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The Most Erogenous Zone; Part Seven of Nine

Jon and Julia explore each other, and the ex-husband makes an appearance.

Before we separated we kissed, long and deep, and I could feel the arousal coursing through her without any additional assistance from me. It was entirely natural and home-grown, no mind games… or at least no intentional push from me, as I was doing my best to keep my own raging libido on a tight leash. I recalled, however, that Angie, Brad, and Eva had all been subjected to something from me that had caused them to become aroused when I was making no effort to put that emotion into their heads – indeed, when I had little to no libido myself.

I thought that maybe Julia was getting a little bit of that effect now because I couldn’t imagine that kissing me or seeing me in my birthday suit for the umpteenth time – or even feeling my erection pressing against her, between us - could be driving such a powerful surge of arousal. It would be ego-boosting to think so, but I pride myself on being a realist.

Still, when we broke our kiss and separated, she drew in a deep breath and said, “Wow! You really have a magic touch.”

“Well, you were pressing right up against my magic wand. Maybe that had something to do with it.” I hated not explaining things to Julia and promised myself that I would, soon, knowing that the longer I waited the tougher it would become. Unfortunately, it seemed almost a reflex now to go with diversion rather than discussion, and it worked again.

She laughed as she looked down at my erect cock, which boldly looked right back up at her. “Maybe a cold shower would be a better idea…”

“Not a chance! I’ve waited months for a hot shower and I’m not missing out now just because of a little misdirected blood flow. This too shall pass, as they say.”

“That thing looks fully loaded; it’s not going to go off, is it?”

“Not as long as you don’t squeeze the trigger. Then again, there’s a secondary trigger in my head and you have that one half-squozen most of the time.”

“Squozen? Is that even a word?”

“Freeze-frozen, squeeze-squozen. I can’t believe we’ve got both of us naked and horny, hot water running and about to get all slippery and soapy, and you want to discuss grammar. Although, thinking about it, nothing like an English lesson to kill the mood.”

Julia smiled. “Never mind. It will be easier for me to wash in this condition, all upright and hard, the skin stretched tight. Let’s hit it, shall we?”

“Hit it?”

“The shower, Jon.”

“Oh, of course. I knew that.” She laughed, my clowning around once again rewarding me with that lovely sound.

I let her precede me into the shower stall, admiring her ass and the way her muscles worked so smoothly, like a big cat. She turned and took my arm as I stepped in, helping me to steady myself without my cane. She had raised an interesting question, however. “Uhh, you’re going to wash me?”

“Sure, and you can do me. Wasn’t that the point of this exercise?”

“Well, for me the point was tricking you into getting naked,” I teased, “so I already count this as a win; but yeah, a nice warm shower and washing, shampooing, that’s all good too.” It was, too, the hot water cascading down my back a taste of heaven. I’d known that I missed it, but I hadn’t realized how much. Sponge baths, even when given by someone as sexy as Angie with her talented hands, just don’t compare to a nice hot shower.

Once I got thoroughly wet, all the way around and top to bottom, I switched places with Julia. She stayed close, her hands always on me or hovering close. I was doing pretty good, steadier than I thought I’d be, and when she started washing my back I simply braced both hands on the wall of the shower in front of me and sighed with pleasure.

She worked up a thick lather and used her hands to wash me, not missing an inch. Shoulders, arms, sides, back, she worked from top to bottom, and when she reached my bottom she became mischievous, sliding her soapy fingers down my ass crack and tickling my asshole.

“Whoa, girl! Where ya goin’ there?”

She giggled. “You like that?”

“It’s not unpleasant.”

“How about this?” She pushed the soapy tip of one finger into me, just a tiny bit.

My erect cock strained at the sensations she was creating, and I said, “Mmm…”

She giggled again. “Is that a good ‘mmm’, or a bad ‘mmm’?”

It was definitely working, my arousal flaring, and I could sense, by my new and unique ‘no seat of the pants’ reckoning that she was turning herself on as well. Odd that the only place we were in contact was her finger in my ass and I could read her even through that; I’m sure there was an anal-cranial inversion joke in there somewhere, but I was too aroused to think of it.

I groaned. “Oh, it’s a good ‘mmm’, but it’s also a ‘you’re making it very hard to keep my promise’ ‘mmm’; I’m trying to be on my best behavior, and a finger in the ass is not conducive to that.”

She pushed it in another half inch. “You want me to stop?”

“Oh, god! Yes… I mean no. Fuck, I don’t know!”

She slid her other hand around my hip, cupping my balls for a moment before she wrapped it around my rigid cock. “You’re very hard.”

“Really? Shocking… I wonder why that happened.” I paused, mustered the last shreds of my remaining willpower, and said, “Julia, you don’t have to do this. I mean, I understand if you think things are moving too fast…”

She laughed. “Jon, who stuck whose finger up whose ass? It’s not as if you backed into me and it accidentally lodged there. I did this on purpose because I like you and it’s supposed to feel good, and I want to get back in the game. Slowly, baby steps, like you said, but I do miss it.”

I let the last wisps and tatters of my willpower slip away and surrendered to the pleasurable feeling she was creating in my ass, my genitals, and most of all my mind. “It does feel good, I just always viewed what you’re doing as a more advanced move, not a baby step.” She was slowly sliding her soapy hand up and down on my aching shaft, using an amazing twist move each time she gripped the sensitive head, even as she gradually wriggled her finger more deeply into me.

“I just took advantage of the things I had at hand, Jon; shower, slippery soap, bare ass, big, hard cock. Is it working for you?”

