“Are we crazy for letting the boys drive together in your truck?”Brady asked.
I observed as they drove in front of us, they were doing okay. There didn’t seem to be any need to worry about the two young boys driving the truck, we had the trailer attached to Brady’s SUV we were following in. We had a couple hours drive ahead of us, and we still needed to get to the race track to set up for tomorrow or at the very least store the trailer there. The grounds were patrolled by security; plus a lot of people just camped at the grounds. The only reason we hadn’t camped out for this motocross event is that we had my niece Ember. I wanted the security of knowing she was safe in a room, plus immediate access to a bathroom with a little one at night. Camping at these events, well, lets just say the nights can get a little rowdy. Not exactly a place where you’d want a five-year-old.
“Don’t worry Brady, we are right behind them, and they are driving sensibly. I bet it was no different to when we were seventeen, the music is probably too loud and are shouting over the top of it to talk to each other. It would be ‘uncool’ to turn it down so they could actually hear each other.” I laughed.
Ember had fallen asleep within the first twenty minutes of us leaving. I turned around to see how she was doing in the back seat, concerned she’d be uncomfortable, she was out to it like a light. She’s such a cutie, I’m envious she can sleep almost anywhere. Brady glanced over at me with a warm smile.
“Take it from me, if Ember were uncomfortable she’d move, or be awake complaining, ‘Are we there yet?’”
Brady’s eyes went back to the road, his hand squeezing my shoulder. The heat of his hand along with the gesture filled me with comfort; I reached for his hand bringing it down holding it in my lap for the time being. I have no idea why I did it, I have never felt the need to do it with anyone before.I don’t know what it is, but with Brady, everything feels different, in a very good way. Which is really weird, a little over a month ago I wouldn’t have been able to say his name without a curse word as a middle name.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I mused.
Brady took his hand back turning the radio on at a low volume, he had it set to a station, the music was pleasant and soothing rather than the rattle or boom ting of today's hits. Not that I’m opposed to either, but the atmosphere in the SUV was soothing and relaxed. We were comfortable with each other. It was a nice feeling, to be this relaxed around someone. Yet at other times things between us are passionate and hot – scorching. God, I could still feel his lips on mine from the kiss I stole in my office this afternoon before we left. It took me an extra ten minutes after that damn kiss toleave my office so no one would be able to see the wood I was sporting.
Brady and I had told them they could only drive an hour each, then I would take over driving the truck through the city area to Glen Lakes. It isn’t that we didn’t trust them but AJ and Novy, had only just got heir licenses and were still inexperienced. City traffic could be a pain in the ass for an experienced driver let alone a young kid who with limited hours behind the wheel. Plus it would be peak hour by the time we reached the city. The boys pulled into a service station so we could go to the bathroom and so they could switch drivers.
At our restroom stop, I switched driving with Brady to give him a break, as we pulled out of the service station it dawned on me how much the area had changed and how far the urban sprawl had reached.
“I remember when this was a dinky little two pump garage with a small general store behind it. The place was run by that old couple forever. I wonder what happened to Ma and Pa, she used to make the best hamburgers I’ve ever had. My mouth used to start watering before I could even see the place on the horizon,” I said wistfully.
“Yeah, we used to drive down here for the hamburgers; they were the best and the milkshakes were ice cold and full of flavour.” Brady smiled.
“Shit yeah! I completely forgot about those, vanilla malt, never had one the same since.”
We finally reached the showground where the motocross was being held. I hadn’t realised the weekend was part of the Town and Country Show. It had all sorts of activities going on, there were horse floats and bike trailers everywhere and a seaof prize livestock on show out in the arena. Plenty of food, including a stand from the CWA – I’ll have to keep that in mind for tomorrow - carnival stands and rides were set up around the edges of the showground. At least there would be plenty for the kids to do while we waited for their events to be called. I would be keeping an extra eye on Ember though, too many distractions and crazies at these types of things.
The music wafted across the grounds through speakers that had been set up all around, for once I wasn’t going to open a vein, they had a good selection of modern country playing – love me some Sam Hunt. The screams from the rides rang through the air. AJ and Novy kept eyeing the chaos across the grounds.
