"Would you help me over in Reference, please?"
Richard looked up from his filing. He swiveled his head, looking for the source of the clear, but tiny voice.
"I'm rearranging and I need someone to help move the shelves and lift the boxes of books."
He spied Sylvia, standing a little to the side and behind him. Richard nodded "ok" and filed the last two cards.
He closed the card file drawer and followed her to the reference room, for which she had already started.
Richard's role in this University Library was a small one. He worked twelve hours a week as part of his student's financial aid package. He was new to it in this September of his junior year. He was glad to have this job. Most of his friends were washing dishes in the cafeteria. At the library he would file, shelve, or check out books. He learned a lot about using the library, which he was sure, would help him when he moved on to grad school.
Mostly, he enjoyed the chance to meet and talk to the many people that used and worked there. He especially enjoyed the chance to flirt with the coeds of his choosing. He had actually gotten lucky with one of them a few weeks ago. His target of choice was JoAnne, the graduate student's wife and coworker at the Circulation Desk. He sensed that she was lonely and wondered if he could become her lover. He thought that he sensed some return signals from her. He mused over his next steps. At any rate, whatever his conquests and prospects, he tactfully guarded them, flaunting nothing.
was a good student. His sexual ambitions were normal for a young man
of twenty years. He was a little unlike most of his classmates. He had
a polite and unassuming nature that was not normal for his age. The
college girls thought that he was good looking, which explained why
his flirtations were seldom rebuffed. He was better groomed than most
of the male students, but not in a "spit-and-polish", nor
in an effeminate sense.
Sylvia Weinstein was the Reference Librarian. She had charge of all the materials available to students to find statistics, or facts or the sources of information they needed for their research.
If Sylvia's aura had been less drab, she would have been an enticing mystery-lady to a young man like Richard. She dressed plainly. Her form was mostly hidden. Her skin was pale, but retained an olive tone at the same time. She was not very tall-maybe five-two. Her salt and pepper hair suggested age, but her smooth facial features, hair style and slender build indicated youth. Her face was neither pretty nor homely. It had some Jewish features that added to her mystery. There was no hint of makeup. She wore no jewelry except her watch. In the employees' break room Sylvia said little. When she did, it was all business and in a voice that lacked volume but included a hint of condescension. Richard knew that she was unmarried, but nothing more. Yes, she was a real mystery lady. As he hurried to catch up with her, the barely-perceptible sway of her hips had Richard wondering more.
They arrived in the Reference Room together, and Sylvia pointed out the work she wanted performed. There was much to be done. Mostly it was lugging boxes of dusty books and erecting the new shelves that had been delivered earlier that day. Sylvia left him to it while she busied herself across the room. By the time Richard finished it was eight o'clock, closing time.
Sylvia approached him. For the first time Richard perceived a faint mile trace across her face. "Thank you, Richard. You were a big help."
"No problem, Miss Weinstein", he countered, "I was glad I could help you."
She offered no reply, but stood looking at him for a long second. The next event shocked Richard so profoundly that he could not think of any alternative but acceptance.
"You may call me Sylvia." She said. "Come to dinner at my house on Saturday. Seven o'clock. Here is the address."
On almost any other occasion, a young college man would relish free, home-cooked food. Richard was not all that excited. Saturday nights were reserved for fun, adventure, relaxation. He had been conscripted into reserving his night to dine with this older woman who did not interest him. Still, he had accepted. It was not in him to rudely renege when she was just trying to say "thank you". In the end he just shrugged and decided to go along with it. She would probably be tired and send him home by ten, anyway. He would get back to the frat house in time to tap the keg.
It was a small house in the woods. As he emerged from the car he could smell smoke escaping the chimney. The house was on one floor, but the architecture was too modern to be considered ranch-style. Despite the small size, Richard was sure that it had been built at some cost.
