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Scarlet Blackwell

selling soulmates since 2009

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This week I am reading...
Available in the free anthology Don't Read in the Closet Volume 1, 2011


BREAKING WAVES

 

 

Cameron squinted into the coming dawn as he shrugged on his wetsuit. One of the smallest, most secluded beaches in Echo Cove, this one got busy in the height of summer but despite it being the weekend, he knew he still had a couple of hours before the tourists arrived. It would be cold; the wetsuit was advisable.

 

There was one black car parked a little way down from him, no driver visible. He guessed he could handle one person on the beach although he couldn’t see anyone down there.

 

The sky was streaked pink, chasing the purple away. Some people thought Cameron was crazy to get up so early just to catch some waves, but he was a solitary soul anyway, preferred his own company. Other surfers on the beach irked him. Of course, it hadn’t always been that way. Once upon a time he would have surfed with Jay by his side. Until he threw Jay away of course.

 

He scowled in memory, pulling the wetsuit over his shoulders, zipping up, leaning into the car to pull his board free. Just because he’d come home to Echo Cove on vacation for the first time in three years, now was not the time to start reliving memories best left forgotten. He’d made his choice. College in New York or Jay. Jay had come a poor second, their summer fling over.

 

In quiet moments of introspection, Cameron still regretted it.

 

He slammed the trunk shut, failing to force his thoughts away. Jay was the reason he hadn’t visited his folks in three years. Too scared to face his ex and see what he’d done to him and how Jay must hate him. This time he manned up though. He couldn’t stay away from his home forever and who said Jay was even still here?

 

Their affair had been a secret, both men in the closet but he guessed people talked about them anyway. Cameron cowardly waited until he was safe in New York and then he wrote his mother a letter telling her he was gay.

 

After her initial shock, she was positive about it, his father not so much but at least they were still on speaking terms. When his mother visited, his father didn’t come with her. Their first meeting the previous evening had been strained, but he didn’t imagine the warmth in his father’s hug. It was still there and he was okay. One hurdle down, one to go. That of bumping into Jay somewhere in town and not going completely to pieces.

 

Bare foot, he took the steep steps down onto the golden sand and looked across the crashing waves with satisfaction. Yes, it was still as he had imagined. You couldn’t beat the surf on the Californian coast. He was glad to be back.


He dropped his towel to the still-damp sand and stepped forward to the shoreline, before he froze.

 

A figure appeared from beneath the waves carrying a surfboard and wearing nothing but a pair of tight black shorts, his cropped dark hair glittering with sea water.

 

Cameron knew it was him even before he recognised the lean, tanned body, the washboard abs, the muscular shoulders.

 

He lost his grip on his board and it tumbled to the sand.

 

Jay saw him at the same time and was the first to recover.

 

“Well, well, well, look who it is. The college boy’s deigning to grace us with his presence.” Jay had to raise his voice to be heard over the pounding waves. His hazel eyes glittered in the first rays of sunshine. Cameron heard the spite, the loss, in his tone and let anger mask his own emotions.

 

“Deigning? That’s a big word, sure you know what it means?”

 

Jay dropped his board, fury on his face, one fist clenched. “You haven’t changed, you prick. Always thought you were better than me, better than this didn’t you?”

 

Cameron regarded him a moment. Was that really what Jay thought of him? Cameron had never thought that. He had only wanted to aspire to something more than this sleepy town and its self-satisfied, unmotivated inhabitants.

 

Fulfilling his dreams had cost him Jay and it had taken him until this moment to realise it was the biggest mistake of his life.

 

He bit his lip. Pointless to let Jay see how much this encounter hurt him. Better to finish the war of words and then crawl away somewhere to lick his wounds. He tilted his chin arrogantly.

 

“That’s right. Hardly the sharpest tool in the box, were you Jay?”


Jay rushed at him with rage twisting his handsome features. He punched Cameron in the face and Cameron stumbled back over his board and fell heavily, his jaw smarting. Jay was on him in an instant. He pinned Cameron’s wrists above his head, leaning his weight on them, snarling into his face.

