I eased my taped ankle to one side as I sat down. The bandage under my breasts and around my chest pulled and it felt like my skin was tearing.
Carla's eyes were closed. Her mom put her finger to her lips and leaned toward me.
"She just fell asleep."
"How's your ankle?"
"It's OK. No surgery, but it hurts like hell."
It's funny. People say time slows down when something like that happens, but it was over so fast. One second I was braced, ready with Monica opposite me to catch Carla, and the next second I saw Monica falling backwards and my side was on fire and my ankle, well, I don't even like to think about that at all. I couldn't move, Carla was on top of me, and someone was crying. Someone else was screaming. Maybe that was me, I don't know.
"So, how's she doing?"
I waved at Carla.
"Her surgeon says she'll be fine, but it's going to take a while."
"I'm so sorry, Lisa."
I grabbed on to the bedrail to stand up. Took a tentative step to Carla's mom. Reached out to hug her.
"It wasn't Carla's fault, Mrs. Ryan."
I let go of the bedrail to put my other arm around her.
"Really. It just happened that way. Carla didn't mean to hurt me."
"Thank you, sweetie. I know that, but I'm still sorry."
I laughed, sort of.
"I mean, I could be in the next bed over right now."
Mrs. Ryan's turn to laugh.
"That's for sure. Two of you? That would be too much."
She moved her hand, gently, thank god, down my flank.
"What about your rib?"
"It's taped. It's sore and the tape pulls when I bend or turn, but it's supposed to mend on its own."
I looked over at Carla again.
"How long until she can walk?"
"At least a week before she can even sit up. It's not the leg so much, that's a clean break. It's her kidney and spleen."
This was the end of our competition hopes, of course. Without Carla and me, our squad didn't have enough members to go to districts or regionals.
"I know she'll be sorry to have missed you, Lisa. I hope she'll be awake next time."
I know a cue when I hear one. Crutches under my arms. Backpack on, very slowly, with a little help from Mrs. Ryan, and I headed for the door.
I think I saw the smallest of smiles from Carla when I looked back.
"If I don't get out of here soon, I'm going to scream."
"What's the doc say?"
"At least three or four more days. My leg's fine. It's my belly. There's no bleeding but I'm still really sore."
It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Carla's mom had gone to the cafeteria for coffee. A hospital that served Starbucks coffee? Wow. At least they claimed it was Starbucks. I looked around quickly. We were alone, the door closed.
Stepped over and flipped the lock. Back to Carla, bit of a hobble, but I made it. Ribs still not happy to bend down, though not nearly as bad as before.
Carla's lips warm, but chapped and cracked from the dry air. We played tongues for a little until we were both breathing fast. Nuzzled Carla's neck. A quick nip.
"Mmm. You smell good, sweetie."
"Mom gave me a sponge bath this morning."
"You taste good, too."
"Stop that right now, girl, or I'm going to climb out of this bed, sore stomach and all, and tackle you."
"You'd have to catch me first, kiddo."
I'd traded my crutches for a cane a few days ago.
"I'm still faster than you."
"Not with your leg in a cast, you're not."
"Only if you'll let me."
"Let you what?"
"Put my hand here."
Great things, hospital gowns. They look royally stupid and they don't cover you, but sometimes that's a good thing.
Down over her trimmed neat fur to her center, a swirl at the top, felt her twitch as I went over her bump, then down. Oops. Catheter. Forget that.
"Settle for another kiss, sweetie?"
Lips a little softer this time. Chaptstick helps.
"You like that?"
"You're all pointy and stiff."
"So's the other one."
Her tongue pushed back. I could feel my heart race. Carla could, too, the way she'd raised her hand to cup my left breast, then moved to the other while I thumbed her nipple.
"Carla, sweetie, I've got to stop."
"No you don't, pal. Stand closer to the bed."
"Yeah. Unzip those shorts."
"Move your legs apart a little. Yeah, like that."
"I'm going to come."
"Easy, sweetie. It's just us."
"That's my girl, Lisa."
"You liked that, didn't you?"
Quiet for a moment.
"Carla, you've got to let me go."
"I mean it, sweetie. I gotta get the door."
"What, you can't walk with someone's hand in your panties?"
"Not when she has to stay in bed, I can't."
