fishing

This is a copyrighted original work of fiction. All rights reserved.



All characters featured herein are at least eighteen years of age, even if not expressly stated. Any resemblance between actual persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.



Song lyrics contained herein remain the original artist’s property.



*



I had belonged to the local bonsai club for a number of years and had become known as somewhat of an expert in collecting bonsai stock from the wild. Canada has several tree species that are particularly well suited for bonsai. The Japanese and Chinese have got nothing on us in that department.



For several years I had been receiving coercion to lead a collecting expedition for the club. I hummed and hawed until finally I agreed to give a presentation to the club of what it’s really about and to ask who is interested in going.



The presentation went smoothly of course. I explained what species were available, various collecting techniques and tools required. Then I stressed just how arduous a task it really is and just how far away one must travel to get to suitable collecting grounds. One can’t simply travel an hour or two north of Toronto and traipse through someone’s cottage property or farm field ripping up their trees. One has to travel into northern Ontario and find Crown Land from which collecting is, at least marginally, acceptable.



About a dozen people indicated that they were interested in coming along.



After the presentation I had to corner five of them and gently tell them — you’re too old, I appreciate your enthusiasm, but let’s face it, you are not going to be jumping out of an aluminium boat onto slippery granite rock and scrambling, with rope sometimes, around the Canadian Shield. You’re walking with a cane right now. It was painful to have to do it, but reality is reality.



Two women and six men agreed to go. I was still a little dubious if three out of the eight, two of the men and one woman, could handle it.



I started a series of emails to the eight. The time was set, second week in May. A day to drive up and a day to drive back and at least two, preferably three, days of collecting — and hey — bring some fishing gear too. We would stay at a hunting/fishing lodge and rent boats. I had my own.



On the third weekend in May, which has a holiday Monday (Victoria Day) after it, or as it’s better known in Ontario, May Two-Four Weekend (two-four being a reference to a case of twenty-four beer), three things happen in northern Ontario. Number one, pickerel season opens, pickerel being the Canadian term for walleye, a popular game fish. Two, with the fishing season open the fishing/hunting camps have their busiest week with mainly American tourists. And three, and probably most importantly, the black-fly come out.



There are reasons why most of Canada is uninhabited. One of them is black-fly. They are only around for a month or two. Unprotected, you’ll only last a minute or two before they attack. Black-fly is a plural term. There is no such thing as one black-fly. Unlike a mosquito that stabs you with a little tube, these tiny little devils cut you and lick your blood out leaving an anticoagulant that itches and hurts. They are attracted by your warmth and your breath. Their choice target is right behind your ears.



There are mosquitoes too, starting in January, but by comparison to black-fly, mosquitoes are tame.



The boreal forest sits atop the Canadian Shield which is a vast pre-Cambrian slab of mainly granite that has been ground down by successive ice-ages leaving an undulating topography broken by the western interior lowlands and the Rockies to the west. With the forest sitting on top, it is basically a massive sponge. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, black-fly in moving water, such as the spring run-off.



As I expected, as the expedition date approached, several people backed out. Thankfully they included the three I was skeptical about.



Then there were four going, plus myself. Then, three. Then two.



Then only one. Aya Arslan.



Frankly, I was pissed off. I passed up going pike fishing with my buddies in the second week in May so I could do this bonsai trip. It’s during those fishing trips that I buzz off and do my little bonsai collecting as a sidebar. My fishing buds tolerate my kooky little self-indulgence.



Aya was always the most enthusiastic amongst the bunch of them, but there was no way her husband or significant other was going to let her go to some remote cabin with just me for a couple of days. And although I didn’t know anything about her personal life, any woman that good looking and that vivacious was not going to be single or somehow not committed.



I phoned her up to break the bad news.



“You mean we’re not going up?”



“Well it’s just you and me. How’s it going to look?”



“I don’t give a damn how it looks,” she said.



“So you’re still okay with going?” I asked.



“Of course,” she paused, “are you?”



“Yeah,” I answered with I’m sure a little shock in my voice.



It was settled. We’d take my Ford F-150 pick-up truck and my fourteen foot Lund aluminium boat with 9.9 Hp Envinrude outboard motor up on the Thursday and come back on the following Monday. She was going to pre-make and freeze dinner for three nights plus pack whatever else she fancied. I’d bring steaks, potatoes and veggies for the first night. I’d bring booze — plenty. On our way we would stop and pick-up whatever else we felt was required for breakfast and lunch.



“Is there anything that you don’t eat?” she asked.



“Aside from brazil nuts, I’m good with everything.”



“Great.”



I was clear in my description of what she needed for clothing. In addition to the usual items, she needed to have: quality hiking boots, layers of clothing, rain-gear, boots for snow, hats, gloves, sunglasses, bathing suit, a one-piece nylon jumpsuit, preferably with Velcro sleeve fasteners and good quality thin, work gloves, a mesh anti-bug head net and a good pair of binoculars.



The reality was that during the second week in May I’ve seen the lakes still frozen and snow on the ground, only once albeit, or it can be eighty degrees Frankenheit. One has to be prepared. Up there, you are not ducking out to a corner store to pick up something that you’ve forgotten to pack.



Shining Tree, Ontario is seven and a half hours due north from Toronto. The town itself is a quanza hut general store/post office/liquor/beer store/gas station and a couple of small houses. That’s it. There are hunting/fishing camps nearby. That is, miles down the gravel highway. There’s no electricity down the highway. If you believe in sasquatch, that is sasquatch country.



Culturally, it’s northern Ontario. Geographically, it’s central Ontario. To get an idea of the vastness of this country…in the Province of Ontario, there is an electoral district that is the size of Poland. It takes pretty much the same time to drive from Toronto to the Manitoba border as it does to drive from Toronto to Florida.



Aya and I were off to Shining Tree. Bonsai hunting.



As arranged, I picked Aya up from her townhouse at 7:30 in the morning.



She was stunning in her tight blue jeans, short tan leather jacket and running shoes. As always Aya’s thick black hair flowed like a jet black waterfall down her shoulders and back. Her brown eyes twinkled in the early morning light.



“Good morning Rob,” she said with obvious glee in her voice as she packed her bags into the pick-up.



“Good morning Aya, can I help you with your bags?”



I didn’t see anybody in her townhouse unit waving goodbye or saying have a great time as I picked up a large cooler from her front hall. She had one more large pack and her purse strapped over her arm as she locked the door to her townhouse.



“Let’s go,” she said smiling.



We stopped at the Tim Horton’s drive-through and picked up two large coffees and some doughnuts and off we went through the morning rush hour traffic, heading the other way. Due north.



We talked about how I got into bonsai a number of years ago. I joined the club to learn more about it than just what I could glean from books. Then I just stayed. I’d always had a need to express myself artistically in some fashion. I love nature, I explained, trees and rocks.



“I guess I’m still playing with sticks and stones, just like when I was a kid,” I said, “how about you?”



“I’ve always loved bonsai. Looking at them. I joined the club about a year ago to learn, just like you. And just like you I wanted to express myself. But I’m still learning.” She paused to sip her coffee. “Living in a townhouse like I do, I’d love to have a big garden, I guess bonsai is one way to do it, to have a garden in miniature.”



“I don’t see bonsai as miniaturization per se. I mean on the face of it, it is. But I see it for exactly what it’s supposed to be. A tree in a pot. End of story. To me it’s more like a painting in a picture frame. Or a living sculpture, as some prefer to refer to it.”



I reached for my coffee cup.



“You must have a lot, how long have you been doing it?”



“Oh gee,” I paused trying to figure it out, “twelve, thirteen years now, maybe fourteen. And no I don’t have a lot. I think I have eleven that I could honestly describe as a bonsai. But there are a few being raised in the ground that I’m working on. Most of the stuff that I had either died, or put it this way — I killed them, or I’ve given away.”



“By not watering them?”



“Sometimes, but it’s usually because I’ve stressed them beyond what they could handle. I’m still learning.”



We drove on for a minute.



“One of the funny things about bonsai is this,” I said, “you pretty well need two lifetimes to really get it right, the first just to learn the fundamentals, the other to perfect the art.”



“Well I only have two and I’m not happy with them. One I made at one of the club’s workshops, the other I made myself. Both are from garden centre stock.”



“I’m sure they’ll be fine. In twenty years or so.”



“That’s why I wanted to go collecting. I’ve seen some of your trees. They’re fantastic.”



“Thank you Aya. It is, I admit, much easier to convey the image of a mature tree when the tree actually is a hundred years old.”



“Exactly,” she said smiling at me.



We drove on in silence for a while.



“Thank you for taking me on this trip,” she said with sincerity in her gorgeous brown eyes.



“It’s my pleasure Aya. I just hope everything goes smoothly.”



She smiled at me as we drove on.



“Tell me about yourself Rob. Tell me about your job, about your family,” she paused for a moment before she added, “if that’s okay.”



“Well I’m in the construction business. Commercial construction, office buildings, shopping malls that sort of stuff. It’s okay, but I wouldn’t recommend to anyone that they should get into it.”



“Why not?”



“Well for one, you’re always working your ass off to finish the project and become unemployed.” I paused for a moment before I continued with a sigh, “the other thing I guess, is that it can be brutal on the family.”



“Are you married? Kids?” she asked.



“Divorced. Two kids, they’re with Mom. They’re ten and eight now. Two girls.”



“I’m sorry to hear that,” she said.



I know she wanted to know what happened. I might as well tell her I thought. I didn’t want to hide anything from her. That would just ruin the atmosphere of the trip.



“It’s this stupid business I’m in. And I’ve seen it all around me. What happened was that we got married, Carol got pregnant, then pregnant again. Everything was fine. I was working hard, earning good money. The girls were fine.”



Aya was watching me intently as I spoke.



“I finished a project in Toronto and we moved to Brantford so I could work on another. Then that finished and we moved again to just outside Toronto so that I could work in Toronto again. At the airport. When that finished, the girls were three and five, my next project was in Kingston at Queen’s University. It had a twenty eight month schedule which meant I’d be lucky to be finished in thirty or thirty two. She refused to pack up and go. I didn’t have a choice, I either took the project or I was out of a job. I had to feed the family, so off to Kingston I went.”



Aya continued to watch me silently. I think she finished her coffee. I grabbed a doughnut and continued.



“The game plan was that I would come home for the weekends. Which I did. It’s three hours each way plus traffic through Toronto. What would happen was that she would get so frustrated having to juggle the kids by herself all week, as soon as I got home she would just throw the kids at me. Of course I missed the kids but that’s not the point. And in retrospect I now understand that when I came home for the weekends all I wanted was for everything to be the same as before. It wasn’t. She was frustrated and I was frustrated.”



I bit into my doughnut and chewed for a while. Aya said nothing.



“Eventually I would find excuses to work the weekend and I wouldn’t come home. Eventually too, she learned how to cope without me. Inevitably we just drifted apart.”



“I’m so sorry,” Aya said.



“After thirty months she didn’t even want me to come back. I did, I moved back for all of a month. We fought the whole time. Then I found myself an apartment.”



“That’s terrible,” Aya whispered almost to herself.



“Two years ago we formally divorced. I still have child support payments which I make without fail. She met a guy — a really nice guy, Aaron, whose wife died of breast cancer at age thirty two leaving him with a young daughter. They’ve since married and she just had a baby boy with him. Which is great.”



“Is that supposed to be a happy ending?” she asked.



“I guess for her. I certainly hope for the best, especially for my two girls.”



“Do you get to see them?” she asked.



“Ha!” I shook my head, “they moved out of town.” I gazed at Aya who looked back at me intently. “They bought a house in Kingston.”



“I don’t believe it,” she said rolling her head backwards.



“Believe it. That’s the Robert Winstanley story.”



We both just watched the road ahead of us for a while.



“Aya,” I said, “look at that rock right there,” pointing out the window.



“What about it?”



“It’s limestone. It’s limestone from here on south,” I said. We were just outside Honey Harbour.



“Okay,” she said slowly, probably wondering what I was on about.



“Now look at that rock,” I said pointing, “it’s granite.” Maybe she thought I was crazy. “We’ve just climbed up onto the Canadian Shield.”



“Hmm,” was her only comment. She seemed quite interested in the view from the truck.



“Tell me about Aya” I said, or I guess asked.



“I work for my brother. I’m the office manager. He has a small company that distributes and sells industrial heat exchangers.”



“Oh how sexy.” I couldn’t help myself.



“I know,” she replied, “but at least I have a steady income.”



“I know, I know. I’m sorry.”



“And in spite of the up and down economy,” she added, “blood is thicker than water.”



“You’re absolutely right,” I said.



We drove in silence for a while longer. I figured something was grinding her about her personal life. I didn’t want to ask again. She certainly wasn’t bubbling up saying I’ve three wonderful kids and a perfect husband.



Eventually she piped up herself, “I was in a relationship that ended about a year ago.”



“Oh?”



“We were together for eight years. In the end, I left her.”



Her? Did I just hear her say her? I guess my jaw was a little slacked as I gazed at Aya in disbelief.



“Any kids?” I asked realizing immediately that it was a profoundly stupid question.



“No. Helene wanted some though. See wanted to be inseminated by my brother, or for me to be inseminated by her brother. Preferably both.”



“That’s a little weird.” I said. I probably shouldn’t have.



We drove in silence again, staring at the road.



“Eight years,” she said. “The last two weren’t particularly nice.”



“Do you still feel for her?” maybe I was prying a little too deep with that question.



“No. Maybe. I don’t know. I can’t even answer her phone calls anymore.”



We watched the road for a while.



“She wanted to get married and have kids.”



“Is that so bad?” I asked.



“I couldn’t. But she kept pushing and pushing until it became unbearable.”



“But after eight years why not?”



“Because my family couldn’t accept it.”



“That you’re lesbian? In this day and age? In Canada? C’mon.”



“I would bring shame to the family. My family is still very traditional. I would have lost my job.”



“So what. There are other jobs.”



“Yes, but I only have my one family. I would have hurt them.”



“So you never outed yourself.”



“No.”



“Did you live with her?”



“Yes. For eight years. And everything was fine at first when we were roommates. As long as we maintained two bedrooms, the plausibility of denial was there. My family suspected that there was something going on, but it was a don’t ask, don’t tell situation. Plus, they live in Montreal. They didn’t normally come snooping around.”



“I’m missing something here.”



“Helene kept on pushing to have me come out. The final straw was when she got a tattoo of the gay pride rainbow like an epaulet below her left shoulder.”



“So it was either her or your family?”



“Exactly. But it didn’t need to be. She made it that way.”



We drove on silently for a while.



“I don’t consider myself lesbian.”



I didn’t say a word. I didn’t dare. We just drove on.



“What’s your background?” I asked.



“Druze. Christian. I was born in Beirut. My family emigrated to Canada when I was four. We moved to Toronto, then they moved to Montreal when I was twenty. They now share a house with my uncle. My father’s brother. It’s a traditional family.”



After a few more miles Aya turned to me and said, “What a pathetic pair we are aren’t we?”



“Bullshit!” I said.



She stared at me in disbelief.



“I’m driving due north into God’s country. I have a beautiful woman sitting next to me and the weather ahead looks fantastic. And…and…we don’t have to do anything but have fun for the next five days.”



Aya leaned across the front seat and grabbed hold of my right bicep with both hands. She pressed her face against my shoulder and smiled up at me. Her bright white teeth peeked through her luscious lips. Her brown eyes glistened in the light.



“You’re right Rob. I’m sorry.” She squeezed my arm a little. “And Rob…you’re a pretty good looking guy.” she said with a grin.



Yes. Game on.



As we drove on the mixed hardwoods started to give way to clumps of black spruce. The Carolinian forest was dwindling away as the Boreal forest lay ahead.



What kind of trees are those?” she asked.



“Black spruce. Picea mariana.”



“Do they make good bonsai?”



“I’ve tried but I can’t make them look anything but spindly. I love their shape though.”



“They look so forlorn.”



“Clearly you’re a natural artist Aya. To describe a tree as forlorn is something that comes from the heart, not from the intellect. Forlorn is a great subject matter to put onto your bonsai canvas. Your heart already sees what it looks like.”



She had a curious look on her face but said nothing.



“Maybe we should get you some black spruce. Just because I’ve not had much luck with them doesn’t mean you won’t be able to.”



She was grinning as she looked out the window.



We crossed the French River. “Beautiful,” she said.



“The French River was part of the voyageurs’ route to bypass the lower Great Lakes,” I informed her hoping that I wasn’t sounding too high brow or being too patronizing, “from Montreal they’d shoot up the Ottawa River, then take the Mattawa into Lake Nippissing, then the French River into Georgian Bay.”



“Sounds easy.”



“I’m sure it wasn’t.”



I wondered just how much exposure to Ontario Aya had. “Have you been to the French River?” I asked her.

“No.”



“Have you been anywhere up here before?”



“No. I had a friend growing up whose parents had a cottage in Muskoka. Then a few years ago Helene and I took a dinner boat trip on the Segwun out of Orillia.”



“Gravenhurst. The Segwun is out of Gravenhurst.” I corrected her.



“Are you sure?”



“Positive. Trust me.”



“It was fun. It was nice, I loved seeing the cottages.”



“Is that the sum total of your Ontario experience? I mean you’ve lived here practically all of your life.”



“I don’t ski, I didn’t have a reason to come up here. Do you come up here often?”



“All my life. I’ve always lived in southern Ontario. That’s where the work is. But I’ve always been coming up. My dad was a keen fisherman and the family just got dragged around every year. Then after he passed away, I just kept on fishing.”



“I saw fishing rods in the truck.”



“Have you ever fished?”



“No,” she said meekly.



“Have you ever been in a little boat, like the one we’re towing behind us?”



“As a little girl at my friend’s cottage. They had a boat with a motor,” she said apologetically.



I smiled at her, “Well it looks like you’re in for some new experiences then.”



She was grinning from ear to ear. She had her hands tucked under her thighs and was bouncing as she said, “I sure am!”



We pulled into an Esso station just south of Sudbury. I jumped out of the cab and scooted around to her side and opened the door for her. I held out my hand, palm up and said “Miss Arslan?”



She unbuckled the safety belt and swung her legs to the side. Taking hold of my hand with her back straightened, “Thank you Mr. Winstanley” and stepped out of the cab. She grabbed her purse and swung it over her shoulder, fluffing her black hair.



I watched her cute ass wiggle as she made her way inside.



After gassing up and peeing we were back on the road. We made a list of the things we still needed to buy. There wasn’t much. A dozen eggs, some fresh bread, salad stuff and a couple of bags of ice.



“What did you make for dinner?”



“With a coy smile she answered, “Mmm…I’m not telling.”



“Do you drink?”



“Of course. You did bring wine?”



“Oh yeah.”



We drove on for a while.



“Do you like martinis?” I asked her.



“I love a martini.”



Alright. This was going to be so good.



“Vodka or gin?” I asked innocently. I had both.



“Gin of course,” she answered with a bit of a devilish grin and one eyebrow drooped.



“Olive or a twist of lemon?”



“Both.”



“Ah, an Oliver Twist.”



We both smiled at each other.



“Put olives on the list.”



