Summers End

by Ryan Bartlett

Chapter 7

Alec

We were running very late and the three of use built up a considerable sweat on the way back to Summers End. James handled the bikes for us when we returned but we had to hustle in order to shower before we left for the city. Christine really surprised me and Thomas; she was a lot of fun and had both of us laughing at one of her stories as we headed for the stairs. We found Senator Lodge coming out of the study with my mom when we entered the foyer.

"Where have you guys been?" asked Senator Lodge.

"Thomas took us on a bike tour of the island and introduced me to your old piano tutor," Christine explained.

"Oh God, you're not going to ask me to play, are you?" the Senator cringed.

"Not if the stories I've heard are true," Christine snickered. Thomas and I both giggled.

"Hey, I'm not that bad, right Tommy?" said the Senator.

"Well, I uh," Thomas squirmed. "I uh, think I hear Mrs. Lodge calling me."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy," Senator Lodge shouted after him as Thomas darted into the study.

Christine kissed the Senator and took his hand. They went upstairs together to get ready while mom crossed the foyer and hugged me.

"What was that for?" I asked.

"I just wanted to give you a hug," said mom.

"Thanks," I smiled.

"Still having a good time?"

"Sure, it's great here," I beamed.

"Wouldn't have anything to do with a certain green-eyed pianist would it?" mom grinned.

"Aw mom, geez," I blushed.

"What? He's smart, cute, and such nice manners."

"We are so not having this conversation," I exclaimed. "I'm not talking about boys with you."

"Why not?" said mom. "I know a thing or two about boys you know?"

"AHHHH," I screamed and tried to make a break for the stairs but she caught my belt loop and pulled me back.

"Alright, I won't make you talk about him. Just be careful, ok?"

"Careful of Thomas?" I asked, confused.

"Of this," said mom as she patted my chest just above my heart.

"What are you talking about?"

"Honey, I know you've done…things with boys before," said mom, making me blush. "But I've never seen you like this."

"Like this?"

"So happy, so…in love."

"Oh. Well, I've never been in love before," I admitted.

"Thomas is a nice boy and I'm glad he makes you happy. I just don't want to see you with a broken heart."

"He's not going to break my heart mom. Thomas is a really special guy," I explained, blushing the entire time. "Can we please talk about something else though? This is so weird."

"Fine," mom giggled at my embarrassment. "Has he mentioned his father at all?"

"Who? Thomas?"

"No the mailman," mom replied sarcastically, which made me laugh.

"No not really. He told me about his mom dying and how he came to live here but he never really said much about his dad."

"Where did he live before coming here?"

"Somewhere in Boston. He said his mom had been a district attorney," I explained. "Why?"

"Oh, no reason," said mom. Sometimes mom forgets how well I know her. She's a reporter and therefore nosey by nature. She doesn't ask questions for no reason.

"Mom?"

"Alright, well, I'm curious about his father. I have to go up to the city next week to do some research for the book and I thought I'd dig around a little and see what I might find out," said mom.

"Oh my God, mom! Please don't go snooping around in my boyfriend's life. If Thomas didn't want to talk to me about his dad I doubt he'd want you looking him up."

"Boyfriend huh?" mom giggled.

"Ahhh," I bellowed, and turned to leave but she caught me again. "Mom, I've gotta get ready to go."

"I know, I just wanted you to take this," said mom, slipping a hundred bucks into my hand. "In case you get hungry at the game or something."

"Thanks mom," I kissed her cheek and then ran upstairs before she really embarrassed me.

As I made my way up the stairs I caught sight of Thomas in the study kneeling next to Mrs. Lodge's chair. I couldn't hear what they were saying, they were whispering conspiratorially, but I figured they were talking about Mr. Russet when she clapped Thomas on the shoulder and he smiled in return. Thomas caught my eye and shot me a wink and I smiled all the way to the shower.

