It was a smoggy, overcast day, and that partially accounted
for it being so quiet, though it was the beginning of Christmas
vacation. Whatever the reason, Donna Howell was just glad that
the day had been so quiet, and she hurried to switch off the
lights in her classroom before the usual last minute gossip
wandered in, keeping her from leaving on time. It happened often
during the school term and ordinarily the attractive blonde
teacher didn't mind in the least, as she wasn't happy about going
home to an empty house. But this day she had good reason to get
home early, as she was expecting a phone call from her daughter.
Before the last of the lights were turned off, the young
teacher checked to be sure the list of instructions for the
janitor were firmly attached to the bulletin board. Everything
was in order, so she picked up her purse and coat, then walked to
the door. After looking back at the small room, she closed the
door and locked it from the outside. She glanced up and down the
familiar, but now unusually quiet, corridor, then walked briskly
out to her car, remembering that tomorrow she would be meeting her
daughter and son for a much needed holiday.
"Good grief!" she exclaimed out loud to scold herself for
having forgotten why she was in a hurry. Sheri was due to call in
half an hour, and Donna knew her daughter would worry if she
wasn't there to receive the call. Sheri had become so mature in
the past few months that it was almost frightening. In fact, when
both the children had arrived home for a weekend last month, she
had been amazed at how grown up they had become since their last
visit. They seemed more worldly wise; a look about them that she
wasn't sure how to interpret, and in some ways, she had been even
more conscious of the changes in her son.
Kevin was no longer her little boy, but instead he was a
young man maturing rapidly. Yet there was still that special
gleam in his eyes that made her feel proud, and as always she had
a hard time keeping her emotions in check. He was her boy, and
she would always want to hold and squeeze him, maybe even more
than a mother should. In fact, she had even trembled when he had
walked into the house, greeting her with an innocent childish kiss
on the cheek.
Her immediate concern was for her daughter, however, as she
had never really taken the time to discuss the things a mother
should pass on to a daughter. After Sheri had announced that a
boyfriend was coming to visit them during Christmas vacation,
several times in the few days that followed that statement, Donna
had wanted to call her daughter and talk about it. Yet she
hadn't, and somehow she felt that Sheri was more aware of sexual
matters than she.
It took fifteen minutes to drive from the school to her
Pasadena home at a safe speed, and although she was in a hurry
that evening, Donna drove at her usual pace. She knew that she
would be there in plenty of time, yet she still felt apprehensive.
As always, there was that little nag, that tiny feeling of guilt.
It was her biggest regret in life that she didn't have more time
to be a mother to her children, instead of their sole support.
Donna Howell, long ago, had decided that her children should
have the best education possible within her means, and to her way
of thinking this meant private schools. Her decision, influenced
by the necessity to teach in order to support herself and her
children, was also predicated on a belief that they would benefit
from the close ties and relationships of a private school that
would hopefully fill the gap left by her absence. This thinking,
however, was far from what either Kevin or Sheri really needed,
and while it was true that they both had developed intellectually,
physically and socially in the private school environment, there
was a glaring lack of parent-child love.
Donna Howell, in making her choice, had not only neglected
her own personal life, but had inadvertently alienated her son and
daughter from a family life of love and understanding they sorely
needed. Now that Sheri was in college, it only compounded Donna's
financial responsibilities, and on the rare occasions when they
were together, she found that the gulf between them had
It had been Sheri who had first suggested the Christmas trip
to Yosemite, and when Donna had eagerly agreed to the reuniting of
the family, she had no way of knowing what had really precipitated
her daughter's motives. Nor at the time could she have imagined
what would actually happen--and happen in such a way that went far
beyond the bounds of family unity the young mother envisioned.
It was only on rare occasions like this that Donna Howell
questioned the way things went in her life, as she wholeheartedly
believed her main function as a parent was to do whatever was
required to provide for her children, a belief fostered by the
problems she had had to face at a very young age. She had been
the only child of a policeman, her mother having died shortly
before Donna's tenth birthday, and although her father did
everything possible to create opportunities for her betterment,
she was left on her own shortly after she turned twenty when he
was slain trying to avert a bank robbery. Donna had been a junior
in college and dating Walter Howell at the time, but not until her
father's tragic death did she attach any significance to Walter's
romantic intentions. Shortly after graduation they were married
and Donna divided her time between teaching and making a home for
her husband, but with the birth of her daughter the following
year, all of her attention was required at home. A year after
Sheri was born they had their second child, Kevin, and Donna had
pretty well settled down to being a mother and housewife, a life
she was willing to accept. But then, when she was only twenty-
two, tragedy struck again--her husband was the innocent victim of
an automobile accident.
