“We’ll set up here,” I decide.
“Yessir, Captain Huck,” Tom answers. He spreads out our blankets. Laying in the middle with his arms stretched out to me, I leaned over for another kiss and lick.
“Later. We gots to make camp ‘fore the thunderclouds rolls in.”
“Ah. Yer no fun. What about what y’all said about us gettin’ it on, once we had our privacy.”
I can see his dick straining to get out of his stolen jeans. I know what was gonna made him cream.
“You know I loves ya.”
Pop, spunge, spurt. He’s an automatic. I lick the front of the jeans while he keeps climaxing, rubbing his butt as he rolls back his eyes and moans at each spurt. It’s getting harder to deny this boy, all of 14 and ready to grow up.
“Now, git up and act like ya wants ta make a camp here,” I order.
He looks bewildered but does move. We collect palm fronds and tree branches, enough to build a lean-to, where we spread out the blankets.
“Firewood next,” I order.
“What’s we needs that for. Hot as hell out here,” he complain.
I start bringing in dry wood, breaking it into logs. He follows me around.
“We ain’t gots no matches, y’know,” He continues to whine.
“All in good time, boy.”
We build up a decent pile and place a circle of stones in front of the lean-to. I find a couple of coconuts, which I crack open.
“Have a drink. Looks like ya needs one,” as I hand him the split shell.
“I’ll bet ya taste sweeter,” looking wickedly at me as he wipes his lips. “Ya owe me a pair of orgasms. Let me collect now.”
I grab his stiff dick and it goes off like the noon whistle.
“That ain’t no fair. I gits no time ta enjoy it,” he complains.
I pull him close and make him comfortable.
“This is love. Not that,” As I point to his messy jeans and kiss him, just not so long as to get him horny again.
He jumps up, pulls off his jeans and drags them bare-ass into the swamp. He wiggles his ass at me.
“Ya tryin’ ta be ‘gator bait,” I mock him.
Startled, he jumps back up the bank where he squeezes the water out of his jeans and hangs them from a branch.
Bare ass and hanging, he’s not looking like he’s only 14.
“When’s yer birthday, Tom,” I ask.
“Not ‘til October thereabouts.”
Well, maybe I best treats ya like yer 15 now,” I smile at him.
His dick is instantly hard as he scoots under the shelter.
“If ya ain’t gonna fuck me, kin I fuck you?” he asks mischievously, wagging his stiffy at me.
“And I thoughts y’all was so innocent,” as I slap his ass.
“I’ve wanted to ever since I seen ya take it up the ass from that jock, the first night ya was in juvie.”
“I bet you creamed yer pants, right then and there.”
“Damn right. Especially when ya turned the tables on that prevert.”
“Yeah, the good ol’ days of juvie, before The Program.”
“Yeah, we thought we had it bad then, but little did we know.”
I kiss him, long, hard and deep. His reaction is immediate.
“Ah shit, here I goes agin,” as his body stiffens.
I take all five inches of him into my mouth. At least he has decent pubes. He keeps squirting. Done, he clings to me as he pants and moans. To my discredit, I’m measuring him for a good fit up my ass. I rationalize that he’s already 15 and me still 16. Like Jace and I used to be. That thought kills my hard-on.
“What’s wrong. I had it up the butt before, if’n ya ain’t gonna let me do ya. I can go agin.’”
“I bet. All night long, too.”
“Ah, yer a tease.”
“Who was wigglin’ his ass in ‘gator beach?”
“Just windin’ up yer clock so it kin strike eleven.”
“That’s fer later,” he giggles.
We just sit there hugging.
“I love ya, Tim.”
“Its Huck. Huckleberry Flynn.”
“Naw, ‘in like Flynn.’” As I wiggle a finger into his tight, pink ass. His legs start spasming as he rolls side to side.”
“Ya like that, huh?”
“Oh, yeah,” he mumbles, reaching across my lap to check my dick. With a disappointed look on his face, “I ain’t fuckin’ no limp dick.” He pushes me away.
I pull him back. “Ya gots ta play the love card if’n ya expect any action from me.”
He looks me in the eye. “Cain’t we jist get down an’ dirty? Jist let me fuck ya anyways.”
I laugh and turn away from him to unbuckle and push down my jeans. My XXL hose flops out.
