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Up Up & Away For Valentine’s Day

Category: Group Sex
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It was one of those beautiful late January days. You looked out the window and saw the azure sky dotted with a few small puffy white cumulus clouds and were deluded into believing that it was a warm summer day. It was the kind of day that makes me think of flying my nearly new hot air balloon up amongst the clouds, drifting along with those majestic cotton balls, a part of the sky.

One step outside though and the daydream evaporates in a flash. When the temperatures are this cold, not even a snowmobile suit could keep you warm. Open the door and any thoughts of flying a balloon dissolve. Still, for the last month, I had been thinking. Thinking of plastic sheets to keep the balloon envelope out of the snow so it wouldn’t get wet and mold when it was packed up. Thinking of how to bribe a crew to get them to help. Then I’d go outside and freeze, and put away any thought of flying.

I wasn’t outside when the phone rang, I was looking out the window and daydreaming. Daydreaming of floating amongst those puffy clouds. In my daydream it was summer. It had been several months since I had gotten out my pretty balloon and I was itching to feel my feet leave the ground.

The voice was female and sexy sounding and wanted to know about balloon flights. I wasn’t thinking of cold or moldy balloon fabric or even sex. I was thinking of flying. Talk about perfect timing!

She wasn’t thinking of freezing her non-existent balls off floating above the earth with no suitable landing fields available till your toes turned black from frostbite. She was thinking of the perfect valentines present for her new hubby. I was weak in that moment. I was thinking of how one could fly a balloon in the winter. I wasn’t thinking of frostbite or hypothermia.

I gave her the standard spiel when I should have been giving her a big fat NO. Hell, I was a private pilot. I gave rides whenever someone bought the propane. I couldn’t charge. I gave rides anytime anyone paid for the gas. At least I did cover the weather thing. Just because you wanted to fly a balloon didn’t mean you could. The weather had to be right and the winds low.

Valentines day wasn’t now. It was a month from now. In February. Warmer than January (sometimes).

Then reality sunk in. Crew! Winter! Not much chance.

Crew was always an issue. I had to think of it. So much for a Valentines day flight.

Amanda was ahead of me. Someone had briefed her. She told me the crew situation was already taken care of. That left me at a loss, until she dropped the names on me.

Jody! I hadn’t talked to her or her husband since Christmas. Jody and Allen were willing to crew! Jody, well experience had told that Jody was always willing. My mind went wild! I suddenly wondered about Amanda. Was she a swinger like Jody or just a regular friend? I made a conscious decision to not bring that subject up. Amanda didn’t. I took her number and told her I’d call her back.

What the hell!!!!! I could face the cold for another “meeting” with Jody! What could be better? Flying balloons and nailing Jody, all in the same weekend! Then I thought about it. There was the possibility of a frostbitten nail!

Jody will always have a special place in my…. Well, I should say heart but that might not be the right place. I had been divorced two years ago and to this day haven’t so much as dated anyone. Last fall Jody had called about an “adult” balloon ride. That had led to my first experience with swinging. Perfect for me! Pussy without any arguments! When the ride was over, she didn’t want my house, my business or my left testicle.

I have to admit that I didn’t get much work done for the rest of the day. I kept thinking of my two favorite things in life. Balloon flying and sex. I knew Jody would be at work so I just daydreamed through the day. I should have logged my daydreams because at the end of the day I found myself wondering what I had dreamed more of, balloon flying or Jody’s neatly trimmed magic carpet. Both conveyances provided wonderful rides!

Being a newly single male, dinner was the usual affair, go out. I splurged for a Wednesday night and went to Pizza Hut. Mentally, dinner was more of the days fare. One bite of pizza and one thought of a balloon floating above the earth. One more bite, think of how good Jody tastes. On the next bite, think of how good the pizza was. I thought of my ex. She would have said I was a typical male. My thoughts evenly divided between flying (instead of the usual sports), food, and sex.

When I got home, I just had to open the padlock on the balloon trailer and stick my head inside. I checked, caressed, and played with my balloon basket and peeked at the burner stored inside. Suddenly I noticed my toes getting cold. So much for thinking of balloons. It was just too cold to fly a damn balloon.

