The Alley of No Return Ch. 04byfursmoke11©
PART FOUR: The Hidden Curriculum
Jane Matthews stepped out of the smoke filled car and looked across at Elaine Phelps.
She smiled, took another long puff on what remained of the cigarette in her gloved hand and dropped it, crushing it with her heeled boot. She exhaled through her nose and Elaine was transfixed as it drifted towards her across the car roof from the woman she idolised; who stood there smiling in the amazing blue fox coat, pulling its soft warm luxury around her face. Elaine also extinguished her cigarette, the fifth of her short "career" as a smoker; and smiled back.
"Can we have another Jane?" she asked.
Jane Matthews grinned a wicked beam. "You are so hooked already?" she said, biting her lip with mischievous glee.
Elaine paused, looked down a little embarrassed for a moment, then regained herself, looked up and smiled:
"Mmmmm" she said confidently, "....I love it."
"Well we may as well have another now as we won't be able to smoke in the restaurant itself. Tell me though Elaine, why have you never tried it before?"
"Well it has always fascinated me but I guess I have never had the courage, or a friend that smoked....so.....well in such a sophisticated way. I think you are amazing Jane. I have seen the way men look at you. She looked at her drab little jacket. I would love to be brave enough to wear a fur too."
"Well maybe I will lend you one of mine next time eh? Hell no what am I thinking....I only live a half mile away let us go and get you one. Lets see if we can't do something with your make up as well."
Elaine looked thrilled; "You mean it Jane? I would love that."
They got back in the car, drove to Jane's apartment, and were back at the parking spot within forty minutes.
This time when they emerged from the car, it was Jane who looked admiringly at Elaine Phelps. Her hair cascaded down the back of the ankle length Blackglama touching her own leather pointed black patent heeled Gucci boots, the only sign previously that Elaine Phelps had a yearning for glamour. Apart from her shoes Elaine Phelps had looked a wallflower.; pretty but timid. Jane had thrown Elaine's pink mittens through the open window of the car laughing when Elaine had put on a pair of leather gloves with a patent cuff that Jane had given her to complete the look.
Elaine turned and exhaled from the cigarette she had lit herself, with a new confident look of a predator in her eye. Jane was pleased with her handy work.
"My God Elaine you look so different; I can't believe it."
"I feel different Jane; I feel sexy......" Elaine purred as she covered her hand over the lighter she held outstretched to light Jane's... her cigarette dangling form now dark red lips.
As they were illuminated in the red glow, a clergyman walked by. He stopped.
He looked longingly at the women as they completed the light, and watched as they exhaled, smilingly oblivious of him.
Temptation never looked so beautiful he thought to himself. It was dark, Nobody would see. It had been 25 years since he had had a cigarette. There was nothing in the Bible about smoking. Why not.
"Ahem. Ladies. I wonder if I might trouble you for a cigarette on this cold starry evening, that I may just relax and look towards God's marvellous heavens?" he ventured, trying to disguise his excitement at the elegant women before him. Though in his forties, Max Fisher , Methodist minister had greying hair at his temples and longer swept back dark hair. He was a man who ensured a good female gathering at his services, though had taken a rather demure woman for his wife. But she was right now not in his mind. He wanted to take the sacrament of smoke once more, with this congregation, and his heart raced at the prospect of taking the white tube of wickedness to his lips once more.
Jane's eyes sparkled in the cold moonlight. Elaine looked at her, took a long drag on her cigarette and exhaled at the clergyman, directing the smoke at his white collar and watching as it rose up to his face.
"Certainly you may....it is allowed?"
"Well you know how it is. It's let's say discouraged. But I used to smoke, saw you fabulous...if I may say...creatures light up and would really like one right now. I trust my secret is safe with you?"
"Of course." Elaine smiled as he took a Marlboro Light 100 from the pack she offered in her gloved hand. Max cupped his hands purposely clumsily over Elaine's hand, enjoying the feel of the spikey soft mink that caressed her gloved wrist, the patent leather reflecting orange as she lit him, sheltering him form the non existent wind with the full drape of her coat as he bent.
Jane laughed as She watched her "student" take communion.
"You look like a vampire seducing her prey Elaine" she mouthed, smoke pouring from her lips and also engulfing the seduced stooped figure of the clergyman eagerly drawing on his own freshly lit cigarette.
