Bathers and Black Squirrel

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This story attempts to use character development to tell a story. The main character recalls happy memories after the death of a life-long friend and lost love. It reflects that life has both joys and disappointments. It contains explicit descriptions of sex between consenting adults, but sex is not the main thrust of the story. If your interests are primarily prurient, you could be disappointed. If you prefer to read a story that happens to include a sexual component, you might enjoy it.

I went through the receiving line for my ‘cousin’ Lacey like all the other mourners. In a strange coincidence, I’d met Lacey’s second ex-husband once, while still in high school. He got a red card for a nasty foul. I hobbled off the field. Our captain scored on the penalty kick. He didn’t remember. I didn’t remind him. I met her children and teen-aged grandchildren for the first time that day. I introduced myself to all, but my name didn’t spark. They shook my hand. Her daughter held my hand in hers while I expressed my condolences. After just a brief exchange with each, they turned their attention to the next person in line. It saddened me to realize that two families that had once been so close, had drifted so far apart in a generation that they no longer knew each other.

I spoke to Lacey a few days before I heard she’d passed away on the radio, but I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months. I sat in the back row while I waited for services to begin, reminiscing. With a small smile some might have found a little disconcerting.

After not seeing or hearing from Lacey for years, we reconnected almost five years earlier when I moved back to Vermont. I’d grown tired of petty university politics and endless pressure to publish boring treatises in academic journals almost no one read. I retired from my career as a professor of literature to focus on my more lucrative side-gig writing fiction. My books aren’t best sellers. But they sell well enough that I no longer need a job. A quiet place far from the noise, harried pace, bus exhaust, anonymous masses, and aggravation of New York City life beckoned. As a life-long Red Sox fan, another bonus was escaping the surfeit of Yankee fans.

My wife, Judith, stayed in New York City during the week. She was one of more than eighty partners at a busy mid-sized law firm. Despite growing up as a city girl. she quickly loved the Vermont lifestyle. But she ran the environmental law group at her firm and didn’t want to retire yet. She flew to Burlington most weekends, returning to New York on an early Monday morning flight. When she couldn’t get away, I usually flew down to spend the weekend. There were things in the city I still enjoyed. Plus, I sometimes had to meet with my publisher or agent.

Lacey returned to Vermont twenty years before me, after she divorced her second husband. I blithely wandered into her shop, the Black Squirrel Gallery on the Church Street Marketplace. In a fortuitous coincidence Lacey was helping set up new displays the day I wandered in. Otherwise, I might never have known Lacey was back in Vermont. The two women that ran the gallery for her were nearly bowled over as she rushed to greet me. The years evaporated in tears and a hug that afternoon.

Our parent’s generation grew up in rural northern Vermont not far from the Canadian border. My father was county prosecutor and maintained a law practice out of an office attached to our home. He was the sole outsider, Boston-born, educated at Yale and George Washington. He met a girl when he clerked for the chief judge at the US District Courthouse in Burlington. He decided he loved her, and the place she’d never leave. He ditched his plan to conquer the DC legal firmament and proposed. Mom, like her parents, was a teacher. She taught English at the high school Lacey and I attended. I had a brother and a sister, nine and eleven years younger than me, respectively. My siblings and I are close. But the difference in our ages meant we shared no friends as kids, only family, home, and holidays.

Referring to Lacey as my cousin isn’t entirely accurate. She wasn’t a blood relative. But we were raised as cousins and usually introduced each other to people that way. Lacey’s dad, Uncle Charlie, was a seventh-generation farmer with a business degree from Boston College. He turned a struggling family farm successful and profitable, vastly improving the lot of his extended family. The family farm consisted of a half dozen large parcels of land scattered across two counties. There were several rustic farm stores that catered to the tourist trade. Apples and cider from his orchard, vegetables, herbs, flowers, pumpkins and gourds from a market garden, bee products from the large apiary. Employees trucked bees to orchards across New England and upstate New York, clover and hay to dairy and horse farms in Vermont, New Hampshire, and upstate New York. Lacey’s mom, Aunt Mabel, taught grammar school. Uncle Charlie, Aunt Mabel, and Lacey lived modestly in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse. His siblings lived in houses located on the casino şirketleri various farms that belonged to the family.

