On Monday morning Cole picked Cameron up just past the crack of dawn at 7am. They needed to be in Portsmouth by 10 and wanted to allow enough time for a pit stop or two and still be there and waiting when Jesse’s bus showed up at the station.
Putting the suitcases he and Cole had packed together in the trunk of the car he closed it back down then got into the front passenger seat. He leaned over the seat and gave Cole a good morning kiss, seeing from Cole’s antsy behavior that he was just as excited as him.
Cole pulled out of the driveway and they headed for the Interstate, which would take them straight through to Portsmouth. Even though they had allowed for two pit stops they only made one at the rest area in Kennebunk, the one that had a Cinnabon inside.
“I tell ya Cameron,” Cole said shaking his head dramatically as they stepped into the building. “These are the best damn cinnamon buns you’ll ever eat!”
Always having loved cinnamon buns and definitely wanting to try these, as the whole place smelled like heavenly cinnamon despite the burger king that shared the space, Cameron eagerly looked over the menu as Cole stood beside him already knowing what he wanted, having known since they’d taken off that morning and decided to stop.
Deciding on a Pecan bon they placed their orders then sat down in the adjoining dining room, the buns being too big and sticky to attempt to eat while driving. They spent about ten minutes eating, Cameron agreeing whole-heartedly that they were the best Cinnamon buns he’d ever tasted.
After taking a bathroom break they got back in the car and back on the highway. They got into Portsmouth at 9:45 only having taken the one pit stop. They found the bus station then drove down a street pulling up to the curb in front of a bookstore which was the designated pick up spot. Cole parked the car so it was faced away from the bus station, as they didn’t want to drive back by it with Jesse in the car.
“So what do you think of Portsmouth?” Cole asked knowing Cameron had never been there before.
Cameron shrugged not overly impressed. “Crowded, confusing, I don’t like it too much.”
Cole chuckled. “For a partier like yourself, I’m surprised you’re such a country boy.”
Cameron looked at him and grinned. “You don’t need a city to party, you just need other people. Well most people need other people, for me I think it would be rather boring to party alone but I hear some people do it.”
“I think the best party is two people,” Cole paused and put his hand over Cameron’s upper thigh. “No clothes in bed doing whatever comes to mind.”
Cameron’s eyes glinted as he smiled over at Cole. “That would make you quite a partier too.” He said fondly thinking back to all the great ‘parties’ they’d had in bed.
They didn’t have to wait in the car long before the back door of the car opened and Jesse hopped in the back seat throwing his duffel bag across the seat beside him. He was red faced and breathing heavy, making it obvious he’d run from the second he got off his bus.
Since the car was still running, Cole put it in gear and pulled back out onto the street. Cameron turned in the passenger seat and smiled at Jesse, “So no one yelled after you or started chasing you?”
Jesse shook his head. “No, in fact I don’t think we have to worry about anyone coming after me.”
Cameron cocked his head to one side questioningly. “Why?”
“I overheard my dear uncle on the phone with my parents last night. He said if this camp didn’t straighten me out he didn’t want me back. My parents argued with him about it, because he said I wasn’t going to be his responsibility anymore, that they’d have to find a place for me to go.” Jesse sighed and leaned back against the seat taking another deep breath. “So they don’t want me either, honestly I think my disappearance will be a big relief to all of them.”
Cameron smiled apologetically. “I’m sorry Jesse that really sucks.”
Jesse looked at him like he was insane and laughed. “Are you kidding? This is the best news ever. I don’t always have to be looking over my shoulder, afraid someone is trying to hunt me down and take me back. I was hurt over my family’s reaction at first Cameron but now I just hate them. I don’t ever want to see them again.”
Nodding again Cameron could understand how Jesse felt. His family made no big secret of hating him, why should Jesse feel any different about them? He still thought it was incredibly sad though that a family would or could be so hateful.
“My aunt took me to the mall yesterday to get supplies for the trip. She got talking about God with someone she met up with from the church, and I know it was risky but I snuck off and made a call to Mike. He’s actually got today off so he said he’d meet us in the center of town. He says the hotel is a bit tricky to find. Oh and more good news. You guys have rooms right at the hotel for four nights, they had a cancellation and he got you a really good deal, some far fetched family discount. Now you don’t have to stay at the flea bag motel.”
Cameron and Cole both laughed both had been perfectly happy to just stay at a cheap motel, they weren’t going to Provincetown to spend all day in their room anyway but despite that, the prospect of staying at a big fancy hotel sure did seem more inviting, especially since they’d be in the same place as Jesse and his boyfriend.