"ahhhhh...how wonderful a little of the pleasures of the flesh can be. I would think God understands that. No harm done eh? My, my, you do look like a vampire in that beautiful coat Miss..." Max said, exhaling what deep down he knew was a vapour so profound in its corruption that his nicotine stiffened erection made him forget for a moment his calling. But for a few moments, he was pleased to indulge what he knew was another more primal commitment. Max Fisher was still a man after all.
"Now behave yourselves tonight ladies. Don't do anything I wouldn't do..." he smiled.
Elaine exhaled one last time in his direction. She would've shagged him on the spot. She knew given half the chance he would have wanted to too. It looked so incongruous a clergyman...and a good looking one...pulling on a cigarette with a naughty glint in his eye.
"You're a bad, bad boy vicar..." she said stroking his face with her gloved hand "...but you are right of course. Just because we all enjoy a cigarette doesn't make us evil after all does it?"
"Of course not..." he lied through his teeth "...even us smokers are God's children aren't we? Anyway thankyou kindly for the cigarette, and for such beautiful company on this splendid starry night. Have a good evening."
As he walked off both women laughed under their smoky breath,
Jane cupping her arm under Elaine's, turning on their heels and walking toward the restaurant.
"Well who'd have thought a vicar as a secret smoker? He looked quite sexy too didn't he smoking?"
"mmmmm" she said drawing on her cigarette again, and exhaling into the night.
Max turned to watch the women as they disappeared into the night, long furs cloaking out behind them, their heels stabbing the pavement with echoed clicks, their gloved hands flicking the orange glows held outstretched by their sides that sent his heart racing, He sighed and apologised to God for his momentary lustful diversion.
As the two women approached the restaurant door, the white shirt and leather jeans of Carlo struck altogether a different figure...though now less sexy...than the natty suited young fogey clergyman.
He held the door open for Jane and Elaine, and breathed in the smoky ether that surrounded them as he placed his hand on the back of each of their furs, whispering "Bella bella.... Beautiful coats ladies. Now it is like Milan in here!"
He clicked his fingers and beckoned the other waiter to set two more places at the long table where the other staff at the school where they taught sat open mouthed at the transformation of Elaine Phelps.
As they sat, Carlo taking their coats and putting them on the antique coat hanger by the side of the table, the other waiter pulling out chairs for them, Lydia Keith, the prim tweed suited headmistress smiled at them with a raised eyebrow.
"You two are very late...we rather thought you weren't coming. Why Elaine...you look fabulous. Simply fabulous...been shopping????"
Elaine smiled at Jane.
"Jane leant me her coat; I have always wanted on. And also I never have given much thought to make up and well...Jane offered...and well..." Elaine stuttered, falling back to her lack of confidence for a moment. Lydia was a kind woman, and didn't want her embarrassed. She reached out across the table and held her hand tight.
"You look simply amazing my dear. I wish I still looked as glamorous as you do. I don't know why other women don't make more of an effort these days, she said glowering at the disapproving looks from her other staff. Now sit, we have eaten starters already so Carlo would you mind getting the ladies an aperitif and some of that delicious air dried venison please..." the headmistress asserted, "...now did you ladies think the play as dire as I did?"
Jane sent her eyes skyward.
"I am sorry Lydia. I had to skip the second half..." she glanced sideways to Elaine. Neither had mentioned the scene which Elaine had probably witnessed. She didn't react.
Much further intense discussion of the play ensued, mainly about the characterisations...which had been good. Jane kept her criticisms to herself about both the plot and the quality of some of the line deliveries, and also the general tedium of the concept.
Starters and aperitifs done, main courses ordered and washed down with copious amounts of red and white wine by all, meant some people, including Jane and Elaine, would probably have to abandon their car and get a taxi. But the night was yet young and Elaine was already kicking Jane's heel beneath the table as the plates were cleared.
"I think you will have to excuse us for few minutes while we have a cigarette if you don't mind!" Jane said politely, and a little excited that she now had a smoking colleague in Elaine Phelps.
Ruth Mears was incensed.
"Elaine!" she exclaimed with shock "you are smoking as well as becoming a fur whore?"
A little too much wine. Disapproving looks in such company were one thing; but the word "whore" was a bridge too far.
Everyone looked down.
