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    Mark Arbour
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Gap Year - 7. Chapter 7

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's hoping for a better next year!

January 21, 2004

Four Seasons Hotel

Sydney, Australia

 

Will

“Is this everything, Mr. Schluter?” the bellman asked politely.

“That’s everything,” I said. “I’ll keep my backpack with me.”

“Certainly, sir,” he said. He shuffled the cart out of the room while I took a few minutes to appreciate this beautiful room. I’d spent the past two days with Connie and it had been sheer bliss, other than the various pains in my body. Hanging out with him took some endurance. Connie tended to top about three-fourths of the time we fucked, but I was used to that, so at least my asshole didn’t hurt. My glutes, on the other hand, were seriously sore. I should have known that a dude who was built like Connie would be a total gym rat, but I hadn’t counted on him dragging me along as his workout buddy. It was funny that as long as Zach and I had been together, we’d never done that: he had his routine, and I had mine. Connie didn’t work that way; he explained that if he was going to follow me around for the next few weeks, turnabout was fair play. So yesterday we’d worked on our legs, which was why walking was painful and my glutes ached. Yesterday my arms and upper body had been recovering from the day before that, but now they were pretty much back to normal.

I glanced at the stunning opera house and harbor beyond it, smiling at this city that had cast a spell on me. With a sad final look, I left this room behind and headed to the elevator which whisked me down to the first floor. I had already checked out, so I met the bellman out front and spotted Connie’s Holden, then directed the bellman to load my bags in the trunk of his car. “Thank you very much,” I said, and tipped him well, then got into the car. It was so weird to get into the left side of the car as a passenger, and even more strange to be riding there. I found that my feet were constantly pressing the floor as I subconsciously tried to push on the pedals that weren’t there.

“Bondi?” Connie asked.

“Bondi,” I confirmed. He had a really small apartment, but a really nice car. This one was a Holden Monaro CV8, a coupe with a big V-8 engine that was pretty slick. It was painted yellow, kind of like my Ferrari. “I’ve never heard of Holden.”

“It’s the Australian brand for General Motors,” he explained.

“So this is like a Chevy?” I asked.

“More like a Pontiac,” he said, giving me an annoyed look. “Didn’t get to work out today, but I figured we could go for a hike later.”

“Dude, I am lucky I got my legs to work enough to drag my ass out of the hotel, much less go on a fucking hike,” I grumbled.

“It’s good for you. Maybe I’ll turn you into a rugby player,” he joked as he drove toward the beach.

“I’m not good at team sports,” I admitted. “I get pissed off when people fuck up, and I get really pissed when I fuck up and let them down.”

“That’s all part of it,” he said philosophically.

“Besides, if I do any exercise, it’s going to be surfing.”

“Today?” he asked, surprised.

“We’ll see,” I said, acknowledging that moving into the condo I’d rented would probably take a bit of effort and time.

“If we don’t have time for that, I have another kind of exercise we can do,” he said, leering at me.

“You’re an animal,” I said, because he was, and it was awesome. He whipped around a corner and I gasped.

“Don’t like my driving?” he asked, partly in a teasing way and partly in an offended way, as if I was challenging his skill with a vehicle.

“You drive fine,” I said, and he gave me a skeptical look. “Dude, it just freaks me out sitting on the wrong side of the car and driving on the wrong side of the road.”

“What’s wrong for you is right for other people, or haven’t you figured that out yet?” he asked.

“You’re like a nascent philosopher?” I asked.

“Nascent?” he asked, making fun of my vocabulary.

“Look it up,” I joked. We drove up to the building and it was as kick ass as the pictures I’d seen.

“This place?” he asked, shocked. It was on Notts Avenue, just off Campbell Parade. “The one that overlooks the Iceberg?”

“This place,” I confirmed. “Access to the Iceberg is part of the deal. Pull in that garage.” He drove up to metal gates that blocked out anyone who didn’t have a keycard.

“Now what?” he asked.

“See that button?” I asked, pointing to the intercom. He nodded. “Push it.”

He rolled his eyes at me and pushed the button. A gravelly voice came through. I leaned over Connie and spoke at the box. “Will Schluter.”

