tagSci-Fi & FantasyFound in the Dark

Found in the Dark


Spires and fins of sandstone rock stood black against the orange horizon of sunset. Joe snapped pictures until the sky grew too dim, then he sat on a boulder and watched the stars appear over the backcountry of Arches National Park.

The desert air soon grew too cool for him to sit much longer wearing only a T-shirt and shorts. As he started to stand up, he heard a wooshing sound overhead. A gust of wind blew dust into his eyes. He squinted and saw a black shape occlude the stars, heading to his right and moving very fast. He wondered what it could be. A plane would have had lights, and if it had been in trouble he would hear a crash. He waited, but didn't hear anything more. Probably some secret military craft.

Joe tucked the digital camera into his backpack and pulled out a flashlight for the long hike back to his car. The trail was tricky enough to find during the day, he hoped he remembered it well enough from when he was here four years ago. It was a loop trail and the section he had walked in on was longer so he didn't want to go back that way.

About half an hour later he thought he heard the crunch of gravel some distance behind him. He stopped to listen. Nothing for several seconds, then he heard it again. But he saw no light. He shook his head. Who would be fool enough to try this trail without a flashlight? Probably some tourist who hadn't believed the warnings about how long the trail took to hike.

Or could it be an animal? He tried to recall what sorts of wildlife lived in Arches. Deer certainly, but he thought a hoofed animal would sound different and a predator, like a mountain lion or coyote, would be quieter. It was most likely a human.

Maybe he should wait up for the hiker. At least they could get lost together. He stood waiting in the dark and turned his flashlight off so he could look at the stars. The Milky Way stood out like a bright splash of milk across the sky. There were so many stars visible that Joe had trouble even picking out the Big Dipper.

After ten or fifteen minutes he realized he hadn't heard any more footsteps. He shrugged, figuring the hiker had given up for the night, or the noise had been something else. Turning his flashlight back on, he continued down the trail to his car.

He was relieved when he recognized some rock formations that marked the last section of the primitive trail. Soon he would be at the better-marked main trail of Devils Garden. Not paying as much attention to where he was walking as he should have been, Joe suddenly stepped down into a hole and fell forward, dropping his flashlight. Pain shot through his right leg as his shin cracked against a boulder.

"Shit." He sat up and gingerly felt his leg, hoping he hadn't broken the bone.

"Are you all right?" said a female voice, with a slight foreign accent Joe couldn't identify.

"Not sure," he answered. "I hit my leg pretty hard on a rock." This must be the hiker who had been behind him. He reached for the flashlight, not broken at least, and flashed the beam over her. She held up a hand to block the light from her eyes.

"Sorry," he said, and pointed the light down. He had glimpsed a nice-looking body stuffed into short shorts, a tight T-shirt, and hiking boots. She had long, golden-brown hair, but he hadn't been able to see her face with her hand in front of it. He wondered if it looked as good as the rest of her. Now he wished that he had waited for her longer.

She squatted next to him and gently pressed his shin. "I don't feel a break, but I think you should stay off that leg until you can get it checked out by a doctor. I'll help you back to your car."

He didn't think he needed to baby his leg that much, but couldn't pass up the chance to wrap an arm around her for a mile. "Thanks, I'd appreciate it. I'm Joe, by the way."


She wasn't a large girl, only about five six, but he could feel firm muscle as he put an arm around her waist. It felt very good.

He tried not to lean too much of his weight on her, he was a good six inches taller, but his leg hurt more than he thought it would. Her breast bounced against his side as they walked, keeping his mind off the pain. When they reached his car, an old Toyota Celica, he sat against the hood and shrugged off his backpack. "Thanks for the help," he said, as he dug the car keys out of a side pocket. "I might have been stuck out there until a tourist found me in the morning. Are you camped here?"

"No, I was hoping I'd be able to hitch a ride into Moab."

"It's kind of late for traffic, especially at this end of the park. It's nearly twenty miles out to the highway."

"I didn't realize I was so far from this parking lot. I was hoping to get here before everyone left. I can't wait until morning since Senator Barimer is speaking at eight."

"Barimer?" He couldn't help saying the name venomously.

"You sound like you don't plan on voting for him."

