Take Your Daughter To Work Day - Version Bravo
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It wasn't unusual at all for a group of five or six girls to be gathered in one of the rooms at St. Clementine's. After all, what else did they have to do? There was a strict curfew at eight o'clock, and it was impossible to subvert one of the nuns who locked the doors of the residence halls each night, and then set the alarms. In the past, a nun had sat up in the common room all night, but modern technology had relieved them of that chore. Still, each residence hall had a dorm mother, and all of them slept very lightly. And if the alarm went off, the very first thing that happened was that all the girls had to report to the common area for roll call. Somebody always tried to sneak out each year, but it only took once or twice for peer pressure to enforce that rule, even if everybody wanted to break it, now and then.
This particular group of girls were the ones Judith wanted to invite to go with her to the Super Bowl.
Tiffany was sixteen, with long black hair and high cheekbones Judith wished she had herself. She was Judith's best friend, quite possibly because she and Judith were both still virgins. Tiffany could (and had on several occasions) pass for eighteen, probably because she had a natural, sultry, smoky-eyed look to her. It wasn't conscious on her part. She was just a very passionate young woman, who'd never had a chance to explore many elements of that passion. So it sort of oozed out of her.
Monica was the same age as Judith, with blond hair she wore in a pixie cut. Her bright, blue eyes went with that hair, which flipped all over the place as she moved her head. She was slim, but well proportioned. She came from a small town, and had been in public schools until, when she was fifteen, she'd gotten caught losing her virginity to a cousin at a family reunion. She'd been sent to St. Clementine's to ensure she didn't explore the world of sex any further. And it had worked ... to a degree. Monica had discovered that a girl could make her feel just as good as that fumbling boy had. She hadn't exactly lost interest in boys ... but she didn't miss them horribly either.
Janice was eighteen, with dark red hair worn habitually in a ponytail. If it was down, it reached her shoulder blades, but bound up, it bounced around at the nape of her neck. It was thick and heavy, and she often playfully swung her head to use it as a whip against one of her friends. Janice could pass for twenty-one if she had some makeup on. Makeup was forbidden in school, but that didn't meant it wasn't around. Janice was the girl who slipped off campus to procure cigarettes and beer for those who wanted it. Like Monica, it was a male relative who was responsible for her being sent to St. Clementine's. Unlike Monica, it was Janice's uncle who had spent a year teaching her about her body, and his, before her mother caught them kissing in the pantry. Neither Janice's parents nor her friends had any idea how many times Uncle Rick had rutted between her silky, soft thighs. Janice missed men a lot.
Kendi was the last. Of Oriental extraction, she was the shortest of the group, and had the compact, muscled body of a gymnast. She liked her body, except for the fact that her breasts were as petite as the rest of her. She could get her nipples to grow to almost half an inch if she played with them, but could do nothing about the fact that the tape only measured thirty-two inches when placed around her chest. Also sixteen, like Tiffany, she had classic Oriental features. She often posed as a Japanese exchange student, and spoke fluent Japanese, even though she was a third generation American. Her family lived in southern California. When in California, she spent her time surfing, and loved to wear bikinis. It was her grandfather who was responsible for her being at St. Clementine's. He had offered to pay her tuition there, and further to the college of her choice, as long as she graduated in good standing from St. Clementines. Since her immediate family didn't have that kind of money, they had mandated she do as her grandfather offered. American they might be, but some of their racial traditions were still strong.
"So ... what do you think?" asked Judith, after she told them the news.
All of them squealed with joy and said they'd love to go. Almost immediately, though, Monica, Kendi and Tiffany said they'd have to ask their parents for permission.
"Of course," agreed Judith. "Be sure to tell them we'll have our own hotel room, and we'll all be staying together." She raised a hand. "And my dad will take care of everything," she added. She got a piece of paper from her satchel and wrote down her father's number. "Give this to them, so they can call him if they have any questions," she said.
In fact, two parents did call Bob to verify that his offer was legitimate, and to ensure that the accommodations were as represented by their daughters.
