Tim and I were interested in knowing how the Circle was getting along as part of the Gang. We were pretty sure that life was going well for the nine of them in their remodeled home, The Roundhouse. But we weren't sure how they were fitting into the Gang. We didn't want them to become sort of a separate "mini-Gang." So we did what we usually did when we wanted to pick someone's brain, we invited them to dinner. The date was set for a Saturday evening early in November. They were invited for a 7:00 p.m. dinner, and Tim hinted that it would be a little formal.
We were pretty sure that all it would take was one slight hint and the group would arrive dressed to the nines, ready for whatever the evening would bring. Our guests didn't disappoint us. Dakota House is the perfect place for a formal dinner. It has a huge dining room specifically designed for that purpose. We'd gotten a caterer for the dinner, since we didn't have time to prepare a formal meal for eleven, and we no longer had Felix, who in his day would've loved to be in charge of such an occasion.
We started in the living room with a selection of fruit juices, cheeses, and shrimp cocktail on a silver tray (the silver was part of the Dakota House furnishings, designed to enhance the President's entertainment). At 7:30 we went into the dining room, where an elegant table had been set for eleven. Place cards insured that couples were broken up. Tim and I were at the ends of the table. Down one side were Alex, Toppy, Margie, Nate, and Arnie. Down the other were Fyn, Pat, Murray, and Al. The caterer had provided two butlers to serve, and a cook in the kitchen to prepare the meal. We were ready to eat like kings.
The conversation in the living room had been light and relatively meaningless, with Nate and Pat being a little excited by the fact that Jumper's team was still undefeated. Nate and Pat couldn't find anyone in the room willing to bet against Jumper's getting his 48!
Tim opened the conversation in the dining room with a rather pointed question to the trio about how their relationship was going. "Oh, Tim, wonderfully. We sometimes don't believe it ourselves. We know it's not supposed to work, but it really is. Forever? Who knows? But we're happy now and there are no dark clouds on the horizon."
"Babies?" Tim wasn't shy.
"We hope so, but not yet. We've talked to Ronnie, Sharon and Kyle, and we're going to do it just like they did-two daddies, and no worrying about who's the biological dad."
I turned to Toppy and asked, "So how's life in The Roundhouse? Is it what you expected?"
"We really didn't know what to expect. We just figured that if we were all committed to making it work, then it would work. So far it has."
"How do you handle meals?"
Nate responded for the group. "Everyone's on their own for breakfast. The last person to eat makes sure that the dishwasher is started. Most of us eat somewhere else at noon, and about half take their lunch. Dinner is on a ten day cycle. Each couple takes two days, the trio takes three, and on the tenth day we all eat out together at a decent restaurant. Al and Alex like to cook together for two meals out of the ten. Fyn, Margie, and Arnie can't stand being in the kitchen together; they seem to be compatible in every way except food preparation. So each takes one day out of the ten. Toppy and Murray go both ways, sometimes together, sometimes solo. I'm a terrible cook, so Pat takes two days. I help him when I'm needed and when I can. In exchange it's my job to keep our room neat. Believe me, picking up after Pat is a fair exchange for his doing the cooking."
Margie said, "I'll vouch for that. Think Pigpen in Peanuts."
Fyn said, "Wait, Pat isn't dirty. He's always clean. Think Fibber McGee's Closet."
As two platters of London broil were brought in, Al said, "We don't eat like this, I'll tell you."
"That's for sure," said Pat. "This is wonderful Tim, Charlie."
Murray said, "My guess is that the question you really want to ask is about sex? Am I right?"
Tim said, "Of course. For what this dinner's costing us, we ought to get some kind of vicarious thrill."
"If we go upstairs after dinner, we could arrange for a non-vicarious thrill or two," interjected Margie.
I said, "I'll bet you could. You know, we were kind of hoping that the coats and ties might slow that sort of thing down a little."
Tim said, "Come on, Charlie. We didn't think that. Sex this evening wasn't dreamed of, and I don't think it's going to happen."
Murray jumped right on that and said, "I heard the word think, I believe that that suggests that the door might be open a crack."
