* * *
A week or so later it was Sheila's afternoon off, and Gillian, who usually filled in for her, was in Dayton with her mother who'd just had a hip replacement, so Brody and Justin were manning the shop. Justin had deliveries to make as soon as he arrived at 12.30. While he was gone Brody had several walk-in customers, and he took a phone order for a dozen carnations to be delivered the next morning to a woman having a birthday. He checked the cooler to be sure there'd be plenty on hand. The caller, the woman's niece, had specified peach, which wasn't the most popular color, but they had enough. He looked forward to getting them ready to go out first thing the next day. He loved working with carnations because of their spicy aroma.
He was putting together an arrangement when he heard Justin pull up behind the shop in the delivery van. The teen was wearing the company polo shirt, khaki shorts that seemed a bit tighter than usual, and sandals. The shorts bulged with an impressive boner. Brody thought Justin's dick must hurt because of the tightness of his shorts.
"Hey, Jus. Everything go okay?"
"Yup. I'm gonna have a Coke. Want a Dr. Pepper?"
He watched Justin's buns wiggle inside the shorts as the teen walked toward the refrigerator. Suddenly he had an urge which surprised him. He was overcome with the desire to pull down the boy's shorts and lick his ass. He mentally shook himself to get the idea out of his head, but by then Justin had turned around and he couldn't take his eyes off the outline of Justin's dick in his shorts as he walked back to the work table with the two cans of pop. Brody was glad he was sitting, for his own tool had begun to swell.
Justin handed Brody the can and sat on a stool on the other side of the table from Brody, who was relieved because that way neither could see the other's erection. Although he couldn't help finding the boy attractive, he didn't want to get into anything like a sexually-charged situation with him.
After taking a big swig of his Coke and then belching, Justin said, "Hey, jarhead, I hear you're playing in the summer baseball league. You're with the Hammers, right?"
"How old do you have to be to play in that league?"
"I'm not sure, Jus. Dunno if there are any strict rules or not. But it's mostly guys who are out of high school, most of us in our twenties. I think Bud Roper, one of the pitchers, is pushing 30."
"I played on the team for St. Anselm's Academy, where I used to go to school."
"Yeah? What position?"
"Third base, mostly, though sometimes in the outfield."
Brody grinned. "Were you any good?"
That brought a cocky grin in return. "Yeah, I wasn't bad."
"But you don't play at Higgins High?"
"Nope. The jock crowd there isn't as accepting about me being gay as they were at St. Anselm's."
"I hear ya! Say, we've got a game in Colby Thursday night but we're playing here in town on Friday evening at 6:00. Why don't you come and watch?"
Justin adopted an expression meant, no doubt, to look cool. "Yeah, I might come over and watch you losers for a while." Then he flashed his jaunty grin.
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Finishing his Coke and then crumpling the can in his fist, Justin said, "Hey, Brody?"
"What was it like being gay in the Corps?"
Brody took a deep breath and let it out. "It wasn't too good. I mean I liked a lot of things about being a Marine, but the Corps is no place for a gay guy."
Another of Justin's grins. "Your balls were blue all the time?"
Brody's cock, which had begun to deflate, changed its mind with this new topic and began once more to chub up.
"Man, you know it!"
"Didn't you ever get it on with some hunky Marines?"
"It's really not any of your business, kid, but the answer is `not very fuckin' often.'"
Putting the tip of his thumb to the tip of his forefinger, Justin made the universally-understood pumping motion.
Brody nodded. "That's about it."
"Shit, man, you must have been super horny when you got home. Until you got with that Clifford hunk."
"Watch it, little man. You're about to cross a line."
"Aw, come on, everybody knows you and him are getting it on."
"They do? Who's everybody?"
Another grin. "I've got my sources."
"You and your sources had better mind your own goddam business," Brody growled. He crushed his pop can, pushed it toward the teen, and resumed work on the arrangement. Justin took the two cans to the trash barrel and then began to hand Brody the stems as he needed them. To do that, he had to stand beside Brody. He still had the erection. Or he'd gotten it back. Brody could practically feel the heat coming off Justin's body. By this time he had his own aching hard on. Neither of them said anything about their mutual problems.
"Man, I fuckin' hate glads!" Justin exclaimed.
"You do? Why?"
Justin was quiet, apparently thinking. "I never thought of it before, but it must be because I associate them with funerals. When my Grandpa Casey died and when Grandma Quinn died it seemed like all the sprays were freakin' glads. And, well, I don't know, they look almost artificial."
"I can see why they'd have unpleasant vibes for you."
Though the shop was comfortably air conditioned, Justin had begun to sweat.
Again they worked together in silence. After some time had passed and it was apparent that Justin's boner still hadn't subsided, Brody said, "Uh, Jus, I can't help noticing – " He looked down at the teen's shorts.
