Singletrack Mind

by Jesse D

Digging In

Singletrack Mind - Digging In: Backhoe and bike

 

My brain has a mind of its own! Even when I'm trying to concentrate on something, it wanders off to think about something else entirely, which is usually about sex. Okay, pretty much always sex! Mostly about what I'd do with other boys from school, assuming I ever got the chance, which seems very unlikely at this point. Thing is, I can't control it; maybe THAT mind has a mind of its own, too! Freaky! Anyway, the one I use was currently engaged in a fantasy about me and the Logan twins soaping up in the shower after gym, three slippery bodies together, hands roaming, mouths busy…

This is why I was face-planted there in the mud, in a wet forest, with my mountain bike on top of me, and its back wheel spinning slowly. Crap. This was gonna hurt later. Totally worth it, though! I mean, those Logans are way hot with their cute little matching butts and those tan lines… and… mud was seeping into my shirt. I got up, checked the bike and myself for serious damage, then clipped in and started back up the track.

That bike trail comes out into a clearing, near the top of the hill, and from there I could look down on my dad's place: the house and barn, the three big sheds out behind where the equipment for his landscaping business lived. I've spent a lot of time up on that hill over the past year and a half, ever since I moved back east to live with Dad. It was a great place for thinking or just zoning out with my iPod. Or, this goes without sayin', daydreaming about boys!

I checked the time and headed back down, taking the left fork after the big rock this time. I hadn't done any work on this section after the washout from all the rain we'd had this year, so I took it easy over the trickier bits. These were my private bike trails, built partly on old logging roads from back when my grandfather was alive. My dad had sold off more than half of the original land, but he still owned over 200 acres, which I had turned into my personal playground. Dad helped at first, even bringing the mini excavator to make several awesome jumps. But this was back when he was playing at being the attentive parent, and that faded a couple of months after I moved here permanently. I don't mind being on my own most of the time; I prefer it, actually. Dad's cool too, really; he does his thing, and I do mine. Our lives intersect a couple of times a day, and that's about it, unless I'm working weekends on a landscaping job with the crew. Then, I'm just another employee, and the guys all treat me like one, not the boss's fifteen-year-old son.

Dad's truck and the trailer with the backhoe were parked in front of the sheds as I rolled into the yard. Plus a couple of other pickups that I recognized as belonging to guys that worked for him. I could hear them talking and laughing around the other side of the house on the deck by the pool, unwinding after work. Sometimes the 'unwinding' wound up well after midnight. No idea how they managed to be back on the job site and working at seven in the morning the next day. I rode over to the middle shed, where there was a hose and stuff to wash the mud off the bike. As I was putting the hose away, my cellphone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, even though I knew perfectly well who it was. Only my parents have the number, and one of 'em never calls.

"Hey, Dad."

"Hey, Chris. I need you to work a couple of hours after school tomorrow. Larry's got to take off early."

Always right down to business. No 'how was your day?' or 'Are you busy tomorrow?'

"Uh, okay, I guess. Where? I'll have my bike at school."

"At the new rec center, parking lot side." Easy. That was right beside the school. It had been under construction since I moved here, although the outdoor basketball courts and skateboard park were already usable, even though we weren't supposed to. "I'm going to start the grill in half an hour, so come by the house around 6:30 and I'll fill you in. I hope you're hungry; I've got a ton of ribs here."

That's one thing about Dad: he knows how to cook, and he loves to entertain! You'd think I'd be gaining weight from eating so much good food, but I never do, no matter how much I eat. That's about the only good thing I got from Mom's side, I think.

My grandparents, on my dad's side, spent the winters travelling around the southern US in a big motorhome RV. It must've cost a fortune in gas because it's one of those mobile homes that looked as big as a Greyhound bus, with an extension that slides out on the side. Inside, it seems to have more space than some apartments. Anyway, since Dad had at least one fulltime girlfriend last year, probably more, although they all looked interchangeable to me, he strongly suggested that the main house might be too 'small' for the both of us, and I should move into the RV, which he set up on blocks in a nice shady area behind the sheds, well away from Party Central. I tried real hard to sound disappointed, trying not to drool or jump up and down and wave my arms too much! My own space! At last!! And it was like a palace in there, too!

I wheeled around to my private palace, parked the bike beside my 'beater' bike, the one I ride to school, grabbed the key from its hiding place, took off my muddy shoes and went inside. After over a year of living here, it doesn't seem at all odd that my 'apartment' has a steering wheel! I stripped off my shirt and shorts, carefully avoiding dropping any dirt on the rug. I had to clean the RV myself; that was part of the deal. A quick shower (with no extra activity!) and I settled in front of the laptop. Dad has a WiFi repeater in the main shed, so I get decent connection speed in the RV.

There were a couple of emails from the guys in my old school out west that I still keep in touch with. Someday I'll go back and visit. As long as I don't have to stay at Mom's house! Ricky was definitely showing signs of being gay just before I moved, I thought, although this was probably wishful thinking on my part. I'd certainly try to find out, if I ever went back. He had the most lickable thighs! Not that I'd ever licked anybody's thighs before! But it seemed like something I'd enjoy, judging from my intensive research on certain special websites. And the curve where his waist turned into his sweet little butt, I would love to nuzzle back there, run my hands over the superfine hairs on his legs... and... and he'd probably haul off and pound me into the ground!

Now, I know I'm not the only gay fifteen-year-old on the planet. I've spent enough time on the internet researching any and all aspects of gay sex to know that! I'm an expert now at using advanced Google search. I've spent many hours reading the stories. Yet when I look around my school, not one single boy triggers the gaydar we're supposedly blessed with! I mean, statistically, there ought to be at least a dozen of 'em, right there bumping into me in the hallway every day! Of course, I'm careful not to give out even a HINT of an indication that I'm gay, so why would they? I guess we're all doomed to be stuck in the closet forever! Or at least until we get to college.

I walked over to the house and around to where Dad had started cooking the ribs. A wonderful aroma led me by the nose and my stomach realized that it hadn't been fed since after school! Three guys from the work crew were comfortably installed near the beer cooler, in a heated discussion either about politics or baseball. I waved to them and detoured into the kitchen to grab a cola from the fridge, then wandered over to where Dad was doing something that caused clouds of smoke to come off of the ribs.

"What do I need to bring tomorrow?" I asked. I would put a duffle bag with my work clothes and whatever else into his pickup tonight, since he left the house before I did in the morning.

Dad was peering into the part of the grill where the fire goes. "You'll be sorting stone for a retaining wall, so your regular clothes are fine."

