Camp Hideaway Ch. 01

Brunette

Content Warning: Although it isn’t a major focus in this chapter, this series will include male characters who are gay or bi as well as other forms of LGBTQ representation. There will be plenty of hetero content, but if you can’t stand the thought of someone with a penis having sex with someone who also has a penis, then this story may not be for you. But fear not! There are literally thousands of other stories in this category that should meet your needs.

All that said, if you’re a fan of my other writing, I’d encourage you to give this one a try. I promise not to tell anyone if you end up liking it more than you thought you would 😉

Without any further ado, I hope you enjoy Camp Hideaway!

~~~

I could barely contain my excitement as my Dad pulled off the highway and onto the familiar, unmarked country road that led to Camp Hideaway. My family had been making this journey every summer for generations. My grandparents (on both sides) were early patrons of the camp, and my parents had met and fallen in love there. Our annual pilgrimages were almost more of a tradition for our family than Thanksgiving or Christmas.

For me, though, this trip was special. I’d turned eighteen back in the fall, and this would be my first summer spent with my parents at the Adult’s Retreat.

Let me explain…

First of all, the name, “Camp Hideaway” was sort of a misnomer since it was really two separate camps: one for the kids and teenagers, and another for their parents. The two camps were situated on opposite sides of Corey’s Pond, which was also poorly named.

Located about twenty miles southwest of Asheville, North Carolina, the ‘pond’ had originally been a tributary of the French Broad River before being dammed up by the Works Projects Administration in the thirties. The resulting “pond” was a large, winding reservoir surrounded by 1500 acres of forested campground. Looked at from above, it resembled an off-kilter ‘S’ that bulged in the middle. The youth camp lay along the northern curve, while the so-called ‘Adult’s Retreat’ lined the southern loop. It’s unique size and shape gave each camp a private, secluded atmosphere, and from the northern youth camp, it was easy to forget that the Adult’s Retreat even existed — not that we ever did, of course.

For reasons that were never made entirely clear to us, the adult’s retreat was off-limits to anyone below the age of eighteen. Our parents came up to visit fairly often throughout the summer, but we were never allowed to return the favor. Whenever we asked about this strange restriction, we were told that the whole point of the adult camp was to give our parents a break from being parents and that many of the older campers came for the sole reason that kids weren’t allowed.

Naturally, this explanation only fueled our intense curiosity. Along with hiking, crafts, and ghost stories told around the campfire, we also spent our time discussing the ever-present swirl of rumor and speculation that surrounded the mysterious southern half of Corey’s Pond.

One summer, there was a particularly persistent rumor that a camper had snuck out at night and made the two-mile walk through the forest to see for himself. Supposedly, he’d managed to snap some photos of the adults swimming naked in the pond. As far as I could tell, no one knew the origin of the story, and I never saw the pictures, if they ever existed in the first place.

Before long, the entire youth camp was buzzing with rumors that the adult’s retreat was actually a nudist camp. As exciting as it was to imagine a camp full of women who pranced around all night with their breasts and pussies out for the world to see, I had my doubts about the truthfulness of that particular rumor. The idea that my straight-laced, conservative parents (or my grandparents, for that matter) would spend time at a nude beach was just too outlandish to be believed.

Despite my skepticism on that particular point, I was just as curious about the adult side of camp. There were so many aspects of the whole situation that just didn’t make any sense. For instance, if the whole point of giving our parents their own private campsite was to give them a break from the responsibilities of parenthood, couldn’t that be accomplished just as easily by staying home? Or better yet, by going on a vacation to somewhere much more exciting than an isolated lake in the middle of nowhere?

Whenever I brought up these points to my parents, they would only say that they went to Camp Hideaway because it was a family tradition and that it was a good excuse to stay in touch with old friends, some of whom lived on the other side of the country. It was a reasonable enough explanation, but it still didn’t explain why everything that happened there was surrounded such an intense aura of secrecy.

My thirst for knowledge about the adult’s camp had reached its peak in the fall, after my older sister, Cindy, returned from her first summer there.

