A Perfect Love
We spent the next morning in or around the cabin. It felt good to just chill, to relax, to take it easy. While dad chopped up some firewood, I explored the upstairs playroom. The TV must have been broken for ages, because it didn't even try to work when I plugged it in. The radio worked, though, and I found a station playing some half-decent rock tunes. On the back wall of the room was a rack filled with pool cues and table tennis rackets. Most of the balls were cracked or dented, though, but I found a couple of good ones. I'd have to challenge dad later on. Right now, it was the pool table that beckoned. I had played a couple of times before, at a friend's house, but I wasn't any good at it. It was fun, though, and I soon had a single game of snooker started. I didn't really know the rules, so I kind of made it up as I went, trying to sink the balls by the numbers. It was really difficult, getting the cue ball to go where I wanted it to go, not to mention hitting the other balls in the right way, and when dad joined me, I still had half the balls left.
"How's it going?" he asked. "Looks like you still need some practice."
"I guess." I grinned at him, trying my best not to stare, since he was just wearing a pair of thin shorts, and the sweat on his upper body was glistening in the light coming from the window. "I haven't played much. Have you?"
"Not in a while." He picked up a cue and watched me as I tried to sink ball number five. "But when I was in college, I used to wipe the table with my friends."
"Really?" I groaned as the cue ball slipped past number six and fell into a pocket. "Show me!"
"Sink'em by the numbers, eh?"
I nodded, and he smiled as he picked up the cue ball, placing it at the centre of the table. Then he proceeded to clear the table, some of his shots seeming virtually impossible to me. When he was done, I was gaping with amazement. The whole thing hadn't taken more than a couple of minutes.
"Dad, that was brilliant!"
"And that's with a broken arm." He laughed. "Actually, I'm a little surprised it was so easy. Like I said, it's been a while."
"Remind me not to play against you for money. I'd lose the shirt off my back."
"Like you'd mind." He laughed as I blushed. "Are you ready to start cooking?"
"Sure. What are we having?"
It turned out we were having grilled chicken breasts, which I got to supervise while dad made a sauce to go with the chicken and some fried potatoes. After we had cleared things away, we sat down outside the cabin, basking in the midday sun. I had taken my shirt off, and I could really feel my skin burn and tingle as it tanned. With my stomach full, I leaned against dad and almost fell asleep, drifting in that half-awake haze where you don't really know if you're dreaming or not. He put his arm around my shoulder and kissed my forehead, and I just knew life couldn't get any better. We sat like that for what must have been the good part of an hour, then dad suddenly let go of me and got up.
"What would you say about a trip to Eric's camping site? I feel like lying in the sun for an hour or two."
"Are you sure it's all right, dad? I mean, can you drive?"
"Sure. I promise I'll take it easy." He hugged me as I got to my feet. "So what do you say?"
"Great! Do you think there'll be a lot of people there?"
"I guess so, with this fine weather. Sounded like Eric was a little busy. Why?"
"No skinny-dipping, if that's what you were wondering."
"Tell you what, why don't we change into our swimming trunks right away, then just put on t-shirts? I can't do any swimming with my cast, and you can sit on a towel on the way back."
We headed back inside and got changed like dad had said, then we were on our way. Even with the air conditioner, it was hot in the car, and by the time we turned off the main road towards the camping site, my shirt was clinging to my back. The site lay beautifully right next to a small lake, not really that much larger than the one up at the cabin. There was plenty of parking space, and dad drove us as close to the actual site as he could get. After a pause to put on some sun lotion, we decided to leave the shirts behind. Right next to the parking lot was a small caravan park, and beyond that a smooth grass field where people could, and many had, put up their tents. There were even a couple of small log cabins down by the water. The main building was low and wide, and apart from the reception there was a small grocery store where you could also rent canoes and pedal boats. I made up my mind to ask dad later on if he would let me rent a canoe, but first of all I wanted to see the rest of the site. Just as we passed by the main building, Eric came out of a side door, and his eyes lit up when he spotted us.
