“I can’t believe what great weather we have!” Jack yelled over to me. We were driving with the top down on his Jeep, making it slightly hard to hear with the wind blowing in your ears. I always insisted on having the top down whenever I rode shot-gun in the Jeep. After several years of me whining if it wasn’t down when he picked me up, he had gotten into the routine of putting it down before he even came over to pick me up. Bruno was also enjoying the trip, his large droopy ears flapping in the breeze as he sat in the back seat.
“Elsie said it’s supposed to be really warm, I’m excited because I’m ready to go swimming in the lake,” I said, putting my hands up in the air painting wind pictures with my fingers to the beat of Citizen Cope’s Let the Drummer Kick as it blared from his killer sound system. Jack was a motor-head who somehow had every latest gadget for his Jeep.
“Did you pack your swimsuit this time?” Jack asked, with a raised eyebrow. The other summer I completely forgot to pack it and I ended up going skinny dipping, which wouldn’t have been a big deal except some family with little kids showed up in our spot that was normally a very private area. It wouldn’t have been a big deal since they stayed close to the beach while Jack and I swam over in the deeper area. However, things got quickly complicated when a sudden summer storm popped up with lightening and all. Needless to say I had never ran so fast to grab my towel that was sitting right next to where the family took cover. Jack of course found it hilarious as he stood laughing his ass off at me as the mother of the children cursed at her husband while she tried covering the eyes of her young son.
I looked over at Jack and smirked as I dropped pulled down the neck of my shirt, revealing my bikini top strap. “I figure if I wear it camping, I won’t forget it.”
“I try,” I grinned.
“So what did Rick say when you told him to put you back on the schedule with me again?”
“He said he was glad we were done our lover’s quarrel and that next time he was not going to change the schedule and that we would just have to get over and deal with whatever our problem was,” I said, reciting the speech in a deeper voice to mimic Rick. “I told him that it was not a lover’s quarrel, but he just rolled his eyes and mumbled something incoherent as he walked past me,” I continued. “That pissed me off a little. Do you think he really believes there is something going on between us?” I asked, slightly worried because I didn’t want people getting the wrong idea. I didn’t want to lose my job.
“Come on Liz, you’ve known Rick longer than me. He just says shit like that to get you riled up. Obviously it worked,” Jack laughed, looking over at me. His smile was easy and I was glad that he was back to his normal joking self. This was the Jack that I had grown to care for over the years. He was normally a very upbeat, laid-back guy, so it had been strange to see him all wound-up about things that I didn’t really find to be a big deal. I couldn’t help but laugh at loud while I thought of the absurdity of these last two weeks of not talking or hanging out.
“What are you laughing about?” he yelled, his green eyes looking confused as the wind whipped his thick, dark hair all over the place. I knew that once we stopped, it would be an unruly, semi-curly mess and he would be cursing it while running his fingers through it trying to get the knots out of it.
“Whatever,” he rolled his eyes, putting them back on the road, allowing the music and wind to just fill our ears for the last couple miles of our trip.
As soon as we arrived at our spot, we both set out doing the chores we had designated over 5 years ago. I went out and gathered some wood for the campfire while she put up the tent. After having an argument about how to properly put up a tent the first year we attempted to put it up together, I knew better than to even try and help. Hey, whatever, I can’t complain since it doesn’t fall down when she puts it up.
Before long I was taking a seat by the campfire and cracking open my first beer.
“These fucking mosquito’s are already eating me alive,” she whined as she slapped at her arm.
“I have some of the lotion stuff that isn’t greasy if you want some,” I said, motioning to the bottle sitting next to me.
“Ooo! Yes please,” she skipped over to me and plopped down in front of me, ripping off her shirt in the process.
“Um, Liz, only need to put it on your neck and the back of your arms, you do realize…” I said, chuckling at her and resisting the sudden urge to untie her bathing suit top so that I could hold her breasts myself and lay kisses down her beautiful neck.
“Well I figured if you were going to put some lotion on me you could just happen to work that all into a full back massage,” she said cheerfully as she twisted her head around to look up at me. Her blue eyes were sparkling from her smile that grace them.
“Ooh!” I chirped. “And you think you deserve this massage?”
“Of course,” she said happily as she bounced and turned her head back to face away from me again.
As much as I wanted to play the torturer, my penis was reminding me how much I wanted to touch her skin. It instantly jumped to a tension when she moaned out like she had the other night at the Squad when my hands began kneading her. I took my time this time, making sure I covered every inch, enjoying the feel of her soft skin. I was fairly sure I had never touched anyone with softer skin. I always loved how tan she would get in the summer, something completely strange for a red-head, but she always ended up with beautiful golden skin by the end of the season that made her look like a model.