“Uncle Ember,” AJ said getting my attention as we set up our Marquee. “Do you think it would be okay if Novy and I stayed here and camped out tonight?”
I scoffed a laugh. “You can dream sunshine, not a hope in hell.”
“Oh, come on. We want to go to the show, it looks fun.” AJ complained.
“No AJ, we need to lock up the bikes for the night so there’s nowhere for you to sleep and we didn’t bring any sleeping gear with us.”
AJ sighed in defeat, kicking up some dirt with his boot.
“Look, boys, the best I can offer is that you guys go to the show, stay until after the fireworks which is eleven pm. That will give you an hour to get back to the motel else you’ll turn into pumpkins… What about if we see if that’s okay with Brady.”
“Thanks, Uncle E,” AJ said while grinning at Novy.
Brady walked over to us after he had finished unhooking the trailer and putting it place next to our shelter for tomorrow.
“Um… Mr. Douglass–”
“AJ, Mr. Douglass is my father, please call me Brady.”
AJ looked over to me for confirmation, I nodded quietly.
“Brady,” AJ smiled nervously, “would it be okay if Novy and I hang around for the show and stuff and you and Uncle Brady pick us up later?” AJ asked.
“I said that I was okay with the boys staying until after the fireworks, they can just get an Uber back to the motel, if that’s okay with you.
Brady looked at me, I just shrugged my shoulder. I knew Aaron and April would let AJ if they were here so I left it to Brady to make up his own mind for his son.
“Yeah, sure why not, but if you get stuck or need us, call. No exceptions,” Brady said firmly.
Ember had chosen those few minutes to wake up and join us.
“I want to go with AJ,” she said announcing her presence.
“No Ember, you have to stay with Mr. Douglass and me. But, I’ll take you tomorrow night okay?” I tried to reason with her.
“Why can’t I go with AJ and Novy, it’s not fair,” she said indignantly.
“I know it’s not. You’re too little to go with your brother, it’s not fair to ask him to be responsible for you in that crowd. Plus I want to spend time with you,” I said pointing betweenher and me, “beside me and you are going to get some dinner then maybe some ice cream. What do you say?”
A big smile grew over her face, “Okay,” she said poking her tongue out at her brother.
AJ chuckled then mock pouted, “I like ice cream,” he said.
“You snooze, you lose,” Ember said.
Brady pulled his wallet out handing Novy a fifty dollar note.
“You call if you want to leave, no drinking, and don’t get into any trouble. Do you hear me?”
“I promise we’ll behave,” Novy said, stuffing the money in his pocket, he then turned to AJ, “Let’s go.”
“Hang on, not so fast boys,” Brady said.
AJ and Novy stopped in their tracks, walking back to Brady.
“AJ are you right for spending money?” Brady asked.
“Yeah I have twenty dollars,” he smiled.
I pulled my wallet out giving him fifty dollars. “Here.”
AJ eyed me for a moment before he took the money.
“Thanks, Uncle Ember, I’ll pay you back.” My nephew smiled sheepishly.
“Use my Uber account to get to the motel, you have the details,” I said. “Go on, have fun, but not too much fun.” I chortled.
AJ hugged his sister quickly before the boys disappeared into the darkness. Brady and I made quick work of the rest of unpacking, getting things ready for tomorrow. Ember danced around helping out when we asked, she didn’t seem to be put out being left with us.
“That should do it,” Brady said as he shut the back of his SUV. “Let’s go check in at the motel then I’ll take you to the place we used to go to for great fish and chips. Since it’s Friday night, they should also have the craft market stalls.”
I watched Ember devour her fish cocktails and chips after she had drowned them in vinegar. The look on her face when she put a piece of soggy pickled fish in her mouth made me laugh out loud.
“Too much vinegar?” I asked.
“No, I like it this way,” Ember said confidently.
“Makes my throat burn and eyes water just looking at it.” Brady grimaced.