"A crack, but don't get your hopes up."
Toppy said, "OK, I suspect that you'd like a more detailed report. I'll ask the others to add anything they think of, or interrupt if they think I'm getting it wrong. While we certainly don't limit ourselves to our partners, nor to the Circle, the vast majority of our sex is with our partners. Al and Alex are usually the first to bed, and they head off to their room together. The rest of us are not so predictable about our bedtimes, but generally we head to bed in pairs, or the trio. Of course, from time to time pairs trade off, or two will go off together, but that's more the exception than the rule.
"We find that we often like to have a sort of orgy following our dinners out together. Nine in one room gets a little crowded, but we usually start that way and end up split into two rooms, mostly at random. Those nights can get a little raunchy and a lot of fun."
"You might mention Judy," suggested Arnie.
"Oh, God, Judy's a trip. She shows up about once a week, maybe a little less often than that. She'll knock on the door and say, 'Oh, guys, I need a fix.' We know exactly what she wants. I'll have to admit, she can make life fun and interesting. We always invite her in, and she'll sit down, knowing that the men will find their way to the living room. Margie comes as well, but she knows that it'll be as a spectator. Judy will focus on one of the men and say, 'Oh, Arnie (or whomever), please.'
"That's Arnie's cue to strip. At first, no matter who got selected, he'd be pretty hard when he got naked in front of her. But more recently Judy's had to come over and tweak things to get them good and hard. She'll just stare, and sometimes get behind her stud and reach around and stroke the whole front of his body, missing nothing. Her rubbing got Toppy to come once, but except for that once, nothing further has happened. Sometimes that's it, and sometimes someone will say, 'Turnabout's fair play.' Then she'll strip, and come over and have a full body hug with whoever made the suggestion. Every now and then Margie will invite her up to their room, and they do their thing together. They never close the door, and the men often go up and watch. The women enforce a 'No peeking unless you're naked' rule, which spices things up a little. Sometimes one thing leads to another, but usually, Judy goes home after her eyes have had their fill of one of us naked."
I said, "That's Judy. Toppy, you and Murray got that treatment when you first met her, remember."
"We sure do. We liked it then and we like it now."
I changed the subject by asking, "So what are you all doing to keep yourselves busy these days? I know what Al and Alex are doing; they're annoying the Hell out of B&G about access, access, access."
Al said, "Indeed we are. Tim warned us that we'd be the most unpopular people on campus, and he was right. The buildings people see us coming and run the other way."
Alex said, "You know, that really isn't true. We have the one thing that makes a bureaucrat happy: money. We've been successful at getting grants, private and government, to make the campus more accessible. Students in wheelchairs really do pretty well on the campus now. With the exception of a few odd classrooms there's only one classroom building remaining that isn't fully accessible; that's Eastman, above the first floor. B&G is right about Eastman. It would be very costly to install an elevator, which is the only way to get a wheelchair upstairs; and the building is scheduled to be replaced in a very few years. We can't justify $225,000 on an elevator that will only be used three or four years. Also, the wonderful conference room in the turret of Seymour is totally inaccessible, and there's no practical way to change that. And it's too wonderful a space to close it off."
I asked, "So what do you do about classes in those spaces?"
"We know who's in a wheelchair or has let us know they can't climb stairs. We track their registration and move classrooms if someone signs up for a class that will be in an inaccessible room. That's why the Registrar doesn't publish the room assignments until after registration is completed; room changes are invisible."
"But not to the faculty," said Tim. "It led to one of our more unpleasant incidents. Have you told this story to the Circle, Alex."
"No, I wasn't sure it's a story that should be shared."
"You can't share names, but otherwise most stories like this can be shared in your little group. You have to use good judgement. Obviously you're being very conservative, and that's good. But let's tell this story."
Tim continued: "A faculty member, who shall remain nameless, actually sought out one of our paraplegic students and asked him to not take his criminology seminar. He wanted to have the turret classroom, which had been assigned, and he knew that if the paraplegic signed up for the class, the room would be changed."
Fyn asked, "He actually asked a student not to take his class for that reason? You've got to be kidding me."
