The Seventeenth Summer (Ch 7)
A time for sun, surf and self-discovery . . .
When their next visit to Jake’s campsite eventuated the boys were to be disappointed as there was no sign of Jake or his van. They could still see his shelter set up amongst the trees, so they rode over to see if he might have left a message or something. He hadn’t mentioned anything about being away when they had last seen him.
‘Maybe he just went into town, or something?’ Danny suggested as they crossed the car park.
‘Or he’s found some sexy guy who’s more interesting than us!’ Nate replied, at which Danny snapped his head in his friend’s direction.
‘Why would you say that?’ Danny demanded.
‘I’m just saying! I mean, he’s a poof, ain’t he? So don’t they all go chasing each other for sex or something?’
‘I . . . I don’t think he’d do that . . .’ Danny responded, while desperately hoping that Nate didn’t pick up on the defensive note in his voice.
‘I’m just sayin’, that’s all . . .’
‘Well, just don’t say that,’ Danny spat back, before standing up on his pedals and accelerating away from Nate, leaving him looking mystified.
When Nate pulled to a stop beside Jake’s shelter a couple of minutes later, still wondering to himself just what had happened, he found Danny emerging from beneath it carrying a piece of paper.
‘He’s gone into Mac. Harbour,’ Danny said to him.
‘So he’s coming back then?’
‘Well, yeah, of course. He’s still got stuff here . . .’
‘Oh, okay. That’s good then.’
‘Yeah . . . it is.’
It was on the tip of Nate’s tongue to ask his friend why he had reacted the way he did just a few minutes ago, but in the end he decided to let it go. He knew that Danny and Jake were getting close, just because of the work they were doing, so maybe he was just defending his new friend, rather than it being anything to do with what Nate had been talking about.
‘So, what do we do now?’ Nate enquired.
Danny simply shrugged.
‘Feel like a swim, then?’ Nate suggested. ‘I wouldn’t mind cooling off.’
‘Yeah, I guess,’ Danny replied. ‘Not much else to do, unless we go back into town and find the others.’
‘Fuck that. I vote we dive in,’ said Nate. ‘Maybe Jake will be back by the time we’ve finished, then you can do some more of your work with him.’
‘All right then . . . last one in is a rotten egg!’ Nate laughed, as he dropped his bike where he stood, then started tugging at his t-shirt, while heading in the direction of the beach.
‘Hey!’ Danny called out, but Nate had his t-shirt and sneakers already off and was running for the water it seemed, even before Danny had had a chance to react.
Undeterred Danny quickly set off after his friend, dropping his t-shirt and his shoes and his shorts as he went, deliberately going the full-monty with the intention of putting Nate off his game, but that idea quickly backfired on him, he found, as he looked up and saw Nate struggling to pull his shorts off as well, before continuing to run toward the surf, laughing.
Together the two naked boys ran into the ocean, leaving a trail of clothing behind them, now each stepping high over the low waves that were coming into shore, before eventually diving forward into a bigger wave, coming up on the other side of it and striking out for the next one. Danny was behind Nate but was determined to catch up with him and drag him under, as payback for giving himself an unfair advantage, and so he struck out after his friend, riding over the low swell and the meagre waves with ease.
They hadn’t gone very far from shore when Danny reached his goal, stretching out with a hand and grabbing Nate by one leg, stopping him in his tracks.
Nate turned in the water, startled at first, but then he laughed.
‘You . . . gotta . . . do better . . . than that . . .’ Danny managed to splutter as he tried holding on to the leg of his friend, before suddenly lunging forward and grabbing his shoulder, forcing Nate below the surface of the water.
This sparked a free-for-all, as the two boys started splashing around, dunking each other and playing grab-arse. At one point Danny felt Nate’s hand slide down his body and come into contact with his penis, which was, of course, misbehaving. For the briefest of moments fear gripped Danny’s mind and he pushed away from his friend, laughing in an attempt to make light of it all, but his fear seemed to go unnoticed anyhow and subsided just as quickly as it had arrived.
