Boys On Boards Contest

Title: Hot Fun in the Summertime

Characters: Seth/Nahuel

Disclaimer: I own none of it. Not even a little bit.

Word Count: 7902

Summary: Nahuel learns a lot during first summer in America - with Seth's help.


"Shit! Nahuel are you okay?"

My view of the clear blue sky was interrupted by Seth's worried face hovering upside down over mine. I tried to nod but winced as my head dragged across concrete. His brow creased and he leaned down to grab around my shoulders and pull me into a sitting position. My back immediately protested the movement and I winced again.

Seth frowned but did not relinquish his position in front of me, half straddling my legs. He leaned across me to pull my t-shirt up and assess the damage.

"Fuck."

I already knew I had harmed the skin but Seth's low swear confirmed that there was bleeding. This was the third time he had tried to show me how to skateboard and the third time it had ended in disaster.

Seth was the first friend I had made since moving to this country from my native Chile. Huilen, my legal guardian, wanted me to have better prospects and so moved us to the Americas after my seventeenth birthday. We lived in New York City for a few months but it was too full and too busy and neither of us could settle in the bustle. A woman Huilen worked with told her that she knew of a hotel looking for maid staff along the Californian coast.

We moved to Santa Monica five months ago and Huilen found me a summer job at Ephraim's t shirt store. Ephraim was half-native, in his mid-sixties, who lived with his widowed sister and her son.

"C'mon," Seth grabbed my hands and pulled me up, throwing my arm around his shoulders and throwing one of his around my waist, "Let's go get you cleaned up."

"Seth," I flinched as my t-shirt dragged across the scrapes on my back, "I do not think I am suitable for skate-boarding." He nodded gravely, picking up his board and steering me along the street.

America was not an easy place to adjust to. Back home I would be getting ready for winter but here it was hot and dry and bright. Both boys and girls had tanned skin and sun-bleached hair and spoke to each other in a language I had yet to fully decipher. With my dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes, I stood out even against Ephraim.

That was until I met Seth. Seth was fully native and as dark as I. It was nice to find someone who looked similar to me in a world of people who looked so opposite. Seth was friendly and I think he also enjoyed having someone who mirrored himself a little more closely. He worked the same shifts as me and offered up a lot of his free time to help me acclimatise to my new world.

The more time we spent together, the clearer it became that we had more in common than a similar hue in skin. We began spending more time together to just be together and Seth taught me about the skateboarding and surfing communities. He named skating tricks that left me breathlessly impressed, explained what board-barbies were and why we avoided them, and became my closest friend very quickly.

"Y'know you might be more suited to surfing." Seth's voice pulled me out of my own head and back to reality. "I know a guy who'd probably teach you."

"I do not know Seth," I began nervously but broke off when he turned his grin on me.

"C'mon it'd be great. I'd be a skater and you'd be a surfer. If they combined us we'd made a perfect Z-Boy."

I looked at him blankly and he sighed, shaking his head.

"Nahuel you need an education," he lowered his voice gravely, "Come back to my place and we can watch some surfing dvd's I've got. If you like the look of it, I'll take you to the beach tomorrow."

I nodded to him, warmed by his smile, and let him lead me to his house.

.

The entire right side of Seth's body was pressed against mine as we sat, side by side, on his bed watching the films he had chosen for my first look at the surfing world. As we watched The Endless Summer, my eyes became bigger and bigger at each scene. Seth had moved closer until we were pressed together, his mouth near my ear as he explained who each person was and their surfing credentials. It was a beautiful, terrifying film that made me want, equally, to surf and to avoid water forever. However the closer Seth came, the less able I was to concentrate. I failed to see the last half hour through the heat of Seth's skin and his breath on my neck. I was confused by my reaction. I was not afraid of Seth so I had no reason for holding my body so stiff at his touch.

I was still pondering my reactions when Seth laid his elbow against my ribs and, laughing, pulled himself up. I missed the contact and that thought made me frown.

"No more documentaries," he grinned down at me, "You looked totally lost by the end there."

I smiled back at him but I could feel that the smile was not quite right. Seth tilted his head, something passing across his features before he grinned again and turned to rummage through his dvd collection. He pressed the new dvd into the player and bounced onto the bed next to me, so close that his leg was half on top of my own. He did not move it.

"I think this one will be better," he murmured, pressing play on the controller, "It's an action movie."

He was right, the new movie was different. The plot made it easier to block out my unusual reaction to Seth's nearness; the way I was tense at the feel of his thigh against mine and the way I jumped when he raised his forearm and leaned it against my shoulder, bringing our ribs into closer contact.

