The following story is for adults and contains descriptions of sexual contact between males. If you are a minor, then it is illegal for you to read this story. If you find the subject objectionable, then read no further. All the characters, events and settings are the product of my over-active imagination. I hope you like it. Mail me or if literary analysis interests you visit Eliot's Space.


by Eliot Moore

Chapter Nine

Table of Contents

Thirteen point Four (Twenty-one point Two)
Thirteen point Five (Twenty-one point Three)

Thirteen point Four (Twenty-one point Two)

Dale watched the two boys across the street and sipped his coffee. There was a light spattering of sleet on the windshield, April showers, Dale reflected. He turned the wipers back on and checked the road for some sign of Ed Lampman. His watch said Lampman was late. Dale cut the wipers and turned his attention back to the boys. Wayne and Kent, neighborhood purveyors of fine drugs. Wayne was fifteen and what boyish charms he once possessed were long gone. His current partner must have been eighteen now. Dale knew if he took them right now their pockets would be a treasure trove of miscellaneous recreational products. Little punks, they were so easy to shake down. Dale left them to their small time business transactions. They had made their contribution to the slim envelope in his pocket. Maybe after Lampman showed up he'd grab some coke to share with Eric when he got home. Dale checked his watch again. Eric would be curled up on the couch waiting for him. He thought about Eric open and ready to his needs. Dale's mouth watered and he wiped at it like an alcoholic thinking about his next drink. Dale finished the coffee and dropped the crumpled cup onto the floor. Thinking about a good fuck made Dale jumpy. He rolled his window down and lit a cigarette. The sleet spattered the vinyl and a sudden gust wet the side of his face. He watched Vance's little hound Sean bouncing down the sidewalk. The boy greeted the pair leaning against the store front and sat beside them on a ledge with his hands shoved deep into his pockets. Vance'd flip if he knew his precious piece of tail hung with the local school yard dealers. Dale savored his view of the boy. Sometimes clothes did make them more sexy. The passenger door swung open and Lampman dropped into the seat beside him.

"Shitty weather"

"Yes, it is." The answer was delivered in a dry voice. Lampman was as solid as they came. He had been a ten-year veteran when Dale joined the force. He started in Cincinnati before some sort of disagreement sent him west. People said he brought a sick wife with him and that was probably what tripped him up. Apparently the medical bills broke him. The word was Lampman dismantled a hospital room when his wife died. The word was the court settlement set Lampman back even farther. Lampman was dirty before Dale met him and he did not seem to care much about it at that point. They partnered for a time and Lampman was one of the people who convinced him the low-life's on the street did not deserve to make more money than an honest cop. They never became friends. Lampman didn't take to Dale's easy going ways, but the quiet man always had Dale's back. When Dale was a rookie, he got rattled and shot too quickly. Someone died. Lampman came through for him on that one. They went their separate ways, but there was trust. You could not ask more from a fellow cop.

"Time for a beer?"

"No" Lampman had this reserve about him. Nobody got close to Lampman.

"Suite yourself." Dale reached into his coat and pulled the envelope out. While Lampman counted the money Dale turned his attention back to the three boys on the street. From where he sat, it looked like Kent and Wayne were practicing trash-talk while Sean obligingly supplied the audience. Kent interrupted his performance to make a quick transaction with a passing youth.

"Looks like the city needs to collect the trash. Where are the parents these days?" Dale glanced at Lampman and realized he was watching the boys. Dale turned back to watch the byplay across the street.

"Cut them some slack Ed, those boys butter your bread. They are upwardly mobile young entrepreneurs." The two teenage partners fell to shoving each other back and forth in a playful manner. Dale grunted to himself. A few more years and those two would be gone and another generation of street kids would take their place. Lampman was right, they were simply a waste product.

"Ah well, in that case more power to them." Again, Lampman's voice had that dry quality again. "What's the story on the blond kid who looks like he shoplifted his way through American Eagle?"

"Oh there's a story with that one, yes indeed." Dale's voice was so soft he might have been speaking to himself. He cleared his throat and when he continued his voice was firmer. "He's not mixed up with these two. I guess he just hangs out with them, the poor kid. That one is as pretty as a girl don't you think?"

"He's no girl." Lampman's tone shifted. Dale caught the undercurrent of interest.

"He's a good looking boy"

"That he is." After that comment Lampman shut down and Dale expected him to leave with his money. Lampman lingered in the car. "Well" he finally remarked and fumbled for the door. Dale reached over and put a hand on Lampman's arm to stop him. Dale pointed to where a car had stopped across the street next to the three boys. The men watched as a small boy got out of the car. "What am I seeing?" Lampman's tone was flat and professional again. The boy ran directly to Sean and the two boys hugged. Wayne moved over and gave the small boy a slap on the head to gain his attention. The boy dug some bills out of his pocket and handed them to Wayne.

"Well, well Wayne, you've been holding out on me haven't you; you little cunt you." Dale wiped the moisture off the door and quickly lit another cigarette before he continued. "He's pimping now. He neglected mentioning that."

"Whose the boy?"

"Wayne's brother Jeff - Jeffy" Dale eyed the small boy who had returned to Sean. Dale rambled on, "Wayne didn't mind selling his own ass a few years ago. You wouldn't think to look at him, but he looked a lot like Jeffy back then. Man oh man, that kid had a mouth on him." Dale stopped abruptly. He had said more than was wise. It left a painful silence in the car. Dale distracted himself with the remains of his cigarette. "Well fuck, street kids, what do you expect. Their mother's a crack whore. Can't worry about them all can we?" He tried a grin to probe Lampman's state of mind.

Lampman met his eyes, but Dale had trouble reading his expression. "Just some underage tale." Lampman suggested.

"Right" Dale fidgeted a moment. Seeing Sean and Jeffy together was making him horny. It also set him on edge to think Wayne thought he was pulling one over on him. I'm gonna have to tune in that piece of worn out cum rag or the next thing you know he'll be making deals all over the streets and I won't have a clue. He tows the line or I end him. Dale tossed the butt into the street and told Lampman he was going to roust the boys a little about their side business. He started the car and dropped a cherry on the roof before cutting across the traffic.

Wayne and Kent saw him coming and scattered when he plowed his way into the alley. Dale could tell they were nervous when he heaved his bulk out of the car. Wayne stood his ground when Dale came up to him. "Got a little action you haven't told me about Wayne? Got something going on the side?" Dale shoved Wayne into the wall and frisked him. He came up with a few bags of white powder which he slipped into his sport jacket pocket for later. Dale kicked Wayne's legs out a little farther and pushed a hand down the teen's pants to cop a feel.

