Greg slowly twisted his hand, slowing the outboard motor behind him to a stop. The vibrations, which had been traveling up his arm and shaking his poor middle aged body for the past half hour, eased as the ship began to coast towards the rocky shore.
Ship. Really, that was a grandiose term for the "True Blue". It barely rated being called a boat. Ten or twelve feet long (he'd never bothered to measure it), the True Blue was just an old aluminum rowboat with an outboard motor. His father had named it, painting a wide stripe of navy blue above the waterline on the grayish metal hull, and the craft had served as the family fishing boat for many a year. With three benches, plus the small seat at the bow where Greg had set himself on their various adventures to places like the Rideau river (where they'd rented a cabin the first week of July for most of his childhood so Dad could fish), the small craft had been large enough to carry the four of them wherever they wanted to go, and dangerous enough to lead to many now fondly recalled stories. Memories...
It was the Thousand Islands, though, that brought him to this place. They had only taken the small boat there twice, that he recalled, but his preteen mind had been enchanted by the small, seemingly unclaimed islands jutting out of the wide river. So too had the slightly larger ones, almost filled completely by summer homes, fired up his imagination. What would it be like, to live on a small island, isolated from the world, cut off in winter from all supply or rescue...
The bow of the True Blue hit the patch of rocky mud on the shore, the traditional stopping method for this craft. Raising the motor out of the water and locking it into place, Greg quickly began to climb towards the front of the boat. He kept low, using his hands on the seats and side for balance as the craft rocked back and forth. A long thick tree branch stuck out from the island next to him, and when a quick tug confirmed it was somewhat secure he grabbed the rope attached to the bow and tied it up on the tree. There. As good as a dock. The True Blue had started to drift back out into the lake during this, as it was want to do. Grabbing one of the blue wooden oars, Greg shoved it down into the muddy bottom to force them back into contact with the shore. Oar back safely onboard, he grabbed a second branch and jumped onto the slippery dirt. Knowing his craft, he quickly turned to grab the bow as the now lightened ship began to leave him. Pulling, he got a good four feet of the rowboat onto the shore. Satisfied, for now, that he wouldn't be stranded here, he turned and looked around him.
The listing on the realtor's website had been interesting: "Uninhabited island on small lake. Room for one summer cabin. No utilities." For someone who had money to spend, and wanted to get away from the world...
Greg hadn't always hated people.
He did now. Not people, generically, as in all of humanity. No, he just hated every individual he came in contact with.
Oh, the nameless ones who worked the registers and counters at the stores and restaurants he frequented were OK, he supposed. His contact was brief enough that they rarely got on his nerves in any lasting way. But, anything beyond that, any in depth relationship, be it personal, business, or, God forbid, romantic, led without exception to deep seated hatred.
Honestly, Greg didn't know why. And, really, hate might be too strong a word...
Naw. He hated the assholes.
He was a good enough guy, he thought. Oh, sure, he liked his solitude. Nothing pissed him off more than those who felt they had to talk to pass the time. He was open minded, though those who voiced opinions that were obviously wrong made him grind his teeth in frustration. He was fair, even if being so meant that others felt they were being cheated. Above all, Greg was always honest.
This, strangely, pissed off more people than he'd ever thought possible.
Well, fuck them. He had money now. Between a very nice week in Vegas, selling his business, and an inheritance far larger than he'd ever thought possible, at age 45 he could retire ... provided he lived a simple life.
He wanted nothing more than that.
Pulling himself up the steep rocky incline, Greg found himself on the island proper. He had wondered, when looking at the place on the map, why nobody had built here before given the lake itself did have some summer cabins around it. Now he saw someone had. An old stone fireplace stood, almost complete, at one end of what most likely was the foundation of some old cabin. Around him were trees, mostly pines of various sizes with a few maples thrown in. That chilly late May, the needles and leaves glistened a bit with the last of the morning dew. Birds chirped. Off in the distance, a motor boat, probably an outboard like his as the lake was a bit small for more than a fishing boat. Closing his eyes, Greg took a deep breath.