The gates magically opened, so I gestured to him to drive forward. He gave me a dubious look, but did what I told him to do. There weren’t many parking spaces here, which made sense, since there weren’t very many units in the building. There was an older man who looked somewhat officious, with his jacket, khakis, and button-down shirt without a tie. He pointed to an empty parking spot, which Connie maneuvered into easily. I got out confidently, with Connie following suit and walking around to talk to this guy.

“William Schluter?” he asked.

“That’s me,” I said pleasantly, even though that should have been obvious.

“Cecil Faraday,” he said.

“Nice to meet you,” I said, but that only got me a frown in return.

“I’m not sure the owners would approve of renting their condominium to young men,” he said. My pleasantness faded quickly, transforming itself into raw anger at this man who would be such a dick in front of Connie. I glared at him, throwing power out like my father did, and watched him flinch.

“Is that the agreement in your hand?” I asked a bit loudly.

“It is,” he said, backing up a bit.

“Then I suggest you read it. You’ll discover there’s a big ass deposit, and financial guarantees strong enough to buy this whole goddamn city,” I snarled.

“I’m sorry,” he said, in full retreat now.

“You should have greeted us politely and in a welcoming way. Instead, you made a complete ass out of yourself and pissed me off,” I said.

“I’ll try to think of a way to make it up to you,” he stammered.

“You can start by showing us around,” I said firmly, but a little more nicely.

“Yes, sir,” he said.

“You’re not Australian,” Connie observed.

“No, I’m from the UK,” he said. Connie looked at me knowingly, as if that was the reason for his douchiness.

“Here’s a key card for you to use,” he said, handing me a card. “These are extra cards for your guests.” I reached into that little packet, pulled one out, and handed it to Connie. “That will get you into this garage and into the unit, and also give you access to the Iceberg.”

“Then these are useful,” I said, smiling.

“Indeed,” he said, smiling back with his new attitude. “They also operate this lift, which goes directly to the Penthouse.” He put his card in the reader and the doors opened, then we got into the relatively small contraption for the smooth quick jaunt up to the penthouse. The doors to the elevator opened into a hallway. “If you’d prefer to use the stairs, that is where they are located.”

“Good deal,” Connie said. “More exercise.” Cecil looked at him as if he’d just uttered an unthinkable heresy.

We walked out of the hallway and into another one. “To the left is the terrace and a set of stairs down to the Bondi-to- Bronte Coastal Walk.” Connie whistled at that, although I had no idea why. He led us to the right and into the main room which was huge. It spanned the entire length of the condo and had a living room, dining room, and sunroom along with a nice kitchen. The walls consisted almost completely of doors and looked out onto a massive deck. The doors were identical to the ones Stef had installed at Escorial in the pool room in that they slid open and almost vanished, making the wall of glass all but disappear, and bringing the outside in. The view was stunning. Since this was on the southernmost point, all of Bondi Beach lay spread out before us.

“Need a barbie out here,” Connie said, getting a very dour look from Cecil.

“You probably won’t want to expend the effort to prepare meals, which is why we have a concierge here to provide you with anything you need,” Cecil said. “He’ll be here in the mornings and be available via cell phone after that.”

“Excellent,” I said. The main bedroom was to the right, with a really nice bathroom, while further to the right there was a short hallway that led to two other bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.

Cecil told us about the area, and about the restaurants that were situated nearby. I suspected that the places he was telling me about would appeal more to Stef than to me, but I listened patiently. Finally, we got rid of him and then went back down to get our bags. I’d just started unpacking when he walked up behind me and wrapped his arms around me and began nuzzling my neck with his sexy lips. “How about that exercise you promised me?” I decided unpacking could wait.

January 21, 2004

Bondi Beach, Australia

 

Will

“Nice shower,” Connie said as we walked out of it, both of us flushed from fucking yet again. I was damn near euphoric, because I’d been in enough relationships to know that right now was a really fun time. We were both getting to know each other, letting our guard down a bit at a time, and it seemed like with every new degree of openness, sex just got better. Being around him got me so fired up I’d almost be willing to give up surfing to fuck him. Almost.

