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Charlie and Mindy have always loved each other, but they’re about to discover just how deep that love is when they backpack to Wyoming, and their close relationship changes forever. Can they stay strong against the challenges of family disapproval, college life, and personal tragedies?~~~~~~~~~~The Forbidden Journey follows nineteen-year-old Charlie and eighteen-year-old Mindy through a pivotal year of their lives as they discover themselves, each other, and what they mean to each other. Their journey begins as they backpack, just the two of them, into Wyoming's remote, beautiful Wind River Range. There, surrounded by grandeur, cut off from all other human contact for a week, they learn that they are much more than the best friends they've always believed themselves.But Charlie has always thought of himself as Mindy's protector, and he will not breach the trust she has always placed in him. So it's left to her to take the matter into her own hands, and then into her own mouth, and then… And then Charlie learns in Mindy's arms that some lines are meant to be, must be, will be crossed.In this exciting four-book collection, follow two teenagers' journey of discovery together, through trust, love, and passion, as they develop their love, striving always to honor their old childhood pledge to each other: "Now and always!" Can they turn childish love and trust into something more adult, more exciting, more important, more compelling, and far more permanent?
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Written by Charles E. Magness
Cover Artwork by Moira Nelligar
© 2015 Boruma Publishing, LLC
~~ All characters in this 4-book anthology are 18 or over. ~~
Table of Contents
A Walk On The Wild Side
Friends & Lovers
Now And Always
About The Author
“Charlie, that was Dave,” Mindy said, as she hung up the phone. “Their mother broke a leg in an auto accident this morning. The doctors say she’ll be okay, but she’s in the hospital. Dave and Carol want to be with her, so they can’t make it tomorrow.”
It was about lunchtime on a Saturday in early August of 1987. My little sister Mindy and I had spent the morning inventorying food and gear. David, Carol, Mindy, and I had planned a week-long backpacking trip into the Wind River Range, with the next day as the date of departure from Fort Collins, Colorado, for the Meadow Lake trailhead near Pinedale, Wyoming. We had planned a meeting that evening, to finish our planning and go over our gear. This could mean canceling the trip.
“I’m glad she’s going to be okay,” I said, and I was. “But I don’t think we should go to the Winds without them.” About that, I wasn’t glad at all.
“Well, there’d be just the two of us. If one of us should get hurt and need to be taken care of, there’d be nobody to go for help.”
Her lower lip stuck out. She was 18—a bit more than a year younger than I. She’d been looking forward to this trip—her first into real wilderness—for quite a while. “You said that the part of the range where you’d be taking us was pretty well used. So there should be people around to help in any emergency.”
“It’s pretty risky—we couldn’t be sure of help if we needed it.”
The Island Lake area where we had planned on going was heavily used—for the Wind River Range in 1987. But it was possible, then, to spend a week there without seeing anyone but members of your own party.
“Well, nothing’s sure,” she allowed. “I think we’ll be fine, and I want to go.”
I wanted to go, too. I’d been on several long trips into wild country, not least of which was a month-long Mountain Odyssey Learning School course I’d taken two years earlier. I loved being in the backcountry.
And Mindy was determined. So I was doomed. I’d long since learned, the hard way, that when Mindy takes it into her mind that she’s going to do something, she will do it. She had decided that she was going to go for a week-long hike in the Wind River Range—with me, or without me.
“I think you’ve talked me into it, Little Sister. But we’ll have to be extra careful,” I finally said, knowing that however dicey it might be for two people, it would be a lot worse for just one. “And we’ll both have to work on convincing Mom that we’ll be safe, so she won’t change her mind about lending us her car.”
That earned me a big, front-to-front, full-contact oh-big-brother-thank-you-thank-you-thank-you hug. Feeling her trim little female body against me made the risk seem worthwhile.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It was a body I knew well—almost as well as I knew my own. Because we’d lived in a very small home, the two of us had shared a bed until I was ten. Beginning when I was about six or so, we’d taken the opportunity to satisfy our childish curiosity by exploring each other’s bodies. Late at night, we’d use flashlights under the covers for visual exploration. We didn’t need flashlights to explore each other by hand.
By the time I was eight, each of us was very familiar with the anatomy of the opposite sex—at least, as it is found during childhood. I think it was about then that we started calling our mutual examinations “body checks.”
It was all pretty innocent. We knew, somehow, that Mom would disapprove, but we didn’t really know why—so we were very careful to keep our “hobby” a secret. That it was a shared secret made it even better.
In spite of the way we checked each other’s bodies out, we never slept without our pajamas on. Mom had impressed upon the two of us that it was “uncultured” (one of her most disapproving words) for a person to sleep with nothing on. To this day, I’m not sure whether she intended to keep us from sleeping naked with each other—or if she simply intended to keep us from sleeping naked. At any rate, she certainly got a message through: I now sleep naked, though never without remarking to myself how uncultured I’ve become.
In that shared bed, we often slept in each other’s arms, or “spoon” fashion. Mom probably thought the way we snuggled together in our jammies was “cute.” I am sure she was right because, at our ages, it was, could have been, nothing more than an expression of our childish affection for each other. Moreover, the family finances being marginal at best in those days, she unwittingly encouraged us by turning the thermostat down to 55° during those cold Colorado winter nights.
It was during those years of childish love and intimacy that we invented a secret ritual—our private, sacred litany. It was how we expressed our love for each other, how we cheered each other when one or both were sad. One of us would say to the other “Big Brother and Little Sister,” to which the other replied, “Best friends.” And then, in unison: “Now and always.”
And during those years, too, we made a solemn pact with each other, our own Code of Honor: We could lie for, but never to, each other. We simply called our agreement The Code. If either of us invoked it, each of us was bound to tell the truth and, maybe more importantly, to believe that the other was telling the truth.