It felt like home.
A quick walk around gave him a good sense of the place. On the opposite side of the roughly circular island were the remains of a wooden dock, now rotted and half gone. A path led down, broken bottles showing the place did see the occasional visitor. At about a half football field across, he could easily put a house here. Lumber and furnishings could be brought over on a quickly made barge, just barrels tied together. Get a generator or two with a good reserve of fuel, pipe in lake water to be filtered...
... Once winter came, he could sit in his isolated home, alone and warm.
It was a plan.
Grabbing some sticks, he started marking out possible floor plans.
Not being an idiot, or all that handy with a hammer, Greg hired a real construction crew to do the actual work. Two months later, the house itself was done. By the end of August, he was ready to move in.
Parking his pickup in the new garage at the end of his new private road, Greg grabbed the last of his supplies and lugged them down to the docked True Blue. He'd be making frequent supply runs, he knew, especially until he had a good idea exactly what would last how long, but this should be enough to get him started. Dropping the bags into the boat, he laughed. New house, new garage, new dock ... same crappy boat. Well, the two of them were a team. Walking back up the path, he locked up the garage (built to look like a cabin, the automatic door becoming a wood paneled wall when closed), put on his life jacket, and grinned.
Let the adventure begin!
The sound and vibrations of the motor coursing through his body, Greg regarded his home as the True Blue closed the distance. Most of the trees around the edge of the island had been left, helping to conceal the dwelling, but it was still easy to pick out. Built like an old log cabin, it rose two stories above a new concrete foundation. Coming from the south as he was, he could see the glass wall that stretched across almost the entire second floor, broken up by the occasional wooden support. The old fireplace, rebuilt, climbed the eastern side of the cabin. Solar panels filled the southern roof as well, hopefully easing some of his fuel needs. New steps led down to a new dock replacing the ruins, this time running parallel to the shore instead of out into the lake. Next to it, a small beach area where he could bring the boat up for the winter.
Greg just shook his head, smiling.
It was all his.
Experience had shown him it was deep enough here to just bring the boat in parallel to the shore, the reason for the new dock placement. Swinging the boat around, he cut the motor, grabbed the rope next to him, and with practiced ease grabbed the deck piling to bring the True Blue to a stop. A few minutes later he was climbing up the steps with his duffle bags.
Large stones set into the ground marked the path to the front door. There was a covered porch, running the length of the first floor. Unlocking the door- yes, this was an island, but boating drunks and teens (often both) were about- he went through, dropping his bags. The living room took up most of the first floor, as he expected to spend most of his time here. A nice couch and chair, TV (with satellite dish), large fluffy rug, bookcases ... all you could want. His laptop, hooked up to the house wifi, sat on a coffee table made from half a log, sanded smooth and varnished with a nice clear finish. An open doorway before him led to the kitchen, and another to the bathroom. Waste disposal would be an issue, so the toilet was basically a port-a-potty with a removable receptacle he'd have to take ashore to empty now and then. Just so he wouldn't have to do it often, he had four of them.
The second floor had his bed, a lazy boy for reading with the whole lake spread out before him ... and supplies to build a kick ass 0 scale train layout.
Hey, a man needs his hobbies.
Closing the door, Greg picked up his bags and went to unpack. It was time to get on with his life.
There was a knock at the door.
Greg looked up from his sandwich. A storm raged outside. Even as well built as his home was, Greg could hear the structure groaning as wind and rain pounded the island. A mere half hour ago the skies had been clear, but now thunder and lightning welcomed September with a rather impressive display. Surely, given all this, that sound had just been some random thing blown against the door...
The knock came again, louder this time.
Pushing back his dining room chair to stand, eyes quickly going to the fake Japanese sword hanging near the door, Greg made his way to the cabin door. Throwing back the deadbolt, mind for a moment on various horror stories that had started this way, he pulled it open.
Before him were two women, cold, wet, and miserable.
