Chapter 7 – The Wilderness Campsite
Just then, Tracy wandered into view between the campsites. She seemed uncertain of where she was, but smiled at Doug as he rushed over.
“WHERE have you been??” he roared. Tracy blinked. “Not sure. I went off to pee, and had trouble finding a place. I felt watched.”
“Watched? By whom?” Helen was concerned. “Dunno… just… felt it… was weird. Finally, I just went, but then had the oddest sensation.
I thought I felt someone like… um…. like… lick my neck. From behind me. I whirled around, but no one was there.” Helen shuddered.
Tracy continued, ” After that I don’t know what I did until just now.” Doug couldn’t believe she didn’t know where she’d been; Helen could.
Helen didn’t want to frighten everyone further, so she thought she should keep her experience with Wolf at the bar with Pammi to herself.
Tracy had no “hickie”, so… Helen figured that Wolf had done no real harm… yet… even though she thought he might have mesmerized Tracy.
It was hard to tell, though. She was just about to say something about it when Tracy started to cry. “I have a confession, Doug, ” she sobbed.
“I’ve been having blackouts lately. The doctor is sure it’s just low blood sugar. I just need to eat more regularly, and I, well…”
Doug hugged her and said, “I know you. I know you just get excited about everything going on and forget to eat. Speaking of which…”
Note – the real Tracy has no blood sugar issues – LOL – these are fictional versions now! 🙂
Daniel had noticed that Doug had not set up much in their camp yet, so he invited the couple to theirs for dinner. They readily accepted.
Helen brought out the deviled eggs she’d made ahead of time as Daniel prepared a fruit salad. Doug and Tracy dragged over their cooler.
“Whatcha got there?” inquired Daniel jovially, as he deftly diced an apple. “Beer.” Doug said matter-of-factly with a grin.
“We also have some marinated chicken strips for the grill,” Tracy elbowed her boyfriend, “We’re not just having beer for dinner.”
Helen and Tracy got the chicken going on the grill, and Doug opened one of his cold brown bottles. Handing it to Daniel, he grabbed a 2nd.
“Well, it couldn’t be a lovelier evening,” Helen commented superfluously as she handed plates around. Daniel gave her a sweet kiss.
Doug and Tracy glanced at each other and smiled, observing the loving looks by the other two. They all dug in to the hearty meal.
Conversation ceased, as it usually does when a group of hungry people set to the task of refilling. It had been a long, tiring hike.
After the main course, Tracy supplied the makings for smores. Daniel knew how improvise them over the propane grill, too.
Helen was impressed that he got the marshmallows just the right texture of crunchy and gooey. After a couple of those, all were satisfied.
Doug and Tracy excused themselves soon after they’d finished eating. “We might see you in the morning, but we’re going to get an early start.”
“OK,” Daniel replied. “I think we can sleep in since we’re camped here for at least two more nights, depending on the weather.”
They all exchanged hugs and Daniel and Helen had the campsite to themselves. They could hear the sounds of other campers settling in.
They cleaned the dishes they’d used and made sure all of the food was carefully put away, then Daniel opened a bottle of wine he’d saved.
The two sat quietly together, sipping the rustic Shiraz, and gazed as the stars that were becoming increasingly spectacular in the night sky.
“It doesn’t get much better than this,” commented Daniel. “Yes, pure bliss.” Helen replied with a contented sigh. The wine was working.
She relaxed further into her camp chair and leaned back to see more of the studded heavens. The air had a fresh coolness to it.
A breeze stirred gently. Some crickets took up a chorus of their familiar song. The human sounds around them died down for the most part.
They could hear on occasion a raucous guffawing from across the campground. The randomness of that joyful expression made them giggle.
After a while, Daniel asked if she was ready to turn in. Helen rubbed her eyes and stood up, stretching luxuriously. Daniel liked watching that.
“Why don’t you bring your sleeping bag out of the tent and put it next to mine out here?” Daniel invited. Helen did so and reclined on it.
Daniel lay down next to her, but not quite touching her. They both lay there like that for several minutes, listening to each other breathe.
The breeze kicked in again, tingling Daniel’s skin and a pleasantly familiar sensation elsewhere. He rose up on his elbow to face Helen.
She was sound asleep. Daniel let his body just relax then, and just gazed at her. Her face and hair were sort of glowing in the starlight.
Leaning in, he gave her a kiss on the cheek. She sighed, rolled over, and he curled up next her and quickly fell asleep himself.