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Standing In Shadows - 37. Chapter 37

SIS 37

Looking up at the sky, the blue was beginning to turn to shades of pink and orange as the sun began to set. I was laying on my back, the cold water splashing against my lower back and ass. I was used to it now though. Jenny had dived under the water after she got in past her waist, but now most everyone was enjoying the last hours of summer sun. Andy and Keith had stopped sneaking up on people and dunking them. Even I had been a victim, thankfully the tape and plastic had held. Now we were all linked together by an arm or a leg.

“Now this shit is living,” Andy said and I looked over to see him between Jenny and Keith.

“Yeah it’s nice,” Jenny said, squinting as she looked over at him. “Have you ever snuck a girl up here?”

“No,” Andy answered and I wondered if that was the truth. The cabin wasn’t that far of a drive and he could easily get the keys from one of his parents. They both worked all the time and barely noticed much out of place until they needed it. Andy had stolen his dad’s favorite pistol and we had taken turns shooting cans off rotting fence posts for weeks. Only when we ran out of bullets and were too chicken to try and buy more, that he put the gun back.

“A dude?” Bryan asked and I laughed when Andy nearly rolled into the water trying to sit up to look at him.

“No, dumbass,” he answered shaking his head.

“Thought I’d ask,” Bryan said smiling.

“Too many family members can drop in on a guy,” Andy said, settling back in after flipping us off when we laughed again.

“It would have been nice coming up here during the summer,” Cameron said from somewhere above me. I was closest to the beach not wanting to be over my head knowing I couldn’t swim with the bulky cast.

“Got old with the rents hovering over you,” Keith said, still sounding a little annoyed with Cameron from before. Glancing over at him I saw him shade his eyes from the sun and look over at me. He offered me a small smile and I shook my head. “Besides, Corey came with us up here some.”

“I figured as much,” Cameron said and I turned my head to try and see him. He was laying on his stomach, his foot hooked into Bryan’s float and Katy and him were holding hands just under the water. I saw him roll his eyes and Katy smiled.

“So you might have been scared he’d give you a reach around,” Keith said and I heard Jenny snicker, but Cameron suddenly looked at me. Being caught looking I turned my head back towards the sky noticing that the soft light blues and oranges were fading. Frogs had started singing along the wooded areas next to the lake and fireflies were coming out of their hiding places.

“That would be hot,” Amber said and a small eruption of snickering and groaning interrupted the peaceful songs of the frogs.

“You need to cool her off Bryan,” Jenny said, “fast.”

“You better…” Amber started, a warning in her voice.

“I’m on it,” Bryan interrupted and I turned just in time to see Amber disappearing under the water. When she came back up her hair had fallen over her face. She was over her head so she grabbed hold of her float and brushed away her hair with the other hand.

“You’re so kicked out of the room,” she hissed her teeth chattering.

“Oh come on,” Bryan groaned as she broke from the ring and swam back to where she could stand in the water. Bryan slid off his and followed after her.

“A broken heart can lead to some open legs,” Andy said and I laughed as he rolled into the water cursing under his breath from the shock of the cold water.

“Are we going back in now?” Katy asked and I glanced over at Clinton, he had been quiet after the phone call, but every time he caught me looking he smiled and his fingers would slide across my shoulder. It sent small jolts through me, like the cold water when it hit a new dryer part of my skin.

“I am,” Jenny said and she unhooked herself from me and followed Andy out of the water and onto the beach. I looked towards the deck and Bryan was carrying his and Amber’s floats back up the stairs right behind Amber, who still had her arms crossed, but seemed to be smiling.

“I could go for another burger,” Keith said, “there were some left over right?”

“I think so,” Katy said and then I heard another splash followed by some more cursing as Keith dragged his float out of the water.

“Ready to go?” Clinton asked and I looked out over the lake. The sun was nearly halfway set in the distance. The water changed from a choppy greenish brown, to a grey, nearly black color. The sun going down also took some of the sting of the cold water away, now that the air outside was more comfortable.

“Can we talk?” Cameron asked and I looked over at him. Katy and him were both paddling with their arms and when they reached us, I jumped when Cameron’s cold hand latched onto my float, his fingers sliding against my warm shoulder.

“Yeah,” I said, my teeth chattering a little.

“I’m cold, so I’m going on in,” Katy said, “Jenny said something about baking brownies, so she might need some help.”

“Okay,” Cameron said, “I’ll be up in a minute.”

“Don’t be long,” she said looking around. “I bet it’s scary as hell out here at night.”

“A little bit,” I answered and she looked up towards the cabin in the fading light. She almost looked like she was about to stay with us, but after a moment she started paddling harder, only getting off the float when it scraped against the gravel in the shallow water.

