Chapter 4: Upsetting The Old Order.
Angela, as the eldest and most senior girl, had the largest private bedroom in the senior dormitory.
There were just two beds in it, but she shared it with no one. It had been her choice. She had nothing in common with most of the other girls who prattled on endlessly, and she valued her privacy. Besides, as the eldest girl, she had permission to stay up for as long as she needed to, to study, read, or to get her many self-imposed projects completed, and it would not have been fair to do that to another girl who wanted only to sleep.
Her room adjoined a common-room with comfortable chairs that the older girls could sit in, in their nightclothes and robes after dark, just before they retired. That was where they drank their hot chocolate or milk, that they had been allowed to bring up from the kitchen in thermos flasks (they were organized when it came to their comforts), and discussed what interested them; mostly sex, with boys or men (sometimes much older men), and rarely much else, other than money, jewelry and marriage. Children did not enter into their thoughts. Forgotten at that moment were their academic struggles, the frustrations of the day, and even its embarrassments.
When the time came for ‘lights out’, announced by a bell which rang in their section of the dormitory, they were supposed to disperse to their respective rooms and retire for the night, but often did not. They put the lights out, of course, in order not to attract attention to their flouting that rule--only one of the many they ignored--and continued to sit there, talking, bathed in the glow from the very low wattage lights left burning throughout the school for safety, as they continued their conversations.
Ideally they would have preferred to have been sitting in front of a blazing fire, or have been lying naked, on a sheepskin rug with an attentive lover, perhaps a mysterious Sheik who had abandoned the rest of his harem just for her, or Mr. Illingsworth, Robert, the ’whacking-thighed, glisteningly naked young man who worked in the school. They imagined that he had just stepped out of the shower, his naked body still steaming, and he was approaching her with unmistakable intent for her obvious upon his eager body as he bore down on her, and as she slowly rolled onto her back to welcome him into her arms, between her legs, and he boar-ed into her for the rest of that hectic night.
This particular evening Marilyn had changed into her nightdress, and joined them. She didn’t feel tired, and she was not a stickler for rules and regulations, which they appreciated about her.
She sat with them, listening to the rain coming down much harder now on the slates above their heads, and hammering into the windows on the eastern side of their dormitory.
She brought her bare feet up onto the seat with her (no worries about who might see her do that indecorous act) and read as they talked. She heard everything they discussed, accepting that most of what they said, often quite graphic, was a necessary part of all of their growing up, but she was mostly focused upon her book until something that was said caught her attention, and then she listened too, out of curiosity, to learn something. She rarely added her own thoughts unless a question were directed at her.
When the bell sounded for ‘lights out’—it was on an automatic alarm that was adjusted to an hour-later for the weekend, but now was set to sound at 9 pm—she closed her book, marking the place she had got to, just as one of the girls dutifully put out the lights. She put the book on her seat, and wandered over to the window to look out over the grounds as her eyes gradually adjusted to the lower light.
She could see that Miss Bagnold’s lights in the school office were still on, and could even see her on the telephone. Soon, she would retire too, then her bedroom light, immediately above the school office would go on for about fifteen minutes before she too, turned in.
Miss Bagnold was a creature of habit, which all of the girls relied upon.
Once she had retired, some of the older girls would usually either go up onto the roof to continue their discussion, if it were a warm evening (they had discovered how to do that), or would go outside and wander upon the lawns in their bare feet and out of sight of the school office and Miss Bagnold’s room, as they hoped to see Robert’s light on, where he sometimes slept in the school if he had been working late. They wanted to watch him undress. They had never succeeded in doing that. Tonight, neither of those activities could be entertained, so they sat and talked, and then dribbled off to brush their teeth before they retired.
Only four of the ten that had been there earlier, were still there an hour later, when there was a tap at the door which led from their area into the rest of the uppermost floor of the school.
Their conversation immediately dried up and they listened, with suddenly beating hearts leaping into their throats. They were not supposed to be where they were at this time of night.
It was repeated. Someone had heard them talking, and it had to be Miss Bagnold from that direction. They always kept that door locked once they retired, but were loath to open it to find out if it was her, and that they were then in trouble. They melted off to their rooms, saying nothing, leaving Angela to decide what to do, and to deal with Miss Bagnold. It had to be her, there was no one else it could be, and she would not get into trouble where the other girls would.
