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 walked over to Sean’s cabin, still feeling a little shaken. I wasn’t used to the harder realities of life, I guess. Hearing Alex shattered like that affected me. I was sure Dad was talking him down, making him feel better, but still… Alex had had a dream of taking over the resort. He’d seen himself as sometime being the high-muckety-muck here. It wasn’t going to happen. I’d never had that dream, probably because I’d never even thought about it. I’d felt that would be Alex’s place, and I’d realized, recently, that there was no way I’d ever want to work under him. I’d begun thinking I’d be leaving home after college, finding something else I liked. Now? Things had changed today.
Would I want the top job? Would I be given the opportunity? Would Amber get a chance at it—or want it? Nothing was settled any longer. No wonder I felt shaken.
Sean was waiting for me, sitting on the steps of his cabin. Just seeing him there, reading a book, calm as always, seeing his smile when he saw me coming—the effect on me was magical.
He stood up, leaving the book on the side of the steps. “What’s the backpack for?” he asked.
“I’m taking you somewhere today. My favorite place. I’m really hoping you’ll like it.”
“If you do, I will, too,” he said. It was one of the strongest statements I’d heard out of him, the most positive. Maybe today was a day for awakenings.
We had a hike ahead of us. We could have taken the horses, but I felt like walking. I felt like burning some adrenaline.
We took one of the hiking trails, heading north through the woods. Where the trail changed directions after a mile or so—where main trail began to make a gentle turn that would end up as a long loop and eventually come out alongside the lake and then follow the shoreline back to the resort itself—there was a much narrower trail leading off into the trees. It was a trail that you’d never even notice if you didn’t know it was there. I’d lived here all my life, and I knew these woods. I’d spent a lot of time alone, and exploring the woods was something that came naturally to me. I loved the woods and all the land we owned.
“Where are we going?” Sean asked, once we were no longer traipsing along the main path. Where we were right then didn’t look very promising. It was difficult to tell it was a path at all, and we were beginning to work our way up a slight grade.
I had begun to sweat. I grinned. He’d begun to, too. Just as planned. “We’re getting there. Patience, my lad. Patience.”
“I hope you have some water in that backpack. You never did say why you’re carrying it.”
“All in good time. We’ve only got about a mile more to go.”
“A mile! How far have we come already?”
“Oh, a couple, three miles. Just a little stroll in the woods.”
He didn’t reply. He was breathing a little harder. I was, too, although I was in better shape than he was. I stopped and got out a water bottle and handed it to him. He took it gratefully.
We both drank. “You need to stop and rest?” I asked.
He grinned at me. “No, let’s keep going. I want to see what you think is worth this.”
I grinned back. “You will. You’ll like it. I hope you will. I love it. My favorite place.”
“You already said that!”
“It’s worth repeating!” I laughed and hitched my pack up on my back again.
We walked on, not saying much, just enjoying the woods and the feeling of privacy they always gave me, the feeling of wonder. I wasn’t religious at all—we hadn’t been raised that way—but the woods always gave me a feeling that I guessed might have been thought to be a religious experience.
We were close. I stopped. “We’re here,” I said. Right around the bend ahead. I really do want you to think this is a special place. Come on.”
I walked ahead. The path was so narrow here we could only go single file. I stopped and had him go first. He did and then stopped, and I heard him say, “Wow!”
He’d come out of the trees and was facing a small pool of water, and to the left, a waterfall. Surrounding the falls were birch trees, their bark shining in the sunlight, bright white after the darker woods we’d been in. The sun frosted their leaves with glitter. It was like a small, bright oasis, alone by itself amidst the darker forest. The setting was simply breathtaking.
There was a grassy area around the pond with three large outcroppings of granite that over the centuries had worn flat on top. I climbed up on the largest one and slipped off the backpack. Sean climbed up next to me, and we sat down, gazing in wonder at the natural beauty of the spot, recovering our breath from the hike.
“This is beautiful,” Sean said at last, speaking softly as though not to disturb the natural grace of the scene.
“Yes, and the beauty is only part of why I love it here.” Then I winked at him and began taking off my clothes.
He watched with a strange expression on his face when I didn’t stop with my shirt. I knew what he was thinking: that I’d brought him up here, miles from anywhere, and was planning on taking advantage of him. I decided not to say anything, not to dispel his fears. He’d learn the truth momentarily.
I kept shedding clothes till only my boxers were left, the air feeling good on my sweating skin. Sean was blushing a little now, but hadn’t stood up, hadn’t moved away. I stood up and shucked off my boxers. He looked at me, as I’d expected. But I didn’t stand there posing for him. Instead, I got off the rock and said, “You can follow me and do what I’m going to do if you want. It’s incredible, but it’s up to you.”
Then I scurried through the grass to a narrow path that ran alongside the pool toward the waterfall. I walked down the path till I reached the falls, then turned to look back at Sean who’d stood up by then and was watching me.
