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HEART D camera she had and the pictures


"Heart Ball 13-16" {Pendragon} (f-solo MF cons mf rom pett toys m-solo 1st)

by Uther Pendragon

IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18, or otherwise forbidden by law to
read electronically transmitted erotic material, please go do
something else.

This material is Copyright, 2001, 2002, Uther Pendragon. All
rights reserved. I specifically grant the right of downloading
and keeping ONE electronic copy for your personal reading so long
as this notice is included. Reposting requires previous

If you save erotic stories and you prefer that other
household members not be exposed to them, I recommend that you
use a file zipped with the PKZip option -spassword. (Where the
password that you choose would, presumably, not be "password.")
This still leaves the titles of the files and the fact that they
are encrypted open to anybody.

All persons here depicted, except public figures depicted as
public figures in the background, are figments of my imagination
and any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly

# # # #

by Uther Pendragon
Chapter 13
Freshmen girls occupied the front seats of the bus Steve rode,
well away from the freshman boys in the back. When the bus
paused for a slow freight, one of the girls approached Steve
shyly. "Are you the Steve who saved Amy Jensen?" she asked.

"I'm the Steve who drove her to the hospital," he answered.
"Shannon saved her, Shannon and the doctors." The girl went back
to her seat and whispered to her friends.

"What's this Steve?" one of the few juniors on the bus asked.
"Robbing the cradle? She looks like she has a crush on you."
Steve, unable to come up with a sensible response, gave no
response at all. The crossing gates began to clang, ending the

Steve hurried to English class. Shannon got there a minute
before the bell. Steve grinned when he saw her, and she returned
that smile with interest. They traded disks slowly enough to
feel each others' fingers, but quickly enough to be in their own
seats before the bell had finished ringing.

Mrs. Foster saw some of it, but decided against commenting.
Students were always exchanging things; this exchange was
technically outside of class time and didn't stretch the PDA rule
much. She'd make a comment if either showed that they hadn't
read the assignment.

They were both on top of the material, of course. Steve, who
hadn't many other chances to shine in front of his girl, had
moved English from his last homework priority to his first.

The next chance to see her was lunch. By the time they had
transferred the clock-radio from his backpack to hers, she was
joined by two of her friends. They had heard of Shannon's
grounding by now, and they were being supportive. Steve wished
that they would be supportive some other time.

To top it off, Heather joined them. "I heard about your
grounding," she said. "That sucks."

"We were looking forwards to the Ball, too," Shannon said.
"Now, it looks like we won't be going."

"Ken and I will miss you two," Heather said. "We owe you a

"Ken and you?" Steve asked.

"Yeah. He asked me to be his date to the ball. And that
wouldn't have happened without Shannon."

Still, when Shannon picked up her own tray when he picked up
his, they took the hint. They all knew he would normally take
her dirty dishes back; they all guessed that she wanted the
moment alone with him. "Love you," he said as they walked
towards the wash area.

"Likewise," she said as they were suddenly surrounded by a mob
of kids moving in the opposite direction. Then they parted for
the rest of the day.

- = -

Steve couldn't read Shannon's letter until after he got home
from work and shoveled the walk. When he did read it, he was
devastated. She didn't want the talk about their future sexual
activities, and most of his last letter had been just that.

He wrote a heartfelt apology. But he did end up with a set of

> We've said that we might get married, and we'll talk
> more about that when we know what it means. Well, if
> we did, we'd have to settle some questions. I'm not
> trying to settle them right now, I'm just taking an
> opinion poll.

> Where would you like to live? A chemist can live in
> lots of places, just not all places. They live in
> cities and small towns. Not, as I hear, the *nicest*
> small towns. And in all sections of the country. I
> couldn't make a living here.

> Do you want children? When I see you taking care of
> kids, I can tell how good you'd be with your own.

> Anyway, I do love you and want to be good to you. I'm
> just not totally clear how.

- = -

It had been harder to get to sleep at nine o'clock than
Shannon had expected, and it was harder to wake up at two-thirty.
She'd read Steve's letter as soon as possible, but turned to
homework and the housework her mother assigned her right

Now, she decided to put off her excursions into the rest of
the house and only deal with the letter. She wanted to save the
fantasy and, after thinking for a minute, decided to save the
entire letter on disk.

It had been awfully fresh of him to sneak the kiss down there
into the letter. On the other hand, it was sexy to think about.
It was a little dirty, too; but Shannon was feeling a lot happier
about being dirty these days. Look where being a good girl got
her, after all.

Still, that didn't mean *Steve* got to decide whether she
would permit that.

> S weetest girl in whole world.
> H eart's delight.
> A wesomely beautiful
> N aiad of the
> N uzzleble nape
> O f the
> N eck.
> I'll do better when I've got farther in the
> dictionary. But I wish I were nuzzling your nape
> right now.

> I wish you were, too. She wrote.
> You're sweet.

The whole letter was sweet. She didn't grade Steve on his
love notes, whether being called a naiad was really a compliment.
Intent was more than enough. And his intent was clear.

>> As I didn't go to the dance last night, I'm swimming
>> in cash. Don't think about the cost of the clock
>> until YOUR cash flow revives.

> "Mr. Jensen paid me $100 in cash, She wrote.
> I've got it hidden in my room. So I'm in fine shape. And
> don't you even dare *think* about going to the dance."

>> If this doesn't bug you, write what you are wearing
>> each time. What do you wear to bed, anyway? We have a
>> thermostat, but still my room gets colder in colder
>> weather. (Parts of the hall get hotter in cold
>> weather, go figure.) Anyway, I wear pajamas in
>> January, but I sleep in my skin much of the year.

>> Of course, none of this does anything for girls, does
>> it? Anyway, write what time you bathe, too. Shower or
>> tub? Then I can picture you like that.

That was a little weird. boys were a little weird. But
still, she answered him.

> It does a little for me, the bare skin, but
> you in your pajamas and robe?? I'm wearing a nightgown, robe and
> slippers. The nightie and robe are both warm. No panties, if
> you like that.

She hoped he liked that. She wanted him to think of her as
sexually desirable -- maybe not sexually available, but sexually

> I usually take showers. 8:30 or so these days. P.M.

Did she want him imagining her taking her shower? What was
sexy about taking a shower? Boys, she told herself again, were

Weirder still was the bit about the store manager embarrassing
his wife. He couldn't enjoy making her blush like that could he?
Would Steve embarrass her in front of other people because he
liked to see her blush?

> You men! She wrote.
> Don't you ever do anything like that to me.

Then she teased him. She wasn't worried about Steve falling
for some middle-aged married woman. Nor, really, anybody he
would mention in a letter to her.

Her final comments were on the fantasy.

> *Hot!*
> I loved it.

>> kissing her all over, Steve picks Shannon a beauquai
>> (My spell checker doesn't have that word.) of

> "Steve!
> Bouquet. B O U Q U E T" Some times he was so smart, and other
> times he acted like such an idiot.

>> They have brought her climax in this fashion often in
>> their married life, but not this time. He licks her
>> sweetness until she is writhing in desire, and then

That was the problem. Would she let him? Her mother wouldn't
tell; the bodice rippers made it out to be so special; but the
idea was so gross. Whatever, it was her body and her decision.
He couldn't say that they would.

> You can't sneak that in that easily. I haven't decided about
> that. You can't just say that I will just because it's your
> fantasy.

>> Later that day, she sprays his back where the sun
>> burned it. She sees, brown of the old tan against the
>> brighter red, the prints of her hands where she had held
>> him.

His tanned back would get burned, what about the insides of
her thighs? Still, it was his fantasy and his sunburn. Wouldn't
do to admit that, though.

> And what about my sunburn? Seems to me that it would be worse.

>> "I love you," he says. "I know," she replies.

> "I'd say "I love you too." I always do."

>> Anyway, that's MY fantasy for tonight.

> That was *lovely*. She wrote.
> It will be my fantasy for tonight, as well. Too bad it is
> Sunday for you and Monday for me."

>> And I love you in reality as well as in fantasy.

> And I love you. The real you and the loving husband in the
> fantasy.

And she did love them both. It didn't hurt that he was
fantasizing about being married to her, either.

- = -
Tuesday morning, Steve checked with his mom about inviting Ken
home with him. "Of course," she said. "We haven't seen him for
a while."

Steve got a big smile with his disk. He was puzzled as well
as apologetic. But there wasn't time to talk.

"Must you two pass those disks around during class?" Mrs.
Foster said.

"No, ma'm. We'll wait until lunch next time," Steve
responded. Mrs. Foster hadn't been asking, and the answer
communicated to Shannon.

All they could trade was 'love you's as they left class.

Neither Shannon nor Steve had been at all reticent about
Shannon's grounding and the reason. The story had spread, as had
Mrs. Jensen's version. In the way of stories, complicating
details had been lost. A few kids, on the distant ends of two
different communications chains, learned two stories. In one,
two seniors had saved a baby's life by rushing it to the
hospital. In the other, a babysitter and her boyfriend had been
caught stark naked fucking on the living room rug when the
parents got home early.

Most of the stories had them discovered by the child who came
out feeling sick. No student, not even the occasional virgin who
had herself snuck a boyfriend into homes when she was
babysitting, was willing to consider anything short of naked
coitus. The story demanded that much.

One oasis of disbelief consisted of Shannon's close friends.
Diane summed up the consensus. "Steve might get her into bed,
but he's not getting her onto some sofa or rug in a stranger's
house. Not Shannon! Matter of fact, Steve probably should start
saving up for the silk sheets."

Most of Steve's friends didn't believe that there were any
virgins (except, in some cases, themselves) in the senior class.
But among that group Ken's question made some impression. "Let's
see. Steve, Shannon, and the baby are there. That's all.
Steve's not telling this; Shannon's not telling this; the baby
couldn't tell this. Who's telling this?"

"Ken," Mr. Babaian had said after hearing that response, "I
foresee a great future for you in abstract math. But I'll never
understand either your success in student politics or your
interest in it."

Meanwhile, the subjects of all this gossip met for lunch.
"Sorry for that letter," said Steve. "I hadn't read yours about
not pushing yet."

"Well, you shouldn't have pushed anyway," Shannon answered,
thinking about the genital kiss. "But I loved the rest of the
story anyhow."

And, before Steve could figure that out, they were joined by
another two of her friends. "Don't you wish that you could come
to the committee meetings, at least," Steve asked.

"I'd kill for that," she said.

He looked a little odd at that remark, but neither of them
pursued the subject.

"Look, guys," Steve said after a little chatter, "I think
we're all agreed that Shannon's parents were way out of line. I
certainly think so, but Shannon gets to brood on that 24 hours a
day. Can't we talk about something else?"

For a minute they couldn't. Then one of the girls started
talking about the digital camera she had and the pictures of the
group that she had taken. The pictures were on her web page.

"That's another restriction," Shannon said. "I can't browse
the web except for homework, and my mother watches to make sure.
Can you send those pictures to Steve? Steve, would you pass them

"Sure! Just put 'Shannon' as the first word on the subject
line. I'm on a few spam lists, and I might toss it otherwise."
He wrote down his screen name for the girl. Then the two of them
passed out a few more copies for anyone who might want to write
her. "It takes a long time," he warned them. "You'll see her
before she gets the disk, let alone reads it." Still, getting
mail again was a little more freedom.

"I have other friends, though. With you guys, I don't really
need e-mail. But my dad cut off my computer from the phone
lines. I can't access that account at all."

Steve clamped his jaw to keep from correcting her. "Not in
front of her friends," he kept telling himself.

Joyce wasn't so reticent. "It doesn't work that way. Tell
her Steve."

"You can connect from anywhere. My dad connects from all over
the state. Well, half over the state. That's why you use a

"Could you?" Shannon asked. "I mean connect from your

"I couldn't. I don't know the password. But *you*

"Why don't you know the password? You gave it to me."

"You didn't change your password? I told you to."

"I didn't see the sense," she said. "Besides, I liked what it
said." Steve buried his head in his hands. By now, he was sure,
the entire table knew the password was stVlvSshN. Well, maybe
his trick of capitalization hadn't been spilled yet.

"She trusts you, Steve," Joyce said. "Not that she has any
secrets to keep. Honey," she turned to Shannon, "you don't share
your password with anybody. Even if you don't have any secrets
there, it's just a bad habit. And you should have changed it
more than once since then. I bet Steve has changed his.

"Since September? Three times," Steve said. Shannon was
taking this lecture from Joyce a lot better than she would have
taken it from him.

"As for the rest of us," Joyce said. "We can bring our own
disks to Shannon. Going through Steve would only complicate

"But you could download my mail?" Shannon asked.

"I'll download your mail. And I'll change your password.
Just be a good girl, or I won't tell you what the new one is."

She stuck her tongue out at him. If they had been truly
alone, off school property, he would have kissed it. The memory
of doing so started to harden him. Luckily, the girls were
chattering so much that he could just listen for a while.

After the committee meeting, he and Ken caught the same ride
to their neighborhood. "My mom said that I could invite you
over," he told Ken. "Want dinner tonight?"

"Sure!" It had been a long time since Ken had visited Steve's

Steve's mom commented on the same thing. "Steve prefers
Shannon's company to mine," Ken said. "I can't blame him at

"Well, you're welcome here. Don't you have to call your
mother?" Actually, he didn't. But the phone call was much
easier than admitting to Mrs. Anderson that he didn't.

At dinner, Steve's parents complimented Ken on his selection
by the U of C. Steve had told them about early selection, the
scholarship, and everything. Ken didn't mind telling it again,
and they were generous in their praise. Three or four teachers,
all of them male, had been Ken's mentors and supporters for the
last four years. Mrs. Anderson was the only woman with whom Ken
thought he could relax enough to mention his ambition.

"Chicago made the only decision it could," Steve said
suddenly. "All the suspense was whether they would see you for
what you are. What I want to know is what Heather sees in you."

"Steve!" his mom said.

"It's all right, Mrs. Anderson," said Ken. "When you find
out, Steve, tell me."

"You aren't as hard to like as you think, Ken," Mrs. Anderson
said. "Roger and I managed."