He stood leaning on his open car door for a few seconds perusing the mysterious structure. His self-imposed ennui was fading and curiosity filling the void. He snatched up the bottle of Chablis that he had brought with him and strode to the door. He rang the bell and waited. A minute passed. As he waited the chill in the autumn night air bit him. He wondered if she had heard the bell. Finally Sylvia appeared, opening the door to him.
She was dressed almost as if at work. There were the black trouser-style slacks, neither snug to her slender form, nor loose as a pajama. Her hair was arranged just as always: parted in the center, brushed back from her forehead, descending to her shoulders. It hung straight down without waves nor curls, but a slight frizz. She wore the expected shirt-style white blouse. Unlike the usual cotton, however, it was a shiny silk. Richard noticed that two, not one, of the buttons at the top were left undone. He was sure that she was unaware of it. At any rate, it revealed nothing, except a hint of a delicate collarbone.
There was, however, a huge difference in that as she opened the door an inviting smile replaced the usual taciturn exterior. Richard thought that he might have detected a trace of perfume.
"Richard", she gushed, "I am so glad that you came."
"Sorry to be late", he answered, "It was hard for me to find your place. I don't come this way often."
"That's alright. Come in!" They stepped together into the main part of the house.
Richard glanced to the right end of the house and saw the fireplace crackling.
"I was just admiring your house from the outside before I came in."
"I know", she replied, "I saw you."
The answer was full of mystery. If she had seen him, why had she delayed in answering the door? Had she been angry at his lateness? She did not appear so. It tugged at his curiosity. Recovering, he thrust forward the bottle of wine.
"Richard, how thoughtful you are! It will go perfectly with our meal." She paused. "Most young men would not have the good manners to bring it."
Richard blushed at the compliment and shrugged. "The inside of your house is just as nice as the outside."
"Thank you, Richard. I like it here. It was built for me by a dear friend nine years ago."
"Oh, will there be someone joining us?" He didn't see evidence of anyone else in the small home.
"No, he's been gone a long time."
Richard had the presence of mind to avoid a follow up question.
Another pause intruded. She broke the silence, "Why don't you make yourself comfortable by the fire? I'll finish the cooking." With that she turned for the kitchen, located on the opposite side of the layout, the bottle of Chablis in hand.
strode toward the fireplace. As if in afterthought, she called to him,
"The whole house is what you see ...well, except for my bedroom,
of course... so I won't bother you with a tour. Make yourself at home."
As if she sensed his need to be soothed, she called again, "Fix yourself something to drink. Anything that you can find in the cabinet by the mantle is fine."
Richard found a bottle of Dram Bouie and poured himself a good one. "Anything for you?" he called out.
"No thank you. I'll be with you soon."
Richard put a log on the fire and stoked it. As the sparks rose he took a gulp of the liqueur and glanced at Sylvia's form at the opposite end of the house, preoccupied in the kitchen. Her strange statements confused him. As the alcohol braced him, he turned attention to the appointments in the home.
He stood in a living room-den-dining room in combination. It was dominated by the fireplace, books and wood. The furnishings had an expensive look that told of good taste, and a scale that revealed disdain for large gatherings. There was a settee not far from the fireplace, rather than a sofa, with plush pillows on either end. Small cozy chairs were set off remotely in intimate pairs. In front of the fireplace, in contrast to the hardwood floor, lay a luxurious-looking white area rug. It was rectangular, about four by eight feet in size. At first it appeared to be fur, but he saw that it was not. He judged the material to be long strands of silk. It was definitely not designed for walking on. He carefully placed a foot on it and felt that a pad lay underneath it.
The fireplace provided the only light in the room. He saw two unlit candles on the dining room table, which she had set simply, but elegantly. He perused the many books on the shelves. He found some poetry, classics, Shakespeare, histories. He couldn't browse them all. The sparse light made it difficult to see. As he poured down the last of his Dram Bouie, she entered carrying a platter to the dining table.
As she lit the candles she called to him, "Would you like to pour the wine?"