“I’m starving,” I said. He nodded his head. “Let’s grab breakfast, then hit a surf shop so we can get boards.”

“Right, mate,” he said. He put on board shorts that were tight in all the right places to frame his ass and emphasize the bulge in this crotch. A tight T-shirt seemed like it could barely hold his muscles in. I looked like a total pussy, with loose board shorts and a loose T-shirt.

“Dude, you look like you’re going to Venice Beach,” I said, then I had to explain what Venice Beach was and that I was basically calling him a muscle head.

“Have to be a tall poppy,” he said. I looked at him, smiling, with my all-too-familiar expression asking ‘what the fuck did you just say?’. “Have to show off a bit on the Coastwalk.”

“Peacocking,” I concluded. “Well this is the best I can do.”

“No, it’s not,” he said. “I watched you unpack a massive amount of shit to wear.”

“Alright, so what do I wear?” I challenged.

He walked into the closet and came back out carrying one of my bathing suits that went down my thighs pretty far but was tight, kind of like a cross between speedos and a wetsuit. Underneath that he carried another hybrid garment, a combination tank top/wife beater. “Seriously?”

“Put ‘em on,” he ordered. I hesitated, just staring at him. “Go on then.”

“Fine,” I said, and stripped off my clothes, replacing them with the ones he’d picked out. I guess I couldn’t complain since they were my clothes and I brought them here, but they were a bit sluttier than I envisioned wearing for Bondi Beach. I spun around in front of him like a model. “Happy?”

“Fuck yeah,” he growled, and grabbed my ass. I was tempted to rip the clothes back off when I heard the sounds of someone in the kitchen. I made to walk out and see what was going on. “Seriously, I have really enjoyed these past few days with you.”

I smiled at him. “I have enjoyed you too.” I kissed him, then smiled again. “It was worth getting Kitkatted for.”

He laughed with me and that continued as we walked out into the open area. When we got to the kitchen, his laughter stopped abruptly, and the tension in the room soared. There were two men there: One was Cecil, and the other guy was facing away from me. It was impossible not to appreciate his eminently fuckable ass. He turned around and I saw that he was a really cute guy with light brown hair, of average height, and had a slim body. “Ah, Mr. Schluter,” Cecil said. “I wanted to be here to introduce you to Randy, your concierge.”

“Connie,” Randy said with a glare, that look extending over my shoulder.

“Randy,” Connie responded rigidly. Cecil and I looked at each other, both of us a bit confused by this hostility.

Cecil got his act together first and gave Randy a particularly stern look. Randy took the hint. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Schluter,” he said in a fake-friendly way, and shook my hand. His noodly handshake gave me the heebie-jeebies.

“Nice to meet you too,” I said cautiously. “How do you two know each other?”

“Mr. Schluter, I will do everything in my power to make sure you enjoy your stay here, but it is inappropriate for you to ask me about my personal life,” he said, sounding like Cecil.

“Well Randy, I was relaxed and happy, and the tension between the two of you has killed my buzz,” I said firmly, throwing out my power posture. I mentally thanked my father for being the asshole he could be at times because his training in this regard was pretty helpful. “So that makes your personal life my business, because there’s no way in hell I’m putting up with this for my stay in Bondi.”

“Mr. Schluter, perhaps you would excuse Randy and me or a moment?” Cecil said, with his fury barely contained.

“Certainly,” I said. I turned around and headed back to the bedroom, grabbing Connie’s hand and dragging him along with me. We got to the bedroom and shut the door. “What the fuck?”

“Randy is why I made the rule,” he said, referring to his unwillingness to hook-up with someone more than once.

We walked over to the bed and sat down. “What happened?” I asked gently.

“I met him at one of the clubs, we hooked up, and it was good. It became a regular thing, to the point where he was staying at my place a lot of the time,” he said. He had a wistful smile, remembering the good times.

“That sounds good,” I said, to prod him along.

“It was, but then things changed,” he said, and got somber. “He wanted to move in, but I wasn’t ready for that. Then he started questioning me about everything I did, everyone I was with. Then when I went out without him, I’d catch him spying on me.”

“He stalked you?” I asked, horrified.

