“What could be more charming than a boy before he has begun to cultivate his intellect? He is beautiful to look at; he gives himself no airs; he understands the mean of art and literature instinctively; he goes about enjoying his life and making others enjoy theirs.”
( Virginia Woolf)
There was a week of Christmas break left when Jeremy came to the Island to live and when he asked if his boyfriend, Cage, could come and spend a few days and celebrate New Year’s with us before returning to school, we thought it would be delightful!
Cage was an absolute hoot to have with us; Jeremy couldn’t have been happier. The two of them helped with the chores, snake logs down the lake to the cabin with the ATV so I could cut them into chunks and split them for use in the wood stove in future winters; went ice fishing and rabbit hunting, and all of those things boys should do with or without their best friend and lover, but definitely more rewarding if you can share with someone! After a day of romping in the cold, eating everything in sight, laughing, giggling, and working out of doors, you’d think the two of them would be so tired sex would be out of the question. Not so boys and girls if the moans of pleasure and whimpers of delight emanating from the bedroom were any indication!
The lads had retired that second evening of Cage’s visit, but Stony and I stayed up and watched the ten o’clock news, now that television via satellite had arrived on the Island. News over, we headed to the bedroom and passing Jeremy’s bedroom, his door open, light off but dimly lit by the moon reflecting on the snow outside of his window, we could see Jeremy leaning over the bed, naked and his sweet cheeks covered by the naked body of Cage, impaling him (and I mean impaling him on his long, thick, stiffness) and rocking steadily back and forth, stomach to back and face on Jeremy’s back, arms wrapped around him securing him in a tight, coital embrace. We shouldn’t have lingered and looked, but we did! My God, what an erotic sight watching those two young lads fucking in the cusp of their virility! One final push forward, Cage shuddered, and with each pulsing round he fired up Jeremy’s hole, his smooth, firm mounds clinched and quivered, relaxed, and repeated the same motion as another volley was fired up the target range.
Stony and I quietly made our way to our bedroom and although we’re not as youthful as Cage and Jeremy, we tried our damnedest to duplicate the act we’d just witnessed; in fact we tried several times, just to make certain we were close to getting it done correctly!
At breakfast the next morning, Jeremy sat a little crooked, askance, on his chair and squirmed every now and again as if something was stuck in his ass crack. Cage helped Stony clear the table, so Jeremy helped me with the dishes. As we worked, I asked quietly so no one else could hear, “A little sore this morning are we?”
Jeremy blushed, shifted his weight from one foot to the other and grinned, before responding, “Yeah, he’s really, really big! I thought he was going to turn my ‘innie’ into an ‘outie.’”
“There’s some handi-wipes in the bathroom,” I volunteered, “ I’ve treated with witch hazel; cleanses, is an antiseptic, relieves itching, and helps shrink anal tissues that may’ve been stretched a bit. It works great, believe me,” and let the subject drop. I did notice, later in the day when the boys returned from ice fishing with a nice mess of fat crappies, Jeremy was walking much better and smelled slightly of witch hazel.
While we had the opportunity, Stony and I thought it best to caution our boys on overt displays of affection while in public, given Jeremy’s Dad’s reaction toward him and the experiences Stony and I had over the years. As I explained to them, while we had our cocktail hour, there were no inhibitions needed when on the Island since we considered it a place of safety, refuge, and acceptance, but when off of the Island to be very careful where and when they engaged in displays of affection. One thing I did insist on, on the Island and off, was to be monogamous and show kindness, respect and affection for each other. What they did in private was nobody else’s business so, don’t brag; just love each other!
New Year’s Eve, I fixed a tray of snacks including summer sausage, chicken wings, BBQ meat balls, and pizza. We celebrated with food, fellowship, and beverage; no alcohol for the underage, but we had a good time. At the stroke of midnight, we could hear the fireworks being fired off on the mainland so I leaned over grabbed Stony, kissed him and wished him a “Happy New Year.” Jeremy leaned over to Cage and did the same, but I noticed when he hugged his boyfriend, he slipped his hand down the back of his pants, and I swear buried a digit in his sweet pucker!
School would resume on January 5 so on the third, Cage prepared to return home. It was so much fun having him visit, but it was a sad day for Jeremy when he took Cage back across the ice to the mainland. Cage brought more oil paintings on slabs when he arrived to visit and left with more blank slabs, cut this time by Jeremy and sanded smooth on one side. Once school started, they’d have less opportunity to get together, but with our new satellite internet connection, they could e-mail, text, or skype each other. Since both had laptops and cellphones, there was no reason for them to not be in constant contact.