I unlocked the door just in time. Mrs. Ryan walked in, sniffed the air, smiled.
"You bet, Mom."
"I've got to go. Bye, Mrs. Ryan. Bye, sweetie."
"Come any time."
"I can't believe you said that."
Kissed Carla, firmly. Smiled at her mom.
"Bye for real, Carla."
No competition season, maybe, but once she got out of the hospital nothing stopped Carla or me from cheering from the sidelines at games that fall. We were on the bench, yes, but we yelled as loud as anyone else.
College applications, on the other hand, gave me fits. There was really only one choice for us: UVa in Charlottesville. Everyone who could get in went there. Except my sister Alice, the traitor. She kept telling us how nice the weather was at Stanford.
UVa gets a lot of crap for being so preppy, I know, and it is. Monica's older brother, two years ahead of us, said so. I didn't care. Mom and Dad had gone there and I was going too, come hell or high water.
I wasn't so hot in history, and my math sucked, but I was strong in English and chem, and my SATs were good. Coach James wrote me a great recommendation; so did my English teacher. Being a double legacy didn't hurt, either.
College applications weren't the only big thing that fall.
What's hot and wet and blonde all over? No, not Carla, sillies. She wasn't all blonde for a while, anyway. Her midsection stayed eggplant-colored for a long time after the accident.
No, it's a sauna. For reasons Mom and Dad never quite explained, but were somehow connected to a vacation in Finland when they were just out of school, they'd wanted to have one built for years.
Classes ended the week before Christmas, and I got home that Friday to find a truck in front of the house and a gang of five or six guys gathered around a level patch of ground not too far from our patio, between the pool and the fence. There was a yellow line of spray paint from the curb all the way back along the side of the house.
The thing looked like a huge barrel. I mean really huge, almost as tall as the side of the house, up to the gutters. Why Dad wanted a barrel in the backyard I had no idea, but he was standing off to the side grinning like nobody's business.
"What's going on, anyway?"
"It's a surprise."
"What's the deal with the yellow line?"
Oh, sure. What was that supposed to mean? No hope for it, though, I knew that. When Dad wanted to be mysterious he was like a clam. It seemed unlikely to remain a secret, though. I mean, there it was, big as a house, it seemed like, right out in the open.
Saturday the gang of guys were back. They had a trench dug along one side of the yard and there was a lot of yelling and clanging from inside the barrel.
And why was the cover off of the pool?
Christmas Eve is when we usually unwrapped our presents. My sister had flown in a couple of days earlier just before the first serious snow of the season closed the airports. Our big Christmas dinner was always in the afternoon on Christmas Day, and Mom already had everything she needed. We were snug.
Dad could hardly sit still, and he and Mom kept looking at each other.
"Enough, already, Dad! What's the surprise?"
Alice was just as curious as I was.
"Strip, all of you."
What the hell? I mean, I think I've said that we were pretty casual about nudity in our family, especially during the summer out by the pool, but even for us this was pretty unusual.
Dad put his finger to his lips. Smiled at Mom.
"Not a word. Take it off, babe."
"It's OK, sweetie. Let's just play along with him."
So there we were in a couple of minutes, all of us in our birthday suits. My sister blushing a little, although it certainly wasn't the first time she'd been nude with us.
Dad walked over to the sliding door and opened it. It was freezing outside.
"Dad, what the hell?"
"Brian, are you sure?"
He walked out the door onto the patio and into the snow, heading for the barrel. We followed, our feet freezing, nipples erect and not from excitement, goose bumps all over.
Oh. My. God.
Inside the barrel, so hot. So fucking hot. Dim light from a couple of 40-watt bulbs inside wire cages. Bucket of water and a dipper with a wooden handle beside a square thingy filled with fake coals, looked like, in the middle of the barrel. Benches on either side. Stack of towels in the corner.
Dad got us all settled on towels, then ladled some water onto the hot coals. Jesus. I felt the steam in every single pore, and each one screamed for more.
"Two minutes this first time, everyone."
Mom shooed us out just as I started to feel a little lightheaded.
In a second she followed Dad into the pool, yelling and breathless at the same time, if that's possible. About two seconds later she was climbing out, Dad behind her, more goose bumps than I've ever seen, nipples extended. Laughing as she caught her breath. Dad looking kind of, well, shriveled.
