Chapter 7—The Biggest Hump
“Caramel? What are these?”
“Um…” the colt said nervously, shyly clopping his hooves together, “Magazines…”
“And why is there a naked stallion on the front?”
“I forgot to put those away, I’m sorry…oh, please don’t think I’m a pervert! I swear to Celestia I’m not! I just…I like looking at the pictures…”
“It’s okay, Caramel. Ah don’t think you’re a pervert. I was gonna ask you, though. Erm…do ya think Ah could borrow one? Ah don’t really get to see these that often…”
“Oh!” Caramel blushed, “Sure, anything for you! You can take a whole sack—STACK! You can take a whole stack, if you want. I have all ten issues of this year, and I’ve already read all of them, so you can go ahead and borrow any one you want.” He blushed deeply.
“Erm…there’re only nine here. Did ya lose one?”
Lose…yeah…definitely not soaking wet with my…seed…and hidden in the trash. “Yeah, that’s probably it,” he smiled sheepishly.
Caramel sat down on the couch, patting the other cushion invitingly. The red stallion obliged, and he quickly turned to face him.
“Caramel, can Ah confess somethin’?”
“You can tell me anything!” This is so good! We’re going to get to know each other! Like a real couple!
“You know this is mah first relationship, and Ah don’t really get around much, so Ah’m afraid Ah don’t really know what to do. I wish Ah could…romance ya and make ya really happy, but Ah don’t really know how.”
“Mac…The closest thing I’ve ever had to a relationship is a pen-pal in Canterlot. I don’t know what to do, either. But I know I’ll have lots of fun figuring things out with you. Just um…Mac?”
“If at all possible, I’d like to take things slowly…”
“Of course. Ah forgot to ask ya. Will you want to go out with me? Maybe tomorrow, if you’re available.”
“Oh yes, Mac!” The couch creaked dangerously under the weight of two stallions, especially when one of them was jumping up and down with glee.
“No, really?!” Rose yelled, unbelieving of what Caramel just told her, “He said…he really did? Oh Caramel, congratulations!”
“Thanks so much, Rose! I’m so happy now!”
Rose squealed in delight. “Oh this is so romantic! Two stallions both searching for love from the other, but were too afraid to say! Oh I simply must write this down! It’d make a brilliant novel!”
“I have a date with him tonight!”
“Ooh, the first date! Has he kissed you yet?”
“Not yet. I kind of hope he kisses me tonight, though.”
“Well, just be careful, because I heard that the first date is the biggest hump in the relationship.”
“Biggest hump? Hrm…that sounds familiar…”
“I uh…I may have peeked at one of the magazines you had on your table.”
I have got to put those away…
The shower had been turned off, but steam was still rising from the stall, billowing out like fluffy clouds and filling the room with warm fog. Caramel had to wipe the mirror every few seconds so he could see. The small bathroom smelled of lilac—his fur wash—and citrus—for his mane and tail. The sharp cut of the oranges and lemons seemed to be dulled by the lilac and moisture, but he enjoyed the sweet scent nonetheless. He flossed every tooth twice, and brushed through the alphabet twelve times—once for each letter in Big Macintosh’s name. He tried styling his mane, but failed miserably. He longed for the flat, sleek mane that seemed so perfect for shaping. Instead, he was cursed with thick, brown hair that refused to budge. It seemed to laugh at him even as he pulled a comb through it.
After he finally reached a decent level of satisfaction with his appearance, he spent the rest of the afternoon waiting in his living room, trying not to stare at the clock too often. Every minute taunted him, and the second-hand moved tantalizingly slow. He wondered if the clock was conspiring against him, purposely integrating an extra second or two into its every tick. Oh, hurry up! Against his better judgment, he glanced at the clock again. Six thirty-five. Twenty-five minutes left.
He picked up one of the magazines on his table and began reading.
Three articles later (including one very steamy romance story), he gave in to his urges and looked at the wall-clock again. It’s definitely been ten minutes—at least. Six thirty-seven. HOW?! Caramel groaned and muffled his face into a pillow.
Suddenly, he sat up straight. Oh no! I forgot to put on that eyeliner! Rose was so nice; I wonder how much it cost her. Oh wait, she said it was on sale, and she got it two-for-one, or something. He returned to the bathroom, which was now clear of steam, and stared into the mirror. I guess I look decently attractive…Mac deserves attractive…I hope I can give it to him. Rose said that this is…oh, what did she say? Oh yeah: “Blue enough to make you seem mysterious, but purple enough to make you passionate. Use it with mascara. A lot of ponies don’t know, but a little sparkle on the eye does wonders and blah, blah, blah.”
Ten minutes later, the eyeliner pencil was only making marks on his eyeball, and not on his eyelid. This would be so much easier if I were a unicorn. He blinked in discomfort as he accidentally poked himself in the eye again.
Three tries later, a small arc of bluish purple sat below his eyes. Close enough! It’s something.
At that moment, there was a knock on the door. Don’t panic, don’t panic! All the way to open the door, however, Caramel did nothing but panic. How should I answer the door? “Welcome, Mac!” “Howdy!” “Glad you could make it!” “I’m so glad you’re here!” “Hello there, big boy…” Woah there, pony. Definitely not the last one. Welcome is good. I like that first one.