The only hitch, in fact, came not from the parents of the girls Judith invited.
It came from her own mother.
Things weren't going as smoothly as Tommy had expected them to.
"What do you mean there's going to be girls in the locker room?" asked his girlfriend.
Zoe's voice had risen two octaves, and had the kind of shrill tone to it that bored straight into a man's brain. Especially when that brain was hung-over, like Tommy's was.
"It's no big deal, Baby," he moaned to his girlfriend. "It's just a party ... you know ... for when we win."
"You mean, to the victors go the spoils," said Zoe, her voice closer to normal again. "In a pig's eye, Tommy. You're not going into any locker room with a bunch of strippers. I know you too well, you bastard."
"It's not like that, Honey," he groaned. "The girls will be for the guys ... not me. You know you're the only woman in my life."
"Tommy, if you think I've forgotten where we met, then you're an idiot. And if you think I don't know how often you still sneak off to that stinking strip club, then you're an even bigger idiot. You better make up your mind, Mister. If you want any more of this, then you're not going into that locker room with a bunch of naked women!"
By "this" she meant her lithe, naked body. Zoe ran a little dance studio which she'd gotten Tommy to finance for her. He'd financed her before that, stuffing twenties into her g-string as she did table and lap dances for him at Club Exotica. She'd decided to go out with him, about the third time he begged her to, and things had progressed pretty quickly. He wouldn't let her move in with him, but her whispered dream of getting out of the strip club and starting a dance studio had struck his fancy. Now she had a little studio, with an apartment in the back, and almost fifty students who paid her enough to get by. It wasn't quite what she'd envisioned, but it was better than working for Jerome. Even if she didn't make as much.
She got up out of bed now, and stood, posed where Tommy could see her. She knew she looked good. She was in great shape. Normally, he was putty in her hands, especially when she was naked. She could get pretty much anything she wanted if she approached him naked. Except a ring on her finger, anyway. At least so far. But she was working on that, and her current demands were a test, in one sense, to see how much of that path had been laid down in stone, as opposed to some less durable material.
"Don't get mad, Baby," Tommy pleaded. "I have to do this. This is an honor, honey! The head coach gave me this job. I can't go back to him and tell him my girlfriend won't let me arrange the after game party! I might as well cut my balls off in front of the man!"
Her demeanor changed. He was pleading, as opposed to telling her who was boss. She'd studied behavior modification in Sociology 101, before she ran out of money and had to drop out of college. It was time to take another baby step. "I don't want you to cut your balls off, Baby," she cooed, sinking back down on the bed and cupping the testicles in question. She gave them the barest little squeeze, and then let her hand slide up to grip his penis. It wasn't stiff, but she knew that was because he was drunk. He'd taken her out to celebrate something, but then wouldn't tell her what they were celebrating. She'd had to get him wasted ... and in bed ... before she got it out of him.
"I just want these balls all for myself," she purred. "They're mine. I admit I get a little jealous when I think of some other naked floozy seeing them."
She blinked, aware in her own alcohol-fogged mind that something wasn't quite right about her last comment. But the fact she had just put herself in the same classification with the women she was objecting to went right over her head.
"You don't have to be jealous," he said, recognizing a chance to try to bullshit his way out of his current troubles. "I don't even look at other women, and I for sure wouldn't let one of them touch me like you do."
Even drunk, she recognized what a line of crap that was, but he was trying, so she let him off the hook.
"I'll help you plan the party," she said. "I'll take care of the dancers. I'll even come up with some routines and costumes and stuff. You can concentrate on the booze and the food that way, and avoid the temptation. I do know you, Tommy. You're sweet, but when you're around a naked woman, you're also weak. I can even prove it to you."
She did that by leaning down to take his flaccid penis into her mouth.
It didn't stay flaccid long, even though he was at least two sheets to the wind.
Of course he was too drunk to realize that his "weakness" at the moment had a lot more to do with what she was doing, than how she was dressed.
