Two more days of Christmas break, then it would be back to school. Tommy had mixed feelings about it, he would miss the time he could spend with his beautiful Renée. On the other hand, it gave him seven to nine hours a day away from his mother’s constant chatter about finding the “right kind of girl”, and his father’s sarcasm about needing to sow his wild oats on the “riff raff”. What a dilemma he found himself in. But, before the day was over, things would get a lot worse.
Usually when Tommy spent time with his horses, it was a great escape that took him away from the secrets inside the home. Now as he poured oats into the feedbag, the totality of what his father said struck him the wrong way. Renée was his life, and he was determined to make her his wife. As young as she was, they both were, he shared with her a bond he had never known before. She opened his eyes to a whole new world, with or without the intimacy that they shared. He’d spent several hours grooming Dusty, and Cocoa, then rewarded each of his horses with a crisp apple. He once again headed for the basketball court, and heard the familiar voice of Lydia calling his name. As she approached, it was obvious that she’d been crying. “Lydia sweetie, what’s the matter?”
“I’m in trouble Tommy, big trouble. I haven’t seen Animal in days, well since the night you dropped me off at Patsy’s Pizza. So I wrote in my diary, and didn’t lock it, I fell asleep. The next morning... yesterday, I dressed and went down to breakfast. My diary was next to my plate. “Tommy honest, no matter what I wrote, I haven’t done anything more than what I told you the other night. I was just dreaming and fantasizing about what it would be like to go all the way. I wrote that I had hot pants for Animal.” Lydia began to cry again. “Tommy can we go to the carriage house? I don’t want the ranch hands looking at me like this.”
“Sure Lyd, let’s go. So, you made up this tale like you and Animal had done it, and you wanted him again, wow. Didn’t your family believe that it was just a story?” Once inside the carriage house, Tommy checked for others inside. They were alone.
“No. Plain and simply, no. Tommy don’t ever tell, I have no one else to talk to. My father made me pull down my slacks. He, he said, ‘You’ve got hot pants? I’ll show you hot pants!’ He bent me over his knee and spanked me hard on my nylon panties for no less than fifteen minutes. It burned. Tommy, I’d never been hit before. Except one time when I was little a maid, slapped my hand for touching a Lladro my parents bought at a small shop in Spain, and she was fired on the spot. That was the only other time I’ve been hit. Tommy, it burned, and I don’t want to be spanked again. I’m afraid to see Animal again, andI love him! Whaaaa!” Lydia, cried and cried.
Tommy took her in his arms, and held her close, resting his cheek on her head. “There, there, don’t cry sweetie. Shhh, it will all work out. Give me some time, I’ll think of something. I always do. Lydia, there’s a lot of slapping around that goes on in my house. I hate it, too. I hate to say this, but they force us to be sneaky.”
Lydia’s tears dried up, but she remained in Tommy’s gentle embrace. They both heard the door open. Tommy hadn’t locked it as he knew nothing was going to happen between Lydia, and himself. Ralph walked in the sitting room where the teenagers were.
“Hello, you two. What’s going on here?” Ralph inquired.
“Nothing Dad. I’m just giving Lydia a hug.”
“She looks like she’s been crying! You didn’t do anything disrespectful to her did you?”
Before Tom could answer, Lydia did. “No, sir, Tom was just comforting me...” She burst into full blown tears all over again. “My parakeet died!” She blubbered.
Tommy was amazed at the act Lydia put on.
Ralph looked at his son, “Well, don’t just stand there like an idiot. Offer the lady a hankie. Women get sappy like that, you don’t want snot all over your shirt do you? Sorry about your bird Lydia. I’m sure you’ll get another one as soon as it’s safe to bring one home in this nippy weather. Tom, take Lydia out for lunch. Go get some pizza, or whatever it is that you kids eat.” Ralph reached in his pocket and handed his son a 20 dollar bill. “Here, get lost.” Ralph left the carriage house.
“Hot diggity dog! Lydia, I’ve got it! This will work, and I guess Dad is right. I am an idiot! Why did it take so long to figure this out?” Tommy was smiling and almost dancing around the room in the carriage house.
“What Tommy? Are you going to let me in on this bright idea, or am I not a part of it?”
“Oh yes, you are a major star in this production. Lydia... My dearest darling Lydia. My heart pumps purple panther piss just for you. Won’t you wear my ring around your neck?”
“Have you flipped Tommy?”
“Nope. Look last night I HAD to go out with Debbie Worthington.”
“Yes! Our parents don’t know what she really is. They think she’s the greatest because her father is a doctor. Little do they know she has been playing doctor since she was 14, and the rest of us are still... well not playing doctor at any rate.” Tom wasn’t about to share the most intimate part of his life with anyone except the girl he loved. “Lydia, you and I... Look at us, we are the perfect couple. Wear my ring, I’ll tell my folks we’re going steady. Look, when we get to Patsy’s, we will work out the rest of the details with Animal. He and I are not real good buddies, but we communicate on the same level. I can’t see Renée this afternoon, because she’s... helping her mother with a project. Let’s get over to Patsy’s and see if Animal is there. If he isn’t, do you have his phone number?”
“Yes, but I don’t call boys.”
