Homer Winant wheeled himself into the Recreation Center atrium, the big, high-roofed arena that held all the center's equipment, the weight machines, the gymnastics area, the pool, and the volleyball court, with an oval track running around everything. He liked to come here every once in a while, as he did now on this cloudy late winter evening, to see if everything was in order, the equipment in shape, the heat on.
He wheeled with his hands, hating those mechanized wheelchairs, and wore his trademark "Grafton Transmissions" baseball cap. But he was still in his suit, being a college bigwig now. He was the Assistant Dean for Administration, in charge of the physical plant, the dorms, the meal plans. As he put it, "I keep the lights on around here." Actually he was just the "Acting" Assistant Dean; he did not have the advanced degree for a permanent appointment, despite having been encouraged to get one. Sitting in classes always bored him. And his job was not in jeopardy. When old Hicks finally retired, they were forced to admit that Homer Winant, who had been doing most of Hicks's job anyway, was the logical replacement. He knew the campus inside out. And he "knew where the bodies were buried".
Tonight the rec center was a sweaty cacophony, the thumping of sneakered feet along the track, the grunts coming from the weight machines and the clanking of metal, the soft patter of chalked hands and feet from the gymnasts on the parallel bars and on the mats. Homer wheeled up toward the most arresting feature of the rec center, set up on a raised platform overlooking everything else: a double treadmill of the kind once used for water power, with bars added overhead for the hands to push up on. The little sign called it the "full body flexer", but to the students at Campbell-Frank, it was known as "the Beast".
Tonight there was a small cluster of students hanging out in front of the treadmill, Georgene, Myra, Spica, Melissa, Sessu, Jeane and Tom. All dressed in the sweats, socks and sneakers required here. Homer wheeled up to them.
It was apparent that they were having a conversation which ceased when Homer approached.
"Not much, Homer," Tom said with easy familiarity. "How are you?"
Homer glanced back at the weight machines. "I might try some dumbbell work later on," he said. "You, why don't you use this? It's a fine machine, if I do say so myself." Which was true. Originally trod by Tami Smithers for that electricity generation project three years ago, the treadmill was designed by him to also provide a full-body workout.
He still congratulated himself on getting Hicks to agree to move it to the rec center. Better than have it gather dust in the Dixon Mill to look like evidence against him after the Tami Smithers situation blew up. He had also noticed that Ms. Smithers, at the time a sophomore, was developing a bit of a tummy and was freaking out about it. It got installed, and after some hesitation she became the most frequent user. And, along with everyone else, he noticed that the naked girl's tummy quickly slimmed back down, for which she could only have been grateful. Again, a stroke of genius on his part.
He now appeared to have her trust. He was aware, through his extensive grapevine, that her husband considered him a "clever creep". But the husband was graduated and off campus. Someday Tami Smithers would be too.
"It's pretty hard work to get this thing moving," Jeane said.
"There's a dial, you can set it for as wimpy as you want," Homer said, waving to the controls he had installed.
"It's still hard," Myra said. "That's why we call it the Beast."
"Weenies. And don't call it that, you'll hurt its feelings," he said, looking up to it as if pacifying a huge, well, Beast. "I'll see you, I've got to do real man things like sit in front of a TV and drink beer," Homer said. As usual, he amused his audience. In fact he wheeled toward the rec center office, to shoot the breeze with the attendant.
Tom, a tall, skinny kid with wild hair and an attempt at a beard, leaned against the treadmill and looked up at the bars. Jeane looked at him and said, "Well, my manly man?"
It was not that the treadmill was hard to turn, at least not on the lightest setting. Few admitted it, but most students were just too bashful for it. It was the setup of the thing, two treadmills three feet apart, with bars over each for the hands to push on. It stretched you into an "X" and pushed your chest and crotch forward. And it was on a platform to boot, easily seen from any point in the atrium. Even through sweats and underclothes, it exposed a guy's -- or girl's -- endowments, or lack thereof, to the whole world.
Tom, being dared by his girlfriend, smirked and climbed up. He planted one sneakered foot on each treadmill and put his hands on the bars. Jeane looked up at his crotch. "Oh baby," she said.
What guy could not proceed, given such encouragement? He pushed down with his left foot and pushed up with his right hand. It took a loud grunt but he got it to move. The double treadmill slowly turned as Tom looked forward into the far distance, obviously too shy to look down at his friends as they stared intently. He felt like he was shoving his package out into everyone's face. But now he looked down at Jeane with a little smile.
There was a general turning of heads around them and the friends knew what that meant. Nobody slid in here faster than Tami, who needed no ID to get in and had no need to go to the locker room to change. She was easy to see once you turned to the weight machine area. Clanking away on the shoulder press, the total bareness of skin easy to pick out in the sea of sweatshirts and sneakers and shorts.
Myra and Sessu ambled over first. They said hi, idly watching Tami's breasts vibrate as their naked friend, on her back, hefted 120 pounds with only a moderate amount of effort, her plum-colored pubic hair almost in their faces between the legs that splayed apart at the end of the bench, her bare feet flat on the floor. Tami said a quick hi but then started focusing on her exertions and Myra and Sessu, perhaps shamed into exercising, found things to do on the other machines. Those nearby who glanced over saw Tami's face start to get red, her breathing get louder, as she continued her reps. Like any dedicated exerciser, once she got into the reps she was in her own world.
Seesu tried to read as much as he could into the little smile Tami had sent in his direction. He was afraid he was still a little on the outs with her, a rare situation here on campus. Only Lorinda and some of her immature friends were not on Tami's good side, who had gotten such a kick out of the teasing and abuse they had put the naked girl through. But lately even they had been a little subdued. Lorinda herself, now a senior like Tami, had even gotten into student government a little and even found herself in meetings with her. But according to her roommate, Jeane's friend Celine, she was still "a nasty bitch" to live with.
