West Otter Lake
Copyright© 2013 – Nicholas Hall
West Otter Lake – Chapter Five – "Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home, sweet home; for there the heart can rest." – (Henry Van Dyke)
Each morning thereafter, when I awoke in the warm embraces of my lover, who wanted to please me, love me, and allow me to love him in return, I was overwhelmed with the changes in my life since I came home to run the Resort. Abandoned at birth, betrayed in love, orphaned as an adult, and now secure in my own home, in the arms of my beloved, feeling so fortunate to have found him and him me. We became partners and lovers dedicated to each other and establishing a home for Luis, protecting him and providing for his welfare. We had to keep our secrets until such time as it was advantageous for Leandro to apply for the Deferred Action program. If the news reports were correct, there just might be a possibility that a new program or law might give some sort of pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. We weren't about to take a chance, just yet.
I know there are many who would object vociferously to my sexual preference, but I considered it a "monogamous" relationship, not yielding to the not-altogether-correct stereotypic view by the bigoted world who saw gay men fucking anything and everything with a cock and balls. I had no desire or intention of expanding the relationship to another man and Leandro was committed to the same.
Many nights, after gently sucking him dry, I'd go to sleep plugged deeply into Leandro, my arms wrapped about him, pulling him closer to me, fulfilling my own desires. There were times, during the night, I'd waken, feel him enter me, swell, make several short, pumping of his hips, and squeeze out several spritz of his love into me. I was happy and so was he and we could live with that.
At breakfast the next morning Luis knew too well what happened during the night. I drove him down to the end of lane, amidst a soft snowfall, to meet his bus. Before he crawled out of the pickup, he leaned over, kissed me on the cheek, saying, "I think it's great; now all of us can be together and be happy as a family." I waited until the bus arrived and he left on it, amazed and comforted by the words and insight of a fourteen year old boy. Luis became the center of our lives and I felt he was worth it. The lad was bright, so bright I sometimes wondered if we could challenge him enough at home and at school. Luis was a very self-motivated teenager and wasn't bashful about looking things up on the Internet or doing independent research. Luis was an individual who was never bored; always busy doing, learning, and happy in the process. He was a lucky lad and so were we.
Now that it was mid-March, we had to get serious about readying the resort for our summer guests. Some of the first items to be taken care of were freshening the bedding and washing and bagging the linens for each of the cabins. Although everything was laundered in the fall after the season closed and stored away in large re-sealable plastic bags, I preferred running the blankets through our large commercial driers to freshen the blankets and re-launder the sheets and pillow cases and return them to their plastic storage bags. I probably wouldn't have to do this, but winter storage can sometimes leave a dank or stale odor clinging to the bedding. Each cabin had three sets of blankets and linens so, as we did the laundry each week during the season, we had fresh, clean linen and blankets to replace them for the next guests. As we worked, in preparation for the season, I'd set aside those items beginning to wear and replace them from our stock room. About every two years or so, Grandma used to make the rounds of the household auctions and garage sales, picking up replacements. That task, this coming summer and the summers hereafter would be up to me. The beds in all of the cabins were double beds and that standardization made turn-around day and linen changing simple with little worry about "what went where."
The boats needed to be checked, new licenses applied every two years, repaired where needed, and touch-up paint applied on scraped and worn spots. It seemed as though there was always some little thing to be fixed, like a split wooden seat cover, an anchor rope to be replaced, or a set of oars to be replaced, on the aluminum sixteen foot boats. The resort always kept spare items for the boats in inventory and as we used them, I'd make a list to replace and then do so either locally or order from supply companies.
Winter's Sport and Marine, a local boat and motor dealer in town, would check over our outboard motors, tune them up, and make any necessary repairs. Grandpa Johnson started the arrangement many years before and I saw no reason to change it. Leandro did comment he might be able to make some minor repairs, but without adequate training he'd be afraid of doing more damage than good if something major needed to be repaired. He was more of a carpenter than a small engines man. Winter's had the parts needed on hand or access to them through their distributors, so I called them to come out and begin picking up motors.
Eddie Winter, son of the owner and partner in the business, arrived one sunny day in the company pickup to take the first five motors in to town. We had fifteen twenty-five horse motors altogether; one for each of the cabins and three extras to rent out or substitute for one broken down. Most of the cabin guests fished, waterskied, or took boat rides and usually towed their own boat, motor, and trailer to the Resort. That was fine with me; we'd launch it for them and provide a docking slip near their cabin to tie it up. We had gas and oil to sell so there was little need to transport more than full tanks to the resort. The Resort boats would be moved to storage for use in the future or rented out to campground renters. One advantage of keeping good records on our guests, it gave us a heads up whether or not to have a boat available when they arrived. Once in a while, for whatever reason, a guest would leave a boat at home when we anticipated them bringing their own. It also eliminated a great deal of hassle on turn-around day if we moved boats ahead of time. Those days were hectic enough.
