The Allens don’t go to their lake house anymore.
“It’s a long drive, and gas prices have gone up.” Kris’s dad explains.
“With all of Daniel’s cheerleading events, we barely have a weekend free as it is.” Kris’s mom offers up, but Kris knows the real reason. It isn’t cheerleading, or gas prices, or bad weather, or a carpenter ant infestation. The reason they don’t go anymore, haven’t gone in years, is because of the nudists.
When Kris was nine, the land that surrounded the lake was mostly thick forest. He and Daniel would play there for days on end, imagining they were Indians or soldiers or wood sprites. Usually wood sprites.
When Kris was twelve, the forest was sold to a resort company, who sent out little flyers and requested that the few folks who owned homes on the lake come to a town meeting. Kris couldn’t go (no children were allowed) but when his mom and dad came home, he could tell they were upset. His mom wore a frown that stuck out like his scout badge for sewing amidst those for fishing and geology and wood-splitting. His dad was telling her “It’ll be alright. They’ll keep to themselves. It’s private, like they said.” She didn’t look so sure.
When Kris was fifteen, Daniel dragged him deep into the forest and they hid in the bushes until dark. Shortly after dark, Kris saw what Daniel had been so keen to show him. There was a bonfire pit, and the folks around it were singing and roasting marshmallows. It was very much like any other bonfire Kris had ever seen, but for one important distinction: all the attendees were nude.
“Look.” Daniel had whispered pointlessly, as if Kris had been waiting with his eyes closed till Daniel instructed him on what to do. Daniel was pointing at a twenty-something, busty blonde, but Kris wasn’t looking at her. He had his eyes on a teenage boy with dark hair and bright eyes that Kris could tell were blue from a distance, and it wasn’t as if he was just wearing a blue shirt or something so they looked blue. No. Kris wouldn’t have been staring if his eyes hadn’t been so blue. As it happened, the blue-eyed kid was singing, so Kris told himself that he was just listening to the song, not staring. Whatever he was doing, it made him feel funny in his stomach, so he turned towards the girl that had captured Daniel’s attention as if to make up for the listening/staring he’d been doing. It was the first time since sophomore year heath class that Kris had the opportunity to compare the female and male physique side by side. Using the illustrations in his book as his only source, he had felt more drawn to the male form. He had attributed this to the “female” illustration’s uncanny resemblance to Bea Arthur and that, having only seen his own mother naked, of course he’d be more familiar, more comfortable, with the male body. However, here it was, in the waning sunset, his first chance for a real life, Pepsi-challenge survey. Kris remembered feeling somewhat sick as he realized it, that even double-blind he’d go with Coke every time. In fact, after his mind had extended the metaphor (prove Pepsi = women, show your work) he never felt the urge to drink a Pepsi ever again. Every time he cracked open a can of Coca-cola, it was his way of telling the world “Yeah, I like men."
But no one operates on the system he uses, so six years later, no one’s the wiser. And, after Daniel had tearfully spilled the details of their little excursion to Pastor Tom (confidentiality be darned, blabber-mouthed little brothers be double-darned) no one uses the lake house.
“We can’t sell it, the market’s bad.” Kris’s dad explains when asked why he still owns it.
“Besides, it’s a good tax shelter.” Kris’s mom says, supportively.
But it isn’t the failing economy or tax reasons or sentimental value that keeps the Allens from selling. It’s that no one wants to buy a lake house that borders a nudist colony. It’s the nudists.
Kris turns 21 while the rest of his friends are away on a mission trip. A mission trip he would have gone on had his girlfriend (In a taste test, 9 of 10 people choose Pepsi, and Kris was still hiding his red can collection) not dumped him and informed him that she’d be more comfortable if he didn’t go. Daniel’s at cheerleading camp; Mom and Dad are visiting cousins in Atlanta. (“We’re even touring the Coke museum!” Oh, the irony.)
So he turns 21 alone, which is just as well. It’s hot, hotter than it should be at 8 am on June 21st (of course it’s his golden birthday), and Kris gets an itch beneath his skin that the air-conditioning can’t fix. He opens the junk drawer (stamps, staples, curling ribbon, paper clips, action figures, lake house key) and roots around, not wanting to admit to himself what he’s looking for, and when he finds it, he tells himself that he’d maybe like to go swimming on his birthday. What’s better than a moonlight swim on your golden birthday? The key feels cold in his hand.