"You have a generous heart. With two kids of your own, you
looked at the stray your son brought home with him and opened
another ventricle of mother-love."

"Ken!" Mrs. Anderson looked as shocked at what he had said as
he felt. He'd always had a problem evading the truth around her.
He took a deep breath and settled down. Steve's next question
was about Heather, and he answered it well enough. He didn't
reveal himself another time during the meal.

Afterwards, they went off to Steve's room. "You said once
that you owed Shannon big time. I figure that the debt has only
grown bigger."

Ken raised an eyebrow.

"You can sic that famous brain of yours onto people when you
want to bad enough. Figure out a way to get her mother to allow
Shannon to come to Committee meetings. Come on, I know the
woman; she is not as bright as her daughter is. She sure isn't
as bright as you're supposed to be. Figure out a con. You said
it, man; you owe Shannon."

Ken looked at Steve. Did he really think that Ken owed
Shannon that much? Did Steve really think that Ken would do
something for Shannon that he wouldn't do for Steve -- that he
wouldn't do for Mrs. Anderson's son? Maybe not. He hadn't asked
in school; he had brought Ken home for a meal with his parents
before asking the question. "I'll try," he said.

Soon after he got home, he tried. "Mrs. Bryant? This is Ken
Dalton. I'm the student-council president at Shannon's high

"I'm sorry, Ken. Shannon isn't permitted to receive phone
calls. We've restricted her social life."

"Yes ma'am. You are the person I wanted to talk to. You see,
when you restricted her social life, you excused her from an
obligation she had made to the school. Shannon was on the
committee to plan and work on the Valentine's Day ball. She
participated in the planning; her opinions got into the mix. Now
that there is work to be done, she is grounded."

"You meet after school, don't you?"

"Yes, ma'am. That's the only way to get a group from across
the school together. We've been meeting after school. Of
course, we don't expect every student to show up every day. But
we do expect three days a week from every member of the committee
for work projects, as well as the Saturday morning before the
ball. And committee members sign up under that understanding.
Now, you've taken one of my committee members away. And another
committee member has already begged off work on the Saturday

"Well, you can blame someone else for that," Allison said.
She didn't know why she was still listening to this guy.

"Blame wasn't on my mind, ma'am. But I don't think Steve
Anderson would have backed out if you hadn't acted. Steve was
willing to lose a payday to take Shannon to the ball. He isn't
willing to lose a payday to prepare for a dance he won't attend."

"But he stays after school?"

"He did tonight. He doesn't Mondays and Wednesdays. You do
know that he works at Hauksbee's don't you?"

Had Shannon's parents been deaf, they still would have heard
all about Steven's work schedule. The discussion went back and
forth. Allison was quite surprised to find that she had agreed
that Shannon could stay after school the next day and also Monday
and Wednesday of the next week.

"I'm very grateful, ma'am. And you'll keep Saturday morning
in mind if Shannon behaves well for these days?"

"I'll think about it."

"That is all I ask," said Ken.

Allison had second thoughts, although riding herd on Shannon
had been as hard on her nerves as it had been on Shannon's. She
waited until Wayne was in bed to broach the subject. "I did tell
him I would let her," she said. "But now, I don't know. I do
know that I should have asked you."

"Well," said Wayne, "really this is only permission until she
misbehaves the first time. I don't mind that you decided for us.
I've told you before, I trust your instincts."

"After what she pulled on us for half the year? You trust my

"Well, dear, I don't really trust them. I just trust them
much better than my own. Besides, that's three days when you
don't have to ride herd on her so early. You can leave the
realtor's office at the normal quitting time.

Since Shannon seemed to be sleeping longer hours to avoid
them, Allison waited until morning to tell her.

- = -

Steve was watching tv with his dad and mom when 8:30 came. He
couldn't remember a thing about the upstairs bathroom at the
Bryants'. So he pictured Shannon getting into the tub at his own
house. He hardened at the image of her removing bra and panties
to stand there in her glory. He pictured her raising her arms
and turning to let to let the spray hit under her arms; her
breasts, high and firm when she stood normally, rose and pointed
when she did that. At that point, however, he needed to either
pay more attention to his cock or less attention to her body. He
went back to watching TV.

When he did go to his room, he downloaded his mail, and then
Shannon's. He figured that luV%ewE was good enough for her new
password. Then answering her disk was the first priority. He
had already read it as he ran the new margins. Shannon hadn't
understood what he'd said about that, and no wonder.

> Just keep on the way you have been doing. he wrote.
> It works
> just fine.

She'd answered his question about what she wore to bed.

>> It does a little for me, the bare skin, but you in
>> your pajamas and robe?? I'm wearing a nightgown, robe
>> and slippers. The nightie and robe are both warm.
>> No panties, if you like that.

"Does a wild bear shit in the woods?" he wrote back. Then he
thought again and deleted it.

> I LIKE that. He wrote.
> I'll dream about Shannon lying next to me with no panties on.
> I'll dream about pulling up the nightie. You don't wear the robe
> to bed, I'm sure.

> And I'll wear nothing at all. I've decided that, if we are
> only going to have fantasies for the next few weeks, I'm going
> to leave off fantasies about the winter months. Dec. excepted.
> Wouldn't want to miss Christmas."

>> I usually take showers. 8:30 or so these days.
>> P.M.

> I'll be picturing you. At least when I'm not at the store.

Still, he'd have to be careful where he was at 8:30.

She hit him two different ways about the blushing lady in
church. But, she *had* liked the fantasy.

>> *Hot!*
>> I loved it.

She hadn't liked the kiss on her lower lips, though.

> We don't have to do it. He replied.
> I've said that I won't push. But the couple in the story were
> MARRIED. You wouldn't stop your husband from kissing you
> anywhere would you?"

Confused about what she allowed and didn't allow in these
fantasies he sent her, he decided to put it in a separate file.
He finished the letter, spell-checked it, and saved it. Then he
tried to be hot again.

> They are visiting friends and go to bed in the spare room.
He wrote.
> He's wearing PJs for once; she's in her concealing nightie --
> after all they are in someone else's house. He pulls up the
> skirt of her nightgown and opens the pajama pants so that he
> is lying against her bareness. After he pets her for a while,
> she turns and kisses him. The springs squeak when she turns.

> Her nightie rides higher, his hands roam lower. They are both
> getting very hot. She turns onto her back and spreads her
> legs. The springs squeak. "Shhh!" he says.

> He leans over to kiss her mouth in the new position. The bed
> squeaks. "Shhh!" she says.

> She wants him inside her, finishing what they have started.
> He wants to enter her, aches for the feeling of her around
> him. They both know that the squeaks will be heard. Can they
> lie without moving? Can they move without the rhythm?

> Finally, he has an idea. He climbs out to a pattern of
> squeaks. He leads her out and over to a desk across the room.

> Getting the idea, she rests her head on the desk. He stands
> behind her in his PJ shirt, his hands under her pulled-up
> nightie. He plays with the nipples on her breasts. He moves
> one hand to her even-more sensitive parts. Finally, she can't
> stand the waiting.

> She reaches back and guides him inside her. Then they move
> back and forth. He strokes inside her, she grips around him.

> They both come, suppressing their groans. She sinks down onto
> the desk, he leans on it as his knees almost buckle. They are
> pressed against each other as much as they ever are in bed,
> but the parts which touch are different.

> Slowly they recover and stand up. He puts the pajama pants
> back on before they curl up together in the bed.

> "Love you," he whispers.

> "Love you," she replies.

> He nuzzles her neck as they fall asleep.

Steve spell-checked the story and buried the disk in his
backpack. He did what he had to on his homework, distracted by
flashbacks to his fantasy.

- = -
Shannon found it easier to go to sleep that night, and easier
to wake up when the music came on softly. She turned the radio
off as soon as she was awake, and lay for a minute listening for
any motion from her parents.

Still, she would have been glad to turn over and go back to
sleep. There were things to do, however. She put on her robe
and slippers. Once she got downstairs, she knew what she wanted
to do first. She got the glass from the kitchen and poured an
inch and a half of creme de menthe into it. The bottle was half
full, and her father might notice any greater depletion. She
took it back up to her room for the first phase of her

She took a generous swig from the glass, and almost spit the
bitter stuff out of her mouth. A little creme de menthe had
added complex flavor to a large serving of ice cream. Taken
straight, it tasted awful. She poured the rest down the toilet,
rinsed her glass twice, and used the facilities. She brushed her
teeth to get rid of the last of the taste. Whether she had got
rid of the penetrating odor, she couldn't guess.

The bourbon hadn't tasted quite that bad, but it had tasted
bad enough. She decided not to sample it again.

Here she was, up when her captors were asleep, free to do
almost anything. Except that almost everyone else was asleep,
too. It was winter, and she had no desire to wander the empty
streets. Her first choice for being a bad girl had tasted awful.

The most fun thing she could imagine was answering Steve's
e-mail. All alone in the house, and her best temptation was
answering mail. If the devil was the tempter, as some Sunday-
school teacher had said, he sure wasn't interested in Shannon.

And Steve's letter was much less tempting than his previous
one had been.

He was very apologetic for the pushing, but a little confused
about it too.

>>> All talk about anything down to here.

>> I'm sorry, darling. And my last letter was far worse.
>> All I can say is that I hadn't read this then.
> Your last letter She wrote.
> wasn't bad at all. (Except for the kisses in my
> private place. And even that wasn't as bad as the pressure.)
> It wasn't as bad as you make it sound now.

She continued. Had she made it sound that bad? Had she felt
that way when she wrote? She'd felt desperate, she knew, but
mostly about the pressure from her parents

> I do know that you love me. And having your support is a
> consolation.

>> Okay!
>> I won't write any more about that.

She smiled. He hadn't kept that promise very well, but he'd
had his reasons.

>> I'm serious about that. I'm not saying that I don't
>> WANT what we aren't going to discuss after this letter.
>> I am saying that I want a lifetime with Shannon. I
>> won't throw that chance away for a night.

>> Again, I'll follow your rules, but I'm not terribly
>> clear what those are.

> I'm not terribly clear either.
She confessed.
> I can feel them, but I can't say them clearly.

>> Anyway,
>> We aren't talking about that right now.

She had to smile at that, and smiled to him on the e-mail,
> ;-) ;-) ;-)

>> Where would you like to live? A chemist can live in
>> lots of places, just not all places. They live in
>> cities and small towns. Not, as I hear, the *nicest*
>> small towns. And in all sections of the country. I
>> couldn't make a living here.

> I don't know. I don't want to live in a city; that's for sure.

>> Do you want children? When I see you taking care of
>> kids, I can tell how good you'd be with your own.

> I keep thinking of myself with one daughter. Not that mothers
> get to choose. But that's because of seeing mom with me. Yes, I
> do love kids. I want at least one.

>> Anyway, I do love you

> And I love you. She answered.

> This has been a bad day, She continued.
> even though I got to see you. I had this thing all planned
> out. I'd get up at 2:30 and have the house to myself. Well,
> I have the house to myself, but what is there to do? I prided
> myself on being a good person, on resisting temptation. Now,
> I can't find the temptation to yield to it.

> And, no, I'm still not going to yield to *that* temptation,
> keep your dirty mind to yourself. Not that I could get you in
> here, anyway.

> On second thought, I'm still not going to yield to that
> temptation, but I like your dirty mind more and more. So
> keep those fantasies coming.

She packed the disk away, and wished that he had written
something hot for her the previous night. She got out the disk
of the earlier story and read it twice. She brushed her nipples
through the cloth of the nightie while she read it.

This didn't really count as being a bad girl. Her mom had
stated quite definitely that masturbation was natural and
acceptable. On the other hand, her mom had been embarrassed
saying so; that might have been the peak of her embarrassment
during that very embarrassing Talk. And she wouldn't have liked
to know that her daughter was sitting at the computer reading
something addressed particularly to her while stroking herself.

On the other hand, the room was cold. The time it took to
shut down the computer rather broke her mood, but Shannon relived
the story again when she was safe in bed.

She could remember his kissing her nipples for real, and that
helped that part of the story. He'd had his lips on her
insensitive shoulders and neck, and they had responded. Her
thighs would respond more. She stroked her valley and its little
clit while imagining him driving in and out of her. Knowing when
she was about to come, brought to mind the pulsing penis she had
twice felt in her hand. It would pulse like that inside her.

And, on that image, she climaxed.

She wasn't quite ready for sleep, even so. She lay there
thinking about Steve, and sex, and the meadow. She smiled at her
memory of how he had felt in her hand, and how she had felt in
his hand and against his mouth. And, on the thought that the
books did make that kiss out to be wonderful, she drifted off to
Her awakening was much less pleasant. At breakfast,
however, her mom did tell her that she could go to the committee
meeting that night. Steve wouldn't be there, of course. Still
it was a place that she could talk to others.

"Thanks, Mom," she said. There was no sense in spoiling this
relaxation just because they were at war over the other rules.
Chapter 14

Steve didn't really think that Ken could persuade Shannon's
mother. Still, it was the sort of thing you had to try once
you'd thought of it.

On the off chance that Ken might have pulled off his miracle,
Steve tried to borrow his mom's car that morning. "I've got
things to do this afternoon. Besides, if you want that advance
you asked for, I'll have to get to the bank. Do you want me to
pick you up at school? Then you could take the money out of your
account. You could drive to Hauksbee's after dinner."

They settled on that. Which wouldn't get Steve to the
committee meeting, after all.

And Ken had pulled it off! Shannon was waiting outside his
homeroom when he got there. "I can go to the Ball committee
meetings. Only Monday and Wednesdays. How did you manage

"Ken managed it. Persuasive critter when he wants to be.
Anyway, he owes you. Owed."

"Well, I owe both of you. But he won't get what you will when
I can see you off campus. Still..."

The bell rang. Mr. Worth shooed Steve into the room, and
Shannon was late.

English class was review, and both of them managed to keep
their wandering minds from wandering far enough to embarrass
either. Mrs. Foster helped by concentrating on the kids who had
missed the information the first time through.

"I can't stay today," Steve told Shannon after class. "I
tried to get the car, but Mom's picking me up. Enjoy talking
with the others, though."

