Read Campus Tramp Online

Authors: Lawrence Block

Campus Tramp (2 page)

As he went to kiss her again he tried to get his hand into the front of her dress. The dress was cut low enough so that the cleft between her two full breasts was barely visible, but it was tight on her body and he was forced to reach for her breast awkwardly.

She pushed him away, whispering: “I’ll take care of it.” Then her hands reached behind her back and played with first the hook-and-eye attachment and then the zipper. Then she shrugged her shoulders and the dress fell away from her to the waist.

She went into his arms and his hand fastened on her breast. She could feel his fingers through the lacy black bra as he kneaded the firm flesh lovingly. She began to breathe faster and he kissed her again, his fingers still gentle but more insistent.

She pushed him away and he stared at her. Then she flashed him a smile and she could see the tension go out of his face.

“Let me get rid of this,” she said. Her hands went around her back once more and a second later the bra was off, unneeded and abandoned on the floor of the car. She looked up at him and saw the emotion shining in his eyes, equal parts of awe and desire and admiration.

He reached out one hand hesitantly and the tips of his fingers brushed the nipple of her breast. A shiver went through her but she remained motionless, pulse racing, breathing deeply.

He had never seen her like this before, she knew. In the past she had felt the thrill of his hands on her bare breasts but never before had she stripped to the waist for him to look upon and touch her. Before she used to undo her bra so that he could reach up under her sweater and hold her, but this was different, somehow bolder and far more exciting.

“Linda,” he said. His voice was hoarse.

She didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to.

“You’re beautiful,” he said. “I can barely believe how beautiful you are.”

Sitting there so close to him with his eyes warm on her breasts she knew she was beautiful. She felt beautiful, beautiful with her skin smooth and cool and white, beautiful with her breasts bare and firm and pink at the nipples.

She said: “Touch me, Chuck.”

He pulled her around and forced her down so that she lay on her back across him with her head cradled in the crook of his right arm. He cupped both her breasts with his hands and held them, squeezing them gently, and she felt her nipples growing taut and firm under his touch. His mouth found hers and he kissed her. Then he bent over her and kissed her breasts, first one and then the other, and she thought she would burst from the pure sensual excitement that was coursing through her young body.

When they broke apart this time neither of them was able to breathe easily. This was unlike anything they had ever experienced before. This wasn’t kid stuff, high school kissing games in a parked car on a lonely road. They were caught up instead in something new and different, something hot and exciting, and they didn’t know what to do about it. Love didn’t enter into it at all—it was passion, sheer physical passion, and it was changing them from children to adults.

He kept kissing her, kept touching and kissing and licking her breasts, kept exciting her until she thought she was going to go out of her mind with the need for him. Then she felt his hand on her leg, on first her calf and then her knee. Her breathing became even heavier and she wanted to shout for him to stop. He had to stop, had to stop or in a moment she wouldn’t be able to stop him. And it was getting dangerous now. It was getting far too close to something she didn’t want to happen.

Or did she want it? Half of her wanted it. Her body wanted him, wanted him so much she could fairly scream for the want. But in her mind she was afraid, afraid and unready for what threatened to take place.

His hand was on her thigh. Her eyes had dropped shut but she opened them for a moment and saw the expression in his eyes. And she wondered if she would be able to stop him even if she wanted to.

His hand moved higher. His fingers were playing desperate little games with the skin on the inside of her thighs and she began to writhe involuntarily on the seat of the car, her body taking up the rhythms and movements of love easily, instinctively, like a baby automatically suckling on the nipple placed between his gums.

He moved away from her, his hands still working their subtle magic on her, and he was pushing her dress up over her thighs to her waist, baring the black panties that matched the bra. He tore his shirt open and flung himself down on top of her so that her breasts pressed into his bare chest. Her head was back and her eyelids were clenched shut. Without even thinking she reached her arms around him and crushed him to her, holding him and loving him, wanting him with a brand-new passion that seemed to grow more intense every second, needing him so much it was killing her.

Then he drew away from her once again. She couldn’t even move while his fingers slipped under the elastic band of the flimsy panties and pulled them down over her hips, past her thighs and knees and calves and feet until they joined the matching bra on the floor.

When he touched her where she was itching to be touched a hot spasm of desire shot through her whole body and she moaned once, a whimpering little moan that only served to intensify his desire. His fingers continued to stroke her there and she churned under his touch, a thing of passion and virgin fire, a little girl who had turned into a woman who wanted her man.

She opened her eyes to see him fumbling with his own clothing, loosening his belt and lowering his pants and preparing to take her. She wanted to shout, to scream, and she even managed to open her mouth for a scream. But his fingers reached for her and touched her again where he had never touched before that night.

The scream died in her throat.

Her brain was shouting. Her brain was shrieking warning after warning to her but she let the warnings pass unheeded. She turned off her brain and listened only to her body.

He said: “Linda.”

If he hadn’t said anything, if he had just continued to do what he had started to do she would have been powerless to stop him and her virginity would have become a memory in the back seat of the blue Pontiac. But his voice murmuring her name came like a knife to slash her into awareness. In one motion she pushed him away and rolled over on her side, away from him.

“Linda! You can’t stop now!”

But now she could stop. It was easy now for her to stop, very easy, and all his arguments wouldn’t change her mind. Finally, at his request, she touched him the way he showed her to touch him and did the things with her hands that he wanted her to do while he lay with his hands on her thighs and his face buried in the gully between her breasts. She held him and touched him and squirmed under his touch until it happened for him and he lay all weak and limp and flaccid in her arms. She wished that his hands on her had brought her the relief that she had given him, but she was still tense and unfulfilled, restless and unsatisfied. She held him in her arms and gradually her own body ceased trembling. They lay in each other’s arms for several minutes; then he sat up and they dressed and drove home in silence.