“Very much, as you can tell. Just so you know, I don’t think I’ll last too long if you keep doing that.” I was trying very hard not to allow my arousal to flood into her, and I thought I was succeeding, yet her arousal flowing over me was increasing exponentially in much the same way that Angie’s had when I’d intentionally pushed it along. It was confusing, but with the things she was doing to me – and to my ability to concentrate – it wouldn’t have surprised me if I was losing control.

I gasped, “Fuck, Julia, I’m gonna lose it.” I meant in both ways, my orgasm rushing forward but also my grip on my maelstrom of arousal slipping away, but of course, she had no way to know that part.

“It’s okay, Jon, go ahead and come. I want to see you coming, I love to watch that, so powerful… and I owe you one for the night you were such a gentleman and wouldn’t let me return the favor. Come for me Jon, please?”

She’d moved slightly to my right side so that she could watch herself stroking my cock, and as she told me to come she shoved her finger all the way into me, up to the knuckles and stroked my prostate, and I exploded. As she dropped her other hand to squeeze my ballsack the first spasm launched a sudden jet of semen which splashed white and glistening against the dark gray shower tiles in front of me.

I groaned in ecstasy as the second heavy spurt followed the first, Julia finger-fucking my ass, milking my prostate as she squeezed my balls, my cock leaping as it hosed cum onto the wall. She stared hungrily at my ejaculating cock, releasing my balls to again grip it as she milked several additional spurts of cum out of me. I was moving my hips with each spasm, something entirely involuntary, fucking her fist and clenching my ass tightly on her probing finger with each spurt.

It was intense, almost painfully pleasurable it was so powerful, and I momentarily lost mental control of my abilities, a gush of my arousal escaping me much as my semen did in a sudden, hard spurt, rushing into and flooding her mind. She cried out when the sensation hit her and I felt her wobble as her knees nearly buckled. Hell, if she went down I would too, and somebody was almost sure to break something!

To try to steady us as much as to touch her, I turned slightly, just enough that the final two small spurts of my creamy cum splashed onto her tummy, and I put one arm around her shoulders and thrust the other hand between her legs, cupping her mound, my fingers between her nether lips. I bent and kissed her, my tongue entering her mouth at the same moment my fingers entered her hot, wet sex, and she came.

She shuddered and cried out, her eyes closed and her body grinding against my hand, her hips on autopilot thrusting her hot pussy onto my fingers in the same way that mine had when I’d come, eagerly thrusting into her hand.

She still held my cock, now in an almost painfully tight grip as she came, but I could feel that the sensation of my hard thickness in her hand, still flexing with small pulses of aftershock, was adding fuel to her climax, so I let her hold me and said nothing. I simply held onto her and let her ride it out, my mind, now back under my control, gently pushing only a small flow of arousal into her head to fill out and complete her orgasm.

When I felt it begin to recede from her I let it, and for what seemed like a long time but was probably a minute or less, we just held onto each other, the cascade of warm water over our bodies as sensual as the touch of the other’s skin and the flood of post-sexual endorphins that flowed through our minds. We enjoyed it in silence for a time until she looked up at me and said, “You’re really good at this whole orgasm thing.”

I smiled. “Thanks… wait; do you mean having or giving?”

She chuckled. “I meant giving, but yours was pretty spectacular too; I love watching that, always have, ever since my first time way back in high school.”

I laughed, the irony of that statement from one as young as her striking me as funny. “Yeah, ‘way back in high school’; did you still use animal skins and stone tablets back then because papyrus hadn’t come along yet?”

Giving my cock a squeeze for emphasis, she replied, “Don’t be a smart ass; you know what I mean.”

“I do, yeah. Why do you enjoy it so much?”

“I don’t know… it’s just really cool to watch how it works, the sudden spurts and the way your cock strains and pumps. Like I said, it’s very powerful, and it looks like it must feel really good.”

“It does, trust me – and thanks, I thoroughly enjoyed that.” I made a mental note to share it with her sometime, as I’d apparently done with Angie, to let her sense what it feels like for a man to come – preferably inside of her.

She released my cock, which drooped exhaustedly, semi-flaccid. “I suppose I should take my finger out of your ass too, huh?”

“I suppose. Just remember, the welcome sign is always lit for you.”

She let out a peal of laughter. “That’s good to know, Jon. And likewise for you; you don’t mind just touching for now, not going farther?”


“I know you’d like more.”

“So would you, Julia; the time will come when the time is right, or else it won’t. In the meanwhile, this ain’t exactly chopped liver.”

She laughed again. “You have such a refreshing outlook on things.”

“Well, yeah; I was dead, remember? Pretty much everything after that is an improvement.”

“Mmm, I guess that’s true. Let’s finish up before we run out of hot water, okay?”

So we did, gently washing each other, taking our time and exploring all parts of the other’s body as the blessedly warm flow of water washed our cares away and removed us from the sounds of the world. She was a visual and tactile delight, a feast for the senses, and by the time we turned off the water it was a contest as to who was more aroused, or whether her nipples were harder than my cock.

We retired to my bed for the next couple of hours, the remainder of my therapy session forgotten, and with eyes and nose, ears and fingers and lips we explored some more. I went so far as to suck and lick and gently nip at her nipples, but we didn’t have sex, either oral or intercourse. It was all a matter of skin and touching, tongues tangling, whispered words of passion and tenderness.

She was hot and wet and the feel and scent of her arousal drove me wild, but I funneled that wildness to her, pushing her to one orgasm after another. My fingers teased her clit or pushed into her as I sucked her nipples, at one point my thumb in her pussy and one finger in her tight ass as she clenched on both digits and came.