Kris has a whole six pack of Cokes just waiting for him to bust them out of their little plastic rings, but it is his twenty-first birthday so he figures he should at least buy some booze. The drive is uneventful, his one thrill not getting carded at the liquor store just outside of “town.” He buys himself a twelve of Corona because somewhere along the line his brain confused “Corona” with “cabana,” and now the word has pleasant associations. (Those being gorgeous Corona/ cabana boys in short shorts, offering you a cold drink by the pool.) He gets a glass bottle of Coke, too, because the stuff in his truck is all warm. Plus, the novelty of a glass bottle is a little too much to pass up on, even if there’s no Corona boy to serve it to him. Getting back into the car and cracking open the Coke, he wonders if he’ll ever express his preference for men in more than just his choice of beverage.
He takes a long swallow from the glass bottle and hopes.
The sun is sinking by the time his busted-up ranger pulls into the driveway, and Kris almost cries when he sees that the long-neglected yard has grown up over the front porch. It’s a shame, and he vows not to let this part of his life get any more overgrown. They had happy memories here, their family, and what did the nudists ever do anyway, besides unknowingly display their nudity in front of two curious boys? His parents hadn’t thrown out their computer when they found Daniel looking at pics of scarcely-clad (female) cheerleaders on it. Kris supposes it was because the cheerleader photos couldn’t interact with Daniel the way a nudist could, should a nudist want to. But the bonfire hadn’t been a lewd activity. It was just...Kris thinks about it again, about the teenager who had sung the Johnny Cash tune in an ethereal voice, and all of a sudden his clothes began to feel uncomfortably tight...just nudity.
The air inside the lake house is musty and humid, and if Kris was hot at home, he’s positively melting now. He pulls off his shirt, feeling better instantly, and starts to open all the windows. He doesn’t turn the power on – he doubts his parents even still have service connected. Instead he pulls out the emergency storm candles and the camping lantern and sets them aside for later, once the sun goes down. He pulls his twin mattress out of the attic and spreads a sheet from home out on it. Blankets won’t be necessary. He sticks the cooler in his bedroom, too, not wanting to open the refrigerator after all these years - the funk stored up inside would probably be legendary.
He looks around at his “campsite” and smiles wickedly. He feels like a wood sprite again, up to no good for the sole purpose of delighting in his misbehavior. He changes into his swim trunks, grabs his towel and some beverages, and tramps outside through the jungle of the back yard, his feet knowing where the path is even if his eyes can’t see it. There are some things that feet never forget, and this route is one of them. He steps onto the dock cautiously, listening. Somewhere in the distance there’s music, a small boat motor, and some splashing. It sounds like the nudists are doing their thing, the thing that all the lake residents used to do, but without clothes. It sounds like they’re enjoying it, too. Without clothes.
Kris thinks about nudity some more and helps himself to a Corona before diving into the water. The chilly lake is refreshing against his skin, and Kris opens his eyes beneath the surface, straining to see the plants and fish that make up the world down here. When Kris was smaller, he’d whisper secrets to himself, things he didn’t even understand. Things he wasn’t willing to say in the world above. Before he can stop himself, he’s saying them all again, his laundry-list of secrets, and his breath runs out before his chant ends. He pushes off the bottom and breaks the surface, still speaking them all.
“I wish I had a boyfriend.”
His voice seems impossibly loud after being underwater, which muffles sounds and secrets alike. He swears that the crickets stop chirping, that the breeze stops blowing through the long grass, and that even the nudists stop their nude caterwauling, but in reality the world keeps turning.
After his swim, the mood to make a fire takes him. He’s a guy, after all, and guys like burning things. He doesn’t have any firewood, or an axe to make firewood so he ventures into the forest to collect sticks.
After wandering around for awhile, Kris looks around and recognizes where he is. He’s at the bonfire site where he and Daniel had encountered the nudists in their natural habitat. He’s never given his feet much credit before, but apparently their memory is pretty decent. Kris circles the site slowly, like he’s visiting Stonehenge. There’s no fire tonight. It must be nude movie night or nude spaghetti dinner time. He eyes up the pile of freshly split logs and wonders if they even chop wood in the nude, wearing protective eyewear of course. (Always wear protective eyewear when splitting logs, his scout guide had warned. Kris had never disobeyed that rule and couldn’t imagine that anyone else would ignore this sensible advice.)
