"Hear, hear! All rise, Campbell County District Court, State of Vermont, Honorable Prudence Stanton presiding."
All rose, the lawyers and the crime victim and the three dozen or so spectators in the gallery and overflowing to the jury seats on the side, as the wrinkled old lady in black robes entered and ascended the bench in the historic old courtroom, built in 1773 according to the cornerstone outside.
She sat down and everyone else did too. She nodded to the young male stenographer to her side, who poised his hands over the little machine. "Court now in sesson. Good morning, all. As y'know I have strict standards of decorum in heah," she said, lilting in her old-Vermonty accent. She put on the reading glasses hanging from her neck and looked down. "I have here a note from the state medical examiner as to our complaining witness's allergy and I give it due respect. Sorry if it's a bit chilly in here," she said to the only unclothed person in the room. "It's cold in this place even in the summer.
"Now I see we have only one case on the calendar today, People versus Henry Ross. The charge is endangerment in the second degree, which has a statute of limitations of two and a half years, and the motion is to upgrade the charge to first degree, which has a statute of four years. The two and a half years runs out today, which under Section 789 means also that this is the last day the motion can be made. Miss Granby-White?"
At the lawyers' table were the assistant D.A., a thin, young white woman in glasses and a smart business outfit; Jen's father, Marcus McIntyre, in his three-piece suit and shined black shoes; and Tami Smithers. The assistant D.A. and Mr. McIntyre got up and stood in front of the bench. Ms. Granby-White looked up and said, "Your Honor, I believe you have our out of state attorney application for Mr. McIntyre for this case?"
"Yes I do," the judge said, looking at the thin file in front of her. "And it's granted. Welcome to our court, Mr. McIntyre."
"Thank you, Your Honor." Marcus McIntyre motioned for Tami to stand up next to him. She hesitantly and nervously stood her barefoot and naked self beside the two well-dressed lawyers, her hair, once again plum color, carefully braided up, her fingernails and toenails done up nicely in the same color.
Marcus was well aware of Tami's fear of lawyers and courtrooms, a fear well justified by what she had been through. But he always liked to have his clients in court if it made for good theater. This was certainly true of Tami, whose nakedness vividly illustrated the wrong that had been done to her. Last night he had sat down with her, with Jen and Rod in attendance, and went over what was to happen. He explained the status of his investigation, the legal issues involved, the importance of her being there, and the probability that the judge would ask her questions. Tami bit her lip and agreed to appear for the motion.
He began in his usual poised manner. "Your Honor, my client as a freshman at your local college underwent a horrible and unending series of humiliations and intimidations at the hands of the defendant. Her clothes were stripped from her, all her shoes too, and she was forced to spend the entire academic year totally naked, not only while on campus, but wherever she went. Naked and barefoot through the cruel blizzards of winter, the cold rains of spring, her most private areas on view for anyone to see, while being prohibited from showing any sign of modesty upon the threat of having her scholarship revoked, the scholarship which was such a source of pride to her and her family --"
"Yes, yes, I've read the indictment," the judge said. "Now why should the charge be upgraded?"
Marcus was used to giving long, lurid accounts of his clients' suffering and did not expect to get cut off. He quickly sized up this judge as one of those old yankees who hated wordiness. He changed gears. "Since the scheme was exposed, I have had investigators looking for Mr. Ross, necessary because the police could not do it, it being clear that Mr. Ross had immediately left the state. For two years we could not find him. Last month an investigative search finally retrived a 'hit', an airplane ticket bought by Mr. Ross a year ago in Phoenix, Arizona for a trip to Beaumont, Texas. We subpoenaed the airline records and found an address in Arizona, but by that time the residence had been deserted with no sign of where he had gone.
He dramatically lowered his voice. "Then, four days ago, a person matching Mr. Ross's physical description was seen purchasing a handgun at a shop in Boca Raton, Florida. Unfortunately we could not get verification."
"Why is that?"
"Well as you might know, a new federal rule requires all background information as to gun purchases to be destroyed within 24 hours."
The judge rolled her eyes. "Oh, right."
"By the time we got a subpoena signed and served it, it was too late. It would be a grave miscarriage of justice if at the last moment this person, who had subjected my client to such abuse, solely for his sadistic purposes, who took a young female of her tender years and -- "
"Get to the point!"
"Uh, my point being that we are this close" -- he put his thumb and forefinger an inch apart -- "to capturing this man. Witnesses can be interviewed, and the gun shop owner himself seems cooperative. It was a cash sale and he had kept the paper receipt, which said 'Henry Ross', which he had checked by asking to see the buyer's driver's license. So it seems we finally have a real lead on tracking the defendant down."
Marcus went to the table and took out a folder from his briefcase. "I would like to present documentation of what I've told you."
