My buddies both get slapped with overtime at work for the whole weekend, busted up everything we were going to do. I'd had this camping trip planned for over a month, and even bought some new stuff just for it. I had decided nothing would ruin it for me, and that I would go by myself anyway. Camping's camping, right? I'd get a little time to myself, get some fresh air, get that wilderness-survival feeling, it'd be pretty swell. I slimmed down my supplies to just a backpack and tossed it in the back of my truck and headed out for the woods.
I had been driving offroad for several miles trying to find a good area when the dirt fell from under my front wheel and the truck went skidding down the side of a steep hill. I didn't think it was so bad until the very end clipped a large tree trunk and tipped the car ever so slightly...just enough that the downhill momentum carried it completely sideways...I froze and held my breath for lack of anything better to control the situation. My truck slowly began to tip and with screeching metal against the tree trunk and my window shattering, it landed completely upside down near the bottom of the ditch with an enormous crash.
My head slammed into the dented roof of the cab and the rest of my body followed when I undid my seatbelt. I gripped the steering wheel and weakly grasped for the handle on the door, giving it a tug and popping the it open. I squinted as bits of glass fell from the frame and kicked it out with my leg. The door swung open and banged on the extent of its hinges. I crawled out onto all fours, rolling into the dry leaves and twigs on the ground. My head was pounding and I felt dizzy. I reached over to scratch a tickling itch on my shoulder, only to find a hearty scrape soaking small spots of blood into my shirt. I rested my head back onto the ground. I rolled my head and looked up through the tree branches. Little rays of sunlight beamed into my eyes so I closed them and rolled over.
I woke up I guess a few hours later, the sun was no longer pestering my eyes and I had to blink a few times until they adjusted to the darkness. The sky wasn't completely dark but it was well on its way. I sat up, rubbing my head and arms, trying to friction off the chill, looking around, not really remembering why I was sleeping on the ground. I turned and saw my truck.
"Ahhw ...shit." I just stared at it for a minute, as if it might magically right itself at any moment.
With a small wave of relief I remembered my cell phone and got up onto my knees to pull it from my pocket. 7:48, I read on the front display, and flipped it open with my thumb. I was looking at the fact that I had no bars. I was getting no bars at all. No service. Great.
I gathered myself after a moment and shakily got to my feet. It was getting darker by the minute so I decided I needed to find my backpack as quickly as possible.I spied it a few feet up the hill where it had flown out of the truckbed. I crunched up through the leaves and lifted it, brushed it off, and slung it over my shoulder. Deciding there was nothing more to be done at this spot, I walked a ways towards an area where the trees thinned.
Looking up, I saw mostly cloud cover with a few of the brighter stars shining through. I really had no idea how this view was going to help me. I'm not some grizzled sea captain or hardcore outdoorsman who can navigate by stars. I stood still for a minute, hoping that maybe I could hear the hum of traffic in some direction. Drove too far from the roads, I realized. The crickets drowned out anything I could have heard anyhow.
I headed back to my truck and began to climb the incline that felled me in the first place. This was really the only part of any plan I could formulate at this point. I figured at the top I'd just sort of start walking in the vague direction I drove up from. This seemed like a better and better plan of action as I neared the top of the slope. I encouraged little Rambo flashbacks as I brushed through the leaves, trying to feel as tough as possible in hopes that it would grant me a navigation system. I felt stupid, but I didn't want to let myself start to panic, as it was getting colder and darker all the while. I pulled my jacket tighter.
I stepped out on the top and mumbled things out loud to myself concerning geography and which way the sun was setting, in basically a manlier version of eeny meeny miny moe, and started walking.
After a decent hike I came to a stream. I hopped a couple rocks to cross it safely without getting wet, which would have been really bad, because with no one around I could admit to myself that it was really, really freaking cold out. I huffed a little to see my own breath in front of me, one of those little things that has always amused me somehow. As I started to turn and keep walking, I noticed a rather light shape by the water through the cloud of my breath. I took a step and leaned to see what it was, as it didn't look like any of the rocks around or anything.
I squinted though the dim light and saw that it was a shirt. A load of bricks landed on me as I realized it was not only a shirt, but someone inside it. A girl. I hurried over cautiously and squatted next to the small figure, my shoes squishing in the mud. I didn't know what to do.
