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Scouting for Girls, Chapter 8

  • Posted on June 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Where the Seeds Fall

By eloquent delinquent

Nicole’s so sweaty! And she’s still tingling all over, her muff hidden puffy and impatient in her shorts, alerting her every step how much it needs more touching. It’s difficult for her to keep her hands away from there, even though she’s walking down the road in plain view. That urge is so strong, it’s crazy!

She casts a couple glances at Amber walking alongside, feeling so shy. It’s hard to look at her now, after… after that. And it only makes her more bashful to see Amber walking along all jaunty like nothing’s going on.

It’s not long before Amber’s narrowed brown eyes catch her, but she just grins and butts Nicole with her shoulder, knocking her off-balance but making her smile.

“You okay?” Amber asks.

Nicole shrugs. “I guess. You’re walking awfully fast.”

“Don’t wanna be late,” she says, and chuckles. “That took longer than I thought.”

“Does…?” Nicole starts, trying hard to gather her thoughts. “Does that happen, like, a lot?”

Amber cocks her head while running her hands up and down her front, “Uhm, I’ve never seen anything like that before. I’ve never seen Robin just go off on somebody or whatever.”

“And then, you know… what you were, what we were… what we did?”

“Yeah,” Amber says wistfully, “They never saw a thing.”

“Yeah…” Nicole echoes. This is so hard to talk about. “You said… you said, it was sex?”

“The sexiest,” Amber confirms with a big nod.

“Really?”

“Uhm.”

Her mind turning, she asks, “Is that something you’re supposed to be keeping secret from me?”

Now Amber turns to look at her a lot more closely, her eyebrows uncharacteristically high. “You know what? You’re probably right. I guess that’s the kinda thing we were talking about.”

“Oh.”

“There’s no way I could’ve known what was gonna happen, though!” Amber defends. “I mean, I thought Robin was just gonna give Lori the big chew or whatever. I never thought they were gonna buddy up.”

“You didn’t know?”

“Oh hell no. I didn’t know they’d given Robin permission to spank other Scouts, either. Hm, maybe they didn’t. I think maybe people are breaking the rules all over the place today.”

Nicole doesn’t respond, just watching with wide, questioning green eyes.

Amber continues into the silence as they start down the narrow lanes through the Christmas trees. “So yeah, that was supposed to be a secret or whatever.” She glances at Nicole in the gaps between the little firs. “You’re not gonna tell on me, are you?”

Telling would mean admitting, to Katie and probably to Mom, too. She shakes her head, “No.”

Amber smiles.

“Would you be in trouble, if I did?”

“I dunno. I guess, but I’ve never heard of anybody finding out this way.”

“So you always manage to keep it a secret? The girls don’t find out?”

Shrugging, Amber replies, “I dunno. I kinda expect everybody else to handle keeping the secrets or whatever. I’ve always been better at finding them out.”

They clear the tree lot and are back on the road to camp, and Nicole can’t help but see a glint of pride in Amber’s eye when she says that.

So Nicole holds her head a little higher when she says, “Me too,” because she knows now that it’s true.

“That’s cool,” Amber says with that California-girl smile. After a few steps, she nudges shoulders with Nicole again.

When they get back, the trucks have returned loaded with new little seedlings, and the troop is getting organized to keep planting, milling around near the tailgates or wandering back from their lunch. A couple of pairs are already working.

Amber’s mom Mrs Noland starts crabbing about being late as soon as they turn up, but Amber waves her off with a, “Gawd, Mom, just a minute.”

Then she turns to Nicole, and before she knows it Amber’s taken her shoulders and moved right in and they’re girl-hearting. Surprised, Nicole rests her hands on Amber’s hips, but really she wants to put her hands everywhere on Amber’s fit, pubescent body, and for Amber to do the same to hers. Looking into her smiling eyes, she can see that there’s freckles scattered on Amber’s nose and cheeks, almost hidden by her tan. Being so close makes her puss throb demandingly.

After a while of gazing and grinning Amber licks her lips and whispers, “I know I kinda spilled the beans, but the way you rolled with it or whatever, I had no idea you didn’t already know. I knew you were smart and cute, but you’re so ready and sexy and so cool. I hope we get to be really really good friends.”