The Mother Superior looked up from her desk as the novice entered her office. The older woman peered over the tops of her granny style reading glasses, taking in the starched habit the younger woman wore. Some of the nuns on staff were beginning to resist the idea of working in habit. And, perhaps, this one would too, eventually, if she took her vows. The Mother Superior knew the Novice was sincere, but conflicted. That wasn't unusual. And normally, she would put no obstacle in the way of someone trying to make a decision like becoming a nun.
But the truth of the matter was that this novice was the most qualified member of the staff to perform the task at need. Her background contained experiences in it that would help her understand the concerns and even dangers involved. No one else was better suited for the job.
"You asked for me, Mother Superior?" said Sister Francine.
"Yes, my child. I have a task for you, if you are willing to pursue it."
"Of course," said the young woman, her eyes downcast. "I will do so."
"Don't be so eager," cautioned the Reverend Mother Mary Vianney. "This task may be a trial."
The novice's eyes came up now. There was a glint in them, perhaps a spark of defiance. Mother Mary had seen it before.
"Am I not here for a series of trials?" she asked.
"Of course," said the Mother Superior. While she would put no obstacle before one such as this, the whole point of the novitiate was for the world's trials to be contemplated and overcome ... or at least adjusted to. She would be there to counsel this novice, and trust that things worked out as they should. "One of our girls has been invited to attend the Super Bowl with her father. Normally, that would require nothing from us. But he has said she may bring four friends with her. Her mother insists that we provide a chaperone for the group."
"Forgive me, Mother, but that seems a bit odd to me," said Francine.
"It is a peculiar family," said Mother Mary, sighing. "The parents are not actually married. It's an odd situation that needs not be discussed here. Let me say only that I suspect she is not so much concerned with the shepherding of her daughter as in preventing the girl's father from providing this holiday experience altogether."
"But that's awful!" said Francine.
"Indeed. In any case, we have been drawn between the mother and father. Her mother has demanded a chaperone, quite possibly to prevent the girls from going. I suspect she assumed I would shrink from meeting her demand."
"Why do I suddenly feel like she has misjudged you," said Francine.
"Because it is a sin to judge at all," said Mother Mary, who never missed a chance to preach. "Though, to be honest, I doubt this fits within the usual meaning of 'judgment.' In any case, it's always wise for impressionable young women to be accompanied by someone older and ... wiser, as they go off on such an adventure."
"I agree," said Francine. "I have to admit, though, that I'm a little confused about why you're telling me all this."
The Mother Superior tossed one hand negligently into the air.
"Because I want to send you with them, of course!"
"Zoe?" Tommy's voice was already careful. He was worried that Zoe's reaction to what he was about to tell her would be a bad one.
"Hmm?" she responded, looking up from the magazine she'd been leafing through.
"You know the party?"
"The one I'm coordinating for you?" she asked, sweetly.
"Yeah," he said. "Jerome called and said he didn't have enough dancers. So he had to outsource."
"Outsource?" she asked.
"You know ... get some help from outside the club."
"Jerome is helping out some other club owner?" The skepticism in her voice was clear.
"No," he said. He swallowed before going on. "He has some contacts in the ... um ... escort business."
"Hookers?" she asked, both her voice and face neutral.
"Escorts!" insisted Tommy.
"I bet the girls talked him into that," she said.
"What?" He was confused.
"I know the girls who work for Jerome. They aren't hookers. Not on a regular basis anyway. And I know how I'd feel if I knew I was going to be one of only fifteen dancers at a gig like this."
"So you're not mad?"
"Why would I be mad?" she asked. "I'm going to have my arm through yours every instant you're in that locker room, Tommy. I don't give a flying fuck how many hookers he buses in there."
"Escorts," Tommy reminded her.
"Right," she said, grinning widely. "Escorts."
"So we're good?"
"Tell Jerome I expect some of these outsource girls to get naked with the players in the shower room," she said. "That will really take the heat off the dancers. Tell him at least ten. Fifteen would be better."
"Right," said an amazed Tommy.