Shannon really would. Steve, after all, communicated by disk.
She needed to talk to her friends too.

"You," Steve told Ken after calculus class, "are a genius. We
owe you. But Shannon says that she isn't going to give you the
smooch that she'll give me."

"That's a real pity. Still, Heather would have objected." He
would enjoy a smooch from a pretty girl, but an obligation from
Steve was better. An obligation from Shannon was better yet,
Steve would feel that obligation more firmly.

"The only fly in the ointment is that I can't come tonight."

"That might be for the best in the end. I haven't thought
this out, but I'll tell you later. I've got to go."

When Shannon's pals joined their table at lunch, she shooed
them away. "Look, this is my only time to talk with Steve. You
wouldn't hang around after a dance."

"Whooo!" said Daphne. "Watch out for the lunchroom monitors."
They crowded to the other end of the table, though. This gave
Steve and Shannon more privacy than sharing the table with
underclassmen would have.

She gave him her disk. "Did you write one, too?"

"Sure," he said digging through his back-pack. "I didn't
think that Ken could bring it off." He handed it to her.

"Include a story?"

"Is that okay?"

"Well, how can I tell? I haven't read it yet." She smiled

"You want another story tomorrow?"

"Oh yes. I need something to get me through the night. More
about that on the disk."

Well, he thought, they didn't have that particular problem any
more. Still, he was never going to understand Shannon.

Most of the rest of their conversation was about Ken's freeing
her for the committee meetings.

"Thanks for choosing me over the hen pack," Steve said when he
picked up the trays.

"Always will," she answered. "But they've been a help on this
too. And they like you, really. But I'll have to spend lunch
with them on Monday. PDAs."

"I don't mind that," he said. "That might be the only
birthday celebration you'll have this year. PDAs." And they
didn't see each other until the end of the school day.
Allison Bryant found that her decision to allow Shannon to
stay after school hadn't freed her of any responsibilities at
all. While Shannon wouldn't be in the house to sulk at her, she
was in her mind to haunt her even earlier.

When the student parking lot was emptying for the day, Allison
was among the line of parents who drove in to make pick-ups.
She, however, pulled out of the line to park. As the school
doors swung open, she caught a glimpse of Shannon in her
distinctive skirt. The next time the doors opened, she saw
Steven standing beside her. Committee meeting, hah!. She left
her car to grab her daughter.

The drafts were too cold for Shannon where they were standing.
And the radiators were probably too hot for Steve in his hooded
jacket. She knew they couldn't say anything private in this
crowd, which included teachers. "I wish ..." she said. Then she
let her eyes do the talking.

Steve's eyes were talking back. Focusing on her. The waves
coming off Shannon had him sweating more than the radiators did.
The idea of finding an unused classroom was sounding better and
better -- damn the PDA rule.

The only way that Allison could get to the door was to slip
between two cars in the parental pick-up line. They'd stopped
longer than usual, and one car up ahead was beeping its horn

Slowly that beep penetrated Steve's consciousness. His mom
was there, standing on the driver's side pushing the horn button
again and again. He looked back at Shannon once and ran to the
car. Some of his fellow-students hooted at him, and others

Allison spared one glance towards the head of the line. She
could picture the blockage ending suddenly just as she was about
to dart between two of the cars. She recognized the offending
car, and then she recognized Steve approaching it. As Allison
stood back, Steve crossed in front of the car. He was clearly
headed for the driver's door.

Steve got behind the wheel; his mom was already sitting on the
right side. He got them out of there, his ears burning.
"Parting," his mom said, "is such sweet sorrow."

"Now, Mom!"

"Shakespeare, isn't it. Isn't that what you've been

Once on the street, he could glance at her face. It was red
from suppressed laughter.

Allison returned to her car. Steve was leaving, just as the
boy had told her. When she looked for Shannon, she was no longer
visible through the doorway. For that matter, the crowd had
thinned out in this short time.

She was glad that she hadn't confronted Shannon in public as
she had intended. When she pictured her again, she had been
carrying her coat rather than wearing it. Steven, on the other
hand had been dressed for the outdoors.

To be picky, Allison had given Shannon a little more time with
Steven with her concession. Still, she and Wayne were just
getting used to the idea that Shannon was totally unworthy of
their trust, but that didn't mean that they should treat her
contemporaries so suspiciously. The boy who had called was an
officer of the school government, probably just trying to do his

Since her daughter wasn't trustworthy she was justified in
checking up on her. It was wrong for her to feel so sneaky and
ashamed. Ashamed of herself for what she had done, and ashamed
of Shannon for the behavior which had made her do it.

She drove home very thoughtfully.

The Anderson car was silent until they got to the bank. "It
isn't funny," said Steve.

"I wasn't the only one laughing. You'll see her in the
morning. I part from the one I love for a lot longer than that,
with no sympathy from you whatsoever."

Steve knew that there was no comparison. But his sexual
desire was a big part of the difference. And he sure wasn't
about to mention that to his *mother*.

"That's not true," he said. "I miss Dad when he's gone, too."
Then he asked himself how much of Dad's time with him he'd trade
for one hour with Shannon in private. mom hadn't asked that
question, although she probably thought it. Besides that, she
had moved over to let him drive -- not important tonight, but
something he would have wanted most evenings. He smiled at her.

She took that smile for the signal it was.

"Peace?" she asked.

He appreciated her quirky sense of humor more often than he
resented it. This trip was entirely so he could take out cash
for Shannon's present. And, as parents went, she and Dad could
have been worse. He could sulk through dinner and still drive
her car to his job. On the other hand, knowing that would make
him feel guilty about taking that advantage. "Peace." It
sounded grudging to him, but she took it at face value.

He withdrew more than enough for his gift for Shannon. This
business of requiring his mom's signature annoyed him. He
intended to keep a stash of money at home.

- = -
Shannon concentrated on cutting out the fancy hearts for ten
minutes. When she had the mechanics down, she joined in the
chatting around the table. For once, she wasn't the focus of the
conversation, and she enjoyed that. Then Ken asked her to join
him at a table a little apart from the group.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am," she began.

"Not grateful enough, Steve tells me, to show it with a kiss."
For a moment, she thought he was serious. "Well, you'll have to
give my kiss to Steve. Then he'll owe me even more."

"I don't know when I'll be able to do that."

"I can wait," he said. "Maybe you two can't, but I can wait.
Enjoying yourself?"

"I only wish that Steve could be here?"

"Look. Some things I know; some things I feel; other things I
feel are maybe true...."

She cut one side of a heart while he paused.

"Look," Ken said finally. "This is a guess. I hate acting on
a feeling, but...."


"But, if I was your mother -- you know what I mean. If I was
your mother, I'd check one of these afternoons. She knows that
Steve's not supposed to be here Mondays and Wednesdays."

"And she'd crack down."

"She just might let you come here Saturday morning. Of
course, that is the only time that we really need workers, any
more. I knew that she wouldn't agree if I asked when we were
talking, so I left it open. You know her better than I do.

"This is your gamble," Ken continued. "If she finds you've
both been at a committee meeting, she certainly won't let you
come on Saturday. She might not let you do that, anyway."

"So," Shannon asked, "what are you saying?"

"If you play the afternoons straight, she might let you come
on Saturday to decorate the gym. If you cheat on one of these
meetings, and she finds out, then you're dead meat on Saturday.
You might consider how much you want a little more time with
Steve and how much you want that Saturday...

"But," he finished, "I can't guarantee anything."

"Do you really think that she would let me come on Saturday?"
Shannon asked.

"I really think that she might. But I can't guarantee

"The thing is," she said "that I'm done being a good girl. If
I keep Mom's rules, and then she *doesn't* let me come
Saturday, then they've won."

"Look Shannon," Ken said. He took another breath. "You guys
are my friends, both, not only Steve. It's your life, and Steve
would say that stronger. You decide what you're going to do...."

"But," he continued, "they are going to win. That's what
parents do; that's what adults do. They want certain things from
you, and they will get them. They set the rules and are the
judges as well. They are going to get what they really want.
But that doesn't mean that you lose. You want certain things,
yourself. How do you get what you want while they get what they
want? Anyway, I'm talking too much. It's your life."

"Thanks," she said. She didn't really know for what, beyond
his miracle the night before. He went to deal with something
else, and she added her heart to the completed pile. She joined
yet another table after that, talking about the lousy call at the
basketball game the previous Saturday.

It was dark by the time she left school. There were more cars
on the streets, and they had their lights on. Dark came early in
January; it wasn't really that late. Still, it was the first
time that she'd been out after dark in more than a week.

It may have been just her own feelings, but talking with mom
was milder torture, too. "Did you leave school precisely at
five," her mom asked.

"It doesn't work like that. The janitor lets us out and then
chains the last door. I think *he* leaves precisely at
five. And, then, it takes a little longer to walk home with the
streets full of cars."

"Well, just be careful about crossing the street." That
hadn't been what mom had told her about getting home right after
school on other days.

Her chores hadn't eased, and she hadn't expected them to. She
still cooked dinner with instruction from Mom. She still washed
the dishes afterwards. But she had cooked a lot of meals before
this, and loading the dishwasher wasn't exactly hard labor.

She took the dining room table for her homework while her
parents were watching TV. Her room might be a refuge, but it had
become a prison cell as well.

When sports came on after the news, Allison went into the
kitchen for a glass of water. They'd stopped buying snacks which
were really intended to be treats for Shannon; still, she had
always been good about leaving some for her parents. And the bit
she left for them was nice at times like these.

Allison poured herself some Cheerios. Dry, they were better
than crackers. And it had been Shannon who taught her that, 16
or 17 years before. Thinking of Shannon-the-toddler, sitting
across from Shannon-the-teen, she couldn't avoid having a little
of her fondness for the first spilling into her attitude towards
the second. Her suspicions this afternoon *had* been
unfounded, after all.

"I suppose," said Shannon, "that calling Steve with a question
about algebra is totally impossible."

"Right the first time. Still, you could ask your father.
We're here to help you. We're just restricting your social

"I just might ask Dad. Where neither of you can help is on
'Romeo and Juliet.' I understood it better than Steve did, and I
figured out how to make it clear to him. That's much more help
than someone who can explain it to you."

That was an insight which shook Allison. Her little girl had
grown up in so many ways.

Later, when they were each in their own bed, she tried to tell
that to Wayne.

"I think I know what you mean," he replied. "She isn't at
some level. She's betwixt and between. That comment about
getting clear by explaining something to a person who doesn't
have a clue -- that tells something to me I didn't know, or at
least I didn't see clearly.

"On the other hand, leading us on about Steven -- that's being
a little girl. She was more honest with us at seven."

That was what she had meant. Well, it was clearer than she
could express it. As newlyweds, she and Wayne had planned on a
girl for her and a boy for him. After Shannon, they had delayed
and then abandoned their plans for another child. Shannon, in so
many ways, had turned out to be Wayne's daughter. Allison often
wondered whether the boy would have taken after her. But, of
course, a second child might have been a second daughter or a boy
like Wayne. And did she really want a boy like her? She turned
to look at Wayne, and -- pondering that question -- fell asleep.

- = -

Being at work, Steve didn't even try to picture Shannon in the
shower. He did remember her birthday and buy the fanciest card
he could find. This wasn't a time for funny cards.

He figured that his gift for her should be physically small.
She could hide it from her parents, who might object to any

When he got home, he answered her disk before starting his

>> Your last letter wasn't bad at all.
> I'm glad about that. Maybe its OK if its in the
> distant future. That isn't pressure.
> And, I think you should ask yourself if -- just maybe --
> you might have been changing your mind the tiniest
> little bit.
>> (Except for the kisses in my private place. And even
>> that wasn't as bad as the pressure.)
> I said in my last letter. I'm not pressuring you on
> that. You own your body as the health class put it.
> But in the story, they were *married*.

How could she possibly object to that? These were kisses --
quite intimate kisses, of course. Still, kisses were what the
boy gave the girl; sex was what the girl gave the boy -- sex or
petting. He and Shannon weren't like that, not quite. But that
was the way that high school worked, and they were part of that
every day.

>> It wasn't as bad as you make it sound now. I do know
>> that you love me. And having your support is a
>> consolation.
> That is what I want to hear. That you can see my love.

Then later, after he had written more:

>> bit. Anyway, we're not engaged. We are (I am, at
>> least) in love.
> I love you. I guess that we are in love. This news is
> going to shock Diane and Jeff and them.

When he got to the:

>>> opinion poll.

She wrote:

>> I don't know. I don't want to live in a city; that's
>> for sure.
> I'll keep that in mind. But we really have until we
> graduate to decide.
>> . Yes, I do love kids. I want at least
>> one.
> That's great. See fantasy.
> I love you.

He spent more time on the fantasy than on the actual letter,
although he'd been playing with the idea whenever he could.
> It's the first Christmas He wrote,
> which their daughter, Brosna,
> is old enough to anticipate. [What year old is that?
> You're the one who knows kids.]

Steve was proud of the name, "Brosna."

> Anyway, they are going all-out this year. The packages
> are hidden, and they don't go under the tree until
> little Brosna is fast asleep. They have a real mantle, and
> they put up three stockings.

He got them into bed, and Steve into Shannon, rapidly. When
everyone was happy, he finished with:

> Good night, and I love you.
> Steve.

Then he turned to his homework.

- = -

Shannon woke to the music from the clock radio. She'd saved
Steve's disk for this privacy, and that was the only thing which
got her out of bed. It was *cold*. She pulled a pair of
knee socks on and wrapped an Afghan around her outside her robe
while she read his disk.

She read the story first.

> They are visiting friends and go to bed in the spare
> room. He's wearing PJs for once; she's in her
> concealing nightie -- after all they are in someone
> else's house.
she read. The story was hot, if neither as hot nor as sweet as
the first one.

She read it till the end, then made a copy to save and went
back to read the letter and answer on the disk.

