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SUMMARY: Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others. Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
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NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.
At last it was May and the school year was finally over. I would have to go back for graduation, of course. My parents were into the whole pomp and circumstances thing and I owed them that much at least. But I was free to leave Newark at last and excited Cameron was coming along with me.
He had survived freshman year better than most and by now those painful memories of William were a thing of the past. I had helped him sub-lease the place for the summer. Like me the previous year, he would have to come back in August to find a new roommate. But for now he was free to leave as well.
The two of us wanted to get to Rehoboth Beach before the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer. That would give us a little time at the beach together before beginning our summer jobs. In the end, there wasn’t much to pack into the used Chevrolet my parents had purchased for me as a graduation present. Cameron was leaving most of his things and I had been disposing of stuff for months.
By now I had accepted an offer to teach history at Cape Henlopen High School the following fall. Funding was still needed, but that wasn’t expected to be a problem and I was looking forward to teaching. Once I began, I would be able to get an apartment. But for now I planned on spending the summer with my parents so I could begin saving the money I needed to rent my own place.
With one final look around the apartment that had been our home for the last year, we locked the place up and headed off for Rehoboth Beach.
“You’re going to have fun this summer, Cameron,” I said, looking over at him. “I don’t know why I say that, but I just feel this is going to be your best summer ever.”
“And you earned your psychic degree where exactly, Mr. Allen?” he asked.
“The University of UKnowItAll,” I replied.
“I see,” he said. “Well, then, I guess that settles the matter. Let’s hope you’re right.”
We picked up something to eat along the way and pulled into Rehoboth Beach around 8 p.m. that evening. It didn’t take long to unpack. Cameron would be staying in my sister’s room for the next couple of days. My mother was looking forward to that. She still didn’t have a clue he was gay and we had decided to keep it that way.
“That reminds me,” my mother said, after reintroducing herself to him. “Ethan Williams’ mother wants you to call her, Hunter. Perhaps it has something to do with when Cameron can move in.”
Picking up the phone, I dialed the all too familiar number.
“Hi, Mrs. Williams,” I said. “It’s me, Hunter. You called?”
“Hunter, are you ever planning to come over and have dinner with me again?” she asked. “It’s been years; and even though I know you’ve been spending most of your time up in Newark, I’m worried you’ve decided you don’t like my home made spaghetti sauce and apple pie after all.”
“No way, Mrs. Williams,” I said. “In fact, if that job of mine falls through for some reason, I may be suggesting we go into business together, with you making that sauce and me marketing it around town to the different grocery stores. We could get rich off of that stuff, you know.”
“I never thought of that,” she said. “You see what four years of college can do? You’ve become a little entrepreneur. But the reason I’m calling is I saw a notice in the paper earlier this week announcing tryouts for our entry in the Peninsula Baseball League, which I hear you’re going to be coaching this year.”
“That’s right,” I responded. “Coach Lodge finally decided to retire and I’m the sucker they hired to try filling his shoes.”
“I’m sure you’ll do just fine, Hunter,” she said, “but I need to ask a favor. I have a boy who’s been living with me the last few years. I’m not sure whether you ever met him. You may not have. Whether you did or not, he likes playing baseball a lot. In fact, it’s all he thinks about when summer rolls around. He’s pretty good, at least Ethan tells me he is; and he’s on the high school team but the coach never plays him for reasons I won’t go into right now.”
“I was wondering if it would be okay for me to send him over tomorrow morning to try out for your team. He doesn’t want to do that because he thinks you won’t play him either, but I’ve told him he’ll get a fair chance from you.”
“Sure, Mrs. Williams,” I said. “No problem. Send him over. I’m not making any promises, but if Ethan thinks he’s a good player, I’m sure he’ll make the team; and if he makes the team, he’ll play. That’s the way it’s going to be; everyone’s going to play, at least if I have my way.”
“Fine; I’ll send him over tomorrow morning first thing. And thanks very much for giving him a look, Hunter.”
“How’s Ethan doing, Mrs. Williams?” I quickly asked before she hung up on me.
“He’s doing well, but I think he’s a little frustrated to still be playing AAA ball. The problem is the Blues seem to be set at shortstop.”
“I can understand his frustration,” I said. “You don’t want to root for someone to be injured, but he’s in a tough situation, no doubt about it. But he’s going to make it, Mrs. Williams. I just know he will. He’s a great ballplayer and still my best friend. You tell him that the next time he calls.”
