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Since this was a contest story I didn’t originally plan to write more, but response was so overwhelmingly positive I decided to add more content after all. I think this next chapter came out very well, and I hope everyone enjoys more of David and Roxy’s story. Thank you for the all the great comments on my last installment!
If there was one thing that Roxy Doyle would have wanted to see improved in her current residence; a bigger bathroom would have been right near the top of the list. The existing cramped space tended to fill with steam when she showered, and despite her best efforts to organize it, there still wasn’t enough cabinet space for all her beauty supplies.
She stood in front of the mirror using one hand to wipe away the fog with a towel, revealing her face in the glass.
It was an attractive face, or so many men had told her throughout her life. Roxy herself was rather indifferent to it by this point having accrued quite a few years staring at her own visage. At least she had been, recent events had made her more aware of her looks. She squinted at her reflection, thinking that she could see more wrinkles around her eyes than had been there the previous week. The fact that she was about to celebrate her thirtieth birthday probably had something to do with her newfound insecurity, but an even more significant reason was her boyfriend.
Ten weeks earlier, Roxy had met David, a young man just out of high school who had come to work for her as a summer hire. The last thing she had ever imagined was that she would fall for him. The very idea had seemed ridiculous at first. He was eleven years her junior, inexperienced and a little bumbling right out of the gate. She had initially felt exasperation at his sarcasm and seeming lack of focus on his work, but over time she had discovered there was much more to this kid than she had first thought. He learned quickly, never made the same mistake twice, and proved to be a conscientious worker with excellent attention to detail.
The more time she spent around him, the more she found to like about him. He was kind and thoughtful, brave, and selfless. There was a maturity in him that mixed with his youthful innocence and dry wit attracted her in a way that no man had in a long time. She tried to resist her feelings. A task made much more difficult by the fact that David was also a very handsome young man with a body that was far more mature than its owners face. Given their age difference, and her relationship baggage that included a seven-year-old daughter, it seemed far more sensible to be his boss and keep a discreet distance.
When she had failed at that, she had tried to settle on being his friend.
In the end, she had failed at that as well.
David broke through the thick walls of indifference she had built up by doing no more than being himself, and that was both exciting and frightening to her. It forced Roxy to open herself to the kind of pain she had turned her back on, and to admit that she didn’t have to be alone. For a woman that had forged her personality around fierce independence, this kind of vulnerability made her nervous. Add to this the fact that their May/December relationship was unconventional, to say the least, and you had a recipe for some sleepless nights.
Then there were the wrinkles.
A banging on her bathroom door jerked Roxy away from the minute inspection of her face.
“What?” she snapped, opening the door enough to reveal the kindly old face of her neighbor, Mrs. Foster.
“I just wanted to let you know that David will be here soon. What’s taking so long?”
“I know what time it is, Mrs. Foster. I was just counting my wrinkles.”
“Wrinkles? You’re about to turn thirty, Roxy, not seventy. You want to see wrinkles? Take a look at my face, Sweetie.”
“It’s not your face that David has to look at all the time.”
“Feeling a little insecure today, are we?”
“No…Yes…Shit! I don’t know!” said Roxy loudly as she struggled to put on her makeup, “this is what I get for dating a younger guy.”
“You wouldn’t give him up for the world, though, would you? I’ve never seen you so happy as you’ve been since David came into your life.”
Roxy made a face in the mirror, she hated to give her nosey neighbor the satisfaction by admitting it, but she was right. David had swept into her orderly life and turned it all upside down but in a good way. He was proving to be a something she hadn’t believed existed, a man she could count on.
If he had just been a little older…
“David is a great guy. There. I said it out loud. Happy?”
“Just so long as you know it that’s all that matters, Dear. He is a peach. Why, if I was forty years younger, I might be trying to steal him from you!”
“Mrs. Foster! You’re going to make me blush, and I’m trying to get the color right on my face.”
“Don’t think I don’t know what goes on over here after lights out. These walls ain’t that thick…” said Mrs. Foster with a knowing grin.
This time Roxy did blush, for all his canlı bahis şirketleri lack of practical experience, David seemed to have a natural ability in the bedroom. In their short time together, he had given her some truly epic orgasms that more than once had left her legs shaking.
“Why don’t you go back to watching soap operas and leave me in peace?”