Leandro and I loaded the motors in the back of Eddie's pickup truck as Eddie tagged them and recorded their serial numbers. Leandro wandered back to the shop when we finished loading, to continue working on the boats. Eddie handed me the receipts for each motor, which also acted as a redemption tag for each, and commented, "I heard in town you had some new help out here," and looked at me curiously.
"Yeah," I commented, "he's Lui's cousins." So, I lied, so what?
"He's that new kid in school isn't he; the one you have custody of?"
I nodded again, "He's my grandmother's sister's youngest daughter's boy; sort of a shirttail relation to me. His father died and his mother is really, really sick and had a hard time caring for him. Leandro is his cousin on his dad's side. The economy went to shit down there and he needed work so, when he brought him up here, I offered him a job. He's a high school graduate and will help Jacob and will help Sara in the Lodge. Leandro's a carpenter and a pretty decent cook to boot. My great-aunt asked if I could find something for them. Gees, Eddie, how do you turn down family, especially when my own father and aunts and uncles never show up around here except for funerals? You know what it's like working in a family business."
Eddie nodded his head in understanding and evidently approved because he said no more. Now Eddie's wife is the biggest gossip in three counties so it wouldn't take long before everyone knew the story. That's exactly what I intended – put a little guilt on Eddie, feed him a little extra, and turn him loose.
I anticipated Jacob and Sara returning any day so we busied ourselves getting the two-bedroom caretaker's cottage ready for them. The water had to be turned on and the heat turned up. I kept a low heat in there all winter to keep the dampness out and to help keep the cottage warm enough to prevent any winter damage. By the twentieth of the month, I still hadn't heard from them and was beginning to worry about their welfare. I waited until the next Saturday and at breakfast, I told everyone I was going to call them and see if there was a problem. As I was speaking, the office phone rang and Luis dodged in to answer it. He was gone but a minute and came back carrying the portable phone with him.
"It's Sara Markworth," he said in a low voice and handed me the phone.
I suspected it wasn't going to good news and it wasn't! Jacob suffered a stroke a couple of weeks previously and, although he was recovering nicely, they wouldn't be returning to the Resort this year. They were going to stay down south until warmer weather and then one of their daughters was going to fly down and drive them back home to Illinois.
When I rang off, I sat a moment, and all I said was "SHIT!" Leandro tried to assure me he could handle Jacob's duties as well as work the cabins and Lodge. We'd still have to hire a couple of people to come in on turn around day to help clean cabins, so that would work, he thought.
"That's fine," I sighed, "but that doesn't solver my really big problem!"
Luis, paying close attention to the conversation, asked, "What's that?"
"Tending bar, Luis; Jacob and Sara tended bar for us."
"No problem," spoke up Leandro with a smile, "I can handle that easily."
"I don't think so, Leandro," I responded, "in this state bartenders have to have a license or permit from the town board in order to dispense beer, liquor, or wine and I don't think you'd pass the required background check."
Now it was his turn to say, shit!
"What do we do now?" a clearly worried Luis asked.
I shrugged my shoulders in exasperation. I could get the license and run the bar, if Luis would handle the office during the time I had the bar open, but it would tie me down and the Resort kept me busy most of the day just taking care of our guests. A large part of the enjoyment guests receive at a resort comes from the manner they're treated while there. Customer service is important, even if it rains all week, and you have to convince your guests they're having a great time and should return another year.
"I'm not certain, Luis," I finally responded, "but something will come up. Grandpa Johnson always said `don't get your undies in a bunch, it'll all work out.'"
Luis giggled and teased, "But I bet he didn't mean all bunched up into your ass crack because of a hard-on and that's what this acts like, with no relief in sight." With a wiggle and a giggle, he announced as he walked away, "I'm going to the office. I have a science report due next week."
Leandro, leaning back in his chair, hands behind his head, commented, "You know, Conner, you could get the license and I could cover for you while you're out doing something else."
"I don't think we'd want to take that chance," I pondered. "All we'd need is some asshole to complain and you'd either be dining on inmates' cocks or a homegrown enchilada's shoved up your ass."
He knew I was correct- I just couldn't take that chance, so I shook my head "no" and stood, announcing I was going to do some more laundry; maybe that'd help me think and get some work done in the process.
As I was leaving, Leandro, always thinking ahead I'm finding, said, "I'm going bake a half-dozen pizza's. We can eat a couple for lunch and I'll freeze the rest. I've plenty of sausage, ground beef, and cheeses on hand. Besides, Luis likes a snack when he comes home from school and he loves pizza."
"You got that right," I snickered.
As an afterthought, Leandro added, "I'll make a couple of apple pies as long as I have the oven turned on. There are some apples in the refrigerator I should use up."