Sessu's concern had arisen from a recent incident. He hung out with the TL's and it was no secret that he wanted to be one, but as a male his desires had to be sublimated. So he hit upon a solution. He had spent some weeks hearing the TL's talk about a Tami-thon -- a long session with all of them licking and sucking every part of Tami's body -- and that had given him an idea. An architecture major, he had privileges at the metal shop and he spent several late nights staring at all that tubing, then once the idea was in his head he roughed out the drawings and got to work.
Not that the Tami-thon would ever happen. Georgene had hinted at something like it during one of Tami's pass-bys at the Student Union and Tami had seemed turned off. Not that the proposal was ever spelled out directly. The Queen's permission was never directly asked for. They were too afraid the answer would be "no" and they wanted to hold onto the fantasy.
So it was a bold stroke, perhaps do-able only by someone who could never participate, when Sessu asked Tami to come with him to the metal lab because he had something to show her. The TL's went with him as he escorted her to the art building and down the hallway scented with acetylene and burnt wood. She must have thought he had made a sculpture of her, based on the many drawings he did of her when she sat chatting at the Union.
She was puzzled as he introduced her to the jumble of tubing on the floor. Then, taking off his jacket, he eagerly got to work, fitting this tube into that, banging some struts into place with the ballpeen hammer, climbing on top of the lower rungs to put the upper crossbars in place, then the final touch of screwing the cushioned wood seats onto the four threaded uprights.
The structure was a bit taller than he was and, after shoving it to and fro to show how sturdy it was, he hopped onto it, his arms and legs stretched out into an X, his legs slightly forward as he bent at the hips, his boots resting on cross-bars. Now Myra and Rosaria took off their coats and got into the raised seats a little to the sides so that their faces were on each side of his chest. Jeane got into the seat behind so that she was staring right at his butt. Georgene got into the plushest seat, so that she was eye level with his crotch. Not that she looked at it, or the considerable hardness that had developed there. She turned her head and, like the rest, looked back at Tami, who stood with her hands at her side, one foot sideways on the dusty floor, silent.
"Forgive me for taking your throne temoparily, my Queen," Sessu said in his Japanese accent. "But I hope you approve of what I made for you. Think of it as the seating arrangement for your court."
Its purpose was perfectly obvious. With Tami perched as Sessu currently was, Myra and Rosaria could comfortably suck her nipples for as long as they wanted. Georgene, or whoever sat there, could sit before Tami's crotch and suck and lick. And Jeane could sit forward, arms resting on Tami's thighs, and noodle around in the rear chamber of the palace.
Tami stood stock still. Then her eyes got wet and she looked upset. Then she blinked a few times and said, "Uh . . . Thanks . . . Sessue . . . that's . . . interesting. Gotta go." And she turned and walked quickly out, and from hearing the receding slapping of her feet they could tell she almost ran out of the building.
They were stunned. What to make of that? They were in a funk for two days, until finally the TL's couldn't resist their horniness any longer and went back to licking Tami, for which she seemed grateful. As for Sessu he was depressed all week. He thought about apologizing to Tami, but felt like she wouldn't wanted to be reminded. As for why she had reacted that way to his invention, they really had no clue.
That was a month ago. Since then he had gotten good signals from Tami as if all were forgiven, like smiling when he kissed her knee in the Union last week. And now this little "hi".
Tami finished her 50 on the shoulder press, then went to the bench press, the pectoral fly, with her hard nipples sticking out halfway across the atrium, and now was on the hip adductor.
Who could not watch? Sitting upright as the weights clanked up and down behind her, her legs went way, way, way apart, as far as the machine allowed, almost a ballet dancer's split. Guys came by and looked down, then said hi as they passed. Tami sometimes acknowledged them, sometimes not, being too focused. By now a thin sheen of sweat covered her, as if someone had atomized water over every inch of her body.
Tom and Jeane sauntered by. Tom was sweating too from his five minutes of agony on the Beast. He looked down into Tami's crotch before waving at her.
It was a good long look, maybe five seconds. In the well-lit gym he could see inside the lower lips that were well pen as the weights pulled Tami's legs apart, the redness of the cave within. Every guy on campus was familiar with the sight of the interior of Tami's pussy. Mentally they compared it with that of their own girlfriends, if they had one. Jeane, like most Campbell-Frank women, had come to accept "the long look"; it was practically a reflex for the average male. Tom told Jeane that he fantasized, not about Tami, but about her being naked like Tami was, and Jeane believed him.
Tami tolerated the looks too with an easy humor. Just so long as the guy was polite and it didn't go on to extended gawking.
Forty minutes later activity in the atrium was muted as Tami was into the last stages of her workout on the Beast. As she always did, she had put it on the heaviest setting. Arms and legs apart, heaving out sweat in waves that filled the whole room with the scent of her exertion, hands pushing up, her toes curling over the blades as her bare feet pushed down . . . those gathered around felt privileged to see such a perfect specimen of the female form as they examined her from every angle, some looking up at the straining breasts, others down at her concave tummy, or at the muscles of her thighs and calves, the strong feet, others looking from behind at her bare shoulders and tight butt, sweat running down her back between her cheeks, then emerging in rivulets down her legs. Spica, standing right in front, made no secret of smacking her lips.
The timer went off and Tami relaxed. The great apparatus slowly creaked to a halt. Homer wheeled up. "Hi Homer," Tami said, catching her breath, looking down at him past her widely spread lower lips, her soaked pubic hair.
"You're looking good, Tami," he said with a smile, then he wheeled off.