“It wasn’t that bad,” he said, then paused. “Yeah, pretty much.”

“So what happened?” I asked.

“I was at the club we first met at, dancing with some dude, and he showed up and made a massive scene,” he said. “That’s like the worst thing for me, since that makes me obvious and makes me being outed more likely.”

“Dude, there isn’t a guy in the bar who hasn’t memorized you and jacked off thinking about fucking you,” I said, making him smile.

“Right,” he said skeptically, even though it was probably true. “So that was the end, and I told him that. Said we were done, and left.”

“Sounds like you got out of that one alright then,” I said cautiously.

He shook his head. “He showed up at my place, claiming he left stuff there, so I let him in. He got his shit then tried to get me to fuck him. Didn’t work. I was so done with him.”

“That’s tough,” I said, thinking about Kai.

“Then he got vicious. Threatened to out me to my team. He knew a few blokes just from his job as a chef and waiter, and he said he’d tell them all about me.” He paused and put his head in his hands. I rubbed his shoulder in a sympathetic way. “I told him I’d break him into little pieces if he did that.”

I laughed at that, which surprised him. “I’ll bet if it was me, the pieces of him would be even smaller.” He grinned slightly in relief. He must have assumed that I’d be pissed at him for threatening this douche. He clearly didn’t know me all that well yet. “So then what happened?”

“He threatened to call the authorities on me and turn me in for abuse,” he said. “If he did that, I’d be over. I told him that in that case, he’d have to fear for his life.”

“You cannot feel guilty about this,” I said firmly. “The dude was hitting you with emotional blackmail. All you did was threaten him back, right? You didn’t beat him up, did you?”

“I backhanded him, then threw him out of my apartment,” he said. “He showed up the next day and told me he wanted A$1,000 from me to make him go away. Went on and on about how badly I’d hurt him. So I gave him the cash and that’s the last time we talked. Now, if we’re out at a club or hotel and see each other, one of us usually leaves.”

“Stay here,” I said. “I’ll get rid of him.”

“What if he stalks us here?” he asked nervously.

I took out my phone and showed it to him. “This is a special phone my grandfather had delivered to me when I got to Australia. If I hold down this key,” I said, pointing to the 5 key, “a virtual SWAT team will track my location and be here within five minutes.” I was hoping that was right.

“Why didn’t you hit that button when you were drugged at the club?”

“Because I was too fucked up to use the phone,” I said, shaking my head again at my own stupidity. “By the way, you cannot tell anyone about that night.”

“Why not?”

“Because my father is a major control freak and he’s convinced that I’m going to go out and do something incredibly stupid like allowing myself to get kitkatted at a gay bar and that I’ll end up being barebacked by a train of dudes,” I said.

“That could have happened,” he said.

“I know,” I said. “That’s why I don’t want him to know. Because then he’ll be convinced that he was right, and he’ll be a fucking pain in the ass so I won’t be able to go anywhere without a fucking entourage.”

“I won’t say a thing to anyone,” he said, and kissed me gently.

“Thanks,” I said, smiling at him.

“So why’s that important with Randy?” he asked.

“Because if he’s a problem, I’ll have security handle him,” I said. “And they probably won’t be as gentle as you were.”

“I don’t want him to get hurt or anything,” he said hastily. “I just don’t want him around.”

“Stay here,” I said. “I’ll be right back.” I went into the main area and saw Cecil in the dining room on the phone, so I went and sat in the living room in one of the comfy leather chairs. It only took him a minute to end his call and join me, sitting on the nice sofa.

“I have removed Randy. We have another employee, a pleasant young woman, who will be taking over,” he said. He was being polite to me, but he was clearly irritated.

“Thank you, Cecil,” I said in a friendly way. “I appreciate you handling that so quickly.” He seemed surprised that I wasn’t being a total dick about this.

“Evidently the two of them have a lot of baggage, including a relationship with violence,” he said, looking nervously toward the bedroom. It was actually nice of him, since he seemed worried about me.

“There was supposedly a lot of stalking too,” I said. He made to defend Randy, but I stopped him by continuing my thoughts. “Either way, it’s best that those two are separated.”

“I agree,” he said with relief.

