Warnings: on screen adult sex, on screen teenage kiss.
Word count: 3,496
Summery: It’s the 4th of July and after almost 20 years Colby is heading home to Winchester, Idaho. And he’s bringing his husband and daughter with him.
Spoilers: Toxin, Janus List, Trust Metric, Counterfeit Reality, Greatest Hits, Finders Keepers
Notes: Part of Vignettes ‘verse taking place after Dumped but you might also want to look over A Direct Threat as it gets mentioned. Long Author’s notes will come at the end. Feed back would be really, really, nice. At least tell me you're reading. No I'm not above begging.
Beta: The very brave and amazing swingandswirl with help from autumnwriting and boymommytotwo
It was unpleasantly hot and Emily Granger had announced that some of the ladies always came around for coffee on Monday afternoons. That meant that everyone decided to clear out of the house. Katie went to visit some old friends and Andrew offered to take Esther into town and show her around. Colby packed up a couple of towels and offered to show Charlie where they used to swim as kids.
Charlie floated in the little pool. A couple of giant boulders had curved the little river in the East Valley around and in one part it carved a shaded hole about six feed deep. There was a bit of a current but not enough to worry about.
“Oh, this is nice.”
“We used to have a rope swing here. It’s amazing we didn’t kill ourselves. Unless you let go just right you either hit the bank or slammed into the rocks.”
Charlie grabbed Colby’s hand as he drifted past. “And tell me, when you were older did you bring pretty girls down here?”
“Oh maybe once or twice.”
“And what would you do with them?” Charlie asked with forced innocence.
“Well,” Colby drew Charlie close, bracing his back against one of the slabs of granite. His feet touched bottom. “We’d often start with this.”
Colby kissed Charlie, his lips cool from the water and his mouth hot. Charlie kissed back weaving one hand into Colby’s hair while gripping Colby’s still strong bicep to stay afloat.
They were creeping up on twenty years together and they knew how to kiss. Each kiss was soft and wet and it was the kind of kiss that could go on for long stretches. Charlie let himself sink into the kiss, loving the way Colby was warm in contrast to the cool water and still so strong.
Charlie broke from the kiss and nuzzled at Colby’s neck licking and kissing at the cool clean skin.
Charlie knew every nerve on his husband’s body by now, mapped out year after year. Charlie took a breath and using Colby’s body as a guide dipped below the water and placed open mouthed kisses along Colby’s thigh and nuzzled at his groin before coming up for air.
“Oh, I could never talk any of the girls into doing that.”
“Well I guess that’s why I’m here and they’re not.”
Colby pulled him up into another round of slow kisses. They were in no rush and that was a luxury that could not be passed up. Charlie let himself relax as the water caressed them and nudged their bodies with gentle waves. Charlie’s mind slipped as he felt the current wrap around him. Flashes of fluid dynamics curled around his mind even as Colby’s fingers wove their way into his hair.
That was math still tied with strong memory, much of it sexual. Early explorations and conquests. The foolish little boy he had been, barely an adult, had wanted to spend the rest of eternity hopping from bed to bed living in hedonistic decadence. Charlie smiled into his kiss. That Charlie had been a fool. He could not now imagine trading anything for the simple pleasure of kissing Colby in a cool stream on a summer’s day.
Charlie let the water hold him and wrapped his legs around Colby’s waist throwing a little more heat into their kiss. Colby’s moan reverberated through the water, along Charlie’s body and down his spine and even in the cool of the water Charlie could feel Colby’s heat growing, and pressing against him.
Charlie rocked against Colby and Colby held tight. “Oh Charlie, definitely never got the girls to do this.”
Charlie nipped his way down Colby’s throat and along his shoulder. “Why don’t we use the buoyancy of the water to compensate for the fact that neither of our backs are what they used to be and do something else I bet the oh so good girls of Winchester would never let you do.”
“You are still a corrupting influence on me, Charlie.”
Charlie grinned. “I’ve never heard you complain.”
“And I’m not about to start now.”
Charlie closed his eyes and relished the wicked thrill as Colby’s hands slid down his body and pushed his shorts past his hips.
Charlie hiked himself higher up Colby’s body as Colby’s fingers teased at his entrance. Water wasn’t the best lubricant but Charlie found himself easily relaxing under the so familiar touch.
Colby chuckled a little.
“It’s just funny the way life turns out.”