The tapping was repeated, a little more loudly. Angela could hear keys rattling and knew then that it was the headmistress. Better not force her to use her keys to let herself in. She walked over, threw the deadbolt, and opened the door. She had nothing to hide. The other girls had gone to their rooms by then, and were, no doubt, safely in their beds.
It wasn’t Miss Bagnold.
She did not recognize him at first, standing there outlined in the dim lights along that corridor. What was a man doing here? A moment of fear surged through her body recalling how lightly she was dressed in a very flimsy kind of nightdress that was old and even a little threadbare but was suitable for warm summer nights. Then she saw that it was Mr. Illingsworth, the man that all of the girls entertained in their innermost private thoughts whenever they saw him, and dreamed secret thoughts about when they retired and touched themselves intimately, just as they hoped that he would soon touch them. Fat chance of that!
Angela was not totally immune to those thoughts either.
Had he read her mind and responded to her silent clarion call for him to come to her and rescue her? But from what? She had been thinking of him, was always thinking of him. She was not sure what to say, and blurted out the first thing that entered her mind.
“What are you doing here?” Had he come for her, to rescue her from this drab and cheerless existence, as she often dreamed?
Of course not, idiot!
He looked at her, shocked by what he saw standing there, and what he could see of her. He must look like a deer caught in the headlights for a moment. He stood his ground, rather than fleeing, as he would from the other girls, especially if they had been so lightly dressed, with nothing hidden, the way she was standing, with a light, admittedly a weak one, illuminating her through, yes actually shining through her nightdress, with other things actually poking… firm… disturbing things, as though she was suddenly feeling cold.
Then, she saw that he was holding something in his arms. A small, living bundle, with shoes and socks, and hair. One of the younger girls! He couldn’t go anywhere, not with that to look after. Where had he found her? He needed her help in some way.
He held that small girl up against his chest. The girl, was holding onto him just as tightly.
A thousand thoughts went through Angela’s head in that split second of indecision.
Why was he here? No, never mind that. He was here now, and another opportunity like this might never appear again. She would have to play this cleverly. Her very life depended upon it.
She considered inviting him in. She’d often imagined this moment when he came to her in her dreams.
No! She must not invite him in! When the other girls heard a man’s voice they would be encouraged, out of curiosity if nothing else, to re-emerge from their rooms, and she might lose her advantage with so many poorly dressed damsels parading tantalizingly around, striving to get his attention in whichever way they could, doing their versions of the dance of the seven veils to torment him, which they had actually practiced doing one night in the privacy of their lounge area. It would be sure to turn any man on, seeing that done just for him. By the time she got to the second veil, any red-blooded man would be all over her.
Angela unhesitatingly stepped out into the corridor with him, pulling the door closed behind her. She heard it latch behind her. Damn! Never mind, he would have the keys to let her back in.
“Mr. Illingsworth.” She looked at the girl in his arms. Damn, again! He was not here for her but to ask for her help with this little one. She felt strangely disappointed, even let down.
The lucky little girl in his arms was one of the first year girls. She was fully dressed, as well as being wrapped in a heavy blanket. He was carrying what had to be her small backpack, swinging from his arm supporting her. She was damp and had been outside of the school in that rain. Curioser and curioser.
“How may I help you.” He seemed relieved to hear that she would help him in some way.
“This girl…. She needs help.”
“Is she injured?
“No. She is wet and cold. Nothing more than that. I cannot... should not, look after her.”
“Where did you find her?” Angela reached out to take her, but the girl just shrank closer to him, as any girl would, being held in those arms. Angela herself would fight off any number of girls if that were her, held like that by him.
He was pleased at Angela’s rapid understanding.
“I found her ten minutes ago, huddled under the stairs in the basement, wet and shivering. I was about to leave the school and head home, but when I found her there, I couldn’t.”
Of course he couldn’t. That was the most he had spoken to her all year. It was a start.
He must have been in the school working late on something he couldn’t do during the day when all of the girls were thundering along the corridors like a herd of charging elephants, ready to mow down everything in their path.
The small bundle was shivering. He held her closer.
