Men in the Mountains Ch. 09


I dreamed of Cooper that night. He was on a deserted street, late at night, and he was slowly walking away from me. I soon discovered that although he was walking slowly, I couldn’t move quickly enough to catch up with him. Walk or run, the distance between us remained the same. I called to him, but he couldn’t hear me. He just continued walking slowly and steadily away from me, never turning or hesitating.

As I regained consciousness, I became aware of Cooper’s arms wrapped tightly around me. The regular rise and fall of his massive chest against my back told me he was still asleep. In my groggy state, I absently wondered how he could hold me so tight without being awake.

I knew we were in no real hurry to get moving, because the end of the trail was only a few miles away, so I tried to go back to sleep. My dream was fading rapidly, but the fear and frustration I had felt were still lingering in my mind. I couldn’t fully relax, which unfortunately meant that I was awake for good. I lay there, wide awake and worrying, for what felt like hours. I was afraid to move much, because I didn’t want to wake Cooper, but my current position was becoming less comfortable with every passing minute.

Just when I was about to risk changing positions, Cooper let out a long sigh, and the arms around my torso relaxed. He ran his hand lightly from my shoulder to my wrist, then slipped his fingers between my own. Warmth filled my chest, and I smiled involuntarily. A breath on the back of my neck was followed by a lazy kiss.

“Good morning,” I whispered.

“Same to you, handsome.”

Being called handsome filled my stomach with butterflies, and I smiled again. I looked over my shoulder and kissed him.

After a few seconds, Cooper pulled away from me. “What time is it?”

“I’m not sure. I figured we weren’t really in a hurry, so I wanted to let you sleep.”

“Well I won’t say it wasn’t nice to sleep in a little.”

Cooper playfully grabbed at my ass, and I jerked away, yelping with pain. My skin was throbbing where his hand had touched it. I carefully looked over my shoulder and saw that my. back was slightly reddish in color. After staring at my back long enough to figure out what must have happened, Cooper gingerly pulled my boxers off my ass, revealing skin that was a bright, angry red. I wondered why I hadn’t felt the burn sooner, and decided I must not have been moving enough to consciously notice the subtle but consistent pain.

He whistled softly. “I had no idea, Preston. Sorry.”

I sighed. “How the hell did I burn so fast? I was nude for less than an hour.”

“Well… it was the worst part of the day for UV rays. And being so high makes them more intense. It’s something like 8% stronger for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain.” He paused, then added, “You need to tan in the nude more often.”

“I didn’t really expect to be exposing my ass cheeks to the sun, so it wasn’t a priority,” I responded sarcastically.

Cooper rolled me onto my stomach, carefully arranging the blanket so that it only covered my shoulders and upper back, leaving my sunburned backside in the open air. He then sat up and stretched, groaning loudly. I just stayed where I was, propped up on my elbows, trying to ignore my aching skin. I focused on the way the thin fabric of Cooper’s boxers followed the curves of his ass as it flexed and relaxed with his every movement. Then, as he turned towards me, his bulge swung slightly. The sight of it made my mouth water. To my pleasant surprise, the show continued from there. He walked over to his pack and bent at the waist to rummage through it, his ass squarely facing me.

When he straightened again, he was holding a fresh pair of boxers. He turned back to face me, then dropped the underwear he was wearing to his ankles and stepped out of them. After he pulled the new ones on, he winked at me and tossed the worn pair of boxers right at my face. I caught them before they hit me, then unabashedly pressed them to my face, inhaling deeply and loudly. Cooper just chuckled and shook his head slightly. Then he reached down and yanked the blanket off me, rolling it tightly while I complained about how much my ass hurt.

Grumbling, I carefully got to my feet and made my over to my pack to find some clothes. The thought struck me that this was the last time I’d be getting dressed on this trip. It was such a silly thing, but it made me sad.

Getting pants on was a painful ordeal, and walking wasn’t any better. I was dreading the hike because it was sure be miserable, but I was dragging my feet for another reason as well. I knew that the sooner we got back to the trailhead, the sooner we’d have to go our separate ways. To make things worse, I was no closer to figuring out whether Cooper was interested in ever seeing me again.