"Hey, you guys! I wasn't expecting you this soon."
"Just popped over to do some swimming and tanning," dad answered. "We're gonna have to stock up on milk and soda before we go home, too."
"Help yourselves." He smiled at me. "How are you doing, Jimmy?"
"Fine. And you?"
"Just great." He laughed. "I can tell you're eager to go swimming. Why don't you come back later and I'll lend you a canoe."
"Sure. Not even half of them are out today, anyway. Just don't tell the other kids you got it for free."
"Don't worry, I won't!" By this time, I was beaming happily. "Thanks, Eric."
"Any time, kid."
"Don't you spoil my son, Eric." Dad put his good arm around my shoulder and hugged me to him. "That's my job."
"Okay." He winked. "Jimmy, your dad just talked himself into paying for your canoe. Listen, I have to go fix the water tap over at the caravan lot. I'll catch you guys later, okay?"
"Okay, Eric, see you around."
"If you're still about, say five-ish, will you let me treat you to dinner?"
"We'll see," dad said before I had a chance to accept. "That depends on how tired we get, I guess."
The beach lay on the other side of the main building, a strip of sand maybe ten metres wide and a hundred metres long. The water of the lake was a clear green-blue colour, and looked very inviting. Some kids were playing tag in the shallow water near the beach, and others were busying themselves in a playground a bit away. Dad selected a good spot for us, and we spread out our towels. Then I was off. The lake was chilly, but not as bad as the lake at the cabin had been. It wasn't long before the kids playing tag invited me in, and after that, the afternoon seemed to just disappear. I returned to where dad was sitting every now and then to smear on some more sun block, and to help him do the same. At one time, Eric sat down with us and talked for a while, then ushered me along to hand me a canoe. It wasn't a real boat, more like a thin surf board with pointed ends, but I had a lot of fun with it. I didn't have much time for paddling, because I was soon involved in an improvised King o'the Hill game, with the canoe being the hill. I probably got dunked more than I dunked, but all in all it was pretty fun. There was even a boy I recognised, Jonathan, who went to my school, only a grade below me. He was there with his family's caravan, and was thrilled to see a face he knew. Once the game had subsided, I took him with me and paddled around where the water was still shallow, since he couldn't swim very well. He kept his arms tightly around my stomach, pressing himself against my back, and to my horror I felt a stirring inside my swimming trunks. That was not how it was supposed to work! I had told dad I was his, and his alone, so what was I doing getting horny over someone else? True, Jonathan was very pretty; small, thin and with a cute face framed by locks of curly blond hair. But I had no business thinking like that! Then things happened very quickly. Jonathan pressed himself against me, and I could feel something stiff poke my lower back. I tensed up a bit, but did nothing to discourage him. When he grabbed me through my swimming trunks, though, I knew I had to do something. `Set ashore behind those bushes over there and have some fun,' a part of my brain told me, but instead I tilted the canoe so we both fell in. The water was just waist deep, so he easily got to his feet, sputtering water.
"What are you doing?"
"Sorry, buddy," I said calmly, "but you needed to chill down."
"I'm sorry, Jimmy." His voice became hushed. "I didn't really mean to..."
"Don't worry, I'm not mad. But I can't do that with you. I've got somebody else."
"Oh." He seemed to relax a bit, but then his eyes lit up with fear. "Y-you won't... tell on me, will you?"
"Of course not." I grabbed his shoulder and helped him back on the canoe, then sat up myself. He grabbed me around the waist again, but his grip was much lighter this time. "I promise I won't, if you won't tell on me, either."
"You mean you're... you know... too?" He made big eyes when I nodded, and we both blushed. "Oh, I promise I won't tell!"
"Great." We grinned at each other, then I took a deep breath, as an idea formed inside my mind. "You know, even though we can't fool around, we could still be friends. I bet it'd be nice to have someone to talk to."
"Someone who knows." He nodded. "I'd like to be your friend. So who are you seeing? Is it someone I know? Someone from school?"