Oh, good! Sorting stone was pretty much my favourite job! For one thing, it meant I'd be up on a backhoe and not, say, hauling 80 pound bags of cement, or down on my knees laying turf. You can't imagine how heavy grass is until you've spent a day shifting rolls of turf!

"Better put your work boots in the truck, and gloves and hardhat too, just in case." Heh! Just in case an inspector came around, is what he meant; working in town means at least pretending to follow the rules.

I watched as he carefully arranged the coals and added some sort of wood chips, then closed the cover again. Dad was a purist when it came to barbecuing. No gas, no charcoal; he started with wood and let it burn down to coals. I can attest that it was definitely worth the extra trouble!

Andy came over with a beer for Dad and the three of us chatted for a while, watching the smoke make intricate patterns as it escaped from the vents into the cool evening air. Two of the guys' girlfriends, one of 'em, Janice, I knew, the other one I didn't, showed up and immediately got put to work bringing stuff out from the kitchen. We all sat down to eat, Janice next to me, so I was stuck giving the minimum acceptable responses to the usual questions, which, of course, included probing into why didn't I have a girlfriend yet, a nice boy like me. I escaped by claiming that I had homework to do, which was true, and headed back to the RV. Before I forgot, I dug out the boots and stuff for tomorrow, and put them into Dad's truck.

Homework was a breeze. It was almost the end of the school year, so mostly 'review' and stuff. And I knew I'd have no problems with the coming exams anyway. Actually, I was more concerned with maintaining my carefully calibrated status as an only-somewhat-above-average student. At my last school, I discovered what happens to nerdy kids who always get 100 percent on every test, so I purposely flubbed a couple of questions each time. From the cryptic comments, I could tell that at least one of my teachers was suspicious.

I checked my email again, but there was nothing new. And I don't have a Facebook page anymore, not since that little bullying problem two years ago. So I opened up my bookmarks and started my evening rounds. I usually check Nifty first, mainly out of habit. Nothing new that caught my interest there, so I looked in on IOMFATS, which I'd only recently discovered, read a couple of short stories, and then checked the library and forums at the Shack Out Back. One of these days, I'll get up the nerve to post something there! But not yet. I scanned the library forum comments for last week's "Billy Chase" in case one had been added. The next chapter would be up tomorrow night, and I could hardly wait! I soooo wish that I could have gone to his school. Cute boys seemed to be everywhere! And I wouldn't have minded spending the afternoon with Jimmy or Bobby, either, especially Bobby!

Just thinking about Bobby got me hard, so it was now time to go to my 'special website' and do my other 'homework'. Over the last year, I spent many hours closely observing every little detail of what those boys were doing with each other. I think I've clicked on all the photos and watched every video on the site! If I ever got to have sex, I wanted to know what to do, and how to do it! I felt so certain that it would be awesome, from the first minute we got naked! That is, if I ever found someone to get naked with! Sigh.

I scrolled down to the thumbnail of the boy that currently played the part of "Bobby" in my mind's eye. Yep, still there. He was being fucked by a blond cutie that looked about 16 in the picture. I imagined myself in that photo, alternately as Bobby or the blond, I would try anything! Only I hadn't yet gone beyond just fingers a little ways up my ass. Mmmmff. By now I was using long hard strokes on my cock, while rubbing the area around my asshole, that feeling taking over my entire body from my toes on up. Speeding up, I came hard, with jets of cum exploding up over my chest.

I slumped down in the chair, breathing fast as the wonderful feeling subsided. I wondered if two boys doing that together would be twice as good as doing it by myself. Someday, I was going to find out! Some day.

After some more 'research' and rest intervals, taking a shower and getting some sleep seemed like a good idea. I idly wondered how many gallons of cum I'd produced while sitting in that chair! Gross! The shower has one of those handheld shower head thingies on a hose, and it hadn't taken long for me to discover how useful it was for jerking off. Not tonight, though. But, it felt soooo good, leaning back with the warm water tickling my balls... Maybe just one more time...

The next morning I was half awake when Dad left. He made plenty of noise loading and unloading machines and switching buckets and whatever else he was doing at some ungodly hour. I don't know why contractors have to start so early! Once school was out, I'd have to get up at the crack of dawn, too. Ugh. I dozed off until the alarm clock insisted I get up and get ready for school.

After breakfast, I grabbed my stuff, locked the door and took the beater bike. It was a decent bike, actually, I'd just grunged it up on purpose so that nobody would steal it if there was a nicer bike in the rack. A little duct tape on the frame, a little primer paint sprayed over the logos. I still used my Kryptonite lock, though! It was a five mile walk home from the high school, and our place wasn't on any school bus route.

At school I locked the bike in the usual spot, passed the usual groups as I navigated the usual route to my locker. A few guys said hi as I passed, and a couple of girls, but mostly I might as well have been invisible, which was fine with me. The less I stood out, the better. At my old school, anyone who wasn't part of the 'in' crowd, the jocks and the cool kids, were constantly harassed, and more than a few were outright bullied until they switched schools. I hadn't seen that happening so much here at this school, but I thought it prudent to keep a very low profile anyway. Classes were the typical end-of-year boring, more review, more staring out the window. At lunchtime I ate my sandwich outside, and I could see Dad's crew working way over on the far side of the playing fields, near the new recreation center. I wondered if I'd be doing that in another few years, or if I'd be doing something totally different. Dad never talked about things like whether he expected me to take over his business eventually. Right now, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Pro mountain bike racer, maybe! Heh.

Finally, the bell rang at the end of my last class. Mr. Philips nearly beat us out of the classroom! Hehe, I guess teachers get bored too! Kinda weird to think that they have lives outside of school, too. Wives and girlfriends and stuff. Teachers having sex! Ewww!! I banished that thought, got my backpack from my locker and made my way through the hallways and out to the bike rack. I could get to the rec center by riding along the side of the soccer field, past the bleachers next to the baseball diamond, then hopping the fence. The soccer teams were coming out for practice as I rode by. I slowed down a little to better appreciate the motion of those luscious butt muscles moving under the shiny shorts as they ran onto the field. Mmmmm.

As I got to the fence, Danny, one of Dad's crew, who was performing the important ritual of leaning on his shovel and giving advice, noticed me and gave the thumbs up sign. I waved him over, tossed my backpack over the fence, then climbed up, reached down for my bike, humped it over to Dan, climbed the rest of the way and jumped down on the other side.

"Hey Chris, you working this afternoon?"

