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I was staring out at the wide expanse of the Cascade Mountains as I piloted over them. I worked for one of the airlines, based in Seattle. I usually flew small, 70-seat commuter aircraft, but was certified to fly all the way up to a 737. I had spent almost every waking moment from the time I was 12 learning how to fly. I loved the freedom and thrill of soaring through the air.
I’m one of the few people who didn’t have to enter the military to get a commercial pilot’s license. But, with the horrid slump that the airline industry was currently in, we had all agreed to trim back our hours by just five a week in order to avoid layoffs. At twenty-six, I was one of the youngest pilots in the fleet, but I had enough seniority to avoid losing my job. But I agreed with my fellow pilots and would rather use up some vacation time to avoid anybody losing their job. So instead of being off three days out of every week, I was off four. I hate being idle; I can’t sit back and do nothing. So I here I am, piloting a buddy of mine’s DC-3, doing cargo runs to Wenatchee from Seattle.
It was close to noon and the middle of October. The air was crystal clear. I could see Spokane to the east and Vancouver to the north and the majesty of Mount Baker and Rainier to either side of me. This is why I love flying. I dropped into Wenatchee and waited the two hours for the cargo to be unloaded and the plane to be refueled. Then I was off again.
It was a simple, forty minute flight over the mountains and down into Seattle. I reached cruising at fifteen thousand feet and radioed my position. I hit my vector and set off over the mountains. Shortly after, the right engine shuddered. Smoke started billowing off the wing. Then the whole plane took an electrical shock, probably static build up. I lost all electrical systems and the radio. Then I heard the right engine stall and stop. Followed quickly by the left shuddering, then stopping. Then silence.
Adrenaline pumped through me. I could feel my heart beating in my throat. I saw black spots before my eyes. Then my training took over and calm overcame me. I still had hydraulic control of the flaps and rudder. I didn’t want to play them too much. With electric down, I couldn’t restart the engines. I was dead in the water and skimming on the air currents over the mountains. I had two choices, going back and hope to go down somewhere clear, but the forests and cliffs made it unlikely. Or I could continue, hoping to find a valley to set down in.
The choice was soon taken out of my hands. I was going down about 1000 feet a minute. I wasn’t going to be able to stay afloat much longer. Then the perfect valley appeared before me. It was long and relatively flat, clear enough to put the plane down. Too bad my aim sucks. The controls were getting heavy, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to hang on. Then the belly skimmed over some tall cedars. I was scant feet off the ground, coming in too fast. Then the belly hit snow. I was thrown against my restraints, feeling myself bruise. The wing caught on a hidden rock and the whole thing turned sharply, rolling over and all went black in a cacophony of screaming metal and heat and pain.
I awoke some time later. I was hanging upside down in my seat, strapped in to the chair. There was blood dripping on my face; obviously I was bleeding from somewhere. I had spent too much time hanging upside down; my head was killing me. I reached up to unbuckle myself. It gave way with a loud click and I fell to the roof. I hobbled out of the plane, aware of the smell of gas. I made it to the door and crawled out into the blinding snow. I pulled myself out into the shelter of the trees. Then I spent some time assessing what I could of the damage to my body. I couldn’t tell how long I had been unconscious. But except for some bruising from the straps on my chair, a headache that may or may not be a concussion, and a gash in my left leg, I was relatively sound. That was where the blood was coming from.
I unbuckled my belt, quickly pulling it through the loops and tying a tourniquet around my leg at the knee. I was wearing boots, with heavy socks, jeans, my black silk boxers, a t-shirt and a heavy Irish woolen sweater. I had a jacket in the plane and a first aid kit.
Now was the hard part: could I put weight on the leg. I used a nearby rock to help me stand, keeping my weight on my right leg. Then I tried to put a little force on the left. I buckled and almost fell. I wasn’t going to be able to walk on it. I searched around me and found a piece of debris, a girder from the wing. I picked it up and used it as a make do crutch. I got into the plane, got my coat and first aid kit and hobbled back out. I didn’t think anything would set off the gas fumes, but it was too much, too thick to stay inside.
When I got back out and sat on the rock, I took stock of what was in the first aid kit. Not a lot. Not a thing to stitch up my leg with; nothing to help with the gash. It looked angry and red but wasn’t bleeding too heavily. I lay back on my coat on the Çankaya Escort ground with my leg propped on the rock. Thankfully I had the flares and had a clear view of the sky. I only hoped that if someone were going to search for me, it would be before the sun set. Heavy clouds were moving in from the west. More snow.
