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    Mark Arbour
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Gap Year - 4. Chapter 4

A speedy post for an early Thanksgiving (US) chapter. For those of you celebrating, have a great holiday!

January 14, 2004

Kahului, Maui

 

Will

“I’ll take your bags,” Kai said glumly, in a way that was incredibly unattractive.

“Thanks,” I said. He took my suitcase and garment bag and shuffled off toward the garage in what seemed like a walking pout.

“I think he is going to miss you,” Kiki said to me with a smile.

“I’ll miss him too,” I lied. “You’re all set up now. You need anything else?” I hadn’t realized that hiring her to focus on getting this project done was a pretty big deal. I didn’t know that we had a human resources department for our staff, even though she was only one person, so I’d had to work through her to get Kiki on board, and then I’d had to introduce her to Frank Genesee, the guy who supervised construction projects for us. She’d been pretty brusque with him at first, but he was a nice guy with thick skin, and they were starting to figure out how to work together.

“No, I’m fine,” she said with a warm smile, and pulled me into a big hug. “You take care of yourself.”

“You too,” I said. “And play nice with others.”

She laughed. “I like Mr. Genesee, but I am not sure he likes me.”

“You’ve been treating him with respect lately,” I said. “Once you started doing that, he was fine.” She gave me one last hug and then I walked out to the front of the house. I found Kai waiting in the Toyota with the motor running, which was pretty strange that he’d be acting so anxious to leave when he’d been all but begging me to stay here.

“Ready?” he asked.

“Ready,” I replied, the understatement of the month. In addition to teaching his mother how to work in a structured environment, I’d had to deal with his increasingly cloying attention. I had been worried he would completely latch onto me, and that’s exactly what he’d done. We did everything together, and while that was nice, it had started to make me claustrophobic. It seemed like every day he had become more and more emotionally dependent on me, to the point that I knew that I had to escape.

“You sure you have to go to Australia now?” he asked plaintively. This had been his whole theme for the last few days, when my leaving started to become more real. He’d started laying on the guilt in a major way, trying to convince me to stay in Maui. At this point, I’d go back to Escorial before I did that.

“I’m sure,” I said firmly, not because I was trying to be a dick, but because we had this discussion every three hours. I’d actually started keeping track, just to do something to distract myself from how annoying it was.

“I mean, you’re not going down there for a reason or anything.” he said with a whine. I cringed as that reminded me of Robbie, and how much I hated whining.

“I am going over there for a reason,” I said, barely keeping my temper in check. “I set this all up on my own, and I’ve got commitments and reservations that I can’t change.” The second part of that was entirely false, but I was giving myself permission to lie a little bit in exchange for not scorching his feelings.

“I thought reservations could be changed,” he said, totally ignoring the first part of my sentence, the part where I’d told him I set it up on my own. I wanted to show my family that I could be independent and self-sufficient and get them to chill the fuck out if I wanted to go somewhere. I had eight months to do whatever I wanted, and I did not want my every move to cause a major commotion and argument.

“Not these,” I said.

“Why not?” he asked in a bitchy way. I chose to ignore him and change the subject.

“Your mom seems to be doing pretty well.” He took his eyes off the road briefly to look at me in shock, since I’d completely stopped our prior argument.

“She seems to like it,” he said with a shrug, caving to my shelving of our discussion about me leaving. He’d come back to it; he always did. “She’s always been real organized, unless it was with her stuff.” She definitely had hoarding tendencies.

“She’s all over that construction dude,” I said, making both of us laugh.

“Joe Kelekolio,” Kai said, reminding me of his name. “He has no idea how to deal with her.”

“She’s figured out how to work with Frank, but I’m not sure she’s going to be able to coexist with Joe,” I joked.

“She’s got Joe’s number,” Kai said. “He needs someone to kick him in the ass.”

“She can do that, no problem,” I said, even as we chuckled. He abruptly pulled the Toyota over and put it in park. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“We need to talk about this, about us,” he said firmly.

“Dude, I have a plane to catch,” I said, totally annoyed. “If you don’t want to drive, I will.”

