This is for the Earth Day contest so please vote. Also, I do not endorse any of the actions of the characters in the story. If you think they are morally dubious, you are correct.
One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand there, you're going to wind up with an ear full of cider. - Damon Runyon Guys and Dolls
"Can you believe that shit?"
Devon glanced up from counting the fliers he'd gotten from the print shop. He hadn't had time to count them before catching the bus back to campus, so he was hoping he didn't have to go back there. They always acted like he was trying to get more copies for free, instead of reporting a legitimate shortfall, and if it'd been his own money, he might not go through the hassle. But it was the Green Society's money, and he'd promised to make sure he got what they paid for, so he'd have little choice.
It took him a few seconds to surface from his tedious, hypnotic world of dreary consecutive numbers and focus on what Allison was carping about. It was a girl, presumably college age, holding a sign. This was such a common sight on ISU's campus that he was briefly puzzled. Sure, she was slightly impeding the sidewalk's view of their booth, but only at one vantage point.
True, it was generally considered rude not to maintain a more respectful distance from a CRB (Cause-Related Booth) when you were an individual demonstrator,but sign-carriers were a cantankerous breed, in Devon's experience, often irritated by the fact that they couldn't even persuade their friends to join them in whatever vigil they were holding. Allison's ire seemed excessive.
Technically, they weren't there in any official capacity, either. It was Monday, and Earth day was this Friday. But Jim, the president, had decided that increasing the Green Society's presence was a priority, and so they'd be here all week, weather permitting.
Of course, the sign wasn't facing so he could see it, so maybe he was missing some key information.
"Well," he said, hoping not to provoke her further, "that's what comes with using a public space. Anybody else can glom onto --"
"You haven't read the sign, have you?" Allison interrupted.
His silence was all the admission required, really.
"Just keep watching," she said firmly. "She'll be flashing it around again any...second..."
And, sure enough, she did. Devon couldn't help but laugh in disbelief. Her sign said, in big, black letters, "FUCK THE EARTH. POLLUTE ALL YOU WANT."
"Can you believe that shit?" was all Allison could muster.
He guessed that was all she was going to say about the matter. He knew from experience that attempting to calm Allison down in any obvious fashion always backfired, so he decided he wouldn't try. He would just focus on his own gut-level response, which was more puzzlement than anger. Sure, it was stupid and ignorant, but what would anyone hope to gain by such a display? Could she be trying to get a reaction from them specifically?
He decided to find out. From what he could tell, Delco's Print shop had actually printed twenty more fliers than he'd actually paid them for, so there was no need to dwell on the matter further. Plenty of time to indulge his curiosity.
"You know," he said casually to Allison, "I'm actually not scheduled to sit at the booth this afternoon. I was just supposed to drop off the fliers, so I'm going to...yeah..." He decided there was no point in a cover story. Allison would be able to see what he was doing.
"Are you going to stir shit up again?" she asked. Sometimes Allison loved his stunts. Other times they made her want to disassociate herself from him in as thorough a manner as possible. It was, she'd informed him after their fifth, and in some ways most memorable fuck (three hours, a new personal record for both of them), the reason they could never date. Which didn't change the fact that they were each permanently on the other's speed dial.
He'd been a sophomore when she met him, and he was always wild and creative. He was constantly coming up with ideas for stunts and pranks that no reasonable person would ever attempt, but the ideas were always entertaining, and then he would occasionally pull one off anyway, and it was exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure.
He was a senior now, and she kept waiting for him to retire his wild side, possibly (even though she hated to admit this to herself) in the hopes it would indicate he was ready for more than one type of stability in his life.
He had in fact slept with at least thirty women she knew of since they first met, not counting herself. He refused ever to spend more than a week trying to get in a girl's pants, and if unsuccessful would either never call the girl again, or (more rarely) would claim the girl as a friend and treat her exactly the same as his male friends, avoiding any romantic or sexual overtures ever again. At least five of his conquests were a result of this practice, Allison included.