"I-I can't really tell," I stammered. I decided not to lie, but not really telling the truth either. "He's not out yet, and he's still trying to cope with it all. But we love each other a lot."
"Wow. I wish I could meet someone like that."
"Don't worry, I'm sure you will. My dad always tells me I shouldn't be in such a hurry to grow up."
"Does he know about you?" He made saucer eyes again as I nodded. "Wow. And he's okay with it?"
"Wow. My dad would go ape if he found out. Not like he'd throw me out or anything like that, but he'd really freak."
"I kind of thought my dad would, too, but he was so cool after he had time to think about it." That wasn't a lie, either, and I hoped I could lend Jonathan a little courage. "I'm sure your folks will be, too."
"Thanks." He hugged me a little tighter. "Can we go back to the camp site now? I'm getting hungry."
"Me too. Dad knows the manager, and he promised to buy us dinner."
"Lucky guy. You know what gas stove sausages taste like?"
"Yeah." He giggled, then farted loudly. "And they give you gas, too!"
I cried out with disgust, then tipped the canoe again. We both emerged a couple of seconds later, sputtering water and giggling like crazy. I swatted his butt with the paddle, and he replied by pushing the canoe against me so I lost my footing, going under again. After a little while, we managed to calm down, both our stomachs growling, setting off another bout of giggling before I could start to paddle again. On the way back, I told Jonathan about my first meeting with the otters up at the cabin, making him laugh as I told him how I had thought they were a monster fish, and that I had reached the end of my days. Dad and Eric had moved to sit beneath a parasol, and I could easily tell why, since dad's back was getting a little red. After Jonathan and I had returned the canoe, we went over to greet them. As it turned out, dad knew Jonathan's family quite well, since he had helped his dad set up a business a couple of years ago. After all the introductions, I glanced at dad, then at Jonathan, tilting my head. As I had thought, dad caught on before I had to voice the question, nodding towards Eric. Nodding back, I grabbed Jonathan's arm just as he was about to excuse himself.
"Eric, is it okay if Jonathan has dinner with us?"
"Well, I guess so." He quickly raised his hands to calm us both down before we broke into cheers. "But you need to go ask you mom and dad first, son. Tell them I said you can if it's okay with them."
"All right!" Jonathan cried, then started running towards the caravan lot. "Thanks, Jimmy!"
An hour and a half later, we had finished off a great beef stew with onions and rice, and Jonathan and I had cleaned away the dishes. It was getting late, so once we were done Jonathan said he had to get back to his family's caravan. I followed him outside while dad and Eric kept talking. Once again, I was quite stunned at my reaction, as I noticed just how beautiful Jonathan looked in the light of the slowly setting sun. It lit up his face, showing his few freckles as dark spots while his hair seemed to glow. Seemingly oblivious to my careful staring, he thanked me again for inviting him to dinner. Transfixed as I was, I didn't realise at first why he looked around so carefully, then stepped up against me with a evil glint in his eyes. By the time I had caught on to what he was about to do, it was already too late. He pressed his lips against mine, then took off towards the caravan lot, giggling so much he could hardly run. I chased him for a little bit, blushing so bad I was certain I could hear cars screech to a halt around me. Gritting my teeth, I turned back towards the main building just as dad and Eric stepped out of it, still talking. Neither of them had seen me yet, and I was just about to ask dad if he'd remembered to buy milk and soda, when I stopped dead in my tracks. As if a re-run of what had just happened between me and Jonathan was playing itself out before my eyes, Eric leaned in and kissed dad on the lips, then vanished back inside the building. Dad stood still for a couple of seconds, touching his lips, then he turned and our eyes met. His expression was as shocked as I'm sure mine was.
