Vixen narrowed her gaze as she looked over at Robert, her stepfather, and wondered what he was up to.
“Honest Vivian, I just want what’s best for you, I loved your late mother and she would want the same.”
Vixen frowned even more than normal, “My name is Vixen now, how many times do I have to say it? Quit using my deadname.”
“I’m sorry… Vixen… it’s just hard… you know?”
She almost felt sorry for her stepfather, almost. He’d married her mother just three years ago, just as Vixen was truly finding herself and while her mother hand been supportive, she hadn’t been around long enough for both her and Robert to fully embrace her new identity before she died.
Vixen knew that her mother’s death had only accelerated the discovery of her true self and that had been hard on Robert, but that wasn’t her problem, it was his.
She folded her arms across her chest and decided to move past it for the moment, “So, basically what you’re offering is a full ride to university, as long as I go to some middle of nowhere alma mater of yours?”
Robert nodded and Vixen shook her head a little. It sounded too good to be true honestly, she knew Robert was wealthy, that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that she’d torpedoed her own grades for the last couple of years and no university would accept her when she’d applied.
“I’ve got some friends on the admissions board, that’s not a problem, but once your in, well, it’s up to you to take it seriously.”
She nodded, looking back at the last couple of years, while she was happy with herself, she had to admit that she wished she could do a few things differently. Especially with respect to her schooling.
After graduating high school, she’d had no real skills and had ended up working minimum wage jobs at bars that would accept her for who she was. While that was fun, it was no long term plan, getting a degree from any university was going to be better overall.
“Alright… fine.” she finally agreed and Robert beamed in pride at her decision.
Vivian looked up from her book and smiled, “Oh, hello professor.” she said.
“Well hello there Vivian, studying hard I see?” Professor Thompson replied.
She closed her book, making note of the page and nodded, “Yep, I just find Women’s studies so fascinating!”
Professor Thompson chuckled a little, “Trying to butter up your professor I see. I’m sure your reading something much more interesting than my boring subject.”
“Oh gosh no Professor! I mean learning all about the historical place women had in society and how that relates to today is just… amazing!”
The Professor smiled, “Well you have quickly become one of my best students, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. If you want some additional reading, drop by my office after class and I’ll give you a list of material.”
“That would be amazing Professor! I’ll be there for sure!”
Vivian and the Professor parted ways and there was a new found bounce in Vivian’s step as she did so. She couldn’t believe how great the last six months on campus had been.
Her step-father had been true to his word, not only getting her enrolled, he had taken care of all her expenses as well. She had an apartment just off campus, a credit card, and allowance as well.
The first few weeks had been strange of course, she hadn’t really fit in but she was expecting that. The rural setting in which the University was the center of the community of perhaps fifteen thousand people at most, was nothing like the big city she’d grown up in. They were more… conservative… than she was used to. Very nice, and friendly of course, but for those first few weeks she’d gotten a lot of strange looks.
Once she’d introduced herself to enough people though, the looks faded and she mostly settled in to a routine. Unlike the city where there were all kinds of distractions, the small town feel had actually helped her focus on her studies, and it felt great!
Of call the classes she was taking though, Professor Thompson’s had captured her interest the most.
It hadn’t at first, in fact she could still remember thinking how misogynistic he seemed for those first few classes. It wasn’t until she had her first one on one session with him that she’d seen how foolish she had been to think that.
Professor Thompson had one on one sessions with all of his students, to make sure they were keeping up with the material and understood it. His class was relatively large, it was very popular in campus, but he still made time for everyone.
A little shiver of happiness ran through her body as she remembered the meeting. Which was a little odd, since she really couldn’t remember anything that had been said in it once she’d sat down in the chair in front of his desk. At least not until she felt herself standing up and extending her hand to shake his.
It didn’t matter though, just thinking about it made her happy, no matter if the actual memory was a little muddled.
After that, things had gotten a lot easier for her, she found several new fiends that had really helped her fit in more. They’d suggested a few shops in town that might have some clothing she might like, as well as a salon to take care of her problem hair. She’d thanked them and taken their suggestions to heart, and then used her step-father’s credit card to go on a shopping spree and get a makeover.
It had made her feel so good to finally be fitting in and learning so much at the same time.
Since then she’d had several more one on one’s with Professor Thompson, about once a month, and now having a chance to visit him again had sent her over the moon.
“Oh my goodness father, everything is so beautiful here! Thank you for bringing me along.” Vi said as she stood under the cabana by the pool in her pink sun dress.
“My pleasure sweetheart, consider it a graduation present.” Robert replied.
Vi sashayed over to him and gave him a big hug, “Thank you, you’re the best!”
Vi had just graduated with honours and a Masters of Women Studies and she couldn’t have been happier. The three year degree had given her time to find her real place in the world and Professor Thompson and been a god send to her.
She looked back at how foolish she’d been, thinking that as a woman she could be independent and self sufficient, she was so glad that her step-father had let her move back home when she graduated until she could find a husband to take care of her.
She looped her arm through Robert’s and leaned in, “Now then, when do I get to meet this gentleman you’ve been telling me all about?”
“Who? David? Oh, he’s around her somewhere.” her step-father replied in a playful manner.
“Yes, David. Who else!”
“Well, why don’t we take a walk around and see if we can find him then…”
She smiled and let her step-father lead the way, just as it should be.
While she considered the trip a graduation present, in reality for Robert it was a business trip. David was one of Roberts many clients that were attending the business retreat that Robert had arranged and Vi was excited to finally meet him.
Robert had been talking him up for weeks and he seemed perfect as far as she could tell. Wealthy, well established, a natural leader… and single.
They walked around the pool until they had just reached the other side when Robert spoke again, “Ah, David!” he called out and waved to a man sitting in a chair under an umbrella.
David turned to look at them both and smiled, Vi’s knees turned to Jello and she almost tripped.
“Robert.” the man called back and stood up and walked over to them, extending his hand to shake her step-father’s and the smiling and looking at Vi.
“And you must be Vi… Robert had told me so much about you.” he said, extending his hand once more, but this time taking hers and kissing the back of it.
“Oh… yes… a pleasure to meet you David.” she replied with a little warble in her voice from the excitement that was running through her.
“Well, perhaps I’ll let you to get to know each other a little better.” Robert said and unthreaded his arm from Vi’s before stepping away.
David too the initiative and quickly took his place and Vi leaned in to him to steady herself, “So tell me Vi, would you like to go somewhere more private to talk?”
She could only nod as he lead her away, through the hotel towards his room.
She was so excited, but knew she had to focus and remember all that she’d learned at university. After all, one of many things she’d learned was that if a woman wanted to get and keep a man like David, she couldn’t be a prude. A woman’s role in society was to be the dutiful wife, homemaker, and concubine.
In her final year at university Professor Thompson had let her practice all three roles with him and now she was eager to put her learning in to practice with David.