VS Ch. 06bygossog©
Chapter 06: Roz and Jodie
Roswell Wing swallowed the last ounce of water from her bottle, shut her eyes, and rubbed her temples. She'd devoted more than enough time to the Cthaat Aqua-whatever to be certain that the far-fetched grimoire was a dead end, about as useful for her needs as a horoscope in planning a Mars mission. Most of it read like amateur fiction that, in an attempt to be made more compelling, was presented as fact.
The inhospitability of the Miskatonic Rare Book Reading Room to serious study irked Roz. The room's stuffy ambiance and and dour security was a constant irritation. She sat alone in the reading area, wearing an uncomfortable, itchy smock instead of her own clothes, while a wizened, centenarian staffer kept watch from inside an enclosed booth. Aside from the dull hum of a computer fan, and odd creaks and ticks echoing along the linoleum floor and tinned ceiling, the room was as stuffy and quiet as a tomb.
The tablet computer's fan silenced after she tapped the screen's shutdown button. The real Cthaat Aquadingen was more than seven centuries old; the Rare Book staff were reluctant to even expose it to light. Instead, she was given a touchscreen tablet, like a laptop computer without a keyboard, with scanned images of each page. There was no manufacturer logo -- she had no idea who made the device -- and no data ports, no way to copy the images. The tablet did not leave the Reading Room. The document was protected in more ways than one.
The near-hysterical security surrounding the room still astounded her, though by now she had arrived at a grudging understanding. Visitors were forbidden from bringing anything in at all; pens and note paper were provided. As a pleasant surprise for the nickeled-and-dimed undergraduate student, the materials were free of charge. The staffer (more of a guard, really) waited in a booth of bulletproof glass, with a speaker and slide tray, like a box office or bank.
She carefully laid the tablet in the tray. The guard pulled a lever and the booth swallowed it up. "Thank you," she said, a noble insistence on politeness, though he never responded.
He tucked the tablet into a bin where a few others were stacked on end. He wore white gloves; she had never seen his hands.
"Smock," he said.
She disliked this part of the routine. She wore nothing underneath the borrowed smock, and there was nowhere to undress in private. Even if there were, she would have to walk over and hand the smock to him anyway. She turned away from him and pulled the cheap sleeveless garment over her head. She'd learned the hard way to lean forward slightly and avoid having the coarse fabric chafe her nipples. Using a study table, she folded the smock so it would fit, and recalled a previous boyfriend who would have enjoyed watching this. In a careless moment, he'd confided that when he was rich, he'd hire a bevy of nude maids, many more than the job would require.
She placed the smock in the tray. During her first visit, she had tried to accomplish this while simultaneously covering her breasts and privates. She stopped bothering when she realized that the guard did not care; if he had any interests at all, they lay elsewhere.
The striptease wasn't for the guard's benefit. To make sure she brought nothing into the room, her privacy and modesty were elbowed aside in the interest of security. She'd taken her own clothes off outside the entrance and placed them in a locker; then entered the room naked through a plexiglass airlock, with interlocking doors at each end. A quick stroll across to the booth, and the guard had passed her a smock through the slide tray. That was her attire for her stay at the Reading Room.
The white smock felt more like paper than cloth; she wondered how often it was laundered. At least it seemed clean. She'd told Professor Shea a few times that if there were no one else in the room, she'd prefer to work without it; being naked would be more comfortable. Shea told her the same thing each time: don't cause trouble.
The guard put the smock away in an unseen room, and returned. "Notes," he said; always a gruff voice, with no trace of the accent many older people in Arkham had. She handed over her pen and stack of blank sheets; she hadn't taken any notes. If she had, they would be transcribed by library staff and delivered to her office within a day.
One more item came out in the tray, the visitor record, and Roz signed out. Once he buzzed her out, she would be free to exit through the airlock. It was entirely transparent, and passed by the guard's booth, which had a floor-to-ceiling view of anyone walking through. A metal detector prevented anyone from smuggling anything inside, and Roz supposed it was better than a cavity check. Still, the whole process was quite demeaning. She took some solace in an appeal to vanity: she looked very good naked, and had nothing to be ashamed of. For many students, and most of the faculty, it was a different story.
She recalled a particularly embarrassing discussion with Professor Shea that she wished she could undo, starting with her asking if all the security was a response to any recent event. The specter of Y2K, with its potential of world collapse, was still several months away.