“I’m not worried about violence, because I haven’t seen any indication of that,” I told him. “But I am worried about being stalked.”

“That will not be a problem,” he said assertively.

“I’m glad to hear that,” I said. “There’s a security firm that monitors my safety while I’m here on holiday.” I was proud of myself for remembering to say holiday instead of vacation.

“A wise precaution for a young man of your means,” he said in his somewhat snobby way.

“It was my grandfather’s idea, and he’s pretty smart,” I said, getting a chuckle from him. “When you talk to Randy, I’d appreciate it if you’d let him know that, because if he does try to spy on me, or track me, I’ll let the security firm know, and they’ll handle it.”

“I’m sure he doesn’t want any trouble with the authorities,” Cecil said.

“I’m not sure they’d call the authorities,” I said, leaving that threat sitting in the center of the room for him to digest. He thought about it, then swallowed nervously.

“I’ll make sure he has a full understanding of the situation,” he said.

“I don’t want Randy to have problems with his job because of this,” I continued. “I have no problem paying him for this week.”

“Even if he’s not here?” he asked me, surprised.

“Even though he most definitely won’t be here,” I said.

“That’s very generous of you,” he said, and almost sounded jealous. “I’ll make sure he knows that you handled things that way.”

“Thanks,” I said, as I stood up with him following my gesture. I took A$500 out of my wallet and handed it to him. “I feel badly that you had to deal with this situation. I would feel better if you used this money to do something nice for yourself.”

“Thank you, Mr. Schluter,” he said, smiling broadly. “I’ll have Marla, the concierge, stop by this afternoon.”

“I’ll probably be surfing,” I said. I shook his hand, then led him out of the condo. When I got back to the living room, I found Connie waiting for me, stark naked and hard.

“Time for some more exercise,” he declared.

 

January 22, 2004

Bondi Beach, Australia

 

Will

“I think you should work out with me,” Connie insisted.

“Dude, I have some phone calls I have to make,” I said. “Let me get them done while you work out, then you can meet me on the beach.”

“It’s a big fucking ocean,” he grumbled. “How am I supposed to find you?”

“Where are the best waves?” I asked. That was largely a rhetorical question, since I knew exactly where the best waves were.

“South Bay,” he said. “Here.”

“Then that’s where I’ll be,” I said. “I’ll be the best surfer out there.”

“I’m going to fuck the best surfer out there. You better hope it’s you,” he joked, making me laugh. He gave me a sweet kiss. “I’ll see you there in an hour or so.”

We were walking toward the hallway when the elevator opened. Cecil exited with a woman who was probably in her late thirties. “Ah, gentlemen,” Cecil said. “This is Marla Macey. She’ll be working as your concierge.”

“Nice to meet you,” I said pleasantly.

“It’s nice to meet both of you,” she said in a pleasant and mildly flirtatious way. She had bobbed blond hair and was short and skinny, and seemed very efficient. “I’m wondering if you could take a few minutes and let me know if there’s anything special you want, especially as regards meals.”

“Sure,” I said. Connie and I sat down and gave her a list of things we could munch on for breakfast or lunch. Just like we’d done yesterday, I planned to eat out for dinner.

“Then I’ll plan to come in during the morning, make breakfast, then straighten things up,” she said pleasantly.

“That will be great,” I said, happy to have someone who seemed benign as opposed to someone who was possibly a psycho working in this job.

“I wonder if you have your old key cards?” Cecil asked.

“Old key cards?” I questioned back.

“Yes, the ones I gave you when you first arrived,” he said. I pulled my card out of my pocket and handed it to him, as did Connie.

“Let me get the others,” I said, and went into our room to find the little packet of extra keys. I returned to the main area and handed him those as well.

“I felt that after our problem yesterday, I would change the locks, just to make sure you all felt comfortable,” he said, handing me a small packet with new keys. “I’ve also briefed Marla on the situation.”

“I’m sorry you had an unpleasant experience,” she said sincerely.

“Thank you both for being so reassuring,” I said. I handed Connie one of the keys and put the other one in my pocket, along with the packet with the others.

“I’ll be off then,” Connie said. We all watched him leave, then I turned back to Cecil.

