On Saturday, Greg took Jeff over to the Williams house, where they sat together in front of the computer looking up equipment for the rec room. It was only natural for Kari to join them, since she had been with Jeff every day that week and could offer some suggestions. In the end, they decided on three machines that were versatile enough that together they could provide a similar workout to what he was had gotten used to, as well as some free weights and barbell for bench pressing.
The machines were delivered the next week, and Allen, Greg, Jeff, and Kari set to work assembling them. They had to rearrange some of the furniture in the room, but nothing too major since there was plenty of space. The project took most of the day, but finally they had the equipment set up.
Allen said that from now on, instead of Jeff going over to the Williams house, Allen would come over to the Primdale house and they would work on a new routine with the new equipment. Kari, of course, insisted that she come too, saying that she could just as easily work out at the Primdale house as at home, and it would save her father a trip. He agreed, and the next day they all met together downstairs.
Since Jeff already had experience now, he was able to easily adjust his routine to fit the new equipment. With Kari working in as well, it was like a game of musical chairs, with him constantly chasing her around the machines as they switched between them. They ended by bench pressing, and decided to check his progress by maxing out. Jeff was pleased to see that he had closed the gap with her, though she still won by about ten pounds.
Apparently word had gotten out about the pool, because several times over the next couple of weeks, Kari asked if some of her friends could come over in the afternoon and use the pool. Jeff had absolutely no objection to that; a lot of Kari's friends were nice to look at, especially in swimsuits. Sometimes Crystal would come over too, and sometimes she would stay home. Kari's friends Jenny Boyce and Shelly Hooper from the JV volleyball team came over one day, to Jeff's delight. Jenny was a cute blonde that wasn't quite as pretty as Kari, but definitely in the top ten at his school. It was just too bad that she wore the most conservative swimsuit. Shelly had light brown hair, and although not as stunningly gorgeous as Kari or Jenny, she was pretty in her own way. She was a great swimmer; she was planning to get a job as a lifeguard the next summer.
After his experience with Rachael, Jeff was beginning to have a little more confidence around women, and actually managed not to make a fool out of himself with the girls. Jenny was a flirt, and Jeff would have enjoyed her attentions were it not for the fact that Kari seemed to get into a bad mood whenever Jenny and Jeff interacted. That was both astonishing and flattering. It looked as if Kari was actually jealous!
Needless to say, she never invited Jenny back again. The next week she brought over Vanessa Moon and Kayla Fallon. Vanessa had flaming red hair and beautiful green eyes. He was surprised to find out that she knew Kari, because she was also good friends with Jeff's friend Rick. If he had known that before, he might have tried to get Vanessa to introduce him to Kari, though that was certainly a moot point now. Kayla was black, and although Jeff had never really found black girls that attractive, Kayla was certainly the exception to the rule. She was really fun, though not as flirtatious as Jenny had been.
Even Crystal sometimes invited her friends over. First it was the Dover twins, Tammy and Tanya. They were a pair of cute, twelve-year-old brunettes. While he certainly didn't entertain any romantic or sexual notions about them, they were nice to look at, and he figured that in a couple more years they would become a pair of gorgeous teenagers.
Another one of Crystal's friends that she brought over several times was Monica Matheson, a pretty girl with unusually black hair. He recognized her from Brit's twelfth birthday party. She was one of the giggling girls that had flirted with him the whole time, and this continued in the pool. While she was an amateur compared to Jenny, her childish teasing had a certain innocence that made it all the more amusing. He didn't mind it a bit.
Then there was Natalie Ross, or "Nat" as she preferred to be called. She had the tendency to climb all over things, including the trees, the guest house, and Jeff. She never used the stairs to reach the upper deck from below; she always climbed the poles supporting it instead. She had been taking gymnastics and ballet since she was old enough to walk, which explained her limberness. She liked to jump all over Jeff, scrambling up to sit on his shoulders. Being small for her age, she weighed almost nothing, so he was more amused than annoyed. While it could be interpreted as flirtatious, more likely she was just a little hyper and needed releases like that for her excessive energy.
