Chapter 1: School Days
Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, First, .
Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: School Days - Ten Years in the life of an extraordinary young woman.
When she took time to think about it, she recognized she was homesick. Brenda Reichart was in her first semester at Coddington College, Providence, Rhode Island. She was the beneficiary of a "full ride" athletic scholarship in volleyball. She wasn't playing a lot just yet but that was gradually changing as she improved and got the feel of a much more competitive environment than her high school experience.
The homesickness was understandable. She had come from Fairmount, a small town in central Indiana, to a city on the east coast. Even though it wasn't a big city or a big college, she felt almost invisible for a while. It was only the stiff regulation of her campus life that kept her from giving up and going home. She had classes of course, and practices, and rules of behavior, and diet restrictions, and even dating restrictions. Thankfully, she had a roommate, someone to talk to and share her feelings.
Tamara Kinross was also a freshman student, although not an athlete. She had a partial academic scholarship and chose Coddington because of its more modest cost compared to the bigger schools. She was from Yarmouth, Massachusetts and spoke with a distinct New England accent. Brenda loved the accent and the two hit it off quite quickly. Brenda and Tamara both were fundamentally neat people with reasonably disciplined lifestyles, which helped reduce any conflicts.
Physically they were as different as night and day. Brenda was a towering six- foot-one-inch redhead with a spectacular figure. She was every red-blooded guy's wet dream. Tamara was barely five-foot-three and very slim while quite attractive as well. Her skin was a caramel color from being part African-American.
"My great, great, great, great grandfather was a runaway slave. He got together with a white woman along the way. I guess some of the genes got passed along and I'm the result. The rest of my folks are mostly white. We've lived in Yarmouth a long time, I'm told. It's not a big town, only twenty five thousand I think, but it's nice ... except in winter," she laughed.
"Fairmount is even smaller, only about six thousand in the area," Brenda replied. "I was really anxious to get out of there and see the world, but now ... I miss it."
"I know what you mean," Tamara nodded. "My boyfriend is still there and I don't know how long it will be before I get replaced. I'll know better at Thanksgiving. My girlfriends will tell me if he's out with other girls."
"I don't have a boyfriend to worry about. I played the field and kept them all guessing. Fairmount is too small to have any secrets for long, so I stayed the 'good girl.' I feel like that's going to change while I'm here."
"You a virgin?" her new friend asked in surprise.
"Yeah. But ... I'm thinking I'd like to put an end to that if I can find the right guy."
"Shit, I ain't been since I was fifteen. You got some catchin' up to do, girl."
"I know. But I don't want some ass clown who runs around telling all his buddies he scored with 'Big Red.'"
"Big Red?" she laughed. "I guess that fits."
"Yeah. You should have seen me three years ago. Almost this tall but a stick body and a red Afro. No tits, no ass, braces and zits. I was a real beauty."
"Well that's all gone now. You make me feel puny. I'm not exactly Queen Latifah you'll notice."
"What kind of scholarship did you get?" Brenda asked, wanting to change the topic.
"Academic. I'm pretty good at math, biology and history. My folks want me to be the first in the family to get a college degree. I'm going to do my damndest to do it. They sacrificed a lot to help me get here so I'm not going to let them down if I can help it."
"Good for you, Tamara. I'll be the first in my family too although I've got a brother and sister who will be right behind me."
"Are they athletes too?"
"Chuck is, along with being a computer nerd, so I guess that's what he'll go for. Terry, my sister, doesn't have any clue what she wants yet. She's only fifteen so she's got some time."
"I've got two brothers," Tamara said. "Neither of them is going to college. Leon is driving a forklift at the lumberyard and Jimmy will struggle to finish grade twelve. I don't know what the hell he'll do for a living. Mostly he just watches TV and hangs out with his friends. I just hope he doesn't get into trouble."
"I guess that's what makes it important for you to get a degree, huh?"
Tamara nodded, looking unhappily at her hands as she did.
"I've got to remember that it's just as important for me, too. Dad wants me to take over our hardware store some day. That's why I chose business administration for my major. Might as well figure out what it's going to take to do it properly."
"I don't know what I'll do with my degree," Tamara said. "Maybe go into teaching or something."
"Lots of time to decide, Tamara."
It was Tamara that suggested to Brenda that she should see a doctor and get a prescription for birth control pills.
"If you're going to be with some guy, you don't want to rely on him having a condom. Even then, in the heat of the moment, shit happens. You don't want to get pregnant, that's for sure."
Brenda nodded. She had been thinking about it and Tamara's nudge had pushed her into action. It would take some time before the pills would be completely effective but she was in no rush to try them out. First, she had to find a suitable guy and not just some one night hook-up.
Mike Wilson was a mature student. He was a business administration senior who picked up a few spare dollars as a teaching assistant. He was automatically assigned as a tutor to any of the athlete scholars and they were expected to take advantage of his help.
"Hi, Mr. Wilson. I'm Brenda Reichart. I understand you'll be my tutor."
"Hello, Brenda. Please call me Mike. I'm not faculty, just a tutor. How are you making out so far?"
"Okay, I guess. I'll know better after the first semester exams."
"Do you have enough time to study with all your practices and games?"
"Yes. I take some of the work with me on the road and my roommate is good about both of us having quiet time for work."
"That's great. That's really important. Is there anything I can help with now?"
"Maybe you can tell me what to expect on the exams."
"Sure. I can show you what previous first year first semester exams looked like. That will give you an idea."
That was the beginning of a working relationship that Brenda found very helpful and easy to find time for.
"He's a really nice guy, Tamara. Older, but not that old. He was in the Army and just came back to finish his degree and then he's going to go after a MBA at one of the Ivy League schools. I guess the Army is paying for college and his post grad costs."
"Let me guess," Tamara grinned, "he's cute too."
"Yeah, cute and nice. If he asked me out, I'd go."
"Dropping a few hints wouldn't hurt," her roommate suggested.
"I wouldn't know how without being too obvious."
"There's no such thing as too obvious. When you get a chance, ask him what he does for fun ... or in his spare time. If he's even semi-conscious he'll pick up on it."
Brenda thought about it and decided to try it when the opportunity arose.
The opportunity came unexpectedly at lunch the following week when Brenda spotted Mike Wilson alone at one of the tables. She hastily purchased her soup, salad and milk before making her way to his table.
"Hi, Mike. Mind if I sit here?" she asked shyly.
He looked up and seeing a familiar face, quickly responded.
"No ... not at all. I'd welcome the company."
Brenda was becoming used to that sincere smile of his. Nor was he tongue-tied like some of the other guys. More importantly to Brenda, she was at ease in his company. She wasn't in awe, although she was attracted to him.
"I don't remember seeing you here very often," she began.
"Not surprising. I usually bring a sandwich and a soft drink with me and eat in my cubby-hole of an office. I share it with a couple of other TA's and today I'm the odd man out."
