Katherine To The Rescue

I am walking back towards the main lodge to see if anyone is still dancing when I spy Sinclair and Chain along the path, and stop to say hello. “Hey, guys!,” I say, smiling. “What’s up?”

“Hey,” says Sinclair flatly. Chain doesn’t answer. Instead, he turns so that his back is toward us and stares off into the distance.

“Hi, Chain,” I try again. “How’s it going?”

Chain stalks off in the direction of the Pillow Room. Sinclair and I exchange a look.

“Uhh… is everything okay?” I ask. “What did I just miss?”

“He says he wants to talk to me,” Sinclair answers.

“Oh. About what?”

“I don’t know!” he says, sounding frustrated. “I tried to ask him and he wouldn’t tell me.”

“Okay, that’s… weird,” I say.

“Yeah.” He’s looking at the ground, and angrily kicks a stone that is laying on the path. “I just don’t know what to think. I don’t know what he could possibly want to say to me. I’m with Nate now.”

“Wait… back up. I think I’m missing something here,” I say.

“I kissed him once, a few years ago. It was stupid, and I shouldn’t have done it. I was fighting with Nate, and I was high, and… ugh,”  he says, shaking his head in annoyance. “It was wrong of me. And apparently it was a big deal to him, because that was two years ago, and he’s still upset.”

He is quiet for a moment before speaking again. “Do you think I should talk to him?” he asks me in a small voice. I follow his gaze to a small clearing beyond the trees; the same clearing where the Saratogans have their ritual or whatever every year. Chain is leaning up against a tree, staring out into the darkness. He looks miserable.

“Well,” I say carefully. “Do you think we should just leave him there?” I don’t know Chain well, and in fact have barely ever exchanged more than a few words with him. Every time I’ve seen him he’s been smiling, laughing, happy-go-lucky. But this year, he’s looked mostly sad and angry. Something about the look of defeat on his face and the way he is staring off into the forest  makes me worried about leaving him there by himself.

“I don’t want to talk to him,” Sinclair says glumly, looking at the ground again.

“Do you want me to talk to him?” I offer. He looks up and seems to be seriously considering the idea. “I mean…” I continue, “I don’t really know him, so I have no idea how he will react, or if he will even speak to me at all.  We’re essentially strangers. But who knows, that might make it easier for him.” I shrug. “I really have no idea.”

Sinclair studies me for a moment, then sighs. “No. I don’t know. I just… I don’t want to be alone with him. I’m not sure what he might do.”

“Do you think he might attack you?” I ask.

“No. I’m afraid he’ll try to kiss me.”

We are both silent for a moment.

“Would you rather I just come with you while you talk to him?” I ask gently.

He looks relieved. “Yes. That’s a good idea. I just need to have someone there, just in case he… you know.”

“I know.”

We start to head over to the clearing. As we get closer, I instinctively slow down. I feel like we are chasing a scared rabbit, and that the rabbit is going to run away any second.

“Maybe I should hang back and just watch. I’ll stay close so I can see what’s happening. But he may not talk with both of us there.” Sinclair nods without looking at me. He continues walking over to Chain as I veer left and hover near the door of the Pillow Room, pretending to be waiting for someone.

Sinclair stops carefully, several feet from Chain. I can’t hear them, but I am watching their body language. Chain is sullen, and shrugs a lot. Sinclair is gesturing and looking frustrated. After a few minutes Sinclair turns and starts walking away, saying, “Fine. If you don’t want to talk, then–”

Chain interrupts him, but I can’t hear what he says. Sinclair stops and goes back. People entering and exiting the Pillow Room give me curious looks, but I just smile and pretend to be looking around for someone.

After about ten minutes, the two of them start walking down the path in the direction of the main lodge. I try to discretely follow behind them. When they stop in the middle of the path and continue talking, I walk casually past them, pretending that I’m just wandering through the campground. A moment or two later Chain passes me, and I turn and make my way back to Sinclair.

“How’d it go?” I ask.

“It was… okay,” he says. “He wanted to talk about what happened, and explain why he was hurt. I apologized, but I explained that I’m with Nate now. He wasn’t too happy about that. But I think he’s accepted it. He seemed more cheerful, anyway.” He turns and hugs me. “Thanks for being here for me. I’m gonna go to bed now.”

“Of course!” I exclaim. “That’s what friends are for, and all that shit, right?”