“I will,” she said. “But you should tell him yourself. He’s always asking how you’re doing and you’re the same way. The two of you need to stop using me to exchange messages. Pick up the phone and call him, Hunter. He misses you.”
“Yeah, I know. I miss him too. I’ve been meaning to call him and I will. I promise. But, um, one other thing, Mrs. Williams; do you know when my friend Cameron can move into your place? I’m not really pushing. He’s welcome to stay here with us until then, but it’s just that, you know, you’re a little more easygoing than my mom.”
“He can move in Tuesday morning after my guests have left, Hunter; assuming that’s convenient for him, of course. I’m looking forward to meeting Cameron. You spoke so highly of him and told me what a wonderful cook he is. If he’s half as good as you say, he’ll earn his keep over here.”
“You’re going to love having him do some of the cooking, Mrs. Williams. I’ll talk to him and have him get back to you to coordinate the move in. I know he starts his new jobs on Monday, but I’m not sure what the hours are exactly right now. Like I said, he’ll get back to you and I’ll be sure to tag along so I can introduce him to you in person.”
“He’s different than Ethan or me, but I know you’re going to love having him around. He’ll be a big help with the cooking, the chores and whatever.”
“Okay; it was nice speaking to you, Hunter,” she said.
I had scheduled our first practice for Saturday morning at 8 a.m. to try to get a jump on the season. In the PBL, most of the first half of June was consumed practicing. The games took place on Saturdays and Sundays after that and ran through the middle of August.
I had billed the practice Saturday morning as a tryout and emphasized it would last until noon. That was longer than my practices would usually be, but I was trying to scare off any kids who weren’t prepared to work hard from day one.
The truth is I expected to take as many of the boys as I could who showed up and stayed the entire time; preferably all of them. But I had decided to call it a tryout so the boys I selected would feel a sense of pride in being chosen for the team. I could still recall how some of the boys I had grown up with had been hurt when they didn’t make a team they tried out for. I wanted to avoid that if possible with whoever showed up the next day.
I also wanted to see the kids in action to assess their individual strengths and weaknesses and where we stood as a team. But when Cameron and I got to the field the next morning, the only thing we saw were two of the boys down on the ground rolling around in the dust. They were wrestling and tossing punches at one another whenever they could get an arm free, which wasn’t that often thankfully.
The rest of the boys were standing around in a circle watching the two of them go at it. A couple were even egging on one of the boys.
“Come on, Kev,” one of them shouted. “Kick the shit out of him.”
“Hey, what the heck is going on here,” I shouted, dropping the gear Cameron and I had been lugging to the field and racing over to where the two of them were fighting.
“Stop it, you two,” I shouted; and with that I grabbed the boy who was on top, pulled him away from the other one, and handed him off to Cameron to restrain. Reaching down, I helped the other boy to his feet and held him firmly in my grasp. He had a bruised lip, but otherwise seemed to be fine.
“Okay, you first,” I said, loosening my grip on the boy while still restraining him with one hand.
“What’s your name and what’s you version of what this is all about?”
“Kevin,” he said. “My name’s Kevin Evans.”
“And that dude,” he said, pointing at the other boy, “he’s a faggot. Everyone in town knows that. And I was just telling him we aren’t interested in having any faggots on this team when he sucker punched me, the little queer.”
I remember being surprised. I mean, here we hadn’t even commenced our first practice and already guys were at one another’s throats. Usually it took a couple of hot, sweaty, practices for that to happen.
I wonder if this is what it’s going to be like all summer.
“Okay, now you,” I said, looking over at the other boy.
Cameron had released him, but was still resting one hand on his shoulder.
“What’s your version?”
“Pretty much the same,” the kid responded; “except for the part about sucker punching him. I don’t really give a shit what he calls me. He can call me whatever he wants. But he pushed me and nobody pushes me. I told him to keep his hands to himself and he pushed me in the chest again; so I decked the son of a bitch.”
The rest of the boys were milling around at that point and you could feel the tension in the air as they waited to see how I would handle the whole thing. I wasn’t exactly sure what to do.
“Okay, you,” I said, pointing to the tallest boy standing toward the back of the circle. He was also the only black kid there.
“What’s your name?”
“Tavaris,” he responded. “Tavaris Thomas.”