“Would your Dad approve of brownies?” Clinton asked and I felt his fingers on my shoulder again. Having both of them touching me at the same time caused goosebumps to spread across my skin, I could always blame it on the cold, but I wasn’t really all that cold now. It was an odd mixture of lust and uneasiness and I fought against trying to stand and escape it.

“No, I don’t think that was on his grocery list,” I answered, “the entire team will be in shit shape come next week anyway, don’t know why he’s worried.”

“Yeah,” Cameron said, “usually how it goes.”

“What did you want to talk to us about?” Clinton asked after an uneasy silence fell between us. Suddenly the frogs didn’t seem so peaceful anymore.

“I wanted to apologize,” Cameron said and I smiled.

“You don’t really need to,” I countered and I heard him sigh.

“Not about what I said earlier I already know I’m an ass for that,” Cameron said, “sorry about that too. I’m sorry for something else I said, about being in your shadow.”

“I’ve tried to tell Dad you’re just as good,” I said, “to let you play more.”

“I know, I overheard some of those fights on the sideline,” Cameron said, “but when we were out here it came to me why he probably didn’t listen.”

“Why’s that?” Clinton asked before I could. I turned to smile at him, but he was looking at Cameron noticing that the twilight washed out all of his color. I could hear the protectiveness in his voice and it made my stomach flutter.

“Because if it was reversed I probably wouldn’t have asked,” Cameron said sliding out of his float. I heard him let out a violent hiss, but he didn’t let go of my float. “I can say I would to myself all day, but I know it’s a lie.”

“You’ll make us proud,” I said, “hell you might even win us a championship.”

“But Coach didn’t listen to you, because I think he knew that about me,” Cameron said, ignoring my poor attempt at comforting him. “I think that’s why he never listened, he saw that I never would have asked. I guess that’s what makes you our captain.”

“I never know what he’s thinking,” I said my voice tight.

“It has to be it,” Cameron said and I saw a smile playing on his lips, “because I am just as good.”

“Prove it,” I said as he offered his hand. I took it and he helped me out of my float. He let go when I found my feet. Cursing as the cold water hit my crotch I reached over and helped Clinton out of his. Then we walked up the deck, Cameron leading the way each of us carrying our own float. I kept hold of Clinton’s hand until we got to the narrow entrance onto the deck, then I squeezed through and put the float down with the rest in the corner by the picnic table. I could already smell the brownies baking in the oven by the back door. Cameron turned and gave me a small smile before he stepped into the kitchen.

“That was nice,” Clinton whispered, “makes me jealous.”

“I don’t think…” I started and he smirked.

“I meant about the closeness you football shits have,” Clinton interrupted, grabbing my shoulder as we walked around the counter and stepped into the living room. The air conditioner had made the cabin chilly and I looked behind me to see Clinton’s nipples erect. He shot me a curious look and I swallowed against the sudden dryness of my mouth. The thought of spending the night with him without fear of parents seemed different now. We had spent more than a few nights together, but I hadn’t been comfortable enough. After that night in the back of his truck, I no longer felt awkward, I found myself looking forward to these escapes. I wondered how many chances we’d have in the coming year, after we were back in school. We both had schedules, busy ones. We would be finishing up our last year in high school. I no longer was worried about it, I was fine with what would come. Knowing that I wouldn’t have been just a few weeks ago, made me realize how much has happened in such a short time. I had been able to find myself through all of it a little bit. I knew there was more to come, but I was ready for it. I no longer would stand in other peoples’ shadows and let them fight for me. I would do it myself.

“You’re staring at me,” he said as we started up the stairs.

“Sorry,” I said, turning to lead him up the stairs. The first door on the left was slightly ajar and I opened it. The light was off and when I led Clinton through the door I closed it behind him, it closed louder than I would have liked. I felt a warmth spreading across my face, hoping no one heard it as I pushed him against the door. Kissing him I felt him tug on the cold plastic covering of my cast. Reaching between us I helped him rip it off and I heard it hit the floor. I reached up and put my hand on the door beside his head and let the bulky cast fall to my side. His hands wrapped around me and pulled me against him. The coldness of our wet bodies made me wince, but I kept kissing him, our trunks dripping on the carpet.

“We better change,” Clinton grunted after breaking the kiss.

“Or just get naked,” I said, kissing him again.

“There’s brownies baking,” Clinton countered and I laughed as I reached down and tugged on the strings of his trunks. The weight of the water made them fall and he stepped out of them. Then I reached down and awkwardly untied mine with one hand and pulled them down until they fell around my ankles.

“Fuck the brownies,” I said pushing back against him my hardening cock pressing against his thigh.

“I can hear you, perverts!” Keith bellowed from the other side of the door. “And the brownies are done.”

