[AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story originally appeared, in slightly different form, on RuthiesClub.com, accompanied by two delightful manga-style illustrations by Lady Neko. I'd like to thank Ruthie for patiently working with the rather tempermental author on beating the story into shape. I'd also like to thank The Wolffman and Selena Jardine for their help with an earlier draft.

Posting to Ruthie's was a very cool experience, but reader response there was nil, so I'm dying to hear what folks think of the piece. Drop me a note or discuss the story in the Quicktopic forum

Ruthie was originally planning to run it in late September, but I asked if it could go up for the last week of August instead—a wish she happily granted. It was important to me because that was the week of Burningman. On that week about thirty thousand cyberpunks, aging hippies, unemployed dot-commers, artists, rave kids, musicians, gawkers, unicyclists, fire-breathers, and assorted freaks were converging on the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada for the Burningman arts festival. There, they built a city and, at the end of the week, tore it down. They had parades, parties, poetry readings, puppet shows, public spankings, and pillow fights. On Saturday, with much ceremony, a fifty-foot wooden effigy of a man will be burned. They whooped, danced, threw things on the fire, packed up, and finally headed home. Ruthie asked me to include a note about what the Burningman festival is all about. Ruthie, if I knew, I promise I would tell you.


{Narrator's Note: I sent a draft of this story to Amanda. Here's the e-mail I got in response, reprinted without comment:

Hi, Vinnie—

I read your story and I thought it was pretty good. I mean, apart from you making me look like a total bitch who talks like a teeny-bopper. It was a weird situation, though, and it's interesting to see how it looked to you.

I noticed you didn't say anything about how you look, though, which is kind of unfair, considering how you go on and on describing Tanya and how many remarks you get in about the size of my ass.

In case you haven't looked in a mirror in the last decade, here's a description for you:

You're tallish and kind of skinny, a 35-32-34, I'd guess, with a little bit of a slouch. You've got beautiful big brown eyes and pale skin. You've got a long, kind of aqualine nose, and not much chin to speak of. Most of the time, you look kind of like Franz Kafka in a good mood, if that's not a complete contradiction.

I've seen you comb your hair with my own eyes. Otherwise, I might think you never had. The effects never seem to last more than about ten minutes.

At Burningman that year, you had a scrufy little goatee that you were constantly pulling on.

You don't have much in the way of body hair or muscle tone, though you can be surprisingly strong. You do have a very cute little ass and beautiful slender hands.

Hugs 'n' noogies,

I returned from Center Camp to find that Amanda had started breakfast without me. It wasn't yet nine o'clock, but it was already bright enough that I needed my glacier glasses as I set her large latte down in the dust beside her. "You took forever," she observed as I settled into the cheap lawn chair beside hers, put my small black coffee down, and dug in.

Soon, a precarious assemblage of plates and bowls bearing bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, and chopped red onions teetered across our knees. We'd lugged several packed picnic baskets and coolers with us. Hey, just because we're spending a week in the desert doesn't mean we can't eat well.

We were dressed similarly, in patterned sarongs, sandals, and glacier glasses, our torsos bare to catch the last cool breezes before the day's real heat set in. Both of us had various beads, trinkets, and medallions strung around our necks, though Amanda had been given many more than I had by the guys who passed them out—one of the side effects of having tits. Our chairs were positioned at the edge of our camp to face the passing traffic. Behind us stretched the sprawling chaos of RVs, tents, temporary wooden buildings, geodesic domes, tractor-trailers, and military surplus parachutes called Black Rock City.

The Swiss Army knife Amanda had used to chop the onions and slice the bagels was now being used to spread the cream cheese. While I waited for my turn with the knife, I sipped my coffee and surveyed the passing scene. A guy in a motorized easy chair came buzzing by. He wore a top hat and some sort of furry loincloth. Behind the couch was a dusty red Radio Flyer piled with bags of ice. "Mornin'," I nodded as he went by.

He tipped his hat genially. "Mornin', neighbor!"

An Asian woman sauntered by in the opposite direction, wearing only a straw cowboy hat and a toddler tee. Her golden skin glistened with sunscreen as she swayed, her bare feet raising little clouds of dust with each step. Rapt, I watched her bare ass twitch as she made her way towards Center Camp.

Amanda cleared her throat loudly. I looked around. She was holding the cream cheese-smeared knife and grinning. "Spectator!" she accused.

I bristled a little at her suggestion that I was violating Burningman's famous "No Spectators" creed. "No Spectators" doesn't really mean that no one should ever act as an audience— after all, what's the point of a performance or an artwork without someone to look at it? What it means is that no one should be exclusively a spectator. Each participant has a responsibility to add something to the Burningman experience. Some people help with construction, some people do fire safety, some people tool around in elaborately decorated golf carts—it's all participation, and each of those people will spend time enjoying and appreciating other people's work as well. I started to launch into my rant on this topic when I remembered that I had already delivered it to Amanda yesterday, a fact she would happily remind me of if I started in again.

I snorted. "I'm a spectator until I've had my coffee. You done with that knife?"

Amanda passed it to me and, with a hand free, finally picked up her coffee, and took a grateful sip. "So, what kept you at the cafe," she asked. "Forget your money again?"

It's easy to forget about money in a place where the only permitted commercial transactions are buying coffee and ice. Carrying a wallet around is generally more trouble than it's worth. "I ran into the guys from Primal Sheep Therapy," I explained, trying to pick capers out of the jar with my knife blade.

"Is that a theme camp or a rock band?"

"Well, it's definitely a theme camp. It may well also be a rock band. They were the guys with the blow-up doll Stonehenge last year, remember?"

"The transvestite pancake guys?"

"Only two of them were transvestites," I objected.

"Well, that was enough to make an impression. Where are they camping this year? I promised I'd bring them some Bailey's after that great breakfast they made me last time."

That year we were camping with Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index for short), some Portland folks with a little lending library and a guerrilla storytelling troupe. They would set up in a random public place and tell subversive or obscene folktales—sometimes original stories, sometimes a selection from the nineteenth- century pornographic anthology "Tales from the Beginning," or sometimes something completely improvised.

Their library was similarly eclectic. They tried to keep a lively and subversive collection of literature on hand, but their necessarily lassiez-faire attitude toward the "returning" part of a lending library meant that their collection arrived every year liberally salted with Victorian porn, Loompanics drug manuals, and surrealist manifestoes, but by the weekend mostly consisted of battered sci-fi paperbacks, skateboarding zines, and surrealist manifestoes.

Much, though not all, of Black Rock City was divided into similar theme camps—groups of people with a name and some sort of shtick to contribute to everyone else's experience. Three of them—let's call them Curly, Moe, and Larry—were friends of mine from college.

"They're pretty close by," I said. "You can bring that Bailey's to them any time."

Next to us was a little green-and-tan Kelty backpacking tent that was suspiciously clear of the ubiquitous dust. Muffled sounds from within suggested someone was waking up. "I guess another member arrived last night," I speculated. "Moe said a friend from his yoga group was supposed to arrive yesterday"

A zipper buzzed, the tent shook, and a figure emerged from the far end of the tent. From behind, Amanda and I watched as the dark-skinned woman raised her muscular arms to the sky and stretched luxuriously. Her supple waist twisted back and forth with unconscious grace, her short dreadlocks tossing with her motion. Finally, she turned. Her breasts were high and plump, with big areolas that looked black in the desert's harsh light. Amanda and I tried to look like we weren't staring. I don't think we succeeded.

