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    Mrsgnomie
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Jay's Loelife - 11. Fifty-two percent intimidating

chapter
eleven
loe

 

Food prep is under-rated when it comes to camping. I highly recommend having meals ready to go. As you can see here, I have a few staples. These are easy to cook on a campfire or a grill. The first ones are foil pouches. I’ve prepared philly cheesesteak packets with meat, peppers, cheese, mushrooms, and onions but you can toss in whatever you want. Fold the foil into a little pouch then set these babies in the fire, by some coals, and let it cook while you kick back with an ice cold beer. Rotate occasionally. It’s super simple and delicious.”

I move to the next station.

“Here I have everything I need for breakfast ready to go. I pre-chop all the veggies and put them in their own ziplock bags or tupperware containers. You can either buy a container of cracked eggs or egg whites at the store or make your own. I cracked mine into this batter pourer, it makes storage easy and pouring easier. Toss some pre-cut veggies, pour in some eggs, add some cheese and boom, quick breakfast and easy clean up.

“And last I have a treat. Literally. You can’t camp without some yummy cinnamon rolls. I make these two days in advance, line them in a foil baking pan. The trick is to use the biscuit mix linked below. It will taste just as good as traditional cinnamon rolls but they cook quick and easy over the fire. You can thank me later!

“I have a whole blog post dedicated to camping hacks including great meals. Don’t forget that Jay and I hit the road with the reno camper in less than forty-eight hours. Make sure to follow along. There will be fun giveaways and some special surprises along the way. And remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re livin’ the low life or the high life, just make sure you’re livin’ your best life!”

****

A taste of Jay every day.

That’s what the offseason is like. Morning, noon, and night. And it’s fucking great.

Jay is currently squeezing in as much work as possible before we hit the road; a photoshoot, an interview, and a guest appearance on some popular series. I look at my watch. He should be back any minute. While I wait for him to get here, I lug totes from the garage and sort them into the van.

Fuck!” I jump when Jay slides his arms around my waist. I didn’t hear him come home. His calloused fingers dip under my shirt. He kisses the back of my head. “Need any help?”

“Food needs to be put in the cooler but we can do that in the morning before we take off.”

“You got a lot done today.”

I turn in his arms. It’s the first time I've seen him in three days. He’s only been off for two weeks but we’ve built a new routine that includes him, from working out in the morning to a drink before bed.

“This ain’t my first rodeo,” I tell him. This kind of thing is in my blood. I can do it blindfolded by now. “How was your day?”

He smiles the way only Jay can because he’s sunshine and all things good in the world. “Great. I’m glad it’s over but it was good.”

“I saw the clips you sent from your guest appearance.”

His smile brightens even more. “Yeah?”

I pat his shoulders and walk back to the house. “Don’t quit your day job.”

Hey! If I didn’t know better, I’d think you and Matt are plotting behind my back,” he whines as he follows me through the garage.

“What Matt and I do behind your back is none of our business.”

Jay’s mouth drops and he points at me accusingly. “You admit it!”

I admit nothing.

Jay picks up his phone and mumbles something about no respect and good guys finishing last as he shoots off a text to Seamus.

I glance at him and laugh. I don’t think Jay has finished anywhere close to last in all his life but I sure enjoy watching him pretend like he has it bad. Ever see a golden retriever pout? I rest my case.

After checking for the tenth time that everything is as it should be, supplies packed, I close the doors to the van and follow Jay inside. The second the door closes, Jay is on me, kissing me and tearing my clothes off.

“Miss you so much,” he mumbles between sloppy kisses; like a kid eating ice cream before mom and dad come home, trying to gobble me up as fast as he can. He pushes my shirt up as he drops to his knees, kissing and biting my stomach until he reaches my pants. I don’t have a chance to say or do anything before I’m pressed against the wall with my pants around my ankles and his mouth on my dick.

