The Deal (R)

I went off to serve the country as my patriotic duty after high school and did my three years of service but I had no idea it would be such a personally traumatic experience and even now, long after my discharge and return home, I continue to struggle with my demons from wars.

I found myself fighting a rage that consumed most of my days trying to come to terms from my seventeen months of combat in Afghanistan. It became a fiend that showed no mercy and interrupted my simplest routines like eating and sleeping. At any moment, halfway through a football game or in the middle of the night, I would lose myself to this evil.

A war that started on a battlefield a half a world away had embedded itself in my mind back home in peaceful Hillsboro. Through nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and fear, I battled this beast each day.

My father brought me to the VA Clinic after finding me standing on the roof in the middle of the night with a broom stick in my hand howling at the moon and I was given the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was a 21-year-old fruitcake and the new enemy I encountered daily was myself haunted by the combat memories I endured. I'd see the faces of my fallen brothers. I smelled the dirty air amid the blood. I'd hear screams of panic broken with hums of moaning pain lingering like another storm inside of me.

My platoon was from the Army's 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, NY specializing in fighting in harsh conditions. In northeast Afghanistan, we were stationed in Pech Valley Korengal Outpost, one the country's deadliest valleys.

I honestly thought I left that all behind me when I was discharged but shortly after I returned from Afghanistan my nightmares began. I'd wake up in the middle of the night sitting straight up in bed unable to breathe and panicking with horrific visions and the memories and the mass casualties that we suffered.

Nothing in particular triggered the attacks. I might hear a song or a report about the war on the news and before I knew it I was reliving it. I started drinking almost daily because it was the only way I knew to escape but the flashbacks would come anyway. It was terrifying and it usually zoomed back to one event, a day in Afghanistan when I was watching soldiers patrol a valley below me. It was almost time for them to return when the enemy launched rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire into their path. I and other soldiers helped the injured until medics arrived. Blood was everywhere and I went to my friend and held a pressure dressing tightly against his stomach but his young life was slipping away. I watched him die. He was a very good soldier and a good friend. He was very brave through it all.

I wasn't much of a drinker before the war but now I was a crazy drunk and I started to hate myself, denying God and cursing God and my life was taking a big downfall. If it wasn't for my father, I'm not sure what might have happened.

Dad took me to the VA Behavioral Health Clinic and I met with a psychiatrist who agreed to meet with me every week or two and he prescribed Trazodone and Ambien to help me sleep but I was still having the flashbacks and nightmares and I couldn't take it so they prescribed me Valium which helped desensitize my reality. I was afraid to take it but I was desperate.

It was football season and I thought it would be good to get out so I started going to The Bullpen Tavern to watch the games or even in person to Hillsboro High or Green College games and now I was mixing prescription drugs and alcohol. It seemed to help….for a while until the shit hit the fan.

One morning, I woke with the horrors of Afghanistan and I swallowed four Valium. Later, I went to the bar and I took two more Valium and I started drinking beer.

As I watched the football game on the tube, I started getting excited. My adrenaline was pumping but then I saw blood. Dirty air seeped in my senses and screams of horror quickly replaced the cheers of the televised game. It felt like an iron weight settled in my chest. It was hard to breathe and my hands and feet throbbed. My heart was beating fast like a hamster spinning a wheel. I rushed outside to my car and blasted the air conditioner.

I could barely hold my cell phone as I struggled to dial 9-1-1. I blanked out off and on as the operator told me to keep breathing. Within minutes ambulances and police arrived. Paramedics strapped a plastic oxygen mask over my face and rushed me to the Blue County Medical Center in Greenville.

I woke up several hours later with a social worker from the hospital's intensive mental health unit next to me asking me if I was suicidal. I broke down and cried right there and I told him I didn't want to live anymore. Turns out this guy had served in Vietnam and he told me there was no shame in crying.

I told him I didn't want to be like this anymore but that I didn't want to live when I had the attacks, when I blanked out, when I had the flashbacks. They put me in the psychiatric ward and that was the most traumatic part but at the same time it was a relief because there I was in a place where I could finally get my act together.

It's been six months since they stuck me in the loony bin. I've been clean and sober most of that time, I have a therapist, I attend a support group at the VA Clinic, and I'm still living at home so my parents can keep an eye on me and keep me honest. I got my old high school job at Fontaine's Family Grocery Store and I'm taking classes at Blue County Community College. I'm in no way cured but I am taking it one day at a time and doing the best I can staying busy and mentally healthy

I haven't been interested in any sort of relationship until I know I'm emotionally stable and ready enough to make that commitment and since I am five years out of high school most of the kids I knew have left the area or moved on so I don't have a big social network outside of my support group and the VA guys.

I enjoyed being around the customers and my co-workers at Fontaine's and while I'm friendly, personable, and polite, I tended to keep to myself, do my job, and go home. It's pretty much the same thing at the college. I enjoy the environment and atmosphere and I find my classes interesting but I don't go out of my way to meet and interact with people, even though the college community is a diverse population – from kids fresh out of high school to seniors taking a class or two – and everybody in between.

I was sitting at a table in the college cafeteria going over some of my work for class when a voice interrupted my concentration.

"Excuse me, but aren't you Shad Labelle?"

I glanced up to see a young lady, perhaps nineteen, with long blonde hair and a shapely figure staring at me. I noticed right away that she had rather small but perky breasts and pouty lips that cried out to be kissed. Frankly, she was gorgeous.

"I am," I replied. "Do I know you?"

"Oh, you probably don't remember me," she laughed, slipping into a chair across the table from me. "You went to school with my brother, Rich. Rich Williams?"

"Oh, sure, Rich," I acknowledged with a nod. "We were on the football team together."

"I was only in eighth grade when you guys were seniors," she said, nodding her head. "But I definitely remember you."

I struggled to remember her and then I recalled his kid sister hanging around. I remember going to a lake with Rick's family and she brought a friend too.

"I'm his kid sister," she said. "Marie."

"Well, hello Marie," I said with a pleasant smile. "I'm surprised you recognized me or even remember me."

"Are you kidding?" She laughed. "You were a good looking guy!"

"I look a little different now, don't I?" I teased.

"Well, your hair's all gone and you've bulked up. I noticed those arm muscles from across the room! But you still look the same in your face and in your eyes."

"Well, thanks." I studied her for a moment. "You've certainly grown up!"

She giggled and blushed. "Thanks."

"Where's Rich these days?" I asked with genuine interest.

"Oh, he lives in Florida," she reported. "Stayed there after graduating from college."

"Sounds like fun," I replied.

"And you're back?" She guessed.