Mom and Aunt Mabel were life-long best friends. Dad and Uncle Charlie shared a love of the Red Sox and Boston in general. Our families were close, which is how Lacey became my ‘cousin’. I started working summers at Uncle Charlie’s farm when I was in junior high. Lacey was eleven days short of a year older than me. We spent our summers playing together as children, working together as adolescents. We were responsible for weeding and harvesting the market garden. Lacey taught me the ropes of beekeeping, our other job on the farm. Beekeeping became my hobby when I moved back to Vermont. Once I was in high school, I got drafted to the haying crew for the first cut.

Lacey was whip-smart but lackadaisical about academic subjects in high school. She did well enough in her college prep courses to make the honor roll once or twice each year. But her artwork distinguished her and made her one of the school stars. Oil paintings, watercolors, pencil, charcoal or pastel drawings, sculpture, photography, pottery, anything she tried her hand at won state-wide scholastic awards and blue ribbons at innumerable country fairs. I almost never saw her without her 35mm camera and lens case. Lacey was probably the most popular, and in my opinion the prettiest, girl in school.

I was nerdy and shy, but focused, in high school. I exceled at nearly everything at school including sports. I edited the school newspaper and graduated first in my class at our little high school. Art, however, was not my forte. I can barely draw a recognizable stick figure. My handwriting is atrocious. I might have been just another face in the crowd were it not for my friendship with Lacey.

Lacey and I were best friends during high school. We ran with the same crowd year-round. But after she graduated, my stock at school fell. Because I missed her so much, I withdrew a little from the social scene. I felt somewhat lost without her. I wasn’t a recluse. I still spent time with friends. I dated. But even before Lacey graduated, I was more popular with the faculty than the student body. Partly because Mom taught there.

Mom’s reputation was as a tough and demanding teacher. I heard more than one student use harsh language when unhappy about a grade. I can’t attest to what it was like in Mom’s English classes. Mom was fun to be around most of the time and had a wicked sense of humor with a talent for double entendres. But she was also a mother. A stern taskmaster who brooked no nonsense when she laid down the law or assigned a task.

I only saw Lacey a couple times in the month before my high school graduation. She’d already been home from art school for several weeks but was busy on the farm. I wasn’t allowed to work until school was out.

Lacey was freshly scrubbed and casually clad when I caught up with my family after the ceremony. She looked great. Lacey turned heads when dressed up. But I had far less appropriate thoughts about her when she dressed like the farmer’s daughter she was. A low-key family celebration ended early. The next day was Friday. Though school was out for the graduating class, Mom still had more than a week of school left. Dad, and everyone else, had to work, too.

Lacey talked her father into giving us the weekend off. After the celebration at home, we loaded Lacey’s pickup truck and met friends at a campsite on a huge wooded property owned by a family we all knew. Local kids had been camping there for decades. Our cars were all off the road, hidden behind trees along the edge of a hayfield. There were hiking trails and a swimming hole. The nearest house was over a mile away. We could make as much noise as we wanted. No one would complain. The family that owned the property never minded the campers because we kept the site clean. No trash, broken glass, alcoholic beverage bottles or cans were left behind. Almost everyone came from a farm family. Land was respected. The only evidence of visitors was cold ashes in the fire ring and a few tire tracks in the grass.

Lacey planned to share a tent with our friend Karen, who graduated with me. But once Karen’s boyfriend showed up unexpectedly, she was out of Karen’s tent. I was alone in the family tent, so Lacey moved in with me. We stayed up late by the fire after everyone else turned in, catching up. Eventually we got tired and turned in, too. We didn’t get much sleep though. My tent was near Karen’s. Lacey and I spent much of the night snickering while we listened to Karen and her boyfriend get it on, repeatedly, just a few feet away.

Our friends could only spend graduation night with us. They had to leave for their summer jobs and family obligations before lunch-time Friday. Lacey and I opted to stay the weekend. We went for hikes Friday afternoon and again Saturday. Saturday was oppressively hot, a little unusual for northern Vermont in early June. We hiked a wooded trail we’d never taken, getting an early start. Several miles in, we found casino firmaları a brook. Lacey wanted to explore it. She was always on the lookout for scenes to sketch, paint, or photograph. We followed it upstream for almost an hour before we found a wide, shallow pool formed behind a fallen tree that partially blocked the flow. Lacey liked the spot and spent some time taking photos.