"Yep. Dad said that Larry had to take off early."

"Oh, right. Actually, he left already. He's gotta drive his mom to Florida 'cause she refuses to go on an airplane or take the train. And her sister's in the hospital. So Larry's going to drive her down."

I wondered if that meant I'd be working again tomorrow. Not that it made much difference; I had nothing else I had to do, and I could always use the money. I walked over to where Dad was adjusting the laser level for the next section of retaining wall. They had already finished the part that ran along the sidewalk, and he was now setting up for the longer section that went all the way to the parking lot in the back. I waved when he looked up; he smiled back.

"Hi, Dad. Need the keys to the truck." He tossed them over. "Will you want me to work tomorrow afternoon?"

"Oh. Yeah. If you could, that would be good. Larry won't be back until Monday. And they couldn't deliver all the stone today, so yeah, if you can come tomorrow..."

"Sure, no prob." It wasn't as though I had a big Thursday night date to get ready for or anything. Snort. As I made my way over to the truck, I noticed that it was the new compact backhoe sitting next to the piles of stones near the fence. Yes! Ever since Dad let me try it the first time, I hated when I had to work with the old one. The new controls were so smooth it was like having an extension of your own arm. A very powerful extension! But Larry preferred it too, so I usually got stuck with the jerky old tractor. I was going to enjoy this.

I lifted my bike into the back of Dad's truck, added my backpack, then extracted my work bag from the pile of plans, papers, tools, coffee cups and other junk that lived behind the front seat of Dad's truck, put on the work boots, grabbed the other stuff and headed over to get started. I knew what to do; I'd done it a dozen times before, and I was getting good at it, too. Dad had truckloads of random sized stones brought to the site and dumped there. My job would be to sort the stones into piles, partly by size but also by shape. And I knew from watching Dad closely as he worked which stones could be split to make a flat surface, and which would wind up being used inside the wall.

The unsorted rock had been dumped a little too far for this backhoe's reach, so I climbed up into the driver's seat, stowed the hardhat behind it, and started the engine. These new mid-sized tractors were nothing like the old standard models. Just as powerful, with a turbocharged diesel engine and computer-controlled transmission, these babies have cushy seats, cruise control and even a cup holder! And the best part was knowing that I knew how to operate it, and that the guys had confidence in me operating it around them. And it felt great. Here, one of the crew, I felt the self-confidence I couldn't quite manage in the world outside.

I raised the stabilizer arms and the loader bucket, checked all around, moved forward twenty feet or so then backed up next to the pile with the annoying beeper going. Dropped the bucket, lowered the stabilizers, set the RPMs then moved to the rear-facing seat, where the backhoe controls are, and started sorting rocks. It didn't take long to get the old rhythm back, working the two joysticks which controlled every motion of the arm and bucket. Pushing the pile here, shifting and selecting a stone there, turning it over then moving it to the proper pile, and then back for the next one. I was completely focused on what I was doing.

After an hour or so, I realized that Dan was standing next to the tractor, waving a can of Coke. I reached back and shut the throttle down to idle speed.

"Take a break. Thought you might be thirsty."

"Thanks!" I shut off the engine and jumped down to stretch my legs. I took the cold can and pulled the tab. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed some of the guys from the soccer team were gathered on the school side of the fence. One of them was pointing towards me and saying something to his friend beside him. A couple of the others turned to look in my direction, then at each other, then turned away as the coach called them back to the practice. Hmm, I wonder what that was about. Dan and I chatted about the chances of the Red Sox winning this year, or rather, Dan chatted and I listened, nodding and going "uh-huh" occasionally. I really didn't know much about pro sports.

Back on the tractor, I carried on working for another hour, finishing up just as the rest of the crew were packing up for the day. Dad came over and asked me to move the remaining pile of dirt and rock bits over next to the fence. I moved to the tractor seat, backed up a bit, lowered the loader bucket to be flat at ground level and ran forward, scooping up the pile while raising the bucket again. As I approached the fence, I noticed a couple of the soccer players were now perched on the top level of the bleachers, watching us work. Funny how construction sites always draw onlookers! I dumped the load and rocked the bucket hard against the end stop to knock out all the dirt. Besides, it makes a satisfying 'kerbang' noise. Gotta impress the crowd! I glanced up, and one of the soccer players, pretty sure his name is Dave, gave me a little wave of recognition. I automatically waved back, being in work crew mode, and not Captain Invisible like I was at school.

Dad, or someone, had hooked the trailer to his pickup truck, and I brought the tractor over to it and up the ramps, dropped the bucket and set the transport lock on the backhoe. I had to crawl underneath to loop the tie-down chains around the axles, ratcheting them tight. As I jumped down, I noticed that Dave was still up on the bleachers, by himself now, still watching. Huh, either he was a diehard construction watcher, or maybe just waiting for his lift. Some other person must've taken over my body because I waved as I got into the passenger seat, and he waved back as we pulled out onto the street and headed for home.

On the drive home Dad talked about the various jobs he had lined up for the summer. As a general contractor he had work all year round, but since he was mostly into landscaping he crammed as many jobs as possible into the summer months.

"I'll have to add a few extra part-time workers this year, so if you know anyone at school who might be good..."

"Uh, not offhand, but I'll ask around." Sure, Dad. I'll check with my posse. My buds. My close circle of friends. Ha! As if.

We turned onto our driveway and passed the house that was rented to Dad's oldest employee. In fact, Theo had worked for my grandfather before that. He and his wife, not to mention the three big german shepherds, kept an eye on things while Dad was off working. Our place was set pretty far back from the road, surrounded by acres of what looked like manicured lawn, which I guess it actually is, but it would get cut into strips, rolled up and sold to whoever needed an instant lawn this summer.

Leaving my work stuff in the truck, I unloaded the bike and put it away, then headed inside to take a shower. Stripping off my dusty clothes, I reflected on various soccer players I'd noticed at school, and their relative hotness. There certainly was something about the nylon shorts and those socks. As I pulled down my boxer-briefs I wondered what it was like to wear a jockstrap. I considered the possibilities of having one's backside exposed to the air. I imagined myself in the locker room, helping to undress an as of yet unidentified player, removing his shorts, running my fingers up under the straps, around behind to where they ran snug under the curve of the bubble butt, then up front where the perfect cock would be straining to be free...

