The Adventures of Cam and Trev: Episode One
They were just finishing up on the bikes when Cam’s phone rang. Trev lifted an eyebrow, because the trainers were pretty clear about the fact that they weren’t supposed to have their cells on them. No distractions during workouts.
Cam met his questioning gaze with a shrug and answered the call with a breathy, “Hello.”
His feet slowed to a stop, lazily spinning about in a circle. A frown marred his face. “You can’t make it? Seriously, Dusty, we’ve have this booked for weeks—you forgot! Jeez. Next time we’re on the ice, I’ll just forget you’re my teammate and drill you into the boards.”
He hung up, glowering at the phone. “Jackass,” he muttered, then glanced over at Trev.
Trev resisted the urge to quail, to run away. Cam’s look was calculating, and Trev knew that meant bad things for him.
“You know how to play tennis?”
Trev had never felt like more of an idiot, and that was saying something, because he’d done a lot of dumb things in his life. But standing beside Cam, who was now decked out in tennis attire—as though he actually played—in the wan seven o’clock sunlight, he felt sorely out of place. He didn’t have tennis shoes, his racket was rented, his outfit was cobbled together from clothes he used for workouts. He didn’t look like a tennis player at all.
Worse, he didn’t feel like a tennis player either. He scarcely knew anything beyond a few words—point, match, set, two-love, that sort of thing.
He was a hockey player. Playing tennis was just one of those things that he didn’t do. Even if he had taken lessons when he was younger, it would have fallen by the wayside pretty quickly. Hockey was his thing.
Cam bounced the obnoxiously bright green ball off the court a couple of times, stirring up dust and chalk from the lines. He kept glancing up, looking around for their opponents. They were apparently friends of Mason’s or something, and Cam was eager to meet them—why, Trev, had no idea. Mason’s friends weren’t exactly …
Well, not all of them were people Trev wanted to meet in a dark alley, to put it simply.
They both glanced up at the revving of an engine. A sleek, blue Maserati pulled into the parking lot, glided by the clubhouse. They glanced at each other.
“I dunno,” Cam said, “I mean, tennis is a sport for loaded people, so …”
Trev frowned, but said nothing.
A few minutes later, two girls in short skirts meandered out of the clubhouse, their tennis shoes clopping over the court. They were both thin, lithe things, but their forms belied their strength—their arms were tense with corded muscle, and Trev grimaced.
It would be just like Mason to set them up to play doubles with two pro tennis players, the asshole.
“Hey,” one of the girls said, holding out a hand. She smiled brightly; her teeth almost matched her shirt, so pale and blindingly white. “I’m Eliza.”
“Cam,” Cam replied, shaking her hand. His wince was plainly visible as he gritted his teeth. “This is Trev.”
“Fiona,” said the second girl, shaking hands. Eliza shook hands with Trev, her icy blue eyes meeting his own gaze, boring into him as though she were searching his soul.
“So,” she said brightly, whirling away, “someone said you wanted to have a match.”
“Uh,” Cam said.
She plucked up a ball, bounced it off the ground, swung at it with her racket. It connected and the ball went sailing over the net, smashing into the equipment shed on the far side and hurtling back to the net. It got caught in the webbing and dropped to the ground.
She grabbed up another ball and turned back to them. “So, how about it?”
“Just a … friendly match,” Cam all but squeaked, his voice shaking. “Y’know, we wouldn’t want to embarrass you.”
Trev dashed his forehead against his palm. Eliza snickered. “Your friend seems to disagree with that.”
“I’m up for a friendly match,” Fiona said softly, glowering a bit at Eliza. “Although, I think we’d embarrass the boys.”
Eliza grinned, baring her teeth.
“As if!” Cam scoffed. “You think we’re amateurs!”
“We are,” Trev growled, but Cam ignored him.
“Well, you should never underestimate your opponents,” Cam continued, “I was the tennis champ in my eighth grade class, I’ll have you know!”
Fiona snickered. Eliza rolled her eyes. “All right,” she said, still grinning that feral grin, “let’s go then, Champ.”
They trotted to opposite sides of the court. Trev took his position by Cam, snarling, “Do you really think that sounded impressive?”
Trev sighed. “These girls are clearly pro, Cam, they’re gonna kick our asses.”
Trev sighed heavily. “God, you’re dumb sometimes,” he muttered.
“Oy!” Eliza called, gesturing. “T-man, you’re in the wrong position!”
Trev started. “I am?”
Fiona frowned, her eyebrows knitting. “Are you two sure you’ve played before?”
“Of course!” Cam called before Trev could reply.
