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Jane and Rusty

Amateur

Jane was not plain. She was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago. She had fire engine red hair, but, as an art student, she referred to her hair color as “magenta.” She wore her hair in an old fashioned bob with bangs and people often mistook it for a wig. She had to touch up her dark brown roots every three weeks, as her hair grew rather quickly, by bleaching it first and then adding the “magenta” rinse. It was the purest of reds, she’d say.

She had her septum pierced, her nipples pierced, her navel pierced. Jane had a sprinkling of tattoos, in various places, both publicly visible and not. To the casual onlooker they appeared to all have been obtained on a whim, as there was no unifying theme, no single solitary work of art, but to Jane they were all purposeful, they all had profound meaning. She was short in stature and wore tight fitting clothes to show off her muscular physique. She lifted weights five times a week.

Jane worked at the flower shop two blocks down from the Art Institute. She enjoyed putting together flower bouquets on the spot for customers. They’d come in asking for something feminine, or something with jewel tones, or something that looked like wildflowers and she’d be able to put together an assortment within their price range. She enjoyed grouping the colors together, making sure there was a variety of forms, both rounded flowers and tall skinny flowers. She took pride in her little job.

She also took pride in being far more intelligent than she appeared. In school she wrote both essays and longer papers about things like the sexuality of Northern Renaissance still life painting, about the mixed political motivations behind criticisms of photographs by Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe, about the movement of Russian Avant Garde to Stalinist Socialist Realism. However, her major was in ceramics. And although her professor considered her a savant at the potter’s wheel, she preferred hand building, coil building human like sculptures. She had strong hands.

Jane’s boss at the flower shop often called upon her to use her writing skills to write letters for the shop, letters to brides to let them know of their wedding estimates, retorts to nasty letters from angry customers who were upset about this detail or that.

At the flower shop there were regular customers and those who just dropped in once or twice. But there were other ‘regulars’ at the flower shop. There were the designers, who designed the flower arrangements, the drivers (the weekend drivers and the weekday drivers), the UPS man, the mail man, the flower shipment delivery man, the gift item delivery man (who delivered things like baskets, vases, gift cards and the like). Most of the customers to walk through the door of the flower shop were men.

Jane enjoyed this endless assortment of ‘normal’ men. She loved to stand in contrast to them. They were so different from the boys at school. The boys at school clung so desperately to their counterculture looks, their alternative tastes. They slouched at parties holding their drinks as if they’d practiced their facial expressions in the mirror for hours. Jane had gone to bed with (or to the bathroom with, or to the lawn with) many of these boys and although many of these boys could talk the talk, they couldn’t fuck the fuck. They were boring lays. Much of this sex was some hurried version of the missionary position and there was some licking involved and that was about it. But these men at the flower shop were wholesome, real, seemingly delicious. Jane fantasized about having a chance to sink her teeth into one of them, blow their minds with her wild side.

“Maybe the UPS man,” Jane fantasized. Jane was confident. She liked that the UPS man’s socks matched his uniform. She liked the way he said, “Sign here,” with authority. She liked the way he hopped into his truck and drove off, as if into the sunset.

But this isn’t the story of Jane and the UPS man. This is the story of how Jane met Rusty. Rusty was an all-American man in his early thirties. He was a firefighter and a new regular customer at the flower shop. Rusty was huge. Not only was he tall and very well built, but he sometimes came into the flower shop still in his firefighter gear, which made his feet seem all the more large, his legs all the more long, his shoulders broader. At first he came in once a week, on Fridays, getting flowers for his girlfriend.

He’d ask for something pink, or something orange, something simple, tulips, when he asked for lisianthus, a particularly delicate flower, Jane recommended special greens for him, when he asked for lavender roses Jane recommended a dried pink filler because baby’s breath was too predictable, too obvious for that particular shade of rose. Jane took good care of Rusty. She was kind to him.

Rusty began coming to the shop on Wednesdays too. He began wooing his current girlfriend more aggressively. Rusty had a secret, a reason for this aggressive wooing. Rusty wasn’t really your typical xslot all-American boy next door all grown up. Rusty had a secret. Rusty was a sadomasochist. He had been that way as long as he could remember. Whenever he saw comic books as a kid, and they showed damsels in distress and other boys were overwhelmed with the desire to rescue them, he was overwhelmed with how beautiful they looked right then and there. Every time he met a girl, every time he revealed his secret to her, she went running. Every girl. He was afraid his current girl would do the same.

