The bonfire was down to cinders. The ash blew across the beach. The sun was close enough to rising that it cast a bluish haze over everything. Victor thought about how the light made his best friend’s hair, so blond it was almost white, seem like an image on an old broken computer screen.
“Kim thinks I’m going to propose to her before we leave,” Sean muttered.
Victor nodded. He looked further down the beach at Kim and Stacey because he didn’t trust himself to look at Sean. They were rolling cigarettes. Kim’s dark hair kept getting in her face. She swore. Stacey laughed.
“It’s fine to do whatever when we’re away, but we still have to think about how things are going to be when we get home. You know?” Sean said, more clearly now.
Victor nodded again. Sean’s shorts were still wet from when they’d all drunkenly ran into the sea. He’d rolled them up his thighs to keep them off of his legs. Victor could see his blond hair there, too. Neither of them were still drunk.
“She loves you,” Victor said.
“You should be with her.”
“You really think so?” Sean asked.
Victor heard Sean shift, saw his legs move as Sean turned toward him, looked at him, but Victor just kept staring at the blond hair on his best friend’s lower thigh.
“If your parents will pay. Why not? It’s not like there’s someone else.” Victor paused. Coughed. “You’ve been dating forever. She’s going to law school. It’s a good time.”
“I thought you’d tell me to wait. To find myself first. You’re always saying gay shit like that,” Sean said.
Victor finally looked up at Sean. His skin was blemished from years of acne and his eyes were muddy brown. Half the time his eyes were dilated from whatever high he was chasing down or running from.
Victor looked down again. Sean’s shirt was too short and it rose at the waist. Naked flesh sat between the bottom of his shirt and the top of his too-low-shorts. The lump where Victor knew Sean’s dick was looked significant.
Sean shifted again. He looked down at the beach where the girls were still rolling the mint-and-anise tobacco that Kim said the locals all smoked. Victor scooted closer to Sean across the cool sand. They were shoulder-to-shoulder now and Victor could feel his friend’s warmth. He could hear Sean’s breathing quicken then gradually slow again.
“It doesn’t have to mean everything, you know? Me and Kim. I mean, shit, you and me, we’ve been friends forever. It’s different with us. That’s something.”
“I know. I know.”
Sean put a hand on Victor’s leg. It was warm, but rough, scratched from a long week of rough play and hard partying on the beaches of Ibiza.
Sean didn’t look at Victor when he said—”I’m going to propose to Kim”—but his hand, rough and warm, slid between Victor’s thighs anyway.