Alex cut in, "No it's true. The student came to me and reported the conversation. I decided that this was a problem that had to go right to the top, and I called Charlie, and he and I went and talked toTim."
Tim said, "That presented me with one of the touchier issues I've had to handle. I invited the student to my office and asked him to tell me the story. He'd gotten a note from the professor asking him to come by his office. The professor was very nice, but indicated that the class was scheduled for the turret and there was no wheelchair access to the turret. Would the student mind skipping the seminar, since it wasn't a required part of his sociology major?"
Alex said, "I'm hearing this side of it for the first time. What did he say?"
Al continued the story. "He decided that for the moment, at least, it'd be best if he agreed to withdraw from the course, and that's what he told the professor. Then he came straight to my office, and the secretary heard just enough of the story to send him right in to me. I listened to his story, told him we'd get back to him, and went right to Charlie with the story. Then to Tim."
Tim picked up the story again. "I called the student in and explained the dilemma both the student and the university were in. I told him I could take disciplinary action against the boneheaded professor, and replace him teaching the class. But he was well liked in his department, and I wasn't sure that the student would want to take the class if he was perceived to be the troublemaker that caused all the trouble. Nor did I think he wanted to take the course from the professor, either by simply not withdrawing and forcing the room change, or by having me intervene in the situation. The student was shrewd, and noted that he was a sociology major. If there was any disciplinary action, it'd come out who raised the issue, and it could impact on his entire college career.
"I told him that I thought he was right. I offered him a reluctant solution, and he accepted it with the reluctance he should have. He did withdraw from the course. That was for the current term. I have since talked to the department chair and told him that the professor could no longer teach that course, and that it had to be offered again in the spring term. He was reluctant to accept that, but I told him that a legitimate complaint had been received, and that this quiet handling of it was best for everyone. But he shouldn't suggest to the professor that there'd been a complaint. Just move him out of the class in the next term."
I said, "I don't like sweeping things under the rug, but I had to agree that protecting the student was the first priority. I think he appreciated the problem and was grateful for our solution."
Margie asked, "Do you really think that other faculty members would've held that against a paraplegic student?"
Tim said, "I hope not, but I fear so. If it was your college career, would you want to take a chance?"
"I get your point."
I said, "OK, we've talked enough about Al and Alex. And I know that Murray's Hell-bent for Seoul, while Toppy's working on a Master's. In what, Toppy?"
"I want to be a conductor or band director; right now I'm getting a Master's in performance. My instrument is the tuba, which is what I played before I got into the drum major business, and I'm taking courses in conducting and band direction."
Tim said, "That leads to a personal question that I wouldn't dream of asking outside the Gang, but which I think is appropriate within."
Al said, "Don't bother to ask; we'll be glad to answer. We aren't a complete commune. Each couple has their own money and makes their own money decisions. The Roundhouse is owned by a corporation called The Circle, Inc. which was created for us by Fred. It owes a mortgage, and has to maintain The Roundhouse. It buys the food, pays the utilities, and is slowly creating an small investment fund to handle future major maintenance."
I asked, "And where does The Circle, Inc. get its money?"
"Members of the Circle deposit money into the corporate account anonymously. We all know the current balance, and when it starts to get low money just appears. Obviously those with jobs are better able too contribute than those without. We don't care, and we don't keep track. If and when the corporate account can't pay the bills, we'll do some soul-searching, but I expect that that will be the day we break up the Circle. Right now more money flows into the account than is needed, which is how we have created the little investment fund. We expect that to continue."
I said, "So you're a commune, but you're not a commune."
"Exactly right. It works for us, and that's all that counts."
"Damn right," said Tim. "I love it."
Margie said, "You asked what we all are doing? I couldn't find a job, so I decided to take a year and try hustling tricks. I wanted to find out what anonymous sex was like. You can make some big bucks."
Neither Tim nor I knew what to say to that. Our faces and our silence certainly showed it. In all of our conversations about sexual morality, with each other, our families, and the Gang, prostitution hadn't been discussed. We'd just assumed that it was "out there," and didn't involved the Gang. Now here it was, staring us in the face.