I’ve had more blowjobs than I’ve had sodas and none of them were ever like this. Technically, I’m sure they were better, but I didn’t want their mouths the way I want Jay’s. I never wanted them to look at me while blowing me. I never wanted them to swallow me or make me beg the way Jay does.

We have a lot to do before we leave in the morning so Jay brings me to the brink and then tips me over without delay. Only he can make an efficient blowjob sexy as hell and leave me weak and wobbly. But there’s no time for that either.

“Hurry,” he says as he pushes his pants down and impatiently waits for me to drop to my knees and return the favor. “I need you so bad.”

Since he asked so nicely…

****

My brain is already working overtime when I wake up. Jay is sleeping soundly next to me, not a care in the world. I believe it. I saw how he packed his bags. Clueless that man is.

I slip out of bed and tip-toe to the kitchen. The camera is set up, so I grab the hoodie off the back of the chair and put it on, turn the camera light on, and press record. Once it’s going, I run my fingers through my hair and slap my cheeks. It’s stupid, but it’s the little things that make people  feel like they’re really a part of your life.

“Mornin’. It’s—” I look at my watch, “—five in the morning. I prepped breakfast last night so I’m just waiting for Jay to wake up and we’ll be on our way. For those of you who don’t know, today we take the reno trailer on its first road trip before she goes up for auction. It’s also a big first for Jay and I, too. Hopefully everything and everyone comes back in one piece. And—I just want to thank everyone for the kind words. There’s been so much support for Jay and I. It’s humbling. Those that have followed me for a while have probably noticed I’ve never posted about a boyfriend before. It’s hard to post about something you’ve never had. So be gentle with me. I don’t know what I’m doing—”

Mid sentence, Jay wraps one across my chest and the other across my stomach. I close my eyes and breathe into his embrace. When I open my eyes again, I’m smiling.

“If you’re mean to Loren, you’ll need to find your way through me first,” Jay growls to the camera. His voice is five-am rough and his eyes are sleep-puffy.

“Well, I’m sure they’re terrified. Let’s take a poll.”

“How do they do that?” he whispers loud enough the camera picks it up.

“I’m going to add a poll to the story. They can vote if they think you’re intimidating or not.”

With his arms around me, he rolls me out of the camera's view and growls. It’s what he does when he’s on the field and it's more impressive up close. He will get plenty of votes. When he finishes, he brings me back, dotes on me for a moment,  kisses my cheek real sweet like, and then leaves the frame and lets me finish up alone.

I look at the camera and smile because Jay is both terrifying and utterly adorable. “Are you afraid of Jay? Vote here.” For effect, Jay pops his head back in the frame and growls one last time.

I end the recording and start laughing as I upload the video to Instagram. “I don’t think you made the case you think you did, but I’m pretty sure they love you.”

“I think you’ll be surprised.”

****

A couple hours later we’re driving past the worst that I-5 rush hour can throw at us. Jay wants to know how the poll is going. I’m driving so I unlock my phone and hand it over.

“Only Fifty-two percent of people find me intimidating. That’s really disappointing.”

“I think the doting and the kisses were very confusing for them.”

“I wasn’t trying to intimidate you. I was trying to intimidate them by letting them know how much I love you. Idiots,” he complains, mumbling the last bit to himself.

We make it all the way to Salem before we stop for a break and eat. Between my big sprinter van and the matte black diamond plated camper we’re towing, we’re spotted more than once. Lots of people pace us on the freeway, taking pictures, and yelling out the window. When Jay isn’t filming and manning my social account for me, he’s sticking the top part of his giant body out the window and giving them a memory to cherish forever.

“This is so much more fun than I expected. The way your fans interact is different from how my fans interact. That’s for sure.”

Most of the people that approach me in real life are amazing. It’s the people who sit behind their keyboards that bring the most grief, but this trip is all about engagement, which means we get to see the best of the best.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this? I know you had your heart set on that private beach life.”

“I had my heart set on doing something with you,” he says. I scoff and roll my eyes even though my insides are mushy and tingly. Jay reaches over and squeezes my knee. “This is great. I’m really excited. I can’t tell you the last time I did something like his.”

