Peak of Desire Ch. 09byvirgofemme©
*Sorry for the delay in getting this chapter out, but I do hope you'll enjoy it. And thank you all for voting and providing me with feedback. It's truly appreciated!*
Saturday and Sunday went by fairly quickly, due to Erica working both at the bookstore and also massaging clients. With hardly any free time to spare, she had no choice but to fall into a grueling routine of waking up, heading to her regular job, then driving out to her client's homes so she could cater to their needs. Her mobile massage business was steadily getting busier, and with all the extra hours she'd been putting in, she was making quite a nice profit.
The following week passed quickly, and as Friday drew nearer, she found herself growing steadily more excited. Always up for an adventure, Erica was looking forward to the rock climbing trip that she and Cody would take. Yet as eager as she was, she couldn't help feeling a bit of apprehension about the trip.
Cody was a driven, fit climber, so there wasn't a doubt in her mind that he was going to challenge her and push her to reach a new level. She didn't mind that, as she enjoyed working towards goals, but climbing outdoors would be an entirely different experience from being in an indoor gym. She had no way of knowing just how well she would do, but she supposed that was part of the beauty of experiencing something new. You weren't quite sure just what would happen, and something about that really appealed to her.
So as Thursday evening arrived, she found herself experiencing a nervous kind of excitement, and after finishing dinner and washing up the dishes, she pulled out a travel backpack and began to pack her overnight items. She'd nearly completed her packing when her cell phone rang, and after a quick glance at the display screen, she hit the answer button, then brought the phone up to her ear.
"Hey cutie, what are you up to?"
"Not much, just packing an overnight bag. What about you?"
"Going over last minute stuff, making sure I bring enough gear and supplies."
"Should I bring anything in particular along?"
"Might be a good idea to pack an extra layer of clothes, but other than that, I've got plenty of stuff for the both of us."
"Alrighty." She pulled a few items out of the drawer beneath her bed and placed them inside her backpack, then sat cross legged beside it. "So you'll come by and get me around half past six, right?"
"Yep. And if it's not too much trouble, you think you could make us a few sandwiches so we'll have something to eat while we're out there?"
"Sure. I've also got packages of trail mix, so I'll bring those along as well."
"Cool. I've got granola bars, juice boxes, and plenty of water, so between the two of us, we should have plenty to eat." He gave a short pause, then there was a crunching noise, followed by the sound of him chewing.
"What are you eating?"
"Beef tacos." A few smacking noises came from his end, as well as a sound which clearly conveyed his enjoyment of the food.
"Sounds like you're having a good time, there."
He lightly chuckled. "Am I that loud?"
"Yeah, but it's okay. Food is meant to be fully enjoyed."
"Most definitely." He took another bite, then said, "So what did you have for dinner?"
"Sounds good. What about dessert?"
"A slice of cheesecake."
"Nice. Sounds like I should have skipped the fast food and swung by your place instead."
Her lips curled into a little smile. "You're welcome here anytime."
"Good to know I've got a free pass, because I'll definitely be using it."
Erica felt a spike of arousal from the suggestive tone in his voice. "I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."
"So am I. I've been thinking about you all week."
"You've been thinking about you, too?"
A small chuckle fled her mouth. "You know what I mean."
"So tell me, what exactly comes to mind when you think about me?"
"A variety of things...your eyes, your hair, the way your naked skin feels against my own."
"Mmm, and what else?" His seductive voice had taken on a husky tone.
"I think about your body, and how nice it feels to slide my palms against your strong chest, traveling further down until I reach that nice, thick cock."
Cody emitted a heavy sigh, undoubtedly a sign that he was growing increasingly aroused. "I love hearing you talk dirty. It gets me so turned on."
"Are you hard right now?"
"Mmm, I wish I could touch you."
"So do I." There was a moment of silence, then he said, "I can still smell you in my sheets."
"And what do I smell like?"
"Soap and honey."
A faint smile touched her lips. "And what about my other scent?"
"Oh, you mean the one between your legs?"
"You've never smelled yourself before?"
She hesitated a moment, then said, "Yeah, maybe a few times."
