tagIncest/TabooLifetime Tenure Ch. 01

Lifetime Tenure Ch. 01


Writer's Note: This is part one of a multi-part story, a companion piece to "Bonding Time." While it can be read as a stand-alone tale, it is the story of two characters who play a pivotal role in "Bonding Time." My editor and I felt that these two people deserved more attention than could be included in the larger canvas of the "Bonding Time" and "Mandy an Me" stories.

The story begins in 1941, in northern Florida. It is written using the speech patterns common in the southern tier of the United States.

As always, a huge thanks to you readers, for your support and votes, and a special thanks to Ciguardian, for insisting this story be told. It would never have happened, without his inspiration, guidance, and efforts. It has been a most interesting experience, co-writing this story, with him, and we do hope you enjoy our efforts.

The Standard Declarations always apply -- First - All sexual activity is between persons over age eighteen, Second -- This is NOT an immature two page white-knuckle fluffer, and Third -- The vast majority of Americans smoked, in 1941 and the years that followed, and nobody thought it was wrong. This story reflects that aspect of history. If any of this bothers you, don't torture yourself. Hit the 'back' button, now, and go elsewhere.

FYI -- "Loughridge" is pronounced, "Lock-ridge" -- if you're curious.

Chapter One -- Graduation 'Rites'

27 May 1941


"So what'd you tell Stu, Shelly?" I heard a girl's voice ask, as I slid a dime across the counter to cover the cost of my drink. The soda jerk behind the counter took it and smiled at me, dropped it into the till, and then turned to wait on another customer. I paused there, for another minute, eavesdropping on the conversation, since I'd heard my younger brother's name mentioned in connection with the name of the girl I knew had just broken his heart.

"I told him the truth, what else?" Shelly Lambert giggled. "I told him that Clay Evans had just broken up with Amy Lynn Graves, after catchin' her out sparkin' with Tom Coulter, an' that he'd asked me t' go t' the prom with him. I mean, Stu knows I've always had a sweet spot for Clay -- an' if Clay wanted to take me to the prom, who was I, t' say no, t' him?"

"You were the girl who'd already said you'd go with my brother!" I thought, as my anger flared again. "And you would have told Clay Evans you already had a prom date, and honored your promise to my brother, if you weren't such a cold, uncaring, self-centered little bitch!"

"Wasn't he upset?" the other girl asked. "I mean, you backed out on him with less than a week before the prom!"

"Sure, he was upset," Shelly laughed. "What boy wouldn't be, if I broke up with him? But I've got Clay, now, an' he's the one I've always wanted. I can't be bothered with Stu feelin' all miserable."

"Bet he won't even show up for the prom," a third girl's voice chuckled. "It's too late t' go askin' some other girl, now! All the girls worth askin already have dates!"

I did my level best to keep my expression passive, and my temper under a tight rein. Deep inside, though, I seethed with anger that a little strumpet like Shelly Lambert had the nerve to treat my brother, Stu, that way.

"You're seriously goin' t' pay for that, you little bitch!" I vowed, under my breath, as I quickly made my way out of the malt shop with the Coke float I'd purchased, and stepped onto the sidewalk. Making my way around the corner to the little parking lot, I unlocked the door of the 1940 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon that my parents had bought me when I'd received my bachelor's degree at the University of Florida and waited a moment for the blast of air -- heated by the afternoon sun streaming through the windows, to dissipate. Then I slipped behind the wheel, lit a cigarette, and started the engine.

I'd arrived in Gainesville an hour earlier, fresh from my post-grad studies at Florida State University in Tallahassee, and spent most of the time since then at the record shop, down the street. I'd gone there on a quest to find the Jo Stafford record album that I knew my brother wanted, as a birthday present, for him. After that, I'd headed to Woolworth's, to find wrapping paper and a card suitable for Stuart's eighteenth birthday, which was only two days away. I hadn't even stopped in at the house, yet.

I had called, a few days earlier, to let the family know I was coming home for at least part of the summer, before heading north to Washington, DC, to take up an assistant professorship I'd been offered at Georgetown University. Mama had been the only one home, at the time, and she had been the one to tell me of how Stu's prom date had callously dumped him only days before the big dance. The plan for revenge on the little bitch had come to me in a split-second, and I knew that there was only one modest -- but easily overcome -- obstacle standing between me and pulling it off. A brief stop at the high school, to chat with one of the teachers, would handle that.