"I thought you were done trolling the streets. Aren't I a little old for you now Dale?" Wayne gasped and his knees buckled when Dale's fist clenched. Dale leaned into Wayne's back and Wayne's arms trembled with the extra strain of holding both of them away from the wall. Dale tried a few experimental tugs, his crotch tight against the boy's ass. Wayne tried to pass it off with a scornful grunt, but they both could feel the cock grow in Dale's hand.

"You're still a whore Wayne, you know that? You holding out on me?"

Wayne denied it for a moment, claimed Jeffy was free lancing for food, and then he decided to change his story and argue he was just trying Jeffy out and they were going to give the money up to Dale when the time was right. Dale could understand, Wayne pleaded. Dale could trust Wayne, had history. Jeffy was good too, coming along. Dale's hand was arousing him now. His adolescent voice cracked as he continued. "Whose your friend Dale? Does he know all about you? Does he know what turns you on? I know you cook your chicken at home. Maybe your friend is still looking for take out." Dale pushed Wayne against the wall to shut him up and then turned around. Lampman had followed him over.

Dale rolled his eyes dramatically at Lampman, he hoped Lampman ignored the boy's accusations. Dale turned back to Wayne. The boy stood with his back against the wall, the fingers of one hand splayed in an effort to hide the erection tenting his worn jeans. "My friends know everything there is to know about me cock sucker. Officer Lampman and I go way back, so don't," Dale drove his knee into Wayne's gut, "threaten me." Wayne's mouth gaped open in a silent scream of pain. Dale pressed fourteen-year-old back against the wall to keep him from collapsing. "Ed, coffee shop down the corner. Say you want to grab us a couple while I explain business ethics to this cunt?"

Lampman had moved over to where Sean stood taking it all in, Jeffy close beside him. "Sure, sort it out." Lampman's eyes passed over Kent and Wayne as if they were invisible but when they fell on Sean they softned. The taciturn policeman turned to go.

"Sean" Ethan met Dale's eyes. "I figure your father would want you home now; better take off." Ethan pulled himself together and caught Jeffy's attention. He figured Jeffy would be better clear of Dale. Ethan knew Jeffy had really taken to him, so he was not surprised when the little boy turned to join him. "Not you Jeffy, you come over here." Dale's command pulled him up short. Ethan saw the look of fear in the little boy's eyes. There was nothing Ethan could do to stop Dale. Ethan gave Jeffy a sympathetic smile and squeezed his cold little hand. He watched as Jeffy made a last appeal with his eyes and reluctantly joined his brother. Ethan felt bad abandoning him to Dale. Dale prodded him again to leave. "Hey, I'll tell Eric I saw you; tell him you said hi; maybe make a play date before the weekend." Ethan nodded at the policeman and reluctantly turned his back on Jeffy. It's just the way things are Jeffy, get used to it.

After a few paces Ethan found himself walking beside the policeman who had accompanied Dale. Ethan thought any friend of Dale's was someone to avoid. They walked together in silence until they had almost reached the coffee shop where Ethan remembered meeting the man. Instinctively, he stopped and glanced into the shop.

"You're Sean right?" The man's voice was soft and wistful.

When Ethan met his eyes he saw something unexpected. Ethan was accustomed to dealing with male admiration. He was familiar too with the gleam of lust and often he could read the smug complacency of the men in his life who saw his feelings as no barrier to their desires. The look in this man's eyes was different. There was a sadness in his eyes, and longing too. It was as if looking at Ethan had opened some private door to an old grief. The man confused Ethan.


"I'm Ed" The man passed a hand over his eyes and it seemed to hood the raw emotions he had just revealed. What was left was an intense curiosity he tried to mask with friendship. "Can I buy you anything? I mean you seemed interested in the menu."

Ethan was wary of any friend of Dale's; but if the man knew Dale's business as well as Eric's father had claimed, then Ethan did not need to worry about being molested on the street. He was Vance's hound, not a mutt trying to get by. Ethan tried to parse the unfamiliar police officer's motives. He was not ready to go to his boring home. He was also worried about Jeffy. Jeffy wasn't used to the men yet and Wayne didn't seem to care about that. Ethan knew Dale's tastes all to well, he needed to get back to the alley. Dale frightened Jeffy still. Ethan shrugged his shoulders, "Sure."

He joined the man in line and took the hot chocolate when it came. The officer did not seem to object when Ethan turned back toward the alley. "So what's your story Sean? You get those clothes working the streets like... ?" Lampman had forgotten the name.

"Jeffy?" Ethan took a sip of the scalding chocolate and then licked at the cream swirled on top. A little fluff clung to his upper lip. Lampman watched as Ethan's tongue quickly darted out to clean it off. Ethan met the man's gaze with a guarded expression.

"Right, Jeffy." They had stopped walking. Lampman stood with the forgotten cups of coffee in his hands and Ethan concentrated on the unexpected windfall of a free drink.


"That's good to hear," the man whispered. "How do you know officer LaMontagne?"

"Who?" Ethan scrunched his face as he looked up from his drink.


"Oh" Ethan started slowly up the street toward the alley. "He's friends with my father. They party together, you know, weekends. He brings Eric over and we do stuff." Ethan glanced at Lampman. He could not read the man's expression. The chocolate was cooling quickly. Ethan paused so he could concentrate on taking a drink. He looked at Lampman over the rim of his cup. The man was staring at him. "You're not supposed to stare at me."

"Sorry" Lampman gave Ethan a genuine smile. "Its just you remind me of someone." Ethan took a little sip and asked him who that was. "A good friend. I met him when we were just about your age. Maybe its your hair. He wanted to be a hippie like his big brother so he grew his hair out. You trying to be a hippie too?"

Ethan had no idea what a hippie was. He looked at the older man and shrugged. "Father likes my hair long. I don't. It gets in my eyes all the time! Eric has short hair. So are you still friends with... ?"

"Keith" Lampman's eyes grew cold and his voice seemed to lose all expression. The dryness in his voice returned. "He's gone; a long time now."

"But you're still friends aren't you? I mean, if you saw him standing across the street waiting for you. You'd still be friends even if it had been a long time; right?" Ethan had forgotten about the hot chocolate in his hand and Jeffy, just up the street alone with Dale. He watched the man anxiously as he waited for Lampman's response. Lampman seemed mesmerized by the question. When he finally spoke he sounded lost. His answer was not the reassurance Ethan needed.

"I'd like to think he is waiting for me." Lampman searched Ethan's face. The boy wondered if the man was seeing his friend instead of Ethan. "I've changed. I've done things Keith would not be proud of. I'm not sure he would recognize me now. He wouldn't want me now. "

Ethan put a hand on Lampman's chest close to his heart. "Don't say that!" Ethan pleaded, "You're still you. He would know that wouldn't he? The rest doesn't matter does it?" Lampman noticed tears in Ethan's eyes. He smiled gently at the boy to reassure him.