"Oh, I'm like that most of the time." He paused and then smirked at Brody. "Don't flatter yourself."
"Hey, I remember what that's like. And I still have days like that. I was just gonna say you could go back to the head and give yourself some relief. I can hold the fort here for a little while."
Still smirking, Justin said, "Let me get this straight, Sarge. Are you ordering me to go jack off in the restroom?"
"Well, uh, no. I just thought you might want to, uh . . . Oh, shit, Justin. It's okay with me if you need to, but of course it's not an order." He was worrying whether this conversation was enough to get him sent to prison.
"I think I'm gonna take your suggestion. It'll be especially hot whacking off knowing you're out here with your own stiffie." He grinned and looked pointedly at the rod running down Brody's left pant leg. "Sure you don't want to join me?"
"Oh, fuck! Just go do it, okay?"
He began to work on another arrangement while Justin was in the restroom. His cock was dampening his boxers so much he was afraid the precum would soak through his khakis. Though it was against company rules, he pulled out his tee shirt and wore it un-tucked for the rest of the afternoon.
When Justin returned, grinning from ear to ear, Brody asked, "Feel better, dude?"
"Yeah, loads. You look like maybe you need to do the same thing. Or did you already come in your pants? Is that why you've got your shirt pulled out?"
"No, I didn't come in my pants. I'm fine, thanks. You just mind your own business."
"Okay, big guy. You're the one who's uncomfortable."
"Just drop it! Like I said, I'm fine."
"Well, if anybody comes into the shop while you're like that, you'd better let me deal with them."
A few minutes later someone did come in. "Oh, shit, you're right! I can't go out there like this. You'll have to take care of him. If he wants anything you can't cope with, come back and ask me, okay?"
"I told you you shoulda gone in there and relieved your problem."
Justin sold the man a potted fittonia to take to someone in the hospital. Much to Brody's relief he knew exactly what to do, including using the cash register properly.
When the customer had gone, Brody high-fived the teen.
"Thanks, Jus. Ya done good!"
"Think you could tell Bob that?"
"And how would I explain that you were handling a sale while I was here?"
"Oh, you could come up with something, I'll bet."
"I'll think about it."
Later, when the arrangement was finished and in one of the big coolers, when Brody's erection had at last deflated, Brody turned and said, "So, what's it like these days being gay at Higgins High? Do you take a lot of shit from the `phobes'?"
"Nobody's ever threatened to beat me up, if that's what you mean. The school has a strict policy against bullying, and Dr. Marsh makes it clear she won't tolerate anything like that. So I get nasty comments sometimes, but that's all."
"I know it's none of my business, but do you have any gay friends?"
"I know some guys I'm friendly with who are gay. And I've got a couple of `fag hags.' He used his fingers to indicate quotation marks. "But I don't have a close friend who's gay, no."
"I'm sorry. I'll bet there's some hunk your age who'd like to get it on with you if only you two could connect. Is there some guy you've really got the hots for?"
Justin, usually cool and self-possessed, blushed. "Well, yes. There is."
"Want to tell me about him?"
"No, Sarge, I don't think so. I'd feel like such a fool. He's so gorgeous, and he's not interested in me."
"Is he gay?"
"Then he's a damned fool, passing up a stud like you. You've got a lot to offer, Justin. And you're smart, too. This guy, whoever he is, doesn't know what he's missing." He paused, looking the teen in the eye. "You know about the Nifty Archive, I suppose."
"Yeah." The grin again.
"Well I was reading a story there the other day about two guys who were in love with each other in college. The problem was, neither one would tell the other `cause he was scared the other was straight, and he didn't want to lose his friendship. So it wasn't until seven years later that they met and came out to each other and finally wound up being partners. Maybe you should tell the guy you like how you feel."
"Most of those stories on Nifty are so unrealistic."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, they almost always end happily. Life's not always like that."
"For a kid, you sure are cynical."
"I'm not a kid!"
"Yeah, right. Just remember, if you ever want to talk, you know I'll be around."
"Thanks," Justin said with a look on his face Brody didn't know how to interpret.
Justin had to make a second delivery run with several stops. When he got back Brody was waiting for him so he could close up the shop.
"You know, jarhead, I'd like to come to your place sometime and – " he very slowly and deliberately looked at Brody's considerable package – "talk."
Brody laughed. "I don't think that would be a good idea. We can talk any time you want, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable having jailbait in my apartment."
"Aw, come on." It was the first time he'd ever heard the boy whine. "You can trust me. I'd never tell anybody. But, man, you're so hot, and such a cool guy. And I'm sure you'd have a lot to teach me. Couldn't we just – "
"No, we couldn't. You're one sexy dude. I didn't think someone your age could turn me on anymore, but we've seen this afternoon that isn't so. But I'm not about to mess around with you. It's illegal, and it's probably wrong. You realize I could go to prison, don't you?"
