I took one last run before calling it a day. I enjoyed the sound my skis made cutting through the crust of undisturbed snow along the back trail I always saved for the last run of the day. As I emerged from the trees the sight of the lodge beckoned me. It had been an enjoyable day but it was time to go warm up. When the sun goes down in the high Rockies the air returns to its winter chill. Montana has some nice ski areas and this was one of them. The lodge where we were staying was fairly small. It was one of several this resort had built for winter recreation.
I let my goggles dangle from my neck as I kicked out of the skis and stood them in the rack next to the door. In the wide ready room that stretched the length of the lodge's front wall I got out of my coat, ski pants and boots, entering the lodge in just my spandex and thick socks, like everybody else did. It had been uncomfortable at first being in public in what was really my underwear. But since it was acceptable to everybody else I finally got used to it. Nobody ever made a big deal when nipples got hard or when men got erections -- plainly obvious in such thin, tight pants -- so I got over my embarrassment about that as well.
Things had changed in the fifteen years since I used to bring the family here. Hell, it wasn't just the lodge or the ski clothes that had changed either. Society itself seemed to have loosened up. If these were (as many of the preachers would have us believe) the "last days", it seemed we were intent on enjoying them.
I went up to the room and retrieved my laptop. I considered changing into some sweats or jeans but decided to stay in the spandex tights I'd worn under the ski pants. I had found that I enjoyed wearing them. The way they cradle my cock and balls felt great. Besides, on my way through the lounge, I noticed most of the other guests — both men and women -- had done the same thing.
I went back down and stepped into the main lounge. I spied my daughter sitting with some friends in the sunken main part of the lounge. I went to the bar to get a hot brandy before descending the three steps to the thick carpet. I saw an empty couch and crossed to it, setting up my computer on the table in front of it.
I was poring through the last pages I'd written the night before when Carla came to sit next to me, tucking her legs under her little round butt. I leaned back and she ruffled my hair. "So are you gonna write all night again or are you going to spend some time with your favorite daughter?" she asked.
"I'm sorry, honey, I didn't realize you noticed," I said. "I thought you'd like to spend some time with your new friends without me hanging around."
"Dad, it's been a long time since we've seen each other. Shit, it's been a long time since we were here, too. Not since..." She broke off. I saw her eyes glistening in the firelight but she didn't let the tears fall. I knew the pain of our loss was still too strong for her to talk about it much. We'd lost Carla's brother, her husband and their infant son in an accident fifteen years before. My wife -- Carla's mom -- and I had been with Carla in her car while George, Steve and little Alex drove in George's SUV. We had been returning from a weekend at the Oregon coast when the SUV was slammed into a tree by a logging truck coming the opposite way. It had just screamed past us and Carla saw the wreck in her rearview mirror and skidded to a stop on the shoulder.
They had all been killed instantly. Carla went nuts, of course. Dina and I weren't in much better shape, but we were not, after all, 19 years old and new mothers. We all went sort of crazy for a long time after that. Dina decided she needed to be on her own so she divorced me. It wasn't an angry divorce. We dissolved everything equably. I bought her share of the house and she moved to California. As a writer, I could work anywhere but the hills around Boise seemed to give me inspiration.
Carla stayed with me for a while and got some professional grief counseling. I went with her the first few sessions. It didn't take long for me to know that the counselor was way too young to know the kind of pain he was trying to deal with. It seemed to help Carla though.
She went back to school and got a Master's degree in biology. That, in turn, got her a good position in research. She dove in to her work and had never remarried. I don't know if she had even dated. We stayed in touch frequently, just as she stayed in touch with her mother. Still, she had moved halfway across the country -- to Saint Louis -- to take the job and I rarely got to see her.
