Disclaimer: Some of the places mentioned in this story are real and some are made up. All of the characters are fictitious and any resemblance they have of real people is coincidental. This story includes sexual scenes involving two women.
THE OUTFITTER PART FIVE
BY M.E. TUDOR
Marianne woke with a jolt at the sound of the alarm going off. Robin reached across her and hit the snooze button. She kissed Marianne lightly on the lips before putting her head on Marianne's shoulder and snuggling close to her. Marianne smiled, put her arm around Robin and pulled her in closer. In response Robin threw her leg across Marianne's. The feeling of the hair above Robin's sweet honey pot rubbing against Marianne's leg stirred her desire again. With her free hand she brushed the hair back from Robin's face and whispered, "Do we have time for one more round?"
Robin giggled and rubbed herself against Marianne's leg bringing a low moan from her lover. She raised her head and looked at the clock which said that it was four-thirty. "I would have never suspected that you would be insatiable. You don't think four times is enough?"
"I'm not sure there will ever be enough times with you." Marianne answered looking into Robin's dark eyes.
Robin studied the sincerity in Marianne's eyes. She reached up and traced Marianne's lips with her fingers. "I'm afraid that if we started again we would not be able to stop for another four hours and that would make us get a very late start on our trip. I can imagine that we will not get as far as I wanted to today because at least two of us didn't get much sleep last night and will be dragging by day's end."
Marianne smiled as she thought back over the past four hours that they had spent taking short naps between each of the four very intense love making sessions. She knew Robin was right, if they started again it would be another intense round that would last at least another hour and would probably have Josie beating on their door demanding that they get their butts out of bed. She wondered how much Josie and Sally had heard of what she and Robin had shared. She was sure that Josie and Sally both wouldn't let them live down making so much noise even though they both tried very hard to keep their cries of passion under control. She leaned up and kissed Robin quickly, "You are right. Josie will be beating on the door soon if we don't get ourselves together."
Robin nodded and with a low moan made herself pull her body away from Marianne's. She immediately felt a since of loss. There was no way they were going to be able to keep their hands off each other on this hike and then what? What was she going to do when Marianne had to leave to go back to Denver? She swung her legs over the side of the bed and shook herself. Why was she thinking this way? This was only the second time they had had sex. They still didn't know each other at all really. Why did she already feel so strongly about her? Robin pushed herself up off the bed and headed towards the bathroom. "I'll be real quick."
Marianne watched Robin's beautiful body move across the room in the dim light in the room. When Robin closed the door to the bathroom she let out a sigh, sat up and ran her hands through her hair. She wondered if the fact that this was the most fantastic sex she had ever had was causing all these feelings of need she had for Robin. She felt like they had made some intense bond and she suddenly felt how much she was going to miss Robin when she had to go back to Denver. She had promised herself that she was not going to let herself need someone this way again but she was afraid it was too late to stop needing Robin. She already missed her touch and couldn't wait for night fall and being able to snuggle up to her in the tent she planned to share with her. She looked at the closed bathroom door. She was falling for her and there was not stopping it.
Robin and Marianne finally made their way to the dining room of the lodge around six o'clock to find the rest of the crew there already having breakfast. "Here's our fearless leader and her sidekick now." Tim grinned.
Everyone at the table turned to look the blushing couple. They made their way to the table and sat in the empty two chairs that were between Josie and Barry. They both took some of the food that was placed in the center of the table. Neither said anything but both were waiting for the barbs to start coming because it was clear that everyone at the table knew about their night together.
Barry looked around Marianne at Robin, "Robin, hon, you look awful tired this morning. Are you sure you're ready to start this early?"
Robin glared at the little Native American man, "I'm not too tired to run you ass into the ground."
Everyone laughed including Barry. Josie, who was sitting right next to Robin, put her arm around her, "I don't think any of us got much sleep with all the noise in the hotel last night."
