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In Search of the Final Freedom: Chapter 53b

Young Love, First Love (part 2)

While Sarah and Bailey were on their shopping trip, Misty spent the day at school. She and Kelli and Tommy found themselves in the publications room until nearly 5:45 PM. However, Misty was amply rewarded for her work because it meant she was able to spend more time with Tommy.

She and Tommy Francis had been slowly exploring, looking for the path that would lead to them becoming a couple for the past five months. In the first weeks of December, Misty was sure they had moved forward after months of cat and mouse. Yet, the insurmountable barrier remained.

It had been two weeks before, after one of their long talks where Misty again told Tommy she loved him as much as any girl could love a guy; but he had to take her as she was, not as he wanted her to be. They had been through this a dozen times. Each time he’d balked at the fact she also loved Sarah and Caitlin. Because of their mutual work as editors, she never mentioned Kelli in these discussions even though he knew about their relationship. Nor did they explicitly talk about the fact that these were not plutonic relationships, she had sex with all three of them. She made it clear that she did not believe she should have to reject their love to gain his.

While the talk was nearly exclusively about the relationships she had with three girls, behind that, but unsaid, was that she also had sex with guys. She’d made it clear to him that he is the only guy she has ever loved; implied by how she said it was that she had sex with male friends whom she did just for fun. The fact was that since September when she and Tommy had begun working on finding a way to have a formal relationship, in addition to her times with Sarah, Caitlin, Kelli & Cody, Misty had participated in threesomes with Rebecca, Haley, Joanne & Iris, and their boyfriends. That was not counting the all-day running seven-person orgy with Everleigh and company. Though she did not think Tommy had any clue about that memorable day.

While it was how they couched it in their talks, they both knew the problem that prevented them from becoming a couple wasn't an issue of her love for three girls. It was about her sense of self and her right to enjoy the pleasures and intimacy of sex with her friends. Her personal autonomy was a very important part of her life and her self-image. She could not simply walk away from it. But to Tommy, it was just about her being slutty, though he had never actually used that word.

As they were wrapping up to leave after their unusually long day, Misty noticed Tommy whisper something to Kelli, after which she suddenly needed to go to the restroom. Once she was gone, Tommy turned to Misty and said, “I know we’d agreed we’d go to the Publication’s Christmas party as co-editors, not as a couple.” He stopped as if unsure if he really wanted to go on. Then slowly he said, “I don’t want to do that.”

Misty, who had been placing image files in folders to finish tomorrow, looked up with a start.

He stepped closer to her, “We’ve talked a lot about our differences in the last few months and how you won’t betray your values. And you know I don’t share your beliefs about some things… some really important things… but I have come to respect you for sticking to them. I know that you feel the same way that I feel about you. I love you and you love me. It is just that simple…” he made a snort, “… or that complicated. Sometimes, lots of times, all I can do is think about you and how much I want us to… to be a couple. Yet, you won’t change who you are even a little so as to be with me.”

She could hear his voice cracking. He was trying to say something important, but it could go either way. Her heart seemed to stop beating as he gathered his thoughts.

“I can’t go on seeing you day after day, having my heart crushed because of the wall between me and the girl I so desperately want. Having you so close that I could touch you, but can’t, is more than I can live with. I’ve never felt anything like this before and I hate it. So, I’ve made a decision.”

Misty began to wonder if he was going to quit the publication staff because he couldn’t be around her. She didn’t want that! She put her hands in her lap and squeezed them into fists.

“I don’t want to go to the party as co-editors with you. I want to go with you as a couple… like a couple who are an item. You win. If you will still have me, I would like to go as your paramour, not just a casual date.”

She wanted to jump up and scream with joy. He wasn’t just asking to be her date for the party, he was asking to become her boyfriend. Her boyfriend on her terms. She tried to make herself sit impassively, but she couldn’t. With a voice that was way too joyful, she said “Yes Tommy. I would like that. And yes, we will go as the kind of couple who everyone can see naturally belong together.”

She saw the look of relief on his face. He must have actually not known what she would say. As she closed the laptop and stood, she worked to control her breathing. Her heart was racing as her mind was running a mile a minute going over every word Tommy had just said. He must not understand the word paramour wasn’t just a fancy word for high school girlfriend. Or did he? He was quite bright after all.

Standing just a few feet from him, she saw Tommy now seemed unsure of himself after that clearly rehearsed speech. He must not have thought out what to say and do if she said yes.

Quite formally he said, “Good. Can we plan for me to pick you up at your home and drive you to the party? Sarena’s house is out by the lake, so it is a bit of a drive.” Then his cool demeanor began to fall apart. “That is unless you would simply like to meet me there… or I can ride with you if you would prefer. It is your choice.”

Misty had never once seen him flailing like this. She had to rescue him. “I think it would be wonderful for you to pick me up. How about at 6:30 Friday night?”

“Yes,” Tommy said quickly, “I’ll do that.”

“And I’ll text you my home address,” she said even as she was closing the gap between them. She stood up on her tiptoes, took him by the shoulders and pressed her lips to his. Just pressed, nothing more.

It was at that moment Kelli walked noisily into the room with suspicious timing. “Misty, are you ready? We are already going to be late.”

Misty stepped back, but she made sure she did not appear to jump away. She made a point to leave one hand on Tommy’s arm.

Grabbing her bookbag, Kelli added, “Tommy, a group of the Euro-Club members and a few of our guys are meeting at The House of Pizza. Would you like to slum with us disreputable young women?”

Misty could have throttled her for that.

“No, but thank you for the offer,” Tommy replied, ignoring the dig from Kelli. “I’m late getting home already.”

Turning to leave, Kelli called to Misty “Come on girl. Get a move on. Tommy, can you make sure the room is straightened up and secured before you go? I’ll make it up to you next time.”

It was only then that Misty realized that Kelli was getting her out of an awkward walk to the parking lot with Tommy. After all, she and Kelli would both be leaving in their own cars so there was no reason for Kelli to need Misty to join her.

Misty turned to pick up her bookbag from the floor beside the chair in which she’d been sitting. Then once again, she moved in and pressed her lips to his, softly and with as much tenderness as she could before stepping back again. The only thing she said before leaving was a barely audible “Thank you,” before turning for the door.

Confirming her suspicion regarding Kelli’s motive, as soon as she was out the Publications room door, Kelli was right there waiting. Grabbing Misty’s hand, she whispered excitedly, “That was simply amazing! I’m so happy for you.”

“You didn’t go to the girl’s room, did you?” Misty whispered back. They were racing down the hallway to make sure they got out of the building well before Tommy left the Publications room.

“Of course, I didn’t. When Tommy asked me to leave the room for a couple of minutes, I knew what he was going to do. Well, I was pretty sure I knew. So, I stayed to listen. I heard it all. He said he wants to be your paramour. If that was Cody, I’d just assume he didn’t know that word meant lover… secret illicit lover. But Tommy’s vocabulary is exceptionally good. He knows what the word means. He was sending a message… lots of messages in that one word.”

Misty was pondering on that very thing when they crashed through the double doors to the empty parking lot. What exactly did he mean? She would ask herself that question many times over the next few days.

The House of Pizza had become the unofficial second home of the Euro-Club (after Misty’s house). Misty made it to their normal spot along the back wall of the restaurant. The first club girls to arrive had pulled several square tables together as they did at least once a week. The news of Sarah & Lamar’s coming big day was already the subject of the conversation when Misty took a seat. Both her brother and Sarah were well-liked by all the club members, both seniors and juniors. All of them knew the sacrifice it had been for them to have held off for so long. Since school was already out for the day, Misty felt free to spill the beans about the shopping trip. Every single girl at the table was green with envy.

Kelly resisted for a good while before she in turn spilled the beans on Misty’s big news. And news it was. Misty’s conflicted relationship with Tommy had been followed closely by the Euro-Club girls. They all knew they too would likely be faced with Misty’s stark choices one day. To find out Misty’s resolve had won the day was great news.

Yet, even as her friends talked, there was a gnawing in the pit of Misty’s stomach. Yes, she’d won this first round, but how long would… or could Tommy accept Misty’s values unless he made them his own. And how likely was that? After that thought entered her mind, it completely eclipsed the conversations around her for several minutes. With and effort, she told herself, “NO! I will not ruin this moment with what might happen later. I will enjoy my success.” She’d just returned to the here and now when Megan asked, “So, when will you get to sleep with him?”

Misty momentarily had a vision of fucking Tommy right in the Publications room. “Yes,” she thought to herself, “That would be great, but it’s not going to happen.” To Megan, she answered, “I know it doesn’t sound like me, but we might take things slow. Tommy is yielding a lot for me, I can give him time.” Then she laughed, “And if my little brother can wait four months, I can wait a few weeks.”

Sometime later when things were wrapping up, Rebecca looked down the long table to Misty and asked about Samuel’s promised “birthday present” from her mother. She finished by asking, “Does she know that his birthday was yesterday?”

Misty didn’t know that, and she was sure her mom didn’t either. “Sorry, I’m afraid he’s out of luck, Mom is totally booked pretty much until after New Year’s. She’s off with Sarah and Bailey tonight. Tomorrow night she’s going with my dad to a faculty Christmas party at Augusta State. Wednesday afternoon she has a meeting for the FFF in Columbia so she might not be back until late. Friday night she and my dad are representing the FFF at some Christmas event. I’m not sure, but I think they will be doing the same thing Saturday night in Atlanta. Then after Christmas, she and my dad are taking off for Tennessee to see my grandfather. So, for now, you’ll have to take care of him yourself.”

Rebecca said, “I do that anyway, but he’ll be disappointed. He has quite the crush on your mom, and I have got to say I’m looking forward to his birthday threesome as well.”

“I’m sure she will be all too glad to do what she said she would. As you know, my mom has become quite the libertine, but he will have to wait until after the holidays.” Then Misty thought for a moment, ”But Rebecca, you don’t turn eighteen until what? The end of February? She won’t let you join them you know, not as long as you are a minor.”

Rebecca looked like she’d gotten her hand caught in the cookie jar.

“Oh,” Misty laughed playfully, “you were trying to pull a fast one. So do you still want Mom to schedule a time for him to get his present right after the holidays, or do you want him to have to wait a few more months so you can join in?”

