The Loves of Julia - by HandsomeExplorer

  The Loves of Julia-byHandsomeExplorer

  Dawn.

  The summer sun rises over the horizon and smiles down upon the drifting sands below. Hauntingly melancholy voices of seagulls pierce the quiet of this remote riverside beachfront island.

  Morning.

  Today, as every day before, comes the ceaseless trickle of visitors to this picturesque location. Mostly men, searching for signs of pleasure and escape along the smooth, gentle expanse of the warm beach. The trail from the parking lot is almost a mile long, passing through a formidable grove of tall bamboo-like weeds, creating the illusion that one is visiting the tropics. Concealing the beach from gawkers. Forcing the curious to follow a narrow path down to the water's edge, where sights of golden, nude bodies abound and the mind is free to perceive a world of pleasure and simplicity.

  Off to one side of the beach, at trail's end, a grassy field borders the water. Nearby one can spot the day's gathering off pleasure craft, their anchors tying them to this place as if there were nowhere else in existence worth stopping. Throughout the region, the smells of suntan oil permeate the air.

  Julia has visited this beach every day for the past five weeks, ever since her term of teaching duties at the university ended in late May. Captivated by the beauty of the open beach, she ventures back each morning with the urgency of a child seeking its long-lost parent. Out here, among the beach people and the open spaces, she seems to forget so much of her past 42 years and the heartaches she's known since beginning her academic career so long ago. In this place she finds a peace and tranquility that in academic life has so often eluded her.

  Today, Julia notices there are more people than usual as she descends the path toward the spit of land reserved for nude sunbathing and swimming. It must be the holiday crowds beginning, she thinks to herself. July 4th is only two days away, and the summer heat has intensified during the past week. The beach draws an interesting combination of city escapees, vacationers, and curious locals who come to see if there's any truth to the stories they've heard about this sensual paradise.

  Although there are more people, Julia still has much open space to choose from as she approaches the edge of the water. She drops her blanket and carrying bag on the end of a grassy field which borders the access trail to the beach.

  Gazing out into the water at all the boats, she reaches to remove her floppy hat and steps out of her shoes. The relative simplicity of dress at the beach has dramatically altered her daily wardrobe. Where she used to dress in formal suits and plain blouses for her classes, now her attire consists of simple shorts, thin blouses, and often the absence of underwear. Julia loves the free feeling of the fresh air upon her as it swishes through her hair and over her smooth skin. As she slips her fingers down to open the front of her light cotton blouse her breasts tingle from sudden exposure to the sunlight and cool morning breeze.

  There has been so much to think about these past few weeks. One year ago she was still recovering from a blistering tenure battle at the university. Although she emerged victorious, the experience had left many emotional scars as well. More recently, Julia ended her second marriage--the victim of an unsupportive husband who was blind to so many of her professional and personal struggles.

  Somehow, ever since her husband moved out of their home last year, Julia found it impossible to remain alone in that enormous house for many hours at a time, especially during the long summer days. Her restless mind sought a place of refuge, and a friend had recommended this beach for a day's escape. But it was Julia who discovered the secluded nude section, which is carefully separated from the more well-known picnic area at the other end of the beach. One days' visit turned into five weeks as she found herself being drawn into this intoxicating environment.

  Slipping off her blouse, Julia feels the rush of pleasure and freedom that revealing her body to the sun brings. She cares not that anyone may notice her demure display of nakedness, having become fully acculturated to the ways of the beach community. Here, clothes seem so unnecessary. She remains standing as her fingers slide the zipper of her shorts down and she lets them fall to the ground. Now her silken thighs are as naked as her breasts, and no trace of unexposed skin remains on her body. Five weeks of sun have tempered her tender skin to a golden tan.

  Taking out a bottle of musk oil from her bag, she kneels on her towel and begins to apply the liquid to her upper torso. After filling her hand with a generous portion she begins her daily ritual of rubbing it slowly, tenderly over her skin. Beginning with her shoulders, her oil-soaked fingers trail down toward the slope of her breasts. This is one of her favorite moments. She loves the feeling her sensitive nipples produce. As she covers them with oil, they rise to delicate peaks from her fingers' persistent attention.