"No way would I vote for that villain. I don't know how he ever became a presidential candidate. He must have the best PR people money can buy." He shuddered at the thought of Barimer as president of the United States and prayed it wouldn't happen.

"Do many people feel that way about him?"

"I don't know. Most who do are probably afraid to say anything against him in public. What about you, are you voting for him?"

"I'm not an American."

"Oh, where are you from?"

"No place you'd have heard of. I'll drive." She grabbed the keys from his hand and opened the doors. As she threw both of their packs into the backseat, he hopped into the passenger side.

He was pretty good at geography and was annoyed that she assumed he wouldn't have heard of her country. He took a good look at Cailli as she got into the driver's seat. She looked European, but also kind of exotic. Sort of Sophia Loren-like, but with a smaller mouth. And younger of course--about twenty he'd guess.

She gave him a mischievous-looking smile as she turned the key in the ignition, as if she knew he was checking her out and liked it. Or at least he hoped she did.

The car's interior light winked out and he sighed and tried to relax. His leg throbbed with painnow, but it was worth it--she probably wouldn't have noticed a rather ordinary-looking guy like him otherwise. He kept himself in good shape, working out in the gym whenever he could, and women did say he had nice brown eyes. Was Cailli interested in him? She looked like an actress or a model, though. Well, no, definitely not a model. They were usually much skinnier. Cailli had curves.

He glanced at her breasts, dimly lit by the instrument panel. They weren't too large, and the shape looked natural. Probably real. His cock stirred as he thought about what she would look like naked, taking his mind off his aching leg.

"I like dark-haired men," she said. "Are you a student?"

Yes, he thought, maybe this encounter could lead to something. "Yeah, I'm a grad student in engineering at Michigan Tech. I'm out here seeing some of the West before starting my summer job back in Detroit. What about you?"

"Hiking at night can be dangerous."

"I've noticed," he replied with a laugh, while wondering why she changed the subject. Was she hiding something?

Cailli drove a bit faster than he thought was safe at night, and much faster than the park's speed limit. She didn't slow down when they reached the steep, curved section of road near the park entrance. He grasped the edges of the seat with both hands and was about to warn her to slow down when she finally did so. He started breathing again.

When they reached Moab, she insisted on driving him to the hospital emergency room to have his leg examined. To his relief, nothing was broken. He did get a prescription for pain-relief medication.

"Do you have a motel room?" he asked Cailli, after he joined her back in the car.

She shook her head.

"I doubt if there'll be any vacancies at this time of night," he said. "Not with the Senator speaking here tomorrow. I was planning on sleeping in the car after I get this prescription filled."

"Oh, I think I'll be able to find a room. People are always making reservations and not showing up."

She drove down Main Street and stopped at a drugstore to get the pain meds for him, then pulled into a Best Western.

He looked doubtfully at the No Vacancy sign, but Cailli bounced out of the car and into the office, looking confident. He wondered if she was going to try for one room or two. He should have warned her that he couldn't afford a place like this.

Several minutes later she left the office with a big grin on her face. "I hope you don't mind sharing a room," she said, as she slid back into the driver's seat. "It has two double beds."

"Not at all." He tried not to sound too happy.

She parked in front of a door and carried both of their packs, plus his suitcase, into the room and dropped them onto one of the beds. After helping him settle comfortably into the other bed and propping him up on pillows with the remote control, water, and pain meds to hand, she went out for ice.

Later, as she was making up an icepack for his leg, he asked, "You're not a nurse are you?"

"Nah, I've just studied first aid, stuff like that."

"How much do I owe you for the prescription and half the room? I don't have too much left, but--"

"Don't worry about it." She smiled. "I have a generous expense account."

"That's unusual these days. What do you do?"

She shrugged. "I fix things."

He was about to ask what sort of things, when she leaned over and kissed him. A long, slow kiss. She swirled her tongue slowly around his, playing with it like a cat playing with a mouse. He was fully erect by the time she pulled away and licked her lips. In the light of the lamp over the bed he could see the edges of contacts in her light-brown eyes. He felt more relaxed and sure of himself knowing she had some imperfection, and that she really did seem to like him. Was there going to be more than a kiss?