"Hello," said the newcomer, in a soft, high voice, squinting at us.

"Hhh—Good morning." Amanda found her tongue first. "I'm Amanda, this is Vinnie."

"You must be Tanya," I cut in.

"Yeah," she said, with a radiant smile, "I got in last night." She stepped around her tent. White panties surrounded the dramatic curve of her hips from her trim little waist, and set off the dark chocolate-brown of her skin. Those and white running shoes were all she wore.

Amanda and I spoke at once.

"Welcome to Burningman!" I said.

"You want some breakfast?" said Amanda.

Tanya grinned still further. Despite the merciless light of the late-summer desert, it seemed for a moment like a dark room had suddenly been illuminated. "Actually, could you tell me which way is the closest bathroom? I'm bursting!"

"Center Camp is about two blocks that way," I told her, pointing. "There's a row of port-a-johns there."

"However, if you head outward a couple of blocks," Amanda interjected, "you'll find ones that are cleaner. And this time of day, there probably isn't a line there."

"That's good to know, said Tanya, nodding. "I'm gonna have to pick you guys' brain for more tips like that when I get back."

"Absolutely!" said Amanda.

"We're happy to help!" I added.

Tanya sauntered off in the direction Amanda had indicated. Amanda and I watched her high, round ass sway for a long moment, bagels forgotten in our laps.

Finally, Amanda took a long drink from her latte, then spoke: "What the hell was that?"

"I dunno," I said, "but I want some."

"Race ya."

"You're on."

When Tanya got back, she accepted half a bagel with cream cheese and squatted beside us, unselfconsciously, to eat.

"Did you get to do any exploring last night?" I asked.

"Not really," she admitted. "I'd been driving all day to get here. A couple of people helped me set up my tent and I kinda crashed."

"Then there's no time to waste!" I urged her. "You need to go make your pilgrimage to the Man."

"He looked so cool, all lit up last night," said Tanya. "I could see him for miles coming in."

"I'll come with you if you like," I offered. "I haven't been there during the day yet this year."

Amanda said, "I wouldn't be in any hurry to bother. He'll be there all week. I was gonna walk along Esplanade to look at the new theme camps. Wanna come?"

Tanya thought for a moment. "I think I'd like to go see the Man first," she said politely, "can you show me around later today, Amanda?"

"Sure, no problem," Amanda shrugged.

Through a mighty effort of will, I managed to refrain from doing a victory dance.

After packing up our food and dishes, I threw on an old, formerly white dress shirt to protect against the sun. Tanya put on a turquoise sundress and we set out on the half-mile walk to the heart of Black Rock City, the stylized fifty-foot sculpture that is the Burning Man.

Tanya was curious about how we arranged the trip from the east cost.

"It's nice coming out with Amanda," I explained. "We split the driving, the cost of the rental, we take turns cooking meals. There's definitely inconveniences—even if you buy a lot of stuff in Reno, packing is always a little tight—the two checkins and two carryons apiece have to hold all our clothes, our sleeping bags, both our tents—"

"Your tents? Aren't you guys a...?" she waved her hand vaguely.

"No, not really," I explained. "We dated for a while a few years ago."

"But it didn't work out."

"Well, she mostly likes girls."

"That must have been rough."

I shrugged. "Yeah, I guess it was.

We walked in silence for a few moments.

"So now you're just friends?"

"Errr... basically."

She cocked an eyebrow. "Basically?"

"Well, if I meet someone nice, or she meets someone nice, we've got two tents. And if we don't, we have sleeping bags that zip together."

"That's sweet."

"I'd like it better if her pickup record wasn't so much better than mine. But it generally works out well," I admitted.

"So, have you met someone nice this year?"

I paused a little too long before answering: "I'm workin' on it."

We walked on for a while.

"That's a lot of work, coming out this far every year," Tanya observed. "Why do you keep coming?"

I thought for a moment. "Let me answer that in a couple of minutes."

The base of the Man was relatively uncrowded. We clambered up the hay bales to the platform at the Man's feet. Two guys in lab coats were necking in one corner, and a girl in a glittering fairy costume was blowing bubbles with a drugstore bubble wand. Around the base were a half-dozen men in shorts and tee-shirts taking pictures. We stood gripping the man's legs, looking up at the abstract forms his wooden skeleton assumed when viewed from below. We brushed our fingers along the glowing neon running up his legs, and felt the electric tingle it exuded. Then we sat on the edge of the platform and looked out across the playa.

The desolate former lake-bed was dotted with pedestrians, bicycles, and art installations. In a great semicircle in front of us stretched the arms of the distant city—geodesic domes, scaffolding towers, and gay banners—crisp miniatures in the desert air. Behind rose the mountains, blued by distance, their crenellations highlighted in the angled sunlight.

"Wow," Tanya said at last.

"Yup. There's nothing else like it. To see this is amazing, but to be part of it... Well, Burningman has its downsides. There's the heat and the noise and the inconvenience, there's the annoying drunks, but I've never seen so much creativity in one place anywhere else. For one week, it's a pointer to how rich and strange life can be." I paused for a moment. "That was so fucking sappy. Did I make any sense at all?"

"I think so."

"What about you?" I asked. "What brought you out here?"

"Well, Moe's been talking about it for years, always trying to get the rest of us to go. He says it recharges his freak batteries—helps him stay weird for the rest of the year. I know a few dancers who came out last year—they showed me pictures of some of the art and talked about all the cool music—sounded like something I had to see." She stretched, then winced. "Still stiff from driving," she explained.

Ah-ha! My opening. Nervously, I scooted around behind her, and put my hands on her shoulders. Half of each hand was on thin fabric, the other on hot, smooth, dark skin. The contact reminded me of when I'd touched the neon minutes before. "You want?" I said, with affected casualness.

"If you don't mind," she shrugged.

Rubbing the firm muscles of her shoulders, I relaxed again. I was a little aroused, but mostly now it just felt good to be giving another person pleasure while looking out over the familiarly exotic landscape around us.

She leaned her head forward and purred with pleasure as I massaged the tendons in the back of her neck. Uh-oh. That sound was turning me on, and it's not easy to hide an erection in a sarong. I tried to lose myself in the technical aspects of the backrub, with moderate success, deploying every trick in my repertoire on Tanya's firm and supple back.

Eventually, when my hands and wrists were sore, I stopped. She looked over her shoulder and deployed that dazzling smile again. "Thanks, that was nice. You want to switch?"

I thought a moment. "I think I'll take a rain check, actually. There'll be times this week I'll need it more."

As we watched people come and go down the avenue to the Man, she told me about her experiences at the Oregon Country Fair, and I told her some stories from my previous years at Burningman, mixed with some of my thoughts about its aesthetics and significance.

Eventually we got up and went back to our camp. Or we tried to. Walking back toward the city, Tanya pointed to a large open geodesic dome with a crowd gathered around and swarming over it. "What's that?" she asked.

"That's Thunderdome," I said.

"Like in the movie?"

"Just like in the movie. Well, except with padded weapons. It's really cool."

"I thought you said you hated camps that got their gimmicks from movies or TV."

"`I am vast,'" I quoted, "`I contain multitudes.' Let's go take a look."

Our timing was good. We squeezed into the crowd just as two combatants in nylon harnesses were being strapped in. Attendants in over-the-top goth regalia (in hundred-degree heat!) were fastening them to bungee cords hanging from the top of the dome. The crowd chanted "Two men enter, one man leaves! Two men enter, one man leaves!" as the players strode about experimentally, hefting their padded weapons.

