Call Out Your Name Ch. 03bycliffgirl08©
Early on Saturday morning I went to the wholesale market and picked up fish for bait and then drove to the marina where I met my uncle and the rest of the crew preparing to take the Tammany Jo and Sorsha Lynn out for a day of fishing. As I dumped the chum in one of the tanks I cheerfully greeted the other four guys, all in their late twenties, and they responded in kind. Being the nephew of the owner has never given me any special privileges and I have paid my dues. Hard work alongside them has made me an equal, not a better.
I found Carl below in the cabin. It was an exceptionally nice salon considering what he used the boat for and had a big kitchen, known as a galley, and a dining area. There were two bedrooms, which are called berths, and one even had a queen-sized bed. The bathroom, uh... head, had a huge shower. You could comfortably live down there.
Carl smiled at me apologetically and reached into his pocket for his wallet. He drew a check from the worn leather. "Sorry I forgot your raise."
I shrugged to indicate it wasn't a big deal. "Um, thanks, Uncle Carl for not telling my dad about Jesse," I said.
He hitched his eyebrow up and asked, "What was I supposed to keep such a secret?"
I started to turn red and looked down at my feet, wishing he'd just accept the gratitude without making me talk about it. "You know, that he and I..."
"Look, Shane," he interrupted. "It's none of my business what you do with your private life, okay? You're a good kid, and I see you working hard here so I presume you do at school too. That's what's important in this world. I disagree with your mom and dad because, frankly, they don't have the right to tell you who to love. So no, I will never discuss you and Jesse with either of your parents."
I smiled at him, feeling a little self-consciousness over all the heart-felt encouragement. This was probably the longest string of words I'd heard Carl utter since I moved here. Then he leaned over and gave me a hug, and that turned into a big sense of awkward. Clearing our throats, we sort of pulled away from each other, causing us both to laugh. He ruffled my hair, and I went up on deck to begin my chores.
Over the next couple of weeks Jesse got three more suspicious notes, two in his school locker, one taped to his car. Each one was a little more ominous and little less vague. The last, received on the sixth of April, asked 'How red is Ur fag blood?' I was starting to get scared that someone was truly out to hurt Jesse but he passed it off like it wasn't of any importance and he wasn't intimidated. As he reminded me every time the subject came up, what the stalker wanted was the satisfaction of upsetting Jesse, and if he didn't give into the fear the person would eventually stop.
At least he didn't throw out any of the written threats, storing them in a zip-lock bag in the back of his school locker under a tattered hoody he kept for sudden weather changes. After the eighth one I actually considered swiping them and handing them over to the school principal; we knew each other's locker combinations and it would have been easy enough. But Jesse had such an easy-going way about him and was good at soothing and convincing me I was over-reacting. I didn't think we could be accused of being careless but his refusal to heed them was at least simplistic. We just wanted it to all go away.
And then there was the ongoing discussion of showing affection at school. Jesse was proud to be my lover and wanted to show me off. I wanted that too but I was still afraid. I had at last come to the conclusion that how the other students felt about me wasn't what was significant. No, my concern was that Jesse's name would be linked to mine in a conversation in front of a parent, and that adult would know my father and it would get back to him that I had a boyfriend. As Dad joked about at least once a week, he couldn't stand my mother but at least she had some common sense when it came to the matter of what hole my dick should be playing in.
I tried to explain it to Jesse, and he was more patient than I deserved. Actually, my vacillation made me feel like a wimp who needed his protection. It wasn't as if I'd lost all my self-confidence in the past three months, but I definitely was not the same happy-go-lucky guy I'd been in Rancho Martinez. I guess I could be getting more mature, but mostly I think I was scared of graduating high school and becoming an adult. Jesse was the only person I could talk about my fears to, and I wondered what he saw in me. He would grin and say it was my long blonde hair. Or that my eyes were such a unique shade of turquoise they complimented his hair, so we had to be a couple. It would pull me out of my funk, and I'd be alright for a couple of days.
By early April it came down to the wire where I couldn't put off making a decision on which university I would attend the following year, and Jesse and I disagreed on this subject too. I told him of my plans to attend Hope Ranch Community College with him in the fall, and he said I was throwing my life away by refusing my football scholarship and staying put in Calberia.
