PART 3: Ranger
Chapter 33: My Colorado Girlfriend
The next weekend was the one leading up to Memorial Day, and we knew all of the local attractions would be jammed up tight with flocks of tourists, so we decided to spend the morning and afternoon separately, doing personal things.
After an early dinner, we met up on the bike trails north of town, choosing a section that runs along the Colorado River. It was still warm outside this time of evening, and most of the tourists had gone back to their campgrounds and hotels, so for us it was much nicer than weaving through the daytime crowds. We had a lovely time just cruising through the late spring evening, no particular destination, no mission, just riding.
We weren’t tired by the time sunset came upon us, but swift riding over rough trails was starting to become dicey, even with bike lights, so we made our way to the banks of the Colorado to watch it slide by for a while.
We’d been chatting idly when Kaitlyn looked around and said, “No one’s around. Everyone’s gone!”
“Hmm,” was all I said.
She looked around a few more times, then started bouncing a bit on her butt. Overcoming her indecision, she peeled off her tee shirt, exposing a new sports bra I hadn’t seen before. Bright orange, matching her riding shorts. I decided she’d begun adopting the style I chose for her a few weeks back.
I just smiled, thinking she was going for the ‘bikini top’ look. All perfectly innocent. She could have been riding around that way all day.
“It’s just a bikini top,” she said, staring at me in that “These are not the clothes you think you are looking at,” Ben Kenobi sort of way.
“Yes, you’re right, I’m definitely not looking at my girlfriend in her underwear in public.” I was grinning broadly.
“Exactly,” she replied. Then she took off her shoes, put her socks in them, and scooched down the riverbank to dabble her toes in the water.
It was nearly full dark by this point, so I told myself, ‘What the heck’ and peeled down to my skin and joined her in the river dabbling. I told myself it was easier for me to get away with this than for Kaitlyn, as dark as I am, here in the near-night. I’d just be a dark blob on a dark bank in the dark. I doubted anyone could even tell I was here, much less naked here.
“You raise, then?” she said. She was psyching herself up, not really asking, and I knew it, so I didn’t reply. “Okay, I call,” and she pulled off her sports bra, lay back on the bank, hooked her thumbs into her cycling shorts and peeled them off, too, tossing both higher up the bank, nearer the bikes.
“Well,” I said, “now that we don’t have to worry about riding in wet underwear, how about we go for a little swim? The river is concealment: no one can see your bits below the surface of the muddy river.”
“Yeah, but we’ve got rocks and trees and the slope of the bank hiding us on this side. There’s only a narrow stretch on the opposite bank where someone could see us here. If we move out into the river, we’ll be visible from all over. Someone might come by to look,” she reasoned.
“I’ll go first,” I said and suited actions to words. It was cold! It probably took me a full minute to wade slower and slower down into the water before my hips were covered. Then I plunged down to my shoulders and nearly lost the ability to breathe! “C’mon in, the water’s fine,” I lied with a tone that said I wasn’t even trying to convince the area native.
You think ‘desert river,’ and say, ‘Gotta be warm, then, right?’ but no, it’s still pretty frigid this time of year. I suppose it’s because a lot of it was snow not that long ago, and the rest is coming from underground.
Kaitlyn raised into a crouch, her perfect breasts dangling, her hips rimmed with moonlight, stepping down toward the water, straightening up as she got more under cover of the water. “Yep, just like a Jacuzzi,” she replied with a grin.
“Hmmm…teachable moment,” I said. “Slip into a trance and watch.” I waited for her life presence to show up, pulled some Earth power into my body, and warmed the water around me, stopping at “public pool” level, though I could have gone for “hot spring” if I’d wanted. Then I started swimming up-river, something too cold to contemplate as recreation earlier, since speeding up the relative flow of heat-robbing water would have made it even colder. I had to increase the magical heat flow to counteract the heat loss when moving, but I’d done this before, so I had the skill down well enough that it was mostly automatic, like maintaining balance on a bicycle.
“Awesome!” she called in a stage whisper across the water to me, so as not to attract attention. Then she joined me.
