Lacks Charm But Wins the GirlbyEgmont Grigor©
The fine summer day was spotted with white cookie-shaped clouds when Hunter Macdonald began laying out lunch for his party of thirteen tourists from around the world. Two grandmotherly types hurried to assist because that's the compulsively kindly thing many grandmothers do. The boating travelers were five miles from base, on a sandy beach on Pungarehu Sound, an ancient drowned glacier.
Common among tired tourists weary at being on the road or in the air and now partly overwhelmed by the Great Outdoors, their status ranged from softly stressed to bitchy, depending on attitudes and experiences but even the homesick lightened up when Hunter began uncapping bottles of quality white wine, beer and fruit juices.
"Look," whispered a nature-lover, pointing 25 yards across the Sound to the beach in a cove opposite them. A doe and fawn stared across at them but the timid duo melted into dense bush (native forest) at the outbursts of camera flashlight and wildly excited yelling, "Got them."
Hunter took an unexpected radio call from base -- that position was too remote for cell phone coverage. The call surprised because Hunter ten minutes earlier he'd been called with a status report.
"Julia calling City Boy. David is flying a party out to Goat Island tomorrow so you have your first Premium Super Trip client. He goes by the name of Lee Lincoln, American."
"Received and noted Julia, Pity it had to be a loud-mouth American."
"Some of them are very okay. Will try for a smiling and mute Japanese adventurer for you next time Mr Grumpy. Over and out."
Hunter grinned. David Camp's wife Julia was old enough to be his mother but flirted with him outrageously, claiming she was infatuated by his unkempt blond hair and broad shoulders and the attitude of a man-alone city guy who had chosen the bush for success in the city. Julia was addicted to romance novels and had a collection probably exceeding 300. Twice after too many drinks she'd called him her Perfect Adventurer. That of course was female bullshit but Hunter enjoyed the attention and wondered why she couldn't see her now graying and slightly stooped husband as one of the greatest adventurers around, having had three books written about his exploits. Instead Julia and David scrapped like terriers. Women!
David liked women and some women were prepared to drop their panties for him and some did, including here in the wilds. Julia's middle and only married daughter had taken his scalp, or whatever women called it. Hunter was sure Julia didn't know because her manner toward him hadn't changed. But none of those females had been real women. David knew he wanted to mate long-term with a real woman.
A real woman? Hunter had a problem with definition: he wasn't sure what she should be like and that explained why, at thirty-three, he hadn't found his real woman. Also he wasn't aware he needed to exhibit charm.
Premium adventurers who paid fifteen hundred bucks a day wanted their days crammed with action so next day Hunter paddled three hours up the Sound in the double kayak where he waited on a sandbank. Just on 8:15 he heard the chopper and covered his ears as Julia's oldest daughter Bess waved at him and landed to deposit the Big Buck American aiming to shoot the crap out of some of New Zealand's wildlife.
Hunter saw Bess grinning as he gaped. Lee because Lee Lincoln wore lipstick and had tits.
"Hello, I'm Lee and gather you are Hunter. Great name."
Hunter stood transfixed so Lee turned and yelled above the idling engine noise and slow rotation of the chopper, "Can you fetch me in another guide Bess? This one doesn't talk."
"He was expecting a man Lee, isn't it a laugh? He's really cute and mom loves him."
Lee rocked with laughter. "Off you go. Dummy looks capable of giving me a great time."
Turning sourly and thinking it was really okay for women to have their joke, Hunter wondered about sleeping arrangements and would this Lee drop her panties for him. He began stowing her excessive gear in the storage compartments.
"You still haven't greeted me."
Hunter stood and said hi and added to sound cheerful to a broad dressed like a man. "You look cute."
Lee looked at him severely. "I will overlook that personal remark. Now be professional at all times. Where is my boat?"
"This is a kayak for two. Some clients can't paddle or won't paddle and some can't sustain paddling. You were supposed to come to travel light."
"The older woman back at what you people call base attempted to reduce what I wanted to bring but I refused, saying I was the client and what I say goes. She and Bess began laughing for some reason. Why was that?"
Hunter shrugged and said there was no problem. He'd lash the extra gear on top of camping gear and said providing they didn't sink it would be only a matter of trying not to turn turtle.
"You mean capsize."
"If you like."
"You must not capsize me. It will ruin my photographic gear."
"I will do my best to keep your knickers dry."
