The Major’s 16-year-old daughter was totally hot, so I found it extremely hard to resist. Carla asked me what was holding me back. “You aren’t queer, are you?”
I laughed. “No, I’m not. But your dad is my squadron commander. And he’s more or less adopted me, so I don’t want to ever do anything to offend him.”
A funny look was on her face, which I couldn’t quite read. “You have absolutely no clue,” she said.
A week later in the 4128th Strategic Wing’s war room the Major asked me if I would do him a favor. I said yes, of course, sir, anything you want, sir.
“Beth and I are going to the Officer’s Club this evening for a big bridge tournament,” he said. “And I’d appreciate it if you’d come to the house and keep Carla company.”
“I’ll be happy to,” I said.
“She’s been a bad girl so I’ve grounded her with no phone privleges. I want you to keep an eye on her for me.”
“What time would you like me to be there?”
Leon greeted me with a big smile. “Pour yourself a drink, son, and make yourself at home.” Beth came into the living room adjusting her ear ring. She looked great in her black cocktail dress. Leon was sharp and dapper in his blue civilian suit, white shirt, red silk tie. When Beth was finally ready they put on their coats. Leon winked. “Have fun,” he said, and they left.
I cracked open a fresh bottle of Yellowstone sour mash bourbon from Leon’s stock, and poured three inches in a squat glass. At the stereo I put on Maria Callas’s recording of Belinni’s Norma, and sat down on the couch. Half an hour and another three inches of sour mash later, Carla appeared in a long thin cotton bathrobe. She’d been soaking in the tub, she said. Oh, she was so mad at that stupid father of hers. She was so sick of always being ordered around. Do this, don’t do that. But let’s not talk about him, let’s talk about my sweet 16 birthday party. You’ll come, won’t you? Of course, I said. But I thought you were already 16. No, she said. I’ll be 16 in a week.
She nibbled at my ear. She smelled of lavender soap. She was damp. Hot. Her robe parted. Black bra, black panties, black hose. Hose? Yes, black silk hose. She’d put them on just for me. Why? Well, don’t you like them? Of course I like them. But…
Carla pressed her forefinger on my lips. “Shut the fuck up,” she said.
Like a good soldier I tried my best to put up a defense. But her forces were overwhelming. Soon she took out the condom that was in the pocket of her robe. Trojan in a foil packet. I had no experience putting on a condom while a girl watched. My erection wilted. She giggled. “Relax, sweetie,” she said. “I’ll help you.”
In the middle of the night I was awakened by the sound of Leon’s muffled angry shouts in the living room. A banging against the wall, like distant thunder. Beth’s voice, “No! You’re a goddamned drunk!”
In the darkness I reached for my pants on the floor beside the bed, but Carla took my arm, pulled me back beside her. “Shhhh,” she said.
“I’ve got to go back to the barracks,” I said.
“No, you don’t. They’ll quiet down in a few minutes. Relax.”
Two weeks later I was back on Leon’s couch. We were drinking his Yellowstone. This time the stereo was playing Miles Davis’s “Quiet Nights.” “I’ve got to tell you something,” I said gravely, slowly.
The Major looked amused. “All right, then. Tell me.”
“Come on, John. Spit it out.”
“I’ve been making love to your daughter. Carla.”
“Of course you have. So what about it?”
“You’re not angry?”
“Why should I be? I think you’d make a perfect son-in-law. If that indeed is what you and she have in mind. I’d be proud to have you officially a part of my family.”
Leon said he’d been thinking about OCS. Officer’s Training School. Getting a commission will be no problem, he said, given your outstanding work in Strategic Air Command’s Intelligence Division for the past two years. “You’re clearly officer material. I must say you are wholly miscast as an enlisted man.”
My head swam. I could see myself wearing the gleaming gold bars of a second lieutenant. Being saluted by those asshole ignorant NCOs who went out of their way to make my life miserable. John Palcewski, 2nd Lt., USAF.
Yes. I could see it clearly.