Title: Enchantress: 03 The Pool
Disclaimer: The X-Files is a creation of Chris Carter and 1013 Productions and belongs to the Fox Network. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Skinner. Mysterious woman. Woods and water.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."
The line kept running through Skinner's head as he trudged further up into the Blue Ridge Mountains on this mid-September morning. He shook his head, frustrated that he could only remember the one line of the poem. For an English major, he was pitiful.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."
But not dark enough to keep the afternoon sun from him. He was a city boy, out in the wilds of Virginia, on yet another government mandated vacation. Determined not to be forced to take leave at the end of the year, he forced his workaholic self to take these two and three day breaks throughout the year, keeping his leave balance below the attention line of the personnel gods.
The sweat dripped down the crease in the center of his forehead to slip under the frame of his wire-rim glasses and collect in small pools on his nose. This second day of hiking was harder, somehow. It wasn't that he wasn't fit -- constant workouts and boxing kept him in good shape, especially for a man his age. It was his feet. He wasn't a runner or a walker, so his feet were not used to quite this much activity. His workouts tended to be on the machines, sitting and lying down. He made a mental note to start using the treadmill -- it was embarrassing that his feet hurt this badly after just one day.
But for now, despite the protest of his feet, and his own dislike for enforced rest periods, Skinner was intent on enjoying a few of the all-too-brief days of Indian summer. He gazed up at the sunlight slanting its way through stained glass leaves against a wide and empty sky. There were still a few green leaves hanging determinedly on the branches, but the overwhelming color was a joyous shouting of red across the line of hills. He paused for breath on the trail at a 'lookout point,' marked by a small camera signpost. It was stunning -- almost beyond belief. The hill fell away beneath his feet to a deep valley, cleft by a river winding far below. Leaves across the horizon were a patchwork of sunset colors, blazing fiercely in the dying sunlight. For a moment, Skinner was almost inspired to break into song. He laughed softly to himself as he turned back to the trail.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep ..."
The line continued to run through his head, the melody of the words just beyond his reach.
And then there was singing. Somewhere not far ahead, off to the left of the trail, he could hear a woman's voice, high and clear above the murmur of water leading down to the river below. Skinner couldn't quite make out the words, so far away, and he began to push his way through the underbrush towards that silver voice.
Sharp thorns scored light tracks along his hands as he pushed them away from his face, and the light dimmed as he went deeper and deeper into the trees. He was surprised, and a little annoyed, to find that there was someone else here on this desolate mountain. While he'd known that there were other hikers about, he'd deliberately taken a disused trail, paint faded almost to nothing, to avoid other people. He'd seen nobody for almost two days, and had liked it that way. The isolation had been so complete, he'd almost started to miss Mulder.
The brush had been getting harder and harder to push through, but as he persevered he could hear the voice more clearly. He still couldn't make out the words, but low, throaty laughter danced across the still autumn air, pulling him forward through the thick growth.
Suddenly, he broke through, almost falling flat onto his face as the trees gave way to a small clearing, a deep pool -- and a woman.
Her back to him, she sang to the setting sun, her voice a siren's call he was unable to resist. Slim legs, limber arms, soft breasts beckoned. Naked, she stretched her arms above her head, long hair trailing in the water. She tilted her head to the left, and he shivered as he imagined what it would be like to kiss that delicate skin. He looked for clothes she'd discarded nearby when she answered the call of that pool. On the far side of the clearing, at the base of a tree, lay a forgotten gown of emerald gauze. Even in the fading light, the water was bright with glittering sparkles, beautiful and alluring, with promises of mysteries hidden in its depths.
It was a glorious pool, and the woman matched it.
'But I have promises to keep.'
Studying the pool -- and the woman -- it just popped into his head. That was the next line of the poem. Skinner eyed the woman in the pool reflectively.
He pulled back instinctively, crouching in the shadow of an old oak, watching avidly. His lips glistened as he licked them over and over. He knew he should feel guilty but he found it difficult to concentrate on anything other than the slide of water over smooth, pale skin.
The woman rose from the water, her hair spreading behind her in a spill of color as red as the leaves across the hills, brilliant as the sunset. She was tall, within inches of his own 6' 2". She pulled herself up on a flat rock, proud and unselfconscious of her nudity. She sat on the rock for a moment, singing softly to the sun. Rising to her feet, she turned slowly, her eyes pausing as she stared in his direction.
His heart stopped.
Then laughing wildly, she dove down into the water. When she came up, it clung to her body, caressing the line of imperious neck to impossibly high breasts to slender waist and hips and muscled legs, finally dripping off red-painted toes.