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Want to try some? It’s really good,” Ember said offering some to Brady.
“Ah…no thank you, sweetheart, you look like you’re enjoying it.”
“It’s yummy,” Ember said shoveling a chip dripping with vinegar in her mouth.
Brady winced as he watched in disbelief as my niece inhaled her meal.
I continued eating my kebab, while Brady had gotten a seafood basket. The place he brought us was fantastic, I’ve heard people talk about it before but had never actually been here. It’s a paved open area that was surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and take away shops. The place was lit up with soft yellow lights, covered in outdoor seating, metal sculptures, and fountains. There were people everywhere, but everything was slow paced. Laughter and the low hum of conversation came from every direction, applause also rang out from somewhere in the background. The energy was vibrant and exciting, a real family atmosphere.
“Do you want to take a look around after dinner?” I asked looking around.
“Sure,” Brady said nodding his head.
“This place is cool Brady, nearly every place has rainbow stickers on the windows. I can’t believe how many same-sex couples are here, and quite a few with their kids,” I said looking around, “we can’t be this open back home. It’s nice to see – nobodies even blinking an eye.”
“I know… it’s good. I always felt comfortable here whenever Linda and I brought the kids here in the past.” He shrugged his shoulder. “I also hated it for the same reason, it always made me feel…like a liar,” Brady said the latter only just loud enough that I heard what he said.
I didn’t know what to say so I reached out and squeezed his hand before finishing my dinner.
“All done!” Ember almost shouted.
I smiled at my niece who was grinning proudly that she’d finished all of her dinner.
“Good girl,” I said.
I picked up our rubbish and put it in the garbage bin, then went back to the table to collect my dinner companions. Brady and Ember were in a discussion about the different stalls they would see at the market.
“You two ready to check out some craft thingamajigs at the market?” I asked.
Ember nodded, and Brady smiled up at me as he stood.
We passed a little amphitheater built downward in the middle of the area on the way to the craft market. There were a couple of street artists performing, they were doing what I would consider circus tricks, sword juggling, eating fire, spinning plates, that sort of thing. Ember was enamoured with it all, so we sat on the top step with her sitting between us and watched the performance. Once the performancefinished I gave her five-dollars to put in their tip case.
“Thanks Uncle Ember,” she said running off to deposit the money in their case.
Brady and I stood at the top of the amphitheatre waiting for Ember, she had struck up a conversation with one of the street artists. They had been nice enough to stop packing up and answer her questions. I watched over her fondly, she really is one of my favourite people. I still had hope that one day I could have a kid of my own but it doesn’t really seem realistic at my age.
“Ember is the sweetest girl, I forgot how much fun five-year-olds are,” Brady said.
“Yeah, she is,” I said fondly.
Sometimes I feel out of touch, like I missed the boat on life. I would never tell anyone that though, I’ve always been independent and never voiced my opinion on having a family. Everyone just assumes I’m happy as I am, a loner, never in relationships, or not ever wanting a family. It never occurred to me to correct anyone either, what was the point, a disappointment of my own making. This place is pretty awesome though, full of families, traditional, modern, blended, whatever their story is they are too wrapped up in themselves to even notice anybody else.
Ember came running up the stairs toward us, she grabbed my hand as we headed to the market stalls. She walked between me and Brady holding both our hands while she skipped along without a care in the world, excited and happy. How nice it would be to feel that carefree again.
“Uncle Ember,” my niece looked up at me with her enquiring doe eyes.
I chuckled at Ember.
“Is Mr. Douglass your boyfriend?” she asked.
I looked over the top of her to gauge Brady’s reaction, his eyes held mine for a moment waiting with anticipation and hope of what my answer might be.
“Yes, Jelly Bean, I suppose he is.”
Brady’s chest kind of puffed up and I could see the hint of a proud smile on his face.
“That’s good I like him, he’s nice.” She told me not grasping the gravity of the question she had asked.
Ember lets go of our hands as we neared the craft market and skipped a few feet ahead of us in her excitement. Brady moved closer taking my hand in his, my whole body stiffened at the public display. I’d never once held somebody’s hand out in the open amongst a crowd before.