We fell into step next to each other, walking to the car without talking, then getting in. Dad started the engine and drove off towards the cabin, still deep in thought. I didn't really mind the silence, since I had a lot on my own mind. Eric had kissed dad. Somehow, it seemed so surreal. I knew I had no right to be mad, since Jonathan had kissed me much the same way just a minute earlier, but I still felt something akin to jealousy burn inside my chest. Eric had kissed my dad. All of a sudden, the nice man who had helped me when dad was injured, and had been so nice to us since, seemed to transform inside my mind. In hindsight, everything he had said and done seemed somehow malicious, as if he was scheming to take dad away from me, at least as my lover. I tried to be rational, but that part of my brain had no chance against the jealous rage that was slowly building up. I felt certain that I would kill him if I ever saw him again, or at least cripple him enough so he wouldn't even think about my dad again. As I sat there, immersed in thought, it got dark outside the car windows, and before I knew it, we were back at the cabin. We took our stuff inside, dad packing the fridge while I hung up my towel and my swimming trunks to dry off. Slipping into a pair of briefs, I went into the kitchen and grabbed a can of soda, still not really trusting myself to talk. The silence was making dad uncomfortable, but he didn't seem to know what to say, either. There was pain in his eyes as he looked at me, and I knew we'd have to resolve whatever it was that had happened right away. Smiling, I put the can down and went over to dad, hugging him around the waist. He shuddered slightly, sighing with relief as he returned the hug. Still holding each other, we walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. I leaned against his bare chest, while he stroked my head with one hand, running the other one up and down my chest. After a few moments of a slightly more comfortable silence, he sucked in a deep breath.
"Dad, does he love you, too?"
"Yes." The answer came in a very subdued tone, almost as if he was ashamed of himself. "He had a crush on me when we first met, and now he told me all those feelings had returned."
"What do you feel?" I had to ask, even though I dreaded the answer. "Do... do you love him?"
"In a way, I do. He was so much like a little brother that time. But I don't love him the way I love you, son." He pulled me close to him, wiping away a stray tear that had found its way down my cheek. "Not even close to the way I love you."
"Did you tell him that?"
"Not that you and I are... well... lovers, no, but I told him I don't love him the way he wants me to." He touched his lips. "But he's persistent. And he caught me by surprise."
"I know just how that feels," I said, giggling as I told dad about how Jonathan had come on to me, and how he had kissed me before he went home. We both laughed, but then I made my tone a serious one. "I'm not sure he does love me. I think he's just feeling lonely. But I know that I don't love him, dad. I love you."
"I love you too, Jimmy." He pulled me up against him so we could reach to kiss. He rubbed my back, his hands slipping in beneath my waistband every now and then. "My beautiful son."
I returned his caresses, but I soon noticed that I wasn't very turned on. Instead, I was feeling very tired. As if on cue, we both broke away from the kiss, yawning widely then bursting into laughter.
"Seems like we need some shut-eye," dad said. "How about you help me shower, then we hop into bed. To sleep."
"Okay." I giggled, then yawned again. "I'm more tired than I thought. I've been thinking so much I must have smoke coming out of my ears."
"Jimmy, it's nothing wrong of you to think Jonathan is pretty. And it's nothing wrong of me to love Eric like he really was my little brother."
"I know, dad. I'm still a bit scared I'll be jealous when we se Eric again."
"Try not to be." He grinned, then got to his feet, picking me up like I weighed nothing. "Come on, let's hit the shower."
"Why?" I laughed. "Has it been naughty?"
I was rewarded with a flurry of tickles, and by the time we reached the shower I was laughing so hard my stomach was nearly cramping up. We washed up quickly, both of us too tired to do anything more than a little light playing. I got hard when I helped dad to wash between his legs, but turned soft again as we dried each other off. By the time we got into bed, I was already half asleep, and I barely had time to snuggle up against dad's warm, cozy body before I drifted off.
At long last, here's chapter eight. As some of you know already, I've been very busy this summer, helping my sister clean out the house my family's lived in for over thirty years. At last, it's all done and over with, and I'm slowly beginning to pass for a human being again. And slowly beginning to find inspiration to start writing again. I promise you, though, next chapter won't take as long to finish as this one. As always, thoughts and comments are most welcome to email@example.com.