This is Chapter 12 from Cherri Red 1: Summer Secrets by JT Harding.
Copyright (c) 2011 JT Harding. All rights reserved.
All I know is it wasn’t me ratted them out. It could have been almost anyone, but it wasn’t me. Tonya and Holly were no great secret around camp, except maybe to Jeff and Chrissy Simmons, though I’d be surprised if they didn’t know too and simply chose to ignore the flouting of the rules. Everyone recognized what went on among counselors, the unwritten rules being: not in front of the kids, don’t be blatant, and keep it heterosexual.
Maybe it was one of the brats; there were a couple of them I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw them, even if it was off the top of a cliff. I knew all about what Tonya and Holly got up to. Jesus Christ, I’d knelt on the floor next to their door at one in the morning listening to the single bed creak and soft cries of ecstasy, hoping none of the campers would wake and find me there and ask what in hell I was doing. I only listened for a couple of minutes, but I couldn’t stop myself. I would wake in the night and lie still telling myself tonight would be different, I wouldn’t sneak out and see if they were still making love to each other, and every time I knew I was lying to myself. Often the corridor was cold and I sat there shivering, unable to tear myself away. And when I finally did return to my bed I fought the next urge, once more knowing I was going to fail until eventually my fingers crept down inside my panties and found my slit wet and eager. I conjured images of Tonya and Holly, imagining their bodies pressed together, Tonya’s dark exotic skin sliding against Holly’s pale flesh, Tonya’s small firm breasts flattening Holly’s larger globes, their mouths hungry and demanding, their hands and tongues and bodies writhing and kissing and probing and I climaxed silent and shaking in the dark, biting down on my lip to keep my cry inside.
I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take the tension. Knowing what was happening just yards across the corridor made everything tougher, made me look at everyone in a different way. Made me think about Cherri in a different way. I’d been disapointed Jacxk was taken, but as each night passed I was coming round to the idea that maybe a boyfriend, any boyfriend, would be better than the images of female curves filling my head, might be enough to let me get through camp without turning into a nervous wreck. There was a free night coming up this weekend, and if Jack was taken I’d ask Cherri to ask Brian if he had a friend.
What happened Wednesday morning dashed all thoughts of the weekend from my head.
I was woken early by a noise, footsteps out on the porch and then the outside door opening. I rolled over and sighed, waiting to see if whoever it was would go away, but instead the footsteps came inside and I heard whispering. Brats. Sneaking out or back in. What time was it anyway? I reached for the alarm and pulled it close, blearily reading the dial. Five before six. They were going to catch hell.
I threw back the covers and strode to the door, grabbed the handle and put my head against the thin ply and listened. Yup, voices, still whispering, right outside in the corridor. I knew some of the kids were a little scared of me. My shyness came across as stern and they weren’t always sure what to make of me.
I steeled myself and pulled the door open, preparing the balling out they were going to get. As my door swung inward three other things happened so fast I couldn’t really tell which came first. It felt as though they all occurred simultaneously, but they couldn’t have.
First I saw it wasn’t kids but Jeff and Chrissy, half crouched out in the hall, Jeff’s hand on the door of Tonya and Holly’s room.
Second was my stomach did all kinds of flips when I thought of what they were going to see when they opened the door, as they were obviously about to do.
Third was they pulled the door wide and rushed into the room.
Of yeah – I should have said four, five things happened.
Tonya and Holly sat bolt upright in bed, the blanket and sheet slipping off them to show their upper bodies.
Chrissy made a kind of muted shriek somewhere deep inside and Jeff strode into the room and said in a strangled yell, “What the hell are you two doing?”
Even at the time, among all the confusion and rush I thought What do you think they’re doing? Some people, huh?
Holly lifted her arms to cover her breasts, but Tonya stayed as she was, a defiant look on her face. She glanced past Jeff and saw me in my doorway and the look of loathing and hate on her face made my blood run cold. She obviously thought it was me had told on them. I shook my head in a futile effort at saying No, not me, I would never do this, but she wasn’t taking any notice. She swung her legs out of bed and stood tall, naked and glorious and unashamed.