We stopped in Sudbury at a large mall. We had lunch at Quizno’s where we shared a large beef dip sandwich with onions and mushrooms. I was mesmerized as I watched her eat with gusto across the table from me. Her sensuous lips were full of emotion with every bite, every word she spoke to me. It only occurred to me then that she wasn’t wearing any make-up. She didn’t need to. Her olive skin was perfect. What a beauty she was. And her hair…it was as if she stepped out of a shampoo commercial.



She did the shopping at the Loblaw’s Superstore and I went to the dollar store. I bought two martini glasses, two nice wine glasses, a red and white checked tablecloth, a pair of glass candlesticks and three pairs of non-drip candles. White, red and green.



She got back to the truck about two minutes after I did. Clearly she bought more than just what was on the list. As I closed the tonneau cover to the pick-up truck’s bed I noticed that one of the extra things she bought was a razor.



Hmm.



Off we went through the delightfully named suburb of Sudbury, Azilda. She was following our progress on the map as we went. Now we were on the flip side of the map. “One of the things you have to understand as you read that map,” I said to her, “is that the northern half of that map is at half the scale of the southern half.”



We drove on. Eventually we passed a sign that said ‘from this point forward all lakes and rivers drain into Hudson’s Bay’. Naturally the sign was in English and in French. It was the historic dividing line between two great fur trading companies. The British Hudson’s Bay company controlled the Hudson Bay watershed while the French controlled the Great Lakes watershed. Canada was built on beaver pelt.



“Why are you driving down the middle of the road? I’ve seen other cars and trucks doing it too.”



“Because it’s safer.”



“I would think staying in your lane, instead of being half in the oncoming lane, would be safer.”



“If we come across a moose, then I have two means of egress. Left or right. If I stay in my lane, I only have one.”



She had kind of a look of disbelief on her face.



“Aya. A moose is a thousand pounds of meat. When it hits a car or a small truck, the car goes under it and the windshield collides with a thousand pounds of meat. At a hundred and ten kilometers an hour the top of the car is simply sheared off, along with anything that is in its way. Namely you and me.”



“Oh.”



We drove on in silence.



“When I was a kid, my dad and I did a dance with a moose on the highway one night just outside La Verendrye park in Quebec.”



“What happened?” she asked.



“He missed the moose, obviously, but we landed up in a ditch beside the road, backwards.”



She stared at me in wonder.



“I don’t want to do a highway dance with a moose ever again.”



The last remnants of the hardwood Carolinian forest were long gone. We were totally immersed in the Boreal. The landscape was more severe.



We drove on in silence for a while.



“A bear! I saw a bear!” She was almost jumping out of her seat.



I just smiled at her.



Eventually we pulled off the main highway and onto a secondary highway.



“It’s so beautiful here,” her eyes were wide with wonderment as she gazed out the window.



We passed a huge yard with stripped down tree trunks, spruce, piled neatly in high rows. They looked like giant matchsticks. Aya’s eyes opened wide, “What a shame,” she said.



“It’s the forest products industry. We do want houses don’t we?”



We drove on down the winding gravel road. Eventually the road bisected an area where there had clearly been a fire. Everything around us was a cold cinder wasteland.



“Oh no! Look what happened,” her voice was almost trembling. I stopped the truck.



“Fire is a natural part of the forest cycle. Look there and there and there,” I said pointing through the windscreen, “pioneer trees and shrubs are coming back already. The cone from a Jack Pine, I’ll show you one later, opens after a fire. There are certain birds and animals that rely on the fire to sweep through every once in a while. It may not seem it, but it’s a beautiful thing.” I put the truck in gear.



Eventually we passed a sign that said Shining Tree, Aya almost leapt out of her seat, “We’re here!” She was like a little kid.



I kept on driving, “Not quite, close, but not quite.”



A few minutes later we pulled into camp. She asked if I’d been here before.



“Nope,” I found the office and stopped. “Come on let’s go,” I said smiling to her.



The air was crisp, cool and fresh. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was about four o’clock. We had made good time. Thankfully there were no bugs.



An older couple approached us, “Welcome,” he said in a French Canadian accent, “I’m Henri, this is my wife Yvette.”



I held out my hand, “Rob Winstanley.”



“I’m Aya Arslan.”



They seemed a very nice couple. He handed us the key to cabin number nine and walked us to it. It was at the far end of the lodge. He showed us where the wood pile was although there are electric baseboards he said, and pointed down to the second dock at our end. We were the only guests at the lodge although they will fill up for the week on Saturday and Sunday.



“Get yourselves sorted out, you can come and sign the book whenever you are ready.”



And that’s just the way it is up there. Everyone’s relaxed. Everything is at half speed.



Aya’s eyes sparkled as she took in the surroundings. The only sound aside from a gentle breeze and a few chirping birds was a distant muffled sound of a diesel generator.



“Henri,” I said, “until it gets dark, don’t leave that generator on just for our sake.”



The cabin was bright and clean, two bedrooms with a bathroom in between. The rest of the cabin was a single room with the kitchen on one side separated by a breakfast counter from the rest of the room which held a round table with four chairs, a couch and two wing chairs and a coffee table. In one corner there was a Franklin stove. It had a big picture window looking out to the lake. The entire cabin was paneled in rustic pine. The floors were a matching pine. The pictures on the wall were Group of Seven reproductions. It was perfect.



I pulled the pick-up truck closer to the cabin as Aya wandered off to the lake. She was walking up from the dock as I handed her a can of beer. She had a huge smile on her face, her black hair was gently fluttering in the breeze.



Pppfft. Pppfft. “Cheer’s Aya. Here’s to a successful bonsai hunt.”



“Cheers,” she took a deep sip, “this is all so wonderful!” she was walking on a cloud. I guess it was all so new to her.



“Moosehead Beer,” she said after taking another sip and looking at the can, “this is good beer. I’ve never tried it before.”



“Head and antlers above the rest,” I said smiling. “C’mon we’ve got some unpacking to do.”



Both bedrooms were identical. Both had queen sized beds. I let her have the one that had a view of the lake through a small window. She took control in the kitchen, which was okay with me. Within a few minutes the fridge and freezer were packed up. I stuffed the bottom shelf with white wine. I brought in a boogie box and basically all my CDs. The fishing gear was packed next to the front door. The bonsai collecting backpack, just inside the front door. Boots, raincoats, everything came inside.



Aya looked at the stack of booze. “I see forty eight cans of beer.”



“Forty six” I corrected her.



“And three cases of wine…booze. You expect us to drink all that? We’re only here four nights.”



“Don’t be silly Aya. It’s our booze cabinet. Mmm, a little rustic maybe, but I didn’t know what you drink, or if you drank at all. There’s different types of beer, red wine, white wine, vodka, gin, scotch, bourbon, various liqueurs, single malt. We just take back what we don’t drink. What’s the big deal? I just wanted to be a good host.”



She had a huge grin on her face as she stood in front of me with her hands in the back pockets of her jeans, bouncing on her toes with her chest pressed forward. “So, what do you want to do now?” she said biting her bottom lip, her eyes glistening again.



I had a couple of ideas.



“How about we put the boat in the water?”



“Oh. Okay,” she said, clearly not seeing that coming. “Then can we have martinis?” she added.



A girl after my own heart.



The boat launch was next to the other dock. “I need you to get in the boat Aya,” I said as I backed the boat and trailer towards the ramp. I helped her into the boat. She seemed a little unsure of herself as she climbed in and sat down. I unbuckled the boat. With the door open I backed the trailer into the water and watched as the back tire of the pick-up truck reached the water’s edge, then eased back just a few more inches. I popped the pick-up truck into park and hopped out. Aya had a puzzled look on her face as I unclasped the winch line and gave the little boat a solid push.



With the good incline and the fact that Aya was seated near the back of the boat, she launched perfectly. There was hardly a ripple in the water.



I parked the pick-up and empty trailer back next to the cabin. I must have been gone all of three minutes.



“This is great Rob. Now what am I supposed to do?” She was drifting, but not more than fifteen feet from the other dock.



“Well you can just sit there and look pretty.” I pulled out my cell-phone camera and started taking pictures. Aya got into it. Posing. Pushing her chest out. Giving me the come hither look. Fluffing her hair up. Batting her eyelashes at me.



I was in lust.



“Ah…Rob?



“Grab the paddle and just bring the boat in.” The paddle was near the front of the boat.



Aya stood up and stepped forward in the boat. “Aayyggh!” She nearly fell in the water as she lost her balance. The boat rocked from side to side as she clung on for dear life.



“Are you okay!?” I was ready to jump into the water.



“I’m okay. I’m okay” she managed as she sat herself back onto the seat.



“Lesson number one. When you move in the boat put your weight into the centre as much as you can and hold on to the sides.” She glared at me with suspicion. I added, “Just move slowly and gently, don’t be thrashing about.”



“Stand up and get yourself into the centre of the boat. Seriously Aya, you need to get yourself sorted out in this boat. Trust me. Do what I ask.” Gingerly she stood up and stepped over the seat in front of her and stood up.



“Spread your legs a bit.” She did. “Now gently rock the boat from side to side with your weight.” She did that too. “Now turn around and do it from the other side.” She did that too. “Turn around again and grab the paddle.” She did, still unsure of herself. “Now paddle yourself in.”



It was all of twelve feet, but she managed. After a few strokes she was able to get the side of the boat in a gentle collision course with the dock.



“Lesson number two. Keep your fingers inside the boat.” I lifted her hand off the gunwale as the boat was about to collide with the dock. “Either on the dock or in the boat. Not wrapped around the gunwale.” I’m pretty sure she got my point. She missed getting her slim fingers munched by only an inch or two.



Still holding her hand and now holding the boat with the other I said, “Lesson number three, when you step out of the boat, it will move backwards as you try to step out. Stand up on the seat.” She did. “Put one foot on the dock, but not your weight.” She did. “Now step out.” She managed to transfer her weight as the boat moved back.



“Whew,” she said.




“Very well done Aya. You’re going to be an expert in no time. Bonsai hunting is all about jumping in an out of a boat.”



“Okay,” she said with a brave smile. I was still holding her hand. My foot was holding the boat to the dock.



“Now get back in the boat.”



I held her hand as she stepped back into the boat eyeing me with uncertainty. I jumped in and climbed to the stern. “We have to get it to the other dock.”



On the second pull my trusty little Evinrude started for the first time that season in a cloud of smoke. I put her into reverse and backed off the dock, jammed the throttle tiller into my belly, switched to forward and opened her up.



Aya nearly fell off her seat again, but she steadied herself. She was facing me, her thick black hair was fluttering around her pretty face. She was trying to control it. With the index finger on my right hand I motioned to her to spin around. She did. I wanted to do a lap around the little island that was not more than two hundred yards away.



Aya huddled herself together and drew her jacket tight. Her hair flowed off of her head like a wild horse’s mane. Her ass on the aluminium seat was perfect. Fuck, I was in lust.



I slowed the boat down to a crawl as we approached our dock. I could see the apprehension in Aya’s face as she turned to face me, she wanted to help land the boat but wasn’t quite sure what she had to do.



“What was lesson number two Aya?”



“Fingers,” she smiled.



The little craft gently eased up to the dock landing perfectly parallel along the entire length. I simply put my hand on the dock and killed the engine. “Okay Aya, out you get.”



This time she stepped out on her own with much more assurance in her step. The boat pushed back as she transferred her weight onto the dock. I held it steady.



As I tied the boat to the dock I could see the wide grin on Aya’s face. “Martini’s?”



I pulled her hand into mine and we walked up to the cabin hand in hand. I could feel my heart was beating, I was so thrilled to just be with Aya.



Aya washed the new martini glasses as I fished out the Bombay Sapphire, white vermouth and my little stainless steel shaker.



With a few ice cubes in the shaker I added the ingredients.



“Shaken not stirred.”



We sat on the steps to the little deck in front of the cabin enjoying the last warm rays of sunshine sipping our martinis. Aya rested her head on my shoulder and looked into my eyes. “Thank you,” she said smiling.



“For what?” I asked. “We haven’t done anything.”



“For bringing me here. It’s so beautiful, so peaceful.” Aya appeared very relaxed as she spoke. There was a languor to her voice that I’d not noticed before.



“And wild too,” I added. We just gazed out onto lake. The sun glistened off the still water in vast sheets of red as it slid behind the tree line.



A wolf howled in the distance.



Aya’s back shot up. Her eyes widened and fired a questioning glance at me as she asked, “Did you bring a gun?”



“We’re going bonsai hunting Aya, not bear hunting.” I chuckled at her. “We’re not going to shoot the bonsai.”



Her eyes twinkled back at me, somewhat relieved but still concerned, “There’s bears and wolves and moose and God only knows what other scary animals.”



“Wooooooo!”



She whacked my playfully. “Come on Rob, I’m not kidding.”



“Aaaghhhhh!” I held my arms out to the side, martini glass in one hand.



“Stop it Rob,” whacking me again.



“You forgot the sasquatch.” I said menacingly.



“Stop it Rob,” she whacked me again, “there’s no such thing as sasquatch.”



“Oh?” I fired right back, draining the last of my martini. “C’mon Aya, let’s get started on dinner.”



As we made our way to the kitchen I said to Aya, “Seriously, do you know what the most dangerous thing is in those woods?”



“No. What?” She was all attentive for my answer.



“Bees.”



“Bees?”



“Yup, bees. If you get stung by a hundred bees because you stepped on a nest, way the hell out there somewhere,” I pointed to the lake, “your life is in serious danger, and you’re miles from help. Bees.”



Aya just gazed at me with her mouth open.



“I have an EpiPen, just in case,” I added, “a glass of white wine?”



Aya just stared at me, not quite sure of what to make of what I’d just said.



I popped the cork to a bottle of Pinot Grigot.



“Sure.” I poured us a couple of glasses.



“How about putting some music on for us? I’ll get the barbeque going and collect some firewood for the wood stove.”



She surprised me with her music selection, one of my favourites. Graceland by Paul Simon.



As I came back to the deck I could see Aya busy in the kitchen, her hips swaying to the music as she slowly danced around the kitchen island with lettuce in one hand and a glass of white wine in the other.



These are the days of miracle and wonder



The way the camera follows us in slo-mo



The way we look to us all



The way we look to a distant constellation



I looked up and could see the night sky panorama starting to shine through. I smiled.



There’s dying in the corner of the sky



These are the days of miracle and wonder



And don’t cry baby, don’t cry



Don’t cry



Aya was far from crying. She’s was in her element and clearly enjoying herself. I silently watched as she quietly sang along to the CD, seductively swaying her hips. What a sexy woman I couldn’t help but think. I doubted that she would ever see something in me that would interest her, in spite of her sweet outward affections.



I kept watching Aya as I brushed the heated grill.



“Caesar salad?” she asked as I swept into the cabin with an arm-full of split logs.



“Sure,” I answered, “what can I do to help?” Her hips were still swaying to the music.



“You can set the table,” she answered smiling at me.

I pulled out the new tablecloth and white candles. “Will you want red with the steak?”



“That would be lovely,” Aya said as she licked one finger seductively tasting the dressing. “Microwave baked potatoes okay?”



“Absolutely,” I answered as I reached for a bottle of Chianti Classico.



I stacked the Franklin stove with paper, some kindling and three split logs. I lit the paper and closed the door. The paper burst into flame. Whether Aya would see anything in me or not, I didn’t know. I just knew that I was going to try and make this whole evening as romantic as I could.



I watched Aya’s slender hands and fingers carefully dice green onions as I washed my hands in the kitchen sink. It was well dark outside now.



“Let’s get everything ready and we can sit outside while the steaks are on the barbeque,” I said to her, “I want to show you something.”



Aya gazed at me with a puzzled expression.



“You’ll need a light jacket.”



Everything was ready. The plates were on the table, steak knives and forks, paper napkins. I lit the candles. The fire was roaring and the heat from the stove was warming the room.



I held the screen door open with my back while holding the steak laden plate in one hand and my wine glass in the other. Aya walked through the door holding her wine glass.



“Oh my God!” she gazed up into the sky. Her jaw had dropped and she almost stumbled in bewilderment, “Oh my God!”



I smiled realizing, as I suspected, she’d never seen a night sky as spectacular as was laid out before her eyes.



“I’ve seen pictures, b…but…nothing like this before.” She couldn’t stop gazing upwards. “There’s millions…I don’t believe it.”



“Billions and billions Carl Sagan would say.”



The night sky was clear and bright. Countless stars filled the sky and opened up the heavens. The familiar constellations were drowned in light, receding back into eternity. The moon was just a crescent sliver.



Aya sat on the top step of the deck and leaned back, never taking her eyes from the sky. She was dumb struck, unable to speak.



“Awesome, I think is the proper term”, I suggested.



“Awesome indeed,” she managed. “The stars at night have always been beautiful, but this…this is unbelievable.”



I smiled as I flipped the steaks. Aya was like a little girl again. My heart swelled with the realization that I was able to bring such joy to Aya. And it wasn’t my doing. We were just blessed that it wasn’t cloudy or raining outside. All I did was have her come out to see something that had been there forever, albeit hidden by city lights.



“A shooting star! I saw a shooting star! Did you see it?”



I flipped the steaks again and chuckled. “You’re lucky. Make a wish.” I’m the lucky one I knew.



The cabin was warm as we made our way back inside. Aya wiped tears from her cheeks with a tissue as I popped Mozart’s Requiem into the CD. “I hope this is okay with you?” I asked as we sat down to the table.



“Beautiful,” she answered still wiping tears from her eyes, “just beautiful.”



We ate in silence as the fire crackled in the stove only interrupted by the occasional “Mmm.” It was a surreal moment. I could see the grandeur of the sky still burning in Aya’s eyes as she gazed at me. The Requiem Mass gently drifted in our ears. God’s music played in our tiny temple as the heavens swirled outside. Aya was clearly humbled by the experience. And I was humbled by her reaction. What a beautiful human being I was sharing dinner with tonight.



“Aya what’s wrong?” I asked as her hands were sunk into dishwater cleaning up. I could hear her sobbing to herself. I stood next to her holding a dish towel as she turned to me pulling her soapy hands from the water. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. “What’s wrong?”



Aya wrapped her soapy hands around my neck looking into my eyes and whispered “Kiss me.”



I pulled her close and lowered my lips to hers. Her lips were soft, full, quivering as I pushed my lips down onto hers harder. She pulled me down. We kissed for a moment then I pulled away kissing a tear from her cheek.



“Aya why are you crying?”



She tried to wipe her runny nose with the back of her hand but only managed to cover the side of her nose with a cluster of soap bubbles. “Oh,” she laughed at herself, trying to recover by wiping her face with her forearm. Tears were still streaming from her eyes, but she was grinning through it all realizing just how silly she looked as more soap came off in her black hair.



“I’m sorry Rob,” sniffling. She pulled the dishcloth from my hands and cleaned off her hands stepping in search of a tissue.



“I know I must look silly,” she said blowing her nose and clearing the tears from her eyes.



“I think you look beautiful, simply stunning.” I said calmly.



Tears welled up again and she grabbed another tissue and blew her nose again. I still didn’t know why she was crying.



“Rob, it’s just that…” she sniffled again, “I realized that I’ve not been this happy…this happy in years.” She blew her nose again. “Rob, you’ve made me this happy. This has been a perfect day.”



I smiled at Aya and pulled her tight to my chest. She wrapped her arms around me.



“Thank you Rob. That you so much for everything.”



“All I did was drive and flip a couple of steaks Aya. You did all the rest.”