"Nothing to be embarrassed about. "It's perfectly natural to be curious about your own scent."
"I'm not embarrassed."
"Okay." He made a faint sound of amusement, then said, "Ever tasted your pussy before?"
She felt a surge of arousal from the sound of him speaking that word. "Of course. I've kissed you after you've gone down on me, haven't I?"
"No, I'm not talking about that. I was wondering if you've ever pushed a finger inside, then pulled it out and sucked your fingers off."
"Sure, I've done that before."
"And what did you think of the flavor?"
"It was interesting. Kinda reminded me of a sweet tart."
He lightly chuckled. "That's a good way to describe it. Tangy and sweet, and completely delicious."
Her lips curled upward. "So what about you? Ever sampled your own flavor?"
"Secondhand, through kissing someone else. But I've never just sat down and jerked myself off to see what I tasted like."
"I don't know. Guess I'd have to be aroused in order to do it, and by the time I get off, I'm not really in the mood anymore. So there'd be no reason for it."
"Yeah, I guess you've got a point there." A light snicker passed her lips.
"I just find it amusing that we're actually having a conversation about the taste of our own bodily fluids."
There was a smile in his voice. "Yeah, well I guess that's why we get along so well. We can talk freely about all sorts of stuff."
"Yep. Gotta love the randomness of our conversations."
Glancing at her digital alarm clock, Erica was surprised to see that it was already nearing nine p.m. She still had yet to wash and straighten her hair, which would easily take an hour and a half, so if she wanted to get a good night's sleep, she would need to get a move on. "Guess I'd better start getting ready for bed." She stood up from the floor and gave a languid stretch, emitted a pleasured groan as the joints in her back popped.
"That's probably a good idea. We've got an early morning ahead of us, so we both need our sleep."
"So I'll see you at six thirty?"
"Cool. Well have a good night, and sleep well."
"You too. Night, beautiful."
She tossed her cell phone onto the bed, then finished up her packing. After putting her last item in the backpack, she zipped it up, then glimpsed at the clock once more.
Eager for the morning to arrive, she saw that only nine hours remained before she would be on the road with Cody, heading for Joshua Tree. Filled with enthusiasm, she thought about the journey that lay ahead of them, and had a feeling that the experience they'd share would surely be unforgettable.
* * * *
At half past six on Friday morning, Erica and Cody were on their way to Arizona, traveling along the highway which would take them to the Mojave Desert. With a three hour drive ahead of them, they had plenty of time to discuss a number of topics, ranging from their experiences growing up, to musical tastes, as well as their favorite books and films.
As the amount of miles they traveled increased, Erica found that the scenery was steadily becoming more interesting to look at. The highway they'd started out driving along had been pretty nondescript and there weren't many interesting sights to see, but once they connected with a different Interstate, she found that their surroundings began to drastically change.
Also known as twenty nine palms highway, Interstate 62 provided a visual feast. As Erica's eyes first landed on the twisty, spiky Joshua Trees, the first thing which came to mind was how cartoonish they looked. There was an otherworldy quality to them, and she almost felt as if she'd been transported to a fantasy world.
Among the rocky outcrops and iconic trees were hundreds of windmills, blades propelling in the wind as they harnessed the power of nature. The stunning desert scenery stretched as far as her eyes could see, and to say that she was awed by its beauty would be putting it lightly.
After three hours and five minutes of traveling along the highway, Cody pulled off the road and steered the truck into a campsite named Jumbo Rocks. True to its name, the area was scattered with huge goldish-red boulders, which not only offered a terrific surface to climb on, but also provided plenty of rock clusters where one could create their own little private campground.
After parking a few yards away from the main campsite, they exited the car and headed around back to retrieve their supplies from the bed of the truck. The heat of the blazing sun provided a stark contrast to the pleasant, air conditioned interior of Cody's car, and each time Erica inhaled, she found that her breath was nearly choked off from the dry desert atmosphere.
Taking note of her shallow breaths, Cody opened the back door of the truck and retrieved a chilled bottle of water from a large cooler, then handed it to her.
"Arizona summers aren't the easiest to deal with. Just give it some time, and your body will adjust."