"That's all right, Mr. McIntyre, I stipulate to what you say, and I say so on the record."
"Well if you don't mind, I'd like to put it in your file anyway..."
Ms. Granby-White whispered to Marcus, "What are you doing?" She whispered as lowly as possible but in the quiet courtroom it was impossible not to hear.
"I'm building a record on appeal," he whispered back.
"If she rules against us, it's not appealable," she said. "Not in this state."
Marcus missed only a beat before putting the folder back. Best not to piss the judge off.
The judge said, "Mr. McIntyre, I see your point as to imminent capture" -- with her accent it was more like "capcheh" -- "but that is not relevant to why the charge should be upgraded. I see you have your client with you. If it's OK with you, Miss, I'd like to ask you something."
Tami had been standing quietly, her hands clasped politely in front of her, as it happened over her pubic bush. She cleared her throat and said, "Y-yes, Ma'am." Marcus bit his lip. He had told her to address the judge as "Your Honor", not "Ma'am". But Tami's upbringing was too strong.
"Miss Smithers..." The judge turned to the stenographer. "Off the record, please." She looked down at her file and then up at Tami.
She was at a loss for words, seeing what she saw.
Tami, still looking up at her obediently, had crossed one arm over to cover her breasts, and put the other hand over her crotch.
Tami never did that. There was a silent gasp from the audience, from Rod and Jen in the gallery behind her, and especially from those in the jury seats to the side who had a better view.
Marcus looked over in surprise, then down at Tami's bare toes nervously flexing against the polished wood floor. Tami's motions were great theater, but that could not be why she did it. And any sense of modesty had been burned out of her long ago. Maybe this was an expression of "modesty" in the deeper sense of the word, the modesty that Tami always had. A sign of respect for the judge and an uncertainty as to how she should be presenting herself.
The judge collected herself and said what she had been about to say. "You're not under oath, my dear. Let's discuss this informally. I see here, from what I read, what amounted to a threat to take away your scholarship if you put on any clothes. That fits the bill for endangerment in the second degree. But there's first degree endangerment if the threat was physical. At any time, did Henry Ross, or either of the persons listed as accomplices here, Percy Jorgon or Nevada McMasters, or any of that whole crowd, did they threaten you physically, threaten you with bodily harm?"
This was the key point. Last night Marcus had gone over this carefully. He could not, of course, coach his client as to what to say, but had gone as far as the ethics of his profession allowed: "Tami, you should search your memory and think, were you ever physically threatened? At any time, did Henry Ross, or anyone involved in this say, Tami, if you put on the merest scrap of clothing, or show any sign of trying to cover up, you will be harmed bodily? Beaten up or something? It didn't have to be in so many words, it could be indirect, or a matter of you putting two and two together. Of course," he continued, dropping his voice, "with all the horrible deeds that will go into evidence at trial, if Henry Ross testifies that he never threatened you, and you say he did, it's obvious who the jury will believe."
Tami not answering, the judge said again, "Did they ever threaten you physically, dear?"
In the chilly courtroom everyone held their breath, all eyes on the naked young woman. Rod and Jen could see goose pimples rising on her butt. She seemed to clutch her nakedness tighter and looked down at her flexing toes. For the first time in a long long time, she seemed uncomfortable with being naked. She looked frightened and cold, like a scared 18-year-old away from home for the first time and overwhelmed by her unwanted nudity and the powerful clothed men determined to break her.
Then she looked up and said, "N-no, Ma'am."
Tami looked down and shook her head. She sniffled and rubbed her nose.
The judge and Tami looked at each other for a second, perhaps with a common understanding as women, but mostly across a wide gulf, separated by age, power, and the ownership of clothes.
The judge turned to the stenographer. "Back on the record. Mr. McIntyre, the statute is clear as can be. Without an allegation that there was a threat to Ms. Smithers', uh, body, there is no basis for an upgrade. Motion denied. The statute of limitations has run. The case of People versus Henry Ross is closed."
She banged her gavel. In the gallery there was weeping, Jen's. A couple of TL's also sobbed. The judge got up to leave.
"Your Honor," Ms. Granby-White piped up, presenting a paper from her jacket pocket. "Will you sign an order of protection?"
The judge hesitated and then took the paper as it was handed up to her. She put her glasses back up and read it.
"On this matter I DO have some discretion," she said, sitting down. "I've never signed an order of protection against someone who has never threatened bodily harm, but in this case I don't mind." As she signed it she said, "Also I don't like it that this man bought a handgun. Here you are, dear. Henry Ross is not allowed to enter your home, or call you, or go within 50 feet of you. If he does any of that, Sheriff Wheeler will toss him into jail and I will personally throw away the key."
Tami, still clutching her breasts and her crotch, approached hesitantly as the judge beckoned. She read the official-looking document as she returned to her place next to Marcus and the assistant D.A.
