Richard's Education Ch. 03byl8bloom©
Thanks to darkniciad for agreeing to edit this series.
"I've got great news!" Louisa burst in the door, hair flying like streamers out of a Happy New Year party horn.
Richard stepped forward from the kitchen, smiling his end-of-the-workday greeting. "What is it?"
"My proposal was accepted! I get to present at the conference!" She beamed and fairly quivered from head to toe.
"I knew you'd make it!" Richard swept her into his arms. Really, this living with Louisa thing just got better and better. She was smart, sexy, funny, a good friend, and someone he was proud to be with. Who could ask for anything more?
"You know, a special occasion like this calls for a special dinner."
"Would you like to go out? You could be off k.p. for one night."
He shrugged. "I don't mind it. Besides, I kind of have something special planned. Unless, of course, you'd prefer going out."
"You have something pla — now how did you know to plan something?" she asked suspiciously. A pleased smile twittered at the corners of her mouth.
"Oh, dang," he snapped his fingers in mock discouragement, "the cat's out of the bag. I guess a little bird told me that somebody's work was accepted at the national level..."
"This was a little bird named Kim, I take it." Kim was Louisa's co-worker and close friend.
"Hmm, let me see, ... yep! So how about crab-stuffed whitefish with Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut?" The young man looked pleased with himself.
"Of course, yes. You know my answer to you is always yes." Then she laid a hand on his arm. "Will you cook while I tell Jerrod?"
"Of course! You don't need to ask me." He tousled her hair. "Silly girl."
Louisa grinned and pecked his cheek, then scampered off to the computer. Who knew when her son would get the email? It was impossible to know when he was in the field, or when he might next have access to a computer. But when he did, a message from home would be waiting.
Over homemade cheesecake Louisa laid out the final plans for the presentation she would make.
"The Mandala Library," he read. "What does that mean?"
"Well, let me back up a bit. You might remember that one part of the conference has to do with designing libraries of the future."
"Mm-hm." Well, he sort of remembered her saying something like that.
"And I think most of the proposals other people sent in probably have to do with high-tech stuff. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that when patrons come into a library, the latest high-tech gadget isn't necessarily the first thing they're looking for."
"So what is the first thing they're looking for?"
Louisa gave a sharp, satisfied nod. "Exactly." The look in her eyes held a message.
Richard puzzled it out. "You don't know what they're looking for."
"Right! So absolutely everything needs to be easy to find." She pointed to the center of the drawing that resembled an old-fashioned keyhole. "The main desk is here, so you see it as soon as you come in."
"What if you want a computer instead of a person?"
"Terminals are here" —she pointed along the diagonal lines of the large lobby— "along the walls next to the New Books section. But getting back here, see, the main desk is curved, like a bubble. Then the first concentric circle holds reference materials and large print media..." She went on, pointing out the children's area near the front, and the quiet reading rooms near the back.
"This is well thought out. Why didn't you show me all this before?"
"Aww, you know. I didn't want to shout about it and then have it not get in."
"You can always tell me stuff." But his reproof was mild. Louisa pushed herself into his arms and kissed his neck.
"So you like it?"
He snuggled her deeper into his embrace. "It's wonderful. You are going to win a Medal of Brilliance."
* * *
Louisa was almost done unpacking when a small box near the bottom of her suitcase caught her eye. The ribbon looked like it would be easy to untie, but the note stayed her hand: Do not open until after your presentation.
Little question marks danced around her head in a celestial ballet. What could it be? She hefted the weight. It was not all that heavy, less than a foot long, and big enough in girth that she could not wrap one hand completely around it. A certain thought crossed her mind but she shook her head. No way.
She set the box aside and focused on the conference materials. Thankfully she was not first the next morning, so there was time to scope out the room. With any luck, she'd get in a practice run-through as well.
She went for a swim in the luxurious hotel pool, surprised that almost no one else was there. At the far end, a pair of lovers enjoyed the hot tub. A faint smile crossed her features as she remembered her man at home. They would only be apart for two nights, but already she missed him — more than she thought she would, she reflected.
At the wall she flipped over and slid into a lazy side stroke. Richard. Where was their relationship going? Was it enough that they made each other happy, from one day to the next? She checked her gut but could not get a clear reading. Maybe she just needed more time to think, to feel ... what was that word he had used ... to evolve. Yes, that was it. She pictured him, his hazel eyes crinkled in laughter.