“And why are you here this morning, Tavaris?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” he replied, seemingly confused by the question.
“I mean what I said,” I responded. “What brought you out to the field this morning?”
“I dunno,” he responded. “I wanted to play some baseball. That’s about it; nothing more.”
“Okay, good,” I said. “What position do you play?”
“Usually I play first base,” he replied, “because I’m kind of tall and can reach balls some others can’t. But I’ve also played center field at times because I’m pretty fast and can throw really hard.”
“Great,” I said. “First base sounds good for the moment and you can play center field as well. Do you think you can do me a favor and play the rest of the positions too?”
“I dunno,” he replied. “I could try if you want me to. I mean, I’ve never played most of the rest of the positions, but I could try, I suppose; if you need me to play somewhere other than first base or center field, I mean.”
“No, that’s not what I’m talking about,” I said. “I want you to play both those positions, but what I’m asking is whether you can play all the rest of them as well; you know, at the same time? It looks like I could use someone who can be a one man team for us and spare me the trouble of trying to figure out which of these others boys prefer baseball to fighting.”
“That’s crazy, dude,” he responded. “No one can play all of the positions at the same time; and it wouldn’t be any fun to be on a team by myself.”
“Good answer, Tavaris,” I replied.
“Okay everyone, listen up,” I continued, looking at the rest of the boys. “I have a young man here, Tavaris Thomas, who says he wants to play baseball but can’t play all the positions himself. So I guess I’m going to have to try out some of the rest of you at the other positions.”
“There are nine positions we need to fill; and I guess we could use a few other players as well. What I want the rest of you to do is to head out to the position you usually play and start tossing around these balls I brought along.”
And with that I pulled out a bunch of baseballs the Parks and Recreation Commission had provided and started tossing them to some of the boys.
“Before you do that, however, I want everyone to listen up real carefully. I don’t think I’ll have much problem filling nine positions given how many of you turned out this morning. But filling positions isn’t going to make us a team. What’s going to make us a team is working together, helping each other out, and having each other’s back when someone challenges one of your teammates.”
“Everyone is different and I can live with a lot of individual quirks on this team; but there are some things I’m not going to put up with and calling each other nasty names is one of them. If you think you can do more than fill a position, if you think you can have the back of every one of your teammates, no matter what, head out to your position right now and get started.”
“If not, if you’re only willing to play with certain people, you should leave now because this team won’t be in need of your services this summer.”
A couple of the boys nodded while others just averted their gaze. But all of them trotted out to their positions except the two Cameron and I were still holding.
“Okay, Kevin,” I said, looking at the one. “Faggot and queer are two words we don’t use on this team. There are other words we don’t use either and I imagine you know what they are. If you have any doubts, ask. But for now I’ll just leave it at that. We don’t use faggot or queer; not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Understood?”
“But . . .” he started to stammer.
“I don’t want to hear it, Kevin,” I said, stopping him before he could get started. “What I want to hear is an apology to him for using those words before you head out to your position; assuming you plan to head out to a position, that is. You can leave and not come back if you don’t want to apologize.”
The kid stared daggers at me and for a moment I wasn’t sure what he would do. But finally he looked down at the ground and mumbled the word I was looking for.
It wasn’t the most heartfelt apology I had ever heard, but it was enough for today.
“Thanks,” I said, turning my attention to the other boy.
“I didn’t get your name, but this is your new teammate, Kevin. Shake his hand and tell him you’re sorry you decked him.”
“But he . . .”
“I don’t want to hear it,” I said, waving him off. “I want to hear an apology and I want to hear it right now; like I told Kevin, if you don’t want to do that you can leave.”
He placed his hands on his hips, looked at me defiantly, and rolled his eyes. I didn’t say anything, just stood there staring back at him. For a moment I thought he might leave, but finally he shook his head as if I was the biggest idiot in the world and sighed deeply.
“Fine; I’m sorry I hit you, Kevin,” he spit out.
Just by the way he said it I could tell he wasn’t sorry at all; that he was probably quite proud of himself for decking the kid. As with Kevin, however, it was enough for the moment.
“Okay, Kevin, you can head out to your position,” I said, and with that he was off like a flash, headed for shortstop.
“Cameron, why don’t you go huddle up with those boys and get them started on some of the drills we discussed while I talk to this one.”
