My parents are a strange combination of hippie and fundamentalist Christian. They believe in living off the land, in harmony with their surroundings... but they also believe in following the strictest tenants of the church and keep a tight rein on my brothers, sisters, and me.
Of course, I have always rebelled, at least as much as you can when you're home-schooled and live in the Oregon wilderness. I often escape my bedroom by climbing onto the roof, shimmying down the large maple tree in the back of the house, and running off into the woods. I'm not afraid of the forest that surrounds our home; I've spent much of my life playing in and around the trees and clearings here, so they are as familiar to me as a favorite park or playground would be to any other kid.
A few years ago, I came up with a way to defy one of the most fundamental rules in our house: modesty.
In the spring, when the air is warm and even the rain isn't too chilly, I head up into the foothills where you can find one of Oregon's best-kept secrets: natural hot springs. There, I take off all of my clothes and dance in the April showers, as joyful as if I were being baptized all over again. When I am soaking wet and chilled to the bone, I slip into my own little pool for warmth, and spend the day alternating between lounging on a boulder in the cool rain and floating on my back in the hot water.
One of the best things about living so close to an active volcanic range is the occurrence of pools of warm-to-hot water, like Mother Nature's version of a hot tub. And even though they are a lot of fun to relax and play in, when you come upon a pool of steaming water, don't jump right in – some hot springs can reach temperatures that could kill you. Instead, test the water to ensure it's not dangerous before you get yourself in trouble. But once you're familiar with your hot spring, you'll find you want to spend all of your time there because it shows you that everything you could possibly want is right there for the taking, if you're only willing to go look for it.
This morning over breakfast, my father started talking about my obligation to find someone to marry and start a family of my own. I don't want to do that yet, so it became a HUGE fight, which ended with my father restricting me to my room and my mother trying to make peace between us.
At 19, I guess I'm technically old enough to be someone's wife, but I still feel very much like a kid at heart. I'm also not interested in anyone at church. I feel some of the older single men looking at me during services, but the thought of kissing one of them makes my skin crawl. One of my sisters wound up married to a man who is more than 15 years older than she is, and while they have a few adorable children, I see her pull away from him when he pats or touches her and know that I want more for myself. I don't know exactly what I want for myself, however, because I don't really know much about men or the world. And who should be my role models: twin 10-year-old brothers or a dad who takes the Fifth Commandment ("honor thy father and thy mother") to a literal extreme?
I'd rather be in the woods by myself, thank you very much.
Being grounded to your bedroom does have its advantages, the major one being that nobody will bother checking up on you for hours. Shortly after my breakfast fight with dad, I looked out the window and saw dark, purple-gray clouds on the horizon. A rainstorm was coming!
I quickly pulled on a pair of lightweight shorts, my favorite pink tee, and some hiking boots. I tucked a few crackers and a granola bar into my backpack, along with extra socks, a towel, a blanket, and a pullover jacket. I slid open my bedroom window, stepped silently onto the roof, and slid my bedroom window back into place, leaving only the smallest crack open so I could sneak back in. I quickly made my way to the tree and hid in the branches while I surveyed the property. Once I was sure nobody would see me, I dropped onto the soft ground and ran as fast as I could toward the treeline.
As soon as I found myself safely inside the shade of the forest, I slowed down. I took deep breaths, enjoying the fresh, mossy smell that comes before the rain, as the plants in this quiet, ancient place prepared to absorb as much life-giving water as they could. I tried to savor my freedom to move in this place, feeling like I belonged here more than I did in my own house, but before I knew it, I was at my hot spring.
I had beaten the rain here! That gave me time to secure my belongings so that nothing would get wet. I removed my shoes and socks and tucked them into a crevasse in the boulders near my hot spring. I quickly shucked my clothes, enjoying the sensation of the warm spring air kissing my bare skin. After carefully folding my shorts and shirt, I zipped them into my backpack and placed that on top of my shoes in the dry space that had been carved into the rock.
