The gala was still feasting away at the club when Linda Murray seized Gerald’s hand and snatched him away for the rest of the day. This sort of occasion truly was mainly an affair for older men to show off who had the larger car, the most golf clubs, the prettier wife, and she was growing more bored by the minute. Linda hated getting bored. Her days were filled with whatever amusement was worth her time. Gerald had begged her to take him home more than a few times – and why shouldn't she? She loved it when he begged. It was a good look on him.
He was, all things considered, a rather handsome young man. Of course, there was that crooked smile and she was sure she would have to insist on hair implants at some point or another within the next decade, but he had told her he was aiming for plastic surgery. At the time, she had wondered whether he meant only to impress her − the most lucrative branch of medicine − but she would leverage that when it came to it. If she looked her best, so should he if he wanted a shot at her. Then, she supposed, she would be entitled to expect perfection. She would settle for nothing less.
"To the Murray Estate," she instructed the chauffeur. "Post haste."
"Yes, Miss Murray," the chauffeur nodded. The staff had learned to please Linda, lest they should be putting their job at risk. Linda loved knowing her whims had such power. Often, she was petulant just for the delight of getting obeyed at any cost.
Gerald sank into the back seat comfortably next to her. She had hoped he might be impressed with the luxury of the leather cushions, the latest technology, the smooth and easy speed with which the chauffeur drove them, but then Gerald Monroe undoubtedly came from money and never hid it. He was all dressed up for the gala, naturally, a well tailored suit in rich thick dark brown fabric. It was rough to the touch when she entwined their arms. Sometimes, things that were expensive were harsh and the only pleasantness was the pride of knowing the price tag. She hoped Gerald too could appreciate the finer things of life like she did. They looked at each other. Soft blue eyes blinked in awe.
"I’ve never been to your place before," he told her softly. He smiled. "I didn’t think I’d ever get an invite."
"Think nothing of it," she replied. A boy might get ideas if she did not squash them.
"Alright," he said, but she could see in his eyes he was already drunk on a first victory. She bit back a smile and looked at the country road all the way to the estate. On the seat between them, their hands clasped together.
She was growing awfully fond of Gerald in the few months they had known each other. Of course, in college, they had met in the circles of students who were good enough company to be introduced to one another, the ones whose parents and grandparents and great-grandparents had donated chunks of their fortune to the school to ensure their descendants would not be treated like nobodies here. He was in his senior year and, earning himself a top GPA, he was set to become a doctor, and he was delightfully witty and enduring. Ten times a day, she could muster up the worst negs on him, and ten times a day he would give her puppy dog eyes and laugh at inexistent jokes and flirt more boldly than any other man dared to. He had guts, too. For the first time in her life, she felt like she had met her match in him.
"There’s a pool house at the back," she told him when the maid led them through the vast entrance of the estate, taking their things, disappearing at Linda’s annoyed hand gesture. "Get changed. I’ll meet you there."
She swirled around without another word and felt Gerald’s gaze of her as she went to her dressing room on the eastern side of the estate, a room she was sure she would never allow Gerald in. There were such things so precious as to never let any man lay his hands on them. From her rack, she picked the raunchiest bathing suit she could find which was still above her looking like a trashy tramp. She was someone important, after all, and could not just look like a nobody fresh out of a street corner. Not even for Gerald Monroe. Still, she stared at her reflection in the wall length mirrors and thought she might very well impress him even more than she already did. Who could every be more tempting? She smirked at her own self and went out to the pool.
Gerald was taking more time than he should in the pool house, and she was sure she needed not wonder why. He ought, after all, to make himself presentable. She never wanted him to rest on his success and take for granted that her affection for him was earned. They had not even kissed yet. He still had a lot to prove, but even so, their growing closeness was undeniable to her as well as to him. She could see herself allowing him to fall in love with her some day.
She laid herself out on one of the plush dark towels spread out across the sunbathing lounge chairs by the pool and waited for him impatiently. When he came out wearing some borrowed teal blue swimming trunks, she hid her excitement as best as she could so as not to give him ideas. Still, he grinned.
"It's a good day to hang out," he said, pleased. "Everyone out there at the gala, the sun's out and..."
"Shut up," she told him. "Come here."