The wind gusted, stalling any further observations on his part as the two strangers were for all practical purposes blown into the house. He quickly stepped aside, startled. Rain followed them, pushing them farther into his domain. Mentally shaking himself, with a heave (and helpful brief slacking of the wind) he shut the door. Re-bolting it, Greg turned to his guests.
They were opposites. His eye was immediately drawn to the taller of the two, slender, dressed in a green bikini sexy not in what it revealed, but in how it concealed. Maybe a few inches shorter than his own six feet, two inches, the red hair now matted and stuck to her white skin would be a thing of beauty when she wasn't soaked like a drown rat. Even as she stood shivering, arms hugging herself, something in her eyes gave off strength and confidence.
All her companion gave off was worry and hopelessness. Blonde, roughly pear shaped, her shivering form maybe topped five feet. Large breasts were not so much contained as restrained by her orange bikini top. Looking at Greg, she edged behind her friend.
He gave a half disgusted sigh. He hated people like her. Looking at the redhead, he motioned behind them.
"Bathroom is over there. There are towels in the cabinet. Dry off. We can talk then."
She nodded, gently taking the blonde's arm as she turned to lead her. A few moments later Greg was left alone, contemplating the wet trail across his floor.
Looking over at his half eaten sandwich, Greg gave another sigh and returned to his seat. Great. Two weeks into his life of solitude, and he had visitors.
Recalling the reaction of the plumper one, he ran a hand over his chin as he looked down at himself. Being alone means grooming and proper attire tend to slip. If anything, they'd caught him on a good day. His black hair, before being attacked by the wind, had been reasonably combed given its shortness. Greg had shaved that morning, being lazy enough not to do the job often but hating the itch that came with anything over ten or so days of beard. Having been out that morning enjoying the day, he was dressed in clean jeans and a t-shirt covering a body that was, if not lean, not fat. All in all, he thought himself reasonably attractive, and unless forced into a suit this was the best anyone was going to get.
Not that he had any interest in impressing either of them.
Looking at the grandfather clock his mother had talked dad into getting, all those years ago, Greg decided that the polite thing to do was at least offer the lake rats something hot to drink. The storm should blow through before dinner time. Taking two quick bites of his ham and cheese, he stood again and walked into the kitchen to fill the kettle. He didn't drink coffee, or tea, but did enjoy a good hot chocolate or cup of soup. Not that he wasn't a caffeine fiend: the bar in the living room corner had taps for Pepsi and Mountain Dew.
Greg had just sat back down to try and finish off his lunch when the bathroom door opened. His manhood, which had been too startled to really take much notice the first time around, poked its head up as the two females stepped back into the room. Each had a large fluffy blue bath towel wrapped around their body, coming down nowhere near their knees. He had no idea if they were still wearing their bathing suits, but given the lack of shoulder straps he doubted it. Thoughts that had not been seriously entertained since he kicked the Bitch out returned, his eyes focusing on the folds holding the towels in place. Each had a smaller towel wrapped around their hair, reminding him of nothing so much as women from some sitcom or movie. Kelly had never walked around the house like that...
The tall redhead (and if the towel was much higher he'd be able to confirm the naturalness of that) walked up to him. Her white skin, freckled a bit on the shoulders, showed no sign of a tan, the hand she held out showing short nails with no polish. Also, no rings. Rising, he shook the offered hand.
"Thank you for letting us in. We're sorry to burst in like this. I'm Paula." Her grip was firm, skin smooth. Paula's smile ... was there something hidden behind it? Or was that Greg's paranoia again? Releasing his hand, she motioned to the other one. "This is Nelly." Nelly smiled at him uncertainly. That, at least, seemed an honest reaction. "We were out boating, getting away from the guys for a few hours, when the lightning started. This was the closest shelter."
Greg nodded, regarding the two of them. After a half second contemplating what sort of payments he could request in return for their rescue, he just chuckled.
"I have a kettle on if you'd like some hot chocolate or bullion in a bit. Meanwhile," he swept his hand towards the couch, "have a seat. This should blow over in a couple hours."