Oh, man. I was rock hard now. I quickly got the shower going and jacked-off, thinking about soccer players shooting big gobs of cum against the shower stall door. Whew! I had to catch my breath. Another good one. I hosed down the door and finished my shower, still a little weak in the knees. I put on a clean pair of shorts and a tee shirt, and headed for the main house, where Dad was grilling again, as he did pretty much every night that it wasn't pouring rain or snowing. It was just me and Dad tonight, and the meal was over pretty quickly, as he had to get going to the next town to meet with a client. I cleared away the dishes and took them inside to the dishwasher. It looked and smelled like a thunderstorm was on the way so I secured everything out on the patio and headed over to the RV.

Homework done, email done, I looked to see if today's chapter of "Billy Chase" had been posted. Yes!! I always hesitated to click on the link because then there would be no more anticipation, y'know? But it was at a critical point, almost at the end of a diary, and I was dying to know what happened next! So I clicked, and read it - devoured it! - quickly. Oh, Billy. Billy, Billy, Billy!! What are you doing??! Just TELL him, for God's sake! Aaarrrgh! Okay, so I get a little emotional, but hey, they all seem like real people to me. I would give anything to trade my world for Billy's. I'd be perfectly happy with Lee, I'm sure of it. Or Trace. Or any of 'em!

I thought about what I might do to Lee. And then I thought about Lee in a soccer uniform, but somehow his shorts were a little too small. I lifted the jersey over his head and tossed it aside, kissing his neck, along the shoulder and down his smooth chest, nuzzling his left nipple, flicking it with my tongue, and then gently sucking it in, before moving to the right nipple. Then down, down past his navel, alternately licking and kissing until I got to the waistband of those snug shorts. Lee was hard, making the already tight shorts even tighter. I traced the outline of his cock with my fingers. Oddly, he wasn't wearing anything underneath in my imagination. I licked the wet spot, making it even wetter as Lee moaned. I pushed him gently down on the bed - my bed - and worked those shorts down his legs, as my own real-life shorts were discarded as well. Eyes closed, on my bed, I slid my hand up my leg - Lee's leg! - gently cupping and caressing my balls - Lee's balls! – as my cock strained for attention. I couldn't last any longer, and grabbed my cock in the ol' familiar grip, pumping hard for the few seconds it took to come to a full-body orgasm.

Whew! Again.

Thursday morning, and back to school. It's like being in a time warp, school drags more slowly the closer it gets to the last day. At my locker, I heard an unfamiliar voice call my name. Scanning the groups in the hallway I spotted Dave with some of his friends, all certified members of the cool kids. He looked like he was going to come over, but then just raised his hand and smiled as the group moved away. A couple of the others looked back to see who Dave had blessed with his attention. I was too stunned by my very existence having been acknowledged to even respond! The bell rang, snapping me out of it, and I gathered my books and headed for my first class.

The morning actually passed pretty quickly, since I spent a lot of it pondering the significance of this new development. I had never been singled out for anything but being put down before. Or maybe Dave and his friends were looking for a new loser to kick around. Or perhaps he thought I was someone else. Or maybe he wanted free landscaping. I was still speculating about this at lunchtime, heading outside to eat, as usual, since the weather continued to be nice. The warm sun felt good after such a crappy, cold and wet spring this year. As I finished my sandwich a shadow fell across the grass in front of me. I looked up and there was Dave. I automatically scanned around to see if his friends were hanging back somewhere, but he seemed to be alone.

"Umm, hi. It's Chris, right?"

I nodded mutely. I think my mouth was hanging open. Possibly drool coming out.

"Dave. Dave Owens. Mind if I…?" he gestured at space on the bench beside me.

"Uh sure. I mean, no! I mean, yes, I don't mind!" Jeez, what a dork. Dave dropped his backpack, sat down and rooted around in it, coming up with an apple. He leaned back, flashed me a brilliant smile, looked at the apple, and then pointed over across the playing field where Dad and his guys were working.

"I saw you on that backhoe yesterday."

I looked across the field, as though some other backhoes might have suddenly appeared. "Uh, yeah, that was me."

"How'd you get an awesome summer job like that? Man, that'd be so cool. I wish I could get a job like that."

"It's my dad's company." Apparently I'd lost the ability to string two sentences together. But I was distracted by the depth of his clear, sparkling, intense blue eyes, and how his light blond hair swept down across his forehead and back to mostly cover his ears.

"Oh, wow. That's so cool. You probably get to use all kinds of stuff! Is it hard to work a backhoe? It looked so easy the way you were handling all those rocks yesterday. But I bet it's really hard to learn at first, right? How long did it take from when you first tried it?"

The part of my brain that wasn't busy memorizing Dave's face managed to track what his perfect, slightly pink lips were saying. He had no problem talking, I noticed. "It's not that hard to learn, really. Kinda like a video game. Only bigger! It's got those two joystick controllers, and once you get the feel for it, you pick it up pretty fast. Of course, you can do some real damage if you're not careful!" I was grinning, recalling my first time trying to dig a hole. "Dad says he should've made a video for YouTube when I was learning. Heh. But at least I didn't break anything – or, nothing too expensive."

We sat there, thinking our separate thoughts for a few seconds.

Dave said, "I'd give anything to learn how to do that."

Out of somewhere I heard a voice – my voice! – answering. "I have to work again today after school, but maybe you could come over tomorrow, and I could show you how." Whoa, who said that? I never invited anyone out to my place. Or anywhere. Well, I'd never had any friends to invite.

"Oh, man. Could I? That would be so awesome!" The bell was ringing, so we gathered up our stuff and headed back into the building. Dave said he'd meet me at my locker after the last class tomorrow. He was asking me where I lived, and saying how cool it would be to live outside the city and stuff as we got to where his friends were milling about. "Seeya tomorrow!" he called, as he joined them, smiling over his shoulder.

It was a good thing that none of the teachers singled me out or asked me any questions that whole afternoon because I was kinda in a daze; alternately wondering why Dave was so much into tractors, and remembering the way his perfect face was framed by his perfect hair, recalling how his voice sounded and thinking about how I felt when he smiled his perfect smile at me.

After school I made my way back over to the construction site. Either the soccer team didn't have practice or they just weren't outside yet, because the playing fields were empty. As I was getting over the fence, I could see the baseball team starting to come out of the school building. Baseball pants weren't as sexy as soccer shorts, but they were close! I checked in with Dad, put the bike and pack in the truck and switched footwear. Another couple of loads of stones had been delivered, and the guys had just about used up all the ones Larry and I had sorted yesterday, so I got right to work.

