"Come on Caz," Vanessa moaned. "It'll be fun. You need to have a bit of fun; we both do!"
I frowned. Although a music festival -- even a minor one like this would be great, going camping wasn't my idea of fun. Not even in August. The British weather is infamous for its unreliability and I didn't see why this summer should be any more predictable than it had been during the previous eighteen years of my life. The thought of wading through all that mud in a short summer dress and wellies once again made me shudder.
"I dunno Ness," I whined.
"Don't be a misery! It'll be great. It's on a proper campsite with toilets and showers and a shop and it's only fifteen minutes' walk from the town. The pubs are okay, there's even two clubs and they have barbecues on the beach."
"Well maybe..." I began.
"The bands are good. And there'll be boys too!"
She whispered the last sentence as if passing on a state secret.
"But we won't know them," I protested.
"That's even better, isn't it? You can do what you want, and no-one back here will know," Vanessa continued.
"I'm not sure..."
"Come on Caz. We deserve a treat after all those exams. We'll be at Uni next year. Relax, it'll be fun. Booze, boys and a bit of weed. What's not to like?"
I thought about it. Put that way, the idea sounded a lot better, but I was still only a maybe.
"And I've heard that Kieron's going to be there," my friend said in a singsong, teasing voice.
I stopped moaning and listened; this was important news.
Kieron was my brother Paul's best friend. A year older than me and drop-dead gorgeous, Kieron and I had got with each other at parties twice over the past year, much to my brother's annoyance. We had kissed until our lips went numb and I had let him grope me comprehensively both times.
Paul had seen some of what was going on and hadn't been at all happy; sisters were supposed to be out of bounds. He didn't know that I had actually let Kieron get as far as fingering me through my panties in a dark corner of that same party.
I would have let him get a lot further too if we hadn't been interrupted, but that was as far as it had gone so far. Kieron and I had been exchanging messages since, but as yet, hadn't been on a proper date so to my severe disappointment, I could not yet call myself his girlfriend.
On the surface I was being as casual as I could, but underneath, I had the hots for Kieron big-time.
"Yes, Caroline," Ness continued in the same teasing voice. "Keiron! Chris Fielding told Sam and Sam told me. Chris and Kieron are going to be staying on the same site as us."
"Ah! Now I get it!" I laughed.
"What?" she asked aggressively.
"Chris Fielding?" I said slowly and teasingly. "Chris 'oh my God I think I've gone to heaven' Fielding?"
"Shut up Caz!"
Sam was Ness' older brother and a friend of both my brother and Kieron. Yes, I know it's complicated. All three boys were tall, athletic and had been on the same rugby team at school. All three were home from their various Universities for the summer and were causing mayhem among the newly-eighteen-year-old girls who were about to follow them to college in September.
Which of course, included us.
In terms of attractiveness, it was hard to choose between the three of them. Indeed, Vanessa had already had a brief fling with my brother. It had ended badly the same night Kieron's hands had found their way into my panties, hence Paul's bad temper with me when he caught us.
Paul and Ness had been an item for about three months. At first, the idea of my brother and my best friend being in bed together had upset me more than I could bear -- if sisters were off limits, why not brothers too? But they had seemed happy together, so I gritted my teeth and tried not to let my annoyance show.
The two had got drunk the night of the break-up, and had one of those stupid rows, this time over Paul's attitude to another girl. The girl in question was Becky, another of our friends. Ness had accused Paul of flirting when he was supposed to have been exclusively with her.
The jury was still undecided on the extent of his guilt. Becky was predatory, an easy lay and had fancied Paul for years. She was an obvious target to accuse in a row, but even so, I knew for certain that there had been more than a grain of truth in Ness' accusation.
I felt guilty for having let her know that I had seen the two of them kissing. I wasn't entirely sure why I had done it; I wasn't usually one to grass my brother to the Feds, but there had been something about seeing the two of them together that had got my goat big time.
The row that followed would have been entertaining to watch if it hadn't hurt my brother so much.
Vanessa had barely spoken to Paul since the break-up. I knew he was very cut up about the whole thing, and badly wanted to get back with her. I couldn't blame him; with her long red hair and impressive figure, Ness was very striking indeed. What with me being tall, dark and skinny like my brother, she made me feel dowdy whenever we went out shopping or to parties.
