The Last Hike
Mountain Falls, Mid-July
The packet came in the mail. It contained instructions for his basic training and bus tickets to Fort Bragg. He would ship out by the end of the month, and not return. Jason had two weeks to say goodbye to his grandmother, his car, and these mountains he loved. It seemed like a long time, but it went fast. He tried to savor every moment, every smile, every piece of pie, and every pat Grandma Gail gave him. Still, his heart grew heavy as he took his daily walks up the mountain and tried to think of his life ahead. He knew he wouldn't see her again. She knew it too. There was no denying it. They tried to make plans but it was fruitless. What if he failed and came back never occurred to them. Only the Colonel would be their link. Somehow, just somehow, Uncle Jim would be the bridge between what Jason was feeling now and what would be his legacy.
Grandma Gail caught him just as he was eating his desert. "You know, Jason, I've decided to change my will. With your family gone, I've decided to give everything to your Uncle Jim. However, since he has no children, and may not live beyond your service, I will place a caveat on this place that you inherit it. I know he will do right by you, I'm just afraid that he might die during your service and our family legacy will be lost. I'm going to write to the Fairfax County Commissioner to state that until further notice the property of my son, David Forsythe, in Reston will be managed by me and inherited by you, Jason. Unfortunately, your father did not have a will. Or at least he didn't have one that he shared with me. And there wasn't any will in the papers you brought me from the house. Hopefully we can get all this done before you leave for basic training. Will you take me to my lawyer, Lonnie Matthews, in Winchester tomorrow?
"Sure, Grandma. I don't understand much about wills and all this lawyer stuff, but I know that you are worried that the family will lose this land or that we lose my Dad's house if I'm not here. I want to read everything over very carefully and make sure I learn as much as I can. Maybe we need to set up a safe deposit box at the bank so that you can put things in there for me after I'm gone, okay?"
"Oh Jason, you are so smart! That's a wonderful idea. We'll have to make it so that you, Uncle Jim, or I, alone, can open the box. Let's do that tomorrow, too, okay?"
"Sure. I plan to put Betsy up on blocks, so we'll need to do everything we need to do in town soon so that you won't have to rely on George to take you to town after I leave."
"Oh, Jason! Don't you worry. That old geezer has been trying to hook up with me for years. He's just too old for me and I couldn't live the way he lives. I know I can count on George to take me to town whenever I need to go. In fact, he's going to have to take you on the 28th when you meet the bus. It's a long walk to Winchester and as healthy is you are, I don't think you're up to it." She winked in that ironic way she had. "I always make sure that I give George enough money for gas and to maintain that old clunker he drives. That way I'm always assured a ride and don't have to worry about him getting in my business." She smiled wryly. Jason got her point.
The next day they got to the law offices of Matthews and Forrester before nine. Mr. Matthews wasn't in yet, but Grandma Gail and his secretary got out their file copy of her will and she began to mark it up. By the time Lonnie Matthews arrived, she had the language the way she wanted it.
"Mr. Matthews, I'd like you to meet my grandson, Jason J. Forsythe. Except for my son, James A. Forsythe, Jason is my only heir. I have corrected my will here, to make sure that my property is safe and that it will pass on to Jason should anything happen to James. Jason is signing up for the military and may not be back for a long time. How can I have assurance that the law firm of Matthews and Forrester will do right by the Forsythe family and maintain our records until Jason comes to claim them?"
"Now, now, Mrs. Forsythe. You know that my father took care of all your legal business all the way down from when you and Abraham were first married. I intend to do the same. Jason will always be welcome here. It's good to meet you, young man. I'm glad you're willing to serve. At a time like this we need all the young men we can get in the service. Mrs. Forsythe, if you would just step out to the waiting room for a minute with your grandson, I'll review this paperwork and make sure that it's legal and you can be on your way."
Jason and Grandmother Gail waited in the waiting room. Jason couldn't help but glance at the beautiful young lady behind the desk. His grandmother saw him looking and whispered in his ear, "That's Lonnie's daughter, Elizabeth. She's a student at the University of Virginia, a sophomore, I think. Isn't she cute?"
