A special birthday gift - A Superhero Birthday: Part 1!A Southern Charm Short Story
After all the work they put into renovating the Southern Charm and generating all new interest to promote reservations after the grand re-opening celebration, Dakota Mitchell knew he needed to step-up for Samuel’s upcoming 30th birthday. It’s a huge milestone for his partner and lover. He wanted to make sure they would celebrate in a big way, but not at the Charm.
They both adored every single one of the Marvel movies. They drooled over their favorite heroes and scenes – though both agreed on Captain America’s time in the boxing gym was near the top. When Dakota mentioned a trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures theme park in Orlando where they could delve deeper into the Marvel-themed area, Samuel said he never went to any of the theme parks. Not even when he was a kid. His parents were busy with the multiple hotels and rarely took a vacation, unless it was a trip to a hotel. Once he heard that, Dakota quietly made his plans for an extended weekend in Orlando for Samuel’s birthday.
It took some convincing, but Dakota talked Chandler and Sully into taking over general manager type details with the Charm. Malcolm could handle the Delights, the restaurant Dakota created and added to the B&B located just below Pensacola on a spit of land and outside the small town, Shore Breeze. With the Charm in capable hands, Dakota made reservations at one of the hotels, tickets for the theme parks, and a few extra perks. He also grabbed tickets for a movie night to see the newest Marvel movie.
When it got closer to the date, Dakota packed a weekender bag for each of them. He made sure to run out and grab a better sunscreen for his pale-skinned lover. Samuel and Florida sunshine still didn’t get along. His poor guy still ended up looking like a boiled lobster if he wasn’t careful.
After a seven-hour drive through Florida, Dakota turned off the highway.
“No freaking way! Really? I mean… Really?” Samuel said, leaning forward to stare at the massive gray parking garages.
“Yeah. Happy Birthday, love,” Dakota said. He followed signs to the hotel and managed to get a parking spot. “Let’s check in, get settled if the room is ready, and hang out at the pool for a bit. I figure we can hit CityWalk tonight, check out the clubs and enjoy dinner. We’ll get into the parks early tomorrow.”
“Islands of Adventure?”
“Whatever you want to do.”
Samuel bounced in his chair. He stopped only to lean over and smack a kiss on Dakota’s cheek. “This is so damn awesome!”
Dakota laughed. Once he parked the car, he pointed a finger back at Samuel. “No work. No worrying about the Charm. Sully, Chandler and Malcolm have everything in order. Fun. Got it?”
“Of course. No work.”
“I know. I know.” Samuel held up his hands in promise.
“Let’s go check in.”
After enjoying a long day around the pool, they strolled through CityWalk, hand-in-hand. Samuel continued to bounce in enjoyment. He tried to look at everything, yanked Dakota into the different shops, stopped to watch whatever was happening or listening to music at one club or another.
Both of them decided on Jimmy Buffets’ Margaritaville restaurant and club. To his surprise, Dakota insisted on a table inside. When they got to it, Dakota pointed to a specific chair.
“Why? I want to people watch and look everywhere,” Samuel said. He sang along under the breath to the classic songs. He picked up the menu and flipped through it.
“That’s a kick ass volcano.”
A waiter wandered over, welcomed them to the restaurant and took their orders. He returned after a bit with their drinks.
Samuel sipped at the fruity alcoholic drink. “Oh, wow, this is fabulous.”
Dakota chuckled. He relaxed in the chair and enjoyed his beer.
“This is just…beyond anything I could think of.”
“I wanted to do something special after all the work we put into renovating the Charm. After everything you did, even moving down here and rearranging your entire life. I don’t know how to always tell you how much you mean to me,” Dakota said. He reached out a hand and clasped Samuel’s hand.
“Such a sap,” Samuel teased. He leaned over and kissed Dakota.
“Honest. I’m actually opening my mouth and speaking words.”
Samuel chuckled. “I know and I wouldn’t make any other choice. This is what I wanted. Once I got past your prickly exterior,” he said and placed his fingers on Dakota’s chest by his heart. “There’s a very good and warm man inside. I fell hard and never looked back. Nothing was keeping me in New York. Not even the city herself.”
A rumbling noise moved through the restaurant. The song changed to classic one about a volcano going. Someone announced the volcano was about to blow.
Dakota pointed to the massive volcano taking over one part of the restaurant. “Watch.”
Samuel turned to the growing spectacle. Lights flickered. Smoke rose from the top. ‘Lava’ rose and flowed through special tubes and over the edge by the bar.
“That is…” Samuel paused for even more effect. “Awesome!”
“It’ll do it every once in a while. It’s some part of the bar and drinks. I’m not quite sure.”
When dinner came, they both dug in with gusto. Every time the volcano went off, Samuel stopped so he could see the entire thing and loved it more everytime.
Once stuffed to the brim, they left the restaurant and walked back through the heart of CityWalk.
“Movie or a club?” Dakota asked when they stopped to make a decision.
Samuel nibbled on the edge of his lower lip. “Dance.”
“Dance, please, baby, please,” Samuel pleaded. He grasped Dakota’s hand and swung it between them.
“Oh, no, not the big puppy eyes,” Dakota said as he held a hand to playfully ward off the look. “No. No.”
Samuel laughed and tugged on Dakota’s hand. “Dance with me.”
“We could neck in the back the theater.”
“Umm. We have a room with a nice king-size bed.”
“Club it is,” Samuel said. With a triumphant call, he led the way to club he wanted.
It wasn’t a long wait, but soon they were inside. The music blasted. The crowd was lively within the fun atmosphere and a little liquor assistance.
Samuel turned, took Dakota’s hand, and crooked his finger at him. He walked backward to guide Dakota toward the crowded dance floor.
“You know I don’t always dance well,” Dakota said, the edge of a whine.
“Shush. You danced when we went to Pensacola. Shook your fine ass and had a blast. Come on.”
“Yeah, at a gay club. This is…” Dakota waved a hand around.
“Doesn’t matter. We have every right to get on the floor and dance our butts off.”
Dakota shook his head, but continued to follow Samuel onto the floor.
Samuel shifted and wiggled until he found a space for them. He tugged Dakota close and started to move and flow with the music. He raised his hands, bobbed his head, and swayed to the rhythm. He turned, backed against Dakota and got him to move with him. He glanced over his shoulder with a smile when Dakota placed his hands on Samuel’s hips.
They danced like that for hours, fast and slow songs. Samuel’s easy fluid grace drew attention. Dakota loved watching Samuel dance, lost to the music and anyone around him. He was the one exception.
They remained in the club until it was time to return to the hotel. Neither one wanted to be exhausted for their first day at the theme park.
To be continued….