Friday, 12 May 2017

1980: Fighting, Sulking and Provocative Behaviour

Dramatis personæ 

In this episode:

Women at College 
C, my petite redheaded girlfriend
K, C's best friend at College
L, another law student
F a student living on C and K's staricase

Men at College
D, a law student with the room next to mine
P another law student
A Law student friend of mine
L Law student friend of mine

Women from elsewhere 
R a school friend of C's at another college

After K and my lovely dinner at La Sorbonne on the Thursday I had got back to my revision the next day and over the weekend.  K and I met up for lunch and dinner in Hall on Friday and Saturday but otherwise didn't spend any time together.  I was waiting for C to return from her mother's new house in Berkshire.  This she did on Sunday afternoon.  C was not in a good mood and I got a very perfunctory kiss when I went to her room in the concrete monstrosity that formed the staircase where many of the girls had their rooms.   She told me about her new house, which she didn't like at all and she hated her new bedroom which, she claimed, was half the size of her old one in Birmingham and much smaller than her college one.  Her mother had discovered the house price differential between the Midlands and the South, to her cost.  We had dinner in hall with K and carried on ranting about her domestic situation to K andall through the meal and then afterwards in her room.  K excused herself after an hour of this and shook her head at me when C wasn't looking.  C had discovered that the reason her mother had moved south was to be close to her boyfriend, who lived nearby.  C didn't like him.  She didn't like his clothes (I immediately sympathised with him), she didn't like his voice, she didn't like his face, she didn't like his job, she didn't like his hair ('it looks like a cheap wig but it isn't, which makes it worse' she had said) and she didn't like the fact that he was only five foot seven inches tall.  

"He is a squit!" she declared.  "A boring squit too!  He's an accountant.  The very definition of boring!"  She had wanted to berate her mother about him but he was still there when she left to return to Oxford.  She was waving her arms around, as she carried on fulminating. 

"Calm down! Give me your little hands," I said, holding mine out and deciding that some contact might make her feel better and stop the Italianate arm flailing, which was threatening to send things on her overcrowded desk flying.  It was amazing that she could get any work done as the desk was covered in boxes of fruit tea, books, biscuits, numerous beauty products, candles, boxes of tampons, items of clothing and all sorts of other rubbish.

"They're not little hands!" she said.  "You're always saying I'm little (I didn't) and I'm not!"

"You're five foot two!" I pointed out, realising immediately that this wasn't the right thing to say.

"I am five foot three!" she said, almost stamping her (little) foot.  I said nothing.  I thought I was being generous saying that she was five foot two.  K was five foot four and had more than a couple of inches on C.  She edged away from me and I thought it very unfair that I was being berated because she didn't like her new house or her mother's new boyfriend.  I was grateful my mother hadn't pursued men after my father had died, though.  There was something unseemly about older people getting together, I thought.  Sex was for young people. "You can go now!" she said after I tried to mollify her a bit more.  I tried to give her a hug but she wriggled out of my grasp.  "I don't want a hug!  I don't want anything else!  Leave me alone!  Fuck off!  All men are bastards!" I sighed and left her. I wasn't quite sure where the anti-men statement had come from.  Perhaps she had been reading Cosmopolitan again.  I later found out that her mother's new man had tried to give her a hug, which she thought was very dubious.    She had these volatile little explosions every now and then.  Usually a few seconds of invective followed by hours of sulking.  Almost always caused by something so trivial that I often never even knew what it was that had set her off.  Then she was back to normal as if nothing had ever happened. although she never apologised for, or even mentioned, her "nutties" as K called them.  K thought she was schizophrenic.  I went back to my room and put the bottle of wine, glasses and matches for my candles away.  I wouldn't be needing them that night.

I stood outside her door the next morning, waiting for about half a minute, summoning up my courage.  She might well still be in a bad mood.  She took against a comment of one of the tutors on one of her essays, once, and sulked for three days. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door.  There was no reply for about fifteen seconds (I am sure it was calculated) but then she opened the door and even gave me a smile, to my relief,

"Hullo!" she said.  She was still wearing her glasses which, because the lenses were so thick, always made her look vulnerable.  I was a bit early for breakfast so we sat down for a bit, on her window seat, overlooking the flat roofs of the adjoining modern staircase (although, as it had no stairs, calling it a staircase was a bit peculiar).  I knew she was tense because she was holding 'rag', a small piece of pale cream silk which she used to stroke her face with when she was stressed.  It was part of the bed jacket her mother had worn when she was nursing her.  I thought it was weird but if she ever mislaid it she would go into a total panic.  I was starting to realise that she was not a very emotionally stable girl.  When things went her way she was lovely but when they didn't she could be a complete bitch.

Everything proceeded pretty much as a normal day, though.  C and I went to lectures but returned at lunchtime to get some revision done for our imminent exams. That afternoon, I was in my room, revising my Criminal Law when there was a knock on my door.   It was K.  I needed a break from the revision so was happy to make her a cup of tea.  She commented on how grumpy C was, following her trip to her new home. 'It''s not my home', she had said to me.  'I don't have a home any more!'

Half an hour later C turned up too and glared at K.  She asked us if there was anything we wanted to tell her.  I was genuinely baffled, as was K.

"Nothing about you taking K to the best restaurant in Oxford and then snogging her in the quad in front of the whole College?  What else did you do?"  K and I looked at each other in disbelief.

"It wasn't like that at all!" said K, recovering her equilibrium quicker than me.  Talk about a distorted version of events.

"You shut up, you fucking cow!" yelled C at K. I couldn't believe it.