Charlie groaned a little as Colby’s finger slid in. “Build a time machine, go back in time, tell that teenaged boy who would bring girls down here that this would happen he wouldn’t believe you, would he?”
Colby pushed in a second finger. “Nope.”
“Hey Charlie, this is you from the future. You know that dumb jock with the pretty green eyes that just transferred in? Don’t sell him short. You’re going to marry him one day and when your daughter is about to go to college he’s going to take you home and make love to you in a beautiful, clear stream on a warm summer day.”
Colby twisted his fingers and Charlie sighed. “You think I have pretty eyes?”
“It was one of the first thoughts I ever thought about you. How pretty your eyes are.”
Charlie let his mouth be claimed in a penetrating kiss as Colby started working three fingers.
Charlie rocked his hips ridding on Colby’s fingers demanding his body open up. Charlie broke from the kiss, canted his hips up, and leaned back.
“First thought I had about you,” Colby whispered. “You scared me. You walked into a room and took it over with a million things I didn’t understand and you scared me but you were amazing.”
Colby shimmied his own shorts lower and carefully guided himself into Charlie.
Charlie closed his eyes and let himself float as Colby filled him. Colby always felt so right. Even the first time, drunk and desperate Colby had stretched and filled him in a way that seemed to fit perfectly. “Oh yes.”
“Oh you are tight, Charlie.”
“And whose fault is that?”
Colby rotated his hips a little in the way that always sent Charlie’s head spinning. “Are you implying that I’m neglecting my marital duties?”
Colby grabbed Charlie’s hips and spun around pressing Charlie’s back against the granite worn smooth by a hundred thousand spring floods.
Charlie grabbed Colby’s shoulders and held on as Colby worked in him, each stroke long and strong, sending power rolling up his spine.
“Is that what you’re looking for?” Colby growled sending extra ripples along Charlie’s body.
“Yes, shit. Yes.”
Charlie knew Colby still had stamina and closed his eyes letting the dappled sun warm his face as Colby warmed his body.
Then Colby stepped back still holding Charlie’s hips, his cock buried deep. “Hold on.”
Charlie kept his legs tight around Colby’s waist. Colby kicked away from the bottom sending them across the pool and shooting blinding pleasure up Charlie’s body.
Colby kicked again leaning back. Charlie got the idea. With one more kick Colby was on his back in the pebble-strewn shallows and Charlie was riding him hard and fast, unable to help the thought that Colby looked nearly unreal, some creature born of water and sun.
Colby came with a deep growl that sent ripples racing out through the water and filling Charlie with a warmth that seemed to spread through his body until he grasped his own cock and with just a few fast strokes spilled his seed across Colby’s body, golden in the sunlight.
Esther was not used to feeling conspicuous. She knew she could make herself the center of attention just by opening her mouth but she also knew at the end of the day she was somewhat common looking. At least common by LA standards.
She was sitting at a little pink and white booth while Andy was collecting a banana spilt for the two of them. They had just intended to get ice cream but Esther had seen banana split on the menu and realized she’d never actually had one.
At a table near by were three girls about her age, all some flavor of blond and all pretending like they weren’t looking at her. The same could be said about the couple with the little kid sitting at the far end of the counter.
Andy sat down with the banana split and two spoons. It was a monster creation of ice cream, whip cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, nuts and a cherry. Esther took it on faith that there might actually be a banana somewhere on the bottom.
“Wow. I don’t know how much of that I can get through.”
Andy grinned. It was perhaps the first truly proper grin she’d ever seen on him. It reminded her a bit of her dad. “I’ll pick up the slack for you.”
“I’m holding you to that.” Andy handed her a spoon and they both dug in. Esther dug around trying to get bits of banana with different combinations of ice cream and toppings. Andy’s approach was more indiscriminate but Esther figured it had probably been a while since he’d had ice cream or at least good ice cream.
“So what do you think?” Andy asked after they’d been at it for a few minutes.
Esther took a moment to contemplate the question. “The chocolate and banana work ‘cause chocolate works with everything and the strawberry and banana work in a kind of strawberry smoothie way but I’m not sure if the vanilla and banana work. They’re both kind of thick flavors.” Andy smiled again and shook his head a little. “Well you asked.”
“Yes, I did.”
Esther leaned over the table close to him. “Is everyone in here looking at me or am I paranoid?”
Andy’s face got guilty. “The town has less than 500 people these days. Everyone who’s about the same age knows everyone else.”
