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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

TLR Chapter 43a

The next morning, Ryan slowly opened his eyes and snuggled up close to the man he loved.

Coral felt the slight movement and his eyes opened immediately, on the alert until he realized where he was and who he was with. He smiled down at Ryan's upturned face and kissed the full lips.

 "Good morning, hon. Sleep well?" He growled.

Ryan smiled having returned the kiss. "Uh huh, how about you?"

"I haven't been this relaxed in ages." Coral grinned, pulling Ryan in closer with a hug.

Ryan snuggled close. "Me neither."

Coral glanced at his watch and his eyes opened a little wider. "What do you say we have some breakfast, Angel? It's not quite six yet but we really should get a move on. We have a full day ahead of us."  Coral said as he pulled himself away from his lover.

Ryan pouted, but nodded. "All right."

Coral smiled indulgently and got back onto the bed to gather Ryan into his arms for a long, passionate kiss.

"I had planned a full weekend that I thought you might enjoy, but we could just forget all that and stay here until Sunday night." He said suggestively.

Ryan considered that and said, "That might not be bad, but I don't want you to give up the plans you made, so let's go ahead with them."

Coral gave a mock pout and kissed Ryan, starting at his forehead and ending at his throat. "I was sort of hoping you were going to say let's stay here, but we'd be so worn out by the time we got back home we'd need another vacation." He laughed. "So let's get going. Shower and change, and we'll head out for breakfast." He finished, giving Ryan a pat on the backside before he got up again.

Ryan squirmed a little at the pat to his backside, but got out of bed and headed to the shower.

As soon as Ryan was showered and shaved Coral followed suit and was dried and dressed in minutes. He picked out a pair of blue jeans and a white tee shirt, unconsciously picking out an identical outfit for Ryan.

Ryan grinned. "Tryin' to be a twin?" He asked with a teasing grin.

Coral laughed. "Danny Di Vito and Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Ryan laughed as well, his green eyes twinkling.

"All right, kiddo, breakfast.  I have the perfect place where we can go."  Coral smiled as he drew the younger man into another hug.

Ryan grinned and said, "I'd rather have you for breakfast."

"I gave you the chance to stay in bed all weekend," Coral said, pretending to be hurt and hamming it up so that Ryan would know he was kidding, "So I guess we'll just have to go out and have fun in other ways.  We can always have a late dinner and have each other for dessert." He grinned.

Ryan grinned back at that. "Promise?"

"Absolutely." Coral grinned. "Now grab your windbreaker and let's get going. I have our day bag packed and we're ready to roll." He put his arm around Ryan and led the young man out of the hotel room and into the truck.

They went down the street and had a huge breakfast at a little, out of the way diner.

"I've never had French toast with cinnamon before!  This is delicious!"

"And this is just the beginning of our weekend, Angel." Coral grinned as he finished the last drop of his coffee.  "Let's get a move on." He continued, paying the bill and leaving a hefty tip on the table.  He took Ryan's hand and led him back to the truck.

"We'll be there in about fifteen minutes, Ry. I think you're going to like this."

Ryan settled back into the seat of the truck and asked, "Where are we goin' now?"

"It's a surprise." Coral said with a sly smile. "But I really think you're going to enjoy it." He checked his GPS which was on silent as they went along.

Ryan grinned and tried to glance over at the GPS to see if he could figure out where they were going.

"Ah, ah, ah." Coral chided. "Don't make me blindfold you." He seemed to consider that for a moment and then glanced at Ryan with a grin. "That could be kind of fun, actually."

Ryan shook his head vigorously in the negative. "Nuh uh."

"Fine," Coral said, "Take all the fun out of this trip to the zoo."

Ryan grinned like a little boy. "You're really goin' to take me to a zoo?"

"There's a lot more to the zoo than just animals from what I hear. We're going to have a great day, hon."

Before they knew it they were driving up the lanes toward the zoo, smiling and laughing as they watched tired, cranky children driving their parents insane in the cars beside and in front of them. "Well I'm glad we got enough sleep." Coral joked.

Ryan nodded. "Me too. How come everyone's cranky?  What else is there here besides the animals Ryan asked curiously?