“If I drive, will you actually talk to me?” he asked.

“I will,” I pledged. He put the Toyota in gear and started heading to the FBO.

“Why don’t you want to be with me?” he asked.

“I want to be your friend, but that’s all I can be,” I said. I’d been dreading this conversation, and now that we were having it, I was dreading it even more.

“We’re so good together,” he said, and leered at me in what was supposed to be a sexy way, but actually came off as kind of sleazy.

“We are good together, but we both have a lot of shit to do, and it’s going to take us in completely different directions,” I said. I realized that I was speaking with my brain, while he was speaking with his heart, but that was where we were at.

“Nothing I have to do is more important than being with you,” he said.

“Dude, you are an amazing surfer and you’ve been competing at a really high level,” I said, reminding him of his own future.

“Yeah, but you love to surf, you’re really good, and we’re great when we surf together,” he said.

“But I don’t live here, and that means I can only surf with you when I come out to visit,” I said logically.

“Maybe you can go to the University of Hawaii,” he suggested.

“Instead of Harvard?” I asked him, like he was a complete idiot.

“If you loved me, it would be worth it,” he said. We pulled up to the Fixed Base Operator and he stopped in front of the building.

“Kai, I wouldn’t want you to sacrifice your future for me, and I’m not going to do that for you,” I said.

“My future is with you,” he said.

“My future may be with you too, but I have no idea if that’s the case yet,” I said.

“Is it because I’m Hawaiian?” he asked.

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I demanded.

“It means that I don’t fit into your world,” he said. “I’m not white, and blond, and I don’t have a lot of money.”

“Fuck you,” I said, so angry I lost my self-control. “That is such bullshit. That has nothing to do with it. I can’t believe you’d think that about me.”

“Well, it just seems that you go for that type of guy,” he said. “That last dude you were here with was like that.” The last guy he’d known I was with was Austin Biehl, who’d pretended to be my boyfriend. That dude was straight as an arrow and had actually developed a pretty intense relationship with Marie until he’d gone away to college.

“Your mother all but adopted me, making you like a brother, and now you’re calling me a racist and a snob just because I won’t drop everything to be with you,” I said loudly, although Grand would have considered it yelling. “I am so done with this.” I got out of the Toyota and he did too.

He met me at the back of the Toyota, even as he popped open the back hatch. He got out my suitcases and garment bag, set them on the ground, and we just looked at each other. He looked at me in a longing kind of way, while I just glared back at him. Then without saying anything, he shut the hatch, got in the car, and drove off. I sighed with relief, even as I shook my head in surprise, then went inside to get the ground crew to grab my luggage for me.

It was a short flight to Honolulu, but I’d been so anxious to leave, I’d actually flown out a couple of hours before I had to. I was fine with that, because that made my trip less stressful. The FBO drove me over to the main airport, where I checked in and made my way through security. During my flight from Maui and my trek through the Honolulu airport, I felt my anger toward Kai fading, replaced by guilt at how I’d left him pretty much high and dry. I went to the first-class lounge and found a quiet corner, then called Stef.

“And how are you doing?” he said pleasantly, having seen from his caller ID that it was me.

“I’m in Honolulu waiting for my flight,” I said.

“I was worried that leaving Maui and Kai would be as tough on you as the last time,” he said, referring to the end of the summer I’d spent with him.

“Not even,” I said with dread. “I was so ready to be out of there.”

“You do not like Kai?” he asked, confused.

I told him all about my trip, and how I’d felt almost trapped the past few days. “I feel so bad, Stef. I was trying to be there for him, and I mean, people did that to me when I lost Mom, Robbie, and Hank, but it was just a little too intense.”

“I think the difference is that the people who helped you did so willingly, probably because you did not put so much pressure on them,” Stef said. “It sounds like you tried to do your best to help him out.”

“Yeah, but I feel like I should have done more,” I said, trying not to whine like Kai had a few hours earlier. “I feel like I failed him.”

“It sounds as if he had become emotionally dependent on you to a point that was much beyond where your relationship was at,” he said wisely.