"Your a man, not a kid like me, you don't have to wait for him. You could go find him, find Keith yourself." Ethan smiled hopefully. Lampman shook his head sadly.

"He died." Lampman sounded lost, cut adrift, as he said this.

"He died!" Ethan was devastated. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he wept at the idea.

Lampman noticed the effect his words had on the young boy, what, maybe twelve or thirteen? Sean wilted in front of the man's eyes. Suddenly he laughed. It startled Ethan. "I know, it's sad Sean. I didn't handle it well when he died, but you know we had many happy years together before that. We met when we were about your age and after that there were ever so many good years. He was always my best friend. He died, people do you know."

"Yes, my family died."

"They did? I'm sorry to hear that."

Ethan shrugged, it might have been worse if he had still been with them. "I've got father now I guess."

"And he loves you I'm sure."

"Sure, fathers always love us." Ethan had trouble making it sound convincing. "He's okay. He's good to me." Vance was okay, Ethan concluded. There were other fathers who reminded Ethan of Gus and Mel. Vance liked his little games and sometimes he said the wrong thing, maybe he loved Sean, but Sean wasn't the person Ethan wanted to be, and Ethan couldn't help that. Ethan searched the street as he always did now. He wasn't sure who he should be looking for; however, he was certain he would recognize Peter when he did. "I'm sorry your friend died."

"Thank you."

"I have a best friend too."

"Everyone should."

"Yes, but I haven't seen him in a long time." Ethan concluded sadly. He remembered Jeffy and began walking again. Lampman kept pace.

"I thought you had to go home."

Ethan flushed. He was not good at disobeying adults, particularly fathers like Dale. The years had made their inroads. "I need to check on Jeffy."

"I'm sure he is okay. It might not be a good idea, your going back there." Ethan ignored him and continued to walk. When they reached the alley Dale's car was missing. "They must have gone." Ethan noticed Wayne and Kent farther down at a point where the alley widened and there was a loading dock. He pointed it out to Lampman and then started down the alley toward where he knew Jeffy would be with Dale. He stopped short and watched.

Dale's was thrusting into Jeffy with soft grunts and the little boy supplied a counterpoint of strangled cries. Ethan glanced at Lampman. The spectrum of emotions that had played across his face as they walked back from the coffee shop were packed away. Lampman's face was a cipher Ethan could not read. He turned back to watch Dale. Dale's behavior confused him. Ethan did not know why Dale had not just gone home to Eric. Or if he could not wait, he might have asked Ethan to stay and blow him. Sex off the street, Vance had always told Ethan that he was happy being free from the troubles of picking up mutts who might be unclean and showed no affection. Ethan was pretty sure Vance would never do this. Ethan could tell when Dale finished. Dale's patterns were pretty familiar to him. The man pulled out and as he was fumbling with his pants he noticed Lampman standing next to Ethan.

It threw Dale completely. He paused a moment and then shrugged in an elaborately casual manner. "Product testing" Dale finished cleaning himself up.

"I can see that." Lampman replied in his driest tone. "Still want your coffee" The man came forward offering it to the other policeman.

"Christ yes!" Dale took the offered cup warily. Lampman seemed unfazed by what he had seen. Lampman looked down at Jeffy. One sock-covered foot rested on the frame of the car, the other ballanced on the knife edge of the door frame.

"Any good?"

"Yeah, though I've had better rides." Dale smiled at Ethan, whose own expression was simply one of resignation. "You thinking of wetting your whistle?" Lampman paused a long time before responding. Dale worried the time away trying to read the man who had turned dirty to pay his medical debts, then ran amuck in a grief-filled rage when his wife wife died anyway. She must have been one hell of a woman to set this cold fish off, Dale mused. Dale had seen Lampman tear into a pimp once. He was a dangerous man to cross. Dale thought about the gun he had strapped to his ankle.

"Yeah, I think that would be a good idea partner."

Dale put the coffee on the top of the car and then pulled Jeffy's pants out from where they had dropped on the floor. He rummaged in a pocket and pulled a condom free. He held it up for Lampman. The man snatched it from him. "Wouldn't want to screw up this late in the game."

"No doubt" and Lampman's response was dripping with irony. "I don't care to follow you Dale. I thought a little head would be enough."

"You don't know what you are missing man. Nothing hotter or tighter than a sweet boy's ass. Once you have indulged you will be sold."

"Shove off Dale and keep your eyes out for visitors." Lampman stared at Jeffy as he replied.

Dale moved away with a chuckle and sought out Wayne and Kent. Lampman reassured him. This is going to work out. Lampman kept taking the money. He had ever since his wife died; lots of money in that man's pocket I'll bet. I wonder what he will think of Eric? Lampman had currency with the rest of the guys too. He might have been a Captain by now except for his fuck-it-all attitude. Lampman was a convenient person to know. A man who made his own rules. A dirty cop who was smart enough to keep both of their noses clean. Yeah, this is going to work out.

Ethan pushed past Lampman just as the man was about to help Jeffy up. The little boy's bum did not look too bad to Ethan. "Hey Jeff, sit up dude. Let's look at you." Ethan wiped a few tear streaks off Jeffy's face. He asked the boy again how he felt and Jeffy answered he was feeling not too bad. The two boys hugged quickly.

"Sean, get the hell out of here. I don't want you around this business." Ethan ignored Lampman as he helped Jeffy put his pants on. Ethan reminded Jeffy to sit in a warm tube for a while. He wished he could take the boy home, but Vance would be back before long. "Get the fuck out of here Sean. Stop hanging around with these kids. Go home." Lampman sounded upset. He turned to Dale and growled, "LaMontagne, come get this kid."

"Sean, I told you to go home. Come boy... I mean come here!"

The earlier trick and Dale had worn Jeffy out. He was just a little mutt getting started. Ethan swiveled around to where Lampman stood and reached for the man's belt. "Sean! What the hell!" Lampman pushed Ethan away violently. Ethan picked himself up and came back to the man. He had made a mistake, he had surprised Lampman and touched him without being invited. He should not have done that. He looked into the man's shocked eyes.

"I'll do it. Jeffy is new, I don't think he should do it right now."

"Listen kid, you have no idea what this involves."

"I can do this Ed."


"Hey, I'm pretty good." Ethan was puzzled by the man's reluctance. Dale had said Lampman knew everything. It came to him that Lampman might feel Ethan was too old. Lots of fathers only liked the little puppies. "I'm not that old Ed."

"No, not you, please." Lampman whispered the words.

