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Copyright 2003 by Nicholas. The author retains all rights to this story and requests that you do not alter or post this story in any form without his permission. The following is a work of fiction. The characters are purely fictional, as are the events. This story depicts acts of love and sex between consenting persons, youth and adult. If stories of this nature offend you, please leave now.
If you are under age then get your friend and have him read it to you. Sit on his lap and cuddle up, I hope you'll love the story as much as you love him.
The pictures of my groms were very popular, in fact if you had trouble loading them it's because the popularity exceeded my bandwidth. I've split the new pictures up and hopefully you will be able to visit. There were over 1,650 visits to the Grom Pac and almost 800 visits to the Photo Gallery One. Enjoy the groms and forgive me if the bandwidth hits the wall again.
The Grommet Chapter Two
One of the least admired times on the beach is night. After all, most of the beach users are there for the combination of sun and sea. Take away the sun and the userlist goes down quickly. Give the beach an overcast day and you cut the population by three fourths, make it a heavy overcast and cut another three fourths, add a little rain and make it even darker, cut another three fourths until now you have a perfectly adequate beach, but with just 2% of the people who would be visiting on a bright and sunny day. Make it night and 98% of those remaining disappear: the beach becomes completely deserted.
One of the most beautiful times on the beach is night. On a clear night, the stars above the ocean can seem to be twice as populous as those over the nearby shore. The twinkling of stars, the flashing of airliner running lights, the stately progress of the string of pearls stretched across the booms and spars of a fishing trawler, the far off swarms of lightening bugs denoting tankers and freighters and the floating orgy of lights defining an approaching or departing cruise liner present patterns as endlessly changing as the sunlight presents the glorious sameness of each hour. The beach itself seems to glow and even an overcast night is never as dark as it first seems. The captured light in sea and sky both quickly prove that they can illuminate the sand and surf as well as can the sun.
I've come to love the night time beach, it's profound silence riding above the metronome of the pulsing beat of waves; the hiss as sea foam runs back toward the boiling break. The almost silent popping of the wavelet bubbles trapped within the larger grains of sand. No shore birds cry. No waders scream and yell. No competing thumps of boom box bass. The driving power of the sea and waves is somehow assuaged, somewhat tamed and someway made less virile. The waves still crash, the surf still pounds, yet the softer glow of wavetop light seems to wink its way back up at the heavens as if in some cosmic code of dots and dashes the stars and sea commune.
On certain nights the very planet seems to glow as millions of bits of plankton or other types of tiny life offer their own great chorus to the silence and the surf by a starfired startling show of phosphorescence. First tiny streams ride on the cross beach currents and then great floods toss themselves into the surf. A jumbled, shining, flashing, riotous symphony of light. All held within the eyes and minds and hearts of those very few who know the beach at night.
I'd alternate between my deck and the beach itself as I soaked up the silence of the night. It hadn't ever seemed that walking was required. I'd simply drift from chair to water's edge and back again as I watched the passing of the stars, the boiling of the inner lights, the far off progress of the ships. My house could be quite dark itself and I'd use the reflected glow of beach and sky to illuminate the main rooms. The kitchen was fitted with a dark room lamp and safelight, so I could tend the coffee pot, fill my cup and yet return unblinded to the deck. It was a different world than the daytime. It brought with it peace, a tendency to reflect and an easing of whatever stress I might have felt that day. I loved the beach at night.
This night was the same, yet not the same. My canine mate and my little guest had more a claim tonight. I'd pulled another safelight from the darkroom and installed it in the master bath. This allowed a gentle light to shine on the tousled shock of platinum hair that rested in my bed. I could watch his torment, yet I hoped bring him some of the peace I found at night. The patio doors were open and the silence and the surf poured into the house. I'd made more coffee and the scent of sea and fresh ground roast were mixed, I hoped a comforting blend of nature and man.