Before that summer, Cindy and I had shared a fairly typical brother-sister Merter Escort relationship. I was her pesky little brother, always getting in the way, and she was the bratty princess who was never stopped trying to boss me around. We played our roles well, but after her first summer at the adult camp, I could sense that something had changed. She stopped picking fights with me and even started inviting me to social gatherings with some of her older friends. The sister that had entered the adult camp back in June was not the same person I now knew, and I was determined to discover why.

Unfortunately for me, Cindy, much like my parents, steadfastly refused to give me any of the information I sought. All she would say was that it had been the best summer of her life, and she couldn’t wait until next summer when I would be old enough to go too.

Now that the summer had finally arrived.

Glancing to my left, I caught Cindy’s eyes for a brief moment before she looked away. I could have sworn she was staring at me. That would have been weird enough, but what really struck me was that she looked just as nervous as I felt.

“We’re almost there,” Dad said, his voice snapping me out of my reverie as we pulled past the camp’s sign.

The freshly painted wooden sign showed the camp’s logo: the silhouette of a family as they stood in profile, watching the sunrise over Corey’s Pond. The words, “Welcome to Camp Hideaway: A Fun Place for the Whole Family!” were emblazoned in bright yellow script right below the logo.

Below that sign sat another far less welcoming one that read, “Members Only, Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted to the Fullest Extent of the Law.” It had always seemed to me that the second sign somewhat contradicted the sentiment of the first, but I’d always just filed it away as another one of Camp Hideaway’s strange quirks.

Ahead, there was a fork in the road. The path to the right lead north, to the youth camp, while the adults’ retreat was to the left. As Dad took the left turn, I stared longingly out of the window. Despite my curiosity and excitement, there was something sad about the fact that my summers at the youth camp were over. As the northern path faded from my view, I remembered that nearly all of the counselors at the youth camp were former campers themselves. I consoled myself with the thought that, maybe one day, I’d be a camp counselor one day, too.

I noticed that my mom was also staring off in that direction. She seemed to realize that we’d both been thinking the same thing and said, “It feels strange, doesn’t it? We’ve gone up that path almost every summer for the last ten years… Time sure does fly.” She seemed a bit sad at the thought that her children were finally grown, but her expression broke into a wide grin when the entrance to the adults’ retreat finally came into view.

I was surprised to see a sturdy metal gate and fence with two uniformed security guards standing on either side of the entrance. The youth camp didn’t have anything like this.

What are they hiding in here? I asked myself.

“That’s Steve and Kenny,” Dad said, anticipating my question. “They make sure the retreat stays private.” The two men clearly recognized our SUV and gave Dad a friendly wave as we drove past. The road continued for another mile or so before we finally pulled into camp.

After so many years of building curiosity, I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed when I saw that the adults’ retreat looked almost exactly the same as the youth camp. The forest and shoreline were dotted with the same single room bungalows I’d shared with four other boys in summers past. The bungalows were arranged in clusters of four, each of which shared a small central building with a kitchen, bathrooms, and showers. Being the opening day for the season, most of the bungalows were still empty, but I did see a few families unpacking their cars as we drove past. It was all rather anticlimactic, but at the same time, I had to admit that there was something comforting about the familiarity of it all.

“Home sweet home,” Dad said as he pulled into what I assumed was our family’s bungalow. It lay on the edge of the forest, very close to the shoreline of the pond.

We stretched our aching limbs and started unpacking the car. It wasn’t until I was inside the structure’s single room that I realized how little privacy it offered. Lack of privacy hadn’t been a big issue when I was living with three other boys my age, but I had serious questions about how a setup like this could work now that I’d be sharing the space with my mom and sister.

“Are we all sharing this room?” I asked.

Cindy smirked but didn’t respond. Instead, she cast a questioning glance at Mom who said, “Yes we are. Your father and I will take the large bed. You and Cindy can negotiate which of the other two beds you’d like to claim.”

“But what about—”

“—I’m sure you have a lot of questions,” she said, interrupting my protest. “And all of them will be answered at orientation Merter Escort Bayan tonight. For now, though, we need to get this place swept up and start unpacking.”

I gave a melodramatic groan, which elicited chuckles from the three of them. “Trust me, I get it,” Cindy said. “They wouldn’t tell me shit when we got here last year, and it drove me crazy too. It will all be worth it once you get through orientation, though.”

