Chapter 32: Green and Tan
One night in bed that week in a postcoital bliss, Kaitlyn was telling me about her childhood in the area.
“We used to go rafting a lot locally when I was a kid. My older brother Miguel got into it because of Scouts — that’s the Boy Scouts, Davie; not sure if you’ve come across that cultural peculiarity yet,” she interrupted herself.
I expressed near-total ignorance, and she filled me in a bit on what the local troops used to do together.
“Anyway,” she continued, “Miguel used to go rafting and got into it, so he and some of his friends got their own rafts to save money on the guide fees.”
I’d seen the ads around town and picked up a few fliers. It was expensive to go rafting with a professional guide, so I nodded knowingly.
“Then we’d get the whole family and go out together, making a day of it.” She lapsed into nostalgia for a while. “I still remember how the rivers would turn my white panties light brown during spring runoff from all the suspended mud. I never did get any of those white again; I called it tanning my panties,” she giggled. “I remember thinking of those as my special panties, the ones I’d wear for luck. I kept wearing them long past when it was time to throw them out, either because I’d outgrown them or worn them out.”
She smiled at the memory, and I smiled back.
“I have some of your special panties, too,” I reminded her, with a lift in my voice.
It took her a few seconds, and then she said, “Oh, the bike shop!” with a giggle. “You still have them?”
“Of course I do. I’m going to build a shrine. Put it out by the road side and charge people to come pray at your panties,” I joked.
“Don’t you dare!” She smacked my chest, scandalized.
“I’ll call it Kaitlyn’s K’nickers, with a grand sign a meter high and six long, with an apostrophe in there so people will pronounce it correctly, with two hard Ks,” I continued. “Scope the scanties that launched a worldwide eco movement!”
Kaitlyn was laughing gleefully now.
“So, why don’t we go rafting this weekend, then?” I proposed. “Do you still know some locals with their own rafts?”
“Yeah, I do… Kenny and Alex are still around. I think one of them has a 3-person raft, perfect for this. One can be our guide, and the other can drive down the river and pick us up!”
“Sounds perfect, Kaitlyn,” I enthused. “Will they want to be paid?”
“I don’t think so. We were good friends as kids together, and I don’t think they’ll turn down an excuse to go rafting,” she responded.
“What about the one on pickup duty?” I asked.
“Part of the sport. They trade off so everyone gets to go by turns. They might want gas money, but that’s it.”
Kaitlyn set it up, choosing a fairly quiet stretch up on the Green River, rather than the more crowded nearby Colorado River.
At the riverside, Kenny said he’d be our guide since Alex got to raft down last time, so Alex was on pickup duty. We unloaded the raft and were packing our things into dry bags and tying them down into place in the raft when Kaitlyn asked, “Hey, Ken, do you mind if we go in our skin?”
Kenny was a bit shocked. I suspected he’d been a little sweet on Kaitlyn when they were kids together, her request making his dreams come true, because he said, “Not at all! Please! But…you’ve still got to wear vests.”
I could tell he wasn’t being a stickler for no good reason; rather, he was clearly a lifelong amateur of this sport, the safety rules ingrained from childhood. I could tell it was busting him up to realize this would make Kaitlyn only half-naked, but he wasn’t going to cave.
“Of course, Kenny,” she replied and started to strip off, me not long behind her.
We looked over curiously at Kenny when he didn’t follow suit. (Or is that un-suit?)
He just shrugged his shoulders, saying, “I’ll keep my trunks on.”
I could see a stiffy coming on under them, but he was unwilling to turn away from Kaitlyn’s show. I understood; Kaitlyn just grinned.
I walked over and whispered in Kaitlyn’s ear, “I think Kenny would be very happy if you sat in front, with him between us.”
She giggled and agreed. “It’s the best position anyway.”
I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by that, but I figured I’d learn soon enough.
We put our clothes into the dry bags and donned the life vests, adjusting their straps tightly. The vest gave Kaitlyn monster cleavage.
Kenny was pleased.
I was pleased, for that matter.
