tagRomanceA Summer Without End

A Summer Without End

byBurntRedstone©

Author's Notes:

'A Summer Without End' is my entry for the Summer Lovin Story Contest 2017.

It's a dream for many to retire to a beach house to be near the ocean. The scent of salt water, the sight of sea birds fishing just offshore or dashing after the waves, and the sound of the surf. Each can be very calming. Combined? Bliss! It can be a magic place that conjures up warm and happy memories.

We should all be so lucky.

All characters engaging in sexual relationships or activities are 18 years old or older.

********

Chapter 1

Reid Haven was looking forward to getting to the beach house. It had been a long grueling trip to get here as he'd travelled from New Orleans to the west coast by bus. More accurate would be to say bus after bus after bus. He'd been told to catch a flight or a train but he was trying to be frugal for his new life plan.

He'd inherited the house from his parents who'd passed away this past winter within days of each other. They'd been in a constant care facility during the last few months of their lives. Even at the end, they refused to be apart.

With the house came a lump sum inheritance which allowed him to retire at the early age of 34, if he managed the money carefully, lived modestly, and stayed in the beach house.

He'd said his goodbyes to his coworkers after finishing his last contract at the software house in New Orleans and here he was.

The taxi ride from the last bus station was a long one as his place was the last house near the northern end of the beach. His parents had purchased three lots and built their vacation getaway on the middle one to ensure privacy. As the taxi got closer, he could see the thick grove of trees had grown tall on the lots.

They finally reached the lane leading in towards the house. He noted the roadway hadn't been maintained very well.

"S'okay if I drop you off here, buddy? My tires will be no good in that," the driver asked, pointing to the lane.

"Sure," Reid sighed.

He paid, grabbed his bags, and watched the taxi pull away. Upon closer examination he saw the lane was deeply rutted from trucks and what might have been some heavy equipment. The damage didn't look new, however. Scowling he lifted his bags and walked up the lane. He noticed a few old, low stumps where the trees had been cut to most likely widen the road for whatever left the road a mess.

Rounding the last bend he saw his parent's- no, it was his new home now. He was surprised to see it had been significantly updated since he'd last seen it.

The original building had been a wide, single level structure built on sturdy stilts for some protection against high water events with a staircase up to a small deck by the front door. In later years his dad had built a ramp for his mom who was confined to a wheelchair. Now, there was a wide wrap around deck also supported by stilts and a new metal roof. Due to the new deck, the steps and ramp had been replaced too. As he got closer he saw the windows were covered by roll up hurricane shutters. He stopped to shake his head. He had no idea his parents had done all this. It must have cost a fortune!

He was grateful for the changes however as it no longer matched the house of his memories. He could think of it as 'his'.

Then he noticed the neighboring house to his left. He had a neighbor? When did that happen? Damn!

The new house was roughly similar to his but it had a second level and its deck wasn't anywhere near as extensive as his, likely due to its proximity to the protected dunes.

Like the ones on his house, the shutters were down and locked so both homes were currently uninhabited.

Reid walked the remaining distance to his house and pulled his suitcase up the ramp.

Standing before the new door he pulled out the keys he'd received and let himself inside. He wrinkled his nose as the house smelled stale. Time to open some windows!

---

It had taken Reid a little more than two weeks to clean the house. He stored or threw away anything that had uncomfortable memories clinging to it. Then he properly stocked it with fresh cleaning supplies and food. Now it sparkled like a diamond. Well, maybe it gleamed like one of the shiny shells he saw on the beach during his morning runs.

First to go were all the family photos. Taken on 'happier' days, Reid ached to see how tall and skinny he looked next to his parents, neither of whom being over 5' 9". He was 6' tall by his eleventh birthday and finally stopped growing by his sixteenth. Skin and bones in his earlier years. He couldn't fill out fast enough for his frantic vertical growth. It was shortly after his sixteenth when he started to lose the walking skeleton look.

Though it pained him to do so, he examined the pictures closer and noticed his parents rarely held or even touched him in them. That and his physical differences just emphasized how separate he was from them. Like he wasn't even their child. While it was now too late to ask them, he wondered if there was merit to that thought. It would have explained so much. Depressed, the pictures and frames went into storage. He couldn't quite bring himself to throw them out.