 

“I’ve wanted to do that for so fucking long, you’ve no idea.”

 

Water dripped into Cameron’s face. Rogue waves slipped beneath his body, the tide coming in swiftly. He stared up into the glittering green-brown eyes. He was taller, more muscular, stronger than Jay. He tossed his ex off him.

 

Jay grabbed his ankle as Cameron tried to stand and then they were back in the sand, amongst the incoming waves, tousling furiously, Jay raining blows on Cameron and Cameron trying his best to defend himself without resort to his fists because Christ, even now, even after all the water under the bridge, he didn’t want to hurt Jay.

 

It was a bit late for that now wasn’t it? What had he done three years ago? He’d watched the tears stream down his lover’s face. He’d watched Jay beg him not to leave, promise him anything, if only he said this wasn’t the end.

 

God, what had he done? In three years, he’d never found anyone to replace Jay and now, with that still-familiar body pressing down on his, coiled with rage, he knew he never would.

 

He shoved Jay off him again and scrambled to his feet. Jay tripped him, punched him in the back and as Cameron fell face first, Jay was on him again, pressing his face into the water.

 

“You son of a bitch, you fucking lousy son of a bitch, I don’t know how you dare come back here after what you did to me.”

 

Cameron coughed and spluttered, breathing in sand and salt, trying to twist away from the heavy hand on the back of his neck.

 

But Jay obviously didn’t have murder in mind because he let him go soon enough.

 

Cameron rolled over, eyes streaming, tasting grit between his teeth and crawled up the beach, grabbing for his towel which remained dry a few feet away, wiping off as best he could. Jay climbed up. His jaw was clenched tight, face pale beneath his summer tan.

 

Four months was all they’d spent together. Enough for Cameron to know Jay was the one.

 

Jay bent to grab his board which was slowly being dragged back into the ocean by the incoming tide.

 

Cameron splashed through the water to grip his arm.

 

Jay whirled around to shove him back. “Get the hell off me.”

 

“Jay.”

 

Jay started to walk away, out of the waves.

 

“Jay, wait. Please.”

 

Jay stopped. He stood with shoulders slumped and head bowed. Cameron moved up behind him, close enough to smell the ocean on Jay’s glistening skin and for him to remember a hundred times of doing the same with Jay in his bed.

 

“Oh Christ, I didn’t want it to end, you have to believe me. I didn’t think it was fair to ask you to wait three years for me and I knew you didn’t want to leave here and so I didn’t ask you to come to New York with me. I thought it was fairer for me to finish it. That in the long run, I’d be doing you a favour.”

 

The taste of sea water was strong in his mouth. Cameron felt nauseated. His heart beat louder in his ears than the crashing waves. He had fantasised a dozen meetings with Jay and all of them had ended up this way – in violence, in recriminations, in desperate hurt.

 

Jay turned around. “A favour? When you ripped my heart out and took it away forever, what sort of favour were you doing me? Spoiling me for every other man who came calling, yeah, some sort of favour that was.”

 

Cameron swallowed the bitterness in his throat. Jay’s teeth were pressed hard together but it didn’t stop his lip trembling or the shine across his golden eyes.

 

“Jay.” Cameron put a hand on his forearm and remembered that long ago feel of Jay’s silky skin. “I broke my own heart when I did it. I know you can never forgive me and I’ll never forgive myself.” His hand tightened. “I’m sorry.”

 

Jay’s eyes met his for the longest moment. Then he rubbed a rough hand over his eyes and shrugged away from Cameron’s touch. “No.” Instead of walking away up the beach, he left his board and ran into the ocean.

 

Cameron stared after him as Jay plunged beneath the waves. This was futile, he knew it, but he couldn’t go. He couldn’t go without just…touching Jay once more.

 

He waded into the foaming water. Spray splashed his face and stung his eyes. For a moment he felt the ecstasy of the ocean, the same buzz he always got when he came surfing but swiftly checked himself. There was no ecstasy to be had here. All that was done. For a moment he felt his love of surfing had been forever dented by the events of that morning.

