October Sun – Part I
They sat by the glow of the campfire, him leaning against the trunk of a massive ponderosa, his knees parted slightly, she leaning against his chest, resting her arms on his legs. “Tell me a story” she said. He ran his hands over her shoulders, gripped the base of her neck firmly, and began massaging between her shoulder blades with his thumbs. And then he began…….
She stood at the edge of the hole, looking down watching him dig. She leaned on a heavy steel rock bar, handing it to him at his request. He stood down in the hole, shovel in hand, cleaning out the dirt and rocks with deft, hard strokes. Strangely, she found herself becoming slightly aroused watching him work. Even though he still wore his sweatshirt in the morning chill, there was something stimulating in watching him labor physically.
She had found herself on this mountain with him quite unexpectedly. She knew him from three years earlier, when she had taken classes from him at the community college where he was a professor. She had been attracted to him then but shyly, secretly, certainly not in a way she would voice to anyone. She was 24 at the time, he was…well, she didn’t know how old he was, but she thought he was probably older than he seemed. She wasn’t quite sure what exactly it was about him she found so appealing. His looks were fine, average was the word that came to mind. But it was his way, his being, that spoke to her. He was always quick to smile. His sense of humor showed often in class, and he was so damned smart. At least, he was good at making it seem that way. That’s what he had said when another student had jokingly asked f there was anything he didn’t know. He had smiled and laughed that laugh again, always looking down slightly, as if embarrassed. “It’s easy to look smart. I just have a head full of mostly useless party facts that are news to you guys”. Maybe the humility in the face of his own intelligence was part of the attraction. It didn’t matter. She just knew that by the time she was finishing her last class, she was wondering what he might be like in …….other ways.
But he gave no hint of any reciprocal attraction. Fun as he was in class, there was never a hint of unprofessionalism, no inkling of even the slimmest thought of impropriety.
So it came to her as a great surprise when 3 years later he had asked her if she’d like to accompany him to the mountains. She had stopped by his office, to say hello and ask if he had any leads on jobs. She had left the community college and finished a Bachelor’s degree at the university, but jobs were a little slow in coming. He’d given her a few announcements, a few phone numbers to try, and offered words of encouragement. And then the conversation had turned to what each had done with their summers. His eyebrow raised when she said she had taken up archery, and was considering going elk hunting with some friends the following year. “But I really don’t know a damned thing about it” she’d said.
“Well, then you should come with me this weekend” he offered. “I am headed to the Blues to put in my rifle camp. We hunt a road closure area there and bury all our non-perishable food and gear in a big pit before they lock the gate in mid-October. I’ve got extra people coming this year, and I need to make the dang pit bigger. None of those slackers can help with putting in camp, so you can come and be my assistant, and I can show you some of what I know about elk”. She found herself grinning and saying yes without much hesitation.
To be continued….
Story Written by Professor