"This court is adjourned." The judge gathered her robes and went back to her chambers.
Tami's hands dropped from covering herself as she passed by Rod and took his hand on the way out. Rod folded up the order of protection and put it into the pocket of his coat.
Outside it was a nasty, freezing, blustery day. Everyone had to put on their hats and gloves right away, Tami in their midst. They stood around silently, not knowing what to say, feeling pretty miserable as they watched Tami's nipples grow stiff in the frigid breeze.
Finally Marcus spoke up. "Sorry, Tami," he said, putting on his gloves and suppressing a shiver. "You are a rare gem... You've had it rough. Let me suggest that the best thing for you to do right now is get drunk. Let me take you and Jen and Rod to the pub for some brews and something to eat. It's all on me."
Tami seemed tempted. But after a moment she said, "No thanks. I'd rather be alone. I'm going home."
And she left them, off to her house by the shortest route, which involved cutting across the village green. Rod started after her but tactfully not too close, as if he was in a marching band and she was the majorette whom he was to follow at a certain distance.
As they watched her stride across the bleak commons, icy wind biting every inch of her nakedness, her bare feet squishing through the freezing mud, they thought of Henry Ross, sitting on a warm beach in Florida somewhere, or maybe in elegant clothes living the high life on an offshore casino.
Wherever he was, Henry Ross was now off the hook.
And, with very minor exceptions, free to go wherever he wanted.
Acting Dean Anthony Noyes, tall and a little grayer and a little heavier, no longer being able to fit into the three-piece suits that had been his trademark, stood behind his desk and looked out the big bay window on this rainy March day, having hung up the phone. His people had told him just what he had expected. No filings yesterday in state court, and in federal court (the more likely forum) no filings either. The statute of limitations on any suit Tami Smithers could bring against the college had expired. The college was finally in the clear. At least as to lawsuits.
A relief, but not really unexpected. From all signs, she had made her peace with the college a long time ago, blaming her freshman year misfortunes on the machinations of Dean Percy Jorgon and the college attorney Henry Ross, and to some extent Nevada McMasters. Which so far as he knew was pretty close to the truth. Others who were probably culpable too had left before they found themselves in the cross-hairs. Professor Brignon. McMasters's aides, Brendo and Mr. Zipkin. Not Homer Winant, of course, that wily S.O.B.
So now -- what to do about her?
As he looked down on the campus Tami appeared as if on cue, hefting a big bag of dead leaves over her shoulder, squishing through the grass toward the front lawn, oblivious to the cold rain that plastered her hair to her shoulders and had everyone else scurrying around in raincoats. Now she came to one tree with a branch which the brown leaves had somehow clung to throughout the winter. As if she was born to do it, she scurried up on prehensile toes and reached over, her breasts crushed against the rough bark, shaking the leaves free. Then hopped to the ground and stuffed them into the bag with her bare hands. Remarkable.
He turned and sat down at the big oak desk and pondered. The presence of a naked student had never stopped being a trial for the college and its conservative benefactors. There was just no getting around it. It had paralyzed the Dean Hiring Committee; there was no way to say to candidates, "We are a religiously based, conservative institution," and then say, "By the way, we have a girl who walks around naked all the time." As a result the Acting Deanship had been a hot potato passed around between him and Vanessa Congi and even Mildred George, who was 75 years old.
Tami Smithers was only two months from graduation -- but sure to get a graduate assistantship if that was what she desired. That would mean two more years of enduring her public nudity. And then what if she became an adjunct, or even a professor? She could be here for 20 years! Noyes held his forehead just at the thought of it, it was so agonizing.
The commencement ceremony itself was all too much to contemplate. She would be the valedictorian and giving her speech. It was a near miracle that the college had avoided national press thus far, but commencement exercises were always publicity magnets. "The Naked Valedictorian." A Newsweek cover for sure. Some of the trustees had suggested canceling the commencement on some pretense. But he just could not do that. Tami had earned the right to give her speech in public just like any the college's 212 other valedictorians throughout its history.
It would be easy if she was a troublemaker, but she was anything but. Her behavior during her long ordeal, and ever since, had been exemplary. Tami Smithers enjoyed an immense amount of respect, from faculty, the other students, recovering fundamentalists like Rev. Stipend... Even the more stuck-up benefactors grudgingly admitted she was a credit to the college, at the same time as they were waiting on pins and needles for her to leave.