"No, it was much earlier than that," Shea said, chuckling. "Decades ago, in 1928, there was a bit of an incident, where a, uh, gentleman was caught trying to steal a book. He was caught, but it was quite an eye-opener. The college realized that more protective measures were in order."
"The books are that valuable?"
He laughed again, and she suspected she was being made fun of. "Not monetarily. Though there always could be a black market for these works, chances are someone trying to make off with the Necronomicon is not doing so in order to fence it."
"I understand the metal detector, but why the X-ray?"
That question surprised him most, which puzzled her. "Why, to make sure you're human."
That conversation, exactly a week after she arrived, had made her wonder whether transferring to his department, or to Miskatonic at all, was a good idea. Now, his answers made more sense; as her paleontology studies ventured deeper into what she once considered cryptozoology, her perspective had widened.
Roz dressed, bought a coffee at the student union, and settled into an easy chair near a bay window overlooking the lawn. Shea would want to know what she had found out, but he could wait. She'd grab a late lunch before going back to her office.
She dialed her younger sister's number, back at Seneca College. Making the call felt strange; for all Jodie's other birthdays, Roz had greeted her with a hug, instead of a phone call. This was their first summer apart, Roz at Miskatonic, and Jodie at Seneca's summer session.
As the phone rang, Roz realized mid-afternoon might be a bad time to call; Jodie would probably be out of the room. But instead of the answering machine, she picked up. "Hello?"
"Happy birthday, early!"
"Hey, big sis, thanks!"
"I didn't expect to catch you in. Are you still going to class these days?"
Jodie laughed. "Of course! But my last one got out at 2:30. Why are you calling today instead of Saturday?"
"I'm going to the Vineyard for the weekend. With Adrian's family. Big yacht, seaside mansion, the works."
"'The Vineyard'? I guess you're already assimilated."
Arkham was over an hour away from Boston, but Roz could manage a credible accent. "It's wicked awesome."
"So are you going to drop out and marry the guy?"
"He does have friends in high places. Is everything OK with you?"
"Yeah." Jodie paused long enough that Roz wasn't entirely convinced. "But don't tell anyone, I miss having you here."
"Really? I thought you'd enjoy not having me around. You finally have some freedom."
"No, seriously. It's so quiet here, anyway. There's like one-tenth as many people."
"Roz, I'm 20. Almost."
"I know, I shouldn't talk." Throughout high school, Roz, not Jodie, was the one always getting into trouble. "Actually, I want to drive out there, maybe mid-August if things work out. Stay a few days."
"Oh, that would be cool! But aren't you doing the expedition this summer?" Roz had been stingy with details, but Jodie knew there had been a significant archaeological find in the Mediterranean, and her sister hoped to go on the next trip out.
Roz sighed. "I don't know. It's such a mess with funding, and politics. We want to have a clean dig while there's a chance, but Athens is talking about national heritage, and wants to know exactly where the site is, on and on and on. It doesn't help that Karla is still missing."
"They haven't found her? It's been almost two months, right?"
"I don't think the news will be good. Bernard especially; he's still hopeful, but I think he'd be at least relieved if there were any sort of closure."
"I can't imagine how that hit him. They were pretty close, weren't they?"
"Not romantically, he says, though the cops still can't shake that idea, and every once in a while call him in again for questioning. It's just so hard on him."
"Is he seeing anyone?"
"No. If I knew anyone available out here..." She snickered. "He does think I'm cute."
"What a surprise." This wasn't anything new: Both Roz and Jodie were quite attractive. Bernard was just another guy in a long parade of admirers.
"Oh, he's harmless. He won't do anything. Are you still good with Luke?"
"Yeah, we'll do something this weekend. He's supposed to surprise me. He'll pick me up at the gate." No men were allowed on Seneca's campus.
Roz peered up, and noticed Professor Shea seated next to her. She held up a finger and turned away, hoping her dismay had not shown on her face. Had Shea come out here looking for her? "Sorry, Jodie, I gotta go. If I don't get you later today, I'll call back on Sunday. Anything else going on?"
"No... same old stuff..." Another pause. "You know, study and read and relax."
"Cool. Love you, sis."
"Love you, Roz. Bye."
Jodie stretched out on the bed and yawned, thinking it might be a good time for a catnap. Plenty of light shone through a window kept open for fresh air, but she was well known for being able to curl up and sleep at any time of the day. Larissa nestled closer to her, brushed away a few strands of hair at the nape of her neck, kissed her there, and said: "You didn't tell her."
