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“Stop thinking about him.”

“Huh?” My agitated shift in the carseat had guilt written all over it as I turned to my friend behind the wheel of the SUV.

Sam squinted disparagingly at me then refocused on the road.

“Nice try. Don’t make me make you confront demons again, sugar. Mark is your past, thank goodness. Don’t you think it’s time you left him there?”

“It’s kinda difficult, you know, with him popping up out of nowhere, and the phonecalls and stuff.”

“I know; and I hate that he’s started all this rubbish again after a year’s peace. And why, I ask. You were just starting to do so well, too. After all the pining and waiting for him.”

“Oh, I wasn’t pi-“

“Don’t lie. You’re awful at it.”

So I clamped my lips shut and watched through my black hair as trees whizzed by. We were on the Garden Route, heading east out of Cape Town at the best time of year for a road trip. It was a beautiful sunny December morning. Sam was right, of course: I had been thinking about my ex. The man who’d started hounding me a month ago was a frightening headcase compared to the man I’d dated for two years towards the end of varsity. Suddenly seeing him again, agitated and unkempt, had at first stirred pity in me.

It made me realise I’d thought about him in our time apart; wondered what he was doing; tortured myself with images of him with someone new. Probably a few someones. He’d always been a bit too much of a… free spirit when it came to love and relationships; and I’d always been the insecure clinger.

Until now. For some unknown reason the roles switched recently and Mark has proven himself a little psychotic in his pursuit of me. I did my best to laugh it off in the beginning, shrugging noncommittally whenever my friends checked up on me. Mark was leaving me countless messages – and I was considering taking him back. Then he started unnerving me by rocking up uninvited at places I frequented. However, it was… that night that finally drew the line for me. Now I’m totally clear on my feelings for Mark Reynolds. I fear him.

“Earth to Dreamer. No wonder you’ve been single for a year now. There’s a hunk at nine o’clock and he’s been checking you out since we stopped.” Sam was poking me in the ribs with a rolled-up magazine. Not subtly.

I hadn’t noticed that we were parked at a fuel station. One more poke from Sam had me nervously flicking my eyes to my left. The man was built like that stocky guy made of rock from The Fantastic Four, not good. And he was blatantly leering at me with the cockiness of one used to getting their way, definitely not good. He wore camouflage pants and a vest that was desperately toiling to contain his massive chest. I nervously pushed the button that smoothly rolled up my window.

I hissed at Sam, “How, in the name of good taste and sanity, do you classify that as a hunk?” I turned to see Sam getting out of the car, so I quickly clambered out and scurried after him towards the snack shop, making sure not to make any more eye-contact with the Incredible Hulk.

“I can’t believe you were just going to leave me hanging like that!”

I got another squint, an amused one, “Sugar, that’s not leaving you hanging, that is called hooking you up. How could you not go for such a hottie?”

“Sam, the man’s muscles had muscles and they were all challenging each other to all-out war! And he was doing that testosterone overloaded swagger-thing that means I’d probably end up as his pet, not his boyfriend. Hardly my type; hasn’t a ten-year friendship taught you anything?” I was still jumpily twisting the magazine Sam had been poking at me.

Sam was ignoring me. He grabbed two waters, two juices, an energy bar and a packet of strawberry chews and headed for the clerk. When we got back in the car (fortunately Atlas had taken the hint and left by then), he tossed the strawberry sweets at me, handed me the grape juice and a water and started the car.

After a few minutes, he finally spoke, “I just don’t get you, Ethan. OK, fine, that guy was a bit of a monolith, but some really delish guys have been after you for ages now, but you always have some sort of excuse for not trying another relationship. At the same time you also don’t seem happy with your solitude, so I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do now. You’re going to have to clue me in: what do you want?”

I flipped through the magazine pages, feeling bad – and torn. “Just some peace and quiet… and a personal masseuse named Antonio.”

Sam actually cracked a faint smile. “Seriously, man. We both know that you’re hiding behind that laptop and all the work that you do. Other people ease up when the obscenely huge cheques start tumbling in, yet you continue to push yourself on a ridiculous schedule. Why?”

“To be able to afford Antonio’s tanning salon bills?”

“You deserve more, you know. And you have a lot more to give, that’s why I fuss. The whole trip with Mark was painful, I know, but you need to understand that they’re not all Gaziantep Sınırsız Escort like that.”

