tagRomanceA Day on the River

A Day on the River

bysbrooks103x©

Thanks to my dear friend blackrandl1958 for giving me the basis for this story, her advice, input and, of course, her editing. Thanks toTodd172 and Crkcppr for beta reading.

*

I was in the mood for some fishing, so I loaded my gear in my truck and left Austin bound for Round Rock. There was a small river with some decent fishing. I had been there before and that was the reason I chose that particular conservation access. I wasn't going to stay near the car anyway. I was going fishing. There were maybe twenty cars around the gravel parking lot on the small river. I always hate leaving my car there. The kinds of riffraff that hang around those accesses are the kind that don't mind slamming their door up against yours when they get out, leaving you cursing at the chipped paint and dents when you get back.

They don't have jobs so they can't go anywhere that costs money. They manage to scrape up enough money for a case of cheap beer and enough gas to get them to the creek and they get knee-walking drunk and throw their trash in the bushes. I just wanted to get away and fish. I need the time to unwind. I have a high stress job and I just wanted to be alone, running things around in my own head until I'm at peace and just thinking about my next cast.

I was twenty miles from home. I live on the outskirts of a small city, about 150,000, and this was in the middle of nowhere. The people hanging around were likely all local. There were a dozen fat, hairy backed, skinny legged, assholes there drinking and talking at the top of their lungs. The men were even worse, and there weren't twenty teeth in the whole bunch. There were probably twice that many waif-like kids. One fat broad with huge boobs had a can of beer perched between them, held up by her straining halter-top. I chuckled to myself as I got my rods out of the back. I had on a pair of denim cutoffs and I tied a plastic store bag with some extra tackle on one of my belt loops, pushing my spinning rod into one back pocket and carrying my casting rod in my hands.

I could feel every eye on me as I walked down to the river and started wading upstream. I guess they had never seen a black woman before. Maybe they didn't think I was smart enough to be fishing. Several men made comments under their breath. I waded across the stream and made my first cast. There was a young girl swimming not too far away. She looked like she was seventeen. She stood up and waded over to me.

"Hi," she said, "you catching anything?"

"I just got started," I told her. "I plan to catch some though. Do you fish?"

"I'd like to," she said, "but I don't know how."

I noticed a young man wading toward us. "Claire, why you talking to that nigger?" he snarled.

Stuff like that stopped bothering me years ago. I reeled my spinner bait up to the end of my pole and started to move up the river. It's always better just to move on if you can.

"You're such an asshole," Claire said to him. "I'll talk to anyone I want to, Danny. I'd a hell of a lot rather talk to her than you."

He had reached her by that time and grabbed her by the arm. "Shut the fuck up!" he told her.

"Stop it, you're hurting me," she yelled.

I sighed. This was just great. I waded back toward her and stopped about four feet away.

"The lady asked you to let her go," I told him.

"This ain't none of your affair, bitch," he growled. "You better get your black ass on out of here."

"Claire, do you want me to help you?" I asked.

"He'll just hurt you," she said. "I don't want you to get hurt, but I want him to let go of me."

That was all I needed to hear. I swung that fishing pole like a whip right across his face, leaving an angry red stripe from the bottom of his left ear, across his mouth and onto his chin. The hook of that heavy spinner bait stuck in the side of his neck and the line broke. He screamed and fell down into the knee-deep water, going all the way under. He came up sputtering and I curb stomped him in the face, He went under again and began to scramble backward like a crab. He didn't want any more but about five of his buddies were now moving toward us. I broke my rod in half and had a very good clubbing or stabbing weapon in one hand and a very good whip in the other. That pissed me off too. I loved that rod and you couldn't get them anymore. Claire splashed over to the shore behind me and came back with a hefty stick.

I heard a shout from the parking area and a young guy in a uniform came running down the ramp. He was huge, muscles bulging all over him and it seemed like the locals recognized him and they didn't want to tangle with him.

He waded across the creek and when he got closer, I could see he was a conservation agent. "You girls okay?" he asked.

"I am," I said. "You okay, Claire?"

"Yeah, I think my arm is going to be bruised and I think I just lost my ride home," she said. "Thanks, Jacks."

