?" "I only have to 'change' and shower in the girl's. All the training equipment is in the boy's. So, I'll see you there!" "I love you." "And, I you." He looked inside me and I knew it was not some automatic response. "Luis, you headed to the gym?" Luke asked, breaking the spell and pulling us back to the moment. "Yep." "Spot me?" "After I get a whirlpool." "No probs. I'll just use the 12 armed monster until then." "Twelve-armed-" Rosa started. "-Monster?" I finished. "Oh hell, Luis. They're already in sync. You, sir, are in deep shit," Luke stated with a shake of his head accompanied by a snort, then a laugh. "But, what a way to go." Luke could only nod while Our Mountain turned to us. "The Monster is a weight training machine that ... Why don't you both come check it out before PE?" "We'll see." I gave him a kiss intending to curl his toes. It must have rebounded. Through my self-induced haze, I watched as Rosa kissed him as well. Through our connections, my toes did it again. As he and Luke walked away, I couldn't help but notice how big he really is. Rosa's arm found its way around my waist as mine went on the same mission around her. "I can see why you call him Mountain. Walking next to Luke, he's..." "Huge?" "Yep. A mountain!" We look in each other's eyes and started giggling. Shirley's voice brought our attention back to the table. Darn, another of those time-warp thingies. "I'm having a Naked Party Saturday night. Come dressed as you like, as long as you're as free as you are now." Margie, bless her over-organized heart, passed out invitations. "Now," Shirley continued, "switch partners. But, not the way three of us have been." Rosa and I gave each other sunburn. We also gave each other a kiss and a promise to leave lunch together before we began shuffling spots at the table. Margie looked at me and said, "I think we'll have lots of time to talk, don't you?" A smile spread across my face and being, "You better believe it." I got a wonderful smile in return. We both sought out new partners. Calvin Johnson, Mr. President of the Freshman Class and future President of the US, paired up with me. I'd like to say I was open and present for our conversation, but I really wasn't. I did learn a lot about Cal and one day I might be able to replay the conversation and sort it out. Luis and Rosa kept bubbling up, playing their stories, as Luis would say. Ginny drifted in and out of my thoughts, making my old fears seem so small and petty. The changes I'm going through were a brass band marching through my skull. College. Virginity--and, hopefully, it's loss. To both Luis and Rosa. Rosa danced through my soul. Luis's strong arms gave my heart comfort. My parents. My Muse... 'If you don't get your head out of your ass and connect to the present, nothing good is going to happen.' 'In other words, breathe?' 'As the Master would say ... DOH!' "I'm sorry Cal. My mind is wandering too much. It's not you." "Me too, Becky. That was a hell of a story Ginny had to tell." "That and so much more." "Been a chaotic week?" "Very." "Next week, then. Or the week after. Sometime, we can continue, if you want." He looked so vulnerable, not like his normal persona. "I'd like that. I see you've been through a bit this week as well." "We all hide, just in different ways. This week tends to beat that out of you." "Well said!" Shirley's voice rose above the conversations again. "I think we're all on the edge of burnout." There was near unanimous verbal and physical agreement. "Between this week, our role as 'ambassadors', our new mission to change the Program, revelations..." "And not just Ginny's," Margie said. "We've all been going through revelations about self, friends ... family," That got a few chuckles. "Someone told me that Wednesday is 'the Day' in the Program. Chaos. Confusion. Overload. Overwhelm..." "Well said, Margie," Shirley said with nods all around. "Let's just take the remaining time as we each need to." Chairs began to squeak on the floor as everyone prepared to get up. "But, before we go, one last thing we need to do." She put her hand, palm up, over the center of the table. "Nakeds on three." We all stacked our hands. The energy was incredible. It just built and built the joy, the love, the confusion, and the doubts. Our team, I thought. "1... 2... 3..." "NAKEDS!" We were one in the moment, sharing our strength and energy to handle this week. We slowly broke, each making a connection through eyes and sometimes touch. Rosa and I rejoined. "Are you as confused, conflicted, and uncertain as I am?" She asked as our arms 'assumed the position' around each other's waist and headed towards the doors. "Do you feel like your world exploded and you're having trouble finding all the pieces, much less putting them back together?" "Yep." "Then, yes. I feel all that. Confused, confounded, and conflicted." We looked at each other and laughed together. A quick kiss, then she asked, "Where to?" "Let's go where we can watch Our Mountain and talk." "Perfect!" Our arms tightened as one, we joined physically as we walked through the doors. A bit of a giggle, a bit of a flirt, some uncertainty, and a ton of love. Maybe I'll not only survive this day, but also come out of it wonderfully. Let me see ... My Mountain! Rosalee?! Bye-bye virginity?!? The new artist emerges? And"Rebbecca, are you posing today in art?" Rashad's distinctive voice asked. ------ Chapter 23: Wednesday Afternoon "Take it Easy" Luis "How's this week going for you?" Luke Nguyen asked me as we left the cafeteria. "Intense." As I reflected on the whole experience, "My life has been hauled out from all the rocks I was hiding it under. Many of the slimy things I wasn't aware of. You?" He gave a snort, "About the same. Amazing the things that come out from under those rocks." "Tch... , no shit. On Monday morning, my main focus was East. Now..." "Confundium?" "Exactly! Perfect word." "Rebbecca and Rosalee?" "Strange, ain't it." Before my mind could venture into that maze looking for cheese, I decided to change the subject. "Have you hooked up with anyone this week?" "Welllll ... Maybe." "Kewl. Who?" "Ah ... You may not approve." "As long as it's not my sister," I half joked. My sister? NO! She's just a little girl that should still be playing with dolls and having tea parties with her imaginary friends. "I'd better shut up. I'd make a lousy tackling dummy." I sighed. Damn. "As long as you don't intentionally hurt her." "Not my style," he exhaled as he relaxed. "We're just trying to figure this out ourselves." "I know that feeling all too well!" "You and Rebbecca I can see. You two were made for each other. But, how does Rosalee fit?" "I think she's fun and nice and all that, but I think she fits with Becca, not me." "Sounds serious." "Well, compared to how I feel for Becca..." Luke pulled himself up to his full height and tried to look threatening, except for the smile. "Just don't hurt her or I'll-" I growled at him playfully. Sorta playful. I guess. After a look at his expression, "Just practicing my game face." "God, I almost feel sorry for East." He was a bit pale but stood his ground. I nodded. We feel into an easy silence as we headed into the boy's locker room. We walked through the doors and into the "inner sanctum" of the Testosterone Temple. "This feels strange, like we're doing something wrong," he said. "Yeah, it does. Have you enjoyed the girl's?" "You'd better believe it!" "We've been working so hard all week, it's empty by the time practice is over. At least I get peace in the showers." "I've been getting piece as well." "As long as-" "I'll see you in the weight room, right?" "Yeah. Weights. You have to be careful, accidents can happen." "Chill. I respect her, okay?" "Yeah, it's just-" "She's your baby sister." "Yeah," I sighed. "Let me soak for fifteen minutes and I'll come spot you. I promise to behave." I stuck out my hand and we shook. Then I remembered the messages. "I noticed you got a note at lunch." "No big. I was planning on being at Media Day anyway. Coach just wanted me to hang around after for a few minutes." "Me too. Any idea why?" "Nope. I guess we'll find out." We split and headed our own way. In a few moments, I was lowering myself into the big whirlpool tank. I took a chance and just hit play on the boom box and the Eagles started crooning 'Well I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load... " Good advice. I relaxed and let my muscles go as limp as I could, while letting the heat and the jets do the rest. While breathing as deeply as I could in my relaxation meditation technique, I managed to disconnect my protective-older-brother circuit and took a look at Margie. Our Margaretta was a very cute girl. No. Beautiful. Her skin is lighter than mine and with the hair she's been growing since, well -"forever, she has quite an exotic look. A ball of energy combined with the Contadino compassionate streak, the ability to make herself invaluable, and seeks no reward other than doing an excellent job -" she's got tons going for her. Okay, I could see how a guy like Luke could be attracted to her. I could also see how my precious sorellina could go for Luke. He's like a foot shorter than I am, yet hell-on-wheels on the basketball court. I've seen him out jump guys taller than me. Plus, he's going to probably grow another foot in the next few years. Aside from all that, he seems to have his head screwed on straight. Although he paled at my growl, he still stood up to me. Something many guys approaching my size won't do. Margie could do a lot worse. Damn! I missed the entire song while thinking about that. I stretched, hit the back button, and decided to take it easy. For real this time. It's a shame Jacuzzi or someone didn't make tubs like this for the home. Then again, most people would feel beat up by the pulsing action. To me, the high setting felt great. But, then again, I liked hitting offensive linemen. Go figure. To the average person, it would probably feel like a few rounds with the World Heavyweight Champion. Ahh... Damn! I missed the song again! A much more relaxed arm hit the replay button. Again. Just as I was losing myself in the melodies of the Eagles, "Where's your rubber dickee?" "Well, if it isn't the hollow dick. Girls still running in terror ... No, wait. Collapsing in laughter." Mike Holloway, offensive lineman and his own zip code, settled into the tub next to me. "I hear you're striving to be a great wit-" "And, I'm halfway there, right?" I cut him off, with a grin. "Oh, my. The science puke is studying languages now. You might even work up to real subjects soon." Mike was the resident student of philosophy and Western Thought. "You know what happened to the first great philosopher, don't you?" "It was brilliant. He chose the moral path, following his own convictions." "I thought his last words were, 'I drank what?'" "Jeez! Quoting 'Real Genius'? Are the only movies you watch science based?" We shared an easy laugh. Then a serious mood settled over me. "So, Mike, how do we beat East?" "Carefully." I just raised my eyebrow and he got it. Game time. Not only did I miss the song again, I missed the next few as we talked The Game. We both knew this game would define our high school careers and the pressure was on. The press and pundits were favoring our powerhouse rivals. We knew better. We just had to turn our thoughts into actions. We compared notes and observations, tried to poke holes in our game plan, and reviewed all we knew about East. Shit. I missed the whole album! "Mike, I need to get out. I promised Luke Nguyen I'd spot him in the weight room." "Dude! Cavorting with roundball dweebs now? Have you no shame?" "Dude? Gone surfer on us?" We tried out game faces on each other. We broke up in laughter at the same time. "Let's humiliate them, Mike." "Deal." I managed to haul my boneless butt out of the tub, dry off, and flow over to the weight room. Luke was finishing a set of leg exercises on the twelve-arm monster. "Ready for a real workout?" "Bench press," he said with conviction. In a soft voice, "Don't look, but we have an audience." I helped him put a respectable 100 kilos on the bar and managed to discreetly check out the voyeurs. Rosa and Becca, arms around each other, were blatantly checking us out, mixed with whispers and giggles. When they caught me looking, I got a big wink from each. ------ Rebbecca "Art? Posing?" Rosalee asked in response to Rashad's questions, the hallway was it's normal lunchtime zoo. "Hi, Rashad," I said, trying to pull myself back to the moment. Turning to Rosa, "Rashad and I are in an advanced art class." "Ah, makes sense. So, are you going to pose?" she asked me with a smoky look in her eyes. Damn! "I hope not. I discovered a new depth to my painting yesterday. With this week being so crazy, the only time I've had in front of an easel is in art and during the early afternoon. I have to see if yesterday was a fluke or for real, so I really need time to paint." "Well, maybe you can pose for me sometime," Rosa said. Rashad forgotten for the moment as our eyes locked and souls opened. "Then, I have a request," his voice breaking our interlude. "I'd like you to pose for me this afternoon." "I really need easel time, Rashad." "It's a reasonable request." There was something in Rosa's eyes I didn't quite get, but she was uncomfortable. With me? "Rashad, another time, please?" "We'll talk in art," he snipped. After a glare at Rosa, he turned and walked off. "He's creepy," Rosalee stated. "What? Rashad? No. He's just an artist. We're all strange." "The way he was looking at you. Creepy." "Is that why you tensed up?" "Yep." "I thought there was something, I mean ... You and me..." Damn! My cheeks are getting wet, again. She hugged me and all my worries vanished. "It's been a real emotional roller coaster for you this week, hasn't it?" "To say the least." "And, now I'm in the mix." "Yeah." "Should I be?" "YES!" Oops. Too desperate. Breathe. Relax. Have fun! "Don't you dare think about getting out of my life now." She caught my grin, which broke the tension and got us to laughing. Wrapping her arm around me, she leered and said, "Come with me little girl and I'll teach you the ways of women." "Oh no, Auntie. I'm just a wittle girl." We laughed and giggled all the way to the gym. She held the boy's locker room door open for me. "Right this way, orgy central!" "Nooo! Anything but ... S-E-X!" There were a couple of guys changing that just blushed, stared, and tried to cover the naughty bits. "That's okay, boys. Nothing we ain't seen before." Grabbing my hand, she pulled me towards the back. We entered a realm unlike anything on the girl's side. Oh, we had offices and a couple of training rooms. This was like comparing a shanty to the Taj Mahal. Offices, training rooms, a room with huge tubs, meeting rooms ... Wow! I guess it is true, football and basketball are the money sports. We settled into a room across from the weight room to watch. Luke was working on this ... thing? Yes, thing with twelve arms! I got it. A resistance machine. Except, this was nothing like the ones I've seen advertised. I took a good look at Luke, who was moving his legs. As he did, a few of the arms moved. He looked good. I wondered what My Mountain would look like doing that. Maybe later. I turned to Rosalee. "So, what are we?" "Good question." She looked deeply inside me and our connection came back, without the physical contact. "But, I'm afraid we're moving too fast." "I-I don't have a reference..." She felt me beginning to collapse and wrapped me up in her arms and love. "I really don't either. I've never been in love before." "Well, it sounds like we need to figure all this out together. And with Our Mountain." "I think he is yours." "It doesn't bother me, you with him." "Thanks. I think it would be fun, but..." "Not the main attraction?" We both giggled at that. "I think you and he need to get closer before you and I do much more than kiss and cuddle." "Okay." Why did I feel sad about that? How should I feel? Would I ever know? "No, really. Any plans?" I told her about my allies and my hopes and dreams for tonight. We glanced at Luke every now and then while she helped me plan. I'm sure there was more than one giggle shared. We shared lives. I was fascinated to learn about hers. Living overseas when she was really young, she is still fluent in German and Tagalog -"having found Internet groups to keep her immersed. I like music. Luis loves music. Rosa lives and breathes music. It was easy to tell her about my sex life. That took... 15 seconds! Okay, I had more to tell about this week. Prior to that, it was romance novels, the occasional story off the Net, and my fingers. She gave me a PhD level dissertation on hers. I know Luke must have thought we were nuts with all the laughing and giggling. Not to mention the occasional stare, checking out his fine, developing bod. "Oh, goodie," she whispered to me. "Your Mountain is coming." "Our Mountain." "I think for now, we should leave it as Your." "We'll see." Then he came into my line of vision. He was floating ... No, flowing into the weight room. Relaxed. Muscles loose. Not like his "game face", just relaxed. Rosa started to tell me all about what a wonderful 'weapon' he had between his legs. I blushed, giggled, told her what it felt like to hold it in my hand. She promised to help me deal with something that large. We occasionally caught him looking at us, so we would wink or bat our eyelashes, then giggle and laugh. Before things got too graphic, okay -"before things got to the live demonstrations on each other, darn it, the bell rang. Time for PE for me, Trig for Rosa. I believe Luis had AP Political Science. "Why don't I meet you after art," she said to me. "As long as you don't mind me painting." "I do want to see your work. If you're busy, I'll just work on homework." "I'd like that." We gave each other a wink with a promise. "Ladies!" My Mountain's boom voice flowed into the room. I launched myself into his arms while Rosa snuggled up to my back. "Ummm ... A Becca sandwich." "Delicious. Let's start nibbling!" Rosa whispered into my ear, loud enough for Luis to hear. He kissed me while she licked and sucked on my earlobe. I'd been on simmer since before lunch. They just kicked me up to boil. Suddenly, we broke apart, Rosa grabbed his hand, and started leading him towards the doors. "See you after art, cutie!" "I'll walk you to art, sweetie." I stomped my foot. "You can't leave me like this! It's unfair! Get me all turned on and just walk off! With each other!" "Maybe now you'll let someone help you out in the showers." They did come back and each gave me a tender kiss that promised a universe and lifetime of love. Damn them. I squished my way towards the lockers to put up my bag and jewelry, vowing to have fun in the shower. ------ Luis Rosa and I got into the hallway and just cracked up. "That was mean. Fun, but mean." "Rosa, she's been conflicted. At first, scared of the showers, then disappointed when nothing happened to her. Hopefully, she'll be a bit more aggressive about it today." "As I said, fun but mean." "Yep, let's go on to class." We started down the hall, side-by-side. "Are you going to ask for relief?" "My next class isn't one where, uhm..." "No suitable volunteers?" "Something like that. I know she's going to have volunteers in the showers. She got really turned on Monday." "Will you get jealous?" she asked, looking up at me. "Nope." I felt certain of that down to my bones. "Why not?" "We've talked about it, this week I mean. And ... I don't know, just won't." "Oookay. We can talk more about it later." She looked up at me, "Would she get jealous of us if I gave you relief?" I came to a full stop and looked over at her. "I thought we decided to hold off?" She wrapped her fingers around Junior while wrapping herself around my side, pressing her tits into my side. "It's just relief." "I don't feel right about this." Why did I have to groan in the middle of that! "He feels just fine with it!" And it felt just fine to me. Maybe Becca would understand ... Wait!! "Besides, just think I'm some random girl in class, but not someone in the class you're going to." The lines wrapping around the classroom came to mind and almost tripped me over right then. "I'm just some winner of the lottery." "Rosa!" Her hand speed up, her thumb running along the top in my second most perfect place and giving a little swipe across the head on each stroke. Her fingertips tickled my balls as she approached my body. "I'm..." My mouth stopped functioning. My hips began to meet her strokes. Somebody was making these incoherent sounds, kinda like grunts. Amazing! It was in time to her hand. "I'll take the blame, Luis. Now ... Come for me! Spray your seed. Shoot on the floor. Let me see your sperm! Show me what you're going to flood Becca's womb with." "Oh, YES!" My vision tunneled and suddenly I was looking up at the ceiling. One, two, threeeee, four distinct pulses before everything just quivered and oozed for a bit. "God, Yes! Nice. So much. So wonderful. Next time in my mouth!" She purred into my ear. Then she stood on her tippies and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you." Another student called out, "Clean up in aisle three!" It barely registered. Finally, my voice began making coherent sounds as my breath slowed. "I should be thanking you. Do you want me to-" "Nope. Not enough time. Besides, I don't have a problem with potential volunteers in my next class. I might even ask for the lottery. Sounds like fun." "It's unique. I've had a few guys in each line." "Not a problem for me." "I noticed!" "Bad boy, now get to class. I'll see you at Media Day." "You sticking around that long?" "Becca and I are going to hang after her art and my music class. I normally stay late as well, it's good practice time for me." "Yeah. Becca normally does as well. Well, see you at Media Day." That thought brought me down. "You don't sound thrilled about it." "A bunch of reporters hoping I'll fuck up and say something they can use as dirt? Yeah. Fun." She laughed at me, gave me a quick kiss, and headed off. Damn, she had a nice ass too. "Whoa! Are you and Becca broken up already?" asked a guy in my Poli Sci class as I walked in the door. "Nope. We're doing fine." My smile came quite naturally. "Cheating on her?" "Nope. That's her new girlfriend." At least I hope we didn't just cheat. "Whoa, dude!" He had a look of admiration as he headed towards his seat and I found mine. Before the teacher called the class to order, it would seem that Becca, Rosa, and I were the main topic of whispered conversations, pointed fingers, and incredulous stares. This is going to be a long class. ------ Rebbecca How many different ways can you hit a volleyball at a naked girl? I'm not sure, but my personal experience is a lot! Not that they were hitting them right at me. Just enough out of my reach that caused me to jump, stretch, and otherwise bounce my boobs and display my other bits. Instead of turning me on, it settled me down. Maybe I don't need relief in the showers. I wonder if Rosa gave Luis relief? He her? I'd