The contestants looked like frat boys-two muscular shirtless guys with short hair. The attendants guided them to opposite sides of the scaffolding, where they clung like spiders. A big bearded guy in a black leather cowboy hat was officiating. He swung down his staff and the contestants lunged at each other, grabbing at one another's torsos while raining blows to the head and shoulders to a yell of approval from the crowd. By the third round, Tanya and I were roaring with the crowd, caught up in the elemental combat we were witnessing.

It wasn't long before they were separated a final time and the marshal, after a dramatic pause, waved his scepter to declare one of the combatants the winner. Both flushed and panting men were lowered from their harnesses as the crowd cheered. They met in the middle of the dome, embraced and kissed heatedly for a long moment, then walked out of the arena hand-in-hand. When a second fight wasn't immediately apparent, we wandered off.

By the time we got back to our own camp, most of the members were having lunch in the kitchen they'd set up under some camouflage netting. We got out our mess kits and joined in. A few minutes later, Amanda strutted in looking immensely pleased with herself. She was wearing a sports bra and thrift store tuxedo pants, the buckles at the hips open to accommodate her broad ass, the shiny strips down the sides dulled by the ever-present dust.

"Guess what I found!" she announced to the gathering.

"Larry Harvey's birthplace," I said, referring to Burningman's flamboyant founder.

"Castle Anthrax!" Curly said, with his mouth full of feta and cucumber. Trust Curly to manage to insert a Python reference in every situation.

"A bar with decent beer!" suggested Larry, who would sooner die of thirst than be seen holding a Budweiser can.

"Hush, shh." said Amanda, a little annoyed. "This is really cool. Take a look." Facing the people across from me, she unzipped her pants, tugged them, with some effort, off her substantial hips, pulled them down to her knees, then held out her arms in a "tah- dah!" gesture.

"It's a beautiful ass," I said, "but it's the same one you had this morning."

"Vinnie!" she complained, and turned around. Her pubic mound was completely bare, exposing the slightly reddened skin of her fat labia. "A shaving camp!"

"Ooh, pretty!" I said, sincerely. "Let me see closer"

"I dunno if I trust you to behave yourself."

"You can generally trust me not to."

Beside me, Tanya asked, "Did they use an electric?"

"Blade," Amanda answered, shuffling towards her, pants still around her knees. "They'd wanted to do electric at first, but then they'd have had to bring a generator. It was kinda classier this way though, with the lather and the hot towels and stuff."

"It looks really smooth," Tanya said.

"It is," said Amanda, stroking her mound lightly. "You want to feel?"


"I don't mind," insisted Amanda.

Tanya tentatively reached out and stroked Amanda's mound with her slender dark fingers. "Oh, that's so soft!" she exclaimed.

Amanda pulled her pants back up, closing the zipper with some difficulty. "God, I'm hungry. Vinnie, is my bowl still in the tent?"

"Yeah, I put it in the- Oh, I'll just show you." I put down my plate, and we walked over to the other end of the camp.

"Very subtle seduction technique there," I teased her as she unzipped the tent "Drop your pants and ask her to touch it. Wonder if that would have worked for me..."

She entered the tent, and I crawled in after. The heat in that enclosed space was stifling. "I dunno, but it sure worked on you," she retorted, cupping my half-hard cock in her palm.

"You're a sexy woman," I conceded. "Just not a very sneaky one." I took one of the canvas bags from a pile in the back, unzipped it, and rummaged around.

"So you like my new do?"

I found the bowl, handed it to her, and zipped up the bag again. "I dunno. I haven't done nearly enough research to tell yet."


"Yeah-how does it feel, how does it taste-?"

"Shit, Vinnie, I'm really tempted. I'm ravenously hungry, but I'm also really turned on. If we spend too long in here, though, everyone will know what's going on."

I snorted. "Some exhibitionist you are."

"Can you lick me for just a minute and not get carried away?"

"You're trusting me to behave myself?"

She tugged her tuxedo pants down again, and I grabbed her ankles and pushed her back onto her camping mattress until her feet were above her head and her hips were in the air. I stared with pleasure for a moment at her broad ass and plump, depilated labia, then dove in as she gasped and whispered encouragement, my body twined around hers in the confined space of the tent.

At first she was a little sour with sweat and dust, but that soon gave way to sweet voluptuous juiciness. I lapped away at her until her hands tightened on my hair and her motions coalesced into a rhythmic rocking. Sweat was running down my forehead. I pulled away from her, and started to crawl out of the tent.

"Vinnie, what are you doing?" she cried in exasperation, squeezing her cunt with her hand.

"Not getting carried away," I answered. "How long you gonna spend in that tent, anyway?"

"You bastard." She pulled her pants up and began to crawl out. I tried to arrange myself so my erection wasn't obvious. "When it gets cooler tonight, I definitely want to get fucked," she added.

"Was that an offer, or just conversation?" I asked

"I'm not sure yet-I'll let you know."

Curly knew some people who were running a little barter bar at the other end of town. As the sun set, we loaded up our backpacks with extra clothes, limes to use as trade goods, flashlights, water bottles, glowsticks, and such, and hopped on our bikes.

To experience motion as an abstraction, bicycle on salt flats at dusk. Curly and I pedaled in silence, watching the city slide away beside us, propelled by the motion of our wheels.

The bar was an actual wooden bar, trucked in from wherever. They'd hung a dartboard from one corner of their pavilion. The pool table was just made of plywood painted green. It didn't lack for players though-I could hardly get near it. I traded a lime for a drink and talked with a few random strangers. Eventually, Curly came by. He had an extravagant plan for a project for next year. He wanted to do a roving hot tub. He was talking about mounting an entire Jacuzzi on wheels, and driving it around the playa.

I was a little skeptical. "How are you going to power it?"

"Off the truck's motor!" he declared impatiently. "You see the genius of it? It all fits together!"

"Do you have the technical skills for something like that?"

"Not yet, but a year's a long time!"

"From this end it is. So what happened with the restaurant project you were talking about last year?"

"Never really got going on that," Curly admitted. "What's your point?" I suspected he knew.

It was still early by Burningman time when I started to droop. The party was still going strong so I biked back alone, passing in the darkness through successive zones of music from various dance tents, the desert wind cutting through my clothes to chill my skin.

It felt good to slip inside my sleeping bag, put in my earplugs, and curl up for the night.

Some time later, Amanda's chilly body slid in next to me. "Hey, what you been up to?" I asked sleepily.

"I went dancing with Tanya," she said. I could hear her grin in the dark. I made a noncommittal noise.

"She's a great kisser," she whispered, her breath hot against my face as she leaned in.

"That intuition or hearsay?"


"I was afraid of that. Okay, let's hear the story."

"Oh, and speaking of stories, I hear we broke up `cause I'm a dyke."

"Um... was that a secret?"

"Well, it's not exactly the whole story. There was the job offer in Philly coming at the same time you were falling for your best friend's girlfriend.

"Oh god. The Molly debacle. Don't remind me."

"I didn't particularly want to stick around for the fallout from that," she continued smugly. "You and Andrew on speaking terms again yet?"

"So you kissed her," I changed the subject.

"Yeah, we made out for a while at Spacelounge. I dunno what the deal is now. When we walked back here, she was acting kinda like nothing had happened.

"How far'd it go?" She cupped one of her hands over my face. The smell on her fingers was sharp and pungent. I took her wrist and inhaled deeply, savoring it. "At Spacelounge?!"

"A little," she admitted, "It was pretty dark. Then a little more out on the playa."