“Sure,” he responded, trotting off.
“And just so I know, your name is what exactly?” I said, looking back at the other boy.
“Zachary,” he said. “Zachary Taylor at your service, dude.”
And with that he gave me a weird little bow as if he was some ancient knight introducing himself to some fair maiden. It was kind of strange actually.
“Wasn’t Zachary Taylor . . .”
“No, he wasn’t,” the kid interjected quickly before I could finish the thought.
“Or maybe he was, but who gives a shit? The dude’s been dead for 150 years. I’m still alive and I get tired of hearing the same stupid history lesson all the time about some dude who’s dead.”
“It’s a pain in the butt,” he added, shaking his ass at me just a little.
I could see he was a little sensitive about the whole thing so I decided to drop it right there.
“Should I call you Zack?” I said.
“No, you shouldn’t, dude,” he said. “You should call me Zachary. What should I call you?”
I was pretty certain he wanted to call me a couple of things right about then and figured he would do that once practice was over.
“Um, well, for now you can call me Coach; and if you’re interested in playing baseball more than fighting you can also head out to whatever position you play.”
“Okay,” he responded. “I play shortstop.”
Oh great; just what I need. Two shortstops and they hate one another.
“Well, get a move on then,” I said, pointing him in the direction.
He raced off and with that the first crisis of my budding coaching career was seemingly over. Somehow I had survived.
Cameron and I worked the boys hard the next four hours. In the process, we learned their names and gathered some insights into their unique personalities. I wanted to work them especially hard that first morning to see who wanted to play and who was there just because their parents had told them to be. Sure enough, at the end of the second hour when we took a ten minute break, a couple left and never came back.
By the time we got through all the drills I had planned for the day, I had a much better idea of the skill levels I was dealing with and what our strengths and weaknesses as a team were. I had even managed to get in some pitching drills with some of the boys who were interested in that.
They were pretty tired when I called them in from the field just before noon. Some like Tavaris and Zachary were very good ballplayers. Others were still works in progress. The potential was there, but it needed to be unlocked. And then there was Billy Barnes.
Billy was just about the worst player I had ever seen in my life. Not to belittle the kid, but he threw the ball like a girl; that is, when he could get to the ball, which wasn’t all that often. And even when he got to the ball, there were times when he tripped over his feet and fell flat on his face.
He was the smallest of all of them, but the kid had gumption. He never stopped trying; and more than gumption, he had a sense of humor that he mostly turned on himself. Instead of picking on him, as kids are wont to do, the other boys seemed to put up with his terrible play just to hear what the kid would say next. He had them in stitches the entire four hours.
But none of them had left during the second two hours of practice and none of them had disappointed over the course of the morning. Each of them had given everything they had. Whether they would show up the next day for still another practice was hard to say. But most of them seemed to be there because they wanted to be, not because some parent was hovering nearby forcing them to be there. I was glad about that.
“Okay, listen up, guys,” I said. “I want to thank everyone for trying out this morning. I was real pleased with the effort each of you showed. If you can keep that up for the rest of the summer, I think we’ll do just fine as a team. Later today I’m going to put up a notice at the Municipal Building downtown with the names of the boys I’ve selected for the team. I’ll have it posted on the front door by 2 p.m. this afternoon. You can stop by and check it out at your own convenience any time after that.”
“If you made the team, I’ll expect to see you back here tomorrow at noon. It’ll be a lot hotter then, a better check on where we stand stamina-wise, but I’ll only ask you to practice for two hours, not four. I’ll have a cooler with water, but be sure to bring lots of your own water as well. While I go put together the final list of those who made the team, my assistant here will go over some other things with you.”
With that I walked away from the group with a clipboard and busied myself putting together the list of names I had just promised them.
There were fifteen boys who had showed up and stayed all morning and by then I had already decided to take all of them, even Billy Barnes. He was terrible, no doubt about it; but he wasn’t a quitter and he was open to learning. And what he lacked in talent, skill and ability, he made up for in the jokes he was constantly cracking. To me, that alone was worth the price of admission.
Having said that, I didn’t want to let them know they had all made the team right then. I wanted them to learn the old fashioned way, the way Ethan and I had. Some people would say it wasn’t important, but waiting for a list to be posted somewhere could be hard. I could still recall all the fear and trepidation involved from my own playing days.