He opened the door to a red stallion with nothing but a small flower and saddlebags. “Ah got this for you,” he said. He presented the yellow tulip. Caramel bowed his head, and felt him tuck the stem into his mane. Finally a good use for this rats’ nest. “Welcome! Glad you could make it, big boy,” he said cheerily. Oh buck. Fatality. Game over… He smiled sheepishly.
To his surprise, the red stallion chuckled. “Ah made a picnic. Ah hope that’s not too simple for ya.”
“Oh no, that’s wonderful. I love picnics,” he insisted. This is going to be so romantic! He stepped outside with Macintosh and closed the door behind him. “Where are we going?”
“There’s a special place on the farm that Ah always went to when Ah was a foal. It’s very beautiful.”
They began walking to Sweet Apple Acres. “And speakin’ of beautiful,” he continued, “are ya wearin’ makeup, Caramel?”
“Oh um…yes…” he blushed, “could you tell? Does it look bad?”
“It don’t look bad. Just…next time…know that Ah think you’re beautiful enough already.”
Caramel’s heart fluttered, and his saunter quickly hastened to a canter as he felt new energy surge through him.
“Here we are,” Big Macintosh said, peeling away the willow’s drooping vines and leaves to reveal a small alcove. Caramel gasped. He wasn’t kidding. This is beautiful…
The crying branches of the willow tree fell back into place, creating a green curtain which the setting sun filtered through into tiny spots of yellow. It was the very corner of the farm, so the alcove was created with the enormous boulders that surrounded the farm’s edges. In the wide gap between two of the gray mammoths, a single apple tree stood. The trunk filled in the space between, successfully sealing off the space from anypony’s view.
“Nopony knew where Ah was when Ah came here. This was mah favorite place to go. Ah planted that tree when Ah was just a colt. It was the first tree Ah ever planted, and Ah named her ‘Princess.’”
“Princess?” Caramel suppressed a giggle.
“That’s what Ah wanted to be when Ah was younger. Like Ah said…Ah figured out Ah was a coltcuddler pretty early.”
“Did you make these?” Caramel asked, pointing to all the carvings on the stone. The natural stone walls weren’t exactly flat, but they were still a canvas to some foal, who had carved little drawings and pictures in the rock.
“Eeyup. Granny used to be madder than a rattlesnake in a sack when Ah drew on the walls, so instead, Ah’d draw here.”
"You’re a very good artist,” Caramel giggled. All the carvings were so rudimentary and poorly-done, that it was almost pitiful. A pony was an oval with five sticks and a circle head. A tree was identical to a lollipop, street sign, and a lasso.
Macintosh took off his saddlebags and started taking out various picnic-related items. First came the checkered blanket, which he spread onto the ground with his mouth. Next came the sandwiches, bottles of apple juice, daisy salad, and hay fries. Caramel’s stomach growled just at the sight and smell of dinner—he had chosen preparing for this date in lieu of lunch.
“Wow, Mac…this is really…extravagant…”
“Ah’m glad ya think so,” he said, sitting down on a corner of the blanket. He patted the opposite corner of the red and white cloth, inviting the yellow colt to have a seat.
Instead of sitting where Macintosh had indicated, however, Caramel chose to rest his flank right next to him. “I’d rather sit next to you, if that’s okay…”
“Eeyup,” he said, beaming.
By the time they were finished eating, the sun had already set, and the only light came form Luna’s moon, her scattered sparkles, and the lanterns that Big Macintosh had set out. Throughout the evening, Caramel had slowly leaned more and more into the red stallion.
With the presence of a red foreleg around his body, he considered Operation Get-Mac-To-Cuddle-Me a success. “Mac?” he asked tentatively.
“Do you love me?”
“Ah do, Caramel. Ah’ve loved you for such a long time, and Ah still do now.”
“I love you, too, Mac…”
Macintosh pulled the yellow colt in for a bigger hug, wrapping both his hooves around the slightly pudgy pony. Caramel looked up into the green eyes he so longed for. Is he…Is he going to…? He couldn’t finish the thought.
In that moment, the stallion dipped down and touched his lips to the awaiting muzzle of Caramel. His mind blanked out, and he could feel only his own heartbeat, Macintosh’s heartbeat, and the softness of his lips.
Caramel parted his lips slightly, letting his tongue poke at the red stallion’s mouth. After a moment’s hesitation, his mouth was open as well. Caramel’s tongue thrust itself into Macintosh’s mouth, prodding tentatively at the treasures inside the cave.
Macintosh, never one to be dominated, took the lead from there. He pushed back, giving Caramel’s oral cave a full expedition. He explored every crevice and could still taste some sweet apples and cinnamon from their dessert.
After an immeasurable amount of time, they reluctantly separated, both from their exhaustion, and their lack of oxygen. Oh…my…my first kiss…it was…it was so much more than I thought it would be. I can’t wait to do it again!
“Wow…” he said.
“Did ya…like that…?” Macintosh panted.
“Very much.” Caramel yawned. Maybe it was the food, or maybe the sun going down, but he felt very tired all of a sudden.
The larger stallion wrapped the smaller in his forelegs again, and Caramel could feel himself get drowsier and drowsier, as irresistible waves of sleep crashed over him. He finally blacked out, but right before he felt a pair of lips on his cheek, wishing him a good night.