something i promised i’d write umakoo. more age difference, more barely legal stuff, now set in a summercamp au! i promise after this i’d actually write fic where both characters are legal but first i have to finish this one and the lolita-esque au. all aus all the time! idk where my life is headed, frankly. i need professional help :(
It was impossible for Tom to sleep. His roommates snored, and the boy in the bunk above his shifted restlessly through the night. The floor creaked enough times to send him into a mild panic, and he thought about the stories some of the other boys told around the campfire: of vengeful spirits that rose up from the lake with metal hooks for hands, or the restless ghosts of previous campers that had drowned or had gotten lost in the woods and were never found again.
It was his last summer at Camp Ivanhoe. Next year, he’d be deemed too old and his parents would have to find something with which to occupy him. Probably they would enroll him in some art program until he eventually went away to uni where he would be out of their hair for good and no longer their problem. It was why they had sent him to boarding school in the first place: they had no idea what to do with him. He was like an extra appendage they failed to account for in the making of their wedding vows – his presence embarrassed them so he remained largely unacknowledged, worked around instead of with. They made up reasons to get him out of the house short of shipping him off to a remote island. But they couldn’t bear to get rid of him completely.
The cottage where the bunks were housed – Yeats– smelled of old pine and canvas. As a kid, Tom used to find that comforting but now at sixteen the smell was interspersed with the rank odor of unwashed socks and mildew. He tried counting sheep to get himself to sleep but that felt trite and ridiculous and besides, he was too old; he tried forcing himself to relax, recalibrating his breathing to a steady even pace, but the snoring above him would interrupt him whenever he felt like he was on the cusp of nodding off. Frustrated, he threw off the covers, grabbed his shoes and then tiptoed out the hall. Sneaking out in the middle of the night was strictly forbidden and anyone caught doing so would be penalized and subjected to any number of punishments ranging from kitchen duty to picking up garbage for the rest of the month. He thought he would risk it, anyway; he never broke the rules. Maybe it was time he did.
The vapor lamps that bordered the camp’s perimeter had been lit for the evening. Ivanhoe was fenced in with high stucco walls that kept campers from wandering the nearby wood. Tom knew every possible escape route – he’d been going to Ivanhoe since he was eight – though it never occurred to him to use the knowledge to his advantage. He’d never been the adventurous type. The most he did that was out of line was steal extra cups of pudding for dessert.
Leaving Yeats was easier than anticipated. It was the wandering around that was the tricky part; Tom had no idea where to go next. During the day, some of the other boys would go off to secluded areas to smoke pot and masturbate. Others blew off steam in the rec hall, playing pool or watching tv. Tom often spent his afternoons reading in his bunk and going for walks alone.
He toed on his shoes and gingerly crossed the yard. The light in the counselor’s cabins were turned off – all except one. He decided to chance it, walking towards the open window and standing on his toes to peek in. It was well past midnight and he wondered what kept Chris – whose cabin it was – up. Chris was his favourite counselor: this big guy who was friendly and immensely likeable and made Tom laugh all the time. His father owned the camp and he’d been volunteering as counselor every summer since he was eighteen. Tom had had a crush on him ever since Chris dove after him into the lake when he’d fallen off the canoe. He always did stuff like that; it was in his blood or something. He was everyone’s hero.
In the cabin, Chris sat facing the tv. Blue light flickered from the screen and Tom had to squint to get a better look at what was playing; the volume was set too low to hear but once Tom focused and strained his ears, he could make sense of the background noise.
It occurred to him a little too late that Chris was watching porn: there were grunts and groans and cries of ecstasy but what really made Tom blush to the roots of his hair was the fact that Chris was watching gay porn. Chris took intermittent sips from the beer bottle at his side and watched avidly as a guy on the screen pulled another smaller guy on his hands and knees and began fucking him. Tom didn’t know which was more fascinating to watch: Chris’ rapidly deepening interest in the proceedings or the porn itself. He could feel his face heating up, his breath speeding in his chest as his pupils dilated. He rubbed his cheeks, squirming as he felt himself stiffen in his shorts. Chris reached for the bottle again but his hand knocked it over and the brown liquid spilled across the hardwood floor. He picked it up, glancing in Tom’s direction, their eyes meeting for a protracted moment: Chris frozen in the act of grabbing the bottle, Tom with his heart hammering in his throat, his mouth open and ready to make excuses.
Chris picked the bottle off the floor and mopped up the mess quickly with a wad of tissues as Tom hid himself behind the boxes stacked outside the window. His legs wobbled underneath him. He meant to make a run for it but he was paralyzed with embarrassment and he was admittedly still a little stiff in his shorts. He heard Chris lumbering out the cabin, the screen door slapping behind him as his footsteps creaked down the stairs. Tom shut his eyes, willing himself to disappear, and he curled himself in the smallest ball possible though he knew it was an exercise in futility; the ground wasn’t going to just open up and swallow him whole no matter how much he’d wanted it to.
“Tom?” said Chris. Tom glanced up to look at him, peeling one eye open and then the other. Chris’ face looked flushed but he didn’t seem angry. If anything, he looked concerned as if he’d been the one to chance upon Tom watching porn. It was testament to how cool he was; Chris took everything in stride.
“What the hell are you doing out here in the middle of the night? Shouldn’t you be asleep?”
Tom bit his lip, shrugging. He didn’t have a legitimate excuse, not one that would help him out of this predicament anyway. “I couldn’t sleep,” he said, deciding to be honest, lowering his eyes and casting his gaze down to Chris’ shoes.
Chris sighed and crouched down to his eye-level. He had strong-looking thighs and the hair that covered his muscled legs was thick and wiry. Tom wondered what it would be like to touch them and was interrupted from his thoughts when Chris extended a hand to help him up. “I couldn’t sleep, either,” said Chris sheepishly, his broad hand closing around Tom’s wrist as he tugged him to his feet.
“You’re not going to report me,” asked Tom. “Are you?”
“That depends,” Chris said. He smiled lopsidedly. “Do you promise not to do the same with me?”
Tom flushed. “I didn’t see anything I swear!”
Chris didn’t look convinced but thankfully he didn’t say anything. He put his hands on his hips, surveying the dark empty yard. A few footballs had been left scattered on the grass, remnants of the game this afternoon before rain came down hard and put an abrupt end to it, 5-01. “You should probably head back before someone else sees you,” Chris said.
“I’d really rather not,” Tom said. “It smells like body odor in there and my bunkmate snores loud enough to wake the dead.”
Chris laughed. He invited Tom inside after another cursory glance at the yard, as if any moment he expected his dad to jump out of the darkness and accost them. He locked the door behind him, snapping shut the blinds before strolling over to his mini-fridge and pulling out a carton of milk. Tom examined the furnishings: a single bed was pushed to one side of the room with a tumult of green bedding. A mahogany bureau sat under the window facing the lake, a plastic lamp with a foldable neck perched on top of it. The walls were dark cedar like the floor.
Tom clambered into the stuffed armchair that Chris had recently vacated and in the process sat down on the remote. The tv flickered back to life as the tape deck whirred, and Tom was granted full view of everything in detailed glory: the small guy getting pounded within an inch of his life, his ass pointed in the air. He seemed… to be enjoying it at least, Tom thought, even though he begged the other guy to stop and had tears dribbling down his face. His mouth opened and closed with every ragged pant and gasp and just as the camera zoomed to a close-up of his tear-stained face, the scene rapidly cut to a shot of the two of them in bed, grinding against each other. Before things could get a little more interesting, Chris grabbed the remote from the armrest and turned the tv off.
“You shouldn’t be watching that,” he said, his voice tight.
Tom could hardly look at him, crossing his legs to hide any evidence of his interest. “Sorry,” he said, feeling just a bit sheepish. “It just sort of …turned on by itself.”
“Did it,” said Chris. He raised an eyebrow as he handed Tom a plate of chocolate chip cookies which Tom balanced precariously in his lap. Then he poured Tom a glass of milk which he set down on the low table between the chair and the tv.
Tom nibbled on his cookie petulantly. He was beginning to think Chris still saw him as a child, unable to differentiate him from the one he’d saved from drowning eight years before.
“I don’t mind you know,” he said, sniffing. “That you’re… Well, you know.” He shrugged, not sure how to continue. “I’m also, well, also… You know.”
Chris laughed, not an unkind laugh, but it made Tom’s ears burn all the same. “I know, Tom. I know.”
“You do?” Tom blinked up at him, confused. “How?”
“Just something about you I guess,” said Chris, smiling lightly. “I just somehow knew.”
“I hope whatever it is isn’t too obvious,” said Tom, worried his parents might’ve known all this time that he preferred boys.
“Only to those who know what to look for,” said Chris.
“What does that even mean,” said Tom.
Chris shrugged, swiping a cookie and grinning as he broke off a piece and chewed. He sat on the edge of the desk, his long legs splayed open. His brown cargo shorts – standard issue for all counselors — bunched up his thick thighs, making Tom miss his mouth and drop his cookie.
“Anyway, you shouldn’t be watching porn,” said Chris. “You’re like, twelve or something.”
“Same thing,” said Chris.
“I’m almost old enough to drink!” Tom protested.
“Almost but not quite,” Chris reminded him. “Are you done?” he asked, indicating the plate in Tom’s lap.
“It wasn’t even good porn,” mumbled Tom morosely, rolling his eyes. Not that he’d seen a lot, but he had imagination. The copy had been grainy, the actors barely good looking. A dirty magazine that had made the rounds among all the boys in Yeats, passed from hand to hand and hidden in one of the trees in the hiking trail, had better looking guys even though their haircuts were ridiculous.
“Thanks for the food, anyway,” said Tom, getting up from his seat. He faked a yawn, stretching.
Chris gathered his plate and glass and set it down on the desk. “You didn’t even touch your milk,” he said, amused.
Tom shot him a look. “I’m not a kid.”
“True,” teased Chris. “but milk is good for you anyway. Keeps your bones strong. And you look like you could use the body mass.”
“Well, we can’t all be tall and huge like you,” Tom snapped. He couldn’t help it; Chris was being a dick.
Chris shrugged and went up to the window, peering through the slats in the blinds. “You probably shouldn’t leave just yet. Luke is outside doing his rounds.” He glanced back at Tom, raising an eyebrow when Tom met his stare sullenly. “So you couldn’t sleep, huh?”
“No,” said Tom. “I thought I’d go out for a walk.”
Tom sniffed. He walked around Chris’ room, touching things experimentally: the ceramic mug with the words counselor of the year in blue bubbleprint, the yellowing paperbacks shelved by the window, he even picked up a framed photo of the Hemsworths, taken when Ivanhoe had been newly opened, years back when Chris had been around Tom’s age.
“Milk and cookies used to make me sleepy as a kid,” Chris confided. “Now it takes a little more than that.”
“You mean beer right?” said Tom. “Do you – do you have any more of it?”
Chris laughed. “I’m not letting you touch the stuff; I’m still your camp counselor. And besides, you’re not old enough to drink.”
“I remember when you used to be fun.” Tom pouted. “Now you’re old and miserable and I like you a little less.”
“Hey! I’m not that old,” laughed Chris.
“You’re ancient! You probably have white hairs.”
“I’m twenty nine,” said Chris, rolling his eyes. “I only seem old to you because you’re practically still a baby.”
“I probably know more about porn than you do,” mumbled Tom.
Chris laughed even harder, slapping his thigh. “Only because you’re a little pervert.”
Tom flushed, glaring at him and huffing. “Am not!”
“I’m joking.” Chris reached over and squeezed him on the shoulder twice as if to appease him. Then he went back to the fridge and pulled out a couple of beers, uncapping them both expertly and setting one down in front of Tom.
“You want a taste?” He raised both eyebrows this time. “Be my guest.”
Tom lifted his chin in acceptance of the challenge. He took his first sip, feeling the liquid settle heavily in his stomach. It tasted like dirt but it made him thirstier and thirstier and before long he’d polished off the entire bottle. He felt a little buzzed, altogether too warm and sleepy, sitting there in Chris’ huge comfortable armchair. He closed his eyes, grinning at a joke Chris had made, and when he opened them again, he was lying on his side, watching Chris sweep around the bed. It was still dark out; the light in the room had been set to low. He wiped the corners of his mouth, sure that he’d done something embarrassing like drool in his sleep. Chris sat down next to him as soon as he’d noticed that Tom was up and flicked him on the nose. Tom crinkled his face and giggled, swatting at him like a fly.
“You should go before someone notices you’re missing,” Chris said quietly.
“But I like it here.” Tom pouted. “In your bed. I don’t want to leave.”
He turned his face into the pillows, breathing in Chris’ clean masculine scent. When Tom glanced up at him again, Chris was looking at him oddly, something unreadable passing through his eyes.
“I can’t believe I got you drunk. On one beer! You’re such a lightweight.”
“I’m not drunk,” said Tom, sticking out his tongue.