Rebecca had indeed been caught. “You know I don’t mind him doing it with girls without me being there, but I absolutely want to be there when your mother makes good on her promise. I hope that isn’t too weird for you. You’ve got to know there’s not a girl in the club or their boyfriends either who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to be with Mrs. C.”

Misty gave her a sarcastic look, “Really? You think so?”

Apparently, Rebecca didn’t realize that Misty knew the answer already and made a reply. “A week or so ago, a group of us were here, at this very table. You were doing photo stuff so you weren’t there. I think it started when Samuel said something about his present and well, everyone there, guys and girls said they’d love to take his place. I think everyone in the club is really envious of his coming present and doesn’t understand why they can’t get the same. Even the younger girls who were there said they’d die to spend a night with your mom. For a time, there was a rumor that we’d all get the same once we and our boyfriends turned eighteen, but now we realize she never intended to do that. Well not everyone, Caitlin has the hots for your dad, not your mom.”

Rebecca last statement answered a question Misty had been pondering. Her comment seemed to say that Caitlin had not told anyone about her parent’s de-facto promise she could join them in their bed after her birthday. While Caitlin had been very open about her lust for Mr. C. for months, she’d kept the secret that he’d agreed to have sex with her. That was particularly good since her mom had sat down with Caitlin a few days before her birthday and explained that given her special relationship with their family, she really thought it would be best if they hold off with that step until after she is out of high school. It was however the first time she had plainly told Caitlin that both she and Mr. C. saw her as more than the child who was like a second daughter to them. But Caitlin would have to wait for that to be translated into action. Though she was very disappointed, Mrs. C.’s affirmation that they could see her as a woman eased the disappointment quite a bit. However, nobody at the House of Pizza that night knew any of that.

Misty then came back with, "But Rebecca, if I asked the club girls and their guys about your mom, I'd get the same reaction. And most of the guys haven't seen how amazing she looks naked. I have, and I can say that she was the hottest woman at the nude family swim days last summer." That made Misty think, "Does your mom know you plan on having sex with my mom?"

Rebecca said, "I’m sure she knows about the promise Mrs. C. made to Samuel."

Misty nodded, "I’m sure your mom knows about that; but the question is, does she know that you plan on being there and having sex with my mother at the same time?”

Rebecca’s face betrayed the answer even before she said, “No, I doubt it.”

Misty knew her mom had been looking for a way to put off making good on her promise. Waiting on Rebecca to turn eighteen would do just that, so she said “If you want Samuel to wait so you can make it a threesome, I will ask my mom to talk to your mom to make sure she's OK with you doing it with the same person she does."

Rebecca said she thought that was a good idea. It was only after they’d finished that conversation, that Misty noticed the looks on the faces of a few of the people at the long table, especially Megan and Hillary who were among the new girls and had not known most of what they’d been hearing. Misty took a few minutes to explain how her mother had come to make the promise she had to Samuel.

Later that night Misty found her mother lying in bed reading while her father was watching television in the living room. She crawled up to sit on the bed and told her mother Samuel was asking about his promised birthday present. Bonnie assured her daughter that she hadn’t forgotten. Misty then told her about the conversation with Rebecca and how she wanted Mrs. C. to delay giving Samuel his present until her birthday at the end of February.

“Good thinking,” her mother said. “That solves the problem doesn't it… for now, at least.”

Though Bonnie thought Samuel was quite the hot and desirable young man, she still was less than comfortable with the idea of having sex with her daughter’s friends, even if they were eighteen. She had put off things with Caitlin, but she didn’t know how to put Samuel off until the summer without appearing to renege on a clear promise. She was glad this was getting put off for now.

Misty then brought up a complication, "But, if you don't mind. Rebecca wants you to talk to her mom and make sure it is OK with her."

"Oh. I hadn't thought about that."

Misty said, "Yea, having sex with both your friend and her daughter, that would be a first."

"I actually don't think Ashley will mind in the least, but now we have a good while before we have to deal with it."

With that issue out of the way, Misty told her mother all about what had happened with Tommy at school. “Mom, I am thrilled beyond words that Tommy wants me to be his girlfriend just as I am. But I can’t escape the looming fear that when push comes to shove and he finds out that I really won’t be exclusively his, he will bolt.”

Her mother sat up and took both of Misty’s hands and looked her squarely in the eye. “You are right, he might. The real question is do you actually believe deep down in what you say you do? Is sexual freedom something you are willing to sacrifice for? Or are you just following me? If it is the former, and it is your values you are preserving, it will still hurt if he, in the end, can’t accept you for who you are; yet you will be able to endure the pain so as to hold on to yourself. But, if non-monogamy is optional for you, then perhaps you should think hard before you agreed to share your body with your friends again.”

The cold hard truth hurt. But Misty knew her mother was right. She almost said “I guess I should think about it,” but she did not. There was no decision to be made today…or tomorrow. She’d made that decision already. However, looking into her mother’s eyes she saw pain, pain for her daughter. The realization that her choice would not only hurt her, but would hurt her mother as well sank into her gut. Misty knew that the odds Tommy really would embrace her values so that this would work were very small. She knew that. It was what had been gnawing at her. And now she was facing the reality her mother would suffer for her choice, and that oppressed her. Yet… there was no choice to be made.

Softly, but firmly, Misty said, “I am who I am. It is true that I learned my values from you… and from Dad, but they are now my values down to my toes. They are not negotiable.” The tear she felt welling up in her eye surprised her. “I’m sorry Mom, but I can’t be someone else.”

Her mother grabbed her and pulled her tight. Into Misty’s ear, she said, “Listen to me. Grab the joy life puts in front of you with both hands. Don’t deny yourself this happiness, even if you know it is unlikely to last.” She released Misty and again looked into her eyes, “Enjoy being yourself and enjoy your time with Tommy. Don’t spoil what has been offered to you out of fear of losing it.”

Misty nodded, but could not find any words. She knew deep down that her mother fully understood how she felt and would be totally supportive of any decision that she made in good faith. She also knew, without a doubt, the only thing that would disappoint her mother would be for Misty to betray herself. Then the right words came to her as if they were from her soul… or from God. Very softly she said, “If I turn away Tommy’s love now, out of fear, it would be just as much a betrayal of my values as becoming a different person just to hold on to him. I will embrace his love with all my heart.”

A broad smile came over her mother’s face, “How did my baby girl get so wise?”

“I had a good teacher,” and they hugged again.

For only a moment Misty was contented in her mother’s arms, as if she were six years old once again. Then a thought of panic seized her. She jerked back and with wide eyes ejected two words: “A DRESS!”

At that moment it was the most important question that had ever been posed, “What am I going to wear? If I’m going as Tommy’s girlfriend, I need a dress, but when will I have time to drive to the mall in Macon to buy one? It has to be perfect!”

For a full five seconds, she just sat looking at her mother in a state of alarm. Her mother became thoughtful, then slowly a smile appeared. “Perhaps you don’t need to go shopping.”

Reading the comment Misty testily growled, “I can’t wear one of yours, you are way bigger than me. I need something that fits perfectly.”

Her mother’s smile broadened. “Today I am bigger than you, but I wasn’t always this size.”

Twenty minutes later, her mother called to the living room, “Cooper! Could you come in here for a second? I need your opinion.”

The sound from the documentary on the TV paused shortly before her father came into the room. Initially, he seemed confused because he didn’t see anyone. He had to turn all the way to his left to find someone in the room. Then he froze. Misty had never actually seen someone’s jaw drop, but her dad’s visibly did so just then. And he stood there, staring at her. Then, as in a dream, he said, “Bonnie?”

From behind Misty, her mother emerged from the walk-in closet. “No Cooper, it’s our little girl.”

“But… but…” her father stammered, “the dress?”

With a lilt in her voice, Bonnie said. “Yes, it is THE dress.”

While she’d gotten ready, Misty’s mother told her about a Christmas party… “Nineteen years ago this week, your father was a fledgling architect going nowhere at a third-rate firm in Atlanta. I don’t recall how, but he… we, were invited to a Christmas party at the home of Tony LeMarco, the owner of LeMarco & Co., one of the most prestigious Architecture firms in Georgia. He was really intimidated, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get his name out in the upper circles. We really couldn’t afford this dress. It might be short, but at the time, the only dress I’d ever owned that cost more was my wedding dress. Your father attributes his entire career to this dress… well me wearing this dress and catching the eye of both Tony LeMarco and his son Martin. I caught their eyes, and your father got a new job.”

She laughed mirthlessly, “You know, ever since the cruise in February, I’ve been trying to figure out, knowing what I now know about the LeMarco’s, why didn’t either father or son try to seduce me? There was no question they paid me a lot of attention that night; but as far as I can recall, they didn’t try to leverage the promise of a job for your father to bed me. It’s good they didn’t because I can’t say I wouldn’t have slept with them to give Cooper the big break he needed so badly. If that had happened, I might have gone down the path of the other women at LeMarco & LeMarco. I’m glad I didn’t.”

Misty would remember the gravity she felt in her mother’s words and think about them a great deal. Somehow, it related to her own predicament, but she wasn’t sure how.

As her mother pulled up the zipper in the back, Misty instantly knew this dress was like nothing she’d ever worn before. She couldn’t put her finger on what was different, the fabric? the cut? the workmanship? Perhaps all of them. Turning to look into the full-length mirror she saw it was both short and low-cut. So short and so low cut, had the party been held at the school, she wouldn’t be let in the door. Yet, despite all the skin it showed… it didn’t look sleazy. It looked and felt very expensive and expensive naturally meant classy. This was a woman’s dress, not a teenager’s.

Her mother went to the jewelry box on her dresser and took out what Misty knew to be her most prized piece: great-grandmother Campbell’s triple-strand pearl choker neckless. Aged to a luminous ivory hue, it screamed sophistication. Finally, her mother produced a box containing the matching shoes. Everything fit perfectly. Taking a brush, her mother worked on her hair while Misty marveled at her own appearance. Once Misty’s hair was in place, Bonnie called, “Cooper! Could you come in here for a second? I need your opinion.”