like to see that. No. I'd like to participate, fully! TWEET. At least this time, I remembered to head towards the boy's. I stopped by my locker and took off my shoes, grabbed a towel, and walked to the shower. And stopped. Look at all those ... dicks. Cocks. Wangs. Peckers. All shapes and sizes, with more than one saluting my entrance. This could be fun. Yet... Why was I thinking about Luis? About Rosalee? "May I wash your back?" a male voice asked. "Sounds reasonable." "May I wash your front?" another male voice asked. I could only nod my head as the first set of hands began working the muscles of my shoulders. While four hands caressed my skin, my mind shut off. I totally surrendered to what, not who. The feeling of rough hands across my nipples sent shivers up through my head, rendering me incapable of speech. Again, across the sensitive buds, and shivers shot through my stomach and down my legs, rebounding off my feet and ended up getting caught between my legs. The hands on my back were massaging, relaxing, and traveling down over my ass. I found my legs opening without having to say anything to them. More hands were added to the mix. Some stroking my legs, adding to the fire already building inside me. Some on my arms, which led my hands to pulsing pieces of flesh for each. Satiny smooth on the outside and hard as iron on the inside. Instinctively, my fingers wrapped around them and began stroking, marveling at the texture. Hard, yet spongy. Then a valley and ridge before the end. A furry wall at the other end. Hands stroking. Fires building. Moans echoing off the tile walls. Flashes of light through my eyelids. Grunts and hips rocking on either side of me. The water flowing over all of us, hot and sensual. "Shit!" I heard on one side as a new warmth splashed on my legs. "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" Came from the other side as threads of warmth splattered onto my side and hips. "Oh! My! God!" A female voice echoed just before I stepped off the edge of the universe and my pussy exploded. As light returned to my eyes and slowly became boys in the showers, I could feel hands holding me up on shaking legs. My brain couldn't push words out of my mouth, but I felt my jaw moving up and down. "Thank you, Rebbecca." Came from the hands behind me. It was echoed around the shower. Slowly my legs began functioning again and my power of speech returned. "Thank all of you, that was nice." I did manage to get a quick wash, with a fair amount of help. I managed to help a few more appendages lose a load. I don't know why I find that fascinating. I guess because I don't have one. None of them hard were as big as Junior was soft, which made me wonder if I really, really could fit that monster inside me. Oh well, I'll find out tonight, if all works out. My list of co-conspirators just keeps growing. Dried and dressed -"I put on my shoes and jewelry and with bag on my shoulder -"I ventured into the hallway to find My Mountain waiting for me. He looked a little sheepish. I took his hand and started walking towards art. "What's wrong?" Was it me? No. Get off that line. "Umm ... Rosa gave me relief on my way to the last class." He looked cute with his head down. "Good for her." I slipped my arm around his back. I really did need longer arms. "You're not upset?" "After what happened to me in the shower, are you kidding?" He looked at me with a stunned look. "Even if it hadn't. I'm glad she did. You needed it." "Umm ... thanks. So, what happened in the shower?" He did pull me into a side-by-side hug. "Hands! Lots and lots of hands. And one very good orgasm on my part." I felt my face warming with that pronouncement. Even after doing what I did, I was embarrassed about saying it. "Now I have to figure out how to work 'many pricks a popping' into my new song." It took him a second, but he finally got it and started to laugh. That deep wonderful rumble I love so much. The requests came. Even when we separated, the connection was very strong and just intensified when we touched again. It didn't even register when others touched me. All I felt was Luis, his hands, his lips ... And, Rosa wandered in and out of my daydreams. Her kiss. Her touch, the way she had fondled my breasts. All too soon, we were at the art room. Francesca was outside herding her cats. "Ah, my Nakeds. No posing today for you two. You," she pointed at My Mountain, "need to get ready for the game. Right connazionale?And, you," she pointed at me, "need to work on your new style. I'll give you a minute." As she walked into the room, I melted into My Mountain. The hug turned into a kiss, the kiss into melding. Our hearts did their special dance, a Tango I think. All too soon and not soon enough, we broke. Damn. Squishy again! "See you at Media Day?" He looked at me hopefully. "Wouldn't miss it. I'll be there with Rosalee." We gave each other a little kiss, little for us anyway. Off he went after we patted each other on the ass. Okay, we caressed each other's ass. I caught myself about to giggle as I walked into the classroom. Francesca and Rashad were standing inside talking and looking my way. He was gesturing wildly and his voice tense and loud. "I made a reasonable request and she refused me." "Rebbecca, could you join us?" Ms. Rotella beckoned me. "I understand you refused a request?" "Not really, ma'am. Rashad asked if I was going to pose today, I said I didn't think so since I needed to work on my new style." "I asked her to pose for me after class." "Again, I explained that I really needed to work on the discovery I made yesterday. This class and right after have been all the time I've had this week for my art." "You're not against posing, then?" she asked. "No ma'am. Just the timing." "Okay, we'll work out a time. Would you be against doing it next week or later?" "No." "I don't-" started Rashad. "Good. All settled. Rebbecca, you go to work and I will join you in a minute." I hurried off as soon as I could. I could feel myself dropping into the zone and didn't need to be distracted right now. I looked around my work area for a piece to work on. My eyes looked over at the blank canvases. I pulled myself back and tried to focus on an existing work I could change. Once again, the eyes wandered over to the blank canvases. I gave in and selected one that hadn't been Gessoed and pulled out my oil paint supplies, palette, and brushes. As I set the canvas in the easel, I could see the finished painting and the layers to get there. I mixed the pigments I wanted to start with, loaded the palette, and began applying it to the canvas. Except, I wasn't just putting the paint on canvas, I was letting the emotions flow for each stroke. This stroke, a careful line that will be the edge of a face. Sadness. Pain. A dream not realized. Or, this one, the base of the logs in the fireplace. Warmth. Happiness. Home. "You've still got it, don't you?" Francesca's voice floated into my world. "Yes ma'am. I'm no longer adding colors and lines. I'm putting emotions on the canvas." "Perfetto," she said while she leaned in to study what I had already done. "What's the music you're playing?" I asked. It was ... well, different. Something I'm sure Luis would love. I also found it wonderful to paint to. "You like?" I nodded my head. "Bene! It is by Carlos Santana and Alice Coltrane and called 'Angel of Air/Angel of Water'. It's about a voyage of spiritual discovery." "Could you write that down so I can see if Luis has it?" She nodded, then "Oh, how did the phone call go?" "Phone call?" "USC. Fine Arts department. Dean." "Oops." "Yes, oops. Now go into my office at take care of it. Immediatamente!" She wasn't upset, just anxious for me to jump to it. ------ Luis Glad to have escaped posing today, sorry to be away from Becca, and ready to get to work, I flew across campus to the gym. Through the empty girl's locker room to drop my stuff and around to the men's. Walking into the weight room, remembering yesterday all too well, I was stunned to see Coaches Mc, Ames, and Hammer standing there. "Again?" I asked while my insides turned to jelly. Coach McFarland looked stern, almost angry. Then, slowly, his face cracked into a smile. Coaches Ames and Hammer were about to fall over laughing at this point. "Gotcha!" they all said and turned to leave. "Damn it! That's not funny!" I yelled. I suddenly wanted to break something, someone. Throw things. Shit. I didn't need this. "Remember that feeling. You're going to need it Friday night," Coach Mc said as he walked away. Their laughter echoing around the halls. Grumbling, I set up the twelve-arm monster and went to work on a "light" workout. I started with my neck and worked slowly down my body. Each major muscle group I worked until they were stretched and filled with blood. Finally, twenty minutes later, I finished the last reps with my ankles. Somebody was playing some old Stones, 'Sympathy for the Devil'. Yep. Now, who's the devil? Me? Or this fucking machine? East? Rosalee? Whoa! Where did that come from? Focus! East! Standing, I wiped myself down with a towel and looked in a mirror. All my muscles were pumped. Veins standing out on my arms. My legs looked like sculpted oak. My torso solid. Six-pack, hell. I looked like I had the full case or maybe a keg. Now, to pump the blood around and push out the toxins. I headed outside and started running around the track. Normally, there would be only a few people about. Today, there were trucks and vans with satellite dishes and reporters everywhere. I ignored them as I built up my speed until by the fifth lap, I was hitting a solid stride. A sprinter from the track team appeared next to me. "Going out for track?" I gave him a snort, "Right!" "You're not doing bad." "This is full speed for me." "Oh," was all he said. He down shifted and disappeared around the next curve faster than Michael Schumacher in his Ferrari. I let my mind clear as I ran the next couple of laps. Just as I was starting the eighth and last lap for now, the sprinter reappeared. "Last lap?" "Yep," I simply said. Good thing I'm conditioned and could still talk. Sort of. "Why don't I pace you. We'll build up to a final sprint." "Told you. Full speed." "Wimp." And he moved out in front of me. I could swear he was taunting me. I kicked a bit harder and started closing the distance. Just when I could almost reach out and thump someone, he moved slightly ahead. I kicked harder. He moved away. Harder I kicked. As I was just about to grab his neck and see if I could detach it from his body, we flew across the finish line. "Holy shit! Did ya' see the speed on that big bastard!" a random voice shouted. That distracted me from slaughtering the sprinter. Suddenly, I realized there was quite a crowd around the start/finish line, including Coach Mc and two people that looked strangely familiar, but I couldn't place right then. I couldn't think about that right now. I slowed to a jog and let my body begin to cool down from the flat out run to pump the toxins out. The sprinter tossed me a big thumbs-up before taking off again. Halfway around the track I slowed to a fast walk and the sweat started pouring off me. As I approached the start/finish line again, Coach Ames, the defensive coordinator, threw me a fresh towel. "Nice run, Luis. Fastest 440 I've ever seen you do." "That sprinter got me a little worked up." "That was part of the plan." "Plan? It was a set up?" He just laughed. Damn! Shit! "Go on and get dressed and come out early. I want you to work the blocking sled with me for a while before practice." "Sure thing, Coach," I managed through gritted teeth. If he weren't a coach, and a damned good one, some choice words would be running through my brain, probably out my mouth. ------ Rebbecca "How did the call go?" Francesca asked me as I came back into the main room. "She wasn't in so I left a message and my cell phone number." "What took so long?" "Just chatting with her assistant. Perhaps you can tell me who let the Dean see a preview of my work?" "She has seen some of your work? That is wonderful!" "Francesca!! Do Italians have pixie myths?" "Folletto is what we call them." Her smile was about to split her face. "Now get to work. You want to be able to send them examples of your new abilities." "Yes, Francesca the Folletto!" I gave her a mock salute which she returned with a pixie-ish smile. It didn't take long to get back into my zone. I buried myself into mixing the oils from pigments, feeling the emotion and passion I wanted each color to evoke. Intentionally, I mixed some colors a shade off from natural, so they would push out from the canvas. Nothing the conscious mind would notice. After all, the emotions were part of the deeper mind. Slowly the picture emerged from the layers of colors and lines. The palette of emotions. Sadness, joy in hiding, warmth, and a chilling cold. Normalcy, shock, with a layer of terror. Dreams suppressed and suddenly relived. "Wow!" Rashad's voice jerked me back to the present. "That's intense." "Thanks," I managed. So close. I'm almost done with the main scene. I don't think I've ever painted anything so fast. It would be just a matter of a couple of hours to finish all the little details. "Do you have time to pose now, since you're done?" "I'm nowhere near done," I snapped. Couldn't he see it? Wasn't he an artist as well? "It looks fine to me." Was he whining? Was he that insensitive? Out of touch? "I still have a few things to do with the main elements, then lots of details in the background that need to be there. I need to focus on this." Just before I lost my temper, my cell rang. "Hello?" "Rebbecca Davis?" A cheerful, female voice said from the phone. "Yes, this is she." I was focused on the painting. "This is Dean Ruth Massey of the USC School of Fine Arts. Is this a good time to talk?" "Um, yes, let me just clean up for a second." "Painting?" "Yes ma'am." "Please call me Ruth, Rebbecca. Would you like me to call you back in five minutes?" "Please call me Becky, Ruth. Five minutes would be great." "Talk to you then." I pulled to phone from my ear and just stared at it. "Now do you have time to pose?" Sarcasm made the whines worse. "Or, are you just refusing a reasonable request." "Rashad, I told you that I would pose. Just not now." I began wiping my hands. "I need to be ready for a call in a minute." "Who's so damned important, then. Your boyfriend?" "Ruth Massey." "Who's that?" "The Dean of Roski School of Fine Arts at University of Southern California." "Oh," he mumbled as he stomped off. Before I could even put down the rag I had been using to clean my hands, a student I didn't know approached me and handed me a note. She was gone before I could thank her. Opening it, I saw it was a message from the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at UT-Austin. More pixie action, no doubt. "This is getting weird," I told myself out loud. "What is?" Rosalee said behind me. Almost shocking me out of my non-existent clothes. "Luis says he's thinking USC and UT as his main schools." "Yes..." "And, today I get calls from the Deans of the Colleges of Fine Arts at USC and UT." "Sounds like a bit of a conspiracy." "Or strange coincidence." "Right!" "Okay." Can she read my mind? "I accused Ms Rotella of being a pixie." "Well, the day gets more interesting!" With a wink, she patted my butt. Before I could respond, my cell phone rang. I held up my hand to her as I answered. "Becky Davis," I said into the phone. "Becky, this is Ruth. Is this a better time?" Came the tinny voice from the phone. ------ Chapter 24: Wednesday Afternoon "Fortunate Son" Luis "Again!" Coach Ames shouted at me. I dropped into a four point stance, both hands on the ground, ready to spring. I dug my feet in to get the most power I could. "Hut!" I uncoiled, slammed my shoulder into the pad wearing an East jersey with the center's number on it. Using my hands and arms to stabilize and focus my force, I pushed. When the sled lifted up, I began digging into the turf with my cleats as hard as I could, pushing the sled at my running speed, noticing as it dug another line of furrows into the practice field. TWEET! I dropped the sled on Coach Ames's whistle, bouncing him and the two equipment trainers from the jolt. "Take a break," Coach Ames said as he headed towards the locker room. Hands on my knees, I caught my breath. I think I moved that fucking sled, the coach, and the two managers up and down the field ten times. I took a look at the jersey on the pad and laughed. It was ripped to shreds. "Do that in the game and we own the line," Coach Mc said as he went by. "Locker room in five." I breathed deeply as the burning in my calves and thighs eased. "Luis, move over by the sled and let me get a shot," some photographer asked. I pulled my helmet off and stood by the pad, holding my helmet under my arm and giving him my game face. Flash, clunk of the mirror, and the whine of the recharge. I missed the sound of film cameras and the whirl of the motor drive. Flash again, followed by a hundred more, it seemed. Christ, there must be a dozen photogs around now. I turned and jogged towards the locker room, ignoring the questions. I gave a growl when one reporter shoved a microphone in my face. I behaved when what I really wanted to do was take the stupid thing and shove it so far up his"After practice guys," I heard one of the assistants say as he cut me from the herd and let me stomp the rest of the way on my own. I. Just. Want. To. Play. This. Game. All the other bullshit aside. On the way in the door, one of the trainers handed me a bottle of go juice. Just what I needed. Fluids, sugars, and electrolytes to replace all that I had just lost. I forced myself to drink slowly. Still, it was gone by the time I sat on the bench in front of my locker. Another appeared in my hand as my helmet flew into the locker with a bit more force than necessary. I heard an echo next to me as Mike Holloway threw his helmet. He looked as agitated as I did. "Settle down, folks," Coach Hammer said. "Contadino and Holloway, save it for East. Now, Coach McFarlan has a few things to say." I half listened as he gave a pep talk, explained Media Day to the newbies, and laid out the plan for the day. For the first hour, the first teams would be in the gym away from reporters' eyes. Then the rest of practice would be running standard plays and drills. We were not to expose any of our new plays. Shit! I need to work with Jason on his tells. Who else can I enlist? I'll talk to the other captains later. "When we finish practice, they'll be requests for photographs. I want everyone to cooperate. Do not answer questions, though. After showers, I'll gather a few of you to sit with me and the coaches for a press conference. I'd encourage the rest of the team to attend, we have a couple of special guests and some announcements." Coach Mc looked around at the team. Everyone understood that 'encourage' meant to be there. On his cue, the four co-captains stood. I don't really remember joining the other three at the front of the room. But, there I was, standing with Mike Holloway, Paul Rogers, and Michael Simms. Paul is the brains of the offense at quarterback and Michael, never Mike, the brains of the defense at inside linebacker. Mike and I faced each other, with Paul and Michael behind us. We locked eyes and growled at each other. Paul spoke to the rest of the team. "Would you want to face these two on Friday night?" "NO!" "Do you want them to be the only ones fired up?" "NO!" "Let's hear your growl!" It started low. More of a buzz than a growl. It built until it consumed the locker room. A primal sound that tore through the soul and turned bowels of the unsuspecting into liquids. "Bulldogs-" Paul chanted. "Suck!" Michael responded. The growl turned to the jeer. "Beat-" Paul began. "East!" Michael repeated. "Beat-" Paul continued. "East!" Half the team joined Michael. "Beat-" Paul commanded. "East!" The entire team responded. Soon the whole team was jumping up and down in time to the chant. "Kill 'em!" Paul screamed. "Wreck 'em!" Michael intoned. "Stomp 'em!" Mike growled. "Humiliate 'em!" I threatened. "Warriors on three!" We all shouted. "1... 2... 