She wrung two more ejaculations out of me with her nimble, talented fingers, stopping to stare avidly at my spurting, straining cock, the swollen head almost plum-colored with a suffusion of blood as I sprayed glistening white pearls onto her breasts. Sensing that the sight and the sensation of my hot cum on her skin had driven her to the edge of another orgasm I eagerly licked up my spillage, focusing on her slippery nipples as my finger lightly stroked her hard clit, and pushed my pleasure gently into her brain, holding her tightly as she bucked and writhed, crying out as she came in a massive, noisy climax. She insisted on kissing me afterward, sampling a tiny taste of cum from my semen-slick lips.

After that final huge crescendo for each of us, we rested in each other’s arms, dozing briefly until reality reared its ugly head and Julia declared it time for her to leave, still worried about staying too late, about her ex-husband finding out I was more than a patient to her. I insisted on whipping up some sandwiches real quick – BLT’s, about all I had available besides the fixins for PBJs, although, being a gracious host, I did also offer that option.

When she left we kissed, inside the door again to avoid any unwelcome witnesses, and for the first time since her mind had opened to me, I sensed only happiness and joy, all good things, no fear or trepidation, none of her former anxiety about what the morrow might bring. It was an encouraging and gratifying feeling to know that I might have played some small part in her newfound happiness.

As it turned out, it was also woefully premature.



Physically and sexually exhausted, my mind flooded with positive feelings from the way we’d parted, I slept the sleep of the dead. Well, almost; it wasn’t quite as black and timeless as my coma had been, but it was sound and restful and I was deeply into it when the ringing of my cell phone on the nightstand dragged me back to semi-consciousness. It was just getting light outside.

I fumbled for it and managed to hit the right button, and when I brought it to my ear I heard sobbing and a quiet strangled voice. “Corey was here.”

I’d been very foggy, but now I was instantly wide awake. “What? Julia, what?”

“Corey was here.”

“Are you okay, did he hurt you? Have you called the cops?”

“I called them, they’re on the way.”

“Is he gone? Julia, did he hurt you – did he even try to touch you?”

“I… I didn’t see him, but he vandalized my car. He’s not here now.”

“But you’re okay though?”

“I’m okay.”

“Are you sure it was him? It could have been kids…”

“It wasn’t kids. He keyed my car, John; he scratched ‘cunt’ on the trunk lid and ‘whore’ on the hood and left deep scratches down both sides.”

She was undoubtedly right; that didn’t sound like kids. Before I could think of anything to say, she continued, “He also broke off the mirror on the passenger side. The gas door was pried open and the cap is gone. I could smell urine, so I think he probably pissed in my gas tank too.”

“Fucker. What is this asshole, about fourteen years old?”

“I’m sure he’d been drinking; he was always at his worst then.”

“He didn’t hurt you though, didn’t try to break in or anything?”

“No, but he…”

She trailed off, and I ached. I wasn’t touching her, couldn’t sense or read her, but from the agony in her voice, I knew that all the joy and happiness she’d felt the previous evening was gone, obliterated by one cruel, thoughtless, hateful act by a raving lunatic.

I despised him for it. I wanted to hurt him, to kill him; if he’d been in front of me at that moment I would have gunned him down without a second thought, consequences be damned. But she’d been about to tell me something more.

“But what? What did he do, Julia?”

“On my front door, the storm door, on the glass. I think he jerked off on my door; it looks like cum all over it.”

That was disgusting, but also a little frightening. What kind of a maniac stands on a woman’s front porch jerking off just to leave such a gross, disgusting message? Was it a sick sign of dominance, marking his territory? He was clearly unbalanced, whether always or just when drunk, which made him unpredictable and thus all the more dangerous.

“Stay inside until the police get there – and keep your gun by you. I’ll be over as soon as I can get there.”

“He won’t be back today, Jon; he’s undoubtedly either passed out or holed up somewhere nursing a hangover, probably drinking again to get rid of it. I’m going to go out and rinse off my door while I wait for the cops, then call a tow truck.”

“I’ll be right there.” I was already struggling to get into my clothes, my phone, on speaker now, lying on the nightstand. A thought occurred to me. “Julia, wait. Don’t rinse off your door; you have a restraining order, and he stupidly left you an easy DNA sample. An ex-con, he’s in the system. Be sure the police take that as evidence.”

“Oh. Yes, of course. I’m not thinking real clearly right now.”

“It’s okay, understandable; I’ll be there in a few. Stay safe.”

When I arrived, the police were already there. They’d looked at her copy of the restraining order and called a forensics team to gather evidence, an unusual step for a property crime, but they had a healthy prejudice against domestic violence and crimes of passion. I was carrying, so I made sure they were aware of that fact, and that I had a permit, and after they were gone and her car had been towed I took her to breakfast, then to the gun store for several boxes of ammunition and then out to the range.

It was partly for me, to work off some rust and see how my damaged and now-repaired arms and hand coped with the stress and impact of recoil and the weight of the weapon, but mostly so that I could see how she did, to reassure myself that she could defend herself. She utterly blew me away on that score, placing very tight, effective groupings out to fifteen yards; virtually any self-defense scenario will take place at far closer quarters than that.

She was crisp and clean on accessing her weapon from the belly holster and fired rapid two and three shot sequences very accurately. She ran about a hundred rounds through her gun as I did the same with mine, then broke it down for cleaning as I shot another hundred, continuing until fatigue and pain reduced my effectiveness. I was adequate; she was very good. I felt better for having done it, reassured, and I think she did too, and I made sure we each had a full box of fifty self-defense rounds – hollow points, in the vernacular.