Robin and Marianne both dropped their heads bringing another round of laughter. Tim stood up and said, "I guess some of us should start getting everything together so we can get on the trail soon." Barry, John and Tom stood too. "We'll go ahead and get everyone's backpacks brought down and test all the radios while we're waiting for everyone else to finish eating." He grinned, looked pointedly at Marianne and Robin.
Martin stood too, he seemed a little embarrassed by the teasing and relieved by the excuse to leave the table, "That's great idea, Tim. I'll help you guys too."
After all the men left the area, Marianne looked over at Josie, "He isn't upset is he?"
Josie sipped her coffee and shook her head as she sat her cup back down, "Martin doesn't have an issue with homosexuality at all but I'm sure us picking on you guys about something so personal bothered him. He really doesn't like discussing such personal things in public."
"Me neither," Robin said around a bite of bagel and glared at Josie.
"My god Robin, half the hotel heard you two." Josie laughed, "When I came down here this morning the first thing John asked was why the hell I put the two of you in a room together knowing what would happen."
"They were all the way down the hall from us. There is no way they heard us." Marianne said picking up her coffee. Josie just looked at her and smiled. Marianne looked at Robin, who had been the most vocal of her pleasure. Robin dropped her head and nibbled on her bagel.
Josie stood and said to Sally, Brenda and Karen, "Come on girls. Let's go make sure the men are doing things right."
Brenda fiddled around until everyone else was out of earshot, "I, for one, was glad you two were making so much noise. That way no one heard us." She winked at the two lovers and left to catch up with the others.
Robin and Marianne looked at each other then burst out laughing. "I am so sorry." Robin said as she wiped a tear from her eye. Marianne was still laughing too hard to comment so she caressed Robin's arm.
When she caught her breath a few minutes later, she said, "Its okay. I loved hearing your cries of passion but I do hope you can contain yourself out on the trail or we'll be entertaining the entire camp and anyone else within hearing distance of the echo that will be created."
Robin blushed and laughed, "I'll do my best." She took Marianne's hand that was still on her arm and kissed it. "I can't help it if you make me howl but I will try to howl quietly."
Marianne glowed as she stared into Robin's dark eyes and saw the wanting and the caring there. She smiled warmly, "I could get so lost in your eyes."
Robin, who had been looking at the echo of affection coming from Marianne's beautiful blue eyes, "As could I in yours." They stared into each others eyes for a few more minutes then Robin was forced to break the spell. "We had better finish up and get out there or they may make us sleep in separate tents to punish us for making everyone so late."
Marianne laughed, "Well, we definitely cannot let that happen."
They finished eating and were headed outside to join the others when Marianne looked up and saw a face that she never expected to see again. "Amanda," she breathed.
Amanda Kinsey turned and looked at Marianne. She smiled with recognition at first then fear crossed her fine features, she masked her expression and shook her head slightly at Marianne. Amanda looked over at a table across the room from them and started making her way towards it without saying a word to Marianne.
Robin's attention had been caught as soon as she heard Amanda's name. She remembered vividly the first time she had heard it when Marianne had called it out in her sleep that night in the tent. Robin looked up to see a beautiful red head looking at Marianne. Robin had missed the smile but she had not missed the look of fear on the girl's face. She followed her gaze when she looked across the room and started walking towards a table on the other side of the room. At the table sat a dark haired man who was glaring in Marianne's direction, next to him sat Cody Tennpar, Terry and a woman that Robin would guess was Amanda's mother because she was an older version of Amanda.
Marianne had looked the same why and when she saw Robert Kinsey looking at her she grabbed Robin's arm, "We have to get out of here." Marianne rushed towards the door pulling Robin with her.
When they were outside Robin stopped Marianne, "Was that your Amanda?"
"Yes," Marianne whispered as she blinked away a tear, "and that man glaring at me is her father. I know he recognized me." She ran her hands through hair, "Shit, he will call my father and tell him he saw me here with a woman."