> First she wrote,
> I want to thank you again for freeing me for the three committee
> meetings.
> I was having so much fun at the first one that I barely missed
> you. It was great that they were all talking about other things,
> too.
> Ken thinks I might get out on Saturday, too. That's *MIGHT*.
>> Nuzzle, nuzzle, nuzzle.
>> A million kisses.
> Only a million?
> You used to send a billion. I'm locked up for less than a week,
> and your love has decreased 1/1000.
> ;-)
> I love you, too.
>> As long as we have that, we'll lick everything else.
> Yes, but the battle is still a battle.
>>> I'm not going to give up. I'm not going to give them
>>> the satisfaction.
>> It's your decision.
> And I mean that.
> But Ken said something about parents always winning. After the
> stunt he pulled, I'll listen to him. Sort of have to.
> He thinks they might let me out for Saturday prepping the gym.
> If they do, I'm not going to spend my time in the gym!!! Where
> could we go?

Where could they go? Steve's mom wouldn't be at home. Would
his dad? Did she want to go to Steve's house? How far did she
want to go with Steve? He wasn't the sort of guy who would show
her the door if she said "stop." Still, saying "stop" was easier
when he was in the place by her invitation.

>>> I'll think about that. I have my own plans.
>> Gonna share?
> Well, I'm awake and it's the middle of the night. But
> still, there's only so much you can do. Did you know
> that Creme De Menthe tastes awful by itself?
> I wish that we had a pet. The things that you could do with a
> cat locked away from its litterbox.
> No panties, if you like that.
>> I LIKE that. I'll dream about Shannon lying next to me
>> with no panties on. I'll dream about pulling up the
> boys are weird.

And again, when he mentioned picturing her in the shower,
> I'm not sure that I like that. boys are *really* weird.

She decided not to tell him that she'd showered well after
nine this night. That helped her feel a little less weird.

She teased him about his spelling for a bit and then:

>> We don't have to do it. I've said that I won't push.
>> But the couple in the story were MARRIED. You
>> wouldn't stop your husband from kissing you anywhere
>> would you?
> I just don't know, Steve. You're almost pushing again.
> And it's sort of gross.

And the idea was gross. But the idea was sexy too. And the
romance books kept treating it as some ultimate ecstasy.

She teased him more. Steve was fun to tease, but when he
>> In my fantasy, you say that you KNOW that I love you.

She replied,
> I know that you love me. Haven't I said that before?

And to,
>> Anyway, I don't quite see what you want and don't want
>> in these letters. (You couldn't be changing your mind
>> a little bit between posts, could you?)

She admitted,
> Moi?
> Change my mind?
> I think I am a little. I don't know. Being a good girl hasn't
> got me anything. The best thing which happened to me in HS is
> you. Heck! Most of the good things involve you.
>> I'll write a
>> fantasy, but in a different file. When you don't like
>> what's there, you can stop reading. There isn't any
>> letter, just a story.
> I just glanced at it. But that's *not* about not liking it.
> That's about saving it for last.

Actually, she'd read it and enjoyed it. But it deserved more
of a response.

> And it's a very nice possibility.
She wrote after the second reading.

> Not as nice as the first one,
> but it's hard to be as nice as the first one. I'm coming back
> after reading it.
> And I have it on another disk. So I'm copying it back to this
> one, and cutting almost all.
>> and kisses him. The springs squeak when she turns.
> :-)
>> Finally, he has an idea. He climbs out to a pattern of
> You think that you're the one who will think of everything.
>> She reaches back and guides him inside her. Then they
>> move back and forth. He strokes inside her, she
>> grips around him.
> You really want to do it standing up don't you? We haven't even
> done it the regular way, and you are dreaming of doing it
> different ways. boys are weird, but I think you are weirder than
> most.
>> "Love you," he whispers.
>> "Love you," she replies.
> That's right.
>> He nuzzles her neck as they fall asleep.
> I don't think we'd fit quite like that. You'd be at my shoulder
> or something. Right now, I wish that we were trying it out,
> though.
> I love you.

And she did love him, weird as he was. Back in bed, she
thought about standing up with him moving in her. She'd seen him
standing up, after all, and it jutting out. When she'd felt it
jump in her hand, he'd been standing up. If she bent over, and
he put it in, would it jump deep inside her? Would it pulse like
that? Could she feel his warmth there if he was in her?

- = -

Shannon woke easily when the regular alarm went off. With
the shortness of the interruption, she had slept a total of nine
hours. She hurried to school, getting there just as the doors
opened. She enjoyed the conversation of the first kids in, and
was waiting -- ready for her first classes -- at Steve's locker
when he got there. They exchanged their disks and talked a
minute. Then she had to get to home room.

Still, Steve wasn't the only one she enjoyed talking with.

"One of the questions on the test will be a mini-essay," Mrs.
Foster told the English class. "It will be general question
about the play as a whole. You can prepare for it, although
you'll have to actually write it in class -- and I won't allow
notes. It counts for a quarter of the test grade." Not that
anyone hadn't heard about it from the previous year's students.

They spent that period on reviewing the whole play.

"I wish that we'd had more time for Shakespeare this week,"
Shannon told Steve at lunch. "My parents think that all we did
was pet, but I really learned a lot from the studying we did

"I wish that we'd had more time for petting. And I learned a
lot. You saved my rump." They were in school after all. "But
you knew it all, already."

"Not really." It wasn't really true, and it didn't do a boy
any good to think that his girl was better at things than he was.
Still, it was nice of him to say so. "I knew more, just as you
know more about algebra; but explaining and talking about it got
me much clearer. If we both go to U of I, do you think we'll
have the same classes?"

"It's an idea. We'll mostly have different classes, though.
Things like English should be the same. And we get to make our
own schedules."

"I bet we're the only kids in the school planning how they can
*study* together next year."

"No bet."

They talked between bites. Some of her friends came over.
Then it was time for him to take the trays back.
Shannon hurried home to meet the schedule. She needed to
ask her mom about the birthday cake to share with the girls at
lunch. She wanted to have the best possible relationship when
she asked it. There was a note telling her to vacuum the living
room before starting dinner prep. She did that, and worked to
make it a thorough job. That should contribute to the best
possible relationship.

Then, being all alone, she read Steve's story. She'd save the
letter until she could answer it without danger of interruptions.

> It's the first Christmas She read,
> which their daughter, Brosna,

Brosna? Where did he get that name? Did he really think that
she'd let him inflict that on an innocent baby?

> is old enough to anticipate. [What year old is that?
> You're the one who knows kids.]
> Anyway, they are going all-out this year. The packages
> are hidden, and they don't go under the tree until
> little Brosna is fast asleep. They have a real mantle, and
> they put up three stockings.
> It's late when all the preparation is done, early
> Christmas morning actually; and they are tired. Still,
> it is Christmas, and they deserve a celebration. She
> lies on top of him while he pushes up the warm nightie
> and caresses her breasts. They kiss for a minute, she
> moving higher in the bed than he is. She, who always
> kisses upwards when they are standing, enjoys this
> change.
> In that position, he strokes the insides and backs of
> her thighs. He cups and squeezes her hips. He kisses
> the side of her neck. Like this, she makes the
> decisions. When she moves farther up the bed, he
> pulls the nightie up her body until he can kiss her
> breasts. She moves them back and forth over his mouth
> so that each gets equal time. She lets herself down
> when she wants kisses over all of them, and raises
> herself up when she wants only the nipples sucked.
> She is kneeling on the bed on either side of his chest,
> which opens herself to the touch of his hand. His
> attention starts at the top of her thighs, but it
> slowly moves inward. He loves the feel of her secret
> parts, and she loves what his fingers do there.
> When she can't resist that excitement any more, she
> slides back down his body. He grabs the rubber and
> putts it on. Neither of them can see what they are
> doing, but they have years of experience at this. He
> puts himself right at her entrance, she eases herself
> down. He is inside!
> She moves up and down on him, exciting herself as she
> excites him. His hands cup her breasts and play with
> her nipples. "Love you," he says, letting her know
> that he is close. His hands move to her hips to pull
> her closer. "Oh yes!" she says.
> They come at the same moment. She feels him throb
> within her. He feels her clutch around him.
> She raises herself off his cock, then stretches out on
> top of him. They lie in a hug. Soon they are a sleep.
> "Mommy-Daddy," Brosna yells from the door to the room.
> "Mommy-Daddy, come look. Santa's been here."
> "Yes, dear," she tells Brosna. "Go see how many
> stockings there are."
> Brosna scurries downstairs, leaving there bedroom door
> open. She raises herself off him. Somehow, her
> nightie is tangled under his head.
> Good night, and I love you.
> Steve.

Weird! It was sexy, but still.... A kid almost seeing her
parents make love. She knew that happened, but was it healthy to
think about such things?

At this point, her mom came home. She slipped the disk out of
the machine, and put it at the bottom of a short stack of disks.
Then she went down to make dinner.

- = -

Steve skipped the committee meeting. His attendance had been
well above average, and tonight was the night for shopping.

He should buy Shannon something small, something she could
smuggle into her house. Still, another thought had been tickling
the back of his mind. He would look, at least, at the nighties.

The store was warm after the street, and the women's section
felt still hotter. He stood looking at a rack full of nighties
without any idea what they would look like on Shannon.

They all looked like kids to Gert. Still, workers didn't wear
backpacks; this one was still in high school. She took pity on
the kid. "Looking for something particular?" she asked.

"A nightie," Steve said. Suddenly, he felt twice as warm.

"For your wife?"

"My girl. My girlfriend. It's her birthday."

She didn't think he'd meant his daughter. It was none of her
business, anyway. Still, this looked like a nice kid; and her
conscience would hurt her if she sold him what would break up his
romance. "Look, it's none of my business. Still.... Think of
your girlfriend opening the present. Her friends are looking on,
and she gets this from you. She'll blush redder than you're
doing now. Take it from me, it won't make her happy. Wait until
you're married, and then give her a negligee in private."

"It's not like that." Shannon wouldn't open it in public.
She wouldn't have a chance to.

"Okay." She'd tried. "What size is she?"

"About this tall." When he kissed her forehead, the top of
her head would come about to his nose. Well, he'd have to bend
down. "Maybe this tall."

Gert had seen some of the oddest size-differences in exchanges
for women's clothes. Hell! Her husband used to give her size
eight clothes before he switched over to kitchen appliances.
Well, negligees didn't need to be close-fitting. "What color?"

"White!" Steve was sure about that.

That surprised Gert. She moved over to another rack. "Now,
this one is nice and warm."

"Warm isn't precisely what I was looking for." This was
starting to look like a bad idea.

The boy was blushing even brighter. White and sexy? White
and sexy and sized to fit anybody. "Now, this one is rather
sheer." Intended for a bride's trousseau, actually. And it was
priced accordingly.

Steve put his hand inside the nightie. He could see it
clearly through one layer of cloth. This is what he had wanted.
Picturing Shannon in this started him hardening. He was at the
cash register before he even asked the price. It was more than
he'd planned on. By now, however, he was picturing Shannon
wearing it.

"Can you fold it into a smaller box?" he asked. "Something
which would fit in my backpack?" If she couldn't, he'd go buy
something else. It really cost too much.

"It would wrinkle."

"Wouldn't the wrinkles come out?"

The customer is always right. Gert folded the present which
would embarrass her customer's girlfriend into a package which
would fit into his backpack. It was a nice sale with a nice
markup, but Gert had eighteen years in the store. One of the
teen girls who worked the cash registers on the weekends could
have handled this one just as well.

Steve had it gift wrapped. It cost a buck more, but he didn't
trust his own skills after the packages that Shannon had wrapped
for him. Even so, he had much less for his cash-stash than he
had hoped. But, then, he told himself, he wasn't taking Shannon
to a dance tomorrow.

Walking home didn't take all that much longer than the bus
trip, since he went straight. He left the backpack with its
secret contents in his room, then he joined his parents for

- = -

Shannon had dropped the martyr pose, and Allison enjoyed the
easing of their relationship. The only question which her
daughter asked about meal prep was intelligent, and she listened
to the answer. Shannon even had a story to share during dinner
about school. The kids were up in arms over a bad call during a
basketball game.

"And how is the actual school going?" Wayne ventured. "You
know, classwork?" Allison, who would never have pushed her luck
on the eighth day of Shannon's grounding, waited for the
explosion. It didn't come.

"Ask me Monday. The big thing right now is English, and the
test's Friday. I mean, I'm working; but I won't see any results
till then."

Shannon cleared the table without a single grumble. She was
putting the clean dishes away, dressed for bed, when the sports
came on. "Mom, do you want me to go to the store with you
Saturday?" she asked when Allison came into the kitchen for her

"Why?" It would take Shannon out of the house, but it was the
only chore they hadn't assigned to her. This Shannon would speed
shopping; the Shannon of the last week was something she hadn't
cared to display in public.

"Well, I might not have a party this year, but I still need
some birthday cake to share with my friends at school. I'll bake
it, which means a simple mix; nothing like what you've fixed the
last couple of years. I figure that you wouldn't let me shop by
myself, but I could go through the line right behind you. And
I'd help get stuff or push the cart the rest of the time."


"Mom, it isn't any extra time. It's at school. I'd talk with
them, anyway, or talk with Steve. You can't object to my
spending less time with *Steve*."

"Shannon, you're grounded. You have no social life. Period.
We aren't celebrating your birthday this year. *You* are
not celebrating your birthday this year. Not at home, not at

"But that was a party. That was presents. This is something
we've done for years. Most of these girls, I've already eaten
*their* cake." Shannon's face held a genuinely pleading

Allison slowly shook her head.

Shannon broke out in tears and ran to her room. Allison
finished putting the dishes away. This hadn't been a ploy to
escape responsibilities -- Shannon was truly broken up.

"What happened?" Wayne asked when she got back in the living

"We are punishing our daughter. I just punished her."

"You *spanked* her?"

"I told her that she couldn't share birthday cake with her
clique at school."

"I told her that last Wednesday," Wayne said.

Still, Allison thought, Shannon had cried harder at this
ruling than at anything they had done previously. Maybe they
were getting through to her at last.
Chapter 15
If teachers had the brains they were supposed to, Steve
thought, or even a little common sense, they would schedule tests
on Monday and let people study for them over the weekend. Still,
he reviewed the week's review of English that night. Maybe re-
reviewed. He felt that he knew this material -- either that or
he was fooling himself completely.

