Warning!  This story is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the fictional characters and any live person is purely coincidental. This story contains fictional descriptions of sexual activity between consenting minor youth. If you are under the age of 18, and/or if you are offended by this content, and/or if it is illegal in your jurisdiction to possess or read such material, please leave now.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this story may be transmitted or reproduced in whole or in part in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the Author or Publisher, except where permitted by law. Copyright (c) 2016 by Flip McHooter.

 

Please send your comments to Flip at 1977.flip@gmail.com both good and bad.

 

 

Chapter 8

 

 

I got home a few minutes later, and when I walked in the door, Floki started dancing all around my legs, joyous to see me. She took off suddenly, and I figured she went to find Dino, her favorite squeaky toy that was slowly losing its stuffing. Once she found it we went in the back yard, and I tossed a tennis ball around a few times for her, but then my stomach started to rumble and I realized I was starving. I had forgotten we didn't eat much dinner last night.

 

"C'mon, girl! Let's find something to eat."

 

"Wa-wa-woof!" she barked in agreement, like she knew exactly what I was saying. Who knows? Maybe she did. She has the funniest bark, and the guys at the beach always have treats for her and make her bark to get one. She loved it. Except for the one time she got a ganja edible by mistake. It was hilarious at first, but she slept for hours, and when she woke up all she wanted to do was eat. And eat. And then crap about a hundred times in a row.

 

We tumbled into the small, dark kitchen, and I was surprised to see my mom up so early. She was sitting at the head of the table like Captain Janeway, ready to start shouting orders, except she was smoking one of her super-long Virginia Slims and drinking a huge cup of Folger's Instant. There was also a half-empty bottle of Bailey's sitting off to the side. Her hair was perfect, as usual, but she looked like she forgot to wash off her makeup last night and it was sorta smeary. That wasn't all that unusual, either.

 

"Hey, mom. It's Saturday. How come you're not sleeping in?" I asked, opening the fridge and pulling out an almost empty gallon container of orange juice that had been in there for who knows how long. It seemed to smell all right, so I took a big, tentative swig. Luckily it tasted okay, so I downed some more.

 

She gave me a strange look, then checked me out up and down. I guess she was trying to figure out why I was wearing school sweats totally out of character for me.

 

"Couldn't sleep, Mason. Your father snored all night long and then got called in to work an extra shift today at the plant. He was up at five making all kinds of noise. Why are you wearing that outfit? I doubt that surfing is a school sport all of a sudden. I know you didn't get them from Rob. His only sport is girls," she said. "And they certainly aren't Tizzy's. He's not that tall."

 

"It's Izzy. I've told you that a thousand times. Why can't you remember his name?"

 

"Fine. Izzy. So where were you?"

 

"I stayed at a friend's house last night. It was late, and I was too tired to drive home. He let me crash there and borrow some sweats this morning because my work clothes were rank. Did you feed Floki for me?"

 

"Yes, Mason, of course I did. A little while ago." After a pause and a couple of puffs she looked back at me and asked, "This friend. Is he a boyfriend?"

 

I practically spewed my orange juice all over the kitchen floor. After I caught my breath and wiped my chin, I tried to figure out how to answer that, and settled on something vague. "Yeah, he's a new friend. From school. We hung out after I got off work."

 

"That's nice. Was he the one you were kissing in the parking lot last night?"

 

So here we go. Right to the point. And really, how do you answer something like that? I decided not to answer, and instead, deflected with a question of my own. "How do you know about that?"

 

"Wendy from the pharmacy saw you. You know what a big gossip queen she is. She messaged me last night after she got home from work." Calling her a gossip queen was sure calling the kettle black. Wendy was a clerk at Walgreens that was across from the market in our shopping center. Next to Tracy, and closely followed by my mom, Wendy was the biggest gossip in town. She was also a charter member of my mom's small circle of lady friends.

 

"Are you mad?" I asked.

 

"No. Of course not. Why would I be mad?"

 

"I don't know. Just seems like lots of parents would be," I said. "Besides, anger seems to be a dominate gene in this family."