When I was finished cleaning up I put on a dark blue t-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a black Hollister and Company hoodie. Formality be damned! I was going to a baseball game and I was going to be comfortable. Dressed and ready to go I went over to Thomas's room but he wasn't there. I found him downstairs dressed in jeans, sneakers, a grey Red Sox jersey and a blue Red Sox baseball cap. I couldn't help myself, I doubled over laughing.

"What's so funny?" Thomas demanded.

"Nothing, Tommy," I laughed again. He had a confused expression on his handsome face and I had to explain. "The way you normally dress, it's really cute but I couldn't picture you as a "Tommy." This outfit though, pure Tommy."

"Dork," Thomas rolled his eyes and shoved me playfully.

Of course I had to shove him back. After all, I'm a Fork Union man and my honor was at stake. We pushed each other back and forth like a pair of frisky pups until Thomas got me in a headlock and tried to mess my hair. That's one advantage to the military haircut. You can't really do much damage to it.

"You guy's ready to go?" said Senator Lodge.

He and Christine were descending the stairs. She wore jeans, a t-shirt, a blue Cubs cap and a lite sweater was tied around her waist. The Senator was in jeans and a Red Sox jersey though his was white, not grey like the one Thomas wore. It wasn't until they were standing next to each other, dressed in virtually the same outfit, that I realized how much Thomas and Henry Lodge looked alike. The resemblance was uncanny. They had the same brown hair with a slight reddish tint to it and the same green eyes. Their skin tone was even the same.

"Yeah, I think we're all set," said Thomas, bringing me back to reality. I couldn't help smiling though. I thought the resemblance was a funny coincidence. Then Thomas turned his attention to Christine. "You're a Cubs fan? I spent the afternoon hanging out with a Cubs fan?"

"That's right big boy," Christine grinned.

"Senator, how could you let me do that?" Thomas teased.

"Hey kiddo, how do you think I feel? She didn't tell me until she had me hooked," the Senator put his arm around his fiancé.

"I can't help it. I grew up watching the Cubs. My dad owns the team," said Christine.

"No way," Thomas and I exclaimed in unison.

"How do you think we got such good tickets?" the Senator laughed.

"Sounds like you sold your soul," Thomas quipped.

"Senator," said Carson, the butler, as he joined us. "The helicopter will be landing at any moment now."

"Right, we better get going," the Senator nodded and headed for the door.

"Your glove, Master Thomas," said Carson as he handed Thomas a baseball glove.

"Oh man, I almost forgot. Thanks Carson," Thomas smiled.

The old butler patted him on the back and sent him on his way.

"What's the glove for?" I asked as I followed Thomas out the door.

"Duh, foul balls."

"I like this side of you. You're so cute," I whispered. Thomas just blushed and I playfully nudged him with my shoulder.

We didn't have long to goof around. A minute after we stepped outside a blue and white Bell JetRanger helicopter landed on the front lawn. The pilot held the door open for us and once we were buckled in we lifted off for Boston.

I have to say I could get used to this lifestyle. These rich people really know how to live. The trip to Boston would have taken 3 hours if we drove. We made it in less than half the time. We landed on the roof of a hotel downtown where we were met by a limousine for the ride to Fenway Park. The entire trip was first class.

When we arrived at the ball park, Christine took us up to the owners luxury box to meet the Cubs general manager. I guess that was cool but Thomas and I were content to let the adults talk while we raided the free hotdogs and sodas. When batting practice started we made our way to our seats, right behind home plate. It would be an unlikely place for anyone to catch a foul ball but Thomas kept his glove at the ready.

"These are great seats, honey," said Senator Lodge. He was as excited about the game as Thomas was.

"We could have stayed in the luxury box…" Christine started.

"No way!" said Thomas and the Senator.

"…but I thought you'd enjoy being behind the plate," she finished.

"Half the fun is being with the fans, right Sir?" said Thomas.

"Absolutely. Gives me a chance to get my Boston fix," the Senator winked. "If my constituents saw me dressed like this I'd be run out of town on a rail."

"Why?" I inquired.

"New Yorkers are fickle and there's a strong rivalry between New York and Boston. If I made the news in a Red Sox jersey I'd have a thousand letters on my desk the next week from angry Yankee fans," he explained.

"Psssh, you mean the Stankee's," Thomas quipped. The senator smiled and clapped him on the back.

"Was that trash talk?" I teased.

"What else would it be?" said Thomas.

"I don't know. I just didn't realize prep school whit was so low-brow," I laughed.

"Whatever," Thomas giggled. "Don't get me started on your Nationals."

"Psssh, they're not mine. Haven't owned them for years."

"Yeah, I wouldn't claim them either," said Thomas.

"Hey, it's a rebuilding year," I argued.

Just then the national anthem started and we had to put down our argument in order to stand at attention. Thomas, Christine and the Senator placed their hands over their hearts but I saluted. I don't know why I did it other than Fork Union has it programed into my brain. No one teased me about it though. In fact, Thomas smiled and winked. The wink was oddly like the one the Senator shot us earlier but that wasn't the most bizarre coincidence of the evening.

I noticed the resemblance between the two of them earlier but I brushed that aside. The things I saw at the game set my mind to wondering though. They crossed their legs the same way. They stretched the same way between innings. They even attacked their hotdogs the same way. I'm sure this was all behavior Thomas picked up during the Senators many visits over the years but it just seemed so weird. It was like Thomas was a little Henry clone or something.

I found myself paying less attention to the game and more attention to Thomas and Senator Lodge. I've always been a people watcher. I think it comes from my mom dragging me all around the world and leaving me to sit and be a good boy while she's writing or conducting an interview. I like to observe people and I often pick up little quirks that most people don't even know they have. As I watched the two of them interact together it was hard to think of them as anything so distant as a politician and his mother's ward. I would have been content to observe them all night but I was distracted when Thomas's glove shot out in front of my face.

I didn't think it would be possible to intercept a foul ball where we were sitting but if it hadn't been for Thomas's quick handy work I would have caught one with my forehead. The ball caught the bat at just the right angle and popped it over the fence. I don't know how fast it was going but I'm sure it would have hurt. The crowd around us cheered when Thomas caught the ball and the look on his face was like a kid in a candy store, he was so cute. Then the most extraordinary thing happened, even more extraordinary then the ball making it over the fence.

Thomas was shaking hands with a guy seated behind us who complimented him on his catch. He hadn't noticed before but sitting two rows behind us was a young family, mom, dad, little boy and little girl. The little boy couldn't have been more than five. He'd brought his glove to the game too and looked so sad that he hadn't caught the foul ball. Thomas didn't hesitate for a second. He took his prize and gave it to the little boy who simply glowed, he was so happy.

"Dude," I exclaimed when Thomas turned around and resumed his seat.

"What?"

"That ball almost hit me!"

"Yeah, you're lucky I was paying attention," Thomas grinned.

"I can't believe you gave that boy your ball!"

"Oh," Thomas shrugged his shoulders. "He wanted it more than me."

"Bullshit, you should have seen how excited you got when you made that catch."

"Well, it felt like the right thing to do," Thomas blushed.

"I think it was the coolest thing I've ever seen," I smiled at him.

"Me too," Senator Lodge added. I hadn't noticed him listening. "I'm proud of you Thomas. That was kind of you."

"I thought it was sweet," Christine added.

"Can we just watch the game?" Thomas squirmed. "You guys are making me feel all funny."

We laughed at his predicament and then watched the Red Sox go on to defeat the Cubs 5 to 3. When the game was over the little boy Thomas gave the ball to came up to us in the aisle and wrapped his arms around Thomas's knees in a powerful hug.

"Thank you so much," said the boy's mother.

"No big deal," Thomas blushed again.

"That's a real good kid you got there," The boy's dad told the Senator.

"Yeah, that's my boy," the Senator laughed and put his arm around Thomas's shoulder. Why waste they time explaining we weren't a family out for a night at the ball park?

"Honey, we better get going," said Christine. "The boys are beat."

"Yeah dad, come on, I'm tired," I yawned and traded a grin with "mom."

The Senator put his free arm around my shoulder and we wished the family a good night. Once they pried their son from around Thomas's legs we found our way to the parking lot.

"You guys are such dorks," said Thomas as we climbed into the car.

"Tommy, that's no way to talk to mom and dad," I teased and he rolled his eyes while the Senator and Christine giggled.

It was a short ride back to the hotel followed by a quick trip up to the roof where we boarded the helicopter. The flight back to Nantucket wasn't as exciting once we left the city. We flew out over the ocean and it was pitch dark. Thomas and I snuggled up to each other and fell asleep. Senator Lodge had to wake us when we landed.

"Thanks again for tonight," said Thomas once we were inside and everyone was heading for bed. "I had a great time."

"Anytime kiddo," said the Senator as he hugged him.

"I've really enjoyed meeting you Thomas, I'm glad we got to spend some time together," Christine smiled. She and the Senator were returning to New York early the next morning.

We said our goodbyes and I followed Thomas up the stairs. I was going to head down to my room when he grabbed my arm.

"What?" I asked, he was looking down at his feet shyly.

"I had a really nice time tonight," said Thomas.

"Me too. Why are you being all shy?"

"Well, I was wondering if um, maybe you wanted to sleep in my room again?"

Thomas

I don't know why I was so embarrassed to ask Alec to sleep with me, it's not like we haven't done plenty of intimate things in the time we've known each other. I guess I still have some lingering doubts, like maybe this is all just some kind of joke and he's not really real. He put that fear aside though when he pushed past me and raced into my room. He sure is a fast stripper, he had his shoes and pants off before I even walked through the door and made quick work of his t-shirt before I had it locked.

"I guess you aren't as tired as I thought," I joked.

"I'm exhausted," Alec yawned, "but I'm not stupid. You think I'd pass up an opportunity to sleep with you?"

"Thanks," I blushed.

"Come here, Tommy," Alec grinned wickedly. "You're overdressed."

I stepped up to him but before I could speak he pressed his lips to mine. I kissed back and opened my mouth ever so slightly. He seized the invitation and slipped his tongue inside where he playfully lapped at my mouth. I felt his nimble fingers fumbling with my belt and when I reached down to help him he slapped my hands away.

"No," he breathed.

"Just trying to help," I whispered.

"Let me do this," he whispered back, his lips brushing against my earlobe.

I pulled my hands back and let him work. He finally got my belt buckle open then unbuttoned my jeans before slowly pulling my zipper down. He reached in and felt me up through my underpants and then dropped to his knees as he pulled my jeans down. I felt his hot breath against my package and then then his cheek brushed against it. He nuzzled my crotch while he untied my shoes and got me naked from the knees down. He put his lips against the waistband of my briefs and started kissing his way back up my body as he opened the buttons of my jersey. Our lips met just as he pushed the shirt off my shoulders and let it join the pile of clothes on the floor.

"Did you like that?" he whispered in my ear.

"Oh yeah," I mumbled. "I never knew taking my clothes off could be so exciting."

"Get in bed," Alec smirked.

I did as he instructed and lie on my back. I watched his every move as he came towards me in nothing but his light blue Jockey briefs. I couldn't help but notice how his undies set off his eyes and I wondered if he planned it that way.

Alec climbed on top of me. We were chest to chest, cheek to cheek. His knee came up between my legs and he wrapped his arms around my neck.

"Put your arms around me," said Alec.

"As you wish," I smiled and did as I was told.

Alec grabbed my left wrist and guided my hand to his bottom where I cupped the tender flesh. He pulled the sheet over us and whispered, "Comfy?"

"Yeap," I muttered and gently kneaded his bottom.

"Shit," he exclaimed.

"Did I do something wrong?" I panicked and pulled my hands away from him.

"No," he laughed. "I forgot to turn the light off."

"You are such a dork," I rolled my eyes as he sat up to turn off the bedside lamp.

Alec wrapped himself back around me and I wrapped myself around him. We shared a long goodnight kiss and drifted off to sleep content in each other's arms.

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