And now the great moment, at least great for the TL's. They were chatting at the base of the Beast, and Myra looked up and said in a stage whisper, "Tami, I could just lick you all over right now."
Tami smiled. "That . . . would be nice. I have to get going though." The flexing toes, curled over the blades, indicated her horniness.
"Too bad," Myra said.
"I'd like to lick you too," Jeane said.
"Me too," Spica said.
From her perch, looking down, the sweating naked Queen said, "Then why don't we get together sometime?"
The mouths of the TL's dropped open.
As Tami dismounted, jumping down with a soft thud, she said, "My place sometime. Rod will be there."
Now that was a letdown. Having this man around would disrupt all that female energy. Not that this could be expressed to Tami. For one thing, she was always too down-to-earth to believe that "female energy" stuff. And he was her husband, of course.
By the time they had meandered to the exit with her, though, they had reconciled themselves to it. Having Rod around at the Tami-thon would not be so bad. They didn't know him well but he seemed to be a nice guy. Maybe he could help out with the refreshments.
Their ruminations were interrupted by the clap of thunder.
"Shit!!!" Spica said, looking out at the icy rainshower. "I left my umbrella in the dorm."
"Me too," Jeane said. They had their things in the locker room but it was just coats and boots, no umbrellas.
Tami seemed to look at them in sympathy. Then she said, "Well, gute nacht," and opened the door and sprinted out into the cold rain, her feet slapping the slush to both sides. They saw her sleek, wet body pass under the lights and disappear into the darkness.
Albert Girardo, Chair of the Department of Fashion Technology, just could not find that damn cubbyhole. At least that was what everyone called them, the tiny rooms overlooking the multipurpose room in the Student Union where they had those dances and other big events. Every student tutor had one, and the one he was looking for was 2-07. But they only went up to 2-06 and then there was the fire exit. So he had to backtrack . . .
He hardly ever came here. All his work was in Thayer Hall right next to his special parking place. On this sunny, melting-snow day he had unwisely worn moccasins and his feet got a little wet coming down that unfamiliar concourse. He got his first real look at that statue Wanamaker spoke about: "Tami Takes Flight". A good piece of work, abstract but not too weird. That was his motto, a good rule to live by in his field, how he and his department fought for and won a measure of respectability during his fifteen years at its helm: Don't Be Too Weird.
So this little errand cut across his grain in so many ways. But with a student who lived without the benefit of clothing it was just no surprise that all the usual rules were reversed. That she was a salt-of-the-earth, working class type, so unusual in his field, made her all the more unforgettable. He vividly remembered the last time he was down this way. It was last spring, a warm day in May, flowers in bloom. They hadn't cut the grass yet and the lawn in front of the Union was a bit overgrown. He had been roped into one of those godawful Department Head get-togethers, spending all morning in the multipurpose room with the twelve most boring persons on the planet.
It was a relief to finally get out, around lunchtime. Clouds were overhead, possibly threatening rain, and the air was heavy with the scent of growing grass, a gentle warm breeze. He approached the lawn and saw people lined in front of it, maybe two dozen, most still well clothed as if it were still a chilly spring, some more appropriately in shirtsleeves. He ambled up to the edge in his lazy, old-man way, and stopped short when he saw what they were looking at.
It was Campbell-Frank's only naked student, sleeping in the lush uncut grass. Other free-spirited students had occasionally dozed off there, in the sun, but always on blankets after a little picnic. And always clothed.
She was on her side, upper leg extended in front of her, in blissful slumber. Grass stains were on her soles. Her butt cheeks were parted and everyone could see her anus -- was it winking at them in the breeze? Now she turned, pulling her leg across, and in the process uprooting some grass. It stayed between her toes as if she had grabbed it deliberately and now she was on her back, her legs splayed wide open so that everyone could see inside her womanly cave. She stretched her arms up and her tummy became almost freakishly concave, ribs visible over the tracery of well-developed abs, breasts high and firm with erect nipples poking up at the gray sky. A few strands of grass were caught up in her lush pubic hair. And now she sighed. "Mmmmmmm . . .", as earthy and natural as the scented breeze.
It was a wave partly of lust but also of wonder that riffled through the watchers. And envy, how it must feel like to roll naked in the grass. Two of those old Chalfont Institute professors stood next to him, one puffing on his pipe. You could tell those old German guys anywhere. "I'm jealous now," one said. The pipe puffer said, "Ah Fritz, if Youth only knew, if Age only could!"
Girardo had stayed to watch her lolling around for a few minutes and then she awoke, sitting up with wild hair, elbows on her knees, smiling a little absently at the people around her as if remembering an old joke. Then he left, as the crowd dispersed, some saying hi to the naked girl, others as if embarrassed at having been caught looking. Girardo was gay through and through, but a sight like that sticks with you no matter who you are.
Now -- this one's 2-01, now 2-03, this must be the odd numbers corridor finally --
Her door was open and he hesitated before making his presence known. She was facing away from him, leaning back on her chair, reading a text, pencil in her mouth. One foot was way, way up over her head, the heel propped up on the wall in the tiny room. Only a trained gymnast, like she was, could stretch like that. The other foot was up on the ledge of the little window that looked down on the multipurpose room. She held a pen between the third and fourth toes that she tapped idly against the sill. Girardo was reminded of the student who did that project on toe rings a few years ago, who said, "Toes are the new fingers." Well for Ms. Smithers, it was all the same.
Her desk was strewn with books, papers, a laptop. And what looked like a wedding ring, though it seemed too small to go on her finger. There was a shelf above that had some pictures and some type of geometric sculptures with magnetic sticks.
Finally he cleared his throat.