“That doesn’t exactly make me any less curious…”

“You’re almost there,” Dad said, patting me on the back. “Let’s get this place set up so we can eat lunch at a reasonable hour.”

We worked diligently to clear away the dust and clean the windows. Dad and I carried in the heavier boxes while Mom mopped the floor and Cindy started unpacking and storing our things. Soon the room was starting to look like home — or a home, at least. Despite the complete lack of privacy, it really was quite comfortable and spacious.

When we finished, the four of us gathered around the table in the dining area we’d set up and Mom made us sandwiches. Afterward, she and Dad went to check us in at the main building. As they left, Mom told me to be ready for orientation when they got back. Cindy ran off to see if any of her group of friends had arrived, and for the first time that day, I was left alone.

I did my best to relax while I waited for them to return, but it wasn’t easy. Every question my family refused to answer only added to my burning curiosity about what made this place so special. It took Mom and Dad over an hour to come back, and I spent most of that time alternating between staring at the clock and looking out the window. Just when I’d convinced myself that I should go look for them, I caught sight of them walking back in the direction of our bungalow.

“Sorry that took so long,” Dad said. “We ran into some old friends and spent some time getting caught up.” He exchanged a conspiratorial look with Mom, who snorted as she tried to suppress a laugh.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“Nothing, honey,” she replied. “Ask me after orientation, and I’ll give you the details. Speaking of which, are you ready to go?”

“I guess so. Is there anything I need to bring with me?”

“Just yourself,” she replied. Addressing my father, she said, “Have a good afternoon, honey. Try not to wear yourself out.”

“You do the same,” he said before planting a loving kiss on her lips and pulling her into a quick hug. Before parting, they stared meaningfully into each other’s eyes, sharing some silent communication that was clearly not meant for my ears. That glance only lasted a second or two before Mom gave a quick nod and turned her attention back to me.

“Ready to go?”

“You’re coming with me?” I asked.

She nodded. “It’s traditional that a parent comes to orientation with new members of the adults’ retreat. You’ll understand why once orientation starts.”

Great, more unanswered questions.

I followed Mom as she lead us away from our family’s cluster of cabins and towards the center of camp.

“I guess there’s no point in asking what’s so special about this ‘orientation session’ is there?” I asked, making sarcastic quote marks with my fingers for emphasis.

“You can ask…” she replied, flashing me an equally sarcastic smile that made it abundantly clear that her lips were sealed.

I let out an exasperated with. “You really won’t tell me anything? Not even a hint?”

“The rules are the rules,” she replied, obviously enjoying my irritation.

“Okay, how about this — I make a guess it, and you tell me if I’m right.”

She thought about it for a second before finally saying, “You know what? Sure. Give me your best guess.”

“Wait — really?” I asked, hardly believing my luck.

She nodded. “One guess only. After that, you have to wait like everyone else.”

Of course, I didn’t have the faintest idea of what the secret might actually be, and she knew it. Obviously, the persistent rumors about the adults walking around naked were false. Everyone I’d seen so far had been fully clothed. Not knowing what else to do, I decided to swing for the fences.

“Okay, here’s my theory: You’re taking me deep into the woods to enact some strange, satanic ritual, probably involving blood and virgins and dancing around a bonfire.”

Mom’s smiling face suddenly turned deadly serious and she stopped dead in her tracks.

“Who told you?” She asked, her tone suddenly angry and demanding.

“Wha—”

“It was your sister, wasn’t it?” she asked before I had a chance to respond. “Dammit! I knew she wouldn’t be able to keep our secret! Now the summer ritual will be ruined!”

“I—”

“What else did she tell you? Did she teach you the steps to the midnight waltz? What about the sacred verses?” By that point, she was right in my face, her eyes bulging and her nostrils flaring angrily.

“S-she didn’t tell me! It honestly was just a stupid guess — I promise!” I finally managed to Escort Merter blurt out.

As quickly as it had appeared, Mom’s frown was replaced by another silly grin, and in a completely calm tone of voice said, “I know she didn’t, honey. If she told you anything, you wouldn’t be so desperate to find out the truth.”