That left topic number two, Jody’s tender parts. Time to go inside and make a call.

I just had to develop a better filing system! I knew right where I stored that number, in amongst the paid bills. Problem was it took me 15 minutes to find the slip of paper with their number on it. All the time I was hyperventilating thinking of Jody naked.

I confess to sitting in the recliner with my pants down around my ankles as I punched the numbers into the cordless phone.

I heard the phone ring, once, twice, three times. I was almost giving up hope (and hold of my manhood) when I head the phone being lifted from the cradle.

“Hello.” Aw shit, Allen’s male voice and not Jody’s sexy female tones. My tender parts shriveled.

“Hey, Allen, it’s Gary. Long time no talk. How you two doing?”

“Doing just great, Gary. Funny you should call. Jody and I were just discussing you.”

“Yeah, and I had a call about you two, too. You know an Amanda? She wants me to give her and her husband a balloon ride for Valentines Day.”

“Damn! I was hoping to talk to you before she called you!” I could hear a touch of panic in his voice and chuckled. Amanda was not a swinger.

I chuckled a little. “Don’t worry Allen, I didn’t say anything about our last ride. I wasn’t sure if we were talking about a balloon ride or an adult balloon ride, so I left it for her to bring up. I guess you’re not surprised that she didn’t bring it up. Who is Amanda anyway?”

I could hear the relief in Allen’s voice. “She’s my secretary and she just got married. I was a bit worried that you’d say something.”

“Not a chance I would let that little secret slip. No need to worry, Allen. I take it you’re the one who sent her to me.”

“I sure am. We were sitting around the office talking about really great Valentines Day presents when I suggested a balloon ride. I told her what a great ride it was and gave her your name and number.”

“Allen, I’m not against it, but I heard you volunteered to crew.” I was going to say more but Allen broke right in.

“I sure did. We had fun crewing,” I heard a giggle in his voice. “Not to mention our ride. As soon as I said something to Jody, she just about jumped up and down. We’d love to do it anytime.”

“Are you sure you know what all goes into a winter balloon flight? I kind of think you should know before you agree.”

I heard Allen turn his head from the phone and talk to Jody, but I couldn’t hear the words.

The next voice I heard was Jody’s. “I don’t want to hear this story from Allen second hand. I think you need to tell us both face to face. How about dinner Friday. Besides I have someone I want you to meet. ”

Little, well O.K. massive, alarm bells went off. Jody was planning on fixing me up with someone. Then the clatter lessened to a more manageable level. Jody would be setting me up with a swinger not a prospective live in housekeeper. Or was she matchmaking?

Jody must have heard the alarm bells from way over there. “Don’t worry, she’s a sweetie but she’s not looking for a husband, just a good occasional fuck.”

“Hmmmmm, I could use an occasional good fuck.”

“You silly man, you could always cum over here.”

“You never invited me”, I told her.

“I thought we were friends. If I didn’t like you enough to fuck you again, you never would have heard from me after the ride. You can call anytime and just say, Hey Jody, I need a good fuck are you available? I might tell you no, but that only means, Not tonight honey I have a headache.” She giggled. “There will always be tomorrow night. I’m serious, call anytime. I won’t always say yes, but I won’t always say no either.”

My hand was back on my bare midriff. “I’ll remember that!”

“I hope you do. Seriously, come on over for dinner Friday. When was the last time you had a good home cooked meal anyway?”

“I cooked myself some great Chief Boyardee canned spaghetti just yesterday.”

“Wellllllllll in that case, I guess you don’t need a home cooked dinner. But get your but over here Friday. Dinner is served at 7 be early and you can help with the salad or something. Then we can discuss crew requirements for Valentines Day flying. When we get done talking business, we can always proceed to monkey business.”

“Jody, I think I’m in lust.”

“Of course you are, you’re a single man and I’m gorgeous.”

“I’ll see you before 7 on Friday then. Watch it though, I’ll bring my appetite.” I chuckled. “In fact for food and…… ” I let the and fade off. I heard her giggle.

