Ivan Horton's Choice Ch. 01byAutumnWriter©
The sound that readers might hear in the distance is Sir Walter Scott turning over in his grave. To give credit where it is due, the general story line of the following work, "Ivan Horton's Choice", is borrowed loosely from the great novel, Ivanhoe, written by Sir Walter Scott in 1819. Some of the character names in the story were inspired by those in that novel, as well
Ivanhoe is a great, inspiring novel because it can be read on so many different levels: adventure, historical, prejudice, love and courage. Thank you, Sir Walter. I hope that I have done justice to your great work.
Coach Martin thrust out the little slip of paper at him. Ivan Horton looked down at it, then back up at his coach, who didn't look at him at all. He was talking on the phone. As Ivan hesitated, he pressed the 'hold' button.
"It's the best I can do for you, son."
Ivan didn't move.
"Is there something else?"
Ivan took a breath to begin his speech. "Coach, I..."
The older man put up a hand like a traffic cop to stop him.
"Now, I normally wouldn't go this far, but with your record, I thought we owed you something. Ivan, every year at the opening team meeting we told you guys to take care to make sure that you credits were in order. Instead of listening, you were daydreaming about which cheerleader you were gonna bed next."
"Coach, I always had the utmost respect for your daughter..."
The older man's stunned, angry glare stopped Ivan in mid-sentence. A wrong assumption, Ivan had always thought that Coach knew about the little affair in sophomore year. Now he knew he was lucky that to have that little slip of paper.
"I've got a recruiting prospect on 'hold' right now. This is all I can do," the older man said.
Ivan turned to shuffle out of the coach's office. He took a long look because he knew that it would be his last one. As he reached the door he heard Coach's voice behind him.
"Take care of yourself," he called out.
The months between the end of football season and Ivan's supposed graduation had been a time of rude awakenings. First, he found that pro football teams were not impressed by the exploits of an Ivy League star. That wasn't really a big surprise. The real shock came when he was ordering his cap and gown and found out that he wouldn't need them. The neglected biology course that was required for graduation came back to haunt him. He tried everything he could to get a waiver, but the Dean insisted: "no 'Bio'--no diploma".
It seemed such a short time ago that Ivan found himself a newly arrived celebrity football recruit. In those early days all the coaches and alumni boosters had told him "if there was anything that he needed, just ask." Ivan didn't ask for much. He took what he wanted without asking. The world seemed to acknowledge his right to it. Ivan gave back, too. He ran and passed his way to stardom through four seasons of football crusades, guiding the team to winning seasons.
With his football exploits, he assumed that the Athletic Department or a wealthy alumnus would persuade the Dean to relent and let him graduate on time. He found quickly that his assumptions about that were wrong, just like those about the coach's daughter and the pro scouts. As he ambled back to the fraternity house he pondered his plight.
It hadn't been an act of forgetfulness that made Ivan lose track of those bio credits. He had enrolled in the course once and dropped it because he knew that he had no chance to pass. He told his parents of the error. They were patient, as always. His fiancée, Robin, her family and the upcoming wedding was a different story. During the past weekend he had told them all about it. What a scene that had been! Robin was sobbing uncontrollably. Her parents shook their heads with that 'I told you so' look. It wasn't just the humiliation. Robin's father had promised Ivan a position in his Wall Street investment house after graduation. There were two conditions: marriage to Robin and an Ivy League sheepskin. Ivan was certain that the job offer would not survive past August if the missing biology credits and elusive diploma were not in hand. He was sure that Robin would have no part of a life that lacked the security of that lucrative fiefdom in the family empire.
Ivan took a look at the scrap of paper the coach had given him. On it was the name and phone number of a tutor that would guide him through the minefield of Biology. It was his ticket—sort of a ticket---to get his ticket punched. He read the name: Rebecca Isaacs. He recognized the phone number as being from College Town. It was a Bohemian area adjacent to one end of the campus where crammed, ramshackle apartments were perched over pizza parlors and coffee houses. Ivan had been there very few times during his student days. It wasn't his style.
"You've gotta do what you've gotta do." he said to himself.
