To the Tune of Wolves

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Two people share a moment together in a cave.

The waterfall roared in the background as I looked out of the cave into the trees beyond. The cave’s main entrance, a cliff side overlooking the forest I had trekked through with my friends hours before to get here gaped like a massive mouth longing to devour anyone foolish enough to pass through its jaws. Even with that hostile image in my mind, I still had a sense of wonder as I sat with my legs stretched out in front of me, unable to sleep.

I heard a noise behind me as a boot scraped against stone and I turned to find Arin squeezing her way underneath a low hanging rock to reach my side. She looked up as she passed completely under it, brushing dirt off of her knee. She had a very pretty face framed by thick, light brown hair with blonde highlights that fell down to her shoulders. I met her about a month ago, when I first arrived in town. She was the first to greet me when I first entered into the diner, waiting on me with a smile. Out of all of the people I’ve met, she had been the friendliest, then again, she was that way with everyone. Still, it was comforting to have such a friendly person around in a time when hostility had become the normality. Even now, late at night, she greeted me with a huge smile, her teeth shining through the darkness.

“Did I wake you?” She asked as she sat down next to me, crossing her legs. She was a fitness fanatic, her body toned to near perfection, hardly a single ounce of fat on her.

I shook my head in response. “Haven’t fallen asleep yet.” I had been so caught up thinking about the events of the past few days that I couldn’t sleep. The memories were still too deeply etched in my mind for me to find enough peace to drift off.

“Yeah, it’s been a crazy couple of days, huh?” She was also quite the optimist.

I chuckled. “You could say that. This camping trip really has been a lot of work.”

She leaned back onto her hands and looked up at the skylight. “Yeah, we’ve been planning it for almost a year but hadn’t had enough people interested until you showed up. I’m glad you did, by the way. It’s been a lot of fun.”

There she went again, making me feel good about myself.

“I’m sure it would have been fun even without me.”

She shook her head. “No, it wouldn’t have come even close. Don’t get me wrong, I like the others a lot, but it just wouldn’t have been the same without you. Besides, the more the merrier, right?”

Shrugging, I leaned back onto my hands as well. “I’ve never really been one for large gatherings of people, to tell you the truth.”

“Really? I love people. They’re all very interesting to me. They all have a unique story and outlook on life. Don’t you think that’s interesting?” She cocked her head at me, her big, brown eyes filled with curiosity.

“No, not really. I’m too concerned with sorting out my own problems to worry about the problems of others. Besides, people are noisy and annoying, especially in large groups.”

“Do you think I’m noisy and annoying?” She smirked at me. Guilt plucked at my chest as I realized just what I had just said.

“You’re one of the few people I can stand. I actually enjoy being around you. Really. I do.” I gave her my most reassuring smile to, hopefully, convey just how sincere I was being. I liked her, alot, and didn’t want to alienate her simply because of how introverted I was.

She giggled. “That’s good to hear. I don’t know what I would do if you didn’t like me.” It took me several moments to realize that she was being sarcastic and the realization must have been clear on my face cause she laughed. “You really do have the best facial expressions!”

Sighing, I looked back at the maw of a cave opening. “Glad to have amused you.” I loved her laugh. It was carefree and vibrant, the way she held her mouth open, her nostrils flared with each giggle, and the way she tilted her head back and closed her eyes. Every time I heard it, I resolved that I would do my best to see her happy, to see that smile on her face, to hear her laugh.

She suddenly grew serious and quiet as a howl pierced the night. It was a good distance away but it was enough to sober the two of us as it echoed against the cave walls. Other howls returned the call and soon, the whole forest was ringing with the sound of wolves. We were safe in our cave, but the reminder that they were out there was enough to sober us.

Scooting close to me, she leaned her head against my shoulder as we listened to the mournful sound. My heart was pounding in my chest as the smell of her hair wafted over me. I couldn’t place the one scent, but the other was very clearly lavender. It smelled amazing considering that we spent the past day climbing up the side of a mountain and we were all hot and sweaty before we found this cave and decided to make camp. It reminded me of home and the lavender plants that my parents grew behind our house.

It was a serene several minutes as we sat there listening to the wolves call back and forth to each other, her head on my shoulder and mine resting against hers. We lost track of time and before we knew it, the moon had moved from directly overhead to slightly to the side, making way for the dawn. Finally, she broke the silence.