Tom looks at the size of it in wonder. “Holy shit. Ya ain’t never gonna git that thing inta me.”
“It has its ways,” as I twitch it and make him jump.
“Ya better fuck me sooner ‘n later then,” as I roll on my stomach.
He’s on me faster than flies on shit. This time he keeps control like he know what he’s doing. I start moaning and fucking him back. He reaches under, grabsmy titties and hangs on as I give him a ride. Soon as he starts sounding like he’ll cum, I roll him off and start rubbing my rock hard dick against his pink hole.
“No. No. No,” he complains, afraid of the size. Yet his butt hole is pulsating in anticipation. I roll him back on top, pull my knees up, and let him sink into me again. Every time he gets close, I reverse the positions and tease his hole with my tip. He can’t help himself from trying to suck me in. I always roll over to let him back into me before pushing too far into him. It goes on like this for at least thirty minutes. We move out from beneath the lean-to and are rolling on the grassy hammock. Dirt, leaves and sticks are stuck to us as we keep changing positions. I worry that all the time of no sex in the Program would make my built-up load too much for him to handle. I visualize it coming out his mouth, nose and ears. I pull out just in time to cum all over his back. It flies into his face as he was turns to watch me. He pushes me backwards, enters me and shoots multiple times up my ass, before finally collapsing. I drag him into the swamp to wash off. He clings to me exhausted. Looking over his shoulder, I see the strangest thing. Four round protuberances swimming right at us, twenty yards away.
“Gator,’ I yell, barely waking him up. Holding him, I run for the bank. He is looking backwards and sees the ‘gator.
“Holy shit,” he squeals, reminding me he isn’t 15 yet. Once up the bank, we stop, feeling safe. The ‘gator comes right up the bank. I pull Tom up the nearest tree and shove him out of the ‘gator’s reach.
“He’s gonna git us. He’s gonna git us,” he keeps squealing.
“Hush. He ain’t gonna climb this here tree.”
Tom clings to me, shaking and out of his mind from fear. I definitely am not his hero, bare ass, up a tree, waiting for the beast to give up on making us his dinner. The ‘gator finally gets bored and wanders back into the swamp. We climb down.
“I ain’t stayin’ here. That thing kin come out of the swamp anytime and git us,” he whines.
“We’ll build us a door to the shelter so as he cain’t git in,” I try to reason with him.
“No way. I won’t sleep a wink ‘cause of worrin’.”
I put my arms around him as he kept shaking. After a bit, he seemed calmer.
“Alright,” I gave in, “we’ll go back to the hippie campground fer tonight. But just to git some tools ta make the lean-to safe from ‘gator attacks. I’ll tell ‘em we lost our first battle with the ‘gators but we’s not givin’ up.”
Tom eyes get big. “We gots to come back ta this here hell hole?”
“Ya didn’t feel that way when we was rolling around on the ground.”
“I’d plumb fergot there was ‘gators here. I’s scared, Huck.”
I kiss the top of his head. “Let’s jist git back ta the hippies and git us weapons and tools.”
At least our clothes are dry. Soon we’re out on Route 27 and quickly go back to the campground.
“Howdie, boys. Y’all stayin’ awhile?” an older hippie asks.
“We had our first Alligator Alley Adventure. It didn’t go all that great.”
“Ya met a ‘gator.”
“He almost et us,” Tom adds.
“Well, that’s what ‘gators do.”
“He was humongous – 18 feet I bet,” Tom is unconsciously exaggerating.
“Well, not quite,” I correct.
The hippie laughs.
“Y’all be stayin’ wid us, now?”
“Yeah, if Vic‘s ’round?” I ask.
“Well, he works in town. I bet he’ll be back about now. Y’all stayin’ wid him?”
“We ain’t givin’ up on our ‘gator adventure. I’s hopin’ he’ll lend us a knife or ax.”
“Ya gots guts, boys. I’ll give ya that.”
“Hell, a ‘gators jist an animal. Cain’t blame it fer bein’ hungry.”
Tom looks worried again. He is standing pretty close to me, like a shadow. We go and sit on the steps to Vic’s Airstream. Some of the younger hippies come over and ask us about our adventure. Tom gets worked up about how we were attacked. He spins out the tale like a true troubadour, calling it our tale of ‘Gatorsaurus. Vic soon shows up.