He’d tried hiding his secret from girls, but that never lasted. A bite would always land on a nipple, a slap would always land on a cheek and the slap was often returned. He’d spent many a shameful and hurried evening purchasing pornography to relieve his tension. And although Rusty was a sadomasochist, he was still wholesome. He wasn’t going to clubs and bars. He wanted to meet a “nice girl,” not some bar slut.

His current girlfriend, Melissa, was a nice girl; she was a nurse’s aid. He wanted to get it right with her. He wanted her to understand him, his desires, accept him. Thus, the wooing. But because Rusty had never gone to bars, had never tried online sex, had never become part of ‘the community’ Rusty had no clue as to how to verbalize his desires to another human being. And he had no idea how to express himself sexually. He knew he liked the sight of a woman tied up, he knew he was overwhelmed with urges to bite and slap, he sometimes knew what he liked when he watched pornography, but all in all Rusty was a confused and conflicted man. He was at a complete loss because of his desire to remain “decent,” and because of this desire he was doomed to fail with women again and again.

Jane picked up on the tension building in Rusty. Every time he came into the flower shop he was more and more nervous. Rusty felt as if he wasn’t going to be able to hold back much longer. Something was bound to happen soon. One day, when he had picked out a dozen red roses filled with eucalyptus leaves Jane took in the sight of this massive, bulky, save-the-day type man wringing his hands. She felt bad for Rusty and wanted to ease his tension.

“You know if I didn’t know any better I’d say you were about to pop the question or something. You’re all nervous. You’re buying more and more flowers. They’re more and more expensive.” Jane was blunt.

“Me? No. No. Not that. Just a big night. Hope she likes me,” he stuttered.

Rusty was obviously a taken man and Jane was obviously not his type so it felt safe for Jane to speak her mind. “What do you have to worry about? You’re totally hot, you’re a firefighter, you’re, like, a knight in shining armor. You’ll be fine,” said Jane, waving one hand in the air casually as she rung up his order.

“A knight in shining armor. That’s funny,” he said and took his flowers and left. Jane didn’t see him again for three weeks. Jane wondered about her wholesome tortured knight.

*****

Jane woke up in her dormitory to the sound of a fire alarm. Again. It was likely to be another hippy burning too much incense. She stepped into her bunny slippers and wandered outside noting the time on her way out. It was 2:34. And it was cold. She had a morning class the next day. On her way out her shoulder bumped into Rusty’s elbow as he was on his way in. They both turned around to look at each other.

Jane had seen Rusty in some of his gear before but not all of it. He looked massive. Jane looked tiny and compact. She was just over five feet tall and she had to put knots in her camisole straps to keep them from being too long and exposing her small breasts. As it was, they were still in danger of being exposed. The camisole was made of thin cotton and Rusty’s eyes quizzically rested upon Jane’s nipples.

“What? It’s cold,” Jane laughed nonchalantly, innocently. Guys have stared at her nipples like that before. She knew exactly why he was staring at her nipples. Rusty wasn’t thinking about the hardness of Jane’s nipples. He was thinking about the obvious piercings through them. Rusty was wondering why she had done that. Jane turned and walked away. She went to the fire truck and waited for Rusty there, her bunny slippered ankles crossed, her arms folded across her chest. Rusty finally came back out from the dormitory, mask under his arm.

“You can go back inside,” he said.

“Are you at least gonna tell me who I can be pissed at?” Jane asked.

“You know I can’t tell you that,” Rusty said.

“C’mon.”

“I can tell you someone lit a candle and then put it inside a wooden bookshelf,” said Rusty, rolling his eyes and smiling.

“Oh my God! The admissions committee selects us from far and wide. All over the world. We’re supposed to be smart! This is ridiculous!” laughed Jane. It was pretty ridiculous. Jane and Rusty shared a laugh at an anonymous student’s expense. During their laugh Rusty stole glances of Jane, her tattoos, her pajama pants xslot Giriş rolled down at the waistband revealing her abdominal muscles and part of a spider tattoo, those nipples, eyes laughing from behind smeared, slept-on eyeliner.

“I gotta go to bed. I have a morning class,” said Jane turning around on her toes hesitantly and walking away, her firm, muscular buttocks protruding with each step.

