“I’ll do my homework after I get home, Dad,” Eleanor said. “If I can work tables four nights a week, you can’t ask me to stay home with books the other nights.”
“Where are you going, and who with?” Bud asked his daughter. He thought he knew the answer to the second question.
“Movies. Lee. He could hardly take me to the Rosebud. Now, could he?”
“You ought to be still seeing other boys.”
“What do you have against Lee?” Eleanor could never see what Dad had against Lee -- Mom, was nearly as bad, although she was less heavy handed. Lee was considerate. When he’d gone away to college he’d let her -- asked her to -- date other guys. “Your senior year is special. I don’t want you spending it as a wall flower.” Now he was back for spring break, and she wasn’t about to waste her few free evenings.
“It’s not Lee. It’s only one boy. I’d say the same thing if you were spending all your time with any other boy.” It was Lee. Bradley Pierce II was not the boy for his daughter, and he could never tell her why.
“My God, Dad! I’m a senior in high school, not a third grader. Lots of my friends go steady.” A car horn interrupted the rant. “There he is! Gotta run.” And she grabbed her coat and purse to run out the door.
Cindy always told him he was too heavy handed in dealing with their daughter. But Cindy didn’t know why he was trying to get Eleanor interested in someone besides Lee Pierce. He had to keep her from learning why, keep Eleanor from learning why, and especially keep Brad Pierce from learning why. He had prayed for the last year that Eleanor would keep her legs together until September. Lee went to college then, Harvard -- the Pierces always went to Harvard. Whatever Eleanor thought, he’d been sure that Lee would find another girl then. Blood would tell, and he’d been sure that Lee’s blood wouldn’t permit him to stay faithful to a distant girl. Who should know better than Bud?
Well, either he’d stayed more faithful than either of his parents had been able to or he’d inherited his mother’s ability to con. And Eleanor, from whom he’d expected resistance, had dated other boys while Lee was away. The romance he’d hoped for hadn’t bloomed. Now, even if briefly, Lee was back for spring break, and she wasn’t seeing anyone else.
Twenty years before, he’d been the Pierces’ chauffeur and Cindy had been their cook. They’d had an apartment over the garage. After he’d driven Brad Pierce to the train and come back, Blanche Pierce had found jobs for him. Often, those jobs had taken him upstairs under her supervision. One day, when the maid was off, she’d called him into her bedroom to rearrange some furniture. Beds weren’t made to be moved in one piece. They could be taken apart, but who was he to tell her that? He’d enjoyed her seeing his muscles flex. He’d enjoyed seeing her in a robe over a nightgown. He’d enjoyed smelling the faint scent that clung to her bed. She had been looking at more than his muscles, though.
“You have an erection,” she’d said. His dick had been semi-hard, but he had thought his pants hid it. When he’d looked down, he’d seen that it wasn’t all that obtrusive. He’d bent over.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Pierce.”
“I’m not. Is that from me?”
“I guess. The smell of the bed.” He’d gestured.
“You know how much effort I have to make to get a response from my husband when he’s in that bed?”
Well, if she wanted a response, he’d figured he would give her a response. After all, they had been in her bedroom, talking about his hardon. He’d moved closer, smiled at her, then grabbed her into a kiss. She’d pushed against the grab, but soon she had kissed him back. He’d loosened his hug to hold her breast. He’d kissed her face and down her neck.
“Oh,” she’d said, “I can’t resist you when you kiss me there.” Bud hadn’t noticed all that much resistance before. Cindy had been in the kitchen, after all. A scream would have fetched her. He’d turned Blanche around -- ‘Mrs. Pierce’ had disappeared sometime while he was feeling her breast. He’d kissed the same spot from the back while opening her robe. The nightgown had been thin and lacy, providing a great feel of the hard nipple against his palm.
Still kissing her neck, Bud had stepped back to unbutton his shirt. He’d used each foot to remove the shoe from the other. He’d figured that he was as ready as he could get while standing. He’d pulled off Blanche’s robe. Finally ending the kiss on her neck, he’d pulled her nightgown up above her waist.