She seemed to have cheered up some as we talked over lunch at the local Applebee’s, and afterward, I took her to a place to rent a car for a couple weeks. I was walking mostly unassisted by then, although I still used the cane if I was sore or tired and my knee remained weak. I had a pronounced limp that I was striving to overcome, which was also tiring, so after she secured a rental we took a little walk in a park to work on that before she had to see a patient at 2:30.

When I got home I found that my mailbox was once again demolished and my front yard scored with deep tire tracks; it had undoubtedly been that way in the morning when I’d left, because someone would have seen him if he’d done it in daylight, but I’d been so focused on getting to Julia that I hadn’t even noticed. That answered the question of who’d done it the first time; what he lacked in originality or creativity he more than made up in anger and general assholery, and the police agreed, referencing my damage to Julia’s to tie the three cases together.

For the next couple of weeks, there was no sign of him. The cops had contacted his parole officer, who claimed that her ex had reported in as required in his home city almost 300 miles away, yet the DNA test on what did turn out to be semen proved it had been him. That would have been enough for an arrest if only they could lay hands on him.

We remained on high alert for him, both of us armed anytime and anyplace we could be. We slowly learned more about each other and grew closer; if anything, the threat posed by Corey, her violent alcoholic ex-husband, pushed us closer together as we shared that common menace. If he’d thought that his juvenile attacks would drive me away, he’d badly miscalculated.

It was during this time that my twin sister, Ella, came back to visit. We’d spoken often, Skyped a few times, but hadn’t seen each other in person since she’d come to say goodbye when everyone had been so sure I was dying. I credit her presence then, in large part, for my survival; it had been my sense of her suffering, her agony over my pending death that had penetrated my mind and pulled me back to the surface to comfort her.

Had she not been there, holding my hand as she wept, I believe that I would have continued down the road into whatever eternity awaited. There’s no way to know that for certain, of course, but that’s my belief.

In any event, it was amazing to see her again and I appreciated her coming, her help around the place with things that were still difficult for me, but things that I had no right to saddle Julia with. Saddling my own sister with some of the unpleasant household chores… well, that’s what family is for, and I knew she’d do the same for me!

I was thrilled when Ella and Julia seemed to hit it off almost immediately, but I suppose there shouldn’t have been any question; for reasons unknown, Julia seemed to care for me, and Ella was just a distaff version of me. Smarter, no doubt, unquestionably better looking and more gracious, but personality-wise, our likes and dislikes, food and drink we favored, the things we found sad, exciting, or humorous, we were the same person.

Partly nature – we were twins (although obviously not identical twins) and shared a lot of our genetic makeup, and partly nurture, the result of being raised together by the same parents with the same values and habits, we were flip sides of the same coin, the biggest difference being our plumbing. Whatever it was, Julia and Ella became very close, very quickly. I found that very encouraging and knew that Ella would be good for her.

The thing that didn’t pan out was my idea that Ella could help me sort through my newfound skill, the sense of empathy or whatever it was that allowed me to ‘read’ people. That was a fiasco. With time alone together, I tried to explain it to her.

First, she thought I was lying or yanking her chain. Then, when I convinced her I was serious, she couldn’t grasp that I wasn’t reading minds or thoughts, just emotions and feelings, and sometimes certain sensations.

Trying to prove it, well… Imagine the following scenario:

Me: “Really, Ella; when I touch you, I can read your feelings and emotions.”

Ella: “Okay, what am I feeling right now?”

Me: “Doubtful, incredulous, slightly amused.”

Ella: “Well of course I am! That was too easy, try another one.”

Me: “Okay, try to think of something really sad or tragic.”

Ella: “Hmm… let’s see. Okay, go ahead, what am I feeling?”

Me: “You’re very sad, very down.”

Ella: “Well, duh! You just told me to think of something sad, so that was a gimme! Try another one.”

Me: “Ella, this will never work if I’m telling you how to feel. Jeez.”

Ella: “Then how are you going to prove it?”

Me: “I have no idea. Forget it, okay?”

Shortly after that conversation, however, I did have an idea. I remembered the intense arousal that I’d somehow put into the heads of others and put my arm around her, focusing my mind on erotic thoughts for just a few moments before gently nudging some of what I was feeling into her mind. Then I waited; not long, maybe five minutes later, I put my hand on hers.

“Wow, girl! You are totally turned on! Where did that come from?”

She went crimson. “Jon! Don’t say things like that!”

“Oh, just admit it; you’re as horny as a billy goat, aren’t you?”

Still blushing – and not meeting my eyes, she nodded. “Yes, excruciatingly so.” Suddenly she looked at me, her eyes widening. “Did you do that?”

I laughed. “Sort of – mostly I just cranked up what was already there, threw a little fuel on your fire. More importantly, when I touched you just now it was totally apparent to me that you’re lit up like a Christmas tree. I read you, Ella.”

She was convinced, just like that. “Wow. That’s absolutely amazing, but also really cruel. What am I supposed to do now, all worked up and no place to go?”

“Hmmm. I might be able to take care of that for you too.”


“No, no, not like that! Well, maybe like that; there’s an outside chance I could give you an orgasm just by holding your hands and thinking about it, without really touching you otherwise.”


“Maybe. I’ve never actually tested that theory.”

She giggled, the effects of her arousal readily apparent in her dilated pupils and the flush on her face and neck. “That would be weird, wouldn’t it? Between us, I mean?”

