You and I Both

You and I Both – Part one

‘Cause you and I both loved
What you and I spoke of
And others just read of
And if you could see me now

Oh love, love, you and I, you and I
Not so little, you and I anymore
And with this silence brings a moral story
More importantly evolving is the glory of a boy

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, okay, it wasn’t stormy. It wasn’t even particularly dark, as my room was suffused with the lights of the city. It was night though, that moment lying alone in bed when I had the first conscious thought that my life was no longer something I recognized or wanted. I suppose it had been coming to a head for some time. So, despite the amazement of my friends and family, and heated protests from my board, I sold my company. I have to say I got an obscene amount of money for it, more than enough to get me away from the headache and stress of the city. I thought I’d go back to the way I started my career, doing some freelance illustrations for fun, and meanwhile get away from the smog and the noise.

I contacted a realtor through my attorney and he eventually found me a place I thought was just perfect. It was set on a small lake, in an even smaller town, in West Virginia. Apparently someone had had the same idea as mine. Get out of the city. He’d bought up a bunch of land around this picturesque lake and starting building a home, then he either lost his money, or died or somesuch, my realtor wasn’t sure. In any case, the entire thing was up for grabs and being so far off the beaten path, they hadn’t been able to unload it on anyone.

I flew into Charleston and had to rent a car. It was a three hour drive along progressively smaller roads. After awhile, the GPS was useless. Four hours and a few wrong turns later I finally found the place, a tiny town called Stone Lake. The lake itself was everything the realtor had promised. This area was heavily wooded, and you could see the misty blue haze of the Appalachian Mountains off in the distance.

The house wasn’t complete, but I saw it had potential. It was a two story log cabin, modern, with lots of glass. It was very private, a couple of miles outside the small town, along a winding private drive. Somehow, nobody else had built on this side of the lake, and there were only three other houses on the northern bank, but that was over a half mile away. Of the three houses, only two were occupied, and apparently only for a couple of weeks in the summer. The property came with a huge tract of land, mostly lakeside, so I could keep anyone else from building.

I had several contractors, surveyors, inspectors and the like come out and look over everything, and they all told me the same thing – buy. So I bought. I sat down with the original architect and contractor on the home, made a few changes to suit my own tastes, and then let them get back to work on it. I was assured the place would be available to move in well before summer.

In the meantime, I settled all my affairs in New York, selling off property, saying goodbye to my few friends, eating a final time at all my favorite restaurants. There were some things I’m sure I’d miss about the city, chief among them the food, but I was ready for a change.

The cabin was ready by mid-April. Living in New York, I hadn’t had any need for a personal vehicle. So I made arrangements to purchase a pick-up truck and have it waiting for me in Charleston when I arrived. I figured a pick-up would be the most practical vehicle for the area. I’d actually grown up in a small town in Ohio and knew the mentality, so I also considered it camouflage.

The drive this time was closer to the three hour mark, as I had a much better idea where I was going. I drove slowly through the small town of Stone Lake, soaking in the surroundings. The population of the town was just under five thousand. It boasted a small downtown area, including a Subway, a McDonalds, a Dominoes Pizza, and various small businesses. Those were the only chain stores except for two of the three gas stations. There was a small middle school as well as an elementary school. High-schoolers apparently bused to the next town over.

You’d think, being called Stone Lake, the town would be closer to the lake, but it wasn’t. My house was set on the largest portion of the lake, a rough oblong about half a mile across and a mile and a half long. There were also two arms that stretched off the larger portion, one to the west, out of sight because of a bend in the lake and the proliferation of trees. A similar arm stretched off to the east, also hidden from my view. It was there the town had a public ‘beach’ set up, with a playground nearby, BBQ pits, picnic tables and a small shack that served food and ice cream during the warmer months.

I found the turnoff for my property after nearly driving by it. The only thing that marked it, besides the gravel road, was a small mailbox, nearly lost in the green. I stopped and checked the mail, walking back to the truck with a handful of mostly junk mail. The road was narrow and rutted pretty deeply in places. Thank goodness for the truck. Still, I’d have to get someone out here to maybe grade it a bit. It was nearly half a mile through thick forest growth, some grown a bit too close to the road. Another project.

