The RV Chronicles (Chapter 27)

Chapter 27

Written by: (KenW9270)

Nicholas closed the door firmly behind himself, then started to walk toward the rear door. Griffin reached over and grabbed his hand. “Nicholas, we’ve checked all the doors and windows three times. Everything is locked up tight.”

“Should we just stay here today? We’re gonna leave by one or two anyway.”

Griff leaned down, so their foreheads were touching and stared into Nicholas’ blue eyes as he spoke. “No. Let’s stick to our plans. Whether it was some kid looking for money, or something more sinister, I think if anything were going to happen, it would have happened yesterday. Don’t let it ruin our fun.”

Nicholas leaned in for a kiss. “You truly are my rock. I don’t know what I would ever do without you. Let’s go have some fun.”

“I guess your idea of fun is eating my dust on the go-kart track!” Jamie said with a smirk.

Casey rolled her eyes. “Come on, children. Let’s get moving if we want to do this. There’s no sense wasting our last day together.”

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Nicholas leaped out of the go-kart almost before it stopped moving. He pumped his fist in the air and yelled, “Total victory is mine!”

Griff and the two girls got out of their go-karts and walked over to Nicholas. “You were lucky! I was just settling into a good groove. A couple more races and I would have caught you,” Griffin said.

“We agreed on the number of races and point system before we started. Don’t be a sore loser, Peaches!” Nicholas retorted.

“At least I tied with you,” Jamie said, poking Griffin in the side and laughing.

“Can we not talk about who finished where, and just agree that we all had fun?” Casey asked with a grin.

Jamie spun and faced her sister, “That’s only because you finished last, sis!”

Casey shook her head, “Oh, please. I took it easy on you guys because I knew I’d destroy you all at mini-golf.”

“That sounds like a challenge! Come on, let’s go!” Griffin shouted and led the group away from the go-kart track and under the sign which read ‘Fire Mountain Mini-golf.’

By the time that they played seven holes, Nicholas and Jamie saw that the game was going to be a battle between Casey and Griff, so they conspired together to try trick shots to get hole-in-ones and attempt to gain some ground. “Nicholas! No! Don’t hit it yet.” Jamie ran up to Nicholas just before he hit the ball. “Don’t hit it through the loop-de-loop. Angle it off to the left and ricochet off the wall. If you do it just right, it should go right into the hole.”

“Ok, I see what you’re trying to do. I’ll try it that way.” Nicholas said and shot the ball. The ball went just like Jamie said it would but stopped a few inches short of the hole. On Jamie’s turn, she hit it harder than Nicholas had, but the ball flew past the hole, missing it by only an inch or two.

On the sixteenth hole, Griff and Casey were tied for the lead. The obstacle to the hole was a windmill. They had to hit the ball through the hole in the mill and avoid the spinning blades. Griff lined up his shot perfectly and hit the ball. The spinning windmill blade swooped down and covered the opening just before his ball arrived. Griff’s golf ball smacked into the blade and caromed off backward, almost back to where it started. Griffin cursed his bad luck and finished the hole in five shots. Casey’s shot went perfectly under the windmill and stopped just a couple inches from the hole. A light tap into the hole, and she was now three shots ahead of Griffin.

Griff kicked at the turf. “Great shot, Casey. I still have two holes to catch up, though!” Griffin’s comeback was not to be. They played even on the last two holes. In total, the course was a par fifty-four. Casey ended with forty-four, Griff with forty-seven, Nicholas with fifty-one, and Jamie with fifty-six.

Just as they were about to leave Fire Mountain, a teenage boy who looked to be about sixteen or seventeen ran up to Jamie. “Hey, baby. These two,” he motioned toward Griff and Nicholas, “don’t look like they’re paying a hottie like you enough attention.” He held up a hand in front of Jamie and was rolling two golf balls around in his hand. “Why don’t you come over here and play with my balls for a while.”

Griff started to step forward, but Jamie raised a hand to let him know that she could handle it. Jamie gave the other boy a sweet smile and placed her hand flat against his chest. “You’re such a charmer. I bet you get all the girls with witty lines like that, don’t you?”

“I do ok.” he gave her a cocky grin.

Jamie took another step closer, still smiling. “I bet you don’t. I bet that Junior,” her eyes flicked down toward his crotch. “has never even seen a girl in his life.”

The boy’s eyes grew wide. “Why you little b…” whatever else he was going to say never made it past his lips. Jamie’s smile grew even wider as she lifted her knee and planted it firmly in his groin. The boy screamed and fell to the ground, his hands clutching at his injured family jewels.

Two other boys ran up and knelt down by their friend. As they helped him to his feet, one of them said, “Dude, you’re such an idiot. We told you not to try that.”

“Shut up, Wyatt! You’re supposed to have my back.”