Ivan felt lucky to be engaged to Robin. She was a 'knockout' by any standard. Tall and statuesque, she was blond and blue-eyed. Her body was toned and her large breasts stood proudly out from her chest. Ivan was required to cup, caress and suckle them on command, but forbidden to call them by name or mention them at any time. Robin had a classic face whose features were accented ever so correctly by the expert application of all kinds of cosmetics. She was a popular coed, a member of the most popular sorority. She was princess of one of The Hamptons baronies that predated the Revolution. She was the youngest child, the only daughter. Her mother was in the DAR. Her parents' home looked like a castle. The lawn could be a golf course. They had a view of the ocean. The wedding would be held on the grounds. The opulence was intoxicating.
Ivan and Robin met late in their junior year at a 'mixer' between her sorority and his fraternity. Robin was the best catch among the women. Ivan stepped up for his accustomed first pick. It thrilled Robin to have this campus hero with the finely buffed muscular frame in pursuit. Soon they were an item. Then, her parents showed interest because of his gridiron fame. He was always on his best behavior in their presence. As graduation approached, the nuptials were announced.
Robin had bedroom skills that matched her perfect body. Neither came to the other as a virgin. For Ivan, the challenge was to satisfy his appetite from a menu with a single entrée. Robin did a good job at making him accept monogamy. Whatever she did not do for him, she promised to save 'for the honeymoon'. It fed his ego that his friends knew that he was 'getting it' from the best looking babe on campus. Yes, Ivan held all the cards and played them just right.
This Biology problem had to be solved.
Rebecca Isaacs sat in her professor's office. His name was Boyd Gilbert, PhD, Professor of Biology. By reputation, his name was synonymous with dedication to his chosen science, avowing a monk-like existence in a sacred quest. He was like the Knights-Templar of old, a warrior-monk for the department, chasing the holy grail of alumni donations and government research grants. His vows did not prevent him from the pursuit of wealth, or for the favor of whatever department female he fancied. Like the Knights-Templar, his victories and status granted him indulgence from his vows.
He had summoned his student, Rebecca, to him. She was a good student, now about to graduate with honors. She had been accepted into the Masters' program and verbally promised a Graduate Research Assistantship to pay her way. She deserved it; she was at the top of the class. She earned it with hard work and talent, driven to excel in her field. Rebecca spurned anything that diluted her effort in that regard, including a relationship with a young man earlier in the school year.
Rebecca knew of Gilbert's reputation with the ladies. She had even been told by a friend that a single evening spent in the professor's bed would yield up the coveted Graduate Assistant position. She insisted that her academics earn it, wanting no part of the shortcut.
Rebecca was not a virgin, but neither was she promiscuous. She slept with whom, when and if she wanted. It wasn't a loss of innocence that she feared, but of integrity and self-respect. It would be no different with this profligate mentor.
When she dressed to go to the meeting with the professor, she wore the uniform of the day for the College Town set: white tee-shirt, denim bib overalls two sizes too large, black knee socks and sneakers. Her black hair was tied behind her and over that was tied a triangular scarf of thin cotton cloth that covered the crown of her head. Her eyes were hidden behind glasses with thick black frames. She wore no makeup or jewelry, except for her watch and a thin gold chain with a chai hanging from it.
If she were quizzed on her mode of dress she would say that it was designed for comfort. In reality, she clothed herself that way to show her nonconformity with the established fashion, and those who sought to belong to the establishment. She was, after all, a young, independent Jewish woman from Long Island. She didn't belong to the gentile mainstream and she needed to show it. Not all of her Jewish sisters dressed this way, nor did she at all times. She crossed in and out of her traditional and 'counter' look with ease.
Professor Gilbert entered the office and sat at his desk. Rebecca sat across from him and waited for her mentor to begin. The professor didn't care for his student's 'kibbutz look'. For one thing, he wished that all of his department would be 'photo-ready' in case visual material might be required for fundraising materials or alumni tours. Equally important, by dressing attractively, the females on his staff were acknowledging their availability to him for fun and games when he chose to pursue them. At least, that's how Professor Gilbert saw it.
Today, however, it would be business. He could see that Rebecca would require some 'indoctrination'.
"Rebecca," he began, "I asked you to come in for two reasons."
