Dan and Margaret were already whispering and holding hands on their side. The beer was just starting to have the desired affect of releasing their inhibitions. The darkness created the necessary privacy they needed to become intimate but they started slower than Lucky and Mary Jane.
The music was best suited for fast dancing but Lucky reached with his empty hand and connected with Mary Jane around her waist. She moved like a lithe snake and began to rub her thighs against the front of his pants.
She whispered, "Do you like that?"
"Ya, that's nice. Help me take this uniform off before you make me spill all my beer."
"Sure. Whatever you say soldier." She used her right hand to help his right hand as they went from one button to another down the front of his shirt. She could feel the bulging expression of his erection coming to life against her tight pubic area as she continued pushing against him. When they reached his belt he pulled the loose end of the shirt and she pulled on the other side to help. He moved his hand around to pull the back of the shirt and she explored behind his belt with her warm fingers.
She used her leverage to pull closer and harder with her hips as she kissed him with her open mouth. She liked the roughness of his coarse lips and beard stubble against her tongue. She reached with her chest to press against his as she moved up and down to the music.
Somehow he managed to get his shirt off with one hand and tossed it in the general direction of the bed onto his locker. It hit with a noise of metal against metal. He began tugging his t-shirt and she helped until it met a similar fate.
"Help me now." She pulled her blouse up on one side and he cooperated by pulling up on the other. Somehow it went up even over the massive obstruction of her rather large breasts.
The bra was of a peculiar type that fastened in the front. He put his hand around her back searching in vane for fasteners, just trying to be helpful. He pulled her tight in consolation, and whispered in her ear. "How do you do this?" He was embarrassed to ask, as they moved against each other still dancing as close as possible.
She recognized the problem immediately but to tease, she let him fumble helplessly for a minute. "God, you must be new at this." She quickly unfastened the mechanism in between her breasts and it dropped to the floor.
He moved his free hand to the front and held the full mass of her left breast in his searching fingers. It was alive and hot and delicately smooth. The nipple extended to his chest and electrified his whole system as it moved up and down.
She felt the strong grip of his hand and reached around him to pull hard up against his moist chest. She could feel the rough surface of his stomach against her flesh and massaged the entire front of his body with hers. The gentle friction was more intoxicating than any effect of the full strength beer.
Lucky had an inspiration. "Come with me into the shower room and help me take a shower." There was a toilet and shower shared between their room and the next.
"Sure. Just don't use any cold water."
They made motions of dancing and moved toward the toilet door which was on Dan's side of the room. Dan was laying full on his back with Margaret on top conducting a modest version of the same operation as Mary Jane and Lucky.
Lucky broke their contact long enough to enter the small compartment. He turned on the single mirror light with a pull of the chain. Mary Jane closed the door behind her and slipped out of her skirt and shoes while Lucky secured the inside lock on the neighbor's door. He chugged the last drink of his beer in continuous gulps. He turned on the shower water coordinating the hot and cold to give a warm flow. He stepped out of his shoes and pants and stepped into the tile shower box with Mary Jane fast on his heels.
"My hair is going to look like shit."
"It'll be real clean. Think of it that way. It's been a long day for me. I really need this."
There was room for two as long as you didn't mind intimacy and of course that was their entire objective. Lucky took a piece of soap and began to wash her back while facing her and embracing. They took turns washing each other all over like two chimpanzees grooming.
"God you have beautiful full breasts." The matched pair were not just large but wide and firm with freckles. There was the right amount of light to appreciate the view without disturbing the intimacy.
"Your cock feels nice too." She couldn't stop making contact with both hands and rubbed up and down and massaged his testicles gently. They were flaccid and descended in the warmth of the shower water. He was stiff, large and round like a pole. She pushed down and helped put his penis between her outstretched legs.
He moved down and back gently and bent his knees enough to get the proper angle. He penetrated her swollen labia easily and leaned back against the wall of the shower. He hoisted her buttocks with both hands as she reached around his neck and lifted herself completely off the shower floor. Their motions were effortless and coordinated as if choreographed.
In the direct flow of the mild water they moved as one. He lifted and she shinnied with her legs wrapped around the saddle of his hips and legs. She moved up and down creating an extreme tension throughout her whole body. He was alternately deep inside and close to the surface. She resisted his movements to gain the pressure where she could feel the nerves growing and responding. She moved her clitoris spasmodically against the base of his erection.