For reasons Mindy and I did not understand, our father was not a part of our family picture—and hadn’t been at any time either of us could remember. When I was ten, Mom found a man who loved her. He was a successful attorney, and, when she married him, our standard of living improved immensely. We moved into our new stepfather’s large home, and Mindy and I each got our own bedroom and bed.
Initially, Mindy and I didn’t think that was an improvement. For a few weeks, Mom frequently found one of us in the other’s bed late at night, both of us fast asleep, snuggling with each other. There was nothing sexual about it. Nor was body checking the issue; we were just lonely trying to sleep apart from each other. After all, we’d spent most of our lives sharing a bed.
Slowly we adjusted, and after several weeks we were able to spend the whole night alone in our own beds.
Nighttime body checks were then pretty much out of the question, as was sleeping in each other’s arms. But we still could avail ourselves of daylight opportunities. Our new stepfather had gotten our mother a secretarial position in another attorney’s office, so both of them were usually gone during the days. They thought us mature enough to handle being without adult supervision when school was out.
You must understand: We regarded our bodies as mutual property, but we weren’t obsessed about our body checking. It had much the same place in our lives as any other childish hobby might have had, being something we might choose to do when we weren’t otherwise occupied. It was driven almost entirely by innocent curiosity, with, maybe, just a little of the spice of the forbidden thrown in.
Before the man we soon came to call “Dad” joined our family, the three of us had never been very private about our bodies. I think that made it easier for Mindy and me to share our bodies with each other. In our little home, Mom had almost never closed the door when she used the bathroom, and in consequence neither did we. If Mom happened to be naked when she wanted something, she had no reservations about going and getting it without first covering up. So we had none, either.
As our new family integrated, Dad, too, stopped concealing his body around the house. So we were used to seeing the naked bodies of all four members of our family. Mindy and I just carried it a little further.
We did know what people do to make babies. We knew what it was called—a word we knew to be very uncultured (and which we used between ourselves for that reason). We didn’t know, though, that there was any reason to do that unless you wanted a baby. And back then, we thought that a baby would always be the result of that activity when grown-ups engaged in it.
We tried it several times, to see how it worked. At least, we thought we had. As far as we knew how to be clinical or scientific, those trials had been clinically scientific experiments, which we’d carried out in dispassionate quest for knowledge. This is supposed to fit into that. We’ve got one of each here; let’s see how it works. In retrospect, I see that all of those efforts were pretty lame—or, more precisely, such was our knowledge of sexual matters that most of our efforts were pretty limp.
There was one exception; the last of those experiments was different. As we approached puberty together, we each took a deeper interest in our bodies—and our sibling’s. We knew that soon those bodies would change; determined little scientists that we were, we wanted to follow those changes. And each of us wanted to follow them in both bodies. Our growing determination extended, as well, to trying to pierce the mysteries of adult sex.
We performed our last experiment on a snowy day in February of 1980. Mom and Dad had to work, but our school was off. Late that morning, after the children’s television had turned into boring game shows, we engaged in a daylight body check and in another experiment. Unlike our previous experiments, this effort was not limp, and we achieved partial success. It was only partial because it hurt her, and we didn’t carry the experiment past her pain. But it is worth noting that neither of us experienced any hint of the compelling urgency so characteristic of adult sexual activity.
Why didn’t we try again? To begin with, we thought it would hurt her again. And we were slowly becoming aware of the meaning that the grown-up world attaches to putting this into that—especially where siblings are involved. Most of all, probably, we worried that we might be old enough that she would get pregnant.
On the other hand, we were also gradually learning that people had sex all the time because they liked it (even the women, for whom it must therefore not be painful), and that pregnancy didn’t result every time. We weren’t sure what had caused Mindy’s pain during that long-ago experiment: youth, perhaps, or lack of lubrication, or both. So our “knowledge” of this subject, like so much childhood knowledge, consisted of many isolated, sometimes mutually contradictory, “facts.”
Shortly after that last experiment, we both entered puberty for real. We continued our body-checking hobby, which was made even more interesting by the accelerating (and fascinating) changes in both our bodies. We gained height. Acne troubled us both—her in particular. We saw whiskers begin to sprout from my upper lip, and then from my chin and my cheeks, while the hair on my chest, arms, and legs changed its quality from fine and downy to coarse and dark. We watched the boringly parallel lines of her body change, ever so slowly, into the alluring curves of womanhood. We also observed, in detail, more intimate changes.
As we matured physically, we each learned—from peers of our own sex—about orgasms and how one brings them about for oneself. We traded this information and we practiced industriously, often watching each other out of curiosity regarding both structure and technique. But for some reason, it never occurred to us that we might do each other.
Her first period came in early 1982, when she was nearly 13. Late one afternoon, when Mom and Dad weren’t home, she proudly displayed the bloody wreck of a Tampax she had just drawn from her body. I could’ve done without that. But it was all part of watching ourselves grow up together—and I now know that, much more than I, she could have done without that—as it recurred again and again in her later life.
When I was sixteen, she started calling me “The Big Person With The Muscles,” and in return I called her “The Soft Little Person.” Not that she was weak; she packed a lot of strength into her little body. But still, she was small, and she was female. Small people aren’t generally as strong as large people, while girls aren’t generally as strong as boys.
We’d both been looking forward to this trip into the Wind River Range as a way of reconnecting with each other. For most of the last year, I’d been away for my first year of college at Mom’s alma mater (where Mindy was to begin her freshman year in a few weeks). And we’d both been busy with summer jobs—which we’d quit early in order to make this trip. I’d had a good first year away from home. But I had missed—really missed—my little sister, who was still my very best friend.
That August, at the age of 18, The Soft Little Person was as tall as she was ever going to be, although, of course, we didn’t know that. She was about 5 feet tall, and she weighed 100 pounds when she was fully clothed, dripping wet, and someone put a couple of rocks on the scale beside her. I thought that her breasts were just right for her small body, and they were so firm that she rarely wore a bra.
