Wednesday, November 16, 2016
TLR Chapter 93
Ezra and Gabriel’s Annual Vacation at TLR
After Ezra and Gabriel arrived and endured their mandatory physicals, Mutt brought them to the garage and signed out an ATV for the two men, helped them load their luggage, cooler, and a few paper bags full of groceries into the back and waved them off.
Ezra smiled and thanked Mutt, waving back and began the now familiar drive to the cabin they usually stayed in while at the resort. Mutt had told them it had been repaired recently and that the cleaning crew had already been there to ready the place for them. Ezra turned to Gabriel. "Well I'm sure glad to be here again and to enjoy the colors and the quiet."
"Me too," Gabriel said, leaning his head on his lover's shoulder as he drove. "It's so good to get away from computers and televisions, beepers, cell phones... I'm so glad that Gary's dad told him about us, and that we have this place to come to whenever things get overwhelming." He sighed in relief, looking forward to the next four weeks.
Ezra grinned. "Me too and it's so generous of our corporation to give us this four weeks’ vacation each year so we can unwind."
"Well, we earned it," Gabriel said stoutly, gently nudging Ezra's shoulder before sitting upright again. "We've only been working for them for ten years," he laughed. "I'm just glad we're able to use all of our vacation time in one shot. Not a lot of places will let their employees do that. I love working for Mr. Elwood. I wish I had a dad like that," he continued a little wistfully. "But, I'm not gonna talk about that now. I don't want to ruin our time here. So... what are we going to do first?"
Ezra's grey eyes flickered at the mention of his brat's father, but he smiled. "How about we try some fishing?" he asked.
"Oh yeah!" Gabriel replied, his eyes brightening as he thought about it. "Fresh trout for dinner. I just hope I don't catch any pike... they give me the creeps," he laughed.
Ezra chuckled as he well knew that about Gabriel and skillfully guided the ATV toward their usual cabin. Arriving, he set the brake and said, "Let's get our things and go inside and get settled first."
Gabriel frowned slightly. "I know that this whole back to nature thing is our choice, but don't you think we should have a bellboy bring our stuff to the cabin for us? One last stab at modern living before we dive into the nineteenth century?" He winked at Ezra to let him know he was only joking as he reached into the back of the ATV to pick up the first two bags.
Ezra chuckled at his boy. "Maybe, but I'd rather like you in a bell boy's uniform," he teased.
Gabriel grinned impishly, "Oh, I packed the cowboy costume instead. I thought you'd like that one better."
Ezra looked at Gabriel with loving eyes. "Hmm...maybe that would be better than fishing."
"Let's get those fish, then I'll put on the chaps and the vest and cook for you. Then we can play cowboys all night long," Gabe replied, leaning forward to give his husband a long, searching kiss.
Ezra returned the kiss in kind, then breaking away said, "This is most pleasant, but won't get us unloaded and to those fish." He took the other bags and headed into the cabin.
Gabe scowled again, for real this time. He'd been hoping to put off the unloading and unpacking for just a while longer. But he did love fresh caught trout cooked over a wood fire, and his stomach growled a bit at the thought. "Ok, Ez," he finally agreed picking up a third bag and tucking it under his arm.
Once Ezra got the cabin door open and stepped inside he smiled. "Looks good and there's already kindling and stacked logs for a fire later and enough for the wood stove so we can cook the fish we hopefully will catch. Why don't you put the perishables into the icebox and then come help me unpack our clothes." He pumped the handle at the old fashioned sink and took a drink of the cold, clear water.
He walked into the other room with the full sized rustic bed, plopped the bags he was carrying on the floor and stretched momentarily out on the down-filled mattress which smelled of fresh air and sunshine. Two clean, sweet smelling thick blankets were folded at the foot of the bed even though the two men always brought their sleeping bags when they stayed at the cabin. Ezra appreciated the extra touch.
After unloading the groceries and putting the staples in the cabinets Gabriel joined his husband and stood at the door of the bedroom for just a moment, breathing in the fresh scents, so unlike the stale air and smell of industrial carpet cleaner of the office. He put down their luggage, laid down beside Ezra and hugged him for all he was worth. "Thank you for this, Ez. I love you so much."
Ezra hugged the other man back and said, "I love you too sweetheart and you're welcome. I truly look forward to our time together here each year."
Gabriel reluctantly disengaged from his husband of eight years, got up, picked up a bag and began to unpack. He loved the scent of the cedar chest of drawers as he opened it and began to put their things inside. He couldn't wait to finish and finally get their real vacation under way.
Ezra smiled as he saw Gabe taking care of their clothes and pitched in to help. He worked at making up the bed. They tried to work side by side on their tasks as two pair of hands made the work easier. "I love the smell of these chests. James does things up right, even here in these more rustic cabins," Ezra said as he finished up the bed and helped with putting away the clothes.
"OK, Ez! That's the last of it!" Gabe said happily, stuffing in the final few items haphazardly. "Do you want to stoke the fire while I get the rods?"
The older man glanced over at the chest Gabe was working on. "Slow down Gabe, there's no rush." Then Ezra nodded. "Go ahead and I'll get the fires going in the fireplace and the stove and bank them so we can just stir them to life when we return."
Gabriel smiled widely and went to get the bamboo poles ready for their fishing trip. "I brought a can of worms too, so we don't have to dig any up just yet," he called over his shoulder.
Ezra shook his head and smiled as he worked. "All right, always my boy thinking ahead when it comes to fun. Now if he could only apply that to other things..." he teased.
Gabe came running back in shortly afterward, poles with baited hooks swinging wildly and nearly tangling more than once. "C'mon, Ez! Those trout are calling my name!" One of the worm baited hooks latched itself onto the hem of Ezra's shirt. "Look, I caught a slowpoke fish already," he laughed.
Ezra gave his boy a look. "Take care there Gabe or you'll be fishing in the corner," He scolded lightly as he gently disentangled the hook from the hem of his shirt.
Gabriel frowned a little but kept quiet. He waited for Ezra to turn to the stove and then stuck his tongue out and crossed his eyes at his Top's back. He resisted the urge to waggle his hands near his ears to top things off, but with a fishing pole in each hand that would have been difficult. "I'll be outside when you're ready," he said finally, turning to leave.
Ezra finished what he was doing and catching up with his brat gently took the fishing poles out of his hands, leaned them against the table, turned him and swatted his backside. "It's not nice to make faces at me behind my back," he told Gabe giving him back the poles.
"Ow! How'd you know...?" Gabriel asked, rubbing at the sting.
Ezra shook his head and smiled. "Top instincts," he said, not telling him he'd seen Gabe's reflection in the window beside the stove.
Gabriel tried not to pout. The swat hadn't hurt all that much, really, but it wasn't the way he'd wanted to start off their vacation. "Well," he said quietly, "if you're ready then I'm ready."
Ezra smiled and put an arm around Gabe's shoulders and said, "I'm ready, more than ready to spend some quiet time among the creatures of nature and catch some fish."
Gabe managed a smile and handed one of the poles back to Ezra. "I'm sorry that I was rude before. Let's see what we can catch for dinner, but promise me one thing?"
Ezra asked as he took the pole, "What's that my love?"
Gabe shuddered theatrically and smiling said, "If I catch a pike will you take it off the hook and throw it back for me?"
Ezra laughed heartily and pulled his boy in for a long kiss. Breaking it he said, "I promise."
Gabe chuckled and put an arm around his husband as they walked toward the lake, taking deep breaths of the fresh air and the smells of autumn.