Once thrust into the unfamiliar arena he waited motionless, allowing her heavily shadowed eyes the time they needed to take him in, even as his took her in. They locked-in, her eyes did, gazing with the alertness a bored house-cat gives to a new rubber mouse, or to any other diversion, regardless of how slight. At the same time, his were noticing that her lips were the same dark, grotesque shade of purple as her eyes, and her hair too, but for the bright pink streak fanning out through her bangs.
Pete was a nice boy, with plans to graduate valedictorian next year, and then on to the Ivy League. Girls were not on his radar, certainly not girls like this one.
He had agreed to tutor Rose sight unseen. Their mothers worked together, so it sounded like easy money when his mom asked him if he would do it. But his expectations of a kitchen table study area with opened textbooks and laptops fell to the wayside when Mrs. Lambert led him down the hallway to Rose’s bedroom. Mrs. Lambert nudged Pete into the room with apologetic eyes, then quickly latched the door behind him, as if afraid to give the recalcitrant teen imprisoned in there a chance at escape. Pete found himself frozen to stillness by the strangeness of the girl’s appearance, as she appeared for all the world like some gothic gar-girl sentry spying down on him from a craggy, granite-gray city-scape. Pete’s only solace was in that Mrs. Lambert was directly in the next room, her bursts of laughter audible from the kitchen as she talked on the phone. Nothing terrible could happen to him with her mother so close-by, could it?
Pete was seventeen, but had never been alone with a girl, not in a bedroom, nor anyplace else. His initial observation of the room itself was that a girl should be more tidy. There was not an uncluttered surface for him to place his backpack on, but the room did smell nice, with a feminine potpourri of perfumes, candles and hairsprays. The shades were pulled-to, leaving a thin halo of sunlight peeking around their edges. That soft glow was somewhat augmented by an underpowered reading lamp on a gilded-white nightstand. From the lack of lighting Pete gathered that this girl Rose was not a reader... thus the need for a tutor, he supposed.
Her voice was surprisingly normal, sounding like any other girl’s when she asked if he liked music, but he remained wary of a trick. He shrugged in response. It was a strange question, not one usually asked of a tutor. Naturally shy, he found himself even more so when cast into the lair of the beast.
Rose took the shrug as a “yes.” She began tapping furiously on her phone’s screen, using it’s sourcery and some hidden speakers to flood the room with choppy guitar licks, and smashing symbols, so that Pete could no longer hear Mrs. Lambert’s voice from the other room. His trepidation intensified proportionally with the music’s rising volume.
Rose pointed toward the foot of the bed, “Sit.”
It was not a question. Pete’s intrinsic, good-boy nature was to obey commands immediately, but this time he was discombobulated by a pair of silk panties lying in the exact spot where she pointed. They were less than panties really, actually little more than lacy frills with a string. He could not even know if the panties were clean or not, being scattered amongst all of the clothes thrown haphazardly about the room. But sit he must, so he did, finally, but with a care to avoid the peckish garment, staying as close to the twin bed’s footboard as was possible. Her response to his timidity was to stretch out her legs until her bare feet and black toenails slithered frighteningly close to touching his thigh.
Rose was not dressed for company. Pete wondered if she had even known he was coming? She wore loose shorts, and a cut-off t-shirt which exposed a gold-studded bellybutton. Once he was seated she sat up, so that their faces were very close. He tried to keep his eyes on his own shoes and feet, but they wandered to hers instead, transfixed by their pale skin, and delicately curled toes. “Are you afraid of me?” She laughed, sensing his discomfort. Empowered, she slid one of the bare feet closer, pressing it lightly to his thigh as a test, holding it there while she awaited a response. He gave none, so she pushed the other foot against him as well, curling her toes into him like talons into rabbit fur.
”Don’t you know any girls?”
Of course he knew girls. There were girls in his classes, and his study groups, but he did not answer, aware that this was not what she meant. He would have liked to ease away from the feet pressed against his thigh, but he was trapped here now, with nowhere to go.
