"What are you wearing, Betty?"
This was the cue that Carson wanted to play the game. If Betty answered "white cotton panties," the visit would remain casual. Betty had promised herself that from now on it was the only answer she'd give. She'd even practiced saying the words out loud on the way here. So why was she hesitating?
"It's Ray today," said Carson, tilting his head in the direction of the guard.
Ray was the nice one. He overlooked small infractions and even joked with the prisoners. Still, Ray had nothing to do with Betty's decision. It was the look of expectation on Carson's face that did it. She didn't want to disappoint him. Betty scooted her chair closer to his. "I'm wearing the thigh-high black boots and the black-leather biker vest."
"And under the vest?"
"Nothing. It's so tight, Carr, that it pushes them up and out."
"Pushes what up, Betty?" Carson's light brown eyes opened wide, in mock innocence.
Betty had always loved his eyes, even back in middle school when she found him annoying. In the years since, their relationship had gone from friendship, to flirtation, to a few drunken make-out sessions, and back to friendship again. The game wasn't changing anything, Betty told herself. It was just a way to add a little warmth to his long cold days. She sat up straighter, as if she really were wearing the vest, as if Carr was at this very moment eyeing her cleavage rather than the front of her navy turtleneck sweater-dress. "You know what."
"Say it for me."
"You know I don't like to use those kinds of words," said Betty, pressing her knees together and primly folding her hands in her lap.
His hand came to rest on hers. "Please. For me?"
Betty faked a sigh, "All right, but just this once."
Lowering her voice to a seductive whisper, she continued, "The vest is so low-cut and so tight it pushes my breasts up and out, showing lots of skin. My nipples are hard, Carr. You can see them straining against the material."
Carson's gaze lingered on her chest, as if he really could see what she described, before dropping to her lap, where his hand still covered both of hers. "Are you wearing the garter today?"
Betty glanced around. Monday evenings were slow. She could hear the inmates and their families at the next table. They were involved in their own conversations and not interested in her and Carr. She took his hand and slipped it under the hem of her dress, just far enough for him to feel the garter.
With one finger Carson stroked her skin above the silky material, "And the black thong?"
"Yes. It's a tiny triangle in front, and strings in the back."
He closed his eyes. One finger moved over her skin in a circular motion, as if he was imagining stroking that small triangle. Betty watched his face and knew he was seeing what he couldn't see for real, his body and mind consumed with a need he couldn't fulfill.
"What do you want me to do to you?" he asked.
"You know what I like."
"Say it, Betty."
Betty closed her eyes. The voices of other inmates and their families intruded. If your dumb-ass lawyer hadn't made you take that plea. And, Aunt Julia is losing her frigging mind, but Uncle Ted would rather wipe her ass himself than have her put in a home. She leaned in closer. "You're kneeling in front of me, kissing the tops of my feet. You work your way up, hot kisses all the way to my thighs."
"Here?" His finger pressed harder on her thigh.
"Yes." Afraid the heat in her cheeks would give them away, Betty glanced around again, unintentionally making eye contact with Ray. He winked. She smiled.
"I'm at your navel now," said Carson. "It's the first time I've seen it, the summer after I met you. You're wearing the blue bikini. I kiss your belly button and poke my tongue in as far as it will go."
Carson's deep seductive voice had a mesmerizing effect. Betty liked where the fantasy was headed. She let her thoughts drift back to that time in her life, becoming her younger self, a teenager just learning that her body had needs and not yet sure what to do about them. "It's hot, nearly ninety. I'm using a spray bottle to cool my skin. When no one is looking, I spray the water inside my bikini bottoms. It feels so good."
"We're in the back yard," said Carr, "and no-one is home. I watch you spray your bikini top. You're wearing last year's swim suit and the top is too small. Your breasts aren't big, but they're round and firm. The cold water makes your nipples stand up. You spray inside the bottoms. Your eyes are closed, but your legs are open. You know I'm here, but you pretend you don't. I lie down between your spread thighs and lick the water as it drips out of your bikini. In every drop, I taste your pussy."
