Peak of Desire Ch. 03byvirgofemme©
*THANK YOU to everyone for your continued interest. And also for the comments and votes. I hope you enjoy the chapter!*
The remainder of the week passed by so sluggishly, that Erica thought the weekend would never arrive. But as Saturday finally rolled around, she found herself experiencing a mixture of anxiety and excitement. She'd been single for eight months, and during that time, she hadn't gone out on one date.
After breaking up with her boyfriend of nearly a year, she found that she'd needed some time to just be alone and regroup. Once three months had passed by, she'd felt the itch to have someone in her life once again, but she found the whole dating scene so unappealing. So she hadn't made any real efforts to put herself out there and meet anyone.
So here she was, standing in front of a full length mirror analyzing her appearance. She was glad that their first date wasn't at a restaurant, or going to see a movie. She was bored of having conventional dates, and since they were meeting up at an indoor rock climbing gym, it would give them a chance to interact in a unique way. It would also take the pressure off them having to make constant conversation, and provide them with an easy going, laid back atmosphere. Plus since Cody was a rock climber, she knew he would be in his element, and she was definitely interested in seeing him in action.
The outfit she'd picked out for the day was very casual- a pair of black yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a pair of sneakers. She briefly contemplated taking a light wrap, but since it was only four in the afternoon, she figured that she really didn't need it. It was summertime, so even if they did stay out after dark, the weather would still be pleasantly warm.
She would have preferred to have left her hair down, but since they were going to be engaged in a physical activity, she'd pulled it back into a ponytail. She had minimal makeup on, only a bit of mascara, a neutral toned lipstick with a thin layer of lip gloss, and a bit of eye shadow beneath the brow bone to emphasize the arch. After slipping her cell phone into the pocket of her pants, she grabbed her car keys and headed for the door.
The rock climbing gym was located in an industrial area downtown, and after a twenty minute drive, she pulled up in front of a bright red building with a sign which featured a logo of a person climbing a mountain. She turned into the parking lot and steered her vehicle into a space, then put her car in park.
A nervous excitement filled her as she approached the building, and once she was inside, she began scanning the gym for Cody. The atmosphere that surrounded her was buzzing with energy, and the sound of people talking and laughing echoed off the walls.
There was a reception desk located a few feet away from her, and two black leather couches were placed directly across from it. Beyond the lobby area where she was located, she could see a variety of rock climbing walls, and spotted people ascending them. Some were going at a quick, steady pace, and others moved slower, as if they were uncertain of just what to do.
Filled with anticipation, she continued to eagerly seek out Cody, and as she caught sight of him, she offered a wave. A smile spread across his lips, and he made his way over to her. The black tank top he wore provided her with a nice view of his broad shoulders and well built biceps, and a pair of loose fitting gray jeans graced his long legs. His hair was slicked back into a ponytail, and as his tall, masculine form approached her, she felt a flutter in her chest.
As he reached her, he pulled her into his arms and gave her a warm hug. As she returned his embrace, she caught the scent of his body wash, and found that it caused a carnal reaction within her. His body felt so nice pressed up against hers that she didn't want to let go, but she knew they couldn't stand in the same position forever, so she reluctantly pulled back from the hug.
"Sorry I wasn't by the door to meet you as you came in," he said. "I drank a large bottle of water on the drive over here, so I ended up having to go to the bathroom."
"Well, all we need to do is rent you some rock climbing shoes and pick up the equipment, and then we'll be all set." He led the way to the equipment counter, and after picking up some footwear for Erica, and some climbing harnesses and a chalk bag, they made their way into the main part of the gym.
"You see a particular wall you'd like to try out?" Cody asked.
Her eyes roved over the various climbing routes, taking note of the various walls that were available. Some of them had sheer vertical surfaces which stretched fifty feet high, while others were shorter in stature, with ledges and large rock footholds that jutted out from the climbing surface. Spotting a wall that had all sorts of interesting slants, she pointed it out to Cody.
"How about that one?"
"That wall has vertical climbs and overhangs. It's much too difficult for a beginner. How about we try that one instead?" He pointed toward a wall that was thirty five high, with plenty of foot and hand holds.