“I was being serious when I said that this trip wouldn’t have been the same without you, you know. I honestly wouldn’t want to be stuck out in the woods with those three losers by myself, would you?” She didn’t wait for an answer, instead sitting up and leaning towards me, her face inches away from mine. I instinctively leaned away, but she kept leaning closer. “Come on, you can be honest with me. Tell me you wouldn’t want to be stuck out here with just those two, talking about… whatever it is they like to talk about when they’re alone. Come on, tell me.”

I wasn’t sure how I felt about where the conversation was going, or where I believed it was going but I couldn’t argue with that. “No, I guess I would not want that.” I kept leaning away and she kept leaning further towards me until I was nearly completely on my side and she was looming over me. A portion of her hair fell over her shoulder and dangled in my face, brushing against my nose. She was close enough for me to feel her breath. She was staring at me; no, through me.

“And what about if it was just you and me? Would you like it then?” Her voice dropped to a whisper, her lips held partially open. My heart was pounding even harder in my chest.

“You mean like we are now?” I was very aware of how alone we were, believe me.

She blinked. “We’re not really alone, they’re probably awake and eavesdropping on us right now. I mean really, truly alone. Just you and me. Alone in a cave. No one to bother us.”

The night air was continuing to cool, but I couldn’t feel it. I was glad that the moonlight had disappeared from the skylight else she would have seen just how flushed my face was. My ears were burning and it was hard to think of what to say next.

“I… uh…” I stammered like an idiot.

She suddenly laughed, and quickly bent her neck down to give a quick peck on the cheek. “You’re so predictable!” She giggled as she pulled away, letting me sit back up.

Something snapped in the back of my mind, as if a switch had been thrown. Gone was the confusion and the fear that had turned me into a stammering fool, replaced with a calm confidence. Without a word, I leaned in towards her, the way she had. As I had, she leaned away, but I wasn’t quitting just yet. I leaned further, expecting her to pull away, but she didn’t instead, she watched as I came on, tilting her head to the side. When our lips touched, it was gentle, nothing more than a light brush against each other, but it was enough to rid me of whatever confidence had been dragged out of the depths of my mind.

Bashfully, I started to lean back. Suddenly, Arin’s hand shot up, making me flinch, and grabbed me by the back of the neck. She was stronger than she looked, yanking me towards her until our lips touched again, this time in a full kiss, mouths open. I had never kissed a girl before and I had no idea if I was doing it right, but I found myself opening and closing my mouth with hers, sucking on her lips, and playfully toying with her tongue with my own.

Who knows how long we kissed, it felt like hours while simultaneously meer moments. With a gentle push on my chest, she signaled we were done. She was out of breath, as was I, and I could feel waves of heat rising from her. I chuckled softly, and she did the same in reply.

“You see that coming?” I asked, not caring how she responded.

She laughed breathlessly. “No. Not at all.”

“Guess I’m not so predictable after all, huh?”

Her response was immediate. “Yes, you are.” She stood up. “Come on, we should go to bed before they start getting suspicious.” I could just make out the outline of her hand as she held it out to help me to my feet. With a tug, we were both back on our feet and making our way further into the cave.

As I climbed into my sleeping bag, I could hear her moving about, making much more noise than I thought was necessary. It wasn’t until she was directly beside me that I realized what she was doing. I asked anyways. “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like? I’m moving my sleeping bag next to yours.” Her shadow hissed. I heard her sleeping bag flop down as she took her place and crawled into it.

Having no response to that, I crawled into my own, lying flat on my back. As I stared into the darkness above me, I couldn’t help but smile. Ever since I first met her, saw her face for the first time, heard her laugh, I had wanted to kiss her. Or, just to be close to her. Tonight was the first night where I had been able to work up the courage to do it.

Beside me, she rolled over onto her side. “Hey.” She whispered. “Hold out your hand.”

“What?” I rolled over to look into the darkness where she was lying.

“Hold out your hand. Just do it.”

Unsure what to think, or even what to say, I extended my arm out, palm facing towards the ceiling. A moment passed by and nothing happened, but then her fingers brushed against mine and grabbed hold. In reflex, I wrapped my fingers around hers.

Neither of us said anything after that. Together, we slipped off to sleep holding each other’s hand and woke up the same way. We never told anyone about what happened that night at the cave entrance, to the tune of the wolves. But one thing is for sure.

Neither of us let go.


Submitted: May 02, 2017

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