After giving him drink orders for two hot chocolates, the women retired to the couch. Paula turned back to raise an eyebrow when Greg sat back down at the table and proceeded to finish his sandwich with no attempt to engage them in conversation. As he watched, she leaned over and whispered to Nelly.
With perfect timing, both the kettle and his lunch were done at the same time. Carrying his plate in, Greg turned off the burner and got down three mugs and the box of instant cocoa. Grabbing napkins, he carried the drinks out. The women accepted them gratefully, blowing over the rim to cool the drinks as they watched Greg settle himself in the nearby recliner. For the next five minutes, the sound of slurped hot chocolate rose above the howl of the wind.
Finishing first, the blonde leaned forward to put her mug on the log coffee table. Her towel, with great effort, stayed in place. Greg, however, was treated to a large expanse of exposed breast. Her skin was dark, whether from the sun or genetics wasn't clear. Seeing the direction of his gaze, she blushed, the redness traveling down her neck as she sat back up and crossed her arms to cover herself. The lower end of the towel now barely hid her treasures, only her closed thighs preventing him from getting a view he hadn't seen outside of the internet in quite some time. Biting her lip nervously, Nelly looked over at an amused Paula.
"We should call them. Let them know we're OK." Her voice was soft, almost musical. It surprised him, not that he had any preconceived notion of how overweight blondes should sound. His eyes shifted over to the obviously dominant Paula. She regarded her companion.
"They're probably drinking too much to notice we're gone."
"Not Butch..." The fear in her voice told Greg all he needed to know. These two were with two scumbags, maybe bikers. Well, that wasn't his problem. He just wanted them gone. Waving over to the end table, he spoke.
"Feel free to use my cell phone next to you. You don't seem to have yours with you."
Laughing at the obviousness of that statement (her laughter was one of an equal, or even his better), Paula reached over for the phone. Her towel started to come undone, but she paid no mind. Only when she had dialed did her free hand casually cover herself. Greg mentally shook his head.
"Are they too drunk to answer ... hey, Butch. Yeah, it's me. Nelly wanted us to call just to let you two know we're OK. We got caught out on the lake, and found shelter in some guy's cabin. No, he hasn't touched us. I could take him, regardless." She gave Greg a sweet smile, but he wasn't buying it. She was a fighter, especially if she was talking like that to their men. "What? No, like you'd go out in that storm to rescue us anyway! We'll head back once it lets up ... How should I know? When you see us! Jesus! No, I won't promise to have her back to make you dinner ... either make it yourself, or wait! You're a big boy! No, I do NOT want you to prove it to me, although I may tell Vince you made the offer. Yeah, that's what I thought. Go fuck yourself."
Turning the phone off, she put it back on the charger. Nelly looked at her in fear.
"We have to go."
"No we don't. Grow a pair. We'll get back when we get back. The boys will survive."
Nelly shrank back into the couch, eyes sad.
"You're not the one he gets angry at."
Greg stood, walking over to one of the large windows. Outside, lighting and thunder battered the lake, each burst highlighting the pines ringing the island. Sighing, he tried to will an end to the display. They weren't his problem. He just wanted them gone.
Three hours later, with the sun coming through the clouds, Greg opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch. The house had survived its first test. Yippee.
With a chuckle, he moved aside as his two guests came out behind them. Dressed again in their bikinis, they looked around a bit unsure of themselves. Paula cocked an eye at him.
"You sure it's over?"
He nodded, and stepped off onto the stone path towards the dock. Once at the top of the stairs, he saw their canoe, pulled up onto the landing. It was even turned over, so it wouldn't fill with water. That was smart thinking, for people surprised and panicked by the weather. The True Blue, tied to the dock, was about a third filled with rain. He'd have to do some pumping once they were gone. With a laugh, looking back at their exposed bodies, he realized that was going to be on the schedule regardless. Stepping aside, he motioned down to their boat.
"Looks like it survived. You should have no trouble getting back."