"Yeah, I was in the Army," I explained.

"Well, thank you for your service," she said sincerely. "I know it must have been tough over there."

"Yeah," I agreed. "But it's good to be home."

"Hey, do you remember Bobby Dealman?" She asked. "I think he played football with you guys."

"He was a freshman our senior year," I recalled. "I guess I remember him."

"He's my boyfriend now," Marie beamed happily. "He's going to college at the University of Maryland."

"Great," I said. "But that's kind of a long way away."

"Yeah, I miss him," she sighed. "But, hey, it's really great seeing you again, Shad."

"You too, Marie," I replied with a smile. "Maybe we'll see each other around."

"Oh, I'm sure of it," she said knowingly, shaking her head. "Are you still living in Hillsboro?"

"Yeah. You?"

"Yeah, me and my girlfriend Melissa are roommates in a small apartment not far from Johnny C's where I waitress."

"Oh, I work at Fontaine's right around the corner," I let her know.

"Wow! I'm surprised I haven't seen you around before," she said.

"I've been keeping a low profile," I joked.

"Okay," she grinned. "Well, bye."

"See ya, Marie."

I watched her walk across the cafeteria, swinging her shapely hips.

I really didn't give Marie much thought after that initial reunion in the cafeteria. I'd see her around the campus and we'd wave at each other and occasionally she would join me for a bite if she saw me sitting in the cafeteria. I went into Johnny C's to grab something to eat a couple of times and she happened to be working so we shot the shit a little and I noticed her picking up a few groceries in Fontaine's from time to time.

I enjoyed talking with her and hanging out with her. She seemed to be an intelligent, personable, and friendly young lady and our connection to the past and the area made it easy for us to chit chat when we did meet up, never planned or expected, but it just always seemed to happen.

I was older and more experienced in life than her, of course, but she seemed mature to me and while I amused myself by observing the mating rituals of some of my younger fellow community college students it was clear that Marie wasn't interested in any hanky panky while waiting for her boyfriend to come home from college not that I was really thinking about that stuff anyway.

I was continuing to work on myself and focus on my recovery, my education, and my job and I honestly wasn't thinking about romance or even that much of a social life but it was nice to innocently flirt and banter with Marie when our paths crossed.

The first time we actually did something together outside of the campus and away from the diner or grocery store was when Marie asked me if I was going to the Hillsboro High Homecoming parade and game.

"I figured since you played you'd want to go support your team and alma mater," she remarked

"I don't want to go alone," I replied.

"I'll go with you," Marie volunteered and I figured what the heck so we met at Johnny C's and stood out on Main Street and watched the parade go by with the band and the floats and the Homecoming Queen and her court in classic convertible cars and the fire engines with their screaming sirens and the alumni band and the alumni class gatherings and it was all quite fun.

We had lunch at Johnny C's and then we went and watched the game (against Riverside) in which Hillsboro won 28-12. I recognized a few family names on the roster and my old high school coach was still in charge of the team and while it was nice to be back and to see a few people I knew from high school or around town, it also felt slightly removed from me – as if it had been a different part of my life.

Marie was much more into it since she had just graduated the previous spring and it almost felt like I was hanging out with a high school kid but I enjoyed her enthusiasm and peppiness and it was a good game to watch. After the game, I took her home and she introduced me to her roommate whom I barely remembered and I hung around for a while but when Marie mentioned Bobby about seventeen times and showed me his high school graduation picture I figured that was my cue to leave.

I continued to see Marie around campus and town during the next few weeks and we got together a few times "as friends" as Marie made it a point to put it on more than one occasion. I didn't have a problem with that. I enjoyed her company and while I was definitely attracted to her I wasn't looking for any sort of commitment or relationship and I was content with just hanging out.

I went to the rival Thanksgiving Day football game against Greenville and bumped into Marie who was with Bobby who was home for the holiday. He remembered me and we shook hands and Marie was tickled pink to be able to introduce him to me as her boyfriend. I smiled and wished them a Happy Thanksgiving and watched as Greenville beat the Hurricanes 22-18 but it was a good game so I really couldn't complain.

I was sitting at the cafeteria table as usual a few days later when Marie joined me.

"How was your Thanksgiving, Shad?" She asked in her usual bubbly way.

"Fine, Fine," I replied with a smile.

It was pretty laid back and uneventful. I did hang out with a couple of guys from the support group and we went and helped serve a meal at the Salvation Army that evening. Otherwise, it was a long weekend of mostly working at Fontaine's and watching college and pro football on the television while fighting the urge to pick up a beer like the old days.

"So, didn't Bobby look great?" Marie asked happily.

"I'm sure you were glad to have him home," I replied diplomatically.

"I don't like this long distance romance thing," she sighed. "We're now in our second year of this and I'm beginning to wonder if he's being as faithful to me as I am to him."

"Why would you say that?" I asked. "Did he say something?"

"It's not what he says," she replied with worry. "It's what he doesn't say sometimes."

I wasn't about to get in the middle of her love life so I didn't say anything in reply and we continued with our comfortable and easy going friendship.

I didn't see much of Marie over the Christmas break. We weren't in school, obviously, and Bobby was back in town so she was otherwise and understandably detained with him and I bided my time with work and my continued recovery.

Marie seemed genuinely glad to see me when the second semester started and we were in a couple of classes together this time around so now we were seeing even more of each other. We really seemed to be hitting off and we spent more time together on our 'friend dates' of movies and the occasional dinner.

I assumed it was all platonic and above boards and I wasn't about to try to get physical or "familiar" (as Marie called it with Bobby) with her because I respected her relationship with her boyfriend and understood that my role was that of fill in and pal. I was surprised one night when I took her home after a movie and Marie put her hands on my hips and gave me a kiss good night. It was chaste and friendly but for a guy who hadn't gotten laid in forever it sure was a nice feeling to have the lips of a pretty and sexy young woman on mine.

I acted as if it was no big deal but inside I had to force myself to calm down and I continued to be puzzled when this conduct invariably happened several more times in the coming weeks. She'd kiss me good night (with a little more passion) and we'd cuddle on the couch for quite a while if we were watching a DVD together. It was obvious that she was interested in being affectionate with me and while I'm sure she would argue that it was just platonic expressions between friends I was starting to really feel turned on by her attention and seeming interest in me even with Bobby's name being mentioned from time to time.

I was starting to become confused and I seriously debated with myself as to whether or not I should continue seeing Marie. I enjoyed her company and I thought about her often (sometimes in the biblical sense) but I knew Bobby would always be standing between us. Was I willing to torture myself with my physical wants and desires to continue to be around her in a 'just friends' role or should I cut bait and save myself from ongoing blue balls and empty heart syndrome?