 

"I'm wise enough to know that the human being is attracted to who they're attracted too. Plain and simple. Although, I am upset that you were making out in the parking lot where everybody could see you," she said, as she snuffed out her cigarette and quickly lit up a new one. "Even though we aren't rich, we're certainly not trash, either."

 

"Yeah, that wasn't very smart on our part, outside like that," I said quietly as I opened the steamy and cracked window over the sink to let in some much-needed fresh air, totally ignoring her comment. "You suppose she's told everybody in town?"

 

"Probably." After another minute of looking at me, and spewing out a few more drags, she asked, "You were wearing a condom, right?"

 

I let out a long sigh as I shoved a strawberry Pop-Tart into the little oven on the counter. I so didn't want to discuss this. "To kiss? Seriously, mom?" I asked. "But no, there was no need to. And before you go any further, I know all about condoms. It's been drilled into my head since the day I was born."

 

"Well, that's good. Do I know this boy?"

 

"No, I don't think so. He sits next to me in one of my classes." I left it at that. Short and sweet. I didn't want to give her any more info that she could gossip about, or let it slip so she could spread it all over town before Milo got a chance to come out to his parents. "He's a nice guy. Anyway, we're not doing that..."

 

"Yet?"

 

I let out another big sigh. "I'm not sure we're ready. Anyway, not to be rude, but I don't think I want to get into the `what we're doing or not doing' thing with you right now. I have to get ready for work. I can't be late. Bob's been on my case lately."

 

"All right, Mason. I know you're responsible. Too responsible, sometimes. Certainly more responsible than your brothers ever were. One more thing before you go upstairs. Please be careful when your father finds out. I don't know how he'll take it."

 

"I'm not worried about him. And you know as well as anybody I honestly don't care what he thinks. He's a hate-filled bully and I can't do anything to please him anyway, so why start now? I stopped trying a long time ago. Besides, if he gives me any shit, me and Floki will be out of here in a second. I had to put up with his bullshit when I was younger, until I was old enough to fight back, but I'm certainly not going to put up with it now. If he doesn't like me being gay, then tough shit! He wouldn't like me any better even if I was straight. So end of story."

 

"Please don't talk like that."

 

"Why not? It's the truth, and you know it."

 

"I know," she said quietly. "He tries."

 

"No he doesn't! You're totally in denial. What's with you? I don't get it."

 

"You have no idea how hard it is for him."

 

"Bullshit!" I yelled, a little too loudly. "Him? Hard? That's a load of crap and you know it. All he does is sit around on his flat ass and drink beer while you wait on him hand and foot. Why are you always covering for him? I don't even know why you stay with him, especially with all the shit he put you guys through when I was younger and my brothers were still here." Floki was looking at me weird, twisting her head, and seemed like she was about ready to bail through the doggie door. I needed to calm down fast, because I was about to say all of the things that I had dreamed of saying for so long. I had already said too much. I didn't want to get into that right now and ruin my nice day.

 

"I know, I know. I'm just saying to be careful. I don't want him to hurt you, and run you off like he did your brothers. I wish I could control him, but I can't." I could hear the hurt and emotion in her voice, and I was instantly sorry I yelled at her. She seemed so defeated, more than I'd ever seen before. I wished she'd grow a pair and stand up to him for once. Actually, what I wished for the most was that she wouldn't be so damn weak.

 

"Whatever, mom. I gotta go."

 

As I headed to the stairs, she asked, "What time do you get off? Do you want me to save you some dinner?" Thankfully, she was as a pro at changing the subject, just as I was.

 

"No, I'm good. I'll be back after work to grab some stuff, but I probably won't be home tonight either. There's a party somewhere and tomorrow I think I might go surfing. Can you feed Floki again? And can you open the back gate so she can visit Angus? You know she likes to go over there, and I feel bad I haven't given her much attention lately. Angus and Avelina don't mind her hanging around."

 

"Sure, Mason. I can do that. By the way, I put some condoms on your nightstand."

 

"Mom! Will you give it a break? I get it already."

 

"Honey, I'm trying to help as best as I know how. You know, I don't tell you this very often, but I love you and I'm very proud of you, more than you'll ever know. You're a good boy. Well, you're a man now. You're going to do good things. I just know it."