3..." "WARRIORS!" We broke with most of the team heading out onto the field looking for victims. The first teams headed to the gym. On the way, I told my co-captains about what I had observed with Jason and his tells. We quickly formed a plan where Paul and Michael would work with him. Mike and I realized, just before stepping onto the wood floor, we still had our cleats on. We kicked them off and joined the team. For the next hour, the only sounds heard were the coaches' instructions, cadence counts, and socks sliding on the floor. Twenty-two very focused and intent people moved through the plays flawlessly. ------ Rebbecca I managed to stumble back into the main art room from Francesca's office. My mind going a thousand miles an hour, yet registering nothing. Too much, too quick. How could I process it when I didn't believe any of it. This can't be happening to me. "Everything okay?" Rosalee's voice startled me. "Wha ... Yes. I think. I don't know." "How did the call go?" "Calls." "Okay. Tell me about them." She pulled me into a hug. I felt safe and like I could relax. "Well ... I talked to Ruth Massey at USC first. She offered, pending a review of my latest work, a full scholarship. Then, I had a message to call Dean Kerkoff." "Who's that?" "The Dean of the College of Fine Arts at UT-Austin. She offered me the same deal." "That's spectacular." She hugged me tight. "I guess." "What's wrong?" She turned me to face her. I really wanted to hide, but she wouldn't let me. "I ... I don't know what to do." "Well, I think you need to get your portfolio done." "I agree," Francesca said walking over. I moved from Rosa's grasp and practically threw myself on Francesca. "Thank you!" With an enigmatic smile on her face, she said, "Well, you have to tell me what you're thankful for." I let the folletto have her moment and I explained to both of them, and myself, the calls. Apparently, both deans had received copies of my portfolio from the end of last school year and glowing letters of recommendation from some of my teachers. I had to give the resident pixie a harsh look which turned into laughs for all of us. In return, they had conditionally approved me for admittance next year and full scholarships. Conditional since I still had to handle trivial details like applying! And, they wanted a review of where I am now artistically to make sure I hadn't regressed to stick figures. "Bellissimo!" The pixie said as she remembered something urgent needing her attention in her office. "Well, things are working out, it seems," Rosa said. "I guess." Is hiding such a bad thing? "What's wrong?" "Too much, too fast." "Well ... When do they need something from you?" "The applications in a month or so, the portfolio soon after and, a decision in February." "Anything wrong with the schools?" "Absolutely not. Both are very good art schools. Yet, it's a shame the best school is in a city without a top tier football team." "Where's that?" "Richmond. VCU. They have one of the absolute best art schools in the country. Don't get me wrong, I'd do quite well at USC or UT. Honestly, I don't know if VCU would be that much better for me." "Come here," she said softly and opened her arms. I slid into them and we hugged each other. We shared a light kiss. "It will work out." "I know." I did know, down to my toes. How does she get away with this? Most people I would push away. "Now, how about you?" "Well ... I said I could pretty much go anywhere, but..." "You have a favorite place?" "Yep. The Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore." "I'm surprised you didn't say Juilliard." "Not my style. Too cutthroat. Peabody is much more laid back and just as challenging and excellent but more humane." I couldn't help but laugh. I tried to calm down when I saw the hurt in her eyes. I hugged her tighter. "I'm not laughing at you or Juilliard or Peabody. It's just ... Rosalee and laid back..." She tried. She really tried to stifle the giggle. Which just cause me to giggle. And her to chuckle. And me to laugh. Okay, I snorted. Which caused her to point and bend over howling. As we spiraled out of control, we were loud enough to bring Francesca out of her office in a panic. As soon as I explained "laid back" and "trailer trash slut" she couldn't help but join in. While we were struggling to control ourselves, tears rolling down our faces, Rashad walked into the room. He took one look at us, turned, and stomped out. So much for us calming down. "Oh! I'm gonna pee!" Was all I could get out before having to run to the potty. Thankfully, Francesca had one in her office. I managed to more or less get aim, finish my business, and wash. When I headed back into the main room, Rosa and Francesca were involved in a serious conversation about schools. "VCU?" Francesca asked me. "Yes ma'am." "It is an excellent school. But, not for you." She wagged her fingers at me. I love how Italians involve their whole body when speaking. "Why?" "While you need some mentoring with your skills, the main benefit you will derive from an art college is exposure. USC, UT, and a few others will give you the exposure you need." "Okay," was all I could think to say right then. I needed to think about this. She could see it in my eyes. "Why don't you girls go see your boyfriend practice? I think this week has been enough confusion. You need a break." "Her boyfriend," Rosalee corrected. "Ah! Si Si!" She gave us a knowing wink. "Now, run along." ------ Luis "I'm gonna get you this time," I snarled at Mike, resting on my knees, getting ready to move into my stance. My pronouncement carried across the field and echoed off the nearly empty stands. "Try it, asshole," he sneered back at me as he moved over the ball. We both set. Head to head just inches apart. "22-Red! 22-Red!" Paul Rogers chanted. "Hut ... Hut-Hut!" As soon as Mike moved the ball beginning the snap, I sprung and hit him full force, shoulder pad to shoulder pad. The impact sounded like a rifle shot on steroids. Combined with our war cries, it must have sounded awesome. We locked up with our blocking moves, just this side of a holding penalty for either of us. Four feet clawing into the turf, slinging grass and dirt. Each trying to throw the other off balance. TWEET! "Alright you two. That's it. Five laps," Coach Mc yelled at us. "Anybody else want to try for some laps? Half speed walk-thrus guys! Save it for the game." Mike and I pulled our helmets off, smiled at each other, caught the winks from the coaches, and headed out on our laps. "How many will be joining us in a minute?" Mike asked as we started our "penalty" laps. "The whole team." About halfway through our first lap, the sound of multiple rifle shots combined with grunts and war cries echoed through the stadium followed instantly by the coaches whistles. As predicted, the rest of the team joined us on the track "So, what do we do to keep everyone fired up?" I asked Mike. "I think we let the tension just naturally build until the Pep Rally tomorrow night." "Sounds good." "Ah ... Luis ... How are you planning on handling Friday?" "What do you mean?" "You can't exactly wear your jersey to school, can you?" "Oops." "Yeah, oops." "Let me talk to the equipment managers. I'm sure we can figure something out." "I can't wait to see you in paint." "I hope you get picked next week." Before he could respond, two sweet, sexy voices rang out, "Hey number 96! Looking good!" "Shit! He's even got naked groupies!" "My girlfriend and her girlfriend, I think," I said as I waved to the girls. "Damn! How does that work?" "Don't know. We're still ... I don't know. Confused." ------ Rebbecca "There he is, number 96," I pointed out as I spied Luis on the track running with Mike Holloway. "Who's that he's with? Damn, he's as big as Luis!" "That's Mike Holloway, the starting center and one of the co-captains." "How do you know so much?" "I like football!" "And a certain football player?" "Oh yeah! Let's try to embarrass him." It only took a couple of seconds to work out what we wanted to say. By then, he was getting close. "Hey number 96! Looking good!" We both yelled at the same time. He gave a wave as they went by. "Must be the end of practice. Oh, look, there's my brother, Jason." "Really? I didn't know he's your brother. He's a cutie and sweet too." "Got a crush on him?" "Not really. I think I'm too..." "Smart?" "Welllll..." "That's okay. I've met most of the girls he goes out with." "Thanks. Now what?" "I'm not sure. I've never been to a Media Day before." We hung around, watching the players run laps. Rosalee kept me in stitches with a running commentary of the sexual prowess of some (okay, a lot) or how cute, mean, ugly, scary, nice, or whatever she knew or thought each one was. "What about Luis?" "Teddy bear." "Huh?" "He's big, could be scary, but most of the time he's gentle and kind." "Yep. You ever hook up with him?" "Nope. Unfortunately." "So, what about his friend Mike?" "Not him, either." "Interested?" "Ahhh ... What? Trying to get rid of me?" "Nope." "Welllll ... Not now. Too much on my plate." "You know, I don't think I've really seen you hang out with many people." "Oh, I don't. I really don't have any close friends. Girls are scared of me, so are a lot of guys. Those that do pay attention want to cut through the chase and go straight to the main course, so to speak." "That sucks." "In a way," Rosa smiled at me. It took me a few seconds, but I finally got it. "I'm in the same boat as you." "What! Oh, you mean friends. I guess. I do have Jason. He's my best friend." "Can you talk to him about anything?" "Most things." "What about girl things?" "Until Monday, I didn't even think about girl things." "Even once a month?" "Mom talked to me about that before I went into hiding. So, no, I didn't really think about girl things. Last night, after dinner, with my mom and Jason's girlfriend, was the first time I'd ever done girl talk." "What did you think?" "How much I've missed." "You need a bestest buddy." "What about you?" "Yeah, I guess." She looked around for a second. "Oh, look, the reporters are descending on the team." We watched the hunt from the sidelines as we worked our way over to the gym, we'd overheard from others that that's where the media events were to occur. "There's Your Mountain and Mike now. Look, being hassled by those photographers and reporters." ------ Luis I can't believe these jackals. Put. On. My. Happy. Face. Don't possibly consider where I'd like to insert that lens. No. Reporters good. Can't eat. Can't kill. Smile. "Luis, who is going to win?" one of the vultures shouted out. Before I could work up a good "Memo from the Department of Obvious" comment, Coach Ames stepped in. He saved me from calculating the diameter of the orifice that would have resulted in my shoving his microphone, arm, and the camera of the guy next to him into his rectum. Without lubrication. "Save the questions for later," Coach Ames reminded them, again. Into my ear, he hissed, "Inside. Now. Shower. Relax. We need you later." I pulled myself from considering how many joules of energy it would take to make my target edible and went into the locker room. Mike was right next to me. "Shit!" "About says it all." "Fuck!" "Well, there is that." We stared at each for a minute and then started laughing. After hitting the showers, we headed into the gym for the press conference. Mike was smiling like he knew something I didn't, but he wouldn't twig. "So," Mike said to me just before we went into the gym proper, "how do you feel about being naked in front of the reporters and cameras?" "Shit! I hadn't even thought about it!" "Too late!" He opened the door and bowed me through first. Okay. I can do this. Just like school, right? Yeah! Sure. Right. Two steps into the gym and every eye was on me. It took only a few seconds for the cameras to find their way and the flashing frenzy began. "Nice ass!" Becca's and Rosalee's voice rose over the din. Now I felt naked. Not nude. Not unclothed. Exposed. Vulnerable! I did notice that most of the cameras turned their way, though! "Must be nice to have naked groupies," Mike whispered just before he headed towards the coaches. The two half-familiar people were with them now along with a third man. A very portly man that I thought I recognized but dismissed. I shook it off and headed towards the rest of the team and took a seat. I felt every camera in the place on me and noticed for the first time the TV cameras. One had the ESPN logo. Not only am I naked, I'm naked on a national sports network. Great! I settled in with my other team members while Paul, Michael, and Mike joined the coaches and the three- Shit! Now I know where I know them from! The big, portly gentleman was Ralph Frisson, head coach of the University of Maryland. Mack White, the head coach of UT-Austin and Bob Singer of USC. Shit! Some big guns here today. Before I could work out a wager with myself as to who was signing with who, Coach Mc stepped up to the mic. "I'd like to welcome our fans, families, friends, and the media to our campus. I'm sure the rumors that have been spreading about three famous coaches being here might have had something to do with it." He got a good laugh. "At least enough to attract the national media!" More laughter. "I am beyond proud to announce that three of my seniors are signing their letters-of-intent today." Maybe not wild, but the response was highly enthusiastic. Mike, Michael, and Paul were hamming it up. Their parents, who had joined them, were over the moon. The team? We were surprised, a touch upset they hadn't shared this with us, but proud as hell of our teammates. First up was Coach Frisson from Maryland. All three hundred plus pounds of Coach Ralph approached the microphone and did his spiel. To my delightful surprise, Mike stepped up to sign his letter. A great fit for my closest friend and a true student of the game with one of the most innovative coaches with a penchant for creating complex offenses and defenses. Plus, Maryland is an emerging superpower in a strong conference. How could I not stand and cheer him on? Coach Mack was next and he surprised me by announcing Michael was signing. I would have bet he'd have gone with a quarterback, not a linebacker. Yet, Michael would be a force in their defensive system. If I remember, their key linebacker this year is a senior, so I doubt he's going to red shirt. He'll be playing as a freshman. Kewl. Well, that removed all doubts about Paul. When I thought about it, it made perfect sense. Coach Singer is known for his balls-to-the-wall style of play, easily incorporating trick plays and gutsy moves. Paul thrives under that kind of pressure. USC's long history of conference championships, Heismen Trophy winners, and National Championships means Paul is going to be high profile. I liked Coach Singer's attitude about defense. "Bend, don't break" is his theory. A strong defense that will allow short yardage, but not give up big plays. It would be interesting playing in that kind of a system. Given how fast paced the offense is, the defense spends a lot of time on the field, meaning that a freshman might get a lot of playing time. That's a real plus in my book. The whole team stood and cheered our three teammates at the end of the signing. I kept thinking of how I might end up playing with one of them and probably against the other two at some point in my career. Shit! They decided. What is wrong with me? And ... why am I naked? I could see the cameras move between the stage, me, and the girls. Lovely. Before my mind could get out of control, again, the press conference started. So much for the easy stuff! The big three walked off the stage and I went up to join the other captains and face the vultures. Paul, Mike, and Michael all looked great in the colors of their new schools. And me? Naked. Damn. "Luis, man ... I'm sorry I couldn't tell you. They asked me to keep it quiet," Mike whispered to me. Michael and Paul echoing him. "It's okay, guys. I'm really happy for all of you." "So, when are you going to decide?" "Soon. Very soon." Then the questions started. Naturally, the first was for me. The naked, indecisive one. "Have you chosen a school yet?" "Trojans!" Paul, echoed by Coach Singer, shouted. "Longhorns!" With the same stereo effect. "Terrapins!" Mike's voice was particularly loud, given his face was right by my ear. I had to join the laughter. "As you can see, it's a tough choice. It would be fun to play with any of these three guys and for any of these great coaches. The tougher choice is which two I might play against in a National Championship game. So, in answer to your question, nope. No decision yet. This week, I'm only focused on one thing-" "Being naked?" someone shouted. "Well, there is that." Good way to break the tension, I wonder who I should thank. "My focus this week has been and will be the game against East." Coach Mc kept the rest of the press conference focused on the East game, with only the occasional comment about my nudity, my college choice, or such. His goal was to walk a fine line between firing up our fans and not giving East any ammunition they could use against us. I think he did a good job, but then again, I was naked. I hadn't thought about it all day and suddenly I was so exposed. I sure hope the cameras had filters to block my blush. Coach summed it up perfectly at the end. "We expect a tough game. We've prepared and are in top shape. We're headed across town to play a tough opponent. I know how we want it to turn out. We'll see if I'm right on Friday." The flashing frenzy started again as they had the whole team pose. They had me on one knee with the other linemen in front of everyone. It seemed to me there was way too much attention paid to what was between my legs. As we broke up, I found myself with a naked girl firmly attached to my chest. "I'm so proud of you. You look so good." All while smothering me in kisses. "We're proud of you too, son," my father said. I was surprised to see mom there. "Well, it seems his harem is growing." Between Becca's flying assault and the surprise of seeing my parents, I finally noticed Rosalee. She was sandwiching Becca to me. I smiled at her over Becca's shoulder as my sweetie hugged me tight. "Ah, yeah, well..." "I'm sure it is an interesting story. Something you can share with us later. Right now, we have some business to attend to. Ladies, if you will pardon us?" "What business?" "We don't mind. We'll wait here for you. I've got some news for you too. The phone calls. Later, though." "Yeah. We'll wait here. Lots of cameras!" "Later!" I managed as my parents dragged the suddenly Becca-free me to the football offices. "Momma, I didn't expect to see you today." "I wouldn't miss this!" "Miss what? What's going on?" "We're meeting with the three coaches you just saw." "Oh!" Boy, could this day get any stranger? A couple of minutes later, we were in the main conference room with Coach Frisson, call me Ralph. He made his pitch to the parental units and me. The key being with Mike and I on the same team, he'd have no worries about either line for four years. He stressed the desire to build as strong a legacy as USC and UT. I believed him, but Maryland, as a school, wasn't in my top choices. A good school. Just not my school. He left with hope, but no promises from us. Hell, I hadn't scheduled a visit. Next was Coach White. His reputation as a master of recruiting is well deserved. Slick is the word I would use. He did the full Carney show and a promise of a great career if I came to Austin. At the end, he pushed a bit on accepting the offer they had previously made for me to attend on a full ride. "Luis, I don't know about that one," my father said when Coach White left. "I agree. I can't put my finger on it, but he's just not my style." When the door opened for the third time, we were surprised to see Coach Singer come in with Will Farrel, the actor. I knew this was going to be a different show! Coach kept it light, yet handled the serious business efficiently and very effectively. The rumors of his pranks during practices really rang true. I already had a full ride offer from them, so that part of the show was easy. What he really stressed was the desire to win at least one more Outland or Lombardi Trophy for the team, awards given to the best linemen or linebackers in college football. Will provided some entertainment, but I also discovered he was an avid football fan and no slouch about the game. He stayed away from the business end of the discussion, but his insights and humor made it a fun time. "Luis," Coach Singer said as our time was coming to a close, "I would really like to have you with us next year. Not only for what I know you can add to our defense, but I think I can help develop you as a future coach as well." "Coach, I'd love to say yes right now. This week has been insane, though." "I can imagine what it would be like going naked for a week." "That's part of it. I guess it is the catalyst for many of the things that have happened this week. Given how crazy it is, I'd like to wait a week before telling you yes or no." "That's fair. And smart. Here are my private numbers. Call me anytime if you have questions." "Or if I decide I really like Austin?" "That too," he said laughing. "Some how, though, I see you in California." After he and Will left, my parents turned to me. "I know. It sounds like I've made my decision. I think I have, but want to wait until after East until I decide." "And you have clothes on again?" "Well ... that might be a while." So, I explained to them the bet, although we still hadn't addressed it. Mentally I noted that as a to-do for tomorrow's lunch. With hugs and kisses from the folks, I headed back out into the gym. Dad was headed off to a business dinner and mom back to work. My sweetie and Rosa were still there talking with Mike. ------ Rebbecca "That was awesome!" "Rosalee!" "Well, it was. All those cameras and national TV exposure." "Oh my god! You're kidding, right?" I looked around and noticed that a few cameras were still tracking us. Damn! "Nope." "I'm naked on TV?!?" "National TV." "NO!!!" I can still hide, can't I? "Oh, there's Mike. Introduce me, please?" She pointed towards Mike and his family. They were still celebrating Mike's decision. Good, I didn't need this distraction while I was trying to figure out how to fade into the floor. No sooner than I began feeling safe, Mike broke away from his family and came towards us. "Becky!" He shouted as he approached. His arms engulfed me in a huge. Damn! I'm a slut for muscles. It didn't feel like my cave at all, but it was a damn nice feeling being surrounded by someone so large and strong. "Please, please let your boyfriend know that I couldn't tell him. I feel so bad about that," he whispered to me. "Tell him about what?" "My signing. I feel horrible about not sharing that with him." "I'll pass it along." "Great. Thanks. Now, who is this?" he nodded towards a suddenly shy Rosalee. [Note]: The song, "Fortunate Son", is by Creedence Clearwater Revival. ------ Chapter 25: Wednesday Evening "Don Sanche, ou Le château de l'amour" Rebbecca I sat in wonder as My Mountain bent and folded himself into the driver's seat. I'd already experienced it, yet the sight continued to transfix me. Each time, I saw more and more of the subtle movements of his muscles. The hardness turning soft to bend, fit. How could someone well over a foot taller than me fit into this little box? I could, barely. "Why don't you get a bigger car?" "Hmm? Oh. Well, this works." He started it and headed towards his house. No music. "Do you want some music?" "Hmm? Yeah. Sure." I waited for him to turn it on. Instead, he stared out at the road and propelled the car through traffic, both hands firmly attached to the wheel. I waited a bit more. Then, I looked down at where radios normally are on cars I've been in, only to be met with the sight of hundreds of buttons and such. Well, it seemed like it. Space Shuttle came to mind. Which one? I pressed randomly. A few seconds later, my feet started getting hot and a little display said "80/27". Well, that didn't work. Now, how do I turn off the heat and turn on the music? That one looks good. My feet ceased being toasted, but cold air started freezing my nipples. I pressed another button and all that happened was a little light came on on the button. I wonder if that means the shuttle bay doors are open? I just knew if I pressed another button, the ejection seat on my side would be activated. "Help!" I squeaked. "Huh?" He looked down at the controls, grunted, and his fingers began dancing over the buttons. Such big fingers and they moved so nimbly. Within seconds, the freezing ceased, the little light went off, and the music started. Classical. No. Opera. Opera? My Mountain's hand found its way to my thigh and his attention returned to staring at the road. "Are you okay?" "Hmm? Yeah. Just fine." His eyes never left the road. "Are you mad at me?" "What? No. Just thinking." Maybe he needs his cave time too. I hope that's what it is. I know I need my down time away from others. Hey! That's what's been missing this week! Before, when I was hiding, I always had alone time. The only alone time I've had this week is when I've been asleep. Of course, I've disappeared into his cave a few times. Maybe he just needs his alone time too. But, tonight? This night? Right now, I needed to talk. How strange is that? Me, needing to talk. Perhaps I should be on the lookout for lightning bolts or meteors falling from the sky? How can I work my professional, digital camera, but not use the controls in Luis's car? Okay, it did take me nearly five forevers to figure out all the features of the camera, or at least the ones I've figured out so far in two years. Still, it was a lot of buttons and knobs and menus... I looked over at My Mountain. Wedged. How could he be comfortable? He had to bend his head down, his knees were almost chest level, but splayed to fit the steering wheel. I couldn't reach Junior if I tried. Junior. Hmm ... Tonight. My Mountain over me, ready to possess me. My legs