Images washed through her mind. Richard, cooking. Dancing with her, making her feel more fleet than she really was. Mowing the yard, the sun pulling moisture from his pores ... she watched from the window as his sweat trickled over his shoulders, his nipples ... his young, muscular physique glistened in the hot light ...
Louisa ended her swim and went straight up to her room. As soon as she was inside the door she peeled off her bathing suit and kicked it, along with her robe and towel, onto the bathroom floor. Her hair was wet but she didn't care.
She flopped on the bed and pulled the blankets around her. "Richard. Ohhh..." She willed herself into the fantasy of watching him in the sunlight. In the dream he hugged her, his belt buckle digging into her stomach. The scent of his sweat punched her in the nose. His mouth descended to hers in a passionate kiss.
Louisa whimpered and tended her breasts, imagining Richard's hands instead. If he were with her, he would suck those hard pink nipples, she knew it. She lifted her bosom and bent her head forward. The tongue flicking over the sensitive flesh was not his but it gave a spark to the dream.
She was starting to get cold, so she crawled under the covers. For some reason burrowing into the layers made it easier to fantasize. Louisa wrapped her arms around a pillow and prayed her lover's name. Her fingers dipped between her legs. Maybe she should shave, she knew he wanted her to. The hair tickled back, answering her fingers' greeting.
"Um. Ah. Unh," she thrust harder, aching for her lover to fill her. She flogged herself, contorting her body in a solo dance of frustrated desire. The peak, when she reached it, was lonely.
Across the room, still in her suitcase, the gift from her lover waited.
The morning dawned yellow and clear as a retro happy-face. Louisa came to consciousness in a tangle of sheets, blankets and pillows. Mentally she climbed into the motorboat of her day and started her power-up checklist. Big day today!
She bounded from the bed and scurried for her robe at the sound of a knock on the door. The big bouquet of pink and burgundy obscured the clerk's face. From Richard, of course! She thanked the man and sent him away with a crumple of green. "Go get 'em, baby!" read the note.
Louisa breathed in the fresh perfume and hugged the air around the flowers, avoiding the thorns' prick. Her Evinrude revved. She smiled at herself in the mirror and gave a confident nod.
The presentation went exceedingly well. Louisa knew her material backwards and forwards, inside and out, even upside down; and her enthusiasm for the design caught up the audience. It was fun to see so many faces looking pleased in her direction. The Q&A drew out the fine points of her idea and she was able to answer almost every question.
Several members of the audience hung around, murmuring praises and pressing hearty congratulations into her palm. One older gentleman stood out from the rest. His manner was dignified and intelligent. "Young lady, may I have your card, please."
"Sure." Louisa smiled at the man. Silver-rimmed glasses circled his blue eyes. A little scary was her involuntary reaction. But he returned her smile and carefully tucked her card into the breast pocket of his suit jacket. "I'll be in touch," he promised, and left before Louisa realized she hadn't gotten his name.
She was starving. What she wanted to do most of all was race upstairs and call Richard, tell him how wonderfully she'd succeeded, but there wasn't time. As a speaker she was assigned to one of the big round tables at the snooty-doo luncheon. Even though it was flattering to be asked about her work, she was dying to call her man. It would have to wait.
Conversation over lunch was largely a re-run of the talk she had just given. Many of her peers had been attending concurrent sessions, so Louisa wound up repeating herself a lot. After a while it was like watching a train go by. The salads and the chicken entrees were all alike, and amidst the hubbub, the faces began to blend as well. If it hadn't been for the ubiquitous name tags, she wouldn't have remembered at all which was who.
Finally it was over. Louisa said her goodbyes and joined the crowd by the elevator. On the ride up she remembered the mysterious box. What could it be? Never mind — she would call Richard first.
Actually the first thing she did was get out of the oppressive pantyhose. The satin skirt lining caressed her bottom as she pressed the phone buttons. He answered on the first ring. "How'd it go?"
Louisa bounced into a happy babble of achievement. She thanked him for the flowers, too, letting him know how the gesture had started her day so beautifully.
"So what was the question you couldn't answer?"
"Oh, that." She chuckled. "I got to the part where I said we don't know why someone comes into the library and some smartass piped up and said Yes, we do, we've compiled all these statistics from questionnaires.