The first day of classes after Christmas break wasn’t something Jeremy was especially looking forward to. Frankly, neither were Stony and I. I worried what reactions or repercussions he’d face as a result of his older sister’s gossip and, what I imagined would be, a continuing diatribe against him and who she may have shared her vile statements with!
Making certain he had his cellphone with him, along with instructions to call us if he had problems, and having checked a number of times if he had his homework done, lunch money, and God knows what else, we sent him on his way, the ATV throwing snow as he headed down the trail and across the ice to Carter’s where he’d leave the ATV until school dismissed for the day. If he timed it right, he wouldn’t have long to wait for the city bus to take to school. If he was a little late, a walk of a couple of blocks and he could catch another one about fifteen minutes later, still enough time to get to school on time.
School was out at three-thirty and, allowing for the bus ride to Carter’s, travel across the ice, and down the trail to the cabin, I figured he should be home by four-thirty or so. It’d be dark by then, but it was winter and the days were slowly lengthening so it wouldn’t be long before he’d come home during daylight. He was still not home by four-forty-five and I was starting to get just a bit panicky, until I heard the ATV, saw the headlights as he pulled into the barn to park it for the night, and heard him whistling as he came in the door.
Casually, I inquired, “Any problems today?”
“Nah, Carter stopped me at the house and asked the same. Nothing different- just as if no one knew or cared, except for a few red-neck bastards, but I settled them down a little bit.”
O.K. - I’m dying to know how he “settled them down a little bit” but I’m not going to ask. He’ll tell me, hopefully, when he gets good and ready. He never did tell us so I guess he handled it quite well. Nothing came up at conference time, only that he was an excellent student, strong in Mathematics and Science and had a strong analytical mind.
January turned to February and February brought Jeremy’s sixteenth birthday and his driver’s test. He’d aced driver education in school so we could foresee no problems for him in obtaining his license; there weren’t and we had a teenage driver in the family. We decided he’d drive my pickup rather than Stony’s when he needed to. The few school events he attends places very little strain on the budget or the use of the vehicle. He continued to ride the city bus to school, but I thought that might change when good weather returned.
Jeremy continued to be good at completing his school work, helping with chores, laundry, house cleaning, and anything Stony or I asked him to do. Many evenings he spent with Stony in the shop working on projects for Island Woodcrafters. The last thing he’d do every evening was to call Cage and they’d talk for about a half hour before bedtime.
Stony began acquiring more and more commissions for custom furniture, corner cabinets, and kitchen cabinets along with completing the craft projects he and Jeremy were working on for the emerging summer market. Word of mouth was a great advertiser for his excellent cabinet work, however, he had to keep a weather eye out since spring was coming fast and he wouldn’t be able to deliver any finished furniture or install cabinets during the breakup!
March brought the weakening ice and eventual breakup. It gave us the opportunity to use the air boat we purchased. We kept the air boat on the Island and ferried Jeremy across for school rather than leave it on the mainland during the day. It was no big inconvenience for us and gave us a chance to deliver finished projects and do our shopping. All three of us became quiet adept and skilled at maneuvering it around. It was also the time when Jeremy stayed overnight at Carter’s if ice or river conditions made it unsafe for travel across the Slough. His absence from the house those days and nights was so noticeable and we missed him so much. I just couldn’t understand how a father could turn his back on his own child. Aaron was a fool to miss these years!
Jeremy and Cage were not only in contact electronically, but when good weather came, Jeremy would drive to Cages, about thirty miles away, several times a month (weekends), spend the night and come home the next day. Cage turned sixteen in April and got his driver’s license so, instead of the trip being made by Jeremy to Cage’s, now about half the time Cage came to the Island, leaving a vehicle at his Uncle Carter’s or his grandfather Jim and Mom’s house.
The school year was winding down and June racing toward us, when, at supper one evening Jeremy asked, if Cage’s parents approved, if he could come to live with us on the Island during the summer. It made sense, if one used Jeremy’s reasoning, because they’d be going to market at least three days a week and would need the other days to work in the shop and replenish their supply of merchandise to sell. Most of Cage’s oils he sold were of scenes from the Island so why should he be far removed from his source of inspiration?
We just laughed and Jeremy was perplexed until I explained that Stony and I discussed that very idea a few days before and was just waiting for him to ask! So, when school was out for the summer, Cage moved onto the Island and into Jeremy’s bedroom. He brought all of his art supplies and photography equipment, cramping us for space, but we made do. They had to share a closet and a dresser, but it made no difference – all was well with the world as far as they were concerned!
The week before the markets were to open in the various surrounding communities, Stony started assembling the display easels and tables needed for the crafts, art work, and furniture. He’d purchased a twelve foot by twelve foot easy-up shelter to sell from and a used cargo trailer for transporting their wares. Cage painted a number of nice business signs identifying “Island Woodcrafters” and lettered the cargo trailer with the same logo. The three of them began packing boxes of merchandise and ferrying them across the Slough to Carter’s and storing them in the cargo trailer. Stony’s truck, with a topper, would be used to pull the trailer and transport them around the area to the markets.
I thought they were about done until Jeremy came to the cabin and said they needed me to help load a couple of items in the two-wheel trailer hooked behind the tractor so they could haul them over to the Slough. I ventured with him to the shop and saw Stony and Cage standing by two canvas draped items. Jeremy pulled the canvas from one and revealed a beautiful walnut Grandfather Clock!
Whistling through my teeth, I commented, “Someone will pay a pretty penny for this,” and running my hands carefully over the blemish-free, smooth and highly waxed surface, said, “good job, Stony,”
“I didn’t build it,” he rejoined, “Jeremy did!”
Now I was amazed and couldn’t praise the workmanship enough! I know now why he spent so much time in the shop with Stony. The work was of the highest quality, so I asked, “What do you think you can price this at, Jeremy?”
“Nothing,” he answered with a grin, “I made this one for you, for Stony, for us.”
I damned near cried on the spot! Jeremy was a grateful, compassionate, and loving young man and we were so fortunate.
“This one,” he continued pulling the canvas from the other covered object; “is for display and I’ll take orders from people for clocks!”
This clock was of maple and equally as elegant and handcrafted as the one he made for the house. Lettered carefully on the inside of the base was “Handcrafted by J. Gifford for Island Woodcrafters.”
“Can you make enough on those clocks to make it worthwhile?” I asked.
“Oh, I think I can,” he answered and relayed what the going market for handcrafted grandfather clocks were selling for, flabbergasting me when I heard the price.
“I have three more waiting for the clock mechanisms so I can install them and give the clock cabinets a final finish, so I have a supply ahead in case I do get some orders.”
Summer was extremely busy, Stony and the boys worked the markets, art shows, and craft fairs throughout the area, leaving early in the morning and returning late afternoon or early evenings. Those days when they didn’t work the markets, they worked in the shop and on the porch, where Cage said the light was just perfect for his art work. They also helped me around the house, along with the garden and the chores. We had two pigs again and I also added one lamb and fifty frying chickens to butcher. In addition, the boys helped Stony with installing custom made cabinets in various kitchens and homes on the mainland. His business continued to grow and he had to postpone some orders so he could finish others. Why not, I thought, he’s an expert craftsman and his work is admired and appreciated!
Business was booming for Island Woodcrafters and profitable for all three! Cage’s oils were a huge success, so he offered some original canvases as well. Jeremy sold many of the craft items he’d made and had plenty of orders for grandfather clocks to keep him busy through the summer and winter. I kept the books for them and we insisted the boys put their money in savings and use for college someday. If their business success continued, I felt certain they would have sufficient funds, with a little help from us, to pursue four year degree programs at the University. The garden produce came in handy when feeding everyone and the excess I canned to replenish our supply for winter. Two teenage boys can eat a great deal and there was no doubt in my mind we’d see more of Cage during the coming winter. They never complained when I insisted they eat the fruits and vegetables I served with each meal as some young people do. Perhaps it was because I told them a balanced diet increased their virility and stamina!
My concerns that too much “togetherness” would cause a rift between Jeremy and Cage were unfounded. Instead, living together, working together, and sleeping together, drew them even closer in a quiet, affectionate, loving and caring way as only lovers can! Cameron and I were the same at that age and learned about loving from each other.The looks in their eyes, as they gazed one upon the other, the inadvertent touching to insure contact or closeness, anchoring themselves together, was subtly evident, if one knew what to observe. Their kind and considerate words and gestures and lack of harshness toward the other reinforced not only their love, but my reassurance that love could and would bloom on the Island, perpetuating what Uncle John Gifford started, Cameron and I experienced, Stony and I embraced, and Jeremy and Cage would perpetuate.
Thank you for reading “Gif’s Island Chapter Twenty –“What could be more charming than a boy before he has begun to cultivate his intellect? He is beautiful to look at; he gives himself no airs; he understands the mean of art and literature instinctively; he goes about enjoying his life and making others enjoy theirs.” – Virginia Woolf
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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