"You two know each other?" I asked.

"Yeah, Jackson is my neighbor," she said. "I'm sorry I got you involved. What's your name?"

"Slate," I told her. "Slate Blevins, and you didn't get me involved, honey. I should have seen this coming when I got out of the car. I should have gone somewhere else but I badly wanted to fish."

"I'm sorry you didn't get to," she cried a little. "Now your rod is broken. I'm sorry he called you those names too."

"It's not your fault," I said. "Jacks, are you going to arrest us?"

"Do you have a fishing license?" he asked.

I looked at him as if he was crazy and we both burst out laughing at the same time. "Yes, yes I do, as a matter of fact." I took off my sunglasses and wiped my eyes. "You had me going there for a minute."

Claire didn't get the joke, but she was a happy girl and she laughed anyway. "Well, I'll give you a ride home," I told her. "It looks like I'm done fishing anyway. Thanks, Jacks," I offered him my hand. "See you around."

He took my hand and it was like shaking hands with a grizzly bear. "I'll walk you girls back to your car," he said. "I don't want you killing any of those assholes on the way out."

There was some muttering as we walked up the ramp but a look from Jacks shut that down. I put my stuff in the trunk and changed out of my wading shoes into some flip-flops. I got out a couple of towels and gave them to Claire. "Wrap up in one and sit on the other one," I told her. "I never got my clothes wet."

All she had on was a red bikini. She was a tiny little thing but she filled out that bikini in all the right places. We said goodbye to Jacks and she gave me directions to her house. It was a little town, maybe a thousand people. I'd been there before to the farmer's market and it was quaint. She chattered like a parrot the whole way home and I liked her a lot.

She asked me all kinds of questions about where I lived and what I did. When she discovered I was a professor at the university she got all excited. It turned out she was going to go to school there as soon as she graduated later that year. She was a senior and her parents were buying her a car so that she could commute when she started college. I offered to be her advisor and she was ecstatic.

We exchanged phone numbers and she wanted me to meet her family. Her mother and father were a very nice couple. They were little like she was. I'm a big girl. I'm slender but tall and I felt like a giant around them. She had the cutest little sister too. She was thirteen and she was going to look just like Claire when she grew up. Claire told them what had happened and her mother scolded her for going with a bunch of "trailer trash," according to her. They all thanked me profusely and her dad, his name was Robert, asked me what I would have done if Jacks hadn't shown up.

"I'd have hurt some of them badly," I told him. "There were five of them and I wouldn't have had time to be careful."

"Do you think you could have won a fight with five men?" he asked.

"Not without some advantage," I told him. "Actually, I was armed and they weren't. Claire was going to help me too, weren't you, honey?"

"Yes, I found a solid stick," she smiled ruefully.

"Let's not think about that," her mother, Martha, said. She looked genuinely horrified. "Robert is a man and he's interested in violence."

He laughed. "Only when it's performed by gorgeous women," he said. "Slate, you have to stay and eat dinner with us. It's the least we can do to thank you."

I really didn't want to impose, but they insisted and I had a blast. They were funny, smart and very kind. We played board games afterward for a couple of hours and I was sorry when it was time to go. I exchanged numbers with them and Robert and Claire walked me to my car.

He fell in love with it right away. I have a 1951 Mercury Custom. I promised to give him a ride in it sometime and I drove back home. It was about nine when I got there and I jumped in the shower. I was toweling off when my phone buzzed. I didn't recognize the number but it was my area code so I answered. Students sometimes call me at home.

I was very surprised to discover that it was Jacks. "How did you get my number?' I asked him.

"Well, I knew your name and being in law enforcement has its advantages," he said. "Besides, I asked Claire. Since your fishing got blown up, I was wondering if you might consider going fishing with me," he said.

"Jacks, you seem like a nice guy. I'm grateful for you helping us, but I have a boyfriend," I told him. "The whole 'law enforcement' thing kind of throws me off, too."

"I don't understand that last bit, but I wasn't planning to seduce you," he said. "I have two fishing kayaks and I thought I'd show you some of the best smallmouth and rock bass fishing in the country."