 

It would serve him right.

 

He plunged forward, following Jay at a fast crawl. Christ, where was he going? Jay was dozens of yards up ahead, swimming towards a far out buoy.

 

Both of them were fit, this long distance swim wasn’t going to tire either of them quickly but God, Jay had to stop soon, didn’t he? An icy hand gripped Cameron’s heart without warning. Jay could just keep going. Swim into sharks or dangerous tides, be stricken with cramp. Perhaps that was his idea. Perhaps it was more preferable to life without Cameron.

 

Cameron’s throat felt full of bile. He cried Jay’s name and was swept under by a furious wave. For a moment he was upside down, flailing, water in his lungs before he came retching to the surface, searching for Jay through stinging eyes.

 

“Jay, please.”

 

Another wave slapped him hard. Suddenly the ocean felt like his enemy.

 

Jay had stopped at the buoy, holding with one hand, chest heaving, face flushed. “Go away.”

 

Cameron reached him. He treaded water, catching his breath, then he leant forward.

 

“Don’t. Get off me.”

 

Cameron cupped Jay’s wet head and brought their lips together. He tasted salt on Jay’s mouth; he tasted the love he had thrown away three years ago.

 

Jay gave a soft moan against his mouth. Rather than shoving Cameron away again, his arm curved around his neck. Their bodies pressed together beneath the water and they both went under.

 

Cameron spluttered back up, gripped Jay around the waist before he had chance to protest and kissed him again. He felt the instant force of Jay’s desire, his tongue in his mouth, his sweet, sweet lips.

 

Kissing Jay was sometimes just as good as making love to him. Cameron remembered their first kiss, after a month of dancing around each other and wondering if Jay felt the same. They were sat in his car at the furthest point of the Cove, overlooking the lighthouse. He’d brought some beers, drank one while Jay had drank three and been merrily tipsy. Cameron hadn’t waited for him to get any drunker. He intended for Jay to remember what he’d done. He’d leaned over, taken Jay’s chin in his hand to turn his face to him and laid the smooch on him.

 

It had been the greatest night of his life without doubt.

 

Jay had responded then as now, with a soft moan, his fingers pushing into Cameron’s hair. They’d kissed for ten long minutes before Jay had crossed the divide between them, straddling Cameron’s lap with his ass pressed against the steering wheel, honking the horn loudly.

 

They’d both giggled like children and Cameron had fumbled with the lever to push his seat backwards. Then he’d slid both hands up Jay’s shirt to touch the satin soft skin, trailing his fingers down the glorious curve of his spine as he fell in love.

 

Jay pulled away and brought Cameron back to the here and now. He stared at him with his pupils huge in his hazel eyes and diamond drops of water on his thick lashes, his sensual lips kiss-swollen and pink.

 

“Come on.” He started to swim away.

 

Cameron hesitated for a moment before he followed with his desire coiled thick like honey in his stomach. He hardly dared to hope.

 

The waves swept him fiercely towards shore. Both their surfboards floated in the water. Cameron waded out as Jay came to him, both arms around his neck, pressing a needy kiss to his lips.


Cameron muttered a curse and scooped Jay close. They clung together before Jay pulled him down to roll around in the sand.

 

They’d done this one or two times. One night they’d been naked on this very beach and gone the whole hog with an anxious Cameron looking for headlights and flinching at every sound.

 

He crushed Jay beneath him, thrust a thigh between his legs to press against the bulge in Jay’s shorts.

 

“Not here,” he tried to gasp as Jay gripped him through his wetsuit, massaging his hard cock.

 

“I want you.”

 

“Christ, it’s broad daylight.”

 

“I don’t care.”

 

Cameron stumbled to his feet, his wetsuit obscenely tented. He grabbed his board and motioned for Jay to follow him.