"I know. I chickened out. I'm sorry." Jodie slipped a hand underneath Larissa and stroked the small of her back. The afternoon sun warmed the room; Jodie and Larissa had taken everything off, and had pushed the bedsheets down to the waist. If the intent was to cool off, Larissa's nude body and gentle kisses weren't helping. "You haven't told your family either."
Larissa's soft breasts pressed against Jodie as she hugged her from the side. Her bare thigh crossed Jodie's legs just above the knee. She found one of Jodie's breasts without looking; the girl's slender body was familiar territory. She caressed it in lazy curves, making Jodie shiver. Larissa said, "I'm having trouble thinking of the right words. Like 'Hey, dad, there's this really hot girl I'm in love with, she's got beautiful eyes, a fantastic body, and she has this way of looking at me that just makes me totally wet...'"
"Do not say that to him." Jodie let her eyes droop shut. Larissa's lyrical voice, and the warmth of her body, was sensation enough.
"... and he'd say, 'That's OK, Larissa, as long as you're happy.'"
Jodie giggled at her attempt at a baritone voice, then sighed as Larissa made minute adjustments to bring their bodies even closer together. The low sandpaper tones seemed to resonate from Larissa's body into hers. She was starting to slip into a familiar, comfortable state of aroused bliss that Larissa brought on just by being close to her, or even speaking to her. She had once admitted that Larissa's voice was such a turn-on that simply being sung a lullaby could probably make her come. Larissa hadn't tried it yet, but there was little doubt she was waiting for the right moment.
Larissa continued imitating her father's voice. "'And as long as you're keeping up with your studies.' Then I'd say, 'Well, that's a problem, Dad, because my econ class is kinda boring, so I skipped it today, and instead I'm naked in Jodie's bed, making out with her.'"
"Stop it!" Jodie said, eyes open again, laughing. "You make it sound so bad..."
Larissa snaked a hand underneath the sheets and between Jodie's thighs. "You are going to tell her before she comes out, right?" she said, and let her fingertip glide along Jodie's sensitive labia for emphasis. "I'm not going to hide. She's going to wonder who's this naked girl in her sister's bed."
Jodie waited too long to respond. Her swelling pussy lips grew slick as Larissa's finger moved between, still resting on top, with the slightest pressure. Larissa kicked the sheet away, uncovering the rest of Jodie's body, and spread her index and little fingers between Jodie's thighs, prodding her to open them further. Jodie spread her knees obligingly. She could see the door between them and hoped she remembered to lock it.
"She'll see me doing this to you," Larissa said. "You're going to tell her, right?"
"I will, I will," Jodie said, after drawing a breath.
"You promise?" Larissa's finger slowed, pressed gently between Jodie's lips, and plunged inside her. Jodie gasped and arched her back, momentarily raising her butt from the bed before settling back down.
"I promise!" Jodie said.
"She might wonder if I'm into older sisters..."
"Ewww! Stop!" Jodie cried, for all the good it would do. Larissa loved to needle her, and keep her off guard, especially when she was at her most vulnerable. The teasing was mostly affectionate, yet sometimes (always after the fact) Jodie thought she could detect a trace of malice, like a drop of chili sauce in a cup of soup. It hardly mattered. At times like this, when Jodie was nude, aroused, and flustered, with Larissa expertly bringing her closer to climax, it was more exciting not knowing whether she planned to show any mercy at all.
Jodie savored the shiver of fear she felt when she considered how Larissa might take their relationship further, with more explicit roles of master and slave. Larissa seemed to disapprove of much of Jodie's clothing, not for its style, but for its being there at all. She always prodded Jodie into wearing less and less. As a slave Jodie might be forbidden to wear anything at all, ever. Larissa's occasional suggestions for Jodie to shave down below would become orders, and her most intimate parts would be plainly visible to all. Jodie's body would be Larissa's to use as she pleased (I'm practically there already, Jodie thought, writhing naked in her arms), and she would also look after Larissa's wants and needs.
Still, so far there were limits. Larissa could have easily revealed their secret during Roz's call, but had kept still and silent.
Jodie didn't know how to tell Roz about this. So much around her was changing; the summer fling was more a consequence of larger events than something she had set out to do. She sensed the entire school had floated up to a tipping point, a temporary, unstable, equilibrium, and would settle into a different posture when the fall semester arrived.