When the film finished I felt a sort of kinship fizzing in my blood. Not for the bank robbing and kidnapping but for the love of the ocean and the chase of real freedom. I felt inspired and I turned and told Seth so. His chuckle confused me.

"Inspired by Keanu Reeves. There's a sentence you don't hear every day."

I just smiled because I did not know what he meant, and he continued to chuckle under his breath. After a few minutes I turned to him again.

"Hey Seth?"

"Hmm?"

"What is a Key Anoo Reef?"

His belly laugh really confused me.

.

I walked slowly in the early morning, enjoying the cool, hands pressed deep in my pockets. I was back to being not really sure about this surfing lesson now daylight was upon me, still not convinced it could be that different from skating. I shuddered internally, remembering my disastrous skate lessons. When I hit the sand I scanned the mostly empty beach, searching for the flash of dark hair and dark skin that would indicate Seth was already here.

It took me a minute but I finally spotted him, a few feet from the water, with a tall blond man. My surf teacher I assumed. I slowed my strides, assessing him. Even from this distance it was clear that he was physically fit. His wetsuit only offered flashes of skin but what I could see was sun-kissed as expected, his hair an opposing sun-bleached hue. As I watched, he threw his head back and laughed at something Seth said, putting his hand on Seth's shoulder.

Something about the gesture stopped me in my tracks and I paused, tilting my head at the two boys laughing together. The surfer still had his hand on Seth's t-shirt clad shoulder but he was leaning closer to him now, blonde locks falling around his face and shielding his expression from me.

Seth looked over suddenly, spotted me and waved like a madman. I could see his white teeth as his mouth split into his signature grin and I could not stop my answering grin as I waved back. He said something to the surfer who turned to look at me over his shoulder, appraising me as I had been him just moments earlier. I squared my shoulders and quickened my pace.

"Nahuel!" Seth sounded genuinely pleased to see me and I got the now-familiar warm rush in response to his enthusiasm. "This is Garrett."

I turned to the surfer, who looked back at me from stone grey eyes a moment before grinning widely and clasping my hand in one of his, the other squeezing my shoulder firmly.

"Great to meet you dude," he spoke in an accent I was unfamiliar with, "Seth seems real enthused about you."

I was not sure what he meant but the mention of Seth flashed an image of the surfer's hand on Seth's shoulder and I automatically let go of his hand and stepped out from his other. He looked fleetingly surprised before breaking into an easy grin.

"Are you surfing?" I asked Seth, keeping Garrett in my periphery. Seth was looking at me oddly but at my question he grinned ruefully and shook his head.

"I don't surf, I'm strictly an observer." My face must have shown some sort of discomfort because he smiled and continued. "Don't worry, you're in good hands with Garrett. He's pretty big in the surfing community and he's coached half the surfers here. You'll be fine."

That was not the problem but I did not know how to explain that the idea of leaving him behind unnerved me, so I simply nodded and turned to Garrett who grinned at me again.

"Don't worry dude," he handed me a wetsuit, "Everyone was a kook once." My face must have been blank because he laughed again and called over to Seth, "Haven't you taught him anything?"

I frowned at him, not appreciating the accusation levelled at Seth but Garrett had put a board in the sand and was busy pointing out where my feet should be. As I practiced angling my feet where he said, Seth had inched closer and was quietly explaining words I had never heard before; tow-in's and barrels and bombs and carves. My head was spinning and Garrett was frowning at me, trying to angle me in a way that did not feel natural. He stood back and narrowed his eyes at me and I instinctively glared back.

"Aha!" His voice was loud in the early morning quiet, "I see the problem. You're a goofy

foot!"

I was angry. I was tired of this secret language and being man-handled by this easy-mannered surfer who seemed to have no sense of personal space and the growl had slipped through my clenched teeth before I even registered it. His grey eyes popped up, meeting mine in shock and I was ready to tell him to andate a la chucha when I felt Seth's hand on my calf. My eyes automatically found his.

"It's a surf term," he whispered, "Just a surf term. You have a different lead foot to most – that's probably why you're having difficulty."

All the fight went out of me immediately and I nodded down at him. I knew the moment he was satisfied I was going to stay put because he withdrew his hand and I immediately missed the contact. I turned to Garrett to mask that thought, and to apologise, but his eyes were smiling understandingly at me. He shrugged, letting me know it was all okay, and put his hands on my shoulders, turning me slightly on the board.