spread, my ankles hooked on his legs. My hands around his massive neck. Junior's head coming closer and closer, touching me"Sweets? We're here." "Yeah, almost there!" "No Becca. We're here." "Oh, sorry." I blushed to my toes. Somehow, we made it into the house where I led Luis into the kitchen. I sat him down on a chair and straddled his lap. "Do you need some alone time or do you want to make-out with your girlfriend?" His eyes looked at me, but he wasn't there. "Go into the living room. Find some good music and let me fix dinner, okay?" I started to get up. "Nope," he said as his eyes cleared. Suddenly, his lips were on mine and my body just melted into him. His tongue searched, mine responded. We probed each other's mouths, looking and finding the soul inside. My hands found their way as far around his neck as they could go. His rubbing, caressing, fondling my back, shoulders, down ... Oh, so deliciously down, cupping my ass and sending shocks, shivers, warmth, delight through my whole system. I felt him moan and that stranger, that sounded like me, moaned in response. When one of his mighty paws gently lifted my left boob, I almost came. Those massive, rough fingers rolled my nipple with such care and precision. So deliciously gentle and yet the power, barely contained, behind them. Junior was poking his head up and rubbing across my mound, tickling my clit delightfully. I started to reach down and... THE PHONE RANG! I tried to ignore it. It will go away. Before I could get a good grip on the monster between my legs and aim him where I wanted him to be, Luis REACHED OVER FOR THE PHONE! "It's Momma," was all he said. As if that excused his behavior? "Pronto!" he said before I could speak my displeasure and frustration. "No Momma. Not yet." At least he was panting. I tried wiggling back over Junior, but he had deflated in my hand. I guess no Mommy fantasies there. "For you," he said as he handed me the phone. "Momma wants to talk to you about dinner." "What? NOW?" I half screamed and half groaned. I reached for the phone, trying to figure out if eyes could turn into death rays or something. ------ Luis Oh. My. God! I can't believe that Becca was about to drop down on Junior! I can't believe Momma called and interrupted that. I can't decide which one is upsetting me. Or, is it just this whole, strange day? Becca crawled off my lap, yacking away into the phone, and headed to the fridge. Damn, she has a fine ass. Perfect handfuls for me. Okay, Luis, get your mind straight. Too much hit you today. You need music. Meditation. Yes, all of the above. As I got up, I watched Becca moving about the kitchen, the phone plastered to her ear. There was no way I'd get her attention away from girl talk and what other plans they had. My downfall, no doubt. I'd awaken in the morning with a ring through my nose and being led on a leash. Right! I waved to the kitchen as I headed to the living room. I found the Native American drums and chants I liked to use to think to, put them on at a gentle volume, and found a comfortable spot on the floor. Settling into a lotus position, something others have seen and still express disbelief that I can do it, I closed my eyes and deepened my breathing. The steady, deep drumming of the music combined with the sparse, Zen-like, soft, almost flight-like quality of the flutes helped settle me. The dream-like chants just added layers of complexity and peace. I focused on pulling my breath in through my nose, up to my crown point, then down my spine past my energy points. I noted which ones needed attention. When the air made it to my center, I began to "spin the ball" deep in my core. When my body was full of air, my stomach distended with it, I let the spinning ball push it slowly up through the front of my body, moving out the toxins and tensions. Letting it turn the energy centers into pure light. One breath. Two. Wow! USC! Need ... to clear my mind. Just let the thought go. Three. Becca. In my lap. Positioning Junior ... Let it go. Four. East ... Let it go. Five... The world faded, yet became everything. Everything had meaning, a story. Yet, there was nothing. I ceased and became nothing. Nothing floated in nothing, being nothing and everything. Slowly, the slow beating became drums. The sounds became flutes. The smells became something wonderful drifting in from the kitchen. I stopped being nothing/everything and became Luis again. I felt Becca before I opened my eyes. "Hi, sweets." "You're back!" She crawled into my lap, snuggling up to me. As soon as I opened my eyes, I closed them again when her lips met mine. This was a tender, loving, caring kiss. None of the manic energy from earlier. Sweet. Loving. Just let it go and be... The light pressure on my face became her hands. The energy running through me became love. Becca became the center of my focus. She looked deeply into my newly opened eyes. "I love you." Her words exploded through me. Every part of me agreed. Every cell. Every fiber. "And, I love you." We sealed it with another kiss. Just as sweet. Just as loving. Okay, maybe a bit more passion. Just as my hand was being pulled towards those magnificent orbs on her chest, she pulled back. "Dinner's almost ready. I need your help." My hands moved up the lower slope, carefully measuring the changing angles and complex curves that make the female breast a perfect example of a fifth order differential equation. "Can it wait for a minute?" "Uhm..." "Just a couple of minutes," I said as I pushed her back and lowered my lips to the hard peak. I love how it was poking out, beckoning me forward. Enticing me to suckle. "Uhm..." Her hands moved through my hair, pulling me into firmer contact. I traced the little bumps that turned to crinkles that turned to... Her hands pushed me away. "Oh no, Mister. Dinner is too special tonight for you to distract me." I watched, transfixed, as she just rose. She didn't stand. She didn't make discreet moves as in a) push back, b) unfold from my lap, c) move balance to stand ... She just was in my lap and in a beautiful, graceful dance with gravity, she was standing. And reaching down for my hand to help me up. Fortunately, my knees still work and I was able to stand without pull her off balance. I let her think she was helping. Well, she was. Really. The smile on her face, the joy in her eyes really helped. Towering above her, my arms moving to hug her to me, and... "Oh! The pasta!" And she ran into the kitchen. "Open the wine," she threw back at me over her shoulder. "And stay OUT of the dining room." My arms closed on empty air. From the kitchen I heard pots rattling, a few choice words that I didn't think Becca knew, and her yelling to me, "Wine! Now!" Three days and she's running my life. Maybe they've already surgically implanted the ring in my nose and I hadn't noticed. And, this is a bad thing? ------ Rebbecca Damn! Damn! Damn! Okay, I don't know if I'm cursing the pasta, the interruption, or how easily I fall into My Mountain's eyes. And lips. And like his kisses. And his hands on my boobs. And wish that the damned phone hadn't rung. And. And. And. The pasta was fine. To me. I drained it like Carmella had told me. Then poured cold water from the tap on it. Why? I don't know. She said something about stopping it from cooking so it wouldn't turn to mush. But, wouldn't it cool it as well? Apparently not. The texture of pasta is very appealing visually. And really amazing when you run your hands through it. Silky. There, but not. And, no it didn't cool. Ouch! He's just standing there by the open wine bottles. Waiting for me. I hope. What if he's mad? Is he frustrated? I would be. I am. Tonight. After dinner. After all, this is the plan. The script. Feed him. Seduce him. Now, where is the girl that was with me Monday morning? You know, the one that had perfected being invisible. The one that was practiced at avoiding interactions with others, except the views I formed in my artists mind, saving them to write about, draw, or paint. Here I am ... Not being her. Cooking a meal. Well, not really, but sort of. Warming this. Boiling that. Instructions from Carmella. A perfectly planned meal to feed My Mountain. To handle his needs during the football season and still leave him functional for my plans for the evening. And ... Naked. My Mountain. Luis. Boyfriend. Did that ever run around my mouth and mind leaving a funny taste. Boyfriend. Yep. Did it again. Feels strange. Feels good, actually. Feels ... scary. Yet, feels ... right. And ... I'm naked. So is he! From my perfect world I had built to ... this! Crying while happy. Laughing out loud in crowds. So suddenly empty I'm yearning for something I've never had. So full I'm bursting at the seams. So complete. So confused. And ... So naked. What is with the phone? And, what is with him answering it? "Hello." So calm. "Nope. Not even considering the University of Maryland. Nope. Not going to change my mind, you know that." Maybe his friend Mike? "Look Hollow Dick, we've talked about this!" Yep, Mike. "Yep, full ride offers from UT and USC." Scholarship offers. For him and me. This is different than I imagined my Senior year being. "Not a word, okay? Right. Well ... USC." California here we come ... WHAT!?! Did I just say that? It wouldn't be a bad choice. There are some teachers out there that really might push my art. Better still, the exposure. I might even get a chance at a gallery showing my sophomore year. Wouldn't that be ... Showing? Me? Miss Invisible? "Sweets? Anything else you need me to do?" "Uhm ... I think I've got everything in hand. Keep me company while I finish?" "Always, my Becca." And that damned thing rang again. And, of course, he answered it again. Well, I do have a couple more things to get ready. Might as well carry the dishes into the dining room. Oh, Carmella did a wonderful job. Wait, it looks like this normally. No. Something is different. The candles. Ah! I need to light them. "Carmella, I love this room," I said to the candles. Thankfully, the absent woman didn't respond. I've studied Italian art, what artist hasn't? Yet, this room was ... well, the roll-up of all of Italian history. The really good parts. The warmth. The deepness of history and family. The sheer joy of living life at a speed most people didn't appreciate. The Italians -" the original slow food society. I finished lighting all the candles, paying more attention to the room than I had the first night. For some reason, I wasn't as distracted. The room has definite feeling of warmth, comfort. Yet was still quite large. It could easily seat a family of four and maintain a casual closeness. Just as easily, the room could be reconfigured and sit a very large dinner party. Formal and still welcoming. Tonight, it set for a very intimate dinner for two. Sensuous. Inviting. Close. Seductive. Speaking of victims... I finished putting the appetizers on the table, with fresh bread, and a wonderful bottle of Italian wine. Carmella had told me that they had one or two glasses of wine with dinner each night. Even Luis, even during the football season. The exception, for him, was game day. No wine. No booze. And, the night before was one glass of wine. Tonight, she had said, we could push that some. "Men become more amorous with a bit of wine. Not too much, with too much, they will want to do things they can no longer do!" She had then winked at me, "Things we want them to do!" I'm sure my face had explored the many shades of crimson, ruby, and maybe even achieved vermillion. But, I was nodding my head. Then laughing with her. Maybe not vermillion. Well ... Chinese-Red for sure. Okay, back to here and now and all our plans coming to fruition. First course on the table. Check. Candles. Check. Wine. Check. Victim. Nope. I went back into the kitchen to find him still on the phone. "Yes, Coach ... Thank you for all you've done ... No, I'm sorry I've made this process so hard ... Well ... It's just that everything seems to be coming together this week ... No kidding, going naked does that to you, I guess!" He tried to suppress a laugh, but finally let it go. He hadn't seen me yet, so I just watched him talk to, I assume, his current Coach. "I think USC. I still need to talk it over with some people, but that's what feels right to me." "And me!" Did I just yell that out? "You're right, Coach. That is one less person I need to talk to!" He turned, chuckling, and pulled me into a hug with his free arm. "I need to go. The Boss is calling. Thanks for your call." He hung up the phone and totally wrapped me up. "So, you'd be okay if I went to USC?" "I got a full scholarship offer from them today. And UT-Austin." "Really?" "Seems another Italian Pixy has been working on my behalf this week." "Francesca?" "It would seem. They had my portfolio and a quote-Serious Recommendation-unquote." I hated it when other people did air quotes and here I was doing it. "So, you might go West?" "With you..." I couldn't help it. My eyes dropped. My invisibility cloak started slipping on. It slid off as I found myself being lifted off the ground and spun in the air. My face being attacked with kisses. I felt tears and heard joyous laughter as our mouths found each other. Whose laughter and whose tears? When his tongue entered my mouth, I didn't care anymore. While being propelled through a universe of bliss and joy, my stomach reminded me that there was good food going to waste in the other room. Beating back the attacking horde ... Okay, ending the kiss. And ending it again. And ... ending again. Oh, one more time. Two more times. Third time is a charm, right? Fourth... "Ahm ... My Sweet Mountain. Dinner's ready." "Yes, you are." His hand under my ass was checking the moisture content while the timers on my chest were definitely letting him know the turkeys were done. Oh, God! I've been reading entirely too much erotica online. That Skip Nickio like comment is just too much. Pushing on his chest, I managed a feeble protest, "You brute. You, you ... cad!" With a chuckle and gleam in his eyes, he twirled a non-existent mustache, "Come upstairs and I'll show you my etchings, little girl." Attempting Mae West, I said, "Why don't you come up and see me sometime." "When you're bad..." "I'm very, very good." Laughing together, he carried me into the dining room. When we got inside the door, he stopped. "Wow!" "Thank your mom," I said, looking down. "No. She did this because of how she feels about you. She's never done anything like this for anyone, other than Poppa." He carefully set me down. "I ... I feel like I need to escort you to the table, milady." "It would be my esteemed pleasure, kind sir." He offered his elbow, I gently placed my hand into it. He led me to the small table at the nexus of the candles and pulled out my chair. The towel had been draped over the chair in honor of our nakedness, fell as he tipped it. I reached for it. He reached for it. The immoveable object met the resistible force. My ass hit the floor, with me attached. Thankfully, Carmella had wonderfully thick carpeting in this room. "I'm sorry. Are you okay? Damn, I didn't mean to do that. Damn. Shit. I'm so sorry!" A small giggle escaped while I tried to look mad. Then another. His eyes got wide, confusion replacing concern. I grabbed his hand and tried to pull him down with me. Ooo-Kay. Plan B. I grabbed both his hands to pull him down. And ... I found myself standing up. As soon as he released my hands, I began beating his chest. "No! No! No! You're supposed to fall down with me! No!" The tears were forming when something inside, fueled by his eyes, pushed a snort out. And another one. Then I snorkeled. His fingers attacked my sides at the same time I went after him. In seconds/minutes/years, we were both on the floor, rolling, tickling, laughing, and ... yes, snorting by one of us. Okay, snorkeling. Loudly. At about the same time my bladder made a major, critical, and very important announcement to the rest of me, My Mountain had me pinned on top of him. Yes, on top of him. "I ... I-I ... DAMN IT! I HAVE TO PEE!" One more tickle, in almost the right place, and suddenly I was standing. No time to think. I just ran for where I thought I remembered the downstairs bathroom was. I pulled the door open ... to a closet. I ran to the next door. The trickle beginning. Shit! Shit! Shit! Damn! Damn! Damn! It was the bathroom. Thankfully the seat was down and relief flowed, rapidly. They have this brass jockey in full racing silks standing in front of the toilet. He was smiling at me. It took me a minute to realize he was holding the toilet paper and it wasn't attached to the wall in some way. After I finish the cleanup, then I noticed the rest of the room. Tile. Marble. Is that real gold? Given the dining room and the kitchen, shouldn't the "powder room" be as ... Italian? Well, as Italian as the rest of the house? Not Mafia kitch. No zebra prints and bad taste. Everything fit and flowed. Grand and accessible. Italian! I moved slower back to the dining room, taking time to see all that I had missed in my mad dash. The house flowed. And, exclaimed. And, welcomed. And, impressed. And, reflected the family. And, the love. The love. ------ Luis A vision came down the hall into the dining room. Venus in all her glory, Turan as my Etruscan ancestors would call her. Except Botticelli never saw something as beautiful as this. It hit me, as she came into the room, she's naked. I've been seeing her without clothes for three days. Yet, I'm seeing her. The not hidden one. I have seen the gorgeous, sexy body, but I've more seen the real her. The person that she's been hiding from the world and herself. "Wow!" Smooth, Contadino. Smooth. "It is a beautiful table, isn't it?" She sat, gracefully, as I held the chair for her. "You ... And the table." "You think so?" "Tonight is the first time, this whole crazy week, I've had the opportunity to admire you. That is, without something else taking away from you. Like school. Or the police. Or the couch in Art. So, what's the occasion?" "Uhm..." She looked down and blushed. Pulling herself together, she looked up and into my eyes. "I wanted to do something nice for you. Something ... well, romantic." "Are you trying to seduce me?" I asked, jokingly. "Yes." "Ahm..." Such a glib, articulate fellow you are, Luis. Pull yourself together. "Thank you." "Is it working?" "Even without the candles, the excellent smelling food..." "Or the nudity?" "Or that." She showed me the appetizers, which were all my favorites. We ate. Talked. Ate more. Laughed. Ate more. Fed each other. Sipped the delicious wine. Talked of California. When there was nothing more to eat, she quickly cleaned the table and delivered the main course. And, a new wine. I carefully recorked the first and put it in a wine cooler in the dining room. She asked me about and it. I told her my mother had insisted. I was glad she did. I didn't have to leave my Becca's presence. Pasta and proteins were the order of the day. She told me she knew from Jason what the need was, and Momma had helped her as well. It was critical to build up my strength and reserves going into Friday night, and recover from the extra exercise this week, not to mention the beating my body had already taken this early in the season. Momma's influence was everywhere. Rich, quality proteins. Sauces that were thick and flavorful without being loaded with fats. Lots and lots of pasta made from whole grains, some infused with spinach and other veggies. A technique she had learned to retain all the flavor and nutrients. Not like that crap you buy on the grocery shelves. 'This is amazing," my Becca said. "So many layers. So many textures. Yet ... Everything is blended, but unique..." "Like what I've seen of your art." She thought about it. "I guess." "I know." I do love it when she blushes. Talk flowed again. The present. The future. Dreams. Desires. Love. Jokes about Southern Cal smog, La-La Land. The Rose Bowl and the PAC-10 football. Painting. Love. Photography. Life on campus. The Italians. I taught her what I could of our way of life, our attitude. "There is another thing I'd like to learn about the Italians," she said, as she moved into my lap after clearing the table. "If you're looking for desert..." She pulled my head down and Mr. Einstein did his thing with time again. Her tongue was hitting the depths of my soul. We joined. Eyes closed, sometimes opening. When it happened, seeing into each other so far, we both shuddered. My hands discovered every inch of her skin. The silk of her back. The complex muscles under her shoulders covered in soft, delicious skin that responded so well to kisses, sucks, and nibbles. The wonderful noises she made when I suckled her. The heat, wetness, and ... The movement -"I can't explain it otherwise -"when my fingers, then my tongue found pussy. Oh, the taste. What she was doing to me was distracting. I wanted to see her eyes, watch her face when she climaxed. Instead, she was doing everything to ensure I came first. My nipples. Oh! My! God! Could she do things to them. Tongue. Lips. Fingers. I don't really know what other body parts she was using. We were everywhere. Chair, table, and floor. Finally, I got my head between her legs. My lips on her lips. My tongue pushing inside her. My nose rubbing her clit. Her legs thrashing. Her hands grinding me into her. I think we found that point that Feynman talked about -"the moment that the Universe goes totally insane, but finds a new way to be. Our particles split. New particles came into being. The world changed. My poor, abused ears got the worst of it from her thighs. My mouth got the best. My mother is a grand cook. Recognized far and wide as a master of her craft. Innovative. Praised for her abilities to blend, create, and combine into new, exotic tastes. Yet, maintaining the essence. The power. I tasted, once again, from the source, the nectar of the gods. Venus. The best desert I'd ever had. And, so much. Too much. It ran down my chin, dripped onto the floor, my chest, the table, the chair ... Wherever we were. Her thighs relaxed. I pulled her ass closer. The taste too good. The feeling too powerful. I continued my assault. Tongue, hands, lips, chin, nose. Looking up over the small forest, I caught the occasional flash of her eyes. Pleading. More or less? I didn't care. Her hands pulled me into her. Then tried to push me away. More fluids flooded my mouth. I tried drinking every bit of it. Then she pulled again. Pushed. More. She went limp. I swallowed the last of the buckets that had come from her. Savoring it. A better wine has never been made. And, oh so Italian in the making. Slow. Building. I kissed my way up her stomach. She wasn't moving. "Sweety?" "Becca?" I nipped her nipple. "Honey?" Holding myself on my elbows and knees, I finally got to her face. Her eyes we partly opened. Nothing but white. Her mouth was slack. A line of drool going down the right side towards her ear. Was I too greedy? Did I taste too much? Did I... "Thank you," a weak voice said in a whisper. "Are you okay?" "Better than. Take me to bed. Now!." she managed in labored breath. I scooped her up and took