“I do, but you totally deserved what you got.” The rest of their conversation died out as they walked away.

Jamie spun back toward her sister and the boys. “Well, that was fun. Are we ready to go now?”

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Nicholas strapped himself securely into the captain’s chair and picked out a playlist to send them on their way. He looked behind him and grinned at Jamie. “As we roll outta Delaware and move on to Pennsylvania, let’s honor Jamie’s fallen suitor.” His grin widened as he hit play. They left Rehoboth Beach to the sounds of Queen.

Oh, let’s go

Steve walks warily down the street

With the brim pulled way down low

Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet,

Machine guns ready to go

Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this?

Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you, too

Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along

Without you when you’re gone?

You took me for everything that I had

And kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied?

How long can you stand the heat?

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you, too

Another one bites the dust

Hey

Oh take it

Bite the dust

Kinda dusty!

Hey

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust oww

Another one bites the dust hey hey

Another one bites the dust eh eh

Oh shoot out

There are plenty of ways that you can hurt a man

And bring him to the ground

You can beat him, you can cheat him

You can treat him bad and leave him when he’s down

But I’m ready, yes, I’m ready for you

I’m standing on my own two feet

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

Repeating to the sound of the beat oh yeah

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you, too

Another one bites the dust

Oh shoot out, hey hey, all right.

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They arrived at the RV park just outside Philadelphia at four twenty-five, pretty much right on schedule. “I’ll be right back. I just have to run to the office and sign in.” Nicholas said as he climbed out of the RV.

“What time is your aunt getting here?” Griff asked Jamie.

“I’m texting her right now,” Jamie answered.

“Don’t bother. She just texted me. She’s here.” Casey said. All three of them exited the RV and walked toward the parking area near the office. Griff chatted with the girls on their way to the parking lot, but then he noticed that they both stopped dead in their tracks.

“Hey, what’s wrong? Not quite ready to part company with me yet?” He said and flashed them both a smile. His smile evaporated when he saw the look of fear on both of their faces. “Seriously, girls, what’s wrong?”

“Look. It’s him. It’s been him following us all along.” Griff looked where Jamie pointed, and he saw an older man and an older woman in what looked like a heated argument. The man was leaning against a beat-up red pickup truck.

“That’s your stepfather? Is that your aunt that he’s talking to?” Griffin asked.

“Yes. That’s Aunt Bev. I guess we better get over there and get this over with.” Casey said.

“I’m sure your aunt will take care of everything,” Griff said, trying to sound cheerful. As they got closer, they overheard the conversation between Aunt Bev and stepdad Roger.

“Those girls owe me! They’re coming back with me until they pay off my hospital bills. They left most of their stuff behind anyway. They probably want it back.”

“They aren’t going anywhere with you, Roger. I tried to get my sister away from you, and I tried to get the girls after she passed away. Now that both of my nieces are out of that house and over eighteen years old, there’s no way they are ever going back.”

“Listen, bitch, they’re coming with me, or I’ll call the cops and have them arrested for assault.”

Griffin spoke up. “Dude, I saw their bruises. You were beating them, and you probably beat their mom, too. You’re a child-abusing bully. Go ahead and call the cops. I dare you.”

Roger reached into the back of his pickup and pulled out a baseball bat. “Look, Jamie, I brought your favorite toy.” Then he glared at Griffin. “I don’t know you, boy, but if I can’t get my money, I’ll sure as hell get some revenge.”

“There’s four of us here. You don’t want to do this, Roger.” Casey said. Bev had distanced herself from Roger and was on the phone with 9-1-1.

“Get behind me,” Griff said to the girls. Then, when Griff looked back at Roger, he saw Nicholas walking across the parking lot behind the older man. Roger raised the baseball bat and started stalking towards Griffin, Casey, and Jamie. Griff was about to yell out to Nicholas to go get help, but then he saw his boyfriend lower his head and charge. Nicholas hit Roger like a linebacker sacking the quarterback. Roger’s arms flew up, and the bat went sliding across the parking lot. The two hit the pavement with a thud, Nicholas’ landing cushioned by Roger’s body.

Griffin raced over and helped Nicholas to his feet. “That was amazing! Are you ok, Boo?”

“Yeah. I’m fine. I came out of the office and saw the red pickup. Then I saw that guy raise the bat and walk toward you guys, and I just reacted. I take it that he’s the stepfather?”

Casey and Jamie had joined the boys and had Nicholas in a double bear hug. They each kissed him on the cheek, and Jamie said, “Yes. That’s our stepfather, and you are our absolute hero!”

Roger groaned and rolled onto his back. He started to get up. Bev looked down at him. “Just stay on the ground, Roger. The cops are almost here.” In fact, at that moment, they all heard the sirens getting closer.