Paula walked up next to him, peaked over, then turned to regard him. There were questions in her eyes. Obviously, he hadn't behaved as she thought a male in his position would.
"Thank you." Turning, she began her climb down. Nelly followed, pausing on the top landing to look at Greg. Her eyes no longer feared him, instead ... showing something else. She smiled.
It was a beautiful smile.
Greg watched the canoe as it grew smaller in the distance. He was alone again.
Being alone didn't mean ignoring the world. Especially if you have designs on staying rich enough to not work. Greg considered this as he balanced the laptop on his knees, hot cocoa in one hand and piece of toast in the other as he sat in the second floor lazyboy. Obviously, he should be doing this downstairs at the table, but what fun was that. On the screen were his various investments, the interest from which formed all his income. One bad year, one dip into his capital, and he'd be forced to leave his life of luxury to replace it.
His father, God bless his racist heart, had been a firm believer that people who inherited their money were better than those who were self made. The reason, beside the obvious genetic superiority inherent in such a view, was that they were raised with more "class", knew how to handle themselves, how to act befitting their status. The new rich were just tacky. Greg thought none of that. However, one saying of his father did still resonate with him: "Someone who inherits money and still has it twenty years later has done as much work as someone earning it from scratch."
Despite sitting in front of a stunning panorama of the late November scenery, so focused was he on the changing numbers sent through the air to his computer that it took awhile to notice what else was coming down into his world. It took a gust of wind blowing a large patch across the front of the house for him to look up and see the falling snow. Taking another sip of his cooling drink, Greg contemplated the scene.
Eyes going down, it was the snow slowly building up on the True Blue's outboard motor that finally woke him up.
Winter was here, and he wasn't ready.
Finances forgotten, Greg put the laptop on the floor and quickly grabbed some clothes, shoving them on with little regard for style or matching socks. It was time to restock, as much as possible, and settle in for the long haul. The lake wasn't frozen, but who knew when it would be...
... Then again, it wasn't going to happen in the next couple days. With a chuckle, he slowed down, making sure his pants were on the right way. He had time. Heading downstairs, Greg mentally went over his needs. More food. Fuel. Firewood would be good...
A dog. He needed a dog.
Four days and seven boat trips later, Greg sat in front of a roaring fire with a year old brown mutt in his lap. Scratching Leon behind the ears, he smiled. NOW he was ready for winter...
"Come on, you mother fucking..."
Greg paused, took a deep breath, and stepped back from the train layout. Once he started cursing at the thing, most progress was done for the day. To keep going would just lead to sloppy work, broken trees, more cursing.
Maybe that's why he had so little done.
Looking over the large table, Greg was disgusted with himself. Over three months work, and what did he have? The track layout, a basic framework for the terrain, and one finished tunnel. God, he used to do more than that over a long weekend! Which, maybe, was part of the problem. When you have no deadline, no constraints on your time ... you know you can just go slow and get to things later. Something always comes up that, at that moment, is more interesting. Which probably means trains aren't his passion the way he thought they were, given working on them so often fell down to third or fourth on his to do list.
Well, live and learn.
Turning, he gazed through the windows at the lake. This, to be honest, was what he enjoyed the most. Just looking out at the snowy, frozen tundra. With the wind constantly changing the landscape, he found himself lost in the view. The lake had frozen in late December, earlier then he expected, but there was no way he was walking on it. He'd seen some people, out at the far end, skating, and one guy came out on the weekends to do some ice fishing, but otherwise he was alone. Alone with his dog. As God intended.
Looking up at the sky, he saw yesterday's snowstorm was completely gone. The sky was clear and blue, yellow sun shining down, its heat on his face through the glass as refreshing as a cool breeze in August. He probably should go out, walk the island, see if there was any wind damage...
Movement caught his eye on the far shore. A figure was running out of the trees. Out of the trees, across the snow, onto the ice...
Greg almost leapt up to the glass wall, hands pressed against it. Some idiot was running across the lake! Towards his island! That part didn't really matter, but the ice! God, please, let the ice hold...