Her feminine curves were gentle and subdued, and she had a cute pair of tight little buttocks. Her figure was slender and athletic, without being either bony or skinny. She had blue eyes, a pleasing face, and she wore her dark brown hair in a short bob. No one would ever think of her as a stunning beauty, but she liked living in her own skin.
For the most part, she enjoyed being what she was—a pretty, sexy, intelligent young woman. She wasn’t so fond of being small, though; in fact, she was a little bit sensitive about it.
The Big Person With The Muscles, on the other hand, then stood 6 feet tall, and weighed 190 pounds. I’d thought I was a little overweight, but the doctor said I was pretty solid and I shouldn’t worry about it. I didn’t know it, but I had the broad shoulders and muscular body that attract women. I had another inch or so to grow, and I would put on more muscle mass as I filled out during the next few years.
As we prepared for this trip into the wilderness in each other’s company, we had last practiced our hobby about a year earlier. I’d been away at college, and then we’d both been busy with jobs and other summer activities. But old habits die hard, and so we’d often seen each other around the house in various states of undress—including complete nudity.
We knew now that body checks reliably produced, in both of us, the sense of compelling urgency for union that I mentioned earlier. We’d successfully defused that urgency. But it had frightened us, because we thought ourselves “good” kids—and we had gotten the message. We knew that it would be wrong—deeply wrong—for brother and sister to satisfy that urgent need with each other. And so, by unspoken agreement, we’d put aside our old hobby, though we both now found it more interesting than ever. But I don’t believe that either of us meant to give it up for good.
It did not occur to us that opportunities for renewing it might await us in the Bridger Wilderness Area. Nevertheless, we were exhilarated by the knowledge that we would have no company in the backwoods other than ourselves—big brother and little sister, best friends, now and always.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The drive to the trailhead took about eight hours. We’d gotten up early, but we’d spent more time than we’d expected bagging our food and getting everything into our packs. So we’d gotten a late start—and then we’d taken our time.
As we traveled, we chatted. We talked about my just-completed first year of college—including my failure to get laid for the first time. I hadn’t failed for lack of trying, but because I hadn’t found a willing partner.
Mindy would begin college in a few weeks; she talked about her hopes and her fears. And she confessed that during her senior year of high school she, too, had failed to lose her virginity—though not because she hadn’t tried, or because she hadn’t found a willing partner. She’d kissed a few boys, she said, and a couple of them had touched her breasts through her shirt. But she hadn’t liked any of them enough to go further with them.
I realized that she took it for granted that she would really like a guy before she would consider Doing It with him. That was foreign to me, and it gave me a new perspective on the female mind.
Otherwise, we touched on nothing of any real importance, beyond the joy we shared at the prospect of spending some time together.
It was late afternoon when we arrived at Meadow Lake. We saw little traffic after we left the interstate in Wyoming, and we saw none at all once we turned off the two-lane highway. In the parking lot, we found only a couple of cars, and a pickup with a horse trailer hooked up to it.
I had been there just two years earlier—Meadow Lake had been the pickup site for my MOLS course—and I knew of a good campsite about three-quarters of a mile from the trailhead. We double-checked that we had all the gear we needed. Then we tied our sleeping bags and our daypacks onto the main packs, in the configuration that MOLS had taught me.
My pack was lighter than the one I’d carried on other, longer trips—though it was still heavy enough that Mindy could barely lift it. Hers was much lighter, but still heavy for her petite frame. I was The Big Person With The Muscles, so I carried a lot more than she. I’d made sure that she had copies of all of our maps, as well as food for a couple of days. If we were accidentally separated, she would need those things.
We had both worn jeans and good shirts for the drive to the trailhead, and we didn’t want to take them with us. And, following MOLS’ recommendation that all hikers, including women, should wear men’s cotton boxer shorts, we both wanted to change our underwear. We were alone at the trailhead, and we would hear anyone approaching by way of the deeply rutted road long before they could see us. It was very unlikely that hikers would approach from the other direction, so we stripped—right there beside our parked car.
I recall admiring her pert little breasts (she hadn’t even brought a bra with her on this trip). Her cleft, and the little dimple at its top, peeked out at me from between her bare thighs and below a small, brown, downward-pointing triangle. (I recall thinking of that triangle as her “electric fur,” and complimenting myself for remembering that phrase—even though I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it.) She looked me over, too. I thought to myself that this was a body check, if a superficial one.
We were intent on getting to our campsite, so we dressed quickly. We put on our boxer shorts (hers were some I’d outgrown), cotton hiking shorts, and sturdy long-sleeved cotton shirts. Then a pair of knee-length heavy wool socks, and over those a shorter pair of heavy wool socks. We followed these with hiking boots.
Then we took a last long drink of water from the jug we’d brought from home, locked it in the car, hoisted the packs onto our backs, tightened waist belts, and set out for the campsite.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Once there, we pitched our tent. We’d borrowed it, along with a pair of sleeping bags, from Bob and Sally, a young couple who lived down the block from our house.
We’d brought some rolls, some ham and cheese, and a couple of apples for our first supper on the trail. When we had finished and cleaned up, it was still early evening. We were each carrying a couple of sturdy, soft plastic, one-liter water bottles. We’d each about emptied one of them with dinner, so we refilled them from the nearby stream. I showed Mindy how to use tincture of iodine for purification. Twenty minutes later, the water would be drinkable.
There was still an hour or so before sunset, and we sat together on a log, our bodies touching more or less lightly, for most of that time. We alternated between enjoying the peaceful beauty of the woods in mutual silence and chatting quietly about who-knows-what. The evening wore on and, as would become routine, we found ourselves putting on mosquito repellent. We found also that we needed to add a layer of clothing—wool sweaters and wool pants—to stay warm in the growing evening chill. The daylight slowly failed, and we got out our headlamps, Ensolite pads, and sleeping bags.
