After receiving his grade twelve diploma and marking his eighteenth birthday, René Oshawee cannot fight the temptation seventeen-year-old high school junior Billy Redsky blatantly offers now that what they share has become taboo.
When their secret romance is blown into the open, Billy’s foster parents send René to Toronto to complete the last of his schooling under the supervision of a family friend, leaving Billy behind at their Ojibway community.
Now Billy and René must make the biggest decision of their lives—fight for the true love they know they’ll never find with anyone else or go their separate ways.
January 8, 1998
Thunder Mountain First Nation, Thunder Bay, ON
The possibilities of turning seventeen today were endless. Possibilities such as…finally doing what had hounded Billy’s crotch for the past six months.
Not sex with any ol’ dork, either.
Sex with René.
René Randall Oshawee.
Billy snatched his backpack off the dresser. He closed the door to his walk-in closet. Before leaving his bedroom, he cast another long look at the mural he’d finished of Pumpkin, the great makwa of Thunder Mountain.
His painting had captured the bear’s magnificent color of burnt cinnamon and light tangerine. Since he’d used an autumn theme to paint, the wall burst with bold shades of red, purple, and orange. Pumpkin’s mighty paw scuffed a couple of cones fallen from the pine trees.
Billy raised his thumb.
Thanks to the Oshawee family, life was a bowl of ketchup chips instead of stale popcorn. This was the second birthday he’d celebrate in style, not like his first fifteen Mom had destroyed. The moccasin telegraph was saying the pathetic lush was currently in rehab. As if she’d permanently cork the bottle and close her nostrils to blow.
Enough thinking about his useless biological mother and brother. Today was a day for Billy to celebrate with his real family. He shuffled down the stairs.
The maid stood at the kitchen island, readying breakfast. She used to clean two days a week, but Mrs. O had hired Lucy on full-time after her husband had left her alone to feed three mouths in grades five, six, and seven.
“Happy birthday,” Lucy called out. Her black hair was tied back in a braid. A full apron covered her big boobs. “Your pancakes are ready.”
“You’re tops, baby.” Billy scooped his plate off the island.
A hint of wryness invaded Lucy’s giggle. “I should be. I was your supervisor for almost a year.”
Before landing in foster care, Billy had done a lot of break and entry he’d admitted to. As part of his punishment, he’d helped a family friend with the cleaning business she owned. Working off the money his foster dad had laid out to purchase new items for the people Billy had robbed was a better deal, considering he could’ve been charged with the offenses, and his career as a cop would have gone tits up before he’d finished high school.
“The best supervisor a guy could ask for.” Billy set his plate on the table in the breakfast nook. He reached for the maple syrup.
“I cooked them exactly how you enjoy them. A bit crisp and extra blueberries.” Lucy readied another plate. “Mrs. Oshawee said she’d call tonight. I think she feels bad not being here for your big day.”
“It’s cool.” Billy cut into the stack. “All I care about is getting my license. Those two are always jetting off on biz trips.”
“Is René taking you out tonight?”
“Yeppers. It’s Thursday. No shift at the video store for him. We’re doing dinner.” Billy shoveled a helping of pancakes into his mouth.
Dates with René were the cherry on top of this new life Billy was loving. Hell, he’d take a simple drive up the mountain and be finer than a baby sucking on a soother. All that mattered was spending time with the guy he loved.
More than loved.
Totally horny for.
Major wood for.
A total boner for.
This waiting until grade twelve to hit the sheets René had insisted on blew chunks. Billy had started his second semester of grade eleven after the Christmas break. He was more than ready to do the horizontal nasty. Just because René had been in grade twelve when he got to sink the pink didn’t mean Billy had to wait. Shit, all he heard in the boys’ locker room was the latest home run some dude had scored.
“I guess it’s a good thing I asked.” Lucy strolled over, hand on her generous hip.
“You’re supposed to tell me if you won’t be home for supper, according to the rules laid out by Mr. and Mrs. Oshawee,” she reminded him.
Oops. Billy’s mouth molded into a sheepish grin. “Sorry. I know for sure René would’ve told you.”
“I know so.” A hint of teasing was in her tone. She meandered back to the island.
Maybe informing Lucy of his every little move was one of those supposed responsibility tests the Oshawees loved laying out for Billy. Since René’s elder brother was also on a business trip, there was nobody to check in on them. Not that a babysitter was necessary after René had turned eighteen at the end of December.
They had the house to themselves. Billy smacked his lips together. Free from The General, Colonel, and Sergeant until Sunday night. The Oshawees were staying on in Toronto for the hockey game. Daniel’s business meetings in Winnipeg ended late this afternoon, but he planned on taking his girlfriend to something Billy couldn’t remember.
For sure this was the weekend he’d get laid—that was if he could con the guy he loved into taking the bait.