As far as finding out what she might do, he had run into a brick wall. He certainly couldn't ask her directly. What would be the point? There was no way he could say, "We like you Tami but we want you to leave. Here are some possibilities..." Or even hint it. He had called Abu Jamal about their attempts to cure her allergy but the Chalfont people absolutely would not talk to him. He could understand their position. They had been traumatized by the fallout from the McMasters experiments and were forever in debt to Ms. Smithers for voluntarily re-doing them when their accreditation was threatened. If anything, it would be better for him NOT to know her plans. That way, if he suddenly hit upon an idea that would get her out of here, he could spring it on her more innocently.
He had similar bad luck with the Fashion people. It would be strange, but great, if she won that International competition and got sent back to Rhode Island. But Girardo would not tell him what her chances were. And he had no pull with the people running the competition, of course.
A knock on the door.
It was Tami Smithers herself, wet and muddy, though she had been careful to wipe her feet. She stood in his doorway, naked and strong, her bookbag slung over her shoulder, carrying a four-foot long narrow thing that looked like a folded-up easel. "Hello, Mr. Noyes," she said, respectfully but with an air of familiarity.
"Hello, Tami." He was aware, of course, of yesterday's ruling refusing to extend the statute of limitations in the criminal matter. Tami seemed to have bounced back from what must have been a bitter disappointment. Of course, the college itself being in effect an accomplice, there was no way he could express his condolences or anything like that.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, Tami." He glanced at her up and down, from her wild, wind-strewn hair, the tanned wet breasts, then down to the fragments of leaves in her pubic bush, finally to the widely-spread toes covered with bits of grass, as if she herself were a wet tree and her toes were the roots. "Is Omar working you too hard? Have a seat."
"Well no, I shouldn't, I'd mess up your chair... I'd like to ask your permission... Could I please wear something?"
"Uh -- " He had never been so astonished at a simple question. He almost gasped. Had her allergy been cured? If so, why was she asking permission?
Tami, realized how absurd her request sounded, smiled and set down her bookbag and held out the easel, which it turned out was a narrow, four-foot-long case. "This was a present that was given to me."
As soon as he saw her bend down to open the case, her breasts wobbling in front of her, he realized with dread what it was. He had been told about it by Sarah Wickland, that West Coast lawyer with the kinky clients. The immense dildo with a two-foot long tail of horsehair.
"It's called a tail. Ms. Wickland gave it to me. You know, from the pony farm."
A reminder of Tami's further horrible tribulations. Which again she had made peace with.
Obviously unaware that he knew about it, Tami stood up with the object in her hand and explained it. "This part goes into my rectum and up into my sigmoid colon. There's a remote control that makes it into a sexual stimulator. But without the remote, just as a fashion accessory, I think the tail is pretty neat looking. I think I look good in it. See?" She approached him with a photo of herself, half-turned to the camera, with the tail waving behind her, coming out from between her bare butt cheeks, the smile on her face as innocent as if she were seven years old and showing off her First Communion dress. It was jarring to see. As she evidently knew: "I'm asking you because I can see why some people might, um, freak out.
"I won't wear it anywhere on campus," she said quickly. "But I was thinking of wearing it to the reception after the Spring Zing. There will be faculty there, so I wanted to know what you thought."
He looked at the tail and at the picture. He just could not imagine where there was space in that slim body for that gigantic thing. But then, Tami Smithers was remarkable.
He also knew that the Spring Zing reception was traditionally a time when the fashion majors would show off with their most outlandish creations, kind of like a costume party. "I trust you to exercise your good judgment. You have always shown good judgment as a student here, Tami. I think... I think it will be OK But let Mr. Girardo know about it ahead of time."
"Thank you, Mr. Noyes." He was relieved to see Tami put that thing away, into the long case.
As she was about to leave he thought of something. "Tami, I have some things for you."
With the results of those phone calls he was going to send for her to get them anyway. It might as well be now. He couldn't wait to get them off his hands, and with the statute of limitations having run, the college had no duty to preserve them. He led Tami into the large storage closet down the hall and took a box off the shelf.
"These are some things that were found at Henry Ross's place after he escaped. Mostly videos and discs that show some of the, uh, things that happened that year. From what I understand the criminal matter against him is now closed. So there is no need to keep them. If you ask me they should be destroyed. But a sense of justice compels me to give them to you. YOU should be the one who destroys them.
"There are also some DVD's of the Chalfont experiments. As you remember you deleted the computer files in Dr. Schnitzler's office. But it turns out Nevada McMasters took his own videos from a hidden camera in Lab 6. Possibly to use as evidence against Ross, I don't know. I really have no idea what was going on between those two. But he left them in a cabinet in Lab 5. So these are yours too, Tami. I know I've said it a hundred times, but we are very sorry what you endured, Tami."
He got a kind of rolling briefcase off another shelf, like people use to pull packages in at airports. "This is called a trial bag, lawyers like Mr. Halifax use it." George Halifax being the person who replaced Ross as the college attorney. "This one's extra. Here, let me put the things in here."