“Yeah, pretty weird, Sis, but in the name of science…” She laughed again, more than a trace of nervousness in it, and I went on, “What I actually meant was that since I put the seed of arousal in your head, maybe I can take it away too – or at least make it bearable. Should we try?”

“Okay, I guess. What do I have to lose?”

“If it was anyone but me, I’d say your privacy. But between us… well, you know.”

She smiled reassuringly as I took her hands in mine and was almost instantly overwhelmed by the arousal seething in her head and through her body. I may have sparked it, but it was immediately apparent that her mind had grabbed the thought and run with it, and that now she was a churning mass of hot, horny, needy woman. My sister! Who knew? Despite myself, I was getting hard.

“Wow again. Holy crap, Ella, you are one hot, steamed-up, horny girl, aren’t you?”

“Jon, stop it!”

I laughed. “Okay, just teasing. Try to relax, to open your mind. Think of calm, peaceful things.” I did the same, focusing my mind on serenity and calm, on any tranquil, placid, non-sexual thing I could conjure up. At first, I didn’t think it was going to work, but ever so slowly I felt the intensity of her arousal lessening. In tiny increments, bit by bit, her mind quit roiling with sensuality and began to calm.

More than once during the minutes that I held her hands I thought that maybe it would have been less intimate to simply have had sex with her, to satisfy both of us in the good old-fashioned and very forbidden carnal way, whether with fingers, lips and tongue, or with the standard Tab A in Slot B method. Anything would have involved less pure intimacy than the time our minds spent together, arousal and sexuality bubbling between us; intimacy of the body passes, but I knew we’d both always remember every detail of what our minds had shared.

She sensed it too, and at one point I saw her staring down at my crotch, where my erection was outlined in considerable detail against my cotton workout shorts, the long ridge of my hard shaft and rounded bulge of its head pressed to my right thigh. Her sudden unsolicited and illicit burst of sexual excitement as she stared at my cock was almost our undoing, but I somehow held fast as I continued to push the arousal from her mind.

When things had quelled enough to release her hands, both of us were shaken and sweating, but considerably less aroused – although we both knew that it could blow up again in an instant.

I smiled at her, noting her wet hair sticking to her sweaty forehead. “Feel better?”

“Phew!” She laughed. “Yes, better, but not as good as I could have. I totally believe you now, by the way.”

“Good. Is this where I can say I told you so?”

“If you do, I’m going to point out that you need to go change your pants.”

I glanced down; I had a half-dollar sized wet spot where I’d leaked, my cock oozing pre-cum due to my extreme arousal. “Whoops! Well, that’s embarrassing. With my amazing psychic powers, however, I can tell that your panties are even worse.”

“Jon! God, you’re just awful! You’re also right. What do you say we go change anything that needs changing, get cleaned up a little, and I take you out to dinner?”

“It’s a deal, except I’m buying. You can drive, though.”

“Are you going to ask Julia to join us?”

I shrugged. “Sure, I’ll call and ask, but I think she has a self-defense class tonight.”

I was right, she did, so Ella and I went alone. We’ve always been extremely close – perhaps sharing a womb makes that inevitable – and we laughed and enjoyed dinner and simply being together. Our afternoon of arousal and intimacy had not left us uncomfortable after the fact any more than our brief exploration of each other at age sixteen had, but that had been a simple, reasonably innocent you-show-me-yours-and-I’ll-show-you-mine moment, each of us satisfying our own and each other’s curiosity.

Back then we’d looked and asked questions and enjoyed seeing what the other looked like, aroused and otherwise, but had never been intimate; we’d barely touched, mostly looked, and moved on. This time we’d been in each other’s minds, extraordinarily intimate, and while it had been briefly awkward it had, if anything, brought us closer together.

Over dinner she told me again how much she loved Julia, teasingly pointing out that I was punching way above my weight class, which I readily acknowledged. She was happy for me, as was I, and I was happy to share that with her.

On the way home my phone rang, and I smiled when I saw that it was Julia, planning to ask her to come over for a while. My smile disappeared as soon as she spoke, however, and my gut clenched. I could hear the tension in her voice when she said, “Jon, hi. Corey showed up tonight.”

“Corey? Fuck, and I wasn’t there! Are you okay? What did he do?” Ella, driving, was giving me worried sidelong glances.

“I’m fine, Jon.” She barked a short, edgy laugh. “What kind of a moron shows up and accosts his ex-wife, starts screaming at her as she’s walking out of a self-defense class with ten other pissed off and well-armed women?”

I laughed, amazed at her steely humor. “Yeah, bad strategy, I would think. Was he drunk?”

“He’d been drinking but wasn’t drunk. He was alert enough to back off when several of us draw down on him. If he’d been drunk, his rage would have been out of control; a half-dozen guns pointing at him wouldn’t have stopped him and he’d be dead now. Might have been better.”

“Maybe. Is he gone?”

“Oh yeah, he’s gone. We held him at gunpoint until the police came, so about now he should be in jail; one of the cops, a Sargent, said that with my restraining order, his earlier vandalism of my car, and his record, he’d probably get some jail time.”

“Oh darn, huh? A long time, I hope.”

“Probably not over thirty days or so, but yeah, I hope too.”

“Come over to the house, Julia – or do you want us to come to your place?”

“I’ll come to yours if it’s okay.”

“Of course it’s okay!” I glanced at Ella, who was nodding an emphatic yes. “Ella insists, as a matter of fact.”

“I’ll be there in about ten minutes.”

“We’ll barely beat you; we’re on our way there now, coming back from dinner.”