Back then the wait often ended in disappointment as well when the list didn’t include your name. It wasn’t going to be disappointing for any of these boys, but the two hours of waiting would be good for them, a test of their patience and just long enough to build up a little tension.
It was important for them to know the exact time the list would be posted. The best players among them would show up precisely at 2 p.m. to confirm what they already strongly believed, that they surely had made the team. But some of them would be less certain of the outcome and those were the ones this was all about.
Sneaking up to that door when no one else was around so you wouldn’t be embarrassed if your name wasn’t on the list would be a test of courage for them. They would all pass that test, of course, but the effect of seeing their names up on the team list would be electrifying for them, at least for most of them I thought.
And it was fun just sitting there looking over at them from time to time while Cameron passed along some things I wanted them to know. Most of them were sneaking a glimpse of me laboring away there; pausing dramatically, placing my hand on my mouth as if deep in thought, looking over in their direction as if I needed to check one more time to decide each of their fates.
Like I said, it was fun for me, just like I knew it would be fun for them, affirming for them, when they checked that list, saw they had made the team, and then double-checked just to be certain they had really seen it right the first time.
By then Cameron had dismissed the boys and they were going off in different directions, most in groups of two or three, though I noticed Zachary was heading off by himself.
The one boy who didn’t leave was Billy Barnes. As the other boys disappeared in the distance, he approached me.
“Could you tell me now, Coach?” he asked. “I appreciate all the time you spent with me this morning, but I know I’m not good enough to make the team. It would just be easier hearing that from you than having to check it out later.”
“I can’t do that, Billy,” I replied. “For one thing, I want to think about my decisions some more; and it wouldn’t be fair to the other boys to give you the word before them no matter what. No one gets any special favors on this team, Billy. You’ll have to check at the Municipal Building just like everyone else.”
“Then I probably won’t,” he spit out, his frustration with his play that morning finally boiling over. “Won’t check, that is; I never make any team so what’s the point when you already know the answer?”
“The point is I may be the one who gets to decide who makes this team, but only you get to decide whether you’re a quitter,” I responded. “You didn’t quit on yourself all morning, Billy. Whether you make the team or not, why would you want to start now?”
He shrugged his shoulders and headed off, convinced I had cut him. There was a part of me that wanted to tell him he had made the team, but I figured it would mean more if he could find the courage to check the list later that day. In spite of what he had said, I suspected he would.
As Billy departed Cameron wandered over and looked at me.
“How many of them are you going to take?” he asked. “And who did you cut? Other than Billy Barnes, of course; even I know enough about baseball to know he’s not very good.”
“I didn’t cut any of them,” I said. “They’ll all make the team.”
“But why didn’t you tell . . . .”
“I’ll tell you later,” I interjected. “For now, why don’t we get something to eat, change into our swimsuits, post the notice and head over to the beach? We won’t have as much time to do that once we start working.”
“Sounds like a plan to me,” he said.
“And, uh, by the way, I just wanted to say I thought you handled that fight really well,” he added. “I don’t know what I would have done in your position.”
“You would have figured it out,” I replied.
Cameron and I lugged the gear back to my car and deposited it into the trunk of my Chevy. I remember thinking it was going to be a pain in the ass dragging all of that stuff back and forth to the field every day. I hadn’t really given much thought to this part of coaching.
“We need to find some kid in town who would be honored to be the equipment manager for the team, Cameron,” I said. “Maybe a couple; in fact, now that I think about it, maybe a couple of young teenage girls who would be interested in showing the boys how much they love baseball and the guys who play it.”
“I think maybe that’s another one of those duties of the assistant coach, to find a couple of pretty girls like that.”
“Really?” he said, staring back at me. “I don’t recall seeing that anywhere in the contract I signed; you know, that contract paying me, what was it, $1000 a month for being your slave?”
“It was somewhere under miscellaneous duties,” I responded; “along with that long, deep tissue massage you’re required to provide the head coach after every practice and game. You know, that massage that provides relief to all of my aching muscles, especially the ones that swell up the most after a hard workout.”
“You’ll see that about the same time I see that thousands bucks, I imagine,” he responded, grinning at me.
“Drat,” I said; “foiled again. Oh, well, let’s get this stuff back to the house and then head over to Louie’s for some pizza.”
“Pizza is fattening,” he replied.
“Oh, hell, not another one,” I muttered, thinking how Ethan used to tell me the same thing.