I sat in the snow for a while, conserving energy, doing arm rolls to keep my circulation going, trying to stay warm. Then I heard a crunching in the snow. I prayed it wasn’t an animal. But luck had never been kind to me. The sounds got closer and closer. I turned my head towards the sound and was surprised to see a man.
He was tall, very tall, so much more than my six feet. He looked like he badly needed to shave and had probably not had a haircut in months if not years. He walked up to me and knelt by my head. He took a look at my leg before scowling at me. He muttered something under his breath. His voice was gravelly, gruff, deep but kind. Then helped me to stand before slinging me over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. I sputtered in surprise. He didn’t speak, although I asked him many questions. I thought maybe he was deaf.
For all his unkempt appearance, his clothes smelled fresh. I didn’t smell sweat or smoke or any other unpleasant odors: just clean, fresh clothes, soap and man. It had been a long time since I had been with anyone and the upside down view of his ass reminded me. He walked tirelessly for at least an hour. The entire time he didn’t say one word. Then we turned a corner at the end of the valley into a smaller clearing. There was a waterfall that poured down over the rocks into a small pool before leaving in a stream away from where we walked. Beyond the stream was a cabin, nestled slightly under an outcropping of rock.
There was at least two feet of snow on the ground, but the pool of water was steaming, even with the ice-cold waterfall. The silent giant carried me to the cabin, opening the door and carrying me to a bed in the corner. It was a large bed, bigger than my king-size at home. He set me down gently and then turned away to what looked like a kitchen. He came back with a bowl of steaming water, some strips of fabric, a needle and scissors. He pulled out a bottle of liquor from his coat pocket and handed it to me before turning and hanging his coat on a hook.
When he turned back, he unlaced then pulled off my boots, gently avoiding tugging my leg too badly. Then he pulled off my wet sweater. When he found that my t-shirt was soaked, he pulled that off as well. Then he took the bottle from me, unscrewed the top and told me in a gravelly voice to drink until he told me to stop.
I hate bourbon; actually, I hardly ever drink. But I followed his directions while he gently removed both socks and jeans. He soaked the leg around the wound with a little hot water to loosen where it might have stuck with blood. Then he slipped off my boxers because they were soaked with blood. The mystery giant started washing my leg with a rag soaked in the hot water. I was still sipping the bourbon, forcing the liquid down my throat. I felt heat spread out from my stomach. He looked up when I giggled and took the bottle from me.
I watched lazily as he threaded the needle. I even watched as he poured some of the bourbon on my leg. I hissed at the sting, but I wasn’t feeling a whole lot at the moment. Then he started stitching me up. He worked quickly and competently, not taking too much time. I tried not to cry out or flinch. Eventually, my vision swirled and I blacked out.
I awoke under heavy blankets, lying on soft sheets and pillowed, both body and head, by soft, warm down. I don’t know how long I was out, could have been days. But I noticed it was dark, the only light coming from the fire. My giant, funny how that was how I thought of him, was sitting by the fire in a large chair with a book in his hands. I must have made a noise when I moved my legs, trying to get more comfortable. He stood and came over to me. He sat by the bed and handed me a glass with water in it and two aspirin. He told me it was for the pain and fever.
I looked up at his eyes then, the hint of fever scaring me. But they were warm and calm, the richest brown I had ever seen. There was compassion in his eyes but there was also a bone-deep sadness that made my breath hitch. But the sadness wasn’t related to me, the compassion was. I wondered what had made him so sad. Then he got up and brought back something in a bowl that smelled heavenly. It was simple broth, but it was enough. I sat and fed myself until I felt sleepy. He took the bowl from me and I snuggled down in the bed. We didn’t talk, didn’t even come close, but it was a comfortable silence. Slowly my eyes drifted closed.
I slept on and off for the next two days. When it was light out, I noticed it was snowing and pretty heavily outside the window. Any search for me was not happening until the storm cleared. I was content to lie in the bed and heal. I did become Keçiören Escort feverish and my giant took care of me. He wiped my brow and fed me aspirin to bring down the fever. He moved silently and gracefully for someone so tall. I would say he was at least six-nine and probably would tip the scales at 300 pounds. But he wasn’t fat; he was muscular and powerful.