The nudists probably won’t notice a few logs missing. Besides, they had effectively chased his family away from the lake house with their nudity. The least they can do is provide Kris with a few logs. He crosses the circle to the woodpile and grabs a few large pieces.
“Hello?” He hears a voice ask, and he promptly drops all the wood on the ground as if he’s been caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar instead of logs from the nudist colony. He’s got an excuse all prepared, but the owner of the voice doesn’t materialize.
“Hi?” Kris responds, looking around. The voice is close by, or had been a moment ago.
“I’m not hungry.” Kris realizes the voice is coming from the other side of the woodpile. More than that, the man sounds miserable. “I know it’s dinner time but I’m not in the mood for spaghetti.”
“Um, Ok,” Kris stammers, not really knowing how to proceed. Or if to proceed. But he’s guessed right about the spaghetti so he figures he’s on a roll. “ I’ve got cokes, though. If you want one.” Kris offers, playing along like he belongs there because he doesn’t know what else to do, and the guy sounds upset. The stranger holds up a bottle of rum, thrusting it almost directly in front of Kris’s face.
“Oh. Cool,” Kris says, wishing he’d thought to get something stronger than beer for his twenty-first birthday. “You okay, man?” He asks after a long silence, during which he can hear sniffling coming from the other side of the woodpile. The stranger finally stands up, and the first thing Kris sees is the freckliest back he’s ever encountered (he must get a lot of sun, Kris thinks and mocks himself for thinking cause, hello, nudist) followed shortly by a shock of black hair that flops gracelessly but still manages to look cool.
The man turns around and Kris’s jaw literally falls open because it’s like a memory come to life. Those eyes. He’d only seen them once, and at a distance, but he’d remember them anywhere. They’re even more striking at close range, but unlike that fateful night six years prior, they look sad. Kris lets his own eyes slip lower, aware that he’s staring but not sure of where else to look. It’d be rude to turn away quickly, he thinks, so he casts his gaze over the guy’s chest, which is just as freckly as his back. Anything else is blocked by the woodpile, and Kris doesn’t know if he’s relieved or disappointed.
“You’re new here, aren’t you?” The stranger speaks, bringing Kris’s glance back upwards. Even his lips have freckles, which Kris supposes should look awkward but he likes it. The man’s lips are full, and generous, and Kris can’t help but bite on his own to keep his mind from straying.
“Oh, ah... well. It’s been awhile. My family used to come up here every weekend but we stopped a few years back.”
“That’d make sense then. We’ve only been coming for about six years. I don’t even come all the time anymore, just when Mom really begs. Not that I don’t like it, I’m just busy. Stuff, you know?”
“Yeah,” Kris agrees, running a hand along the back of his neck and trying to pretend he isn’t ridiculously attracted to the random nudist he’s found hiding behind a woodpile because seriously, stuff like that isn’t supposed to happen in real life.
“Why’d you stop coming?” The man’s eyes lower a bit, taking in the view of Kris’s chest. It’s at this point that Kris realizes that this guy thinks he’s naked. Why wouldn’t he? Kris considers nonchalantly shimmying out of his swimming trunks, but that’s absurd.
“Gas prices. Plus my brother is a cheerleader, and he’s always got games.” Kris tries out the familiar excuses, praying that the words and all those nudists don’t come falling out of his mouth. “I’m Kris Allen by the way.” He says, hoping the introduction will speed the conversation along to the point where he can stop pretending to be one of those nudists and walk away with an armful of wood.
“Adam Lambert.” The guy smiles, and Kris suddenly forgets that he was trying to end the conversation. Instead, he starts thinking of ways to keep it going because Adam Lambert’s smile beneath Adam Lambert’s blue eyes has got to be the most spectacular thing that he, Kris Allen, has ever seen.
“So...” Kris starts, fighting around the obvious. “Why the aversion to spaghetti?”
Just like that, the smile fades from his face, and he unscrews the cap from the bottle of rum. He holds out the bottle, and Kris offers his open can of Coke and watches as Adam pours, trying not to think about what his mother would say if she knew he was letting another man pour rum into his Coke can.
“I got dumped,” Adam says, taking a swig straight up. “And my ex’s family is sitting with mine. They come here too, and we’d been together for four years. Four years.”
