The Great Outdoors Ch. 05byandy_charles©
+Liz found Inga rubbing lotion onto her bare arms in her and Paul's tent. The revelation she had learnt from Artie buzzed through her skull. She was desperate to tell her best friend that Paul was in love with her, and that maybe she should reconsider her plans to break the whole thing off with him.
Instead, she lost her nerve. "Can you believe those two?" she asked her instead, trying to sound half amused, half annoyed. "Honestly. What the hell were they thinking, inviting her to hang round with us?"
"Hmm," replied Inga, not looking up, "I doubt they were thinking with their brains, Liz."
Liz shook her head. "Obviously."
"Still," Inga continued, replacing the cap on her bottle of lotion, "I can't really be hypocritical. I can understand what those two morons were going through."
"Oh, yeah. Definitely. I mean, she's hot. Extremely hot, actually. Fucking gorgeous. I doubt anyone would find it easy to kick her out of bed. Killer body, beautiful smile, and those eyes."
Liz knew all about Inga's past experiences with the same sex, so the fact that her best friend was saying all this now was of no great surprise to her. "Yeah, well, forgive me for not being so enthusiastic as you, or Paul, or my husband for that matter."
"You don't think she's attractive?"
"No, I agree with you. Rachel's beautiful. She really is. But you know me; we've had this talk a lot of times. I'm just not that kind of girl."
"A sad fact, but true," grinned Inga. "And I gave you my best moves, remember?"
Liz blushed a little, but smiled back. "You were totally wasted on vodka and cokes that night. I could have been anybody and you would have stuck your tongue down my throat. Frankly, if those are your best moves, I'm surprised you've got a reputation at all."
Inga gasped playfully. "Bitch," she beamed. "Look, at the end of the day, what have you got to worry about? You're married to a guy who's utterly devoted to you. I can say many things about Artie, but the one thing I know he's not is a cheater. He loves you."
Memories of the night before, of the fight, came back to Liz in a flood. "Yes," she said slowly, "he does."
Rachel had been right -- she didn't have a lot of stuff. Why it needed two guys to help her move it all was beyond Artie, yet here he was, willingly volunteering. Was he such a sucker for a hot girl? He certainly had been when he'd first laid eyes on Liz, that was for sure. But he was past all that now, wasn't he? He was a married man, married to a woman who still made him hard by the softest of kisses, let alone naked.
Paul seemed to be intoxicated with the woman; hanging on every word, laughing at every joke. Okay, so Artie knew he was doing exactly the same thing, but he liked to think he had some kind of common sense about the whole situation. Besides, up until now he had seen a very different side to Paul: a Paul who was after commitment, a lasting relationship, a Paul who was in love. There was no way he could jeopardise that.
When they got back to the main camp it took them a while to set Rachel's tent up. "I wasn't all that great at it last night," she said, slightly shamefully. "Freddie's the expert; it's his tent anyway, so of course he would be."
Soon, however, it was up and ready to be slept in. The two men looked at it with a certain pride, while Inga, back to sunbathing in her chair and shades, only showed a slightly bored interest in the whole thing. Liz had been hanging round the outer edges of the group, watching events closely. She was torn between so many different paths: tell Inga how Paul felt about her; tell Artie of Inga's plans to break up with Paul; tell Rachel to stop flirting so much with her husband.
Were they flirting? They were, very much so. It was an innocent kind of flirting, a flirting where both parties knew it wasn't going to go anywhere beyond that. It still hurt though, thought Liz sadly. It stung deeply.
When Artie came over to her after the tent was finished she wrapped her arms around his neck and, in what she felt was a pretty bold move for her, kissed him deeply, more deeply than she had done in public for a very long time.
"You're happy about something," murmured Artie as their lips broke apart. "I'm glad."
"Me too," Liz said, smiling. "Want to go for a walk? Just the two of us?"
Artie looked longingly at his wife. "I'd love to, but I promised I'd help get the firewood, remember?"
Paul came over to them. "It's okay, I think I can mange that," he said honestly. "This is supposed to be your anniversary holiday, yeah? Spend some quality time, just the two of you. Take the Waterfalls walk; it's spectacular, trust me."
Liz grinned, then looked excited. "No, oooh, wait. Can we borrow your binoculars? I wanna do that walk we did yesterday and see those birds again?"
Artie raised an eyebrow. "Really? Well, okay then. If that's what you want, babe, that's what we'll do."