“You mean kind of how Jenna was with John?” I asked, referring to John’s breakup with Jenna Bartok over Christmas break. That had lit up the Menlo School rumor mill, and everyone was talking about it to the point that it got to be a big soap opera. Jenna had been totally into John, and he’d kept putting more and more distance between them, but she’d been so obsessed with him she ended up damn near stalking him. After that, and a few scathing lectures from Marie, Ryan, and me, he’d finally gotten the balls to completely end it with her.

“Perhaps, although it sounds like you were much more patient than John was,” he said.

“I hope so,” I said gloomily, then pulled myself out of my funk. “Now I’m off to Australia. I am so excited!”

“I am confident that you will enjoy it,” he said, but he sounded nervous. “I have taken the liberty of setting something up for you when you are there.”

“What?” I asked, and not in the nicest way.

“I have arranged for you to have a security firm…” he began.

“No,” I said firmly, cutting him off.

“Please let me finish my sentence,” he said, and was clearly annoyed with me.

“Fine,” I said, acknowledging that there was no reason to be rude to him.

“I have arranged for a security firm to be on call should you need them,” he said. “And I have taken the liberty of ordering you an Australian cell phone with the same panic key set up you have on your phone.” We had a button on our phones that Darius and I called the SWAT key, because if we pushed it, our location would be transmitted to the cops and they’d be all over us in no time at all.

“What is the security firm supposed to do then?” I asked suspiciously.

“Instead of being routed to the local authorities, your emergency calls will be routed to them,” he said.

“And that’s all you did?” I asked in a resolute way. The reason I’d been dodging his and my father’s bitching about me having security in Australia is because I didn’t want some goon trailing after me all the time. I was worried that this phone they’d gotten me was a way to still do that.

“That is all I did,” he responded.

“And Dad’s not involved in this at all?” I asked.

“I told him about it, but he is not involved,” Stef answered candidly, even though I could tell he was irritated with me for implying that he was a legitimate front for one of my father’s sneaky schemes.

“Thanks for doing that,” I said, shocking the shit out of him. He’d been expecting a protracted argument, but this was actually a pretty easy way to dodge having them worry about me every minute of the day.

“You are welcome,” he said, relieved. “I have also taken the liberty of having a man come over to the Four Seasons hotel to give you your phone after you land. You can use it to call me and tell me you made it safely.”

“I’ll do that,” I promised. I ended the call, roamed around and picked up some things to snack on, then boarded my long-ass flight to the land down under.

January 16, 2004

The Four Seasons Hotel

Sydney, Australia

 

Will

I woke up, yawned and stretched out, then sat up in my bed and took in the views of this awesome city. I glanced at the clock and noticed that it was 5:00pm Sydney time. I had a suite, and the bedroom faced downtown, where I could see the hustle and bustle of Friday evening traffic. I got up and wandered into the main room, which was spectacular. It had two walls of windows: out of one of the window walls I could see the Harbour Bridge, while from the other one I could see the Opera House. There was a telescope in between the two of them, so I took advantage of it and peered at the ship that was steaming under the Harbour Bridge. The sight of sailors on deck sparked my libido, which seemed to tune me into my body, which told me I was super hungry.

I’d gotten into Sydney at six in the morning and gone through customs and immigration, then made it to the hotel, checked in, and had a massive breakfast courtesy of room service. I’d been hoping to crash, but that hadn’t happened, as the guy from the security firm Stef had hired showed up to give me my phone and explain how it worked. He was really nice, which was my impression so far of Australians. I’d called my father and calmed his ass down about me being here all by myself, then I’d finally been able to collapse into my incredibly comfortable bed.

Those twin drivers, hunger and sex, spurred me into action. I took a shower and got ready. The television in my room told me it was 72 degrees outside, which was perfect. I put on my trendy clothes for clubbing, spinning around in the mirror to model for myself, noticing how they hugged my slim body and accentuated my muscles just like they should. I laughed at myself for being vain, then grabbed a jacket that was more of a blazer, which had the effect of making my slutty bar outfit look more businesslike. Armed with my passport and driver’s license, and more importantly, my fake ID, I wandered out of the hotel and into the busy Sydney city center.

