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Zayn slipped on his sunglasses as he got out of the car, his three sisters running excitedly up the front path and around to the back of the house, where the tall grass gradually turned into hot sand, and then into the ocean. Zayn could care less about the beach, honestly, and climbed up the stairs to the front porch, slamming his body down into the hammock and whipping out his phone. His signal wasn't strong, but it was there, and he spent a long while texting his friends and trying to pretend he was on vacation somewhere cool like they were. 

People in the Hamptons did things like... play rugby and polo, have affairs, drink martinis, and host parties on boats. Zayn had taken swimming lessons his first summer there to pass the time, but once he was really good-- and that was to say really good, the lessons began to do less and less for him; apparently he was a natural. He was all lean muscle and thin, long limbs, perfect for swimming. That school year, he captained his prep academy's swim team. But, the next summer, he found that swimming was all there really was to do, and he quicky grew tired of doing it for "fun" rather than for sport.

That was when he began acting out, he assumed. He'd never been all that interesting a person before. He liked music and comic books and the most fascinating thing about him was the way he could blow his cigarette smoke into shapes if he focused. But, his second summer in the Hamptons, Zayn got his reputation. Drinking, drugs, casual sex in abundance. He bought a motorcycle, he (illegally) got a few tattoos, and he pierced his tongue, but his mum made him take it out before school started up again (against the dress code) and it healed up quickly.

Even the whole bad boy act grew tiresome after the next summer, because it was the same people every single year. The same girls-- it was too easy by then, because he didn't have to impress them. The impression lasted from the previous year, he found. The next summer, Zayn found that boys were even better. The chase was more difficult, more fun, and by the end of that summer, even the straight guys couldn't help but fix their hair when Zayn walked past. It was an absolute honour to have Zayn take you under the docks, and Zayn loved the power.

But this summer, his fourth and final, he was officially going to university in the fall, and his summers in the Hamptons would be coming to an end. He was thankful for it, almost; the way everyone around did absolutely nothing of substance all day every day? He'd grown tired of the boys, of the girls, of the adults... they were all the same snobby rich people. Guys that tried to sweep him off his feet with rides on their boat (his family had their own, so it was hardly impressive) and girls whose bikinis seemed to show more and more skin as the summer dragged on? Zayn had been there and done that. All of that.

Next year, he promised himself, he'd vacation with one of his friends to somewhere interesting and exciting. He'd swim with dolphins in Floria, or he'd go camping in Montana. Anything, he prayed, but the Hamptons.

As he texted his friends on his hammock, his family dragging in suitcase after suitcase all around him, his parents' usual debate about how to go about hiring a nanny for the season, for Zayn's sisters, was drowned out by the roar of an engine that didn't sound fast and exciting, but instead clunky and old. Zay sat up and removed his sunglasses, squinting through the sunlight to see an old, rusty pickup truck with a flat tire squealing its way down his street.

He'd never seen such a junker in all of the Hamptons, he thought, until he recognized the logo on the door, chipped and faded from time. Payne Boat Repair. He'd driven past that place thousands of times, a quaint little shack in similar shape to this truck, he recalled. They were the best at what they did, though, from what Zayn could tell, because the other truck (the one that actually ran smoothly) could be spotted constantly all over town, while this old one was usually parked right outside the shack. In fact, his own family had used the Payne's services more than a few times over the years.

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