This would be the disk that Shannon had over the weekend, but
homework hadn't left much time to write. He started a story of
Shannon in her nightie, but that would spoil the surprise. He
saved it and read the letter before beginning another story.

>> You really want to do it standing up don't you? He read,
>> We haven't even
>> done it the regular way, and you are dreaming of doing it
>> different ways. boys are weird, but I think you are weirder than
>> most.

She didn't want special positions? He could deal with that.
But first, he should answer her letter.

>> Only a million?
>> You used to send a billion. I'm locked up for less than a week,
>> and your love has decreased 1/1000.

Well, if she wanted to play numbers games, he could start the
letter on that.

He wrote:
> S he has Steve's
> H eart all the time and his help
> A ny time that she
> N eeds it.
> N onillions
> O f kisses this
> N night.
> Is *too* a word. 10**30.

He cut out a lot of the past stuff, but answered most of her
new comments except for that jibe about millions.

>> He thinks they might let me out for Saturday prepping the
>> If they do, I'm not going to spend my time in the gym!!!
>> could we go?

> That's a good question. Dads missed a lot of
> Saturdays this winter, but, of course, that's when I
> wanted him home. If he's not here, then you could be.
> At worst, we could borrow the Jeep. But that's really
> worst.

>> Gotcha! Steve has a guilty conscience.
> Steve has an absolutely clean conscience. Steve has a
> suspicious sweetheart.

And other light-hearted stuff.

About the kisses, however, he was serious.

>> I just don't know, Steve. You're almost pushing again.
>> And it's sort of gross.
> Gross?
> My mouth is gross?
> I know that isn't what you mean, but that is what would
> be touching you. Let me worry about what grosses me.

And, at the end,

>> I don't think we'd fit quite like that. You'd be at my
>> shoulder or something. Right now, I wish that we were
>> trying it out, though.
> Well, we could experiment. How we would fit? Hmm? I
> bet you were thinking about fitting different parts
> than I'm thinking about fitting.
>> I love you.
> And I love you. I adore you.

He finished up with the story, again in a separate file:

> It's an ordinary evening. Work had been neither
> exciting the day before nor a particular hassle for
> either of them. They'd watched tv for a while before
> turning in. He was already in bed when she came in
> wrapped in her towel. She picked up her nightie and
> then glanced at him.
> "You're just going to want to take it off me again,
> aren't you?"
> "You could put it on afterwards."
> She tossed it towards the bed, but it caught the air
> and floated down. He reached over to grab it. She
> turned away to drape the towel over a chair, but he got
> a side view.
> Although he had seen her most nights of the past three
> years, that hadn't spoiled his appreciation of her
> beauty. On the contrary, he had been overwhelmed by
> the main erotic zones during their high school and
> college years. Before their marriage, he had never had
> time to appreciate all the subtle details. Now, he
> knew them well. The smoothness of her thighs as well
> as the curly hair between them, the movement of her
> breasts as she bent to drop the towel as well as their
> bold thrust as she walked straight towards the bed.
> He threw back the top sheet to make room for her. She
> lay on her side so that they could share a sweet kiss
> before rolling over on her back. He kissed her face
> and torso before returning to her mouth. When that
> kiss turned passionate, he stroked her body. Just as
> he could never get enough sight of her beauty, he could
> never get enough of the feel of her. Holding her in
> his arms night after night delighted him, but it came
> nowhere near saturating his desires.
> After a while, he tore his mouth away from hers and
> kissed her breasts. He licked and sucked at their
> smoothness, but the nipples were too close to resist.
> While he was sucking that sweetness, his hands were
> busy between her legs. The warmth he felt there, the
> smoothness, the welcoming moisture, drove him crazy.
> He wanted to kiss her everywhere, but he had only one
> mouth. He wanted to touch her everywhere but he had
> only two hands. He loved each thing he was doing, but
> he couldn't stand delaying the final act.
> Finally, she decided for him. "Darling," she said. He
> knew that she wanted him to enter her without more
> delay. He reached for the box on the night table, he
> applied the condom, he paused between her legs just
> outside her entrance.
> "I want you," he said.
> "I want you," she echoed, "now."
> He pressed slowly into her secret space. He filled
> her, and she surrounded him. Fully enclosed, pressed
> into her, he stopped to look into her eyes. "I love
> you," he says.
> "I love you," she says. But already they are moving.
> Their motion speeds up. His thrusts become more
> forceful, she meets them more fully.
> "Love," he gasps, unable to say more. The next moment
> they reach bliss together. He spasms deep within her,
> she spasms tightly around him.
> Slowly, they return to earth, his body stretched above
> hers. They relax in each others arms until they are
> nearly asleep. Then he withdraws, carefully drawing
> the rubber with him. He throws it into the
> wastebasket. She pulls herself into a sitting
> position, and he helps her with her nightie. She
> presses back against him as he covers them both with
> the sheet. It is a little warm for hugs, but neither
> remembers another way of sleeping by now.
> Breathing the lovely smell of her hair, he murmurs, "I
> love you."
> Held in his arms, she answers, "I love you, too."
> Each knowing that the other is telling the truth,
> they fall asleep.
> The end

- = -

The soft buzz woke Shannon in the night. Why the alarm and
not the radio? Oh yes, she hadn't set anything. She was
surprised that the alarm had gone off.

Oh no! mom was trying to poison her relationship with her
oldest friends. Awake now, she got out to answer Steve's letter,
or -- at least -- write him one.

> I'm not going to answer your letter now. She wrote.
> I'll do that later. All that I can think of right now is my
> birthday.

> As you know, Dad told me I couldn't have a party. No birthday
> gifts for Shannon this year. But, however angry that makes me,
> that is something that they're denying *me*. Nobody can complain
> that they weren't invited to my party because there wasn't any
> party at all.
> This bringing the birthday cake to school is an old habit. We
> started in sixth grade. The girls who didn't make the first
> lunch period the first year dropped out. We were almost evenly
> split our sophomore year, and we made two groups.
> Anyway, we have done this forever. And we *never* miss. Now
> I've broken the chain. We're all going away, I'll never see them
> again, and all they'll remember of me is that I broke the chain
> the last year.
> I love you. Your something special in my life. But they are
> something special, too. It's different. I'm feeling more and
> more that you'll be part of my future, and -- no surprise -- they
> won't. But we haven't been going together for a year. They
> are part of my past. They are my past, except for my family.
> Maybe that's why Mom's jealous. They're past which I want to
> keep. She's a past which I can't wait to dump.
> Anyway, thanks for the letter. Thanks for the story. But all I
> can think about right now is my friends, and how mom is trying to
> break me apart from them.

- = -

Steve hadn't taken the gift-wrapped box out of his backpack.
Obviously, it couldn't take the crushing he was used to giving
the pack. He carried the pack in his lap on the bus.

He waited for Shannon by her locker with the backpack open and
in his hand.

"Oh Steve!" she said. How had he known that she needed his

"Watch out!" She looked like she were heading for his arms.
That was great; that was where she belonged. But not in school.

She stopped herself short of him. He moved aside, and she
opened her locker. "Mom hates me!"

This wasn't news. But it sounded like something new. "What
has she done now?"

"She won't let me have a birthday cake to take to school
Monday. We've shared cakes on the days after our birthdays.
Always. Now I'm the one who can't do it."

"That sucks." And it did, but it wasn't what he would call a
surprise. "Look," it was already too late for him to get to home
room on time. "We'll talk at lunch. And happy birthday from me,
at least." He handed her the box and left her there.

Shannon was able to get her attention back on Shakespeare's
tragedy from her own long enough to take the test. The essay
question was "'Romeo and Juliet' was meant to entertain, but
great authors do more. What single message do you believe
Shakespeare intended to communicate in this play?"

She was tempted to write "Families suck." But the play was
really about Juliet's first love, her one love. Shannon had
thought about this long enough that her problem was keeping the
answer short.

Steve's answer to the essay question focused on the feuding.

At lunch, Shannon told her friends that she couldn't bring a
cake on Monday. This time, she was quite willing to sit with
Steve, hut all her talk was on the injustice of her mom's ruling
and how this had ruined her whole time in high school. "Junior
high, too. Our group has been together since *grade*

Steve was, as he had told her, on her side on anything -- much
less her parents' punishment for time she had spent with him.
Still, this was much more venting than she had spent on being
denied a party where Steve and these same girls would have been
present. Also, he had expected some reaction to his gift.

"Can you fit the box I gave you into your backpack?" he asked.

"I think so."

"And they aren't going to poke inside to find it."

"They haven't done that yet," Shannon said. "I know where to
hide it in my room."

"And no peeking until Sunday."

"I won't." She wasn't all that tempted. She had resigned
herself to having no presents this year. It was the 'no parties'
which hurt.

"Do you think you did all right on the exam?" Steve asked.

"Okay. It sure didn't help that I spent the night crying over
Mom's new cruelty. I was tempted to answer the essay question
with some comment on how families mistreat their daughters.

"I think it was all about feuding. After all, the end of the
play focused on that; it didn't bring the lovers back to life.
And the same goes for the problems. Romeo would have been
banished if he hadn't fallen in love, or hadn't fallen in love
with Juliet. They died because the Montagues were feuding with
the Capulets....

"And because they fell in love, and Shakespeare can't have
meant that they shouldn't have fallen in love."

"Oh Steve!" She had *told* him all about Juliet's pure
love, her only love. He hadn't listened at all. Well, it was
done now. "I meant how did you do on the test? Aside from the
essay question."

"Pretty well, I think. And, if I did, you deserve all the

Then it was time to trade disks and leave for their next
Snow was already falling outside. The number of kids who
actually attended committee meetings had dwindled, anyway. Steve
was able to get a table all by himself. "Don't want company?"
Ken asked when he came by.

"Want yours. What's this about Shannon's parents letting her
out of the house on Saturday?"

"We left it up in the air. I'm not going to ask for another
week. You still on with Hauksbee?"

"Sure," Steve answered. "I traded *this* Sunday for next
Saturday, I couldn't get out this late if I wanted."

"If Shannon can't get off, would you come help in the gym? I
won't cheat you; I'll try my damndest to get permission from her

"Why Ken! You think she won't come decorate the gym."

"I," said Ken, "think she'll be too busy decorating the

When Steve got home, his mom had beaten him by only a few
minutes. "Dinner's in three quarters of an hour," she said.
"Don't bother to shovel; it's still coming down. tv says we'll
get better than a foot."

"TV guy doesn't shovel. From where I stand, we'll get worse
than a foot." Actually, he was glad for the snow for once.
"I'll bet that you'll want me to shovel the walk after dinner."

"You'll have a good, long, time. I can't start the brownies
until dinner's done."

"And there might be another snow storm later this year." It
was the second of February. They were due three or four serious
storms before spring. "And you might want the walk shoveled
tonight, and tomorrow morning, and for the next storm as well."

"What do you want? I've already offered brownies."

"And that's what I want. But not when I want them. I want
the entire tray of brownies, cut -- cut small for that matter --
but not one piece removed. I want them baked Sunday night for me
to take to school Monday morning. For that you get the walk
shoveled for this storm and for the next one, too."

Rachel Anderson was hardly the chockaholic that her son was.
Still, the cook was entitled to her share; and she had planned to
save a few pieces for Roger. Steve wouldn't really get much more
than half the tray, usually. Also, shoveling the walk was
Steve's *responsibility*; brownies were a reward, not a
negotiable salary. But, if Steve wanted to negotiate, two could
play that game.

"Next three storms? This and the two after it."

Steve hadn't thought of that possibility, but Shannon wanted
something to share with her buddies. "Done." And he went up to
his room to read Shannon's letter.

Which was all about her birthday. This ruling had knocked
Shannon for a loop.

>> I love you. Your something special in my life. But they are
>> something special, too. It's different. I'm feeling more and
>> more that you'll be part of my future, and -- no surprise -- they
>> won't. But we haven't been going together for a year. They
>> are part of my past. They are my past, except for my family.

He just hoped that the brownies would be accepted. He loved
them, but Shannon's friends were persnickety.

After dinner, the snow kept falling. He shoveled the entire
width of the walk, then a path through the little bit which had
fallen since. He set his alarm an hour earlier than usual.

Then he sat down for his letter to Shannon.

> What your parents did to you sucks. He wrote.
> I hope I made it a little better. There's not much
> more that I can say about that.

> You've said that you like my stories. I've been
> thinking about one for our wedding night. I can get
> the veil off and kiss you. After that, I don't know
> anything. All those dresses look two-piece, but
> they aren't; are they? I mean, even if they are of
> different cloth and all, they are sewed together
> aren't they?

> And what do you wear under them? A slip? Then bra
> and panties and pantyhose? Anything special? I
> keep hearing about a garter.

> When there is a choice, you don't have to make it
> now. These are fantasies. Just tell me something.
> I'll use it for the story now.

> Maybe I'll write another fantasy later, if you have
> another choice. Or even if you don't.
For his story, since he didn't have the answers to any of
those questions, he dealt with their second night. She wouldn't
see the fantasy before she'd seen the birthday nightie.

- = -

Between the crises at home and the major exam in English,
Shannon had been neglecting her other subjects. Friday night,
after the dishes, she corrected that.

She didn't read Steve's note until she woke up in the middle
of the night. This schedule had its problems. Athletic socks
and fuzzy slippers or no, her legs got cold sitting at the
computer when the thermostat was set for night.

Steve's header, what she thought of as his 'poem,' was cute.
He couldn't help much, but he had tried. She briefly wondered
what he had got her for her birthday. Her friends *said*
they were on her side, but Steve was the only one who had
smuggled her a gift. And she was perfectly willing to believe
him about "nonillions."

Did she want to go to Steve's house? So many things could go
wrong. It was better than parking the Jeep somewhere. Damn!
She wanted Steve's kisses; she knew from experience she would
want more when she got those; but she also wanted to be in
control. But she couldn't take a babysitting job, and Steve sure
couldn't come here.

Would Steve want more. He'd always been such a good boy,
despite her complaints about pushing. He did take 'no' for an
answer. And did she still want to say 'no'? She'd been a good
girl, too; and it had got her grounded forever. If she'd snuck
around instead of telling the clients, she'd be having a party
tomorrow and taking a cake to school Monday.