The sight of her sleek dusk body seemed to confuse Jeff and he stepped back and bumped up against his wife still in the doorway. The two of them blocked my view, which was a shame because what little I saw of Tonya was a sight I would remember the rest of my life.
She stepped toward them, switching the roles and Jeff and Chrissy backed up into the corridor.
I heard voices from the bunkroom, and so did they. Chrissy stepped to the bunkroom door and slipped inside. I heard her telling everyone to get back into bed, nothing was going on.
“Get dressed now. I’m going to wait for you outside. How could you do this? How?” Jeff kept his voice to a low, harsh whisper. His head turned to take in both girls, then he turned quickly away and strode out. Chrissy stayed in the bunkroom, obviously playing guard on the kids in there.
I stood in my doorway, Tonya revealed again, Holly still sitting in bed and starting to cry.
“You’re fucking dead, Walker,” Tonya said, her voice flat and cold.
“It wasn’t me! Tonya, Holly… it wasn’t me.” I heard a catch in my voice, tears springing in my eyes. This was so unfair.
Tonya laughed. “Sure. Who the fuck else would it be? I knew you were jealous, but I didn’t expect this from you Danni.”
“I didn’t…” I felt the tears well and run down my cheeks. I liked these girls, liked them a lot. Yeah, I was uneasy because they were doing what I was coming around to discovering I wanted to do as well, but mostly I liked them because they were sweet and funny and I liked seeing them together, knowing how much in love they were. I didn’t know what was going to happen now.
Tonya stepped to the doorway, still naked, and glared at me. She was quivering with anger and I expected her to leap at me there and then, but she stared into my eyes for a minute, maybe more, then turned away and started pulling clothes on. Holly slid out of bed and touched her shoulder and Tonya shrugged her off.
“Get dressed, honey. I guess we’re going home.”
Tonya softened and turned to her lover. “Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of us.” She glanced across and looked at me. “You still there, Walker?”
The malevolence in her eyes knocked me back a step and I slammed my door as though that could stop the hate reaching through. I felt it, almost felt I justified it, guilty although I didn’t know why, sure I was never going to be able to convince Tonya of my innocence. Who the fuck?
I sat on my bed and listened until they left. Chrissy Simmons opened my door and said, “You might need to settle your group down, Danni. I’ll come talk to you later.” She sighed, looking tired and confused. “We’ll need to find another counselor to help you before tonight. God, why did this have to happen?”
I shook my head, not knowing if I was replying to her or just rattling the confusion around inside.
“Did you know about this, Danni?”
I shook my head. Chrissy didn’t look suspicious and I thought I could probably get away with pretending ignorance. That notion didn’t do anything to reduce the sense of guilt though.
“You sure? I don’t see how-” She dropped her head, took a deep breath. “Yeah, I can see how. Don’t worry, Danni, this is nothing to do with you. Look after the group for me, please.”
I nodded and after a moment she disappeared after her husband.
It was an hour and a half until breakfast but there was no way the kids were going to settle. I told them to get dressed and we’d be going for an early morning run along the lakeshore and back. A couple of the plumper ones moaned and I made it clear they either had to get back into bed and settle down or they were coming for a run. I was hoping they would all decide getting back into bed was a better option, but of course some of them thought it was a great idea and six of the twelve said they were coming with me, which was not what I wanted but I couldn’t back down now. I went to my room and pulled on joggers and a sweatshirt and went out onto the porch to do some stretches. Light was starting to color the sky to the east, mist cloaking the lake, drifting around the trees and cabins. I almost missed Greg, he stood so still on the covered porch of the refectory, leaning against the railing, his head caught in the light that always shone on the corners of the building. He was looking directly up at me, and suddenly I knew who had spilled the beans on Tonya and Holly.
I felt anger flare, took a step onto the wet grass and stopped. What good would it do? They were caught now, and nothing I said to Greg would change what was going to happen. Behind me kids started coming out, talking, excited, fascinated. I gathered them outside on the dew soaked grass. We did some stretches then I led them along the running track beside the lake. Mist hugged the surface, swirling and tenuous and occasionally it drifted ashore and we jogged through it, the moisture cool against our faces.
