Like Kings

By Blue C.

Disclaimer: Don't be stupid. This story depicts homosexual males kissing, dancing, having sex, and other activities that they find enjoyable. If that is not your thing, then really, why are you here?

Copyright 2003-5 by the author. This story is not to be posted anywhere without the author's permission.

Just Another Day in Paradise

Jake Dire awoke that morning to Fleetwood Mac's "Edge of Seventeen." It was his brother's CD, one of the hundreds of items Jake had claimed three seconds after Alex moved away from home. The song had been queued up by Jake the night before, as a half-joke in celebration of his 17th birthday. It was only half a joke because the reason Jake was using an alarm clock in the middle of his summer vacation was because he had an 8 a.m. shift at the Blue Oak Bar and Grill that morning.

Evelyn Dire, Jake's mom, had finally relented that summer and allowed her baby boy to join Stent's Cut-off workforce, but she'd refused to help him find a job. "You're on your own," she'd said when he asked. Like most towns still alive in the Post-Gold Rush era Sierra Nevada mountains of California, Stent's Cut-off made its money on tourism. That meant that the only place that would hire a teenage boy with no prior work experience catered to tourists. Specifically, that meant restaurants. On his third day, Jake decided it would be too soon if he never uttered the words "Can I start you off with a beverage?" again.

"Hi! My name is Jake, and I'll be your server this morning. Can I start you off with a beverage?" he said, not a trace of bitterness about working on his own birthday leaking through. He wasn't all that broken up about actually. He worked for a purpose. While Evelyn was generous enough and rich enough by their towns standards to let her son indulge in whatever he wanted, what Jake really wanted was to escape. Escape from her, escape from Stent's Cut-off, escape from everything. Since he couldn't really ask that of his mother, Jake got the job. "Freedom" was what he whispered to himself when the job got hard. "Escape" kept him going, even when he saw the lake and trees and longed to run wild. For that dream, he was willing to trade a hundred summer days in paradise. He'd trade a thousand.

At this table, his last one before the doors closed for the lunch shift, were two girls and a boy, all young, barely older than Jake. They all looked up at him, and the boy smiled especially wide. "Hi yourself."

Jake was momentarily flustered. The boy was, unexpectedly cute. INCREDIBLY cute really, with black hair and bright blue eyes and a pale yellow shirt that fit him just a little too tight. Suddenly the girls did not exist at the table, it was just Jake and this boy. "What did you want to drink?" Jake asked, trying to regain his sense.

"You already asked that," the boy replied, still smiling. One of his companions sharply kicked him, discreetly she might have thought, but it was a glass patio table. "Ow! What?" The boy asked.

Jake turned his attention to the kicker, an attractive blonde haired girl, with eyes nearly as startling blue as the boy's. "Ignore him," she said. "He's vicious. We'd all like some soda. What flavors do you have?"

"Coke, diet coke, Sprite, uh..." Jake trailed off, as the boy had begun smiling at him again.

"Stop it," the kicker said, admonishing her friend. "We'll have cokes. That alright with you Trevor?" Her voice carried just a little threat, but a great deal more amusement.

"Coke would great, Jake," the boy said.

"Be right back with those then," Jake said, taking the opportunity to scurry away. `His name is Trevor,' he was thinking.

Back inside, the waitress were ready to pounce on him. "Oh my god! That kid is fucking FINE!" exclaimed one, a close friend of Jake's named Alice. She was 23, working on raising her second child, but she was Jake's favorite person in Stent's Cut-Off. She got him, as few others even attempted. She was also the first person he'd come out to.

The others began chatting excitedly about Trevor (more than a couple had swooned when  he said the boy's name) as he went about getting their sodas. Alice slid up to Jake while the others were broken up by a manager ("come on now, you can't all be on break.") "So what do you think of Mr. Trevor?" she asked.

"He's seems, nice," Jake said. He put the sodas on a tray.

"And by nice you mean you want to screw his brains out?"

Jake was quite used to her directness, though he never felt compelled to meet it. He brushed medium brown bangs out of his eyes. Over the last couple of years, he`d slowly began favoring a longer hair cut and his own hair color. "He's not that cute," he finally answered.

She raised an eyebrow. "But he is cute?" Jake did not reply, choosing instead to walk away.

"Here are your sodas," he said.

"We were wondering what happened to you," Trevor said. Of course he was smiling. It dawned on Jake that he was doing it on purpose. "We thought you might of forgotten about us."

"That or the horn ball over there scared you off," muttered the second girl, a red head that looked like she was eager already for fall. She wore dark sunglasses, and by the expression on her face it was clear she needed something a bit more adventurous than soda. She sipped it, gingerly, a grimace spreading over her features.