"OK, girls, into the pool or quick roll in the snow, your choice, and back inside the sauna."
My sister and I looked at each other.
"Now, kids, before you freeze!"
We did a little roll, freezing our bare butts off, and ducked back inside the barrel.
Oh, man, did that ever feel good. Face hot, flushed, feeling more alive than I'd felt in a long time.
Another couple of minutes and we all headed back inside the house to shower and put some clothes on. Twenty minutes later the pizza guy showed up. Big huge tip to the driver for getting through the snow in his four-wheeler, and that pizza disappeared so fast you wouldn't believe it.
"So, girls, what do you think?"
Dad looking very pleased with himself.
I got up and leaned down to hug him, top kind of falling open, and Dad didn't hesitate to check me out. Did the same when my sister hugged him.
Double shot of daughter boobs must have wound him up a little, no big surprise since I was feeling a little tingly myself. Stood there kind of with my mouth open as Dad took Mom's hand led her down the hall. Mom turned and gave us a little wave just before she went through the door into their bedroom.
My sister and I were left looking at each other. By then I was tingling top to bottom and I didn't care who knew it.
"You feeling the way I am, Alice?"
In another second we were in each other's arms and kissing and kissing and biting each other on the neck. Tops off and we were boob-to-boob, but only for a moment. Separated to strip off the rest of our clothes, and we were at each other again. It wasn't the first time for us, no, not by a long shot. For a second I was remembering that first time, playing doctor. We had kept on for a little bit after that, then not so much once we discovered boys, not to mention other girls, but that didn't matter now.
Squeezing, flexing, scissoring. Fingers, lips, not even a blur since I had my eyes closed, but I felt every little twitch and tremor.
Building, building. Higher, frantic now, harder, faster, until it swept me up and I slipped over the edge, glowing, throbbing. Sweet release, then quiet as I snuggled closer to Alice, holding her tight, one hand on her smooth bare butt pulling her in closer.
I opened my eyes when I heard a giggle, or maybe it was a snicker. Mom and Dad stood in their bathrobes at the end of the sofa. They had that look, tousled hair, lips full, Mom a little dreamy, maybe.
"Looking good, girls."
Dad took us in, nude and cuddled together. Mom poked him.
"Leave them alone, Brian."
She pulled him into the kitchen. Turned back to us.
"Hot chocolate in a few minutes, girls."
I followed Alice down the hall to the bathroom. Another quick shower, and we pulled on t-shirts, panties and our own bathrobes and headed for the kitchen.
I could hear the kettle just starting to whistle as Alice, ahead of me, moved through the dining room. Almost ran into her when she stopped suddenly. Stepped to the side to see what was going on.
Dad stood in front of Mom. She was seated, her thighs parted to let him move closer. One hand held Dad's balls, her mouth full of his cock as Dad grunted and thrust hard and fast, holding Mom's head, fucking her mouth. He tensed for a second, and Mom swallowed as Dad grinned and jerked. He quieted when Mom released him and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
Alice knocked on the doorframe.
They looked over at us. Dad laughing as he belted his robe, Mom grinning as she spoke.
"Hi girls. Ready for hot chocolate?"
She stepped over to the stove and turned the flame down. Drank a glass of water.
"Grab the mugs, Alice, would you? Lisa, spoons, OK?"
She turned back to Dad, whose grin was a mile wide.
"That's enough out of you, pal. I mean it."
Dad laughed. He would've grabbed her again, I know it, except for the kettle of scalding water she was holding.
I saw the thin letter on the hall table when I came home from school that freezing overcast Friday in January. Crap. I knew it. Everyone knows what that means. I didn't even bother opening it. Dropped my backpack in the dining room and headed straight into the kitchen. Mom turned around as I walked in.
"Lisa, there's a letter..."
"I know, Mom. I saw it."
"Mom, I didn't open it. It's a thin letter."
"Sweetie, are you sure?"
"Yeah, I'm sure."
If I'd been paying more attention instead of enjoying my sudden funk I would have seen Mom's grin as she turned back to the sink. All I wanted was an apple, and I snagged one from the bowl on the kitchen table.