"Oh hi Mr. Girardo," she said, quickly swiveling around, putting her book down, and about to stand up.
"Stay seated, please," he said, quite surprised. Years ago students would stand up when a professor came in, but not recently.
She sat obediently waiting for him to speak.
"Um, how are you doing?"
"Fine, busy as always," she said. "I like it that way."
He looked at the upper shelf. "Did you make this? It's very pretty."
"It's a dodecahedron. One of the regular polyhedrons."
"Oh. A dodeca . . ."
"That means twelve. It has twelve sides."
"Hmm . . .Looks like more than twelve to me."
"The sides are pentagons. You have to stellate them to make it rigid."
"Oh right . . . of course." He looked at it for a moment as if knowing what she was talking about. "Tami, mind if I sit?" He grabbed a chair that had been out in the hall and sat facing her. She was upright in her chair, hands folded attentively. Her feet were on the floor, curled inward, the pen still in her toes.
"Dr. Wanamaker and I agree, your portfolio is outstanding."
She seemed to blush. "Thank you."
"We have a proposal for you." Knowing he was about to explain something totally new to her, he went slowly despite her high intelligence. "There is something called the International Fashion Industry Foundation. It's a group endowed by various fashion houses, that acts as like a trade group, a clearinghouse of information, and also advocates for designer and models and other tradespeople. And every year the foundation has a, uh, competition for students. This year is the 37th annual. We would like you to invite you to make a submission, enter the competition. In other words, sponsor you."
She seemed stunned. "But . . . I'm not a fashion major."
"That's not important. What is, is that we think you display an extraordinary amount of originality. Maybe it's you're, uh, situation . . ." He found himself glancing down at her clit and immediately regretted the reference. Her clit was poking out a little -- he heard it always did, except when she was out in the cold and it retracted between those plum-colored lips. He thought he detected a faint whiff of female musk. Then he brought his mind back on track. "But you have a view to fashion that is unique and should be made better known, and should be further developed if you wish . . . We don't just ask anyone. We don't do this every year. In fact we haven't sponsored a student in five years. So you see what a compliment this is meant to be."
"Gosh . . . thanks . . ." She was still in shock.
"You will need to put together a submission portfolio. You can select from your existing one -- the limit is ten designs -- or make up a new one. Probably selecting from the one you have is best, because the deadline is only in two weeks. Dr. Wanamaker will help you out with the details."
Tami looked down.
"That's the first stage. Then they select the ten or twelve best entries and present a fashion show, slash, awards ceremony. I have to say that they have several hundred submissions every year, so the odds of getting picked for the show are slim. This year it's in Montreal. And then, there's the prizes. First prize is a fellowship with room and board at a leading institution. This year it's somewhere that you especially might have an interest in."
"What do you mean?"
"The fellowship, which would begin next fall, is in your home town, at the Rhode Island School of Design."
Tami looked up, nonplussed. "Rizdy?" Which is how Providence natives refer to RISD.
Girardo nodded. "Again, I have to say, excellent as your work is, the odds of getting chosen are quite long. But even being allowed to submit is an honor. We get to put forth candidates because our department is on the International panel. Only about sixty schools around the world are on it."
Tami looked at him and then looked over at a pad on the desk. "I -- I don't know what to say. This is so . . ."
"Now Tami, you don't have to go through with this. I know you are involved in other projects and fashion is not the center of your life." God, was that ever an understatement, he told himself.
"Well yes, I was working on that polymer fabric with Gretchen -- "
"Maybe you can incorporate that into your submission. Ever think of that?"
"The fabric -- it's designed for military use."
"So? Does that mean you CAN'T use it to design regular clothes? Look Tami, the International is not a red carpet type fashion show like you see on TV. These are serious industry people who help decide mass production. What regular people wear. Practical stuff."
He told himself: I'm dropping hints that are so heavy that they're apt to break this poor girl's [bare] toes. Best back off. She will submit what she wants to submit, as weird as it may be. That is, if she accepts. Part of him wanted her to refuse. That would be a relief. On the other hand, Shel was right. Offering her the chance was really the right thing to do.
"Rizdy . . .But can I go there if I'm . . ." She looked down at her breasts, the big dark brown nipples, toughened and always erect.
Quite unlike the little pink nips Girardo had seen on countless anorexic models. What would Tami be -- a 34C? He was under no illusions about it -- gay designers really would rather be working with breastless young men. One of Wanamaker's pet peeves. He kidded Wanamaker about his name and his lusting after certain models, his hetero desire for the female form, his breast fetish, but his colleague had a point. To be true to what they were doing, designers of women's clothing should use models who look more like this superb naked young woman.
"From what I understand," he said, "your allergy is being treated at the Chalfont Institute." At least that's what Abu Jamal told him when Girardo called him last week. It was hard to understand that guy's Pakistani accent. He was polite but hesitant to give details. Girardo was well aware how sensitive the topic was over at that place, and couldn't really blame him for that.
"Well yes," Tami said uncertainly. ". . . Can I think about this?"
"Of course. When you decide, call Shel, Dr. Wanamaker. His extension is 2141." To his surprise Tami brought her left foot way up, the one with the pen, and scribbled the number on the pad, all without moving her arms or hands.
"Well let us know," he concluded. "And if you accept, congratulations." He got up and turned to leave.
"I -- I don't know. But thank you very much."
He smiled. "You deserve it, Tami. . . And oh, before I forget." He turned back to her. "The submissions are not secret, of course. The names of candidates are listed in the trade publications. So you might be, in fact probably will be, getting calls and offers to market your designs. It's O.K. to get into contracts, we don't have any business telling our students what or what not to do.
