This short is part of Monday Flash Fics. Several authors are participating. Click on the link and look for this photo to see all the entries this week.
The assistants who’d been fussing with our hair and clothes backed away. I smiled at Adam and reached for him. He grinned cheekily, and we clasped hands. We’d met only a few hours ago, in the van that had taken us from the Twin Cities to Duluth.
The photographer, his two assistants, Adam, and I had driven up to shoot a cover for a regional magazine. I’d known none of them prior to the drive.
What can you say about Duluth in summer? “Enjoy it while you can; the warmth doesn’t last!” We’d lucked out though. The weather had been fine upon arrival, and now that we were moving into evening, light clouds flitted across the sky. It would cool off considerably later, but the heat of the day still lingered, making it possible for Adam and me to feel comfortable in T-shirts and shorts.
We walked the beach, pretending to be lovers, and Adam grumbled just loud enough for me to hear, “Never want to go back. Staying here forever.”
I looked around, something the photographer approved of because I heard his camera shutter clicking away behind us. It was a nice beach, pale yellow sand along the water, rocks shiny from the incoming tide further inland. We walked on the strip between them, me in sneakers, Adam barefoot, which automatically put him closer to the water. As the minutes passed, the colors in the sky kept changing.
Yup, nice place, but stay forever? And then I became aware of a tenseness in the way his fingers grasped mine. Adam wasn’t happy.
“What’s wrong?” I asked quietly enough the others couldn’t hear, still pretending to be half of a vacationing gay couple.
He mumbled again, and then said a little louder, “Boyfriend moving out today. Fucker.”
Oh. No wonder he was glad to be somewhere else. “Sorry to hear that.” The words sounded lame even to my ears.
Adam snorted, then yelped and almost went down. “Stepped on a rock,” he said in answer to our anxious questions. Leaning against me for balance, he tipped his foot up to assess the damage. Blood flowed.
Everyone urged him to wash it off in the lake, so with our help, he hopped into deeper water, stuck his foot in, and waved it around.
The photographer was twitchy; the sun was going down, and we were losing the light. “How is it?” he asked after a couple minutes. “Can you continue?”
Adam studied the wound again. “Yeah, no problem. Let’s keep going.” He grabbed my hand, and we continued our stroll. “It occurs to me my fucker boyfriend was never around when I needed him. Like now.”
That didn’t make much sense, so I kept quiet.
He swung close and nudged me, giving me a flirtatious smile. “You’re here. Want to be my new boyfriend?”
I laughed and nudged him back, waggling my eyebrows at him.
Three months later, we moved in together.