"Snooky?" Jerome's voice, though he didn't know it, sounded just as careful as Tommy's had when he first approached Zoe about the hookers coming to the party.
"Yeah?" said the deep voice on the other end.
"You remember that ... um ... entertainment gig we talked about?"
"Of course," said Snooky. "The girls are excited about it. You better not be calling to cancel."
"No, no, nothing like that," said Jerome. "It's just that there's been a little twist."
"What kind of twist?"
"The guy we're working for has a girlfriend, and she's taking care of the details. To keep things on the down low, she wants your girls to show up in some kind of costume, so everybody will think they're dancers."
"My girls are not dancers, Jerome," growled Snooky.
"I know that," said Jerome hastily. "It's all just for looks. It can be anything ... you know ... like cowgirl clothes, or even a Halloween costume or something." Like Tommy had with Zoe, Jerome swallowed before going on. "And there's one more thing," he said.
"It's starting to sound like I'm gonna have to charge you something for this after all, Jerome," said Snooky, heavily.
Jerome's heart sank. What had started as a cool off-the-books profit was shrinking even further.
"How much will it cost me if half of your girls have to get naked with the players in the shower room?"
"Is that all?" Snooky's voice rumbled. "That's not a problem. Not if I can pay them something for just that. Three hundred each should be enough. They'll jump at it. It will make it much easier for them to cut a deal with the player they're rubbing up against."
Jerome tried to do the math in his head. He'd still end up with at least twenty five big ones.
And that was twenty five big ones he didn't have right now.
"Done," he said, relieved that things were back on track.
Sister Francine stood, leaning against the desk with her arms folded over the gray bodice of her habit. While most nuns didn't dress in habit any longer, the sisters at St. Clementine's did. It wasn't solely for religious reasons, however. The Mother Superior felt that if the girls were required to wear a uniform, then their teachers would as well. It was, in one sense, merely another lesson in life. That's because, when the girls were allowed to get out of their uniforms, so, too, were the nuns. After school hours, the sisters wore the same clothes any other woman might. They were probably more consistently conservative than average, but T shirts and jeans were just fine as long as that nun wasn't "on duty." The point was that the sisters set the example ... in all things.
Sister Francine was on duty, however. Her starched, gray, black and white habit was crisp, and looked firm enough to stop a bullet. She gave her most serious, level stare to the girls lined up some eight feet away from her. It was a stare she'd practiced for hours when she first got to St. Clementine's and started her first teaching job as a nun.
"I understand the five of you are going to the Super Bowl," she said, her voice neutral.
"My father invited me, and said I could bring some friends," explained Judith. "We get to be in the owner's box!"
"What a blessing it must be to have a father with that kind of authority," said Sister Francine.
"Yes, Sister," said Judith. She didn't actually think of the fact that her father had "authority" as a blessing, but she wasn't going to argue with Sister Francine. Everybody knew that Sister Francine had a stick up her butt. They knew it, but it often took them several painful lessons to get there. Sister Francine didn't look a whole lot older than some of her students, and when she wasn't wearing habit, she looked just like any other young, vivacious, pretty woman. None of the girls at St. Clementine's had any idea she was actually twenty-eight, and hadn't decided to become a nun until she was twenty-six. Nor did they know she'd been a teacher in a public high school before becoming a novice.
Francine saw she was losing them. All these girls had a sort of protective shell they could sink into and pull closed around them. She saw it happen all the time. Well, not all the time. But she saw it happen whenever someone was pummeling them with duty, or morals, or responsibility. It was actually not much different than it had been when she taught in public schools. Teenagers were the same everywhere. Yes, these girls had been offered a bit more in terms of moral direction, and yes, they were overwhelmingly better mannered on the surface. But down deep, they were just like all other girls. They all had dreams of what their life might be like, and they all wanted to explore those dreams.
"Never mind," she said. "A problem has arisen." She had no idea her voice had taken on that "nun tone" the girls almost groaned out loud at. That tone meant some nun was about to throw very cold water on something that had, before that, been anticipated as fun.