"So, how'd it start?"

"Oh, you know... we.... You can let go of my wrist now, by the way."

Reluctantly, I did so.

"If you want more, there's a real good supply nearby," Amanda said, and guided my hand between her legs and under the stretchy fabric of her briefs. The skin of her stomach was still cool, but the mouth of her cunt was slick and hot. I slid two fingers inside and we both gasped. "Jesus, you're wet!" I exclaimed.

"Oh, rub my clit, Amanda demanded.

I did so, my fingers swimming in her slickness. "So, how did it start, I asked again."

"Well," she said, her hips shoving against my fingers. "We were dancing, and then we were talking...a little slower, Vinnie...and then we were cuddling, and then we were kissing... And then she was bent over, begging me to fuck her."

"And then she was thanking you for a lovely evening and showing you the door."

Amanda was tugging at her nipples now, twisting them roughly between thumb and forefinger. "Um... basically."

"So who started it?"

"Wait a second... faster... a little lower. Oh, yeah...." Amanda grunted a few times, jerked against my hand, and slumped to her mattress again.

`So who started it?" I persisted.

Amanda was still gasping a little. "Hold on a second...if I have to give you all the details, I may as well make myself comfortable." She surged out of our sleeping bag, pushed her underwear the rest of the way off, and started to straddle my shoulders. "Comfy?" she asked, running her fingers through my hair.


She lowered herself onto my face and I went to work lapping away slowly.

"So we started out at this place that was playing funk and hip- hop. We danced for a while there. The place got hotter and hotter, and crowdeder and... is that a word?"


"So we started bumping up against each other. At first it was accidental, but then it was like a game. We were kinda shoving like in a mosh pit, but it was more grindy and sexy." Amanda was starting to rock her hips against my face. Her hands were cupping her breasts.

"Then Tanya grabbed my hand and hauled me out of there. We found a barter bar. I gave them a couple of limes, and we piled onto a couch together with our drinks. It was pretty chilly in there, but Tanya's skin was still hot and a little damp from the dancing. We kinda cuddled while we talked and drank. She has a wonderful laugh."

Now Amanda's hands were back in my hair, pressing my face against her slippery folds. Her voice was quivering a little. "When I finished my drink, I put my cup down, and started to put my arms around her, but she was off the sofa and dragging me back out to Esplanade before I could do it. We hit a couple of rave domes as we headed along. At the raves, she was pretty much dancing for herself, though. She didn't pay much attention to me, and that was fine. I was having fun dancing, too. "

The force of Amanda's mons against my nose was a little painful now, but I'm willing to suffer for my art. Her sentences were interspersed with gasps and groans. "Between raves, she'd put her arm around my waist as we walked along. Eventually, we got to Spacelounge, which had kind of a lower-energy feel. Even though it was less crowded there, we started dancing close to each other again. I brushed my tits against hers a couple of times as we shook our bodies. She leaned in and said, `I think they like me,' pointing to my boobs.

"`They like you a lot,' I told her."

I lapped in silence for a moment. "And then?" I asked, only it sounded like: "Uff sem?"

"Shh," Amanda said, "gimmie a minute," and resumed rocking. I kept to her clit as well as I could, given a moving target, and drummed at it hard, squeezing her broad soft ass with my hands. After a minute or so, she squeezed my head painfully between her thighs, groaned between clenched teeth, then rolled off me to sprawl by my side. I was starting to drift off by the time she spoke again: "Where was I?"

"Your breasts like her."

"Oh yeah. We got drinks and moved to the chill tent. It felt really quiet and dark after the dance floor, and we curled up together on one of the couches. I rubbed my breasts against her in time to the music from the dance tent. I was like, `They definitely like you.' She smiled. `I like them too.' Things were starting to get intense. I went, `Do you?' and she nodded. I took her drink and put it on the table, then I took her wrists and brought her hands up and pressed them against my tits."

I reached over and cupped Amanda's soft, heavy bare breasts. "Like this?" I asked.

"Yeah... You got a hard-on?"

"See for yourself." I guided her hand to my cock.

She stroked it slowly and firmly, her skin cool against my throbbing prick. "So, you got her hands on your breasts," I prompted her.

"She was squeezing my boobs really nicely, and we kissed, and she was just totally opened up, y'know? I could feel her whole body kissing me. It was really hot. I think I made a little noise in my throat, then I was just all over her. I rolled on top of her... we almost fell off the sofa... then I got my legs between hers and I was grinding against her as she squeezed my tits."

"Ooh, faster, Amanda," I moaned.

"You want me to rub your dick faster?"


"Like this?"

"Oh, yeah, yeah."

"Or maybe I'll slow down again... I like the way you squirm when I tease you."

"You were grinding against her..."

"Yeah. I ran my hands over her face, she took two of my fingers in her mouth and sucked on them as I nuzzled her neck. I pushed her shirt up and buried my face between her firm little titties for a moment before fastening my lips on one big nipple and sucking at it as I ground my hips against hers. After some floundering around, I got my hand up under her skirt, and I was stroking those strong thighs of hers, and then I had my hand against the thick wiry hair of her cunt. I ran a finger between her lips, and once I got a little inside, she was so hot and wet.

"She was moaning, and then she was like, `Um, Amanda?' I looked up. People on the other couches were doing a really shitty job of pretending to be not noticing us. I sat up very straight, and twiddled my thumbs and hummed for a moment while Tanya covered herself back up. I was like, `Sorry. Guess I got a little carried away,' and she was like, `I think I need my drink.'

"So we sat there for a minute and drank, and didn't say much. Then we threw away our cups, and walked out onto the playa. We weren't touching or talking—just walking away from the city, hearing the dance music fade away behind us. We ended up at this sculpture. I think it was a big typewriter made of plywood and rusted steel, but it was hard to tell in the dark. I know it hadn't been there two days ago when I went by during the day. Anyway, once we were close enough to the side to see that it was flat and sturdy enough, I pushed Tanya up against it and kissed her hard, cupping her head in my hands. She opened her mouth to me and moaned as I slid my hands over her waist. Soon I had my hand between her legs, cupping her cunt again. Her eyes shone in the dark, watching me watching her. We both groaned at the sensation as two of my fingers slid into her pussy. Vinnie, you want it faster?"

"Oh god..."

Amanda leaned down and licked a bead of precome off the head of my prick. She switched hands and continued telling her story: "Her hips shuddered as I found her fat clit with my thumb. She whispered `Fuck me' in my ear, and I got goose pimples all down my legs. I started jamming into Tanya's juicy cunt, our faces still just inches from each other. It was making that great wet noise, and she was going `Mmmm, mmm, mmm' each time my knuckles hit her groin. Are you getting close?"

In my haze of sensation, it took me a moment to realize she wanted a response. "I-think-so-don't-stop!"

She nodded and continued. "I pulled my hand out and turned her around, facing the sculpture thing. I pushed her shoulders forward and knelt behind that amazing ass of hers. I flipped the light skirt she was wearing up over her hips, and ran my hands over her butt. It was so round and firm! I ran my lips over the smooth skin, and bit at it a little. She went, `Don't tease!' `Tell me what you want,' I demanded. `Your fingers... put them in my pussy again.'

"Oh, god, Vinnie. there's something about the way she said `pussy.' I eased my fingers into her. She was pushing back at me with her hips, grinding her cunt against my knuckles with that slinky move she'd been doing in the dance tents. I tried to go slow, but soon I was jamming my fingers into her, putting my whole body into the motion. I crooked my fingers down to her G- spot and pressed, and her whole body tensed up. I could feel the muscles in her thighs bunching like an electric shock was going through her. She let out this long, low wail, and her cunt pulsed against my fingers a few times.