 

"Thanks, mom. I appreciate that. I'll see you later."

 

"Okay sweetie, have a good day."

 

"You too," I said, as I jetted to my room. And sure enough, there was a pack of condoms on my night stand, right where she said they would be. What she didn't say was that there was also a safe-sex pamphlet downloaded from PFlag, a few packets of Pjur Backdoor Anal Glide, (where she got that, I had no freakin' idea) and brochure from the LGBT Center downtown explaining all of the classes, group meetings and other things they had to offer. The only thing missing was the soundtrack to Another Gay Movie. Seems like she tried to cover all the bases.

 

Surprisingly, that made me smile, and I felt even worse for losing my temper at her.

 

***

 

I made it to the time clock two minutes to nine just in time. As was usually the case on Saturdays, I was scheduled at my customary checkout stand number five, with friend and co-worker Tracy.

 

It was strange in the store today, though. That overplayed Geronimo song was pumping loudly out of the speakers, and I hoped we weren't about to get another flash mob in here like we did last weekend. Usually, Saturday mornings are crazy-busy, but the parking lot wasn't crowded, and the store seemed awfully quiet for some reason. As I headed towards the front of the store, I slipped my green work apron over my head and made it all the way without running into anybody either customers or co-workers. Totally strange.

 

"Morning, Tracy. How's it going?" I asked, fixing my nametag. She wasn't busy at all, and in fact, was kicking back against the cash register, gossiping with Dusty, the checker at the stand next to ours. I thought I caught something being mumbled about Luke Bryan's tight butt, although I wouldn't swear to it.

 

"Hi, Mason! Tell me about your evening. Did you two have fun?" She winked when she said the last part, because Dusty was still hanging around, who of course, was watching me intently. Dusty always gave me the willies. She looked like a crazy-old round granny, but unfortunately, she wasn't very nice like a granny should be. She had these huge, tinted glasses that made it nearly impossible to see her eyes. Always made me wonder what she was hiding. Plus, her last name was Scrogham, which everybody pronounced scrotum. That always made me giggle. Maybe that's what made her so mean.

 

"Um, yeah, it was all good," I said. "I'll fill you in on break later, okay? Where is everybody today?"

 

"I don't know. We had a little rush around eight, and that's it. Dusty says there's a fall Harvest Festival at the showgrounds. Wine tasting and homemade crafty-crap for sale. Oh, there's also the Dirty Riders Motorcycle Club's annual show over at the Commons. Peggy's all edgy, wanting to get off early so she can go to that. It's such a nice day, I'm not surprised that no one's in here shopping. And you remember, we were so busy yesterday."

 

"Don't I know it," I said. "It was totally insane. Anything I can help out with?" I hated not having anything to do. Standing around at work doing nothing was almost as bad as being in school, except for the fact that you got paid for it.

 

"Peggy's outside collecting carts, so why don't you check the other stands and see if any of them need bags. I know any minute now we're going to be swamped. Might as well make the best use of our downtime, right?"

 

"Sure, Tracy. I'm on it." She went back to gabbing with Dusty, making the `best use' of her downtime. I drifted towards the back and got a big box of our cheap, thin plastic bags, and two smaller boxes of the newer reusable ones with our colorful logo that we sell for three-fifty. I liked the idea of the reusable ones, and our store made a killing on them, but most of the time our customers never remembered to bring them back in. They were going to be in a world of hurt pretty soon, because in a couple of months a new law goes into effect in our city and we won't be able to offer the free, cheap plastic ones any longer.

 

When I was done with that, I shuffled back to our stand in time to see Tracy start to ring up a large order. A huge order, actually. Finally, it looked like we were starting to get busy. I looked up to see one of the few customers who I could honestly say was one of my favorites. The guy constantly tipped me generously when I'd take his order out to his car, even if it was only one bag. Plus, he always asked me how I was doing, and was actually interested in what I had to say. He owned a good-sized avocado ranch on the edge of town, on the bluff overlooking the ocean, and, for some-odd reason, I thought he'd make a great boss, or, at least, an awesome grandfather. He was yakking it up with Tracy like usual as she swiped his stuff over the scanner. "Hey, Yanis, how you doing today?" I asked the friendly and exceptionally tan old man when the two of them finally broke for air.

