Physical Co-education Ch. 02

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The hotel had an immense lobby with lush carpeting, fat armchairs, and actual trees growing in huge vases. Gretchen and I had to sign both our names on the little card at the check-in desk. It was the first time I’d ever stayed in a fancy hotel, and the first time I’d ever shared a room with a girl.

Our room was halfway down the hall from the elevator. Gretchen inserted her key card with the savvy of a frequent traveller. The room had a bed, a TV, a desk, an easy chair. She put down her suitcase. “Only one bed,” she humphed. “And it’s only queen size.”

“Seems nice enough to me,” I replied, checking out the remote control. Gretchen opened her suitcase and hung some things in the closet.

I looked at our itinerary. “We’ve got to be back down in the lobby in about 45 minutes.”

“That will barely give us time to get ready. Do you need to use the bathroom? Otherwise I’ll just go ahead.” Forty-five minutes seemed like plenty of time to me.

Gretchen and I had been classmates since kindergarten, although we’d never really had that much to do with each other. She’d always been the prissy teacher’s pet with the perfect grades and the new penny loafers. I’d been the kid in the back with the dog-eared homework and the holes in his sneakers.

She went into the bathroom and ran the shower. I put on a clean pair of slacks and a clean shirt and turned on the TV. After a while she came out wrapped in a towel and used the hair dryer in the alcove. Then she got a bag from her suitcase and one of her outfits from the closet and went back in.

She hadn’t been quite as prissy in high school. She still got her A’s and A+’s, while I got my B’s and C’s. She still piled up her extracurricular awards, while I played my video games. But we were both growing up, I guess. We no longer looked at each other as if we came from completely different planets. I wasn’t crazy about having to spend the weekend with her, but it wasn’t the end of the world.

Finally she came out again, all dressed up for a night on the town. She looked nice. In fact, she looked stunning: a stylish skirt of bright swirling colors, a snug alabaster top, a hairstyle that tapered down to the nape of her neck in back and swept down to touch her eyebrows here and there in front.

That was the other thing about Gretchen. Somehow over the course of the semester she’d blossomed into a very attractive young woman. It was like she’d just given up on high-school fashion altogether and jumped straight to being a poised young professional. I’d never thought of her as particularly pretty before, but I was finding I had to recalibrate my assessment. She was pretty in an exciting, stylish, grown-up kind of way. Maybe having to spend the weekend with her wouldn’t be that bad after all.

I pulled on my sports coat and felt completely underdressed. “You look really nice, Gretchen,” I told her.

She took my compliment for politeness and gave me a polite smile in return.

– – –

When we got back to the room it seemed too early to go to bed. Gretchen plopped down in the easy chair and put her feet up on the bed. No need to keep being ladylike around me.

“Did you like it?” I asked, just to make conversation.

“It was interesting, I guess,” she replied. “Learning about those mediaeval instruments. The music was a bit repetitious though I thought.”

“I dozed off through most of it,” I admitted. “I think that’s the way it’s meant to be listened to.”

She gave a little laugh.

I got up from the desk chair and sat down on the bed, leaning back against the pillows.

“So where will you be going next year?” she asked. Not really that interested, just trying to keep the conversation going.

“Ivy Tech.”

“You’re not going to college?”

“My folks want me to.”

“But you don’t?”

“What for? All I want to do is be is an auto mechanic. They don’t teach that in college.”

She shrugged. It didn’t make that much difference to her one way or the other.

“How about you,” I asked. “Where will you be going?”

“State, probably.”

“Really. I would have thought some big name university.”

“I’ve applied to a couple, but I won’t be able to go unless I get a scholarship.”

“But you will won’t you? I mean, . . .”

“We’ll see. But State is pretty good in marine biology, which is what I’m interested in.”

I hadn’t known that. “That’s like studying fish?”

“And plankton and algae and coral and seaweed and everything else that lives in the ocean.” She kind of perked up talking about all that under-the-sea stuff. She told me about feeding cycles and ecosystems and the big changes that are taking place because of global warming. She told me about all the important decisions that will have to be made in our lifetime. She got pretty passionate about it all. People in high school are always talking about changing the world, it’s kind of expected. But I’d never given much thought to what it would take to put yourself on a course to actually accomplish it.

“That’s really cool,” I said, kind bursa escort of at a loss for words. My own career plan seemed pretty lame in comparison.

