The Great Outdoors Ch. 06byandy_charles©
The morning sun rose slowly on the final day of the holiday, as if it didn't have the heart to wake up the people whose lives were about to be changed. If that had been its intention, it failed badly.
Liz and Artie were the first people up and about. Both had had a better night's sleep than the previous one, though this was due in part effect to the amount of alcohol they had drunk. As memories stirred in Liz's mind when she woke, the sense of cold, hard metal in her hand came back to haunt her.
A rather shocking selfishness came over. She and Artie had to get away from this place for a while, even if it was just for the morning. She couldn't bear to look Paul in the eyes, knowing that this would be his and Inga's last day as a couple; she didn't want to run the risk of being picked on by Rachel the way she had done yesterday afternoon -- her dreams had been confusing and bewildering enough as it was.
"Artie," she began slowly, quietly, "what do you say the pair of us go for a long walk this morning? Just the two of us?"
Artie grinned and kissed his wife lightly on the lips. "I'd say that sounds like a lovely idea. We'd better wait until the others are up though to tell them what we're doing..."
"No!" said Liz sharply. She took a breath. "Sorry, it's just...I don't know, all of a sudden I just want to be alone with you. They're big enough and ugly enough to take care of themselves, aren't they? If we leave now they won't notice we're gone until they wake up -- it gives us more time. It's our last day, and I'm losing you to your office and vice versa -- what do you say?"
Artie studied his wife's pretty features closely. "Okay," he said finally, smiling warmly. "Let's hurry."
They packed a couple of fresh bottle of water and some food into a small backpack that Artie strapped to his back, before, making painfully sure that they didn't make a sound, the couple set off into the forest, along the path that would take them to the Waterfalls Walk.
They had been gone more than an hour and a half by the time Inga and Paul eventually stirred into life.
"Unbelievable," muttered Inga as she surveyed their empty tent. "Still, could be worse I suppose -- they could have completely abandoned us altogether."
"Ah, let them have their fun," grinned Paul, scratching his naked back casually, T-Shirt in his other hand. "It's our last day here, and I've got a feeling from what Artie's been telling me that his work's gonna be shit for a while. Not for me, though -- all I need is the fresh outdoors and my woman and I'm good."
"Hmm," replied Inga as he kissed her on the cheek and wrapped his arms around her, "but which woman?"
Paul's heart stopped beating for a nanosecond. "Sorry, babes?"
"I just wondered...you know...I suppose it takes a long time to collect firewood..."
There was silence, save for the birds singing in the trees around them.
"Inga," Paul said eventually. "I've got something I need to tell you...well, two things actually..."
"Oh, TWO things?" said Inga with a hint of laughter in her voice. "Well, this should be interesting."
Paul looked annoyed. "Hang on; we set ground rules when we started going out or have you forgotten that? I didn't complain about you sleeping with random people, you didn't complain about me doing the same. That was what we agreed."
"Yeah, well, the reason you haven't had to complain is because I haven't...I haven't actually..." She couldn't finish the sentence. She was actually a little embarrassed; weirdly it felt like she had let them both down or something.
"What, you haven't slept with anyone else?"
"No, I have!" she lied. Why was she lying? What the hell was her mouth doing? It was on automatic or something. "I've slept with tonnes of men and lots of women while we've been together. I just haven't...haven't told you yet."
Paul felt as if a crushing weight had been thrown against his chest. It had taken him so long -- so long to give into temptation, and yes, he shouldn't have, yes, he had been weak, but this was just so unexpected. He'd always suspected she had never had the opportunity nor the actual urge to sleep with anyone else? Had he been that arrogant? Had he been stupid enough to believe that even Inga Jennings needed to settle down at some point?
He quickly put his T-Shirt on over his chest and turned round, heading towards the path they had taken to get to the clearing in the first place.
"Where are you going now?" asked Inga, a cold fear in her veins. "Wait, you've got to listen to me!"
"I just need to be on my own for a while, Inga," he called back in a voice that sounded like it would break. With that he was off.
Inga watched him go dejectedly; a tear was forming in her left eye and she quickly wiped it away. What was the point in crying? Good fucking riddance to him. If anything, he missed the opportunity now for one last almighty screw. Today was the day she was going commando, just as she had promised him. She'd have let him discover it quite by accident - it would have been so much more of a turn on that way.