"I'm starving," she said. "How about you?"

She was out the door before he could answer. While she was gone, he hopped to the bathroom for a quick shower, then changed into clean clothes. At first he was going to skip the underwear, but decided to wear his best briefs, the blue ones. He didn't want to seem like he had been expecting sex--he had heard that usually turned women off. Although he had had sex with a few women, he wished he could appear more experienced and knowledgeable. With his bruised leg, she couldn't expect too much from him, like fancy positions.

About a half-hour later she returned with four large boxes of Chinese take-out, and a large bottle of orange juice. Not exactly what he would have liked with Chinese, but since she was paying, he wasn't about to complain.

Joe figured Cailli would only eat a few bites, like most girls he took out to restaurants, but she ate as much as he did. They polished off everything, down the last morsel of sweet and sour pork and the last grain of rice, leaving nothing for breakfast.

Cailli stretched her arms over her head and leaned back against the headboard, next to him. Then she opened her fortune cookie. "Your success will astonish everyone," she read. "Well, that's good to know."

"What kind of business are you here for?" he tried asking again. He was hoping for another kiss more than an answer this time.

"Sometimes I just observe events, but this time, I think I'll have to intervene a little." She brushed cookie crumbs off her breasts. "I feel dusty. I think I'll take a shower before bed. Do you need anything first?"

He needed to fuck her, but knew that wouldn't be the right thing to say, so he just shook his head and turned on CNN as she skipped off to the bathroom. The news was all about the candidates, even though it was four months until elections. Joe watched an old episode of Seinfeld until his leg began hurting. He started to take another pill, but noticed he was out of water. Cailli had just turned off the shower and probably needed to towel herself off and do those million things women did in the bathroom, so he hobbled to the sink himself.

When he got there he noticed that the door to the bathroom was cracked open. He peeked inside. A mirror faced the opening in the door, but it was too steamed up for him to see more than a misty shape. The details were fuzzed out, like they do for TV. He hated shows like that.

He returned to bed, wondering if Cailli was just teasing him. Usually he wouldn't even try to talk to such a beautiful woman. They usually ignored most ordinary guys. But if she was interested in having some fun, he certainly wouldn't discourage her. What would she wear when she came out of the bathroom? He didn't remember her taking a change of clothes in there with her.

Just as he was imagining her naked. She came out much sooner than he expected, wearing only a skimpy white towel around her torso. She rummaged in her pack for clothes, bending over not quite far enough for him to see her pussy. Mentally he urged her a little farther over. It didn't work. She straightened up and scampered back to the bathroom with some clothes. He sighed and told his erection to calm down.

As he listened to Cailli blow-dry her hair, he closed his eyes, then awoke with a jerk and sat up straighter. This was a bad time to feel so drowsy. He wished he hadn't taken that second pain pill now.

His eyes closed again.

* * *

When he woke from the pain in his leg he couldn't remember where he was at first. The silent room was dimly lit by outside lights shining through a gap in the curtains. He was alone in the bed, and the other bed looked empty also, except for the two backpacks and his suitcase.

"Cailli?" he called out. No answer.

With her backpack still here, she couldn't have gone far, he thought. He hopped to the window and looked outside. His car was gone.

"Fucking bitch!" He pounded the windowsill with his fist, then turned on a light and sat on the bed to look through her pack. All it contained was the shirt and socks she had been wearing earlier, a contacts case, a bag of toiletries, a water bottle, and some energy bars. He was disappointed not to find any underwear to sniff, and wondered if she ever wore any. Anyway, there was nothing in the backpack that she would miss if she left it behind, but why would she leave her pack if she was taking off?

He was tired and his leg hurt, so he decided not to worry about it until morning. If she hadn't returned by then, he'd call the police. After taking another pill, undressing, and crawling under the covers, he fell back to sleep.

* * *

Bright sunlight hit his face, waking him. He squinted as Cailli entered the room and closed the door.

"Breakfast time," she said, too cheerily for him. "How does your bruise feel this morning?"

Joe glanced at the clock on the nightstand. Seven-ten. He could have slept for a couple more hours. Instead he sat up and yawned as he felt his leg under the covers.