The sky was clear, without a hint of bad weather. Our campsite was about 8,000 feet above sea level, so it would get even cooler before long. But it was August, and it wouldn’t get cold enough to cause us any discomfort in our sleeping bags. We decided we’d sleep outside the tent.
As we laid out our Ensolite pads and borrowed bags, I noticed out loud that the bags were a matching pair that could be zipped together.
Mindy had not known there were such sleeping bags, and she was entranced: “That’s great. I’d really like to zip them together and snuggle, Charlie. It’s been so long since we’ve slept that way—nine years.”
I, too, missed the sense of physical intimacy we’d shared as kids, so we did zip them together. We discovered that we were tired, both from getting up early and from the drive. The sun, by then, was down—though we had not been able to see it set owing to the trees that surrounded us. We knew that it would rise a little after six. And so, even though it wasn’t dark yet, we prepared to go to bed.
Before we climbed into the sack, we removed the extra layers we’d put on in the evening coolness; otherwise, we remained fully clothed in cotton shirts, hiking shorts, and knee-length wool socks. And then we both crawled into the doubled bag, leaving the upper zipper partially open.
We’d arranged ourselves so that Mindy was on my left as I lay on my back. We loosened our belts and undid our hiking shorts’ waist buttons. As I lay there, drifting pleasantly between awake and asleep, Mindy’s warmth and natural scent had their effect, and I felt some stirring in my groin. So I rolled away from her onto my side—not wanting her to know what effect she was having. We would be spending a week in each other’s company, and I didn’t want her to think I’d brought her here for any reason other than to share the wild country with her.
In the roominess of the doubled bag, I lay there on my side with my lower leg extended and my upper leg brought up a little, so that my thighs formed a “V” that had its corner at my crotch. Fatigue caught up with me and I began to drop off to sleep. I was vaguely, and pleasantly, aware that Mindy had turned toward me, wormed an arm under my neck, draped the other over my waist, and pulled herself up against me—slipping her leg over mine. We had often reposed together like this when we were children.
But this night, there was a difference: I distinctly recall the pressure of her small, firm breasts against me, and of her genital mound against my thigh, as I slipped off into a young man’s sound sleep.
Neither of us had slept on the ground for a while, so both of us flipped and flopped some during the night. I recall getting up to empty my bladder—probably an hour or so after midnight. The moon, a little past first quarter, had already set, and the stars shone brightly in the clear, dark sky. The Milky Way formed a broad highway across the sky. I also recall pulling the top zipper all the way up as I climbed back into the bag. Nevertheless, we slept reasonably well.
When I awoke again, the sky was blue, though the sun had not yet risen. We had rolled so that Mindy had her back to me. She was sleeping on her left side, with her knees together and drawn slightly upward. I was also on my left side, my legs drawn up against the backs of hers, one arm under her pillow (which we’d fashioned from a stuff-sack and sweater), and my other arm draped around her. We were in the classic spoon position.
During our sleep, she had clasped my hand to herself, so that it cupped one of her breasts through her shirt.
The firm rounded flesh felt wonderful.
And, as happens almost every morning with a young man, I had a raging erection. My hiking shorts confined it, but it pressed nonetheless into the cleft between her buttocks.
Groggily, I considered: If I moved, she would wake and catch me feeling her up; if I didn’t move, she would soon wake naturally and catch me feeling her up.
I had just about decided to remain in place, sleepily enjoying her body, when she did wake up.
“Are you awake, Big Brother?” she whispered.
Still half asleep, I mumbled assent. In response, she clasped my hand more tightly to her breast, causing me to give it a little squeeze. That caused a throb in my pants—which in its turn caused her to wiggle her rear end against me. I felt her nipple stiffen in my hand; almost automatically, my thumb brushed it. She wiggled again; I throbbed again.
Embarrassed at my seeming forwardness, I started to mumble something—anything—in an effort to excuse it. Even as I began, I realized that my bladder was full—really full; it was a ready-made escape from my predicament. I turned my incoherent mumbles into a fuzzy “I really have to pee,” rolled away from Mindy, unzipped the bag, and stumbled 10 or 15 yards into the woods.
But upon unzipping my pants and pulling my penis out, I encountered another difficulty: It isn’t possible to urinate through an erection. But this difficulty usually resolves itself; once you recognize the urgent need and concentrate on satisfying it, your erection softens quickly and flow begins. Thus, after 45 seconds or so, I urinated merrily away.
As my flow ended, I belatedly saw that Mindy had stumbled into the woods a little behind me and was several feet off to my left, facing back the way we had come. She had dropped her britches and, having gathered them at her knees and squatted, was finishing her chore as I finished mine. I had never seen a woman urinate in the woods before, and I’d wondered how they did it without getting their clothes wet. I’d just found out.
She looked at me as we buckled our belts. “Is something wrong, Charlie?” she asked. “It took you quite a while to start peeing.”
I hemmed and hawed for a moment and finally blurted out, “Well, Mindy, men can’t urinate through an erection.”
There was a significant pause.
“Who can’t what through which?” she asked, giving me a look I knew and dreaded. “You big jerk! Who do you think you’re talking to? This is me. Mindy. Your little sister. The only person in the world who knows your body almost as well as you do. The only person in the world whose body you know almost as well as she does. Do you mean that you can’t pee through a hard-on? Then say so, dammit.”
I mumbled something, trying not to shrivel up and die of shame, while shriveling up and dying of shame—not just because she might’ve thought my body had reacted to hers in the sleeping bag, but also because I’d tried to pretend nothing had happened.