Once his wife had reminded him that he was looking at their daughter, Cooper snapped out of the memory that clouded his mind. He turned from staring at Misty to Bonnie, “It is the dress. But it looks like it’s brand new. Where has it been all these years, I haven’t seen it since that night.”

“After you got the job at LeMarco, I put it into the storage bag with my wedding dress.”

Misty looked at her father, “So, Dad, do you think I’ll make a splash at the party on Tommy’s arm?”

“Oh, you will do that. Yes, you will. Yes… you… will.”

At school on Thursday, Misty did not see Tommy at all since he is not in the Photography/Photojournalism class and she had to rush home as soon as classes let out to do Sarah & Baily’s lingerie shoot. Their mother insisted that Lamar ride home with Byron so that he would not see Sarah’s outfits in advance. By that day in late December, Misty had done no fewer than two dozen shoots of teenage girls and women wearing lingerie. She and Caitlin had a smooth working relationship with each of them having defined spheres of responsibility. Caitlin’s contribution was especially important while doing lingerie shoots because there were so many potential wardrobe issues that would detract from the final image. With Misty totally focused on lighting, composition, and pose, she often would not see wardrobe problems that were so severe that they would ruin a photograph. In this, Caitlin was much more useful than Lamar ever could be. Though Sarah and Bailey found Misty a little demanding, in the end, the images were sensational.

Friday, the big day for both of them, Misty and Lamar had a very hard time focusing on what little schoolwork the teachers tried to get done. Both had a final exam in at least one class and for both of them, their test grade suffered as a result. Misty knew this was the culmination of a process of work, frustration, and hope that had begun before the school year started. While she and Tommy were together in class, it was all business as they polished up and uploaded the Christmas edition of the paper. They’d actually been working on the components of that upload for two weeks and it was nearly complete, but those last bits were very important. Several times in the process though, Misty put her hand on Tommy’s hand or back. While to an observer her actions were quite casual and were not overtly romantic, she’d never done anything like that before.

As the class period drew to a close, as the other students were milling about, she and Tommy made sure of the arrangement for him to pick her up. She knew their interactions were stilted, but given the time and place, she knew no way of making it better. As the sound of the end-of-class bell faded and the other students headed for the door, Misty felt Tommy’s hand on her shoulder. She turned and, looking directly into her eyes, he said, “Thank You.”

She felt her knees weaken, but he turned to leave before she could respond.

At one minute before 6:30 that night, Tommy knocked on the Campbell’s door. Misty had never in her life primped as much as she had in the last hour. Her mother had the dress professionally cleaned getting out the slight musty smell. The only addition to her outfit was a pair of diamond stud earrings (also her mother’s), and a very low-cut strapless push-up bra from the women’s store in downtown Sparta. It gave her amazing cleavage. So much so, that just getting ready she had to adjust the dress’s neckline twice because she saw a hint of the top of her areoles peeking out. When her mother saw her problem, she commented, “Oh, I guess I forgot about that little problem.” Then with a wicked grin, she said “Oh well, it’s too late to do anything but keep pulling up the neckline.”

As Misty had choreographed it, her mother opened the front door and invited Tommy in. She wore a very conventional mom’s outfit as requested by Misty. It would not do for her to greet Tommy at the door in the dress she was going to wear to her event later that evening.

“Misty, your date is here,” her mother called as if Misty hadn’t watched the car pull into the drive.

Misty waited three minutes, three excruciatingly long minutes before walking down the stairs. As planned, Tommy stood between the living room and the back hallway so that as soon as she turned from walking down the stairs, he saw her. Tommy’s reaction at that moment was worth all the planning.

He looked so sophisticated in his dark suit with a pressed & starched tuxedo shirt and bow tie. Instantly she knew they would look amazing together tonight. She wanted to run, run and wrap his arms around him like in the movies. Instead, she walked at a slow measured pace. He, as she expected, stood glued in place. Misty walked until her toes nearly touched his. She reached up and gripped Tommy’s shoulders and tipped her head up to kiss him. She was glad he knew his part of this dance. Though it was still a closed-mouth kiss, it was their first prolonged, romantic kiss.

When she finally forced herself to step away, she soulfully said “Hello Tommy,” Shall we go?”

It took him several seconds to recover from the kiss. She told herself “That couldn’t have gone any better.”

“OK, you two,” her mother interrupted, as planned. “Let me get a photo of the handsome couple.”

Misty decided right then, they were not a handsome couple, but a stunning one. After Mrs. C. had taken half-a-dozen phone pics, she said “These will be great. Tommy, I’m sure Misty can forward the pictures to you.”

Before Tommy had arrived, Misty had hung her mother’s long woolen dress coat on the rack beside the door specifically so that she could make Tommy put it on her. Which, as instructed, her mother also captured using her cell phone. Picking up the clutch that she’d left on the entryway bench, she took Tommy by the arm, and they walked to his car.

Misty had even planned out a series of conversation topics for the twenty-five-minute drive. She wanted it to be mostly routine, thus she talked about the photo essay she’d been working on for over a month. She told him what all she still needed to do to get, Making the Modern High School Paper: A Photo Essay, into final form to enter into a national student competition after the holidays. After that, they discussed the status of Dr. Collin’s effort to prevent the paper’s reporters from covering School Board meetings. Finally, she started a discussion regarding the three people who would be entering the Publications class at the start of the second semester.

Even as on the surface they were carrying on a very conventional conversation, in her heart and mind her fears were again gnawing at her. Misty knew that Tommy must know how much he was risking by simply taking her to this party as his date… by linking his name to hers romantically. Although she had many supporters in her calls for sexual openness, the fact was there were a good many detractors; most were not actively attacking her, but quietly disapproving. These people would, no doubt, let Tommy have a piece of their mind about dating such a "slut". She knew even among Tommy’s close friends there were those who told him to follow his heart and those who said to stay away from that trashy hoe. She'd also heard through the grapevine that the popular Contemporary Christian church outside of Sparta, the one that she knew Tommy attended, aggressively attacked the club by name as well as her views in general as being grossly anti-Christian. Though it billed itself as being very progressive; after Misty went with him on two Sunday mornings in November, (in exchange for him coming to her Sunday evening youth group), she concluded the church had just put a hip wrapping on the old legalistic brand of Christianity.

She had demanded he accept her life choices if he wanted to have a formal relationship. Was it fair to ask him to do that? She wasn’t sure if fair was the right word, but she had been willing to forgo this relationship that she wanted so badly to be true to her beliefs. So perhaps the sacrifice was mutual.

She waited until they were less than five minutes from Sarena Costello’s house when she said “Tommy, as we begin this journey, I’m not going to tell you what to do any more than I will let you tell me what to do. But, I need to warn you, if you don’t want to know something, I suggest you not ask. If you ask, I will tell you everything. Likewise, do not expect me to volunteer to tell you all I do. I say that not because I want to be secretive, I don’t. In fact, it will be painful that I can’t share all the wonderful things in my life with… with my boyfriend.” She reached over to stroke his arm. “While I simply don’t do things that I believe are not a reflection of my Christian walk or would bring me shame if they were publicly known; you wouldn’t understand why I do some of the things I do, and knowing about them likely would hurt you.”

When he didn’t make any response, she queried, “Do you understand what I am talking about?”

His hands visibly tightened their grip on the steering wheel, but his voice was well-modulated. “Yes, I do.”

When he said no more, she decided not to push it further. She’d timed it quite well, there was less than a minute of silence before they saw cars lined up along the road. Misty cheerfully said, “This must be the place.”

The Publications Staff Christmas party this year was held at the large lakeside home of one of the paper’s younger staff members. Misty took the initiative to take his arm as they walked. Even before they got inside, they were drawing eyes.

The publication staff all knew of Tommy and Misty’s closeness so it did not come as any great surprise they presented themselves as a couple. With a total of twenty-six people including both the production side and the photo staff, it was a close-knit group, and every single one of them Misty counted as a friend. Conversely, each of them knew Misty well, and, as far as she knew, they liked her as well. Even though almost none of them believed in open relationships as she did, she was respected for her commitment as a person of conscience. She was sure not one of them thought of her as a slut or someone who preached bodily autonomy just as an excuse for having sex with lots of people. As such, she knew it would not be her friends and classmates that would glare or give her a cold shoulder, it would be some of their dates.

Arriving right on time, Misty and Tommy joined the dozen or so people approaching the door as sort of a group. Serena's parents were in the process of greeting their guests as they entered. Did they give her an extra-long look? She told herself not to be paranoid. However, when she slipped off her long coat and handed it to Mr. Costello, there was no question, everyone around looked… stared. Misty even heard a few gasps. Steeling herself, she straightened her back and set her jaw defensively.

Mrs. Costello’s response set the tone for the rest of the night. Without a hint of insincerity, the heavyset woman, looking at Misty said “Oh my. Aren’t you a vision?” Extending her hand, she went on, “You must be Misty Campbell.”

Misty took her hand. “Yes ma’am, I am.”

“Don’t tell her I told you so, but my Serena simply idolizes you.” Mrs. Castello gave her a quick head-to-toe look over before she added, “And I can see why. You are simply stunning.”

Serena was one of the juniors who had moved up to the Advanced Publications class in September and thus joined the newspaper staff. Serena was an exceptional student, an excellent writer, and showed a natural talent for photography. She knew Mr. Truman and Mrs. Maybree had their eye on her as possibly being one of the student editors next year. Misty had found her very friendly but she had no idea the girl looked up to her. All she could think to say to Mrs. Costello was, “Thank you. I just hope I’m up to Serena's expectations.”

“Oh, I have no doubt you are.”

After that came a cascade of compliments from the girls in the foyer about Misty’s appearance. That response was totally unexpected, but it buoyed Misty’s mood. And, also unexpected, Tommy seemed to eat up the compliments as if they were directed at him. There was no question in her mind that he had been apprehensive about the response he would receive when people saw they were presenting themselves as a couple. They both knew in advance that by doing so, it would be big news on social media that night; news that would forever change how people saw Tommy. Misty decided this was much more of a sacrifice for him than it was for herself. She was, after all, the girl who had naked pictures all over the internet and led a free sex group on campus. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to her very grown-up look tonight appeared to dispel Tommy’s unease entirely. Within an hour, she could tell he was proud as a peacock that she was with him.

