An accidental meeting.
This story becomes very warm and gets out-of-control quickly, so be warned.
Barbara and Steve met each other by accident.
She arrived at the lake after riding up from the plateau below. Her shirt was wet, down her back, from the heat, despite her lack of exertion on the back of a horse.
It was a super-hot day, and she desperately needed to cool down in the lake water. She often came up here, usually about two or three times a month, all through summer.
There was no one around to see her. It was always that way, being too far off the beaten track.
She left her horse in the shade of the trees; loosening the girth, after letting the mare drink from the stream that fed into the lake, rather than from the lake water.
It was called, 'Square Lake', but it did not seem to be square shaped, except on a map.
It was spring-fed during summer, as well as snow-melt fed, in Spring.
Insects were in full voice, rubbing their back legs together, or doing something with their wings or wing cases, announcing that it was just about hot enough for them, so get used to it.
There were the odd signs of rare campers or hunters having been there in the blackened ashes of old campfires in a fire pit surrounding by large rocks on the beach. Perhaps even of lovers wanting isolation, away from town. But she’d never seen anyone here; no one.
Fortunately, there were no biting insects up here at this time of day.
She walked out to the small jetty that someone had decided to build for whatever reason, miles from anywhere. The nearest road was about five miles away over very tough ground. It had been rough-built, and was easily hauled out of the water to survive the winter ice and the spring flooding.
There were usually a few good fish; trout, in the spring, but not now with the water being so warm. They had gone farther up into the colder water, or were deep in the lake.
There was no one else around. She’d looked carefully as she’d approached. If she’d seen anyone, she would have melted away just as silently as she’d come.
She stripped down to her underwear, but took her bra off, leaving herself covered by a thin vest (it had been cool when she’d set out), almost falling over into the sand as she undressed, and slowly waded out into the deepening water along the edge of the jetty.
It was not as cold as she’d expected, but it was August, and the water level was low, with very little inflow so, of course, it would be warm.
She was a girl, almost a proper woman, maybe fifteen or sixteen, of medium height, developing as a girl that age usually did. She was shy about the changes in her body, and sensitive about it. She avoided others, and kept away from boys.
She struck out and swam, but not too far.
It was never wise to swim alone.
But she was not alone.
She saw a small pile of clothes on the very end of the jetty, and ripples in the water on the other side of it. She’d missed seeing those clothes or she wouldn’t have got in.
She was afraid, looking around, startled for a moment.
Then she saw someone even younger than her, a boy, swimming.
A mere, boy!
There was no one else to be seen. He was alone. Her heart began to settle down. She didn’t have to make a run for it and ride away as though she was being chased by a forest fire.
He was equally surprised to see her. She’d taken him off guard too. Two exceedingly shy people who had bumped into each other.
They were both hidden by the water, but that pile of clothes looked to be everything of his.
He was swimming in the raw. She was too lightly dressed herself, and would never dare to get out with him watching.
It was an impasse.
However, she didn’t feel threatened. Besides, he was shy, even more shy than she was, if that were possible, not expecting to see anyone else up here.
Nonetheless, she was defensive.
“Who are you? How did you get up here?”
In her momentary fear, she sounded as if this lake was personally hers, and he was trespassing and shouldn’t be here, but she didn’t know if the lake was on her father’s property or not.
She couldn’t tell him that he should leave. He looked almost laughably scared for a few moments until he realized that there was only one of her, and not a party of girls to destroy his peace and torment him... gaining strength in their numbers... or to sit on his clothes until he got out.
He soon recovered. He didn’t seem to take offense at her questions.
He had a nice voice. Not that of a child, but of someone who had gone beyond puberty, like her, and he spoke intelligently. At least he could talk, over his other feelings, so he wasn’t too put off by seeing her.
“I come here most days until school begins. This is the time when it’s most pleasant here, mid-afternoon. I often swim up here.” Was he laying claim to the lake?
He was able to express himself reasonably, without resentment at her questions, and he wasn’t so much shy, as wary, though she could be wrong.
She ducked her head under the water to wet her hair; something she rarely did as she looked over to him underwater through its crystal clarity. She was not sure why she did that, but she’d begun to feel rebellious, wanting to check him out in a personal way.
She had to get rid of this crippling shyness about boys.