“Fine, Dear,” said Mrs. Foster with a laugh.
Roxy finished getting herself ready and went to her bedroom to change into her clothes for their outing.
“I can’t believe I agreed to this trip. Two days of camping with a bunch of teenagers,” said Roxy returning to the living room where she stuffed her wallet into the backpack that sat on the floor.
“They’re his friends,” pointed out Mrs. Foster.
“They hate me. I’ve heard them call me ‘Grandma’ behind my back when they think I’m not listening.”
“Heather was the only one that called you a grandma. The others like you just fine.”
“Yeah, that’s another thing. You know she’s coming this weekend? Me and his ex-girlfriend on a camping trip! What could go wrong?”
“She is still his friend. They’ve known each other for years.”
“Little bitch wants him back too. She tries to pretend she’s accepted things, but I’ve seen the way she looks at him,” said Roxy hotly, crossing her arms.
“Are you seriously threatened by the wiles of a teenage girl?”
“What? No…Of course, not…I…I’m just saying it’s…it’s…rude!” replied Roxy flailing for the right word to describe her complicated feelings toward her boyfriends ex-flame.
“I wouldn’t worry. I’ve seen the way David looks at you. There is nothing Heather could ever do that would change that look in his eyes.”
Roxy nearly started blushing again, and she was glad when a knock at the door interrupted this conversation before it got worse.
Mrs. Foster was closer, and she opened the door to reveal David standing on the other side his usual care-free smile plastered prominently across his face.
“David! Come on in. We were just talking about you.”
“All good things I hope?”
David stepped through the door, and instantly Roxy felt like a school girl all over again basking in the attention of her biggest crush. It was a disconcerting feeling for a grown woman, and one she had never gotten used too.
“Ready to go?” he asked his dark eyes falling on her and making her wish they were alone. She wouldn’t have minded leaving a bit late and dragging him to the bedroom first.
“I left Emily’s pediatricians number on the fridge. Don’t hesitate to call if there is any trouble, but I don’t know if we’ll have cell phone service.”
Mrs. Foster smiled indulgently, “I raised three kids of my own. I think I can handle yours for the weekend. You two go and have a good time.”
David picked up Roxy’s pack for her slinging it over one shoulder.
“Off we go! The great wilderness awaits.”
Roxy sighed and with a look of resignation followed him out the door.
An hour later, they were well outside the city. The freeway in front of them climbed steadily upward into the vast pine forest of the Sequoia National Park. The temperature had dropped as they ascended, leaving the scorching heat of the low desert behind.
“You’re awfully quiet,” observed David glancing over.
Roxy had been trying to read a magazine but had tossed it aside a few miles back and now sat staring out the window at the trees as they whizzed by in blurry flashes of green and brown.
“Summers is coming to an end,” she replied not directly addressing his statement.
“Yep…that’s why we are on this trip. My friends and I always do something to commemorate the end of another summer, and this year it was suggested that camping would be a cool idea. It’s an even bigger deal since quite a few of them will be going away to school soon.”
“Who suggested it?”
“Heather, actually,” admitted David unhappily. He knew that the two of them weren’t exactly each other’s biggest fans.
“Heather…” mumbled Roxy.
“Look. I know the two of you don’t particularly like being around each other.”
“She calls me ‘Grandma’.”
“She called you that once and it was just a joke,” said David, trying not to laugh.
“Joke my ass! I’ve heard her say it when she thinks I’m not listening,” said Roxy indignantly.
“In two weeks, Heather will be going away to school, and you won’t have to see her again. Why don’t we try to get through this weekend and have a good time? Please?”
Roxy’s expression softened at the sad look in David’s eyes, “God! I hate that you can do that…”
“You get that damn sad puppy look in your eyes, and I freaking can’t argue with you.”
This time David did laugh, taking one hand off the wheel and resting it on her thigh.
“I promise I will make it up to you if you don’t enjoy yourself.”
“Don’t worry about it. I can tolerate your Ex for one weekend,” she said, smiling at last and taking his hand canlı kaçak iddaa in hers.
David switched on the radio and the sounds of the opening track to Bob Seger’s album “Night Moves” flowed through the car.
“When did you get this?” asked Roxy happily. She had admitted on their second date that she was a huge Seger fan, and David who had only minimal exposure to the Detroit legend had worked to remedy that by downloading as much of his music as he could cram onto his MP3 player.