"You could fuck me. I'm really good at that too. Roy could tell you." Ethan smiled at Lampman and focused his attention on Lampman's pants. The man put his hand over Ethan's and held his busy fingers still. Ethan looked at Lampman anxiously, desperate to get through to the man. "Please Ed, don't do it with Jeffy. He's so small. It hurts still."

"I thought you didn't work the streets." Ethan had hurt the man's feelings in some way. Ethan didn't understand the sadness in Lampman's voice.

"We don't, that wouldn't be allowed." Lampman's hand dropped away and Ethan took that for permission to continue. He knelt beside the car, ignoring Dale's sudden curse. Dale would be upset by what Ethan was doing. Ethan smiled up at Lampman. He was leaning back with his arms draped over the open car door. Lampman had gone somewhere else. Ethan recognized the look. He saw it on the faces of puppies when they had sex with fathers they didn't like. Ethan imagined his own face looked like that sometimes. "Hey! Ed, come back." Lampman started at his voice and his eyes dropped. Ethan wasn't sure he was really looking at him though. "I like you."

It was such an ingenuous comment and it made the man smile at the adolescent. "I think I like you too kid. Come on, do your stuff. I need a passport, and it looks like you volunteered."

The young hound was curious to see what Ed's cock looked like. So many different shapes and sizes; each with its own smell. Ethan's penis swelled slightly in anticipation. Lampman had a beautiful one, Ethan had guessed he would. "You're beautiful Ed. Did Keith love to suck your cock?" It was only natural that the boy, who thought sex was as inevitable as breathing, would assume Keith and Ed had been together; after all, they had been best friends.

Lampman blinked and smiled slightly at the enchanting boy offering to take him. He chuckled. "Yeah, he always said he did." Ethan bent to take Lampman in his mouth. The man stopped him suddenly by grasping his loose hair. He pulled Ethan's head up with a quick jerk. "Sean, how many fathers are there? How many boys?"

Ethan shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. I know a few, they came and went. Gus would know because he runs the kennel." Ethan smiled at Lampman thinking it would be okay when he started coming to the parties.

"Gus you say?"

Ethan nodded and began to work. He wanted Ed to be happy. Maybe if Lampman pretended Ethan was his best friend Keith, he would be happy again. Ethan managed to transport Lampman somewhere, but if he ever thought Ethan was Keith, he never said. Ethan liked Ed, so he did not do the things he usually did to push the orgasm. He took his time. Ethan shifted at one point so Jeffy could get a better look. Jeffy needed to learn how to suck cock too. Jeffy watched in silence. When Lampman couldn't stand up anymore Jeffy shifted to the other end of the back seat. Jeffy held Lampman's head in his lap while Ethan finished him. Lampman's flood was as strong as a seventeen-year-old's in Ethan's mouth. The young hound teased Lampman's cock as it collapsed in his mouth. He wanted to let the feelings linger and set the man down gently. There was a moment of silence after Ethan let the spent cock slip free. "Oh my God," Lampman remarked absently.

Lampman propped himself up. "Are you okay kid? I feel terrible."

"You were supposed to feel good." Ethan scolded. He ran a hand around the man's hairy belly. He liked its flatness and the feel of the hard muscle beneath. "You would make a nice father." Ethan patted Lampman and kissed his flaccid cock.

"I never married."

"I mean it would be nice if you came to the parties.

"Count on it Sean, I plan to be there." The tone of lazy contentment vanished from Lampman's voice. It was replaced with the silibant hiss of a well used gun leaving its holster.


Thirteen point Five (Twenty-one point Three)

It had taken longer than he had hoped and he hustled right up to the end. Nick had helped him select a 1997 Rabbit. He had hesitated at the expense, but Jessica had insisted he get a reliable vehicle if he intended to travel any distance in the winter. Jessica coached him through the driving test. Peter was awed by the license. It was another proof of his new identity: Peter Carpenter and there was his wonder struck picture. Driving the compact Rabbit thrilled him. Ethan would be impressed to see him behind the wheel. Jessica had laughed at his excitement.

He planned to leave for Denver as soon as he registered the car. Getting time off had proven much easier than he anticipated. Nick liked him a lot. Peter was a reliable and uncomplaining worker. Peter was appalled by the open ended nature of his holiday. Nick told him to take as much time as he needed. Finding steady work seemed like a miracle to the uneducated man and he lived in fear of losing it again. This contributed to his general anxiety about finding, and liberating Ethan. Otherwise, the trip would be a grand adventure.

Peter juggled the car keys and turned around his apartment examining it. He could hear Jessica through the open door. She was reading the riot act to three girls who had mistaken Peter's make shift youth shelter for a party spot. One of the girls was having trouble at home. The other two were simply friends looking for a good time. Peter focused on the problem enough to deal with the boys and beer. It was easy enough to send the two fifteen-year-old boys packing after they got a good look at him. Jessica decided she could handle the three girls across the hall way in Clarkson and Tate.

There was not much to do. Peter stooped to smooth the blanket on the new double bed. The old twin was still propped against the wall. Jessica was sure Ethan would want his own bed. Peter had not argued with her. He told her they would settle things if he could bring Ethan back. The rooms were simply waiting for his friend. He was looking out the window when Jessica returned. Peter spoke over his shoulder, "Maybe I should tell them they can't stay here while I'm gone. It's not that cold right now, they would be okay. I'll lock up and let the police know we shut down."

"It will be okay Peter, don't worry so much. I sent her little scank friends home and told Hanna she had disappointed you. That upset her enough to make her behave while you are gone." Peter could hear the laughter in her voice. "I'll stop by and check on things."

"Bring a friend, bring your father."

"We'll be fine Peter. Stop worrying; I'll track Niccolo down, I saw his pack in Wigg Accounting."

Peter leaned on the window frame for a moment to admire his car. "It didn't work out at his dad's. Niccolo needs a place to cool off. I think he is going to leave town this time." Peter sighed. He liked the kids. He liked being there for them, but he could not do much about their problems.

"I'll ask him to stick around till you get back. He can keep Hanna and the others in line." Jessica came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. "What should we do tonight?" Her breath was on his neck and she squeezed him slightly.

"I'm going to leave."

She rested her head against his back a moment. Her fingers trailed down so she could play with his belt. Peter smiled and turned in her arms. Foiled, she pushed her fingers into his pants and let them rest lightly against his sexy ass. Her lips invited a kiss so he bent his head to her upturned face. Jessica didn't waste any words. When the kiss was broken, she simply smiled and that brought Peter's lips back to hers. As they kissed a second time she jerked at his belt and pants, tugging them open across the front and down over his hips. She brushed the back of her hand across his erection before letting her fingers flutter up his hard abdomen. Peter responded by intensifying his kiss. Their tongues traded forays across the no man's land between their lips. Jessica pressed her hand into the small of Peter's back forcing his cock to advance against the warmth of her belly. Peter moved to flank her and she countered with a rounded hip.