“No!” she had said, firmly if quietly. He had picked her up and carried her to the bed. When he lay her on it, he had pulled the nightgown up so it covered only her arms and her head. As she struggled out of it -- he had noticed that she was pulling it up and not down -- he had stripped off pants and boxers. “No,” she had said again as he climbed into bed. He had sat on her legs as he got his shirt and tee-shirt off. Then they had been able to look at each other and see everything. He had been wearing only socks and a watch; she had been wearing several rings. He had moved from sitting on her legs to kneeling beside her. He had sucked one nipple, then the other while pulling her legs apart. He had climbed into position.
“I need more foreplay,” she had said. Tough! He had been too hard. He had needed to get in her then.
“Think warm thoughts.” He had been able feel every separate hair against the tip of his cock as he pushed against her opening. He had always used a rubber with Cindy those days. He’d remembered seeing Blanche’s diaphragm in her bathroom when unstopping the toilet. He’d thought that this would be his first bareback ride in years.
Then he had been going into her warmth. Whatever she had said about foreplay, her cunt had been smooth and juicy around his cock. He had tried to move as slowly as possible to enjoy the feelings on his bare cock. When he had gone in as far as possible, he had looked at Blanche’s face.
“This is rape,” she had said. But she hadn’t been crying.
“Good!” he’d thought. If she wanted a rape, he’d be happy to give her a rape. Pressed into her, he had raised one of her legs around him until it was over his shoulder. Then he had done the same with the other one. Balanced on his knees and shoulders, he had drawn his cock almost out and then driven it into her. As he took the deep rapid strokes, he had watched her face. It had changed from a smile to a frown. Stroking through her smoothness had been a thrill, but he had felt no great urgency. It had been maybe ten hours since he’d fucked Cindy.
Then the urgency had hit him. He’d driven harder, pushing her up the bed. His strokes had come faster and faster. Then he had thrust even harder, driving her up the mattress until her head had struck the headboard. He had felt his life pulse out of his cock. At his last pulses, Blanche had moaned.
“So good,” she had said. Then she had been wriggling under him and squeezing his cock. He had lain on top of her getting his breath back.
“Can’t you move?” she had asked.
“Seems to me you liked the way I moved a lot.”
“So move now. And don’t pretend I liked it. You raped me.” If it came to defending himself to the cops, he’d figured he could quote ‘I need more foreplay.’ He hadn’t thought it would come to that. She wasn’t shouting. And it hadn’t come to that.
Mrs. Pierce had never said anything around others, and she had never avoided him. It had always been rape with her, which had suited Bud just fine. Cindy sometimes had asked him for something she liked; she had been, was still, capable of pushing him away when something he did hurt her. Since Blanche had always pushed him away, he could do what he chose. He had taken her sometimes in her robe and nightgown against a wall; he had bent her naked over the back of a big chair.
When Mr. Pierce had taken a three-day business trip, Mrs. Pierce had slept in. Instead of breakfasting with her husband, this day, she had taken no breakfast at all. When the maid started vacuuming the living room, Bud had gone upstairs. She had really been asleep. He had stripped quietly.
“No, don’t,” she had said when he tossed the blankets off her. He figured that she was really into that rape game that time. She had struggled but not screamed. That time, she’d been dry when he shoved into her, but he’d been horny as hell. Cindy had been on the rag, and he hadn’t got anything for days. He had plunged in and out while Blanche wriggled under him and pushed on his chest. He had enjoyed using his strength to have his way with her. Too soon, he had gushed into her. He tried to settle down, but she had still been struggling against him.
“You idiot,” she’d said. “Can’t you take ‘no’ for an answer?”
“That’s what you always say.”
“I don’t have my diaphragm in.”
“So take care of it now.” He hadn’t liked her tone. He’d figured that she was in no position to get high-and-mighty after all they had done together. That had been his last time with her, though. He’d thought she was over her snit a month later when she’d called him up to do some more work on her room. He’d been wrong.
“I’m pregnant,” she’d told him.
“‘Congratulations’? You idiot. It’s yours.”