Jason nodded, “Yes.” The door opened and Mr. Matthews came out with his grandmother's will in hand. "It looks good to me, Mrs. Forsythe. If you wait just a few more minutes, I'll have Elizabeth type it up so you can sign it. Or, if you like, you can come back later and sign it."
"We have to go to the bank, Lonnie. So we'll just go over there now and come back later to sign the will. Okay?"
"Sounds like a plan to me." Matthews was being funny. Under his breath, Jason giggled. He saw Elizabeth see him giggle and smile, too. A college girl. Jason was trying to think of a way to talk to her. Reluctantly, he followed Grandma Gail out the door.
The trip to the bank didn't take long. A longtime customer, Grandma Gail got the bank manager to set up a safety deposit box that could be opened by any of them, alone, with proper identification that included their Social Security number and two keywords, both with hints if it was a long time and they had been forgotten. Gail chose James' keywords for him in his absence. They were his mother's maiden name and the name of his childhood dog. Jason didn't know those. But he knew his, and that was all he needed to have the bank open the deposit box. All this was sobering. Planning for wills and safety deposit boxes were something for grandmothers to think about, not 17 year olds about to graduate from high school thrust into the service. But these were sobering times. Jason cried inside and tried not to show it to his grandmother.
Back at the lawyer's office, Elizabeth, with the help of Microsoft Word, had quickly, but correctly made all the changes to Grandma Gail's will. Gail was quite surprised herself because they hadn't been long at the bank and she thought that Elizabeth had retyped the entire thing. She scrutinized it carefully while Jason and Elizabeth coyly eyed one another, each trying not to be too obvious. Finally, Elizabeth broke the ice. "You live up at Mountain Falls? I do a lot of hiking, you know, especially since... Anyway, I've never hiked up that way and don't like to hike alone."
"I go up on the mountain almost every day. Don't I Grandma? (He needed reassurance and Grandma Gail gave it with a nod of her head). When would you like to go?"
"I usually hike in the evenings because I have to work here, but this Saturday I'm free, so... How does that sound?"
Jason, a bit red in the ears by now, said, "It sounds good. But it's a long walk so come early."
Elizabeth smiled a broad smile and said, "I'm an early riser and can walk all day. I'll be there by seven."
As if to consummate the date, having just signed her will, Grandma Gail piped in, "And I'll have breakfast ready for the both of you."
"Here, let me notarize that for you."
"You seem to be the Jill of all trades, Elizabeth. What are you taking at the University of Virginia?" This intriguing girl was peaking Gail's curiosity.
"Pre-Law, Ma'am. I'm also taking dance classes there and going to try out for Miss Virginia if they have a pageant this fall." Her face turned down suddenly as she realized that that prospect probably was a distant one right now.
Elizabeth made copies for Grandma Gail, Jason, and Colonel Forsythe. She handed them to Gail with a smile and said, "See you Saturday."
"You know, she's too old for you, Jason." Grandma Gail confided once they were in the car headed back up the mountain road to Mountain Falls. "But she's quite a catch coming from a family of lawyers and going to be a lawyer herself."
"Oh, Grandma! I'm not going to marry her! She's just lonely and likes to hike. Anyway, it will be a welcome change from the routine that we've got at the cabin." Neither one said another word about it, but Jason couldn't keep his mind off the lovely young woman who had made a proposition he couldn't refuse. He couldn't wait until Saturday.
Three days later, 7 a.m.
Jason had just finished his shower and come up to the kitchen to the smell of hot coffee brewing and bacon frying when he heard tires crunching on the rocky drive in front of the cabin. He was surprised to see Elizabeth pulling up in a yellow Corvette with the top down and a green visor to hold her hair down and keep the sun off her eyes. She was smashingly beautiful in a khaki short sleeve top, matching creased shorts with yellow knee socks that matched her scarf and the Vette, and the best looking pair of hiking shoes Jason had ever seen. He bounded down the stairs and opened the door for her, his heart pumping a mile a minute.