"I'm surprised you're eating alone. I thought you'd have a lot of female company," she smiled.
"Nope. But then, I thought you would have a lot of male company."
"I'm very fussy about who I eat with ... or spend time with."
"Well, I feel honored then," he said with his trademark smile.
They sat and ate in companionable silence for a few minutes.
"So ... what do you do in your spare time, Mike?"
"Not a lot. I go to a movie now and then. Read, study a bit. I'm preparing my applications for some of the MBA programs I'd like to get into. I'm hoping for Harvard, but so is almost everyone who can afford it. I'm not holding my breath."
"I hear it's really expensive."
"It is. I wouldn't have a hope of getting in if it weren't for the GI Bill support. I'm from a small town and my folks aren't able to help me financially. That's why I joined the army. I got all the help I needed from them at the expense of having to give them six years of my time."
"You're a senior now so you'll be graduating in May I guess."
"Yes. I'm pretty well guaranteed that."
There was another silence for a few moments.
"What do you do with your spare time?" Mike finally asked.
"I don't have a lot when volleyball season is on. Practices and games plus studying keep me pretty busy. I don't have a boyfriend, if that's what you're wondering."
He grinned. "As a matter of fact, I was wondering. I don't have a girlfriend, in case you were wondering about that."
"I was, to be honest. Maybe we could go to a movie sometime."
"That sounds like a good idea. When can you make it?"
"This Saturday okay with you?"
"This Saturday would be great. Anything in particular you'd like to see?"
"You choose. I'm sure I'll like it," she smiled, pleased that this hurdle had been so easily passed.
The first week of December marked their third date. Brenda had been very tempted to be the aggressor in this new relationship but decided against it. She was having a hard time reading Mike. He was invariably polite and quite proper with her. They had graduated from holding hands to a light kiss on the lips and then a more intense and lingering kiss at the end of the night. She had already decided that Mike would be the one to take her virginity. That is, if she could get him to take that step.
It was almost ten o'clock when the movie ended and they stepped outside onto the sidewalk into a blast of cold, damp wind. Brenda felt the immediate effect and shivered as she clutched Mike's arm to her, hoping for some body warmth.
"Mike, I'm freezing. Let's get to the car quickly."
He had wrapped his arm around her trying to shield her from the wind but it was almost a hundred yards to the car and it was straight into that wind.
"Almost there, Brenda. Hang on," he said, holding her closer again.
They finally reached his aging Pontiac and he quickly unlocked the door and Brenda hastily jumped in, still shivering from the cold. Mike was quick to start the car and turn the heater up full, hopeful that warm air soon would be forthcoming.
"Oh, I feel like I'm never going to be warm again," Brenda managed through chattering teeth.
"We'll go to my place," Mike said without hesitation. "It's closer and plenty warm."
"Good. Sooner is better," she said, trying to smile through her chills.
It took less time to get to Mike's apartment than it did for the heater to have any effect in the car. Fortunately, Mike's parking spot was close to the rear door and they hustled into the hallway before he punched the elevator button for the fourth floor. The elevator compartment was actually very warm and Brenda finally could feel some relief and color began to return to her lips.
"That's better. I guess it was the shock of the cold that got to me," she said as they exited the elevator and walked a short way down the hall before entering his apartment.
"I think it's the damp that makes it feel so cold," he suggested. "Anyway, this apartment is warm, so if you like, I can take your coat and I'll make some tea to help warm you up."
"Thank you. Tea sounds great."
Brenda sat on the compact sofa and rubbed her hands to get the circulation going. At last she was beginning to feel them warm up. She was grateful she had worn slacks and her walking shoes as they gave her some protection from the cold.
It wasn't long before she heard the kettle boiling and the clink of spoons on ceramic. Mike reappeared with two steaming mugs of tea, setting one down in front of Brenda then taking a seat beside her.
Brenda had her hands wrapped around the mug to pick up as much heat as possible.
"Warming up?" Mike asked.
"Yes, finally. I'm going to have to invest in a proper winter coat and gloves if this is what I can expect."
"Good idea. Some boots too."
Brenda nodded, finally able to relax and lean back. She looked around for the first time and saw that the apartment was very neat and clean. Not surprising, she supposed, since Mike was that kind of man.
"I like your place. You keep it very tidy. I guess all those stories about bachelor pads aren't true after all."
"The army drilled that into me. I was as messy as the next kid when I lived at home. Now I find that I can't stand clutter. Funny how that happens."
"My mother was on me all the time," Brenda admitted. "I was supposed to set an example for my brother and sister. Between that and getting me to stand up straight, it was a constant contest of wills."
"I had two older sisters. They were pretty messy, so my folks didn't get on my case too much. Just the usual stuff. I think Mom spent half the week doing laundry," he chuckled.
Brenda finished her tea and set the mug down on the coffee table. She turned to Mike, smiled, leaned forward, and kissed him. Within seconds he had not only responded but had allowed his hands to roam a bit, something he hadn't done before.
"Very clever of you to arrange to get me up here to your little hideaway all to yourself," she needled.
Mike twirled an imaginary moustache, raised an eyebrow and smirked. "I've been trying to find a way to get you all to myself and tonight was just too good an opportunity to pass up."
"Oh dear. Oh dear me," Brenda feigned, holding the back of her hand to her forehead. "Whatever shall I do?" she cried in mock fear.
Mike couldn't help it and began to laugh. It was contagious and Brenda was soon laughing with him.
"Seriously," he said, taking her hands. "I have been wondering how to tell you how much I love being with you and how much I'm attracted to you."
"And I've been wondering how I can get you to be a little more ... forward. I should tell you something. Something important."
"Go ahead," he said tentatively.
"I ... I've never been with a man. I'm a virgin."
"Oh ... oh, well ... that's a surprise," he said wide-eyed. "I mean ... no disrespect ... it's just that ... well you're very beautiful and you act very mature. I just assumed..."
"I was saving myself for just the right person -- the right guy. I think that's you, Mike. I want you to be my first."
She had a sincere but somewhat concerned look as he watched her carefully.
"Are you sure, Brenda? This is a big step in your life. I want you to be sure."
She nodded. "Yes ... I'm sure."
He rose and guided her wordlessly to the bedroom. He turned on a single small lamp on an end table before turning back to her and holding her at arms length. He silently pulled the covers down, then went to the bathroom a brought back a bath towel. It was something Brenda hadn't even thought of but knew instinctively what it was for. There would be blood and he knew that.
Mike reached into his night table drawer and took out a packaged condom.
"You don't really need that," Brenda said, taking it from him. "But if it makes you feel safer, let me put it on."
"I'd rather you were protected, Brenda."
