When I was woken up, it was light, and the leaders were calling us out of our tents. I was mortified. There was no way I could possibly hide Robert, and I had to break down the tent and carry it down the cliff today to camp at the bottom of the chasm. There was no way to hide the fact that Robert was there.
I wondered how much trouble he was about to get into, hardly concerned for myself at all. I couldn't feel him against me, so I knew he had dressed and was under the blanket again, just like before. I rolled over and was surprised to see that I was alone in the tent. I actually sat up and searched around inside, as if there were anywhere he could have hidden.
I was still stunned, and beginning to wonder if I had dreamed he had come. But I was naked, my jeans and briefs near my feet where Robert had pulled them off. My groin proved that sex had happened, no doubts.
Still stunned, I dressed and climbed out of the tent. It was a bright, clear morning. The bustle of hungry teens jostling for breakfast around the fires seemed normal. I looked for him, but didn't see him. I looked all morning, even as we climbed down the cliff, and again as we walked down the side of the little river at the bottom. Even while we set up camp that afternoon, I looked for him.
The day went by fine, even better than yesterday. I still wondered why Robert had insisted I go on the hike, but now I wondered even more why he had followed. It seemed such a bother. We could have stayed at the camp and used my tent at the beach. It seemed so stupid.
I was surely glad that he had come, though. I hoped he would again tonight, but I had no idea how he could possibly climb down the almost sheer walls of the gorge. I gave up on that hope, and held onto the wonderful fact that he had come last night. I smiled through dinner, eating with the other campers, and even grinned and laughed as they sang and joked.
Nobody got ate by bears, though we all got ate by bugs. Nobody fell and broke anything, though a tall, skinny kid did fall and break his canteen, but like I said, nobody fell and broke anything.
I did okay with the climbing and stuff, but nothing to brag about. Climbing down a steep cliff on a rope isn't everybody's cup of tea. I made it, but wasn't thrilled about it, not until I was on the bottom, disconnected, and far from the towering wall of rock.
We learned that there are a lot of things you can eat in the woods, but few of them taste good. And the things that crawl can just keep on crawling as far as I was concerned. Just so long as it was away from me, anyway.
The stars were even more amazing Saturday night. They dazzled from the inky blackness. The Milky Way stunned. The planets sparkled. I was somehow sure that Robert was looking up at the exact same stars at the exact same time. It was comforting and warming.
As I lay there, just inside the tent, gazing upward at infinity, I missed Robert. The constant and nearly loud sounds of the small river over the rocks was comforting and soothing. I remembered to try to find some way to thank Robert for proving that it wasn't so bad being gay. At least as long as I wasn't alone. I worked on how to ask him if he wanted my phone number or address, and if he would be willing to write or call each other. I badly wanted to stay in touch with him. I wanted to have another night with him alone in my tent. Just one more.
I didn't want to love him, and I didn't think that I did, but I knew that I liked him an awful lot. He was very cute, and very nice, and very sweet, and very kind, and very thoughtful. And very special.
I tried not to think that I loved him. I didn't want to love anyone, but especially not someone I couldn't have. I was going to leave the camp tomorrow, and I might get to see him for a couple of hours before I had to leave, so I knew I couldn't afford to love him.
But I knew that I easily could. So easily.
At some point I fell asleep, gazing upward, and thinking of Robert.
"You will have bites all over you," he said, waking me up.
He was kneeling in front of the tent, his face over mine. I grinned, stunned. I had to be dreaming.
"How the fuck did you get here?" I asked in a stunned whisper.
"Get in and vill tell," he said with an adorable grin.
I moved inside so quickly that I probably caused the tent to bulge momentarily before the displaced air could escape. He slipped in quickly, then turned and zipped the tent closed. When he turned to face me, we grinned silently.
I forgot to ask, and no longer cared. Our mouths were better used for other things, and we got right to doing so. First kisses, then kisses across chests and stomachs, then lower. His body was perfect. I couldn't touch it enough, or smell it enough, or taste it enough. No matter what he did to me with his hands or mouth, it wasn't enough.
Of course we didn't stop after our first, and somehow we kept going even after our second. It was excruciatingly, agonizingly, impossibly pleasurable. We were both soaked with sweat, shaking and panting, unable to talk. Without preamble and as if we had done so a thousand times, we curled into our accustomed position and began recovering.
We giggled, but the sound of the river covered our sounds. I was sure it had covered our other sounds, too. I was sure that if it hadn't, that we would have been interrupted long ago.
While the sex had been so completely incredible, the feeling of lying there again with Robert's arm over me and his warm body against my back was even better. Somehow. I wondered why I had to cry. They weren't sad tears, though, but were sweet and light. I wasn't sad at all, was probably as happy as I had ever been, but my eyes insisted that they release moisture too, as if jealous of the vast amounts of fluids that had been released by my skin and my testes.
I felt even better than the previous times we had spooned together. Until I remembered the fact that I was leaving tomorrow. Then the tears were bitter and painful.
"Alex?" he asked, so softly that if his lips weren't actually touching my ear I couldn't have heard him.
I choked back the tears in my throat and hoped my voice didn't betray them, then replied as best as I could.
"Alex... I, I vish to say to you... I, I vill very much be missing you."
His arms held me so tightly then, as if he were afraid I was about to leave right then and there. I could only squeeze his hand tighter with my own and hold back the sobs. I hoped he couldn't feel the sobs in my body with his. I pushed his hand against my lips and held my breath, hoping that he didn't think I was a baby.
"Alex, please, not be sad. Please? Be happy. Now ve here, both, now, be happy vit me?"
He softly kissed my ear, hugging me tightly again. I tried to tell him that I was happy, but I was too choked up and I knew any attempt at speech would only make me look weak and pathetic. All I could do was nod, so I did.
"Ve here. I am happy so. Zank you."
I sobbed and betrayed myself.
"Please! Alex, please!" he begged, his voice cracking and unsteady.
I tried to talk, to tell him that I wasn't sad, not really, and only because I was leaving tomorrow, but my throat was closed tight. Only small sobbing noises were able to make their way through. I felt his body against mine, and I could feel his breath cutting its way through him, too. Our sniffling told one another more than words could have.
Eventually I managed three words. They were nearly impossible to force out, and not just because my throat was so tight and my body still shook from the deep sobs, but I managed them.
"I'm so happy!"
He snickered, which made me, which caused him to laugh, and that started me laughing. I couldn't remember ever laughing and crying at the same time before in my life.
I wanted to say much more, but the silence between us seemed to say more than enough. Before I thought of doing so, or suspected that I was about to, I slipped into sleep.