"We have permission to go!" blurted Janice. She immediately wished she'd kept her mouth closed, but it was too late. She was just as astonished as all the others when Sister Francine put both hands up in the air, facing them.
"I know, I know," she said. "I'm not the enemy here. The problem is that one parent has demanded that you be chaperoned."
"What? Not my parents." That was Janice again, who distinctly remembered asking her parents if she could go. Her father had said "Only if you can get me a ticket too," before laughing. Her mother had been tipsy, as usual, but had grinned into the webcam and said "Sure, Honey."
It took less than a minute for the girls to figure it out. They looked at Judith with widened eyes. She was clearly embarrassed.
"Sometimes my mother can be a bi--" She stopped, suddenly, and reddened as she realized what her anger at her mother had been about to make her say. She darted a look at Sister Francine, ready to be chastised.
"Yes!" barked Francine, covering, unnecessarily, as it turned out, the offending "tch" that Judith had managed to keep from blurting out. "I mean no!" she said quickly. "I mean you may discuss that during your next confession with the priest, Judith. The point is that she has made this demand, and we must honor it. Mother Superior has asked me to go with you."
"You?" asked Kendi, her voice strained.
"I'm not a monster," said Francine, who had too much experience with young people to take real offense. "I actually understand some of the temptations you will be exposed to on this little ... adventure."
"We're just going to watch the game," said Judith. "In the owner's box," she reminded their new chaperone, thinking that would sound pretty un-adventurous.
"And where will you stay after the game?"
"My father is arranging a suite for us," said Judith. "At the hotel he's staying at," she added.
"And this hotel is probably where all those husky men will be staying as well ... right?"
It was so silent in the room that a pin could literally have been heard to drop. This was for several reasons. One was that Sister Francine's cheeks got tinged with pink after her lips stopped moving. But the biggest shock was that all five girls could hear something in her voice that they had never heard in any sister's voice ... right along in there where that voice had said "husky men." They could not know she was remembering her life before the convent, which had been as active in things sexual as any other pretty young woman's life. At least one who was not getting her education in a parochial school.
Francine shook off those memories, and repaired the grim look on her face that had slipped as she had remembered what it had been like to be in a motel room with Brady Hopkins, one of her teaching peers. One of her married teaching peers, though, and only the first of several reasons she had decided to put herself on the road to taking a vow of celibacy.
"The point is," she said, her voice level again, "that there will be considerable celebration going on all around you at this hotel. And your father will necessarily be expected to be involved in that celebration, don't you think?"
Judith could only nod. She couldn't argue with that.
"And that means he will not be able to chaperone you as completely as he might under other circumstances."
"We don't need a chaperone, Sister," Monica blurted. She looked surprised that she'd spoken, perhaps because she was surprised she had spoken. That let her guard down even further. "We're good girls!" she said.
Again, they could not know that the nun facing them had been to parties after games, or that she had what she perceived as a serious addiction to sex, even as a teenager. Whether a professional counselor would have agreed was debatable. But, like many of her students, she had been told over and over that sex was bad, and wrong, and destructive, and unacceptable, and dirty and a hundred other reasons why engaging in it would ruin her life forever. And like all young women, her body had ignored all those reasons, and cried out to be fulfilled by taking its place in the natural order of things. Her body had cried louder than her rational brain, as it turned out, and by the time she'd gotten through college, the fact she wasn't pregnant yet astonished her. She had assumed her sexual appetite would wane after she got a teaching position. But it hadn't. In fact, it was while she and Brady Hopkins were chaperones at prom, that they ended up in the room where the gym mats were stored. She was still sure, to this very day, that neither of them had intended to let things get out of control. But they had. Brady had rung her bell hard, and the only reason their affair had ended was that she fell hopelessly in love with him. Knowing she could never have him fully, and completely, she fled, abandoning her job and leaving her "old life" behind.