"There are rides, batting cages, an arcade, a mini golf course, and it's just a little walk away from Short Sands Beach, which is why I packed snacks and sunscreen." Coral grinned.

Ryan bounced in his seat excitedly. "Sounds great Coral, I've never done any of that before."

"I figured as much, after you told me what your childhood had been like. I want to give you everything, Angel, and this is just the start."

Ryan grinned at Coral happily. "Thank you Coral."

While they waited for traffic to move again, Coral leaned across and kissed Ryan, pulling away reluctantly.

They finally arrived at the gate and paid their admission fee. "Where do you want to start?" Coral asked.  "Batting cages? Haunted house? Super slide?" he suggested.

Ryan looked around at everything and bit his lip a bit overwhelmed by it all. "I have no idea."

"Let's take a look at the map and just make our way through." Coral said understandingly. "There's a lot to see and we have the whole morning to see it."

Ryan nodded. "Sounds like a good idea."

They chose to go to the batting cages for a little while but quickly became bored as they didn't find it particularly challenging.

"It looks like just about everything at the entrance is aimed at the kids so we'll just do a quick wander around and then go to the exhibits."  Coral grinned as he looked at the map. "I see one place I know you're going to want to go."

Ryan tried to look. "What's that?"

He led Ryan through the kiddie rides and headed toward a stand that sold ice cream and cotton candy. It was open and in full swing by the time they got there.

 Coral couldn't help but to laugh when he saw Ryan's reaction to the cotton candy stand. He paid for two large bags of cotton candy that Ryan picked out and a third one for them to share as they walked through the park.

Ryan grinned. "How do they make that stuff?"

"I think they use warm air to spin sugar and add color and flavor while it's spinning. I've never really thought about it. It's just something that I never seemed to get enough of when I was a kid." He laughed.

"Let's see if we can get into the glass house." He suggested after they'd bought the candy.  "Or the Scrambler. That's a blast." He offered as an alternative.

Ryan nodded. "All right. You take the lead. Are we goin' to see some of the animals too?"

"Yep, just past this area is the actual entrance into the zoo. Hey, look! They have camel rides! How'd you like to ride on a camel, kiddo?"

Ryan's green eyes widened at the look of the camel. He bit his lip and then nodded. "'Kay."

A saddled camel was brought to them and the trainer gently tugged the rein to signal the animal to lower itself so that it could be mounted. Ryan was a little dismayed to find that Coral couldn't ride with him.

"Sorry, sweetheart, I'm too big for us to ride double. But you go on and have a good ride. Tell me all about it!"

Ryan began to slide off the animal. "I don't think I want to ride after all." He said quietly.

"You have the opportunity to do something I can't. That I've never done before. That you've never done before, hon. Are you sure you don't want to give it a try? It looks like a lot of fun."

Ryan looked uncertainly at Coral, and then bit his lip "You don't mind?"

The handler leaned in and whispered to Coral, who smiled. "He said we can each have our own camels instead of trying to ride double. We can ride side by side. Do you like that?"

Ryan brightened. "Yes, I'd like that."

The handler gestured to his friend who was holding the next camel. The man brought the second camel and did as the first one had, and Coral mounted up. He was pleased to see that the animals had been watered and were well taken care of.

Because of his height, he suffered a little touch of vertigo when the animal went back up onto its feet but he quickly adjusted. It was no different than being in the cab of an eighteen wheeler, and he and Ryan rode side by side, laughing and joking as the animal's gait rolled them side to side so that their shoulders bumped on occasion.

Ryan grinned and took pictures of Coral on his phone.

Coral hammed it up again, making various faces at his camel which turned its head and looked curiously at its rider.   The big man took his digital camera out of his bag and took pictures of the confused camel and his amused lover.

When the ride was over the two men dismounted, laughing and joking and looking over the map to see what they would want to do next.

"There are paddle boats, monkey exhibits... they have an aviary and a butterfly exhibit... we already passed the roller coaster, but there are lots of animals you'll love further in."

"Let's go see the butterflies and the monkeys." Ryan said excitedly.

One of the monkeys was on the way to the aviary and the butterfly exhibit. When they arrived at the butterfly exhibit they were asked not to touch any of the butterflies because they were so delicate.  Coral and Ryan agreed, although Ryan did look a little disappointed.