We stayed up late into the night, all three of us talking and sharing, giving Julia a chance and a friendly audience to blow off some of the adrenalin that had undoubtedly flooded her system when she’d been confronted by her ex. I ached over not being there to protect her, but the truth was that I couldn’t have handled it any better than she and her friends had.

We split a bottle of merlot, and then a second one as she told us the tale, one moment tense and horrified for her, the next laughing at the idiot’s reaction when he’d found all those gun barrels pointed at him.

Ella wisely led the conversation off into a bunch of “dumb Jon” stories, regaling Julia with various tales of my foibles and failures growing up and making her laugh, taking her mind off the close call. This, of course, reminded Julia of my mistake regarding her asking me if I was Jewish, and me mistakenly assuming that my circumcised penis prompted the question rather than my six-pointed, star-shaped scars.

Ella laughed until tears ran and demanded to see the scars – the lightning burn scars, not the circumcision scar. Between them, they christened my twin scars “Scars of David” rather than “Stars of David”, which I thought was actually quite clever for a couple of drunks. The laughter was cathartic.

We could laugh now only because he’d been foolish and hadn’t caught her alone, ending up humiliated in front of a group of women and ultimately arrested, but I shuddered at the thought of what might have happened if he’d caught her alone and off-guard. Now, though, with him in jail and no worry of being followed or spied on, Julia stayed the night with me.

I held her and we talked, and we eventually made love in our way, with fingers and hands and limited use of lips and tongue; she still wasn’t ready for more, and I was okay with that because I knew that when she was, I would know. She came thunderously as I touched her body and her mind, the stress and anxiety of the evening leaving her in a lust and merlot-fueled burst of nervous energy into sheer ecstasy, and I came simultaneously, the intense pleasure in her mind driving mine.

She slept after that, and I held her, lying awake and listening to her breathe and knowing that I loved her, even if we hadn’t yet said the words. Some time later I heard Ella and knew she was masturbating – with a humming vibrator - probably fueled by her earlier arousal and hearing Julia and I making love; perversely, hearing her gave me a rigid, throbbingly renewed erection and a fresh dose of arousal, and when she finished in a moaning, bed-thumping orgasm I woke up Julia for another round.

If my life was some wild, crazy erotic story, that would have gotten Ella started again and we all would have ended up in the same bed in a no-holes-barred orgy, a free-for-all of sex and cum and wet, slippery, panting, thrusting, humping bodies, but, alas, when Julia and I had once again spent ourselves we fell sound asleep and didn’t wake up until after daylight, whereupon she had to get cleaned up and go to work. Still, it had been a very long time since I had felt this happy.





Ella left three days later for home, the same day that Julia heard from the DA that Corey would indeed get jail time – sixty days rather than a mere thirty – for twice violating the restraining order. He was also ordered to pay for the repairs to her car, but as we had no proof that he’d twice trashed my mailbox he got off free on that. It wasn’t punishment enough, in my opinion, but it was some breathing room. She got her car back from the shop, all traces of his vandalism gone, and I once again got a new mailbox and had my lawn patched up.

As the warm days of summer began to fade into fall, I felt myself getting antsy from my long, injury-enforced period of inactivity. I was getting around okay now, if not great, but I was accustomed to hard labor on the job and hard play off it, so this period of being coddled was chafing badly. I hadn’t gone an entire summer without backpacking in the Rockies since I was eleven, and this summer I hadn’t even gone fishing or taken a hike.

Julia, more relaxed with her ex in jail, spent more time with me. We took advantage of it for a few additional nights together, some at her place and some at mine, and over breakfast one morning on one of her days off she called me on my grumpiness.

“What’s eating you, Jon? Are you upset because I’m not ready yet to take full advantage of your amazing, sexy body?”

She made me smile. “Sorry. And no, I’m fine with that, really – plus, I’m enjoying the hell out of your truly amazing body just the way we are, and grateful you’re tolerating this train wreck I call a body. When you’re ready I will be too, but until then we’re good. Honest.”

“What is it then? You act like you’re all out of sorts.”

“I am, and I know I’m being a butt; I think it’s just all this enforced inactivity. I mean, we do therapy and walk, and I have exercises, but I want to get out and about. I’m not used to being so house-bound. I haven’t even been in the mountains all summer, which never happens. Let’s go for a hike.”

She frowned. “A hike? In the mountains?”

“Sure, why not? I’ll wear my brace, I have a good walking stick and we can take a crutch along just in case…”

“Steep upgrades and downgrades and rocks and loose gravel? I don’t know, you could twist your knee, put a foot wrong…”

“Oh, come on! I’ve hiked and backpacked my whole life, plus you’ll be there to protect me. It will be fine.”

She caved. “I guess we could try it, as long as we don’t do anything too strenuous; the biggest risk is the muscles getting fatigued, so you lose stability.”

“Great! I know some trails that aren’t too bad, and when I start feeling tired we can turn around and go back.”

She laughed. “The flaw in that plan is that we’ll need to turn around when you’re only half-way to being tired, not when you tire out; how are you going to manage that?”

“Damn, I didn’t know you were that good at math. We’ll figure something out. C’mon, let’s go!”

We threw together some water bottles, a few snacks and some basic gear – jackets, matches, a small first aid kit – into a daypack I had and were on the road within the half-hour, boots and larger gear like the crutch and walking stick in the bed of my truck. I wanted to go way up into the hills, necessitating a ninety-minute drive, but I knew a trail that would be pretty in the fall and yet was not too high a degree of difficulty.