She patted the spot next to her and Gerald sat down. He was looking too smug for his own good, but she allowed it. His glasses were a little crooked on his nose and she rearranged them. She palmed his arms appreciatively. She should suggest for him to work out. That would be a good look on him. Between her palms, she rubbed some sunscreen, smooth and silky, and passed her hands over his torso. He was dreadfully pale. She would not have the sun burn him down to ashes.
"You have far too much hair," she said in mild disgust. "What are you, part werewolf?"
Gerald was basking in the soft touch of hers, humming happily. She layered up his torso and, bossing him around, his back, his legs and arms and shoulders. Gerald let himself be manhandled as she pleased.
"Here to eat you right up," he said in a voice too quiet for the cocky words he dared put out.
She gave his cheek a soft slap, though not hard enough to make a sound or leave a mark, and Gerald grinned all the broader. On his cheeks, she drew war paintings in white cream and Gerald took off his glasses to rub them into his skin. He was all sticky still. Linda passed him the bottle and lied down on her stomach across the towel.
"Do your part, Gerald," she demanded.
A thick dollop of sunscreen squirted down onto her back and she hissed at the cold touch − how could he be so careless when she had done her utter most to accommodate him? But Gerald’s hands soon roamed the whole of her back, of her arms, and their caress was as warm as the sun kissing their skin. When his fingers brushed close to her breasts on the sides, she pretended not to notice. Long after she was well protected, he sat there rubbing her back with a rare gentleness. With her alone, he could be singularly tender.
"That feels alright," she muttered.
Gerald's hands skipped to her legs, down to her feet on which he lingered for a time. Languorously, she turned back around and his hands were on her stomach. There was all the fire of pure lust in his gaze. His tongue darted out. Despite herself, she glimpsed down at his swimming trunks and bit her lip. His eyes followed her gaze and shone with something self-satisfied. She batted his hands away from her body.
"Hands off, Monroe," she snapped. "Go swim a bit, get a cold bath. Lord knows you need it."
He tipped two fingers at her from his temple.
Jumping to his feet, he let himself fall back into the water with his arms outstretched like a cross. The water splashed all around him all the way to Linda's lounge chair. Disdainfully, she rolled her eyes at him as he began swimming around. She sat down on the tiled rim of the pool at the shallow end and dangled her legs elegantly. Gerald splashed her a little and laughed, swimming back and away into the deeper end to avoid her wrath. Linda pretended to glare.
"That's a nice bikini you got," he said. "It looks great on you."
She shrugged. Across the yard, she gestured to one of the grooms and requested he bring drinks.
"Gucci," she replied simply.
"Dress to impress," Gerald said and winked.
In the sunlight, his hair shone like gold. His glasses were foggy from the water and he rubbed them clumsily. It was as though he did not want to miss the sight for any reason, not even practicality.
"That groom has a crush on me, you know," she told him, nodding at the employee already dashing away towards the kitchens. "He stutters every time he speaks to me."
Gerald swam up to her, leaning his arms against the edge of the pool next to where she was sitting. His elbow slipped on the slippery marble and he nearly slammed his face into it, but caught it on his other forearm. Linda only smirked mockingly. She loved when men made fools of themselves for her.
"And have you two ever..."
She cackled, shaking her head.
"In his dreams, perhaps," she said. The very thought was preposterous. As if she would ever give a boy like that the time of day. "Not a chance."
The way he looked up at her, it was as though Gerald was lost in his own dreams now. Softness filled his gaze and she felt a pang of affection for him. He wasn’t so much a boy as a man, after all.
"What are you, some kind of prude?" He asked. He could be so very bold with her. The others were too afraid to speak up. "I didn’t take you for a good girl, Miss Murray."
Linda pushed him back into the clear water of the pool and he burst out laughing.
"I have standards, Mr Monroe."
They hung out by the pool long enough for her toes to wrinkle, long enough for him to suffer the time spent here doing nothing worthwhile but enjoying each other’s company. She had sent away all the employees and the drinks were long finished and left empty on the platter. Gerald was entertaining her with embarrassing stories of patients as well as other students, some of which she knew. She laughed. He did not, but only looked at her like her laughter was fuel enough to urge him to the next moment. Their hands touched. Taken by courage, he pulled it to his mouth and kissed her knuckles, and Linda shoved him into the water with her feet.