  On some days the excitement of these moments is so intense that Julia, overcome with desire, wanders off quietly into the tall bushes to delight her body with tender caresses. The sheer bliss of simple erotic pleasure brought on by her self-stimulation is a new discovery for Julia. Never in all of her years of marriage and academic life has she ever felt free to indulge in such delicious activities.

  Lying face-up upon her white beach blanket, Julia slowly parts her smooth legs. A young couple descend the trail nearby on their way toward the open mid-section of the island. The man and woman look appreciatively at Julia's nude body as they pass by, and the young woman steals a furtive glance just as Julia's oil-covered fingers slide down to coat the sensitive flesh along the insides of her upper thighs.

  Often after Julia first arrives in the morning, she feels inspired to write down whatever thoughts come into her head. One of the special features of this place for her is its ability to stimulate her creative juices. In the past few weeks she's composed a host of short stories, something she never had time to do under the typical constraints of her academic lifestyle. Many of her stories contain elements of romanticism or eroticism, and most feature women as the principal characters.

  Though this beach is a haven for men, Julia often notices an appreciable number of women coming to visit as well. Sometimes in groups of two or three, often accompanied by a male partner, and occasionally just by themselves. Being located in a spot where she can watch most people descending the path leading to the island, Julia observes most of the women as they enter the area. Often a single woman will set up her own spot near to Julia's site, perhaps feeling safer from being near another woman's private space than around the groups of men on the other side of the beach. Younger women in their late teens and twenties are the most prevalent. Julia enjoys watching their youthful, carefree manners. "I wish I could have been so free-spirited when I was their age!" she thinks to herself, wondering whether she might ever see any of her former students here.

  Today a group of young women happen to be visiting. Four of them bounce along the path near Julian's site, their tan, bikini-clad bodies barely concealed. As two more walk past, Julia looks up to watch them proceeding toward the more crowded section of the beach where a volleyball net has been set up. The women are laughing and teasing each other--obviously this is a new experience for them all. Julia enviously drinks in the sight of their firm young bodies and suddenly has an idea. Grabbing her note pad, she begins sketching the basic outline for a new story.

  Minutes pass as Julia continues feverishly writing, periodically looking up to watch the people playing at the other end of the beach. Her body tingles as she gazes at the sight of the six women, now all nude, who one-by-one walk over to dip their feet in the warm water. Julia notices one woman in particular who is in her early 20s. She has long, dark hair trailing down her back and a very firm, athletic body. Her legs show signs of well-seasoned muscles. "Probably a runner," Julia thinks to herself. A second woman who is blonde and fair-skinned walks over to speak to the first woman.

  Suddenly becoming aware that she is staring at them, Julia feels herself blush and quickly looks around to see if anyone has noticed her innocent voyeurism. But no one else is near her private site. Then in a moment of inspiration, Julia rises and walks over to the water's edge near the other women. Her tanned body glistens in the hot sun as beads of perspiration form trickles of moisture running down her back. Somewhat self-consciously she wonders, "Should I be having such thoughts about other women?" as she immerses her body in the water. Julia allows her mind to wander freely as she closes her eyes.

  Within view of Julia's bathing spot another young woman walks alone, following the long path from the parking lot. Minutes earlier Julia had woken from her daydream and departed the water to locate her beach towel nearby. Looking up toward the pathway as she dries off, she watches the other woman slowly approaching her area. Though still fairly far away, something about this woman's appearance triggers a feeling in Julia she has not known for a long time. The woman, who is perhaps 25, is wearing shorts, a thin t-shirt, and sandals. Something about this woman--perhaps the way she walks--looks familiar to Julia. Her head is tipped back, her long golden hair tossing freely in the wind.

  Instantly a flood of emotions and memories come back to Julia as she recognizes one of her former students, Holly. Her surprise is heightened by the realization that Holly will probably not recognize her--indeed she would probably never expect to find her here. But before Julia can do anything else the other woman passes by her private site and gazes intently at her.

  "Oh, excuse me," Holly says as she approaches Julia's site. "I didn't mean to disturb your privacy."

  Apparently still not recognizing Julia, Holly tries not to stare at her nakedness. Julia's body is a much deeper shade of tan than is Holly's.