“Where’d y’all go this mornin’?” he asked.
“We had a ‘gator adventure and we was the losers,” Tom explains.
“I tolds ya. Whatcha all expect?”
“We ain’t givin’ up. Kin ya lend us a knife and a hatchet fer protection?” Tom asks.
“I think we can handle that. Y’all shure ya want to be back out there?”
“Well, maybe tomorra if’n we kin sleep here agin.”
Vic winks at me while Tom recounts our encounter with ‘Gatorsaurus. It gets better with every retelling.
Soon it is afternoon thunderstorm time. Vic let us into the trailer and sparks us up. Tom’s next recounting of our ‘gator encounter is even more vivid and the beast more lurid, with gangrenous flesh and ‘at least a hundred teeth.’ He even describes its fetid breath. We’re in stitches from laughing. Suddenly my mood drops me into a funk. I’m not used to smoking now. Previously it has always been fun. Now I start thinking about all the people I’ve lost in life, always moving as a kid, the Scott fallout, Jace and Max now dead, Jack gone, the band kaput. I pick up Vic’s beat up acoustic guitar and start playing the blues – Grateful Dead. Vic gives me a quick look, seeing the tears just on my eyelashes, then looks away as I brush them off. ‘I Will Get By:’
‘Dawn is breaking everywhere
Light a candle, curse the glare
Draw the curtains I don’t care ’cause
It’s all right
I will get by
I will get by
I will get by
I will survive
It’s a lesson to me…
And try to keep a little grace
It’s a lesson to me…
Try to give a little love..
My dog has been dead for years
It’s even worse than it appears
But it’s all right…
We will get by
We will get by
We will get by
We will survive’
Writer(s): Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia
Copyright: Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.
“Why ya so sad, boy?” Vic asks. “And why’d ya change the words about yer dog bein’ dead?”
“Cops killed my dog, an’ it jist makes me so sad. Had to sing ta let it all out.”
Vic looks at me sharply, “Ya said cops killed yer dog?”
“Yeah. Well, ‘twas my fault. Max was protecting my friends. The cops shot ‘im.”
“Max?” Vic again looks quickly at me. “The dog killed at the Skynyrd show last Spring?”
“I knew ya was too good a musician to not be a pro. You’s in False Gods, huh?”
I just hang my head. Tom looks confused. We’re not supposed to let anyone know who we really are. I’ve blown our cover.
“Whateva happened after that show. Y’all blew away Skynyrd. No one’s heard of y’all since.”
“No way we blew away Skynyrd. They came out and played with us after the shooting ‘cause everyone was runnin’ away. We gots ta play ‘Free Bird’ with ‘em and everyone come back. We be jammin’ with ‘em. That’s all.”
“Who cares, yer a hella musician, even I kin see that.
“Ain’t doin’ me no good now.
I pick up the guitar and start playing ‘A Friend of the Devil.’
‘Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night,
The first one’s named Sweet Anne Marie, and she’s my hearts delight.
The second one is prison, babe, the sheriff’s on my trail,
And if he catches up with me, I’ll spend my life in jail.’
Writer(s): Jerry Garcia, Robert C. Hunter, John C. Dawson
Copyright: Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.
Vic’s face lights up, “Ya boys are on the run, ain’tcha?”
“Cain’t say, puts y’all in harm’s way. We’ll leave before there’s any trouble.”
“No way. Jist makes us fellow pardners in crime. Y’all kin stay here. No one’ll eva turn ya in.”
I just shake my head and start playing ‘Truckin’.
‘One of these days you know you better get goin’
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone…
Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again
I’d like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in….
You’re sick of hangin’ around and you’d like to travel;
Get tired of travelin’ and you want to settle down.
I guess they can’t revoke your soul for tryin’,
Get out of the door and light out and look all around.’
Writer(s): Bob Weir, Philip Lesh, Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia
Copyright: Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.
“Sure wish ya was stayin.’ But I’s understand why yer movin’ on.”
I see that the rain has passed.
“Well, not tonight. Looks like the weather’s cleared an’ we kin have ‘nother singalong. It’ll be a hoot,” I brighten up and smile.
“Ya gots friends here, so don’t ya worry ‘bout cops.”
“Best not to tell what ya figured out. The less people knows, the safer y’all is.”