"Are you ready to order yet, or do you need another few minutes?"

"Oh, we're ready I think," said Kicker. "Trevor, what did you say looked good?" Trevor's smile broadened, and he winked Jake. Kicker, seeing this, sighed and said "BESIDES the waiter. Crimeny."

"Well, since I can't have what I really want, I guess I'll have the cheeseburger."

"Chicken Caesar," fired Kicker.

"Grilled Salmon," said Red. Trevor collected the menus while Jake was writing, and handed them to him.

"Here you go, cutie," he said. The two girls groaned. Jake took the menus as if they might catch fire at any second, and Trevor "accidentally" brushed his hand against Jake. At last, Jake's resolve reached its limit, and he was suddenly stuck, unable to move after the small contact.

"Shit, you broke him," said Red. That snapped Jake out of his trance, and he quickly took the menus and escaped. Everyone at the table noticed how furiously he was blushing.

One hour later, he was finally off, and trying to convince the bartender to sell him a real banana daiquiri. He'd been forced to go back to the table a couple more times, and each time Trevor managed to make him a blushing idiot while the two girls kept up a running commentary. Hell, any time he even went out onto the patio, the boy did something that attracted Jake's attention, and then it took a while for Jake's head to refocus. He'd nearly dropped their lunch when he finally brought it, which Red found amusing and Kicker did not. Eventually, they left, and Jake was frankly shocked to not find a phone number written on a napkin. It was the sort of thing he might have done under similar circumstances. The tip was hefty though, enough that Jake could justify a small little expense. For his birthday of course. But the bartender was not in a celebratory mood.

"Look kid, I like you, but not that much," He said.

"Fine," Jake said, knowing when he was beat. Though he did want the liquor, anything to wipe away that last table. He wondered what the hell was wrong with him. He never got that stupid around guys. He wouldn't have survived high school if he had. But there was just something about Trevor that set him off balance. Jake had hoped that alcoholic oblivion could have spared him from thinking about it, but that avenue was blocked. "Can I have a virgin daiquiri then?" he asked. The bartender nodded, and began to fill a blender jar. "With lots of whipped cream; I need the sugar."

"And I thought you were just naturally sweet," commented a voice behind Jake, one that he'd gotten to know very well in the last hour. He turned, and saw Trevor walking into the bar flanked by Red and Kicker. "Hey," Jake said, feeling slightly emboldened now that he wasn't in his hideous uniform. By some universal law he'd yet to fathom, all uniforms looked absolutely ridiculous when you were the one that had to wear them.

"Hey," Trevor said. "I just wanted to apologize, I didn't mean to screw with you or anything like that. I was just having a little fun."

"That's okay," Jake said, reaching out his hand to Trevor. "My name's Jake."

"Trevor," said Trevor, shaking Jake's hand. "This is Reggie." he said, indicating Red, "and my sister Kit." Kit/Kicker also shook Jake's hand, while Reggie gave a demure nod.

"Did you want something cold to drink? It's hot as hell out there," Jake said. "My treat of course; one of my tables left me a tip that was way too large," He smirked.

"Thanks," Trevor said, accepting for all of them.

"So what brings you to Stent's Cut-off?" Jake asked them later.

"Vacation," said Kit. Reggie winced at the word, and took a long sip of her soda. Since no one was looking, and the three seemed to be friends of Jake, the bartender had given them the drinks for free.

"Yeah. Our parents, Kit's and Mine, own a vacation home up here," Jake nodded, about half the homes, or more, up in Stent's Cut-off were owned by such "weekenders." "They let us use it this year by ourselves. Reggie made the mistake of coming with us."

"How the hell was I to know I'm allergic to everything, and that my skin fries if I so much as think about sunlight?" she muttered. Now that Jake had more time to listen to her, he found her voice was the breathy sort, ill-suited for such a dower individual, but she made a go of it all the same. "Next year I'm taking my vacation inside an air-conditioned casino, like normal people."

Not sure what to add to that, Jake changed the subject. "Where are you all from?"

Kat answered. "Trevor and I are from Los Angeles originally, and Reggie was born in New Jersey."

"Don't worry, she's a lot better now," Trevor interjected.

"But now, Reggie and I are both going to school in Trueno," Kat continued, with only the slightest glare at her brother. "Bastard here is starting in the fall," Trevor preened when he was mentioned, as if she hadn't insulted him.

Jake lost focus at the mention of the school, looking at the wall behind the three instead of at them. The girls exchanged glances, and Trevor waved his hand in front of the blonde`s face. "Earth to Jake."