He led her over to the wall, and once they reached it, they each put on a harness, stepping into the leg loops and pulling them up around their thighs. Then they secured the waist belt around their midsection. Erica couldn't help noticing the way that the back of the harness cupped Cody's butt, and she briefly admired his cute little ass.
"So before we get started, let me give you run down of how this works," he said. "Those little stones you see sticking out of the surface of the wall, they're called holds. Now each of those holds are marked by a piece of colored tape. The tape identifies specific routes. Now since you're just starting out, I've picked out the yellow route for us. That's the easiest, most basic one. So as you're climbing the wall, you'll only grab onto the holds that are marked by yellow tape."
She gave a nod. "Okay, that seems pretty simple. I can do that."
"Cool. Well I guess we're all set. Just be sure to cover your hands with chalk first." He gestured to the little bag that was hanging off the side of her harness. "It'll help you get a better grip."
She reached into the bag and squeezed the little pouch so that her palms were covered with chalk, then they approached the wall. After securing their harnesses to a rope that hung down from the top of the climbing surface, they each grabbed onto a handhold.
Cody looked over at her and asked, "Ready?"
Erica gave a nod in response, then they started up the wall. She made her way slowly upward, tentatively placing her foot on the rocks that jutted out of the wall. Cody patiently climbed alongside her, matching her slow pace so that she wouldn't feel rushed, and as they ascended to a higher level, Erica found that the route they were taking began to increase in difficulty.
It seemed that the handholds and footholds marked with yellow tape were in closer proximity when they'd first started the climb, but now that they were climbing higher, they seemed to be spread further from each other. In order to stay on their particular route, Erica had to stretch out her arms and manipulate her body in a certain way. When she was standing on the ground looking up, she was certain that the wall would be fairly easy to climb, but now that she was actually doing it, she found that it required more strength and stamina than she ever could have imagined. In addition to being a very physical activity, rock climbing was also a mental one, as it required her to fully concentrate on the task at hand.
The closer they came to reaching the top, the harder the climb seemed to get, and she began to wonder if she was actually going to make it. She felt a little embarrassed by her lack of physical endurance, and suddenly wished that she'd been more diligent about going to the gym.
It seemed that their ascension was taking longer than it should, and each time she glanced up, it seemed as if the distance to the top grew even further. Her arms were beginning to ache from all the stretching and pulling upward, but she pushed on, determined to not give up. Noticing that she was having difficulty, Cody offered some tips.
"Keep your hips close to the wall, and don't look upward so often. It will only make things more difficult."
She offered a small sigh of frustration, but heeded his advice, and as they continued upward, she found that her confidence began to grow. They were now only a few feet from the top, as they came closer to reaching the peak, she got a sudden burst of energy, and accelerated her speed.
Cody gave her a pleased look, and increased his pace as well. She was nearly to the top when her overconfidence backfired, and as her shoe slipped off one of the footholds, she fell a few inches down the wall. Momentarily forgetting that she was safely secured in the harness, Erica released a small gasp of fear.
"Don't worry, you're strapped in tight. You're doing just fine, Erica," Cody supportively said. "Just keep going, you're almost there."
She moved her foot around until she located another rock that was marked by yellow tape, and keeping her fingers wrapped tightly around the handholds, she propelled herself upward. As they finally reached the finish, a rush of satisfaction swept through her, and she took a glance over at Cody, who was offering her a smile.
"Thanks," she said, slightly out of breath from the exertion.
"So now that we've reached the top, you ready to head back down?"
As Erica glanced over her shoulder and looked at the ground, she felt a tiny knot of anxiety in the pit of her stomach. She'd been so focused on reaching the top of the wall, that she hadn't even considered what going back down it would be like. It seemed it was going to provide a whole new set of challenges for her, and she began to wonder how she was ever going to make it back to ground level.
She guessed that Cody was able to sense her hesitancy, because he offered a few words of encouragement. "The climb down may seem intimidating, but it really isn't hard at all. Just stay focused and make sure you always have a tight grip on the handhold, that way if you slip, you'll still be able to hold on. Move slowly, take your time, and try to keep your weight evenly distributed."