Daisy watched me to-ing and fro-ing, never leaving Cam's tormented side. He'd sweat and shake and shiver and toss and turn, but Daisy seemed to will her very warmth into his soul.
I'd wipe his brow when the fever struck and tuck the blankets tight during chills. I'd soothe his hair and touch his cheeks. I'd speak of waves I'd watched him ride when he would toss and turn. I tried to do all those ineffectual things a parent does while waiting for a sign that something helps. I'd pace between the deck and kitchen. I'd sit and wonder what else I could do, where this child belonged, how had he come to be beneath my deck?
Daisy came once when I was dozing in my chair. She touched me with her nose and licked my hand. I scratched her ears and told what a wonderful nurse she was. I rose and went to Cam's side as Daisy made her way between the kitchen and the deck. I know she drank and ate a bite. I hoped she found the time to tend her other needs. She stretched out in her own bed when she returned as if to say, "He's yours for now. I'll take a turn again later. Give him your strength, give him your love. Maybe it will help."
I took her place beside him and gently stroked his cheek and hair. Me moaned a quiet moan and seemed to settle more into the bed. I dozed again and woke as his chill returned. I used the cloth to wipe his brow and as his tiny form was racked by shakes, I gathered him into an embrace. I lifted him, blanket and all from out the bed and carried him, rubbing his back and cooing small nothings as we paced between the bed, the deck, the kitchen. We must have walked for quite some time. I wasn't tired, yet I was beat. He'd stopped the shakes and now seemed peacefully asleep, but I could tell his body still burned with fever.
Daisy came and told me it was time to put him back to bed. She led me to the bedroom and supervised and as I got him back arranged, she jumped up to his side. Putting her muzzle across his chest, she looked at me and demanded I get some rest.
I dozed in the recliner, but slept a fitful sleep; marred probably by too much coffee, some worry and the nagging questions of the boy. I'd gone through his pack again as I added the clothing there to the wash. I'd rifled the shorts' pockets, plumbed the depths of the pack bottom and even looked for tags which might have shown some clues. There was really nothing there. The short pockets had some of the stuff of boys, of course collected sand, but also one small shell, a piece of beach glass, a penny and a dime, a piece of string, a matchbox car. Nothing to help connect him to someone, somewhere. I'd set these treasures aside and sent the clothing through the washing machine. The pack had one strange piece of paper. A math test folded tight and wadded in the bottom. A perfect score with a big red star, but nothing more than CAM in childish scrawl across the top.
I realized that Cam was probably like 99 percent of the children in America, completely unidentifiable if they could not speak. I wouldn't wish an identity card on kids, but more dogs could find their way home by tags than kids. A pack name tag, a shoe tag, a strip of cloth sewn in the lining of the shorts, any of these simple methods would have offered me some help.
I'd wake and listen to the surf and for any sounds from the bedroom. I'd edge back into sleep and dream of walking the beach. I'd drift between sleep and wakefulness and worry about this boy, see him surfing in the break, watch his ready smile and horse play with his friends.
Daisy woke me again near 4 a.m. The door was open, so she didn't need to go out. She wasn't upset or insistent, so I knew there was no great worry, but she seemed to say, "Wake up, its time." Time for what I didn't know, but rising and stretching from the unaccustomed position of sleeping in the chair, I said, "Let's look out at the surf, girl." Turning toward the deck, we both walked out and stared into the night.
The deep night has its own place on the beach and everywhere in fact. Song lyrics declare the darkest hour is just before dawn. On the beach it's true, as if a precursor of the dawn blots out the stars, the deep night sky seems, while filled with pinpricks of light, to be a cold and dark sky. The waves don't seem to glint as readily and the photoplankton seem to have exhausted themselves in their earlier dance.