Once he got over his initial unease of being the subject of talk, Tommy relaxed and they had a nice evening. The Costello home was very spacious, their group including the dates, did not begin to crowd the space. Misty and Tommy were never without a gaggle of people around them. Perhaps she’d just missed it before, but it was now clear to Misty that Serena was not the only girl on staff who seemed to put her up on a pedestal.

Repeatedly she checked her appearance in mirrors. Every time she found she saw a shadow of the top of her areolas; yet, it was never more than a shadow, a hint of darkness. Nobody ever said anything about it, and she concluded she was projecting her feelings, not reality. Or, she reasoned, everyone at the party was so focused on the expanse of cleavage that she openly showed that nobody looked for more. She was beyond a doubt, the best-dressed person at the party. No one was even close. Five different times she told the story of her outfit … well a slightly sanitized version of it, to groups gathered around. She even told the story to Mrs. Costello when she’d asked about the dress. With her, Misty emphasized, “Today Mom couldn’t get into this dress if her life depended on it.”

Mrs. Costello just laughed and said, “Ah, life and children do that to us women, no matter how slim and sexy we were at your age.”

In Sparta, Mrs. Costello’s comment would be seen as a bit off-color. Was she sending Misty a signal of acceptance? Or was she reading too much into everything?

Mrs. Costello’s final remark though seemed to suggest she was indeed sending a signal. “Perhaps that dress will bring you the same good luck tonight that it brought your mother.” She made an obvious glance over at Tommy, who was talking to some guys on the other side of the room, before giving Misty a wink.

“Oh yes,” Misty thought, “She most definitely is giving me a signal. Perhaps I should get to know Serena better.”

Five or six times over the night, a guy (always a date) made a suggestive comment about Misty’s appearance or tried to get her to talk about her photos on the web. Had she not been Tommy’s date, she would have engaged all of them. Sometimes Misty fancied herself as a modern incarnation of Marlene Dietrich and gave guys back as good as she got. But, she was with Tommy tonight. All but once she was able to deflect the comments even before Tommy heard them. The one time when Tommy did hear, she felt obligated to shut the guy down, forcefully.

Misty was surprised how used she’d become to seeing people pointing their cellphone cameras her way, or asking to take selfies with her. After all, after experiencing such attention while wearing only a thong on the beach, posing with people in her mother’s dress was nothing. When the party was winding down, Tommy suggested “I doubt there is a single person who will leave tonight without getting a selfie with you.” She laughed, then pulled her own cell phone from her clutch and said, “Well I can’t be the exception, can I?” She collared one of her photographers to take a couple of photos of her and Tommy.

The party officially broke up at 11:30 and Tommy drove her home. That drive ended much better than how they had arrived.

The kiss at her front door was passionate and prolonged. For the first time, their tongues danced. She pulled him close and could feel the erection in his slacks pressing on her abdomen. Their kissing continued and continued. She could feel his hips rocking into her. Misty was so ready to go in and make love. After some time, she realized he wasn’t going to ask, so she moved her lips to his ear and said “Do you want to go in?’ then kissed him on the neck before saying “I have condoms in my room.”

She could feel his indecision. She then whispered, “I know it may be a shock to you, but I’m not a virgin.”

That broke the tension. He began to laugh. “Really? I’m so appalled. How could you have deceived me like that?”

She took his jovial answer to be a yes. She opened the door and led him inside.

The house was quiet. Her parents were still at the Christmas Party at Magnolia LaCroix’s house. Bonnie had actually been invited as a representative of the FFF because Maggie wanted her to meet the movers and shakers she was trying to recruit to her new cause in a more public fashion than the planned Soirees. After exchanging some text messages with both Slosh and Maggie, Bonnie had decided to wear the red dress that she’d worn to the Art Show Opening in New York City. It was very, very racy for Hancock County, but they both thought it would send the message they wanted to make at this party.

With her brother spending the night at the Marshals, the house was empty when Misty and Tommy headed up the stairs. She felt her heart racing as they walked down the dark hallway. Once in her room, she shut the door (for his comfort). He looked lost and unsure of what to do next. She helped out by initiating the kissing again.

This time, before long his hand wandered down the back of her dress and cupped the globes of her ass through the supple fabric. After around five minutes she broke the kiss, stepped back, and imitated what she’d seen in dozens of movies: she reached behind her back to unzip her dress. It fell silently to the floor at her feet. She felt oh so very sexy. Slowly she reached behind her back and unhooked the bra, then let it fall into her hands and onto the floor. Without taking her eyes off of Tommy, she pushed the last tiny bit of fabric from her hips. She let the little lace thong fall to the ground. She felt sure what she was doing was a living fantasy for Tommy (at least she hoped so). She stepped out of her thong into his embrace.

Misty felt her skin tingle with anticipation. Though she’d had sex with a guy over fifty times in the past nine months, this was clearly different. In a word, this would be special, not just fucking but making love. She wrapped her arms around Tommy and pressed her lips to his. She deliberately slowed the pace. Her kisses started soft, and then with a controlled restraint born of her experience, she let the passion grow.

His hands once again moved to her ass, but now it was bare for him to caress. Continuing to forcefully pace herself, she waited some time before ending the kiss and leaned into his right arm for support before rolling her head back and arching her back. The message was clear as her breasts lifted up as an offering to him. She enjoyed how he just stared at her soft mounds tipped with dark pink. His left hand reached up to cradle her right breast. His fingers slowly moved over the soft flesh making slight indentations as they moved. She couldn’t help but wonder how much of this was new to him. He had told her some time ago that he’d had sex with his last girlfriend, but only a handful of times. From what he said, she strongly suspected that those times had been clumsy affairs in his car. Yes, she was sure this was all new to him. It seemed to take him forever to lean down to take the offered nipple between his lips. She let out her breath to reward his efforts… and to encourage him.

While it seemed to take him an impossibly long time to get around to suckling both of her nipples, she was sure it was because he was lost in this first-time experience. But, as the master of ceremonies, she knew it was time to move on. She slipped out of his grasp and down to her knees. She pressed her face to the fly of his dress slacks. The firm tube inside pressed on her cheek. She stroked the ridge with her palm before using both hands to undo the buckle and then the button.

For a young woman committed to sexual openness the sudden thought that she must outdo any previous girl he had been with in any way was unwelcome. But there it was. She now felt as if she were in competition to be the best: to be the most amazing lover he has had or will ever have. In her mind, she was a spectator and was directing herself to act in a way that was as sensual as possible. However, competing with that third-person viewpoint was her feeling of love and need to become one with Tommy. As she both unzipped his pants and watched herself unzipping his pants, she melded the two perspectives into a single performance; for him and for herself.

Misty took the sides of his slacks and slowly pulled them down to his thighs. The erection pressed up and out in his checked boxers. Still holding his pants, she leaned in and kissed the taught fabric. Her tongue had no problem finding the opening and slipped in through the fly. It touched the bare flesh and she felt him jump. She let her tongue snake its way up and down as far as it could reach. When it ran over the coronal ridge, she felt a quiver in his hips. She was pleased.

Only when she was sure she had brought him to the perfect state of desire, Misty pulled the waistband out and over the erection. It was beautiful. It was perfect. Somewhere in her mind she knew, it was just an average dick, but to her it was perfect. She looked at it with loving and longing. She let her fingers explore it from the pink head down to the bottom of the soft sack. With reverence, she kissed the tip before opening her lips to receive the sacrament. She just held it in her mouth. Her lips wrapped around the base of the head, her tongue scooping the teardrop of gold oozing from the tip. She was completely wrapped in the moment: the taste, smell, texture, and shape of Tommy’s penis in her mouth all brought her fulfillment and joy.

One hand cradled his twin balls, and her experience came into play while, as she was only trying to relish in the moment, she felt his balls pull upward and knew what was coming. When the semen started to stream into her mouth, she was ready and drew out all she could. She did not lose a drop as she swallowed.

She held him in her mouth until well after the last spasm had been spent and the last drop expelled. Careful not to give too much stimulation she exerted a slight draw on the deflating penis. As she had hoped, she prevented complete decompression of the organ and sucked gently till it had made good progress toward rejuvenation. When she stood to kiss him, she left him nearly hard enough to put on a condom.

And kiss him she did. He tried to apologize for his lack of control. She would have none of it. She knew he had plenty more for her tonight. She did not ask if he wanted her to kiss him after ejaculating into her mouth. She just kissed him hard and deep. She kissed him with a soulful kiss that drew essence from his mouth as she had drawn it from his loins moments before.

When she felt his completely firm penis pressing on her lower stomach, she led him to the bed, guiding him to step out of his pants and boxers as they went. She helped him off with his shirt but left his socks on to make sure he felt all the more naked.

He was completely passive, waiting for her direction; trusting in her care. Misty laid Tommy back onto her bed and sat next to him. Looking down at his body she purred “You are so beautiful,” as her hands began to rub his chest. He was almost hairless and slim without looking gangly. His arms and legs were well defined and as her hands explored them, she found his thighs firm to the touch. Though she had already become familiar with his penis, she again explored it with her hands before kissing him and telling him “Wait here.”

She crossed the room and took a condom from her desk drawer. Opening it, and with the skill born of much practice, she rolled it down Tommy’s shaft. "Are you ready now?” she asked.

He only nodded.

Misty had left on her heels and her great-grandmother’s pearl choker necklace. As far as she could recall, she’d never done this with her shoes on before, but the shoes and necklace made her feel oh so sexy and beautiful. She moved from the foot of the bed, rose up and over Tommy’s body until her sex was directly over his. Reaching behind her, she lifted his penis and guided it toward her opening. A small shutter spread from her labia outward as the head touched her lips and began to part them.

She knew she had been on longer and thicker penises but this one was Tommy’s. She had wanted to feel him inside her for so very long; since even before she had become sexually active. She once had wanted him to be her first, but now she was so glad he was not because her experience was guiding this perfect ballet. She eased down, focusing on the sensation, trying to catch this moment in her mind and never let it go. When she had come to rest on his pelvis, fully penetrated, she looked down into his eyes.