She nodded, then took a deep breath to calm herself. "Okay, I'm ready."
As she'd expected, the climb down proved to be more challenging than their ascension, but with Cody's support and helpful tips, she was able to confidently go down the wall. Her shoe slipped off the footholds a couple of times along the way, but she was able to quickly recover and continue downward without feeling scared. When they finally reached the bottom, and her shoes were planted firmly on the ground, she offered a little sigh of relief and felt a sense of achievement at having been able to get back down the wall.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" He asked.
"Nope. It was less scary that I thought it would be."
"See? I told you."
As she glanced up at the wall, she couldn't help feeling a bit of pride at having reached the top. A few times along the way, she'd seriously considered giving up and going back down, but now she was glad that she hadn't. She couldn't take all the credit, though. Without Cody's gentle coaxing and support, she never would have made it to the finish.
"So now that you've had the experience of indoor rock climbing, would you do it again?" The look he gave her silently expressed his wish to hear an affirmative answer.
"Yeah, sure. It was challenging, but fun. Plus it's good exercise."
"Well cool, I'm glad you enjoyed it. And you're right about it being a good workout. You can build up a pretty good sweat doing it."
Erica worked to release the knot on the rope which was attached to her harness, but she found it difficult to do, so she asked Cody for assistance.
"Can you give me a hand? I can't get the rope loose."
"Sure thing." He went to work on the rope, utilizing his long, lithe fingers to loosen the figure-eight knot that was attached to a loop located next to her pelvic area.
She watched intently as he did it, noticing just how close his fingers were to her most intimate spot. She couldn't help wondering what it would feel like to have those fingers slide between her legs, and as she imagined them sinking into her slick wetness, she felt a pleasant little tingle in her clit.
If only he knew just how wet he was making her. But of course he didn't and that's part of what made the moment so exciting. Here she was, in a public place, having an erotic little moment with him, and he didn't have a clue what she was thinking. A part of her wished that he did, and yet she also liked the fact that it was a secret.
Once her harness was free of the rope, he undid his own, and then they both took off their climbing gear. Erica slipped out of the rock climbing shoes and changed back into her own sneakers, then they made their way over to the equipment counter.
After the supplies were checked back in, they headed for the door. They emerged the building to find that it was nearly dusk, but the temperature was still pleasantly warm. A balmy breeze caressed Erica's skin, and as she looked up at Cody, she saw him offer her a pleasant little smile.
"Are you hungry?"
"I know a nice little diner where we can get some food. It's only a couple of blocks down the way."
"Sounds good." Her keys made a jingling noise as she pulled them out of her pocket. "You lead the way, and I'll drive behind you."
"Where are you parked?"
She pointed in the direction of where her car was located. "I'll be driving a red Toyota Corolla. What about you?"
"A black Chevrolet pickup. I'm located on the other side of the parking lot, so I'll just drive around and meet you in front of the building, then we can head to the restaurant."
"Alright. See you in a bit."
He gave her a smile and then headed for his car. Once she reached hers, she unlocked the door and got inside. After starting up the engine, she pulled up in front of the gym and waited. Once she spotted his car, she pulled up behind him and trailed him out of the parking lot.
Two minutes later they arrived at a little place called Dot's Diner. The exterior of the restaurant was made from shiny chrome and had an art deco design to it. The most unique feature about the establishment was that it was designed to look like a vintage railroad car, and according to the neon sign, the diner served the best pie in town, and was open until midnight seven days a week.
Judging from the unique façade, it seemed like a cool little place to eat, and Erica was curious about what the interior looked like. She saw Cody's black Chevy pickup pull into a parking spot near the door, and she pulled into the space right next to him.
Before exiting the car, Erica released her hair from the ponytail, allowing the layers to fall forward and frame her face. She then freshened up her lip gloss, and after taking a quick glance at herself in the flip down mirror, she got out of her vehicle. The look on Cody's face told her that he liked what he saw, and she returned his smile with one of her own.
