The light breeze made the September leaves give off soft rustling sounds and sent a small shiver down my back as it cooled the sweat between my shoulder blades. I pulled more closely against Tom and he responded by cupping his hands more tightly around my bottom. The air wasn't really cold, in fact it was fairly warm for this time of year. The soft cotton blanket below us provided some insulation from the leaf covered ground and while our shirts were unbuttoned we were otherwise clothed. Tom moved his head and we locked into another deep kiss. When we again pulled slightly apart he said, "I felt you shiver. Cold?"
"Not really. In fact if things weren't so hot I wouldn't be sweating and the breeze couldn't give me a chill."
He gave a quiet little laugh. "Don't want to go back to the dorm then?"
I pulled him into another kiss and let my hand slide up under his shirt in back. "Not in the least."
It was a Friday night in September. We were both seniors but both still lived in the dorm. Same dorm, at least, even if on different floors. Our school wasn't quite that progressive. And besides, we had both decided to wait until we were sure that what we felt was the real thing. I had always promised myself I would only tell one man "I love you," and Tom felt the same way about what he'd say to me.
Even though we lived in the dorm, it was a large campus with many forested areas and other isolated places. Moreover one side bordered a national forest so there was another fifty or hundred square miles of nothing but trees. It certainly was not unusual to see couples out walking, carrying blankets, especially on weekends. It was a college campus, after all.
My name is Kate McNair. I'm five feet, eight, fairly slim, and turned twenty some six months ago. I have light blue eyes and dark brown hair which I wear down past my shoulders. Since almost the beginning of junior year I have been going with Tom Winston and I'm almost sure I'm really in love with him. Almost sure. He is also a senior, three months older than I am. He stands an even six feet and has the bluest eyes I've ever seen to go with his dark blonde hair.
We were apart most of the summer and now that school had started again we couldn't seem to get enough of each other. The summer certainly didn't cool our relationship any. Tom is an engineering major so our weekday evening time is limited. Well, really, my own chemistry major certainly limits my free time also. But on weekends we try to spend most of our time together.
The relationship certainly isn't all physical, but the physical aspects are way up there. Both of us are virgins and plan to remain so - until we are married or at least until we are sure this is the real thing. But that doesn't stop or even slow down our activities short of actual sex. If the weather is good we almost always take a blanket and disappear into one of the wooded areas. Often on Saturday or Sunday we'll pack a lunch and go even farther into the national forest, spending all day and much of the evening with no one else within sight or sound. We're not prudes. We really enjoy necking and petting and have had each other's clothes off a number of times. Even some oral - both sides. But we feel we should wait for actual sex.
If it is raining we can usually find somewhere else to hide, at least enough for some nice petting, even if we need to keep our clothes mostly on. There is a small river through campus and a number of bridges across it. Any of these provide some nice hiding places below - dark alcoves free of any observers. While we can't really get undressed there we can manage quite a few things.
This week, however, the weather is perfect. Temperatures in the seventies during the day and dropping only to the upper fifties at night. Calm or only light breezes and mostly clear skies with only a few small clouds. And tonight there will be a moon just at the first quarter.
We had brought our blanket into one of the deeper wooded spots of the campus and now we lay together in a small depression some thirty yards or so off any trail. Tom kissed me again and pulled me tightly against him, our open shirts letting my breasts squash against his bare chest. I moaned into his mouth and moved one of my hands down from his back to slide inside his jeans and cup his bare ass, bringing a similar sound from him.
He pulled back slightly. "Oh, Kitty Kate, I want you so much." Kitty Kate is his pet name for me. I think he first used it once when I called him "Tom Cat" but it has stuck.
Breathlessly I moaned back, "No more than I want you, Tom. Oh, Tom, I wish I knew for sure." Why were we waiting? It wasn't from practical considerations. I had started on the pill the previous May and we both knew neither of us had to worry about STDs. I couldn't give a complete reason. I could only say that we felt we should. When I examined it, I thought part of it might have been that we were both brought up in families where sex was only to be considered inside marriage. I don't even think it was completely religious on the part of either family. No, just more a culture. Regardless of the reason, we couldn't seem to convince ourselves to change.