They retreated from each other for a moment to share a look. Jessica rested a hand lightly on Peter's engorged member rubbing the soft head through the thin fabric of his boxers with her thumb. Her fingers came away damp and that only served to fuel her own steady flow. Peter let her roll his t-shirt over his head. His hands rested lightly on her hips as she explored the light dusting of hair across his chest. The pads of her fingers traced the heavier growth around his nipples and the budding forest in the groove running down his chest. When her fingers advanced on his groin, Peter pounced on her lips. He swung her around toward his bed, held her briefly, and then let her fall backward onto the blanket he had just smoothed. She bounced a little and then settled. Jessica bit her lip.

She had first come to him hesitant, but determined. His history was a mystery to her, a warning to be careful, but he was always gentle with her. He was unlike any of the boys she had known. His body was harder than any of the high school athletes she had let close to her, but his touch was soft and his hands were confident. Never arrogant, simply sure. She knew she was putty in the hands of a master. At first she had been attracted by his hard masculine body. He caught her with his guiless innocence. Despite the darker secrets of his life he had a huge compassion. His quest for self and for his young brother moved her and she wanted to be part of both. She would have passionately denied it, but her father's strange admiration for Peter was important.

Peter stripped her as she lay. She encouraged him with the odd caress and a light kiss whenever part of his body came close enough. She watched as he stripped his legs free and smiled as he stood over her rampant. His cock quivered and jerked with each breath. Peter's eyes trailed from the disarray of flames around her face, to her soft parted lips and delicate neck, on to the soft breasts, turgid nipples and down past her slender waist to the mound of her sex. Jessica lifted one leg gracefully up and brushed her foot along his hard thigh. Her toes reached the moist heat of his scrotum. She caressed his balls with her toes, weighing them before tracing his length between her toes. One toe rubbed his tip and pulled a trail of glittering ooze down the length of his cock. She massaged his erection playfully with the bottom of her foot. Peter closed his eyes and leaned into her a moment. When Jessica dropped her foot she let it rest on the edge of the bed. Peter's eyes fell on the parted lips of her sex.

He buried homself beteen her legs. Peter reveled in the soft liquid depths of Jessica and she writhed and called to him as his tongue and lips cherished her. Peter took his time. He would not move on until he had her doubled over gasping and drenched in anticipation. When she was convulsing on the bed and clawing at his shoulders he kissed his way to her lips and sheathed his length in her depths. Jessica rolled her hips and locked Peter tight with her legs.

They coupled, oblivious to the random noises coming from the young people coming and going from across the hallway. Peter alternated between meeting her soft lips and exploring the curves of her body. His cock bathed in her soft seas and as he pushed himself into her he felt her welcoming muscles envelope him. Peter shuddered as she teased him on. She always pushed him to the edge of his control. Despite the cool May evening the their young bodies drenched each other in sweat and the room was filled with an intoxicating blend of their perfume. It was an intensely silent coupling broken only by their labored breaths. Peter's orgasm ended it. One of her high school lovers might have dropped his heavy weight onto her after slamming each jet of semen like so many nails propelled by hammer blows. Peter climaxed by pressing himself tight against her sex, willing his cock deeper as the flood overtook him. She felt his strong pulses inside her. His semen mingled with her steady flow and both liquids bathed first his scrotum and then slid down to cool on their thighs. Peter pressed his lips into her neck murmuring his pleasure as she gently stroked his back. He rolled away on the bed, still plunged deep in her vagina. The manuver left her straddled on his hips. Jessica tested his remaining strength by riding him gently.

Finally he smiled at her, "Sure I could do it, but then I'd never get on the road to Denver."

Jessica smiled back at him and settled back, happily impaled on his member. She caressed her flat belly and then traced a line from her clitoris through her red triangle to a point slightly below the gold stud in her belly button. Peter watched her eyebrow twitch and a little smile played across her lips. Peter reached out and nudged her finger up an inch or two. She laughed and pushed the finger back down a bit. They matched hands and twined fingers. Peter let Jessica try a few push ups against his hands. His biceps bulging with the easy effort. She gave in to him then and sat astride him with a sigh. "Okay, I know you are anxious to go get him." She paddled her fingers on the tight drum of his belly. After a moment she rocked a little on his hard cock.

Peter lay on his back enjoying the view and the play of her muscles around his semi erect cock. The results of their shared passion continued to coat his balls. He bounced her once with his hips. "You have to get off." She gave him a pretty pout that probably worked on all her former boyfriends. It had far less of an impact on Peter than the motion of her vagina. Peter gave up and sat up. Jessica managed to hold her place impaled on him. She wrapped her legs behind his butt and when he made it to his feet she held on to him. "You hate the cold showers Jessica." He warned. He carried her down to the communal bathroom challenging her to slip free before one of the young people had a chance to see them together. Jessica didn't care. She was a stubborn girl, as her father could have told Peter. She had her way with him under the freezing spray of the jury rigged shower Peter had designed. Neither noticed the cold of the water or the hard floor beneath them.

Peter picked up his coat and took the over night bag from Jessica. "I put a little extra money in your bag." She saw his expression. "Use it Peter, get a hotel room somewhere. I don't need you driving off the road now." Peter nodded, but he didn't plan to use her money. "The cell phone is in there too. Phone me." Peter would not use that either. She clutched his arm close for a minute, wanting to keep him for as long as she could. "This is going to be dangerous isn't it?"

"No, if I can get to him, then things will be fine. You shouldn't worry Jessie."

She couldn't believe this. "You are abducting a boy from his home. They will look for you."

Peter smiled and shook his head. Jessica didn't understand. Peter had Garrett's papers to protect Ethan. Jessica did not know how easy it had been for him to elude Gus. If he could do it, then surely Ethan could. His only worry was connecting with Ethan. All the postcards he had sent and he had no certainty that any had reached the boy. Peter did not want to imagine what he would do if Vance had moved Ethan. He did not want Jessica to see his fear, so he kissed her quickly and left.

Three hours later he was a free man enjoying a spring drive across the prairie. Peter was not even aware of the moment he drove past the spot where he had left Gus's car. His tires pushed tiny shards of glass into the cold pavement at the spot where his grandfather had kicked out the headlights in his terrible rage. He did not follow the road to the truck stop. His map was leading him to a different destination. He spent the long hours remembering his life with Ethan, reliving their moments together and imagining the young hound he had surely grown into. Peter harbored no illusions. The little boy he had known would be as changed as he was. Its okay, we'll have years to get caught up. Peter accelerated on that happy note. He refused to give way to his fear that Ethan might have been moved.