Nicole’s beaming so hard through everything Amber says that her cheeks hurt a little. She never would’ve imagined that the sporty girl would like her so much, or would show her things that even Lena wouldn’t. It doesn’t take long looking into her light brown eyes before she’s telling Amber, “I want to do this all again. I want you to teach me as much as I can learn. I know I’m not sporty, but you’re so cool I want us to do all kinds of things together!”

Amber closes her eyes slowly like a happy cat, but her smile gets bigger and bigger. And then suddenly Amber ducks in and plants a great big mushy kiss on Nicole’s cheek, a lot like the one she gave Amber out in the woods before. A thrill of excitement runs up her spine, just like they write about in books!

They hug again, and Nicole certainly doesn’t mind feeling Amber’s body squished up against hers, but it makes her body almost cry out when they part and she heads off with Mrs Noland. The last thing she hears Amber saying is, “It doesn’t even matter if I show up late. I already look like I stole a couple of bases.” They disappear up the long line of cars parked off the road.

With Amber gone, Nicole isn’t quite sure what to do, so she starts walking through the big group of parents and a few kids still near the RV’s looking for Katie.

She’s searching faces when suddenly, Mrs Greenberg is there, sun glowing bright on her ginger hair, smiling and holding something on a skewer. “Hi, sweetie.”

“Oh, hi!” Nicole replies with happy surprise. Her heart does a little flip to see her like this. In her current state, it’s all she can do not to pounce and hug and kiss her. But there’s too many grownups around, including her husband.

“I wanted you to try one of these prawns before they’re all gone. They’re very yummy.” Off to her side Mr Greenberg is looking on expectantly. He’s got black framed glasses, bushy hair and a bushy beard and wearing a flannel shirt with rolled-up sleeves. Nicole catches a tantalizing whiff of what’s on the skewer.

“Okay,” she says enthusiastically.

Mrs Greenberg leans a bit closer and holds the skewer out to Nicole, who ducks down to take a bite, but she’s looking into Mrs Greenberg’s face the whole time. When she bites down, Mrs Greenberg’s cute pink mouth moves as if she were a kind of mirror. She seems to be watching Nicole’s mouth intently while she chews. She feels a little on the spot but also happy with the attention. And the red-haired mother’s right – it is really yummy, garlic and buttery with some kind of herbs and that smokey flavor from being on the grill. She has the best taste! Both she and Mr Greenberg smile proudly watching Nicole react to the flavor.

Nicole goes, “Mmmm!”

“Lena already told Hanna that she wants to come by and swim later in the week. What about you?”

Covering her full mouth as she replies, “Shur, nat sounds greab.”

“Just call whenever,” Mrs Greenberg adds casually. “Go on, go, on. I don’t wanna keep you.’

Nicole swallows. “I was just looking for Katie.”

She turns, her red hair shifting in the sunlight. It’s so pretty. She points down the chow line. “She’s down there with Sophie and your Mom, cleaning off the tables.”

Nicole thanks her and heads back to Mom’s group, sparing a backward glance at her, and grinning. When she does, Mrs Greenberg is still watching her, and she gets this shivery feeling. She’s so cool.

Katie, Sophie and Mom are right where she said, but they’re more talking than working, just kind of absently covering salad bowls with tinfoil. When she gets close, she hears Katie telling Mom, “… all about, really. Agency. So long as they understand that they’re in control -”

“Even to the point of surrendering it,” Sophie interjects.

Katie continues, “So long as they feel safe about their consent, it’s really up to them if or how they want to learn. There’s no coercion… but there’s no imposed inhibition, either.”

Mom notices her out of the corner of her eye and startles. “Oh! Nicole, you’re back. Did you and your new friend have some fun?”

All three of the mothers are looking at her in this way that’s kind of joking, but also really interested. It makes her feel naughty and guilty, like they already know. But how could they? Amber’s gone, and Robin and Lori aren’t even back yet. Nicole chides herself for maybe getting a little paranoid.