“I do know that, Sam.”

“He was bonkers on a whole nother level. But that shouldn’t stop you from opening up to someone else, someone who appreciates you. I just wish you’d take the time to figure out what you need, so you know what to go for. Life’s too short for-“

“This place. I need this place.”


I held up the now mangled magazine. It was opened to an article on holiday destinations. I was showing him the page about a gorgeous guesthouse in Plettenberg Bay. Sam scowled at the pictures in disbelief, then at the road. “You’ve got to be kidding.”

“Why would I kid about ‘nature trails through the hills down to the beach’ and ‘weekday surfing lessons’?”

“Listen, sugar-“

“Quit calling me that already!”

“-I’m only cornering you like this because I love you. Now put down the article about hippie hotspots; you’re already on your way to a holiday.”

“Yeah, but your place has shows and rides and overpriced food.”

“Problem being?”

“I want to be ‘lulled to sleep each night by the only sound for miles: waves breaking on boulders’. Doesn’t that sound great? And imagine waking to ‘ unobstructed views of the mountains and ocean’. This is what I want, Sam.”

Sam eyed me uncertainly, “Quit fooling, sugar. I’ve known you since high school and I haven’t seen you even look at a surfboard once in all 10 years.”

“I do all the time… when gorgeous surfers are on them.”


In all honesty, it had started out as a joke, a distraction tactic to get Sam off the topic of my pitiful lovelife. But the more I read about The Montgomery, the more I liked it. Peace, nature. And the perfect hiding place.

“Plett, it’s in Plett. Look, that sign says there’s an off-ramp in 50km. The article mentioned that we’d need to go through the town to get to The Montgomery. It’s a little way up the hill, overlooking the western stretch of the beach.”


“It won’t add much to your travelling time. I’m sorry to drop you like this after you were so generous about sharing your holiday with me, but I need to go to this place.”

“What could you possibly-“

“Please, Samuel. For the first time in a long while I’ve made a choice that I’m pretty confident about.”

Sam looked a little bewildered and frustrated, but also very concerned. “But why?”

“I don’t know.”

* A light summer rain started spraying down as the SUV approached the guesthouse nestled in a quiet, green pocket of trees halfway up the hill. It looked even better than it did in the photos. Sam had tried a few times to change my mind, then had fallen into sullen silence as we drove through town center and started up the more serene hill area. The nearest houses were a 10-minute drive behind us and it was 20 or so minutes into town center. The best part was that it was hours away from Cape Town and Mark.

Sam pinched the bridge of his nose as I hopped out into the warm drizzle and grabbed my case and laptop bag from the back. I ran up the steps with them and placed them securely out of the rain before going back to Sam who still hadn’t opened his eyes. His expression reminded me of when I was a little kid and used to close my eyes tightly to wish bad things away.

I was soaked through to the skin as I stood there grinning at Sam through the small gap he’d opened in the driver’s window.

“Thanks for this. I know it’s really strange behaviour on my part, but it feels good. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of my new spontaneous and happy self.”

He eyed me suspiciously then turned an appraising eye on the lodge behind me. “Well, I suppose it is beautiful. At least it’s not one of those awful faux safari huts with the tacky outdoor showers.” His eyes snapped back to mine, “Call me if you change your mind. I’ll fetch you, any time. Or if you need anything. And don’t let-“

“Yes, mother.” I laughed at his glare. “You’re an awesome friend, Sam.”

“A change from the guy who’d thought me loopy in high school.”

“Oh, you’re definitely loopy. It’s just so happens I’m in the mood for a little craziness of my own choosing.”

“Well, this certainly fits the bill. Go inside before you catch your death. And don’t forget: call me any time.”

I waved him off and stood rooted to the spot for a minute. As a smile slowly spread I took a deep breath and felt it reach all the way into my lungs and down to my toes. Then I ran back up to the front door. It was closed, to keep the rain and muggy breeze out, I presumed. So I rang the bell and propped a forearm against the jamb as I leaned my head slightly down and watched water droplets plop off the tip of my nose.