When it was time for a break, I hopped down and stretched. Although the tractor seat, the one facing forward, was very comfortable for long periods of time, the little backward-facing seat for the backhoe wasn't the best for posture, especially when tensed up a bit, concentrating on what the bucket was doing. I glanced up at the bleachers, and today it was a few of the baseball players who were watching. I realized that I was disappointed not to see Dave up there too. Then as I turned to get back up on the machine, I spotted him, by himself, a few rows below the top. He waved, and I smiled and waved back. A little self-conscious now, I got back to my sorting task. But my mind kept wandering back to thinking about Dave, and the fact that I had actually asked him to come over to my place tomorrow. I wasn't sure if I was more nervous or excited. Both, I guess.

A loud whistle brought me back to Earth! Dan was shouting something and pointing to the middle pile of sorted stones. It took me a sec to realize that I'd been carefully putting ALL sizes of stones in the same pile. Oops! Blushing furiously, I idled the motor and Danny was going on about how I must've been daydreaming about my girlfriend, and some of the other guys were laughing. Ha! Oh, man, if only they knew... I glanced up at Dave, who gave me the thumbs-up. I grinned sheepishly, and started putting stones where they belonged.

Finally, a little after five o'clock, all the piles were finished. Dad did a quick calculation and figured he had enough material to finish the job the next day. We packed up, loaded the tractor onto the trailer, admired the completed sections of retaining wall and climbed into the truck. Dave was still there watching and I waved to him as I closed the door. He waved back, got up, picked up his backpack and started making his way down the bleacher seats.

"Friend from school?" Dad asked. I was a little surprised that he had noticed.

"Um, yeah, that's Dave. He's in the same grade, but we don't have any classes together. Um, he might be coming out to the house tomorrow, if that's okay."

"Sure. But I'd like you to check that backhoe for an oil leak. I noticed a couple of drops on the trailer. Hydraulic oil, so probably just one of the lines needs tightening. Want to make sure it's not one of the valves or a cylinder, before it gets worse."

"Yeah, sure, Dad. No problem." Yay! That meant we'd have the new backhoe to play with tomorrow.

Once home, we unloaded the tractor, parked the trailer, and I got my bike and stuff out of the truck. Dad was going to be out all evening, so I was on my own for supper tonight. I went in and took a shower. And, no, I didn't perv and jerk off thinking about Dave! I mean, not that I didn't think he was cute and all, but somehow the remote possibility that we might become actual friends kinda put a different light on it, you know? I mean, I didn't want to even think about doing something that could screw this up. The short conversation we had at lunch, made me realize that I missed having a friend – that I needed a friend. I didn't want to read too much into Dave wanting to come over, either. I'd just wait and see what happened tomorrow.

I went over to the house to scrounge something to eat. Perhaps 'scrounge' is the wrong word; Dad had all kinds of stuff in the refrigerator. Refrigerators, actually. I rooted around among all the weird things that I'd never heard of, until I came up with some known and familiar sandwich ingredients. That and there were always chips and coke over by the bar, in case a party should break out. This made two nights in a row with no guests! Pretty unusual, for Dad. I took my sandwich back to the motorhome that I still didn't think of it as mine and checked for email and watched videos on YouTube until my eyes started slamming shut.

At school on the next day I saw Dave a couple of times, but only from a distance while changing classes. However, there he was, after the last class, waiting at my locker, but talking with two of his friends. I hesitated, my avoidance mode kicking in automatically, but Dave spotted me, pushed off the locker and called my name. I heard the other two laughing, and telling him to have fun as they walked away, glancing in my direction.

I must have had a quizzical look on my face, as Dave explained, "I was just telling them about going out to your place. They know I'm crazy about tractors and stuff. They think I'm nuts, but hey." He continued chatting, while I opened my locker, dumped some stuff in, and put what I would need for the weekend into my backpack. "So how far is it to your place? We'll have to go to my house first to pick up my bike. It's not that far. I walk to school, and I have to let Mom know where I'm going, too."

We went outside to the bike rack, and as I was unlocking the chain and coiling it up around the seat post, I saw Dave do a sort of double-take.

"Wait. What did you do to your bike? That's a nice frame, but man, you've painted all over it and stuff!"

"I got tired of getting my bike stolen at my old school, so I made sure this was the ugliest one around. Haven't had a problem since." I got on the bike out of habit, but got right off again when I remembered we'd be walking to Dave's house.

"So, where was your old school? You came here in the middle of last year, right? You were in Mr. Grover's class." Huh? He remembered that? I didn't remember him from last year at all!

"I used to live in San Diego with my mom and my stupid sister. But then I came here to live with Dad."

"You lived in California? That's so cool!"

I didn't think it was all that cool. Mom lives north of San Diego, actually. And it was a big housing development just like anywhere else, only a lot hotter. At least where Mom lives there were hills and mountain bike trails I could get to on my own. I spent pretty much all my spare time riding around there.

We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of life on the two sides of the North American continent while we walked. It turned out that Dave had never been very far away from home, apart from some visits to his grandparents in Florida and to see Disney World several times. He pointed out the middle school he used to go to, and we cut across the playground next to it and crossed the street. The houses were bigger on that side, spaced out with more trees and lawn, some with fences. Dave turned into the driveway of one of these.

"You can leave your bike and stuff here," he pointed to the wall as we walked through a breezeway between the house and the garage. He led me around to the back, where there was a pool and a rock garden with a little waterfall. I noticed the details because Dad had done one that was kinda like this last summer. There were a bunch of 'For Sale' signs leaning up against the wall near the patio doors. "Mom's a real estate agent," Dave said. "We're not selling the house... at least, I don't think so."

His mom was just coming outside, in fact. "No dear, we're not planning to sell the house," she said, giving Dave a hug. "Who's this?" looking at me.

"This is Chris, from school. We're going to ride out to his place."

"Hi, Chris," smiling at me, then she turned back to Dave. "And where exactly is his place, then? And will you be here for dinner tonight? 'Cause your dad and I were planning to go try the new Thai restaurant, in Newington."

Dave looked at me, eyebrows raised. I said, "Our place is about three miles out on Post Road, just past the big greenhouses."

She frowned and thought for a second, then said, "Are you Ben Packard's son?" I nodded. How did she know that? "Bill and I have been to a couple of Ben's parties there." Ah. That figured. Apparently this was enough to make it okay for Dave to continue to associate with me because she flashed a Dave-like smile at me and continued, "You won't take the highway to get to Post Road, will you?"

"No, we'll go the other way, on Worthington, then cut through the mall. I ride to school that way every day, and there's no traffic."