"But we always suggest that the student create a brand name and logo for his or her work, and attach it to every design. Get copyright protection. The way I learned it was to mail the designs to yourself and keep the envelope sealed. That fixes the date you came up with the ideas. And be careful what you sign. Professor Konrad, two doors down from me, he's also an intellectual property lawyer and can advise you on common pitfalls.
"But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me repeat, no matter how good you are, the odds of actually winning are very low. But I think you should give it a shot."
Tami seemed about to say something but then stopped. She looked down and stretched her arms downward, then placed them on her lap. She idly tugged at her pubic hair.
Then she looked up and said politely, "Thank you. I'll let you know in a few days."
"Good." Girardo left the naked student to be alone with her thoughts. And then passed her cubbyhole a few seconds later because he was lost. Tami had to get up and walk him back to the elevator.
As the elevator opened, a tall Latina-looking girl in sweat clothes came out. She gave Tami a little kiss and went with her back to the cubbyhole where they closed the door behind them.
"Sorry to interrupt your work, Tami," said Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Vanessa Congi.
"That's -- uh -- O.K. I'm -- uh -- almost done anyway."
"They put you through your paces, don't they?" said Dean Congi's administrative assistant, a quite overweight forty-year-old black woman named Barbara Barlow with a cute face.
Tami smiled and shrugged. The two watching women huddled in their heavy coats, hats and scarves on this near freezing, blustery day. Almost all the snow had melted but spring had not yet brought flowers to the bleak campus. The biting wind made them shiver despite their coverings.
And wondered once again how Tami Smithers, her bare body hard and tight and reddened from the cold, could stand it. She was on the last few minutes of this morning's grounds crew shift, putting down pebbles for a new pathway across the lawn in front of the Student Union. She had rolled the full wheelbarrow halfway across campus, which is how Vanessa first saw her from afar, along that long windy path from the physical plant building to San Beueno Hall, and then onto the busy part of campus, a different creature from the many heavily clothed students with backpacks battling the wind on the way to class.
Now, having dumped the wheelbarrow's contents next to a tree, she had climbed onto the little mountain of pebbles and was pushing it down flat with her tough bare feet. An overhead branch came in handy; she reached up to it and pushed up with both hands, increasing the force she could exert downward. The two administrators watched the cold-tightened breasts jiggling in the wind, rebounding with her motions, the brown nipples seeming as hard as the pebbles, and the concave stomach down below that they both secretly envied (though for Barbara Barlow it was pretty much an impossible dream). The dusty feet worked the pebbles with what looked like a practiced motion, first pushing down with the heels, then scattering the pebbles with spread toes that were also reddened from the cold.
Looking at the perfect feet, Vanessa thought: I wish I had feet like that. Or a body like that. And she knew she was not alone. Almost every woman on campus under the age of 50 had similar thoughts. And felt a little guilty about it, if they knew the price Tami had paid for that body.
Others stoppped and watched the laboring naked girl, then went on with their business.
Dean Congi fastened her eyes on the pubic hair ruffling in the wind. Then she wondered how it must feel to have icy wind on one's pubic lips. She decided she must make some kind of comment. "I can't get over how your hair color matches your labia exactly. It really looks very nice."
Tami, bent arms pushing up against the branch, smiled and then laughed as she worked, her breasts and tummy quaking with each chuckle. "You're about -- uh -- the tenth person who's told me that. Honest, it was -- just a coincidence. I didn't know I was such a -- uhh! -- fashion plate."
Congi and Barlow thought about laughing but then stopped themselves.
Homer Winant rolled by. "Hello, Homer," Vanessa Congi said. Everyone called him Homer so calling him "Mr. Winant" or even "Dean Winant" would sound too offputting. But her hellos to Homer were always a little forced.
He rolled up to join the two women in watching the laboring nude.
"Isn't this a bit rough on a day like this?" Barbara Barlow said, clenching her gloved hands against the cold. "Maybe you can get Omar to ease up on her." Omar had Homer's old job as grounds crew chief.
"It's -- O.K.," Tami said, pushing one foot far forward to expand the area of pebbles.
"Nonsense," Homer agreed. "This girl is the best crew worker we ever had. She's smart, she listends to you, never slacks off, and she's strong as an ox. Get a look at her butt cheeks, her muscles are like iron." Of course, everyone already knew that. "She should be in the crew worker Hall of Fame."
Vanessa Congi didn't know what to think about a comment like that. Should she be offended? Tami as a beast of burden. But he did say she was smart. Tami just smiled. Then Homer wheeled off.
The old clock tower over at Old Main struck twelve just as the pebbles appeared have gotten fully spread out into a flat rectangle.
"There, I'm finished," Tami said, bringing her arms down from the branch and wiping her hands, then bending down to scuff the dust off her feet and a stray pebble from between her toes. She parked the wheelbarrow upright against the tree. "I can get that later."
"Like Vanessa said, let's lunch," Barbara Barlow said.
Fifteen minutes later the three women were sitting in the cafe on the second floor of the Union. Barbara Barlow was a considerable eater but had to take second place to Tami, who had devoured a plate of spaghetti and was working on a double helping of mashed potatoes. Tami sat at the end of the table, her leg way up, her foot up on the top of the little wall behind them.
She was spreading her charms for the benefit of Simon, an art student who sat cross-legged on the carpeted floor and did a quick sketch in pencil. Vanessa watched Simon, a good kid with a lot of talent, who seemed to be doing a good rendition of Tami's vulva. Usually he liked to sketch her anus. Tami never charged for posing. So long as she had a few minutes, she would pose for any of the many art students who asked.
The three women "chewed the fat" for a few minutes. Then Simon left with abundant thanks and Vanessa felt free to approach the subject on her mind.