"Excuse me, there you go with another personal remark."
"It's a Kiwi expression, a bit like you guys saying casually, 'God Save America'.
Lee snapped had he something against Americans and Hunter said no, and Bess's mother had said some of them were nice. Lee glared at him and Hunter thought well her panties wouldn't be dropped for him. Considering her somewhat aggressive behavior he would be lucky to return home without being mauled.
"Where's your rifle and ammo?"
"Ohmigod, one of those bloodthirsty New Zealanders I've heard so much about. I shoot wild animals with a camera, not with a gun. And may I ask where is your rifle?"
"I haven't one and pack this knife for your protection."
"Oh, despite your size you are too gutless to shoot wild pigs and deer. You are just a pussy."
"The only pussy around here..." Hunter stopped, horrified at what he had almost finished saying and then to his astonishment caught a grin as Lee looked away.
Hunter hurried into professional mode. "Miss Lincoln please take the front seat for the better view. I'll hold the craft steady."
"Call me Lee, there is no need to grovel just because you stopped halfway in saying something very disgusting to me."
Hunter shut his mouth and sniffed her perfume and she slid and wriggled into her seat. He imagined her boobs moving out of rhythm under that thick bushman's shirt and then felt her hair tickling his nose. He jerked back and hoped he hadn't sniffed.
"Well accomplished, we can work as a team," she said. "Actually it wouldn't be a disaster if we did capsize as my photographic gear is in waterproof containers as you probably noticed."
"It could be disastrous for us -- bull sharks have been caught in these waters."
"Oh God! Hold me," Lee shouted.
Hunter thought it best to do nothing.
"Well, at least that proved you are not an opportunist. Drive on McDuff."
Hunter handed Lee her double paddle.
"Am I expected to paddle?"
"Please yourself, but we make better time if you do and you get the feeling of being involved."
The tension between them continued until lee was about to steer them into an inlet.
"That noise, is it rapids?"
"Something like that."
"Why answering me so laconically and without substance?"
"To avoid detracting from you enjoying surprising adventure."
"That's bullshit. It's just that you don't like talking to women...Ohmigod."
Fifty yards into the inlet ended with a seventy-five foot high rock face with a jutting lip at the top over which water fell directly into the seawater below, rainbows formed in the mist against the backdrop of lush green and brown vegetation.
"Stop the kayak, I must unbundled my camera."
Hunter grinned and said nothing. They were motionless.
Lee took a dozen photographs, including some close-ups after putting her camera into a waterproof housing.
"Great photographs but waterfalls are waterfalls. I really wanted something memorable."
"What, for this rest of your life, something to like at into old age?"
Lee turned to look at Hunter curiously. "That was rather a thoughtful and sensitive remark."
He shrugged and looked away.
He yawned and grinned and asked well what?
"What do you have in mind?"
"Too creative and daring for you."
He yawned and fired up Lee said, "Let's do it."
"Can you strip without tipping us out."
"Of course I could, but not for you."
"What about for you?"
Lee snorted and asked was that a joke.
"Get your gear off, climb out gently into the water and I'll provide the counter-balance. Climb on to the just submerged rock in front of the falls and then do just as I say and I'll photograph you. You'll get wet in the spray."
"The sun will dry me. You'll do this for me?"
Hunter stroked his nose. "Yes, it could be a photograph you'll treasure."
"You'll see me nude."
"Yes, that usually happens when a woman takes her clothes off. I've seen women nude including up close and dangerous. Am I about to see something I've never seen before?"
"I wouldn't think so. Dignity is invisible."
Hunter looked away as he said that was a profound thought and knew Lee would be looking at him curiously. Women seemed to take notice of guys who exercised their mind.
The kayak wobbled and the next thing Hunter knew was Lee saying, "Here, take my shirt and sunglasses and then undo my bra. Oh-oh -- the sharks."
"Underneath us is almost pure fresh water. Anyway, two sharks caught in twenty years in billions of gallons of water in the Sound scarcely indicate shark infestation."
"No bullshit Hunter, is it worth me taking this risk?"
"Yeah, show me your tits."
She grinned excitedly and handed him the bra and then removed her boots and thick trousers. She left them where they dropped.
"I'll leave my panties on."
"Hand them to me Lee."
She obeyed and a minute later was in the water and told not to bother trying to keep her hair dry.
"The water is freezing."