Jane Matthews glowered at the indignant Ruth Mears, but spoke softly:
"You may be the Union Rep here Ruth for which you have respect but there is no point in peddling the rest of the baggage which your political prejudices tell you to. If Elaine wants to wear a fur and smoke, then that is entirely her choice; as it is mine. Now if you will excuse us we are stepping outside."
Carlo was putting the furs around Jane and Elaine's shoulders as she spoke, infuriation Ruth Mears at the attention they were getting from not just the restaurant staff but the table of Oxford United football players at the table opposite. The exchange between Jane and Ruth was quite and restrained, but the simmering tension was evident only to those at the table. Jane donned her gloves and tapped a cigarette from her pack , teasingly waving it slowly and seductively in her gloved fingers.
"Anyone else care to join us?"
Nobody moved. Jane and Elaine walked to the back door of the restaurant and into the walled garden with patio heaters and dancing tea light. It was beautiful. Carlo brought Jane and Elaine a glass of champagne and lit their cigarettes.
"Compliments of the House ladies. You have added a real touch of glamour for us tonight. The gentlemen on the table opposite are footballers. They were very impressed by your entrance."
Jane regretted sitting with their backs to them instantly. She had been oblivious of them.
"Really?" said Jane excitedly, exhaling down and glancing back through the window at the table, two of the men at which were getting up and donning expensively tailored jackets. Jane looked at the tallest man's behind. The material and cut of his pin stripe emphasised his buttocks well.
The patio doors opened again and the two men , one with open necked white silk shirt and leather thing, the other in a much more conservative but couture Hermes tie, joined them. They were older than the other at the table, and clearly toward the end of their footballing careers. Nevertheless, they were both extremely attractive to both Jane and Elaine, the latter of whom began to shiver despite the sleek warm Blackglama around her shoulders, trembling at the prospect of engaging the men.
"Mind if we join you for a smoke ladies?" Steve Banner , ex Spurs captain and now player manager politely ventured.
"Be our guests..." Elaine said so seductively Jane stared at her in disbelief, as she took an eye narrowed pull on the Marlboro from her own pack Jane had given her form her duty free stash at her apartment earlier.
Ruth Mears watched from her table with gritted teeth. Jane was obscured from her view, but she could see her gloved hand flicking the cigarette flirtatiously as the handsome adonis in front of her lit a huge Romeo y Julietta cigar. Though Ruth Mears was a lesbian, she could not help admiring this man. As a fan o football herself, she knew who Steve Banner and Ukranian international Segei Smilov were. Her anger at the encounter was almost too much for her, and she snapped a toothpick.
None of the women at the table spoke except for Maths teacher Amanda Dreyfuss and the French teacher Helene Malpasse, who were busy talking to a male colleague who was dining with his wife and had got up to talk to them. The other four sat silent, watching as Jane and Elaine laughed and smoked with the most eligible bachelors outside.
Ruth broke the silence which but for her, was one of unexpected awe at their two colleagues, who wr by now laughing with the men , and lots of touching was taking place. Phillipa Jenkins almost passed out as she saw the Ukranian lean forward and take a long drag on the cigarette which Jane's fur sleeve held aloft to his lips. "Oh my..." she said audibly.
"I am sorry..." said Ruth Mears, to the whole table "...but I think Jane Matthews is a trollop, a man's plaything and I think with that disgusting fur and her chain smoking she sets a terrible example to the children."
Lydia Keith had heard enough. She had hired Jane Matthews to break the monotony of political correctness that she saw held the school in a vice like grip despite her own efforts to bring the children education not politik and social engineering. Lydia's subject was history, and she knew enough about Nazi smoking bans, their warped animal rights beliefs and the Hitler youth to be worried about it happening all over again. She had hired Jane partly purely to challenge the narrow indeed value system she felt some of her staff held, especially controlled as it was by the Union rep Ruth Mears who she secretly despised.
She folded her napkin. " If you will excuse me ladies I just want to get something from my car."
Lydia left the table as Ruth continued with her rhetoric.
"I mean don't you think she is a terrible example, for a teacher to be smoking? How can we explain to the children that smoking is so bad for them when we have teachers who smoke?"
"What would you do Ruth?" Petra Zimmermann the normally quiet Russian and Latin teacher spoke up "start a pogrom rooting out teachers who smoke? Then purge the ones who wear furs or go foxhunting , then pretty soon you start on peoples sexuality ..." she continued pointedly "....and then their religion and race?"
