Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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March 15th, 1966

The music box is back in the window at Fry’s Second-Hands.

My mother sent me to the post office today. She often enters a lot of the competitions in the papers and magazines and needs stamps to send them off. It’s a pleasure she delights in, especially the crossword competitions. I sometimes get frustrated knowing the answers that she’s struggling to find. One day, but not too soon, I’ll be able to help her without raising anymore uncalled for suspicion.

Anyhow, on the way I was passing the pawn shop and my eye caught the large music box; the sort that has a twirling ballerina that dances whenever you wind it up.

Seeing that specific music box brought back a memory.

It had stood in that same spot in the window for a number of years, and had eventually been bought by Hannah Marnowijk, the baker’s daughter. I know this for a fact because she used to babysit me and my brother for extra money. It took a while, but she eventually raised the money. I think she was in her late teens or early twenties when she finally purchased it. She had even brought it over to our house to show my mother.

Hannah was a sweet kid. She had a sort of unique attractiveness to her. Although she had been born with a cleft palate and hairlip, the doctors had done a good job patching her up.

Her mother had once told mine, “I just wish her father wouldn’t keep treating her as if she’s retarded or something. He keeps complaining that she’ll probably be with us for the rest of our lives, but then he won’t even allow her to talk to any of the older boys in the neighborhood. Especially not since that time…well, I already told you about the Sunday School picnic at Lake Lincoln. She’s not dumb or stupid. She knows how to bake all the stuff we sell. And she does a damn good job of it on the days I go to the bridge club. She’s just a little slow, is all.”

That was true; mother would never have allowed her to babysit us otherwise.

Although I used to often frighten Hannah with my rubber spiders and scary masks, she was very fond of us both. I remember once, while I was watching her change Claude’s diaper, how she had told me that she couldn’t wait to have children of her own.

“I just hope they don’t turn out like those Johnson twins that I also babysit.” She had ruffled my hair before adding, “Compared to those two, you’re a perfect angel.”

When I was about sixteen, I had inadvertently overheard a conversation between two of my mother’s bridge club members discussing Hannah’s social graces at the new supermarket.

I loved Hannah as a friend, and although the conversation was enlightening, the self-righteous way in which it was presented had made my blood boil with anger.

I had prayed for a bus to find its way over their holier-than-thou, permed heads.

I had overheard them in the next aisle between the cereals on their side, and the boxes of cookies on mine.

“You can’t blame her mother for putting her on the pill after that Hollywood character had his way with her.”

“Of course, she doesn’t know what the pills are for. If she did, it would be as if her folks had given her permission to go out there and enjoy herself with the whole male population of Sedgefield. Lord help us all if she should ever discover the truth. If you ask me, it probably wasn’t the only time she and that Frankie kid had done it either. They probably just got careless that last time.”

“Yeah, lust does that to a man; made him even dumber than her. Sorry, I mean slow as her mother has the habit of constantly reminding everyone.”

“Well, honey, I’ll tell you what, she may be slower than all the other gals in town, but when it comes to spreading her legs, ain’t no other lady gonna beat her to the winning line – if you get my meaning?”

“She ain’t no lady, that one.”

“Yeah, well I am, so I’ll refrain from saying what she really is.”

“No, I mean, she appears to be a full-grown woman, but she’s really just a child.”

“Right, and that only makes it worse. Those enormous breasts of hers only add fuel to the fire. They’re like a goddamned neon sign flashing ‘Come and get it!’ I caught Vinnie eyeing her tits the other day at the bakery. He denies it, but I know what I saw. And, I know what he was thinking too.”

“That Hannah is like a bitch on heat. And I mean permanently. We all need to watch our men around her.”

“Isn’t there something we can do?”

“Like what?”

“Have her put away or something.”

“She’s just slow, Dorothy! That doesn’t make her some dangerous babbling imbecile to be locked away – no!”

“I think she is! Dangerous that is! Who knows what she’s capable of doing with that…insatiable and perverted…appetite. Even our children aren’t safe while she’s around.”

“Now you’re being ridiculous!”

“Am I? She’s a child remember? And children love to play with other children. Well you just remember what I told you here today when they do decide to put her away somewhere. I just hope to God the damage she causes won’t be irreparable. She could end up marking some poor kid for life.”

“Marking?”

“She could destroy his whole life, you know? Who can tell what sort of harm a thing like that could do? It might stay with him forever.”

“You’re frightening me, now.”

“And darn right you should be. Never mind Vinnie, I’d be careful about sending your little Freddy to the bakery all by himself.”