During that time he had an auto shop in town send out a mechanic to take a look at the old soft top Jeep Wrangler. It was covered with a tarp and parked under the house. Surprisingly, the man was able to get it running with new plugs, an oil change, and putting gas in the tank. The mechanic drove the Jeep into town and returned the next day with the vehicle purring as good as new. He'd even replaced all the padding on the roll bars as the original padding had rotted away. Reid registered the plates online and picked up the new registration papers the following week.

He was no longer alone on the beach as he'd been just two weeks ago. The 'good' weather was starting to kick in and the summer vacationers were beginning to arrive to open their homes. Very few homes were lived in year round as he intended to do.

Reid had been away for so long he didn't know any of his neighbors. He wasn't very good at introducing himself to strangers. He'd always been socially awkward. He did manage to nod to a few faces that became familiar as he passed them on the beach day after day but that was the extent of his interactions.

Of his closest neighbors, he saw no sign. He went through the paperwork from the lawyer's office and there was no reference to the land being sold off. He called the law firm that dealt with his parent's estate and confirmed the property still belonged to... him, now. However, there were no keys to the new house anywhere in his house nor were they on the keychain he received. He saw a plaque screwed into the wall by the front door. It read 'The Sparrows'. He wasn't sure if that was a family name or if the owners just liked the tiny, noisy birds. The plaque on his house simply read 'Haven' and he liked that sentiment.

Reid's days began to settle into a routine and a very comfortable one at that. He exercised. He relaxed over breakfast. Then he read and, or, wrote depending on his mood. He was working on a book of his own and took great satisfaction in the act of writing. He had no idea if he was any good but it was a satisfying activity to do. Far more than programming had ever been.

Life was quickly becoming... close to perfect. Someone to share it with was the only missing ingredient.

---

It was three weeks into his stay when he'd discovered his father's secret stash of whisky. Not only had he discovered it, in a sudden rage he drank quite a bit of it. This morning he wanted to crawl under a rock and die. It seemed he wasn't as capable a drinker as Hemingway and his writing was probably light years from ever being as good. He decided he could live with both of those things if only he could be spared from the torture of the high pitched noises currently drilling into his brain.

For a fleeting second he pictured in his mind several boisterous little sparrows chirping energetically at each other. He forced his eyes to open and saw he was looking up at the ceiling of the living room. He groaned and sat up.

"EEEEEEEK!"

Three sharp squeals of fright drilled into his brain and he groaned again. He closed his eyes and staggered to his feet. Once he managed to get his eyes working once more he peered around the room to see where that sound had come from. He stopped when he faced the big glass doors to the deck overlooking the ocean. There, on the other side of the glass, were three lovely young women, identical in shape, size, and pretty features. All 5' 8", with svelte curves in their cut off shorts and mid-drift baring halter tops. All with short, brown and unruly pixie cut hair. His hazy brain said triplets. Their expressions weren't identical however as they stared back at him. The one on the left was in wide eyed shock with her mouth hanging open. Her shock didn't prevent her from taking a picture with her cell phone. The middle one was smiling happily. The one on the right was holding her hands before her face but was peeking at him through her fingers.

Something about the last one's pose told Reid to look down at himself. That's when he realized he was completely... oh god, completely naked. He was also sporting some serious morning wood though it was well past morning judging by the sun. He spun to turn his back on them, lost his balance, and fell sideways over the back of the sofa to hit the floor beyond with a heavy thump.

More squeals drilled into his head.

He rested on the floor behind the couch hoping his brain would just explode and end his life right now.

"Are you ok in there?" The voice was clearer now and he tilted his head upwards to see the three young women standing by the second set of patio doors looking in at him. He heard the click as another photo was taken. Behind the sofa was no protection at all as the furniture was in the middle of the large room, separating the living room from the dining room. The one with the phone was still shocked but less so, the second's smile had become a grin, and the shy one was now looking at him curiously.

Reid reached up and pulled the blanket off the back of the sofa to cover himself. Once it was wrapped around his waist sufficiently he struggled to his feet and turned to face his unexpected guests.