"Oh, sorry. The mind wanders," Jake said. The three stared at him.

"It's alright. We were afraid Trevor broke you again," Reggie commented.

"Oh, no, not that. An old friend of mine goes to UC Trueno," Remembering the last time they had seen one another, only last summer, Jake had hesitated on the word friend. But there was no point in explaining all that.

"Oh? Who is it, maybe we know him?" Kat asked.

"His name is Drew Valentino, but I'm not sure what he goes by now. He always had at least three or four nicknames."

"I don't think we know him," Kat said. "Ring a bell for you Reggie?" Reggie shook her head.

"Is he cute?" Trevor asked. Jake blushed, and Reggie groaned.

"He liked to think so."

"Cuter than me?" Trevor asked.

This time, no one groaned. The girls looked at Jake, curious if he would respond to the obvious hint. "Not sure yet. I'll let you know when I figure it out," Jake said.

"I quiver in anticipation," Trevor said, still grinning.

"Down boy," Kit said, punching Trevor's shoulder. "Don't make me get the hose."

A vote was held, and Jake led the tourists to a local beach that none of the official roads led to. The road was in fact an access road built and maintained by the water company along a set of sewer lines in case repairs were needed. The access road turned off near the lake, and the three gaped appreciatively at the absolutely deserted dock and natural beach. Without real words, but with whoops and hollers, they stripped down and made for the water in imitation of every summer movie they'd ever seen. Two months ago the water would have been pure snowmelt, a couple degrees below freezing, quickened only by the push of the creeks that fed and drained it. But in June the water got up to 35F, perfectly chill in a day in the triple digits. Not even Reggie had cause for complaint, letting herself float in the green-blue water while Kit and Trevor splashed like five-year-olds. Jake followed, but at a slower pace. He'd seen the beach before, after all. "Don't get too wild now," he said, walking out on the dock towards them. He pointed across the water, at a hillside that rose up on the opposite shore. A couple of mansion-sized houses dominated to hill's top. "See those houses? They can see everything we do here. Get too crazy, and they'll call the cops."

"Oh, alright. We'll be good," Trevor promised.

"Kid, you've never been good in your whole life," Kit said with a snort.

Reggie suddenly screeched, and ran out of the water so fast it looked like she was a miracle. "Snake!" she yelled, once capable of words. Jake saw a small form darting out towards open water just beneath the surface where Reggie had erupted.

"That would be a fish," he said.

Reggie, eyes wide and breathing hard, said "I hate summer vacation."

A couple hours later, they were lying up on the dock, watching the sun go down, turning the summer sky a fierce orange that looked like the trees on the horizon had caught fire. Trevor lay next to Jake, holding his hand. Kit and Reggie kept their distance.

For the most part, they were content with each other's company.

"So beautiful," Trevor said.

 "I guess," Jake said.

"You guess? Jake, this is paradise. No traffic, no smog, nothing but trees and clean water and dirt roads everywhere."

"No broadband internet. No schools anyone in their right mind would want to go to. Nowhere to shop except the souvenir stores and Walmart. It's a regular Utopia," Jake said. He rolled away from Trevor onto his side. "No privacy; no secrets allowed."

"Come on, it can't be that bad."

"Cell phone companies refuse to believe we exist. They say all of California coverage, but they lie." Trevor laughed. "The entire town is stuck in some time warp. Everything is focused on the past; our entire economy is based on the gold rush, which ended a century and a half ago. There's literally no future here, anyone that wants to do anything worthwhile has to run away at the first opportunity and not look back."

"Alright, so you're bitter about your hometown. Who isn't?" Trevor slid up to Jake's back, and put his arms around the younger boy. Some of the tension eased from his back. Trevor felt good, damn good, back there. "But still, it's pretty, and your town has one thing that is hard to find in any city, no matter how modern."

"What's that?"

"Here, it's clear that the only thing that's real," he said, running a hand along Jake's chest, "is what you can touch. Everything else is just distraction." Jake turned his head towards Trevor, their faces very close together. "So why don't we focus right now on what's real, and let the future take care of itself."

"That has to be the lamest line I have ever heard," Jake said, shaking his head in wonderment. "Freaking city boy."



"Sheepfu-," Jake cut off the final insult by covering Trevor's mouth with his. Reggie and Kit cheered in the background, spiking their applause dry comments of "took you long enough," and encouragements like "let's see some skin!" Trevor lifted a single finger at them, but Jake wasn't paying attention to them, focusing all his concentration on his attention on Trevor's lips and Trevor's body, everywhere that he could touch.