“Well,” she said. “Big day tomorrow. Maybe we should get some sleep.” She went into the bathroom and changed into her pajamas. White ones with long pants and long sleeves, like Hillary Clinton might wear. I took my own turn in the bathroom. When I came out she was already under the covers. I took off my pants and shirt and got in beside her.

Gretchen and I had been gym partners twice before, once when we were doing the standard missionary position and once when we were doing the rocking horse. But she hadn’t seemed particularly enthusiastic either time. A couple of other guys had said the same. She put in the effort, but not the heart.

That was another reason I’d been less than thrilled about having her as my partner. Two nights sharing a hotel room with one of my female classmates, and I got the brainiac ice queen. Still, though, tonight hadn’t been too bad. She’d been pretty passionate about her plankton.

I hadn’t really planned to even bring it up, but . . . “So, um, Gretchen.” She had her back to me but she turned her head. “So, um, here we are, senior class trip, nice hotel and everything. Do you want to . . . maybe . . .”

She winced ever so slightly. “Do you mind if we just go to sleep tonight? I really am tired. And I have a bit of a headache.”

“Sure. OK. Of course. I’m sorry about your headache. I hope you feel better.”

She smiled politely and settled herself back down. I settled myself down too. A headache! You’d think a National Merit Semifinalist would be able to come up with something a little more original than that.

– – –

The next day was a real whirlwind. Breakfast at the hotel, the Matisse exhibit at the museum, hot dogs in the park, shopping along the river, back to the hotel to dress. Dinner at La Traviata, mezzanine seats at the Orpheum Theatre’s production of “The Tempest.” ‘Ban-ban-ca-caliban!’

We got back to the hotel about eleven, but everybody was too buzzed to let the night end so soon. The hotel had a pool, and we’d been told to bring our suits. Gretchen changed in the bathroom while I changed in the bedroom. A group of us went down, just horsing around mostly. But Gretchen put on a swimming cap and swam some serious laps. Then we all sat in the hot tub for a while and talked about the day.

Gretchen and I rode the elevator back up with Tom and Melissa. They invited us to stop by their room.

Melissa took off her bikini top and dried her cute breasts. Then she peeled off her bottom as well, still chattering away. That was one thing about having mixed gym class, we were all kind of used to seeing each other naked. Still, though, there was a definite thrill to be doing it in a hotel room. You could see that she was pretty excited to be showing herself off. You could see that Tom was pretty excited too.

“So what should we do now?” Melissa asked, stretching her nude self out on the bed. Gretchen steeled herself. This was going to be one of those things she’d have to go along with whether she wanted to or not.

“You know what?” I said. “I’m kind of bushed. Do you mind if I just call it a night?”

Gretchen was surprised, but she took the opening. “Me too, I’m afraid. It’s been a long day.”

They weren’t that disappointed to see us go. Gretchen had somewhat of a reputation as a killjoy. Melissa was already on her phone seeing if anything else was going on.

“You could have stayed,” Gretchen said as we got back on the elevator.

I just shrugged.

When we got back to our room, Gretchen went into the bathroom and changed into her pajamas. I changed back into a t-shirt and pants. She sat cross legged on her side of the bed. I stretched out on mine.

“Pretty spectacular day,” I said.

“It really was,” she agreed. “I hope I didn’t ruin the evening for you.”

“Not at all. I had fun at the pool.” It had been sort of obvious that she hadn’t really wanted to hang out with Tom and Melissa. I could understand. I’ve never been that big a fan of double’s matches either. Besides, it had been a long day. “Are you about ready for bed?” I thought she would be, but she gave a noncommittal shrug. That was fine too. We could talk a while. Maybe I could swing the topic around to plankton again.

“Did you like the play?” I asked.

“I loved it, actually.”

“That look in Miranda’s eyes when she got her first glimpse of her fellow creatures.”

” ‘How beauteous mankind is!’ ” she quoted. ” ‘O brave new world, that has such people in it!’ “

“And Prospero, waving his staff around, trying to keep everything on course.”

“And what did you think of Caliban? He kind of reminded me of you.”

“Me?” I retorted.

“Big, brutish guy, slunking around . . .”

I laughed. “And you know who reminded me of you?” I tried to remember the name of the drunken servant. “Trinculo!”

“What?” she laughed. “Trinculo? I pictured myself more of bursa escort bayan an Ariel.”

“Ariel was a guy.”

“A fairy!”

“Whatever. But a guy.”