He looks genuinely happy and eager to be on the road, making goofy faces at the people pacing us, and taking over my Instagram. I keep waiting for him to pull his pants down and moon some random passerby. I’m not sure if he did this kind of thing all the time as a kid, on the bus heading to and from games, or if he was a good kid and was denied that rite of passage. It could really go either way.

We post everything in live time until dinner. We’re tired so we lie to the camera and tell them we’re driving all the way to Redding when really we stop in Medford.

It’s a beautiful evening; quiet, pink sky, crisp air, and not a soul in sight. It’s fucking freezing. The terrible misfortune of canvas trailers on cold nights. When we go to bed, we fall asleep curled around each other. Oh, the hardship.

****

I blink awake. Jay is gone. I shiver as I pick my sweats off the cold floor and throw on an equally cold sweatshirt. We definitely should’ve put them under the blankets with us.

I open the door, everything is damp from the morning dew and Jay is passed out this oversized saucer chair he bought at a big box store. I cringe at how uncomfortable he must be with his neck dangling to the side like that.

I shake his shoulder.

He opens his eyes and stretches. The more he moves, the more he grimaces.

“What’s wrong?”

He sits up and pops his back. “I’m too tall.”

When I took on this particular trailer project, I had half an idea that Jay and I would do this trip. The appeal of this particular trailer is that both of the slide outs are king beds. What I didn’t take into consideration is that RV beds are not regular size. They’re short. That’s a big problem when your boyfriend is six-and-a-half feet tall.

He doesn’t have to move like an eighty-year-old-man for me to know this sleeping arrangement isn’t sustainable. I stand behind him and dig my fingers into his shoulders. “Where’s it hurt?”

“Everywhere. Lower.”

I get his mid and lower back and he moans and groans. When I finish, he pulls me to his lap. It’s not a great cuddle chair. The position is awkward and uncomfortable but I do as he requests. He frowns, the guilt eating at him. “I don’t think I can do this for two weeks.”

I kiss the side of his head. “Don’t worry. I’ll make it right.”

Jay’s too sore and tired to go for a run like planned so we eat breakfast and hit the road. Before taking the exit to Yosemite, I detour to a Fred Meyer and buy an armful of bed pads, some heavy duty adhesive velcro, and industrial clamps.

Jay eyes the pads with interest. “That will definitely help with some of the comfort but I don’t see how it will make the bed another foot longer.”

I cover his mouth with my hand. “I have a plan.”

We load up and head the rest of the way to Yosemite. Jay has never been to Yosemite so we’re staying a couple days to see everything it has to offer. I also arranged for a friend to meet us so we can do a little rock climbing on El Capitan.

I reverse the trailer into our space; a beautiful, level site by the water. Jay grabs his favorite saucer chair from the back of the van, unfolds it, and plops down. He cups his mouth with his cold hands and breathes warmth into them. It hasn’t snowed for a while but the February chill is clinging on for dear life. “We’re in California. I didn’t think it would be so cold. I only have ankle socks.”

I know. I saw what he packed.

“I’m sure if you check your bag, you’d find something you can throw together.”

His lip curls in a snarl, knowing what he won’t find when he checks his bags because he’s a shit for packing. Jay begrudgingly gets out of his chair. “I can probably double up the ankle socks,” he schemes as he opens the back of the van and digs for his bag. When he comes back, he’s wearing a nice winter jacket and a smile. He points at me. “You...”

“Me?” I feign ignorance as I cook dinner in the skillet.

“You didn’t trust me.”

“I trust you just fine…but I might’ve peeked in your bags before we left.”

Jay leans down and nibbles my ear. “Thank you. It was about to be a long trip. Still might be depending on what you have planned for the bed.”