“Her loss.” Kris supplies sympathetically, having comforted a dozen of his guy friends though similar issues.
“His.” Adam says, pursing his lips and wrinkling his nose as if amused.
“Oh, good.” Kris says without thinking and flushes a terrible shade of pink when he realizes how it must sound.
“Good?” Adam asks, and he’s laughing now. Kris is entranced by how Adam’s expression changes; his whole face is lit up.
“I mean. That came out wrong. I just meant, you know. Girls. Who needs’em. I just got dumped too.”
“By a girl?” Adam asks, trying to reign in his amusement. He looks like the kind of guy who would understand the Coke thing. “What went wrong?”
“Yeah. She ...” she figured out she’s not what I’m looking for, not by a long shot. “we had too much in common.” He finishes, and Adam smiles knowingly.
“Like the fact that you like dick?”
Kris swallows hard, knowing that it’s now or never. This guy isn’t going to judge him, and he’ll likely never see him again.
“Yeah. Yeah I do. At least, I think so.” Kris feels like he’s taking the cowards way out so he pushes himself to take it a step further. “I like dick.” The words feel strange on his tongue, and they force him to grin and blush like a school girl, but at least they are out of him now. Adam busts out laughing again.
“Good to know,” He says after a minute. “So, why aren’t you eating spaghetti?”
“I thought I’d make a fire and roast some hot dogs.” Kris improvises, knowing that pretty soon he’s gonna have to come clean, but he’s enjoying himself behind this massive pile of wood that hides his swimming trunks and anything else that might be going on below his waist.
“A+ plan,” Adam compliments. “Do you have enough for two?”
“You shared your rum, so, sure. Why not? It’s my birthday anyway. It’ll be nice not to spend it alone.”
“No shit,” Adam says, the curse sliding familiar between his lips. “How old?”
“Oh, my god.” Kris can hear the lowercase letter and it’s refreshing. Not that he doesn’t believe, but he doesn’t see the point in making such a commotion about it all the time “Shut up it isn’t. Gimme your soda again.”
Kris holds it out, having only finished half of the rum and Coke combination, and Adam fills it up to the brim with more rum. He follows the gesture with another long pull, wiping his lips with his hand. “Let’s grab some wood and get started.”
Kris grabs a few logs, and Adam mirrors him, filling his arms and starting towards the fire pit.
“Not here,” Kris says, afraid more nudists will come. He doesn’t really know what he’d do about that. “I’ve got another pit.
“Lead on.” Adam wiggles his eyebrows over the pile of wood he’s holding, and Kris hesitates a moment before walking away from his sanctuary behind the woodpile. He’s only gone a few steps when he hears a clatter behind him. He turns, and Adam’s looking at him with suspicion.
“You’re wearing clothes,” He says, and Kris blushes like he’s the deviant in this equation.
“Uh, yeah. Is that going to be a problem?”
“No. I just thought...”
“My family owns a place next door. I walked into the forest looking for firewood and I found you.” Kris sighs, the truth falling heavily from his chest. Adam blushes all of a sudden.
“But I’m not wearing anything.” Adam is all of a sudden self conscious, and Kris looks at him incredulously.
“You’re a nudist. Shouldn’t you be okay with that?
“Yeah, I am. Around other nudists. It’s really weird if only one of us is wearing clothes.” Adam’s biting his lip, and Kris is ready to testify that it’s the cutest thing he’s ever seen. “And I don’ t have any clothes with me right now...so...”
So this is how the evening is to go. He can either keep his swimming trunks and spend the rest of his birthday alone or...
Kris drops the wood he’s carrying, log by log, and breathes deep before untying the drawstring around his waist and pushing his trunks off fast, like ripping a band-aid. He stands there, pretending he’s not aroused as Adam looks at him. For a moment he’s afraid that Adam’s decided it’s not worth his time, now that he sees what Kris’s got going on, but Adam finally rounds the wood pile, and Kris takes a moment to gawk.
“Take your time,” Adam says, spreading his arms wide. He sounds nonchalant but Kris can tell the tone is well-rehearsed. “I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of either.”
The word “either” makes Kris feel infinitely better, especially considering Adam’s height. He’s always been pleased with the look of his own dick and is happy to know someone else is, too, especially someone as good looking (and large, you know, there) as Adam.