“Wait — So you were just messing with me?” I asked, suddenly feeling like the biggest idiot in existence.

“And you made it so easy,” she teased. “Besides, I love you far too much to take you to any virgin sacrifices.”

“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?” I demanded, my cheeks reddening in embarrassment.

Her only reply was to waggle her eyebrows suggestively and give me another knowing smirk before turning around and resuming her trek to the orientation meetup spot.

As I followed behind her, I couldn’t help but feel like something about her was different, and it wasn’t just that she’d outsmarted me. I was used to that. By day, Mom was a successful corporate lawyer, and her sharp wits and even sharper tongue served her well in that profession.

I was used to seeing her in sharp business suits, her hair pulled back in a tight bun, wearing her dark-rimmed ‘don’t mess with me’ glasses (as she liked to call them). Now she wore a simple white tank-top and tight-fitting jean shorts, and her wavy, dirty-blonde hair flowed freely over her shoulders.

It wasn’t just her clothes, though. There was something in the way she carried herself — a lightness in her gait — that made her seem more confident and happy than she usually did at home. Her hips swayed hypnotically with each step, and before I even realized what I was doing, my eyes were locked on her rear-end, admiring her curvy hips and her shapely butt as it strained against her denim shorts.

Now, this is a view I could get used to, I thought to myself. I’d always secretly thought my mom was a sexy woman, but I rarely got the opportunity to see her like this. If nothing else, it was a nice distraction from my swirling thoughts about Camp Hideaway.

“It’s this way,” she said, pointing towards an offshoot from the main path. Her face carried the barest hint of a smile, and without saying a word, I knew that she’d caught me staring. What really surprised me, though, was that she looked strangely proud of herself. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have guessed she actually wanted me to look.

Before I had a chance to fully process that thought, the path opened up into a grassy clearing where a few other adult-teen pairs were waiting. I was happy to see that one of my close friends, Matt Phillips, was standing around with his mom, looking just as anxious as I did. I also saw that Brandon Reed, another member of the youth camp was there with his dad. Finally, I noticed Zoe Ross sitting a few feet away from him, leaning against a tree with her nose buried in a book. She was pretty much the last person in the world that I expected to see at that particular moment.

Unlike Matt and Brandon, Zoe had never attended the youth camp. Instead, I recognized her from my high-school back in Charlotte. We’d graduated together a few weeks prior, but I didn’t know her all that well. In fact, I’m not sure anyone at our school knew her. Zoe had always been the quintessential loner. She was painfully shy and would never speak up in class unless the teacher called on her. As far as I knew, she spent all of her free time in the school library, studying or reading by herself.

The only reason I knew her at all was that we’d been randomly assigned as lab partners in our tenth-grade chemistry class. At first, I was upset that I wasn’t with one of my friends, but I quickly learned the benefits of working with Zoe. Things were awkward at first — she barely said a word to me for the first few weeks — but by the end of the school year, we’d developed something that, to an outside observer, might have looked very much like a friendship.

We worked well together. She was a wiz at the science side of things, and I was more than happy to pick up the slack when it came time to present our work to the class. In fact, our partnership was so successful that we managed to win the science fair that year.

There had always been something about Zoe that I found mysterious and intriguing. With her slender, boyish frame and straight black hair that she sometimes tied up in a short braid, there was nothing immediately eye-catching about her. It wasn’t until I got to know her that I began to notice her quiet, unassuming beauty. Her eyes, hidden behind a pair of plain glasses were a bright, intelligent shade of green, and her smile, while vanishingly rare, showed a bright playful spirit that contrasted beautifully with her usually quiet demeanor.

By the end of the school year, we weren’t exactly what I’d call close — we never socialized out of class — but there was a sort of natural intimacy that had developed between us that was difficult for my fifteen-year-old brain to categorize or understand. By the time eleventh grade rolled around, Zoe was enrolled in the advanced science class, while I stayed down at the regular level. Without that shared class, Zoe and I no longer had any tangible reason to interact. I’d still wave to her when we passed in the hallway, but our relationship had effectively ended.

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