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Introduction:

The story of how I paid my way through college and met the love of my life
POKER

NOTE: The poker hands depicted in this story are unlikely, but possible, and since this is a work of fiction some use of imagination should be expected. My depictions of air travel in the 1960’s are based on factual memories. They bear no resemblance to air travel today. Enjoy the story.

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This is the story of my life--how I paid my way through college and bought my first new car at the expense of a biased snob. It’s also the story of how I found the love of my life.

CHAPTER 1

It was the early ‘60’s when I attended college, the first of my family to do so. My first “collegiate” experiences occurred during Orientation Week which in my humble opinion should have been called Orientation Weak. Other than paying my tuition bill and registering for classes, most of the other activities were lame. There was the all-important Campus Tour which could have saved several hours by just passing out a couple of maps. Then there were the placement exams. I thought I did well, but apparently not quite well enough—I wasn’t exempted from even a single freshman course. I went to the Freshmen Mixer—that was more like a junior high school dance with the boys on one side of the gym and the girls on the other. On the positive side I did meet Prudence, or more accurately, she met me. I was leaning against a wall nursing a Coke when a tall slender girl asked me to dance.

I didn’t have much experience with girls—barely any. I attended a really small high school and I was a really late bloomer—tall, skinny, and basically very shy. I stumbled and mumbled through a few words as she smiled and extended her hand and led me to the dance floor. She was almost as tall and as skinny as I was, although to be polite, I’d describe her as slender, with small breasts. Her light brown hair hung straight to her shoulders and framed her face nicely. What set her apart were her sparkling smile and her shining blue eyes. On a scale of one to ten at the time I figured her to be about a 6.5, which was okay—I doubted any of the girls thought of me as any higher. I held my arms out in the traditional dance pose I had learned in junior high ballroom dance class, but she wrapped her arms around my neck as she laughed and pulled me close. I put my hands around her waist until she moved them to her hips and ass with a giggle. They felt smooth, but firm; I could feel her pubis push into my groin as we moved. I would have become immediately aroused had we not been the only dancers in front of roughly a thousand new classmates. As it was I was sure she could feel my growing erection. I was embarrassed, but she only held me tighter. She held my hand once the dance had ended and we walked to some chairs. I got us a couple of Cokes and we talked for more than an hour. Then I took her back to my room.

We were allowed to have girls in our rooms, but not lock the doors. I jammed a sock between the door latch and the jamb to give us a little privacy. I had somehow obtained a single room—more like a monk’s cell than anything else—with a single window, a bed that sagged badly, but was, fortunately , free of bedbugs or other parasites. I had a single pedestal desk with three drawers, a plain wooden chair, and a wooden combo dresser/closet that was barely big enough to hold my clothes. I had brought a trunk and kept that in the corner opposite my bed, a blanket over it to form a sort of table. Prudence was lounging on the bed by the time I had secured the door. She looked as relaxed as I felt nervous.

I went to sit next to her; she pulled me down, rolled on top of me and kissed me. She had taken me completely by surprise and she was a lot stronger than I believed possible. I was lying on my back, this girl I had just met sprawled over me, a strange tongue in my throat—what could be better? I’ll tell you what—not being interrupted, that’s what. It was just getting interesting when there was a knock on the door, “Room Check, Dorm Security—got a girl in there?”

“Yeah, hold on a sec.” I extricated myself from under Pru and ran the two steps to the door. She was sitting, legs crossed, on the bed with one of my textbooks in her hands. She looked innocently up at the security guard who apologized and excused himself. It was all I could do not to laugh when I re-secured the door. “How’d you do that so fast?”

“Simple, I’m fast at everything, but I think we’re going to need someplace more private before I do what I want with you.” She laughed when I gulped a few times. “You’re a virgin, aren’t you? I knew it when I first saw you at the mixer. It was and still is a big part of your appeal. I like you, Patrick. Do you have a nickname?”

“Yeah, really original—Pat.” She laughed. “How’d you get a name like Prudence? It sounds like you’re a pilgrim or something.”

“That’s exactly where I got it from. My family came over on the Mayflower in 1620.”

“Mine came over in steerage—1846—the potato famine. We’re as Irish as Paddy’s pig.”

“I doubt the Mayflower was much better. That Mayflower bit goes over really well with the snobby set.”

“Well, Pru, you don’t seem terribly impressed.”

“I’m not. It was nothing more than being in the right place at the right time, but some people dwell on it like their shit doesn’t stink. Let’s face it—everyone’s shit stinks.” I had to laugh. This girl was so funny. I joined her on the bed and dropped the book to the floor. I pulled her into a long lingering kiss as our tongues dueled frantically. That was the beginning of our relationship. We dated every Saturday night and almost every Sunday. Friday nights I worked.

I readily admit that I wasn’t the best student when I started at the university; I hadn’t been there three weeks when I got involved in a Friday night poker game. It was “quarter-half,” minimum bet of a quarter and maximum of a half buck with a dollar bet on the final round. It was a bit steep for my budget so the first week I took $30—what I had budgeted for two week’s expenses, thinking that if I lost I’d probably benefit from cutting down on snacks anyway.

I played conservatively, folding every hand unless I had a pair or better. I was thrilled when I walked away at midnight with $102--$72 more than I had started with. I wasn’t thrilled, however, with how one of my competitors reacted to me. I never learned whether Martin was prejudiced against my being of Irish descent or my being Catholic, or both. All I knew was that he tried to put me down at every opportunity. Even some of the other players complained, not that it did any good. This guy was out to get me. Unfortunately for him, I was a lot tougher than I looked. I’d been in more fights in junior high and high school than anyone else in my class, hell—more than any ten kids in the entire school. I’m sure there would have been more, but word got around that I was crazy. I was also sure my grades would have been much better if I hadn’t been suspended so often.