“I’d like to speak to you for a moment,” I said.

“I’ve got some work to do in the kitchen,” Marla said diplomatically. As soon as she was out of earshot, I told Cecil what I wanted.

“I need to know basic information on Randy,” I said. “Last name, home address, and a picture if you’ve got it.”

“I’m not sure I can give you that information,” he said nervously.

“I want to have security on alert, just in case, and they’ll need to know who to look out for,” I said firmly. I’d made that decision last night, because even though we’d gotten rid of Randy, I could tell the whole thing had really bothered Connie. Unless I was reading him completely wrong, for him to be that worried or upset, Randy had to be trouble. I’d learned a long time ago that ignoring people like that was a bad idea. “I can find out on my own, but it’s more difficult, and I’d rather spend my time enjoying Bondi.” That was a clear reminder to him that I was being forced to solve a problem that was not my fault.

“Randy O’Brian,” he said, and gave me his address. We logged on to my laptop and he directed me to their site and showed me where Randy’s picture was.

“Thanks,” I said. Cecil said goodbye to me, chatted with Marla, then left. After he was gone, I tracked her down in the kitchen. “The day after tomorrow, we’ll be leaving really early, and we’ll be gone all day.”

She took out her calendar and made a note. “Then I’ll plan around that,” she said. “Will you want me to get here early to make breakfast?”

“No,” I said, since we’d be up before she was even thinking about going to work. After that, I went into my room and called the security firm, updating them with the info on Randy, and cluing them into my plans while I was here. They thought it was a good idea to have a guard on the premises, but I knew that would freak Connie out. We worked it out so the guard would be here while we were gone but would observe the condo from a distance when we were here. With that final problem taken care of, I could finally hit the waves.

We’d gone to a surf shop yesterday and rented boards. I almost always used a short board, and when I picked out one of them they looked at me dubiously, as if to imply I was a novice and that a long board was more appropriate. I ignored their attitude and was just glad that the water was warm enough that I wouldn’t need a wetsuit. They said it ranged from between 70 to 75 degrees, which was like a hot tub compared to the water in California. I sprayed on some suntan lotion even though I already had a pretty decent tan, grabbed my board and walked down across the Coastal Walk to the beach. I strode into the water, letting the shore waves smash into me while I let my body adjust to its temperature. Once I got beyond those annoying demons, I hopped on my board and headed out to where the surfers were waiting for something rideable.

I’d been glancing at the water all morning, and the waves hadn’t been all that exciting, but things seemed to be picking up. There was a decent group of people out there, but no one said anything to me. I concluded that since it was crowded and everyone seemed to be sticking to themselves or with their own group that this would be a free-for-all, with no real discipline about people taking turns for waves. That would make things challenging, especially if there were rookies or assholes who didn’t understand the surfing right of way rules. I’d just adjusted my mind to that scenario when a dude paddled up next to me. “Never seen you here before, mate,” he said.

“Never been here before,” I said, smiling at him. He was probably in his early to mid-thirties, with red hair and light skin that was covered with freckles. “Guess my accent gave that away.”

“Pretty much,” he said. “Seamus.”

“Will,” I said, responding to his intro. He proceeded to tell me about the break here at Bondi, and what to watch out for. He’s what you’d call a core surfer, someone who knew this beach and pretty much considered it his. Guys like him could be annoying, because they could be pretty militant about enforcing order and pushing their opinions about the waves on you, but Seamus was in charge in a laid-back kind of way. I watched the waves after his brief lecture and was impressed at how well he knew this place and how much easier things would be now that he’d shared that with me.

Waves flowed by us, but none of them were worth catching, so we waited. Occasionally someone who didn’t know what they were doing would try to ride one and then have to do the paddle of shame back to the break. They’d get a withering look from Seamus for breaking the order and for being stupid. There was a cute blond guy near me who had curly hair and a lithe, tanned body. Every once in a while, we’d make eye contact and he’d smile at me. It was a smile that could mean he wanted to be friends, or a smile that said he wanted to fuck me, but either way, it was cute. I was giggling internally at our non-verbal attempt at male bonding when the water changed. We all saw the wave forming further back, giving it room to grow, and marshalled ourselves into position.