  "Holly, is that really you?" exclaims Julia. "It's me, Julia!"

  "Oh my gosh. Julia, I didn't recognize you!" Holly responds, blushing as she looks more closely at the nude figure of her former professor.

  Holly, too, is suddenly filled with emotions, the image of Julia's voluptuous body unleashing many new and strange feelings. Holly struggles to remain calm while inside her heart beats wildly and her pulse races. Not knowing how to relate to Julia in this strange context, she grows quiet.

  "I guess you never thought you'd find your old professor out here of all places, did you?" Julia laughs lightheartedly. "But then, until a few weeks ago I never expected to be in a place like this either. Now I come out here every day!"

  "You do?" says Holly. "I've never been here before. I came out to the park to think a lot of things over, and I ran into a friend who suggested I take a stroll down to the nude section. This is my first visit to a nude beach, ever."

  "Well, I hope it won't be your last," Julia responds warmly. "Are you going to be in the City for a while this time?"

  "Maybe. I just don't know right now," Holly replies in a tone betraying unhappiness.

  At this moment both women realize the awkwardness of the situation. They had last seen one another a year ago, right after Julia gained her tenure. During their luncheon celebration, Julia announced to Holly her decision to get a divorce. And Holly told Julia of her plans to return to her career in New York. That day they departed from one another's lives without resolving any of the issues raised during that stormy summer afternoon. Neither woman had written to the other since then.

  Now as she looks upon Holly for the first time in a year, all of these memories return to Julia. She feels pleased that they've encountered each other again, but wonders what they have left to talk about.

  "Would you like to join me?" she offers as a way of easing the tension of the moment.

  "Don't you mind my interrupting your solitude?" Holly asks.

  "Oh, no, Holly," replies Julia. "I'm so glad to see you. I missed you so much after I last saw you. I was afraid I might never see you again."

  "Well, I missed you too," Holly responds softly. "Even if you didn't think I cared," she adds, a trace of regret in her voice.

  As Holly sets down her things to take out a beach towel, Julia wonders how Holly feels about seeing her nude, and whether she feels uncomfortable about removing her own clothes. Julia wants to hug her, but her nakedness seems to complicate matters.

  The excitement which Julia had felt earlier in the day now floods back through her mind as she contemplates watching Holly undress. Try as she might, she cannot chase away the tender urges she is feeling at Holly's presence and at having Holly see her nude, golden body. She decides to gently encourage Holly to become accustomed to the ways of the beach, hoping to gaze upon the beautiful body of her young friend.

  "There are a lot of people here," Julia begins. "I like it here because people leave you alone if you want to be. And there are usually a number of women here each day, so I don't feel like I'm the only woman around for the men to gawk at. Besides, I'm too far over the hill for most of these guys to notice!" she adds with laughter.

  "Oh, Julia, you're *beautiful*. You've got a long way to go before you'll be over the hill," Holly comments with a sweet smile. "My goodness, I never thought so many people would visit a nude beach."

  "Yes, there are a lot of people, especially because of the holidays. But until today, I've never run into anybody I knew here," says Julia. "Of course, in my line of work, that's not surprising!" she adds, somewhat sarcastically.

  "I've never taken my clothes off in public before, Julia. It feels a bit strange. Do you get used to it?" Holly begins to raise her t-shirt over her head.

  "Now that I've been doing it for a while, I positively love it," Julia replies while watching Holly.

  Firm and shapely, Holly's body reminds Julia of how she looked when she was in graduate school. Memories of Sandra, her former roommate, drift back into her consciousness. Vivid images reappear of a warm summer's night when she and Sandra went for a midnight walk along the seashore. Having revealed many of their deepest secrets and desires to each other, the two women grew very close. On that night, they swam nude in the warm surf of the California coast. Overcome by the beauty of their moonlit private spot near the rocks, Julia allowed Sandra to introduce her to the love of another woman.

  Trying not to stare, Julia temporarily looks away while Holly unhooks her bra, but then looks back once she sees it fall to the ground. Holly's breasts are as large and full as Julia had imagined. Julia catches her breath as she watches Holly's nipples stiffening.