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Maria

Like a literal sex magnet, the group gets larger and larger as we walk over to the Darkroom. All told, we wind up with fourteen people: myself, Santiago, Enrique, Claire, Sam, Pen, Sorrento, Chain, Sinclair, Charlotte, Lawrence, Chantelle, Morgan, and Rain.

When we get there, Enrique empties his pockets and shouts, “Enjoy!” as condoms go flying everywhere. There is a chorus of laughter, and people begin taking over benches and corners. There is a rustling of clothing and the wet sounds of people kissing and licking and sucking each other. At one point, someone calls out, “Who wants to be spit roasted?” and I laugh as Santiago eagerly volunteers. I am gazing at my fiance, enjoying watching her when I hear Lawrence say to Rain, “Don’t ever call me Larry while my fist is in your ass!” Morgan and Chain co-top Claire and Chantelle for a while, and Rain receives one of his infamous “poetry blowjobs,” reciting poetry in between grunts and thrusts. Everyone is enjoying themselves, but it’s not just the sex. There is a camaraderie that permeates the room. A few years ago, this would have felt like a bunch of strangers fucking. It still would have been hot, but this is different. This is a room full of friends and lovers, people who care a great deal about each other, who are not there just to get off. It feels like a community.

Suddenly, a fist grasps my hair and hauls me up from the leather bench I was sitting on. I gasp, a tingle traveling through my body that starts at the hand on my scalp and settles in my loins. Santiago drags me to the center of the room and pushes me down to my knees. “Time to show everyone that you belong to me.” She says something else, but it doesn’t register. It doesn’t matter. I know what she wants.

I grasp her hips and lean forward, purposely letting my hot breath fall against her pussy before I even touch her with my mouth. I kiss her outer lips softly, then open my mouth and lick at them gently. I hear her suck in her breath, and I grin. I love having that effect on her. Parting her lips with my tongue, I begin lapping at her clit. She moans above me and clutches my hair, pushing my face harder between her legs. I tense up the tip of my tongue and swipe it up and down, just the way I know she likes it. After a few moments, I can tell she’s getting close. I slide a finger inside, then another, and fuck her with my hand while she humps my mouth. She convulses around my hand, smothering my face as she cums. I wait until I’m sure she’s finished before removing my fingers.

As soon as she catches her breath, she pulls me up and kisses me passionately. “My turn.” She drops to her knees to return the favor.

“Oh, god,” I cry out as her tongue quickly finds my clit. Hearing her cum has me so turned on already that I’m cumming in less than a minute. “Oh– oh, god– yes, yes– Maria!” I gasp out. “Maria, oh, fuck, yes, please, ahh, god!”  My nails dig into her shoulders as my body shudders. “Maria, Maria, oh, fuck, Ma–Ma–MARIAAAAAA!

I’m leaning against her, still catching my breath, when I dimly hear a voice somewhere in the room ask, “Who the fuck is Maria?”

Casual Cruelty

After the ceremony, the kitchen staff brings out a tray of the Saratogan’s infamous Green Drink. Kohana calls out to those gathered. “The color green holds the energy of life and growth.”

Kim, standing by his side, continues for him as the tray gets passed around. “We are survivors and in this green and growing place, we take health and life into our bodies.”

Kohana speaks again. “Drink and become vital, become vibrant.”

They speak the last word together: “Live!”

I haven’t tried it before, but when the tray comes around, I shrug and take a cup. I take a swig and almost gag. God, that’s foul. I set the cup down gingerly and look around.

“Where’s Sinclair?” I say aloud, to no one in particular. I haven’t seen him in a while, which strikes me as unusual.

Francis, Artie’s best friend who happens to be standing nearby, answers me. “He got pretty high and wandered off somewhere.”

“What? Shit.” I take off down the path to find him.

Sinclair has not been doing well recently: he’s been fighting more and more often with his wife Mary, who keeps demanding that he spend less time campaigning and more time at home with her and their children. She doesn’t know that at least half the time he’s “campaigning,” he’s actually been at Club Diamond with Nate. And he’s been getting pushes from several of our friends to come out publicly, which he is not quite ready for. I know that he’s been feeling pulled in a hundred different directions, and lately he’s been turning to drugs to escape. I’ve been asking him to slow down, to no avail.

At this point I’m feeling pretty sober, though the Green Drink does seem to be having the effect of heightening my emotions. I’m worried about the article I’ve promised Ruben I’ll write, I’m worried about the spreading disease, and I’m worried about the friends who will inevitably get sick. But right now, I’m focused on worrying about Sinclair.