She came so quickly he was still intact holding firm against her involuntary motion. He was so deep that he hadn't felt pressure against the head of his penis. He lifted her to gain more sensation. She was helping so eagerly that his muscles weren't tiring. His legs felt as strong as trees and her grip around his hips was tight and solid. His face was between the overreaching flesh of her wet breasts and he nearly suffocated a few times. He had to bend his neck and fight to clear his mouth for air.
Her head was above his with her forehead pressed against the wall of the shower. She was a puppet suspended effortlessly in air by invisible strings. The strong lift with his hands carried much of her weight, the rest she could support as she slid up and down his well lubricated shaft.
He whispered just barely audible, "I can feel it's getting close. Come with me. Fuck me."
She began moving the full length and creating a super hot friction. She could feel his tension as his hip rotated compulsively reaching up and up again. She slowed her movement and let him propel the inevitable conclusion. To her surprise her nerves came alive again and the spasm of orgasm repeated inside her and massaged his apparatus in a natural synchronous rhythm.
"Ugh. Ugh. God that's good." He groaned against her chest as the ejaculated fluids thrilled his nerves and spit into the hollow of her vagina.
The impact of the hot fluid was barely perceptible inside. It was more an instinctive sixth sense that reacted rather than being felt by ordinary nerves of surface flesh. Her muscles jerked and contracted naturally sending a blinding flash of light throughout her visual senses. The spasm subsided as quickly as it began. The fluid lubricated so effectively that his motion lost its sense of urgency.
He slowed his rotation only gradually reaching for all the sensation the moment could provide. Her legs relaxed and she gained weight against his hips as he bent his knees. His back slid down the smooth shower wall as he lowered her feet to the floor. Now he was exhausted and his thighs were trembling from the exertion. He dropped one knee to the drain still holding her buttocks for balance. He pressed his face against her expanding and contracting stomach. It was a moment of virtual worship designed by nature to create a psychological bonding between the two participants. He paused momentarily before standing to regain his strength as she stroked his head and neck affectionately.
Mary Jane was the first to break the silence when she whispered. "God I've never done that before. Geese I came twice. The second time was bigger than the first."
"You were flying. And I was flying you. I felt like Samson. Now I feel like a sponge."
"At least we're clean."
"Ya, and I'm thirsty all over again."
They rinsed off thoroughly and turned off the water.
She was startled by his exclamation. "What's wrong."
"I didn't bring a towel in. Shit I have to go get a towel."
"You're not as Lucky as you claim."
"I'll be right back." He grabbed his pants and draped them in front of his nakedness. He moved out the door in a stoop and shuffled over to the shared closet and fumbled for a towel.
There was a shrill whistle from Dan's direction. It was that sort normally used to acknowledge and attract the attention of a beautiful girl.
"Damn it. Where's my towel?"
Even Margaret got into the act. "Nice buns Lucky."
"Give me a break guys."
"You want I should turn on the light?"
"Shit. Here it is. No!" He grabbed the towel and returned to the shower room. He gave Mary Jane the towel first since they had to share it.
Once they were partially dressed they retired to Lucky's bed to drink another beer. They began to discuss plans for their date on Saturday.
By now Dan had a plan. "How 'bout we go to Lake Vernon? We can rent a boat from Special Services and get a group together for some water skiing."
"Ya that sounds great." Mary Jane caste her vote of approval eagerly.
"I don't know about all this. I have to admit I can't hardly swim." Jack had tried to teach Lucky, he was the closest thing to a human rock imaginable.
"It'll be okay. I'll give you a swimming lesson. I used to be a lifeguard." Margaret suggested this as her affirmative vote.
"Then it's all settled. If you can't ski Lucky you can drive the boat. You're bound to be a natural with motors."
"Sure, I can always keep the motor going. Geese I've never even been in a boat."
"You big sissy. You'll do fine. Pick us up about nine o'clock and we'll have a picnic lunch ready." Mary Jane's authoritative suggestion sealed the plan.
Lucky was in a mild state of panic. "I'll bring some beer." He figured that might give him the courage he needed to get in the boat.
Just as Jack was progressing a thunder bolt hit.
Up at six as usual, washed, exercised and laid down to study. Then to the surprise of all of us who were laying in bed studying, the president came in at 7:05 to get us out of bed to have a meeting. He was angry at us for being in bed. So after dressing we all trotted over to the church for our scolding. We had a good emotional meeting. I decided then to make a determined effort to gain a testimony.
The president was really upset. He also complained about the missionaries' living quarters. They were in too close proximity to what he described as a brothel. If they didn't see it, they didn't have the spirit.