“Alright Yank, this one’s yours,” Seamus said. I smiled at this wall of water looming toward us, knowing this would be the one to catch. I paddled toward it while the blond dude was on my right and slightly ahead of me. He was on a long board, and that meant he could paddle ahead of me.

“Dude, at least go up wave,” I yelled to him, to which he flipped me off. A good reminder that cute guys could also be raging assholes. He’d positioned himself to snake this wave away from me, getting in front of me so I’d have to either ditch or run into him. My mind began racing as I sized up this wave that was forming and made a plan. I paddled farther south where it was just starting to form and managed to get vertical, which wasn’t easy on a short board. His long board let him get up much faster, but he wouldn’t be as fast or as maneuverable as I was. If he’d have caught the wave where I was, I’d have been in front of him, and I’d be faster and out of his way.

I saw him ahead of me, tooling along on the wave, having what seemed to be a somewhat leisurely and casual ride. I maneuvered up to the top of the wave, then as I got close to him, I shot down to just above the trough, evened out, and keeping my body low I rushed under him like a rocket. I couldn’t help but reach out and push the front of his board as I surged up from under him and toward the top of the wave, and didn’t have to look back to know that I’d knocked him off his board and into the breaking wave.

Now free of him and his bullshit, I looked to enjoy the rest of the ride, but this wave had decided to go tubular. I smiled when that reminded me of my father and how much he enjoyed this. I crouched low as the wave curled over me, listening to the crashing of the wave behind me while marveling at the power of the water that surrounded me. I could see the end ahead, and it was almost like that scene in the second Star Wars movie where they’re inside a cave but the cave turns out to be some giant space slug or some shit like that. It seemed like the end of the tube was getting smaller and smaller, and I wasn’t sure if I was going fast enough to break out before it did. I got to the end just as it collapsed on me and managed to spike up the remnants of the breaking wave and into the air. I was going so fast, and I’d gotten such a good push off that I soared into the sky. I took advantage of that to do a full 360, then pivoted my board so I fell face first into the water.

I got back onto my board, absolutely exhilarated by what was one of my best runs ever, all things considered. I got back to the group and found Seamus telling the blond what a shit move that was. “Asshole,” Chris said, glaring at me.

“You dropped in on me, and I dropped your ass out,” I said casually. “Got what you fucking deserved.” It was funny that the other surfers started chuckling at him.

“That was one amazing run,” Seamus said. “Good job, mate!”

“Thanks,” I said.

“Dickwads,” the blond said, and headed toward the shore.

“Mate, you scared that asshole Chris off. I think you’re my new best friend,” one of the other guys said, cracking me up.

“His dad’s got some big position in the city, so Chris thinks he fucking owns the beach,” Seamus added.

“Cool,” I said, done with the drama. After that, the waves really picked up and I had an absolute blast. Connie finally joined me after a few hours.

“How’s my favorite Abo?” Seamus asked in a playful way.

“Fuck you, Seamus,” Connie said, even as he shook his hand warmly.

“It’s the Rooster,” one of the other guys said, and that led to bantering about rugby, a conversation that was interrupted as we focused on the waves, then renewed when there were lulls. I knew absolutely nothing about rugby, but evidently Connie was a Scrum Halfback or something like that, and from the way these guys talked, he must be pretty good at it.

“Your wave, Rooster,” Seamus said, to remind him why he was out here in the first place. Connie was using a long board, so he paddled out to tackle the next wave pretty damn fast. I watched him catch the wave just perfectly, then ride it as long as he could. He didn’t do anything fancy, but what he did do he did really well.

Seamus nodded at me so I took off, heading toward the next wave that was looming large. I’d been hoping for a big one so I could show off, and it looked like I was going to get my wish. Even as I maneuvered my board to catch this beast, I thought about how differently we approached surfing. To me, it was a passion, and something I threw everything I had into, while for him, it was just fun. I wondered if rugby was to him like surfing was to me. I had an awesome run, although not as good as the first one, and paddled my way back to wait for my turn to come up again. This was an awesome beach, but it was too fucking crowded.