"Hey!" I nudged her shoulder. No response. I gripped her shoulder and shook gently, trying to wake her up. Shit, her skin was like ice. The thought struck me that she might be dead and my heart sunk. I listened closely and detecting her breathing, very shallow, slow, ragged. My fingers went to her throat and found a pulse, which I somehow needed as confirmation even after hearing her breathing. Ok, she was alive. But geez.
I rolled her onto her back and brushed her damp hair from her pale face. I was rather surprised to find that she was pretty. Very pretty. How in the world did she get here?
I felt her arm again and got a chill. The water from the creek splashed onto her ankles as she lay in the mud. I guess she had fallen in or something, because her clothes were all wet.
I pulled her arms up and hoisted her up onto my shoulder, her freezing wet clothes soaking through my shirt and hurting my shoulder. I just had to get her dry. Warm and dry. I glanced around and decided this small open spot would have to do, because I couldn't go wandering around in the dark looking for a better place to settle down. I set her down in the grass, and her arms fell limply at her sides.
What to do now? I had a lot of things but couldn't decide what to start with. First things first, I said. I clicked on my flashlight and quickly snatched up a few sticks from the ground nearby. I flung my backpack to the ground and fumbled for the zipper, and pulled out the box of matches. I struck one and set the end of some twigs going. I kicked a little hole into the dirt and laid them on top, then quickly tossed a handful of fallen leaves and whatever I could find onto it. I spied a healthy-sized fallen branch several feet away and rolled it into the fire with my foot. Within a couple minutes I had a decent fire crackling.
Turning back to the girl, I remembered her wet clothes. They'd have to come off, I realized. I got a little nervous, thinking what would happen if she were to wake up to find some guy in the process of pulling her pants off. I had to, though. She might die. Almost surprised at how much of a gentleman I was being when she wasn't even awake, I tugged off her clothes relying mostly on peripheral vision. I took my jacket off and put it around her shoulders.
I pulled my sleeping bag and blanket out of my pack and rolled it out on the ground, spreading the blanket inside. I gathered her in my arms again and moved her on top of the blanket, and then wrapped it tightly around her. Finally I zipped the bag around the bottom and up the side. With that done, I sort of had nothing else planned and just stared blankly for a moment. I tended the fire absently, trying to build it bigger.
I trotted around and sat on the ground next to her. She was really very pretty, with wavy blonde hair a little past her shoulders. Very petite. Almost childlike, a face you just can't help but look at for longer than you should. I was almost glad she wasn't awake because I couldn't have taken my eyes off her. I picked a couple leaves out of her hair and brushed some dried mud from her cheek. Her skin was still freezing.
"Hey, are you..?" What, ok? She's not ok, moron, are you blind? I frowned at myself.
I moved my hands up and down her arms, both trying to friction in some warmth and shake her awake. I didn't know what else to do, so I kept on. After several minutes I realized that she was shivering. She hadn't been before, had she? Good sign, right? Figuring I was on the right track, I arranged myself parallel to the fire and pulled her entire blanket bundle towards me, so that she was sitting up between my legs and resting back on my chest. Body heat, I thought. That'll help.
As I continued to rub her arms vigorously, I couldn't help but enjoy my position. Body heat. Heh. With this best excuse ever, I figured myself a little bit of a genius. I hugged her tightly, looking down on her beautiful face and feeling a strong sense of protectiveness.
Who knows how long I stayed like that. I was startled from half-sleep when she began to make quiet whimpering noises. It was like watching a puppy having a dream, where you want to wake it up and make everything ok, but at the same time you want to just sit there and watch because it's pretty darn cute.
"Please," she breathed, still not awake. It rather took me off guard. "Plh..please......please..," She didn't seem to have any particular request in mind. She just kept whimpering, scattering pleases here and there. I hugged her tighter and realized she was grasping my sleeve tightly. How long had she been doing that?
"It's ok," I said quietly. At that she ever so slightly snuggled into my shirt, but didn't stop her little whimperings. "It's ok. You're alright," I kept repeating each time, trying to soothe her. Her eyelids fluttered but stayed closed.
"Please...please don't leave me," she whispered in one weak breath. I didn't really believe I had heard her correctly. "Please..."