This new position made everything a lot easier and it was not long before Garrett was announcing that I was ready to "lose my surf virginity". I looked back at Seth as Garrett and I walked side-by-side to the waves, leaving him on the beach still not sitting well with me, but he smiled encouragingly so I kept going until I was waist deep in the ocean.

"Okay we're gonna learn paddling and some duck diving techniques before anything else." Garrett's voice brought me back to the task at hand and, board clutched in my arms, I nodded in agreement although I had no idea what he was talking about.

For the next hour I paddled until my arms ached and tried several different techniques for dealing with breaking waves until I found one that suited me best. I spent another half-hour perfecting my slice-and-duck before Garrett decided I was ready to catch my first wave.

I was terrible at it. I could not get the angle right, could not get my feet to place quickly enough, could not get my board to stay under me. After twenty minutes I had swallowed half the waves and was ready to forget surfing altogether.

"Relax dude," Garrett was behind me, his hands on my back under the waves, "It was like this for all of us." His voice was soothing but his proximity was troubling. "We'll try again."

He moved closer, reaching his arm around me to pull the board parallel with our bodies and my eyes automatically found Seth, sitting lonesome on the sand. He was staring at us and I could see the slight frown that marred his features, but when he caught my eye he smiled and raised his hand.

Garrett helped me position my board, standing by my shoulder, one hand still on my back. I breathed deeply, trying to centre myself.

"I could tell you were suited to water the moment I saw you," Garrett murmured, "like it's in your blood. You have to stop thinking so hard and listen to your instincts. You're meant to be out here."

I was startled by the accuracy of what he was saying. I felt closest to home when I was near the water, as if I could be connected to the tides of home from anywhere in the world as soon as I stepped into the current. I nodded slightly, eyes focused on the waves. I felt his fingers run the length of my back lightly but I did not have time to dwell on it.

I was ready.

It was as if everything just slotted into place. I paddled at the right angle, I felt the wave pull my board as my feet locked into the correct positions and I was doing it.

I was surfing.

I did not manage to stand long before my balance slipped and the rushing water sloughed the board from under me but even as I was tumbling into the waves, that fleeting moment of everything being aligned in the world did not leave me.

As soon as I was upright again, I turned to share my triumph with Seth only to be enveloped in a huge hug. Garrett's body was flush against mine and stayed that way as he leaned his head back to catch my eye.

"Dude, that was amazing! You did it! I knew you could!"

He hugged me again before I could disentangle myself, laughing and still high from my wave conquering. I searched for Seth, to give him a thumbs up, but this time when my eyes found his, he did not smile and looked away quickly. I frowned, instinctively moving toward the shore before Garrett's hand on my arm stopped me.

"C'mon, let's go again."

The more I practiced, the longer I managed to stay upright and by the last few waves I was sailing it. I was chasing that moment of rightness that enveloped me, that fleeting feel of perfection when there was no distinction between myself, the board and the wave, and it never failed to leave me panting with exhilaration.

When I finally emerged from the water, board under my arm and Garrett's arm slung over my shoulder, I was buzzing. Seth stood on our approach, his face still twisted in a slight frown, but I was too high on adrenalin to care. I walked forward and grabbed him in a bear hug, squeezing until he laughed and tried to push me off. I held on a few moments longer before reluctantly letting go.

"You like surfing then?" His smile was warm but his eyes were still troubled.

"It was amazing." I was still panting, feeling shiny and electric and unable to tear my gaze from Seth's. "You were right, I loved it."

We stared at each other until Garrett cleared his throat just behind my shoulder. I pivoted instantly, feeling embarrassed but unsure why. He was looking between myself and Seth, grey eyes assessing.

"You want to carry on lessons?" He asked, his voice level, "I can meet you most mornings."

I automatically turned to Seth.

"Are you free in the mornings?"

Seth grinned at me and nodded and I turned back to Garrett, who had a crease between his eyebrows.

"Keep a hold of the suit and the board, we'll take the dawn patrol." Garrett frowned at his feet but when he looked back up his face was set in his familiar easy grin. He stepped forward and hugged both me and Seth, Seth for a beat too long I thought, and took off up the beach, greeting people as he passed them.

"Well he's..." I trailed off, unable to find a word that adequately described Garrett. Seth laughed and elbowed me in the ribs and I dropped my board.

"Yeah, I know."

"Is he..." I trailed off again, not sure how to ask, not sure if Seth would be offended.

"He's equal opportunities when it comes to sex." Seth's voice was matter-of-fact but his expression was guarded.

"Have you two...?"

"Nah man, I'm not gay." There was no hint of offence or defence in Seth's tone and I nodded, feeling odd at his answer. "He likes dark hair, dark eyes and dark skin though." Seth's tone held a hint of laughter and I narrowed my eyes at him as understanding slowly dawned.