It was a beautiful day, crisp and clear, the sky a shade of blue you only see from a high elevation on an autumn day, and the aspen leaves, just beginning to turn gold, were the perfect complement. Leaving the truck behind with the few other cars in the lot I could feel my heart soaring as I breathed the clean, dry air at the trailhead. I knew I’d been missing it, but only then realized how much.

The first quarter mile or so of the trail went downhill steeply to reach the main trail, which paralleled the creek in the valley, then uphill more gradually, following the creek upstream. Spring Creek, the stream in question, was usually low, slow, and clear in the fall, the spring snowmelt only a memory, but even before we got to it I could hear it roaring and crashing over the rocks.

Sure enough, when we came out of the trees and bushes it was high, fast, and roiling, crashing over rocks and boulders in a series of whitewater rapids and minor waterfalls. The steep downhill had been tough on my knee – uphill would turn out to be easier - so we stopped to rest at creekside, admiring its unexpectedly wild, violent beauty and listening to its exuberant melody.

I shook my head. “That’s weird. We haven’t had a lot of late season rain or anything; why is this sucker so high?”

Julia shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s not usually, huh?”

“Not this time of year, no. This looks more like the spring runoff, but there’s almost no snow left in the high country now.”

“Is the trail still going to be open?”

“Should be, yeah. The water may be lapping at it in a few places, but it’s usually okay in the spring, just wet.” We started up the trail, enjoying the roar of the stream and the coolness of the valley. Perhaps fifteen minutes up the trail we met three younger people headed downstream, two guys and a girl.

When I mentioned our surprise at how high the creek was, one of the guys laughed. “Yeah, it is weird for fall, huh? They’re going to do some repairs on the dam on Gainor Lake before the weather is too cold or the snow piles up, so they’re releasing extra water to lower the lake level, drawing it down. It’s been like this for several days now.”

Of course; I vaguely remembered reading something about that, the Corps of Engineers doing some dam work in the area. I knew that Spring Creek flowed out of Gainor Lake above this valley, I just hadn’t put it together.

The young girl said, “It’s really cold too – your legs will go numb in seconds if you have to do any wading. It draws off the bottom of the lake, which is really deep, so it’s only maybe forty degrees. Brrr!”

Julia laughed. “Well, we’re not planning on doing any swimming if we can help it!”

We parted company, continuing up the trail as they went down. It felt so good to be outdoors – and especially outdoors with Julia – that I was nearly euphoric, the pleasure endorphins silencing any complaints from my leg. We took it easy, more strolling than hiking, although the trail had enough gradient and enough obstacles like loose or uneven surfaces to provide a good workout.

We’d hiked a reasonable distance, perhaps a mile or so and Julia had begun to question if it was time to turn around. Good instincts on her part; when I hike I tend to push on and on, always needing to know what’s over the next rise or around the next bend of the trail, and despite my knee, which was beginning to ache, I’d been doing the same thing.

We sat down on a rock overlooking the water to discuss it, passing a water bottle back and forth and eating some of our snacks for energy. Moments before we saw him, we heard the heavy sound of someone running down the trail; within seconds we saw a slender guy of about twenty, and when he saw us he skidded to a halt, breathing heavily.

Foregoing introductions, he gasped out, “Cell phone – does either of you have a phone with a signal?”

We both had phones and dug them out of our pockets. Julia’s had no signal at all, while I had a very weak one, a couple of short bars. As I handed it to him he said, “A girl fell in the river, got dragged under a waterfall. We got her out, but I think she’s dead, drowned. I’m going to try to call paramedics.”

Julia asked, “Was anyone doing CPR?”

He was dialing 911 on my phone as he answered. “One guy; he was the only one that knew how. Fuck, I don’t think this is going through…”

Julia grabbed his arm to get his attention. “How much farther – where are they?”

“Not far, couple hundred yards, maybe. Damn it!” His exasperation with the weak signal was apparent.

I told him, “Keep it, try to get a better signal – run to the trailhead if you need to, it’s higher and closer to the highway. If you get through, stay there and meet them, bring them back here. The charcoal Ford pickup is mine, just leave the phone in the back.”

He took off down the trail, one eye on the signal strength as he ran, while Julia and I hurried up the trail to see if we could help. She outdistanced me easily and by the time I reached the small group of people clustered together between the trail and the river bank she was already taking over, her medical training kicking in.

There was a girl of eighteen or twenty standing over two people on the ground. A male of about the same age was on his knees doing chest compressions on a prone female, a slightly younger teen whose saturated clothes, wet, stringy hair, blue lips, and ghostly pallor pretty much told the story. Just behind them were an extremely distraught young man, a year or two younger than the victim, and another girl about the victim’s age who was trying to reassure him.

Everyone was understandably tense and rattled by the circumstances; Julia and I had the advantage of knowing a little bit about it before we came upon the scene and that, coupled with our age, life experiences, and the fact that we had no close ties to anyone in the group is probably what allowed us to remain calmer. We started asking questions, addressing most of them to the somewhat older woman, perhaps the girlfriend or wife of the guy performing CPR.

Julia asked her, “How long has he been doing CPR?”

The girl shrugged. “I don’t know… a few minutes. Less than five, maybe? Could have been a little longer.”

The guy was obviously tiring. Performing CPR is hard work, even just a few minutes of it an exhausting task, and his face was flushed and dripping sweat. His pace, ideally around a hundred compressions per minute or a little higher, was starting to falter, indicating that maybe it had been longer than they thought. Time is very important in a situation like that, but it becomes irrelevant to those involved.

I asked, “How long was she in the water?”

