Red Cherries

by Benjamin J. Conner

Chapter 18 "Leave me alone!"

It was Monday morning, the last week of our vacation. I woke up early to the sound of water running in the shower. Josh was already up, obviously enjoying the hot element on his own. I felt sad to not find him next to me, to not hear him breathing, to not feel his warm, soft skin on mine, and to not see the familiar sight of his partly exposed body, lit by the morning sun.

I looked around and found a note on his pillow.

'Sam, sorry that I left you alone in bed, but I had to take a shower. When you wake up, please join me - I'm waiting for you, as I've done my entire life. And now that you're here, I won't ever let you go. I've lost enough, and no matter what I do or say, lost things stay lost. But you are to be with me and I'm to be with you, forever. That's the best feeling ever. Sorry, that I messed up yesterday, I was afraid of losing you. In love, Josh.'

The wonderful and loving words re-sounded in my head over and over - his sweet and shy but entrancing voice could make every sentence an irresistible melody.

I smiled and read the note once again, before getting up and sticking my head into the bath room. Josh had his eyes closed and was standing there in a relaxed pose. The bathroom was lit by the indirect lights from the large mirror on the opposite side of the room. The hot water was running down his delicious body. Curvy trails of water left a shiny and encasing surface on him, before disappearing through the drain or vaporizing to turn the room into a sauna. I could have stood there for hours and would have been satisfied with what my eyes were able to catch.

But why only watch, if you can touch? I silently walked towards him. Only a moment before my lips would have made contact with his neck, Josh sighed and his shoulders relaxed. He must have felt that I was there. He leaned his back in to me and I closed my arms around his chest. If I hadn't been there, he would probably have hit the floor.

"Morning." I exhaled.

"Morning...I missed you!"

"Thanks for the note - loved it."

"Stroke me please!" He whispered.


"Wherever you want. I just want you close to me."

"Why did you leave the bed then?"

"Had to take a shower."

I could have asked what fore or why he didn't return, but decided to leave it like that. Sometimes it is not important what would have been if this or that happened. I guess he had been sad and finally understood what impression his behavior had given me, but that wasn't important to me now that we were together again.

His body was warm, nearly hot on mine. A shiver ran down my spine as I kissed his neck and let my hands wander around on his chest and tummy in slow motion. Before I could think of anything else, my penis was standing at full attention and poking him where my fingers had been last night. I backed off a little, poured some of the lavender shampoo in my hands and from behind, rubbed it onto my lover's body everywhere I could reach without leaving my position.

Due to the massage oil I had put on his body last night, Josh's skin felt softer than before if that was possible. I loved to soap and rinse his body and did so before enjoying the play of his delicate fingers on my body as he returned the favor. The only difference was that his motions were more sensual than mine had been.

Time went by while we both massaged each other, not leaving out one spot. Soft moans left the bathroom as we each cleaned the others growing manhood.

Wondering what we would do today, we got dressed for a hot and sunny day. Afterward, both wearing shorts, bright polo shirts, white tennis socks and sneakers, we walked downstairs to get breakfast. Josh looked awesome in such clothes and his tanned skin made his appearance perfect.

Our parents were already seated and we had a wonderful, strengthening meal, before a plan for the day was made.

Josh and I smiled at each other. I winked wat him while I checked my pocket for the wonderful note he had written. Even now, so many years after, I still have this note and always dream of this time when I read it.

Mom and dad wanted to visit a friend who was living close to Rome. This would have meant being caged in a metal box with wheels for a bit more than an hour while the sun was burning and the thermometer nearly exploding. To our surprise, they didn't expect us to come, and had arranged for one of the hotel security staff members check on us regularly. We were only allowed to leave the hotel together. We had to ask permission to leave and we had to report back at a fixed time.

We both thought that this was a pretty cool idea and wanted to show my parents that we could be trusted. But there was one thing they didn't put into the calculation - boys are boys and unforeseen things can happen with all the emotions of puberty running through our heads.

An hour later my parents were underway. We stood in front of the hotel and waved them good bye before we ran upstairs, changed into our swim gear and jumped in the pool to cool down and enjoy the happy freedom we had just gained.

Luca, the guy from the hotel staff checked on us nearly every half hour which was a little annoying. He was wearing a black suit with a black tie, had short cut hair and a good physic - all in all he looked like one of those special agent guys from TV –who never smile. He never even talked to us. I wondered how he could bear the heat in that suit.

"You think he has a gun?" Josh asked me as we were clinging to the edge of the pool facing away from the sun.

"Perhaps, but why should he wear a gun here?"

"I bet he has. And if so, he must wear a second one at his ankle for sure."

"Too much TV uh?"

"No I swear, those guys always have a second one."

"Come on, a moment before he PROBABLY had ONE gun, and now he definitely has a SECOND?"

"LUCAA?!" Josh shouted.

"What are you doing?"


"What fore ?"

"Just...I want to know!"

Our bodyguard turned around and walked over to the pool, kneeling down next to us with a strained expression on his face.

"It's Sir!" Luca said with a strict voice in perfect English.

"Oh...uhm sorry Mr. Luca Sir. Can we ask you something?"

"It's not we dumbo, it's you who wanted to ask!" I said.

"If you have to - but make it quick!"

He didn't look at us while he responded. In fact he seemed to be pissed off for having to look after two boys that were now starting to bother him with stupid questions.

"Are you wearing a gun?"


"We just wanted to know."

"Why do you want to know that?"

"There's no special reason. I was just wondering if you would be able to protect us in case anything happened."

That seemed to be a little bit too much for the guy. He was not used to guarding some weird American kids and was definitely not amused that he had to talk to us.

"First, young man, there's no need to protect you from anything, since you are not going to leave the hotel and second if I have a gun or not, is none of your business. Are we clear about that?"

"Well...." Josh was surprised about the harsh answer and didn't know what to say.

"Are we clear about that?" Luca insisted.

"HEY, he was just asking, ok?!" I jumped in.

"Yeah, and I was just answering, OK?!" He said mimicking me.

"Why are you so mean? We didn't do anything to you!"

"You are here and I've got to watch over you. T hat's way enough."

"Sir, if you have a problem with us, you might want to go and talk to your boss about it, or wait...I'll call my dad and you can talk to him. Would that be OK? We only asked a simple questions, and we couldn't just smell that you don't like children."

With that, I turned around and dived to the other side of the pool.

"Yeah, exactly." Josh threw at him before he followed me.

"Thanks Sam, but there was no need to jump in, I could have handled him."

"Nobody is to talk to you like that. I had to jump in."

"Gosh, what an idiot." Josh said in a quiet tone as if Luca could hear us.

"Yeah, what was his problem?"

"Don't know, but let's make sure we won't have to deal with this guy again, or at least let's avoid talking to him!"

"You bet." I said, but wasn't finished yet. "I have a plan to make him regret that!" Josh smiled at the mischievous grin on my face as we left the roof and headed for our room.

After drying ourselves and putting on normal clothes we concocted a plan to leave the hotel without permission and stay away until our parents were back. This way, that Luca guy would go crazy trying to find us and would have to explain our absence to my father who definitely would read him the riot act.

We took the lift down to the garage and sneaked out via the back entrance, dancing and laughing about the situation our bodyguard would find himself in, a couple of hours later.

With no special destination, we strolled along the streets, looking for interesting things here and there, talking with some fishermen or just having fun being ourselves.

The streets got emptier and emptier. We seemed to lose track of where we were or what the plan was. And the area didn't seem to get more friendly, instead it got darker and darker. Both of us started to feel uncomfortable with each step we took - it looked like some kind of slum area we were in and the few people that were hanging around on the streets observed us with increasing interest.

"Sam? I don't like it here!"

"Yeah, this isn't good. We have to get back."

"Where are we?"

"Dunno, let's go to the right!"

Josh, walking on my left side, stayed very close to me. I was sure he wanted to take my hand, but was afraid of what the people would think about it.

The street was made of gray cobblestone and there was only one lane in the middle which was empty - no cars, no shops or restaurants - only closed doors and window panes that were covered with curtains. From one moment to another it looked as if we were in a totally different place - a frightening place. But we didn't stop walking, instead we unintentionally sped up.

At the next corner about 100 feet away from us, a couple of young guys around 15 to 18 years of age were sitting on wooden boxes. They didn't look like the welcome committee and as they watched us heading towards them they slowly stood up from their seats.

We felt, that something was going on.

"Sam? Let's turn around, please!"

"I don't know."

"Look at their faces, they are coming for us, I'm sure...Sam!"

"Ok, you're right. I'll count to three. We turn around and walk back as if it was nothing."



We made a 180 on the spot. But instead of walking slowly, we ran for our lives. I was a little faster than Josh but as soon as we both noticed, that the gang or whatever they were, started chasing us, he kept up with me.



"They are coming closer!"

"Here, to the right!"

We hoped to find a place to hide or a secret way out of here but instead we found ourselves standing in front of a wall - dead end.

"GOD DAMNIT, I thought this only happens on TV."

"What now Sam?" Josh asked in a fearfull tone.

"I have no idea. There...jump into that dumpster and hide!"

"Into the DUMPSTER?"


With a strange look on his face, he finally did what I asked him to do, before the first of the strange looking guys came around the corner followed by the rest of the group. They slowed down recognizing that we were trapped and came closer with scary expressions on their faces. One of them was playing with a knife.–The situation was not funny.

I was unable to say a word and shuffled from one foot to the other silently praying to god, saying that I didn't want to die here and that I was sorry for fooling with that security guy from the hotel.

Twenty feet in front of me, they stopped and watched as I becoming more and more nervous.

I nearly pissed my pants as one of them stepped forward. It was not enough that he was really big and built like a bulldog, but it he was also the one who had been playing with a knife.

"Che fa lei qui?" (What are you doing here?)

"What? I...I don't understand you!"

Josh tried to avoid any noise as he watched it all through a hole in the dumpster.

"Dove è il suo amico? Questo è il nostro luogo. Lei deve pagare per usare le nostre strade!" (Where's your friend? This is our place. You have to pay for using our streets!)

"I'm sorry Sir, I don't understand." I tried to remember some words in Italian "Sono Americano....inglese?" (I'm American, Enligsh?)

The guy who obviously was their leader smiled and said "Guardarlo, orina i suoi ansiti." (Look at him, he's shitting his pants) before they all burst into laughter.

I didn't understand the situation, but took their laughter as a good sign, so I also tried to smile even though I was scared as hell. For a good reason as I learned a second later. The big guy took the butterfly knife I had seen before out of his pocket and with two quick steps was only inches away, threatening me with it. I started to tremble and prayed even harder for god to not let my die here.

"DENARO!" (Money) He yelled.

I understood that he wanted money from me, but the only money we had, was in the emergency envelopes my dad had given us - and it wasn't much. So I searched in my pocket for the envelope hoping that it would be enough for them and that Josh wouldn't have to leave his hideout.

While my hand was exploring my pockets, the note my lover had written this morning fell to the ground. I tried to pick it up but forgot about it as I felt a piece of cold steel at my neck.

Being unu sed to being threatened, the air I breathed was getting thinner and thinner, my chest was cramping up and a panic attack threatened to take control. I was sure that I would faint in seconds but tried to fight it to protect Josh.

Without noticing, a car had slowly come by and stopped at the crossing to the dead end. Suddenly I heard "È lì un problema?" (Is there a problem) from a police man who was shouting out of the car window. All of the offenders started running away as fast as they could. The officers got out of their car and chased them.

Within a second I was alone on the street where I nearly died, still trembling, short of oxygen, fainting....

"Thanks for your help, Pietro. Grazie mille!" Josh said to our Italian friends as he stood close to the bed I was lying on.

"Nessun problema, Joshua." (No problem)

My boyfriend had a wet cloth that he stroked my forehead with to help me recover from the shock. He was worried that I wouldn't wake up, but Pietro knelt down close to him, put a hand on his thigh and tried to calm Josh down, whispering something that he wouldn't understand anyway.



"Can I ask you a question?"

"No understand." The Italian boy answered with his broken English.

"You....amore Samuel?"

"Io? No certo non!!!" (Me? No of course not) He laughed and continued "Ma miei fratelli l'amano" (But my brothers love you)

"Oh, that's good, I thought you Sam. Again, grazie mille!"

Josh only understood, that Pietro didn't love me and that was all he wanted to know. I wonder what would have happened, if he had understood all of it.

But we would never know because at that moment I opened my eyes and found myself lying on a soft blanket in a dark room. I was exhausted but safe and happy to see Josh who had taken care of me.

"Sam! Thank god you're awake. How do you feel?"

"Fine, thanks. Did I faint? What happened?"

"Yeah, they ran away and you slumped like wet bag. I was scared as hell and didn't know what to do. Fortunately Pietro came by and we carried you here. You slept for an hour or so. You really ok?"

"Yes thank you. Ringraziarla molto, Pietro!" (Thank you very much)

"Il mio piacere." (My pleasure)

Josh supported me as I tried to get up, but an itching pain in my head made me rest for some more minutes while Pietro got some water for me. Gosh, what an adventure that was for us. Exciting, dangerous and unforeseen.– Such is the way of the boys. In the end we were all ok and, in a strange way, we had enjoyed the adventure.

After saying "Arrivederci" (good bye) to Pietro and his brothers, who both secretly loved Josh without either of us knowing it, we left their house and headed back for the hotel. It was 4pm and hunger lead us back home.

We didn't get very far as I started to remember what happened and began searching my pockets.

"Oh noooo....please...where is it."

"Are you looking for this?" Josh asked with a huge smile on his face as he held up the note he had written for me.

"Yeah." I sighed full of relief and kissed Josh without thinking about it.

Pietro and his brothers watched us walking away and saw the kiss. All three smiled at each other.

"L'ho saputo." (I knew it) Gianni, one of Pietro's younger brothers said, but we didn't recognize them watching us and walked on.

Mum and dad said that they would be back by 6pm, so we had plenty of time to spend on our own, but we had enough for today and were not even thinking of that Luca guy anymore. Returning to the hotel we snuck back in using the back entrance again. Jumping into the lift we wanted to get up to our room and take a shower together.

The lift stopped at the main floor; the doors opened and in front of us stood - you guessed right - Agent Dumbo.

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