A Vital Appreciation Pt. 02

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Burble, burble.

On a clear day in Gillette, Wyoming you can see… well, you can see backyards, chain link fences and ship lap siding on neighbors’ houses painted in sun-muted colors of nature. People around here work for a living, so the grass remains un-mowed, the barbecue grills are cold and nary a window shade is open to behold the Jacuzzi in Dorothy’s back yard.

Brooke was lounging in the bubbling water, a tangy smell of chlorine rising in wisps. She wiggled her red-painted toes in the sunlight up on the ledge as she studied a state-issued road map.

“Hey Dorothy?” asked Brooke.

“Uh, uh, huh, uhuh?” replied Dorothy.

“Have you ever been to Avon?” asked Brook.

“Ye, ye, ye, yes, yes.” said Dorothy gasping for breath.

“What’s up there? Anything to see?” asked Brooke.

“Hang on, Hang on, no, no, no,” said Dorothy rocking back and forth. Then her voice went up an octave, “no, no, Yes, Yes, Yes, YES!”

Brooke glanced over and saw Dorothy convulsing, her eyes rolling back into her head. The older woman reached out to the edge of the tub to steady herself, but fell to a knee, her long tits dipping back down into the hot water. She was hunched over and breathing heavy.

Brooke went back to reading her map, and said, “Ray, I think we should go through Montana.”

Ray was red from steam and exertion. He grabbed a hand towel to wipe his face and paused a few seconds to catch his breath. “Phew….uh, that sounds good,” he said.

Brooke nodded and smiled, “Then it’s settled. Cool. Hey Dorothy, can you drive us down to Ten Sleep tomorrow to pick up the car?”

With her head resting on the edge of the tub and her thin body floating crosswise in the boil of swirling bubbles, Dorothy’s face was a mask of peace and pure contentment.

“Yes, I will be glad to” she sighed.

—–

“A bad starter relay?” asked Ray as he counted out cash.

“Yeah,” said Frank Sublette, the mechanic who serviced Ray’s Duster. He looked over the shiny green hood of the 50 year old car with envy. “Man, you keep her lookin’ nice, but, respectfully, I gotta say that engine is long overdue…”

“Yeah, yeah, I know.” Ray interrupted. “I just can’t afford it right now,” he said sheepishly as he handed the bills over to Frank.

Both men turned to the sound of clopping coming across the street. Brooke wore wood heeled sandals, lime green shorts and a tight white t-shirt. She carried a red slushy drink in one hand and a vanilla ice cream cone in the other.

“Sorry, honey, they didn’t have coffee, so I got you this instead,” she called out as she held up the red drink.

Ray recalled the boiled down sludge in the garage’s office coffee pot, and suddenly a cup of ‘red’ from the Frosty Freeze didn’t seem like such a bad choice.

“Hey, Frank, what’s the shortest route to Montana?” asked Ray.

The mechanic was mesmerized by Brooke. She was licking that white ice cream so very carefully and appreciatively. He watched her pink tongue dart out to catch melted drips as they rolled slowly down onto the light brown cone. She’d swirl a long lick around the edge and upward to reform the ice cream into a conical shape-and then curl that delicate, vanilla covered tongue back through those radiant white teeth. Oh look! There’s one she seems to have missed. A drip formed on the back edge and had dropped un-noticed onto her finger. He looked into her eyes, her enticing, light green eyes. Would she notice the drip? It was swelling on the edge of her finger, hanging perilously. What if it were to fall onto those beautiful breasts?

“Ahem,” said Ray, clearing his throat.

—–

The landscape was uniformly tan and treeless as they drove through big sky country. Brooke had her arms crossed and was stewing about a guessing game they had tried to play to pass the time.

“At least I TRY to listen to oldies. You know, like from the eighties?” said Brooke.

Ray smiled and said “I can’t believe you never heard of Arlo Guthrie.”

“What a stupid game,” grumbled Brook, “And, who is this Botticelli character anyway?

Right then six motorcycles thundered past Ray’s car. They were all Harleys and their riders all wore colors. Ray slowed the Duster and veered to the right to give them plenty of room. Within minutes, they were out of sight.

“Do you smoke weed, Ray?” asked Brooke.

“Used to,” answered Ray.

“I bet those guys on the bikes could give us some.” postulated Brooke.

Ray nodded not wanting to set Brooke off by disagreeing. “I bet they could.”

Brooke leaned over and put her hand on Ray’s thigh and said, “You know, marijuana makes me horny. VERY horny.”

“Hmmm, is that so?” said Ray with a sideways glance and an exaggerated raised eyebrow. He sped up and Brooke started laughing.