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Back in the RV, the two boys flopped down on the couch. “I can’t believe that just happened,” Griffin said.

“Which part?” Nicholas chuckled.

“All of it! You’re a bona fide hero, Boo!”

“Aw! You would have done the same thing, Peaches.”

“I’m just glad the girls are safe and with family now.”

“I’m going to miss the hell out of them, but some alone time with you will be nice,” Nicholas said, laying his head in Griff’s lap and swinging his legs up onto the couch. “Pass me the remote, please, Peaches.”

“Here you go, hero,” Griff said as he passed Nicholas the remote and leaned down for a kiss.

Nicholas turned on the TV and started up Netflix. “What do you feel like watching tonight?”

“Something fun. No more drama for me tonight.” Griff laughed.

“Hmm. It sounds like a night to continue binging ‘Grace and Frankie’ then.”

“Excellent choice,” Griff said, and they settled in for a relaxing night of comedy after their adventurous and drama-filled day.

The Christmas Spirit

Christmas comes but once a year,

Families gather from far and near.

Dinner is eaten with family and friends,

If you’re fighting, you make amends.

The holiday spirit should last the whole year through,

Keep those you love always close to you.

Remember, my friends, Christmas is but once a year,

But always keep your heart full of Christmas cheer.

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 26)

Chapter 26

Written by: (Flash2002)

Nicholas woke up earlier than Griffin for once. He could barely contain his excitement to finally get out into the ocean and see just how much of the surfing lessons that he’d retained. Having the love of his life by his side as his surf mentor was a definite added bonus. He went into the bathroom and started getting ready for the big day ahead.

Griffin woke up and felt around for Nicholas. He got a little worried when he wasn’t there. “Where in the world is he? He never gets up this early,” Griff thought to himself. Puzzled and confused, he jumped out of bed only to hear “Surfin’ USA” playing, and to his surprise, Nicholas was singing to the Beach Boys hit. “Mmmhhhmmm, Nicky-poo, you had me worried, but seeing you in here singing and dancing in the shower tells me that you’re excited about today.”

“Cool observation, and don’t call me Nicky-poo. You know I hate that, but you are correct,” Nicholas popped off. “I’m really ready to try to surf out on the real ocean and, with you out there, I’m not scared at all.”

“I’m so happy that you’re excited about surfing,” Griffin answered back.

“I’m going to finish getting ready and then you should shower before we wake the girls up.”

“Fine, you got a deal, babe.”

Griffin showered and got ready for the day and then went back to the bedroom to get his bodysuit on. He couldn’t find Nicholas again, so he opened the front door to the RV and, lo and behold, Nicholas was outside getting his board ready for the day at the beach. “Hi, honey! Boy, you really are excited. You keep on doing what you’re doing and I’ll get the girls up and cook breakfast. I love you, babe,” Griffin said happily.

Griffin walked into the living room and saw both girls still sprawled out on the pull-out sofa. “Rise and shine, ladies! It’s time to get up and get ready for the beach.” After a few groans from the girls, Jamie darted into the bathroom, so Casey sighed and picked up her cell phone to check her messages while she waited for her sister to get ready. Griffin went into the kitchen and started making pancakes and bacon. He also got out some fruit for pancake toppings. He turned the music on as he was cooking and selected a playlist. Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me” started playing as Griff began cutting up the fruit.

After about 45 minutes, Nicholas came back inside and, along with the girls, now dressed in their bikinis, sat down to eat.

“This is so good, Griff! Thank you for yet another great breakfast,” Nicholas said with a grin.

The girls both complimented Griffin on breakfast, but then Jamie, as usual, had to tease Griff. “Nicholas is so lucky. You will make a good wife for him one day.”

“That’s so funny, but don’t quit your day job any time soon. Oh, wait, you don’t work, little miss comedian,” Griff said with a laugh.

“Alright, we’re ready to go. Let’s head to the beach now to make sure we get good spots,” Nicholas said.

They all grabbed the stuff they needed and they headed out to the beach. They were quite the sight, two guys carrying surfboards and backpacks and wearing bodysuits and two girls in bikinis. They arrived and picked out good spots. The boys set up down close to the water, while the girls chose to set up close to the lifeguard shack. The girls set out their beach towels and started checking out the groups of guys that were playing frisbee on the beach.

Nicholas was eager to get out on the water, but Griffin cautioned him to wait a bit. Griff said that the waves would start getting bigger soon enough, and until then they talked about their plans for the day.

“Mom is going to just love that I did this today and conquered one of my fears, and it’s all thanks to you, Peaches,” Nicholas said proudly.