"I just want to take an interest in the community," he said oh-so-innocently. "We'll never get our message across if we don't listen to and understand dissenting voices."
"Sure, yeah," she said dismissively. "Just remember you're on your own if you try anything excessive. That means no bail money, no character references, and definitely no conjugal visits."
This amused him. "Christ, Allison, what do you think I'm going to do?"
She put up her hands, exasperated. 'Just remember I can't be involved, and the club can't be involved."
It was like shining a flashlight at a black hole. He'd already started drifting over to the troublemaker. (The other troublemaker, Allison corrected herself.)
Devon put on his best smile. He wanted to be as outwardly charming as possible, at first.
"That's quite a provocative sign you got there, Miss...?" He figured she had to give him some kind of a response. If she wasn't fishing for attention of some sort, he'd bite his own left nut, and he wasn't that flexible.
"Gotta stand up to you fuckin' liberals!" she replied. Great. Apparently this was another case of Tea Party fallout. By protesting some second-rate student-run club, she was standing up against the dreaded Liberal Agenda. Maybe she thought They'd hand out condoms to schoolkids next.
"So you're against environmental awareness?" Devon looked over at the Green Society's display table, which he'd helped set up, for all the fifteen minutes it took. He was glad there was no wind. Anything that would weight the table down enough to prevent it from blowing over stood a good chance of collapsing the skinny frame. The primary job of the table monitor (aside from handing out fliers and answering questions) was literally to keep the table from blowing over, and to pack up the paper if the wind picked up. It was not a high rent operation.
But he still had a conversation to engage in. "Just what threat or agenda do you think we pose, Ms...?" He didn't really care if he got a name, but people who tell you their names tend to give more information, and her motivations baffled him.
"You liberals have nothing better to do than tell everyone else what to do!" This was starting to get monotonous. Devon wondered if she came with a script, or maybe she'd had a pull-string installed.
He looked closely at her expression to see if she meant even a tenth of what she said. Her expression was that of the eternal contrarian, obviously on fire with an oppositional stance, never mind how she'd come by it. The Liberals thought nobody could possibly be openly for pollution, huh? Well, she'd show them!
She wasn't ugly, but whatever you could characterize in her features as cute also came off mean. Her brown eyes were closer to black, and beady to boot. She had a mean little squint; he couldn't tell whether it was a result of her general demeanor or just a need for corrective lenses.
Her thin lips, just a shade pinker than the skin surrounding them, were participating in the type of smile a six-year-old gets from spraying water in a baby's face. And her turned up nose begged to be taped back to give her a truly piggish expression. He was certain she would relish any verbal vitriol he cared to throw her way.
"So you think that anyone who wants should be able to just put out whatever shit they want in the air and the water, and we shouldn't say anything?" 99% of the enviro-haters he encountered would back off at that, agreeing that some regulations were necessary, but this girl seemed like she might stand her ground. She certainly had the calves for it, well-developed, although her thighs were surprisingly skinny.
"This is a free country! Nobody made you boss!"
Well, this was going nowhere. He'd gotten all the info he needed, anyway.
"Fair enough. You do have the right to your opinion." Then he walked away without a second glance. She was too stunned to yell after him. She turned and stared at Allison, apparently hoping to argue with her, but Allison deliberately averted her gaze.
It had only been twenty minutes since Devon left. As he came back up the walkway to the Green Society's booth, he was gratified to see that their lone protestor hadn't abandoned her post. He nonchalantly held the paper cup in his hand, for all the world as if he was just carrying around a refreshing soda.
Instead of walking to the booth, he stopped directly in front of his newest antagonist. Wanting to take her by surprise, he deliberately, carefully looked her up and down, as if all her goods were on display.
They weren't, exactly. She was wearing one of those things that was a cross between a jumper and overalls, with the bottom part shorts rather than long pants or a dress. She looked pretty skinny, and her sandy brown hair was braided off into pigtails. She was like a bratty little kid more than a woman, from what he could tell. As with any woman, however, he couldn't help but wonder what she looked like naked.