Soon, Tami Smithers, with her bookbag and her horse-tail-dildo and all that odious crap from Chalfont and Ross, was gone. Anthony Noyes looked outside the bay window and saw her leave the building, strolling casually and nakedly through the rain. He exhaled as he saw her wheel away the DVD's and videos, and though it was Tami who was getting wet, he felt like it was he, and Campbell - Frank College in general, who had been showered clean.
Rod, sitting at the kitchen table in his pajamas, looked at the sample logos that Trent had made for Tami's clothing designs. It seemed unlike the naturally modest Tami to blow her own horn so, but apparently it was recommended for fashion students to create a "brand" for their designs, for copyright protection purposes. He could understand that.
Trent was an art major and, unlike some of the others, was actually good at drawing human bodies and faces. Rod respected that, down-to-earth engineer type that he was. Trent and Tami had gone through a hard time after 9/11, dealing not only with their grief but also their guilt. Both had been invited to Jeffrey's photo exhibition that day and had not gone; Trent because he had the flu, and Tami declining the ride down with Mandy because she didn't want her nakedness to distract everyone from what was supposed to be the first big day in Jeffrey's professional career. Like many others who had lost loved ones that day, Trent and Tami had formed a bond.
Trent's empathy for Tami came through in his drawings. They were not detailed but they were realistic. The one Tami preferred was a plain line drawing of a girl holding a long coat in front of her. You could tell she was naked from the shoulders, the exposed hip, the toes on the feet below. It was unclear in the drawing whether she was offering the coat to the viewer or about to try it on herself. The ambiguity was a nice touch. Below, the motto: "It's a Tami Original".
Now Tami padded in, rolling that damned "trial bag". She hefted it onto the table and sat up next to it in her usual cross-legged position.
"I don't really want to look through this stuff," Rod said.
"I don't either, but I suppose we should see what's here," she said. "So what do you think of Trent's logos?"
"They're a product of real talent," Rod said, "speaking as an engineer who can draw nothing but blueprints. I like the one you circled too. Tami, you really are 'an Original'."
"Oh Baby." She was so limber that it was easy for her to bend her head down and give him a wet kiss. "Not an original-sounding motto, though. I can't think of anything better at the moment."
Rod smiled. "I like your new clothes. I mean your old clothes. That really is your color, Babe."
Tami, still sitting cross-legged, opened her legs some more to show her lower hair. "Plum is for me, I think. It matches my little thing." She leaned back a little, spread her lips and made her clit jump. "Hi hi! Now... what do we have here?"
As they rummaged through the bag they saw it was a collection of unmarked DVD's and a few VHS tapes. They sifted through them silently.
"I say, throw them all out," Rod said. "I don't know how you can stand viewing them anyway."
"Maybe... Let me think about it." She laughed. "Maybe I'll get Gretchen to sort them out."
Rod chuckled, glad that so much time had passed that she could laugh at such things. "Don't torture that poor girl... So you're going to go down with her?"
"Yes." Tami was going to Providence to see her parents this weekend. Rod couldn't go; he had National Guard service.
"I don't think the VW is going to make it," Rod said. They drove in it yesterday and it pooped out on a hill, forcing them to turn it around and jump-start it by pushing it back down.
"It just needs the timing checked. I can do that next week. We're taking her car anyway. Wow, look at this."
A brown bag obviously holding VHS's. On top was a handwritten note: "Found these at the house. George Halifax." Halifax had moved into the college attorney's house formerly lived in by you-know-who. "Oh Lord!" They were commercial porn tapes. Tami took out the first one. On the box was an interracial couple that looked almost exactly like Rod and Tami! "THIS we've got to see!"
Rod wasn't that into it but Tami set it up like a movie night. She had him microwave popcorn while she pushed the couch in front of the TV and dug out the VCR that hadn't been used in about two years. She cut the lights and they sat in their usual TV-watching position, him with the popcorn beside him, she stretching her naked self along the couch, her legs over his lap so that he could idly play with her pubic hair. Her dexterous toes tapped on the remote sitting on the arm of the couch.
Rod had seen more porn than he liked to admit, but for Tami it was a new experience. She watched entranced as the first few minutes showed the white woman with red hair writhing on a bed in a tiny negligee, stroking herself, not very skillfully portraying a bored, frustrated wife. She must have been bored by the decor as well: her "bedroom" looked like a motel room.
Now a sudden blast of gangsta rap and a black man in a pimp outfit climbed through the window. He wrestled the woman until she was pinned to the bed, her eyes showing that she was not very interested in resisting.
"Oh Babe, this is insulting." Rod was offended and embarrassed by hip hop culture.
Tami had long been aware of that, but said, "Let's see what happens," as she inhaled another handful of popcorn. Now the man had his pants off and was slapping his half-erect penis across the woman's face.