“I hope you do. I’d be insulted if you didn’t want my……. Cooking.”

I laughed with her. “I’ll see you guys Friday then.”

“See you then… and bring your ummm appetite.” There was a chuckle in my ear when she hung up. My only problem was the erection her voice gave me. A situation which required a hands on solution.

Clouds moved in that night, the winds howled and two inches of new snow blanketed the ground. The weather made it easy to put balloon flying out of my mind. I’d like to say that I didn’t think of Jody, but I think my secretary was wondering what put the lump in my pants.

My mind constantly worked on scenarios for what Jody had planned. I wasn’t sure if it was an invitation to have a little fun, or a blind date with her friend. I knew one thing, if it didn’t work out with her friend, then I would have a long night of waiting out her friend, if I wanted any chance of playing with Jody. My mind kept working on possibilities from a wild orgy with the group to an awful time stuck with a boring date.

I intentionally worked a little late on Friday and left at a few minutes before 6. One stop at the liquor store for a couple bottles of good wine. Good thing I’m uncouth because I had no clue if I should get red or white, so I got a couple of each and then threw in a bottle of grape juice just so I could bring red white and blue.

It was 6:25 when I pulled into their driveway. I recognized their two cars and there was a strange one there besides. I sucked in a deep breath not quite sure what waited on the other side of the door. Time to find out. My breathing was coming in rapid gasps, a combination of fear of an awful evening and excitement at the prospect of a wild fun night. My finger reached for and pushed the doorbell. From inside I dimly heard the chimes of the bell working to perfection.

Allen opened the door with a big smile and a welcoming handshake. Allen led me into the living room and took the rather large bag of wine and grape juice from me. Then directed me to the coat closet.

Jody had heard me enter and came from the kitchen. The sight of her took my breath away. Jody was a very curvy tall blond. She stood 5’9 inches tall with a figure to die for. Her large breasts were emphasized by her tiny waste. Her shiny blond hair curled slightly to her shoulders. Her blue eyes twinkled and were almost enough to draw a mans attention away from her impressive breasts ….. almost.

Jody’s clothing was not designed to hide her figure. She wore a white T shirt with frilly arms and a lace like fringe on the bottom that rode enough above the belt of her tight jeans to show a sexy patch of her bare belly. Those jeans clung tightly to her shapely hips.

Jody came to me with a warm smile and threw her arms around me. I pulled her close for a warm hug as she kissed me on the cheek. I suspect she felt my erection poking her in her belly as my cock reacted to the tight pressure of her breasts against me.

“You really need to get over here more often.” She smiled at me. Her eyes twinkled.

Reluctantly I released the hug. I saw Allen smiling at me with a knowing smile. “I really do need to get here more, don’t I.”

She giggled a little girl giggle and smiled a very big girl, seductive smile. Her voice was husky, inviting. “Yes, you really do.” Her tone shifted from seductive to matter of fact. “Now commere I have someone you need to meet.” She took my hand and lead me toward the kitchen.

A cute woman was just removing the entree from the oven. She stood just over 5 foot tall with straight light brown hair that came just below her shoulders. Her face was round and cute with a pleasant look. There were smile lines around her eyes and mouth and twinkling brown eyes. Her figure was pleasant. She carried a couple extra pounds of padding but not enough to obscure her attractive curves. She might not have been a knock out like Jody, but she was more than attractive.

She wore a short skirt and a frilly nearly see through top with feminine lace. I had a very strong inkling of why I had been invited to meet this girl.

Jody looked at me, as if sizing me up with Carol’s eyes and then looked deep into Carol’s face. Reading something that only another woman can. “Carol, this is Gary. A great guy and a good … ummmm…. Pilot.” There was a twinkle in her eye when she said it and a sexual message that passed between all three of us. I was getting a sexual referral… and knew it! That comment also told me that Carol was a swinger. Her clothing had given me a hint but that comment cemented the reality.

Carol came to me and extended a hand. Her hand was soft and warm. The look on her face was approving, inviting. A flash of electricity jumped between us and I had no doubt what the evening would hold.