 

The two of them hurried up the steps to Cameron’s car and stowed their boards. When Cameron started to peel his wetsuit off, Jay helped him, pressing kisses between his shoulders, touching uncovered flesh.

 

Cameron was on fire. He stripped to his tiny running shorts and then he scrabbled in a bag in the trunk for his wallet.

 

“What are you doing?” Jay sounded impatient, almost desperate.

 

“Looking for something, what do you think?” Cameron pulled free a condom and held it up.

 

For a moment Jay seemed to hesitate. He’d given all the signals that he wanted this; had Cameron read him wrong?

 

He stood and stared into Jay’s beautiful eyes for a moment, reliving their past with his heart caught in the palm of this man’s hand.

 

Then Jay turned abruptly. He gestured back to the beach. “Down there in the cave.” Without another word, he set off walking.

 

With the blood like molten lava in his veins, Cameron followed.

 

They had to wade into the ocean chest deep and brave the smashing waves to walk around the rocks and into the cave which had seen their love a few times before now. More memories to torture Cameron with and lubricate his passion.

 

Jay lay back on the damp sand, knees open. Both of them knew this cave would be underwater in the shortest of times. The risk seemed worth it.

 

Cameron kissed him. With limbs locked around each other, they renewed old acquaintances, their kisses as fervent as they had always been.

 

Cameron peeled Jay’s wet shorts down. He was even more beautiful naked than Cameron remembered.

 

He captured the head of his cock, licking slowly before sliding down his shaft all the way, taking as much as he could.

 

Jay arched under him. His fingers found Cameron’s hair, sifted through the unruly strands with that touch Cameron remembered.

 

Cameron tongued his balls, kissed his inner thighs. He glanced up, saw Jay watching him with that serious expression on his face. Tortured, broken. Cameron asked himself where they would be when they’d done this and didn’t have an answer. He guessed back to Jay hating him and still as far apart as Cameron had pushed them. But for the moment it didn’t matter.

 

He slid back up Jay’s body, offered his ex his index finger to suck. Jay did so and then Cameron kissed him again while he searched with that finger, rubbing the puckered skin between Jay’s legs, wetting it, waiting for Jay to open up to him.

 

Jay squirmed as Cameron pushed that finger in. He lifted one leg, calf tight against Cameron’s back and Cameron’s cock pressed against Jay’s muscular ass. He longed to pull his finger free and just push his way inside, as far, as deep as he could go. He controlled himself, pulling back to roll on the rubber.

 

The first time in his car, they hadn’t gone all the way, only jerked each other off with Jay sitting on his lap, making a hell of a mess of their clothes. Cameron didn’t think he’d ever come so hard in his life when Jay’s talented hand had brought him to climax. He seemed to spurt buckets, as though it would never end.

 

He’d soon found that was no isolated incident though. When they’d done it the first time - in his bedroom with his parents out - when he’d come, everything had gone dark for a split second. He’d come to his senses lying heavy on Jay, his partner whimpering with satiation, his semen glistening on his own belly.

 

After that, Cameron couldn’t get enough. He was hard and ready to go whenever and wherever Jay wanted. He thought of nothing else twenty-four seven. Had it overshadowed everything else? Was that all it had been between them? Certainly Cameron hadn’t felt the same level of desire in three years. At times he had found it difficult to get an erection unless he thought of Jay.

 

He knelt between Jay’s legs with his cock in his hand, looking down at him.

 

“What’s the matter?” Jay said, looking anxious.

 

Cameron shook his head. He closed his eyes, head bowed. “I love you. I need you to know that. I love you no matter what and I never stopped loving you.”

 

Jay lifted a hand, his eyes soft. Cameron leant down so Jay could touch his cheek, caressing lightly.

 

Jay pulled him closer. They kissed as he lifted his legs around Cameron’s back. “Please, I need you to…”

 

“I know.” Cameron gripped his cock and guided himself inside.

 

Jay gasped and swore, head thrown back. His nails dug deeply into Cameron’s shoulders.