"Wow," Tami said. "That guy is huge."
"She's got awfully big hands too," Rod said. Tami guffawed as he saw what he meant. The effect of the camera angle and what must have been a fish-eyed lens became clear as soon as the woman put her fingers around the porn star's dick. If his penis was huge, her fingers must be the size of bananas.
Then they both got a laugh as she started sucking him. The camera was from above and the lens made her nose get dramatically bigger with each upstroke, throbbing in size like a cartoon character who has just gotten punched.
About five minutes later, with no discernable advancement of either plot or technique, Tami said, "This is getting boring."
"Welcome to the world of porn, Babe."
She flexed her pinky toe and was about to hit "stop" when the man pulled back and shouted, "Take this, bitch!!"
As the music crescendoed the woman smiled and a big spurt hit her on the chin. Then a few dribbles before the black penis above her stopped quaking.
"That's weird," Tami said. Rod was surprised at this comment but then reminded himself: the "money shot" might be a convention of the genre, but despite what Tami has been through, she's hardly ever seen any porn.
"That's called a 'facial'," Rod said.
Tami decided to give up on this movie. "Let's try one more." Rod sighed in resignation.
This movie -- apparently Henry Ross only liked interracial, black male-white female porn -- was a bit easier to take. The black male was a tall skinny guy who was always smiling. No gangsta rap. He seemed to get a kick out of having two blond girls chasing him. At one point he had his pants half down and was trying to run down the stairs away from them, his dick flopping in front.
Ten minutes later, he too doused the white woman's face with a few hits of semen, with great yowls that sounded like, "Yeeahhhhh --- ohhhhh --- yeahhhhhhh!!" Rod snorted. But Tami said, "It's great that he can express himself like that. Why should women be the only ones who get vocal?" It was only then that Rod realized he had snorted to cover his embarrassment.
The blonde gathered up the semen with her finger and slurped it up like it was caviar. She really hammed it up, rolling her eyes. Again Rod snorted. But Tami said, "That's exactly how I feel. Semen is the stuff of life."
"It must be an acquired taste," Rod said.
"Only the first couple of times. When I realized how much your body works to produce it, and how much you loved me, it became yummy." Of course, they kissed after she said that.
"One more," Tami said as Rod sighed.
In this one, the black man talked constant trash while humping the white woman from behind. "Take this bitch, you stinkin' ho, take this n----r dick all the way, you ain't nothing but --"
"UGHHH!" Tami said, thudding the "stop" button forcefully with her heel.
They looked at the blue screen for a moment.
"Who watches stuff like that?"
"So what do black guys watch?"
"Me, I used to watch black on black porn. There's not a lot of it around though."
Tami brought her foot up and stroked behind Rod's ear with her toes, and behind the other ear with her hand. She was getting good at knowing this sensitive area and his dick began to stiffen. With her other hand she munched on a handful of popcorn. With a half-full mouth she said, "What if I told you to pick out what porn you wanted and masturbate to it, what would you pick?"
"I don't think I would watch porn now. Or even jerk off. It just doesn't compare with being with you. It's like playing with a toy, then having the real thing."
Holding onto Rod's neck, she did everything with her feet, tapping the "off" button on the remote, then reaching forward to hit the "eject" button on the VCR, then, swinging a leg over, grabbing the tape with her toes and dropping it into the bag. "Ooo ooo," Rod said playfully.
Rod hefted his naked white prey onto his shoulders and carried her to bed. He kept one eye on the clock radio and decided to lick her for one hour exactly. He realized with some amusement that his motivation was to do better than the TL's. Pacing himself, he succeeded in managing her orgasms so that she came once every two minutes, ending up with 28 for the hour. Like the TL's, he knew Tami hated being counted (though only he knew the reason), so he kept the number to himself.
At the end Tami was sweating all over and Rod's tongue was tired, in fact his whole body was tired. But Tami was not winded in the least. After holding his head against her breasts for a few minutes, she made him stand up and revived him by sucking him.
The porn movies had made an impact on her. As he got close she said, "Come on my face!"
He was surprised and might have been turned off, her sucking tonight was especially ardent and deep. He pulled out at the right moment. He hadn't come in a few days and it was a big load. He even let himself groan out loud -- "Ohhhh Babe!" The four biggest arcs landed on her face, striping it from forehead down to her chin, a little dripping onto her breasts.
Rod, drained, catching his breath, looked down at his handiwork with mixed emotions. He did NOT want to be one of those pimped-out porn minstrels. But he was proud of being able to produce such a big load for Tami. Almost her whole forehead was coated.
Tami quickly unmixed his feelings. She was able to open her eyes and led him to the bathroom where they looked in the mirror, her face next to his.