I did really well the second week, bringing home almost $200, but the biggest score occurred in a hand where I had already folded. I was sitting in my seat watching the other players when I noticed something about Martin—a little twitch in his left eyebrow when he drew cards. Even better, he won the hand. Now I’d recognize it as a “tell,” but back then I was an amateur. I decided to keep an eye on Martin whenever possible. With a little practice that was every hand.
What does everyone do when the cards are dealt? They look at them, of course. Some players are so eager they can’t even wait until the entire hand is dealt. Me? I looked at Martin—out of the corner of my eye so I wouldn’t be noticed. I found this was especially rewarding when he drew cards or on the seventh card of stud. Before the night was over I was using my information to great advantage. I folded when it was in my favor and pressed forward when I actually had a good hand—one I almost always knew was better than his.

It was during our third session in early October that I put my new-found knowledge to best use. I had burned Martin badly four times in the first two hours. He had a straight to the jack—I had one to the king. He had three eights—I had three tens. His spade flush to the queen lost to my diamond flush to the king—I especially loved that one. I even beat him with a higher full house than his. I could see that he was fuming. How an inferior Irish Catholic like me could get the better of him was just impossible. The next hand was the turning point in my life, what I referred to for years as “The Hand.”

We were playing seven-card stud; Martin in his usual place two seats to my right, meaning that he would bet before me. I began with two fours in the hole and a third four showing to his ace. The betting proceeded fairly typically as I played it cool—calling, rather than raising. After six cards I was showing a 4-5-6-7 of different suits while Martin had two pair—aces and kings. I could see by his eyebrow twitch that he got the card he was looking for. Because two others had folded a king and an ace, this was the case card—the final ace or king—giving him a high full house.

I didn’t look at my card until Martin bet a dollar, the highest final round bet allowed. Jeff, immediately to my right, folded. I looked at my card and raised a dollar. “Boy, you are such a sap!”

“Why would you say that,” I responded to Martin’s jibe. “Look at my cards. Everyone knows a straight beats two pair. You’d need the case ace or the case king to make a full house.” He scowled at my reply. When Mike, the player to my left hesitated I looked straight into his eyes and told him, “Fold!” I liked Mike. Right now I had Martin’s money on my mind. I didn’t need Mike’s, not with what I had in mind. Of course, Martin raised again. Now I was ready to spring my trap.

“You seem mighty proud of that hand, Martin. I’m surprised you didn’t ask me for a side bet.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know…a bet just between you and me…something completely outside the pot. You couldn’t do it earlier in the hand, but at the end….”

“Okay, I’ll bet you five dollars.”

That was exactly what I was expecting. This guy just couldn’t pass up a challenge. I laughed long and loud. “Five bucks? That must be some great fucking hand!” I used the profanity intentionally to provoke him. I knew he belonged to some really conservative church; he hated profanity.

“Okay, let’s make it twenty.” His nostrils flared; he was practically screaming. I loved it!

“How about fifty?” I asked, mocking him. I was openly challenging him now and I knew he had to have the last word. In fact, I was counting on it.

“Oh yeah? Let’s make it a hundred!” I sat silently as though I was really thinking, but I wasn’t. This had gone exactly as I had planned—exactly as I had hoped. I reached into my shirt pocket and counted out the bills—money I had won earlier in the evening and much of it Martin’s. I placed three twenties, three tens, and two fives on the table, slamming down my hand in the process. The ball was in his court—put up or shut up. The other players looked at him expectantly. He reached confidently into his wallet and removed two fifties, slamming them emphatically on the table just as I had done. I finished the betting by raising once again. “God, you are such an idiot!” He called the bet and laughed as he exposed his ace.

“Full house, you idiot. That’ll show your stupid lame straight.”

He was laughing and insulting me until I looked him in the eye and spoke calmly, “That’s probably the best losing hand I’ve ever seen. I don’t recall saying anything about actually having a straight. In fact….” I threw the seven into the pile of mucked cards. “This six…not needed; the five…another wasted card. All I need is this four. It goes perfectly with…” I turned over the first four and the second four. I hesitated before continuing, “I think everyone here knows what’s coming next.” I flipped over the last four. It was the first and only time I’d ever had four of a kind. I laughed loudly as I pocketed his money along with mine as I swept the pot—about forty bucks—into my growing pile. I couldn’t resist setting the hook for the future. “Sucker! Who’s the idiot now?” I laughed and as I did I noticed several others join me. Martin was red as a beet. He couldn’t wait to get his revenge.

He had his opportunity about forty-five minutes later. We were playing five-card draw, jacks or better to open. Steve, seated on the other side of the table was the dealer. Mark, to Martin’s right, passed as did Martin. Jeff opened and I called with a pair of queens in my hand. I paid special attention to what Martin did; he took one. I took three.

I knew then that he was going for a straight or flush. He would have opened if he had two pair. Once again I saw the tell-tale twitch. Martin had pulled his card. I looked at my three for the first time, resisting a snicker when I saw two kings and a queen. I couldn’t believe such luck—I’d drawn a full house.

Jeff opened the betting at fifty cents. I called and one other called until Martin, not surprisingly considering his hand, raised to a buck and a half, making the maximum bet. Jeff quit and, of course, I raised. Martin challenged me when it got back to him. We were the only players still in the hand. “Okay, smart guy,” he began sarcastically, “Let’s see if you have any guts. How about another side bet? Let’s make it $200 this time.” He smiled smugly until I spoke.

“I don’t know, Martin. I feel a little bad, you know, taking advantage of you.” I had actually rehearsed that in front of a mirror in my room, knowing that nobody ever took advantage of Martin. In his mind it was always the other way around.

“Ah, you’re just a coward—just what I’d expect from your kind.” I pretended to study my hand then I put my hand in my pocket and took out the money from the last hand. I could see him smile so I put it back and pretended to study may hand again. Finally, after almost five minutes of out and in and back again, I took the money out, counted it, and placed it on the table. He laughed and went immediately to his wallet, removing another four fifties. He threw down his hand, “Flush to the ace, you brainless twit.”