Rebecca leaned forward to listen because she had a feeling that her Assistantship was on the line.
"First," he continued, "I am pleased to tell you that your position as Graduate Research Assistant has been approved for the next semester."
Rebecca gushed. "Professor, that's wonderful! You don't know how happy I am! You won't be disappointed, I promise."
"The only guarantee is for next semester," he cautioned. "You've impressed me in your undergrad work, Rebecca. I hope someday you'll take a doctorate from this institution, but who knows..." His voice trailed off.
"The second reason, Professor?" Rebecca wasn't quite done gushing.
"We need you to tutor a young man so that he can pass Bio 101 this summer. He has your name and number. He'll get in touch with you. I think that he is one of the football players that didn't quite get his requirement in for graduation."
Of course, Rebecca was planning to stay the summer, but this assignment was unwelcome. A summer of working on projects in the lab meant plenty of free time for bicycling around the nearby lakes, visiting her parents in Nassau County, maybe finding a new boyfriend. Besides, she didn't like the 'jock' type. She didn't know many of them, but she knew what they were like: beer guzzling brutes that were loud and crude. She wanted no part of it.
"Professor Gilbert" she replied, "I don't think that I can do this. I don't have any teaching experience and I don't think that I'll have time."
The professor held up his hands, as if to halt the flow of argument from her.
"You'll have to make time," he answered. "It's only Bio 101. If you can't handle that I've mistaken your abilities."
"Look, Rebecca," he continued, leaning forward. "A rich alumnus, who's a sports booster, asked me, personally, for this. He is also considering a research grant for this department. You're a grad student, now. You'll find that that your job includes favors like this."
Rebecca cast her eyes down. "Of course, Professor," she acceded.
"Good!" he exclaimed. "Well, that's all for today. I'll see you next week".
On Graduation Day Eve Ivan woke up with Robin sleeping alongside him. He glanced at the clock and saw that it was three-thirty in the morning. They were still nude. Robin slept on her side with her back to him.
Ivan carefully pulled down the sheet that covered them to get a better look at his nude fiancée. He never tired of letting his eyes roam over her body. Although he could only see the back of her, he was reminded what he loved about her. She was soft, yet lean. Her skin was blemish-free. Robin's backbone blazed a trail that pointed to her sculpted buttocks. He couldn't see them, but he knew her legs below were perfectly shaped. Before he could contemplate the front he decided to wake her for another round of sex. Their earlier session had been unsatisfying. Ivan sensed that Robin was going through the motions. He nudged her to start the waking-up process.
Robin turned on her back, yawned and stretched. Her award-winning breasts were finally on display. Well, they would win awards if there were such prizes and if Robin was willing to display them for that purpose (fat chance!).
"I'm glad that you woke me up! I've got to get you out of here," Robin whispered. She had smuggled him into her sorority house bedroom against the rules.
"That's not what I had in mind." Ivan answered. He pressed his hardened member against her flank, in case Robin didn't know what he had in mind.
"Just put that thing away, Ivan! You're leaving now. You're not supposed to be here." She was already putting her clothes on, and throwing Ivan's discarded clothes at him.
"What are they gonna do, throw you out? You're graduating tomorrow."
"I don't care, you're leaving now!" she snapped back at him.
Soon, Ivan found himself walking back to the fraternity house disappointed.
Robin had good reason for not wanting to get caught with 'contraband' in her room. In the morning her parents would be arriving for the graduation ceremonies. A discovery by the wrong person would surely bring a snide remark as she showed Mom and Dad around the sorority house. Besides, she had last minute packing and cleaning to do before they arrived.
Ivan did not attend the graduation. He met Robin and her parents as planned at her sorority house afterward. He was duly scrubbed and primped in his navy blazer and khaki slacks, blue oxford shirt and striped tie. His athlete's physique underneath brought the whole look together. He wanted to remind Robin's father that he looked just how a young Wall Street knight should, and he hoped for some redemption for his confessed academic sins the weekend before.
He spied the three of them near the Mercedes in front of the sorority house. He stepped forward smartly and grasped the older man's hand in a firm handshake.
"Hello, sir!" he intoned. "I hope that you had a pleasant trip."