She folded her arms across her chest and walked back to the inner semi-circle, towards the remains of the fire. There was still the faintest of glows coming from the white and black ashes.
Maybe the lie she had told to Paul would make it easier for her to break up with him -- maybe it would make it worse. She wished Liz were here; Liz would know exactly what to do and say in this situation.
Inga watched the last dying embers on the fire fade away, as if someone had turned a dimmer switch on them. She couldn't help but wish the same could happen for her life at the moment; the last thing she wanted to do was to be seen by anyone.
Movement from behind her quickly destroyed the weak wish, and Rachel stepped out of her tent. She was wearing her white top and tight fitting shorts, with those big weathered hiking boots over short white socks. Her black hair hung clumsily across her shoulders and her rucksack, which she was putting her arms into.
"Hey, beautiful," she said warmly, smiling. "You okay?"
Inga smiled shortly back. "As always," she replied. "I'm guessing you may have heard some of...erm...that..."
Rachel nodded, then shrugged her shoulders. "It's no big deal. My parents used to fight all the time before they got divorced. Freddie and I have the most amazing arguments ever!"
"Oh, stupid things: leaving the toilet seat up, you know? Taking out the trash, seeing my mother, money...all stupid things."
"How do you guys get through it?"
"I usually go for a long walk, slamming the door hard as I leave; the fresh air helps me think, keeps me focussed on what's really important. Then when I get back, Freddie's usually forgiven me and we have the most amazing make up sex ever! Sometimes I just pick a fight with him for the sex!"
Inga laughed out loud at the look of genuine enthusiasm on Rachel's face. Rachel giggled in reply.
"Maybe you're right," Inga said after they had finished. "Maybe I need to get away from this place for a bit. Where are you off to?"
Rachel looked at her for a moment before replying, "Just for a hike. To one of my absolutely favourite spots."
"Great, I'll come with you."
Again Rachel paused before saying, "I don't know, Inga. It's a pretty tough walk. Do you think you'll be up to it?"
Inga frowned slightly. What was with the hesitation? "I reckon I'll manage. I'm a lot stronger than some people might think."
Rachel, again pausing, finally smiled and said, "Okay, beautiful, you win. I'm sorry. I hope I didn't offend you."
"You didn't, don't worry," said Inga, lying slightly. The girl was cute but boy was she a little weird. "Can you wait just a second while I get my shoes?"
"Sure thing, partner."
Paul stormed through the forest for what seemed like hours; nothing stood in his way, be he on the path or off it. Images flashed through his jealous mind, feeling him with a burning rage; of Inga entwined in the arms of another lover, male or female, of them giving her the pleasure she obviously wasn't getting from him.
Lies -- it had all be fucking lies. And he'd been the fool again. The naive fool that he had been the last time he'd tried to give someone his heart. Life -- love -- was such a fucking bitch!
Tears welled in his eyes; he let them fall down his cheek freely. He didn't even notice he was crying. He just had to keep on moving, on and on, away from her and her scent and her lies.
Finally he tripped over an overgrown tree root and collapsed in a heap on the soft forest floor. His head in his hands, he wiped the saltwater from off of his cheeks and let out all his frustration in a bitter, angry yell to the forest itself.
The waterfalls were certainly spectacular, an amazing feat of nature. Liz held onto Artie tightly as they stood as close to the water's edge as they dared, feeling the spray hit their face, hearing the roar of water upon rock. It was overwhelming.
"This is more like it," said Artie contentedly. "You, me and Mother Nature."
"Hmm," said Liz. "It's beautiful."
"As are you."
"As beautiful as Rachel?"
Artie looked curiously at his wife. "Where did that come from?" he asked her.
She looked deep into his eyes. "Let's not talk about it here," she said. "I can hardly hear myself think - I know that's such a sacrilege to say while we're standing by this...this...just THIS...but I need to talk to you about something and I think it's better if we did it somewhere quieter."
"Okay," said Artie, looking over their shoulders. "Well, look there, see? There's a path to the left that seems to be going uphill. Maybe if we follow that we'll move away from the water."
It seemed like a wonderful idea, so they set off along the path.
The Head Ranger was drinking his mandatory cup of morning coffee and looking over some paperwork in the Welcome Centre when the door burst open and three armed policemen walked through.