So she tells them the safe part, the part about the trees the Scouts have planted over time, and how much they’ve grown. Mom picks up on her excitement as she tells the story. Quiet pride shows on Katie’s and Sophie’s faces as they listen.

When she’s finished, Katie tosses her blonde hair back and favors Nicole with a jaunty look, “So, are you ready to make a little more history?”

“Yeah,” Nicole smiles back, “that’s kinda why I’m here. Amber left, and I need another buddy.”

“Good thinking,” Sophie says. “A Scout never wants to do anything without a buddy. Sharing always makes things more fun.”

Nicole thinks Sophie sounds a little like a recording or something, like that’s something she’s said a lot. But she can’t help thinking that she’s right, in a naughty kind of way. Amber made a great buddy, out there in the woods together. Lori probably thinks that Robin’s a good buddy, too…

She smirks.

While she’s been having her thoughts, the mothers have been discussing who they can get to fill Nicole’s position, almost like she’s not there.

“No, not Maddy,” Sophie’s saying, “She’d be miserable. Besides, she might be busy later.”

“What about Heather or Penny then? Take one of the Acorns off of Britt’s back.”

“Nicole hasn’t spent much time with the Acorns yet,” Sophie replies. She glances down to Nicole, “Have you, honey?”

She shakes her head.

Then Mom says, “I have an idea, if it’s all right with you.” The other two regard her as she says, “Abbey’s gone sour since lunch. I’m not sure why, but maybe her sister can get her out of her funk. You think you can do that?”

Nicole’s not completely thrilled with this plan. Looking after Abbey when she’s a grouch can be a real chore. Still, it’s what sisters are for. She shrugs, nods, at the same time.

“I know Abbey’s not a Scout… well, I guess neither one of them are Scouts, really. But, do you think it’d be all right if they helped?”

Katie nods, “I think it’d be wonderful. I don’t think we could hope for two better volunteers.”

“I’d hate to think that anyone would come away from this feeling like they had a bad time,” Sophie adds. “It’s just such a beautiful day!”

“What do you say, sweetheart?” Mom says, and touches her shoulder. “You want to plant some trees with Abbey? She’s still sitting under the tree over there.”

“Okay, Mom,” Nicole says gamely. All three women are looking at her again, only this time there’s something else in their expressions, and she feels kinda like she passed a test.

She finds Abbey slumped in the same sling camp chair where she left her, and that’s when Nicole realizes this is gonna be tougher than she thought, because her little sister looks more like she’s four than seven right now.

“Hey chicken-butt,” Nicole teasingly greets.

“Hey,” Abbey grumps back, still looking off in the distance.

“Amber had to go, but I still need to do some planting.”

At this, she looks to her big sister, brow still knit and cross. “She ran off on you, too?”

“She had a game. I need your help. What do you say?”

Abbey shrugs like it’s such a burden, and kind of pours herself out of the chair, her peach colored dress riding up as she does. Nicole grins to think that Abbey’s one of the few girls here with panties on.

As they gear up and get their seedling, Nicole tries to get Abbey to open up about what’s bugging her. It seems like the seven-year-old is bent out of shape because of something the Acorns and Britt did. Mrs Wheeler comments on Nicole’s new partner, happy to see two sisters “buddying up” for the project.

She takes them back downhill by where Robin and Tara were working, though they’re still not back yet, and start to dig.

“What happened with the Acorns?” Nicole asks.

Not looking up, Abbey replies, “Oh, they’re still down there with Britt.”

“Would you rather be working with them? Is that what’s wrong?”

“No. They can do whatever they want. I don’t care.”

Digging up another shovelful, Nicole’s getting tired of all the sulking, so she just goes, “Abbey…”

Her sister throws up her hands and it all comes out in a rush. “They ditched me. All of them, right before lunch. They told me I couldn’t go with them and left me and I had to go find stupid Mom ’cause all that was around was grownups. Nobody stayed, not one. After I helped them and everything, they just ditched me.”

Nicole recalls seeing Abbey earlier in the day, and isn’t so sure she was helping the Acorns all that much. She isn’t doing much now, either. The sun feels hotter, she still feels a little wobbly, and it sure was easier with Amber helping.

