It was a mild weekend in December, unseasonably warm. Dena and Bobbi Jo were at a remote climbing spot almost a two hour drive away. It was a technically challenging climb and Bobbi Jo wanted the practice, so she was up first placing their pitons, with Dena climbing behind.
Bobbi Jo was working hard, big strong muscles bulging as she searched the cliff for the next handhold. Dena privately admired Bobbi Jo's full, muscular butt and long muscular legs. No woman should have curves that perfect. Dena tried not to stare too much, which was easy since the climb was challenging even for her. She had to pay close attention to their ascent. Even so, she was confused by the intensity of her physical attraction to Bobbi Jo. No doubt Bobbi Jo was breath-takingly beautiful, but Dena didn't know her own sexuality. Could she be bisexual? She thought about Cheryl's offer and Tanya's legendarily voracious sexual appetite more than she cared to admit, imagining the big girls' muscular athletic beautiful bodies writhing naked together, and imagining them in her own even bigger and more muscular arms.
Today, however, Dena wasn't focused on her own feelings, nor on her possible attraction to her teammates and opponents. She could sense something was off with Bobbi Jo. Something was bothering her friend.
Bobbi Jo reached too far and her foot slipped. She grabbed hard on her handholds and held her body up, big biceps and deltoids flaring, arms trembling with the effort as she felt for a toehold.
The big blonde had been climbing fast and without her usual careful, measured approach. Dena was alarmed at Bobbi Jo's recklessness. "Be careful," she called up.
"Why? You'll catch me. You can lift a two hundred pound man in one arm, I think you can handle me. You're fucking supergirl," Bobbi Jo spat bitterly.
Dena didn't reply. She was hurt by Bobbi Jo's unexpected viciousness. She was also startled and hurt that word had spread about what she'd done to Leon and Greg. She hadn't thought Sheldon would blab about she'd done, but she hadn't told him to keep it secret. Still, she was upset and disappointed.
They finished the rest of the brutal ascent with minimal chatter and rested at the top, breathing hard from the difficult climb. A cold wind started to blow. Bobbi Jo defiantly refused to cross her arms, letting the wind chill her skin into goosebumps.
"What's wrong?" Dena finally asked after a few minutes of silence.
Bobbi Jo turned away. "Sheldon didn't tell anyone. I knew that would bother you, which is why I said it. I'm sorry."
Dena closed her eyes and let out a sigh of relief. The thought that Sheldon was spreading that story around the school had bothered her more than she'd admitted to herself during the rest of the climb up. She wasn't sure why, but she would have felt betrayed by him bringing all that unwanted attention to her. "Thank you," she said quietly.
Bobbi Jo chewed her full lip and explained, "Leon and Greg are having some sort of fight, I've heard. Anyway, Greg is really pissed off, so he's been going around talking about how you made Leon piss his pants." She turned back to Dena with a small guilty smile. "Sheldon wouldn't do anything to embarrass you. He's loyal to a fault. He always has been. You know that, right? He loves you, Dena. It's obvious. Jesus, he fucking worships you." She said the last part with a bitter laugh.
Dena was surpised that Bobbi Jo and Sheldon knew each other, and marveled that Sheldon had the respect of someone like Bobbi Jo. He was full of surprises. But she could think about that later. Right now, she watched her beautiful friend suffer and her heart broke for her. It wasn't like Bobbi Jo to curse. She didn't consider it proper or ladylike, and didn't think it set a good example. She took her job as an athlete and role model very seriously. "What's wrong, Bobbi Jo?" she asked again.
Bobbi Jo looked away. "Connor's been cheating on me," she whispered. Then she looked back at Dena to see her reaction.
"What?" Dena was startled. This was the last thing she expected to hear. How could Connor dare to cheat on Bobbi Jo? And why? Dena had never met a more beautiful, warm, yet intimidating woman than Bobbi Jo. She couldn't imagine Connor, or anyone else, wanting to cheat on her. "Who is she?"
"It's not a she." Bobbi Jo laughed bitterly again and wiped her wet eyes. "I don't know if that makes it better or worse. Funny thing, he's one of Sheldon's friends. Pete, that mouthy little nerd. He's been sucking Connor off after practice." She took a deep, shuddering breath. "I'm such an idiot. Everyone will know my boyfriend is gay. I'll be a laughingstock!"
Dena was quiet a moment. "Are you more upset he cheated on you or that he humiliated you?" she asked.
That brought Bobbi Jo up short. She gave a small, surprised laugh and wiped her eyes. "You're pretty sharp," she said, eyeing Dena with new respect. "I think... Both. I love him. But I also love the idea of him. I loved being crowned at Homecoming with him. I thought I was going to be prom queen." She barked out a laugh at herself. "Oh god, I'm so shallow!"
