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Mary waited until they were safely inside Cindy's room before she answered Cindy's question. "Well I like Jack and all..."
"Just between us, tell me... Have you and Jack..." Cindy whispered.
"Did we ... what?"
"You know, did you?" Cindy smiled naughtily.
"Well. I never." Mary snorted. She paused and looked at Cindy. "No. Close. But no."
Cindy didn't believe it. "DAMN! The whole world thinks you did."
The stately maid of the House and the Butler walked out to the car.
The butler opened the car door.
"Dear God!" The maid exclaimed. She extracted Peggy from the mass of destruction and ignored Dale pinned to the frame of the sunroof and Kremin's face flat against the side window. "My dear child you're soaked to the bone, come with me..." She said to Peggy, "Martha, come here, I need help!" The maid hollered at the house.
Dale heard a very formal voice speak to them. "Master Ristor, do you require some assistance?" He looked for the speaker but couldn't find him without twisting kind of sideways.
Kremin couldn't see the Butler, in fact all he could see was the sky, the ceiling and a light bulb, "No, I'm doing quite well, thank you." He said with all the sarcasm he could muster.
The man nodded and turned to leave.
"Hey. HEY!!!" Yelled Dale who could see him now. "HELP!"
"Wait a minute. I was kidding. Get us out of here!" Kremin shouted, he wiggled and managed to get one hand out the partially opened window, he waved frantically.
It was harder than anyone expected to extract them. The butler called the dealer and they rushed a service crew to the house. "If either of the young gentlemen express any great discomfort I will have the Fire Department cut them out of the vehicle." He told the serviceman.
"Well, Mac." The stout mechanic said over a well chomped cigar, "Aye... 'e'll gib it a whirl but I ain't promisin' nut'n. Got'a light?"
"Well, you tell me... Have you and Mike been...?" Mary asked Cindy in conspiratorial tones.
"ME? DO THAT?" Cindy said with faked astonishment.
"You. Miz White. And Mike, boy lawyer."
Cindy flipped her hair and smiled, "Me? ... Of course I have, every chance I get, and..." She got a little haughty, hands on hips, feet apart.
Mary tried to keep a straight face. "...And?"
"AND... Miss Vestal Virgin, I like it, and I'll do it some more. And, if I get a chance I'll do it today."
"With Mike." Mary added, laughing. Cindy smiled and nodded with a slight shrug.
Cindy looked Mary over, then she opened her closet. "Mary, tell me something." They exchanged looks, Mary nodded, Cindy continued, "Its none of my business and you can tell me so. But I'm dying to know. Are you a virgin?"
Cindy peeked out of the closet at her friend, she wasn't sure if Mary was going to answer her question, throw things at her, or walk out.
Mary flopped onto the couch, "Well. I hate to disappoint you. But no, I am not a virgin. I haven't done it recently, but I'm not pure."
Cindy looked at her, then pulled out a bottle of rum. "Thank God." She said, then looked at the bottle, "Ahhh, the elixir of life itself."
"My toe's are getting frostbite in my shoe."
"Quiet Dale, we're going to disconnect it."
"Bilbo? Dr. Harrison? Disconnect what? My foot?" He panicked and squirmed.
"No dingbat. The refrigerator."
Kremin was still pinned to the side of the limmo. The short oily mechanic looked at him through the window. "Dis ting in a 'reck?" he asked.
Kremin said nothing. The butler answered for him, "No sir. It seems Mister Ristor was demonstrating some of the conveniences of the limousine and had some difficulty."
The mechanic tapped on Kremin's window. "Ya screwed up big time buster."
Harrison managed to snap the line on the side of the fridge. It heaved and sighed and let loose of Dale's foot. Dale jerked and scrambled out the open sunroof.
"NOW GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!" Screamed Kremin.
"Ahhh, Mac. Ya see, da h'draulic sys'em is o'erpressurized." The mechanic was saying to the butler. "Da, da, resi'or 'az a vapor lock an Bud canno get da motor a gooin' ta get da pump ta break da lock, an it's a gonna take awhale." He felt his pockets. "'ey Mac, gotta seegar on ya, mine's gone out."
