Pamela had already made the picnic and packed it into a wicker basket when the boys arrived. She'd cleaned the kitchen as well, been a thorough little domestic goddess with her mom and dad away for the week. And finally she had changed from jogging pants and T-shirt into her costume. Nothing outlandish, just a simple white-muslin dress and sandals, and then to the garden to pluck daisies and buttercups and ring them into a crown and a necklace. She stood before her bedroom mirror adjusting the circlet of flowers in her hair and the one about her neck. Then she admired herself cheekily for a moment, just before the rap sounded on the porch's swing door and ruffled her calm.
'Hey there! Anyone at home? Gonna make us stand out here all day?'
'Yeah, is this still the Shelton residence? Or have they left the building?'
The guys. With the amiable, bantering style of old. Pamela's heart-beat stuttered and she sucked in her breath a little. It was almost three years since she had seen the Riordan twins and Facebook didn't count. She flicked back her hair to maximize the area of naked skin on display, but was freaked out by her own boldness and readjusted. She was even having reservations about the dress. She moved giddily through the house to answer their knock, her heart drumming somewhat as she glimpsed them through the gauze.
A full intake of breath on swinging open the door - delight at their very presence and at the realisation that even their on-line photos had not done them justice. If they'd retained the rather stringy build and gawky demeanour of their adolescence she'd still have been crazy about these two. But God...
College athletics had filled them both out, with breadth of chest and strength of limb appropriate to their six foot in height. She could tell immediately from their bearing that they had acquired a new self-confidence as well. Identical at birth, Patrick was now slightly fuller of face with steely-blue eyes that still had the old glint of mischief about them. Aiden was a shade leaner all round, though still physically robust, his similarly-coloured eyes hinting at something more restrained, an ironic amusement that masked his more reticent personality. They had dirty-blonde hair, Patrick's collar-length and messy, Aiden's shorter and more sculpted. And both were dressed for a casual family gathering in jeans and sneakers, Patrick in a vest displaying his muscled shoulders more fully, Aiden in a tee and a loose-hanging check shirt. The overall effect made her gasp.
'Hiiiiii!!!' And she tiptoed the few inches necessary to sweep them one at a time in a full embrace, Patrick followed by Aiden.
Both brothers reciprocated warmly, but shot an instinctive micro-glance at each other afterwards, transmitting back and forth a slim volume. They had both seen Pamela's Facebook headshot and a handful of other images in which she cavorted laughingly with school or college friends, but neither had expected this. They hadn't even discussed her when she had emailed them both the invitation. Well it was the unspoken rule. We don't discuss Billy's kid-sister. There's nothing to discuss. We don't have those thoughts about her. But now pixels were replaced with fleshly reality.
The flame-red hair was the same, though a little longer. Milky skin, check. Green eyes, smooth complexion over high cheekbones - check, check. All the striking prettiness of three years prior, only... Well Pamela had certainly been burgeoning in her mid-teens more than a protective dad and older brother might have liked, but just short of her nineteenth birthday she was fully... ehhh... burgeoned. The sap of her teen years had pumped its way through the trunk of her once skinny body and swollen her upper torso so that her bosom heaved against the admittedly tight fit of her medium-cut dress. Her generous pillows had squeezed briefly against both the guys' chests mid-hug and were displaying unmistakable nipple protrusion through the dress's fabric as she retreated. As for the presence of any underwear, the two-man jury was still out on that.
'Good to see you, Pammy-girl,' Patrick grinned, the same brotherly tone in his voice as times gone by. 'Look at you, all grown up. Listen to me, Cliché-Guy.' He hoped he had held back any innuendo from the cliché. And he hoped she was unaware how hard he was trying to fix his stare away from her cleavage.
'What's with the - Queen of the May thing?' Aiden inquired, gesturing to her ensemble. He felt some reference had to be made to her general appearance. 'It's still April.'
'It's Earth Day, dumbass,' she laughed, rolling her eyes at Aiden's pretend-ignorance. 'April 22nd. I told you in my email. You're here to celebrate.'
'What, y'all having an Earth Day Party?' Patrick was vaguely incredulous. 'Even your brother?'
'Billy's adopted his l'il sister's tree-hugging ways?' Aiden grinned and she arched a scolding eyebrow in response.