Skinner didn't know how long he watched before his legs began to cramp. He was sure this woman wouldn't appreciate his presence -- to say nothing of how embarrassing it would be to be caught as a voyeur -- and so, slowly, regretfully, he began to ease his way back from the clearing, into the woods.
And then she called to him, a low, accented voice soft and sensuous as silk. "Come out."
He stumbled from his hiding place in the shadow of the ancient oak, falling to one knee, hands braced to catch himself. His face and groin were burning as he looked up, twin reactions, different stimuli.
She only laughed at him, a rumble of laughter like muted thunder as she stepped forward and reached out a hand to help him up. Her hand was steady and warm in his damp one, her nails long and sharp and red as blood. She led him over to a leaf-strewn patch, and gently pushed him to his knees.
She stood before him, slick with the water dripping down her body. Her head cocked, she studied him carefully, from the top of his head, down the length of his sweat-stained clothing, pausing briefly at the all-too-evident bulge in his pants. She didn't look particularly impressed.
"Do you remember?" she said.
Skinner shook his head, trying to place her voice. It seemed familiar, somehow, like something he'd heard before, but he couldn't recall exactly where.
"I -- I'm sorry," he stammered, trying his best smile, wondering if he'd accidentally wandered onto private property. The trail signs had gotten very faint the last few miles. "I'm just here to admire the -- beauty." His voice trailed off as his blush deepened. He was trying desperately to keep his eyes on her face and off her naked body.
She smiled at him then, a smile so stunning he was dizzy with the force of it. Her teeth flashed, bright and sharp in the sun's last light. "I like admirers," she said, reaching out to take his hand again.
And then she was touching him, strong hands moving sinuously across his chest and shoulders, down his arms.
Skinner tensed, unsure what to do or say in this totally impossible situation. She murmured gently to herself, laughing at his discomfort as she eased off his backpack, untied the sweater wrapped around his waist, pulled off his glasses.
She kissed his neck, his chest, his hard nipples as she unbuttoned his cotton shirt and slid it off his shoulders. "Shhhh," she murmured when he tensed, and then, "remember," as she ran her long fingernails down his chest.
She pulled him to his feet, undoing his pants and lowering them, dropping sharp kisses on his trembling thighs. He lifted his legs, one at a time, blindly. The boots came off, then socks, then pants, and his gaze was still focused on the blurring face of the autumn nymph and her brightly shining eyes. Then with her hands and mouth moving over him, she leaned over and kissed him, sliding her tongue deep against his.
It was then that he collapsed.
He came back to consciousness to find himself standing against the aging oak, the rough bark pressed into the tender skin of bare back and buttocks. His arms had been drawn carefully back and tied with some sort of cord, maybe vines. She was standing in front of him, smiling that bright smile again.
He was dizzy.
"Do you remember?" she whispered.
He shook his head, suddenly overwhelmingly terrified by his vulnerability. And excited. He was erect, throbbing almost painfully, and his own nudity seemed to free him to stare at his captor. His eyes drank in the curves and swells of her body, broken only by a patch of flaming hair.
She seemed to enjoy his gaze, continuing to smile as she watched his eyes watching her. Then she spoke again. "Do you remember?"
Suddenly time seemed to still and thicken so that Skinner had all the time he needed to remember.
There was a surreal shift and he was bewitched, enchanted, spellbound. He groaned as her hands stroked him. His eyes were still closed, and then he was engulfed in warm, tight wetness. He trembled where he stood, longing to reach out and balance himself with hands on her shoulders
His eyes opened and he was still standing, the woman before him, waiting. He shook his head, trying to clear it, but the sense memory lingered.
She reached out, toying with his nipple, then her hand dipped down to cup his sac and fingers traced lightly over the head of his cock. He groaned at the touch, and she smiled, whispering, "Do you remember?"
That same strange shift occurred, and he was somewhere else, some when else.
Her alabaster skin seemed to glow from within, and there was a gentle blush of excitement coloring her breasts and cheeks. Her nipples rose in taut little peaks, and she moved forward slowly, her hands coming to rest on his torso.
She began to stroke him, light up and down motions, tiny little circles, a soft touch, then a deeper pressure. She kissed his chest, her tongue snaking out to tickle the hairs that grew there and he shivered as his arousal mounted.
"I remember," he gasped, words barely possible as his mind fogged with pleasure. "I still don't know who ..." A moan escaped him as her tongue stroked beneath his sac. "You look different ..."
"I can appear as anyone," she whispered. "Remember ..."
