Blizzard — Chapter 2 by Redsliver* * *
“Hey there,” Sam grinned as I set her down on my bed. I had been threatened, sulked at, and promised fabulous riches into carrying her one full pace from my computer chair to my bed. I had one arm under her knees, one arm behind her shoulder blades. She hung on, cinching her grip incrementally tighter. Her hands were as tight as they could be behind my neck. She didn’t seem scared that I would drop her. She just wanted to pull herself against me. Alex pulled the blankets further down. I was able to lay Sam down with her ankle safely on the mattress. She let go slowly. “Thanks for rescuing me.”
“You’re welcome,” I grinned back. Max was right behind me. Far closer than I’d have wagered. I was startled by her hand on the small of my back. I turned; her not-quite-a-smile shone in the candlelight. She shoved her jeans down.
“Sam’s a little drunk.” Max swayed to her left and I reached for her waist to steady her. She folded, giggling.
“She’s not the only one,” I observed. “You guys gonna have enough blankets?”
“We’ll have you to keep us warm,” Max murmured, and yanked off her top as I turned my reddened face away. Sam was smirking at me. She patted my mattress.
“Gene!” I turned at Alex’s voice as Max stumbled into her, off-balance from how energetically she had undressed. I rushed over and kept her from falling. Alex rubbed my hands, and pushed her friend to lay Max’s weight on my chest.
I realized I was holding her in my arms. Her eyes were huge, bright blue in the candlelight. She looked up at me, then almost-smiled and began to rise on her toes, but I directed her down onto my bed. I forced myself to look away and ask, “Do you got her, Sam?”
“I have her, Gene!” Sam giggled and inched forward. She wrapped her arms around Max and pulled her along to the middle of the bed. Sam still wore her shirt and panties, and I could see her bra strap. Max was stripped down to a simple black cotton bra and underwear set. She kept eye contact with me, expectantly.
I have been less than in tune with women most of my life. These girls were firing signals even I could follow. Yet, I still saw them as teenagers, almost kids. Too young for me, but had there been just one, I might have doubted my resolve. Luckily, or so I told myself, I was unwilling to deal with the bullshit that might come from making a move on any one girl and snubbing the other two. A little bit of self-interest on my part protected all four of us. The thought of a threesome or foursome was beyond me and my inebriated state.
“You next and I’ll take the outside?” Alex rubbed my shoulder. I was happy to smile and turn my head to look at her. She was still dressed. I gave her a hug. She squeezed back.
“I’m taking the chair,” I said for the whatever-numberth time. “You’re—”
“The most sober!” she interjected. I didn’t believe her. Sam may have been in better shape. Alex was getting a bit red-cheeked. She ran her fingers around the hem of her sweater. I walked her to the side of the bed.
“Good night, girls,” I said.
“I never got a hug!” Sam exclaimed with genuine dismay.
“I can’t go around to the other side to hug you, Sam,” I pointed out: the mattress was right up against the wall.
I put my hand on Alex’s back and said, “I’ll see you in the morning. If you need another Advil, I’ll fetch it for you.” Sam still looked sad, so I reached across Max and squeezed Sam’s shoulder. Her face relaxed when I touched her. Max rubbed my forearm. “Sweet dreams, girls.”
“Don’t sleep in the chair!” Alex started to pull her shirt up, and turned her eyes away. Her hands shook. I touched her wrists. She had bared half of her navel. She looked up at me.
“Look after the girls for me,” I told her, and sidestepped around her, giving her time to get under the blankets while I grabbed one for myself from a big rubber tote in the closet.
“Good night, Gene!” Sam shouted.
“I’ll see you in the morning, Gene...” Max promised.
“Gene?” Alex called out and I turned. She had stripped off her pants. Her body was amazing but she was still a teenager. I smiled for her; I couldn’t not. Her white bra would’ve been see-through in better light. Her panties too, no doubt. “Good night.”
“Good night, Alexa, Maxine, and Samantha.” I hastily added the last two names. Alex crawled into bed, and Sam carried the blankets over all three girls. “Good night, Gene!”’s murmured into the night.