Kaitlyn got in front with a paddle, and Kenny and I pushed the raft in, getting well up to our shins into the river before it let go of the bank. Kaitlyn stabbed down into the river bottom with the paddle and held the raft anchored long enough for us to roll in, and we were off, Kaitlyn steering us out into the current with long, strong strokes.
The two taught me a lot. At one point as we were going around a curve in the river and getting pushed in towards the right-side bank, they started paddling like mad away from it. “Left, left!” they called back to me. After we got back out into the calm center, I said, “What was that about?”
This surprised me. I thought they were worried about coming aground on the big round river rocks on that shore.
“It’s a sign of a submerged bush, drowned by the late-Spring runoff. They’ve often got thorns, and the branches themselves can be a bit sharp. They’ll hole a raft right quick!”
A little twig, hazard to navigation. Who knew?
As we went further down the river, I began to see little fragments of vinyl from cheap big-box store rafts, with occasional bits of duct tape hanging from them. Now I knew why. There are limits even to the power of duct tape.
At several points along the trip, the river broadened out into a wide calm section, maybe a quarter mile long. We’d take turns swimming, leaving one person in the raft to keep it under control. Kaitlyn and I went skinny-dipping, life vests left behind in the raft, but Kenny kept his trunks on. He got such a big smile at these parts of the river. So did we all. It was wonderful.
I think Kenny especially liked boosting Kaitlyn back up into the raft from below. I didn’t mind a bit.
He didn’t offer to boost me up; I had to drag my own carcass over the gunwale. Equality of the sexes my ass! Or her ass. Or something.
I’d heard of white-water rafting, of course. The billboards around town put up by the raft tour companies all showed it, depicted from a low angle, just above the water, so that the splashes rocket heroically into the sky like from a Vegas casino fountain.
In the real thing, on this river at least, there’s just a low blur of whiteness on the river ahead where it goes over some big boulders, but it seems fine. If I’d been alone, I’d have just kept stroking slowly along, but my experienced guides — Kaitlyn and Kenny — started paddling madly. ‘What’s the big deal?’ I remember asking myself, but then they started yelling back at me, “Stroke, stroke!” so I did.
Then we hit the bottom of one of those vortices over a rock, the one they’d been aiming for between the boulders, knowing how to read the river, and BLOOSH! water’s everywhere! Then we hit another, and another, and we were through, the speed they’d built up with the mad paddling carrying us through before the river could roll the raft and dunk us all or worse. They later told me some guides required use of helmets, since there’s a fair chance a person could hit the rapid wrong and get thrown out right into a rock, then drown while stunned or unconscious.
Kaitlyn was cackling like a demon!
It was then that I learned why she liked the front position. She. Was. Drenched!
Through my guides’ skills, we got through as safe as a log plume ride in an amusement park, but I could now see it wasn’t the same thing.
We hit a second rapid a bit further down from there, and I now saw it with better appreciation of what was going on.
Gaia can be a stern teacher to a slacker student.
We had lunch out on the shore at one point, stripping off our life jackets and eating out of pop-top cans and such; nothing cooked, just calories to keep us going, but it was still great fun.
We were a little worried about someone else on the river floating past us while we were stopped, but no one did, so we eventually talked Kenny into losing the swim trunks. He laid them out on a nearby hot rock to dry out while we found stretches of sand without rocks to sprawl upon, letting the early summer sun bake the river cold out of our bodies.
Shortly after we all lay down another group behind us on the river did float by. I noticed them first and just waved, my danglies still hanging down between my legs, guarded from view, so I didn’t feel like I was putting on any kind of lewd show.
Kaitlyn saw me waving, lifted her head above the low rocks, her eyes darting to the other rafters. She startled a bit, but then she relaxed and just leaned up on one elbow, also waving, showing off her perfect breasts and one gracefully rounded hip. I wasn’t sure, but I think the rocks kept her big but trimmed pubic patch out of view from them.