She leaned over mischievously and tickled me right in the ribs. I was kind of astonished that she’d done it. ” ‘Where the bee sucks, there suck I,’ ” she teased. Then she lay back on her pillow, all innocent and guileless. ” ‘In the cowslip’s bell I lie.’ “

So maybe she wasn’t really ready for bed yet at all. Maybe I’d underestimated her willingness to have a little fun. I turned toward her.

“Do you know what they say that everyone should do at least once in their life?” I asked.

“What’s that?”

“Well, according to this magazine article I read once, anyway. It listed a bunch of things that everyone should do at least once in their life. And one was to sleep in the nude in a hotel in Paris.”

“And so have you?” she asked, a twinkle in her eye.

I laughed. “I’m working on it. I’ve slept in a hotel now at least.”

“And what were some of the other things that everyone should do?”

“Hmm. I can’t really remember any of the other ones.”

“So the only one you remember is the one about sleeping in the nude,” she teased.

“Well, it kind of struck my fancy. I don’t know, it just sounded so . . .”

“Bohemian,” she suggested..

Not the word I was searching for, but good enough.

“On the Rue de Barres,” she went on. “With the gardens right outside your window.”

“You’ve been to Paris?”

“Not yet. But I’ve dreamt about it.”

“Just like the people there probably dream about coming here.”

“To this hotel?” she teased.

“Don’t you think?”

“And sleeping In the nude?”

“That’s the way they sleep, isn’t it?”

She laughed. “Well, I guess Melissa is going to be one step ahead of you tonight.”

“Oh, she’s been way ahead of me for ages.”

“So now’s your chance to catch up.”

I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that one.

She sat up and began to unbutton her pajama top.

“Now wait. I wasn’t trying to . . .”

“Oh come on,” she said. “I hear it’s something that everybody should do at least once in their life.” The two sides of her top parted to reveal her two perfect breasts, pert and proud. She took her top completely off and laid it on the floor. “Besides,” she continued, laying back and wriggling down her pants, “last night we did things my way, so it’s only fair to do them your way tonight.”

She looked up at me all innocent and guileless in her plain white panties. “Et tu monsieur? Tu ne vas pas te déshabiller?”

So maybe she really had had a headache last night. And maybe she’d been just as turned on by Melissa’s disrobing as I’d been. Maybe she just preferred singles to doubles. Like I did.

I unbuttoned my own shirt. I wriggled off my own pants. I . . . what the hell . . . pulled off my briefs. It wasn’t like she hadn’t seen what was under them before. I stretched out my arms and legs in a luxurious Da Vinci stretch. It did feel good to be naked in a hotel room, even if it wasn’t in Paris.

” ‘How beauteous mankind is!’ ” she cooed as she wriggled her own panties off too.

I turned toward her and she turned toward me. There was absolutely no doubt about how pretty she was. Her attractive face, her proud breasts, her taut stomach, her perfectly rounded hip. Not only pretty but eminently desirable. As my cock was now frankly announcing. As she was now frankly aware.

“Sorry,” I blushed.

But she didn’t seem at all offended. In fact, she seemed flattered.

I got up and pulled down the bedclothes on my side. She helped, working them under herself. I got back in beside her, the sheets silky smooth against our bare skin.

“I didn’t tell you everything that was in my article,” I said.

“Oh?” she replied.

“It’s who you’re supposed to be sleeping with. In that hotel room in Paris. The one on the . . . Rue de Whatsit, with the flowers all around. You’re supposed to be sleeping in the nude with your lover.”

She didn’t respond right away, but she didn’t turn away her gaze. “Mais naturellement, monsieur. Ce serait très bohème, non?” .

I reached over and touched her shoulder. She let me do it. I scooted closer and ran my hand over the soft perfect curve of her hip. She closed her eyes. I buzzed in even closer and kissed her perfect nipple, sucking it gently into plumpness, licking it like an ice-cream cone, up and up, all the way around, greedy not to lose a single drip.

My hand, meanwhile, continued its exploration: her posterior nether regions, her lower thigh, the long, lovely valley between her legs. And at its head a trim, tidy meadow, smooth and soft. And running the length of the meadow a pleasant little gully. And as my fingers probed, the banks of the gully gently yielded to reveal a secret pathway, warm and moist and promising. And as my fingers explored, the pathway got deeper and moister until I found myself at the entrance of a secret cavern, warm and slippery, bursa bayan escort deep and exciting.