Tim started to say something like, "Do you mean...?" when Fyn started to giggle. With that Arnie burst out laughing.
Tim looked at me and said, "We've been had."
"Oh, God, were you ever?" said Nate. "You can't believe the expressions on your faces. By now everyone was laughing, and Tim and I couldn't help but join in. The Gang is a pretty wild bunch, and they've pushed a lot of envelopes, but that was way beyond our expectations. And I'll have to say that both Tim and I were glad that we didn't have to come up with a response to Margie's original announcement!
Margie said, "For my day job I work at a clothing store in the mall. Some day I may figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but I suspect that mommyhood is going to come first. I think that the three of us are ready."
Toppy added, "And everybody thinks a couple of kids would be an addition to the Circle."
I said, "Fyn, what're you and Arnie doing these days?"
Arnie replied, "Honest, Charlie, Fyn and I haven't decided what we want to be when we grow up. We both work at the university pool, lifeguarding, helping Bess and Larry with the team, and doing pool maintenance. It's about 25 hours a week for both of us. And we both work for Marty at his gym."
Tim said, "That's great. But you are quite a few years out of college; maybe you ought to be thinking about a career."
Al said, "You know, we sort of think of the Circle as a career. Everybody in the Circle is happy with what everybody is doing. We have all the money we need. We're happy. We don't want anybody pushed into a career because they have to earn money."
I said, "And that's said by one of the two major breadwinners in this group."
Alex said, "Our university jobs pay very well, but Nate's doing pretty well himself."
Nate said, "I'm a store manager for Fred's Sports. I'll certainly admit I got the job through nepotism-if that's the right word to apply to the Gang situation. But I earned my promotions, and I like working for Fred and Andy."
Pat said, "I have a year to go on a Ph.D. in history. I have a fellowship, which carries a living stipend. The stipend goes into the corporate account, and I'm not much of a drag on the group."
Nate said, "Pat, you aren't any kind of a drag, even without the stipend."
The others murmured agreement.
Toppy said, "There's one more story to tell, and I'm sure that you'll want to hear it. Are you aware that the Circle are the mainstays of the group effort to keep the widow Grayson [Tom's mother] company?"
Tim said, "I was pretty sure of that."
Murray said, "Beverly is really up front. She likes sex with young people, boys and girls. I think she's invited everybody in the Gang to spend the night with her, but the invitations to this house come most regularly. She also enjoys Sid and Jerry. She's less inclined to lesbian sex, but Margie, Judy and Cathy are infrequent visitors."
I said, "Does she have a favorite?"
Murray said, "Oh, God, yes. Toppy by a mile."
"How do you know? Does he get the most calls?"
"Maybe a few more, but not a lot. No the key is how she talks about Toppy, especially to me. She'll say things like, 'Oh, Murray, you're so lucky to have Toppy as a partner. You're lucky to have each other. Isn't Toppy sweet?' She says nice things to Toppy about me, but never in the same glowing words and phrases. I know, Toppy and I have compared notes."
"Are you jealous?"
"No, not really. Well, maybe a little. But mostly we just think it's funny. Toppy is cute, isn't he? He has wonderful sex appeal for elderly women, can't you tell?"
Toppy said, "Aw, shut up. You really are jealous." It was said with a twinkle in his eye. Clearly these two were deeply in love, and the fact that Beverly was more infatuated with Toppy than Murray wasn't affecting their love for each other. They were both amused."
Murray said, "It doesn't spoil my relationship with Beverly. She's a good fuck, and cooks a good dinner as well. And hearing her talk about Toppy just confirms my love for him."
"She cooks you dinner?"
"She insists. She says that cooking for one's no fun. She always cooked dinner for Sam and likes to be able to continue cooking for someone."
"How much does your routine vary?"
"We know that anytime we want, both Toppy and I are welcome to come. On those nights her favorite game is to try to get one of us in her ass while the other is in her cunt. We've managed the penetration a couple of times, but couldn't hold it for any of us to have an orgasm."