"Good, that will give you perky nipples."
Lee stood on the rock looking like a woman contemplating suicide so Hunter took the shot, grinning. He then instructed her to take a series of poses with hands on her hips, a hand on her hip and one in her hair.
"I'm coming in closer."
"No don't, that means you'll really see my vulva."
"See one pussy and you've seen the lot."
They both knew that was a lie.
After a series of close-ups, Hunter said he'd take the final three shots. "Spread your legs a bit -- whoa, that's it. You have a pretty pussy. Now turn slightly around to the right left hip towards me and arch your left side a little to reduce the tummy roll. That's it, now push both hands through your hair about ear level."
"That will push out my breasts excessively."
"I say beautifully and I'm the photographer. Do what I say."
Checking the outer lens was dry Hunter took the last three photographs and then told Lee to slip into the water and grab the portage carry rope handle behind him. He'd tow her to the sand spit.
"A remote risk."
"Then paddle and don't look at me when I'm on the beach drying and dressing."
"No ma'am. I'll be too busy thinking of you at seventy with your tits down around your belly button and looking at that gorgeous photograph taken of you all those years ago in New Zealand."
"Hunter, I'm Miss not ma'am."
"As you wish ma'am, " he said to the mellowing American who was about thirty-three, his age.
When dressed Lee looked at the photos on the back of her high-resolution digital camera. Her eyes soften by tears she called to her guide, "Paddle in to get me Hunter. Those last three shots were beautifully composed, leaving me half-in love with myself. What were your thoughts?"
"What I saw through the lens was okay."
Lee appeared ready to cuff him for that lack of enthusiasm.
* * *
Late afternoon Hunter led Lee back through fairly open bush towards the Sound. On the tops (top of the range above the nine-month's snowline) Lee had photographed several deer including a magnificent buck. Suddenly Hunter stopped with his hand in the 'no noise' position. She crept closer and he whispered that grunting they could hear was from pigs foraging in the undergrowth. "They can be very dangerous and may charge on sight. The tusks on larger boars can cut through your trousers and rip muscle from the bone. If they get you down they may gather as a pack and eat you.
"That's the bad news sweetie," Hunter said, drawing a startled look. "I think I hear the sound of piglets. It we can get close you may get some great shots. I keep the lookout for you. If the sows or boars charge climb a tree to save your life. Got it?"
Lee looked wild-eyed and nodded. "Christ, what an adventure. But you are kidding, aren't you."
"Sorry, I'll be careful," she said, reacting to the alarmed look she'd received.
They took up their position, down wind of the group of pigs and five tiny piglets came frolicking very close to them and even appeared to stare at them before racing back to their mother snouting between tree roots.
"Did they see us?"
"Pigs have poor eyesight but they knew something was here. Come on, let's lower the risk and go."
"Lower the risk?"
"There were no males in that group that I could see. We don't want them taking us by surprise."
Lee walked very close to Hunter and a few yards out they reached a little more open ground.
"Phew, that was scary," Lee said. She groaned when they looked up saw a couple of mean-faced boars looking at them and Hunter scared them off with a big shout just as she was about to click off a shot.
Lee turned to berate him but shouted "Hunter!" She'd seen a large boar charging toward them. She dropped to a knee and photographed it.
"For fuck sake, up the tree," Hunter yelled tearing the camera from her grasp and virtually throwing her up a vine-clad tree trunk. There was no time for him to climb, the boar on him.
"Hunter!" Lee screamed helplessly.
As the enraged animal was close enough for Hunter to smell it he steeped sideways behind the trunk. The boar attempted to hook sideways and hit the tree, squealing as it bounced off. Hunter climbed into the fork where Lee waiting and crying. She hugged him and stroked his hair and kissed his cheek several times. "Oh my brave man," she cooed. "I almost had you killed."
"Get off," he said, pushing her away. "Idiots can't help but be idiots. Anyway, where has Miss Up-herself gone?"
"I really can't understand what you're saying you awful man. Let's get out of here."
"We'll have to stay a few minutes as the boars could be lurking. They're not as stupid as sows."
"That's bullshit and you know it. Well, just in case it isn't, would you care to play with my breasts?
"That will only encourage your breasts to hang to your waist sooner," he snapped, annoyed she'd stupid put them both at risk.
Well, he could be interested.
"You mean-spirited asshole," she yelled, and swung at huge slap at his mouth. He turned away and caught it across the ear and howled, "Bitch." and only with a desperate lunge did Hunter manage to prevent his over-balancing client from falling from the tree.
Lee came into his arms sobbing and saying she was such a cow.
"You tits are nothing like an udder," he grinned, taking a high-risk and grabbing a boob. Fortunately for him Lee forgot her anger and remembered about sex.
"Oooh, you lovely man," she said, wriggling out of the top of her over-sized shirt and dragging her bra over the top of her boobs.
They kissed and sucked -- Lee going for Hunter's nipples -- until they ran out of steam so she said hopefully, "I've never been made love to in a tree."
"Well, now's not the time," grunted Hunter, stretching her right nipple with his teeth. He let it go and said they must settled into camp before dusk, the first priority was to get there. "We can fuck on your own private island which I'll name Sex Island."
"Doesn't it have a sweeter name?"
Hunter lied, "Not that I know of."
"Oh lovely man," Lee sighed, filled with romantic notions that softened her.
On the paddle across to the island, the soft setting sun revealing her beauty as she turned to Hunter and said: "Even when I reach the age when my tits droop to my pubic bone I'll remember the most compelling command anyone has given me, 'For fuck sake, up the tree'!"
"I'd like to be remembered in posterity in that way," Hunter grinned and made kissing sounds at her. "It's good the camera appears undamaged. That charging pig shot could go front cover on a magazine. It looked crazy and was crazy to be charging you."
"Oh darling, mommy is going to be so good to you tonight."
"Watch the bull shark ahead."
Lee turned so suddenly she almost overturned them, not that the kayak would have rolled over in six inches of water. They were beaching on the island.
"You're a fucking maniac Hunter whatever your name is. I almost died of heart failure!"
"But you know I would have taken your body back to mommy and daddy."
"Would you like to visit America?"
"Dunno. Anything worth looking at over there?"
Lee looked at him slit-eyed. "You're such a fucking tease Hunter whatever your name is."
Hunter disembarked at O'Hara International Airport rather impressed to find many of the airplanes were Boeings and Airbus's, the same as operated by Air New Zealand. On the leg from LA had hadn't seen sheep or dairy cow but nor had he seen film stars in LA or cowboys as the aircraft came in low over Chicago. Plenty of high building landscape pollution though. He then resolved not to make comparisons, to take America and Americans as he found them.
Hunter's decision to go to America during the winter (it was summer in North America) had produced a long smirk from Julia. "I wonder why that lovely American became so dotty on you -- she didn't appear to be on drugs?"
"I have no idea."
"She wrote me once a month for three months to check on you and then nothing."
"She never wrote me."
Julia had sighed and said Lee had the brains to know she wouldn't get a reply. "She's referred to you constantly as 'Hunter Whatever'. She seems to be quite a tease."
"Oooh Hunter, I've never heard you say anything so nice about a female. I wonder what she has planned for you?"
"She becomes a different woman when she takes off her knickers," Hunter said. He bit his tongued, annoyed at blurting that out and listened in disbelief when Julia turned quite pink and said she'd often wondered about doing that for him but if her daughters found out they'd all want a shot at him including Kaye who was pregnant again.
"Saved by overriding morality seeping through eh Julia," Hunter said, rubbing her hair as if playing with a dog and kissing her cheek. "You've been more of a pal than a mother to me. If only you'd acknowledge you are married to a real man."
"You've said that to me before Hunter. Exactly what do you mean?"
"One night when you a drunk enough to listen I'll tell you sweet lady. Perhaps on my return from America, if I go."
"Hunter Macdonald, you will be boarding that flight even if I have to drag you there by the balls myself."
"Spoken like the appropriate spouse of an action man adventurer and hero all rolled into one."
"Hunter, stop it. You confuse me."
"Oh Julia, if only you realized that most romantic women are thwarted because they are married to wimps. You'd have it all if you saw your husband as clearly as you see marks on your washing. Pass me the coffee pot please."
Hunter spent a couple of days in Chicago but found it too big and people were in too much of a rush for him. He lodging enquiries with a couple of job-finder agencies about finding work for him for a couple of months as an assistant park ranger trapping and relocating wild animals from parkland inhabited by too many campers, leaving copies of his CV and references. While waiting for responses he decided to visit a smaller city to call on the sometimes aggressive Miss Lee Lincoln.