The surface of the dark gray boulders was actually warm from the April sunshine, so I climbed to the top of the lowest one and lounged there, absorbing the heat like a lizard. Against the charcoal color of the rock, my fair skin glowed. I knew my coloring was a contrast to the earth around me – long and thick honey hair flowed to my waist, a perfect match for the small, soft patch that bloomed between my legs. I knew my cheeks would be flushed a rosy pink from the hike up here, but they would be a lighter shade than the heated pink that tipped each of my full, round breasts. I had longer arms and legs than any of my sisters, and when I was alone like this, I would sometimes pretend that I was a wood nymph or some mystical creature, gesturing fluidly as if I were made of magic.
My thoughts were interrupted by the first spatter of rainfall against my flesh. Goosebumps raced down my legs and arms, and I felt my nipples harden into pebbles. I leapt to the ground with a laugh as the skies above me opened up. Cool droplets collected in my hair, on my eyelashes, and slowly formed streams and rivulets that coursed from my collarbone down between my breasts, eddying in my belly button before catching on my golden tuft, then at last streaking down my thighs, past my knees, to puddle at my toes.
In the downpour, I danced and swirled, giddy as I chanted, "April showers bring May flowers."
Exhilarated but cold, I slipped into my hot spring, floating with my eyes closed as cool rain tiptoed across my face. I felt as secure and content as if I were in my bathtub at home... that is, until I heard a splash nearby.
Alarmed, I sat up and looked around, at first seeing nothing. Then, with a bunch of bubbles, a man's head suddenly popped up from the water just a few feet away from me, followed by broad bronze shoulders and a very naked chest. Horrified, I realized that I was naked in front of this stranger, and that he was in between me and all of my clothes. I used my hands to cover myself as best as I could.
Seeing the expression on my face, the man laughed. He had a warm, throaty chuckle and a gravelly voice. He said, "My name is Ben. I didn't mean to startle you – I just thought that a dip in a hot spring looked like a great idea."
My heart was still racing, but he seemed so at ease with the situation that I calmed down a little. I said, "Oh. Um, my name is Holly. I didn't know anyone else knew where this hot spring was – I thought I was alone out here!"
Ben laughed again. "I guessed as much after I saw you dancing. You looked so happy, I wanted to join in."
Ashamed at being caught, I blushed and lowered my head. I tried to stammer out a reply, something to excuse what he would surely see as my wickedness, but I couldn't think of anything to say. His voice in my ear made me jump. "Don't be embarrassed. You dance beautifully, and you are just exquisite to look at. I thought I was dreaming, and I didn't want to wake up."
Charmed but still confused, I looked into his dark eyes, then shivered. There was something in them, something I had never seen before, and it made me nervous. He was handsome in an ordinary way – shaggy brown hair, thick brows, a square jaw with serious five o'clock shadow, and an athletic, healthy, outdoorsy air to him – but there was something out-of-the-ordinary about the intense way he was studying my face.
I knew I needed to leave. Not only would I be in a lot of trouble for being naked by myself, if anyone found out I had been naked with a man, it would be a huge scandal. Lamely, I said, "Well, it was nice meeting you. I really ought to go..."
His arm snaked around my waist, pulling my hip against his. "No, you really should stay."
I struggled to escape, but he caught me in a slippery, wet bear hug and pinned my arms to my sides as I writhed against him. I was terrified and knew that no good could come of this, but the more I slid my soft skin against his, the more confused I became. My whole body was humming, as if delighted by this close contact. What was happening to me?
Exhausted, I finally stopped fighting. He simply held me for several long moments, his chest flattening my breasts, his belly pressed against my belly, and I felt something hard and thick rubbing against the center of me. He held my wrists in one hand behind my back and turned me slightly away from him, then reached down and brushed the knuckles of his other hand against my nipple. My whole body convulsed with the pleasure of it.
I pleaded with him to stop. "Please, please Ben. I – I – I – my parents will be so mad. I'm not supposed to be out here, and... This isn't right!"
Ben tweaked my nipple, pulling lightly as he rolled it between his fingers. I trembled and moaned. He said, "Have you ever thought that maybe your parents aren't right, that there's more to nature than what they seem to see?"
