Copyright© 2005 by Fable
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A story about a college romance that just happened and lasted years before ending.
My kid brother called to give me a heads-up.
"Where are you?" He was stalling. He usually started the conversation with, "which time zone are you in?"
"San Francisco. I'll be in Denver all next month," I answered, giving him time to warm up to what was really on his mind.
"Your girlfriend has hit it big. Her book is coming out tomorrow."
He didn't need to elaborate. I knew our sister had put him up to making the call. Karen had warned me from the beginning that I was headed for a crash.
"She's really going places," Karen had said soon after she coerced me into admitting to my involvement with Ardy. I didn't heed her warning that I was in over my head and it would never work. There were other signs but I didn't want to admit that I recognized them. Karen didn't press it at the time; she knew I was in love and it was making me too fragile to think straight.
Having Steve deliver the news about Ardy's book was Karen's way of saying, "I tried to tell you she was smarter and you have nothing in common and you have to let her go." It was also her way of saying, "Damn it Jimmy, I never wanted you to get hurt. Why wouldn't you listen?"
The book wouldn't sell many copies unless it caught on as an extra-credit assignment in Sociology 101 classes, but it symbolized success. It elevated her to an accomplishment beyond anything I would ever achieve. I didn't need to see the press clippings to visualize the dust cover with a photo of her on the back; serious with a mischievous grin, proud. Or to know the title, Ellen; A Black Woman's Struggle, by Ardent Savoy, Ph.D. Hell, I had helped proofread parts of it four years before when we lived in the small house next to the flower shop. I had watched her sketch ideas for it on my chest, her long slender finger parting the hairs after we made love.
I pushed the room service cart into the hall and put the 'Do Not Disturb, ' sign on the door, wanting to be alone. I leaned back in the only chair, hoping to purge my memory of that night.
It had rained off and on all day; late fall rain, cold, pelting at times, near snow. I considered going after Ardy, but I was not sure I could find Ellen's apartment again. What if she called, wanting me to pick her up at the bus stop? I would miss the call and she would be out there someplace, alone and cold.
The night was still young, but it had been dark for two hours when she came through the back door, wet, exuberant and bubbly.
"I've had the most amazing day. I can't wait to tell you everything!"
"You're soaked. Let me dry your hair. Have you had anything to eat?" I went to get a towel without waiting for her answer.
The coat we had found in the thrift shop, made heavy by the rain, dropped to the floor as she stepped forward dutifully, her eyes wide, mouth open, anticipating. She raised her arms for me to pull the new sweater over her head and then turned for me to dry her hair. Water was dripping onto her bare shoulders.
"You're drenched to the bone. Take your shoes and jeans off. I'll run a bath," I said when I was satisfied the towel had collected most of the moisture from her hair.
I had lit a candle and was watching the tub fill when she entered the bathroom wearing only her bra and panties, surprising me with her lack of modesty. The only light in the room came from the candle, flickering to make the skin on her thighs glow orange, then brown and orange again.
"You'll have to leave if you want me to strip and get into that water." Her voice hit a raspy edge at "strip and get."
"I'll make you a sandwich."
"Yes," I said, turning at the door. She was bending over the tub testing the temperature of the water, her butt filling out the panties nicely. She looked my way and our eyes locked for a full minute. She swallowed, making a vein ripple in her slender neck.
A few minutes later I knocked on the door and heard her say, "Come in."
"Here, drink this," I said. She was submerged, her breasts visible. She made no attempt to cover them and I pretended I hadn't noticed her dark nipples floating near the water's surface.
"What is it?"
"Brandy in hot water."
She took a sip of the drink and wrinkled her upper lip.
"Drink it." She tipped the glass back and drained it.
"Good girl," I said and noticed her breasts break the water's surface as she handed the glass to me, showing the middle gap in her upper teeth, grinning like she often did.
I sat on the toilet seat while she munched on the sandwich and when she finished I took the plate. "What can I get for you to wear?" I asked, turning at the door.
"Could I have one of your T-shirts? And socks? Could I have a pair of those sweat socks you wear sometimes?"
"Are you sure this will be warm enough?" I asked when I came back with the clothes.
"You'll keep me warm. We'll sleep in my bed tonight. Will that be all right?"
I smiled and nodded as I sat on the toilet seat and watched her bathe. She held the soap in her hand, her face covered with white suds.
"Ellen was very critical about me being involved with a white boy."
"Why? Has she had some experience with white boys?" I said, not wanting her to see me reeling by what she had said about us "being involved." How had the subject of me being white surfaced?
"I suspect not. It's probably just an opinion she formed from hearsay. She says you're all very possessive by nature and want to own us. She says you have small cocks and don't know the first thing about pleasing a woman, especially a black woman."
These two sentences had been delivered causally, in Ardy's quiet way. She watched me, waiting for a reply. The candle flickered, moving my shadow on the water's surface, seeming to ripple.
"Well, that sounds accurate. We are possessive and some of us have small cocks. I don't know if I could please a black woman but I'm willing to try."
"I like your adventurous spirit." Her eyes searched mine, her mouth open, breaking into an infectious grin. I smiled back.