"That is how you knew he would agree to teach me!"

Seth laughed and leaned forward conspiratorially, gesturing between our bodies, "I think we might be his wet dream come true."

I tackled him and we rolled around in the sand for a moment, mock fighting, Seth chuckling beneath my hands.

"More you," I panted through laughs, "You look more like a mina than me!"

"What did you just call me?" Seth's eyes were narrowed in mock-rage but humour crinkled their corners.

"It's true," I asserted, trying to stop him from pinning me, "I mean, look at the length of your chasquilla," I tugged on the front of his hair, "The mistake is understandable."

"You're one to talk," he gasped through his amusement, pulling on my braid.

We wrestled a few minutes more, giggling like children, until eventually we lay side-by-side staring up at the sky.

"Why don't you surf?"

I could sense Seth's shrug although I could not see it.

"I like solid land under my feet."

"How about the solid land of the Ice-cream Shack under them?" I suggested. Seth was up and running before I registered the movement.

"Last one there buys!"

Laughing, I grabbed the board and clumsily hobble-ran after his laughing form.

.

The next few weeks fell into an easy routine. I changed my shifts at the shop so that I was working the late morning and early afternoon shifts, leaving my mornings free for surfing. Seth met me at the beach every day and sat quietly whilst I tried my best to master the moves and techniques Garrett patiently taught me. Early evenings were spent with Seth, sitting on the warm concrete watching him practice his skate moves over and over until they were perfect.

Late in the first week of my surf training, I noticed two people sitting with Seth in the sand as Garrett and I wound up our session. They greeted Garrett warmly and the male nodded at me and said, "You were right Gar, he is a natural."

They were introduced as Jasper and Alice, close friends of Garrett's who ran the local surf store. They were big on the scene, Jasper being a pro surfer, his wife Alice managing both his career and their store.

"Guess that's your name then," the tiny woman smiled up at me and punched me lightly on the shoulder, "Natural. It suits you."

Seth was beaming so I grinned back, glad that he was smiling but unsure why he was bouncing. He dragged me aside as the others spoke of an upcoming competition and gave me a massive hug.

"What was that for?"

"What do you mean?" he practically squealed, "You're in! That deserves a hug!"

"In what?"

Seth sighed and pulled me down to sit next to him. He gave me an affectionate smile and surreptiously pointed to Jasper and Alice.

"They are the unofficial heads of surfing out here. No one is in the crowd without their say so. They gave you a nickname! Do you know what that means?"

I shook my head because I really did not know what it meant.

"You're part of the crowd. They've accepted you!"

I did not fully understand what Seth implied until we were at work that afternoon. I was reorganising a rail when a group of board-barbies came in, pretending to look at the t-shirts.

"Hey Natural," one of them called whilst the rest giggled and waved.

"Nahuel," I corrected automatically and they laughed some more.

The same thing happened with a few surfers I had seen on the beach in the early mornings but had never spoken to. Seth grabbed my arm just as I was about to correct them and pulled me aside.

"It's your nickname," he said like I was being particularly stupid, "They're using your nickname."

After that, everyone but Seth called me Natural. I became suddenly popular with the board-barbies. I was worried Seth's uncle would be angry by the amount of people who stopped by to say hello but he simply smiled and showed me my sales figures. They had tripled.

"As long as this keeps happening," he indicated the unexpectedly high bottom line, "every damn person in Santa Monica is welcome to stop by and see you."

Some days it felt like they did. It was nice to be so completely welcomed but I also missed having time to spend just with Seth, fixing the t-shirt racks and laughing together. The girls trailed their fingers across my arms and my back, flipping their hair and giggling, making Seth snicker, but I found it was the boys whose attentions I preferred. I liked the way they would sling their arms across my shoulders and lean their heads close to ask me questions, their warm sides pressed against mine as they listened gravely to my answers. Seth never seemed to snicker at me during those times but he did watch me silently as I tried to pretend I was not affected by the close press of solid flesh.

.

"So, you and Seth..." Garrett trailed off, looking at me over the top of his bottle. I looked back at him, waiting for the rest of the sentence. Garrett's eyes flicked away and he sighed.

"Are you guys together?"

"No." I frowned, confused, gesturing to where Seth was standing talking to a group of skaters. "He's over there."

Garrett laughed quietly and inched closer to me, his eyes sparkling in the dark.

"No, I mean are you guys together like..." He made some hand movements but it still took me a few moments to process what he was asking. Oh. Oh.

