My step-dad insisted that if I stayed with him and mom for the summer that I had to get a job, but I knew it was my last chance… my absolutely last chance to have a free-from-responsibilities summer before I finished my bachelor’s degree and went to medical school. As a compromise, my parents agreed to let me take a summer class or two at a regional campus of the university I attended and, not incidentally, stay with my dad for the summer. He, at least, didn’t mind my pursuit of hedonism all summer.
Of course at the beginning of the summer my definition of ‘hedonism’ was pretty tame. I intended to stay up late watching Science Fiction movies or reading Stephen King novels, sleep until noon, eat waffles for lunch, swim all afternoon in our backyard pool, eat fast-food for dinner, take an evening class or two, and do it all over again the next day. I know, I know, I am a real rebel.
I arrived at dad’s late on Saturday afternoon and pulled my Mustang convertible into the driveway next to dad’s Triumph TR6. My black hair was a mess from the wind tugging it out of my ponytail so I took a minute to try to tidy myself before getting out of my car and going to my dad. I found him talking to the neighbor over the low shrubs that marked the border between their properties. I popped the trunk to get my duffle bag, but my dad called me over to him.
“Hey, kiddo. How was the drive?” my dad asked.
“The best kind: uneventful,” I said, grinning. “I may have barely avoided some speeding tickets. You know I can’t resist driving fast with the wind in my hair!” I laughed, running my hand through my dark hair again trying to smooth it down.
“You get a ticket, you pay for it!” he said, his hands on my shoulders. I smiled into his eyes, the same intense pale blue as my own, before he pulled me into a big bear hug.
“I know, I know.” I said, hugging him back just as fiercely.
“I want you to meet our new neighbor,” dad said, turning my attention to the man he’d been talking to.
I couldn’t hide a gulp at my first close-up view of the man who stood behind a push-mower. He had to be at least 6’4″ and was built like an olympic swimmer: long arms, big hands, powerful chest tapering into narrow hips. His light brown hair was thick and curly, plastered against his neck by sweat. He smiled at me and I blushed.
“Scott, this is my daughter Eileen,” my dad introduced him. “Eileen, this is Scott Rivers, our new neighbor.”
“A pleasure to meet you, Eileen,” Scott said, his voice a deep baritone, before he wiped his right palm on his shorts and held his hand out for me to shake. Our hands touched and I felt lightning fly up my shoulder in response. “I’ve heard so much about you. I’m sure you know your dad likes to brag.”
“Nice to meet you, neighbor,” I said, grinning and blushing like a schoolgirl. “Dad does like to talk about me. Please assume everything he said was an exaggeration.”
I blushed even more when he pulled up the front of his t-shirt to wipe the sweat off his face, revealing a stomach rippling with muscles and a narrow strip of brown hair disappearing into the waistband of his shorts. His dark blue eyes danced with mischief when he noticed me noticing.
“He definitely didn’t talk enough about your beauty,” Scott said so low that I’m not sure whether he meant for me to hear.
“Your dad said you are visiting for the whole summer?” Scott asked me in a more conversational tone after glancing at my dad.
“Yeah. I’m taking a couple of elective classes on campus here. It’ll let me reduce my course load during my last two semesters on main campus before graduation.”
“That sounds like an excellent idea,” he responded, grinning and giving me a view of a dimple in his cheek.
“We should let you get back to your mowing,” my dad cut in. “I’m sure Eileen is hungry and tired after her drive.”
“That I am,” I agreed. “See you around, Scott.”
“I sure hope so,” he grinned in response.
“Thanks for the pointers on the lawn service, Brian,” he said to my dad. “I’ll look into it.”
Dad just waved him off and headed toward the trunk of my car to grab my bags for me.
Dad took me to our favorite restaurant for dinner so I could have a nice rare filet mignon and baked potato for dinner.
“So when did the Millers move out,” I asked as nonchalantly as possible over our salad course.
“Just a few months after Todd graduated from college, actually,” he told me. “As soon as the last of their boys was out on his own they decided to downsize.”
“And does Scott have a family, then?” I asked. “That house is pretty big for one person.”
“It’s just him, so far as I know. I’ve seen several different ladies with him over the months since he moved in.
“He said he bought the house because he wanted the space for a recording studio.”
“Down in the basement?”
“Yeah. You remember that space that Todd and his brothers put together for their YouTube videos? Scott’s converted that area into a place to record music.”
“Huh. That’s actually pretty neat.
“What does Scott do? Do you know?”
“Oh, he works over at Spring Water Sound.”
“So he’s really into music, I guess.”
“I guess so,” dad agreed.
“Do I need to go over the rules again since you’re here, kiddo,” dad asked, changing the subject, but not really changing the subject.
“Rules,” I said, raising my eyebrows in mock disbelief. “What are these ‘rules’ you speak of?”
“No men in the house unless you introduce me to them first remains rule number one.”
“Seriously, daddy? I’m 21-years-old.”
“Yes. A beautiful 21-year-old woman who will introduce me to any man she intends to fuck under my roof.”
I squinted my eyes at him and pursed my lips, but nodded my agreement.
“I don’t have any intention of… doing that… with anyone while I’m here this summer,” I informed him.
“Your intentions may change,” he said, his eyes laughing but his tone serious.
“Do you know your class schedule?”
“I am taking ‘Fantasy and Science Fiction Literature’ and ‘Music Appreciation’.”
“Those are a far cry from biochemistry.”
“Well, yeah. Which is why I’d never be able to take them during my normal school semester. I don’t have time for doing the reading or going to concerts while taking my normal course load.”
“When are your classes, then?”
“The English class is 7-8:20pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The music class is 7-9pm Tuesday and Thursday, but we will also be expected to go to live music events on occasion, usually on the weekends, but not always.”
“That sounds like a perfect way to spend the summer.”
“Yep. My last summer as not-quite-an-adult. I’m so glad you’re letting me take the time to do this. Dan wanted me working.”
“Yeah, well I think you deserve the break before you have to hunker down in medical school.”
“I appreciate that, daddy.”
“Mi casa es su casa, my dear. Your old room is just how you left it last time you were here but with clean sheets. I stocked up on your favorite foods, too. There are a bunch of those toaster waffles in the deep freeze. And I got you those pancake-wrapped sausages you like so well.
“I also got your bicycle a tune-up so you can ride to campus. You should probably get yourself a new helmet, though.”