I just laid my hand on the table, showing the three queens and the two kings. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to. Martin’s face went white then red as his anger returned. Our fellow players laughed like crazy. I picked up the money and the pot, probably less than $25. I cashed out about half an hour later just before midnight as I always did. I had an early class every Saturday morning. I walked back to my room with more than eight hundred dollars in my pocket—winning more than $600, most of it from my good buddy Martin. I could see him seething as I left. He’d be ready for more next week.

I realized for the first time that I needed a place to keep my winnings. I now had more than $1,000 and I knew that the dorm rooms were anything but secure. I chuckled to myself as I was reminded of last summer when my Dad had sent me to the bank to pick up cash for his payroll—more than $3200—one Friday morning. The teller wouldn’t cash the check and, truthfully, I didn’t blame her. I was dressed in a crummy tee shirt and a pair of filthy chinos. My dad owned a plumbing business. I was always filthy when I worked for him. I had to speak to one of the bank officers who called Dad and confirmed that he had given me the check. I was so nervous that I’d be robbed that I ran almost a half mile back to his office. Now I’m walking around with more than $1,000 in my pocket, the difference being that this money was mine.

I had classes until eleven on Monday morning so I walked down the hill to the nearest bank where I asked about renting a safe deposit box. Ten dollars and twenty minutes later I had put almost all of it away. It was a relief.

The following Friday the game was much the same with Martin challenging me three times and losing all three. I took him for another $500. The following week I thought I should lose one—no sense in discouraging him. I folded a flush to his straight, allowing him to win a hundred dollars from me. Of course, that made him daring and careless so I won the next two side bets for a net $300 on top of almost another $300 in winnings. It went on and on week after week until I went home for Christmas at the end of the semester. The prior Tuesday I had consolidated the cash in my savings box, changing a bundle of fives, tens, and twenties for fifties and hundreds. I needed more room for the almost $4,000 I had won.

I was eating breakfast with my family Christmas morning when I told my parents that I wouldn’t need any money for my spring semester tuition. I had it covered. I expected a lot of questions from my dad and I wasn’t disappointed. “What do you mean? Where could you possibly get that kind of money, Patrick?”

“I won it, Dad…playing poker with the worst players in recorded history.”

“Don’t you realize that you could just as easily have lost? Then where would you be?”

“Dad, you don’t understand. I play very conservatively, probably actually playing only three hands out of ten. These guys chase every hand as though manna is going to fall from Heaven. Oh yeah, one of the guys hates me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m Irish—I knew that would get my dad hot—or being Catholic. I’ve been taking him for at least $400 a week.”

“How could you possibly do that, Patrick?”

“Side bets, Dad. I always know ahead of time what he has. He always does something with his eyebrow when he pulls the card he needs. I can usually tell from what he’s drawn or the betting what he has in his hand. I baited him into it the first time and since then he’s been trying to get even. I enjoy rubbing his face in it. That just makes him want to beat me all the more, but he doesn’t.”

“How many times have you done this, Patrick?”

“Not actually sure, but at least thirty for a minimum of $100, but recently probably for an average of $200.”

“Thirty times, eh?” My father’s brogue was thick as it usually was when he disapproved of something. “And, how many of those did you lose?”

“Only one, Dad and I threw that one. I didn’t want him to get discouraged. I’ll probably lose one or two when we get back for next semester just to keep him interested.” He shook his head, but never said another word. I got the message—don’t let some prejudiced bastard get one over on you. I promised myself that would never happen.

Chapter 2

I flew back to school, arriving the day before I had to register. Some of the guys wanted a game, but I passed. All my money was in the safe deposit box, besides I wanted to see my girlfriend.

I had missed Pru terribly while I was home even though we had spoken four times on the phone. She asked me once back in September why I couldn’t see her on Friday nights. “That’s when I’m working,” was my reply.

I explained everything and she laughed. “Can we spend his money on Sunday, then?” I kissed her and agreed. Now I walked to her dorm to see about taking her out to dinner. Pru was thrilled to see me, running down the corridor to hug and kiss me.

“Does that mean you liked your present?”

“Yes, Pat I loved it and I still do. My parents don’t understand how a student could afford a gold and diamond bracelet. See, I’m wearing it now. I don’t think I’ll ever take it off.” She pulled her sweater up her left arm, smiling as it appeared from under the loose sleeve. It sparkled in the low light.

We had decided early on that the dorm was not private enough for what we wanted to do. There wasn’t much to do socially for first semester freshmen unless a friend was throwing a party and then there was no privacy at all. We had begun a practice of catching a cab to a strip of stores about five miles away that included a movie theater and a small motel. We sometimes saw a movie, but always checked into the mom and pop motel. The first time the owner was reluctant. “I don’t rent to college kids. They either get drunk or make a racket, or both. College kids are too much trouble.”

“Sir,” I replied politely, “I guarantee that we have nothing to drink and that we won’t make a peep.” I put on “me best brogue” as my grandfather would say, “Won’t you at least help out another son of the auld sod?” I had seen his name on the desk—O’Sullivan. “I’m Patrick Hayden. My family is from County Carlow, south of Dublin.” I showed him my driver’s license.

“Okay, but I want a $100 deposit, just in case. You’ll get it back, but only if there are no problems.” I filled out the reservation form and he gave me a key. “I’m sure this young lady is your wife.”

“Yes, sir—she’s a good woman even though she’s not Irish—good, but not perfect.” He had a chuckle as Pru elbowed me in the ribs. I found the room easily enough. There were only twelve in the whole place—six cottages, each with two rooms. It was clean, but a bit worn. We didn’t care. We were here for Pru to take my virginity, something I had never prized and looked forward to losing. I locked the door, fastening the chain in the process. I turned to see Pru closing the drapes over the window. I checked out the old air conditioner stuck through the wall. It wasn’t hot in the room, but it was a bit stuffy, besides I thought the AC would screen out any noise we might make. I turned on the old black and white TV, but kept the sound low. All preparations completed, I turned to Pru.
By now we were somewhat familiar with each other. We had spent every evening during Orientation Week and most nights thereafter together, usually lying on the grass outside the library or behind her dorm after we had finished studying. We stayed in dark areas where we couldn’t be seen. We’d made out like crazy and had even gotten to the point where we touched each other. I had thought at the time that touching Pru’s smooth spongy breasts was wonderful, but feeling her hairy wet pussy was just incredible and her touching my penis drove me out of my mind with lust. Then last week she pulled me out and jerked me off, wiping my spent seed on the nearby grass.