 

Cameron felt the ecstasy. A wave splashed his back, water roiled around Jay’s supine body. Jay thrashed beneath Cameron, hissing, clutching, his muscles almost unbearably tight.

 

“Oh Christ, I love you so much.” Cameron leant over his lover, his hand stroking wet hair, mouth against his neck.

 

Jay caught his lips in a fierce kiss. He bucked up, riding each thrust, masturbating.

 

Cameron blinked water from his eyes as a wave crashed over them both. Any longer and they were both at serious risk of drowning. The water was already licking around Jay’s ears and chin.

 

It didn’t matter. Both of them were at the edge.

 

Jay trembled. He pulled Cameron, closer, deeper by his buttocks, gasping with every hit.

 

Cameron pushed Jay’s hand away from his cock and took hold himself. He stroked him swiftly, firmly, felt his lover clenching around him, the moment upon them.

 

Jay cried out. He arched, shuddering, semen spurting across his chest to be immediately swept away by sea water.

 

As he came, Cameron had to hold Jay’s head free of the waves or his partner would have drowned. Jay didn’t seem to care. He seemed barely conscious.

 

Cameron gritted his teeth, riding out the orgasm, plunging again and again into Jay’s body until the last tremors died away.

 

He couldn’t collapse and lie in the afterglow the way he wanted. Christ, he’d almost killed Jay with this stunt. He sat back and pulled a limp Jay up into his arms, holding him close.

 

“Are you okay?” He stoked his wet head.

 

“Yeah.” It was a mumble. Jay buried his face into Cameron’s chest.

 

“We have to go.”

 

Cameron had to help Jay put his shorts on and then guide him all the way from the cave and down into the foaming sea. He was almost swept away by the fierceness of the tide but Cameron held him hard, urging him to swim for shore.

 

Jay did so. He struck out, trying to negotiate the concealed rocks but something stopped him. He cursed, legs down, treading water.

 

Cameron, coming up behind him, saw a crimson stain spreading quickly around him. “Shit, what have you done?”

 

“Banged my leg. It’s nothing.” Jay started to swim again with Cameron following.

 

Never had he known the sea so treacherous and frightening. He watched Jay’s body buffeted and battered by the waves and his urge to protect him rose greater than it ever had.

 

He couldn’t leave again without Jay, he knew that.

 

The beach was bathed in golden light. Jay crawled on hands and knees from the sea, gasping, his clinging shorts barely covering the delectable curve of his ass, almost ripped away by the possessive water. He left a trail of blood behind him and Cameron stumbled free of the gripping waves to help him to safety.

 

They sat on the beach steps and Jay leaned back weakly against Cameron’s chest as he looked at the gash on his shin.

 

“Nasty.”

 

“I’ll live. Remember that time I told you I’d smashed my head open on rocks?” Jay gave a little smile. He closed his eyes with a sigh.

 

Just like Cameron had realised that thundering orgasms were normal when he was with Jay, so he realised that this behaviour – extreme lethargy and sometimes semi- consciousness – was normal for Jay after lovemaking.

 

He held him with one arm, smiling a little against Jay’s wet hair. “You’re still like a corpse when you come.”

 

“I know. Only with you though, Cameron.”

 

The pain speared Cameron swiftly, like a heated poker right through his heart and out the other side again, leaving a gaping wound. He thought of the other men Jay must have had and his throat closed tight.

 

He pressed his palm hard to Jay’s chest, felt the thundering of his heart. “I’ve been offered a job at a major publisher in New York.”

 

“Congratulations.” Jay’s voice was empty.

 

“I haven’t taken it yet because… I wanted to see if you were still here.” Cameron stumbled over his words. “I wanted to try and… make it up to you, to offer you whatever you wanted.”

 

Jay was starting to shiver in his arms despite the risen sun. “What do you mean?”

 

“I mean, if you wanted me to stay here with you then I would. I’d never go anywhere again without you. I’d sacrifice everything for you as I should have done at the start.”

 

Jay’s chin dropped onto his chest. His shoulders shook.

