Jake and Kurt have managed to drop all their perishable food in the cold mountain lake during their attempts to rig a wilderness fridge, and have to fish it out.
“Did you find the mayonnaise?” I asked, once we’d both been down and back twice empty handed. The water was not clear enough to find anything by sight; we were hunting by touch.
“No, I thought you did,” Kurt said, as he treaded water.
“Damn, I really wanted that mayonnaise,” I said, as I resigned myself to another chilly trip downwards. Kurt twisted in the water and did a tucked surface dive, shooting to the bottom as he uncoiled his legs, which gave me a brief look at his package before he submerged. That couldn’t have been intentional, and I was grateful for the cold water that would hinder me from getting hard. I’d seen him naked before, but that was before. Now I was noticing, and I was as naked as he was.
Almost oxygenated enough to go down again to help hunt, I started to turn in the water when Kurt surfaced next to me. Actually, he’d nearly come up underneath me, and he stroked the length of my body as he rose to the air. Pushing off me to gain a little distance, he planted a foot on my thigh, dangerously close to my groin. The cold water was my ally, I reminded myself, as I caught a faceful of splashing.
“Success!” he crowed, waving the jar around. “Is that everything?”
“I think so,” I said, and we swam to shore.
“Careful,” he warned as we pulled the dangling box over to land. “I don’t really want to go after all that again.” Me either, though if he brushed against me again, I wouldn’t mind. I just wished he’d done it on purpose.
We rigged a cradle for the box, using more of the thin rope that Kurt had used to secure the pulley to the tree. Kurt hadn’t put his clothes back on, which meant that I couldn’t either, without calling attention to my nakedness. Chilly enough to not embarrass myself, I bit the inside of my cheek when I got too much look at Kurt’s body, as he squatted to tie the cord with some complicated climber’s knot that he assured me would not come undone accidentally. Then we secured the box around with the forgotten bungee cords, a move that would have saved considerable trouble had we done it half an hour earlier. Satisfied that the box wouldn’t tilt now that the rope went through a few of the drain holes, no matter how badly unbalanced it was, we lowered our fridge into the water.
“That box is on belay,” he said with a grin. “It goes nowhere now, unless we move it.”
“All right!” We high fived each other and then Kurt flopped onto the grass in a sunny spot, on, dear Lord, his back. He put his hands under his head after selecting a stem of grass to chew on, and raised one knee. This was nothing new; the only new thing was how much I wanted to run my hands over him.
The new edition of Fire on the Mountain will be available shortly. We could ask the Magic Eight Ball when…