She sat on the bed, calling me to her with her finger. My shirt flew across the room a minute later. My shoes and socks followed leaving me only in my shorts. Now it was my turn—I unbuttoned her blouse and unclasped her bra. Her breasts were indeed small, but they were incredibly sensitive. Her hardened nipples just loved to be rubbed and rolled. Pru had been very patient when it came to teaching me about her body. I prayed she’d be just as patient tonight. I moved my hands to her shorts at the same time she found my belt buckle. In seconds we stood there looking at each other in our underwear. Hers were so pretty and sexy—light pink and loaded with lace. Mine were nothing more than white cotton Jockey’s. I noticed a wet mark in her crotch. My cock oozed pre-cum as she led me to the bed. Pru pulled down the bedspread and the blankets. I clutched a small box of condoms tightly. She pulled them from my fist and threw them casually onto the night table. Then she wrapped her hands around my neck and kissed me as she pulled me down to the bed much as she had done a month ago, back in September when we had first met.

Her arms were wrapped around my back; her legs around mine. My rock-hard cock was wedged between our bodies as we rolled across the bed and back. I was experiencing sensory overload. Pru’s tongue was in my mouth. Her breasts were in my hands. My cock was in hers. She broke the kiss. I could see that her face was as covered in spit as mine was. “Pat, darling—put your hand on my pussy. Lightly now, rub my labia.” She might as well have been speaking Russian. I had no idea what she was talking about.

“Will you show me, Pru?”

“Of course, honey. I’ll show you exactly what I like. Pay attention—there’ll be a quiz later.” I scoffed and we laughed, but we both knew I’d pay close attention. I wanted her to enjoy this as much as I did—maybe more. Pru leaned over to turn on the light. I could see the moisture on her pussy when she lay onto her back, her legs spread widely apart. She took my hand, moving it into place.“Rub lightly like this first, okay? Then move into the center—you know--where you’re going to stick that lovely cock of yours later. After I’m warmed up a bit and really wet you can stick your finger in, but only one. I’m really tight. I’m sure you’ll love and enjoy that. I’ll explain later about my clit. Rubbing that will make me cum.” She saw the confusion in my face so she continued, ”Yes, Patrick—girls can have orgasms, too. Not many guys know that, but we can. Here’s another revelation for you—girls masturbate, too. Oh, you look so cute when you’re confused. Come here and kiss me.

“I’ll do the leading this time, but later you can lead, okay? I love a strong man…like you.” She held my hand and directed my movements. “Very good, Pat—oh God-- you’re making me so hot.” She stroked me with one hand while the other gave me the demonstration. Fifteen minutes later I was dying to fuck. “Okay, I know what you want. I want it, too. Now, Pat I don’t think you’ll last too long the first time. Don’t let it bother you. My mother says that’s normal. I’ve had sex with two boys before you and both of them came as soon as they put it into me.” She reached over for the condoms. She had just opened the box when she spoke again, “I’m going to ask my mom for the new birth control pill. Then we’ll be able to feel each other rather than these things.”

I knelt between her legs. She was spread wide open, her knees up. Pru grabbed my dick and pulled me to her core. She rubbed the head up and down her slit, making the condom moist with her juice. “Now, Pat, push it into me. We’re both ready; at least I know I am.” I lined up and pushed. Slowly but surely I made my way into her. Oh God! It was heaven on earth. She felt so warm and so tight, as though I was being gripped by a velvet-lined pipe vise. I moved back and pushed back in again…and again…and again. I was so wrapped up in what I was doing that I failed to notice how Pru was moving with me, rising up every time I thrust into her. We worked together for maybe two minutes before I felt it coming. The process was familiar— I masturbated daily despite it being a mortal sin in the eyes of the Church—usually more than once. Now I had committed another mortal sin. Somehow, I doubted I was the only one just as I doubted this would be a one-time occurrence.

I came incredibly hard, exploding into the condom over and over before lying exhausted on Pru’s chest once I was done. She kissed my cheek. “How’d you manage to last that long?”

“Take a guess.” I could barely speak.

She laughed as she commented, “I assume it was a real sacrifice you made for me.”

“It was,” I assured her. “My poor cock was sore by the time I finished the third one.” Now she laughed and laughed and when she was done she kissed me again. I tried to move off her, but she stopped me, telling me that she enjoyed having me inside her. “Yeah, I like it, too, but what about this condom? Aren’t we taking a chance it might leak?”

“I’m not too worried. I’m due to get my period in a few days so things should be safe.”

“I’m afraid I’ll hurt you…you know, lying on top of you like this, but I love the way you feel. Your skin is so soft and smooth...and it gets me so excited.”

She laughed again. “You know what I like—the feeling of your skin…it’s not smooth. I like the feeling of your muscles underneath.”

“You know I’m not really very muscular.”

“Maybe, but you’re not weak either. You’re in such wonderful condition from all the running you’ve done.” She was right. I had been a runner in high school—cross-country and track. I wouldn’t run competitively in college—my dad wouldn’t allow it. He said that an athletic scholarship came with a price—“They’ll own you body and soul, Patrick”--but I planned to run in the intramural cross-country meet in a couple of weeks. The college was on a big hill so most, if not all the competitors would certainly falter. However, I grew up in an area that was much hillier than this in the foothills of the Catskills in upstate New York. We chatted for a while and kissed and held each other. Before either of us knew it I was hard once again.