Donna, already twice hardened by fate, rebounded quickly from
the shock, knowing full well that she had two young children to
support, and the only avenue open to her was teaching. During the
next few years, she had many male admirers, one of whom even asked
her to marry him, but she became completely absorbed in the task
of supporting her children, and in the process neglected her own
personal life. She told herself that she would never marry again
and risk the chance of losing another husband, but the truth was
that although her short lived marriage had produced two offspring,
she had been young and naive and unable to cope with the sexual
requirements that went with it.
To her way of thinking, dating exposed her to risks that she
couldn't afford to take, especially if it meant taking her time
away from earning income for herself and the children. Yet, her
startling good looks attracted many men, and she was constantly
put in the position of finding excuses to spurn offers of dates.
At first she used her children as an excuse, but later, when they
were older and away at school, she fooled herself into believing
that male companions would only be after her small, but hard
earned savings. And, next to the children, teaching was her life.
Yet there were times when she had feelings she didn't want to
Late at night when she was lying in bed, unable to sleep,
tingling little flames of sexual desire would creep forth to dance
enticingly over her long-denied body; her loins would begin to
throb with a burning consciousness that dominated her mind, making
her want to touch herself everywhere, to be covered with the hard
muscular body of a man. Sometimes, in a dreamlike state, she
would answer the demanding fires, stroking and probing between her
thighs with hungrily searching fingers. But what always remained
was a constant gnawing hunger, a desire for a close, intimate
relationship, and she had to force herself to put it out of her
mind. The security that she had worked for so diligently, the
years of teaching, none of it was to be wasted away for some brief
moment of weakness. Over and over again, she told herself there
would be time for personal pleasures when her children were
educated and grown to adults, able to stand on their own, and when
they were home from private school, and now college for Sheri, she
was constantly worried that she wouldn't have enough time to spend
Turning off the street to the long driveway that led to the
house, Donna slowed down, then finally stopped the car. She shut
off the engine and sat quite still for several minutes, realizing
that she had been day-dreaming, driving automatically. Of late,
when her thoughts had dwelt for too long on the opposite sex, she
discovered that a warm moisture quite unexpectedly dampened the
narrow crotchband of her panties, and as she got out of the car,
she found that such was the case now. Self-consciously she walked
up the path, her mind in search of the cause for the effect
between her thighs. This state of affairs--her reminiscings of
her long departed husband, her son, and her daughter's unseen,
undescribed boyfriend--perplexed her, but when she finally had the
front door open, the insistent ring of the telephone brought her
back to reality.
"You okay? You sound sort of funny."
"I ... I'm fine. Just a little tired. I was finishing up
some paper work at school and I just got home."
"Are you sure?"
"Okay. Everything's set here. Kevin will be here any
minute. He's going to spend the night here at the apartment, and
we'll be leaving about noon tomorrow. We'll meet you at the
Ahwahnee as planned. Okay?"
There was no answer for a minute.
"... Sheri ... There's something I want to talk to you
"What's wrong, Mom?"
"It's ... it's about ... Ward."
"Oh, mom! Don't be silly. He's really very nice. You'll
"We can talk about it tomorrow. I've got to go now. Kevin's
due any second. See you tomorrow. Bye."
The line clicked dead with finality, but Donna Howell held
the phone to her ear for several seconds longer. Finally, the
unspoken questions still choking in her throat, she replaced the
receiver in its cradle.
She stood quite still for a long minute, then finally with a
shrug, she headed for her bedroom and the unfinished packing.
Tomorrow, she thought. Tomorrow I've got to talk to her.
* * *
Kevin Howell gave the address to the taxi driver, then sank
gratefully into the security of the cab's seat cushions. He
looked upon the busy, late afternoon streets of San Diego with
apprehension, his thoughts of that day more than a little
bewildering; first the bus ride from Riverside that had seemed
unending, then the arrival in this strange city, and now the cab
At sixteen Kevin was nearing physical maturity, but having
lived a rather cloistered life, he was not fully prepared to cope
with adult decisions and adult anxieties in a suddenly adult
world. His six-foot frame, still youthfully slender, was the only
feature that did not bear a startling resemblance to his mother
and seventeen year old sister; a resemblance that bore very little
likeness to the man in the old and wrinkled photograph in his
wallet. In the past there had been many times when Kevin removed
that photograph and studied it intently, but of late this practice
had all but disappeared. It was the only picture he possessed of
a father he had never known, and along with the fragments of the
past passed on by his mother, it had ceased to hold much
sentimental value for him. Yet, he did not discard it. Nor did
he fail to inquire on the rare occasions his mother mentioned his
father. The fact that these occasions were rare was not a
deliberate attempt on Donna Howell's part to suppress any
knowledge about her long-dead husband, but stemmed more
realistically from the absence of Kevin and his sister Sheri from
their Pasadena home.