As it turned out, Jeff enjoyed the times when Kari came over by herself even more. It seemed that as the weeks wore on, Allison made excuses to get Lissa and Brit out of the house with increasing frequency. Sometimes Jeff and Kari joined them when the activity wasn't too girlish. But whenever Jeff stayed home, Kari decided to stay with him.
It was during one of these times, about three weeks after he first started training, that something happened that changed their relationship forever.
In the morning Jeff had finally, for the first time, caught up and surpassed Kari in the bench press. That elation was short-lived, however, because after the math lesson while the girls were out shopping, Kari beat him at ping-pong. Still, Jeff had never really been all that competitive, so he didn't mind that she won. They came over and sat down on the couch.
"Jeff, can I ask you a personal question?" said Kari.
"Do you... do you like me?"
"What? Of course I like you."
"No, I don't mean that. I mean... Don't be mad, but Allison said that you... had a crush on me."
"She what?" he exclaimed.
"Please don't be mad, Jeff. Just tell me the truth. I promise, I don't mind either way."
"I know, but it's not something I'm really comfortable just coming out and saying."
"Would it help if I told you first what I think of you?"
"I don't know. It might."
"All right. Until this summer, I just thought of you as a good-looking guy, maybe a little freckly, although that's kind of cleared up lately, who wasn't particularly social. You were always kind of a loner. I'll admit I didn't really give you much thought until you came to my house that first day to work out, but once I found out what you're really like, I'm glad I got to meet you. I want to be friends... and maybe more."
"Yes, more. But I'm not going to elaborate until you tell me how you feel about me."
"Oh, all right. I'd like to be more than friends with you too."
Kari smiled. "I was hoping you'd say that. Would it be all right if I kissed you?"
"Only if I get to kiss you back," he grinned.
"It's a deal!" she exclaimed, then slid her arms around his neck and pressed her lips up against his. He put his arms around her waist and held her to him, kissing her a little awkwardly yet passionately.
When she drew back, she had a smile on her lips as she gazed lovingly into his eyes. "That was nice," she breathed. "I've always wondered what that would feel like."
"Haven't you ever been kissed before?"
"Not since second grade, remember, and he wasn't anywhere near as good a kisser as you are," she laughed.
"Well, I can't claim to be all that experienced either."
"Compared to a second-grade boy?"
"Well, since neither of us is very good at it, maybe we should practice," she said with a grin.
"All right. Now if only we had a boy for you to practice on and a girl for me..."
She laughed and slapped him playfully on the shoulder. "Together, I mean."
"That's an even better idea! Why didn't I think of that?" he joked.
They continued to kiss for half an hour, until Allison returned home with Lissa and Brit. Jeff and Kari hurriedly moved slightly away from each other on the couch so that when Brit came down the stairs, she didn't suspect anything. But later on, just before Kari had to leave, she managed to get him alone for a few seconds and stole a quick kiss. "We'll continue this tomorrow," she grinned.
Jeff was positively ecstatic the rest of the evening. He couldn't hide his happiness, as he grinned like an idiot the whole time. Brit just rolled her eyes, obviously not understanding what was going on, but Allison and Lissa gave him a knowing look.
The next day Allison again took the girls out while Jeff and Kari remained home. They did indeed continue what they had started yesterday. Jeff couldn't believe this was really happening to him. Kari Williams, the most perfect girl in the entire school, was actually kissing him!
He wanted to do more. He wanted to take her to his room and make love to her. Perhaps a more outgoing man would be a little more forward, but Jeff was scared that he might ruin their relationship if he tried anything. So for now, he was content to just hug and kiss her.
She seemed to especially like it when he just put his arm around her and she lay her head on his shoulder. They would do this while watching movies or television, or even just for the sake of doing it. She had a certain romantic streak to her; she loved little touches and caresses, and Jeff was happy to oblige her. She had such soft skin.