Marie played it innocent and apparently clueless but as the weeks went on I was beginning to wonder if she was toying with me and maybe even using me. One night the chaste kiss turned into a make out session in front of her apartment door and she even pressed her hips against my erection and rubbed back and forth for a moment. Although we both were fully dressed and standing up, I thought I was going to explode and I took her by the arms and pushed her away.

"What are you doing? I asked.

"What do you mean?" She asked slyly.

"You know what I mean," I replied.

She shrugged. "Nothing," she said with a seductive smile before turning and going into the apartment, closing the door quietly and slowly behind her and leaving me in the hall with an ache between my legs.

Was she being a mean tease or was she letting me know that she was interested in me? A few nights later, we were watching a DVD at her place again (Melissa was out on a date) and we started to make out in earnest. I actually unfastened her bra and was about to fondle her breast but she suddenly refused to let me lift up her top so that I could see or - even better, kiss - her breasts.

"I'm sorry, but we're just friends, Shad," she reminded me. "I'm dating Bobby, remember?"

"It seems to me we're really good friends, Marie," I replied with a frustrated sigh. "I really like you."

"And I really like you too, Shad," she replied with sincerity and sympathy. "But I can't cheat on Bobby. I'm sorry."

"So what are we doing then?" I wanted to know.

She shrugged. "Just being really good friends," she replied.

So it was decision time for me. Did I want to continue to 'date' her in spite of this pronouncement or should I save myself and bail out before I died from sexual frustration and an inability to enjoy release?

I couldn't bring myself to break it off (something was better than nothing) and we still kissed and even petted through our clothes occasionally but that was obviously as far as I was going to get with Marie so we remained friends and pretty much ignored and denied the real issue staring us right in the face.

I found Blue Community College to be a breeze. My military training and discipline made it easy to study and I had been a pretty good student in high school anyway so I was having little difficulty with the material and classes, an honors student my first semester with little doubt I would repeat that status in the second semester.

Marie was far less successful or even dedicated in her work so she was having a harder time. She was more interested in talking to Bobby for hours on the phone, instant messaging him, facebooking him, and texting him at all hours of the day and night. She also was much more satisfied with her social life and picking up shifts at Johnny C's than she was focusing or concentrating on her studies so community college for her was much more of a struggle.

We often studied together under the excuse of trying to master the material by sharing ideas but I knew she was really just picking my brain and flat out asking for answers to do her work. I really didn't care because I enjoyed her company and I liked feeling important by being able to provide her with help in her studies.

Half way through the semester we were assigned a take-home exam. The rules were clear: no collaboration, help or hints from anyone. We had five days to complete the (mostly essay) exam before handing it in. Fortunately for me, it was a piece of cake and I enjoyed working on the project. Marie, of course, was overwhelmed by the assignment and she became quite upset with the prospect of having to do it on her own.

She slid into the chair across from me at our usual cafeteria table and gave me a long hard long.

"How far are you on this stupid exam thing?" She wanted to know.

"I'm done," I replied proudly.

She dropped her fork and gawked at me. "You're not serious!"

I laughed and shrugged. "I didn't think it was all that difficult or challenging."

Marie frowned and got a strangely serious look on her pretty face before leaning over across the table "Can you come up to my apartment tonight and give me a couple of hints?" She whispered.

"Gee, Marie, that's against the rules," I teased.

"Fuck the rules," she replied with annoyance. "Are you going to help me or not?"

"Of course," I agreed. "I'll come over around seven o'clock."

"You're a life saver!" She said with appreciative relief.

Melissa was out on a date when I arrived at the apartment that night.

"I think she's really serious about this guy," Marie said with a smile. "Good news for her but bad news for me if I lose her as a roommate because she decides to shack up him or something."

"You can always get another roommate," I reminded her as I took a seat on the couch in the quaint apartment.

"Yeah, but me and Melissa have been best friends forever and it's been fun living together," Marie replied, joining me on the couch. "This has been our Laverne and Shirley dream come true and I'd really miss her if she left."

"So what's the problem with this project?" I asked, surprised that she was struggling so much.

"I'm not doing very well at Blue County," Marie admitted with a sigh. "Bobby is breezing though Maryland, a big time university, and you seem to be handling Blue County with your eyes closed, but I've never been a good student and my parents are threatening to stop helping with tuition if I don't bring my grades up."

"Well, what are your grades?" I asked.

"I got a couple of C's and two D's last semester," she admitted sheepishly. "I'm trying so hard to get a B in this class. I'm already on probation because of those two stupid D's and unless I get at least two B's this semester I might have to repeat some courses and I really can't afford that."

"Well, I'm sure you'll do better this semester," I told her. "You're used to the environment now and you know what they expect and the holidays and other distractions are done with so you should be okay."

"Please show me how to write that second essay," she begged.

"Marie, if anyone found out we could both flunk!" I warned.

"Please, Shad, you've got to help me!" Marie pleaded.

"You know, the Army always had incredibly high standards regarding our personal integrity and character. This would really be out of character for me if I was to help you out!"

"You're not in the Army anymore, Shad," she argued. "I don't know what I'll do if you don't help me!"

"So you're asking me to risk my own career for you?" I asked, semi-serious but still concerned. "We're not even going together so why should I take such a big chance?"

I didn't really expect an answer. I stared at Marie and she sat there with her arms fold across her chest in a pout. She had clearly hoped that her request would have been enough to get me to help her but because I turned her down she was clearly taken aback and extremely hurt.

Tears began running down her cheeks. Then she coughed, cleared her throat, and spoke. "You've been trying to feel me up ever since we first met…"

"That's not true!" I protested, embarrassed to be called out but she ignored me.

So I'll make a deal with you. You help me complete the test and I'll spend next weekend with you."

I burst out laughing, honestly believing she was pulling my leg. 'Yeah, right, Marie."

"I'm serious," she replied. "You only have to agree to two conditions. First, I don't want anybody to find out so you've gotta keep it secret. And second, we can't have intercourse. Anything else is negotiable, but not that. I owe Bobby that much."

I have to admit that I was caught off guard by her unexpected proposal and while it was a pleasant surprise that she might be willing to use certain aspects of sex to get what she needed and I was indeed tempted by such an idea, I was also slightly embarrassed and humbled that she would make such a suggestion.

"Jesus, Marie," I replied sheepishly after I thought about her offer for a moment. 'Thanks for the offer but I don't think I'm that kind of a guy."