“Aw shucks. It’s you that will be doing it all, and I’m proud to share this moment and day with you.” Griffin said, blushing. They looked over at the girls and saw that they were already having fun flirting with all the guys. Casey was hanging all over one of the lifeguards, feeling his muscles, and Jamie had joined in with one of the frisbee games. The guys bust out laughing, and they went back to talking about surf and conditions.

“Okay, see that section over there? Try not to get into the currents and let the waves carry you into that rocky bluff area. Turn away from it if you can and do tricks going away from it. Also, see that part there? If you get into that area it has a lot of stinging jellyfish and other fish which could attract sharks. So, avoid that,” Griffin said.

“Avoid crashing into the rocks and avoid getting eaten by sharks. Those are the best two pieces of advice that I’ve ever gotten,” Nicholas said, laughing. “Seriously, I am paying attention to everything, Peaches. Thank you.”

“Can I continue now?” Griffin grinned and rolled his eyes. “Anyway, if you get into some big heavy waves, fall off your board, but remember to grab your board and hold onto it, so it can help keep your head above water. I know you got this, babe.”

Time passed by, the winds picked up, and the waves increased. “Let’s do this! It’s time to paddle out and see if we can catch some waves, Boo,” Griffin said with a huge smile.

Both of the guys got on their boards and paddled out. “It’s your turn, go for it, babe,” Griff told Nicholas.

With great anticipation, Nicholas caught his first wave and balanced well on his board. He rode the wave doing some minor tricks, and shouted out with glee, “Awesome, I did it! Wow! What a feeling of exhilaration!”

“Woohoo, I am so proud of you, babe,” Griff said as he paddled over to Nicholas and kissed him.

“Now show me what you got, Griff, don’t hold back. Show me how it’s done,” Nicholas said, smiling ear to ear.

“I forgot to tell you, I recorded you with my GoPro cam so you can show your mom, and I can upload it to our Instagram,” Griff said.

Griffin caught a great wave and did a lot of tricks, jumps, flips, and rode the tube really well. He was excited and told Nicholas, “You’re up next. I bet you do even better than before.”

The boys rode many waves throughout the day and only took short breaks all day long. They met some local surfers and made lots of friends. As a matter of fact, the girls were hanging out with a few of the surfers they met. They all agreed to meet at a bonfire on the beach later in the evening. The guys decided to call it a day after surfing and just hung out with all the local surfers.

Nightfall came, and they all headed over to the area of the beach where a huge bonfire had been lit. Nicholas was in awe of how cool it was to be a part of the surfing community and was just kinda speechless at first. “Hey, Griff, I now know why you’re so cool and love surfing so much. Everyone is so down to earth and friendly. They give you pointers and don’t really judge you that much. It seems like a close-knit family atmosphere, and it’s a welcome change,” Nicholas said.

“That’s for sure, babe, and everyone wants to see you succeed. You see, that’s what I have been telling you all these years. It’s really cool to be a surfer. Don’t get me wrong, you still have the arrogant douche bags, but overall it’s family,” Griffin said with pride. The two girls were still flirting with some of the local guys. Jamie was adding everyone on Snapchat and Twitter. Griffin and Nicholas made their rounds, sitting with different groups and telling their surf stories. Griffin let Nicholas do most of the talking, as it was his special day. Griff beamed with pride as Nicholas told everyone about his first time surfing out in the open waters.

Hours went by, and they were all tired and decided to head back to the RV. When they arrived, the door to the RV was wide open. Someone had broken in. Without hesitation, Nicholas dropped his board and ran inside to look around. “Nothing seems to be missing or damaged. The biggest thing is whoever it was dumped everything out of both girls’ backpacks and threw everything all over the living room. Casey, Jamie, check and see if anything is missing.” Nicholas said.

The girls picked up all their stuff and whispered nervously to each other before returning to Nicholas. “Nothing is missing. Why would someone do this, Nicholas?” Casey asked.

“I don’t know. This is so strange, but there’s no need to call and report it to the cops since nothing’s missing. We just need to double-check that we lock up tight when we leave. We may have left it unlocked by mistake,” Nicholas proclaimed.

“I agree, but we also need to keep an eye out for trouble or anything suspicious. Now let’s all get ready for bed. I, for one, am ready to crash,” Griffin said.

The girls changed into their pajamas and pulled out the sofa bed. “Goodnight, boys.” They both said practically in unison.

Griffin and Nicholas talked in bed about their day, and then after a few goodnight kisses, Nicholas wrapped his arms around Griffin, snuggled in close, and they both fell quickly asleep.

I Am the Grinch

I am the Grinch,

Stealing Christmas is a cinch.

The parents angry, the children blue,

Me, here, dreaming of reindeer stew.

Into your houses, I will sneak,

All because you call me a freak.

My bag will fill with presents and toys,

No Christmas joy for girls or for boys.

In other stories, the Grinch did return,

But in MY cave the toys will burn.