With his coat off, he wore red thermal long underwear and it clung to him. He was strong and hulking under the soft cotton. Dark hair showed at the collar and through the buttons that trailed down to his crotch. He wore thick socks that covered his feet and the leg holes, but I bet he was hairy from collar to toes. He never said much, a few words at most. But I found out his name was Grey. He was thirty and had lived on the mountain for the past seven years. This wasn’t one conversation that I got this out of him; it took all of two days of coaxing to get that much information. He was quiet and private but no matter how much time passed, his eyes were still sad.
I woke up on the third day and saw sunshine pouring through the window onto my feet under the blanket. Grey was nowhere to be found. I took a chance and put my feet on the floor and stood. My left leg was sore, but I could put pressure on it. I hobbled to the door after wrapping a blanket around my shoulders. I opened the door and looked out at the steaming pool. At least three feet of snow had fallen. A rescue was going to be difficult at best. But at least the sun was shining. Then I heard a sound off to my right. I turned and forgot to breath when I beheld the sight before me.
Grey stood with his back to me, with his feet braced apart by the width of his shoulders. He was naked. He stood facing the pond and I watched the muscles in his body. His skin was dark, tan from the sun and from his ancestors. I saw the strength of his calves, covered thickly in dark hair, then his thighs and the cheeks of his ass. Each was pinched and dimpled from his stance, there was a light dusting of dark hair and a patch above them at the base of his spine. His back was immense and so strong.
He could have posed for an anatomy book let alone pin-up calendars. Alone, he didn’t look so tall; he was so perfectly proportioned. I saw his shoulders, big, thick, rounded like bowling balls. His neck was strong beneath the shaggy hair. Then I noticed that his arms were moving, bunching muscles on his biceps dusted with more dark hair were in motion, rhythmically. He was masturbating. I felt myself thicken, plumping under the soft blanket around me.
I watched Grey move, pleasuring himself. I stood there, watching him for a few moments before I noticed something hanging between his legs. It was black. It looked like underwear. My underwear. I got even harder. He was rubbing himself in the silk of my boxer shorts. I didn’t mind. He had saved my life. Hell, I bought the underwear and like wearing it because of how it rubbed against me. All it took was a brief walk and an impure thought and I had a raging erection. I figured that if he wanted to use my underwear to get himself off, it was the least I could do. Then I noticed Grey start to move faster. He brought his other hand forward and threw my underwear over his shoulder. His hips started jerking and his arm stopped moving so smoothly. Haltingly he breathed, throwing his head back and grunting in release.
His hand came up to his mouth and he tasted himself. I could have shot right there. Then Grey lowered his head, almost like he was defeated and gave a sigh. I’ve never heard anything like it. It was as if his heart was broken. It was lonely and sad as well as soul rendering. My heart broke for him and my erection quickly disappeared. I stepped back through the door and shut it. My voyeuristic foray done. I hopped back in bed and waited for Grey to return.
A few hours later, Grey did come into the cabin. He had all of my clothes and they were wet. He laid them in front of the fire to dry. He had washed my clothes. I felt my heart thicken in my chest. I watched as Grey moved around, preparing a meal. He had put back on his thermal underwear and jeans. I watched his simple motions, how graceful he moved for having hands that could so easily crush. He was a contradiction. If you didn’t look in his eyes, he looked like a thug, a warrior, dangerous in all ways. But once you looked in his eyes, he was kind and gentle, a dancer or swimmer and no danger to anyone or anything. I got out of bed and headed towards him. I wanted to offer some comfort. He still looked so damn sad. But I never got the chance. He handed me another pair of his thermal underwear to wear. The legs and sleeves were too long, but I was covered. We sat down and had a silent dinner.
Later, after a few more words, I got up and grabbed a few items. I had Grey sit in the chair by the fire. I took the large bowl full of water and the razor and soap as well as the scissors. I wetted down his hair and started to trim it. After about an Etimesgut Escort hour of snipping, Grey had a shorter hairstyle. Okay so there was no style, but it was shorter with no noticeable gaps. Then I trimmed up his beard and soaped up the rest of his face before I started shaving him.
