Your first float trip was a wonderful experience in many
ways. You went with a huge group, around eighty in all, and knew about
twenty-thirty of them. The heat was intense that summer and the spray coming
off of the river was really nice. Add in the laughter of friends, the lukewarm
beers, and the half-melted ice in the coolers sloshing around and you were in
one of those days you knew would always be a happy memory. Unfortunately,
drinking on the river all day made your forget to re-apply sunscreen so when
you got back to the campsite that night, you found yourself dealing with one of
the worst sunburns of your life. You were red and sore and could barely move.
Your shoulders, chest, and back were the worst, but everything that hadn’t been
covered by your thin tank top and soft, spandex shorts was at least somewhat burned.
Thankfully, you had a hat on all day so your face wasn’t too bad. But god, you
Your sister took one look at you and sent you to her
boyfriend’s tent, instructing you to look in her green bag for the first aid
kit. You tracked down the aloe and returned to the tent you were sharing with
two of the guys and your best friend. You’d been a last minute entry to the
trip and hadn’t actually met the guys you were sharing a tent with yet. Letting
your friend know what you were doing, you zipped up the tent and stripped down
to your swimsuit to get as much fabric out of the way as possible and began
applying the aloe, starting at your calves and moving up your body, rubbing the
aloe in all the way and then leaving another light layer over your skin to soak
in. When you hit your thighs, you heard the zipper of your tent and you turned
in time to see a guy enter.
“Oh, sorry,” he said, immediately turning his face away. “Are
you, um, are you staying in this tent too?” He was shy, his cheeks lightly
tinged, his brown eyes glancing at you and turning away again.
“Y-yeah.” You were suddenly aware of how little clothes you
had on as you looked up at him. He seemed unsure of whether he should stay or
go so you gave him your name in the hope that he would choose to stay. He was
cute and muscle-y, with a couple tattoos, short hair, and some peach fuzz.
“I’m Liam,” he answered, still seeming unsure. You felt a
sudden surge of confidence and turned your back on him.
“Could you help me?” You asked, holding out the aloe behind
you. “My back hurts pretty badly and I really can’t reach it.” He was silent
for a second and then you felt your cot shift as he sat behind you. His touch
was light at first, his fingers massaging your shoulders gingerly. As he moved
down your back, he became more confident, moving with greater purpose and his
touch stronger. There was a lot of strength in his hands; you could feel it.
Your back was burned pretty badly so he took his time. It was nearly a sensual
experience. With just enough alcohol in your veins, you slid into his touch and
closed your eyes, just allowing yourself to enjoy the feeling.
“Tell me about yourself,” You said, your voice low and a
soft moan slipping out as his strong fingers massaged the base of your neck.
You curled your back, giving him more access.
“I’ve got two sisters.” His voice was muted, low and
careful. “I haven’t declared my major yet but I just started so I’ve got time,
ya know? I’m awful with geography though, so that’s out.” You laughed a little.
“But what about you?” As you began talking, his hands moved from your back over
your arms. You didn’t complain though. His strong hands felt wonderful and the
aloe was helping.
You told him a little about your major and how passionate
you were about it and how you just wanted to move to Europe—you’d been in Italy
the previous summer and wanted to go back and see everything you’d missed. And
that was only the start. As you were rambling about the beauty of the isle of
Capri, you felt a soft touch, feather light, on the back of your neck. You
turned to him, meeting his eyes fully for the first time and noticing just how
deep they were.
“You know, you’re beautiful,” he said, his gaze a little bit
lazy. You wondered just how much he had had to drink that day; you knew you
were a little drunk but nothing you couldn’t handle. You wondered about him
“Yeah, I do know,” you answered, quirking an eyebrow up at
“Confident?” He asked, simply impressed. His eyes grazed
over you again.
“Intimidated?” You were flirting blatantly.
“Just as much as you want me to be. But not quite enough to
be afraid to ask if I can kiss you.” You took a second to look at his lips,
plump and moist, before nodding and pressing your lips to his. His lips were
just as soft as they looked and his touch was gentle, his hand on your face.
You kissed him for a minute longer before he tried to lay you back. Then your
sunburn protested and you jumped back up, moving out of his reach.
“I’m sorry,” he said immediately, holding his hands up. “Did
I do something wrong?” You shook your head, your cheeks tinged with
“The sunburns,” you explained, shifting uncomfortably.
“I’ve got an idea.” He sat up and dug around in his bag,
pulling out a soft, worn shirt and handing it to you. You slipped it on and
found yourself more comfortable than you ever did with a sunburn; the fabric
was light and breathable but still soft enough that it didn’t settle on your
burns. “Helps?” you nodded, smiling at him. It was late, the only light coming
into the tent from the campfire outside. You were tired from the burns leeching
your strength and you told him as much. He took it as a hint to leave but that’s
not what you meant.
“Do you want to lay with me?” you asked, shifting over on
the cot. He was extremely eager, laying down on the cot and adjusting you next
to him so that the only parts of you lying against him were unburned—your head
was on his arm and his other arm was slung along your stomach.
“Do you wanna go on the river with me tomorrow?” he asked,
placing a soft kiss on the side of your head. Tomorrow was a free day, some
groups were going into town, a couple others were going kayaking, there was
even a group heading into the forest for some hiking.
“What do you suggest we do?” You asked back, relaxing into
“Swimming, drinking… I could think of a couple other things
maybe,” he answered, chuckling and kissing the side of your head.
“Uh, huh, other things?” You asked, laughing with him softly
and turning your head to meet his lips once more. You fell asleep in his arms,
your burns forgotten and your heart content.