"Tami, did you think of a theme for your valedictorian speech?"
Tami laughed. "I keep telling you, don't remind me!" She hated to be reminded that she had, by a good margin, the highest GPA in her class. "It's like telling a pitcher that he's got a no-hitter going. It's a jinx. . ." She looked up at her foot, still up on the wall despite Simon leaving, and wiggled her still-dusty toes. Then took a sip of soda. "I just know I'll fail a class now. Or something will happen. I'll screw up somehow and get suspended."
"Girl, you are talking crazy," Barbara Barlow said.
"Seriously, Tami," Vanessa said, "graduation's only two and a half months away. What are your plans?"
"Well, Rod is still on that project up near Burlington, he's not sure when he'll finish. Professor Hamid told me I could be his grad assistant."
"What, a Master's in Mathematics?"
Their conversation was interrupted by Trent and Cyrus who passed by on the way to taking another table. Vanessa and Barbara were quick to say hi to Trent, a tall, melancholy blonde-haired kid who was the campus's only "9/11 widow", so to speak. Over the past year he had partly gotten out of his funk after losing Jeffrey, at least well enough to hook up with Cyrus, an even taller African-American kid with a shaved head and goatee.
And now Georgene passed by, bookbag slung over her shoulder, cell phone parked in her hand. "Hey Tam, whatcha doing later?"
Tami blushed into her soda and said, "I've got Modern Dance II, then I'll be around."
After she too had left, Vanessa said, "A master's program in just math doesn't seem like enough to occupy your time."
Tami brought her foot down and crossed her legs. Scratched a nipple. "Well, Mr. Girardo has asked me to . . . um . . ."
Vanessa already knew but she pretended not to. "To what?"
"Enter a fashion competition. I'm flattered but I'm not a fashion major. It should go to someone else."
Vanessa said, "You mean the International? Tami, congratulations!" She smiled broadly. "That's great!"
"What do you think I should do?"
"You should go for it!"
Tami remained noncommittal. Not much else was said through dessert (Barbara: butterscotch sundae; Tami: cheesecake and fruit plate; Vanessa: decaf).
Barbara had to go back to the office but Vanessa walked with Tami downstairs, to Tami's locker with the combination lock. It impressed Vanessa that Tami wanted to go unladen as much as possible, going through the world with nothing but her bare body. "When it's just me I feel like I can tackle anything," is how she once put it. Which must have been true, on that incredible cross-country journey. But now apparently she needed her bookbag.
In the Union foyer, Tami waited patiently while Vanessa put on her coat and gloves. Then Vanessa braced herself for the oncoming wind. Striding across the bleak concrete, she looked down at her boots clip-clopping next to Tami's bare feet. Tami's feet never seemed to get dirty.
Vanessa looked up into the wind and found herself yawning. "I should have had a coffee. Maybe I'll get one after my next appointment."
"Get me one too," Tami said. "If you can, please."
"Sure. What's next for you?"
"Modern Dance, then I do my own exercises. I'll be at Studio T afterward."
"That'll work out perfect. I should be done with my thing in an hour and a half."
"See you," Tami said as she was about to walk into the dance building. She turned to see Vanessa looking at her. Then, obviously remembering their last hello on Main Street, she opened her legs a bit and spread her labia with her thumbs, holding the strap of the bookbag back with her right shoulder. "Bye bye!" she said with a smile, making her clit jump twice.
Vanessa smiled and watched her go in. She stood there to ponder how at ease Tami was with her body. That horrible freshman year, during which the girl's modesty was so sorely tested, all that body consciousness had been obliterated, wiped out. Surely Vanessa could wish such an ordeal on no one. But the end result . . . !
Five minutes later, in the dance building, Vanessa looked in through the little window to Studio K and watched Tami in her Modern Dance class. The barefoot students, two-thirds female, some in leotards, others in loose shirts and drawstring pants, all facing the big mirror, went through their coordinated warm-up steps, the naked girl on the end keeping pace with the others, distinguished only by her lack of clothing.
Vanessa wondered what it would be like if all of them were naked. In spite of everything, Tami had shown that being naked had its advantages. In fact, a whole lot of them. "Too many to list", as she had put it once.
Vanessa sighed and walked out the building to her appointment. In an hour, she planned on returning, going to Studio T with two of those wonderful lattes they made at the Java Cafe on the other side of campus.
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Vanessa Congi, carefully carrying the two "grande" lattes, managed to open the rear door of the dance building with one gloved finger and started up the long corridor. Studio W, Studio V . . . She couldn't remember the last time she had been through here. As she looked into the little windows on the closed doors of the empty rooms, she noted that these studios at the end were a little smaller than the rest but were still fully equipped, with wall-length mirrors, all-around barres on the other three sides, and usually a piano.
She looked into the window for Studio T, where Tami said she'd be, and saw no one. But it was a little window and her view was mostly blocked. Again using a gloved finger, she hooked onto the door latch and opened it and, looking down at the coffees, walked slowly into the room, her boots tacking onto the fine-paneled floor. She told herself she was probably breaking two rules: bringing in food and wearing street shoes. She passed a piano and what looked like a freestanding overhead beam apparatus, six feet high, like gymnasts swing from.
She heard breathing from the corner and imagined Tami must be exerting herself. But then that odor of --
Tami was under attack! Pinned in the corner, hands stretched out on the barre, legs spread wide, wide apart, as Georgene and Spica hungrily sucked each nipple, someone -- it looked like Myra, from the Afro -- knelt in front and, hands around poor Tami's butt cheeks, burrowed her face into the naked student's crotch -- and another woman, cross-legged, her back tucked into the corner under the barre, was assaulting from behind.