"Ten laps for the audacity," she said.
Gerald was already swimming. He was a decent swimmer, though his parents did not have a pool. She wondered if she should invite him more often. He needed the exercise.
"Ten laps it is."
She read a magazine while he did, unbothered to actually check and count the efforts. She knew he would be doing exactly as she bid.
He swam up to her when he was done and floated in front of her. Linda petted his hair and he got ever closer, his arms on either side of her closed legs. His chin rested between her knees as she combed his wet curls. She pulled his glasses from his face and his eyes narrowed to tight little slivers.
"You can’t see shit, can you?"
Slowly, his arms were closing in on her and he crossed his elbows on her lap to better look at her. Linda leaned back comfortably, allowing it. She placed the glasses back onto his nose. He looked better with. He wasn’t as handsome as that waterpolo guy from the college team, but he was cute in his own way. She liked his nose, anyways. She could get used to him. Her hand cupped his jaw and Gerald rested into it.
"I can see you," he replied.
Her thumb caressed his cheek, down to his lip. She could get so fond of him. He made her want to bully him all the time.
"My dad told me he would be coming back tomorrow before lunch. Are you going to be gone by then?"
Gerald gulped. His eyes glinted with an arousal he scarcely tried to hide. His body pressed closer to her legs. She played with the lobe of his ear, with a curl of hair.
"Sure. Uh huh."
Abruptly, Linda stood up and shook out her hair. She glanced around. Upstairs on the third floor, she caught the eyes of a maid spying through the curtains and made a note to find her later. Word would not get out. She would make sure of that.
Roman Murray’s bedroom was spacious and luxurious to the point of discomfort, though the bed was the deepest and broadest in the mansion. One of the black walls was an entire row of closets, another, facing the bed, was built solely of mirrors. The windows had a view onto the land the family had owned since settling in Hatchetfield at its foundation. At the north, they had their own beach, though the water there was muddy and filled with paddle boats and children. Linda sat onto the bed and did away with her sandals.
"This is your bedroom?" Gerald asked dubiously. "It’s… not what I imagined."
Linda laughed at him. Taking a few strides, she opened one of the closet doors behind him and showed off her father’s ties and suits. Roman Murray was a very well dressed gentleman.
"Not mine. You think I would let you step into my room? I told you my dad isn’t home."
"Oh. Right." He paused. Linda wondered if his room was smaller than this one. She sat back on the bed. "Cool."
She beckoned him with two fingers. Ecstatic, Gerald was about to lean in for a kiss when she pushed down his shoulders and made him sink to his knees. Only then did she take the kiss and Gerald groaned with satisfaction as their lips parted to one another, as their tongues touched. He was a delightfully passionate kisser and craved to be heading right on to the next step. His arms circled her waist until she seized them and entangled them from her.
"No hands? But… but I wanna touch you…"
Linda licked her lips. She raised her hips only as much as it took to tug her bottom bikini piece down to the top of her thigh. She passed a thumb over Gerald’s mouth who hungrily sucked it in. He was more eager than she had realized. She sat right at the edge of the bed.
"You have a mouth," she said. "You blabber far too much with it. Put it to better use."
Gerald’s teeth latched onto the fabric of the bikini to pull it all the way down, as Linda charitably folded her legs up to help it and then parted them for him. His eyes widened with desire and he grabbed her knees to dive straight in, but Linda’s fingers clutched his hair to pull him back. She tssk’d.
"I said no hands," she told him patiently as if to a petulant child. She pulled the hair a little tighter and Gerald moaned unabashed, but held his hands behind his back obediently. "There, was that so very hard?"
"I’ll show you very hard," Gerald mumbled under his breath, but already his lips found all the bare skin he could touch and kiss and cherish and he lost himself in his own delirious horny mind.
His stubble scratched the sensitive skin of her inner thighs as Gerald slowly but surely made his way up, careful to take his time, to build up her own anticipation just as she had teased out his. When finally his lips were on her, she sighed out with contentment and grabbed his head to keep him in place.
"Good boy," she whispered. "There."
