by Dashiell Walranven
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The day's activities helped to make it go by quicker that it might have otherwise. After stocking the individual cabins with fresh wood, I filled the cart once again and neatly stacked the entire load next to big fireplace in the Great Lodge. This was where most of the activity would take place for Christmas in the Pines, and the huge fireplace would burn continuously from start to finish, consuming a lot of wood. Dad and Garrett had stocked the placed with some gigantic logs which would burn for days, the wood I put there would serve as the supplemental supply.
The Great Lodge was, in truth, not as large as the name makes it sound. It was the largest building on the property, and contained a decent sized kitchen with two commercial grade ovens, one with burners, the other with a flat-top, a dishwasher/sanitizer and a sink big enough to bathe a St. Bernard. The center room of the building, dominated by the stone fireplace on one end, rose up through the middle. Here were large, sturdy couches and chairs surrounding the fireplace, and a pair of long tables where everyone would sit and eat family style. Surrounding the great-room, were two stories of bunk rooms that looked out over the larger room. The sturdy, plain, Adirondack styling of the cedar railings was reflected throughout the entire structure. It looked like any hunter's lodge you could imagine in your mind.
Several of the bunk rooms were converted to family suites and single rooms, much like you might see in a motel. There was a sink with running water in most rooms, but guests had to make do with the communal toilet and shower areas at either end of the building, on each floor. The Lodge could accommodate roughly 75 men, women and children with sleeping accommodations, while the dining and great-room area could service about 150 people. During Christmas in the Pines, the great-room also served as a gathering area for the two biggest events, Christmas Eve Service, and the opening of presents the following morning.
In the woods, about 60 feet from the shoreline, stood a small cabin that got little use on account of its size. I had always known it was there, but only recently had it drawn my attention. When I asked my father what it was used for, he shrugged and told me it was too small to be used for much other than storage. I asked him if I could claim it as my own, and he had readily agreed, as long as I took good care of it. I found this ironic, given that the little cabin had been all but ignored for as long as I could remember. We found the key to the padlock, and with a little work and some WD-40, managed to get it open. As the snows had started to fly that year, I started cleaning out the old place and taking stock of my newest project.
A project it had been too. Dad and I guessed it had been one of the "lesser" accommodations from the days when my Grandpa ran the camp. Probably ideal for one or two lone hunters, who spent most of their days outside in the woods, and really only needed a place to sleep. The only plumbing in the place was a wooden sink with an old, rusted hand-pump, which didn't do much except produce some interesting sounding gurgles when actuated. The single room cabin did boast a small porch, two built-in bunks, and open cubby-holes big enough to store clothes or provisions. Several pegs in the wall were placed for hanging up hats and coats. In the back of the cabin, near the bunks, stood a solid-looking little black, pot-bellied stove.
During the fall months, I had made the little cabin my own. Garrett had helped me replace some of the floorboards, and he glazed a couple of broken window panes for me. I swept the dust and cobwebs from the place, painted the bunks and cubbies with some extra paint my father found for me. I even hung some plain, plaid curtains on the windows, dressing it up but still preserving the masculinity of the place. I scrounged a table, two chairs and a kerosene lantern up from storage and managed to find two, reasonably comfortable mattresses for the bunks. Mom found me some old blankets I could use, but insisted on new pillows, which I greatly appreciated. When the stove was fired up, the cabin was actually quite comfortable. The small space warmed up fast, and the close quarters made it feel like my own little home. I spent more than a few hours out there, in the lower bunk, wrapped up in a blanket with the little stove going, reading a book by the light of the kerosene lantern. As Christmas approached, I even decorated the cabin with pine boughs and some cheap, sparkly ornaments.
As soon as my wood-stacking chores were done, I joined Garrett and my Dad in stocking the kitchen in the Great Lodge. With almost 120 people scheduled to arrive in the next two or three days, my Dad was getting ready to feed the masses. The almanac's predictions of a snowy winter had proven correct thus far, and Dad wanted to have enough supplies to feed everybody should we get snowed in and cut off from civilization for a few days. Dad let me light the pilot lights on the stoves and burners, and we made sure everything was set for people to start arriving.
Throughout the day, I kept asking Dad or Garrett what time it was, counting down the hours and then minutes to the expected arrival of Neal and his family. As the afternoon wore on, families started appearing, dragging in their suitcases and travel-weary children. Soon, the building was bustling with the sounds of people greeting one another, and kids running up and down the balconies as they checked out all the rooms. Mom got everyone registered in as Garrett and I helped people bring baggage to their rooms.
