It hadn't been as bad as Betty had feared. It had been worse. The hour she had spent in the park wading pool had left her body a bit cooler, but her mind inexorably overcome with heat. A nice, cool, relaxing movie. Yes. That would do it. Sit in an air-cooled theatre, lean back with a big popcorn. That was the ticket. Get her mind off everything at the office. More importantly, it would get her mind off Scott. It hadn't been as bad as Betty had feared. It had been worse. The hour she had spent in the park wading pool had left her body a bit cooler, but her mind inexorably overcome with heat. A nice, cool, relaxing movie. Yes. That would do it. Sit in an air-cooled theatre, lean back with a big popcorn. That was the ticket. Get her mind off everything at the office. More importantly, it would get her mind off Scott.

No such luck. Of course, it would have to be Waterloo Bridge that was playing there. Exactly the movie she hadn't wanted to see. Well, all right. She did want to see it. Everyone had been telling her how wonderful this movie was. How lush, how romantic. How…here their voices always dropped…how sexy. A sexy movie. Great, she thought. Just what she did not need right now.

But there wasn't much time off from work to see movies. Heaven only knew when she would have another complete day to herself, and by the time she did, the movie might be gone. Vanished into that oblivion where all unwatched movies eventually go. So she lay down her quarter at the ticket window and walked into the theatre. A sudden blast of cool air welcomed her to the show. Two nickels went on a popcorn and a Coke. She settled herself down into the theatre seat, and looked around. The Sunday afternoon movie crowd was the typical one. A few housewives, some college kids, a few couples on dates, a number of dreamy eyed teenage girls there to see their idol, Robert Taylor. A number of young career women, like Betty, enjoying a much needed day off.

A few trailers, the weekly newsreel, and a travelogue later, the main feature music swelled. The audience collectively sighed and leaned back to enjoy the show. This is what they were here for.

Betty allowed herself to be swept into the picture. It was the story of a young ballerina and the handsome soldier she falls madly in love with during the Great War. Her lover missing, and left for dead, she drifts into a life of ill-repute. It was about the most passionate movie Betty had ever seen. The dark good looks of the leading man affected her in such a way that she realized that the flights of fancy indulged in during her imaginative afternoon in the park were not quite over.

The two young lovers on the screen kissed each other with a passionate abandon. Betty bit her lip and tried to ignore the tingling she felt up her spine. She knew she shouldn't let her imagination run away like this, but it had been doing that all too often lately. She had been wanting something lately, but she wasn't even sure what.

No, that wasn't true. She knew exactly what. She wanted to be doing what they were doing up on the screen. Kissing with passionate abandon. Loving someone wholeheartedly, without reservations, without thought to the consequences. She knew she'd never had that. She supposed it was doubtful she ever would. Had she ever even met anyone in her life who had made her feel like that.

The boys she had dated in high school and college? Betty ran through their faces and names in her mind. She had been popular, but not overly so. Just as popular as a nice girl should be but not so popular that her status as a nice girl would be called into question. How many times had she sat in the backs of cars, letting some fumbling teenage boy or college campus man kiss her, and all the while thinking "I'll let him do that, and that, but not that"? Betty had known the rules. Just how far you let a boy "go" before you stopped him. It was holding hands for the first date. Maybe a goodnight kiss for the second date. And another for the third. After that a little light necking was allowed, within reason of course. If you were going steady, maybe you let him touch you under your brassiere. Then, nothing else until you got The Ring. That was all-important of course; The Ring. Then maybe, just maybe, you let him touch you "down there". But you never, under any circumstances let him go all the way until he had married you. That went without saying. Love had nothing to do with it. Affection was doled out by the thimbleful. Betty had played by the rules. So had the boys. She knew how far she would let them go, and they knew she knew it. No, those boys wasn't what she wanted now.

Victor? Betty smiled at the memory of Victor's kiss. It really had been romantic, hadn't it? Dashing hero, international spy, leaving perhaps forever for the war effort, for the good of the country. Fighting for freedom and democracy. She could have been his very last kiss. She almost was, she was sure. Look at the way the Nazis had brainwashed him. They would certainly have killed him if they'd needed to. That had been a wonderful kiss. Victor sure knew what he was doing. No doubt about that.

Yet, when he had kissed her again, months later, she had instinctively pulled away. She still wasn't sure exactly why she had reacted as she did. Well, she kind of did know really. How long had it been since he had said a word to her about how he felt? Had he ever said a word about it? No, he really hadn't. She had been left to guess and wonder and worry. He had never been overly demonstrative, and she didn't expect him to be. A man who would fawn over her and constantly barrage her with words of devotion wasn't what she wanted either.

