I cautiously made my way outside, good the others have gone. Dad and the coaching team were another matter, I have to go right past where they're sat talking to get to the beach path. Hmm, what to do? Disguise, that's what I need. I glanced around reception for looking for inspiration, my reflection caught my attention then it struck me – hair.
You know my hair is a bit long, it's sort of a trademark but also fuelled by peer pressure – all my school friends have fairly long hair, the girls that is, and I kinda like it. Well I've been wearing it in a low ponytail whilst with BC, keeps it out of the way and I don't think braids or anything else would help fitting in as a boy! I know, I'll wear it down.
A quick release of the hair tie, shake it out, hmm maybe it does need a trim, getting a bit ratty. Then inspiration got me, they'd used some checked ribbon on a dried flower arrangement, checking no one was about I purloined said ribbon. A minute later I had it tied in place with a floppy bow sitting atop my head, yup definitely more Gaby than Drew.
I checked outside again, the adults were laughing at something, time to go. Out the door, across the veranda and onto the road way, the on shore breeze had me pushing my skirt down, oh yeah, I'm wearing that skirt again, well my shorts were rubbing and Jemma did say I should let some air at my wound. No one took any notice as I hurried past, my pace not slowing until the path turned from sight.
‘That looked like Gaby,' Dave observed as the little blonde slipped past their table, “what's that kid up to now?” no one else seemed to have noticed the girl which was good, he took a pull on his beer, returning his attention to Darren's bawdy tale.
Drew paused to get his heart rate back down, it having become elevated during his subterfuge. ‘What the heck am I doing?' he thought to himself as he looked out over Lake Como, ‘ This is madness.'
Too late for second thoughts, “Toni?”
The youth quickly covered the distance between them.
“You a look a- very pretty.”
“Er thanks.” Well it's better than cute I guess.
“We a go to the beach?”
“In a minute.”
I'm not sure who was most surprised when I pulled his head down and planted my lips over his. Any reticence on his part soon disappeared, my spur of the moment action turning into an extended lip lock. Oh boy. We eventually separated, my heart rate having climbed once more.
“Now we go the beach.” I stated with a grin taking his hand.
We were nearly at the beach before it occurred to me that my current appearance and erm, closeness to Toni would not look good to the others. Raging hormones or not I've been protesting my manliness the last couple of days and arriving with Toni looking like loves lost dream will likely kill any chance of getting my relationship with the others fully squared away.
“Um, Toni, we don't have to go straight to the beach do we?”
“You wanna go a- somewhere else?”
“Where you found me the other night?” I suggested with a level of coyness I never imagined I had.
I think he got my meaning as he grabbed my hand and led the way onto the rocky promontory.
“I think that's my phone,” Mand mentioned.
“Well answer it then.” Claire suggested.
“Hello de Vreen.”
“Hey Mand, Drew.”
“Where are you?”
“I um got a bit sidetracked, look anyway I bumped into that lad, you know from Monday?”
“Yeah, that's him, so like he suggested we bring ice cream?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“You wanna check who wants what.”
I thought it was a cunning ruse.
“That everything?” I enquired a couple of minutes later.
“There's one thing before we get there, Jemma suggested I get some air to my gravel rash so I'm er wearing the skirt, could you just sort of warn the others?”
“I guess,“ she agreed, so like what? Ten minutes?”
“More like fifteen.” I suggested as Toni's tongue explored places no other has ever been.
“Yeah, lai-ters.” I squeaked before ending the call.
“Give over Tone.” I told him off with a gentle shove.
“But you a- like it so a much.”
“Never said I didn't but I need to get tidied up and we need to go to your cousin's gelaterie.”
“One a last kiss?”
How could I deny him? After all I was at least as hungry for it! Several minutes later we parted somewhat breathless and dishevelled, I suppose we do have to go meet the others. I did a quick job of putting my hair in a tail and reluctantly allowed Toni to lead me back to civilisation.
The gelato order required more carrying than four hands, especially as several cans of cola and lemonade had been requested too.
“You a bringa the pail back in the morning, Toni.”
“She a nice girl Toni, you a treat good, eh?”
“Sure, ciao cousin.”
“She's nice.” I allowed as we headed towards the squeals and good-natured shouting on the beach.
“She like a you too.” He supplied.
“There you are, we thought you'd got lost like.” Josh mentioned taking the bag of soft drinks out of my hand.
“Yeah well this lot didn't just buy itself?” I pointed out.
“We should head back.” Laura suggested as the sun dropped behind the self same ‘mountain' we were racing around earlier.
“Yeah, we should go pack I guess.” Mark agreed.
And so the die was cast. We collected our stuff; made our goodbyes with the locals with whom we'd spent the evening.
I could hardly get up close and personal with Tone, not with everyone else around.
“G'nite Toni,” I mentioned with a smile, adding soundlessly ‘five minutes' before following my teammates off the beach.
“So what was that all about?” Manda asked as I caught up.
“You know damned well what Gaby Bond!”
“Mand!” I shushed her, hopefully no one else heard her.
“There's nothing to tell, I bumped into him on the way is all.”
“Ah, so you know who I meant.”
“Well it was hardly a secret.”
“From the looks he was giving you all evening I'd wager there's a lot more to it.”
“Well there's not alright.” I made a show of looking in my bag, “You see what I did with my wallet?”
“I thought you put it in there.” She motioned towards my bag.
“Sugar, it must've dropped out on the beach, I'd best go back to find it.”
“I'll come too.” Mand offered.
“No need, I think I know where it'll be, see you back at the hotel.”
“If you're sure.”
“No sweat, won't be long.”
It wasn't far back to the beach, I had a few minutes before Mand would smell a rat, and a jog would extend that by a minute or two.
“Drew,” a voice hissed from the shadows as I reached the tiny cove.
“Geez Toni, you frightened me.”
He pulled me into a um rather close embrace.
“I told Mand that I'd dropped my purse so we've got like five minutes.”
“Let's a not waste eet then.” He proposed before clamping his lips to mine.
‘Gaby Bond, you little hussy!' Mand grinned to herself. She'd followed the Wunderkind back to the cove, the missing wallet seemed a little too convenient, especially after the looks the pair had been exchanging since they arrived. Looks like Miss Bond has the hots for a certain Italian Stallion!
“You know we're leaving tomorrow?” I queried once the initial ardour had been spent.
“My uncle, he a tell this last night.”
“I've really enjoyed tonight.” I allowed.
“We can text and stuff.” I hopefully suggested.
“This I think I like, Fraulein Bond.”
For some reason that made me feel a little gooey inside.
“I should go before I'm missed.”
“Si.” Tone agreed before planting a kiss on my forehead.
I gave him a last hug, well and peck on the lips before leaving the shadows and heading back towards the Hotel Como.
I felt all sort of squidgy inside, a feeling I've never had before. Does this mean I'm gay? I mean I don't make a habit of snogging lads but I can't say I've had the urge like this around girls either. It was nice though, even when I checked the second and third times it was just as nice.
I nearly walked into Manda.
“Thought you were going on.”
“Well I decided to wait, what took you so long?” apart from Toni. Mand queried.
“Took me longer than I thought to find it?”
‘Didn't seem to take that long,' Mand mused, ‘not long at all.'
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 15.07.13