After dinner I set up the camera gear and walk through my plan. “Here’s our dilemma. The camper pull out boasts a king bed on each side but what I didn’t factor in is that it’s a king short. Meaning, instead of eighty inches it’s seventy-five. It’s way too short for poor Jay. So, we stopped at Fred Meyer and grabbed a few supplies. If we slide the two ends back into the camper—” I put the pull outs back into the camper and pull out the jack and wood I bought for support “—, we can use the jack to support the middle where the beds meet and now we have ourselves a super king bed that is one-hundred-fifty inches long. I bought extra foam for comfort and adhesive velcro to keep them from sliding apart in the middle of the night. I also picked up heavy duty utility clamps to secure the excess canvas from the pullouts that are no longer being used. The downside is that we can’t use the kitchen once we have the bed set up for the night. The plus side is that Jay is comfortable.

When I’m done, I turn to Jay and give him my best jazz hands. “Ta da.”

He squishes my face between his giant paws and kisses me, then wraps his arms around me and looks at the camera. “There’s nothing this man can’t do. He’s absolute perfection!”

I smile. I am pretty fucking badass.

As we retire for the night, Jay rewards me with a lengthy and thorough blowjob in our giant supersized bed.

Come morning, he has energy coming out his ears. He does not handle being cooped up in the car for two days straight very well. We explore the park until dark, shower, and start dinner. Then we convert the camper into the super bed and get the campfire going.

Danny shows up at eight. A California surfer with shoulder length dirty blonde hair and leathered skin. We meet once or twice a year and climb together. He usually brings his wife but she’s pregnant and not feeling up to a winter camp out. We hang around the fire and laugh.

Oddly full for February, there are eyes and mobile phones tracking our every move. Two college age guys slowly make their way over under the guise of scoping out the campground. One is a fan of mine and the other of Jay. It doesn’t take long before two turns into twenty, and then it’s standing room only.

Jay is grinning, happy to take pictures and videos—essentially taking over my Instagram.

We wake up the next morning and make everyone breakfast, which completely wipes out everything I prepped beforehand. Jay is Martha Stewart as he walks around in his BBQ apron and backwards hat, making sure everyone’s had enough to eat.

The crowd follows us from breakfast to the face of the mountain.

Danny glances behind us to where Jay is entertaining forty-some people. “I don’t know that I’ve ever climbed with this kind of audience before. It’s surreal.”

I continue preparing my gear. I’ve done dozens if not hundreds of climbs with people watching. I take a deep breath. I just haven’t done it with Jay watching. Once we’re geared up, Danny gives the granite mountain a once over. “Let’s take the east route. I haven’t done that in years.”

It’s one of the shorter routes, we’ll be done in a few hours, but it’s hard. Half way through, after a particularly grueling horizontal scaling, my body is burning. My training has slipped a bit with Jay around. I lock my gear for a minute so I can catch my breath. My only consolation is that Danny’s struggling alongside me.

“No matter how many times I do this, I’m never fully prepared, you know?” he says as we dangle from the cliff.

My screaming muscles remind me that I should’ve done a lot more to prepare for this trip.

The cool winter breeze feels amazing as it sweeps across my sweat stained skin. I wouldn’t mind hanging a while longer but push off and keep going instead.

It’s not long before I pull myself over the ledge and onto flat ground. We’re at the top. I roll on my back and catch my breath. The climb was no joke. El Capitan never is.

“Hike down or rappel?” I ask Danny. I know which way I’m going and which way I ain’t.

“You think I wanna hike down this shit? No. Fuck that. There are spots that haven’t seen sun in months. We’ll fall to our damn death.”

There’s a small group of climbers at the top. We prep our lines while we wait for our turn. I let Danny take the two-thousand-foot plunge first. Once he’s down, I connect my line. I stand at the edge with my toes over the edge. The view is unreal. Jay and everyone else are barely identifiable.

I turn around and fall back, catching myself when I’m horizontal to the mountain. I push off and begin my free fall.

Four hours up the mountain. Seven minutes down. Ten-minute hike back to Jay.

****

Jay’s signature light-of-the-world smile is all wrong. All wrong.

He grabs a bundle of  gear off my shoulder and tells me how amazing it was but he’s not looking at me. I watch him for a few minutes but we’re surrounded by a crowd of people so I let the lie slide. I check my gear, secure it in the tote, then join everyone by railing and watch a few other climbers as they make their way up.

Jay’s weird and silent on the way back to camp.

“Is everything okay? Was the crowd too much?” I ask.

“Everyone was chill and great.”

“Then what’s wrong?”

Jay rubs his face with one hand. “I was excited about this whole thing until I saw you up there. There’s not much keeping you attached to the mountain. When you sat there for ten minutes without moving, I didn’t know what was happening. I thought maybe your gear had jammed. Faulty gear or something. After that, every time you moved, I pictured you plummeting to your death. Then you did plummet. Kind of. You started descending and I wondered what the chances were that you might lose control. By the time you got to the bottom, I was a rotten mess. I don’t want to be the person that tells you not to rock-climb ever again but…I don’t want you to rock-climb ever again.”

Ain’t that a kick in the nuts.

I start laughing at the nerve. The fucking nerve. “No way.”

“I said I don’t want to be that person.”

“Followed by ‘but I don’t want you to rock-climb ever again.”

“I’m sorry but I don’t. It’s too dangerous.”

I take a few breaths and carefully unclench my fingers. I’ve never been one to bite my tongue but I do it for Jay. I do it even though it’s grating on me that my professional football player of a boyfriend, who puts himself in harm’s way every time he’s on the field, is telling me that I can’t do something. The trip has just started. If I say what’s on my mind, it will be over.

****

Our campsite is open season for those who want to join, which is a good thing. It keeps Jay and I separated. He uses what food we have left to feed everyone dinner. I honestly don’t care. I would’ve done the same thing. But I’m irritated, so it’s irritating.

There’s a mean stubborn streak inside me. When I get going, my anger can gain enough momentum to keep a small lighthouse powered for days. It’s one of my lesser redeeming qualities.

It’s late, probably ten. It’s quiet time for the campground but everyone’s sitting around our campfire, including the management. I’m standing with a group of college guys when Jay grabs my hand. “Mind if I steal him for a minute?” He gives them a signature smile. “I promise I won’t keep him long.”

I silently beg for them to tell him ‘no’ but it’s futile. I know this. He’s fifty-two percent intimidating and one-hundred-perfect a football god to anyone that cares.

Dread fills my belly as we walk hand-in-hand towards the open area where picnic benches lay deserted. We straddle the bench so we’re facing each other. Even in the dark Jay looks like a beaten dog.

“You’re so angry at me.”

“Kinda, yeah.” My words are clipped. If he’s looking for an easy out with sad blue eyes and pouty lips then he’s barking up the wrong tree.

He moves forward until our knees are touching. “I’m so sorry, Loren. I let my fear control my rational thinking and I went about things the wrong way. Are you going to be mad at me the whole trip?”

“Maybe.”

He frowns, in the pathetic way that probably garners him lots of attention. “That would suck.”

“Probably.”

Jay puts his hands on my thighs and leans forward with a groan until his forehead is resting on my shoulder. “I don’t like it when you’re in danger.”

“I wasn’t in danger but if I was, remember that every week you put yourself in the same kind of danger. You don’t hear me making a big deal out of it even though I fucking hate it.”

I feel like he wants to argue, instead, he looks at me and pouts. His big pink bottom lip sticking out like he has something to prove. “I was worried. I’m sorry. Can we not fight anymore?”

I roll my eyes. So easy for him to just wave this off like it’s no big deal. “It might not be a big deal to you but there’s a lot of people who go their entire lives not doing what I did today. I was excited to do this for you today and you couldn’t even suck it up long enough to be excited for me.” I look at him for a minute then shake my head. He doesn’t get it. He gets to do whatever he wants. “I’m tired.” I get up and return to the campsite full of people I’m about to kick out.

Ten feet from camp I hear the icy footsteps gaining momentum. Jay grabs my hand then lets out the loudest wolf-whistle, rivaling the one Seamus used during the game.

