My mom read about the Sweet Hollow swimming hole on a naturally dammed section of Cedar Creek in the Denver Post’s travel section to me. I’d never heard of it before, even though it was just up the road from Golden, where I lived. I’d heard of the Sweet Hollow Reservoir, of course, because it provided water to Golden. It was up in a fold of the Rocky Mountains, and the paper said it was a beautiful mile and a half hike up beyond the reservoir to a naturally fed, rock-bottom swimming hole that harkened back to our grandfather’s era. I decided right there and then I’d check that swimming hole out. I did so first in July, and although the hike lived up to its hype, the swimming hole was crowded with families with young children and a group of smart-alecky high schoolers who made fun of me because I was there alone, and so I put swimming there on a backburner.
Today I’d gotten my chance, though. After a mid-September cold snap the previous week warning us of the approach of autumn, this week was in the 80s. The apple picking had been wrapped up at Thompsons’ orchard and horse farm and I was still signed out on work release there from my junior high school, so I’d settled on today to make another go at the swimming hole. It was midweek and the families would be busy doing something else and all of the kids would be starting into their fall team sports. I was a loner and didn’t have time for a lot of after-school activities anyway, so I wasn’t on any teams. I did like to work out, though, and I kept in shape that way and in working on the Thompsons’ farm.
As I rode my bike into the parking area above the reservoir dam and at the foot of the fire trail leading up into the fold in the mountains, I had to pull in close to a humongous black Ford 250 pickup truck, because a large tree had fallen into the parking area and had left little room for parking. Still, there was only one vehicle here, so chances were good that I’d be able to get in a swim without fighting a crowd. My bicycle looked tiny and vulnerable beside that big old Ford Truck, and I couldn’t help but think of Jake Thompson, the farmer who had hired me since spring to work in his orchard. He had a Ford 250 too. It wasn’t black, though; it was red. It had a logo on the side like this one. I looked at the logo as I wedged myself out of the driver’s door of my pickup, but I was too close in the scant space between the bike and the truck vehicles to make it out.
Anyway, seeing that truck, especially there nudged up to my stripped-down racing bicycle, reminded me that I was going to have to do something about Jake Thompson pretty soon. He was beginning to crowd me in; I’d have to decide. He’d been good to me and I didn’t want to rock the boat. He also, I’ll have to admit, looked good to me.
I crossed the boulder-strewn creek bed that would be under an impassable torrent down to the reservoir on rainy days. And as I started the ascent up the rock-bedded fire trail running through a forest of pines, aspens, and cottonwoods, some of the latter already starting to change color, I thought about where I was--and how I’d gotten here.
I’d turned fourteen in June and was all ready to enter eighth grade this fall, when the roof caved in on my family. My dad’s national guard unit had been called up to go to the Caribbean to work on hurricane relief there and there was no telling when he’d be able to come home. It had been a really bad year for hurricanes in the south and the Caribbean. My mother had taken his absence and the extra family duties she’d had to take on with four kids that her nerves had forced her to cut back her hours at the supermarket. So, I’d done what I had to do. I’d put off any extracurricular activities to stick with the family’s needs until Dad could get home and had gotten a job as quickly as I could.
Mr. Thompson had been a godsend--well, in that respect, at least. He’d taken me on immediately to work in the orchard and said he’d find something for me to do even after the harvest was in. He said it was the least he could do to support my dad and the rest of the national guard that was down there in the Caribbean. The pay was all right, and the work helped me to trim down and muscle up better than going out for football would have done.
I’d caught on real fast, though, what Mr. Thompson’s real interest in me was. He wasn’t married and had some of the other young guys working for him living up at the house. I overheard them talking and I paid some close attention to how they related to each other. So I knew pretty quickly what Mr. Thompson was like and what he expected of his hired hands. I wasn’t shocked or put off, really. Just conflicted. I’d had some confusion about what I wanted and was like myself as I was developing from a boy into a man, but I’d never been brave enough--or fool enough--to go anywhere with some of my thoughts.
Jake Thompson brought those thoughts back, though. He was old from my perspective, but he probably wasn’t all that old. And he was a rangy, solid guy. Not handsome by any means, but not ugly, either. I guess a woman would have called him sexy enough. I just didn’t know. Well, I do know, he made me all tingly inside and when that happened, raging with hormones, I got all hot and hard.
