Arley is outside waiting when Xiansheng pulls up for her.
She has dressed carefully, the day’s activities and Xiansheng’s tastes on her mind. Her shorts are shorter than will be comfortable once the day heats up and the sweat of climbing makes thighs grab at each other. It’s a sacrifice she makes not just willingly, but gladly. The continual rub, rub, rub of flesh on flesh, spanning the hours of the climb, will introduce an element of pain beyond the soreness of muscle, closer to her center than the blister that may form at the back of an ankle.
She’d go for a tee-shirt for any other day out on the trail, but she’d rather not test Xiansheng’s benevolence. He’s already allowing her to wear flat shoes– a first, but non-negotiable today. They have plans for today that they don’t want to miss out on, sitting in the ER waiting on care for an ankle sprain. Hiking boots, he’d agreed, were a necessity. “But you’ll make up for it elsewhere, won’t you, little girl?” he’d asked, more of a warning than a question, and she’d agreed without hesitation.
So there she stands, the sun already growing hot at its low angle, in shorts that more resemble a pair of denim panties and a lace-trimmed camisole, her freckled shoulders and the tops of her tits coated in two layers of sunblock.