Nurses will swear that illness often reaches crisis in this time and our boy seemed somehow attuned to the hour. Daisy cocked her head right before I heard a cry, we both bolted for the bedroom. Cam was thrashing and shaking. I could see he was sweating and hear his moans and cries as if the internal heat was being applied with matches across his body. He was twisting and shaking and he began almost screaming as if the monsters under the bed had actually grabbed a hold. Daisy stopped dead in her tracks and just looked at me and whined her confusion. I was pretty confused too, but there was really only one thing to do. I grabbed the washcloth and then grabbed the boy and held him tight. He didn't know he was being held, he fought me like he'd fought the blankets. He couldn't seem to wake, he couldn't sleep, he seemed caught in between. Caught between some nightmare, caught between some feverish fright. I held him, bathed his forehead and tried to pass some of my strength directly through his body.
I'd had a time with my own son once when a nightmare seemed to be in control. I remembered the helpless feeling as your child screams and cries, thrashes and tosses and turns. Cam was in that same place. I remembered best that nothing I had done had helped, but that eventually he had settled down. I prayed that this would be the same.
I held him, what else could I do? We struggled together through the rest of the night, snuggling past his fitful shakes and cries.
If the darkest hour is just before dawn, then perhaps the brightest possibilities exist just as dawn breaks. Again, the nurses will swear that if the patient in crisis can just get through to the hour of dawn, often the illness will break. Thank God, Cam seemed in tune again. Just as the world had brightened outside the deck, he gave one last shudder and cry then seemed to collapse back into my embrace. He wasn't struggling, wasn't shivering, wasn't crying out in inner pain. In fact he seemed to fall into a sleep; a deep and restful sleep. I laid him back upon the bed and rinsed the cloth, but as I held it to his forehead again I felt he was not on fire. The fever had broken, he had gotten past whatever demon had held him tight.
Daisy knew something was different, she jumped into the bed again and cuddled down beside him. Giving him a little kiss on the cheek, she reached across his chest and licked my hand too. Then settling down with her head again upon his chest, she gave me the look that said, "Finally, what took you so long!"
I scratched her ears and said, "Girl, I think I've forgotten how to be a Dad, but between us two we've pulled him through, I hope."
She wisely held her tongue.
I restarted the coffee pot, moved his clothes and the linens from the washer to the dryer and generally moved quietly around the house. For a while I sat on the deck and enjoyed the rising morning. It seemed as if this would be a beautiful day at the beach. Already the tideline was being scoured by the shell seekers. There seemed to be hundreds of gulls this morning, in fact as many sandpipers and other shorebirds were working the shore as gulls were working the sky. Then just as Daisy came out to get a peek, a pod of dolphins started frolicking just beyond the break. It was a perfect day.
I stopped beside the bed and as I brushed his blonde bangs away from his now peaceful face, he stirred a little. Turning toward me, his eyes fluttered open and locked on mine. A moments hesitation, then a sweet grin and a quiet, "Hi."
"Hi to you too," I replied, "Now close your eyes again and go to sleep, you've had a rough night."
"'K," was all he said as he did just that and drifted back to sleep.
Daisy and I both decided that the crisis was past. She couldn't decide where she should be and bounced between the kitchen, the deck and snuggled in her bed. I did notice that the bed visits were very short and followed by a trip out to the deck.
I'd sat on the deck and drank a pot of coffee through the early morning hours and now seeing Daisy's obvious antsyness, I decided we had better take at least a short walk on the beach.
"Let's go girl," I said.
Daisy was down the stairs like a shot and looking back up at me, barked a command to hurry up!
Laughing, I joined her in the sand and nodded for her to go ahead. She bolted for the water's edge and a flock of gulls just waiting to be flushed. As they burst into the air with raucous cries she danced below them and barked again as if to tell them, "He's alive and well, he'll run and surf again. Now get up in the sky where you belong!"
She was a demon on the sand, she tore around and chased both gulls and shore birds. She went into the surf and then came bounding back to shake right at my side. Of course I got all wet and as I told her off, she bounced around and danced before me till I had to laugh. It was hard to believe that this was the same sedate lady who had stayed right at my side just days ago as we traveled home. I know the stress of our sick charge had keyed her up all night and now she ran it off.
