The Nymph's PoolbyWatchingCloud©
The cabin was just as Josh remembered from the family vacations of his youth - a sturdy, inviting structure built of native logs, concealing within its bowels three bedrooms and all the amenities of a full-sized house in the city. At least two or three times a year, from as early as he could remember and until his family moved to another state when he reached middle school, he had come here as a guest of the Thorntons. It was the home away from home where he and their daughter Maya would explore the woods for hours on end while their parents played cards or whatever it was adults did when the kids were scarce. With enough begging, they could usually coax the parents to take them down to the lake a mile away for an afternoon of boats, beaches and sunburns. All in all, it was the source of most of his happier memories as a young kid.
"Hey there, strangers!" Mr. Thornton said, stepping out on to the front porch to greet them as they unloaded the car and stretched their legs from the long drive. "It's been too long."
Mrs. Thornton was right behind and the two of them helped carry their bags into the cabin. Josh looked around for Maya, but saw no sign of her. After the way their last visit went some three years back, he was almost relieved.
"So, Josh, how's it feel to finally be done with high school?" Mrs. Thornton said, holding the door for him at the end of the line.
"Great," he said. "Graduation couldn't have come quick enough."
"Been keeping busy during the summer?"
"Yeah," he said. "Mostly working at my dad's office to make some money for college, but I've had a little time to hang out with some friends before we go our separate ways."
"Well, I'm sure you'll be able to rest and recoup here. Might be on your own a bit, though, since Maya decided not to come along this year."
Mrs. Thornton looked resigned and maybe even a little sorry for him. The girl who had been his closest friend until his family moved had done little but give him a cold shoulder during his last vacation here, spending all her time talking on the phone and scarcely having a word to spare for him except when their parents forced everyone to play a game or go to the beach together. In spite of that, though, Josh couldn't help but feel a little disappointed at her current absence - Maya's presence was inextricably linked to everything that this place meant to him.
"Yeah, she said something about having finally found a lead on a possible job for the end of the summer," she said. "But, between you and me, I think she was mostly staying because of her boyfriend Brad."
From her tone, Josh was quite sure that she didn't approve of Brad. He just gave a sympathetic shrug.
"That's ok," he said. "I brought my laptop and a stack of books I've been meaning to read. I'm sure I'll manage."
"Good. Oh, and we had a pool installed since the last time you were here, so you've got that as another option."
* * * * *
Josh found himself feeling like the odd man out for most of the first day there, in spite of his parents' and the Thorntons' efforts to try to include him in their conversation. The two couples had been good friends since college and there was always a lot to catch up on now that they lived hundreds of miles apart. He was soon excusing himself to find quiet places to read or hike. Luckily, the cabin was surrounded by hilly forest with countless little trails that meandered under the cool canopy. After the mad dash to the end of the school year and the hubbub with graduation parties, he actually relished the little bit of solitude.
By the third day, he had settled into a routine of sleeping in late, hiking away the rest of the morning, swimming and reading by the pool, and then dinner with the parents. The adults were usually driving in to town to shop for antiques or art, or stopping at any of the numerous vineyards in the area, none of which interested him. Once he was able to convince them that he was perfectly happy being alone, everyone was finally able to relax.
Late afternoon of the fourth day, with the parents off on another excursion, Josh finished his afternoon swim and went back to his room. He flipped on his laptop where it rested on his bottom bunk and queued up an old Queen album. To the strains of "Somebody to Love," he shed his damp suit and hung it over a hanger in the closet. As he exited the closet, the bedroom door swung open and there was Maya, bags in both hands and a shocked expression on her face. When her eyes dropped down below his waist, his own shock wore off enough to remember to grab his towel to cover up, flushing furiously in the process. When their eyes met again, she wore a look of embarrassment mixed with humor that annoyed him more than it probably should.
"Oh my god, I'm sorry," she said, turning her head away but not leaving.
"Don't you knock?" he said, regretting the tone of his voice even as the words came out.
"I said I'm sorry," she said, defensively. "The door was cracked open and my hands were full."