“Should we get some wood?” Kris asks after a moment, finally quirking a grin cause it’s far too late for that pun and cause they’re both sporting hard-ons and that’s not the image he had of nudists. He assumed they were just peacefully flaccid all the time.
“Yeah. Let me just...” Adam turns around, and Kris admires the view as Adam pulls more logs from the top of the pile. Kris bends over quickly and retrieves the ones he dropped, and the pair make their way back to Kris’s lake house, Kris blushing the whole way because he’s sure Adam’s checking out his bare ass.
Adam drops his wood in Kris’s firepit (Kris! How dare you let another man put his wood in your firepit!) and Kris beats a retreat into the house to fish out a lighter and the hot dogs. He brings out marshmallows, too, and the remainder of his Coronas and Cokes. On impulse, because that’s how he’s operating now, he grabs his sheet, figuring they have to sit on something. The idea of sitting bare-assed on the tall grass makes his skin crawl.
Adam’s got the wood neatly arranged by the time he gets back, and Kris dumps lighter fluid on top of it like the lazy white man that he is and lights a match. Instant fire. He spreads the sheet out on the ground, and Adam joins him on it. Their dinner is unhurried, and Kris mostly listens while Adam talks. He spills everything: how he and Nathan had gotten together in the first place (apparently nudists started dating just like everyone else, but with less clothing), how it’d been really strange when they started seeing each other in the “real world” with clothes on. How they’d fallen in love and out of love and how now seeing him naked was almost painful.
Kris talks about his girlfriend too: how she had confronted him about not being attracted to her and how he’d lied. He knew he was a horrible liar, but he lied anyway because he hadn’t been ready to tell anyone the truth.
“It’s freeing, isn’t it? The first time?” Adam asks when they’re stretched out on the sheet. He’s lying on his side, leaning against his hand, while Kris is on his back, head propped up against the old logs that his dad had dragged to the fire pit to use as benches. Adam brushes his hand against Kris’s stomach, and Kris’s mouth goes dry. He nods, not knowing if Adam’s talking about the truth or the nudity. He’s been trying to forget about being nude since he shamelessly shimmied out of his shorts, but it’s been getting progressively more difficult. Adam’s gazes feel heavier now that they’ve both been drinking.
“Yeah. I like it, I think. It’s different.” Kris wiggles a little lower so that his head is flat on the ground, enjoying how Adam’s hand slides up his chest as he moves. Adam uses the movement as an excuse to reach over Kris and grab the bottle of rum. He holds it for Kris to raise his head and drink, and Kris looks up at the stars and wonders if this meeting is written in them somewhere. It seems a little too much like fate, him meeting Adam; a little too much like this has already happened a thousand different times, and that they are sprinting towards the inevitable now. Kris feels it in his gut; like this is something he’s supposed to do. He’s felt it since Adam rose up from behind the wood pile, not unlike a wood sprite. If he’s being honest with himself, he’s felt it since he sat in the bushes at fifteen staring at Adam-before-he-knew-him, eyes wide and unbelieving at how seeing another man naked had suddenly shifted everything into focus. Kris closed his eyes against the starlight, trying to remain grounded. Maybe it’s something less grand, like imprinting. Kris saw Adam naked and equated him with a sexual awakening; like a baby duck hatching and now here they are. Isn’t it funny?
“You’ve never done this before, have you?” Adam asks. He’s been running his hand along Kris’s side absent-mindedly. Kris has been playing along like the touching is perfectly normal for a nudist, but he knows it can’t be. They’ve got to have some kind of system for when someone’s advances are welcome – though with two men it’s kind of obvious. He’s been sighing contentedly beneath Adam’s hand, and that’s been encouragement enough, he supposes. As if demonstrating his intent, Adam runs his hand dangerously low on Kris’s hip, following inward where the crease of muscle cuts in towards his cock. Adam’s gorgeous in the firelight, the orange glow dancing on his freckled hip.
“What, make a bonfire?” Kris doesn’t have to feign innocence, not really, but the remark makes Adam smile anyway. Adam leans forward and barely brushes his lips against Kris’s. Kris tries to remain calm, but it’s hard with Adam pressed close against his side. Sure he’s been kissed before, but not like this, and definitely not while naked.