That did sound very good and I was tempted. "Okay, but I'm warning you, Jacks, if I hear any banjos playing you're the one that's going to be squealing like a pig," I told him.

He laughed and it was this thrilling, big bass rumble. "I was planning to play banjo all day," he said. "I guess I'll just have to fish. I promise I'll put you on at least forty fish. Say, Slate, you don't happen to have a truck or something with racks on top, do you? It isn't necessary, but it would save time."

I did have a truck. I don't drive the Merc in inclement weather. I have a four-wheel drive Ram with the little hemi in it for that. We agreed on a time and place to meet and ended the call. This was going to be fun!

School was out of session for me. I don't do summer classes. I spent the week getting caught up on stuff around the house and working on my latest paper. If you don't publish, you die in the academic world. I went out with some old friends Thursday and with my boyfriend, Ty, Friday night. I hadn't been all that happy with him lately. He seemed to be kind of taking me for granted. When we first started dating he was all romance, but he sat across from me all evening with his phone out. There's nothing that pisses me off more than that. My phone stays in my purse when I'm eating or having personal interactions with people I'm interested in.

My phone isn't attached to my hand. It's a personal convenience and I only use it when I want to. If someone calls me, I choose whether to answer or not. If I'm doing something else, they'll have to wait until it's convenient for me, not them. My time is my own and they'll have to wait until I want to talk or text. Ty spends hours managing his fantasy football team, texting his boys and taking stupid looking selfies for Snapchat. I finally had enough and I dropped a twenty on the table and got up to leave.

He looked up from the latest stupid grin for Snapchat and tried to get me to sit back down. "I'll put it away," he said. "Sorry, Slate, I wasn't meaning to be rude."

"Well, you were whether you were trying or not. I have people that actually like talking to me I could be spending time with, Ty," I said.

"I like talking to you," he protested. "Come on, baby, give me a chance here."

"Too late," I said. "If you decide to call me again and ask me out, if I see your phone I'm going to have to ask myself seriously if you'd rather take selfies or be with me."

"Let me come over and make it up to you," he was pleading now.

"No thanks," I said. "Maybe some of your boys might miss your stupid faces."

I spun on my heel and walked out fuming. This was just great. I had spent the last six months with this guy. I guess he was just trying to impress me at first. Now he just bored me. I went home and ran myself a bubble bath. I got a glass of some good, dry, white wine and relaxed in the tub. I was playing Elle King on my iPod and I felt the tension melt away. When the water started to cool, I got out and dried off. I looked at myself critically in the mirror. A thirty-year-old woman was looking back at me. Where does the time go? It seemed like only yesterday I was in high school. I needed to get moving in my life before some of those dreams I had started disappearing over the horizon. I still looked young, I decided. I work out very hard and it showed. I was still within five pounds of what I weighed as a college sophomore. The five pounds was all muscle and it looked good.

I cupped my breasts and pinched my nipples. The girls weren't sagging. I wear good bras and my small C cups were still firm and resisting gravity. My waist was firm and tucked in and my belly was muscular too, maybe even more than I wanted. My hips flared out and I checked out my butt. No cellulite and it showed the hours I work on it. I had a well-trimmed pubic patch of black curls and I slid my hand down and my middle finger into my slit, rubbing my clit on the way down. That made me shiver and I felt a little moisture that had nothing to do with the bath. Damn, I had been planning to bring Ty back home and fuck him all night.

I sighed. Oh well, it looked like I was going to have to make myself happy again. I've always had men swirling around me, but I'm not a slut. I'd had three long-term relationships and I really, really like making love but this was getting ridiculous.

I met Jacks at the bridge he had directed me to and we left my truck there. I loaded my tackle, lunch and my dry bag into Jacks' truck. He put dry clothes a towel and his shoes in my truck. We drove upstream six miles and found one of those old iron bridges. There was a path down to the water beside it and we carried our gear down. The water was still very cool and I shivered a little when we got in. Jacks had very nice kayaks. He needed them with his size. He was about six four and looked like he must have weighed 250. He just had muscles on his muscles and he was pretty impressive.

There were a couple of things that I didn't much care for. One, he was white, and two, he was a cop. I didn't mind the first one, I'd just never been attracted much to white guys but the second one bothered me a lot. It didn't take long for that to come up, either.