Then why didn't we just get married? Again I can't say completely. I think it is just that it was so ingrained in us that marriage was a one time thing and we had to be sure it was the right partner before committing. We both had talked about it and were almost sure. But something just held us back from a final decision.
It might seem strange that with such strong views on marriage and actual sex that we had no problem with the activities in which we did engage. I mean, like I said, we weren't prudes. We had no problem with a lot of petting, getting naked with each other, and even manual or oral stimulation. I really can't say what it was or why, but somewhere in our natures the two were separated. I could give Tom a blow job, let him eat me out or finger me, and feel no guilt. But the idea of taking that wonderful cock inside me had a definite block, as it seemed to for Tom also.
I think we were both resigned to going no further until something changed to assure us that our relationship was one we wished to become permanent. However we weren't slowed in the activities we did find acceptable. That didn't mean we weren't frustrated about it.
We broke from a torrid kiss and I rolled onto my back. Tom raised himself onto his elbow and looked down at me. I felt the cool air evaporate the sweat on my bare breasts, sending a chill and turning my nipples even more rigid than they already were.
We were both breathing rather hard and now as I let my hand slide from his back and move across the swollen hardness in front of his jeans, I wistfully said, "Oh, Tom, I want you so much. I want to keep going, to finally feel you inside me - but I know if we do I'll regret it later,"
"I know, Kitty Kate. I want it just as much. But I know we have to wait."
I drew a deep breath and replied, "I guess we'll just have to do the best we can right now," With this I reached to unfasten his belt and pulled down on the zipper. A quick tug and the pants and underwear pulled past his swollen organ, letting me grasp it and move to place my lips against the head of the hard shaft. Tom moaned and I gave a couple of licks before moving my lips slowly past the flanged head and down along the hardened shaft, leaving a wet trail along its length. Then I began to bob up and down all the time sliding the tip of my tongue around and over the sensitive flesh. In less than a minute I felt Tom's contractions begin and I doubled my efforts until he exploded, sending repeated spurts into my throat as I hurried to swallow each drop. I finished with a slow licking to clean any last remainder from his still hard organ.
As I pulled back Tom said, "That was wonderful! Now let me return the favor." I smiled, knowing from experience what was coming. He quickly released the fastenings on my own jeans and soon these were around my ankles as his mouth sought the sensitive places between my thighs and in another few minutes I joined him in release, flooding his face and filling the evening around us with small cries and moans.
When we had calmed slightly we rolled to face each other and Tom pulled the edge of the blanket over us to mitigate air which now had begun to feel a little chilly. We pulled together, kissing, and then I buried my face in his shoulder. I mumbled against his firm flesh, "Oh, why can't we be sure? Why do we have to wait? I want you so much."
Despite the muffled speech he must have understood because he answered, "No more than I want you. I don't want to wait either, but we have to, don't we?" Without lifting my face I nodded against him but I could feel a few tears of frustration rub off onto his bare skin.
We remained cuddled together for a long time, neither of us speaking. It had grown dark and the half-full Harvest Moon was beginning to make its illumination filter through the leaves and paint the world with streaks of silver to break the uniform cover of jet which had come with the setting sun. The sky above the main part of the campus still shown pale as the reflected illumination of man-made lights found its way upwards, but here in the "forest primeval" the darkness had descended like a thick fog. Now the moonlight and our night sensitized eyes once again brought out the shapes of trees. Occasionally we would hear a small animal or an owl in the near distance, but otherwise we were alone.
It might seem strange that on a campus with tens of thousands of students we could be so isolated, but there was a lot of space. Especially out here in the woods. Not tonight, but sometimes we might hear another couple passing nearby although they never came too near. It was a sort of accepted protocol that you were careful not to disturb another couple no matter what they seemed to be doing. On nice weekend days we would sometimes take some food and hike into the national forest and not see or hear anyone else for the entire day. In fact I'm not sure we'd ever encountered anyone else on one of these day long treks.