Tim said, "I'm not sure I want to hear all this."
I said, "Well, I'm enjoying the story. We've be missing something there, Kid. Maybe we should invite ourselves over for dinner some night."
Toppy said, "I'm sure that you'd be welcome. If you do manage to pull off the double fuck, and have orgasms, Murray and I will never forgive you."
"Do I hear a challenge there?"
I mused, "I wonder what Beverly would think about this conversation."
Tim said, "I'll share it with her. It just might lead to a dinner invitation."
As I think back on the evening I have to wonder what the two butlers from the caterer thought. We'd realized that this was a pretty private conversation, and so when they came into the dining room while sex was being discussed, we'd fall silent. I wonder if they thought we were having some kind of a silent meal. I trust they weren't listening at the door. If they were, they kept what they heard to themselves.
We decided that it'd be fun to invite Beverly to dinner, if for no other reason than Tim wanted to keep his promise to Toppy. It was about two weeks later before we could arrange a date. We were a little perplexed about where to serve dinner to Beverly. We were pretty sure that she would've had a report on the Circle's dinner with us, and would know that it had been very formal and served in the dining room. On the other hand, the dining room really was inappropriate for dinner for three, although from time to time we'd used it that way-for our first meeting with Jody, for example. But Beverly was different, and we decided that we ought to be explicit in the invitation that it was an informal dinner in our den.
Even though it was an informal meal, we decided that it ought to be a good meal. Tim was pretty sure that he remembered that Beverly wasn't a fan of lamb, so we elected to have a small roast of veal, along with twice baked potatoes and snow peas. Unless Beverly is a very good actor and liar, we hit the nail on the head, because she enjoyed the meal immensely.
Conversation centered on her life since Sam had died more than a year ago. "Charlie, you and Tim can't imagine how wonderful the Gang has been to me. Somebody joins me virtually every night, and I'll admit that most nights we have sex. I don't feel the least bit guilty, and the Gang members seem to enjoy it. At least I hope they do; they say they do in any case."
I said, "I can at least speak for the Circle. We had them to dinner the other night and they were very positive about their evenings and nights with you. By the way, they think you have a favorite."
"Who do they think is my favorite?"
"You tell us."
"I guess if I'm going to be honest with myself I'd have to admit it's Toppy. Have they guessed?"
"They sure have, and they think it's cute. Nobody seems to resent it. I think they realize that sexual attraction isn't something that's rationally planned. It's too bad Toppy isn't available to be your boyfriend."
"Oh, God, Charlie. The age difference is tremendous."
"That doesn't seem to bother Fred."
"Toppy and I are 40 years apart."
"Well, Fred and Marty are 32 years apart."
"This is silly; Toppy's happily partnered with Murray, and I have absolutely no thought of separating them in any way. Toppy's incredibly kind to me, and I feel guilty taking him away from Murray, but Murray insists he doesn't mind, and every now and then he joins us."
"So we understand! Murray says you haven't yet pulled off your double fuck."
"Did he tell you that? My God, are there no secrets in this world? I suppose he provided pictures."
Tim asked, "There are pictures?"
"Oh, please, I hope not."
Tim went on, "Murray kind of challenged us to a race to see who could pull off the double fuck first."
"Murray's quite a talker. But he giggles too, and that's his problem. By the time we get ourselves arranged to actually try the double fuck, he starts giggling and his dick falls out. Then we all get to laughing, and we have to move to more conventional ways of having an orgasm. Do you two really want to try it?"
I said, "Sure."
Tim nodded, "Yes," and said, "but let's eat dessert first."
Beverly said, "That meal was wonderful, but I'm full. Why don't you let me be your dessert?"
Tim rose, offered his hand to Beverly, and said, "Follow me to our boudoir."
She did. I followed. Upstairs Tim did his usual instant strip tease, and Beverly and I followed suit. We weren't experiencing Beverly for the first time, so there was no embarrassment as we disrobed. Beverly sat in a chair and said to us, "If you're going to have any chance of pulling this off, you need to get fully aroused and close to an orgasm. I'd like to just watch that process."