Shocked that he could guess my thoughts, I nodded. That was part of the reason I liked to escape out here, where things seemed so clear and there weren't so many rules that made no sense to me. Out here, the only rules that mattered were natural ones, like knowing the difference between salmon berries (tart but edible) and nightshade (deadly).
But things didn't seem clear to me now, and the feelings that Ben's fingers created inside of me made everything that much more fuzzy.
He smiled, leaned forward, and kissed me lightly on the mouth – my first kiss! – before teasing my lips with his tongue. I opened my mouth slightly, and his tongue gently caressed mine. I kissed him back and he released my hands, placing his own hands at my waist and pulling me more firmly against him. Seeking more, I wrapped my arms around his neck and he cupped my round little bottom in the palms of his hands and lifted me up.
Instinctively, I wrapped my legs around his hips, still feeling something hard between us. Could that really be his penis? I had only seen my brothers' "things," and only when they were babies. This was so very much bigger than theirs were that it seemed impossible, but that's what it had to be. His hands roughly kneaded my cheeks, causing me to rub even harder against him.
Between the fire inside of me and the hot spring, I was ready to faint. Ben seemed to feel the same way. He walked us to the shallow part of the pool and sat me gently on the edge. I could see the thick, swollen shaft between his legs, the head emerging from the water, which was less than waist deep here. It was... amazing. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Then Ben said, "Trust me and lay back."
I did as I was told, my feet still dangling in the water as I reclined against a bed of moss, leaves, and pine needles. Cold rain stung my overheated skin, heightening every sensation.
I felt Ben push my legs apart, hooking my knees over his shoulders so that my back lifted up from the ground. His stubble scraped my thighs and I watched over my pink capped mounds as he put his mouth against my most private part. He split me open with his tongue, lapping into depths I hadn't realized were there. I shivered and shook as he explored every millimeter, opening me like a flower in bloom. I swear I heard a thunderclap when he suckled on my little bud. I couldn't bear the ecstasy of it all, and after only a few seconds, it felt like a million little lightening bolts sparked against every one of my nerve endings. Wailing, bucking against his mouth, I came in a torrent.
As the shocks subsided and my breathing slowed, I became aware of the cold water still pouring across my supine body. My teeth chattered as Ben pulled me back into the hot spring with him, cradling me like a baby in the warm water. I opened my eyes and looked at him in astonishment. I said, "That was... that was... I mean, I've never..."
Ben laughed. "You had an orgasm. Would you return the favor and help me feel that way, too?"
That only seemed fair. I replied, "Okay. But I don't really know how to – how to do anything like that."
With a smile, he said, "I can teach you how to do that later, my little forest fairy. For now, you can help me in a slightly different way than I helped you. It will hurt for a moment, but then I promise you will feel wonderful."
As he had before, Ben slid his hands beneath me and lifted me against him. As I had before, I opened my legs and slid them around his hips. But unlike before, Ben fumbled briefly against my slit until I felt the head of his penis at my opening. He said, "We naturally fit together, you see."
Suddenly, I did see. And as he thrust upwards, I pushed back, feeling the stab of pain as he sunk inside of me. But although it hurt, it also felt familiar, like something I had always been waiting for. Without thinking, I began to rock against him, quickly finding a rhythm as he guided me by my hips. I arched my back, stretching my arms up so that my fingertips dipped into the water behind me. With a growl, Ben clamped his mouth onto my left breast, finding my nipple and suckling then biting it. Without warning, my second orgasm crashed over me, rippling outward across my body from the point where Ben was spearing into me. My muscles clenched and relaxed, and he cried out. I felt something hot splash inside of me as he pulled me close, embracing me as his penis slowly softened and slipped out of me.
The rain had stopped. A blue sky was visible above the black-green tops of the evergreens that bordered my secret hot spring spot. It was nearly time to get dressed and return home. But as Ben slowly moved his fingers to the place his beautiful, thick penis had just filled, I couldn't believe I used to think dancing naked in the rain was the best anyone could ever hope to feel!