“There’s no reason for him to be over there by himself,” Max complained.
“My ankle still hurts. One of you will have to go,” Sam muttered, in a tone that was envious, frustrated, and wounded.
“Girls...” I mumbled. I was exhausted in most of the good ways. I had napped in this chair so often, it was trivial to stretch out and get comfy. My feet sprawled onto the table, kicking our card pile off of the edge. I could’ve, should’ve, gone out like a light. The power came back on. Why were my ceiling lights so bright?
“I’ll get it!” I staggered up.
“Are you sleeping fully dressed?” Max sat up, exposingAlex’s bra as the blankets rolled back. Alex’s nipples were pushing up on the fabric. “Take your clothes off, you freak!”
I turned my back on them to get the lights. That, hardly even a snapshot of an aroused 19-year-old, wasn’t going to be leaving my mind until I was deep into Alzheimer’s. “Do you want me to blow out the candles?”
“No, I want you to sleep well,” Max growled. “You can’t do that in jeans.”
“I’m taking my shirt off,” Sam announced. The struggling on the bed made me laugh. I stepped on the heels of my socks and unbuttoned my jeans. I kept my shirt on. Sam’s was tossed over Alex onto the coffee table. Max’s bra followed. I wasn’t flashed. Alex had pulled the blankets up to their chins.
I climbed back into my chair. I was in a warm and happy place. I just wasn’t asleep.
“Sam?” Alex whispered. It could’ve been hours later, or minutes. I leaned more towards minutes. “Sam, are you asleep?”
“No, Max’s elbow’s in my ribs.”
“At least my feet aren’t freezing.”
“What is it, Alex?” Sam asked.
“Oh, can I ask you something?”
“If you roll Max over and be the big spoon. I can’t get comfortable on this side with my ankle still sore.” The subsequent body-rolling, spring-squeaking, and girl-murmuring was hypnotic. I almost slept.
“Wah!” Sam yelped, and pulled me partway out of a dream.
“Shh... you’ll wake Gene up, sweetheart...” Max whispered.
“You just undid my bra!” Sam hissed and woke me all the way up. A pink undergarment flew from the bed and landed on my crotch.
“You’re easier to cuddle without the wire,” Max explained.
“Sam?” Alex whispered.
“What is it?” she sighed, quavering.
“I was thinking about thanking Gene. He’s been super kind and warm.” I could feel my smile pulling apart my face. “I just, you know, wanted advice. About guys.”
“About guys? I wanna help!” Max whispered, excitedly. “I wanna get this right for Gene.”
“You’ve had even less luck with guys than me, Max,” Alex replied.
“I’ve read a lot of books,” Max said shyly.
“Sam…” Alex moved on from Max. “Boys like blowjobs, right?”
My ears were now all the way on fire. I rolled, trying to keep up the facade of sleep while reminding the girls of my presence enough to perhaps shut down the conversation. Either they didn’t notice me move, or they wouldn’t let me stop them.
“Probably, I’m not—”
“What’s the best way to give one?” Alex was whispering but excited. I could’ve answered her question in one word: ‘immediately’. I tried to ignore my erection. I wasn’t about to extort some teen for sex because I’d done something nice for her. That’s a bit too evil for me. I took a loud deep breath. They didn’t notice.
“With your mouth.” Sam sounded more embarrassed than snarky.
“OK, that’s cute, but—”
“I don’t know! I never did anything like that!” Now Sam sounded panicky. “I’ve never done, you know... much of anything.“
“Really?” I could hear the smile in Alex’s voice. “I had a couple of boyfriends in high school, but I never... I am too, you know.”
“I haven’t even been on a date. I’m such a loser,” Max admitted reluctantly.
“No, you’re not a loser!” Sam squeaked.
“I just went out with the two boys,” Alex said. “What about you?”
“I dated five boys, two of them kissed me.” Sam took a breath. “They were pushy, and grabby. They stopped when I finally told them to, but then Charlie said I was ‘a prudey little ice queen’ and Graham called me ‘The High Bitch of Repression’. With capitals! No one tried to date me after that.”