Kevin sat forward in the cab, his attention drawn suddenly to
row after row of carefully sculptured lawns lining the residential
street. At the last intersection the cab had swung onto a wide
palm-lined avenue, and Kevin deduced that his sister's apartment
building was only eight blocks away. The apprehension that had
been dogging him all day abated somewhat with the realization that
he would soon be there, and he began to take note of his
The neat houses, row upon row, and identical except for
color, appeared staid and lifeless, cold and unreal, colder even
than the towering palms rustling in the winter breeze. This
appearance reflected Kevin's own feelings. It seemed that of late
even his free time away from school was becoming routine, dull,
painfully boring. The activities that had once dominated his
thoughts, had somehow lost their importance. Sports, movies, card
games--all failed to fill the vacant hours with meaningful
pleasure. Life had suddenly seemed to have become useless child's
He hadn't put it into conscious thought yet, but his boyhood
was steadily and surely slipping away; he was becoming a man.
Six blocks to go; his sister would be waiting. He knew, she
had told him so last night on the phone. But the apprehension
would not end there--that he also knew. Irrefutably. At the
apartment he would learn whether it was on or off. Sheri had
tricked him into it, and now there was no escape. Deep down,
though, he hoped it was on.
It had all started with his sister's kidding, had built up
from there until there was no backing out, and he knew that he
would soon be faced with it. It--was to be his first real date
outside of the supervised dances at school, and he had pressed her
for details, but all she would tell him on the phone was that the
girl was "something else".
Four blocks to go. He wanted to lose his virginity, but such
a happening had seemed to be such an impossible task in the
restrictive private school environment that he found it hard to
believe it was really going to happen now. He was certain he'd
have been far more experienced with the opposite sex had he gone
to public schools, but then, that just hadn't been possible. His
mother had to devote too much time to supporting them, and he
understood that. It wasn't her fault that co-educational boarding
schools didn't exist.
Two blocks to go. As far as he was concerned, Sheri had it
made. She could just about have her pick from thousands of boys
at San Diego State and get laid anytime she wanted to. Hell, all
girls could probably get screwed if they went out with the right
guy, but his older sister was popular and sexy enough to have an
even larger choice. He didn't know how much experience she had,
maybe none, but he couldn't help feeling a bit envious of her
position at times. She seemed so wise and experienced, like a
free spirit able to get what she wanted, when she wanted, and he
wished he could feel that way too. Yet, it was because of this
feeling about her that he worried. He was constantly thinking she
might get into a situation she didn't want, and then not be able
to back away from it.
No blocks to go. He was paying the cab driver when the
clicking of high heels reached his ears, and he turned to watch
his sister coming quickly down the walk toward him. Even from a
distance she looked sharp, her long blonde hair flowing in the
breeze like a golden halo around her pretty face. She had become
a young woman in such a seemingly short time that every time he
saw her he was amazed. She was wearing a dress that accented her
figure, and he couldn't help wondering how she would look naked.
It was as if she was too sexy to believe; her breasts firm and
full, her narrow waist accenting softly flared hips and long
tapering legs, and her trim young buttocks--sexier than any young
girl's had a right to be, rounding out like two firm ripe melons
waiting for someone to come along and squeeze them. He'd be happy
if his date looked half as good as his sister!
With a smile on her lips, Sheri watched her younger brother
approach. He was handsome, and even more than that, physically
appealing. Kevin had been the athletic type for some time, the
kind interested in sports and nothing more, but she noticed with
satisfaction that he was changing, and she liked what she saw.
His character and motion had mellowed into a smooth appearance,
and he exuded an intense physical sexuality that seemed to boil
"Hi, good looking!" she said fondly.
"Hi, Sis!" he responded casually. The tone would have hidden
his anxiety to anyone but her.
"Right on time I see," she said trying to look forlorn. She
wanted to keep him guessing for awhile.
"Yeah." He wanted to stay cool, but he was having a hard
time containing his disappointment. "You look nice ..."
"Thanks. So do you. How are you fixed for money?" she
questioned without explanation.
"I've got ten bucks left. You need it?" He started to reach
for his wallet.
"No," she answered, then dropped the subject. She looked
past Kevin and up the street. He turned to see what she was
looking at. "Ward's picking me up. He should be along soon," she
said looking back to her brother. His expression was strained,
and she couldn't go on torturing him any longer. She reached into
her purse and pulled out a ten dollar bill, handing it to him.
"What's this for?" he asked, his eyes fixed on the money as
if it contained some mystery.
"You'll need it tonight ... for your date!" she smiled,
seeing his eyes widen.