The gay part of town, according to my research, was Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. I could have taken a cab there, but it was only a couple of miles from my hotel so I decided to walk. The weather was beautiful, and I was totally stoked, because I loved being in foreign countries, and this city reminded me so much of San Francisco I already felt comfortable here. I walked through Hyde Park, with its pretty fountains and cool pathway lined with some sort of tree that almost made it a covered walkway. I exited at the opposite end of the park onto Oxford Street and headed southeast, noticing how the neighborhood got gayer as I went. I definitely got some looks and some comments, which was kind of hot, especially since they were made with a sexy Australian accent.

Hunger stopped my stroll when I saw a cool looking bistro that had seating that overlooked the street, and I managed to snag a small table, one that would be a challenge to fit two eating people at, and watched the people stroll by. The scene reminded me a bit of the Champs Elysees, only with guys who I guessed were hotter and gayer than those I’d see in Paris. Just thinking of that awesome city made me want to go there, and I realized that for the next eight months, if I wanted to jump up and go to Paris, I could. I was hit with a euphoric feeling, one of almost total freedom and independence, and it was a rush more powerful than doing a bunch of lines of cocaine.

The people at the table next to me paid their bill and left, and their place was taken immediately by a group of five guys. Since they’d snagged a table for four and there were five of them, they were short a chair. I was staring at the crowd while watching them with my peripheral vision, smirking as they eyed the extra chair at my table with what could almost be lust. Watching their mannerisms, it was pretty easy to deduce that at least a few of these guys were gay. They chatted sotto voce to each other, then this one dude who reminded me of a younger version of Malcolm came up to me. “Excuse me sweetie, are you using this chair?”

“No,” I said flatly, then smiled. “Why do you ask?”

He figured out that I was giving him shit. “Because I’ve got a mob of five, and Chester doesn’t want to drink standing up,” he said, gesturing to a tall guy who was towering over their table.

“What’s in it for me if I give you my chair?” I shot back.

“What makes you think it’s your chair?” he asked playfully.

“If it wasn’t my chair, why’d you ask me for it?”

“You’re an American,” he accused. “I can tell by the accent, and because you’re being an asshole.”

I started laughing. “Take the chair.”

He went to grab the chair then paused. “You live here?”

“Nope, just got into town this morning,” I said. “Took a long-ass nap, then decided to come out to eat and play.”

“Then instead of us stealing your chair, why don’t you join us?” he asked in a friendly way.

“Awesome,” I said with a smile. We moved my table so it lined up with theirs, and then they pulled me into their group. The guy who had first talked to me was David, and he sat next to me. On the other side of him was Chester. David had mannerisms that pegged him as being obviously gay, as did the dude sitting across from Chester, who was named Michael. Across from me was a cute redhead named Andy, and in between Michael and Andy was a blond dude named Chris who was the hottest of this group of relatively normal-looking guys. He was also the least friendly, and seemed almost annoyed that I was there, probably because I was way hotter than him so I had taken away his status as most lusted after dude in his posse. They were all in their early twenties, which was great because I usually did better with guys who were at least 21.

“What are your plans for tonight?” Andy asked me shyly.

“I figured I’d walk around Oxford Street, see what kind of bars were here, and maybe end up dancing,” I said.

“I think we should show you around,” David said. Everybody agreed enthusiastically except Chris.

“I’m heading to the Arq,” he said.

“We’ll probably see you there, then,” Michael said, with a hopeful look in his eyes, like maybe he’d get lucky and Chris would fuck him. Chris got up and took out his wallet, but I stopped him.

“I got it,” I said.

“Typical,” David said. “Guys always buy shit for Chris.”

“Duh,” I said, which was such an American idiom. “He’s smoking hot.”