"I sure hope so." The stifling heat made it difficult for her to get the words out, and after unscrewing the cap, she tipped the bottle to her lips and took a large gulp, emptying half of it in the process.
"Sure you're up for this?"
She nodded and recapped the bottle. "Yeah, I'll be fine. I came out here to rock climb, and that's what I'm gonna do. No excuses."
"Beautiful and determined, what isn't there to like about you?" He pressed his lips to hers in a gentle peck, then reached into the bed of the truck. He pulled out a pair of shoes, then presented them to her. "Before we start climbing, I want you to change into these. Those Converse you have on aren't going to cut it."
She eyed the rugged looking footwear curiously, then flipped one of the shoes over to have a look at the size. "How'd you know I was a seven?"
"I remembered you mentioning it to the attendant at that indoor gym we went to."
"Oh right, when I rented the shoes." She took a seat on the tailgate of the truck bed so she could change her footwear. "Well thanks for getting them, I appreciate it."
"No problem. Just wanna make sure you're properly outfitted."
Once she was clad in the new shoes, Cody handed her the gear she would need for their climb, then grabbed his own equipment. He pressed a button on the key fob to lock the truck doors, then they both made their way toward the campsite.
Erica was dressed in a pair of black capris and a racerback tank, and her hair straightened hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. Hoping to keep from sweating out her hairstyle, she'd donned a cute hair band to cover up her edges. Cody's rock climbing attire consisted of black cargo shorts that came to just below his knees, and on the upper half of his body, he wore a gray tank top.
As they reached the campground, Cody led her through the maze of jumbled granite rocks, continuing past a few campsites where tents were set up until they reached an area where nobody else was located. He finally came to a stop in front of a rock that had a slight vertical tilt to it, then set down a large, square shaped pad which resembled a gym mat.
"I think it'd be best if we started you off with some bouldering," he said. "That way you can get an idea of what outdoor climbing is all about."
Glancing up at the intimidating looking rock, she said, "I'll be secured with a rope, right?"
"Nope. Bouldering is done without any equipment."
She glanced at him, cocking an eyebrow in disbelief. "You're kidding, right?"
"What, you think you can't do this?"
"No, it's not that..." Her voice trailed off as she once again eyeballed the tall granite formation.
"So go for it. That wall you climbed at the indoor gym was thirty five feet. This can't be any higher than fifteen.
"I was secured in a harness at the gym. Plus there were holds sticking out of the wall for me to grip onto."
"This rock has handholds as well, they're just not man-made. No big deal, you can still do it."
"So if I fall, that thing is supposed to keep me from getting hurt?" She directed her eyes at the cushiony pad on the ground.
His lips curved into a little smile. "That thing is called a crash pad. And yes, it will definitely break your fall."
She offered it a wary look, but said nothing in return.
Realizing she needed additional persuasion, Cody once again spoke. "I'll also be spotting you, so even if you do fall, I'll be right below you to make sure you don't get hurt."
She nodded, then exhaled a small breath and said, "Alrighty. Guess I'm ready, then." She secured a chalk bag around her waist, and after covering her palms with the powdery limestone, she began her ascent up the large boulder.
To her relief, the rock had plenty of nooks and crannies for her to use as hand and footholds, so it made the climb a bit more manageable. She felt clumsy and awkward ascending the rock, and more than a few times she'd frozen in place, unsure of how to continue upward, but Cody's encouraging words spurred her on. Her physical strength was definitely being put to the test, not to mention her focus and problem solving abilities.
During her journey along the granite surface, she misjudged several footholds and nearly fell, but her body was kept stable by the presence of Cody's hands, which he firmly wrapped around her hips. Once she'd regained a firm hold on the rock, he released her from his grip and allowed her to continue on.
As she came closer to reaching the top of the rock formation, she found herself progressing with more confidence. Her moves were sporadic and lacking in grace, but that didn't matter to her, because she was sticking to it and accomplishing a daunting task.
The places where she jammed her fingers and the tips of her feet into the granite formation were growing further apart, but she continued to steadily close the distance. Excited about her progress, she took a glance upward to see how close she was, but all this earned her was a light scolding from Cody.