They lost, of course, in a humiliating, emasculating way; they didn’t score a single point, the ball bouncing by them repeatedly, them smashing into each other when they both dove for the ball and then occasionally neither of them even so much as twitching toward it, assuming the other would get it. Serve after serve after serve came flying at them, and the match ended prematurely when Eliza served and the ball smashed straight into Trev’s face, knocking him flat to the ground.
“Oh my god, are you okay?!”
Trev licked blood from his lip. “Never better,” he murmured, then coughed and snorted as blood ran down his throat.
They lifted him into a sitting position carefully, Cam pressing a towel to the younger man’s nose.
“I thought you said you’d played before,” Fiona said.
“I didn’t say that,” Trev mumbled, taking the towel from Cam. “Cam said that for me.”
Fiona sighed. “You’ve never been on a court before, have you?”
Trev shook his head.
“Okay, paramedics are on the way,” Eliza said as she returned from the clubhouse. She grimaced at Trev. “Um. Sorry.”
“You’re not supposed to block shots with your face,” Cam admonished. “It’s a simple rule, we follow that one in hockey too.”
Trev glared at his teammate.
“You two both play for the Knights?”
“Yeah,” Cam replied, “that’s how we know Mason.”
Eliza rolled her eyes. “Oh, that douche?”
Cam and Trev shared a look; Fiona dragged her hand across her throat, indicating they needed to shut up.
True to form, Cam kept right on talking. “How do you know him?”
Fiona shook her head, dashed her forehead into her palm. Eliza glared.
“Mason’s my cousin,” Fiona offered, glancing quickly at Eliza, then back to the men. “He met Eliza at a match a while ago.”
“I wish we hadn’t,” Eliza snarled.
“You’re Mayday’s cousin?” Cam sounded thrilled.
“Ugh, is he still using that dumb nickname?”
“He never told us he had a cousin who was a pro tennis player! That is so cool—”
“I try to keep it under wraps,” Fiona said flatly. “Let’s just say … Mason’s the black sheep of the family.”
Cam chuckled. “I could see that,” he replied. “He is a little weird.”
“He’s an asshole,” Eliza trumpeted, “and if all we’re gonna do is talk about him, I’m leaving.”
“Dude, you smashed Trev in the face with a tennis ball. I think you owe us a drink.”
“He shouldn’t be drinking,” Fiona replied, “he’s probably got a concussion—”
“A drink’ll help,” Cam said with a grin.
Trev closed his eyes.
A little while later, they were at a seaside bar, the ocean breeze rolling in off the water, rippling across the wine in their glasses. The sun was bright, nearly blinding, creating tiny airborne prisms that seemed to dance before Trev’s eyes. He stared at them as the conversation went on around him.
“So, did you two, like, grow up together?”
“Nah, I lived in Vancouver. Mason was stuck up in Thunder Bay. We hardly ever saw each other, especially after Aunt Heather died.”
Trev knitted his brows but said nothing.
Fiona sighed. “Anyway, I saw Mason more after he made the IHA—he’s in Vancouver a lot more frequently now.”
“And how do you know Eliza?”
“We met on the court,” Eliza replied, looking at Fiona. “We were what, seven? Eight?”
“I don’t even remember.”
“Rivals on the court, friends off.”
“That’s pretty cool,” Cam said.
The girls paused, sipping on their drinks. Eliza pressed her lips together, looked at Fiona. Fiona returned the gaze, then turned to Cam. “So, Mason told you we’re lesbians, right?”
Cam sprayed wine all over the table. Trev blinked, then shook himself out of his stupor. “Jesus Christ, Cameron!”
“I’ll take that as a no,” Fiona drawled. Eliza pressed her lips together, shaking her head a bit.
“He never mentioned that!” Cam roared.
“That’s just like him,” Fiona murmured. “He has a habit of leaving out important details.”
“Asshole,” Eliza muttered.
Trev watched Cam, who had deflated in his seat. He looked crestfallen; his jaw was slack; even his eyes seemed slack somehow. “Seriously?” he asked. “You’re not joking.”
“No,” Fiona said, then took another sip of her wine.
Cam smirked incredulously, shook his head. “I can’t … I can’t believe he didn’t tell me that,” he muttered. “I specifically asked him to set me up with some chicks, like, a date or something or …”
“Bets he’s at home laughing his ass off?” Trev asked.
Cam did a double-take. “Oh, good, you’re still awake, Trev.”
“Oh, Mason is totally having a riot over this,” Fiona mumbled.