“See—I told you; why don’t we roll over so I can be on top? Yes, sometimes girls like to be the driver.” She pushed me over and I went willingly, wondering how Pru had learned so much about sex. She placed her hands on my shoulders and began to rock. The sensation was incredible. I especially loved the freedom she had. I also loved the idea of being able to reach up and rub her tits. We moved together for almost ten minutes. I pushed up forcing myself deep into her pussy every time she ground herself into my abdomen. I had to assume it was that thing she mentioned earlier—her clit. I noticed this time when she began to pant and move erratically. I became worried when she shook and her eyes glassed over. Meanwhile, I had my own concerns. I felt the rumbling in my groin reach a crescendo as Pru fell, completely drained, onto my chest. I felt as though my cock had exploded when I finally came. Six straight times I erupted into her, forcing her up with my thrusts with no consideration for her or her welfare as I reached my orgasm. I felt terrible when it had ended.

“I’m so sorry, Pru. I don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“What are you talking about, Pat? That was one of the best orgasms I’ve ever had. I was just about to thank you for being so considerate.”

“But, what about when I pushed you up off the bed? I was afraid I’d hurt you.”

Pru leaned down to kiss me. “That’s just part of the fun of being on top. I love that part. Pat. You did a great job on me.”

“I’m sorry…I just don’t know what’s right or what’s wrong. I guess I’m just stupid.”

“You’re anything but stupid, Patrick. You just don’t have much experience. That’s what I’m here for—to help you. In return, I guarantee you’ll help me plenty.” She lay her head on my shoulder and fell asleep. My soft cock popped from her pussy maybe a minute later. I held her gently for more than an hour before waking her so we could shower. It was the first time I had ever showered with anyone other than my brother and that had ended when I was ten and he was six.

I usually enjoyed taking a shower, but my prior experiences were nothing like this. I got to wash Pru’s body—every single part of it, even her asshole. It was fun watching her squirm. Then she did mine, pressing her tits into my chest and back. We must have kissed every ten seconds at least. The water had run cold by the time we were done. We dried each other and dressed. I returned the key; the owner returned my $100 and called a cab for us. He spoke some Gaelic while we were waiting, but I didn’t understand a word. “My father forbade us to speak it,” I told him. “He said it was from the old country. Here in the U.S. we would speak only American English. If you knew my father you’d understand why that was all we ever did.”

He nodded knowingly. “Sounds a bit like my father. After all the discrimination the Irish went through he couldn’t lose his brogue fast enough. At one point he even thought about changing his name. It was me dear sweet mother that stopped him. Well, thanks for stopping in. Will we be seeing you again?”

I looked to Pru who nodded eagerly. “Yes, sir you will, probably next Saturday night.”

“I’ll save a room for you. There’s Homecoming next week, you know—the least I can do for a fellow son of Erin.” I thanked him, shook his hand, and led Prudence out to the cab. We were back at school ten minutes later.

Chapter 3

The intramural cross-country race took place the following week. All told there were about fifty runners. I began at the back to avoid tripping over the mass of runners seeking a quick start. I had run Varsity for five years in high school, beginning in eighth grade, winning the Dutchess County meet twice and finishing in the top ten two other times. I still ran every other day, roughly six or seven miles at a time. In fact, I had run this course any number of times, except that I usually ran it twice. I stayed in the pack until we hit the hill then I opened up, catching the leaders about three quarters of the way to the crest and never looking back. I passed them before reaching the top, turning down the main drag of campus with a lead of more than a hundred yards. I loped to an easy victory in what I was told was record time for the race. I wasn’t even breathing hard. Pru met me at the finish line with my sweats, a towel, and a cold bottle of orange juice. She also gave me a huge hug and kiss. We stood by while the other competitors struggled to finish, some collapsing and others even vomiting onto the pavement.

We followed the same weekend pattern all through the fall semester with the exception of Thanksgiving when Pru returned to her family about sixty miles away in a small town up the coast from Boston. I flew home Wednesday afternoon to spend the holiday with my family—Dad, Mother, Sean, Siobhan, Katherine, and Michael. I loved my family, but I missed Prudence Devlin terribly even though I knew I’d see her on Sunday evening.

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas flew by. I used some of my poker winnings to buy presents for my family. I saw a beautiful 14K gold bracelet inlaid with a dozen small diamonds all around it while I was shopping for my mom and my sisters. It was expensive, but I knew that Pru would love it. I bought it, wrapped it and gave it to her with instructions to open it only on Christmas morning. As expected, I received a phone call from Pru wishing me a wonderful day and thanking me over and over for my gift. Pru had bought me a fantastic merino wool sweater. It was incredibly thin, but wonderfully warm. Like my gift I knew it was fabulously expensive.

Poker resumed once we were back at school. The first thing I noticed was that we had a visitor, someone I’d never even seen before. He walked behind me several times and every time he did I told him to scram. Finally, I had enough. I turned to Martin, “You’re a math major, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, why?”

“So you would know about probability?”

“Of course, you idiot.”

“Well, what would be the probability that this guy gets a fat lip the next time he walks behind me?” I turned suddenly and rose, pushing him against the wall and trapping my left forearm under his chin as I grabbed his shirt with my right hand. He looked terrified. If he had known my reputation as a fighter he probably would have shit a brick.

I looked at his shirt, noticing a pin. “What’s this?” I shoved my arm into his throat when he remained silent.

“It’s…it’s a pledge pin.”

“For what?”

“Delta Delta Delta. I’m a Delta pledge.”

“Anyone in this room a member there?”

“Just Martin…Martin Laird.”

I let him go, shoving him out the door. I turned back and stared down Martin. “Not only are you a lousy poker player, you’re also a lousy cheat. I’ll bet you even had some signals to see what was in my hand.”

“No! You’re wrong. I didn’t even invite him here.” I looked around the table. It was obvious that nobody believed him. Now I was pissed. I’d get him for sure. My chance came about a month later in the intramural boxing competition.

My father had taken quite a few beatings when he was a kid—the price of being Irish, he said. He made sure all of his children could defend themselves. We all took boxing lessons, even my sisters, beginning at the tender age of eight. Little did he know that I’d misuse those skills venting my temper against unsuspecting fellow students. I had a real Irish temper as a kid. Even now I could go off with very little provocation as evidenced by my episode with Martin’s spy.