Elizabeth swung her tanned legs out and reached up for his hand as though she needed assistance. Jason obliged and pulled her to her feet. "Hi Jason, I packed a lunch for us so we wouldn't bother your grandmother with it." She turned and bent over into the small backseat retrieving her pack. It matched the rest of her outfit perfectly. Her bottom was too close but Jason didn't mind, she brushed him briefly with it before he backed off and she pulled her pack to rest at the edge of the car.
"Here, let me take that." Jason grabbed the pack and lifted it off the car. It seemed like it weighed fifty pounds. He couldn't imagine a lunch weighing so much. "Nice Chevy you've got there. I've got one too but not near as new or as nice as that!"
"It was a gift from my Daddy before I went off to college. It attracts a lot of attention. What have you got, a Corvette too?"
"No, just an old 1969 Camaro that my Uncle gave me. It's a convertible too, with a big engine, but probably not as fast or as powerful as your Vette."
"Well, maybe we'll just have to race to find out.” She smiled and winked. "When can I see it?”
Jason knew she was joking but that wink drained the blood out of him anyway. "Before we start up the mountain, but we’d better get to the kitchen right now because Grandma's got breakfast ready."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Elizabeth winked again and preceded him into the cabin.
They made short work of breakfast. Jason was impressed that Elizabeth ate almost as much as he. After a second cup of coffee, they headed down to the shed and Jason lifted the door to reveal his Betsey.
Elizabeth was all, like "Wow" and "Beautiful." She slid her hand along the Camaro's waxed body, and opened the driver's side door for a peek inside. "Jason, this is really nice. You're lucky. You've got a bench seat. Much better for making out. Ever try to make out in the Corvette? Well, it isn't easy!" She turned just in time to see the embarrassed look on Jason's face. As if to rub things in, she quipped, "We’ll have to try it sometime." She watched intently as Jason's face turned a deep red. She had him where she wanted him.
"Well... well... we better get going. Your pack is kind of heavy, so I'll carry it. I always take a few essentials, but only about 10 pounds, so you can wear my pack." Elizabeth conceded to his gentlemanly ways and they were on their way up the mountain. She took the lead, following the well-marked trail across North Pifer Road that headed upward through fields and forests to Bald Knob. There were several ways to go, and Jason knew them all, but he let her take the lead. By heading upward, all trails would eventually reach their destination. From time to time, he pointed out family artifacts -- the family gravesite, the sites of several cabins, two old wells and the cistern used to supply the first pressurized water to the cabin from about 1900 onward until his Dad installed a well and pump in 1973 during a summer home from college. Forsythes once owned all this land. During the Depression and World War II, his Grandfather sold some to timber and mining interests. Gail told him that his father and Uncle Jim had been buying some of it back. He didn't really know how much they owned right now or where the exact boundaries were. Guessed that he better find that out before he left.
His thoughts were immediately interrupted when a buck in velvet jumped up directly in front of Elizabeth and bounded off into the brush disappearing immediately. "Did you see that?" She blurted. "I was near enough to touch him. Almost kicked him with my shoe."
"Yeah, I see him often. He'll be a 10 pointer this fall. He's getting too familiar. I'm afraid some hunter will shoot him this fall because he has no fear of humans anymore."
"Yeah, but, by the way he bounded off, I'd say I've frightened him this time."
"I'd say you did." Jason smiled. He loved Elizabeth's attitude. He also loved watching her butt as she worked her way up the steeper parts of the trails. She was moving fast, almost too fast for the pack he was carrying. He quit pointing out landmarks and just followed like a male dog following a bitch in heat.
Since all trails led to Bald Knob, at the pace they were going, Jason figured they would be at the top by 10am, too early for lunch. At the rate she was going his date was going to be over by the early afternoon--soon after he raced her down the mountain. Sure enough, even though he didn't have a watch, they broke out of the trees into the rough rocky area that was Bald Knob about ten. He was sweating and breathing heavily from the exertion and the warmth of the day, the kind of work out he usually got from track practice rather than climbing up the mountain. Elizabeth broke the silence first.
"Wow! What a glorious place. I can see Winchester clearly. I bet on a clear day you can see the Atlantic. Am I right, Jason!"
