Camp Refuge

Chapter 14 - Camp Refuge

June 04, 2018 (Monday, 5:15 PM)

It had rained earlier in the day, but then the sun appeared and warmed things back up. It left the enervating smell of a rainy forest and wet, warm pavement. There was also the sound of the gentle dripping of water from eaves, leaves, and the Airstream. It was now early in the evening, and still bright. The sun's angle was perfect as it struck the patio under the canvas awning.

Greg sat at his table in the welcome sunshine. He had pulled his chair around and he now faced the entrance of the campground. He knew Clay was close by and he wanted to see the man as soon as he entered the grounds. Though currently his eyes were closed against the brightness of the sunlight, and a smile played on his lips.

'Next to perfect,' he thought. He heard a vehicle as it turned into the camping loop and his eyes opened. A white panel van crept along and he grinned as he saw Clay in the driver's seat. 'Now it's perfect.'

He stood up and looked over at the kitchen. "Mason!" The teenager's head snapped up from his meal prep. "Your dad is here!"

Mason threw the knife he used into the sink and ripped away the apron he wore. He loped across the campground, a grin on his face.

The white van came to a stop.

Jeremy had gotten to the campground only a few minutes ago. His car was parked at Cabin #2, Mason's cabin. He had put in a full day of work at the clinic and then driven out. He opened the door and stepped outside after Greg yelled for Mason.

Greg walked over to the van where Clay had just parked, next to his truck. Clay opened the door and got out. He wordlessly enveloped Greg in his arms.

The two held on with a fierce gladness. Mason stood there and smiled at the men.

While Clay held him Greg whispered, "Welcome home."

Clay grinned. "Good to be here." Then he kissed Greg. It was shorter than either of them would have liked, but it was filled with Clay's promise. When they separated Greg grimaced a little at the uncomfortable tightness across his groin.

Mason noticed and laughed at Greg. And then he stepped forward and gave his dad a big hug. "Love you, dad. Missed you."

Clay's eyes closed and he smiled. "Missed you too, son."

As the two Jameson men finished up Greg walked around to the other side of the van. A young man with black hair - and a streak of silver in it, and with dark eyes sat in the passenger seat. He watched Clay and had a little sad smile on his face.

Greg realized that, till now, Orson had Clay all to himself. Clay could give him 100% of his attention, and now that he was here that wasn't the case anymore. Greg filed it away and determined to make Orson feel at home.

He reached and opened the door. "Hi there." He smiled when Orson turned. "I'm Greg. Really nice to meet you."

Orson nodded and forced a smile. "Hi. I'm Orson." He shook Greg's hand and he licked his lips. "Ah, do you mind handing my crutches to me? They're in the back of the van." Greg could tell it bothered the young man to have to ask him for help.

"I don't mind." Greg opened the side of the vehicle and got the crutches. Orson turned in his seat and took them when Greg handed them over.

"Thanks, Greg." He leaned forward and put his weight on the crutches. Once he was upright and had his foot on the ground he looked Greg in the eye. "Thanks … for everything."

Greg's face softened. "You're welcome." He smiled at Orson. "Come on. I'll introduce you to these other two."

Orson followed Greg around the van. Clay had just finished shaking Jeremy's hand. Greg noticed the look of suspicion on Clay's face when he noticed where Jeremy's car was parked. 'Well, I've got that to look forward to later, I'm sure.' Greg pushed it aside for now.

"Hey guys," Greg moved so Orson could get by him. "This is Orson. He's gonna be here for however long he wants." Both Mason and Jeremy nodded at him and shook his hand.

Greg watched the injured young man. It was obvious he was tired. And after some pleasantries he interrupted. "Hey, guys. Let me show Orson to his cabin."

Mason broke into a knowing grin and Greg knew the teenager was eager to see the reaction to the work both he and Greg did on the cabin.

They all walked slowly over to the structure. Orson looked curiously at it as he ambulated forward. There were cedar shakes on the roof, like the rest of them. Though some looked a lot newer than others. The siding was rough cut, thick wooden boards. And the door was a nice wooden sort that Greg had picked up from a reclaimed building supply store. Orson smiled as he examined it. "It looks really cute. I'm sure it's gonna be fine. Thanks."