Betty felt hot cream soak the front of her panties. It happened every time Carr referred to her 'pussy'. She'd given up trying to understand this. Until she heard the word in Carr's voice, she'd found it offensive. "I love the copper color of your hair. I want to touch it and urge you keep kissing me, but I'm afraid to move."
"What are you afraid of?" asked Carson.
"I'm afraid because I know it's wrong to let a boy touch me. My heart is beating so fast I think you must be able to hear it. I keep pretending I'm asleep so you won't know how excited I am and how much I want you to touch me."
"I can hear your heart beat and smell your fear. I smell how much you want it. I lick the front of your bikini, right up the middle. Your legs open wider and you moan."
Betty bit her lip, afraid she would moan for real.
The scrape of a chair at the other end of the table jolted her from the fantasy. A tall black man stood up. He leaned over to give his short round mother a kiss on the cheek.
Betty put a few inches between herself and Carson, indicating the game was over for now. "You've definitely given me something to think about when I'm alone in my bed tonight."
"Will you be alone tonight, Betty?"
Not this again. Betty sighed. "Mack and I got into an argument two weeks ago and I haven't seen him since."
"What was it this time? Did the till come up short again? Is that you what you fought about?"
It was. Betty turned away, wishing that she hadn't told Carson about the missing money. It hadn't been much, never more than ten or twenty dollars at a time, and she didn't know for certain that Mack took it. "Let's put Mack back in the off-limits category, all right?"
"You know how I feel about it. You deserve much better than--"
Betty held her hand up like a traffic cop.
"All right, I'll shut up," said Carson.
It was time to change the subject. "Have you heard any more about your release date?"
Carson lowered his eyes to the table, where his hands were now clasped together as if in prayer. "Nothing is for sure."
"You've been in here so long already, taking up bed space while people who've done horrible, vile things are free."
"I wasn't innocent. You know that."
"Still, it was only money. It's not like you hurt anyone."
"I screwed up and now I'm doing my time." After a moment he went on. "I'm thinking I'll start my own business when I get out."
"What kind of business?"
He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, "How about you clear out a corner in Naked Betties and I fill it with sex toys?"
Betty smiled. "I don't think so. My mother would disown me. She already thinks Naked Betties is a scandalous name for a gift shop. She's convinced that it scares away nice families who might otherwise buy something."
"She's probably right, but who needs them anyway? Wouldn't you rather bring in the curious, fun types?"
"What I want is to bring in customers willing to open their wallets and buy something, even if it's just because they like the picture on my paper sacks."
"Those sacks were a brilliant idea, I have to admit."
The custom white paper sacks with a cartoon sketch of a voluptuous naked woman with Betty's own features had indeed become more popular than the items she sold. Young people in particular bought small items such as shells and sand dollars, off-color bumper stickers, or cheap jewelry just to have something to put in the bag. Betty wished she could take all the credit for the idea, but it was Mack's, and she didn't want to be reminded of him again.
All around them, the families of inmates were getting up to leave. Visiting hours were over. Betty stood. "Let me know if anything changes."
"You'll be the first one I visit," said Carson, in a husky voice that promised more than friendship.
Betty wished he wouldn't look at her that way. She wanted to remind him that it was only a game, like truth or dare, or strip poker, or one of the other games they used to play when they were kids. And then his arms were around her, his rock-hard body pressed briefly against her, and she felt more than she wanted to feel.
He might need her now, but that didn't mean it wouldn't change when he was free and had choices again.
"I'll see you in two weeks," said Betty.
Carson looked about to say something, but changed his mind and shook his head. "Two weeks."
Some asshole started trouble in the TV room over a stupid chair, and now the whole block was in lockdown. Carson had taken out his frustrations on the floor, doing push-ups, and now lay in his bunk too restless even to read the James Patterson novel he'd checked out two days before. All he could think about was Wednesday. He was scheduled to be released in two days. It might actually happen this time. Yet he'd heard that story four months ago, and he was still here, basking in hell.