“You are amazing,” she purred while stretching her arms up to the sky before dramatically falling back into my lap to look up at me after I finished my magical work. I looked down at her and just gazed into her beautiful eyes. The last of the sun rays were shining through the tree tops, making them sparkle. I instinctively removed a piece of hair off her face and felt a shiver run through her. The look in her eyes was something I had noticed a time or two and each time I would be so tempted to kiss her. “I love when the hair falls in your eyes like that,” she whispered, seeming careful not to break the moment between us.
All I could do was just smile, afraid that if I said or did anything I would ruin the moment. I ran my thumb across the top of her cheek and found myself leaning in closer to her rose petal lips. Neither of us breathed as I closed in, there was just centimeters of space between our lips when Bruno left out a loud howl, causing us both to jump and completely ruining the moment.
Liz jumped up and began peering out into the woods where Bruno was looking. “Thanks Bruno, now you just scared away the deer you big dumb dog,” she complained, rubbing the dog’s head as she spoke with a nervous voice. I just fell back into my chair and took a long swig of my beer, mentally cursing myself for thinking I might actually go through with this and cursing the dog for fucking things up.
I almost let him kiss me. Thank you Bruno for saving me…I think.
Luckily things didn’t stay awkward for too long between us, mainly because we busied ourselves with making dinner and gathering a little more wood for the evening campfire. As I was walking through the woods, finding some viable firewood, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander. What if I would have allowed him to kiss me? But what about Jarret? Things are going well and I really am beginning to fall for him. But I can’t forget how long I’ve had feelings for Jack and I can’t forget how much he has never really seemed to show any interest in going anywhere farther than friends. Sure, comments were made and innuendos were constant, but that was normal in this business, especially since I’m a woman in a man’s world. What some people would define as sexual harassment, I considered normal conversation topics that would make me laugh and blush. It was just something you got used to and everything was fair game.
Jack and I were forever throwing offside comments to each other, constantly joking about needing a sleeping buddy in the bunkroom and even fueling the rumors that we had already slept with each other on numerous occasions by making comments to Taylor and Paul about watching which bed they slept in because we had done some dirty deeds during out shift. However I can honestly say that the only time we touched was during hugs, his back massages that he gave me or just normal contact during work-hours. Doesn’t mean I didn’t dream about him touching me more intimately.
It was now dark by the time I arrived back to the campsite from gathering firewood. It never seemed to fail to get damp and cool in the woods when the sun went down, so I decided to head into the tent to get changed.
“Dinner is ready whenever you are done doing whatever it is you are doing in there,” Jack called over from the campfire.
“I’m just searching for my sweatshirt,” I called back as I rummaged through my gear bag, quickly realizing I forgot to pack one. “Shit,” I complained as I stepped out of the tent. “I totally forgot my sweatshirt.”
“I have an extra if you want it,” Jack said, already moving to get up from his chair.
“No, just wait, I’ll get it later. I’ll be fine in the mean time,” I said, putting up my hands to tell him to stay put.
We ate bratwurst and potatoes that were cooked in the fire in aluminum foil with spices and onions, it was one of my favorite camp meals. “Why does this not taste as good when you make this at work?” I mumbled with my mouthful.
Jack chuckled as he took a swig of his beer, “Because work ruins everything.”
“Mmm, this is true,” I nodded in agreement.
“In more ways then one,” he mumbled to himself at a volume that made me think I was not actually supposed to hear him. So instead of questioning what he meant, I sat quietly and ate my food, listening to the music that was playing out of the old radio.
After dinner we just made the normal small talk, but most of all occupied our time by drinking several beers, listening to the faint sounds of Etta James singing about Sunday Love while the symphony of crickets relaxed me. Elsie had said the weather was supposed to be nice all weekend, so I didn’t bother checking the reports before we left; you can imagine my surprise when the skies suddenly opened up, dumping cold rain on top of us.
“Shit! That is fucking cold!!” I whined, wrapping my arms around my self as I brought my knees up to my chest while sitting on the chair underneath the canopy we quickly moved under.
“Do you want me to go get your sweatshirt now, princess?” Jack laughed at me.
“Yeah, you are whining like one.”
“Well you have the proper clothing on…”
“It is no one’s fault but your own. I offered earlier to get you a sweatshirt.”