Greg nodded and put his hand on the door. "Well, I want you to take a look inside, and tell me if you need anything else. If you do we'll make it happen." Greg pushed the door open.

Orson went inside, but he did so slowly, as he was still getting used to the crutches. He looked around and he couldn't help but grin. "Oh, this is cool."

The inside of the space was a lot larger than the rest of the cabins on the property. Greg and Mason had worked hard to get it ready in time. They built an addition which included a small kitchen and a bathroom. This meant foundation and plumbing too, which turned out to be the hardest part of the build. But it got done.

Additionally, while he packed up the apartment in Alabama, Clay had sent along all of Orson's posters, pictures, and little knick-knacks he had in his place. Orson's new little space had his familiar things, hung and placed. There were also a couple of baseboard heaters for those chilly mornings.

While clearing out Orson's apartment Clay also noticed Orson liked to burn white sage. He told Greg, and there were several bundles on a little shelf across from the futon, along with a small, handmade ceramic bowl made by Elias. Greg made sure to burn a little today, so the cabin would smell of the herb.

There was a sturdy metal handrail installed next to the bed. It'd make it easy for Orson to get up in the mornings. The same was true beside the toilet and in the shower.

Orson stood and looked over the cozy space. His eyes lingered over his things, the sage, and all the little touches, the little caring details. Greg saw his face twitch. He turned to the rest of them. "Hey, let's give Orson a little time in his place."

Everyone started to go. "Wait."

His voice was rough. Orson turned, a little awkwardly on his crutches. His eyes glistened, and a tear escaped down his cheek. "Thank you." He looked around at the little group. "All of you."

Clay patted his back and Orson threw his arm around Clay's shoulders and let his crutch fall. Then he did the same to Greg and the other clattered to the floor too. Mason stepped forward and the three of them held Orson up - their arms around him.

Jeremy watched from a step away and his eyes welled up. Greg looked over at him and he gave the redhead a smile. Then Greg turned back to Orson. He patted the young man on his back. "You're gonna be okay here. We'll make sure of it."

Orson's head was down and hung in the center of the circle of arms and shoulders of the men who held him up. He nodded. He couldn't really speak anymore. He was exhausted and completely overwhelmed by the long trip and the moment.

Greg and Clay helped Orson sit on his futon while Mason picked up his crutches and leaned them against the end of the piece of furniture. Mason looked at Greg. "I'm gonna go finish up dinner."

"I'll help you." Jeremy left with Mason and Clay shot Greg a look.

Greg only shrugged at Clay and then smiled down at Orson. "We're having grilled tuna steaks, asparagus, and brown rice for dinner tonight. You okay with all that?"

Orson laughed. "Dinner for me was usually out of a box. So yeah, that's awesome." He looked up at Greg and nodded. "I know you'll get sick of it, but … thanks."

"You're welcome, Orson. It's really not a problem."

Orson smiled. He looked at Clay then back to Greg. "You guys go. I'm fine here." He pointed at Clay. "That one has been having some VERY loud dreams about someone. So I think he needs a little time with his boyfriend."

Clay dropped his head and put his hand over his eyes. "Damn it, Orson. You're not supposed to tell him!"

Orson grinned at him. "Oops."

After the guys ensured Orson really would be all right they left him alone. Clay almost dragged Greg to the Airstream and inside.

The door closed. And Clay pressed Greg against the door - his powerful hands pinned him there. Clay stared at his face, then he moved close. As much as possible of Clay's hard body pressed against Greg, and his face was against Greg's neck. The smaller man's jaw dropped and his breathing picked up as Clay gently kissed the tender skin of his neck.

Clay's hand gripped Greg's crotch and he began to rub Greg's erection through the material of his shorts. Then he kissed Greg.

Greg was amped up so much. He could feel himself leaking in his shorts, and Clay's strong hand continued to massage Greg's cock.

"Oh god, stop." Greg was about to come in his shorts and he breathed heavily in Clay's ear.