"Don't you dare talk to me like that!", yelled K back at her, showing surprising assertiveness.   I took a step back from the two glaring women. C pushed K on the arm. K pushed back. C carried on swearing and shouting. I thought she was having a complete breakdown. K slapped her face. "Just because your life is shit doesn't mean you can take it out on us!" said K. 

"What's this us?  said C, standing with her hands on her hips.  She looked like she was about to smack K back.  I was worried about a full on cat fight.  I was also worried about what D, the lawyer next door would think about the raised voices.

"What are you doing?" I asked.  "Calm down!"

"What are you doing?" replied C.  "Or who? Not that everyone doesn't know now!" said C.

"Tell us what you have been told and we will tell you what actually happened," said K, reasonably.

C, it turned outhad been talking to one of the other lawyers, L, who had asked her when she and I had broken up.  C had been flabbergasted but  L had said that K and I had been seen dressed up, arm in arm off somewhere.  Then she told her that we had been seen kissing in New Quad, opposite the law library.  Someone else had told C that K had said she had been to La Sorbonne with me.   C had put two and two together and made seventeen.

K explained that she and I had gone out for a pizza (fortunately she didn't mention that I had paid) as she was fed up and C wasn't around for her to talk to.  She then had taken me to La Sorbonne as a thank you for being nice to her.  We had had a quick peck in the quad but C had seen us do that in front of her many times. K and I always kissed each other on the lips when greeting.  K and C did it too.   K then pointed out, that C had already been to La Sorbonne and raved about it, so K wanted to try it too.

"I wanted him to take me there first!" said C, ignoring me completely.

"But you have already been, with your sister," I said.

"It's not the same.  I wanted you to take me!"  We had discussed it, it was true.  I assumed that she had done La Sorbonne and perhaps we could try another of the nice restaurants in town, like Restaurant Elizabeth, down near Christ Church.  "And what are you doing walking arm in arm with my boyfriend and kissing him in College?" she turned her icy gaze on K who had, sensibly, switched the kettle on again.

"It was a friendly peck!  We're all friends together!" she said.

"We're not all friends together.  He is my boyfriend.  We are a couple.  We have sex!" said C.  K looked genuinely surprised.  She looked at me and then at C and you could tell exactly what she was thinking: a mixture of horror and fascination.

"For how long?" she asked.  C told her the whole story and added that she couldn't believe that K didn't know when everyone else in College did.  K asked us why we hadn't told her, to which C didn't really have a good answer. The conversation subsided.  K looked hurt.  I wanted to give her a hug but didn't dare. K sat down in one of my armchairs.  She pouted, briefly, which she did when she was thinking about something important.

"Let's have some tea!" I said.  The one thing I didn't like about girls was how emotional they got over nonsensical things.  I tried to work out in my head if it was C's period.  It was due, I decided.

"Got any biscuits?" asked C.  I breathed a sigh of relief and was glad I had some chocolate ones.

C didn't apologise to K, I later discovered, Although K got the impression that she was more cross with her than me for 'leading me astray'.  C's grumpy mood gradually passed, over the next day or so, and, anyway, we were deep into exam revision and we needed each other as revision partners so there was no time for sulking.  C was every stressed about the forthcoming exams.  The tutors had made it clear that she was the star student in the year, she had a scholarship and they were expecting great things of her.  She was feeling the pressure.  All I had to do was pass the exams but she decided she needed to get the best mark in the year and there were some very bright people in our year.  We spent some time revising together in her room, especially Roman Law.  Unlike her, I didn't have Latin 'O' level, having given up Latin for Art at school.  One of the reasons I didn't contemplate Cambridge was that they required Latin 'O' Level to read Law.

C did not, however, come up to my room at any time and there was no sexual interaction.  I didn't push her about it but one evening she said that after the exams we could 'go back to normal'.  One of the tutors had stopped her in the quad and told her she should 'forget about distractions' while she studied.  She got the strong impression that he was referring to me.  I told her I thought that was nonsense. This would not be the last time that this issue would be raised, however.  I did ask C if she minded me talking to K, if she came around for tea, for example.  C said of course not.  I pressed her on the point.  I didn't want another 'nutty'.  She said it would be good for me, as she was in such a mood. I told her that I understood her stress, given moving home, the forthcoming exams and her mother's horrid new boyfriend.  It had been, I said, an unpleasant concatenation of events.  She laughed and said how much she hated Thomas Hardy as well.

K did come up to my room quite often, usually at around five o'clock, when she left the library.  She was looking better and not so thin, although she was always slim.  She certainly ate a lot of chocolate biscuits.  The main favourites of my male friends. L and A, were custard creams and bourbons which were cheap.  Chocolate digestives were more expensive so I tended to reserve those for C and K.  One evening K appeared at my room after dinner.  C had gone to see a friend in St Catherine's and didn't ask me to come as it was a girls only session. 'Moaning about men, probably," she had said, laughing.  K asked if it was alright to come in because she knew I was revising. I said that I didn't think I could take much more that day. She had brought me a box of very posh looking German biscuits called Choco Leibniz.  She said that they were the best chocolate biscuits in the world, which, after I had had one, I tended to agree with.

She had eaten three biscuits and was looking at my cassettes to choose some music.  She settled on Brahms fourth symphony, one of my favourites.  It was also one of A's favourites and had strong erotic associations for me.  This was not just because of A but because I first listened to it when I drew my first representation of a woman, when I was twelve.  Well, it was actually the Indian goddess, Sarasvati, and I was doing it for a school religious studies project.  I had a photo of a statuette of the goddess in a book on Indian Mythology and I drew a detailed pencil drawing, using that as a basis.  It was the first time I had drawn a figure other than the historical soldiers I used to do for fun.  I left out all the decoration around the statue and just left the figure of the four-armed goddess.  It was certainly the first time I had drawn female breasts and I boldly drew the hinted at nipples of the figure.  The picture caused a bit of a stir at school.  The book had been given me for Christmas by the older daughter of a family friend and I even had a brief fling with her in 1981.  K couldn't have known all this back history, of course (I hadn't told anyone at College about A), but the first movement of Brahms Fourth is very romantic, or at least it was to me.