 

"Couldn't be better, Mason, couldn't be better. The sun's out, I'm still alive, and I'm talking to two of my favorite people. The real question, young man, is how are you?" he asked with a quick wink and a sensational sunny smile. "You look positively radiant today, my boy, if I may be so bold."

 

Shit. Guess that tattoo was back on my forehead. "I'm good, thanks. Are you going to need help with this? Looks like you've got a lot more stuff than you usually do. Special occasion?" I asked as I quickly started bagging and loading up his cart. He had all kinds of tasty-looking things, including a huge grass-fed prime rib and plenty of bottles of champagne that I had to double-bag. He even had a tin of caviar and some Oregon Black Truffles from the deli. Not that I would know what they tasted like, since I'd never had an opportunity to try them out. I`d heard that they were either phenomenally great, or disgustingly gross. I made a mental note to ask Milo later on about that, since he seemed to be the resident foodie.

 

"It sure is a special occasion. My beloved King and I are celebrating our golden anniversary tomorrow. Can you believe it? Fifty years we've been together."

 

"My goodness. That's a long time. Did you meet when you were like, four or something?" Tracy asked.

 

"Oh, aren't you the sweetest?" he chuckled. "No, we weren't much older than Mason here is. Time goes by so fast. I have to say though, I'm so blessed."

 

Wow. I had no idea he was gay, let alone partnered for that long. Flamboyant, sure, but he usually dressed like a cowboy. Well, a rich cowboy and one that never seemed to get dirty. And hooked up with a guy for fifty years? In our small town? Totally incredible. Made me wonder if that would happen with Milo and me, when we got to be his age. Would we even be together? And what the hell would we look like in fifty years? Yanis still looked pretty good actually really good. Better than my dad, who was at least twenty years younger. That got me wondering, would Milo and me be still hot for each other? I would hope so, but I couldn't fathom it right that second, so I decided file that away to think about that some more later on.

 

"Mason, did you know Yanis and King got married last month?" Tracy said, stopping to look at my reaction. "They had this big wedding on the bluff, overlooking the beach. Even Padula Danghardt from Channel Five's Action Now! News was there."

 

"Um, no. I had no idea. I didn't even know..."

 

"Who she is? That's all right, my boy. Why would you? You're young, busy, and figuring out all of life's intricate mysteries. You don't have time for the local TV news. Gosh, what I'd give to be young again. But you know, I wouldn't change a thing. Even the horrible stuff. In some ways, life is so much better now, but in other ways, I'm not a hundred percent sure. Tablets, Instagram, Bookface and that Magic Lightning Marigold Festival they have out at the fairgrounds where all you kids dance to that rap-hop music. Huckabee, Santorum, Trump, oh my! But then, that's me. What do I know?" He got quiet for a moment, probably reminiscing about things past.

 

"Well, I think it's great. Good on you guys," Tracy said.

 

"I agree. That's way cool," I said.

 

"Here, here. Thank you for that, gentlepersons. That's one of the good things nowadays that we can revel in: Our hard-fought legal victories, no thanks to those conservative religious morons in seats of power." Changing the subject, he asked, "And yes, Mason, to answer your question, it would be smashing if you would be so kind as to you help me with all of these glorious, gluttonous goods. It's way too much for an old man like me to push out to the car. Suddenly, I'm stressing out."

 

"Oh, sure, Yanis. No problem," I said. "Happy to help out."

 

"Great! And Tracy, thank you, dear, as always. I'll see you tomorrow, sweetie." He leaned over and whispered something to Tracy that I couldn't quite hear. I was sure it was something both clandestine and conspirational, though.

 

"Where did you park?" I asked, as we passed the magazine racks out of the store and through the sliding-glass doors, shielding our eyes from the brilliant sunshine. It honestly was the perfect Central California Coast day. "I didn't see your killer Ford Raptor when I came in."