Then Kenny noticed what was going on. “Shit!” he exclaimed and rolled halfway over and was scrambling for his trunks when he realized he was making it worse, giving them an even better show, so he hit the sand again with a hand over his crotch. Kaitlyn and I started laughing low and quiet.
The other rafters just floated on by, didn’t bother us at all. I could see some were amused at the sight, others just shaking their heads.
Thankfully, none pulled out any kind of camera. Maybe none had a waterproof model?
After the rafters’ eyes turned back front, Kenny got a bit of a smile, but he was still shaken. Then the other raft went around a corner, and Kenny said, “Time to go,” as he darted for his trunks and slipped them on as quickly as he could manage, dancing among the river rocks.
Kaitlyn and I laughed harder now.
We all got into our now-cold but still very wet life vests. Brrrrr! Ever hear the admonition “Cool your tits?” Yeah, the real thing is a…focusing…experience.
About an hour after our lunch stop, we were pulling into the stretch of shore where Kenny and Kaitlyn’s friend Alex was standing, waiting to catch us by the painter, drag us in, and hold the raft so we could clamber out. In his busy distraction, I don’t think he realized that Kaitlyn and I were bottomless while watching us come in, and maybe not even in all the quick action to beach the boat. We were showing a lot of skin, and that’s just what he expected to see, after all. Then Kaitlyn stood in a low squat to half roll half step off the bow onto shore, and Alex’s eyes went wide! He gave a gasp and then slowly drew out a “Ho-ly fff…!”
“Watch the boat!” Kenny barked at Alex as he almost lost control of it.
Kenny and I followed Kaitlyn ashore. Alex stared at my danglies a bit before his socialization made him jerk his eyes up to my face. I just smiled slightly at him on my way past.
We hadn’t gone swimming any time in the past half hour, so my bits were nice and loose, proudly hanging, not scrunched up from the cold water. I was glad for that, because although I’m completely het, I didn’t want part of his first impressions of me to include a textbook case of shrinkage.
Kenny got that, but it was in context; he saw me both ways, and that was fine.
As I was stepping off the raft, Kaitlyn unbuckled her life vest and Alex’s eyes darted to her backside, utterly naked from tresses to toes. That held his attention for a good long while.
We three toweled off and then started helping the two friends get the boat into the truck bed and strapped down. As Alex came around the side of the truck at one point, I saw he had a camera in hand and was about to use it when I gave him a stern stare, non-verbally saying, “Don’t even think about it.”
We locked eyes for a few seconds before Kenny noticed and said to him, “Put it away, Alex.”
After Alex did, reluctantly, Kenny said, “Sorry about that.”
“We’re good now,” I said.
Kaitlyn kind of smiled, and said, “No problem.”
I think she might have let them take a few shots, but she’d raced past me in the exhibitionism department.
Alex said, “I had to try,” with a shrug.
I returned, “I don’t blame you, but ask first, okay? And realize that the answer might well be, ‘No,’ and it’ll then be your duty to apologize and back off as gracefully as you can manage, not get mad about being rejected.”
He just nodded, knowing the moment was lost.
Kenny was a bit smoother socially, so he defused the building awkwardness with a proposal: “Would you two like to ride back naked? I noticed you still haven’t dressed, so…”
Way to go, Kenny! Teach by example, not by lecture. He made me a bit jealous in that moment. I knew I had a tendency to go into professor mode, and I wasn’t especially happy with it. It was just the way I was.
Kaitlyn responded, “I’d love to, but only if I can be in the middle between you and Davie, and you strip off, too!”
That rocked him back on his heels.
The truck had a big crew cab, so I could see Kaitlyn’s plan: us three in the back, Alex up front driving, and all of what this unwell society calls ‘naughty bits’ concealed one way or another. With the guys on the outside and tinted windows between us and the outside world, passing cars would see only bared backs and shoulders. Kaitlyn’s breasts would be facing forward but in shadow within the truck cab, so people in the oncoming traffic wouldn’t likely notice anything, and they’d only get a glimpse if they did.
“Nicely reasoned,” I complimented her. “I’m in.”