She also recalls what she saw the Acorns and Britt doing in the RV after they left Abbey. She get this wild shiver all through her, and her little hot puss reminds her again that it wants her to squeeze it some more. And for a second, she gets an image of Abbey having her skirt lifted and her panties pulled down, surrounded by smiling, playful Acorns. And it seems like her puss squeezes itself somehow, this jolt of hot pleasure makes her hips flex, makes her clumsy with the shovel.

Shaken by that forbidden thought, and how exciting it was, Nicole stares at her little sister. Abbey looks back, a little confused, but seems to think Nicole is waiting for more so she says. “If they don’t want me around, fine. Why would I want to join their stupid club, anyway?”

Wow, they really hurt her feelings. But Nicole understands why Britt wouldn’t let Abbey follow, and is pretty glad she didn’t. “Look, sometimes Scouts have to do Scout stuff, that’s only for them. It’s what makes them different, you know, their own group. You probably wouldn’t have liked it, anyway,” she consoles. Although with the flash of naughty imagination she just had, she’s not quite sure that last bit’s true.

Abbey’s expression softens, the line between her eyebrows smooths. Her lips twist like she wants to say something, but then she gives a big, defiant shrug. “I guess so.”

“Did they talk to you, after? Britt and them?”

“They tried to, but I just went the other way. And that’s when I met Maddy.”

She sees her sister brighten at that, so she pursues it. “Did you like her?”

Abbey nods hugely, her brown hair spilling over her shoulders, sweeping the side of her face. “She’s so neat! Did you know she has twenty dresses just for shows?”

And suddenly, off she goes, and the next few minutes turn into the Maddy Wheeler fan club. Abbey enthuses all about what Maddy says and does and all the things she has. Nicole sees the young beauty queen has made a huge impression on her sister, but considering that Abbey still loves princesses and fairy tales, she’s not that surprised. Even Nicole finds Maddy’s presence kind of overwhelming.

While Abbey goes on, Nicole notices Robin and Tara up at the truck, getting a seedling. They’re talking and laughing, and there’s no sign from Robin of what happened in the woods just a little bit ago. A couple minutes later, Lori comes wandering in from the edge of the woods down the hill. She walks across the field and rejoins Hanna, giving her this shy, sheepish smile. The two of them do girl-hearting, and then they go back up the hill to the trucks and it looks like everything is okay. Lori’s still really blushy pink, though.

The thirteen-year-old glances in Nicole’s direction as they pass by, and gives a little apologetic shrug. She’s so weird.

Nicole thinks, Nobody knows. It’s so easy to hide, to keep it secret, so long as nobody’s spying. Her mind races with that idea, and she starts imagining everything that might be going on, between which girls, between so many girls, stripping and touching and rubbing. And it seems like no one knows. It’s like their uniforms – it’s all normal on the outside, but underneath it’s secret and naked and so excited, waiting for a touch.

Abbey’s digging, still chirping away. Nicole feels a flush of fresh heat in her cheeks. Her poor body is so wound up, and just when she thinks she’s going back to normal, something sets her off tingling again. Her heart is thumping and she can feel every beat in her swollen, tender muff, throb throb throb.

“… don’t you think?” Abbey is asking.

Nicole shakes off the urges in herself, focuses on her sister again. “What?”

Abbey looks back and forth over her shoulders to see if anyone’s listening, leans in, and repeats herself, “I said, the Scouts are kinda weird though, huh?”

She gulps. Maybe her sister isn’t as clueless as she thinks. What if she’s onto the mysteries Nicole already knows about? “How do you mean?”

“Well, like, they’re always telling secrets, or getting all kissy face with each other. Like they don’t want me to know what they’re talking about, like I’m not good enough to talk to. And it’s like, I don’t know, I’m not the only one they’re ditching.”

“What?”

Abbey looks around as if she’s worried someone’s listening. “Haven’t you noticed? Every once in a while, a couple of girls will just walk off and go away for a little bit. They don’t go up to where the grownups are, they go out into the woods all around the edges.” She pauses and looks pointedly at her big sister, “Even you and Amber went off together.”