“Don’t be silly Rob.” She tilted her head up and we kissed again. Our tongues touched, just momentarily but I had enough to savour Aya’s sweetness. I could feel tears well up in my eyes as my chest beat against hers.



“Let’s finish the dishes Aya.”



She pulled away from me and smiled.



We sat on the couch in front of the fire with Aya curled up, snuggled next to me. We each nursed the last of our wine. As much as I would have liked to, I knew that I couldn’t make a pass for her. Plus, I still couldn’t get my head around why such a beautiful, vivacious woman would want anything to do with me romantically. I was content just to sit there in front of the fire and feel the warmth from Aya against my chest.



I caught her glass as it almost slipped from her fingers. Gently I placed it on the table. She was asleep. Asleep in my arms. I studied her face. Perfect. I wanted to kiss her but I didn’t dare. I just drank up her beauty.



The fire needed another log, my wine was finished, my eyelids were getting heavy and most urgently I needed to pee. “C’mon Aya, time to go to bed.” I gently shook Aya’s shoulder. Her eyes opened up, she paused trying to figure out where she was then sat up. She smiled at me, kissed my cheek and stumbled off to the bathroom. I cleaned up the wine glasses and corked the bottle. She came out of the bathroom and straight to her bedroom as I closed the door on the stove. Finally.



I woke up in the middle of the night sensing that the stove could use another log or two. As I sat on the toilet and gazed out the window, I knew what I had to do.



“Aya wake up.” I shook her shoulder gently. She was still dressed. “Wake up.”



“W…what’s wrong?”



“Wake up, get out of bed, I have another surprise for you.”



“Wha…what?…”



“C’mon get out of bed. Get dressed.” I pulled her up. “Put this on.” I handed her a baseball cap. “Put your coat on we’re going outside.”



She flopped back down onto the bed. “I’ve seen the stars. I’m tired.”



Pulling her back up and placing the cap on her head, I said “Trust me.”



With great effort she swung her legs off the side of the bed, rubbing her face.



“Put your coat on, let’s go.”



She stood up and went into the bathroom. I found my flashlight and put my jacket on. It was two thirty in the morning.



Aya stumbled out of the bathroom then returned from her room carrying her coat and shoes. “I don’t know what you want Rob. I hope this is worth it.”



“Trust me.”



With the flashlight illuminating each step we made our way down to the dock, her hand in mine. “Now sit here,” I said wiggling the flashlight to indicate the spot. Holding onto my arm she sat on the dock.



“Now what?”



“Look up.”



“Oh my God!”



Above our heads danced the most brilliant display of the Northern Lights, the aurora borealis, that I’d ever seen in my life. Massive curtains of green, blue and white light towered over our heads reaching up to unimaginable heights. The entire sky danced to a luminescent silent symphony as the stars watched in approval from their inky depths. At once blue pulses of light shimmered slowly in one part of the sky while a long, green sweeping tail lazily snaked through another. Sudden brilliant flashes crashed as soundless cymbals then disappeared into a glistening echo. The sky was simultaneously hot and icy. A silent luminous beat pulsed above us.



My heart beat wildly to the unimaginable beauty unfolding above us. My eyes watered in the cool air. The sheer majesty of the spectacle completely overwhelmed my senses.



Aya was silent. Her mouth was agape.



We both lay on the dock gazing to the heavens. I watched as Aya reached up to try touch the light curtains, giggling.



We lay motionless for many long minutes mesmerized by the glorious heavenly ballet, holding hands.



No words were spoken. None could augment the moment, only detract.



After a few minutes Aya rolled over on top of me, her lips found mine and we kissed. Her black hair tempered only by the baseball cap on her head was surrounded by a halo of green, blue and white brilliance.



“You must be a wizard, conjuring up the heavens for me,” she whispered. She kissed me passionately, her tongue played with mine. I squeezed her tight. I was holding an angel, a true star child.



Eventually we went back inside. We had been outside for a full hour. She kissed me again before we retired to our separate bedrooms.



“Thank you,” I said in silence to the gods above.



The coffee was through before Aya stumbled from her slumber. “Good morning,” she said with a smile as she kissed me on the lips. I handed her a mug of coffee, she opened the fridge in search of milk.



I smiled at the sight of her in cozy pajamas, a pink housecoat and fluffy pink slippers. Her hair was a complete mess. I was trying to contain myself as she fixed her coffee. The fire was going again and it was light out. Another clear beautiful day looked in store.



“That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said as she snuggled up on the couch next to me.



“I’ve seen the Northern Lights several times,” I said, “but never as brilliant as last night. The gods smiled down on you last night, that’s for sure.”



Aya smiled gently at me and reached out to tickle me behind my right ear. “I’m not sure about that, but as long as you’re smiling at me I’ll be alright.” She followed that up with a wet kiss on my cheek.



I was smitten.



My Best of New Riders of the Purple Sage CD was playing as we made ourselves a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, jam and big fresh navel oranges. We both rocked to the music looking forward to our day on the water and whatever adventures awaited us.



“Lots of layers,” I said as we finished cleaning up, “It could get warm today.”



It was a glorious morning as we set off in the little boat. We were packed with all the equipment we needed for the bonsai hunt plus fishing rods and tackle box. I stored a six pack of Moosehead cans under the seat next to the lunch box that Aya had prepared and a backpack containing raingear. We had binoculars around our necks.



I held the topographical map encased within a zip-lock bag in my hand. “Your job Aya is to sit in front and watch the water. If you see anything, anything at all that looks the least bit different, then simply point to it. I’ll see you pointing.”



“Like what?” she asked.



“Like a log or a rock or a beaver, anything that makes the water ripple just a tiny bit differently. It’s perfectly fine if you’re mistaken. We don’t want to bump into anything out in the water.”



“Okay,” she said as she swung her legs to the bow.



Aya couldn’t contain her enthusiasm. She was almost bouncing in her seat as we glided across the smooth almost glass-like cold water. The silhouette of the shoreline trees was perfectly reflected in the water below. Everything was pristine. I angled the boat towards a rocky island, slowing down to just a crawl.



“Okay Aya. Turn around.” She did. “Bonsai hunting one oh one. Be careful as you step in and out of the boat. Each movement has to be measured, steady. The same applies to when we get ashore.” She listened to me intently. “I’m going to bring the boat into that rock over there.” She turned her head to take a look. “You are going turn around, take the rope in your hand then stand up at the front of the boat. When the boat touches the rock, swing one leg from the boat but don’t transfer your weight until you are sure your footing is steady and secure. Then hold the rope get out and pull the boat back towards you so I can get out too. Leave your binoculars in the boat. Ready?”



I kicked the motor into neutral and glided in. Aya spun around in her seat, then stood up. She held the rope in her gloved hand. The boat eased up to the rock. She caught it with the hiking boot on her left leg. I watched her pretty ass in khaki coloured jeans as she hopped out of the boat smiling, pleased with her effort. She did it perfectly.



I cut the engine and walked out of the boat taking the rope from her. “We don’t need anything else.” I secured the rope to a small shrub and said, “Let’s go.”



The island was a typical lichen wonderland. Red granite peeked out between broad swathes of grey-green reindeer lichen crunching under foot. The granite graced with quartz veins locked together in a multi-billion year loving embrace. There were sparse trees, red lichens and green lichens bursting into patches. Leafy grey lichens resembled paper thin mushrooms and green brown ones that appeared as exquisitely fashioned waxy paper ears, as if the depths of the shield itself listened in on the world outside. Broken sticks and twigs were scattered everywhere. Small shrubs were just coming back to life. The jack pines were covered in a grey lichen, clinging to the branches struggling for a spot to thrive, thankful for its host. Everything smelled fresh. Twigs embedded within the reindeer lichen poked through waiting to be swallowed in nature’s due course.



Aya’s eyes were like saucers as she walked over the undulating grey carpet. A red-winged blackbird gurgled his familiar rising liquid song ‘coke-la-ree’ at water’s edge, flashing his brilliant red epaulets, utterly unconcerned with our presence.



“This is a Jack Pine,” I said to Aya holding a sparse branch, “Pinus banksiana. Fantastic bonsai material. Look at these pairs of needles. Short, stout. Look at the scaly bark, the natural sinewy nature of its growth.” She held the branch in her hand smelling the aroma. “Jack pine is the tree that Tom Thompson painted in his famous West Wind.”



Aya almost stroked the tree with reverence.



“Look at the cone. Tight, twisted, resinous, coiled, waiting for a fire to release it.”



I took a couple more steps, “This is my favourite bonsai subject, Northern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis. Yes it’s the normal cedar that you see in hedges, but here it’s in its natural state. Superb bonsai material. The foliage can be pinched back into dense bundles or trained as graceful lines.”



We sat down on the lichen and looked out over the water.



“Look across there. Do you see those trees reflected at water’s edge?”



“Yes.”



“Can you see that some have a green haze above them and some an almost purple colour above them?”



“Yes.”



“Those are the buds, just starting to swell. From this distance both trees seem to have more or less the same shape and size. In fact, the trees with the purple haze are our familiar Paper Birch, Betula papyrifera. The green haze trees have a slightly greyer, less papery bark, it’s Quaking Aspen, Populus trembuloides. Aspen is the favourite food of our friend, Mr. Beaver.”



Aya chuckled.



“It’s true. To a beaver aspen is like steak, pizza and chocolate all rolled up into one.”



Aya gave me a playful whack on the arm, “Stop being silly.”



“It’s true.”



She smiled taking it all in.



“And look way over there. See those tall pines?”



“Yes.”



“Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobes.”



“How can you tell from here?”



“Because they’re so tall. See how they grow straight, then when they get to a certain height, when they tower over the rest of the forest, a prevailing wind tends to give them a funny top.”



“Mmm.”



“At one time they were a valuable commercial tree supplying the shipping industry with masts. They’re majestic aren’t they?”



“Do they make good bonsai?”



“You bet. Slow growing though. It takes a long time to get fissured bark. It’s our only five needle pine. The tree has this softness about it. Beautiful tree.”



“It’s beautiful here,” she said.



She was right. It surely was. I gave her a hug. She kissed me on the cheek. I grinned in delight.



“Okay, time for lesson one-oh-two, c’mon get up Aya.” She took my hand and brushed the lichen off of her sexy bum with the other. We walked up to a group of short jack pines and cedars.



“Oh look at this one!” she said as she rushed up to a gnarled twisted cedar, “it’s perfect.” She was beaming with delight at her find.



“Reach down,” I said, “grab a hold of the trunk as low as you can and give it a wiggle and twist. Does it move?” She did as asked.



“No, not at all.”



“Then forget about it. Even if you could get that tree out, its trunk will be deformed from where it is trapped within a granite fissure. Just move on to the next.”



I picked up a small, young jack pine and in one move lifted it with the complete root ball from the lichen covered granite. “See Aya, either they are completely stuck in the granite or they can be pulled free, not always as easily as this, but there’s very little grey area between. Often the root will trail off to some little depression ten feet away making it an unsuitable specimen. What we want to find is a gnarled old tree with the trunk all free and wiggly. When we find that, we have a chance to dig it out and collect it.” She watched me in wonderment.



“How old do you think that tree is?” she said referring to her trapped gem.



“A hundred maybe two hundred years. Look at the bark. This puppy has been here for a while.”



Aya’s eyes widened again.



“Forget about it. Move on.” I pointed to a spreading thatch of juniper. “See that juniper? Forget about them too, I’ve never found one that’s not embedded in granite. Plus the needles will irritate your skin. Look for Thuja and jack pine.”



We got back into the boat and continued our hunt. I explained to Aya that she needed to use the binoculars to scan the shoreline. What she had to look for was a small tree with a comparatively massive trunk and compact growth. We trawled along the shore. Several times I let her out and she would clamber up to check if the trunk moved on a particular tree, then climb back into the boat after establishing that the tree wasn’t collectable. She was getting very good at getting in and out of the boat. I loved watching her ass as she scrambled up the granite to check out a tree or two. Bonsai collecting was never this much fun.



We came up to a massive granite rock on the shore, Aya hopped out of the boat pushing me off and made her way up the rock through a shallow crevasse angling to the right. I pulled out my fishing rod and took a few casts, although I knew it would probably be too deep where I was for pike at this time of year. The rock stretched along the shore for probably a couple of hundred yards to my left and fifty to my right. It was easily thirty foot high with what seemed to be another rock behind it twenty or thirty feet higher than the first, but extending the full length. I was starting to get a little worried about Aya when she appeared high above me and two hundred feet to my left.

“Rob, come on up. I’ve found something.”



“Okay.”



“And bring the lunch and beer.”



That sounded like a great idea. I tied the boat off and scrambled up the rock to the right following the same path Aya had just covered. There was indeed a plateau that stretched between the two granite rocks. Aya was correct in doubling back as the plateau angled down to the right and became thick bush. To the left however the narrow lichen covered ridge varied between five and thirty foot wide and gently rose with the rock itself. There were several mature trees growing along the ridge and some deadwood but nothing particularly unusual. As I made my way towards where Aya was, the ridge widened into an area which was covered in naturally stunted cedars.



“Wow,” I said as I came up to Aya, “looks like you found the mother lode.”



Aya was beaming a great huge grin. Looking around I said, “There must be fifty potential bonsais here.”



The sun was shining on the little plateau, it was warm up there. I dropped the two cooler pouches into the lichen and stripped off my wind jacket and sweater, leaving me with just a t-shirt. Aya did the same. I guess I hadn’t really had a close look before but with just a yellow t-shirt and sports bra on, I could see that Aya had a pretty nice set on her.



We each walked around with a sandwich and a beer in our hands stooping down to give each tree a little wiggle. We found eight good candidates.



“Do you have one in mind?” I asked.



“How about that one?” she asked pointing to a cedar that stood about two and a half foot tall with a straight trunk. The taper on the trunk was fantastic, from about two and a half inches diameter at the base to nothing at the top. The top had some deadwood already — a natural ‘jin’ in bonsai and except for one longer branch, the remaining branches were short and compact. These trees had barely hung on for decades, maybe centuries in this little microenvironment.



“It’s a natural formal upright Aya. In collecting, that tree is a ten, or close to it. I hope we can get it.”



I left Aya and the cooler with the beer and brought our spent lunch and empties back to the boat. Fifteen minutes later I was back with the bonsai collecting backpack.



“Take a picture of it before we start,” I suggested. Aya retrieved her little point and shoot camera from her jacket and snapped off a couple of pics.



We got down to work. Aya was enthusiastic about what we were about to do. She had already uncovered the lichen from around the tree and had started to brush away the soil with her gloved hand. Her khaki jeans and t-shirt were already filthy. I tried lifting the tree straight up but it wouldn’t budge. There was plenty of side to side movement of the trunk indicating that it wasn’t bound to the rock.



“We have to take as much of the root ball as we can,” I explained to Aya. Most of it was inside a little depression, but one root extended inside a thin fissure to the right. That root was snipped free. Using hand trowels we managed to pry most of the root ball up but something was still binding it to the rock. I held one side of the root ball up as Aya, lying on her back in the lichen, reached under to try to ascertain what still held it in place. She looked lovely in her yellow t-shirt, covered in soil. Eventually she felt a root extending down which she eventually managed to snip, freeing the tree from its terrestrial home.



“Woo-hoo!” Aya exclaimed.



“Well done Aya. That’s hard work isn’t it?” Aya was brushing the sweat of her brow with her soiled, gloved hand. Her forehead and face became covered in mud.



“Another one?” I asked.



“Sure. Are you going to get one too?” she asked.



“Only if you’re done picking from this patch,” I answered.



We set out to collect another. It was a similar task to the first. The root ball had to be teased and lifted from the underlying rock bit by bit. We worked on it together.



“Can I ask you a question?” she asked, “I hope you don’t mind.”



“What is it?”



“Do you have a girlfriend?”



Where the hell did that come from? She was staring at me as she worked away at the root ball.



“No, do you?”



Clearly I shouldn’t have asked that. She was firing darts at me with her eyes.



“I’m sorry, it is a fair question though,” I tried to recover from my faux-pas.



“I suppose you’re right. No, I don’t, nor do I have a boyfriend.”



We continued to work away. After a few minutes I asked, “Why did you want to know?”



She didn’t answer me at first but then after a while said, “I’m just a little confused that’s all. Don’t you like me? Or don’t you find me attractive?”



I stopped what I was doing and sat up on the lichen and looked at her. What the hell brought that on?



“I like you a lot. And I think that you are a gorgeous, sexy woman.”



Her face became expressionless as she sat up too. The little soon-to-be bonsai was right between us as we sat on the grey-green lichen carpet.



She thought for a moment then said, “I thought that I had made my intentions quite well known yesterday, but you didn’t act on it. I thought maybe you had a girlfriend already and that I was being out of line.”



“I don’t think you were out of line,” I stated and simply regarded her reaction.



“Is it because I was in a lesbian relationship?”



What an odd thing to ask. “No,” I stated flatly.



“What is it then?”



“Aya, maybe you were just being friendly yesterday. Maybe it was the martini talking I don’t know. And it doesn’t really matter. If I had made a pass at you yesterday and had gone too far, how would you feel about it today? Gee I’m sorry I tried to rape you last night, but don’t worry — when we go deep into the bush today and it’s just you and me with not another soul around for miles, don’t worry I’ll be a perfect gentleman. You can trust me to keep my grubby hands to myself.”



Aya sat there on the lichen and smiled at me. “You’re not like other guys are you?”



“Nonsense,” I answered right back, “I’m just like every other guy.”



“No you are not,” she was grinning at me, “you’re not like other guys that I’ve know or gone out with.”



“Were they all just a bunch of stinking self-centered boors?” I stood up to stretch my legs, “only interested in one thing?” Before she could answer I bent my knees down a little and started flapping my arms back and forth while pumping my pelvis in and out. “Ma ego needs ta eat! Feed ma fetish! Uugh. Uugh. Uugh. I need sex! Gimme gimme.”



Aya fell back into the lichen clutching her belly laughing, “Yeah, that’s pretty well it! I think that pretty well sums it all up.” Buy the time she recovered she had to brush tears of laughter from her face. She just managed to adhere more mud onto her face.



She tried to brush the teary mud from her face, but in reality just smeared it further. She said, “But you’re not like that. You’re not like that at all.”



“That’s nice of you to say that Aya, but I’m still not going to make a pass at you.” We resumed work again.



“Are you afraid that I’m just trying to recover from my relationship? That I’m just trying to figure out if I am lesbian or not?”



“Are you?” I asked, but immediately knew I shouldn’t have.



“Don’t you question your sexuality?” Nice little dodge on her part.



“No.”



“You must have at some point in your life.”



I sat up again. Paused, then answered Aya. “I can recognize what a good looking guy is. Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and whatever that guy’s name is that played Edward Scissorhands…”



“Johnny Depp,” she interrupted.



“Yeah, that’s him, but my point is…although I recognize them to be good looking, sexy men, I have no desire to come up to them, run my hands up and down their chests, give them a big hug then plant a big fat wet kiss on their stubbly lips. It just doesn’t do anything for me.”



Aya just glared at me.



“Actually, that’s not true. It does do something for me. It’s called revulsion.”



She continued to glare at me.



“If I can’t even kiss a guy without gagging, how am I supposed get off having sex with a man? So to answer your question about me questioning my sexuality, I guess I did. For about a nanosecond.” Clearly that little tirade was foreign thinking to Aya.