“Right.” Esther turned quickly catching the girls at the table staring. “Ladies, take a picture, it’ll last longer.” The girls quickly looked away and Esther turned back to Andy. “My high school had 1500 people and we were a small private school. Some of the big public schools you’re looking at three, four thousand or more.”
“There were 15 in my graduating class and we were a big year.”
Esther dug around for a little more chocolate. “Must make for a small dating pool.”
“Yes. And since you know all the same people your whole life there’s not exactly mystery. The girl I went to prom with was the same girl I dared to eat a bug when we were four.”
“Did she eat it?”
“Yes. We called her bug girl until she was ten.”
“Is she waiting for you? I mean you’re hanging out with me shouldn’t you be chasing up the girl you left behind or something?”
Andy shrugged a little. “She hooked up with someone else.”
Esther cringed and kicked herself. “I’m sorry.”
“Well I couldn’t exactly ask her to wait for years on end when I might not come back at all.”
Andy picked up the cherry and held it out. Esther shook her head. She’d never liked maraschino cherries. Something that red shouldn’t taste like almonds.
“You must have some guy in LA waiting for your return from the sticks?”
“No.” Esther quickly answered. “There was sort of someone a few months ago but it didn’t work out.”
“It’s okay. I’m going to be starting university soon anyways. I’ll need to focus on my academics. Dating is overrated at any rate.”
The conversation fell a little silent after that. Esther was aware that people were still looking. Anytime anyone new came in for an ice cream to cool the summer day their eyes would land on her for a moment. Esther was always aware that her life could be in danger due to her fathers’ work but after the mess with the Cromwell brothers that knowledge became far more real. For as much as she tried to just go about her days there was a part of her now that was always tinged with light paranoia.
Esther put down her spoon. “That’s it. Any more and I will be sick. The rest is yours.”
There wasn’t really that much left. Mainly just a thick soup of melted ice cream and missed toppings. Still, Andy cleaned the bowl then leaned back with that pleased expression all men seemed to get after finishing off more food than they should really have eaten.
“I hope we can walk all that off before dinner.”
“There’s still a bit of the town to see. Haven’t shown you the park or the high school yet.”
“Well,” Esther gestured grandly to the main street through the large plate glass window. “Lead on Macduff.”
Andy stood with perhaps a bit of a groan and offered Esther his arm before they headed out, the bell above the door giving a little ring as they left.
Andy lead them down Main Street which was truly small town America. That meant two thirds of the store fronts were empty and the rest were decked out in red, white and blue for the holiday. The vehicles that went past them were mainly battered old trucks, at least half of them had to still be running on pure gas.
“So this is Winchester.” Andy said quietly as they strolled.
“It’s dying. There’s nothing to do, less work every year, a few of the farm families are holding on and there are families like mine that are just too scared to leave but everyone who can get out does.”
Esther wasn’t sure what to say. She grew up in a middle of a million people with more arriving every day hunting the Hollywood dream. Some neighborhoods were good, some weren’t but there was no part of the greater LA area that couldn’t be described as alive. “Do you want out?”
Andy shrugged. “Some days. Some days I think about it and I don’t ever want to leave this place ever again. The world is scary.”
“I hear you on that one.”
Andy turned and lead them through a large green park with a dry fountain in the middle and a large grove of trees off to the side. Some workers were setting up a wobbling stage and sound system and laying down a dance floor on the grass.
On the far side of the park, right across the street, a sign proudly read Winchester High School, Idaho State Football Champions, 1987. Home of the fighting Wildcats.
“And here we are.” Andy gestured grandly. “Winchester High School.”
“Actually it’s all the schools now. There just aren’t enough students anymore to justify three different buildings. But it’s still called the high school.”
Esther gave Andy’s arm a little tug. “Show me around.”
They crossed the street and actually tried the front doors but found them quite unsurprisingly locked. So they circled around the back past the gym to the football field.
“And how many generations of Grangers have spilled their blood and sweat on this field?”
Andy smiled. “A few, probably. I know my dad did.”
“Mine was on the wrestling team, no jokes please. I’ve told them all already.”
They climbed the bleachers, the cheap paint that spelled out Wildcats already fading in the summer sun.
“Go Wildcats.” Esther cheered quietly as they reached the top and sat.
“What was your school’s team?”
“We were the Rattlesnakes. Everyone used to say it was because half the parents were lawyers and the other half were agents. We didn’t have a football team. Our basketball team was pretty good though.”