It was never the same again for them. She knew that if he had known more about sex, if he had known what to do, he would have taken her and possessed her without giving her the opportunity of refusing him. And he knew that he had done something wrong, something clumsy, and that her refusal was something which could have been avoided if he had known what he was doing.

They continued to see each other. But when he left to work at the Canadian summer camp they parted with a feeling of mutual ease. They said the things that high school lovers always said—they would meet again at vacation time, she would come up to M.I.T. for a weekend—all the phrases that were said automatically and forgotten just as automatically. Something valuable had existed for them but they were too young to take advantage of it.

And now it was gone.

The memory of that night was enough to set her off. Her hands began to tremble of their own accord and it took her a moment or two to still them. Desire welled up in her, desire not for Chuck Connor but for a man, a real man, a man who would make a woman of her.

Because she had already decided that she was not going to stay a virgin forever. That may have been the best course back in the dark ages, but nowadays a woman had the right to be a woman, the right to seek love and take it where she found it.

And she was going to do just that.

At high school it was wrong. At Corry Senior High School a good girl didn’t let a boy make love to her. But at Clifton College things would be different. She would meet a man, a man she wanted and a man who wanted her.

And they would make love.

It was as simple as that. She wasn’t going to force herself to wait, not for a wedding ring on her finger or for a declaration of eternal love. She had waited long enough, and now even the law recognized her right to use her body as she saw fit.

The next man. The next man whom she wanted would be the man to whom she would give herself. He would take her and he would love her, and he would know just what to do and how to do it, and he would make her body sing with the joy of being alive.

The next man …

She closed her eyes, thinking of the man, the man who would make love to her. She tried to picture him in her mind, tried to imagine what he would look like. Her mind conjured up pictures and her head swam with the idea of it all.

She dozed, half asleep and half awake, half thinking and half dreaming. Then the conductor shouted “Springfield!” and the train pulled into a grimy little city and finally pulled to a jerky stop at the terminal.

She practically jumped out of her seat. Her trunk was being shipped Railway Express, but she had a suitcase with her and she had a tough time hauling it down from the overhead rack. A middle-aged man helped her with it and then she was off, suitcase in hand, waiting at the platform before the train came to a stop. Her heart was beating wildly and she couldn’t wait for the train to stop so that she could hurry off to Clifton.

The train stopped. She let the brakeman help her off the train and waved away the porter who offered to carry her suitcase for her. There were half a dozen cabs parked by the side of the terminal and she hopped into the first one in line, saying “Greyhoundterminal” and making it sound like one single word.

“Where yuh headed, Miss?”

She told him she was going to Clifton College.

“Don’t take the bus, Miss. Won’t be one headed there for another four, five hours. You don’t wanta wait that long, do you?”

“How else can I get there?”

“Shucks,” he said, “it’s only nine miles. The rate by cab is only three and a half dollars. Why don’t you let me run you out there?”


“Listen,” he said, “I’ll make it three. The flat rate’s three-and-a-half, but this way I can stop off in Hustead for a cup of coffee with my wife. I live out there, you see.”

“All right,” she said, thinking that she would have paid the three-fifty anyway if he had waited a minute more. She settled back into the seat and closed her eyes as the taxi made its way down High Street to Route 68. The driver turned left at 68 and headed out toward Clifton, and she took a deep breath and held it, thinking about the man, the man she was waiting for, the man who would make love to her.


RUTH HARDY HAD HAIR AS BLACK as midnight, short black hair clipped into an Italian style haircut that bore a remarkable resemblance to the posterior of a duck. Ruth Hardy was five feet five inches tall, an inch or so shorter than Linda. She was slender, with lean but well-formed legs and taut buttocks. Her breasts were small but perfectly formed, little girl’s breasts that were rounded and firm and eminently touchable.

Ruth Hardy’s face was pretty, with a small red mouth and sharp blue eyes that looked straight at a person. Her gaze never wandered and she rarely blinked. She looked at people as she did everything else—neatly and precisely with no waste motion.

She was Linda’s roommate. They shared a little cubicle in Evans Hall, a tiny unprepossessing room with a double-decker bed, two desks, two dressers, a closet that was not quite large enough for two people and a sink that dripped, its bowl stained from the dripping of the hard water. The water, with a high iron content typical of the region, managed to do two things—it stained the sink a sickish red-brown and it forced a girl to spend twice as much time as usual washing her hair.

Linda had just finished washing her hair. First she had showered, and in this respect the hard water was good. It left her feeling cleaner, without the slippery feeling of a softwater shower. But her hair! God, she had had to lather it a good half-dozen times before she was done. Now it hung down her back, wet and limp, as she sat in a chair in the room.

Ruth was sprawled on her bed. She had the top bunk, and both the girls were quite satisfied with the arrangement.

“I’m a sound sleeper,” Ruth had explained. “This way you can give me a good kick when the alarm goes off.”

They became friends quite readily. Linda decided that she liked this girl, this sharp, fast-talking little thing from New York City. And, she reflected, it was good that they had taken to each other as readily as they did. There were no fraternities or sororities at Clifton, since social groups of that nature were hardly needed on a campus of 1500. She and Ruth would be stuck with each other for the semester at least and probably for the year; it would be a lot easier to take if they liked each other.

Their conversation rambled the way conversation does between two persons suddenly thrust into a close relationship. Ruth told her that she was from New York and that she had come to Clifton largely to get away from a family with which she didn’t get along well at all. She planned to major in either psychology or sociology and possibly to do graduate work after finishing up at Clifton. Linda answered that she would major in English, that she doubted that she would do graduate work in anything, since it was highly doubtful that she would graduate.

“How come?”

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