She looked back defiantly at him, obviously hoping he would say something she could respond to. So he grinned, opened up his mouth, and...
...threw the entire contents of the cup he held at her. He got her upper torso pretty good, a couple of the cigarette butts he'd been soaking in water sticking to her now drenched collar. He'd even gotten a little on her face, which he hadn't meant to do. Thank God nothing got in her eyes or he would have felt bad. If anything, he felt triumphant.
"Nothing wrong with a little pollution, right?" Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Allison almost get out of her chair, then think better of it. She really was going to stay out of it, then. It was just as well.
After several seconds in which Little Miss Demonstrator appeared shocked into speechlessness, Devon decided to press his advantage. "Relax," he said with a total lack of concern. "Nothing in there's going to make you sick, as long as you don't drink it straight. So you still don't have it as bad as a community used as a dumping ground for toxic waste, for instance."
God, he sounded pedantic. That was what he hated the most about extremists like her. There were only so many times you could reiterate logical, sensible positions before you sounded monotonous and boring. So he would occasionally get a little dramatic.
"I could have you arrested, you fuck!" she spat at him. Was she serious? He doubted it, she seemed too determined to spar with him, but if she got bored she might very well revert to that option. Better to nip that option in the bud.
"You could, and I could get my brother, Barry, he's an excellent lawyer, by the way, to let me out on bail and humiliate you during the trial, completely holding you and your political..." he paused to show his contempt, "...beliefs up to ridicule, or..."
He had to make this good. Given what an attention whore he'd surmised her to be, holding her up to public ridicule might be just up her alley. But he was betting that he could make her a more attractive offer; her humiliation might get her the attention she wanted, but what if she thought she could humiliate him, and the Green Society to boot?
"Or?" she prodded. He smiled. That was one advantage to acting like a crazy motherfucker: even if you got on people's nerves, they couldn't wait to see what you'd come up with next.
"Or I could give you the chance to really rake me over the coals. Make me look like an idiot, and give you the credit for it. And all through the Earth Day rally, too."
That was the selling point. If she didn't bite at that bait, he wasn't going to get anywhere. Of course, if he lost, every single friend he had in the Green Society would suddenly be a former friend. Allison would probably never fuck him again. And he would feel like an idiot. But he had to make sure she'd believe she could best him. So far, he could tell she was still interested.
"Look, it's very simple. We have a contest. If you win, I will gladly stand beside you all during Earth Day. Whatever sign you hold up, I will be glad to hold one next to you that says something like, 'She's Right About Everything. She Proved Me Wrong.' Or --" he could tell that didn't appeal to her quite as much as she hoped "-- OR it could be a sign that says anything you want. It could say, 'I Rape Puppies' or 'Kill the Retarded' or anything else you want. Even if it's something that gets me arrested."
There. That mean smile was coming back. She was hooked. Now to make sure she thought this was a possibility.
"And all you have to do is be better at sex than I am."
Oh, that sold it. She already had a look of triumph in her eyes. He almost couldn't believe he was getting away with this. But deep down, he knew this to be true: almost nobody with a healthy sex drive can allow themselves to believe they're bad at sex. And that went double for narcissists.
"And what if you win?" she asked. When he told her, her lips curled down in disgust. But then they perked up in an even uglier smile. She didn't think it was possible for her to lose. And maybe, the potential humiliation really did appeal to her. This was going to be interesting.
It proved surprisingly easy to agree on the basic conditions. What Devon proposed was that they engage in a series of sexual acts, fifteen minutes at a time, each taking turns to attempt to make the other one orgasm. Whoever was behind could forfeit at any moment, merely by bowing out. If neither one had come after two hours, whoever pled fatigue forfeited the victory.
If Devon went for fifteen minutes without an erection, he forfeited, ditto Myrtle (he almost broke out laughing when she'd parted with that name) if she wasn't wet enough to allow penetration. (Although he wasn't going to begrudge it if she used lube; this was merely to ensure neither of them made it impossible for the other to at least attempt the challenge. Not to mention they'd have to use lube for the anal.)