"Tell me about sex," said K, starting on her fourth biscuit.  I was surprised, to say the least.  I asked her in what way.  I felt like a parent being asked the question for the first time by one of their children.  When I was about seven I had asked my mother why children often looked like their parents, as this couldn't be linked to marriage which was 'only a ceremony', after all.  My mother had looked flustered and told me it was 'something to do with genes' which was, I suppose, technically correct.  Oddly, the answer to the mystery of reproduction started to coalesce in my mind when I went to see "You Only Live Twice" at the cinema that same year.  It was the first film I had seen which had love scenes in it and I started to realise that the interaction between men and women had a physical aspect that I had not been previously aware of (my parents were not physically demonstrative).  I didn't think that K was that innocent but asked her what she meant, exactly.  "What's it like?  What do you do?" she added.

I asked her whether she meant what one did or what I did.  She said that she couldn't stop thinking about C and I doing it.  I tried to gently redirect her conversation by talking about why we hadn't told her about our relationship but she wanted to get back to sex,  The 'act itself', as she said.  I suggested that my male perspective would be rather different than a woman's so perhaps she would better be asking C.  She gave me a look which told me that that would not be a good idea.  

"I'm happy to talk about sex," I said, "but you need to appreciate that I won't use euphemisms and it will be very frank."  I had hoped this might put her off but it didn't.

"That's what I want!  Details!" she said. "What does it feel like?  How long does it last?  How do you know when you want to do it?  Who initiates it?  Do you feel disgusting afterwards?"

"I don't know where to start!" I said and I didn't. We started with a discussion about attraction.

"Are you attracted to me?" asked K.

"Yes, you are a lovely girl," I said.

"But sexually attracted?  Do you want to have sex with me?"  This was starting to turn into a minefield.  I said yes and she asked how I could tell. I thought I might shock her and get her off the subject.

"Because when I think about you sometimes I get an erection," I said.

"Oh dear!" she said and did look shocked.  "And is that,,.nice?  I just can't imagine it!"  I said that I am sure it was a similar feeling to her getting wet when she thought sexy thoughts.  "Oh goodness.  This is frank, isn't it?"  I asked her if she wanted to talk about something else.  She said that she wanted to talk about erections because that was the key to the whole thing, she felt. "You get stiff and ram it in!" as she put it.  She wondered what it felt like to have a penis and I said as I couldn't imagine not having one it was difficult to explain.  She asked if I was conscious of it all the time and I said no, not at all. "Only when it get stiff!" she said.

"Or when I go to the loo!" I added.  She then said that that was a real difference between men and women.  that we held ours many times a day.  She asked about keeping it clean and I said I just washed it a couple of time s day when I showered.

"Do you get...stiff when you wash it?" she asked.

"Sometimes," I answered.  I was starting to enjoy the conversation, now I was satisfied that she was genuinely interested.

"Isn't that inconvenient?  How do you make it go down again?"  I said that it would soon go down again if I didn't think about it.  Sometimes it was nice to have a little rub, though.  I watched her eyes carefully to see if she was shocked.  She wriggled in her seat. "Isn't doing that wrong, though?"  We had a very frank discussion about masturbation.  I told her I enjoyed it, like virtually every man and that C enjoyed it too. She seemed to think that men had to do it to get rid of sperm or there balls would explode.  I admitted that there was an element of this but girls liked it too, surely.  She admitted that when she was in the shower she sometimes enjoyed rubbing her 'parts' with her sponge. C had been impressed when they first met because K had real sponges not cheap foam ones.  C had gone out and bought a real one as a result.

"Why just use a sponge.  Why not use your hand?" I asked. She said that she didn't do that as it was 'dirty'.  I joked that if she did it in the shower it couldn't be dirty.  She frowned. She stood up suddenly and said that she needed to let me get on with my revision.  I worried that I had been too frank with her but she gave me a nice kiss and disappeared, looking thoughtful.

"Guess what K asked me about last night?" said C, ta couple of days later, as we walked to the law library after breakfast.  I had an instant panic that K had spoken to C about our conversation two nights ago, which I had not reported to C.

"No idea," I said assuming an air of total disinterest.

"Sex. She asked me about sex! She wants to know all about it.  She's probably thinking about you, the lascivious creature!" I told C that K was far from lascivious and reminded her of all the negative things K had said about other couples at College.  C was insistent that that is what a lascivious person would say.  "She is like all those anti-pornography campaigners, looking at dirty magazines and being offended but wanking all over them!" I said that I was sure that K did nothing like that. C agreed and said that was probably why she was so uptight.  "She needs a good frig!  Or I could do it for her!"

"I'd be happy to watch!" I said.  C laughed, something of a rarity of late.

C and I had both done (and passed) our Criminal Law collection (an internal mock exam) that term and to celebrate we took a few hours off to go and look around the Ashmolean Museum for the first time.  C really liked the medieval paintings section, as she had decided to work on producing an illustrated manuscript in the style of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry; a book her friend R owned  She also liked the Degas ballerina statue and asked me to draw her a ballerina picture.  I thought K would make a good model, as she had done ballet, but on second thought decided that that would a be a very bad idea.

My first girlfriend, A would have made a good ballerina model too as she also did ballet.  I had had a birthday card from her after Christmas and we had started to write to each other again fairly regularly.  Latterly our letters had taken something of an erotic turn.  She said that she had broken up with the boyfriend who had taken her virginity and wanted to hear bout all my sexual adventures.  She was studying at Edinburgh University.  She was now in her second year because although she was younger than me she hadn't had a year off and Scottish universities took students at seventeen not eighteen as in England but then they had to do four year not three year degrees.