So, if you want joy this Christmas Day,

If you want this Grinch to stay away,

Be nice to all, do what is right,

Now Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 25)

Chapter 25

Written by: (Phoenix2020)

“Are we there yet?” Griffin hollered exactly six and a half minutes after Nicholas pulled out of the RV park.

“Don’t make me pull over, young man!”

“Ooooo … whatcha gonna do? Spank me?”

“Well, maybe later … but not in front of the children,” Nicholas winked. “Seriously, though … we should be in Rehoboth Beach by 7. I’m thinking we grab a couple of pizzas and stay in after we register and get the RV hooked up. The weather forecast says storms are supposed to roll through this evening and we don’t want to be caught somewhere and have to walk back in the rain.”

“Sounds like a game night. I hope it clears out by tomorrow … I have to get you on a surfboard in the actual Atlantic Ocean!” Griffin said, emphatically. “How long are we staying there?”

“I reserved the spot for two nights so we can head for Philadelphia on the 3rd to meet up with Casey and Jamie’s aunt,” Nicholas replied. “We can stay there a couple of nights so we can celebrate the 4th of July in the birthplace of the United States.”

Nicholas was beginning to believe that Spotify was telepathic as Bruce Springsteen began to growl …

“Born down in a dead man’s town

The first kick I took was when I hit the ground

End up like a dog that’s been beat too much

’Til you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

I was born in the U.S.A

Born in the U.S.A … ”

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The timing was perfect, as the pizza delivery arrived just as they finished hooking up the RV. Everyone washed up and settled in the living room to eat, with Jamie and Griffin occupying the sofa while Casey settled in the recliner and Nicholas sprawled out on the floor in the beanbag. Occasional flashes of lightning and thunder rumbling in the distance punctuated the conversation.

“So, any great ideas for how we should entertain ourselves tonight?” Casey asked.

“TV or games, maybe?” Nicholas suggested. “OH … I know! Pin the tail on Griffin!”

“Or …” Griffin had that glint in his eye that everyone was quite familiar with. “What about … ‘Strip Truth or Dare’?”

“I am NOT stripping in front of you boys!” Jamie exclaimed.

“Oh, fiddle dee dee,” Casey replied in her best Scarlett O’Hara voice. She was a bit too infatuated with the ‘Gone With the Wind’ novel she’d borrowed from Nicholas. “They are not the least interested in anything you may have to put on display.”

“Besides, you can choose ‘truth’ or ‘dare’, instead,” Griffin added.

“Well, okay. If Casey’s on board, I’ll go along,” Jamie conceded.

They played ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ and Nicholas won. He called Casey, who responded, “Dare.”

″ I dare you to …” Nicholas thought a few seconds. “I dare you to …”

POW!!!

With the lightning strike, the RV was plunged into utter darkness with Griffin squealing like a seven-year-old girl. “Everyone stay where you are,” Nicholas said. “I’ll get the flashlights.” He stumbled his way toward the front where the flashlights were kept in the emergency kit. Returning to the living room, he handed one to Casey. “I’ll hook up the generator if the power doesn’t come back soon.”

As everyone settled back down to continue the game, they heard a shout. Several more shouts followed, and soon the sound of many frantic voices motivated all four to run for the door and outside. A steady rain had begun, but they were oblivious to it as they saw people running south towards the road. A glance in that direction immediately let them know why all the commotion had commenced. They saw smoke streaming from the roof of a building, victimized by the earlier lightning strike. They joined everyone else pouring out of parked RVs up and down the campground and ran to see if they could be of assistance.

By the time they reached the road, sirens could be heard approaching. In such a small town, the fire department must be close by. The building, now engulfed in flames, appeared to be a large and, apparently, rather old beach house based on how quickly the fire seemed to be spreading through it. No one in the growing crowd acted terribly distraught, so it was probably currently unoccupied or, at least, whoever was staying there was not at home. Everyone retreated to the RV park side of the road to allow the trucks to approach as the rain began to pour more heavily, aiding the firefighters in their efforts.

As the blaze was brought under control, Nicholas, Griffin, Casey, and Jamie headed back home to change out of their uncomfortably wet clothing. As they reached the RV, the power returned, and the entire campground lit up instantly. If any one of them had been looking behind them at that moment, they would surely have noticed the man that dove behind a row of trash barrels along the dirt road and in front of the RV parked across from theirs.

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After stripping off their soaked clothes, drying off, and redressing, everyone plopped back down in the living room to finish off their now cold pizza. Nicholas reheated his in the microwave, but everyone else was content with the room temperature food. No one, except Griffin, was in the mood for Strip Truth or Dare, anymore, so they began to browse Netflix for a good thunderstorm movie and settled on the classic, ‘Poltergeist’. Casey was more interested in ‘Gone With the Wind’, however. Jamie chose to stretch out on the floor with the bean bag, which allowed Nicholas and Griffin to cozy up on the sofa to get their cuddle on.