"Ohh -- ohh -- eeee -- G - godd -- "
Tami crested into orgasm as her eyes burst open in Vanessa's face, in ecstacy, in embarrassment, in apology, in amusement -- it was hard to tell through Tami's intense emotional storm but it seemed she was partly laughing at their predicament, the two of them, Vanessa and Tami --
Vanessa stood there open-mouthed, the lattes in her hands. The heavy clothes and boots of the attackers were a sharp contrast to Tami's nakedness. As Tami's orgasm ran its course and the attackers continued unabated, it seemed like the four hungry mouths were sucking the life out of her. Tami's eyes closed only slightly. She seemed to be trying to form words. But then, amazingly, she went up to orgasm again!
It was too intense to look at. Vanessa turned and got the hell out of there. Out in the hall, she heard the door close behind her and wondered what to do. All her years of activism on sexual assault issues came back to her. She had helped set up rape crisis centers at other colleges, had done awareness trainings here at Campbell - Frank. She saw an actual assault once, when she was a student in Boston, late at night on campus, back in the 1970's. She had been lucky to find one of those police call boxes nearby and the attacker was arrested.
Now what??! Should she call 911 on her cell? Or just go back in there and break it up?
She caught her breath and her brain took over. This was Tami and her friends. Doing what they always did. Or at least that's what she heard. But it was always one-on-one. Again, what she'd heard. Tami had never been set upon by four women at once.
"Set upon" was the right phrase. It didn't look like this was Tami's idea. Not with Tami expecting Vanessa to show up with coffee. It was clear that Tami had been exercising, doing some stretching exercises at the barre maybe, when her friends came in and took over her bare body. She found herself imagining Tami bent foward, touching her toes, and Georgene walking in and placing her tongue flat against the wide-exposed anus, and then . . .
"Ohh -- ngghhh -- nghhh -- "
Tami's grunts could be heard through the closed door, here out in the hall. Vanessa looked both ways. Nobody else was around. Still holding the lattes, feeling a bit ridiculous, she decided to go outside and get some air.
Once outside, she took a sip of her coffee and tried to calm down. This rear entrance was rarely used, fortunately it was always kept clean. Like Tami's, she thought, then she blushed at thinking this. She looked out at the campus, a few faculty and students walking here and there, a little hurriedly on this raw, cold day.
More odd thoughts filled her mind. Right now, Tami Smithers is not 50 feet away from me, having multiple orgasms. I wonder who the next nearest person is who is having an orgasm right now. She looked up into the distance, the hill going up to town, the buildings and apartments there. Maybe someone up over there is having sex right now.
She looked down at her boots and took a deep breath and brooded. She judged that maybe ten minutes had passed when she decided to venture inside again.
The grunting, a little different now, told her the Tami-lickers hadn't finished. Hating herself for doing so, she gave the longest possible glance through the window as she walked past the door. Tami, sweating now, was hanging from the overhead beam, stretched out in an "X", her hands wide apart as two kneeling women licked her front and rear, Georgene and Myra. Her feet were stretched way, way apart, and Jeane was sucking her toes on one foot, Spica on the other. This was kinky. And Vanessa found herself wondering what it felt like to be sucked and licked that way, on the anus, on the toes.
She turned around and passed the door again. Georgene and Myra were alternating licks, bouncing Tami between them as if they were playing tennis and Tami was the ball. Vanessa remembered something she had read about long ago -- about hanging from the hands stretched out every muscle and made for a full-body orgasm that was more intense.
And so -- Tami held her breath, eyes squeezed shut and teeth gritted, her entire body flushed, and now a great jolt nearly knocked Georgene off her knees. Jolt after jolt shook the entire apparatus as the four lickers held on for dear life, as if they had hooked a huge fish and were determined to reel it in.
"Zhhhoohh -- zhhhohhh -- zhhhohhh -- " Tami's grunts were shouts now and Vanessa looked up and down the hall again. A horrifying thought occurred to her. What if a faculty person passed by? One of the Department heads? The head of the Dance Conservatory was Dr. Lena Yevgeny, an old Russian ballet type who struck her as being very conservative. If any of those people passed by here there would be an incident. Disciplinary action, certainly.
Vanessa sat in a nearby alcove and sipped, and put Tami's latte onto the bench. She felt soiled, like a voyeur, like one of several male faculty who had gotten in trouble over the years for peeping on female students. What creeps. And she -- ?
She waited a few minutes and hoped it was over. From Studio T there was silence, then sounds of things sliding around on the floor. She got up again and walked uncertainly toward the little window.
She was almost there when she heard Tami's grunts again. Jesus, will this never end? Tami was on the floor now, face up, legs wrapped around Georgene's head, her toes flexing. Spica and Jeane were sucking her nipples, Maya cradling Tami's head in her lap, massaging her plum-colored hair. Tami's eyes were wide open, looking up at Maya -- in agony, supplication, amazement? It was so hard to tell.
Now came a slow, rolling orgasm, with full-body waves accompanied low moans. The three lickers worked as a team, like rowers on that crew team she was on at her undergraduate school, sucking together in a decreasing tempo, and Tami's contractions slowed down too which seemed to be their aim. By now Vanessa could look at the scene clinically. That's interesting -- they can slow the orgasm down like that, extend it. It must have taken a lot of practice.
It was five minutes later when the Assistant Dean of Students felt it safe to re-enter Studio T. She found the four clothed women in a big circle, surrounding their naked friend who lay snoozing in their midst, on her stomach, her head on its side, her arms and legs sprawled crazily in all directions.
Vanessa sat down cross-legged with the others. "Hello all," she said, setting the coffees in front of her. "Tami and I were going to have a couple of lattes."