"Hey, Oliver!" came a familiar sounding voice from behind me. I turned around in time to be nearly tackled by a freckle-faced Kristopher Gustavsen, a boy who had returned from the last year with his family. He was definitely taller than I remembered, and skinnier. "Merry Christmas!" he shouted as he wrapped his arms around me and squeezed.
"Wow Kris," I said when he let me go, "holy cow, you got tall!" Kristopher beamed as he looked up at me. "How old are you now?"
"Ten," he said confidently, "so I guess that makes you thirteen now, right?" I nodded. I eyed me up and down a couple of times. "Sheez," he said brightly, "you got big too, and like, really tall. lemme see your muscles." I lifted an arm and flexed my bicep proudly. "Holy Toledo!" he whispered as he poked at the raised muscle. Kristopher looked at me with his eyes wide and I could see the awe in his face. My heart fell a bit as I remembered how Kristopher had followed me around like an eager puppy-dog the year before. It had been fun then, being the older hero to a younger kid. I kind of thought he might look up to me the same way I did to Garrett. Now, I was much less interested in playing little boy games or playing nursemaid to younger kids. I hoped Kristopher would find somebody else to hang around and ask his incessant questions. His father called for him, so he turned on his heel, gave me a sweet little and promised he'd come find me when they were done unpacking.
The afternoon dragged on into the evening, and still Neal and his family had not arrived. Among the families that had made it in, they all said they had skirted the edge of a storm. I wondered if Neal's family had gotten stranded somewhere, or worse, decided not to come. As I sat and ate dinner that night, surrounded by about 30 of the people who had made it, I must have looked forlorn.
"Oliver?" My mom asked with concern on her face, "What's the matter?"
"Nuffin," I mumbled, morosely moving the vegetables around the plate with my fork.
"You've hardly eaten a thing and that is so not like you." She sounded very concerned, which only served to irritate me some.
"Ollie, what gives? You sick?" My dad chimed in.
"I think he is sick, he hasn't been eating right all day," Mom said, loud enough for people around us to hear, "and I think he looks quite pale."
"I'm not sick Mom," I said, probably a little louder than I should have, "I'm fine, okay?"
My Dad shot me a stern glare, I felt the blood rising to my face, making me feel all flushed and embarrassed. Without warning, I felt hot tears spill onto my cheeks. Dragging a frantic sleeve across my face, I attempted to staunch the flow; to no avail. I realized now several others, including Kristopher Gustavsen, were staring at me. I pushed myself away from the table, bolted for the door and ran headlong into the snow.
"Oliver!" I heard my mother call after me, but I kept running. My feet carried me to the house, where I stopped on the porch, the steam from my heaving breaths billowing into the cold air. I angrily stomped my feet, kicking the snow from them as I swore mightily. I couldn't believe I had burst into tears like a little girl; what the hell was wrong with me? I didn't know and I sure as fuck didn't care. I heard a gasp behind me. I turned around and saw my mother with a hand over her mouth, eyes wide in shock. In a panic, I realized that I had said those words aloud.
"Oliver!" she gasped, "For Pete's sake, what's gotten in to you?" I didn't know what to say. I was a seething, boiling stew of scared, lonely and pissed off, without the foggiest notion of why. My mother looked angry at me, serving only to intensify my feelings; we stood there looking at one another, absolutely smoldering.
"Just leave me alone!" The worlds leapt from my mouth, as if by their own bidding.
"I don't know that is going on with you Oliver," Mom said, her voice suddenly icy, "but I won't stand for you acting out like that, especially in front of guests. I simply won't have it."
Garrett stepped up behind my mother and they stood shoulder to shoulder. When I saw the look of concern on his face, my angry resolve cracked a little. A small whimper escaped my lips and I felt another tear slide down my face. I squared my shoulders and sniffed, determined to show no more weakness, and tried to face him down too. Garrett simply brushed past Mom, came up to me an rested a comforting hand on my head and tried to touse my hair. Angrily, I tried to brush him off, but ended up falling into him, whereupon he wrapped me in a bear-hug and held on tight.
"Oliver," he said quietly, "dude, what's going on man?"
The combination of his strong grip, the feel of his flannel shirt against my face, and the gentle tone of his voice, melted my last vestiges of my angry fašade. I dissolved into wracking sobs as I laid my head on his chest. He held on and let me once again cry like a little, lost boy in his arms. The light touch of fingers combing through my hair caused me to open my swollen eyes to see Mom's face close to mine. She wiped away the tears from my cheek.
"Sweetheart?" she pleaded with her eyes as she spoke, "Oliver?"