Nicole jabs with the dirt with her shovel, rolls her eyes. “I already told you where Amber and me went. We weren’t trying to ditch anyone.” Except Lori, maybe, and now she’s glad they didn’t manage it.

There’s a brief interruption as Nicole lays the shovel aside and they both kneel down to put the seedling in.

While they lower it, she tells Abbey, “It’s not as bad as you make it sound. You know how you wanted to do more big girl things? Well, the Scouts do those things, and part of it is the girls have to do things that are only Scouting things.”

Abbey shrugs, still pouting, “I guess.”

“Here, do the vitamin stuff,” she instructs, then says, “I know they like you. The Acorns, and Britt too. They would’ve sent you back up to the grownups if they didn’t want you around. I saw you having fun with them, and they were having fun, too. They like you.”

Her little sister shrugs again, more dramatically, and looks down, trying to hide that her mouth is twisting into a flattered grin despite herself.

“Look,” Nicole says, ”it’s like with Mom. She has stuff to do, and she can’t always pay attention to you. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t like you. She’s just busy with other things that she has to do. It’s the same with the Scouts.”

She watches Abbey’s response carefully, knowing that she’s mixed up the truth with some stuff that’s less than totally honest. Trying to keep Abbey from the naughtiness that ten-year-old Nicole has only just discovered herself.

Her seven-year-old sister doesn’t reply as she pours the thick fluid around the plant’s root ball. But her face has cleared, even looking a little pleased, and Nicole knows that Abbey feels better. She’s only keeping quiet now because being cheered up would mean Nicole got what she wanted, and she’s more interested in being an impossible brat than with being happy.

Kid sisters. Sheesh.

“This stuff smells gross,” Abbey finally says, dropping the foil packet with disgust.

They push in the dirt and Nicole lets it go.

After that, they talk about other things. Abbey keeps coming back to Maddy or the Acorns, Nicole keeps bringing up the fact that Scouts are cool. They go back up to the truck, get a seedling, come back down and plant it, over and over. By now, all the Scouts are back at work in pairs and the slope is alive with their giggling, playful voices.

But Abbey’s right. As Nicole watches, teams slip away, one at a time, rambling off into the woods and disappearing for a while, then strolling casually back. Fawn and Cassidy do it. So do Lori and Hanna, going off in a different direction. A little later, when everyone else is back, Estela and Heather traipse off down the hill, with the little Acorn riding the teenager piggyback.

She imagines what might be happening off in the woods, two girls all by themselves with nobody watching, and her mind races as wildly as her heart. What she’s seen (and done!) today gives her lots of naughty things to think about. She wonders if any of the grownups notice what’s happening, but they seem to be having their own kind of get-together, like they might have during a backyard barbecue. She wonders if Jenny and Lena slipped off when she wasn’t paying attention; the thought makes her twist with jealousy and get this super hot squishy feeling between her legs at the same time.

They plant a bunch more little trees, the day gets hotter and the girls get sweatier. Before too long the trucks are empty again, and then everyone starts cleaning up. Katie puts the Scouts to work on different tasks, and all the grownups seem to know what to do, but Nicole and Abbey are left out of the loop.

Nicole tells Abbey, “You should go back over and talk to the Acorns. You’ll see what I was saying before.” When her little sister shies up, Nicole gives her an affectionate shove toward them. “Go on. Don’t be a chicken.”

Abbey gives her a little growly face – she hates to be teased – but she heads over. Nicole watches, and after only a couple minutes all the little girls are talking and laughing and letting Abbey help them clean the shovels. Penny and Joy touch her shoulder in a kinda fond way. Nicole grins, feels herself welling up a little.

She doesn’t want to be a ninny, so she decides to find Mom and get something to do herself. Wandering a little, looking at all the milling Scouts and grownups, she doesn’t spot her. She moves over to the edge of the group, by the trucks, and sees Mrs Wheeler sitting on the tailgate, drinking out of a big plastic bottle. She’s just kind of looking at the crowd as she wipes the sweat off her long, lean neck with a bandana. Her forest service shirt has a couple buttons undone; Nicole can see the edge of her plain white bra in the gap.