His tongue lapped at her with all the enthusiasm accumulated over an hour of craving her and he was beyond excited to be unleashing the beast inside that desired her more than anything. The tip of his tongue toyed with her clit and made her whimper, and Gerald groaned with pride. His arms shook a little as she was sure he craved to hold her and touch her, but he kept on strong.
"Look me in the eyes," she told him.
Gerald stared at her as he worked her up and she gazed down at him adoringly. Her hand in his hair, she brushed his curls with tenderness. He was being so good to her. When his pacing was off, she redirected him wordlessly and very soon he had learned everything she had to teach him about her own pleasure. The rest, he would discover for himself in its own time.
"You’re being such a darling," she said. "Aren’t you?"
She tugged his hair hard.
Linda let herself fall back into the deep and comfortable mattress of her father’s bed and wrapped her legs around Gerald’s shoulders to keep him close. His tongue pressed up inside of her and she gave him pretty moans to reward the idea. He only redoubled with enthusiasm and pressed on, bending himself to her desire and guidance. When she came under his tongue, he must have been about as satisfied as she was. She tightened the vice of her legs till the pleasure waved away bit by bit and she loosened it again. She realized her breath was panting heavily. Gerald’s cheek rested against her thigh and he stared at her in awe and worship as she sat back up. In one smooth motion, she untied the bikini top and dropped it to the floor.
"Did I do good?" He asked.
Linda brushed curls off his forehead and leaned down to kiss his lips. She could taste a bit of herself on him. Gerald was buzzing with anticipation. For a moment, she considered throwing him out to let the desire he felt for her simmer and sharpen before she allowed it to be fulfilled, but then she would be depriving herself of the occasion too and she thought better of it. She waited for a few seconds before realizing she hadn’t told him what to do. She touched his shoulders and scooted back on the bed, laying across.
"Come here," she said.
In one swift leap, Gerald joined her on the bed and his body covered hers as he kissed her roughly, passionately. He wanted her so much. He adored her. Linda’s hands clasped around his face and she looked into his eyes.
"Make love to me, Gerald."
He wasted no time at all. The trunks were pushed to mid thigh and she barely had a glimpse of him before he guided himself to her and filled her to the brim with his arousal. She moaned. His arms framed her face as he began to thrust and she had never felt so satisfied. She smiled up at him easily. Her arms snaked around his neck and she kissed him.
"You’re so pretty," he told her. "From the moment I saw you, I thought… Fuck…"
She had dug her heels into his lower back to encourage him. He was lacking nothing at all in this regard, at least, and every time he pushed in again she felt in all details the thick length of him, every inch that pressed in. Another time, she would have a closer look at his body and make a show of it. At the moment, she had no interest beyond being held by him and cherished beyond belief.
"I thought, that’s the hottest freshman I’ve ever seen in my life. I gotta hit that."
She pushed on his shoulder in false display of outrage and Gerald chuckled as he leaned for more kisses. His face found refuge in the hollow of her neck and breathed deep. She played with his hair.
"That’s crude," she said. "It’s beneath you."
Gerald was suckling on the skin of her neck.
"You’re beneath me at the moment, Miss Murray," he said sensually. "And I wouldn’t have you anywhere else."
He made love to her till she could no longer stand the sight of his face, the hot closeness of their bodies. He took her from behind then, his hands gripping her hips strong and secure and pushing ever so much deeper in the new position while Linda moaned her heart out in her father’s pillows. Under his thrusts, she came a second time around him and Gerald grunted like an animal when he felt it. She rode him then, staring down into his eyes again and touching his face as much as she pleased. Gerald was as docile as she could have dreamed. She loved the way he looked up at her. She loved how powerful she felt in his arms.
"I’m gonna come," he told her well in time for her to climb off of him. He held her there on his lap.
She took him in her hands to finish him off, appreciating for the first time the shape and size of him, and wishing for more. He came in thick spurts all over his stomach with a goofy grunt, gazing at her with envy. His hands unlatched from her waist and flopped back around him and he grinned lazily. His chest was heaving.
"I," he said solemnly, "am going to remember today for the rest of my life."
Linda snorted. She left him there all sticky and disgusting and rolled off of him, walking to the en-suite with a sway of the hips. Looking back at him, she found him staring and grinned. His head fell back on the mattress and she closed the door behind her. After she had cleaned up a little and put on a bathrobe, she came back to find Gerald back in his swimming trunks. He had seized the bottom of her bikini from the plush carpeted ground and held it up for her to behold.