I could have killed to have Ness' huge boobs, and as for the shape of her bottom...
Anyway, no longer distracted by her relationship with Paul, my best friend was free to pursue her regular crush -- Chris Fielding.
Another of the tall, dark and handsome group of boys to which my brother and Keiron belonged, Chris had been Vanessa's crush since she was thirteen. They had snogged together a handful of times over the years, and Chris had fingered her at least twice, but then he had fallen for Alice, the two of them had quickly discovered real sex, and Vanessa had been dropped like a stone.
Alice was the leggy, but distinctly un-intellectual blonde that Chris had been with for nearly three years. Their relationship had been mostly faithful - Chris having only had the occasional wander into forbidden territory, his forays into Ness' knickers being the most significant.
Alice and I had been at school together from the age of four and would have been as close friends as Ness and I were, if Chris and his cock hadn't got in the way.
But they had got in the way, and once he had got into Alice's knickers -- something that had happened very quickly and at an early age - the two of them had been having sex more frequently and for longer than anyone else I knew.
As the longest-standing couple in the school, the wise money was on the two of them ending up married.
The more cynical money was on her getting pregnant long before a ring was on her finger.
The wisest money of all knew that this had already happened.
As far as I was aware, only Alice, her mother and I knew about her daughter's condition. And I only knew because it had been me that found my friend on her knees in the girl's toilet at school, retching into the lavatory bowl with tears streaming down her face and a positive pregnancy test on the floor alongside.
From her continued predatory attitude towards Chris, Vanessa clearly had no idea things with Alice had got that serious, but I had been sworn to silence and now had to watch the relationship car crash taking place in slow motion in front of my eyes.
Alice did not trust Ness and with good reason. In return, Ness considered Alice to be a slut who had used her body to entice Chris away from her, his true love. Given that as far as we knew Alice had only ever slept with Chris, whereas the school was littered with Vanessa's ex-boyfriends, this attitude was hard to justify. But Vanessa was not to be shaken; she still somehow believed that she could prize Chris away from the blonde mistake he had made and back into her arms.
While her tenacity was in many ways admirable, her success had so far been lamentable; Chris and Alice had stuck. But still my friend's crush remained as enduring as it was unrequited, and Ness saw nothing wrong in planning yet another assault on Chris' fidelity.
Now the whole prospect of the festival suddenly took on a different perspective. Vanessa clearly had a bit of mischief-making in mind, and I was to be her wing-woman.
I could see it all clearly now. In my friend's devious plan, we would go into the festival as two sets of best friends. She and I would be in our tent knowing that nearby, Keiron and Chis were in another, somewhere in the crowd.
We would 'accidentally' bump into each other watching one of the gigs, we would smile and spend time together then, helped by music, darkness, booze, weed and a generous dose of female guile, we would magically become two couples: me and Keiron in one tent, Ness and Chris in the other. The activities within that second tent would be so passionate and so profoundly satisfying that Chris would dump Alice and take up his rightful place at Ness' side.
It would be a disaster, I could see it clearly but all I could do was watch it happen.
Still if Keiron really was going to be there...
"Can you see them?" Ness asked, pointing vaguely towards the stage at the bottom of a shallow hill.
It was the first day of the festival. The sun was shining, the crowd was gathering and there was an air of excited anticipation all around us which would reach a peak as the first notes of the first song from the first band burst out of the PA system at six o'clock that evening.
Meanwhile, Ness and I had arrived with our backpacks and tent and were looking for a suitable place to pitch it. Both of us having predatory intentions as far as the boys were concerned, it was vital that we located our prey quickly, and positioned ourselves strategically close to make the planned seductions as manageable as possible.
I wasn't sure how it would go, but the early signs were good. Ness had twice before managed to pierce Chris' shield of fidelity, and no doubt believed a weekend in bed with her was all that was needed to end that relationship permanently.
I knew Alice had a trump card up her sleeve -- or more accurately in her womb -- but frustratingly, had to keep that knowledge to myself.
In my case, having already felt Keiron's fingers on and inside my vulva, I hoped that privacy and freedom were all it would take for him to follow through on his promising start and bed me properly. From there, a beautiful long-term relationship would begin.