To make it fair, he agreed to her conditions. No condoms. (Although he knew more than one person who came more reliably if he used one, he didn't mention it.) No jerking off for twenty-four hours before the contest, which meant they'd have to spend a whole day together in very close quarters, just so she could make sure.
Multiple orgasms could only count as one big one; her breathing would have to return to normal before an orgasm could count as a separate one.
And after the first one for each side, begging the other person to make them come was an automatic forfeit, although then the other person had to make a good faith attempt to give them one.
As for what counted as a 'real' orgasm, in Devon's case it was pretty simple. If any semen came out, that would count. They agreed visible 'squirting' would count for Myrtle, but the so-called clitoral orgasm was trickier.
"I should make you pay for this," Myrtle said She sat on her bed, the faded quilt a patchwork of blurry juvenilia, pictures of Goldilocks surprising the three bears, Raggedy Ann and Andy holding hands, Peter Rabbit digging in the vegetable garden, and many others. Devon was surprised at the nostalgia it inspired in him, but was damned if he'd admit it.
She was wrapped in an unfashionably tacky plaid flannel bathrobe. He wasn't sure if her chaste sleepwear was for modesty's sake or if this was just what she was comfortable masturbating in. If being naked in front of another person made her too self-conscious to come he might have more of a disadvantage than he thought. No. Her exhibitionistic streak practically gleamed in the sunlight. She just didn't know how to use it.
He couldn't decide if she was smarter than she acted or simply rock-solid average. Just the fact that he'd talked her into this contest was evidence she couldn't think strategically. The line from Guys and Dolls, "On that day, you will get cider in your ear," had always stuck with him, and he was amazed how many people couldn't grasp it.
So maybe she'd fallen for a sucker's bet. But that didn't mean she couldn't try to claim some advantage. For Christ's sake, even the plainest girls could learn to act seductive if they just worked it a little. She should be trying to play him, making him yearn for her.
If this contest began, and he wasn't already panting for it, she'd basically lost. If he wasn't so determined to avoid humiliation, he might even give her hints to up her game. As it was, however, she was just going to have to learn what defeat tasted like.
He pushed 'Record' on the camera, and nodded at her. She stuck her hand down into the folds of her robe, presumably into her crotch, and went to work. The camera would record her facial expressions, and the decibel level of whatever moans and grunts issued out of her would serve as the baseline for later. Once again, she'd be better off faking histrionics, so she could disavow anything quieter and less dramatic later on, but again, no fucking strategy.
She might have had one good idea. He couldn't see just what she was doing down there, if she was working a finger in, diddling her clit, or any other little pet maneuvers she might have. He would have to feel out her rhythm from scratch, as it were. He almost felt gratified. At least there'd be some challenge.
OK, it was starting. He could tell from her arm shuddering that she was getting more frantic with the hand. Also, her legs were starting to clench together, oh, that was a rhythm! He'd have to remember that for later. And that grimace was giving the whole game away. He wondered if she'd ever seen her own orgasm face. And here came the grunt works.
And there it was, her orgasm on tape. 85 decibels, according to the meter. Devon reassured her that he wasn't going to count every single loud utterance as an orgasm. If she was able to articulate a sentence without gasping or grunting, he wasn't going to penalize her just for being loud. She seemed OK with that.
In fact, the thought that he might claim an orgasm she hadn't had seemed lost on her. This made a little sense. In Devon's experience, he' never met a woman who tried to fake NOT having an orgasm. Devon realized upon reflection that in fact the verification had been his idea. But at least it would avoid a stupid argument.
Now it was his turn. He'd agreed to demonstrate that he was capable of ejaculating. That this had occurred to her surprised him. Every time he assumed he was stealing candy from a baby, she gave just the barest indication she had a grasp of the situation. Or maybe he was just grasping at straws to avoid future guilt. Sometimes his own motivations were a mystery to him.