 

"Not in it! I had to park way over there, can you believe it?" he said, pointing to a smoking-hot bright-red sports car, with paper plates, sitting under a swaying palm tree all lonely like, on the cracked pavement in front of the months-empty Radio Shack. "I'm in King's new Porsche. He'd kill me if I got even a tiny ding on it, or god forbid, one of those pesky wild parrots shat on it. But holy smokes! It's so fun to drive. I feel like Jeff Gordon. Just wished I had his hair."

 

"I bet. Is it a turbo?"

 

"Heaven knows. It might be. Does it matter?"

 

"No, I guess not. You're sure going to fill this baby up with all this good food."

 

"Oh, sure. Lots of room, my boy, lots of room. I just need to fold down the passenger seat first," he said. "I'm sure between the two of us we can cram it all in there." Then, after a minute, "Mason, I hope I didn't embarrass you in front of your co-workers. It's, well, I get so excited to see young love, especially our kind of love. Back in the day, we old farts called it forbidden love. But there's nothing forbidden about it. True love. It doesn't happen every day, you know? Straight or gay, sideways or what have you. I hope you're not angry at me. I meant no harm."

 

"No, no," I said quietly, "I'm not mad. I wouldn't call it true love though, least not yet. We barely know each other. But I do have a question that maybe you can answer for me. How is it that everybody knows? This fast? I mean, how did you find out I'm gay? Is this the way it goes for gay people? All gossipy and stuff?" I asked. I wasn't actually mad, I was just curious at this point. And honestly, how the fuck did this old guy find out about Milo and me? Yanis seemed like the right person to ask.

 

"My boy, it's written all over your face! You know, it's not much different now than in my day. People always want the skinny on everybody else. I don't know why, except that it's fun to gossip. Human nature, I guess. And maybe it makes them feel a bit better than everybody else. Fear not, my young friend, you live in a time that it honestly doesn't matter who you fall in love with. And that's a tremendous thing.

 

"You know," he continued, "there's always been queers, from the dawn of time immortal. I even seem to remember something about ancient cave paintings depicting gay love. Anyway, back in my day, if some folks found out that King and I were together, as a couple, we'd probably have been hung, drawn and quartered. But you know, we didn't hide it from anyone, either, and thankfully, we didn't have that much trouble, except maybe from King's cranky Catholic grandma de Rossi back in the old country. Maybe because we live here in an accepting town in liberal California. Oh sure, there was the occasional asshole bigot here and there, but our friends, our neighbors, and even most our families embraced us. Folks didn't talk about it back then. Today, it's all over the place. And you know, I think that's a good thing."

 

"I agree that's great and all, but why does it bug me so much?"

 

"Only you can answer that, my friend. Why are you so worried? Is there something or someone you're afraid of? You don't seem the type to be bothered by what other people think. I only know you from here, in the store, but to me you seem like a stand-up young man, ready to take on the world and do great things. You being gay, or bi, or whatever you are, is no different than you having that luscious long blond hair of yours. I'm so jealous of that, by the way. In any event, it makes no difference who you sleep with in the whole scheme of things. Who cares what other people think. You're you, and everybody else, is everybody else! We're all infinitely different, and yet, completely the same. That's how our microscopic part of the universe works."

 

"Wow. You're right. I never thought of it that way."

 

"Well, super. Now, if you'd pile the rest of those bags in here, I can go home and see if King is up for a nooner before I start cooking. We're having a huge party tomorrow. All of our friends and family are coming. Would you and your new squire care to join us? I promise you that you and your young man will have a wonderful time. Who knows? You might even meet other LGBTQI and whatever people I missed. There might even be a few R's sprinkled around for good measure. It's so difficult to keep up." He said the last part using his fingers and laughed at himself once he realized what he was doing. "Maybe a Y, for all I know, whatever that may be."

 

"Oh, I'm not sure we can."

 

"Why not? You know, we have some young friends, a gay couple just a couple years older than you boys are. You might even know them. Nicky and Noah? They go to UCSB now. Nicky is one of the stars on the basketball team and Noah, well, he's making quite a name for himself all over the place going to classes and starting a fashion company. He's quite good. Anyway, King and I are their fairy godparents."