"What kind of a guy?" She asked with annoyance. "Don't try to tell me you haven't thought about what you're thinking about now before."

I blushed. "I'm not a homo," I confessed. "Of course the thought has crossed my mind. Christ, Marie, you've been teasing me and torturing me and stringing me on for months," I complained.

"I know," she admitted with a slight blush. "It's not as if I haven't wanted it too, you know. But I made a commitment to Bobby."

"And I've respected that," I replied honestly.

"Are you going to help me or not?" She wanted to know.

"Man, Marie, you're really putting me in a tough ethical dilemma," I sighed.

"Give me a break," she frowned. "It's a sexual fantasy come true."

"Yeah, but I'm not sure if I could take advantage of you like that."

"Then you really are a homo," she countered. "All guys want what I'm offering."

"And you'll do anything except fuck?" I questioned.

Marie blushed. "That's right. I won't fuck you but yes I'll do anything else you want. But everything has to remain our secret!"

I sat there staring at her face. She had stopped crying and she was looking at me with both hope and desperation in her eyes. I saw something else that I wasn't sure about and I thought about it for a moment because behind her tears I thought I noted an almost wanting confident look in her eyes.

"You're sure about this?" I asked one more time.

"For Christ sakes, Shad. Will you grow some?"

Geez, here I was feeling guilty and apprehensive about using her for sexual favors and she goes ahead and insults my manhood? I decided it was time to call her bluff.

"Okay, it's a deal, provided you agree to two clarifications," I stated.

"Such as?"

Our weekend will run from noon Friday until Sunday evening."

She nodded in agreement. "What's the other condition?"

"The 'anything except fuck' part begins when I start helping you," I tested, not believing for one minute that she would go along with it.

"What's that supposed to mean?" She wanted to know.

"That means we can strip each other naked. And then we'll take lots of breaks to kiss, touch, and hold each other while I explain the material to you."

Marie got bright red and shook her head. "I didn't realize you were a pervert, Shad."

"Hey, this was your idea and suggestion not mine," I said defensively. "But if you're going to put it out there then I'm going to take full advantage of it."

She swallowed and gave it some consideration. "Whatever," she groaned.

I gave Marie my best stare until she looked away. "What? So you figured that 'anything except fuck' meant that you could parade around in your bra and panties and that I couldn't do anything about it except go home and beat off?"

"I don't know what I figured," she admitted with a sigh.

"You know that I'd never hurt you, right? Because we're friends?"

The look of disgust on her face told me that calling her bluff had but her on the defensive and I was interested to see how much it will take for her to back out of her original idea.

"I figured that you didn't mean what you were saying, Marie," I let her know. "So if you aren't willing to give me a completely naked down-payment on the weekend, there's no deal."

"You're a real bastard," she complained. "I don't give peep shows."

"I figured as much," I laughed. "So, anyway, good luck on your project. I'll just be heading home now."

"No, wait," Marie insisted. "Don't go."

I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a hug. "I think we've reached an impasse on our little negotiations here, Marie," I teased.

"I'm willing to give concessions if you'll help me with the project," she replied.

I rolled my eyes, still not taking her seriously but willing to play along for the fun of it. "Will you let me see you naked?" I asked, not really expecting a positive response.

She threw me a puzzled look, a mix between disgust and intrigue.

I shrugged. "Maybe somebody else will give you a better deal," I told her. "Heck, you've still got a few days so maybe you can figure it out on your own but I thought once you sacrificed your high principles and decided to cheat on the exam then cheating me out of our deal wasn't much worse."

"I guess I'm not as high principled as you," she replied sarcastically.

Well, good luck on the project," I grinned, kissing her forehead and starting to get up but she pulled me back down with her hand.

"You're not going anywhere you son of a bitch," she ordered. "You're the only one I really know in our class and I'm certainly not going to be making such a perverted and disgusting deal with some pervert stranger!"

"Well, there's also a chance that you could figure out the assignment on your own and you wouldn't need my help at all," I remarked.

"Yes, but that seems highly unlikely or I would have done it by now instead of offering you this idiotic proposal to begin with," she complained.

I amused myself by imagining what her next offer might be, fantasizing that she might go topless but maybe not bottomless? Naked but no touching? I was dying to know what her breasts looked like and I dreamed about how she might respond if I sucked her nipples and I was getting hard just thinking about it but I stopped daydreaming because I was convinced that she was going to chicken out and even if she didn't I really didn't think I could be so pathetic as to let her go through with it

"Will you please help me?" she begged.

"Are you really offering me your deal including my clarifications?" I asked, waiting for her to change the rules or the agreement.

"Yes," she replied.

"Next weekend naked and alone with me without fucking? Starting noon Friday?"

"That was the deal."

"And naked kissing and touching while I explain the problem to you now?" I asked with raised eyebrows.


There was about five seconds of silence and then I sighed. "I would never make you do something like that, Marie," I told her. "I was just fooling around to see how far you'd go."

"Fuck you, jerk," she replied to my surprise. "You're not chickening out now, god damn it. We had a deal."

"Look, even though you're not going to fuck me and there's no money involved I could never degrade you like that," I replied, slightly embarrassed.

"Don't you think I'm already down to that level now?" She groaned. "Just by making the offer to begin with?"

I shrugged. "We were just playing around, Marie."

"I wasn't," she replied honestly. "I'm willing to use my body to get something from you that I need."

"Well, I wouldn't make you do that," I replied, now starting to get nervous about all this.

"Women do this sort of sexual politics and sexual favors all the time for men," Marie reasoned. "So, do you want me to get naked right now and you'll show me how to do the assignment?"

"Won't Melissa be back soon?" I asked, trying to come up with some reason to stop this unbelievable situation from progressing.

"Well, that shouldn't be a problem unless she objects to seeing us both undressed," Marie said, sounding totally serious and undisturbed.

"Are you crazy?" I asked.

"What? Don't tell me you're bashful, Shad!"

"I just don't want Melissa to find out about this," I told her nervously. "I don't want her thinking less of me."

"Knowing her, she'd probably join us," Marie replied. "But don't worry about it. She might not even come home at all."

"Are you really going to take off your clothes?" I asked in a subdued voice.

"That's the deal, right?"

"I don't want you to think of me as a pervert, Marie," I sighed.

"Too late," she rebutted.

She was wearing sneakers, a skirt, and a blue blouse and she blushed as I ran my eyes up and down her body. Was this really going to happen?

"Never mind, Marie," I sighed. "Just show me your assignment and I'll help you."

"No way," she replied. "A deal is a deal and I don't go back on my word."

"I'm letting you off the hook," I told her. "I respect you too much to turn you into a peep show."