“That sucks,” Max said.
“Gene’s not grabby, and I’m not afraid of trying to learn.” Sam sounded brave the way she was speaking. I wanted to interject, but I was afraid I’d spook Max. I kept quiet.
“Still, I figured you’d done more than me, but I figured you’d done… you know, a lot more,” Alex said.
Sam coughed. “Um. Why… why would you think that?” she said in a slow, wobbly voice.
“You’re so much prettier than me. And you go to a lot more parties.”
“I’m not prettier,” Sam mumbled.
The girls quieted down and I felt I was going to get some real sleep. Alex sighed, “I hope Gene’s not expecting something too amazing.”
“Gene’s not expecting anything,” Max said. “I’m with Sam, I’m not afraid of learning.”
While the ‘Never Have I Ever’ cards in Sociables had been drinkless turns for the girls, I hadn’t suspected they were virgins. I appreciated their impatience to learn, but I’d never been with an inexperienced girl. They had dreams and ideas of what was coming, and I had no clue how to meet any of those expectations. I might’ve felt worse, but I hadn’t made a move on any of them. I had only made the one sex joke. I squashed down the lizard-brain part of me that slavered at the thought of breaking in a new girl! They were confused, they were competing, they were curious. Alex would roll back on her crush in the sober morning. I closed my eyes tighter.
They were good kids, nice girls. I was glad to have met them. I’d wish them well in the morning. Depending on the state of the streets, I’d walk them to their dorms or I’d hire them a cab. That would be it. There was no way in hell I was diving down the rabbit hole of teenaged virgins.
“I wish I’d been brave enough to flash him,” Max whispered. “I was scared he thought I was ugly. I was so glad when he finished his second drink and finally checked out my tits. It would’ve been nothing to just show him, right?”
“You’re not ugly,” Sam insisted.
“Nothing? I’d be nervous as hell!” Alex squeed. “You’re incredibly pretty, you should do it. I’d be so jealous.”
“Thanks,” Max murmured. “I wish he had a bigger bed.”
“Then he could join us?” Sam asked.
“No, he’d still try to be a gentleman, but we could wear him down some. He shouldn’t have to sleep alone,” Max answered. I was quite proud that I was recognized as a gentleman. I told myself that’s why Alex had been confident enough to experiment and show some of herself to me. I made women comfortable, safe.
I wondered if I was still awake because I wanted to listen for more. They kept whispering. Talking around me. Alex was stoked to learn and discover. Max was afraid she would fuck up. Sam was able to support the other two, but shut up if she had to talk about herself.
“Do you think he’s cute?” Sam asked after they had managed to settle down for at least a few breaths.
“I do!” Alex chirped.
“Shhh, he’s sleeping, don’t wake him up,” Max warned Alex. “He could maybe use a bigger place.”
“What does that have to do with him being cute?” Alex asked.
“His clothes are really generic and bland too,” Sam commented. I rolled hard on my side. It still hadn’t occurred to them that I might be listening.
“I think he could use a bit more exercise,” Alex considered, “but I think he’s good-looking.“
The second half of Alex’s comment was aggressive. She was making sure the other girls were on the right page. You don’t think the random 31-year-old guy in average shape is hot? Burn the witch! I tried not to chuckle. I was happy if I focused on being cute, not on having a tiny apartment, ugly clothes, and a lack of exercise.
“Yeah… I like him,” Sam murmured. Her voice jumped an octave. “And his butt.”
“Good, because me and Alex, we’re watching you.”
Oh great... These girls could go way further than they were ready for if they were competing. Another reason not to set a spark to this powder keg. I shut my eyes tightly and banged my head against the headrest of my chair. I don’t know why I thought that would help me sleep. They finally noticed.
“Gene? Can’t sleep?” Alex whispered.
I yawned. “In and out. Get some sleep, girls.”
“We will, sweet dreams!” Sam sounded perky and painless. That was a good sign. I don’t know if they fell asleep. I must’ve nodded off because when I opened my eyes there was light around the edges of my curtains, and Max was snuggled up on my lap. Sam danced across my kitchenette, putting a bit of margarine in my frying pan.