"Yeah, well...you could have still said something so I knew you were there before barging in."
Maya looked back at him, her half smile gone and expression hurt. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but changed her mind and closed her lips tight. She set her bags in an empty corner beside the bunk beds, turned on her heel, and left the room, closing the door quietly behind her.
"You dumbass," Josh muttered quietly to himself. Regardless of how things had been between them three years ago, he was pretty sure that it wouldn't improve after that. And this time it was his fault. In that first moment when their eyes had met, he saw his old friend and playmate, the one full of energy and ready for adventure. Had he blown a chance to reclaim some of that old friendship?
He dressed quickly while his heart rate came back down. On top of replaying his own overreaction, he marveled at how Maya had changed in other ways. Three years ago, at fifteen, she had already grown into a beauty, though in a girlie cute sort of way. Now, however, she had the same tall, lean frame, but carried it with an aura of maturity and confidence. Those blue eyes were sharp and smart, and the smile that tended to favor one side of her mouth was genuine and disarming.
But for as much as she he might find her attractive and desirable, Josh knew there was little point in giving it further thought. He was intimidated by beautiful girls. And with Maya, their relationship would always be defined by their childhood, before the physical attraction between opposite sexes could taint them.
One thing about her arrival was certain - the sense of complete relaxation that he had been enjoying was now over.
* * * * *
Their parents returned soon after Maya's arrival, giving Josh the opportunity to avoid any sort of one on one conversation for at least a little longer. She wasted no time in getting caught up with his parents, while he sat and listened from the kitchen table sidelines. Unlike their last visit, Maya seemed to have shed much of her shallow youth and was now perfectly comfortable and fluent in adult conversation. Truly, she had changed, and he couldn't help but keep looking at her.
"Isn't that exciting, Josh?" Josh shook his head when he heard his mom say his name.
"Sorry, what?" he said, having dropped the thread to his own thoughts.
"Maya's going to be going to Oregon State next year with you," she said.
"Oh! Really?" Josh had not heard that, but it gave him just a little thrill to hear that they would be attending the same college and living in the same city again. It had never occurred to him to wonder what she was doing now that she had graduated as well.
"What made you decide to come back to your old stomping grounds, Josh?" Maya asked, her eyes engaging and perhaps seeking deeper meaning from his answer. "There are plenty of good schools in California."
"Guess I always felt like Oregon was home," he said. "Besides, it's sort of a family thing with it being my parents' Alma mater. Suppose I just always assumed that's where I'd probably go."
"Cool," she said, sounding genuinely happy. "We'll have to compare notes about the whole class registration thing. It's kinda overwhelming...in a good way."
Their parents took the conversation back over while they finished preparing dinner. Josh and Maya exchanged looks frequently throughout the rest of the evening, even if they spoke little. Whatever may have happened earlier, she seemed to have gotten over it, and that gave Josh hope for the rest of vacation not being a total loss.
* * * * *
Josh stripped to his boxers and slid under the sheet of the lower bunk bed. He tried to do a little reading by the small light clamped to the bed post, but found his mind too distracted to focus. He could hear the water turning on and off in the bathroom next door and knew that Maya would be coming back to the room at any moment.
He was willing to admit that he was smitten, but that sort of thing happened often to guys his age. More to the point, he just wanted to be confident and comfortable enough to talk and joke with her the way he used to. But what could he say that would sound natural and not corny?
There was a soft knock at the door. "Yeah?" he said.
Maya opened the door and peeked in. "Everyone decent this time?" she said with a smile.
"Yeah," he said, folding his book on his chest. She was wearing a thin, blue cotton tank top and very brief white athletic shorts. It was impossible not to notice the way her shirt clung to her breasts, with a hint of nipple protruding. He forced himself to look away so as not to be caught staring.
Maya set aside her clothes, clicked off the bedroom's main light, and climbed to the top bunk. Josh was mesmerized by her long, smooth, tanned legs as they disappeared from view above. The springs sagged and squeaked a bit under her weight as she shifted around. Moments later, one hand appeared on the edge of her bunk, followed by her head framed by long brown hair hanging all to one side.