Arriving home about an hour later -- after my stop at the high school -- I spent a few moments in greeting my parents, and then assisted Dad in bringing an assortment of boxes, bags, and suitcases into the house and depositing them either in my bedroom or the guest room. Only the barest minimum of necessities still remained in my tiny postage-stamp apartment, just off campus, enough clothing and toiletries to see me through the few days of final exams yet to come before I completed my master's degree studies. My dining hall pass was good through the end of the term, so that would take care of my meals. The few bits and pieces of furniture had come with the apartment, so they'd be staying, too.

The unloading finished, my college professor father headed off to his study -- having a stack of final exams to grade -- and I headed for the kitchen.

"Where's Stu?" I asked Mama, who was busy preparing dinner.

"I haven't seen him since he got home from school, today," she answered me with a soft sigh. "Given the situation, an' as down in the dumps as he is, over this prom business..."

"He's mopin' in the boathouse, isn't he?" I filled in the blanks.

"That'd be my guess," Mama nodded. "It's where he always goes, t' sort things out."

"Well, I'm goin' t' go change into some knockabout stuff, an' then go see if I can't give him a hand with the sortin'," I smiled.

"That'd likely be a good thing, Baby," Mama smiled.

I returned to my bedroom, trading my skirt and blouse for a pair of cut-off denim shorts and an old button-front shirt, tied off below my breasts, slipped my feet into a pair of sandals, and headed out through the kitchen. Stopping off at the refrigerator long enough to grab two bottles of Coca Cola and pop the tops with a bottle opener, I headed for the back door.

"Good luck, honey," Mama called after me.

"I don't need luck, Mama," I chuckled as the screen door swung shut behind me. "I have a fiendish plan!"

We had a fairly large property -- around five acres, on the southeastern shore of Orange Lake -- and most of it was to the rear of the house. The house, itself, dated back to the mid-1870's, and was roomy enough for even a larger family than ours, but the extra bedrooms provided a study for Dad and a sewing room for Mama, as well as two guest rooms for the occasional visits of out-of-town relatives.

Behind the house, itself -- about fifty yards away and some twenty yards from the beach and off to one side of the yard -- sat the old summerhouse. Essentially, this was just a roof over a large screened-in area that was divided into two sleeping rooms. The structure was built on a platform floor that was raised off the ground by a series of cinder-block stacks. The area underneath it was screened off with a layer of chicken-wire, to keep the local wildlife -- raccoons, foxes, feral cats, 'gators, and the like -- from deciding it was a good place to live.

It was designed for use when the summer nights grew hot and sticky with the humidity of central Florida, in the days before central air conditioning for homes became an affordable thing. Privacy could be achieved by dropping an array of old rattan roll-blinds down to nearly floor level. Dad had run electricity out to the summerhouse about five summers back, but there were only a few outlets -- enough for a small bedside lamp or two in each sleeping room -- and each room had one overhead light and a ceiling fan that spun just enough to slowly move the air around.

The boathouse sat some two hundred yards out from the house, at the rear of the property, at the side of a pier that stretched out into the lake. The white paint on the exterior was peeling and, as I approached the old shed, I realized that Stu and I would probably be tasked with scraping and repainting the building before the summer ended. Still, working with Stu on the task would most likely prove to be enjoyable. He was quick-witted, with a wickedly quirky sense of humor, and the two of us had gotten along famously for as long as I could recall, not squabbling as so many sibling pairs I knew of, did.

Too, Dad had run electricity down to the shed when he'd run it to the summerhouse, and that would at least give us the ability to plug in Stu's old radio, so we could listen to music while we worked.

I reached the shoreward end of the long wooden pier, removing my sandals so as to make as little sound as possible, as I walked out onto the worn planking. Treading carefully, and being mindful of the couple loose and squeaking boards, I neared the boathouse and slipped in through the open door. I spied my younger brother sitting on the interior boathouse deck, legs dangled over the side and feet idly skimming the water, next to the bow of our 1930 Chris Craft runabout. The lovingly cared-for mahogany boat was tied to the pilings, fore and aft, and its twenty-seven foot hull looked ready for a jaunt across the lake, but Stuart seemed completely uninterested, something quite uncharacteristic for him.