“But she used to babysit for the Cranes and Johnsons.”

“Well we can just all be grateful that nothing ever happened. At least nothing that we know about. If you get my meaning.”

“Of course!”

“And don’t be pressing Elizabeth about that either. If she never told anyone it was for a very good reason!”

“Of course not!”

“Oh, God!”

“What?”

“I saw Connie when we came in.”

“Her son?”

“Yes!”

“What sort of damage can something like that do?”

“Well, I’ve heard it can change their natural desire completely.”

“I don’t understand?”

“Switch it totally around.”

“I still don’t…”

“God, Dorothy, you’re so naïve. How do I put it more plainly?” She thought for a moment before saying, “Do you know Louis Chamoire?”

“The chemist? Of course!”

“Ever wonder why such a good-looking man never got married.”

“Everyone can see why. It’s quite obvious that…oh, yes, now I understand what you’re telling me. You don’t think that Connie is also…you know…like that? Do you?”

“It’s hard to tell. Sometimes these things only stick their ugly heads out later in life.”

“It would kill Beth!”

“For sure! Thank God her husband’s not around anymore.”

“Yeah, poor ol’ Claude.”

“Poor Elizabeth! She’s the one who has to live with it! I don’t know if she’ll be able to handle another tragedy in her family?”

They had decided right there and then on my sexual preferences. And if that was the way they wanted to see me from then on, I would oblige them in spades.

I had waited for them in the aisle where the ladies underwear and stockings were on display. I made sure that they thought I hadn’t seen them passing while I was stretching a lovely frilly panty in front of my waist for size.

I know that they had seen me. I had clearly overheard them as they rounded the aisle with their trolleys.

“Oh, my God!”

“I know, Dorothy. I saw it! Keep your voice down! Keep moving! I saw it!”

“Oh…my…God.”

“What…did…I…tell…you?”

“I know! I know! Oh…should we tell Beth?”

“Let’s just keep this between us, okay?”

“Well, I’m telling you that if she doesn’t already expect anything’s wrong, she’s gonna fall down dead on the spot when she does find out that…that…her Connie is… is…oh…my…Gaawd!”

I had managed to make it to the parking lot before exploding! And it had taken a good five minutes after that before I had managed to compose myself and wipe away the tears.

The fact that Billy Watson had asked me what it was that I had found so humorous, had only aggravated the situation.

Although the ladies had given me my best entertainment in ages, it did not change my negative opinion about them. From that day forward I would see them, too, with different eyes.

And the same can also be said of my view of Hannah.

Being a bit slow and having a healthy libido is a hazardous combination.

To the predators that prowled Sedgefield, the revelation was a veritable dinner gong.

Johnny Lime, Frankie Hollywood and, the appropriately named, Gavin Wolf, being three prime examples.

She had been caught out with Johnny Lime on, of all things, a Sunday School picnic. Before that with Gavin Wolf, after her father’s violent and determined questioning had revealed the truth about several hickies that the arsehole had chosen to leave on her neck, and later again with Frankie after he took her for an unscheduled drive into the country in his beat up old Chevy.

After that her mother had put her on the pill, telling her it was medication for her asthma. That was what I had managed to gather from her during a conversation at the bakery.

When I was eighteen, after coming back home from college for a summer break, and although the college had been filled with many possibilities to satisfy a young man’s curiosity of carnal knowledge, I had only, and eventually, lost my virginity to Hannah.

Yep, she had been my first time!

It had happened at the Roxy Theater.

In those days the theaters still had an interval, and it was at the popcorn counter that Hannah had spied me.

“Connie?” I had turned. “Connie! It is you. Oh, my, look how you’ve grown.”

I blushed a little and quickly led her to one side. She was right about the growth. It seemed strange to look down at her for a change. “Hi, Hannah! How you keeping?”

She was wearing a pink sweater, a gray skirt that just covered her knees and a pair of flip-flops.

“I’m fine, thanks!” She beamed even more. “I can’t believe you’ve gotten so tall; so tall and so handsome too. I bet you’ve got a hundred girls chasing you at that college you’re attending?”

“Nah!”

“No?”

“No time for fraternizing around the fraternities. I gotta keep my mind on my studies.”

“Not even one special gal you can call your own?”

“I don’t have time or the money for that. Girls ain’t interested in poor, penniless, schmucks like me. Besides, any spare time I got, I use it to make a few extra dollars washing dishes at a nearby restaurant. What gal in her right mind wants to date a bloody dishwasher?”