Over the next rise, Ray suddenly hit the brakes with both feet on the pedal and put the Duster into a straight-line skid. “Fuck, Fuck Fuck!” he shouted.

The bikes they had passed before were stopped in the road. Five of them were upright on the shoulder and one was illegal bahis laying on it’s side, right on the center line. Ray let up on the brake and swerved to the left of the group, missing the fallen biker by a few feet. He pulled off and hopped out to assist.

Ray was no medic but had seen combat injuries before and knew the guy on the ground needed to get to a hospital fast. Cell service was non-existent, so Ray volunteered to drive him in.

A guy named ‘Toad’ came up the drivers side window as the others loaded the injured man into his car and Brooke climbed in the back to hold him steady. Toad said, “The closest ER is in Billings. You follow us. We’ll clear a path.”

Ray nodded, started the engine and fishtailed off the shoulder.

—–

Toad came walking down the hall at midnight and sat next to Ray and Brooke in the waiting room. “Well,” he said, “Jack is out of surgery. The doctor said it all went pretty well.”

“That’s good to hear,” said Ray.

“Listen,” said Toad, “You did a righteous thing today,” He reached in the pocket of his leather vest, pulled out a worn black business card, and handed it to Ray. It had their club’s rockers, a phone number and ‘Toad’ on it. “If you ever need anything… I mean ANYTHING, call me.”

All three of them stood. Toad hugged Brook, then he turned to Ray. The big biker grasped Ray’s hand and pulled him close into a man-hug. He stepped back and looked at Ray with clear, dark eyes. “Anything,” he said.

Back in the car, Ray held the card up in the mercury vapor parking lot light and said, “This sort of feels like a golden-ticket.”

“Yes,” said Brooke.

Ray turned to her and said, “You know, I thought we bought it today. I could have wiped them all out back on that road.” Then he added with shudder, “But it didn’t happen that way. We saved the man’s life.”

“And those guys were very appreciative,” said Brooke

Ray nodded and looked at the card again. “Yes they were.”

“More than you know,” said Brooke and she held up a gallon zip-lock bag stuffed with Cannabis buds.

—–

Brooke was tempted to light up another bowl, but thought better of it. Hotels had alarms and stiff penalties for smoking in the room. Instead, she stretched her arms out on the comfy king-sized bed, arched her back and adjusted her hips on the pillow underneath. She reached down absently between her legs and ran her fingers through Ray’s thick hair.

“Ray, I love that you have different experiences than me,” said Brooke philosophically.

Ray replied with a grunt because his mouth was full.

Brooke jumped a little, and a ripple went through her body that caused her tits to jiggle like mounds of jello.

“We have so much to learn from each other,” she said.

“Mmmmm,” said Ray still occupied.

Another jump, another ripple and Brooke squeaked out, “Oh!”

“Together, we’re more complete, don’t you think?” she asked.

Ray looked up across a pubic hair lawn. He dipped his tongue into Brooke one last time and tickled her tiny, hooded clit before pulling himself up. He climbed onto the bed on his knees and pushed Brook’s legs apart. Gripping his cock and balls at the base, he placed his other hand on her pubic mound and parted her lips with his fingers.

Brooke curled up on her elbows and reflectively matched the intensity in Ray’s eyes. She scanned down over his magnificent body, well defined shoulders and pecs, muscled ribs and abdomen, thick cock. She arched her back, canted her hips and spread her legs wider to receive it all.

Brooke held her breath and watched him slide into her inch by delicious inch.

—–

“License and insurance please,” said the Trooper.

Ray handed his cards to Trooper. “Here you go, officer,” he said with a polite smile.

The police officer clipped Ray’s license to the top of his ticket book and glanced in the car. Both the occupants were wearing seat belts. The girl in the passenger side appeared to be pregnant. He smiled at her and she smiled pleasantly back. “How far along are you?” he asked.

Brooke patted her belly and said, “Oh about 6 months.”

The officer nodded. That seemed about right. He unclipped the cards from his book and handed them back to Ray with a stern look. “Listen, the speed limit drops to 65 in populated areas. I’m letting you go with a warning today. Just watch your speed…” Then he added, “and keep that pretty little daughter of yours safe.” He looked past Ray as he said this, tipped his wide brimmed hat at Brooke and gave her a toothy grin.

The color rose in Ray’s face as he took the cards back but he managed to say, “Thank you, officer. Have a nice day,” with a tight smile. He watched the Trooper return to his car in his rear view mirror. When the officer slammed his door shut, Ray exhaled a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding.