“Actually, my cat found her and got my attention, or I would never have seen her.” His cat had also followed him upstairs, and Angela could see him—another hormonal male—in the background. It followed him everywhere around the school, but only when it was quiet. It knew all about girls, just as he did, but Robert had no choice but to be where he was, most of the time. The cat had a choice, and stayed in his work area during most of the day, only to emerge and wander the school at night, on the prowl. A horny male, on the hunt, prowling the school corridors for a female cat. The thought was amusing and worth relating to the other girls sometime to get their juices flowing before she admitted to it being a 'fixed' tom-cat--if it was 'fixed'-- but was soon put to one side.
“Who is she?”
“Her name tags in her packed clothes say that she’s Marjorie Langdon, one of the first-year girls. She’d packed a bag and was running away, but got caught in the rain and got soaked. I was lucky to find her. She’s very wet.”
There was a towel around her head. He had managed to dry some of her hair. At least he had presence of mind to bring her to the one safe place where he could leave her to be seen to in safety.
Angela reached out and touched her by the face. “We’ll have to see what she needs. Possibly a hot bath. There is a bathroom where I can take her, out of the hearing of any of the girls,” she pointed farther along the corridor.
“I can look after her tonight, but someone will have to tell Miss Bagnold as soon in the morning as possible.” She sighed. “I guess that will have to be me.”
“Thank you.” He sounded very grateful to have had this responsibility lifted from him. “She could have slept in my storeroom downstairs with His Majesty there, for company”—he referred to his cat behind him—“but I couldn’t leave her alone, and I certainly couldn’t take her with me. That might have been misconstrued. Nor could I stay with her as I would have to do. I thought of you.” It was exciting of him to admit that.
She understood. He was on a tightrope all of the time in that school, never knowing what would be coming at him next. And he had thought of her. How nice. It was a start.
“I did the only thing I could, short of approaching Miss Bagnold, and I didn’t want to do that at this time of night. I remembered you as being very polite and…”—and what? He was blushing. She waited, but he did not continue along that same line—“so, knowing where you slept, and that you had a private room to yourself, I came up here. I would have disturbed no one else if I could avoid it. Fortunately you let me in before I needed to use my keys.” So he knew where she slept, and had thought of her.
And what would he have done then? It did not bear thinking about, but the possibilities were intriguing. If it was a hot and uncomfortable night she often slept with her bed turned down, and even dispensed with a nightdress. What if he had come upon her then, with her in that vulnerable and naked state? How would he have awoken her and what would she have done about it? The imagined possibilities would be worth dreaming about, but some other time.
Angela agreed with his reasoning. But how did he know where she slept, or that she was alone? And he would have awoken her somehow? She would definitely dream about that, later.
“I’ll take her from here.” She reached out to do so, pushing her hands under the small bundle and up against his hard body, as she felt his arms against her equally soft and yielding body, barely covered by her nightdress. It was dizzying for her, but the girl shrank even closer to him. She was resisting. Of course she was.
He smiled. “Yes. I know you would like to take her, and even bathe her, but for some reason she is hanging on to me like grim death, and I would rather relinquish her gently, and with her approval into your care, rather than have her fight this, and become upset.”
Angela could see that the little girl had a ferocious grip on his shirt with both hands, her eyes closed, and her head resting against his chest in the open neck of his shirt. She felt secure and warm where she was. What woman wouldn’t?
“Then we should sit and talk somewhere out of the way.” The common room behind her was not a good place to have a conversation like the one they would need to have.
“Follow me.” She led the way farther down the corridor, away from the dorm area, and into a day room with comfortable chairs and even a settee.
It didn’t matter to her that she had on only a nightdress, and not a substantial one at that. The lighting was dim where they were.
“We can sit on the settee here, and talk, until she feels she can trust me. We will need to sit close together so as not to be overheard, and to get her used to me touching her, and sharing her with you.”
She took the knapsack from his arm as he sat down. “This is hers?”
He nodded. “That’s what she was resting her head on when I found her.” Angela picked it up and opened it as he settled himself with the girl held in his arms. She was not going to be easily parted from him.
He helped. “I have a flashlight in my pocket.” He fished it out and turned it on, watching her sort through the bag by its light.