"And, what about dinner?" she looked at Dave again. Dave looked back at me and shrugged.

"I'm sure it's okay if he eats at our place. I mean, there's always tons of food, and Dad won't mind."

She nodded. "Hmm. Yes, your dad's quite the cook! Well, okay then, but call me around six anyway," she instructed Dave, who agreed, then grabbed my arm and led me to the stairs.

"I want to grab some shorts and stuff," he said, bounding up two steps at a time and down the hall into his room. I stopped cold at the door, just staring at the walls of his bedroom. I'd never seen anything like it!

"Heh. Yeah, pretty crazy, huh? I've been collecting them since forever."

I advanced into the room, looking at two walls covered with shelves filled with dozens, probably over a hundred models of tractors, excavators, graders, bulldozers, all kinds of machines. There were Caterpillar and John Deere posters on the walls, the ceiling. He even had a Caterpillar blanket folded on the end of his bed!

Dave just shrugged and grinned. I grinned back. I'm not as obsessed with tractors as Dave apparently was, but I do love doing stuff with 'em. It's like being back in the sandbox with my Tonka toys, only now I don't have to make the 'brrrrmm' sounds with my lips! I wondered if his cool-kid friends knew about this. Maybe even cool kids could be a little nerdy!

He zipped up his backpack and we headed downstairs and back outside. He yelled "Bye, Mom!", but to an empty house. The 'for sale' signs were gone and I could hear a car was backing down the driveway. Dave went through a side door into the garage and came back out with a new-looking dual-suspension mountain bike.

"Whoa. Nice!" I said, checking it out. He held it out to me, and I lifted it, testing the weight. Hmm, maybe even a bit lighter than mine. And it looked like he used it, too. Disc brakes. SPD pedals. I glanced at his feet; yep, he'd changed into bike shoes. Maybe we had more in common than I thought.

Dave ducked back into the garage and came out with his bike helmet. Mine was bungied to my backpack, and I put it on. We took off, heading for the edge of town. His house was closer than the school, so maybe four miles max out to my place. When we cut along the edge of the mall parking lot, Dave was jumping on and off of all the high curbs. Not wanting to jump with my 'school' bike, I did a couple of wheelies alongside. I'd only known him for two days, but somehow it already felt like we'd been friends for much longer than that.

Rolling along Post Road, Dave was in front where I could admire the shape of his tight soccer player buns in his shorts. We were already rolling past the greenhouses next to our place, and I could see Theo was out mowing the turf grass. Dave was watching him, too. There was no doubt that he was checking out the big gang mowing decks and balloon tires, like they use on golf courses. He was so intent on scoping out the tractor that he zipped right by the entrance to our property. I called him back and he did a U-turn, riding slowly up to me.

"This is your place?" he asked, looking around while heading for Theo's little house.

"Um, nope. Well, yeah, Dad owns it, but we actually live back there." I pointed to the main house and the group of other buildings down past the very wide expanse of several acres of freshly-cut grass.

"Whoa," was all he said as we continued on up our road, around the back, across the yard and over to the motorhome RV. He was scanning left and right as we went by the barn and equipment sheds. Gramps and Dad had amassed a pretty good collection of machinery of all kinds. Junk, my mother called it. Neither man could get rid of anything, apparently, but most of it was still in pretty good working order. I told him I was going to dump my backpack and stuff, and that I'd be right back out, but he'd already gravitated to the new backhoe, and I don't think he even heard me.

I changed into shorts that I didn't mind getting dirty, as I'd promised Dad that I'd look for that hydraulic leak. Going across to the 'office', as we called it, I entered the alarm code and went in to get the key for the tractor. I handed the key to Dave, and told him to climb up and start the engine. There are so many safety interlocks and electronic controls on these new models that I knew he couldn't do any damage, but he looked like a deer caught in the headlights! For about 250 milliseconds! Then he smiled that glorious smile, got up into the driver seat, looked around for the only place the key would fit, and turned it. The engine started right up, ran roughly for a couple of seconds then began idling as smoothly as a turbocharged diesel motor can idle. I reached up and notched up the throttle a little bit to get the hydraulic oil flowing. Dave was scanning the dashboard, noting all the controls and reading the eleventy-three safety stickers that the lawyers insisted tractor makers put on nowadays.

I traced the hydraulic lines until I saw where some had dripped recently, and wiped the area clean with a rag. Waiting for a minute or two, I didn't see any more oil seeping anywhere. But it probably wouldn't until the backhoe was being used, so I decided to wait until after the 'lesson' to look further for any leakage.

Standing on the step to talk over the motor noise, I told Dave that we'd go out to the gravel pit, where he could dig holes to his heart's content. For that, he'd have to move to the backhoe operator seat while I drove the tractor. We switched around, me in the driving seat and Dave in back. I raised the loader bucket, turned the tractor around and drove out of the yard, along the dirt road that led out back, and into the gravel pit. After backing up to a suitable spot, I dropped the loader bucket again and shut off the motor. Playtime!

I jumped down and explained the controls, although Dave seemed to already know what most of 'em did. Then I started the motor again, raising the throttle to 1800 rpm. I told Dave to lower the two stabilizer arms, one at a time. He was a little startled when the whole machine tilted sideways a bit as the first one dug into the ground, but then he lowered the other arm and the tractor levelled out again, with all the weight now supported by the backhoe frame, and not by the wheels and axle bearings. It took him a couple of tries to release the transport locking mechanism, and once that was done I told him to try the joysticks, one direction at a time, to see what happened. It's the only way to learn!

After only a few minutes of the usual newbie jerky spastic actions, Dave was getting the hang of it, and it was obvious he wasn't going to damage anything. Fifteen minutes later, he was smoothly moving bucket-loads of gravel from point A to point B and then back again. I was sitting out on the fender and I could see the very wide grin on his face, his eyes intent on what the bucket was doing. Watching his hands on the controls, I kinda zoned out a bit, thinking about his fingers gently caressing the joysticks…

The sound of the hydraulic pump hitting maximum pressure brought me back! Dave just let go of the controls, as I had said to do if something got stuck. And it looked like the bucket was wedged and under a piece of bedrock ledge. Easy enough to wiggle it out if you know how, but not easy to explain, so I reached over to the joysticks, I had to kinda scrunch next to Dave to do it, and moving the boom and rocking the bucket at the same time, it popped back out. I realized that my arms were next to Dave's arms, my cheek almost touching his, and froze there for a second, feeling my face blushing and hot. Dave didn't move away, so maybe he didn't notice. He took the controls again and carried on digging.

