Chapter 1


Never Been Kissed


"I've kissed a guy... I've kissed guys. I just haven't felt that thing.... That thing... that moment when you kiss someone and everything around you becomes hazy, and the only thing in focus is you and this person. And you realize that that person is the only person you're supposed to kiss for the rest of your life. And for one moment you get this amazing gift. And you wanna laugh and you wanna cry, `cause you feel so lucky that you've found it, and so scared that it'll go away all at the same time."
Drew Barrymore; from the movie "Never Been Kissed"



It was a small lake but it used to be very popular with vacationers as the big motel could attest to. Now with the bigger lake down the road with the new fancy docks and five million dollar resort they had built, Lake Terawanda got all of the traffic and the lake where Blaine Matthews worked, Stone Cap Lake, got mostly locals and honeymooners in search of privacy.

Privacy they got. Half the lake was owned by the Tall Pines motel with its forty rooms and twenty guest cabins. The other half was spattered with privately owned cabins mostly used for families on vacation or hunters in the fall. Only three were lived in year round, one recently so.

Blaine was grateful to Gary Fenton, the owner of the motel and a former boyfriend of his late mother, for giving him the job. It was perfect for Blaine who would rather putter around he grounds mowing and weeding than to have to be around people. It wasn't like he hated people; he mostly liked everyone he met, but he was more than a bit shy.

 "Hey Blondie." He heard this from behind him and jumped, spilling the bag of sunflower seeds from his lap to the damp ground in front of the bench where he sat.

 He already knew the voice and turned, "Can you give a guy some warning?"

 Only half meaning it to sound annoyed he bent to pick up the bag and scoop up whatever seeds hadn't hit the ground. He had a major sunflower addiction, if indeed you could get addicted to those things and always had a bag of the salsa flavor nearby.

 Tara Shultz sat next to him and smirked, "Sorry." She looked out over the water. The bench was maybe twenty feet from the shore, just up on a grassy rise that held the perfect view of the rolling mountains that were mirrored perfectly on the glass like surface of the water.

 Blaine wished she hadn't sat down. He really liked Tara and all, but soon he would be jogging by and Blaine had been sitting on that same bench for weeks watching him. His skin glistening with sweat, his dark brown hair stuck to his temples, the broad shoulders and firm thighs. He had just moved into one of the private cabins about a quarter way around the lake and had jogged by every day at exactly 6:20 PM, every day that was except Saturday. He wasn't a pretty boy, he was definitely on the butch side of the spectrum of maleness but his face was handsome for sure. Strong square jaw, the slightest dimple in his chin. His body was built well but not overly muscled. Just...perfect. At least in Blaine's eyes.

 "So are you going to Gary's party tomorrow?" Tara asked, and Blaine shrugged.

 "Probably not. Too many people."

 Her laugh was throaty and Blaine was glad he was gay or he would be totally in love with her like the rest of the men were. She was beautiful, long auburn hair and startling blue eyes, but she was very married and had four kids which seemed absurd being that she didn't look any older than Blaine and he was only 19. Well in three weeks he would be 19 anyway.

 "You're so funny, Blaine! If you weren't so shy you could have a really great guy by now and be happy."

 "Around here? Yeah this is rainbow central!"

 Tara shook her head and stuck a piece of hair behind her ear, "I get this is good ol boy country but some of those good ol boys are just closeted. I've seen plenty of eligible hotties looking at you. Not that you'd notice, though. Always with your nose stuck in a bag of seeds or clipping some overgrown bush!"

 Looking at his watch and seeing it was 6:17 he swallowed hard. Soon his dream lover would be rounding the curve of the shore and he would come into sight. This was a conversation he didn't want over heard by him so he quickly changed the subject.

 "How are your kids?"

 Tara rolled her eyes and exhaled loudly, "Terrors! I thought raising them in the country was a good idea, you know, don't worry about sickos like in the city and all but all it's done is to turn them in to wild Indians!"


 "But you don't worry about them, right?"

 "I worry about me more. They could turn Lord of the Flies on me and decide I'm in the way!"