“Sure. But I kin tell my kids someday I knew a real rock star.”
“Fer right now, keep it under yer hat. So as, when the cops come a’lookin’ fer us, just tell the truth ‘cause we’ll be long gone. They always know when yer lyin’.”
‘Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town?’
Songwriters: LEVERT, GERALD EDWARD / GIBSON, ANDY
Mercedes Benz lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Everyone sings the last verse. Tom hugs me around the stomach and everyone is swaying to the slow dirge. The singing goes on, with Tom leaning against me, sound asleep.
Afterward I talk with Vic, as I carry Tom back to the trailer.
“He’s still crushin’ on ya, ain’t he?”
“Yup,” I nod. “I thought that he”d get the message I’s jist as chicken shit as ‘im, runnin’ bare ass from the ‘gator and climbin’ a tree.”
“Did it work?”
“Naw. He thinks I’m gonna wrastle that ‘gator now, as I’m gittin’ a knife from y’all. The quest goes on.”
“I hopes not. Just so’s you tell them cops where we went an’ how we neva come back.”
“Sounds like a legend.”
“Call it wot ya may, we gots to be movin’ on, not that the hospitality ain’t bin A number 1.”
I lean over. He hugs Tom and me. Again he asks if I’ll sleep with him. I tell him Tom will throw a fit, so we leave it as a mutual admiration society thing. He has to be at least 23 or more.
“Kin ya drive me to 7-11 in the morning?” I remember I should call Jay.
Of course Tom wakes up horny and tries to molest me on the couch we share.
“Jist wait ‘til we’s back at camp,” I fend him off.
“Stop teasin’ me,” he complains.
“It ain’t a tease when ya knows we’ll be doin’ it soon as we’s alone,” I argue. I gave him a squeeze. I’m rewarded with spunk all over my hand. He goes back to sleep instantly.
Vic and I drive into town where I call Jay again.
“Hey, Max,” he answers . We giggle together. “You still hiding out.”
“We gots a safe place,” I answer, falling back into my Huck accent.
“Sounds like you fit right in.”
“Any word from Mike?”
“He raised hell with the County Youth Authority. They have to release the paperwork on all the kids who have filed complaints against The Program. He threatened a class action suit.”
“Wot’s that. I’s in senior class now, if’n we straighten out the last few months. That makes me like high-class?””
“Not high school class, but a class of victims of a crime.”
“How’s that gonna help?”
“If we proves… shit, I means prove… Now I’s talkin’ like a hick.”
“Ya kin take the boy outa the country but not the country outa the boy,” I laugh.
“Anyway, if he can prove you were abused, then they can’t contend they took you into custody to protect you.”
“Great. Kin I come home now?”
“Not ‘til we proves the abuse and gets a judge’s order.”
“Shit. Well, wot’s happenin’ with my dad. He and Susan git hitched?”
“Yeah, the Stones threw a big party.”
“I bets no one misses me t’all?”
“Not true. Ur dad told ever’one y’all was doin’ good in rehab.”
“Like he even knows.”
“Well, we all will git it straightened out. Jist be patient.”
“Love ya, Jay.”
Vic has been slouched against the side of the 7-11. When he hears me say I love Jay, he said, “I knew y’all was gay. They even said it in the papers.”
“Don’t be thinkin’ all ‘bout that. Jay’s ur age. Ya wanna an introduction. He’s way cuter than my scrawny ass.”
“Well, umm, I don’t..” he hems and haws. “Maybe..”
“No problem, but ur gonna havta wait ‘til they’s cleared my ass from the bogus charges.”
“I’ll jist crush on yer ass ‘til then.”
“Ur so romantic, ya ol’ horn dawg,” we both laugh.
Popularity had yet to breed contempt. I wish I could stop turning everyone gay.
“Wot?” Vic asks.
“I’s such a slut.”
He hits me with a bro’ punch to the shoulder.
Once we get back, Vic cooks a real breakfast of eggs ‘n grits. The coffee gets Tom and me wired and ready to go take on the ‘gators. Or, maybe Tom can’t see past our next session of ‘private’ time. Vic gives us a Bowie knife, a hatchet, matches and rope, to which he adds a couple of joints.
“Y’all be careful and come back,” he cautions.