What I did know that Jake Thompson was was that he was a touchy-feely sort of guy who made me think sexy thoughts and one with something on his mind that included me in his plans.
The day before I’d come up here to check out the swimming hole again, he’d more or less trapped me at the fence while I was watching the new, sleek black mare he’d bought trotting around at pasture, and he put his arm around me in that real friendly manner he had.
“You like her, Kenny?” he asked. “I hope so. She cost me a good penny. Good breeding stock. I’ll be bringing a stud stallion in to cover her soon.”
“Yep,” I answered. “She looks mighty fine. Ridden her yet?”
“No,” he responded. “She’s still mighty skittish about that. She’s fine quality and needs to be brought along proper. I’m bringing in a horse handler to break her in for me. I want her to want to be ridden by me when I first mount her.”
We paused, admiring the mare--in fact admiring the whole beauty of the green pasture land on the gentle slope between valley and mountain, with its white fences and azure-blue sky. Everything would have been perfect if I wasn’t so aware of that arm Thompson had draped around my shoulder. Well, that was sort of perfect too, but in a different, slightly disturbing, way.
“Why don’t you come on up to the house with me, Kenny?” Thompson suddenly said in a low, husky voice. “There’s something I’d like to show you.”
“Sorry, I can’t today, Mr. Thompson,” I answered. My mind raced for a reason. “My mom needs me to pick up the girls from their dance rehearsal this afternoon. She can’t do it today. Maybe another day...”
“Fine,” Thompson said a bit stiffly and removed his arm from around my shoulder. “Maybe another day. It can wait. If you don’t want to come up to the house with me yet, I don’t want you to yet. I think you’re ready to, though. Soon. But not tomorrow. I understand you aren’t coming in to work tomorrow.”
“That’s right,” I said. “I need to do some thinking and I’ve heard there’s an old-fashioned swimming hole up above Sweet Hollow Reservoir. I’m thinking of hiking up there tomorrow afternoon.”
“That sounds like fun,” Thompson said as he turned to walk on up to his house. “It’s supposed to be a hot day; do some skinny dipping up there for me, you hear?”
Skinny dipping at the watering hole. That reminded me as I picked my way over the rocks of a stream bed intersecting that fire trail that I hadn’t thought about bringing a swim suit. Well, we’d just have to see what was what, I thought, as I passed the half-way point between the parking area and the swimming hole. Maybe my blue briefs could pass as a swimsuit—or, if nobody was around, I could go the skinny dipping route. A brush-choked clearing was off to my left by the fire trail. The remnants of a stone fireplace told me that someone had once lived up here--maybe had been born in a cabin here and lived their whole life here and died here, leading a normal, dull, but uncomplicated, life. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. I wanted some risk and danger in my life. I wanted to know that I had lived life to the hilt. That was kind of hard to do in Golden, Colorado, though.
And speaking of that, as soon as I came up onto the swimming hole, I knew I wanted to swim in it. It was deserted today. The creek bed was a good bit down from the fire trail, and it would take some risk and effort just to get down to it. The swimming hole was in a gorge of sorts lined with great slabs of gray rock that jutted out here and there at square angles, like it had been quarried. But it had been nature, not man that had quarried it. The swimming hole itself was just a slightly wider section of the creek bed and had three chambers that I could see from the trail far above it--three different rock-walled “rooms,” the first one down more private than the lower two.
I couldn’t see what was farther up the creek from this cascade of rocks, because what would be the wall on that side of the upper chamber was maybe a twenty-five-foot high rock cliff with a waterfall noisily feeding the upper swimming hole. At the same level naturally arranged piles of large, square-sided slab of rock separated that chamber from the next. And then there was another drop of about fifteen feet, with a waterfall down to the lowest swimming hole. The middle chamber was the largest and looked like the cleanest and the most easily assessible one from here, so I picked my way down the side of the ravine to the terracing of solid rock surrounding that area and stripped off my shorts, T-shirt, and briefs and eased myself into the water.
It was like heaven in the water, and I just laid back and floated and luxuriated in the solitude.
It was a false solitude, though. I heard, or rather sensed, a shifting of pebbles on rock and looked over to the side of the swimming hole. I wasn’t alone. A man--not old, but not young, probably ten or eleven years older than I was--was crouched down on his haunches and staring at me. He wasn’t looking menacingly and he didn’t scare me, but he was looking pretty hard at me, and there I was, naked, in a clear-water swimming hole.