So much for that apartment. To Jack the accommodations seemed quite ordinary. It was a rather poor area of the city but he had lived in worse. The occupants in the room just down the hall were apparently young women. There was some speculation that they were active at night. It was suggested that they were doing more than just living there. Jack hadn't even paid attention to the girls, but the others had gotten a few clues and told the mission president. So, they had to move again.
Jack was a little surprised and dumfounded by all this commotion. He had actually been working better and didn't feel he deserved such strong derision. As it turned out, Jack wasn't the main part of the problem. Elder Herman and his companion were transferred immediately. Apparently he didn't impress the president as a strong enough leader, probably too introspective. Jack had been more or less unaware of their activities in a different part of the city but was genuinely surprised and disappointed by the loss of his new friend. This set in motion a new cycle of self-appraisal for Jack, just as he had begun to "loose himself in the work."
I need more conviction to guide myself. Then I decided to fast, so I did the rest of the day. Our morning appointment didn't hold up...Then we went to some comebacks...off to an appointment in the evening but no luck. Then home and I prayed for an entire hour...
Jack stayed on his knees for the entire time trying to torture his body to make himself receptive.
I awoke at 2:30 AM and prayed again a bit.He was aggressively searching for some answer and building a point of crisis in his mind.
Maybe he wasn't asking the right questions.
He awoke again at 6:00 and prayed some more, kneeling at the side of his bed. The rest of the day was a routine of tracting and checking on comebacks. After lunch they had even more success.
...then an appointment at 2:30. Then a meeting and Screening Discussion, then another and another. We're doing okay. One lady gave us some apple pie. Then got my bike fixed... After dinner we talked to an atheist. We talked him into being an agnostic. That was progress, but nothing else. Home late, it's getting cold out.
Jack continued praying fervently in the evening and again the next morning. This was a process of reviewing in his mind his status and asking repeatedly for some guidance. The two began working harder each day, Jack was running on will-power and the force of determination rather than dedication. He did not perceive his success as an answer to his prayers; at least he should have considered the apple pie as significant.
Saturday morning Jack suggested: "Al, you should help me today. We have a meeting with two girls and one is a real cream-puff." Jack looked over at Elder Simons and winked.
"Oh ya, you'd like her. She's built too." That part was true, as long as you understood the pun. She was built the same size as two.
Even though Jack was running on reserves he hadn't lost his sense of humor. "We met these two girls yesterday and they gave us an appointment for this morning."
"What does she look like? She can't be that great."
"She's like a beauty queen or something." Elder Simons was getting a little carried away. The "or something" was more accurate.
"You probably won't like her. She's nearly as tall as you with jet black, shinny hair. Her figure is like an hour-glass." Jack made the necessary motions with his hands, a very large hour-glass.
"If she's really beautiful I could use the diversion."
"She's not my type. I like blondes." Simons continued the ruse.
"Of course her physical appearance shouldn't make any difference. She's just another of God's children." This was Jack's weak attempt at reverse psychology.
"Probably His favorite one though." Simons' personality was improving daily.
"I'll go but if you guys don't deliver I'll be upset." Al left for the toilet.
"He believed us." Simons had to cover his mouth with his hand to control his laughter.
Al went with Jack to the appointment. When the door opened Al just looked over at Jack and didn't say anything; he just frowned. She was about as ugly as possible and rather large. Nice guys! In fact she was reasonably interested in The Church, or the missionaries, who knows? It made Jack feel better to have any success and he continued to work harder.
Sunday proved to be one of the best days yet.
Up at 6:00 AM, exercised and dressed. Wrote a couple of letters then out to Priesthood meeting early. My comp had been sick during the night and lost all his food. He's okay this morning. I directed the music and also during Sunday School and the song practice where I improvised. We had a couple of investigators out, Mario and a Signore DeRose. He is a sharp guy with a three year old daughter.It was nice to have a couple of live ones interested in what they were being told.
We decided to have a street meeting in the plaza below our window since we expected to move from the area. Not that bad. Many people made promises to come to church, but only two complied. This is considered excellent. I hadn't given a street meeting discourse for so long. It took me a while to warm up. My comp got stuck translating something so I built up my enthusiasm and really let them have it. I wore out my voice doing it. We gave out two copies of The Book of Mormon before Sacrament meeting.
Al had begun using this method of contacting, having profited from the experience he had reluctantly observed in Bari with Jack. Since then Jack had advanced the technology and added a new wrinkle. He had prepared an interview form which was to be used by missionaries working away from the center of the meeting.
The idea was to ask a few simple questions, like: "Are you interested in learning about other religions?" Then simply record the responses, names and addresses of those interested. This helped shy missionaries make better contact with more people.