I already told you that I was skinny. Wiry would be a better description. I was strong, but my running regimen had reduced my body fat to less than six percent. Thus, at six feet one inch I weighed only 163 pounds. Normally I’d fight in the Super Middleweight class, but when I learned that Martin would represent his fraternity as a Middleweight I resolved to go on a crash diet. I cut back on my food intake and stepped up my workouts. I weighed 157 pounds at the initial weigh-in. There were sixteen in the weight class so, fighting once a week the competition would take an entire month. Martin and I would meet in the Semi’s, assuming he made it that far. I was hoping he would. I looked forward to meeting him in the ring. I was three inches taller and my reach gave me at least a four inch advantage. I knew I’d be in better condition and much quicker, too. Then there was the experience factor. I was a brawler; I was afraid of no one—absolutely no one.

My first bout was against last year’s winner. He was much shorter than I was. I met him with a sharp jab almost as soon as he stepped off the stool. I jabbed him at least 80 times before faking the jab and giving him a strong right to the chest. Bruising his ribs would almost certainly affect his ability to punch. I dropped him with another left-right combo in the first minute of the second round. I helped the guy up and to his stool. I had nothing against him; he was just a stumbling block in my path to Martin.

Pru was there to cheer me on. She helped me to dress in sweats so I could watch the remaining bouts. I had the opportunity to watch Martin win his bout. He was what we used to call a “plodder” back in boxing class. He came in steadily, hoping to overwhelm his opponent. It worked today, but I’d massacre him with my jabs and footwork if he tried that approach with me.

My second bout was a breeze. Not only was he smaller than me, but he was terribly out of shape. I hit him once less than ten seconds into the fight—a hard right to the gut. He collapsed to the floor in pain. The ref called it a TKO. Martin’s second bout was a repeat of the first. He wore his opponent down, but I could see that neither of them was in what my former tutor would call “fighting shape.”

The following Wednesday evening it was Martin’s turn. I clocked him with a sharp jab less than two seconds into the bout. I jabbed him again and again, pelting his right eye with my fist. All told I jabbed him more than a hundred times in the first round alone. I gave him a good right to the chest just before the round ended. He had thrown a total of eleven punches the entire round, scoring with none of them. I began round two with a fake jab and a straight right to the chest, getting a full shoulder turn into the punch. He grunted in pain as he was forced to stagger back by the punch. I followed up with another right to the head as I danced away from his punches. I’d had enough playing around by the minute mark so I gave him two quick rights, the first to his chest again and, when he dropped his gloves, the second into his jaw and nose. There was a spray of blood a second later. I’ll always remember my father telling me as a child to go for the nose. “Nobody likes to see his own blood, boyo, and nothing produces more blood than the nose.”

Time out was called by the referee. I went to a neutral corner while Martin’s nose was attended to. I could see the anger in his eyes. That was fine with me. A boxer who loses his cool makes for a great target. He rushed out of the corner—into another straight right. A second went to his gut, a third to his jaw. I stepped back to admire my handiwork. I had to hand it to Martin—he had guts. No sense, but a lot of guts. He charged forward again and I easily sidestepped. I danced around until he turned. Then I unloaded with a left uppercut followed by a right cross to the temple. He dropped like a rock. Stupid Martin was up at the count of eight. I tagged him again as soon as the bout was resumed. His hands were at his sides. I could hit him at will, but I couldn’t and didn’t. I was actually afraid I’d kill him. “C’mon ref—he can’t even defend himself. I don’t want to kill him.” The ref just looked at me and shrugged. I reverted to jabbing the rest of the round, effectively closing both his eyes.

We touched gloves at the beginning of the third and final round. “Give it up, Martin. I’m killing you.” He swore at me and charged forward directly into another straight right. He went down again, but this time the ref did listen. He called it another TKO. I helped Martin up and back to his corner, congratulating him for a gutty performance. I had beaten him badly, but it was a hollow victory. There was no real satisfaction beating someone so badly even if it was a jerk like Martin. I went back to see him once my gloves were removed. I held out my hand, but he refuse to shake it. Fine--once an asshole, always an asshole.

I found Pru, changed my clothes and we walked back to the dorm. I was still sweaty when we walked into my room. Pru stripped me and led me to the shower, joining me under the hot steamy water. Five minutes later a sophomore from down the hall walked in, shocked to see the naked Pru washing me. “Just ignore me,” she told the astonished student, as though finding naked women in the men’s shower was an everyday occurrence. He left and ten minutes later we were gone, a towel around my waist and another over her long slender body. Pru dressed me in a tee shirt and shorts and put me to bed. She crawled under the blanket with me, but no sex obviously. Security checked on us, shocked to see us under the blankets, but relieved when he saw that Pru was completely dressed and accepting her story about the boxing bout. She left me around eleven, walking back to her dorm alone in the dark. I was deeply asleep until the following morning.

Poker that Friday night was interesting. Martin had already taken his seat when I arrived although how he found it I’d never know. Both eyes and cheeks were swollen and purple. In fact it was hard to find a spot on his face that wasn’t swollen. Of course, the other guys teased him mercilessly. “Enough guys—I didn’t see any of you getting in the ring with me. Martin tried hard and he showed a lot of guts, but he would have been smarter if he had stayed on the canvas.”

“You were just lucky.” I couldn’t believe it and neither could anyone else. They all howled in response. This time I let them go. Martin was just too much.

“Martin, luck is pulling a full house when you have a flush. Beating you in the ring had nothing to do with luck. I had boxing lessons as a kid and I was in more fights in school than all the rest put together. Plus, I’m in much better physical condition than you, but if you want to think it was luck…fine. Let’s play cards.” I sat and the game began. As always, I played very cautiously. I had trouble seeing Martin’s eyebrow twitch with all the swelling, but it was there. It came in handy on one deal of draw poker. I knew he had either a flush or straight. I began with three of a kind, but didn’t draw anything to help. I folded when most players would have pushed forward. He won the hand with a flush as I predicted.