Clay grinned at him, then he stepped back. He unbuttoned his shorts and Greg did the same. Both men had wet spots on their underwear. Soon those were on the floor too. Clay licked his lips, then he jerked his head at the bed.

"On your back."

Greg grinned back at him and climbed onto the bed. "You got it." Greg lay there and put his hands behind his head as he watched his lover. Clay got the lubricant out of Greg's nightstand drawer. He put a generous amount in his hand. He rubbed his cock, then he straddled Greg's hips and settled on Greg's erection - pressing it against Greg's belly.

Clay rose up a bit and rubbed his slippery hand against his own ass. And then the slick, warm fingers gripped Greg's cock.

Greg licked his lips. "Clay?"

The big man wiggled a little until Greg's dick pressed directly against his entrance. Then he smiled at the man beneath him.

With a steady pressure, he began to let his weight settle.

"This is what I dreamed we did." He said softly. He worked his jaw as he concentrated on relaxing enough to allow Greg inside. He let himself settle a little more, then suddenly Greg's cockhead was through.

Both of them inhaled. Greg rubbed Clay's legs. Then he threw his head back as Clay slid a little more down. "Fuck."

Inch by inch, Greg's penis slid into Clay. And finally, Clay bottomed out. Clay grinned at him.

"I don't really see what the fuss is about." Clay shrugged. "I mean, I guess it's all ri …"

Greg pushed his hips up, and his cock slid back and forth across Clay's prostate. The big man grunted, and a surprised look flashed across his face.

Greg grinned at him. "Yeah? Don't know what the big deal is?" He bucked again and Clay made an utterly incoherent sound. A dollop of semen squeezed out of his now extremely hard cock and rolled slowly down the underside of his member.

The big man threw out a hand to steady himself against the wall of the Airstream. His mouth now hung open. "Fuck." He looked down at Greg with both wonder and confusion on his face. "It felt like I was gonna get off just th…"

Greg's eyes narrowed, and his grin turned evil. He gripped Clay's hips and he began to hammer his cock into Clay from below.

Clay's voice cut off in a garbled mess of noise. His dick continued to leak fluid and Greg kept going.

The big man's body began to shake. His cock stuck out at a 45-degree angle and he looked down at it. Then his eyes rolled back in his head.

Clay grunted loudly and he came - the semen shot from him onto his lover's belly as Greg thrust into him from below. All this, without anyone touching his penis. Clay stared down at it as he orgasmed, fascinated as his no-hands moment happened.

Greg followed him shortly after. He continued to move his hips and panted with his exertion. Then he lay still.

Both men breathed heavily. Clay continued to wear a mystified and slightly disbelieving expression. Greg laughed at him and patted his leg.

"I think you might be a bottom, Clay."

The big man licked his lips, looked at the mess he made all over Greg's stomach and chest, then he glanced back at Greg's face. His face cracked into a smile.

"Sign me the hell up!"

_______________________________________

Mason put the finishing touches on their dinner while Jeremy set out plates for everyone. The teenager looked over at the Airstream and saw Greg step out with Clay on his heels. The two men stopped and kissed. The grin on Greg's face was visible from the kitchen.

"They look idiotically happy." Jeremy smiled at the pair of men and glanced at Mason. "You're okay with your dad and Greg? Doesn't bother you to see them paired up?"

Mason slid the grilled and spiced tuna steaks onto plates. "It did at first. But … I can see how happy my dad is. And Greg's cool." He smiled. "I'm really glad for them."

Jeremy smiled at Mason. "That's really good of you - to not stand in your dad's way."

Mason looked confused. "What do you mean?" He motioned toward Greg and Clay who had started walking slowly toward the kitchen. "They can do whatever they want, no matter what I do."

Jeremy gave Mason a look. "You don't think you could have thrown a wrench in things?" He shook his head. "Don't underestimate the power a child has over their parent. If you weren't happy with things, I doubt they would be together. Or if they were, I doubt they'd be successful at it for long."

Mason looked thoughtful at this but wasn't able to respond because Greg and Clay had arrived at the outdoor kitchen.