He hadn't told Betty, because a part of him didn't believe it. And he wanted to surprise her. Carson closed his eyes, remembering every word of their conversation. It hadn't gone as well as some visits. He guessed that was his own fault for bringing up Mack. The more Betty confided in him, the more sure Carson was that she should get Mack out of her life for good. The guy was a loser and a thief. She deserved better. Carson couldn't deny that he wanted Betty for himself. But then, his past didn't exactly make him a safe bet either.
He had gained control over the urge to gamble and hadn't made bets with other inmates, not even for an extra dessert, but he was afraid it would be different once he was out. There would be more temptations to deal with. Poker tables were his weakness. He had money waiting for him, but that was both a good thing and a bad one. He'd inherited the money when his grandfather died. First, he paid off his old employer for the money he took. Carson had no doubt that Baxter would have made good on his threats. He didn't blame the loan shark, though. Carson took full responsibility for his mistakes. He'd lost control and gotten in way too deep. Prison was bad, but things could have been even worse. Baxter's thugs might have cut Carson's hands off. He needed his hands. Seeing Betty today was a reminder of all the things he'd like to use them for. He had no illusions that he'd be able to go right out and find a job, especially in this economy. The idea of owning a business had merit. It was the details that escaped him.
It was difficult to think about making a living when the small things consumed his thoughts. He wanted to sleep in a comfortable bed, shower in private, eat a home-cooked meal, and find out if Betty really owned a tight black-leather biker vest. Carson brought his hand to his face, as he'd been doing every few minutes since she left, wanting to catch another whiff of her shampoo, perfume, soap. He didn't know what it was that smelled so good and didn't care. For far too long he'd been surrounded by the stink of men, sweat, fear and fury all rolled together. He was pretty sure that when he'd talked about the blue bikini, and what he wanted to do to her, he'd caught the scent of Betty's excitement. It might have been his imagination at work, but he didn't think so. What he wouldn't do to have that scent on his fingers. In two days he'd be at her door, ready to make good on every fantasy they'd shared.
On Wednesday morning Betty sat down at her kitchen table with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. She opened to the celebrity gossip section. The name Bettie Page jumped right off the page. The actress had suffered a fatal heart attack. This was good news. Not for Bettie Page, of course, but Betty didn't feel inclined to mourn an eighty-five year old who'd no doubt had more fun in her life than most people. The news would be very good for sales. The walls of Naked Betties were covered with framed photos of the very popular 1950's pin-up girl. There was even a Playboy from 1955 with Betty Page on the cover, wearing only a Santa hat.
This occasion definitely warranted dressing in one of her Bettie Page costumes, the one she could wear in public.
Twenty minutes later Betty entered Naked Betties dressed in a slinky red dress (found at Teenie's Treasure's for a mere $14.95), sheer black thigh-high hose, black pumps, and of course, the raven pageboy wig with the distinctive blunt bangs. With more enthusiasm than she'd felt since the Christmas season began, Betty unlocked the front door and turned the sign in the window to 'Welcome'. She put her Part-Time Help Wanted sign next to the life-sized cut-out of Betty Boop (hot pants, roller skates, drink tray).
It was a decent day weather-wise, which on the Oregon coast merely meant it wasn't raining or overly windy. She hoped the thin layer of clouds would burn off by afternoon, luring some of the outlet mall shoppers down to the beach and into Naked Betties for unique Christmas gifts. Inside, Betty reached into the box of odds and ends that she kept under the register and found a spool of red ribbon. She stood on her step stool and draped the ribbon along the wall to draw attention to the pinups, and the Playboy.
Later that afternoon Betty was waiting on an older gentleman, ringing up an expensive coffee table book with pictures of famous actresses, including Bette Davis, and three of the Bettie Page pin-ups, when the bell on the door jingled. She looked up, and promptly dropped the man's change on the counter.
"Sorry," she muttered, already in motion, making her way around the counter.
Carson stood there, grinning. He looked amazing in faded jeans and a navy polo. Betty threw her arms around his neck. Her feet came off the ground, knocking over a display of bumper stickers as he swung her around. When her feet were back on the floor she looked at Carson's face, watching his gaze travel up and down her body. "If I knew you dressed like that for work," he said, "I'd have dug my way out with a spoon."
