tagFirst TimeThe Thunderstorm

The Thunderstorm

bythezinger©

I was sitting atop Lookout Rock when I saw the trail of dust indicating a vehicle coming up the road. As it approached I could make out the boxy design of a minivan. So far, so good. It turned from the road onto the private drive that led to our property. My heart beat faster and my mouth went dry. Yes, that was the one I'd been anticipating. I waited as the vehicle wound its way along the curvy drive and pulled into the main yard between the cabins. Doors were flung open and people spilled out. They seemed tiny figures from my distant vantage point and I could only just make out general features: sex, hair color and length, height, weight. From the driver's side emerged a middle-aged man, average height, dark hair but balding, somewhat heavyset but not fat. That would be uncle Dave. From the passenger side a middle-aged woman, short blond hair, fairly trim but perhaps thickening around the middle. That's aunt Emily. From the rear doors a young woman-dark hair, trim. That was Naomi. I waited. Let there be another, oh please let there be another! There! Finally! A slender blond emerged from the rear seat of the van, long hair in a pony tail, clearly fit physique, even from this distance. Damn! I should have brought the binocs from the main cabin. Oh well, time enough for observation later. I knew enough for the time being. It was Stella.

I hopped up and trotted back along the uneven granite surface until I found the crevice that led down to the forest floor. As I walked the half mile or so down the hill to the cabins I tried to plan what I would say, how I would act. I had been looking forward to this for weeks; well, for years, in a way. I last saw Stella and the rest of the Thompson family four years ago, the last time our summer holiday visits to the family cabins overlapped.

This land had been in the family for nearly a century. Two brothers, my great great grandfather and my great great great uncle (I think I've got the 'greats' right), bought 30 acres in the mountains looking for a nice out-of-the-way place to bring their families for the summer. It must have been quite an adventure back then. Roads were rough, cars were unreliable, and the area was relatively unpopulated. But they successfully built a large comfortable log cabin with adjoining kitchen and a family tradition was born. The land has remained in the family ever since, although that family is quite extended after a hundred years. Every summer there is a constant coming and going of the various descendants who have rights to the property. Normally, two family groups can comfortably stay on the property, although if you open up the bunkhouse, clear out the barn and pitch a few extra tents, you can house quite a gathering, which in fact happens every ten years or so.

But this was just a normal summer and my family-me, my parents, and my two younger brothers-had been up here for the first couple of days of our 2-week stay. Earlier in the day we had bid farewell to my aunt and uncle and cousins, and now the next group was arriving. The Thompsons were relatively distant relations, being descended from my great great great uncle's side, so I was restrained by no taboos in my passionate adoration of my cousin Stella. I really can't figure out what kind of cousin she is-2nd cousin, 3rd cousin, 4th-cousin-who knows? All I know is that once you get to 2nd cousin you're safe.

When I had last seen Stella that time four years ago, I had just turned 14-I remember because Stella's sister Naomi, who is my age, has a birthday within days of mine and the two families celebrated our birthdays together that summer. Stella is about 2 years older than I and to my fourteen-year-old eyes she was a goddess: shining blond hair, long shapely legs, ample breasts, round firm butt. I can't describe how I pined for her. I must have been insufferable, always moping around when she was gone, acting out in the most juvenile of ways to get her attention when she was around. Looking back on it, I feel quite ashamed, although I guess it was really nothing more than typical adolescent hormone overload. She was quite patient and tolerant of me, as I recall, for all the good that did me. I never really had a full conversation with her, just pass the beans, or do you want to go fishing (no), or do you want to go for a hike (not now), or how about some horseshoes (maybe later). That was the extent of our interactions. Otherwise it was all in my head, saving her from rampaging bears, rescuing her from drowning, or some other such heroics that would pull the veil from her eyes and allow her to see my true worth.

Well, some things had changed in the last 4 years. For one thing, I was no longer the awkward, skinny kid I had been back then. I had become quite the track star and wasn't a bad swimmer either, and I had filled out in a way that I think most women would find quite attractive. I was quite popular at school, too, so I no longer felt so intimidated by women. Not that I had actually ever done it, you know. My girlfriend for the previous 2 years, a cheerleader, was a knockout, but quite conservative. She had wanted us to "save it" for when we got married. Well, I saved and saved until about March of my senior year when Sandy decided that maybe the quarterback from the high school football team would pay bigger dividends. Once she was with him, she didn't give me a second thought.