Tonight we lay in our little nest, sometimes playing, sometimes just cuddling together and quietly talking. What about? Well, about a lot of things. Our feelings for each other. Our futures. The beautiful night with the lovely light of the bright moon and the gentle breeze. The sounds of the autumn leaves as they rustled or swirled in gusting air. Later we became aroused once again and spent another hour in exciting but frustrating activity, ending with some mutual masturbation.
Near midnight we headed back toward the dorm. We had originally planned to spend Saturday going on one of our day long walks but Tom had been assigned a design project which was going to consume most of his weekend. I had managed to finish my homework for the weekend so I would be free the next day even though alone. Sure, I could find something to do with someone else but I tended to think of being without Tom as being alone.
Anyway, when we finally kissed goodnight I said, "Since you are abandoning me tomorrow I might just go ahead and make a long day of it by myself. Who knows, I might meet some hot satyr out in the forest."
Laughing, Tom replied, "I wouldn't be surprised with your nice body, but, knowing you, Kitty Kate, I don't think I'll have to worry."
I smiled back. "True, Tom, I'll wait for you to ravish me. Supper tomorrow night?"
"Sure, I'll be ready to quit by then. Want to go to the Pit for pizza?"
"That sounds good. I'll meet you down here at seven. OK?"
Another long, deep kiss and we parted, happy but still somewhat frustrated.
Saturday morning I woke about six thirty as usual and soon headed downstairs for a quick breakfast. By eight I was back in my room and stuffing a few things into a small daypack. I had on jeans and a long sleeved shirt and now I changed into my hiking boots. With lunch and a couple of water bottles and a light jacket in the pack, I headed out and started toward the wooded edge of campus.
It was a perfect fall day. Still slightly cool but not too much as long as I was moving and I knew it would warm up to a comfortable level before too long. The air was nearly still, the sky mostly clear with only a few fluffy white clouds and the sun highlighting the million different colors of the changing autumn leaves. I did see a number of couples walking in the campus woods, some even carrying blankets this early, but I knew that by the time I entered the national forest I would probably be alone. I decided that this was probably a good thing as the sight of the others left me with a slightly empty feeling. (This feeling was even a little more disconcerting when I thought that some of them would be doing what I wanted so much to do with Tom but couldn't yet bring myself to allow.)
I moved on into the forest and as expected soon left everyone else behind. The day was lovely and before too long I was able to put off any feelings of loneliness and just enjoy the quiet woods, the lovely colors of leaves and fall flowers, and the slightly damp smell of fall.
The forest had a number of well marked trails as well as some slightly less used ones. Most were easy walking but some involved more strenuous climbs. There were some deep ravines with small creeks along their bottoms and some rounded hills. The woods had both sections of conifers as well as hardwoods and in many areas the two types were mixed together.
A little after noon I moved off the side of the trail to find a fallen log on which to sit while I ate lunch. Sitting there, looking at the woods, I again became aware of how much I would rather that Tom was with me. I missed him. I also felt a frustrated level of arousal, knowing that even were he here, I would not be able to fully alleviate it. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I know for sure and make up my mind one way or the other?
At last I drew a deep breath and shook my head back and forth to clear it. I made up my mind that I would try to put such thoughts aside for the afternoon and just enjoy this wonderful day. Anyway, tonight I would be with Tom and we could at least somewhat mitigate the frustration if not remove it.
I stowed everything back in my pack and once again started along the trail. I was in a part of the forest I had been to before even if not frequently. It was some distance from the campus and, as far as I knew, some distance from the nearest road also. As I said we had never encountered another person on these walks and especially now in this remote section I didn't expect to. So I was totally surprised when I rounded a bend in the path and saw someone sitting on a rock neat the edge of the trail.