“I love you” came the words with such meaning and passion that she could not imagine ever meaning it more for the rest of her life. She knew she routinely told Sarah and Caitlin that she loved them, and over a month ago she’d first told Tommy that she loved him too. This was different. For the first time in her life, she felt completely filled; body and soul. The words of Ms. Jackson telling of her first time with Haley’s father on the blanket in the glade came to her. Now Misty understood what was meant when she said she was filled with love. She knew this was the magic of lovemaking. She thought she’d felt it before, but this was truly new. Two people becoming one flesh. How could it be better she wondered.

Savoring every new sensation, she rocked forward and kissed Tommy. Holding the kiss, she began ever so slowly grinding her hips. It took some time, but something deep inside her began to build. It did not come from the electric sensations radiating from the roof of her vagina; rather, from deeper inside. The feeling of fullness of spirit magnified the sensations derived simply by being on him by a thousand times. Very, very slowly something welled up inside her like a flood of emotion and sensual pleasure. It was surely unlike anything she had ever experienced. She was aware that the first wave of a new sort of orgasm was originating deep in her, not in her body but inside her very soul; and it radiated out with unanticipated intensity. When it peaked and exploded, her torso jerked, almost in convulsions, until her legs gave out from under her. She could not control her body, it just continued to spasm. She could feel her inner muscles gripping Tommy's penis so very tight with each passing wave. Finally, after forever, she just lay on Tommy’s chest and heaved and shook. By the time it finally stopped, she was gasping for breath and could feel the beads of sweat dripping from her forehead.

After several minutes of her just laying on him panting with a racing heart, Tommy whispered, “Are you OK?”

She tried to speak but could not, so she nodded her head. When she finally regained use of her limbs, she rolled off of him, and between breaths said “Give me a little longer. That was unbelievably intense.”

As her breath came back to her, she knew the special moment was spent, that moment of spiritual unity had exploded in that near-death-like climax. In its place was left a desperate desire to fuck. The lovemaking was done for now, it was now time for him to rut her like a stag on a doe in heat. She had to please a burning sexual desire that seemed at that moment to be of infinite depth.

Tommy for his part had remained dutifully on his back, penis erect, for how long, Misty could not tell. She said in an unusually deep voice, “Now I’m going to fuck you till dawn, I hope you’re ready.”

Her legs and arms were exhausted but her sexual drive gave them the will to lift her to all fours and remount Tommy. His penis easily slipped back in and she began to ride him until her legs simply would not go further. Whereupon she rolled off and said “Your turn to work for a while”

Missionary, doggy, butterfly, spoons; Misty guided Tommy to do them all. Then they took some time to rest then did it all again. Tommy couldn’t go on forever and finally gave it up a second time and lay next to her sweat covered, peeling off the full condom.

It was now almost 2:00 AM, but she wanted more, but she knew they both needed a rest. Out of fear that Tommy was about to decide they were done and that he must go home, she suggested, “Let’s go get a bite to eat downstairs.”

She could tell he was taken off guard, but pressed on. Reaching to her laundry hamper she tossed him a towel. “Put that around you. Come on”, she grabbed herself a short terrycloth robe and moved toward the door.

In the kitchen, they grabbed a couple of soft drinks and a bag of Doritos before she joined him sitting in the bar chairs at the kitchen island.

“That was the most amazing experience” she finally said.

He looked at her with a sense of wonder “I’ve never done anything like that. All of it was completely new to me.” He downed a chip before asking. “Do you always cum like that, like you did the first time?”

“No, I never have. That was a first.” She turned her head to send him an air kiss. “It was wonderful." She picked up a chip, "The other ones were normal, not bad, actually really good, but they were what I’m used to. That first time was…..well I’m not sure what it was. But I thought I was going to die.”

He looked at her puzzled, “Was it bad?”

She turned the seat of her chair toward him and kissed him. “No. It was indescribably amazing. Calling it an orgasm is an understatement. I don’t know if it was a once-in-a-lifetime freak thing, or is that what true love means, but it was….. well…. amazing.”

A look of self-importance crossed his face.

“Don’t get a big head; it wasn’t your sexual skill that got me that first time.”

He made a frown.

“It was my love for you. That is what made it happen like that,” she said blowing another kiss.

“And the others?” he asked. “How many orgasms did you have exactly?”

“I didn't count. Five, six, eight… some of them were in bunches, coming so fast they kinda blended together.

“Wow!” he clearly was impressed. Misty wasn’t sure if he was impressed with himself or with her. “What caused you to have so many?” he followed up, clearly looking for a complement.

“I love sex, and I've learned what gets me off.”

“Is that the only reason you came so many times?”

“Well?” she pretended to ponder “I guess it didn’t hurt that you are so cute.”

The sound of the front door closing and footsteps coming toward the kitchen interrupted their conversation. Both Misty and Tommy turned as her parents strolled in. They had not heard them pull into the driveway. Out of instinct, Tommy slid out of the chair to his feet to greet his date’s… his girlfriend’s parents. The towel wrapped around his waist began to fall, but he caught it in time. Only then did he seem to recall he was next to naked and conclude that her parents must know he’d been having sex with their daughter. Tommy’s reaction of embarrassment, however, was cut short when the signal from his eyes told his brain what Misty’s mother was wearing. The kitchen was well-lit so the gossamer red dress was more than slightly see-through, and as always, she wore nothing at all under it. His eyes bugged out and he was stupefied.

Misty knew her parents must have seen Tommy’s car out front so they already knew her hopes had been rewarded. They both knew how much their girl had been looking forward to this long-anticipated first date. It seemed like it was all she’d talked about for days. They also could not help but notice the boy was clad only in a towel, which only confirmed what they had assumed. It was her mother who spoke first, “So, may I assume you are just taking a break?”

It was as if her words dispelled the catatonia that had gripped Tommy when first they arrived unexpectedly and he saw Misty’s mother in that dress. In place of the stultification rapidly came embarrassment. He climbed back onto the bar chair taking care to keep his legs together. Misty thought he looked as if he wanted to disappear.

Taking the attention off of Tommy, Misty’s mother asked her daughter, “When did you get home?”

“A little after midnight.”

Mrs. C. looked at the clock on the wall which now read 2:20. “More than two hours? Hmm?”

Tommy turned a deep crimson.

Misty gave her mother a glare. There was no reason for her to embarrass Tommy like that. He wasn’t one of the Euro-Club guys. Her mom must have gotten the hint and asked her, “So how was the party?”

Misty swallowed the chip in her mouth before answering in a way to get back at her mother, “I assume you mean the publications party, not the one we’ve been having upstairs.” She paused to give her little comment punch, then answered the question, “I think Tommy and I just coming as a couple was the highlight of the night for most people.”

Her mother chuckled, “Was it that dull? I’m sorry.”

“No, not really, it was about what you’d expect for that kind of party I guess.” She took a sip of her Coke and went on, “But, I didn’t expect it to be much, but we’re the editors so we were expected to be there.”

Her mother nodded in understanding. “Not like a Euro-Club event.”

“Not hardly” she scoffed.

Finally, her father, wearing his tux, stepped into the breach, “May I assume this is the Tommy you’ve been talking about for the last year,” her dad asked.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Misty answered, “Yes this is Tommy Francis, he’s met Mom but I forgot you didn’t meet him earlier.”

“Well hello, Tommy. I’ve heard a lot about you.” Cooper offered his hand.

Tommy jumped back off his chair. Holding the towel with one hand he took Cooper’s with the other. “Glad to meet you sir” he managed.

“My girl thinks a lot of you, so you must be OK. Come over again anytime,” Cooper said before turning to leave.

Misty’s mother had the last word, “If you guys aren’t up when I leave in the morning, I expect I’ll be home by about eleven. I am meeting Slosh, Trish, and DeeDee for breakfast at Waffle House. Slosh doesn’t expect that your brother and Sarah will be downstairs before noon.”

“OK Mom, but I don’t know if Tommy will be staying the night.”

“Either way is fine.” She looked right at Tommy “But, I want you to know both Misty's father and I are more than happy for you to spend the night.” She started to leave and then turned back, “Misty, if you were too much in a hurry to give him a house tour, perhaps you should do so before you go back upstairs. You know how much that helps visitors understand us.” Before Misty could respond, she was gone.

Misty looked over to Tommy who had eased back into his chair again. He was now a sickly pale color. She reached over and took his hand “I told you my parents are supportive and treat me like an adult.”

“I know what you said, but to have them walk in on us…” he looked at their scanty coverings “… like this. They knew what we’ve been doing.”

“Of course they did. And they are happy for me. They know how much I’d hoped you would come in tonight and make love to me.”

He shook his head in disbelief. “If my father caught a guy with my sister like this,” again motioning to what they were wearing, “he’d be dead before he could reach the door.”

“And you still think your parent’s values are better?” Misty said before she could think better of it.

He shot back by countering, “And after what happened between us in your room? The special once-in-a-lifetime love you said that you felt? Do you think faithfulness is still outdated?”.

Though she had indeed already considered his point she was not about to admit it. “No,” she said flatly. “What happened upstairs really was very special, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime special. But do you think it would have happened that way if I’d never had sex before? Our time in my bed was amazing in large part because I am so very sexually experienced, not in spite of it.” She didn’t want to start an argument; she wanted to get back to the business of making love. She got up to put away the half-empty Dorito bag. In doing so she made sure the tie on her robe came loose so as to let the robe fall open.

She tossed the empty Coke cans. Tommy slipped off his seat once more. Putting her arms around him, she pulled him tight against her bare chest. “I know we are in love and that I want to go back upstairs and I want you to make love to me again and again. I think that is all that matters tonight.”

They began to kiss. She felt for the towel at his waist. She pulled hard and said “or we can start right here.”

He tried to catch the towel but it fell to the ground.

They indeed did start there. Before he could say no, Misty shed her robe and went down to her knees. She took his completely flaccid penis into her mouth right in the middle of the well-lit kitchen. She had to wipe away that moment of conflict. She could not let that creep into this moment. Using her mouth and her hands, she expressed the longing she’d felt to be with him during all those months.

