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We played a game that summer, one both dangerous and arousing. That lake—crystal blue and quiet—held secrets of our trysts, hiding those breath-swallowing moments within the silt and grasses. Every second, every touch and tightening grip, emblazoned itself upon my memory. For he held a power to him, a charisma I could never resist.

Whatever game he created, I would have said yes.

This one took a turn during the heat of July, when the sun sweat circles on our shirts and cooked the water level down half a foot. Dan, with his bright green eyes and daring smile, grabbed my hand before I could dive off the pier.

“How long can you hold your breath?”

About as long as anyone, I presumed, but I shrugged in response, anticipation tingling up my spine.

He leaned closer, a drop of sweat leaking down his temple. I wanted to lick it off, taste the salt upon his skin, flavored with a masculine scent no lake could wash clean. His voice became a deep whisper of suggestion.

“Want to find out?”

I never did need to say yes to him. Not in June when he’d winked at me across the parking lot at the camp ground. Not last week when he’d groped his own crotch when he caught me neglecting my fishing rod in order to stare in his direction. Not two nights ago when he snuck into my tent with a fat stack of condoms and a need that shook his fingers. And not today.

He pushed me off the pier with a laugh, his palms hotter than my skin. I gasped as I hit the water, sending a splash across the pilings. He stood above me when I surfaced, unrepentant and cocky, his hands on his hips. I could stand there, the tips of my toes curling against slick rocks that had already sliced our feet open during our first weeks at the camp.

“I’m going to find out,” he said, then he dropped his hands and stepped forward.

I jerked to the side to avoid getting hit as Dan came leaping into the lake. He didn’t surface after the water splashed against my face, but the lake, as bright as it was on the surface, was nigh impenetrable underneath so I couldn’t see where he’d gone. I fished about, searching for him, anticipating him yanking my shorts or tickling my balls.

Instead, he surfaced near the last piling. Green eyes sparkling as he blinked water off his eyelids, he grinned at me with surefire need on his face. The devil in him, I’d seen it. Loved it. So none of that warning scared me away.

I swam for him, chasing him into the lake. He swam backstroke, laughing at me as I gave chase. A need rose up inside, a need I was familiar with. The same need he had reflected in his eyes. One that shone brightly, brighter even than the sun.

This was us. This is what we had become. Lusty and focused and drawn to dark desires.

Dan turned over, the water droplets on his back glistening in the afternoon light. Then he dove into the lake where it was deeper. His board shorts a flash of bright red color before he sank completely under the surface.

I took a breath, a deep one, then followed him beneath the water. He was a blur when I opened my eyes. I felt his feet, soft flesh beneath my hands. He kicked away, escaping from me. Then he disappeared altogether.

I resurfaced, searching for him. The sun bright above my head, the birds twittering in the trees along the shoreline. I cast about, unsure where he might’ve gone, the surface of the lake sitting serene, unbroken, with only my own ripples bouncing away when I moved.

Is this what he meant, when he asked me how long I could hold my breath? Had he been wanting a game between the two of us? He’d done things like that before, competitions, him enjoying when I won so he could please me, enjoying it even more when he won and I served him on my knees, as if he were royalty to whom I swore fealty.

He preferred feeling braver, stronger, in control. I didn’t mind. Because he was all those things to me.

“Dan!” I yelled. My voice echoed over the lake, though nothing came back to me.

Yet the stillness of the water could not fool me, for I sensed a darkness, a shifting so subtle and deep it did not mar the surface. I knew he remained close. Could feel him. Sense him in the light currents about my body.

The water behind my legs shifted so suddenly that I barely had time to gasp before Dan’s arms came about my middle. He squeezed me tight, his laughter rumbling into my back. A pleasant vibration, one that reminded me of when he lay on top, pressed against my spine, my face in his pillow. His lips came against my ear, a tickling wetness in his whisper.