"You marked me, you dog," she said with a giggle. "I'm your bitch." Then she smeared the semen over her face. "Well, it's good protein, right? Good for the skin."
He kissed her gently, not even minding that he got some on his own face. Tami could make just about anything sexy and loving.
"Baby, after looking at these I think we should keep them somewhere. They are my testament to my dedication to you and my folks and all the people I love.
This was unusual, this almost Biblical language from Tami. On this Sunday evening Rod sat in the kitchen and pondered the note she had left yesterday next to the little stack of DVD's before heading down to Providence with Gretchen. The note just added to the unreality of this weekend, this sense that his world was beginning to tip out of control.
He had left for his National Guard service like always, at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, while she was still asleep. He could barely stand to leave her, as she lay sprawled atop the covers, arms and legs splayed out in all directions, the forest of her lower hair the highest point on her body. Then up to Camp Grafton and it was all hup-hup-hup. The last few services had been disturbing. A platoon of engineers and architects, second lieutenants, and they were being put through paces like infantry. Nobody dared mention the I-word, but it sure looked like they were getting conditioned to go to Iraq. And not to build bridges either.
Worse, some of the guys had not been showing up. He couldn't believe they would just blow it off, risk getting reported. Some were volunteers of course; they weren't doing their tour as a condition of having gotten a scholarship like Rod was. But how could you have such a delinquency on your record? At the very least it would come back to haunt you someday.
Rod looked at the note again and at the stack of DVD's.
"They are my testament to my dedication to you and my folks and all the people I love." He supposed she meant for him to take a look. And she wasn't going to be back from Providence until late. Well...
Rod set himself up in the living room and popped in the first DVD. Oh God --
The mechanical, factory-like sound was almost deafening and he had to turn the volume down. The sweaty, naked body of Tami, seen from the waist up, against the brightly lit background of Lab 6, three years ago. She was only 18 then and she looked like a child, not quite as muscular as now, with whiter skin. Her eyes were closed, her breathing ragged. Her sweat-soaked hair was plastered to the sides of her face. Her arms were stretched out to the sides -- hands tied to the posts that were out of camera range. He knew the sliding, clanking sounds were from the unseen dildo shafts below, pistoning on their cams aimed at her widely-spread, tied-apart legs, plunging past her cervix, and deep into her colon, in an alternating rhythm. Under her ribs he could see her concave tummy lurching slightly forward and back as she was penetrated front and rear, a mixture of chills and sobs going through her frame as she felt the ridges on the front dildo bump past her clit and inside past her G-spot. Her nipples were stuck in those awful suction tubes that went up and out, bristling and sucking and stimulating...
Oh Jesus -- entering the camera's range, the face of Henry Ross! In his lawyer suit. And now next to him McMasters in his tacky blazer and open collar. "Good afternoon Miss Smithers," Ross said affably.
Tami's heavy-lidded eyes opened. Her lips parted slightly but she said nothing.
"So as I understand it," Ross said to McMasters, "during orgasm her eyes dilate?"
"That is one of the many things we have discovered about female orgasm, thanks to Tami's participation," McMasters said eagerly. "To be precise, her pupils dilate, and her eyes lose focus." He looked down, presumably at dials on a console. "Why don't you watch on her next orgasm?"
"You mean she's had more than one?" Ross said with perhaps too much of a play at naiveté.
"Good Lord, Mr. Ross, Tami is the most multi-orgasmic girl we ever heard of." Looking down again, he said, "She's been hooked up for about an hour, and has experienced orgasm twenty-two times."
"Twenty-two times!" Ross looked at Tami's face, her eyes now closed again. "That's hard for one to imagine," he said with a convincing tone of innocent wonder. "The greatest physical pleasure a human being can know, and she's enjoyed it twenty-two times in just the past hour... You are a lucky young woman, Miss Smithers!"
"I'll say," McMasters said. "And each one is an unusually intense experience in its own right. She averages twelve contractions, which is more than the typical person has." He leaned down out of sight and must have turned a knob, as casually as if he were adjusting the throttle on a lawn mower. Tami's eyes popped open and she strangled a loud grunt. "There, I've increased the RPM and the depth of insertion somewhat. She should climax again soon. Excuse me, Mr. Ross, I have to go down the hall to get a refill for our EKG scroll. Why don't you stay here and watch. I'll be back in five. Tami," he said now in a slightly louder voice, "Remember to open your eyes and look directly at Mr. Ross on your next orgasm, okay?"
Tami, eyes closed, trying to hold back the quaking of her body, waited a second before slowly nodding once.