It took less than two minutes for her efforts to be rewarded. Not only did the soft shaft begin to fill her mouth, but she felt Tommy’s hands in her hair and heard a sigh. She continued well beyond when he was fully erect. She had to be sure he would follow her no matter what she did next.

Rising she took his hand, leaving his towel and her robe where they lay. Only for the briefest time it took to glance at his towel laying on the floor did Tommy seem to hesitate before following like a lamb.

It took only six steps to enter the living room. Misty hoped her parents had anticipated what she needed from them. They had. Her parents had done something they almost never do, they’d shut their bedroom door. With the bedroom lights out, the glass panes were totally black. Leading him to the leather sofa, Misty lay down and pulled her knees up to her chest to invite him to enter. Without hesitation, Tommy followed her lead and on the narrow confines of the sofa, guided his erection into her. She purposefully let out a moan as she felt his thick pubic hair press on her smooth labia as he pressed his organ as deep as it would go.

With his inexperience in mind, she very quietly said, “Use your body weight to push down and roll on me. You don’t need to thrust.” He followed her directions and once he’d showed he understood, she used her hand to pull his face down to hers.

She knew it was a violation of the house rules to forgo a condom, but she didn’t want to break the moment. Feeling his bare penis in her made the night all that more special. She was making an adult decision, measuring her own risk. With her IUD she had no pregnancy fears, and since Tommy had very limited sexual experience the tiny risk was well worth the reward. The feeling of deep penetration combined with the tenderness of Tommy’s kiss was the payoff she’d hoped for. She made her decision and was sure her mother would support her on this. The moans and sighs that followed were not a performance.

Though he was doing exactly what she’d wanted and the feeling of intimacy was exactly what she’d hoped for, she did not want to risk the spell wearing off and Tommy growing fearful of doing this in the living room. So, sooner than she would have liked (but not too soon), she told him “We should go to the other room.” Only when they had gotten up off the sofa, and he realized they were right in front of her parent's bedroom door did he seem to understand what they’d been doing. He looked at her, at the door, and at the sofa. In rapid succession, his face showed bewilderment, panic and finally a snarky smile.

Misty was sure Tommy couldn’t believe what he’d been doing, yet he saw that under her influence, he was pushing back on his own family’s programming. She was sure he felt as if he’d struck a blow for his own freedom. Though she’d not fully formed what to do next when they’d stood up, it was his reaction that led her to take him by the hand into the study, flipping on the light as she led him to the office chair. Grinning, she said “My mother suggested I give you a tour of the house. This is the first stop.”

It was only after she’d mounted him in the chair and they’d kissed for several minutes did she give him a chance to process what was all around him; large nude pictures of his girlfriend’s mother. She had no doubt he, like every other guy at Jeff Davis, had seen her mother's nude beach photos; but she knew this would be quite different than seeing little pics on the screen of a cell phone. Even as she continued to grind on him, she used her tiptoes to slowly push the office chair’s seat in a circle, briefly telling him about each of the photos on the walls. She had absolutely no doubt that this entire process was quite disorienting to Tommy; but her mother had been right, a tour of the house would help him understand her and her family. Once she was done with the survey of her mother’s pictures explaining the background and circumstance of each and every photo, she asked “So, does this help you understand where I’m coming from?”

He stammered, “Yea, it does.” He seemed to be trying to think of a better answer, which was likely difficult to do since Misty was steadily moving his cock in her. She wasn’t in a hurry, so she waited. It took a good deal longer than Misty had expected, but finally, he slowly said, “Your mother… she… she is like Eve before the fall. The Bible says Adam and Eve were both naked, and they felt no shame.” She could tell he wanted to say more, so she just waited. Slowly as if he were stringing the words together as he spoke, he continued, “The shame of being naked comes from our separation from God, not from our bodies that God gave us. Someone who walks in harmony with God does not feel compelled to cover their body with clothes. Looking around this room shows me that your mother just does not feel any shame at all about her body being seen by everyone who comes to your house.” He took a deep breath of relief. “You’ve been trying to tell me that ever since the nude photos of you and your mother came out, but I just didn’t want to hear.” He made a point to look over to the two photos on the back wall of her mother when she was in her early twenties. “Being here, with you, like this, I see it now. Your mom is Eve… and so are you.”

That was not at all what she’d expected to hear. She’d come to think of his version of Christianity as totally brain-dead, yet he had evidently been thinking about this a lot before tonight. On his own, he had seen something that she’d not. Though he seemed to think she’d told him that before, she’d never used the story of Eve in that way. She’d never even heard her parents make that observation before. And, even more important he was right. Her mother, she and her mother both, went naked and unashamed in front of God and people. She did not try to hide how pleased she was with his comment. “Yes, I think she is like Eve.”

Misty was so happy with his words she couldn’t help but begin a new round of kissing him as she continued to move on his lap. They soon became lost in their sensual pleasure. It took some time, she did not have any idea how long, before she made herself dismount Tommy so as to lead him to the game room. Once there, she walked him around the room telling him the story of each of the photos on the walls. As she did, she sensed there had been a change in his attitude about the nudity. Perhaps he was just becoming acclimatized, she’d seen that before; but she hoped it was his comment about Eve. Perhaps, just perhaps he’d had an epiphany and now he really did understand that those who are one with God’s love have no reason to feel shame about their bodies. She so wanted to believe he had.

Unlike in the study, Tommy asked questions about the pictures in the game room. He even let her know that he really liked the photo of her, Heather, and Nell floating on the rafts. When she offered to get him a copy of the file he initially declined, but changed his mind and said “Yes, I would like that.” That pleased her very much.

Once they’d discussed the last photo, the one taken the past summer on the snorkeling catamaran, she sat him down in front of one of the overstuffed chairs that sat in front of the Christmas tree, and slid into his lap. Unlike what she’d done in the study, she did not initiate sex, rather she simply cuddled up in his lap with her head on his shoulder. Once again, she was sure he’d been momentarily confused by her actions, but this time he quickly seemed to understand what she wanted and he moved to cradle her body in his arms.

She whispered, “I love you, Tommy Francis.”

“I love you, Misty Campbell,” Tommy just as quietly replied, and neither of them said anything for a good while. She could not help but wonder what was going through his mind as they sat, naked, cuddled in that chair. He gave no clue. He made no sign he was the least bit uncomfortable as he gently ran his hand over her back and hip. Some minutes later though, in just above a whisper, he said, “Your mother was right.”

When he didn’t say more Misty fished, “She likes to be right, but what about?”

“After seeing your home… and after meeting your parents, I understand you and your family better. I think it will take me a few days to process it, but there is a lack of… of… I’m not sure what it is but my home just reeks of putting on a pretense of holiness even while it is full of bitterness and resentment. I just don’t feel that here. Perhaps, if we can work out a way, I really would like to come back and just hang out before Christmas, and get to know you better in your natural environment as it were.”

Misty gave a little laugh, “But, this is my natural environment. Sitting here, in your arms at home with nothing between me and the person I love. This is home, this is the real me.”

Apparently, her words struck a chord with Tommy because he just pulled her tighter and didn’t say anything. She didn’t know how long they sat there; it was quite a while though. Later she thought they might have fallen asleep because that seemed to be the only way to account for the time. She only remembered that she closed her eyes, savoring what she already knew would be one of the great events of her life; the next thing she recalled was she’d become chilled as if she’d been there for quite some time. She opened her eyes. She was still in Tommy’s arms. “Tommy,” she whispered.

“Yes,” was his reply.

“I’m getting cold, could we go back upstairs?”

On her way to her room, she opted to skip showing Tommy the playroom fearing it might put him off and spoil the moment, so, she led him right to her bed. For the first time that night, it was Tommy, not her, who initiated the lovemaking. It was so sweet, such an expression of everything she felt, all that had been growing and welling up in her over the past months. Best of all, she felt that Tommy was pouring his heart into their sexual union in a way he had not earlier. He seemed as desirous to show her his love as she was to receive it. Nothing could have been a better finale to their night.

As much as she wanted to have him beside her when the sun came up, she was not at all surprised when, after they had completed their final love-making session and lay for a time in the warm afterglow; Tommy told her that he could not stay. “If I’d known how this night would play out, I would have made some sort of plan, like telling my parents I was going to stay with some guys from the staff. You don’t know how much I want to stay. If I could, I’d stay all day tomorrow too. But if I wait till morning to leave… well later in the morning… the fallout would be very bad and we’d never get this chance again.”

Misty took that as a cue to reach for her cell phone sitting on the end table. When she showed Tommy, it now read 4:52, he blanched.

“OH GOD!” he said and suddenly jumped out of the bed and began to pull on his clothes. “If one of my parents is up before I get home it’s all over.”

Even as the abruptness of this ending hurt, Misty understood. He was right, If he got caught, they wouldn’t be able to do this again.

In under a minute, he was dressed, and she was sitting on the side of her bed, still nude. He stopped, took a breath, and leaned over to kiss her one last time. “I love you, Misty. If you will have me, I want to be your boyfriend, with no stipulations. I love you for who you are and I won’t try to change you. I will try to change myself.”

She was saying “I love you too, Tommy,” even as he was heading out the door, literally at a run. Then she added to the empty room, “And I truly hope you mean that.”

While Misty’s night fulfilled all her hopes and more, Lamar’s night was full of surprises and did not at all progress the way he’d expected. It wasn’t bad, but it was not what he’d imagined it would be.

His first surprise of the night came while his parents drove him to the Marshals on their way to the Christmas party they were attending that night. As they drove, his mother turned in her seat to look at him. “I’ve been talking to Slosh, DeeDee, and Trish. As a group, we have decided to add a caveat to one of the house rules we all share. Because you, Sarah, Bailey, and Byron have shown us that you can be trusted to behave in a responsible manner regarding safer sex protocols, and because Sarah and Bailey have had their IUD’s long enough to be sure they are working as they should; as of tonight, condoms will not be required among the four of you.”

To him, this change was totally out of the blue. What she was saying was taking him time to process.

