There were people on the open porch down below and clustered awkwardly around the clear blue pool. It was lit from the inside, so it was bright and cast an artificial blue glow around the proceedings.
“Why do you need a pool?” I asked. “We have the ocean.”
He shrugged. “My parents don’t go to the beach much.”
“That sounds like a personal problem.” In one sense, I got that the words might not totally make sense, but the drunk part of me told myself that was a perfect response.
He studied me while I looked at the people down below. “Why do you like the beach so much?”
“It’s the beach,” I said simply. Duh.
“That’s not a reason,” he argued, but lightly, and I really wanted to answer because he didn’t seem so upset with me at the moment. Only…
How was I supposed to answer trick questions right now? That wasn’t fair. It was just one of those things in life I’d decided a long time ago and I didn’t have to think of reasons for it anymore; it was just a truth. I loved the beach.
I stared at Bryce instead. There was some lighting outside, but it was darker up on the balcony, just a bit of light making it out here from inside his room. It was hard to make out the color of his eyes right now, but they weren’t the artificial, chemically treated blue of the pool. They were the blue of the ocean. Even if I couldn’t see his eyes clearly, I knew that.
I spent most of my time at the beach before I even met Bryce, so there had to be reasons I liked it that had nothing to do with him. At the moment, I couldn’t think of any of those answers. All I could come up with was that the water there matched his eyes.
He was up here with me, annoyed but not leaving yet. It didn’t matter if this was a lame party because it was in his honor and he probably hated not mingling with the guests and doing what he was supposed to do. I wanted to make things better. I wanted to tell him about how lovely his eyes were and how they made me feel, even if it was super cheesy.
I tried, but all I managed to say was, “You’re pretty.”
–This is an excerpt from Beach Bum, a young adult M/M romance. You can get the rest here.