"Marianne, you are making enough money to be on your own without his help. I'm not sure what kind of hold he really has on you but you cannot live in the fear of being caught out somewhere with a woman for the rest of your life." Robin gently grabbed Marianne's arms and forced her to look up at her. "That man knows nothing about us. As far as he knows we are only acquaintances that are going on a hiking trip together. Don't let this worry you and ruin this trip. I'm sure that more than anything he just wanted to intimidate you so you wouldn't try to speak to his daughter."
"You think so?" Marianne asked looked at Robin for reassurance.
Robin put her arm around her and headed them in the direction of the rest of the group. "Yeah, I do."
Marianne put her head on Robin's shoulder, "Thanks."
Robin squeezed her in a side hug. "Anytime."
Robin was impressed with the progress they had made on the trail today despite the fact that no one had gotten very much sleep the night before. It was only going to take another half an hour to reach the camp that she had wanted to reach today. Granted they were still running behind schedule and running out of daylight but she was relieved that they were going to make it to this point. She had listened to the weather report again before they left the lodge and the weatherman was predicting that the winter storm that they had said would not be arriving until next week was moving more quickly than they had first thought. Now they were predicting that the storm would be arriving in the next three days.
Martin moved up to walk beside Robin, "What are you planning to do about dealing with the winter storm that is going to be arriving in the next couple of days?"
"I'm changing the route so that we will go further south and come into the back side of Durango. After I heard the forecast, I called and left a message for my father to meet us with the tribe van at the Tall Aspen Lodge in three days. If the weather is too bad we'll stay at the lodge over night but if it's not too bad my father will bring us back over to the Black Bear Lodge."
"What is the trail going to be like?" Martin asked looking nervously up at the darkening sky.
"It's a much tougher terrain." Robin admitted. "I really hate to take that route with less experienced hikers but it is the quickest route. I almost cancelled the hike altogether when I heard the forecast but I couldn't bear the thought of all us not getting to come out here for at least a short trip." Robin looked back at Marianne, who was talking with Josie. "It will take us to a very high elevation for a short time where will most likely run into some new snow and there's a couple of places where the trail runs along some steep cliffs but I think we will be okay. It will be a view that only that only Tim, Barry, John, Tom and I have seen together. I've never taken any women on this route."
"Really?" Martin asked in surprise.
Robin nodded and looked up to see that they were arriving at the campsite. She looked around in disgust at the trash strung all over the camp site.
"Jesus," Tim growled, "The non-naturalist hikers have already started."
"This is ridiculous." Barry said as he poked a beer can with his walking stick.
Robin put her pack down and pulled a trash bag out of the side pocket. "Tim, Barry, John and Tom, why don't you guys go ahead and start setting up the tents and the rest of us will get this trash picked up."
"Sure thing boss," Barry motioned for the other men she mentioned to join him in getting together the tents and the rest of the group began picking up the trash. An hour later they were all finally settled down around the campfire eating.
Robin finished her can of hot chili then got out her map. "I want to go over the new route I've chosen for us with everyone after you finish eating."
"I wondered if you had changed plans after hearing the weather forecast." Josie commented as she scraped out the last of the tuna in her can.
Robin sipped her coffee then pointed to the route she had highlighted on the map of known hiking trails in Montezuma, La Plata, San Juan and Dolores Counties. "This trail is shorter but more difficult to hike. It's steeper in many places and more treacherous than the original trail that I was going to take us on. In light of that, it also offers some spectacular views you. It will only take three days to hike and will bring us into Durango where my father is going to meet us." Robin looked up to see that everyone was leaning forward to look at the map. "If anyone has any objections to us taking this route let me know and we'll head back to the lodge in the morning."
"Let's go for it." Brenda and Karen said simultaneously. All the men and Josie agreed.
Robin looked over at Marianne who looked very concerned. "Do you think you can handle this?"
Marianne's blue eyes met Robin's. Marianne was terrified that they were going to get trapped on the trail by the snow storm but the confidence she saw in Robin's eyes put her somewhat at ease. She nodded, "I think so."
Robin smiled with relief. She had been afraid that Marianne would panic and not want to go on the hike. "Good. Let's all get some sleep so we can get an early start in the morning."