Her high school girlfriends were right. At first there was pain, then brief discomfort, and then gradually a pleasant warmth. Mike had been very patient with her and he made sure she was aware of everything that was happening. He gave her confidence, both in him and in her decision. She had waited a long time for this and now it was here.
His foreplay wasn't anything Brenda hadn't experienced before. She might have preserved her virginity but she had plenty of experience with oral sex, both giving and receiving. Mike had raised her temperature with his patient prelude, and when he broke through, Brenda experienced a sense of relief tempering the pain.
Their union was short-lived. Mike was already very stimulated by Brenda's response to his entry and his excitement in being her first had tipped him over the edge sooner than he wanted. Happily, there was very little blood and Mike removed the towel, throwing it in the bathtub and disposing of the condom in the toilet.
"Sorry, Bren," he said as he returned to the bed. "I knew I wouldn't last very long the first time. I was just too revved up. I'll do better next time, I promise."
"Uhhhmmm," was her only response. In truth, in spite of the condom, she had orgasmed when she felt his release. She had never felt a sensation quite like it. It wasn't like the orgasms from oral sex. Uncharacteristically, she decided she could be patient ... at least for now. There was a little soreness after all. There was no need to hurry.
They lay in each other's arms for several minutes after their initial coupling. Mike was letting Brenda decide what would come next while he was recovering. She wanted another "real" orgasm delivered by Mike's hard cock inside her. This time there would be no condom. She had waited a long time to get this far and now she wanted the complete experience.
She slipped down his body and pushed him onto his back. Taking his semi-erect member in her hand, she looked up at Mike and smiled. It was her turn to get him ready for what she was determined to have.
Mike watched as her tongue flicked out to the glans of his cock. He twitched involuntarily as it made contact over and over again. At last, she took him in her mouth and using her tongue and lips, began to fellate him. She had no intention of driving him over the top. She only wanted him ready for her.
Within seconds, she could hear Mike's grunts of approval and his reaction to her attentions. Better still, he was becoming fully erect again.
She decided he was ready, and rising up, mounted him. Her hand gripped his now rigid cock, aimed it at her newly christened vagina and began to lower herself onto it. There was a moment of discomfort, followed by a new, pleasantly-filled sensation. She continued to lower herself as far as she dared.
Leaning forward, a hand on each side of Mike's head, her eyes fixed on his, she began to move. Slowly inch-by-inch rising, then descending, up again and then down. She was searching, looking for that perfect combination that would take her to orgasm. She was following an instinctive path.
Mike stared at her, transfixed by the amazing woman above him. She was the most voluptuous female he had ever encountered, much less bedded. She was inexperienced and yet not. Somehow, despite her naïveté, she was already beginning to show signs that she intended to be an active partner. It just couldn't get any better than this.
It took a while before Brenda found the right place, the right moves and the right rhythm. When she did, however, it was like a bird learning to fly. Finding the secret, she worked it and worked it and worked it. Now she knew what all the fuss was about. Now she began to experience the physical feedback that told her where the pleasure lay.
"Oh, Mike! God ... I love that big cock in me. Take me, Mike, fuck me!" Brenda's eyes were closed as her head swayed almost in sync with her breasts. She was in another erotic dimension. It was all new, waiting to be explored.
Mike was surprised by the crude expression, but strove manfully to give Brenda what she demanded. It was wilder than he expected. In spite of her inexperience, she was a more dynamic woman than he expected. Her powerful thrusts were carrying him along with her.
"Oh, Bren, it won't be long now! It won't be long." Mike's strangled cry as he gasped for breath, drove Brenda relentlessly onward.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah ... oh yeah ... oh fuck, Mike. I'm going soon too," she cried. Her eyes were shut, her head still moving, her mouth open, wheezing as the end approached.
Mike finished first, shooting his remaining semen into her womb in smaller spurts. It was enough to send Brenda off to her personal paradise.
"Ahhhhhhhh! Ohhh ... Michael ... Yeeesssss!"
They lay on the bed, breathing deeply, exhausted from their exertions, done for the night Brenda assumed.
She was wrong. She awoke some time early in the morning, Mike's finger slowly stroking her pussy lips. It was pitch black and she was unable to see his face. She felt herself responding to him and she lazily reached for his cock. It was hard and ready.
"Hmmmm ... want some more?" she asked dreamily.
"Uhhm ... yes please." She imagined the smile on his face. Reaching for him, she pulled him to her, kissing him gently. It was the precursor of their next joining. Gone was the earlier wildness, replaced by a serene Brenda surrendering herself to her new lover as he moved over her.
The pace was slow and Brenda swam lazily in the comfort of having a man inside her. It was lovely and warm and filling. The thought that this would be a nice thing to do quite often slipped through her consciousness.
They lost track of time but when it ended, a deep sense of satisfaction lingered. There were no fireworks, only pleasure and contentment. Within seconds, both were fast asleep.
They spent the rest of the school year together. Brenda briefly debated moving in with Mike but the rules prevented first year students from living outside the dorms unless she was at home. Even so, they spent every available hour with each other. He would help her with her studies and she would cook and tidy his apartment when time permitted.
She wondered if she was falling in love with Mike. He was such a mature, beautiful man. He had his life plan in place and he was working towards it. An MBA first, then a corporate job with a future. Who knew where that might take him? They talked about being together afterwards but the more they thought about it the more difficult it became.
In April, Mike received notification that he had been accepted at Harvard Business School. It was the chance he hoped for but hadn't expected. He was excited by the prospect. An MBA from Harvard would open a lot of doors.
So now Mike was leaving and she would be without her lovely, gentle man. They were so good together. She would shed a few tears when he left but it wouldn't change anything. He gave her the key to her personal sexuality. She knew what gave her pleasure and she knew that she wouldn't be satisfied with less. It struck her as selfish, but she had been spoiled and was reluctant to settle for less.
Brenda went home to Fairmount for the summer, filling in time by helping her father in his hardware store. It was a pleasant break after her freshman year in college with the constant pressure of keeping up her grades and her commitment to the volleyball team. One constant was missing Mike. They had been together from December through mid-May when he left for Harvard. She was sad to see him go but knew from the beginning that it was going to happen. If it wasn't Harvard it would have been some other Ivy League school.
There was no likelihood of finding a summertime boyfriend in Fairmount. The supply of even slightly interesting men was very limited and the eagle eye of her mother would make keeping it under wraps almost impossible. She surrendered to a summer of celibacy. Besides, she had tasted the real thing and wasn't about to step backwards.
There was no indication that her parents suspected she was no longer their virginal daughter. She admitted to having a boyfriend but was closed-mouth about any details of their relationship. She knew her mother, of all people, might suspect, but if she did she kept it to herself. One thing about her mother Brenda always admired; she was non-judgmental. As the eldest child she was expected to set an example and her mother guided her but didn't control her.
September came quickly enough and her return to Coddington was with mixed emotions. Mike was gone and she really missed him. There were lots of potential partners around but she wondered if any of them held the right combination. It might take a while but she could occupy herself picking through the possibilities.
Her new roommate was Julie Carpenter, another sophomore who was simply a student. Julie was a chunky five-foot-two brunette with a bad complexion and no sense of dress. Unlike Tamara, she was anything but neat. On the other hand, she was quiet and definitely not a party girl. She spent a good deal of her time in the library when she wasn't studying in the dorm.
"What's it like being you?" Julie asked when they were lounging around in the dorm one Sunday afternoon.
"What do you mean?" Brenda asked.
"What's it like to be beautiful and know that every straight guy on campus would love to be with you?"
"I don't know ... I don't think about it. I guess I'm used to it now. I try not to let it go to my head," she chuckled.
"You're so lucky. When I look in the mirror I wonder what I've got to look forward to in the next few years. I haven't had a date in so long I can't remember when."
"People change, Julie. I did. I didn't look like this until I was sixteen or seventeen. Everything happened so slowly that I really didn't notice it at first."
"I can't believe you weren't always pretty."
"Oh yeah ... trust me, I didn't always look this way. I was a bean pole with braces and acne. Even my hair was a mess. I didn't have any dates either until things started to change. My body started to fill out when I got active in sports. Then my braces came off. One day, when I looked in the mirror, I noticed I didn't have any zits. It just happened and it took a while to get used to it."
"I don't think that's going to happen to me," Julie said forlornly. "Maybe the acne will go away but I haven't exactly got an athlete's body."
"You can do something about that, you know. It's called exercise. The school has a program for women that would help you. You just have to decide that it's important to you."
"I guess. I'll think about it."
"You don't have to do it alone. They have women's fitness classes in the evening during the week. That would at least get you started," Brenda said, hoping she sounded encouraging.
"Maybe I'll go one night and see what it's all about," Julie said, sounding slightly more interested.
Brenda smiled. "Tell you what, I'll go with you. I have my own workout schedule for volleyball so I can use the equipment as well. We can do this together."
"Okay," Julie said, obviously responding to Brenda's willingness to accompany her.
Brenda had little difficulty in make her grades during her freshman year. With Mike's help, she passed every course ending up with a three-point-five average, more than enough to maintain her scholarship. Once she had accomplished the hurdle of getting used to the demands of college she, developed a routine that worked well for her as she balanced her studies, volleyball, and Mike.
Early on in her sophomore year she had a number of male students approach her looking for a date. With her memory still fresh from being with Mike, she had turned everyone down when she couldn't see the maturity that she had become accustomed to with her first lover. It was frustrating at first and she decided perhaps she should at least try some of her potential suitors to see if any of them would provide her with both companionship and perhaps sex.
No one was further from her ideal man than Johnny Carlton. Johnny was the antithesis of Mike. Brash to the point of being a braggart, he set about pursuing Brenda the moment he knew she had become available.
In his own mind Johnny was an athlete ... in the bedroom. Brenda was now well known on campus and would be a formidable challenge to the over-confident young man. However, Johnny had something going for him. He was rich, or more accurately, his parents were.
It was rumored that the Carlton family owned a large portion of southern Rhode Island, particularly the open land around Hope Valley. Reportedly, Johnny was expected to inherit the family development business from his father when the time came. In the meantime, school was a place for him to have some fun, drink beer and screw girls. Earning a degree in business administration would be an irritating inconvenience as the price to be paid for his entertainment.
Johnny met Brenda the second week of their sophomore year. They were sharing some classes and Johnny didn't waste any time in approaching her.
"Hey, Brenda, I'm Johnny Carlton," he said cockily, holding out his hand.
"Hi," she replied cautiously. Who was this guy? She'd only heard of him by reputation.
"I guess we've got some classes together so we'll be seeing a lot of each other."
"I guess," Brenda replied vaguely.
"Say, listen, I have a welcome party going at the frat house this Saturday for all the gang. Why don't you join us? You can be my date." Again, the overflowing self-confidence.
"Maybe," she said, again wary of his brash approach. "So ... who's going to be there?"
"Hey, it's the first party of the new semester. Everyone will be there," he enthused.
"Your frat house is a bit small for 'everyone, ' isn't it?" she stated with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah ... okay ... I mean everyone I've invited. It'll be humming, I can guarantee you that."
"OK, I'll probably show up." It was an off-handed agreement. She could decide later to change her mind.
"Great, I'll look forward to seeing you. I'd pick you up but I'm a host so I have to be there."
She was working hard to make Johnny think that this wasn't the most important thing on her social calendar. In fact, she was mildly intrigued by the idea of a rich boyfriend. She'd never been involved with anyone who had money to spare. He drove a fancy sports car and lived in the top-ranked fraternity house, Delta Nu. To some of the girls he might be the "catch of the campus."
Just before eight on Saturday evening, Brenda strolled up the steps the of colonial-style mansion that had been converted into the Delta Nu fraternity house. Her first look around the grounds told her that this was a fraternity house for the wealthy. The grounds were immaculate and the house itself was freshly scrubbed and painted.
That was where the order and tidiness ended. The giant double-door entrance was wide open and the noise of music and young people spilled out onto the tree-lined boulevard. Brenda was immediately grateful she lived well away from any fraternity house.
Brenda decided that if she was going to attend this party, she was going to be noticed. She chose to wear a very revealing black tank top with some very tight knock-off designer jeans and slip-ons. No heels. It wouldn't do to embarrass the host.
As she pushed her way into the big, marble-floor foyer, she looked around for familiar faces. She spotted a few on the spiral staircase leading to the upper floor. Three of her female classmates were sitting on the steps, drinks in hand, surrounded by several boys. One of them was Tamara and Brenda waved, but her roommate from last year didn't see her.
She looked around the foyer and saw an entrance into what appeared to be a large, open area. She began to worm her way toward it. Unable to avoid the close quarters, she was positive she had been groped at least three times by the time she made it to the next room.
"Hi, Brenda ... you made it." Johnny's enthusiastic voice was already cracking from strain.
Brenda turned and saw him, shoving his way through the immovable throng between them.
"I guess you weren't kidding when you said everyone would be here," she shouted.
He nodded and smiled, a gleeful glint in his eyes as he made it to her side.
"Jesus, girl. You look hot," he said, his eyes focused on her cleavage. He immediately wrapped his arm around her waist and gave her a kiss on the cheek, waiting for her reaction.
Brenda was quickly reminded that she was three or four inches taller than he. She smiled down at him. Johnny was being Johnny, totally confident and encouraged by her acceptance of his familiarity.
"Here, let me get you a drink," he said loudly. Conventional conversation was out of the question. Between the music and the crowd, Brenda doubted if anyone would have a voice left in a few hours.
"What would you like? We have beer, wine, punch and even some hard stuff," he offered.