Greg glanced at the assembled ingredients. "Everything ready? Is it time to get Orson?"

Mason nodded. "Yeah. We're just plating."

Jeremy put a bunch of salad on each plate alongside the fish, asparagus, and the brown rice. There were a couple of choices of dressing, and he put those on the picnic table. While he plated the food Greg went to Orson's cabin.

Mason caught Clay eyeing Jeremy. His dad wore a slightly unsettled expression as he observed Jeremy setting the table. Mason had seen that look before, usually when he had something uncomfortable to tell Mason. The teen felt his anxiety ramp up a bit. "Dad," Clay started a little at Mason's voice. Mason made himself smile at Clay. "Have a seat. We'll take care of everything."

Clay had a guilty look on his face. He knew Mason had caught him staring at Jeremy. Regardless, he nodded and took a seat.

The food was ready. Mason looked over at Greg and Orson. They made their way across the grass, and Orson stood on his crutches at the end of the table. "If you guys don't mind, I'll sit on the end. It's just easier."

No one had any objection. Greg took his crutches and Orson gently eased down onto the picnic table bench. Greg leaned the crutches within reach against a nearby tree and then he and the rest of the guys took their seats.

Soon they were all fork deep into their food. After a few minutes, Orson nodded and swallowed a bite of fish. "This is really good, fellas."

Jeremy grinned and pointed with a forkful of salad at Mason. "You can thank the cook over there."

Greg nodded. "Your cooking game has stepped up, Mason."

Mason blushed and smiled. "Thanks. Your lessons are paying off."

Dinner was mostly quiet. The men were hungry, and they polished off every bite of food. Once finished, Jeremy stood up and collected the dishes. "I got dishes. Payment for letting me eat your food."

"I won't argue." Greg laughed.

Mason smiled at Jeremy then he looked at Clay. His dad hadn't said a word during dinner, and now he stared right back at the teenager - his face unreadable. Mason stood up. "Dad? Can I talk to you?"

Clay nodded and stood up.

Orson carefully got up and leaned on his crutches. "Guys, thanks for dinner. And I hate to be antisocial, but I am beat. I'm gonna go lay down."

Greg stood with him. "Okay. I'll walk you over."

As he and Clay walked to Mason's cabin the teenager noticed that Greg was careful to avoid the word "help" with Orson. They could sense Orson's difficulty with the situation, and a lot of that centered around his need for assistance. Even though he was stressed about talking to his dad, Mason felt bad for Orson.

Clay and Mason entered the cabin. Clay shut the door and Mason turned to him. "Dad, I know you have something to say. So just say it." Mason crossed his arms over his chest, and his shoulders were back, spine straight. He looked Clay right in the eye, a challenge on his face.

Clay looked at Mason and he took a breath. "I don't like Jeremy being so close to you." He shook his head. "It makes my stomach flop around, knowing that you could be exposing yourself to his …" he frowned.

"His disease? That's all you see when you look at him, isn't it?" Mason felt his face flush as his anger flared.

Clay's skin color began to match Mason's as he heated up. "Yes! Damn it, Mason!" He was angry, but Mason also saw fear on his dad's face. "I'm just trying to protect you, son!"

Mason motioned with his hand. "Did you even read the stuff I sent you? The U=U stuff?"

"No. I don't …"

"Then you don't know what you're talking about!" Mason's voice snapped. "He can't give it to me, Dad! He can't! AND I'm taking PrEP!"

Clay's face reddened and Mason could tell he was trying to stay calm, but it wasn't working well. "So … you already planned to do this. You PLANNED to, and you didn't tell me." Clay's voice wavered, filled with his disappointment. And that hit Mason harder than his anger could.

Mason steeled his resolve and opened his mouth. But then the door opened.

Jeremy walked in, his head down. He wordlessly walked inside to the bed. He picked up his bag and turned toward the door.

"Jeremy. Wait." Mason grabbed hold of the redhead's arm.

Jeremy looked up at him. His face had a forlorn and despondent expression. "I never should have thought that this could happen." He shook his head. "I was selfish." He looked at Clay. "Don't worry. I'm not gonna bother you again."