His bottle of Chablis appeared, now chilled and opened, and he filled both goblets. The meal that Sylvia prepared was Snapper, with a cilantro sauce, rice and a vegetable on the side. They sat down, peering at each other through the lit candles. "I hope that you don't mind a light meal", she said. "I didn't bother with a first course. I don't get much practice cooking for guests."
He puzzled at her attempt to offer an apology that was not required.
"I think that this will be really nice, Sylvia. I can't wait to dig in."
"Thank you, Richard." He thought, to his amazement, that he could see her blushing. Her voice reverted to the low volume tone to which he was accustomed at the library. "I wanted to spend some time with you before dinner." Richard leaned forward so that he could hear her. "I'm a poor hostess. I'll make it up to you after dinner."
There she went again. The mysterious language, the ambiguity in her words, made Richard wish for a long pull on the goblet of wine, which he took. With the warm fire, and the recent Dram Bouie, helping, a little buzz settled on him. It made him relax. Sylvia sensed the slight change, and smiled slightly.
the balance of the dinner the conversation was small talk. His courses,
her books, the new art museum on campus all had their turns. Sylvia
avoided further provocations. Richard found her intelligent and interesting.
Sylvia spoke again, "I have some ice cream that we can have for desert, Richard. Would you like some?"
"No thanks, again, Sylvia. I enjoyed the meal, and now I'm a little full."
"But you're not thinking of leaving already?" For the first time she appeared uneasy.
"Oh no, I just don't want any ice cream, but I'm not ready to go yet."
They looked at one another through the candles. Now it was Richard's turn for ambiguity. Sylvie searched for some hint of body language that might clue her as to how to parry this young man's advance.
For Richard's part, he realized the double entendre only after uttering it. He wasn't sure how he had slipped into such an error. It was an impoliteness that he blamed on the alcohol. In a way, he was unabashed at having said them. At any rate, he wouldn't compound the faux pas with a retraction. Perhaps she hadn't noticed.
Sylvia simply rose to clear the dishes. He stood to assist, but she stopped him. "Why don't you tend the fire", she said. "I'll clean up. Make yourself another drink. I won't be long."
He poured a new Dram Bouie and sat on the settee with the fluffy pillows on it. A book about antiques was on the end table and he started thumbing through it. It wasn't very interesting to him, so he alternately scanned it and stared into the fire. He was pensive, searching for clues to the strange happenings of this night in progress.
In the kitchen she was cleaning the dishes. She was almost done. Richard lifted his head, seeking relief from the fire's brightness. At that moment he saw her do something that unnerved him
Thinking that she was unseen, Sylvia dipped a spoon in the dish of remaining cilantro sauce. She lifted some of the loose fabric at the front of her blouse and poured the spoonful on it. Richard turned his head away, pretending not to have seen the staged accident.
"Oh, Richard", she called out in feigned dismay. "Look at what I've done to my blouse! I have to treat this spot before it sets"
"I'll just go change. I won't be long. Pour yourself another, if you would like one"
With that she disappeared behind the door into the forbidden bedroom. Richard was still working on his earlier Dram Bouie. He freshened it, for he was enjoying its effects on his senses.
In the anxiousness of waiting, minutes seem like hours. Sylvia's absence was ten minutes, but in that interval Richard's psyche traveled many paths that returned him to his starting point. He could not comprehend this mysterious woman, who was neither old nor young, was plain yet alluring, who spoke in provocative phrases that could be interpreted innocently. Why had she deliberately ruined her silk blouse, and why was this plain, older woman's absence stirring him? The questions threatened to unnerve him.
Reason urged him to find an exit; excuse himself and leave. The nagging mystery would not allow it. He would remain to the end, until he found his answers. He raised his drink again, looking for its bracing effect to summon his courage. He was about to enter a maze with no knowledge of the ending. His youth was slipping away. Maturity endows courage. A younger man might have backed away.