Dinner was perfect, chicken breasts over a bead of rice with white asparagus preceded by a tossed salad and accompanied by generous quantities of wine.

I was the center of the discussion but not much a part of it. Allen and Jody told the story of their balloon ride in glowing terms. Jody giggled and told Carol that they had joined the mile high club that day.

I smiled to myself and wondered how they had even know about the ride since Jody had been all over Allen almost from the time we left the ground and spent most of the flight in the throws of ecstasy in the bottom of the basket. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that we had never climbed over 1500 feet, no where close to a mile high.

Small looks and smiles passed between Carol and I. I found myself being attracted to this woman and her to me. The excitement was building and it was shared.

About the time they started describing the wonderful advantages and fun of the balloon crew exercise program, I felt a female hand seeking an armrest, and using my thigh for that purpose. I looked into Carol’s face and exchanged a smile. The smile must have been quite an invitation because the fingers moved further up my thigh. Damn, I love swingers. No confusing messages to be deciphered.

I really wanted to return the favor but our arms tangled and the most I could do was find a bare knee. The touch of bare skin brought back my old ponderings on the female of the species. How in hell could they go outside on a cold January day with bare knees? I couldn’t understand pantyhose but bare legs? I guess It’s my duty to warm her poor cold thighs even though there was quite a bit of heat emanating from that knee.

By the time it was my time to begin to warn them about the misadventures of crewing a balloon in the winter, Carol’s hand had found my rapidly expanding cock through the fabric of my pants. It made it hard to think, let alone describe the additional tribulations of winter flying.

I warned them. In the winter, you shouldn’t get the fabric of the envelope wet (read that lay it out in the snow) because if you store it for any period of time, it mildews. You therefore have to lay out a tarp or plastic to lay it out on. You can’t drive into a hay field in the snow or the mud of newly melted snow, so frequently it involves carrying all the components a long distance to put it away. Long hikes in snow with cold feet and colder fingers. They were unfazed. It looked like I had at least half my crew.

When dinner was done, Allen led me to the living room while the girls cleaned up. He gave me a knowing smile and pointed me to the love seat while he sat on the facing couch.

Allen told me all about his secretary and how she had just been married in November and wanted to do something special and romantic for her new husband. He had suggested a balloon ride. He had already realized that it could be cold, especially the inflation with the high powered gas fan blowing cold air into the envelope but he and Jody had discussed it and agreed that the gift of a romantic flight would be more than enough to make them do it.

While Allen spoke, Carol came from the kitchen and went to the bathroom down the hall and then returned to help Jody with the dishes. My eyes followed her as she moved languidly, seductively past me.

About that time that Allen finished talking about Amanda and her romantic plans, Jody and Carol came out of the kitchen. “I know it’ll be cold,” Jody said, “I’m sure we can warm each other up after we fly.” She giggled. I loved her giggle!

Jody curled up beside Allen on the sofa and immediately pulled his face to hers.

Carol sat tight against me on the love seat. I took a hint from my host and hostess and turned to look into Carol’s eyes. My mouth met hers and our tongues danced.

I drank in the smell of her perfume and the taste of her mouth as Carol and I shared our first kiss. The kiss became more passionate and I forgot that Jody and Allen were there, lost in the woman with me. My hand found her bare knee and then move up her thigh. We were both breathing more rapidly as Carol moved her thighs apart for my fingers. I had expected to find soft cloth as I explored higher. Instead, I found soft curls of hair.

Carol must have felt my surprise. She broke the kiss and looked into my eyes. There was a trace of a smile on her lips. “I took them off just for you darlin, right after dinner.” I said nothing, just made an excited noise and then kissed her deeply as my fingers found her entrance. She was wet and warm. The movement of her legs, the sound of her breath, the way she kissed me all invited me to explore, and explore I did! She gasped and moaned when my fingers lightly caressed her clit.

Her fingers found the buttons on my shirt and I felt the soft warmth of her hand touching my bared skin. Her fingers wandered to my belt and then stopped. We both realized in that moment the futility of trying to strip each other while sitting on that love seat.