I kept going. The path led me behind the falls themselves. At that point I was about ten feet above the pool, about in the middle of the height of the falls. I couldn’t see Sean, couldn’t see anything, really, other than the back of the falls, a curtain of sunlit water cascading in front of me.
I took a deep breath, knowing what was coming, then stepped in the maelstrom and leaped forward.
I landed with a splash in the middle of the pool. I swam to the edge, stepped out, and returned to the rock.
“I’d really like you to do what I just did. It’s totally amazing. I’ll go with you and talk you through it. You’ll love it. But I know you might not want to, and that’s OK, too.” I puppy-dogged my eyes, hoping to encourage him to accompany me.
Sean looked at me, let his eyes drop, and then blushed. He looked back at the pool and the waterfall. His eyes still averted, he asked, “I’d have to get naked?”
I laughed. “Well, no, not if that would bother you. But it’s a lot more fun that way. And I’m the only one who’d see you.”
“But…” he stuttered, “but yeah; you’d see me!”
“That’s part of the fun,” I said, “but you don’t have to. Don’t you want to? At least a little?”
He thought about that, glanced back at me, then blushed. “Maybe. A little.”
“Come on, then. You’ll love this. I promise.”
He hesitated, then took off his shirt. I watched. He started to unfasten his belt, and I couldn’t help it, I began to chub up. He saw it and stopped.
“Sorry,” I said, “but actually I’m not. You’re really sexy. I can’t get over how beautiful you are, and how much I like you. So I’m getting hard, watching you undress. But Sean, what I said still goes. I’m not going to do anything other than look, and if I get hard then maybe you will, too. And if we both do, well, it’s just more of the fun! I’ve never been here with anyone else. This is my first time here with company. If we share boners, that’ll be something I’ll probably remember forever. I’m really happy I’m here with you.”
He grinned then and kept undressing, his blush working overtime. He didn’t hesitate when it came to his underwear. He had briefs on, and then they were off. He was hard, really hard. So was I. We looked, we grinned, and then I held out my hand and said, “Come on,” and we were running towards the falls together. He was giggling.
When we were standing next to each other behind the falling sheet of water, I said, “I need to tell you this. What we’re going to do is step into the water, then leap forward. Just so you know and aren’t real shocked, the water is really cold. Here, reach out and touch it.”
He did, then jerked his hand back. ”Yipes!” he said.
I laughed. “We’ll only be in it for a second, and you’re hot and sweaty from the hike and the sun, and the water’ll be freezing, but then you’ll be in the water below. It’s great. You can do this, and then you’ll want to do it again. Now, do you want to do it together, side by side, or by yourself?”
“OK. Here, take my hand. We’ll step into the water, and I’ll squeeze your hand, and as soon as I do, we’ll jump. As soon as I squeeze. Ready?”
He wasn’t. I could see fear in his eyes, but he said, “Yeah,” and so I stepped forward into the water, and he did, too.
I can’t describe how cold that water was. It was snowmelt from the mountains above us and still freezing cold in August. It took your breath away and almost bent your knees. As soon as he was in it, I squeezed his hand and leaped forward, praying he’d do the same. Then I was in mid-air, and he was next to me.
I knew what would happen next, and it did. We splashed into the water, I let go of his hand, and he bobbed to the surface with a look of shock on his face. I laughed, and he sputtered, saying, “Whoa! It’s warm! How can it be warm?! Those falls must be about thirty-three degrees, but the pool is warm!”
I was dogpaddling next to him. “There’s an underground spring that feeds this pool. A warm spring that puts out about twice as much water as the falls, I figure, from the temperature. This pool eventually feeds the lake. That’s how I found this place, backtracking one of the streams that feeds it.”
As I was speaking, Sean was swimming back toward the pool’s edge, and then he jumped out and made his way back up the path and behind the falls. A moment later, here he came, out of the waterfall with a shriek, into the pool a few feet away from me, the biggest grin on his face I’d ever seen.
Sean loved it. He loved going through the falls, he loved the pool, he loved being naked outdoors with me. We eventually sat on the rock, resting. I’d packed a lunch of sorts in my pack, and we ate that. Neither of us gave any thought to dressing before we were ready to leave. This was a little slice of heaven. And if it seems strange that two gay boys, sixteen-year-olds who liked each other, would do nothing more than look at each other and grin, well, that’s who we were, and that’s what we did. Sean didn’t even blush any longer, after a while.
Sean’s family was leaving early the next morning. That evening, sitting in our private place on the lake past the point, was very emotional. Neither of us wanted our time together to end. Being at the pool that afternoon had really brought us together. Our bond seemed almost tangible. Being separated, knowing it was about to occur, loomed in front of us both, and the thought stung.
We made plans. Once I returned to the city, which would be in just two weeks, we’d get together. The summer might be ending, but our relationship wouldn’t. It was still beginning, and we both knew it was going to last.