 "I grew up in the city and my mom barely let me out of her sight before she got sick, so I guess you're lucky you can let them go outside to play at least."

 "I guess so. It is nice seeing them climb trees and play in the mud instead of stuck in front of video games like all the other kids these days. If they would do their homework it would be nice though. Their teachers hate me."

 "I doubt that."


 The woods suddenly got quiet, at least to Blaine. He kept his eyes on the curve of the shore, forgetting the seed he had just stuck in his mouth, ignoring Tara who was talking about something. The fresh cool breeze coming off the water had no effect on him as he watched and then...


 There he was. The soft sound of his sneakers hitting the wet sandy shore, the bounce of his thick arms, the look of peaceful thought on his tanned face. Blaine's big doe-like brown eyes took in every inch of the man as he jogged by and turned his head a bit and gave the little wave he always did, the tilt of his head and half smile, then he was past and Blaine continued to watch, the man's small rounded ass in the smooth jogging shorts, one side flexed then the other and on and on until he was out of sight around the next curve and blocked by the hanging oak tree.

 The entire time he had been watching, Tara had been watching him. The world around him came back into focus and he remembered that she was sitting with him. He turned to her and saw the knowing smile on her wide thin lips.

 "Someone is in love!"

 Blaine could feel his face turn hot and knew it was useless to try to deny his attraction but he did it anyway.

 "What are you talking about?"

 Tara rose off of the bench, "Whatever, Blaine, you want Troy Castor's body!"

 Blaine's eyes got wide and he blinked at her once before letting her words sink in, "Troy Castor? That's his name?"

Tara slung her purse over her shoulder, "Yeah, that's his name. He'll be at Gary's party tomorrow, so you might want to rethink not going. I'll see you later honey."

 "Bye Tara."

 Troy...his name was Troy. It was a great name. The best name he'd ever heard. Troy. Blaine got up from the bench and kicked rolled up his bag of seeds, stuck them in his pocket and started for home.

 Home for Blaine was one of the guest cabins. Gary had let him and the maintenance man Dave each have one as part of their pay. They had small kitchens and were perfect for what Blaine needed. He didn't have a lot of stuff. He'd had to sell most all of his and his mother's possessions to pay off the rest of her medical bills that Medicare didn't cover.

 Inside it was cozy and not too warm or cold even in the changing of seasons. He rarely even made a fire in the small fireplace in the winter.

 He did as always and jumped into his tiny shower to get clean, fixed himself a TV dinner and sat on his bed to eat while he watched whatever happened to be on. To the outsider Blaine's life may seem boring, and they would not be alone. Blaine found it boring too, but he thought he liked boring. Less complicated at any rate. After years of being a nurse to his dying mother, having to learn the medical profession the hard way, he liked being able to amble around and take care of the landscape as he wished.

 When she died, as much as he loved her, it was a blessing. He had been only 17 but being that he was almost 18 CPS didn't take him into the system. He paid the old bills with the sale of the house and furniture, and took Gary up on the offer of a job and place to live he'd been made at the funeral.

 Gary and his mother had been together when Blaine was little. The relationship hadn't worked out but they stayed in touch and were one of the few that watched her lowered into the ground with Blaine. Now Gary was his boss and he was the easiest going boss Blaine could hope for.

 Gary was having a party. It was an annual party he had to celebrate the day he had bought Twin Pines Motel. The employees were all guests for this one day because Gary hired outside help. Whatever rooms and cabins were empty were open to them for the night so no one had to drive home down the long winding roads. Blaine had been employed there the previous year but hadn't attended the party. He was new then and hadn't known anyone, and he was not exactly the party boy. He never drank, and people tended to intimidate him.

 But this year he had found a reason to consider attending. A tall dark haired reason with dark eyes and a smile that dripped with sex. Blaine set his empty tray down on his nightstand and fell back on the bed, closing his eyes so he could better pull from his memory. As he thought about Troy, he fell asleep.

