“Here, I brought you a cold one.” Martin squat down next to Ben and gave him the cold beer he had just taken from the fridge.
“Thanks.” Ben took it.
Martin sat down on the rock.
The sun was setting beautifully in the West, turning everything around the lake orangey-pinkish red.
Even the water.
Martin loved how the dim light of the night marked Ben’s outlines as a shadow cast across the ground, as well as lightened his face and body in golden colors and softened his beautiful facial features. “Want to go sailing again tomorrow?” They had borrowed a small rowing boat from the neighbor earlier, and paddled about in the lake, checking out their surroundings.
Ben nodded and turned his face towards Martin. “If the weather is up for It.”
Martin smiled.”Okay.” He put the bottle to his lips and had a few gulps. Then he felt the gentle touch from Ben’s hand on his thigh.
“Maybe we should go inside soon,” Ben suggested.
Martin’s little hairs raised.
“Yeah.” He had expectations.
Hopes and expectations.
A month ago, Martin hadn’t known of Ben’s existence.
An evening on duty with Fire and Rescue at the Park Festival had changed that.
Doing his round in the area he covered, Martin had suddenly witnessed a tall blond man losing his balance and tumble down eight concrete stairs. He had run to the rescue, hoping the injuries wouldn’t be too serious.
The injured person had been Ben. Benjamin. Benjamin Holst, to be exact. One of the artists of the festival.
Martin had called for backup and while waiting for it to arrive, he had checked out Ben for the worst injuries and convinced him to stay lying on the ground.
Ben had had some gushing wounds and bruises and an injured wrist.
They had small talked while waiting for the ambulance, but once Ben had been secured on the gurney and pushed into the ambulance, Martin had continued his rounds.
Four days later, while being at his shift at the South Circle Fire and Rescue, filling his ambulance with fresh supplies, Martin had suddenly got a visitor.
The visitor had been Ben.
Still bruised, his arm in a sling, he had just stood there, smiling, saying, “Hey,” and Martin had dropped what he was carrying, onto the floor, and felt like a moron.
When he had squat down to pick it up, Ben had squatted down in front of him saying, “my turn to come to the rescue?”
Since then everything had just happened so fast.
From being a divorced family man for three years, he now found himself in a homosexual relationship for the first, and hopefully last time, in his life.
He had known since his teens that he was gay, or at least bisexual, but had kept suppressing it because he hadn’t been able to come to terms with that side of himself. Like so many other gay men, also Martin had married a woman, Mary, and they had had two beautiful daughters, Sara and Mia, together.
They were teenagers now.
Thirteen and fifteen.
Martin and Mary were still friends. They had simply fallen out of love and both wanted something different in their lives. So they had sold the house, moved apart but not too far, and the girls could go back and forth as they pleased.
Telling Mary, Mia and Sara about Ben was one of the largest humps of his life. He had been a nervous wreck and he had hardly believed it when the first response after a few seconds of silence and exchanged glances, had been: “When can we meet him?”
The girls had loved Ben right away. They had already known who he was, and thought It was so cool he was now their dad’s boyfriend.
And now they were here, he and Ben. In a rented summerhouse by a beautiful lake, on a weekend away, just the two of them.
“Martin you are miles away. Where are you?”
Martin felt Ben’s warm hand in his. “I Was thinking about these past few weeks. “Martin’s eyes were caught by Ben’s light blue intense gaze.
“Any regrets?” Ben asked silently.
Martin shook his head.
Ben smiled and reached over for a kiss. “Bedtime?” He whispered between two kisses.
Martin felt an anticipating tickle inside. He nodded.