Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't Read in the Closet

Lily Sawyer LAWN MOWER BOYS (Summer Love)
Here is my story from the Hot Summer Days in July challenge on Goodreads.    Here is a link to the other stories

you have to belong to the m/m romance group.   The stories are free. 

Genre: contemporary
Tags: summer love, sweet, fun stuff Words: 2,770
by Lily Sawyer
Dale Laramie was pushing his lawn mower across the dew soaked carpet of grass. He glanced over to the white pickup truck parked in front of the colonial style house. The words ‘Laramie   Landscaping’   were   boldly   written   in   green lettering on the door of the vehicle. His uncle   owned   the   company;;   he’d   heard   that   his   nephew needed a job after his graduation from landscaping design school. Dale could never see himself working in a stuffy office job sitting in front of a computer all day. Fresh air, sunshine and sculpturing   the   landscape   of   people’s   homes was what he was happy doing.
Landscape   architecture   was   Dale’s   dream,   but   he   knew   he’d   have   to   work   his   way   up   the   ladder to get there. He nodded towards his partner, Henry Gillis, as he passed him on his left, mirroring the art of pushing a lawn mower. Dale was about to celebrate his one-year anniversary with the company while Henry was still a rookie with barely four months under his belt.
Dale   liked   how   Henry   didn’t   take   life   too   seriously and he took every opportunity to lighten the mood and make people laugh. He was a regular jokester.
Dear Author,
Just what are these boys up to AFTER work? Just what's included in their "Full service" summer contract?
[PHOTO: Heading in opposite directions, two brown-haired young men mow a suburban lawn. Each wears sneakers and blue shorts slipping low over white briefs. Both are bare- chested and lean, one a little more muscled than the other. In mirror image, each keeps his gaze resolutely fixed on his own mower as they pass.]
Sincerely, Stephen
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 739
“Do   I   have   to?”   Dale   had   asked   Henry   that   morning   after   they   arrived at the job site.
“A  deal’s  a  deal,  Dale,”  Henry  said,  a  huge  self-satisfied smile on his face.
Dale regretted  having  made  that  bet  with  Henry.  They’d  gone  to   the Watering Hole Bar last night; Henry lined up some shot glasses on the dark wood bar and dared Dale to play a shot glass game with him. The loser had to do whatever the winner wanted him to. Over confidence is what had gotten Dale into trouble and it was also the reason he was walking around with his shorts pulled down low on his hips.
“Henry   says   you   have   to   walk   around   dressed   like   me,”   Henry   told him in a Simon says kind of voice. Dale rolled his eyes when he spotted the Calvin Klein name clearly written on the waistband of Henry’s  exposed  underwear.  
So there they were, two twenty-four year olds pushing lawn mowers down a lawn in a suburban Long Island community with their drawers hanging out for the world to see.
“How   long   do   I   have   to   walk   around   like   this?”   Dale   asked   him   when  they’d  stopped  to  empty  out  the  lawn  clippings  into  the  back  of   the truck.
“I  don’t  know,”  Henry’s  fingers  stroked  his  chin  in  contemplation.   “Lemme  think  about  that  for a  while.”  
“Well?”  Dale  snapped  the  lawn  bag  back  into  place  and  pulled  the   cord to start the mower.
“Till   the   end   of   the   day!”   Henry   shouted   above   the   roar   of   the   machine.
“Wait,   what?!”   Dale   shut   his   mower   down   just   as   Henry   revved   his up, Dale saw the broad smile the other wore.
Ignoring   the   shocked   look   on   Dale’s   face,   Henry   continued   to   mow the lawn.
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 740
They’d   been   hard   at   it   all   day;;   this   was   their   last   house   on   the   schedule. Good thing too—it was the hottest day of the summer so far and the sweat was pouring down their bodies like a river. Dale couldn’t   deny   the   feelings   he   was   starting   to   have   for   his   co-worker. Henry was a great-looking guy and his easy-going demeanor only made him even more attractive.
“Let’s  take  a  break.”  Dale  told  Henry as he dug into the ice chest in the backseat of the pickup and fished through the ice, pulling out a can  of  soda  that  he  showed  it  to  Henry.  “Want  a  Coke  or  a  Sprite?”  
“You  know  I  don’t  like  colas,  sprite  is  good.”  
“Here”  Dale  tossed  the  can  in  Henry’s  direction, but the other man wasn’t  ready  for  it  and  the  can  hit  him  in  the  chest  and  landed  on  the   lawn.
“Hey,  what’s  the  big  idea?”  
“You  can’t  catch.”  Dale  chuckled  as  he  took  a  sip  from  his  soda   can.
“You  throw  like  a  girl.”  Henry  picked  up  the  can  and carefully popped open the soda. The minute he popped open the can it gushed out streams of soda at Dale.
“Why   you!”   Dale   was   on   Henry   in   a   flash,   their   cans   of   soda   landed, together, on the grass. The two men landed behind some boxwood hedges that hid them from view. They playfully wrestled on the carpet of grass.
“Get  off  me  you  big  doofus.”  Henry  squirmed  beneath  Dale.  
“Take  it  back.”  Dale  held  Henry’s  arms  above  his  head.  
“Take  what  back?”  Henry  looked  up  at  him  curiously;;  something   in  that  look  communicated  something  to  Dale.  He  didn’t  know  why  he   did what he did next but he decided to just go with his instincts and throw logic out the door. He leaned in and kissed Henry on the lips. Tentative movements, not knowing if he was about to get beaten up.
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 741
He   pulled   back   and   looked   into   Henry’s   blue   eyes,   hoping   he   hadn’t   really screwed things up between them.
“Um,   that   I   uh.”   Dale’s   brain   had   turned   to   mush   and   he’d   forgotten what he was going to say.
“I   hope   you’re   not   going   to   say   you   want   to   take   back   that   kiss.”   Henry looked up, waiting for Dale to make the next move.
“No”   Dale   reached   out   and   pushed   an   errant   strand   of   Henry’s   dark  hair  off  his  face.  Dale  couldn’t  stop  his fingers from combing through   Henry’s   hair   or   from   pulling   his   head   towards   his   and   capturing  Henry’s  lips  again.  “I’ve  wanted  to  do  that  for  a  while  now,   but  I  was  too  scared.”  
“Scared?”  Henry  asked  him.  
“Scared  you  weren’t  like  me,  you  know.”  
“You  mean  gay?  Well  I  have  a  confession,  I’ve  had  some  moves   planned   for   you   too,   but   I   didn’t   want   to   take   the   chance   on   getting   punched  or  lose  my  job.”  
“Well   now   we   know.”   Dale   could   feel   Henry’s   erection   pushing   up through the fabric of his shorts, rubbing against his. It all happened very quickly—one minute they were on the ground kissing and then their shorts and briefs were pulled completely off and they were rubbing their engorged and leaking cocks together. They did their best to stay as quiet as possible,   they   didn’t   need   any   nosy   neighbors   checking where the strange sounds were coming from. Luckily for them most of the neighborhood were at work.
Dale could feel his balls ready to explode at any minute. His hand wrapped around the dueling cocks and he stroked his hand up and down over and over until they both came.
“So   good.”   Dale   couldn’t   stop   kissing   Henry;;   first   his   forehead,   then his cheeks, nose and finally his swollen lips.
“Yeah  that  was  so  good.”  The  boys  quickly  separated  when  they   heard a delivery truck pull up in front of the house. They quickly
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 742
dressed and spotted a UPS driver walking up the front walk of the house they were supposed to be landscaping. There was no one home so he left the package right outside the front door. He was too busy looking down at the electronic pad he held to notice two very sweaty lawn mower boys staring at him from behind the bushes.
After he left they went to the back of the house to find a garden hose and washed off the remains of their spunk off their chests and stomachs, then got back to work.
After their initial hello how do you do intro, the lawn mower boys found ways to make their job even more interesting. This was the first serious relationship that Dale ever had. The most action he usually ever saw was either given by his own hand or through one of his friends who wanted to experiment. They never did get past the hand jobs and maybe a few half-hearted kisses. His friends just wanted to see what the difference was between a guy and a girl; for Dale he was never interested in girls. He knew what he wanted but finding that special   someone   was   never   easy.   He’d   gone   to   some   gay   bars,   had   a   few one night stands, but all he felt afterwards was empty and sad inside. He wanted to find someone to share his life with.
