Chapter Thirteen: Still Summer Break

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"I give this a solid one out of five stars," Todd stated flatly, breath slightly laboured and looking extremely unimpressed. Sweat had his hair plastered to his forehead and his black V-neck clinging to his torso. Levon couldn't help thinking how good the shorter man looked, all hot and irritated, in jean shorts and hiking boots, gripping the straps of his bag with annoyance.

"You're hardly giving it a chance," Levon argued with laughter and Todd sent him a tight-lipped glare that hinted at a smile. Todd clearly wasn't hating the date as much as he claimed, though he stubbornly clung to his miserable façade.

"You promised me a good time and all I'm getting is sunburnt and bug-bitten," Todd retorted. "I have to express my disappointment."

"Or maybe you're just cranky because my mom was teasing you about the date," Levon smirked slightly and Todd's glare was real now. Bree had been so ecstatic to hear about the date, had packed them food and had all but forced them to take pictures before they left. Levon had been more than amused by his mother's antics but Todd's discomfort had made it all the more perfect.

"Maybe you should shut up before I kill and you ditch your body here," Todd threatened.

They were walking side by side on the narrow trail. It wasn't a popular trail, almost completely uphill, rather hard to find and quite a long trek. But Levon had made the trip before with his siblings and the cliff it lead to was breathtaking. Todd was always a sucker for pretty sights.

After more than five hours of walking through the forest, Tod was clearly enjoying himself despite his complaints about wasting his day off work. Levon knew how much the guy loved the outdoors. Levon knew that he would enjoy the view and that this was exactly Todd's kind of date. Todd just wasn't ready to admit it yet.

"Can I have more bug spray?" Todd asked, holding a hand out and Levon swung his pack off his shoulders, slowing his walk slightly so he could fish the bottle from his bag and chuck it to Todd. "Little fuckers are eating me alive."

"You must taste delicious," Levon mused, glancing at Todd as he sprayed a ridiculous amount of the substance of his body. "I'd ask for a taste but I'm pretty sure you've reduced yourself to pure chemicals with all the bug spray and suncream you've put on."

"Good," Todd's lips twitched into a crooked smile. "I can keep more than one pest away."

"I'm going to pretend that didn't hurt my feelings," Levon told him and replaced the bug spray in his pack before resituating the bag on his shoulders. The sun was high and bright in the sky casting wonderful shadows across the path in front of them. Levon was quite certain that they were almost there.

"If that hurt your feelings I don't know how you plan to survive the rest of this date," Todd said, the word 'date' leaving his lips awkwardly and Levon had to smile, humming in amusement.

Todd tripped on a root and almost went crashing to the ground, several creative curses leaving him. Levon burst out laughing, reaching out to try and help but only managing to send himself stumbling after the other man when Todd's momentum dragged them both closer to the ground.

"Damnit, Todd!" Levon chuckled. "I thought you said you knew how to walk!"

"I didn't see the root!" Todd defended. "I was looking for the rabbit we saw earlier."

"Idiot," Levon snickered. They righted themselves and Todd huffed in annoyance.

"Don't start with me, Lev," Todd warned. "There are much better things I could be doing with my day off."

"Like what?" Levon challenged, eyes alight with laughter. "Hang out in my room and avoid my family?"

"You say that like you haven't been avoiding them too," Todd grunted, rubbing his neck in embarrassment.

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