Andy didn’t say anything, just stared out across the field. Esther wasn’t sure but he seemed to be coming back down to earth, bit by bit but he still seemed to take little mental field trips now and again. Esther was really just thankful he hadn’t asked for his gun back.
“They’re going to have a big dance in the park tomorrow night.” Andy said out of the blue.
“Yeah, dad mentioned it. Said it was the big, yearly shindig.”
“Whole town shows up.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“Would you like to come with me?” Andy asked staring at some spot over Esther’s right shoulder.
“Sure. I mean we were planning on going anyways.”
Esther smiled back, then quite suddenly found a pair of sticky lips pressed against hers.
Esther jumped back. “Woah! Okay. Time out. I think there has been a miss communication.”
Andy moved back quickly. “I’m sorry. I just thought...”
“Okay. Few points here. One: my father is a federal agent are you out of your mind? Two: I don’t know what age of consent around here is but I’m fifteen and you’re what?”
“Twenty.” Andy mumbled looking like he’d been kicked.
“Right, okay we’re talking felony. Uh... Three. You’re my cousin, okay maybe not genetically but there is an eww factor here. What are we up to?”
“Right, four. Um... look you are in a town full of really hot, stacked, blonds as far as I can tell so I don’t even know why you’re looking at me and...” Esther took a deep breath. Andy looked both scared and crushed. “Okay, look, it’s not you it’s me. I’m sure you’re a really nice guy, and when you’re all here you’re probably a lot of fun to be around but... I just don’t really go in for guys these days.”
“‘Cause of the last one?” Andy asked.
Esther cringed. “There wasn’t a last one, there’s never been a guy, ever. I’m not really into guys.” Esther prayed Andy would get the hint without her having to spell it out. Andy looked at her, his head tilting to the left a bit. Esther could hear the wheels turning.
“Oh.” He finally said. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.” Esther could see the wheels still turning.
“If there’s never been a guy how do you know?”
Esther wanted to laugh. “Have you ever been with a guy?”
“No.” Andy answered quickly.
“They how do you know you’re not a flaming homosexual?”
“I just do.” There was a bit of silence. “Oh.”
“Yeah, oh.” Andy hung his head looking completely kicked by life. Esther took a deep breath and made a choice. “Okay, maybe you’re right.” Andy’s head snapped up. “You never really know ‘till you try so... One kiss, no hands, no tongue, convince me of the joy of the male form.”
Andy smiled and scooted a little closer. Esther braced herself. Andy kissed her. His lips were sticky from the ice cream, warm and a bit chapped. Esther dug down deep looking for any spark, any little flutter, anything. Andy leaned back and looked hopeful. Esther shook her head.
“It wasn’t bad on a mechanical level there’s just... It aint there.” Andy hung his head again. “I’ll still go to the party with you, if you like?”
“Thank you.” Andy said softly.
Esther reached out and patted his arm. “If the whole town is going to be there I’m sure there will be someone willing to rock your socks tomorrow and I will totally be your wing man.”
“Look, trust me. You’re gonna be fine.”
Colby was half asleep on the front porch when Andrew’s truck rolled up the drive. Colby had been a little worried about letting Esther spend the day with him but Andrew seemed to be coming back to the world plus Esther seemed honestly oblivious to his twitterpated looks.
The two of them hopped out of the truck.
“Hey Sweetie, how was your afternoon?”
“It was fine. I got to see the home of the mighty fighting Wildcats.”
“Sounds like fun.” Colby looked Andrew over. He looked a little glum. “And how are you Andrew?”
“I’m fine, thank you, sir.”
Colby was pretty sure Andrew could be holding his own severed arm and give that reply. “Of course you are. Your grandmother was saying something about picking a bunch of tomatoes for dinner. She might need a hand.”
“Yes, sir.” Andrew gave Esther a quick nod and vanished into the house.
“They really do train you guys to follow orders don’t they?”
“Yes they do.” Colby patted the porch swing next to him. “Sit down. How’s he doing, really?”
Esther sat down setting the swing in motion. “He’s doing better.”
“I think his brain still takes little detours once in a while but we got ice cream and he showed me main street and the park and the high school and he seemed okay.”
“Sweetie, you know if he ever makes you uncomfortable...”
“I’m fine dad. And Andy is... fine-ish. He’s moving more in the direction of fine.”
“Okay. I just worry, you know that.”
“Yeah Dad, I know.”