I took them a mile down the shore, got them to stretch again then walked them back. I chatted to them, trying to make everything as normal as possible, and although one or two of the bolder ones tried to ask me what had happened I managed to divert their attention.
Back at the cabin I sent them to shower while I washed my face and checked on the remaining group. They had all gone back to sleep and the bunkroom was peaceful, redolent of a roomfull of fourteen year old girls.
At seven-fifteen I woke everyone and sent them over for breakfast, followed at a quarter before eight and saw Cherri already sitting at the staff table. I grabbed my usual eggs and pancakes and slid onto the bench next to her.
She glanced at me, raising her lovely eyebrows. “So what happened, Dan?”
She laughed softly. “Come on, girl, it’s all over camp. Not everyone’s as tight lipped as you. Tonya and Holly – spill the beans.”
I poked at my eggs, not hungry anymore, although I knew it was a mistake not to eat because I’d be starving by ten. I pushed my plate away.
Cherri nodded. “Pretty much everyone. Tony Reynolds saw them being frogmarched into Jeff’s place, still tucking their shirts in. They were inside a half hour before he escorted them back to your cabin. Then he drove off with them in the jeep. He isn’t back yet.”
“Shit.” I shook my head and stared down at the congealing eggs.
“What’s been going on, babe?” Cherri moved across so her leg was pressing against mine. I knew she was offering sympathy, but after what had happened I shifted away, not wanting her touching me anywhere.
“You know what’s been going on.”
“They’re good friends, that’s what I know. Real good friends?”
“Yeah, real good friends,” I confirmed.
She stared at me so hard I could feel her gaze against my face, stared until I turned and looked at her.
“What d’you mean, Cherri?”
“You’re… I don’t know, Dan, you’re a little bit…” She stopped, sighed, obviously not willing to go any further. Could she see what lay in my heart so easily? Was I an open book to everyone else as well?
“I knew what they were doing,” I said at last. “But I thought… I thought it was none of my business what they got up to after lights out… none of my business at all.”
“And you didn’t say anything?”
“I’d have told you if I was going to tell anyone, you know that.”
She nodded, shifted across and pressed her leg against mine and this time I didn’t pull away, but only because I was too tired to move.
“I know you would… So who did tell?”
“I’ve got a pretty good idea. But it wasn’t exactly a secret, was it?”
Cherri shook her head. She picked up a piece of cold toast and chewed on one corner. “I know it’s not exactly allowed, but everyone knows people get together at camp. And all the counselors are over eighteen, it’s not like they’re doing anything illegal. I could understand if it was a counselor and one of the campers, but this… Shit, Dan, this is just plain wrong.” She sounded sad, disappointed.
“You know what it is,” I said, but my voice was so quiet she didn’t hear me.
“What you say, Dan?”
I repeated myself so she could hear. “It’s okay if it was me or you and, like, Jack or Brian. Everyone knows that goes on. But Tonya and Holly were in charge of a bunch of fourteen year old girls. You think they’re gonna let that pass when they find out they’re fucking each other next door?”
Cherri giggled. “Were they fuckin’, Dan?”
I nodded. “Oh yeah – they were fuckin’.”
Cherri’s shoulders shook as she tried to keep her laugh inside and I felt myself start to join in, my laugh having nothing to do with humor, a scratchy hyteric edge to it.
“I’d have paid to see that, Dan.” Cherri was genuinly amused. Nothing was ever a problem to Cherri.
This time I couldn’t hold the laugh inside as it morphed from hysteria to relief. “I bet you would.”
Cherri jabbed me in the ribs with her elbow and we sat there giggling like twelve year olds until it was time for flagpole, and then it was time to take our classes and I didn’t see Cherri until later in the day. By then Tonya and Holly were long gone and my mood was more sombre. We sat at a picnic bench, no-one else around us. A ways up the shore a fire burned and occasional voices reached when someone whooped or yelled. Cherri plucked at her guitar, now and then singing a few words, more often humming something with no words.
We sat for a while, neither of us saying much until I said, “I like that. What is it?”