Tim and I used our tongues, and if we'd gone much longer we would've ruined our chances for the evening. Then Beverly said, "OK, the boys and I have talked about a number of different possible positions, but we seem to have had the most luck with what I call the sandwich. First, you need to lube my ass very generously, and your dick, Charlie."
Tim took care of that, making sure that I continued to be fully aroused. Then Beverly put me in the middle of the bed, on my back. She sat between my legs, facing the foot of the bed. She rose and slid her anus onto my dick, and rocked until it slipped in. She lowered herself very slowly, till her weight was on my pelvis. She rocked and continued my arousal. Then she lay back on my stomach, and spread her legs so that Tim could enter her. That took a little maneuvering, but he managed to get inside her. My dick was bending, but hadn't slipped out. Tim started gently thrusting, but the weight on me made in impossible for me to push much at all. Beverly got in rhythm with Tim and was able to lift up on me as Tim lifted, and then they came down together. Tim climaxed; Beverly climaxed, and I was very close, but as Beverly had climaxed, she stopped her up and down motion on me, and I didn't come. Tim went soft and came out, and only then was Beverly able to continue to bring me.
We weren't sure whether to laugh or cry. It'd been great fun and a new experience. But we hadn't achieved the double fuck. We guessed it might really be a race between the team of Toppy and Murray and the team of Tim and Charlie to see who could give Beverly the first double fuck. Beverly seemed completely pleased with the idea of a competition; in fact she clearly welcomed it. I suspected that Murray and Toppy would be the ultimate winners, if only because they'd have time to spend more evenings with Beverly.
Beverly slept with us that night. The next morning as we awakened early she said, "You guys go on ahead. Just let me sleep."
We told her to sleep as long as she could and then help herself to breakfast. Tim was off to the pool, and I decided to spend an early morning catching up on work in my office in the Law School.
About a month later Toppy and Murray came by Dakota House one evening after dinner. Toppy opened the conversation with, "We just wanted you to know that you lost the double fuck challenge."
"You and Murray pulled it off with Beverly, did you?"
"Nope. After the conversation we had that night at dinner at your house, the competition broadened. The next thing I knew Al and Alex had invited Beverly to dinner and then gone back to her house. I haven't heard the details, but they didn't achieve the double fuck. Fyn, Margie, and Arnie joined her one night at dinner and they all went back to Beverly's for the night. Margie was limited to a spectator role, but she didn't see more than a serious attempt. It seems that people could get the right things into the right holes, but couldn't keep them there long enough to achieve three orgasms before something fell out.
"Next up were Nate and Pat. Nate reported that they were the right combination. Nate was more gay than straight-actually almost completely gay-and took the bottom position, fucking Beverly's ass. Pat, who was more straight than gay (except when he was alone with Nate, when all bets were off) got the job of fucking Beverly in the normal way. It was their second night together, but they did achieve the triple orgasm, double fuck."
"Beverly must be getting tired of you kids and your just barely post-teenage libidos," Tim suggested.
Murray said, "Not in the least. After Al and Alex had opened the door to other pairs, Beverly took the lead. Most of the rest of the invitations came from her. She's really quite a gal!"
"So now that the double fuck has been achieved, where do you all go from there?"
"We haven't any idea. But we certainly aren't going to abandon Beverly; she's too cool for that."
"You guys are too much!"
"We know. You're welcome at The Roundhouse any time, you know, Tim and Charlie."
"We know. Maybe the time will come."
"We understand your situation," said Toppy. "We'll respect your wishes."
"Thanks, boys," I said. "The real conflict is with Alex and Al's jobs. But you guys are so much a group, that we sort of extend the conflict to all of you. Someday we'll sort all that out."
"Thanks. We love you both, and sex doesn't have to be part of the equation."
"Thanks, again, guys."
Tim and I decided that it might be a good idea to have a conversation with Beverly. We invited her for dinner one evening not long after that. We knew as we extended the invitation that she'd assume that after dinner sex was part of the plan. We could live with that!"