"Oh ... thanks," he said, but his voice was strained, giving
away his excitement. He wanted to know more; what the girl was
like! "You ... ah ... sure you won't need this?" he asked,
indicating the money in his hand.
"Her name is Susan Hatton," she replied, shaking her head
negatively to answer his question. "You're taking her out to
dinner, so you'll need more than ten dollars!"
"Oh, great, swell! Susan Hatton, huh?" He wanted to come
right out and ask his sister if the girl was a willing type, but
he didn't have the nerve. He was excited enough just knowing that
the date was on, and he had a million other questions.
"It's quite simple," she said seeing that he was still
confused. "Susan is going to pick you up here ... She'll be
driving a white Cadillac. Anyway, I told her to meet you here at
five-thirty! She'll probably be late, so don't get antsy and
leave." There was a burning question in his mind, and she knew
it. But she was determined to leave it for him to ask.
So that was it. The girl, a big car, it was all perfect, and
he hoped he was ready for it. His seventeen year old sister was
far wiser and aware of such matters, and her reassurance would be
a big help. It was a question of time enough to discuss it, and
he looked at his watch, seeing it was five-fifteen.
"What time you expecting Ward?" he asked trying to sound
"He's late now." She waved one arm toward the apartment
building. "Sorry I don't have time to show you around. It's 8-
"Great. It's okay." Kevin swallowed, then cleared his
throat. "I guess you've had a lot of experience these past few
Sheri cut him off. "I'm still a virgin if that's what you
mean!" she said, and when he started to nod his head, she
continued. "But I don't intend to stay one much longer!"
He didn't know what to say then. He could only stare at his
pretty sister, wondering what came next.
"When I meet the right guy ... well, you don't have to look
so worried," she protested on seeing her brother's expression.
"Ward isn't the one! At least I don't think so ... I just don't
believe virginity is a prize I should cling to forever," she added
He was impressed by her decisive attitude, and actually
surprised that she still was a virgin. Most important at that
moment, it gave him the opportunity he was looking for. "Is that
the way Susan Hatton thinks?" he said unable to disguise a
Sheri laughed out loud, realizing that he had succeeded in
getting to the point. "Maybe she doesn't have to worry about it
anymore," she said to stimulate his imagination. "You'll like her
well enough, I'm sure. Just let things happen as they will."
He wanted more details, but she spoke as if that was all she
would give him. Maybe knowing too much was bad, at least that was
what she seemed to be getting at. "I sure appreciate your fixing
me up this way ... if there ..."
"Just have a good time and get what you want!" she
interrupted hurriedly, and she leaned up to kiss him on the cheek.
"I see Ward's car coming ... come on and I'll introduce you." She
walked to the curb pulling him with her.
Kevin looked up the street, and his eyes followed the
expensive sports car as it pulled up along side them. He was
impressed by the car alone, but the guy behind the wheel really
surprised him. He was sharply dressed, "suave" was the word that
came to his mind, but Kevin guessed the man had to be at least in
his middle thirties. Probably old enough to be his and Sheri's
father, he thought.
Sheri didn't wait for Ward to get out of the car, but opened
the passenger door and slipped onto the seat. "Ward Murdock ...
my little brother, Kevin!" she said motioning toward each.
Since there was no top on the car, Kevin reached out over his
sister's blonde head to shake the older man's hand. "Nice to meet
"Your sister has talked about you so much, I feel like I
already know you," Ward answered the greeting, shaking the boy's
He had a pleasant, sincere smile on his face, and Kevin
couldn't help but like the man immediately. "Well don't let me
hold you up. Thanks again Sheri!" he said giving his sister a
"Just have a good time, little brother!"
"See you later." Ward said, and he started to pull away from
"Don't do anything I wouldn't do!" Kevin yelled after the
car, but he guessed they didn't hear him. He watched as the car
disappeared from view, his mind placing himself behind the wheel
of an expensive sports car. With a machine like that, he thought,
making out with chicks would be easy.
He moved back away from the curb after looking up and down
the street, but there was no sign of a Cadillac in either
direction. The idea of him being picked up by his date made him
feel a little self-conscious, but he knew that the chances of sexy
things happening were far greater in a car than walking. He
looked at his watch, and as there was still several minutes left
before Susan Hatton was due to meet him, he walked toward the
apartment building, wondering what she looked like. He reached
the apartment and, after quickly glancing at the furnishings,
moved to the front window with its view of the street. His gaze
followed the direction the sports car had taken and he wondered
how much longer his sister was going to remain a virgin. Not
long, he finally concluded. Not long at all, judging by the look
in Ward Murdock's eyes.
And not long for himself either--he hoped.