Walking around the museum I spotted a pair of ancient carved stone Roman candelabra which had come from Hadrian's Villa outside Rome.  I had been there with my mother and sister.  The candelabra had been owned by Piranesi, the Italian engraver.  I had been to an exhibition of his work in London and later bought a splendid and expensive book about him with my airport earnings. I thought that there was a picture of the candelabra in the book.  I even had a poster of the exhibition up in my college room.  I gave C some of the history about the candelabra and Piranesi.  She actually put her arm around me and gave me a kiss; the first proper one since the big bust up with K.

"I love it when you talk about art!" she said.  She really liked Uccello's The Hunt in the Forest, one of the first paintings in the world to use proper perspective, so I bought her a print of it for her room.  She brightened up again.  As long as you kept buying her stuff she was happy, I had realised. We lay on her bed and had a kiss and a cuddle.  I didn't push for anything more but I could feel her gradually relax in my arms.

"Tell me that you love me," she said. I told her that of course I did, although deep down I don't know whether that was actually true.  "You have to tell me!" she said.

"I love you because you are beautiful, creative, intelligent, complicated and a real friend," I said.

"All true!" she said but she looked pleased. "I am rather lovely, aren't I?"

That evening, after a quick cup of tea in C's room after dinner, I went back to my room to do some more revision.  As I got to the bottom of the stairs I ran into K who asked if she could come up to my room. I told her I needed to do a couple of hours revision but I would love to see her after that. I told her to ask C too.

It was well after nine when K turned up at my room.  C was not with her and K had said that she had told her that she was working until midnight and was then going to bed. K had brought me a bottle of wine; a Chablis, which must have been quite expensive.  I was surprised because it was chilled and she said that she had just bought it in Oddbins across the road.  I dug out my corkscrew and opened it.  I now had proper wine glasses, rather than the tumblers I had used in the first term.

"I thought we could continue our discussion," she said.

"What discussion?" I said, already knowing what she was going to say.

"About sex!"  I poured her a glass of wine and pretended not to hear. "I talked to C about it.  She was useless!"  I told her C had mentioned it.

"What did she say?" asked K, sipping her wine.

"That you need a good frig!" I said.  K blushed.

"I have a confession!" she said.  She told me that the morning after our first conversation when it came to washing her parts she had soaped herself with her hand not her sponge as usual.  "It was nice.  Very nice.  It was so nice I couldn't stop and I..."

"Came?" I asked.

"Yes!  Really hard!" she said, laughing nervously.

"You'll make me hard talking about it!" I said.  She looked at my groin with interest.  I said that if we were going to have a sexy discussion maybe we should sit on the floor rather than staring at each other across the room from our armchairs.  This was probably a terrible thing to say on my part but K looked lovel, C had made some catty comment to me earlier and I wanted to be as close to K as possible. We sat in front of the fire with our wine and looked at each other.  Then I realised that this had been a bad idea as if she did make some sort of move I would have to gently rebuff her. The minute I sat down opposite her and smelled her perfume I realised what a dangerous situation I had put myself in. Despite my dismissive denials to C K and I had always been strongly attracted to each other. I did not want an incandescently furious C to deal with and she would know if anything untoward happened.

"Shall I tell you about my..." began K.

"Frig?" I asked.

"Frig.  My lovely frig.  I did it again this morning!" she said.  She told me, in surprising detail, about how she had been washing her tummy and found her hand straying lower.  She had put down her sponge and set to work with her bare hand.  She said that tomorrow she was going to do it again.  At seven thirty and I could think about her.  She said that we couldn't do anything more because I was with C but thinking about it didn't count.  "You're very attractive!" she said, after her second glass of wine,  She stroked my thigh through my jeans.  Fortunately, the erection I had got while she told me her masturbating story had subsided.  I hadn't thought about myself being attractive, really, despite the lovely girls I had interacted with in the previous years.  I thought they were interested in me just because I was, well, there.  However, the previous week I had been walking back to College down Brasenose Lane, having been to the Co-op. Three girls about my age appeared from Radcliffe Square.  'Oooh!  hello, handsome!" one said.  I was so surprised and embarrassed I kept walking and ignored them.  The girl had sounded quite posh so I guessed she was a student rather than a local.  Afterwards. I regretted not stopping and saying something but I ignored them and shot around the corner like a frightened rabbit.

"C finds me attractive, anyway.  I think.  You never know with C!" I said deliberately bringing C into the conversation.  K reeled off a list of other women in college who also found me attractive, she said.  I was surprised at some of the names.  One of them I would end up with after we graduated. "Can we do something?" She asked.  Oh no, I thought.  "Lie on your back!" she said. I was going to object and although the good part of me knew I should refuse, the naughty part of me wanted to see what might happen.  I put my glass on the mantelpiece and did as she asked.  She then came and lay down on top of me, her thighs astride my hips.  I could feel her small breasts pressing against my chest. She gave me a kiss.

"There.  Isn't that nice?" she said.  I couldn't deny it.  I was holding my hands up in the air, thinking that if I touched her I didn't know what would happen.  "Relax," said K.  I put my hands on her back.  She was wearing one of her cashmere jumpers and it was amazingly soft.  I stroked her back without even thinking about it.  She wriggled in pleasure and kissed me again.  I began to get erect, despite willing it not to happen.