We were on the trail sooner than I had expected, to my dismay. There was only so much I could do to stall, though, and Cooper didn’t seem to be making any effort to prolong our time together. In fact, he seemed to be trying to hurry me along. He was moving at Cevizli Escort a brisk pace down the trail ahead of me, forcing me to either match it or get left behind. I couldn’t help but imagine that he was rushing ahead to get away from me. At the same time, I felt disgusted with myself for even caring. Every thought that I considered reasonable was telling me that I was being immature and clingy by trying to make this more than it was: a short fling that had only happened because we were in the same place at the same time. In any other situation, it was unlikely that we would have even become friends.

I tried striking up a conversation with him several times as we descended the final stretch of trail. He wasn’t rude by any means, but was apparently not in the mood to talk either. He gave me shorter responses than I was used to, and never slowed down to make sure he heard what I was saying like he would have on previous days. I did discover that he would slow down significantly if I complained that my sun burn was bothering me, but I hesitated to do that any more often than I needed to, because I didn’t want to sound totally pathetic.

Eventually, we settled into silence. I didn’t notice the scenery around us at all, spending all my time staring at Cooper’s back, willing him to turn around. At the same time, I was growing more and more anxious. I knew I was running out of time to talk to him, but I was terrified of the way that conversion might go. I kept telling myself that I’d do it if he gave me some sort of obvious encouragement, but I was really just hoping he’d be the one to bring it up.

When we rounded the final curve in the trail and my car came into view, neither of us had spoken in what felt like hours. Full-on panic set in as I unlocked my car and threw my pack in the back seat. I turned to face Cooper, determined to tell him what I was feeling.

Instead, I said “Do you want a ride to your car?”

“Honestly, I’m so tired. That would be great!”

I started the car, turning up the air conditioning as far as it would go. The sun-heated interior of the car was extremely uncomfortable on my sunburn, so I stood outside the door while Cooper took off his pack and set it next to mine. He opened the passenger door, and started to climb inside, hesitating when he noticed me.

“You waiting for something?”

“No, just hoping the car will cool down a bit before I have to sit in it,” I said, wagging my hips slightly.

He nodded in understanding. “No rush,” he said, sliding into his seat.

Sighing happily, he added, “It feels fucking nice to sit on a cushioned seat, let me tell you.” He glanced at me, then hurriedly added, “Not to rub it in your face or anything.”

I smiled, but I was feeling too overwhelmed to respond. I just couldn’t get a read on the situation. I shook my head and climbed into the car, steeling myself as a fresh wave of pain hit me. Then, without looking at Cooper, I put the car in gear and began driving towards the lower parking area. It was only about a quarter of a mile further down the canyon, and the car was silent all the way. I pulled up next to Cooper’s car, and still neither of us spoke.

I decided to sneak a glance at Cooper. He was staring fixedly through the windshield. He seemed to sense me looking at him, and turned to meet my gaze. He didn’t say anything, but leaned over and kissed me on the lips. Then, without saying a word, he opened the door and slid out of the car. As he retrieved his bag, I realized I wouldn’t know what to say even if I had the ability to speak. I simply didn’t have the words. I watched helplessly as Cooper climbed into his car, sat unmoving for several minutes, then drove away. He didn’t look over at me again.

I was doing my best not to cry as I drove slowly out of the canyon. I was being ridiculous, and I knew it. I had recovered from all my relationships with women within days of ending them, and those had actually been official. I would get over this man I’d known for no more than a week.

I powered on my cell phone, and knew I had cell service again as soon as left the canyon, because notifications started streaming in. I was happy to see several messages from Jared. It had likely actually been difficult for him to find the time to text me with his girlfriend around, I thought wryly. His texts were full of apologies for bailing on me. He said he had been regretting it all week, and that we had to hang out as soon as I got home. I smiled sadly, thinking that. It probably wouldn’t happen.

It was evening by the time I got back to my apartment, and I went straight to the shower, excited to clean off a week’s worth of dirt and grime. I got cleaned up, shaved, and then fell onto my bed and went right to sleep even though it was early. I hadn’t realized how exhausted I was.

I slept through the night, and woke up with a start, realizing I needed to be leaving for work. Shaking my head at how irresponsible it had been to fall asleep without setting an alarm, I hurriedly dressed, made breakfast, and left the Escort Cevizli apartment. My pack was still sitting in my back seat, where I’d left it. I couldn’t help but stare at it in my rear-view mirror as I drove. In fact, I was doing so much staring that I nearly ran a red light.

The rest of my day wasn’t much better. I was distracted, unmotivated, and struggled to work productively. My boss must have noticed, because he asked me if I was feeling sick. I reassured him that I was fine, and that I was just having a bit of an off day, but he didn’t seem convinced. If I was being honest, I wasn’t convinced that I was ok either.

Jared invited me to hang out at his place that evening, and looking forward to that helped pull me out of my stupor. He and I had developed an interest in grilling recently, and he said he was buying some ribs for that night.

The day was uneventful otherwise, although I had convinced myself that I had seen Cooper walking around the city on three separate occasions by the time I was on my way to Jared’s place that evening.

His girlfriend, Lily, was there, and was sitting in the kitchen gossiping about one of her friends when I arrived. Jared was seasoning the ribs, as promised.

“Preston! You’re alive, bro!” Jared was all smiles. “Feels like it’s been a fuckin’ year since I saw you.”

I laughed. “A lot can happen in a week. How are you guys?”

Jared started to respond, but Lily talked over him. “We had so much fun last week! We saw my old friend Emily while she was visiting from California, and showed her all the sites around here.”

“All the sites? Like what, the mall?” I knew the mall was one of Lily’s favorite places, although it was old, a little run-down, and most of the stores in it were closed.

Lily gave me a long-suffering look. “Yes, actually. But we did other things too.” She suddenly seemed less enthusiastic about reporting on their activities, and I felt sorry for being so snarky.

Jared gave me an annoyed look of his own, then asked, “What about you? How was the trail?”

I hadn’t given any thought to how much I was going to tell people about what had happened over the last week. I was suddenly overwhelmed by just how much had changed about the way I saw myself and the world around me. I didn’t know what to say, but I had been silent for a little too long, and I could see a question forming on Jared’s mouth.

“It was a lot of fun,” I said before he could pry further. “The views were even better than I had heard they would be, so you really missed out.”

Jared rolled his eyes. “I already know you’re going to guilt trip me about this for a month.”

“Are you feeling guilty? I can’t imagine why that would be.”

Lily rushed to his defense. “Well I’m glad he stayed with me. I don’t know what I would have done without him to help me keep Emily entertained.”

“I’m just teasing,” I said. “It would have been damn fun, but I really did have a good time anyway. I won’t be forgetting that trip anytime soon.”

We fell silent, and I watched as Jared finished seasoning the ribs. He rubbed his hands together. “These bastards are ready to go.”

He picked up the tray and started moving toward the back door. I followed him outside, and was relieved when Lily told us she’d be working on some side dishes now that the kitchen was free.

When the ribs were on the grill, Jared said, “Want a beer?”

“Sure, that sounds great.”

“Right on.” He moved toward the house, swatting my ass as he passed me.

I started to yelp in pain, then tried to stop it, making the sound that came out of my mouth a high-pitched moan. Jared froze, then turned to look at me, an eyebrow raised. I was in full-on panic mode, frantically trying to come up with an explanation that wouldn’t involve telling him my ass was sunburned.

I was about to speak when he started laughing, and I realized I could easily pass the whole thing off as a joke. I laughed too, and he shook his head, still chuckling, as he stepped through the door. “You’re so gay, dude.”

That gave me a jolt too, until I remembered that that was a perfectly normal thing for my friend to say to me. I had never given comments like that a second thought until tonight, but he had definitely made them before.

After a couple beers and several helpings of ribs, I was feeling much more like myself. I even managed to enjoy Lily’s company, which didn’t happen often. Jared kept us entertained with some hyperbolized memories from our high school days, which Lily hadn’t heard before. She was appalled by some of the pranks we pulled, and her reactions had my sides hurting by the time it was dark outside.

Eventually, there was a lull in the conversation. “What time do you think it is?” Jared wondered aloud.

I looked at the stars, judging their positions in the sky. “About 10:30, I’d say.”

Lily pulled out her phone to check the time, and her eyes widened. She turned it around to show us that it was exactly 10:30.

“How did you do that?” She asked, amazed.

“Cooper Cevizli Escort Bayan showed me how to tell the time by looking at where the stars are in the sky,” I responded.

I didn’t realize my mistake until Jared asked who Cooper was.