Betty smoothed her hands over her hips. "This is my Bettie Page costume." She pointed to the magazine on the wall. "Poor woman died today."
Carson glanced at the magazine and back at Betty. "Her Santa costume would bring in more customers."
"Now that's an idea. I'll change the store name to Naked Betty and work nude."
"Do that and you'll need to hire a bodyguard."
Betty slid her hands along his strong forearms. She licked her lips. "Need a job, Carr?"
He slowly shook his head, "What are you trying to do to me, Betty?"
"Sorry," she said, surprised at how easy it was to slip into the private world they'd only shared in whispers. "It's a habit. So why didn't you tell me sooner?"
He shrugged, guiltily. "I was afraid something would go wrong. I wanted to surprise you."
"And you did." Betty embraced him, pressing her cheek to his chest. The prison smell was gone. He smelled good, clean and male.
His hand came to rest on her lower back, drawing her closer. He was already hard. One finger slid over the satin, stopping at the point where the curve of her ass began, sending a shiver up her spine.
"You have another customer."
Betty turned around. An older woman stood at the counter. Betty went to the other side to help her. She was buying several used paperbacks and a Betty Boop apron. Glad for a moment to regain her composure, Betty took her time and chatted with the woman for a few minutes. When the customer walked out the door, Betty realized she and Carson were alone in the store. This was not good. She stayed behind the counter, suddenly overcome with nerves. "I'm really happy for you, Carr, and I wish I could celebrate with you today, go out to lunch, do a little window shopping and all that, but it's been busy."
Carson leaned on the counter. He gave her a slow sexy smile, "Come on, Betty. You're the boss. You have the power to turn that sign around whenever you want to."
It was true, of course. "It's the Christmas season. I need the money."
He moved closer. "I'm free, Betty. The way I feel right now can't be put into words. I need to share it with someone. Take a walk on the beach with me. I want to touch the sand, watch the waves and smell the ocean."
She was caving quickly and knew he could see it. "I really shouldn't."
He reached across the counter and took her hand. "Give me this Betty. Give me the afternoon and the evening, and I promise I won't ask for the nighttime."
It wasn't his asking that Betty was afraid of. He wouldn't ask, he'd take, and in the morning she'd want it back. She could handle Carr locked up, but could she stay in control now that he was free?
"You can't deny me this can you? This day I've waited for for so long?"
She couldn't. "We'll close for lunch, a long lunch, but then I'm opening up for the afternoon. Okay?"
"Sure. A long lunch."
The hungry look in his eyes made her knees go soft. Was she about to become lunch? Betty reached beneath the counter for the key to the front door. Carson took it from her hand and went to the door.
She stayed where she was, watching him turn the lock and flip the sign to 'closed'. When he turned around, she watched him approach, his expression serious, his intentions unmistakable.
"I'm going to have to change my clothes before we, uh, before we go for a walk."
Carson walked around the counter and entered the small space on the employee side, blocking her in. "I don't think you should change just yet."
"Oh? Why is that?"
His gaze lowered to her cleavage. "I like this dress. I like it a lot."
"Thank you." Betty tried to sound casual, but heard the slight tremor in her voice. She'd felt the same that day in the tree fort, when he'd talked her into taking off her shirt during a game of strip poker. His hands were on her bare shoulders, lightly caressing them. His warm fingers trailed along the straps of her dress. They slipped down the satin, stopping to press both nipples with his thumbs, hardening them instantly.
"How well I remember these," he murmured.
She pushed his hands off her chest. "You must have a good memory, because you haven't seen them since I was thirteen."
"A boy always remembers the first breasts he saw that weren't in a magazine. They were so perfect. Two firm little peaches."
His hands were back, big hands with long well -shaped fingers. Hot palms cupped her 'peaches'. She pushed them away. "You tricked me out of my shirt."
"I did." He grinned, "And if you remember right, I tried many times to get you out of your pants, too. But I never did succeed."
"No, you didn't."
Carson moved closer, putting his hands on the counter on either side of her, trapping her in. "So many nights I lay in that damn bunk, still smelling your hair."