“I hate to break up the party but Loren climbed Mt. Capernaum today and now it’s time to sleep. So—” Jay shoos everyone away. “Go now. Buh-bye.”

“It’s El Capitan,” I correct, irritated that he can’t even get that right.

Jay just looks at me and winks. “Tell me more about how you were the best corner-thrower linebacker in highschool.”

I cross my arms and look away. I hate that he’s charming and funny when I’m angry at him.

No one’s offended by his abrupt boot-in-the-ass because Jay is forty-eight percent not intimidating. While he deals with the last of the stragglers, I break down the camper and turn it into our fucking awesome super bed, which I wish didn’t exist because I’d like to sleep in one side and leave him to freeze to death in the other. I crawl in and begin laying out the bedding.

Jay follows a few minutes later. He crawls up then turns around and closes the door behind him. It’s a whole situation to get the door closed when we have the mega bed together but he manages it without my help. The trailer rocks a little while he strips down. Despite laying with my back to him, he curls up behind me. I hate it and I need it, then I hate that I need it.  It’s annoying. When he’s comfortable, he starts feeling around. Not sexually, more in a do-not-tell-me-your-wearing-clothes-you-god-damn-motha-fucka kinda way.

I’m so fucking layered up I could win a game of strip poker with a losing hand.

I swear I hear him flounder but he never says anything. He snuggles against me and then fights the layers of clothes until his hand finds bare skin. He sighs. Like touching me is the only thing right in the world. I sigh because I feel the same. He slides his entire arm under my shirt until his hand is resting on my bare chest, over my heart.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.” My words are hardly convincing even if I do mean them.

****

It’s still tense when we wake. I barely look at him. He’s trying, though. He has coffee ready when I come out. He’s scrounging breakfast and making sure everything is packed up. He does everything he can to anticipate my moves and then  beats me to them.

My anger fades as we drive south through Death Valley towards Joshua Tree. The next two nights are quiet. No fanfare, no swarms of people. No distraction. Just Jay and I. He feels terrible and is doing everything to garner my forgiveness. I’m thawing, but slowly.

Things are better by the third day but not perfect. There’s the last lingering cold front courtesy of yours truly.

“Please, please, please,” he begs. We’re on our last night near Joshua tree before heading north-east and Jay’s been vocal about not going to bed until we’re in a good place. “If anyone is listening, they must think I’m begging for sex.”

“I’m not mad.”

“Oh, you’re plenty mad, and I’m plenty remorseful. Please, tell me what I need to do. I don’t want to fight with you.”

I reach under the blankets and hold his hand. “I’m not that not mad.”

“Prove it. Take off the seventeen layers of clothes you’ve been wearing every night and snuggle me.”

I roll my eyes but push the blankets off and stand on my knees. There is no heater and the air is pretty fucking cold. Not as cold as Yosemite, but far from warm. Jay holds my knee as I take the hoodie and t-shirt off. Even as I strip off the sweatpants and socks, he still makes sure he’s touching me—heaven forbid I wander too far away.

Divested of everything but my underwear, I climb back under the covers.

“Nuh uh. Nope,” he says, pushing me out from the warm spot next to him. “I get naked Loren.”

“You’re not even naked.”

He rustles around under the blanket then tosses  his boxer-briefs to the other side of the super bed. Not wanting to freeze, I quickly strip and then burrow back under the blankets. Jay quickly pulls me in and wraps his arms and legs around me so we’re facing each other.

“Forget three pounds of clothes, now I’m wearing three-hundred-pounds of Jay,” I quip. I’m not complaining. It feels good. So good in fact, I find myself sliding my arms around him.

“I don’t want to toot my own horn but I think I look good on you.”

I chuckle despite myself.

Jay kisses me before I can protest. I think that’s his plan all along—to get me naked and defenseless, then kiss me until I surrender.