He had followed me home after school to find Dad's car mysteriously in the driveway, meaning we couldn't go in, so he left his Jeep in an inconspicuous spot up the street. Now my Impala was parked behind the baseball bleachers of a nearby playground. Taking advantage of the privacy that would evaporate once the younger grades finished their classes for the day, we were making out on the wide back bench-seat. He was at first shocked by my choice.
"How can you just blow off tens of thousands of dollars like that?" he demanded in a strangled hush. "Do you know what I'd give if some school offered me that kind of money for college?"
"It isn't blown if it means we can stay together," I explained, planting a kiss on his neck right below the fringe of his black hair. His pink lips were all swollen and kiss-bruised. "If I was going to college far away I wouldn't be able to concentrate anyway from missing you so much."
"Shane, I... I don't know what to say. Part of me is happy you love me that much, but I wish I didn't feel that you're making a big mistake. Playing football in college meant so much to you."
"But that's the beauty of it," I urged, almost bouncing excitedly on the seat. "I'm not giving up playing football. I can join the Hope Ranch team. The major schools scout community colleges too, and in a couple of years I'll transfer into a university as a junior. By then you'll be graduated with an AA. I will take you with me, and you can work or act or whatever you want to do. We'll be together, Jesse."
He shook his head, still unconvinced. "What if your dad won't let you stay with him for another two years? I thought you hated living there. Wasn't the whole idea for you to get into an out-of-state college?"
"Not without you, Baby," I pouted, wondering why he had to be so negative. It sounded like he didn't want me around which hurt my feelings and made me feel stupid for the plans I was making for the two of us. "For now, let's not worry about what my dad might do."
Like always, Jesse picked up on my mood. He gave the back of my neck a gentle squeeze. "Okay," he relented. "I guess there are options available if he kicks you out. You could rent one of the rooms that are available to college students, or you might even be able to live with your uncle or on one of his boats in the harbor... anything. I don't want to fight about it."
I hated fighting with Jesse, and thankfully, we didn't do it very often. We trusted each other and stayed in contact throughout the day with little texts of support, especially if one of us had a test or an important assignment or just seemed a bit more stressed than usual. Jesse was getting the best grades of his life because I was helping him study, and he gave me the love that had been lacking to help me focus too. He didn't allow his pals to rag on me for being a jock instead of a drama geek, and I made it plain to Mark Butler that he better keep his thoughts about Jesse to himself when I was around.
In fact, the two of us got along very well because of, or maybe in spite of, all our little idiosyncrasies. Mine was the baggage of deep emotional privation that until that night in my car, I hadn't realized was such a big issue. It was funny in a sarcastic way, but I guess my parents really did a number on me all these years letting me think I had to earn their love and approval. Jesse would not let me feel ashamed for breaking down in front of him in mid-March. He swamped my neediness by paying attention and with praise and vows of love, and he deliberately made me feel like there were no limits to what I could accomplish with him by my side.
You know how guys are. We talk about sex a lot, especially when you have someone as hot and adorable as Jesse for a lover. Maybe it was because we were content to ease into new things without either of us pressuring the other that we were so comfortable together. We hadn't progressed past handjobs and going down on each other because we decided to take the sex slow, but what we shared felt so right. He knew about Owen and the other guys I'd been with, understood that I'd done anal sex before, and I told him I enjoyed it. Jesse asked a lot of questions, leading me to find out that he was a virgin in that respect. He'd never been with anyone he trusted enough, and I wanted very much to have the honor. But I didn't push him.
I discovered he was just a bit on the OCD side. Even if he didn't regarding the stalker notes as conscientiously as I thought he should have, he was overly vigilant about safety otherwise, especially over locked doors and making sure appliances were shut off. Leaving the house with him could be an exercise in frustration as he had to be constantly assured the blow dryer was unplugged and his mother had turned off the stove hours ago. He didn't do the counting thing or having to touch every surface when he walked by, and he wasn't overly obsessive about germs, but I learned it was vital to bolster his memory so he could see himself taking proper precautions.