"I'll try the punch," Brenda said loudly, wondering if it was a good decision. She had seen enough frat-boy movies to know where the danger lay but she was determined to be careful.
"Great ... wait here. I'll be right back," he grinned, turning toward a large table in front of a huge marble-faced fireplace.
Playhouse for the rich, Brenda thought. It must be nice. Nothing to worry about. No fear of tomorrow. Just have fun and wait your turn. It was another world, one she could only imagine.
Johnny returned with a large glass of what looked to be pink grapefruit juice. He held a beer bottle in his other hand.
"Here you go," he smiled. "Enjoy! If you get hungry, there's lot's to eat over there," he pointed toward the fireplace. "I've got to circulate but I won't be far."
Brenda nodded and took a sip of the punch. It was strong, no doubt about it. She would have to be careful. This stuff was dangerous. What did the girls call it? "Panty Remover!"
As she moved around the large room, Brenda surveyed the crowd. She recognized quite a few of the people as classmates along with some juniors and seniors. The impression was one of a meat market. Men circulating, looking to "hook up," while many of the females were on the same mission. It was opening day of the season on co-eds and you didn't need a license.
As careful as she was, Brenda eventually became aware of the effect of the punch. She was nursing her third glass and noticed her dizziness. She excused herself from Johnny and began to move toward the designated ladies washroom. On her arrival, the door was locked and she could hear sounds of more than one person in the little room.
At length, two very drunk young people stumbled out of the bathroom, their clothes askew and lipstick smeared all over both their faces. It didn't require much imagination to figure out what just happened in the bathroom.
Brenda took one look at the condition of the toilet and decided she would give it a pass. She surveyed the surrounding chaos and made the only decision that made sense. She began to push through the throng toward the entrance doors. It was already one in the morning and the party was still operating at full blast.
She managed to barge her way out without being noticed by Johnny and walked the four blocks to her dorm. She had a splitting headache from all the noise and pot smoke as well as the punch. She would likely be ruined in the morning but right now she wanted only to go to bed and get some sleep.
She awoke to someone pounding on her door. She looked at the clock-radio and determined that it was almost noon. There was no sign of Julie. She crawled out of bed, grabbed her robe, wrapping it around her and pulled the door open.
"Where the hell did you get to last night?" a disheveled Johnny Carlton demanded.
"What would be your best guess?" she moaned.
"You were supposed to be my date, remember? My dates don't walk out on me," he spat.
"Well, this one did. If it upsets you that much then don't bother calling me again," she grumbled, starting to close the door.
"Now wait a minute. I want a proper date with you. You owe me one," he steamed.
"Fuck off, Johnny. I feel like shit and you are pissing me off. Go find yourself another bimbo."
"Wait a minute, Brenda. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I apologize. I guess the frat party wasn't the best place for us to get to know each other," he admitted, seemingly sincere.
Brenda studied him through burning eyes. "Okay, maybe next week. Talk to me when I've been brought back from the dead. What the hell did you put in that punch, anyway?"
"Can't tell you. It's a secret recipe," he grinned.
"You should sell it to the Chinese. It would be great for population control," she groaned.
Their next date was a little more refined and just as well. It was Johnny's last chance. He treated her to a very nice restaurant and ordered an expensive bottle of wine during the meal. Their waiter didn't bat an eye when the underage couple ordered. Brenda was in a much better frame of mind but she wondered what her attraction to this arrogant guy was other than his money.
"Thanks for giving me another chance, Brenda," Johnny smiled. Finished with the entrée, they waited for a dessert menu.
"You're welcome ... provided you don't invite me to another frat party."
"Okay, I promise. But I do want to see you again. We could be good for each other."
"Oh? How?" Brenda asked, mildly interested.
"Well, I can offer a lot of experience and you are the most gorgeous girl on campus so that would be good for me too," he said, gazing lustfully at her again.
"What kind of experience?" Brenda couldn't wait to hear this. It was all she could do to keep from bursting out laughing at his conceit.
"Well, I don't like to brag," he lied, "but I've had more than a couple of serious affairs. I know how to treat a lady and you are definitely a lady."
"It's nice to hear that, Johnny," she said with more than a hint of sarcasm. It sailed right over Johnny's head.
"You and I ... we could be a serious couple you know," he said, as if revealing some important news.
"Oh ... you mean, like Brad and Jen or something." She couldn't hide her smirk.
"Okay, Okay, I get it. I'm laying it on a little thick, I know."
Well at least he caught on, Brenda thought. She wasn't in the least sexually attracted to Johnny, but he would make a fascinating case-study. No one has ever said "No!" to him in all likelihood. If nothing else, it could be a bit of fun and a diversion.
On their third date, Brenda decided it was time to find out what Johnny was all about. Was he bragging or was he even halfway as good as he thought he was? At least she would have a basis of comparison. Besides, she had been going without and it was beginning to gnaw at her.
"Hi Brenda. It's me, Johnny," he said in his usual confident tone. "I thought I'd give you a call to see if we could get together this weekend."
"What do you want to do?"
"I don't know. We could go to a movie or a club or ... I could show you our lodge in Hope Valley." The tone of his voice was much more tentative. He was trying this on for size.
"Oh ... and what would we do at your lodge?"
"Well ... you know ... get to know each other better. Spend a little private time together. Just a nice relaxing weekend. We could stay overnight if you like," he said in a little less cocky voice.
"Overnight? Alone in your lodge? Why ... would that be proper, Johnny?"
There was a silence at the other end of the line before he answered.
"Proper? No ... I guess not. But ... it's up to you," he said, now far less confident.
"Sounds like it might be fun," Brenda said casually. She could only guess the confusion in Johnny's mind with her comment.
"Uh ... yeah ... sure ... fun. You mean ... you will ... I mean, you'll stay overnight?"
"Sure ... why not. It'll be just the two of us, right?"
"Yeah ... just the two of us," a bewildered Johnny answered.
"Good. You can show me all that experience you want to share ... right?"
"Oh yeah, for sure." Johnny was getting his confidence back. "What if I pick you up at ten at your dorm? It's only an hour's drive. I'll show you around town and we can have lunch before we go up to the lodge."
"Sounds fine. I'll pack a small bag for overnight and see you at ten on Saturday morning."
"Terrific ... I'm really looking forward to it."
"Well, that's good. I'd be disappointed if you weren't," she poked.
Another rocket flew right over Johnny. He was too busy celebrating his good fortune to pay much attention to Brenda's needles. She sat back on her sofa and wondered if she wasn't being a bitch. A little too manipulative. A little too cynical. It was about what she wanted, she knew. Selfish? Damn right!
Early fall in southern New England was warm and sunny that Saturday. Johnny was early and she deliberately stalled to keep him waiting. She could tell he was over-anxious and she wanted to keep him off-balance as much as possible. Her ambition was to audition Johnny while remaining in complete control. She surprised herself with how much power she felt. It was like being back in high school again. In her senior year she had the guys eating out of her hand.
