I was talking to this hockey player from Minnesota named Justin, and he was a nice enough guy but kind of a tool, so that meant our conversation took a minimum amount of mental effort.That worked out well, because even as I bullshitted with him, I kept surreptitiously glancing over at Dillon, only to find him doing the same thing to me.I was intrigued enough to end my lame conversation with Justin and head over and interrupt his conversation with one of the other players. “Hey,” I said cheerfully as I interrupted them.
“This place is the bomb,” Dillon said, referring to Escorial.
“No shit,” the other guy agreed.He seemed to realize his glass was empty.“I’m heading to the bar.”
“Enjoy,” I said in an encouraging way, both to be a good host and to get rid of him.I turned back to Dillon.“How long have you been here?”
“We just got in today.Just enough time to get settled in,” he said casually.
“After dinner I can give you a tour if you want,” I offered.
“Sounds like fun,” he responded.He seemed to have a naturally flirtatious manner, so it was possible he was just playing around, but there was something about the way he looked at me that made me think it was more than that. There was a connection between us that was unique and intense.
“So what brings you down here to Palo Alto?You don’t look like a hockey player,” I accused.He was a little classier than the other guys, and just didn’t seem like he fit in with their rough and tumble crowd.I thought that was ironic, since he was sporting a big black eye and wearing a suit that looked horrible on him.
“Hockey’s not my game,” he said.
“You look like you do something to stay in shape,” I said, since that was obvious, even as I moved my eyes up and down his body in an obvious way.He blushed again, which was fucking adorable.
“I’m a fish,” he said.“I love the water.”
“What do you do in the water?” I asked, barely hiding my excitement.There was no way I could be that lucky and find out he was a fellow surfer.
“I play water polo, I swim, but my favorite deal is surfing,” he said casually.Happy fucking birthday to me!Talk about getting lucky. This god drops from the skies on my birthday and loves the same sport I do!
I felt my face explode into a huge smile.“No shit? That’s awesome!That’s one of my favorite things to do!”
“Really?” he asked, grinning back at me.
“Really,” I confirmed, and with a firm tone so he knew I wasn’t bullshitting him.“Where do you live?”
“Eugene, Oregon,” he said.“Beaches are a drive from home, and the water’s fucking cold, but that doesn’t stop me.”
“That’s pretty hard core,” I said, stroking his ego.“I’ve never surfed in Oregon,” I said, trying to remember if I’d heard of any good surfing beaches.
“I usually go to Florence, which can get pretty radical, or to Winchester Bay,” he said.“Cold water isn’t a problem, but the sharks can freak you out.”
“No shit,” I agreed.“If the Great Whites are around, I bail.I haven’t really been bothered by sharks too much though.”
“I’ve been lucky too,” he said.It was a risk, part of the sport.“Where do you go?” he asked.
“If I’m here, I go to Santa Cruz,” I told him.“We have a beach house there.It’s a pretty sweet setup.We also have a place in Malibu, and there are some decent waves there.But my favorite is Maui.”
“I’ve never been to Maui,” he said wistfully.“I’ll bet it’s the bomb.”
“Totally,” I agreed.“We ended up getting this house right on the point that overlooks some great surfing beaches.I grab my board and walk down the trail, so it’s an easy commute.”
“That’s awesome!” he said.Driving to the beach could totally suck, and once you got there, if it was popular, you had to figure out where to park.Having a place right by the beach was a major luxury.
“So what are you doing here?Are you going to Stanford?”I wanted to ask him about his black eye, but that seemed pretty rude, so I was trying to be more diplomatic.
It didn’t seem to help, because he got really nervous when I asked that, which kind of surprised me.“No, I decided to come down here and hang out with Klip for a few days.I hope that’s OK.”
“Dude, that’s totally OK,” I said enthusiastically, so he’d know he was welcome.“I’ve got school this week, so I don’t know if I can get off early or not, but if I can, we should go to Santa Cruz.” I’d missed so much school with traveling and shit, I hadn’t planned to take a day off, but hanging out with this guy may give me a good reason to do it anyway.He may be worth a slight drop in my GPA.