“I would! Especially such a good-looking one. Those girls are stupid. Anyone can tell you’re gonna be plenty rich one day. Then they’ll all be sorry!”

“I surely hope that’s the truth?”

“Of course it is. Say, where are you sitting?”

“Well, I was near the front, but I normally move to the more expensive seats near the back after the interval.”

“That’s what Frankie also does.”

“Frankie Hollywood?”

“Yeah!”

“Are you and him…you know?”

“Nah, I don’t got anyone either. Poppa won’t let me go on dates at night. He don’t mind me coming to the matinee though.”

“Are you alone then?”

“Yeah, you wanna sit with me?”

“Okay.”

“Great, we can sit right at the back.”

After sitting down she asked, “How’s your mom? She must be happy to have you home for awhile?”

“I guess.”

“And little Claude?”

“He’s fine too. He’s captain of his baseball team.”

“That’s wonderful!”

“I was never very good at sport.”

“Me too!” Her eyes saddened “I’ve never been much good at anything.”

“Nonsense! You’re the best babysitter that money can buy.”

“Yeah! You’re right. And I’m gonna be the best mom one day too!”

“That ain’t gonna happen unless your father lets you start dating?”

“I guess. But Poppa says boys only got one thing on their minds.” Then she bounced in her chair. “Let’s pretend we’re dating. We can hold hands during the movie. Would you like that?”

“Okay.”

“Great!” She leaned over and hugged me. “You’re such a great guy, Connie. I know you’re gonna do well for yourself one day. You’re gonna make us all proud.”

During that embrace her large breasts had crushed firmly against me, and as I gazed at her long sensual neck and sloping shoulder, my mind had filled with dark and passionate desires. I wanted to know…I needed to know if the stories about this girl were true. I resisted a strong urge to kiss the tender, sensitive flesh, and simply breathed in deeply through my nose, taking in the clinically sweet fragrance of her long ash-blonde hair.

She sat back and took my hand firmly in hers. It was almost as if her action had caused the lights to dim and the flickering projector to start blinking on the screen.

We gave each other a final smile before settling back to watch the movie, and as I shifted myself into a comfortable position, she gave my hand another approving squeeze. It made me feel good.

I recall it being some kung fu flick. Nothing romantic in the least, and yet I was filled with a warm glow of contentment and expectation. It was strange to be contemplating an affair with the girl who had once been my babysitter. Yet at the same time it had imbued me with an expectant excitement. She was much older than me, but most hormonal driven youths have, at one point or other, fantasized about seducing, or being seduced by, an older woman.

Although I had suddenly lost my appetite, we both nibbled lightly at the popcorn. Later, after placing the half-full container under my seat, I did the old cough and stretch ploy, placing my right arm on the back of her seat. I gazed down at her left hand that seemed to be seeking the company it had been holding onto tightly for the past twenty minutes.

A short while later I coughed again and then moved my arm onto her shoulders. She immediately slid her head down onto my shoulder and placed the lonely hand on my knee.

I was afraid she could sense my racing heart as I contemplated my next, and more daring, move.

It was some time before I found the courage to lower my cupped hand over her right breast. She gave no hint of appreciation or disapproval. So, throwing all caution aside, I decided to milk her for an opinion. I began to knead the baker’s healthy-chested daughter. I had no experience in these matters and feared I might be rubbing her the wrong way.

Just for an instant I was disappointed as she pulled my hand away from her breast, but then immediately she popped my thumb inside her mouth and began to suck it sensually, her warm moist tongue caressing and dancing around it as if it were a sugary treat from which she wanted to extract the maximum gastronomic pleasure.

Up until that moment, I had no idea that there was a direct link between my thumb and my other digit that I affectionately referred to as Mister Winky for a good deal of my first life. And I could not recall him ever rising to an occasion quite as swiftly.

But Hannah knew full-well the effect of her actions. I almost gasped in shock and disbelief as her hand moved expertly from my knee and into the top of my trousers. In no time at all her lonely fingers had wrapped around new company.

It was I who was first to grunt my extreme approval. She confirmed hers with yet another approving squeeze.

I’m not sure how long I sat in the glow of having my thumb and other digit attended to, before she had whispered into my ear, “If you want to we can do it?”

“I want to, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Then she said something that sounded very profound. I knew the idea was not her own, but it impressed and excited me tremendously.

She said, “Would you rather be sorry for the things you’ve done, or for the things you could have done.”

I looked about at the other patrons seated close by. “I really want to do it, but it seems highly risky?”