What was it? What did she want. She just wanted something. Scott? Well, he was something all right! She wanted to strangle him at least twice a day. But there was something else too. When she was sitting in the park, letting her mind wander, it had wandered straight over to Scott. That had to mean something, didn't it? Was it Scott she wanted to be kissing with passionate abandon.

She let her mind dwell on the concept. She remembered the one kiss Scott had ever given her. It hadn't exactly been in the best of circumstances, but it was all she had to consider. It had been quite a kiss. Scott had certainly known what he was doing. He had kissed her with all the passionate abandon she could have wanted. She licked her lips as she thought about it. She had been too surprised to stop him, too angry to kiss him back. She had just stood there, motionless, and taken it. "If he ever tries that again, I'll….". She stopped in mid thought. She would what? "I'll kiss him right back", she whispered to herself.

Her mind continued to wander, just as it had in the pool that afternoon. This was happening all too often for her comfort, but she just couldn't help it. As she watched the two lovers kiss each other on the screen, she imagined Scott's kisses, and herself returning them. She imagined his arms around her, his hands on her breasts. The now-familiar tingling sensation had returned, but this time it settled between her thighs. She closed her eyes for a moment. No one had ever, not even once, touched her there. Lately, it was all she could think about. She thought about Scott kissing her, touching her. Maybe even doing more. Yes, she couldn't fool herself. She could imagine him doing more.

Robert Taylor came back home. The disgraced Vivian Leigh killed herself. It was all so tragic, so beautiful, so romantic. But it ended so neatly. The woman who had fallen into disgrace was now safely dead. That's what was supposed to happen to disgraced women, Betty supposed. But really, what did happen to disgraced women. What happened to Maple? Was Maple a disgraced woman? She certainly fit the description. She wore tight dresses and high heels and hats with colored feathers. She was a lot more familiar with men then she should be. But she certainly didn't act disgraced. She acted like she was having fun. She certainly couldn't imagine Maple throwing herself off a bridge like the woman in the movie did. Betty almost envied Maple. She wouldn't be sitting alone in the movies wishing she could have some man kiss and touch her. If she wanted that, she'd be doing that.

Betty had thrown on her loose, wraparound skirt to go to the park wading pool. It was really just one large piece of cloth, with cloth strips sewn on each side as a tie. It was light and simple and easy to put on. Of course, there was that slit that went straight up the side. It caused the skirt to open a bit more than she liked when she sat down, but as long as it was tightly tied and carefully wrapped, it was nothing she couldn't handle. It was the lightest, coolest cotton skirt she owned, and on a hot day like this, it was worth risking showing the occasional flash of leg in order to stay cool.

The final credits finished rolling, and the house lights went up. It had been a wonderful movie at that. Romantic, sexy, and beautiful. With everything else, she was glad she had gone to see it. She picked up her pocketbook and headed for the lobby.

If there had been one person she hadn't expected to see in the lobby, it was Scott. But there he was. He had come out of the other door, from the stairs leading to the balcony. That was why she hadn't seen him when she looked around, she realized suddenly. He had been in the balcony. He was probably watching her more than the movie. She tried to get out of the lobby as fast as she could, but there was a crowd at the front door of people waiting for the next show. He noticed her before she could do anything about it.

"Betty!" he called to her brightly. He quickly walked across the lobby and stood by her side. "I didn't know you wanted to see this movie. If I'd known, I would have asked you to go with me". And she probably would have turned you down anyway was his next, unspoken thought.

"Oh, I didn't really plan to go to the movies today. It was just so hot today, and at least the movie theatre is air cooled. I figured no matter what was playing, it had to be better than broiling." She kept her voice light and gay, but there was a sense of shame and embarrassment creeping through her. At least he didn't know of the thoughts she'd had all through the movie.

Scott glanced at his watch. "It's only 5 O'clock and still pretty hot. What about an ice cream, Betty?". She started to shake her head out of habit. "Oh, come on Betty. Give me one break. It's hot. We both have a very rare free day. An ice cream would be good, and you know it. One dish of ice cream isn't exactly a lifelong commitment".

Well, she had to admit he was right about that. What would it hurt to have one dish of ice cream with the guy? It was hot and she wasn't quite ready to go back to her sweltering apartment yet. Scott was good company, and her wandering mind wasn't exactly his fault. That she also enjoyed the physical sensations he gave her when she was with him was something she decided not to dwell on right now.

The ice cream parlor was cool and relaxing. It wasn't air cooled like the movie house, but it didn't need to be. The ice cream was stored in large freezer cases around the perimeter, cooling the entire room. They sat, chatting aimlessly, as they consumed the sundaes that Scott had insisted on paying for.