"What are you doing on my deck?" he asked blearily.

"What are you doing in the Haven's vacation home? Are you a squatter? I'm seconds away from calling the police!" the shocked one said, finally finding her voice and gesturing to her cell. He knew it was an empty threat. There was no cell coverage in this neighborhood.

"I'm Reid Haven. Who are you?" he asked.

"You're Reid?" the shocked one squeaked and his brain promised him a slow painful death.

"Please, my head is going to explode. Quieter voices," he begged.

"Girls! What are you doing here?" a voice called out as another woman, maybe his age, marched into view on the deck. She shared many of the lovely features of the triplets but had an air of serenity and authority about her. She had to be their mother. Reid was enchanted by her beauty. She turned her face to look in the patio door and gasped.

Reid had had enough. He moved forward to close the blinds but stepped on the blanket and yanked it from his fingers. They all got a good look at him before he quickly bent forward to grab the blanket. The room went off its axis and he slammed to the floor head first. Stars exploded and Reid's consciousness followed them into the dark abyss. The last thing he heard was the click of a camera.

---

Soft, warm hands gently placed a cool compress on his throbbing forehead. He moaned slightly and heard muffled squeaks and someone shushing. His eyes opened slowly and he was looking up into the mother's face.

"I understand from my daughters that you introduced yourself as Reid, George and Melinda's son," she said softly.

He nodded faintly.

"While you were out I looked into your wallet to confirm that," she admitted and he nodded slightly again. "Where are your parents?" she asked.

He gave her a look and her expression froze as she saw the truth in his eyes. "They passed away last winter," he said quietly.

"Oh!" she said and he saw her lower lip was trembling. His eyes went to her daughters and their smiles faded with his news.

Then he looked down and realized he was in his bed with only a thin top sheet over his naked body and four women were watching him. How did he get here? Then a more important question surfaced.

"How- how did you get into my house?" he asked.

"George gave me a set of keys a few years back," the mother said after sucking in a deep breath.

So, they knew his parents and had known them for a while. "It seems you have me at a disadvantage." The girl's sadness eased a little and smiles began returning to their faces. "Who are you?" he asked, glancing to the daughters.

The woman smiled faintly as she must have realized how bizarre this all was. "I'm Evelyn Sparrow. These are my daughters Emily, Erin, and Elizabeth."

Now he had names for the shocked one, the bold one, and the shy one in that order.

She turned to give them a stern look. "Go finish unpacking."

"Awww!" they whined in unison but she shooed them away. With a final cheeky wave at Reid, they left the room. He heard the front door close.

"I'm very sorry to hear about your parents. We saw them just last summer. Your mother wasn't well, she seemed to slip away a little more each year, but your father seemed ok if a little tired," Evelyn said.

"I was contacted by the lawyer in December who told me mom passed and a few days later dad did as well," he said quietly as his head throbbed.

He felt a soft hand take his. "You hadn't spoken to them?"

He looked into the woman's compassionate gaze and fought back the tears that threatened to spill forth. Instead he cleared his throat. "No. He... refused." He looked away and blinked the tears from his eyes. "Uh, I'd like to get dressed if you don't mind."

She nodded and stood up. "I'll be in the kitchen." She left the room and closed the door behind herself.

He threw back the sheet and eased himself out of bed. His head wasn't very happy about his new orientation, or his moving at all, but he wanted clothes. He needed to do laundry, he realized seeing what was left. He pulled on a pair of board shorts and an old t-shirt. Good enough. He made his way out to the kitchen where he saw Evelyn sitting and saw the place was looking a little messy. He began putting stuff into the dishwasher and had to give up as his head hurt too much.

"Sorry about the mess," he said awkwardly.

"Don't worry about it. You visiting by yourself?" she asked with a twinkle in her eye.

It was a saucy question. He stopped and examined her. She couldn't have been much older than he was. Maybe 36? Her daughters looked to be 18 so she would have had to have had them when she was 18 herself. She was in very good shape as she was wearing some kind of tight athletic wear and sneakers. Like her daughters she had dark brown hair but hers was longer, reaching the base of her slim neck. Pretty, god they were pretty, dark brown eyes, maybe a little larger than he expected. A very nice mouth with lips that seemed to hold a natural smile.