I had brought a dozen condoms with me to make sure nothing could interfere with that much-desired outcome.
Meanwhile our quarry was proving elusive.
"We're too far away," I sighed. "There's no sign of them."
"Come on Caz. Try harder! Look over there!"
At Ness' urging, I stood on my tiptoes in my flat shoes and peered through oversized sunglasses in the general direction of her pointing hand.
"Nah!" There's too many people."
"I know I saw Keiron," she insisted. "He was wearing that white BMX T-shirt he wore at Jane's party."
My heart thumped. I knew that shirt well; it had been pressed against my right boob while Keiron's fingers had been playing with the wet, sensitive contents of my rather damp knickers in a dark corner of the aforementioned party.
The memory made me look harder. I stood higher on my toes and strained my eyes. Suddenly I saw it; my heart skipped a beat.
"You're right Ness," I exclaimed excitedly. "He's got two beers and he's going towards the campsite. Chris must be in the tent."
"Then what are we waiting here for?" my friend beamed. "Wait! Do I look okay?"
"For God's sake Ness," I sighed. "You look fine."
"Fine isn't going to get me Chris, Caz," she looked at me anxiously. "I need to look hot at the least!"
I laughed. Apart from when she had one of her monstrous hangovers, I couldn't remember a time when Ness had ever looked anything but hot. She certainly looked it then. Though I say it myself, we both did that day. But with two fit boys as targets, neither of us was going to take any chances.
Ness was wearing a tiny denim skirt that sat low on her hips and barely covered her buttocks, which meant that I and every other person she passed could see she was wearing a green thong underneath. On top she wore a push-up bra which displayed her impressive bosom to devastating effect, and a cropped vest, also green, which showed off her long red hair spectacularly.
I had gone for an equally short sleeveless sun dress designed to show off my long, skinny legs. It was sort of rainbow patterned, with all the colours merging into each other. Legs were by far my best feature, so I needed to make the most of them. My boobs are tiny, so I didn't bother with bras in the heat. My knickers were white and visible, but unlike Ness I preferred panties to thongs; although they look sexy, thongs always make me feel like I have a permanent wedgie. I had pulled my shoulder length, dark brown hair back into a ponytail and tied it with a white scrunchy.
Whatever Ness might have said, she looked as hot as I had ever seen her and was very much ready for battle.
And so was I!
It took a good ten minutes to work our way through the crowded campsite, tripping over guy ropes as we passed every kind of festival goer from pre-teens with their parents to grey-haired hippies. Ness' short skirt and thong attracted a great deal of attention; lust from the boys, envious sneering from the girls and I have to confess that once again, she was making me feel a bit dowdy.
Eventually we approached the corner where Keiron had last been sighted. We paused and looked again.
"Okay," Ness said. "Mustn't appear desperate right? We want them to think they saw us first and persuaded us to camp near them."
My scheming friend was right. It wouldn't do to look too keen or too easy. A girl has to retain some dignity.
"What do you want to do?" I asked.
"Wait until one of them goes to the bar, then one of us runs on ahead so he can't help noticing us in the queue in front of them."
"That could take ages?" I protested.
"Nah. Trust me. They're on the beer already. They'll need either a pee or another can within minutes."
We stood about fifty yards away, hidden by a large poster offering condoms at reduced rates at a nearby stall. The irony was impossible to miss, so we were both giggling wildly when a familiar figure emerged from the boys' tent.
My heart leapt. It was Keiron!
"Where's he going?" Ness hissed.
"Not for beer," I replied, watching my heartthrob closely.
"Not the loos either," Ness added.
The dark, much-desired boy began to stroll towards where we were standing.
"He's after condoms, Caz," Ness teased. "You're in luck!"
"Fuck off Ness," I laughed, not admitting I had come prepared.
We watched anxiously as Keiron drew closer, then veered off towards a burger stand.
"Okay. He's getting food," Ness said excitedly. "Off we go!"
"We've got to run ahead and get in the queue in front of him, dozy," she urged, pushing me hard in the direction Keiron was about to take.