Heart pounding, Betty looked into his eyes. This was her chance to remind him they were only friends. She'd have to do it fast, and she'd have to be convincing. He was leaning toward her. His lips touched down on the indentation at the base of her throat. She knew he could feel her pulse there, racing. It was time to open her mouth, time to tell him... but already he was kissing his way up her throat, hot little kisses. He reached the sensitive spot just below her ear. "Carr?"
His mouth came down on hers and Betty felt the chance slip away.
When his lips parted she allowed him access, welcoming his probing tongue as the memory of long-ago kisses flooded her mind. How many times had they kissed for hours, rolling about in some forbidden place, such as by the river at three in the morning after an evening spent with friends and a bottle of vodka? She'd wanted him back then, but she'd been holding out for a serious relationship. Carson had been too young and too wild to be settling down any time soon. By the time she'd met Mack, Betty had realized she liked living alone and wasn't ready for marriage. For years, what she'd had with Mack had worked for them both. There had been no need for constant togetherness. Lately they'd been apart more than they were together. At thirty-six, Betty had begun to imagine marriage and children with a stable, responsible 'nice' guy. Ex-cons generally didn't fall into that category.
Carson's hands were on her shoulders. His fingers slipped under the straps of her dress. What had she got herself into? She covered his hands with her own and drew back. "Carr... ."
"I've waited so long for this, Betty."
With those words, she suddenly understood that the real game was the one she'd been playing in her mind, telling herself they were just friends, and that this wasn't going to happen. But how could it not happen? She was already wet for him. The straps of her dress were lowered. Cool air hit her breasts and her already hard nipples.
"Nice Betty, very nice," said Carson, lifting her breasts out of the dress and lowering his head to cover them with kisses.
He took one nipple in his mouth, sucking it until it ached, a pleasant ache nearly as powerful as the one between her legs. He moved to the other one and gave it the same treatment. When he'd finished with her nipples, he pulled her hard against him. Betty felt him gather the material of her dress and draw it up. She was glad that she was wearing a thong, and not her comfortable panties. One of his fingers slid along the curve and down between her cheeks, drawing out the thin piece of lace buried between them. His finger moved upward until he reached the lacy triangle that held her thong together. He hooked it and slid it down her hips. It fell the rest of the way on its own, landing at her feet.
Betty realized that if someone peered in the window, they might, if they looked closely enough, be able to see them.
She drew back. "Carr, there's a window."
"Mmm, that's nice." He resumed kissing her.
"And if someone looked in, they'd get an eyeful of a real naked Betty."
"Are you thinking about taking off your dress? That would be very naughty, taking your clothes off in front of a boy. I'm not going to let you do it."
His eyes had the distant look that meant he was in game mode.
"No. You're keeping the dress on."
Carson's hands slipped under the back of the dress to cup her cheeks and lift her up until she was sitting on the counter. It felt cold on her bare skin. She held the front of her dress so that it covered her in front, barely. "There's still a window."
Carson glanced over his shoulder. With both hands he slid her along the counter, pushing aside a box of bumper stickers and knocking over a box of pet rocks. The view from the window changed slightly. "No one can see us, Betty. This will be our secret. Now show me."
The force in his voice made her stomach twist into a knot of fear and excitement. "Show you what?"
"You know what." With one hand on each knee he pushed her legs apart. "I want to see what you wouldn't show me that day in the tree fort. I want to see it all."
"No." Betty held the dress in place, one hand pressed between her legs.
Carson looked deep into her eyes, as if reading her thoughts, "It wasn't nice the way you teased me, Betty, torturing a trapped man."
Teased, tortured? Is that how he saw it? She'd given him something pleasant to think about in that miserable place. But how must he have felt when she was gone and he was left with a hard-on?
"What did you do when you got home, Betty? Did you touch yourself?"
Vibrator, fingers, hand-held shower head, she'd used them all. How selfish she'd been, using him that way. Guilty, Betty nodded.
"Did you think about me, how there was nothing I could do about it, no privacy, no way to get relief?"
