Dilemma at the lake

Dilemma at the lake

As you hike together, Laura seems to get an idea. She bites her lip nervously before asking, "Hey, would you maybe want to take some pictures of me? Just to remember the hike?"

You grin, picking up on her hint. "Ah, so the thirst trapping begins?"

"Oh shush, don't say it like that!" Laura laughs, blushing. "I just thought maybe some cute pics would be nice."

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"I'm just teasing," you say. "I'd be happy to take some photos."

"Really? You don't mind?" Laura asks.

"Of course not! Going sweatshirt off?”

“Oh gosh!” she flushes. “I’d almost forgotten I wasn’t wearing it. You make me feel really comfortable.”

“I’m glad,” you say. Then, you square your shoulders and adopt a fancy tone. “Trust is important between an artist and his model.”

Laura laughs. “I’ll do my best to provide inspiration. And in that spirit, yeah, I think I’ll stay like this.”

“Any poses in mind?" you ask.

"Hmm, nothing too extreme," Laura says thoughtfully. "I dunno, just normal stuff."

She laughs self-consciously. "I don't know, maybe direct me? And veto if I do anything too ridiculous!"

"Don't be shy, I'm sure you'll look great," you say. "Strike a pose and work it, I won't judge."

"Alright, if you say so!" Laura laughs as she gets in position to start.

You give her an encouraging thumbs up. "Let's see what you've got!"

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"Gorgeous!" you say enthusiastically, snapping some pics. "Now try a playful one!"

Laura relaxes more with your encouragement, having fun with her impromptu photoshoot.

She relaxes into some subtly alluring poses, arching her back, looking over her shoulder, squatting casually with her hands on her knees. With each new pose, she glances back for your approval.

You watch her, noticing the shy excitement in her eyes at being the focus of your attention, your model, your muse. "These are turning out great," you say sincerely.

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When you finish, Laura says softly, "Thanks for doing that. I know it was kind of silly of me to ask."

"Not at all, I had fun," you reply.

Laura smiles, her cheeks still flushed as she scrolls through the photos. "Wow, these turned out really nice. Thanks for doing this! They’ll be cool to post, first week of college!”

“Sure thing. I can add you and send them over. But I noticed you didn’t really link to any socials on your profile, was that on purpose, or...”

Laura looks down for a moment, and then back up at you with a self-conscious smile. “I mean, kind of on purpose? My parents really didn’t want me posting too much stuff, they kept a close eye on my accounts. So I didn’t really, I mean, I never posted anything.”

She looks down, as if admitting this means something to her. You aren’t quite sure why.

“This is fun. These silly pictures will be the start of something new.” She gives a nervous chuckle before continuing. “I guess I’m turning ‘create a new account on Instagram’ into a bigger deal than it is…”

“Hey, with these pictures, you’ll be getting brand deals in no time. Influencer-Laura.”

She practically beams at you. It’s surprising, but you realize in a moment opening up was a big deal for her, and your affirmation was exactly what she needed.

“Oh no way is that a career goal. I prefer meeting people out in the real world, like this.” Her gaze sweeps across the sky and trees, encompasses the mossy rocks, and comes to rest on you. “But thank you, these are really great. I like how you take photos.”

You feel a nervous flutter in your stomach, but decide to take a chance. "You make it easy. I mean, from what I can see, every side is your good side."

You hold your breath, worried you've gone too far with the compliment.

But Laura just laughs softly, glancing away with a new shade of pink in her cheeks. "That's really sweet of you to say," she says.

You let out an audible sigh of relief, glad that you didn’t make her feel uncomfortable. Her shy but pleased reaction gives you a boost of confidence. The flirty moment fades back into comfortable conversation as you continue gaining elevation.

≋ ≋ ≋

After another incline, you’re starting to near the end of the hike. "Just around this corner up ahead," you say.

As you round the bend, the trail opens out to reveal a pristine lake nestled among the trees and rocky cliffs. Laura's eyes widen, taking in the incredible sight.

"Oh my gosh, this is absolutely gorgeous!" she exclaims. Her voice is hushed but filled with awe.

You can't help but grin, thrilled to see her reaction. "Welcome to Humble Lake - pretty cool hidden gem, right?"

"It's breathtaking," Laura says, scanning the crystal water rimmed with vibrant wildflowers and evergreens. "I can't believe you've been keeping this secret the whole hike!"

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You just shrug, enjoying watching her take it all in. Laura pauses, looking around, admiring the lake.

She turns to you, eyes shining. "Thanks for bringing me here. I know I joked about it earlier, but seriously – this is an amazing surprise."

Seeing her sincere delight makes the drive up into the mountains and the long hike more than worth it.

After admiring the lake, you sigh. "Man, the water looks so nice and refreshing."

"It really does!" Laura agrees. Her brow then furrows. "Too bad neither of us thought to bring swimsuits.”

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"Yeah, that's a bummer," you say. "Especially on such a hot day. I didn’t really think of it, to be honest."

You both gaze wistfully at the shimmering water. The desire to jump in is strong.

Laura looks like she wants to suggest something, but hesitates.

"What is it?" you ask gently.

"Well..." Laura bites her lip. "We’re both wearing athletic underwear–”

“How did you– ” you interrupt her, blushing a little.