Robin's father gave no expression and passively returned the pleasantry. "Yes, fine, thank you, Ivan."
Off to the side, Ivan did not see, as Robin's mother, a woman somewhat younger than her husband, discretely licking her lips as she resurveyed the young man from his broad shoulders to his muscular buttocks.
Ivan turned to her. "Always nice to see you, Mrs. Tutlock." She just nodded and smiled.
The four loaded into the Mercedes. They soon arrived at a fancy restaurant a short distance outside of the campus, where they luncheoned. As they ate, Mr. Tutlock questioned Ivan about his progress on his biology course. Ivan assured him that all was in place to have the omission atoned for by the end of August. He would stay on campus to work on getting things in order. He told them about his tutor that he had yet to meet. Out of the corner of his eye he spied Robin frowning.
"Daddy, can't Ivan come down and stay with us on the estate on weekends?" Robin was taking no chances. She didn't like leaving him alone on campus unattended through all those hot summer months. She would make sure he knew on which side the bread was buttered.
"Of course, Bobbie!" 'Bobbie' was Mr. Tutlock's nickname for Robin. No one else was allowed to use it. Turning to his wife, "We wouldn't dream otherwise, would we Beryl?"
"Of course!" she answered immediately. Mrs. Tutlock was almost caught in the act of licking her lips again as she was gazing at Ivan.
As the meal ended, Ivan spoke up and suggested that his parents might be invited for a pre-wedding get together some weekend during the summer.
Robin's father responded, "Oh, well, we'll have to look into that, won't we? But Ivan, isn't it such a long drive from Batavia?"
"About eight hours, sir. But I know that they would do it." Ivan told himself that he had done his best. He knew that the Tutlocks had no interest in hosting his parents of middle class means. He felt badly for them. His parents deserved more respect than they were getting. He reasoned that it would be worse to make them travel to the Tutlock Estate only to be exposed as the small town folk that they were. They lacked the sophistication and the finances to keep up with his soon-to-be in-laws. Ivan believed it was the price he had to pay to cross over the invisible boundaries of class lines. It gave him an empty feeling. After the wedding, he vowed, he would set it right.
"Make sure that you come down this weekend." Robin piped up.
The three Tutlocks dropped Ivan, the Tutlock to be, at his fraternity and departed for the Estate.
Ivan spent the next few days roaming around the near-empty fraternity house. He didn't call his tutor; Monday would be soon enough. He went to the bookstore to buy his textbooks for the Biology course. He hoped that the heft of the texts didn't reflect the weightiness of the course, but he was sure that they did. Then, there was the lab book that represented the part of the course that he hated the most.
On Monday morning his Biology class met for the first time. Ivan listened intently for the full hour. After class he perused the sheaf of papers given out to outline the course, the lab requirements, and the grading. He was sorry that he hadn't opted to major in history several years ago. It seemed like too much reading back then. If he had, he wouldn't be faced with this impossible-to-pass course standing between him and the Wall Street job and marriage with Robin.
He hoped that he hadn't lost the slip of paper with the tutor's name on it. He hurried back to the fraternity house to find it because he was more convinced than ever that he desperately needed to use it. He did find it on his dresser and hurried to make the call.
"Hello." It was Rebecca answering.
"Hi, my name is Ivan Horton. If this is Rebecca Isaacs, then I think that you were assigned to be my bio tutor this summer."
"Yes, I've been expecting you to call. I saw you in class today. I am the 'TA' and sat in the back of the room. Why don't you meet me in the library at four, this afternoon? I'm a grad student, so I have a carrel. Ask at the desk and they'll tell you where it is. I'll meet you there."
Ivan was unused to having girls - especially Jewish grad-student tutors - tell him where and when he would meet them.
"I was thinking about tomorrow morning after class." He said.
"No, I'm not available then." Rebecca retorted. Then, after a pause that she needed to suppress a loss of temper, "Look" she began. "I have a busy schedule. Besides tutoring you, I have to TA this class and a research project in the lab. On top of that, I may have a life! You're the one who needs the help and you're getting it for free. You will have to meet with me according to my schedule!" Well, she hadn't quite lost her temper, but it was close. The part about 'having a life' was just bluff for the moment.