“That would be amazing,” he said.It was so cool to see his eyes light up just like mine would at the thought of surfing.
“How long are you going to be here?” I asked him.
“I’m planning to be back home by next Monday,” he said, but didn’t sound excited about it, and it didn’t sound like a required deal.
“I have this big event on Friday night, but I’m free after that,” I told him. “Block your weekend and we’ll go surfing.”
“I am so stoked,” he said. “I mean, I was having a good time, but it sucks to be this close to the water and not be able to catch a wave.”
“You can still go over to Santa Cruz during the week,” I told him.“I can tell you where the best surf places are, and you can use our house as a base.”
“I don’t have a car, so I’m kinda stuck doing what Klip wants to do,” he said.
“You do know how to drive, though, right?” I asked, partly teasing him, even though some guys didn’t bother to get their license until they were older.Shit, JJ would turn 18 in a couple of months, and he didn’t have his.
“I know how to drive,” he said, acting annoyed that I’d think he didn’t.
“Can you handle a stick?” I asked, raising my eyebrows to definitely make it a double entendre. Only he was starting to relax and get used to me, so he played along with me.
“Dude, I’m amazing with a stick,” he said, dropping his voice even lower and making it sultry.If he kept talking like that, I’d have to go back to my room and put on a jock to keep my dick down.
“Good to know,” I said.“What else are you good at? You like to ride horses?”
“Only done it a few times,” he said, shaking his head.“The horse spent most of the time trying to toss my fat ass off of him.”I laughed at that.
“Maybe we’ll spend some time working on that,” I said.
“We’ll see about that,” he said dubiously.
“Your school starts pretty late,” I observed.
“We’re on quarters,” he said.“I just graduated in May, so I’m starting at the local community college.”So he was a year ahead of me, at least as far as school went.
“So you decided to come hang out with Klip until you went back?” I asked.He got really uncomfortable when I asked that, nervous enough that his eyes darted around like he was looking for an escape route away from me.
“I thought it would be fun, and something different,” he said, only there was more.I was reading him pretty well, and that briefly reminded me of Zach.That made me sad enough and calmed me down so I didn’t act like a complete idiot around this guy.
“I think you’re right,” I said.“I think it will be both of those things.”
“I’m hoping,” he said.I noticed that it was getting later, and I had a quick task to accomplish.
“I’ll be right back,” I said.
“That’s cool,” he said, and looked bummed.I guess he thought I’d gotten bored talking to him and I was blowing him off.Rather than spending forever explaining it, I hurried off to achieve my goal.I went into the dining room and checked out the name cards. I found myself in between my father and Darius, while Dillon was down at the other end of the table.I changed things around so Jake was next to my father, I was next to Dillon, and Darius was next to Ryan and John.I went back out onto the patio and saw Dillon by himself, pretty much where I’d left him.
“You miss me?” I joked.
“No,” he said, sounding like Ryan, then he smiled.“Maybe a little bit.”
“Good,” I replied. We were standing near the fountain talking when I saw Stef and Grand emerge into the courtyard.The staff member on bar duty handed them drinks, then they began to make their rounds, chatting with people and making sure everyone felt welcome.I had been mentally tracking their location even as we chatted, so I was ready for them when they walked up.
“Well hello there,” Stef said to me.“You look very good tonight.”
“I kind of went for the dressy casual look,” I said.
“It suits you,” he agreed.
“I’d like to introduce you to Klip’s brother Dillon,” I said to them a bit formally.“Dillon, these are my grandfathers.”
“Stefan Schluter,” Stef said as he shook Dillon’s hand.“You will call me Stef.”
“It’s nice to meet you Mr., er, I mean Stef,” he said, and shot Stef his gorgeous smile.
“I think you are even more handsome than your brother, and that is saying something,” Stef said.
“Klip’s always been the pretty boy,” Dillon said.
“JP Crampton,” Grand said, and shook Dillon’s hand.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about both of you guys,” Dillon said.
“We must have liars in our midst,” Stef joked, cracking us up.“Are you going to Stanford too?”