"You're a very exciting and desirable woman!" I said. I wondered whether she could feel my erection. She kissed me again. her kisses were tentative and showed a lack of experience.  They weren't like C's.  I put my hands on her bottom.  She was wearing her usual skin tight jeans. She wriggled again.  Now I  could feel the heat coming from her groin.  Fortunately, she didn't make any more moves but stayed on top or me.  She was a lot lighter than C.  We just lay there listening to Brahms.  When the music finished she got up and said she should go.  I didn't know if she really wanted to stay and was trying to get me to ask her but I wished her good night.  We had another Chablis flavoured kiss and she was gone. I stripped off and masturbated furiously.

Although this didn't happen again that year, the following year K and I used to regularly just cuddle up together in a gently sexual way, without anything ever happening. We drifted apart a bit after college but saw each other more later in the eighties when we lived close to each other in London.  Every time we met at her or my flat I would lie of the floor and she would lie on top of me and we would chat and gently caress, although we always kept our clothes on.

The first year lawyers had three exams on the Wednesday and Thursday of the last week of term: Criminal  Law, Roman Law and Constitutional Law. These were proper university exams (law ones were called Moderations, for some reason, while people in other subjects did Preliminaries) not collections.  The next exams we would do would be Finals at the end of the three years. We had to pass these to be allowed to continue the course. The exams were held in the daunting Examination Schools building on the High and we had to wear full academic dress and gowns for them.  Those people on military scholarships had to wear dress uniform, complete with swords.  Every minute I wasn't doing the exams I was revising for the next one.  I was most worried about Roman Law because of the Latin but in the end it wasn't too bad.

C and I left the examination Schools for the short walk back to College after the last exam.  She was in a good mood as they had gone well. I gave her a kiss in the street at which she looked surprised but pleased.  She looked around to see if there were any other lawyers from College about and, not seeing any, she gave me a kiss back.  As we walked through Radcliffe Square we ran into K who was just going to the library in the Radcliffe Camera.  She gave C a kiss and then gave me one too, to which C didn't react at all, thankfully.  She suggested we all go out for a drink to celebrate. after dinner.  C agreed, rather to my surprise, C was very friendly towards K and gave her a hug  We agreed to meet at dinner.

"I've got you a present!" I said to C as we went through the College gate.

"Can I eat it?  Is it brown?" she asked.

"No!" I said, "But I'll get you a Lion Bar on the way!" We stopped off at the vending machine next to the Law Library and saw P, who had also just finished his Law exams.  He and C had a conversation about how the exams had gone.  I hated that.  When I had finished an exam I just wanted to forget it, not do a post mortem on it. Eventually I managed to drag her away from P and we walked back to my room, the first time she had been there for ten days.

"What's my present?" she said again, as we trudged up the stairs.  "Can I wear it?"  I didn't tell her and insisted on going down to the scout's pantry to fill the kettle, much to her annoyance.  Patience was not one of her qualities.  After I had made the tea I went into the bedroom and got her present from the top of the wardrobe, where I knew she wouldn't be able to reach it.  She admitted to having searched for it while I was downstairs, as I knew she would.  I suspected she was one of those people who prodded their presents under the tree before Christmas Day, so that they could guess what was inside.  I handed her the oblong parcel which I had carefully wrapped in very expensive paper.  She liked  posh wrapping and nice presentation.  She looked at me and weighed it in her hand regarding it carefully.  She told me I had done a nice job wrapping it and she undid it carefully.  She pulled it out, looked at it and burst into tears.  "I have been a shit to you, haven't I?" she said, in an almost unique apology. I shook my head as if to say, 'of course you haven't, when I actually meant 'yes, you have, you snotty little bitch'.  I had bought her the complete reproduction of the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, which was quite the most expensive book I had ever bought.  It came in a slip case and cost £60, or about three quarters of my termly food bill.  "It's the best present I've ever had!" she said, crying even more now.

"I thought you might like it!" I said.  I had had to order it from Blackwells and was worried that it wouldn't arrive by the end of term.

"I love it!" she said, looking at the first few pages before putting it down on my desk. I was slightly surprised that she didn't lie on the floor and go through it slowly, which was what she usually did with new books or magazines.  Instead she took off her gown, then her tie, then her black skirt and white blouse.  She was wearing black lace underwear and stockings again, like on matriculation day, when we had both lost our virginity to each other. She then set to work on removing my clothes, starting with my white bow tie (I hadn't dared tell her that K had done it up for me at the beginning of each exam day).  Soon I was completely naked but she was still in her underwear. She stood on tip toe and I leant down to kiss her, my throbbing erection pressing against her soft belly above her lacy suspender belt.  I stroked her back and undid her bra clip before tossing her bra onto the armchair by the door.  She pressed her hard nipples against me and rubbed her lacy crotch against my thigh.  I swept her up into my arms and told her I was going to kiss every inch of her body.

I placed her gently in my bed and pulled her knickers slowly down her thighs, kissing her hip bones and soft fleece.  Fortunately, the heat from the gas fire had started to permeate into the bedroom. The weather that month had been cold and wet. I undid the clasps on her suspender belt. gently removed it and rolled down her stockings, being careful, as always, not to snag them. I paused to kneel at her feet and look at her pale, soft body.  I could smell her musky scent and gazed at her amazing orange fluff.  She sat up and then knelt in front of me, spreading her thighs.  She took hold of my cock and started to massage it.  I slid my hand up the inside of her thigh and let my fingertips run through her amber curls.  I stroked her stiff little clitoris with my thumb and we kissed as she continued to pump me.  I slid two fingers up inside her and stroked her bottom with my other hand.

"I've missed being close to you!" I said.