Petra stared at Ruth with cold eyes of someone from a Jewish immigrant family who had experienced such prejudice, and could feel hatred when she saw it.
"oh don't be ridiculous Petra..." Ruth corrected her "... I am merely saying that fur and smoking are unacceptable in our day and age; we are supposed to be enlightened. We should be teaching children that such things are wrong. I mean do you know how many dead animals it took to make that coat. I think its probably made of polar bears!"
Now it was time for Petra Zimmermann to grit her teeth. She knew the fur was fox and was astounded by Ruth's ignorance.
Ruth continued with statistics and horror stories about blackened lungs caused by smoking. Petra's husband smoked. She loved he smell of his pipe, and was on the verge of getting up and walking out, but herself was now rooting for Elaine and Jane to have success with the gorgeous men outside. They were not her type at all...she preferred the mellow company of her husband and wished he was here right now. Already she was looking forward to cuddling up on the sofa and inhaling the aroma from his pipe. She said nothing else to Ruth Mears but continued to listen to the bullcrap.
Ruth held court over the others while Lydia was gone, but Phillipa Jenkins continued to witness the world that had always escaped her, as Carlo took out into the garden another bottle of champagne on ice. "Oh my..." she said under her breath again.
Lydia Keith pulled up the boot of her car. There it lay.
She had always worn it to the car before going to the theatre, as she always had with her husband, who had sadly died some years before as the result of a climbing accident. He had always embraced such things, stared death in the face. She too had enjoyed white water kayaking, and skiing with him. It was on a ski holiday in 1981 that he had bought her what lay in the car. The thing that reminded her of him. A tear came to her eye as she remembered fondly her trips to the theatre with him. How splendid and cavalier he had looked in his dashing dinner suit as he had lit her cigarettes in the days before she had given up nervous of colleague and parental pressure. And for the same reason she had only ever worn the glossy lunaraine mink ¾ swing coat that lay in the boot to the car. Never in front of her colleagues..."its not cold enough" she would kid herself, never admitting her lack of courage. But now she had Jane Matthews, a kindred spirit without fear of people perceptions, to inspire her. She put the coat on and closed the boot. As the fur swaggered around her, she looked down at her legs in the brown courts shoes that suddenly looked classily sexy with her tight tweed skirt. She took off her glasses and thrust them into her pocket. Lydia was not in need of them; she wore them only for authority. But now, tonight, she was ready to be a woman again.
Lydia entered the restaurant, Ruth Mears had her back to her. She could hear "blah blah blah" but her words were not worth listening to.
Petra and Phillipa had in the last half an hour gone from being mildly anti fur and anti smoking to having a sneaking admiration for Jane Matthews and her vices through Ruth Mears hateful rhetoric.
They were in open mouthed smiles as they watched Lyida Keith, hair still in bun but suddenly looking as classy as they come saunter into the restaurant, wink at them, and float out again into the garden with a brown gloved finger to her lips.
Jane Matthews face beamed.
"Wow!" she said "its stunning Lydia; you had it in the car?"
"Yes" said Lydia " I never quite get the courage to wear it though. Good evening gentlemen!" She smiled.
"It is very nice fur..." said Sergei the Ukranian maestro offering Lydia a Sobranie black cigarette with gold tip from his ostentatious gold case. Steve Banner furnished her with a glass of champagne. Elaine's mouth fell open as Lydia stooped to accept the light from the Ukranian's solid old zippo.
"....my sister is coming to England next week. She ask me if its true the British are crazy about fur. I can say yes no? But in good way! She has many nice fur....she is beauty queen. But this one, this is very very nice Russian sable."
"no no...I think its mink" said Lydia "but thank you for the compliment."
"Actually...." Jane stepped in "...the collar and cuffs are indeed sable... Lydia..it is a stunning coat"
Lydia smiled refelectivley;
"My husband bought it for me....he adored me in it. Thank you Jane. Thank you Sergei...I didn't know the collar and cuffs were sable!" she said knowing why now her husband had never revealed the cost to her.
She pulled on the cigarette slowly and purposefully. Sergei Smilov's erection throbbed in his tight suit trousers as he watched Lydia Keith....30 years his senior but everything he had dreamed of in an English lady... inhale a cheek hollowing drag to end them all. Her bone structure was no evident for all to see. She exhaled through the sable soft against her face.