“Jane!” What are you doing? She’s in college. She’s on campus. You’re working! She did say you were hot… Jane turned back around, her finger in her mouth, her head down but eyes peering up with an over the top charm only an of-age college girl could pull off. “Do you want to get coffee sometime?”

Jane said, “That would be great. Yeah. I’ll drop by the firehouse on my way to the flower shop Tuesday.”

“Tuesday.” Rusty smiled genuinely. Jane made him feel just plain good. She wasn’t like the other girls, then again she wasn’t what he was really looking for either.

*****

Tuesday morning Jane got up at 10:30. She didn’t have any classes on Tuesdays, she didn’t have work on Tuesdays until 5pm. The flower shop was open until 8pm. Tuesdays were mostly free. Jane went to the gym, ran on the treadmill, lifted weights, came back to her dorm room and showered. She washed and carefully set her hair. She opened her closet and contemplated what to wear. What does one wear? Out with a firefighter? Jane was excited to go out with a decent, normal guy. This was just what she had been fantasizing about. But why did he like her? Why had he invited her out?

She remembered the way he’d eyed her during their conversation, her tattoos, her piercings. She briefly considered “dressing down,” dressing like more of a normal person, maybe a flower print dress, but then decided Rusty must like her for her. So she put on her usual skinny jeans, her favorite pair actually, with a white belt, converse, tight tee-shirt, and blue scarf knotted at her neck. She tossed her bag over her shoulder and walked to the firehouse.

When she got to the firehouse the garage door was open. She went through it and through the door at the opposite end of it and up a set of stairs. The stairs led to a kitchen where she found Rusty and two other firefighters cleaning up after an early lunch.

“Hi. Rusty,” said Jane curtly, waving her hand in the air quickly, nervously. The sight of those other firefighters made her feel anxious, as if they had been caught in the raptures of their unacceptable love. But there was no love. Jane was just the girl on the other side of the counter for Rusty. And there was nothing unacceptable, Jane was twenty-one, of age to handle a relationship with a man in his early thirties. They just looked a little different.

“You must be Jane,” said one of the firefighters, extending his hand. Jane shook it. “I’m Bob.” Bob walked away.

“Hi. I’m Drew.” Jane shook Drew’s hand and Drew walked away.

“They sure walked away in a hurry,” laughed Jane. “You been talkin’ about me?”

“Maybe a little bit. Gotta warn the guys when a girl covered in tattoos is comin’ to the firehouse.”

“I know!” Jane said. “I don’t wanna freak them out!” Jane laughed, waving her hands around. “So where do you wanna go? I see you have some coffee right there,” said Jane, hoping to stay at the firehouse, hoping things would move along quickly.

“Ah that stuff? That stuff is awful! You don’t want that! I know a great place around the block.”

“Skippy’s? By the bookstore?” asked Jane “I love that place!” Rusty extended his arm to Jane, chivalrously and overly dramatically, having to bend his knees so she could reach him. He was well over six feet tall. Jane enthusiastically took his arm and they walked together to the coffee shop, closely, feeling each other’s strides, feeling each other’s sides pressed up against one another. They shared a silence with each other as they walked around the block to Skippy’s.

Once seated, Jane had to ask, “So why are you a firefighter? What makes you want to run into burning buildings for a living? Why not be an accountant? That’s safe.”

“Well,” Wow. Jane had gone to the heart of it right from the beginning. He could barely admit this to himself but he got off on seeing women tied up and tortured, so rescuing people seemed to make up for it, being a firefighter he really could be a knight in shining armor, at least momentarily, even though really he wanted things that seemed far more dark and evil. “My dad was a firefighter. So I thought I’d follow in his footsteps.” Rusty grimaced. Jane could see there was something else there and she knew she would get to the bottom of it.

Rusty could wait no longer. It was his turn to ask, “So why all the piercings. Why all the tattoos? Didn’t all that stuff hurt?”

“Well.” Jane exhaled. “I have a unique relationship with pain,” she said, licking cappuccino foam off her thumb. Rusty raised an eyebrow. “Some things that are considered painful, I find xslot Güncel Giriş enjoyable. Like my tattoos, some people like to go to their ‘happy place’ when they’re getting tattooed, but not me. I like to really feel the pain. Really be there for it. And I consider all of these things adornments to my body. I take good care of my body, I work out, I’m just adorning it.” Rusty thought it was a nice body.