"I've missed this!" she said, squeezing my erection. She bent down and slipped her mouth over my knob.  After about a  minute of slow sucking she knelt up and kissed me on the lips; a really soft, wet kiss, as she kept gently pumping me at the same time.  I wiggled my fingers inside her and she bent down and set too again.  C would quite often suck me before we had sex but usually it was not an end in itself but foreplay only, This time, however, as she slurped noisily and caressed my balls I could tell that she wanted to go all the way.  It didn't take long, given my enforced sexual drought, before I was spurting into her mouth, which was also a rare occurrence.  In fact, I think it was only the second time I had done it.  She pulled off me gently and swallowed, then set to again, licking my deflating cock until I had to gently push her head away as my tip was unbearably sensitive. We kissed again and I could just taste some of my own sperm on her probing tongue.  We fell back onto the bed and I started on my mission to kiss every part of her body; starting with her ears and neck.  She did not just lie there, though, but squirmed around, presenting different parts of her body to my eager lips: the sides of her breasts, her belly, her toes (for the first time), the soft popliteal pads at the back of her legs, behind her knees.  As I kissed her bottom, with her lying face down, she ground her hips into the sheet.  I pulled her arse cheeks apart with both hands and licked up her vulva, over her perineum and across her anus.  I kissed her rosy sphincter and she giggled.  I rubbed the pad of my finger over it but she told me not to go any father.  "I need a poo!  Maybe later!" she said.

Eventually, she lay on her back and I knelt between her legs and slowly licked her to orgasm, as she gripped the bed rail above her head. Her hips bucked, her thighs squeezed my head and she was generally very animated.  It took much less time than usual. I wriggled up and gave her a wet kiss as I knew she liked to taste her own juices.

We lay next to each other on our backs.

"That was excellent.  You are nearly forgiven!" she said after a while.   I should have shut up and not said anything but I didn't.

"Forgiven for what?" I asked.  I still didn't think I had done anything wrong.  Well, that set her off again and she raked over the whole 'K affair' as she called it.  I realised that perhaps I had been a bit insensitive having taken K  to La Sorbonne before C.  If I had taken K, after I had taken C, she wouldn't have minded, except she then went on about how I really lusted after 'the lascivious K', not her and I was only with her because she was a slut while virtuous K was even more appealing because she wouldn't have sex.  I thought about K's recent sexually flirtatious behaviour and was glad I hadn't succumbed to her charms.  I apologised (which is what she wanted) and said that I hadn't wanted to upset her and that by any standards she was more attractive than K (not quite true) and had a 'rare and luminous beauty', a phrase she really liked. She said that maybe she and K should go out to dinner and leave me on my own and then they could snog.  I told her that sounded like a very good idea.  I said I didn't want a silly misunderstanding to break up the three of our's close friendship.  She admitted that K was pretty irresistible and said I would have to deal with it if she could get physical with her.  I told her I didn't mind at all, although I didn't say that I doubted K would want to have anything to do with such behavior.

"I'm going to have a poo.  Don't get dressed but put the kettle on!" she said, bouncing out of bed.  She pulled on her skirt and blouse but didn't put any underwear on.  She gave me a kiss and disappeared downstairs.  I flicked on the kettle and put some music on; Bach Brandenburg concertos which always cheered me up.   I put some tea in the pot and opened the biscuit tin; a biscuit tin being one of the first and most valuable items a student acquired.  I  did everything with my left hand, as my right hand smelled of cunt.  Although C would probably like cunt flavoured biscuits, I thought.  There was a gentle knock on the door.

"It's open!" I said going over to the door to give C a hug. The door opened and K stepped into the room.

"Oh my God!" she said, staring at my naked form.  She looked totally surprised but did not, I noticed, avert her eyes.  She just stood there, looking at me.  Her eyes flicked down to my groin and then up to my face.  then down to my groin again. Equally, I didn't cover my genitals or turn away..  J from Finland had lectured me about not being ashamed of naked bodies: 'like all English people seem to be'. "Why are you naked?" K managed, after a few very awkward seconds. I realised in retrospect that I was enjoying displaying myself to her.  Although I wasn't training for my 400 metre running any more I was tall and had an athletic figure.  I did press ups and sit ups every day and I walked miles around Oxford, as I didn't have a bike.  I was in good shape.  "Perhaps you should put something on.  Not that it isn't nice!" she added, gratifyingly.  I wondered about getting completely dressed but then when C returned she might then guess K had arrived when I was naked.  I went into the bedroom and put my green dressing gown on.

"Better?" I said, going back into my living room.

"Not better, perhaps but less disturbing!  You're the first naked man I have ever seen!"  I told her I was surprised and hadn't she at least seen her father naked.  She said 'of course not' in a horrified way.  My parents had often been naked in front of us, so I didn't think anything of it, as I had told J when she was banging on about more liberal Finnish body culture. At this point she noticed C's bra on the armchair she was about to sit on.  She recoiled as if she had realised that she was about to sit on a pile of hot coals.  She picked it up as if it were a particularly nasty piece of seaweed.

"Is it C's?  Where is she?  What have you been doing?" I took C's bra and put it on my bedside chair. From where K was now sitting she could see straight into the bedroom.  She looked into it and obviously saw the very rumpled bed.  She looked back at me blushing visibly.  "Oh!" she said.  "Oh dear!"  I handed her a mug of tea and carefully kept my right hand behind my back in case she could smell it.

At this point C returned, dressed in her black skirt and white blouse.  She looked at K and frowned. before coming over to me and giving me a big kiss while sliding her hand inside my dressing gown and tickling my cock.

"Should I leave?" asked K.  K later said that was the first real  signs of affection she had ever seen C show to me.

