Summers End

by Ryan Bartlett

Chapter 8

Alec

After Senator Lodge and his fiancé returned to New York, life at Summers End settled back into its routine with the exception that I slept in Thomas's room every night. We continue to go for our daily bike ride and snuggle naked on the boat near Sankaty light house but we're also taking gradual steps forward. Where Thomas was content to lie naked with me before, now he's comfortable with touching my special places and letting me touch his. I'd say sex is imminent but I don't want to reduce our relationship to something purely sexual. My heart grows more fond of Thomas with each passing day and I can sense his doing the same. When we do finally have sex it's going to be the most powerful expression of love either of us has ever experienced.

It was Thursday morning and the routine was in full swing. I snuck back to my room before the servants figured out where I'd been sleeping, took my shower and joined Thomas, mom and Mrs. Lodge for breakfast. I was halfway through my blueberry muffin when Mrs. Lodge made a surprising announcement.

"After breakfast I'll be departing for Boston," said Mrs. Lodge.

"Oh," Thomas perked up. "I didn't know we were taking a trip. I'll pack after breakfast."

"That won't be necessary, boy, you won't be joining me this time," said Mrs. Lodge, gently.

"But…I always accompany you," said Thomas, somewhat puzzled.

"You're a fine escort, boy, but I'm seeing an old friend for the evening. I assure you that you would be quite bored," she explained.

"Yes ma'am," Thomas sighed. I know him well enough now that I was able to read concern in his voice

"I'm 83 years old, boy, I can take care of myself," Mrs. Lodge reminded him.

"Yes ma'am," said Thomas, though he was smiling this time.

"I'll be back before lunch tomorrow but while I'm away you are the man of the house. The staff will report to Carson, Carson will report to you. Understood?"

"Yes ma'am," Thomas sat at attention while he received his orders the way they taught me at Fork Union.

"Please look after Alec and Mrs. Carstairs. See to it she has anything she may need for her work," said Mrs. Lodge.

"Yes Mrs. Lodge, I will," Thomas promised.

"We'll be fine. I'm actually heading up to Boston myself tomorrow to do some research at the State Archive," said Mom.

"Never the less, Thomas shall be at your disposal should you need him," said Mrs. Lodge.

"It's too bad we didn't coordinate this better. We could have ridden north together," said mom.

That was weird. I know mom and how she works. The last thing she would have wanted on a research trip was to be hindered by someone else's schedule. I eyed her suspiciously and she brushed me off with a wink.

"Much as I would have enjoyed your company my dear, I'm afraid I would have bored you to tears. I tend to sleep on long car trips," said Mrs. Lodge. Mom just smiled back at her.

Thomas

I wasn't exactly disappointed to be staying behind while Mrs. Lodge went to the city but I was a little surprised. I've been her traveling companion since I was a little boy, escorting her to the opera, the ballet, the symphony and the theater. These are things that would have bored most boys to tears but Mrs. Lodge knew all about the arts and I was an eager student. She taught me to appreciate opera and exposed me to the wonders of the world my peers never really appreciated. As I grew older I noticed she leaned on me more like an assistant. She trusted me to make arrangements and to deal with hotel staff, to see to it that everything was as she liked it.

Sometimes I even felt like a bodyguard. After all, she's a little old lady and Boston is a big city full of hidden dangers. I'm not a tough guy by any means but the common street thug might think twice before snatching her purse if there were a young man accompanying her. I think she sensed my concern as I walked her to the car.

"Thomas, you needn't worry. I'll be fine," said Mrs. Lodge.

"Of course. This is just the first time you've left without me before," I looked down shyly. That's when she really surprised me. She rested her hand gently on my cheek and tilted my face up to meet her gaze.

"You have been wonderful company low these many years boy," said Mrs. Lodge. "Look after the house and our guests and trust an old woman to take care of herself, alright?"

"Yes ma'am," I smiled.

"That's a good lad," she patted my shoulder as James held the door to the Rolls Royce open for her. "Let's be on our way James, we don't want to hit traffic on the cape."

"You got it Mrs. Lodge," said James, shutting her door. Then he turned his attention to me. "Got your bikes already for you. See you tomorrow, Tommy."

James got behind the wheel and I watched them drive down the expansive driveway. Once they turned at the gate I went back to the house and found Alec waiting for me in the foyer.

"You ok?" said Alec.

"Sure, why do you ask?"

"You look a little sad."

"Do I?" I asked and shook it off. It was only an overnight trip. She had James with her. I knew Mrs. Lodge would be fine. "Sorry, it's just weird she left me behind. I'm ok."

"You sure?"

"Yeap," I smiled my assurance. "Besides, we've got plans today."

"We do?"

