Brad’s Search : Part 13

Gary, Harry, Kelly, and I pull into the lodge’s parking lot. Julia follows behind us. We see Gina and Sharon there along with Julia’s friend and the rest of her group. It looks like they had just gotten there. As soon as Gary parks, he opens the door and runs toward Gina. I run to Mom.

Gary and Gina embrace. “I’m so glad you and Sharon are safe.”

We all head inside. Mom goes to the concierge for more information about the earthquake, and the rest of us sit by the fire and try to calm down. Everyone was pretty quiet until Gina spoke up. “Did you feel the ground shake, too?” Everyone nodded in agreement.

Mom came back. “The concierge says that there was an earthquake. It was pretty minor, but strong enough to where the National Park Service wants to evaluate the risk for avalanche, so there probably won’t be any more mountain recreation allowed until then.”

Everyone looks pretty bummed, even Mom. I try to cheer everyone up. “At least we got some mountain time in. And all of us are alive and safe. And we’re at this fabulous lodge.”

Mom chimes in again. “And don’t forget about me! I’m here!”

“We would never forget about you, Sharon,” Harry remarks. “It’s been absolutely great having you here.”

“So the plan is to still leave tomorrow?” Gary asks.

I answer his question, “Can’t think of a reason not to. Unless, of course, an avalanche does occur and we’re stuck here.”

Everyone looks nervously at one another, and then Julia breaks the silence. “Why do I feel like this is the beginning of The Shining?” Everyone chuckles at her comment and seems cheered up. Mission accomplished.

We head into the restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat.

Gina turns her attention to Kelly. “How did your snowboarding lesson with Brad go?”

“Quite well, actually. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. What about you and Sharon?”

“The gondola ride was great! So scenic. I got some great shots of the mountain, and I took some of Sharon, too. I’m going to go up to my room to load them onto my laptop. I’m anxious to get a bigger look at them.” Gina then asks Julia, “How did you, Gary, and Harry fare?”

Julia grabs Harry all of a sudden. “This man is purely amazing. He was swooping up and down, side to side, and all crazy.” Julia made all these hand gestures to go along with her recounting. She then looks Harry in the eyes. “I’ve never seen a more impressive skier.”

Wow. I think we know where Julia’s sleeping tonight.

* * * * *

Everyone finishes up what they were eating as the sun sets. Mom had gone up to bed earlier.

Kelly stretches her arms out. “Wow, all that snowboarding wore me out. I’m going to go upstairs and rest.”

Julia followed suit. “Good idea; Harry, can I borrow your key?” Harry hands his key to Julia.

Gary looks at Gina. “What about you?”

“I want to go up and get those pictures off my camera.”

“OK; we’ll probably sit and chat for a bit and then we’ll be up.”

With that, the three ladies go upstairs.

I ask the guys, “So, it looks like it’s just us boys. What are we going to do now?”

“I went poking around and noticed this lodge has a Jacuzzi,” Harry suggests.

“That sounds wonderful! I haven’t been snowboarding in a while, and I can feel soreness setting in already. Oh wait, that won’t work.”

“Why not?” Gary asks.

“I didn’t bring a swimsuit.”

Gary gives me a devilish grin. “Neither did we.”

* * * * *

Harry leads us to the Jacuzzi. No one is there. In fact, the whole lodge seemed dead. The people who were here probably checked out early due to the earthquake, and everyone else planning to arrive canceled their plans. Oh well; it was great having the place to ourselves.

Gary, Harry, and I walk to a nearby table and take off our shoes, socks, pants, and shirts, leaving only our underwear.

I look at the guys. “Are you sure about this?”

“Don’t worry; there’s nobody here. We won’t get caught,” Gary reassures me.

I shrug. All three of us take off our underwear.

This wasn’t the first time we’ve seen each other nude. We work out together a lot, and sometimes when we all get extra sweaty we’ll pop into the locker room and shower. All three of us are really comfortable with each other. Chalk it up to how long we’ve known each other, I guess.

Harry walks over to the controls and starts up the jets. We all get in and sit down. Boy, these jets feel great against naked skin. I lie my head back and relax for a few minutes.

Gary breaks the silence. “So, did you and Kelly roll around in the snow earlier today?”

“No; we haven’t even had sex since last weekend.”

“That you can remember, at least.”

I give Gary an evil look. Harry continued, “So you haven’t converted to the dark side yet?”

“I don’t think I ever will. I just need to find a way to get rid of Kelly. I can’t keep this going forever.”

We sit there for a few seconds until Gary changes the subject. “So, Harry, Julia’s in your room now.”

“What about it?”

“Nothing, really; I just wanted to ask you where you think that’s going.”

“Yeah, Harry, she seemed really excited at the restaurant.”

Gary looks at me. “Oh, you should’ve seen her while we were skiing. She might play it up that she’s a great skier, but it’s only her friends who are the real experts. She was falling all over the place, but Harry, being the gentleman he is, was always on hand to help her up.”

I am a bit confused. “What’s so special about that?”

Harry takes care of explaining. “Well, the last time I helped her up, she stood up and her face came right up to mine. We stood there for a few seconds...”

I’m desperate. “And?”

“We kissed.”

I splash water all over the floor squealing and bringing my hands up to applaud. “That’s great, Harry! So you two are an item now?”

“Not exactly, but the prospects are looking good.”

“That’s so good to hear.”

Someone opens the door. It looks like a member of the lodge staff.

“Oh, excuse me, gentlemen. I was nearby cleaning and I heard a strange noise. Is everything OK?”

Gary and Harry look at me and chuckle. Gary turns around to address the staff member. “Yeah, everything’s fine.”

The staff member glances over at the table and sees all of our clothes, and then glances back at us and smiles. “Enjoy the rest of your weekend, gentlemen.” And with that, he leaves.

We all look at each other. It takes tremendous might to not burst out laughing.

“How long have we been soaking?”

“Not long enough.”

“Well, we should probably head back up to the rooms before our women get suspicious and come looking for us.”

“Yeah, I guess we should.”

We step out and walk to the table. Gary hands Harry and me a towel and we dry off. We pull on our underwear, and then put on the rest of our clothes. We head upstairs and to our respective rooms.

I step inside and see that Kelly’s already sleeping. She must have been really exhausted. I walk to the bathroom and brush my teeth, then walk to the bed, take off my shirt and pants, and crawl under the covers.