"Seth is not gay," I replied firmly, knowing I was right. He had told me so.

"What about you?"

"What about me?" I had started to become irritated with Garrett.

"Do you like boys like...that?"

I frowned at him in silence because I was not sure how to answer that question. Did I notice when a boy was beautiful? Yes, of course I did. But I also noticed when a girl was beautiful. Perhaps not with quite the same level of interest, but then I did not notice beauty in anyone, boy or girl, with the same level of interest as I noticed it in Seth.

In my silence, Garrett had slipped closer and I was brought out of my thinking by his thigh pressed against mine.

"Have you ever kissed anyone?" He asked.

"Yes," I replied, because it was true.

"Girls?" He asked.

"Yes," I replied, still truthfully.

"Boys?"

"No."

Garrett licked his lips, the pink tip of his tongue glistening in the moonlight.

"Do you want to kiss a boy?"

"Yes," I replied without hesitation, because it was true.

Before I realised what was happening, Garrett had hovered closer and his lips had brushed my own. They were warm and not all that different from a girl's, except not covered in anything sticky or odd-coloured. I opened my mouth against his, intending to politely explain that I did not view him that way, but he chose that moment to slide his tongue into my mouth and I was distracted by the feel of his skin against mine and the male flavour of him. I slid my tongue against his experimentally, testing what felt good, cataloguing the differences and similarities. Garrett's fingers sliding under my t-shirt to rest on my abdomen dragged me back to reality.

I pulled away, feeling oddly short of breath. Garrett was still close, staring at me with wide eyes and moist lips. He smiled and leaned in close again until my hand on his chest stopped him.

"I'm sorry." I started at how low my voice sounded. "I do not think of you that way Garrett."

Garrett eye'd me speculatively and tilted his head to the left. I did not understand the expression on his face.

"It felt like you kissed be back there Natural," he murmured, leaning close again, "It doesn't have to be love and forever's you know."

I hesitated as his mouth came closer, grey eyes watching me keenly. Kissing him had been...nice. It had made me feel things I had not felt before, feelings I definitely wanted to explore further. But not with Garrett. I shook my head and leaned away from his body.

Garrett frowned fleetingly then straightened up with a shrug and brought his bottle to his mouth. For some reason I found it hard not to stare at his lips. When they curved into a smirk, my eyes darted up to find his gaze on me.

"If you change your mind Natural..." he trailed off with a slow wink. I nodded once and stood, excusing myself to go find Seth. Garrett's kiss had shaken me and I needed Seth's comfortingly familiar presence to bring me back to myself.

It took a while but I finally spotted his dark hair by one of the smaller bonfires at the edge of the party. It was not until I got closer that I realised he had a lapful of blonde board-barbie. I stopped, frowning because I knew that Seth did not like the girls who were only interested in him for his skating skills.

His head raised and his eyes met mine, dark and flat, his expression twisted with a strangeness that hinted at anger. I took a step backwards. He continued to stare at me from hard shuttered eyes until I turned my back and left the party behind, making my way home for a night of confusion and unexplainable hurt. I knew before I got to the beach the next morning that Seth would not be there.

.

"So what happened with you and Seth?"

I jumped at the sound of Seth's uncle's voice so close to my shoulder. He was rearranging one of the racks but his eyes were fixed on me.

"What do you mean?"

"I might be old but I'm not blind son." He gave up the pretence with the shirts and faced me completely. "You and Seth have been inseparable since you moved here. Truth it's been nice to see Seth smile. It's been a long time..." Ephraim trailed off, his eyes far away, before clearing his throat, "Look, Seth is an impulsive one. Says and does stupid things in the heat of the moment. Like changing all his shifts on the fortnightly rota, forgetting that that rota may as well be cast in concrete once I've signed it off." He sighed and rubbed his eyes and I resisted the urge to turn and search for Seth at the sound of wheels on the concrete outside.

"He only skates outside on your shifts you know." My head snapped up but Ephraim was not looking at me, instead gazing out the open front of the shop, watching the retreat of Seth's dark hair. "Hasn't skated out there since he got his first board. Says it messes with his knees. Yet there he is, back and forth, seven hours a day."

We both turned and watched as Seth flew past again, looking magnificent in the sunshine, his hair whipping out behind him, like he and the board were one.

"Seth's a good kid Nahuel, if you can fix this I'd sure appreciate it." He fixed me with dark eyes. "He'd appreciate it."

I nodded and turned back to watch Seth's retreating back, deciding to speak to him after my shift.

.

"Seth please!" I called after him, desperate to end his animosity, "I do not understand my mistake!"

