Jeff likes visiting Mike durring the summer. It’s always a lot of fun because they can hang out on the lake and mess around and drink beer and grill things, cooking their meat over an open fire like real men should. It tastes better that way.
He doesn’t see why this summer should any different. This summer should epic, especially compared to last summer, which Jeff can’t actually remember all of. He’s pretty sure he whined a lot and Mike fucked him a lot, and they both got sunburned. The fact that they weren’t headed to the same place in the fall cast a dark cloud hanging over everything, so yeah, last summer wasn’t the best.
This summer should be light years better because they just won the Stanley Cup together which is basically the best thing ever. Jeff actually can’t think of anything better, but his teachers always said he wasn’t very imaginative, but whatever. It’s undeniably great.
Things might be a little bit weird? Because after Jeff got to L.A. their behavior was as close to being monogamous homebodies as they’re ever likely to get. It was different. Nice, but different.
Then they won and life got really surreal for a while in the best possible way. There might have been something in Vegas that could be called an orgy? Maybe?
Whatever. Jeff isn’t passing judgement on his own life. His life is fantastic and ridiculous, and besides, Mike was with him the whole time so he’s sure that fine decisions were made. He feels that he can count on Mike to keep both of their lives on course when he’s too distracted to offer much guidance. It’s a nice feeling.
So things have been pretty good lately, no complaints, but the contrast between evenings on the couch with the dog and nights partying with crazy people is pretty extreme. Jeff isn’t sure where they’ll be now. It’s gonna be someplace good though.
= = =
When he gets to Mike’s right away things are different; it’s just them. In the past there had always been other people hanging around, friends or family coming and going so Mike could catch up with while he had the chance. Last summer had been an exception, but last summer had been an exception in almost every way, and not anything Jeff wanted to repeat.
It’s just the two of them, and Arnold, like it’s special bonding time or something. Couples bonding time? They’re kind of a couple. Jeff doesn’t normally use that word, but it works alright.
If it’s just the two of them does it mean that clothing is optional? He doesn’t want to sunburn his dick, but there are some intriguing possibilities.
He isn’t worried about what it means. It’s Mike and him together, it’s gonna be great.
The next day they’re hanging out on the deck, fully clothed, and Jeff is a little bit bored. They’ve done mostly nothing all day, which sounds like it should nice, and is for a while, but when things get too calm Jeff gets itchy. They spent the afternoon fishing. The water was very still and they didn’t catch anything. Jeff should make some excitement.
He looks around, searching for a diversion, and decides to make fun of Mike’s Cabana because it’s pretty stupid, and eh, why not.
“Why do you even have a cabana?” Jeff asks. “Or, like, why do you call it that. It’s a dumb word.”
Richie is unbothered by his criticism. “Nah, it’s sweet. You know you like it.”
“Well, yeah, it’s baller to have a giant bed outside, but why are you calling it a cabana? That’s pretentious as fuck. Why does it need to be named at all? Why can’t it just be a place?”
“You have way too many opinions about this,” Mike says.
That is probably true. Jeff can’t remember if they are his actual opinions or if he just feels argumentative. Maybe both? “I dunno man, I think it’s just really weird that you have a cabana. It seems out of place. Cabanas are supposed to be on tropical islands and have cabana boys. Yours is in Canada and you don’t have a cabana boy. Way to fail, man.”
“You could be my cabana boy,” Mike suggests.
“No.” Jeff is no one’s cabana boy. “Absolutely not.”
“I bet you’d be pretty good at it.”
“This is such a terrible idea. What does a cabana boy even do?”
“Like, bring drinks and look pretty. You’d be good at that, Carts.”
Jeff is actually a bit flattered, but no. “It’s not gonna happen.”
“Oh really?” Mike asks. “How about we make a bet?”
Going along with this could quite possibly be a bad idea. Jeff does not have a great track records when it comes to bets with Mike. Betting with Mike has lead to some strange shit. Sometimes it’s awesome, but it he’s also gotten stuck in some situations he could never explain.
Then again, it’s just a bet with Richie; what’s the worst that could happen?
“Sure, whatever,” Jeff consents. “What’s the bet?”
Mike considers this. “Swim race. Out and back. If I win, you’re my cabana boy tomorrow.”
“And if you lose?” Jeff asks. “What do I get?”
“Well, it’s not gonna happen. But let’s say sexual favors?”
Jeff likes sexual favors. He likes following Richie’s weirder plans. Being Richie’s cabana boy for a day wouldn’t be the worst thing ever? Besides, he can totally win this bet.
“Great.” Mike smile, then says, “On your mark, get set, go.” He takes off, rushing down the dock and towards the lake. Jeff stands up and starts chasing after Mike. They hit the water, but Jeff is always a stroke behind. He swims hard but can’t catch up.
Jeff pulls himself up onto the dock next to Mike while they catch their breath. Mike looks so fucking smug. Jeff wants to kiss him, so he does. He isn’t bored anymore.
“You cheated.” It wasn’t fair that Mike started counting without giving Jeff any warning.
“No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did,” Jeff insists. “Bastard,” he whispers into Mike’s neck.
“Maybe. But you’re gonna do it anyway.”
Mike’s right. They kiss again and the bet is forgotten for the rest of the night.
= = =
When Jeff wakes up in the morning Mike is already downstairs. There’s a small white bag on the bed beside him with a note in Mike’s messy writing labeling it Cabana Boy Uniform. Jeff rolls over and tries to fall back asleep. It doesn’t work.