"You're not," Dena said. She wasn't usually one to discuss her feelings, and nobody ever accused her of being chatty. But her friend was hurting, so she took her cue from Sheldon's straightforward and brave honesty and blurted out, "You're kind and brilliant and the most beautiful woman I've ever met. You're my best friend, Bobbi Jo. I've never had a best friend before, but it's funny, I feel like I've known you for years. Like you just fit, you know? I love you."
Dena's pale cheeks immediately turned bright in embarrassment. She couldn't believe she'd just said that out loud.
Bobbi Jo stared at Dena in surprise. A smile slowly spread across her tear-streaked face. "Thank you," she said. "I needed to hear that. I love you too, Dena." She looked out over the beautiful forest below, the wind whipping her thick mane of long blonde hair. She looked like a Valkyrie on the cliff top.
After a few minutes of companionable silence she finally turned back to Dena. "Let's talk about something else. How's it going with your boyfriend?"
"I don't know if Sheldon is my boyfriend," Dena said, surprised but willing to change the subject.
"What do you mean?"
"He never said I'm his girlfriend. He hasn't asked me."
"But you hang out, right?"
Dena nodded. Sheldon was friendly at school, and had asked her to the movies a few times, and dinner once. She had said yes when she could, which wasn't often. They went climbing on occasion, and Sheldon was getting much better. He could scale the beginner ascent and was more confident bouldering. He was eating better and climbing on his own, and his body was slowly changing from sedentary chub to a more muscular stockiness.
They were both busy, Dena especially so with multiple varsity teams, college applications, college recruiters, and a full course load of honors and advanced placement classes. They had very separate lives and she wondered what their status was, wondered if they were even a couple. She didn't have experience in these things and was grateful to talk to Bobbi Jo about it.
Dena told most of this to Bobbi Jo. "I don't know what we are," she finished.
"Did you two do it?" Bobbi Jo asked bluntly.
"We..." Dena blushed. "We haven't, you know."
"What? Not ever?"
Dena shook her head. "He's never tried to... um... you know."
Bobbi Jo shook her head and laughed in disbelief. "Oral? Second base?" Dena shook her head again. "Anything?" Dena shrugged. Bobbi Jo made a disbelieving face. "What do you do together, then?" Without waiting for Dena to answer, she continued quietly, "Do you want to do more with him?"
Dena's blush deepened. "Yes," she admitted.
"Have you asked him to?"
Dena stared at the ground and fidgeted uncomfortably. "No," she mumbled.
"Why the heck not?"
"I'm afraid he won't want to. He hasn't tried anything yet. Maybe..." Dena hesitated before voicing her worst fear. "I'm afraid it's because I'm not pretty," she whispered.
"That's ridiculous," Bobbi Jo said immediately, then regretted it when she saw the misery on Dena's face. Her tone softened. "Dena, one, you are beautiful, you're going to figure that out some day, and two, seriously, that little nerd worships you."
"Then why won't he touch me?" Dena pleaded.
Bobbi Jo gazed fondly at her huge friend. "Here, hold up your hand." Dena did, looking puzzled. Bobbi Jo held her fingers up. She had big, strong, long-fingered hands, but they looked like a child's hands next to Dena's. "Look how much bigger than me you are. And you may have noticed that I'm not a small lady! I'm even bigger than Sheldon in comparison. So you're like twice his size, easy. And look at you, you're unbelievably strong, you look like you could rip a man's arms off if he tried anything!"
"I wouldn't!" Dena protested indignantly.
Bobbi Jo grinned wickedly. "I know. But you could!"
Dena considered this in her thoughtful, methodical way. "He's afraid of me?" she finally asked in a hushed, miserable voice. "I would never hurt him!"
"I know. I'm sorry, I said it badly," Bobbi Jo said apologetically. "I'm sure he's not afraid of you, exactly, more like respectful. I've known Sheldon almost our whole lives. He's always been a nerd, you know, and he's never had a girlfriend before. I know he wants you to be his girlfriend. It's obivious. So maybe he's nervous. Maybe he thinks when the time is right you'll tell him. So tell him already."
"You really think so?"
Bobbi Jo squeezed Dena's huge steel-hard hands. "Yeah, dummy, I do." She looked up and up at Dena's troubled face. The huge amazon bit her lip in nervous thought.
"You really are beautiful, you know," Bobbi Jo whispered. She reached up and hugged Dena as hard as she could. She wasn't used to feeling so small with another woman, but it felt right with Dena somehow. She closed her eyes and rested her cheek on Dena's powerful, muscular chest. "I'm glad you're my friend. You're a good person, Dena."
Dena's eyes widened in surprised as she looked down at Bobbi Jo. She wrapped her powerful arms around the beautiful, curvy blonde amazon. "Thank you," she whispered, taking comfort from Bobbi Jo's embrace. Even in the midst of her own pain, Bobbi Jo was kind and generous. Melancholy tears welled up in Dena's eyes. She was proud and happy to have Bobbi Jo as a friend, but her heart broke for what her friend was going through. "I'll always be your friend, Bobbi Jo," she whispered fiercely, clutching her close.
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