"You gonna come, Vinnie? Your balls are tightening up. You gonna come thinking about this hand on your cock sliding inside Tanya's juicy pussy? Do you see her coming? Do you see her shaking that gorgeous ass as I take her over the top?" Amanda's patter was getting to me and I groaned and twitched as she rapidly tugged at my prick. Then I pulsed, and semen spattered over my stomach, my chest, and my neck.

Amanda rummaged among the junk at the foot of the tent for a moment. "Wet nap?" she offered.

"Thanks." I began mopping up.

"I started to stand up again," she continued her story, "but Tanya turned around and pushed me down to the playa on my back, then collapsed on top of me laughing. She kissed me a few times, then laughed again."

"And then...?"

"After we'd lain there on the ground a few minutes, we walked back here. Tanya gave me a hug, said, "That was lots of fun," and disappeared into her tent."

"Huh. How do you feel?"

"A little confused—pretty good. I'm not sure if I won, or I'm just winning."

"Heh." I rolled into a spoon position with her. "Time will tell, I guess," and I fell back asleep.

Larry asked me to dye him purple. A helpful soul at heart, I readily agreed, and we headed off to a camp that had kiddy pools and huge spray bottles of food coloring.

He stripped and I went to work with the spray pump and the nozzle. After a few coats had dried, he was a pretty satisfactory, slightly streaky, deep violet from head to toe.

"I love you," I began to sing, "You love me, we're a happy—" By then Larry had grabbed one of the bottles with an enraged roar. I took off running but I was too late. I arrived in camp cursing and irritated. My favorite red sarong was a blotchy maroon. My legs and face were streaked and speckled in lavender.

It was siesta time, the sun was beating down with midday force, and several members of Index were sprawled asleep in our front shade structure. The library was closed, and the rest of the camp had probably fled in search of cooler venues where they could lie on Astroturf under gently hissing sprayers and wait for the sun to set.

I was too preoccupied with venomous epithets for Larry to notice Tanya emerging from behind her car until she spoke. "Hey, Vinnie," she said, walking over. She was nude except for flip- flops and sunglasses. My muttering stopped dead.

"Amanda told me how long your tongue is," she said. "You don't have to show me." She brought her fingers up to my chin and gently shut my jaw.

I swallowed hard. "Happy birthday, Tanya. I like the suit."

"You do? I made it myself." She did a pirouette. "With a little help from my parents."

"Please do that again," I begged.

"This?" She started to take another turn.

"Stop there!" I demanded when she was halfway through, and took her shoulders in my hands to pause her.

"What are you doing?" she complained mildly.

"Staring at your ass," I explained. After a long moment, I took my hands away. "Okay, that wasn't nearly enough, but it'll have to do for now."

She turned around and looked at me appraisingly. "Looks like you had a little accident, Vinnie."

"Turns out Larry's not a big `Barney and Friends' fan," I explained.

"Jesus, I'm not even gonna ask," she said, shaking her head. "I was about to take a shower. I think there's enough water if you want a short one after me."

"Sure... uh... want some help with yours?" Hey, no harm in asking.

She looked skeptically at me. "I dunno if I can trust you to behave yourself."

I looked stricken. "Do you want me to!?"

"Mmmm, we'll see. Come on."

Our shower setup was typical. A pole to hang your Sunshower™ bag from, a wooden pallet to stand on, two minivans and a bed sheet arranged for a modicum of privacy.

Tanya took her Sunshower off the hood of her car, and we tied it to the pole. I turned the nozzle, and the warm water started to trickle out. I held it over her head, and she turned and rubbed herself under the little stream, dark skin glistening as the day's dust ran off onto the ground.

Of all the experiences that week, the one that stays with me most vividly is the unaffected, casual grace of Tanya turning her lithe body under her little stream of Portland bottled water. Inches from her turning body, holding the stream in which she bathed, I still felt like a secret voyeur at a private ritual, like Actaeon trespassing at the bath of Diana, on the cusp of metamorphosis into a mute beast forever after. And Actaeon's punishment did indeed come to me, for I cannot tell of what I saw. My eloquence isn't equal to the task. I saw Tanya naked. She's a hot babe. She looked real good. Woo.

I shut the nozzle and stood back. I like wearing sarongs at Burningman—they're simple, they're cheap, they're cool in hot weather. The absence of pockets drives me crazy, though. I had no idea what to do with my hands, and crossed my arms self- consciously.

Tanya poured a little peppermint liquid soap into her palm and covered herself with suds. She arched her neck one way and then the other as she ran her hands over it. Her plump breasts shook as she soaped them. She streaked her flat belly with pale suds, whitened the thick black curls of her pubis as she ran her hands between her legs.

"Do you—" my voice broke.

"What's that?"

"Do you want me to do your back?" I managed to get out.

"Sure." She looked at me for a moment. "You might want to take off your tent first. —I mean, your sarong."

"Um—"Unable to think of anything to say, I undressed and stepped up onto the pallet, prick bobbing with each step. I moistened my hands and Tanya poured a little soap into them. She turned away from me and I started rubbing it into her shoulders. "Oh, that's good," she purred. I moved my hands down under her shoulder blades, and then ran them over the small of her back.

"Keep going?" I asked.


I ran my hands over the firm, high swell of her ass with a sigh of pleasure. I lingered over the taut skin there for as long as I dared, massaging the firm flesh with the heels of my palms, before moving on to the backs of her thighs. Tanya spread her legs invitingly and thrust her ass out. I took the cue, and ran a hand up the skin of her thigh to slide along her already-soapy vulva. She sighed in pleasure, but warned me, "Don't get the soap in my pussy—it stings."

"Okay," I said, and ran my hand up along the crack of her ass, feeling the knot of her asshole as my fingers glided over it. "Should I wash you here, too?" Please please please please?

"If you don't mind."

I laughed aloud. "Mind? No." My fingers slid along that groove. I pressed the tip of one finger against the little ring of muscle, then moved outward in slow spirals, gently cleaning her.

At first she pressed back against my hand, swaying her hips a little, but then she stood straight again. "Soap's stinging a little back there," she complained.

"I'd better rinse you off then." I turned on the nozzle and ran my hands over her shoulders once more, helping the water send the soap suds running down her legs and between the boards of the pallet to the muddy playa surface below. Her back rinsed, I directed the stream between the cheeks of her ass, and followed it with my fingers, gently wiping off the last residues of the soap.

Turning off the nozzle, I asked, "Is that better?"

"I think so," she said, "it's hard to tell yet."

I leaned in close. "Well, I know a way to check."

"What do—Oh, Vinnie, are you sure?"

"It's my pleasure. Really." I knelt behind her on the rough pallet and parted her shining dark cheeks with my hands. I pressed my face against the cool wet skin of her ass and flicked my tongue against her perineum. She groaned and pressed back against me. I ran my tongue up to her asshole and ran the flat across it several times, then beat the stiffened tip against the very center.

"Oh god," she said, "So what's the expert's opinion."

"More research warranted," I insisted, voice muffled.

"I think it's all right now. Come on up and help me rinse." Reluctantly, I got to my feet and took up the nozzle again. She rinsed herself down, then stepped to the side of the pallet. "And now..." she said.

"And now," I echoed, and stepped close to her, encircling her in my arms, my rigid cock pressed against the cool skin of her stomach.