“I burned a couple of CDs just for this trip. Isn’t this one of your favorite albums?”
“It is. I’m impressed you remembered.”
“I remember everything you tell me.”
In another man, it might have sounded like a boast, but she knew with David it was simply true.
“I never asked you where your interest in Bob Seger came from?”
“My dad. I’m not from here originally. I was raised in a little town in central Michigan called Saline. It’s just outside of Ann Arbor. My dad was from Detroit, and he grew up listening to Seger’s music, so I guess it rubbed off on me.”
“I didn’t realize you were a northern girl.”
“I don’t remember living there very well. We moved west when I was Emily’s age. I recall that it was cold in the winter.”
“Cold up north in the winter. Good to know.”
They began to sing along together, and though neither of them had a voice that could be called pleasant, they managed to harmonize in a way that wasn’t bad at all. The first album finished, and they almost made it through the first half of “Stranger in this Town,” appropriately enough singing “Till it Shines,” as the turn off for the park came into sight.
David cut off the radio and rolled down his window as they approached a pay booth. He purchased a two-day pass and pulled through following the road around while looking at the numbers of the various campsites that were posted on signs. It turned out he didn’t need to though because he recognized his friends camp in the distance and drove right up to them parking in the last available spot.
“Hey! David and Foxy Roxy!” laughed Chris as he came up to the pair slapping his old buddy on the back.
David winced at the nickname Chris had bestowed on his girlfriend, but Roxy had learned to take Chris’s sense of humor in stride by this point.
“Did everyone make it out o.k.?”
“Yeah, everyone’s here, but wait until you see Heather.”
As if Chris’s words had powers of conjuration, Heather suddenly came bounding out of a tent right nearby running up to where the three of them stood.
“Wow…Heather…What did you do to your hair?” asked David almost not recognizing his old girlfriend. All the time he had known her, she had sported the same medium length, curly blond hair, but it was gone now. In its place, she had cut her hair short and dyed it a dark brunette. It worked quite well for her making her light blue eyes stand out even more and adding contrast to her fair skin. Heather had also changed her makeup going for a more dramatic look instead of the girl next door cuteness that had been her trademark.
“Do you like it? I was nervous about the change, but my stylist convinced me to give it a go!”
“You look gorgeous! I mean it’s very flattering…” replied David, curbing his enthusiasm when he saw the frown on Roxy’s face.
“Thanks! I have some even more exciting news.”
“Yeah.I’m not going away to school this fall after all. I decided to wait a year and get my prerequisites out of the way at city college first. It will be cheaper in the long run. So you and I will be in school together again! Isn’t that awesome?”
“Uh…Yeah…That is awesome,” said David, with far less enthusiasm.
“Hey, Heather! Are you going to help me set up this tent or what?” called Stacie from the next campsite over.
“Oops! Have to go! I’m glad you guys made it out! This is going to be such a fun weekend.”
David watched his ex-girlfriend walking away before turning back to Roxy whose expression had clouded over considerably in the last two minutes.
“Well…How about that, Huh?”
“Yeah, this weekend is going to be a real hoot,” said Roxy before she pivoted on her heel and went to start unloading their gear.
Chris put his arm around his friend’s shoulder, “If I were you, Pal. I think I would go ahead and drown myself in Sequoia River.”
“It’s not the worst idea,” admitted David as he shrugged off Chris’s arm and went to help Roxy.
FIRESIDE CHAT –
The group had bought out four spaces with Stacie and Heather camped in one, Pete and Chris in the next one over followed by George and Roger, and Roxy and David at the end. In the middle, there was a fire ring, and George had brought plenty of firewood to put together a campfire that would have done any Boy Scout troop in America proud. They gathered around the blaze after dinner to roast marshmallows.
“Doesn’t this remind you guys of Camp McCloud?” asked Pete as he stuffed a marshmallow in his mouth.
“It canlı kaçak bahis sure does, but the marshmallows are better when you don’t have to share with a bunch of other kids,” remarked George as he downed one himself.
“I hardly remember that camp now,” said Heather.
“I call bullshit! I know you remember it because you spent half the summer in the bushes with David!” teased Roger, his voice trailing off when he remembered that Roxy was sitting next to him.