“Go away,” I said, but jumped away from Clinton anyway. He smiled as he reached down and grabbed both of our trunks. Then I followed him to a small powder room connected to the bedroom, each bedroom had one, but only the master had a tub and a shower. After dropping our wet trunks into the sink I opened the door to find towels folded. They smelled like the wood of the cabinet, like they had been up here for awhile. After drying off we dropped them on the floor and walked back out into the bedroom and looked through our bags. When we dressed I led the way out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Andy had a bowl with a brownie sitting in it forgotten on his lap in the living room. He looked over at us when he heard us coming down the stairs.

“Dude,” he said shaking his head, his voice sounding awed and far away. “They were in there together.”

“Where?” I asked, trying not to laugh.

“Who?” Clinton asked as we got to the bottom of the stairs and walked to the end of the couch. Andy looked up at him like he had asked a stupid question, then smiled and shook his head.

“The girls!” He hissed and I saw that the bowl of brownies were sitting in his lap crookedly. “In the shower!”

“Oh,” we both said and Andy snorted.

“I know that’s lost on you, but the possibilities,” Andy said, “but they locked the fucking door.”

“Probably a good thing,” I said, slapping him on the shoulder.

“And he sat outside it like a forgotten puppy, whining,” Jenny said and I turned to see her holding two bowls of brownies. “Want some?”

“Yeah,” Clinton said and I held out my hand as well. She rolled her eyes, handing them to us.

“They could have been doing anything,” Andy muttered, adjusting himself, his brownies still neglected.

“We just washed the smell of the lake off,” Jenny countered leaning against the couch. “I washed Amber’s…”

“Shut up,” Andy said, turning to shoot a glare at her. “You’re a dirty liar.”

“You’re a pervert,” she said and I laughed, balancing the plastic bowl on my cast against my chest then picked up the brownie. Smelling it I took a bite and sighed. It had been a long time since I had a brownie fresh out of the oven. Mom had always baked cookies and things to sell at the store. She would sneak me a few, but Dad would fuss that it wasn’t good for me. That I needed to get into the habit of eating healthy, that I wouldn’t always have my youth to help keep the weight off. Most of the time he would be holding a can of beer, but I had never pointed that out to him. It would have only gotten me into trouble.

“There’s the hot homos,” Amber said as she entered the living room with Bryan following behind her. “We thought y’all done turned in for the night.”

“Amber,” Bryan groaned, wrapping his arm around her stomach. She smiled looking down at Andy who had turned around on the couch so that he could see behind him.

“Couldn’t pass up the brownies,” Clinton said, holding up his bowl. I looked over and saw that it was empty.

“I would say there is more left, but Keith, Bryan, and Cam finished them off,” Amber said, rolling her eyes. “I wish I could eat like you guys.”

“I know, right?” Jenny asked, crossing her arms over her chest. They were both wearing spaghetti strap halter tops that didn’t cover much past their boobs and a pair of cotton shorts. Both had their hair braided and I couldn’t help thinking that they matched. It was probably planned to drive the guys crazy and when Katy stepped into the living room I smirked seeing her done up the same way.

“What do you guys want to do now?” Amber asked as I tossed the last bit of brownie into my mouth. I glanced down at Andy to see that he was finally eating his piece.

“I don’t know,” Andy said, “movie?”

“Boring,” Amber said, rolling her eyes.

“We’re not playing spin the bottle,” Bryan said looking over at me.

“Spin the bottle?” Andy asked, his eyebrow cocked.

“We played when we broke into the gym,” Clinton answered smirking, “you missed some hot girl on girl kissing.”

“Fuck that boring camp,” Andy hissed, “I’m good for whatever y’all want to do.”

“I have some cards and a couple bottles of vodka,” Amber said, her eyes shining.

“Sounds good to me,” Keith said and I looked to see him standing beside Cameron.

“When Amber suggests something it’s never good,” Katy argued grimacing. “Especially if it involves vodka.”

“It’s strawberry flavored,” Amber countered, crossing her arms. “Although I do suggest you guys put on more clothes.”

“See,” Katy said, rolling her eyes. I looked around to see all the guys shirtless and wearing a pair of shorts. I don’t know what they had under them, but I knew that I didn’t have anything under mine.

“Strip poker, high stakes,” Amber said, “you either take a shot or lose some clothes.”

“No,” Katy groaned, “I don’t even know how to play.”

“Really?” Andy asked, perking up as he seemed to be calculating something in his head. “I’ll risk seeing some penis for a pair of boobs.”

“Not me,” Cameron said, shaking his head.

“Oh come on,” Amber countered, nodding her head towards us, “or are you still hung up on them two.”

“I’m not,” Cameron said, “I apologized, so.”

“He did,” I offered and I saw Keith smile and playfully hit Cameron on the shoulder.

“Knew you were a good guy,” Keith said and Cameron rubbed his shoulder smiling.

