The float had a small, round lip of clear glass an inch or so across added to give the ball both a bottom and a flat surface if someone wanted to display it on a shelf. Inside the clear glass was a number - 1997.
"Nineteen ninety-seven?" Evan asked. "It's been out here for that long?"
Gerry shook his head. "All the floats the city buries are numbered. I'll have to call this in to let them know this number's been found." He looked at Evan over the top of the float. "I'm thinking I should give my lucky charm a thank you kiss. What do you think?"
Evan took a deep breath. Yes, that sound would be his heart beating just a little faster. "I think that's a great idea," he said.
Gerry put the float down carefully on the sand. He leaned forward at a maddeningly slow pace. Evan's knees protested the crouch even as his libido told them to behave. It had been a long time since he'd looked forward so much to a simple kiss.
Gerry's lips finally touched his, and Evan realized this wasn't a simple kiss. Before Lucas, he'd been kissed by more than his fair share of men, if he were to be honest. For the most part, kissing was a brief prelude to an even briefer suck or fuck. Even Lucas wasn't all that keen on kissing.
Gerry took his time. His lips pressed softly against Evan's, a whisper of sensation that held a promise of something special. Evan felt Gerry's breath against his skin, smelled coffee and the sea. Evan let out a happy little sigh and closed his eyes, giving himself over to that promise, and Gerry deepened the kiss.
Evan wasn't sure how long he lost himself in the feel of Gerry's lips and tongue and the nearness of another person, but suddenly he was aware of a rough tongue on his face. A doggy tongue.
They broke apart, Gerry giggling and Evan caught somewhere between annoyance, embarrassment, and humor. Bruce licked his nose and yipped at him.
"Oh, stop!" Evan swiped at his nose with the back of his hand. "Would you stop?"
"Told you he'd come back," Gerry said around his giggles.
"He has exquisite timing."
"He's got a prize, too. Guess he wanted you to look at it."
Bruce did indeed have a prize. A piece of wood roughly the size of Evan's forearm, still covered in doggy slobber, was in the sand at Evan's feet.
"Good boy," Evan said, scratching Bruce behind one ear. "Now chew your new toy for a bit, and let me get back to what I was doing."
Gerry stood up. Evan glanced up at him, worried at the abrupt change.
"Knees aren't as young as they used to be," Gerry said. Then he grinned down at Evan. "I can kiss you up here, too."
Evan stood up, his own knees creaking, then Gerry proved that he could indeed kiss as well standing up as he could crouched down. The longer the kiss went on, the more Evan couldn't help but wonder what Gerry would be like in bed.
"So, is this really up to me?" Evan asked when they broke for air. "What we do here?"
The breeze -- not to mention Evan's fingers -- had loosened Gerry's hair from the ponytail. With his hair loose around his face, his lips reddened from kissing, and his eyes soft-focused and gentle, Gerry almost looked younger than Evan. "Yes," he said.
Evan spared one last thought for Lucas. Was what he was about to propose just to get even with Lucas for dumping him? To prove to himself that someone still wanted him? Gerry's hands were gentle on his shoulders, but there was an undeniable electric charge running straight from Gerry's hands through Evan that he couldn't wait to explore further.
No, this had nothing to do with Lucas.
"That's good," Evan said, "because I'm thinking I'd like to do things with you that could get us arrested on a public beach."