Everyone got up and cleaned up their dishes and trash. Barry and John secured the trash and food in bags that were suspended over branches of trees that were outside their camp. They had to make sure the bags were high enough that the bears that might happen along their camp would not be able to get into them.
Marvin insisted that they make a plan for two people to stay awake to keep a watch on the camp and to keep the fire going since it had gotten so cold. Robin agreed with him. She had been a little unnerved by the evidence of other people out hiking this late in the hiking season. People who obviously did not follow the basic hiking rules of thumb, like leaving no trace, made Robin nervous. She had only run into a few people in all of her years hiking these trails that she had actually felt might be dangerous and doubted that these visitors were anything more than weekend hunters but she was glad that everyone agreed to take the precaution of having teams awake watching the camp.
Marvin and Tim took the first two hour watch to be followed by Barry and John then Robin and Tom would take the last watch and everyone would get up after that so they could get a good start on the next day's run and make up for time lost by their late start today. Everyone else got settled into the tents to get their sleep.
Robin crawled into the tent she was sharing with Marianne after she talked a little while with Marvin and Tim to find Marianne fast asleep. Robin snuggled up to Marianne's back and tried to fall asleep but there was something bothering her. She wasn't sure what it was but she felt an uneasiness that would not go away. She finally settled into a fitful sleep after an hour of tossing and turning. She woke with a start when Tom came to get her for their watch.
Coming out of her tent and stretching, she suddenly felt a chill that had nothing to do with the cold air. She looked around the perimeter of the camp nervously but there was nothing but blackness and shadows of trees to be seen. She poured a hot water that had already been boiling on the fire into a cup and stirred in some instant coffee. She listened intently to the sounds of the forest around her. She didn't hear anything unusual but she felt like the camp was being watched. She sat down next to Tom and confided what she was feeling.
"That's weird because I've been feeling the same thing and Barry, Tim, John and Marvin have all said the same thing." Tom scanned the tree line nervously.
"What do you think it means?" Robin asked. Tom had been in the military for a short stint when he was younger. He had never really told what he did in the military but Robin sensed that it would have had something to do with photography and/or scouting areas that were to be traveled through by his platoon.
"I'm not sure but I have been ill at ease ever since I arrived at the lodge. There were a couple of guys there that I felt were taking a little bit too much interest in our large group but I didn't see them the morning we left. I asked Barry about them but he said that he had seen them at the lodge few times since Terry had sold it. He figured they were just there with the construction crews." Tom turned so he could watch the perimeter of the camp behind them.
Robin starred into the darkness and sipped her coffee. She thought that she knew which men he had referred to, "Is that what you felt about them after he told you that?"
"No," Tom said as he sipped his coffee, "They were dressed too nice to be construction workers there to work."
"My thoughts exactly."
Tom turned to look at her, "You saw them too?"
"Yes, they are there quite a bit but I got the feeling that they were errand boys for Cody Tennpar." Robin gritted her teeth. She was still furious about what had transpired with the lodge and the arrogant Cody Tennpar's presence at the lodge grated on her nerves every time she saw him.
"Interesting," Tom sipped more coffee and turned back to look at the trees behind them that were becoming lighter as the sun gradually made its way towards the horizon.
"Why is that interesting?"
"Josie has been having trouble getting any information about him and Marianne is certain that he is the one that shut down the communication between her and her sources at Bankers Development Corporation. It just strikes me as interesting that a person who is not listed as an executive at this company, really is not listed as anyone of any importance, seems to have so much control over everything that is happening out here."
"Cody Tennpar is not an executive at the BDC?"
Tom nodded. "Josie hasn't really had a chance to talk to you and Marianne since she learned that last week."
"That is interesting," Robin rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "You know what else is interesting. Right before we left I saw Cody Tennpar and Terry sitting with a guy named Robert Kinsey. He is some kind of an oil developer or something like that according to Marianne. I wonder if they are planning to try to get a piece of the oil pie here."
"Maybe, La Plata County produces over a billion dollars of oil a year."