“Y’all’s the best,” I say, as I gave him a bro’ pat on the back. Tom gives him a quick hug, grinning at me.
Soon we’re back on the road again,
heading out to the first camp. Hi Ho , Hi Ho. When we get there, the blankets have to be hung out to dry from the previous evening’s thunderstorm. I move the lean-to’s frame so it is adjacent to the tall tree we used to escape from the ‘gator. We use the hatchet and rope to construct a more permanent four-sided shelter, with a flip-up door that make us feel secure inside. By being attached to the tree, not only is it more sturdy, but we can easily climb into the branches if need be. We eat coconut for lunch, drinking the juice to refresh us from all the work. Additional palm fronds are gathered and the shelter is fairly rain-proof. It is late afternoon by the time we finish. The blankets are finally dry. We create a little nest to be comfortable in our new camp. As the skies darken with the approach of the thunderclouds, we wait inside the shelter to test the rain-proof-ability of our design.
“How’s it ya knows so much about campin’, Huck?” Tom asks.
“All them years as a military brat in Alaska. We was always goin’ a’hikin’ and a’campin’.”
I tell him about the time we got caught in the rain after Victor tumbled a thousand feet down a steep slope tryin’ to catch his hat in the wind. We all camped at the bottom as his ankle was sprained. It rained so hard that one tent was soaked. We all huddled together in the other tent, sleeping two to a sleeping bag.
“Y’all getting’ it on, huh?” Tom jumps to the assumption that we all were gay.
“Naw, we was younger’n you is now. Never thought ‘bout that. Jist tryin’ to stay dry.”
“I never bin nowheres but Florida,” he whines.
“Ain’t ya havin’ fun now. Not bad here in the Sunshine State.”
“We’s the OJ State.”
“Hell no, he’s a lame football player.”
“Tell me ‘bout the band, Huck,” he orders. “Bet ya did lots o’ drugs.”
“Mostly pot. Our drummer was a dealer.”
We lay there while I tell him stories about the band’s glory days. It hasn’t been a year but it sure seems so long ago, just history now.
“Ya done so much,” he sighs. I can see the tears forming in his eyes.
“Wot’s this?” I ask, brushing away his tears.
“We’s doomed. Y’all done so much. I’s just some hick. We ain’t got nothin’ in common.”
“Com’n, Tom. We’s makin’ our history tagether, right now. The Alligator Alley Adventures.”
“Ya ain’t bored wid me?” his eyes sparkles from the tears and wonder.
“Yer so cute,” as I kiss his eyes shut, pulling him into a full body hug. “Cain’t we just get through these days and see how it turns out. Neva give up today what might not last tomorra.”
“Y’ve bin sayin’ I’s too young fer us to be real boyfriends. I guess you’s right.”
“How’s ‘bout we stay brothers, brothers on the run.”
“How s’bout brothers with benefits?” Tom can’t help his hormones.
“I ain’t askin’ s’xactly wot that is, but I kin guess. Ur ol’ sperm factory cain’t stop the volcano yer dick keeps eruptin’.”
We just laugh. Then we fall asleep together.
“I’s hungry,” Tom whines that evening. “Let’s head over ta the campground fer some rice ‘n beans.”
“No way. We needs to fend fer ourselves. Wanna learn how to caitch fish?”
“How’s we gonna do it with no line, hooks or bait?”
“Just you watch,” as I step into the swamp. “And look out fer that pesky ol ‘gator.”
Tom shivers, even though it’s close to 90 degrees. I stand still, carefully watching the water. Soon a catfish lazily swims near my legs. Swinging an arm without moving my legs, I scoop it up and it flies up on the bank.
“Git it,” I order Tom, who falls on it before it can flip back into the swamp. I get one more, enough for that night’s dinner.
“How’d ya lern that?” he asks.
“Jist watchin’ Grizzlies swat salmon outta the Kenai River in Alaska.”
“Ain’t cha sumthin’?” he beams at me. I show Tom how to gut and cut the heads off the two catfish. Next I strip out the bones. We build a fire and roast the fish like they’re ‘smores. I strip off the tough skin and Tom tries the tender filet that’s left. Without butter, spices and cornmeal, I think the catfish is tasteless, but Tom is ravenous. To him it’s miraculous. We’re living off the land. He burps and lays his head in my lap.