“Oh and guess what else.” Jesse said his excitement infectious. “I already have a job, least it’s 99 percent certain, it’s not glamorous but I’ll get free room and board and about two hundred dollars a week. Only problem is it will most definitely just be for the summer and I’ll have to find something else come fall.”
“Well what’s the job?” Cameron asked.
Both Cameron and Cole who was looking at Jesse in the rearview mirror saw his cheeks go red before he answered.
“What’s wrong with that?” Cameron asked grinning at how embarrassed Jesse seemed to be about it.
Jesse shrugged still looking embarrassed. “I don’t know, but it’s a job and I’m not complaining. Just not bragging.”
Jesse chatted pretty much nonstop for the two-hour drive to Province town. All their eyes lit up as they pulled into town and saw rainbow flags hanging all over the place.
“This is awesome.” Jesse said leaning forward between the two front seats as their eyes all took in their surroundings. The place was full of restaurants, inns and little shops intermixed with night clubs and bars.
“It sure is!” Cole said slowing the car even more so they could take everything in. Not long after he slowed the car Jesse spoke up again.
“Park right here, park right here! That’s Mike’s car.”
Both Cameron and Cole looked over to where Jesse pointed at an older model red Nissan Sentra. Cole parked the car beside it and they all got out. There wasn’t anyone in the car and Jesse scanned the street looking for Mike.
They hadn’t stood by the car more then a minute before they all heard Jesse’s name being called and turned in the direction of the voice. Cameron saw a tall incredibly sexy guy hurrying towards them as Jesse took off at a slow run beside him.
He watched as the tall handsome stranger started a run of his own, they met and Jesse was engulfed in the guy’s arms.
“Wow he’s really hot!” Cole said looking at Cameron wide eyed.
Cameron nodded not taking his eyes off Jesse and Mike totally agreeing with Cole’s opinion. They watched the two hug and kiss, Cameron feeling warm all over, not only that they had obviously missed each other and seemed to love each other very much, but also at the fact they were right out in the open with people walking by and no one was even giving them a second look. He smiled figuring that stuff just didn’t matter here and wished it could be like that everywhere.
A few minutes later Jesse and Mike made their way back to them. It was obvious Jesse had been crying during the reunion, he imagined finally being with his boyfriend after all he’d been through in the last year would cause tears in anyone. Like a dream finally coming true. Now he would be with someone that loved him for all and who he was. Not someone that would only love him if he changed a big part of himself.
“Guys,” Jesse said once he and Mike were in front of them, as he wiped at his eyes with the hand that wasn’t in Mike’s. “This is Mike.” He said just beaming from ear to ear despite his still misty eyes.
Cole chuckled as he shook Mike’s hand. “Yeah we kinda figured, or at least hoped!”
Mike laughed as well, a deep gentle laugh as he shook both Cameron and Cole’s hand then pulled Jesse in close to his chest. “Thanks so much guys, I can’t thank you enough for getting him down here safe and sound. I’ve been a nervous wreck all morning just figuring something was bound to go wrong.”
“We don’t gotta worry Mike.” Jesse said putting his hand on Mike’s arm that was across his chest. “They don’t want me back.” He said then explained what he’d told Cameron and Cole in the car that morning.
Though relieved it was still obvious by the way Mike held Jesse a little tighter that he felt bad Jesse’s family had given up on him.
“You guys want something to eat? It’s just about noon and over there.” he pointed across the street to a small café. “Is the best place for lunch around here. After that we can go get you settled in at the hotel.”
Cameron and Cole both agreed, as it had been over five hours since their breakfast and the four of them made their way across the street and into the small café, which only held about ten tables but still they managed to find an empty one the four of them would fit at.
They hadn’t been seated more than two minutes when a waitress came up, smiled at the four of them and handed each of them a menu. Cameron’s eyes got wider and wider as he looked it over, not seeing any regular old food like an old fashioned hamburger or a couple of plain old hot dogs. All the sandwiches had at least five ingredients most of them with fancy names like hummus and Asiago, stuff he didn’t even know what it really was. Not wanting to look uncultured, though he knew he was, he picked something that at least he knew what three of the ingredients in it were, roast beef, lettuce and onion, he’d just have to hope he liked whatever the hell Romesco sauce and Ciabatta bread were. He figured it better be damn good since it was seven fifty for the sandwich alone.
He’d figured on the place being expensive though, all tourist towns were and he’d brought plenty of spending money, still leaving a small amount of savings in his bank. He almost laughed out loud at the thought of old Mr. Harris being proud.
The waitress came back a bit later and took their orders and he was relieved he could get a plain soda and didn’t have to order ‘Ginger root tonic’ or some crazy thing like that.