“You don’t have to, I will.” Tom didn’t want to tell Lydia that Renée had to clean house, and do laundry today. He wasn’t sure if Lydia understood the concept of not having staff to do such chores. Tom opened the passenger door on the T-Bird for Lydia, then got in and headed for the pizza parlor. They were both thrilled that Animal was there. He, Animal, bristled at what had happened to Lydia, and was more than willing to go along with their plan. The only fly in the ointment he could foresee was Bjørn. “It’s not that he don’t like you Ricsen, it’s he doesn’t trust you around his little sister. And furthermore, he wouldn’t ever believe I was interested in his sister... He knows how much I care for Lydia, and... Hey, Lyd, honey go to the fountain and get me another coke, okay baby?”
Lydia was happy to be with her boyfriend again even if it was sitting across the booth from him. She got up and did what she was asked to do.
“Good girl that Lydia. Anyway, he knows I get it off Delores, so there is just no room in my life for Renée. Besides, she’s like my little sister, too. She took me by surprise after I’d been going over there for a while the first time she came out of her room with only a pair of pedal pushers on. But, once I realized that’s their culture, seeing her jugs isn’t that much different than seeing pictures of those Africans that live in the jungle villages. Ya know they just don’t think nuthin’ about it.”
“Yeah, I suppose.” Tom was a little miffed, but hid it, that Animal had seen his girlfriend’s bryster. He also realized that he’d darn well better get used to it, if he wanted to be her boyfriend. “So, I’ve got you covered with Lydia, but I’m still out in the cold with Renée. We have half the battle won though, and just getting out of the house without the third degree will be okay for now. Maybe she can get more babysitting jobs. I can loan you my car, you can drop me off there, and you and Lydia, can hang low someplace.”
“I can find a few more people in my neighborhood to hire her, Ricsen, not a problem at all.”
“Animal, you think Tommy’s plan will work?”
“Yeah, baby, I do. But we all gotta be careful. It’s not only the older generation we have to worry about, Bjørn could cause problems if he thinks you are Tom’s good girl, and he’s using his sister as a bad girl.”
“Well, why don’t I tell Bjørn, the truth, that Tommy and I are a fake couple, so I can see you. Tommy and his sister are a real couple, because he wants her to be his good girl, and Tommy... Who Tommy? Who could be your girl on the side? It has to be someone believable, not someone he would doubt. Hey, how about Jenny Verona? I heard Jenny goes all the way. Tom, all you’d have to do is go out with her once, and be seen. There isn’t anyone that would believe she’d ever say no to you.”
“Lydia, you’ve been in private school all these years. How do you know this stuff?” Tom wondered.
“I’ve been hanging out here with Animal this Christmas vacation. I have ears, and put things together real well.”
“Look, I want to see Renée this afternoon. We all need to leave together, where should we go?”
“You can drop Lydia and I off at my parents. Then you go see your baby doll. Come back for Lydia around five, take her home, meet me back at Patsy’s around seven, and I’ll have you lined up with Jenny.”
“You sure she’ll be available on such short notice?” Tom asked.
“You got any money left over after buying that large pizza, and all these cokes?”
“Yeah, about fifteen dollars.”
“Well, that’s about twelve more than she usually gets for a fast date. She’s yours.”
Tommy got to Renée’s just as she was ironing the last piece of laundry. He was happy to see she had a top on because he really didn’t know how to react in front of her mother, if she did not. There was much to learn about the way other people lived. Renée’s mother was still very beautiful, even though she was rail thin, and didn’t look very healthy. He wondered if it was from not having enough to eat, or if there was another problem. She gave Renée permission to go horse back riding again with Tommy. They left for the ranch.
Horses saddled, the two were off riding the trails, slowly at first, then they ran at full gallop. Tommy rode behind her for a while, and watched her bottom move up and down in the saddle. He picked up the pace, “Renée, I can’t take it any longer... Let’s go to the barn.”
Tommy dismounted his horse, walked Dusty into the barn, and motioned for Renée to ride in. She stayed in the saddle while Tommy put Dusty in a stall with water, and a feed bag of oats. “Do you know who you look like Renée, with that long hair, sitting in the saddle?”
“No Tommy, who do you think I look like? Dale Evans?” She guessed.
“Not hardly. You look like Lady Godiva!”
“Well, I would have to be completely naked on the horse if I really was to look like Lady Godiva.” She laughed, pulled the cashmere sweater Lydia had given her over her head, and gave her hair a toss. “I guess this is a start.”
She proudly sat upright smiling at her “Peeping Tom” as he reached up to help her off the horse. His hands cupped each breast as he kissed down her breast bone to her naval. He noticed she was not responding. On his knees he looked up at her beautiful face unsmiling staring beyond him, eyes fixed, unblinking. He looked slowly over his shoulder. There was Ralph standing with a riding crop in his hand. Tommy froze. He didn’t know if he should let go, and expose her breasts to his father, or if he should keep them in hand. Renée gently removed his hands, and held them in her own.
“Where’s Lydia? She’s the one you left with.”
“I took her home.”
“Uh huh. Well, I see you’re finally catching on. I’ll leave you two alone, continue with what you were doing. Nice tits, Godiva.” Ralph looked her up and down, and back up again.
“Thank you, sir. I was raised to not be ashamed of my body.” Renée spoke with conviction.
Ralph walked out.
“I can’t believe what just happened.”
“Yah. And, I can not believe that it is okay for me to be here with you. Tommy, let’s get back to doing what we were doing.”
“Renée, I’m s...” Still on his knees, he looked at her jeans with the zipper down. Tommy stood up, locked the barn door behind his father, and forgot all about being scared.