She put a nightdress she found in it, to one side, over the arm of the settee, before she sat on the settee by him, letting the flashlight rest on the seat between them, lifted the girl’s legs across her own, and leaned up against Robert.
This was not the time to be remote or shy. Besides, this was the first time she had ever been alone with him, and they now had a chance to converse properly without a hundred curious girls looking on.
Angela took off the girl’s shoes and socks, then, lifting her own nightdress out of the way, she placed Marjorie’s damp feet onto her own legs, high on her inner thighs where there was warmth, covering them to keep them warm as she put her own arm over Marjorie, letting her feel both of them holding her, seeing to her comfort.
Robert felt that his ears were burning at what he had vaguely glimpsed of Angela’s body as she had lifted her nightdress to cover Marjorie’s feet. He had glimpsed pale skin and hair, in the glare of that flashlight.
She had nothing covering her under that nightdress!
“You will need to hold me closer.”
Angela felt his free hand go around her waist, then lower on her, and pull her close into him, leaving his hand touching her there. His hand was very warm, and it was also trembling. Or was that her?
He seemed nervous to do that, but he must know that it could not be a trap. This had all been his decision… at least at the beginning. Now it was up to her where it went from here. Why was he nervous?
She didn’t need to ask that. She felt nervous too. He must be able to hear her heart beating. This was the first time she had been so close to him, or to any man, and her senses tingled. She knew she was not dressed suitably for this, even in this low light, but there was nothing she could do about it, or wanted to do.
He must have just showered, and even changed in his work area downstairs before he had come across Marjorie. He smelled of soap, and of the perfume of softening-sheets in a drying cycle, on his shirt. His hair was still damp, and smelled of shampoo.
She had never been so close to a man before (that thought again), with her hand touching tentatively against his muscular leg, and the sensation was strangely interesting and breathtaking, effervescing with latent possibilities.
She stroked Marjorie’s head to comfort her, but Marjorie wasn’t ready to let go of him yet. She felt secure where she was and so did Angela. She could have stayed here, sitting with him like this all night, even if neither of them said a single word. She could sense a slight tension between them, and had to decide how this situation should be moved forward for both her and Marjorie.
She might never get another opportunity like this one.
She had never had a man hold her like this, so close, and able to feel his head resting against her own, his breath flooding down inside of her nightdress. She even began to feel other sensations that were probably the same strangely rebellious feelings that those other, more forward, older girls must feel when they tried to engage him.
Her nipples had suddenly become hard. Would he see that? She was also more moist down there, as though she had begun to wet herself. She tensed up, and hoped he was not able to smell her there. Though maybe that scent behaved like a pheromone that would push a man into overdrive. She would like to experience that, with this man.
How had he resisted those other girls if they felt anything like she did, oozing female pheromones from every pore and every opening, sending him a message about her? Perhaps she was asking for trouble, tempting him with the promised land, inviting him unconsciously, like this.
She should not be so forward. At least not so obviously forward, as those other girls always were, (though she already was, the way she was only lightly dressed).
But she was already being forward, having suggested quite forcefully, that he should hold her close to him for Marjorie’s sake, and considering how she was dressed, and where they were, and alone.
Nonetheless, she did not feel threatened in any way, though he might. She held all the cards here, maybe, and it would be up to her how she played them.
They, those other girls, had been too obvious in their way of doing things, and no man likes to be hit over the head in public to get his attention to their bodies, and to them, especially about something as special as sexual intimacy. Slow and steady would win the race for this man, and he would need handling with kid gloves and to be smoothed along all of the way, rather than frightening him off, as some of those other girls did in their eagerness. She knew how she would do it.
Her heart was beating noticeably with a steady and loud threnody. Could he hear that above their breathing? She could! His hand was also very warm at her side, pulling at her steadily. It felt right, and comforting.
It needed more!
She turned to kneel on the settee beside him, facing him, as Marjorie’s feet stayed on her leg, lifting her nightdress away from her. She explained what she intended to do. She did not care that her nightdress was well up on her legs as she did that, nor did she seem to notice that the flashlight was shining strongly on her there between her legs, now that she had moved, and it was clearly illuminating everything about her under her nightdress, and played in those hairs that he could see, as he would have liked to have been playing in them.
