Written by: (KenW9270)
After four amazing days in New York City, which included meeting a new friend and travel companion, the boys were back on the road. With ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ by Steppenwolf blaring from the speakers, they sped along I-95 North and into New England. Nicholas glanced over at his co-pilot and boyfriend, Griffin. “Every day with you is a magic carpet ride.” He waggled his eyebrows and nodded toward the stereo.
“Aw, you’re so sweet, Boo,” Griffin smiled.
“Hey, look! ‘Welcome to Connecticut,’ we are officially in New England. You know what, Peaches, I always dreamed of traveling the entire country with you, but I’m not sure that I ever truly believed we would get this far. This trip is a dream come true, and everything that has happened is beyond amazing.”
“You must be talking about me. Thanks, Nicholas!” Mason quipped.
Griff laughed. “Mason, you’re such an idiot! Why did we bring you with us?”
“Hmm. My charm and good looks? Or was it my cooking skills that won you over? I’m not sure which.”
“Or maybe I just have a thing for strays,” Nicholas said.
“Yeah, that’s probably it,” Mason said. “Anyway, where in Connecticut are we going to stay? I was sitting here looking at all the maps that you have out on the table.”
“We’re going to be staying at the Seaport RV Resort in a town called Mystic. There’s a lot of stuff to do in the Mystic and New London area, plus, I thought we might use it as a home base to also hit a couple places in Rhode Island since it’s so close.”
“This is why he is always in charge of trip planning,” Griff chuckled. “I suggest places to go or things to do, but Nicholas plans all our routes and picks out the RV parks.”
“Well, am I allowed to throw a curveball at you? I found something on the map that you don’t have circled, but it looks really cool. It’s not too far off of our route. Do we have to be at the RV park at a certain time?”
“No set time to be there, but I would like to be there and set up before dinner. Then, after dinner, we can chill out and watch movies or something. I want to be well-rested to start our New England adventures tomorrow morning.” Nicholas said.
“What did you have in mind, Mase?” Griffin asked.
“I’ll text you the link.”
“Oh! This does look cool. Nicholas, do you wanna see a castle and do a little hiking?”
“A castle in Connecticut?”
“Yeah. It looks cool, and the hiking trails look awesome.”
“Put it in the GPS. What kind of schedule are we looking at?” Nicholas asked.
“We’ll get to the park around eleven. Looks like an hour to an hour and a half inside the castle, then we can have lunch and hike for a couple hours. If we leave the park by three, we’ll hit Mystic around four.” Griff said.
“Let’s do this!” Nicholas exclaimed.
“Alright! Thanks, guys. This looks fun.” Mason said with a grin.
The three boys stepped outside of the Gillette Castle and found themselves on a terrace overlooking the Connecticut River. With the cloudless blue sky and the dozens of sailboats on the river, the view was breathtaking.
“Mason, you have to take our picture here!” Griff nearly squealed.
Mason took out his phone to take a picture, but Griffin stopped him. “No, no! Here. With this.” Griff handed Mason his camera.
“A real camera? Wow. Are you a photographer, Griff?” Mason asked.
“Just amateur stuff. Maybe someday I’ll do more. I do enjoy it.”
“I’ve been checking out your Instagram page, but I assumed they were cell phone pics. The page is amazing.”
“Thanks.” Griff smiled and stepped closer to Mason to show him what settings to use on the camera.
Mason took a few photos of the boys in front of the river. Then a few more in front of the castle. He also took a couple pics of Nicholas and Griffin with his phone for his own memories of a fun day with his new friends.
“Now, we need you in some pictures with us,” Nicholas said. He looked around and found a teenage girl willing to be their photographer. After their mini photoshoot, Nicholas turned to the other two, “You guys ready to go hiking?”
The boys got back to the RV just before 3 PM. Nicholas and Griffin nearly collapsed onto the couch, and Mason plopped down on the beanbag chair. “That was fun. Some of those hills were steep, though! I sure didn’t get this kind of workout walking the sidewalks in New York City.” Mason said.
“Stick with us, and you won’t need to join a gym.” Griff laughed.
“Yeah, we’ve been rock climbing and zip-lining and hang gliding, and all kinds of different exciting stuff already on this trip!” Nicholas added.
“I can’t thank you enough for letting me come with you.”
“Just keep cooking breakfast, and we’re good.” Griff winked.
“Fair enough!” Mason laughed.
“Back to the road, fellow travelers,” Nicholas said and returned to the captain’s chair.
An hour later, Nicholas pulled the RV off the highway and started navigating Mystic, Connecticut’s suburban streets. Out of nowhere, a small dog darted out into the road. Nicholas knew he couldn’t stop in time, but he could not bear the thought of hitting a dog. He spun the steering wheel as hard as he could and prayed for the best. Crunch!
After his heart rate slowed a bit, Nicholas looked at his two passengers. “Is everyone ok?”
“Did we hit that dog? We hit something! What did we hit?” Griffin said while yanking his door open.
The three boys piled out of the RV to look for the dog, find out what they hit, and look for any damage to the RV.
Nicholas and Griffin walked around to the front of the RV to have a look around. “Little dog, are you ok, little dog? Where are you?” Griffin called out as they walked. They discovered that they were parked in the middle of someone’s flower garden. The RV front was on top of the shattered remains of what looked like a wooden replica wishing well. The dog was nowhere in sight.
When Mason stepped out of the RV’s back door, the little dog sat there looking up at him. It was an adorable basset hound. Mason dropped to his knees and hugged the dog. “Oh, thank goodness you’re ok, little guy!” The dog wagged its tail and started happily licking Mason’s face. Mason heard someone approach, and he looked up and nearly fainted. The guy standing over him was the hottest guy that Mason had ever seen. The curly black hair and dark brown eyes melted Mason’s heart in an instant.
Mason leaped to his feet. “Is this your dog? Is this your house? I’m so sorry, sir, I don’t know what happened! It was totally an accident!”
“Sir?” The guy chuckled. “I don’t look that old, do I? I’m only twenty-nine! But, yes, that’s my dog. My baby, Oliver. It’s my sister’s house, though.” He stuck out his hand. “My name is Billy. I’m glad that you’re ok. That sounded like a hell of a crash. We should check on your friends… and my sister’s wishing well.”
Mason took Billy’s offered hand and shook it. “Hi, Billy. I’m Mason. I am so relieved that we didn’t hit your dog! I hope we didn’t cause too much damage!”
“The main thing is that all three of you are ok, and Oliver is ok. Ollie seems very taken with you. He’s not always that friendly with strangers. In this case, I don’t blame him one bit. I’m actually a little jealous of the attention he’s getting.” Billy smirked.
Mason blushed and surprised himself by responding. “You’re not going to start wagging your tail and licking my face next, are you?”
“Not unless you ask me nicely.” Billy grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “Now, let’s go check on your friends.” Billy turned and walked toward the front of the RV.