“Five minutes to go put on as many clothes as you want boys,” Amber said, “I’ll go get the cards the Vodka’s been chilling in the freezer.”

“Fuck,” Andy hissed the first person to move. I glanced over at Clinton and saw that he had already started walking towards the stairs.

“Clinton,” I said, causing him to stop. “Do you want to play?”

“I’d risk seeing a pair of boobs for some penis,” he answered and I glanced around to see Cameron, Bryan, and Keith staring at him. Andy had already disappeared down the hallway to go get more clothes.

“Not a good idea,” Bryan groaned but I smiled and shrugged then followed Clinton quickly up the stairs to our bedroom. When we were there I dropped my shorts and found a pair of boxer briefs and slid them on and then pulled my shorts back over them. Then I grabbed a t-shirt and slid it on over my head. Clinton had slid on a tank top before he pulled on a t-shirt.

“Socks?” I asked reaching in to my bag. When I pulled out a pair of socks the pack of condoms that Mom bought fell out of it. I glanced over at Clinton to see him looking down at them with his eyebrows cocked.

“You came prepared,” he said offering me a smile. “Am I a sure thing?”

“No,” I said then saw him smirk, “I mean, probably.”

“Corey,” he said, trying not to laugh.

“Mom bought them for me,” I said, my face burning. When his smile faded he leaned down and picked them up.

“She did?” He asked handing them back to me. I tossed them in my bag, not too worried about hiding them now that we were here.

“She did,” I answered, “embarrassed the fuck out of me.”

“She loves you,” he said, “that’s great.”

“That and she felt like she was sending us off to do it the entire weekend,” I added shaking my head. “So she just wanted to make sure we were prepared.”

“Must have been hard for her,” he said, “My mom lectured me, told me to keep my hands to myself.”

“Going to listen to her?” I asked and he smiled and shook his head.

“What did your Dad think?” He asked as we started back towards the bedroom door.

“He doesn’t know,” I answered, “Mom snuck them in and gave them to me first chance she got.”

“He’s not dumb though, he knows, right?” Clinton said and I saw his eyes land on the fading bite mark from the other night.

“I think as long as he doesn’t think about it, he’ll not come barging in to drag my ass back home,” I answered laughing as I held the door open for him.

“Let’s hope she’s good at distracting him then,” he said as he led the way back down the stairs.

“What’s your strategy?” I asked not wanting to be drunk or naked if I could keep from it.

“Two shots minimum and lasting just long enough to see some cock,” Clinton said smiling. “I want to get this over with before it gets real late.”

“Yeah me too,” I said thinking it sounded like a good enough idea.

When we got to the bottom the dining room table just off the kitchen had been cleared away and more seats were added. Everyone was sitting around it, each place had a small shot glass in place on a coaster. The first shot was already poured and Amber was busy shuffling the cards. I saw that she slipped on a hoodie, Katy looked like she was wearing four t-shirts, and Jenny looked dressed for winter. The guys all seemed to have dressed lightly and were all frowning.

“I didn’t know we could put on multiple layers,” Cameron said, “Katy has on two pairs of pants.”

“I’m burning up,” Katy countered, “but I’m not about to be naked in front of all of you.”

“They planned this,” Keith said, taking his seat opposite of Amber at the heavy dark mahogany table. “And we’re idiots.”

“I distinctly said, you had five minutes to put on as many clothes as you like,” Amber countered, smiling as she began dealing the cards. I sat down on the left hand side of Keith and Clinton sat across from me. Jenny sat down beside me and Andy sat down beside Clinton. Bryan sat beside Jenny and Cameron and Katy sat across from them, with Katy frowning as she sat down beside Andy.

“If he’s naked in a few rounds you’re switching me seats Cameron,” Katy said pointing at Andy, who smiled.

“You’ll like the view sweetie,” Andy countered, flexing his muscles. “I did forget to put on underwear though.”

“Damn,” Keith said, “I did too.”

“And they call us loose if we don’t wear underwear,” Amber said rolling her eyes. “Alright five cards, best hand wins, worst two hands strips or takes a shot.”

“I want two,” Andy said sliding two cards down the table towards Amber. She raked them in and slid him two back. Looking down I saw a mixed up hand and frowned. There wasn’t much I could do with it so I picked the highest two cards and slid the rest down the table. When Amber slid three back I groaned causing Jenny to snicker as she looked over her cards. I had gotten pretty much the same thing back, all I had was a Jack.

After everyone was satisfied with their hands. I looked around to see that Katy looked confused and Andy looked confident. Cameron looked like he didn’t want to be at the table at all, but to not be part of something like that wasn’t really an option.

“Alright, let’s see them,” Amber said as she laid down a pair of Queens. I spread out my hand and I saw Clinton look over at mine before he laid his down. He smirked and I saw that he had all diamonds. Not knowing much about poker, I did know that all of one kind was good.