Mrs Wheeler meets Nicole’s eye. Her eyes are large and deep set, and the mother looks at her frankly. Her strong chin moves a little, almost like an invitation. So Nicole goes over to her.

“Have you seen my mom?”

“Your mother and my daughter are having a little meeting with Sophie in the RV,” Mrs Wheeler says. Her voice has a bit of a drawl and sounds kind of raw, like it’s weathered. “Why don’t you hop on up and wait with me ’til they’re done?”

“Okay,” she agrees, and Mrs Wheeler gives her a hand in hopping up onto the tailgate, which is just a little too tall for her. The mother hands Nicole the bottle, which is somehow ice cold. She tips it up and drinks greedily.

“You got a bit too much sun out there,” Mrs Wheeler observes.

Wiping her mouth, Nicole replies, “Yeah, I think maybe a little.”

“It’s your first time up here, isn’t it?” she asks, and when Nicole confirms it with a little nod, she asks, “What do you think?”

“Oh wow,” Nicole replies, “it’s all so amazing! It’s like, I can’t even take it all in.” She relates a bit of how Amber showed her the history in the trees, and Mrs Wheeler nods knowingly.

“Yeah, once you really feel it, you just keep coming back.”

Nicole asks, “Are you a real ranger?”

“I used to be a ranger. Now I work for the Forest Service, reforesting timberlands like we did today. It’s like a promotion.”

“That’s so crazy.”

Mrs Wheeler’s face gets quizzical. “You think so?”

Nicole flutters her hands, embarrassed. “No, that’s not what I mean. I just mean, you and Maddy are so different.”

Looking up into the sky, the mother muses, “We are now.”

“Were you like Maddy when you were little?” she asks, disbelieving.

“Oh, I was the most feminine little flower. Dad would take us on camping trips, not too far from here really, and I hated it. I couldn’t stand this little town, or the wilderness. At least that’s what I thought. I wanted to be so sophisticated. I was going to learn design and live in New York City.”

“What happened?”

Mrs Wheeler turns and looks her right in the eye with an ironic little grin. “I did both of them. Did exactly what I set my mind to doing. And a year later, I was so homesick I couldn’t stand it. Do you get homesick? For where you came from?”

“Chicago? I don’t know. At first, a lot. But then, it was mostly that I missed my friends. And like, how familiar it was.” She thinks for a second, her nose wrinkles, and then she smiles big and bright. “But since I’ve been with the Scouts, doing all these things, I hardly think about it at all.”

The mother smiles back. Deep lines form in her cheeks, but the smile is just as charming as her daughter’s, “That’s what I mean. Once something gets in your heart, nothing else matters.”

“I think it’s kind of amazing how you can change so much and still be yourself inside. Just, kind of, more of yourself, because you have a new place to grow into. You know?”

She gives Nicole an appraising look. “Did Katie make you a Scout yet?”

“Not yet. But everyone thinks she will.”

“I hope so. I’d like it if Maddy spent more time with girls like you. I worry sometimes she relies too much on her looks. I like the way you think. That you think, that you use your mind. It’s important.”

“Thank you,” Nicole says, feeling bashful but flattered.

“Speak of the devil,” Mrs Wheeler says.

Nicole looks up, expecting to see Maddy, but instead it’s Katie approaching, running a hand through her blonde hair, looking a bit harried.

“Have you seen Tara or Fawn?”

They both shake their heads.

“Ugh, it’s like herding cats.”

“It always is,” Mrs Wheeler says, sounding amused, which makes that little drawl stretch out more. She points to Nicole, “Get this one sworn in already.”

Casting a glance to the RV, Katie replies, “Working on it.”

“Ah,” Mrs Wheeler responds.

And Nicole looks from one woman to the other, so pleased and excited to hear that both of them are pulling for her. It didn’t take long for the Scouts to become so important to her, and it’s encouraging to hear that she’s important to them, too. They’re like family, and something even more than that. Mrs Wheeler’s right – once something takes hold in your heart, it’s hard to think about anything else.

Chapter 9 is coming soon!