Beverly was, in Murray's words, "really quite a gal." At age 68 she'd kept her figure by keeping fit. She had an enthusiasm for life that hadn't been squashed by the loss of Sam. Tim asked her, "Beverly how do you fill your time."
"Oh, Tim, it's easy. You know, I never held a job. I went to Wayne State and got a degree in philosophy. Clearly even then I knew I wasn't headed for the job market. I met Sam at a sorority party in my senior year-he'd graduated the year before-and we hit it off. He had a good job with a large auto parts manufacturer, plenty of room on the ladder for him to move up, a good income along with some family money. He was a great catch, and I guess I was, too. I was pretty, socially established, had a college degree. I guess we were in love, but to be honest it was a convenient marriage for both of us. Unlike some marriages like that, our love flourished and grew. Along came Terry, and then Tom, and I had my hands full with two boys and a busy husband. Sam was a good father and a faithful husband. Then the second boy went off to first grade and I had whole days on my hands with nothing to do. Sam and I talked about it-I could always talk to Sam and he was sympathetic and understanding. I considered getting a job, and Sam was fully supportive. But he didn't push the job, and I knew that we didn't need the money.
"Volunteer work loomed on the horizon. My contemporaries in the neighborhood were active in church-usually in the women's association, were gray ladies at the hospital, or delved into the byzantine workings of the schools through the P.T.A. None of those appealed. Then I found the AAUW-the American Association of University Women. At first, it was just a monthly women's meeting in which we'd discuss current issues or have a speaker on some current issue. Because I had the time and inclination, I soon became president of our local chapter and became acquainted with the state and national organizations of AAUW. I don't want to say that AAUW became my life, but it became my lifeline. It kept me busy, involved, intellectually stimulated, and constantly meeting new and exciting women. You know, AAUW has a real mission: advancing opportunities, especially educational opportunities, for women, and the fifties and sixties were exciting times for those issues. I eventually was elected to the national board of directors and then became the AAUW national president in 1963. It's filled my time.
"How about since you moved to Grand Forks?" I asked.
"I joined the local chapter, and have kept my foot in the national organization. I no longer hold any office, but I'm often involved in assisting with the writing of national and state position papers. My philosophy degree, and experience writing papers for philosophy classes in college has served me well."
Tim said, "We had no idea that you had all that in your background, Beverly."
"I've never been one to toot my own horn very much. Neither was Sam. But he did very well in life too. He became part owner and president of the auto parts company he worked for, and was very active in the National Association of Manufacturers-was a vice-president."
I said, "The politics of AAUW and NAM are just about opposites. Did that affect your marriage?"
"Oh, heavens no. Sam and I were both serious liberals. We disagreed on how much you could trust businesses to do the right thing, but over the years experience showed Sam that your couldn't really trust most businesses to do the right thing. He'll tell you that NAM serves an important purpose beyond advocating for pro-business legislation in Washington. His colleagues at NAM knew he wasn't with them on many of their legislative priorities, but he was very good at suggesting ways that NAM could support its members. Manufacturing has been declining in America as jobs are beginning to move overseas. Sam was the town crier in sounding early warnings about that. By the end of his life people were beginning to listen to him. You know, Sam coined the term 'Rust Belt' in a speech he gave at a national NAM meeting."
Tim said, "We're learning all kinds of interesting things about you and Sam. I'd love to have had a chance to talk to Sam about some of his experiences."
Beverly said, "We were all very busy. And Sam really was very self-deprecating. And then he and Tom were involved in starting their new business, Labor Services."
"How's that going?"
"You'd have to ask Tom. But from the size of the dividend check I get every quarter, based on Sam's share of the business, it has to be going pretty well."
Tim said, "So. You're a beautiful, rich, sexy lady. What a wonderful combination. No wonder the Circle can't keep their hands off you."
"I wouldn't want them to, and I don't try to keep my hands off them. They are a sexy lot, beautiful and handsome. And so willing to overlook the age of the beautiful, rich, sexy lady."
"Oh, Beverly, you're wonderful."
"But should I be feeling guilty about everything I've been doing with them. I'm more than double their age, a widow. They all have partners. Is it right?"
