Too Close to Fall Chapter 1


“Are we there yet?” The laughter in Kevin’s eyes said he was teasing—and that he knew he was starting to get on my nerves.

I should’ve never made that offhand comment about him getting a spanking if he didn’t behave on the trip. So far he’d asked “Are we there yet?” a dozen times and asked me to pull over at every rest stop we’d seen.

I was starting to see why there were so many memes about road trips and children.

“If you don’t stop driving me crazy, I’m going to pull over at the next rest stop and get that plug out of my suitcase.” Kevin stilled at my threat, not sure how to respond.

He’d needed to be so good on trips when we were little that it was his first time getting to act out on a car ride. He was having the time of his life. Driving me nuts seemed to be the goal, but I thought he’d have fun being a pain in the ass about it even if I hadn’t reacted so entertainingly.

Even though I was focused on the road, I knew what he was thinking. The internal debate was making his head spin.

Did he want it? Probably.

Was it a good idea? Probably not.

Would I really do it? That was where he might get stumped.

The logical part of me said no, but I wasn’t sure. The fact that Kevin seemed to find it tempting made it harder to discount. However, the last thing we needed was to get caught doing kinky shit in a rest stop bathroom. That kind of combination would end up with us on the national news. But it would be hot. And I knew just the thought of it would keep him occupied on the final stretch of the drive.

Not that it was a terrible drive to begin with. Kevin was just excited.

We both were.

He’d hinted most of the summer that a vacation would be fun, but I’d been very noncommittal. Once his summer session had ended, and he’d had a chance to relax, I knew I shouldn’t put it off any longer. Over dinner, I’d laid out the options and showed him what I’d worked out. If we could’ve waited later into the fall, it would’ve been cheaper, but once classes started, getting away would be almost impossible.

He’d tried not to look too excited, stubbornly making me walk through the finances first. But once he saw that it wouldn’t be that much money overall, he’d stopped trying to downplay his enthusiasm. He’d bounced around the rest of the night talking about our vacation and trying to figure out what we should do.

As we’d lain in bed that night, I’d showed him one of the options I’d found and it’d only made him more excited. It wasn’t the five-star suite on the beach I wanted to be able to afford, but it was a nice hotel in a cute tourist town. It was also within our budget, so it would have to work. But one day, I was going to be able to give him even better vacations.

However, since cruises and trips to Europe wouldn’t be in the budget for quite a while, I wanted to make this as memorable as possible. It was our first vacation together, and the perfect way to celebrate our first anniversary. Well, what I was calling our first anniversary, since it was the date of our first kiss.

There’d been an interesting debate about whether or not we should just do our “wedding” date, or if we should pick something else, but eventually, I’d won. When he’d finally recovered from my very thorough means of persuasion, he’d tried to claim I’d cheated. But he’d been too exhausted to put up much of a fight.

“If I behave, do I still get a spanking?” I wasn’t sure what he’d decided about the plug, but it was clear his mind was still on what would happen when we got to the hotel.

I was just hoping there would be no one next door to us, because even with the gag, we weren’t quiet.

Maddox had laughed when we’d told them we were going on vacation. He’d said he was going to start setting aside a bail fund for us just in case we ended up arrested for disturbing the peace. Bryan had blushed, but he’d chimed in that it would probably be an arrest for indecent exposure first.

I was going to do my best to keep either of those from happening.

Kevin, on the other hand, wasn’t so concerned. He’d been so relieved when our problems earlier in the summer hadn’t amounted to jail time or crazy made-for-TV movies that it’d seemed to have given him a second wind. He wasn’t going to let anything worry him.

I just hoped nothing happened to change that attitude.

However, no matter how much I wanted the peace and quiet to stay, I knew it couldn’t. There was always a little voice in the back of my mind that said she wasn’t going to leave it alone. She wouldn’t leave us alone. I knew the detective we’d spoken with earlier in the summer had hinted that it wasn’t our mother who’d called and sent the cops to our door with accusations of wrongdoing, but I knew she was involved in it somehow. When cops showed up with questions about Kevin’s safety because they’d been told I might have been forcing him to stay with me or worse, in my mind, there was no one else it could have been.

Obsessing over it wouldn’t help, though. All I could do was save money, so we would have an emergency fund just in case, and make Kevin happy. Some days, it didn’t feel like enough, but it would have to be. For now, at least. One day, I wanted to make sure he was truly safe from her.

“I don’t know if I should reward you. And I’m really not sure you can be quiet enough.” Kevin seemed to see that as a “yes” because as I glanced over he was grinning ear to ear.

He tried to look innocent and sweet, but the laughter in his eyes gave it away. “I’ll be very good. I promise.”

We were going to end up getting thrown out of the hotel, but it would be worth it.

“You know, I’m just going to punish you when you get loud.” I saw a shiver run through him. “But it might not be something you enjoy.”

Now my brain started to whirl along with his. “If you can’t be quiet when you come, I might not let you orgasm the rest of the weekend.”

