tagGay MaleThe Vacation House Ch. 27

The Vacation House Ch. 27


Time really has sped up lately. Graduation from University was sort of a let down though. I'd built it up in my head for so long that when the time actually came, it was a bit anticlimactic. It was great being with all of my friends and family leading up to yesterday afternoon but once it was all over, well, a feeling of disappointment sort of washed over me.

Tag's parents gave him a used/new SUV. Man was he out of his mind excited about it too! He had no idea that they were going to give him anything as major as a vehicle. OK, it's not brand new but being only two years old, with pretty low mileage, it might as well be. He'd been talking about saving up for one for several years, his bank account has slowly built up a nice little bundle and he thought that he was going to have to drain it this summer.

Dad and Lee had offered both of us full time jobs working for the newly formed construction company they call L & R Construction. When we sat down a few months back to discuss what I was going to do with my life, well you know, career life after graduation, I really had no firm direction as to where I wanted to go. Tag sat in on that discussion and my mind was totally blown when Dad laid out a job offer for both of us after graduation.

L & R Construction had acquired some prime building property up in Burlington. Its got to be the hottest place in Vermont these days. Close to the state capital and within driving distance to some of the wildest skiing on the east coast. Stowe is really close too so it just makes sense that they expand the new business venture in that direction.

We took a sort of family trip up to check out the area, scoped out some of the local hot spots. I was really shocked to realize how metropolitan it is up there, almost like being in the area of Rhode Island I grew up in. There is no lack of trendy shops, restaurants, board shops, bars, you name it, they've got it already.

What blew my mind wide open was the view of the lake from the property they had purchased. I mean not little views, full blown vista's, mountains, water, everything!

So, now comes the let down, I really love living here with Dad and Lee, I had no intention of moving or leaving so soon. Their offer though threw a monkey wrench into that idea. See, I'm going down to the present site that is nearly completed, its almost been like a home away from home for me since we moved up here for good.

The last phase of homes are nearing completion and 85% are already sold throughout the project and more buyers than houses left for the few that are still up for grabs. These are all going to be custom worked, landscaped, you name it. The extras are going to add up real fast on those and they have people fighting over what is going to be possible. One even has its own grotto pool and outdoor patios in the works. Several have gone solar too so there has been adding on to even the already existing structures but the work is going to come to a halt sooner than later.

Lee had decided to take some of the mountain side property that his house stands on and make a private ski community there. He's going to turn his present home into a lodge for the complex since it already has that modern ski lodge feel and views of the valley below are to die for. There's some couple hundred acres of building lots and he and Dad have decided that they are going to actually live in Lee's house during the first half of construction, then they'll move back to our house down here near Bellow's Falls because of the great location. Its an easy commute to Massachusetts, where they are looking to expand into over the next five years.

That leads to the career proposals. I'm heading over to the present site in the morning, going to hook up Lee's mobile trailer to my pick up, Tag and I are driving it up to the new Burlington site. The two of us are going to be living and working out of the trailer for the foreseeable future. It's a beauty, I am excited about getting on with life after school but at the same time, I'm scared shitless. What the heck do I do if I screw things up and Lee and Dad wind up losing all their investment into this project?

They've sunk nearly everything they have saved up and what they each have been able to secure in loans from the bank. This sort of pressure to perform and succeed is more than I had anticipated so soon but Tag and I both agreed to see it through and I'm not about to back out now, even if I have real doubts in my own abilities.

Tag's black Suburban looms off in the distance. It grows in size as I can hear its tires spitting out gravel in all directions. Shiny, gorgeous, that is what it is, a behemoth too! This thing is so big I'm sure that if one of us gets pissed off with the other, Tag can easily live in it for a while.

It comes to a complete stop, the drivers door swings open, Tag jumps out. His skin is tanned and glistens in the late afternoon sun. He's half naked, wearing only a pair of really worn out jeans. I've seen him wear this same pair of Levi's nearly the entire time I have known him and believe me, they are worse for the wear but GOD, he is hot looking in them. His timberland work boots are just as worn out and beat to death as those old reliable button fly.

"Hey Einstein, how's it feel to be smart for once in your life?"