The world turned gray as the sun set, and then silent darkness descended. With vision gone, every touch seemed three times as intense. He shivered in his bonds, naked, secured in the dark woods, at this woman's mercy. He could feel every inch of his skin, every cell trembled with anticipation, with fear, with lust. He thrust his hips forward, erection searching for its home.
She touched him again, hands circling his waist, fingers dropping slowly to tease within the thicket of coarse curls that surrounded the base of his erection. A single drop escaped the weeping head and spilled over the edge, trickling slowly down the ridged flesh. The quick flick of a tongue captured his offering, stealing the moisture before it could be lost in the dark woods.
A tortured hiss whistled through his clenched teeth. One touch and he was ready to spill his seed into the silence. Skinner's mind stumbled, thoughts chased incoherently away by the fragile ghost of sensation that played across his chest and lower abdomen. He sucked in a deep breath, pulling in his stomach muscles, trying to escape her exquisite torture.
It was useless; the need to submit to her overwhelmed the need to evade. The pleasure of her light, fleeting strokes gave birth to a groan that was dragged from the depths of his darkest desires.
"Do you remember?" The words echoed in his mind, calling forth visions of a seductress in a motel room, gone without a trace.
"Do you remember?" A graveyard. A lighthouse. An enchantress who called him forth and held him on the edge of reality.
Warm wetness engulfed him, tongue teasing his length, lips encircling him.
"No! Noooo!" The cry was ripped from him as his body arched against the rough tree, testing the strength of the woman's restraints. Incoherent now, he could only beg for release.
She pushed on, every touch taking him to the edge of insanity and threatening to leave him there. His precarious grip on control faltered as reality shifted and began to crumble.
There was a subtle brushing of satiny soft curls over his manhood. Long tresses caressed his shaft, soaking up the pearly drops that wept unceasing from its tip. He could feel each strand as it floated across his highly sensitized skin.
This final torment left him incoherent and thrashing wildly. "Please, please," he begged, the words ripped from his shattering soul. He heard moaning, and only belatedly realized it was his own. Tears crept from his eyes, staining his cheeks, and his wants, his needs, his desires coalesced into a blinding explosion of fire and ice, of light and darkness, of earth and stars.
"I remember!" he screamed, surrendering completely to her touch. Bound, naked, vulnerable, he gave in to this forest creature as her mouth descended and gorged again on his aching flesh.
Collapsing to his knees, he felt but could not see as he was released, falling forward to catch himself on shaky arms. All thoughts of sanity were gone, erased in the moment, and he slid down into the autumn leaves.
Her mouth plundered his one last time, and he was intent on remembering every nuance of this sensual journey.
"Remember," she cooed to him as tendrils of sleep slipped silently through his mind.
He reached out to grasp her, to pull her to him, but there was only empty air, and before he could rise, to search, to seek her out, sleep claimed him.
The sun woke him early, and he rolled stiffly to his side. Leaves stuck to his chest and upper legs, and even in the fresh fall air, he could smell the scent of sex. Shuddering in the morning breeze, he looked down at his naked body in shock.
What the hell was he doing?
A quick look around and he found his pack, and clothes, and thankfully, his glasses. He was fortunate no one else was on this little used trail. And what had possessed him to remove his clothes and sleep bare on the forest floor?
Shaking his head, he started to dress, pausing uncomfortably at the thought of putting on clothes without at least making an effort to clean himself.
He eyed the still pool thoughtfully. No one was around. He was already naked. Why not?
A toe test proved the water cold, but not frigid and he quickly slipped into its depths. He splashed pleasantly in the water, rinsing his body several times, then flipping on his back and floating peacefully for long minutes.
He felt relaxed -- sated -- like someone who'd had good sex and good sleep. Good sex. Never too old for wet dreams. The thought made him laugh.
There was an echo, a mere whisper of laughter that answered him, and he froze in momentary panic, head whipping around to be sure he was alone. When there was no further sound, he dismissed the sound as his imagination and stepped from the pool.
Shirt in hand, he shook himself then briskly toweled off with the soft flannel. Boxers, jeans, T-shirt. Socks and boots. The sweater to keep out the morning chill while he dried thoroughly. The flannel he tied about his waist to dry. He hefted the pack, slipped it on and turned to work his way back to the trail.
Before he began to push back into the woods, he turned to stare at the magical pool, glistening in the pure sunlight.
"Au revoir," he whispered to the still pool, then he turned and moved into the woods.
"Remember," came the reply, the word so softly murmured the sounds were mistaken for the winds through the leaves.
He pushed forward through the brush, aiming for the main path. It was time to go back, time to return to his lonely life. What was that poem that had been teasing him yesterday? He searched his memory, finally dredging forth an entire verse.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,