As I suffered, I saw a light bulb turning on in her head. She looked me in the eyes and said: “I get it! You’re embarrassed!” She’d always been more perceptive about feelings than I, and she’d busted me, fair and square. I shriveled even more. Death seemed close—and desirable.
She rubbed it in: “Charlie, you really are a dope. Maybe even an asshole.”
“Asshole” was the worst thing we ever called each other, and it does sound harsh. But it was just how we said that we thought the other had done something really dumb. Sometimes we used the word in fun, but this wasn’t one of those times.
There was more coming: “A hard-on is nothing to be worried about. Guys get them all the time, and a girl kind of likes knowing that she can make a guy get hard. And I’ve seen lots of your boners. Do you really think I didn’t know you had one when we woke up? I probably shouldn’t have put your hand on my boob. But I woke up a while ago when we turned over onto our sides, and I knew it would feel good. So I put it there, and it did feel good, and I went back to sleep with it there.”
I was thunderstruck. This wasn’t the reaction I had expected. And the hand-on-the-boob business hadn’t been an accident. She’d done that herself, on purpose. So she couldn’t possibly have been thinking that I had slyly copped a feel while she was asleep.
Still processing this information, I said something brilliant, like: “Uhhh… You…put…”
“Yes, Charlie, I put your hand on my tit. And I’m glad I did, even if it gave you a boner. I should’ve known it would, but I didn’t think. I hope it didn’t make you angry.”
I still had to think about things, but I knew that giving me a boner wasn’t something that made me angry. And I said so. (It did occur to me that, in fact, neither her closeness nor her boob had caused my boner at all—that it had been simply an ordinary garden-variety morning hard-on. But she seemed happy thinking she’d caused it, and who wants to argue with someone whose forgiveness he’s seeking?)
Learning that I wasn’t angry mollified her somewhat, and I knew she’d forgiven me—though I could tell that she still thought I’d been a dope, or even an asshole. And I had been—though I didn’t see quite how, then.
And then she gave me another front-to-front-full-contact hug. I know that I hadn’t yet digested what she’d said, because I wasn’t sorry when we broke that hug before I got another hard-on—which wasn’t just a simple morning boner. I was sure, though, that I would never again use the word “erection” in a one-on-one conversation with her.
It was early; we could see by the light on a few high, scattered clouds that the sun had risen—though we couldn’t see the sun itself because of the mountain range to the east. My scolding over, we turned to more important business: staying warm (the chill of the night still persisted), and eating. Like teenagers always and everywhere, we were hungry.
We fired up my little stove and fixed an enormous breakfast: Two courses, oatmeal and pancakes, both enhanced by butter and brown sugar.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After breakfast, we refilled our water bottles and went through the purification ritual. Then we broke camp and started off on the day’s hike. We wanted to take the Timico Lake Trail, which ascends a valley somewhat west of the one where we were camped. So we had to backtrack a little, and then tramp rightward around the ridge that separates the two. A quarter-hour later, we reached the trail, and we turned to the right—toward the high country.
The well-established trail climbed steeply through pine forest, so we had little breath for talk as we walked. But navigation took little thought, so I had plenty of opportunity to think about what Mindy had said when she’d scolded me. I decided that she’d been right to be pissed at me, because I had tried to lie to her.
After about an hour, and a little more than a mile, we stopped for a rest. The morning chill was gone, and we’d both worked up pretty good sweats. I reckoned we’d climbed a few hundred feet by then. We took off our packs, removed the wool shirts we’d worn against the early chill, put them in our daypacks, and dug out food and water.
As we sat on a convenient log munching and drinking, I dove headfirst into a real apology. “Little Sister,” I began, “you were right.”
She said, “Hunh? Right about what?” She’d been enjoying the walk through the woods, instead of rehearsing my misdeeds.
“You were right to give me grief about how I acted this morning. I was afraid that you’d think I was trying to seduce you. But if I’m sure of anything, it’s that you know I’d never do anything to hurt you. I forgot that.” I paused for a minute, and then I went on. “And I forgot The Code; I was trying to lie to you because I didn’t trust you to believe me if I told the truth. I should’ve known better, and I’m really sorry I acted the way I did.”
I had reached the end of my act of contrition. She smiled at me, and I knew that things were going to be fine between us—indeed, had been fine all along, in spite of my doubts.
“Charlie, you’ve always been my big brother and my best friend. I think it’s awesome that you figured out what pissed me off. And you did it before I did it myself. You’re smarter and quicker than I thought.”
This latter came with an impish smile. The word “quicker” was a reference to a gibe she’d made at me a year or two earlier, when she’d said that I didn’t think very well about feelings, so I did it slowly and carefully in order not to have to do it twice. I’d been thinking, that morning, that she’d been right.
She finished: “I’m not pissed any more, and you don’t need to be sorry for anything. But I understand how you feel, and I accept your apology. Remember?” And then she chanted, “Big Brother and Little Sister!”
It was our childhood ritual. We hadn’t recited our litany for several years. Joyfully, I chanted the response: “Best friends!”
And then, in unison, broad smiles on our faces, “Now and always!”
She sealed it by pulling me to my feet, and giving me another front-to-front full-contact hug. I figured that two of those in a single morning meant I was doing pretty well.
And then she unwound an arm from our hug, pulled my face down to hers, and kissed me—full on the lips and open-mouthed. I responded without thinking, and as Nature suggested: I clasped her firm little body tightly, and my tongue entered her mouth.
Never before had we been so explicitly sexual with each other. And I didn’t even think about stepping away from her when my cock began to rise against her as she strained against me. She felt the commotion in my pants, and when we broke from each other’s arms, she reached down and stroked my bulge. Then, with an evil giggle, she ducked quickly out of my arms as they tried to encircle her again.
I grinned back at her, sure now that we’d never been other than big brother and little sister, best friends, now and always.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It was about mid-morning, and we still had more than three miles to go that day, along with nearly a thousand feet of elevation to gain. So we put things back into our daypacks, secured our loads, and saddled up to walk some more.