We got back to work, managed to free the tree, then started on another tree.



“Can I ask you a question?”



“Sure,” she answered.



“Tell me about your girlfriend, what was her name?”



“Helene. What do you want to know about her?”



“Was she butch, to your obvious femme?”



Aya sat up. She was covered in dirt, as was I. “Not all lesbians fill the stereotypical butch-femme roles.”



“I know that. I was just wondering if she was butch…I was wondering, if she filled some sort of male substitute role for you.”



She gazed at me.



“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be asking. I don’t mean to pry into your life.”



“She does keep her hair short and she only wears pants or slacks. But that doesn’t make her butch. She’s very feminine.”



This time I gazed at her.



“Would you call Ellen DeGeneres butch? She has short hair and seemingly only wears pants or slacks,” she asked, or stated, or I guess argued.



“I don’t know. Maybe,” I answered.



“Maybe you’re right, maybe she was a male substitute for me deep down on some sub-conscious level. I don’t know. But what I can tell you is this. She is who she is. She dresses and cuts her hair in a manner that makes her feel good about herself. She’s very comfortable in her skin. That’s the person that I fell in love with. Her, not a butch dyke. The outward appearance makes very little difference to me. It’s what is in the heart, what is in the soul that I find sexy and attractive. Gender is a secondary consideration altogether.”



This time I was at a loss for words. We continued to work on the tree. Maybe I had a chance then.



“Do you still love her?”



“Do you still love your wife?” She came back with a bang.



“Ex-wife. But no, sadly the love is gone.” I paused to reflect for a moment, “There’ll always be a place in my heart for her. But no, the love’s gone.”



“It’s true too for me and Helene. It seems that love is something that has to be worked at and nourished. You just can’t take it for granted.”



“Don’t I know it?” I said almost under my breath.



We collected four trees altogether. Three for her and one for me. The first being the best one amongst all of them. By the time we were finished, all the beer was gone and we were beat. And filthy. I had Aya collect up two full plastic garbage bags of reindeer lichen. I tied each tree root ball into plastic sheeting that was cut to size then bundled securely with twine. It took a good forty five minutes to get everything stowed away into the boat. The little boat was nearly overflowing with the leafy cargo.



As I was about to start-up the engine Aya turned to me and asked through the branches, “Martinis when we get back?”



“You bet.”



Back at the dock I said to Aya as I tied the boat off, “We still have work to do.” I unloaded all four trees onto the dock. “I’ll go get us martinis while you untie the trees.” I showed her how to take clumps of lichen and sponge up cold lake water with it. “Just leave each clump on the dock to drain a little.”



Aya was finished with the task by the time I returned with martinis. Oliver Twists, just as she liked.



“We did well didn’t we?” she asked, obviously delighted with the day’s hunt.



“Very well I’d say. Cheers.”



Each tree was rebundled, this time with wet lichen and securely tied with twine. Once secured and perched on the dock, we had the opportunity to really check each tree out, rotating each in its spot so that we could comment about likely bonsai styles, the good potential in each and the challenges that each tree appeared to have. It was a fun way to admire our work and to enjoy our martinis. They really were stunning catches.



“You really enjoyed the bonsai hunt didn’t you?”



She smiled and slung her arm over my shoulder, “I’d kiss you but you’re filthy,” she said with a devilish little grin.



“You have no idea.” I answered back grinning.



She leaned her face right into mine then said in a low voice, “Maybe if I seduce you, I’ll find out.”



“You can try.” I retorted with an optimistic lilt to my voice. I know I was grinning.



We finished our martinis. I suggested to Aya that she should have a quick shower while I packed the trees under the protected overhang of the cabin. I managed to do that and find a broom and sweep the dock clean. I brought wood in for the Franklin stove and lit it. I open up a Pinot Grigot and put on a CD — Pink Floyd, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. She was still not out. I was so filthy myself I dare not sit down on the furniture. As I was getting some clean clothes out for myself Aya emerged from the bathroom.



“Sorry, I used up all the hot water.”



Great.



I grabbed my fishing rod and cast off the dock for a few minutes just as dusk approached. So Aya is going to try to seduce me. Did I get that right? I’ve never been seduced. Or at least, I am not aware that I’ve been seduced before. It’s kind of a two way street isn’t it? Would I let myself be seduced? Probably. I was pretty sure that Aya understood what the litmus test for me would be. Whatever happened — I needed to be comfortable, that she was comfortable with me afterwards. Maybe it’s me? Maybe I’m just plagued with self-doubt and insecurity.



And how the hell does she figure she’s going to seduce me? Come slinking up in a skinny black dress, long sleeve gloves and a cigarette in a foot long holder, femme fatale style? Would she growl at me in a Germanic accent ‘…I know za difference between light und hard…I can sleep with ze light on next to me’; or maybe like Mae West ‘is that a gun in yer pocket…or ya just happy to see me?’



The whole situation was preposterous.



I caught a small pike, thankfully it jumped off the lure’s treble hook before I had to get my fingers involved. My pike gloves and pliers were already stowed away up at the cabin.



I made my way up to the cabin. Aya was in front of the fire dressed in black sweat pants and a red t-shirt. Her wavy wet hair trundled down her back and shoulders. She was painting her toenails a bright red. She smiled at me with a devilish grin as she picked up her glass of white wine.



“I slipped into something a bit more comfortable, I hope you don’t mind.”



Sweat pants.



Has she actually seduced anyone before? With her looks why would she have had to? Between the jerk guys that she’s known and the butch girlfriend she had…I’ll bet she’s never seduced anyone. ‘Let me slip into something more comfortable’. Yeah, sweat pants…that does it for me. Sheesh.



I hopped into the shower.



When I got out and changed, into sweat pants too, something was cooking that really smelled fantastic.



“What’s for dinner?” I thought it was an innocent question.



“You’ll see.”



I went about setting the table as Aya continued on in the kitchen. “Shall I set out the red candles? It’ll go with your nail polish.”



“Oh you noticed.”



“Is that part of the seduction?”



Aya laughed and asked, “Is that all it takes?” Why is it she always seems to answer a question with another question?



“Hey I did notice you’re wearing a little make-up. That’s a first on this trip. And…Aya…those sweat pants,” I shook my hand vigorously, “so hot.”



“Oh, you don’t like my sweat pants, should I take them off?” she held a mock innocent grin on her face, eyes wide open.



“If you do, I won’t be able to eat dinner.” She smiled and turned back to the kitchen sink.



I finished setting the table and asked Aya with my tongue firmly in my cheek, “What music would you like to set your seduction by?”



“How about something classical?” she answered grinning.



I put on a collection which started with Beethoven’s Piano concerto No.1.



“Red or white?”



“Both.”



I opened a Chablis and a Sangiovese. So she wants to get me sloshed, is that how the seduction works? The last glimmer of sunlight painted the sky outside pink and purple.



She brought the plates to the table as I sat down. “Oh look at the sunset,” she said, isn’t it beautiful?”



I breathed in the sight through the window but was immediately enamored by the absolutely exquisite aroma of the lightly coloured spicy stew in front of me. “Fantastic.” I said. The stew sat on a bed of rice and was ringed with alternating slivers of red and green peppers and topped with chopped kalamata olives, fresh cilantro and something I couldn’t quite identify.



“This is great,” I said, “but what is this?”



“Preserved lemon.”



“No, I mean the whole dish?”



“Moroccan lamb tagine.”



She brought also a pair of salad plates consisting of chopped cucumber, red, green and yellow peppers, tomato, red onion, chickpeas, olives, feta cheese and baby salad greens all sitting atop of grilled eggplant slices. A dressing adorned it with fresh herbs, lemon juice and olive oil.



“Wow.”



“I hope there’s enough,” she said as she sat down.



It was magnificent. I wouldn’t expect food that good in a an expensive restaurant, yet here we were, in a cabin in the middle of the boreal forest.



Aya grinned at me as we ate.



“So, how are you going to seduce me?” I couldn’t help myself.



“Going to?”



The way she said it left no doubt in my mind that it was game on already. Certainly the dinner was winning my stomach over.



“You’re a superb cook Aya.”



She smiled at me and said with wide, feigned innocent eyes, “I’ve other talents too.”



She was good. Devious. I knew she was reeling me in just like I had the little pike a few minutes before. Was I hooked lightly enough that I could jump off too, or had I already swallowed the proverbial hook, line and sinker?



“Seriously Aya, why are you even interested in me?”



“Aren’t you interested in me?” Question with a question again.



“I’ve already told you how I feel, you’re beautiful and sexy. You are intelligent, full of life, and I think you’re a kind, sweet person. Plus you are one hell of a good cook.”



Aya smiled at me.



“But why are you interested in me? I’m a nobody.”



“Robert Winstanley you are hardly a nobody. You’re kind hearted, intelligent and very good looking. Maybe a little shy, but that’s okay. Remember it’s the inner person that I’m attracted to, a person’s heart and soul. And you are so different from all of the other men I’ve met in my life. How can I not be attracted to you?”



“I’m not rich.”



“Money shmoney. What good is a coin in your pocket if your heart is empty?”



“Still I live in a modest house.”



“So do I. But you’ve not run away from your family obligations, you have a nice truck, a boat…you have a good mind, you will never be poor.”



“You didn’t answer me though, just how do you plan to seduce me?”



Aya smiled demurely as she finished off her dinner. “If I simply stripped myself naked, I’m pretty sure your hormones would drive you into my bed.” She paused to gauge my reaction.



I could feel my face flush a bit.



She continued as she stood to clear the plates, “That would be pretty easy I think. But I’m not just interested in your body…I want your mind and your heart too.”



“Can we just work on the first part for now?”



She stopped mid-stride and placed the dirty dishes on the island. With her back to me, she stepped out of her slippers, pulled her red t-shirt over her head and dropped it to the floor, then the same with her sports bra. Then she pulled down and stepped out of her baggy, black sweat pants and dropped them on the floor too. Her glorious ass was shining at me with only a red thong strap between her enticing cheeks. Her back was feminine, draped with her glistening, wavy black hair. I could see her natural curves, her legs were shapely. At the top of her thighs there was a gap about an inch wide.



I could feel the pressure building in pants. She was right about the stripping, hormone thing.

She turned around to face me. I was stunned by her intense beauty. Dark eyes framed by wavy black hair, thick luscious lips betraying no emotion, perfect full breasts with dark areola and thick nipples pointing slightly up and out, her belly had just a hint of a soft rise and her bush was trimmed to a narrow strip of soft black curly hairs.



I could feel my heart beating in my chest. I was ready to simply stand up and dive onto her. My hand was gripping the edge of the table so tightly that my knuckles were white. How could such a gorgeous creature be possibly interested in me? Something simply didn’t compute. Women that good looking, don’t go out with average guys like me. Is it the air in the boreal forest that is twisting her mind?



She walked over to me in slow seductive steps, grinning the whole time. I stood up to meet her. She embraced me with her arms around my shoulders. I reached around and cradled her back. Her tits flattened against my chest as she reached up with her lips and kissed me full on the lips. Her lips were soft and warm. Her eyes were wide open gazing into mine.



I could feel my knees grow weak.



I could feel my prick straining in my underwear. I needed to adjust.



I needed to breathe. Too much, too fast.



She broke the kiss and while still holding me, gazed into my eyes and said, “Rob, whatever happens between us tonight, I want you to know I will not be cowering away from you or afraid of you in the morning.” She rubbed my back up and down with one hand then added, “Do you understand?”



“Yes,” I managed to squeak out.



My prick was pushing out against her belly. I’m sure she could feel it. She gave me another soft languid kiss while gently caressing my shoulders.



Aya whispered into my ear, “Do you know what we should do right now?”



I ran my hands along her bum cheeks, “Mmmm”, I kissed her neck.



“Dishes.”



I lifted my lips off her neck and froze in place. What a strange seduction she was applying. I had a sudden urge to immerse my arms in warm soapy water.



“Come on Rob, we have plenty of time for that later. Let’s get cleaned up first then we can sit in front of the fire.”



“Okay,” I sighed.



Smetana’s ‘The Moldau’ was playing. We washed the dishes and cleaned up with Aya nearly naked flitting around me. I couldn’t help but feast my eyes on her. What a devious girl, she gave me eye candy for dessert. Aya hovered over the makeshift booze cabinet as I brought some more firewood in for the stove.



Examining the bottles she asked, “Would you like a liqueur or something?….or, let me put it this way. What will entice you out of your clothes Rob?”



Me? “I don’t think I need enticing,” I answered.



“But you’re still dressed.”



I looked back at her as I stuffed a split log into the stove. She had a huge grin on her face. “I’ll have a Cointreau if you’ll have one,” I answered.



We settled in front of the stove with martini glasses of ambery orange liqueur. Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King playing.



“You’re still dressed Rob.”



The music was frantic, then ended with a dramatic finish of alternating stabs of full orchestra single note and kettle drum single note exchanges. Then silence. The CD was over.



We stared at each other with our glasses in our hands.



“Did you bring condoms?” she asked.



“No. It’s not a regular part of the bonsai kit.”



“We have to be careful it’s exactly that time of month for me.” She paused for a moment then added, “I’ve had no reason to be on the pill for years.”



“Oh.”



Aya stretched her arm around my shoulder and pulled me in towards her and whispered to me, “But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun.” She kissed me on the cheek, put her glass on the low table and said, “Come on let’s get you out of these clothes.”



I put my glass down too, then stood up and pulled my t-shirt over my head. As I was doing that Aya tugged my sweat pants and underwear down in one go. My prick sprung out straight into her face. It was in her mouth in an instant as she wrapped her arms around my bum. I could feel my cock hardening in her mouth. She turned my hips and pushed me back towards the couch. Unable to step as my pants and underwear were bunched around my loafer shoes, I fell backwards into the couch. My cock slipped from her mouth with an audible pop.



“Ha ha!” She leapt on top of me, straddled me and placed her arms on my shoulders. With a big grin on her luscious lips she lowered herself down and kissed me. I could feel my stiffened cock brushing against her red clad pussy.



Looking down at me she said with a sparkle in her eyes and a devilish grin, “I’ll just have to show you how to make love like a lesbian.”



I was dumbfounded. “Okay,” I managed to mumble.



“Put some soft music on Rob, I’ll fix the lighting.”



I found another classical mix CD. Albinoni’s Adagio in D minor started playing. Aya had arranged the still burning two candles and found the two white candles from last night and managed to hot wax them into two egg cups. She turned off all the other lights and lay down on the couch.



Her body glowed in the combined soft light of the candles and stove. Outside the stars filled the skies.



She slipped her red thong off. “Come here,” she said softly.



My prick was fully erect as I climbed atop of her. I kissed her soft lips as I propped myself up on my elbows keeping my weight off her. I kissed her jaw line and nibbled at her ear as I shifted my weight to the left and put my right hand on her breast.



“Lesson number one,” she whispered, “just move slowly and gently, don’t be thrashing about.” Even in the soft glow of light I could see her smirking.



I lay on my side next to Aya. My cock rest on her hip. With the fingers of my right hand I gently brushed her hair from her face and drew them along her jaw line to her neck. I kissed her right cheek. Slowly I softly traced a line down her throat, over her sternum, between her breasts and down to her navel. I cupped her right breast and delicately squeezed. Her chest started to rise as her breath deepened. I gently squeezed her left breast. With one finger I circled her areola and watched as the nipple started to extend and the skin crinkled under my touch. As I repeated the tender tease on her right areola, I blew steadily across her chest. Her shoulders rose slightly. With my fingertip I touched her right nipple and softly rubbed in a twirling motion.



“Mmm.”



I repeated the nipple fingertip dance on her left nipple. Then her right again. Then her left again. Then again and again.



Aya’s chest rose to meet my every touch, her breath heavier as we continued.



I brushed my palm along her belly and down to her shaved pubic hair. It was soft and warm. With just the pads of my fingers I stroked Aya’s thighs gently. She parted her knees a bit. I placed my index and middle finger onto her pussy and gently swept upwards along her outer lips. Her hooded clit passed between my knuckles.



She released a breathy, quiet gasp and turned her face to mine. Our lips touched. Our lips parted and I could feel her tongue in search of mine.



My fingers continued to delicately stroke, touch and explore her exquisite pussy. Her inner lips were soft, smooth and supple. The curly black hairs were gossamer in my fingertips. Gently I teased the skin covering her clit back, exposing the delicate little jewel to the cool air.



Aya broke our kiss to intake a breath of air.



I sat myself up. Aya had a ‘what the hell are you doing?’ expression on her face. I placed myself off the end of the couch between her legs. I held both of her ankles in my hands. I could see that I’d left a little pre-cum on her hip.



I kissed each toe, alternating between feet, slipping each painted nail between my lips, while rubbing the soles of her feet with my thumbs.



She giggled and pulled her knees up higher, opening up her lovely pussy. In the soft candlelight I could see a tiny glisten and a glimmer of moisture against her deep pink inner pussy.



I kissed her feet and her ankles while still massaging the soles of her feet. Her eyes were closed and her head was slowly rolling side to side.



I shifted up the couch towards her pussy and placed her ankles on my shoulders. With my tongue and with kisses I made my way up alternating between her thighs. Aya’s knees widened even more. She was beckoning me in. Like a moth before a flame, I had no way to stop myself.



As I kissed the inside of her knees, I caught a sudden first whiff of her pussy. My nostrils flared as my mind processed her complex ambrosia. My cock reacted by stiffening anew and my bumhole clenched before my brain could put together a coherent thought. I was drooling.



I had to stop myself from diving forward tongue first. Aya’s eyes were staring into mine. I could see darkness, an animal lust in them. She was no longer smiling. Her full lips were parted, the edges of her teeth showing.



My hands slid along the back of her thighs as I lowered myself to her pussy. My nose barely touched her hooded clit as I took in another deep breath. Pure woman. My tongue reached out and took a first gentle lick of her luscious puss. Like some forbidden narcotic I was suddenly immersed in a diabolical sensory bio-feedback loop. The more of Aya that I tasted the more I wanted – needed. I cupped her bum cheeks in my hands and drew her steaming pussy to my mouth. I had to consciously slow myself down and simply not eat her up.



I felt her fingernails in my scalp pulling me towards her. Into her. My tongue lashed from side to side. It found her wet core and I pushed my tongue as far in as I could. It wasn’t enough. I wiggled my tongue inside her as she pressed me forward.



I could hear gasps as she ground herself against me. Her clit was hard, pressed against the underside of my nose. My eyes were watering with joy.



I shifted my weight a little to the side and slid my left palm under her tailbone lifting her up. The fingers of my right hand immediately went probing to her flesh. Between my saliva and her juices she was flowing wet. Sticky. Sopping.



My index finger gently probed inside her as I continued to lick her, my lips barely brushing her clit. Her back was stiff and she continued to slowly sway her hips side to side and press down to me. I eased my finger in and out a few times then added a second. It slipped in easily. In and out, spreading her lips apart, then easing back in, then out. In. Out.



“Lesson two…keep your fingers inside!”



I plunged both fingers in obediently then added a little shoulder to it. Her entire body twisted in response. She let go of my head.



“Aahhhh.”



In and out I fucked her pussy with my fingers, never fully retracting them. My mouth found her clit and I sucked it in. I was hot with the moment. Her bum and hips were bouncing in my hand. In and out. As deep as I could go. I twisted my fingers side to side, crossed them, knotted them and pushed the pads against her G-spot.