They arrived in Hope Valley just after eleven and Johnny parked his car on the main street.
"This is a pretty small town, Brenda, but my folks are fairly important around here," he said with pride. "We're right by the I-95, not far from either Providence or New London. My dad is a developer and he's made a killing around here."
"This isn't much bigger than Fairmount where I come from. I'm a small town girl," she admitted, gazing at the beautiful old buildings.
"I'm a big city boy. I mean, I will be when I leave school. I was meant for the big time."
Brenda stifled a laugh. His self-confidence was over-flowing.
"Let's go get some lunch and then we can head for the lodge."
They returned to his car and he drove to the Lakeside Country Club. The main clubhouse was an elegant stone building with wealth written all over it. The entrance alone was the size of a decent apartment. Huge doors with stained glass panels guarded the hallowed halls of Lakeside.
Johnny took Brenda's arm and escorted her into the dining room.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Carlton," the hostess smiled as she looked Brenda over critically.
"Hi Marcia. A table for two please."
They were seated and Brenda examined her surroundings before turning to the menu. Salad and ice tea were definitely out this weekend. She noticed there were no prices on the large luncheon card. The old rule applied. If you had to ask, you didn't belong here.
Brenda made her selection as did Johnny and he ordered a glass of wine for each of them. There were very few people in the dining room that Saturday afternoon and Brenda felt very conspicuous. She was glad she chose a more conservative outfit today. Discretion was appropriate and she would have her fun with Johnny later. Right now she was hungry.
They finished their lunch and Brenda admitted to herself that she was enjoying this luxury. They were being pampered as only the rich would be. It was a new experience for the small town girl. Johnny was on his best behavior and was very pleasant company.
He showed her around the club, pointing out various pictures of his father and mother, taken when they were club president or women's captain or some such title. If he was trying to impress Brenda it was working. The Carlton family was certainly well established in Hope Valley, at least at this club.
Returning to his car, they drove slowly back through town and turned northwest, ultimately arriving alongside a large lake. Johnny turned into a narrow paved drive marked PRIVATE and drove slowly up the winding roadway. They rolled past the front of a very large timber-frame home with stonework along the skirt. It was impressive by any standard.
The building was set on a peninsula jutting out into the lake, with large maple and chestnut trees as a backdrop. There was a dock and a boathouse within walking distance of the lodge. As Johnny drove around the side of the big home, a three car garage appeared. He pulled to a stop near a side entrance and quickly ran around to get Brenda's door.
"Wow. This is some place," she said in awe.
"Yeah. My dad bought it a few years ago. The guy was one of those dot-com millionaires and built it with no cost spared. When the techno-market went to hell he was forced to sell it and Dad got it at a bargain."
"Lucky him. This looks like a palace," Brenda stared, dazzled by the structure.
"Lucky us, we get to use it when we want," Johnny grinned. "It's all stocked up with food and booze, ready for visitors."
Brenda had never seen anything quite like this in the flesh. It was stylish and spacious. Johnny helped her with her overnight bag and led her toward the door. In a moment it was open and he waited for her to enter before he disabled the alarm. She found herself in what appeared to be a very large mud room. As she ventured further into the silent house it looked spotless and she guessed that someone was hired to keep it that way.
As they wandered through to the great room, Brenda was stunned as she scanned the wood and stone room. The vaulted ceiling permitted a huge window-wall looking out over the lake. A magnificent river-stone fireplace took up half the width of the room as it tapered upward to the ceiling. The wide staircase leading to the upper level revealed several rooms behind an open balcony.
"Wow!" Brenda repeated.
"I take it you're impressed," Johnny said with pride.
"You could say that. I've never seen anything like this other than in magazines. It's incredible."
"Well, it's all ours for the next two days so why don't I show you around."
For the next half hour, Johnny took Brenda on a tour of the spectacular home. The four bedrooms were spacious, each with an ensuite containing every possible fixture, including whirlpool tub, five-head tiled shower stall and a bidet. All of the bedrooms featured a balcony with a view of the lake and the surrounding gardens.
A large open games room with wall-mounted TV and sound system took up one end of the upper floor. This was more like a luxury resort, Brenda thought. She was looking forward to the next two days. With any luck, it wouldn't be the last time she was invited here.
"You wouldn't believe the kind of parties the former owner used to have here," Johnny smirked.
"What do you mean?"
"Giant swap parties. Ten or twelve couples all changing partners. It must have been something to see." His voice betrayed his envy.
"Yes ... something to see," Brenda said in a low, disapproving murmur. "I take it your parents don't have those kinds of parties."
"No ... well ... not as far as I know, anyway." He fell silent on finishing his comment. Brenda registered the incomplete thought in the back of her mind. There was a hint of disquiet about this family that left her uneasy. For now, only the immature boy-man Johnny was present. She could handle him.
"Hey ... I still haven't shown you the pool," Johnny said brightly.
They walked to the far end of the great room and through a pair of doors, down a short hallway to another door and into a cavernous, glass-roofed solarium enclosing a large swimming pool. Brenda was immediately aware of the warmth and humidity of the room and the perspiration building on her forehead.
"Wanna go for a swim?" Johnny asked with his usual leer.
"I didn't bring a suit. I wasn't expecting to go swimming," Brenda said absently.
"No problem. We can skinny-dip. There's just the two of us," he said hopefully.
Brenda looked at him like he was an alien life-form and Johnny got the message.
"Okay ... well ... it was just a suggestion." He looked defeated and for moment, Brenda felt a twinge of sympathy.
"I suppose I could go in with my underwear," she volunteered.
"Yeah ... yeah ... that would work," he enthused.
Two minutes later they were in the pool and Brenda was enjoying the luxury of the warm water and palatial surroundings. She was feeling more comfortable about being with Johnny. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all.
Johnny jumped out of the pool and walked to a small bar at the end of the room, pulling out a bottle of wine and two acrylic goblets. He poured the wine and returned to where Brenda was standing shoulder deep in the pool, passing her a glass. She smiled and thanked him, sipping the wine and relaxing in the comfortable surroundings.
Brenda wasn't sure what caused her to make the next move, but later she assumed that the wine, the warm water and the luxurious surroundings had lowered her inhibitions. She removed her bra and casually tossed up on the deck next to Johnny.
Johnny's eyes widened and he nearly dropped his wine. He was sitting on the edge of the pool with his feet dangling in the water mere inches from Brenda. When he recovered from the shock of her action, he put the glass down and pushed himself off the edge into the pool. His arms reached out for Brenda and she allowed him to embrace her. His hands moved to her breasts and began massaging them aggressively.
"Not so rough, Johnny," Brenda chided.
"Sorry, I ... I guess I got over-excited."