"Stop looking up and just keep going. You're slowing yourself down," His voice called out to her from below.
"I'm not supposed to look up?" Her words were laced with irritation.
"You're doing it too often. It's gonna throw you off."
She knew that Cody was only trying to help her, but he had a pushy way of going about it, and this resulted in her feeling annoyed. Fueled by pure stubbornness, she went against his words and decided to keep her eyes on the summit, figuring it would inspire her to ignore her growing fatigue. This, however, proved to be a bad decision, because both of her feet entirely missed the crevices she was trying to jam them into.
She did her best to anchor herself with her hands, but she lacked the upper body strength to do it. As her fingers slipped from the handhold she was gripping, a small cry escaped her lips, and a surge of adrenaline filled her body as she fell back off the rock.
Expecting her fall to be broken by the crash pad, she was surprised to find that she landed in Cody's arms. The force of her body caused him to stumble back only slightly, and his strong arms firmly locked around her waist, holding her flush against his body.
She felt safe and secure in his arms, and was happy that he'd caught her, but she also couldn't help feeling disappointed. She'd been so close to reaching the top, but had failed, and now she'd have to start all over again.
"Told you I wouldn't let you get hurt." He gave her a kiss on the top of the head, then released her from his arms. "Hopefully now you'll have more faith in me."
"I do have faith in you."
"Then why'd you go against the advice I gave you?"
"What, you mean when I was looking up?" She re-chalked her hands in preparation for a second try.
"Yeah. I told you it was gonna throw you off, and it did."
"Wrong. Your voice was what threw me off."
"You're joking, right? You can't blame me for your fall."
"If you hadn't said anything, I would have made it to the top. You broke my concentration."
"I was just trying to give you tips."
"Well all it did was make me nervous."
"That wasn't my intention." He waited her to say something else, but when she didn't, he once again spoke. "Wait, you're not seriously mad at me, are you?"
She purposely avoided eye contact with him, choosing instead to direct her gaze at the large boulder in front of her. "Not mad, just disappointed."
He took a step closer to her, then pulled her into his arms, offering an apologetic look. "Sorry if I distracted you, sweetie. I just want you to do well. This time I'll let you climb without butting in so much, okay?"
She nodded, giving him a little smile. "It's okay. I can't blame it entirely on you. I am only a beginner, after all, so I guess it's not surprising I fell."
"But this time you're gonna reach the top." He tilted her chin upward and gave her a gentle peck, then freed her from his arms.
Although her second climb up was difficult, it definitely proved easier than her first attempt. As she ascended the boulder, she moved with increasing surety, yet also made sure that she continually had a tight hold on the foot and hand grips. Cody kept quiet for the majority of her climb, only speaking when he found it necessary to offer her safety tips.
Having learned her lesson about glancing up too often, she chose to focus instead on the present moment, rather than the ultimate goal, which was reaching the summit.
Still a bit worn out from her previous attempt, it took some time for her to reach the top, but after twenty minutes, she finally made it. As to be expected, the climb down was more challenging, and took more skill and balance, so she patiently shifted her weight from foot to foot, hand to hand, until she was back on the ground.
"Nice work," said Cody. "You made it all the way up and came back down without falling once. I'm impressed."
"I slipped a bunch of times, though. And from the way my fingers look, I'm willing to bet I'll have some pretty serious blisters later on." She held up her hands so he could see how red the tips of her digits were.
Cody gave a few of her fingertips a tender kiss, then said, "I'm afraid it comes with territory. No worries though, your fingers will toughen up after awhile." He lifted the crash pad from the ground so he could carry it by its handles, then grabbed the rest of his supplies. "Think you're up for another climb?"
"Depends how hard it is."
"It's nothing you can't manage."
In other words, the climb was certain to bust her ass, so she began mentally preparing herself for what was to come. Cody led the way to an area further beyond the campsite, and as they passed the various rock outcroppings, she found herself admiring the unusual shapes of them.
Some were perfectly round like giant marbles, while others were pyramid shaped, but many of the boulders were uniquely formed into shapes which couldn't be described with words.