Rod felt miserable. At the time this was happening, he had no idea. Neither did Rebecca or Jen or Marisol or anyone else. They all thought of Tami as a happy, though quiet, girl who had decided to be a nudist. And he supported her and said he admired her for it! Tami kept her torments a secret from him and everyone, not wanting to let them down, and especially, as he knew now, not wanting to jeopardize her scholarship. Totally out of her element, the first person in her family to go away to college, too frightened and intimidated to tell anyone, too frightened to seek legal advice. He thought of what Rebecca had during her little sermon at their wedding. "One of the hardest things to do is to be brave, when no one can see that you are being brave."
Now, back on the DVD, Ross could be seen watching McMasters leave. Then he turned to Tami again.
"Totally naked," he said, looking her up and down. "I can see every inch of you, Miss Smithers. So has everyone else. How does it feel, to be naked all the time and not cover any part of yourself for even one second? This jacket, for example," he said, grabbing his lapels. "I'm also wearing a shirt, pants, shoes, socks, underwear. Quite comfortable and handy on a chilly day like this. Yet you have nothing."
He walked around behind her, out of camera range. "I understand many people have seen your, uh, anus. Few people can stand to have anything inserted into this, what most people consider their most private spot. Yet this, uh, dildo like thing is going into you and it is huge. It must be penetrating deep into your gut. In... out... now in again... out again..." Now he moved around in front again, looking down, stroking his chin. "And this front dildo thing is no less remarkable." He bent down, out of range. "The way it stretches your, uh, vaginal lips wide apart is amazing." He stood up again. "I understand those ridges provide intense sexual stimulation, both inside and outside."
He let a moment go by, listening to Tami's labored breathing and watching her closed eyes. Now he stood up now aggressively, literally getting into her face, not more than a foot away. His tone now was menacing. "Feel those thrills! And that rear shaft going right up into you! You can't escape me, Miss Smithers! That is ME, going up into you! ME, driving you to orgasm! ME, reaching right into your soul at your most vulnerable moment!
"Ah, I see now you're beginning to crest up to yet another climax! You MUST open your eyes and look at me! Otherwise I will have evidence that you're modest and you will be exposed as a liar! 'Religious nudist', indeed! Declaring that you don't believe in modesty, indeed! You were just streaking that night, admit it!! An expellable offense! Keep your eyes closed and you will be EXPELLED!"
Tami's eyes strained open in anguish and terror. Her body quaked with the onset of orgasm.
"You really think you can win, Miss Smithers?!" Ross got even closer, looking right into her eyes. "You think you're being heroic, don't you! The scholarship that made your parents proud! Sticking it out for your stupid, beer-swilling parents! And your stupid, N----R boyfriend!! It won't work!
"LOOK AT ME!! I WON'T GO AWAY!"
She opened her mouth and her eyes twitched with the strain of keeping open as she launched into a convulsive climax. Her shouts reverberated through the cold lab.
Was she berating him? Yelling at him? Crying for help? Shouting a prayer to God? Her shouts were unearthly, weird. Rod had heard Tami cry out in orgasm hundreds, possibly thousands of times, but never heard sounds like these.
The orgasm went on and on. Of course, everything being done to her was designed to extend and intensify her "pleasure". After the last few, irregular cries she dropped her head and started sobbing. So young, her crying sounded like a little child's. Rod was about to cry himself.
McMasters returned and she raised her head and sniffled, trying to compose herself, though this was not totally possible as the dildos, unaware that she had just suffered an intense, mind-ripping orgasm, kept on pistoning inside her with their constant rhythm. McMasters looked down. "I see she just had number twenty-three," he said genially. "Did she open her eyes for you?"
"No, I don't think she did," Ross said blandly. Tami's eyes opened and she looked dully at the floor. A tear formed at her right eye and rolled down her face.
"Well, that's OK, just wait until she has her next one," McMasters said. "Sometimes she's too distracted to follow instructions, as you might imagine. At the onset of orgasm ideation and perception become scrambled. That's another thing we've learned. She cries, she sobs, she prays out loud sometimes. Sexual ecstasy can be a religious experience."
"So one could imagine," Ross said. As they watched her catch her breath he observed, "This could be a disturbing sight. If one didn't know she had specifically agreed to it in writing."
"Indeed. We are eternally thankful to her. Well, like I said, let's just wait. It shouldn't be long. She's on a plateau from which she can peak easily, come down a bit, and peak again. Here," he said, leaning down.
Tami's tortured eyes were forced upon and another cry was ripped from her throat. Evidently McMasters had intensified the stimulation again.
"Here she comes, so to speak," McMasters said as Tami looked up to the ceiling with increased bucking of her hips. He raised his voice. "Now Tami -- look Mr. Ross in the eye!"
Tami's agonized expression again reluctantly focused on her nemesis, Ross's vicious, sadistic leer staring into the look of pure terror in her tortured eyes --
-- Rod couldn't stand it any more. He hit the "STOP" button and sat back and covered his face. "Jesus," he said.