Jesse might not be an intellectual whiz, but he made up for it in common sense. He was such a pure soul who gave me strength and courage, and he was probably the least selfish person I knew. Every day I felt like I was falling more in love with him. Every night I wished for the freedom to have him sleep by my side. But we were kids with parents who didn't know we were in love with each other, and their rules could be bent but not broken. I was just very lucky that my dad was so busy during tax season and gave me so little supervision.
In some ways the middle of April sneaked up on us along with our two-month anniversary. The fourteenth was on a Saturday and I couldn't get time off from my job. I had secretly come up with a great idea for celebrating that would have to wait for the following Monday. Fortune smiled again because Calberia High gave us a two-week Easter vacation, meaning I could spend the whole day with him. Besides, I needed a special prop, in Jesse's admirable terms, which I'd only have access to on Mondays. My rampant excitement clued him in that this was going to be really over-the-top so he didn't complain.
That's not to say we didn't celebrate the exact date at all. On Saturday, Carl excused me with a "get out of here" and a smirk as soon as the Bayliner hit the pier, and I raced home to shower before Jesse picked me up. He paid for dinner at a Mexican restaurant called Cielito that served excellent tapas which I had never had. Eating tapas is kind of like sharing little snack-sized portions of a lot of different foods so it was definitely fun and different. What made it even better was feeding each other, and I watched his eyes darken as I sucked his fingers clean. Afterwards we went to see Cabin in the Woods, and Jesse hid his face in my shoulder almost the whole film because he doesn't like scary movies but saw it for my sake. Dropping me off at midnight and noticing that my father wasn't home—he had to be staying over at his girlfriend's— we exchanged blowjobs.
Ah, but Monday. Jesse had been getting a little wound up as the date closed in, and I had this sneaky suspicion it had to do with giving up his virginity. Keeping my fingers crossed, I refused to even broach the subject of sex so I wouldn't jinx it, but it was on both of our minds. I had this whole seduction planned but I would let him guide me. I wouldn't tell him where we were going either; just that he needed to dress warm, and thankfully it was a pretty day with temperatures in the high 70s and barely a breeze.
As I parked in front of his house, he texted that he wasn't quite ready to leave, suggesting I introduce myself to his mother who had been asking about the boy Jesse was spending so much time with. I was nervous when I rang the doorbell and a thin, short woman with lustrous black hair answered the door. She had Shane's wide forehead and olive complexion and she was wearing narrow black pants with a droopy sweater over top that made her look younger than her years. She had this parental air about her and I knew this was Ms Capps.
"Hi, I'm Shane, a friend of Jesse's." I told her we had plans for the day and I was picking him up.
Saying he'd be good to go in a few minutes, she was both friendly and curious. "Jesse told me he has no idea where you all are heading out for today."
My smile froze. I couldn't think of any way to keep this a secret without making her suspicious. The last thing I wanted was for her to withdraw permission or find out this was a date. "We're going down to the harbor," I told her. "I work weekends for my uncle, Carl Weatherby, and want to show him around."
Sandra Capps' mouth turned up into a big smile that was so much like Jesse's. "I know Carl. He went out with my older sister before he married Elaine... oh, that was so long ago." Her look turned puzzled like she might have recognized me and was trying to put a face to a name. "Aren't you Lisa and Ken Elliott's son?"
It felt like old home week even though I naturally had no memory of her at all. "That's me," I replied politely. "Only she's Lisa Lawson now."
She blushed a little, and I could tell she was remembering the fifteen-year-old gossip about my parents and why their marriage fell apart. Luckily I was saved by the bounding appearance of Jesse who as usual looked scrumptious, and I turned my attention to him. It was all I could do not to lean into him and give him a kiss.
"I'm ready," he chirped, trying for very hard to look casual and failing.
"Are you sure?" I teased. "You didn't leave the water running, and you put the cap back on your hair gel?"
Jesse's mother gaped at me, surprised, I'm sure, by how intimately we spoke of his OCD tendencies. I had been the one to mention them to him first. He had been embarrassed and blushed through an explanation of how he didn't talk about them in public. I'd pointed out that I loved him anyway, and perfection was way over-rated. Revealing how I knew of his difficulty and joking about it in front of her just proved what close friends we were, but I was sure it didn't cross any lines.