I’d decided when we waded around the point that tonight was the night I was going to have my first kiss. I hadn’t told Sean. But I figured that he probably knew and that he’d be willing.
When we were done talking, when we’d said our goodbyes, when it was time to leave, I stood up and held my hand out to help him to his feet. He came up and was right there, right in front of me, and he didn’t step back.
It was a warm, soft night, and the moment felt electric. We both had our shirts off, and as we moved toward and against each other, our bare chests touched. His eyes were huge; the moon was behind me, and I could see the reflection of it glistening in them. His face was lit, too, and he looked both scared and excited, just exactly what I felt.
His heart was beating hard enough to fly from his chest, but mine was beating even harder. There didn’t seem to be enough air to get good breath, even though we were outdoors with a world of air surrounding us.
His hands came up to just below my shoulder blades and gently pulled me closer to him. Mine were doing the same.
I was taller than he was and so was looking down into his eyes, into his face, and his lips that were moving towards mine. A quick flip of his tongue moistened them, and then they were touching mine.
Four soft lips, brushing each other, and then more firmly pressing together. I have no idea how I was getting enough air to survive. My whole being seemed to be centered in my lips, on his lips, on our lips together.
The kiss became more urgent all on its own. He was moving under my hands, and I was, too, under his. His lips opened a bit, and mine followed, and I felt the tip of his tongue flick against my bottom lip, then the top.
We were pulled tightly against each other now. From the knees upward, everything that could touch was touching. We were against each other and lost in each other. I could feel what I’d seen earlier in the day, pressing against what he’d seen earlier. Our swimming trunks didn’t stop the heat we felt coming from each other.
I have no idea how long the kiss lasted. Not long enough. That was all I knew.
When we both pulled back, I took a huge breath. He did the same, and then I heard his beautiful laugh. And I was laughing, also.
I reached out and took his hand. He grasped mine tightly. Then, without a word, I turned and began a slow walk across the grass into the water, then out and along the beach where the sand was still damp and easy to walk on. Sean was at my side. It was dark, but it wasn’t silent. I could hear rustling noises from the woods and night bird sounds, the occasional fish splashing in the lake, and the soft lapping of the lake against the shore.
I had been wanting a boyfriend. What I hadn’t wanted was a short-lived summer romance, a momentary indulgence or indulgences with one or more boys at the resort. I’d had that when I was younger, and it had been fun, but I wanted something more now.
Somehow I felt that the urges and opportunities for the fleeting pleasures available to me—the ones I’d ignored because of my dad’s rule—had I given in to them, would have lessened my chance of finding what I really wanted. I’d resisted the temptations, I’d waited, and I’d found Sean.
I’d never felt this way before. This wasn’t a mere summer romance, the sort that would be over before the days grew cooler and the nights even more. This was the beginning of something that would grow. I knew that in my heart. This was the beginning of falling in love with Sean and Sean feeling the same thing for me.
Sean was in my heart. My head, well, my head was spinning. Things were changing. Sean was something brand new for me, and the feelings he evoked were wholly unexpected and overwhelmingly powerful. But there was more. I’d thought that I’d have to move away from here, eventually. That Alex would be in charge and I’d no longer be part of this place. I loved this land. I loved that I was part of it, that I belonged. I even loved the day-to-day activities required to keep it going. They were part of me, and I was part of all of this. Yet I’d thought it all would come to an end within too few years. The end had been coming, and I’d been building a wall so I’d be able to endure the separation. But now? Things had changed, and I could see a different future, one where I could remain a vital part of everything here. Something I so wanted.
This was a summer where fundamental things were changing.
We walked in silence for quite a ways, down past the resort area, past where the sand ended, far enough that we were well away from everything, out of sight of any of the cabins. I stopped, and he was instantly in my arms, and we kissed again.
He was hard as anything, and I was, too, but we didn’t do anything about that. We would. We would together when the time was right, and we both understood that. We’d talked, we both knew where we were, and while the desire was there—the need was there—we were going to wait, to go slowly until it was perfect for both of us, just like we’d said. Sean wasn’t as ready as I was, so I’d wait till he was. I could tell this by his body language, his hesitance, his way of following and never leading. He was getting there, I knew that, and I could be patient. I didn’t want to lead him where he wasn’t fully ready to go. I wanted him to be as eager, willing and sure of himself as I was. I wasn’t sure what love was, but wanting what was best for him seemed part of that for me.
Parting may be sweet sorrow, but for me, it wasn’t sweet and all. It was painful. But it would only be for two weeks. I began counting the hours as soon as I saw his car pull away early the next morning.
My heartfelt thanks to all my editors to contributing their time and skills to this story, and especially to Colin for his expertise in dividing the story into chapters in a way to keep you, the readers, coming back for more. And to Mike for providing such an exceptional platform on which to mount it. Please make what contributions you can to keep this site active. The stories found here are a treasure that can only exist with support from our readers.
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