“No, I’m just here hanging out with Klip,” Dillon said.
“That is too bad,” Stef said.“It would be nice to have you around.”It was funny that Stef was almost flirting with Dillon, and most guys who were his age would have probably let that freak them out, but Dillon handled it just fine.
“You’ll just have to come visit instead,” I said.“Dillon and I share a common love.”
“I did not realize we were still talking about me,” Stef said, making us laugh.
“In addition to you, we both love to surf,” I announced.
“Now that is interesting,” Grand said, raising an eyebrow.“You must take him to Santa Cruz.”
“That’s exactly what I’m going to do, as soon as I get a chance,” I said.I absolutely had to find a day at school this week where I could escape to do just that.“Did you see Dad and Jake?”
“They were here earlier,” Stef said, and glanced around. They had shown up and had been glowing.
“Guess they took a break,” I said to him with a grin.“They looked a little flushed.Maybe they overexerted themselves.”
“I doubt that if they took a break, that solved the problem,” Stef said playfully, then we laughed at Dad and Jake, even though they weren’t here.
“We are very glad you are here, and hope you will feel welcome and at home,” Grand said to Dillon, as he made to move on and end our little gossip session.
“I already do,” Dillon said.They moved on to talk to Gathan.“Dude, I can’t believe I just met Stefan Schluter!”
“Pretty impressive guy, isn’t he?” I said proudly.
“The other guy is more intense,” he said, making me laugh.
“We call him Grand.He’s a professor at Stanford, and used to be chair of the history department.You just met two of the smartest men in the world,” I said.
“Wow,” he said.I saw my father coming through the door with Jake in tow.Their faces were still a little red, but they had idiotic grins on their faces.It was pretty obvious that they’d gone off and fucked again.I watched him and smiled, then chuckled.Sometimes it was so easy to read him. “What?” Dillon asked, since I was damn near giggling.
“Now you’re about to really experience intense,” I said.He looked at me curiously.“You’ll get to meet my father.”
“Hey!” Dad said, and gave me a massive hug.When we pulled apart, we connected with just our eyes, and he gave me an irritated look since I’d guessed he’d had a busy interlude with Jake.
“This is Dillon,” I said, introducing him to Jake and my father.“Dillon tells me he’s a surfer, but I think he’s full of shit.”
“As if,” Dillon said.
“One way to find out,” Dad said.“We should go to Santa Cruz.”
“Maybe we can figure out a day this week to head over there,” I suggested.
“Let me work on that when I get into the office on Monday,” Dad said.“If not, there’s next weekend after the Talent Show.”
“Talent Show?” Dillon asked.
“It’s a school deal,” I said hastily, then responded to Dad.“Let me know.Dillon says he’s never been to Hawaii, so if he turns out not to be a slug in the waves, I’ll have to figure out a way to drag him over there.”
“No dragging is required,” Dillon said, smiling at me.Dad and Jake went to say hello to Gathan, leaving us alone again.
“Dude, are all those guys gay?” he asked, referring to Stef, Grand, Dad, and Jake.
“They are,” I said, wondering how he felt about that, and wondering if anyone had told him that I was too.
“That’s pretty trippy,” he said, and seemed like he was spacing out a bit.
“Does that bother you?” I asked, miraculously keeping any hint of nervousness out of my voice.
“No,” he said definitively.“It’s cool.”
Grand and Stef headed inside, and that prompted me to check the time.I caught Gathan’s eye, and looked at my watch in a meaningful way, my hint to him to round up his boys.“Time for dinner,” Gathan announced.
“Nice watch,” Dillon said.I’d worn my gold Breguet watch, one that I used for more formal occasions.
“Thanks,” I said. “It was a gift from Stef and Grand.”
“Gathan and Klip seem nervous,” he said, noting how they were getting everyone to head inside in a pretty assertive way.
“The biggest faux pas you can commit here is to be late to dinner,” I told Dillon.“Dinner happens at 7:00 sharp.”
“What happens if you’re late?” he asked.