“What’d you have, Irish boy?”

“Not enough to beat a flush obviously.” He laughed, but I had a feeling that I’d have the last laugh. The next hand was the first step. Seven-card stud and neither of us had much of anything showing. He had a small pair and so did I. My hand depended on what I’d draw on the final card. I watched Martin, as always, and I could see that he didn’t get his card. Frankly, looking at the exposed cards I couldn’t figure out what he could have. I actually picked up three of a kind, matching the small pair on the board.

“Okay, potato boy, I’ll bet my hand is better than yours.”

“Shut up until the betting is over.” I was sure that everyone else was thinking exactly what I was thinking—asshole. The betting was brief—fifty cents, called all around the table.

Martin opened his mouth again, “Three hundred my hand beats yours. I checked his cards—no flush or straight. I had one of his pair in my closed hand so I doubted he had trips. Two pair was my guess. I reached into my shirt pocket and withdrew $300 in twenties, laying it on the table. He matched it with hundreds. He exposed a second pair—aces. He had aces up. I flipped over my third five. I had beaten him again. Mike to my left won the hand with trip eights. I didn’t mind. The pot was peanuts compared to my side bet with Martin.

Later that night he tried two more times, once for $300 and the final time for $400. I beat him both times. I left that night with more than $1,400 in winnings, more than eighty percent coming from Martin. The following morning I took a cab to the motel, asking Mr. O’Sullivan to put it into his safe until Monday morning. I gave him fifty for his trouble.

The final bout was an anticlimax. I’d seen him in his earlier bouts and he was even worse than Martin. Rather than waste time I dropped him twice in the first round and once in the beginning of the second. He was smart enough to stay down. I accepted my award—great, a tie clip with the university shield and the words 1962 Middleweight Champion. It was something I never used so I went down to the locker room for a quick shower, Pru waiting for me in the lobby. I had just returned my briefs to my body when three other students approached. Two of them were much bigger than me and I recognized one of them as the boxer I had beaten in my first bout. I was on the defensive, fists clenched until they showed their hands and stepped away. “Relax, Patrick, this is a social call—that’s all. We all belong to Delta Upsilon and we’d like you to pledge. We saw you win the cross-country and you’re obviously the best boxer on campus. You’re the kind of person we’d like to have. A lot of us are jocks.”

“Why should I?”

“Lots of reasons—better food than the dorm, lots of social opportunities, and a feeling of brotherhood; you could even live in the house rather than the dorms. You could have your girlfriend stay over which you could never do in the dorm. How about being our guests at our party Saturday? We’ll have a sit-down dinner—prime rib. Bring your girlfriend. What’s her name?”

“Prudence Devlin…Pru.”

“I think I’ve seen her around campus a few times. Is she waiting for you now?”

“Yeah…she should be up in the lobby and probably wondering what’s taking me so long.”

“Well…why don’t you come on Friday night? We’ll show you around.”

“Sorry, but I have a standing date Fridays. That’s my poker night—the night I earn my spending money.” I went on to tell about how I had already won almost $7,000, but I never said anything about who or how.

I met Pru and she kissed me. “Let’s go to the motel. I have a surprise for you.” I asked her about it, but she was adamant. She’d show me not tell me. We walked to the student union and called a cab. Thirty minutes later we walked in the office door. I laid a twenty on the counter. Mrs. O’Sullivan gave us the key—room seven, the same room we always had. Pru took my hand as we walked the short distance back to the cabin. By now our routine was well established. I met her on the bed, pulling her long lithe body to me. “You were incredible in the ring, Pat—not only tonight, but the whole tournament. I’m sure you wanted to destroy Martin. I know I would have after all he’s done to you.”

“I wanted to beat him, for sure and, yes, I did want to hurt him, but I thought the ref let it go too long. I don’t want to maim anyone. That’s why I jabbed him almost the entire third round instead of punching him. I told him to stay down, but he wouldn’t listen. Worse, he wouldn’t even shake my hand. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

“It’s simple, Pat. He hates you and what you stand for. It’s just as well. Now you’ll have even more reason to take his money. Enough of that for now; come here and kiss me.” I leaned forward. Pru met me halfway as our lips met. Hers were soft and sweet and slightly open. Our tongues met, touched briefly and danced in our passion for each other. I pulled Pru to me, crushing her small breasts into my chest as our groins met. Pru rolled beneath me and pulled me into her. I broke the kiss and looked at her in shock. “That’s my surprise. I got my birth control pills a month ago. The doctor said it would be safe after twenty-one days. Now, c’mon boyfriend…fuck me!”

I drove home with an energy I didn’t know I even had. I should have been tired after my “fight,” but I wasn’t—not now, with the sensation of Pru’s naked flesh pressing against mine. “Oh,Pru!”

“Nice, huh? I think so, too. I love the feeling of your naked cock in me.” She couldn’t possibly have loved it more than I did. It was the best—the most incredible thing I’d ever experienced. I knew now what true love was. I loved Pru and I especially loved making love with her.

We moved together like we’d never moved before. She felt tighter than ever. I had to assume that it was the effect of the skin-on-skin contact. I looked down at Pru’s face. I could see the rapture in her eyes. I felt the rapture in her body. I knew from her breathing that she was close. The problem was—so was I. I pulled back and when I thrust again I blew into her, drowning her with my cream. I kept at it, determined to bring her along. My determination was rewarded a bit later when she shook beneath me, completely losing control of her body. I held her tightly, protecting the treasure who had given herself to me.

Finally, I moved off her, my gooey cock leaving a trail of semen across her thigh. I pulled her head to my shoulder as we rested, regaining our strength, although I doubted we’d have the time or energy for another round.

I turned to face her as I stroked her hair. “We’ve been invited to a party Saturday night.”

“Huh? What?”

“That’s what took me so long. These three guys met with me in the locker room. At first I thought they wanted trouble, especially when I saw the guy I beat in my first bout, but they belong to a fraternity—Delta Upsilon….”