The boys continued their fun for quite some time. They were comfortable with each other’s nakedness, with neither afraid to grab hold of, or man-handle the other. They were best friends and had been doing just that since they were young kids, although usually clothed, so what difference did it make?
It was while they were in the water that Jake arrived back at the campsite, although with their laughter, the constant sounds of the waves and the distance of the campsite from the beach they didn’t hear the van as it pulled to a stop.
As Jake got out he couldn’t help but notice the two bikes lying close to his campsite. Then he noticed the scattering of clothes leading off in a trail toward the beach. He knew instantly what must be happening and so he quickly reached back into the van for his trusty Nikon 35mm camera, along with his new Polaroid Instamatic camera – which spat out self-developing instant photos – which he had only purchased that very morning.
Armed with these tools of his trade he set off for the beach, intending to try and stay under cover for as long as he could so that he might be able to get some spontaneous shots of the two of them. He found a place amongst the long grass and settled in.
The Nikon had been a gift from his parents, and he knew that with the zoom lense that was attached to it he would be able to get some good shots, even if he wasn’t too close to the subject. As for the Polaroid, he had no idea how close he would need to be to the subject to get a half decent shot, but he suspected that it wouldn’t suit any kind of long range photography. Maybe he would just have to leave that for when the boys were closer to him . . . but he knew that would ruin any kind of surprise, as the motor on the camera that spat out the photo was as noisy as hell.
As luck would have it, the boys were coming from the water just as he positioned himself beneath the shade of a small tree on the edge of the sand dune. Quickly he brought the Nikon up and focused it, then took a couple of shots of them as they ran from the ocean, water dripping from them everywhere, their longish hair plastered this way and that and, much to his delight, their chubbed-up cocks swinging in the breeze.
He felt a little dirty doing this without their knowing what was happening, but he knew that it was spontaneity that would give the photos the values that he desired. He also knew that Danny would understand totally; and seeing as they were going to be paid a decent fee for the photos, he didn’t think that Nate would object . . . or not much, anyhow.
He took a few more photos as they ran up the beach, but then he saw Nate run toward Danny and jump onto his back. Something in his brain told him to be ready, that he was about to get just what he wanted, and sure enough, as Danny fumbled to reach around Nate’s thighs and grasp his legs, while still running toward the cut-away through the dune that formed a path to and from the beach, that was when everything fell into place.
That was when Jake got his perfect shot; a photo of the two boys coming up through the path through the dunes, Nate being piggy-backed by Danny, his arms wrapped around his friend’s neck, his legs dangling either side of his friend’s torso, being supported by Danny’s hands, and their joyful faces almost cheek to cheek.
The fact that Danny’s semi-erect penis was bobbing happily from side to side only added to the scene, as far as he could tell.
What made the shot priceless, to Jake at least, was the pure unadulterated joy of both boys, which he could not only see in the faces, but hear in the laughter as they struggled up through the sand.
This was the scene he would capture on canvas. This was quite possibly the scene with which he knew he could build a name for himself in the art world.
Working as quickly as he could, Jake took several photos with the Nikon, zooming in and out to make sure he had a variety of shots, before switching to the new Polaroid Instamatic camera when they came closer to him. At least that way he would have something to show them almost immediately and from which he could begin his preliminary sketches, until he could get home to develop the 35mm film.
He pointed and clicked, then the camera started whirring, quickly spitting out a blank photo. One of the tips the girl in the camera store had suggested was that it was best to slip the automatically developing photo into something that was a little bit dark while the chemicals did their job, so he quickly slid the photo beneath his shirt, tucking it face down against his skin, and safely behind the elastic of his shorts.
Then Jake quickly pointed the camera and took another photo, only this time the boys heard the noisy mechanism of the camera motor and stopped, looking up to where Jake stood in the shade of a tree and spotting him there. Nate slid from his friend’s back, which kind of disappointed Danny as he had been enjoying the feeling of his friend’s semi-erect penis rubbing against the small of his back.
