Carol Ch. 03


I closely watched Carol's breathing, it was deep and uneven, the way she gets in bed. I knew she was hearing what the guys were whispering back and forth. They were talking about her, and how good she looked, of course. She didn't react to any of her watchers' nasty words specifically, but she told me later she was turned on. She liked what they thought; she was indifferent to how they thought it.

How did we get here?

* * * * *

Carol was learning to be a tease. A highly available, touchable, always-friendly tease. I confirmed this one day when I met her after her class.

When I paused in the door to the classroom, she was still in there, going over some notes with a guy. She was standing very close to him, sharing a notebook. When she glanced up and saw me, she gave a little wave. The guy guiltily dropped his hand from her shoulder. But before long, he put it back.

I waited until she was done. She said, "Okay! Thanks!" and stood on her tippy-toes to give him a quick kiss.

As she came towards me, she passed another guy still in his desk. He called, "Carol!" And then -- it shocked me to see -- he actually reached out and caught the back of her thigh. There was no way on earth that I would feel comfortable enough to grab the thigh of a passing mini-skirted girl, but he didn't seem embarrassed.

Carol rolled her eyes at me and put a finger up, then turned and bent towards him. He was pointing to some stuff on the page in front of him, but his eyes were down her front. His hand slowly slid off her thigh, trying to linger, but trying to look innocent too.

The first guy she'd been talking to came up again, squeezed in beside them, half behind Carol. Her ass was sticking out, into his hip. They went over the page, Carol doing most of the talking. It was maddening, seeing her like that -- bent over with her knees locked, ogled from the front, crowded from the rear, and her just talking naturally.

When she finally stood, she ran a hand down this sitting man's back. He stood quickly, putting a hand on her waist, and gave her a kiss. Then she kissed the first guy again, and finally came over. She was shaking her head, with a broad smile.

"One side effect of all the rules," she said, taking my hand, "is that I'm like the most popular study partner. Everybody but everybody needs my help."

"They're totally in love with you," I told her, nuzzling her ear.

She laughed. "I think they're taking advantage of me."

"That's wonderful," I crooned.

"Yeah. No! I mean, did you see them? According to our rules, I have to talk to guys, and they picked up on it like in the first thirty seconds. So they're always on me about classwork, or helping them with their essays. I'm like a teacher's assistant for all the guys in class."

"Oh. I thought they were taking advantage because they're touching you, or getting kissed all the time."

She nodded. "The kissing is pretty easy, though I'm not used to it yet. I'll take your word about the touching."

"No kidding? You didn't notice them touching?"

"Not any more than usual," she said. "I mean, since I started wearing only these little outfits, I have no personal space. But I'm getting used to that." She thought for a minute. "I notice the other girls, they have two or three feet between them and other guys, when they're talking. I have about four inches, at most. It's nothing serious, I got used to it pretty fast."

"That's so hot," I said.

"But for me, it's business as usual."

"That's what's so hot about it."

* * * * *

The next day, we were walking through the student union, getting some drinks. As waited in the cashier's line, I glanced down at Carol. She was in a short, flower-print dress and leather shoes, looking quite enticing. As I studied her, a hand slid around her waist, and came to rest on her stomach.

It belonged to a youngish guy, guido-looking, with an open collar and a few gold chains around his neck. "So Carol," he said, "have you given any thought about tonight? Or tomorrow night?"

"I'll tell you later," she said. "This is Tyler, my boyfriend."

"Oh, hey," he said, backing off. He met my eyes, a little challengingly.

"Hi!" I held out my hand, and he took it, suspicious.

Carol said, "He's a friend from class, he wants to take me out to dinner."

I smiled at him, shaking his hand. "If you go, just make sure it's a nice place. She deserves the best."

He nodded uncertainly. "Sure." He turned to her, "So, think about it."

"Okay sweetie," she said, and kissed him.

As he walked away, she said, "Sorry about that."

"No big," I said, squeezing her shoulders. She gave a kooky smile. "Did you notice how he just grabbed your stomach, rather than saying hi?"

"I think he has a thing for my stomach," she agreed demurely.

"You should wear a crop-top for him," I suggested. "Or a half-shirt. So next time, he gets a hand full of skin."

"Half shirt! Those went out in the eighties."

"So you'll bring them back. Are you going to go out with him?"

She shrugged, looking a little uncomfortable. This was the first of her potential dates that I'd actually met. "It's still early in the week. I guess I'm holding out for something less... formal. Like a study session." Her eyes fluttered to mine, and I smiled at her encouragingly. "Yeah. Still, I don't think I could ever take him seriously. He wears more jewelery than I do."

"Keep me up to date," I said, and she nodded, leaning into me. I said, "I like how guys are just grabbing you."

"Hmmm," she laughed. "I thought they just didn't remember my name."

"We are one weird couple."

* * * * *

In our own way, we were being methodical about Carol's wardrobe. It was a little like she was in training -- she'd often give reports on how little she noticed what she was wearing, and I'd cheer her on.

After one week, she was reporting that she now wasn't worrying much about her hemline. She said she was taking stairs, sitting down and even bending over without rearranging her clothes. There was an element of the absurd, and we both knew it: Could she really be that precise about something she wasn't supposed to be noticing?

But then, there was truth to it also. She was pulling down her skirts less often. When getting out of a chair, less and less often would she primly keep her knees together. She no longer groaned when guys paused in front of her park bench, or anxiously squeezed my hand when we walked over a vent in the sidewalk. Wind on the streets no longer made her clench her teeth, or giggle, depending on her mood.

After two and a half weeks together, we even started talking about the skirts less. This made me happy, not because I didn't like talking about how the skirts made her feel -- I lived for that. She was just giving fewer reports, and we were dwelling on other topics. We no longer had the sense that the "great experiment," as she called it, would be over in a week and a few days. There was no feeling that, whew, in just ten more days it would be over. It felt permanent.

So although there was a training aspect, and she was observing "the rules," I couldn't help but press things forward. One rule was -- no underwear at the library. Consequently, I had us spending a lot of time together at the library. It helped our studying.

I met her in the library foyer, where she was horsing around with Mike and another guy I didn't know. She was pressed against Mike, their arms crooked behind each others' backs, each hand on the other's neck from behind. He was putting his leg in front of hers, trying to trip her, and she was doing the same. The friend was smiling at them from the side.

"Tyler!" she said, when I walked up.

"Hi hon!" I leaned in, took her cheek in my hand, and gave her a little kiss. Then I pulled back -- I didn't want her leaving Mike's grip.

She was wearing a wraparound jeans skirt, low on her hips, which was closed with two buttons. It bobbled as she moved, the split showing a lot of her right thigh. I really liked her top, though. It was a shiney black silk top, with straps over the shoulders, and it looked like lingerie. The V in front scooped down to her sternum, and the twin orbs of her breasts were covered by modest pyramids of silk. As she tussled with Mike, her chest shimmied back and forth, unrestrained by any bra.

"This is Tim, he's in our poli sci class too," said Carol.

I shook Tim's hand warmly. Tim said, "We were having a political discussion. Carol said she'd try to trip Mike up."

"Literally!" she sang, laughing.

Mike was trying to leverage her around again. He was looking down -- probably had an incredibly unobstructed view down her front -- and moving his leg in front of hers again.

I wished I could be a fly on the wall. Mike was in shorts, and the skin of his leg was rubbing up against the skin of her thighs, especially when she scissored him back and tried to stay standing. His chest was mashed against hers, and his face half down her shirt. If Carol noticed that they were in a full-body clinch, she didn't let on. She was getting to the point that she didn't notice that sort of thing, or at least she wouldn't bring it up until much later.

It was only 5 days since the "kissing and touching" rule, and there were four days until she was supposed to start going without underwear. She was adapting magnificently... and I was walking around with a permanent hard-on.

I eased her away from the guys -- not before she hugged and kissed them good-bye -- and we got on the elevator. There were people pressed all around us, so I limited myself to wrapping a hand around her waist. The fabric of her silk top did nothing to hide her curves from my palm, and the silk was skin-warm to the touch. I could only imagine what her breasts had felt like against Mike's chest.

We got off on the sixth floor, and she took my hand. "So what are we doing today? Just studying?"

As a matter of fact, I had thought this out -- it had been a long, lonely night last night. "We're going to study, but not together. We'll go into the sitting room separately, and pretend we don't know each other."

"Why?" she asked. She started leading us to the room.

"So I can see how guys react to you, when you're alone."

"Lots of kissing and hugging," she said, rolling her eyes. "You'd think I'd get tired of it."

"Go take your panties off," I told her. "We'll talk again in, like, two hours."

She flashed a grin and turned into the women's bathroom, and I went ahead to the lounge. It was a big sitting room, with large windows onto Washington Square Park. There was a scattering of tables and low shelves with reference books. The comfy, love-seat style chairs, with padding, were only half full. People didn't usually study this early in the day.

I circled the room until Carol came in. She was still eye-catching, in her filmy top and short jeans skirt. Her shoes made heavy clunking noises that caused people to look up at her as she passed. Every step she took, caused her chest to sway back and forth. For me, she was extra exciting, because I knew that under those two or three inches of hemline, she was completely bare.

Her eyes flicked over me without pausing, and then she picked out a comfy chair right off the main path through the room. I wondered if this was natural for her too, to pick the most prominent location. In the past, I'd had to remind her about that, but now it seemed second-nature. There were several other empty chairs around her, and I took one about seven or eight feet away.

Carol slid off her shoes, and arranged herself with a book and hi-lighter, settling down to read. Her chest rose and fell as she breathed, and the silk was hanging away from her breasts in all the right places. I noticed another thing about her top -- she was constantly pulling the straps back up her shoulder. I wondered how many times that day she'd replaced the straps, and if she ever just let them hang down her arm, too busy to correct it.

As she read and chewed her hi-lighter, I stared at her. I wondered, briefly, what I'd done to deserve her. Then I told myself that I'd just been nice, honest and friendly. Any guy could've been her boyfriend, because Carol could get along with anybody. I'd been the one with the nerve to start talking to her, to capture and return her affection.

My eyes drifted down. Her smooth legs shined in the light. The hem of her skirt, pulled up in a sitting position, was at the very top of her thighs -- but if she was concerned, bothered, or even aware that she was now half an inch from uncovering herself for passers-by, she didn't let on. She was wholly immersed in her book.

So there I was, staring at Carol, and I didn't have to worry about anything. She wasn't going to get angry at me for staring -- or anybody, I guessed. I was horn-dogging after a hot girl a few seats over, and she was mine! What had I done to deserve her?

Finally, she glanced up at me. I wasn't sure she saw me at first, because she was looking thoughtful and tapping her mouth with her pen. Then she paused, and raised an eyebrow: How'm I doing?

I gave her an infinitesimal smile, which she returned. We had a few guys on either side of us now. Some of them were studying, while others were just sitting, staring around in general and at her specifically. I suppose that anybody walking into the lounge, seeing us boys there, ringed around the girl, would have thought we were all jonesing for her. I felt happy inside: I was the secret boyfriend.

To prove this to myself, I squinted at her challengingly. She caught on, and her face grew expectant. She was ready to react to what I did, but she couldn't be obvious about it. She was blanketed in the gazes of all her admirers, so she couldn't do anything obvious. It was like those stares were pinning her to the couch. She almost looked afraid to shift her weight.

Very subtly, I tapped my shoulder. I mimed sliding a strap off my shoulder and down my arm. Then I returned to my book.

By the time I looked up again, a few minutes later, the strap had "fallen" down her left shoulder.

The V of light silk over her breast was still propped up, by a fold, but the strap itself -- heavy and shiney -- rested in a U shape down by her elbow. The whole, smooth brown expanse of her upper chest skin was gloriously uncovered in the library lights, from her chin, to her collar bone, to her shoulder, to the delta of wrinkles at her underarm. Her breast curved out into the fabric -- the silk must've been held up by static cling.

Carol rocked back in her seat, getting more comfortable. One leg went straight sideways, across the other, while her other foot was nestled under her ass. It was a very prim pose, especially considering how her skirt was riding up. Nothing was visible, but her extended leg was uncovered almost to her hip. Her leg was gleaming in the lights.

She tilted her head back, still mouthing the pen, and read her book holding it sideways. She didn't fix the strap. With every move she made, we could see the curving skin of her breast surging this way and that. It was almost magic how that damned silk stayed over her chest.

I don't know how long she stayed like that, but she turned the pages of her book four times. Her eyes never flicked over towards the five guys in the chairs around us. Like they didn't exist. Maybe they didn't, to her.

When I caught her gaze, I challenged her again. I pretended to fall asleep, nodding my head and resting my chin on my chest. She caught on immediately.

As I watched, her head tilted forward, then she caught it. Her eyelids lowered. Her head eased gently back into the arm of the chair. Her mouth drifted open, even as her book drifted down and settled in her lap.

Two minutes after I suggested it to her, she was pretending to be asleep. The only way this could have been cooler was if I had a tiny speaker implanted in her ear, to give her instructions.

It was a good half hour before she stirred. As people passed, the males did double-takes. Younger men pointed her out to friends their friends. Men who were by themselves searched out a chair near her. When those chairs were filled, they stared from across the room.

I closely watched Carol's breathing, it was deep and uneven, the way she gets in bed. I knew she was hearing what the guys were whispering back and forth. They were talking about her, and how good she looked, of course. But the words they used weren't complimentary to her. I heard the words, "sexy," "hot," and "pussy."

She didn't react to any of her watchers' nasty words specifically, but she told me later she was turned on. She liked what they thought; she was indifferent to how they thought it.

* * * * *

Later that evening, as we lay in bed recapping the day, I began to feel obscurely guilty. I had been thinking it was all about me -- she was my secret girlfriend, if only I had a microphone in her ear. As she drowsed off, she said, "It was like we were a secret team, screwing with everybody else's reality." She was right. There is no "I" in team.

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