Still, the white wedding had been *her* dream; it hadn't
come from her mother the way the dream of Albion had.

Steve went on and *on* about kissing her down there. All
the novels made that sound so exciting too. Well, at least that
solved the problem of the white wedding. Sex was another step
after that kiss. And she could still wear white. But the novels
seemed to suggest that that step took seconds.

Still, the historical stories, at least, took only a few
minutes between the first kiss on the mouth and the first sex.
She knew that didn't apply to her case. She made a decision. If
she had to give in, she would give in about the kiss. Although
she didn't have to give in yet.

Still, it was cold. She would have to thank him for the
birthday present, anyway; and she had two more days to write that
letter. She took the history book back to bed. Curled up under
the blankets, still wearing the socks if not the slippers, she
finally got warm.

- = -

Steve shoveled the walk again before Saturday's breakfast.
His mother drove him and the shovel to Hauksbee's. He had half
the walk outside the drugstore shoveled when the Hauksbee got

"Why Steve, thanks," he said.

"Do you want me to continue?" Steve could picture the old man
letting him shovel the rest and then chewing him out for getting
inside the store late.

The druggist wasn't sure that Steve had done him as much of a
favor as he had intended. The law held him responsible for the
state of a shoveled walk, but not for the state of an unshoveled
one. On the other hand, the people in the town would like it
better; and they were customers. Anyway, he was probably liable
for the state of the walk now. And, of course, he was insured.

Steve finished shoveling but spent more time mopping the floor
that morning than behind the cash register as customers tracked
more snow in.

He left the shovel in his mother's car behind the dentist's
office. Then he walked home. He rewrote his story for Shannon,
and then did his homework for the next week. When his mother got
home, he shoveled the walk once again. They killed the evening
watching TV.

- = -

When Shannon got up in the middle of the night, it was -- of
course -- already her birthday. Since she only would get one
birthday present this year, she should wait to open it until
later. On the other hand, she was *tired* of being a good
girl. She opened the box.

It was a negligee, a sexy negligee. Well, she could hardly
expect Steve to buy her a sexless one. But should he be buying
her nightwear at all? At least her parents wouldn't see it.

And it *did* make her feel sexy. It made her look sexy,
too, when she modeled it for the mirror. The cloth was nearly
transparent. She could clearly see the shape of her breasts.
She could see the nipples stick out, too; it was *cold* in
the room. After spinning once to see the negligee stand out far
from her, she shivered and put the much warmer nightie back on
before climbing into bed. Not only had the gift been sheer; but
it had an opening down the front, closed by dozens of tiny
buttons. She couldn't quite see why, it was large enough that
she had donned it without even attempting to open them.

Then she *could* see why, and shivered again. The
negligee was designed to be opened by a husband. A lover? No,
she thought, a husband. Those buttons gave him access to all of
his wife, but slow access -- teasing access.

The gift was much sexier than she had thought. She wondered
whether Steve had seen all of that. Probably! Sexiness was one
thing which Steve saw much more quickly than she did. Soon she
crawled out of the warm bed to the cold computer. It was time to
write Steve.

> Thanks for your lovely gift. She wrote.
> You do know that this is the only gift that I'm likely to get
> this year.

Let him stew over whether she saw it as sexy as he did. Then
she grinned. She hadn't felt like a good girl wearing it, and
she didn't want to feel like a good girl ever again. She dug out
his last letter and story.

The story would make her feel like a bad girl fastest.

> Brosna?? She wrote.
> Where did you get that name?

> And you seem to dictate all of the woman's feelings, too.

>> He loves the feel of her secret
>> parts, and she loves what his fingers do there.
>> When she can't resist that excitement any more, she
>> slides back down his body.

> Isn't that convenient?

> I'm not at all sure that toddlers should see their parents
> entwined in the aftermath of sex. Steve, you have a dirty
> mind!

Still, she had a dirty mind by now, too. And the story led up
to that. She opened and answered the later letter as well.

>> S he has Steve's She read.
>> H eart all the time and his help
>> A ny time that she
>> N eeds it.
>> N onillions
>> O f kisses this
>> N night.
>> Is *too* a word. 10**30.

> Nonillions of kisses back to you.

She wrote. No reason to admit that the word was new to her.
And, if he had made it up -- the word wasn't in her dictionary,
she'd checked that -- then she was just accepting a word he'd
made up.

She still wasn't sure that she liked the idea of visiting his
house, his room? Still, petting in the Jeep was a *much*
worse choice. Where else could they go?

And he was still pushing on the kissing business.

>> Gross?
>> My mouth is gross?
>> I know that isn't what you mean, but that is what would
>> be touching you. Let me worry about what grosses me.

Still, the novels kept making it seem nice. Nice? they made
it sound delightful. And it wasn't -- despite the novels --
something a nice girl would do. Shannon wasn't a nice girl any
more, and something which was both evil and felt delightful might
be just what she needed. She would read his ideas; whether she
would let him *do* them was another question. Anyway, he
was talking about after marriage.

And, in the latest story, he didn't even mention that. Would
they be like that? Would he still think that she was sexy after
getting totally used to her?

> I liked your story.

She wrote. What she liked about it, she couldn't quite

Anyway, it was better than being caught by Brosna. Where had
he come up with that name?

She saved her stuff and hid the disk in her pack. Then she
returned to the warmth of her bed. There, she didn't retell the
story to herself. Instead she pictured -- again and again -- the
negligee as it had looked in the mirror
She didn't set any alarm for the morning, but her parents
were able to get her up for church anyway.

She was ready before her mom was, even if she had dragged her
feet all morning. "Too bad you took so long," she whispered to
her mom under the prelude -- but so several people could hear.

Mrs. Browning stopped her as she was going out after service.
"Come stand by me for the coffee hour, twin." she asked. She and
Shannon had the same birthday, although their birth years were
seventy-two years apart. The church would celebrate all the
February birthdays today, and Mrs. Browning's 90th would almost
certainly get a special mention.

"I'm so sorry, Mrs. Browning," she said sweetly. "My parents
aren't allowing me any birthday celebration this year." Then she
hurried out.

She was cold by the time her parents found her by the car.

"Why didn't you come to coffee hour?" Dad asked. "We had to
hurry out to look for you after the singing.

"I couldn't go to the singing," she said. "They would have
sung to me, and you two won't allow me to celebrate my birthday.

"We didn't say anything about church," Dad said.

"My friends can't celebrate my birthday, but you'll make an
exception for *your* friends?"

The drive home was remarkably quiet after that.

- = -

Steve managed to shovel the walk clean before breakfast. When
he and his mother got home from church, there wasn't enough new
snow to require another full shoveling. He did clean up the
patches of blown snow while his mom fixed lunch.

"Well," she said when they had started in on that meal, "if
it's not coming down any more, that means your father might get
home tonight."

He went to his room after lunch. Before starting his
homework, he began to rewrite his last letter to Shannon. The
fantasy was all about taking that nightie off her on their second
night of marriage.

Still, he worried more about the first night. Shannon was
going to give him some help on the clothes, but he could use some
help on the activities. He snuck into Mallory's room to get some
of her bodice rippers. The books often fell open to the sexiest
scenes. Somehow, that didn't surprise him.

The descriptions of the first times varied a good deal. But
they seemed to have pain for the girl more often than not.

What if Shannon were sore, he suddenly thought, after their
first time? The second wouldn't be as much fun as he was
painting in the story he had written. What if she expected to be
sore? She, after all, had had more sex ed than the heroines of
Mallory's books. Maybe he should rewrite the story to ask her
that question.

Still, it wasn't a topic he wanted to bring up. "This might
hurt you, but *I*'ll really enjoy it." That didn't sound
quite like the tone he wanted to take right now. Inspired, he
rewrote the story.

> It was the second night of their honeymoon. Steve waited
> in their bedroom as Shannon showered. When she came out in
> the sexy nightie, it took his breath away.

He would keep. The details of their time in bed, he copied
over to a file *he* could read any time. He still thought
it was sexy. But he erased most of the fantasy. Then he changed
"sexy" to "delicate" and "it" to "she."

> It was the second night of their honeymoon. Steve waited
> in their bedroom as Shannon showered. When she came out in
> the delicate nightie, she took his breath away.
> Her hair was falling free down her back, the long glory of it
> calling for his fingers. Her face was fresh-scrubbed, its
> delicate blush calling for his kisses.
> The nightgown clung to the beautiful shape of her body.
> Through the sheer cloth, he could see the curves of her
> breasts flow free. The material clung to her slender waist.
> After the first two kisses on her forehead, she looked up to
> meet his mouth with hers. They pressed tongues together as
> his hands went around her. He brushed the smooth cloth
> against her supple back. Then he combed her luscious hair
> with his fingers again and again.
> Finally, he gripped her firm hips and pulled her against him.
> He could feel her lithe length press against his body.

Some of that reading was rubbing off. Should he mention what
part would feel her most sensitively? Should he mention what she
would feel pressing into her? No. Let's keep this one romantic.

> He could feel her lithe length press against his body. When
> they finally had to breathe, he kissed her cheeks. Then he
> kissed down to her neck.
> She started towards the bed.
> "Not yet," he said. "Let me look at you."
> The folds of the night dress clung to her shape. He could
> detect her narrow waist and her supple arms. But his
> attention was drawn to her hips. He could just see each of
> her separate shapely thighs and the space between them
> through the sheerness of the cloth.
> She whirled around. The nightie was buttoned up to her neck,
> but revealed the shape of her breasts moving free underneath
> it. There were two lines of red hearts from the skirt to the
> neckline. And, outside of those lines, two nipples pressed
> the cloth outward.
> He looked up at her flushed face. She stared at him as he was
> staring at her. He had to kiss her then. Having tasted her
> sweet mouth and slicked the dress along her sleek back again,
> he stood back for another look.
> He looked at her lovely face, remembering the kisses and
> anticipating more. He looked at her breasts and the nipples
> which seemed to be reaching for him. He looked at her mound,
> just visible through the cloth. The hair there was every bit
> as beautiful as the hair on her head. "Maybe more beautiful,"
> he thought. "Anybody can see her head, this hair is private
> -- hidden from everyone but me."
> As if she could read his mind, she blushed under this
> examination. She turned suddenly and got into bed. He
> followed her in, compensated by a hug for his loss of the sight
> of all that beauty.

He left it at that. Would they have sex on their second
night? He hoped so, but not if she was still in pain. What he
needed to tell her, however, was that she was beautiful. He
certainly should *not* mention the possibility of pain.

And, of course, Shannon was beautiful. He liked looking at
her. He certainly liked touching her more, but he already knew
that she preferred his mentioning the beauty.

- = -

Supper was a remarkably silent meal for Shannon and her
parents. Shannon pictured the negligee again. That was one
thing that they didn't know. "What are you thinking, dear?" her
mom asked.

Shannon realized she had been smiling. "I was thinking how
there are only seven months until September," She said. "After
then, I'll never live in this house again." They didn't know
about the negligee. They wanted to control her every action, but
there were so many things they didn't know.

"We'll be sorry to see you go," her dad said, "but happy that
you are growing up." Shannon couldn't believe her ears. He
thought that they would be happy about her growing up. They
treated her like a little child, and both of them clearly wanted
her to stay that way forever.

Wayne thought that his statement was overly optimistic. He
and Allison looked forward to Shannon's growing up. But she had
been acting like a preschooler lately. Would going off to school
suddenly provide her with maturity? Well, it was an opportunity,
and an unavoidable one. What Shannon made of it was another

- = -

Steve's dad had called that he was on his way. Steve had the
table all set, and his mom was waiting dinner when they heard the
Cherokee in the driveway. Over dinner, they dealt with reports
of what each had done in the past week.

Would the house be free for Shannon on Saturday? Steve
couldn't ask it in quite those words; he didn't want his dad to
feel unwanted, and he certainly didn't want to explain why he was
unwanted. "How about next weekend?" he asked. "Do you think
that ou'll be able to get back then?

Roger didn't want to guarantee what he couldn't deliver.
"Well, that depends on the weather and the state of the roads.

Steve had an answer ready for that question. "You know that
we're decorating the gym for the big Valentine's dance. Ken is
sure to need transport for people and material." Doing a favor
for Ken would always get the approval of his parents. "I thought
if you were going to be back I could borrow the Jeep." And if
Dad were back, he would probably need to borrow the Jeep.
"Well," Roger said, "I can't promise what the weather will be
like. But I will promise that I'll make every effort to get back
Friday night. I've spent more than enough time in motels this

Oh great! Dad didn't have to make the effort for Steve's
sake. But, the comment about motels gave him another idea.
Steve wondered how much a motel would cost, and whether he could
get Shannon to go to a motel room with him. It sounded a lot
worse than visiting his house, even than visiting his room. On
the other hand, they would have privacy there. Now how could he
convince Shannon that he wasn't asking her to go all the way?

Mostly, he worked on his homework after dinner. He did reopen
the disk holding his letter, though.

> By the way, he wrote,
> This isn't what you think, but one place we might go to get
> some privacy is one of the motels out on the interstate.
> Think about it, OK?

Roger and Rachel were both aware that Steve could come out of
his room at any time. Still, they had been apart a long time.
Rachel sat beside Roger on the sofa in front of the tv set.
Every once in a while she pushed his hand off her leg. "I can
hear him walk down the hall," he whispered. She went into the
kitchen to make two batches of brownies.

She brought in one for Roger as soon as the pans were done.
At least, juggling the hot brownie kept both of his hands busy.
"Mmmm," he said when it was finally cool enough to swallow, "but
this is going to bring a chaperone out of his room."

"Nope," she said. "I made two pans, one for him. And he
wants that pan untouched for the morning." Soon, they took their
pan into the bedroom with them.

Conscious of the thin walls, neither dared speak a word, much
less reach for the wand.

Roger teased and teased. He sucked Rachel's nipples while
stroking his nails over any skin which caught his fancy.

At the edge of an explosive orgasm, Rachel pulled a pillow
over her face.