 In the morning he woke late. It was Saturday, and he was off of work but he still got up and got dressed right away. Helen, the cook in the small Motel café, always kept breakfast for him when she worked on the weekends. She was like a grandmother to him now. Really his best friend in the place and he hurried out of his cabin and over to the back entrance. He always ate in the kitchen with her, watching her cook. She was 67 but still moved like someone half her age. She didn't need the money she told him, she worked because it gave her a break from her knitting and pretending to listen to her husband of forty years.

 "Hey boy, sit down, I had almost given up on you."

 She always told him this, and he smiled wide with his deep red lips, "Helen you are the best cook in the world. How dumb would I be to miss your Spanish omelet?"

 She smiled sweetly and gave him a wink before setting his plate down at the small table and going back to the grill. Blaine watched her and ate while he tried to think of a way to talk to her about Troy.

 "Um, Helen, when you and Cal first met...well who...I mean how did you-"

 "Tara already told me you have a crush on the new guy in the old Farrow cabin."

 The fork dropped to the plate and Blaine stared at Helen's tiny back, "You have got to be kidding me!"

 Helen giggled, "Nah, but don't worry, Blaine, she only told me." She scooped a bunch of hash browns up onto a plate and set it under the heat lamps, then turned to him and set her wrinkled hands on the table, "You have to come out of your shell a little is all. Just grow some and talk to the man. All he can do is tell you that he's not gay, or that he's not interested if he is. It won't kill you as much as you're afraid of rejection, I promise. You get shot down you smart for a minute then you try again with the next one. Eventually you will hit your mark and get a yes. With your handsome face I figure you will get more yeses than no's anyway."

 "It's not that easy, Helen. He's so...and I've never..."

 "I know, you sweet thing, you never had a chance at doing the teen love thing and grow into this, but that just means all that good karma you have built up should work for you now."

 Blaine smiled and nodded, "Yeah, karma, sure Helen."

 The rest of the day Blaine wandered the grounds fighting with his own wet noodle of a back bone to decide if he would even go to the party let alone try to talk to Troy. Finally as evening approached he found himself in his cabin hair dripping from the shower he had just taken trying to decide what to wear that would make his look less skinny and show some of the muscle he had gained working at the lake for a year.

 He finally settled on a dark gray dress shirt and his best jeans. He had no nice shoes, but he had a pair of sneakers that he hadn't ruined with grass stains from mowing yet and once he got his hair combed and cursed himself for not getting a trim he started for the door and froze. Was he really doing this? Really?

 "Yes, Blaine, grow some." It was his personal pep talk to himself using Helen's words. He'd never had a boyfriend or even a real date. The closest had been a few months before when a man stayed at the motel for a week and had seemed interested in him, always seeking him out to talk, asking Blaine about himself and flirting with him. His name had been Brian, and Blaine was just starting to think they had something between them when Brian had checked out in the middle of the night and left without a word. Blaine had been hurt but he told himself he had no reason to be. They hadn't had a date or a kiss or anything, but it hurt nonetheless.

 He walked through the doors to the lobby of the motel. The place was big and wooden. That's the only way Blaine could think of describing it. Pine floors shone brightly with the recent polishing, the log walls, high wood beamed ceilings and the furniture all made locally of drift wood and small logs, the chairs and couches upholstered in forest greens and sky blues. The room was already full of party goers and Blaine sought out a quiet corner to hide in but was too late. Tara and her giant husband Pete, a dark skinned African American went over to him and Tara gave him a quick hug.

 "Hey! Never thought I'd see you here."

 "Hey Tara, Pete, I just thought I'd come to eat maybe and then leave."

 Tara looked at Pete then back at Blaine, the side of her mouth twitching with a held back smile, "You know you came looking for the jogging hunk. He's over at the bar right now. Go and get your man!"

 Blaine turned red but his eyes flitted to the bar across the room. Troy was sitting there talking to Gary. He was dressed in a suit and if it were possible he looked even better in the suit as he did in his jogging clothes. It was black and he wore a light green shirt under it with no tie. He was laughing and Blaine was torn between wanting to run over and grab him into a hot kiss or run back through the door and hide in his cabin for the rest of his life.