My eyes, as far as my eyeballs could roll upwards, managed to glimpse Aya pinching and rolling her nipples with her thumbs and index fingers. The slight rise on her belly quivered and bounced before me. Her entire torso was a deep pink colour, her face was red, contorted with an unrecognizable fury. Aya’s nostrils flared as she gasped for breath. Her nose was running. She was breathing hard. Her eyes were almost black. There was no friction in her pussy as I pumped my fingers in and out and sucked on her clit while flitting it side to side with my tongue.



Without warning her pussy muscles clamped down on my fingers with a viselike grip as her hips flailed wildly up and down and side to side. Her hands returned to press me into herself.



“Aaaauuugghhh.” Her pussy grip loosened, then quickly tightened again. “Aaauuughh.” With each contraction I could feel the muscle between Aya’s pussy and bumhole flexing outwards against my fingers. She was gasping for air. “Gggrrrrrrrr.” Flex. “Rrrrrraaaahh.” Flex. “Aauuugh.”



Aya failed to mention lesson number three — to hang on. When her orgasm finally subsided to mere aftershocks I withdrew my fingers and got up with one foot on the floor, the other knee on the couch between her legs. I became suddenly aware of my own urgent need to release. Aya gazed at me through tangled black hair matted to the perspiration across her face. It took only four pumps of my engorged cock to shoot my load onto Aya. The first shot arched out to the right side of her neck and across her right breast and belly, the second onto her left tit and belly, the third and fourth drained onto her belly which was still heaving up and down. My heart was beating wildly and I was gasping for air. I was acutely aware that my face had contorted into some visceral image of myself.



Without hesitation Aya’s palms and fingers found my semen and she spread it across her breasts, neck and belly as if it were a treasured body lotion. Red painted fingernails snaked into her mouth to taste my cum, her right hand dipped to her pussy rubbing her clit. There was a deep satisfaction in her eyes and on her parted lips. Aya’s body glistened in the soft candlelight.



I lay on top of her and kissed her passionately. Her semen covered red nails dug into my back and she pulled me tight. Our tongues fired against each other as our bodies continued to shudder. I could feel her heart pounding against my chest through her flattened breasts. I could feel my chest hairs catching in the sticky salve.



I shifted my weight to the side and played with her boobs with my right hand. We kissed softly. With her left hand she reached down and held my softening cock. Gently squeezing it, turning it over in her fingers and brushing the head with her fingertips.



“Thank you,” I whispered in her ear. She kissed me again.



“Thank you Rob.”



We lay together in the soft light caressing each other and stealing soft kisses.



“What is that music?” she asked.



It was only then that I became aware that I’d completely tuned myself out from what was going on around me. I was so immersed in only Aya. “I don’t know. Handel maybe.”



“It’s beautiful.”



“You’re beautiful Aya.” I kissed her again then sat up. Aya sat up too. We both reached for our gasses of Cointreau and took a sip. She looked at me and smiled. I looked at her. I could feel the grin forming on my face. She looked down at her boobs. Black hair was stuck in tangled clumps to her neck, shoulders, face and chest. Our combined gel like debauchery was drying on her. She was a mess.



Aya burst out laughing at her own sight. I tried to contain myself by putting my arm around her shoulder and pulling hair off but I couldn’t help myself. I laughed alongside her too. Sitting back with my left arm around her shoulders, snuggled together in front of the fire and each of holding our glasses, I asked Aya, “So, how did I do as a lesbian?”



That set off another round of laughter from Aya as she answered, “It doesn’t normally end in such a sticky mess.” Black hair was glued to her right boob. She looked up to my eyes, her eyes were suddenly lost of humour, “You’d make a wonderful lesbian.” She pulled in closer to me and whispered, “I can’t wait to fuck your cock.” I squeezed her shoulder and pulled her close. I kissed the top of her head as we watched the fire flicker before us.



A few minutes passed without a word between us. Through the violin music I became aware of Aya sniffling next to me. Tears rolled down her cheeks.



“What’s wrong Aya?”



She sniffled as she answered, “Nothing’s wrong Rob. I’m just crying because I’m happy.” I reached down and kissed her. That didn’t stop the tears.



“Don’t cry my angel, don’t cry.” I got up to find a tissue.



“I’m sorry,” she said as I handed a bunch to her. She blew her nose and wiped her face. “I think we need showers.”



“I agree. You first. But please, please leave me a bit of hot water.” I would have liked to have joined her in the shower but it was too small.



I sat contemplating the fire and what had just transpired with Aya when the CD ended. I heard the shower turn off. I entertained the thought of going to watch Aya as she dried her glorious naked body off, but decided that would be too intrusive. The gentleman side of me won over. I wanted to strangle that little devil sitting atop my shoulder.



“Ro-ab?” Aya called out in a rising voice from the bathroom. I was up like a shot. Her boobs were swinging as she hunched herself over to dry one leg. “Can we go out to watch the stars again?” She stood up and grinned at me as she wrapped her hair in the towel. Her nipples were erect, dark areola crinkled again. I almost melted.



“Certainly.”



“Great…shower’s ready.”



I stepped in and turned the water on. There was hot water left.



I came out to the sound of Aya’s blow drier working in her room. She was dressed in jeans and a sweater and it seemed braless. I dressed myself too. We both emerged from our bedrooms at the same time. The fire needed another log or two. It was all of nine thirty. I put the last two split logs on the fire.



“Cup of tea or would you prefer something stronger?” she asked.



“I’ll have a tea, but only if you’re having one too.”



She smiled at me and turned to put the kettle on.



We sat on the little deck in front of the cabin snuggled up to each other with warm mugs of tea in the cool night air. The stars were brilliant again. Aya couldn’t stop grinning watching the sky. I couldn’t stop grinning watching Aya.



“Do you think we’ll see the Northern Lights tonight?”



“I have no idea.”



“You can’t conjure them up again?” she asked as she pulled me tighter. I kissed her temple in response.



“Ro-ab?” she looked up into my eyes, “sleep in my bed with me tonight.” I kissed her temple in response again.



I did. We did. Naked, embraced in each other’s arms. We kissed and cuddled. When she noticed my stiff prick poking into her belly she started stroking me. I stopped her and said, “One sticky situation is enough for tonight don’t you think?”



“Oww…” she responded, clearly a little dissatisfied, then in an optimistic tone added, “want to play lesbian again?”



“Tomorrow, I promise,” I said. I was beat. We’d had plenty to drink. I wanted to fuck her, but I knew I couldn’t. I lay in her bed with her wrapped in my arms. She was warm. She smelled so sweet. I could feel her heart beating pressed against my chest. Her black hair splayed across my face, caught in the stubble of my chin. She smelled wonderful. Exotic. Erotic. Even her heavy breathing was sexy as she drifted off to sleep. Eventually I fell asleep too.



I woke up in the middle of the night and slipped out of bed, “Where you going?” she asked in a low voice.



“Fire, pee and check the sky.” There was just a faint aurora borealis going on, a pale comparison to the previous night’s display. Just a glow. Undaunted Aya peered through the bedroom window to confirm the report of my findings.



I woke up in the morning alone in bed. It was light out. I could smell coffee. I stumbled into the main room naked to find Aya dressed, making breakfast. My morning hard on greeted her, “Good morning Aya.”



Her eyes widened, she grinned and said, “Good morning indeed.” I stumbled off to the bathroom to perform my morning ablutions.



As I poured a little milk into my coffee mug I tried to figure out what Aya was cooking. It looked like a horrible, white bubbling saucepan of vomit. She must have seen my reaction.



She looked at me with one hand on her hip. In a fake southern drawl she asked, “Ya’ll never had biscuits an’ sausage gravy befo’?”



“I’ve never even heard of that.”



Batting her eyes, “Well ya’ll in for a treat then, ain’tch ya?” She smiled and turned to pull a tray out of the oven. Her hand was wrapped in a tea towel and her jeans were tight across her pretty bum.



I couldn’t eat enough of the stuff. Warm scone-like ‘biscuits’ were broken open and smothered in a thick gravy with lumps of fried pork sausage meat and just a hint of sage and pepper. I was pleasantly shocked at the disparity between the simplicity of the dish, the overall appearance and its heartiness and flavor. Aya augmented the breakfast table with a large bowl of freshly cut up fruit.

Where did she learn to cook like this? The girl was amazing. She must have been reading my thoughts because she grinned at me across the table as I finished the breakfast.



I thanked her profusely as we cleaned up from breakfast and packed the coolers up. Aya left a Tupperware dish in the sink to thaw out. Another surprise for me.



As we packed the boat up we could tell that it would be another warm beautiful day. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We had decided that we would return to the same mother lode patch as the day before and explore the rest of the ridge. Aya’s hair fluttered in the wind as we headed down the lake. I could barely keep focused on watching where we were going, as her cute bum sat provocatively on the aluminium seat in front of me.



I landed the boat in the exact spot. We carried the bonsai gear with us, together with the cooler of beer, as we made our way up the path. Sure enough we found a number of other prospective trees to collect further along the ridge. Aya selected another cedar, thuja, after checking that the trunk could be moved. It was perhaps a tad too tall at nearly three and a half feet, but had a graceful twist to its thick trunk. The foliage was compact, tight to the trunk. The tree had plenty of potential. As she photographed the tree, I could see the enthusiasm in her eyes. This was after all, why we came here.



We got to work extracting the tree. After a few minutes the sun had sufficiently swung around to beat down on us, that we stripped down to just our t-shirts. Aya wasn’t wearing a bra. What a doll she was.



Although the trunk would wiggle, the rest of the roots were firmly attached. It wasn’t going to be easy.



“Don’t you feel a little guilty pulling up a tree that’s happy living its natural environment?”



“I have thought of that Aya. Here’s how I rationalize what we’re doing.”



She looked up to me from the other side of the root ball.



“This little tree has been sitting atop this ridge for decades, maybe two or three hundred years. It’s fully mature, but stunted.” I pointed to the fully grown cedars behind Aya and continued, “those trees over there a least have the benefit of perhaps being considered as a home for a bird’s nest, or a log to become a piece of furniture, or maybe just firewood to warm someone’s house. Do you think that this little tree has had more than a second glance by a human being in its entire life before you came upon it? Maybe a hunter will pass along this ridge every couple of years. Maybe a prospector every few decades. But they’re not looking for little trees. You were. You did. You found it. It’s been waiting all its life.”



She was blinking at me trying to take it all in.



“And now Aya this tree’s luck has changed. We are going to pull this tree from here. We are going to get it back to your house. You are going to clean it up, care for it, trim it to enhance its natural beauty, water it and feed it regularly, not letting it suffer. And then hundreds if not thousands of people will see your tree for years and years to come. When they see it, they will gasp at its natural beauty. This little tree will pull at their emotions. This is one lucky tree Aya. You found it. It found you.”



Aya was beaming. She understood.



We continued to work on the tree. Aya had a renewed enthusiasm. After a few hours and a few beer breaks, the tree finally let go. We tumbled back into the lush lichen carpet and basked in the warmth of the sun. That was hard work. Aya excused herself to find a place to pee. “No peeking,” she said as she rounded a large lump of granite heading to the mature stand of cedars behind her. I just lay in the lichen taking up the warmth, the fresh smells and the sounds of birds chirping around me.



Aya was certainly taking her time. I decided to get started on packing the root ball up in heavy plastic sheeting. I cut the sheet to size and slipped it under the root ball. I couldn’t find the bundle of twine. It should have been in the backpack. Maybe it accidently dropped out of the backpack and was sitting in the bottom of the boat? Last time I saw the bundle was the night before on the dock. Perhaps it was accidently knocked off the dock and floated away unseen? Without the bundle being tied up it would be a challenge for Aya and I to carry the root ball and tree back to the boat. Where the hell was Aya?



“Ro-ab?” She wasn’t too far, but I couldn’t quite tell where.



“Aya?”



“I found something.”



“What?”



“A different type of tree.” I stood up and brushed soil from myself.



“What kind of tree?”



“Cedar of Lebanon I think.”



What the hell was she on about? I started towards the boulder. “Come have a look.”



Aya stood in the sunshine naked. She had cedar branchlets draped around her waist like a boreal hula mini-skirt. A necklace of cedar hung as a bodice from her, partially hiding her breasts. She had cedar cuttings tucked into her hair. She held her arms out. A massive smile was on her face; her brown eyes glistened in the sun.



I was speechless.



“There’s plenty of shade under my branches,” she said unable to contain her grin.



As I stepped forward I could feel my cock stiffening. I dropped to my knees in front of her. The lichen was soft and thick.



Still grinning wildly she asked, “Have you come to worship at the feet of mother nature?”



“Y…yes,” I stammered.



She adjusted her stance slightly to part her legs and lifted the branchlets at the front of her skirt revealing her trimmed little patch. “Come sing songs of praise,” she enthused.



I inched forward and placed my hands on her bum catching cedar leaves in my hands together with her cheeks. The combined aroma of her glistening wet pussy and the fresh cut cedar made my head spin as my tongue reached out to her pussy. Aya dropped her hands onto my head and pressed me forward. Her hips rolled back exposing more of her pussy.



I praised. Oh how I praised. And she gleefully accepted my adoration. I celebrated her virtues up and down, side to side, in and out, with soft kisses and gentle nips and sucks.



I could feel the goddesses’ gaze upon me as I had to move my left hand from her bum to adjust my straining cock in my pants. A sigh of relief and a renewed twist to her hips greeted me as my left hand returned to its rightful place on her bum, to caress and squeeze.



Again I was caught in a bio-feedback loop. The more of her sap that I tasted, the more I needed. She was starting to tremble, every limb. Quaking like aspen. I was the beaver gnawing at my choice meal. I looked up to watch as her belly heaved in and out, hard nipples poked through their leafy confines. Her body shimmered from perspiration in the sunlight. She was the shining tree that towered above me. Her long black hair decorated with leaves hung from her crown, open sky above.



I continued to tongue her in worship while I gently squeezed her bum cheeks. I slipped her clit into my mouth and gave it a light suckle. Her knees shook. I plunged my tongue into her as deep as it could reach, my nose pressed up against her hardened nib. Her knees shook again. Aya held onto my head. I held onto her bum. Again I sucked her clit into my mouth and held it.



“Rrrraauugghhhh,” she nearly fell over shaking, “aaaauuuughhh,” I could feel her spasm against my mouth and in my hands, ‘aahhgggrr,” she gasped for air, “aaaggh,” fingernails dug into my scalp, “haaugh,” abdomen flexed in, “aaagh,” hot breath on my scalp, “aaugh.” She pushed my head away and collapsed to her knees in the lichen, still holding my head.



Her face was red, panting for air, her nose was running. Her shoulders and chest heaved up and down. The heat from her body combined with the cedar almost made my eyes water. She looked into my eyes for a moment then pushed her wet lips onto mine almost knocking me back. She broke the kiss then flopped onto her back in the lichen. Her pussy was splayed open, glistening pink in the sunshine. She was still breathing hard.



Oh how I wanted to fuck her right there and then.



Her hand reached out to mine and she pulled me on top of her. I gave her a wet kiss, opened her mouth with my tongue and pressing it in. She put her palms on my cheeks and pushed me away.



“Thank…(kiss)…you…(kiss)…Rob…(kiss)…thank…(kiss)…you…(kiss).”



“Thank you,” I said looking down at her big brown eyes.



She reached down and grabbed my straining crotch. I rolled away. “Not here, not now,” I said as I sat up, then lent over to kiss her again. “Later.” She had a look of bewilderment on her face as I stood up.



“Don’t you want me to…”



“Yeah I do,” I cut her off. “But later.” I knew I was being a little incomprehensible to her. She lay in the lichen with her pussy splayed open taking in the rays as I gathered her clothes, shoes, the missing bundle of twine and a pair of snips.



“Bye” I said and ran off.



“Come back here with my clothes! Robert Winstanley come back here!”



It only took her three or four minutes to tip toe through the lichen and broken twigs on her bare feet to get back to where we had dug up the bonsai. “Gimme those,” she said as she picked up her shirt, flashing me a mock menacing grimace. I couldn’t help but laugh.



After bundling everything up and collecting a garbage bag of lichen, we checked out the rest of the ridge to see if there was anything significant to collect. There wasn’t. It was about one thirty by the time we had everything back in the boat.



“Want to try pike fishing?” I asked as we munched on a sandwich.



“Sure.”



Off we went to a reed bed I’d spotted the day before.



“I’ll just watch you,” she said as we glided with the engine cut towards the reeds.



“Don’t move or make the boat creak,” I whispered to her.



“Why are we whispering, the fish are underwater?”



I just glared at her as I picked up my spinning reel. I had a seven inch floating Rapala. Gold pattern. It was going to be a little tricky fishing with the massive tree in the middle of the boat. Aya sat at the other end of the boat facing me. She held her hands out to the side giving me a — what the hell look. I sat and watched Aya for a moment as she sat and watched me. I stood up quietly and turned around.



I took one long cast behind the boat a good fifteen feet off the reeds, right off a bit of a point and clicked the line into gear. Nothing. I reeled it in. Nothing. I waited a few moments then cast the other way along the reeds, also fifteen feet off the reeds. Nothing. I reeled it in. Nothing. After another moment I cast back to where the first cast landed and clicked it into gear. Nothing. As soon as I started reeling it in…Bang. Splash. I pulled the rod back sharply and set the hook. He had some weight. He started ripping line off the drag, I tightened it just a bit. He stopped ripping line as he made out into deeper water, pulling the boat along.



Aya’s eyes were like saucers.



As I reeled him in I could tell he was a good fish, not a monster, but there was definitely some weight and muscle there. You can feel a big pike shaking his head right through the line. I eased back on the drag a little and reeled him towards the boat. He didn’t want to come. Eventually I got him about twenty feet off the boat. Mr. Pike had second thoughts about that and made a dash for the deep water again. He was pulling the whole boat with him.



I hadn’t really thought this through properly. That massive tree that Aya collected took up the majority of the free space. There was also a garbage bag full of lichen, the bonsai collecting backpack, a tackle box, two mini-coolers and a pack with spare clothes and things. Plus of course gas tank, two life jacket cushions, paddle, the other fishing rod, rope and anchor. There was barely room for Aya’s and my legs. With a little pike I could wrestle it off the hook without getting it into the boat. Altogether a different story with a large pike.



Slowly I reeled him in. As long as he stayed out of the reeds I had a good chance of landing him. In the reeds, he’ll wrap the line around the vegetation and the line will snap.



With one hand I passed the tackle box to Aya.



“In the tackle box, I need you to get me out a pair of long nose pliers. There are a pair of gloves with rubber nibbies on them, get them out too. Also there’s a little leather pouch with a handle sticking out. It’s the net.”



“This is a net?” she asked holding it up.



“Keep it away from your face, but pull it out of the pouch.” The spring loaded rim untwisted in a flurry.



“Wow.”



‘Fuck’ I thought to myself. I could see the net had a hole in it. It’s a trout net. It’s about half the size of what I needed, and now I find it has a hole in it.