She kicked off her sneakers and leaned over and kissed me. I think I blushed even more than she did. When our tongues began to rub and play, I pulled back and searched her eyes.

"You don't have to do this," I whispered but she didn't seem to be listening as she slowly began to unbutton her blouse.

I was getting extremely tense as I watched her remove her blouse and she hung it over the back of the couch.

"I'm not doing this solo," she said a frown. "Get rid of your shirt."


"A deal is a deal," she said bluntly. "You're not chickening out now, Shad."

I pulled off my shirt and then I leaned over and kissed her with her bra-covered breasts pressing against my bare chest. Marie's kissing alternated between passion and regret, seduction and disgust. I could feel the heat coming from her face as she blushed.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that I had secret thoughts about seducing Marie for a while now even though I know she had a boyfriend. My secret fantasy plan was to overwhelm her with charm and companionship until she wanted to be with me instead of the absent (and progressively irrelevant) Bobby but first I had to get past her stuffy dignity and commitment to Bobby. Never in my wildest imagination did I figure something like this might happen even though she made it clear that we weren't going to fuck.

Obviously getting her completely undressed would help my cause and hopes and as nervous and pathetic as I felt about the whole sick situation, I figured I might as well see how far she was willing to go just to get her assignment accomplished.

Deciding to become more assertive and aggressive, I used my left hand to unsnap Marie's bra but I was the one trembling as I ran my hands gently up and down her bare back. With my recent problems and issues, the last thing I wanted to have happen was for me to have an episode with her in my arms but I kept telling myself that after everything I had been through I deserved this moment. I hadn't had a steady relationship since I joined the Army and I hadn't had a sexual encounter and nearly two years given my deployments and then my mental breakdown.

Very slowly, I slipped my hands underneath the straps of her dangling bra. I moved my hands forward inside her cups and carefully covered her breasts with my hands. Her nipples became stiff and hard as I caressed them and after a couple of minutes her kisses became more passionate and I slipped her bra off her shoulders, draping it over her blouse.

Marie's face turned completely crimson and she covered her breasts with her arms. I held her face and kissed her and then I gently pulled her arms down and around my back.

"It's okay," I whispered. "Let me look at you."

She arched her back which caused her perky yet small breasts to push out some and after I took a long appreciative look at her lovely prizes I pulled her against me. Her breasts were not particularly large but they were firm and nicely shaped and they felt comforting against me. I felt her nipples grow hard as they rubbed against the hair on my chest and I realized just how desperate I had been all this time to feel the warmth of a woman in my arms. Had I really been this lonely? This pathetic?

After several kisses, I felt the tension in my arms begin to abate and I didn't feel quite so guilty or wretched taking advantage of the situation like this. I gently pushed us apart so that I could look at her. I wasn't quite sure what the look on her face was telling me but her tiny nipples were pointing straight out, each just under a quarter-inch in length. As I leaned down and started to kiss her breasts, she stopped me.

"You didn't say anything about kissing me there!" She said.

"You didn't say anything about me not kissing you there," I returned. "You said everything but the final deed."

"I did?" She asked with a frown.

"Marie, I intend to fondle and kiss you from the top of your head to your toes. If you can't handle that, I'll get dressed and I'll leave and you can do your assignment on your own," I threatened.

"That would mean the deal's off," she protested.

"Hell, the way you're behaving I wouldn't be surprised if you stiffed me on the weekend," I complained. "This may be all I ever get!"

Marie hesitated and then the look on her face was one of almost amusement. "You really are a bastard! Go ahead and kiss my tits but don't think for a minute that I'm going to enjoy it!"

"You think I'm a bastard for following through on the terms you made?" I asked. "Is there anything I'm asking you to do that wasn't part of the deal you willingly made of your own choice? Hell, at your own instigation?"

Marie shook her head while staring at me directly in my eyes. "No, I agreed to all of this. I just. . . I thought . . . I don't know . . ."

"You called me chicken before but I gave you every opportunity to renege on the deal, Marie," I reminded her. "It's okay if you want to chicken out now. I won't hold it against you."

"This sounded fine in the abstract but now that I'm exposing myself with Bobby in Maryland, it's different!" She admitted. "I feel . . . I'm not sure . . ."

I picked up her bra and blouse and held them to her. "This was always your choice, Marie," I replied. "You offered to sacrifice your dignity if I would help you with the assignment and here we are. You need to decide if you're desperate enough to live up to your own deal or not."

Marie took her clothes from my hands and stared at them. She looked up at me, chewing on her lip. "Do you remember that long weekend when Rich invited you up to the lake with us?" She asked, taking the clothes from me and tossing them aside.

"Yeah, right before football camp, senior year," I replied. "You brought Melissa. But you guys were just a little bit too young to show any interest in beyond friendly family cheer."

"Did you know that there were knot holes between the walls in the cottage?" She asked.

"No, I wasn't aware of that fact," I replied.

"Melissa and me used to peek through there whenever you guys came back from swimming or whatever," Marie admitted. "You were the first guy I ever saw naked." She looked away in embarrassment.

"And you call me perverted," I mumbled, lifting my finger to her breast and touching her nipple. Then I gave it some thought. "Hey, that means Melissa saw me naked too!"

"I'm surprised you didn't hear us giggling and panting through the knothole," Marie replied sheepishly.

"And you were looking at your brother naked too?"

"I wasn't looking at my brother, you asshole," Marie replied with a frown. "I was looking at you."

"Well, I'm flattered, I guess," I said, feeling slightly vulnerable and exposed.

"I was a fourteen year old eighth grader and that was my first sexualized experience," she confessed. "I fell in want with you but you were so much older and then you graduated and left and I was left behind and Bobby came along and I forgot all about you until I saw you in the cafeteria that day and now I'm sitting here with you and I'm topless and Bobby is in Maryland and I really don't mind making this deal but I feel guilty for betraying Bobby even though he's probably cheating on me anyway." She sucked in her breath.

"Thank you for thinking of me," I replied, genuinely complimented by the entire story.

"I've got to get a good grade in this course!" Marie determined. "I agreed to this arrangement and I'm not going to back out. But it's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be."

"Why?" I asked with intrigued interest.

"Because I'm afraid if I start I might not be able to stop," she confessed.

We spent several minutes kissing and when she didn't stop me I sucked on her breasts and nipples and then I rubbed my fingers over them while I kissed her face and neck. She began to breathe faster and harder and her nipples stayed hard and it was obvious that she was enjoying what we were doing - in spite of her intentions!

"Can't we start on the assignment now?" Marie gasped between kisses.