A hundred and fifty yards from shore, the figure vanished, replaced by a dark splotch. A moment later, its green coat reappeared, bobbing up and down.
Greg took the stairs three at a time. Half remembered Boy Scout training rushed through his mind, along with old movies and badly written books. What the hell was the right thing to do!? Leon followed him, whining, as Greg quickly zipped up his warmest jacket and struggled into the orange life jacket. Gloves, hat, no time for boots ... he was out the door, slamming it shut before Leon could follow. Across, down the steps ... On the deck, he grabbed the backup life jacket (two of everything, that was the secret), jumped off onto the ground, grabbed a long coil of rope he'd left on the tree ... and paused.
He had no desire to fall into the ice himself. Had no idea how close he could get. Damn it...
Greg's eyes fell on the True Blue, lying upside down on the ground next to him.
The boat traveled easily over the ice.
Greg, pushing from behind, considered that this was an incredibly stupid idea. Not quite as stupid as just running onto a frozen lake, but up there. The concept was, somewhat, logical: by keeping the heavy boat before him, that would break the ice before he did, giving him an idea of how far from the person he had to stay. He could also, if the ice did break under him, climb into the boat. What happened after that was a bit fuzzy, but one thing at a time. He'd burn that bridge when he came to it.
He could hear the person's screams. They were female. The break in the ice was over half way between shore and his island, the distance quickly closed. His feet found good traction in the layer of snow on the ice, although the lack of boots was beginning to tell. He hoped it wouldn't be a fatal oversight.
Ten yards or so from the bobbing woman, he stopped. No reason to risk his luck too much. Grabbing the rope and life vest from the boat, he stepped away from it, testing each step before committing all his weight.
"I'm here! I'm going to try and get you out! Stay calm!" The yelling stopped, the woman's face turning from the shore to him. She obviously had been trying to climb out, the ice breaking under her whenever enough of her weight was on it. Quickly, Greg tied the end of the rope through the armhole in the vest. Personally, he preferred the old fashioned U shaped ones, made of cloth, but hoped this Styrofoam vest was good enough. Let it at least be easy to throw. Knott tied, he held it up.
"I'm going to throw this to you! Put it on, if you can, then grab the rope!"
The cry was weak. Not good. He had no idea if he could pull her out, if he'd have the footing to get her out of there. Well, he had to try.
He may hate people, but he didn't wish them dead.
The first toss not just overshot her, but landed six feet to the left. Fuck. Reeling the rope back in, he considered. Really, all that mattered is the rope end up within grasping distance. Jacket recovered, he shifted his aim. It sailed over her head ... the rope landing next to the hole.
"Grab on! I'll take in the slack!"
She was smart. One arm up on the ice, holding herself still, the other went around the rope. Greg quickly reeled in the rope, watching at it slid through the stranger's armpit until the life jacket bumped against her. Giving back a little slack, he watched as she struggled into the jacket.
Quickly, it became obvious this woman wasn't small. There'd be no heaving her up by upper body strength alone. Most of the work would be hers. Greg looked around. Could he use the boat, somehow, to help? He hadn't brought the oars with him, which might have come in handy. Maybe it could help anchor him?
Hoping for the best, Greg ran the end of the rope through one of the openings just inside the stern of the boat. Lying down on the snowy ice, feet planted against the aluminum hull, he turned his head to the woman as again he took up the slack. She was in the jacket, although it wasn't fastened, holding the rope. Waiting for him. Greg gave a quick prayer, then yelled.
"You're gonna have to climb! I'll hold the rope, but it'll have to mostly be you! Just get up on the ice, until it stops breaking!"
With that, he pulled.
God! She was heavy! He wrapped some of the rope around his arm, counting on the thick coat to let him keep some circulation. The boat moved a bit, wanting to straighten the angle the rope was now at, but between the weight of his body and his feet on its side, they stayed mostly in place. He could hear the sound of ice cracking, of water splashing. Head turned, he could see her heaving herself up on the ice, only to have it crack and fall away. She kept trying, though, each effort getting a bit more of her up on the surface. Greg pulled back when he could, taking up any slack, but this was all her.