“How’s the water?” he asked in a low, melodious voice. Not threatening at all. Warm and interesting voice.
“Ummm. It’s pretty cold,” I said. And then I nonsensically went on. “I ... I thought I was the only one here.”
“Otherwise you wouldn’t be skinny dipping, I guess,” he said. He followed this with a friendly smile. He was a handsome man. Well-built from what I could see--at least his chest and arm muscles were bulgy against the fabric of his T-shirt and showed that he wasn’t afraid of manual work. He was dark complexioned and with dark hair and hazel eyes that contrasted with his skin tone and that danced when he spoke. He had a slow-starting smile that exuded confidence and good will.
I strangely felt calm in his presence even though the mere thought that I was naked in the water before him made me twitch nervously every couple of minutes. I was lost between wanting to talk with him, to hear the cool, calming tone of his voice again, and wanting him to go away so that I could dress and escape from here.
“No, no,” I answered. “I don’t usually do this sort of thing.”
“No, I didn’t think so. But there’s no harm, is there? We’re all alone up here in this beautiful setting, and it’s a sweaty walk up that trail, despite the tree overhang. And it’s a hot day. This swimming hole is made for skinny dipping, don’t you think?”
“Yes, yes, I guess it is,” I responded.
“In fact, I’m hot from the hike, too. Just seeing you in that cool water makes me feel hot out here on this stone ledge. I think I’ll join you, if you don’t mind.”
I did mind. I very much minded. But I was tongue tied. He had as much right to be here and to swim here as I did. I tried not to watch as he stripped off his jeans, T-shirt and boots--he hadn’t been wearing any briefs--and rose to his full height before jumping into the water. But of course I looked. He was very well put together indeed. Darkly tanned skin everywhere but where low-riding jeans shorts would hit. He obviously worked out of doors. And the paleness of his pelvis area highlighted a low-hanging dick and heavy balls that were covered in curly black hair that trailed all the way up his groin, belly, and sternum and parted and flared out across his well-muscled chest. His forearms and legs were well covered with curly black hair as well. Altogether a well-constructed, graceful package.
A splash of water and he was in the pool as well.
“Oh, you’re right,” he said with a sputter. “It’s cold in here all right. We probably should huddle to keep from freezing.”
Just the image of that set my teeth to chattering--and it wasn’t from the cold. I clumsily moved through the resisting water to the other side of the pool from him. There was nowhere in this pool that was far from anywhere else in this pool, however.
“Ah, come on, I was just joking,” he said. “Besides, I can tell you liked what you saw. The coldness of the water should be having the opposite effect on you than what I can see.”
His voice was still calm and soothing. Incongruously, it was full of innocent playfulness too. I felt embarrassed and on the defensive that I was upset by what he said. And, damn, it was true. I was getting hard. And I couldn’t hide it very well. The water this high up on the mountainside was pristine clear.
“So, I’ll bet you’ve never swum in the nude with another man, have you?” the stranger asked, as he turned on his back and floated. I could clearly see his well-toned body and big, flopping penis right at the surface of the water. “I’m Buck, by the way. Buck Stanley. And you’re... ?”
“Umm, Kenny, Kenny Hendricks,” I said. It was like he was playing me. Sticking in something provocative and immediately taking the edge off it with something friendly and nonthreatening. All the time getting to know me better, though, getting more intimate.
“Kenny. Kenneth. That’s a good name. Live around here, Kenny?”
“Umm, yes, just down the mountain, in Golden.”
“In high school, Kenny? Cutting classes, are you?”
“Uh, no, I’m still in junior high.” I didn’t respond to the “cutting classes” question, because I was. Not exactly. I was in a work-study program. I should have been working at the farm this afternoon. So, technically, I was cutting work, not school, and Mr. Thompson knew I was doing that. “I’m on a work-study program. My dad is off with the military, so I have to work. But my boss knows I’m taking the time off.” I had no idea what I was telling him all this. He was just so easy to talk to, despite the awkwardness of this situation.
“Ah, fourteen or fifteen then. A nice age for me then.”
Nice age? Nice age for him for what, I asked myself. But I knew why he asked; I just didn’t want to admit I knew. I was beginning to feel all tingly inside and my cock hardened further and started to twitch.