He’s curious. The bag looks like it came from an upscale shop, but there isn’t a name on the outside. He doesn’t know what a cabana boy uniform should be. He didn’t realize cabana boys have uniforms.
He gets up and pulls aside several pieces of tissue paper to investigate and is horrified with what he finds. Apparently cabana boys wear gold lamé short shorts, or at least Mike thinks they do. Jeff doesn’t want to know why Mike had a gold lamé shorts in his size hiding somewhere in the house. Asking questions like that can only lead to madness. It’s safer to be reassured how Mike is prepared for all possible eventualities, even one where Jeff has to dress like a stripper. (That is not actually reassuring, but Jeff can lie to himself, sometimes.)
Jeff has choices. He can put on the shorts, or he can resist. He doesn’t want to put them on. He’s comfortable with his body and doesn’t mind putting it on display, but gold lamé is really pushing it.
If he doesn't put on the shorts Mike will look disappointed, and probably say something about how this violates the terms of the bet, which would be grounds for making Jeff do something else instead. It's the disappointment that is the real issue. Mike's disappointed look when Jeff doesn't go along with his schemes is the same as when they’re losing games. Jeff has been hard-wired to avoid that look since before they started sleeping together. He doesn’t stand a chance.
He’s gonna to put on the gold lamé shorts. It will make him feel really fucking stupid, but he can handle that. Mike is the only person who's going to see, and if he tries to take any pictures Jeff can throw the camera in the lake and not feel bad about it.
He gets out of bed, sighing, and puts the shorts on. He resists taking a look in the mirror, wanting to leave exactly how ridiculous he looks to his imagination, and heads out to face the day.
= = =
It’s another day with a lot of nothing. They’re training some, but not too much, still recovering from their extended season.
After breakfast Jeff does some stretches before swimming. What was going to be perfunctory exercises turns into a production thanks to the appreciative audience.
Mike is really into it. He’s wearing sunglasses, but definitely staring at Jeff. Jeff can feel it; it kind of tingles. The costume itself doesn’t do much for Jeff—it’s itchy and riding up uncomfortably—but he does like how it makes Mike follow his every move. They spend a lot of time trying not to look at each other like that—with obvious desire. Sometimes they aren’t very good at hiding it away, but they try.
Eventually it gets to be too much. Richie isn’t looking away and Jeff knows he’s blushing. He dives into the lake just to get away.
Throughout the day he brings Mike stuff, and does other little things as requested. It’s not super unusual for them to help each other out, because that’s the kind of nice thing that friends or whatever do to show they care, but this is different. Jeff isn’t doing this because he wants to, he’s doing it because it’s required of him today. It’s nice how it makes him feel useful. He finds he doesn’t mind the lack of autonomy at all.
Late in the afternoon Mike says, “Come here.” It’s an order, and Jeff has to listen to those today, and besides, he wants to.
He walks to the edge of the cabana, but apparently Mike doesn’t think that’s close enough. He isn’t satisfied until their only inches apart, Jeff’s straddling Mike’s lap, held there by Mike’s hands digging into his hips. They’re very, very close.
Mike ditched the shades at some point, and now there’s no doubt about where he’s looking. Their faces are almost touching. Jeff can feel Mike breathing, and every puff of air is a temptation to lean forward and initiate a kiss, but he’s not going to make the first move. They’ll get there eventually.
Mike doesn’t kiss him. Mike bites down on his shoulder, licks across his clavicle, and sucks bruises on his exposed neck. The marks would be hard to explain, but it doesn’t matter, because they’re all alone. Mike could mark every inch of exposed skin, which is almost all of it, and it wouldn’t matter.
Getting hard makes the stupid shorts even less comfortable. Jeff really hates them until Mike pushes them aside to wrap a hand around his cock. Then he starts to appreciate the easy access.
Mike’s voice is rough and growling, but the words themselves are sweet and rambling. “I know you don’t know what you look like. In the sunlight your hair is gold and the muscles in your chest are golden; I think I want to bite them, or something. Your ass in those shorts, it’s just, I don’t know, my new favorite thing ever. So gold and perfect you’re like a medal, only better, because you’re warm and I can fuck you.”
Mike can totally do that. He really should. It sounds like a great plan. Jeff moans.
Mike produces lube from somewhere in the mess of cushions because he’s a crafty motherfucker who plans ahead.
Jeff doesn’t need much prep because they did this last night, and the day before. It doesn’t get boring.
It’s fucking great. They know each other’s bodies well enough that moving together like this is effortless. They have got it down to a science, knowing just how hard and how fast based on years of experience and memorized cues. If you could win awards for fucking they would have won them all ages ago.
There’s no fucking way they could mess this up. It’s great, even when he’s still wearing stupid gold hot pants, and in fucking cabana. Jeff is going to remember this as one of Mike’s better terrible ideas, maybe even the best.
Really, he should have known it was a good idea, because it’s Mike and him together, doing stuff, and that is a guaranteed recipe for awesome.
= = =
The next time Jeff opens his eyes the sun is low in the sky, orange and pink and gold, beautifully duplicated in the mirror of the water. He listens to Richie’s deep, even breathing before attempting to untangle their limbs, at least a little bit, a concession to the summer heat. Lying there, sated and cozy, Jeff decides that maybe the cabana is really pretty great after all.