"Absolutely. Ready for our ride?"

"Sure," Alec grinned.

I found Carson before we left and made sure to tell him I would be gone most of the day and he could reach me on my cell phone. He's perfectly capable of looking after Summers End but Mrs. Lodge did leave me in charge and I wanted to be sure he could reach me if needed.

I know things have become rather routine for Alec and I know that can be hard on someone if they aren't used to it. More importantly I had something I wanted to tell him and had made some special arrangements. A few minutes later we were on our bikes and I had a duffle bag over my shoulder. This time we took a left instead of a right turn out of the driveway.

"This is new," said Alec as he peddled next to me. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see," I grinned mischievously.

"Oh, I love surprises," Alec smiled in delight.

Alec

I really do love surprises! Taking a left turn out of the gates was new, we'd never biked that direction before. I wondered what Thomas was up to but he wouldn't answer any of my questions. It must come from being a reporter's son. I love surprises but I also love figuring them out. Thomas wouldn't give an inch. It was frustrating but also heightened my excitement. After half an hour of peddling, Thomas turned down a dirt country road until we came to a gate bearing a sign which read, "Sea Pony Ranch."

"Thomas?"

"Yeah?"

"What's a Sea Pony?" I asked dubiously.

"You'll see," he giggled.

A few minutes later and we were in front of a large barn with a sign next to the office door that read, "Sea Pony Ranch Equestrian Center."

"Equestrian, as in horses?" I asked.

"Nothing gets past you," Thomas smirked and put his arm around my shoulder. "Come on."

We walked into the office and it looked like something from an old western movie. The walls and floors were bare wood, the furniture was ancient and the only thing modern in evidence was the laptop on the clerk's desk.

"Hi Mrs. Anderson," Thomas smiled.

The clerk got up from her seat and came around to hug him.

"It's so good to see you Tommy," she smiled. "I saw your name in the reservation book this morning and thought it was about time you came to see us."

"Yes ma'am, I've been a bit busy this summer," said Thomas and he put his hand on my back. "This is my friend Alec. I wanted to take him out on one of the trails."

"Has he ridden before?" asked Mrs. Anderson.

"No, er, well, I don't…" Thomas started.

"A horse? No way, I've never ridden a horse," I replied excitedly. He was taking me horseback riding!

"I'll watch out for him Mrs. Anderson, I promise we'll take it easy," Thomas assured her.

"Alright, Alec, you promise to listen to everything this young fella tells you?" she asked.

"Sure, I'm used to Thomas bossing me around," I winked at him and he rolled his eyes then giggled.

"Well, that's good enough for me. You boys head for the locker room and I'll get a couple of mounts ready for you."

"So what does a place like this have a locker room for?" I asked as we entered the modern room that reminded me of the lockers in the gym back at Fork Union.

"You can't wear shorts and sneakers to go riding," said Thomas.

"You Nantucket guys have special outfits for everything," I groaned. I didn't pack anything for horseback riding and I sure hadn't brought anything with me when we left Summers End.

"Yeap," Thomas grinned and then opened his duffle bag. I'd been wondering what was in there until he handed me a pair of tan riding breeches and a pair of black English riding boots.

"You just think of everything, don't you?" I smiled.

"Sure do," Thomas smiled back. "Wouldn't have been much of a surprise if I didn't work out all the details, would it?"

"I guess not," I agreed and started pulling off my sneakers.

A couple of minutes later we were both dressed in skin tight breeches with the English boots coming up just under the knee. I thought the riding pants would be uncomfortable but they were so tight and form fitting that they allowed for ease of movement.

"How do I look?" I asked.

"Pretty cute but turn around," said Thomas.

I twirled for him and found a smile of approval on his face when I was done.

"That is by far the cutest butt on the island," said Thomas.

"The island?" I scoffed. "I think you mean on the east coast, if not the whole country."

"Of course, my mistake," said Thomas. He pulled me to him, kissed my lips and gave my buns a squeeze through the tight pants. "Are you ready for this?"

"Yeah, I'm actually really excited," I admitted. "I've never been on a horse before."

"Good, I want you to have a great time," said Thomas, then he led me out to the stable.

When we walked into the stable Mrs. Anderson was waiting for us with two saddled horses. One was blond with a black mane and the other was reddish brown with a white patch on its muzzle. Thomas walked right over to the blond horse and stroked her cheek. The horse leaned forward and nuzzled his neck as if they were old friends.

"She remembers you," Mrs. Anderson smiled.

"I remember her too. Yes I do, yes I do, huh girl?" Thomas cooed at the horse.

"That's Blaze," said Mrs. Anderson, then she handed me the reins for the brown horse. "And this is Aunt Bea."

"He gets a horse called Blaze and I'm riding Aunt Bea?" I grimaced.

"The only other mount I've got free at the moment is Tornado," said Mrs. Anderson.

"He sounds fast," I exclaimed.

"He is and he likes to throw riders, especially beginners," Mrs. Anderson smirked.

"So Aunt Bea it is then," I reached out and patted the horses nose. Mrs. Anderson winked and gave me a pat on the shoulder.

"You have everything under control here?" she nodded her head at me.

"Yes ma'am, I'll take care of him," said Thomas.

When Mrs. Anderson left, Thomas put his duffle bag over his shoulder and clamored atop Blaze leaving me standing there in my incredibly tight riding breeches and feeling a bit sheepish. I didn't know the first thing about horses and wasn't sure what my next move should be.

"Grab the saddle horn, put your left foot in the stirrup, hop up and throw your right leg over," said Thomas, reading the dilemma on my face.

"That won't hurt her?"

"Honey, she weighs over 1,000 pounds. Having you on her back is like putting on a hat."

"Right," I grinned. He'd never called me honey before.

I followed Thomas's instructions and found getting on the horse was simple enough. All you really had to do was maintain your balance and you'd be ok.

"How do I look?" I asked for the second time that day.

"Like a regular cowboy," Thomas snickered. "Alright, give her a little squeeze with your ankles and we'll be on our way."

"Ok Aunt Bea, careful now, let's go," I whispered in the big animals ear as I gave her a squeeze. Slowly and steadily she began to trot towards the stable door. "Hey check us out, we're moving!"

Thomas smiled at my joy and then made a clicking sound with his tongue. Blaze started to move and soon they were right next to us. Thomas led us out into the yard where I noticed all the other kids for the first time. There were students and teachers all over the place in various stages of their lessons. There was something that stood out as slightly odd however.

"Thomas, all these kids are they…" I began.

"Sea Pony Ranch is a therapeutic learning center. Mrs. Anderson teaches kids with developmental disabilities how to ride. It's great for them," Thomas explained.

"That's cool. How do you know about this place?" I asked, forgoing the obvious conclusion that it was a small island and he'd grown up here.

"Senator Lodge brought me a few years ago," he explained. "Mrs. Anderson opens the place too locals as well as her students."

"You guys go riding together?" I asked, thinking that was one more thing they had in common.

"Not exactly. He was dating some lady who was really into horses. He brought her to Summers End for the weekend and her son was my age. When they went riding they brought me along to keep him company. I loved it so much that when we got home I pestered Mrs. Lodge until she let me take lessons," Thomas smiled.

"You and the Senator sure are a lot alike," I replied.

"Not really. He's not really into riding he just did it because his girlfriend wanted to go," said Thomas.

"I wasn't talking about the riding. I was just thinking back to the game the other night. Have you ever noticed you guys have some of the same quirks?" I asked as Thomas led us out to a trail head.

"What do you mean quirks?"

"It was funny. You guys crossed your legs the same way, took off your caps and ran your fingers through your hair the same way. You even ate your hot dogs the same way."

"Hmmm, no. I've never noticed any of that," said Thomas.

"You guys look a lot alike too," I reminded him.

"Well, lots of people have brown hair and green eyes," said Thomas.

"Yeah, I guess so," I agreed.

"Alec, are you trying to suggest something?"

"Well, you don't know who your father is. Maybe Senator Lodge..." I began.

"No," Thomas stopped me from finishing my sentence.

"I'm just saying…"

"I know what you're saying and I'm telling you it's not possible."

"Why not?"

"Because, that would mean Mrs. Lodge and the Senator have been lying to me all these years and you don't know them like I do. They wouldn't do that. If Mrs. Lodge knew who my father was she'd tell me," said Thomas, confidently.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you," I replied feeling like a colossal ass.

"It's ok, I'm not upset," said Thomas, as he moved closer and held my hand. "To be honest I questioned it myself when I was little. Not the Senator being my father per se but somehow being related to the Lodge family. I gave that up though, Mrs. Lodge would have told me," said Thomas.

I gave his hand a gentle squeeze by way of apology. The last thing I would ever want to do is hurt his feelings and I knew I shouldn't have been asking questions about a sensitive subject. I don't know my dad very well but at least I know who he is. It must be really tough for Thomas, the not knowing.

He smiled when I squeezed his hand and I changed the subject so he wouldn't dwell on the conversation we'd just had. He was still carrying his duffle bag and it still looked full. We'd put our shorts and sneakers in lockers when we changed into the riding gear he brought and I wondered what else was in his bag of tricks.

"So what's in the bag?" I asked.

"You'll see," Thomas grinned.

"You and your secrets, you should join the CIA," I rolled my eyes.

"Maybe," said Thomas, "but you wouldn't like that either."

"No?"

"Nope because if you asked me I wouldn't be able to tell you unless I killed you after," he giggled.

"You are the biggest dork, you know that right?" I smiled at him.

"I'm aware," said Thomas, taking a bow atop his horse.

The trail we were on led us to the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was just after noon when we stopped under a grove of trees. There was a post for tying off the horses and a trough which Thomas quickly filled with water from a faucet built into it.

"It's beautiful here," I stated, when I climbed down from Aunt Bea and looked out over the ocean.

"I thought you'd like it here," said Thomas. "It'll be too late to go sailing by the time we get back but I thought the view would make up for it."

"It does, I'm having a great time," I smiled and gave Aunt Bea a pat on the rump.

"We don't have to miss out on all our regular activities though," said Thomas, taking the duffle off his shoulder and kneeling down to unzip it. He pulled a large blanket out and spread it on the ground.

"What's that for?" I was puzzled.

"We can still work on our tans," Thomas smiled and took off his shirt.

"Great idea! But what if someone comes up the trail?"

"I checked when I made our reservations for today. No one else is riding this trail," he grinned and pulled off his boots then kicked off his pants.

"Awesome!" I quickly shed my shirt and then struggled to get my boots off.

The first one came off ok but the second one wouldn't budge. They were a tight fight and I think Thomas's feet might be slightly smaller than mine. I was beginning to get frustrated when Thomas, still in his boxer-briefs, had me lie down so he could peel the boot off. He got the boot off with ease and then unbuttoned and unzipped my pants. He'd never done that before, never undressed me. The pants put up a fight too and when Thomas yanked them off he slipped and fell between my legs, bringing him face to face with my crotch.

"Comfy?" I giggled.

"Just enjoying the view," he smirked. He snapped the waistband of my briefs against my tummy then let out the cutest giggle. "I like your undies."

"They're just plain white Jockey's," I shrugged.

"Yeah but most the guys at my school wear boxers and I think they are so boring. These show off your cute butt and you know, other stuff," said Thomas as he put his hand on my package.

Instinctively I spread my legs slightly wider. Thomas smiled at me and rubbed gently until I was fully hard, then he kissed me. He pressed his lips against my waistband and kissed up until he found my lips. He was between my legs now and I could feel his boner pressing into mine. It felt so good I let out a soft moan.

"A guy could get used to this," I breathed when Thomas pulled away.

"You are the most beautiful boy I've ever known," Thomas whispered, a serious expression on his face. "I brought you here today because I wanted it to be special."

"Every day I spend with you is special, Tommy."

"Yeah but it's not every day I tell you I love you," he blushed.

"Wait, what?" I wasn't sure I'd heard him right.

"I love you Alec. I love you, I love you, I love you. I think I've loved you from the moment I first met you. I know I said I wanted to take things slow but I can't help it. The heart wants what the heart wants and my heart wants you," Thomas blurted out.

"I love you too," I replied. "I know I've loved you from the moment we met. I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to push you but yeah, Thomas, this is what love feels like. You know I've done things with other guys before but I've never had a boyfriend until now and I am completely in love with you."

He grinned happily and kissed me. Of all the kisses we've shared that's the one I'll remember when I'm a hundred years old and can barely remember my name. Sparks flew! There was so much unbridled passion behind it! I knew what was going to happen next. It felt like we'd been on a collision course with this moment since the day we met. It was something neither of us had ever done, a first for both of us.

I reached down and pulled Thomas's underwear off his butt, he kicked them down his legs and then he sat up to remove my briefs. We went back to kissing but he took my shaft in his hand and I took his in mine. We stroked each other until our natural lubricants had us both slick and ready. I raised my hips and puckered my buns around the head of Thomas's erection.

"Are you sure you want this?" he panted, breathless from our latest kiss.

"I want it more than anything, don't you?"

He put his lips back to mine and suddenly with a sharp movement of his hips, he was inside me. There was a burning pain at first but it quickly subsided. I allowed my body to relax and he slipped deeper into me. Thomas held me in his arms and slowly rocked his hips. We made love for the first time under a grove of trees overlooking the sea while a pair of horses drank water from a trough.

When it was over, when we were exhausted from our love making, I pulled Thomas's head down and rested it against my chest. We fell asleep under the shade of the trees and woke just in time for the long ride back to the stables.

It was a perfect day. I was with the perfect boy and we'd made perfect love. I never knew sex could be so much different when it was with someone you truly loved. I'd gotten off with guys before but those feelings were eclipsed by the act we'd just committed. Our bond was sealed. He was mine and I was his and neither of us could have been happier.

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