"I'm sorry Mom," I said, my voice thick and moist, "I don't know why I got so mad."
"Shhh," she clucked, "You're okay now though, right?" I nodded against Garrett's chest, he shifted his arms, patted my butt, and let me stand on my own feet again. He reached over and rubbed the back of my neck with his hand, soothing my frayed nerves; I closed my eyes for a second, letting him massage away the tension. "Garret, why don't you go with Oliver inside and let him get himself together so he can join us back in the Lodge." My stomach felt like it dropped to my feet; I hoped to just retreat to my room the rest of the night.
"Aw Mom, do I hafta?" I pleaded. She nodded her head at me, maintained a firm voice and patted me on my head.
"Oliver, be strong, hold your head up, and make things right." I slumped a little, dreading the looming embarrassment, but I knew it was better to get it done as soon as possible. Garrett turned me around, slung an arm over my shoulders and walked with me to the bathroom where I washed my face with cold water to try to mitigate my swollen eyes and puffy face. Mom returned to the Lodge, I'm sure to talk to Dad and dissuade him from taking sterner measures with his newly defiant son.
Alone in the bathroom, Garrett turned my face to his, and kissed me lightly on the forehead.
"You gonna be okay now buddy?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah," I sighed, "I guess so." I shut my eyes as he gently caressed my face and rubbed my ears. He knew how much I loved to have my ears rubbed, and I sighed again heavily and leaned into him once more.
"This is about Neal isn't it?" he asked gently.
"I don't know," I said, shaking my head, "maybe... I'm not sure."
"I think you miss him more than you're letting on." I nodded, sniffing back the last of the tears.
"He's not here yet," I said, my voice still cracking with emotion, "he was supposed to be here by now."
"Didn't your Dad tell you?" Garrett said, pushing me upright by the shoulders, "Neal's Dad called, they had engine trouble on the way. They got it fixed in Saratoga Springs but it's late, so they're gonna spend the night there. If all goes well, they'll probably be here by early afternoon, tomorrow."
"Really?" I asked, relieved. Garrett nodded as I leaned into him once more. I felt his arms around me, rubbing my back and my head. He kissed me lightly on the top of my head and I squeezed him tight.
"Thanks," I muttered, heaving a great sigh. I really liked Garrett; he had been like a fantastic big brother and shown me so much; a true friend and confident. I wondered briefly where he would go when he graduated the following spring. There had been some talk of the Air Force, which made sense to me. His strong, compact body and classic fly boy good-looks, made him the ideal candidate. I hoped he would be alright. The war in Vietnam seemed so far away, but I had heard of a couple of boys from our area coming home in boxes or having been shot-up something awful. I didn't want Garrett to end up that way; it scared me.
"You okay?" he asked into my upturned eyes.
"Garrett?" I asked back, "Can you show me something?" Garrett gave me a slightly wondering look, but nodded his head.
"Sure buddy," he said, "whatever you need."
"I want to know what it's like," I said in an almost whisper, "I think I'm ready." He smiled as I said it, and then brushed the hair from my eyes.
"Yah," I nodded slowly, "I'm sure.
In my room, with the curtains drawn, in the flicker of candlelight, Garrett moaned low in his throat as he gently entered me. I gasped at the sensation of fullness and pressure as he slowly eased himself past my quivering ring. Laying on my back, my butt propped up under a pillow, I looked up at his handsome face. Beads of sweat broke out across his brow as he struggled to keep his pace slow and even. I put my palm on his strong chest, squeezing his nipples as he slowly augured my bottom. He took my erection in his hand and stroked me in time with his slow, patient pistoning in and out of my tender anus. My own climax approached, I felt my muscles began to clench and tense. Garrett's eyebrows started to gather toward the center of his forehead as he felt me tighten up.
"Oh God... ungh... Jeez," he said in a guttural voice, I could feel his cock swell inside me. It was enough to send me over the edge. My penis started pulsing madly, just in time for Garrett to begin pumping in erratic, powerful thrusts. The cords in his neck stood out beautifully as he grunted and started to pound his penis into me with more force. Finally, we came together, each groaning with animal like growls. At least four good shots of my semen splattered across my chest, while Garrett emptied his seed deeply into me.
We didn't have much time for afterglow, but I did take a fast shower and felt good enough to go back to the Lodge and face the music. For the rest of the night, my little butt-hole throbbed in wonderful synchrony with my heartbeat. I smiled and laughed the night away, knowing full well that by any means possible, I was going to get Neal into my bed, and I was going to introduce him to yet another, completely new, adventure.
I could barely wait.