"Did I say something wrong?" she asked as he'd been silent for so long.

He sunk into the chair next to hers to let his thumping head rest, as his face flushed with embarrassment. "No, sorry. Yes, I'm all alone. I mean, I'm here alone. Uh, I'm not just visiting, I'm living- I'm going to be living here. Shit." He stumbled and stammered through his response feeling like an ass.

He felt her hand settle on his. "It's ok. There's no need to be nervous. I won't bite," she said with a grin, showing her pearly whites as if contradicting her words.

He cracked a weak smile and she cocked her head to look at him. "I'm sorry to say your dad didn't say much about you and your mother, well, she'd stopped talking by the time we met them."

He nodded as he hadn't expected more from the man. His curiosity overrode his discomfort with talking to the pretty woman. "When exactly did you meet my parents? How did you convince them to let you build a house on our property? Why are both houses connected to the same water, power, and telephone services?" He was dazed by the number of questions he had.

She smiled at him and nodded sadly. "I'm sure you have a lot more questions. I'm not allowed to answer some of them, yet. We'll find out in a few months what happens next. Sorry I can't explain it better now. Here is what I can tell you. We met your parents thirteen years ago. A representative of the government, a friend of your father's actually, made the introductions and arranged with your parents to let us build a house on the property while remaining outside of any government registration or commercial services. No footprint."

"My husband was a very talented craftsman and did most of the work in building our home. Five years ago, there was a severe storm and the homes were damaged. He repaired them, storm proofed them." She smiled as she looked out the window at the home across the wide yard. Her daughters could be seen carrying suitcases from the van into the home. Evelyn turned her attention back to him.

"We... moved around a lot but always came back here in the summers. Your parents were excellent neighbors. Your father watched over the girls when they were much younger," she added and saw his jaw tighten. "I'm sorry. We saw pictures of you but he never told me why you decided to leave."

Reid's breath gusted out of his lungs as his chest suddenly tightened in reaction. He looked at her in outrage then closed his eyes and took some deep breaths. She didn't know.

When he'd calmed enough he opened his eyes once more and saw she was watching him, waiting. He nodded to himself. He could do this.

"When you met my mom she was confined to a wheel chair and had lost the ability to speak. I did that." She gasped and her hand tightened on his. "When I was 17 I was invited to a party and there was booze. It was the first and only party I'd ever been invited to. Everyone was drinking so... I drank too. By the time I wanted to leave I realized I couldn't drive. I called mom to tell her I'd sleep in the car and drive back in the morning. She said she wanted me home because we were picking up dad at the airport the following day. She said she'd come pick me up." He fell silent for a moment. "Her car was hit by a drunk driver. Left her with brain damage. She gradually got worse. Dad blamed me. Wouldn't say it to my face but he stopped looking at me. Then he stopped talking to me. I no longer existed for him. I suppose I never really did. He only had enough love in him for one and Mom was his world. I... had to leave. Mom was a reminder and dad wanted me gone. The day I turned 18 I joined the army. Fastest ticket to someplace else. I served for six years. Learned programming. When I left, I took one contract coding job after another. Any project. I made decent money. Not a fortune but my expenses were minimal. I live alone." He finally ran out of steam and sagged.

"Oh my god, you aren't to blame for what happened to your mother!" Evelyn gasped.

He pulled his hand away from hers. "It doesn't matter anymore, does it? They're both gone. It can never be repaired. Now, the home has no more painful reminders. I'd like to thank your husband for the wonderful changes he made to the house. It no longer even looks like the old beach house my family spent so many happy summers in."

He turned his eyed to hers and saw sadness in them. Then he realized he hadn't seen her husband. She wasn't wearing a wedding band. She'd said her husband 'was' a very talented craftsman.

Report Story

byBurntRedstone© 32 comments/ 30305 views/ 94 favorites

Share the love

Report a Bug

Next
5 Pages:123

Forgot your password?

Please wait

Change picture

Your current user avatar, all sizes:

Default size User Picture  Medium size User Picture  Small size User Picture  Tiny size User Picture

You have a new user avatar waiting for moderation.

Select new user avatar:

   Cancel