“Pat, that’s one of the best fraternities on campus!”

“Yeah, whatever…anyway, they want me to pledge and they invited us to this fancy party with a sit-down meal and everything. I told them I’d have to check with you before giving my answer.”

“I’d love to go, especially with you.” We made the arrangements. Then we showered, dressed, and grabbed a cab back to campus.

Friday night poker was a repeat of the previous week although I could actually see Martin’s eyes this week. I told him I was glad to see he was recovering from my lucky three hundred punches. Everyone laughed, except Martin. I was just setting him up for another beating. I lost one intentionally, but won the final two, still taking him for $400. I won $673 that night.

I was dressed in my dark blue suit with a white button down shirt and blue and gold striped tie when I picked up Pru at her dorm. One of the DU brothers was there also and he offered us a ride in his car. I went to the back seat with Pru, but first I held the door for his date, a sophomore named Debbie. Later Pru told me that her entire dorm considered her a slut. Personally, I couldn’t tell or care. We were greeted by my erstwhile boxing opponent who turned out to the vice president. He showed us to a table in the living room. I could see that the furnishings were far better and much homier than anything in the dorms. There was a blessing before the meal which impressed me. We always had a blessing at home and I always said a brief prayer before eating. The president—I recognized him from the locker room—made some introductory remarks. I would never have guessed that I would be the subject of them. “We have a guest tonight. I’d like a big welcome for Patrick Hayden. Some of you might recognize his back from the cross-country race. That was basically all most of us saw being so far behind him. I’m sure Jack is glad to see him from a vertical position for a change….”

“Hey…I never said I was any good at boxing.”

“Well, you certainly proved that, although I doubt any of us could have done any better. Patrick, would you introduce your date?”

I stood to address the crowd. “Sure, but first I want to thank you for the invitation. This is my girlfriend Prudence Devlin.”

“Just one more question before we eat—where’d you learn to box like that?”

“Harvey’s Gym in Poughkeepsie near where my family lives; my dad insisted on all of us having lessons. I began when I was eight and kept to them until I was fifteen. He made me stop then because I was getting into too many fights in school.” There was a lot of laughter, but I laughed, too. I was having a really good time.

“Actually, the real reason we invited him is because of the number he did on our old buddy Martin Laird from the Delta house. We understand that you play poker with him. How’s that going, Patrick?”

“Very well…for me.” Again the room was filled with laughter. Once I was seated I asked Jack what was up with Martin.

“Excuse my language, Prudence, but all of us think he is the biggest asshole on campus. He is so stuck up, and over what? Because his father has a lot of money? That’s his father’s doing, not his. There isn’t a person here who doesn’t hate him. We were all cheering for you to kill the bastard—well, not literally, but to really hurt him.”

“I have to tell you. At poker last Friday he told me I was lucky. I guess I was—three hundred times.” The entire table laughed. They couldn’t believe his arrogance. Conversation turned to more pleasant subjects as the dinner was served. We began with a delicious tossed salad with vinaigrette dressing and the entrée was an excellent prime rib. I knew they didn’t eat like this every day, but their chef obviously knew his business. Joining a fraternity was looking better and better.

We went downstairs to the basement after eating to dance in their rec room. I especially enjoyed the slow ones. During one I looked down to Pru, asking her, “Having a good time?”

“You bet. I didn’t tell you earlier…my dad was a member here. I asked him to put in a good word for you.”

“When?”

“Yesterday. They are interested in the real you, but a little help never hurts. Are you going to have any beer?”

“No, but if you want one….”

“I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to get tipsy and have you take liberties with me.” I shook my head and she laughed, but then she pulled my head down and kissed me—a long wet one with her tongue halfway down my throat right in the middle of the crowded dance floor. All told we had a great time. Before the night was over I told Jack I’d like to pledge. He had a pin in his pocket. He had a few forms for me to sign, mostly to transfer my meal plan from the dorm to the fraternity. I’d be welcome to breakfast tomorrow. He’d explain a lot then.

I went to breakfast and was introduced to the other pledges. All told there were twenty of us. One or two I recognized from the mandatory physical education classes and a couple of others from my English and History classes. Breakfast was really good—a custom made omelet with my choice of fillings and almost unlimited orange juice. Jack and I met for an hour afterwards.

I met Pru for lunch then we studied and I took her out for dinner. It was dark when I returned her to her dorm. I was halfway back to mine when I was approached by a group of five guys. One of them was Martin. They never said a word—they tried to punch and kick me. Of course I got more than a few shots in, but there were too many. They left me bleeding on the sidewalk. I was closer to the DU house so that’s where I went. The brothers rushed to help me, washing the blood from my face. My clothes were removed and I was checked for bruises and possible broken bones. I could barely speak, but the first words from my mouth were, “Call Pru.” She rushed in ten minutes later in tears as I sat in the dining hall, a blanket over my shoulders. She rushed to me and held me to her chest. I looked to the brothers and told them, “There were five. Martin was one of them. I got a few shots in, but…”

“Say no more, Pat. Nobody does this to one of ours and gets away with it.” He walked away with four monsters from the football team in tow. I spent the night in Jack’s suite. He had two roommates in a bedroom and a good-sized living room. I slept on the couch. It was more comfortable than my bed. There was a disturbance around three, but I barely heard it and went back to sleep almost immediately. I was taken to the infirmary after breakfast and was surprised to find almost a dozen from the Delta house nursing worse bruises than the ones I had. Martin was one of them. I learned later that a goodly number of DU’s had raided their fraternity in what my grandfather would have called “the wee hours” and beaten them severely in retribution for what they had done to me. I had no sympathy for any of them. They had gotten exactly what they deserved and I wasn’t done yet with Martin. I told the nurse my dorm room number, but that I’d be staying at the DU house until I was feeling better. I made sure that Martin saw my pledge pin when I returned to my seat. I was praying that he’d be in the boxing tournament again next year. I’d show absolutely no mercy then, exactly what I’d show at the poker table.

NEXT: Pru and I take a major step forward.
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