Showing a young woman learning to say no.


Hannah had heard about her mom's latest Cause, but she still hadn't figured out if it was ridiculous or not. And whether or not it might suit her present plans at all. Hannah was in the Excelsior in a silk blouse, a preppy looking guy sitting across from her buying her a fancy dinner. She had made a conquest, she wasn't sure exactly how, she had been invited out to eat by a frat brat, a Greek, and hunger and curiosity (are they really different than we are?) had prompted her to accept. It was definitely a decadent situation, something her mother surely would not approve of, especially under the present circumstances, given her latest political commitment and call to action. Hannah wasn't even too sure if she approved of it herself, going out with some cute business major just because he promised to pay her way. But then, he had it, and she wanted it, and she was getting a free meal and a new experience.

"My friends have always been a lot older than me," Peter the preppy Greek was saying. "I don't usually feel comfortable with people my own age, not to mention people who are younger than me. You're an exception, Hannah."

Hannah sipped at her beer and looked at Pete over the edge of her glass, wondering what kind of older people he hung out with. She ignored the intentional compliment as an intentional compliment and suppressed a yawn. At least the evening had been an easy one--she wasn't even required to encourage him to talk. She wondered how he would be in bed and if it would come to that. That appeared to be his intention, the way he had been plying her with wine during dinner, and now imported beer, and the non-stop effort he had been making to impress her. She figured he would be pretty average, the more talk than action type. But she had to admit she liked the way his chest hair curled out above the top button of his shirt, and he definitely had a nice ass. She was slightly drunk too, and that always made things easier. Hannah hadn't dared to take the plunge since Jesse. It was taking a long time for her cold, wet feet to dry off. But Peter had beautiful eyes, long lashes curling away from incredibly green irises. She'd always loved green eyes. Maybe he had contacts.

Hannah suddenly noticed that Pete was expecting a response from her. "Really?" she said in a tone of voice which could have been anything from amazement to a question.

"Really. The secretary in my company said I was quite mature for my age. The average age for someone in my position is six years older than I am." Hannah wondered how old Pete was anyway. He couldn't be older than 21, 22 at the most, and when he grinned he looked younger. His knee touched hers beneath the table and Hannah took another sip of beer. She chose to ignore the move. The whole situation still need consideration. Hannah had the feeling Pete would be very easy to manage, good for a lot more dinners, and he had the added advantage of being so attractive. If only he weren't so silly.

Hannah figured it was about time for her to pretend she was participating in the conversation again, and with effort she managed to concentrate on what Pete was saying. He was talking about some scholarship his company--she liked the way he said "my company," it made her want to laugh--his company had given him and how the whole thing worked. "How did you manage to get this scholarship anyway?" Hannah asked, and hoped he hadn't already told her.

"Well, when I started this job with my company during summer vacation in high school, they were impressed enough with me to want to pay my expenses through college. So now I attend university, tuition paid, and work there on the side." It sounded more like work-study than scholarship, Hannah thought to herself. Pete's leg was touching hers beneath the table again, but her stomach was turning from all the alcohol and all the self-praise. She moved her leg away.

They drank more imported beer. Pete continued to praise himself, and Hannah continued to fake approval. She was going to have a dreadful hangover in the morning, the way everything was swimming around her. What she wanted most was go home and go to bed; the game of admiration was going on a little too long.

Pete's leg was touching hers again. She had to say that much for the guy--he sure was persistent. And strangely enough, this time the pressure felt nice. Warmth was creeping through her and she didn't move her leg away. Her ears were hot. They were getting up. It was about time. Could she walk? Ah, Pete was putting his arm around her so she wouldn't have to worry about it. But his hand was creeping down her back, on her ass, caressing it. Presumptuous. She didn't like things like that in public, but she didn't want to make a scene either.

He guided her out to the car, opened the door for her and settled her into the passenger seat. As they drove, Hannah noticed that he hadn't even asked her whether she wanted to go to her place or his. So it was probably going to be his. Oh, her head hurt. And her stomach felt ever so slightly not quite right. She wanted to protest, but it seemed too much of an effort. She leaned her head on the cold glass of the window and closed her eyes. Fresh air, that would be nice. She rolled down the window a bit.

It was only a short drive to his apartment. Alder. On the other side of campus from her place. Oh, hell, it wasn't worth the effort to protest. She might even enjoy it. She might even get a few more dinners. Why not try again finally? Why not with this guy? Supposedly cats were the same in the dark.

Hannah watched with drunken concentration as Pete rolled up the window and locked the door. He put his arm around her again to lead her up the steps to the apartment. She wondered if he thought he was something special in bed too. Probably. That ridiculous male ego. He would be the type to ask her afterwards, expecting praise, and she would probably lie. The truth only made men uptight, made them want to prove something, and that was the last thing Hannah wanted.

Once inside, he didn't waste any time. Already kissing her, he was. A bulldozer. He was showing her his passion. She should have known--he had been showing off all evening. And she was watching. Look at those two, the guy desperate to prove himself, his passion and his prowess, and the girl, not really wanting to be seduced, but too drunk and numb to care much anymore.

Now he is unbuttoning her blouse and directing her towards the bed, still kissing her like a bulldozer. Now they are on the bed, a futon, of course. Nowadays, if they want to seduce you, they've got a futon. It used to be a waterbed. He is half on top of her, her blouse is unbuttoned, his hand is mechanically fondling her breast...

Abruptly, Hannah sat up, knocking Pete to the floor. "It's time for me to go now," she said, buttoning her blouse and tucking the silk neatly back into her jeans.

Pete sat there looking up at her uncomprehendingly, his hands behind him for support. "Huh?"

"It's way past my bedtime," Hannah said, and started to giggle. "Besides, haven't you heard yet that there's a strike going on?"

Peter looked at her blankly and she laughed.

"No need to show me to the door," Hannah continued, standing up as quickly as she could manage, given her inebriated state, and grabbed her jacket. "I can find my way. A walk in the fresh air will do me good." Luckily, Pete was still so stunned that all he could do was stare.

"You should go to bed yourself. You don't look at all well. Probably too much to drink." Hannah giggled again. At the door she turned to Peter one last time. "Thanks for the nice dinner and everything. But don't bother to do it again."

The shock of the cool night air was a relief. As Hannah closed the door behind her, she had the feeling she had barely made a narrow escape.