“Not here, silly!”

“What you got in mind then?”

“Follow me.”

In the foyer she said, “Wait here!” and then disappeared into the ladies powder room. A short while later she peaked out of the door and whispered, “Come on, quickly.” I shook my head, but she declared between clenched teeth, “It’s empty. Come now before somebody comes along.” I obeyed and she added, “Go into the first one. That way somebody can only be on one side.”

I went into the first cubicle and she quickly locked it behind us. I grinned at her. “Something tells me that this is not the first time you’re doing this?”

“I did it once with Frankie, but that was in the gents on the other side. I didn’t like it too much though. The place pongs. It’s better here don’t you think?”

“If you say so? How the hell does one do it in here, anyway?”

“I’ll show you. Put the seat down.” I obeyed. “Now pull down your trousers and undies and sit down.” I obeyed again. She removed her panties and hung them on the hook behind the door. She looked down at Mister Winky. He had gone soft. “Stop being so frightened. We’ll hear right away if somebody comes in.” It took awhile for me to feel at ease. But with her expert touch and continued encouragement, Mister Winky returned to his former self and was duly ready for duty. “Put your knees together,” she said lifting the front of her dress. She straddled her legs before sitting down on my lap, facing me. The bulls-eye found the arrow first time, and we both sighed our appreciation of her archery skills.

I instantly realized that there was absolutely no comparison between this and all the times I had relieved myself with the assistance of girly magazines.

This was it! This was the real thing. And I would never have considered a cubicle in the ladies powder room at the Roxy to be paradise. And yet, here I was in my seventh heaven.

She began to reciprocate her wide hips, and I watched as she closed her eyes, experiencing her own, as well as shared, rapture.

I had many fond memories of the many times I had frequented the Roxy, but that would become, by far and large, my fondest of them all.

I am not ashamed to say that Cornelius Crane, at age eighteen, finally lost his virginity in the ladies room at the Roxy Theater.

About ten minutes later we heard the door squeak open, and Hannah stopped her rhythmic motion.

It wasn’t necessary, but she held a finger to her lips.

We sat in our silence staring at each other, listening to the sounds of the person that had disrupted our pleasure.

I felt my heart beating fast as I throbbed slowly inside Hannah. She smiled at me and leaned forward. I felt her full lips on mine. We kissed for awhile before she sat back again. Then she pulled her sweater off over her head, leaned further back and hung it on the same hook as her panty.

I gazed in admiration at her healthy chest, concealed now only by her bra. She leaned forward again, but this time she whispered in my ear, “Undo me.”

I moved my hands from her thighs, where they had been resting ever since she had sat down, to behind her back.

I had never undone a bra strap before, and it took awhile to figure out the…catch. I felt more a sense of accomplishment at my achievement than the fact that my view was about to improve exponentially. That feeling soon passed as she again sat back, catching the item of clothing in her waiting hands. I returned my hands to her thighs and gazed approvingly at her enormous assets.

She placed the bra on the hook before taking my hands in hers. Then she lifted and crushed them firmly against her exposed chest. I felt Mister Winky give an involuntary spasm. She felt it too and smiled her approval.

There was a sound of flushing water and a cubicle door opening. This was followed by water running in a basin, then the clickety-clack of women’s shoes on bathroom tiles, and finally the sound of the door squeaking open and shut again.

We sat still, for almost a minute, listening for any further sounds. I could just barely hear the muffled sound of the movie’s soundtrack. It was a man’s voice.

Hannah was first to break the silence.

“I wanna tell you a secret, Connie Crane.”

Her voice seemed to resonate too loudly through the room, and I waited ten seconds before saying, “Yeah?”

“First you gotta promise me that you’ll never tell another living soul?”

“Sure.”

“No, promise?”

“I promise, okay?”

“No! Pinky swear, as well.” I obliged and she narrowed her eyes at me. “Lightning will strike you dead now if you ever tell. You hear?”

“I won’t, ever.”

“Good!” She pondered on how to begin telling me the secret, and by the blush on her cheeks, I knew it was going to be something…exceptional. She released my hands, but they magically clung to where she had placed them. Then her face veiled over with a serious cast as she brushed my fringe out of my eyes and gazed deeply into them. “I always wanted for this to happen. I always wanted for us to make love. Did you know that?”

“No,” I answered almost indifferently. I was flattered and disappointed. “Is that the big secret?”