What if she got to him, but was still in the water?
She was still over two boat lengths away from him when, finally, he saw her entire upper body up on the ice. He pulled harder.
"That's it! Get up there, but stay flat on the ice! You're gonna have to crawl to me!"
A loud cry came back at him, and he saw the dark blue of wet denim. For a moment, she lay still, then begin to struggle along the ice. Letting go of the rope, Greg unentangled himself and got to his feet. He could feel the blood rushing back into his abused limb. There was no time for that, though. He moved away from the boat, not trusting the ice to hold all three of them.
"Over here! That's it! Stay down until you're with me! You're almost there! You'll be safe and inside in no time!"
She moved with agonizing slowness, each moment freezing her body, making survival so much less likely. Finally, he couldn't wait. Greg rushed forward the final five feet, grabbing her under her armpits, drawing the woman up.
"Stand! That's it! Lean on me! We'll go to my house!"
She was shivering uncontrollably, conversation impossible. Greg put one of her arms around him, both of his around her, staggering back towards home. The rope, still tied to the life jacket, dragged behind them. Each step took all his will: not just to move one foot in front of the other, but to pray that the ice supported both of them. Greg was fully aware that prayer was the only thing that could save them.
It took ten minutes. Ten, agonizing minutes, the poor woman getting colder by the second. Half way, he paused, ripping her life jacket off. He didn't know WHY he did it, he just had to get SOME of those wet clothes off her and that's all he could really justify doing out here in the open. Finally, Greg stepped onto his island. Moving quicker, her legs also moving as they sensed the end of the journey, he practically pulled her up the stairs and across the yard. Bursting through the door, the heat hit him like a sauna. Dog whining at his feet, he closed it.
First things first.
Holding the woman up, Greg quickly stripped her. First the coat, which fell to the wooden floor with a splat. Hat, still somewhat dry, came off, freeing her long blond hair. Sweater, shoes, jeans ... she was down to a bra, holding in large breasts, and panties around a rather large waist. Those were wet, so had to go too. The bra fastened in the front, much easier than the last he had dealt with (and the poor woman was putting up much less of a fight). As the wet panties fell around her ankles, Greg had the shaking girl step out of the growing puddle and over to the fireplace. Leaving her, hoping to God she could stay upright, he grabbed the lighter from the mantle and tossed some more logs into the fireplace. He had a cheater installed, a small gas line for quick starts, quickly turning the knob he ignited the small gas jets running along the bottom of the fireplace. He'd turn it off once the wood caught. Turning to the woman...
... he noticed, finally, now that she was nude, that it was one of the two he had sheltered all those months ago.
What the fuck?
"Can you keep standing? Good! Get close to the fire! I'll get towels!"
He was off, not waiting for answers, trying to remember how the hell you dealt with hypothermia. Dry her off, yes, right ... get her warm, naturally ... but, warm the core! Her body, not limbs! Right! So, get something warm into her! Once in the bathroom, he grabbed a handful of clean towels, wondering at this woman who was always showing up in need of towels and cocoa. Back out in the living room, he tossed his load over towards the couch (one made it) as he dashed into the kitchen. Kettle went onto the stove, which was turned on (he almost dashed out again without doing that), then back to the woman, picking up a towel and beginning to rub her shivering body vigorously.
She stood there, letting him do what he wanted with her. Greg ran the towel down her back, kneeling to get her legs. He rubbed as hard as he could, trying to get her circulation going. Her skin was cold, clammy. The towel went over her butt, Greg spreading her ample ass to dry inside. He told himself this was needed. He wasn't taking advantage of her. The proof of this was the fact his manhood was as small as could be. Naturally, part of the reason for this was he was still cold himself, balls not yet daring to come back from their withdrawn hiding place. And, he was just rubbing her with the towel. Not his hands. He thought this even as one hand dropped down to run down her leg, checking to see how it was doing. Her legs, really, despite her weight, were nice, shapely...