Jesse laughed. "I triple-checked, Shane, and stop being such an a..." He blushed, having almost cursed in front of Sandra and covered it up by quickly hugging her.
"Bye, Mom." I hustled him out the door before she disclosed my secret plan for the day to him or his verbal gaffes led him into more hot water.
The bulky backpack that he toted on his shoulder seemed to be heavy. When I started to ask him what was in it he slyly put his finger to his lips and shook his head for silence.
"Running water and hair gel caps?" he goaded me skeptically once we got on the road, but he was smiling. He poked me in the ribs, and I almost swerved into another lane. "You're an ass, Shane Elliott.
I laughed. "I couldn't help it. I had to distract myself from kissing you."
"Oh, then I'm glad you said it," he answered with a mock shudder. "She was stunned as it is."
"Your mom is nice," I mentioned lightly. "She remembers my parents."
He gave me a dazzling grin and leaned back against the seat rest. "I thought she would."
Bewildered, I couldn't understand his hesitation in telling her he was gay because she didn't seem the type who could get angry. But as he'd already said, it wasn't her he was afraid of upsetting, it was his grandfather.
"I told my cousin about you," he finally admitted. "Chad wanted to know why I don't hang out with him as much as I used to, and I said I have a boyfriend. He wants to meet you."
"Oh?" I was instantly wary.
"It's no big deal. He'll threaten to kick your ass if you fuck up and hurt me."
"Somehow that doesn't reassure me."
But Jesse was grinning from ear to ear. "Nah, I told him you're cool. He's trying to be friendly." He lifted his heavy backpack and giggled. "I gave him money and he bought us a twelve-pack of Blue Moons."
Jesse and I drank beer occasionally when we could get our hands on it, meaning when I felt brave enough to sneak it out of the fridge at home. We also got high every now and then, but neither of us let it be a problem. I mean, all the teenagers we knew did the same.
"I know we're going to have fun today, whatever it is," he hinted with a side look, but I wouldn't let him trick me into revealing my plans.
Like I told Jesse's mother, our destination was the marina and Carl's boats. I had proven to my uncle over the past three months that I could navigate his trawlers, and he let me steer the Sorsha Lynn out of the harbor and up the coast all by myself one Sunday. Of all things, some rich guy from Santa Barbara hired him to take it out for his daughter's Sweet-16 party. It was exhilarating to be given this opportunity and see Carl's trust in me. He simply stood by ready to take the wheel in case of an emergency, and I had impressed him.
I had also made an impact on the girls who liked my California surfer look and insisted on giving me their cell phone numbers. I just smiled, steered and flirted, then threw the scraps of paper away when I mopped up later. Damn, why hit on girls when Jesse was all I wanted?
"What are we doing?" he asked, his head on a swivel as we made our way down the gangway to the floating pontoons where the ship was secured and he took in the different vessels around the seaport.
"We're heading out," I said, pointing to the harbor entrance. "Monday is the one day Uncle Carl takes off from his charters, and he said I could use the Sorsha Lynn, providing that I paid for the fuel and we're back by nine tonight. Oh, and that I'm sober when I'm behind the wheel. She's easy to run in clear weather, and I thought you would enjoy the privacy. I even stocked her with food for the day."
Jesse's eyes went wide with surprise. He practically jumped up and down in anticipation before giving me a big hug and thanking me over and over for making the day so much fun. I could tell he'd never been out on the ocean before, and I wanted to pat myself on the back for such a brilliant idea.
I had a half-hour of preparation to get the Bayliner ready to go and Jesse helped me. It made sense to do the bare minimum, seeing as how it was just him and me, so all we did was pull the shrouds and secure the deck cushions and other items Carl stored belowdecks when the boats weren't in use. I checked the instruments while Jesse put our food away in the galley and refrigerated the beer, and soon we were ready to leave.
I took the upper helm and had Jesse sit next to me on the port side. Wind in our hair, and Jesse's cheeks flushed charmingly, we nudged out of the slip and slowly made our way to the entrance of the harbor. Once free, I headed to a place I knew about eight nautical miles out.