We had floated maybe a mile and I had already caught two smallmouth bass and four rock bass. If you don't know what a rock bass is, it's a large sunfish that looks like it's been on a three-day bender. Their eyes are perpetually bloodshot and the locals call them "goggle eye."

I had just taken that fourth one off the grub I caught it on and we pulled into some slack water out of the current. "Slate, what did you mean when you said me being in law enforcement was something that put you off?" he said.

"I don't want to offend you," I told him.

"Well, don't be mean then," he said. "Just tell me."

"I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of a person that arrests other people as a job," I said. "I just look at it as kidnapping in the name of the state. You don't know how people like me view the police, Jacks."

"Explain, 'people like me'," he said.

"Black people," I said. "You have no idea how many times I've encountered the police in unpleasant situations. I fear the police, Jacks. Have you ever been accosted on your way to your mailbox because you don't look like you belong in your neighborhood?"

He laughed. "No, I don't suppose I have. Have you?"

"Twice," I told him. "Once, the cop threatened to taser me because I didn't have an ID on me. I had on my bathrobe for God's sake. I constantly get stopped because the cops think I've stolen my car. It makes me wonder what kind of a guy you are. Why would you take a job that requires that you use violence against other people that aren't harming you?"

"If no one enforced the law, we'd just have criminals free to prey on peaceful people," he said.

"Do you really think I need you to protect me from criminals?" I asked.

He laughed again. "No, I don't suppose you do, but everyone isn't like you, Slate. Little old ladies don't whip rednecks across the face with fishing poles."

It was my turn to laugh. "No, but I would just like to see someone bother my little old neighbor lady. They would have me to answer to."

"I have to admit you have a different way of looking at things," he said. "I've never met anyone like you, Slate. You seem to be quite the idealist. Things don't usually work like that in practice."

"I know that," I told him. "That doesn't mean that we just give up. I despise the state, Jacks. I hate game laws too."

"If I didn't enforce the game laws people would just take hundreds of fish and animals and they'd all be gone," he said.

"That may be the case under the present system," I said. "What if we allowed people to own the fish and game on their land? That would ensure there was no overharvest. People own chickens and slaughter millions of them every year. I don't hear any worries about chickens becoming extinct."

"Jesus, Slate, you have an answer for everything, don't you?" he said. "Okay, you're right, but that's just not the way things are. No matter how much you wish they were like that, we have to live with the way they are. I'll think about what you said and I understand your position. I just think it's impractical."

We had stopped for lunch and we were sitting side by side on a log in the shade. It felt good. I was very comfortable with him and he seemed to like me, too. We cleaned up our trash and went back to the kayaks. "Let's catch some fish," he grinned at me.

We fished hard and by the time we got to the takeout I had caught 62 fish and he had 54. We practiced catch and release and it was one of the best days I ever had. People that don't creek or river fish have no idea of the numbers you can catch. They're not as big as lake fish but being on the clean water, seeing two eagles, not seeing another person besides Jacks all day, the deer and turkeys we saw and the beauty of the stream all just combined into a great, great day.

We packed our gear in the back of my truck and got ready to leave. We both wanted dry clothes so we changed quickly. I made him go around to the back of the truck, quickly stripped and put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I went around back while he changed and I'll have to admit that I was curious. I didn't peek though, and I hoped he hadn't.

We drove back to his truck and traded his gear into it. He asked me if I wanted to stop for pizza on the way home and I agreed. He was a fun dinner companion and when we finished he walked me out to my truck.

"I had a wonderful day, Jacks," I said. "Thank you. This more than made up for last week." I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He actually blushed a little. I liked this guy!

"Slate, if I called you and happened to be in town next weekend, would you go out with me?" he asked.

"No, Jacks, I told you I have a boyfriend," I said. "I only have one at a time."

He grinned. "I like that," he said. "Well, I want to go to the Bass Pro shop Saturday. Do you think you might like to go with me? It's not a date, just two friends shopping. How about it?"

"Okay," I said. "Just two friends. I'm not sure my boyfriend would like that, but I can have friends, right?"

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