“Oh that’s real mature,” said Chris. He fell quiet abruptly, reaching out to twist a curl of Tom’s hair around one finger. Tom held his breath, watching the descent of Chris’ fingers down his cheek to cup his jaw. He felt his insides quiver at the small touch, his eyes falling closed as Chris’ thumb traced the corner of his lip. “You used to be so little,” Chris said. “I used to be able to carry you on my back when we went on those nature hikes. Remember how you’d skinned your knee and I had to carry you all the way back to the camp and you wouldn’t stop crying? I thought you’d never shut up. My ears rang so hard I thought I’d go deaf. You were such a handful, always getting yourself lost. You haven’t changed at all. Even now you’re such brat.”
Tom pouted. “I was eight years old, Chris. I’m not a kid anymore. And I was never a brat!”
Chris smiled slowly as he let Tom go. He was about to leave the bed when Tom pulled him back by the wrist.
“Don’t go,” said Tom, feeling suddenly bold and desperate. “Stay here with me. Please.”
“I was going to get you a glass of water,” Chris said.
“Well, I’m not thirsty.”
Chris nodded. “Okay then,” he said.
Tom touched the curves of Chris’ knuckles. “I’m not a kid anymore,” he said, though at the moment he felt like he was: small, here in Chris’ bed, in his cotton pajamas and night shirt. He pulled Chris’ hand to him and let it close over his thigh, between his legs, around his erection, and felt a breathy moan escape his throat, unbidden. Chris jerked his hand back like he’d been burnt but Tom kept a tight hold on his wrist, trying his hardest not to push his hips forward. It took some effort: Chris’ palm was huge and hot and fit around him completely. He thought about Chris’ fingers inside him, how thick they would feel opening him up, getting him ready. He could take two fingers, maybe three, if he were spread wide enough, dripping with lube. He had dreams like that sometimes and he’d wake in the middle of them, panting hard and sweating, a wet mess of come in his underwear. Sometimes, if he woke up still hard, he’d finger himself under the covers, timidly teasing his prostate until he came with a muffled squeak, his thighs and breath shaking. He was always careful not to get caught; the boys at Ivanhoe were more vicious than the ones at boarding school; he’d be a pariah even before the week ended.
Chris’ hand on his thigh went completely limp. “Jesus,” he said. “Do you even know what you’re doing? You’re going to get the both of us in trouble, I hope you know that.”
“It can be our little secret,” said Tom, panting a little. He sat up and tugged Chris closer by the bottom of his shirt. The maneuver worked and Chris pulled him into his lap, his large hands squeezing Tom’s hips. Then they moved to cup his ass, kneading greedily, until Tom was working his hips and frantically rubbing himself against Chris’ stomach.
Chris seemed to come to his senses, however, when Tom leaned his cheek on his shoulder and turned his head to kiss Chris on the throat. Chris’ fingers brushed the small hairs on Tom’s neck before moving down to stroke his spine, forcing him to slow down. “I think we need to stop,” he said, gripping Tom’s hips. He knocked their foreheads together and the warmth of his breath perfumed Tom’s eyelids.
“Why?” Tom said.
Chris gave him a look. “You know why. You’re sixteen.”
“But I’m not a kid anymore,” Tom said. Even to his own ears, his voice sounded high and whiny. He slid off Chris’ lap, crossing his arms, and felt his throat clog painfully the longer the silence stretched.
Chris continued to look at him with pity.
“I thought you liked me,” Tom said in a small voice.
Chris sighed. “Yeah, but not like that, Tom. I mean, you’re great. You’re smarter than most of the kids here but you’re too young for me—” He stood up, raising a hand. “Look, I think I had too many beers tonight anyway. This is obviously just a big mistake. You should go back to your room. It’s almost morning. If somebody were to find you here we’d both be in trouble.” He held out his hand for Tom to take but Tom slapped it away with more spite than he felt. He pushed himself off the bed with some difficulty, his eyes burning up, his knees dangerously weak underneath him.
He heard Chris’ footsteps behind him, following him out the door, but when he turned to look, there was no one there and Chris had locked the door to his cabin; even the outdoor light had been switched off, plunging the yard into semi-darkness.
Tom walked stiffly back to Yeats where he kicked off his shoes and crawled under the covers. He was sure he wasn’t going to cry, that he was angry instead of sad and embarrassed that Chris had rejected him, but as soon as he pulled the sheets over his head, the tears started rolling freely. His entire body shook as he stifled his crying, and when he finally fell asleep, too exhausted to do anything else, it was already morning. He missed breakfast, and then lunch, and because he was too embarrassed to face the rest of camp with puffy eyes and a froggy voice, missed dinner too deliberately. No one ever came to ask him how he was feeling; no one bothered asking him why he wouldn’t get out of bed.