I smiled as we broke apart. She was topless and she was embarrassed but she was also turned on!

I alternated between showing her how to do some of the assignment, openly staring at her breasts, taking frequent breaks for kissing and caressing, and embracing her passionately. Marie quickly grew accustomed to being topless in front of me and after about twenty minutes I pulled her to her feet and kissed her, feeling her nipples stiffen against my chest.

"We're overdressed!" I decided.

"Oh, you think so?" She asked, in between a complaint and a threat.

"Maybe we should do something about that before we move on to the next part of the assignment," I suggested.

Marie's face turned slightly red as she unfastened her skirt and let it fall to the floor. I unsnapped my jeans and let them fall too. I was already semi-hard and now my jockey shorts started tenting out but she pretended that she didn't notice although of course she did.

I dropped to my knees and leaned forward and planted a wet-tongue kiss on her panties just at the bottom of her pubic bone. I could feel her pubic hair under her panties pressing back against my tongue. She jumped away from me.

"That's completely over the line!" she yelped.

I stood and pulled her against me. I tried to kiss her but she kept turning her head away from me.

"Marie, I'm not going to go back to the assignment until you kiss me," I told her.

I don't know what got into me but I guess I just wanted to be with someone after so long alone. Marie glared at me for several seconds but then she let me kiss her. I thought she'd gag when I pushed my tongue into her mouth and I pulled her close against me, my penis stiff and hard between us even through my undershorts. After a couple of minutes I could feel her arousal returning and her tongue began to play with mine.

We were both breathing hard when I broke the clinch and we returned to the assignment. I worked with her for another fifteen minutes or so and then said, "It's show time, Marie!"

She got really red again and her blush covered most of her body, even the tops of her legs. We both stood and we kissed again. Marie's body was rigid and trembling from embarrassment as I took hold of the waistband of her panties and slowly pulled them down her legs. She was a natural blond! Her pubic hair was long and plentiful but neatly trimmed along the sides. Tight blonde curls extended between her legs, concealing her slit from my view.

"You are quite beautiful," I let her know.

I stood and kissed Marie again and then I gently cupped her breasts. Her body tensed but her nipples remained stiff and rock-hard against my hands. She whimpered softly as she pulled my shorts down. First my pubic hair appeared and then my erect penis. She stopped halfway down, looking at it with amazement.

"It was never that big at the cottage," she giggled.

"Well, I didn't know I was supposed to be turned on," I joked.

Marie took a quick breath and then pulled my shorts down my legs. She flinched as my penis snapped up and pointed at her. I stepped out of my undershorts and pulled her against me and I kissed her again.

Marie tried to keep her hips away from mine but I pulled her closer. I reached between us and my erection pressed firmly between her tightly-clenched thighs. I kissed her and caressed her breasts for several minutes and she began to become really aroused and responsive as her tongue began to press hard against mine as we kissed. She made little moans as I caressed her nipples and I could feel her curly pubic hair rubbing against my penis as we rubbed against each other and my hands worked their way down to cusp her naked ass cheeks.

I knew this was about as far as we should or could go so I gently pushed us apart. We sat down, got our breathing under control, and returned to the assignment, working totally in the buff. Interestingly, after her initial reluctance, she seemed to accept our nudity. I've always suspected that every woman is an exhibitionist at heart but I was surprised how quickly Marie got used to being naked with me.

I would occasionally reach over and cup one of her breasts and she would smile and kiss me. She resisted when I tried putting my fingers between her legs but she let me rub the fuzzy pubic hair above her crotch. She said it tickled but she didn't stop me. Her tight blonde curls were soft and felt wonderful against my fingers!

It took us a few hours but finally Marie understood the project and she had written some good narratives without too much help from me. I helped her research some stuff on the laptop which felt funny in my naked lap!

Marie was happy with the finished project and I smiled.

"This has been the most interesting study session I've ever had, Marie!" I grinned.

"That's because you're really sick!" Marie retorted but I know she meant it in an affectionate way.

She got off the couch and I caught sight of her beautiful round ass as she picked up her clothes from the floor and got dressed. I did the same and we didn't' say much as we picked up the assignment papers and books just as Melissa walked through the door. She seemed surprised to see me at the apartment so late but she didn't say much as she headed to her room and Marie and I exchanged relieved yet amused smirks. Five minutes earlier and Melissa would have gotten an eye full.

"Well, I guess I should go," I said.

"Yes, I guess you should," Marie agreed.

I nodded and smiled. "I'll see you around."

"Sure," she replied, walking me to the door as if nothing strange or out of the ordinary had taken place between us.

"Goodnight," I said as she opened the door.

"Goodnight, Shad," she replied.

Was I a total sicko wacko pervert? That's what I wondered as I drove home. Why did I let things get so far between us and even stranger why did Marie let it go that far too?

We both acted as if nothing out of the ordinary had taken place between us when we saw each other the next day and for the rest of the week. Marie gladly turned in her project, she sat with me in the two classes we shared, and she joined me for lunch in the cafeteria. We talked like always and I had to pretend that I didn't know what she looked like naked.

We didn't talk about the rest of the The Deal again until Thursday evening when Marie came into Fontaine's when I was working.

"Are we really going somewhere this weekend?" She asked tentatively.

"That was part of The Deal wasn't it?" I asked with raised eyebrows.

"Yes, it was," she agreed.

"Do you want to back out of it?" I challenged. "I'll understand if you do."

"No, I told you, I stick to my word," she replied, seemingly accepting my dare.

"Okay," I said, again willing to see how far this would go. "I'll pick you up at your place at noon tomorrow."

"Deal," she replied with a neutral face before turning and walking out of the store.

Had this turned into some sick sex game? Or was this her way of being with me without totally betraying Bobby? I wasn't sure either way but I didn't mind playing our ongoing game of Truth or Dare.

I arrived at her place at noon with an overnight bag packed, although I wasn't sure if I would be using it. I expected Marie to chicken out at any moment but when she opened the door to her apartment I could see her packed bag sitting on the living room floor behind her.

"Ready to go?" I asked.

"Where are we going?" She wanted to know.

"It's a surprise," I replied with a grin.

"Oh. Good. I like surprises," she smiled as she picked up her bag and left the apartment.

Apparently, Marie was willing to play this game full tilt too.

We put the bags in the back of my car and she gladly slipped into the passenger's seat of the car.

I got in behind the driver's wheel. "You're sure about this?" I tested.

"Just drive the car, Shad," she replied, glancing out the window.