With cat-like quickness her legs swung over the edge of the bed and she was beside him, her own thigh and hip pressed tightly to his, their shapes melding warmly together. She was teasing him, he knew that, but it was in a way that he had never been teased before, in a way that was awakening a newness in his groin.
“I’ve known a few girls.” She said so with a, “what do you think of that” deviltry sparkling her eyes. “They’re ok.” Following an effectual pause she continued. “I’ve known a guy too, but it was in a car, and it was dark. It was over so fast I can barely remember it. I never got to see anything, or touch anything. You know what I mean?”
Pete did not know what she meant, so he held tightly to a silence that had failed to offer any aid up to now.
”Do you tutor anatomy, by any chance?” She flopped back on the bed, her arms spread wide. “Can you name my parts?” In this stretched out position the cut-off shirt allowed the bottom mounds of perky little breasts to bulge out from underneath, which caused that awakening in his groin to become a full-on claxon call.
He said nothing, refusing to even look, much less to “name her parts.” She sprung back up, a pained confusion visible through her face paint. “Don’t you like me?”
This time Pete’s shrug was followed by a polite nod in the affirmative that was greatly misinterpreted.
“Ok then!“ Her enthusiasm was back. “I’ll start!” With a hard push Pete found himself prone on the bed, lying atop the panties, and the twisted bedding. She threw herself astraddle of his stomach, her hands grasping his wrists, pushing them out ever wider until he was completely vulnerable, and exposed. His glasses sat askance of his nose, blurring her face. The blood pumped away from his brain, leaving him hollow, and weak. She was not smiling now. Her face was so close he could feel her breath, and smell the muskiness of it. Despite the skewered glasses he could see right through her make-up from this close. Her eyes stared intently into his, and his stared back. He was suprised that he could actually see the girl inside that purple mask, the one who was trying so hard to hide, the one frightened of adulthood even while longing for independence.
There was a sharp rap on the door, followed by, “Honey? Are you kids doing ok in there?”
Pete watched as Rose’s intensely engaged expression morphed into one of exasperation. Her face was so close to his that the change was unnerving. With a sarcasm rife with insolence Rose bellowed, “We’re fine, Mother! Go away!” With that job done her desire to consume returned. Pete was not to be rescued.
She released his wrists, and lifted herself up. Her hips slid down from his stomach until straddling his groin, her weight sitting heavy there. He wondered if she could feel him throbbing through the khaki pants of his school uniform. On queue her smile returned. Her expression morphed this time to that of a child asking for an ice cream, her eyes wide, and hopeful. Her voice dropped to a husky whisper, “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.” Without waiting for an answer she lifted her shirt, exposing small, but nicely shaped breasts. Guilt and shame flushed his face, but he could not look away. “You can touch them,” she cooed. “If you want to.”
For what seemed an eternity he did; cupping, pinching, and tickling until she finally stopped him. “It’s my turn.” She slid herself onto his thighs, and began grappling with his belt. He began to panic at what she would find there. He was pudgy, his skin pasty. He was embarrassed for her to see his erection, and afraid that he wouldn’t be able to control his ejaculation.
”My time is up.” They were the first words he had uttered since arriving.
She stopped fumbling with the belt buckle and looked up, her eyes angry. “What?”
”My hour is up.”
She punched him hard in the stomach and climbed off of him, allowing him an escape, which he took. A fury born of betrayal flared from her eyes. She turned her back, not wanting to look at him, or for him to see her, to see her sense of rejection, her hurt.
Pete started for the door, adjusting his shirt-tails as he went, his frame bent at the waist out of necessity. “But I’ll be back on Thursday.”
She turned, her childish hopefullness back.
Pete thanked Mrs. Lambert on the way out, accepted her offered check, and promised to return on Thursday. The walk home was a long one, but Pete’s step was light. He’d always considered himself pretty smart, but he had failed to remember that everyone has something to teach.
Pete found himself looking forward to Thursday with an excited apprehension similar to that felt for his upcoming ACT’s, or for his driver’s license test... for on Thursday Rose Lambert would issue him her final exam, furthering the education of her prized tutor.