After the breakup with Sandy, my thoughts began to return to Stella. My family had this vacation planned for nearly 6 months, and I knew that the Thompsons would be sharing our space. Practically every night for the previous months I had gone to bed dreaming of Stella, trying to imagine how she might have changed, hoping that now she would take notice of me. I would often wake in the middle of the night with a raging hardon that I would have to take care of, picturing what it would be like to have Stella straddling me, sliding up and down my shaft, tits bouncing.

As I trotted up to the cabins, the Thompsons were hauling their luggage into their cabin. My parents were there helping and chatting away with them. Stella was nowhere to be seen, but uncle Dave and aunt Emily greeted me and gave me a hug. I stood by the open cabin door as my parents chatted nearby with Dave and Emily. I heard a toilet flush inside, a door open and footsteps approach. My heart skipped a beat. But I was crestfallen when instead of the head of shining blond hair I had been eagerly anticipating, appeared the dark-haired younger sister, Naomi. My disappointment was quickly replaced by astonishment as I began to register what I saw. Four years ago, Naomi was a skinny, short-haired tomboy. I regarded her then as I would a somewhat younger brother: someone to pal around with, occasionally tease, sometimes be annoyed by. When Stella wasn't available for my adoration, Naomi was the one who would play horseshoes with me or go on a hike. I never had even the slightest inkling of her as a sexual being. She was just a kid. But now. . . Her figure had filled out, her shimmering raven-black hair had grown long and flowing. We stood awkwardly regarding each other for a few seconds when my mom said, in an exasperated tone, "Michael, give your cousin a hug."

We did so, briefly and gingerly. After disengaging, Naomi said shyly, eyes averted, "Nice to see you Mike." Then she ran off to the minivan, grabbed a bag of groceries, and headed off in the opposite direction toward the kitchen.

I had barely recovered from the shock of seeing the transformed Naomi when once again I heard footsteps approaching the door from within the cabin. I turned to see the object of my fantasies standing before me, and the reality was no less arresting than my imaginings. Stella, wearing a blue UCLA t-shirt, shorts, and sandals, hair pulled back into a ponytail, was every inch the beauty I had dreamed of. She smiled at me and my knees shook. I almost fell over.

"Hey there, Mikey!" she exclaimed cheerily. "Boy, you've sure grown up!" She leaned over to give me a hug. I breathed in her scent like an asthmatic gulping oxygen.

"Hi Stella," was all I could manage.

She released me and my mom said, "OK, well you all must be hungry! Why don't we throw some lunch together and Stella, you can tell us all about your wedding plans. You must be so excited Emily," she went on, addressing my aunt. "The first marriage in your family!"

I was stunned. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Wedding? How could that be? She was only 20, wasn't that too young? Then I saw it. The diamond engagement ring on her left hand. The sun glinted through it and pierced my heart like a dagger.

-----------------

Later that afternoon I found myself wandering among the granite boulder formations up the hill behind our property. I had hardly been able to manage a word earlier at lunch. My aunt Emily and Stella were going on and on about the wedding plans and about Stella's fiance, Bruce, who, of course, was the most wonderful guy in the world. My two boisterous younger brothers had shown up, and between their antics and babbling and all the wedding talk, my moroseness had apparently gone unnoticed.

After lunch the Thompsons had all lain down for a nap to recover from their early start and long drive. My parents had gone into town to shop for groceries for dinner and my brothers were god knew where. So I was free to wallow in my misery alone. As I walked among the tall pines and jumbled rock formations on the slope overlooking the valley, I wondered if I would ever find a woman who would actually find me attractive and desire me. I thought I was a relatively good looking guy and I seemed to be pretty popular at school. But Sandy never seemed to have any trouble "saving it" when she was with me. And after I was dumped, none of the girls whom I had thought seemed so friendly with me showed the least interest. As a matter of fact, it occurred to me that they actually were snubbing me. Reflecting on the situation, once their cheerleader friend left me, I guess they figured I wasn't worth bothering with.