When the door opened I raised my head – and promptly lost my newfound smile. My brown-haired architect choked on whatever welcoming words were meant to reach me. He was tall and gorgeous and gave off an inviting warmth – just as I’d always remembered. The five years since that year of varsity simply imploded and scattered off in the breeze. I felt 18 and gauche again.

I’d swallowed my tongue in shock, but luckily he’d found his, “You! You kissed me!”

* Aiden

Five years pass so fast. I’ve forgotten half the things I’ve done, half the people I’ve met in the last five years. Half a decade has shaped me into a new man; I’ve changed a lot and cut many ties. Except for him. I never forgot him, despite the abruptness of our acquaintance.

He was a quiet one, the guy with the silver eyes. I had noticed him around the university campus a few times in the first weeks of our project planning. He was hard to miss. Always the intense, silver perusal half hidden behind ebony waves that hung down to his neck. Never part of a large crowd, never goofing off like the other kids.

I’d been working on the East Campus development contract, leading it actually. My father had hoped that putting me in charge of an assignment that significant would boost my interest in the family business. Hell, for a while it did work.

My plate was full, but even I’d let loose on occasion. Varsity kids can’t help but bring out one’s fun-seeking side. Nothing scandalous, mostly impromptu soccer matches with some students, basketball, quad-biking. A few of the students have even tried to drag me to a couple parties.

According to my brother I have enough charm to sway a saint. I just call it being a people’s person. I like people and they seem to like me back. However I drew the line at being the only 25-year-old at the student parties. Apparently it’s a preference I had in common with the silver-eyed guy. I’d seen him at the small local coffee-bar on a couple weekend evenings, enjoying the jazzy ambience with the more mature clientele, rather than the wild rock vibe of the diners a few blocks away.

It was strange how intensely he held my attention without trying – most times without even knowing I was watching. I’d watched him for half an hour on the beach once. He’d been reading a book. Once in a while the breeze would flick his dark tresses across his face and he’d reach up and rake them all back again with his slim fingers. I hurried off as soon as the thoughts about running my fingers through his hair began.

He was around 5’10”; lean, but strong-looking. And? I don’t know. He spent a lot of his free time on the quieter lawns at the bottom edge of campus or ambling up to the library with his laptop bag slung over his shoulder. That’s it, I swear.

So what the hell was going on? I wasn’t interested in the guy, I don’t think. Well, I couldn’t be. I didn’t do guys. I was straight. A straight guy with stalking tendencies, it would appear. It was just his intensity – it was hard to ignore. I’d caught him watching me too, mostly when I was supervising the construction. Sometimes I’d be talking to someone and would find myself obeying the sudden urge to look up or turn, each time he’d been there and I’d been unable to help staring back. I always wondered if he would come up and say anything; he never did. Maybe he was just into the architectural work I was doing.

Since the actual construction work had begun, I had chosen to temporarily move into a one of the university’s faculty apartments just outside campus, rather than commute 3 hours a day. It took me a while to figure out the perfect jogging hour and route as I preferred to have the space all to myself. So after a few failed attempts, I’d cracked it: all the students disappeared from the main campus around sunset. So I mapped myself a route that went up alongside the neighbouring nature reserve fencing to the east, across the top heading west, down through main campus; and back home across the scarcely-used lower lawns.

That night was a Friday night. It was even quieter than usual, the students seeming to have gone beer-hunting early. The sun was already half gone when I started, but I went anyway because I needed it.

I didn’t know it was him until I was practically on top of him. I came through some trees and around a trimmed hedge at top speed and tripped over his backpack.


He seemed to jump up and swallow his tongue at the same time. I miraculously avoided a collision and immediately regretted my harsh bellow.

“Ah, hi. I’m sorry about your stuff, man. I didn’t see you there. Plus, I’m a bit of a klutz anyway so it probably wouldn’t have mattered if I had seen you. Are you okay?”

He nodded shyly from behind glossy waves of ebony hair. I was relieved to see that he didn’t look as petrified anymore. A little unsure maybe, but there was something else there too. That intense tension that I always seem to feel around him. While I was trying to figure the messages in those large, light eyes, he quickly ducked down and started picking up his things and stuffing them in his backpack. His laptop was in its bag on a colourfully striped blanket he’d been lying on. This was the first direct contact we’ve had; I didn’t want it to end just yet. Time for the charm.