“What do I have?” Katy asked reluctantly, laying down her hand. “Is it bad, I tried to collect pairs.”

“You have a pair of twos Katy,” Cameron answered smiling. “At least you have on a lot of clothes.”

“Shut up Cameron,” Katy hissed and when everyone looked around I glanced down at the shot glass. Knowing I probably didn’t have much a tolerance built up for alcohol I reached down and pulled my shirt over my head.

“Katy your hand sucks worse than Bryan’s sixes,” Amber said as she held her hand out for the cards. “Get naked sweet cheeks.”

“Amber you suck,” Katy said as she pulled one of her shirts over her head. Her face was flushed and it looked like a sheen of sweat had developed across her forehead.

“You better keep losing for awhile,” Amber said, “or you’ll pass out from the heat.”

“Just deal,” she countered, rolling her eyes. Bryan refilled his shot glass and Amber shuffled and dealt a second hand. When I looked down and saw that I already had a pair of nines I smiled and slid three down the table. When I received my other cards, I felt relieved when I landed another pair of fours. I relaxed in my chair and watched as everyone scrutinized over their cards. Keith looked like he was deciding which way to go. I leaned over slightly and saw that he was debating on trying for a straight or keep a small pair. When he noticed me looking he shot me a glare and held his cards closer.

“Eyes on your own junk,” he said smiling. I looked across the table to see Clinton already sorted out and waiting.

“Ready?” Amber asked and when everyone nodded we spread out our cards. This time more people looked around to see what everyone had.

“Katy I don’t think your strategy is working,” Amber said and everyone laughed. “How the hell did you get a pair of twos again.”

“I don’t know!” She shrieked, “I thought pairs were good.”

“Not really,” Cameron said, “but you have me beat, I don’t have anything.”

“Good,” Katy said, “I shouldn’t be the only one losing.”

“Well you did lose again,” Amber said, “so, another shirt dear.”

“Fine,” Katy said as she pulled off a second shirt. By the looks of it she was down to two shirts, or that’s how many different color collars I could see from my seat. She probably still had on her spaghetti strap pajama top. “Maybe I need to take some shots, they might help.”

“Help get you naked faster,” Jenny said smiling as Cameron took a shot then refilled his glass.

“Yeah take a few shots Katy,” Andy said leaning closer to her. She rolled her eyes and put her finger on his forehead and pushed him away.

“Alright this is boring,” Amber said, “not enough people are getting naked or drunk, so only the best hand wins.”

“You can’t go changing the rules,” Jenny countered half-heartedly. She had yet to lose any clothes or take any shots.

“Come on the odds are in our favor,” Amber said, “I mean they’re barely dressed and Katy still has most of her clothes.”

“And you can hold your liquor,” Bryan added and I noticed Cameron shoot him a glare.

“Dude who’s side are you on?” Cameron asked, crossing his arms and leaning against the table. Amber waved her hand and we all passed our cards down the table to her.

“Well I don’t know anymore,” Bryan said, throwing his hands in the air. “I want to get this over with because I know we’re fucked, but I’m having fun.”

“Alright then,” Amber said, shuffling the cards a few times then dealing them. When everyone had their cards she smiled. “Best hand wins.”

“You’re going to be that girl that does the first walk of shame in college,” Katy said, “out of the dirtiest frat house too.”

“No she won’t,” Bryan countered glancing over at Amber. I wondered if Amber and Bryan would last until college. He seemed to be too laid back to keep up with her, but she smiled when he defended her.

“Do I need to remind everyone what happened at my last party?” Amber asked and I saw Andy perk up and glance at Katy.

“No!” Jenny and Katy both squealed and I looked over at Jenny to see her squirm in her chair as she put her cards in order. I hadn’t even looked at my cards and when I glanced down I saw that I had a pair of threes. Sighing I saw that I had a four and a five to go with them so I tossed one three and a King. With only the best hand winning it meant I had to aim bigger and a small straight was the best chance I had.

“I think you do,” Andy said, “and about any accidental touching in the shower earlier.”

“Andy, I remember in middle school before you hit your growth spurt,” Katy started measuring him with her eyes. “You were a shy little thing, what the hell happened to that?”

“He had those big assed nerdy glasses too,” Keith added and Andy glared. “Made you want to shove him into the nearest toilet.”

“I grew four inches and got contacts,” Andy answered, sliding two cards down the table to Amber. “Went behind the bleachers and felt up some titties, that will make a man out of a person.”

“You didn’t,” Jenny said as everyone laughed.

“No, but I bet it would have put hair on my chest,” Andy added and I watched as Clinton laughed and throw down his cards. Then Amber rolling her eyes, shrugged and took a shot of vodka.

