We pull out of the parking lot and drive through town, passing the campus as he takes a turn onto the interstate leaving Eugene behind. I like the idea of going somewhere outside of town for our date. I know that just about anywhere we go in town there will be other students and they will stare. I do find pleasure in the thought of jealous girls seeing me with Jackson.
“Okay we’ve been in the car for like forty-five minutes. You have to tell me where we are going.” I plead with him.
“No, I don’t have to, you just want me to.” He says with a smile reaching across the center console of his truck to grab my hand. He intertwines his fingers with mine and that is enough to make me stop begging for information and try to just go with the flow.
After 30 more minutes we exit the highway and follow a backroad draped with the leaves that have changed colors and fallen off the tree all around us. He pulls into a long driveway and I see a cute house appear at the bottom of it with a lake resting behind it. It is absolutely beautiful here. The house is a ranch styled brick home with double doors with large glass windows in the front. It is extremely private here; I don’t see any other houses on either side of us as trees surround the homes grounds.
“Wow, who’s house is this?” I ask with my mouth hanging wide open.
“It’s my parents lake house.” He says with a smile.
“Lake house?” I ask
“Yeah. Lake house.” He says with a laugh.
“Come on, let’s go.” He replies as her jumps out of his truck.
I follow him down beside the house and we continue walking through the grass backyard to the dock that sits at the edge of the yard. I turn back towards the house and see that the whole backside of the house is windows, I am sure there is a view of the lake from every room in that house only making me love it more. When I turn back around Jackson is standing inside the boat that was parked under the cover of the dock.
“Hop on.” He says and holds his hand out. I grab his hand and let him help get me onto the boat.
“You aren’t scared of water are you?” he says with a laugh as he walks over to sit in the drivers seat behind the wheel of the boat while he turns the key causing the boat to let out a load roar.
“No, I am not scared of water.” I laugh.
“Good.” He smiles then mashes the gas on the boat causing me to lose my footing and fall back on my butt on the leather seat behind me.
We ride on the lake, he points out all these giant houses as we go telling me he knows who lives in each one since he has been coming here since he was a kid. We finally reach a cove surrounded by trees sporting all different color leaves; green, red, orange, and yellow. I love this time of year.
“This is my favorite spot to come out and relax at.” He smiles back at me while throwing the boats anchor into the water.
“It’s really pretty out here.” I reply. “There is practically no one else out here.”
“Yeah that’s because its fall. Not very many people come out during fall, but during summer it is packed.” He says while sitting down next to me.
For a moment we both sit there looking around and enjoying the sounds of the water around us. It is peaceful.
“So don’t call me cheesy again, but I brought a picnic basket.” He smiles.
“I was wondering exactly what you were carrying down here. I just thought it was your purse.” I tease and he bursts into laughter. His laugh is something I could listen to all day, it is the kind of laugh that makes you feel happy inside and want to laugh along with him.
He opens the basket pulling out sandwiches from Johnny’s sub shop and a bowl of mixed fruit along with some waters. He hands me a sandwich and I peel open the paper wrapped around it and take a bite. I stop chewing and look at the inside of the sandwich. It is my favorite kind I always get when I got to Johnny’s; turkey and pepperoni on Italian herbs and cheese bread with white American cheese, lettuce and a touch of mayo. I have got the same thing there every time for years.
“How did you know?” I ask him.
“You got it every time I was ever there with you and Lo-“ he stops before finishing.
“You remember that?” I ask completely ignoring any comment almost made about Logan.
“Yeah I guess I did” he smiles nervously and looks away.
“Thank you.” I say and place my hand on his hand in an attempt to let him know how sweet the gesture is to me. I can tell he isn’t use to this kind of thing and I just wanted to make sure he knew he was doing a good job.
We finish eating and just stay sitting there talking. Jackson tells me stories about being flung of the tube being pulled behind the boat by his dad as a kid and finding rope swings to jump off of into the lake. I enjoy hearing these stories about him as a kid being with family, it makes the soft side of him I am beginning to see make more sense. I decide to stand up and take a look around again because I truly can’t get enough of this view. I feel something hit my back.
“Oh no you did not!” I laugh when I realize he threw a grape at me. I find the grape laying by my feet and pick it up and throw it back at him, bouncing it off his shoulder.
“You don’t want to play this with me! You must be forgetting I am a college baseball player.” He teases while standing up and grabbing another piece of fruit to hurl at me.
“Bring it on!” I playfully shout. Before knew it we were both tossing fruit back and forth at each other, laughing so hard my stomach became exhausted from tensing up so much. After we finished the food fighting, he laid flat on his back on the floor of the boat staring up at the sky and I decided to join him. We laid there laughing, play fighting, and telling more stories as he snuck his arm underneath me and pulled my head to his chest.
“Is it getting dark?” I ask as I realize the sky has gone from a bright blue to a light blue/grey color.
“Yeah, it is.” He replies.
“How long have we been out here?” I laugh.
“Several hours. Time flies when you’re having fun.” He teases.
He pulls his body up off the floor and reaches for my hands to help me up as well.
“I guess we better get back huh?” he asks with a smile.
I nod in agreement even though part of me wishes I could sit out here all night with him. I completely lost track of time, I was consumed by him, his laugh, his stories. Today made me realize that there is so much more to Jackson then I ever knew and it only makes me draw to him more.
He walks over and takes his seat in the driver’s seat of the boat again.
“Sit with me.” He says with a warm smile.
“What?” I ask.
“Come here, sit with me.” He replies while patting his hand on his lap.
I don’t give my subconscious a chance to talk me out of it before I walk across the boat and sit down on his lap. He brings one arm around me and rests in on my thigh and the other around the other side to grip the wheel of the boat. We head back towards the dock with the wind blowing my hair out of my face clearing the way for my eyes to see the sun setting in front of us as we coast over the water. The sky has become a blood orange color as the sun tries to make its way down setting behind the tree line. He pulls the boat back into the dock and ties it off, securing it then reaches for my hand to help me back onto the dock.
We walk hand and him back up the backyard of the house towards his truck. When we get onto the driveway, he releases his hand from mine and turns towards me, placing his hands on my waist and pulling me in.
“I have been wanting to do this all day.” He says and brings his lips into mine. My knees go week as he rolls his tongue smoothly to meet with mine, bringing his hand up to hold my face never breaking the kiss. He presses his lips against mine a touch harder before pulling away and pressing his forehead to mine as we both try to catch our breath.
“Stay with me tonight.” He whispers.
“Here?” I quietly respond.
“Yes.” he replies followed by him placing a soft kiss on my forehead then pulls me into his chest with both arms wrapped around me.