Terry thought he looked like a wet rat and smelled like fish. That quick swim in the lake to save Eliza had cooled him down physically but emotionally, he was boiling. The way she treated Candy was despicable and seing Candy take it like she deserved it made him want to strangle someone. He didn’t feel comfortable acting out in front of everybody else and chose to leave. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he should have dragged Candy with him to his vila. Show them who he really wanted to be with but he did not and now it was eating him. Somehow he hoped she could defend herself against those nasty relatives of hers, if the Cornwell boys were men and if he was right that the Dandy had feelings for Candy, he guessed that they would stand up for her like they should.
He felt like getting out of his clothes as soon as possible not only because they were soaking wet but he still smelled Eliza’s parfume on him and he was starting to get nauseous. Didn’t feel like having the maids fuss all over him so he went to the kitchen, got two large buckets of water on the stove. When the water felt comfortable, he went outside behind the shed thinking that someday soon, he’d have to show Candy and four eyes what was in it. Probably score big points on the popular scale not that he cared what they thought of him but he knew it would make Candy happy. He would do anything to make her smile.
He stripped completely, no one in sight. Good. The warm water felt so good on his skin, like being wrapped in a velvety blanket. The sun was hot on his flesh, he wondered how come he didn’t tan well. He was not as pale as a certain young freckly girl but still, he would have hoped for a darker complexion. There were still a few weeks left to this summer vacation, and time by the lake with Candy is more important than tanning. Although, next time there’s drama in the Leegan’s family, he’ll run away and won’t forget to bring Candy with him that time. Where were she now? What was she doing ? Were they bugging her? How come Candy wasn’t even welcomed in their estate? Why was she living at the summer school dorm?
He picked up his soap and started to lather up his chest, his neck, decided to wash his hair eventhough he did it this morning. Soaped his arms, tried to reach his back the best way he could, rubbed the small of his back and his buttocks. As he bend forward a little to reach his knees and calves, he heard a soft whisper, like a strangled hush coming from the large bushes that were surronding the house. In a split of a second, rage and anger managed to wash away all feelings of calmness he was enjoying but in the corner of his eye, without completely turning his head toward the hushed sound, he recognized the tip of the hat worn by the object of his affection. He had to admit it right there but knowing that it was Candy somewhere in those bushes made the intrusion of privacy feel not so “intrusive”. He even felt that the wheel had turned on him in a way, great way to get him back for watching her change costumes at the May festival. Of course, she hadn’t shown that much flesh, to his chagrin he might had. How cocky of him to say that he wasn’t watching her, that he was marely seing her while he tried to contain his excitement and heartbeat. Just like right now, he had to stop thinking of how great it would be, if she could come over and properly wash his back, help him rince out the soap from his hair and maybe she could wrap him in the big towel he brought and dry his skin. He would be completely at her mercy and the total control freak he was could finally surrender to her touch.
He poured the whole bucket of now lukewarm water over his head, thanking the heavens for the fresh water to tuned down his awakening arousal. He certainly didn’t feel like gowing full frontal on her and send her screaming all the way to the dorm. Candy was innocent at these truths of life. If she only knew how much she was desired and wanted but she was not to be treated that way. She was a good girl, the best he ever met. She was his only friend and deserved to be treated with respect. That didn’t mean he couldn’t play with her a little bit though. They were friends after all.
“Enjoying the show?”
He got near the bushes, tying the towel around his waist, trying to not burst out laughing when he saw her try to go deeper into them and cursing a little when what must be a branch whipping her skin.
“Come on, get out of there, I can still see your hat.”
She got out, a furious blush on her skin, robbing the red mark on her arm where the branch hit her.
“You left without saying a word to me, I-I just wanted to know if you were mad at me or something.”
“No, I was not mad at you, I guess I was a little mad at myself for being played like that by that witch of Eliza. I’m sorry you thought I was mad at you.”
“It’s all right. She gets away with lots of things. She plays the damsel in distress act perfectely doesn’t she?”
“Yes, she does. But she’s no damsel to me.”
“You on the other hand have all the chivalry of a prince in shining armor.”
“Maybe I do, but only you can see me without my armor.”
That statement mad her blush even more.
“Come on Candy, it’s ok to be curious. And I don’t blame you one bit for it. If it was the other way around, well you know, I did the same thing to you before.”
Terry could close to her and gently tucked a tuft of her hair behind her ear.
“You’re shivering. You must go inside and get some clothes on or you’ll catch a cold.”
“I am shivering but it’s not because I’m cold Candy…”
She brought her hand up to his chest to wipe a drop of water that was rolling slowly down to his belly. Terry gasped at her touch and she withdrew her hand like she got burned on a hot stove. They stayed like that for what seemed hours, looking intensively at one another. The blue in Terry’s eyes darker, drops of sweat coming down Candy’s neck. Terry finally smiled at her.
“Would you like to come inside for some tea?”
“No, no thank you but it’s getting late and I sure don’t need to miss another curfew. The girls can’t actually come out with another excuse for me, I think we’re all out.”
“When will I see you again? Maybe we should plan these things ahead and stop catching ourselves off guard like that.”
“You mean like a date?”
“Well, yes a date. Or a secret rendez-vous.”
“Aren’t they the same?”
“A date in the correct way between two young people like you and me would require a chaperone and don’t say that your friends and cousins could accompany us because, I don’t want that. I want to be alone with you.”
“We’re alone together all the time, although I never thought it was improper. Is that why you left so quickly when everybody started to talk about gathering at the Andrew estate? You don’t like company much do you?”
“I like the company of you. And she dismissed you so vehemently…I swear I wanted to throw her back into the lake.”
“Ok then, no group date mister, I might just want to see you throw her anywhere…”
“See, this is why just you and me is a good thing. You calm me and let me be the charming man I really am…”
“Aren’t you a little full of yourself, Terrence Grandchester?”
“I guess I am but you keep wanting to be my friend so it must mean that you like me that way”
“I do, you know?”
“Do what? Like me?”
“No silly, I mean yes, I mean that I do want to be your friend!”
“I think we’re more than friends Candy.”
“Maybe… I really have to go Terry, I’ll see you soon.”
Terry watched her leave in a hurry. She ran holding on to her hat with one hand. Maybe he’ll see her sooner than later. Maybe they could relive another one of their impromptu encounters, maybe he could arrive on her dorm balcony by mistake tonight…