That brought us back to the question he’d already been obsessing over…did he want the punishment or not?

Kevin groaned. “That’s cheating.”

Yep. But he didn’t complain too badly, so I knew he thought it was hot too. “I don’t know. You’re the one who’s going to end up getting us in trouble.”

He shook his head. “The walls in the apartment are just too thin. It’s going to be fine.”

But he didn’t sound like he believed it. “We’ll see.”

Before I could find another way to tease or distract him, he started to open his mouth. But when we passed a sign that said the next rest stop was in two miles, he shut it. Chuckling, I pointed to the radio. “Why don’t you see if you can find anything to listen to?”

He sighed dramatically. “There’s nothing but talk radio with crazy religious people and country music here.”

I laughed, but he was right. Unfortunately, the prepaid phones we were still using didn’t have a lot of data. We’d both decided that it wasn’t a big deal for the time being, but once I was out of school and I was confident about how things looked financially, it was one of the first things we would splurge on.

“Are you ready for the fall semester to start?”

Kevin didn’t seem to like my topic of conversation because he rolled his eyes and shook his head. “Oh no, we’re not talking about anything stressful.” Then his expression brightened, and he sat up taller in the seat. “Let’s talk about donuts instead.”

It was my turn to roll my eyes. “That’s all you’ve been talking about for the last week.”

He nodded enthusiastically. “Because they’re supposed to be fabulous.”

“It’s just a donut.” The area we were heading to had cute little shops and a variety of things to do, but the two things that Kevin had fallen in love with were donuts and surfing. Neither of which sounded that fabulous to me.

Kevin pretended to clutch nonexistent pearls and looked at me like he was scandalized. “That’s a terrible thing to say. They’re supposed to be made right in front of you. So they’re still warm when you get them. Everybody loves them.”

It hadn’t taken long to realize that I’d lost the battle over the donuts. But it was still fun to mess with him. “I think we’re going to need to put a limit on those donuts. One should be fine.”

He fell back in the seat dramatically and moaned. “You’re trying to kill me.”

I laughed. “Possibly.”

He peeked one eye open. “If you loved me, you’d buy me all the donuts I wanted.”

“That’s what you said about the spanking last week and ice cream before that. You’re going to have to think of a new line.” I snickered at his put-off expression.

“Meanie.” But then he grinned. “How about we just say once a day?”

Since we weren’t going to be at the beach for long, it probably wasn’t a bad bargain. But Kevin was like a bottomless pit when it came to junk food. “Just remember, if you make yourself sick you won’t be able to get a spanking or go to your surfing lessons.”


I didn’t understand the appeal of trying to stand up on a piece of plastic in the middle of the ocean, but the idea made him ridiculously excited. His eyes widened. “I can’t believe you said yes. They’re too expensive.”


But the look on his face made working around the budget worth it. “It wasn’t that bad. Business has been good this summer, so it’s not an issue.”

And that was true. Just because my first instinct was to hide away every bit of money we could save didn’t mean that it was always necessary. Sometimes we needed to have fun, and I wanted us to start making more memories of our family together.

Before we’d left, all the memories I had of us together on vacation were marred by our parents. I wanted us to build new ones. I wanted stories of his surfing lessons and the great food we’d found to be things we remembered forever.

I knew Kevin had confidence in how we were doing financially, but his brows still pulled together and he frowned. “You’re not going to take on too many projects this fall, are you? You worked too much in the spring and just about ran yourself ragged.”

That was a promise I always had a hard time making. “I’ve only committed to a few so far, and I’m going to keep an eye on how much work I take on.”

Mostly because he worried.

If it were strictly up to me, I would’ve taken on as much work as I could manage. I could sleep when I got old. Kevin found it too upsetting, though, to watch me put in the long hours on top of what I already had to do for school. I just had to make it through one more year, then things would be easier.

He didn’t seem to believe me, but he wasn’t willing to harp on it either, which I appreciated. I wanted the weekend to be fun and stress-free. The real world would come back soon enough.
“I think we need to have a bet on your surfing lessons.” It was probably cheating, but the change of subject worked perfectly.

“What kind of bet?” He looked skeptical. “Because I’m going to be fabulous.”

I wanted him to have fun, but I was also pretty sure it wasn’t going to go as great as he was picturing. “You mean fabulously entertaining to watch?”

Kevin snorted. “I’m not even going to respond to that.”

I smirked. “How about we make it simple? If you actually manage to stand up on the surfboard and ride a wave, then on Saturday night, you get to decide what we do. If you are more entertainment than surfing legend, I get to pick.”

He cocked his head and gave me a long look. He knew there had to be a catch. “What do you mean, ‘what we do’?”

“Just to give you an example. If you do a great job and stand up, then you could decide if we stay in or if we go out, and what we do.” I was careful not to give any specific examples. I didn’t want him to be able to say that I’d told him it would be something innocent later.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I had a feeling I was going to win—and I was going to make it memorable.

“Okay.” Kevin still looked suspicious, but he wasn’t willing to admit it. “I’ll think about what I want when I win.”