She splashed water onto her face to remove the soapsuds but her eyes never wavered from mine. I watched her swallow again and I swallowed too.
"I'm ready to get out now." She pulled the stopper and the water began to flow down the drain. Her eyes traveled to mine, timidly, but she did not cover her breasts, although they now showed above the water line.
I understood her meaning. She wanted me to leave the room so she could dry herself and get dressed. But I ignored her silent request and she didn't protest.
I spread the towel we had used to dry her hair. "Step out of the tub onto this," I said. I went to the towel rack, selected the largest one and unfolded it. When I turned she was out of the tub, naked and dripping with her back to me. Her head turned my way, waiting for me to drape the towel over her back.
She dried her front while I rubbed the fabric against her back and ass to make the towel absorb the water. I hoped she didn't notice my hands shaking.
"Do my hair some more," she said. I used the top section of the towel to rub the back of her head. When I dropped to my knees to pat down her legs, she let the towel drop and slipped the T-shirt over her head. I lifted her right foot and pulled a sock up her leg, and then did the same with her left one. The socks came almost to her knees and fit so loosely they were sure to fall.
"Did we get everything?" I asked, looking up to watch her turn.
She placed a finger under my chin, urging me to my feet. "Do you want to do it all again?"
She was smiling, patiently watching me as I ran my hands over her shoulder blades and down the small of her back, down to the end of the shirt where it covered the cheeks of her ass. We kissed and I could taste the brandy on her lips and tongue. I drew her close, running my hands over the cotton shirt, feeling her small breasts against my chest, and memorizing the feel of her narrow waist and how her butt fit my cupped palms.
I attempted to break the kiss but she clung to me, kissing passionately. When she released my lips I leaned down and blew out the candle, making the room dark. She giggled, sending a quiver down her back. I picked her up and carried her to bed, the one in her room, as she had suggested.
We were from the same hometown and had gone to the same schools, but I did not remember speaking to her until the day my parents drove us to school. Her Aunt Bertha rode along to make sure Ardent's dormitory room was safe and clean.
Bertha worked for my family on Tuesdays, changing the beds, doing the laundry and sprucing up the house to make it livable for another week. When mom heard that Ardent was fearful of riding the bus, she invited them to ride along with us. Ardent was to begin her second year at the school I was going to attend. Dad and I shared the driving. Mom sat in the back with Bertha and Ardent. We made the 500 mile trip in eight hours, including the time it took to stop for gas and to have lunch.
My attempts to seek information about the school were met with short but polite answers from Ardent. I wondered why Bertha was so protective of her and how she had gotten the strange name. But this was not the time to be inquisitive. I couldn't decide if she was shy or, being a sophomore, didn't want to lower herself to talk to a freshman.
My parents dropped us off at our dormitories and immediately headed back home because Bertha didn't want to stay in a motel overnight.
That was the last I saw or her until Thanksgiving. At Bertha's urging, mom made me take the same bus as Ardent. Those bus rides home for holidays or semester breaks were the only times we talked during my first year. We had little in common. She had a scholarship; my parents paid my tuition. She made the Dean's list, I didn't. She was black and I was not.
The next year, I had a car. And though Bertha did not approve of Ardent riding with me, she relented because it was better than letting her ride the bus alone. On our second trip together, she told me to call her Ardy. While the gesture didn't overwhelm me, I took this as a sign of trust between us. It still didn't occur to me to ask the reason someone had named her Ardent. Afterwards, when we saw each other on campus, she went out of her way to say hi. Otherwise, there was no contact between us.
My third year, when she was a senior, we both found living arrangements off-campus. I lived in a small house next to Russell's Flower Shop, while Ardy moved into an apartment with three other girls.
Martin Russell had vacated the house when he married Betty Peters. He and his son Matthew age ten, moved in with his new bride and her two sons, Carl Peters, age twelve and his brother Benny, age eight. In exchange for free rent I was to act as night watchman, check the temperature in greenhouses and make sure thieves didn't break in.
Except for Betty's monthly inspections of my little abode I enjoyed the quiet accommodations. I was able to make some of my meals and study. Marty let me work a few hours in the shop, paying me minimum wage. I was soon to learn that Ardy's living arrangements were not as serene as mine. The three girls she had chosen as roommates had not come to college in pursuit of an education.
A surprise flurry of snow was in the air the day I heard her calling. "Jimmy!" I turned to see her running towards me.
"Hi," I said, wondering how she could traipse through the snow without boots. She looked cold in the lightweight jacket she often wore. I couldn't help but reach out and brush the few flakes that had collected in her hair. She looked up at me, stunned, as if she had forgotten what she was going to say.
"Would you mind if I tell Aunt Bertha to send a letter to your address?" Her eyes were wide with anticipation as if she expected me to refuse her request. Melted snow rolled between her eyes and dripped from her nose to her open mouth.
She explained that Bertha's last letter had been opened and her spending money was missing. "There may be extra for my birthday and I'd hate for it to disappear," she said, looking somber like she half expected for me to make a wisecrack. She refused my offer of a few bucks to get by, saying she would be okay until the next letter arrived. I wrote my address on a sheet of notebook paper and included my telephone number.