Jeff turned fifteen a few days later, and although he had a fun party, he had already received the best birthday present ever. He invited a few of his friends over, including Kari and even Crystal. They made it a pool party, and everyone had a lot of fun.
After that first time they kissed, Jeff and Kari had kept it a secret from the others out of a desire not to be teased by Brit or Crystal, and it had just seemed to become a habit that they wouldn't show affection while others were around. That was too bad, because he would have loved to kiss her while they were in the pool. Or even out of the pool while they wore their swimsuits.
After horsing around outside for a couple of hours, they came in and ate cake and ice cream, and Jeff opened his presents. All in all, it was his best birthday ever, even better than the previous year when they had gone camping.
That was also the first day that Allen didn't stay for Jeff's training. With basketball camp starting, he left Jeff with Kari in the mornings, and the two of them continued to work out together. She insisted that during that time they actually do what they were supposed to do, no matter how much they would rather be doing other things. Jeff did manage to steal a few kisses here and there, and she didn't seem to protest too loudly.
It continued that way for another three weeks as July wound down. It seemed that these days the other girls left them alone almost every day, to Jeff's delight. Kari and he would spend their time "practicing" their kissing, and Jeff was getting increasingly aroused with each session. He didn't know how much longer he could wait, but he was determined to control himself until she was ready.
By this time, Jeff was doing far better than Kari in the bench press, and in fact, was now stronger than her in all of the ways they worked out. On the other hand, on the first day of August when they received their scores back from the previous day's test that Allison had administered to them, they found that for the first time, Kari actually beat his score, if only by a single point. Jeff didn't mind that so much, since as soon as she saw her score she threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly, even in front of Allison.
"I think," said Allison, "in light of your achievement, at the very least you deserve a day off, don't you agree?"
"I'm not going to say no to a day off from school," Kari grinned.
"Good," Allison said. "That means I get the day off too. I'm going to take the girls to go see a movie. You two are welcome to come along too, but I have to warn you, it's a chick flick. I doubt Jeff would enjoy it at all."
"You're right about that," he replied. "I'm going to stay here. Kari, if you want to go see it though..."
"And leave you here by yourself?"
Jeff shrugged. "Rumor has it I've been by myself before, and somehow I survived all right."
"Do you want me to go?" she asked.
"Then it's settled."
"Okay, we'll be back about 4:00," said Allison, then headed up the stairs to collect the girls.
As soon as they left, Kari pounced on Jeff and began to kiss him.
"I'm so happy!" she said. "I actually got a good grade on a math test! Now I know I'm not dumb."
"Except maybe a little slow in catching on to what the rest of us already knew," he grinned.
"I'm in such a good mood. I scored well on my test, and now I get to be alone with you all afternoon. This is the perfect day!"
She threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips against his in a long, slow, deep kiss. Surprisingly, she slipped her tongue between his lips, something she had never done before. It caught him off guard, but he quickly regained his composure and began to caress her tongue with his own. He could feel Kari's heart beating; strongly and quickly, and he realized she must be getting excited for some reason. It all became clear a moment later when they drew apart.
"Let's go to the bedroom," Kari whispered. She gazed at him with longing.
"Really?" he asked, surprised. "Do you mean..."
"That's exactly what I mean," she replied. "Don't you want to?"
"I've wanted to for a long time, but I guess I was kind of scared of rushing you and doing something that would hurt our friendship. Are you sure this is what you want?"
"Yes it is," she smiled, then stood up and took his hand. He rose to his feet and led her up the stairs and down the hall to his room. Quietly closing both the hall door and the bathroom door, he came and sat down on the bed beside her. They continued kissing then, their hands beginning to explore each other's bodies. Jeff slid his hands under the back of Kari's shirt, lifting it ever so slowly and enjoying the feel of her bare skin. Kari placed her hand on his crotch, feeling his hardening member through his pants. It felt good, but also a little constricting. As if sensing his need, she unfastened his belt.
