They could hardly have been less alike.
David is striking, blond with an ice melting smile, and possesses an unmistakable gift as a fiction writer. Wyatt is as plain as paper, white as a ghost, graceless, and a celebrated oil painter. He is single and he is out.
Both men are sent to Puffin Island and, within days of their arrival a young woman is washed ashore, frozen and unresponsive after her kayak crashes against the rocks. David and Wyatt save her life. Days later, Wyatt is charged with rape, and, while authorities investigate, the woman’s nineteen-year old twin brothers paddle their way to Puffin to teach Wyatt a lesson. Their goal, to avenge their sister.
David’s heart struggles with his embedded childhood dogma and lethally homophobic parents, propelling him to establish a bond of love with Wyatt, and, when the unthinkable happens, Wyatt is devastated and left alone. He turns to the unlikeliest of characters to fill the void, a person who will teach him an important lesson; that to love again he must sacrifice a need that had been created by his past with David.
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The helicopter’s rotors returned to life. The chopper lifted and disappeared toward the Maine coast.
“That fucking whore,” I said, having contained my fury as long as I could.
Both of us were too upset to think dinner, so we downed cheddar and crackers and one of the bottles of white wine I’d stuffed in my knapsack.
“How are you holding up?” David asked, sitting at the other end of the sofa.
“My stomach has been in knots since the uniforms dropped their life threatening bomb on me.”
“Mine too, and I’m not even the subject of their investigation.”
“I’m going to bed and read and see if that will take my mind off this shit.”
“I’ll write for a while. Maybe I can put something on paper that’s funny or full of wisdom.” He kissed my forehead, again. “We’ll get through this together, Wyatt. I know you are completely innocent. You saved that liar’s life.”
“Thanks, my friend. Your word is all I’ve got going for me.”
I closed the door to the room and stood there, staring at nothing. I have never been aroused by women, even the most beautiful or the cutest. I visualized my life in a cold, dark prison somewhere for a crime I didn’t and couldn’t have committed.
I must have cried louder than I thought.
A few minutes later David opened the door and sat on the edge of my bed and lightly massaged my shoulders.
“Here, let me give you a good rub down, Wyatt; a back buffing you won’t soon forget.” He went to the bathroom and returned with a bottle of baby oil sitting in a bowl of hot water while I kicked off the covers. He put his hands on my back, feeling the various muscles for tightness and knots, slathering the warm oil on my shoulders and rubbed gently.
His ministrations became stronger and firmer with time, although his actions were quite slow. He drizzled the oil on my mid back, the area between my shoulder blades and then repeated his technique on the lumbar region of my spinal column. The massage freed my mind, made me feel less threatened. He blotted the oil with paper towels and then used a warm wet washrag. He rolled me over. “Are you ticklish?” he asked.
“Not normally. What kinky shit do you have in mind?”
He dripped baby oil on my stomach and began massaging my abdomen by making fists with his two hands, capturing my flesh in his fingers, and then opening his palms only to do it again. It felt strange, but it helped dislodge the butterflies that had collected and multiplied throughout the afternoon.
“The fur on your tummy feels soft.” He ran his oil soaked hands up my hairy chest and massaged my pecs using as much pressure as he had on my shoulders.
“You’re making me hard, big guy.”
“Well, you know the cure for a hard-on, Wyatt. You don’t need me to tell you.”
He blotted the oil from my skin, and again applied a hot washcloth to wipe me down before drying me with a terry cloth towel.
“Did it help?”
“For sure, though it did create another problem.” I lowered the bed covers to show him my erection.
“That part you’ll need to massage yourself, but I can tell you from my vast experience that baby oil helps there, too.” He bitch slapped my erection with the back of his hand and grinned as he walked away while I folded myself in two in agony, or ecstasy.
I’m not sure which was which.