her down into my lair. Junior was more than willing to commit debauchery. I was more than willing to make love. I pushed open the door to my rooms and discovered more candles lighting the way. Soft pillows and new sheets on the bed. Rose petals! There were rose petals! DAMN! I gently put my Becca down on the bed, on the rose petals, the new sheets. The flickering lights of the candles playing wonderful games with her curves and delicious bumps. Her head flopped to the side, she pulled herself into a little ball. "Covers," a weak voice said. I pulled the sheets over her and slid in behind her. Her breath was now soft. Regular. She was in a ball. I put my arm over her, gently, realizing the weight of my arm alone might wake her. She did all this for me! She looks so good. So sweet. So beautiful... And ... She's asleep. I... Hmm... Yeah, I... Alarm! I need to set it. Done. Yeah. I think. She's so soft. So wonderful. So... ------ "Don Sanche, ou Le château de l'amour" (S .1) (English: "Don Sanche, or The Castle of Love") is Franz Liszt's only opera (there is controversy if he actually wrote it, though) and first published work. He wrote it when he was 14. It is a story of the "Love Castle", a tragic comedy I would highly recommend seeing if it ever comes back into production. ------ Part 4: Thursday ------ Chapter 26 : Thursday Morning "Wake Up Little Suzie" Luis Earthquake? Damn, the world is shaking. Maybe Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna are erupting at the same time. Shit! The lava flows will be on me in few seconds! Then it stopped. False alarm. Maybe I'll just stretch these sore muscles of mine. I might be loose by game time. There's a tightness on my chest. Not in it. My legs won't move forward... Yet, there is this wonderful, soft ball I'm wrapped around, snuggled into my chest. It felt so good. Junior was perfectly fitted into this soft, warm, and moist crevice. My hand wrapped around something that felt so much like a massive tit. With a hard nipple. The quaking started again. It will go away. It had to. My alarm hasn't gone off, had it? This wondrous feeling on my chest, in my hand, and around my penis was way too nice a dream to let go of. The shaking, it had a voice. That voice sounded a lot like my sister. What's she doing in my dreams? Am I getting pervy? I let out a good, long sigh. It will go away. Let me cuddle into this warm, incredible thing in front of me. SHIT! The world still shakes. And talks. Nope. The voice is beginning to be rude. And the shaking now pinches. "Luis! Wake Up!" It hissed into my ear. Damn, that hurts. The thing in my dream was twisting my poor, abused ears. "You're late for your run! Jason's outside!" That really did sound like Margie. The words sounded real. What is this delightful feeling in front of me? Oh. OH! BECCA! "Get up. Now!" "Shit, girl. Give me a break," I hissed at my little sister. "Good, you're alive. Don't wake her. Get up, go on your run. We'll have breakfast for you and Jason when you get back." "Ugh!" "Move, brother mine. Or..." I do wish she'd stop that pinching on my earlobes. The helmets do enough damage. "Okay, okay! OKAY! Give me a friggin' minute to unravel. Okay?" "Just get moving." "I know now why you get so much done. Brutal you are." She gave me a quick kiss on the lips. "Thanks, brother mine. Love you too." My sister, the new sexpot of the young century and current bane of my existence, vanished. Now, how to untangle myself? I'm wrapped around the sweetest, most wonderful creature on Earth... Wait. We just slept together. All night! WOW! Okay, back to the mundane. Like emptying my bladder. How do I get up? Thankfully, T'ai Ch'i helps. This arm comes off, slowly. Let me pull the covers over her top. This arm ... Slowly, slowly, slowly let me pull it out from under her neck. Done. Let me push the blankets around her as I move away. Carefully! Delicately. Slowly. I'm standing. And looking down on that marvel in my bed. That incredible person. So loving. So giving. So ... Perfect. Talk about indecision. A huge part of me, including Himself, wants to crawl back into bed to snuggle, wake up together, and see what develops. A small part of my rational, responsible mind said running. Damn the responsible part for winning. Now, do I leave a note? I noticed the flowers around the room for the first time. I took a single orchid and placed it on my pillow. Quickly, I wrote a note expressing my love. Throwing on my socks and shoes, I headed out, figuring I can do my stretches and warm-ups after apologizing to Jason. In a fast walk I head up the driveway to find Jason doing his own stretching. I realized I'd left my music player. Oh well. Won't need it while running with Jason. "Morning," he said with a flat voice. "Morning, Jason." "So?" "So ... what?" "My sister." "She's sleeping. She crashed shortly after dinner. I think the week caught up to her." "Is she okay?" "She's fine, other than being tired. I'm sure they'll have her up and around by breakfast. Why don't you join us." "I will. Remember what I said before." Damn! I held in a huge sigh. It was just easier to start my stretches and warm ups. We finished our stretching and took off at an easy warm up lope. Jason never looked over at me and stayed quiet. I took the coward's way out and stayed that way myself. What a day to leave my music behind. About halfway through our run, our pace having picked up to a solid six minute mile, he started running ahead and zooming back. Taunting me like before, but without the verbiage. I let him do that a couple of dozen times, then tackled him onto the grass. "She's fine, dude. We ended up just sleeping last night, okay?" "Seriously?" "Yes." "I ... I..." "Look, Jason, I understand your concern. To a point. Okay?" "But..." "Yes, you're her brother. And, if I ever hurt her, I'll stand there and let you pummel me. Other than that, what we do -"or don't do -"is none of your business. Okay?" "Yeah. I guess." "You'd better do more than guess. I plan on being in her life for a very long time. And, you and I need to be cool. Plus, we need to be right for tomorrow night." I stood and helped him up. He looked at me, the tension draining. "You know, I don't think I'd want Cherie's brothers to act the way I started to." He offered his hand. I smiled at his growing smile. Shook his hand and pulled him into a hug. We broke and I could feel a bond growing between us. "Come on, I need to get our newest receiver into shape for tomorrow." "And I need to teach a mountain how to move." Laughing, we set off and finished our run at a solid, breath sucking pace. At least it was breath sucking for me. He seemed to have no problem finding the oxygen to taunt and bump and fake me and... ------ Rebbecca This boat I'm on is really rocking. Are we in a storm? Will my hunky, hero captain save me? While others would be hard pressed to see My Mountain standing tall, legs spread, behind the wheel of an old sailing ship, I had no problems. All her canvas flying, crew jumping at his commands, and the ship cutting through the waves proudly. Me, with my bodice nearly open, ankle length dress flying, his massive arm around me... "Becky?" I swear that sounded like Margie, not Luis. What's she doing on our ship? What's she doing in my dream? What's she doing in my bedroom? Room? This doesn't feel like my room. There is no smell of paints. As I pry my eyes open to another round of the bed shaking and my name being called, I start to panic. This isn't my bedroom! "What the -"" "It's okay, Rebbecca. You're in Luis's bedroom." "Oh. Yes. I-I-I..." "It's okay, almost sister." "B-But..." My face started getting wet. "What's wrong? Did he hurt you?" "N-No!!" Someone was wailing. And shaking, because they were shaking the bed and me. Margie surrounded me in a big hug. "Tell me." "I-I ... I ... fell ... asleep on him!" The wailing was hurting my ears. I wish that person would stop. I couldn't say anything, I was starting to gasp. And cry. "It's okay." She was stroking my hair and letting me cry on her shoulder. She's naked. Wait. So am I. But, I feel asleep. In the middle of trying to seduce My Mountain. I looked through the tears around the room. Each burnt down candle made me cry harder. Each rose petal produced a gasp. Every flower a reminder of my failure. I noticed every detail of the room. The soft sheets. The extra pillows. The spread that must be over a hundred years old and a delicate, hand-woven lace. All the love and care that Carmella and my Mom had put into this room. "And ... A-And ... I FELL ASLEEP!" Margie continued to stroke and comfort me. Whispering calming thoughts into my ear that didn't even register. Just the care and love, which made me cry harder. "He must hate me!" "Not from what I saw when I woke him up a while ago." "W-Where is he?" "Running with Jason." "Oh. How did he look?" "In love. All cuddled up to his sweetie. And when he opened his eyes, his first ... second ... third ... hundredth look was at you. Nothing but love in his eyes. That boy has it bad." "B-But ... I fell asleep." "Rebbecca, think about it. Would that upset the guy you've know and fallen in love with?" "N-No." "So? You'll have lots of times to seduce him. Which I don't think he really needs you to. Next time, he might be the one seducing you." "Oh! B-But ... What our mothers did..." "They did with love. They're not going to judge you." "H-How'd you get so smart?" "Where do you think he gets it? Come on, let's get you ready to face the day." "Well, it's not like I have to dress for it!" That got us both giggling. "Oh, god!" "What?" "I need a whole new wardrobe. All my clothes are so..." "Maybe not a whole new one. Just a few changes. You have a wonderful sense of style." "Comes with being an artist, I guess." "Well, a few changes, and we can have you looking sexy as hell." "You'd help?" "A chance to go clothes shopping? I am female, after all!" That got us both laughing. I managed to get out of bed, hit the bathroom, and take care of all those pesky morning details. Showered and feeling more human, I looked in the mirror as I brushed my teeth. "Okay, girl, you fell asleep. Would you have done that if you didn't love and trust him?" The mirror didn't answer, but my entire being did. Standing taller, I headed upstairs and into the kitchen. Hugs from both Margie and Carmella settled me. "Don't worry, Rebbecca. Everything will be fine." "Thanks, Carmella. I hope so." "Don't hope. Know." Our future Inspirational Speaker and Queen of the Universe speaks, if she has time after organizing the world. Never mind, she'll just schedule it that way. They pulled me into breakfast preparations. While it started out feeling weird and awkward, soon I was just one of the girls. The joking, the teasing felt good. "Do you think Jason will join us for breakfast?" "I-I don't know. I hope everything is okay between him and Luis." "Why don't we fix extra for him, just in case. I'm sure with the human vacuum cleaner around, it won't go to waste." "That boy can eat." "It's a good thing his football scholarship will cover his food through college. He'd better think about after, though!" "Or have a famous, wealthy artist for a wife," Margie faux-whispered to her mother. While they laughed, the word wife rattled around in my head like a pinball. There were bumpers trying to reject the idea and scoring for that side. Bonus points being racked up in favor. I found my internal hands working the flippers. Was I aiming at success or failure? Then the ball was flung onto the upper platform ringing bells, flashing lights, twirling gates, and spinning the score in favor so hard, I couldn't see the millions digits because they were changing so fast. "Rebbecca? Are you alright?" Carmella asked. Margie looked concerned as well. "I'm more than alright. Let's get that Mountain of mine fed!" "We need to watch. If Luis brings Jason, he won't do his other routines. They will probably just shower and come up. If he's alone, we have at least 40 minutes." "Oh, his T'ai Ch'i!" "She's learning!" A couple of minutes later, we could see Jason and My Mountain jogging down the driveway. My sensors were up. How was Jase reacting to it all? He's such a good brother. Is he jealous that Luis is going to take me away from him? How will he handle that? "Rebbecca?" Carmella was standing in front of me, a hand on each shoulder. "It will be fine." "H-How..." "I'm a mother, remember?" I chuckled. Margie laughed. Carmella just hugged all of us. "Why don't you take these sports drinks down to them, they'll need it." "Sure?" "Go!" And, she swatted my butt as headed towards the stairs. ------ Luis "You take the first shower. I'm going to do a short form of T'ai Ch'i." I pointed to the bathroom. "No problem," Jason said. "Nice pad. Love the rose petals." "I'm in so much trouble, aren't I?" "Would I say anything in the locker room? Me?" He laughed and headed to the bathroom. A hand appeared and handed him a bottle of sports drink. The hand turned into an arm, then turned into Becca. "So, why do you think you're in trouble? Anything I should know about?" she said as she handed me another bottle of the drink and placed her fists on her hips. "Ahem..." Okay, what did I do wrong? "Yep. Trouble, mister." "Don't I get a last request before the firing squad does its job?" "Certainly." "Hugs, kisses, and snuggles with you that last the rest of our natural lives?" "Sneaky bastard, aren't you." She flowed into my arms. Her arms pulled my head down, like I was going to resist kissing my Becca. Mr. Einstein did his thing again. We both heard the shower turn off and pulled back to look into each other's eyes. "You're not mad at me?" she said in a very small voice. "Why?" "F-For falling asleep." "What? You thought I'd be mad at you? Why?" "I-I left you ... frustrated. A-And we didn't ... You know..." "Becca, sweet Becca ... When we make love, I want you looking me in the eyes. I want to see the joy in your eyes. And, most definitely, you didn't leave me frustrated. I went to sleep last night incredibly happy and satisfied." "Why? How?" "I was with you and you loved and trusted me enough to fall asleep in my arms." No Einstein this time. More like Hawkins and one of his black holes. I was sucked into the vortex of love called Becca and we went hurtling down into our own special world. "Ahem..." Came a strange voice. "I'd say get a room, but we're in yours." "Brother of mine, leave us alone." "Yeah, what she said." "Boy, get invited to breakfast then turned out on the street before the food." "Food. Yeah!" "I guess I should get you growing boys fed." "If he grows any more..." He was holding his hands apart about Junior's relaxed length. "JASE!" We managed to get upstairs, fed, and off. We dropped Jason at their house and I drove my Becca to school. I found some soulful, romantic Motown to entertain us on the box. Temptations. Four Tops. Just another day in paradise. Well, with her by my side, how could it not be? When we got to school, Becca said, "I'm going to head over to the art building and see a Pixie about California." "Would you go there if it weren't for me?" I wrapped her up in a hug. She felt so good against me, reminded me of waking up to her this morning. "Probably." "What about Texas?" "Not without you. The light, to me, is all wrong there." "What about the pollution in LA?" "Well ... Not the best, although it does soften the light!" We both laughed. "But, there are so many places around ... And the ocean, the mountains..." "Enough said!" We kissed and she headed off. I headed straight to the whirlpool. I had an overwhelming need to play some ZZ Top this morning, so in went a disc with "Sharp Dressed Man" -" damned appropriate for this week! I slowly sank into the tub, thinking that this is probably how I'm going to feel every day thirty years from now. "Lineman's Lament", they call it. Knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders all shot. Coaching is looking better every day. Maybe just a few years as a pro would let me get there. Then again, there is always being the Noble Prize winner for the Unified Theory! "Well, it's the rubber ducky man." "Morning, Hollow Balls." Mike settled into the tub next to me. "So, did you follow the Naked Week tradition and get laid last night?" "Mike!" "Well, either you did ... Or you didn't." "Fuck you." I started out of the tub to kill the bastard. He knew better than that. I don't talk about it. Even during Nekkid Week. "Okay! Okay. Chill." He took a hard look at my eyes. "Sorry." "Accepted." We shook. "East?" "Yeah! Have you seen how they line up their middle backers?" We fell into a quick analysis of their interior linebackers. Those guys responsible for sacking our quarterback would give Mike the most trouble, and would breakup short yardage passes over the middle. Mike had seen some holes. Phil, Jason, and other key players on both sides of the ball joined us as we hashed out different things we'd see and how we'd deal with it, plus our surprises. We even talked about what they might do just for us, since they hadn't played anybody serious so far this year. They could be sandbagging us, just like we're doing to them. Phil gave a quick report on the articles in the morning paper. The local sportswriters were calling this a war. A rowdy brouhaha and such. Most were predicting an offensive shootout. I kept my counsel, feeling in my bones this was going to be a war of attrition and the best defense was going to win a very low scoring game. "Enough of this, we need to get to class," I said. "Yeah. Some of us have to, like, get dressed and all." Thanks Mike. As a group, we headed towards the classrooms, just a few minutes before the bell. It's good to have friends and the companionship of teammates. ------ Rebbecca Francesca was in her studio when I walked into the art room. Hard at work on one of her series pieces. She must have caught my entrance, normally she's very focused. Carefully, she set down her chisel and large hammer. "Ah! Buongiorno!" She said after taking off her face mask -" a necessity in her chosen medium. "Why do I think you were expecting me?" I tried to strike a defiant pose, something new for me. And, hard to do when you're the only naked person in the room. At least, for me it was. "Folleto tells me things. I listen." We both laughed and hoped the pixies keep us in mind. In a good way. I talked to her about USC and UT, without letting her know about Luis's decision. She agreed that USC would be better for me. "Rebbecca-" "I'm going to go by Becky now." "And Becca to a certain someone?" Damn, I've never noticed her wink before. "Yep!" "Becky ... You're good. You have room to learn from others a few techniques, which I think you will continue to do all through your career. On the other hand, what you need is people to see your art. And you." "California." "Si." "And?" "And ... now that you aren't as invisible as you used to be-" "I'd do well." Did I just say that? Y-Yes ... I did. I straightened my shoulders, which had an amazing effect on my chest. Damn! They really do stand out there, don't they? Not bad looking if I do say so myself. Luis seems to like them, just wish he'd spend more time with them. I pushed my shoulders back a bit more. Wow! Of all the art and photos I've looked at, I've never paid that much attention to my own body. Except to hide these massive things. I no longer think they're the problem they were"Becky? Earth to Becky!" Francesca's voice pulled me back to the moment. "Yes, you are, uhm... bella regazza - beautiful. You never saw that before, did you?" "No. I-I..." "It's okay. You know it, now. And, I don't think it will swell your head, will it?" "No. It is too easy to remember being ashamed of my boobs, of hiding. Being scared to show my art, and now..." "Doing it for others now..." "Y-Yes." "That's fine. But, that's what you need to do. Do your art for you or for someone you love. You're learning to share and that is good. Plus ... I really think Luis will help keep you grounded." "That he will." The heat I felt was not a blush. Something much deeper. Much more fundamental. And it spread through me from my deepest point. "Esattamente!" Her smile was ... kind. Loving. Supportive. "Why don't you help me with this sculpture for a bit, unless you want to work on your own." I smiled at her before I put on the face mask. We fell into a natural working rhythm. We had worked together many times, me as her assistant. It still amazed me to watch such incredible beauty emerge from a block of solid stone. "You see how I have to allow the stone tell me what to do. So different from when you make the paint do what you want. I might see something in a stone, but I have to work with the stone, allow it to be, and compromise to make our mutual visions become a thing of mutual passion." "I do see it. It amazes me when you run across a vein like this one," I reached out and ran my hand along a streak of darker stone that created a warm ribbon of caramel in the middle of a field of white. I watched as she turned this "imperfection" to her advantage, integrating it into her vision of the finished piece. We worked for a bit more, the rough shapes emerging. Growing warm in appearance compared to the coldness of the stone. Remove a piece, to the untrained eye it appears as just chisel marks, gouges in the rock. To the creator, the form is emerging. To the assistant, the utter magic of having the vision revealed a chisel strike at a time. Remove another piece of stone. The shape emerges and we begin the smoothing out, joining with other areas. Still a long way from the highly polished statues most people are familiar with. Francesca set down her chisel and removed her mask. "You've got just enough time to wash that dust off of you before classes start." I looked down at myself. The light dusting of marble had turned my skin into that of a simmering, moving porcelain doll. The dust from the dark vein was patterned across my breasts, accentuating my nipples and the curves. "Would you take a picture of me before I do? I love this pattern across here." I indicated my boobs. Gladly she did. I ran into her office and rinsed off quickly in the shower she has. A nice feature for a sculptor. A couple of minutes later, I was approaching homeroom, with a few minutes to spare. In my mind, I was seeing the painting of my boobs with the marble pattern across them that I'd give to Luis. "Becca!" Rosalee squealed as she ran towards me. Another place in my heart warmed up. "I have a request." It hit me, like a brick. Rashad. "So do I," came Susan's voice. ------ "Wake Up Little Suzie" by the Everly Brothers ------ Chapter 27: Thursday Morning - "Teacher, Teacher" Luis Mike, Phil, Jason, most of both lines, and I were heading towards the main classroom building. The Brain Trust, yeah! Well, maybe. The crew that came in early during the season. Perhaps, the dedicated? It seemed to me we're just a little too wired, especially after the intense strategy and tactics conversation we'd had in the locker room. I mean, no music! "Okay, guys. Serious is good. But, we need to be loose, too." Yeah, that's me, future Coach C. Jamaal, one