I peek into the Darkroom, but he’s not there. I head for the Pillow Room. I don’t bother taking my shoes off; I simply peek inside. He’s not there, either. I turn to check the private room that’s in the same cabin as the Pillow Room, and find myself face to face with Ike.

“Hey, Ike. Have you seen Sinclair?” I ask.

“Yeah, he’s fine,” Ike says.

“Where is he? I’ve been looking all over for him. I heard that he was… not in a good place.”

Ike glances over his shoulder, then back at me. “He’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” I realize that Ike is not just casually hanging out – he’s guarding the door.

I eye him suspiciously. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah. He’s with Ruben. They’re talking,” he says.

I relax. “Oh, okay. Good.” I trust Ruben. “Well, just… make sure he calls his wife, okay? She gets pretty upset when he’s out late and doesn’t call to tell the kids goodnight.” Ike nods, and I turn to go.

Just then, Chain walks in and marches straight up to Ike. “Where’s Sinclair? I need to talk to him.”

“He’s busy,” Ike says, firmly planting himself in front of the doorknob.

“Oh, come on,” Chain says. “I just want to talk to him.”

The door to the Pillow Room opens yet again. “Where is he?” Nate demands. Ike steps aside and lets Nate into the room he’d been guarding, then stands in front of it again, blocking Chain from following.

“What?” cries Chain. “Are you kidding me? Why does Nate get to go in?”

Ike sighs. “Because he’s Nate. Nate does what he wants.”

“What, does Sinclair need protecting? From you? You couldn’t even protect your own boyfriend from getting attacked,” Chain spits angrily.

Last New Year’s Eve, Ike and Ruben had ducked into an alley for a quick kiss. Unfortunately, they were spotted and attacked by some thugs who decided to “teach those fags a lesson.” In his fury and in trying to protect Ike, Ruben had ended up getting beaten so badly that he’d been airlifted to the hospital. He’d needed emergency surgery, and it was weeks before he could even speak. Even today, he still sometimes gets stuck on words or loses his balance.

I gasp at Chain’s callousness. I don’t know Chain well, but his words seem uncharacteristically cruel.

Ike shrugs, seemingly unperturbed by Chain’s comment. I hear a scramble behind the door, and Ruben bursts from the room. He advances on Chain, fists clenched. “What the FUCK did you just say to him?” he snarls. He’s standing so close that I can see bits of spittle land on Chain’s face.

“Ruben,” I say softly, laying my hands on his fists and gently pushing his arms back down to his side. He ignores me.

“How fucking dare you. Don’t you ever speak to him like that. EVER,” Ruben growls. His fists raise back up to his sides, and I push them down again before placing a hand on his shoulder. He is shaking with fury.

“Ruben,” I say again, gently. “Come on. You don’t want to do this.”

Thankfully, Chain seems to come to his senses. “You’re right. I should not have said that.” He turns to Ike.” I was very upset, but that’s not your fault. I’m very sorry.” He turns back to Ruben. “That was unfair of me. I apologize.”

Ruben scowls at Chain down for another moment without speaking, then turns and goes back into the room, pausing only to stroke Ike’s cheek briefly.

Tantra and Heavy Breathing

I spend the rest of the afternoon chasing after Evelyn. I introduce myself and find out that she’s a doctor. She also makes a point of telling me she’s straight. Well, “mostly straight” are her exact words. She shows zero interest, and I am becoming increasingly frustrated. I almost give up on her until Morgan taunts me again, making me even more determined.

“Hey, Nate,” I call out.

Nate, AKA the Queen of Manhattan, is the owner of Club Diamond. He’s one of New York’s best drag queens. He also has a knack for knowing all the gossip. He smiles and and kisses the air next to both of my cheeks.

“Katherine, darling. So good to see you!”

“And you! Hey, I was wondering… do you know anything about that girl over there?” I indicate behind him with my chin, where Evelyn is chatting with two other women.

Nate glances over. “Which one?”

“The one with the copper skirt. I hear she’s straight, but…”

“Hey, you!” he interrupts me as calls out to her. “No, not you – your friend. Yeah, you. Come here a sec.” She exchanges looks with her friends, but walks over. “You’ve met Katherine, right?” he says. “She works for the Times.”

Evelyn nods. “Yes, we met earlier. Hello again.”