‘Hey . . . what was that?’ he heard Nate ask.
They were now standing side by side, with Nate still having one arm draped over Danny’s shoulder.
Quickly Jake snapped off another shot of the two of them.
‘I bought a new camera . . . come up and I’ll show it to you,’ Jake called to them, as he fanned the two latest photographs in front of him, which was another one of the tips the girl in the photo shop had shown him.
At first Nate had been a little reluctant to let Jake see too much of him as they all walked toward the camp, making sure that Danny was between him and Jake at all times.
Danny could sense his friend’s unease and tried putting an arm around Nate’s shoulders. While nothing physical had happened between Jake and Danny, he had become accustomed to being naked around Jake as they had often swum together and surfed together, so he no longer had any issues with nudity. His only concern now was whether he might get an erection while in such close proximity to these two beauties . . . but he soon figured that even if he did, it wouldn’t be the issue it would have been even just a few weeks ago.
As they walked along Jake filled them in on his trip to town, which was to grab a few supplies and check in with his parents by phone. The new camera had only been an afterthought, after noticing it in the window of the shop next door to the chemist he had visited, figuring it could be quite useful, particularly with getting quick colour versions of photos he had taken with his Nikon; in which he usually only used black and white film and often developed these photos himself when he was at home.
The boys also picked up their clothes as they walked, but when Danny didn’t pull his back on, instead just slinging them over his shoulder, Nate decided to do the same, his inhibitions now seemingly melting away.
‘Guys, I want you to know that I think the photos I took today are going to give me just what I want,’ Jake said as they reached the campsite. He had shown them the Polaroid’s when they beneath the shade of the tree from where he had taken them, watching their eyes light up as the developing process was completed, with the colours gradually coming to life in a process that could only be described as magical.
Now, as they reached Jake’s shelter Nate glanced at Danny to see if he was going to get dressed, but when he made no move to do so he figured he should just go with the flow.
Spreading the three Polaroid photos out on the mattress between them all, Jake began to explain to the boys how he intended to use them. They may not have had the clarity required to be able to create an artwork from, he explained, but he was well pleased with the colours and the composition all the same, and using these as a basis he would do his preliminary sketches, then add the finer detail later on, once he had been able to develop his Nikon versions of the photos.
Selecting one of the photos Jake picked it up and showed it to the boys.
‘This is the one I want to paint,’ he said to them. ‘See how you are coming up the path between the grasses growing on the dunes, and with the ocean and sky behind you both. It’s going to look simply fantastic when it’s done . . . I’m sure of it! Well worth your modelling fee!’
‘But what about my . . . errr . . .’ Danny began to say, noticing the chubby look of his manhood.
‘What about it? How would you like it painted? Fully hard, or shriveled up, or anywhere in between?’ Jake asked, grinning, which soon had Nate laughing hysterically.
‘Shut up!’ Danny scolded Nate, while giving him a shove sideways. ‘At least yours is covered over . . . or do you want me to tell Jake how far up it reached when it was rubbing against my back? Hey, maybe he could paint the tip of it peeping out over my shoulder between us?’
‘Ewww . . . that’s gross!’ Nate replied.
‘C’mon, guys, let’s keep it sensible, eh?’ Jake suggested. ‘I know how tempting it is to joke about all this kind of stuff, but you’ll find that when you start hanging out amongst people who do this for a living it doesn’t take long to figure out how serious they can be. All the kid stuff has to quickly be thrown out the window and you call the body parts just as you see them. One of my old friends actually did a photo shoot for a porn magazine and he told me that on the first day the photographer very quickly told him to grow the fuck up and act his age, or fuck off home.’
‘You know porn stars?’ Nate suddenly asked.
