Like A Fool Ch. 07byredsliver©
I hadn't slept that night. I was sore, my lip was swelling, I had a bruise on my left ribs and I was spent. The sun was flashing over the lake, showers still falling erratically but the rain was mostly gone. My shoes felt terrible, sloshing about my feet as I wandered the beach. Our sleeping bags had sponged up the rain and were going to weigh half a ton when it was time to pack up. My head was sore, hangover setting in as the last vestiges of the drugs retreated from my brain. Ainsley, James and Lizzie had finally crashed maybe an hour or so passed in the tent, still naked but towelled dry on the one remaining sleeping bag. I grumbled at the pain and stepped into an indent of trees and sighed happily as I raced like a piss horse.
"Hey good looking," I jumped, Lizzie had been deathly quiet as she approached, the stream masking her steps. I almost forgot to shake. She was dressed like me, naked but for a pair of uncomfortably sodden sneakers.
"Couldn't sleep?" I asked, too dead give her more than passing look.
"Ainsley and James snore." She responded, stretching. "How're you feeling?"
"Sore," I said, I couldn't see the tent from where we were.
"Yeah me too," Lizzie agreed, "I had fun though."
"It was intense," I recalled, "shame about the rain."
"Why? That was fun." Lizzie crossed her arms, she seemed a little cold. I finally noticed the chill myself.
"I didn't get to see you in action," I admitted, "you looked gorgeous when the fire was lit."
"Ha!" she smirked, "You didn't look so bad yourself."
"Oh well," I sighed, "It was a good night."
"Yes it was," Lizzie kissed me on the cheek. "Would you do it again?"
"Not without sleep and energy drinks." I said, "And only if Ainsley wanted to."
"She sounded like she enjoyed herself," Lizzie grinned.
"Yeah," I matched her smile, "but I think it'll probably be a one time thing."
"Shame," Lizzie said, "shall we head back?"
"I think so," She took my arm, leaning heavily on me. Her skin was frigid and I realized how tired I was.
Lizzie stayed quiet as we returned across the beach to the tent. I could hear James and Ainsley's light snores as we approached. Neither of us opened the tent flap. The showers seemed to finally die.
"Ainsley's got to be to work at 3," I remembered, "I'm going to pack up. I'll sleep on the car ride home."
"Do you want company?" Lizzie asked.
"Get some sleep," I told her. She touched my arm and pulled open the tent flap to find James and Ainsley sleeping and spooning naked. She stayed outside.
Most of our gear was still in the tent. Our bags, our phones, everything important. All I had to pick up outside was the cooler, which needed to be drained, the sleeping bags which I hung off a relatively dry branch and our clothes we had discarded. I couldn't find James's trunks. Lizzie didn't pitch in, instead preferring to sit on the cooler with a bag of potato chips. I offered her her swimsuit and her clothes but she shunned the wet garments remaining naked. I also chose not to dress. Once I had all of our gear together, I sat down on the long blue plastic cooler and stole her chips.
"We're going to do this again," Lizzie told me strongly.
"That's not you're decision," I yawned.
"No," she assented, "but we will."
"I would like to come back here," I mentioned, in the rising sun the whole lake was gorgeous, serene. I saw a family of foxes across the water, drinking.
"That's not what I meant," Lizzie said, "but I can't deny how much I love this secluded little beach." I let the silence sit for a minute, she filled it, "I love James."
"I don't doubt it for a second," I replied truthfully.
"I want to do more," She sounded excited, "with different people but always with James."
"OK," I was following.
"I trust you, Robbie, and Ainsley's a sweetheart," Lizzie continued, "I'd love do more with both of you."
"I'm flattered," I said without commitment.
"What do you want?" Lizzie turned to me, I kept my eyes on the water.
"I have what I want," I said after a thoughtful moment, "great friends, amazing sex, adventures."
"Beautiful," she turned back to the water, "that's all I want, and I think we four could all share in it."
"I'm glad you think of me," I answered, "I really am, you're beautiful and you're probably one of the most important people to me."
"But?" Lizzie prompted me.
"Ainsley and James come first," I said, "Last night was incredible, I'll leave it at that if anyone else prefers it to end."
"You're a great guy, Robbie," Lizzie gripped the back of the cooler and reclined.
"Most of the women who say that are not trying to sleep with me," we both laughed, Lizzie nearly let go of the cooler.
"Do you want to wake them up?" Lizzie asked, after an easy silence.
"Not really," I said, "Do you?"
"Not at all," Lizzie smiled, "but I think it is time to go."
Ainsley and James flinched when they saw with whom they were entwined. Lizzie and I laughed quietly from outside the tent. We all had spare clothes, but only Ainsley had spare shoes and so three of us grumbled as we hiked back to the car with our gear. The sleeping bags were soaked, but James's trunk had a bunch of emergency gear including heavy duty garbage bags into which we rolled the heavy blankets. There was a lot of disgusting squelching noises as we shifted the gear so that all our items fit. Lizzie and I neglected to tell James his shorts had gone missing.
The drive home was longer, James was awkwardly silent and doing the speed limit. I couldn't sleep in his bucket seat. Lizzie and Ainsley were chatting amiably in the back seat about anything except last night and I was left to scanning the radio until I gave up and plugged in James's iPod. Linkin Park, Disturbed and all kinds of other music I made fun of him for. I liked it all, I just never missed an opportunity. We arrived in Halifax just after noon. I kissed Ainsley outside of her apartment building, she decided to go up alone, try to catch a nap before her shift. James was aiming for Lizzie's so I got out alone when we reached Poplar.
Chris was still asleep when I arrived. I was envious. I heard the television downstairs, made the mistake of looking down and not going straight to bed. Miranda came and left as if she should be paying us rent, seeing her was no surprise. I yawned. Still, I hadn't expected her to go stock still for a heartbeat and then throw a cushion at me.
"What the hell Miranda?" And I saw her fastening her pants. I smiled, took the seat next to her and looked to the TV. Through our router you could access all the movies and files on our computers through the James's X-Box, She had flipped the channel, she certainly hadn't been watching local news, but it was easy work to flip it back.
"You're an asshole!" she growled, and I didn't let her get to her feet.
"My porn," I realized, "I forgot I still had these videos."
"Look, I didn't think you'd be home for another few hours and you don't have any good movies," Miranda fidgeted, I had my arm on her shoulders, making her keep her seat.
"I have great movies," I paused the video of a tiny white girl being fucked by an absurdly hung black man and brought up the menu. Out of the porn folder and into the video folder, I showed her a list of pirated films.
"Screw you," Miranda took the controller from me an shut down the system. I was tired, but I caught the look she gave me, melancholy and embarrassed. She was wearing a pair of unzipped black jeans and a red t-shirt, she had her hair tied up behind her.
"Why're you here?" I asked, finally removing my arm.
"I was bored and I wasn't in the mood to deal with Andrew." She told me, closing her fly.
"But you got in the mood here," Miranda never slapped me though sometimes I deserved it.
"Look, I'm sorry I--"
"I don't care," I interrupted her, "in fact I find it quite entertaining. Still I wouldn't want Chris to find you."
"That was a risk I wasn't sure to take," Miranda agreed, "But he only went to sleep since I got here."
"Must be nice," I yawned, my shoulders stiff.
"That tired, eh?" She cocked a smirk, "Good camping trip?"
"Phenomenal," I said dreamily.
"How so?" her ears seemed to perk up and she got a hungry look in her eyes. Nosey as ever, I thought. I answered her with a confusing gesture, making a fist sliding it forward horizontally about a foot. I then rolled my wrist over, opened my fingers vertically and make the gesture of picking a grape from a vine.
"I'm going to get some sleep," I got up, "Don't make my couch too wet."
"Goddammit," Miranda said in a bad mood. "I'm not getting caught again."
"You and your ninja skills," I started climbing the stairs.
"Lizzie told me the truth," Miranda stopped me as soon as I was too high to turn and see her eyes.
"What?" I asked slowly.
"About the..." Miranda flustered, stuttered and said "Good night."
I woke up around seven at night. I didn't feel much better. I stumbled out of my room to the pisser. Chris had roused when I was down and near as I could tell Miranda was still downstairs. In the kitchen, I found a Burger King bag, with a cold Whopper and flaccid French fries. My stomach demanded food, but had the sense to steer me from the terrible fast food and towards the much healthier fare of Pop Tarts. I burned my tongue on the strawberry filling and then headed downstairs.
Miranda was still there, discarded Junior Whopper wrapper on the coffee table. Chris was nowhere to be found so I took the free couch and lied down.
"Have a good sleep?" Miranda asked me. "There's some food up there for you."
"Enjoy my movies?" I returned sarcastically. She gave me a death glare. I had my phone and checked it for messages, I proved unpopular as ever, just a "Thank U" text from Lizzie.
"James doesn't like me, does he?" Miranda asked, to me out of the blue.
"Of course he does," I declared, feeling I could fall back to sleep with ease on the couch.
"No he doesn't," she asserted. "Lizzie told me."
"Lizzie fucked things up royally then," the anger brought me completely to wakefulness.
"Then why doesn't he want me at your orgy?" It took despair and rage for Miranda to get all the way through that statement.
"OK," I said calmly, "What the hell? You're insulted you're not being brought to a fictitious," the word sizzled in its strength, "sex fest?"
"Well," she scrunched up her face angrily, "why shouldn't I be?"
"What?" I was thoroughly confused.
"It is completely different for me to say "No" than it is to be unwelcome. Does he think I'm ugly? Does he just not like me?" She was seething.
"You're insane," I gave up.
"No I'm not," she huffed.
"Do you want to be in an orgy?" I asked, exasperated.
"Maybe," She said almost silently. Her lips kept moving but my ears caught nothing else.
"Really?" somehow all the anger was immediately replaced with my complete rapt attention.
"Shut up!" She pulled her feet up onto the couch with her, "Look, all I'm saying is I'm not going to say no out of hand."
"Still," I reclined, looking up at the ceiling, I was too afraid to meet her eyes. "Look I'm sure it's not because James dislikes you."
"Really?" She asked, I'm glad I wasn't looking at her face. Miranda was usually solid and confident. It threw me to see her so bent out of shape.
"Absolutely," I assured her. "Besides the conversation was about Chris and a threesome." A half-truth, but it still bit into my gut. I wasn't used to this.
"Ew." Miranda condemned Chris.
"It is nice to see you show some taste now and again," I ribbed her.
"Twit," She was smiling now. I felt leagues better.
"You're good then?" I asked, to make certain.
"Sort of," Miranda put her feet up on her couch, "There's is one more thing I'd like you to explain."
"Yeah?" I didn't catch the mischief in her voice.
"How does Lizzie look naked?"