by G. R. Richards
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-007-8 (Electronic)
Despite Steven’s excitement about a planned camping trip, his boyfriend Kawa isn’t so hot about the idea of sleeping in a tent. Kawa is a flashy aspiring actor who’d rather spend the week pampered at a spa than roughing it at a campground.
When they meet Josh and William, the men in the campsite across the way, Steven becomes intrigued—the blond bombshell and silver daddy are so obviously “together.” But why won’t they admit their relationship, even to another gay couple? While Steven pries where he isn’t welcome with Josh, Kawa finds himself more than welcome to William.
Who will find lasting love in the woods?
Gay / Contemporary / The Arts / Interracial / Multicultural / Exhibitionism / Public Places
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (27k words)
...“Kawa, would you please just—”
“I am not touching that thing!”
“But I can’t keep it up on my own,” Steven pleaded. “Come on, just this once.”
Tossing his scarf over his shoulder, Kawa leaned against the car door like a petulant child. “I am not touching your tool, Steven. Don’t even think of asking again. I won’t do it.”
Steven rolled his eyes. “Christ, it’s just a mallet. And, look, it’s all coated in rubber. You’re not going to hurt yourself. Just give the peg a little tap while I hold up the tent.” The instructions looked so easy on the side of the box: all the little flaps hooked around the pegs, the rods strung up through the tent, and the pegs drove into the ground. “Why doesn’t our tent look like the one on the box?”
“It’s telling us we belong at the spa.” Kawa sat in the backseat of the car with his feet hanging out the door. He’d insisted on wearing pink rhinestone flip-flops. The bling only drew attention to the dark leg hair between his ankles and the hem of his capris, but there was no dissuading Kawa. He did as he pleased.
“No,” Steven said. “I’m not giving up on this tent. I used to camp with my family every summer when I was a kid.”
Slipping from the car, Kawa picked up the nearest rod and stuck it inside a little pouch at the base of the tent. He folded his scarf over his head like a clumsy hijab. “If you’re such an experienced camper, why didn’t you know to do that?”
Steven rolled his eyes—so simple even Kawa could see it! Why couldn’t he? Everything fell into place. The tent remained upright and the pegs stayed put when Steven hammered them into the ground.
“Can we go to the beach now?” Kawa whined. “This campsite smells like…nature.”
But the sight of his young companion leaning against the car with one flip-flop perched against the back tire got Steven’s juices pumping. He didn’t normally chase twinks, but Kawa had proven a welcome respite from the intellectuals he’d dated throughout college, and the business-minded guys he’d been with throughout his career. Sure, Kawa wasn’t the type he could bring to a dinner party, and he was a bit campier than Steven had patience for, at times, but he was fun. Plain and simple. Fun.
“You really want to go to the beach?” Steven growled. “Or would you rather check out the inside of this tent? Hmm?”
Closing in on Kawa, Steven stole the scarf from his head and quickly wrapped it around his thin brown neck. His black hair shimmered in the mottled sunlight filtering down through the treetops. Kawa’s skin was perpetually flawless, light honey brown, but that he owed to some line of products he washed with unrelentingly, and to a dab or two of liquid concealer over erupting zits. His eyes were black oil spots in pools of gold. They reminded Steven of snakes or lizards, though, at the moment, they dabbled in mock fear.
“You wouldn’t harm a poor country girl?” Kawa sang in a southern-accented falsetto.
It was starting to get to Steven that Kawa so often referred to himself in the feminine, but a fondness for all things girly and camp was an inexorable part of Kawa’s queerness, or so Steven had observed. Nothing much he could do about it but steal Kawa into the tent and tear off his glam T-shirt and his capris. It was no surprise to find him without underwear. He almost never wore any.
“No panties, young lady?” Steven played along. “Must be that you were expecting some handsome farmhand to mosey on down your path today.”
“Oh, no sir,” Kawa protested in his overblown southern accent. “I only had it in mind to wander down to the stream and watch the baby ducklings learn to swim.”
Flipping Kawa onto his stomach on the tent’s clean blue tarpaulin base, Steve spread the boy’s legs. God, they were thin as pins. Steven was almost afraid he’d snap them when he leaned his denim knees on top of those skinny thighs. When he’d pulled off his T-shirt, he leaned down flat until his bare chest met Kawa’s naked back.
“How’s about I teach you something new?...”