"I won't leave you. It's ok." I didn't know if she was saying that just because I was something warm, or if she was actually talking to me. It really didn't matter. My heart swelled and my single purpose in life became to protect her. "Don't worry. I won't leave."
Things carried on like that for a little while. I reached over with my closer arm to toss more sticks into the fire. When I looked back down at her face, her eyes were open. Just part of the way, as if she couldn't muster the strength to do any better. She has to be ok now, I thought.
"Hey," I rubbed her arms again for a second. "Hey, are you ok?" My heart pounded.
She blinked slowly and weakly turned her eyes in the direction of my voice. Her beautiful blue eyes locked onto mine. She wasn't startled but I could tell she was just staring at me trying to figure out what was going on. I suddenly became aware of how unusual it would be to wake up in this position, and loosened my hold on her. Quickly I searched for a simple explanation.
"Hey... oh geez, I'm so glad you're ok!" is what came out of my mouth. I meant it, but that really didn't fulfill the requirement of an explanation. I tried again. "My name's Jack," I offered. "I hik- I was ah, hiking. Out here. And I found you.. and," I forgot all the words I knew at that point, hoping that she could maybe figure out anything from there on her own. She closed her eyes again and sniffed, laying her head back down on my chest. I wasn't sure what I should do, so I replaced my arms around her loosely.
"Where am I?" She breathed through chattering teeth after a moment.
"At.. in the, outside. Out in the woods," I said slowly, realizing I didn't have a good answer. "I don't exactly know myself."
She sighed again. "Please..don't go."
"I won't." I hugged her snugly. She kept shivering.
I woke up, the odd way you do when you weren't supposed to fall asleep nor did you remember doing so. She was rearranging her head on my chest. I lowered one hand to my jeans and held the button on my phone. 3:34, the display glowed. Closer to morning, good, I thought. The sun will come up. Everything will be ok.
I looked down at the girl's face. She had stopped making regular whimpering sounds and I wasn't sure but I thought she wasn't shivering as hard. I sniffed loudly, so that she could hear I was awake. Her eyelids fluttered. The fire flickered on my face and I noticed it was much smaller than I had left it. I stretched myself flat on the ground to reach for more leaves and twigs, and tossed them onto the flame. Returning up to sitting position, I saw that her eyes were open and she was looking around, even lifting her head a little.
"Hi," I said. Her eyes found mine. "You ok?" She paused and then nodded confusedly. She put a hand on my chest for balance and sat up a little.
"I'm so cold," she said, with a new shiver running through her body. She put her arms around herself and found that she was wearing only a jacket and blanket and sleeping sack. I saw a little bit of startled worry in her face, and forced myself to talk.
"I'm sorry this is a little strange, I had to get your clothes off to warm you up. They were all wet." That still sounded really weird. I introduced myself again in case she didn't remember. "My name is Jack, I found you out here last night... I'm trying to..y'know. Help you.." I trailed off, trying to keep my explanation simple and not creepy. Her eyes stared into mine, and it made me feel like I had to keep talking. She was gradually making some sort of face but I couldn't tell what emotion was registering, so I just sort of watched with mild concern. She closed her eyes and began to cry, falling back onto my chest.
"Hey, don't cry, it's alright," I said, holding her tightly. She cried quietly, with a lot of sniffling. It sounded like she kept trying to talk but resumed sniffling instead. "It's ok," I kept saying. My vigorous rubbing of her arms had become a gentle stroking of her hair and shoulders in an effort to comfort her.
Her tears died down in a few minutes and she rubbed her eyes. "I thought I ... I'm so cold," she said again.
"I've got you by a nice hot fire here, warm blanket, you'll be ok. You're safe." I paused for a minute. "What's your name?"
"Uhm. Cheryl," she chattered.
"Ah, that's a lovely name," I said. The cheesy buzzer went off in my head and I searched for something else to say. "So is ah, everything ok? Can I see your hands? Are they ok?" I said, remembering how cold she had been. I wanted to make sure she didn't have frostbite or something. She pushed her tiny hands out from the blankets and I wiggled my fingers. "Everything work?" She moved her fingers and I felt each one. Still cold, but not icy like they had been last night. "Good, good. How about your toes?" I leaned down and felt her feet through the covers. She wriggled her toes. "Nothing hurts? Everything is ok?" I asked.