Peter was familiar with large cities by that point, but driving in them was still an intimidating challenge. He had determined that he had to find his way to Vance's apartment without assistance. He wanted nobody to remember him. Peter cautiously worked his way into Denver and found the apartment block. After that he scouted out the neighbourhood. There was a car park nearby so he left his Rabbit and walked back to the apartment block. He chanced exposing himself when he came in with one last post card. The security guard watched him as he silently went down the row of mail boxes. There were no names, simply numbers. He was forced to ask the man which was Vance's. He breathed a sigh of relief when it was pointed out to him. Hesitantly, he let the card slip into the box.

Peter scanned the street and established a place to watch for the boy directly across from the front door. At that point Peter had to face reality. The harsh truth was he could not know how long it would take for an opportunity to present itself. Peter stood patiently throughout the long day. Not much chance for a rest break, Peter reflected glumly. He decided he might have to adopt a different approach for the next day. After four hours Peter surrendered to the call of nature and ran off for a break. He then spent the next two hours stressing over the half hour he had let slip by. Peter made a reconnaissance of the building. Much to his dismay he noticed cars exiting from underground parking. Pulling his young friend away was not going to be easy. That threw him into a panic. As he walked back to the front of the building, Peter forced himself to calm down. It had been two years since he had promised Ethan he would come for him. He could patiently wait weeks for his chance; hustling for money if he had to. Peter thought of Nick and Garrett. They had taken a chance on him. He had promised to be back to work and it worried him to think he might have to let them down. He thought of Jessica and the work they shared offering shelter to the kids. He thought of Jessica and smiled a foolish grin. It started drizzling on Peter. As luck would have it, the boy emerged from the building after only six hours of waiting.

"Here's the key Sean, check the mail for me." Vance chucked the keys over to Ethan.

"It's Saturday father." Vance told Ethan he thought he had forgotten to check it the day before. The new man at the desk distracted Vance with an afternoon pleasantry. The post card was all he found. The picture showed a dog with its head poked through a car window, tongue lolling out and its ears blowing back. Ethan flipped the card over.

E.T. Han, here where I want to be

Ethan's legs almost gave out. He leaned against the wall and looked at the picture a second time. Vance asked him what he had found. Ethan shrugged, "Just a card like the last one." He tossed the keys back to Vance.

"Throw it away I guess." Ethan casually folded it and slipped it into his coat pocket. Vance stopped at the door. "Christ Ethan, its still raining!"

"You promised to come with me to the park. You can't back out now!" Ethan joined Vance at the door. "It's not so bad. Look, its letting up." Vance pushed out into the light drizzle muttering his discontent. He jogged Ethan's elbow and managed a grin for his hound's benefit. Ethan stopped scanning the street and smiled back at him.

"You are going to have to warm me up later Sean." Ethan rolled his eyes at the broad hint and grinned back. Vance could be a good sport when he wanted to be. Ethan went down the street with a bounce in his step and one hand on the post card. Here where I want to be!

Peter had watched Ethan stepped through the front door with his heavy-set father. He has grown so much! Ethan was almost as tall as the older man beside him. He's a hound now, Peter thought proudly. The boy bounced beside the man as Peter trailed them. At one point the boy got ahead and looked back down the sidewalk. Peter was certain Ethan's eyes paused when he saw him, he even seemed to check his step, but there was no recognition on his face. Ethan simply turned around and continued walking with his father. At a crosswalk Ethan turned around again and looked back to where Peter followed. Peter paused against a building unaware that he was smiling at the boy. Again Ethan's eyes simply passed Peter before settling on the father. Ethan seemed happy in the spring rain. Peter watched him lean his head back into the light rain so that it fell on his face. His father must have said something about his behavior because Ethan turned his smiling face turned toward his father, gave him a light push and then a hug as laughed out loud.

Perhaps Ethan is happy with his father. Peter turned to look in a window as the father swung around curious to see what Ethan had been looking at. He actually hear Ethan's voice calling his father's attention back to the crosswalk. It sounded so sweet to Peter. Peter had not considered the possibility for one moment. It had been two years since they last met. Perhaps Ethan had changed. Perhaps he was only a fond memory the boy carried from his bleak days at the kennel. Vance was rich and could give Ethan everything he needed. Peter had nothing really, but himself.

Ethan will want to see you though. Peter followed the pair as they walked together. Ethan and his father went into a coffee shop. They came out soon after. Vance had picked up something to keep him warm. Ethan never looked back again. Peter carried this new uncertainty three blocks to the park and it cast a shadow over his bright plans to take care of Ethan. When they reached the park the young hound became distracted by a game of football. His father sat down on a bench where he could watch and enjoy the sun breaking through he clouds. Peter worked his way around to the far end of the field near the road. He almost forgot his purpose as he watched his friend play. Ethan had taken off his coat and left it with his father. Peter could see he was no longer a child. He seemed so full of life. He seemed so amazingly happy. He was so beautiful and Peter longed to hold him.

The weather was mild and there had been no warning of rain when Vance agreed to take Sean out to the park. The unexpected rain meant sitting on a damp bench for an hour hoping the spring sun would come out and keep him warm. If not, then he would have to fuck the chill out of his extremities when they got back. Vance watched Sean catch a wobbly throw. He ran a few steps and some older boy dragged him down. He bounced back up, one leg of the shorts he wore smeared green. More teenage clothes to wash, Vance grumped to himself. The truth was, he was coming to appreciate Sean the young hound. The boy was so responsive to him now. What you mean to say is the boy is always horny, Vance chuckled to himself. Unselfconscious as he had been trained to be, the thirteen-year-old thought nothing of masturbating while he watched TV with Vance or weedling his father into sex. The boy came so frequently Vance scarcely noticed. Like a dog licking himself in front of the fireplace. Ethan landed squarely in a wet spot. Christ he is getting all wet out there. Sean never complained about the cold. His expensive spring coat lay beside Vance on the bench.

Vance was tired. He tossed back the last of the coffee and flipped the cup into the nearby trash. Sean was still deep into a football game with the boys he had bumped into. Vance recognized a few from other visits to the park. The hound made friends easily. Vance had been a different kind of boy. Even from across the field Vance could see the dead grass and stains covering the growing hound. Vance slipped his hands into his coat. Sean caught a ball and shouted something to the other boys before he was pulled to the ground. He wiped himself off and then paused a moment to turn completely around while the game reorganized. He looks unusually happy.

''Can you help me mister?" Vance peered at the small boy before him. The older man was charmed by the sweet face and deep brown eyes.