K, it turned out, had come around to ask where we should go to for our post exam drink after dinner.  C, ever distrustful, observed, after K had gone, that she could have asked that at dinner and she was still 'lasciviously throwing herself' at me. I didn't mention that K had caught me naked and hoped K wouldn't say anything either.  C, after giving me a very long wet kiss, disappeared back to her room to change.  I went and had a shower and got stiff thinking about K seeing me naked.  I wondered if she might come up to my room again one night.  I also worried about what she might say to C.  I needed to speak to K before dinner about this, I decided, but she had the room above C's room.  I went down to the bottom of my staircase and carefully slunk around the perimeter of the small paved area which our staircases opened onto.  If I could follow the edge I could get into the space below C's room without her spotting me from her window.  I got to her staircase and had to creep up the wooden stairs.  C knew my footsteps pattern so I took it very slowly and silently and hoped that I wouldn't run into one of the other girls I knew, like F.  My heart was pounding as I passed C's door and ascended to K's floor.  I gently knocked on K's door but she didn't hear me or was out.  I knocked a bit louder and the door opened.  K was dressed in a black blouse but no skirt.  She was wearing black stockings too and I could just see a slice of slim naked thigh above them.

"I thought you were C!" she said, letting me in.  "A minute earlier and you would have seen me naked!" she laughed. She was wearing make-up and looked sexy as hell. She also smelled fantastic, as she was wearing one of her expensive perfumes. I was relieved to discover that she hadn't said anything to C and I asked her not to mention it.  She reassured me she wouldn't, as she didn't want 'another insane, four letter word nutty'.  She wanted me to stay but I thought I better go in case C turned up. She kissed me goodbye and I patted her bottom.  It was almost time for dinner, too.  I left, leaving her still flashing her fantastic legs and crept down the stairs to ground level again.  I then waited a few seconds and went back upstairs in my normal way and knocked on C's door.  She was wearing her black sequinned dress.  It was far too over the top for going to the pub but I dare not say anything.

"You look fantastic!" I said, which she did.  Just way over the top for dinner in hall.  There was a knock on the door and K appeared.  Much to my surprise she wasn't wearing the black blouse and a skirt but had a little black cocktail dress on instead.  She was wearing her expensive pearls.  C and K admired each other and stood with their arms around each other's waists to look at themselves in the mirror.

"You're a very lucky boy going out with two such stunning women!" said C.  She often told me I was a very lucky boy.  Increasingly I was getting the impression that my status of 'very lucky boy' was increasingly precarious and I better keep delivering everything she required or things would turn out badly.

We caused a bit of a stir at college dinner to C's delight and K's embarrassment, as they were both so overdressed. W one of the other male lawyers, winked at me. C had berated me for not having a jacket.

"Are you going out?" asked L, the lawyer who had reported K and my kiss to C.

"Yes.  We are all going out together!" said C.  L looked confused.

We left college and walked, arm in arm, with the girls either side of me, down the High on our way to the Head of the River pub.  This was a big pub on the Thames (or the Isis, as that part of it which runs through Oxford is pretentiously called) and in the summer you could sit outside by the water.  I didn't like pubs as they had too much cigarette smoke and I didn't drink beer.  In those days, however, there were no wine bars, so there wasn't much option other than the bar of the Randolph Hotel and C insisted I wasn't smart enough for that as I was just wearing black cords and a turquoise jumper,

"Did you see L's face?" asked K as we walked past Christ Church.

"It was priceless.  The fat, ugly bitch!" said C.

"She can't help looking like that!" said K.

"She could eat less and then she'd only be ugly!" said C.

Fortunately, the pub wasn't too crowded, although there were quite a few people still in sub fusc, obviously also celebrating their exams finishing. Both the girls had gin and tonic, which my mother drank too.  As a result I always think of it as a girls' drink and don't trust men who drink it.  They were quite drunk and giggling by the time we returned to college.  I decided to invite them up to my room to get some tea down them and help them sober up. C stopped off to pick up her contact lens pots which meant, I knew, that she was going to sleep over: something she  hadn't done for ages.

K and I went up to my room together  and I got the gas fire going, which was always the first thing I did when returning to my room; even before putting the kettle on.  I stood up and K put her arms around my waist and kissed me.

"I think you'd better stop!" I said, pulling at her slim arms.

"Don't you like it?  Don't you like kissing me?" she said.  "I know you do!"  Oh dear.  She had had three gin and tonics and wasn't really used to the alcohol.  On top of that she only weighed six stone ten (94 lbs) so alcohol always went to her head. " You're very handsome.   Let's take our clothes off!"

"Let's have some tea," I said, hoping C would return as quickly as possible.  K was rubbing her body up against mine and her hand slid across my crotch.  I had only had a pint of cider so I didn't feel intoxicated at all and although part of me wished for C's return another part of me wished I could play with K.  In fact one part of me wanted to play more than the rest of me.

"Oh!" said K, squeezing my rapidly engorging penis through my trousers.  She let go and then immediately put her hand back again. "Oh!" she said again.  "Am I doing that?"

"You must stop!" I said, desperately, expecting C's return any second. "Imagine what scale of nutty C would have if she saw you doing that!"

"You like it!" said K, thankfully stepping back

"It's lovely.  You're lovely!  But C..." I said.

"Well C can be quite horrid, sometimes," said K, sitting down and accepting a mug of tea. "I'm always nice to you.  I suppose it is all about sex.  Nice girls come last!" I nearly made a risque joke but decided against it.

I tried to change the subject and talked about what we were going to do over the six week Easter holiday.  She said she wanted to come and stay at my house 'without C'.  Fortunately, at this point C returned with her little overnight bag and having changed into a skirt and blouse.  K said she felt overdressed.  C suggested that K should take her dress off, as a joke (I think).