The two of us half-walked, half ran through the crowds towards the powerful aroma of cooking onions. I was not fond of burgers, especially cheap nasty festival ones and the smell made me feel nauseous, but to win my man, I was prepared even to eat one of the hateful things.
The crowd was thick, so Keiron had already been served by the time we reached stall. I straightened my hair, hitched my sun dress up so just a little more thigh was visible, then stood in line, trying to look casual but making sure I was impossible to miss as he made his way back with the burgers and drinks.
Vanessa stood a little way apart, looking steadfastly in the opposite direction as if meeting boys was the last thing on her mind.
The deceit worked!
"Is that you, Caz!"
The familiar voice made my tummy go gooey and my knees go weak. I turned round, trying to look as if I was surprised.
"Keiron? Hi!" I stammered, smiling and feeling like a love-struck schoolgirl.
OMG. If anything, he looked even more gorgeous than I had remembered.
"It's great to see you," he smiled back, looking genuinely pleased. "I didn't know you were coming."
"It was a last-minute thing," I lied.
"Well I'm glad you made it. You're not on your own, are you?"
"I'm here with Vanessa," I replied, then turned to where she was standing, deliberately not looking my way. "Hey Ness! Look who's here!"
My friend turned and gave an Oscar winning performance of a girl both surprised and pleased to meet a friend unexpectedly. We chatted as Keiron led us towards the boys' tent.
"Hey!" he called towards the open tent flaps as we neared the camp. "You'd better get out here; we've got visitors."
I could feel Vanessa go tense as the object of her obsession grew closer, clearly trying to adopt a pose which showed off her body in a way Chris would find irresistible.
I had to admire her tenacity when it came to getting her man. With a body like hers it was surely only a matter of time before his resistance crumbled.
Even I felt tense. There was a rustling, grumbling sound from under the canvas before a boy emerged bare-chested, dressed only in cut off jean shorts.
He rose to his feet and looked at us appreciatively. He was tall; the muscles of his well-toned chest were impressive, as was his near six-pack stomach. His legs were long and strong, and he had the tightest pair of buttocks I had seen in a long time.
"Hi!" he said with a friendly smile.
The voice was familiar - very familiar.
I heard Vanessa gasp in disappointment; it wasn't her beloved Chris emerging from the tent.
It was my brother Paul, her recently dumped ex-boyfriend.
It took a few moments for the surprise to sink in.
Poor Ness; instead of having her heartthrob all to herself and vulnerable to her undoubted seductive charms, she was standing face to face with the ex she had ditched acrimoniously only a few weeks ago.
His presence was a mystery to me too, but we all tried to put a brave face on the situation.
"Hi," I smiled awkwardly at my brother.
"Hi Caro," he grinned back sheepishly. "Hi Ness."
Vanessa just grunted. Keiron seemed either not to have picked up the awkwardness in the air, or else he had decided to try and smooth things over as best he could.
"Want a beer?" he asked in the general direction of we two girls.
"Fuck, yes!" Ness replied angrily, stomping over and taking the offered can.
"Caz?" he looked across at me.
I nodded and he tossed a beer towards me. I caught it, popped the ring and took a long swig.
"Come on," Keiron said happily, spreading out a ground sheet and apparently totally misreading the mood of the group. "Drop your tent and bags here and have a drink. We can help you put them up later."
Our plan to pitch tent close to our target boys had misfired. Now only my intended partner was available. I looked at Ness. She scowled back at me. I pulled my very best pacifying face and nodded towards Keiron.
Ness' shoulders moved in a gesture a Frenchman would have been proud of. Then she reluctantly sat down on the rug, as far away from my brother Paul as possible. This meant she was closer to Keiron than I was.
Now it was my turn to frown.
Conversation was a bit awkward to say the least, and almost non-existent between Paul and Ness. My friend emptied her beer very quickly and embarked on a second while I tried to take stock of the situation.
Though my intended target was here and still available, Paul's presence was a serious interference in my plans as well as Vanessa's. How could I possibly try and seduce Keiron with my brother watching? How could I let myself go in bed with Keiron when my older brother was there to hear every moan and grunt I made?
I looked at Keiron again; he really was even more attractive than I remembered. There was no way I could afford to miss my chance; I would simply have to deal with the Paul situation if it arose.