I said, "I think that that's for you and the Circle to decide. We certainly know what they think-they think you're a blast."
"I don't even want to think what my mother would say if she thought I was screwing just one of them-but all nine, including a girl? Oh, my God."
Tim said, "Most of the Gang go back to the old question, 'Who, if anyone, is being hurt?' Certainly no one."
"Doesn't the Bible really establish a behavioral standard that we should all at least strive to meet?"
"The Bible says a lot of things. But it's theme is love. Do unto others. Your behavior certainly conforms to those rules."
Beverly thought for a while and said, "Charlie, just how normal is it for a sixty-eight year old woman to be screwing a bunch of twenty-somethings?"
"Normal? Not at all. Normal would be for the sixty-eight year old woman to be sitting at home, perhaps minding her knitting, and dreaming of the rather poor sex life she'd had with her husband. Maybe she might also dream about the wonderful fling she had with a young guy that worked for her husband years ago. But that dried up, and so did her sex life with hubby, so that his death didn't really change much. But life slowly edges on. Death might be a relief. Seems to me that that's more likely than what you have. And if it's more likely, then it's more normal. Hell, Beverly, there isn't anything normal about the Gang. That's our secret."
"Oh, Charlie, I agree. But just why did you invite me to dinner? Were you worrying about me, the boys, perhaps Margie, or were you jealous of them-us?"
Tim jumped in, "All of the above. Isn't he wonderful?"
"Yes, he is. And he better be ready to share his bed tonight, because I didn't come over here to eat and run."
"I'll bet you didn't. Are we going to try the double fuck tonight, or having accomplished it with Nate and Pat, are you ready to move on to other things."
"You've heard about Nat and Pat's success?"
"And yours," I added.
"If you don't mind, I think I'm ready for some variation."
"What do you have in mind?"
"Oral sex. Plain and simple."
Tim said, "I have the perfect idea. Instead of a double fuck, you can try a double suck. Between us we have two dicks; it should be fun."
The next morning as we sat down to breakfast Beverly commented, "You know, I have the nicest two little granddaughters, Noreen and Peggy."
Tim asked, "How old are they now?"
"Noreen is ten and Peggy is seven. I think that Noreen has a crush on Ronnie's little Kevin; they're almost the same age."
"Is it reciprocal?"
"Oh, heavens no. Ten year old boys aren't interested in girls. Kevin's a budding little scientist, and I don't think he'll notice girls for years. Just like Ronnie. And Kyle I suppose."
Tim said, "Those two men spent all their time with Sharon and never noticed that she was built differently than they were until she pointed it out. I don't think their relationship changed a whole lot, except that they added sex to their adventures. They are still the three mad scientists."
Beverly said, "Adding Kevin and Kay to the mix certainly changed things. And they are being wonderful parents. Pulling that off with a three-way is a neat trick."
I said, "I don't think that they think there's anything particularly special about a three-way. They worry about what the world might think, but to them it's the most natural thing in the world."
"God, I'd hate to contemplate what I would've thought if I'd thought that one of Tom's friends in grade school came from a three-way marriage."
"Now it seems normal, doesn't it?"
"That Gang has really shaken up my world."
"Glad or sorry?"
"Oh, glad. Glad. Glad. Before Sam and I thought of ourselves as members of the Gang we watched Tom relate to all of you. Well, we'd seen Charlie work some kind of magic with Tom twice. We knew we had to be positive about things-Charlie, you were so obviously good for Tom and Nancy. We got used to you guys. You know, Tom's psychiatrist told us that the best investment that we ever made was in camp tuition for Camp White Elk. He was right."
She got a kiss from both of us.
"Now, if French toast isn't on the menu I'm going home to eat."
We adjusted our breakfast plans at once, dipping bread into the mixture we'd planned for scrambled eggs, and we had French toast on the table in just a few minutes.
"You guys are good, and so wonderful to an old lady."
I said, "Beverly, you can make a lot of claims, but we aren't going to let you have 'old lady.' How about 'sexy broad'?"
"I like it. And this sexy broad will have another slice of toast and more of that maple syrup."
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