“It was getting hot just sitting there,” she said handing Cameron the rest of his cards. After a few moments people started laying their cards down. I didn’t receive the cards I needed so I knew that I would be stripping or drinking. I already had my hand on my shot glass and when I saw that Andy had a full house I picked up my glass and threw it down. Shuddering I put the glass down and watched as Jenny and Katy took a shot, Amber for the hell of it refilled her drink and took another one. Then everyone else removed clothes. Clinton’s shirt was on the floor and I saw Keith roll his eyes as he looped his finger on the sleeve of the tank top Clinton had underneath and tugged it.

“Loser,” Keith said and Clinton shoved his hand away.

As the game went on people started to talk about their childhoods, parts that I missed out by living football and working at the store. Katy talked about breaking her arm falling from the top of the pyramid during cheerleading practice. Amber joked and said that she dropped her on purpose because they wore the same shirt and more people complimented Katy on it. Seeing them so animated around me made me miss knowing them sooner. Bryan was feeling the alcohol a little bit. He seemed to be trying to bridge the gap of not having enough clothes on by drinking, but after the fifth shot he decided to start taking off clothes.

“How did you get so good at cards Amber?” Jenny asked as she removed her first pair of shorts. After losing again, I pulled off my shorts. It caused Keith to scoot a little closer to Clinton until he realized that Clinton was also down to his boxer briefs. Not wanting to be the first one naked, Keith had started taking shots.

“Dad plays poker a lot in the man cave,” Amber answered shrugging. Her face was flushed, but she still looked fine after the shots she already had. “Until the guys get there he’d let me play a few hands.”

“Cheater,” Andy countered, his words slurred, sitting there in just a pair of shorts as well. He was slightly swaying and would smile at odd times, but the alcohol seemed to be calming him instead of making him worse. Overall the guys were either going to be drunk or naked in the next few rounds. I was sticking to my two drink minimum and my shot glass was sitting there waiting for my next bad hand. When I was dealt a pair of sixes I rolled my eyes and threw three cards down the table. Amber collected them and slid three cards a little crookedly back towards me. Jenny had to help her get them all the way down to where I was sitting.

“What’s everybody have?” Andy asked not discarding anything, he slapped his hand down and smiled. “I have crazy eights.”

“We’re playing poker, Andy,” Clinton said as Andy swayed into Clinton. “And everyone is still looking at their cards.”

“Oh,” Andy hissed, shooting everyone a glare as they laughed. “Don’t look at my cards Clinton.”

“Ready?” Amber asked as she laid down her cards. Not having anything she pulled off a shirt and revealed that she was down to her pajama top from earlier in the evening. Katy and Jenny both pulled off another shirt and they were both down to their last shirts as well.

“Fuck yes,” Keith said slapping down three Aces. “I get to keep my shorts on.”

“Well ladies and gentlemen, captain,” Andy said looking at me last. “You’re about to see my weiner.”

“Oh god!” Katy shrieked covering her eyes as Andy stood on shaky legs.

“Clinton be a pal,” Andy said, slapping Clinton roughly on the back, “and hold my drunk ass up while I show ‘em what I got.”

“So Andy is the first one out,” Amber said as Jenny ducked her head preparing to peek through her fingers at Andy as he hooked his fingers into the hem of his shorts.

“You know,” Andy said a crooked smile forming on his lips, his eyelids drooping. “I don’t know what the fuss is about, one time away at camp there was this guy, I thought damn, he’s kind of cute…”

“Andy!” Keith hissed, “shut the fuck up and drop your pants.”

“That’s exactly what the guy said, Keith,” Andy said, “before he took me right there, behind the bathroom.”

“Oh my god,” Katy said, “someone shut him up!”

“Oh I’m still in my shorts,” he said looking down at himself. Smiling again he went to pull his shorts down, but I shook my head standing.

“You lost Andy, go to bed,” I said and I saw Andy look over at me. “You don’t have to take off your shorts.”

“Dude it’s okay,” Andy said waving his hand, then he pulled down his shorts “most of you’ve seen it anyway.”

“Oh!” Amber said laughing and pointing. Andy stood proudly with both hands on his hip just above where Clinton was steadying him. Knowing what Andy looked like I laughed and shook my head, hoping he didn’t remember any of this in the morning. Clinton took a peek then tried to pull Andy’s shorts back up for him, but Andy kept smacking his hands away.

“Yeah, look at what you’re missin’ girls,”Andy said as he attempted to flex his muscles and ended up sprawled backwards on the floor after Clinton couldn’t move fast enough to steady him. Andy had an impressive penis, nothing he was ever ashamed of or bashful about. He probably wouldn’t have wanted it flopping around for everyone to see, at least not drunk and unable to enjoy the attention.