His hands were on her thighs, just above her knees. His fingertips played along the edge of her garters, stopping at the line he'd never been able to cross. How many times had she imagined him going farther?
"I will make it up to you, Carr. If I show you, you have to promise you won't tell anyone."
He sounded as sincere as he had the day in the tree fort. She'd believed him then, too. But she had lost her bra to a pair of sixes. Sitting in front of him cross-legged and red-faced, she'd watched him deal another poker hand, his eyes never once leaving her chest. She'd liked the way he made her feel. He'd looked at her with raw lust, though she hadn't known the word for it then.
She lifted the dress to her navel and held it there with one hand.
"That's good. Real good." His hands slipped over the hose that covered her calves and stroked their way up past her knees to her inner thighs, gently pushing them wider apart. Carr's fingers splayed, thumbs pressed into the fleshy part of her inner thighs, holding them open. His gaze dropped to the triangle between her legs. "Show me, Betty, show me everything."
Betty felt her legs begin to tremble. She'd never done anything so blatant. It was a centerfold thing to do. But today, she was Bettie Page. Reaching down, she used two fingers to spread her lips apart, exposing the depth of her desire.
"Oh, Betty, you're such a bad girl." Carson's breathing deepened. "Lucky for you, I know how to treat bad girls."
"Are you going to spank me?" The words slipped out easily, as if she were Bettie Page, bending over in her ruffled black panties.
He seemed to be considering the idea, then shook his head, "I might have to do that later, but right now, I don't think that's what you need."
Carson stroked the backs of the fingers she was using to hold herself open. "That's good. Now stay just like that."
One finger lightly circled her opening. It dipped inside then out, stroking her inner lips and barely grazing her clit before moving away. It was torture, this teasing. One finger dipped inside again, and this time her muscles clenched around it like a hungry mouth. Too soon it slid out again.
She could hear in his voice that he meant to continue teasing her. Betty took his finger and pressed it to her clit.
His eyes, half hidden under long lashes, opened wider, meeting hers, "Are you sure this is what you want?"
Never before had Betty felt such a powerful need for a man's touch, "Yes, Carr."
His thumb stroked her clit. One finger, and then a second, slid inside. Betty leaned back, bracing herself on the counter. She closed her eyes, giving in to every delicious sensation. The back and forth motion of his thumb on her clit took her right to the edge, and over.
"God that was good."
She heard Carson unzipping his pants and opened her eyes. She watched him carefully pull out a thick cock, the head so purple it looked painful. A single drop of pre-cum escaped the opening.
Reality interfered. "Wait. We need a--"
Carson reached into his back pocket and took out a condom. How long had he planned this seduction? Imagined it? Dreamed about it? These thoughts only increased her excitement, making her yearn for a second orgasm.
Betty watched his hands, how they shook as he put on the condom. When it was in place, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and scooted to the edge of the counter, ready to take him. The counter was too high.
"I think you need a step-stool, little boy."
"Do you have one?"
He sounded so earnest she might have laughed, were she not so anxious to get on with it. Betty pointed to the stool under the counter. Carr stood on the stool. Now it was perfect. He didn't tease her any longer. Just slid right in.
She wrapped her legs around him pressing her ankles into his ass, pulling him deeper. Oh God yes, this was what she wanted, needed. He filled her so completely.
Carson moaned. For a second Betty feared that he was already coming.
"Slow," she whispered. "Move real slow."
He did as instructed, breathing hard, cheek pressed to hers, his sweat dripping down her neck. "I've never wanted anyone this bad, Betty."
"I know. Me too." She wasn't ready to release him. "Let's take it slow and make it last."
"I don't think I can."
The words "torture" and "tease" went through Betty's mind. She'd already come, and it was selfish of her to want more. "Now, Carr. It's your turn."
He was already there. His whole body shuddered with a powerful orgasm.
"I'm sorry," he whispered.
Betty took his face in her hands. Tears mingled with the drops of sweat on his cheeks. "There's nothing to be sorry about. That was perfect."
He buried his face in her neck. Betty patted his back as hot tears started down her face. "It's all over now. You're home Carr. You're safe, and everything is going to be okay."