Once inside, Coral was enchanted by the look on Ryan's face as he looked at the butterflies, which seemed almost ethereal in their sheer numbers and variety of colors.

Ryan grinned. "They're so beautiful! I've never seen so many in one place!" He said almost reverently.

Coral didn't say a word; instead he took out his camera and took a picture of the look of wonder and pleasure on his boy's face as he gazed at the butterflies.

Ryan heard the noise the camera made and turned to grin at Coral.

Coral couldn't help but to grin back and took several more shots of Ryan.  "Hold still." he said quietly.

Ryan stood still as Coral instructed. Butterflies flew around him, landing on his hair, on his shoulders, one brushed his cheek. His green eyes went wide as he saw the butterflies landing on him. He scarcely dared to breathe. He looked at Coral in awe and wonder, afraid to move too much for fear of scaring the beautiful things.  He found he'd been holding his breath and finally exhaled, then looked disappointed as the butterflies flew away.

"I want to do it again." Ryan breathed, still looking enraptured by what had just happened.

Coral walked over to his boy and showed him the pictures he'd taken on his digital camera.  

Ryan smiled as he saw the pictures of himself with the butterflies around and on him.

"You really look like an angel here." Coral whispered.

"It felt unreal." Ryan said quietly.

"You looked ethereal.  I can't wait to have these pictures developed." He said as he led a reluctant Ryan out of the butterfly exhibit.

They walked around a while more, looking at all of the animals.  They took in an animal presentation and enjoyed the children's reactions more than the show itself.  Just before lunch they took rides on the Whacky Mouse and the Scrambler, and even took a spin on the carousel, laughing, and waving at the curious people who tried unsuccessfully not to stare at the tall man who shakily held his own on a seriously undersized carousel horse.

Time had grown short and they didn’t have time to go out to the beach so before they left they went into the fun house and the haunted house.

"Hey," Ryan said enthusiastically.  "We should do this!"


"Have a Haunted House at the resort around Halloween!  It would be great.  Some of us could dress up like zombies and skeletons and stuff and we could jump out at people and scare the sh... I mean... scare the daylights out of them."

Coral laughed at the near slip and pulled Ryan into a hug.  "I think that's a great idea.  We can talk to James when we get back."

"Really?" Ryan asked, pleased that his idea had been accepted so readily.

"It's still up to James of course, but it won't cost us anything to make the suggestion." Coral smiled.

With a new buoyancy to his step, Ryan followed Coral back to the truck.  "So what's next?" He asked excitedly.

"It's another surprise, but I think you'll like it." Coral grinned.

Ryan nodded. "All right, so far I've liked the surprises.”  He grinned up at the older man.

Coral drove for what seemed like forever before they stopped outside of a purple building with the words Lightning Laser Tag above the door.

Ryan grinned. "Oh, cool! I haven't played laser tag in a long time!"

"Well let's get started. I called ahead and they said it's a team sport and that there are always singles or couples who come here looking for a group. I have a feeling we'll knock 'em dead."

Ryan grinned. "I have no doubt."

The two men walked into the gaming place and registered for a pick up group. They were almost immediately paired up with four other guys who had been waiting for a full group.

"Oh great. We get an old man and a kid." One of the players griped.

Ryan glared at the player and said, "This kid and old man will whip the opponent's ass."

Coral grinned at the young man who had called him an old man. "Just stay back and let the professionals do the work, kid." He said pointedly. "Come on Ry. Gear up and let's show these gentlemen how it's done."

Ryan grinned and geared up as Coral told him. It wasn't long before the young man had knocked off four of the other team's members.

Coral took out the other two as they tried to skirt around behind their group and pick them off from behind. They only lost one of their players when he ran out from behind cover and left himself a clear target.

Ryan shook his head, but grinned at the rest of the team. "Not bad for a kid and an old man huh?"

The other guys cheered and asked Coral and Ryan if they wanted to play again.

Ryan glanced at Coral for permission.

"Hey! They let me die! What do you mean you want to play with them again!?" The foolish young man demanded.

Ryan snapped, "If you weren't so stupid as to make yourself a clear target you wouldn't have died."