"I’m keeping this," he declared. "It’s a souvenir."
"I have others," Linda replied, though the thought was as enticing to her as it evidently was to him. "You’re repulsive, go wash up."
"Yup," he said, nodding. "I’m gone."
She found the maid a moment later and threatened her harshly enough to become confident the girl would not talk. Only then did she take Gerald to the parlor, and he had never looked so intoxicated with her as after hearing her demean another person so cunningly. He sat on the leather armchair, legs spread comfortably, and Linda served him a brandy. For a moment, she was tempted to repay him the favor given so freely in the bedroom and kneel before him as he sat so in her father’s chair, but she thought better of it and poured herself a drink as well. She sat opposite him, only close enough that their feet touched when they stretched out their legs for that effect. In peaceful silence, they drank.
"I didn’t have such a bad time," she said eventually. Her big toe rode up his calf. Gerald watched her over his glass of brandy. "You may come again. When I invite you."
"I have an apartment in the city, you know," Gerald told her. His hand caught her foot and caressed it softly. "You’re permanently invited as often as you want."
Linda hid her smile in her glass she drank elegantly, pinky up in the air. She was picturing herself in bed with him again, touching his broad chest and wrapping her legs around him as he gave her every last bit of himself he still had. She took another sip of brandy.
"So…" He said with some hesitation. "Do we wanna talk labels right away or do you wanna wait till…"
"We are not discussing labels until you have 24K gold and diamonds to put around my finger, Mr Monroe," she cut him with certainty. "And you’ll be content with that."
He leaned back more leisurely into the armchair and smirked. He bit his lip, which was overall much more seductive than Linda had expected and she felt a faint blush taint her cheeks. She looked away.
"I think I will be, yeah."
With a loud slam, the entrance door opened wide and shut again and she heard the flurry of employees rushing to greet the boss. She could feel herself panicking, but let nothing show as Gerald squirmed uneasily in the armchair. He was staring at her for an idea, anything at all to stop the impeding doom, but there was nothing she could say or do to prevent it. They would have to endure. She plastered a fake polite smile on her face and turned to the doorway her father inevitably crossed into. He startled at their sight and his eyes narrowed viciously on Gerald.
"Linda," he said coldly. "I thought I had left you at the gala."
She affected her most easy going air and waved off the comment.
"I did not like it," she said. "It’s crowded and so business-minded, you know, and I thought I’d just…"
"Sell yourself short to some good-for-nothing?" Roman Murray replied with disdain. He glanced at Gerald and rolled his eyes at the sky. Linda felt her blood boil over. "Even you shouldn’t sink so low, you know. It’s disgustingly cheap. Do you want to end up like your mother?"
"I’m nineteen years old, Father, I can decide for myself if…"
"Go to your room!" Roman ordered. He gestured angrily to Gerald who scampered away without asking for more. Briefly, Linda thought of his clothes in the pool house. She would have to have someone get them back for her somehow. "I am very disappointed in you."
She could not lose her cool with him. That was a bargain she always, always lost. Shamefully, she left the parlor and walked briskly to her room rather than humiliating herself any further trying to argue with him. Why had he come home early? She suspected the staff. She would have to have all of them fired. Maybe that nerdy brat who had always had the hots for her. She would show him.
It only took a moment for Gerald to text her his appreciation of the afternoon they had spent together, using overall far too many naughty words for her own taste. She smiled and shoved the phone aside. It would not do him any good to get used to her responding at his every beck and call. And still she felt in herself the spark of joy she had felt when he smiled at her, when he laughed, when he held her close. She had never thought he could be so warm. Or that she would want him so dearly.
One day, she knew, she would be out of this house for good and lead a life of freedom she had always wanted − a life packed with riches and authority nonetheless, but all of her own making. She did not know whether Gerald would be along for the whole ride or a small portion of it, but one thing was certain. Today was not the first time she would disobey the paternal authority to spend a chunk of good time with Gerald Monroe. Picking back her phone, she called him, and when he picked up her heart filled up with joy and she never wanted to stop talking with him. She could not wait to see him again.