"I will if you will!" said K, to my surprise.  C looked surprised as well but K was already fiddling at the hook at the back of her dress. C moved across the floor in a flash and started to undo the hook and zip at the back of K's dress.  The dress dropped down to her hips and then K pushed it down and stepped out of it.  She was wearing a silk black camisole and French knickers with a suspender belt and stockings.  As a result, she wasn't actually showing much skin at all, really. C cooed over her outfit and knelt down so she could run her hands up K's long, slim legs. C put her hands on K's skin above her stocking tops and, perhaps fortunately, the increasingly sensual mood was broken by K squealing . K was so ticklish that you couldn't touch any part of her skin without inducing fits of giggles.  I later wondered how K would ever be able to have sex if she couldn't be touched. K leapt back from C so she couldn't touch her again.  C was impressed by the fact that K's stockings were real silk stockings.  I asked how she could tell and she said that silk tockings all wrinkled slightly around the ankles.

 K didn't put her dress on again, though, and sat in my chair with her legs crossed and one elegant calf and foot extended into the room.  C, not to be outdone, took her skirt and blouse off too to reveal her own black underwear and stockings.  I felt like I was sitting in a pre-war Berlin nightclub.

I didn't have any pre-war Berlin nightclub music (it was a subsequent girlfriend who introduced me to Cabaret) but I did have some Edith Piaf so put that on the cassette player instead.  C, it turned out, loved Edith Piaf and could sing along in French.  I lit the two candles I kept on my desk and switched my lamp off.

C and K started to dance with each other in the middle of the floor, adding to the Berlin nightclub atmosphere, C with her thigh between K's legs, guiding her around in gentle circles.  C put her hand on K's silk clad bottom and I just sat there quietly enjoying it.   The two of them happily carried on slow dancing.  Piaf started to sing La Vie en Rose and C gave K a tender kiss.

"This is my favourite!" said C.

"James Bond's too," I said.  "In the books."  Neither C of K had read the books.  Although I had been trying to sober them up, a thick atmosphere of sensuality was now pervading the room.  C was kissing K's neck and K was now rubbing her thigh against C's groin.  I was sitting quietly, not wanting to destroy the moment, enjoying the scene and my raging erection.

"Do you have any more drink?" asked C.  It was the last thing I should have done as they were both quite tiddly as it was.  They both needed to sober up or they might do something they regretted the next day.  I needed them to drink tea, coffee or water otherwise I might be taking advantage of them or they of each other. I definitely shouldn't be giving then any more alcohol.

"I have some Madeira!" I said.  My mother had been given a bottle fro Christmas by someone at work but she had passed it on to me. She didn't like it because it reminded her of an unpleasant uncle.  She didn't like Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for the same reason.  I had brought some proper stemmed glasses from home for drinking sherry and port from. C was impressed I wasn't going to serve it in tumblers.  We had been to another student's room that term and he had served us port from a mug.  C's sneer was something to behold.  Another point scored, anyway.  K sat down again in my armchair and C sat on her lap, crosswise.  They sipped their Madeira and K stroked C's arm and legs.

"You should take some clothes off too!" said C.  I really couldn't understand her.  She had had a fit when I had been out to dinner with K and now she wanted me to display myself to her.  It might have been about power, I supposed.  She knew I would do almost anything for her.

"Yes!  Otherwise it's not fair!" said K.

"He's shy!" taunted C.  I was not, actually.  I pulled off my jumper and socks but stopped at that.  The two girls said I said needed to take off more than that.  K suggested we played strip poker but I didn't have any cards and then we all had to admit that we had no idea how to play poker anyway. They got the giggles over our inability to play strip poker so I poured them some more Madeira, disgracefully.  They made me take my trousers off but not my shirt, thankfully as I didn't want K to see my erection.  Well, actually I did but not at that point as I didn't want C to launch into me for something I had no control over..  I was still sober enough to realise we would all have to face each other tomorrow.  Maybe enough was enough now. I suggested we get dressed again.

"I need the loo!" said K, pushing C off her lap and pulling on her dress.  She disappeared out of the room but I noticed she left her handbag behind so she obviously intended coming back.  Either that or she had forgotten it.  I started to put my trousers back on.  C asked what I was doing and didn't I want to help her seduce K.  I said not really, if she was then going to have an unexpected fit at something I did which she then decided she the didn't like, when it was too late.  She told me to shut up, strip off completely and put my dressing gown on. I hesitated and she told me not to spoil it for her.  It was, of course, all about her. I didn't want to lose K as a friend if something unfortunate happened.

"Get a move on!  She'll be back soon!" said C. I did as I was told, of course.  K returned and picked up her handbag.

'I'm pissed!" said K  "I'm a disgrace!  I'm going to bed!"  C tried to persuade her to stay but it seemed the trip down to the freezing basement bathroom had sobered K up.  C gave her a goodnight kiss and I gave her a quick peck, aware of C's eyes on me. "Are you going to have sex now?" asked K.

"No.  We're going to fuck.  Fuck like animals!  Watch us! Join us! said C.

"Oh!" said K.  She hesitated and I could almost see her weighing up the possibilities in her head. "I think I'd better go!" She left, somewhat flustered.

"Shit!" said C.  "I thought I had her!"  C made me strip off and lie on my back in bed.  She didn't go in for any foreplay but just sat down on me.  She was hot and wet. She didn't even take her underwear or stockings off, just pushed the crotch of her knickers to one side and started bouncing.  She leant forward and gripped the metal bedstead either side of my head, her thighs clamped on my hips, her cunt gripping me.  She didn't kiss me.  She just looked at my face.  Bounce, bounce, bounce, she went.  I gripped her lace covered bottom.  I started to spurt inside her.  She started to flow even more. Her blue eyes bored into me as she carried on bouncing.  "You're mine!  You're mine!  You're mine!" she cried, coming.