We were hot and sweaty from the hike. After she put her camera away, she took off her hiking boots and socks. I watched her wade into the water and hop up on a large rock in the middle of the pool, her feet dangling into the water. ‘This feels good,’ she said as she kicked a little water in my direction with a grin. ‘C’mon in. The water feels really good on the feet.’

It was a two-hour hike back to camp. Lacey wore shorts for the hike. I wore jeans. Heavy, wet jeans would not have been fun. ‘I think I’ll pass, Lacey’ I told her. ‘I don’t want to hike back in wet pants.’

Lacey didn’t hesitate. ‘Take ’em off,’ she said while watching her feet play with the water.

When I just stood on shore, Lacey looked over at me. ‘What the hell, Pete? You too embarrassed to get naked in front of me? Used to be that was how we went swimming.’ Lacey got up off the rock and waded back to shore.

While I watched in awe-struck silence, Lacey stripped down to her panties. There was nothing sexual about it. She just took her clothes off like she might for a shower after a hot workday. But that made no difference. I was fully erect by the time she unbuttoned her shorts, the first piece of clothing she took off. She piled her clothes on a convenient branch and waded back to the rock.

I might have been speechless and frozen where I stood, but my eyes worked fine. Lacey made no effort to hide herself as she sat on the rock. She looked in my direction and asked, ‘Well? What’s the problem now?’

All I managed to get out was a croak. I was rock-hard and uncomfortable, my cock in the worst possible position.

‘Pete, just get undressed. Get your feet wet. I won’t bite,’ she said with a giggle. ‘If you’re worried about your boner, it doesn’t bother me.’

I choked. I tried to say something but, once again, the faculty of speech eluded me.

Lacey laughed. ‘Did you think I didn’t know you get boners when we’re together? Stop worrying about it, Pete. It never bothered me. I kinda liked it. Sometimes I even did stuff to try to get you hard. It was so easy. A little wiggle of my butt when bent over. A flash of boob from an open button. A reach inside my shirt to adjust my bra.’ She had a wide grin. After a moment she added, ‘Now you know my biggest secret. I like cock-teasing my cousin.’

I felt my face flush. The only time I was ever more embarrassed was just after I turned eighteen. I woke before my alarm went off on a school day. I had a burning erection. One I knew wasn’t just morning wood. If I didn’t jack off it would be a problem off and on all day. I’d only ever done it at night before that morning. I foolishly turned off my alarm clock, kicked off the sheet and blanket, pushed my underwear down and began energetically relieving myself. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t hear my alarm when she should have. There was a soft knock as my bedroom door opened. Mom’s timing couldn’t have been worse. A thick cord of cum shot up my belly and chest as my mother stuck her head around the door. She stared for what I’m sure was just a second, though it felt like hours, then closed the door again. I was mortified that my mother had not only caught me jerking off but had witnessed my ejaculation. I’d ‘d long ago had an awkward and embarrassing birds and bees talk with my father. I endured the humiliation of another one with my mother during our daily ride to school. Once she parked, she sternly informed me I’d now be doing my own laundry.

After a bit more goading, I stripped down to my boxers and piled my clothes next to Lacey’s on the tree branch. I never took my eyes off Lacey while I stripped. She didn’t watch me take my clothes off. She did, however, watch as my erection and I waded out to join her on the rock. The cool water felt good on my hot feet. But the condition of my feet didn’t dominate my thoughts.

Lacey talked to me like nothing was out of the ordinary as we sat next to each other. There was barely enough room on the rock that our bodies didn’t touch if we sat still. But any movement meant physical contact. And though my ability to speak returned, I struggled to get words out without a stutter. I never stuttered.

Lacey was unfazed by our nudity, or my condition. I was obviously well-aware that I got aroused in Lacey’s presence. I didn’t realize she knew it. That she sometimes did things to induce an erection was a revelation. Maybe women are right when they say men are clueless about the women in their lives.

I futilely willed my arousal to pass. But my erection stubbornly persisted. It’s easy to understand why. Lacey had a pretty face framed by a thick mane of shoulder-blade-length wavy light brown hair güvenilir casino replete with natural blonde highlights. Those highlights became a fixation when I first became aware that Lacey was attractive. When she began to develop noticeable breasts and a feminine figure.