“Tell me ‘nother band story,” he demands.
I recount the whole Samhein/Halloween exploit, explaining that the two little kids identified me as an abuser, which is one reason I ended up in juvie.
“Wot’s the name o’ that there flower?”
“Belladonna. Dontcha go messin’ with it. It’ll fuck you up.”
“I bet that Robby guy’s ur drug dealer. I gots ta meet ‘im.”
“Oh, he’d love you, have ya wrapped ‘round his little finger.”
“’Til he’s done wid ya. That boy don’ care ‘bout nothin’ but hisself.”
“Got a mean streak a mile wide.”
“Sounds like y’all hates each other.
“Oh, we be best friends ‘til he tried ta rape Jack. I kicked his ass from here ta Sunday.”
“Ew. Ya likes ta fight, dontcha?”
“Ya knowed that the first day ya saw me.”
“Yeah. Ya beat the crap outta three guys widout throwing a punch.”
“Yeah. I likes ta fight. Where’s that ‘Gatorsaurus ?”
We laugh, but then Tom jumps up and locks our new door.
“We be right comfy here now,” as he throws himself at me.
“All that fightin’ talk made cha horny, huh?”
“Like a bitch in heat,” he winks at me.
I stick a hand down the back of his jeans and finger his tight little hole. It pulsates from the stimulation. I pop his buttons and his dick is as stiff as a board, just not as long. I take him in my mouth and suck it in rhythm with my finger going further and further up his ass.
“Stop, stop, stop,” he moans. I keep at him. He instantly cums, shooting again and again down my throat.
“It’s always too quick,” he complains.
“Jist wait. Ya gots plenty more where that come from,” as I dribbled excess cum onto his belly.
He swipes a handful and undoing my jeans lathers up my semi-hard-on. He starts jerking me hard.
“Yer pretty good at that,” I compliment him.
He blushes. “I gits lots o’ practice.”
“Yer a automatic jizz machine. “
He keeps working on my dick. After a while he leans over and takes me into his mouth, careful not to go down too far. I enjoy torturing him by not cumming. He doesn’t care as long as he has my attention. I push his head all the way down, my tip deep down his throat. I hold him down as he gags.
“Breathe thru yer nose, pussy,” I mock him.
Following my instructions, he soon relaxes and is taking me all the way down, then getting his breath as I pull back out. He keeps pulling me down his throat. Suddenly I lose my control. I’m spurting deep inside him, holding his head down as he takes it all. His gagging excites me more. I keep cumming, fifteen, twenty times. He’s sputtering, with cum flying out his nose and mouth and tears out his eyes. Afterward he looks so sad. I kiss both his eyes. He turns away from me. Then crying out, he turns back and hugs me so tightly I finally have to hug him back. He relaxes.
“Why’s it so hard. I loves ya. I wants ya. Ain’t it enuff?”
I keep kissing his eyes, while he passively lets me hold him. I’m harder than ever. I French him deeply and long. He sits on my lap, positioning his ass on top of my straining dick. We keep kissing as he lowers himself onto my dick, his ass spasming with rapid contractions. My gut wants to push fully into him. He’s bouncing on the tip of my dick when he cums again, short bursts that splatter onto my face and chest while his ass clenches over and over. Finally he is done. His butt relaxes. I just slide into him, all the way to my pubes, his body is as flexible as rubber. I cum instantly, firing three then another burst into the depths of his anal canal.
“Oh, that feels so good,” he moans.
I slide out as he rotates into my arms and falls asleep. I lay back, holding him tight.
It’s dark when we awake, Tom moving to a more comfortable position bringing me out of my dreams.
“Ya’s so mean,” he looks at me with a half-smile.
“Brothers often are,” I answer.
“Are we lovers?”
I kiss him and fall back asleep. He places an arm over my chest and snuggles into my near shoulder. It’s getting light when I wake up again. I feel like I’m being watched. Looking up through our palm frond roof, I see a big yellow cat sitting on a tree limb, staring intently at us. I smile at it, causing its tail to wag back and forth. I nudge Tom, nodding at the cat when he opens his eyes. He gasps. The panther jumps away.
“That there a lion?” he asks, still half asleep.
“Naw. Just a panther.”
“What was it doin’?”
“Watchin’ over us.”
“Nice.” He goes back to sleep.