One man from the street meeting was there when we got to church. He is a smart guy about 28 or so. After a brief but good meeting I talked with him for 30 minutes. He really challenged me. Good guy. Then to the church and waited for the second guy to show up. He did! So I and Sister Sloper talked to him, good combination. She's a lady missionary from Germany. Then home after selling another Book of Mormon. That makes four books today!
Jack had another surprise on Tuesday. He received a letter from his mother that contained a copy of the Church News published in Salt Lake City. It showed Jack by his street board giving a large street meeting in Bari. Apparently the Mission Office had sent the picture and the article Jack had written through channels and it had gotten printed. Now he was truly a foreign correspondent. Just a little ego boost. It never hurts.
Jack set up another street meeting for Thursday at the same place as before, Piazza Statuto.
We were there for three and one half hours. We met one sweet old lady, Maria. We had scheduled a meeting at the church for that evening. That was an attempt to give the people more immediate personal contact. For her, it worked. Then we walked her to her bus, sweet lady...We got a new Sister in town today from Spain, a Sister Perez. She seems nice too. Another active, successful day.While preparing for bed the two companions discussed their situation. "It feels better when we have some real teaching to do." Even Elder Simons was expressing a positive emotion for a change.
"Ya, I know what you mean. It's easier to think about working when you get some results." Maybe this was the answer to his prayer but he didn't understand it this way. If he had, his religious life might have turned around and ended differently.
"It seems like most of our good contacts are women. Do you think women are naturally more interested in religion?"
"That's probably why they used to have polygamy. Because there were always more women than men in The Church." Jack was theorizing about the sociological implications, as if these were the causes of Joseph Smith's revelation establishing polygamy. Who knows?
"That's always been a curiosity. People who know anything about The Church seem to know that."
"Well, it's a complicated aspect of the religion. Does it ever bother you to think about all the changes that have taken place in The Church?"
"No, I guess that's what Prophets are for."
"I suppose. But sometimes I have a hard time keeping everything in perspective."
That explanation hadn't occurred to Jack. By subtle steps he was losing his ability to accept these rationalizations and beginning to look at his religion from the outside. Simons comment about the need for Prophets was a text book response. It was always a good come back that could explain any eccentricity but Jack had not internalized this concept the same way Elder Simons had. The two ended the week with 71.5 hours total time. That was a new record for both of them. They had turned over a new leaf.
One source of inspiration was constantly present for Jack, his Love on the other side of the world. As a special treat for his birthday Julie had asked Jack to call at her expense. Jack passed his birthday in deliberate silence. Keeping to himself as much as possible made sharing it with her that much more unique and important.
Earlier in the week he had gone to the train station to locate a phone booth especially designed for international calls. All week long Jack looked forward to the appointment for Saturday. Most of the work that week was routine, seeing people with whom they had already made contact. It was Elder Simons' turn to be sick this week. He complained of repeated diarrhea and needed to stay as close to the apartment facilities as he could.
It seemed like forever before Saturday came. It took ten hours of preparation divided over four days to arrange for the six minute call, but all that made it more sensational.
I called Julie. It was great. After waiting for a half hour or so, the call went through. It was great. She really has a sweet voice. I love her.
Julie woke abruptly as the phone rang. She was in her dormitory alone; her roommate being gone for the weekend. She said out-loud: "Hello," to no one to adjust her voice, then answered the phone.
"Collect call from Italy, will you accept the charges?"
"Yes," she said meekly.
"Hello, Julie? This is Jack."
"Hi. I'm so glad you called and happy birthday!"
"It is now. This is a very nice gift. I've wanted to talk to you so many times. Your letters mean so much to me, I think I am addicted to them."
"I know what you mean. Is everything alright?"
"Ya. We worked really hard last week. This week my companion is sick, so we haven't been able to do as much. But we're trying to teach a few people that look like good prospects. You know I finally got those white pants you sent me. They have baptized several people, not by me, but some of the other guys took them out of the package that was torn and used them before they gave them to me."
"Well, I'm glad you got them finally. Did you ever get those shoes I sent?"
"Oh, ya I did. Did I forget to say thank you? I'm sorry. I used them a lot last year; just recently for the basketball team tryouts. But I didn't make the team. There is a tournament here in three weeks and I am helping to plan that. Did you get a package from me yet?"
"No. What is it?"
"I can't say, but I think you'll like it." Jack was referring to the cameo he had purchased in Napoli.