"And now," she kissed me lightly on the lips, "we wash you. " She twisted away from me, and took up the Sunshower nozzle. I grumbled a little, but I came along. I was soon wet from head to toe and Tanya began soaping me, starting at my back. Her strong little fingers dug at the muscles of my shoulders, loosening knots I had been unaware of. With the rest of my back, she was less lingering, doing a thorough but efficient job on down to the backs of my knees.

"Turn around," she directed, then began at my shoulders again, running her hands over my chest, down across my ribcage, running her palms across my neck. She lingered on my stomach, letting the tension build, then, looking me in the eye, took my swollen prick in her soapy hand. With a little Mona Lisa smile, she stroked it for a moment, then ran her fingers over the tight skin of my balls and moved on to soaping my thighs.

"Is the soap stinging your penis?" she asked.

"A little."

"We'd better get you rinsed off then." She directed the water at me, and I rubbed at my skin, rinsing the suds off my body. When I was clean, she turned off the nozzle.

"All better?" she asked.

"All better," I assured her.

"Are you suuuuure?" she teased.

"Oh." I may be slow, but I'm not stupid. "Perhaps There Is Some Soap Remaining On My Tender And Engorged Genital Regions," I proclaimed stiffly.

She giggled for a moment, then got back in character. "We'd better find out," she breathed huskily, and slowly knelt in front of me. She took my cock in one hand and, eyes locked on mine, took the head into her hot mouth. I groaned aloud.

"Jesus," she hissed, "Keep your voice down!"


"`Sokay," she said soothingly. "Now, let's try this again." She brought her mouth over the head of my prick once more.

"Oh my god, Tanya,' I whispered hoarsely.

"Better," she said, and began bobbing her head on my prick as her hand squeezed the base. It didn't take many minutes of this before my hands gripped her shoulders and I gasped that I was about to come,

She sucked hard at the head of my cock while her hand slid along the shaft. In a few moments I groaned as quietly as I could and my prick pulsed in her mouth. She swallowed loudly and stood, brushing off her knees. "I don't think that was soap," she said,

I hugged her tightly and kissed her, her tongue darting into my mouth. "Oh wow," I said. "Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. I don't think you owe me a backrub any longer."

When we gathered for dinner, the temperature had dropped and the wind was picking up, casting a thin layer of fine dust over every exposed surface. Looking out at the upwind horizon, the clouds coming in were heavy and dark. "Anyone been listening to the radio?" I asked.

Moe said, "Radio Free Burningman says wind and 40% chance of rain."

Tanya was surprised. "Rain? In the desert?"

"It happens," I acknowledged. "I'm more concerned about the winds. We should batten down the camp a little before setting out for the evening."

"You got plans?" she asked.

I picked up the events guide and paged through it. "Hmm... There's an exploding meat performance at midnight."

"Exploding meat?"

"Yup. A bunch of performance artists with cow livers and pyrotechnics. Folks say it's very memorable, but it's important to bring a raincoat or clothes that don't stain. Oh, and earplugs—apparently the soundtrack is pretty loud."

"Sounds like Gallagher on PCP. What else you got?"

"I'll probably see if I can find a good drum circle at some point, do a little dancing."

"That sounds good."

"Won't you join me, then?"

"I should be delighted, sir."

There were a few guys playing drums out by the Man, with a dazzling didgeridoo player. A few dozen people were standing and listening, but no one was dancing. After a few minutes of tapping her toes, Tanya sprang into motion, her long skirt billowing in the wind as she shook her hips and twirled. I joined in, but after a moment, I started feeling painfully self-conscious. No one else was following us. The little crowd had all turned their eyes our way-or rather Tanya's. A wild, carefree desert spirit spun and leapt among us, while a clay footed mortal stumbled after her.

A few minutes later I stopped dancing and joined the ring of spectators around Tanya's gyrations. For a moment I felt even more ridiculous for giving up so suddenly. Tanya winked at me as she danced on for a little while longer. Then she stopped, came over, and put her arm around my waist. "Let's go find another circle," she said.

We walked across the hard flat playa surface towards a large bonfire, clothes whipping about in the intensifying gusts. Steady bass throbbing noises came from distant raves over in the city. As we approached the fire, the sound of drumming intensified until it drowned out the other music. Dozens of dancers swayed and shook to the beat of a dozen or so energetic drummers, a flutist, and a defiant-looking soprano saxophonist.

With little hesitation, we put our backpacks out of the way, yet in sight, and joined the throng. It felt good here. Tanya was beautiful and graceful. Other dancers were beautiful and graceful, too. Two naked tattooed guys took running leaps over the crackling fire. A slender woman in nothing but combat boots and a stocking cap swayed ecstatically by the fire. Off to the side, a guy with long wavy hair was doing tricks with a Diablo top until a gust of wind sent it rolling out into the surrounding darkness, and him running after it, laughing.

I felt strong and graceful as I danced and leapt, weaving through the crowd. Then Tanya was dancing near me, smiling that warm and enormous smile of hers. She had thrown off her sweater and tights and wore only a skirt tied around her waist, exposing a length of shining dark thigh. Her breasts shook and rolled as she danced, the dark nipples tight in the chilly night air.

I smiled back, and she danced closer, moving through the crowd like it wasn't there. We moved together and danced close, watching each other's faces. I put my hands on the bare skin of her waist and we swiveled our hips in time, the flesh chilled on the side away from the fire, hot on the side facing it.

I turned away and felt her hands on my shoulders. I felt her firm nipples brush against my back as she swayed close. "I—" think they like me. I bit off the remark at the last possible moment. Tanya might not mind how much Amanda had told me, but there was no sense taking chances.

I turned around again, pulled off my shirt, and threw it over onto my backpack. I put my arms around her waist, and she ran her palms slowly over my stomach up over my chest to twine her arms around my neck. Her breasts pressed against me, her face close, close close, both of us still swaying to the drumbeat.

The rhythm changed and she sprang away, dancing and twirling again with irrepressible energy, spiraling around me with teasing touches. The drumming came to a frantic climax and stopped raggedly. The audience and the dancers applauded the drummers, and the crowd milled, some people wandering off, dancers putting layers back on.

In the grip of a Sure Thing, I took Tanya's hand, and pulled her to our backpacks. I took mine, handed her hers, and ran from the fire. A little ways from the crowd, I stopped and turned to face her. A fat drop of water struck my shoulder. I kissed her, and she twined against me, flickering her tongue against mine.

A few more drops struck me. "It's starting to—" Tanya began. "Oh..." I had run my lips along her jaw line, and as I licked at where the tendon meets her jaw she trailed off. I could hear the spattering of rain on the playa surface around us. "Vinnie, it's really starting to—"

"Shit. Yeah, I know," I grumbled. "Well, want to go to the cafe?"


Center Camp Cafe was a crowded refugee camp packed with people looking for shelter. We lucked out. A couch emptied as we walked by and we jumped onto it eagerly, raising a cloud of playa dust. Tanya rested her head on my shoulder and we watched the milling crowd of people in companionable silence. Eventually my arm started falling asleep, and I shifted uncomfortably. Tanya sat up and gazed at me with a self-possessed smile. I leaned in to kiss her.

Suddenly Amanda's voice came from behind us. "Hey guys, what's up?" she said brightly. She vaulted onto the sofa and slipped her arm around Tanya's waist. "I know the guys who are coming on next," indicating the stage where someone was fiddling with a pair of small amplifiers. "They're really good."

