I ducked into the bedroom and got dressed, pausing long enough to find out that I should were something nice but casual. I came out wearing a pair of khaki shorts and a striped polo shirt.
Rowdy looked up from the coffee table book he was flipping through and smiled.
“You look far more handsome dressed like that than you do dressed for that office job of yours.”
I blushed and turned away, muttering something about lies and needing glasses.
“Well Mr Modest, shall we get going on this adventure of ours? I’ll drive.”
I thought about it for a minute, trying to figure out a balance between my control-freak nature and letting him drive. Something silenced my controlling side pretty quickly as I found myself thinking about how he’d been polite and considerate so far.
“Okay, let’s go before I change my mind.”
We got into Rowdy’s car, noting the license plate that said “Rowdy”. It was a slight older sedan that appeared to be meticulously maintained inside and out.
“Well, where to?” Rowdy asked as we got buckled in and he started the car.
“Uhm…err….I thought…” I stammered only to be cut off.
“Right!” Rowdy said with a smile and pulled out onto the street in front of the house.
I finally looked at the time and saw it was already almost 11am. I’d not slept in this late in years. “You did enjoy waking up next to him!” whispered a voice in my head.
I got lost in my own thoughts for a few minutes and when I snapped out of it, I couldn’t quite place where we were or where we were going.
Before I knew it, we were pulling into a small part with a large lagoon or maybe it was a lake in it.
Rowdy looked at me and smiled, “Wanna go for a ride in some paddle boats?”
I sheepishly looked at him and said “Sure!” without knowing what I was in for but quickly discovered it was a small boat that was powered by pedaling it and we could just lazily wander around the lake. Rowdy rented one boat for three hours so that we’d have time to just paddle around without having to spend a lot of time watching the time.
We paddled around for a while and looked at the sculptures that had been put in place around the lagoon. There were some shaded inlets that looked inviting as well as the sun was starting to get fairly warm beating down on us.
Rowdy paddled into one of the inlets and let the boat slow to a stop then turned it around with some deft pedaling and use of the rudder. As the boat stopped, I looked out over the lagoon and saw the skyline of downtown rising up over the trees, almost as if it wanted to stomp out the bits of nature in front of it.
I felt as if someone was starting at me and turned to see Rowdy looking at me with a smile on his face.
“How are you doing so far?” he asked, “Having fun?”
“I am Rowdy, I am.”
As he reached over and put his hand on my knee, he asked if he could kiss me.
I gave a slight perplexed nod and then it was as if time stopped. Our lips met and there were no other noises or sights around us. For those few seconds, I felt a contentment that I’d never experienced before that moment.
Rowdy broke the kiss, having done nothing more than put his lips on mine with a tenderness that one would never expect and would always hope for with each kiss. I felt my head spinning slightly from the endorphin rush that had hit me.
“You okay?” Rowdy asked as he leaned in to me.
“Yeah, just a bit…that was amazing!”
Rowdy’s smile interrupted by his phone beeping.
“Sorry to end this Shawn, but it’s time to take the boat back.”
I tried to look pouty but said “It’s still only two o’clock. We have plenty of time unless you have to work.”
“I’m supposed to work tonight, but you know…” Rowdy let out a fake cough, “I don’t know if I can make it in tonight.”
I gave him a sly grin, “You are as sweet at cotton candy, you know that?”
“Nah, I’m just a goofy farm boy.”
“If you say so Bryan.”
I could have sworn that I saw a momentary flash of upset or discomfort flash across his face when I called him Bryan but I didn’t want to pursue it and ruin a moment. Just don’t call him Bryan again!
After we returned the boat, we bought tickets to one of the main streetcar lines through the suburbs. While many metropolitan areas were building busways and bike routes, light rail formed the arteries of the mass transit system with streetcars in the more residential areas.
Rowdy picked at route that would take us through the upscale neighborhood around the park, where the movers and shakers of regional culture and industry lived and played. We rode the streetcars until late evening before Rowdy led me off and down onto the street.
He turned to the left and led me towards a restaurant named “Benjamin’s Hideout”. We walked in and much to my surprise, we were not underdressed.
We were quickly seated and settled in our private booth. High backed seats and curtains gave a private experience without making it difficult or awkward for the staff. Rowdy ordered a bottle of French Rosé wine and bruschetta plate for an appetizer, both of which were amazing. Dinner was also five-star quality and the desserts out of this world.
We left and took the streetcar back to the park and Rowdy’s car. He drove me back to my house and walked me up to the door.
I expected a quick good night but got another mind-blowing kiss before he walked back to his car.
Other authors who are giving you free fiction this week: