Word Count: 1148
“Everything all right?” I asked over my shoulder taking another look at Alex. She just nodded in synch to the smacking of her shoes, but smiled. “Only a few feet. Around the corner and we’ll be there.”
“I just want out of my wet clothes then everything will be all right.” I heard her teeth chattering. “I'm starting to freeze.”
“No problem. I think there is something to change into inside the cabin,” I said as I felt a feathery touch on my shoulder which making me pause. A warm prickle was sending out rays. It reached my fingertips, my stomach and my neck.
“What a beautiful view.”
“It is,” I agreed, and tried to see the small block house with the nearby lake as though for the first time. Slightly swaying weeping willows hemmed the water line. A narrow wharf reached into the water and the sun stood on the horizon dying everything pale rosé.
“Could you take my backpack, Bobby? I think I’ll jump into the lake to swim a round and clean up.” Alex said, and ran her fingers through her tousled hair. “Ugh, I still have mud on my head.”
“And on your face,” I smiled. Careful not to touch her smooth cheek, I reached for Alex’s bag and I walked toward the wooden cabin. “I’m looking for a towel,” I exclaimed as I fumbled for the hidden keys. I found the simple metal item between cobwebs above the door frame and a slight shiver ran down my spine.
Cleaning my fingers on my shirt, I opened the door and took a deep breath. A mix of timber, moldy air and dust hit my nose. But it seemed that the hut had weathered the winter well. The other guys or I hadn’t been here since October.
I didn’t close the door behind me and stepped toward the single window over the sink with the manual pump in the narrow kitchenette. I wanted to get fresh air inside the cabin and the last of the day's warm sunbeams.
I lifted my baseball cap and set it on the counter. Wiping my sweaty forehead, I looked outside, over the porch with the bench. I saw Alex at the end of the dock. No, I just saw her silhouette before the sinking but still glistening sun. I knew she was naked and froze. I couldn’t really see it, but I was aware. I watched her sit down. She gasped as her right foot penetrated the water surface and yelled as her whole body glided fearlessly into the cold.
I laughed, but took my eyes off of my splashing partner. I didn’t want to stare and make her uncomfortable.
In the pantry I found a tin of chicken and noodle hotpot. Good, they weren't past the expiry date. I also had two sandwiches in my backpack. This would be no opulent supper but would satiate. I also boiled water in a kettle on the second propane cooker to make tea. Alex would like something warm inside her stomach after that icy bath.
In the floor cupboard between the bed and the rest of the cabin I found a big towel and a long flannel shirt I’d left from an earlier fishing trip.
Together with a mug full of hot tea, I brought the towel and the shirt outside. Alex was on her way back from the opposite shore. With strong strokes she swam to the wooden pier and we reached the end at the same time.
I peeked down but the rippled water surface and Alex's self-made waves didn’t allow me to see more of my partner than her head and breathtaking arms. But even the pale white skin of her shoulders and neck evoked dirty thoughts. I wanted to touch her, feel the smooth skin under my palms.
I suppressed the anew building billows of burning lust which hit my body as I watched Alex’s naked form outlined by the sinking sun.
“Here are a fluffy towel and a shirt,” I managed with strong voice. “And I made tea.” I placed everything on the planks beside Alex’s wet rags.
“Two spoons of sugar?”
“Of course, we haven't been partners since last week.”
Alex smiled as she griped the dock and took a big gulp. I knew she just wanted to tease me.
“Is the water very cold?” I grinned back.
“Just for the first moment but now it’s really exhilarating,” Alex answered, and teasingly touched my bare calf with her chilly wet hand. I jumped and nearly felt into the lake, making Alex giggle.
Again serious but with a sneaky grin, Alex asked: “I rinsed my clothes. Can I hang them out somewhere?”
“Yes, we stretched a clothesline between two trees behind the cabin. Next to the outhouse. You can’t miss it.”
Alex nodded and deposited the mug on the boards. She dove to the ladder, wanting to come out of the water, her hair slicked down her head. That was my signal to leave. I turned around and went back to the lodge. I could just hear her climbing out of the lake, could just imagine the water streaming down her flawless body and how she wrapped into the soft folds of the fluffy towel.
As I reached the open door, I was turned on and my body showed me unambiguously what it wanted. More to myself than to Alex, I declared: “The soup is ready in five minutes.”
To bridge this moment, I flipped open the little table which was clipped to the wall and set the table.
The moment I placed the pot on the table, Alex stepped barefoot inside the cabin. She wore my dark orange shirt, which nearly covered her knees. The sleeves were rolled up and she hadn’t closed the three top buttons. Dear, she looked sexy as hell.
“Mhm, smells delicious.”
I smiled and pulled out two stools.
“Can I help with something?” Alex asked, and eyed the set table.
“No, I just want to get some fresh water from the little spring a short way up the hill.” I reached for the clay jug and scurried out of the hut, ignoring Alex's finger which pointed to the water pump and her puzzled face.
I needed a bit distance from my partner to cool down again. It wasn’t the first time we had been alone. I didn’t understand why I responded with these very good, but totally inappropriate feeling.
I gasped for breath. Hadn’t I inhaled since Alex had stepped inside the cabin? Dear, I rolled my eyes. The next challenge thwarted me.
On the clothesline, waving beside the towel were Alex’s olive tracking pants and her beige sweatshirt. Clothespins also fixed a black top with spaghetti straps, socks, a simple champagne colored bra and…and matching delicate silk panties.
My mouth became dry. This would be a very long night.