“You do that.”

“Meanie.” He gave me a grin, but his expression turned heated when I gave him a long look.

“If you want your spanking, you need to be good.”

He wanted his spanking more than he wanted to be a smartass. The look of longing on his face had my cock hardening. I’d worked long hours for the last couple of days to make sure I could take the weekend off. Kevin had understood, but it’d made him needy. For attention and love, not just anything physical. Although, we were both clearly charged to enjoy that part of our vacation.
“I’ll be good.” His words came out a little bit breathless, like he was picturing everything being good might get him.

The rest of the drive went by uneventfully. Once sex no longer occupied all his thoughts, we’d talked about plans for the school year. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of the hotel, we were both ready to get out of the car.

Just for different reasons.

I wanted to stretch out and take a nap. The drive hadn’t been bad, but it’d taken up most of the afternoon and Kevin had been too excited to sleep in. It looked like my nap would have to wait, though.

Kevin kept glancing longingly at the water and giving me puppy dog eyes. He was too cute to resist. Thankfully, check-in was smooth, and we didn’t get any difficult questions. By the time we got to our room, Kevin wasn’t seeing the need to show any restraint.

“Look! It’s an ocean view.”

Kind of.

We weren’t technically overlooking the ocean, those were all balcony rooms and out of my budget. But our windows faced the shops that Kevin wanted to visit and had a reasonable view of the water, so I was happy.

“Let’s go. Grab your stuff.” As he stared out the window, he frantically started shoving his clothes off.

Luckily, we were high enough that no one could see. I laughed. “I love the attention I’m getting and the show. Thanks.”

Kevin turned to look at me. “Huh?”

“Nothing.” I walked over to the window and wrapped my arms around my—for all practical purposes—husband. “Beautiful.” Then I let my hands drift down his half-naked body and slid them inside his loosened pants so I could squeeze his ass. “You and the ocean.”

He grinned. “You’ve always got me. We only have the ocean until Sunday. Put your swim trunks on.”

“So romantic.” I was just teasing, though. I loved the way he was so excited about our trip. I wanted it to be perfect for him.

He rolled his eyes, clearly not taking me seriously. “You’re dawdling.”

Grinning, I gave him a quick kiss and felt him up one more time before I stepped back. “All right, I’ll hurry.”

I did my best to match his speed, but there was no way to keep up. He had his swim trunks on and was digging for his flip-flops before I was even naked. By the time I was ready, he was waiting at the door tapping his foot and pretending to look at a nonexistent watch.

When I stopped to make him put sunscreen on, he sighed and started bouncing around on his toes. By the time we were ready to leave the room, he was beginning to offer sexual favors in return for me going faster. But I wouldn’t budge. “You complain now, but I’m the one who has to deal with you later if you get sunburned. Do you really want to spend the next couple of days fried and uncomfortable?”

Kevin barked out a laugh. “You’ve been spending too much time with Maddox.”

“I haven’t bought you a binky, so you’re safe. Just follow instructions and try not to get burned.” I glanced around one last time, making sure we had our towels and room key, before I finally nodded. “Let’s go.”

“Yes!” Kevin threw open the door and bounced down the hallway toward the elevators like a puppy desperate to go out and play or maybe just a kid too hyped up on sugar.

We passed an older couple in the hallway, but they didn’t seem to mind his excitement. I was just relieved when they kept walking past our room and turned to go down the hall. They wouldn’t be so nice after he kept them up all night, so I was grateful we wouldn’t have to deal with it.

I wasn’t sure what I enjoyed more, the ocean or the look on Kevin’s face as he raced out into the water. Finding a place to set our stuff down wasn’t hard. The beach was busy but not as bad as I’d expected. As I finally headed out toward the water, I smiled as I watched Kevin dive under the waves and let himself be thrown around.

It’d been too long since I’d seen him that carefree and happy. He was still too far out for me to hear, but I could tell he was laughing by the look on his face. As he shook his head and wiped the water from his eyes, he glanced around. I knew the moment he saw me.

His beautiful smile widened even more, and he held out a hand, motioning me to come closer. Love shone from his face and it squeezed something in my chest. Even though most people would never understand, I never questioned his feelings for me. It was in every touch and lingering glance. I couldn’t wait until it was just the two of us again so I could show him how much I loved him.

Want to read the rest?

Kevin and Jeremy think that a vacation at the end of the summer will be the perfect way to start their new year at college.

Sun, surf, and a fun anniversary gift from their neighbors is the perfect way to celebrate. Unfortunately, the past keeps rearing its controlling, judgmental head. But Jeremy and Kevin aren’t willing to back down any longer—they’re done running.

Leaving everything behind and starting fresh at college was supposed to help them break away from a past that would never accept their relationship. But some people don’t understand when to give up and walk away. Luckily, Jeremy and Kevin aren’t alone when it comes to defending their love.

With their new friends and the amazing family they’ve found, they know there’s nothing they can’t overcome.

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