  "You have such pretty breasts, Holly," Julia says with an air of ease and assurance. "But they look so tender and white, you'd better put on a lot of lotion before you let the sun get hold of them."

  Julia watches intently as Holly pours a liberal portion of suntan oil into the palm of her hand. Rubbing together her hands to fully coat them, Holly raises both to her breasts. Julia feels herself growing aroused as she observes Holly rubbing the oil into her skin.

  "Your breasts are all golden brown, like the rest of you, Julia. You have a very pretty body," Holly remarks as she shyly glances at Julia. "You must come out here a lot."

  "In more ways than one!" exclaims Julia laughingly, wondering if she will shock Holly with her implied reference to sexuality.

  At this moment Julia decides to let her feelings and intuition take over. She senses that Holly is as excited by her presence as she is by Holly's.

  As Holly stands near the towel on which Julia is lying, she feels the closeness between her and Julia returning. Slipping her shorts down her pale white legs, she faces Julia wearing only a tiny pair of panties. Holly's fingers slip into the waist band and gently tug the panties down her thighs. As she stands naked with her thighs slightly parted, Julia gazes hungrily upon Holly's naked form, feeling a growing dampness between her own legs. A powerful erotic tension seems to be filling the air. Neither woman speaks as Holly kneels on her towel, facing Julia. Julia suddenly notices Holly is breathing more rapidly than normal, and looking up at Holly's face she feels their eyes suddenly lock.

  "You, too, have a beautiful body, Holly," Julia speaks into the other woman's ear, just loud enough to rise above the sound of a passing motorboat. Then, extending her hand, she invites Holly to lie upon the towel next to her.

  "Please, may I rub oil on your back?" Julia asks innocently.

  "Yes, Julia, I'd like that a lot," Holly volunteers, attempting to control the variety of emotions she is feeling.

  Taking the oil, Julia pours some directly upon Holly's pale, soft back, starting at the tops of her shoulders and descending along the length of her shoulder blades.

  Julia has never actually touched another woman so intimately before. The night she had spent with Sandra long ago had been an introduction to feminine eroticism that was never repeated. Julia remained the passive recipient of Sandra's caresses, afraid to give in to her desire to return the pleasure. Soon afterwards Julia had married, never to see Sandra again.

  As she spreads the oil over Holly's skin the images return to her thoughts. Setting down the bottle and pressing both hands into Holly's stiff back muscles, she concentrates on relaxing her completely.

  "You're so tense," Julia observes. "It's going to take some time to loosen up these tight muscles."

  Gazing down over Holly's body, Julia wants at this moment to touch her more intimately--to bring waves of sensual pleasure to Holly. Never before has she felt such a longing to indulge her desires, not even with her former husband. Julia wrestles with her many conflicting thoughts and emotions, wanting to go slowly and make Holly feel totally at ease.

  "Julia, I said a lot of things when I saw you last year that I'm sorry for now," begins Holly. "Like, for example, my putting down the academic world where you work. I mean, that was awfully insensitive of me after all of the effort you put into winning your tenure."

  "That's okay now," responds Julia while her fingers continue kneading Holly's muscles, slowly trailing lower down her back. "Actually, you have many wonderful insights into that world that I've been blind to," she continues. "I guess my zeal to win tenure prevented me from seeing some of the problems. But you're right. Academic life's not all it's cracked up to be, and maybe I'm just a phony for trying to fit in..."

  "But you made such a wonderful difference in that place, Julia," Holly continues. "You brought a totally fresh and different perspective to the subjects you taught. When you talked about things, they made so much more sense to me than when anybody else did. And when I watched you, I really *did* feel inspired. I would finish talking with you or listening to one of your lectures and that night I would go to bed dreaming of you. So many times I told my girlfriends I wanted to be like you--to follow in your footsteps."

  "Then why did you go away from it all?" Julia asks, her voice again reflecting her disappointment.

  "Because I couldn't bear to watch your spirit being stifled," Holly responds. "You always had to fight and struggle for just one ounce of respect in that place. Nobody else cares about students in that department the way you do either. If you left, it would be such a cold, forbidding place to be a student. They didn't--they don't--really respect you, Julia. They just tolerate you because you're too brilliant for them to be without."

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