He was on his feet, going to her front, drying her large breasts, stomach ... she looked at him, teeth chattering. Her eyes ... they were blue...
"I'm sorry," he said, rubbing the towel against her as hard as he could, "I'm trying the best I can."
She was as dry as he could make her. What now?
Grabbing a new towel, he pulled the throw rug over in front of the fire and pulled the woman (damn, what was her name again?) down a foot from the fireplace.
"Here, wrap this towel around you ... good!" He was interrupted by the whistle of the kettle. Running back to the kitchen, he grabbed the biggest mug he had (a large beer stein, which had been his fathers and now was used for Pepsi) and tossed in a few spoonfuls of chicken bouillon. In went the boiling water, almost to the top. This should warm her up ... Back out, he knelt down next to her, handing over the stein.
"It's hot, drink slowly..."
He helped her raise it, hands so cold under his that he was surprised steam wasn't rising from where they touched. She had the presence of mind to blow on the broth, then took a gulp. Then another. She paused, seeing how it went down, blew on it again and began to drink.
Greg let go, her grip strong enough to do the job, and stood.
There had to be more he could do. A better way to warm her. Something hot he could...
He had been in scouts for a couple years. In middle school, the start of high school. It had been OK. He liked the campouts. Except for one: it had been late fall, cold, and rain had destroyed their camp that night. All the tents had leaked, the boys forced to sleep under the tarp put over the cooking area. Greg, for whatever reason, had started shivering uncontrollably. Even once dry and under blankets. The adults, with no other resource, had told those on either side of him to close in, heating Greg with their bodies...
Greg began stripping. Leon, now thoroughly confused, walked up to the woman and sniffed at her. She ignored him, eyes closed, as if focusing all her strength on the warmth now running down into her. Deciding this was all not worth the effort, the brown dog turned and made his way over to his bed. Settling in, he watched his insane master remover the last of his clothing.
"I'm sorry," Greg said to the woman before him. "You don't know me, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I don't know how else to get you warm." Removing the towel from around her, he slowly sat down behind her. Spreading his legs, he pushed himself forward until his body pressed up against her cold skin."
It was the first thing she'd said, since coming inside. Her legs were crossed in front of her, and he pressing his own against them. His hands went around her, going to her large breasts, rubbing her skin. His genitals, which had been trying to decide if it was warm enough to come back out, ran back into hiding. Her body shook against him.
"Shh ... it's OK ... we have to get you warm..." He moved his rubbing hands down to her tummy, rubbed her legs, then back up.
Her voice was soft, as he remembered, and he also remembered her name. Nelly.
"You're welcome, Nelly." His hands returned to her breasts, rubbing the sides of the large orbs. She said nothing, but he could feel her lean back against him as she took another drink. The fire, now roaring, threw enough heat to cause his face to start sweating even as his chest started to copy her shivering. Closing his eyes, he willed his heat into her...
"I ... I have to go to the bathroom."
She almost whispered it, sounding embarrassed. Greg, wondering how long they'd have to stay like that, couldn't help but chuckle. Removing his hands, once again having wandered up to those now almost room temperature breasts, he pushed himself back on the rug and stiffly climbed to his feet. Stepping around, he held a hand out to her.
For the first time, Nelly saw him nude. Her eyes widened, and if her face wasn't already red from the fire she probably would have blushed. Instinctively glancing down, to see if everything was where it should be, Greg saw he was half hard. Her eyes, though, were on his face. He had no idea what she saw there, but after a sharp intake of breath, her eyes dropped submissively as she took his offered hand and struggled to her feet. She was unsteady, gratefully accepting his help as he offered his body for her to lean on. Slowly he led her to the bathroom. At the doorway, he paused.
"Do you need help in there?"
With a shy smile, she shook her head. He released her, closing the door once she had walked far enough inside.