"Well, not quite. Sometimes, I used to be able to see some of the buildings in DC... " Realizing his error, he fell silent.
"Oh, Jason, I was just goofing off. You take things way too seriously. Geez I'm hot. Come over here and get my camera out. This is an incredible place. Just right for the pictures I need. Can you take some pictures for me, Jason?"
"I guess..." Jason swung the heavy pack off his back and opened up the flap looking for the camera. The smell of cheese struck his nostrils.
"No, silly not there." Elizabeth came close, close enough so that Jason could feel the heat of her body and see her matching yellow bra in the opening in her unbuttoned shirt, and reached down and unzipped a side pocket. She reached in and pulled out the camera. "It's digital vid, but I want to get some pictures for some guys I know on the Internet. It's fully automatic except the zoom here. Just put me in the viewfinder, zoom in and out and film me in short bursts. Don't say anything unless you want your voice on the film. Okay?" She looked Jason directly in the eyes and he shook his head in agreement. She handed him the camera. She started to walk away and stopped. Turned back around and looked at him as she spoke. "By the way Jason, I'm a nudist. I want to add to my all over tan. So while you're filming me I'll be taking off my clothes." She gave him that characteristic wink that he had seen before.
Jason followed as Elizabeth wandered over into the rocks and signaled to him that she wanted him to start filming. Jason was sweating profusely from the climb, but Elizabeth just showed perspiration in all the right spots. He zoomed in with the camera for a closer look and saw a drop slowly moving down her cleavage. Another on her forehead. A small wet spot just under the arm of her shirt. He filmed them one by one. Elizabeth was smiling in the bright sunshine as she played with her scarf and gradually took it off. She turned slightly and unbuttoned a button at a time, played with the camera and with Jason as she slowly revealed her nearly transparent yellow bra that matched her scarf perfectly. He could easily see her nipples as they pressed against the sheer fabric, turning darker in the places where drops of sweat had appeared.
Her shorts soon followed her shirt, revealing matching yellow panties with the same transparency as the bra. She was taking him on now and he had a hard time holding the camera as she played with his emotions. He got hard down there and knew she could see it through his jeans. Very soon she was climbing around the rocks in just her bra and panties like a wood nymph. She might as well have been naked because he could see right through the little she was wearing. Soon, that proved too much, too, and she seductively took off both the bra and panties and put them down neatly beside her khaki shirt and shorts. She sat down in the rocks and removed her shoes and those matching knee socks. She was right. She already had a tan without tan lines. Suddenly, she jumped up and tiptoed barefoot on the hot rock over to him.
"Well Jase, did you get it all? Boy, that was fun. I can't wait to get those on the computer. I hope you didn't mess up." Her eyes narrowed in fake anger. They quickly opened to a big smile. "Your turn!" And grabbed the camera from him. "Come on now, Jason. Take em off. You don't need me being the only nude on the mountain!" Once again, her eyes showed her excitement.
Embarrassed, Jason reluctantly complied, watching her film as he took off his shirt, his T-shirt, his hiking shoes and socks, and finally, his face red as a beet and his manhood shriveled, he shimmied out of his jeans and slipped off his red cotton briefs. His tan lines clearly showed and he could tell she was laughing at him behind the camera.
"Okay now, that was great. Don't worry, Jase, I'm not going to show the movie to anyone. I just wanted to record our time here together. Whew, I love this breeze. It helps keep the heat of the sun off. Let's eat." She tiptoed over to her pack and pulled out a light plaid blanket. Spreading it out on a flat spot on the rock, she brought out an assortment of sausages and cheese, a bottle of wine, and a loaf of French bread. She produced a knife from one of the side pockets and began making them sandwiches. "Oops, I forgot the glasses. Guess we'll have to drink from the bottle." The wine bottle had a metal twist cap, so if she forgot the corkscrew there would be no worry. She smiled.