"Hey, little brother," I called softly as I walked slowly toward him.

"Laurel! You're home!" he cried, turning to look at me. A smile drove the morose frown from his face as he leapt to his feet and ran to take me in his arms for a long embrace.

"Welcome home, Sis!" he said, hugging me somewhat tightly. "It's good t' see you!"

"It's good t' see you, too, Stu," I smiled into his face, depositing a quick kiss on his cheek, "but I'm not goin' t' be here, much longer, if you don't ease off with this hug an' let me breathe!"

"Sorry, Sis," he immediately released his hug and I stepped back to arm's length to get a good look, at him.

Well, he might still have been my 'little brother' as far as the six-year difference in our ages was concerned but, in all other ways, my ability to use that affectionate term for him had vanished during the last couple years of my absence. We'd each added some height over that period of time, but now he stood a good three inches taller than me, at least, and his shoulders and chest had filled out. I suspected that was due to his workouts for track, and swim team. He still kept his sandy brown hair cropped short, but I noticed the beginnings of a moustache -- the one he'd wind up wearing for the rest of his life -- starting to sprout on his upper lip.

I'd spent just a moment, after changing clothes, looking up the photo of Clay Evans in my brother's 1940 high school yearbook. How Shelly could find that fellow more attractive than my handsome brother completely escaped me. If it wasn't for the fact that he was my brother, I'd...

"You're home early! I thought you still had finals, comin' up," he said as we stood and took each other in.

"Those are next week," I smiled at him. "The only classes I have left, this week, are reviews for the exams, an' I'm as prepared as I'm goin' t' be. This week's all about you, though, with your birthday an' the prom both on Thursday, an' then your graduation ceremony on Saturday night. So, I'm home. Why should that surprise you?"

"I guess it don't, really," Stuart shrugged, looking down at the worn teak planking between his feet. "But it's only my birthday, on Thursday, now. Prom got sort o'... cancelled."

"I heard all about it," I commiserated. "I called Mama, last Friday, t' let her know I'd be headin' home today, and she filled me in. Trust me, little Shelly Lambert is at the top o' my shit-list, right now, an' I intend t' see her paid back for what she had the unmitigated gall t' pull, on you. In spades!"

"How d'you figure you'll manage that?" Stuart asked.

"Why don't you take one o' these Cokes from me, an' grab a seat, an' I'll lay out my fiendish plan, for you," I suggested.

"Fiendish plan, eh?" Stu chuckled. "This, I've got to hear! Your just-plain plans are usually good, but when even you have the nerve to call 'em 'fiendish', they're worth immortalizin' in a novel!"

"Well, then; like I said -- grab a seat, an' I'll fill you in."

Holding out one of the bottles to him -- and grabbing an old metal ashtray that Mama and Dad kept on a shelf in the boathouse -- I suited actions to words by dropping to the deck and curling up, cross-legged, Stuart sitting a couple feet away and facing me. I stretched, briefly, in the process pushing my not-inconsiderable breasts in my brother's general direction, and pulled my Zippo lighter from the pocket of my cut-offs. Taking a pack of Chesterfields from the pocket of my shirt, I shook one loose and pulled it free of the pack with my lips. Shaking a second cigarette loose, I extended the pack to him.

"I, er, uh," Stuart stuttered.

"So you haven't started, yet, eh?" I cocked an eyebrow at him as I flipped the top on the Zippo, thumbed the wheel, and dipped the end of my cigarette into the flame.

"I've had track an' swim team..." Stuart shrugged.

"As I understand it, today was your last day o' classes," I smiled through the stream of smoke I exhaled. "That means track's over an' done with, as far as your high school career goes, an' so is swim team. It's not like either o' your coaches can say anythin', now, if you gave it a try."

It's taken Stu and me some forty years to finally decide to write out the strange story of our lives, and the wonderful love we've shared for all that time. In that forty years, so much about the world has changed. Light up a smoke, these days, and you mark yourself as a social pariah. Back then, it was simply a part of life -- something that almost everybody did. Smoking your first cigarette, somewhere between the ages of about fourteen and eighteen, was pretty much a 'rite of passage' as you moved from adolescence into the ranks of the adults.

"Alright," he shrugged. "I'll give it a try. I have t' admit, I've been kind o' curious... You don't think the folks'll have a cow over it, do you?"