I watched as he stopped abruptly, his back bunching with tension. He hovered a long moment then turned and stalked back to me, anger evident on his face. I backed up instinctively but he simply made an angry noise in his throat and grabbed me by the arm, dragging me behind the shop.

Once there, he shoved me against the wall and paced a few feet away from me. I stayed tight against the wall, watching the exquisite beauty of an irate Seth. Suddenly he whirled and pinned me with dark eyes.

"So you and Garrett are what?"

My brow furrowed automatically. I still saw Garrett in the mornings for surf lessons but I had not seen him socially since the blow-out.

"He teaches me to surf?" My statement came out as more of a question.

"I saw you kissing him." Seth's voice was flat, his eyes intent on mine. "At the blow-out. I saw you."

My frown deepened. I had not thought Seth was homophobic – he had seemed fine with Garrett when we saw him in the mornings. We had not spoken any further about homosexuality but he had acted like it was not a big deal.

"He kissed me and I did not stop him at first," I agreed, watching Seth closely. His anger was palpable now. "But it was nothing more. We are not together. I do not like him like that."

"Then why'd you kiss him?" Seth's voice was still hard. I took a deep breath, trying to think of the best way to explain what had happened that night.

"He kissed me and I had intended to tell him I was not interested that way, I did in the end, but it was...nice."

"Nice?" Seth's voice was steel, "What the hell do you mean, 'nice'?"

"Well," I struggled to put my feelings on that kiss into words for him, "I had not ever kissed a boy before. It made me feel...better than any kiss I have had before. It made me feel...something new. Something I wanted to explore."

"With Garrett?"

"No, not with Garrett," I sighed, "That is why it was not more than one kiss."

"But it made you feel good?" Seth's face was still intense.

"Yes but...I have never kissed any boy except him so it may be that Garrett is just a good kisser..." I trailed off at the darkening in Seth's features. He looked livid.

"You think Garrett is a good kisser?"

"I...I guess..."

All the air shot out of my lungs as Seth shoved me backwards and into the wall again, slamming into me half a second later.

"I'll show you good fucking kisser," he snapped and his mouth was on me.

I struggled against him but his hand was in my hair, gripping tightly, holding me in place as his lips worked against mine, hard and furious. I struggled again but there was no escaping his body tight against me and his tongue sliding deftly into my protesting mouth.

The feeling I had when Garrett slid his tongue against mine was a shadow compared to what happened when Seth made the same move. I made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a whine and my entire body went limp against his, allowing him to press me more firmly against the wall. Completely unconsciously, my body surrendered to the force of him. I slipped my tongue against his in response and my entire body shuddered at the sensations that exploded across my skin. I was so overwhelmed by him that I did not notice what he was doing with his hand until it was already inside my shorts.

I jumped and made another undignified noise which he answered with a low warning snarl, pressing against me harder and stroking firmly. It was beyond any fantasy I had dared allow myself to have and I could do nothing but yield to his manipulation of my body. My eyes rolled back and I stopped kissing, too intent on the incredible sensations of Seth's firm rubbing in my shorts and his angry mumbling against my lips.

"...fucking kissing...stupidly sexy...skin-tight...on the waves...so fucking beautiful...not him...really fucking want..."

Soon I could not make out even one word, my body too taut from Seth's touch. I felt my orgasm gathering in my stomach and as I came, Seth kissed me hard, his tongue dominating my mouth as I moaned my release into his.

For long minutes I could not open my eyes, my hands scrabbling on the wall behind me in an attempt to keep myself upright. When my heart had finally stopped racing and my body had stopped quivering, I opened my eyes to find Seth gone. I took a few minutes longer to make sure my legs would carry me then made my slow way home.

My mind was speeding over everything that had happened. Seth had been mad because he had seen my kiss with Garrett. Seth had kissed me! Seth's hand had brought me off. Seth had left me, in the aftermath of the greatest orgasm I had ever had, without a word. Round and round my thoughts went, making no more sense no matter how many times I looked at the facts.

At 4.30 I was still wide awake and the sky was showing the tell-tale signs of the coming sunrise. Sighing, I dragged myself from my bed, pulled shorts and a shirt over my wetsuit, grabbed my board and headed to the only place I knew I would find peace.

The first thing I saw was Seth sitting in the sand, watching the waves.

"How long have you been here?" I asked when I had reached his back and he still had not turned to me.

"All night."

"Why?"

"I was waiting for you." Seth stood, his usually bright eyes wary and tired. I took an involuntary step forward. His words had inspired some small thrill of hope in my stomach.