Griffin, with his head in Nicholas’ lap, gazed up into his boyfriend’s blue eyes and smiled. Nicholas looked down and grinned back. “What?”

“How did we get here?” Griffin asked. “I don’t mean Rehoboth. I mean you and me, here … with my head in your lap and head over heels in love with you.”

“I know what you mean,” Nicholas responded. “I’ve been thinking the same thing the past couple of weeks. We’ve been best friends forever and even enjoyed learning about sex with each other, but it kind of feels like we’ve just met.”

“Yeah, it’s like we became different people, in a way, when we left home. Like we went from kids to adults, and our feelings changed from a kid friendship to an adult relationship, and now we’re getting to know each other all over again.”

“So … how long have you known each other?” Jamie asked, then sheepishly apologized. “Sorry, I couldn’t help overhearing. I mean you’re right there.”

“It’s okay, Jamie. We’ve been friends since Kindergarten,” Nicholas answered. “By middle school, we both realized we were gay, so we’ve been pretty tight since then.”

“Yeah, we kind of figured it out together and .. well … tried different stuff,” Griffin attempted to explain. “We didn’t know any other gay guys our age and were too afraid to ask anyone. We trusted each other, so it was a great way to learn!”

“Oh, yeah! More fun than algebra, for sure!” laughed Nicholas. “My mom couldn’t figure out why we suddenly started spending so much time in the treehouse my dad built for me when I was eight. We usually told her we were studying, just not WHAT we were studying!”

“The fact that the house wi-fi signal reached to the treehouse definitely aided the educational process, too,” Griffin winked and chuckled.

“Okay, okay! I get the picture!” Jamie waved her hands around her head in a feeble attempt to stop the images attacking her mind. “So, you were just friends, though … not boyfriends?”

“Yeah, uh … I guess I kinda started having those ‘feelings’ for Nicholas when we were about 13 or 14, but I didn’t really know,” Griffin admitted a bit awkwardly. “I mean didn’t know what ‘falling in love’ was all about, anyway. I just knew that I wanted to be with him all the time, but I was afraid he’d get sick of me, and I’d lose my best friend. So, I just kept it to myself.”

“I would never get sick of you! I can’t imagine my life without you in it every single day. I really wish you’d said something then, but it all worked out. Obviously, we were meant to be together, and now we are. I love you so much, Peaches … don’t you ever doubt that for a second!”

“I love you more, Boo,” Griffin whispered as he went in for a kiss to emphasize the sentiment.

“OH! Get a room, you two!” Jamie teased.

“Well, you started it, if I recall correctly,” Griffin fired back, “but that’s a great idea! Let’s go, Boo!”

“By the way, Casey and Jamie, be sure to let your aunt know that we will be in Philadelphia the day after tomorrow,” Nicholas said as Griffin was practically dragging him to their bedroom in the rear of the RV. “It would be easiest if she could meet us at the RV park. I’ll give you the address in the morning.”

“Say goodnight, Nicholas,” Griffin urged.

“Goodnight, Nicholas!” he shouted back as Griffin threw him on the bed and kicked the door closed behind him.

Khristoff the Red

Sit right down by the fire.

Be forewarned, the story is dire.

I’m not here to tell of the original eight,

Or the ninth reindeer who came in late.

This is a tale of a red-nosed twin,

And why he was driven out by his kin.

Rudolph is a beacon of hope, that’s true,

But I wonder if you ever knew.

There is always a balance of wrong and right,

Beware of the other who gives off red light.

I don’t mean to fill you with fear and dread,

But be on the lookout for Khristoff the Red.

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!”

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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.”

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“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.”

The RV Chronicles (Chapter 23)

Chapter 23

Written by: (Flash2002)

The guys and gals went outside to wait for their Uber to take them to the waterpark for a fun day of waterslides. They packed extra clothes because when they were done playing at the waterpark, they were going to a mystery dinner theater.

They arrived at the waterpark and the guys parted ways with the girls. Casey and Jamie were going their own way to check out all the hot, wet, shirtless guys.

Griffin waved goodbye, telling the girls not to get in too much trouble, then turned to Nicholas. “Which ones first? The biggest ones?”

“Why don’t you go ride a few of the big ones. I’m going to lay in a tube on the Lazy River and soak up some sun for a little while first,” said Nicholas.

“Well, I suppose, but first we have to put our backpacks in a locker and then I’ll rub the suntan lotion all over your backside for you,” Griff said with a giggle.

“Mmmm, sure thing, Peaches. I definitely don’t want to get a sunburn,” Nicholas said.