"What the hell...?" he began to say, spluttering his coffee out onto the documents.
Two men in suits approached the desk. "I'm Agent Crawford, this is Lt. Gold," said the first one, showing the Head Ranger his badge. "We need your assistance desperately, sir. We have a shared problem."
"I see," said the Head Ranger looking grave. "What might that be exactly?"
"A fugitive," said Gold, handing a photo over. "Not only that, but a murderer too."
Inga panted slightly, trying to keep up with Rachel, who was only really a few steps in front of her. When this girl said she enjoyed hiking, she meant hiking! She'd found it easy going at first -- the girls had chatted away quite naturally about the woods around them, favourite wines, music, all the usual small talk subjects. Now Rachel talked less and seemed more focussed on the path in front of them.
The hiking method for arguments was also seemingly working. Inga had been feeling guiltier and guiltier about her fight with Paul, about the things they had said to each other. But no; what was the point in thinking about these things? If their relationship was coming to its natural conclusion, then surely she had better forget what had happened and begin the process of moving on, before things were set in stone.
They had passed the waterfall earlier in the walk. It was a magnificent sight which took Inga's breath away. The two girls had stood side by side watching the mighty water flow down from such a height, falling into a deep lake and running off into three different directions.
"Isn't it amazing?" Rachel said in her ear as the noise was so loud.
"It's gorgeous," replied Inga. "Stunning!"
"You liked that, then you're gonna love this," Rachel grinned and, grabbing Inga's arm, she had begun to lead the way down the trek they were now walking along. One of the rivers from the lake -- the thinnest of the three -- was by their right hand side as they walked. Slowly the sound of the waterfall faded away behind them into the distance, and soon it was as if it had never existed in the first place.
Suddenly Rachel stopped in front of a thicket. "We're here," she breathed.
It was a lagoon, small in size but deep. It was surrounded by trees, almost cutting it off from the path completely. Hikers could easily have walked right past it and not known it was there. The silence was awe inspiring. Inga couldn't even hear the birds singing.
"I don't care what any guide book or ranger will tell you," said Rachel, beaming with happiness. "In my opinion this is the best part of the whole park."
Inga could only gape at the beauty of it, at the serenity. She had forgotten everything -- all her worries and guilt over Paul, all her plans and ambitions for the next few weeks. She was half-afraid that she would forget who she was next.
"Thank you for bringing me here," she said, turning to Rachel, who was watching her reactions closely. "This place is so amazing!"
"You're welcome, beautiful," said Rachel. "Come on, this way."
She grabbed Inga's hand again and led her over to a small patch of dried mud by the edge of the lagoon. Taking off her rucksack she glanced over at the water and said, "I'm going for a dip. Wanna join me?"
Inga was about to say that she didn't have her swimsuit with her, but then realised how stupid a statement that would have been to make. Instead she replied, "It looks kind of cold."
"Refreshing, I'd say. That is, it always has been. Every time I come here I go for a swim in this lagoon, whether I'm with Freddie or not. What do you say?"
Already she had begun to take her white top off, revealing a bright red bra over her 34C breasts. Inga felt her breath catch slightly, her eyes firmly on the beautiful girl who now removed her shorts to show the matching pair of panties underneath. She looked even more amazing in the bright afternoon sunshine then she had done by firelight.
Inga's lips and mouth felt dry. She wanted to see Rachel naked so badly now, to see the beautiful peachiness all over. But, as if she was playing a game with her, Rachel was still in her underwear, waiting for a reply. Was she playing a game? It was so hard to tell with that cute face of hers.
Then Inga heard herself say, "Ok, sure, why not?" and immediately her hands went to her short white skirt, kicking off her shoes as she did so. She felt a sudden rush of excitement flow through her body as, when she pulled the skirt down, Rachel's eyebrows raised at the sight of her bareness underneath.
"It's a brave girl who goes commando on a camping trip," she said slowly, her eyes still on the flesh as Rachel moved her black strappy top over her head. "You have my respect, beautiful."
"Why, thank you," replied Inga with a wry smile, unhooking the back of her black bra. She stood there, proudly naked, feeling an immense buzz of pleasure at the sight of Rachel seemingly at a loss for words.