At that point, Roger abandoned her breasts. After putting a
brownie between his lips, he drew his fingertips over her thighs
lightly. When one bite had been savored, he withdrew a hand to
push the brownie deeper in his mouth. Then he stroked her lower
lips with his thumb.

Rachel could stand it no longer. "Roger, please!" she said.

"Oh! You want a brownie, too." He put another in his mouth
and leaned his face over hers. When she tried to correct him,
the brownie entered her mouth.

She shoved his shoulder hard. He tumbled over in the bed.
Sweeping the covers off his groin, she straddled him. "Damn
you," she said. Then she fitted herself to him.

"Oh! That's what I want." He filled her with his hardness.

One of his hands played across her nipples. The other one
stroked her where he knew she needed it.

"Just there!" she said. She rubbed the most sensitive part of
her against him. "Just ...." Then the fire took her away.

Roger could feel her convulse around him. He couldn't have
prevented his own explosion from matching hers. He didn't try.
He raised his hips off the sheet despite her weight. He pulsed.
Then he collapsed. He heard the bed groan, and almost matched it
with one of his own. Then she lay on him.

Some time afterwards, she moved off to lie beside him. She
adjusted the sheet and blanket. Roger was still lying flat on
his back, breathing like a steam locomotive. "You okay?" she

He nodded weakly. She tucked herself against his side and
began to drop off. Getting to sleep was so much easier when he
was home.
Chapter 16
"She's still fighting," Wayne said to Allison while he
stripped. Shannon had been in her room for hours, now.

"You sound like you admire her."

"Well ... in a way. What she did was sneaky and childish.
Some of her recent tactics are equally childish. 'If Shannon's
friends can't celebrate her birthday, neither can her parents'
friends.' On the other hand, she hasn't given up yet."

"And she gets that stubbornness from you."

"You're not exactly a string of cooked spaghetti yourself.
And, really, we've raised her to stick to her own standards.
What we really meant, of course, is that she should stick to
*our* standards. Well, she isn't and didn't, but she seems
to be sticking to her own. And she is about to go away next

"Where she won't have any influence from us. She really stuck
that in this evening."

"Where she will have no standards to reject but her fellow
students'. If she remains as stubborn as she is now, she's safer
in college than we might fear." He got into her bed beside her.

"You look at the bright side of everything. Do you want to
end her punishment?"

"No. She still isn't giving us any chance to accept her
remorse. Well, enough of her for one night."

"You only say that because it's Sunday night."

"I only say that because I think we've exhausted the subject.
Do you have anything else to add?"

Allison reached over to caress his face. "Not really."

He leaned to kiss her. Remembering that she was still in
parent mode, he spent a long time on the facial kisses. Slowly,
she relaxed. He licked her lips, and then slipped his tongue
between them. He wasn't sure she was ready when she sat up, but
that was one hell a subject for a fight -- this was one hell of a
time for one, for that matter. He helped her remove the

He kissed her breasts and stroked between her thighs. When he
reached her center, she wasn't quite dry. He had found her much
wetter on other occasions, though. He stroked there, hoping to
increase her excitement. Very soon, however, she reached over
and grasped his erection. As it firmed in her hand, she tickled
the shaft. He couldn't take more of this.

He rolled away to put on the condom. "Are you sure?" he

"Unless you want to go back to your own bed. It's Sunday
night , after all."

He climbed between her legs. The lubrication that had come
with the condom was enough to get him in. Soon, he was stroking
faster and faster. He could tell that she was nowhere near her
climax when he reached his. He gasped and lay on her for a

Then he rolled off towards the side. He thought of saying
something, but then thought better of it.

After a few minutes, he said, "I do love you." He got out and
went to his own bed. There he removed the condom and put it in
the wastebasket.

Without saying a word, Allison rolled over in her bed so she
was turned away from him.

A little later, they both went to sleep.
Shannon awoke easily to the radio. She was eighteen and one
day. The next day, she wouldn't have any cake to share with her
friends. She'd gotten a little revenge today, but that hardly
compensated. She reread the history assignment, since she'd done
all her homework. Now that her parents had destroyed her
business and social life, there was much more time for school

Then she got out of bed to reread Steve's letter. Her answer
seemed okay. What if she could visit him at home? How far would
she let him go? She got back in to the warmth of her bed to
ponder these questions. Steve had really been her only ally.
And look where being a good girl and fending him off had gotten

On the other hand, it was her body. She had a right to say
when. To be fair to Steve, on the other hand, he seemed to grant
her that. And he had gotten her the only birthday gift she had
received this year. Well, he deserved a smooch for that; he
didn't deserve a fuck for that. Fending him off had two sides to
it. Her parents had come down on her like a ton of bricks
despite that, but Steve had supported her despite that.

She wouldn't pretend that Steve was happy with the present
situation -- she meant the situation before she got caught. But
he had seemed, still seemed, satisfied with it. For that matter,
Steve was being entirely supportive when all their petting was
cut off.

Were these really his fantasies? Did he really dream of being
*married* to her? Well, he might dream of fucking her. To
be a little more honest, he dreamed of making love to her.
Still, he dreamed of making love to her after they were married.
At least he told her only those dreams.

She turned off her lamp and stretched out under the covers.
Where could they go? She certainly didn't want to work on the
gym. It was still far from certain that she could even get out
that morning. Still, where could they go to get a little

His house, maybe. That would put him in control of things as
he had never been on their dates. Her mom couldn't see how much
control she had kept. Still, would his being in control be so
bad? Maybe she wanted him in control. Maybe he would push
farther, and she wouldn't have to give any permission at all.
Still, on dates you could walk home. She had. If you had told
your mom that you were decorating the gym, you couldn't walk
home. And walking from his house was a *lot* of walking.

Still, she thought as she drifted off, either they went all
the way or they didn't spend Saturday together.

- = -

Shannon turned in beside Steve on their way to English.
"Brosna?" she asked. "Where did you get the name Brosna?"

"In the atlas," he said. Or was it in the gazetteer? He
could never tell those two books apart, and they were always
bound together. Anyway, that was old news. "Would your friends
consider brownies instead of birthday cake?"


They turned in the classroom as he was thinking of another way
to ask the question. He put his pack on his desk and unzipped
the top. "Here," he said. He handed her the tray of brownies.

The bell rang before they could say anything else. They both
looked guiltily towards Mrs. Foster, but she didn't direct any
attention towards them.

When she passed back the tests, however, neither Steve's nor
Shannon's was among them. "Steve," Mrs. Foster asked, "did you
study the play with Shannon?"

"Not for the test," he answered. Mrs. Foster hadn't said that
they shouldn't.

"But before?"

"Yes ma'm. You didn't say we weren't allowed." Really,
Shannon had helped him a lot more than he had helped Shannon, but
he couldn't tell who was in the wrong on that one.

"And what was the theme of the play? What did you write about
for your essay question?"

"The feud. The Montagues and the Capulets feuded, and it was
a tragedy because of that."

"Shannon," Mrs. Foster continued, "what did you say was the
theme of the play?"

"Juliet's love. She had never been in love before; she had
never even thought that she was in love. Then she fell for
Romeo, and everything was different. Her whole world changed."

"All right!" Mrs. Foster said. "I keep despairing about what
is going to happen to my students when you get into college
courses. You ask about studying together, and I dodge the
question. Well, Steve and Shannon studied together, but each of
them thought for himself about the play. That's all I wanted to
see on the essay question, whether you had thought about the
play. Those two had. They both got excellent grades on the
test. Each of them made mistakes on the essay question, but
their marks for content were perfect."

"Anyway ...." She handed them their papers before going over
every question.
Shannon sat down with her friends for lunch. "Who would
like a little desert?" she asked.

The brownies were a big hit. After all, nobody, least of all
Shannon, expected that she would be able to provide anything.

Steve was sitting with his friends when the girls passed by.
"Steve," Diane said, "if you ever set up to give boyfriend
lessons, Jeff will pay tuition. Won't you Jeff?"

"What did I do?" asked Jeff.

"Who gives a ....?" said another boy at the table. "The
question is 'what did Steve do?'" Shannon gave him back the tray
-- now sadly depleted.

Steve took one of the remaining pieces. If he'd shared the
tray among that many *boys*, he thought, there wouldn't have
been a crumb left.

"What Steve did," Shannon said, "was think about making things
better for me."

Steve explained the situation a little more thoroughly.
Shannon got a library pass during a study hall later. She
looked up "Brosna" in an atlas. The map was a map of Ireland,
and Brosna was a river. She was confused at first until she saw
that it ran into the Shannon River. "Cute," she thought. "Not
real smart, but cute."

She had a whole period in the library, and nothing to do
except homework. She finally looked over the fiction section.
She checked out one book which looked like it would be hot.
"I looked up "Brosna" in the atlas," she told Steve after
school let out. "Cute."

"Well, I couldn't choose a real name without consulting you,
now could I?"

Then the Jeep honked for him, and he had to leave.

- = -

Steve had a little shoveling to do when he got home from work.
Then he read Shannon's letter.

She liked his gift, and his story. She was puzzled by the
girl's name, but he had known that already.

He got through his homework, and then started on another
letter. This long pause between asking the questions and getting
the answers could be a drag. Still, the story was more

> They had been married for more than a year, he wrote.
> And it was cold in their house.

House? Would they be able to afford a house? Maybe it would
be a stuffy apartment. A house, he decided. These were
fantasies, after all.

> Nevertheless, he lay under the blankets in his bare skin.
> "Brrr," she said as she joined him.
> "Lie close," he said, "It will warm you up."
> As she snuggled up against him, he pushed her hair towards the
> top of her head with his hand. He kissed the back of her
> neck.
> "Your face is cold," she said. She shivered against him.
> His hand stroked up her warm nightie until it reached her
> breast.
> Soon, he slipped his hand under the her nightie. For a bit, he
> played with her breasts while his arm lay against her skin.
> Then he drew his hand lower. "I love your hair down here, he
> said. When she turned on her back, his hand kept stroking her
> while he kissed her mouth.
> She suddenly struggled to sit up in the bed and remove the
> nightie.

- = -

Shannon thought that Steve's story was hotter than the book.
Still, she had weeks to read the book and not much else she could

She didn't even try to reply to his letter until she had the
house to herself.

> Thanks
She wrote.
> Thanks for the letter and the story. But especially thanks for
> the brownies. I know I have ONE person on my side, anyway.
> Thanks for the birthday present, as well.

>> I hope I made it a little better.
> You did.

>> You've said that you like my stories. I've been
>> thinking about one for our wedding night. I can get
>> the veil off and kiss you. After that, I don't know
>> anything. All those dresses look two-piece, but
>> they aren't; are they? I mean, even if they are of
>> different cloth and all, they are sewed together
>> aren't they?

>> And what do you wear under them? A slip? Then bra
>> and panties and pantyhose? Anything special? I
>> keep hearing about a garter.

>> When there is a choice, you don't have to make it
>> now. These are fantasies. Just tell me something.
>> I'll use it for the story now.

> girls don't wear their wedding dresses on their honeymoons.
> Haven't you ever been to a reception? I know you have, I've
> seen you there. The bride changes into traveling clothes
> before heading off with the groom.

> Anyway, yes. The wedding dress is one thing. After that, how
> should I know? I suppose a slip. I know panties and a bra. I
> think it's traditional to wear stockings and garters.
> Tradition says that the bride wears something old, something
> new, something borrowed, and something blue. I guess that the
> panties would do fine for something blue. Probably the rest of
> the clothes would be white.

>> Maybe I'll write another fantasy later, if you have
>> another choice. Or even if you don't.

> I like your fantasies. And they don't have to be all about
> wedding nights. I don't mind your *fantasizing* about me being
> a bad girl.

>> By the way,
>> This isn't what you think, but one place we might go to get
>> some privacy is one of the motels out on the interstate.
>> Think about it, OK?

A motel was worse than his house. In his house, she could
stick to the living room or the kitchen. A motel room was a
bedroom. In his house, you had to worry about his parents coming
home or somebody knocking at the door. A motel room was a locked
bedroom. She could just imagine petting on some rented bed.
Real danger. On the other hand, she *could* imagine petting
on a rented bed. She could remember how nice he had made her

> I'll think about it. I've been wondering where we could get
> some privacy.

>> It was the second night of their honeymoon. Steve waited
She read.

He thought her beautiful. Well, he wrote about her being
beautiful. Anyway, it was a nice fantasy.

> I liked your story. she wrote.
> I love you.

> I liked more than your story, actually. I like that you take
> all this trouble to keep in contact while we can't talk. I
> like that you thought so hard about my birthday. The present
> was so pretty. The brownies were, if anything, even better.

The present was pretty. It was also sexy and expensive. Her
mother had been wrong; Steve wasn't limited by what she had
bought him. That's what came of listening to her mother. Still
she couldn't believe herself. For the brownies, much less the
present, she owed Steve a smacking kiss. She didn't owe Steve
her body. Yet she was thinking about meeting him in his house
for hours with nobody else around; she was thinking about going
to a motel room with him.

Still, she'd been a good girl for years and years; she'd been
Steve's girlfriend for one of those years. When push came to
shove, being a good girl hadn't done her any good; being Steve's
girlfriend had paid off. So she'd go to the motel where good
girls would *never* go. Because that was the only place
where she could be his girlfriend in the privacy they needed.
(Assuming, of course, that his father would be home; Steve's
house looked better and better).

Not that she was going to tell Steve that she wasn't going to
wear white on her wedding day. Still, she would go to the motel
room with him. They would kiss and pet on the rented bed. If he
didn't push, that would be that. If he did push, she'd decide
then. Steve wasn't pushy, wasn't demanding. Still he had been
pushy in the past, had been pushy about the kisses just recently.

And, of course, saying she would set the limits when he had
her all excited was a mistake. Not really a mistake, she
decided. It meant that her feelings mattered. Good girls didn't
act like that, but Susan was *finished* being a good girl.

And, since she was finished being a good girl, and there was
so little opportunity to be bad in the middle of the night in the
middle of the winter, she went back to bed and imagined the motel
room. Since she didn't know what it would look like, she
imagined Steve in this bed. She stroked herself as Steve would
stroke her, as she wanted Steve to stroke her. It had jumped so
in Mrs. Green's bathroom. Would it jump inside her?