"I'm sorry about yesterday, I shouldn't have done that."

And, just like that, the hope was gone. I tilted my head away from his searching stare, hoping that my earlier eagerness had not been too obvious, and shrugged.

"Okay."

Seth frowned. "No, I don't mean...ahh I'm fucking this all up." He huffed in frustration. "I don't regret what I...did. I regret that I did it in anger, I regret that I acted like such a douche and I regret that I walked away when I should have stayed."

Seth's hand on my shoulder tugged me round to face him. His face was serious but there was a hint of something in his eyes. He stepped closer tentatively, as if unsure how I would react.

"I wish..." he trailed off, biting his lip, his eyes dropping to his feet before raising back to meet mine, "I wish it'd been like this," and he kissed me.

There was no anger this time, only Seth's mouth, soft and sweet against mine. Our chests were pressing lightly together and he did not grab or yank or growl, simply kissed me slowly. We stood together under the ever-lightening sky, exploring each other's mouths, his hands stroking the length of my shoulders, mine running the length of his ribs.

He was right. This is how it should have been.

We were pulled apart by someone clearing their throat behind Seth. We both whirled to find Garrett, one eyebrow hitched, watching us. I felt a blush rushing across my skin and moved to step away from Seth, but he grabbed my arm and tugged me back to his side.

"Garrett."

"So," Garrett ignored the odd tone of Seth's words, "You guys are together now?"

"Yes," Seth replied without hesitation, threading his fingers through mine and squeezing lightly. His words sent an electrifying buzz through my muscles, like the first time I ever surfed, and I squeezed his fingers in return.

"I thought you were straight," Garrett replied, his grey eyes narrowed. Seth had told me he was straight. I frowned at the memory, waiting for his answer but he merely shrugged, his stare never wavering from Garrett. After a long moment of them staring at each other I cleared my throat awkwardly.

"We should be surfing, no?" I asked, trying to ease the tension between them, "We are wasting waves."

Garrett turned to me and gave me a brilliant smile and I barely held back a yelp when Seth's fingers dug into my arm. It felt almost...possessive. He felt my flinch and his grip loosened, his palm ghosting gently over the spot. Garrett began walking toward the ocean and I turned to follow, but Seth grabbed me round the waist and pulled me back, kissing me intently and this time I knew it was a possessive gesture. His hand was on the back of my head, pulling me into him, sucking on my tongue and stroking it with his in a way that made my insides liquid.

When he let go I stumbled a little, shivery and light-headed. He laughed lightly as he steadied me with warm hands on my waist and his eyes held something akin to triumph. He leaned in, allowing his lips to ghost mine, and whispered, "Go surf, we can carry this on when you're done."

I was useless in the water. Garrett was patient as always but when I allowed the board to be swept from me for the eleventh time in 30 minutes, he lost his cool, sweeping his wet hair from his forehead and shaking his head.

"You're not even concentrating!" He glowered at the spot on the sand where Seth was waving and added, "Not on me at least."

I flushed and looked away, unable to deny the truth of his words. I was physically with him but my mind was on Seth and Seth's tongue.

"Let's just try again tomorrow, okay?" He smiled his easy smile and squeezed my shoulder. I knew without looking that Seth would be the one glowering now. Garrett left his hand on my skin as we exited the water and I did not know how to politely move away.

Seth was on me the minute our feet were on sand, throwing his arm around my shoulder and effectively dislodging Garrett's hand. Garrett smirked and Seth tightened his grip.

"So, I'll see you tomorrow, huh Natural?" Garrett hugged me but it was awkward as Seth refused to remove his arm from my shoulders. "What about you Sethy?" When Garrett stepped forward, Seth narrowed his eyes and stepped back.

"Tomorrow Garrett," he hissed, "I'll be here."

With one last wave, Garrett turned and made his way up the beach. I turned to ask Seth what was going on and found his mouth on mine. It took all of my willpower to keep my head and dislodge him. He gave a huff of annoyance when I finally succeeded in separating our lips.

"Seth," I gasped, "Stop a moment!" When it seemed unlikely that he would I added "please!" and he reluctantly stepped back, but kept his hold on my arms.

"What is wrong?" I was confused by his behaviour, and by the blush that bloomed across his already dark cheekbones. He shook his head, refusing to meet my eye.

"Seth?"

"Look, I know Garrett's more experienced than me," he burst suddenly, his face so intense, "I mean, I've never been with a guy, or been interested in a guy, and I know he can do things that I don't really know about, but I can make it good for you. Like yesterday it was good wasn't it? I can do that and I learn fast. I mean, I can get tips and stuff, and you can tell me what you like, and I can give you all that, I can," and he pitched forward, body hot against mine, hands and mouth questing over my skin.