"So, Lisa, pretty sure about that letter, are you?"
"Mom, I already told you. I know what it says. I don't care, anyway."
Right, Lisa, I thought to myself. You sound like a four-year-old. I couldn't believe it when I heard Mom laugh. What the crap is she laughing about, anyway? This isn't funny.
I turned fast, about to say something I would regret later, I knew it, but I didn't care.
"Mom! What the f..."
I stopped as she grabbed me and squeezed me and hugged me hard enough to leave me breathless. I felt her shake, her boobs moving against me, as she kept laughing.
"Oh, Lisa! Sweetie!"
She pushed me away but held me by the shoulders. Laughing so hard she could barely speak.
"Open the envelope, will you?"
She was nuts, I knew it. What was the point?
"Mom, I know what it means. I do!"
"Humor me, OK?"
She stifled another laugh.
"Just do it."
I shook her off and went to get the stupid letter. I'm not going to let her see me, I was thinking, so I went straight to my room instead of back to kitchen. Flopped on my bed, ripped the envelope.
There was a single sheet of paper inside. I was right. Single sheet is always the kiss-off. "We had so many qualified candidates, I'm sorry to inform you that we are not able to offer you a place in ... blah blah blah." I knew it.
I unfolded the sheet anyway.
January 12, 200x
Ms. Lisa Davidson
3607 Washington Ave
--, VA 22xxx
Dear Ms. Davidson,
Thank you very much for your application to the University of Virginia Early Decision program. We have reviewed your application carefully, and it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Class of 200x.
You will receive shortly a packet of materials with information about Freshman Orientation, housing, meal plans and related subjects. Please review the packet carefully, and send us the information requested as soon as possible.
Please accept my congratulations on your decision to attend the University of Virginia. We look forward to seeing you in August.
Linda M. Howarth
Dean of Admission, Undergraduate
University of Virginia
Holy crap. I couldn't believe it. Read it twice, three times, looking for a mistake, an error, anything.
Almost tripped running down the hall, through the dining room, into the kitchen. Thank god Mom wasn't holding anything sharp, because I ran into her hard enough to knock her back against the kitchen sink.
Death grip, my head buried in her neck, holding her as tight as I could.
I was crying and laughing at the same time. I choked. Mom thwacked my back, hard.
"Easy, sweetie! It's OK."
I looked at Mom. I still couldn't get the words out. Hugged her again, not quite as hard.
"Mom, how did you know?"
She giggled, then started laughing again.
"Oh, sweetie. You should have seen your face. I'm sorry I didn't have my camera."
"Mom! Tell me!"
I knew that was my inner four-year-old talking, but I didn't care.
"Lisa, don't you remember Ms. Howarth? You've met her before."
"She and I have been friends since our own time at UVa. We keep in touch. She sent me an e-mail yesterday."
"Did you notice who signed the letter?"
I started to cry again.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"Because you needed to hear it first from her, that's why."
I launched myself at Mom once more. She held me and petted me and stroked my back. I cried until I had no more tears and I never wanted to let her go.
Mom and I had a long quiet cuddle that Sunday morning after Friday's drama. I dozed, pressed into Mom's neck, feeling her warm and smooth and nude against me all over. Once again I never wanted to move, never wanted her to move. Her hand between my thighs cupped my pussy, the heel of her hand pressed against my clit.
I wasn't the only one who got the right kind of thin letter from UVa. Monica's letter arrived the following week, so I knew at least two of us would be together. At the last minute Carla had changed her mind, something about her relatives in Arizona, so no matter what happened she wouldn't be with us next year.
As for Tommy and Dan, well, Tommy yes, Dan no. I almost fell off my chair when he said he'd applied to MIT and Cal Tech instead of UVa. Shouldn't have been a surprise with his math and physics grades, I guess, but it was.
I celebrated Valentine's Day in the best way, with Dan in my mouth as Tommy held my hips and pumped into me from behind. My mouth filled with Dan's cum just before Tommy pulled out and erupted hot on my back and butt.
We turned the gas fire at Dan's house low and snuggled afterwards under a throw in front of it, the firelight still stronger than the one dim lamp in the corner.