He looked over at Henry; they were sitting at the Watering Hole. It had become a regular thing between them to go there after their work  week  was  done.  It  was  Friday  night  and  the  place  wasn’t  packed   yet. They had karaoke and a piano player that was there on Saturday nights. He and Henry sat at the bar, nursing two beers and enjoying the ESPN highlights that were playing on the TV behind the bar. They hadn’t   repeated   the   roll   in   the   grass   that   they’d   done   the   other   day.   They  didn’t  talk  that  much  about  it  either and Dale wondered what was   on   Henry’s   mind.   He   decided   that   coming   to   a   neutral   spot   like   the bar was the best place to talk about what the next step was, or if there was one at all.
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 743
“Yeah?”  The  other  man  kept  staring  at  the  TV  screen.  
“Can  we  talk?”  Dale  was  getting  nervous.  What  if  Henry  told  him   he  didn’t  want  a  relationship  with  him  beyond  work?  What  if  he’d  get   one  of  those  ‘let’s  just  be  friends’  kind  of  response?  
“Sure,”  He  now  had  Henry’s  undivided  attention.  The  look  on  his   face was  open  but  he  couldn’t  tell  what  he  might  be  thinking.  
“Let’s  go  to  the  corner  booth  so  we  can  have  some  privacy.”  
“Okay.”   Henry   picked   up   his   beer   mug   and   followed   Dale   to   the   booth.  “What’s  on  your  mind?”  
Dale was sitting on one side opposite Henry staring down at his own mug; his fingers were running up and down the condensation that collected  on  the  outside  of  the  glass.  “I  wanted  to  ask  you  something.   It’s  not  easy  for  me.  You  know—to  talk  about  this.”  
“It’s  okay,  Dale,  you  can  talk  to  me  about  anything.”  Henry  took   another sip of his beer and licked off the foam from his lips.
“Knock   that   off,   you’re   not   making   this   any   easier   if   I   have   to   watch   some   tongue   action.”   Dale   couldn’t   stop   squirming   in   his   seat.   His cock had also noticed the tongue swipe and it was starting to get very tight in his jeans.
“What  are  you  talking  about?”  Henry  asked,  a  smirk  on  his  face— he knew exactly what he was doing to Dale.
“I  want  to  know  where  we  go  from  here.  I  mean  I’m  interested  in   you, and I hope you want the  same  thing,  too.”  Dale  took  a  nervous   sip  of  his  beer  and  stared  at  Henry’s  face.  
“Well,   I’ve   been   thinking   about   my   options,”   Henry   said   as   he   traced his finger idly against the wooden table.
“Your   options?”   Dale   sat   up   straight;;   Henry   didn’t   say   anything about  being  involved  with  anyone  else,  but  then  again  he  hadn’t  asked   him either.
“Yeah,   I   mean   I   was   looking   around,   seeing   what   Green   Lawns   had   to   offer.”   Henry   rattled   off   the   names   of   other   landscape  
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 744
companies that Laramie Landscaping competed with for contracts. “But  you  know  what  I  discovered?”  
“What?”   Dale   was   worried.   Suppose   Henry   decided   to   leave?   He   couldn’t   dismiss   the   budding   feelings   he   was   having   for   the   man   sitting  opposite  him.  Maybe  he’d come on too strong and this was Henry’s   way   of   saying   no.   The   man   tended   to   beat   around   the   bush   instead of coming directly to the point about matters.
“They  don’t  hold  a  candle  to  where  I’m  working  now.  I  mean  the   pay is about the same but the workers are  all  old  farts.  They  don’t   have  a  handsome  guy  like  Dale  Laramie  working  there.  So  I  think  I’ll   stay  with  the  best.”  
“You  will?”  Dale  reached  over  and  stroked  his  fingers  against  the   back  of  Henry’s  hand.  His  heart  leapt  when  Henry  wrapped  his  fingers   around his and squeezed.
“Sorry,  Dale.  I  just  needed  a  little  time  to  think.  I  mean  I  haven’t   been  in  a  serious  relationship  in  about  two  years.”  
“I   didn’t   mean   to   come   on   strong.   I   was   worried   I   scared   you   away,  that  you’d  quit.”  
“Not  a  chance.  I  need  the job. Besides, I like the perks that come with  it.”  Henry  smiled  at  him.  
“Perks?”   Dale’s   uncle   didn’t   give   many   perks   to   this   job,   aside   from offering some health insurance.
“Yeah,  where  else  can  I  get  to  view  a  bubble  butt?”  