The fish was about ten or fifteen feet from the boat when I caught my first glimpse of him in the depths. Even though it was spring and they tend to be still skinny at that time of year, he had some girth to him. Suddenly he made a dash under the boat and towards the reeds. Luckily I had time to swing the rod tip out and over the motor and miraculously didn’t catch the propeller. I stopped him by tightening the drag, but now he was dragging the boat back towards the reeds. A little offshore breeze wasn’t helping.



It was a make it or break it moment. For every inch that the boat drifted towards the reeds I had to bring the fish in by at least the same amount. There was no way that Aya understood the dynamic of what was going on.



“Pass me the gloves Aya,” she did, “and put the net right there,” I motioned with my head as I managed to get one glove, then the other on.



I was winning, but my seven foot rod was bent back almost a hundred and eighty degrees. He was shaking his head. My arms were starting to hurt.



“When I get this fish in the boat Aya, stay away from his head. You don’t want to get anywhere near his teeth or that lure.”



He was five feet away and the boat was maybe eight feet from the reeds. I was only going to get one chance. I knelt down and reeled him in until the half of the rod was underwater. I held the rod in my right hand, braced against my forearm and picked up the net with my left. I pulled up, the rod bent right over near to the point of snapping. The fish came up as I dipped under him with the net.



I caught him.



Aya squealed as I pulled him out of the water. He was at least thirty inches long. His tail has slipped through the hole in the net but he was caught up by his dorsal fin. Out of the three set of treble hooks he was only hooked by the end one. His mouth was bleeding. His angry gills were flaring. He was shaking and twisting vigorously as I pulled him over the side and onto the lichen filled garbage bag. Immediately the line got caught up in the bonsai tree as he flopped about, bleeding. Aya raised her legs up and swung them out of the way screaming. The whole tree was shaking in the caught up line. The boat landed in the reeds.



Still holding the fishing rod in my right hand I grabbed a hold of the fish with my left hand. He was still wrapped in the net. The net got caught in the hooks. It all became a tangled, gnashing, bloody chaos with menacing teeth and intimidating needle sharp treble hooks flailing about. Twigs, cedar leaves and grey lichen rained down from the tree above onto the whole mess.



“Here take the rod!” I held it out to Aya.



“No way!”



“Please just take the rod,” I glared at her. I must have not looked too happy with her response.



Reluctantly she took it. I let go of the rod and subdued the slippery fish with both hands and one knee.



“Pass me the pliers Aya!”



She was cowering at the other end of the boat still holding the rod. Reluctantly she passed me the pliers. I managed to pull the hooks out of his mouth. His teeth were massive razors. I freed the hooks from the net.



“Ok Aya, unhook the line from the tree and reel the whole thing tight.” That she managed to do as I pressed down on the fish and net resting in the lichen bag, although she just managed to hook the end of the rod with the lure in the reeds. That I could solve in a minute. I really hadn’t thought all this through too well.



I knew the links on my gill chain were too small. “Aya can you get a plastic garbage bag from the bonsai kit?” She did as I held the fish in place. I opened the bag and slipped the fish head first into the bag, he slipped from the net with a little assistance. I tied a knot at the top of the bag, then sat back up onto my aluminium seat.



Aya stared at me.



“Can you pass me a beer?” She passed me a beer and kept the last one for herself.



Pppfft. Pppfft. Swig. Swig.



“Is fishing always like that?”



“No. It’s rarely like that.” I was breathing hard. The bag was still flopping.



“What are you going to do with the fish?”



“We’re gonna eat it.”



“Really?”



“Damn right.” I took another swig.



We sat for a moment enjoying our beer while stuck in the reeds, watching the bag flexing at our feet.



“Did you want to have a go at fishing Aya?”



“No way.”



Aya managed to free the lure from the reeds and I fired up the engine. I backed the little boat out of the reeds then came about. Back to the lodge we went through a little chop. I noticed whispy little clouds way up high. I knew that meant rain within forty eight hours. As we approached the camp we could see that other guests had arrived.



When we reached the dock I asked Aya if she wanted to help me clean the fish. She didn’t. We rebundled the tree with wet lichen and stowed it alongside the others, then cleaned up the dock and packed away the gear.



With a clean plate in hand together with my filet knife and the bag ‘o pike I headed off to the fish house as Aya prepared to take a shower. The scale in the fish house had the pike at just over seven and a half pounds. There are two ways to clean a pike, the meticulous way which maximized the amount of meat but leaves a lot of small bones, or there is the way I was taught by a northerner lady a number of years ago. One clean filet from each side and a vee shaped one from the top. Except for the dorsal fin which has to be cut out, all the meat is boneless. I did the northern cut, yielding about two pounds of flesh. Henri thanked me for the generous left over pike trimmings. Bear bait, even though the spring hunt had been cancelled.



Pike fillets were packed into the fridge with some Saran Wrap on the plate. Pike and eggs for breakfast I thought.



Aya was dressed in her black sweat pants again with a light blue collared blouse and pink slippers. She was blow drying her hair as I stepped into the shower to clean the dirt and fish off myself. Luckily she left me some hot water.



I found Aya sitting on the floor slouched up against a kitchen cabinet. She was sobbing. Dry spaghetti noodles were splayed out on the floor all around her. She held some in her hands.



“Aya. It’s okay. It’s just noodles.” I started scooping up noodles from the floor and placing them on the counter above. “We can wash them if we have to.”



“I’m sorry Rob…it’s…”



“Stop being silly Aya.” I cut her off. She continued to sob as I gathered noodles. I pulled her up and led her to the couch.



“I think it’s pretty well martini time Aya, d’you want one?” Instead of answering she simply started to sob again.



“What’s wrong Aya, you can’t be crying about spilt noodles.” She didn’t answer, just looked away. Is it me? What the fuck did I do? Or didn’t do?



I made up two Oliver Twists. Large ones. In fact I finished the bottle of gin. She sat on the couch as I shook them, then poured them out. As I brought the two glasses to the coffee table I said, “Whatever it is, I’m sorry Aya.” She stood up and practically ran off to her room slamming the door behind her.



What the fuck?



Is she upset with me or upset with herself? She didn’t do anything wrong, she’s absolutely magnificent. Fun and sexy as hell too. It had to be me. Was she upset that I caught and killed a fish? Maybe because I said ‘later’ after I ate her out earlier? Or maybe she really did want to fish and I took off before she had a chance to cast?

I left the two martinis on the table and grabbed myself a beer from the fridge.



Maybe she’s upset that I’m having her do all the cooking. Does she feel that I’m expecting her to do the cooking? Perhaps I’m slotting her into a traditionally female role that she’s uncomfortable with?



I figured that I should get the dinner together myself. The problem was aside from the noodles, I didn’t know what she was planning for dinner. It was still a partially frozen cube in a Tupperware container.



Was I not being attentive to her enough? Was I not treating her like a lady?



I popped the Tupperware container into the microwave to defrost it. If I made the dinner and set a nice table, then put on some romantic music, maybe…



It occurred to me that I hadn’t shaved since Thursday morning. Hell I didn’t even bring a razor. She bought one though. Is she upset because I hadn’t shaved? Because I’m a slob? That’s crazy I rationalized.



Then like a light bulb going off in my head I realized what was upsetting her. She was still in love with Helene and somehow I was making her realize it. I was bringing matters to a head in her mind. I was falling for her and she knew it. I was just making matters worse. What a fucking idiot I’d been. I knew something didn’t jive. Girls that good looking don’t go out with jerks like me. I knew it was too good to be true.



Whatever I was cooking smelled fantastic as I slipped it from the Tupperware container into a saucepan. Beef cubes, mushrooms and vegetables in a thick, dark tomato gravy. I turned the saucepan on and put some water into another pot for the pasta, but didn’t turn that pot on. I figured I should wait until Aya appeared before I turned the pasta on. I cleaned the table off and set it, hoping that plates were the right choice. As I was setting knives and forks down I heard Aya’s door open and the bathroom door close.



I wondered if she was feeling a little guilty for leading me down the garden path. Was that upsetting her? She wouldn’t even look me in the eye.



Aya came out of the bathroom and saw me standing with green candles in my hand.



“Rob, I’m so sorry,” she said, her red eyes downcast.



“I’m sorry too,” I said, “I didn’t mean to upset you.”



“Upset me? You didn’t upset me,” she said a little bit startled.



I just looked down at the floor.



Then she added, “It was my own doing. I’m sorry for acting that way.”



So I was right. It wasn’t the fish or me not having sex with her, or not shaving, or not treating her right. None of that. She’s come to the realization that she’s still in love with Helene and that it’ll never happen with me. How fucking awkward.



“I’m sorry too Aya. I’m sorry for the way I acted. I shouldn’t have pushed myself on to you.”



“Pushed yourself onto me?”



“Yeah I did. I wasn’t thinking. I shouldn’t have barged in on your life.”



“What the hell are you talking about Rob? I’m the one that acted like a cheap whore.”



“Whaa…?” What the hell was she talking about? “You didn’t act like a cheap whore.”



“Of course I did and that’s why you acted that way. I don’t blame you. I deserve it. It was my own doing. I don’t know what I was thinking.”



“What are you talking about Aya?” Clearly I had a puzzled look on my face, because Aya had a bewildered look on her face.



“You think I’m a cheap whore don’t you?”



“No I don’t.”



“Of course you do. And you should because I am. I certainly acted that way. I’m not blaming you Rob. I blew it.” Tears started to roll down her cheeks again.



I picked up both of her hands in mine and looked straight into her face. “Aya, I’m not sure what I did, or said to give you that impression. Whatever it is I’m sorry. But I certainly don’t think that about you. I think you’re lovely.”



She threw my hands from hers. “Then why won’t you let me pleasure you? Why won’t you let me make love to you?”



I didn’t know what to say. “You do,” was all I managed to stammer out.



“You don’t want me because I’m a cheap slut, that’s why.”



“So you’re not still in love with Helene?”



“Helene? What are you talking about? What does Helene have to do with any of this?” She looked genuinely shocked.



“I thought you were upset because after being with me for a few days, you’ve come to realize just what an idiot I am compared to Helene and that you’re still in love with her.”



She stood there with her mouth agape.



“No Rob I’m not. I’m upset because I know you don’t want me because I acted like a cheap slut.”



I stood there with my mouth agape.



“That’s not true Aya.”



“Then why won’t you let me make love to you?”



“You have.” I think I shook my head trying to take it all in. “Besides Aya, that doesn’t even make sense. What kind of twisted logic is that?”



“Jerking off on my tits is hardly making love.”



“I’m sorry I jerked off on you yesterday…”



“I loved it,” she cut me off, “like the cheap, slut that I am.”



“Aya come on, I couldn’t help myself. You got me so horny I was ready to explode. In fact I did explode.”



She just stared at me with a blank expression.



“And today,” I continued, “well today, I didn’t want to just jerk off on you again.”



“I wanted to suck you.”



“Well I was hoping that we could do it together, that we could make love together. Tonight.”



She stared into my eyes, was there was a hint of a smile on her lips?



“Plus I guess Aya, I guess that maybe I’m a little afraid.”



“Afraid? Afraid of what?” Her voice picked up and her brown eyes narrowed.



“Aya come sit down, our martinis are waiting.” We moved to the couch and each took a sip. I needed a moment to collect my thoughts.



“What are you afraid of?” Her voice seemed a little strained as she pushed the question.



“I’m afraid of what’s going to happen after we finish our trip. Am I going to be just a fun weekend fling for you? With me jamming my cock down your throat, am I going to become just like the other guys that you’ve met?”



She put her martini glass down and turned to me. She had a very serious look on her face.



“Because… I don’t want to be one of those guys Aya. I don’t want to lose you.” A tear ran down her cheek.



We both sat on the couch looking out of the window. We finished our drinks but said nothing.



“I thought there was something wrong with me,” she whimpered, breaking the silence.



“There is Aya. You’re nuts.” I couldn’t hold my grin.



“You’ll never be like those other guys Rob.”



“Maybe not Aya, but you’re still nuts.”



“Nuts about you,” she said then kissed me. With very steady eyes she asked me, “You don’t think I’m a slut?”



“No I don’t Aya. I think you’re wonderful. I think you’re lovely. And I know you’re an excellent cook.” I paused for a moment, “What’s for dinner.”



“I’m sorry about the spaghetti.”



“The spaghetti is fine. I washed it.”



“Tomato boeuf bourguignon with pasta.”



“Sounds lovely.”



Aya just stared at me. Maybe she didn’t believe me.



“Aya?”



“Yes?”



“I’m sorry I upset you.”



“Don’t start that again. Just kiss me.”



We kissed. Oh how we kissed. I fondled her boobs, nibbled at her ear and kissed her tears away. She rubbed my crotch.



We both caught a whiff of something burning at the same time.



“Shit!” I ran off to the stove. Aya was right behind me. I lifted the burning saucepan off the ring. “Damn.”



Aya poked at it with a spoon, “It’s burnt.”



“I’m sorry Aya,” I said lowering my eyes.



“Why were you even in the kitchen? I was going to make the dinner.”



“I’m sorry Aya. I was only trying to help.”



She had a defeated look on her face.



“Spaghetti and pike?” I offered in an upbeat voice.



She gazed at me for a moment then said, “Sure, but I’ll look after the dinner. Go and open us up some wine. White. Now shush out of here.” She flicked at me with a tea towel and a grin.



Everything was right again.



Safely from the other side of the island I watched as she added boiling water onto crumbled saffron in an egg cup. She cut up the pike fillets into smaller pieces and dipped them into flour and herbs. An onion was thinly sliced together with a glove of garlic then sautéed lightly in butter.



“Go put some music on,” she said with a smile as she grated the last of the lemon zest, “some blues,” she added.



I put on some John Lee Hooker. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer started. John Lee’s guitar started to rock out. Aya started to dance with a glass of white wine in one hand and an egg in the other. Her sexy hips swayed to the beat.



As soon as I went outside to collect some firewood I noticed that the wind had picked up. I made a couple of trips. Clouds partially obscured the last of the sun.



The CD finished just before the pasta was ready. Whatever she was cooking smelled amazing. “Something classical?” she called out from the kitchen.



Bizet’s Habanera from Carmen started. I lit the candles.



I couldn’t believe the dinner that Aya had conjured up. Lightly sautéed pike was immersed in a tangy, smooth and creamy lemon saffron sauce. There were freshly sautéed, crisp, sugar snap peas. The pike was rich in herbs. The spaghetti worked perfectly with it. The whole plate was sprinkled with fresh parsley.



“This is amazing Aya.” I must have had a look of disbelieve in my eyes.



She had a completely deadpan face as she said, “Just a simple mousseline,” and picked up her fork.



The pike flaked apart, only to be enveloped in the golden sauce. “Simple?” I was stunned.



Aya smiled at me. Her eyes sparkled.



When we finished Aya stood up gathering the plates. “Sorry no dessert,” she said.



“I liked the dessert I had last night.”



“We didn’t have dessert last night,” she stated a bit bewildered.



“I did. I had eye candy.” I know I was grinning.



Aya put the plates down on the counter and turned around with a huge grin on her face. “Did you want another serving then?”



“You bet.” I could feel my cock stirring already.



Off came the slippers. Down went the sweat pants. Off came the light blue blouse and sports bra.



Up came my cock.



Aya twirled a pirouette for me. She had low white lacy panties on. I could see her trimmed bush through the thin material. Then she slowly peeled her lacy panties off.



“Come on Rob, dishes first,” she said smirking.



My sweat pants were tenting as I got up and walked into the kitchen. She was smiling.



“No dessert for me?” she asked with innocent eyes.



I stripped naked.



I’ve never had so much fun washing dishes. By the time we were through, both Aya and I had full beards of soap bubbles. She had a halo of bubbles. Apparently I had a bubble Mohawk. She made me a soap bubble bra. My cock was encased in a bubble cocoon-like codpiece. Her bubble bra of course had holes for her nipples to poke through. No way was I going to paint her with a bubble panty. Her black curly strip, her butt cheeks and bum crack did manage to get bubbled up too, but that was because my codpiece kept bumping into her. Inadvertently, of course. She constantly had to stop to make repairs to her handy work.



We stood giggling at each other. Then we heard talking outside the kitchen window.



“Oh shit!” We both ducked to the floor. It was only then that we recalled that other guests had arrived at the camp. Our lights were all on and all the curtains were wide open.



“Shhhhh!” “Shhhhh!” We held each other’s bubbly bodies in our arms as we tried unsuccessfully to contain our laughter. I managed to slither over to the light switch and kill the lights. We lay naked on the floor of the cabin as Bach’s Brandenburg No.2 played in the darkness. We couldn’t stop laughing.



We found our towels and cleaned ourselves up, closed the blinds in my bedroom and flopped onto the bed, still chuckling to ourselves in the dark.



“Ro-ab?”



“Aya?”



“Fuck me.”



“But you said I can’t.”



“Can you pull out in time?”



“I think so.”



“I hope so.”



She spun around on the bed. Her mouth was on my cock. “You taste of soap.”



I buried my face in her pussy, “Mhhrr hrphh rff Heaven!”



After a moment or two she had managed, with very little effort, to coax my cock back to life. She spun around on the bed and climbed atop of me. Our lips met.



“This time you’re not getting away,” she said in a low voice as she grabbed hold of my cock.



“Don’t you think it’s better if I were on top? I might not be able to pull you off in time.”



“Work it out. You’re not getting away.” she said as she sat up and straddled me.



“Foreplay?” I asked.



“You’ve been giving me foreplay all weekend,” I felt my cock head entering a warm place guided by her fingers.



“Aauugh,” I was right in, her head was on my left shoulder, her chest pressed against mine. Her hair was everywhere around my face and chest. My hands cupped her bum as her breath hit my ear. “Sooo good…aughh…so good,” she whispered.



No kidding so good. She was tight on my cock. Warm, almost hot. I could feel moisture trickling down my scrotum. I squeezed her bum cheeks and rubbed the back of her thighs. Her hips slowly started to wiggle. With my hands I brushed her back catching soft skin and thick hair. I could feel her heart beating against mine. The temperature was starting to rise around us.



Her hips started to rock back and forth. She was grinding her clit against my pubic bone. Aya’s breath deepened with every tilt. My chest rose with our combined weight.



Aya pushed herself up. Each hand rested on the bed next to my head. Hair hung down like a cape around my face that captured our combined breaths. She slid her pussy up, then down on my cock. I reached up through her hair to hold her tits. They were hanging down, full, warm, soft. I could feel her erect nipples and the surrounding crinkly areola.



Aya’s pace quickened and became more forceful with each up and down on my cock. She started slamming herself down on me hard. Each thrust was accompanied with a low “guh.” My hips bucked as I pushed my cock upwards to meet her.



I started brushing Aya’s hair aside gasping for air. She sat up pulling my stiff cock back with her pelvis and continued to hump me from above. My heart pounded, over our grunts I could hear the blood rushing in my ears. I gently flicked her nipples with my thumbs. I could feel Aya rubbing her clit as she pumped up and down. A sharp fingernail would occasionally clip the top side of my cock. I was sweating, panting for air.



In the darkness I couldn’t see Aya’s face. What I did see was obscured with hair, which she would attempt to brush aside to clear a passage for air. She was like an animal slamming herself down onto me. “Guh…ughh…guh.”