Eliza shook her head. “I don’t know what he doesn’t get about lesbians,” she sighed. “It’s not a difficult concept.”
“You’d think he’d understand,” Fiona replied, “since he’s bi, and everyone assumes that just means he’s confused or—”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what?” Cam held up his hands. “Did you just say Mayday is bi?”
Both women lifted a brow in perfect unison. “Uh, yeah.”
“I thought that was common knowledge?”
“Oh, he is very out about it—seriously, I can’t believe you, his teammates, don’t know.”
Cam rolled his eyes, held his hands askance. “He never told us, no.”
“Do you really need to be told?”
“I thought he was gay,” Trev mumbled, frowning down into his wine glass.
Cam punched him in the arm. “Dude, really?”
“Hey! Don’t hit the patient!”
“You already hurt him, I think a punch in the arm isn’t going to do much additional damage—”
“Please don’t hit me. I hurt enough.”
An awkward silence descended upon them. Fiona drained her wine. Eliza stared out at the horizon and Trev stared into the red liquid rippling in his glass. Cam leaned back in his chair, arms folded, contemplating.
“So,” he said after a moment or two, “I guess … uh. It was nice to meet you.”
“Good to meet you,” Fiona offered, even though her smile was tight.
“Sorry about your face,” Eliza said to Trev as Cam was settling the bill.
Trev shrugged, then gave her a toothy grin despite his aching face. “I’m a hockey player,” he said, “we’re used to playing rough.”
Fiona snorted and Eliza shook her head. Cam tore the receipt off the debit machine and pocketed his wallet. “Let’s go,” he said to Trev.
Dusty called them while they were driving back to Cam’s apartment. Cam glowered at the screen. “As if,” he muttered. “Trev, can you answer that?”
“Heyyyy,” Dusty drawled, “sorry I couldn’t make it out tonight …”
“Fuck you, you’re in on this, aren’t you?”
“In on what?”
There was some crackling—static, or maybe someone snickering in the background. Cam was red in the face. “About Mason’s cousin! You knew he was gonna send her, and you knew she was a dyke—”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Cam—who is Mason’s cousin? Lesbian? What?”
Even more crackling. Cam ground his teeth. His knuckles were white on the steering wheel. “Mayday, you fuckhead, I know you’re there.”
Even more crackling filled the truck, probably for the better part of a minute, before Mason chortled, “You are such a tool.”
“You’re the tool! I asked you to send me on a date, not hook me up with your lesbo cousin!”
More laughing. “You really should’ve known better,” Dusty said solemnly.
“He’s the only one to ask! Not like any of you other losers know any chicks—”
“Hey now,” Dusty said.
“I’m sure he knows your mom,” Mason said and then there was a clunk, followed by a couple of bangs.
“So,” Dusty said, his breath whistling through the receiver, “what did you learn?”
“That Mason’s a jackass and his cousin is a lesbian.”
Cam glanced at Trev. “And I shouldn’t ever ask Mason for a favor, ever. Fine. I got it. Can you two stop being dicks and get me a date now? I mean, poor Trev got his face smashed in for your efforts.”
“Yeah, that other dyke, she smashed the ball into Trev’s face—”
“Can you stop calling them dykes, Cameron? Jeez.” Mason sounded exasperated.
“’cause I’ll start calling you a faggot, you stupid—”
“Ah, that’s not true! And you’re the fag—”
Trev gave Cam a startled look. The older man seemed a bit shocked himself, his eyes wide, his lips pressed together as though he couldn’t believe what he’d just said.
Trev took a deep breath. “Fiona said you’re bi.”
There was a long pause.
“I am,” Mason huffed after a moment, “but that is not the same as being gay, so—”
“What’s the difference, you fuck dudes—”
“Shut up, Cam.”
“I also fuck chicks, Cam, that’s the difference. I like both, okay?”
Cam sneered. “Yeah right, you’re probably just in denial—”
“I’m ending the conversation at the count of three and I will never, ever, ever set you up on another date, Cam.”
“Dude, I’m just telling you the—”
“Three,” Mason said and hung up.
“—truth,” Cam finished lamely, glaring at the console as the dial tone beeped in their ears.
“I think you pissed him off,” Trev said.
“Ya think? Fuck. Now what am I gonna do?”
Trev patted his shoulder. “It’ll be okay,” he said, “you won’t be a hopeless, dateless loser forever.”
Cam glared at him. “Thanks. You’re real reassuring.”
“I try,” Trev replied, then closed his eyes and pinched at the bridge of his nose. “Can we go home now? My face is killing me.”
“Fine, fine …”