"Let's do this right," he said, then stood up. He took her hands and lifted her to her feet. His hand went to the bottom of her shirt, and he began to raise it. She smiled at him and raised her arms over her head as a sign for him to keep going. With one swift motion, he pulled it up and over her head and arms, then dropped it to the floor as he stared at her body with hunger. Though she was not as fully developed as Rachael or Allison, she had a beautiful figure for a girl her age. Not that he had seen too many before. Her skin looked incredibly soft, surprising for a girl who worked out. She had a slender waist which curved gracefully out to her nice hips. While the curves were shallow due to her age, he could imagine that in a few years she would have a body that would rival even Allison's. Her stomach was flat, and she had the cutest little belly button. But what he really longed to see was still covered.
He drew in and kissed her again, loving the feel of her body against his. As he did so, he put his hands behind her back and reached for the fastener to her bra.
"No fair!" she giggled, drawing back. "Now it's your turn."
"Would you care to do the honors?" he asked, reaching his arms over his head.
She grabbed his shirt and pulled it over his head. Before it even hit the floor he was back against her and fumbling with her bra clasp. A second later it came undone. He took the two ends and started pulling the garment away from her.
Kari suddenly tensed up. "Wait a minute," she said.
"What is it?" he asked, stopping.
"I'm..." she began. He could see hesitation in her eyes.
"I thought you wanted to do this," he said.
"I did. I do, I mean. Just... oh, all right. Go ahead."
He continued, pulling the straps forward until suddenly her bra slipped free. She immediately put her arms up over her chest.
"Come on, Kari," he said. "Let me see you."
"Um... okay... I'll just..." she stammered, but she made no move to uncover herself.
"What's the matter?" he asked. "First you say you want to do this, and now suddenly you've changed your mind? You can't just lead a boy on like that."
"I'm sorry, Jeff. I just need to take a minute to psyche myself up for this."
"It's okay," he replied. "Take all the time you need."
"Would it help if I finished undressing first?"
Jeff unzipped his pants and dropped them to the floor. Kari stared at the bulge in his shorts. He winked at her, then dropped them to the floor as well, exposing his hard cock to her eyes.
"Oh my god," she gasped as she stared at it.
"Nothing," she breathed. "Would you believe I've never seen one before? I just didn't expect it to be so big."
Jeff laughed. "I'll take that as a compliment. So now it's your turn."
Kari nodded. Taking a deep breath, she lowered her hands to her sides.
He was amazed at how beautiful her body was, at least the top half. If the bottom half were anywhere near as beautiful, she would be a goddess! Her breasts, though still somewhat small, were firm and perky, with cute little pointy nipples that looked so inviting. He wanted to just take them in his mouth right now and suck on them. For some reason, he found the sight of a girl in jeans, topless from the waist up, to be extremely erotic.
He noticed she had her eyes closed. Was that out of fear? Embarrassment? Or was it some kind of invitation? Maybe if he were a little more experienced, he might be able to read the signals. He decided to just experiment and see. He reached out and put his hands on her arms to draw her in for a kiss.
She jumped at the touch, stepping backward and almost stumbling. She opened her eyes, and he could see fear there.
"It's all right," he told her soothingly. "I'm not going to do anything you don't want me to."
"I know, Jeff, and I appreciate it," she replied. "I'll be all right in a minute. It's just that I'm not used to doing this."
He kissed her again, and he could feel her tenseness melt away. She was just a little shy right now, so he had to be gentle with her.
She unfastened her jeans and let them slide down to the floor, leaving only her white cotton panties. If he had thought she looked erotic in jeans, she was doubly so in just those panties. But he was more interested in what was underneath. He knelt down in front of her, put his hands to the sides of the garment, and slid them down.
She was extremely beautiful there, too. She had a light covering of hair just above her slit, which ran down between her legs and disappeared. He was growing excited with the thought that in a few minutes, he would enter that sweet opening and fill her with pleasure.
Jeff leaned in and kissed her stomach just above the hair line. Kari shuddered at the sensation, and a whimper of lust escaped her lips. Jeff grinned, delighting in the fact that he had caused it. Then he stood back up, wrapped his arms around her, and kissed her. She kissed him back, her eyes closed and seemingly at ease once again.