It must have been good for me too, because I found that laughing and running a little with my girl had completely blown away the terrors of the night. I wondered still about the boy and how we would proceed, but Daisy's joy at living this moment had me convinced that what ever came would be all right.
As we went back to the house, Daisy dove beneath the deck and as if doubting my earlier skill, she searched the entire space. She sniffed the surfboard where I had left it lay, but didn't find anything else of interest and soon joined me as we climbed back into the house.
My heart almost dropped as I glanced into the bedroom and saw the bed was empty, but then I heard the toilet flush. Thank God, as much as I might like another chance to repeat last night's bath, a walking, living boy seemed much the better choice. Daisy ran into the bath and I heard a giggle, and then a laugh, so I knew they were making friends.
I turned from the bedroom door and went into the kitchen. Opening the dryer I began to fold the linens and sort Cam's clothes when he came walking in wearing nothing, but one arm draped across Daisy's back as if they were the best of friends.
"Hi," I said.
"Hi," he returned.
"Your clothes are clean, here's your shorts and shirt."
"Thanks," he said, but instead of coming forward to get them, he climbed up in a kitchen chair. Daisy sat down at his side. "I'm thirsty, do you have anything to drink?"
"Sure, there's water and milk, but I always thought the best thing while being sick was 7-Up. Would you like a glass?"
"Yeah, cool." was his response. "Was I sick?" he asked.
"Yes, you were very sick. You had a fever and chills and shakes, and a nightmare with dreams that made you scream."
"Oh," he said. "I didn't feel good all weekend. It was cold and wet here all weekend and there weren't many people or much food around. When I crawled to bed last night I really didn't feel good at all, I guess I was really sick."
I placed his folded clothes on the table and went to the refrigerator and poured a glass of 7-Up. Placing it before him, I poured myself another coffee and sat across from him.
His platinum shock of hair was disarranged with pieces sticking up and out. The sweats and long night had clearly given him a case of bedhead. Knowing the state of the rest of his body, it probably was crusted with seasalt and sand as well. His face was a little wane, the fever had dehydrated him a bit. His little chest was splotched, again from the after effects of sweats and chills. His tiny nipples dark against the just emerging tan. They were about the size of nickels and while they stood out from his chest, there was no extra body fat beneath. In fact, he seemed devoid of any extra weight. His waist was very tiny and his hip bones stood out clearly above his thighs. He'd curled one leg and foot under his butt as he took the seat and so only the leg away from Daisy swung above the floor. There was no extra squeezed out where the weight of his body pressed the flesh of buns or thigh against the chair. His private parts were better colored than they had been last night. Below the vee of his hips a tiny patch of curly blonde pubic hair set off the healthier pink rose color which tinted his little cocklet's head. The distended shaft and dangling balls were bright white with just the hint of growing light blonde hairs.
I didn't remember his eyes from our last encounter, but now they looked across the table at me and they were least effected by his ordeal. They were bright, bright blue and seemed to twinkle and dance. When he caught my eye, I thought that they were looking into my very heart.
He sipped his 7-Up with one hand idly stroking Daisy's head. "She's nice," he ventured.
"Her name's Daisy," I replied. "She just came to live with me this weekend. She found you under the deck when you were sick. That was Tuesday morning. You were out all day, it's Wednesday now."
"Oh," was all he said. "Can I have a piece of toast of something? I'm a little hungry."
I laughed, "I bet you're starving! But, you're right a piece of toast would probably be just right. Coming right up."
I put the bread in the toaster and was just getting the butter and jelly out of the fridge when he was by my side. Holding out his empty cup and looking up at me I knew what the master cook and Mr. Bumble must have seen when Oliver Twist asked for more. I hoped I reacted better, I filled his glass and as I gave it back to him I clasped his shoulder and hugged him to me. Tapping his little butt with an affectionate pat, I steered him back toward his chair and finished making up his toast.