The woman hesitated, apparently unsure, but the younger distraught kid, still crying, answered. “We were trying to cross the stream on the rocks, but Sara slipped and fell in and the current took her. She got swept over that waterfall…” He pointed upstream to where a small cataract, perhaps only four or five feet tall, swept over a flat rock into a churning pool just below. It wasn’t a long fall, but with the high water levels, there were literally tons of water per minute pouring into the roiling pool. The white churn, eddies, and small whirlpools it spun off were indicative of very powerful hydraulic forces.

He went on, difficult to understand through his tears, “She didn’t come up… God, she didn’t come up, I think it held her down, the water…. Sara’s a good swimmer, why didn’t she get out?”

I stepped to him and grabbed his arm, and was instantly battered by his pain and suffering, his horror and grief. It was more akin to what I’d felt from Ella when I first came out of my coma than anything else I’d felt since, a powerful sense of loss and grieving. I tried my best to push comfort and reassurance, but I wasn’t at all sure that there was anything to reassure him about.

“Son, we’re going to do whatever we can. What’s your name?”

“Mark… I’m Mark. Is she gonna be okay?”

“Is Sara your girlfriend, Mark?”

“My sister… she’s my sister. Is she going to be okay? I should have saved her, it’s my fault, all my fault…”

“It’s not, Mark, it was an accident. Listen, this is important; how long was Sara in the water, or under it? Do you know?” I found myself relating very closely to how he felt about his sister, my thoughts on Ella and how I might feel in his shoes.

“I… I don’t know. Too long. Too long. It seemed like forever.” A minute could feel like forever in a situation like that, knowing a loved one was possibly dying. I realized we weren’t likely to ever have any answers; nobody had been timing anything, of course, but I’d been looking for a ballpark number.

While I quizzed him, Julia had dropped to her knees next to the drowned girl. She told the guy to quit compressions for a minute as she felt for a carotid pulse just under the girl’s jawline at the side of her neck. She shook her head no before moving in to take over the chest compressions, instructing the guy to give the young girl a breath. While not considered as important in the CPR protocol as it once was, the respiration aspect becomes more important if the CPR goes on for more than a few minutes. I watched her chest rise as he inflated her lungs with new air, a fresh supply of oxygen.

I lowered myself to the ground alongside them. Unable to kneel on my gimpy right knee, I kneeled on my left then lowered myself to my ass and hip alongside the girl. She looked so small and delicate and so very pale, dark wisps of wet hair across a porcelain white face, her eyelids and lips still appearing blue.

I glanced at Julia, seeing the determination on her face, in her eyes and the set of her jaw. When she glanced at me, I softly said, “Bee Gees?”, earning a grim, tiny smile in return; a hint people learn for administering CPR is that the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive” is a good rhythm to keep playing in your head while performing chest compressions, that the tune, at its proper tempo, is very near one hundred beats per minute. Julia was keeping that tempo, and the strain and effort of a hard, two-fisted thrust almost twice per second already had her sweating and flushed despite her toned, hard fitness level.

A short time later, Julia paused again for a moment to feel for a pulse. Getting nothing, she swore and resumed compressions. She looked at me. “Give her a breath, Jon.”

I leaned in to do so, reaching out to open her mouth with one hand and pinch her nostrils closed with the other. The moment I touched her face it felt like someone had smacked me in the head with a two-by-four at the same instant a prizefighter punched me in the gut. It was all there still, in her head and now hammering into mine, every moment of her ordeal in horrifying clarity, in a split-second yet somehow slow-motion instant replay.

In a tiny fraction of a second, I felt her surprise as her foot slid on the wet rocks, her shock and dismay as she tumbled into the icy, fast-moving water, her mounting panic as she felt its strength and power. I gasped at the sense of confusion and disorientation as it tumbled her downstream, her efforts to fight, to swim, all for naught, and her sense of falling, vertigo as the stream swept her over the low ledge.

I felt her growing terror as the water pressed her inexorably downward onto the rocks of the streambed, holding her in its grip, pinning her, the desperation as she held that last breath, held it, held it, her lungs burning, on fire, mounting terror in the knowledge of what releasing that breath meant, straining to survive, knowing that with that breath, when it left her, carried with it her only chance of survival.

God, how she tried, my God! Her lungs screaming, pain and horror unlike anything she'd experienced in her young life, and then just too much, a physical impossibility, her body needing to try to gasp in oxygen but finding only water, cold, churning water after that last breath burst from her lungs, choking, gagging, a silent, watery scream. Surrender came then, resignation, sadness, the anguish of knowing that she’d never see her family again, her loved ones, a shockingly deep, profound desolation, and then the darkness that held her now.

All of that, her entire terrifying experience hammered into my mind in a fraction of a second, the way emotions do as tiny sparks fly across neurons at the speed of thought, and I groaned at the power of the blow. I think I paused for less than a second, frozen by what I felt, but it was long enough that Julia prompted me.

“Jon, a breath, please.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I got it.”

As I bent to place my lips over hers, Julia said, “Are you all right? You’re as pale as she is.”

“Fuck. Yeah, I’m okay. Don’t stop, Julia; she’s still in there. The kid is still in there, Sara. Please don’t quit on her.”

She looked at me strangely but nodded. “I won’t, don’t worry. A breath now, please.”

As I placed my lips over hers, feeling the hard coldness of her wet skin, I gathered everything I had to offer her, to reach out to her, to try to find and comfort her, and I pushed it all into her mind even as my lungs pushed air into hers. The only thing I felt in return at that moment was a sense of wonder in the darkness of her mind as she suddenly smelled the sweet scent of lilacs.



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