Kari lay down on the bed, and Jeff lay down beside her. He leaned over and kissed her on the lips, but there was something different this time. She seemed a little hesitant. Jeff slipped one hand onto her breast, and she trembled. He continued to kiss her, moving his hand from her breast down toward her stomach, then to the spot between her legs. As he did so, he could feel her shaking more and more strongly.
She suddenly pushed him away, clenching her legs tightly together. "Wait, Jeff," she said, a look of fear in her eyes. Jeff drew back and removed his hand, confused.
"Jeff, I..." she stammered. "I can't. Please don't be mad."
"It's okay, Kari, really," he said with a loving smile. "I don't want to do anything you don't want to do."
"But I do want to. I just panicked. It's not that I don't love you, but I... I just..."
"You're not ready," he finished for her, and she nodded, tears in her eyes.
"I'm sorry, Jeff. I got excited earlier because of all the wonderful things that have happened to me lately, and I thought today was the day. But I guess I'm not as ready as I thought. I want to please you, but I just can't do this right now, all right?"
"I don't mind," he told her. "If you're at all uncomfortable with it, we can stop now. But I would like to try again some other time, if you're willing."
"Tomorrow," she told him. "I promise."
"No, don't promise. I don't want you to feel obligated to please me. I want you to enjoy it as much as I do, so it has to be when the time is right."
"Oh, Jeff, you're so wonderful! I know it must be difficult to control yourself when you're like this, but I want you to know I appreciate it. If it's okay with you, I'd just like to cuddle this time."
"Of course it's okay," he said, lying down on his back. Kari rolled over on top of him, and he basked in the feeling of her warm body against his. She lay her head down and pressed her cheek against his chest. He reached down and drew the blanket up over her, then slipped his hands underneath it and wrapped his arms around her. Her trembling gradually diminished, then faded entirely.
"So you're not mad?" she asked him. "After I led you on like that, and then in the end..."
"I'm not mad, Kari, really."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely. You didn't do anything wrong."
"Some boys would say that a girl who led on her boyfriend like that and then chickened out at the last minute is a... well..."
"Let's not go into those names, Kari, because that's not the way I feel about you. I'm just so overjoyed to spend time with you, no matter what we do."
"Really. I mean, I can't deny that you got me aroused. But I think maybe you weren't as ready to do this as you thought. And that's okay with me."
"We can try again tomorrow, Jeff. I want it as much as you do. Just not right now."
"I'd like that. And don't worry if tomorrow it ends up the same way. I won't go through with it if it makes you at all uncomfortable."
"I think with all day for me to work up to it, I'll be all right tomorrow. It's just that..."
"I... well, remember how I said I haven't had a boyfriend since second grade?"
"I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions as to how experienced I am."
"You're a virgin?" he asked.
"Yes," she sighed.
"Well I'm not exactly the most experienced man in the world either, so let's not judge each other, okay?"
"Okay," she agreed with a smile.
"So tell me something. How is it that a girl like you, who could have her pick of all the guys in the school, has never had a boyfriend before, and yet you somehow decided that I'm the one for you?"
"I guess I was just waiting for the right guy," she smiled. "I'm glad I picked you, because I suspect if it were anyone else, he probably would have gotten mad at me for teasing him like that. Heck, half the guys in the school probably would have raped me."
"I just think you deserve to be treated like the beautiful, wonderful girl you are. Sure you're gorgeous and you've got a great body, but there's so much more to you than that. I want to experience all of you, not just the physical part. If I had gotten mad at you or tried to force you, I would risk losing you, and that thought, frankly, terrifies me."
"You're so sweet, Jeff. Thanks for understanding. I'm kind of embarrassed that I panicked."
"Don't be. To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous myself. What boy wouldn't be when he's about to make love to the most beautiful and perfect girl in the school? And besides, this feels kind of nice too."
"It feels very nice. Jeff, promise me that after we go through with it, you'll hold me like this again."