“Have you ever done it where people could see?” he breathed, cooling the droplets on my cheek. “Does the thought of people knowing, people seeing, maybe even judging, turn you on?”

As he spoke, Dan’s fingers slowly worked their way down to where the top of my swim trunks began. His fingers ran against my flesh, torturing me with a sensuality that made me hot and aroused. His other hand reached further, cupping me through my shorts, gripping the subtle beginning of my erection. I leaned against him, pushing off the rocky ground as water splashed against my chest.

“Can’t say that it ever did before.”

“And now?” he asked breathlessly, his hands becoming more insistent, his fingers slipping underneath the edge of my shorts, finding the tip of my length, massaging me, stroking me, teasing me with silent promises.

My heart sped up, pounding with excitement. I would do anything he asked.

I wondered if he knew that. Wondered if this was just one of his many wily ways of taking advantage of all of my desires. And then I wondered if it mattered. Because I was willing, wanting, and had no complaints over having him take advantage of me. In any way he wished.

“I think you know.”

“I know you’re hard,” he said. “I know you would say anything to get me inside of you. Get me to fuck you. But I want to know what you like. I want to know everything that turns you on.”

“You do.”

“I know I turn you on,” he said on a laugh. His fingers closed around the base my erection and he pulled upwards, his thighs jerking against the backs of mine.

I released a moan, the sound floating out over the lake. Did it reach the edge? I didn’t know and didn’t care. That was my answer, but I didn’t voice it, for the people on the shore neither spurred me on nor turned me off. They were inconsequential. It was Dan. All Dan.

“What else?” he asked. “What else turns you on? Do you even know?”

I breathed heavily, unsure if I could even respond as his fingers caressed my shaft. Working me up and down, his body hard, supporting me, making me feel alive. I tried to speak, but the words came out as a guttural sound, an implicit request for more.

He chuckled against my ear. “Shall we find out?”

Oh God yes, please. I wanted to find out. Wanted to find out everything with him. Wanted to know what made me tick. Wanted so bad I could scream.

He turned me around in his arms, pressed a kiss against my lips. He smiled as he pulled away slightly, a wide smile, devious, his eyes twinkling with barely suppressed excitement that mirrored my own.

“I want you in the water,” he said. “I want to see how long you can hold your breath.”

“My breath?”

That’s right. But this wasn’t a competition, as I’d first thought. This wasn’t a competition at all. And I knew exactly what he wanted me to do.

With a wistful sigh, one that did not hide my obvious delight at his suggestion, I sank against him. I ran my mouth along his chin, dragged my hands down his arms as I sank into the water. I kept his gaze until the very last, watching as a fire burned hot within his expression.

As the water enveloped my face, I closed my eyes to focus entirely on my sense of touch. And when I sought to grip his waist, I kept my lips against him, against the hardness of his chest, then the softer flesh of his stomach, until I reached the top of his trunks. There was his thickness, pressing against my chin. His erection, his obvious need, straining against the cloth urgently.

He ran fingers through my flowing hair, the sound of bubbles rushing past my ears every time his arms moved. I imagined I could feel him shaking, a shudder in his touch. That same high intensity lust that destroyed my own thought, wrecking his as well.

I liked him like this, standing in front of me, erection swollen against my cheek. I found it easier to give in, to be his entirely. In mere seconds I had his swim trunks undone and pulled down over his shaft. His fingers turned from lightly drifting through my hair into a tight grip against my scalp. His anticipation driving me wild.

I took him in my mouth deeply. His taste was muted somewhat, lost beneath the lake. But I swallowed him hurriedly, my desire rampant in my veins. The water pressed against my eyelids and roared within my ears. The breath in my lungs stagnant already. I could not breathe. All I could do was feel. Feel the thickness in my throat, the pressure in my lungs, the push of the water against my body.