As Paul went back into his tent to fetch the binoculars, a curious Rachel picked up the paperback novel that lay resting open face down on one of the seats. "Oh god," she breathed excitedly, "who's reading Thomas Gregory?"
"That would be the President of the Fan Fiction club over there," said Inga dryly, pointing in Liz's direction.
Liz blushed. "Yeah, it's mine. Have you read it?"
"About fifty-three times, I think," replied Rachel, flicking through the pages whilst being careful not to lose Liz's place. "Don't you just love them? They're so full of passion and energy."
Liz blushed a deeper shade of red. "I'm more interested in the stories, really," she said, ignoring a less than subtle snort from Inga.
"Oh, totally, totally," smiled Rachel. "I think I've got all his books back at mine and Freddie's place."
Paul resurfaced from the orange tent, binoculars in hand. As he handed them over to a grateful Liz he said to Rachel, "Right, firewood: lead the way. Inga, you wanna come with us?"
"Yeah, how about it, beautiful?" Rachel chimed in good-naturedly.
Inga looked at him through her shades. It was impossible to tell what she was thinking under the black lenses. "No, I'm good here," she said slowly. "Think I might take a nap."
"Okay, babes," he replied, kissing her on the forehead, causing one of her eyebrows to raise. "We'll see you later. You got the radio if there's any problems, yeah?"
One pair went one way, one pair went another. Inga was left on her own in the middle of the clearing. She waited for a moment until she was sure the coast was clear, and then muttered savagely, "Shit!"
Now what the hell was this? Why this sudden overwhelming negative feeling had suddenly swept over her, she hadn't the faintest idea. Where had it sprung from? This wasn't like her at all -- correction, this wasn't her at all.
Nope, that was right. She was just tired; last night, though amazing, had worn her out even now. She would sure miss that feeling when the time came to kiss Paul goodbye. Still, it had to be done. That burning itch inside of her to embark on a new adventure had sparked off again. She would kiss Paul goodbye and fuck someone else hello.
As Liz and Artie walked together, hand in hand, through the forest that was becoming more and more familiar to them, Liz's mind was half-begging her husband not to bring up the topic of Inga and Paul's relationship. Unfortunately, it ran out of luck fairly quickly.
"So what do you really think about what Paul told me?" Artie asked her as they started the slow, steep climb up the hill. "You were kind of vague earlier. You looked shell shocked, actually."
"Did I?" asked Liz, trying to sound as casual as possible. "Well, it was just a little bit unexpected. I mean, I've never thought of Paul being the type of guy to settle down before."
Artie laughed. "You're right. Though he was once, quite a while ago."
This was new. Liz looked at him inquisitively. "What do you mean?"
Artie sighed. "It's pretty private, I don't know if I should tell you."
"Artie, please. You can trust me, you know you can."
"Okay, okay." The walked for a moment in silence, concentrating on getting their steps right up a particularly difficult stretch of path, before Artie started to talk again.
"Okay, so it was about eight or nine years ago, and Paul met this girl. I can't remember her name -- I think it was something like Kaylee or something like that. Anyway, she was this terrific piece of work. Good looker, great fun at parties, and an honestly nice woman."
"You can remember all that but you can't remember her name? What was her bra size?" asked Liz teasingly.
"Shut up," he replied playfully. "So we all thought she was great and that it was brilliant that Paul was finally happy and we all thought it was going to go the usual way: marriage, kids, suburbs, so forth."
"That sounds nice."
"Yeah, it does, doesn't it?"
There was a moment's silence.
"So...er...what went wrong?" asked Liz awkwardly. "With Paul and Kaylee, I mean."
Artie sighed. "Turns out she was cheating on him. With two other guys."
Liz gasped. "Oh god, poor Paul. What a slut! Bitch!"
"He was devastated. I mean, serious depression. He'd never had his heart broken before. It was awful to watch; he went into like this spiral of self-destruction. I was still too young really to fully appreciate it all. It wasn't until he decided to jump off the Sechs City Bridge after one too many beers that I realised what he was going though."
Liz stopped straight in her tracks, turning white as a sheet. "He tried to kill himself?"
Artie shook his head. "No, he talked about it in the bar. I stopped him -- just, I gotta add, he was dead set on ending it there and then. If it hadn't been for me reaching his nerves through all that booze I dunno what could have happened."