He couldn’t help but smile whenever he looked at Jesse and Mike, though Jesse was quite a bit smaller than Mike they made an adorable couple. Mike always seemed to have to be touching Jesse in some way, whether it was a hand on his shoulder or their shoulders rubbing together there was constant physical contact. He’d certainly never seen Jesse smile so big or as much and he was very glad to see his usually solemn friend be so happy.
“So how long have you two been together?” Mike asked as they waited for their food to arrive.
“A couple months.” Cole spoke up happily as he smiled over at Cameron who smiled back, Cameron thinking if he’d been asked six months ago if he’d ever be in a relationship that long would have probably laughed in the asker’s face. With Cole though he was proud it had been that long and thoroughly planned on it lasting much longer, maybe even forever if he had any say in the matter.
“How did you the two of you meet?” Cameron asked as he’d never actually hear the story. Jesse, as good a friend as he was, was really very bad at giving out any detail or even talking a heck of a lot for that matter.
Mike put his arm over Jesse’s shoulder and pulled him close taking a moment to kiss his temple before he answered. We met about five years ago, I lived pretty close to where he lived with his parents and we always seemed to meet up at the park at the end of the street I lived on. We didn’t know each other at first but after about the fifth time I saw him there we started hanging out and making plans to meet there pretty much every day.”
“Of Course we were just friends at first, for three years actually. But I’d never felt about any other friends the way I felt about Jesse. I could have given or taken hanging out with other friends, but when I couldn’t hang out with Jesse it felt like my world was ending.”
Cameron watched Jesse smiling and remembering fondly, seemingly happy to let his boyfriend tell the tale as he sat snuggled under his arm.
“Just about two years ago we shared our first kiss in that very park and managed to spend even more time together kissing and eventually moving on to other things.” He chuckled as Jesse blushed at that point. “We talked about everything, just would spend whole days sitting and talking. At first, before his parents found out, we’d stay at each other’s houses over weekends but that all ended when they figured there was more going on than friendship.”
“Were your parents okay with it?” Cole asked.
Mike shook his head. “No but they didn’t go all out ballistic like Jesse’s. But they were bad enough to ensure I wouldn’t be staying there as soon as I was old enough to leave. I knew I’d be leaving as soon as Jesse was shipped off anyways. I started devising a plan the very day I heard he had to leave. It took a year, a really, really sucky year, but here we are.”
Jesse smiled again and nestled his head into Mike’s shoulder putting his arm across his stomach holding on tight like he never wanted to let go.
After lunch, which Cameron surprisingly enjoyed, they got back in their cars, this time Jesse in Mike’s car and Cole and Cameron followed them to the hotel where Mike worked.
“They are such a cute couple!” Cole said as he drove at about 10 miles per hour through the streets. “Did you see Jesse’s face? Man what a change from how he usually looks, you could almost feel the happiness radiating off him!”
Cameron grinned, able to feel the happiness radiating off Cole at that moment. “Course I saw his face. I couldn’t stop looking, that’s a couple that I think is gonna be together forever. To already have stayed together through what they have is amazing.”
Cole’s hand tightened on the wheel. “It just pisses me off people would try and destroy a love like that. Can’t they see what a great thing it is?”
Cameron sighed and put his hand on Cole’s thigh gently squeezing it. “Let’s not think about them this week. We are on vacation, and Jesse is here and happy now. Let’s not let them even invade our thoughts this week!”
Cole looked over at him and smiled. “Totally agree!”
They got to the hotel and both looked it over in awe. It looked like a mansion with tall white pillars up the front and a long sweeping front porch that had stone steps leading up to huge double doors.
“Wow we are living fancy this week!” Cameron said excitedly, having never seen such a gorgeous building let alone stayed in one.
Cole chuckled, feeling just as excited as Cameron sounded. They got out of the car and gathered up their luggage from the trunk then followed Mike and Jesse, who were holding hands, into the hotel.
The lobby was huge with a medium blue carpet covering most of it and large beautiful plants everywhere, in amongst the furniture and reception desk. Mike by passed the desk and walked down a long hall. “You don’t have to sign in, I already arranged it since you are staying as my guests. You have to stay in the staff section but believe me the rooms are still damn nice! Only difference is you share a bathroom with one other room. And you gotta make your own bed.”
Near the end of the hall they took another turn down another hall and stopped about three doors down. Mike stopped and pulled a key out of his pocket. He unlocked the door and handed the key to Cole who was standing closer to him then Cameron.
“It’s all yours.” He said motioning them in. “If you need anything we are just two doors down. But we’d appreciate not being disturbed for at least a couple hours.” A happy grin came across his face as Cameron and Cole nodded knowingly.