As I neared the house, the trees fell away to either side, opening up to an idyllic scene. The house was gorgeous. Thick cedar logs, glowing russet in the afternoon sun, broken up by huge windows which flashed with reflected sunlight. There was a large garage on the left of the house, plenty of room for the truck and at least two or three more vehicles.

The gravel road led to a large circular drive done in brick pavers. The drive led past the front stairs into the house as well as the garage. Flanking the stairs were two light posts, about four feet high each, topped with carriage lights and finished in stone. Eight cedar steps led up to a porch which stretched the length of the house, supported by more stone faced pillars. There were two front doors, each eight feet tall, inset with wrought iron and leaded glass. More carriage lights flanked the doors. There was a large A framed overhang overhead, which peaked about thirty feet above, cross set with cedar logs. Large windows from the second floor looked down over the entrance.

To the left of the large peak over the entrance was a stone chimney rising from the middle of the sloped roof at least ten feet and even with the peak. To the left of that was another, slightly smaller peak framing sliding glass doors and a small balcony. The same was repeated to the right of the main peak.

The house itself was open concept. As you walked through the front door you were greeted by a wall of mostly glass overlooking the lake. It rose thirty feet to a vaulted ceiling. Polished cedar beams ran the length of the home, providing support and a decorative touch. There was a back deck with a walkway leading down to a small dock.

To the right of the front doors were stairs which lead up to the second story loft, which held the master bedroom and bath and a small veranda overlooking the lake with a hot tub and sitting area. There was also a small open den. Downstairs, to the left of the stairway was a fireplace and a flagstone chimney which rose thirty feet to the ceiling. It was framed by a sitting area which would allow you to enjoy the heat of a fire while looking out and across the lake.

There were another two bedrooms downstairs as well as full and a half bath. The kitchen, like the rest of the house, had a rustic, yet luxurious feel, all polished wood and leaded glass accents with a large kitchen block island. Twelve foot ceilings featured pot lights as well as hanging lighting. A small dining room shared the open space.

To the right of the house was one of the additions I’d commissioned, a large in-ground pool. It was enclosed in a large glass and wood structure, looking more like a greenhouse than a pool house. The windows, like the windows throughout the house, were called smart glass, and could be darkened or turned opaque or even reflective with the touch of a button. The pool was twenty by forty feet and had an eight foot deep end. It was solar heated with a propane backup.

I parked the truck in the garage, using the door opener that had been mailed to me along with the keys by the contractor. I grabbed my bags out of the truck. The movers were to arrive that day, or the next, but I really wasn’t moving much. I’d already hired a decorator for the house, so it was fully furnished. I was just moving mostly clothes and personal belongings along with my old motorcycle, which had been in storage for years.

I stopped, staring at the house, again just soaking up my surroundings. All I could hear was birdsong, insects, and the soughing of wind through the trees. The air smelled so fresh, full of green things and sunshine. I couldn’t believe this was all mine. It was like a dream and I felt something let go deep inside myself, some tension I hadn’t even realized was weighing me down.

I headed through the front door and just stood for a minute to absorb it all. The decorator had done a fantastic job. I’d worked with her to pick out most of the furniture, but to see it all laid out really brought it all to life. I could see the lake through the floor to ceiling windows, calm and reflecting sun and trees. I headed upstairs to the master bedroom.

The bed was fantastic. King size with the best mattress I could buy. I’m a fairly big guy, six feet and one hundred sixty pounds, so I wanted the room. Even with my height, I’d have to step up into the bed. The headboard and foot were in a rustic style, crooked wood railings. I set my bag on the bed and than sat myself and bounced a bit. Wonderful.

I headed into the bathroom, needing to unload after the long car ride. The bathroom may easily be the best room in the house. It’s situated along the back of the house, off the master bedroom. It was huge. To the left was the toilet area, with marble topped counters and again, the best toilet I could buy, with all the bells and whistles. A huge whirlpool tub sat along the back wall, a large window giving a perfect view of the lake. Of course the window was also smart glass, which would go opaque with the push of a button, allowing for private bathing; not that it would really be needed as you wouldn’t be able to see in without a strong pair of binoculars or a telescope from the other side of the lake.