"I thought you were the experienced one," she teased.
"I am ... I mean, with most girls ... it's just that ... you're special."
"What's so special about me?"
"You're the most beautiful girl on campus. Every guy wants you. I can't believe you're here with me," he confessed.
Brenda smiled. She reached down to the opening in Johnny's boxer shorts and her hand slipped through the opening in the fly. She grasped his rigid cock with her hand, all the while looking into his eyes.
"How does that feel, Johnny?"
"Oh, shit. I won't last ten seconds if you do that."
"Too bad. I was hoping for more than ten seconds." She was enjoying teasing him.
"God, Brenda, give me a break. I want you so bad. Let's go to my room."
"Why? Isn't right here good enough? Come on Johnny. Let's see what you've got and how you use it. Don't disappoint me," she warned with a smile. Brenda was certain she was in complete control.
Johnny struggled to remove his shorts and then pulled Brenda's panties down as they stood in the pool facing each other. Brenda turned Johnny's back to the side of the pool and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her buoyancy would allow him to lift her and enter her despite her size. It was a new experience for her and she was surprised at how easily he slipped into her.
Johnny's boast of his sexual experience was just that, a boast. He was enthusiastic but clearly over-eager and not able or willing to tend to Brenda's needs. He lasted less than a couple of minutes before letting go with a series of erratic thrusts. For her part, Brenda had hardly begun.
"Sorry, Brenda ... I guess I was too excited. I know I'll do better next time," he promised.
"What makes you think there will be a next time?"
"Come on, Brenda. Don't give up on me yet," he pleaded.
Brenda was enjoying the sense of being in control. It would keep Johnny at bay and allow her to set the terms of any relationship they might have. So far he was all talk. He would need to improve or she wouldn't be wasting her time on him, wealth or no wealth.
"We'll see," she said skeptically.
They remained in the pool, Johnny's limp cock having slipped out of her. He turned his attention to her breasts, alternately pinching and nibbling at her nipples with both fingers and mouth. Brenda was enjoying the sensations and allowed him to feast at his leisure.
It took a few minutes but Johnny's comeback was at hand when Brenda felt his renewed erection against her thigh. Wordlessly, she guided him back to her still ready centre and he slipped effortlessly into her. This time there was no urgency or lack of control on his part and he began to stroke into her at a steady and unhurried pace. This was much more satisfactory, she thought.
As Brenda relaxed and allowed herself to go with Johnny's pace, she thought about the differences between Mike and her new lover. Mike was bigger, of that she was sure. Not by a great deal, but certainly thicker and more filling. He was also a considerate lover, always conscious of her comfort and pleasure. She grew accustomed to his maturity and it provided a contrast with the brash, over-confident Johnny and his misguided belief in his sophistication.
On the other hand, Johnny could provide her with a glimpse of luxury and a privileged lifestyle. It might be fun to see how the "other half" lived before she moved on. A passing thought wondered when she had become so cynical.
She could sense Johnny begin to tighten up and guessed he was coming near the end of his endurance. She was nowhere near an orgasm but perhaps she could make him think she was.
"Oh, Johnny, this is much better. It won't be long now," she moaned.
"Yeah ... yeah ... not much longer for me either."
Within seconds, Johnny gasped and then froze for a second before pumping his hips violently into her, his climax now overwhelming him. Brenda moaned and clasped him tightly to her as he thrust his last few times and she cried out in mock ecstasy. They hung together against the side of the pool, recuperating from their efforts.
"Whew ... that was more like it," Johnny sighed in relief.
Brenda almost giggled, but stifled the temptation. "Much better, Johnny ... much better. Let's get out. I'll be wrinkled like a prune if we don't."
Johnny nodded agreement and they waded down to the steps at the shallow end.
After they showered and dressed, Johnny took her on a tour of the grounds, the gardens, the lakeside and then back to the lodge. To Brenda, everything she saw was perfectly manicured, clean and orderly. The annual upkeep alone would cost more than the rental on an apartment. It was hard to grasp what kind of lifestyle this would entail. She wondered idly if this place was even used very often.
When they returned from their walk, Johnny offered her a drink. Brenda chose an iced tea while he opened a beer. They sat in the smooth leather comfort of the giant sectional and Johnny turned on some soft music, using a remote lying on the coffee table. The view from the giant windows out to the lake was picture-postcard pretty and would be even more spectacular at sunset. Brenda felt very relaxed in these surroundings.
"Do you have any brothers or sisters?" Brenda asked after a long quiet period.
"I have an older sister, Paula. She teaches school near Minneapolis," he smiled.
"Are you close?"
"Yes ... I talk to her every week. She's the sane one in the family."
"Oh?" Brenda patiently waited for more.
"She got out ... couldn't stand it anymore."
Brenda remained silent. She would wait for Johnny to tell her what that meant.
Johnny waved his arm about. "All this ... all the ... things we have. She couldn't handle it. She said it was destroying the family. She wanted her own life ... so she left," he said sadly.
"And you miss her."
"Yeah ... I could always count on her. She's almost seven years older than me. She was always there for me, someone I could ... talk to. Since she's been gone it hasn't been the same. I'm just glad I'm in college. It isn't so lonely," he said, inadvertently voicing the admission.
Brenda was startled at his openness. It was a side of Johnny she didn't know existed. Gone was the braggadocio, the cock-sure young man who had everything. Beside her sat a lonely, uncertain boy. She felt something change in her opinion of him. She felt ... sorry for him. He did have everything ... except what he needed.
She slid along the leather cushion toward him, putting her arm around him and looking deeply into his eyes. She bent toward him and kissed him softly on the lips and then withdrew before returning for a more insistent kiss.
Johnny didn't react. Perhaps was surprised at his admitting his loneliness as well as Brenda's response. The thought occurred to him that perhaps there was no need to put on an act for this girl. She was different from the others. She wasn't in awe of him. While she was obviously fascinated with the lodge and his lifestyle, she was in control of herself. He was her captive rather than the other way around.
They stayed in that comfortable embrace for several minutes before Johnny turned to her.
"Would you like to go out to dinner or should we make something here?"
"Here ... I can help. Just you and me ... okay?" She was sure of her choice.
"Great," Johnny smiled broadly. He was returning to a happier, less introspective state.
They rose and walked to the kitchen. Brenda surveyed the refrigerator and freezer to see what was available. After a brief discussion they decided on thawing out some lamb chops and Johnny would barbeque them on the deck. Brenda set about making a salad and a pasta dish that would complete the meal.
There was just enough daylight for Johnny to see what he was doing at the barbeque. The sunset was brilliant but short lived. They stood together in the warm, early fall evening watching the light disappear. There was very little talk since they left the great room. They discussed the meal and their preparation tasks but nothing was said about the change in their relationship.