Someone at the bar called out a drink order. "Oh, that's mine," said Amanda. "Vinnie, could you possibly get that for me?"

The perfect withering retort was on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't quite put it into words. Dark little storm clouds darted around my head as I got up and made my way to the bar and collected Amanda's coffee.

The band was actually pretty good, and once I stopped glowering I enjoyed the conversation as Tanya skillfully drew the two of us out about our previous Burningman adventures.

In the small hours of the morning, the three of us made our way back to our camp, slipping in the thick mud that now covered the ground and shivering in the damp and icy wind that still gusted even after the rain had passed. When we got back, the wind had pulled half the stakes of Tanya's tent out of the ground and it was flopped on its side. It didn't look like the remaining stakes would last long either.

"Shit!" Tanya exclaimed, when she saw it. "What'm I gonna do now?"

"You can stay in my tent tonight," Amanda offered. "There's plenty of room."

"Your tent?" I said.

"Yeah, well Tanya needs somewhere to stay! You don't mind sleeping in yours tonight, do you?"

Tanya interjected, "Vinnie doesn't have to move all his stuff—I can stay in the empty one, right?"

"Sure," I said uncertainly. "I'll have to clear out some bags first. We were using it for storage."

"Well, I could just crash with you guys, if there's room." Tanya said.

There was a pause as we absorbed this idea. Then we both said "Sure!" at once.

"I'll go get my sleeping bag.

I paused for a moment, then took the plunge: "It's a pretty small tent. You might want to just share ours."

"You don't mind?"

"Of course not."

Thanks!" She gave me a brief hug. "I'll go get ready for bed."

"Get some water jugs out of your car and put them in your tent," I advised her. "That'll keep it from blowing away in the night."

After I'd brushed my teeth, I crawled inside the tent, cracked a glowstick, and hung it from the roof. Amanda and Tanya squirmed in after me. It was still pleasantly warm inside from the day's heat. The noisy billowing of the storm cover lent an aura of drama to our dimly-lit little shelter.

Tanya had changed into a red tee-shirt and boxers. I usually sleep nude, but that didn't seem appropriate. I grabbed a pair of boxers from the clothes at the foot of the tent, and pulled them on before unwrapping my sarong. Then I pulled on a relatively clean tee-shirt and slipped into my half of the zipped-together bags. Amanda had stripped down to panties, thrown her clothes into the pile at the foot, and slipped in as well.

By unspoken consensus, Tanya was in the middle. She crawled in between us, her body brushing against me repeatedly as she wriggled into the bag. "Mmm. Slumber party," she said, smiling broadly.

Amanda put her bare pale arms around Tanya's shoulders. "Good night kiss?" she asked.

Tanya smiled and scooted over. The two women's lips brushed briefly. There was a pause. Then Amanda took Tanya's head in her hands and kissed more lingeringly. "Mmmm, nice," Tanya purred. Their bodies melted together for a third, open-mouthed kiss.

I stared without self-consciousness, rapt yet agonized by the sight, my heart pounding wildly.

Now Tanya turned on her other side, and smiled warmly at me. "Vinnie?" she said.

"Yeah?" I was certain I was about to be turned out to the gear tent after all.

"Give me a kiss."

Giddy, I leaned in, and Tanya's sweet little body, the heat of her skin radiating through her light cotton nightclothes, wrapped around me, and her soft thick lips pressed against mine. I may have actually whimpered in pleasure. I held her tightly in my arms and kissed her for a long, electric instant. I ran my mouth down over the soft skin of her neck, tasting playa dust mixed with the day's sweat, and it was unspeakably sweet. She sighed and arched her body against me. After a moment, she disengaged, and kissed me lightly on the lips again. "Goodnight," she said, and turned away from me.

Tanya pressed her firm ass against me and felt my painfully hard prick. She grinned over her shoulder and winked. Then she indicated to Amanda that she was to turn the same way, and soon we were all tightly spooned together. My face against her somewhat prickly dreads, I slid one hand under her shirt to stroke her bare belly, then upward to cup the exquisite softness of one breast.

She took my wrist and guided my hand back down to the skin of her waist. "Sleep now," she said gently. And, to my surprise, after a few minutes, I did.

I dreamed, if it can be called dreaming, of joyous, amorphous, infantile sensuality. This gave way to dreams of anonymous nuzzling and kissing—sex lifted above all anxiety, all tension. I stroked a soft substantial female breast, rubbed my hard cock against a soft ass, twined my legs with shapely warm other legs. As usual, what finally woke me was heat. The light inside the tent was diffuse but bright. I pushed the sleeping bag down around my waist and looked around.

Tanya was gone without a trace. Amanda, still sleeping, ground her panty-clad ass against my morning hard-on. I could faintly hear a muffled techno beat in the distance.

I put a hand on her hip, and pressed against her more firmly. She murmured her approval. I slid a hand over her soft tummy, under the elastic of her panties, to the light stubble of her shaved mound. I cupped her vulva, and rotated my hand on the damp flesh. Amanda squirmed appreciatively. With some difficulty, I got her panties down off her hips, then pulled them off altogether. I nudged at her upper leg, and she half-turned onto her side, bringing her knee up, and granting me access to the damp folds of her pussy. I stroked her for a while, one hand massaging her shoulders, while the other dipped into the mouth of her vagina and slid over her stiff clit.

I turned away and rummaged among the stuff on the side of the tent. "You stopped," she complained. I quickly opened the condom packet I'd found, and rolled it on. I straddled one of her legs and brought the head of my prick to the mouth of her cunt. She arched her ass up in invitation.

Holding back for a moment, I slid the straining head of my cock across her clithood until she was humping back against me. Then I lined up and slid inside, not as slowly as I had intended.

"Ooh," she grunted, as my hips pressed against her ass. "Yeah." I slowly worked my hips as sweat started to run from under my arms. Amanda squeezed her Kegels, and I groaned, bending down and nuzzling against the nape of her neck.

She pressed her hands against the mattress and began to push back against me on each instroke as I accelerated. "Harder," she demanded. I complied with a couple of hard strokes that had her grunting as I slammed against her.

Then I pulled out and shuffled back on my knees. "Raise your ass," I urged, guiding her hips with my hands. She got up on her hands and knees, then her shoulders sank again as she brought a hand to her cunt. I got between her thighs and slid in, groaning at the sensation.

I paused there for a moment, enjoying the grip of Amanda's cunt on my prick, enjoying the sight of her broad ass and my prick disappearing inside her, that endlessly fascinating mystery. I noticed that the glowstick was bumping against the side of my head, and I reached up and tried to untie the lanyard.

Amanda humped impatiently against me: "Come on," she demanded, "fuck me!" Finally, the knot yielded and I brought my hands to her hips and started fucking her hard. Almost immediately, preorgasmic shivers started running up my spine. I concentrated on the moment at hand, the in-out motion, the sensation of Amanda's plump hips under my hands, the smell of nylon, sweat, dust, and sex, her rising cries.

The crisis passed, and I settled into a steady rhythm. Amanda cried out and her body tensed. She reached back and held my thigh pressed against her as her other hand worked frantically against her cunt. A bead of sweat dropped from the tip of my nose to the small of her back.

She released my leg. "Position switch," she announced, then flipped over and spread her legs wide. I didn't need to guide my cock with my hand at all. It found its way in as I fell on top of her, and soon we were pounding against each other once again, kissing wetly. "Pull my hair," she gasped. I gathered it up into a handful and tugged it downward, pulling her head back. I gnawed at the exposed skin of her neck, growling and grunting, our bodies sliding slickly against each other. A wave of sensation picked me up and carried me. My hips pounded without volition, faster and faster. I yelled out and came and collapsed gasping and lightheaded on top of Amanda.