The middle of the ceiling featured a hexagonal section about four feet across which was raised about six inches. There was a wooden border around it to provide contrast and a beautiful ceiling fan in the middle of it. Two stone steps led up to a huge open shower, all glass and stone with a bench for relaxing, or I suppose cleaning your feet or some such. It sat in the corner, allowing for several different shower heads, as well as a huge one protruding from the ceiling. The floor of the bathroom was slate, with in-floor heating for comfort all year round. No more cold feet. Or ass for that matter. The toilet seat was also heated. My decorator Kathy had provided the perfect amount of greenery and decorative little items to make it feel both homey and lux.

I sighed in satisfaction. I was finally home.

Five weeks in my new home and I was finally feeling really settled. My life had fallen into a comfortable routine. I got up around 8am, pulled on shorts and running shoes, and ran around my property. I tried to mix it up, sometimes running up the drive and jogging along the road a bit, sometimes running around the lake. It had grown warm enough to run without a shirt. There were so many trees around I didn’t have to worry about sunscreen. I was rarely out of shadow. On those days when it was raining, I’d stay home and work out. I had a little gym set up in the pool area.

I usually made it home a bit before nine, and I’d take a long shower. Afterward, I’d make a small breakfast and enjoy it on the back deck, watching the lake. I rarely saw anyone, even when jogging out on the road that gave access to my drive. A few times I saw a rowboat out on the lake. I waved to him from my dock once and met him. His name was Henry and he’d come out to do a little fishing, usually in the early morning. He was seventy-six. Very nice guy. He lived a few blocks off the lake apparently, but one of the homeowners from the three houses across the lake let them use their little dock to tie up his rowboat.

After breakfast I’d usually try to get a bit of work done. I didn’t really need to work. Hell, I didn’t need to work period, but I enjoyed illustration work and it gave me a sense of purpose. I had plenty of contacts from the old days, so it was no problem finding clients. I really enjoyed being able to work at my own pace and not worry about deadlines. Such a change from what my life had become over the past decade.

I suppose it’s past time to introduce myself. My name is Brad Canyon. Yeah, I know. It sounds like the name of some old time adventure comic hero. Or detective. Or maybe porn star. Blame my parents. I’m thirty-eight. As I said earlier, I’m six feet tall, a hundred and sixty pounds. I try to stay fit and active. Not to sound vain, but I’m a good looking guy. Not bragging, just is what it is. I have blond hair, which has gone more of a light brown as I’ve grown older. I keep it cut fairly short, and I part it on the side. I’m not very hairy, just a bit of hair in the middle of my chest and a line of curls starting at my navel and leading down. My eyes are my best feature, or so I’ve been told. They are what I call emerald green, when asked. Very bright. Given the nature of the tale I’m relating, I suppose you’ll also want to know about one other area. It’s nothing special to be honest. I’m on the smaller side of average, a bit over five inches, about an inch and a half thick. Sorry to disappoint. Can’t say I’ve ever had a complaint however. As for who those people were who weren’t complaining, well, I suppose that’ll come clearer as this little tale of mine progresses.

On a Tuesday in the middle of May I was taking a walk around what I’d come to think of as my lake. Rather possessive, huh? I had it in my mind to scout a bit. There were only a few areas where I could jog in the mornings and I thought I’d find a new path or two. It even occurred to me that I might be able to get an ATV in here and tool around a bit for fun. It would likely involve clearing some brush and maybe a deadfall or two, so I had a can of orange spray paint with me. I was leaving little marks on areas I’d want to clear.

I was casually strolling along when I spotted a blob of color and movement off to my right. I stopped for a moment to see what it was. It finally resolved itself into a person. A small person. He, it was a boy I was pretty sure, despite a lot of hair, was paralleling my course through the woods, slowly heading toward me. I’m sure he hadn’t seen me yet. He was stopping every few feet to look around through a pair of binoculars. The binocs were white and orange plastic. Obviously something made for a little kid. He also looked to have a cheap old 35mm camera on a strap around his neck. He was mostly looking into the trees, explaining why he hadn’t seen me yet.