“We’re doing this, aren’t we?” Adam pulls back, questioning, and Kris wants to prevent that from happening ever again. He’s wishing he brought super glue or a large rubber band or anything that could keep their mouths pressed together. His pulse starts hammering double time as he closes his eyes and goes for broke, kissing Adam with the blunt force of six years worth of sexual frustration. He can’t believe that he’s kissing the first guy he ever saw naked, even if that is kind of backwards. Adam groans into his mouth, and Kris realizes that he’s not the only one making a first step towards something. Kris can feel him, hard and maybe just a little desperate against his leg, and it’s as hot as the fire at his feet. When Adam reaches down and grabs his cock, Kris can’t help his reaction. He rolls on his side, needing to feel every inch of Adam flush against him. It feels more efficient that way, like any air between them is just a waste of space. Adam seems to understand and rolls onto his back, pulling Kris on top of him. It feels strange, his bare ass in the air for all the world to see, but the world isn’t looking. There’s only Adam and the impartial stars.
Adam covers him then, fingers spread wide over Kris’s ass and pulling down at the same time as his hips press up. Kris’s own hips jerk forward, and it’s a simple rhythm but it works. He kisses Adam again, just so that his mouth isn’t hanging open in the shock of how good this feels Suddenly the world makes an odd sort of sense, and he understands why sex is such a Big Deal that everyone spends so much time and money and energy trying to have it. He even understands nudists, who are supposedly above that sort of thing and into the raw human condition, but
this is what it is, he and Adam. Naked in the firelight, mouths and limbs tangled…Kris feels more human than he ever has in his twenty-one years of existence.
Adam reaches low and presses a finger against his … and Kris isn’t embarrassed or scared the way he always thought he’d be when he’d lay awake at night, considering what it would mean to be physical with another man. The reality of the situation is way better than even his best imagined scenario. (Can’t beat the real thing.) Adam isn’t pushing inside, just letting him know that there’s more, if he wants it someday. It feels a little like a promise.
“Wish I had something,” Kris whispers to him. “But I didn’t know. I couldn’t have even guessed this would happen.”
“Me neither. I have stuff, but I must have left it in my other pants,” Adam jokes and Kris laughs against his mouth, giddy with sensation. “I could get it if you wanted me to. If you want to again.”
“Again?” Kris asks, relishing a particularly slow slide of his cock against Adam’s. “I never want to stop. Can’t we just-“ Kris thrusts again, and it feels so good now that things are getting a little slippery-“like this, forever?” He’s left out a word, but Adam knows what he means and laughs, the sound high pitched and euphoric.
“I’d like to see you with clothes on at some point.” Adam breathes hard in his ear, and it’s possibly the most romantic thing Kris has ever heard in his life. “Like out for dinner.” There’s hope in his voice, and a little bit of fear too, so Kris rushes to answer-
“Yeah. That’d be-“but he can’t even finish the sentence because Adam’s snaked a hand between the two of them and wrapped it around both of their cocks. It’s an absurd way to be asked out on a date, but Kris feels butterflies in his stomach anyway because it’s tangible, the feeling that there’s more to this than the friction of two bodies.
“Adam.” Kris says his name for the first time and decides he likes the feel of Adam’s name on his tongue as much as he likes the feel of Adam’s cock against his, so he says it a few more times for good measure. Adam flips them over so that Kris is on his back, and oh, if Kris thought the world made sense before it’s entirely new now. Adam closes his eyes a moment, as if it’s too much to take in, and Kris needs to be closer to him. He brings his knees up on either side of Adam’s body and it’s right like this.
“Yeah?” Adam growls the question, and Kris can only claw at him in response. Adam grins a little wickedly, leaning up and positioning himself between Kris’s legs a little better. They can’t, Kris knows, but there’s nothing to stop him from wishing Adam would just press into him regardless. As if reading his mind, Adam licks his hand and coats his cock, guiding it against Kris’s hole, pushing ever so slightly. He’s not getting anywhere, but Kris’s mind is reeling with the possibility. It hurts just a little, but Kris pushes himself against Adam’s invasion, wanting it as badly as Adam wants to give it to him.