Leandro baked a real mean apple pie and I doubted we'd have much left in a day or so. I made a mental note to check for vanilla ice cream in the freezer as I went to the laundry room and loaded a couple of the commercial driers with blankets and set the machines on low to tumble and air them. I filled the three washers with sheets and pillow cases and started them on a wash and spin dry cycle. Large commercial washers and dryers are necessary for the bedding used at the Resort and cut the work time in the laundry. Leandro said he could damn near put all of our personal stuff in one washer and dryer each time he did it. Once everything was running properly, I wandered outside to the shop to check on needed repairs to fishing boats and the two sail boats we rent out each summer
While I worked, I rolled around the many alternatives I could choose from concerning the bar in my head. A major alternative, but not a very financially wise decision, was to close the bar altogether. The bar, while the Resort didn't depend on its revenue, was still a high profit area and did add a nice sum to our gross profit. I could exist without it, but it was more than just a profit item; guests at the Resort enjoyed settling down at a bar stool or one of the three tables and enjoying a cold beer on a hot afternoon. In the evenings, after dinner or a fishing trip, some of our guests liked to have a mixed drink or glass of wine. The view from the Great Room across West Otter Lake was spectacular and a nice place to relax after a busy day of relaxing.
I could also reduce the hours it was open to those hours I'd be available. I could open it for a couple of hours in the afternoon and then again for a couple of hours in the evening. Reducing the hours certainly would reduce the revenue coming in and there were guests who might not be too happy, but perhaps, if I explained it properly, they'd tolerate the new hours. The down side of that, other than the loss of revenue, would reducing services at the bar cause customers to pass us by the next year?
The bar usually opened around two or three in the afternoon and closed around nine each evening six days a week. It was closed all day Sunday. Jacob was always prudent who he served and how much so we just didn't have any problems with drunks or rowdy bar customers. He took his responsibilities seriously and realized, since we were a family resort, the last thing any guests wanted to see was a drunken sop sitting at the bar spoiling the evening for everyone or falling down drunk on the way back to the campground or cabin. Guest new to the resort were always cautioned concerning public drunkenness or disturbing others. Grandpa and Grandma hadn't tolerated it and neither would I. We could do without guest like that!
No, I decided, I wouldn't close the bar, but keep it open. I could shut the bar down on Sundays and Mondays and find a good bartender in town who might like to work out here. There were a number of older, retired ladies and gentlemen who'd worked local bars in the past and one or two might be interested in picking up some extra cash to supplement their retirement. I was certain, given the reputation of the Resort; I could find a willing applicant. My mind cleared, now that I'd made the decision, I continued doing the laundry.
Returning to the kitchen around 11:30am, the mouth-watering smell of pizza and fresh baked apple pie wafting from there, I snuggled up behind Leandro standing at the sink, and wrapped my arms around him. As he leaned back, I tickled his ear with my tongue and slipped my right hand down the front of his jeans and into his shorts. I cupped his balls and then closed my hand around his flaccid penis. I loved feeling and massaging his uncircumcised cock, perhaps because, for some reason my father or mother, whoever she was, decided to offer my foreskin up for some sort of offering to the gods. I could slip my finger inside the hooded covering, twirl it around the head and tickle the glans, and feel that delicious piece of man-meat begin to grow. Leandro loved to have me stroke him or suck him, as well as fuck me royally. Of course, reciprocity is a great thing in life, so I always tingled in excitement waiting for him to return the favor. I thought seriously about sinking to my knees, opening his pants and slithering his growing prod into my mouth, but Luis came running in from the office into the kitchen.
"There's a strange car out front," he announced and motioned to Leandro to grab a coat.
There was still a great deal of snow on the ground and the sign near the front entrance announced the Resort was closed for the season so there was little reason for someone other than locals to be here. All I could think of was the school decided to do a real thorough check on the custody papers or Eddie told his mouthy wife and she blabbed all over I had a gang of illegals living out here. Great, I thought, all I need now is for the ICE to walk in the door and throw all of us in the back of a paddy-wagon and haul us off to jail.
Luis, eyes wide, said excitedly, "There's a black kid in the office, well really not black, more like coffee-with-cream colored skin, not brown like us, well, almost, but he's black, I think!"
I shook my head in amazement and wonder, "You'll notice, Luis, I'm not exactly `brown like us' as you put it. In fact, I'm the only white guy here, if you haven't noticed before. Now, slow down and tell me what he wants."
Luis took a deep breath and said slowly, "He's looking for Oliver or Mildred Johnson."
Oh, dear, I thought, someone doesn't know my Grandparents are dead.
"I'll handle it," I said putting my arm around Luis as we walked toward the office and asked, "Did he say what his name was?"
"Oliver Johnson," squeaked Luis.
To be continued
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