When you’re young and the summer nights are warm, romance fills a young man’s dreams.
All that’s needed then is someone to share the moments.
I was lying in the grass back near where the woods began. The moon was about halfway up in the sky, but was only a partial moon. Unless I called attention to myself, it was unlikely I’d be seen. I guessed someone had waded around the point, just as I had. This was the first time anyone would invade my place—the first time I was aware of, at least. I thought it might well be two teens from the resort, come to do what teens do when they have both some privacy and some hormonal motivation. Well, the last is a given.
I was wrong. It turned out the invader was a young boy. I couldn’t see him well enough to know for sure how old he was, but from the clothing, from the way he moved, it was a boy. He stopped, still in the water, and looked in my direction, trying to see what was there, what the trees and bushes on the point had been blocking from view.
He stood there a few moments, then called out, tentatively, “Hello?”
I didn’t know if I should answer or not. I didn’t know if he was aware I was there or if he was calling out to see if this place he’d come to was private. Maybe to enjoy that privacy.
I decided I didn’t need to answer, so held still and remained silent.
“Hello? Uh… Perry?”
Well, OK… now I needed to respond. “Yeah?” I stood up and saw him turn his eyes to where he saw movement.
He stood there a few moments, looking at me. Then he trudged through the water and stepped up on the shore.
I slowly walked toward him. This had to be Sean. I’d not noticed him at the resort, but if he’d stayed inside his cabin playing video games, I wouldn't have.
He was smaller than I was, both in height and body size. I couldn’t see him all that well; it was fairly dark, and the moon was behind him. I could see it reflecting off light-brown hair. He was wearing a tee shirt and shorts. His feet were bare.
As I got closer, I could make out his face. He was cute, not overwhelmingly so, but better than average I thought. He was looking at me cautiously. I waited for him to speak. Which, eventually he did.
“I, I… You’re Perry, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” I said. His guarded look, his posture, told me to be careful, and so I sat down on the grass. He saw this, took a step away, and then, indecisively, sat down as well, crossing his legs. I had my feet flat on the ground and my knees pulled up almost to my chin with my arms around my legs.
He was clearly trying to figure out what to say, so I spoke before he did. “We were supposed to meet at the concession stand.” I made my voice anything but accusatory, more like a question or like I was confused. He looked defensive enough without my forcing it on him.
“Uh, well, I guess…” He stopped, then in a rush, said, “I saw you there. I, uh, sort of followed you. Here.”
I smiled at him. I was facing into the moon so he had no trouble seeing me at all. “Why?”
I knew as soon as I said that it was the wrong question. Because I saw his face and because I knew the answer, the real answer: he wanted to see if it was safe, see that there was no one there but me, see if he had the nerve to go through with this. Saying it out loud would have been very difficult for him. So I answered it for him, trying to get him to relax, trying to relax myself and see if there was any chemistry between us.
“I know what it was. You thought there was something suspicious going on but didn’t know what. If there was something nefarious underfoot, you wanted the scoop on it. So you decided to reconnoiter.”
I saw his eyes narrow, his interest captured, and the tension in his face seemed to drain away.
“So, you hid behind a tree and watched. Silent. Vigilant. Sneaky.”
“Sneaky?” he questioned in his light, breathy voice. He was relaxed now. There was humor and challenge in how he asked the question. I smiled, then pseudo-frowned to show how serious I wasn’t and continued.
“Sneaky. You had the place staked out, well before the time of the assignation. That took cunning and perseverance—cunning because it meant giving your sister the slip and perseverance because it’s hard to stand like a statue when the mosquitoes get to their dinner hour.”
He was fighting a smile. I went on.
“Then it happened. Your pulse quickened. Your breathing quickened. Your hair stood on end, uh, quickly. Because, your mark had shown. At least that seemed likely, because there was a strange guy now lurking, lurking I say, around the concession stand.”
I thought I heard a repressed giggle but moved on.
“Now the tension grew. Was he alone? That was the question. Were there watchers in the weeds? Were there watchers watching the watchers in the weeds? Why hadn’t the weeds been weeded in the first place? Questions. Questions without answers. The plot had thickened. Quickened and thickened.”