The boy was dressed in a white tank top, or wife-beater if you prefer. Personally, I hate that term. Is it supposed to be funny? Cool? Ironic? I never understood it. Is there something cool about beating a woman? Anyway, before I go off on a tangent, he was wearing a tank top. It was much too big for him, one of the straps hanging down his left arm, so that it looked more like a toga. He had a red flannel shirt tied around his waist. Khaki cargo shorts completed the ensemble, complete with bulging pockets. The shorts were also oversized, the frayed legs well past his knees and a bunch of extra cloth scrunched together at his waist and being held up by a black dress belt.

As for the boy himself, it was hard to tell. I was seeing him on an oblique, but he had a big halo of reddish hair obscuring his face. From his size I’d guess he was somewhere in the area of ten years old. Not really skinny, but certainly no extra weight on him. I’m guessing puberty was a year or two off for him, making him younger than the boys to whom I was normally attracted. He was wearing raggedy tennis shoes, once white but now nearly gray. He didn’t seem to have any socks on that I could see. Or perhaps he had those little footie socks.

I found myself intrigued by this little explorer. He was obviously looking for something. You’re also correct in guessing that I was intrigued for other reasons. After all, here you are, reading my tale, knowing something is coming, and this boy waltzes into the story. Well, congrats on the astuteness of your observations.

Part of me was ready to keep quiet, to let him pass. You see, I haven’t been completely honest with you. Part of my reason for moving all the way out here to the middle of nowhere USA was to get away from a boy. Yeah, you heard me. To get away from one. It’s a long story. I promise to tell you later, but let’s get through this initial meeting first, okay?

I suppose it’s safe to assume that the part of me that wanted to meet this boy was stronger than the other part. So I didn’t hide myself. In fact, I leaned against a tree and just waited for him. He walked right by me. I was amused at first, and again, almost let him go. I mean, was that fate, allowing him to not even see me? However, I couldn’t let that happen, not after getting a look at him.

How do you describe an angel on earth without sounding cheesy? Well, I’m wracking my brain here and coming up empty, so I guess you’ll just have to prepare yourself for cheesy. First, I’ve never been much attracted to red-heads. So sue me. Freckles don’t turn me on, although I realize lots of people don’t share that sentiment. This kid wasn’t your typical red-head though. No freckles, for one. Maybe it’s not even fair to call his hair red. Maybe auburn? That’s sorta reddish, right? Certainly in the stray beams of sun that made it through the canopy his hair glowed coppery, but in the shadows it was more… I’m gonna call it auburn. I should look up auburn on the internet. Wait a sec… Okay, yeah. Auburn. That’s my final answer.

Anyway, I’ve gone off again. Bad habit of mine. So, auburn/reddish hair. Sigh. You get the picture. The hair itself had no curl to it at all, but there was so much of it flying around that it gave the impression of a cloud. In the back it hung down to his shoulders. His face was perfectly proportioned. I think. Hell, I’m not even sure what that means, I just know that when I saw it, my first thought was, ‘perfect’. He had full, sensual lips, beautifully pink. The type of shade women pay big bucks to emulate. His eyes were green, but where mine were emerald, his were jade. He had golden flecks in that green. I kid you not. Eyelashes and brows that would cost a woman a fortune. He even had, and you’ll think I’m making this up, but he had an actual beauty mark just to the left of his perky little nose.

As I mentioned, his tank was much too big for him and hung down off his left arm, leaving half his chest bare. His little nipple was about the size of a nickle, just slightly darker than the rest of his chest, except for a hint of pink right on the tiny tip of the nipple itself. His chest actually had a bit of definition to it, and I could see his ribs marching down his side. The moist little cleft under his arm was hairless of course.

“Not even going to say hi?” I asked when he was only a couple of feet past me.

He actually yipped. At least I think it was a yip. It was a sound a puppy might make. He also tensed and jumped, spinning around to look at me, his camera flying wild on its strap, threatening to strangle him, and dropping his binoculars.

I couldn’t help laughing. I reached down to grab his binoculars. I saw they were Fisher Price. “Didn’t mean to startle you,” I said by way of apology. I held out the glasses.

“I didn’t even see you there!” he exclaimed, stepping forward to take his binocs from me.