It took all of my evasive skills to stop him from taking me down, and we ended up wrestling for dominance in the sand. I finally managed to get him pinned beneath me in such a way that he could not use his hands or his mouth to distract me.

"Seth," I gasped because his body pressed beneath mine was its own kind of distraction, "Please tell me what is going on in that head of yours?"

He turned his head and refused to look at me for a long moment, and I thought he would not speak at all until he sighed and whispered so low I had to ask him to repeat his words.

"I said I can't stand that he was your first kiss."

"My first kiss was when I was eleven..." I started, perplexed until I saw Seth's expression. Oh. Oh.

I did not know what to say to make it better. Garrett had been my first kiss and that could not be changed. I thought about pointing out that Seth was the first boy to touch my pichula but he had not seemed so happy about that incident earlier and I did not want to bring up anything that may make him feel more uncomfortable. I thought for a moment then lowered my head to brush my lips over his. His eyes grew gratifyingly wide.

"He may have been my first kiss," I whispered against his mouth, "But I would very much like for you to be my first everything else."

Seth moaned and flipped me onto my back, kissing me reverently whilst nodding vigorously in agreement. When he began to whine and pluck at my wetsuit, I broke the kiss and pulled him to his feet.

"My aunt is not home so maybe we could go back there and try some mutual pajearse." I trailed my fingers lightly over the front of his shorts to make sure Seth fully understood my intention, and he juddered against me, nodded once and dragged me determinedly up the beach.

.

The rest of the summer was blissful. Seth and I spent all of our time together, laughing and exploring, but it wasn't until we had shared our first pico chupa's that he became secure enough in our relationship to stop seeing Garrett as a threat.

I was sitting on the concrete, watching Seth practicing his indygrab, lost in thought. Seth was back for his final year at school in four days, and I was not sure what was going to happen to us. Seth's uncle had found me a job working in a warehouse for over the winter and had promised to hold my job in his shop for next summer.

"What's bothering you Nahuel?"

Seth sat beside me, nudging my shoulder with his own. I had been thinking so deeply I had failed to notice him approach. I tried to smile it off but he shook his head and shifted closer to me.

"C'mon," he wheedled in the voice he used to let me know he intended to get his own way, "You've been getting like this every day for a week now. Share the issues dude."

"I have no issues," I insisted, moving to stand but Seth flipped his leg deftly over mine and slid into my lap, pinning me to the ground. He pressed our foreheads together and slid his hands across my shoulder-blades. My breath hitched as he shifted closer, and I felt his smile brush my lips.

"I spoke to a couple of my teachers yesterday," he began conversationally, tilting his head slightly until our noses brushed.

"Mmm?" I murmured, distracted by his fingers sliding warm against my scalp.

"My Social Studies teacher specifically."

Seth wanted to be a Geomorphologist. He wanted to travel the world, map its land and understand the history that formed it. He also wanted to take his board and skate over it. He thought it was a perfect way to combine both his interests.

"Mmm," I agreed, distracted by the tip of his tongue tracing lightly over my jaw.

"We have to do a project on an area of our choice," he whispered against my cheekbone, "A big one. Will last the entire year." He bit my earlobe and I shuddered. "I've chosen the southern coast of Chile."

My body stiffened beneath him and he chuckled into my hair, his nose nuzzling my ear gently.

"My teacher was thrilled when I told him I had a native Chilean I could spend the year getting information out of."

I pulled back until I could see Seth's face. It was set in his serious mask but his eyes were smiling.

"The whole year?" I choked, unwilling to recognise the warm clench in my stomach until I received full confirmation.

"The whole thing," Seth hummed against my mouth. I leaned forward but he slid back, avoiding my lips. I frowned at him but he simply smiled.

"I was thinking." His hands wandered beneath my t-shirt and I forgot why I was frowning. "I know my uncle offered to keep your job open for next summer, but I thought we could do some saving over the year then maybe travel a little?"

"Travel?" I repeated.

"Yeah," Seth shifted in my lap a little and threaded his fingers in my hair, "You've only surfed here, but there are plenty of surf spots in America. And there are loads of skate comps I'd like to have a go at." He shrugged, smiling at me again. "I figured it might be fun. If you wanna."

I sat up on my knees, making Seth cling to me in surprise, and tipped him backwards onto the ground, covering him with my body. I grinned down at him before sliding my tongue into his mouth to show just how much I approved of his thinking. He chuckled against my tongue before kissing me back.