For a couple of seconds I stopped still, unsure I was really seeing another human, but then I continued along. As I got a little closer I saw that the person was a woman, an older woman. Sitting I couldn't tell her height but I could see that her hair was a lovely silver color. She was slim but not starved looking as some older people seem to be. When I was fifteen yards or so from her she noticed me. I could see her smile and as I neared she stood and said, "Hello. Lovely day for a walk, isn't it?"
Standing, she was fairly tall, almost my height. She stood straight, her stance looking like a much younger woman, back straight, shoulders back. She still retained a lovely look with strong bone structure and skin much smoother than I would have expected for someone in her seventies as I guessed her age to be.
"Hi. Yes, it is. It's beautiful out here today." As I stood near her I could see her eyes were a clear, light blue.
She indicated a rock next to hers and said, "Please sit and rest a couple of minutes. It's nice to find someone to talk with a little."
I smiled back and took her up on her offer. For some reason I found that I liked her immediately. I took off my small pack and sat. "Are you out here by yourself then?"
"Oh, no. My husband just decided he wanted to explore a little side trail for a while. I'm going to meet him up there" - she indicated a direction farther down the trail - "in a little while. Now I'm just waiting and enjoying the day. Even more now that you've come along. Are you by yourself?"
"Just today. My boyfriend and I usually walk out here together but he couldn't come today." After a few seconds I added, "We've never seen anyone else out here. Is this the first time you've been here?"
She gave a small laugh. "No, not at all. We've walked these woods for a long time. But it is a big woods, so it's not too surprising that we've never seen each other before."
Something drove me to inquire. "You look like you are in really good condition for someone you age. Do you walk a lot?" Then I realized how that might have sounded and I quickly tried to add, "I didn't mean any insult. It's just that so many of the older people I see around look like they can't walk more than fifty feet from their cars."
She laughed, a deep and pleasant laugh. "I'm not insulted at all. I'll admit that both my husband and I do get a fair amount of exercise but I will also admit that things aren't quite as easy as they were when I was twenty. Still, I manage. When I get really old maybe things will change but, after all, I'm only ninety-six now."
I think my mouth dropped open. "Ninety-six! You're kidding."
She smiled. "No, I really am as is my husband. We've been very lucky but, still, we try to help things along. You know, exercise, good eating and so on."
"That's amazing! I would have guessed you were at least twenty years younger."
"Thank you, but I really am ninety-six."
I found myself rapidly becoming engaged in conversation. After a few minutes I suddenly realized I had never given my name. "Oh, I'm sorry. I never introduced myself. I'm Kate McNair. I'm a student over at the college."
"Kate is it? That's a coincidence. My name is Kate also."
"How nice. Then I'm sure that way I will never forget your name."
She laughed and said, "Nor will I yours."
We continued to talk and without realizing it I found myself telling her about my own life. My school, my likes and dislikes, and about Tom. For some reason it seemed that we had known each other for years and I felt no hesitation in telling her things I would never have thought I could reveal to a stranger.
At one point she suddenly asked, "Are you in love with Tom?"
This stopped me cold. Slowly I answered, "I think so. I think so but I can't be completely sure." Then some of my frustration began to spill out and I began to tell her of our hesitation and uncertainty. I had never shared these feeling with anyone besides Tom and if I had stopped to think about it I would have been astounded that I was doing so now. Especially with someone I had just met.
She listened quietly and when I slowed for a minute she asked, "Have you slept with him?"
I froze at this but surprisingly I didn't hesitate to answer her. "If you mean have we had sex, the answer is no. We both want to wait until we are completely sure." Then I shyly added, "But we have done nearly everything else."
She smiled and I think she may have suppressed a small laugh. "I expect you'll someday find that it hasn't been nearly EVERYTHING else." Then in a more serious tone she said, "Tell me, Kate. Just why do you feel you need to wait?"