“Oh, sorry, I just noticed your waistband when you were walking ahead of me.” She noticed…my waistband? Had she been checking me out? “I’m just saying,” she continues, “it's not like we'd be totally naked if we just jumped in."

You feel your blush lifting, just a bit. "Oh, yeah I guess that's true."

Laura quickly backtracks. "Not that we have to! Just a thought."

"No, that makes sense," you say. "Although, these would probably be pretty see-through once wet."

"Oh gosh, you're so right," Laura laughs, her cheeks pink. "I didn't think about that."

You both laugh nervously at the realization. The idea of your underwear becoming transparent in the water hangs in the air.

"My parents would kill me if they knew I was even considering this," Laura admits with an impish grin. "But...I don't really mind if you don't."

She looks at you hesitantly. You feel your pulse quickening, but there's excitement in taking this daring dip together.

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"I'm okay with it too," you say a bit shakily. "Could be fun to be a little adventurous, right?"

Laura smiles but then looks a bit worried. "I don't want this to get weird though. I'll totally keep things normal if you do."

"Of course, no weirdness here," you assure her.

Laura still looks hesitant, so you add lightly, "We're just two pals swimming platonically in our underwear. Totally casual, right?"

That makes Laura laugh, breaking the tension. "Platonic lake pals. Got it, no weirdness!"

You both chuckle, the nervous energy dissolving.

"Okay, platonic lake time it is!" Laura says with mock solemnity.

You both turn away shyly to undress. You catch yourself sneaking a glance back at Laura as she pulls her jeans off, revealing white panties underneath.

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At the same moment you turn to her, Laura looks your way, but you both avert your eyes quickly and laugh nervously. "No peeking!" she jokes.

"Wouldn't dream of it," you reply, focusing intently on removing your own pants and shirt.

Once stripped down to just your boxers, you hesitate before turning around. "Okay, I think I'm ready."

"Me too," Laura says. You both turn to face each other, eyes studiously averted.

"On three?" Laura suggests. You agree and she counts down. At three you look up and immediately have to stifle a grin – you're both clearly trying hard not to check each other out openly.

And you’re trying hard not to pop an erection. She’s not making it easy.

Laura meets your eyes and laughs. "Okay, this is a little ridiculous. Nothing weird about two buddies in their underwear, right?"

You laugh too, the nerves melting away. With an unspoken truce to keep things lighthearted, you head toward the lake. At the edge, Laura gives you a playful look.

"Ready for this, platonic lake pal?"

You both stand at the edge of the lake. Laura looks at you with anticipation. The energy you feel between the two of you is unmistakable.

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"You know..." she begins, her voice sounding a bit hesitant. "We've already come this far. What's one more layer?"

You blink, unsure what she's implying. "What do you mean?"

"Well," Laura bites her lip, "If our clothes are going to get see-through in a minute anyway, we might as well save them from getting soaked. mean I don't want to hike out in a soaked sports bra..."

Your mind races, heart pounding at the suggestion. "So you mean..."

"Yeah," she says quickly, blushing. "Skinny dipping."

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You stare at her in shock, then break into laughter. "Laura, are you suggesting we go completely... naked?"

Laura starts to backtrack. "No! I mean, we don't have to if you don't want to. It was just a suggestion!"

"No, no," you wave her off, still smiling. "It's just... surprising, that's all. I mean, it's practical, and you’re right, we can't exactly hike back down in soaking wet underwear."

Laura breathes a sigh of relief. "So you're okay with it?"

"I mean, it's not something I've ever done before," you admit. "But then again, neither was photographing a beautiful girl wearing a sports bra in the middle of the woods, or swimming in my underwear."

Laura laughs. "Well, when you put it that way, we've already had quite a day of firsts, haven't we?"

You nod. "Why not add one more to the list? After all, it's just us here. No one will know."

"And," Laura adds, "we agreed it won't get weird, right?"

"Exactly," you say, feeling a rush of adrenaline. "Just two pals, casually skinny-dipping in a mountain lake. Nothing weird about that."

"Absolutely nothing," Laura agrees with a grin. "Now let's stop overthinking and just do it before we chicken out."

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You both laugh nervously again, then turn away from each other to undress further. You can't help but steal a glance back at Laura. She's turned away, giving you a sight of her back and legs. You quickly look away, a blush creeping up your cheeks.

Once you're both ready, you give Laura a thumbs-up without looking directly at her. "Ready when you are, Laura."

"On three again?" she asks, sounding a bit nervous.

"On three," you confirm.

You both count together. "One... two... three!" You turn to face each other. It’s a struggle to maintain eye contact, with this beautiful girl standing there looking at you, totally naked. Before the inevitable and involuntary… enlarging… begins, she bolts towards the water, hooting and laughing. You follow suit, chasing her into the alpine blue.

The nerves melt away as you dive into the clear, refreshing lake. You pop up to the surface, catching Laura's eye, and you both dissolve into laughter, this shared first breaking any lingering tension.

"See?" you tease. "Nothing weird about this at all."

Laura splashes water at you playfully. "I told you it wouldn't be weird.”

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The story continues in Chapter 3...
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