"Hey!" The young man began heatedly. "You're nothing but a punk kid with a bad attitude!" The young man yelled.

"I think you’d better look in the mirror, 'cause you just described yourself." Ryan came back.

"You're so big with your goon there to protect you.  I'd like to see you alone in a dark alley, and then we'd see who's the punk.

Ryan stepped into the other young man's personal space and said, "Yeah? Wanna make an issue of it?"

Coral inserted himself between the two would be combatants and put a calming hand on Ryan's shoulder. The boy was like a fire cracker that only needed the slightest spark, and the idiot standing in front of them was a frickin' inferno.

Ryan looked up at Coral as he laid his hand on his shoulder.

"We'll play again," Coral told the others before turning to the man who had 'died'.  "Next time follow directions and orders and you'll live. Try to be a hot shot again and go out without proper back up, you get what you deserve. If you did that on the force you'd be riding a desk faster than you could blink."

The more outgoing of the young men came forward and held out his hand, grinning. "I'm Gerry. Pleased to meet you. This is Terrance, Gill, and that's Carl." He said, gesturing to each one as he introduced them.

"I'm Coral, and this is Ryan." Coral replied, smiling and taking the offered hand to shake.

Carl, the one who had been hit, smiled sarcastically.  "Follow orders? Who do you think you are?"

Ryan said, "We're we know what the hell we're doin' not like you who knows nothin' about what you're doin'!"

"We're the guys who are going to have your back." Coral added. "If you want to go out there and fight them all on your own then feel free to go ahead and do it, but you're risking your teammates as well as yourself, and that's unacceptable."

Carl was about to make a nasty remark when Terrance cut in. "Hey, dude. You're the one who wanted to come here and you're the one who wanted a win. We got it all, and we have two pros here. If you don't wanna play anymore that's great. We'll find someone else who knows the meaning of teamwork."

Coral looked at the angry young man and said quietly.  "Do you want to win?  Then stick with us and be a brother.  If you want to be a hot shot then go do it with another team."

Ryan said, "Yeah, so put up or shut up."

Carl opened his mouth to reply to Ryan's comment just as the one named Gill cut him off. "Terr is right, Carl, and you know it. So is Ryan. Grow up or shut up."

Ryan nodded. "Better listen to your friends dude."

Carl tore off the gear and tossed the gun down. "Fine, play cops and robbers. I'll find another group." He said as he stormed away. "Friends my ass." He snarled over his shoulder.

Ryan made a move to grab the other young man.  He wanted to punch him out. "Idiot!" He called as he made his move.

Coral caught Ryan's fist effortlessly and put it down to his side. "This isn't the way to fix things, Angel." He whispered in Ryan's ear.

"I'm sorry we upset your friend." Coral said.

"Don't worry, he'll get over it.  He's a bit of an ass sometimes." Gerry laughed.

Coral and the others signed up for another round and were quickly joined by another young man who took Coral as the leader without question.

Ryan glared up at Coral for a moment and then seeing they already had another member turned away from the other young man and went with Coral and the others for another round.

Carl, upset and offended that his friends would turn on him so easily yelled, "Well I can find another group too. Just you all watch out!" He threatened.

Coral grinned at Ryan and the others.  "This is going to be fun. Let him find another group. We'll slaughter him every time he pops his head out."

Ryan took a deep breath and played another round. Carl happened to be on the opposing team this time and Ryan took him out the first time he had the opportunity.

Amidst Carl's bellows and swears, Ryan could hear his team mates congratulating him and felt them clapping him on the back. Coral pulled him into a one armed hug and patted his shoulder. "Good shootin' Tex." He laughed. "But let's not get complacent guys. We still have the others to take out. On my mark, got it?"

Ryan grinned and led the other young men back into the battle.

Ryan, Coral and the others wiped up the field in no time. The others begged for another match. "I want to get Carl this time, Terrence said laughingly.  “Right in the head, Ryan. Good shot!"

Ryan looked at Coral once more. "Do we have time for another one or do we need to be goin'?"

"One more round and this time we let someone else bag Carl."

"Yeah, we'll tie him to the hood of our truck and drive home with him as a trophy." He joked.

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