“This?” Cherri played the chord run again, hummed a tune. It sounded both upbeat and sad at the same time and I was sure I’d heard it before.
“Dunno. Just made it up.”
“I like it.”
Cherri laughed. “I’ll dedicate it to you when I record it then.”
“Thanks.” I made my voice sarcastic and Cherri snorted. “First or second album?” I asked.
“First, of course. In case there’s no second.” She played the chord run again. It really was good, as good as anything I’d heard in a while.
“You got any words for it?”
“A few. Not enough to sing yet.”
I listened to her play, comfortable in the fading evening. The light was almost entirely gone from the sky when I said, “It’s going to feel odd without Tonya and Holly.”
“I liked ‘em.”
Cherri raised an eyebrow, waggling it like Groucho Marx.
I grinned. “Not like that.”
I frowned. “Wondering what?”
“You got a boyfriend back home?” Cherri asked.
“You fuck him?”
“That’s what I thought. A minor, C, G. It needs something else after the G but I can’t work out what.”
“No good asking me. Besides, I’m not ready yet.” My good mood left me as she reminded me of my one reluctant time. I didn’t want to tell her about Greg. Didn’t want to tell anyone about Greg.
“What’s that mean?”
“Nothing. Just uh-huh.” She played a series of chords. “See, F’s almost there but not quite. And B’s too… too B, know what I mean?”
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I like boys, Cherri.”
“You like Jack?”
“He’s got a girlfriend.”
“So? You still like him.”
“Yeah, I like Jack.”
“If he didn’t have a girlfriend, would you let him fuck you?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Maybe somewhere up here.” Cherri moved to the top of the neck, played some experimental chords. “But if I do that I gotta transpose everything. Fuck. I only wanted to know.”
Cherri raised a brow. “Maybe really, or maybe fuck off Cherri it’s none of your business?”
“Yeah. Fuck off Cherri it’s none of your business.”
“Mm-hm.” She played a while, sang a couple of words: “Let me hold you in my arms, I need to taste forbidden charms… I liked Tonya and Holly.”
“I know. You said. I liked them too.”
“You ever thought about… you know, what it would be like doing it with another girl?”
I stared at her with my mouth open.
“Hell, you must have. Everyone thinks about it, don’t they?”
I still said nothing.
“Sure. I’ve thought about it.”
“And what? I want to taste your hidden charms…”
“You ever done anything like that?” A tremble ran through my belly. I was treading on treacherous ground here, exciting territory.
“Not, like, all the way, no. But everyone messes about, don’t they.”
Cherri laughed. “God, I love you to pieces Danni Walker. Do they? You’re priceless.”
“Messed about? Sure. Couple of times.”
“You ever kissed another girl?”
“Uh-uh. Not kissed, no. Not like that anyway. Not the way you mean.”
“What way do I mean?”
“Real kiss. Like tongues and stuff. Not like that. But I kissed cousins and friends, but no tongues, just friendly, you know, like saying Hi or something.”
“You ever wondered what it’d be like?”
“Kissing a girl? Sure.”
“Too many boys to kiss first.” Cherri laughed. “Want me to kiss you, Dan? Hey, we could find out now. I’m up for it if you are.”
“Don’t be stupid.” I was scared now, sacred she’d kiss me… scared she wouldn’t.
Cherri stuck her tongue out and waggled it. “Wanna do the tonsil turkey trot, Dan?”
“You’re so gross.”
“Ah, but I’m purty with it.”
I slapped her and she slapped me back and we started pushing and shoving till we got too close, too personal and then sat quiet for a while. Cherri left her hand on my hip.
“Seriously,” she said, “I am kinda curious, and if you ever want to give it a try you only gotta say, because I wouldn’t mind kissing you, Dan… wouldn’t mind at all.”
“I’ll take it under consideration.”
Cherri laughed. “You do that. Don’t consider too long though, the offer might have a sell by date.”
I never got close to any kiss that night because Brian and Jack sauntered up from the fire and dragged us down so Cherri could sing. By the time we split up and returned to our beds it was gone midnight again and I swore tomorrow I really was going to get an early night.