A Good Student Ch. 05bydr_mabeuse©
Emma was quiet the rest of the drive into town but perked up as we exited the expressway and started driving through the city. The rain had let up and as we neared my neighborhood things started feeling more urban—the buildings, the lights and neons and action in the streets—and pretty soon she was sitting up and looking around. I wasn't exactly angry with her but I was a bit guarded, and I felt better that we were at last on my turf. Running from me in the rain had probably been no more than a little tease—a way to provoke my lust—but it had reminded me of the trickiness of the game we were playing and of the difficulty of trying to decide what was real and what was pretend.
It also brought to mind something that had been simmering in the back of my mind about this relationship: the old consumer warning—beware of deals that seem too good to be true, because they usually are. So far Emma had given me everything I'd wanted while taking little in return, and while it was possible that she was in this just for the sex, I was, I was beginning to doubt it. I was beginning to sense some shadows moving behind the veil.
I pulled off the expressway and the tires splashed in the potholes full of water as we hit the city streets. Emma stretched. The ride had been boring. I was bored too.
My neighborhood's known as Chinatown North or Little Saigon. It's close to the lake (it's officially known as Lakeview) and back in the 20's was actually a very nice area, with big apartment buildings and lots of shopping and a couple of huge ornate movie theaters and the El (which was new then) running right through it. It had become a slum in the '40's and stayed that way till Chinese and Vietnamese started colonizing in the 70's, and it still had the feel of an immigrant ghetto in parts—a weird, eclectic mix of all sorts of people. But now the gentrifiers and developers smelled money and construction barricades were going up. You could still find some good, reasonable places, though, and the neighborhood itself was full of little jewels—great restaurants and tiny bakeries, weird herb shops huddled under the El tracks next to hi-end boutiques; rehabbed deco buildings next to brand new blister-pack condos. I'd been here for seven years.
Even after that deluge there were still people out—always people here, going out to eat, to and from the El, standing outside smoking, hanging around in little doorways getting some air—and it felt kind of good after that drive from the suburbs. The streets looked slick and shiny with the reflected neons, the little Chinese groceries blinking cryptically in the dark. Emma was staring out the windows with guarded fascination, the lights shining on her face, and she looked beautiful. I couldn't tell what she made of it, and I wasn't sure how I felt. On the one hand I was glad there was so much activity, on the other, I'd kind of hoped I would have had her to myself. I didn't want to have to compete for her attention.
"Oh wow," Emma said as we drove by a bus stop. "Look at him. That guy's nuts."
He was. Some tall thin man in a tattered Cubs jacket was yelling "Fuck Youuuu!" at the top of his lungs and throwing both arms up in a double bird towards the moon, it appeared.
"Yeah, well... You see that occasionally. Cubs play today?"
She shook her head and we drove on. I knew she wasn't entirely comfortable in the city and I was trying to make things easy on her. There were a lot of weird characters in this neighborhood.
I pulled down Carmen and took the alley that ran in front of a viaduct covered with graffiti from the Ghost Tiger gang and Insane Gangster Nation and others: RGraham05 and PureRules. Some Viet boys glared at the lights and hid their joint, gave me the finger. The alley led to an enclosed parking lot behind Lakeview Hardware and the Three Happiness Restaurant, and here I parked the van, where the air smelled like hot garlic and sesame oil. We could hear the sizzle of water hitting hot wok and oriental music from a radio, the distnat roar of the El.
Emma rummaged around in her bag and started to pull out her phone, then stuffed it back in. She took out a silver bracelet and glanced at it, then pushed that back into the bag too.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Nothing. A watch."
"A watch? Can I see it?"
She sighed unhappily and retrieved it and handed it to me. It was a very handsome watch, the band made of brushed silver, the watch face a deep, featureless blue, slightly iridescent, and covered with a thick crystal dome. It was very masculine in a very feminine way.
"Why don't you wear it?"
"I don't want to. It reminds me of a ring."
I looked at her. "But it's a watch."
She took it back and put it in her bag. "It's round. It goes around me. It's almost the same thing. I don't like it." She looked around. "Where are we? Are we here?"
"Oh. Yeah, we're here. Almost. Come on, it's just around front. I'll show you."
She took her bag and I locked up.