 

“Don’t.” Cameron kissed the nape of his neck.

 

“I never wanted you to ruin your life for me,” Jay said in a broken voice. “I have no right to be so angry at you. You wanted something better than this and I understand. You were right to leave me.”

 

“No. No.” Cameron pulled Jay around to face him, gathered him into his arms and held him so hard that he hoped the weight of both their despair could be smashed into pieces.

 

He wept and Jay wept and for the longest time there was only the sound of the crashing ocean and their own misery.

 

 

They walked hand in hand to their cars and towelled off.

 

“You got a new car,” Cameron remarked. Jay had always driven a piece of shit rust bucket. This one was smarter. Maybe he’d got a new job and no longer worked at the book store in town.

 

“Yeah.” Jay glanced around before he peeled down those impossibly tight shorts and towelled himself quickly between the legs.

 

Cameron’s stomach lurched with rekindled desire as Jay pulled up some white briefs.

 

“Put your eyes back in,” Jay chastised him good-naturedly.

 

“I can’t help it. No one ever filled a pair of tighty whiteys like you.”

 

Jay blushed slightly and smiled. He watched while Cameron discarded his own shorts. “No one ever filled me like you.”

 

Cameron nearly choked. He pulled up his boxers and then hurried over to Jay’s car, taking his ex in his arms. “You still live with your parents? I need to make love to you somewhere we’re not going to drown.”


Jay smiled. “I’ve got my own place now.”

 

Cameron cocked an eyebrow. “Things are going good, huh?”


“Yeah. I work at the library.”

 

“Ah, you bookworm, you always wanted to do that.”

 

Jay nodded. He pulled away and stepped into his jeans. “Why don’t you follow me down?”

 

“Sure.” Cameron placed a tender kiss on Jay’s temple before he went back to his own car. He glanced over at Jay as he dressed and asked himself again where they would be after this and why Jay was inviting him to his home.

 

We’re over and done, remember? All that’s going to happen is you’re going to break his heart again.

 

He climbed into his car with a sigh.

 

 

Jay had a nice little apartment overlooking the beach, all wood floors and white walls. He threw his wet shorts and towel into the washing machine.

 

“Want something to drink?”

 

“Sure.” Cameron still tasted sea water. He also still tasted Jay. The morning was gearing up to be a hot one, but he shivered with cold.

 

Jay popped the caps off two bottles of beer and handed one over. Cameron took a deep drink.

 

“Want to shower with me?”

 

Wide-eyed, Cameron nodded mutely.

 

The hot spray and Jay’s hands washed away all that tiresome sand and the salt of the sea. He washed Cameron’s hair, massaging his scalp with shampoo, rinsed away the suds. When they got out, Cameron bandaged Jay’s lacerated shin. He’d stopped shivering but soon started again when Jay led him by the hand into the bedroom.

 

Even with fruity shower gel, Jay still smelled of the ocean. The scent Cameron had taken with him to New York and dreamed about for three years.

 

He explored Jay’s perfect body with hands and mouth and impressed these new memories deep into his brain to take away with him.

 

Jay shifted under his caress, arched, undulated and finally came and Cameron lay by his side beneath the covers and waited for Jay to speak. To tell Cameron his decision.

 

“I want to be with you. I’ve waited too long.”

 

Cameron sighed, feeling like the luckiest man in the world. He nuzzled Jay’s neck, trailing a hand over his belly. “So you want me to stay here?”

 

“I can’t ask you to do that. You’ve just been offered a great job.”

 

Cameron lifted his head. “Hey, didn’t I say whatever sacrifice I had to make then I would? I don’t care where I have to live as long as I’m with you. And besides, I owe you.”

 

Jay shook his head. “Oh no. You’d start to resent me in time. When you got itchy feet for the world beyond Echo Cove.”

 

“There isn’t a world beyond Echo Cove when I’m here with you.”

 

Jay’s face softened into a smile, showing his perfect, pearly teeth. “You always did know what to say. You could always charm me into bed with just a few words.”