Jason sat down beside her on the blanket and let her feed him small sandwiches. Between bites, they both took swigs of the wine. Jason was not used to this kind of lunch, and soon he was full and a bit drunk. But Elizabeth insisted that he help her finish the bottle off. It was a bit much for him, but he finished it off, chased by a generous drink of water. It all seemed perfectly natural now, the two of them sitting on the blanket in the sun and wind eating lunch naked. When they were finished, Elizabeth put what was left over back into the pack, and stretched out on the blanket, saying that she, "Wanted to add to her tan."
Jason lay down beside her, and, relaxed and full, reveled in the warmth of the sun as the breeze cooled its heat. Soon, he fell asleep.
Not long after, he felt something happening--down there. He woke to find her going down on him. Seeing that he was awake, she crawled around on her knees and straddled him, not missing a lick. She eased herself down, and he felt the soft salty taste of her pubic hair before his tongue entered her and she began to respond. He came in her mouth. And she came in his. He had never experienced anything like this before, not even with Shauna, so it surprised him. Surprising him more, she spun in place, kissing his mouth with her mouth full of cum, and working his dwindling member into her now, open and slippery, opening, her eyes, wild with excitement.
His cum didn't taste that bad, kind of salty. Inside her now, he couldn't help but grow as her breasts rubbed his chest and her tongue explored his mouth. She was bouncing up and down on him like she was riding a bucking bronco, and he responded, rigid now, thrust for thrust. He came again, this time it felt like more. Her eyes grew large and wide as she gasped and fell on his chest, all sweaty and panting from her orgasm and exertion. She would have slid off him had he not held her close and stayed inside her. Finally, she pulled out of him and slid off to his right. Lying on her back in the sun, still panting loudly. Gradually, she calmed down and relaxed. Jason was afraid to say anything. He had just experienced too much. Elizabeth was the first to talk.
"Don't worry, Jase, I'm protected. I've been on the pill since I first started liking guys at 13. I only mess with young virgins like you that I know don't have any STDs. You don't have to worry about me loving you either. Oh, you are very good and I love the sex a lot, but I don't want to marry you. I don't plan to get married until after I'm established in the legal profession. Sex is just one of those things I like to do." She turned from lying flat on her back , staring into the sky, toward him and coyly stared him directly in the eyes. That ever present smile broadened on her face.
Jason turned towards her. They were so close, their lips almost touched. "Whew, I'm sure glad you feel that way. You really had me going there for a minute. You know I'm leaving soon. I..." Elizabeth's eyes had turned sleepy with his talk; she leaned forward until she put his words out with a kiss. They talked no more about it. It was understood.
It was time to start back down the mountain. Elizabeth gathered up her clothes and put them on in a kind of reverse strip show for Jason to watch, still lying naked there on the rock. She was about to put her shirt on, swaying back and forth in her bra and panties in the sun, when she stopped. "Hey, you know what? It's warm enough . I'm going to hike naked all the way back. Okay with you?"
Jason sat up and stretched. He took one look at his clothes lying there in a neat pile and said, "Okay, I'm with you. I'll walk naked too. Sometimes there are people on the mountain. What if we run into them?"
She laughed. "We'll just have to hide." That wink again. Oh how Jason loved that wink.
It didn't take long for them to gather up their lunch, the blanket, and their clothes and put them in the packs. It would have been nice to walk barefoot, but not very practical. There were lots of sharp rocks and sticks and Jason knew his feet couldn't take the abuse walking fast down the mountain. So he took the time to put his socks and his hiking shoes on. For the first time, he felt his balls resting on the cool rock. It was strange and wonderful at the same time. Elizabeth slipped her shoes on too, and they started on down the mountain.
They hadn't been on the trail about 10 minutes when children's voices could be heard. They were coming up the trail directly at them. Elizabeth stopped for a moment, turned and smiled that wry smile at Jason, and then started off the trail to the right. Unfortunately, there was a cliff there, and, after about 30 yards, she came to it. There were boulders by the edge, but it was hard to get around behind them. Jason had followed reluctantly, knowing that the cliff was there but hadn't had time, to turn her around the other way. He caught up with her at the edge, and they both slid down into a little hollow as what appeared to be two families came hiking by them on the trail -- four adults and six kids.