The butler looked at the man and walked away from him.
"Can't we just pry him out?" Dale said rubbing his cold foot.
They spent the rest of the night talking girl talk. Mary was convincing Cindy she was a fanatic about 'safe sex', Cindy believed that after a time in a relationship there was a point to trust the other person, after all, he was trusting you too.
Since the funeral they had been closer than ever as friends. Cindy confided in Mary about her recurring nightmare. Mary didn't know how she felt about anything anymore. She was confused about Jack, and still upset about Carol.
To lighten the mood a little Cindy told Mary about one of her old favorite places to do it. It came in handy back when she was just a sophomore, and the dorm didn't have convenient visiting hours.
"So where is this mystery place?" Mary asked.
"In the elevator."
Cindy smiled wickedly, "We just stopped it between floors and had some fun."
Mary was a little confused. "How can you make love in the elevator in this dorm and not get caught?"
"You know how it breaks down. Well it can break down on cue if you know how."
Mary nodded, "Move the door while the car is moving."
"And if you pull the stop button while the car is stopped, it alarm doesn't go off. Then you got all the time in the world."
Mary laughed and laughed.
Cindy went to get a fresh glass of wine. "Now don't you go getting any ideas."
Mary had to leave, "I got to get over to the house to wait for Jack and my car."
"Call the police, they'll turn him up." Cindy toasted her.
"If he doesn't show, I just might do that." She said.
"Er. Mac. Ya could pry 'im out if ya weren't int'rested in savin' da car. But I'd...." The mechanic was saying, but the butler wasn't listening. He was taking mighty strides to the mechanic's service van.
He came back with a couple of tire irons and a few big screwdrivers. The mechanic's helper wedged into the compartment as far as he could and grabbed Kremin's arm. Dale took a big screwdriver and jammed it in between a seat support and the frame. Harrison did the same on the other side, the others did what they could, and got ready.
"Allright. On three. Heave as hard as you can." Harrison said with a grunt.
"One.... Two....Three...." The butler counted.
Harrison was pretty strong in spite of his bulk, the others pushed, and twisted and shoved. Finally after a good bit of cursing and groaning, the overstressed hydraulic system gave up. A line exploded, showering everybody with pinkish fluid.
The helper pulled and Kremin flexed, and they both flew from the car. Everybody cheered, then wiped at the fluid.
"Jee'z Mac. It worked, but I'm go'na have some tru'ble figr'n out dis bill. En'..."
"And nothing Sir." The butler cut him off. "It would seem the limousine had some mechanical difficulty resulting from either faulty parts or inferior workmanship on the installation. This vehicle is brand new, all of the systems have not been used before. The first time they are they very nearly kill three young people. I believe the entire auto is covered under our extended warranty. You, sir." He looked the mechanic right in the eye. "You will tow this heap in, provide us with a loaner that is at least comparable, and repair this one for free. As well as telling the dealership they will be receiving a bill for the cleaning of all of our clothes."
The butler stared him down, "Sir, this action is appropriate as it was an emergency situation and extraordinary measures were required to prevent any further discomfort and risk of injury to Mister Ristor and the others. The dealership should be thankful that none of the passengers were seriously injured." He waved the others toward the side door. "Good day, sir."
The mechanic and his helper watched them go. "'ell. I gu'ss he told us."
"Aw, shut up Bill, I'll drive the limmo." His helper said to him.
Mary called the house from her room. No Jack.
She waited an hour or so in her room listening to her radio. Her TV had half fried itself and she wasn't sure if it was worth getting repaired or not. She had heard good things about the repair service run in the engineering department as part of the consumer electronics classes, but they always had a waiting list, and there were stories about TVs and VCRs and things that went over there, and were never seen or heard from again.
Finally Mary walked to the house, by way of the Union. There was a letter in her mailbox. Somebody she had never heard of in Texas was soliciting money for a cause she didn't care about, all the while claiming to be her best friend. Mary read most of the letter and looked at the pictures of a desolate desert landscape this person wanted to make into a preserved habitat for an ugly little lizard. She dropped the letter into her purse because there was never a trashcan when you wanted one.