"Yeah, but there are already companies here that have control of drilling for oil and gas, I haven't heard anything about any new companies being brought in. Now that I'm working this out in my head, there's no real way for them to drill illegally because of the way the system is set up. There has to be something else that they are here for." Robin sipped her coffee thoughtfully and studied the trees.
"Well," Tom looked over at Robin, "There is a lot of prime real estate out here that can be developed. The guy who is the CEO and founder of the company, Joseph Williamson was president of the U. S. Builders Construction Company which developed part of Aspen and Vail's ski resorts."
"I don't know." Robin drained her coffee cup and leaned forward to pour more hot water into it. "I just feel like there is something underhanded going on. Right now I feel like we are being watched, maybe even since we left the lodge. Why would someone be watching our simple hiking group?"
"I don't know. Are you sure you want to continue with the hike?"
"Don't you?" Robin asked quietly.
"Yeah, I really want us to finish this hike because I won't be back out here as long as that company owns this land." Tom admitted.
"We'll just keep being cautious. All this may be about nothing. I bet the people who were here at the camp before us were bear or wild cat poachers and they are watching us to make sure we leave the area soon. This is an especially good time to catch bears who are still rummaging around for food before they settle into hibernation." Robin nodded as she tried to convince herself that she believed what she was saying but as she and Tom went back to quietly watching the trees she knew that she felt that it was something more. There was something else that who ever was watching them did not want them to stumble upon. Maybe changing direction will keep them away from what ever is being hidden and they won't have any problems.
"Bart," Clarence admonished, "you clumsy ass! You're making tracks every where. Follow directly in my footsteps."
Bart was trying to follow Clarence but he felt like Clarence was walking all twisted. He kept stumbling over the branches and rocks that seemed to be everywhere. He couldn't understand why Cody wouldn't let them just snatch the Indian girl and the blond after they got back from this stupid walk they were on. Cody said that he wanted to shut them up because they were drawing too much attention about the resort before it was time for people to know about it. Bart thought that they would want people to know about the lodge so more people would come to it.
He really didn't understand the way Cody thought. He didn't really like Cody but he paid him and Clarence good to keep people in line and deal with any messy business that needed to be dealt with.
Clarence Bosvic looked back at his big, clumsy friend. He loved Bart Townsend like a brother but there were times when he wanted to kill him and this was one of them. Clarence was not any kind of woodsmen and wasn't too keen about being out here in the middle of the forest with the threat of heavy snow looming but he was getting paid to follow this group of hikers and make sure that they did not accidentally come across The Shack.
Cody had been very specific about his directions. He said to make sure they didn't come near The Shack and if they did to make sure they had an accident, especially the Native American girl. Later, Cody had come back with that Robert Kinsey guy, who Clarence did not like at all, and told him to make sure the pretty blond and the Native American girl had an accident period. Clarence never asked why, he wasn't paid to ask why. He would do what needed to be done and Cody would pay him and Bart generously then they would go to the next project.
Clarence wasn't sure how he was going to arrange an accident for the pretty women. He hadn't seen any opportunity in the two days of hiking of even get them away from the others. He was very concerned about the change in the route because it was going to bring them much closer to The Shack. If they came across it, he was going to have to arrange an accident for the entire group and that was going to be a challenge.
Bart grumbled as he tripped again. "Why do we have to keep up with their pace? Why can't we just catch up with them later?"
"Because they have already changed direction once," Clarence explained again, patiently, "and I don't want to take a chance on them doing that again and us not knowing about it."
"Oh," was all Bart said and looked back down at the smaller man's tracks as he tried to follow in his footsteps.
* * * * * *
Robin had really pushed everyone. They were coming close to the end of the second day and about to reach the most treacherous part of the trail. Robin wanted to set up camp a few hundred yards from where they would have to walk on the trail that was on cliff that dropped twenty-five hundred feet down and sheered to two hundred feet up against the mountainside. She wanted to make sure everyone got a good rest and was clear headed when they started that part of the trek so they would be alert and careful. The thought of anyone having a mishap on this part of the trail terrified her.