'I've got the whole family using energy-saving light bulbs,' she informed him proudly. 'And recycling. And my big lunk-headed brother has promised to install our new wind turbine out back.' She leaned on the final revelation with particular satisfaction. 'So yeah, maybe we're all a bunch of tree-huggers now.'
'Or maybe you just bugged them so much they'll do anything to shut you up,' Patrick said jovially. 'Where is Billy-boy anyway?' He peered past her hoping for more Sheldon family-members to provide alternative points of focus. 'Where's mom and dad?'
'Dad had time off work and whisked mom off on a romantic mini-break,' Pamela explained, trying not to show her embarrassment. 'And Billy got a lost minute invitation from his girlfriend to some family celebration in Houston. So we're kind of down in numbers.' It suddenly felt to her like she had lured the brothers there under false pretences, however honest her words. She could have tried to mail them and postpone, sure, but who knew when they'd be in town again? And she'd so longed to see them.
'Ehhh - you said a "family celebration",' said Patrick in playful accusation.
'Well - I'm part of the family.' She chewed her lip a little shame-facedly. 'And you guys are as good as.'
'Hell, Pam!' Aiden was still smiling, but a tad ruefully too. 'You trying to get us into shit with Billy?'
'No,' Pamela insisted, turning confessional. 'Look, you guys are my favourites out of all of Billy's friends. I love the both of you, you're like two whole extra brothers. I check out how you're doing all the time on the internet - where you're travelling, who you're dating, whether you're doing any studying at all...' She gazed at them sternly for a moment, then turned it to a cheeky smile, which conveyed more confidence than she felt. 'Well I'm a big girl now, at College. An Environmental Scientist. In training at any rate. All growed up, see? So why shouldn't I get to hang out with you on my own for an afternoon?' Patrick and Aiden glanced at each other for a cue. They looked back at Pamela, who smiled at them simply. 'C'mon guys, you know Earth Day's important to me.'
'Okay, so what's this party all about?' Patrick asked, not quite ready to concede. 'Are we planting stuff, are we joining a rally? You got placards all painted?'
'No,' Pamela smiled radiantly. 'The rallies are good, really motivating, I went to the one in Austin last year. It got me all fired up, you've seen all the stuff I've been promoting on my webpage. But I thought we could mark the day a little differently if you guys showed up. Something less serious.'
'Different how?' Aiden was relieved that he wasn't going to be swept up in the counter-culture by a bunch of Green activists, but felt wary for other Pamela-related reasons. He knew his brother's reservations mirrored his own.
'Picnic,' Pamela smiled, but she found that the business with last night's dream was making her shy. 'What better way to get in touch with Mother Earth than to go out and remind ourselves of her beauty in the great state of Texas?' She looked with impish amusement at the expressions on their faces and chose to read them one way. 'It's okay, guys, I'm not going to go all Gaia on you. We're just going to have fun and get caught up. Let me get the stuff.'
She spun around jauntily, bouncily it had to be said, and set off for the kitchen. Patrick and Aiden watched her go. Billy's sister's rump had filled out as well, they noted independently, to a juicily plump roundness. Neither of them phrased it as such in their heads, but they might have done had they sought for an accurate verbal description. Had it been any other female they would have swapped appreciative looks, but this was Pamela. She had been Billy's self-appointed charge all through her High School years (or as long as he'd been around) and by proxy their charge. Aged eighteen they might have cast longing eyes over some other girl three years' their junior, but not her. They had joked with her, indulged her in her tomboy love of sports, made good-natured fun of her schoolgirl vegan faddishness, but never acknowledged that she was actually growing up.
Aiden looked worriedly to Patrick. 'It's fine,' shrugged the latter. 'She's eighteen. Hell, she's our Facebook friend.'
Leaving the brothers behind, Pamela took a fit of blushing. To have a face-to-face conversation with the guys after three years. Patrick and Aiden had been the only friends her brother could trust. How many of his other buddies had sleazed on her when he brought them home? How many guys had he warned away from her as a consequence? He had even punched out a couple. Not that she would have taken any shit from those guys, but Billy had never accepted she could look after herself.