Kenny just shrugged, dropped his shorts, tossed them between the front bucket seats onto the passenger floorboard and climbed in. Kaitlyn climbed up into the middle from the other side door, giving me a nice little show, and I climbed up in beside her.
Alex wasn’t too happy about this arrangement, but he didn’t say anything, just got into the front seat to drive us home. His unhappiness lasted about five seconds, until he got straightened out on the highway and checked his mirrors out of habit…and stopped on the rearview, seeing Kaitlyn. I could see his eyes crinkle and a grin on the side of his face as he adjusted the mirror downward between the bucket seats.
And down the highway we went.
A few minutes down the road, I began caressing Kaitlyn’s thighs.
“Mmmmmm,” she said, leaning back into the seat, spreading her legs, head against the back glass of the truck cab.
This went on for a minute or so, then she grabbed Kenny’s hand and started it mirroring my pattern. Kaitlyn’s smile got wider.
About a minute into this, we heard a BRRRRPPPT! BRRRRPPPT! noise as the truck drifted across the highway rumble strips. Alex jerked the truck back into our lane and Kenny shouted at him, “Keep your eyes on the road!”
Chastened, Alex was very good the rest of the way back to town, just checking his mirrors occasionally, that’s all, like a good driver.
Kenny and I had solid erections most of the way back, and we had one very happy first-position rafter between us. We didn’t get up to anything hotter than some friendly caressing: thighs, flanks, belly, and a bit of boob groping. I think Kenny didn’t dare grab his old friend’s crotch, certainly not with me there, and he wouldn’t have started the caresses if he wasn’t invited. And for myself, I wasn’t up for starting a sex show for Kaitlyn’s friends. It just felt right to spend the trip back this way.
A few times, Kaitlyn’s hands strayed outward and gave us a thigh stroke. She never touched either of our erections. I wasn’t jealous about the asymmetry of attention, merely thankful for what she chose to return. I know Kenny was, too.
And Alex? Oh, he was pretty happy, too: I could see the stiffy in his pants through the seat gap. I’m not sure it ever went down the whole hour long trip back.
About five minutes out of town, traffic started to thicken up, so those of us in the back scrambled back clumsily into our swimwear. It was a fun tangle. The best was Kenny when he had to crawl up between the front bucket seats and grab his shorts out of the passenger side footwell, his belly on the center console and his butt in the air. Kaitlyn gave him a little smack, and he scrambled back fast into his seat, pulling his trunks back along with him, looking a bit betrayed. She laughed, and he eased into a smile himself.
Shortly after we’d finished re-dressing, we pulled into Kenny’s driveway where we’d picked up the boat in Alex’s truck. I said, “Do we owe you guys anything? Gas, maybe?”
“Oh heck no!” burst out Kenny. “You can go rafting with me anytime!”
Alex said, “Me too! I’ll even drive next time, if you want. But please, please, please let me go with you on the raft instead?”
Kaitlyn said, “Sure, sounds fun!”
We parted, and went back to my house, feeling a good kind of tired.
Nevertheless, we got up the energy to make love in my bedroom through the rest of the afternoon and into the late evening. Again we were unable to use magic there among these techie surroundings, but we retained enough of our rapport that we both ended up completely satisfied.
Later that night, we crept out into my back yard and lay out naked on the cooling sand. I didn’t have any landscaping out there, none at all. Between my introversion, my previously solo life, and my growing Earth senses, I left it natural. That made it a much better patch to recharge in than the lawn I’d borrowed a few weeks back. We didn’t use much magic on the trip down river, but we did develop some sore muscles, which we quickly healed.
Mostly what we did out there was stare up at the stars, hand in hand, occasionally speaking, mostly just watching. If you have never stargazed starkers, do try it. It’s a distinctly different experience.
I don’t have any neighbors to speak of, being this far out of town, so when Kaitlyn eventually rolled over on top of me, I didn’t even think to stop her. Stars in the background and Kaitlyn’s bouncing chest in the foreground; life was perfect.