“Grand gives you dirty looks and makes you feel like shit,” I said.
“Doesn’t sound so terrible,” he said.
“He commands a lot of respect in our family, and he doesn’t usually express his displeasure very often, so when you’re late and you annoy him, it’s a big deal,” I said, even as I led him to the table.
“At home, I’d just get yelled at,” he said, then glanced to the head of the table where Grand stood, welcoming everyone.“This is way more effective.”
“You have no idea,” I said, thinking of how commanding Grand could be, which was pretty impressive for a short guy.
“I’m sitting next to you?” he asked with a smile.“It wasn’t like that before.”
“Plans must have changed,” I said obliquely, mostly to hide how embarrassed I was at being totally busted.
“Great news for me,” he said to let me know he was glad about that. That got him a big smile.Dinner was an absolute blast.Dad was on a high from having fucked Jake, while I was stoked because I was sitting next to one of the hottest guys I’d ever met, and that tended to drive the mood, which was picked up and enhanced by the rest of the crowd.
After dinner, we went into the television room, which was the equivalent to the Great Room at Malibu, the place people got together to hang out in comfortable chairs and watch television.This was the standard routine for birthdays in our family, where we ate dinner, came in here to open presents while the staff cleaned up the dining room, then we’d go back in there for cake.I made Dillon sit next to me, which got me a knowing smirk from Marie, but I was enjoying this guy too much to care.Last year I’d gotten some pretty amazing presents: I’d gotten my Ferrari from my father, and a building and a bar from Stef and Grand.This year was a more mundane year, with cool stuff, but nothing like last year.I was just fine with that.
“Sorry I didn’t get you a present,” Dillon said after I was done opening gifts, and we were walking back to the dining room.
“Dude, you just met me,” I said, laughing.
“Yeah, but I’m here at your birthday party.I should have at least gotten you some Legos or something,” he joked, making it seem like this was a kid’s party.
“Cool.I want one of those kits that make the Eiffel Tower,” I joked back.
We had cake and everyone sang to me.I thought about how annoying I found that part of this thing, then chuckled to myself when I remembered that was pretty much JJ’s favorite part.He didn’t normally like being the center of attention at family events, but he got into it when people sang to him.I laughed out loud when I thought that someday he should hire his own choir to follow him around and chant all day.“What’s so funny?” Dillon asked.
“I was just thinking about my brother JJ,” I told him.He looked at me a bit confused, so I took a few minutes to explain who JJ was, and that he lived in New York.
When dinner was over, Gathan and Klip dragged the younger crowd down to the pool, while Grand and the older group went out onto the patio to smoke Grand’s nightly joint.I hung back from the young crowd, and it was cute the way Dillon stopped to wait for me.“You coming down to the pool?”
“I’ll be there in a second,” I said. “I just want to thank them for such a nice birthday party.”
“We didn’t even play pin the tail on the donkey yet,” he said, cracking me up.
“We’ll do that later,” I said, flirting with him, making him chuckle.
“See you in the pool,” he said, and took off after the group.He’d shed his suit jacket, so I just stared at his cute little ass as he ambled away.
I walked out onto the courtyard to find everyone older than thirty already assembled.“Did you have a nice birthday?” Aunt Claire asked.
“I had a great birthday,” I said emphatically. “Thank you all so much.”
“Who was that handsome young man you spent so much time with?” she asked.
“Dillon Kilpatrick?” I asked, smiling.“He’s Klip’s brother.”
“He is very handsome,” Grandmaman said.
“He is,” I agreed.“I’m going to go watch him swim, so I can see how handsome he is without a shirt on.”
“Almost makes me want to go with you,” Jake said, giving me shit.
“You’ve already got your hands full,” I said, and raised an eyebrow as I looked at my father, all but calling them out for being together.Jake and my father blushed while everyone else laughed.“See you later.”
Stef chuckled.“Enjoy yourself.”
I headed down to the pool and was surprised to find Dillon lurking around outside.“Hey,” he said when he saw me, making it obvious that he’d been waiting for me.
“Hey,” I said in a really friendly way. “Looking for me?”