But the Riordans had had treated her with unambiguous respect. And almost inevitably she had entertained nebulous teen fantasies about them - innocent stuff about which one she would date given the chance, how she might let them both take her out to decide. Those virgin's fantasies had changed rather, once the guys headed off to the same college in Florida and their proximity could not make her blush. One face or the other had started hovering above her during her night-time pleasurings and she had let them stay. She'd begun to imagine the settings in which gregarious Patrick or sweetly reserved Aiden might seduce her, the ways in which she might be taken...
It had only increased the previous summer when she had turned eighteen and surrendered her girlhood to an out-of-towner. (Out-of-States-er, truth be told. It had been preferable to let a passing foreigner pop her carefully preserved cherry.) That had made the Riordan fantasy seem less adolescent, like she was prepared. Sure the Facebook additions and resultant communication had an innocence about them and the boys were their endearingly respectful selves in everything they wrote, but her masturbatory thoughts had increased in wickedness. Which one would she rather have? How could she possibly be expected to choose? In that hypothetical she'd just have to have them both...
All those delicious fantasies, culminating in last night's dream. It had been one of the most vivid she'd ever experienced. She, Patrick and Aiden, all swimming and splashing naked in the pond near the glade of oak trees, with the rolling meadows beyond. The very setting where she'd planned the family picnic. Then they'd been leaving the water, laying down on the check-quilted rug, the boys' hands and mouths all over her. Then they were not just on her, but in her... Both of them...
And now they were on her parents' doorstep, all well-built and smiling and gorgeous, fresh no-doubt from their wild College ways. It felt like she had lured them here for her own secret purpose and her face burned like a brand. Hell, she thought, trying to shake herself free from those thoughts, it was a picnic, that was all. She was having an Earth Day picnic with two cherished friends home to visit their folks for once. And they didn't have to go to the pond in the meadows, did they? They didn't even have to leave home.
'Hey guys,' she called back to them from the kitchen, 'we could always have it here in the back garden if you don't want to go trekking anywhere.'
'No,' Aiden said hastily, strangely alarmed at the thought of staying home with Billy's sister. 'Let's get out in nature.' He and Patrick wandered tentatively inside to see if they could help out.
'Okay then.' Pamela was rather short of breath, but told herself not to be silly. 'You can choose where we go. Right, all packed! I'll grab some beers from the fridge for you guys.' Her mind was crammed with naughty images from her dream and she became a whirl of activity to compensate, hauling out the hamper and searching around for a picnic blanket.
'This any good?' Patrick was holding the same chequered quilt which had made its way into last night's dream. He had picked it from on top of the kitchen wash basket. 'Hey, it already needs washing...'
Pamela's heart did another acrobatic manoeuvre and she went to protest that she should fetch a clean one, but somehow the words did not come. 'Ehhh - yeah, good idea. Just let me lock up. Then we can get the bikes...' Pamela had shaken off her momentary flutter of panic and hit her jaunty stride again.
'Bikes?' Patrick voiced both brothers' surprise. 'I've got the car...'
'You guys!' She was merrily indignant as she secured the house and headed for the side-garage. 'It's Earth Day, if we're not carbon-neutral today, there's no hope for us. And we're drinking! Now my bike's all ready, maybe you can help me dig out Billy's...'
There was no point in resisting this red-haired dervish, the boys concluded, so they tore through the amassed garage junk to drag out the bike Billy had ceased to use ten years before. A tyre wanted patching and the whole thing required oil. While they fixed up the rickety vehicle, concerned that Pamela shouldn't get grease or rust on her dress, she quizzed them on College and their travels during recess, but chiefly on their commitment to the planet. Safe subject areas.
'So what I'm saying is, you've majored in Engineering, Patrick. You could be in the forefront of developing eco-friendly cars in a few years' time. And Aiden, what about your Biology degree, have you thought about conservation? You guys could do so much good!'
'Pam, slow down,' Aiden laughed. 'We'll save the world after the picnic, okay? Let's just get this road warrior into action.' He stared dubiously at the ramshackle frame which had carried his best friend about the vicinity as a young teen, while Pamela attached the hamper to the back of her own with the canvas straps provided. 'So,' he inquired, 'who's riding this one?'
'Whoever's not carrying me,' Pamela smiled disarmingly, gathering up her dress about her smooth thighs as she swinging herself onto her own bike. 'Which of you guys is going to rise to the challenge?' She wasn't going to let her secret thoughts unnerve her to the extent that she couldn't have fun with them.