"It's a little swollen, but not as painful. Where were you last night?"

"Oh, I couldn't sleep so I drove until I found this peaceful this spot near the Colorado and listened to the water for a while. I hope you don't mind? I filled the car with gas on my way back," she said, as she kicked off her boots and spread out bagels, cream cheese, apple juice, and strawberries on the bed.

Another big meal on top of last night's feast--she really was unusual, he thought. He wasn't sure if he bought her story, but at least she was back, with his car.

"Did you get any coffee?" he asked.

She shook her head. "I can't drink it, but I forgot that you might want some. I think there's a coffeemaker here somewhere." She found it in a cabinet and got the pot going. He slipped on his T-shirt and shorts while her back was turned.

The coffee tasted stale, but at least it woke him up. He turned on the news while they sat together on the bed and ate. It was more of the same election crap as last night. He was about to turn it off when they came on with a special news bulletin.

"Earlier this morning, Senator Barimer woke in his hotel room unable to remember who he was or why he was there. He had been touring his home state of Utah and was to speak in Moab later this morning. Currently, he is being held at the Moab hospital, where doctors are trying to determine more about his condition. We will--"

"Well, it looks like he may be out of the race."

"It's a little too soon to say that, but it would be a relief. I wonder what happened?"

Cailli turned off the TV and rolled toward Joe. "I'm glad your leg is better today," she murmured as she nuzzled his ear. When she placed a hand on his leg, just below the bottom of his shorts, he set his unfinished coffee on the nightstand. He ran his fingers through her hair then down her back to her buttocks. They were so nice and firm under her tight shorts.

She got up on her knees and threw a leg across his hips to straddle him. After tugging off his shirt, she leaned over and kissed him. He fondled her pendant breasts, unfettered by a bra. As he cupped and gently squeezed her breasts, the nipples hardened, pressing against her shirt. He swirled his fingers over her nipples several times before pulling her shirt up over her breasts to fondle them further.

Cailli moved her mouth down to lick one of his nipples, then the other. She moved backward, kissing her way down his body to a point just past his navel. She glanced up at him with a mischievous grin and licked her lips like a cat, then brushed them over his bulging erection.

"I think we need to free this little beastie, give it some air," she said, as she slowly unbuttoned, then unzipped his shorts.

He gazed at her breasts as she straightened up and pulled her shirt over her head. The lovely orbs changed shape, the pink nipples and brown aureoles riding up, then down. Before he could reach for them, she climbed off the bed and unbuttoned her shorts, then eased the zipper down, uncovering golden-brown pubic hair. She turned around and wiggled her ass as she pulled her shorts down.

Before turning back to him, she rummaged in her backpack and pulled a red and pink tube out of the toiletries bag. Joe hadn't looked carefully at what she had in there and wondered if this was lubricant.

After she turned around again, she nibbled at the tip of his cock through his underwear as she massaged his balls. He sat up and caressed her hair and drew it to one side so he could better see what she was doing to his cock with her mouth. Her ear looked strange and he brushed the hair off it. The tip was pointed.

"I've never seen anyone with pointed ears, although I have heard of people getting it done surgically so they look like Vulcans or elves."

"Mmmm . . . It's actually a family trait," she mumbled, as she continued to nibble at his cock.

He lay back down and she pulled his underwear up and off his erection. She gave his cock a few quick laps of her tongue before slipping his underwear off and tossing them onto the other bed. As she took the head of his cock in her mouth and flicked her tongue over the tip, he couldn't help trembling. Sloppily she licked his whole cock, then straddled him again and rubbed her pussy up and down along the length of it.

Her pubic hair felt so soft. He reached down to run his fingers through it. It was like fur, thick and soft like long-haired-cat fur. She slid a little further forward and teased the tip of his cock with her soft, wet pussy. He swirled his finger over her clit.

"Oh, yes, there," she gasped out. After wriggling on his finger for several minutes, she opened the tube and scooted back, exposing his cock. She squeezed a glop of lotion onto his cock and used both hands to rub it up and down and around.

It felt so good he was afraid he'd come right away, but then his cock began to feel hotter and hotter. Just when it was to the point of becoming uncomfortable, it cooled down again until it felt icy.

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