"What did you do?" asked Liz curiously.
"I knocked him out cold with my fist," he replied. "First and only time I've ever hit a man. Hurt, too; my hand was sore for about a week. The real icing on the cake was that we then both got thrown out of the bar for fighting. To this day we're still not allowed in."
Liz couldn't help giggling. "My husband -- the bar room brawler."
"Yeah, well. After that he started going to like a counsellor, worked through some stuff, and decided he wasn't going to mope about any more. He was going to live his life and have some fun. Which he certainly has done, I can tell you that. I mean, eight year of fun is a long time. No wonder he wants to settle down with Inga."
Liz went very quiet, staring at the ground beneath her feet as they walked. "Do you think..." she started hesitantly, "...do you think it could happen again? That he could...slip back into depression?"
Artie shrugged. "Don't know, really. God, I hope not. I might have to hit him again."
"Artie, be serious."
"Okay, I'm sorry. See, I knew I shouldn't have brought it up; I've got you all upset. Come on, let's change the subject. How many of those birds do you think we'll see today?"
"So how long have you and Inga been together?" Rachel asked.
They had been walking through the forest for quite some time now, and she had told them they were nearing the place she had suggested for firewood. All the way there they had talked quite casually; Paul determined to keep his eyes on her pretty face and not on her gorgeous body, her small breasts, her tight ass...
"About six months now," he replied.
"Six months, wow, that's great. You're really lucky; I think she's stunning."
"She is," he said warmly and truthfully, "in every sense of the word."
"How did you meet?"
"She was best friends with Liz and I was best friends with Artie; we'd known each other a while but never really thought of dating. It just sort of happened, really."
"Cool. So you were seeing someone else before then?"
For the first time, Paul felt a little bashful. He didn't like to brag about his love life that much, especially not to a strange woman. "Er...yeah," he replied eventually. "Sort of?"
"Sort of?" Rachel asked. She had a slight hint of mischief in her eyes, goading him on to tell her more.
"Well, really, I was actually seeing a few people before I started dating Inga."
"Really?" said Rachel slyly. "Good for you; I think life's too short to worry about things like that, until you've actually got it in front of you, of course."
"Have you had a lot of lovers?"
Now things were getting personal, thought Paul's brain, but his mouth moved seemingly of its own accord as he answered, "Yeah, a fair few."
"Me too," Rachel said proudly.
"But now you're with Freddie."
"Oh, yeah, and I love him to bits, believe me, but even then that's never stopped me before."
"God, no. Openness is the only way to go in relationships these days."
Paul's mouth felt suddenly very dry. He felt the spark between them; the anticipation was there. He was becoming aroused, the soft flesh quickly swelling to a noticeable bulge.
Rachel turned round suddenly, stopping him in his tracks. "We're here," she said. "Now -- take off your pants."
Paul was slightly startled. "What?"
She slowly walked towards him, that wicked glint in her eyes, unzipping the small zip of her denim shorts as she said slowly, "Ever since I saw you and Artie watching me this morning, knowing how hot I was making you...it was such a fucking turn on." The shorts slipped off the smooth legs, revealing a gorgeous pair of black French knickers. "And now I want your cock in my mouth. Take. Off. Your. Pants."
With that she pushed him backwards into a tree quickly. Before he had time to fully comprehend what was going on she was on her knees on the forest floor, her hands ripping his own zip down and unbuckling his jeans. She reached into his boxers and pulled out his still hardening member.
"God, you're big," she said huskily, taking him into her wet mouth for one tantalising suck. "Mmm, tasty too," she added, giggling naughtily.
Her lips closed round it again and Paul put his head back onto the hard, rough bark of the tree in ecstasy. This girl was good; she knew what she was doing with that mouth of hers. He ran his fingers through her silky black hair, grunting as she continued to suck and lick happily away. She began to play with his balls, stroking and caressing them, playfully pulling and pinching them on occasions. Her other hand slipped down into her French knickers, down into the wetness, flicking her clit to the rhythm of her sucking. She moaned with her mouthful.
This was too good to be true, and try as he might, Paul couldn't help but started to get over excited. Carefully he removed her head from his cock, a thin trail of white thread connecting her lips to the very tip. Without thinking, Paul tore down the French knickers, revealing her bare mound, and after they had kissed passionately, deeply, he spun her round with a slightly startled, "Oh!" and entered her from behind, his jeans falling down his strong legs as he did so.