“Sorry…” he mumbled sheepishly.
“It’s o.k., Roger. It’s nice to reminisce,” said Roxy.
“Did you ever go to summer camp, Roxy?” asked Stacie, trying to defuse the tension.
“Sure, back in the day, I spent a couple of summers at Camp Warner.”
“Camp Warner? I think I heard they shut that camp down about four years ago,” said Heather.
“Well…I can barely recall it anyway. You know at my age the first thing that goes is your memory,” joked Roxy, but there was a definite edge to her voice.
“Hey, Heather, I thought Alex was coming this weekend?” commented George.
“We broke up. I guess he decided he wanted to spend his weekend somewhere else.”
Heather seemed to have her eyes on David when she said this, and he coughed uncomfortably.
“Hey Stacie, are you going to give us a glimpse into our futures?”
The question from Chris brought a smile to her face, and she nodded in the affirmative, “I can do it over at the picnic table if anyone is interested.”
Roxy gave David a questioning look, and he leaned closer.
“Stacie is kind of into Tarot reading. Occasionally, we let her get out her cards and tell our fortunes. It’s all in good fun.”
Roxy rolled her eyes but did not comment.
Chris brought over a lantern, and while Roger and George continued shot-gunning marshmallows, the rest of the group gathered around Stacie as she laid out her Tarot cards on a silk cloth.
“Cut the cards,” she said to Chris.
He did as she asked and then she took them back dealing out several in front of her.
“Chris gets ‘The Fool’ that’s appropriate,” laughed Pete.
“The cards don’t have a literal meaning, Pete. They are subject to interpretation,” advised Stacie.
“So what’s in store for me, Stacie. Am I going on to riches and fame?”
“Hmmm…Well, I can see that possibility, lots of pentacle cards here that would indicate something to do with wealth in business, or creativity if you’re an artist.”
“I doubt it’s art. Chris can’t even draw a decent stick figure,” said David getting a laugh from the assembled friends.
“But!” said Stacie, holding up a finger dramatically to get everyone’s attention, “The Fool is reversed, so that may mean you will have to take a great risk or a reckless chance to achieve your goals.”
“That would be appropriate then, Chris always leaps in with both feet, and no regard for what he’s about to land in.”
“When have I ever behaved recklessly?” said Chris trying to sound innocent.
“Mindy Webster!” said everyone at once while Roxy raised an eyebrow.
“How was I supposed to know her parents would come home early?”
“You could have at least gotten your pants on before you jumped out her window,” said Pete.
“There was no time, and her Dad is huge. I had to move like the wind.”
“Yeah, and how far did you get before the cops picked you up running naked down Bird Street?”
“Two blocks, I think…It wasn’t my finest hour,” admitted Chris.
Another round of laughter followed while Stacie set her sights on Roxy.
“How about it, Roxy? Want to know what the fates have in store for you?”
“Sure…Why not…” said Roxy deciding to play along.
“Cut the cards.”
Roxy split the deck following Stacie’s fast shuffle watching the table as the cards that Stacie drew landed one after another.
“The Empress…Hmmm…” mumbled Stacie in thought.
“The fates got that one right,” said Chris elbowing David in the side.
“Well, one way to look at these wands in conjunction with the ‘The Empress’ would be nurturing the seeds of life, something to do with fertility maybe…”
“I hope you’re using protection,” whispered Pete into David’s ear.
“It could also refer to nurturing a relationship and letting it grow by making sure to focus your primal energy.”
“I like the sound of that,” joked David rubbing Roxy’s shoulders from behind. The move drew a look of disapproval from Heather.
“This card here and reversed would indicate the danger of mistrust, that you have to believe in the relationship completely for it to work.”
Roxy stirred uncomfortably in her seat. Whether all this stuff was malarkey or not, Stacie was hitting too close to home.
“Does it say anything about me winning the lottery?”
“I’m afraid not.”
“It doesn’t matter. I already did anyway,” replied Roxy reaching up to squeeze David’s hand.
“Ahhhhhh…” said Pete and Chris in stereo wringing another laugh from the table.
“Do me, Stacie,” said Heather, taking a seat while keeping one eye on Roxy.
Stacie shuffled, and once again the cards were cut and dealt out onto the table.
“It looks like you’re going to meet someone in the near future, someone who will have a great impact on your life.”
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