"Open it," she said on Monday night when she called to confirm the letter had arrived. She sounded insistent so I ripped the envelope open and two bills dropped out.
"There's a twenty and another twenty, two twenties," I said, hoping it was the amount she was expecting.
"Oh good." There was relief in her voice. "What does the letter say?"
"I'm not going to read your letter, Ardy."
"Please." This was the first time I heard the little girl voice, nothing like her quiet but firm, self-assured tone that I found sexy. I refused to read the letter, making her wait until we met the next day.
The Monday evening phone calls became a ritual, always coming a few minutes past nine. We talked about things we had heard from home or something about our classes, never anything more serious. I loved to hear her laugh at my jokes. We would arrange to meet the following day for me to deliver her mail. I began to look forward to the calls.
One Monday night I found her in a corner of the library, surrounded by stacks of books. I went over to tell her the letter from Bertha had arrived. "So you won't get to talk to me on the phone tonight," I said, wanting to add that I would miss hearing her sexy phone voice but thinking better of it.
"That's a shame," she smiled, showing me an even set of upper teeth, except for a gap at the center. I offered her a ride home and she accepted.
The following Monday I found her in the same spot. "I brought your letter," I said.
"You mean I don't get to talk to you on the phone? That's a pity," she said, taking the letter. We both smiled at our little joke.
I was working at a nearby table when one of her friends approached her. I had seen him with her in a group of black students that hung out together. They spoke quietly for a few minutes and I saw him glance my way. Soon after that, he left. At nine o'clock we packed up our things and walked out of the library together. That's when I realized why she had always called at a few minutes after nine. She spent every night at the library.
"Who was that?" I asked as we walked to my car.
It took her a few seconds to understand whom I was referring to. "Oh, you mean Jason. He was having trouble with a math course. I tutored him one semester last year. Now he sort of looks out for me."
I wondered if there was more to it than that, looking out for her, but I dropped the subject. It was none of my business.
"Looks like there's another party in progress," she said when we saw the lights on in her apartment. She sounded dejected.
"That's why you go to the library, isn't it?"
"Yeah, it's quiet there."
"You could use my place. I don't make much noise." I said it without thinking and was relieved when she thanked me for the offer, while gently but firmly rejecting it.
We drove home for Thanksgiving. On the way back to school she wanted to know if I had a computer. I said yes, and we made arrangements for her to use it the following week. "It will save you having to deliver my letter," she said.
"But you still won't get to talk to me on the phone," I said and watched her upper teeth appear and heard her quiet laughter, flowing like a shallow brook after a spring thaw.
"Thanks Jimmy," she said as she got out of the car.
Did she just run her hand down my cheek?
We spent Monday nights working at my dining table and afterward I would take her home. Whenever I offered her something to eat she volunteered to clean up the kitchen, saying it was the least she could do to return my kindness.
Our evenings together got longer because she soon insisted on cleaning the kitchen and then the bathroom, until we were leaving at midnight to take her back to her apartment.
"My God, how do you get any sleep in there?" I said one night when it was evident by the lights that her roommates were having another party.
The next Monday night she fell asleep on my couch at 11 P.M. I covered her up and watched her sleep. She looked physically exhausted.
Shit hit the fan the next morning. Ardy had been embarrassed when she woke up and discovered she was in a strange place. But that was nothing compared to what I felt when the Russells saw Ardy come out of the house with me.
"WHAT IS THAT WOMAN DOING HERE?" Betty screamed. To complicate matters everyone was there. Marty and two employees were working on floral arrangements and Betty had felt compelled to stop by the shop with the boys in case there was something that needed her attention.
I explained, as best I could, that Ardy was from my hometown and that we were just friends. I told them that I had invited her over to use my computer and study because she was not able to study with constant parties taking place in her apartment. "She fell asleep on the couch and I covered her up. That's all there was to it."
"Don't let it happen again," Betty spoke up the minute I finished. "I won't stand for it."
Ardy was mortified. She said maybe it would be better if we dispensed with our Monday night study and I didn't protest. Selfishly, I didn't want to be kicked out of the house because of her. Betty seemed spiteful enough to do it.
But something I had said made Marty have second thoughts. He didn't see any reason to ban Ardy from studying there. Betty had made one of her surprise inspections and found the house spotless. When confronted with the fact, Betty had second thoughts about Ardy's abilities. She agreed with her husband, saying she liked the way Ardy had cleaned up my messes.
The good news had no affect on Ardy. She refused to hear my invitation to resume our Monday night study sessions. When she called the next Monday night to verify that Bertha's letter had arrived there was noticeable grief in her voice.
"What's wrong? You're getting to talk to me again," I said and heard her force a laugh. She sounded tired.
"Stay there; I'm coming to take you home. I'll bring the letter," I said.
"No Jimmy. I can walk. I'll be fine," she said, her voice weak and distant. I insisted on picking her up. When we saw all her apartment lights on, she shrunk in the car seat in despair. I kept on driving.