“Auughh,” her pussy clenched tight, “ughrrrrr,” everything was wet, “auugh,” she clenched tight again. I pulled her off of me just a fraction of a second before my cock exploded. Her face was on my neck as she gasped for air, I could feel her contractions in her neck and shoulders as they pressed against me. My hips pumped involuntarily beneath her as my cock continued to spew. My face was contorted covered in tangled black hair. Her hair was in my mouth as I searched for air.



Aya rolled off me and lay next to me. Our chests rose up and down to catch our breath. I felt her fingers find mine. We interlaced our fingers. We lay in bed staring up into darkness.



“Did you pull out in time?”



“Yeah.”



She rolled onto her side and pulled herself up to kiss my cheek. “Thank you Rob.”



“Thank you Aya.” Our breathing started to return to normal. My heart slowed back down.



“I’ve never felt anything like that before.”



I didn’t say anything. I didn’t dare. Nor did I know what to say.



“And you’re not like other guys. Not at all.” She kissed my cheek again.



Our fingers were still laced together. I pulled her hand to mine and kissed it.



She’s not like other girls, that’s for sure. I’ve never met anyone like her. I didn’t want this weekend to end. Ever.



I woke up alone in bed. It was light out. As I sat up I could see that clearly we made a bit of a mess in the bed. My t-shirt and sweat pants from last night were folded neatly at the foot of the bed. I grabbed them as I stumbled off to the bathroom.



“Good morning Rob,” she said as she poured me a mug of coffee. She looked all comfy in her pink housecoat and fluffy pink slippers. “Looks like we have some weather coming in.”



I looked out the window. The lake was choppy with whitecaps on the waves. The sky was overcast but it didn’t look like rainclouds. At least not yet.



“Bacon and eggs okay?” she asked.



“Aya, whatever you make is going to be more than okay.”



I was a little concerned about the weather. It was going to be rough out in the boat. The waves were probably three foot high, which meant that between the crest and the trough it’s a six foot incline. In a fourteen foot aluminium boat, that’s no joke. Landing a boat on a rock with those waves is really tricky. Jumping out is even harder. The rocks would be wet. I needed to come up with an alternate plan. Besides, we had already collected enough bonsai. I did promise to get Aya a few Black Spruce, but that would be pretty easy.



“Are you okay?” she asked breaking me out of my reverie.



“Sorry Aya, I was just trying to up with a game plan for today.”



Somewhere sheltered, like a small creek. That’s what we needed.



After breakfast I made my way over to where Henri was servicing the generator. We chatted for a few minutes, we consulted my topographical map. I had a game plan.



“Honey I’m home!” I announced in my best Ricky Ricardo imitation, “Lucy?”



Aya appeared from her bedroom still dressed in the pink housecoat and slippers. Except for the hair she looked the part perfectly.



“How about you and I go on a trip?”



“Where to?” Always the question with a question.



“Bridal Veil Falls.”



“Where’s that?”



“Not far, we’ll need to pack a lunch though. We’ll go fishing.”



She looked at me suspiciously. “Have you been there before?”



“Nope,” I said, trying to act nonchalantly.



“Do you know how to get there?” she asked with a lowered eye.



“Kinda.”



She didn’t say anything, just glared at me.



“Henri gave me directions.”



“Okay,” she said as she headed off to her bedroom.



“Can you pack us a good lunch? Do we have something special?” I reached for a bottle of Henkell Trocken from the back of the fridge.



“We have smoked salmon,” I heard from her bedroom.



Oooh, that’ll be nice.



I loaded the boat onto the trailer as Aya got dressed and prepared lunch. Soon enough we were on the road for an adventure within an adventure. Henri had showed me exactly where to land the boat on the map. On my map the creek ran off the edge so most of the trip was going to be in uncharted territory. He said that in my boat going full out we should make it to the falls in an hour or so. We wouldn’t be going full out, so I rationalized that this would be a full day trip.



Henri said, “When you get to a waterfall and can’t go any further, take the little feeder stream which is next to it on the left. That will take you to Bridal Veil Falls. You can make it at this time of year when the water is high, otherwise you have to go by Ski-Doo.”



“Ooo…kay,” I had said to him.



We packed the bonsai kit, fishing gear, raincoats and stuff, lunch, Henkell Trocken and beer. The landing spot on the creek was exactly where Henri said it would be. It was much calmer in the little creek. It was actually quite warm in spite of the fact that it was still morning.



Aya was smiling as we launched the boat into the creek. It wasn’t very wide, or deep. The fourteen foot boat with the 9.9 was about as large a boat as one would want on that bit of water.



We putted along against the current. The creek meandered through the boreal forest. There were kingfishers everywhere. A pair of hooded mergansers in their formal garb seemed to object to our presence. The drake flashed us with his neck plumage.

“Look,” Aya said pointing into the water. A huge snapping turtle slowly swam off.



We came to a pool lined with reeds. “Drop the anchor,” I said to Aya. “You my dear lady, are going to fish.” She looked at me with anxiety in her face.



“Aya, I seriously doubt that we’ll find the same size pike here. In this creek there will only be little pike and suckers. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”



“Suckers?”



“Little bottom feeders.”



I showed her how to set the spinning reel to cast, how to let go of the line with her finger and how to direct the lure to where she wanted it to go. After a few comical moments she did get the hang of it, although there were a few where I was a little concerned for my own personal safety. A Rapala earring is not exactly my fashion style. Nevertheless with her thrashing about in the boat, the fish were long ago spooked. She didn’t catch anything. We moved on. The basics had been learned.



We saw a Great Blue Heron standing majestically at the edge of the creek. He eyed us suspiciously as Aya snapped a picture of him with her point and shoot camera.



We putted along. We made a slow sweeping turn, now off of my map, into a bit of a swamp that stretched back to my left. I angled the boat into reeds and killed the engine. Aya looked at me, clearly puzzled.



“Pick up your binoculars Aya.” She did. “Turn around.”



“Oh my god,” she said. Not more than a hundred and fifty feet from us was a massive bull moose. His rack must have been five feet across. He was huge! He was watching us intently as we watched him. Slowly he waded through the water which was half way up his long legs, munching water lilies the whole time. He never took his eyes off of us. We didn’t take our eyes off of him. He was magnificent. Eventually he made his way out of the swamp and climbed up into the forest, then disappeared.



Aya was dumbstruck. I know my heart was pounding after the encounter. Aya pulled her little point and shoot camera from her pocket.



“I didn’t even think to take a picture,” she said.



“Neither did I. Wasn’t that awesome?”



“My God, what a beautiful animal.”



“Something else isn’t it?”



We sat there in silence contemplating what had just happened. I said to Aya, “I find it amazing that a moose can walk through the forest with those antlers and not get caught up in the trees.”



“That is odd isn’t it? But clearly he’s in his element.” I was a little surprised at Aya’s retort, she was getting tuned into the environment.



“I’ve never seen a moose walk through a forest, but I’ve seen one run.”



“Run?”



“It was amazing Aya, he just put his head down and ran. Branches were flying everywhere. Nothing was going to stop him. But I still can’t figure how he can just walk through.”



Aya picked up her fishing rod and stood up. “Shhhh,” she whispered with a smirk on her face. I covered my ears as she cast the smaller, four inch Rapala along the weed bed edge. She made a great cast and clicked the reel into place like a pro.



Nothing, then within three revolutions of reeling it in — splash!



“Ahhhh!”



“Set the hook!” She whacked the rod back, probably too hard. The fish was on. I could see the end of the rod bouncing up and down. Aya was freaking out.



“Ahhhh! What do I do? Ahhh!”



“Reel it in Aya. Reel it in.”



Aya was bouncing up and down in the boat. She was like a little girl. I could see by the bend in the rod that it was just a little fish, but it was all too priceless. In a fury she reeled it in. Suddenly the fish was out of the water and dangling on the end of her line. It was a skinny little pike about eighteen inches long, at best. Twisting and gyrating off the end of the line. I had to duck not to get slapped on the side of the head with it.



“What do I doooo?” The wiggly fish seemed to be doing laps around our heads as she held on to the rod with both hands. “Ro-aaaab!”



I knew what to do. I couldn’t help myself. I climbed forward towards Aya in the rocking little boat. I just missed the fish and the lure as it swung by, then grabbed Aya’s tits through her jacket with both hands.



“Stop it! Stop it! Not now!” Aya tried to wiggle free of my hands. The fish hit me in the back of the head then got hooked to the back of my windbreaker jacket collar. I was attached to the fish, which was wiggling, with sharp hooks, on the back of my neck, which was attached to Aya by rod and reel. I was attached to her tits, but more for stability than anything else at that point.



“What are you doing Rob! Stop it!” I was seriously questioning my sanity. Aya sat down on the seat, pulled the rod up and reeled me and the pike in further. The line tightened. I was standing with my jacket pulled right up to my nose. The fish flopped around on top of my head. She broke out in a fit of laughter.



It wasn’t funny.



I pulled the windbreaker and pike over my head and off. Before I had a chance to grab hold of them Aya had both the pike and jacket swinging around our heads. She was in hysterics, laughing and couldn’t control the rod. Finally I managed to capture my jacket just before it and the pike landed up in the water. I had the little pike swimming back in the water in no time.



“You should have seen your face Rob!” She was holding her belly laughing; tears were streaming down her cheeks.



“Fish head, fish head!”



I started laughing too as I tried to unhook the lure from my jacket. I must have been quite the sight.



“Ohhh I caught a big one!” she was gagging, rolling on her seat.



I couldn’t get the lure off, I was laughing too hard.



“What kind of fish was it Rob?” she was gasping in hysterics. “Did I catch a sucker?”



“Ahhhhhh!” Tears were streaming down my face. My chest was hurting.



“Are you…a bottom feeder Rob?”



“Ahhhhhh!” I needed air. “I’ll eat yours!” I spurted out before I totally lost it.



We were both sprawled out in the boat, unable to control ourselves laughing. I still couldn’t get the lure out of my jacket. It was a long, long while until we were able to get control of ourselves.



“Let’s go Aya,” I fired up the motor, wiping tears from my face.



We putted along up the creek.



We came across a boggy area with a cluster of bare slender trees extending down from the forest to the bog. At the very edge were quite a number of young trees.



“Larch trees Aya, do you want to get some?”



“Are they dead?” Always the same with Aya.



“No, they’re just not in leaf yet. Excellent bonsai material Aya. Larix laricina also known as Tamarack. The leaves grow in clusters that resemble needles. But with an overall soft appearance.”



She didn’t answer.



“Have you ever considered doing a group planting?” I asked.



She was very unsure. It was boggy. I angled the boat towards the little larch and gunned the engine. We landed up right in the middle of a small patch. They stood between a foot tall and continued up in height to fully mature trees up the bank. Out of the bonsai backpack I pulled out my fold-up camping shovel and the long handled pruning shears. Collecting was relatively easy. I showed Aya how to pull on the thin trunk, while stabbing the bog below the roots with the shovel to free the trees. Several needed a quick root clip with the shears. With some careful angle runs in and out of the bog we managed to collect eleven little trees. The tallest was perhaps four foot high, but most were about three. Aya did most of the work as she was at the front of the boat. I slipped a plastic shopping bag around each wet root ball.



Aya was grinning at her catch, which piled together in the center of the boat, was a huge mound of tangled branches.



We putted along for another hour or two simply taking in the scenery. Occasionally I would make a cast or two along a reed bed or off a boulder. Aya graciously declined all my invitations for her to cast. It was simply a nice tour up a pristine boreal forest creek. We would catch the odd breeze here and there and as we motored along, the sun actually poked through between clouds several times instantly warming the air. Eventually we came up to the waterfall that Henri had referred to. He was correct, there was no way to go further. The water fall was only three foot high, but above it, it was all rapids.



“This is it?” Aya asked, “This is Bridal Veil Falls?” She had an incredulous look on her face.



I let the boat drift back. “No apparently not.” I had missed the feeder stream to left and had to in fact search it out. The boat barely made it through the low brush that was the so called feeder stream. “It’s up this way.” I had to stand at the back of the boat with the tiller throttle angled up to see a clear way through. Aya sat at the front of the boat with the paddle in hand, pushing away the odd log. The feeder stream basically meandered through a large bog.



I was very dubious about the whole venture, as I’m sure Aya was too. The feeder stream varied in width from about ten feet wide to just barely wide enough to get the boat through.



One thing I did notice which seemed very odd given the overall boggy environment, the water was flowing towards us at a good rate. I had to fight the current.



And we had to jump beaver dams. Eight of them. Those were an adventure in themselves. With a little practice Aya and I managed to perfect the technique. Aya would sit at the back of the boat with me, easing the bow up a little. I would gun the engine giving us as much momentum as possible. As the dam passed under the boat Aya would scramble forwards through the larch patch shifting the weight from the stern of the boat as I simultaneously lifted the engine propeller out of the water. It was a challenge but we managed.



Not only that, but it was a hell of a lot of fun too. With each successful beaver dam jump we each high fived our efforts. Aya was quite the trooper through it all. I admired her verve. And of course her cute ass on the aluminium seat.



Henri had said that when we got to a point where we couldn’t go any further that there was a large rock on the right where we can land the boat. We had to take a narrow path up the rock for about a quarter mile before we reached the falls.



We couldn’t go further, the water was swirling too fast and it appeared we had reached the end of the bog area. Sure enough there was a large rock on the right. We landed the boat, tied it securely and grabbed what we needed. Henkell Trocken, the lunch that Aya made, a small blue tarp and a few other items which I normally carry including the EpiPen.



Aya was just a step or two ahead of me as we made our way up the lichen covered path. I was able to answer the rhetorical question to myself ‘does a bear shit in the woods?’ In fact I was able to answer that question several times. I didn’t mention anything to Aya about it. We continued to trundle along the path with our packs, the sun had come out again and I was getting warm in my clothes layers.



“Oh my god!” Aya exclaimed. Suddenly the waterfall was right in front of us. It was huge, roaring, glistening white. We both stood there with our jaws dropped, speechless staring at the spectacle.



Bridal Veil Falls had to be thirty foot wide and fifty foot high. Countless logs had slipped over the falls and had lodged themselves below at varying heights. Each log stump would cause the falling water to splash into a white froth. Together, the undulating white froths created an overall effect that did resemble a splayed out white bridal veil. The sun hitting it made the cascades glisten and shimmer before us.



I realized why the current was moving so swiftly in the feeder stream, the waterfall was huge!



About fifty feet further on we found a perfect place to sit and spread the blue picnic tarp while watching the falls. We were so close to it that some of the spray from the falls would occasionally hit us when the breeze shifted, but not so close that we would get wet, or be in peril of falling into the swirling water below.



There we sat in front of one of nature’s majestic jewels, deep inside the boreal forest, unreachable except for a few weeks during the spring and unseen but for a few lucky souls. There we sat, Aya and I, as we sipped bubbly, cool, Henkell Trocken wine from the martini glasses and nibbled on little smoked salmon hors d’oeuvres each topped with slivered shallot and sprinkled with capers. Aya squeezed a little lime onto mine.



“Sorry we used up the lemon last night,” she said smiling.



“Sorry?” I asked, I’m sure with astonishment in my voice, “this couldn’t be better Aya. It’s like a dream.”



Next in Aya’s bento box lunch was a layer of mini sandwiches made with cucumber, chopped green onion and cream cheese, just ever so slightly salted. Those were followed by fresh strawberries served on paper napkins.



Where did she get all this stuff?



We sat on the tarp, naturally softened by the lichen below it, facing the falls with our glasses of bubbly in one hand, the other arm draped around the other’s waist.



I watched Aya as she watched the waterfall. I think she watched me too.



We kissed. It was a warm kiss. Not hot and full of passion. But a kiss that said, ‘thank you’ to each other. A kiss that said, ‘thank you for being here to share this magical moment’. A kiss that said, thank you to fate, or to God for putting us together at that place, at that time. A kiss that said, ‘I don’t want this moment to ever end.’



It was at that precise moment that I realized I had fallen in love with Aya.



I put my empty glass down into the lichen and nestled hers down next to it. I turned to her a little and picked up both of her hands in mine. The red nail polish on her slender fingers was a little chipped at the edges. I kissed her hands. She smiled at me. We gazed in each other’s eyes.



“Aya, I love you.”



Tears immediately rolled down her cheeks.



“I love you,” she barely managed before planting her wet tearful lips onto mine. That kiss was hot and passionate. We pulled each other together with our arms. Our tongues danced against each other I lay her down, missing the tarp with her head. Her hair became entangled with the grey-green reindeer lichen. She couldn’t be more beautiful.



She started giggling as I hovered atop of her, our lips barely touching. I was giddy too. My heart was filled with joy as I held her in my arms.



“You’re not like other guys Rob,” she whispered.



“You’re not like other girls Aya.” I kissed her again as she pulled me towards her.



We lay in each other’s arms, half on the tarp, half off, whispering how much we loved each other and giggling to each other, while the waterfall continued to roar behind us, sending a cool, light spray onto us.



A few minutes later we realized that the reason we seemed to be getting wetter and wetter as we lay there kissing was because it had started to lightly rain.



“Okay that’s it,” I said as I pulled her from the lichen carpet.



We both pulled bits of lichen from her black hair as she said, “I’m never going to forget this place Rob. Never.”



We both smiled at each other and gazed at the water fall.



“I’ve got to pee,” she announced and started making her way to a clump of trees behind us.



Remembering the bear poo, I stood up quickly and said, “I’m coming too.”



“It’s okay Rob, I can do this by myself.”



“I’m sure you can Aya, but I’m still coming with you.” She looked at me funny as I followed her.



I peed facing the other way, into the bush as Aya squatted with her pants around her ankles. She found a tissue in her pocket. She had a very suspicious look on her face as she zipped up her pants.



“I’ll explain later,” I said.



Jumping beaver dams was much easier going with the current. Plus, our trip to the falls had softened each of the structures somewhat. We put on our raingear just as we made it back to the main creek.



“Why did you insist on going with me to pee?”



“There was bear poo everywhere.”



She thought for a moment then said, “I’m glad you didn’t tell me.”



“Mmmm.”



We passed a little birch that I hadn’t noticed on the trip up the creek. I put the engine into reverse. Aya swung around on the seat holding her gloved hands out, “What is it?”



I eased the boat to the bank and killed the engine. “This little birch.”



“What about it?”



“Look at it Aya. It’s got great potential. The original trunk is long gone, no doubt eaten by beaver.” I managed to climb out of the boat and onto the bank. I gave the trunk a shake. It moved. “See this white trunk here,” I said holding onto a branch about fourteen inches long, “A birch doesn’t get the white bark on it until it’s twenty or twenty five years old. See how it’s been successively chewed by beaver?”



The entire shrub was perhaps four foot high and four foot in diameter. The buds were starting to swell. With the fold up shovel and a little work I managed to dig it and a lot of the root ball out. Aya sat and watched from the boat. The whole process took about twenty minutes.



As I bundled plastic around the root ball I explained to Aya, “In Chinese bonsai, or penjing there is a cultivation method called ‘lingnan’. Literally ‘grow and clip’. The results are quite dramatic producing gnarled and twisted trees. The Chinese don’t try to hide a tree’s natural scars, they accentuate them.” Aya was watching me intently. “Mr. Beaver has been letting this tree grow and then comes along and clips it. That’s been going on for decades.”



I stuffed the birch into the boat alongside the larches.



We arrived back at the highway and the pick-up truck about five o’clock in the rain. An hour later everything was stowed away. I left the boat on the trailer.