"What happened? I thought you always liked to be on top."
Josh flushed a little at that, hoping the small reading lamp was dim enough that it wouldn't show.
"Well, I thought it was going to just be me, and the top bunk is a lot squeakier than the bottom," he said.
She bounced a couple times, inducing a couple uncomfortably loud squeaks from the seldom used springs. "Yeah, I can see that. Is it me, or do these beds seem to keep shrinking?"
"Tell me about it," he said. "I have to sleep diagonally just to fit on the mattress."
"Is everything ok?" she said, suddenly serious.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, this afternoon and all," she said. "I guess you had every right to be a little upset, but it seemed like there was something more to it than that."
"No, no. It's fine. I just overreacted a bit, I guess."
"I'd almost say that you weren't too happy about seeing me here at all."
He wondered how she could have guessed that. It was a little distressing that she seemed to be able to read him that well. Could she guess what else he was thinking...in particular about her? Still, it seemed that she was looking to reconcile, so he decided to follow the path of honesty.
"Well, there might have been a little of that," he said. "But I'm over it."
"Care to tell me why?"
"I guess it was mostly because of the last time we came here," he said.
She looked puzzled. "What, the time a few years ago? Did I do something?"
"Well, it wasn't so much what you did, but rather what you didn't. I seem to remember you spending most of the entire week either on your cell phone or moping about and complaining about being stuck there. You pretty much blew me off for most of the trip."
"Oh. I suppose I did do that, didn't I?"
"It's not a big deal," he said. "I guess I'd just come with expectations of it being just like the old days when we were younger. Things change."
"Well, let me apologize for my behavior back then," she said. "I'll admit, I was going through a phase that I'm not too proud of...when I was only worried about being cool and being seen with the right friends."
"Ahhh," he said. "So I wasn't the right sort..." He made it clear in his voice that he was now trying to tease her.
She buried her head in the mattress in melodramatic shame. "Well, no, you weren't," she said. "You were kinda geeky and couldn't seem to talk about anything other than whichever big special effects-laden movie was coming out next, or which one you were missing by being stuck at the cabin."
"Oh, so I'm a geek now?" He was willing to keep teasing her now that they were both smiling. It was a bigger ice breaker than he could have hoped.
"Maybe a little, but in a good way," she said.
"There's a good geekiness?"
"Well, let's just say that as you get older, a little bit of geek is indeed a good thing."
"And I'm trying real hard to pay more attention to the things that matter rather than the superficial," she said. "Even if I still seem to make the occasional bone-headed mistake with the likes of Brad."
"Ex, as of yesterday," she said, seemingly without regret.
"I'm sorry." He wasn't.
"Dumb jock," she said. "Not a bad guy, really, but I realized that I've outgrown his type. Not enough geek. So, yeah, that's why I ended up coming out here. Decided that this was what I really needed this summer - friends and family and fresh air."
"Well, I'm glad you came," he said. Even though he knew that nothing romantic was likely between the two of them, at least they would have a week and a half together, and it felt like they'd found a renewed bond.
"Did you have anything planned for tomorrow?"
"Well, most mornings I've been sleeping in a little bit, grab some breakfast, and then go hiking until lunch."
"Sounds nice," she said. "Mind if I join ya?"
She gave him a big smile and then blew him a kiss before disappearing back over the edge of the top bunk. "Good night, dear," she said.
"Good night," he said. That kiss had to have been a friendly gesture, but it was one that inevitably gave him a raging boner that kept him awake for another hour until sleep finally claimed him.
* * * * *
When Josh woke, the room was already lit with diffuse sunlight struggling through the curtains. The sound of the shower next door suggested that Maya must be up, since the other two bedrooms each had private baths. The bunk above him wasn't sagging, either, further confirming his suspicions, though how she could have gotten out of that squeaky contraption without waking him was beyond comprehension.
His mind soon wandered back to images of Maya wearing that blue top last night, and how it subtly revealed her graceful curves. His hand wandered under the sheets and ran along his erection, teasing it out of the fly on his boxers. He gently stroked, mentally undressing her the rest of the way.