She could not see what it exposed and emphasized of her, but she knew that he could, by the look on his face and where he was staring.
He fumbled clumsily between them, to turn the light off before she noticed either that, or his response to what he could see of her body under there.
“This damp coat should come off her, and then I can dry her hair and see just how wet she is.” He nodded, unable to speak.
Angela leaned over the small bundle, having no shyness in moving her right leg to between his legs as she moved the blanket aside from his bundle, and undid the top buttons on the girls outer coat. She was helped by Robert, working from the bottom in the sudden, relative dark, with him even accidentally touching her between her legs as he did that, not helping his turbulent feelings, or hers. She said nothing, but had not retreated from his touch. She had actually stayed still for a moment, inviting him to do more if he wanted to.
They struggled to take the coat down her arms and off her, unable to do it until Angela told Marjorie what she wanted to do to enlist her help, and for her to let go of Robert for just a moment.
They both knew what was happening between them as they struggled to get Marjorie undressed, but could not yet directly speak about it.
As Angela struggled with that coat, striving to get it from under her, Robert became even more aware of Angela’s clothing deficiencies and of her undoubted maturity, as she in turn began to notice his personal difficulties that she was causing, even touching him once, in that tender place by accident, and causing him to flinch.
She said nothing. The situation was clearly exciting for both of them.
She understood how nervous he felt with her doing what she was doing, and she was empowered by it, rather than retreating in embarrassed confusion. She was made of sterner stuff than that. Besides, she was on her own turf, and not his, and she was curious about him and this entire predicament, but pleased that he had thought to approach her and that he was not running scared from her, as he did with the other girls.
Yes, he had approached only her, had known her, and where she slept. She would ask him about that, later.
Now that his eyes had adjusted to the dim light again, he could see that her breasts swayed tantalizingly in her loose nightdress as she leaned toward him, undressing the little girl as her own nightdress rode further up her legs, breasts and cleavage were both rivetingly obvious to him, hypnotizing him, with his eyes following them.
The more the two of them struggled to take the outer coat off Marjorie, the more of Angela’s wondrous body was inadvertently--and not so inadvertently--revealed to him.
Angela’s mind was clearly on more mundane issues than his was, but she could not see what he could see of her body, though she was alarmingly…no, vibrantly conscious of her affect on him and of what he could see of her.
She pushed her hand under the collar of Marjorie’s sweater and blouse. The sweater was damp too, but her skin where Angela touched was not cold. Marjorie had dressed well for her escapade, and must have felt overwhelmed by something, to have decided that her only recourse was to run away from the school. But then the rain had driven her back.
There would be some searching questions asked in the girl’s dorm about this, and to find out what had caused this young girl to want to escape, although there were ways around that too.
Robert knew that he shouldn’t be here with what was happening between them. But he had no choice. His mouth had gone dry and he had to avert his eyes so as not to be seen staring too obviously at Angela’s exposed body, which disturbed him more than he could believe. He wanted to reach out and touch, to caress in that hair, to hold....
It didn’t get any better when she adjusted her position to sit back on his leg, and took the towel to dry off Marjorie’s hair again, rubbing briskly, despite the young girls complaints as she took an even firmer hold on Robert’s shirt, and as Angela’s nightdress rode even higher upon her legs.
Robert had to close his eyes. If Angela were not careful, her nightdress might not continue to cover her for long at either the top or the bottom. She might as well not have had one on. He wanted to help her with that, but the first thing he would do would be to remove that nightdress, and he must not do that.
Angela threw the towel aside and indicated that she would lie along the settee on the inside, with him on the outside, with Marjorie lying across them both. This would help Marjorie relax, able to feel them both.
Robert would not relax, and Angela intended that he would not. This was rolling along in a most interesting way.
If the girl slept, it would help to get her to relinquish her grip on Robert, and to transfer to Angela’s embrace, and then she could do something with her, but she was not sure she wanted it to be that clear cut.
“You will need to hold me close to you again, Robert, if we are to succeed in this.” She blushed up at him and felt his arm go under her and around her again as she leaned into him in this recumbent position, with her own head resting against his shoulder and touching up into his neck as he adjusted his own position.