"So, what's coming up on The Hands of Time next week?" Scott started by way of a neutral topic that both of them could relate to. It wasn't really what was on his mind, but it was what he decided to talk about. What was really on his mind was how Betty's skirt fell open as she sat down, giving him a quick glimpse of her legs right up to the tops of her garters. He thought he would die when he saw it, but she couldn't very well mention it to her.

Scott's thoughts about Betty were almost always of the pure, almost noble, variety. She gave him dreams he had never had before. He dreamed of marrying her in a beautiful white church wedding. He dreamed of whisking her away on a romantic honeymoon. He dreamed of making love to her in a white lace covered bed after drinking champagne out of crystal glasses. He loved her more than his life. He loved her more than all else he had ever been or ever wanted to be. His thoughts of Betty could never be the kind of thoughts that Maple, and sometimes even Hilary, inspired in him.

Until that afternoon, he realized. Seeing Betty in her bathing suit, far more exposed than he had ever seen or imagined her, had set off other kinds of visions and thoughts in his mind. He had only seen her from a distance, but it was enough for him to realize how tantalizingly beautiful she was. In her refined and restrictive office dresses, blouses, and skirts, there was no way of seeing what Scott had seen in the park that afternoon. He had always known Betty had a beautiful face, but her figure had remained somewhat of a mystery. Now her figure had been revealed to him, at least from far away. He couldn't help wishing for a closer view. Now, as if in answer to his thoughts, Betty's loosely tied skirt had afforded him that view, however brief it had been.

"If I had the slightest idea what was going to happen on The Hands of Time next week, I'd be home typing it instead of here eating ice cream". She laughed at the thought. "So maybe its just as well I don't know. At least I don't have to feel guilty about not being home typing when I don't have anything to type anyway". She wiped her face with the napkin and placed it back on the table, accidentally knocking her handbag off the table as she did so.

As she leaned down to pick it up off the floor, her skirt fell open again. Both her legs were exposed nearly to her underwear. Scott desperately tried not to stare. If it had been nearly every other girl he knew, he would have been certain that the entire maneuver had been deliberate, a ploy to entice him with a show of accidental exposure. But with Betty, he was just as certain that it truly was accidental. Betty simply didn't have the dishonesty, the wiles, to deliberately show him more than was considered proper. That very thought aroused him. He was seeing something that no one, least of all Betty, would think it proper for him to see.

This time Betty did notice her faux pas, and quickly wrapped the skirt back around her legs, murmuring confused apologies as she did. She noticed Scott start to stare, then quickly fix his gaze on her face as fast as he could. She was embarrassed and shy about having her legs seen by Scott, but at the same time, the thought pleased her in a way. She had a good figure, she supposed. Nothing to be ashamed of. Suddenly, and in spite of herself, she liked the thought of Scott seeing her in that way. She carefully let her skirt fall open just slightly. Just enough to be a touch daring. She wasn't sure what had set off these feelings she had never before experienced, but she realized that she had stopped caring. She was tired of dwelling on her every thought and move. The thought of being looked at pleased her, so she made sure, at least in a subtle way, that Scott got a good look. What harm could it do, she thought to herself. Every other girl flirts and teases and lets a man have a bit of a peek, and it doesn't kill them.

The subject turned from The Hands of Time to Sam Dane and then to Our Fleeting Passion. Then to radio in general, radios place in the war effort, how the war was going, how difficult the new rationing laws were going to be to enforce to movies, to music, and then back around to radio. The conversation continued to be light and proper, but Scott soon realized that his gaze kept slipping back to Betty's stocking covered legs. When he raised his eyes it did no good. The sight of her blouse rising and falling with her breathing proved almost as compelling a sight. Was it his imagination, or did her breathing seem a bit more pronounced then usual? Was the sparkle in her eyes just a bit more provocative? Her smile just a bit more suggestive, despite the perfectly proper subjects of conversation? Almost as if her exposure were deliberate. No, it must be his imagination. Betty would never do anything provocative deliberately. She would barely know what the word meant. His wandering mind wasn't her fault.

"Ready to get going", he asked her once their sundaes and their conversation were both finished. She nodded and picked up her handbag once more. He left fifty cents on the table for the sundaes, plus an extra dime for a tip, and escorted her to the door. Without thinking about it he began to accompany her toward the nearest trolley stop that would take her back to the Barbicon. When they got to the gates of the park where they had been that afternoon, Betty stopped suddenly and pulled back from the place, although she could not have explained exactly why.

"Let's cut through", Scott suggested. "It will take a lot less time than walking around the whole park".

Betty sighed, unable to think of a good reason why not. "Yeah, that's true. It's probably a lot cooler in the park anyway."