“Okay, then, a bread stick and salad for you and pizza for me;” I replied. “It’s apparent I don’t have to worry about what kind of shape I’m in because I’m never going to get a chance at that ass of yours again.”
“You never know, Hunter,” he replied, smiling. “Some things you just never know.”
We finished up lunch quickly and then went back to the house. I changed into my swimsuit, then waited for Cameron.
When he reappeared, I couldn’t believe what he was wearing.
“Um, you’re not really planning to wear that thing to the beach?” I said.
“Why? What’s wrong with it?” he asked.
Just about everything I could think of was wrong with it. It was old and faded and baggy and didn’t do Cameron justice at all.
“That has to be the most wretched swimsuit I’ve ever seen,” I responded. “That’s what wrong with it. Hell, you would look sexier in one of those Sponge Bob swimsuits five and six year old boys wear to the beach.”
“I didn’t know I had to look sexy,” he said, sticking his tongue out at me. “Besides, one of us needs to dress modestly and it’s pretty apparent it isn’t going to be you,” he added, glancing up and down at the Speedo I was wearing.
“That thing you’re wearing is obscene.”
“Damn right,” I said. “And, yes, you do have to look sexy. I mean, we’re going to be spending the afternoon together at Poodle Beach after all and there’s no way in hell I’m going to let you disgrace me wearing something like that.”
“So forget about it; I know just the place to get you a new suit. It carries the very latest. I don’t want to hear another word out of you. Just stop resisting and follow me, slave.”
With that I turned my back and walked out the door. Not knowing what else to do, he followed along behind me. When we reached the place, I headed straight to the section where I knew they stocked the skimpiest suits. Looking through the racks quickly, I pulled out a couple and handed them to him. Then I marched him over to the changing station.
“Try those on,” I said; “and be sure to hand out that one you’re wearing.”
For once he didn’t resist and I think he secretly welcomed what I was doing. He handed his old suit over the door and I quickly tossed it into the trash.
“You can’t be serious, Hunter,” he whispered from within the station. “I can’t wear something like this. I’ll feel naked.”
“That sounds perfect to me,” I said. “Let me see.”
He swung open the door and just stood there staring at me. It took my breath away. Just looking at Cameron in that thing, I could feel myself going hard.
I mean, that suit was perfect for him. Everywhere I looked there was skin; and the small patch of blue that surrounded his groin was cut perfectly, drawing your attention upward to his package and that incredible ass of his. It was hard to decide which to focus on first because it showed both of them off to best effect, at least I thought so.
“Bingo,” I said. “Don’t even bother with the other two. That’s the one.”
“I don’t know,” he responded, staring at himself in the full length mirror. “This is . . . I don’t know exactly, but this is obscene.”
“We’ll be a perfect match then,” I said, grinning.
“But what about your mother?” he said, looking over at me. “If I go back to your house wearing something like this, she’ll be bound to suspect I’m . . . .”
“She isn’t there this afternoon,” I said. “Everything will be fine. Let’s go back to the house so I can print out the list of guys who made the team. After we post it at the Municipal Building, we can head over to Poodle Beach.”
By then I had already forked over the money to pay for the suit. This was going to be my treat. Just looking at Cameron wearing that thing all summer was well worth the price. Reaching over, I pulled the drawstring still tighter, accentuating everything even more. Then I shoved it inside the suit, copping a feel in the process.
Cameron slapped my hand away for being naughty like that. Then he took one final look in the mirror and sighed.
“Maybe it isn’t too bad after all.”
Yeah, right, Cameron. You know just how hot you are and how that suit will play on Poodle Beach. You want to be popular with all those dudes, don’t you, you little tease?
Like they say, if you got it, flaunt it; and you’ve definitely got it, Cameron, so don’t even try to resist the temptation.
After that we went back to the house. I printed out the list with the names of all the boys who had showed up that morning and stayed the four hours. We drove over to the Municipal Building, arriving around 1:55 p.m. I posted the notice on the inside of the door facing out.
Looking in every direction one final time, I couldn’t see anyone around; and yet somehow I had the sense some were lurking nearby, just like Ethan and I had done when we were their age.
I remember smiling at my little deception. It still seemed to me to be the right thing to do.
Then Cameron and I drove back to the house, dropped off the car, and headed down to the boardwalk.