Mike and Jesse walked off down the hall while Cole and Cameron walked in and checked out their home away from home for the next week. “Twin beds!” Cole said exasperated as he looked over the two beds in dismay.
“Well babe we can push them together! They do it in the movies all the time.” They both set to work quickly, making that their first order of business before standing back and admiring the newly arranged room. It was a very nice room. Nicer they imagine than most hotel rooms say at the motel six or Suisse Chalet. They couldn’t imagine how nice the other rooms in the hotel must be.
The walls were painted an off white and what looked like the same medium blue carpeting covered the floor. There was a large dresser with a TV on it on the opposite wall as the beds and a closet on the far side with the bathroom door on the other end. On the other side was a large window overlooking a very nice flower garden.
“Well Jesse and Mike are having sex, and the thought of us doing the same crossed my mind.” Cole said after they’d done their room exploration. “But I kinda wanna go exploring, we can fuck tonight.”
Cameron laughed. “Fuck? You never talk like that.”
Cole laughed too. “I know I’m feeling giddy, I LOVE this place! So do you agree about the exploring?”
Nodding Cameron took Cole’s hand. “Let’s go have a blast. After grabbing their cameras and making sure they had some spending money on them, they left their room and left the hotel. They spent the whole afternoon walking along the beach and checking out the hundreds of small shops, some of them making them want to go back to the hotel room and fuck as the contents inside was stuff they’d only ever seen online or in magazines before. Both too chicken to actually pick anything up and take it to the check out, they left those stores empty handed but still managed to get back to the hotel room at six with two bags full of non-embarrassing to buy goods mostly gifts for Cameron’s mother and Cole’s aunt.
They’d only been back to the room for a few minutes when Mike and Jesse showed up at their door ready to go for dinner. Instead of going to the hotel’s restaurant, they headed out of the hotel again, Cameron hoping it would be a place where he could get a regular old steak and not another fancy schmancy place like they’d gone to at lunch.
Jesse, to their surprise, looked even happier than he had earlier and they figured it was probably the much needed sex he’d most definitely gotten that afternoon.
After a dinner of plain old, but delicious steak for Cameron and a lobster for Cole they separated from Mike and Jesse again who decided to spend the evening in their room no doubt having more sex. Cameron and Cole headed back to the beach where the sun was getting lower on the horizon.
The beach was pretty quiet, only a few other couples could be seen down the beach and none were in direct proximity to where they were. They both sat down in the sand and looked out over the vastness of the deep blue ocean much of it alight with the sun’s setting glow.
They sat shoulder to shoulder their hands clasped in Cole’s lap. “It sure doesn’t look this pretty in Maine.”
Cameron shook his head. “Did it look this pretty in Virginia?”
“We didn’t live on the ocean there; I really don’t ever recall seeing an ocean view sunset in all the time I was growing up there.”
Cameron nodded, his gut churning, a question rolling around in his head that he was working up the nerve to ask. As he looked out at the vast blue ocean his nerve grew and he squeezed Cole’s hand a little tighter. “Do you see us together for a long time?” He asked just above a whisper.
Cole looked away from the brilliant sunset and smiled at Cameron. “At this point I can’t picture my future without you in it. In fact sitting here I have been picturing us coming back here every year. You know sitting right here on this very beach in this very spot twenty, thirty, even forty years from now. Do you see us together for a long time?”
Cameron half shrugged. “I don’t know if I see so much as I really hope it. You make me very happy. I just hope someday I can make you as happy as you make me.”
Cole looked back at him quizzically. “What the heck do you mean? You already make me very happy. Do you think you don’t?”
Shrugging again Cameron shook his head a bit. “I don’t know, I don’t know how I could really. I don’t feel like I do anything to make you happy.”
Cole moved one of his hands and put his arm up over Cameron’s shoulders pulling him close. “You don’t have to do anything Cameron. You being you is what makes me happy. You and me being who we are and clicking together. It’s not about you doing stuff for me or me doing stuff for you. Yeah that sometimes comes along with it, but it’s not that, that will make me happy. It’s just you, who you are that I love.”
A warm tingle ignited in Cameron’s heart and slowly spread through his body. Neither of them had used that L word before and hearing it now it was absolutely amazing to him how that one little word could mean so much. “You really do love me?” he asked quietly.
Cole squeezed him tighter. “Yes I definitely do love you.” He said confidently.
Cameron smiled happily then leaned in and kissed Cole softly yet passionately on the lips. He pulled back just enough to look in Cole’s eyes as the sun set on their faces and smiled. “I love you too Cole.” Cameron never felt so sure of anything else he’d ever said in his life.