They went inside the locker room and locked up their backpacks. Nobody else was around and their locker was in the back corner, so Nicholas took off his shirt and laid face down on the bench. “I’m ready for that suntan lotion, Griff.”

Griff looked down at his boyfriend lying there and he couldn’t help himself. He kissed Nicholas’ neck and gently nibbled on his ear. Then he kissed and licked down to the middle of Nicholas’ back while Nicholas squirmed and moaned beneath him. Griffin sat back up and kind of spaced out a little. He thought to himself, “Have I died and gone to heaven? This beautiful man is all mine. Nicholas is finally my boyfriend, my lover. I must be the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Nicholas turned over and stared up at Griffin. “Are you gonna put that lotion on me or just keep staring?”

“Actually, roll over. We have time for a little action,” Griff smirked. “We’re all alone in here. I’ll be quick.”

“No. Wait until later, Peaches. Anyone could walk in, even a kid. I wouldn’t mind being a nudist, but not an exhibitionist.”

“You’re right. Just know how much I want you right now, you sexy beast. I’ll settle for a few more kisses, I guess,” Griffin said as he finally applied the suntan lotion, doing it in the sexiest way possible.

“I love you, snookums. Now go have fun riding the towers,” said Nicholas as he hugged and kissed his daredevil of a man and watched him leave.

Nicholas headed over and grabbed a tube to ride. He floated in the Lazy River as it wound its way around the whole park. He laid on his tummy, so his backside got some sun first.

Meanwhile, Griffin was acting like he was a kid again as he ran up the steps to the tallest of the towers they had. He had to slow down as he got behind some slow people. He thought to himself, as he waited in the slow line, about school. It was frustrating that, just when he was finally getting what he’d wanted all these years, it was happening right when he was about to leave for college. He wanted to go to Ohio State, but right now, he wanted to continue on this journey with Nicholas even more. He shook his head to try and clear his thoughts. For now he would enjoy what he could, while he could.

Griffin got higher up and looked down to see if he could spot Nicholas, but everyone looked like ants from this high up. This was going to be an excellent ride. Finally, it was Griff’s turn and he jumped into the opening in the tube. At first, it was dark and he was going extremely fast! There were lots of twists and turns as the tube wound its way down the hill. He thought he must be going 55 miles per hour! Then he saw a light at the end of the tunnel and, with a big splash, he was in the deep end of a giant pool. Griff whooped out a “Hell, yeah!”

Griff pulled himself out of the pool and looked around at the other waterslides. However, he decided that the only place he wanted to be was with Nicholas. Griffin walked down to the Lazy River and got his own tube. When he found Nicholas, Griff saw that he had dozed off on his tube. Griffin pulled himself onto Nicholas’ tube and got in right behind him and spoke loud enough to wake him, “Hey there, beautiful! I couldn’t stand being without you, so here I am!”

Nicholas jumped and said, “Aww, you didn’t have to come back so soon. Go ride some more waterslides.”

“I’m right where I wanna be. We can ride the towers together after lunch. We should always stay together and maximize our time before August.” Griffin said with a half-frown.

“That’s a deal. Always together,” Nicholas said and turned his head up for a quick kiss. They floated a while longer and then got a quick bite to eat. The guys spotted Casey and Jamie flirting with a table full of guys. “Oh my gosh! Look at them. They’re practically drooling on those guys,” Nicholas laughed.

“I drool over you every time I see you, Boo! And I can’t wait to catch you alone later tonight,” Griff said with a wink.

“Stop it! You’re making me blush, Peaches. Let’s go hit those waterslides!” Nicholas said, stealing another quick kiss and grabbing Griff’s hand. They walked toward the tower waterslides.

The guys rode all the rides together and then decided to hit the wave pool for a while. Suddenly, both girls ran over and told them that they were going to a party they’d been invited to with a bunch of people. “Okay, ladies, but please be safe and watch your drinks at all times. Have fun, but don’t stay out too late” said Nicholas.

“Yes, Daddy Nicholas. Jeez, we’ll be careful. We know everyone from school. They’re really nice, but we promise to be extra careful,” Jamie said with just a hint of attitude.

It was getting late, so Nicholas and Griffin hurried to the locker room to change clothes. “This has been an amazing day together, Boo,” Griff said and jumped in the shower to rinse off the chlorine with Nicholas right behind him.

“I loved every second of it. Now it’s time to get to our next adventure,” said Nicholas as he dried off and got dressed. He looked up as Griffin stepped out of the shower, too. Nicholas let out a wolf whistle. “How come I never ever saw you this way before now. You’re so freaking hot that you send goosebumps all over me, among other things. I’m so lucky that you never gave up on me and now I have you as my main man. I love you so much, Griff.”

“Thanks, Boo, but you’re way hotter than I could ever be,” Griffin smirked and finished getting dressed.

They finished up in the locker room and Nicholas placed the order for an Uber to pick them up. Griffin gathered up their backpacks and made sure he had their tickets for the mystery dinner theater. They walked out of the locker room just as the Uber arrived. They got in and searched their backpacks for the disposable phones they were given when they made the dinner reservations. Everyone in the restaurant could potentially become involved in the production. The show producer would text them with what was about to happen, if it involved them.

The boys talked about what they were about to do and then they arrived at their destination. They paid the driver and scheduled a time for him to return to pick them up. They slowly walked to the door of an enormous mansion. The master of ceremonies welcomed them in and sat them at a table, which had placards with their names on them. About twenty-five people were in the room, including ten stage actors.

“Griff, this dinner looks delicious! Steak, baked potatoes, salad with dandelions, and broccoli with a cheese sauce. Looks like everyone else got white wine, but they gave us the sweet tea and bottled water that we ordered,” said Nicholas.

“I know this is so cool!” Griff replied. As they started eating, the various actors began the drama. A couple of people disappeared. There was yelling and several people left the room in different directions. Griffin got a text message to get up and go to the bathroom. “Hey, Boo, I have to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right back, ok?” Griff said as he left the table.

Nicholas was unaware of the text message that Griffin had received. Screams were heard as the lights went out and a voice yelled out, “Stay calm, everyone. The lights will be right back on.”

Nicholas sat up and looked for Griffin. “Where is he?” Nicholas thought to himself. The lights came back on and then a woman came running into the room with blood all over her dress.

“Please, somebody, help! My husband has been attacked and killed! Please help me!” She screamed and then fainted and fell to the floor.

“Everyone, please remain calm and stay seated. We will lock the doors until the police get here,” a large, burly man said to the group. “Please take notice of who’s missing from the tables.”

“You! Young man, didn’t you come with someone? Where is your friend?” someone yelled to Nicholas.

“He just went to the bathroom, but he hasn’t come back,” Nicholas said hurriedly.

About that time, Griff walked back to the table and sat down. “Uh, what did I miss Nicholas?” Griff asked.

“Only the murder! Jeez! I told you not to leave me!” exclaimed Nicholas.

Nicholas hadn’t seen Griffin read any of the messages from his disposable phone and got excited. “Oh my god! You’re a suspect in this now! This is way cool,” Nicholas said.

For the next hour to hour and a half, the play went on and the boys were trying to figure out who committed the murder. Nicholas looked at Griff’s clothes, and there was a little blood on them. He asked Griffin if he cut himself today at the waterpark. Griff said, “Oh yeah, I scraped my wrist on one of the rides today.”

Things progressed and everyone was asked to write on a piece of paper who they thought committed the murder. Griff guessed Mr. Oberon and Nicholas wrote down Griffin’s name. He deduced that Griffin was indeed a part of the story and the murderer! The big reveal was announced and it was Griffin that committed the murder. The story was that he was jealous of the man and how successful in building a fortune he was while ruining the town. Congratulations were given to Nicholas and one other person who got it right and, with that, the play was over.

“Oh my goodness, Griff! We have to do this again sometime in another city. This was so much fun!” Nicholas exclaimed with joy.

“Yeah, it was awesome and I like how they include everyone in the plot without telling them until the last minute,” Griff said.

They went outside and got into their Uber and called Casey and Jamie to check on them. They decided to stay over at a girlfriend’s house tonight and return to the RV early in the morning. They assured the boys that they were both safe and sound.

“You know what that means, don’t you, babe? It means we have the whole RV to ourselves, all night long,” Griff said with a sexy grin.

“You are so right, Peaches,” Nicholas said and went in for a kiss. They continued to kiss all the way home, and their hands were roaming. Before they noticed that the car had stopped, the driver cleared his throat.

Griffin blushed. “Sorry, dude,” he said to the driver.

“Well, we made it home,” Nicholas laughed nervously. “You pay the driver and I’ll go in and get everything situated.”

As Nicholas disappeared into the RV, Griffin chatted with the driver for a few minutes about the play. Then he paid him and watched him drive off. Griffin turned and went inside the RV to join his boyfriend for a night of fun.

The Melted Snowman

The snowman melted on the lawn,

I watched the scene with a tired yawn.

The sun was warm this winter’s day,

Melting all the snow away.

Christmastime was coming soon,

I’ve been planning since early June.

I made a list for mom and dad,

I’ve been good and not bad.

A camera lens is what I’d like,

My brother said he wants a bike.

On my list, I put some other things,

Now I’ll wait to see what Christmas brings.

I glanced back out at the snow,

Still melting, though very slow.

I do prefer the summer sun,

But snowy days can be fun.

Especially at this time of year,

Snow can add to Christmas cheer.