 

"That would be great, but this is really, really new, for both of us, and, well, I'm not sure we're ready for that just yet. No offense. Maybe we could meet them later. Do you mind if I ask you another question? How did you know I was gay? And that I'd met a guy? You never really answered me," I asked.

 

"Truth be told," he laughed again, "King's great-nephew pulled you over last night up at the Overlook. He couldn't wait to call King this morning and tell him all about the cute boys he busted. He thought you two were adorable. He also said your boyfriend was hot. Way hot, I think his exact words were. Next time, come up to the ranch if you guys don't have anywhere to go. Millions of private places where you boys can get lost without prying eyes. I'll put your name on the guest list down at the gate."

 

I totally blushed. "The cop? He's gay too?"

 

"Oh, no. Just a regular bisexual. He's happily married to a woman. She's the county's Assistant District Attorney, by the way. Don't know about his bitch of a partner, though. She's pretty much straight, far as I know, but sure doesn't look like it. Heard she's madly in love with the director of Facilities Management over in Gaviota. Unfortunately, the poor man doesn't have a clue."

 

"What's Facilities Management?"

 

"Trash collection. Street sweeping. Cleaning the toilets at the park."

 

"Holy crap. I wonder why they let us slide?"

 

"I'm not sure, but I think he'd do that to a straight couple too. Makes no never mind to him, as long as you weren't flagrantly doing naughty things in public, Be respectful, and everyone else will treat you the same."

 

"Wow. You sure gave me a lot to think about. Maybe I'm overthinking all of this," I said.

 

"I suppose you are, then again, you're young and this is all new to you. You're lucky. When I was your age, we didn't have any role models. It wasn't even discussed back then. I wouldn't have met King if he hadn't been shit-faced drunk and asked me to dance at a Jan and Dean concert down in West Hollywood at this trendy little club on the Sunset Strip. Everybody was packed together in front of the stage, and it didn't matter who you were dancing with. And if I remember correctly, I think it may have been at Ciro's, or maybe we were at Pandora's Box. But, oh, my. Those were the days, let me tell you. Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. And the boys! Beautiful. Man oh man. Well, the girls too, if I have to be honest. Good times, those were."

 

"Wow. That must have been way cool," I said.

 

"Oh, my boy, it was, it was! For our first date, he took me to a restaurant on the border of Beverly Hills. A wonderful intimate establishment named The Carriage Trade. Very expensive and very, very exclusive. It catered to gays, of course, but it was incredibly discreet you'd never know it was full of queers. Dancers from the studios with their rich sugar daddies. Cute waiters. But, King. Oh, my. I'll tell you, that man was so handsome, and full of money, even at that tender age.

 

"Look," he said, pulling out his wallet. "This is a picture of me and King when we first met. We were so much in love. Still are."

 

"Wow! You guys were totally hot. Look at those clothes! Awesome dressers. So awesome. And your faces. I can totally see how you turn each other on. You make a great couple." Suddenly, I realized I'd been outside a super long time, and even though I wanted to hear more of his and King's story, I needed to get back to work. "I'm sorry, Yanis, I'd love to hear more, but I've got to get back to work. Anything else I can help you with?"

 

"No, no my boy. I'm perfectly wonderful. Here," he said, rummaging around in one of his sacks of groceries. "Take this. Revel in your new-found love, and if you want, give us a toast. We'll feel your good vibes from wherever you are, I promise on the fairies above." He handed me a beautiful amber-colored bottle of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill. It must have cost him a freakin' fortune.

 

"Oh my gosh! This is way too expensive. I can't accept this. No way," I said as I pushed the bottle back towards him. "It's super nice and all, but I can't."

 

"Nonsense, or as you kids say nowadays, bogus! These are special times, and they demand a special wine. I would be upset if you didn't take it."

 

"Are you sure? No, I just can't. It's too expensive."

 

"Oh, yes, you certainly can. Absolutely. Never been surer in my life. However, there is one small catch."

 

"Um, what would that be?"

 

"Promise me one thing, Mason. One thing, and one thing only. Be true to the one you cherish, no matter what comes your way. Always put your gentleman first, above everyone else. That is the secret to a happy, successful and wonderful life together. And if its love true, endure it well. And," he leaned down and whispered to me, "the sex will be phenomenal. I flat-out guarantee it."