‘Only one . . . but that’s not something I’m interested in at all. Give me art and beauty over smut, any day . . . the smooth, firm lines of a young body . . . either male or female, it doesn’t really matter . . . although some people think that any naked body is nothing but smut anyhow, regardless of the beauty, or the artistic effort; which is just plain wrong, as far as I’m concerned.’
The two boys nodded in agreement, even if they weren’t totally sure why.
‘So, have you painted any naked women?’ Danny enquired.
‘A few . . . but I think you probably already know which I prefer,’ he answered with a grin.
Danny felt his face flush at this and hoped like hell that Nate didn’t notice.
‘So, what about the other photos?’ Nate asked. ‘How long before you get them back? Will we get to have a look at them too?’
‘Of course! I’ll even give you both a copy of them if you want! They’ll only be black and white, so I’ll develop them myself when I go home next week for Christmas, then after that I can get some more work done on the sketches for the painting.’
‘That’d be great, thanks. And did you remember about the markets this weekend?’ Danny asked. ‘Are you still going to set up a stand there and sell some of your paintings? We’ll help you if you like.’
‘Yes, I did, and thanks, I’ll be glad of the help . . . that’s if you don’t mind being seen in town with that weird stranger that’s been hanging around town?’
‘Oh, I think we’ll be safe enough. Just remember to be ready to tell them all how great a town it is and that you’re really making progress with your magazine story!’ Danny chortled.
‘I’ll do just that!’ Jake chuckled.
‘Yeah, and remember to take your camera with you . . . all the old fuddy-duddies would love having their photo taken for your magazine article!’ added Nate.
‘Geez . . . you pair are just terrible, you know that?’
‘What? We’re just trying to help a mate out!’ Nate pleaded, raising his hands in mock surrender.
‘Is that what they call it these days?’ Jake teased him, as he reached into the pocket of his shorts.
Danny and Nate glanced at each other, wondering what he was up to now.
‘So, if you’ve been helping out a mate, does that mean you won’t be needing this then?’ Jake asked, before pulling out a small bundle of crisp new notes.
Immediately the boys eyes lit up, although for Danny he suddenly felt guilty about the whole deal, given that he had not only been learning so much from Jake, but had also really just wanted to participate in the creation of Jake’s masterpiece, payment or no payment.
‘I got it out of the bank in ten dollar notes,’ Jake proceeded to tell them, as he counted off five of the notes. ‘At least that way no one would be as suspicious as they would be if you suddenly started waving around a fifty.’
He handed Nate his fifty, which was accepted with a look of total awe on the boy’s face, before holding out the same amount for Danny, who at first appeared reluctant to take it.
‘Go on,’ Jake urged. ‘I promised it to you both and seeing as I’m more than happy with what I got for it, I’m more than happy to pay it. And as I also promised you, no one will know anything about it until all the paintings I do in this series have been completed, and only then will the paintings be displayed.’
Danny eventually reached for the money and closed his hand around the cool notes.
Fifty bucks! He was rich . . . well, almost . . . but even without it he knew he would still feel the same . . . like he was just happy that he had helped out a friend and for the first time in his life he was being a part of something truly worthwhile. He couldn’t wait to help with the actual painting when Jake was ready to start work on it.
‘So . . . you want to take any more naked pictures of us?’ Nate cheekily asked, as he counted his notes for about the hundredth time.
‘I think I’ve got enough to work with for now,’ Jake answered, while giving Danny a wink. ‘But I could send one of the pics to my gay porn star mate if you want? He might be able to use a new model?’
‘What? Fuck no! I only do arty-farty modelling, not none of that porn crap . . .’ Nate squealed, which only caused the other two to start chuckling.
This story will be updated with a new chapter each week, but if you don't want to wait that long you can always purchase the completed novel as an e-book, here . . . https://books2read.com/u/mg1dyv
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About the Creator
Mark 'Ponyboy' Peters
Aussie, Queer & Country
LGBT themed fiction with an Aussie flavour, reviews, observations and real life LGBT histories.
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