Carmen's a side street that runs right off Broadway in the heart of Little Saigon, lined with shops—groceries, noodle shops, dry cleaners, a little pharmacy, all local, all jammed together. I live upstairs above First Service Auto Parts and as we walked down the street, the rich, foody smells from the front of Three Happiness suddenly reminded me of how hungry I was. I was cold too, soaked to the skin from being out in the rain.
Emma stopped by the window of Ho Ho's grocery, transfixed by the roast ducks hanging there illuminated by the blue neon sign. "Those things still have their heads!"
"Come on, Emma. I'm freezing."
"Do they eat the heads?" She looked at me.
"Come on." I grabbed her arm when a voice accosted me.
"Hey Conner, man! How you doing? " Jimmy Vu stepped out of the doorway of Ho Ho's, wearing his green fatigue jacket and drinking a juice box. Jimmy's uncle owned First Service Auto Parts and he was always around. He was a big Baby Huey kind of guy with a bad buzz cut that made him look like a baby chick.
"Hey Jimmy." I saw right away that his eyes fixed on Emma. The straw of his juice box stayed in his mouth but didn't move. I smiled. I don't know that he'd ever seen me with a woman before, at least, not one like Emma.
"Emma, this is Jimmy Vu. He knows everyone in this neighborhood and can fix anything, right Jimmy? If you're ever in trouble, Jimmy's the man to see."
This was total bullshit. Jimmy does know everyone and is a very sweet guy but he's totally ineffectual, but I knew Jimmy would like it, and he was clearly knocked out by Emma.
He shifted hands so he could keep the juice box in his mouth and still shake hands. "Pleased to meet you." he said.
"Pleased to meet you, Jimmy." I knew Emma was embarrassed by how she looked.
"We got caught in the rain," I said. "Terrible. Almost drowned. Clinging to tree limbs. Got to go change before we both get pneumonia. Excuse us, Jimmy."
"Yeah sure. It was a bitch, huh?"
"Global warming," I said. We turned and pushed through the street door. I opened the double lock at the bottom and we started up. I live up a long, dark flight of stairs, and halfway up an El went by.
I won't lie. It's very loud. The building shook a little, the stairs trembled. Emma froze, grabbing onto the rail, her mouth open in fear. I'm used to it, I just kept walking, then realized she wasn't with me. I turned back and smiled at her.
"IT'S JUST THE EL TRAIN," I screamed at the top of my lungs. "YOU GET USED TO IT."
The train rumbled off into the distance and we continued up to the apartment door. I unlocked it and pushed it open and let her step inside, watching her, trying to see the place through her eyes. Closed the door, locked it behind her.
It's a semi-converted loft. What that means around here is that it's a big, even vast, unfinished industrial space with a kitchen and two bedrooms and a bathroom tucked into one corner and I did most of the dry wall on those myself. But other than that it's pretty much the same as the auto parts storeroom below me only smaller (I have half of this floor. A restaurant supply outfit has the other). I've got the same plain wooden floors and raw exposed brick walls, the same crude wooden beams. Of course, I sealed my walls to try and keep the dust down and the same for the beams so they have a bit of finish and shine, but other than that, it's pretty much like living in a factory.
It gets better towards the back, towards the living part where the kitchen and bedrooms and bathroom (and El tracks) are, and back there I have a sofa and a few chairs, all my books and my desk and TV and that's where I work, but up in front where you enter, where the windows overlook Carmen, it's just a big, empty space with a kind of industrial grimness, a harshness, maybe even a cruelty. You could play hockey in there. I don't know how much the vases of willow buds and Chinese silk screens and movie posters do to alleviate that emptiness.
I didn't know how a girl from the suburbs would react to it.
Emma stepped into the space I thought of as my living room and looked around. The front windows are big and arched. They look down on Carmen and then out onto the diminishing blocks of the city. The streetlights from outside painted her shadow on the floor behind her and elongated her into the darkness. It was like standing in the mouth of a cave.
"Wow," she laughed. "Conner, this is really cool..."
Her pleasure made me smile. "Yeah. I know."
She raised her hands as if she could feel the space, then she started spinning. All this room usually makes people do things like that. They either spin or they yell.
"Here, I'll show you the kitchen."
I led her towards the back, and as we crossed the front room Emma noticed the chain hoist Jimmy Vu had helped me mount on an eight-foot length of Unistrut just that morning. I'd bought it from Just-Right Auto Parts and we'd driven it into one of the solid oak beams that spanned the front of the loft just that morning: working capacity 1500 pounds. I told Jimmy I was getting into metal sculpture and he'd bought it. The hoist slid smoothly on its four solid steel ball-bearing-loaded wheels up and down the length of the I-beam with the touch of a finger and stopped with a handheld brake.
I stopped and watched her as she examined it.
She looked at me and then the hoist but I didn't say anything. She didn't say anything either. She looked down and saw the deck shackles I'd installed in the floor. These are like screw eyes but made for floors. They fold flush with the surface when you're not using them. You get them at yachting supply places. I know my hardware.
She looked back up. My ceilings are ten feet high. Even from where I was standing I could see her breathing increase.
Any residual anger I held towards her from that episode in the park faded after that as the spell started working between us again, just like that, with just that look she gave me as she examined the hoist and knew I had something planned for her. I showed her the kitchen with the back door that led out to the fire escape and the roof beyond, the windows that looked out onto the El tracks and past that across city blocks to the wall of high rises by the lakefront and the little squares of lighted apartments where people lived their lives, and yet farther beyond, to the great blue-black immensity of the sky over the lake the moon had vacated. I showed her my bedroom with the four-poster bed freshly made up, the chains already attached, and then the other bedroom, the spare room with the door closed and locked and I saw her sudden curiosity and impatience. Everything had been swept and tidied and cleaned with that bachelor's pitiful attention to a woman's company.
I had things planned for us so I wanted Emma to hurry in the shower. I even wanted for us to take turns and her to go first to avoid any funny stuff, but it was no use. I have a great shower, a fantastic shower—a room within a room with a marble floor, glass walls, dual shower heads, my one luxury—and of course I had to go in and show it off, and once I decided to get in with her, all thoughts of a quick rinse just disappeared. I peeled off my wet clothes and dropped them on the floor and stepped into the shower and turned it on. I moaned as the water came on and I just stood there, head into the spray leaning against the wall and letting that blessed warmth soak into my bones.
After a while it occurred to me that I was alone.
"Emma? Aren't you coming in?"
"Did you want me to?"
"Of course I want you to! What do you think?"
Silence. Through the foggy glass I saw her putting her hair up, then take off her clothes. She seemed uncertain. The bathroom was filling with steam, then the door opened and she stepped into the stall.
"I didn't know whether you wanted me to or not."
I was going to say something smart but she stepped into the shower with her hands held up over her chest like a child, blinking against the spray, looking shy and vulnerable and. I held my tongue.
"Come here under the water. I'll soap you."
Her skin touched mine as she slid past. She was cold and she seemed small. I took the hand piece down and trained it on her and she grimaced as the hot water struck her body. She closed her eyes and I ran the water all over her, washing her front from the neck down—her breasts, her chest, her belly. I gently pushed her hands down till she stood in front of me naked and exposed, trusting, hands at her sides. She was embarrassed, I could tell, and it struck me how she could stand in front of me naked if she were tied and not be embarrassed—she could stand in front of me and take the whip—but to stand here and be washed was something else. I was seized with some powerful feeling I can't explain—some need to both violate her and protect her at the same time. I started getting hard and hating myself for it.
"Turn around," I said. "I'll wash your back."
"Shouldn't I do you—?" She looked at me and then dropped her eyes. The attention made her uneasy. "Sorry."
She turned around and pressed her forehead against the tiles. Her hands crossed over her breasts again. It occurred to me that she still carried my semen inside her. I'd have to leave so she could wash herself.
"I'm sorry I ran from you," she said. "It was a silly thing to do."
It took me a moment to remember what she was talking about, and then I just shrugged. "Don't worry about it," I said.
I didn't ask her why she did it. I really didn't feel like I had to know.
I had honestly meant to wash her off and get out. I was like a social director. I had things planned, things I wanted to show her, places I wanted to go with her, but none of them seemed very important now. Here we were warm and wet and my hands were moving over her body and she was getting soft as I touched her.
"Lean against the wall," I said.
I was worried the soap might dry her skin but she was content to let me do what I wanted with her. I soaped my hands and began to rub her down, kneading her muscles as the water streamed down upon us. She rested her cheek against the tile and she suddenly seemed so small and delicate, fairylike, a sylph in the falling water. I was hard now, hard and red and throbbing, some sort of ogre. I leaned against her and my cock slid beneath the globes of her ass and pressed up against her pussy. She automatically thrust her bottom out in invitation, spreading her legs.
I sighed and began to move, dragging my prick against her wet slit, back and forth, holding her hips. Emma gave a little whimper, a kind of questioning sigh, a kind of "Yes? Is this it?" She was ready for whatever I wanted, and once again, her complaisance, her willingness to give herself to my pleasure, just drove me mad with desire.
I began to fuck her, never entering her but pumping, sliding my cock back and forth. The pleasure, the friction was excruciating. I reached up and took her breast in my hand and she covered my hand with hers and showed me to squeeze, to take her.
Again that little questioning sigh: "Whatever you want..." I reached for her hair and pulled it free and down it came, catching the water and falling wet into my hand where I seized it and pulled her head back, pulled her away from the wall—she leaned back against me and I took her mouth in a bruising kiss and she melted against me, opening her mouth and surrendering, offering herself, giving it all. My fingers slid around and slid up into her pussy and I felt the thick residue of my own earlier ejaculation still incubating in the heat of her body. I grabbed her breast and holding her tight I backed awkwardly into the shower, as she arched against me lost in that hungry, sucking kiss.
God, she just got to me again—the way she yielded, like anything I wanted to do to her was fine, anything I wanted to take from her, that's what she wanted to give. She even felt that way in my hands, as if she were swollen with some sort of womanly sweetness, bursting with it —her tits, her hips, the tightness of her thighs—and if I didn't relieve her of it, if I didn't squeeze it out of her of pierce her or make her come—she'd just explode.
It was insane, holding her pressed against me as the water streamed down against us. It ran over her face and down her body, dripped from her eyelashes and chin and nipples. It reminded me of come, like she was being bathed in come.
"Put your hands up around my neck, Emma. Hold on to me!"
I showed her, taking her arms and putting them up around my neck so that she was standing, leaning back against me. I reached up and got the hand piece from the shower.
"Don't let go, Emma."
"Oh, Conner! No! Don't!"
I spread her pussy apart with my left hand and trained the shower head on her clit with my right, flicking it across her so the spray whipped across her exposed flesh and made her jerk and cry out as if struck. She instinctively closed her legs and brought her arm down to protect herself.
"Don't you dare, Emma!" I warned. "Keep those hands around my neck like I said!"
"Oohhh..." She whined and locked her fingers around the back of my neck, seeing she had no choice but to close her eyes and hang on. I got a better grip on her, pressing her against me with my forearm and spreading her labia apart and pressing them down to expose her turgid clit, my fingers sliding in her swollen and slippery flesh.
I whipped her with the water again and again and each time she jerked spastically, lifting her hips to the spray and crying out without restraint, her voice echoing off the hard, tiled walls. She was coming, coming with each lash of hot water, hardly even struggling, helpless to resist giving herself to me again and again as if this were her only function in the world.
I felt like a master musician must feel, one with his instrument and joined with it, holding Emma in front of me like a cello, like a string bass, bowing her with the lashing water and feeling her vibrate with orgasm, feeling every stab of pleasure and every ounce of her joy and before I knew it Emma was sobbing and shuddering and I dropped the spray and let her slide from my arms. She fell to her knees and I stood tall over her with my head up and back slightly arched and grabbed her hair and pulled her up and took my prick in my hand and pressed it against her face and with one stroke, then two and then three—I exploded against her, thrusting my hips out, my eyes rolling back in my head in savage release as I pulled her up against me with the strength of my arm, pulled her up and made her take it, my cum splashing all over her, spurting all over her face as I held her there and she rubbed her cheeks and mouth all over my erupting dick, moaning, and panting in a transport of bliss.
We were famished after the shower. Emma wanted to stay in because she thought her hair looked awful and felt her clothes were too muddy but in fact her hair looked fine and I found an old boat-necked sweater that worked well enough for her and I knew she really wanted me to get her outside. Already this was taking on the giddy up-all-night feeling of a teen-aged sleepover and she was glowing with excitement.