He brought Marjorie’s legs over Angela’s again, once more able to see as much of Angela as he might ever have wanted to see as she opened that space up for Marjorie to put her legs onto her again. He could see that Angela had omitted to pull her nightdress down to cover herself, and there was nothing he could do about it. Or wanted to do about it.
He could see even more of her now, down in the front of her nightdress, as well as farther down there. He had to close his eyes again, but he could do nothing about his body and its own heightened responses.
Angela smiled, recognizing what was happening to him. Marjorie’s legs were warm upon her, and so were his, against hers, but she still brought the blanket over them all. Interesting things were more likely to happen under a blanket as hands moved around. They would be her hands of course, moving upon him, or as she adjusted her position, by touching him for purchase. Everything could be made to seem accidental.
Robert was not sure he wanted Angela to succeed in detaching Marjorie from him too soon, not with this level of excitement.
This, happening between them, and to him, was unnerving, but was also intriguing. He did not usually feel this way about any older girl in the school, but then she wasn’t trying to entrap him in the obvious way the others had tried to do. Though he would not have minded if she was. This was different. It was gentle and indirect, though even more obvious in many ways. He felt differently about this woman, confused even, and perhaps now was the time to tell her how he had noticed her from the very beginning of her coming into the school.
Fortunately she could not know how his body was responding to everything she was doing. Though maybe she was aware of it, the way they were touching along most of their bodies, and what her hand sometimes encountered of him as she checked Marjorie’s clothing to see how damp it was. She must surely know about his condition by now. It didn’t seem to bother her if she did know.
After about ten or fifteen minutes of the most difficult torment Robert had ever experienced, they began to realize that Marjorie had gone to sleep, and her grip on Robert’s shirt had lessened.
Angela looked up at Robert, to see his eyes wide open in the dim light, looking down at her. He seemed tense, and she knew why. She disturbed him, making him never sure where and what she would touch next, by accident.
“I think I can take her now, Robert, if I may call you Robert.” She thought she might be fluttering her eyelashes at him. Oh, such calculated coyness!
“And my name is Angela.”
“Angel." He sighed, and recovered quickly. "Angela. I know.”
Angel? She knew she had him captivated by then. “But before I do, we should get her changed out of these damp clothes and into her nightdress. There is no point in bathing her now. I’ll do that tomorrow. I put her nightdress to one side. She can stay with me in my room tonight.”
He could, too, but she could never tell him that in so many words. It would just have to happen, somehow.
Angela moved the small body back over into Robert’s arms, to lie upon him.
She sat up and knelt again as she had before with one leg between his, facing into them both as she began to undress this little girl who had been the means to bring them both together in the most wonderful way, but first she moved her own night dress onto her hips again, as she lifted and reached to get Marjorie’s clothes off. She did not want to stretch and possibly tear the aged flannel of her nightdress on her knees. If she had any sense, she would take her nightdress off first, and leave him in no doubt about what she intended, but that might be moving too fast.
Robert had to close his eyes again, and focus upon just breathing.
Breathe, dammit! Breathe! He might not survive this.
He reached out and touched her on the arm to slow her down.
She felt his hand trembling again.
“You are in a very dangerous place, Angela.”
So he noticed what she was doing.
She smiled at him. What was he warning her about? As if she didn’t know.
Did she really need to ask? Wasn’t it obvious what she was doing to him?
She was keenly aware of how his body was signaling things to her that he could not put into words.
She responded silently in her own way. 'Not yet, my dear, not yet, slow down with me, and I will show you when. And, Oh, how I will show you'. The night was still young.
“You are the only girl in this school whom I might trust to do this with me, like this, with you… and me… and this… this situation between us”—he stumbled over his words—“and you are driving me crazy.”
She needed to hear that. At least she was having the right effect on him. She smiled at him. “I know I am, Robert. I am aware of that now, where I did not know it before. It can’t be helped. I need your help to do this, and I know that I am only lightly dressed, perhaps inappropriately so, but that is beyond my control at this time. You took me off guard remember? And we must accept the limitations and deficiencies, and continue for Marjorie’s sake and…. I hope you will survive this for her sake, as well as for mine.” There she had managed to say it.
He wasn’t sure he would survive after hearing that. For her sake too?