“I had to go back to my room and grab something, and I heard your clomping feet coming down the hall,” he joked, to cover up the fact that he’d been waiting for me.
“I don’t clomp,” I said.“Stef doesn’t like it.I’d get frowned at.”
“You seem pretty worried about upsetting those guys,” he said.I looked at him for a second then started laughing.
“That is so not it,” I said.“It’s about respect.I have a lot of respect for them, so I try to show them that by not doing things that annoy them.But if it’s important, I have no problem pissing them off.”
“It’s hard to imagine Professor Crampton getting mad and yelling and screaming,” he said.“I can see Stef doing it though.”
That was even funnier.“When Grand gets mad, he doesn’t yell, he gets extremely intense and assertive.Stef is even more interesting.”
“Normally Stef is this fun and engaging person, but he didn’t become one of the richest men in the world by being a wimp.He has this really severe business mode, and when he uses that, it freaks people out,” I explained.
“They both seem like they’d be pretty scary if you pissed them off,” he said a bit nervously.
“You have no idea,” I said.“But they don’t get mad all that easily.The scariest of them is probably my father.”
“Why?” he asked curiously.
“Because Grand and Stef tend to hold back, but when my dad is pissed off, he’s all in, and he goes for the throat,” I said candidly.
“I’ll have to remember not to get on his bad side,” he said.
“Dude, you don’t have to worry about any of them.They’re nice guys.So unless you’re planning to do something on purpose to hurt them, you’ll be fine,” I said soothingly.“Besides, I’ll protect you.”
“Gee thanks,” he said sarcastically.
“Ready to play pin the tail on the donkey?” I joked, and led him into the pool area.
September 14, 2003
“Will’s new friend certainly is handsome,” Stef said.Jack and Claire had gone home while Grandmaman and Frank had gone back to their rooms, so it ended up that it was just Stef, me, JP, and Jake hanging out on the patio, sipping our after dinner drinks.
“He is,” I agreed.“I’m not sure what more we could have given him for his birthday.A guy who is hotter than Ryan, who is also an avid surfer.”
“You’re assuming he’s into Will,” Jake noted.
“That is a good observation,” JP said.“I would normally be cautious about something like that, but this time, my instincts are telling me that Dillon is as enamored with Will as Will is with him.”
“I had not quite thought about it so succinctly, but I feel much the same way,” Stef said, even as he pondered that.I’d gotten the same vibe, but I didn’t mention my own views.
“Then I would submit that he is most likely into Will,” I said in a lighthearted way.“I’ll have to try to go surfing with them.”
“Like they’ll want you around,” Jake said sarcastically.
“They’ll want me to surf with them,” I said, surprising him with how convinced and confident I was about that.
“I think there is no one whom Will would rather surf with than you,” Stef said.“Although I suspect that Dillon could possibly change that.”
“Our trip to Goodwell didn’t turn out like I thought,” I said, changing the subject.I didn’t want to sit here and gossip about Will’s love life any more than I wanted the rest of them talking about mine.
“It did not,” JP agreed.“I cannot think about that entire meeting without remembering the debt of gratitude that we owe you,” he said to Jake.
“As I recall, this is a team effort, so I would point out that I was just doing my job,” Jake said modestly, which made him just that much hotter.I began to ponder ways to escape so we could go fuck again.Just being around him fueled my libido.
“And that is just so much nonsense,” Stef said.“I can understand why that ordeal last night would have fatigued you, though.I noticed you needed to take a break from the pre-dinner cocktail party.”
Jake and I blushed, while Stef giggled.“Jake is the most amazing lover I have ever been with,” I pronounced.All three of them looked at me, stunned, although Jake’s expression was replaced by a smile in short order.
“Well that is certainly saying something,” JP said, making me sound like I was a total slut.
“It certainly is,” I agreed.
“I would say the same thing about you,” Jake said, grinning at me.“Only I’m betting I have a bigger base for comparison.”
“Perhaps you should both compile numbers on your various partners so we can determine who has more experience,” JP said in his professorial voice.His slight grin gave away that he was giving us shit.
“It would be interesting to compare those numbers to yours,” I said.“All I know is that Jake makes me feel like I’m 19 again.”
“Well before you both vanish back to your room, I would like to know your thoughts on our meeting at Goodwell,” JP said.
“I think that based on what we learned about the Blankford Consortium, it may be a good idea to pass that information on to the Rubios,” Jake said.I grimaced at that, at getting more intimately involved with drug cartels.“I’m not saying that we do anything beyond letting them know what we suspect.”
“What’s the best way to accomplish that?” I asked.
“I think you should let me talk to my contacts down there,” he responded.“We should keep it at a lower level.”
“I’m concerned about keeping our distance, but I do not see how sharing information at that level will cause us undo problems,” JP said.
“I received an interesting phone call this afternoon,” Stef said.Jake and I looked at him curiously, while JP did not, probably because he already knew about it.“The government has not only agreed to accept those border properties as partial payment of Buzz Dalby’s estate taxes, they have agreed to value them generously.”
“That’s quite a change of heart,” Jake noted.“I got nothing but resistance when I lobbied for that.”
“I was not successful either, and I do not think the Dalbys were of much assistance,” Stef said.
“Then who made the deal happen?” I asked.
“Elizabeth Danfield,” Stef said.“I had to dig and probe a bit, but ultimately she was revealed as the source of government benevolence.”
“Does that mean she’s on our side?” Jake asked.
I shook my head.“You can never turn your back on her and think she’s on your side.All you can do is treat favors like these as being payment for either her past or future sins.”
“As she has managed to cause us significant discomfort this year, I think it is reasonable to credit it against past sins,” JP said, his anger quite apparent beneath his smooth veneer.
“I’m not sure that evens the score, but we have enough battles to fight right now,” I said.“Wade seems to think that Lord Preston is not long for this world.”
“I would be surprised if he made it back to South Africa alive,” Jake said.“I mean, he’s got all kinds of people gunning for him.”
“But not us,” I said.
“I think this is one of those things where we are peripherally involved,” JP said.
“I hardly think we’re on the sidelines when we just fought off a full-scale military-type assault,” I said acidly.
“That assault was most likely aimed at the Duke and his family,” JP said.“I am not saying I am unwilling to support them, what I am suggesting is that we do not need to intervene unless they, or Wade, asks us to.”
“So you’re saying that we can safely delegate that issue, and those decisions, to the Danfields and the Grangers,” Jake translated.
“That is what I am saying,” JP said crisply.It was funny that he was no happier when Jake paraphrased his ideas than when Will did it.
“It almost seems as if this whole conflict has now moved in that direction,” I mused.
“What do you mean?” JP asked.
“Well, I think I’ve resolved my legal issues with Alexandra’s plea, and I think that with the cession of those lands to the government that curse is lifted,” I explained.“What more do we have at risk?”
“We may not have direct risks,” JP said icily, “but we owe it to Wade to support the battles he and his family must fight.”
“I didn’t say that we didn’t,” I snapped, irritated that he would make me seem like an unreliable person where Wade was concerned.
“Being supportive is distinctly different than being on the firing line,” Stef said smoothly.“I think that is what Bradley was alluding to.”
“Thank you,” I said to him.“I’m going to bed.”
“I’m going with you,” Jake said, leering at me.JP and Stef chuckled, even as we went inside and went up to my bedroom.We walked in and shut the door and all but ripped our clothes off. Thirty minutes later we found ourselves lying in the bed intertwined, totally satisfied.
“I can’t get enough of you,” I said.“You make me feel like I’m back in high school.”
“I feel the same way,” he said.
“I want you to stay here,” I said firmly.
“I’m glad.I didn’t want to drive back this late,” he said with a smile.
“I want you to stay here,” I said again, letting him know I wasn’t just talking about tonight.With Marc, we’d talked about it and dealt with his insecurities in a long and drawn out way, but I wasn’t going there with Jake.
“Okay,” he said simply.I smiled at him, kissed him, and then fucked him again.