That actually got a smile from Chris, the first one he’d shot at me. “Thanks, mate,” he said, and sauntered off. Chester decided to go with him, so that left me with Michael, David, and Andy. We spent the next couple of hours exploring Oxford Street, with those guys stopping at various bars and telling me about the scene. It was not a little confusing, since a lot of the bars were called ‘hotels’. By the time it was 9:00, I was getting a little bored.

“Where can we go to dance?” I asked. They looked at me oddly.

“Let’s meet up with Chris,” David said. Andy looked annoyed by that for some reason. David called Chris on his cell phone, and about fifteen minutes later Chris showed up, dressed more like I was. He’d clearly found the time to change clothes.

“You want to dance, eh?” Chris asked me.

“I do,” I said.

“Then you’re with me,” he said. I stared at the other three guys, really surprised that they weren’t going.

“It was great meeting you,” Andy said. He gave me a sweet hug. I made a point to get their phone numbers and program them into my Australian phone.

“Thanks for the drinks,” Michael said, since I’d paid for everything. The other two echoed his statement.

“No problem,” I said. “Thanks for showing me around.”

“Let’s go,” Chris said, getting impatient with our lengthy goodbye. I tossed some money on the table to cover our bill and followed him out of the bar and back onto the street.

“Those guys didn’t want to go dancing?” I asked him.

“Right,” he said. “They hate it. They’re what you Americans call dorks, and they dance like idiots.”

I chuckled. “Got it,” I said. “Thanks for dragging me along.”

He smiled at me. “You’re nice to look at and being with you makes me look even more handsome.”

“Why thank you,” I said, laughing. We walked by a tobacconist and I saw a pipe in the window, and that sparked another issue. I wanted some weed, but I had no idea where to get it. I decided to test the waters with Chris. “I guess they aren’t the guys to ask where I can buy some weed?”

“They definitely aren’t, but I can hook you up,” he said. “How much you want?”

I was going to respond by telling him a quarter, but then I remembered they used the metric system. “Around ten grams if it’s good,” I said.

“The best stuff costs more,” he cautioned me.

“I want the best stuff,” I affirmed. We stopped by the tobacco shop and he walked away from me while he talked on his phone, then came back over to me.

“Gonna cost you 175 dollars,” he said. I had to remember that US dollars bought Australian dollars for $0.77, so that meant the pot would really cost me about $135.

“Sounds good. I’m going to buy a pipe and some papers.” We did that, then walked down a side street and up to a white Ford. There was only one guy in the car, and he looked to be in his late 20’s and was remarkably clean cut. He didn’t look like the kind of guy you’d by pot from, at least not in the US.

“Ten grams of the top of the tier, mate?” the guy asked us.

“That’s right,” I said.

“A Yank, eh?” he asked me. “Need some recreational medicine while you’re here?”

“That’s’ right,” I repeated. He handed me a baggie and I paused to sniff it, and if the smell was any indication, this was some good shit. I pulled out my wallet and handed him A$200.

“Hold on. Have to see if I have A$25,” he said.

“Keep it.” He looked at me and blinked, then smiled. It was always good to keep your local drug dealer happy, I decided.

“Thanks.” He rolled up the window and drove away.

“Let’s try out that new pipe,” Chris said. We walked back to Hyde Park and found a corner then smoked a couple of bowls.

“Holy shit. This is good,” I said, as I found myself completely stoned.

“It is,” he agreed, then we started laughing.

“Hey, want to see something totally cool?” I asked. He shrugged. “Come on.” I led him through Hyde Park and back to the Four Seasons.

“Nice hotel,” he said, and seemed a little apprehensive.

“I’ll show you how nice it is,” I said, in a slightly slutty way.

“Is this the part of the night where you blow me?” he asked, kind of joking, kind of not.

“Not yet,” I said, as we got in the elevator and I hit the button for my floor.

“Top floor,” he noted, looking at the button I’d pushed.

“Top floor, with amazing views,” I said. The elevator opened and I led him down to my room, flipped the key card into the lock, and then held the door open for him.

“Fuck, this is incredible,” he said, as he stepped into the main room. It was dark now, and the lights were twinkling at us, while another ship was moving slowly under the Harbour Bridge. I showed him the telescope, and we stood there while he explained the different parts of Sydney I could see.