Lacey had a spray of a faint, tiny freckles on her nose where it flared slightly below the bridge and just either side of it. Golden brown eyes were the color of the honey from her family’s beehives and lit up when she laughed. She was slender, lean and athletic looking from the hard work she did on the farm, but she was never an athlete. Her legs were long, lithe and sinuous. At five-seven, she was taller than most of the girls I knew.

I didn’t intend to stare at her breasts. But every eighteen-year-old guy finds even the tiniest patch of exposed breast fascinating. Lacey’s bare breasts inspired worship. They would just fill her dainty hands if she cupped them. Firm, high, and proud with an enticing jiggle when she laughed. The areolae were half-dollar sized, crinkled with numerous little bumps that grew more pronounced as I watched them shrink into tight dark ovals. The nipples distended into half-inch, pointy cones.

I forced myself to pull my gaze from her breasts. But instead of up to her face, it drifted downward. Across a flat belly. To the dark shadow in her panties. My reverie was broken when I heard her giggle. I finally looked up at her face and saw a big grin. My fixation on her naked body amused her.

‘We should head back,’ she said with a smile and stood up. When I stood, her eyes scanned down my body. ‘Jesus, Pete! Are going to be able to put that thing away?’ she asked with a comical lilt.

I followed her gaze to the erection that now protruded from the fly in my boxers. The vein that ran along the side and across the top throbbed with the beat of my heart. My cock moved up and down slightly with each throb. The head was swollen and purple. It looked a bit like an oddly colored mushroom cap on top of a disproportionately long, thick stem. There was a strand of clear, pale gray fluid hanging from to the tip.

‘Does it hurt when it gets like that?’ she asked matter-of-factly, a moment later.

Her still unconcerned attitude finally allowed me to relax a little. ‘I wouldn’t say it hurts. But it gets my attention. It feels really good to stroke it. It gets very uncomfortable when it persists like now. It’s frustrating when I can’t do something to relieve the pressure.’ Something about my answer struck her as amusing, because she giggled briefly. What she said next surprised me.

‘I’m sure the sensation is different, but I get this feeling between my legs. It’s hard to explain what it’s like. I get moist and there’s a tingly sensation that makes me want to touch myself,’ she told me in a soft, nearly breathless voice. ‘I’ve got it now.’

There was a damp spot in the crotch of her panties. The next words out of my mouth surprised me. ‘What do you do about it?’ I blurted out stupidly.

Lacey looked down at herself and moved both hands toward her groin. She pushed her panties down and kicked them off. She spread her labia apart slightly and lightly circled a finger around her clit. ‘First I rub myself here,’ she said softly. ‘After I get wetter, I push a couple of fingers inside and move them in and out while I rub my clitoris. I think I’m already wet,’ she added in a soft whisper.

I watched, captivated as Lacey pushed a finger inside herself. I looked up when she sighed deeply. Her eyes were drifting closed. Relief washed over her face. She spread her feet apart and positioned them so she could bend her knees outward, making more room between her legs for her hands. A second finger joined the first inside her. She staggered slightly when both fingers were inside her. I grabbed her elbow afraid she might fall over. I’m still not sure what came over me then.

Lacey screeched and giggled when I picked her up and threw her over my shoulder. I carried her to a wide flat rock near the tree branch where our clothes were. I pulled my tee shirt off the branch and awkwardly spread it out on the rock. I gently set her down on her back. She surprised me by sitting up. When I straightened up, she leaned her head against my hip, wrapped an arm around my leg and resumed rubbing her clit. I put a finger under her chin and lifted her face up so I could look at her. Her eyes were half-closed. Her face a mask of mixed pleasure and anticipation. I bent over and touched my lips to hers. She grasped my neck and pulled me into the most passionate kiss I’d ever had.

I put my hands on her shoulders, held her gently, and leaned into the kiss. She began to recline and came to rest on her back. Her knees came up with her legs spread wide, still rubbing her clit. I broke the kiss and knelt with one leg beside her and the other between her legs. I pushed my boxers down and kicked them away. I grasped my erection, began pulling the skin covering my shaft back and forth. Lacey reached for my hand and pulled it from cock, guiding it to her groin. She rubbed my fingertips along the gap between her labia and guided a finger inside her. After a moment, she manipulated a second finger inside. Her insides were warm and slick on my fingers.

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