of our offensive tackles who clocks in at 6 -˛ 5 -ł and two hundred and ninety very solid pounds, spoke. A rarity for him. He seems so gentle, until you see him ripping the head off a defensive tackle. Hell, he knits! Loves Shakespeare. And Dante -"God forbid! And, bless my heart, classical music. And Motown. The Temptations! He assumed the pose of a bad actor pretending to think. Rodin would not be doing a statue of him in that position. "Serious. Relaxed. About like asking for a well fucked virgin." We all stopped and turned toward Jamaal. Not only had he spoken, he'd been funny. He kept his face a mask of relaxed indifference, showing no indication that he'd said anything. We all had to hold each other up. Attempts to high five him resulted in more laughing, as we all missed. Yet, he stood there. Calm. Relaxed. But, an unmistakable grin in his eyes. From the mouth that can quote Shakespeare with diction that Sir Richard Burton would have envied. And, quote he can, from memory, all of Shakespeare. And Dickens. And, and, and... "Yo! I think we'uns needs to get to class, y'all." He had us in tears. And, he stood. Calm. "Damn, you white boys are too easy. Dumb ass crackers." He shook his massive head. Okay, I'm on my knees. When he did some "gangtsa sign" thing, it took all of us down. "Shit. Don't knows if I can does this nekkid thing. Could I still wear my bling?" He pretended to admire some imaginary necklace, watch, and ring that were obviously huge. Tears were streaming out of my eyes. I couldn't get my breath. I managed a look around. I was in better shape than Mike. Phil was using Jason for support and Jason was a bit shell -"shocked. He had just been brought into the "inner circle" and had no reference. What he didn't realize, with Jamaal we didn't either! Still, he had tears streaming from his eyes. "Fuck! Jesus! Jamaal ... Wha..." "You said be serious and relaxed. Now, perhaps, you are relaxed. We were just a touch too serious." Now he joined our mutual support group trying to stand. "Jason, so ... what do you think?" I asked. "Uh..." "That would indicate that he's uncertain. Perhaps, he's had a recent significant emotional event that has upset his equilibrium. Should we suggest a therapist for him?" Jamaal sounded eerily like Dr C in lecture mode. Mike managed a coherent breath. "Well, his sister -"" Jason woke up, before I did. "Yes? Are we getting to the serious part, yet?" "Gentlemen! I insist. We must proceed upon our appointed rounds. These minor issues might be best dealt with on the field of honor. Perhaps, tomorrow evening?" Together, in a group, we managed to calm down enough to walk towards the main building. The occasional snicker erupting, which produced a chuckle and a laugh, then back to semi -"serious. Mike put his arm around Jason and pulled him over to me, then put his arm around me. "Look, guys. I didn't mean anything." "Sensitive, right now. Okay, Mike?" I said. "What he said," Jason said. "I apologize. Can we be cool?" Jase and I looked at each other across Mike. We drug it out. Just when we felt Mike beginning to stiffen, we simultaneously said, "Sure." Jamaal's sonorous voice rang out, "Amen!" Phil chanted right behind him, "Thank you Lord for this team..." Chuckling, we entered the school proper and headed through the mazes of halls towards the grouping of classrooms for homeroom. Still, the occasional snort came from at least one of us. We turned the corner towards the homerooms. The usual throng of students clogged the hallways. Yet, something was wrong. There was one clump. In front of my homeroom. The energy felt all wrong. Suddenly, Jason pulled away from us. I wasn't far behind. Jamaal and Mike were my speed. Phil and a couple of others moved between us and Jason. Surprising me, Phil was keeping up with Jason. Then, I heard Rosa's voice above the mass of noise. "No! That's not reasonable!" And a gasp from Becca. SHIT! ------ Rebbecca Requests? Oh! The Program. Shit! Did I think that? Did I say it? Naked. Shit! Yeah... Not one request, but two. And from people I didn't trust. Rosa's here, so it won't be too bad. I wish Luis were around. "Becca! Such news to tell!" Rosalee said running up to me, wrapping her arms around me, and gave me a solid, toe -"curling kiss. One of Luis's Black Holes opened and we fell right in. So different from My Mountain, yet so sweet, gentle, loving... I'm a writer. There should be better words. If my brain were working, I might find them. My brain ... Oh, but the body is working overtime! "Ahem! I had a request." Rashad has grown a spine? "Yes, we have requests. Giiiiirlz." Susan sounded so different than she had in the cafeteria on Monday. None of the bouncy girl on a high. Her bearing and her eyes were ... hard. Feral. Rosa partially unwrapped me and looked at the two requesters. "Are your requests for one or the both of us?" "Her," Rashad stated, pointing at me. "Well, well, well." Susan shook her head. "The two lesbians." A look of disgust crossed her face. "No wonder I was able to satisfy Luis." It almost looked like she wanted to spit. "So, both of you." Rosa looked at me. I could only gape like that poor fish on the dock I had caught when I was five or six. Where is the air? "What?" Rosa said. She was ... relaxed, yet ready? The muscles and energy were totally new to me. Poised and ready to strike? Oh, shit! What is going on here? I need my "now" mind, not my artist's mind. Yet, there is an image here... "Well, you must be lesbians. You're hugging and smooching with each other and your quote -"man -"unquote is no where around. So..." If this didn't sound so serious, I think I would have laughed at her air -"quotes. "Not that it's any of your business, but we're not." How Rosa got that out while my mind was still spinning... A voice in the back of my head said to breathe. I pulled in through my nose. It helped some. Before it seemed to stick in my neck. Was my throat that small? "So, appearances and actions are deceiving?" The glove dropped. "We care for each other a great deal and are exploring it." Rosa gave me a good one -"handed hug letting me know her love and support. "I know how much she loves Luis. Hell, she spent the night with him last night." "So, the virgin isn't any more?" Susan took a half -"step back. Eyes wide. "I should think not." Can you say tsunami? All I could do was shudder. My eyes got moist. The air trapped in my lungs found a way out. Rapidly. Nothing more wanted to come in. Rosa caught it. So did Susan. "See. She can't even fuck him. She's a lesbian." "I -"I..." My chest was tight. Why couldn't I pull the air in again? "Shhh! You don't have to tell her anything." Rosa's hand gently rubbed my lower back. "Well, that's one of my requests, for her to tell me about last night." "That's not a reasonable request," Rosa said for me. "According to whom?" "Me," Rosa said defiantly, she was only holding me with one arm, loosely, and was about in Susan's face. "Ladies!" Rashad's voice cut through the building tension. "I have a request of Rebbecca that doesn't involve questions. That might calm things down while you consider what's reasonable." "O -"Okay," I managed to get out. How, I don't know. Is this what it feels like when an elephant sits on your chest? "I want you to pose for me." He tried to look me in the eyes, but ended up staring at my boobs. "Uhm. Okay. Now?" I started to move into the "classic" Program pose -" hands behind head. How I did it, I don't know. An act of submission to a stranger. A brief thought ran through my mind about bringing this up at lunch. Then the feeling of needing to melt into the walls rolled through me. Before it paralyzed me, I heard My Mountain tell me to breathe, it was as if he had his arm around me and not Rosa. I managed to gulp in the first breath, shakily let it out, and begin to relax into the second breath. "Not here. In the Art Room. I want to sketch you and take some photographs." "When?" I nearly had to force the next breath in. The elephant's girlfriend had joined the sit -"in on my chest. "After Art today." "We have the Pep Rally and The Nakeds are going as a group." Why did I just lie? I'd like to go to the Pep Rally to support My Mountain, but we hadn't agreed to a joint thing as The Nakeds. "Then tomorrow, after school and before going to the game." "Uhm ... Okay." What else could I say? It was reasonable and the game wasn't until after dinner, even though it was all the way across town. "Nerd -"boy, is anyone allowed to this session?" "I prefer to work without an audience." "Too bad. I'll be there. Now, run along Nerd -"boy. Us women have business." Susan gloated. "So, now, bitch. Answer my question. Are you still a virgin?" "Y -"" "Don't answer her. That's not reasonable." Rosa gave me a supportive hug. "She already did. Can't even fuck your man? Lesbian!" she spat. "Y -"You don't understand! W -"We had a nice dinner. We fooled around and ... and ... I fell asleep." My eyes watered. The sobs came. I couldn't stop them. Yet, I found it in myself to stand there and stare back at this ... girl. No woman, she. Susan wasn't going to win. "And Luis was a sweetie, wasn't he?" Rosa asked. "Yep. Tucked me in and snuggled to me all night." Damn, that was easier. The elephants must be on the dance floor. "Yeah. I bet you'd rather have been with this slut." "When I call myself that, I say it with pride." I felt Rosa tense. "Slut." I put my arm around Rosa and turned her towards me. It took a second or two for her to disengage from staring at Susan. "She's not worth it," I spoke from my heart to hers. It took her a second. Then she smiled. "You're right. Now ... now I have my mountain." "Our Mountain." "I think I found my own last night." It took me a second. Then the light went on. "Mmm -"" "Later," she cut me off. We hugged. "See. Lesbians. They talk about guys while hugging and kissing each other. Where are your guys? Probably jacking -"off somewhere because they can't get any from either of you. Or, maybe this 'Mmm' doesn't want to go where every man has gone before." "Are the mice squeaking?" Rosa asked as she looked all around except where Susan was and waving her hand in front of her face as if bothered by gnats. "Okay, Slut and Virgin. I have a request. I want you to kiss and play with each other." "Nope," Rosa said simply. The hug she gave me was telling me to 'watch this!' "You will or we're going to the office right now." In my mind, I pictured Susan stomping her foot. "It is not a reasonable request." "I agree with Rosalee." "Well, I say it is." "It is not reasonable to require a person in the Program to interact sexually with another person. You can ask us to pose, we've gone above and beyond and answered some personal questions, so you can take this request and -"" A gave Rosa a hug with my arm. "Don't step down to her level." I don't know where that came from, but it felt right. It sounded like something My Mountain would say. The elephants must have decided to sit this song out. I felt the warmth I feel when in his cave. Susan smiled. "Then, bend over and spread yourself open," she said while pointing at me. As the breath left my body in a most unpleasant way, "T -"That's ... reasonable." "Yeah, it is. It sucks, but it is reasonable." Rosa gave me one last squeeze, then took my hand to support me as I did this. "Ah, isn't that nice. The lesbian lovers supporting each other." "Friends, something you'd know nothing about," Rosa stated while giving my hand a squeeze. I bent and took my hand back from Rosa and spread my ass cheeks. God, was this humiliating. But, it is an example of an acceptable request in the Program pamphlet. "Nice. But, I don't see a hymen. So, you two play with dildos?" "Luis broke it on Monday. At her request. Not that you needed to know that -"" "Don't, Rosa." I managed to cut off her pejorative. I didn't need her sinking down to Susan's level right now. What was making Susan do this? She had always seemed like a nice person. "Isn't that sweet." She paused, leaving me bent over showing myself to the world. I know the redness in my face wasn't just from my head being down, but the crowd that had gathered behind me, staring at my privates. Privates. Yeah. They were pretty public at the moment. "Slut, why don't you see if he did a good job and got all of it." "Is that a request?" "Yes. Do it." "No! That's not reasonable!" My lungs finally worked as they sucked in air. Why wouldn't those stupid elephants charge Susan??? ------ Luis "Gentlemen!" Coach MacFarland said in his most measured voice. It froze all of us except Jason, who Phil grabbed and turned him towards the Coach. "You three," he pointed at me, Mike, and Jason, "in here. Jamaal and Phil, you two go and monitor the situation. If action is needed, sound out. There are teachers ready. The rest of you, homerooms. Now." In my mind, I heard a special play called and had to perform. Mike did as well. We had to "assist" Jason. He's young. Doesn't know all the plays in the Book yet. Once in the room, Coach gave us each a hard look. One at a time, until he was assured we had his undivided attention. "Gentlemen. I know emotions are running strong at the moment. You will be free to attend to the needs of your loved ones in a moment. Before that, I want absolute assurance that you will not do something stupid." He looked us all down again. "Stupid is something that would a) get you kicked out of school, b) suspended from school, and/or c) in deep shit with your loved ones." "But -"" Jason started. I wasn't surprised when my hand met Mike's at the back of Jason's head, although it did reduce the impact of my slap. "This is Thursday. We've been expecting some problems with the Program. Right now, there are teachers in every doorway. Out of sight, yes, but ready. The last thing we need is for you gentlemen to step into a situation and react inappropriately. I know you're all keyed up. East is tomorrow. I've been building you up for it. You're ready. Too ready to walk into that hallway right now." Mike and I were slightly swaying as we dropped further into our centers. Our feet planting, knees bending, and roots growing into the ground. Jason was swaying slightly with us, but he was coming up onto the balls of his feet. Mike and I were the Rhinos. Jason was the lion. We were all getting ready for battle. "Now," Coach Mac continued, "I don't want to ruin what we've done getting ready for this game. I also don't want problems with loved ones. You want to protect them. That is admirable. Commendable. Now, listen carefully." He paused and drew us into his eyes again. About like when he grabs our face masks during a game to make sure he has our undivided attention. "You have friends and supporters out there right now dealing with it. You need to be ready to comfort, not confront. In this moment. Tomorrow, I need you to confront. Got it?" 'Breathe!' my inner voice said. Mike looked across Jason to me and we nodded. "Yes, Coach!" we said together. Jason was still in attack mode. Another joint hand slap to the back of his head and he finally said, "Yes, Coach." Coach Mac just stared at Jason for a minute and he seemed to shrink between Mike and me. Jamaal's deep tenor voice rang through the halls, "Coach!" Before any of us could move, Coach Mac barked, "Sit! Against the wall, asses on the floor!" And we did. Although it appeared that Jason sat with us, I'm positive that Mike and I pulled him down. "Don't move," he barked again and went out the door. Okay, Einstein! Curse him! He hit again. This was the opposite of the pretty girl on the bench or kissing Becca. This was waiting for the bus at night, alone, wanting to kiss Becca. Fog rolling in. Being naked in public ... Oh, I am. Damn. This sucks. If being naked is supposed to make me feel powerless then it's working. What the hell is it teaching me? To be singled out, made to parade myself around. Accessible to anyone wanting to touch me. Distracting me? Yes, Becca and I got together, I think, because of it. But, is the rest worth it? The rest of my life is resting on some decisions coming out of this week. Just now, one finger squeezing too hard on the trigger of my emotions and no scholarship, no college, no coaching, no PhD, no whatever! Being Nekkid is teaching me what? I looked around at Mike and Jason. They looked as confused, angry, and agitated as I did. Jason was approaching wild fury, actually. Mike was a bit more restrained. Shit. No wonder Coach had us on the wall. If I looked like they did ... Oh. Shit. "Mike. Jason. Chill." "What?!?" Mike growled. I've faced him across the line for nearly seven years in practices and scrimmages. This was not a look I wanted to see on any offensive lineman in school. Death first, pieces to be accounted for later. Not conducive to calm, rational discussion. "Fuck you!" Jason expelled through clinched teeth. Why me? Why now? Well, Coach, now it is time to begin to be one. Shit. Can I have a bit more time? Let me get through this week. Except, now, my new girlfriend is being abused in the hallway. Her new girlfriend is in trouble. My best friend on the team is ... Whoa! He's hooked on Rosalee! Damn! That's a good thing. But ... But ... Oh shit. Jason and his sister. East. FUCK! Breathe, asshole. Breathe. If only I could stand and do the Short Yang T'ai Ch'i form. Hell, the opening sequence as a Walking Meditation. Anything to pull these demons out of my head. Only, I need to deal with those around me. Be stronger. Right. Sure. No problem. Let me just wave this magic wand. Oops. Don't have one. I'm ready to pound people into the fucking pavement. Tackle everyone and then sort out who has the ball. Chill myself. Breathe! At least we're disciplined enough to follow Coach's orders. Except Mike keeps pushing Jason down, subtly. Shit. "Guys. We need to trust our coaches." Well, that went over well. Something about replacing helium with lead in a balloon. Mike barely had Jason calmed down again and sitting when Coach McFarlan's voice came rumbling through the doorway, "Contadino! Out here now!" There was a tangle of arms and words as I got up. I paid about as much attention as when hitting a tackling dummy. My goal was in my head and, therefore, in my body. Air didn't even get in my way out the door. I still possessed enough of my senses to keep from bowling Coach McFarlan over. He was standing just outside the door, blocking the hallway, waiting for me. "Contadino, I need you to relax. Everything is fine. You need to calmly, I repeat -"calmly, support your girlfriend. And, DO NOT GET INTO ANY TROUBLE. Got it?" "Yes sir." He stared hard into my eyes and finally let me pass. A fraction of a millionth of a second later, I had my arms around Becca. Instantly, an upset girl was trying to crawl into my lap, although I was standing up. Rosalee gave me a huge and whispered, "It's okay. Just a bad moment. I know you'll take care of her." To my surprise, she walked away, headed towards the classroom where we had been sequestered. I guess it wasn't a surprise, really. That thought disappeared as soon as I realized my chest was wet. ------ Rebbecca His arms felt wonderful around me. So safe. So ... Oops. I'm trying to crawl into my cave and he's standing up! "Let's go to homeroom, then we can cuddle and you can tell me all about it." He sounded loving, yet there was tension all through him. In less than a heartbeat, we were in our classroom and I was in his lap. God! This feels good. But... "My Mountain? Why are you so tense?" "We knew something was going on when we came in from the Gym, but Coach intercepted us and herded us into an empty classroom..." "Oh! Was Jason with you?" "And Mike. Coach sent Jamaal and Phil to make sure everything was okay. What happened?" "Damned requests and a bitch named Susan." Was that me that said that? Yep. It was. And, it felt damned good to release that. Shit! I've been crying. I hate the Program. "What? What request?" I could feel every muscle in My Mountain. There was no velvet over the granite today. Just a layer of steel. "At first, it was personal questions, then having Rosa and I play with each other, then ... Oh! I wanted to smack her!" "Rosa ... Why did she take off so quick?" "Mike." I looked up into his eyes. I could see the second he got it. "Mike!" "After Media Day. They spent the evening together." I saw his eyebrows go up. "No. Talk. Getting to know each other. She's a goner with him. Did he say anything?" "Ahm ... Maybe. We talked about the game this morning. He did seem distracted about something though. And, when we came in the door and heard you and her, he took off as fast as Jason and I did." "Awww! That's sweet. The three of you were going to defend our honor?" Damn! When did I start giggling? The look on his face was precious, though. Before he could recover, the announcements started. Before spending time with Luis this week, I had never really considered the quality of sound reproduction. And, now, I realized that the school's PA system had a similar quality to using driveway chalk for a delicate drawing. It did manage to convey the usual stuff about lunch, substitutes, and warnings to be good little children and not play with thermonuclear devices -"at least that's what I think it said. Then a reminder about the Pep Rally after school and the game tomorrow night. Another Naked dropped a piece of paper off for us. I know it was a Naked, because I saw a swinging penis go by. I guess I'm so used to this that I didn't even look up. Nor stare. Much. Luis picked it up and read it. "It's directions to Shirley's party Saturday night. Are we going?" "Is this a request for date?" "I -"I ... Uhm..." "Gotcha!" DAMN! He knows all my tickles spots. It's cruel and unusual punishment! Where's the ACLU when I need them? As quickly as the attack had begun, it ended. His arms cradled me and I instantly felt like I was in My Cave again. Peace. The ACLU. Yeah, where are they where the Program is concerned? The last announcement was about the concert on Sunday night. Encouraging us all to attend, of course. Bets on how many will be at the away football game and how many will be at the concert? A few seconds of Cave Time later, it was time to go to my first class. We left hand -"in -"hand and walked into Rush Hour in the halls. As the requests started, my mind saw a new painting. Just the ghost of it. No details, that's normal. I knew it would just bounce around my head until it was ready for my attention, then I'd better find a canvas. With a hug and a kiss, My Mountain dropped me off at my classroom. With the morning still running through my head, the painting percolating, I managed a hug back and walked into class. Almost to my seat, "Miss Davis?" I turned and saw Ms. Carlisle standing next to a chair at the front of the room and pointing to it. Oh Shit! Biology. Fair game in the Program. "Rebbecca, Becky, are you willing to be a live model for class?" "Ma'am, not really." "Why?" She looked really concerned. "This morning I had to face requests getting out of control. I'm still shaken up from it." Why was my heart beating so hard? I know she could compel me. Per the rules, all requests from teachers were "reasonable." "Do we need to talk about it? I mean, as the Program Sponsor to one of the participants?" "At lunch, please?" "I understand. Are you willing to share some of your experiences with the class today?" "Could we tomorrow? This morning is still a bit fresh and I haven't even sorted it all out." "See if you can sort it out by this afternoon." I had forgotten about Health class. "Promise." "Take your normal seat, then." The rest of class was a blur as requests, Susan, My Mountain, and shadows of a painting all paraded across my mind. Luis called it the Monkey brain. Apt. ------ Luis Calculus was, well ... Calculus. It seems so simple when you get the basics of integrals and derivatives. It's only when you throw in logarithms and such that it gets really strange. It's a good thing I had already taught myself most of this a few years earlier when I needed it to go through the Feynman Physics Lectures. "Mr. Contadino. Would you care to show the solution to this problem?" Mr. Singh asked, pulling me from my chattering brain. "Ah, sure." I went to the board and slowly worked through a triple integral using natural logarithms. After finishing and getting a nod that I was correct, I went back to my seat. Requests came back to my mind. I couldn't meditate out of this, it kept coming back. My spiritual teachers had all told me that when this happens, don't ignore it. Solve it. Great. Another f'ing thing on my plate. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It is becoming litany this week. Shit. Requests ... Crap. How did I feel about them? So far this week, I really hadn't noticed too many. The ones I have, they've been ... interesting. And ... they've been ... distracting? Best word for it. Maybe not unpleasant except it drew my attention away from Becca. What about when someone made a request of Becca? How did I really feel? Tested? I mean, I don't own her. I really have no claim to her. We've connected, but made no promises. We've discussed and agreed to nothing about our relationship. Yet ... Yet ... Yeah. How did she feel about them? Will's move enraged me. Then I managed to calm down and find my compassion. Well, after being reminded by Dr. C and the Coaches. There was still a tinge of burn in my muscles from that lesson. I'm concerned about Rashad's intent. His energy just feels all wrong. Thankfully, he hasn't been around lately. But, she does see him in art. I'm sure Francesca will take care of her, though. "Mr. Contadino? Did you get that?" Mr. Singh asked. I quickly looked at the board. No sense in looking at my notes, I hadn't been taking any. Nope. No clues what he is talking about. Confession is good for the soul, so they say. "Ahm ... No." "I am disappointed Mr. Contadino. Perhaps some extra work would pull you back into the classroom?" "I'm sorry, sir. Just a lot on my mind this week." "This is such a departure from your norm, even facing a big game. I presume this has to do with the Program?" "Yes sir. Very much. As a matter of fact, so much, that I'm having trouble even focusing on tomorrow night." "It is a good thing you are ahead in this class. Do what as need for the next days. Back Monday?" I managed to nod my head. I do love and get confused by his accent. The looks I got from others was ... Oh! Respect. They seemed to understand! As a great teacher once said, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. My teachers seemed to be everyone around me. What the hell am I supposed to be learning? "Thank you. I promise next week will be different." "I hold your promise." Amazingly, I got whispers of support and a couple of pats on the back. Damn! I finally found a breathing pattern that allowed me to relax my muscles. Damn, they had been getting tight. I hate it when my shoulders touch my ears. This morning's bullshit had them getting close to being able to part my hair. "Mr. Contadino? Are you planning to attend your next class or are you going to sit here the rest of the day?" Mr. Singh asked. "Oh. Shit. Sorry. Thanks." I quickly gathered my stuff and headed out the door, against the crowd moving in. Amazingly, or not, they moved out of my way. Just like I parted offensive lines. Was I that intense? I tried to head towards Becca's room. I made it minus three feet from the door before the requests started. One person asked and three grabbed Junior. My ass felt like there were twenty hands on it. My chest, arms, and abdomen were being fondled. Squeezed. Rubbed. Was somebody fondling my toes? Crap! I did my best to get out of the classroom without crushing anyone. The hallway was ... the hallway -" chaos. Even with my height, I couldn't see Becca in the mass of humanity. And, that mass was paying a lot of attention to me. Well, to my body, at least. Not a single person was paying attention to the person that was me. I'm sure the look on my face at the moment would have melted offensive linemen. Yet, five foot nothing little things kept making requests. Under the rules, I had to let them if it was "reasonable." Shit. What was reasonable was finding Becca. What was reasonable was getting my game face on. What was reasonable was doing well in my classes. I'm sure more than one person was upset that Junior wasn't hard. Too damned bad. I'm pretty sure right now he's smaller than when I run. A perfect male defense mechanism. Smaller target. Her class was empty except for those streaming in. I needed to get to Physics. Okay, to repeat a phrase oft used this morning, shit! Maybe fuck might be better. I hope my sweetie is okay. I still don't know all that happened, just that Susan confronted Rosa and Becca with some unreasonable requests. Crap. What do I do? We promised to meet. I walked towards her next class as fast as I could with hands all over me. Junior didn't even arise to the occasion, no matter what was done to him. After a bit, it actually started to hurt. I picked up speed and got my game face partially on, all the while scanning the hall for Becca. I got to her next classroom, English, and saw her talking to her teacher at the front. I sorta waved, got the teacher's attention, who in turn let Becca know I was there. I got a sad smile, a small wave, and an air kiss. She looked miserable. About like I felt. Mouthing "Later," I headed off to class. The ever present hands rubbing, squeezing, and occasionally pinching. I've had more pleasant experiences having sandpaper rubbed across my chest. Not quite as bad as belly surfing on a lava flow. Walking into Physics, Mr Thomas looked at me, all of me. "Well, I see you don't need relief. Hopefully, Mr. Contadino, you didn't sneak into the bathroom and take care of it yourself." "No sir, I don't need relief. And, no, I didn't masturbate." "Then why so shrunken and red, then?" "Abuse in the halls." "Abuse?" "Oh, sorry. My mind is elsewhere. Requests." "Well, take a seat and let's get started." Soon, we were deep into the wonderful complexities of Cosmology. Star sequences, black holes, and the wonders of gravity, degenerate matter, and photons. Dark energy. Folding space... In no time at all, class was over and I was out the door like Jason hitting the line at full speed. Vaguely I heard Mr. Thomas try to warn me about my speed. Anyone that tried to make a request was left in a Doppler shift. Near approaching a blue light shift and leaving behind a red haze. I got to Becca's class just as she emerged, head down, trying to be invisible. I picked her up and pulled into my chest. Shit! She went crazy! Swinging, hitting, screaming... ------ Chapter 28: Thursday Lunch "Baba O'Riley" Luis What the ... Becca is hitting me. She has to be hurting her hands. I need to stop her before she does some real damage to herself. I looked into her eyes. SHIT! She is already hurt. Not physically, but freaking. DAMN IT! Why this week? Why at all? "Becca?" No reaction other than the continued wailing and flailing. "BECCA!" Her head turned my way for a second. Feral eyes that will probably haunt me for the rest of my days. "Shit!" I think came out of my mouth. Ms Carlisle appeared in that moment behind Becca. She looked at me and tried a sympathetic smile. "What the..." She shook her head and her face went sad. The look in her eyes told me to be patient. And shut up. My training took over and I finally took a breath. Well, it was almost a breath. The air made it into my mouth. Maybe. And another inhalation. It was almost deep, it almost made it into my chest. The exhale was, at best, shaky. And ... another. And ... that one made it to my center. I felt the roots connect. And, damn, Becca is still hitting my chest. I've got to stop this. Another breath ... without hurting her. Using the Push Hands technique of no more than four ounces of pressure, I placed my fingers around her wrists. Slowly, working with her energy, I moved her blows off my chest and into the air. Damn! She's stronger than she looks and her energy is all over the place. Properly directed, it would be very powerful. I absorbed her energy to slow her movements. I could feel her heart. Every muscle moving. All the energy directed wildly into her arms. It was easy to see the confusion in her mind and soul without even looking into her eyes. As soon as her arms stilled, she whipped her head up and met my eyes. Only then could I plainly see the pain in her soul. "Oh!" she managed. And then her knees melted and she collapsed. Joan helped me catch Becca. She wasn't out, she'd just turned into a dishrag. Doctor C appeared at my side. For a large man, he can be too quiet. Maybe I was distracted. "What... ?" Yeah. What! My new saying of the day. "I'll take her someplace quiet and talk to her," Ms Carlisle said. I noticed the crowds looking at us. Most seemed just as confused as I felt. A few angry stares at me, like I had done something horribly wrong. She began leading Becca towards her office. Doctor C pulled me away and towards his office. Once inside, he had me take the seat I had stood behind on Monday. "Luis, you remember the psychological profile testing we did?" "Yes sir." Talk about out of the blue. "And do you remember what your personality type was?" "The Meyers-Briggs test? Yes. An INTP – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Perceptive - the architect." "Someone who lives in the world of ideas. Yes. Do you remember how weak or strong you were on the Introvert rating?" "Middle of the road Introvert with some degree of Extroversion." "So, you have need for some solitary pursuits, but don't mind being around people." "Pretty much." "Okay. Rebbecca is also an I, Introvert. Except she is a very strong one. Almost off the scale. She has to have large blocks of time by herself. I would imagine this week she's had very little time to herself." "Hmmm ... Sleeping Monday and Tuesday night. And, some time in the afternoons when she's in the art rooms." "Not nearly enough in a normal week, for her. Then add in the stress of this week." "How did I miss all this?" I shook my head. Then, "Hell, how did you see all this?" "Well, the easy answer, it's my job. Plus, experience has shown us that psychological backlash due to the Program happens today. In a way, it is amazing she's made it this far without some signs." "Well, she does crave what she calls 'Cave Time' when she snuggles into my chest and disappears." "Ah. Yes. That would be a temporary substitute. She needs some time, and soon." "Lunch?" "Yes. Ms Carlisle is going to suggest she skip part, or all, of the three lunch periods and go to the art room. She can use Francesca's private studio. We've cleared it with her." "Good. Should ... should I leave her alone for that?" "You may want to offer to walk her. Don't push." In other words, stay out of the studio. I may be a dumb jock, but I got that. "I can do that." I looked down at my hands. "I feel responsible for not giving her the time she needed." "You probably didn't see anything wrong. This morning, her world caved in. I would imagine you're feeling very disoriented yourself." I couldn't stop the snort. "That would be a good way to describe it." "You almost said, 'No shit!' Didn't you?" I nodded. "After you talk to Rebbecca, I want you to take a break yourself. Use as much of the lunch periods as you need." "Uhm ... What about the Nakeds?" "If you were to show up to the first lunch period, you'd find more than one off on a break. Don't worry about it. Ms Carlisle and I will be there and explain that we've granted breaks to anyone needing it. And, offering any that show up the break." "Okay. Yet, I feel like I'm letting everyone around me down." "A sure sign you need a break. Center yourself." The thought of a long Yang form ran through my mind followed by half an hour in the whirlpool. That began to settle me just thinking about it. "Will do." Then a thought invaded my mind. "Uhm ... What was going on this morning? Coach MacFarland mentioned that teachers were waiting in doors and such." "We've gained experience with the Program and the backlashes over the years, plus learned from others. We're prepared, but we need to let things play out. To a point. We didn't interfere with what happened with Susan and Rebbecca ... Becky. It would take a while to explain it, let's just say we've been watching things develop. Becky's meltdown wasn't unexpected." "Why not warn us?" "Personally, I would have loved to. Yet ... Luis, when you're first learning to hit an opponent did you always listen to your coaches about the right way to keep from getting hurt yourself?" "No." I flashed back to those days. The hard, hard lessons that were accompanied by bruises, cuts, and other damage to my body. And that was in practice. "Exactly. You learned more by experiencing. As cruel as it seems, the experience of this morning needed to happen. We'll be monitoring it. Yet, I think we did all right. Becky is going to do just fine. Now, how about you?" "Me?" Wasn't I doing okay? Was I? Hell, fucking, no. "Yes. You. I've known you for a long time. I'm also an ex-professional athlete. I know your head is not where it needs to be. Plus, as an educator, I know that same head is not doing his normal excellent in classes." "Caught? Huh?" "Caught. And, what are you going to do?" "Take the break over lunch. Center and get my game face ready." "Good. Now, let's go. Remember, don't push. You may even have to push her away a bit." Great. ------ Rebbecca "Becky?" Joan's voice penetrated the swirling fog of emotions in my mind. She had settled me on the couch in her office and taken a seat, being sure to leave some room. She allowed me a long time to just sit and ... I guess just be. No pressure. No talk. Quiet. I felt comfortably alone. Almost. "Y-Yes?" Staring down in my lap just felt so right. Better than walking around naked. My fingers were doing an intricate dance with each other. "Has Cave Time helped you this week?" "Yes!" I looked up, with what almost felt like a smile as I looked at Joan. The flood of memories of being snuggled into My Mountain's chest washed over me. "Is it enough for you?" "I-I ... Uhm ... Ah..." Be honest with yourself, Becky. Becca. Your creative energy has been nil this week except for that blast Monday and Tuesday. Okay, a few sparks. But, by now, in another world, I would have done a lot of writing, more paintings. Why couldn't I? I felt a small voice squeak out to Joan, "No." "Well, we have an easy solution. You get good alone time in the art rooms, don't you?" "Yes ma'am." Speaking of writing and painting. And that cave that Francesca provided me. "Why don't you head there now, instead of lunch." "B-But, what about the Nakeds and..." "Everything will be fine. More than one of the Nakeds will be missing at lunch. You tend to your needs right now." "A-And ... Luis?" "Dr. Cavenaugh is talking to him right now and encouraging him to take some time as well." "But ... I hit him." "And do your hands hurt?" "W-Well, some." I looked at my hands and realized that they would probably hurt in a while. It looked like I had been hitting a hard wall, but wrapped in silk. Red, inflamed, but no cuts. Actually, no worse than helping Francesca with her marble. Yet, what I did hit me. "W-Will I see him?" "Right now if you want." "Yesssss!" Did I really say it that loud? Joan chuckled, helped me up, and led me into the hallway. ------ Luis Dr. C and I exited his office at exactly the same time that Ms Carlisle walked out of hers with Becca in tow. My Sweetie looked up at me, shyly. There was sadness in her eyes, yet joy in seeing me. I have never felt worse in my life for bringing this pain by not understanding her needs. Remembering Dr. C's words, I opened my arms, slightly, inviting her into a hug. She looked a question at me that my body knew the answer to before my mind caught up. My arms opened wider and were instantly filled with my sweetie. "I'm so sorry..." we both said at the same time. Looking down into her eyes and her seeing into me, we talked without vocalizing. In a second and three eternities, we worked enough out to be able to move forward. To hell with the PDA policies, we kissed. My heart was exploding as my mind achieved peace. I felt her melt into me. Joining. Being as one. We'd still be there kissing, or more, if we hadn't heard a stereo clearing of throats from either side of us. I slowly pulled back, making eye contact again. "Busted." "Damn. It's detention for us." "Yep. Locked into a room together for hours." "Having only to focus on each other." "Yep. Damn." "Yes, damn!" "Okay, kids. Enough mocking authority," came Dr. C's deep, command voice. Becca and I cracked up at the same time. I could have sworn I heard a snort from Ms Carlisle. Oops. Joan. No, in this context, Ms Carlisle. We finally untangled, took one last long look in each other eyes, shared a brief kiss, and simultaneously said, "See you in a bit." "Uncanny," said Joan. "Magical," Dr. C said low enough that he might not have thought we heard him. We slowly moved apart, souls still talking through our eyes. Finally, our hands broke. Almost refusing to lose contact, the energy exchange persisted long after the loss of touch. With a quick smile to each other, we turned to face our audience. It took Joan a second to recover, "Am, yes. Okay. Doctor Cavenaugh and I need to handle the lunch with the Nakeds and both of you have things you need to be doing." "Yes ma'am," we both said at the same time. "Unreal," Dr. C said. "Amazing," Joan said at the same time. ------ Rebbecca Lunch? LUNCH? A few minutes ago, I was waking up in My Mountain's bed. Then crying ... and being supported by Margie and Carmella. Then the strangeness in the car. One of these days I really need to figure out all those buttons. A freight train hit called Susan. Rosa was there, I think. Yes, she was. She had something to say. I think. I was melting, melting into the ground. If it had been melting into invisibility, that I would have enjoyed. Yet, my melting seemed to draw more and more people. More and more stares. More and more things I didn't understand. Feeling so alone in a crowd, with loved ones around. And, not writing. And, not really painting except one, with twenty new ideas and a couple of burning fires that seem to keep going out. And college offers out of nowhere. And my sweetie is distracted. And not losing my virginity. And falling asleep. And Susan this morning. And my conflicts about Rosa. And Luis. And college. And art. And... My Mountain took my hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Would you like me to escort you to the art room?" A gentle warmth washed through me. The Ands went away. No, they settled into places, waiting to be resolved, but no longer needing my constant attention. Yes, I wanted him to walk me to the art rooms. Yes, I wanted to do some art. Yes, I needed time alone. Yes, I loved this man. Yes, I wanted to go to college where he did. Susan? Psst. That was me hating myself. O ... Kay ... Really? Y-Yeah. Oh, damn! I get it now! We hate not a person, but what that person draws out of us. The hate is our fear of that thing in us! Yes! "My Mountain, it would be a great ... joy ... if you would." I looked up and smiled. We locked eyes. Yep. He's right. Einstein did have this figured out. Who would have ever thought of the great scientist as an incurable romantic! A grunt and giggle from Doctor Cavenaugh and Ms Carlisle, Joan, intruded. My Mountain and I walked down the hall in silence. Holding hands. It felt so right. We arrived at the art room door and he turned to me, "I'm so sorr-" I put a single finger to his lips and looked deep in his eyes. His pain met my confusion and they swept out into the stars together, hopefully to be fused into something positive for others. I know that much about physics, conservation of energy. "My Mountain ... I love you." And, I prayed. I felt, knew the answer. Yet... He looked into my eyes. "And, I love you." I pulled his head down, that massive thing that seemed to weigh nothing, and touched my lips to his. Just as we met, I whispered, "My Mountain. My love." The world swirled. Yet, in the mix, I saw a path. A path that led to a new painting. A painting I had to do, now. Now. And he slightly moved his lips. What painting? What world? My Mountain melted into me. Me! He was as light as a feather. Just as I was thinking I could dance him around the room, a coughing sound came in stereo. ------ Luis After helping Becca mount a monstrous canvas in an easel in Francesca's private studio, we shared a brief kiss before she disappeared into her private world. As I was leaving, Francesca stopped me. "She'll be fine, Luis." Her hand brushed my cheek. A very Italian thing to do. A mother loving her son. Respect and love. "I know, thanks." I couldn't help but smile. "Sorry we broke up the kiss when we came in," she said with a chuckle as I walked out. "We'll care for your Fottella della montagna." "She is my pixie," I chuckled in return. "I guess I am her mountain." I smiled all the way down the hall. Knowing that Becca was going to be all right and had loving support if she needed it took a big weight off me. Another huge load lifted when I realized that I had a break as well. An hour or three to center. The monkeys in my brain immediately started chattering away. Some of them downright squeaking. The Program. College. Football. Friends ignored this week. Friends made this week. East. Classes. Family. Hell, Margie in the Program. A whole choir was yammering about Becca. Another, smaller one, about not taking enough advantage of the Program and getting relief in every class. Least we forget the finely tuned voices singing about Rosalee. With full pipe organ accompaniment. Thoughts streaming through my head faster than I could possibly engage and consider. I damned well wished they would choose one key and stick to it! And, I'm trying to engage the cacophony. Giving it a name. Talking to it. Trying to argue. I tried rotating my neck and didn't get very far. Imagine that. Not with my shoulders touching my ears. "Luis!" a voice shouted from behind me. Plant right foot, turn, bend knees, prepare... "Shit, dude! Damn!" Phil said taking a couple of steps back. "I never want to see that breaking through the line coming