Jeremy shrugged off Mason's hand on his arm and he slipped by Clay. He threw the bag into his car. Mason made to follow him and Clay put out his hand to stop him.

"No, son. Let him go."

"No!" Mason slapped Clay's hand aside and ran out the door. He got to the car as Jeremy slipped behind the wheel and shut the car door. "Jeremy, please, don't go." His voice had a desperate edge. "Please."

The redhead only shook his head. He put his car into gear and pulled into the loop. Mason's hands pulled on his own hair as he stood in the middle of asphalt road. He watched as the car drove to the exit of the campground, and then it turned onto the highway.

And then he was gone.

First, Mason felt a deep loss. And then the rage came.

His face lost expression and he turned his head. His eyes locked with Clay's as the big man stood in the doorway of his cabin.

Mason stalked over to him.

"Get out of my cabin." His voice was low and his eyes burned with emotion - orbs of green flame in his otherwise expressionless face.

"Mason, son …" Clay reached for him.

Mason took a step back out of reach. "Don't call me that. And get OUT. OF. MY. CABIN." The teenager flexed his hands and his body shook with anger.

Clay seemed to think about his options. Mason could tell his father wanted to talk to him, but Mason was not interested. Finally, the big man nodded. "Okay." Clay stepped aside.

Mason strode past, went inside and slammed his door.

____________________________________

Clay stood outside Mason's door. He took a deep breath and tried to calm his heart as it hammered in his chest. He had never seen Mason so angry. But if Mason's anger is the price to pay for keeping him safe, then Clay would pay it.

He suddenly felt weary, and he turned toward the Airstream.

Greg stood about a dozen feet away, and his face wore a sad expression. "I could hear you guys as soon as I stepped out of Orson's cabin." He grimaced. "That could have gone better."

Clay nodded in agreement and he walked to Greg. "Yeah. But he'll settle down." Clay made a face. "They're both lucky I don't have Jeremy tossed in jail."

Greg looked over at him. "You do realize, they never actually had sex?"

Clay turned his head, an incredulous look on his face. "Is that what they told you?"

"It's what Mason told me." Greg nodded. "He has been very upfront with me about what he wants with Jeremy. And about the steps he has taken to stay safe."

Clay stopped in his tracks. Greg had continued walking, then he too stopped and turned to face him.

"So you knew about this? About all of this?"

Greg sighed. "Yes. And I told both of them they would have to talk to you about it as soon as you got here."

Clay stared at Greg and rubbed his face. "You knew, and you let them think they should just … just do whatever they wanted?" His expression was angry and hurt. "You didn't tell me."

"Because I knew your son would. I TRUSTED him to. Just as I trusted him to avoid sex until he turns eighteen." Greg stepped close. "Clay, don't you trust Mason?"

Clay's eyes shifted around as he thought. Then they settled on Greg. "I guess I'm not sure who I trust right now." The big man turned his back to his lover, but not before he saw Greg's face fall. "I'm going to my cabin. Goodnight."

Clay didn't look back at Greg. He walked straight to his cabin.

But as he was about to go inside he could hear his son in the cabin next door. And regardless of how Clay felt he always hated to hear Mason cry.

Clay hung his head and he closed his door.

___________________________________

Greg retreated to his Airstream. He sat at the small table inside the trailer and he sighed heavily. He looked over at a small box that he had pulled out of a drawer. It was something he kept secret and safe. And he thought to present it to Clay here - in front of his son and his new friend, Orson.

But now wasn't the time. He opened the little velvet box.

The white gold ring glittered. It was a wide band, and it had flecks of Clay's favorite stone - turquoise, embedded in it. Greg had an identical one for himself hidden away as well.

He smiled at the jewelry. What Clay said to him had stung. But Greg had known Clay for a long time. And he knew they could get past this. But till they did …

He closed the box.

'I'll save it for another day. A better day.'


Author's Note:

Please let me know your thoughts on the chapter at the following email address link.   Wayne Gray

And thank you for reading! 

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