His mother must have seen his confusion and backed up. “At this point, the girls have stopped ovulating. Not all girls with an IUD do that, but it is a sure sign they can’t get pregnant. As long as the four of you continue to use condoms every time you have sex with anyone outside of your quad, you are also generally safe from sexually transmitted infections. So, since you’ve shown you can be trusted to control your sexual behavior, we have decided that among yourselves you need not use condoms. The other mothers are telling the rest of your quad of this adjustment to the rule as well. Sarah will know by the time you arrive.”

Lamar didn’t know what to say. After all, he’d never actually used a condom before. Well, Allen had used one doing him last week, but Lamar had only put one on twice… to practice. All he could think to say was “I’m glad we have earned your trust. Thanks.”

Just a few minutes later Lamar rang the Marshal’s doorbell. When Sarah opened the door, Lamar had to hide his surprise. He knew she’d be wearing one of the outfits that she’d bought on Tuesday, but… he’d not expected what he saw. It was sort of like an old West saloon girl would wear… except it didn’t cover her boobs at all. Instead, she just had what looked like cones glued (taped?) over her nipples.

He was sure that he must have done a good job of covering his surprise because she just dragged him into the house and excitedly asked, “Did your mom tell you?”

“About the change in the condom rule?”

“Yes! I had no idea they were even thinking about that. That means we don’t have to mess with them this weekend.”

He just nodded. He was still trying to figure out what to say about her crazy outfit, but she evidently didn’t think he was sufficiently enthused about the news. “I know,” she went on excitedly, “since you haven’t been having to use them every time, you don’t know what a hassle it can be, especially like if we want to have sex out at the hot tub. But, trust me this is a big deal for us.”

Before he could respond, Mr. & Mrs. Marshal appeared as they approached the door. They were heading out since they were riding with Lamar’s parents to the party. Ms. Slosh gave Sarah a hug and said, “Remember, if you have an emergency, Bonnie and I will be leaving our phones in the car since we don’t want to have to mess with a handbag and our dresses don’t exactly have pockets. So, if you need us, call your dad’s phone.”

When they were out the door, Sarah turned to Lamar and first gave him a kiss, then stepped back and said, “And Lamar Campbell, don’t think I missed that look you gave me when you saw my outfit.”

Having had time to craft an answer that would deflect the real question, Lamar said, “What? I think it is super cool. My sister said the photos she took came out great. But she wouldn’t let me see them so as not to ruin the surprise.”

When she responded, Sarah’s tone made it clear his answer had not sidestepped the issue. “Your face did not say you thought it is super cool. It said something else.”

He was trapped. He knew full well there was no good way out. He couldn’t just say he didn’t like it. But if he lied it would cause him even more trouble. Slowly he said, “It really is cool… but…”

“But what?”

“It’s just not you,” he blurted out. “You are like a tree-hugging nudist, you normally don’t even wear makeup, and wearing that is like you are trying to pretend you are someone you are not.”

She closed the distance between them and gave him a hug. Now he was bewildered.

“I knew you would see. Mom doesn’t get it, even Bailey doesn’t understand. On Tuesday, I tried to tell everyone that I don’t need lingerie for tonight. You know, even if they don’t, that I feel most comfortable when I’m naked. But my mom and your mom both were so sure that once I tried things on, I’d see that I did. And when they saw Bailey and I were having fun shopping and trying things on they were sure I had come around.”

Lamar saw what was going on. “But you didn’t did you? You don’t like this outfit either.”

She held onto his hands and said, “It’s not that I don’t like the individual pieces, but other than this one time, you’ll never see me wear it like this again.”

“Then why did you buy it?” Lamar asked.

“Two reasons, first for the photo shoot. For that I meant to play a role, to pretend I’m someone I’m not.” She pulled the pasties from her nipples, walked over to the waste basket, and dropped them in. “Those were just for the photoshoot since I can’t do topless pictures. I’ll never use them again. But the corset is really nice and it will look great over a shirt with jeans. So I will wear it, just not as lingerie. The other outfit is just a pretty bra & panty set that I will certainly wear like any other. Tomorrow evening, I plan to wear it with the matching garter, stockings, and kimono as loungewear. It really is very pretty, and I think you will like it.” She turned, holding onto one of his hands, “Now, let’s go to my room so you can help me out of this thing, and then get busy.”

It was surprisingly hard to get her out of the brocade corset. It wasn’t a costume piece; it had spring steel boning and sixteen pairs of eyelets for the back laces. He tangled up the long strings twice trying to get them undone. But, once she was out of the corset, stockings, shoes, and panties, they went right to what they had worked out on the phone the night before.

After she’d told him about her photo shoot yesterday evening, Sarah ran by him her idea of what she thought they could do tomorrow night, “As soon as my parents have gone to their party, let’s go right up to my room and just fuck our brains out. We shouldn’t even try to make love that first time, instead, we should just try it all out. That way we can do a bunch of different things to see what works for us and what doesn’t. We’ll have two nights and two days to do nothing but put those positions that we find work for us into our lovemaking.”

It sounded like a sensible idea to him. So, once they were both naked that was exactly what they did. They didn’t stay in any position all that long, but kept moving from one thing to the next. She asked him to let her know when he was getting close to cumming so they could move from what they were doing to the next thing. While it sounded easy, it took a lot of willpower to actually do it. But he did. For Lamar, while he enjoyed it very much, the experience was strange and a little disconcerting. For the prior five months, he had been learning to read Sarah’s body to know what she was feeling and what he needed to do to please her. Yet, this “new process” of focusing on moving his dick in and out seemed to obliterate his ability to do what he’d worked so long to learn. Still, it seemed to be what she wanted him to do, and well… he was fucking Sarah. How could he not like that? It felt amazing. And beyond how good it felt, he loved watching his dick, not someone else’s, going into the girl he loved. He was finally a full participant.

They’d been at it for what he thought had been a good while, and they’d done all the things she’d told him that she wanted to do. He was actually surprised when he realized that he was getting tired. Evidently sensing he was slowing his pace, she asked, “Is there anything you’d like to go back to before we finish up for now?”

“I really liked doggy. Looking at your ass while my dick goes into you was super-hot. Could we do that again?”

She laughed and said, “Of course. I liked doing that too. It might have been my favorite part.”

Unlike what they’d been doing up to that point she encouraged him to “keep going,” and “Don’t hold back. I want to feel you cum in me.”

When she said that, what else could he do? His orgasm was terrific, gripping her hips as he felt his jizz shoot into her. It was indescribably wonderful.

A few minutes later, after they had caught their breath, they lay face to face on one pillow. “Well?” She asked. “What do you think?”

He considered her question. He thought a lot of things. One was that he understood now what his mother had told them back in September. She said that it is tempting for young couples who can screw for hours on end to simply not look for anything beyond that intense pleasure. If they do that they might never get to real lovemaking. He knew, as a couple, they had already moved way beyond just fucking. No matter how great that just felt, he wanted to add those new things to what they already had. But, as he thought, he was pretty sure that had been Sarah’s idea when she’d made the suggestion of what they should do for their first time. Rather than saying all the things he was thinking, he just answered, “I think we are going to have a wonderful weekend.”

His answer was rewarded with a soft kiss and “Yes, I think we will.”

They lay snuggled up enjoying their post-coital bliss for a good while before Sarah whispered, “In the front room, I’ve laid out pillows and a blanket beside the Christmas tree, and I asked my dad to set up the wood for a fire. Earlier, Mom and I made Christmas cookies for us. Now that we are done with our little experiment, are you ready to start our private Christmas party?”

The front room at the Marshal’s home was what, in other times, might have been called the drawing room or parlor. It was a comfortable room laid out for conversation where Mr. & Mrs. Marshal entertained guests and listen to music. It was also Sarah and Lamar’s favorite place to just sit, talk and snuggle (and sometimes make out).

When their hot chocolate was gone, as were half-a-dozen Santa Clause shaped cookies, Lamar and Sarah lay with both their heads on the pillow watching the flames dance in the fireplace. The room’s sound system had been playing Christmas music for nearly an hour, though not so loud as to dominate the room. It had been just right to set the mood. He lay behind her, his left arm under her neck, his right draped over her torso and his hand cupped her bowl-shaped breast perfectly. Though they were naked and he had an erection, they were not having sex. It had been at least ten minutes since either of them had said a word. This was their very favorite way to simply enjoy being with one another.

Over the fall, they had done the same thing on the sofa in this room many times, on the sofa in the Marshal’s living room, in Sarah’s bed, in Lamar’s bed, on the sofa in the Campbell’s living room, on the daybed by the swimming pool, and even on a blanket in the woods. Tonight, for the first time, they both knew before they were done they would shift their position enough for him to ease his erection into her. But not yet. Now they were both simply enjoying the moment, enjoying each other.

They first lay like this the very day that Lamar’s mother told the friends just edging toward romance, “Your skin is your largest sex organ. When bare skin touches bare skin, you make a connection. The more of your skin that touchs, the stronger the connection. I’m not talking about you two having sex, I’m saying that you do not need to have sex to feel the special intimacy of sharing yourself with each other.”

As he lay behind Sarah, feeling her slow breathing, Lamar actually thought of that day. He wondered how much of their transition from friends to lovers they owed to that little piece of advice. He wondered, “Had Mom known where her words would lead? Had she seen this coming? But how could she? I certainly didn’t.”

Sarah had been part of his life for as long as he could remember. As he lay there, he recalled a day with Sarah neither he nor his parents would ever forget. It had been early summer right after Sarah had finished kindergarten, but because of his later birthday, he had not started school yet. Even though they had both been five years old, to Lamar, since she’d been in school a year he thought of her as being much older than him. They had been playing in his backyard when she decided they should go to the creek she said was back in the woods. Though he knew his parents had a firm rule he was never to go out of sight of the house, he followed her.

They’d found the creek and had a great time playing in the water and trying to catch frogs and such. However, as they played, they had worked their way up the winding streambed, and when they headed home, they’d not gone in the right direction. After they’d been walking a long time, they found themselves back at a different part of the creek. Even when they were lost, Sarah had been confident of what to do. She’d told him that her parents had told her if she ever became lost to just sit down and wait for someone to find her. Which is what they did, though soon it became dark in the woods.