And on that question, she came. Some time afterwards, she
turned off the lamp and turned over on her side. This time,
waking up in the middle of the night had been worthwhile.

- = -
"I'll drive you to school," Steve's dad told him Tuesday

"I still can't guarantee getting back," he said on the way to
school. "I certainly will try, though."

"You don't have to, dad. I just thought of the possibility.
I would feel horrible if you got into some terrible accident
pushing yourself to get home."

"I haven't gotten into a terrible accident yet, and I drive
all over half the state."
English class was uneventful. They were starting on
research papers. The next time he saw Shannon was for lunch.
They had a table without her friends around, for once. Of
course, lower classmen took the other seats; but both parties
ignored the other. It was as close as you could get to privacy
in school.

They traded disks once again. "I liked your fantasy," she
said after they had traded disks.

"It looks like Dad is coming home on Saturday. Even if he
doesn't make it, I doubt that I'll know that in advance." That
should be clear to Shannon without anyone who might overhear
getting the drift.

"Well," she said, "you did have another possibility. If
that's our only choice, I can live with it."

"That's wonderful. You trust me, then." And he had better be
worthy of her trust, he thought. After weeks of being deprived
of Shannon, he wasn't sure that he could be.

"Of course I trust you. Haven't you always been trustworthy?"
She wasn't sure what that meant. What she really didn't trust
was herself. After being deprived of his hands for weeks, after
seeing what her parents thought she was, she wasn't sure whether
she trusted him to stop or feared that he would stop. Still,
there was only so much you could say with an audience around,
even if they didn't seem to be paying attention.

They talked until they had to leave the lunch room. All that
Steve could think of, however, was that Shannon had agreed to go
to a motel with him. His father registered ahead, and he knew
what he was doing. Steve would have to call around. The next
time he could talk to Ken, he told him that he couldn't come to
the meeting that night, but not why.

"We'll miss you," said Ken. The truth was that there wasn't
much more to do until Saturday morning. "You know, you're the
only person who still notifies me that you'll miss a meeting."

"Hey, I owe you. *We* owe you. And if Shannon can get
out for the decorating, we'll owe you much more."

Steve was the first of his family home when the school bus
finally dropped him off.

He ran to his room. Shannon would consider a motel. Maybe
having Dad come home wasn't such a bad idea after all.

He pictured them together. He pictured Shannon as she had
been a few times at babysitting houses. But this time there
would be no responsibilities to distract her. This time, no kids
could possibly intervene. This time, no parents could come home
unexpectedly. This time, they wouldn't have to keep one ear
cocked for a car driving up.

How much would she let him take off? He would see her
breasts, touch her breasts, suck her breasts. Would he see her
mound, with it's lovely hair? Would he touch it?

Would she touch HIM? He could remember her sweet hand.
Hurriedly, he opened his belt and pushed down his trousers and

But once he was finished, he still hadn't found the motel. He
had to clean himself up and go get the phone and the directory
from the hall table. He plugged it into the back of his computer
and dialed the first number.

What he learned shocked him. The room would cost him upwards
of fifty dollars. "Our checkout time is noon," one bored desk
man told him.

"What is that?"

"If you stay the night, you can stay the morning, too. You
have to check out by noon, though. If you want to stay the
afternoon it's another sixty-two dollars."

After that, he asked the checkout times of the places he
called. Most were noon; one was eleven.

This was much more than he spent for lunch-time treats for a
week; this was more than his Internet service cost for a month.
This was comparable to the application fees at the colleges.
Sixty two dollars for a couple hours of a date was more than he
could think of for a personal expense. But he couldn't turn down
the opportunity. He desperately wanted to have that time with

But the big worry was the problem of actually getting the
money. He still had his check from Hauksbee's, and -- since he
wasn't spending money on taking Shannon out -- a few dollars left
over. He could get the money for the motel, but only at the
expense of running out before the next pay.

And he couldn't tell anybody why. Hauksbee had been
unsympathetic when other employees had asked for an advance, but
he would always ask what they had spent it on before turning them
down. The old man was, frankly, nosy. His mother would ask in
even greater detail.

And, *nobody* would believe that he took Shannon to a
motel to pet. A motel meant only one thing. And he could kiss
Shannon goodbye if he even said "pet" in the same sentence as her
name. Wave goodbye to Shannon -- no kiss at all likely. It was
a miracle that the girl would even consider going to a motel with
him; she sure wouldn't like being *known* to have gone to a
motel with him.

Could he tell his mother that he'd lost the money out of his
pocket? Impossible. For one thing, he wasn't that good of a

There was only one chance. Mr. Jensen had said that he was
grateful. Let him show that gratitude. It wasn't as if Steve
wanted his money. All Steve wanted was the money that belonged
to him, the money in the check. He would go to the bank
tomorrow, and ask for fifty dollars more back than usual when he
deposited the check. He'd better ask for sixty more, just to be
sure. Actually, he was tempted to ask for a hundred more. He
could just picture getting to the checkout counter ten minutes
after noon. Or he could get there ten minutes before noon, and
the checkout time had been changed to eleven.

Anyway, he would deposit the check tomorrow. He would ask Mr.
Jensen for a more money back than usual. If he objected, Steve
would ask how grateful he was about Amy. It wasn't as if it was
his money.

When his mom got back, he asked her for a second lunch to eat
after school. He wasn't going to take the bus home before going
to work. "Make sure you pack your toothbrush," she said. Her
concern that he brush after every meal was normally a pain. This
time, it stopped her from asking about other things.
Roger was going to head out again Thursday. Rachel was a
good mother, and wanted her family to eat together. It was just
that she was happy to say goodbye to her man while their son was
safely out of the way.
Steve took Shannon's disk up to his room after dinner. The
letter was great. She liked his stories. She didn't complain
that they were too sexy. She liked the gift and the brownies.
She said she loved him, would -- he knew -- have to say that or
break up with him. But saying it was one thing; approving of him
was quite another thing. These days, she seemed to approve of
everything he did.

She said that she would think about the motel. Clearly she
had. Almost, it would have been better if she had said "no."
Then he wouldn't have to tell her that they were too expensive.
On the other hand, he thought about her in a motel room. He
thought about Shannon, her body, her breasts, the neat place
between her legs. Then he had to stop thinking about that. He'd
already done that once, today. And there was a letter for him to

> I'm glad that you liked my gifts, He wrote,
> although I'm sorry that they were all you got this year.

> I've told you before. I'm on your side. Sometimes, I think
> you might have made the wrong decision (not about this, about
> other things long ago.) but that doesn't mean that I'm on the
> side of people against you.

The news about the wedding clothes would be helpful. On the
other hand, the blue panties weren't what he had in mind.

> Well, these are my fantasies. I don't say that you should wear
> your wedding dress on our honeymoon. I just have it in the
> story. As to the blue panties, what is wrong with a blue
> garter? Or something?

He wrote a good deal more. Then he copied it onto another
file. All he wrote in the letter proper was:

> See the story.

The fantasy, much rewritten, ran:

> Slowly, he undressed her until she stood before him in her
> last garment. It was a pair of white panties. He kissed her
> ardently and eased her down on the bed.

> "White panties," he thought. "White for a virgin. She has
> never been with any one else before. Quickly, he removed his
> own clothes. Then he lay down beside her and kissed her
> again. Slowly, the kisses trailed down over her lovely
> breasts. These responded, she responded.

> Finally, he dragged his attention away from that perfection.
> His kisses trailed lower. He Just above the line of her
> hair, just above the elastic of her panties, he stopped. "I
> love you," he said. His hands went to her waist.

> "This," she thought, "is it. This is the last protection of
> the virginity I've kept so long. She lay there with her legs
> tight together for one moment longer. Then she spread her
> legs the slightest bit. She raised her hips as he tugged the
> panties down.

> As he slowly removed the white panties, he saw her lovely hair
> appear. The sight of those delightful curls took his breath
> away.

He deleted the description of the aroma which that freed.
Shannon wouldn't like that.

> She saw the look of adoration on his face. "Do you like
> that?" she asked.

> "It's the loveliest sight in the world," he said. He pulled
> the panties down over her feet. Then he lay down beside her
> again. They kissed. He took out the Trojan and put it on.

> I've been yours since our first date," he said. "Are you now
> mine?

> "Yes," she said. "I'm yours. All of me is yours." She
> spread her legs.

> He kissed her again while he took his place between them. She
> felt him at her entrance, the place no other man had ever
> been.

> He raised himself up to look her in the eyes. "I love you,"
> he said.

> He entered her with one forceful shove. She felt him fill her
> up.

He decided not to mention any pain.

> Totally enclosed, he bent down to kiss her again.

He decided to stop there. He was getting himself all hot
again. And he still had homework to do.

- = -

Shannon read Steve's letter as soon as she got home. Steve
didn't know any more than he had written the first time.

The story was something else again.

> They had been married for more than a year, she read.
> And it was cold in their house.

The story continued until the man helped the girl take her
nightie off.

> He decided he would never get used to the beauty of her
> breasts. They were round and smooth. He kissed them, and
> then kissed her on her lips. Their tongues met. An electric
> thrill ran through him.

> Finally, he returned to her breasts. He kissed all that
> smoothness before continuing on to the hard, red nipples.
> These responded to his suction.

> Finally, his hands parted her legs. "Oh, yes," she said. He
> stroked there while still kissing those rose-red nipples. She
> was panting when he applied the Trojan and moved over her.
> His tongue returned to her lips. He licked all over them
> before thrusting between them. Her tongue met his as he made
> another entry below.

> Filled at all openings, she moved sinuously under him.

> "I love you," he said. "Oh, how I love you! Oh!"

> While he was saying that, he exploded within her. Moments
> later, she had her own climax.

> When it was over, he stopped moving. After lying in her arms
> for a minute, he pulled out and away from her. When he had
> helped her put the nightie back on, she turned on her side to
> go to sleep. Having disposed of the Trojan, he cuddled up
> against her.

> They drifted off like that, wrapped together.

> Steve loves Shannon. Oh, how he loves her.

Shannon, at that moment, loved Steve more than ever before.
He was worth everything else. Even being nice to her parents
would be worth it if they allowed her to be with him again.

- = -

Ken had known since the first conversation that he would have
to call Shannon's mother again. He could tell himself, though,
that the call would be better if he made it at some other time.
Tuesday night, however, was as late as he should go. And his
conscience had been pricked by Steve's honest statement that he
and Shannon owed Ken.

He waited until his mother went into her room. Ken wasn't
supposed to be able to tell what she was smoking in there. then
he made his phone call.

"Bryant residence. May I help you." The voice sounded like
Shannon's; the words sounded like some business. Well, he could
be businesslike, as well.

"Mrs. Bryant, please." A few moments of waiting.

"Allison Bryant speaking."

"Mrs. Bryant, this is Ken Dalton. I'm president of the
student council. We spoke once before."

"Yes, Ken. I remember."

"What I was wondering was whether you had decided about
Shannon's participation in the gym decoration Saturday morning."
Ken would bet any money that Shannon wouldn't show. He could
stand that if it made Steve happy.

Allison hadn't thought about that for days. Once, she had
decided that she would never let Shannon out of the house for
that. Then she had decided that she should do something to make
up to Shannon for spying on her. Then she had forgotten all
about that question.

The evening meal, however, had been almost civilized. And she
needed to decide. Well, she and Wayne needed to decide. Then
she rethought. Wayne wasn't bearing the burden of this
punishment; she was.

"Actually, Ken, I haven't quite. I'll tell you what, Shannon
has permission until she misbehaves again. I'm sorry if that
puts you in a position of uncertainty. But that's the way it

That sounded better to Ken than what he was expecting. If
Shannon got out, Steve would be grateful. If Shannon fucked up,
it would be her fault.

"Well, Mrs Bryant, I have to take what I can get."

Allison thought that it was worth her while to tell Shannon.
After all, she might modify her behavior if there was a reward in
sight. And, if she didn't, having told her would put another
punishment in her parents' quiver.

Shannon had finished her homework. She wasn't going to answer
Steve's letter while her parents were awake. She was going over
the story in her head while she changed clothes for bed. The
knocking surprised her. "I'm not decent!" she called.

"It's Mom."

"Just a minute." Shannon pulled the nightgown down over her
head and stepped into her slippers. She opened the door. "What
is it?"

"I just talked to that Ken fellow again," Allison told her
daughter. "He wanted to know if you were going to be at the gym
on Saturday. I said that it was your choice. If you don't pull
something nasty between now and then, I'll let you go. If you
misbehave, even if you put on one of the moods you've been on
recently, I'll pull the plug."

"Well, thanks for telling me. I did promise, after all."

"So you did. And it is within your power to keep that
promise. I didn't promise." Allison turned on her heel and
walked away. Let her daughter deal with responsibility for once.

- = -

Shannon's resolution to be obedient until Saturday didn't
cover waking up in the middle of the night. After all, they had
never told her not to. More important, that was the time to
answer Steve's letters.

> I think I'll be able to get out Saturday. She wrote.
> mom says that it's a matter of being nice to her and Dad.
> Which means that they can pull the plug any time they want,
> but they always could. Look what they did over your visits.

> Anyway, I'll be on my best behavior. Whatever I think up, I
> won't try 'til Sunday. For that matter, I'm getting tired of
> this grounding. I just might give them whatever they want.

> If I can figure out what that is.

> Anyway, I'm on for Saturday. Wherever we can be.

> The story was nice. I've told you before, Forgetting that
he hadn't read it when he wrote that fantasy.
> that you don't have to tell stories only about a married
> couple.

> Shannon loves Steve, too.
> Oh how I love you.

And on that thought, she buried the disk in her backpack and
snuggled into bed.
Continued in Chap. 17
Heart Ball
Uther Pendragon
This is one of a series of files holding the novel
*Heart Ball*. The novel isn't completed as yet.

The next file in the series is:
heart_e.txt Chapters 17 & 18

The first file in the series is:
heart_a.txt Chapters 1-4
The directory to all my stories can be found at:
While you're waiting for the next chapter to be completed on this
story, you might read another story about another couple:
berries.txt "Berries"


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