These dark thoughts occupied my mind as I wandered up the hill, not paying particular attention to where I was going. Not that I was in danger of getting lost. I had spent enough summers here to know the terrain for miles around. I could name most every rock formation within sight: pyramid rock, frog rock, flat rock--the largest rock formation on this section of the hill, allowing a clear view of our property below and most of the valley beyond. Many of the formations had nooks and crannies within them that I had explored and played in as a child. Some formed actual caves, though not the kind with stalactites or stalagmites in them. Just sheltered openings within the jumbles of large boulders scattered along the hillside.

Actually, as I looked up from my reveries, I thought I might have to take advantage of one of those caves soon, for the wind had picked up, a large black cloud had appeared overhead and it was looking very much like rain, which could come seemingly from nowhere in these mountains in the summer.

I looked around to get my bearings. The best shelter would be the cave we called Mummy's Cave, about 50 yards up the hillside. I began to jog up towards the rock formation that held the cave even as I felt the first drops of rain. I came upon the rock formation from below and rounded it to my left, as the cave entrance was on the uphill side. I found the crevice that formed the cave entrance, about 10 feet up the formation. I scrambled up and looked around before I lowered myself down into the cave. As I did so, I thought I noticed some movement up the hillside, but the view was hindered by trees and rocks and after a few more seconds of looking around I didn't notice anything else. The rain started falling harder, so I lowered myself into the cave, crawling down cracks along the inside wall. It was only about 6 feet to the floor of the cave. The entrance would get wet, but the water drained away from the main floor of the cave which was well sheltered. I would be safe and dry in here until the storm passed. Even as I crawled down, the rain began pelting me. I made it just in time. The skies opened as I retreated to the back of the cave.

I had only been there a minute or two before I thought I heard something above the din of the pounding rain. I stepped nearer the entrance and pricked my ears. Sure enough, I heard a voice coming nearer and shouting.

"Hello? Is someone there? Help, please! Is someone there?"

The voice sounded increasingly panicked as I listened. I quickly stripped off my shirt and undershirt and threw them to the back of the cave. If I was going out into this rain there was no point in getting my clothes soaked. I could retreat back to the cave after seeing what was going on out there and still have something dry to keep me warm.

I quickly stepped to the exit wall and clambered up, immediately getting soaked from the downpour. The wall wasn't exactly a technical climb, but in the rain it was slippery and treacherous. I nonetheless managed to crawl out into the storm and looked around from my vantage point on the rock formation. Sure enough, I could see a forlorn and pitiful figure leaning against a tree for the paltry shelter it afforded. Her back was to me, but I could tell it was a woman. She was hugging herself for warmth and I could see her shoulders shaking, as if she were sobbing.

I scrambled down the rocks, almost slipping and falling, but eventually landing with a plop on the soaking ground. "Here!" I shouted as I ran forward. The figure turned and to my shock I saw it was Naomi!

"My god, Naomi! What are you doing here?"

"Oh Mike!" She ran to me sobbing. "I got caught in this storm and I'm so cold and scared. I'm so cold, I'm so cold," she kept repeating.

She was starting to act a bit hysterical and I was worried for her safety. It wasn't really all that far back to the cabins, maybe about a mile down the slope, but the rain was pouring down. Just to punctuate the seriousness of the situation a bolt of lightning struck about 100 yards up slope. We both jumped and Naomi let out a screech.

That settled it. "Here, come with me. There's shelter nearby."

I guided her to the rock formation. She was sobbing uncontrollably now.

I grabbed her shoulders and spun her to face me. "Naomi, listen to me, can you do that? Naomi?"

Her sobs lessened as she looked at me and nodded, water dripping down her face.

"There's a cave right here, but we need to crawl a little way up the rock to get in. I can help you but I can't carry you. Do you think you can manage climbing up that rock to the opening there?" I asked, pointing.

She looked up for a second and turned back to me, biting her lower lip. She nodded uncertainly. It would have to do.

"OK, now look for handholds and footholds along the rock face. Here's one to get you started. I'll be right behind you. Go slow, and stop when you get to the opening up there," I said, pointing again.

I didn't wait for a reply, but just turned her around and nudged her to the rock. She hesitated, but finally put her foot in a small crevice, reached up for a handhold and lifted herself up.