“I’ll help you with him,” I said as Clinton got him into a sitting position. Andy leaning against him. When I looked up and saw Keith on his other side we all lifted him and I pulled his shorts back over him. Then Clinton and Keith helped him to the couch making sure to lay him on his stomach with his face turned away from the back of the couch.

“I’ll get a blanket,” Keith said, shaking his head. “Total lightweight.”

“Do you know if the story is true?” I asked looking down at Andy. Not having many secrets between us I was surprised when he told the story.

“I think it is,” Keith answered shrugging. “He was late to bed one night, out past camp curfew.”

“Did you know why until now?” Clinton asked and Keith shook his head.

“The little shit isn’t gay too is he?” Keith asked, smirking. “Although with the three of you chopping wood I have a way better shot at the women.”

“No he’s not gay,” I said trying not to laugh, “he was probably just curious, it happens.”

“I don’t want to go to bed,” Andy groaned, but he stayed where he was. Keith disappeared down the hall for a couple of moments and when he returned he was carrying a pillow and a blanket. He put the pillow on the coffee table in case Andy woke up and sobered up a little bit and wanted it. Then he gently pulled the blanket over him. Watching Keith take care of him, I smiled. When he looked up he smirked and shrugged his shoulders returning to the table where Amber already had the cards dealt.

“I would have been out too,” I whispered, walking to the table I saw Bryan supporting his head with his hand, but even then he was swaying. He was down to his boxer briefs, like Cameron. He was being petted by Katy, he looked like he was about to fall asleep.

“We’re out,” Clinton said, pointing to our shorts.

“We know you’re out,” Bryan mumbled, looking at us his head drooping. “That asshole did that a couple days ago.”

“I mean we’re out of clothes,” Clinton said pointing to his boxer briefs. “So we’re going to bed.”

“Not ‘til you drop ‘em boys,” Amber said, putting her cards down looking up at us.

“You don’t have to,” Jenny said, shooting Amber a glare. “The game is getting boring anyway.”

“Clinton?” I asked looking over at him. At first his mouth fell open, but then he shrugged, but unlike Andy we turned and pulled down our shorts, mooning everyone at the table. Not daring to look back as Amber and Jenny laughed while Cameron groaned, I pulled up my shorts and walked back into the living room followed by Clinton. He took my hand as we started up the stairs.

“Goodnight guys,” Jenny yelled, “love you, see you in the morning.”

“Love you,” I said smiling back at Clinton as I led him up the stairs to our room.

When we closed the door behind us I yawned feeling tired. I smiled over at Clinton as we zipped up our bags and put them on the floor. Then he pulled down the covers and slid into bed, scooting over so I could slide in beside him. The room was dark, the only light coming in was from the street light on our side of the cabin. I could just see Clinton looking at me in the darkness. Then he opened his mouth, but quickly closed it again. The night before came back to mind after he overheard Jenny and I saying that we loved one another in front of him. I had been afraid of being rejected then. Afraid that it wouldn’t sound right saying it to him as well. It was something I didn’t know much about, but I felt something. Something that caused me to smile and feel a rush of energy run through me. It was a smile that didn’t fade no matter what else was going on and it was because my mind had gone to him. I thought I saw it in him as well. Odd moments of unabashed smiles. It came easy with Jenny, a caring and lasting friendship sort of love. Easy with Mom, who’s love I never doubted and even Dad, after that talk, I knew where I stood, but I had taken that chance so easily. I had pushed him to tell me one way or the other, but I had admittedly used that as leverage against him. It still felt good knowing, it still felt good hearing him say it so strongly.

Looking at Clinton there were so many unknowns, so much time wasted as enemies and parts of his life I missed. I could tell Andy and Keith I loved them, because they were like my brothers. I had grown up with them, they were the ones I was most open to. They would have been the ones I first came out to, if it wasn’t for Jenny pushing it out of me while they were away at camp. That love would last a lifetime, they were so deeply a part of me that a lot of my memories belonged to them as well. I didn’t doubt Clinton now though, looking across the bed he was watching me as well. He wasn’t smiling and that bothered me. I wanted to tell him, I didn’t want him thinking the things I am. I didn’t want what I felt for him to fall into quiet questioning when he’s alone. I didn’t want him to doubt what he thought I felt.

“You’re staring at me,” he said, his voice barely a whisper.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered my voice straining through the tightness I felt in my throat. I felt my heart hammering in my chest and the covers felt hot and suffocating. I wasn’t lying when I told Clinton that when I said the words, that it would mean more. I just didn’t anticipate the emotional whirlwind I would feel trying to muster up the courage to do so.

“Don’t be,” he said smiling and the unmistakable rush ran through me all over again and I knew, without a doubt that I loved him. I couldn’t tell you the exact moment when I first felt it. It could have been just now or when I kissed him on the beach. In the truck that night we snuck out of our houses. The first time we did more than kiss, but not to say it now would feel like I was stealing all those moments from him. Moments that someone else could have shared with him and called it love and had the courage to say it. And I didn’t want those to belong to anyone else.