"Should I flash them?" Elizabeth whispered into Jason's ear as they passed. She winked again. Jason just got that serious look on his face and shook his head that meant he didn't think it was a good idea.
He was about to say, "No," when she moved forward so quickly, that she kicked a big rock off the edge. It went clattering down the cliff attracting the attention of the people walking by. Elizabeth was already running. Jason had no choice but to get up and follow. They ran, laughing, through the woods past the startled young people and down the trail, branches whipping their bare bodies as they ran. Finally, after they were well out of sight, Elizabeth slowed down, and Jason caught up. She was still laughing hysterically. Jason turned serious again.
"You don't know who those people were. They could call the cops on us. I sure hope they didn't recognize us."
"Oh, I know them. It's the Robertsons and Jordans from Winchester. Ralph Robertson has worked with my Dad on some cases. He won't say anything. He knows me." She giggled. Jason wondered if she knew everybody in Winchester. Walking now, they continued on down the mountain. The heat generated a mid afternoon thunderstorm. A wind came up, shaking the trees, followed by sharp flashes of lightning accompanied by thunderous claps of thunder. Jason thought about the families up on the mountain, but they had their own problem.
The rain was cold, so cold it shocked Jason's back and shoulders with the deluge, but they didn't stop to put any clothes on. They just kept walking, fast, along the trail down the mountain. The trail quickly became a river of mud. Suddenly they came to a steep spot, and both of them lost their grip on the muddy trail and fell down, sliding, in the mud. They must have slid 100 yards or more until the trail ended its steep descent and leveled off. Jason found himself all muddy, tangled up in Elizabeth's naked muddy body. They were both laughing uncontrollably. Picking themselves up and rearranging their packs, they continued down the mountain in the light rain until the storm passed and it stopped. Thankfully, the rain had washed most of the mud off before the sun broke through and warmed them again.
"Elizabeth, we are getting near the road. Don't you think we should put something on?" Jason was getting a little uneasy.
"Oh, Jason, don't worry. So what if somebody sees us. Just gives them a thrill--that's all." She forged on, speeding up. There was no stopping her. She crossed the road almost without looking. Jason looked up and down and didn't see any cars, so he hurriedly crossed after her. She headed in a beeline through the woods directly to the shed below the cabin. She already had the heavy door open and her pack off when he arrived, panting a bit from his exertion. She had disappeared inside. Jason swung his pack down next to hers by the door and peered inside. The bright sun was still in his eyes so he couldn't see her in the dark. Once inside he still couldn't see her. He went over to Betsy and looked inside. There she was, her head resting on the armrest of the passenger-side door and her now bare right foot playing with the steering wheel, and her left leg hung over the seat. She curled her index finger in come hither fashion between her excited eyes.
Jason slipped out of his hiking shoes and opened the door. Elizabeth was playing with herself, squirming and whimpering, "Come baby, hurry. Come baby to me, hard. I can't wait, hurry, hurry...!" Her eyes had rolled back and she was already coming. Jason was hard before he reached her and slid in to the hilt. A few short strokes and he erupted--hard. Elizabeth eyes were now closed as she thrashed in ecstasy. Jason thought she would hurt her head against the door handle. Just as he grabbed her legs and pulled her toward him, her head dropped down, she went limp and sighed a long, wonderful sigh.
Spent. Jason just sat behind the wheel and played with it. He didn't have the energy to get up and out of the car. Elizabeth crawled up alongside of him and started to nuzzle his ear. She was still breathing heavily and so hot her skin felt on fire. She played her fingers across his chest and down his belly through his wispy pubic hair until they reached him. Picking it up a bit, she bent down and began licking all of the sperm that was still there. She stroked his balls and played with him in such a way that he immediately became hard again. This only excited her more, and she was once again stroking him with her mouth in a way that almost made him come. She stopped just short of that and made him move out from under the steering wheel to the center of the seat. Putting her left knee between his legs she began rubbing her breasts across his face. He couldn't help but kiss them. Her nipples were taut and hard as her breasts were soft. He caught them in his lips whenever he could and nibbled gently on them with his teeth.