Nate continues, “Well, she really likes your skirt, and wants to know if you’d be willing to take it off for her later.” With that, he walks off without a backwards glance.

“Nate!” I exclaim incredulously. There aren’t many people who can make me speechless, but somehow Nate manages it.

I turn to Evelyn, shaking my head in amusement. “Are you planning to attend the tantra workshop?”

“I am, yeah,” she replies.

“Great, me too. Let’s go.” I sling an arm around her shoulders as we walk over to the Pillow Room. It feels awkward, unnatural. We are both tense, and she doesn’t relax into me as most girls do. Hmm. This is going to take a lot more work.

We enter the Pillow Room and it’s packed. Somehow, thirty some-odd people have managed to cram into a space meant to sleep six people. The heat is stifling. We remove our shoes and squeeze in. Evelyn finds some space on the floor, and I quickly sit in the space right next to her, leaning up against one of the cots that’s been pushed against the wall.

Joani starts off by telling us that there is no actual sex involved in this workshop, and I sigh quietly. So much for that. Oh, well. I decide to struggle through the workshop and see if I can fake it, for Evelyn’s sake. Joani is droning on about breathing through your nose and chakras and some other stuff that’s a bit too “woo” for my tastes. Most people have their eyes closed, but I keep mine open because it’s so warm in there I’m afraid I might actually fall asleep.

Finally, Joani tells us to face our partners and take their hands. Yes! Getting to the good stuff, I hope??… oh, nope. She says something about joining our breathing, and I tune out again, focusing on the feel of Evelyn’s hands in mine. I catch her eye and make a face towards Joani. She smirks a little. Aha! So she’s not as into it as I thought. Good. I roll my eyes and she seems to be struggling not to laugh. A few moments later, Joani tells us to release our partners, and starts going around the room asking people how they felt, one by one. Huh. That’s it? That wasn’t sexy at all. When it’s my turn, I make up something about not having as intense an experience as the others – no point in hurting Joani’s feelings – and Evelyn echoes something similar.

After the workshop, I escort Evelyn out and back down the path towards the main cabin. We pause next door at the Darkroom where a large crowd has gathered. “Huh… what’s going on here?” I wonder aloud. Evelyn’s brother Chain is handing out pieces of rope… some kind of demo? Evelyn fidgets and refuses the piece of rope his… assistant? offers her.

I glance at her. Now or never, I think. “Do you want to get out of here?” I ask.

“Yeah,” she says, looking relieved. We continue along the path toward the main lodge, where some of Nate’s crew is setting up a stage for Club Diamond drag show.

“That was… interesting,” I say.

She laughs. “Yeah.”

“So…” I continue, “tell me about yourself.”

She chuckles softly. “Still a doctor… still mostly straight.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Mostly?”

“Well, I’ve had sex with women before,” she says.

I shrug. “Well, I think we’d have fun together.”

She glances at me, hesitates for a second. “Well… if it involves an orgasm, I’m down.”

I stop walking and turn to face her, my face lighting up. “Really?”

She shrugs. “Sure. Why not?”

I grab her hand and pull her towards the left, over to the bathroom cabins. As soon as we’re close to the entrance, I push her up against the wall outside and slip my hand under her skirt. I watch her face carefully, which is bathed in light from the single bulb above the bathroom door. Her eyes are closed, her mouth open in a perfect “O” as her hips writhe against my hand. Within minutes, she’s crying out. Loudly. We’ve got a screamer, I think to myself, chuckling.

When she’s caught her breath, I lean against her, pinning her to the wall with my body. She wastes no time, both hands reaching under my skirt, spreading me open with one hand and rubbing my clit with the other. I groan softly, gritting my teeth. “You’re–AH! Pretty good at this, for a–ahhh, ah– straight girl,” I gasp out. “Oh, fuck!” Her finger fucks me while she keeps rubbing my clit. I’m humping her hands and crying out as I cum, all pretenses of staying quiet abandoned.

“God, that was good,” I sigh contentedly. “Did you have fun?”

She smiles. “Yeah, I did.”

We go inside the bathroom to fix our clothing and wash up, then head back to the main lodge for the drag show. Once inside, we smile at each other again, but go our separate ways.

Surprising absolutely no one, the drag show is running late. Still slightly giddy, I spy Santiago conversing with some other party-goers and head over. Leaning in, I whisper into her ear, “Straight girl’s not so straight!” and then stride off without waiting for an answer, gloating.