“I know, baby,” Adam groans apologetically, as if he somehow should have been more prepared for the possibility that he’d run into a desperate closet case in the middle of the woods while drowning his sorrows with rum. He sits back on his knees and lowers his head - like a cat about to pounce - eyes flicking up to Kris’s before gently running his tongue against the angry, red head of Kris’s cock. He blows softly, and it feels like Antarctica compared to the rest of his skin. They are so close to the fire, and the night itself is sticky-hot. It’s hotter than June has any business being. Adam blows once more, teasing Kris into arching his back, his body begging for more of Adam’s mouth. Adam doesn’t waste any more time, he opens up and takes Kris in, sucking down to the root of him. Kris digs at the ground beneath the sheet with his hands, grabbing handfuls of grass and tearing as Adam works him over. Adam hums low in his throat and pushes a wet finger into Kris’s ass. It’s really all Kris can handle, and his world goes white and folds in on itself. Kris isn’t one to swear; his mom brought him up better (ignore the fact that he’s currently coming down the throat of an almost-stranger), but he mumbles curses like they’re prayers of gratitude.
Adam moves then, climbing up his chest and kissing him. The taste isn’t unpleasant (yeah, he tried it once, telling himself that everyone’s curious), but it’s still foreign on someone else’s tongue. Kris licks into Adam’s mouth like he’s responding to a dare, and Adam responds by scooting his knees just beneath Kris’s armpits. Kris props himself up on his elbows at what he thinks will be a decent angle and opens his mouth, letting Adam take care of the logistics.
“So fucking pretty,” Adam comments, running the tip of his cock around the rim of Kris’s mouth. He seems fixated on Kris’s lower lip, so Kris chases Adam’s dick with his tongue, pushing his lip out a little more in the process. He’s a gentleman, letting Kris take him in slowly and getting him used to the feeling. Kris just plays, loving the feel of it heavy on his tongue and wanting to make Adam feel as good as Adam made him feel. He’s fantasized about this for years, how it would feel to suck a dick, and the fantasizing must have done him some good because pretty soon Adam is less careful and thrusts with just enough abandon to make Kris feel proud. Adam pulls out, pushing Kris back to the ground hard and coming on his chest. Kris feels the run of him, hot down his neck and his left shoulder and gasps, feeling exhausted.
Adam doesn’t let him lie long though.
“Up. Up. Let’s get up,” Adam says, tugging at his hand. Kris doesn’t want to get up. He doesn’t want to move on from this moment where he’s toasty warm by the fire and there’s crickets chirping and he's coated in sweat and Adam. Adam won’t let him be, however, so Kris allows himself to be led down to the dock.
“Jump in,” Adam says. “Let’s rinse off.” Kris looks at him like he’s gone insane, cause he’s never swam in the lake at night; his parents wouldn’t let him (it’s dangerous, I can’t see you, wait an hour after eating.) When he doesn’t move, Adam shrugs his shoulders as if giving up and kisses him, moving his lips soft and slow against Kris’s filthy neck. Kris feels himself go boneless in Adam’s arms, and apparently it was the moment Adam had been waiting for, because Adam launches them both off the dock and into the chilly water.
It’s black beneath the surface, but Kris can feel Adam against him, warm and slippery and everywhere. When he comes up for air, Adam’s still there, and Kris can’t help but remember his wish earlier and think that maybe there’s someone listening to his prayers after all, even ones whispered underwater. He wraps his legs around Adam’s waist and ducks them both under again, tickling Adam’s sides till he writhes away. Kris can hear his laughter, muffled and bubbling but still joyous, and he joins in, laughing until he’s breathless. Kris walks him back to the colony, cursing his GPS-equipped feet for remembering so well.
“Your suit,” Adam says, pointing to the discarded garment in front of the woodpile. Kris picks it up and puts it on. The still-damp fabric is cold and clingy against his skin, and he resents it for its existence when Adam pulls him close for a goodnight kiss. “I’d stay with you, but I just disappeared before dinner. I don’t want anyone to worry. If someone’s missing they check the lake and comb the forest and-“
Kris imagines nude search parties and nude rescue divers, and he can’t help but laugh.
“It’s not funny!” Adam protests, but he’s laughing, too. “You could come, if you wanted. I’ve got my own room in our cabin.”
Kris considers it, but it’s only been a few hours since he came out. It’s gone pretty well, and he’s feeling comfortable in his own skin, but he isn’t sure he’s ready for a meet-the-parents kind of scenario. Especially since those parents would be naked. Especially since they’d see the bruises on his ass from there their son had grabbed him, and the red marks on his shoulder where Adam had sucked. Yeah, he’s not that comfortable in his own skin.