This question stopped me and for several long seconds I sat frozen as I tried to frame an answer. Finally I slowly replied, "I don't really know. It's not from any religious or even moral reason. I guess it's just that we don't want to make a mistake."
Again she smiled. "I do understand, Kate. Probably better than you think I do. Let me ask you something. Just what are you looking for in life? What is really important to you?"
Again I sat frozen. At last, shaking my head, I answered, "I guess I'm not really sure. I suppose success and love and happiness."
"That's probably a good answer at your age. But suppose you let me give you a little of the view from my vantage point." I gave a smile and a small nod and remained quiet. She went on. "Probably the three most important things to help make you happy in life are health, time, and love, not necessarily in that order. These aren't absolutely necessary for happiness but they go a long way to helping you have it. These are things you can't totally control but you sometimes can influence them."
"Health. No one can make sure they will always have good health. You can help it along by eating right, getting exercise and so on. Get any problems treated while they are small. Try to avoid any situation likely to get you hurt in an accident. Still no one can stop all diseases or even accidents. But you can help avoid things which would have an adverse effect."
"Time. We all know our time will end someday, but no one can say for sure just when. Largely it is determined by genes, therefore your ancestors. It's a little late to do anything about that. Still, like health, you can do a lot to help your natural span along. Taking care of your health is one thing. Don't take a lot of foolish risks is another. I don't mean trying to avoid all risks. That would make life dull and probably do more to hurt happiness than anything else. Don't be afraid to cross the street, just don't do it with your eyes closed. Our time is always uncertain but we can always make the best use of what we have. Likewise don't waste the time you do have. Again I don't mean that you should never do anything trivial. Not that at all. But think what things are important to you and try to spend time on them."
"And love. Probably you have little or no control over finding love but you certainly can do a lot to make sure it stays. Love means many things. Remember the Greeks had three words for love only one of which was eros." She smiled at this and I did also. "All forms of love are important, however, eros is a very important part of love for most people and one that often gets forgotten amid the rush of everyday living. There used to be an old song entitled 'Wives Should Always be Lovers.' That is a very important idea. Of course husbands should also. Never let those feelings die." She looked slightly down and an almost dreamy look crossed her face as she said, "My husband and I never have."
I looked surprised. "You mean you still..."
She smiled. "Yes. Not every day like we used to but not too infrequently."
Then she went on. "If you can keep those three things, you will probably be happy regardless of what else there is."
"That all makes sense but how can I be sure - especially about love? I mean I think it is, but how can I know for certain?"
She smiled and slightly shook her head. "You can never be completely SURE about anything. The was a writer of fiction - back before your time or mine - named Damon Runyon. He wrote short stories about the post prohibition underclass in New York. You may have heard of the musical Guys and Dolls. That was based on his characters. Anyway there is a quote from him. 'The race is not always to the fleet, nor the battle to the strong. But that's the way to bet.'"
I gave a small laugh as she smiled. Then she continued. "Nothing in life is ever completely certain because things can change in an instant. Before you make a decision just be fairly sure you are doing the right thing - not absolutely. Remember, you never get anywhere, never accomplish anything, unless you take some chances. Just try to only take wise chances."
She glanced at her watch and said, "I had better get going or my husband will wonder what has happened to me. It's been very nice talking to you, Kate. Perhaps we'll meet again."
"It's been very nice for me also. I think you are the most wonderful other Kate I've ever run into. Tom and I are out here a lot on weekends. Do you come here often?"
"We try to get out most Saturdays if the weather is nice. I'll watch for you if we do."
She stood and picked up one of the little telescoping hiking poles. We exchanged a couple more comments and then she set off down the trail to meet her husband. I watched her go, tall and straight with a stride of a much younger woman. And as I watched a lot of the things she had said were running through my mind.
I met Tom as planned and we went to the pizza place for supper. While we were eating I told him of the strange encounter and some of the things Kate had said. I also told him how it had gotten me thinking and that I was going to have to give it some more thought. Probably quite a bit more.