"What seems to be the problem?" The boy tugged futilely at the zipper of his open raincoat. He must have been only seven or eight. Vance tried to shake his bemusement. "Where is your mom?" Vance glanced around the sweep of the sidewalk conscious of appearances. The child pointed vaguely toward a woman fussing with a smaller child. His young companion stepped closer expectantly. What am I worrying about? His fears were ridiculous. This was just an innocent moment in a park. His fingers reached out and began working on the fouled zipper. The boy seemed to warm his chilled hands. He forced himself to focus on the task and not look at the boy's soft face. This was all the more difficult when he started to chatter. Clearly the boy's mother was ignoring him.

Peter had cut his hair, yet somehow Ethan recognized him instantly when he saw him behind on the sidewalk. We think he ran away. How many times had Ethan idly scanned the faces on the street wistfully hoping to see him? Over time it was just a disappointing habit. Ethan had to admit it; passing on his address was a pretty thin thread to hang his hopes on. Then came the postcard, Ethan returned to compulsively searching for his friend. The postcard today; his first sighting was so brief. By the time he reached the corner he began doubting himself. It seemed like wishful thinking. He had not seen Peter for a long time and he so desperately wanted every passing man to be his friend. Walking down the street, Ethan's gut ached and he could hardly understand his father's words. It was when he turned his back the second time that the years of tension drained away. Peter was still there behind him. Ethan had been puzzled when he saw his friend turn away to stare into a store window. Why was Peter hanging back? Ethan mulled over the situation. The answer came to him when his father turned around to follow Ethan's gaze. Peter did not want to be noticed. This was not a simple visit. Ethan could not contain his excitement. When he and Vance reached the park Ethan lost sight of Peter. A game offered him an opportunity to get away from his father. He only played with half a mind, trying to relocate Peter. It never entered his mind that the young man might have left without talking to him. Ethan paused on the field and searched for Peter again. He spun around once hoping to see Peter. He was about to return to the game when Peter appeared from behind some trees near the road.

There was no plan here. Peter had been uncertain where they could meet. The game had drifted closer to the road and Peter stayed behind a fir tree. His car was parked too far away and he was not willing to leave Ethan until he knew where he stood with the boy. Peter knew his heart would break if he had to return to Nelson without Ethan. I should have had a plan for this moment. If Ethan was willing to leave with him, then they would have to escape quickly without notice. Peter noticed the bus stop sign behind him and then looked down the street to where a bus approached him. The game continued until Peter judged it was time to call out to the boy.


Ethan sprinted away from his companions. He might have flown. When he was close enough he launched himself at his friend. Ethan's light frame plowed into Peter. The young man caught him about the chest with one powerful arm and together they spun around twice. Just as he had always done at the kennel, and just as he had done on the snow covered mountain, Ethan wrapped his arms around Peter's neck. He buried his face in Peter's neck and held on tight while Peter held him close. Ethan was oblivious to the waiting boys calling his name. Peter turned into the cover of the trees. Tears ran down Ethan's cheeks and all he could do for a time was clutch at the collar of Peter's coat. He broke down sobbing, caught himself and squeezed harder. In that moment Ethan was a six-year old again, safe in Peter's arms.

"Did you stop talking again while I was away?" Peter teased him gently. Peter kissed Ethan's hair and blinked the tears away. He was more conscious of their situation than Ethan. The bus was closing in.

"Don't ever leave me Peter" Ethan finally whispered. Ethan could not bear the thought of going back to his father. Peter tried to pry him off but he resisted. Ethan would not let go. Peter ended up carried the crying boy to the bus. Peter ignored the looks from the other passengers. Once they were settled in a seat near the door, he coaxed Ethan off his lap. Ethan clutched at Peter's hand and would not let go. He slowly became aware that they were on a bus. He settled closer to Peter's reassuring presence. The boy did not know what Peter was doing. He simply stared at the young man content to be with him. With Peter everything was safe.

Peter sat nervously and watched the unfamiliar city blocks slip by. They had traveled some distance. Peter decided they should change directions. He nudged Ethan and Ethan followed him closely as they left the bus.

"Where are we going Peter?"

''Home" Peter was trying to organize his thoughts. ''But first I have to get my car." He began leading Ethan down to the corner.

"You have a car?'' Ethan was beginning to realize that there would be many things he did not know about the tall young man.

Peter nodded absently and focused on another bus stop. They needed to get inside somewhere where the police could not identify Ethan. Gus had trained Peter to fear and avoid the police, working on the streets as a rent-boy reinforced this fear. Ethan's father would have no such fears. He would get their help. There would be a search for the lost hound. Peter herded Ethan on to another bus and sank beside him relieved to be off the street again.

The stress of flight subdued the two friends. Questions ran through both their minds. Ethan was overwhelmed at the sense of exposure he felt. All his life he had moved at the direction of others. For that reason, it was easiest to quietly submit to Peter's direction. Ethan slipped his hand into Peter's for reassurance.

Peter smiled at Ethan. "How is your skinny ass doing?"

"My skinny ass is happy to see you." Ethan smiled when he realized what he had just suggested. The thought of being with Peter excited him. He let go of Peter's hand and felt Peter's strong thigh. Peter was puzzling out their next move. He needed to get the car. They had to get on the road away from Denver. The bus was approaching a shopping mall and public as it was, it offered a solution to a variety of problems.

Ethan was unfamiliar with the mall, Vance always took him to one down town and the bus had carried them a fair distance. He followed Peter through a light crowd until they came to a hair salon. Ethan watched the people work while Peter spoke with someone. In a moment Peter turned back to the waiting boy. "You need to listen carefully now, okay?" Peter paused until Ethan nodded, "You have to cut your hair. We are going to split up for a little while. I'm going to go get my car. You have to stay right here until I get back. Can you do that?"

Ethan shook his head. He clutched at Peter's arm terrified by the thought of separation. Peter touched his face gently. "Ethan" It was so good to hear his name. So good to hear it from Peter's lips. "Ethan, you have to do this. We need to change you and we need to get moving as quickly as possible. You don't want to go back do you?" Ethan shook his head violently. "Then can you do this?"

Ethan took a ragged breath. "Promise me you will be right back. Say it."

Peter hugged him tight and whispered in his ear, "I will be back with the car and we will go home together. You and me Ethan. Just stay right here. Nowhere else. It's going to take me a while to get there and back. I'm sorry, I should have brought the phone. I'll be back, trust me." Ethan nodded into his shoulder. His heart was pounding. Still, he would do what Peter asked. Peter asked for his hoodie and told him he would be back a soon as he could. It was too easy to imagine that when Peter paused at the entrance into the mall for a last look at Ethan, that this would be the last time Ethan would ever see him. Ethan sat in the chair and gave Peter a little wave. His face was filled with dread. Someone watching might have thought he was going to his own execution instead of a simple hair cut. Peter smiled sympathetically and disappeared into the mall.