I withdrew my fingers from her and rose to my feet in front of her. My hands found hers and pulled her to her feet. As she came into my arms, her hands pushed the shirt from me, to fall into a tangled heap on the floor behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jody and Allen watching and smiling, exchanging soft inaudible comments. My lips met Carols again as my fingers found the buttons on her shirt. Her hands were undoing my belt buckle. It was nearly a tie. I had her shirt falling from her body about the time she had managed to undo my belt. I pulled her close as I unclasped her bra, then moved back to strip her of her garment and free the beautiful soft mounds of her breasts.

I reached for her skirt, trying to remove it, but finding it difficult to comprehend the fasteners of this unfamiliar garment. She was having the same trouble with the button of my pants. We moved apart as I unclasped and unzipped my pants, letting them fall to my ankles as she unzipped and discarded her skirt.

My eyes roved approvingly over her naked form. I kicked my pants aside and reached for my underwear. Carol brought her naked form tight against me. I felt her soft naked breasts crushed against my chest. Desire filled her eyes. “Let me do that, hun!” she said softly to me.

She put a thumb into each side of my briefs and pushed down ward. My rock hard cock sprang over the waistband with a bounce. Carol’s eyes watched and she sighed. Her lips moved lower, kissing my skin as she pushed them lower and lower. Finally her lips found my cock as her tongue reached out to taste my manhood.

My eyes turned to see Allen and Jody, now equally naked and kissing on the couch.

Carol took me in her mouth as I felt the wonderful fluid warmth of her mouth moving up and down the length of me. My eyes closed and I gasped and moaned from the sheer pleasure of her ministrations. This girl was talented!

I opened my eyes to watch her lush lips sliding over my pulsing cock. Carol sensed my arousal and pulled her mouth from me. She uncurled onto the floor and pulled me down to her. Our lips met as I felt her hand on my cock, guiding me urgently to her liquid interior. Our tongues danced in our mouths as I slowly pushed my cock into her. I went slowly, luxuriating in the feel as each millimeter slid into her.

Our kiss was intense as I struck bottom, pausing to enjoy the warm sheath of her pussy. Slowly I began to thrust into her, rising onto my hands to watch her face.

Her eyes were closed and her nostrils flared. As I came close to cumming I paused to regain control until I saw the flush begin on her face. I lowered myself until my lips found her nipple and sucked it hard into my mouth. I felt her pussy tightening around my cock and I felt a warm rush go through me.

It felt like my soul was longing to be a part of her, to be one with her. My very being was rushing to my cock to join with this woman, to be one with her in that moment.

Then I felt hands urging my legs further apart. Carol wrapped her legs around my waist and I felt a warm tongue licking over my balls. Carol’s pussy convulsed around me as she exploded, thrashing in ecstasy. The tongue was too much for me and I exploded into Carol in a violent explosion of my soul.

After a moment to recover I felt hands urging me from Carol. As I reluctantly removed my spent cock from Carol, Jody’s lips sucked me into her mouth, cleaning the mixed juices from me. As I rolled off Carol, Jody’s mouth latched onto Carol’s cunt and sucked our juices, then her tongue softly lashed Carol’s clit until Carol shivered in another orgasm.

I sat back in the love seat as Jody moved back to her husband and began to slowly lick on his cock. Jody smiled at me from the floor, then came and sat beside me. She kissed me lightly.

“That was wonderful.” She was smiling a satisfied smile. Carol laid her satisfied head on my shoulder and snuggled a bit. We watched Jody ministering toAllen for a few minutes till the flush faded from Carol’s chest. “I’ll be right back lover.” She said as she went over to help Jody.

The two girls alternated and shared Allen’s cock. Mine reacted favorably to the sight before me.

Jody looked back at me and smiled. Then she wiggled her gorgeous ass in my direction, shaking her pussy at me in invitation.

What red blooded male could ignore that invitation? Certainly not me. I moved behind the kneeling Jody and eased my now throbbing cock up to her pussy. I felt the soft flesh as she wiggled to make it easy for me. I slid into her to the hilt and began to rock into her.