We took turns leading, and in the early afternoon, after two more breaks, Mindy brought us around a bend and down a small incline. There on our right, just off the trail, was the ruin of Black’s Cabin, which marks the southern end of Belford Lake. On our left, partially hidden in the pine forest, was the lake itself. Deeper in the woods, well out of sight from the trail, our first backcountry campsite awaited us. We hadn’t seen a soul since we’d left the highway the day before.
The campsite was unoccupied, but someone had used it earlier in the summer: I found a 1987 nickel on one of the rocks of the old fire ring.
I looked toward the lake, which is easily visible from the campsite, and said, “Gosh, things are going to be so much easier now than they were when I was here two years ago.”
She asked the natural question: “Why’s that?”
“Well,” I said, “we had a lot of trouble finding water then. The lake wasn’t discovered until last summer.”
A brief pause, a pained expression, and then: “Aaarrrggh!”
WHAM! She had punched my upper arm.
“Owww!” I yelled, though it didn’t hurt very much. Like most girls, she didn’t know how to punch effectively. And as her main punchee, I hadn’t had good reason to coach her. “Only one?” I asked.
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!
“I thought it was more than a one-punch joke!”
“You are terrible, Charlie! Just terrible!”
“That’s one of the things I really liked about being away at college. My bruises got to heal.”
“We’ll see about bruises, you big oaf! I’ll give you bruises!”
WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!
These on the other arm.
“Well, at least now both sides will match,” I remarked—with a sly smile. She flounced off in fury, but returned in a minute or so—still harrumphing weakly.
The weather had remained good: Sunny, with a few high fluffy clouds that never seemed to pass in front of the sun when you were working hard without shade. We drank what little remained of the water we’d each started out with, and refilled our water bottles from the lake. Thirsty as we were, the hard part was waiting for 20 minutes while the iodine acted.
While we waited, we got to work making camp. We were in no hurry—especially once we had the tent up for shelter if we needed it. It was still early afternoon when we were through, and we relaxed on the lakeshore for a while, lounging, reading, and working on the journals we were keeping. The lake was clear and lovely, and there was a fisherman’s trail along the bank. We explored it some distance in both directions from our camp. There was little of interest—not even another good campsite.
By then it was suppertime. “Hungry?” I asked.
“You bet!” came the reply. “What’s for supper?”
“How about macaroni and cheese?” It was one of her childhood favorites, and very easy to fix.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After supper and the chores, I heated water for hot chocolate. As I did so, I looked over at my little sister, who was reading a book she’d brought. She was half-lying, half-sitting, relaxed against a tree trunk, her Ensolite sleeping pad between her back and the rough bark. I found that I wanted to see her naked body again and have her look at mine, to share a real body check with her.
But in spite of my morning’s resolution to be forthright with her, I was afraid to tell her what I wanted. So I invented something sneaky. When the chocolate was ready, I carried the cups over to her and handed hers to her. Mine, I set down not far away.
Sunset was over an hour away, and the sun was still well above the hills that rise west of the lake. So it was warm enough. But we were at about 9,600 feet, and the thin mountain air doesn’t hold much heat. I needed to make my move, because the temperature would drop quickly after the sun dipped below those hills.
“Mindy?” I said, as I returned to the stove and picked up the sleeping pad I’d knelt on while I was cooking.
“Yeah, Charlie?” she responded, around a slurp from her cup.
I returned to her, picked up my cup, and took a slurp of my own. “We forgot something important last night, and I want to be sure we don’t forget it tonight. We should check each other for ticks.”
At the mention of ticks, she shuddered and screwed up her face. “I couldn’t stand it if you found a tick on me. I’d just die! But we’d better look.”
We laid the pads together. Then, standing on them, we removed our camp shoes and our socks. She helped with my shirt, and then I helped with hers. I began inspecting her from behind. I ran my hands through her short, dark hair. As I did, she unbuckled her belt. When I finished, she let her pants and boxers drop, and stepped out of them.
I switched to her ears. From her right side, I gently folded that ear forward to look behind it. Then I laid it back to look inside of it. Once I’d finished, I moved around to her other side to repeat the inspection on the other ear. As I checked it, she reached for my belt buckle, undid it.
Done with her ears, I slipped out of my pants and boxers, moving behind her as I did so. Then I ran my hands over her back, her sides, her shoulders, and her arms.
“No ticks so far,” I reported.
She was short, so I knelt in front of her, with my back toward her, for her to check my scalp and ears. Then she knelt behind me, straddling my lower legs. The creamy skin of her inner legs and lower thighs brushed against my lower legs while she checked me as I had just checked her.
“None on you, either.”
I turned around; we faced each other at not-quite arm’s length, on our knees, and both completely naked. Naturally, I had a big stiff boner. She looked down at it and looked back up at me, smiling.
I smiled back. “I’d better check your boobs.”
She said nothing, but her smile deepened, and she nodded. I reached out and cupped her firm warm tits, gently rotating my hands as if seeking the hardness of a tick between hand and boob. I felt her nipples stiffen at my touch, but I moved on to check her arms and the rest of her chest and belly. When I finished this part of the inspection, she reached out and repeated it on me.
My boner was throbbing.
“You’d better lie down on your tummy so I can check your legs,” I said.
“Of course,” she whispered as she laid herself on her pad, belly down, head turned to one side and resting on her palm-down hands. I moved toward the end of my pad—toward her feet—kneeling and facing at right angles to the long axis of her body. She was breathing deeply and quickly. So, I noticed, was I.
I ran my hands over her feet and both her lower legs, up to her knees. Then the outsides of her thighs, the backs of her thighs, her hips, and her ass cheeks. She spread her legs a bit, and I gently stroked her inner thighs. As I did so, one of my hands accidentally (really!) brushed the outer lips of her pussy. I heard her sharp intake of breath at that touch.