Ethan looked around the salon. He had not had a hair cut for five years. Vance clipped his split ends from time to time, but the result still left a thick fall of blond hair that fell to his shoulder blades. Ethan wore it in a loose pony tale when he was outside. He had tried braids once when he was playing football, but the other boys fell to calling him Sheena, so he abandoned the attempt. Ethan was sitting in a chair watching other people get their cuts when Peter reappeared with a new sweatshirt and a ball cap. He then gave Ethan a new leather wallet. "I wanted to give you this later, but you might need it now." Ethan took the wallet and examined it. He looked inside while Peter watched him. Just like father's there was money in it. "Look at the cards" Ethan looked at the name on the first card: Ethan Carpenter. He shot a quizzical glance at Peter. Peter pulled his driver's license from his pocket. "'Look see, we're brothers." He pointed to the address on the inside of Ethan's wallet."That's where we live." Peter gave Ethan a big hug before he left him to the scissors.

Ethan sat in the chair and meekly let the large woman cut the wavy strands away. He mumbled responses to her comments as he thought about the transformation. Father had praised his hair. That made the boy anxious to see the job done. If Peter expected him to have short hair then it was all the better. The woman paused to argue when he asked her to use the shortest clippers. He had beautiful hair she claimed. When he softly insisted she argued further. They settled on an inch. Vance's touch was cleaned away with each stroke of the clipper. With each stroke Ethan felt less like a hound and more like a boy. Goodbye Sean, wish I could say it was nice knowing you. The effect fascinated Ethan. The plains of his face were clearer now and he thought it aged him. He studied his prominent ears as she fussed with the final trimming. There was a final moment when they both stood froze to consider the cut in the mirror. Vance's puppy had vanished but it was not the carefully combed blond mop of Ethan Yates either. An average thirteen-year-old blinked back at them in the mirror.

Ethan looked at the hair surrounding him on the floor. It came to him suddenly that it would not be that easy to rid himself of Sean. Sean was as much part of him as the annoyance he felt wearing clothing. Its chafing and binding irritated his body. Even now Sean was responding to the man in the chair opposite who seemed to admire his appearance. These reminders left Ethan confused.

Peter had paid for the cut and Ethan shifted uncomfortably back to the chairs at the front of the shop. He tried to blend into the wall at his back anxious to avoid anyone's notice. An old stack of magazines lay on the chair beside him and he picked one up. He flipped through it slowly. An hour passed. Ethan knew how to wait. The spoiled eldest son who had been snatched off the street was gone. He no longer thought a complaint or thought to complain. At the kennel and then with Vance he had learned to hold himself in silence. His stomach fluttered slightly. Peter would return.

The stylists wandered back and forth as clients came and went. Time passed and the boy sat in stillness. He glanced at the traffic from time to time curious about the world he had been kept from. A girl sat down across from him and he was drawn to her. She might have been three years older than him. He slipped looks at her over his magazine. She noticed his attention and began to stare him down until she apparently decided he was a cute boy, worthy enough to worship her. She smiled briefly at him and returned to her cell phone. Young as he was, Ethan's interest seemed to flatter her. When she left Ethan shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He had an erection and considered relieving himself behind his magazine. That's not a good idea.

A man stopped at the counter with a boy about Eric's age. The man looked so much like his father it made Ethan shivered. Sean's voice buzzed in his head insisting he go find a police officer who would take him back to his father. His mom and dad were dead. Gus had told him he was lucky to be adopted by Vance. Vance was his father and from the first he had showed he loved Ethan just as Gus had taught him he would be loved. He looked at the woman at the counter and wondered if she could help him phone his father. Ethan made no move. Peter will be back. A steady and familiar voice whispered through the buzz. Things had not been right in his world for a very long time. Ethan had to ignore the part of him that was Sean and trust his feelings. He was Ethan and he was not a puppy. Peter believed he was Ethan. Ethan trusted Peter .

When Peter returned the frightened thirteen-year-old clung to him again. The young man had experienced a frantic hour circling the unfamiliar Denver streets trying to find his way back to the mall. Peter ruffled Ethan's short hair and told him he looked great. Ethan held his hand as they walked to the car. Their path led them through the food court and the rich smells made Ethan's mouth water. They paused long enough to buy a snack. Peter was intent on leaving Denver quickly and told Ethan to ignore his rumbling stomach and wait till they were on the road.

Ethan was delighted with the old car. While Peter anxiously studied the city road map, Ethan explored the car's features. The Rabbit had none of father's car's luxury appointments, but it was Peter's and by extension, that made it Ethan's. An hour later Peter had finally traced his way from the mall back out to the highway. Once they cleared the city Ethan smothered him in another tight embrace. Peter pushed him away gently and told him to secured his seatbelt. Ethan could not stop smiling as he watched Peter carefully maneuver his way through the streams of highway traffic. There was so much to talk about, but just as they had on the bus, the pair sat in silence. Peter was absorbed in his driving and Ethan alternated between watching Peter drive and watching the world pass by.

In time Ethan began drifting off to sleep. The stress of the day had worn him down. Ethan dozed for half an hour and then woke to a nightmare moment when Peter's coming was just a dream. He screamed and a frightened Peter pulled to the side of the road to comfort him. When they pulled back onto the highway Ethan sat watching Peter drive. He was free. Ethan smiled at the man he loved. He would be the best hound Peter had ever seen. He was big now. He wasn't a little puppy like Jeffy. Peter had never hurt him like Gus and Mel. Ethan made a promise that when Peter wanted to make love to him, he would be ready. It would be different being Peter's hound because they loved each other. Ethan wondered what his new room would be like. Ethan imagined what it would be like. Not as nice as Vance's apartment. It would be simpler, more like the kennel probably. Peter would get him books to read while he waited for him to come home. Peter liked to read with him. If Peter wanted him to continue home schooling he would. That would be okay too, Ethan thought. Ethan wondered if Peter would share him with his friends or expect him to do things with puppies. Ethan would do whatever Peter asked, he would even say the silly things men liked to hear. Peter could call him mean names if he wanted. Well, secretly he hoped things would be different with Peter.

Ethan touched Peter, just to see if he was real. Peter smiled at him quickly and turned back to his driving. It was dark now, and Peter said they had a long way to go. Ethan pushed the back of his seat down and shifted on to his side so he could still watch Peter's face. He looked so good to Ethan. Ethan's hand went down his pants. He played with himself as Peter continued to drive. Ethan chewed on his lip for a moment. He wondered if Peter needed a blow job.