The slow clip-clop of the horses' hooves made a steady, repeating background for the irregular bursts of loud laughter and the rising and falling murmur of quiet conversation. A gust of slightly colder wind stirred the loose straw and made its way inside the collar of Jennifer's jacket and on down the neck of her sweater. She shivered and snuggled closer into the niche formed by Steve's arm and shoulder. He tightened his grasp and asked, "Cold?"
"No, just getting comfortable."
Steve and Jennifer were both sophomores although Steve was a year older than Jennifer's nineteen. This was, he explained, because he had to work for a year to get enough money to start college. However, this year he had received a scholarship which helped a lot. Jennifer and Steve had met last winter and gone out together twice. Both times had gone well: each thought the other nice and fun, but not exactly super special. Then over the summer something had changed, although neither was sure what it had been. All Steve knew was that the more he thought of her, the more he wondered why they had only gone out those two times. And Jennifer, for her part, found herself comparing other dates with Steve. When they returned to school in August and ran into each other during registration, Steve immediately asked her out again and Jennifer had accepted instantly.
For the last several weeks they had been going with each other exclusively and had found they had a lot more in common than either had suspected on those first two dates the previous year. Or maybe it was that they both had so much that wasn't in common with most of the other students. Both were serious students and neither really cared for the non-stop party scene that so many of the other students seemed to live for. Their taste in music steered away from the head banging rock or hip-hop preferred by their peers and towards quiet jazz or older standards. Both had tried alcohol, had enjoyed the taste of wine even if they weren't able to legally, but neither had the slightest interest in getting drunk. Both considered drugs strictly for losers. Neither was actually a virgin and both loved necking, petting, and making out, but they hadn't slept together. They spent more and more of their time together and got on quite well, even if many of their other acquaintances thought them a little odd.
Now it was mid October. Their dorm complex had arranged a hayride as a preliminary for a dance later on. In fact they had even found a place that offered horse drawn wagons instead of the tractors now almost universally used for this purpose. So with the temperatures down in the forties, the sky clear and filled with twinkling stars, they were here on a large flat-bed wagon filled with bales of hay - well, straw actually - along with eight or ten other couples.
Everyone had driven out and met at the farm where a hot dog roast around a bonfire had started the night. Now the smell of wood smoke and hay, the rising full moon, the clear, cold night air and the dark seemed, at least to Steve and Jennifer, to weave magic around them. The farm where the ride was taking place was several miles from the school and far enough from the lights that only cars on a distant road broke the spell.
Jennifer snuggled closer again and Steve let his arm tighten around her and his hand brush slightly against the side of her breast. Jennifer didn't object and placed her own hand on the top of his thigh. She looked up at him and was ready when he bent his head to hers for an easy, long kiss.
The ride lasted for forty minutes and when the wagons pulled back into the field where they had left the bonfire and parked their cars, most everyone immediately leaped off. Steve and Jennifer were more hesitant, both wishing the ride had been longer, and finally climbed down last. Suddenly someone shouted, "OK, everybody, lets get to the dance. I want to hear some MUSIC."
There were several loud responses and suddenly the quiet was shattered by the sound of hard rock coming from one of the car radios at a volume which disturbed even the horses but didn't seem to bother any of the students - except for Steve and Jennifer. Suddenly the thought of crowding into a packed, noisy room seemed too much for Jennifer. She held Steve's arm and said, "Steve? Would you mind an awfully lot if we skipped the dance."
He smiled at her. "And miss the once in a lifetime chance - well, maybe once daily chance - to have our hearing damaged while some idiot spills spiked soda on us and steps on your foot? No, of course not, Jen. What would you like to do instead?"
"I don't know. It just seemed so nice out here and the thought of going back to that" - she jerked her head towards the car with the blaring radio - "well, I don't think I could take it. Maybe we could go somewhere for a walk?" she asked hopefully.