I was beginning to think this girl was just one giant tease and that's what she had been doing to me all along and I was willing to match her step by step and see where it all went. I had no real expectation about the weekend and I didn't think I was going to get laid because of Bobby being in the picture but a weekend getaway with her company wasn't a bad thing and the excitement of the unknown was interesting enough to keep me involved.

Marie was wearing sandals, white short-shorts, and a T-shirt through which I could clearly see the outline of her bra. She looked delicious and she had obviously just showered because she smelled fresh and feminine.

"So, where are we going?" She asked again.

"Not far," I assured her. "We can turn around if you want."

"No, I'm good," she replied glancing out the window.

I drove us to Mt. Griffin and we stopped at the local grocery store and I picked up some food and other necessities for the weekend. Marie didn't ask any questions or even protest, going along by picking out a few items herself.

About mile past the store, I turned off the main road and drove down a small dirt road that led into the deep woods, following some old logging trails until at last we came out of the woods into a clearing and there was the cabin overlooking a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.

"This is where we're staying?" She asked with surprise.

"It's my Uncle's," I replied. "It's been in the family for like three generations. I used to come up here when I was a kid with my father."

"Did you ever bring girls up here?" Marie asked as I shut off the engine to the car.

"You're the first," I admitted and it was the truth.

She smiled and climbed out of the car and followed me to the front door of the small aged cabin. I unlocked the cabin's door and turned on the electricity. There was a single power line leading to the cabin, and we had followed it for the last half mile. I located the correct tools and primed the electric pump with water I had brought along, and we soon had running water. It ran rusty at first but then clear and cold after a couple of minutes so I filled the propane- heated hot-water tank and turned on and lit the gas.

While I was taking care of all this, Marie swept the dust and accumulated dirt out of the cabin and checked the place out. We unloaded our stuff from the car and put the cold food into a refrigerator. If Marie was having second thoughts she didn't say anything and I knew this was about as far away from Bobby as she could get.

It was a nice afternoon and we still had a few hours of daylight so I suggested we take a walk along some of the trails. I was relieved and happy when Marie decided this was a good idea and we left the cabin and followed one of the better trails, jumping over a stream and then coming across a deep pool full of really cold water that I remembered when I was a kid.

"To bad it wasn't warmer and later in the season," I teased. "We could skinny dip.

"Yeah, too bad," she replied and I couldn't tell if she was being serious or just playing with me.

We sat on a fallen log and watched the water running by and I told Marie a few stories about being out here as a kid – chasing after my dog Marty, learning how to hunt with my Dad and Uncle, and just enjoying mother nature away from the real world.

"I should have come out here when I first got back from the Army," I realized aloud as I sucked in the peaceful open air. "This is the best therapy there is."

"You're in therapy?" Marie asked with surprise.

I shrugged. "I'm much better now," I said.

"Geez, Shad, I didn't know," she replied. "Did something bad happen?"

"Yes, something bad happened," I revealed, looking away. "But we don't need to talk about that now."

"Yes, it wasn't part of The Deal," she agreed, leaning over and giving me a wonderful kiss and I could feel her nipples getting hard under her shirt as she pressed herself against me.

I wanted to grab her and hold her and kiss her and make love to her right there on the moss under the trees but I knew that definitely wasn't part of The Deal so I broke from the kissing and stood.

"Come on," I said. "There's plenty more to see."

We explored until the shadows began to darken the woods and then we hurried back to the cabin, barely arriving before dark. We had walked and climbed for a couple of miles, and we were both really tired and sweaty. But as the sun went down, the air got chilly, a breeze began to blow, and we were glad to get back into the shelter of the cabin.

It had really been a fun afternoon of walking and talking. Marie told me about her high school life and we compared notes about shared teachers and kids we knew. She also talked about her future goals and dreams, not sure if waitressing at Johnny C's was her final plan although she enjoyed the people and the job. I said I hoped to go to Green College after Blue County Community and get a degree and she said that was a good plan too.

The cabin was basically one big room with four bunk beds along the walls, each with a plastic-covered mattress and pillows. There was a really huge refrigerator, a propane stove and a single sink. Dishes and glasses were in the open cabinets over the sink, and pots and pans were below. There was a washing machine at the end of the short kitchen counter and the bathroom was cut out of the kitchen end of the cabin with an old porcelain tub/shower squeezed in next to a toilet. We both needed showers and Marie told me to go first and she would wash some dishes and pans so that we could eat. I told her that I would get out the sheets and blankets and make things ready for sleeping while she took her shower.

I unpacked some towels and soap and took them into the bathroom that had a busted wooden curtain for a door so I didn't even bother trying to close it. I scrubbed out the tub and then undressed and showered. I dried myself off and walked naked into the main room carrying my towel in one hand and my dirty clothes in the other.

"Shower's yours, Marie!" I announced.

Marie's eyes opened wide but she tried to ignore my nudity as she grabbed some clean clothes and went into the bathroom. She tried to close the wooden curtain but it wouldn't budge so she finally gave up and stepped into the tiny room. After a few seconds of silence, I heard the toilet flush. Then the shower came on.

Still naked I entered the bathroom and told Marie I had to take a piss. The shower curtain was almost transparent and I could clearly see her naked body. .I stood over the toilet and took a leak while she watched me. She was staring as I flicked the last few drops into the bowl but she turned away from me to pretend that she hadn't been watching and I didn't say anything.

I finally got dressed and then pulled one of the twin-sized, plastic- covered mattresses onto the floor, dusted it, put on the sheets, added a blanket, and fixed up a pillow. Then I began heating up a pot of canned beef stew.

Marie showered until the water began to run cold and I heard her curse. A few minutes later she emerged from the bathroom with still damp hair and dressed in sweats

"How was the shower?" I asked to make conversation

"You should know – you saw me," she mumbled.

"I like seeing you naked, Marie!"

"I'm beginning to realize that!" She replied.

I laughed and went back to the stove. I filled two bowls with the stew, buttered some French bread, and sat and began to eat. Marie joined me at the other end of the table.

"So, we're roughing it," I explained.

"This is definitely different, Shad," She said. "We're completely isolated out here! Are there any wild animals out there in the woods?"

"I gave you five chances to turn around on the way up, Marie," I reminded her.

"I now realize I should have taken one of them," she replied but she didn't sound all that serious.

I poured some red wine for her and she drank several glasses while we ate our meal and made small talk. I knew I had to refrain from any alcohol. The last thing I needed was to go nuts out here.

I enjoyed being stuck out in the middle of nowhere with Marie and she seemed to relax and accept the circumstances of our deal. We talked and laughed and joked around but after a while she was continuously yawning. We were both tired from the drive, the long walk and I'm sure the wine was beginning to knock Marie out too.