 

Cameron smiled too. It felt alien on his face. He wasn’t sure how many times he had smiled in the last three years.

 

He kissed Jay’s shoulder. “Are you out yet?”

 

Jay tensed. He shook his head wordlessly, lips pressed together.

 

Cameron sighed.

 

“What?” Jay demanded in irritation. “And you are?”

 

“Yeah, to my parents and my friends in New York. It’s no big deal.”

 

“Isn’t it? And are you going to tell all your old acquaintances while you’re back in the Cove too?”

 

Cameron looked away.

 

“No, thought not. Easier in a big city Cameron, just remember that. Some of these people have known me since I were a baby. How can I do that to them?”

 

Cameron bit his lip. “If I stayed here with you, we’d live together. You wouldn’t be able to keep me hidden away.”

 

Jay’s anger deflated. He rolled against Cameron, an arm over his hip. “I know.”

 

“All right, look. If you want to come out, we stay here. If you can’t bear the thought of it, we go to New York. Either way’s fine by me.”

 

Their gazes caught and held for the longest moment. Jay kissed him.

 

“Fuck this,” he muttered, half to himself and then he climbed from the bed, wrenching the sheet off Cameron, taking it with him.

 

“Hey! What are you doing?” Cameron followed Jay naked into the living room.

 

Sheet wrapped around his waist, Jay was sliding open the door to the balcony. He stepped out, scanning the ground below him.

 

“Hey, hey, Mr. O’Loughlin!”

 

Cameron hung back, perturbed. Jay addressed the most cantankerous yet strangely respected man in town, a man with a penchant for a good red wine and telling it like it was. Nothing happened here without his knowledge.

 

He stopped, leaned on his stick, stared up at Jay in his bed sheet. “What do you want, son?”

 

“I’m gay Mr. O’Loughlin, I want you to know.”

 

Cameron’s jaw hung open.

 

O’Loughlin scowled up at him, then snorted. “Tell me something I don’t know, faggot.”

 

“What? Hey, this is my boyfriend.” Jay pulled Cameron forward by his wrist.

 

Cameron yanked the tablecloth from the nearby table and held it over his modesty, blushing scarlet as O’Loughlin peered up at him.

 

The man shook his head. “Again, tell me something I don’t know, queer boy.” He walked away, muttering to himself.

 

Jay turned to gape at Cameron in shock. Cameron, still clutching his tablecloth, shook his head, his bemusement finally turning to a laugh.

 

Jay started to laugh too. “Do you think they all know?”

 

“Yes. Just how discreet were we really?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“Well think about it. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other, we had sex in dangerous public places…”

 

Jay groaned. “Shit, everyone knew all along. I guess my folks know too.”

 

“I guess they do. Come here, queer boy.”

 

Jay’s anxious expression relaxed into a grin. He fell into Cameron’s arms.

 

 

Later that night as they lay spooned together, Cameron listened to the soft swell of the ocean beneath Jay’s window. It soothed him and lulled him towards sleep as it always did. God, he’d missed it. The ocean was in his blood, just like Jay.

 

“Hey.” He smoothed a hand over Jay’s chest, pressing closer.

 

“Hmm?” Jay was half asleep.

 

“I think we should stay here.”

 

Jay craned his head over his shoulder, fully alert. “You do?”

 

“Yeah. I miss the surf. All I need is that and you. I don’t need to go back to the rat race.”

 

Jay’s fingers closed over his. “What about your job?”

 

“I don’t care. I’ll find another. Or I’ll be your kept man.” He bit Jay’s ear playfully.

 

Jay laughed. “I like the sound of that. Coming home to dinner on the table and you in my bed. Yeah, I could do that.”

 

“Or me on the table and dinner in bed?”

 

“That too.” Jay rolled over, searching Cameron’s eyes. “You’re sure?”

 

“I’m sure.”

 

They kissed and as he tasted Jay’s passion and love, Cameron knew that his heart had always been safe here in Echo Cove.

 

 

 

 

 

THE END