The RV Chronicles (Chapter 24)

Chapter 24

Written by: (KenW9270)

Griffin woke up and sleepily rolled over to get some good morning cuddles, but all he found was a cold, empty bed. “Wow. He’s up early,” he thought to himself as he got out of bed and pulled on a t-shirt. Griff padded out of the room looking for Nicholas. He got to the kitchen and saw Nicholas at the table. The two girls were on either side of Nicholas, each with an arm wrapped around him. Griffin was a little puzzled, so he walked over and wrapped his arms around Nicholas from behind. He rested his chin on his boyfriend’s shoulder. “Hey, Boo. What’s up? You’re awake early. What are you looking at? Are you making more travel plans?” Griff asked as he saw all the maps spread out on the table.

Nicholas looked up at Griff with tears blurring his normally crystal-clear blue eyes. “Hey, Peaches. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and started organizing some of the cupboards and drawers that we hadn’t gone through yet.”

Griffin nudged the girls out of the way and spun Nicholas’ chair sideways, so he could kneel in front of him. “Baby, what’s wrong?” He gently reached up and wiped the tears off of Nicholas’ cheeks.

“Nothing’s wrong. I’m not even sure if these are happy tears or sad tears. Look what I found.” Nicholas motioned toward the maps spread out on the table. “These are all my dad’s travel maps! He marked off routes and circled places that he wanted to take me. There are even notes in the margins in his handwriting about what he wanted me and him to do at some of the places. I thought mom cleaned everything out of here when she put the RV into storage. This… this is like a gift from my dad!”

Griff leaned forward and kissed the fresh teardrops from the corners of Nicholas’ eyes. “I’m so happy for you, Boo. This is amazing! We’ll add these in with the ones that you made, and we’ll know exactly where we want to go.”

Nicholas’ lips curled down into a frown. “Yeah. At least until I drop you off at college.”

“Don’t worry about that right now. There’s plenty of time before that happens. So much has changed for us in the last couple of weeks, who knows what will happen before we get to Ohio.”

“You’re right. Sorry for being so emotional. Go take your shower, and I’ll fix breakfast.”

Casey stepped forward and put a hand on Nicholas’ shoulder. “Organize your dad’s maps. Me and Jamie have breakfast covered today.”

“Yep. Chef Jamie and her fabulous assistant, Cookmeister Casey, at your service!” Jamie giggled.

Griff pulled Nicholas to his feet and wrapped him in a tight bear hug. “No apologies necessary. I know what your dad meant to you. He was an awesome dad.” Griff kissed Nicholas on the forehead. “Finding those maps was a sign that we are doing exactly what we should be doing right now, and we have your dad’s blessing.”

“You’re right. He loved you a lot, Griff. I know he’d be happy for us. Ok, let’s get this day started. Go get in the shower and I’ll finish up here. It smells like the ladies are already fixin’ us some breakfast!”

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Nicholas’ hair whipped around his face, damp from the spray of the water. He let out a whoop and pressed down as hard as he could on the jet ski’s gas pedal. Only one more to pass and he’d be in the lead. The nose of his jet ski was now even with the tail end of Andy’s. Just as they reached the predetermined finish line, Nicholas pulled into the lead. He slowed the engine and glided to a stop at the dock. Nicholas danced and jumped his way down the pier and onto the beach where Griff waited, still taking photos.

“Did you see that? That was amazing!” Nicholas cheered.

“Not only did I see it, but I also recorded it! Your victory will be immortalized on our RV Instagram account, Boo!”

“I still can’t believe you have over a hundred followers in two days! Maybe we will go viral!” Nicholas laughed.

“Yeah, maybe we can be the next Alec in WILDerland!”

Andy strolled over and pointed up at the jet ski rental office. Ian is taking care of the paperwork. Are we ready to go get lunch?”

Jamie bounced over with her nearly perpetual grin, “Definitely! I’m starved.”

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

“I’m glad you chose this place,” Ian said. “It’s my favorite restaurant of all the ones that we’ve been to here in Chesapeake Beach.”