Brooke started laughing. She punched his leg and said, “Oh, Daddy, don’t look so glum. We’ll catch that no-good varmint that knocked me up.”

Ray shook his head and rolled the Duster sedately from illegal bahis siteleri the shoulder and back on the highway. Brooke pulled the bag of weed from under her shirt and dropped it on the floor.

An hour later, two car wash attendants in Missoula, Montana were celebrating behind their building in a cloud of smoke. They both agreed this was the best tip they had ever received.

—–

The smell of smoke filled Ray’s nostrils. It curled around and over him as the air currents shifted where he sat. He closed his eyes to avoid the sting and and blinked them open when he could again sense the cool aroma of pine needles and loam.

“How are the dogs coming?” Brooke asked as she walked out of the dark.

Ray pulled a stick with two hot dogs attached out of the fire to show Brooke, as she sat on the log next him. She put her hands in the pockets of her hoodie and stared into the flickering flame.

They found a campground near Lake Coeur d’Alene that was nearly empty and had scored a slot at the far end away from everyone. The trees, the stars, the solitude– it was all so …bucolic– until a beat up tan RV with a ‘W’ in the side pulled into the camping site next to theirs.

A middle aged guy walked into the light of their fire and said, “Hey, do you folks mind if we park here?”

Brooke blinked at him and said nothing. Ray said, “I guess…”

The man disappeared and soon there was clattering and banging coming from over at their campsite. Flashlights scanned the grounds as camping stuff was unloaded and placed in appropriate places.

All was silent for a few minutes and then the man and his wife reappeared at Ray and Brooke’s camp fire, dragging lawn chairs and a cooler on wheels.

Brooke held a burnt hotdog with her fingertips and nibbled it delicately as Hank and Wendy Milligan introduced themselves. Ray sipped his beer and listened politely to their story, interjecting clarifying questions from time to time.

“…so you see, now we travel around the country, enjoying adventure and making new friends,” said Hank.

“Ah, I see,” said Ray.

Hank reached over patted Wendy’s hand who smiled back at him cutely, “And the wife and I have HAD some adventures, haven’t we.” She nodded, he continued. “We’ve met some great people too. You see, we’re swingers.” He paused as if a new idea popped into his head. “Hey, do you folks swing?”

Ray and Brooke stared at Hank for a second. Ray said “No” and Brooke said “Yes” — at exactly the same time.

Ray looked over at Brooke to give her an eyebrows-raised, ‘What-the-fuck-are-you-doing?’ stare, but she was just nodding like a plastic bobble-head.

Hank heard only Brooke’s answer and rushed along with, “Oh, great!” He turned to his wife and said, “Dear, show these nice folks what we have to offer.”

Before Ray and Brooke could object, Wendy jumped up from her chair, pulled open her red flannel shirt, and proudly displayed two ginormous boobs. Her bright red lips opened into broad smile, and she shook her shoulders so her tits swung like grapefruits in a plastic grocery bag.

Hank punctuated the display with “And they’re REAL too!”

“Awkward,” said Ray.

Not sensing the reaction she was expecting, Wendy attempted to cover herself.

Brooke glanced at Ray, a little perturbed. “Perhaps I should explain what I meant,” she said.

Ray looked back at Brooke to see where she was going with this.

Brooke continued, “You see, Ray and I are both gay. We swing, but when we swap… well, I only do girls and Ray only does boys.”

Wendy relaxed and looked at Brooke with new found appreciation. Hank looked like he had just smelled a fart.

Ray was glaring at Brooke as if she had lost her mind. Hank sat back in his lawn chair trying to noodle through the mechanics of all this. Poor Wendy stood in the fire light topless, unsure what to do.

Brooke hopped up from the log and circled Wendy like a lion tamer. She snapped orders and Wendy obeyed. Soon Hank’s wife was buck naked and swiveling around trying to follow Brooke as she moved. Brooke would randomly step forward and bite Wendy. Not hard bites. Just nips on her exposed skin. Wendy was anxious and exposed, but found herself increasingly aroused.

Brooke shed her hoodie. She pulled her shirt off. She dropped her pants and kicked them away. Completely nude, she stood before Wendy and looked her straight in the eyes.

Wendy licked her lips and watched as one of her heavy tits was reverently lifted and held by Brooke. Brooke pulled a thick, dark nipple into her mouth, traced her tongue around it and bit.

Ray and Hank watched the two women fuck on top of the picnic table in the light of the camp fire, oblivious to the attention they might attract. The girls’ grunts, moans and shrieks seemed to echo in the trees.

Hank leaned over to Ray and asked, “So, er, Ray, do you suck dick?”