About a month ago Allison, a freshman student in the morning swim class, asked for permission to attend class without her swimsuit. The instructor, Lorraine, had no objections as long as no one else minded. The other students agreed her request was reasonable, especially with no men around to cause trouble. Allison, a skinny girl with grapefruit-sized breasts high on her chest, peeled off her dry swimsuit and climbed into the pool nude. The class continued without incident.
After showering and dropping off the school-supplied towel, Allison simply got dressed and was ready to go.The advantages of her idea became clear. She no longer had to worry about carting her damp swimsuit to her room, or the next class. No more rinsing, laundering and drying. More students asked Lorraine for permission in the following days, and she told everyone in all sessions that they no longer needed to ask.
Larissa was one of the first girls in Jodie's class to leave her swimsuit behind. It took her a couple tries to convince Jodie. Some girls still preferred wearing their suits -- even a skimpy bikini offered more security than nothing at all -- but by now over half the girls were swimming nude. As if honoring a pledge to follow the majority, even Lorraine, the instructor, had started going without.
Lorraine was probably ten years Jodie's senior, but in great shape with a no-nonsense trim physique. Jodie had a secret crush on her, which made the class even more enjoyable. Lorraine had short auburn hair that she would slick back when wet (and Jodie loved watching her reach back to do this), but would revert to a plastered mess as soon as she went back underwater. She had small breasts, a tight butt, and well-toned arms and legs. She might not have had all the curves that would catch a man's eye when she was clothed, but nude, Lorraine was undeniably female, and Jodie found the self-assured way she moved undeniably erotic. Jodie nurtured a recurring fantasy about Lorraine, a private one-on-one session, that she dared not share with anyone, especially Larissa.
Other classes were changing as well. Larissa's marketing class was taught by a new summer instructor named Sandy, a Scandinavian blonde who seemed not much older than her students. "You should sit in on a class," Larissa told Jodie. "She's pretty cute." Sandy ran class very casually, often sitting at the edge of her desk, dangling her bare feet, or kneeling next to a student who might need her to clarify a point. She preferred tiny gym shorts and white tees with a snug, feminine fit. Had Seneca not been an all-female school, Sandy's class might have been the most popular on campus.
Sandy's office hours were even less formal. To talk with her outside of class meant finding her somewhere on the south lawn, wherever the breeze and sun were nicest and there wasn't a frisbee game. And you had to be okay with nudity; Sandy sunbathed in nothing but a pair of designer sunglasses.
"It's gotta be a cultural thing," Larissa told Jodie. "Maybe they're all like that in Sweden or wherever she's from."
"You've gone out there, then."
"It was a little weird. I sat down next to her, but she didn't sit up or take off her shades. We had a normal conversation, but when she wasn't talking it looked like she wasn't paying attention at all, even though I knew she was. So she's looking up at the sky, or asleep, and I'm, you know, checking out her boobs, her legs, between her legs; it's not every day you see your teacher's clitoris, you know? I could have just leaned in and kissed her there. She wasn't watching. The question is, would she go off like a fire alarm or would she be totally cool with it?"
"Would you, if you had the chance?"
"Maybe. Would you do Lorraine if you had the chance?"
Jodie started. How had she figured that out? Or was it a lucky guess? "I don't think she goes that way," Jodie managed to say. She didn't dare tell about her fantasies, even though she feared somehow Larissa already knew. Maybe she'd seen her gazing at the instructor. Lorraine's body was a nice and possibly necessary distraction from Larissa's charms. It was more than once Jodie had been tempted to swim over to her naked friend and start making out. She had to resist, not to keep any sort of secret -- everyone knew they were together -- but to avoid disrupting class.
Jodie didn't tell Roz that after today's class, she had showered next to Larissa, still behaving, lingering as the rest of the class showered and dressed. Jodie paid rapt attention as Larissa leisurely, thoroughly soaped up and rinsed every inch of her body. Her straight hair, as long and dark as Jodie's, was gathered between her shoulders like the tip of a calligrapher's brush. Larissa turned around slowly, showing Jodie all sides, but aside from a few conspiratorial smiles, and appreciative glances at her figure, Larissa acted as if Jodie wasn't there. When they were alone, Larissa turned off her shower, and reached over to turn off Jodie's. The room was silent except for the water dripping off their bodies.