Sean was holding his face as still as he could but was repressing laughter now. I was about done and would have liked to laugh myself, because it was obvious he was into this, and that made it all that much funnier.
“Then, the quarry, your mark, checked his watch, looked around, oblivious to your cunning sneakiness, and moved off, checking for tails. You maintained your post, watching his back for signs of a backup team—or miscreants.
“You spotted neither, other than a possible secret agent posing in costume, cleverly disguised as a dog, and then saw your mark had waded into the lake—and disappeared! Suddenly, you were worried. You were supposed to make clandestine contact with him and hadn’t. What if he’d misunderstood your caution? What if he’d been counting on this meeting to a degree that hadn’t occurred to you? What if, not seeing you there, regretting your absence, feeling this had been his final chance—”
I suddenly realized I’d been subconsciously letting this fantasy drift, and now it was cutting pretty close to the bone; it was heading towards reality and perhaps real life, not only mine but his. I had to retrench, and in a hurry.
“—to get his vital message to his contact before the enemy closed in. He decided on valor before capture, honor before defeat, and was plunging himself into the ocean, choosing death over treason? OK, hold on, treason isn’t the right word. Uh… Ah! Death over finkery.”
He snorted. “Finkery?”
“Well, a fink is someone who rats someone out, isn’t it? A squealer? So that’s a perfectly good word. Finkery. With capture and torture, he might have succumbed to finkery. And so you, heroic defender of the faith that you are, waded into the lake yourself on a fool’s mission to save your contact from a needless, self-induced drowning because you’d seen no watchers watching or lurkers lurking or weeders weeding or felons to fink to. And wading out on your probably hopeless lifesaving mission, you came upon this place. And that’s how you came to follow me here.”
I saw several emotions play across his face. Then he said, “Well, maybe. Though I couldn’t admit it, could I? Being a spy and all.” And he grinned.
I really liked his grin. I was starting to like him, too, because of the way he’d listened to my imaginary tale and obviously gotten into it and enjoyed it. How can you not like someone like that, someone who appreciates your wit?
So, the ice being broken, we talked. I asked him what he thought of the resort, and the conversation moved on and I found it all easy with him. It isn’t always that way. But while he may have been shy, sitting there in the moonlight with me, talking about nothing important, just talking, he was at ease, and I was, too. It was comfortable.
He seemed composed and not so shy that I could notice it. I enjoyed it more than I thought really made any sense. I realized, afterwards, that it was because I was talking to a kid my age, a gay kid at that, and it was easy and fun, and there was no pressure at all.
We spent some time sitting there, being together. Starting to get to know each other. Then I realized it was getting late, and I was sure his mother and sister would be starting to wonder where he was. So I asked him if we could hang the next day; it was a work day for me, but I knew the boss and was sure I could get time off. Not from the boss, no. But I knew the boss’s boss, and his boss as well: Mom would be on my side, that was for sure. She knew how much I needed someone like Sean in my life right then. She was entirely empathetic.
He said he could, and he sounded as if he liked the idea. We waded back to the beach and said goodnight. He scampered off, and I watched him till he was in the trees and gone, and even after that.
    
I was scheduled to work the next day. Promptly at 6:30 in very much the AM, Alex walked into my room and yanked the covers off me.
I leaped from my bed out of a deep sleep due to a combination of surprise and confusion, both of which were immediately followed by a totally uncharacteristic spurt of intense anger. This wasn’t me; this was someone venting, big time.
“Late yesterday and you’ll be late aga—” Alex never got the words he was intending to say all the way out. Instead, I broke in, shouting venomously.
“You will never, ever, come into this room again without a direct invitation.” I poked him in the chest, hard. “You will never wake me up like this again.” Another poke, hard enough that he stepped backwards. “If you want me to wake up, you’ll stand outside the door and knock on it or on the doorjamb. You WILL NOT come in, and you goddam WILL NOT tear the covers off me!” Each of these statements was conveyed with another poke, and by the time I was finished, he was back in the hall and rubbing his chest.