She'd taken drastic steps. Putting everything out on the lawn had gotten rid of most of her possessions. The rest she simply left in the apartment for the landlord to deal with. She didn't ask for her deposit back. Once she got to her refuge, she donated her car to the local NPR radio station. She tried to cut off all ties to her former life. She'd expected it to be tormenting but astonishingly, things seemed to work out. She was quite sure she'd never teach again, but when interviewed as a postulate, and her shame came out, the very fact that she fled from her sinful ways counted in her favor, as it turned out. Of course it didn't hurt that they were desperately short of teachers at St. Clementine's.
But she'd been given a second chance, and she gave thanks for that every day. It was now her duty, as she (and apparently the Mother Superior as well) saw it, to help these young women avoid the pitfalls she had faced herself.
"You always need a chaperone," said the sister, her voice filled with passion. "You must trust me on this."
"We'll chaperone each other," said Judith. "And my dad really will take care of us. After all, he chose for me to be educated at this wonderful school. So he has the same values as you do, Sister." She smiled.
Sister Francine recognized BS as well as anyone else, even though she would no longer use that term to identify it. Not out loud anyway.
"I'm sure that's true, but it doesn't address the real problem here. When a parent makes a demand like this, we have to comply. I'm sure you understand why. So if there is no chaperone, then Judith cannot go. And if Judith cannot go..."
She didn't have to finish. It was clear to them all what that meant.
"Call your father," said Francine. "Tell him what happened ... assuming he doesn't already know. See if there's anything he can do."
"She's trying to ruin this because she hates him!" moaned Judith. "She knows how hard it is to get tickets. Even for him!"
"Just call him," said Francine, soothingly. "The Lord works in mysterious ways." She blinked. "Did I really just say that?"
The girls' shock over the fact that stick-up-her-ass Sister Francine actually had a sense of humor was broken by a giggle from Kendi. There was more nervous laughter.
"Of course I did," said Francine, trying to be serious. "Because He does!" She turned her eyes on Judith again. "Call him!" she said, imperiously.
"Yes, Sister," sighed the girl.
"Go in peace." Sister Francine said, folding her hands in front of her. "Good luck. I mean that."
Her eyes narrowed as they watched the girls leave the room.
Two of those skirts looked an inch or two too short.
"We're screwed " moaned Monica, as soon as the door closed behind them.
"No we're not screwed," said Janice darkly. "And that's the whole point!"
Tiffany socked her friend on the shoulder. "Just because you're a slut doesn't mean the rest of us are." There was no real heat in her voice, though.
"She's right, though," said Kendi. "Think about it. It's the Super Bowl. He already gave you five tickets ... and he made you promise not to scalp them. He was kidding, but still. No way is he going to give you another ticket for some nun to come with us."
"She's not really a nun yet," reminded Tiffany. "We just have to treat her like she is."
"Focus, Tiffany!" said Janice, acidly.
"Sorry," said the other girl. She hugged Judith. "And I'm sorry your mom is being like this."
"I know," said Judith, sadly. "She's always been like this."
"Why? I mean what happened?"
"It's complicated. My mom and dad weren't together when I was born. I never even met him until I was six, and the first time I got to spend any time with him alone was when I was eight. There was a big court battle or something," said Judith.
"I always wondered why your mom's last name is different than yours," said Monica, who hadn't felt secure in bringing the subject up before this. That wasn't surprising. Only Tiffany knew many details about her best friend's background. While a lot of kids in the secular community might have understood what it was like to come from a broken home, that was quite rare at St. Clementine's.
Janice handed her cell phone to Judith. "We might as well get it over with. Call your dad."
"I can use my own phone," said Judith.
"Use mine. That way his number will be on it."
Because if he can't get Sister Francine a ticket, I'm going to call and ask him if he'll invite me separately."
"What?" Four voices rose in outrage.
She grinned. "I'm kidding. It wouldn't be any fun without you guys."
Tiffany shoved her phone into Judith's hand. "Use mine."
"Why?" asked her best friend.
"Because your dad's a hottie," she said. "And he's available ... right?"
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