She arrived at the house, they immediately invited her in. Females were always welcome, the house was just like a frat in that respect.
Mary was allowed to tour the house on her own. She visited the big refrigerator with the wine box in it. Then she went upstairs and watched Bud throw laundry into a big cardboard box. "You should do laundry more than once a month." She said to him.
He didn't answer. Mary pulled a textbook from the armload of shirts he dumped into the box. He half-smiled at her and took the book back.
She had heard a story about a guy who claimed to have not done laundry for an entire semester. Later they found out he had cheated, he had showered with his underwear.
Mary left Bud to his plans, he was going to pay a laundromat to sort this mess and wash it. Some of the clothes were from summer school, and he admitted that some of it might not even be his. She suggested to him that he add his drapes to the box. He did, without removing the hooks from them.
Peggy was being fussed over by the solidly built maid, Miss Alice.
Martha, an older woman who was house cook, was pouring some hot tea into her. They had taken her clothes, and pushed her toward a hot bath laced with herbal suds. Peggy was enjoying it, she had never 'taken a chill' in her life, and she wasn't sure what it was, but it felt good to be taken care of like this.
"How are you doing child?" Miss Alice asked her when she was in the steaming bathtub.
"Fine, Miss Alice."
The lady smiled. "You call if you need anything. Just sit there and soak good, then we'll find you some dry clothes."
"Thank you, you are all too kind." Peggy said sweetly.
"Think nothing of it after what you've been through."
Peggy might have thought about it if she knew that downstairs Martha was on the phone to a clothing store, ordering Peggy some new clothes. The women had decided that the car grease, sodapop, beer, and strange green stuff would never come out of her sweater and blouse. So they got her sizes from the clothes, and ordered her new.
Jack finally called, he told Mary he was sorry he was running late, but he'd be back at the house in a little bit.
She waited a good deal longer than 'a little bit' and when he showed up he wouldn't say where he'd been all day. But he seemed in a better mood.
They sat in his room for awhile, finally it seemed Jack wanted to talk about it. Or rather, he wanted to not talk about it.
"Aren't you going to ask where I went?"
Mary looked at him. "I did. You wouldn't say."
"Are you going to ask me again?"
"Did you damage my car?"
"No." He shook his head.
"Does it involve me?"
He frowned, "Not really."
"Then I don't care."
He put his hand on her shoulder. "You have to care."
She looked at him like he was from Pluto. She felt a chill climb up her back. Mary wasn't sure she liked the sound of that.
Later Peggy climbed out of the bath and wrapped herself in the terry cloth robe left for her. She opened the door a little. Miss Alice walked in with an armful of clothes and things.
"Oh, Dear. You can't be running around here starkers. Here are your clothes. You can dress in here. Martha has a fresh pie cooling, I'll do your hair."
Peggy did as she was told.
Meanwhile, Dale, Kremin, Dr. Harrison and the butler paraded into the utility room to get cleaned up. The butler turned and faced them, he nodded to a side bathroom. "There are two showers gentlemen, you will find robes in the closet. I will send your clothes to the cleaners, they should have them back in just over an hour. Please make yourselves at home in the meantime." He left.
They took dibs on the showers and made piles of their soiled clothes. In less than five minutes the butler returned for the dirty laundry, he was just as clean and crisp as ever. He collected their clothing and left without even a word.
Dale was last for the shower, but he had found the movie channel on the TV and was watching one of the 'Star Trek' movies, so he didn't mind much. Their cleanup took some time.
After everybody had washed the pink fluid and other goo out of their hair and dried off, they sat around in the robes watching the movie and talking. Dr. Harrison was delighted Dale was thinking of moving in instead of Kremin.
"There has been a movement to bring in a new element into the house. It had been pretty much based on academics, but now some of the powers that be want to have a truer sense of the total university experience instead of just a house full of eggheads. To more truly reflect the outside the classroom environment of the school. Which is more important, regardless of what the pure academics tell you." Harrison was puffed on a cigar, he seemed rather pleased with his speech. "I think that is the true aim of the Roz House."
"Very good sir." The butler said from the doorway.
Two Dorms Part 7
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