LENGTH: 19,269 words
It’s the summer before his senior year of college, and the last thing Jason Mizzoli wants to do is spend it with his parents. But when his mother books a month’s stay at a family friendly resort, she won’t let him talk his way out of going.
Jason’s determined not to enjoy himself … until he sees sexy resort employee Travis. After a chance encounter over breakfast, Jason thinks Travis might be just as interested as he is in getting to know each other a little better. But hooking up is easier said and done.
It isn’t until Jason’s mother signs him up for a stupid dance class that Jason learns what exactly it is Travis does at the resort. Now that they’ve found each other, finally, the summer stretches ahead of them with the promise of first love.
There’s only one little problem — Jason isn’t out to his parents. What will happen if — and when — they find out about Travis?
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My gaze follows the dirt path we drove down to our cabin -- it winds through sparse trees and lush lawns fronting other cabins just like ours. The lake sparkles with sunlight off to the right, so close I could run and jump in the water if I wanted to ... which I don’t. At the head of the path sits the resort’s main building, where camp activities will be held along with community meals I’m already dreading.
On one side of the resort is a deck, facing the lake. I can see some employees out there for a mid-afternoon break. There are four young waitresses sitting at one of the covered tables. The umbrella shields them from the sun. In their short skirts and billowy shirts, their hair pulled back in sloppy ponytails, they giggle together and flirt shamelessly with a guy leaning on the rail.
He wears black jeans and a tight white tank top. Who am I kidding? Hell, if I were up there on the deck, I’d be flirting with him, too. He’s my age, has to be, maybe a year or so older. He wears his long hair in the same sort of sloppy ponytail the girls favor, and he keeps tucking wisps of sun-kissed hair behind his ears and out of his face. Even from this distance, I can hear his laugh -- it’s infectious, carrying to me on the wind, and I want to grin just hearing it. The curve of his sexy smile sends shivers down my spine.
God. Now here’s reason enough for me to stay.
Those full lips, the dimpled cheeks, the dark eyes glistening like the sun off the lake ...
He must feel me watching because he looks my way. I sort of wave until I realize I’m sitting on the bumper of a station wagon, of all things. Yes, color me pathetic.
Quickly I stand and step away from my dad’s car as if it isn’t mine. He’ll think I’m a loser, driving that piece of shit, tan with peeling panels and the tires going bald. Before he turns, I give him a quick grin. He thinks I’m a dork, I know it, and I just want to hide my head in my hands, rewind the moment and start again, start this whole day over. If I’d have known someone like him would be here, watching me arrive, I would’ve worn something a little bit classier than an old Lady Gaga T-shirt, torn jeans, and scuffed sneakers. I’d have done something with my hair, spiked it up maybe, or brushed it at least. I wouldn’t have let him catch me lounging along the back of my dad’s aging station wagon like I’m proud of the damn car.
Why is it I never get a second chance to make a first impression? There goes my summer.
But he looks my way again. When the girls crush out their cigarettes, flip their hair over their shoulders, and head back inside, he leans over the railing and watches me. Stares at me.
I fight the urge to run a hand through my hair to straighten it. I can stand here all day just looking at him -- thinking of the thin muscles in his shoulders, his narrow waist, his lithe arms covered with fine hair I want to smooth down beneath my palms. Is it so bad to want to touch him? He’s everything I ever wanted, I just know he is. He’s smiling at me, a grin that says, “Come here.” I want to, God, I do.
I’m gathering up the courage to walk over and say something -- “Hello,” for starters, which would somehow morph into, “Your place or mine?” -- but before I make my move, my mom steps out of the cabin and hollers my name for all the world to hear.
Damn. I duck my head and wish I could just disappear. “Go away,” I mutter under my breath.
She doesn’t hear me. Of course not. “Jason! You bringing those bags in today or what?”
I feel his gaze burn along my back and wonder if I look as clumsy as I feel when I fumble with the luggage like a busboy on his first day of work. The bags don’t want to cooperate -- they slip from my hands and tumble to the ground, clattering at my feet. He’s laughing at me, he has to be, I just know it, this geeky little kid on vacation with his parents. Who does that? I mean, at my age?
I want to go home already.
At the cabin door I dare a glance over my shoulder. He’s still there, still leaning on the railing, still watching me. I venture an exasperated smile.
He returns it with a wink. A wink, Jesus. Score!