“Your foot’s better?” I whispered.
“It’s not even sore!” Sam whispered back, pirouetting on an undamaged ankle. Max gurgled and near-snored as she snuggled in closer.
I was stuck. Max felt amazing on my lap but I was more than a little disoriented to have her there. Sam was cracking eggs. Where was Alex? I took a deep breath. One thing at a time. The girls were wearing their shirts and panties. I scooped up Max and lifted her off me. I felt better when I put her feet down on the ground. Her eyes opened to show off more sunlight than my windows could ever let in.
“Good morning,” she purred at me. I muttered something similar back at her. I mussed up her hair and walked around her to Sam.
“You didn’t have to make breakfast,” I told her, “but it’s good to see you on your feet.”
Alex came out of the washroom. The tips of her fingers were still wet from the sink when she rushed over, put her hand on the back of my neck, and kissed my cheek.
“What time is it?” I muttered.
“About nine thirty,” Max yawned. “Do you have work today?”
“Monday to Friday, nine to five, just like most worker drones.” Luckily, it was Saturday. I had to edge her away from me as Alex and Max had boxed me in at the kitchen counter. She didn’t want to move, but I had to go. I zipped to the washroom. There was a lock on my bathroom door, but in a studio apartment, it had never been used. I didn’t even close the door most of the time. I all but jumped out of my skin when Alex swung the door inward and poked her head in.
“Oh, sorry—Sam wanted to know how you like your eggs?” Alex waited for the answer, meeting my eyes in the medicine cabinet mirror. She was trying, and failing, not to blush.
“Scrambled, but she doesn’t have to make me breakfast.” I reached back with my foot and kicked the door closed. Alex’s “Try and stop her” was cut off halfway through “stop”.
I shook thoroughly, washed carefully, returned skittishly. The smells and sounds of sizzling bacon were magical.
“You don’t have a blender. I would’ve made smoothies,” Sam told me as she pushed around the yellow mass in the frying pan with the tip of a spatula.
“Thank you so much for making breakfast,” I replied. “Did anyone look outside yet?”
“It’s pretty cleared up.” Max was at my window, bent in half, her black-pantied butt aimed right at me as she let my curtain fall. “The snow plows have come and gone, and it looks like the sidewalks are clear too.”
“Then let’s have breakfast, and I’ll walk you girls home,” I decided. Alex was plating the bacon next to apple slices she had already cut up. The girls exchanged almost-miserable looks, but they agreed. “You mentioned the dorms. By the library?”
“Max and I are there. Alex is up at Shirreff where they still have all-girls floors,” Sam explained as she shimmied portions of scrambled eggs onto all four dinner plates. If there had been a fifth person, he wouldn’t have gotten a plate. Max directed me back to my chair. Sam reclaimed the computer chair. Alex sat on the floor with her shoulders against my knees. Max sat in the lotus pose on my coffee table. There were no cards on the floor anymore.
“I didn’t get anyone drinks!” Sam panicked before her fork reached her lips. I shushed her.
“That’s Max’s job. She hasn’t helped with breakfast yet.” It was meant to be a joke. I had laid down my plate and was getting to my feet as I spoke the words. Max’s eyes went wide and her plate spun to a stop on the table as she raced to the fridge. I grabbed glasses.
“I should be doing that!” Max hissed at me as I set them down. I rolled my eyes at her.
“Should I put on some tea, or is water or pop good for now?” I didn’t have a lot of options. We had finished all of my alcohol.
“I’ll get it!” Max panicked. I put my hand on her shoulder.
“I was joking. Sit down. I’ll be right there.” I don’t know if she believed me, but after a moment she smiled and it was beautiful.
Breakfast was OK. The bacon was undercooked, the eggs were overcooked. I ate every morsel. Sam was watching me like a nervous hawk. I washed it down with the last of my pop.
“So what are the plans for today?” Alex beamed.