Ray replied, “Not tonight, Hank. I have a headache.”

—–

Brooke wiped the fog off the inside of the Duster’s window and peered out at the campsite. canlı bahis siteleri Wisps of smoke still trailed from the fire ring and the sun was just beginning to glint off of the empty beer cans that littered the site. The big RV next door was gone.

She nudged Ray and said, “Hey, wake up!”

Ray answered groggily, “I don’t want to.”

“Come on,” she insisted, shaking Ray’s shoulder. “You promised me you would teach me to drive our car!”

Ray didn’t remember much from the night before. He and Hank drank a lot, probably too much. He vaguely recalled naked women rubbing their lady parts all over him and babbling about him not being gay any more…. but he thought that might have been a dream. Was it a dream -or- was it a nightmare?

By the way, if anyone asks, campgrounds are a terrible place to teach someone to drive a car with a manual transmission– at least at 8:00 am in the morning. Brooke did eventually get the hang of it, but they wound up getting chased around by the camp host in a golf cart as the vintage 340 Duster lurched and loped to the exit.

—–

“I think I found my people,” said Brooke as she and Ray walked through the Portland Saturday Market. Ray reached down and took Brooke’s hand as they ambled through the warren of booths.

Ray knew what she meant. These folks were not bothered by convention nor limited in creativity. There were buskers and street food vendors. In the booths, you could find hand-made products, vintage clothing and throw back paraphernalia of all sorts. The people were as colorful, pleasant and varied as the products they sold and were a joy to watch. Except one.

As they walked, Ray became aware of a large, dark man who seemed like he didn’t belong. He stood out because he was not enjoying the color and confusion of the market. He had a cell phone up to his ear and Ray caught him more than once making furtive glances in their direction.

Brooke was oblivious and was simply immersed in the land of new-age hippies. She had discovered a world she had read about but never experienced. For her, wandering through the flea market was like being an archeologist who’s uncovered a 60’s commune where peace and free-love were a lifestyle, not a slogan.

And Ray loved her even more for it.

“Hey Ray! They’ve got snoods!” she exclaimed as she released his hand and approached a booth filled with hand made hair adornments. Ray took a moment to look around for the odd guy, but didn’t see him.

“Ray! I’ll be over here for a minute,” called out Brooke, now waving from three booths away.

Ray started to move toward Brooke, but was blocked by a large cart of soda tanks being pushed through the crowd. Frustrated, he pushed around the cart and was stopped again by a line of people waiting for food.

He finally broke through to an open space near the booth Brooke called from, but she was not there.

Ray spent the rest of the day searching the market without success. He could make no sense of her disappearing. Had she been taken? Did she just dump him? No, that wouldn’t, couldn’t happen.

Brooke had pulled him back from a dark place in his life, and he had come to love this woman with all of his heart. Ray was sure she felt the same, but he knew she had unresolved demons, things they had never talked about– but should have. Maybe, they came back to haunt her?

“Damn it!” said Ray out loud as he realized he could have been a better man.

The people of the market dispersed, the booths and food shops were closed. The sky that had been overcast all day now opened up and it started to rain. Ray trudged back to the hotel room.

He had to find her, just HAD to.

—–

“I’ll take door number three,” said Ray enthusiastically.

“Let’s see what’s behind door number two!” The game show host exclaimed, with a devilish grin, “Johnny, tell Ray what he COULD have won!” The door rolled back and the announcer proclaimed grandly, “It’s a brand new Car!” Over thunderous applause, the announcer continued enunciating each word, “… a brand NEW, 1972 Duster from Plymouth!”

Then the applause abruptly faded, the lights dimmed and people started filing for the exits. Ray said, “Wait, what did I win? What’s behind door number three?” One by one, the stage lights clicked off. “Wait a minute! Where is my prize?” said Ray desperately.

“Where is my girl friend?”

A klaxon on the TV announced a new game show winner and woke Ray from his sleep. He didn’t remember falling asleep. He was fully dressed, the TV was still on and the contents of Brooke’s backpack were scattered over the still-made, hotel bed.

His head throbbed, his body ached and he felt sick to his stomach.

Ray looked back over the yard sale on the bed. He had tried to figure out where Brooke had gone or been taken; and realized, instead, how little he knew about his lover. Desperately searching for addresses and contact numbers, he rifled through her clothing. All had been folded, neat and tidy–her toiletries in a zippered bag. No space wasted, nothing to spare– except for one item.

Ray hefted a spiral bound drawing pad that had occupied a special zippered pocket in the backpack, and flipped through the pages. He had not seen this before last night, and was stunned. How is it he never knew Brooke was so talented?

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