All the Shades of White - Part 1

Jean White was the head librarian at a small mid-western university.  She stood five ft seven, weighed 120, with auburn hair, and hazel eyes.  She was in good physical shape and no one would have guessed that she was 61, when she looked more like forty-five.  She was always impeccably dressed and today she wore a black turtleneck sweater, black tight fitting slacks, black stockings, heels with a pearl necklace and matching earrings.  

Jean enjoyed being in control whether it was in the library or in relationships.  She was subtle in her approach and not overbearing.  She had never been married but had enjoyed the company two men over the years.  She liked men who would succumb to her charms and allow her to be in control of the situation.  This private side of her was known only to those who were very close to her.  

It was the week before finals and the winter break that she was sitting in the coffee shop of the crowded student union.  Every table was filled with students or faculty but Jean had managed to snag a table to herself.  She was looking forward to the two and half week long winter break with mixed feelings.  She would enjoy the time off, but she needed a pleasant distraction.  Someone who would be there for her.  Who would be at her beck and call.  Someone who was ready to serve.  She sipped her mocha latte.  As she scanned the crowd she saw a likely candidate.  

Professor Mike Barnes, chair of the philosophy department walked in the coffee shop.  Barnes was a good professor, the reviews he received from the students who took his classes were stellar.  Students waited to sign up for his classes.  He walked through the union with coffee cup in hand wearing a tweed jacket with patches on the elbows, a button down collar blue and white stripped shirt, blue jeans and western boots.  He was six foot, two, one hundred, ninety-five pounds with black hair, dark brown eyes, and a salt and pepper mustache.  He was nice looking and no one would have guessed that he was sixty-one years old and in fact many thought he was still young enough to play college baseball.  He was divorced seventeen years ago and never remarried or really spent much time with women.  

As he walked around in the crowd looking for some place to sit he heard a feminine voice call out, "Are you lost?"  Mike turned to see Jean.  

"No Jean, not lost, just looking for a place to sit to enjoy my coffee,"  he replied.  

She pointed an empty chair are her table and said, "Michael, sit here."  Her voice, while not harsh, seemed to convey an insistent demand.  He smiled as he moved toward the chair.  Jean kept her eyes on him as he sat.  She smiled to herself thinking he was good at taking orders.  

They exchanged pleasantries  about the final, mad dash of the end of the semester and the upcoming break.  

"Plans for the break?" she asked.  

"Nothing really.  Just going to do some reading, do a few odd jobs around the house and begin gearing up for the next semester," he replied.  

"Sounds boring.   I'd like it if you's spend some time with me," she answered.  

Again there was that tone of insistence and Mike found himself saying, "I'd be honored."

"Of course you will," she replied.  "You need to relax and just let go.  You are so busy with classes, meetings, and the like that I am sure you just never kick back and let go.  You know, let someone else do all the thinking."

"That would be an enjoyable experience," he replied.  "Just let someone else take control, make all the decision.  Just mindlessly follow along."

Jean smiled, "Exactly what I had in mind."  She pulled out some paper and a pen.  Scribbled a few lines on it and slid it across the table to him.  He took the paper and read it.  Her name, phone number, and address were on the paper.  He looked up at her and she said, Friday at 7:00 p.m, don't be late.  I'll have dinner and we can go over the itinerary."  

He glanced down at the paper again and was about to say, "No," when he looked right into those hazel eyes.  She smiled and he couldn't resist saying. "I'll be there.   Suit and tie?"

She smiled, "Where whatever is comfortable," she answered, and easy to get out of she thought to herself.  As she rose he found himself getting up and standing at attention.  As she passed she touched his hand and said, "I hate tardiness."  

Without thinking he replied, "Yes ma'am."  She smiled to herself as she walked off.  I think he will do just fine she thought.  As for Mike he watched her go and for the first time, had some very strong, sensual feelings for her.  He stood staring until a student interrupted his thought by saying excuse me as she walked by.  

Mike sat down and finished his coffee.  As he sat there he had a feeling he had never felt before.  Here was a woman of great strength.  A woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to go after it.  He wondered what it was in him that she found interesting enough to spend an evening with him.  

Chapter II

Finals were finally over.  He would spend the next two weeks grading papers and registering final grades.  He got home around three in the afternoon and was just sitting down to relax when the phone rang.  He did not recognize the number but answered any way.  His hello as met with a "How are you?"  

"Uh, I'm fine."  He raced through his mind trying to figure out who he was talking to.  

"Don't tell me you forgot?" asked the female voice.

He didn't know what to say, "Uh, no, I didn't forget."

The female voice laughed.  "You're not a very convincing liar and I am not thrilled that you thought so little of me that you forgot."

"It's been a long week.  All the exams.  The lame excuses from students.   You know how it goes."

"Do I?  I don't have that kind of interaction with the students," she answered.  

"Please, whoever this is, if I have forgotten something, please forgive me."

"Oh I think more than a mea culpa will be required.  Surely some penance is due."  

His mind was racing once again and she continued, "This is Jean,  you were supposed to come to my place tonight."

"Oh yes of course I remembered.  Have it right here on my calendar."

"Liar."  

"Please I am sorry.  Wait, what did you say "were" supposed to come to your place?  Do you not want me to come?"

"Do you think I should after you treated me with such contempt?"

"Jean..."

"That's Ms. White, if you don't mind."

"Uhh Ms. White I am sorry.  I would really like to see you.  How can I make it up to you?  Can I make it up to you.  Will you allow me to make it up to you?"

"Well, I suppose something could be arranged."

"Jean, please.  May I tell you the truth?"

"Well that would be refreshing.   You haven't told me the truth since you said, 'Hello.'"

"Ok Jean, uh Ms. White, I have have worshipped you form afar since the day I met you.  It's just that I never had enough courage to ask you out. I figured why would a woman as stunning as you want to spend time with me.  I am sorry, so just tell me what I can do and I will do anything to make it up to you."

"Anything?"

"Yes, anything," he said.

"Anything encompasses a lot of area."

"Yes, anything, I promise."  He looked at the clock.  it said 5:47.  "Look, just let me take a quick shower, get dressed and I'll be over.  That will give you plenty of time to think up my penance."  

She began to laugh.  A laugh that made Mike feel a bit uncomfortable.  A foreboding laugh and he wasn't sure what he was getting himself into.  But he overcame his apprehension and said, "Please."

He waited for what seemed like an eternity and she said, "Don't be late.  I hate tardiness."  

"Ok, ok.  I'll be over as soon as I can.  Good bye.  And thanks for a second chance."

"Just remember,  you said, 'Anything.'"  With that she hung up.

Mike put the phone down and wondered what that meant.  He stood there for a moment and then went to shower.

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