The sun had started to set, and the temperature was far more comfortable than it had been in the worst heat of the day, but Scott was right. Even with the reduced temperature on the streets, the park was a good ten degrees cooler. Relaxing and calm. The trees sheltered the gravel path they walked on like a canopy. They talked gently to each other and listened to the silence and to the crickets. Not another soul was in sight. Far in the distance the playground was still active. After dinner families of moms and dads and children still spun around on the merry go round and splashed in the pool.

Instinctively, almost as if they had no plans of any kind, although Betty later realized that they must have had some, at least subconsciously, they turned off the main path and wandered for a moment on a grass covered hideaway barely visible though a grove of trees. Betty sighed and sat down on the grass, inhaling deeply the fresh clean scent of dirt and grass, flowers and trees. The beautiful scent of a summer evening. Scott joined her on the grass and in the silence.

As they sat down together on the grass, Betty's skirt fell open one more time. Scott knew he didn't have much resistance left, and whatever he did have was lost in that instant. He leaned over toward her and kissed her, at first gently, then more passionately, on her lips. She gasped suddenly, and he was certain she was about to pull away, to slap his face at the very least. But her gasp turned into a gentle, almost surprised, moan, and she returned his kiss with equal ardor. He took her body in his arms, letting his hands drift over her trembling form, as she continued returning his kisses, opening her mouth unresistingly.

He reached over and placed his hand on her stocking, running his palm from her ankle up to the top of her nylon, letting his fingers play in the lace of her garters, and gently pushing her back so she reclined in the cool, dry grass. The already loose ties of her skirt gave way and the skirt fell open entirely, exposing the length of her legs and her pretty, delicate stockings and underwear. Scott continued kissing her as he reclined forward onto her body. He waited for the scream, the command to stop, the look of shocked anger and hurt, but it never arrived. Letting his instincts take over completely, he gently eased her panties down with one hand while fumbling for his own belt and zipper with the other.

Her gasps became more surprised and more aroused as he touched her, playing his fingers on her most intimate parts. Any thought she had of resisting, of pushing him away, of screaming, of doing all those things she knew a nice girl was supposed to do, vanished from her mind. Scott gently rolled off her for the moment, quickly slipped off his trousers and shorts and lay back on her once again, desperate with his desire to make love to her.

Betty's legs opened mechanically, almost instinctively, and she couldn't help a slight sob as she felt him slip inside her. He pushed against her, whispering words of love and encouragement to her. At first she tried to resist what she was feeling. In the back of her mind, she remembered everything she had ever been told. That what she was doing was wrong, foolish, immoral, stupid. But she continued to sigh at his every move and his every word. She had never felt anything in her life like this. Even her imaginings of what it would be like did not seem like this. She bit her lip and tried not to make a sound, but it was no use. She began to moan and cry out. Without knowing quite what she was doing, she moved up towards him to meet his thrusts. She couldn't have stopped herself if she wanted to. There wasn't even the desire to stop anymore.

"That's it, Betty", Scott whispered in her ear. "You're beautiful. You're perfect. I love you. Don't be afraid, I love you". He had no thought of what he would do the next day, the next hour, or even the next minute. He thought of nothing but the beautiful woman in his arms and how she responded to him. He felt his climax building and forced himself to slow down. It wasn't the first time he had made love to a virgin, but it was certainly the first time he had bothered to consider her perspective in the matter. She had obviously never experienced what she was now feeling, and from the sound of her gasps and moans, she was feeling quite a bit.

The sensations were incredible. Beyond anything she had known before. The grass was cool on her bare bottom, the crickets got louder as the night got dark. There was a strong feeling of pure pleasure rising within her. One she couldn't name, but couldn't stop. She started to thrash around, her moans got louder until they became screams, and she began to shout Scott's name over and over. Never, in all her life, had she ever experienced or even imagined anything like this.

The sight of Betty, his pure, noble, innocent Betty, thrashing in his arms and screaming with the passion of her first orgasm was too much for Scott. His climax hit him nearly at the same time. They came together, unknowing and for the moment uncaring, if they were heard or not.

Their breathing slowed gradually. They both drifted into sleep. They both knew there would be much to think about later, but for now, sleep beckoned them more than thought did.

Betty glanced at Scott's watch as he lay sleeping. It was nearly 2AM. She stared at him for a moment, and then looked down at her own body. Her skirt was still open around her legs. Her panties were thrown by her side, and her nylons had been run to shreds. Her entire body, most especially her intimate parts, were aching and sore. She picked up her clothes and her handbag and left Scott asleep on the grass. She forced herself not to cry. She had never been so ashamed in her entire life.