Rusty sipped his coffee. Jane enjoyed hers. They shared another silence having gotten out of the way what was bugging them each the most.

“So, you go to the Art Institute. That’s supposed to be a good school. What kind of art do you do?” asked Rusty.

“I do ceramics. Hand building. Both figural and abstract,” Jane said, nodding. Rusty had no idea what she was talking about.

“I’d like to see it some time.”

“You can come see it right now.” Jane felt suddenly shy and withdrew. “If you have time.”

“No. That’d be great. I’d love to see your… work,” said Rusty. He was intrigued by this woman who had a ‘unique relationship with pain.’ He wanted more insight into her. This woman. This girl. She seemed to like him. He wondered what he was doing with her. But he paid for the coffee and offered her his arm again, she accepted it again, and they walked the three blocks to the Art Institute.

When they reached the ceramics studio no one was there. The door was locked and Jane rummaged in her bag for the key. Rusty stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked around. Jane opened the sticky door by ramming her shoulder into it. The studio was divided into three sections. On the right were several kilns and the left section was divided in the middle by floor to ceiling shelves filled with sculptures and bowls and cups. Behind the shelves were several potter’s wheels, in front of them, several working tables.

“Well. This is my studio,” said Jane, arms extended. “My sculptures are this way… Let me get the light.” Jane reached for the light switches. Rusty reached for her hand on the light switch, ran his fingers along her arm, and paused at her shoulder. Jane looked up at him invitingly. God. Finally. Jane bit her own lip and turned down her perfectly lined eyes. She wasn’t a good girl, she wasn’t what Rusty was looking for. Rusty had nothing to loose with Jane so Rusty decided he’d give in to his desires. Just a little bit. He pushed her shoulder up against the wall with his hand. He grabbed the back of her head with the other and slouched down low enough that he could kiss her deeply, harshly, biting her lip, her tongue, his knees bent around her legs, his arms pressing her, enveloping her, the wall pressing on her back. She was caged by his enormous body. Then he stopped, stepped back, wiped his mouth and waited for her response, half waiting to get slapped on the face again, half hoping to get kissed again.

“Not here,” she said and she grabbed him by the wrist and led him to her dormitory. Menacing fantasies welled up in Rusty’s mind during that walk. As did in Jane’s. To her, here was her “normal” guy. She hadn’t picked up on the biting, the pushing. To her, here was her chance to blow someone away with her freaky side. She unlocked her door and they both stepped in. Rusty looked around as he closed the door behind him.

The ceiling was lined with a row of shelving filled with undulating pots and sculptures. There was a mirror with a dresser in front of it that had the remains of Jane’s primping ritual atop it: rollers, scattered makeup, a fine toothed comb. Jane took a few steps backwards towards her bed. Rusty walked towards her. She pushed him. She was used to being the stronger one in the bedroom. All those skinny art school boys.

“So, do you have a roommate I should be worried about coming through the door?” asked Rusty. Rusty was feeling confident now. Rusty pushed her back. Rusty was stronger than Jane.

“No. I’m a senior.” Jane fell on the bed and laughed.

This laughter provoked Rusty. He was revealing himself to her faster than he had to any other woman and she was laughing at him? Or was she just having a good time? He pushed her down onto the bed and kissed her deeply, his legs kneeling around her legs, his arms bent around her shoulders. He used his right hand to undo her belt.

Crap. Jane had worn the tightest pair of jeans she owned precisely because they looked fantastic on her ass, NOT because they came off with ease in the bedroom. She had to do a special little dance just to get them on. Getting them off was a whole ‘nother special little dance. Maybe she should’ve gone for the flower print dress. She hadn’t expected things to happen so quickly with Rusty. Rusty was able to pull the belt from her pants with one swift gesture and Jane had renewed faith that, between the two of them, they could get her pants off with minimal clumsiness.

Rusty kneeled up over her. The way he looked at her, his eyes seemed chaotic, he seemed hungry. He pulled off each shoe without untying it and threw it across the room. He unbuttoned and unzipped her pants and pulled them off with two tugs, first to the knees, then clean off. She was impressed. She was wearing a blue g-string with orange trim. It seemed to match the scarf she was still wearing.

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