Carol relinquished Allen’s cock to Jody’s hungry mouth and then noticed the way Jody was rocking. Carol looked at me and smiled. Her hand reached out and lightly touched my shoulder as I fucked Jody.

Allen began to moan and Jody released him from her mouth. Carol was on him in a flash. Allen grunted and emptied his load into Carol’s mouth. I watched Carol lick her lips and then kiss Jody as they tongued each other sharing his load. Allen laid back with a satisfied smile. Jody began to moan and I fucked harder and faster. I felt her cum around my cock and I thrust harder. Then I felt Carol slide under us. Her tongue found where my cock met Jody’s pussy and licked. I felt her tongue on my shaft and Jody’s clit. I felt Jody thrashing in orgasm and then my own dam burst and I exploded into Jody’s willing cunt.

Carol returned Jody’s favor and pulled my cock from her girlfriend and sucked the juice from it and then licked and sucked on Jody’s sex, sucking our mingled juices from her.

I crawled back to the love seat and watched for a few minutes before Carol came over and snuggled in beside me.

No one said anything for several minutes. The conversation started with small talk. Then the girls began to plan Amanda’s Valentines Day balloon ride. It was easy for me. I was just going to bring and fly the balloon. We decided that in order to make sure it happened, we would plan it for the Saturday before Valentines day so that we would have at least three opportunities for the weather to cooperate. The girls planned and talked and I just listened and agreed or vetoed all plans that were unsafe or not practical

All I knew for sure was that if the weather would cooperate, then Amanda would be giving her new husband one hell of a Valentines Day surprise. Allen and Jody must really like this girl and while Carol was jumping in with the planning, she didn’t even know them.

After an hour, the girls, with a little input from Allen and I, had ironed the romantic details of the weekend. During that conversation, my hand found a natural way to drape over Carol’s bare shoulder and occasionally I cupped her lovely breast. Carol for her part snuggled close with her head on my shoulder and her hand resting softly in my lap.

Six months ago, if someone had told me that I would be sitting naked with another couple and a semi-strange woman snuggling up to me and running her hand over my tender parts while holding a nearly normal conversation, I would have accused them of having too much to drink. Now it seemed natural.

The wine had run through me by then and I had to disentangle myself from Carol and head down the hall. After I had flushed the processed wine, I was met at the door by Jody. She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me close for a soft kiss, then she backed off and looked into my eyes with a questioning look. “Having fun?”

I smiled a genuine smile at her. “I sure am!”

“Good. What do you think of Carol?”

“I like her and she’s one hell of a……..” I let the thought drift off.

Jody giggled. “I know she likes you, I’m so glad you two like each other.”

“Thanks for the introduction, Jody. I was a little nervous about it but it seems just fine.”

Jody giggled. “Hey, this doesn’t mean that you’re excused from giving me one of your patented pussy eating jobs and I still want a good one on one with you before you go home.”

“Ahhhhh Jody, the night is young.”

“But you’re not and I don’t think Carol is done with you just yet.” Jody giggled.

As it turned out neither Carol or Jody was done with me that night. I hardly complained. Neither Carol or I went home that night but curled up together in the guest room. It had been two years since I had slept with a woman, not that we got that much sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, and finding a naked woman beside me, couldn’t resist sucking a beautiful tit. That woke Carol up with a moan and…… Then I was woken up late in the morning from the feel of a sweet mouth engulfing my reviving penis.

Carol and I exchanged phone numbers and over the next few weeks, we could both frequently be found on the phone talking to each other like teenagers. The next Wednesday, Carol came over to inspect the balloon and talk about how you flew one. We couldn’t inflate the balloon in the snow, but Carol found other things at my home to inflate.

Wednesday, I went over there and bought her dinner. Then she gave me the tour of her house with special emphasis on her bedroom.

She was back visiting me for the weekend. Then I was at her house the following weekend. During the week we seemed to find time for a couple nights together. We became best friends.

We talked long and hard. We had both been burned by marriage. Carol had been totally faithful for 20 years, until the divorce. She had been celibate for over a year before Jody brought her home and introduced her first to her husband, then to swinging and then clubs and finally bisexual delights.

Carol admitted that she was hooked. She could never be faithful again. She would always be a swinger. After a couple of weeks of devotion to each other, she showed me parts of her life. She took me to a swingers club and “introduced” me to some of her friends.

I found out strange things about myself. Carol and I were best friends. We were also lovers. What surprised me was that I wasn’t jealous. I didn’t mind when she wandered off with one of her old “friends” either male or female. Every time she set me up for a sexual interlude with one of her friends I was surprised, and usually delighted by her girl friend and Carol responded not with jealousy but with delight about the pleasure I had found with her friend and pride in how I performed.. I found myself drawn more and more to her and her world. I wanted to spend more and more time with this woman.

The surprising thing was how the weather worked out. The winter weather broke the week before Valentines day. Monday the temperatures went over freezing for the first time in a month. By Wednesday, the temperatures were in the 50’s and all the snow melted. The ground was dry by Friday and a high moved in with beautiful skies and perfect winds.

It was dry enough that we didn’t have to worry about tarps or plastic. Allen and Jody’s property was perfect for a balloon launch. I usually like to have four crew members and we only had Allen, Jody, and Carol, but Amanda and her husband John were young and more than willing to help.

Allen and Jody had helped twice before, so they had some idea of what we would be doing and Carol had asked endless questions so that the procedure was known but not having actually seen it, things were still strange. With my experienced crew I let them do more of the work than I did with this group. Mostly they did the physical things and I did all the critical things. It took longer than usual but that was fine.

I felt sorry for Allen and Jody. I put them holding the throat of the balloon open to take the cold air from the high capacity gasoline powered fan that filled the balloon with cold air. I fastened the Velcro tabs that held the parachute top to the rest of the envelope. That took me a few minutes, all the time Jody and Allen were freezing in the wind chill of that fan. Finally it was full and I could light the burner which then nearly fried the two of them holding the throat open to give me a place to shoot the 20 foot flame.

Carol shut off the fan as the balloon started to rise from the ground dragging Amanda and John toward us as they held the top in place with the crown line.

The flight was perfect. The winds just strong enough to carry us slowly over the ground. The only thing that could have been better is a touch of fresh green plants instead of the drab pre spring earth. I smiled as I watched the star crossed lovers in my basket, holding hands and thrilled by the quiet beauty of floating over the earth. I tried not to intrude in their world, to let them enjoy the sensations and only answer when they asked a question, skating that fine line between being seen as unfriendly and being obtrusive. We could easily see and hear everything on the ground with the silence only broken by the occasional blast of the burner as I maintained heat.

Even the landing was perfect. I found a large open yard and plopped down softly right beside the drive. We hit softly and didn’t bounce or drag. The homeowners came out and watched, then even went for light jackets and joined to help pack.

We actually did the work with laughter, smiles and jokes. It was a little slower than usual because of the inexperienced crew but we had the important thing, we had fun. I gave the traditional ceremony of the first time riders. The story of the first humans to loft above the earth in a hot air balloon almost three centuries ago and told the story perfectly with the required mirth and then capped it with a bottle of champagne. Then we drug out the flowers and chocolate for the couple.

The ride back to where we started and all the cars were was usually the best part for me. I listened to the exuberance of the first time riders, then threw in a few ballooning stories of funny things that had happened to me. I watched in the mirror as the two lovers cuddled and laughed. I smiled inside that it had been special for them.

After Amanda and John had left, I went into the trailer to one of the storage bins and produced a dozen roses and a very large box of heart shaped chocolates. I held them behind my back as I kissed my special Carol. There was also a card that said “I owe you one special balloon ride” just above the signature.

I handed it to the special lady in my life. “Be my valentine sexy?”

She handed all the bootie to Jody and then almost jumped into my arms and wrapped her whole self around me. “Of Course I’m your valentine. And I have a present for you too. Lets get inside and you can unwrap me!”

I’m not sure where this will go, but I am sure it will be a special ride.

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