“You were eating your food, and I know how important that is to you.”
“Whatever, I don’t want to hear you whine.”
“I will whine if I want to,” I pouted, now beginning to shiver.
“This is the problem with girls…”
“You always make the comment when you bring me camping, so why do you ask me?” I chirped back.
“Because I always seem to forget until we are here and you do something annoying.”
“Fine, I’ll just go into the tent and stop being annoying,” I snapped, as I got up from my chair and stomped through the rain to get to the tent. I could hear Jack still laughing at me once I got inside and then I heard him talking to Bruno. Typical men.
As much as I loved camping, I still never got used to camping in the rain. It made everything damp and miserable in my book and considering I didn’t really have anything warm to put on, it just amped the un-happy camper rank. Despite being wrapped up in my sleeping bag, I found my shivering getting worse. By the time Jack came in, my teeth were loudly chattering.
“What is your problem?” he asked, obviously humored by the state he found me in. Only my nose and wet hair were sticking out from the sleeping bag.
“I’m ffffucking ffffrrreeeezing,” I chattered. Jack smiled but soon began rummaging through his stuff. “I-i-is B-runooo tied?” I asked.
“Yup, tied to the stake, he’s already out for the count under the canopy.”
“Stop talking, you sound pathetic.”
He laughed as he turned towards me, dropping a sweatshirt on top of my sleeping bag. “Put that on and get out of your sleeping bag.”
“Get out of my sleeping bag?”
I crawled out, shivering in my lightweight t-shirt and shorts, cursing myself for my stupidity in forgetting my warm clothing. I quickly slipped the huge sweatshirt over me and then watched as Jack pushed our air-mattresses together, unzipped both of our sleeping bags and made our single beds into one big one.
“What are you doing?”
“You aren’t going to get warm by yourself,” he said in a matter of fact tone.
“We are not sharing that…” I stuttered out.
“Why not? You afraid of something?” he asked with a playful gleam in his eye.
“What?! No. Should I be?!”
“Well, are you afraid you might not be able to keep your hands to yourself, Liz?”
“That doesn’t even warrant an answer,” I grumbled, rolling my eyes. “Can you please hurry up?!”
He let out a laugh and flipped my sleeping bag over top his, finishing our new sleeping area. I didn’t even wait for him to tell me he was done, I just quickly crawled in and wrapped myself up in the sleeping back.
“Um, you are going to have to share that,” Jack informed me from behind. I was facing the opposite direction, giving him privacy to change.
“I’m a blanket hog,” I giggled and then left out a squeak as he literally bounced into the bed, causing.
“Well then I guess I’ll just have to do this,” he growled as he wrapped a strong, warm arm around me and pulled me back against him.
“Hey!” I protested.
“The whole point of doing this was to get your warm. It’s bad enough I have to put up with your cold body until you actually get warm, so no complaints from the peanut gallery,” he joked.
I bit my lip, unsure of what to say because truthfully, I was speechless. I had dreams about laying like this with him. To actually be spooned with him was definitely something I had never expected, then to actually have his arm intimately wrapped around me…well, I was a goner and there was no way in hell I could mentally yell at my hormones that were now bouncing around at light-speed pace. How am I supposed to sleep like this?!
I could tell she was tense, but I just kept my arm around her, keeping her close to me. Sure, it was probably a lame way to get close to her like this, but all I had been able to think about was her body against mine after we had been so close to kissing earlier.
The only sounds I could focus on was her breathing and the sound of the voice in my head as it yelled to my dick not to get out of control because things might get uncomfortable real quick.
Her body fit against mine just like I had always imagined it would. The faint smell of her shampoo filled my nose and the feel of her heartbeat the arm I had wrapped around her lulled me into a sedative state. This felt natural and completely comfortable.
“You better not snore,” she finally spoke, breaking the silence.
“Same goes for you,” I said hoarsely.
“Mmm,” she mumbled before snuggling back against me. “How are you so warm?” she cooed as I bit the inside of my cheek instead of allowing the groan out that was lodged in the back of my throat.
“It’s my warm heart,” I muttered through clenched teeth.
“You’re full of shit,” she giggled.
“Never claimed to be an angel,” I growled back, unable to help myself from saying it into her ear. She shivered, but I wasn’t sure if it was because of me or the fact that she was still cold. “You warming up?” I asked.
“Yes, thank you.”
The next thing I remembered was waking up on my back with her head on my chest, sleeping with a faint smile on her face as the daylight began peaking in, causing her copper hair to shine as a few pieces laid errant on my skin.