after me." "Oh, damnit Phil!" In my mind, I saw him in the red jersey that told us defensive types that we weren't allowed to kill them in practice. My fists were clenched, when did I do that? "I'm sorry." "Just keep up that intensity for East." Breathe. Don't kill our quarterback. Kill their quarterback. Breathe. "Working on it, believe me." "Dude, you need some stress relief." "That's where I'm headed. Some T'ai Chi and a whirlpool instead of lunch. Hopefully, that will..." What would it do? Oh, yeah, find center. It wouldn't solve the thousand problems running around my head with the billion questions attached to them. "I hope so. I'm worried about you. Your head isn't where we need it. And we need everything we can get for tomorrow night. Remember, not only is this game about local pride, this game is critical for a lot of our players and their chances at a good college, or college scholarships at all." "Phil, you know I respect you. Yet, the only thing holding me back right now is a vision of you wearing a red jersey. For that, I apologize." "So, what are you going to do?" His eyes darted left and right, instinctively looking for running lanes or a place to dump the non-existent ball he normally held during the game. "They've excused me from the Program for the next three periods. I'm going to use it to ... I don't know. Be?" "We'll talk before practice?" His eyes tried to bore into mine. He was getting his game face on. Shit. Where did I leave mine? "No problems." And I'll be glad to sell you ocean front property in Colorado. It's just a short walk across those dunes to the beach. "Then, go to it. Remember who you are. A force. A leader. Part of a great team." And, he walked away, leaving me standing there shaking my head. What was left of it. On one side, more monkeys than grains of sand on a beach, chattering away senselessly about everything and nothing. On the other, a dozen choirs that would make the Mormon Tabernacle one look small, singing their songs of woe about an issue I needed to address. The Game. The Team. College. Becca. School. Becca. Parents. Friends. Becca. Sanity. Grades. Becca. Rosalee. Becca... "ARRRRGGH!" The echo from the empty hallway was not the answer I was seeking. I had a brief sense of feet running away down the other corridors. Damn. Just what I need. I'm supposed to scare the shit out of the other team, not my friends and fellow students. The first door I encountered was the typical push-bar affair. I'm glad they have heavy duty hinges, yet I'm afraid they'll be replacing those tomorrow. And that it had that little pane of glass with the wire mesh in it. Damn it. I bet that is expensive. Somehow, and without too much more mayhem to animate or inanimate objects, I made it to the weight room. One corner of the room is equipped with gymnastics pads on the floor large enough for three or four people to work on martial arts as needed, or tackling and blocking practice. It was perfect for T'ai Chi as well. I stood facing the corner. Feet shoulder width apart. Automatically my body aligned in the classic starting pose. Knees slightly bent. Arms down by my sides, relaxed, palms inward, fingers slightly curled. The weight on my feet perfectly balanced between them and over the length of my bare feet. Without thought, my breathing deepened. The voices chattering away. The choirs singing. Who the hell brought in the pipe organs? Do they really need to be doing dueling organists right now? And not a single one of them E. Power Biggs. My breath continued to deepen, requiring more and more of my focus to make it smooth, even, and to pull all in that I could and expel all I could. The magic ball at my core began to spin, hesitantly. I ignored the monkeys. Just noise. Only noise. When I didn't pay any attention to them for a dozen breaths, they got pissed off and found another part of town. Automatically, years of training coming into play, I slowly sank into my knees, my hands coming up into position, feeling the energy ball. Somebody must have taken a chainsaw to the pipe organs, because they weren't playing any more. As my hands moved through a pattern that, to some, looks like moving a beach ball around in front of you, my right leg automatically moved out and back, sliding on the floor. Never losing my grounding, which became stronger in every moment, I became a new stance and moved the energy, thus my opponent is forced to consider another view of life. Were the same people with the chainsaws now gagging the choirs? When the arms move in, the breath moves in. When the arms move out, the breath expels. Turn, slide, move. Excruciatingly slow, yet muscles never tense. To tense a muscle requires relaxing it before it can be moved. A waste. Let the energy build inside. Arms, legs, fingers, toes, knees, and such are only for sensing the other's energy. Channeling it into the Earth. Retrieving it 1,000 fold and returning it. Let the Chi do the work. The body is a vessel for the energy. Yet, each movement is a defense or attack with an opponent. As my teachers taught me, when doing the form alone, see the opponent. When working with an opponent, be alone. Slowly, with a series of cleansing breaths, I came back into the start position. It also happens to be the end position. I was in exactly the same position in the mat as where I started. Looking up at the clock, I saw the twenty-five minutes had passed. Perfect. I was in touch. My mind was still. I was relaxed, yet very aware of all the power in the Universe and my ability to call on it and channel it as needed. I tingled. Yet... Suddenly I was very tired. A good tired. The one that comes from properly using your energy, not the mindless rattling around in a maze looking for the promise of a piece of stale cheese. At the same time, the week had worn me down. The rebuilding muscles from Tuesday's excesses needed to be tended to. They were almost there, fully grown with new layers of fiber that will make me stronger tomorrow. They just needed some TLC. The rebuilding of my emotional and mental state needed tending as well. Good thing that one thing would tend to all, in this moment. I moved into the wet room, gliding on my feet. Maintaining my roots into the Earth as long as possible. Each move designed to progress without over-extending, without over-reaching. Staying within my balance and power at all times. Ah, the wet room. To the music box. What should it be? I didn't care, I pulled a flash stick out of the box and stuck it in. The music filled the tiled covered room as I sank into the monster, stainless steel, swirling pool. The fast, repeating synth sequence of The Who's "Who's Next" first song started. 'Out here in the fields, ' sang Roger as I sank into the tub. The hot, swirling water did it's best, and it was a great job, to relieve the soreness in my muscles and joints. 'We're all wasted!' came the chant as my mind finally emptied. ------ Rebbecca That glorious empty, off white space stared back at me. It was huge, taking all my vision. I could see the individual threads of the fabric woven together, even with the sealant closing the minuscule gaps. The Program. Damn. I've been naked in school for almost four whole days. Amazing that most of the time I really haven't noticed it. Well, those times I have have been very tense. Naked. Without clothing? No, more than that. Without protection of any kind. I guess when an entire society is accustomed to it, it fades into the background. That's what a nudist resort must be like. After the initial reaction, the nudity just fades. I guess that is the difference. Nudity versus nakedness. One is people without clothes. The other is people being without protection. Is that what the Program is designed to do? Leave us without protection? Is that just my cynicism cranking up into high gear? I'll reserve judgment for the moment. I looked up at the canvas and realized that I had put a rough background on it. What was I painting? I'd had a flash of a painting earlier, now where did I put it? I stepped back and took in the whole thing. I tried to see what was wanting to emerge. Nope. Nothing. What the heck is that? Looks like woods. Maybe. A school hallway while tripping on drugs? It would get my vote. I put the brush down and checked the surface. Still wet. I grabbed my palette knife and began scrapping off the paint. The broad, dull edge making short work of the clumps of colors. Yet, some stayed behind. The colors blending. Stepping back again, I took another look. Jackson Pollack meets Andy Warhol. In a head-on collision at 300 miles an hour, maybe. Luis. Oh! My! God! Luis. My Mountain. One positive to the Program, yet what a hell of a week it has been. How could he stand me now? I tried to beat him up earlier. My hands still hurt. I wonder what he sees in me? He would let me hit him and be so gentle, so kind, so loving, so ... Damn it. I don't want to cry. I don't cry. Invisible Girl doesn't cry! As I went to wipe the tear from my left eye, I notice I had a big brush in my hand. The kind used to paint walls. Or put Gesso, the sealer, on canvas. As in cover up what was there! It's a stark white and able to hide anything underneath. Well, my modern art non-masterpiece was gone. Only some slight textures from the brushing and scraping were left. Rosa! How did that happen? What happened? I mean, I'm attracted to her and all, but how does that effect my relationship with Luis? What am I going to do there? Is there a future? Is it something I want? Something more than Luis? Would I lose him over it? I was getting so twisted up, I stomped my foot. That made the small brush in my hand fall. Good thing, as I was about to start pulling on my hair. I'll just have to talk to Luis and then Rosalee. I definitely can't make any decisions about this by myself. I bent to pick up the brush from the floor, except it wasn't there. The large brush was. Oh well, another failure painted over. The texture was getting interesting, I'll say that. College. Yep. That time to really start thinking about it. What the hell happened yesterday? Suddenly I'm being recruited to colleges with great art programs? Was it because of Luis? Could be, but then again, I think I smell another Italian scheming. I'm learning. People under-estimate the Italians. Make jokes about them. Yet, Western Civilization wouldn't be worth a damn without them. The art world would suffer. I'm beginning to like, okay, love opera. I want to go see one. I want to travel to Italy with Luis. I want to experience the Slow Food Society up close and personal. I want to walk in the steps of the great philosophers and painters. I want to understand My Mountain. And the scheming, Machiavellian teacher that I'm pretty sure made those calls yesterday happen. I looked at my right hand and realized that I had a "medium" brush in it. Something I use for feathering. Not something I do until I've gotten a section of work done. Stepping back, I looked at the canvas. This time I had started in the middle. Well, I can see the beginnings of a large space. Very ordered. Perfect perspective. The initial outlines of columns, patterned and decorated panels. Shit! I'm channeling Nicola Pisano! I guess that is the cost of using the studio of an Italian sculptress. But, the Baptistery of Pisa and it's pulpit? So geometric. So ... ornate. Who says the Baroque period was the most over-detailed that still felt right and looked good? Last night. Okay, I've used shit and OMG. I've cried. Been angry at myself. Apologized. Beat myself up. Been told everything was fine. Been loved. Supported. Totally freaked out? Oh yeah. Damn it. Wait. Used that. What's a new phrase I can use? Come on girl, you claim to be a writer. Think of something. Back off, bitch. You know I don't work that way. I need my space. That's why I'm here. Talking to myself. Over the edge. I've spent no time writing. Not even in my head. Much less on paper, which I've done everyday since I can remember. I threw my hands into the air. The big brush in my hand threw Gesso all over everything, including me. That pulled me back to the canvas. Now stark white again. Yet, some very interesting textures patterned the formerly flat plane. Hmmm ... That looks like ... Yeah. Maybe. Perhaps ... Hmmm ... My hands found the palette, the right brush, and the proper tubes of paint without me looking. Still staring at the textures, the brush began moving with a life of its own. College. I'm too young to think about college. I haven't even experienced high school. I think. Or, maybe this week I have. Would my teachers, professors, be better in college? Would I have to put up with this week, every week through four or more years? That's enough to make me want to go screaming into the woods. The woods. I haven't been walking through the woods in a while. Well, this week at least. Those lovely patterns and shades, constantly changing. A breath of wind and a new scene is exposed. A single step and a whole new perspective appears. I stepped back from the canvas and looked. Gee. Surprising. A woodland scene. It feels nice, but... Nope. Not really what I want to do with this canvas. What do I want to do with this canvas? I had definite ideas earlier this week. What happened to them? What happened to the flash I had while in Luis's arms? There is a painfully simple answer to that. The Program. And, all its attendant ... shit? Yes, shit. Bullshit. Cow shit. Horse shit. Troglodyte shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. A tear formed as I remembered the attack by Will. As I went to wipe it, I noticed the big brush covered with Gesso in my hand. Another blank canvas with more complex textures stared back through watery eyes. As I stared, the Program went away. My love of Luis beat in my heart. My commitment to my art began flowing through me. A vision of what this canvas was capable of. What I was capable of. What I needed to tell, although I couldn't put it into words. Francesca's insistence that I stretch myself... The world collapsed and expanded at the same time. Paints appeared on my palette in the right sequence and amounts. The right brush appeared at the right time. The questions, issues, and events of this week just faded. Left like the texture every time I Gessoed over this canvas. A quiet song came into my head. I focused on the sweet, soft melody while my hands went back to work and the room faded. ------ Luis I wasn't wasted any more. My joints felt good. My muscles relaxed and stronger than before. Better, my mind was still. I was able to pull up Becca in my mind and feel warmth, love, and happiness. I was able to think about college and feel that I was moving in the right direction. Rosalee ... I don't see it as a problem. If Becca wants to be involved with her, fine. I liked her, but not in the same ways. It would be Becca's decision. And, that felt right to me. East floated into my brain. I felt the right side of my mouth rise up in a smirk. "Their center is dead meat. Their quarterback will experience hell like he has never before. Their running backs will receive only pain and negative yards if they enter my ground." Jamaal came into the locker room as I finished at the sink. "Well, well, well. It would seem the cornerstone of our defensive line is back." I turned toward him, my muscles relaxed, but more than ready to go. A growl started at my toes and rose through my body. "Well said. I've never heard you so articulate before. However, I would suggest you reserve that for our opponents tomorrow evening." His smile took any possible bite out of his words. Then he winked, nodded, and went on about his business. I was ready. The walk to the cafeteria was quiet. Thankfully. It was thirty minutes into the second lunch period, so everyone was already in class or having lunch. The normal buzz of the cafeteria grew as I approached and its familiar, comfortable waves washed over me as I opened the door. I made it through the line in record time with my tray loaded down with my high carb, high protein meal. It's hard to call it food, but it's edible. Today, it was just necessary. My body needed it. I would eat it. Most likely, I wouldn't even notice it going down. The Naked Table was easy to pick out. I internally groaned at the thought that the table held the bare essentials. The walk to the table was filled with other students acknowledging me with head nods and smiles. No stares. Gawking or otherwise. Maybe the Program has "adjusted" people to casual social nudity. Maybe people were just too freaked to respond. Maybe it was support. Dr. C and Ms Carlisle were there with only half a dozen of the Nakeds. The table was very quiet and subdued as I approached. Ginny was the first one to notice me. "Coach!" She jumped up, ran around the table, and hugged me. With all that this girl has been through, her being here and hugging me blew me away. "Coach!" Shirley, Chris, Jane, and Sherry all shouted as they joined the group hug. As we started to break apart, Rosa slithered into the gap and molded herself to me. She stared into my eyes as I gave her my game face grin. "God! I'm glad I'm not wearing East's colors!" And she kissed me. Not a Becca kiss, but I wouldn't turn it down on a cold day. "The three of us need to talk, soon." Why is it when women say anything that involves three words: We, Need, and Talk; that the male mind only registers fear and dread? "Okay," I answered slowly. Smiling, she gave a short laugh. "No, it's nothing bad. What is it about guys when a girl says that?" "Experience?" Every guy around nodded their heads, causing the women to laugh. "Glad you could join us, Luis," Dr. Cavenaugh said. "Thanks, Dr. C. I'm feeling much better." "Good. Have a seat, enjoy your ... food." "It isn't my mom's cooking, but it will do." "Very little is your mother's cooking, Luis," Ms Carlisle added. "Tell me about it. And, she expects me to cook to her standards." "Physicist, athlete, and master chef. You're going to make some woman very happy." "Or several," laughed Rosalee as the rest of the Nakeds sat back down. "I'm too young to be hearing this," said Ginny, pretending to blush. The giggles gave her away, though. We settled down as Dr. C and Ms Carlisle continued a check in with everyone that I had interrupted. It gave me time to inhale the protein and complex carbs piled high on my plate. In a perfect imitation of "Animal House", Ginny said, "Just keep your hands and feet away from his mouth." Chris dropped into character, giving a near perfect imitation of Greggie, "Don't you have any respect for yourself?" "This is absolutely gross. That boy is a P-I-G pig!" Sherry intoned in perfect Bab's voice. I had a quick flash to her, in character, saying, "Greg, honey. Is it supposed to be this soft?" "See if you can guess what I am now," I said in the best John Belushi recreation I could. I only wish I could cock my one eyebrow that way. "Before we start a food fight, I suggest that we end this now," Dr. C finally said. You could hear a huge laugh getting ready to rumble out at any second. "Naked Animal House!" Shirley shouted. Half the table had seen "Animal House" more than once. The other half was curious and asking questions. Thankfully, this gave me a chance to consume the rest of the food in front of me. Such that it was. For a heaping plate of my mom's veal, her pastas, fresh veggies cooked just perfectly, and the never ending supply of bread that is to kill for, well ... I'd kill for. I hoped the training tables at USC had better quality food. At least something with taste. Okay, I'd made that decision. Now, to wait for the official offer letter. Better call and see, first. When I receive it, give them a verbal commitment. I know that a few years ago there had been some problems with the NCAA concerning USC, but I felt confident that they had been addressed when the then-Athletic Director and some of the recruiting staff left. Conversation around the table stayed light and flowed, well, mostly flowed. There still was the undercurrent of the missing Nakeds. Dr. C and Ms Carlisle kept the conversation going and kept interjecting topics that were as far from the Program as possible. "So, Luis. Ready for East tomorrow?" I stared back at Dr. C for a moment. Put on my game face grin, this particular one was reserved for quarterbacks just before I ate them. "Yep." "Damn!" was all he could say, as a shudder went through him. "I would say," said Chris in an absolutely horrible Posh English accent, "It would appear that the old chap is quite prepared to engage in manly sports with a serious rival." I just turned my grin to the junior, who is our top pitcher on the baseball team. A fastball that would suck my clothes off, if I had any on. I put in my mind that I was at the plate, bat up and quivering. I had already dug in for leverage on my swing. Then, I bored my eyes into his. "Shit!" His body jerked. "I'm glad you don't play baseball. I wouldn't want to face that." I closed my eyes. 'I'm with friends, ' I said to self. 'Self, listen'. Breathe. Yes, one more. Five more. Yes. Calm. There's that spot. Open eyes. Give friendly grin to Chris. "Wow. Thanks for ... I don't know. Changing?" I turned the calm me towards Dr. C. "Amazing. You are centered now, aren't you?" I bowed my head slightly while maintaining eye contact. After a second he did the same. Respect given and received. The conversation returned to the Pep Rally, when I learned we were off the hook for the earlier promises about our suggestions on the Program. It was only a mild reprieve. Next week would be fine. Like, Tuesday. Ah, a modified request. No problems. It did look like I was going naked for at least one more week, probably a lot more. I won't give up that promise. As we came to the end of the three lunch periods, Ms Carlisle suggested I walk by the Art Room before heading to my next class. Personally I thought this was a grand idea. We broke with the Team cheer. Again, the missing members very much on everyone's mind. Me with Becca and Margie. And Paul. And Tim, Mike, and... I walked towards the art rooms, my mind getting more active with every step I took. The monkeys going crazy with the open space I was giving them. With every new voice in my head, my feet got heavier and heavier. My heart responding. In one way, it wanted to beat faster, since I was going to see Becca. It wanted to beat faster and harder since I didn't know what I would find. A girlfriend or... I walked into Francesca's larger classroom. The easels spread around the room. I could hear pounding, hammering, and general violence against stone coming from her private studio. I peeked through the window in the door and saw a dust covered smock-clothed female swinging a huge hammer, aimed perfectly at the head of a chisel. I realized in that moment how strong she really was. The massive hammer hit. The chisel removed a massive section of marble that looked just like a cock and balls. My cock and balls! Did I just imagine the maniacal chuckle? "Baba O'Riley" by The Who. Sometimes improperly known as "Teenage Wasteland" ------ To Be Continued... ------ Posted: 2007-08-27 Last Modified: 2010-08-18 / 09:24:48 am