She looked down at herself and nodded. "And you're....you're Jack?" She said after thinking a moment.
With that she nestled her head back on my shoulder, putting her arm around mine. I felt her shivering against my body. "Cold.." she said. "I've never been so cold." I was going to resume my friction routine but got this other idea in my head.
"Well Cheryl, I um.. it would be warmer if you wanted me to get into those blankets with you," I offered. The hint of self-sacrifice in my voice almost made me laugh out loud at myself. Honestly I wanted in there not only because of the beautiful girl, but I was pretty damn cold myself, having given her my jacket. "Would you like that?" Her face was still nuzzled into my shoulder but I could see side of her head in a sleepy nod. That was all I needed. I pulled off my shoes and figured my stiff, muddy jeans would be awful uncomfortable in there, so I took those off too. I unzipped the side of the bag, crawled in next to her, and zipped it back up.
"Is this ok?" I asked as I wrapped my arms around her, realizing I was being more than a little forward. She nodded again, and opened her eyes a little to see me. She wriggled closer to me so that I could warm her slender little body with mine, and closed her eyes again. She must have been about 5' 4", I estimated, and maybe in her late 20's. I was 29, she didn't look older than me. And she was so beautiful, I couldn't get over it. My heart was beating like a hammer and I was sure she would feel it and hear it. I put my hands on her arms, feeling her soft skin. It was still chilly but I felt that it was warm deeper down. I rubbed more warmth into them, my eyes widening as I made a terrific realization. In this position, my palms grazed the sides of her breasts with each pass. I looked at her face, worried that she would be suddenly terrified, but she wasn't. Did she know? She had to know, come on.
I dared to continue, even angling my hands so that they brushed a little more each time. I began to feel the edges of her nipples and slowed my hands, deciding to pretend that I had just now noticed.
"Oh geez, I'm sorry, I didn't realize..I was doing that," I said apologetically. I began to remove my hands from her sides when I felt her cool little hands on mine. Now I was the one who was startled instead. I searched her face for an explanation.
"Don't stop," she pleaded quietly, opening her eyes a little and looking into mine. "Please."
My heart pounded. I couldn't believe she was asking me to keep going. I replaced my hands and continued. After a minute of this I decided to go for it and slowly ran my hands more over her breasts than arms. Just as I began to fear that she didn't mean this at all when she asked me not to stop, she let out a quiet, contented sigh. I cupped her firm, perky breast in my hand and caressed it. Her skin was unbelievably soft and smooth. My thumbs ran over her nipples, which were hard and pointing straight up, I guess because of the cold. Or, maybe not.
I opened my eyes and released her from the long, tight hug I had her locked in, finally looking down to see the lovely breasts I'd been feeling. Probably generous b, maybe even c, I concluded. They were absolutely perfect. Her nipples were a healthy pink, not very big but standing straight at attention like pencil erasers. I couldn't remember seeing anything more beautiful in my life. Before I even realized it, I had lowered my face down and was nuzzling her breast with my lips. I was a little surprised at my own boldness but she offered no objection, so I opened my lips and began to give her nipples little kisses as I caressed her breasts and smooth stomach. She let out a small gasp as I sucked a cold nipple into my hot, wet mouth. I stayed in that spot for a long time, not moving, just suckling gently, and she placed her hands on the back of my head. I felt her chest rise and fall a little faster, and let her nipple slide out of my mouth. I ran my tongue in circles around it and then flicked it rapidly over the hard little bud. She ran her fingers around in my hair and whimpered softly. I massaged it between my fingers and switched to tounging her other nipple. I was in heaven and it sounded like Cheryl was too.
When I spent quite some time pleasuring her perfect nipples, I began to cover the rest of her breasts with little kisses, going up over her collarbone, onto her smooth little neck, her jaw, and finally her soft, pink lips. I kissed them softly again. She parted them and I kissed her again, this time long and deeply. She kissed me back, her hands on my neck and mine on both sides of her face. When it ended I felt like I had been dreaming, and I was almost worried that I had been. I remembered that she still might not really know what was happening, and I didn't want to take advantage of her. That was pretty good by itself, I decided, and hugged her tightly again, laying my head down. I kissed her forehead softly. That was that.