“Martinis?” Aya asked with a grin on her face as we entered the cabin with the last of our gear.



“We finished the gin yesterday. How ’bout a glass of Beaujolais?”



Aya gave me two thumbs up. Luckily I had brought enough firewood in the previous night. Everything was soaked outside. Aya brought two wine glasses and some paper napkins as I fished the bottle out of the make-shift mini bar and opened it, pouring us two tall glasses. She sat on the couch with her knees crossed as I lit the Franklin stove.



“Ro-ab?”



“Ay-ah?” I was getting the hang of it now.



“Did you mean it, what you said?” Her voice was plaintive, a little unsteady.



“Of course I did Aya,” my tongue was firmly in my cheek. “Lingnan styled bonsai can be very dramatic.”



“Not that,” a scrunched up paper napkin hit the side of my head.



I sat on the couch next to her and picked up my wine glass, she was staring at me with an incredulous expression.



I grinned. “Aya, I didn’t think I would ever fall in love again. But I did, with you. Yes I meant it. With all my heart.” Her arm reached out to me, her chipped red fingernails scratched me behind my ear. She smiled but she also looked as if she was about to cry.



“Don’t be crying on me Aya.”



“I’m sorry,” she said as a tear rolled down her cheek, “say it again.”



“I love you Aya.” Tears poured from her. I put my wineglass down.



“Aya, why are you crying?”



“Because I’m so happy, that’s why. You have no idea how long it’s been. For eight years I had to live a lie. I wasn’t really happy. And now for the first time in my life I can turn to my family and say, this is Rob, this is the man I love. And he loves me.”



I thought I was about to cry too.



I leant over to Aya and put my hand on her thigh. She uncrossed her knees. “Aya can I ask you a question?”



“Yes,” she said, still sobbing.



I moved my hand to her pussy, “What’s for dessert?”



She whacked me on the back of my head, “Stop it…you’re just like every other guy!”



I rolled off the couch onto the floor and quickly recovered, I positioned myself on the floor between Aya’s knees. I rubbed each thigh with my hands as I gazed up into her teary brown eyes. “You are unlike any girl I’ve ever met.”



She grinned at me.



“I think I need more lesbian lessons.”

She beamed at me. “Dinner first, then dishes. If you’re lucky you’ll get your just desserts.” That was met with a sharp glancing swipe with her hand across my scalp.



“I’m having a shower,” she said as she stood up leaving me on the floor, “don’t worry I’ll be quick.”



I sat on the couch and watched the light disappear over the lake. It may have stopped raining. I thought about all that had transpired over the weekend. I thought about Aya. I heard the water turn off in the bathroom. I contemplated going to ‘help’ her dry off. That little devil was still sitting on my shoulder, holding me back.



She came out with her pink housecoat, slippers and the towel wrapped around her hair. “Your turn.”



“Aya, can I borrow your razor?” She stared at me for a moment. I was waiting for the response question.



“You most certainly can.” She flashed a big, toothy smile.



I hate shaving with soap instead of shaving crème. I thought about where the razor had been then realized I’d not seen any hair in her armpits or legs either.



As I dressed myself after the shower I called to her from my bedroom, “Ay-ah?”



“Yes?”



“You’re not crying are you?”



“No, why?”



“It’s just that I’ve never met anyone that sheds tears as quickly as you.”



“That’s not all I shed quickly,” she said as I walked out of the bedroom.



She was standing there naked, smiling. All the blinds were drawn.



“I’ll say!” We both broke out laughing.



“Am I that predictable Rob?” she asked giggling.



“No, Aya,” I said wiping a tear from my eye, “you’re many things, but predictable ain’t one of them.”



We stood in front of each other. I was soaking up her naked beauty. She was smirking back at me.



“Appetizers before dinner?” I asked hopefully.



“No, I think that’ll just ruin dessert. You can come and help me cook dinner,” she turned to walk back to the kitchen area, then turned her head back to me and said, “but not dressed like that.”



I peeled my clothes off.



“Put some music on Rob, you pick.”



I put on Steely Dan’s – Can’t Buy A Thrill. Aya’s hips immediately started to sway to the beat of Do It Again. What a sexy woman.



“What ch’ya makin’?” I asked as I sat down on the island stool, my prick standing in the air. She had already made a salad.



“You’ll see,” she smirked at me, as she handed me two large potatoes and potato peeler.



I loved watching her bum as she leant over to pull something from the bottom of the fridge. What a tease. She knew it and she loved it. So did I. I loved watching her tits sway and her nipples poke through her hair as her shoulders gently danced to the music. I loved watching the big grin on her pretty face as she unwrapped a package of pink meat in her slender fingers. She picked up her empty wine glass, looked straight into my eyes, smiled and gave the empty glass a little shake.



I was off the stool in a flash looking for the bottle of Beaujolais. I grabbed it and my unfinished wine glass. Aya stood on the other side of the island with her arm extended holding her empty glass.



“So the seduction is complete is it?” I asked as I poured her wine.



“Pretty much, don’t you think?” She smiled at me as I sat back on the stool. “There’s only one more thing I need to do,” she added as she sipped her wine.



“What’s that?”



“Teach you to cook.”



Back into the fridge she went in search of something. She wiggled her bum at me, knowing I watched intently. She came out with a bag of green beans and a smirk on her face.



“No fair. I’ve got the hots for teacher!”



She passed me a small cutting board and knife. I still hadn’t finished peeling the potatoes.



“It’s fair, you teach me bonsai, I’ll teach you to cook.”



Aya dumped the beans out on the counter in front of me then flipped the little plastic bag inside out, giving it a shake. I watched her add a couple of tablespoons of flour into the bag.



“How long did you say it takes to learn bonsai?”



“A lifetime,” I answered.



Aya had a massive grin on her face.



Hook, line and sinker.



Aya seductively walked to her bedroom and immediately returned. She had pulled her hair back and added a scrunchie to secure it. I’d not seen her with a ponytail. She looked delicious.



Aya placed one of the two pieces of meat into the bag. It was about the size of my hand and probably three quarters of an inch thick. She twisted the bag with some air in it and flipped it upside down shaking the bag, coating the meat with flour. She added the second piece of meat and did the same.



“Pork,” she said as I watched intently. I returned to peeling the potatoes as she plugged the kettle in. Two empty pots were placed on the counter next to me. “Cut the potatoes in half,” she said. I did. She took the pot, washed the potatoes and added water. The pot went on the stove and turned onto high.



Aya pulled four eggs and a little bag of something out of the fridge, giving me another enticing peek. She pulled two bowls and one plate out of the cabinet. Two eggs were cracked into one bowl, the baggy emptied into the other. The other two eggs were set aside.



“Panko crumbs,” she said.



“What’s a panko?”



“A crunchier breadcrumb,” she answered as she pinched a little in her fingers and walked around to my side of the island. “Taste?” I stood up to meet her fingers with my mouth but instead she dusted her little black landing strip with the crumbs.



When I looked back up to her, with I’m sure my eyes bugged out, she had a huge grin on her face.



Down I went. I clutched her bum as I teased each crumb out from her soft, curly black hairs with my tongue. I couldn’t help but extend my tongue to her clit too. Her hips swayed a little. My cock swelled again.



I looked up to her, “You’re right, they are crunchie,” I said trying to keep a straight face.



Smiling down to me she said, “You’re learning fast.” She spun around on her heels and walked back to her side of the island.



I tried to trim the beans but was completely distracted by Aya’s back and bum as she washed and trimmed mushrooms in the sink. I could have watched her all day. Butter and olive oil were added to a small fry pan, quartered mushrooms were added into the pan with a couple of cracks of black pepper. She turned the ring on. I loved watching Aya’s tits jiggle as she gave the meat bag a couple of more shakes.



Cooking has never been so much fun.



The CD had ended and I replaced it with Annie Lennox’s — Diva.



I returned to the island to watch as Aya pulled two boullion cubes out from a drawer. She held each one out in front of me so that I could read the label. Mushroom. Beef. She crumbled them into a mug and added boiling water. She squeezed lime juice into the mug.



“Sorry, all out of lemon.”



I was totally mesmerized by her. She was a living, breathing angel. Completely in her element as her hips swayed to the music. Aya whipped the eggs up with a fork, she added a little milk and whipped again.



“Come here Rob, I need you to tell me if the ratio of milk and egg is right.”



I slipped around to her side of the island, like I’m going to know. Grinning at me she dipped her left nipple into the egg-milk, “Taste,” holding up her breast. I did, sucking her nipple into my mouth and swirling my tongue around. I could feel her nipple harden under my tongue.



“Maybe just a bit more milk,” I said trying to keep a straight face.



She added another drop or two and swirled it about with her fork. She dipped her right nipple into the mixture. “Taste,” cupping up her breast. My mouth went to her right away, sucking and swirling until that nipple was hard too.



“Much better,” I said. She had a huge grin on her face.



“I don’t know, I think I’ll need to try.” She picked up the bowl of egg mixture and dipped the head of my semi-erect cock into it. Immediately she dropped to her knees and sucked my cockhead into her mouth, swirling her tongue around. My cock started to harden immediately. “Perfect,” she said as she rose to her feet, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.



My eyeballs were rolling around.



“Finish trimming the beans.”



I returned to my task, seriously questioning if I could make it until dinner before my head, or something else, exploded. Aya added the mug of boullion into the fry pan with the mushrooms. She picked up the little pot with the trimmed beans, washed them and added some water. She turned the pot on.



“Do you have any sherry or Marsala?”



“I have sherry,” I hopped off the stool. My extended dick flopped against my thighs as I made my way to the make-shift mini-bar.



She turned the oven on to two hundred. Then after poking the potatoes with a knife turned them off and drained the pot in the sink. She continued to dance to the music. With her gorgeous back to me she picked up her empty wine glass, held it to the side and gave it a little shake.



“Red or white.” What an obedient puppy I’d become.



“White.”



I pulled a bottle of Vouvray from the fridge and opened it. Aya was drying her glass up as I came up to her.



“Nice, a little sweet though.”



Pull Vouvray off my shopping list.



Aya dipped the first meat slice into the egg completely coating it, then dipped it into the Panko crumbs, flipped it several times until it was coated too. She held her wine glass in her left hand, still swaying to the music, as her right hand repeated the process with the second slice of meat. I considered her exposed, vulnerable breasts for a split second, then I recalled the lesson learned from earlier in the day. God only knows what would happen if I reached for them again.



Two large fry pans were pulled out and placed on the stove. Each had olive oil added to them and turned on. She found a spatula and set it aside. She sliced a shallot up on the cutting board and added it to one of the fry pans. The cooked potatoes were sliced and added too. She turned down the ring just a touch.



It occurred to me she wasn’t reading a cookbook, she wasn’t measuring anything. Had I been trying to cook a fancy meal, everything would be laid out beforehand, everything measured, a timer set next to me. This girl was a natural, she was making it up as she went along. No lemons? Ha! lime instead. Sherry or Marsala? What if I had neither? Coating the meat with one hand while sipping wine and dancing at the same time? Holy shit!



“Were you a chef before you started selling heat exchangers?”



“No. Why?” She had a bit of a startled look on her face.



“Where did you learn to cook?”



“My mother taught me.”



“Was she a chef?”



“No, she’s a cleaning lady. My father is a tailor. They’re both still working. We weren’t poor, but we weren’t rich either. My mother taught me to make do with what we had in the kitchen.”



I gazed at Aya, I think in a bit of disbelief.



“What about your parents. Where are they?”



“Buried. They’re both dead.”



“Oh, I’m sorry.”



“My dad drowned when I was twenty two. He was fishing. His fly was undone when they pulled him from the lake.”



“What does that mean?”



“He was pissing off the side of the boat and fell in.”



“Oh.”



“About forty percent of male drowning victims in Ontario are found with their fly undone.”



“Oh.”



“My mother died eight months later.”



“Of a broken heart?”



“No, a broken tooth. She reacted to an anesthetic on the dentist’s chair and went into an anaphylactic shock. They couldn’t revive her.”



“I’m so sorry Rob.” Aya had a genuine look of sorrow in her face.



“Do you have any other brothers and sisters, aside from the one you’re working for?”



“No, do you?”



“I have an older sister. She lives in LA.”



“Oh,” she said in an upbeat voice, “what does she do?”



“Raises two boys. She was a little wild at first, but she settled down, got married, bought a house, now she’s raising two boys. She’s doing okay. Her husband Bruce is a lawyer.”



“Do you keep in touch with her?”



“Rarely. She’s pretty well integrated into the husband’s family.”



Aya gazed off over my head.



“My sister and I split the estate. I was all of twenty three. We each got about forty five grand. I put a down payment on a house, she took off to LA.”



Aya didn’t say anything.



“I’m sorry Aya, your Prince Charming isn’t rich. I’m sorry you’re disappointed.”



“I’m not disappointed. I’m just a little worried. You’re so alone.”



“I’m not alone Aya, I have you.”



“Yes you do,” she smiled, came around to me and gave me a big, fat kiss. “You do have me. And I have you.” My hand slid down her bum. It was warm. I felt so lucky just to touch her skin.



“Go set the table,” she said as she walked off to her bedroom.



“Hey what are you doing?” I objected as she walked back wearing her pink housecoat. She stopped in her track as soon as I spoke.



“Okay, I’ll take the housecoat off, but you’re frying the meat.” She sat down on my side of the island and picked up her glass of wine. “Come on let’s go.”



Hesitantly I walked to the stove. “Pick up one schnitzel and gently place it in the fry pan.”



“Oh, so that’s what we’re making.” I slid the meat into the fry pan, it immediately sizzled up. “Oh shit!” Hot oil was splattering back at me, “Ahh!” One hit my cock, “Ahhhh!”



Aya was laughing, “Turn the heat down a little.” I did. She got up and pulled a piece of paper towel off the rack and found an elastic band. “Come here,” she said. She wrapped the paper towel around my cock and secured it with the elastic band. “I’ve got to protect the goods, now go on. Go turn it over.”



Splat. “Ahh.” Splat. “Oww.” I ran and got her housecoat to the sound of laughter.



Having returned to my rightful place at the kitchen island with my skin and dignity more or less intact, I watched Aya as she calmly slid one schnitzel onto a plate and put it into the oven and added the second one to the fry pan. Effortlessly she moved between fry pans stirring, flipping. The beans were cooked, drained and turned off.The second schnitzel joined the first in the oven. Scrapings from the schnitzel pan were added to the mushroom and boullion, a bit of sherry was added too. She was like a maestro conducting a culinary symphony, eggs were cracked and fried. During all of this she had managed to wash some fresh parsley and was chopping it up on a board.



“Take the salad to the table and come back with the plates.” I did. “Put something classical on.” I put on Gustav Holst’s – The Planets. Mars the Bringer of War started.



I returned just in time to watch Aya put a schnitzel on each plate, she then scooped half of the mushroom gravy onto each schnitzel then carefully surrounded each with fried potatoes and green beans. Each schnitzel was then topped with a sunny side up fried egg, which was then topped with two anchovy fillets laid in a crisscross pattern. Then each plate was sprinkled with fresh parsley and capers.



I gazed up in astonishment as Aya picked up each plate. She was naked again and her hair was splayed out. “Holstein Schnitzel,” she said, “in more or less the traditional style.” The plates were on display in front of me, just below her boobs. “Presentation is everything,” she said with a grin.



I held her chair out for her as she sat down.



The meal was taster than I could have imagined. The meat was juicy, the batter crisp. The broth was earthy, rich and when the runny egg yolk collided with everything…out of this world!



It dawned on me that if Aya and I were going to get together after the trip, which I certainly hoped and intended to, that I would land up dying fat. Fat and happy, but still fat. I fully wanted to participate in her, or rather my, private cooking classes.



There were a lot of dishes to do, which we did together. I thanked her profusely for the meal as we washed and dried. With a tea towel in one hand and a succession of pots and pans in the other I thanked her with kisses on her cheek, on each boob and nipple. I swept her hair to the side and thanked her neck and her ear, her shoulder, her belly, her forehead and her lips. Many times I thanked her lips. She was most appreciative.



“I see you’re ready for dessert,” she said with a grin on her face. I certainly was.



“You know we have to get up earlier in the morning?” I hated to have to change the tone.



“You know your bed is a mess from last night?” It never stops with her.



The dishes were finally finished and packed away. I hung the tea towel up to dry.



“Do you want to do some packing up tonight or do it all in the morning?” I asked.



“In the morning I think, I wouldn’t mind a little dessert though.”



“Oh? What did you have in mind?”



She wrapped her arms around the small of my back and gazed up at me. My cock was poking into her. With eyes wide open and all innocent she said, “I’d like a big lollypop.” A big smile broke out across her face. “I have a cupcake for you…if you’re interested.”



I was interested alright.



I loaded up the stove with split logs, shut the lights off then went to the washroom. It was a little sad really. I knew that no new adventure was going to be waiting for us the next day. Simply an arduous drive back home, then back to reality. I found her on her bed. She was cross-legged, her pink pussy splayed wide open, beckoning me in. She looked a little sad. I sat down across from her, also cross-legged and picked up her hands in mine. Our knees touched.



“Aya, don’t start crying on me.”



She gave me a crooked smile.



“Rob, what’s going to happen when we get back home?”



I sighed, “Seven and half hours drive, holiday Monday cottage country traffic, we’ll be lucky if we’re home by six.”



“No, I mean after that.”



“I have to work on Tuesday.”



She gave my hands a shake. Her face was all serious. “Between you and me?”



I couldn’t help but smile. “Aya, do you have any idea of how much work you have ahead of you? You have four trees, plus a dozen larches that you have to deal with. I have two.”



She seemed puzzled at my response.



“Each of those trees is anywhere between six and twelve hours work, just to get them into a training pot. Less so for the larches, they’re just little. So for your trees alone, realistically, you’re looking at fifty hours of work. And there’s a timeline. When we get back, I predict, you will be amazed. All the trees in the city will be in full leaf, as if it’s summer. These puppies that we’re bringing back are going to roar back with a vengeance.”



Aya seemed totally perplexed.



“Aya do you have potting medium, lots of it? Do you have sifters to be able to separate soil into different sizes? Do you have training pots ready? Of the right size. Do you have wood and the tools necessary to make training boxes?”



She seemed almost white.



“I’m just talking about stabilizing them. Not styling them. That’s a whole different thing.”



She looked as if she was going to cry again.



“Well, I’ve got all that stuff. Remember I’m your bonsai guru. We have a deal. Bonsai, cooking. We are going to clean and prepare your four trees and my two, plus the larches together. We are going to be very busy for the next couple of weeks…if you’re okay with that.”



She was beaming.



“Aya, as far as the bonsai hunt is concerned, we’re only halfway through. As far as Aya and Rob go…” She jumped on me pinning me down underneath her. She kissed me before I could finish my sentence. She was pulling at my dick as she covered me with kisses. I managed to push her off so I could finish. “Aya, do you remember lesson number one?”



She lifted her head off mine while still holding my cock. She had a bit of a puzzle expression, “Move slowly and gently, no thrashing about?”



“Yes, exactly. That’s how we’ll do it. Okay?”



She kissed me with a fire I’d not seen nor felt before. Her eyes were welling up again. She barely lifted her wet lips from mine and whispered, “Do you remember lesson number two?”



I slipped two fingers into her pussy. They went in without friction.

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