“I love you,” I said and a calming sort of rush smacked me square in the chest when I saw his smile falter slightly then come again more easily. When his hand reached up and pulled me to him, his lips finding mine in the darkness I relaxed and kissed him back.

“I love you, too,” he whispered between kisses and I smiled then felt him smile before he leaned away. He rubbed small circles on my back, both of us still smiling and staring. I didn’t know how long we stayed like that until I saw his eyelids drooping and his breathing becoming deeper. When his hand stopped moving I knew that he was asleep and I yawned, turning my back to him. Feeling me move he scooted closer to me, his arm falling to my waist, pulling me closer in his sleep. I felt him kiss the back of my neck as I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

Copyright © 2014 Krista; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

B) .............Hey Krista!!

Well the no girls or alcohol rules was broken rather quickly, I'm guessing dad is not going up to check on them, otherwise the would be another chapter before the epilogue! LOL! One little mistake, if they are using the sleeping bags, why on the floor? And if they used the sleeping bags on the bed, why pull up the covers? The air conditioning might be pretty cold but sleeping bags are pretty warm by themselves. Strip poker, ya know that is something I never did (nor my friends) during my school years. Must be your generation Krista!!! LOL! Great chapter!


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What a funny, feel-good chapter, Krista! :)


Loved Andy dreaming about the girls all showering together - he cracks me up. :P


But the absolute best was the ending when Corey realized he really did love Clinton. Those 'I love you' s that followed were so sweet and caring; I could just hear them saying those three words to each other.


Oh no, one more chapter to go!!!

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On 09/13/2014 12:49 PM, Lisa said:
What a funny, feel-good chapter, Krista! :)


Loved Andy dreaming about the girls all showering together - he cracks me up. :P


But the absolute best was the ending when Corey realized he really did love Clinton. Those 'I love you' s that followed were so sweet and caring; I could just hear them saying those three words to each other.


Oh no, one more chapter to go!!!

Thanks! Yes, that scene, the build up and to it as Corey worked through his feelings.. was probably the hardest and most rewarding part of this chapter for me to write. Feeling something for someone.. and having the nerve to call it love.. is a difficult distinction to make. Glad he did it, at least. On his terms.
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On 09/13/2014 12:24 PM, Benji said:
B) .............Hey Krista!!

Well the no girls or alcohol rules was broken rather quickly, I'm guessing dad is not going up to check on them, otherwise the would be another chapter before the epilogue! LOL! One little mistake, if they are using the sleeping bags, why on the floor? And if they used the sleeping bags on the bed, why pull up the covers? The air conditioning might be pretty cold but sleeping bags are pretty warm by themselves. Strip poker, ya know that is something I never did (nor my friends) during my school years. Must be your generation Krista!!! LOL! Great chapter!


Lol.. with Andy, Amber, and Keith, you had to know about every damn rule was about to be broken. Consequences for those are what makes it all the more fun at times.


I played a few rounds of strip poker... in my day. I must say, I wasn't all that good at it either.


And the sleeping bag thing? I didn't think I used Sleeping bags, woops if I did.


Like always Benji, thanks for reading! :D

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On 09/13/2014 12:24 PM, Benji said:
B) .............Hey Krista!!

Well the no girls or alcohol rules was broken rather quickly, I'm guessing dad is not going up to check on them, otherwise the would be another chapter before the epilogue! LOL! One little mistake, if they are using the sleeping bags, why on the floor? And if they used the sleeping bags on the bed, why pull up the covers? The air conditioning might be pretty cold but sleeping bags are pretty warm by themselves. Strip poker, ya know that is something I never did (nor my friends) during my school years. Must be your generation Krista!!! LOL! Great chapter!


Lol.. with Andy, Amber, and Keith, you had to know about every damn rule was about to be broken. Consequences for those are what makes it all the more fun at times.


I played a few rounds of strip poker... in my day. I must say, I wasn't all that good at it either.


And the sleeping bag thing? I didn't think I used Sleeping bags, woops if I did.


Like always Benji, thanks for reading! :D

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Fun day turned into a drunken evening, hopefully someone remembered to pack pills for headache :P

Corey and Clinton

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On 09/13/2014 06:26 PM, Suvitar said:
Fun day turned into a drunken evening, hopefully someone remembered to pack pills for headache :P

Corey and Clinton

Lol.. yeah.. got out of control. :P
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I know it’s cruel but I hope someone reminds Andy about his drunk story in the morning as that was just priceless. I assume “...before he took me right there, behind the bathroom.” 😂 refers to a bj but heh Andy may have really been experimenting at camp that year. 😉  

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