When I was all done, wiping off the last of his beard, I saw him for the first time. He was a really handsome man. His nose was straight and his lips full. His chin was strong and he had what looked like dimples. All he needed was to smile. The easiest way to get someone to smile is smile first. All he did was grab my hand and ask why I did what I did. I had no easy answer. When I still didn’t answer him, he looked away and said that I should probably sleep. I was tired so I went to bed.
I woke a few hours later. Grey lay by me on the bed, thrashing and whimpering. I went to reach out to him but I never made it. He sat up screaming. I touched his arm, but he whipped away from me, stomping over to the fireplace. He rested an elbow on the mantel and his forehead in his palm. He was shaking. I got out of bed and headed towards him. He looked up. He was terrified. He was also fighting tears. He looked away from me and I saw him loose the fight.
I watched as his chest heaved with sobs that he tried to keep quiet. I walked up to him and wrapped my arms around what I could. I pulled his head to me and cupped his cheeks. Tears were streaming out of his closed eyes. I brushed the tears away and hugged him tighter. All at once, with an audible sob, Grey grabbed me and hugged me to him. He buried his face in my shoulder and held on as the sobs took him over. I kept stroking his hair, smoothing my hand up and down his strong back. After a few minutes, the heaving slowed then stopped. My shirtfront was soaked.
Grey pulled away as if embarrassed. He pushed me away gently then walked away to the door. He stepped into his boots and grabbed his coat. Then he was gone into the night.
I didn’t follow. My leg wouldn’t support it and I wouldn’t know where to look. With how dark it was, he could stand just five feet away and I wouldn’t see him. So I hobbled back over to the bed and waited. I fell asleep waiting. With the gray light of morning, streaming in my face, I realized that Grey hadn’t come back to bed. I didn’t know where he was. But I was afraid to look outside.
Once with and once without his knowledge I had invaded his fiercely guarded privacy. I didn’t want to again unless invited. I got up and went to the door, intending only to peek then shut the door. But he wasn’t standing just outside. I searched the horizon, at least what I could see of it. He wasn’t around. I stepped outside, intending to search for him when I heard him call out to me. Just my name: Seth. I turned to find him in the pool. Steam rose around him and his skin was rosy. There were snowflakes dusting in his eyelashes and in his newly shorn hair. They also dusted the dark mat of hair covering his chest. It wasn’t supposed to be an erotic sight. But it was; very much so.
He called to me again by name. I loved the sound of his gravelly voice calling out to me. I walked the ten steps to the edge of the pool where I found his clothes in a pile. He motioned me into the water. He told me it would help with my leg. I shucked the borrowed thermal suit and walked into the water. It was warmer, but not uncomfortably so, than a hot tub. It bubbled at my feet slightly. I immediately relaxed. Near where Grey sat, there was a shelf of rocks. He had me sit by him. We didn’t talk, but let the warm water sooth. I was still pretty bruised, not permanently injured, but it was in a really ugly recovery stage. It was pleasant. It was mellow.
The snow falling was hypnotic. It rested on the water for a split second before disappearing. Then of course there was the snow that caught on Grey. It sprinkled the hair on his chest and I caught myself a couple of times, staring.
Grey looked at me too. But he was assessing my bruises. He apologized for not having any leeches in the water so it would clear up the bruises. I didn’t bring up last night, and neither did he. After a quiet hour in which I discovered a peace I had never known, he told me we should get out. I protested, but he assured me we could go back, but the water wasn’t healthy to sit in for too long. He got out first and donned his suit with his back to me. Maybe he did notice my checking him out. But red cotton underwear clings and clings even more when wet. He turned to give me a hand out and I saw how well the cotton clung to him. I almost sank down into the water for fear of sporting an erection. But I kept it under control and climbed out and donned my own outfit. I wasn’t ashamed of my reaction, but I was afraid of adding to Grey’s troubles.
We talked a little more that afternoon. I found out he had been in the Army and was a mechanic. I told him all about my dreams. I explained why I loved flying and even though my plane had crashed, it was due to faulty equipment, not my error. I wasn’t afraid to go back up. I couldn’t wait to fly again. He laughed for the first time. He did have dimples. His laugh was gruff, like he hadn’t done it in a long, long time. But it was still one of the nicest sounds I could remember. And for one second, the sadness left his eyes. He had been handsome before, but when he smiled, he became beautiful.
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