At long last, the bedroom door creaked open. In the semi-darkness, Sylvia slowly emerged from her secret lair. A transformed vision of her crept into Richard's focus. The conservative garb had disappeared. In its place was a far more exotic ensemble. From her slender hips hung a pair of loosely fitting, unbelted pantaloons that gathered at the ankles like a harem girl's attire. The difference was that the fabric was heavier, plush, a velour in gold, piped in scarlet. The top was of the same material. It was a halter that mysteriously crisscrossed her with a tied bow at the waist. Her shoulders and arms were bare, as were her tiny feet. A horizontal strip of creamy flesh, a width of only three fingers, showed at the gap between the halter and the pants. It was, indeed, a transformation.
As she advanced with slow steps toward Richard, the moving folds captured and reflected the firelight. The soft velour appeared to caress her, which suggested her desire to be caressed. As she approached closer, Richard strained to discern, to no avail, some outline of her body beneath the drape. There were only the loose pantaloons, and the halter, whose lack of form indicated bralessness within.
She continued her silent, measured procession until, stopping on the white silk rug, she stood facing Richard still sitting on the settee some feet away. Motionless, arms loose at her sides, she beckoned him to her.
come stand with me here on my silk carpet." She added, "Remove
your shoes and socks first."
She looked up at him. In her subdued voice she banished any doubts he have retained, "This is my special rug. It is too precious to display all the time. I only bring it out for occasions like this." She, thus, revealed here designs on him. He was loathe to resist her.
She closed the remaining gap, creating the first contact between them. It cued him to embrace her and they shared a kiss. It was long and unhurried. It was neither a kiss of friendship nor of passion. It was an introduction as they explored the softness of their lips upon the others'. Richard looked at her face, eyes closed, nose twitching slightly as she manipulated her lips to caress his.
Breaking the kiss, but still embracing, she said, "Doesn't it feel wonderful?"
Her ambiguity stirred him anew. Had she spoken of the kiss that they had just enjoyed, or did she refer to the feeling of the silken carpet under their bare feet? He had entered a maze with many turns. He would test the double meaning. He strengthened his embrace and bent his head down to her. They resumed. She purred her approval, the reward for his courage. This time the kiss had more passion, was more urgent. Each tongue probed the other. Muscles and inner defenses softened and relaxed.
"I hope that you truly are not too full to be comfortable", she said, regaining control.
"No, I'm just right."
"Good, I like to serve a light dinner just for that purpose." She offered a slight revelation of her strategy and her tone portrayed some playfulness.
She pulled slowly back from him with a knowing look in her eyes and a wry smile. She placed her palms on his shoulders, and then ran them down the length of his chest, his abdomen, finally hooking her thumbs in his belt. Richard remained motionless in anticipation. She sank to her knees on the white silk rug, the pad underneath cushioning her. She removed one hand from the belt. With delicate fingers she eased down the tab of his zipper.
Richard hardened more strongly than he ever had before. His shallow trysts with deflowered coeds did not match this erotic journey. On her knees before him was an experienced siren who knew how to unlock the instincts of a man. He trembled slightly in fear of the unknown.
"Richard", she proclaimed it in a whispered, but projected voice that rose over the crackling of the fire. "I am going to blow you." She was not asking permission, nor did she say it with lewdness. It was her announcement of her path. She was leading him. He would follow.
Richard lost control of his breathing. He haltingly gasped in a breath as his excitement threatened to induce a further loss of control. Sensing this she looked up at him, understanding.
"Do you know this pleasure?" she asked him in her lilting tone.
Richard, unable to speak, could only shake his head "no". She had known the answer in advance.
"Then I will teach it to you", as she rose to face him.
Richard was trembling as she removed his clothing. She unbuttoned his shirt and pushed it off his shoulders. His undershirt followed, which he obediently allowed her to lift over his head. She tugged his belt buckle next and opened it. She grasped the button of his trousers. Richard felt dizzy now. He struggled to hold back his ejaculation.
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