“I just wish we could do it more romantically. I would love to do it with you on one of those big four-poster beds, with silk sheets and flower petals all around.” She was gazing up at the ceiling, but by her expression I knew that she only, and very clearly, saw exactly what she had described.

I think I may have had a hint of irritation in my voice when I repeated, “Is that the big secret.” By the increase in the blush I knew that it had not been.

“Do you remember when you were very young how I used to tease you and tell you that you must grow up quickly because I wanted to marry you?”

“No.”

“No?” she seemed extremely disappointed. “You were always such a bright young kid. I was sure you’d remember. It always made you so embarrassed and angry. It made me laugh so. You always used to say that girls were ugly and stupid, and that you were never gonna marry – ever. I asked you if you thought your mother was ugly and stupid, and you said, ‘Of course not! Don’t be silly!’ Then I asked you if you thought I was ugly and stupid, and you also said, ‘Of course not, but I’m still not gonna marry you.’ So I asked why and you said, ‘Because you’re my friend and friends can’t marry each other. Friends aren’t allowed to do all that mushy, kissy stuff that married people have to do.’ So I said, ‘Alright, then I’ll stop being your friend so we can get married and do all that mushy kissy stuff. I’m a girl and I want to have all that sort of romantic stuff and have my own kids one day too.’” Hannah now saw something else where the ceiling was. “We used to have the best conversations when I was bathing you. It was the only time you’d sit still.”

“You used to bath me?”

“You don’t remember?”

It was my turn to blush. “God, this is so embarrassing. The first time I get to…be with a girl, and it just happens to be the one who bathed me as a kid. How old was I?”

“I’m your first time?” There was surprise and pride in her tone.

“Yeah, so?”

“Really?”

“I said, ‘Yes!’ Can you let it go now, please?”

“I’m so happy to be your first time. No wonder you were asking how to do it.” She giggled and added, “I can also tell you never took off a lady’s bra before.”

“Well, I ain’t ever read any manuals on ‘How to do it in a cramped cubicle,’ or ‘How to remove a lady’s underwear in three easy steps.’”

She giggled some more. “There ain’t any books like that, silly!”

I returned to my question. “How old was I? Doesn’t this also seem a little weird to you now? I mean, screwing the kid you once bathed?”

“Don’t talk like that! It ain’t proper! We’re…making love.”

“When you do it in a four-poster bed with silk sheets and flower petals, it’s called making love! When you do it in the ladies room at the Roxy it’s called screwing, okay?”

Her eyes had welled up before she blurted, “I thought you were different from the other guys, but you’re just like that Frankie Hollywood. You don’t mind hurting my feelings, just as long as you get your screw. And when it’s over you can’t wait to get away from me as soon as possible.” I felt awful as the tears ran down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry, Hannah! I would never mean to hurt you on purpose. I’m really very sorry. Please forgive me. I’ll never talk bad about you again. I promise!”

“Yeah?” she said wiping her face.

“Never again!”

She smiled. “I’m also sorry that I said you’re like the other guys. I was just cross. I know you’re a good guy, Connie! Do you forgive me, too?”

“Of course! We’re friends remember? And friends always forgive each other.”

“Do you still think that friends can’t do all that mushy kissy romantic stuff?”

I pulled her to me and kissed her long and passionately. Afterwards I asked, “Does that answer your question?”

“Answer it some more!” I obliged. When we came up for air she said, “I guess about four or five or thereabouts?”

“What?”

“You were probably about four or five years old when I used to bath you!”

“Shit!”

“No more foul language, Connie Crane!”

“Sorry, but don’t you feel just the least bit strange scre…making love to a guy who was once a kid that you used to babysit and bath?”

“It doesn’t bother me now at all because you…turned me on…back then already.” Then she hastily added. “I know it was wrong what I did, but I was also much younger at the time. And you know that I’m not all that bright either. You know mamma says I’m slow.”

“Turned you on? What did you do?”

“You really don’t remember?”

“No!”

“Just remember that you promised not to tell!”

“What did you do?” My irritable tone had changed to anger.

“Please don’t be angry, Connie?”

“What did you do?”

“One night I was bathing you, and like all the other times, I knelt on one of the couch cushions to be more comfortable. I was soaping you all over, and you were playing with your frogman and splashing me wet as you loved to do. You sure you don’t remember?”

“No! Go on?”

“Well, I was busy washing your Mister Winky. You remember what you used to call your…”

“I still call it that at times?” We laughed, and for a moment the tension was eased. “Go on?”