It took her a bit of work to learn the trick of balancing in-flow and out-flow of heat. As she played around in the water, working out the details, I said, “There’s a trickier but more efficient method, where you push a thin bubble of air around your body and warm that instead. Getting the shape right is tricky, and it takes a fair bit of magical energy to set it up, but once it’s running the two air boundaries — inner and outer — trap heat so you don’t constantly leave the heat behind as you move. The downside is that you then can’t feel the water directly on your skin, which is part of the fun of skinny dipping!”
“That doesn’t sound like fun at all,” she said with a downturn to her mouth.
“Oh, it’s still nice to swim, but you’re right, it’s more a useful bit of magic than a fun bit of magic like this one. I came up with it as part of a magical scuba scheme last summer.”
“Oooh, you’re going to have to show me that one!” she said excitedly.
“Glad to, but for now, I’m going swimming in my skin. Join me?”
We couldn’t splash around like we might in a public pool, not wanting to make a lot of noise, but we had a great time anyway.
…Until the spear of light lanced out from the riverbank, accompanied by, “Hey! You two out there! Get your asses over here!” He — the voice was male and annoyed — was standing between us and our stuff.
“Let’s go, Davie! Invisibility!” Kaitlyn whispered urgently.
“No good,” I replied. “They can ID me from my stuff, and probably you, too. We’ll have to go smooth this over the old fashioned way.”
We swum back to shore and climbed out, utterly bare-assed in the bright beam. He just inspected us for a while. Kaitlyn began blushing down to the tops of her breasts; “colorado” means “colorful” in Spanish, and my love was very colorful tonight.
“Can we get dressed?” Kaitlyn asked.
“No,” he said cruelly; “I’ve got to preserve the evidence, haven’t I?” Then after a second, “Wait a minute… Kate? That’s you, isn’t it?”
“Aw shit,” she said under her breath. Then louder, “Ed?”
“You’ll address me as Ranger Goetz!” he barked.
“I’m surprised to see you here…Ranger Goetz,” she ground out.
“Right, you two just stand there,” he instructed. Then he pulled out a mobile phone and called the cops! “Yeah, this is Ranger Edward Goetz of the Bureau of Land Management. I’ve got two people here in a state of indecent exposure. I need a police officer to come by here to pick them up. We’re just outside of Goose Island Campground, off of one-twenty-eight.” Pause. “That’s right. We’ll be waiting just beside the entrance.”
“Eddie, did you really need to do that?” Kaitlyn asked, desperation rising in her voice. “You can let us go. We weren’t hurting anyone.”
“Oh, so now it’s you begging, is it? That’s rich. No! You two march, that way,” indicating the highway with his flashlight. “And put your hands on your heads!”
So, we marched down the highway, completely naked and dripping cold river water as the occasional car blew a gust of cold night air over our wet bodies as we marched down the side of the public highway.
“What’s his deal?” I whispered to Kaitlyn as we walked.
“Tell you later,” she replied.
“Shut up! March!” Ranger Ed snapped.
When we got to the campground he’d evidently been monitoring in his ranger duties, he had us stop beside the entrance, just as he’d told the emergency dispatcher that he would.
And there we stood, hands on our heads, mother-bare, beside the entrance to a public campground, in full view of both it and the highway. Before the cops could arrive, one camper and one RV pulled into the campground, rolling slowly past us, almost stopping before Ranger Ed waved them brusquely on.
Maybe fifteen minutes later, a police car pulled up, emergency lights quiescent, clearly in no rush to deal with this call. An officer stepped out. An officer I knew. “Officer Poulsen! How nice to see you this evening!” I called out across the distance.
“Yes, Mr. Bhat, so nice to see you, too. And so much more of you than I am used to. This must be the girlfriend you spoke of. I am truly blessed this night,” Officer Poulsen returned. Kaitlyn blushed and ducked her head at the oblique compliment. “Ranger Goetz, is it?”
Kaitlyn’s co-worker replied, “Yes, officer, I caught these two naked…”
“Yes, yes, I see all of that,” Officer Poulsen interrupted. “I’ll take care of this from here. You can go about your duties now. Thank you.”
The ranger wasn’t happy about being cut off like that, clearly hoping to regale the officer with his tale of dastardly deeds on the raging rapids, or some such. He huffed a bit, then walked off back into the campground, probably to cite someone for taking too much water at the communal standpipe or something. Bloody martinet.
“Oh, put your hands down, you two.” We did, gladly. “Where are your clothes?”
“About a quarter mile back down the river on the bank,” Kaitlyn pointed. “We were skinny-dipping,” she explained. Then she started getting hot, “…and it’s not like he could see anything! We were shoulders-deep in the water when he jumped us!”
“All right, get in the back, and let’s talk about it in there,” the officer said. We got in, and he drove us down nearer to the bank where we’d left our stuff, but he didn’t unlock the back doors. Instead, he put the car in park, then spun to the side in his seat and locked eyes with me. “All right, Mr. Bhat, here’s how this is going to work. You’re going to tell me just what the hell is going on around here. Not just tonight, but the other night, too. I’m a peace officer, and you’re messing with my town’s peace and my inner peace, so we’re going to figure this out and get things nice and boring around here again. Am I clear?”
I sighed, then started telling him a much-abridged version of the tale you’ve read so far. I took out all the sexy bits, but I left in all the magic. I couldn’t see any way to explain events without getting that out there. I’ll save you the re-telling and just give you his interjections and my answers.
“So, you were both the guy outside the bar and the guy in the alley fight! I knew that didn’t add up!” he said in satisfaction, the mystery at last solved. Then his pale Scandinavian eyes narrowed, and his voice got hard: “You lied to me.”
“Yes,” I admitted, “but look at it from my perspective: I’m a brown guy in the rural US, and I’d just been involved in an alley fight at night with a white guy. Wouldn’t you run and then clam up?”
He sighed and said, “Yeah, I might well have done. Tell me you didn’t start that fight, Mr. Bhat. And no more lying, or I swear you’re going to jail as you are right now!”
“Yes, officer, and no, it was completely self-defense; I was the victim. I used violence only to get away from him, evidenced by the fact that you didn’t find me!” I described the magic I used to defend myself and get away that night.
Poulsen couldn’t contain himself through the whole story, interjecting, “You’re…a mage? Seriously?”
“Yes, officer,” I replied with as much sincerity as I could muster.
“And you can only do it when you’re naked,” Officer Poulsen returned flatly.
“You’re naked now. Show me something I can’t explain any other way than magic,” he requested.
“Sorry, officer, as I said, I can’t do it near tech. This caged-in plastic-backed car seat is way too techie for me to work magic in,” I demurred. “I had a hard enough time doing it back in that alleyway.”
“Well, I’m not letting you out of here until I get my answers, so let’s set that aside for a bit,” Officer Poulsen said.
He took a second, then started quizzing me about magic instead. This turned into a whole side conversation I won’t repeat here, since it wasn’t much different in semantic content from my first conversations with Kaitlyn, differing mainly in that I had no intention of teaching him magic, just explaining my relationship with it.
About the time Poulsen was starting to sound provisionally satisfied, he made another of his investigator’s connections. “Wait a sec… Tell me if I’ve misunderstood, but you’re both…mages?” He stumbled over the appellation, clearly still not quite believing that it wasn’t some kind of joke or delusion.
“That’s right. Kaitlyn’s still new at it, but she’s pretty powerful already,” I replied proudly.
“Well, another piece falls into place… I heard another strange story recently. Some tourists were down at one of the bars telling everyone who would listen about how they were attacked by ‘…a scary witch chick out in the hills,’ as they put it. Even weirder, they said she was nude. Now, I didn’t connect this with your alley fight, Mr. Bhat, because of the gender difference. Plus, I didn’t believe a word of it. I don’t believe half the stories that tourists tell about what happened to them out in the hills when they’re sober, and these guys definitely weren’t. But that was you, wasn’t it Ms. Gutierrez?”
“Well, I was confronted by some guys out in a canyon, and I was nude at the time, but I didn’t attack them.” Poulsen looked skeptical until she said, “That was Davie. I can see how they might’ve thought it was me who did it, but it was Davie. You see, we were out there hiking…”
“Naked,” Officer Poulsen interjected.
“Yes, yes, naked,” she rushed, embarrassed, “when I ran into those guys and they started making lewd comments at me. So, my Davie,” she squeezed me at this point, “rode to my rescue and buried them in the wash up to their necks. Then we ran away. Well, not ran, exactly. More sauntered. But we didn’t hurt them! Just…kind of…temporarily restrained them.”
Poulsen began to laugh a little at that point. Then, returning to seriousness, “And tonight? Why are you naked this time?”
“Well, this was just a bit of fun. It was dark, and we’d been riding, and the water was right there and so cool…” she started explaining.
I jumped in, asking, “I didn’t hear the ranger say anything about an actual citizen complaint. You guys didn’t get any calls about us from anyone other than Ranger Goetz, did you?”
“No, we did not, Mr. Bhat.”
I gestured around us, “This is a pretty remote spot, Officer. Until the ranger marched us over by the highway and the campground, there wasn’t anyone close enough to see us in this darkness. His complaint is that we were ‘indecent,’ but he paraded us out in public from our concealment under the water. I don’t believe a person can be harmed simply by seeing another person who happens to be naked, but if you say I’m wrong about that, it was Ranger Goetz who forced that harm! He could have demanded that we dress there by the river. Kaitlyn asked to get dressed, and he said he was ‘preserving the evidence.’ Hah!”
“If I were a private citizen talking to you right now, Mr. Bhat,” the officer began with a sigh, “I’d agree with you. But I’m an officer of the law, and one of those laws involves indecent exposure.”
“Define ‘indecent,’” I shot back. “The law is written ‘indecent exposure,’ not ‘skin exposure,’ and it doesn’t say how much skin.”
Poulsen interrupted, “Actually, it does say how much skin, Mr. Bhat. Or rather, it points out areas you aren’t allowed to show in public, and both of you are showing them. My dilemma is that those bits weren’t seen by the public until the ranger forced it. I think you’d have a good case against such a charge, but winning would be partly a matter of finding the right judge.”
“Doesn’t it bother you,” I replied, somewhat more coolly this time, “that we have a matter of justice that’s dependent upon personal interpretation?”
“A bit, but if it was all black and white, we wouldn’t need a legal system in the first place,” he said. “I suspect the path to perfect justice leads through the forest of infinite surveillance.”
“Most poetic,” I returned with a small bow.
“Thank you,” he replied with a small smile. Then he closed his eyes for a second, took a deep breath, and then let it out. “I don’t see any especially good reason to throw you to the judges.”
We began to relax.
“Here’s what I’m going to do. You two are, as of now, my own personal magical helpers.”
Kaitlyn frowned. “Mmmm…sounds a little too Keebler to me. Maybe minions?”
I laughed at that image, telling Kaitlyn, “No, won’t work. I got rid of my thick glasses years ago, and I’d look terrible with yellow skin.”
She chortled, and Poulsen got a small grin on his stiff beleaguered face.
I thought for a bit, then snapped my fingers. “Hey, I’ve got it: the term ‘batman’ has a much older sense than the modern superhero title. It was a kind of servant.”
“Fine then,” Kaitlyn decided. “We are the batmen.”
We grinned at him.
Poulsen thought about that, then said, “Batpeople?” trying to be politically correct.
Kaitlyn and I looked at each other, then shook our heads. “Batmen,” we said in unison, smiling.
“All right then,” he said with a crooked grin, “when I pull y’all’s bell chain, summoning my batmen, you two will come running. This will be a legal partnership,” he stressed. “I’m no Lt. Gordon, and you two aren’t billionaire vigilantes who go running around beating people up and dumping them on my doorstep. You may not be the heroes this town deserves,” he quipped with a sardonic grin, “but you’re the ones I’ve got, so I will use you. And if you don’t agree, right here, right now, I’ll drag you in for indecent exposure, and you can try charming one of the town’s judges. How about it?”
“I’ve been looking for a new mission ever since I got done being a trash collector anyway,” I snarked. “Sure, why not?”
“And you, Ms. Gutierrez?” He managed to look her steadily in her eyes, never flicking his down for an instant.
I’d been in a trance when I first saw her naked; I was certain the good officer didn’t have my advantage. He was managing with only his impressive self-control. (And in case you think he might just be gay, he didn’t glance at my junk, either.) I was reasonably sure I wasn’t going to regret working with this guy.
“Yes, officer, thank you officer. I’ll be happy to help!” Kaitlyn let out with a rush, quite relieved.
“All right you two. Go get dressed and get out of here. It’s a busy holiday weekend, and I can’t spend any more time tonight on silliness. And for heaven’s sake, if you’re going to go skinny dipping again, do it further out of town!”
Click-clunk, the doors unlocked, and we got out. Kaitlyn half sprinted around the car and fairly flew into her clothes, but I walked calmly over to the passenger-side window, bent at the waist, and flashed the “wait a sec” sign at the cop.
I walked a few paces out into the wilder areas farther off the highway shoulder, then slid into trance, located the nearby wildlife, and woke up every creature from the size of a toad up. Then I sent them in an unmistakable double conga line across the highway to the other side. I sent all the small critters — road runners, lizards, quails, toads, foxes, skunks… — across in one line, then behind them I sent a small herd of mule deer bouncing across in a perfect rectified sine wave formation, like they’d been trained by a circus ringmaster. The deer being much faster, I then turned them back around and sent them back over to our side in a third line, creating a wonderful interlaced deer pattern across the road.
When the last critter disappeared back into the scrub and grass, I bent back over towards the cop car at a crisp 90 degree angle, my back flat, looking straight into the passenger-side window, and waved jazz hands at Poulsen’s stunned face. And then I disappeared. I couldn’t hear him inside the car from this distance, but I’m pretty sure what I read from his lips was vulgar.
I think that’ll do for proof of magic.
Officer Poulsen then just put his car into drive and pulled sedately onto the highway. By the time I’d gotten dressed and Kaitlyn and I were rolling down the highway after him, his taillights were pinpricks in the distance.
“Follow me,” she said as we began pedaling down Highway 128, back towards Moab.
We ended up outside a 24-hour gym, the sort of place where there’s no one watching the front desk in the late hours. You just unlock the door, go in, use the machines, and leave. It was therefore no trouble at all for Kaitlyn to sneak me into her gym.
The place was deserted.
“So, what are we doing here?” I asked.
“I need to destroy that heavy bag over there,” she said grimly. I got behind it, she tossed her tee shirt onto a nearby bench, and she proceeded to do just as she said, wearing her sports bra and bike shorts. As she worked out her anger with Ranger Ed, I kept her fire fed with questions.
“So, what’s Ranger Ed’s problem with you, Kaitlyn?”
“Eddie the Goatfuc… WHAM WHAM WHAP!”
She trailed off before finishing that sentence, and I’m sure I couldn’t guess what she’d left unspoken.
Then she started again, “Well. Let’s call him The Goat. He works in the same BLM office as me, though he’s mostly out in the field, not at a desk like me.” BAFF BAFF WHAP WHAP WHAP!
My feet were skidding back on the mat. I had to lean into the bag harder.
“He asked me for a date several times, most of them while looking at my chest.” PA-PAP-PA-PAMM!
I felt that last hit through the bag.
“I turned him down quickly each time.” PA-PAPPITY-PAPPAP!
“The last time, I was rather sharp with him. I was about to go to HR about it…” PAP-PAP-PAPPA-SMACK-WAP!!
“…but he apparently gave up just barely in time.” BAMMITY BAM BAMM BAMMMO!!
The last strike was a straight-legged high kick, perfectly executed so that all of its energy was dumped into the bag, bouncing it up on its chain. It took me a bit to steady it back down.
“Since then, we’ve been avoiding each other.” WAP-WAP-WAP-SMACKO!
“Ah,” I sighed, “and the forced nude march… That would be revenge then?”
“Yeah, probably, and also a desire to slide his slimy eyes over my body as long as possible.” PAKKA PAKKA PAKKA BAMMO! She punctuated it with a series of rapid solar plexus jabs.
I replied, “The good officer told us we’re not allowed to go vigilante on the bad guys, but I’m pretty sorely tempted to fall back out of Poulsen’s good graces,” I growled.
“And I’m tempted to let you loose on The Goat,” Kaitlyn said, “but let’s see if he takes his revenge as the end of the matter. I think he went way over the line, but my better nature says I shouldn’t retaliate.”
“All right, my love, I promise not to drop Eddie the Goat into a sand pit, seal it up, and tamp it down by jumping on it. For now.”
She laughed grimly at that. “This session with the heavy bag helped. Thanks, Davie.”
No one else arrived at the gym while we were there, so when it came time to clean up and go, Kaitlyn picked up her shirt, and we both went into the women’s locker room, stripped, and got into one of the shower stalls.
I took our riding shorts and tee shirts into the shower with us and washed out the day’s sweat under the spray, then wrung them out hard and tossed them out of the shower stall onto the dressing bench.
We had great fun soaping each other up and rubbing each other down. This was in some ways even nicer than our sunscreen session back in the canyon. We could get at both sides of each other easily, and warm wet soap is slicker than sunscreen. At one point, we turned this up to 11 by turning off the shower and getting even soapier, then we just speed-groped each other for a while, hands flying over our bodies from one fun part to another.
I was starting to get nervous that another woman would come in and want to use the changing room to get ready for her workout and discover us, so I decided I’d better stop playing around and get down to business.
By which I mean that I slid my cock up Kaitlyn’s pussy from behind and began pounding her steadily, her hands on the shower stall wall and her legs apart. As my strokes began to get faster, I lifted up one of her legs so I could pound her deeper. I was in a bit of a hurry with my nervousness, so I let go of my eruption when her first orgasm hit. It was just a quick fun bang, not nearly up to our previous standards, but it let the tension out nicely.
We quickly finished our shower and dried off, then I said, “Kaitlyn, go to the doorway and make sure no one’s out in the gym. And keep an eye out for anyone coming in!”
“But I’m naked!” she complained.
“Yes, wonderfully so. Just kind of peek around the corner. Unless someone’s just about to come in, you won’t get caught.”
She got a naughty little look on her face, then walked quickly and silently on the balls of her feet to the open passage, the view in guarded only by the zig-zag arrangement of the walls, out into the entry passage so she could see out into the gym proper. “Shit!” I heard her exclaim, then a running pit-pat as she came back into the dressing room, fast.
“There’s a section of window to the outside that can see into the dressing room entryway!” Kaitlyn burst out.
“Heh. I can’t decide if I’m hoping you gave someone a great peep show or glad that you probably didn’t get caught, this late in Sleepytown,” I replied with a smirk.
“Yeah, well, you go out then!” she returned.
“You didn’t see anyone in the gym, did you?” I asked. She shook her head. “All right, then just listen at the near side of the passage for the door chime. I’m going to go dry our shorts under the hand dryer, and I probably won’t be able to hear it myself.”
We went about our tasks.
I’d gotten the shorts dry and was almost done with our shirts when Kaitlyn spun towards me and nearly shouted, “Someone’s coming!”
“Get dressed, quick! Skip your socks and bra!”
We slipped our bike shorts on quickly, jammed our feet into our shoes, and slipped the warm tee shirts over our heads, then jogged to the dressing room door, me grabbing her hand as she slowed to a walk on the way out.
Just as we were leaving, a woman was about to enter, gym bag in hand. We smiled mischievously, and she got a little bemused grin on her face as I said, “All yours. Have a good workout!” Kaitlyn started laughing as we weaved our way between the workout machines and out the door.
In her surprise, I don’t think she even noticed us each carrying our socks in our hands.
Outside, we stuffed our scanties into our bikes’ trunk bags, kissed good-night, and rode off in different directions for our separate homes.
Riding in warmed bike shorts in the cool evening air is nice. The thick soft chamois held onto the warmth wonderfully. I’d have to remember to do this again.