Lamar, holding Sarah in front of the fire actually smiled when he realized that day was the first time the two of them had ever held each other. They had done so as the sounds of the forest at night grew around them. Oddly, as he remembered it, he’d never been truly frightened because he knew Sarah would keep him safe. Well into the night they were found asleep by the creek by a deputy sheriff who had been one of the many people their parents had called on to search for the two missing children. Though he knew that it had been a truly terrifying experience for their parents, for him it was a sweet memory.

Over the years, Sarah had not been part of his life on a daily basis like Caitlin was in Misty’s, but their two families had been part of a close social circle tied together by both church and their father’s social standing in the community. It was just natural for the parents to send them out to entertain each other while they did boring adult stuff. Not every day or even every week, but they were thrown together often enough that playing together had been part of the background of his life when he was young. Though thinking back, he never really thought of her as his best friend or anything like that.

Around the time they were eight or nine years old, they began to spend less time together. The fact she was a school grade ahead of him became more important over the years. Additionally, her involvement with the Community Theater and his involvement with scouting created new social circles for them both. And perhaps most important that was when both Byron’s and Bailey’s families move to town. However, due to church and their parents, she was never out of his life. When two summers ago Sarah and her mother began spending more time at the Campbell’s swimming pool it had seemed a small change, but it had set the stage for the events of this past summer. Yet even a year ago, last Christmas, neither he nor Sarah would have even dreamed of the scene that played out in front of that fire.

Sarah twisted in his arms to face him. “I can hear you thinking. What about?”

Now nearly nose to nose, he answered, “About us. About how without either of us planning or looking for it, you and I have become us.”

She seemed to think, then nodded. “Oh, I’ve thought about that too. How did that squirrely little twerp become the most important person in my life?” She gave him a face and then seriously said, “But you are. I get up in the morning hoping for a text from you. I go to bed wishing you were with me… unless you really are.” She kissed him lightly. “Do you think your sister would be too hurt if we switched our arrangement at your house on Saturday nights, so that I’m with her first, then I sleep with you?”

He tried to process what she was saying. What did she mean he was the most important person in her life? Yet, she seemed to be telling him that the arrangement they had where he, Bailey, and his sister were equals was no longer. Yet was this truly a surprise? In the last month or so she’d been seeing less of Bailey as Bailey was spending more time with Byron. As far as Lamar knew, other than on Sunday afternoons, Sarah hadn’t slept with Bailey since Thanksgiving break. He’d attributed the change to the fact both Sarah and Bailey had their own cars, but was that it? And what would his sister say if Sarah said she wanted to spend Friday AND Saturday nights in his bed? He didn’t know.

Even though he didn’t answer, she went on, “Before you began sleeping over here on Friday nights, I started playing with you before getting into bed with Misty on Saturdays. Do you recall why I didn’t actually sleep with you? It was because our mothers were afraid if we slept in the same bed we couldn’t’ resist screwing. Of course, we proved them wrong. We have spent the night in my bed together six times. I have kept count. But of course, keeping us from screwing is sort of not an issue now.”

He laughed. “I guess it isn’t.”

Whether it had been her plan all along, or she’d just thought of doing so Lamar had no idea. But, quite naturally, she slid her body up on top of his before reaching between her legs to allow her to slide his dick in. They didn’t start banging, she didn’t sit up to grind. She just lay on top of him and grinned like the Cheshire cat. He supposed she was just reminding him that now she could.

She stayed like that for a good while as they continued to talk about how their relationship had morphed into something new. She was getting to a point, but Lamar didn’t know what it was. Then she suddenly seemed to change the subject. “Yesterday I prepared my mother for my grades this semester. I will have a B in trig, and a B- in physics. That will be my worst report card since I got mono in 6th grade.”

“What did she say?” Lamar asked.

“She told me I can’t have everything I want. I have to make choices and I can’t put my grades down at the bottom of the list.” Sarah’s voice had become very serious. “She pointed out that even though I had only taken a bit-part in the fall production at the Community Theater, I still had too much on my plate. I knew what she meant and what she wanted me to do. She meant I have to choose how to spend my time and with whom I am going to spend it. She pointed out I’ve been trying to split my time between drama, AND Youth Group, AND Euro-Club, AND maintaining four active relationships. She recited my busy schedule for the past couple of months. Since I got my car, on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have been going to Lindsey’s after play rehearsal, Wednesday nights have become hot tub night for my Euro-Club friends, on Friday nights you spend the night with me, on Saturdays I spend the night with Misty and on Sundays I spend my afternoon at Bailey’s before I go to Youth Group. That leaves only Monday night for school and everything else… that is on the Mondays when you don’t come home with me from school before I take you home for your family dinner night.”

Lamar vaguely knew all those things, but hearing her lay them out, he understood why her grades were suffering. Well… suffering by her standards. Two B’s and four A’s would pretty much be an average report card for him.

Sarah seemed to get to her point finally. “Mom said I have to choose, and asked me what was the most important thing in my life. I told her it was you, flat out. I’ll admit I was afraid of what she would say, but I told her that you are my life and I can’t imagine living without you in it, ever.”

Her words didn’t so much take him off guard, they had both told each other as much more than once in recent weeks as they had each come to realize how much they loved each other. But he was surprised she had been so direct with her mother. They had talked about how adults so often treat young people like they don’t know what love is. Because of that, he’d been more cautious with what he’d said at home.

She had started to move even as she’d said those last words. At first, he didn’t realize why, but he soon understood that she wanted to roll to their side. It was only because they’d done this upstairs earlier that he had an idea of what he needed to do to make it work. Making an effort to keep his dick from pulling all the way out, he worked with her to take a position on their sides. When she lifted her leg over his waist and rocked her hips forward, his erection slid all the way back in. Interrupting her narrative, she told him., “If we lay like this, you should be able to move your hips. If you do it nice and slow, I think it will feel really good without too much effort.”

Once they’d made the transition and he began a slow rhythm, she went on with what she was saying as if they did this all the time. Perhaps in the future, they would.

“When I told my mother that I loved you with every part of my being and I can’t imagine my life without you, she didn’t tell me I was silly, childish, or belittle me for what I’d said. Instead, she told me that she understood how I feel. She assured me that she believed our love was genuine, and if anything, our love is more authentic than what most adults have. That really surprised me, but what really blew me away was when she said that at my age, I have the ability to love wholeheartedly in a way that adults don’t. She actually said that no one in the world can love as thoroughly and completely with such reckless abandon as a sixteen-year-old girl, and I should not let anyone tell me otherwise. A little later, she shared with me that after all these years, she still dreams of Karl. She’d never told me that before.”

Lamar tried to figure out who Karl was. He’d heard her say that name before but he didn’t remember anything other than she’d mentioned him.

Responding to his confused facial expression she said, “When Mom was my age, Karl was her first love and first lover. I read all about him in her diaries. Over all of her diaries, there must be a hundred pages about him. Reading my mother’s words of her love for him when she was my age was so beautiful. I could see how their relationship brought her all the joy in the world; but when it ended, the pain just flowed out of the pages. Worse yet was when he died. I couldn’t stop crying reading how she expressed her grief. After reading those diaries, I can’t see her the same way again. She was so much like me, or I am so much like she was. But from reading her words, I know she understands how I feel about you. She said that all these years later there is still a special room in her heart for Karl, and no matter what the future holds for us, you will always live in my heart just like Karl does hers.”

She paused to compose herself.

Lamar stopped moving.

“So, she didn’t belittle my love for you, instead, she told me that I must make choices, hard choices. While she let me know that she is happy that I have the capacity to love more than one person at once, she reminded me that I don’t have an infinite amount of time in which to give to all my lovers. I know she is right. I will have to prioritize the limited amount of time I do have.”

“What are you going to do,” Lamar asked.

“I haven’t worked it all out, but knowing I have to is the first step. What I do know is that our relationship is more important to me than anything. Prioritizing the time we have together will take center stage. My other relationships will have to work around us. I am sure that your sister, Bailey, and Lindsey will understand. I promised my mother that I would not skimp on school though.” She moved her head to start kissing him. Lamar began slowly moving his hips once more.

“Tonight, just before you got here, Mom told me that I should cherish every minute I have with you. I guess your mother told Misty something very similar about Tommy; that she should grab hold of all the joy life brings. They are both right and I plan to wring every bit of joy I can from our time this weekend.”

They began to kiss as they slowly made love in front of the fire.

The night was not what he’d expected, it was better.

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Aug 01, 2023

Having been taught by illiterate Irish nuns for eight grades, I learned that Catholics must marry Catholics. In the rare cases in which Catholics and non-Catholics marry, the non-Catholics must take instruction, and agree that the offspring will be raised Catholic. Actually, this makes sense to this elderly heathen. Living within a religion is a practice, and a household that includes someone with a competing practice is a distraction from your own. The Campbells and the Marshalls share the practice of open sexuality, which is apparently anathema the Francis family's practice. Surely, Tommy's parents are aware of Misty's reputation, and disapprove. Thinking up a third alternative seems pretty remote. Tommy's best play is to take what wisdom he can from…

Aug 02, 2023
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People need to evolve to the next level of consciousness, and if a Catholic marries a Catholic to raise their children as Catholics, nothing new would come from it. People are too stuck in their redundant sex narratives that they will die sexually frustrated with lots of regrets. We have this one opportunity to give Life a chance: "Life has created a form by which it may know itself, and that form is you." (Wallis, Christopher D. The Recognition Sutras: Illuminating a 1,000-Year-Old Spiritual Masterpiece.) Life and love are not static, but fluid.


Jul 23, 2023

In Chapters 53 A and B, you have shown another side of the importance of sex in young love. Although the Harry Potter books are about the struggle between good and evil, and a boy who wants to be normal, the three main characters at 16 and 17 were sexless in the last two books.

Since the first chapter of In Search of the Final Freedom when Bonnie told Cooper after they had some hot sex, that she and Jill Banning had sex. When Cooper asked if she would do it again, Bonnie said yes, and when she asked him if he would mind, he said no. That was the beginning of their open marriage.

Now 50 plus chapters later,…

Jul 23, 2023
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I must thank you for your efforts and lifestyle. You have an important philosophy/lifestyle to share with the world. It might take another view years but a new sex narrative is critical in our time. Thank you.

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