He reached out, then, and pulled the loose cigarette from the pack, gingerly putting one end between his lips.

"They didn't, when I started, back when I was sixteen," I grinned. "In fact, Mama was the one who sat me down at the kitchen table, an' taught me, when I asked her if I could just have a taste o' the smoke, from one o' hers."

"Really?" he asked me, surprised.

"Yeah," I smiled. "I was kind o' surprised, too, at how she didn't blow a fuse, but then she told me that she was a couple years younger'n I was, when she'd had her first smoke, an' she'd kind o' been expectin' me t' ask her, for a little while."

I extended the Zippo toward him and thumbed the wheel, again.

"Just puff, on this one, an' see if you're okay with the taste. Don't try t' inhale, yet, or you'll wind up coughin' up a lung, all over me. If you're okay with the taste, when this one's done, an' you want to take it any further, I'll teach you how t' inhale the smoke without coughin'."

Stuart dipped the end of his cigarette into the flame and drew on it gently, and I watched the slight frown ripple across his face as the first wisp of smoke crossed his tongue.

"It's a little bitter, I know," I nodded, smiling sympathetically at him. "But that goes away, after the first few puffs. You'll see."

"So, you were goin' t' tell me all about this fiendish plan," he prompted me as he puffed at the Chesterfield again.

"It's pretty simple, really," I grinned at him, pausing to take another drag. "You have another date, for your prom -- me. Only, I won't be goin' as Laurel, your sister. Ain't nobody in your class knows me -- not even your best buddies. I've been away, at college, for too long."

"Mr. Henderson is one o' the chaperones, for the dance," Stuart countered. "You had him, when you were in school."

"He's the only teacher left, on the faculty, from when I was in school, there," I snickered. "All the rest o' the teachers who had me have either retired or left t' teach at other schools. I know, 'cause I looked through your junior year yearbook last summer. I managed t' get home for a few days, but you were at camp. As far as Cyrus Henderson is concerned, I've already dealt with the possibility o' him givin' me away."

"How d'you figure that?" he asked me.

"I stopped past the school, on my way home, this afternoon, an' caught Henderson in the faculty parkin' lot. I told him about how Shelly had dumped you, an' what I've got planned. An' then I told him that, if anyone at the dance recognizes me for who I am, I'll know it's his fault for givin' me away. I told him that, if that happens, then Mrs. Henderson is goin' t' find out about all o' the girls he's seduced on that ol' couch in the prop storage room, under the stage in the auditorium!"

"I bet that went over like a lead balloon," Stu chuckled.

"Well, he did try t' tell me that nobody'd believe me," I admitted. "I told him that I didn't give two hoots in a wheelbarrow whether anyone on the school board took my story for truth. All I'd have t' do is mention those two little moles on the side o' his cock -- the ones you can only see when it's all nice an' hard -- an' his wife would likely know I was tellin' the truth. She'd divorce him, then, for sure, an' take every last nickel he had!"

As I've said, Stu was pretty quick-witted, and it only took him a second or two to realize the implication in what I'd just said -- that I had seen Henderson's cock, all nice and hard.

"Laurel!" he exclaimed, shocked.

"What can I say, little brother," I sighed, looking apologetically at him. "He was handsome an' a real smooth talker, an' he made a fair number o' girls think he really loved 'em. At least he only picked on the senior girls who were already eighteen. With me, it was two weeks after my birthday."

"Were you still...?" he broke off the question, too embarrassed to finish asking it.

"Was I still a virgin?" I completed it for him. "Thankfully, no. He didn't get that, at least. I'd given it t' Jeff Randall, the Saturday just after my birthday. We'd been plannin' it, only waitin' for me to turn eighteen so that, if we got caught, at least there wouldn't have been any legal trouble over it. But it still pisses me off, the way Henderson took me an' then dropped me as soon as he'd got what he wanted, from me, movin' on t' the next girl.

"Back then, it would've been his word against mine, an' he was a teacher, so they'd have believed him over me. It never occurred t' me that I could mention those two little moles, an' at least his wife would know I was tellin' the truth -- not until just this past year. But, I don't want t' talk about that, now. I'd rather tell you how we're goin' t' pay Shelly Lambert back, for dumpin' you just days before the prom."

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