"Your an asshole, you know that? Of course you do, even you're not so dumb as not to realize that you got the wrong set of cheeks around your mouth!"

Tag saunters over to me, takes me into a bear hug, squeezes me with all his might. The wind is literally forced out of my lungs. It seems like an eternity waiting for him to break his death grip on my body. My lungs struggle until I feel the release of pressure, air floods back into me.

My head swoons, I nearly fall over from the sudden dizzy feeling.

'Whoa, whoa there buddy, don't get all excited and fainting on my account. I know I'm one beautiful piece of manhood, but slow down, we've got lots to do. Can't have you falling faint every time you see me, I'm no Elvis but heck..."

A swing and a miss, my dizziness combined with Tags super fast reflexes has me swinging at air. No connection and I loose my footing on the loose gravel beneath my feet, falls flat on my ass.


Really, the gravel is rough, one of the sharper pieces of grey stone embeds itself into my outstretch palm as I attempt to break my fall.

"You OK there Robbie, didn't mean to let you go down without a fight but you started it. Serves you right!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, gimme a hand and help me up will you? I should have known better than try to sneak one up on you. You've always been faster than me, not as accurate but speed is definitely your friend."

"Robbie you flatter me but all kidding aside, have you got your stuff packed yet?"

"Shit, I'm not half finished yet. Please don't tell me that you are already done? C'mon Tag, if you managed to get all your gear together help a mate out, wontcha?"

Tag just smiles, hands on his haunches, his tight abs showing each of their defined lines in all their glory. The V that disappears down below the tattered waste of his jeans draws my stare. I guess maybe a little too long.

"HEY! UP HERE! I'm up here!"

I break my stare, heat rises to my ears and cheeks. I turn on my heels as soon as Tags helping hand breaks its grip. I head into the house, not another word. Geezus Christ, I'm as embarrassed as a schoolgirl. How the heck am I going to cohabitate in a mobile home, his bedroom being separated by paper thin walls?

OK Robbie, calm down, get a grip of yourself. Tag knows all about me, he's still here, still by best friend, hasn't walked out or punched my lights out.

The garage/kitchen screen door closes again behind my retreating steps. I continue to walk toward my bedroom, enters. Damn, I'm in worse shape than I thought. A gentle clearing of Tag's throat as he stands behind me causes me to turn my head and look him directly in his eyes.

"It's OK Ranger, you no be Lone now, Tonto here to make things all better. Go, make us a couple of sandwiches, I'm starved! I'll get the rest of your crap packed, you just go make us something to eat.. I won't say no to a cold brewsky either if you've got em."

"Thanks man, I don't know what I'd do without you. Dad and Lee are expecting the trailer to be packed up and hitched tonight. Their already down at the site, we're all going out for steaks later, that is if you want to come with us."

"Yeah, like a pack of wild dogs could come between me and a medium rare porterhouse... You got a deal, buckoo. Now go, get us those sandwiches will you?"

I nearly knock Tag over in my attempt to clear out of my bedroom as fast as possible.

"Hey, watch it, I'm delicate!"

Tag? Delicate? I nearly fall over tripping myself and laughing out loud so hard as I head toward the kitchen.

Tag raises his arm, puts his outstretched index finger atop his head does a weird rendition of a ballerina's turn.

"Oh, are you not the prettiest little thing?"

One of my sneakers is thrown so quickly that I did not have time to let it register. It collides with my back as I continue my sprint toward the kitchen.

Our snack was nothing to speak of but it does fill us up. Tag heads back into my room while I tend to the cleaning up of the kitchen. It really seems like minutes but time flew by so quickly that I had barely noticed that box upon box and bags were already piled up out in the hallway between the kitchen and my bedroom. I look at the clock, a sudden panic attack, how did it get so late? We're supposed to meet up with Dad and Lee in a little over a half hour and none of this stuff is even in the vehicle yet.

I drop the drying towel onto the counter top, grabs the nearest box and run out the screen door and quickly deposit it directly behind the tailgate of my pick up. I turn on my heels and head back inside with reckless abandon only to collide full force with a several boxes piled high in Tags arms. The collision sends us both hurtling to the floor as the boxes and their contents spill all over the garage.

"Watch where you're going will you? One would think with all the years of playing hockey that you could maneuver a whole lot better than that! Fool!"