“I, ah. I’d like to, some time. I think I would. But I’m...” He makes a bizarre gesture to his shorts, a sort of “this explains it all” wave,and Adam laughs.
“Yeah, you’d stick out. Tell you what, wait a few minutes, okay?” His brows knit together as though he’s loathe to leave Kris at all, and Kris realizes that he isn’t the only one who wants the night never to end. Adam’s just as worried that Kris will up and disappear.
“I will,” Kris promises, and crosses over to Adam’s side of the woodpile to wait. He plops down where Adam had been sitting and watches Adam disappear, his skin looking pale in the moonlight filtering down through the trees.
He thinks about introducing Adam to his own parents. He thinks about introducing him to his ex-girlfriend and seeing her knowing smile. He wonders what his friends would think of Adam (you’re dating a dude?) and how he’d explain away their meeting ( you’re dating a nudist? A dude nudist? A dudist?) He starts to think that maybe meeting Adam’s friends and family would be easier. The minutes drag out, and Kris starts to worry that Adam’s not coming back. Maybe he ran into Nathan and Nathan changed his mind. Maybe his parents were giving him a talking to about meeting strange men who lurk behind woodpiles just waiting for emotionally vulnerable nudists.
Kris gets up and paces a bit, keeping his eyes peeled for Adam’s return. He even listens harder, waiting to hear the snap of a twig or the brushing of pine branches against skin, but it’s a fruitless search. Kris can only see the dark forms of the trees, can only hear the wind blowing gently and the crickets chirping. He ends his pacing when his feet hit the dirt path that leads to the nudist colony, and, before he can stop himself, he shimmies out of his swim trunks again and leaves them there. Kris isn’t sure what he'd do when he got to the camp – it’s late and he doesn’t think he’ll be all that keen on going door to door looking for the Lambert cabin, but he knows that they both have to cross some strange lines if this is going to work so he might as well go first.
There’s a light at the end of the trail, and several more lights beyond it, and Kris hesitates before stepping out of the darkness. He almost laughs at himself – what is he even doing, but no sooner does he cross into the light then he hears
A moment later Adam steps out of the blackness, and Kris has to blink a few times, trying to get his eyes to adjust.
Adam’s in low slung jeans and a black t-shirt, carrying a duffel bag. He drops the bag in surprise and holds out his arms. Kris hugs him till they’re both shaking from laughter.
“How are we gonna –“
“I don’t even know,” Adam replies, kissing the top of his head. “I want to try, though.”
“My world, or yours?” Kris asks, willing to give it his best, whatever that means.
“Let’s make it ours,” Adam compromises, kissing him softly. “Logistics tomorrow. For now-“ Adam shirks off his clothing cause seriously, it’s really weird when only one person is naked.“Why don’t you show me the way back to your house.”
So Kris does, feeling like he’s won some contest he wasn’t even aware he’d entered. (Many will play, one will win, check beneath cap to see if you’ve won.)
“This is a nice place. You guys should use it more,” Adam says, seeing the house though the neglect. Kris has lit candles, and they’ve pulled the mattress out onto the screen porch so they can sleep in the breeze and watch the fire outside die down.
“Hopefully we will,” Kris says, grinning at him and realizing that their biggest deterrent wasn’t going to be much of an excuse anymore. “After all, their worst fear has already come true, so what’s the harm? “ Kris teases, snuggling close under Adam’s chin.
“On second thought, maybe that’s a bad idea,” Adam replies, pouting. “I don’t know if I want to be around more people who wear clothes. I mean, we come up here to get away from all that and then you people come up here with your tennis shoes and your designer jeans and there goes the neighborhood,” He tickles Kris. “Just teasing.”
“I know,” Kris lifts his mouth, letting Adam kiss him again. “Fire’s almost out.” He whispers. They’ve been waiting to sleep till it died away, and now that it’s only glowing embers Kris can feel himself fading fast.
“Let’s keep it going,” Adam mumbles into his mouth. “Just a bit longer.”
Kris has spent too much of his life obsessing over metaphors to deny Adam this comfort – Kris isn’t the only one coming out of his element. He kisses Adam deeply, waking himself up with the force of the kiss before rising and going to add the remaining wood to the fire. They’ll burn bright till sunrise.