 

"Wow," I laughed. "Thanks, Yanis. I will. And I promise, we'll have a nice toast for you. For both you and King."

 

"Thank you, my boy, thank you. You've made my day. Now go off, and do great and wonderful things. Make proud everyone around you. That's all the thanks I need."

 

"Yes, sir. I will. We will. I promise. And thanks again."

 

"My pleasure, my boy, my pleasure."

 

After I ran to my car to put the bottle of champagne in it, and headed back towards the store, my mind still reeling. Was it not a big deal anymore, being gay? Did those old guys blaze a trail for us to make it so easy for us to love the peeps that we wanted to love? How cool was that? And really, why was love so threatening? I totally hoped that everything Yanis told me was true. But I wasn't a hundred percent sure. Anyway, I didn't have time for that now. I had work to do.

 

I was back at my check stand, lazily bagging groceries for the few and far-between customers we had. Outside of Yanis, we didn't even have another large order. I couldn't get over it a Saturday this slow. After our lunch break, when I filled Tracy in on everything that happened last night up at the Overlook, it was around one when I got a short text from Milo. It said everything was cool with his folks and that he'd fill me in later. It also had one of those smiley emoji's, this one a red devil and a spear, rockin' it between his legs, and underneath it he added, `I'm super-hot for u'. I sent him a quick reply that said `I can't wait, studly'. That got me a `lol' reply.

 

Bob came up to me right about then and asked if I wanted to take off early, so I jumped at the chance and said yes.

 

The extra time would give me a chance to do some laundry, and maybe go for a run with Floki before I headed over to Milo's.

 

I flew home and when I pulled in my driveway, all the cars were gone. That was a huge relief, because I didn't want to deal with my parents right now, especially my dad. After greeting Floki, and bounding up the stairs to grab my laundry, we headed out to the garage. I did two big loads, and even though Floki and I played fetch between shoving stuff from the washer to the dryer, and I was able to draw a little in my comic book while she chewed on a rock, I was bored out of my mind. I missed Milo, and I couldn't stop thinking about him. And even though we were supposed to meet up at seven, I decided to give him a call and see if I could come over sooner.

 

"Mason! Hi, buddy. What are you doing?"

 

"Nothing. What's up with you?" I asked.

 

"Nada. Getting things ready for dinner."

 

"Awesome. I can hardly wait. I got off early, and I wanted to see if I could come over before seven. I, um, well, I miss you," I said shyly. "And I want to hear how it went with your folks. Plus, I have a really cool surprise, too. You won't believe it."

 

"You do? I miss you too, Mase. I can't wait to see you. If you must know, I'm in the middle of my mise en place. You could come over and help me out if you want."

 

"What's that? Tantric Yoga? What would I have to do?" I asked. "Wear yoga pants?"

 

"No, it's not yoga, but you can downward dog me anytime you want," he laughed. "Seriously, I'm preparing everything we'll need for dinner before I start to cook. That's the French way. You're gonna love it. Hey! You want to be my sous chef?"

 

"I suppose I could do that, not that I know what that is. I have to warn you though, I don't know shit about cooking."

 

"That's okay. I'll show you. It'll be chill. I promise. We'll have a great time."

 

"Okay, awesome. I'll see you in about thirty. I gotta feed Floki first, and leave my mom a note, otherwise she'll feed her again and she'll be shitting all night long."

 

"Yeah, wouldn't want that. So, great! See ya soon."

 

I ran back into the house, fed Floki and threw clean underwear and some surf gear in my daypack for tomorrow, in case we decided to go to the beach. I stopped suddenly, and smelled my pits. Even though I didn't think I smelled all that bad, I wasn't sure Milo would agree, so I jumped in the shower and got cleaned up super-fast. And even though I usually kept my bush nicely trimmed, I did some quick manscaping on my balls and nether regions. Next, I ran to the back yard to make sure the gate was open so Floki could wander over to Angus and Avelina's to visit, and I was off. Damn, I was stoked!

 

End of Chapter 7 

 

 

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