The sound of a door opening in the hall outside the room startled him mightily. He crammed his hard-on back into his shorts and rolled onto his side so that the tented sheet wouldn't give him away. A moment later, the bedroom door cracked open and Maya peeked in quietly.
"Heya sleepy head, you're awake," she said, opening the door fully. She was standing there wrapped only in a bath towel, held in place with a hand between her cleavage. The bottom of the towel barely reached the top of her thighs. His erection, which had started to fade for fear of being caught, suddenly redoubled in strength.
"Yeah, just," he said, trying to sound sleepier than he was.
"Was waiting for the shower to warm up when I realized I'd forgotten something," she said. He watched her backside as she crouched down to dig through her luggage. Had she bent over from the waist, he was sure he'd have gotten one hell of a view. She came up, holding a sheer white bra victoriously. "Here it is."
He was a little startled at her confidence, and he felt self-conscious for her. "Yeah, good thing to have, I suppose," he said weakly.
"Mom asked if we wanted to go to Maple Glen with them today, but I told her we'd pass," she said. "Hope that was okay with you."
"Yeah, that's cool."
"Good, 'cuz they already left. There's some fruit and other breakfast stuff left over in the kitchen if you wanna hit that while waiting for the shower." She gave him another smile as she closed the bedroom door behind her.
Josh listened for the bathroom door to close and then for the shower curtain to be pulled aside. Finally confident that he wouldn't be interrupted yet another time, he jerked off as fast as humanly possible. This could make for a wonderful and frustrating week, he thought to himself.
* * * * *
Though it was still more than an hour before noon, Josh was sweating from the mid-summer heat and the exertion of climbing the highest hill for miles around. The heat scarcely registered, however, as he was mesmerized by the view on the trail before him. Maya's tight ass wiggled side to side hypnotically in her snug denim shorts and her strong calves flexed with each step up. A trickle of sweat soaked through the back of her yellow tank top just between the shoulders while her pony tail swung lazily back and forth across her neck.
Their conversation tapered off as they neared the peak. He felt a little winded and he sensed that she was as well. For as tough as the hike could be, he was impressed that she hadn't asked to catch a breather or even slow up. Cutting between the last two trees, they stepped into a clearing that offered a magnificent view of the lake in the distance surrounded by all the wooded hills. Maya placed her hands on her hips and soaked it all in.
"You're not even breathing hard," she said, clearly a little winded herself.
"A little," he said, honestly.
"You work out much?"
"Four years of cross country," he said. "Without a season coming up, I've slacked a little on my running, but I still get out a few times a week."
"Good for you. It shows."
"Well, you've certainly filled out since the last time I saw you," she said, pinching his lean abs. "It works for you."
He blushed at the compliment. While he was fairly proud at staying fit, he still felt a little self-conscious for being on the thin side. It was a build that had suited him well as a runner, but didn't always make him feel particularly confident. Her words went a long way toward dashing some of those feelings.
"Thanks," he said. "How about you? Did you do any sports?"
"I tried soccer for a year, but I couldn't commit myself to all the off season leagues and work you had to put in to be any good at it. After that, my interests started to shift anyway."
"Yeah? To what?"
"Oh, I did a lot of singing," she said. "And later on in high school I got involved in debate and academic decathlon and that sort of thing."
"Really?" he said. He was surprised to hear that from her, but it reinforced his opinion that she was pretty smart and comfortable with it. "So, what were you thinking of majoring in?"
"At the moment, probably economics or finance," she said.
Josh almost choked on the swallow of water he had just taken from his canteen. "And you had the nerve to call me geeky last night?"
"Yeah, well...I was talking more about the last time we were here. Not now."
"So what about you? What are you thinking about going into?"
"I'm thinking art," he said.
"Really? Huh. Didn't see that one coming. I had you more pegged as an engineer or computer science type."
"There you go with the geek thing again," he said.
"No, no," she said. "I didn't mean it that way. It's just that you always seemed into computers and sciency type stuff."