After an exchange of uneasy looks, Patrick was her knight, sitting astride the bike with her slender but prodigiously curved body nestled into him from behind. He felt newly uneasy with her full breasts plumped against his back, her arms wrapped around his chest. Aiden was relieved. And then as both bikes moved off and Pamela clung tighter to his brother, squealing in scared joy, he was jealous.
Pamela's looked-after bicycle and Billy's clanking hulk made their way through the quiet town of Rockport in bright April sunshine, residents smiling in amusement at the cheerful girlish screams and the goading of one brother to another - 'Keep up, you're going all over the road, and look at the weight I'm carrying!'
'Shut the fuck up, Patrick, I'm the petite little thing I always was!'
'You hear that, Aiden? The kinda language this girl's started to use? And you always such a lady!'
'You're wrong there.' Aiden overtaking with a determined burst of speed. 'She always talked trash.'
'Did fucking not!' Pamela cried with hilarity and pressed herself hard to Patrick as the warm April air rushed in her ears. The bike-ride was an innocent excuse and it felt so good to be wrapped around that strapping chest, to sense the heat of his body against hers. It also felt wrong, according to that careful fantasy balance she had nurtured, to shut Aiden out in any way. So when they had left the town behind, she was insistent. 'Okay Pat, you've proved yourself. I want Aiden to take over.'
She crushed herself as tight to Aiden, fully aware now of how close to him her boobs were squeezed, how tightly she was shaped to one of those well-developed torsos. Her thoughts made her feel as silly and girlish as much as they made her pussy moist and she felt her grown-up bravado wane. But they were going faster now, sprinting through the blossoming springtime of Aransas County, pumping hard uphill, then whizzing gleefully down, dense green foliage arching over their frantic progress. The boys whooped aloud in their unaccustomed eco-friendly freedom and Pamela screamed in terrified delight as they sped.
'So - ehhh - anyone decided where we're going?' she yelled above the noise.
'Not far!' Patrick reassured her. 'We thought of just the place. There's a turn-off along here.' Pamela wondered. It couldn't be. Not there of all places. That was why she had passed on the decision. Surely they weren't taking that turn. Oh shit, they were... Her breath caught in her throat and she almost laughed.
It was a minor uphill road that narrowed to a stony path, progressively more difficult to negotiate. Eventually they got off the bikes and wheeled their way to a wood fence overlooking sweeping meadowlands - rich grass thick with violets and rue anemones. The bikes they hoisted over the fence, laying them down in the grass, then leaped over themselves, Patrick supporting Pamela as she hitched the flimsy white of her dress up her milky thighs and made the climb. All the while she was staring about her, face a picture of awe.
'So you know this place...'
'Sure,' Aiden told her. 'We used to play here as kids all the time. You approve?'
Pamela felt unnerved, weirded out, but still... How wonderful that the guys had chosen her favourite spot in the world. Her dream place. 'Yeah guys, I approve.'
Patrick and Aiden watched in a kind of amazed reverence as she grabbed the quilt and started to race through the flower-strewn fields, strewn about herself with buttercups and daisies, her luscious form bouncing and swaying as she progressed. 'Come on, guys, it's this way! Bring the hamper!'
'Wow, she's something,' was all Aiden could manage, staring at her attractive wake.
'Yes she is,' Patrick mused. He broke from his trance. 'Hey, buddy, picnic time.'
They pursued her across the fields now that she had taken the lead, both still sweating from exertion. She led them through the broad thickets of grass to the grove of vast oaks they both remembered so well, and in the trees' dappled shade she flung out the quilt. Down a sloping grass bank beyond the grove was a broad natural pond, beloved by all three of them it seemed, its surface rippling lightly in the gentlest of spring breezes.
'My secret place,' Pamela beamed, flouncing down onto the quilted surface, her bosom jogging attractively as she went. 'You guys chose my secret place from when I was a little girl! I still come back here every recess. It's so familiar. So tranquil and lovely, and you brought me here, I can't believe it!' Patrick and Aiden had been standing, soaking in the insect-humming stillness beneath the canopy of recently flourished leaves. Their reverie was broken when she jumped up impulsively and hugged them both. As she did, the dream and the nudity and the rolling on the rug, this rug, came flooding back to her. She broke from them, fevered and giddy. 'Come on, let's sit down.'