“So figure out some way to convince Mr. Pierce it’s his.” Bud hadn’t wanted to have a child, hadn’t even wanted Eleanor when she came. Blanche had managed to pull it off. Brad Pierce had even given the child his name. When Pierce had moved Bud and Cindy out, Bud had feared that Pierce was suspecting something. Couldn’t be that, however. Pierce had really set them up in the restaurant. He and Cindy had made the Rosebud a success, but Pierce had made it possible for them to start. And he didn’t seem to expect a freebie, or even a discount, when the Pierce family ate there.
Eleanor sat quietly beside Lee as he drove. She didn’t even comment that he wasn’t heading for the movie theater. She really wished, though, he had chosen a different parking place. It was still light, and this would be make-out central in another two hours. Well, they were a couple. He had never pushed her limits, how far did he expect to go? How far was she willing to go? She suspected that she would be more willing when the question became immediate; she really liked Lee.
“Look,” Lee said. “We have to talk.” She was willing to talk. She wasn’t willing to talk about doing it. “I love you, Eleanor.” This was standard, and so was the response.
“I love you, Lee.” It was even true.
“Look, this has been a hard time for me. I’ve missed you.” That wasn’t how he’d planned to start off. It sounded selfish to his ears.
“I’ve missed you, too.” Next he was going to ask whether she’d missed him enough to go all the way. She’d missed him that much, but it was a big step. Couldn’t he get somewhere more private? A girl’s first time was special; the back seat of a car was bad enough; the back seat of a car with an audience didn’t bear thinking about. And he’d been so considerate for so long.
“Look, you’ve gone on dates?” Which was still beside the point.
“Yes. And you have?”
“A few mixers. They aren’t dates. Guys come; girls come; they dance or talk. I’ve even started giving those a pass. The girls are nice, but they aren’t Eleanor.” This was getting further and further from the point. He was, face it, scared. “But it’s different. Look, I’m getting the full experience of the first year at Harvard. It will never come around again, even later years. Mixers aren’t an important part of that experience.
“I want you to get the full experience of the last year of high school. It won’t come around again, either. And dances and the prom are central to that experience.”
“I’ve had a prom. I was the date of the handsomest boy there.”
“You were the prettiest girl at the prom, but it wasn’t your prom. I want you to have your prom. Which makes the next thing I’m going to ask selfish.”
“What’s that?” Did it ruin a prom to go as a non-virgin? She knew plenty of girls who didn’t think so.
“I’ve missed you. Could we be engaged?”
“Engaged. My fiancee.” He was saying this all wrong.
“Oh, Lee!” Did he mean that?
“Let me say that better.” He could hardly say it worse. “I love you, Eleanor. Will you marry me?”
“Yes, Lee. I love you, too.” He had meant that. She didn’t mind his stuttering over the proposal. The confusion just meant that he saw this as important.
“It means a long engagement. I come into a little money when I turn 21, but I don’t think Dad would advance me a dime against that, not for our marriage. To tell the truth, they don’t see what a great girl you are. It’s horrible to think of your parents as snobs, but sometimes they are.” And it wasn’t as though Eleanor were really a waitress, which they each said wasn’t the point. She was heir to a small business. So, she worked in it. Dad worked in the bond house his grandfather had founded. Lee didn’t want Eleanor working her life in the Rosebud, but it would be nothing to be ashamed of. She contributed, which he suspected was more than Dad did.
“I don’t want to be a woman you’re ashamed of.” And his parents were nice when they came into the Rosebud. Mr. Pierce always had something complimentary to say to her when she waited on them.
“You’re a woman I’m proud of. And, speaking of ashamed, let’s go somewhere else. It’s not too late to see the second half of the picture. I don’t want you to be seen parking here after dark. You’re not that sort of girl, and we aren’t that sort of couple.” And they weren’t that sort of couple. When he was closer to 21, and they’d been engaged for a while, then he would try to take her to bed. But they were a lifetime couple, not a screw-and-forget couple. He would take any odds that Eleanor was a virgin.
“We can hardly go to the Rosebud.”
“That’s one problem with your family. I’d like to take you out to eat, but the best restaurant for miles around is out of bounds. When you’ve graduated, maybe you can come up to Boston. I’ll take you to the best restaurants in town, and nobody will know you.”