"Fool? Look at you sitting there on your big fat ass! One would have thought you could handle a little body check better than a six year old girl, GIRL!"

"I'll get you for that you freakin little sissy!"

With that a full onslaught of youthful testosterone takes over and the two of us are rolling around on the dirty floor of the garage until I find myself in a headlock, bent backward over the side of Tags massive thigh. The tickling starts out sort of playful but takes on a life of its own. I am laughing, crying, screaming and pleading to be let go, for him to stop... STOP!

Tag stops, I'm gasping for air, he is just looking down into my eyes, there's something there that I had never seen before.

He jumps up and brushes off the dirty from his legs then his backside. I'm left sitting indian style on the floor, not knowing what just happened. He did stop but I really didn't want him to, really. I don't think he wanted to either but he did.

Tag bends low and begins to pick up the scattered clothing, dumps it in messy heaps into the open boxes. Not another word is said, he just goes on about the business of getting out of the house with all my belongings. I gain my footing and proceed in the loading of the truck. I'm more confused now than ever. What the hell was that all about?

We finally arrive with both our vehicles pulling in side by side near Lee's trailer. The lights inside are all lit, Dad comes out of the doorway with a big smile on his face. Lee follows a short time later and we all get into Lee's pick up and head off for a night of feasting and fun like none that I can ever remember.

It was a great boys night out, good food, great discussions and all the anticipation and anxiety of the next chapter in our lives unfolding before our very eyes.

While pulling back into the site, Dad drapes his muscular arm around my shoulder, runs his fingers over the brush like ends of my crew cut. He pulls me close, gently inhales, taking in my scent, kisses me with tender loving care on the top of my head.

"Hey, none of that! That's supposed to be all saved for me big boy."

Lee's laughing sarcasm makes us all laugh, its a good feeling to be loved but at the same time I sort of am feeling, well, lonely.

Tag jumps out of the truck the moment it comes to a halt. I linger in Dad's embrace, not really wishing for it to end, for him to go, for me to go.

Lee looks into the rear view mirror, clears his throat and quietly opens the driver's door and makes his way toward the trailer.

"You're going to just fine there kiddo, you know that we believe in you. Just go out there and do the best damned job you can and you'll find out what you are really made of. Just think of this as a sort of summer camp, you, Tag, you're not moving anywhere, just going on a camping adventure."

Dad is putting out his best for me right now. I look up into his dark eyes and there is obvious welling of tears. That old fraud, he's just as upset about this as I am. He never once let on that he was going to miss me, just kept talking about how it was high time that he and Lee had a place of their own, on their own. Well, fool me will you?

"Yeah, I know Dad, I've really been looking forward to being my own man too. See, it's been fun but the baby bird has to finally learn to fly."

That did it, Dad breaks down in a flood of tears. The big guy holds me as tight as he possibly can. With all my big talk, I melt down into the little kid I once was, I hug him back just as tight and bawl like a babe in his arms.

The back cab door swings open, Tag grabs hold of my arm and gives it a tug.

"Hey there, you two really need to either get a room or get it together."

Dad laughs, sits upright and helps me to an upright position as well.

"He's right you know, time to cut that string.. You two go get a good night's sleep and we'll see you in the morning to help you hitch the trailer up to your truck, OK?"

"Yep, OK Dad.. Hey Dad? I love you, you know that?"

"Sure do kiddo, sure do."

Tag and I stand in the driveway until the last of the red tail light has vanished into the darkness of summers warmth. The sound of crickets fill the air. Bats fly overhead, they feast upon the clouds of gnats that come out during dusk.

"C'mon Kemosabe, we've got lots of stuff to unload and get in before the mosquitoes come out and we become their steak dinners."

Tag raises his arm, drapes it over my shoulder. He reaches his hand up and gently runs his finger tips over the ends of my hair. Every single hair on my body stands at attention. Goosebumps break out over the surface of my arms and legs. The odd feeling of deja vu rushes over me.

We walk like this to the trailer, Tag opens the door and guides me inside. The brightly lit area we walk into is so familiar yet vaguely out of place too. Are we really here, doing this or am I just dreaming and bound to wake up and find myself in my own bed?

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