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A beautiful day in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and the boys have new swim suits and time to kill! Pool time! See what's going on with everyone in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
In Pieces #65 (16.2)
The complimentary breakfast was actually pretty good, with an assortment of hot food and cold, including make-your-own waffles and a decent selection of fresh fruit. Everyone enjoyed their fill of the free food as they exchanged the usual banter while they ate. Afterward they decided to change and meet at the pool. Abby had checked the weather forecast and warned them if they waited too long, they were taking a chance on being rained out.
By the time Ben and Ryan got out to the pool, carrying their colorful new beach towels, the members of their group were already there, as well as a few hotel guests. Ryan was reluctant to leave his laptop poolside while they were in the water, but Ben came up with the perfect solution. Since Marge wasn’t interested in swimming, they asked if she’d mind keeping an eye on their stuff, including the laptop, and she cheerfully agreed.
Ben took Ryan’s hand in his. Ryan noticed he was in great spirits, despite having been awakened in the manner they had, his blue eyes shining. Not to mention, he looked fantastic in his yellow swim trunks—sexy but not too revealing. “C’mon, let’s get in,” Ben said.
Ryan felt a qualm of guilt, thinking they should spend at least a few minutes with Marge instead of just dumping their items on her and running off. But when he offered, Marge just laughed and shook her head.
“Go on with you, have some fun.” She snorted a laugh. “I remember what it’s like to be young and in love. We’ll have plenty of time to talk afterward.”
“Thanks, Marge, you’re the best. I do need to get some input from you for the book, too,” he admitted.
“I’m not sure what I can tell you, but you’re welcome to ask me anything. Now, shoo!”
Ben tugged on his hand, and Ryan gave in. The water looked too good not to indulge. Besides, it would have been a shame not to get some use out of the swim trunks Ben had insisted on buying for him, claiming he could write them off as a business expense. He’d found a pair of aqua trunks that appealed to him, somewhat similar to Ben’s. Leaving Marge to her own devices and a cool drink, they found an unoccupied spot in the deep end of the pool and jumped in.
Ryan couldn’t remember the last time he’d had so much fun. They played around in the water, challenging each other to races. Some of the guests even joined in. Laughter filled the air as everyone enjoyed themselves. When they’d gone shopping, they’d found a large inflatable raft, big enough to hold two people, and bought it. Now Ryan and Ben floated together, hand in hand, until, after a while, they gave it up so Deacon and Keanu could have a turn.
Ryan thought this would be a good time for him to talk to Marge, see if she needed anything. “Want to come with?” he asked Ben.
“I’m just going to hang out here, I think,” Ben said. “Don’t want to cramp your style.”
Although Ryan protested that would hardly be the case, Ben was adamant, so Ryan kissed him and left him floating near Aiden and Abby. Abby’s coral-colored swimsuit looked great on her. She’d drawn a little attention from some of the guests, but nothing disrespectful. Nonetheless, Aiden was sticking close to her side, very much in protective twin brother mode.
Marge was sipping on something fruity when Ryan reached her table. “Pull up a chair,” she welcomed him and he complied.
“You guys look so cute together,” she said. “I’m glad he’s got you, Ryan, you know? Now, when they make it big, he won’t have to worry you’re just after him for the the fame or fortune or whatever.”
“I would never—” Ryan began to protest.
“I know, I know.” Marge held up one big hand as if to ward off his arguments. “That’s what I’m saying. You’ve known Ben since you were kids. You’ve loved him for a long time, am I right?”
Ryan nodded. “Yeah, a very long time. I thought I’d lost him when his mother moved them away. And then to suddenly find him again…”
“Sounds like a plot from a romance novel.” Marge’s eyes twinkled. “Maybe you should write it someday.”
Ryan laughed, a little self-consciously. “Let’s see how the book about Salvation does before I worry about other books.”
Marge gave him a sharp look. “Honey, I don’t think it matters about the book as much as he lets on it does. I think it was always about you—about getting back with you.”
Ryan felt his cheeks go warm. “I… I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, I want the book to do well and everything. I know it matters to him. To all of them.”
“But you matter more.” Marge leaned toward him and patted his cheek gently. “Ben’s a very talented young man, and I see great things coming his way. But the greatest of them all will always be you.”
Ryan felt his eyes prickle with tears, his heart swelling at Marge’s words. Everything was so right, life was perfect. He couldn’t ask for anything more. But right now, he needed to focus on what he was doing before he started crying. He busied himself with opening his laptop and pulling up a new document.
“So, how long have you managed Salvation?” he asked.
“It’s been almost a year now, I think. Before they were Salvation, they had this other band called Primary Wisdom. When they disbanded that and formed Salvation, they hired me, and I’ve been with them ever since.”
“Didn’t they have a manager for that other band?” He wondered why they found a new manager if they had one.
Marge took a long sip of her drink. “Yeah, they did. I never met her, but I heard she’s Ben’s mother.”
to be continued
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