So I was happy when she called the week before to tell me that her company was forcing her to take some of her accrued vacation. I'd suggested that we come up to the lodge the way we'd done when she and George were growing up. We both had a lot of fond memories from those days. It showed how far Carla had come in handling her grief that she'd so easily agreed. She had mentioned the fun we'd had as a family — but only a couple of isolated times. This was the first time we'd gone together to a place we'd enjoyed as a family.
I closed the laptop and leaned back, pulling Carla to into a hug. She resembled me with her straight nose and blue eyes but her figure was a carbon copy of her mother when we first met. As I sat there feeling her warmth next to me I reflected that Carla weren't all that different otherwise, either. I hadn't had any serious relationships since the divorce either. I worked hard -- too hard, Carla said ("Talk about the pot calling the kettle black," I'd told her) -- and never really had time for a relationship. We all compensate our own way, I guess.
Carla took a deep breath and let it out shakily. "Dad, I'm glad we came here," she said. "I was afraid at first that... but the place has changed so much it's almost like we're here for the first time." The old couple, Norwegians, who had owned and operated the lodge in the old days had sold it. It had never been a big place, so the new owners had added the new lodges to the property and updated the original building. They added six more rooms off the east end. With the original rooms upstairs that gave them an even dozen.
They'd made a lot of other changes and the total package had drawn a different class of winter sports enthusiasts. Where before it had been more of a family kind of place, it now catered to a younger professional class of folks. From their clothes and attitudes -- not to mention the vehicles in which they arrived -- it was clear that they had money.
I had risen in my career to a point where I wasn't hurting for cash. Carla's job paid well, and from things she'd said I knew she rarely spent much of her pay. So, as far as that aspect went, we fit in well enough. Unlike most of the other patrons here, though, we spent the rest of our year working instead of jetting around to Europe and the South Pacific.
Carla's friends -- the ones she'd been with when I came in -- she'd only met since we got here. She could talk the talk, I guess, while I sort of felt out of place. I looked at her as she leaned back under my arm, her eyes closed. She was thirty four now and had begun to show some of her age. After saying she resembled me, I guess it would sound egotistical to say she's good looking, but she is. Her short reddish brown hair curled naturally around her small ears. In her spandex it was plain that her body was still slender but shapely.
After Alex's death her milk-filled breasts had shrunken back almost to their original size. Exercise kept them firm. I noticed her nipples standing up under the tight green material and it made me uncomfortable. She's my daughter and I shouldn't be noticing that kind of thing. It was more uncomfortable because of the feelings the sight aroused in me. If I continued to think about her that way, my thoughts would become visibly obvious.
What had happened that morning, however, had made me even more uneasy than just the sight of her in skin tight clothes. I awoke to the sound of the shower running, the partly open door to the bathroom shedding light into the dim room. We had decided to save money by sharing a room. I stayed in bed, thinking over ideas for the novel I was working on. When the water stopped I rolled to my side, facing the bathroom door.
The mirror over the vanity was visible to me, though it was a little clouded from the steam of the shower. I heard the shower door slide open and I saw the light shift as Carla emerged and began to dry. The edge of the towel appeared briefly and then disappeared as she tossed it over the railing at the top of the doors. Then, as the cooler air began to clear the mirrors, Carla's reflection appeared. I was looking at my naked daughter's back and ass.
Then she faced the sink and leaned forward a bit. The attitude of her body made her ass jut out sexily and I began to get aroused. When she turned around to hang the towel from her hair over the door I saw her breasts and the hairless crease between her thighs. I hadn't known that she shaved her pubic hair. The sight made my growing erection burst into full bloom. I saw without really noticing that she was still tan from the summer sun.
I swallowed hard and rolled to my other side, imagining her lying naked on some sun drenched beach. I didn't know if she meant to come out of there naked or with a towel, but I knew better than to keep looking. I heard her moving around behind me. Then I felt her weight on my bed and she shook my shoulder. "Hey, Sleepyhead, are you gonna sleep all day?" she asked me. I took a deep breath before turning my head to look up at her.
.... There is more of this story ...