Steve thought a second. "Come on, I think I might know of some place. It'll take about forty-five minutes to get there."
As they climbed into Steve's car, she asked, "Where are we going?"
Steve pulled out onto the highway and turned in the opposite direction from everyone else, heading away from the school. "Surprise. Wait and see."
They drove in silence, moving steadily away from the town. After thirty minutes they turned down a dark country road where the only lights seemed to come from occasional farms located every half mile of so. In a few more minutes they turned once more, this time onto a narrow, gravel road through a deep woods. Jennifer could see a few small houses along the way, but all were dark. Finally they turned into a single lane track and followed it for about two hundred yards where it ended in a small turn around just short of a slight rise. Steve turned off the engine.
The silence seemed to settle over them like a blanket. Steve turned towards Jennifer and gave her a long, deep kiss. When they pulled apart, she said, "Not that I'm complaining, but where are we?"
"Listen," Steve said. "What do you hear."
"Quiet," she answered. Then she cocked her head and said, "There is something."
Steve nodded. "Roll down the window."
She did and suddenly a happy look came across her face. "Waves! We're by the lake."
"That's right. The big sea water. Lake Michigan. Come on. Let's go down to the shore."
They climbed out of the car and, taking her by the hand, Steve led her up the rise. When they reached the top they were about twenty feet above the water where the waves broke against rocks and a gravel beach. Then Jennifer saw a small building a few yards to their right. "Whose place is that? They won't mind if we're out here?"
"No," Steve answered. "I'm sure they won't mind. They're in Florida." Then he relented and explained. "This belongs to two of my great aunts. They have about two hundred yards of shoreline and the lots on either side are undeveloped. Besides, they've told me I can use this if I want." He led her on down, past the house, to the edge of the beach.
Silver moonlight caught the waves and reflected back in a million points of light. The rhythmic crash of the waves against the shore and the ebbing lap of the receding water made a much nicer music than they would have heard at the dance.
They walked up the shore a little ways and then Steve sat on a large rock, pulling Jennifer down on his lap. She turned towards him and their lips met, their arms pulling them into a tight embrace. For ten minutes they sat like that, not moving except their tongues, lost in each other. When they pulled slightly apart, Jennifer said, "I liked that."
"Me, too," Steve replied, pulling her closer.
She laid her head on his shoulder and snuggled against him. His hand worked its way under her jacket and up to cup her left breast through her sweater. Jennifer sucked in her breath. "That feels nice." His hand began to caress and squeeze and the girl wriggled against him and let her own hand slide up his back under his jacket.
Steve kissed her again and let his hand unbutton her sweater and the shirt beneath. Warm, firm flesh met his questing fingers and he began to squeeze and stroke her bare skin. Jennifer was a slim girl, five six, with long, blonde hair and dark blue, almost indigo, eyes. Her waist was so narrow Steve could almost encircle it with his hands, but rounded into slim hips and hard, round buttocks. Her legs were long and tapered. Above her waist Jennifer's breasts were full but firm enough so she almost never wore a bra. Now Steve explored their familiar geography, letting his fingers fan back and forth across her hardening nipples.
Jennifer pressed her breast against his hand and kissed him deeply, letting her tongue explore. Her one hand remained on his back while her other worked its way under his shirt in front and played with his chest hair and teased his nipples.
For twenty minutes they remained like this. Becoming steadily more excited but, by holding back, making the excitement mount even higher. Then almost as though by mutual consent they halted their exploring hands and settled in a comfortable stillness, his hand still covering her warm globe, hers on his chest. Their kiss gradually subsided and their lips pulled slightly apart. "That does feel nice," Steve murmured.
"Umm," was all the response Jennifer gave.
The bright moonlight suddenly dimmed and both the young people instinctively looked up. Dark clouds had begun to sweep in from the west and the first of these had slid across the face of the lunar globe. "Hunter's Moon," Steve said. "Looks like there might be some weather moving in."
.... There is more of this story ...