“I’m very sneaky,” I assured him.

He had the cutest little gaps between his top four front teeth. He said, “You’re like a ninja!”

“All over these woods,” I assured him. “Place is thick with ninjas. Is that what you’re looking for?” I asked, indicating his toy binoculars.

“I’m birding,” he explained. He reached into a gaping cargo pocket and pulled out a worn little notebook. “But I’m marking the location of the ninjas. You know, for the authorities.”

“The authorities, huh?” I said “Guess I’ll have to find a new spot.”

He smiled. He had a wonderful smile, making those beautiful green eyes sparkle. “You’re funny.”

“Comedy ninja,” I said. “We’re the worst of the lot. We appear out of nowhere, drop a couple of bad puns, and then we’re off in a puff of smoke. People never know what hit ’em.”

He laughed. He had a delightful laugh. Well, he did. You’re acting like I was smitten. Okay, dammit, I was smitten. I held out my hand. “I’m Brad.”

He quickly stuffed his notebook back into his shorts and held out his small hand. “I’m Adam. Nice to meet you.” His hand was soft and warm and, dare I say it? Delightful.

“Oh, he’s polite. I’d best mind my Ps and Qs.”

“Your what?” he asked, looking at me oddly.

“Polite, and oh so young,” I smiled. “Ps and Qs. Uh… okay, actually, I’m probably too young for that one, too, since I have no idea what Ps and Qs stands for. It was just a way of saying you’ll speak politely I think. Pie and quills? Pigs and quicksand?”

Adam laughed again. “Pumpernickel and queens?” He was quick.

I couldn’t help but laugh myself. “I’m sure you’re right,” I said. “It must be pumpernickel and queens. What else could it possibly be?”

“No, I think you were right. Pigs and quicksand. If you lived near quicksand you’d always have to keep an eye on your pigs.”

I made a show of looking around. “Have you seen quicksand out here?” I asked, mock worry in my voice. “Oh crap! Where is my pig? Snooty! Are you there, Snooty?”

Adam snorted laughter. “Snooty?”

I actually blushed. “I couldn’t think of a good pig name,” I admitted.

“Uh… Porky? Petunia? Babe? Wilbur?”

“Geez,” I said, “check out the big pig expert.”

That got us both laughing again. Damn, I’m funny. I loved hearing him laugh. Watching his muscles bunch in his chest and along his side while he did so didn’t do anything to hurt my enjoyment of it either.

“So you’re birdwatching,” I said, as we got hold of ourselves.

Birding,” he corrected.

“Ah, I didn’t realize there was a difference,” I apologized.

“Well, there really isn’t,” he admitted. “Serious birders don’t like being called birdwatchers though.”

“Well, okay then,” I smiled. “So, have you found what you’re looking for?”

“Well, I’ve seen a few common birds. What I’m really looking for is a ruby-throated hummingbird, but they like flowers a lot more than trees. There aren’t too many flowers around here.”

“Huh. Well, I have a bunch of flowers around my place,” I told him, already imagining showing him around my place, and more. There was nothing wrong with a little polite sightseeing after all.

“You do?” he asked. Then he seemed a bit unsure. No doubt all those warnings his parents had given him about following strange men to their homes. “Where do you live?”

“Back that way just a bit,” I said, hooking a thumb over my shoulder towards the lake.

“You’re the one who bought the log cabin!” he said.

“Guilty as charged,” I grinned. “Damn, now the authorities will know where I am for sure.”

“I promise not to tell,” he smiled.

“So word gets around, huh?”

He shrugged. He even had a beautiful shrug, if such a thing were possible. I watched his clavicles move under his smooth skin as his thin shoulder rose and fell. “I heard somebody finally bought it and finished it.”

“Well, that’s me,” I said. “You want to take a look?”

“Well, only if I’m not being a pest,” he said. I got the impression that was a term he got applied to him a lot.

“You? A pest?” I said with mock outrage in a really bad plantation owner type accent. “My good sir, you are the very picture of polite and genteel company. I’ll not hear you slander yourself further!”

“You’re goofy,” he smiled.

“Actually, I’m Pluto. Ruff ruff!”