“Well, suddenly Mister Winky started to go all hard in between my fingers. You had never done that before. And the more I washed the bigger and harder he got. I was surprised that you were still playing with your frogman and didn’t seem to care at what was happening. Anyhow, it did affect me. I couldn’t help it, but it did. It felt as if someone had lit a fire inside me. You even asked why my face was so red. Don’t you recall that?”

“And?”

“I suddenly felt an irresistible urge to touch myself at the same time.”

“And?”

“I did,” she said turning bright red. “I slipped my other hand under my dress, and began to pleasure myself whilst washing your Mister Winky. I couldn’t remember a time when touching myself had ever felt so good before. I just kept doing it while you kept playing and splashing.” She laughed again. “I can’t believe you don’t remember it, because you got such a fright when I screamed.”

“You screamed at me?”

“Not at you! You know, when I reached the…the…the good part where it feels really good. Only that time it was really, really good! I couldn’t help myself it felt so good.” She chuckled yet again before saying. “I shouldn’t laugh, because you were so shocked. Oh, shame, you were so frightened.” She stifled her next giggle before adding, “I told you that I was sorry, and that there was nothing to worry about. I had just gotten a cramp in my foot was all.”

I had a sudden realization and blurted out, “And I thought that you had said that a crab was pinching your foot?”

“Yes! That’s right! You do remember!” she said excitedly.

“Yeah,” I said frowning. “Strange, I always connected that memory with my mother.”

“No, it was me. Do you also remember jumping up and peering over the edge of the tub?”

It was my turn to laugh. “I do! I was so damned disappointed when there was no crab.”

“Yeah, you called me a big fibber. It was so funny I just kept laughing while you kept complaining. You still weren’t happy when I told you I had said cramp. I guess you must have really wanted to see a crab?”

“Of course, all little boys love crabs.”

“Ew, why’s that?”

“Because we can scare little girls with them.”

“You used to terrify me enough with your rubber spider. And I wasn’t even little anymore.”

“Now that I remember very clearly. You always used the ice tongs to get a hold of it and hide it away.”

“Yeah, you used to try and use it to get your way. You were a clever little rascal.”

“I’m still a clever rascal. But I ain’t so little anymore.”

She adjusted my fringe again. “You’ve grown into a fine young man.”

“I was actually talking about my Mister Winky.”

“That has gotten bigger too. A lot bigger. When I put my hand inside your trouser inside the theater I couldn’t believe how much it had grown. It immediately made me remember the time I had given you that bath. And when I felt it was all hard, I had that same fire inside me again. That’s when I asked you if you wanted to do it.”

“So, the big secret was what you did to yourself that day just before the crab got a hold of your foot?”

“Yeah?”

“I don’t think you did anything wrong?”

“That still don’t mean you can tell anyone. My Poppa would kill me if he ever knew.”

“What about what we’re doing now?”

“Of course! You mustn’t ever tell anyone about this. I know you guys love to brag! Please, don’t tell anyone!”

“I’m not like the other guys, remember?”

“I know! Sorry!”

“How old are you now, Hannah?”

“I’ll be twenty seven next month.”

“And you’re still so scared of your father?”

“He says that as long as I’m staying under his roof, I gotta abide by his rules.”

“Why don’t you move out then?”

“Nobody’s ever gonna give someone like me a job. Anyway I’m happy working for Poppa at the bakery.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah!”

“Well, one day when I’m rich, I’ll buy you that four-poster bed with silk sheets and I’ll throw flower petals all around before making love to you, okay?”

“I can’t wait!”

“Until then we’ll just have to make love at the Roxy.”

“It ain’t so bad, is it?”

“That all depends!”

“On what?”

“On whether or not you’re planning to scream at me again?”

“I hope not! I don’t want the theater staff rushing in here thinking something’s wrong.” The blush returned to her face with a vengeance before she confessed. “I dunno? It might happen? Oh my goodness, Connie. What will we do if I can’t help myself?”

“Just tell them a crab got a hold of your foot.”

We both had trouble stifling our laughter.

I guess I wasn’t much better than the other guys who had taken advantage of her. In fact, I felt pretty awful afterwards, even though we would do it again several times.

My grandfather, who had no trouble calling a spade – a spade, once told me that, ‘When that brain between a man’s legs talks, it’s difficult to hear any other voice of reasoning.’ He had added, ‘We even shut out that more logical cry on purpose, and fool ourselves that a guilty conscience is worth the trouble of a few moments of pleasure.’

Hell, the planet would be far less populated if more men had listened to logic, instead of that primal call of the wild.

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