"I told him first of all, those questionnaires measured the past, not the future, and second, libraries are always trying to expand their audience. That's the point of discussing the library of the future. And the point of my design is to make a library inviting to everyone, not just certain groups."
Richard's head rocked back. "Tongue fu, baby! You sure got him!"
"I have to say I did," she answered smugly. Then her voice changed. "Do you miss me?"
"Oh," he groaned, "is water wet?"
"I can only speak for myself," she said softly.
His palms got sweaty. He exhaled into the phone. "I put a special gift in your suitcase. Did you open it?"
The box! Louisa almost dropped the phone. "Oh my god. Is this what I think it is?"
"You'll have to open it."
The ribbon surrendered easily. Richard could hear the muffled noises of the package being opened, followed by his girlfriend's gasp. He'd taken a risk that she wouldn't be offended. In fact, he hoped her reaction would be quite the opposite.
"It's almost like you," she marveled. Her pulse was doing the zero-to-sixty thing as the implications unfolded in her mind. She knew what was about to happen but could hardly believe it.
"I know, I spent a lot of time finding it. Rub it across your mouth, Louisa, just pretend I'm with you."
"Mmmmmmm. Oh, baby." She moaned into the phone as the tip smoothed over her lips.
"Now unbutton your blouse. Tell me about your bra."
Her fingers fluttered fast as hummingbirds down her front. "I'm wearing a red blouse today and my bra is... red lace to match..."
Richard splayed his legs where he lay on their bed. Red! Jesus! His thigh muscles clenched.
"Listen closely," he instructed. A second later the sound of his zipper raked into her ear.
"Oh, god," she murmured, "is that what I think it was."
"I think you know by now what it sounds like when I unzip my pants in front of you." His voice was soft, but edged with a tiger snarl of lust. Her answering moan made him feel free to say what he was thinking: "Now take my cock and rub it over your breasts."
He imagined doing so. He could almost feel the gentle scrape of lace on his tip.
"Oh... oh, god yes, ... I'm doing it...."
"Pull open your bra, show me your gorgeous tits." The faint click of her front-hook clasp reached his ear. There was a rustle of lace on skin.
"I'm rubbing the head of your cock over my nipples." The timbre of her voice was twisted with lust. "They're so hard, my nipples are so hard..."
"Unh," he moaned, "that's good, baby, now touch me, stroke me with your hands..."
"Are you touching yourself."
"Yes, ... I've got my dick out and I'm stroking it for you. I'm feeling your hands on me, Louisa, I want you to jack me off."
"Oh!" His language yanked her through a shuddering moment of speechlessness. "Oh, yes, feel me stroke you, honey ... you know I love to handle you..."
"Talk to me, girl, tell me what I do to you."
"You make me cum," her whisper rose to a whine, "I thought of you all night last night, I masturbated thinking about you. I finger-fucked myself."
"I want you to fuck yourself right now, Louisa, feel my cock inside you."
Louisa hiked up her skirt around her waist. The lifelike prick nudged easily into her slippery fissure. Her mouth fell open at the surge of pleasure. This was better than her hand. Much, much better.
"Oh, god, ... Richard ... yes fuck me, I need you..." Louisa panted. One hand squeezed her breast while the other frantically manipulated Richard's understudy.
"Don't stop, baby, I'm right here with you. Ride me."
"Oh god yes I'm riding your cock. So hard — Christ!"
"Hold the phone down there, I want to listen while you cum!"
Obediently she held the phone so he could hear the squish, squish, as the stand-in cock plumbed her depths. She let herself go completely, knowing he was on the other end of the line, stroking himself and listening to her get off. The thought of him witnessing her masturbation sent her over the edge.
In the distance Richard heard the familiar yelping scream. Though the saline on his lips was only his own sweat, her noise touched something deep inside him. His gut echoed back to her call. He groaned several times as he made his own sticky mess.
In the current he dropped the phone. He picked it back up and reconnected with her: ".... oh, baby," she was sighing. "Wasn't there an old commercial about the phone being the next best thing to being there?"
"If so, I don't remember it. Listen, angel, did you like that?"
He couldn't see her eyes widen as she nodded an are-you-kidding yes. Then she wised off: "No, I was just faking it."
He snorted with laughter. Her post-coital wisecracking turned his heart over in his chest. "Oh, yeah, me too then." He grinned. "So tell me again when you're coming home."