Her mind was a mass of conflicting emotions but she focused and knew she had to be stern. Like any skilled administrator, she knew how to use silence. Then she broke it. "I think you realize that if the wrong person came down the hall, you would have gotten into quite a bit of trouble. You would have gotten Tami into trouble too." She was going to say "poor Tami" but stopped herself.
After a few seconds, Georgene said, "Sorry, Ms. Congi." Usually everyone called her Vanessa.
"You've got to be discreet," she further advised. Not that she could stop it entirely. After all, the college was to blame for Tami's hyperized sexual hunger in the first place and could hardly object to it being satisfied.
"Sorry," Myra said.
Then Tami turned onto her back, legs stretched out, arms out too. Her plum-colored pubic hair parted a bit to show the cleft between her lower lips. Her bare feet, which never seemed to get dirty, pointed outward. Then she started snoring, really loud. It echoed off the bare walls.
A couple of the students giggled. Vanessa couldn't help but smile. It was like a buzzsaw.
"It's just that it's so much fun to do," Spica said. "I like making her come and come and come."
"It gets spiritual at times," Georgene said.
"The hell with that," Spica said, punky and irreverent as always. "I like seeing her get off and get off. Maybe I'm sadistic. I'd like to see how many times I can make her come."
Well, Vanessa knew the answer to that. She had seen the Chalfont report: 136 orgasms during four hours of what must have been the strangest torture any woman had ever experienced. And that was just the final session of a semester filled with similar tortures. Like the other well-meaning people who had unwittingly enabled Henry Ross's evil plans that year, it took Vanessa a long time to stop blaming herself for having been so dense, and to get over her guilt for being complicit.
"I don't think you can break any records in Studio T," Vanessa said, being stern again.
Jeane said, missing Vanessa's point, "It was only six times this time. They were good strong ones though."
"Only" six times! Vanessa herself, age 47, had never had more than three orgasms at one time. Once again she felt jealous and once again she told herself she shouldn't dare feel that way. For a few seconds they watched Tami's breathing, the rise and fall of the firm breasts with the big, brown nipples, erect even as she slept, the hip bones setting off the concave tummy.
Vanessa cleared her throat and changed the topic. "I think we're all violating the rule. You see the sign. Let's take our boots off."
Having left their boots by the door, the five women sat down in a circle again. Jeane had a hole in her sock showing her big toe which obviously embarrassed her. She tucked that leg underneath.
Tami's toes wiggled a bit. Her eyelids twitched, then her nose.
"I wonder what she dreams about," Myra said.
Everyone thought: clothes. But no one said it.
"Mmmmm . . ." Tami lazily turned onto her stomach again and drew her knees under her. She was facing away from Vanessa and her knees parted and she stretched her arms out on the floor in front. Her trim butt cheeks separated and Vanessa was treated to a wide-open view of her anus. Which now winked.
"Hmmm . . ." Tami's eyes opened.
"Hi Tami," said Georgene, who was sitting next to Vanessa. Tami responded to this voice behind her by winking her anus again, an unspoken "hi". Vanessa knew about Tami's twice-daily enemas but had never seen this before. She was fascinated by the aperture that opened widely twice, the dark cavity within. Practically public parkland to her legion of admirers.
Uncomfortable, Vanessa got up and padded over to the other side and placed a latte next to Tami's face.
"Mmmmmm. Latte. Thanks, Dean," she said. The latte was lukewarm by this time but she obviously didn't mind. She now sat up cross-legged in the middle of the little circle, sipping.
"Sorry about what happened, Ms. Congi, I mean Vanessa," Tami said, still groggy. "I tried to apologize but I couldn't get the words out."
"No, it's our fault," Georgene said.
"You were great as always, Tam. Your ass ring grabbed my finger like death," Spica said enthusiastically, which brought a blush to the coffee-sipper in their midst.
"Strongest anus in the Eastern Conference," said Myra with a laugh.
Jeane, after looking around with a conspiratorial grin, brought something out of her bag and rolled it in Tami's direction.
"Oh God, not here," Georgene said, half embarrassed.
It was hard rubber and round. In fact it was an orange lacrosse ball, with a six-foot-long nylon rope threaded through a drilled hole. Vanessa was totally puzzled.
Tami sipped her coffee, looking at the encouraging glances of Spica and Jeane and Myra and finally Georgene. "Ta - mi! Ta - mi!" Spica chanted, a chant taken up by the others. Finally Tami stood up and said, "Well, O.K."
Jeane threw Tami a small tube and a tissue. To Vanessa's astonishment Tami wiped the ball off, lubricated it, then squatted down. She closed her eyes and grunted. She stood up and looked around, the rope hanging from between her butt cheeks, like a long tail.
"Me! Me!" Spica said, like a kid asking for a turn at a piggy-back ride.
Spica padded over behind Tami, then pushed back her heavy coat and sat down. She put her gloves on and held the slack rope securely with both hands. Tami stood upright, took a deep breath, then the muscles in her concave tummy flexed and she took a careful stride with a flexed bare foot. The next stride followed and the rope went taut. Now Tami was pulling Spica in a big circle around the periphery of Studio T without using her hands, and now to the accompaniment of applause, and Spica's shouts of "woo - hoo!"
Vanessa was stunned, her mouth hanging open. She thought she had seen everything remarkable about this amazing young woman but she kept getting surprised. Then she found herself laughing. She imagined Tami on her grounds crew assignment, pulling the wheelbarrow full of pebbles via a rope coming out her butt, as no doubt Omar found other things for her to carry with her arms. And Tami casually conversing with friends as she carried and pulled across campus. Vanessa's laughs turned into giggles, the vision was so ridiculous.