My mind inched into a blessed numbness, the strain, the push and pull against his cock becoming a sole focus, the world dissolving around me. I ceased feeling the water. Ceased hearing anything but the pulse of my own blood in my ears or tasting anything but the sweetness of the precome dripping onto my tongue. He thrust in and out of me, holding me steady, my one grasp, my only connection to anything at all.

He became my world. My life.

My very existence narrowed to a sharpened point that began and ended with him. With his pleasure, his need. My own self tied to him.

I could have stayed like that forever, that blissful moment, my breath long gone, my lungs straining, my body on fire… Yet my mind at peace.

Then as the world grew dark and shadowed and I felt myself sinking, he gripped me under my arms and yanked me up into blinding light, vision blurred around the edges.

“Are you okay?” Worry making his voice crack. “You didn’t have to do that. You didn’t have to stay down there.”

But I felt his cock pressing against my lower stomach, oh so hard, still needy, the response he’d had making me feel powerful. I shivered and leaned against him, panting as the blackness receded and my mind once more became my own, breath by breath.

He stroked my hair, over it, no longer able to thread through the sopping locks. I wanted that again. Wanted to feel his grip against my scalp as he used me, stole me as close to the edge of life as we dared.

“Again,” I murmured against his wet neck. “I want. Want you.”

As my existence centered once more, I felt a pain within my groin, my cock too hard, so full it ached. My balls hanging low. That tip, that cusp… I’d been so close when we backed off.

He nipped my ear. “You can have me as much as you want. Whenever you want.”

So clear his words were, so smooth and flowing. Yet all I could say was, “Now,” in a gasping, wanton breath in return. I was under some thrall, had found exactly what I wanted, what I craved. That overwhelming peace, despite everything stolen from me.

This was my life, but my breath…that was his.

It was his when I pulled from his embrace and slipped under the water once more. His when I swallowed him down and held on, feeling the shadows creeping up around the edges of my mind. His as he stiffened and shouted and came down my throat, the last dredges of his semen splattering the back of my tongue making me quake.

And when I exploded, my cock jerking and straining in the water of the lake, my breath still yet belonged to him. Solely his. That pleasure unlike what I’d felt before, intensified and overwhelming. Earth and sky and the water between warped about me, swirling, shattering so that I had to cling to Dan to remain sane.

Remaining whole was another matter, for when I broke the surface a second time, I sobbed in relief as I clutched at him. He whispered in my ear, him far more composed despite his recent orgasm. “You’re safe, love. I’ve got you. You can breathe now. It’s all over.”

As if I wanted it to be over. He’d misunderstood, I realized. Thought he’d done something wrong, something unforgivable. Was ashamed.

I found the energy to tug myself straight, his own hands coming to hold my cheeks and I swore I heard an apology on his lips before he even opened his mouth. I faced him, with an expression of determination and…maybe even a respect that far outweighed our casual relationship as it’d been up till now. Stopped his sorrys with fingertips to his mouth as I struggled to regain some semblance of control.

“This,” I whispered when I finally found my voice, “This has been my favorite game.”

His eyes grew wide with newfound delight. And when he gathered me against him, I felt his cock twitch against my stomach again, rising to the occasion, desiring more, ever more.

I did not tell him that day, as the hot summer sun burned our shoulders during that long afternoon. Did not tell him that my breath belonged to him, now, forever, in whatever capacity he might want it. Did not tell him all that summer as we ran free within that camp, picking ticks off our ankles and fishing in the early morning hours, naked in our canoe, my throat sore from his fucking, my hips bruised from his grip.

But I think he knew.

~ ~ ~

This one has been in the works for quite a while considering how short it is. Took around a year before I finished it properly, though it sat stagnant for most of that. Part of the reason is because I used a dictation program during the middle section and it completely wrecked the story, turning lines I said into chaotic messes that I had to clean up without knowing what I originally had been trying to say.

Despite there being no fantasy in this one at all, I think it’s one of my favorite shorts I’ve written. Feels like it captures the youthful adventures of summer, but in a less nostalgic way.