Brian found us in the lodge goofing off. The groups were meshing well. He pulled me into staff bunking in the back of the building.

"I was looking through your clothes and I found these…" he held up some of my lacey underwear. I blushed.

"Brian!" if you think it's weird that he was perfectly fine holding a girl's unmentionables (at church camp!), well you're right. When we were younger, I was in a competition and had a 'feminine' emergency. I made him go get me new clothes before I would come out of the bathroom. It made him get over his fear of underwear at a young age and now I see it might have had some side effects.

"Why'd you bring these anyway?" he asked.

"Shell and Sam are taking me out for my birthday and we don't have time to go home." Brian glanced down at his hands which held the item in mention. I snatched them out of his hands.

"Well, as much as I would like you to wear that…I also brought you this." He held out a worn pair of overalls and a tee shirt plus everyday underwear.

"Tanks buddy." I grinned at him. "Now get out, I have to change." He ducked out of the small room and pulled the curtain shut behind him.

"Hand me your wet stuff and I'll take them to the dryer." I did so; he waited patiently as I peeled off the wet layers. When I handed them out, he traded me for a towel. "If you're still wet." It was this kind of attitude that made me fall for Brian the first time. Years had made him hotter and smarter but I wasn't going to give in. So far, avoidance had been the answer, we really hadn't been alone since we got here, we hadn't really talked either.

He left his position in the doorway and met me on the porch.

"Still fast as ever."

"Can't touch this." He replied and dodged around a bit shaking his butt until I grabbed his ear. My campers howled to see their beloved Brian the God wincing.

"Pure QuickSilver, Bri."

"Oww! Lizard! I brought you something." He pulled a brush out of his back pocket. I let go of his ear and hid my astonishment. He remembered how much I hate tangled hair.


"No big, get one of your campers to braid it." Immediately four girls volunteered.

"Okay, who can French braid?" same girls. A memory of my year at camp came to me, we sat in a circle, braiding hair and talking about our counselors and the guys. I turned towards the younger girls. "We have an hour before supper, I was wondering if you would like to do a braid circle. I don't think five can pull it off." All the girls agreed, even if reluctantly. I threw a kick ball at Van. "Entertain your selves." I sat down between Sarah and Reed and the braiding began. Some girls braided up or down or around, one or two or many (Billie's head had about 20), braid in or out, the point I'm trying to make here is that they were all braided. Or pleated if you want ta go Brit/ Aussie. It was very unifying, the only thing the guys had in common were dirt stains.

At supper I pushed the two tables together and observed as the kids sat. Van and Sal sat together as did Billie and Vic. The couples however sat opposite each other in the middle, allowing other people to sit near them. For the most part, it was pretty well mixed.

"Lizard?" Billie's voice woke me from my observation.


"Are you going to do Truth or Dare tonight after campfire? Katie already told us we wouldn't and it's a fun tradition."


"Is it okay if another cabin comes?"


"Well, Sam and Brian wanna play and whoever shows up. We play in the lodge." Sally supplied.

"Remind me and we'll be there." Campfire bombed, just like every first campfire. Only the counselors sang loud and everybody was embarrassed to do the motions to the coffee songs. My campers had tons of campfires to improve with. So I didn't embarrass them…yet.

The group playing Truth or Dare was large. Sally explained the rules and started the game, it bounced around a bit. A lot of people chose truths because it was the first night and nobody could tell if you were lying. Somehow, Sarah was it, after being dared to go down to the lake and catch a salamander in the dark. We had all trooped down to the lake and it was dark by now. The summer air was warm but growing colder.

"Lizard? Truth or Dare?" Sarah asked. I always pick dare unless I'm really tired. "I dare you to kiss Brian for thirty seconds." Billie whipped out a stopwatch and I realized…

"You planed this!" Brian accused.


"You used your little, innocent sister!" He howled at Sally.

"It was her idea." Sarah grinned.

"I learned from the best. Now kiss, Billie'll say stop." Bri shrugged, turned to me, cupped my face in his hands and kissed me. It is very hard to resist when you're already attracted and in love with him. And then he kisses you.

I liked Brian for his attitude and actions. I wanted Brian for his kisses and hot body. I relaxed in his arms and kissed back. It was an innocent kiss; we were in the presence of children. His kisses had gotten better over the years too.

"Time!" Brian and I broke away and wiped our mouths. Sally and Sarah looked on skeptically and exchanged looks.

"For reason I'm more afraid of Sarah than Billie."

"Her hair is distracting." Sarah stated with a shrug.

We went back to the lodge and continued the game. We doodled with the drawing materials that another group left out. Sarah drew a wonderful sketch of the lake on a scrap of paper during one Truth (Billie asked Van how many times Vic had flirted with another girl during the school year.), I drew me and Bri flailing in the lake that morning during a dare (Van dared Vic to answer the question himself) and Brian wouldn't show either of us what he drew. Nearing 10:30 Sam ended the game saying we had to get up for our first full day. In the hustle of 'grab your kids and drag them to cabins' Bri brushed past me and gave me a look.

I snuck out the back door of the cabin and walked into Brian. He kissed me before I could even say hi. I kissed him back. My idea about avoiding him went out the window. Being around him for a whole week with out time alone was killing me. Brian had been wonderful all week and it was hard for me to avoid contact with him. Especially after he started following me. But now…the first kiss was like the moment your antibiotics kick in and you start to feel better and the more medication (kisses) you receive, the better you feel. The world becomes brighter and you can breathe better. I never wanted him to stop. I never wanted to let go of him. We eventually came up for air.

"I missed you so much." He brushed my cheek. Warmth trailed after his fingers.

"I missed you too." The thing about me and Brian was no one, not even us, had known how attached we were. I needed him the most during Cat's hospital stay. Granted he was there for that but I needed him in everyday ways. I also missed things like holding a towel for me and bringing me a brush.

"My friends at home kept asking me what happened that summer, why I came back different. I couldn't explain you to them. I couldn't date; no one could ever be you."

"Same with me." I spread a palm against his and played with our fingers. "Something was always missing. And it was you." Brian kissed me long and gentle.

"I'm not going to let you go, ever." I kissed him innocently.

"Should we be doing this? I mean, the end of summer-"

"-is a long time away." This kiss was anything but innocent. I slid my bare arms into his jacket and behind his back, pulling jus close together. my hands didn't stay there long. Bri slid his hands around my legs and picked me up. I wrapped my arms around is neck and my legs around his waist.

"I want to carry you off to a castle and shower you lavishly." He whispered.

"Literally or metaphorically?"

"Both." The last time he had actually tried it. Telling my mother he was kidnapping me.



"Are we going to tell any body about us?"

"Well, Michael and the Musketeers have to know."

"Why Mike?" I nuzzled his neck to keep warm.

"Well, the 'Teers will be able to tell tomorrow cuz you'll be all smiley and Michael will kill me if he finds out on his own."

"K, so we tell Mike and the Musketeers. No one else?"

"No one else needs to know. If they find out, good for them." He kissed me. "God you feel so good."

"Gonna put me down now?"

"I'll carry you to your castle." And he did. Or at least he carried me to the cabin. Brian set me down for a nice good night kiss. This kiss was anything but nice. Brian reluctantly let go of me. "Damn, Lizziebaby, how can you expect me to sleep after that?" I smiled.

"Sweet dreams Bri." He stared at me.

"You are pure evil." I smiled and went inside. It took me no time at all to go to sleep. And I dreamed of Brian.