I could hear Tommy breathing easily on my right as I turned a little and pulled Dan to me to kiss him. I wasn't trying to start something, really, but I didn't mind letting his tongue in to play around with mine. He seemed to like that, to judge by the way his cock began to nudge my hip. His hand found my breast and he thumbed my nipple, not hard, just enough to keep me interested.
When we took a little breather, I asked him the question bugging me since last summer.
"Dan, can you tell me a little more about your mom, SJ?"
"You mean, have I fucked her?"
"It's OK, Lisa, you can ask."
"OK, are you?"
"Lisa, I like you a lot. I don't mean only that I like having sex with you, although I do. It's more than that, a lot more. I like talking about stuff with you. I like your silliness. I like looking at your panties, or I did when you were still on the squad."
He paused. Ran his hand from my boob down my flank to my hip. Traced a little closer to my center. I rolled onto my back and parted my legs to make it easier for him.
"I like you without panties, too."
Well, no surprise there, I was thinking. I took his dick in my hand and stroked. He throbbed, and I ran my thumb right over that place he liked so much.
"Same here. Without boxers, I mean."
"I like myself without panties, too, you know."
His turn to laugh.
"It was back in seventh grade. I was out by the pool with Mom and Dad. Dad was dozing, at least I think he was, and I was pretending to read a magazine while I stared at Mom on her back.
"It wasn't the first time we'd been nude together, but it was still all pretty new to me."
His fingers moved up and down my slit, then curled around my clit. I jumped.
"So, what happened?"
He kissed me.
"Lisa, I'm not having sex with my mother. Or my dad, for that matter."
This was kind of disappointing.
"So, what was the deal that night when I came over to study last winter?"
"I probably should have said I'm not having intercourse with my mother."
"Yeah. We don't really fool around that much but, well, you remember what happened that night. It wasn't the first time I've touched her that way."
He paused. I could see the gears moving, I'm pretty sure.
"Listen, if I tell you something will you keep it to yourself? I mean, Tommy's OK, but no one else?"
That was a relief. I don't keep secrets from Tommy.
"It was the summer before seventh grade. I'd just met you for the first time, but we weren't really friends yet. Anyway, it was almost like night and day for me then. No big deal about skinny dipping one day, a permanent hard-on the next.
"I thought I was keeping it from my folks, which was stupid. They knew what was going on from almost the first time I learned how to jack off. As for Mom, every boy thinks his mom is pretty, I guess, but that was the summer I realized Mom really was beautiful. I mean gorgeous, you know?"
"I know, Dan. She is."
"Anyway, you remember what my mom told you about working as a massage therapist in college? Well, she would work on my dad and me almost whenever we wanted. I realized later that it was whenever she wanted, too, and that was often.
"So, you can guess what happened that summer. What had always been fun and felt good now turned me on like nobody's business. I had a hard-on when I turned over on my back that afternoon, and she'd barely begun on my legs when I came, spurting all over my stomach.
"Mom laughed and told me not to worry about it. I turned my head to see whether Dad had noticed, but he just grinned and gave me a little wave.
"I'd be kidding you if I said I didn't like it. A little weird, after all. I mean, she's my mom, you know? It looked like Dad was OK with it, but I was still kind of worried. We were watching TV that night, so I asked him straight out. He told me that if it was OK with my mom, it was OK with him. 'You don't have to worry about me, ' are the words he used. 'Just take care of your mom, and respect her.' I figured I could do that.
"I still didn't know what the limits were, so I decided I'd kind of go along with whatever happened. I mean, I still wasn't doing anything with you then or with anyone else, really, so I was revved up most of the time.
"Mostly they were just massages, but one afternoon she put her hands on me as soon as I turned over. Well, that lasted about 30 seconds until I spurted all over myself. Sometimes she used her hand, sometimes her mouth. I wasn't complaining, you know?
"She never touched me that way when we were alone, though, so I was thinking this was some kind of thing with Dad, I mean, that he wanted to watch. One afternoon she took me in her mouth as soon as I turned over, then jacked me until I came all over myself."
I shivered. Pushed up against Dan.
"I hopped into the pool to wash off, and Mom came in after me. In a minute she had her arms around me and we were kissing. I didn't know where to put my hands, on her back? on her butt? I finally settled for her back, but she kept pressing herself against me, so I figured it was OK to grab her butt and I did.