“You know, in my culture, when one person forgives another for being a walking hazard, they say this short but impactful statement: ‘No hard feelings. Let’s have coffee sometime’.”

I swear I saw an uncertain smile tug at his lips. I wished he would just let it out. I pressed on, “So, what do you say? It’s the least I can do for nearly trampling you to death?”

Did I just ask him out on a date?

He’d lowered his backpack to the ground next to his laptop bag and was looking up at me with those luminous eyes again. Definitely a slight smile there.

Then that odd vortex-thing happened again. I was standing there like a goof, hand held out, when he looked at me the way he does and the English language escaped my brain in a puff. Eternity passed in the five seconds before he took my hand and it continued again after. His grip was firm and – don’t laugh – electric. I could feel it flood my veins. I know he felt it too because I felt him tremble. His eyes were like lit diamonds as he took that one step towards me, then his lips were on mine.

I froze.

His lips were surprisingly soft, full. Not like a woman’s, firmer than a woman’s, but for some reason also more sensual. I’m not sure which straight part of me had the thought, Gods, he smells fantastic but I was driven crazy by his closeness. When his moist tongue flicked at my lips I gasped and he eagerly accepted the entry granted.

He was such a swirl of contradictions; too shy to say two words to me and then knocking all thoughts out of my head with sexy playful kisses. It shocked me, but more than that it excited me.

He tasted sweet, something he’d recently eaten, something strawberry-flavoured. And then there was the taste that was all him. That was sweet too, but in a different way. From the moment I identified it I wanted more. And more. I came undone when my tongue met his and groaned as my one hand came up to cup his jaw and the other circled his lean waist to draw him closer. My breathing was fast and ragged; though I couldn’t be sure any oxygen was actually entering my lungs.

I heard him whimper deliciously and at the same time his arms circled my neck, bringing his thighs close enough to brush against mine. My cock jumped. When he rose up onto his toes, his flat abs teased mine, compelling me to tighten my grip around his waist. His smell was all over me as he rubbed against me.

I could feel his rapidly growing hard-on.

My tongue possessed his mouth as his fingers sank into my hair. I’d never noticed before how sexy it was to share the moist heat of an unrestrained kiss, to share a brutal hunger with the one person who could satiate it. No woman had ever made me want to claim them the way I did him. His nails scored my scalp and hot tremors shot straight down my spine. My knees almost caved.

Still holding him, I fumbled down towards the blanket and sat on it. He straddled me. I loved the way his pant-clad thighs gripped me. He smiled at me for a moment, a full and happy smile, and it was so beautiful I paused in amazement; then he ducked his head and nibbled at my neck. When I felt his tongue on my pulse, heat everywhere. I moaned. I… moaned.

My growing erection had solidified, trapped within my track pants. I squirmed, reaching between us to adjust its angle. He felt me and responded by wantonly grinding his own hardon back at me. Hot strawberry puffed out over my face as he sighed, getting swept up in his own erotic lap dance. I dropped my head back as another long moan escaped. My hands drifted down his toned back and grasped his arse to pull him closer. Perfect fit. I pulled him roughly to me, squeezing him and controlling his gyrations a little.

His arms tightened around my neck and I felt his lips at my earlobe. Those playful nips again, harder this time sent sizzling bolts down to join the others in a blaze in my sac. I growled and something took over me.

I lifted him as I rose up on my knees then laid him down on the blanket, covering his tight body with my own bulk. His hair fell back and, for the first time, I had full close-up view of his whole face. His eyes were large, clear; with lashes quite long for a guy. His cheekbones and jaw were lean and firm. His lips, bruised from kissing, were red and sexier than any I’d ever seen.

He shivered as I lay across him and I couldn’t resist capturing his lips again. The only coherent thought I had was that I did not want any of this to stop. I wanted to somehow mark this beautiful boy as mine. At that thought, the grinding of my hips became less controlled and more compulsive. I was consumed by heat and need; and driven nearly insane by feeling his reciprocation.

He tightened his legs around my waist and his next thrust allowed me to feel the full length of his covered cock next to mine. Disjointed desires avalanched through me: wanting to see his penis, touch it, taste him, all of him, possess him, be inside him… The desire was mutual, that much was hotly obvious; but so was the frantic urgency. We were both too manic for release to get the first time right.

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