I said, “Okay,” and I lay down on my own pad, taking care that my hard cock pointed up against my belly, rather than being hinged uncomfortably downward. She performed an inspection on me that mirrored the one I’d just done for her. My cock pulsed against my lower belly.
“We’re almost done. I just have to check your pussy.” I realized that I was whispering, too.
Her whispered reply was, “Yes—you do. And I have to check your dick and your balls.” She lay down on her back, spread her legs, and pointed her knees skyward. I got to my knees between her legs, and I ran a hand through her electric fur. She stiffened at the touch. And then, for the first time, I fully understood that phrase; that touch was indeed electric—for both of us!
Almost all of her fur was in that little triangle above her cleft—beside which grew only a few wisps of hair. Gently, I reached out with both hands and parted her nearly hairless outer lips, revealing the secret pink complexity within—her clitoris, hooded by her inner lips, and her vaginal opening. I stroked them all.
Right below her vaginal opening was the tight little brown rose of her anus. I touched that briefly with my thumb, wiggling it gently. She moaned. Then, backhanded, I ran the thumb-side length of my index finger up between her inner lips, from her opening to her clit. Her furrow was hot, marvelously hot, and marvelously wet. She gasped.
I’d found no ticks, and so reported. She got to her knees and pushed me over onto my back. It was my turn to spread my legs and draw my knees up, while she knelt between them. She ran a hand through my own fur and fondled my nuts, searching for ticks. Then she moistened a finger in her mouth, reached down with that hand, smiled at me with a touch of gentle malice, and inserted the moistened finger into my anus—just breaking the seal of my sphincter—and wiggled it just a bit. Her touch there was as exciting as it was unexpected. My cock jumped, and I moaned.
She completed her inspection by taking my rod into her dainty hand, encircling me completely. She stroked lightly, letting her hand move over my skin in search of parasites. After two or three strokes, she tightened her grip and stroked a few more times, moving the skin up and down my shaft. My hips rocked a bit, and I moaned again.
She said, in a barely audible voice, “No ticks here.” She released my shaft and lay down on her back, at my right. I extended my legs. My cock projected like a tree from my groin. We breathed heavily for a few moments.
Without speaking, I rolled onto my side, raised my head, and applied my mouth to her nipple. I took it, gently and moistly, between my lips, and sucked lightly. She jerked in surprise, as startled by this contact as I had been by her finger’s unexpected invasion.
And then she startled me again. She moaned again, and thrust her tit toward me, compressing it against me and forcing her nipple more deeply into my mouth. I reacted by bringing a hand up to her other tit, cupping it, and tickling that nipple with my thumb while tickling the other with my tongue.
She seemed to be in an ecstatic trance, which did not end until I released her nipples. Our mouths then sought each other urgently, and we kissed, open-mouthed, and much more passionately than we had that morning. Indeed, that earlier kiss then seemed casual by comparison. She had rolled her shoulders toward me, but her hips less so. My cock caressed her thigh and hip as we kissed, and I felt her exciting, beautiful, wonderful tits against my chest.
I don’t know how long that first kiss of mutual passion lasted; I got lost in the feel of her flesh. When we came up for air, we rolled away from each other, onto our backs again. We lay there for a bit, thinking about what we had just done and felt.
I was about to ask her what she thought about it when she gave me the non-verbal, but unmistakable, answer to the question I hadn’t had time to ask. She rolled toward me, reached over, and grasped my cock. Her fingers fluttered as she settled them into a secure grip, and then she clasped me more tightly and began to stroke my shaft—up and down, up and down.
Briefly, very briefly, I thought that I ought to…
The thought flew from me, lost as the action of her hand on my cock demanded all of my attention. That demand continued for an eternity. At the end of time, as my climax neared, a small measure of sanity returned.
“God,” I blurted. “I’m going to come. I’m gonna roll over to keep it off the pad. But don’t stop!”
I rolled away from her and, somehow, she followed me without missing a stroke or altering her timing. No sooner had I rolled over than I found myself caught up in a vortex of pleasure as my spasms began and my cum spurted, spurted, spurted onto the ground beside the pad.
She stopped pumping but didn’t release her grasp. When my cum was exhausted and my spasms almost over, I rolled from my side onto my back again, slowly, allowing her to anticipate my motion and roll with me. My cock was shrinking, but she held on. When it receded into the depths of her fist, she did let go. Then she, too, rolled onto her back.
“Was that okay, Charlie?” she asked. There was an uncertain note to her question; she was probably afraid that she had gone too far.
The thought I had lost returned, and I knew the only possible reply. I made it: I rolled toward her and reached for the warm wetness of her pussy, and I said, “God! It was a lot more than just ‘okay!’ But now it’s your turn!”
Her thighs parted, almost automatically, to grant me easy access. My hand stroked easily through her little bush, and I found her cleft. My middle finger slid between her outer pussy lips; her knees came up and her thighs parted even more. Her hips rocked as I caressed her clit.
“Ooohhh!” she moaned in surprise and pleasure. I had watched her as she fingered herself in the past, and I tried to duplicate her own technique. (And I realized, belatedly, that she had known, for like reason, exactly how to bring me off.) I circled her little jewel with my fingertip, tickling it but not overwhelming it. Every now and then, I stroked her inner lips or fingered the entrance to her body; but always I returned to her clit. She moaned and writhed, her hips rocking in the ancient rhythm—which I did my best to match. (Had I done the same under her touch? I didn’t know for sure, but I had a faint glimmering that I had.)
It wasn’t long before her coordination got sloppy and her moans grew deeper and louder. And then, as I felt her spasms begin, she cried out, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Yes! Just like that! Don’t stop… Don’t stop… Don’t…” and dissolved into incoherent howls and moans.
Her moaning diminished, and her writhing slowed. She reached for my hand, stopped its motion, and gently removed it from herself, saying, “No more. No more. She’s too sensitive for you to touch her now.”
We lay there a bit. The sun had long-since passed behind the hills, though it hadn’t yet set. We were suddenly and urgently aware of the chill that had descended while we had been concerned with other matters.
Beginning to shiver a bit, we looked each other in the eyes, both coming to grips with this unexpected, but compelling, change in our relationship. She grinned at me and broke the silence: “I sure am glad we didn’t find any ticks.”
We dissolved in laughter. We had found something far more interesting than a tick, and we both knew we were still secure with each other, no matter what the new sexuality between us might bring.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It was getting darker as the sun sank below the distant, invisible horizon, and the deepening chill made it necessary for us to choose between layering up or getting into our sleeping bags. Very tired, both from the day’s exertions and the evening’s, we chose the bags.
We again decided that we did not need to sleep in the tent. By wordless mutual consent, we zipped the sleeping bags together again. We walked, hand in hand, a few yards into the woods and emptied our bladders. Almost shyly, but knowing it would be uncultured not to, we each put on t-shirts and boxers. The sack beckoned, and we crawled into it—choosing the same sides we had used the previous night.
As we lay there, I turned toward her. She turned onto her own side and backed up against me. My cock, improbably half-hard again, rested between her ass cheeks. I put my arm around her, my hand again taking possession of her tit through her t-shirt. She ground her ass back against me and clenched her cheeks. Half-hard as it was, my cock could only surge weakly.
“Mindy?” I murmured, as I held her little body.
“I’m glad we’ll have the next few days alone together. It’s really neat that there’s nobody else around.”
“Me, too, Charlie. I really like being alone with you.” She wiggled herself back even more tightly against me, and we composed ourselves for sleep.
As I began to slip away, her drowsy voice came, dreamlike, and seemingly from a great distance: “Big Brother?”
I mumbled something.
“I know I’m not the accomplished outdoorsman that you are, but…”
She paused sleepily. Had there been a teasing note in that so-distant voice?
“Yes?” I prompted her, also sleepily.
“…even I know that in the mountains…”
Another sleepy pause. Another sleepy prompt.
“…August isn’t tick season.”
She punctuated her statement with another ass-clench.
She’d busted me.
And then I was asleep.
I awoke just before sunrise again. Aside from a few moments of fleeting consciousness when we’d shifted, I had slept soundly. I was on my side, with my sister’s little body pressed tightly up against my back. Her breathing was deep and steady. My t-shirt had crept up to my chest during the night, and her arm hung over my naked waist. Spoons again, but the other way around. I lay there groggily, enjoying the warmth and the contact.
After a while, I think I moved a bit, and she stirred. Her arm tightened about my waist; she nuzzled my back softly; and, gently, she hummed a little moan.
I hummed a moan in answer, and we remained in that position for a minute or two. Much longer would have been impossible for me—and my bladder. As I prepared to extricate myself from her embrace, her little hand tracked down my belly, across the waistband of my boxers, to my cock—which, I noticed, was (and had been when I awoke) rock-hard and sticking out through the fly of my shorts.
“Dick check!” she announced as she fondled my cock.
“Nice!” I replied. “It’s still there.”
There was absolutely no possibility of smuggling this boner out of the sack and into the woods undetected. Not that I meant to try.
“But handling it now’s kind of beside the point. I have to go so bad my teeth are floating.”
We finished at about the same time. I saw her reach for a broadish leaf nearby, tear it from the plant, and wipe herself with it. Uh-oh, I said to myself, and made a mental note. I’d forgotten an important detail, and I needed to take care of it at the next opportunity.
We walked back to the campsite, shivering a bit in the morning chill. Our first thought was to get some clothes on and get warm, and that’s what we did. The temptation to enjoy more physical interaction had succumbed to the laws of thermodynamics just as, a few minutes earlier, it had succumbed to hydraulic pressure.
After we’d layered up, we found our cups, still full of what could now only be called cold chocolate, sitting where we’d left them. We looked at each other.
“Are you still okay with what we did last night, Little Sister?”
“Big Brother, I loved touching your cock…jacking you off and making you come. And having you touch my pussy and make me come was the best thing I’ve ever felt. Why wouldn’t I be okay? We’ve never been shy about touching each other anywhere. And the way you touched me last night felt great.”
“I thought it was great, too. Touching your pussy and making you come really made me feel good. I guess I’ve been away from you so much, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be close to my best friend. I’m glad you haven’t forgotten.”
“I wondered why the ‘tick check’ bullshit. But you were having so much fun scamming me that I smiled to myself and went along with it.” She was grinning at me. “And it was fun.”
“I’m sorry, Mindy. I should’ve just said that I wanted to see you naked and touch you.”
She smiled at me. “Charlie, I’m not just some girl you met while you were away from home. I’m your sister, and we’ve always thought of our bodies as mutual property—ever since I can remember. That shouldn’t change just because you went off to college.”
“It shouldn’t. I won’t forget again.” I took her into my arms and squeezed her.
“But now let’s get some breakfast,” she said, squeezing me back after a quick kiss on the lips.
I couldn’t have agreed more! We rinsed out the cups and put some water on the stove to boil. A few minutes later, we sipped our coffee while I prepared more oatmeal—which we munched on as I mixed up and cooked another batch of pancakes. That combination had been good the morning before, and we saw no reason not to do it again.
Breakfast over, I dug into my pack, and got the trowel and the plastic sack where we kept a roll of toilet paper; then I went into the woods a way to do my morning duty. Mindy cleaned up the breakfast dishes while I was gone. When I set down the trowel and sack upon my return, she picked them up and disappeared into the woods herself.
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