 Tara pulled Pete away to dance but gave Blaine a small push towards the bar before she did. He looked at her with his eye lids lowered for a moment before walking towards the bar. He made a fast plan in his mind before he got there.


  1. Make it there before throwing up.


2.Act like you were going there to talk to Gary.


3.Congratulate Gary on eleven years in the motel business.


4.Make eye contact with Troy.

 He was quickly able to check off number 1. He made it over and as he approached Gary noticed him and smiled, "Blaine, how are you? Glad you came!"

 Blaine felt his tongue swell so large it would soon choke the life out of him but he nodded and took the offered hand of Gary, shaking it a bit too fast.

 "Hi Gary. Nice party." Hi Gary, nice party?? Smooth!

 Gary laughed as he looked around and nodded, "Yeah good turn out." He looked at Troy then back at Blaine, "Troy do you know our Blaine?"

 Blaine was forced to turn his eyes to Troy who he was purposely avoiding looking at. Troy was smiling and Blaine saw that his eyes weren't just dark, they were dark green, and lined with thick lashes.

 "I've seen him almost everyday, but never had the pleasure of meeting him." Troy was speaking to Gary but never took his eyes from Blaine, then put his hand out, "Blaine is it? I'm Troy. Very happy to finally meet you properly."

 Blaine knew his face turned bright red because the heat of it was making him sweat but he took Troy's hand and shook it, the warmth of the man's hand and firmness of his grip making Blaine's stomach fall right to his balls.

 "Nice to meet you."

 "You look a little young for anything harder than Coke or Sprite, but I'd love to buy you one of those if you are thirsty."

 Blaine could listen to Troy talk all night. His voice was silky and low, and fit him well.

 "Yes, okay, thanks."

 "Sit down."

 Troy offered the seat next to him and Blaine took it, clasping his hands in front of him on the bar to keep them from shaking. Troy ordered him a Sprite and once it came Blaine took a sip and wished stupidly he had some sunflower seeds with him.

 "So I see you sitting on that bench everyday. Good place to take a break from work I bet."

 "Yeah I like it there."

 Troy lowered his voice after taking a drink of his scotch and moved just a couple of inches closer to Blaine, "It's my favorite part of my run. Best view anyway."

 That was it; Blaine was going to die right then and there on that bar stool. He went numb from the neck down and didn't even know if his heart was still beating. Was Troy really flirting with him? Was he the view Troy liked? What if that wasn't what he meant? What should he say?

 Before he could think any of it through Troy brushed his leg against Blaine's and let Blaine know he hadn't gone completely numb.

 "Can we go someplace to talk? Alone?"

 Blaine's head exploded. He could see it, his gray matter was hanging off of the mirror in back of the bar and one of his eyeballs had landed in the pitcher of beer Merle was pouring for the giggling women at the end.

 After what was only a moment but seemed like fourteen hours Blaine found his voice and turned his head slightly to glance sideways at Troy just to make sure the man was still talking to him, "Uh, yeah, sure."

 "Great." Troy got up and Blaine followed. Troy went out of the front doors and casually strode down the sidewalk. Blaine was right behind him and Troy didn't slow anymore for him to catch up. Once they were past the building and off of the sidewalk Troy started down the trail that led into the trees. Blaine felt so many things but the most prominent was excitement. He was alone with Troy, his dream lover, the man he had fantasized about for weeks.

 Once they were surrounded by trees and the lights of the motel was a dim glow to the left of them Troy turned fast forcing Blaine to bump into him. The bump brought Troy's hard chest up against his and before Blaine could pull back with a stuttering apology Troy grabbed his shoulders and pressed his lips to Blaine's hard. Troy kissed him once, then again and on the third time Blaine kissed back and Troy took it and ran, opening his mouth and let his tongue slide against Blaine's. Blaine couldn't think at all, and didn't want to. All he wanted was more. More kissing, more Troy, just more.

He was about to get a lot more than he ever imagined.