“I’m going to get you girls home,” I smiled and climbed out of my chair. We directed the dirty dishes into my sink. I putzed around my desk, trying to find my phone. It was probably just in another pair of jeans. I’d find it when I got back. I slung my coat off of its hanger. Alex passed out the girls’ winter gear.
“And then?” Max asked hopefully.
“Wide open lazy afternoon,” I grinned. I smiled as I led them down the stairs and out into the winter. The girls told me stories as we walked, mostly about school and what they wanted to do after graduating. I mostly smiled, and remained amazed that the sidewalks were clear.
“Thank you so much, Gene!” Max collided with me in a hug outside of her dorms. Sam bounced foot to foot, waiting for Max to inch off so she could come in for her hug.
“You saved me.” She squeezed tighter.
“It’s just what heroes do, Samantha,” I boasted with a big smile. She kissed me on the cheek, and blushed as she retreated. Max nearly knocked me over.
“Here’s your phone back.” She stuffed a cell phone in my pocket.
“Why’d you have my phone?” I freaked out for a heartbeat but calmed down when I met her scared eyes.
“Just so you’d have our numbers.” She smiled when I pulled her hands down and walked her back a step.
“Goodbye girls, I have to get Alex home,” I said, not knowing how else to handle things. Max kissed me too. I turned my head so it was on the cheek, and lowered her back to the sidewalk. Alex attached herself to my side as the girls entered the building. She took my hand.
“It’s just a few blocks!” She beamed. I smiled and spun her into a hug, extracted my fingers, rolled her back out on my left, and put my hand on the small of her back to get her moving. It was a little much—more than I was willing to give—to walk three blocks hand in hand. Her smile couldn’t be stopped. I mulled over a few ways to let her down and move on. They all had some exploring to do. I had to reiterate to myself that it wasn’t my place to handle that.
“Do you have any pets?” she asked in her staccato rapid-fire questions. I laughed. She’d been by my place, no animals. She erupted on how much she missed her kittens. It was the hardest part of school. I just smiled and put one foot in front of the other. Soon, we were standing outside of her dorm.
“Home, sweet home.” I gestured to the door. She choked me up in just as hard a hug as Max or Sam had. I stroked her head, searching for the release switch, and chuckled.
“It was good to meet you girls,” I told her, finally forcing some air between us. “Take care of Sam for me. If her ankle’s not the best, make sure she goes to the hospital.”
“I promise.” Her words were solemn, her smile limitless. She moved for the kiss on my cheek. I gave her a last squeeze. She rushed up the steps to the dorm and looked back a dozen times before she was inside. I took a big breath. I walked home.
I admit it. The girls were beautiful and affectionate, and I had been affected. I spent the next hour at home with my eyes closed, my memory, and an imminent need for tissues. I felt more than a little guilty. They got home safe. Things were good. Sure, they had my phone number, but I was expecting things to be over and done with. I considered calling up my brother and wasting the afternoon with board games. I never really found much motivation to move. It was about six PM when my door swung open.
“Gene! Are you home?” Alex was bubbling with joy as she rushed up the steps. I turned from my computer, more than a little surprised and just as perplexed. “Hi!”
I was tackled in another great hug. She wasn’t dressed for winter: she still had her coat and toque, but her jeans and shirt had been exchanged for a gorgeous little red dress. Her dark pantyhose highlighted her legs all the way to her stilettos. They were no shoes for the weather. “You look great, what’s going on?”
“Have you eaten yet?” she worried.
“No, but it’s nearly dinner time.”
“Awesome, get dressed quick! My dad’s taking us out.” The sincerity of her smile added to my confusion.
“Sweetheart?” a worried man’s voice came as he peeked in from the door down the stairs. “This surely isn’t the right place.”
“He just needs to get dressed, Daddy!” Alex cheered. Her cheeks flushed red. She rushed over to the railing and looked down. “We’ll be quick.”
“I’ll be quick,” I said, and inched Alex by her hips around the railing. The man at the bottom of the stairs had fewer gray hairs than I did. I tried to smile. “It’s nice to meet you.”
He looked me dead in the eye and said the scariest words I’d ever heard: