I’d been living in my Grandparent’s house for three weeks. I found myself sometimes referring to it as “Weathering Heights” but no one beside Mom and Wes got it.
“You make the perfect Catherine baby bro,” Wes had said when he found me waiting at the end of the drive way for him one night when we had a huge rain storm.
I found a job at the local bookstore, and I was enjoying it as much as I had enjoyed working with Seth. Only I didn’t have a crush on any of my coworkers, yet.
Heading to the bar, we only had one, for a beer after work was slowly becoming a ritual for me, though I’d only been in once or twice, usually too tired to drink. I had been happy to see that the biker chick and the old Indian man followed me out to the country.
“Hello Reed,” Mac, the owner, called to me and waved me over one night when I stopped by.
“Hi,” I said and thanked him for the house beer he placed in front of me.
“How’s life down here for you so far?” he wasn’t the first person to ask me that today. A few people from around town had dropped by the house earlier to welcome me, it was all nice and good, but I couldn’t help but think there was something up I didn’t know about.
“Pretty good, how about you?” I asked. He smiled at me and waved around the bar.
“Same as always,” he said and turned around, looking for something I guess. He shook his head, and then laughed.
“What?” I asked. I had always hated being left out of things.
“My good-for-nothing kid is hiding in the back room again.” Mac said and went into the back room. It seemed every time I came in this kid was hiding, a fact I found extremely odd.
“Hey Mac, I’m going to head out, see you later,” I said and finished the last drops of my beer before leaving. I loved bars in small towns, they had taps.
I walked out of the door and onto Main Street, my house wasn’t far, an easy walk, but I hated walking it. I hated walking altogether anymore, left me to much time to think.
I was happier here then I had been in the City, but I was lonelier, I missed my family and my old apartment. I knew I’d get over it, but it seemed it would take longer then I’d thought.
“Camble you coward,” Mac said. He’d found me in the back room chain smoking. Reed had come to the bar again tonight. And I, again, had run into the back room upon seeing him walk past the windows outside.
“Rhonda was right,” I said putting out the cigarette I was smoking before lighting another one.
“That’s a first,” he said and sat down next to me, pulling the cigarette from my hand and taking a drag himself.
“No, I mean, she was really right. He’s beautiful, and it’s scaring the shit out of me. I want to talk to him, but I don’t know how, I would end up saying something totally stupid.”
“Camble, you are the smoothest talker this town has seen since Peter Timmy was a boy, don’t go saying shit we both know isn’t true.” I had learned everything I knew about talking to people from Peter, he’d made it like a game, teaching me things for fun, but really in the end, he’d helped mold me into a person I never dreamed I could be.
“Mac, lets just say I am able to talk to him for once and he is gay?” Mac nodded laughing. “Shut up I’m being serious okay? By some great chance he’s gay, and he possibly ends up liking me, I have massive amounts of baggage. Most normal people wouldn’t want to deal with it, and I don’t blame them, but what if he found out? Do you honestly think that he would stick around from very long?”
“God, you’re looking for a soul mate, and all Rhonda wanted was for you to get laid,” Mac said and stood up. I dropped my head into my hands and laughed. My family is so fucked up. “Listen Cam, I don’t know what he wants, I don’t even know if he is looking for someone to date, but I do know that he’s a good kid. Remember that he’s Emily’s grandson okay?”
I nodded and stood also. I made a promise to myself that wouldn’t run the next time that I would at least talk to him once. I was never too good at keeping promises to myself though.
“So what you are saying is… you would rather get drunk then talk to me?” Wes asked. He’d called me about the same time I’d gotten home to change clothes.
“No I’m saying that John called and asked me to meet him at the bar at nine, which is about ten minutes from now.” I said and sat down on my bed to pull my shoes on.
“Who the hell is John?” Wes asked his voice loud.
“He owns the gas station.” This was getting ridiculous. But I could somewhat understand why Wes was acting so weird. I hadn’t seen him in a week, and even though we were brothers, we were best friends too. I never thought that my leaving would affect him so much, but it did, and I was starting to feel guilty.
“What were you doing at the gas station?” I don’t own a car, scared of driving.
“I walk by their everyday Wes, he’s just a local being nice, trying to welcome me, don’t be mean,” I said. I felt like he was getting too jealous, and I didn’t know how to fix it. “I’ll call you when I get home okay?” Wes mumbled something before saying bye and hanging up.
I walked down the roads toward the bar, hurrying, not wanting to be rude by being late. When I got there, John was no where in sight. I let out a sigh of relieve, I didn’t mind that he was late, I was just glad I hadn’t kept him waiting. I walked up to the bar and sat in a stool but neither Mac nor his “good-for-nothing” kid was in sight.
“Hey Mac, you around?” I called out, thinking they were in the back room. “I’m stealing a beer,” I said and pulled a mug I knew to be under the bar out, and filled it up from the tap. There were only a few other people in the bar, and they weren’t paying much attention to me, which was fine.
I turned around on my stole and watched the windows, wondering when John would get there. Behind me I heard the door swing and I turned to see a man around my age standing there.
“Hey, you new?” I asked him, looking for anyone to talk to. He looked up at me somewhat startled before turning around to look at Mac, who’d just came from the back room also and walked over to where I was sitting.
“Nope,” he smiling; he’d gotten his composure back fast it seemed. I smiled back and started looking through my pockets for the pack of cigarettes that should be in them somewhere. I had started smoking once I came to the Town; it entertained me more then anything else, I think. I found them, but then I couldn’t find my lighter, I had gotten more forgetful since moving it seemed.
“Here,” the man said walking toward me and flicked open a Zippo. It had two male symbols intertwined on its front. I looked up into his eyes as he brought the flame close to the tip of my cigarette. I leaned in a little closer to his hand and inhaled through the filter, lighting it.
“Thanks,” I said and gave him another smile. That lighter could only mean that he was playing for my team. That or he didn’t care that it could give people the wrong idea. It would be just my luck if it was the second of the two.
“I’m Camble York,” he said and stuck out his hand.
“Reed Timmy,” I took his hand and almost melted at the feel of his rough callused skin. He smiled at me, like he knew exactly what was going through my head, before letting go.
“So you’re Peter and Emily’s grandson huh?” he asked, and I watched as his eyes clouded.
“Yeah, I’m living in their house now, down at the end of Timberwork, did you know them?”
“Yeah, everyone did, I’m sorry for your loss.” I waved it away.
“Don’t worry about it, they had a long happy live, at least they went together. I’m guessing you knew them well?”
“Yeah, I used to cut their grass. Hey you wouldn’t be that evil little grandson of theirs would you?” he said laughing, probably remembering stories Grandma had told him.
“No, that would be my brother,” he had a really nice smile. His white teeth were straight besides the teeth on either side on his front ones. They were angled out a little, over lapping the front teeth ever so slightly. Really nice smile.
“Then you’re the quite one right? You’re grandma always said ‘you would get along with him famously dear, you two have a lot in common’,” his voice had gone up a tone or two trying to sounds like her, making me laugh really hard. I sobered up and found him watching me. “I guess she was right.”
“I guess,” I said stupidly, not knowing exactly what he meant and from being at a loss of anything else to say. We stayed like that for a little while, staring at each other, I don’t know what was going through his mind, but mine was going nuts.
Camble York was most definitely gay, gay and gorgeous. This meant probably I had little to no chance with him but fuck it, I was going to try anyway. I deserved a boyfriend just as much as everyone else right? I mean, right? …Maybe I’ll try tomorrow.
“How do you like our town so far?” Camble asked, still smiling. I opened my mouth to answer him, but nothing came out. And that’s when I panicked.
“Um, has John been in tonight, he asked me to meet him here,” I said. Camble’s eyes widened for a second before he shook his head no. “Oh, well, um” I said and stood.
“I get off soon if you’re looking to hang out with someone,” he said the smiling coming back to his face. I could only nod my head. Some how I felt like I’d just stepped into a game everyone was playing, and I didn’t care.
“Would you like to have dinner with me?” Yeah just jump right in Reed, smart move. “I don’t really know a lot of people here, beside John and Mac,” I trailed off stupidly. Note to self: don’t talk if you really have nothing to say.
“I would like that a lot Reed.” His voice had gone soft. Remembering the last time I made date plans in a bar I made sure he knew I meant tonight. “Yeah, I got that part,” he laughed and stroked my arm lightly. When was the last time someone had touched me like that? Two or three month’s maybe? I couldn’t remember if any of Tim’s touches had been that tender though.
“Okay,” I said unable to keep the huge smile off my face.
“Let me just make sure everyone has their drinks and then I’ll be with you okay?” I nodded. “Finish your beer too.” I look down and notice the untouched mug in front of me. I grabbed it and took a few shallows. By the time Camble came back I had finished the last bit. “That’s my boy, come on,” I followed him outside and then continued down Main, his hand on the small of my back. We made a left onto Timberwork, I noticed the lights at the gas station were out, and followed its curves to my house.
I flicked on the lights as we moved through the house and into the kitchen. I started gathering my courage to ask him what all that in the bar had been about, but I didn’t know how to say it with out being rude.
“What are you hungry for?” I asked right before I felt him place his hands on my hips. He leaned his chest against my back and kissed my neck softly, all thoughts of asking him about John flew from my mind. “I mean beside me?”
“I don’t know what have you got?” He moved away to look through my frig and cabinets. He’d been so warm, so alive, when he was touching me. I was going to fall for this guy, I knew I was. I watched as he opened the frig door, leaning his ass against the island in the middle of the kitchen, and he sifted though it.
I had just picked this man up at a bar. I talked with him for only ten minutes before inviting him over, was I out of my mind? But he’d said yes and I wasn’t uncomfortable with him at all though. I was totally at ease. There was very few times I can remember feeling like this with any of my boyfriends. Wait, did this mean he expected sex? Oh my God. Sex was out of the question. Okay, don’t worry about the sex till he brings it up.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want sex, I did. I wanted it all the time. I’d had sexual encounters before, kind of. Foreplay I guess you would call it, but never full on sex, it scared me, like most of the things in my life. I needed to be ready for it. I was told for as long as I could remember, mostly from Mom and Wes, that sex was a huge step, you don’t do it unless you knew you could deal with the after effects.
Those after effects scared me. Not just the possibilities of disease, but the thought of them not liking me after, or me not liking them, or them just using me for sex, was too much. It all came down to, in every relationship I’d had my fear won out, and I’d never been comfortable enough with the person I was seeing to voice it, and they got tired of me and left me with my virginity still intact. So I always said I had to love someone before I took that step, because in my head I, I knew that I wouldn’t love someone that I couldn’t trust.
“Hey, you have the stuff to make spaghetti, does that sound good?” he turned from the frig and looked at me.
“Yeah, sounds really good, I think I might have some garlic bread in the freezer too.” I moved and stood in front of him to open the freezer, grabbed the bread and showed him.
“Garlic huh? Only if you have mouth wash I can use afterwards,” I laughed before nodding. “You’re really cute when you do that?”
“What?” I asked suddenly feeling self-conscious.
“Laugh,” his eyes softened before his lips brushed across mine. He was still leaning against the island so when I pushed closer to him, wanting more then just a peck, he was somewhat ready for my impact. He placed his hands on either side of my face and tilted his head to the side so our lips meet perfectly. He tasted so good, his lips, his tongue, and the way he smelled was driving me into a state of horny I hadn’t ever felt.
I pulled back, knowing if we went like that for much longer, my virginity would be out the window, which of course scared me.
“Want to help me make it?” I asked closing the frig and freezer doors.
It took half an hour to get everything cooked and placed on the small table in the kitchen. Through out that whole time he had touched me, caressed me, and kissed me. I didn’t feel smothered though; he hadn’t done it in excess. A touch on the back, letting me know he was going behind me so I wouldn’t run into him if I decided to turn then, or kissing my lips there where the sauce had stayed after I tasted it.
We ate in comfortable silence, watching each other out of the corner of our eyes, and smiling when we were caught.
“I like you Reed,” Camble said after we had sat down on the blue couch with two beers in front of the TV. I had brought the blue couch with me; I would’ve missed it to much if I had left it back home.
“I like you too,” I said smiling, thought this whole thing seemed serial to me. We hadn’t even really talked, we were just together. I did like him, I liked him a whole lot, but I had no idea what lead to it.
“You don’t have a boyfriend back in the city do you?” his voice sounded a little rough. I laughed a little, boyfriend, me?
“No, no boyfriend, do you have one?” It suddenly occurred to me that I should have asked before I even brought him here. He was beautiful, thick black hair, blue jade eyes, and tight lean muscles. There was no way that he didn’t have someone else. I felt completely stupid.
“No, I don’t.”
“Yeah, really,” he pulled me closer to him and our lips met. Kissing him was like taking a really hot shower, being totally engulfed in warmth and comfort. He moved me back, so I was lying down on the couch, and moved on top of me. He pulled my legs apart and got between them, my legs instantly went around him to hold him there. He was so heavy above me but I loved it, being pushed down against the couch cushions. “Mm, you’re a good kisser,” he said when he pulled back. Holding his weight on one elbow, he started pushing my hair from my face, spreading it out above me.
“You are too,” I whispered.
“Can I see you again?” he asked and moved to kiss my forehead.
“Yeah, that would be great.”
“I have to get going,” he pulled himself off me and sat up.
“Oh, okay,” I didn’t want him to see that I was disappointed. I was kind of relieved too; if he would have tried seducing me I knew I would have let him do anything he wanted.
“I’m not the type of person that usually does this you know? I take time to get to know people first, but I just can’t keep my hands off you. I would really like to get to know you first, before we go there, if that’s okay.” he said, like he thought he was messing up by not fucking me right there and then.
“No, that’s more then okay.” I knew I was blushing, I was getting somewhat embarrassed.
“Um, yeah, I’d kind of like to wait a while.” I looked up to his face and he was smiling. It seemed he was always smiling, and I loved that.
“Reed, I want to start something with you, from what I see of you so far, I think we could have a lot of fun together. But how long is a while though? I can barley keep my hands off you now.” I stared at him; I didn’t really know how to answer that.
“Three months,” I said giggling, hoping we would last that long, but thinking we might not. Hoping, also, I wouldn’t be scared if we did last. But I didn’t even know this guy, he was more then likely like all the others.
“Two and a half.” A guy had never tried to compromise with me about sex before. I’ve had a few that laughed and told me to stop joking. I’ve had a few that told me they would wait as long as I needed. I even had a few just ignore it and advance on me anyway… I’d had a hard time getting away from those guys.
“Two and three weeks.”
“Okay fine, two months and three weeks from today, your all mine okay?” his eyes here sparkling with humor and lust.
“I’ll mark my calendar,” I said jokingly, but I knew I would after he left.
“Good, me too,” He kissed me again before getting up. “Walk me to the door?” I nodded and followed him to it. “I’m glad you came into the bar tonight Reed.”
“I’ve been meaning to go there more, after work and stuff,” I inform and his eyebrows rose.
“No life huh?” he said laughing.
“Hey, you know I’m new in town,” I said slapping his ass.
“Feisty too? Make sure you come in tomorrow, I would really like to see you.” He leaned in for a kiss before pulling back abruptly. “Give me your number?” I nod and rattle it off as he programmed it into his cell phone. Then he leaned into kiss me again, this time letting it last for a minute or so he before slipping out the door. I watched him walk down my front path, him turning to wave as he turned onto the street.
“Hey, Camble wait,” I said and ran down the walk to meet him. “Um, was what happened in the bar a plan?” I asked.
“What?” he said. It was dark, and I couldn’t really see what expression was on his face, but I barreled on anyway.
“I mean, John inviting me over there, him not being there, then you asking me out kind of.”
“Truthfully? I have no idea, if it was I wasn’t part of it,” Camble said and put his arms around me, pulling me closer to him. “I came over here tonight because I wanted to,” he said and I nodded. He kissed my cheek then backed away from me slowly. “I’ll see you tomorrow okay?” I nodded again glad he wasn’t offended that I’d asked and turned back to my house.
“Oh my God,” I yell after returning inside and shutting the door. I knew I was smiling really hard; my cheeks were starting to hurt. I grab the cordless phone on my way upstairs to my bedroom.
“Hello, baby bro,” Wes said happily.
“Wes, I met someone,” I felt like a school girl talking about her crush on the teacher and I didn’t care.
“Yes! Oh my god I like him so much,” I squealed.
“Anyone I know?” he doesn’t sound too interested and I felt kind of hurt. It was more then likely an act because I’d ditched his call earlier though.
“Maybe, does Camble York ring any bells?”
“Whoa, you like Camble?” Wes said laughing.
“Yeah, what’s wrong with that?” Please don’t tell me that there is something wrong with him, he’s so great and sweet.