“Just a friend,” I said, trying to sound casual.

“Why haven’t I ever heard of him? You should have invited him to that bonfire we did. The one that nobody could come to.”

I started to say that I didn’t know him very well, but worried that they’d wonder why I had been out at night with a guy I didn’t know.

“I actually hadn’t seen him in a long time. I just ran into him again about a week ago,” I lied. Then, hoping to shift the focus of the conversation, I added, “Besides, it seems like I hardly ever see you guys anymore, so I don’t know why you would have heard of him.”

“Whoa, whoa, easy there,” Jared laughed. “We’re hanging now, aren’t we?”

“You’re right,” I laughed too. “Sorry bro, I don’t know why I’m being such a dick tonight.”

Lily smiled, “At least you’re self-aware.” She paused, then added, “Don’t worry about it though. I know you just miss your friend, and I’m going to try to be better about sharing him.” She took Jared’s hand and squeezed it as he smiled down at her.

I was surprised that she was being so reasonable. “Thanks Lily, that actually means a lot. I guess I have had a hard time figuring out what to do with myself without my best friend being around as much.”

We talked for a while longer, then I thanked them and headed home. After I parked my car, I opened the door to the back seat and stared at my pack for a long time. Eventually I closed the door, leaving the pack where it was, and walked inside.

The rest of the week dragged by. Work was boring, and I was still having a hard time staying focused. I was sleeping more than usual too. I would get home from work, flop down on the couch, and end up sleeping for several hours, only to wake up, try to eat, and move to my bed to sleep the rest of the night.

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get Cooper off my mind. By Friday, I was desperate. I thought that maybe I was just horny, and after some considerable convincing, I persuaded myself to visit a local park that was often frequented by men looking for some action. I arrived, heart pounding, and installed myself on a bench. Several men walked by, staring at me a little more than I would consider normal, but none of them attempted to engage with me at all. I wasn’t very impressed with any of them, and I was feeling too nervous to initiate anything anyway.

About 30 minutes passed without any action, and I was ready to head back home when a younger man, about my age, strolled by. He was shorter than me, and had sandy-blond, wavy hair that was just long enough to be tucked behind his ears. Bright blue eyes watched me from below surprisingly dark eyebrows. He passed me once, then casually turned around and walked past again before settling onto the bench next to me.

Unsure of what to say, I lamely asked, “Come here often?”

It was then that I realized how nervous he was. He shakily answered that this was his first time.

“Me too.”

There was a long pause, and then he said, “What are you looking for?”

“Just something casual, no strings attached,” I answered quickly.

He laughed a little, then spoke so fast I could hardly understand him. “I’m just looking for dick. You down to fuck, or is that more than you’re hoping to do? I just want to bottom for a hot guy.”

His bluntness turned me on, and I found myself staring at his ass as I said, “I’d be down for that. You want to do it here? Or at my place? I live about 5 minutes to the south of here.”

“I don’t know if I want to go anywhere. My car’s pretty roomy though.” He looked at me questioningly.

“Good enough for me, dude. Lead the way.”

I followed him to a new-looking SUV with very tinted windows and watched as he climbed into the backseat. I could tell he was arching his back as he crawled to the other side of the car, making room for me to join him. I glanced around, although I wasn’t sure what I was watching for. Then I sighed and joined my acquaintance in his car.

He pounced on me as soon as I shut the door. He kissed me aggressively on the mouth and neck, and had my shirt peeled off before I knew what was happening. He sucked on my nipples while simultaneously massaging my crotch with his hand. I could feel my cock hardening in my pants, and looked lustfully at the ass that was stuck up in the air just a couple feet away.

I gave in then, and reached for his plump ass, sliding my hand beneath his waistband and following his crack to his hole. He groaned as my finger came into contact with it, and pushed back against my hand. I pulled my hand out, spanked him hard, then reached into his pants again, teasing his tight pucker.

He was pulling off my pants now, and my cock sprang free of the confines of my boxers. He eagerly sucked it into his mouth and began bobbing up and down. With that, I reached beneath him and unbuttoned his pants, yanking them down around his knees. A massive cock swung down between his legs, and I widened my eyes in surprise. I shoved a finger into his mouth, which he sucked enthusiastically. I then gently slid my spit-slick finger into his ass.

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