“What the fuck?” Connie asked me, even as he high-fived me. “You’re like a pro.”

“I’m not that good,” I said modestly.

“Damn close,” Seamus said. In the end it was hunger that won out and drove me out of the water. Connie and I lugged our boards back to the condo, then went down to the Iceberg to get lunch and swim in the pool.

“Ran into some of my mates at the gym,” Connie said as we headed up to the condo.

“Guys from your team?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “They’re going out tonight.”

“Then you should go out with them,” I said, lying through my teeth. “It’s fine. I can find things to do.”

“You don’t want to go with me?” he asked.

“You didn’t ask me to go with you,” I said, then stopped myself since that came out really bitchy. We walked into the condo and I stopped and smiled at him. “I know how this is for you. If you want me to go with you, I will. I know how to deal with guys with big muscles and little brains. But if you don’t, that’s fine too.”

He laughed. “You think I have a small brain too?”

“No, but you definitely have big muscles,” I said, as I sensuously ran my hands over his biceps. We went into the shower and I washed off his body, admiring his beautiful skin, and then he fucked me into one amazing orgasm.

Copyright © 2020 Mark Arbour; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Now we know why Will is here. This chapter also shows us that Will is playing this smart too.

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Thanks for ending this year on a high note Mark. Great chapter!

Happy New Year!

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Don't you just hate when a past relationship that went bad for whatever reason comes back and bites you in the ass while you are enjoying a new one...  Great chapter, got some good insight on how Will handles things, and how Connie does as well.

Keep up the great work, Mark....  Hope everyone has a better and brighter 2021....

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Thank you Mark &. Team for the New Year’s Eve gift of this chapter and that of Northern Exposure...

Happy New Year to All!🎉

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4 hours ago, centexhairysub said:

Don't you just hate when a past relationship that went bad for whatever reason comes back and bites you in the ass while you are enjoying a new one...  Great chapter, got some good insight on how Will handles things, and how Connie does as well.

Keep up the great work, Mark....  Hope everyone has a better and brighter 2021....

You mentioned this...about past relationships...and I've spent the last half hour ruminating on how true that is!

2 hours ago, TheStoryReader said:

Mark, two things-

First, thank you for sharing your work with us all, and thank you for the New Year's post.  I hope that this finds you and yours well, and that 2021 is a better year for you, and for all of us, than 2020 was.

Second, I often tear through the chapters to see what is going to happen next.  So I don't always take the time to appreciate what a fine writer you are.  And I don't mean just the plots, the way your fiction records history, particularly the emotional history of our (LGBTQ+) people, or the amazing characters that seem like people I know.  Beyond all of that, there is some truly exceptional writing in this story as well.  I did not leave a comment for the last chapter, but the the scene where Will was drugged was absolutely fantastic, first rate writing.  I have no way to describe it other than as just flat out excellent literary technique.  Prose writing in it's truest expression as fine art.

As always all the very best,

-Jason

Thank you for those kind and encouraging words!  My editors have trained me so well that I find reading the news to be incredibly annoying...not just for the content, but for the grammatical errors. 

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We all like it when Will flexes his muscles, both mentally and physically. :lol:  But I wonder if Randy or Chris will be the most troublesome enemy.

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My husband and I managed to do the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk in 2019 so I can definitely appreciate the opulence of Will's accommodations. Will and Connie continue to be adorable together. Hopefully Randy doesn't interject too much drama, although I'm assuming there will be some. Btw, do those concierges need to knock before they enter the condo? If not, it could lead to some serious awkwardness. I also hope Connie remembers to make a second bedroom and bathroom appear lived in to maintain his cover. :rolleyes:

Thanks again! Awesome chapter! 

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First off Happy New Year!
Mark this was another great chapter. and one thing I forgot to say in my last post for last chapter is that when you wrote that Will got drugged it felt like I was the one that was drugged since you described it so vividly. and it seems that you do that every chapter. You make the reader feel like its them that everything is happening to them I love each and every chapter you write except the one were Robbie dies. you are one of my favorite writers on this website. I look forward to every post you make keep up the great writing. I also hope you and everyone in  the world has a better 2021.

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