I’d always been intimidated by Alex. When we were young, he’d been bigger, and having two years on me, he was simply my superior. He’d always acted like that. Even when I’d reached his height, and even when I was a few pounds heavier and noticeably more fit, he was still someone I physically looked up to. But I was not doing that now. I wasn’t just surprised at myself; when I realized what I was doing, what I had done, I was stunned.
He stood there gaping at me, as shocked at what had just happened as I was. And that’s when I remembered I was naked, and that when I’d exploded from the cozy comfort of my bed, my morning erection had been at full mast, pointing right at him.
It was mostly gone now. Being as mad as I’d been had seen to that. Only vestiges of it still remained, but only those.
But I found I didn’t care. I did care that I’d made my point—and that I’d stood up to him and would no longer have to act subserviently in his shadow. I was hugely proud of myself. And, it occurred to me that this was an excellent time to make another point. One I’d meant to make to Dad. Dad was going into town and would be gone again today, so I’d known I’d have to do it at breakfast. But this was an opportunity to do it the way I wanted to with the person I wanted to make it to.
“Oh,” I said, my voice retaining some of the force it had had moments before. “Don’t bother looking for me out there today. I’m taking the day off.”
That got him. He immediately lost his uncertain look. “You’re scheduled. And you’re going to be late. Hurry up.” So he hadn’t completely lost touch with the real him. He was still him. But he hadn’t realized yet that he was no longer in charge of me.
“Listen closely: I’m taking the day off. Got it?” With that, I turned around and closed my door. Almost immediately he knocked on it and yelled, “You’re on maintenance today. You’d better be there!”
I ignored him and went to take my shower.
By the time I got to the kitchen, Dad had already left. At the breakfast table, I was talking to Mom when Alex steamed in. “It’s past seven. Get out there!”
I looked up at him and smiled. “Screw you. I quit.”
“Quit! You can’t quit! You’re a member of the family.”
I smiled again and kept eating.
He had no idea what to do. None. He’d never faced an insurrection before. He began getting red in the face and his hands were clenching and unclenching. Finally, he took a step toward me.
Mom looked at him. “Alex?” she said, her soft voice carrying a mix of surprise and disappointment.
“He has to do what I say!” he said, his voice overloud for the kitchen.
“Well,” she said, using her reasonable, everyone-should-be-able-to-understand-this voice, “perhaps not if he refuses to. Maybe you could think of another way to approach the issue?”
He looked at her, still seething, then turned and strode out of the kitchen.
Mom shook her head. “It’s been coming for a while. Now, tell me about your date!”
    
I walked over to Sean’s cabin. We’d agreed to meet at 8:30. He was waiting outside, sitting on the cabin’s front steps. It was the first time I’d seen him in daylight, so it was really the first time I’d had a good look at him. I’d thought he was kind of cute last night. I had to amp that up about by a factor of ten today. Wow! The kid was gorgeous! In the light I could see his peaches-and-cream complexion, the way his long hair haloed his head, his cute ears and nose, and his hazel eyes that complimented his hair and complexion and that I’d learn would change, depending on the light, from gray to green to amber. His hair was a lighter color than it had looked in the moonlight, hardly brown at all, just a dark shade of blond with a touch of red highlights here and there.
And what I could have found annoying or puzzling, I instead found intriguing: his shyness was back, even after we’d gotten along so well yesterday evening. I could see right off I’d have to go just as slowly today as I did then.
“You ever ride a horse?” I asked as we walked away from his cabin.
“No,” he said. “They’re kinda big, aren’t they?”
“Well, I guess, but we have gentle ones. Would you like to try? I could pick out just the right one for you. You’ll like him.”
He thought about it, then gave me a quick glance—he’d been avoiding eye contact—nodded and said, “OK.”
I took him to the stables, and he watched as I saddled up Buster and Nick. Buster was the horse I always rode; he could be a bit fractious with other riders but was perfectly willing to let me ride him. Nick was an old gelding who wouldn't hurt a fly. He seemed to know when the rider on his back was a beginner and kept his gait very steady.
I took Sean out on the trails, sticking to ones we didn’t use that much, knowing we wouldn’t meet anyone there. He was quiet at first, only answering questions with short responses, but as the sun rose higher and it got warmer, he seemed to warm up right along with the day.