"Good girl!" I encouraged her. "Now there's another handhold above you. Keep going. I'm right behind you."

Another nearby lightning flash and violent clap of thunder temporarily unnerved her, but she hung on and kept going.

"OK, you're almost there, just one more. Good! Now wait, I'm coming up behind you."

I quickly climbed up past her and slid over the edge into the cave opening.

"OK, now lower yourself down over the edge. I'll hold you as you get lower."

As she lowered herself down I reached up and braced her legs, then her hips. When I could reach her waist I took up her weight and lowered her to the cave floor.

Another flash and clap of thunder and she gasped.

"OK, come here to the back of the cave. We'll be safe here."

I took her hand and led her the few feet to the dry back wall of the cave. I could see that her nails were blue and she shook violently. As she stood before me I could see her hair was stringy and dripping wet, her t-shirt completely soaked through revealing her bra underneath. She was wearing only shorts, also completely soaked, as were her tennis shoes and socks.

"You're soaking wet. We need to get you at least a little dry so you can warm up."

I was wet and shivering at this point too, although I didn't really notice. I was too focused on helping Naomi.

"We need to get you out of these wet clothes. Is that alright with you?"

I looked at her and she wordlessly looked back and nodded.

"OK, lift your arms, let's get this shirt off."

She obeyed and I pulled off the soaked garment. I left her bra on. I didn't want her to think I was taking advantage of her and add to her distress. I grabbed my undershirt and used it as a towel on her upper body, drying it as best I could. As I did this she leaned forward, letting her hair hang in front of her as she tried to wring it out like a wet towel. Good, she seemed to be taking control of herself again.

"Better?" I inquired.

She nodded, but didn't speak. Her sobbing had stopped.

"OK, now the shoes and socks."

I knelt down and untied her shoes. She sat down to make it easier for me to remove them and the socks. I used my undershirt to dry her feet and legs. I decided to leave her shorts on. There was relatively little fabric there to wick away her body heat in any event.

I grabbed my shirt, which fortunately was long-sleeved. Although it had been a warm day, I knew how quickly it could turn cool once the sun set, or if a storm came by, so I always wore an undershirt and long-sleeved shirt if I was out later in the day. My foresight was a blessing here. I put the shirt around her shoulders, then took my now soaking wet undershirt and did my best to towel myself dry with it. As I did so, I noticed that Naomi removed her bra and tossed it aside. She was still shivering.

"I'm so cold," she said. She clutched my shirt around her, but hadn't actually put it on or buttoned it.

"Here, we'll be warmer together. Sit down."

She sat on the dry dirt of the cave floor, as did I. I leaned against the granite rock of the back cave wall, which actually felt fairly warm. It was late in the summer and the dry rock had months of ambient heating stored within it to radiate back to my skin.

I pulled Naomi toward me and nestled her in my arms with her back against my chest. The rain was still falling hard, although it had let up a little. I felt her take a deep breath and saw her shoulders slump as she began to let some of the tension out of her body. She leaned her head back against my shoulder and after a few minutes I could hear the deep breathing of a sound sleep.

I reflected on this strange turn of events for a few minutes. How odd, that after my total obsession with her sister, I should find Naomi half clothed and sleeping peacefully in my arms! And it was even odder that I should find that fact so wonderful. Now that the panic of our encounter had receded, I began to realize just what a lovely woman was slumbering in my grasp. I remembered Naomi as a tomboy, but she was 18 now, just as I was, and some amazing transformations can occur during those adolescent years. Not that the word adolescent came to mind when regarding Naomi now. She had matured into a beautiful young woman. What had once been a thin, rather bony face had rounded out and filled in, while leaving aristocratic high cheekbones, a delicate chin, and a thin elegant nose. Her breasts, I recalled, thinking back only a few minutes, although not large, were firm and nicely rounded. I didn't see her nipples, but I began to imagine them. Her waist, which just moments before I had firmly grasped in my own two hands, was lithe and firm. Her legs, I could observe by leaning forward slightly, were shapely and well muscled, as was her firm, petite butt. And her hair, which was still damp but beginning to dry against the warmth of my skin, was an iridescent raven black. With these splendid images in my mind, I too drifted off to sleep.

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