And surrender I do. I push Jay on his back and stick my tongue down his throat. Four days. Four fucking days. Jay gives as good as he takes and it’s not long before we’re both trying to overpower the other. He’s on top. I’m on top. He’s on top and moving down my body, devouring every inch of me as he goes. He nips my thigh and nuzzles my crotch.

Torture.

I grab his hair and put him where he needs to be.

I’m strung tight as a bow. My toes are to the point of cramping when he finally lets me cum. I still can’t see clearly when Jay’s own wet warmth is added to my belly.

With a labored breath, Jay covers me with his body, digging his head in the crook of my neck. “This is better.”

****

Jays on the other side of the bed when I wake. He’s plastered against the canvas wall. He’s too far away but I reach for him anyway. I smile. He’s out of it, the poor guy. I should leave him alone but my fingers twitch anxiously, slowly reaching until I’m forced to roll his way or not touch him at all.

“Oh hey,” he says with one eye cracked. His voice is deep and gravely with sleep. Jay glances at where my hand is resting dangerously close to his morning wood. The corner of his lip curls. He closes his eyes and sighs. Happy. Content.

****

Three days later we’re in Colorado. Jay is with a group of lucky fans. The air fills with whoops whistles as they celebrate the best that KOA putt putt golf has to offer.

I watch with amusement from the other side of the campground as I dial Dev one more time. I’ve been trying for an hour with no luck. My knee bounces anxiously as I wait.

“Loe and behold,” Dev says, laughing at his hilarious pun. “What’s up?”

“You haven’t left yet, have you?”

“Already halfway there. Why? Did you forget something? I brought extra gear.”

“Fuck,” I murmur. “I don’t want to be that fucktard but I have to bail on you.”

“What? Why?”

I swallow. There’s really no way to tell the truth without looking like you’re dick-whipped and house broken. Years of doing what I want, when I want, how I want, has really taken a beating lately.

“Well…” I drawl. “Jay was not stoked after the last climb and it’s made for a rough trip. I’d rather sit this one out than ruffle any feathers. I know this puts you in a bind since you’re coming all this way because of me.”

Dev sighs disapprovingly. It’s his account that piqued my interest in rock climbing seven years ago. In fact, it’s Dev who invited me to climb for the first time. With a yearly date cemented in the cliffsides of America, I can only imagine his shock that I’m breaking tradition. I’ve never said no, let alone bailed the day before a climb.

“Well, Doug and Fez are heading that way, so, I guess I’m still going.”

“Doug and Fez?” Fuck.

“They wanted to surprise you.”

“Way to make me feel like crap.”

“If the shoe fits,” he teases.

“I’m feeling like a real ass.”

“You have a man now, it’s not just about you. I do hope this isn’t the end of your climbing career. That would fucking suck.”

“Nah, it’s not the end. Just keeping the peace on vacation, you know?”

“I have a wife, I get it. Anyway, gotta go. Enjoy the rest of your trip and good luck with the auction.”

“Later.” I hang up and look across the campground. Jay’s holding his putt club above his head in victory. Everyone’s smiling. If you’re going to lose, losing to Jay Petermeyer would lessen the blow, though he could try to be humble about it.

Jay looks in my direction and lights up when he spots me. He whispers something to the guys he’s with. Everyone looks at me and waves. Jay waves, too. It’s a little finger wave. Kind of mocking, kind of teasing. I sit on my hands to stop from flipping him off.

Fuck it. I raise my finger.

Those blue eyes sparkle all the way from the other side of the campground and his laughs echoes across the open space. Even the ribbing he gets from his fellow competitors carries in the breeze. Jay pouts and puts his hands over his heart like I’ve mortally wounded him.

The pout quickly turns to a genuine grin.

I press my fingers against my chest just to feel the way my heart beats for him—like it’s never beat for anyone before.

It beats for things I never knew existed.

Thanks for tagging along. As with any story you read and enjoy on this site, don't forget to like, love, or otherwise react to the story, maybe leave a comment if you're so inclined, and definitely recommend if you're enjoying it so others can to. 

Copyright © 2022 Mrsgnomie; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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