Now I know you’re supposed to go slow, but sometimes you just can’t help yourself. I hoisted myself up over her and she guided my turgid cock to her warm, slippery entrance. In I plunged. She clamped her thighs, she clamped her arms. I scooted myself a little further up, the way Ms Latimer had taught us.

Her thighs were so warm and welcoming, her nipples so insistent against my chest, her cavern so tight and yet so slick. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the task at hand. I was the brawny foundryman, thrusting my ingot of steel into the insistent slippery squeeze of her rolling mill, thrusting it in and drawing it out and thrusting it in until it finally exploded in a hail of fiery sparks, a blissful shower of molten droplets.

– – –

I couldn’t really tell if Gretchen had come or not. She’d gotten wet, she’d let me in, she’d rolled my steel. But whatever she’d felt herself she’d kept to herself. One of the main lessons that Ms Latimer was always trying to instill in us was to be aware of our partner’s response.

“Did you come?” I asked.

She didn’t reply. I figured she hadn’t. But when I reached over to pet her again she stopped me.

“It’s OK,” she said.

I cuddled closer. She turned to let me spoon against her back. I pulled the sheet and blanket up over us and put my arm around her. But the question still bothered me.

“Can I ask you something?” I asked softly.

She didn’t say no.

“When we had sex in class those times I couldn’t really tell either. It always felt like I wasn’t doing enough for you. Was it that way tonight?”

She still didn’t reply. She just lay there, soft and warm in my arms. OK. If she didn’t want to talk about it I wasn’t going to make a federal case. But then she squeezed my arm, ever so slightly.

“It wasn’t you.”

Not entirely convincing. But if that was her story, I wasn’t going to argue. I’d just try harder next time. The long day was catching up to me. The bed was so comfortable. My wrung-out ingot was already snoozing there between us. I could see Matisse’s open window in my mind’s eye, the geraniums, the sailboats rocking in the harbor.

“There’s something wrong with my wiring,” she said quietly. It took me a second to bring my faculties back online.

“I don’t feel things the way I’m supposed to.” She was facing away from me, I couldn’t see her face.

“When you’re inside me I can feel that you’re there, but it doesn’t feel special at all. It just feels . . . regular, like if you were touching my arm or my elbow. No ‘sexy’ feeling the way there’s supposed to be.”

She was speaking softly and impersonally, like she was embarrassed, maybe even a little ashamed. I tried to understand what she was saying. No ‘sexy’ feeling. “But you get wet. Your nipples get hard.”

“It’s like my body knows what to do, but I don’t.”

I tried to think. “Have you talked to anyone? Ms Latimer? Don’t you guys have a special doctor for your girl stuff?”

“She says it’s psychological. She says there are other girls who have it too. Some boys even. She says I’ll probably get over it eventually.”

I tried to think. Some boys even. I pressed my lap more closely against her bottom. I felt her warmth, her softness, but there were no ‘special’ feelings. They only came when my cock was hard and ‘in the mood.’

“What about all the rest?” I asked. “Do you get turned on when you think about guys? Or when you think about girls even? Do you get excited watching them take their clothes off? Stuff like that?”

“Only sort of,” she said. “I guess my hormones don’t work right either. Not like other girls’ anyway.” She was still speaking flatly, unemotionally, as if she’d long since come to grips with the fact that people’s wiring wasn’t always the same, and that hers was defective. “I like cuddling here with you though,” she said.

It was a lot to take in. “So why did you want to do it tonight?” I asked.

She took her time in answering. “It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that . . . I have to kind of make it all up in my head. You know? Like, I’m the beautiful princess, and . . . princesses feel things the way they’re supposed to.”

I was rocking her now gently in my arms. I’d always taken it for granted that if she sometimes seemed a little out of place among her classmates, there were other, more sophisticated circles where she did fit in and where she found her real happiness. But maybe it wasn’t that way at all. Maybe even in those more sophisticated circles she felt she didn’t measure up.

I lifted myself enough to see her face. I wanted to do something, to say something, to make it better.

“In case you didn’t know it,” I told her, “you are beautiful. Devastatingly so. And you are devastatingly desirable. And I’ll tell you one thing for sure. The guy you marry better be a big, slunking brute of a guy, because when your circuits do kick in you’re going to wear him out making up for lost time.”

She listened attentively, then looked into my eyes. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”

It was all I could do to stifle my laugh. “Busted,” I deadpanned. And then I kissed her on her cheek. I adjusted the blankets. I put my arm around her. We settled down to sleep.

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