“As an added bonus,” Griffin chuckled, “the owner, Peggy, gives Nicholas a free piece of pie every time he comes in for saving that dude’s life earlier this week.”

“Wait… what? You have to tell us that story!” Jamie squealed.

So, as they ate, Griffin told the story of the Heimlich save. Nicholas retaliated by telling the story of Griffin saving Gustavo in the hang glider accident. Then, Griffin told the story of Nicholas’ tackling him in the mud to save him from the runaway RV.

Ian glanced at his watch. “Time to finish up here, guys and gals. Andy and I have to hit the road.”

As Andy stood from the table, Jamie nearly tackled him with a hug. “You have my number and all my socials, you better stay in touch, boy!”

Andy grinned and kissed her on the cheek. “Of course, I will. You’re my favorite girl.”

“Where are you heading next?” Jamie asked.

“Virginia Beach. Then on to my hometown of Savannah, Georgia.” Andy said.

“Post plenty of beach pics,” Jamie said with a wink.

Andy blushed. “For sure.”

Goodbyes were said all around, and then Ian and Andy left on their way south.

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Griffin raised his kayak paddle in the air and whooped in victory. “Oh yeah, baby! That’s game, set, and match! We win four to two!”

Nicholas and Casey shook their heads. “Should we ask for best of nine instead of best of seven?” Casey asked.

“Nah. Look at those two already dancing on the beach like they won the Olympics. Let them enjoy it.”

“It’s three-thirty anyway. You said that we should leave by four.” Casey said as she got out of the kayak and helped Nicholas pull it onto the beach.

“Yeah, let’s get these things signed in and get back to the RV.” Nicholas and Griff pulled the kayaks back to the rental shed and rejoined the girls for the short walk back to the RV.

While Nicholas was double-checking all the RV hookups and gauges to make sure they were ready to leave, Griffin noticed both girls kept looking down the road and whispering together. He walked over and put an arm around each girl. “Ladies, what’s wrong? And don’t you dare say nothing.”

Jamie looked up at Griffin then at her sister and finally back up at Griffin. She sighed, “I can’t lie to you, even if I wanted to. I’m not sure that anything is wrong, but I think I saw Roger’s beat-up red pick up parked out by the exit to the park. As soon as I saw it, it drove away, but I’ve seen it drive by two times since then.”

“Roger is your stepfather, right? The one who abused you both?”

Casey frowned. “Yes,” she swore under her breath, “I knew we shouldn’t have gone to Sarah’s party last night. If it is him, that’s how he found us. Some blabbermouth told him we were there!”

Griff ran a hand through his hair. “You two are both over eighteen, right? Those weren’t fake ID’s? Why would he track you down?” Nicholas had joined the group and was listening intently.

“We are both of age. He just thinks that he owns us. Plus, he’s probably pissed that I knocked him out with the baseball bat. He tracked us down because he’s a psychopath.” Jamie said.

“Well, you’re not sure it’s him, but regardless, even it is him, the sooner we get on the road, the sooner we leave him behind,” Nicholas said as he herded everyone into the RV. Once they were all buckled in, Nicholas started up his road trip playlist, and they pulled out of the park to the sounds of Aerosmith.

“I’m back

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m back

I’m back in the saddle again

Ridin’ into town alone by the light of the moon

I’m lookin’ for old Sukie Jones, she crazy horse saloon

Barkeep gimme a drink, that’s when she caught my eye

She turned to give me a wink, that’d make a grown man cry

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m back

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m back

Come easy, go easy, all right until the rising sun

I’m calling all the shots tonight, I’m like a loaded gun

Peelin’ off my boots and chaps, I’m saddle sore

Four bits gets you time in the racks, I scream for more

Fools’ gold out of their mines, the girls are soaking wet

No tongue’s drier than mine, I’ll come when I get back

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m back

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m ridin’, I’m loadin’ up my pistol

I’m ridin’, I really got a fistful

I’m ridin’, I’m shinin’ up my saddle

I’m ridin’, this snake is gonna rattle

Yodalayhe yodalayhe yodayahehoo

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m back

I’m back in the saddle again

I’m back

Ridin’ high

Ridin’ high

Ridin’ high.”

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