Brady asked, “Is this okay?”
He looked at me with those soulful eyes of his, I melted, not that I’d ever been one for PDA but the fact he wanted to hold my hand in public, I nodded my head. Why the hell not?
“Yeah, of course,” I replied squeezing his hand.
We followed behind Ember as she traipsed all over the market from stall-to-stall, never really finding anything to her satisfaction. Eventually, we hit the end of the market, and we hit gold. There hidden away behind stalls was the shop of all shops – ‘Dessert Heaven.’
“Wow,” Ember said, “can we get an ice cream Uncle Ember?”
Her eyes as big as saucers, she grabbed Brady’s free hand dragging him to the shop.
“Come on Uncle Brady,” she demanded.
Brady looked at me like a deer caught in the headlights.
I smirked shrugging my shoulders.
“Looks like you’re buying – Uncle Brady,” I chuckled as he pulled me along.
Back at the motel, I had made sure had two interconnecting rooms. I wasn’t sure how Ember would be sleeping in a strange place at night, let alone going to the toilet. Staying in a strange place can be hard on a little kid. When we were finally in the rooms, I had Ember take a bath, and get in her PJ’s so she could lie in bed watch cartoons. She was practically asleep before I left the room. I turned the volume down leaving the television on for some light before leaving to go into the room I was sharing with Brady.
As I entered our room, Brady was coming out of the bathroom drying his hair wearing a towel. I stood watching droplets of water as they dripping down from his hair. Brady smirked at my reaction.
“See something you like?”
“Uh-huh!” I grunted chewing on my lip.
My mind working ten to the dozen, how do I get to taste him?
“I… Er… I’m going for a shower.”
I picked up my kit quickly making my way to the bathroom. I closed the door behind me resting on it. Brady has no idea how lucky he is Ember was in the other room. Fuck he’s hot. God, I’m in so much trouble with this guy. I want every part of him. I’ve never felt like this about anyone ever, suppose I never really let myself fall this far either, and it’s with the least likely person in the world. I am powerless to stop it, I don’t want to stop it. I want him, so bad.
The bathroom door opened as I hopped in the shower, Brady's eyes full of lust and mischief started to undress.
“Thought I’d give you a hand,” Brady said.
“Thanks, I wasn’t sure how I would manage by myself,” I answered.
A breeze flowed through as Brady opened the shower door, but quickly disappeared as he stepped up behind me. He reached around taking the soap and face washer lathering up my body slowly, paying attention to all my sensitive areas making sure they were massaged and very clean. The mixed scent of my soap and Brady had me frustrated in a good way. All I wanted to do was press him up against the tiles, whisper dirty things in his ear while I enter his body, slow and hard. I turned around so that I could see him, he leaned in his lips meeting mine. It seems we both wanted the same thing. Brady was just as hard as I was, he looked down between us, his hand reaching for both our cocks stroking them together as we made out like two horny teenagers in a janitor’s closet.
“Fuck Brady, I’m not gonna last long…” I moaned resting my forehead on his shoulder.
“Come for me, baby,” Brady whispered pulling my head back, “look at me, I want to see you let go. So hot!”
Without realising, a loud moan rolled out of me as my orgasm ripped through my body. Brady quickly silenced me by slamming his mouth over mine kissing me passionately. My release triggered Brady’s, our come washed away in the spray from the shower. We stood panting with our foreheads rested together as we came down from our high.
A few moments later Brady grabbed the face washer again cleaning us both up again.
“Wash your hair while I fix us up. We better get out before the kids get back.” He smiled.
I did as he suggested, we dried each other once we stepped out of the shower then went back into the room skirting a towel around our waist. Brady slipped into long PJ pants while I put on my boxer briefs. We lazily laid in bed cuddled up watching Netflix as we waited for the boys.
Hi all, hope you enjoyed this chapter of November. Little Ember is so damn cute and doesn't mind asking the big questions, out of the mouths of babes, as they say. Have a great weekend, John and Joh.