He wolfed it down and as he finished his drink he stifled a huge yawn.
"Why don't you crawl back in bed. You had a very hard night and you need some sleep. While you rest I can call your mom and tell her you're all right. Can you tell me your phone number, Cam?"
Yawning again he said, "She's not there. It's not there. I'm sleepy, thanks for the toast. C'mon girl, let's go back to bed."
Before I could even follow up, he was back in bed and back asleep, Daisy by his side.
As he continued to sleep, I went beneath the deck again and freed his surfboard from it's pile of sand. He'd jammed it up against the house and covered it, I'm sure to hide it and keep it safe. His wadded wet suit was filled with sand. I tossed it out and dragged the board out to the stairs. Turning on the tap, I used the foot washing hose to rinse it off, then stretched out the wet suit and washed it down both inside and out. The suit was a good quality Quicksilver, though well worn. Like the shorts I'd washed last night, it seemed almost lived in. The right ankle was scruffed from the Velcro of the leash. The hips and knees were worn from abrasion against the board. As I finished rinsing it, it went on the deck rail.
The board I stood against the corner of the house, near the patio door, but safe from any wind. It was a good board, yellow with blue accents. A Quicksilver logo on the nose and traction pads on the tail. It was well used too, the foot prints etched into the surface where sand had helped to make the grip; leashed from the deck. It had ProTech fins and not too many dings. I'd imagined a grom's board to be much different, lots of stickers on top of the glass, a few big dings, perhaps a crack. This board was serious surfing gear, no time for childish decoration. It made me think back to watching Cam surf. He had been one of the serious types. Always riding on the edge and really quite good. His board and suit and the few clothes I'd found said he was what he meant to be, a serious sport who loved the waves. The lone school paper hinted at the hidden boy, smart and yet self possessed enough to claim my dog, my bed and declare he was tired and going to rest.
The day wound slowly round, Daisy came out to check on me several times, I checked on Cam. He slept the peaceful sleep of childhood. A far cry from the torments of last night.
I'd started the grill at lunch and made some hamburgers. I only cooked my own, he slept right through the day.
As Daisy and I were contemplating a late afternoon walk, he woke. Again, I heard the toilet flush and then felt him beside me on the deck. I was sitting in the chair and just gazing out to sea. He climbed into my lap as if he'd always owned me, like he owned my bed. He still hadn't found his clothes and now I had a snuggle bunny, naked to the sun, burrowing into my chest and holding me as strongly close as last night he had tried to fight me away. If I'd thought his hand holding mine those weeks ago was electricity, then this was nuclear. My whole body melted into his touch. I couldn't seem to hug him enough, to hold him close, to smooth his hair. He squeezed me tight and then sat up and looked into my eyes. Those clear blue pools just sucked me in and then he kissed me on the cheek and settling back into our embrace, said, "Thanks, I knew you'd make me safe."
I didn't know what to say, but Daisy once again told me what to do. She licked my hand and placed her muzzle across my thigh next to the boy and gave me the look that clearly said, "Just hold him. Pet him. Tell him it's okay."
I listened to my girl, hugged him close and stroked his back. I leaned forward, kissed the shining top of his platinum head and whispered, "It's all right Cam, you're welcome here. We'll make you well, we'll keep you safe."
A second group of groms can be found at nicholas693.tripod.com/thegrompacphotostwo
There are several companies and groups that offer very good shoe tags and other identification devices for children. If you have a y/f the best protection you can give them is the chance to be known in case they can't speak. For a few dollars you can make a tag at most PetSmart locations to lace it into your y/f's shoes or clip to their backpack. A GOOGLE search on Shoe Tags or Child Identification will provide a wealth of resources. Shoe Tags brings more medical and ID results, Child ID brings more missing children resources.
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