“I think you’re just crazy.”

“Again, goofy as charged. I mean guilty. I really meant to say guilty.”

I hadn’t yet had a chance to show off my home to anyone but the occasional pizza delivery guy, and I eagerly awaited Adam’s assessment as we came out of the forest and it was laid out there before us.

“Wow,” he began. Good start, I thought.

“You like it?” I asked a bit anxiously.

“It’s really big,” he said.

“Well,” I said, “it’s not the size that matters. It’s how you use it.”

He glanced at me, his eyes dancing, knowing I’d just said something adult and a bit naughty. “It’s not the size of the boat?” he asked. So, not as naive as I’d thought.

“Huh?” I said, pretending ignorance. “I don’t even have a boat.”

Adam laughed, pointing. “You said you don’t have a boat!”

“Well, I don’t,” I said with a grin.

“That means you don’t have a penis!”

“I don’t?!” I pretended shock. I grabbed my crotch and made a play of feeling around. “My penis!” Then I shouted, “Snooty! Did you take my penis?!”

Adam broke into a genuine case of giggles. He bent over, holding his sides. “Snooty!” he shrieked with laughter. “Snooty, come back!”

I plopped down into the dirt, looking dejected. “Now what am I gonna do?” I asked. “How will I pee?”

Adam laughed again. “Yeah, you won’t be able to pee. Or… you know.”

“Or what?” I teased.

“You know,” he said shyly. Then he made a humping motion.

I laughed and he blushed prettily. “Oh no! I won’t be able to pee or…” and I paused and looked at him questioningly, “dance? Some kind of dance?”

“You know what I mean!” he accused with a laugh.

“I’m sure I don’t,” I assured him. “You’re the pig expert.”

He snorted laughter. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. He’s the one with my penis now. Probably off doing your weird dancing thing.”

“You’re teasing me,” he said with a grin.

I smiled in return. “Maybe just a little,” I allowed.

“Can we go look at your house now?”

“Whew, thought you’d never ask.”

“Maybe we’ll find your penis,” he said.

“Uh, okay,” I said. “Just don’t tell the authorities.”

That got him laughing again.

I gave him the grand tour. He was properly awed, so I felt it went well. He was especially impressed with the fireplace, the view, and the master bath. Oh, and the hot tub. He thought the hot tub was great.

“Well, you are officially invited to come over and use it anytime you like,” I told him.

“You mean it?”

“Sure,” I told him. “Sometimes it’s nice to get in the hot tub after you get out of the pool.”

“You have a pool?!?”

So I showed him the pool. I have to admit that the thought of him in a little swimsuit was making the tour a bit uncomfortable for me. You know… in the crotchal region. Yes, I know crotchal isn’t a word.

As we walked back to the house I realized that the sun was sinking. Already the sky was shot through with red. “Looks like it’s getting late,” I said. “Your mom and dad going to be wondering where you are?”

“I don’t have a dad,” he said, matter-of-factly. “My mom won’t care.”

“I’m sorry about your dad,” I said in that way we always do for the passing of people we never knew.

Adam shrugged.

“Still, I’m sure your mom won’t want you coming home after dark.”

He shrugged again, a bit sullenly I thought. “She won’t care. She doesn’t care what I do as long as I don’t bug her. I guess I should go home though. Walking through the woods at night sucks.”

“Would you like me to give you a ride?” I asked.

He seemed genuinely alarmed by the prospect. “No! I mean, that’s okay. Thanks for showing me your house.”

“You didn’t get a chance to look for your red-bellied stork.”

He giggled, which I was very glad to see. Sullen didn’t fit him at all. “Ruby-throated hummingbird,” he corrected me. “Well, maybe I could come tomorrow and look?”

“I look forward to it,” I promised him. “And bring your swimsuit!”

“Okay, I will,” he promised in return.

I showed him to the door. I was really sorry to see him go. “Well, you be careful walking home, Adam. It was very nice meeting you.”

“You, too,” he said with a smile. With a last wistful look around my place, which I admit sent a bit of a pang through me, he waved and hurried down the steps and up the drive. I watched him go until he was lost in the gloom.

End of part one

Copyright 2024 – Rwxxx13
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