We walked our horses slowly through the woods, where dappled sunlight speckled the trail. He seemed comfortable in the saddle pretty quickly. I learned what school he attended in the city, a different one from mine. I learned where he lived, not close to me, but not impossibly far. I learned something of his home life. His parents knew he was gay and were very supportive. His sister looked out for him, and with the way she was, even the rougher boys at school left him alone. They didn’t want any part of her tongue. She could embarrass the slime off a snail if she put her mind to it.
After riding, I took him out on the lake in a skiff, a small sailboat I could manage by myself, letting him simply enjoy the lake and take in the sights. I took him to the two small islands at the far end of the lake. Where we were, it seemed we were the only people on earth.
We’d been doing a little bantering after he had obviously relaxed and accepted that I wasn’t threatening in any way. When we reached the islands, both of which were about an acre in size and wooded, I anchored in a cove that was located between them, completely out of sight of anyone for miles around.
“This is really private.” I told him, testing the anchor line. “Most people stay at the other end of the lake. If I feel like skinny dipping, I come here to do it. Right in the middle of the day, too. No one would ever be able to see me out here.”
His eyes widened. “Really?”
I laughed. “Yeah, I have lots of times. But I don’t want to embarrass you. Maybe sometime when we know each other better. Think you’d like that?”
He blushed. I’d found he blushed easily. It made him cuter, if that was even possible. He didn’t answer the question, though. Even kidding about that sort of thing was hard for him. I felt bad about that. Being that shy had to be difficult, probably painful at times.
I’d wanted to broach the subject of skinny dipping with him, however, even knowing he’d be embarrassed, because I had plans for the next day.
We sailed back, and I let him handle the boat some. The wind was whispery, so it was easy. It also gave me the opportunity to sit right next to him and even hold his hand on the tiller or put my arm around him to control the sail once or twice. He didn’t seem to mind. I didn’t, either.
He was a gentle, shy, soft boy, and I was really warming to him. He had three smiles that I’d seen: one that showed his personality—shy, diffident, cautious; one that showed an inner light when he found something humorous; and one that sparkled and glowed when he was feeling really happy.
We had lunch together at our house. He had to get permission, but that was no problem. I got the impression his mom was delighted he had found a boy his age to hang with. She’d been afraid he’d spend the entire week indoors. Alone.
I took him up and showed him my room. He was very interested in the books I had.
“Do you read a lot?” I asked.
“All the time. I’ve read a lot of these. You like science fiction and fantasy, too.”
“Yeah. I read all the Harry Potters as they came out. I’m not as fond of all the vampire stories that are out now, though.”
His eyes lit up. “Me neither. You have good taste.”
I laughed, and he joined me, and I suddenly felt like the fragile connection I’d been feeling was strengthening.
We lay on the beach and swam in the lake for much of the afternoon. Didn’t talk much. Just lazed around. Some boys our age were throwing a football around, and one came and asked if we wanted to join them. I looked at Sean and saw quite clearly that he didn’t. “No,” I said, “thanks, but we’re just kicking back today. Some other time.”
Sean looked at me gratefully when the boy had left. “I suck at sports,” he said.
“We’re all good at some things and not at others,” I replied. “My best thing is—” I stopped and very conspicuously looked around, then made a quick jacking off motion with my hand. He looked shocked, and I started laughing, then couldn’t stop. Eventually he realized it had been a joke, and he laughed, too. I’d felt I had to let him know I wasn’t quite the straight arrow he was.
He agreed to meet me at the concession stand later that night after dinner. I told him he’d better not pull his secret agent crap again. He said he wouldn’t. I was sorry when he left. I liked hanging with him. I liked it a whole lot and felt lonely as soon as he’d left.
Dad wasn’t home yet, so that confrontation would have to wait till tomorrow.
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This story may contain occasional references to minors who are or may be gay. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG (in a more enlightened time it would be rated G). If reading this type of material is illegal where you live, or if you are too young to read this type of material based on the laws where you live, or if your parents don't want you to read this type of material, or if you find this type of material morally or otherwise objectionable, or if you don’t want to be here, close your browser now. The author neither condones nor advocates the violation of any laws. If you want to be here, but aren’t supposed to be here, be careful and don't get caught!