For a few seconds, she squirmed with barely-suppressed impatience, then rolled me off her. "Three fingers," she ordered, and brought her hands to her clit again. Nothing loth, I sat up and pushed three of my fingers into her while she whimpered and arched her back. A few seconds later her ass left the ground. She shrieked and clamped down painfully on my digits before collapsing to the mattress again.

There was a strange sound—rain? Sleet? Was it some sort of vehicle rattling? Then the cheers started. Shit, it was applause. I buried my face between Amanda's sweaty tits, not sure whether to laugh or groan. Our campmates were giving us a standing ovation.

Eventually I went looking for Tanya. Out on the playa, a dozen people on little yoga mats were slowly stretching, lifting their arms to the sun. "...and down," said Tanya, dropping her arms and bending over. I admired her butt in the running shorts she was wearing. "Feel the energy flowing up, through the soles of your feet, into your body, and out through the palms of your hands," she intoned slowly.

I sat down cross-legged to watch, drinking occasionally from my water bottle. After ten minutes or so, the session ended, and the crowd began to disperse. I stood, brushed myself off, and made my way over to where Tanya was rolling up her mat.

Tanya looked up, smiled, and touched me briefly on the arm. "Hey, Vinnie. You heading back to camp?"

"Sure." We started walking. "I wanted to thank you. For last night. It was... it was beautiful."

"I hear this morning was pretty good too," she teased.

"It was," I admitted. "It was great. And that was you, too."

She looked quizzically at me.

"Oh, I don't mean I was fantasizing about you the whole time, or something yucky like that," I added. "I mean that your... There was something more there than just Amanda and me."

"That I was there in spirit?"

"No. I mean, I have no idea if you were or not. But a little of your character rubbed off on us. At least for a while."

Tanya was silent for a moment. "You're welcome," she said at last.

We drew up on camp where a few stragglers were still finishing their breakfast.

"So, um. You're welcome to use our tent for the rest of the week, if you like."

She grinned up at me. "Use it for what?"

"Well, um. Sleep, if you like. Of course. And, uh, otherwise, uh... Shit. Tanya, you know Amanda and I are both crazy about you."

Amanda heard her name and poked her head out from the kitchen. "We're both what?"

I gestured her over. "I was inviting Tanya to use our tent for the rest of the week."

"Oh," Amanda said mildly. "You're gonna move your stuff to the other tent?"

"Um... no. I meant like last night... the three of us."

"The three of us, huh?" she said coldly. "You mean you and your little harem."

"Or you and your little harem," I objected. "Or Tanya and her little harem."

"And you just unilaterally decided this was a good idea."

"Wait a second, wait a second. Amanda," I said. "You're not being jealous, are you? And if so, of who?"

"Of whom, she corrected me. "And no, I'm being competitive."

"What you're being is childish."

Tanya, who had been sitting on the remains of her tent watching the exchange, commented quietly, "You know, neither of you guys is looking too attractive right now."

Amanda looked at Tanya, then glared at me silently. "There's only one way to resolve this," she said solemnly.

"What?" I barked.


I paused and mused on this idea for a moment. "Single combat, winner take all." I nodded slightly.

Amanda smiled a little. "Two folks enter, one chick leaves."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" Tanya burst in. "You're gonna fight to see who gets me?"

"Um..." I said.

"Yeah," said Amanda steadily.

Tanya smiled slowly. "That's kinda cool," she admitted.

As we walked over, I tried to assess my chances. Amanda gets more exercise than I do, and her endurance is superior to mine, but thanks to lucky genes I probably have more raw strength. Our masses are roughly equal. My superior reach should help, but her collegiate rugby experience was probably better training than my rusty Ultimate Frisbee skills. A toss-up, as far as I could tell.

When the three of us got to Thunderdome, the dome was empty. A light crowd was milling around, trying to converse over the pounding music. We wandered around in back and eventually found a Death Guild marshal who fitted us with harnesses and put us in the queue to fight, behind two other couples.

The marshals escorted the first pair—two lanky guys in big shorts, one with dreads, the other with a floppy mohawk—into the dome, and began to strap them in. The crowd began to thicken now that something was happening inside the dome. Spectators crawled up onto the structure, draping the outside of the dome in a living mass. Butterflies began to gather in my stomach as I realized that this was actually going to happen.

Tanya threaded her arm around my waist, and I saw that she had done likewise to Amanda. Our arms crossed amicably across Tanya's shoulders. Her eyes were shining delightedly as she watched the first contestants get into position, perched among the dome's metal struts, then dive inward towards each other, half-concealed by the surging crowd. I craned my neck to catch more of the battle, but I saw little more than the flailing swords as the combatants swung wildly across the dome. Eventually the battle ended and the pair emerged, staggering and laughing, and disappeared into the crowd.

Next the marshals took the pair in front of us—a couple of beefy guys with streaks of gray in their ponytails. Once again, the crowd obscured our view. The bungee cords that held the contestants were relatively still for this fight, but the crowd was roaring in reaction to whatever was going on. I suspect it was a grappling battle with lots of close-up hits.

My speculation was interrupted by Tanya pulling me around to face her and embracing me tightly. She brought her face up and kissed me, and I was drowning in sweetness as her hot tongue invaded my mouth. Her limber little body undulated against me, and she purred as I cupped her round, amazingly firm ass. I was gasping by the time she pulled away. "Good luck," she whispered.

Now she embraced Amanda and kissed her with equal ardor. The crowd's cheering rose to a roar as the fight ended. This was not a time to be gaping at Amanda running her hands over Tanya's supple body—I should be psyching myself up for the fight. Look away from their open mouths pressed against each other, I told myself. Look over at the dome. Look over at the dome, damn it. Finally they parted and Tanya mouthed "Good luck" to my opponent.

Tanya pressed me toward Amanda with her hand, urging me to embrace her. I cautiously took her into my arms, and we hugged tightly for a long moment. I pulled back a bit and looked into her so-familiar face as she gazed warmly up at me.

"I love you, Amanda," I found myself saying. It wasn't the first time I had said it, but it was the first time in some years.

She smiled. "I love you, Vinnie," she said gently. "And I'm gonna kick your ass."

I sighed. "You always know just what to say."

The Marshals came and escorted the two of us into the harsh lights of the dome. One of them strapped me to the cord, pulling it taut at my waist. He passed me the padded sword. As I strode around the arena a little, testing the pull of the cords and the heft of the sword, the music stopped.

The marshals helped us onto facing sides of the Dome as the audience began to chant: "Two men enter, one man leaves! Two men enter, one man leaves!"

My eyes met Amanda's. Her tanned skin shone in the afternoon sun. The ferocity of her gaze was like a physical pressure. The referee—a tiny woman in an elaborate rubber costume, bearing the black feathered staff of office—stepped to the middle of the dome. The chant increased in speed and volume: "Two men enter! One man leaves! Two men enter! One man leaves!"

The music resumed—throbbing distorted death-metal filling the arena and the surrounding desert. The referee swept her staff down, indicating the beginning of the match. I roared my terrible roar, my voice thin and distant in my own ears over the blare of the speakers, hefted my sword, and leapt into space.


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Copyright 2002 Vinnie Tesla. Last modified: Thu Feb 27 10:40:18 Eastern Standard Time 2003