“Get  out  of  here,  I  don’t have  a  bubble  butt.”  Dale  felt  his  cheeks   grow red in embarrassment.
“Oh   yes   you   do,   I   saw   it   myself.”   Henry   paused   to   change   the   subject.  “So  does  your  uncle  know  you’re  gay?”  
“Yes   I   came   out   to   my   family   when   I   was   sixteen.   It   took   them   some time to get their minds wrapped around it, but they just want me to  be  happy.”  Dale  knew  it  would  be  a  risk  to  come  out  to  his  family,  
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 745
not   knowing   how   they   would   take   it.   But   he   was   glad   he   had.   “What   about  you?  Does  your  family  know?”  
“My  mom  and  my  sisters  know. My dad died about five years ago. I   don’t   know   if   he   knew   I   was   gay   or   not.   But   my   family   has   always   been very liberal-minded  so  they  were  cool  with  it.”  
After sitting in the booth for a while their order of Buffalo wings finally  arrived.  They’d  ordered  more beer and ate more wings until they were stuffed.
“Do  you  want  to  take  a  walk  down  to  the  marina?”  Dale  loved  the   water and loved going down to the docks to see the fisherman coming in with their boats.
“Sure,  let’s  go.”  
Dale led the way down the long sidewalk. They glanced at the shops lining either side of the street that led down to the water.
“Come  on  I  want  to  show  you  something.”  Dale  grabbed  Henry’s   hand and pulled him along to the stone retaining wall at the end of the road. He could see the boats that were coming into the harbor for the night.  “This  is  the  best  place  to  watch  the  show.”  
“What   show?”   Henry   mirrored   Dale’s   actions   as   he   got   onto   the   wall  and  sat  down  on  the  edge.  The  boy’s  legs  dangled  down  against   the other side.
“That  one.”  Dale  pointed  at  the  setting  sun.  “There’s  nothing  like   watching   the   sunset.   This   is   my   favorite   part   of   the   day.   I’ll   sit   here   for hours after the sun goes down and wait for the stars and the moon to  come  out.”  
“Are  you  a  stargazer?”  Henry  asked.  
“Yeah, have been ever since my parents took me out to stargaze during the fall and winter. Those are the best times to really see the stars.  There  is  too  much  light  pollution  the  rest  of  the  time.”  Dale  felt   Henry’s  fingers  intertwine  with  his  own,  Henry  rested his head against
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 746
his   shoulder   and   Dale   got   a   warm   feeling   inside.   “What   do   you   want   to  do,  Henry?”  
“Do?   Right   now   I’d   like   to   just   sit   like   this   and   watch   the   sunset   with  one  of  the  nicest  guys  I  know.”  
“Nice  huh?  Well  you’re  not  so  bad  yourself.”  Dale turned and kissed  the  top  of  Henry’s  head,  then  rubbed  his  cheek  against  the  soft   dark  hair.  “But  where  do  you  want  this  to  go?”  
“You  think  too  much.  I  like  you,  you  like  me.  Let’s  just  go  with   the  flow  and  see  how  things  develop.”  
Dale smiled when he felt  Henry’s  arm  go  around  his  waist  and  his   head moved from his shoulder to his chest. Dale wrapped his arm around   Henry’s   shoulder   and   held   him   close.   He   never   dreamed   that   taking a job mowing lawns would have brought him someone who was making him very happy.
The water lapped against the stone wall, they listened to the sound of the seagulls crying out and heard a distant horn from one of the boats. They sat there a long time, watching the stars come out. Every once in a while they would start kissing and hugging each other. They took things very slowly. Dale had never felt this happy before.
Four months had gone by, the two guys were officially dating. Henry surprised him on his birthday by giving him a T-shirt, which said  ‘Lawn  Mower  Boys’  on  it  and  opened  his  jacket  to  show  him  he   was wearing a matching shirt.
When someone said something was as interesting as watching the grass grow, Dale and Henry agreed, their relationship grew as strong and everlasting like the grass they mowed.
Author bio: Lily Sawyer has to credit her late mother for her interest in reading and writing. She used to take her to library and opened up to her the world of books.
Don’t  Read  in  the  Closet  – volume 2 747
She took a writing class in an adult enrichment program and got hooked. She started off writing stories set in various fandoms she was interested in like Star Trek and Brokeback Mountain. After getting some encouragement from family members and friends, she finally decided it was time to write her own original stories.

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