"Let's go to bed so we're rested for tomorrow," I said. "There's lots of neat trails we can explore."

I used the toilet and then brushed my teeth in the kitchen sink. Marie sat in the chair watching me and when I was finished I kissed her and she didn't' seem to resist but after a few moments she got up and went into the bathroom. I could hear her urinating as I turned out all the lights except a small one in the corner, stripped out of my clothes and crawled into the makeshift bed.

Marie flushed the toilet and came out and she cleaned her teeth in the sink. Even in the weak light I could see her shape of her body underneath her sweats. When she was done, Marie turned and looked around. "Where am I supposed to sleep?"

"Well, you can either sleep here with me or you can curl up on one of the bunk beds."

She glanced around at the two choices. "I'm supposed to cuddle up with the horny you?" She challenged.

"Who said I was horny?" I asked innocently.

She rolled her eyes. "You were strutting around her naked and you wouldn't give me any privacy in the bathroom," she complained.

"We're roughing it, remember?" I joked.

"Move over, damn it!" She said as she approached the bed. "The way you're lying on the bed there isn't room for me!"

I made room, but with the small mattress it was obvious that the only way we could share the bed was to hold each other.

"Jesus Christ, you're naked again!" She said when she got under the sheets.

I lay on my back and wrapped my arms around her and held her and I kissed her good night but I also took advantage of every opportunity to run my hands gently all over her body, both over and under her sweats.

After experimenting with several positions, we finally ended up with me on my right side with Marie spooning against me. Her breasts were pushed against my back and I had a raging hard-on but she kept her hands away from it, unfortunately.

Marie's breathing gradually changed and I knew the combination of the wine and the long hike had caught up with her. I carefully turned so I was facing her and when my erection bumped into her thighs, she made a funny sound in her sleep and rolled onto her left side. Now I was spooning her. My penis was against the backs of her thighs and my right hand was on her breasts and that's how I fell asleep.

It was much later when I awoke to find Marie kissing me and rubbing herself against me. She was naked now having slipped out of her sweats sometime during the night and I began kissing her on her lips and neck, gradually working down to her breasts and nipples. I caressed one nipple while sucking on the other and then I started again at her lips. Each time I kissed her a little lower and then went back to her mouth, working my way down her body. As I worked further down, she found my penis with her hand and then put her arms around me and rubbed my back. She began to make soft moaning sounds, synchronized with her ragged breathing.

It all felt like a dream in a way. It was mostly dark in the still cabin and she had awaken me from a slumber by starting foreplay and I wasn't sure how far she was willing or wanting to go. I sucked on Marie's navel and she giggled that it tickled and as I moved lower it was obvious that she was so turned on that she wasn't going to offer any resistance.

"This is way better than the cottage," she whispered.

When I began to kiss the tops of Marie's thighs, she voluntarily separated her legs. I moved a hand from a breast to her wet and slippery pussy and I began to slide a single finger slowly in and out of her.

Marie put one of her hands on top of mine. "Finally," she sighed happily.

I covered her mouth with mine and kissed her. Then I gently wiggled the finger I had inside her. "Doesn't my finger feel wonderful inside you?"

After a few seconds, Marie released my hand and nodded her head. She squeezed me hard and kissed me as I continued to stimulate her. I occasionally brushed my thumb against her clitoris and Marie cried out and gave a little jump each time. Finally I pressed my face into her snatch and tongued into her vagina.

"God, you taste wonderful!"

"It feels better," she replied breathlessly.

I flicked my tongue over her clitoris and Marie began to build to orgasm. I kept slowing down as her passion climbed and each time she got more excited before I stopped. Marie was still fighting her building passion but it was a battle I didn't intend to lose as I used my finger in Marie's vagina to find and rub her G-spot and I sucked and licked on her clitoris with an ever-increasing tempo. She wrapped her legs around my head, arched her back and let out an incredible scream as she climaxed. I wondered if the animals in the woods had heard!

I let her calm down for a few minutes and as soon as her breathing was better, I began again. This time it only took about ten minutes to bring her to a screaming, body-shaking orgasm. I kept up the oral and digital sex and Marie hadn't spoken a coherent word for a long time. Her eyes were half-closed and her mouth was hanging open. Her legs were wide apart and she made no effort to cover herself and she was loud and active when she climaxed.

I was so aroused that I had to release the throbbing ache in my balls. Marie was exhausted, well past the point of resisting anything I did so I straddled her with my prick pointing at her breasts and I began to jerk off. She watched me through eyes that were just barely open and it only took a couple of minutes before I released myself onto her breasts and stomach.

My climax had left my legs trembling and I collapsed half on top of her. I fell asleep as I gently rubbed the cum into her breasts and nipples and she reached down and pressed my erection firmly against her thigh as we drifted off together. She even kissed my pussy-juice covered lips without protest.

So, The Deal was still in tact because although we had sex together I hadn't fucked her.

Neither of us were very shy in the morning. Marie pranced from the make shift bed naked to use the bathroom and she happily stared at my privates as I climbed off the bed when she came back into the room.

"You're starting to have fun, aren't you?" I teased.

Marie didn't answer but she grinned and gave my cock a firm squeeze before I went into the bathroom.

We dressed and had a light breakfast and then went out hiking again. It was a relatively warm day and when we came back after a few hours we decided to rough it and we stripped out of our clothes and jumped into the water pool that was ice cold but amazingly refreshing and we had a grand time splashing around and goosing each other .

We dragged ourselves out of the water and lay on the soft moss and let the sun dry us and we fell asleep.

We awoke, dressed and returned to the cabin for a late lunch.

"I'm thinking of breaking up with Bobby," Marie told me as we ate our sandwiches.

"Oh?" I asked. "Does this have anything to do with Our Deal?"

"It has everything to do with our deal, you jerk!"

I laughed.

"You do realize this was all part of my big plan to get us together, right?" She asked.

"Of course," I answered. "I wasn't sure how far it would go."

"So, do you want to be together?" She asked.

"More than anything," I replied.

"Me too," she said with a smile. "When I first saw you in the cafeteria that day I told myself to walk away because I was with Bobby and I couldn't get involved with somebody else but I kept remembering that day at the cottage and how I fell in love with you and I was amazed that I still wanted to be with you even after all these years."

I leaped from my chair, grabbed her by the arm, and staring kissing her desperately. She kissed me back and before I knew it we were out of our clothes again and on the mattress on the floor and this time we broke the initial promise of The Deal as we made long and passionate love.

One part of the deal was over but another part of it had just begun.