"It's great to hear your voice, you sound so happy and eager. I've been studying real hard. I'll go home again for Christmas, but I have to write several reports and my schedule seems harder each year."
"You're a good student, so you'll do fine. You always got better grades than me. Did you find Torino on the map? This is the city where they make the Fiat cars."
They got more personal as the time ended. Julie was sitting on her bed, wiping silent tears and controlling her voice as best she could. She searched every word Jack said for emotion, but he seemed a little off-hand and normal, like he was trying to hide his emotions. Which he was.
This talented foreign correspondent was something at a loss for words when it came to expressing his emotions and excitement over the phone, but in the end they each communicated their feelings well enough. Jack found it strange talking to her after so long, she had taken on mythic proportions in his mind. He did tell her that he loved her and appreciated her support. In fact he had become dependent on that support but couldn't have made that analysis from the inside looking out onto the events of his life.
Jack and his companion began teaching Maria Bergesio. She was widowed and lived in a nearby community, Rivoli. The pair went by bus several times, and she came to church. She was a little weird. One day she would be ready for baptism, the next she would forget about what they had discussed. Jack was uncertain about her mental stability but continued teaching her because it was convenient and most of the time she showed an unusual enthusiasm.
During the next district meeting Jack presented a lesson dealing with one of those obscure, mysterious doctrines the Mormons maintain, Blood Atonement associated with Capital Punishment. Mormons believe that in order to obtain forgiveness for a capital crime, the perpetrator must be punished by death which must include the shedding of their blood. In the event of a hanging, which was used in Utah, The Church officials would insist on inflicting a knife wound to make the guilty party bleed. Otherwise there would be no blood atonement for the crime. Jack found this superstition curious and studied it precisely because of the strange nature of the doctrine.
November came with Jack involved half-heartily in his routine, getting up early, teaching and traveling around town. They were still looking for another apartment and/or a suitable meeting house. They continued their search off and on, while meeting with members, investigators and knocking on doors when there was nothing else to do.
On one trip across town the two got lost and wandered through a series of narrow streets. Around one corner they suddenly saw an American flag. Jack just about fell off his bike.
"Gee Simons, look at that. It's an American flag."
Elder Simons hadn't noticed since he mostly just followed with his eyes down looking for defects in the road and for storm drains.
"What's that doin' here?"
"What's that sign say?" Jack road up closer. "It's the flippin' American Consulate. Damn that's nice. The Stars and Stripes proudly waving in the gentle breeze."
"It's been so long since I've seen a flag, I practically forgot all about it."
"Doesn't it kinda make you stir inside?"
"No, I can't feel anything except I'm hungry."
"You insensitive jerk; you must be a Communist or something."
Elder Simons just ignored Jack's friendly insult. They had grown close enough to complain to each other as a form of teasing. They were almost friends.
"Go ahead and salute if you feel like it; it's okay with me. Nobody's looking."
So Jack did. "Ya, I feel like it. It feels good. I haven't thought about being an American for so long. It really feels good to make this connection. I used to take the pledge of allegiance for granted. Now I feel a strong attachment. It's like seeing an old friend." He was surprised by his own emotions. A sense of pride and nationalism swelled inside that he hadn't experienced before.
"You can really get carried away about some simple things. Then, when it comes to important things like eating, you couldn't care less."
"Let's take just a minute to go inside. Do you mind? Can your stomach wait just another few minutes?"
"We're an hour late already, so what's another few minutes?"
They went inside the Consulate just to look around. The next equally pleasant surprise came when they found a small library of books in English. Jack checked out a copy of "Freud's Interpretation of Dreams."
Just for the heck of it.
The discovery of the American Flag put Jack in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Since Torino is an international center of automobile manufacturing, it had one of the largest and most interesting car shows anywhere. Jack shared one last excursion with Al before his transfer.
The two were standing in front of several sparkling sports cars when Jack asked, "Which one of these beauties do you want?"
"There's only one car worth owning, why do you ask? That black Lamborghini is as good as mine."
"Okay. That red Ferrari is mine. That's my dream car. That Lamborghini is too flamboyant."
Al looked shocked. "If you don't have the self-confidence, hey, don't let that bias your judgement."
"How does that image of macho, gigolo, jive with your ultra-conservative politics?"
Al Will looked disgusted at the philistine Jack. "I'm wasting my time trying to educate you. You don't even have a clue."
The teasing arguments continued as the missionaries circulated among the sleek, shinny, sports cars sparkling from bright overhead lights. They were being tempted to achieve economic success and financial independence, concepts foreign to their missionary endeavors.