Written by: (KenW9270)
As usual, Griffin woke first but remained in bed, snuggling close to Nicholas. Soon, Nicholas slowly woke, too, enjoying the comforting feel of Griff’s arm around his chest.
“Good morning, Peaches,” Nicholas whispered. “I think I could stay just like this forever.”
“Nice thought but we’ve got places to see and things to do!”
“I’m glad you decided to give the park another try yesterday. You didn’t let the bullies ruin the day for us. I’m proud of you!”
“Yeah, I think I can deal with a lot if you’re walking beside me. We can’t let the demons win!” Griffin said emphatically. “I think we got our money’s worth and the fireworks were a great way to end the day!”
“We will definitely be looking for more theme parks as we travel. That was a great idea you had!” Nicholas agreed.
“Oh, I have a ‘Theme Park Bucket List’!”
“Well, of course you do!”
Griff walked out of the bathroom, drying his hair with the bath towel. “Did you decide which place we’re going to go to first?”
Nicholas glanced up at Griff, then his eyes darted down and back up again, “Looks like your rash is drying up a little. Uh, anyway, we…”
Griffin interrupted, “Thanks for noticing!” he said with a smirk.
Nicholas rolled his eyes. “You’re standing right in front of me in your birthday suit. Besides, I’ve always noticed everything about you, even if I never actually said anything.”
Griffin threw the wet towel in the hamper and looked at Nicholas. “That’s one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me.”
“I have my moments. Now put on your boxers, Dr. Rashenstein.”
“You’re so dorky sometimes,” Griff laughed as he put on his boxers and sat at the table. “There. I’m not naked anymore, and yes, the rash is improving, but it’s still itchy. Now, please continue. Where are we off to today?”
Nicholas leaned over, giving Griff a quick peck on the lips. “You do know that you are always irresistible, not just when you’re naked. You could be wrapped up like an Eskimo, and I’d still stop and stare.” He blushed and grinned. “Anyway, the plan of action that makes the most sense is to get breakfast in town and hit the Poe Museum as soon as it opens at ten o’clock. Then on to Belle Isle for a few hours, and last but not least, the “kidnapped” scenario of the escape room at Breakout Games. They have one starting at six. Hopefully it’ll be a good, fun day without any drama!”
Griffin had a huge grin on his face. “To be honest, you lost me at “irresistible,” but I trust your planning. And, yeah, drama-free would be excellent, but yesterday did have it’s good points, thanks to you. Now, let’s get started with today’s adventures!”
“Ok. You finish getting dressed, and don’t forget the Caladryl! I’ll go unhook the bikes.”
After a short bike ride, they arrived outside the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. They looked around, and Nicholas pointed across the street. “That looks like a good place for breakfast.” They locked up their bikes in front of the museum and jogged across the street.
Inside the diner, they sat at a table in the corner and placed their orders. “I love these local places. They are so much nicer than the big chain restaurants.” Nicholas said.
“The chains are usually cheaper, though.”
“Sometimes, you get what you pay for. I’d rather have good food than cheap food any day.”
“Good point,” Griff said, absently scrolling on his phone.
“Whatcha looking at?”
“Twitter, mostly. Did you remember to follow Lorenzo and Olivia? ’Zo sometimes even lets Gustavo post stuff on his account. That kid is hilarious!”
“Yeah, I followed. ’Zo is a great photographer, especially for his age.”
“Truth. He posted pics of Hershey Park this morning. It looks amazing! I have to add that to my bucket list. Hint hint.” Griff grinned at Nicholas.
“If you keep adding theme parks to the list, you’ll need to find a freaking job!”
“Very funny. I’m finished. You ready?” Griff said, pushing his plate to the center of the table.
“Yeah. Time to start today’s adventure!”
By the time they finished breakfast, it was ten o’clock and time to head to the museum. “This should be cool, but it looks small. I hope it’s worth it,” Griffin said.
“It’s supposed to take less than an hour to see everything, but it should be an interesting way to kill some time until we’re ready to head over to Belle Isle. Plus, I love Poe.”
“Just remember, ‘All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream,’ my dear Nicholas.”
“Yeah. Yeah. You love Poe, too.”
“Well, ‘I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity,’ as you well know.”
“You’re not going to speak in Poe quotes the whole while we’re in here, are you?” Nicholas laughed as they walked to the next exhibit.
“Just one more. You know what my favorite Poe quote is, right?”
“Yes. And you know that my opinion of religion and Poe’s are complete opposites but go ahead.” Nicholas motioned for Griff to continue.
“I fall somewhere in between the two of you on the subject, but it does perfectly describe the televangelists. ‘All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.’” Griff bowed theatrically. “I’m done now. Aww! Where did they come from?” Nicholas was kneeling on the garden path, petting two black cats.
“I read about them on the website. Their names are Edgar and Pluto. They live here.”
“That is so awesome and so fitting. The ‘Enchanted Garden’ is beautiful. I think we’ve seen everything now. You ready to go?”
Nicholas stood. “Yeah. Next stop: Belle Isle.”
The boys pedaled their way across the suspension bridge, enjoying the view of the James River below them. Nicholas yelled over to Griff to be heard above the sound of the raging river. “I see now why the website says the rapids are too dangerous for swimming.”
“That’s for sure. You wanna hike or hit the bike trails?”
“I signed us up for rock climbing lessons!”
“Yeah, really!” Nicholas grinned. “I think you’re turning me into an adrenaline junkie like you!”
“Don’t forget the surfing lessons! You promised me at Kitty Hawk and then plans changed.”
“I haven’t forgotten. I’ll do it. We’ll probably hit a beach again in Maryland.”
“I’m gonna hold you to that! So, do we have a scheduled time for this, or do we just show up?”
“Noon. So, hurry up! We have ten minutes to find it.” Nicholas laughed and pedaled faster.
“I can’t believe you went up so fast the second time. That was amazing, Nicky-poo!” Griff said as he collapsed onto the grass beside Nicholas.
“You’re lucky my arms are so tired, or I’d wallop you. I’ve told you to stop with the ‘Nicky’ crap.”
“You secretly love it almost as much as you love me.” Griff kicked Nicholas’ foot.
Nicholas kicked back. “Maybe.”
“I thought we’d hike, but it’s later than I thought it would be. Let’s get lunch then head back. By the time we shower, it’ll be just about time to go to Breakout Games.”
The boys walked out of Breakout Games nearly jumping for joy. “We did it!” Griff yelled. “Booyah!”
“That was awesome! We will have to do another one sometime. I’m sure we’ll find some more in plenty of the cities we’ll pass through.”
“Too bad there was a timer. Without it, I may have let you stay in those handcuffs a little while longer.” Griff winked.
“Maybe I’ll let you buy a pair.” Nicholas’ blue eyes twinkled in the fading sunlight.
“I think I like this new naughty Nicholas.”
“You’ll like me even better when this,” Nicholas lightly caressed the front of Griff’s jeans, “isn’t covered in spots and Caladryl.” He stared up at Griff, his eyes glazed over in lust.
Griff leaned down, and their lips met in a brief but passion-filled kiss. “You are such a tease. I love it!”
Nicholas’ eyes turned a little sad, “I am having the absolute best time of my life, Griff. I don’t want this trip to end.” His eyes glistened, but he refused to let a tear fall.
“Let’s not think about that yet. I don’t want it to end either. There’s a lot of fun to be had before New York, and a lot of thinking that I have to do.” Griff took Nicholas’ hand, and they strolled back to their bikes.