I signalled him to stop for a second, jumped down to the ground and walked around to get back into the driver's seat. But as I went to climb up, I noticed that the leak in the oil line was steadily dripping now. I pointed it out to Dave, and told him that we'd have to go back and fix it. I showed him how to bring everything into locking position, and how to lock it, and then he raised the stabilizer arms. I shut off the motor and jumped down, explaining that I wanted to see exactly where the leak was coming from. He stayed up on top, looking around while he waited.

"Hey Chris! Is that a bike jump over there? At the edge of the trees? Wait. Looks like there's a trail going way back, too."

"Um, yeah, we put that jump there last fall. There are trails all over that hill back there."

"Like, single-track? Is that on your Dad's land? You have your own private single-track?? With jumps and everything? Jeez. Man, you've got a sweet setup out here! No wonder you never stick around after school!"

Huh? It sort of surprised me that anyone had actually noticed.

I found the fitting where the oil was leaking, and looked in the tractor's toolbox, although I was pretty sure there wouldn't be the metric wrenches I needed. So we got back on the tractor and I drove us back to the shed where there were tools. Hmm, the fitting was already as tight as I could get it, so it must have gotten damaged somehow, or else it was simply defective. Anyway, Dad would want to look at it. I told Dave that we probably shouldn't risk using the backhoe until it was fixed. I thought he'd be disappointed, and he did look a little sad for like maybe half a second, but then he brightened up.

"Hey, let's get our bikes and go ride your trails!"

"Yeah!" That's what I would've been doing anyway, and I was kinda looking forward to showing them off to someone who would appreciate them. I'd put a lot of hours and sweat into those trails! We put the tools away and the key back in the office. Dave grabbed his bike and started walking in the direction of the main house.

"This way, dude," I called him back, going the other way, back to the motorhome.

"So how long is your trail? Are there more jumps and stuff? Did you build them yourself? How long did it take? Does anyone else ride them?" He was full of questions, as we walked around behind the sheds. I told him that I'd show him an overlay for Google Earth I'd done, mapping out the trails with all the streams and stuff marked. As we came up to the motorhome, Dave just looked at it for a couple of seconds.

"Wait. THIS is where you live? So, who lives in the house back there?"

"Dad lives there; I live here. By myself," I added, opening the door and stepping up inside.

"Holy crap. This thing is huge!" Dave stopped on the top step and looked around the inside of the RV. "My uncle has one, only not nearly as nice as this!" He flopped into the captain's chair where the driver sits and grabbed the steering wheel. "Does it actually go on the road? Have you ever gone anywhere in it?"

"Well, my grandparents used to use it every winter, but they were killed in a plane crash when I was in grade three, then Dad just set it up on blocks and hooked everything up to regular power and water and stuff."

"Huh. Your grandparents must have been loaded!" He was busy looking at everything. Good thing I hadn't left any dirty underwear lying around!

"I guess. I never really thought about it. We only saw them maybe twice a year." I was at the laptop, starting up Google Earth. Dave came over as I opened the overlay map and I showed him how the trails did a kind of figure eight with a big loop around it. I left him looking at the map and walked to the bathroom door. "I gotta take a pee."

As I came out, I thought I saw the laptop screen switching back to the map from something else. Dave quickly turned away from the computer, he had a kind of puzzled frown. "So, do you have a girlfriend?"

Huh? What brought that on? "Um, no?"

"Did you have one back in California?"

"No, why d'you want to know that?" Jeez. He was as bad as Janice. This was dangerous territory.

"No reason. Just wondering."

I was lacing up my bike shoes. I picked up my helmet, filled a water bottle and headed for the door, and Dave followed me outside. I told him to put his backpack inside and get some water if he needed it, and went around the side to the little garden shed where my bikes live. I put my school bike in and pulled out the other one, poked the tires to see if they needed pumping, tested the brakes and walked back to where Dave was waiting. Now it was his turn to examine my bike.

"Nice! Yeah, I see why you don't bring this one to school. It'd be gone in fifteen minutes!"

We were riding side-by-side on the dirt road that led out back past the gravel pit and through the field to the spot where all the trails converged. Dave was actually quiet for a few minutes. Then, out of nowhere, "So what was all that the other day with the construction guys giving you a hard time about a girlfriend?"

I looked over. He glanced at me then quickly looked away again. It took me a couple of seconds to realize what he was talking about. "Oh, you mean when I put all the rocks in the wrong pile?" Then I remembered what I HAD been daydreaming about, and I felt my face blushing some. "I just wasn't watching what I was doing, I guess. But I wasn't thinking about any girlfriend! Um. Never had one, anyway."

Dave suddenly accelerated as we neared the trailhead, calling back "Which way?"

"Go left!" I shouted, speeding to keep up. At first the track threaded through a large stand of pine trees, the ground covered with a carpet of reddish-brown needles. Then it dipped down to cross a stony brook and up the other side. The trees changed to mostly hardwood as we started to climb up the side of the hill, and here the trail got a little more technical, with roots and rocks. Dave wobbled a few times, not knowing the trail at all, but it certainly wasn't the first time he'd ridden a mountain bike! And I was enjoying the view from close behind him!

We had almost done the first half of the figure-eight, when we came to the clearing near the top of the hill. Dave skidded to a stop, and I pulled up beside him. He drank some water and looked out at the view for a few seconds.

"Hey! I can see my house from here! It didn't look that high from down at the bottom but from up here... man, you are so lucky, dude! You can ride anytime you want. We have to ask Andy's dad to take us in his truck. Andy and Chuck and me. We always go to Burton, or Mount Manville. But we can only go on weekends."

"You could ride here instead. Maybe you could help me build some more trails, too!" There was that other brain's voice again, taking over and inviting people to share my carefully guarded private places. I found myself agreeing, because I continued, "I'd really like it if you came over again, anytime."

Dave turned and looked at me, his eyes bore into mine. I think some internal circuit breakers must have flipped because I couldn't look away. It seemed like forever, but after a few seconds Dave looked down and said, quietly, "I'd like that, too."

Suddenly we were off again! There was a short uphill section then the trail flattens out and goes around to the other side of the hill. It's a little wider there; wide enough that I was able to pass Dave, then he would pass me, shouting insults at each other as we went by. He was ahead at the point where the trail dipped back downhill again. There were a couple of sweet switchbacks where you could pick a line well in advance and follow it through. Then there was the first downhill jump. We both cleared it with no problem, yelling at the top of our lungs. I tried to warn Dave that the next one had was tricky because you had to turn as soon as you landed to avoid a muddy area that was always wet. I hit the brakes when I saw that he wasn't going to make it. He landed okay but then his back wheel skidded out, and he went one way and the bike went another. Dave slid into the mud, arms and legs flailing.