They finally reached the place Robin wanted to be and Robin pointed to a small clearing off to the left of the trail, "Here we are."
There was only a light covering of snow on the ground here, less than an inch. That was much better than the two feet on fresh snow that had walked through going over the pass. There had been less and less snow with each thousand feet they had descended coming down from the pass. Robin was hoping that now that they were at an elevation of about eight thousand feet that they snow that was predicted would stay above that elevation and they would be able to finish the trip without running into much more snow.
"Finally," Josie grumbled and stumbled into the clearing. "I thought you were going to lose me on that pass. I could just barely breathe."
"Yeah, that was rough," Marvin panted as he dropped his pack to the ground.
"The pass is right around thirteen thousand feet." Robin said as she dropped her pack and looked around for the best place to build a fire.
Barry dropped his pack on the ground and sat down next to it, "I've been on this trail five times now and it whoops my ass every time."
"Me too," agreed Tim who dropped his pack next to Barry's.
Robin stood and surveyed the perimeter of the camp site. The trees around the camp were narrow aspen and ponderosa pines and none of them clumped too close together. There wasn't any of them that were big enough for someone to hide behind.
Tom came and stood beside her, "What do you think?"
"I think we will be safe but I still want to set up watches." Robin looked back at the rest of the group who had set about the tasks of starting the fire and setting up the tents. "I still feel like we are being followed."
Tom nodded and looked up at the sky, "Yeah and I feel like the snow may start before day break."
Robin nodded in agreement. She was praying that the snow didn't start until after they got past the three hundred foot stretch of the trek that ran along the cliff. She was hoping that at the very least it might have just started snowing when they got started so the path would not be covered with snow and the edges would be clear.
Once the fire was going and the food had been cooked, everyone sat in silence eating. It was an eerie silence with only the sound of the trees swaying in the wind and the crackling of the fire. Finally Brenda spoke up, "Do you think we'll make it to Durango tomorrow?"
Robin was glad someone had said something, "I really expect us too. We may even keep pushing forward depending on how close we are. I'm expecting the snow to stay above eight thousand feet, which is were we are now, and we'll keep descending but at a slower grade until we reach town."
"Good," Karen said rubbing her numb toes. "As much as I've enjoyed this hike, I'm ready for a nice hot bath."
"Amen," Marvin said, toasting his coffee to Karen.
The rest of the group mumbled their agreements. It didn't take long for everyone to decide to clean up and go to bed so they could get an early start and make sure they got to town by tomorrow evening. Once again Marvin, Tim, Tom, Barry, John and Robin set up watches. The other women had offered to take a watch but the men insisted they be the ones to do it and Robin won her spot because she was the leader of the group.
"You were awful quiet tonight," Marianne commented as she curled up against Robin's body. Both still had their thermal underwear on because it was too cold to sleep naked.
"Yeah," Robin answered nonchalantly, "I'm getting a bit tired myself. This was a much tougher trip than I had planned for us." She pulled Marianne closer to her. She didn't want to alarm her with her fears that someone was following them. "I'll be glad to have a soft bed and a bath to share with you when we get to town."
Marianne leaned over Robin and kissed Robin's lips. She pulled herself up so she could look into Robin's eyes in the dim light coming from the fire outside. "I like you a lot more than I ever thought I would let myself like another woman again."
Robin smiled and rolled onto her back. She traced Marianne's lips with her finger, "Me too." She pulled Marianne down for a deep kiss. She slid her hands inside Marianne's top and cupped her breasts. Marianne quickly followed suit.
Their lovemaking continued quietly, each bringing the other woman's peak with their fingertips and keeping their moans of ecstasy quiet so to not bother the rest of the camp. They fell into a deep sleep in each other's arms.
Robin woke later to the sound of Tom whispering her name. She crawled out of the camp to see that the snow was starting to fall slowly. She could only pray that it would continue to just flurry, if not she would have to wake everyone and start their journey with very little morning light to guide the walk along the steep cliffs.
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