Finally, in the only response the beautiful girl in front of her could muster, she quickly unbuttoned her bra, slipped the panties down her legs and jumped straight into the lagoon, disappearing under the water with a giant splash.
Inga was caught off guard by the movement, and ran to the edge of the water just as Rachel surfaced, her gorgeous black hair soaked back, gasping for air. The girl looked over at Inga, saw the slight look of concern on her face and began to laugh. It sounded a little off, almost uncontrollable.
Inga was just staring to feel creped out when Rachel stopped, raised her eyebrow again and said, half-mockingly, "Well? Are you coming in or not?"
Inga grinned and, taking a couple of steps back, she leapt into the air and down into the water. It felt cool but not too cold as she sank down. She could see remarkably well down there; the water was so clear. There was nothing that spectacular -- a few interesting looking rocks, some plant life. When she needed to surface, she looked round as she ascended for something more interesting, namely Rachel's legs. But she couldn't see the young girl anywhere.
Inga broke the surface of the water, gulping in a huge lungful of air. She wiped the water from her mouth and kicked her legs round and round, trying to find where Rachel had disappeared to. There was no sign of the ebony haired beauty anywhere.
Suddenly Inga felt something touch her foot lightly. At first she was afraid there was something else living in the lagoon with them -- something hungry- but then she sighed with relief as she saw the body outline of Rachel. The girl surfaced next to her, very close. They bobbed about in the water, looking around them at the nature that surrounded this magical place.
"This place is just so peaceful," said Inga after a while.
"Mmm," said Rachel in agreement. "Nothing but the birds, the breeze and us."
The hand was back again. But this time it wasn't confining itself to Inga's foot. It made its way slowly along the skin, up the leg, resting just on the inner thing, inches away from her mound.
Inga tried to concentrate on the surroundings more. So this was the game the girl wanted to play, huh? Well, she wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of seeing what torture she was currently going through. The girl was a tease; that was all. She couldn't really be after what Inga wanted her, needed her to be after, could she?
"Inga," the girl murmured, her face ever closer, "do you want to hear a secret?"
"I'm not good with secrets," replied Inga. She was shivering slightly -- what the hell was that all about? She wasn't this worked up, was she? "I can hardly keep them. As for my own, I usually find myself jeopardising everything to keep those quiet too. My family, my friends..."
"That's so sad," said Rachel softly. Her hand was stroking the thigh now, soft touches through the water. "You seem so happy to me."
"That's because I'm not keeping a hell of a lot of secrets at the moment," smiled Inga. "I'm happiest when everything's all out in the open."
"Me too," declared Rachel. "So...do you want to know mine?"
For the first time, Inga turned to face her. She saw the water dripping down her beautiful face, the moistness of her pink lips, the tremendous lust in her hazelnut eyes. Inga became lost in them, almost as if she was being pulled into them just as she had been pulled down into the water of the lagoon. Everything -- every feeling, every fear, every failing -- was forgotten.
Inga grabbed the back of Rachel's head and quickly, suddenly pulled it towards her own. Their lips met hungrily, longingly, their tongues quickly exploring deeper and deeper; their bodies so close now; their nipples, so hard with desire, grazing against each other and sending volts through their bodies.
Rachel broke from the kiss first but continued to kiss, lick and suck at Inga's skin, travelling down along her cheek and neck. Inga closed her eyes in rapture, her arms now around the beautiful brunette's shoulders, so soft and smooth.
Suddenly Inga gasped, eyes wide open. That hand, that had stayed stroking her thigh all this time, was inside her; three or four fingers exploring, playing, teasing in and out. It was already almost more than she could bear. A woman's touch, so knowledgeable with what to do, where to go, how to stroke. She hadn't felt it in so long. How could she have been so stupid not to have missed this?
Between the intense, lustful kisses and her expert hand movements, Rachel, her breathing heavy, said huskily, "Ever since I first saw you, beautiful...oh, I've wanted this so badly...so badly....wanted you so badly, to touch you like this...to taste you..."
The hint was obvious, but so unbelievably sexy when it was whispered in that way that all of Inga's self-control vanished in an instant. She felt herself be pushed to the side of the lagoon, raise herself up out onto rocks that were smooth and warm from the bright sun, her legs still dangling into the cool, cool water.