When I saw that he wasn't hurt or anything, I started to laugh. Couldn't help it!! Dave sat up, his front covered in mud, wiping his eyes and frowning. I rolled past the jump, laid down my bike and, still laughing helplessly, went over and offered my hand to help him up. Dave was now laughing too, but instead of taking my hand he grabbed my knees and dragged me down into the mud bath. I pushed him away but he pushed back, and we were kinda play wrestling, getting covered in mud! And I realized that I was starting to get hard! And I know he noticed too, because I could feel his leg press against it at one point, when suddenly he got up, retrieved his bike and tried to clip his muddy shoe into the pedal. Then, without saying anything, he rode off, fast, down the trail.

I thought, "Oh jeezus, now you've done it!" I had a quick flash of him coming back with his friends and pounding me into the dirt. Why did I think he would want to be friends with someone like me? The first time I let my guard down, and I screw it up completely! Damn! I wiped my hand on my shirt, wiped the tears away from my eyes, as I picked up my bike and rode down the remaining trail to the bottom, fully expecting that Dave would be gone and on his way back home by now.

But there he was, leaning on his bike, waiting for me with that huge smile on his face! "Hey, slowpoke! What took you so long?! I've been waiting here for, like, an hour!"

"You asshole!" I was so relieved! "We'll see who's the slowpoke!" I took off as fast as I could, back up the road to the house. Dave jumped on his bike and raced up behind me. I zoomed past the RV, around the sheds, spewing gravel as I made the last corner to where the hose was. Dave came skidding up beside me, both of us out of breath, hearts pounding.

"Awesome, dude!" Dave held up his hand for a high five.

"Hehehe," was all I could manage, as we did the complicated high-five, fist bump, hand pulling sequence that was currently thought to be cool.

We were covered in mud, as were the bikes. And as we chatted away, reliving how perfectly we had finessed each turn and obstacle of the trails, I pulled the hose off the reel and brought out the bucket and brushes and cleaning stuff. I filled the bucket with water and squirted in some eco bike cleaning suds, grabbed the brush and set to work on my bike. Dave picked up the other brush and started in on his.

"You need this more than the bike does," Dave said, flicking a brush full of soapy water at me. "You're covered in mud!"

"Yeah, well so are you!" I flicked some suds back at him.

We kept that up while we worked on the bikes, getting mud out of the chains, the gears, the spokes, everywhere. It didn't take long to get them cleaned up, but now we were both pretty wet.

"Rinse time!" yelled Dave, grabbing the hose and spraying me all over with water. "I think you need a shower!"

I tried to wrestle the nozzle from his hand, but he wouldn't let go, so I grabbed the bucket and sloshed what was left of that water all over him. We were both soaking wet now, and it felt good after the ride, in the late afternoon sun. Dave was now spraying himself, trying to get the mud off of his shirt and shorts, with a goofy look on his face. Then he turned the hose on me again. The sight of Dave in his almost see-through tee shirt and shorts was turning me on. I mean, I could see his nipples through his shirt and there was a definitely growing bulge in his shorts.

Dave released the nozzle, stopping the water, and dropped the hose on the ground. He just stood there for a bit, looking at me, while I looked at him, both obviously fully aroused; there was no hiding it with our shorts plastered to our bodies. He gave a nervous little laugh, looked down and grabbed the bottom of his wet, muddy shirt with both hands and wrung out some water. Then he moved closer to me, grabbed my shirt and did the same thing, but held on with one hand. Even though I had dreamed about something like this happening one day, researched it, planned it, and choreographed it over and over in my head, now that it seemed to be happening for real I was frozen to the spot.

Something nudged me a little closer to Dave. Maybe it was just a breeze, or his tractor beam, or the Earth's axis tilting in his direction or SOMETHING, but there he was, now only inches from me. I think we both leaned in together, closing the gap, our lips touching for a brief moment.

Dave pulled away a little, but my other brain took over and I tugged at his shirt to bring him closer. It was now or never. I tried to remember all of the things – ANY of the things – I had ever planned on doing in this situation! Our lips met again, firmly this time. I tried running the tip of my tongue along his lips, gently pushing my way in. His tongue met mine and someone gave a low moan. Hugging tightly, we were two wet bodies charged with hormones under pressure. Our tongues now fully engaged, Dave shifted position slightly and pressed against my groin. My erection was already harder than it had ever been before, but the feeling of him slowly grinding against me made it feel like it might burst. I moved my hands down his back to his ass, holding him tight against me, our cocks moving alongside each other. Nothing else existed in the world but me and Dave and the incredible, wonderful feeling that filled every part of me.

Dave put his head back and made groaning noises, thrusting faster now. I could feel his body stiffen as a fireball of intense feeling welled up from my toes, taking over my whole body. We clung tightly to each other while wave after wave of orgasms finally took over. Panting, as the feeling subsided, we sank to the ground and sat leaning against the shed wall, recovering our breath.

After a minute of my brain trying to sort out what had happened, Dave said simply, "That was so awesome."

I turned my head to look at him. "Oh man, yeah."

"I've dreamed about doing that, like, forever." Dave had his eyes closed, a happy smile on his face.

"Me, too."

"I thought... I hoped you were maybe... Umm, I kinda looked at your bookmarks." He opened his eyes and turned towards me. "You're really cool, Chris. Of all the kids in school, you were about the last person I ever imagined I'd be doing that with. I mean, nobody really knows you, y'know? And I probably wouldn't have ever even spoken to you if I hadn't seen you working." He paused, looking deep into my eyes, with a slightly worried frown. "I hope you're cool with..."

"Oh, yeah, I'm cool," I was quick to reassure him. "I never thought there was anyone around here like me..."

I could hear a truck coming up the long driveway from the main road. "Oh shit, Dad's home!" We looked at each other, panic in our eyes. We jumped up and ran for the motorhome, turning the corner at the shed just as Dad's pickup swung into the yard. Dave crashed into me at the door, laughing and nearly knocking me over. I got the door open and we jumped up the two steps and stood there giggling and looking at each other, wet and sticky clothes dripping water on the floor. I grabbed his hand.

"C'mon. Let's see if the shower can fit both of us."

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