Their movements were quick, fast, rough. She began to whimper and screw her face tight shut as he moved his throbbing hardness in and out of her. His hands reached under her top and found her breasts, braless, the nipples hard. He squeezed and toyed with them, causing her to start moaning louder and louder.
Finally, just when he was reaching the edge, Rachel bent her back forwards and down, stretching her hands down to her toes, as if she was attempting to touch them. This seemed to increase her wonderful pleasure only further. She began to cry out in ecastasy.
"Yes, yes, yes! God, yes! Fuck me, fuck me, oh, baby, baby, fuck me, Freddie, fuck me! Ohh! Oh god! Oh!"
Paul was lost in a sea of warmth, oblivious to the obvious oddities; as he buckled and felt the white hotness leave, he grunted, biting his lower lip. In turn Rachel stood straight up, her hands on his legs, squeezing them tightly as she came in gasps and strangled yelps, shuddering.
As her cries died down, she lay back onto his body in utter exhaustion. They were sweating badly; the heat of their quick encounter mirrored only by the heat of the early afternoon sun. They stayed like that until his member had shrunken down and out of her with a sticky, warm mess covering it.
Rachel took a step forwards, pulling up her French knickers as she did so. "That was fun," she smiled, a little breathlessly. "Inga's a very lucky girl to have you in her bed every night."
The mention of Inga's name hit Paul in the face like a wet cloth; though they had always insisted to each other that their relationship would remain open, this had been the firs chance Paul had actually had to screw someone other than her. It didn't feel right, though. It felt all wrong, all of it. He felt foolish and pathetic.
"What's wrong?" asked Rachel casually. "Didn't you enjoy that? 'Cos I've got a funny feeling dripping down my legs at the moment that seems to suggest you did." To prove a point she traced a finger up her inner left leg and placed it in her mouth, sucking it for a second. "Mmm...yup, definitely tastes like Cum Of Paul. Nice flavour."
Was this girl for real? Paul thought as he grabbed the nearest leaf he could find in an attempt to wipe the mess of their encounter from around his cock. "It's not that I didn't enjoy it," he explained. "I guess...this kind of thing isn't for me anymore."
Rachel shrugged. "If that's your call, then live with it, honey. Now let's find some of that firewood, shall we?"
She wondered a little way off, zipping her shorts back up as she did so, leaving Paul standing there, still slightly dazed, his jeans round his ankles, a leaf wrapped round his shrivelled, dripping cock.
The afternoon drew on. Liz and Artie got back to camp before Paul and Rachel, a fact that only heightened Inga's inner cynicism. When the other pair eventually returned, however, their arms were so full of logs that she almost began to question her emotions. Almost, though; there was still that hint of something not quite right.
Why should I care, she thought for the fourteenth time. After all, if he screwed her, good for him; she's adorable. This is the way we wanted our relationship after all.
Artie decided he wanted a snooze in the tent, while Paul and Inga, who said she was bored, went for a short walk on their own. Liz settled down back into one of the camping chairs with her book, but was quickly joined by Rachel, who was halfway through eating a tin of peaches.
"So which is your favourite Thomas Gregory book, then?" she asked Liz as she sat down in the chair next to her.
Liz smiled and thought carefully. "I think I'd have to say A Woman's Castle," she replied.
"Oh, good choice. Why?"
"Are you kidding? I mean, the scene where Sir Oliver goes to her room to convince her not to marry that French moron...I mean, that's the best piece of writing Gregroy's ever done!"
"In your opinion," said Rachel, popping another peach slice into her mouth, a little of the sweet juice glistening on her lips in the sunlight. "I mean, yeah, it's a great scene, but I reckon he's written better. Wanna know my fave?"
She grinned and said, in an over the top, dramatic voice that made Liz giggle, "Choices Of A Scoundrel."
"Ha ha, you're right; that's a great one. I'd say that was my number three choice after my choice and...erm...oh, Henry's Daughter. Oh, the ending's so sad on that one."
"Yeah, I cried like a baby when I read that," Rachel agreed, finishing the last of the peaches and placing the empty tin carefully by the side of her chair. "You know, there's some pretty racy stuff in his books."
Liz blushed. "There is, you're right."
"Have you got to the scene in that one yet in the stable?"
"Actually, yeah, it's just coming up to that part."