“Or is it that I am shocking you too much. Oh, dear, I had not thought that I might offend you. Am I being too forward? Revealing too much? Though I do not see how I can help doing that with what we must do for this poor girl to get her comfortable and dry. Her needs must come first.”
Had he been clumsy? She almost seemed close to tears.
He touched her on the arm again as though to try and comfort her from having mistaken what he meant.
“You are not offending me, Angela. Far from it. I find you disturbingly beautiful in every way, and more than enough to drive a man crazy with desire for you. My feelings, are what are dangerous. That was what I was saying.”
That seemed to be her cue. She leaned forward, put her hands on either side of him knowing that he could see into the front of her nightdress to see more of her, and looked into his eyes.
“I know that I am affecting you, Robert—your feelings, your emotions—but I can’t help it. I seem driven to do it, as though it were needed between us. You are affecting me in the same way. I have never felt this way about any man before.”
His head might explode. Both heads! He would definitely not survive!
“I have a bone to pick with you though.” She looked at him severely, sensing her new-found power over him. The power of a poorly clad female body, and much better than any seven veils. He waited expectantly.
“I have been in this school almost a year, striving to catch your attention even a little, and this is the first real conversation we have had, you and I, apart from a few grunts and words about the weather, in passing. I did try to engage you, but you practically ignored me. I am sure you did not mean to hurt my feelings, but you did. Why did you do that?”
He thought for a while. “I think you know why, Angela.” Yes, she did. “But I was not trying to hurt your feelings. That was the last thing I would ever want to do.”
He tried to explain.
“All of the girls in this school are out of bounds to me, as they should be, including you, especially when some of them don’t behave app… are trying very hard to get my attention in the wrong way.” As she was, even now, but she couldn’t let him know that.
“But I did try to behave appropriately with you, Robert. Always appropriately. Even if not, now. I never did try to inveigle you as they do, though I often wanted to.” Perhaps she shouldn’t admit to having any of those kinds of feeling, to lay herself open to him. Not that it mattered now, considering what he had been able to see of her, and what she hoped would soon happen between them.
“But I suppose I am behaving unbecomingly at this moment, but I can’t help that? I am sure you must see that. This has to be done to help this young girl. Or am I too like those other girls, and I am offending you? Shocking you? Perhaps even scaring you?”
He leapt in to deny any such thing. “No. You could never offend me, nor could you ever behave inappropriately, no matter what you did. You are nothing like them. But, yes. What you are doing now, but not obviously intentionally, is even more shocking and unexpected, but nothing you might do would ever be wrong. Not with me. And that is what I suppose I find most frightening about this, with us being so close together like this.”
She was pleased to hear what he was suggesting without putting it into words just yet. She felt the same way about him.
Her eyes flashed and she leaned in to kiss him on the lips without hesitation, as though to thank him, but was actually still gauging his mood.
“Then we have nothing to worry about, Robert. We understand each other.”
In a pig’s eye!
She was provoking the poor man, and ruthlessly taking advantage of him, because she could.
“Then let us see to Marjorie, here, and then we shall discuss this situation between us further, you and I.” She leaned lower over him and kissed him again, lingering a little longer over it, not wanting anything to change too quickly. She liked the way things were going. So did he.
He sighed and held onto her nightdress at her waist, keeping her close to him. “You are not being fair on me, Angela. My hands are already full here with this little girl.”
He would rather be filling his hands with parts of the bigger girl who was ruthlessly tormenting him with everything he might ever desire.
Angela knew that he wanted to be touching her, and where. She would not have minded, but they had other things to think about. He could touch her later. They could touch each other. And would.
“I know I am not being fair, but look at the odds I was facing in this school until now. A girl has to take advantage of every opportunity offered to her in this environment.”
She sat back again and continued to undress Marjorie, as Robert held the little girl steady and raised her arms, stripping off a vest she had next to her body, and drinking in what he could see of Angela, now that she was distracted and now that he knew she would not be offended by his admiration.
Angela dropped the small nightdress over Marjorie’s head, fishing her arms through each sleeve, before she laid her back into Robert’s warm embrace.
There were many questions they both wanted to ask, but they could wait for later.
Angela laid back down, snuggling close into him again in the narrow space between him and the back of the settee as she pulled the blanket over them again. She felt his arm go over her head and behind her as she turned into him, putting her free arm over Marjorie, with her other one down between them, detecting how her nightdress had ridden up almost to her waist. She didn’t care. She liked the effect she was having on him.