“Come on,” I said, and led him into my bedroom.

“Look at the city!” he said enthusiastically, because it was cool, and because we were really stoned. He talked even more about Sydney from this view. It was interesting, but he was kind of a tool. He reminded me of this dude I’d met in Claremont at the festival, a hot blond guy who was Gathan’s friend. He was as dumb as he was gorgeous. This guy was less dumb, but also less gorgeous.

“Alright, check this out,” I said, and led him into the bathroom, which was done entirely in marble. I took out my pipe and stood under the vent for the shower and lit it up, taking a hit and blowing it into the vent.

“Clever,” he said, although I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal. I mean, I’d done that lots of times before. We got even more stoned, then he grinned at me. “Is now the time when you blow me?”

“Absolutely,” I said, and dropped down to my knees in front of him. He’d been kind of joking, but I could tell that’s what he wanted, and blowing a hot guy was fun. I massaged his cock through his pants only briefly, because he hurriedly undid them and pushed them down along with his underwear. His dick sprang out in front of him, all five inches, hard as steel. I took him into my mouth slowly, but he wasn’t having that. He roughly grabbed my head and started face fucking me. It was pretty erotic, but he didn’t last long, and in what was a pretty rude thing to do, he blasted his load down my throat without warning me. I went with it, determined to just enjoy the feel of his dick throbbing as it pulsed his load into my mouth. He came down from his orgasmic high, staggered back a bit until he was leaning against the wall, and smiled contentedly for all of about ten seconds, then he got all task oriented.

“If we head back, we’ll hit the club just when it’s starting to hop,” he said as he pulled up his pants, buttoned them up, and then started walking toward the door.

“Dude, I want to freshen up and take care of a few things first,” I said, hoping he’d offer to at least give me a handjob.

“Alright, well after you do that, meet up with me,” he said. There was a small hotel notepad and a hotel pen on the desk, so he wrote the name of the club on there, along with the address. I probably should have been grateful that he paused long enough to write down brief directions, but he was acting like a closeted gay guy who just got fucked for the first time, and it was weird for a guy like him who seemed to be out.

“Sounds good,” I said, and ushered him out of the room. I opted to take a shower, jacking off as I did since he sure as fuck hadn’t helped me out. I pretty much wore what I had before except I put on a clean shirt. With my appearance fully restored, I headed downstairs and had the bellman hail a cab for me.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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It doesn't take long to get hooked into this story. I can't wait to see what kind of shenanigans Will gets into!

Thanks Mark for another great chapter!

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The Australian adventure seems to be off to a good start. I'm glad Will met some nice guys, although he can definitely stand to lose Chris. Looking forward to seeing where this story goes next.

Thanks again. And a happy and safe Thanksgiving to you. 

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I' m guessing Chris was a bit overwhelmed at Will's apparent mega rich status and the perks that went with it.  

More please!

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You could have made his first Australian-in-australia a decent bloke! Mind you in 2004, Oxford st was probably not going to find you class...

Glad he's made it to Australia, while I have stayed at the Four Seasons, never that high up!

It is sad when relationships like he had with Kai vere off into a mess of clingy, needy, whiny crap. It tends to blur the good times if it goes on for too long. 

Thanks for my second Mark Arbour before breakfast! Always a treat!

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Happy Thanksgiving Mark, and many thanks for the early post.

Also, I give you my heartfelt thanks for getting the worst out of the way first, so we can enjoy the rest of the Australia trip without too much stress, as readers.  I am referring, of course, to the long established tradition in this series that the worst fate that can befall a main character (short of their or another character's death) is disappointing sex.  

Things can only go up from here!

All the very best, and I trust that this finds you and yours well,

-Jason

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Wow, the first few chapters and you are already taking us on such a hectic ride. So impressed with Will. He is still young but seems to sum up situations so well and more importantly know what his feelings are. He reminds me of his Grandfather. Thanks Mr. Arbour - enjoy Thanksgiving and be safe

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