They enjoyed the meal, choosing to eat in the great room while watching a college football game from Florida. They ate almost in silence but both were comfortable in the other's company. Johnny opened a mature red wine and both nursed their single glass over dinner.
When they finished the meal they rose and took the dishes into the kitchen and put most in the dishwasher before hand-washing the remaining items.
"What would you like to do this evening?" Johnny asked.
"I saw a lot of DVD's in the cabinet near the TV. Why don't we watch a movie?"
Johnny smiled his agreement. "Anything in particular?"
"Oh ... I don't know," Brenda teased. "How about something romantic?"
"Yeah ... that sounds good. Let's see what we've got and you can decide," he said with returning confidence.
They spent several minutes going through the extensive collection, ultimately settling on While You Were Sleeping.
They lounged together on the sectional, Johnny's arm around Brenda and her head on his shoulder. They chuckled at the humor and occasionally commented on the story. It was light entertainment and easy to follow.
Johnny was a different person when he was just being himself, Brenda thought. It was a matter of confidence. She thought of him as an insecure young guy who wanted to be liked and admired. She liked the "real" Johnny much more than his strutting artificial persona. Perhaps there was hope for them yet.
They adjourned to the bedroom shortly after ten that evening. They undressed quietly, each of them using the ensuite before climbing into the big queen sized bed. There was no rush and no attempt by Johnny to put on a show. They held each other in the darkness for a while before they began to make love.
A relaxed and unpressured Johnny was a much better lover and Brenda didn't have to fake an orgasm. He worked hard to please her and began to understand just how much more pleasure he could give her when he put his efforts toward it. They spent almost a half-hour in foreplay before Brenda asked Johnny to enter her.
"Now, Johnny, now," she pleaded.
"Oh, Brenda, this is sooooo good." Brenda could hear the satisfaction in his voice. She smiled. He was beginning to understand what made her happy.
They moved together for some time, often changing positions but never in a hurry or out of control. Brenda was enjoying the familiar sensations and experiencing several small orgasms along the way. Johnny was proving to be a good student after all.
When at last he finished, Brenda was content.
"That was lovely, Johnny," she cooed softly.
"Yes ... it was perfect," he whispered back.
They lay on their backs, holding hands but not otherwise touching. There was no heavy breathing. It was a quiet but intense joining, satisfying for both of them.
"Why do I think that you're doing the teaching and I'm doing the learning?" Johnny's soft voice came from the dark.
"Is that what you think?"
"That's what I know. You aren't anything like any of the others. There's something about you that gives me the idea that you're much more experienced than me."
"Johnny ... I was with an older boyfriend last year. He was very nice and he taught me everything. You're only the second guy I've ever been with."
She could hear him turn abruptly toward her. "Are you kidding? I'm only the second?" He couldn't seem to grasp the idea.
"It's true. I have to admit, I didn't think we would be ... okay ... you know ... good together. But I was wrong. I just needed to find out who the real Johnny Carlton was."
"You mean the one who isn't the bullshit artist?"
"Yeah ... that one. The guy who's trying to decide how he can make it without much help."
"What do you mean?"
"You haven't even mentioned your parents other than what they do at the golf club or what you dad has accomplished. I get the impression you aren't close," she said carefully.
There was a silence in the darkness. It was some time before he responded.
"My parents aren't close ... any more. Dad's involved in his business and Mom is doing her own thing, working at becoming an alcoholic," he murmured quietly.
"Oh ... Johnny ... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have pried."
"That's okay. I'm used to it now. They used to be great, but ... when Dad started making big money ... things changed. The more success, the more he wanted. Then he started fooling around. Cheating on Mom. At first he hid it pretty well but as he got to be a big deal in Hope Valley, people began to notice. I guess it got back to Mom."
"They must have worked it out. They're still together aren't they?" Brenda asked.
"Yeah ... sort of. She looks the other way, I guess. I hear she has a boy-toy of her own now. Great family, huh?"
"What about you, Johnny? What will you do when you graduate?"
"Get as far away from here as I can," he answered immediately.
"Like your sister?"
"Yeah ... exactly."
"Johnny ... can I tell you something?"
She heard him turn toward her again. "Sure."
"You don't need to put on that ... mask you wear. You don't have to be that person. I like the real Johnny much better. I didn't think I would but I was wrong. I think other girls ... women ... would like it better too." She hoped he wouldn't be hurt or offended by her honesty.
"Thanks," he finally said, his hand reaching for her as he rolled toward her.
Brenda and Johnny were together until just after Thanksgiving. Johnny had changed completely from the brash, over-confident college boy to the calmer, happier, maturing male. Their relationship was comfortable and undemanding. They saw each other on Saturdays with the occasional weekend at the lodge.
Surprisingly, it was Johnny that ended the affair. They were sitting together one Saturday in late December, sharing a mid-afternoon ice cream sundae.
"Brenda ... there's something we need to talk about," he began.
Brenda could tell from the tone of his voice that this was the serious Johnny. She waited for him to continue.
"I ... we ... we've been together now for almost three months. It's been great. You've made me into someone I can stand to see looking back at me in the mirror. When I think of how I was when we first met, I'm amazed you even gave me the time of day. I was a total jerk. You saw right through that, didn't you?"
"Yeah ... you did but you didn't run. How come?"
"I guess because I thought it wasn't the real you. It was an act. Someone you could pretend to be to protect yourself."
"You're very smart. None of the other girls I dated figured it out. They just saw the surface and the possessions and that was enough. You taught me what Paula already knew. None of that mattered. I hope you get to meet her sometime. I think you two would get along very well." He pushed a slip of paper across the table to her. It was Paula Carlton's address and phone number.
"She knows about you. I talk to her about you every Sunday night. She's pretty happy I'm going out with you. She says you're good for me. She's right."
He sighed heavily. "I hope I'm not going to hurt you, Brenda. It's the last thing I want to do but ... I think we should start seeing other people. I think it's time I learned to look after myself and find my own future." He looked intently into her eyes, trying to detect her reaction.
Brenda was stunned at first but then, realizing what it must have taken for Johnny to make that decision, she smiled.
"I understand, Johnny. I think you're right. We aren't in love, we're just close friends ... with benefits," she chuckled.
"Yeah ... really nice benefits," Johnny responded, clearly relieved.
"So ... have you got your eye on someone?"
"No ... well ... there is this one girl in my business math class, but I haven't even said hello to her."
"Good luck. I hope it works out. You deserve it ... at least the 'new Johnny' does."
They parted friends and still met each other in class. Two weeks later Brenda saw Johnny walking with a girl she didn't recognize. She was pretty but not beautiful. She wondered if that was the girl he mentioned. Later she learned it was and she was happy for him.
Brenda was in no hurry to replace Johnny. She put her sex life on hold while she got back to the weekly grind of classes, practice and Friday night games. It was at one of those Friday games that she "ran into" someone new.