“She’s warm and sleeping now. We don’t have to go anywhere. No one is going to disturb us, Robert, and her absence has not been noticed yet, so won’t be until morning.
“I will go and see Miss Bagnold before then, first thing. She will have a lot of questions. We should decide what to tell her about this; about your part in it. About us!”
She waited to see what he would say, especially about that latter phrase.
“It will probably be best if you keep me out of it. I am not supposed to be anywhere near this part of the school.” And not doing anything like this, or feeling the way I do about any of the girls.
“Agreed. Yes, I suppose it would be wiser to say as little about your role in this and what will happen between us tonight, as possible. As we see to Marjorie.”
It was out of his hands, and out of his control now, and what did she mean about what will happen between us tonight?
He dare not ask.
“I can say that Marjorie tapped on our dormitory door, and that I looked after her from there. I doubt Marjorie will be able to contradict me. She was wet and upset, and had been outside in all of that downpour. No one needs ever know that you spent the night with me”—she quickly corrected herself—“with us. I doubt Marjorie will remember much about it, but she might wake up and miss you, so you should stay.”
“Thank you.” He leaned closer to her, and returned her kiss, waiting to see if she would object, though he knew by now that she wouldn’t.
He would surrender, and give in, gracefully. She knew exactly what she wanted, so he would just have to let it roll along.
She didn’t object to his kiss, so he continued kissing her. He was beginning to wake up to the possibilities that she had in mind for them both. She was proving to be a force to be reckoned with.
“So where do we go from here, you and I, Angela?” As if he needed to ask. “You must know that I can do nothing about this, about us, while you are still a student in the school, though I would like to do something about it, even now.”
She knew that for herself, and was aware of how much she disturbed him, and that all of her efforts were now paying off in an unexpected way.
What he was suggesting for them, was very pleasing for a woman to hear, but there could be other consequences to her, from what they were slowly moving along to doing. She would not shy away from it, if that was what was needed to bind him to her in a more permanent way. Though ‘permanence’ might not be what he had in mind
“You asked, where do we go from here, Robert?” She used his name easily now, and answered her own question. “We’ll have to see. There are a few weeks between now and the end of school, but that is no reason for us to continue to ignore each other as you did, though I doubt we will get many opportunities after this one, to be alone like this one. Not as I would like to be, unless… I am sure we can think of something.” He knew what she was suggesting, and he was helpless to resist her.
She continued with her thoughts. “We could start here, as we intend to go on, if you like.”
He was not sure how she meant. Start with what? He almost panicked at what she seemed to be suggesting. Did she want him to disrobe and to make love to her here? But most of the evening, for the last half hour, had been like that.
She snuggled closer to him. “First”…she was thinking on the fly—“I want to know all about you, Robert, everything that is not in your file, which I have read, by the way.” He was not surprised by that. Nothing would surprise him about this woman now. “I suppose I should tell you that, and then I will answer all of your questions about me.”
He responded in kind, before she could begin.
“All of my questions about you and everything that is not in your file either. It’s a deal. I read your file too. I have all of the keys to everything in the school. I read your file not long after you arrived here when I needed to know who you were and something about you. You are unexpected, Miss Birkenshaw, and a rebel, as a letter in your file suggested you were. So they were right about you.”
He was a rebel too.
He turned more to face her, with Marjorie lying asleep between them. Their helpless charge was beginning to feel the warmth from them both, gaining comfort from it in her peacefully semi-comatose state, and totally unaware of the building sexual tensions taking place around her.
Angela felt Robert’s hand move tentatively across to touch her on her bare middle, and then to touch at her hip, discovering how high her nightdress really was upon her, as she put her own hand on his waist, moving his shirt, so that she could also touch his bare skin. They would soon have more confidence with each other. He could touch even more of her if he wanted to in a different place that was eager to have him find it, but she might have to guide him along to do that.
A lifetime of change had happened to them both in just one hour, with more changes still to go, and there would be no putting that genie back into the bottle. What might the next few hours bring?
She would be inventive, and very forward, if that was what it would take. This was her game now, and they would be her rules.