"And I thought you looked good before." He glanced down at her admiringly.
"I figured it might be nice to let my hair down."
"I'm glad you did. That hairstyle really suits you, by the way."
"Thanks." Her cheeks heated up from his compliment.
As they reached the door, he pulled it open for her, allowing her to walk in first. It'd been some time since she'd been on the receiving end of a chivalrous act, and appreciating the demonstration of politeness, she offered a thank you.
"You're welcome." He followed behind her, and as they approached a counter with stools, they were greeted by a blonde waitress who appeared to be in her early forties, with blue eyes and a blonde, pixie style haircut.
"Hello there, a table for two?"
"Yes. Can we have the booth in the back, please?" Cody asked.
"Certainly." She grabbed two menus from behind the counter, then led them to their seat. "Right this way."
Once they were seated in a turquoise colored booth, the waitress placed the menus in front of them.
"Can I start you off with some drinks?"
"Do you guys have iced tea?" Erica asked.
"Sure do, hon. You want it sweetened, or plain?"
"And for you?" The waitress directed her attention to Cody.
"I'll take a Sprite with no ice."
"Sure thing." She headed away from the table and towards the back of the counter to prepare their drinks.
"Hope you don't sitting in the back like this, but I figure it would be nice if we had a bit more privacy."
The rest of the customers were seated in the rear of the restaurant, so they had their own private little area all to themselves.
"No, I don't mind it all. It's nice and quiet back here." Erica's eyes roved around the interior of the diner, noting how it was meticulously designed to look like a vintage dining car. She found the retro atmosphere charming, and it almost made her feel as if she'd stepped back into the past. "This is a cool little place. I'm surprised I've never seen it before."
"It's kinda tucked away from the main road, so I think it's a well kept secret."
"Come here a lot?"
"Every now and again. Last time I ate here was a month ago."
She picked up the menu and began to look at it. "So what do you suggest?"
Well you can never go wrong with a burger. My personal favorite is the barbeque cheeseburger. The combination of onion rings, bacon and barbeque sauce is really delicious."
"I don't eat meat. I guess I should have mentioned that when I asked for suggestions."
"You're a vegetarian?"
She offered a nod.
"I guess I should have suggested a different place, then. This is mostly a burger and fries kinda restaurant."
"No worries. I see they have a portabella vegetarian burger on the menu, so I'll order one of those."
"Cool. And I'll get my usual."
The waitress came back to their table and set their drinks down, then took out a small pad and retrieved a pen from behind her ear. "Are you two ready to order?"
Erica gave the server her order first, and then Cody gave his. After scribbling it down on the pad, the waitress retrieved their menus and headed off towards the counter.
"So how long have you been a vegetarian?"
"Since birth. My parents my raised me that way."
"Interesting." Cody gave her a thoughtful look. "I've never dated a girl who was a vegetarian before."
"Really? That's surprising, considering that you live in California."
"I know, right? I guess there's a first time for everything, though."
"Does it bother you, me being a vegetarian?"
"No way, it doesn't make any difference to me. The only thing I'm worried about is offending you by chowing down on the big, juicy burger I just ordered."
She chuckled lightly. "It doesn't bother me at all to watch other people eat meat, so don't even worry about it."
"Cool. Glad to know you're okay with it."
There was a lull in the conversation as they sipped their drinks, and as Erica studied his handsome features, she found that her eyes were drawn to the small scar located next to his right eye. Ever since the first day that he'd come into the bookstore, she'd been wondering about how he'd gotten it, and was eager to ask him, but just as Erica opened her mouth to talk, the waitress arrived with their meals.
After setting the plates of food down, she chirped, "Enjoy." Then she left them to eat their meal.
Erica had worked up quite an appetite from the strenuous activity at the rock climbing gym, and her mouth was watering from the delicious scent of burgers and fries. But before she took even one bite, she took the bun off her burger and placed some French fries along the top of the veggie patty. She could feel Cody watching her as she did it, and as she lifted her gaze to meet his, she saw his lips pull into a little smile.