In a maneuver that defied gravity, she then slung her left leg once again over the seat and slid her right leg toward the driver side door. Lowering herself onto his now throbbing member with her free right hand, he was once again fully in her. It was her doing the stroking now and he came even more than he thought he could . Elizabeth screamed out, “Jase, Oh Jase!” and spasmed herself to orgasm once again, collapsing against his chest. They sat there afterward for some time, she impaled on him. She clung to him like a newborn child to a mother's breast and said nothing. Finally, after what seemed like minutes. She pulled herself up off of him. "Well, that sure it was nice. That's what I like about you young guys. You can keep it up for a long time." She smiled. It was a tired smile is time, but sweet.
Feeling weak and sore but satisfied, Jason could only reply, "Thank you. Anytime." Thinking about it a bit more, Jason recanted, "No, I don't mean to be crass or anything. But since I'll be leaving soon and don't know when I'll be back, I shouldn't say such a thing."
"That's okay, Jase. I know what you want. I know what all you young guys want. That's why I chose you. The fact that you're going away will be both of our loss. Will you write?"
Elizabeth cut him off. "I know, I know. You guys don't like to write. You'll chat all day and night long just to get a lay, but when it comes to serious writing you all fall down. That's okay, I'm only using you anyway." She had a hurt look on her face. Jason shook his head in agreement in a resigned sort of way. He didn't want her to know that he couldn't write her. Just as well.
They grabbed their packs and stuck quietly to the basement door behind the cabin. Opening is carefully as he could, they both slipped in. They didn't say a word. The gentleman that he was, Jason motioned towards the shower. Elizabeth put down her pack and went on in. Jason slipped into his clothes and climbed the stairs.
"Hi Grandma. We’re back. We ran into some rain up on the mountain and fell down on the slippery trail. Elizabeth is taking a shower. Okay?"
"I saw you sneaking through the woods all naked in plain view. I was sittin' on the porch after the rain and could see you two plain as day. What would they think of the Forsythe's if they saw you?" She looked over her reading glasses and smiled that wry, all-knowing, grandmotherly smile.
Grandma Gail cut him off. "Don't you fret now, boy. Your grandfather and I have been known to slip off into the woods and slip out of our clothes a time or two. It's only natural. Hell, back during those free love days, a bunch of those kids used to skinny dip all the time in the pond. What did you think? That story about you falling in the mud with those clean clothes on was going to convince me?" She laughed. "Had to put the top up on that Corvette before it rained. Had a hard time finding that button to do it. That girl sure is careless."
"She sure is." Jason agreed with his grandmother on that. She did know the half it. With that, Elizabeth came bounding up the stairs, her hair tied up nicely with a towel wearing a new outfit consisting of a yellow T-shirt and white shorts, her muddy shoes in her right hand. Except for being braless, she looked ready to go out on the golf course. Her eyes were open and bright and her skin had aglow to it that shone through her tan.
"Hi! Do you know where I can get the mud off my shoes and pack?"
"That's okay, mine are muddy too. Here, give them to me and I'll go out back and clean both of ours." Jason took the shoes from her hands and headed back downstairs.
"Did you have a good time?" Grandma Gail wasn't going to probe, just inquire.
"We sure did. I love it when I've got somebody to hike with me. Oh, I like to hike alone too and commune with nature, but when I'm hiking, say, with Jason, I've got somebody to talk to."
"I thought all you hikers listened to music or talked on your cell phones."
"No, I'm a purist, one of the last I think--like your Jason. I don't carry music and I only carry a cell phone in case I run into trouble. You never know when you're going to run into trouble. I'm more afraid of bears and wild boars than I am of rapists and muggers up in these mountains."
"You got a good head on your shoulders, young lady. But, the way things are now; our way of life may change. I guess I won't be around long to see it happen. I plan to live out my days just the way I always have." She looked wistfully into space as though she could see the end coming.
"Hey, what are you guys talking about? I'm hungry. Grandma, can you cook us something to eat? Jason broke her reverie bounding up the stairs with new found energy.