Obviously disappointed, Justin replied, "I guess I knew that, but I didn't really think it would happen, ya know? I wouldn't want to get you into trouble. It's just –"
"Yeah," Brody said, grinning at him. "I understand, Justin, you're horny all the time at your age, and we're both guys. Both gay guys. But you and I can't, y'understand?"
For once Justin had lost his cockiness. He sighed. "Yeah, Sarge, I guess you're right. I wouldn't want you to get in any trouble because of me. So, I guess I'll see you tomorrow." As he started out the door, he turned and said, "I think I'm gonna come to your game Friday. I wanna see what you old dudes look like when you're all sweaty." The smile was back.
* * *
The Hammers lost the game on Thursday evening in Colby to a team sponsored by the Colby YMCA. It had been tied going into the bottom of the 9th, but Spicker, the Hammers' pitcher, had gotten careless, and the home team's right fielder had put one out of the park.
Brody, Pete, Bill "Squats" Pardee, the Hammers' catcher, and Dean Clevenger, second baseman, loaded their bats and gloves into the Cherokee and headed back for Higgins. There was the usual post-mortem on the just-completed game as they rode home. When Brody pulled up in front of Squats' house, the beefy catcher said to the others, "Men, we haven't managed to beat the Clippers yet this year. It'd sure be good to win that game with them tomorrow night!" In response he got a chorus of "Yeahs!"
After dropping Dean off at his house, Brody asked, "So, Petey, you gonna come to my place? I'm horny as hell!"
"You're always horny, dickbreath." Pete arched his eyebrows. "Tell me, is that all I am to you, just an easy lay?"
"Pretty much, asshole. Am I supposed to wine and dine you every time I want to fuck you?"
Pete grinned. "Well, it would be nice if you appreciated me for my mind, too, you know."
Brody laughed. "Oh, I do! You've got a great mind. And a university degree. And you're gonna be a doctor, even if it is only an animal doctor. But right now, I'm more interested in your ass than your brain."
He pulled into the Cliffords' driveway and flipped the tailgate switch so Pete could retrieve his gear.
"Come over after you get cleaned up?"
"Sure, if you're not too tuckered out."
Pete grinned. "That could be arranged. Later!"
Pete showed up at Brody's apartment 45 minutes later in a white wife beater, cutoff jeans, and his Birks. It was all Brody could do not to drag the smaller man off to the bedroom instantly.
"Here," Pete said, offering a Tupperware container.
"It's half of a blackberry cobbler Mom sent."
"Oh, man, your mom's blackberry cobbler is fantastic! You wanna have it now?"
"Let's have a beer first."
"Sounds good." Brody took the cobbler out of the plastic container and put it in the oven. He set the control on warm. Then he went to the fridge and got out two bottles of beer. "Here's some of that Sam Adams you like."
Later, after they'd finished off the cobbler and large glasses of milk, Brody asked, "You ready to hit the rack?"
"You are a horny fucker, Cox!"
"Like you aren't?"
"Okay, okay. I'll see ya in the bedroom." He set his glass and bowl in the sink and went to the bathroom.
Brody washed the glasses, the bowls, and the dish the cobbler had been in and left them to drain in the rack. When he got to the bedroom, Pete had turned back the bedspread and top sheet and was lying naked on the bed, his cock already hard.
"See, I told you you were as horny as I am. Hang on a sec, I'll be right there."
Brody did his bathroom business, stripped quickly out of his clothes, and got in bed beside his buddy.
"On your stomach, doc, with that little white ass in the air. Pete had acquired a good tan over the summer, except where his shorts had kept him covered.
"What, no foreplay or anything?" he asked as he turned over.
Brody slapped him on the upturned butt. "Oh, yeah, there'll be foreplay."
He positioned himself between Pete's spread legs and began to lick his firm ass cheeks, which were lightly covered with brown fuzz. All he could taste was the shower gel Pete had used after the game. Brody had sucked men's tits and licked their abs. This was better than that. He couldn't explain why, but worshiping with his tongue the ass he'd always loved to look at seemed to be something he should have done years before.
He gave a few tentative licks along Pete's crack, not allowing his tongue to probe too deeply.
"Brode, you don't have to do that just because I did it to you the other night. If it seems gross to you, don't do it."
"Shaddup, dickwad. This has possibilities."
He spread Pete's cheeks apart and began to lick the deepest part of the trench. Pete wiggled his ass and moaned his pleasure.
`Well,' Brody thought, `I've done this much. May as well go for it!'
He tickled Pete's cute pucker with the tip of his tongue. Pete reacted exactly as Brody had when the tables were reversed a few days earlier. The taste was now of shower gel and something muskier, but not unpleasant. Brody began to gently probe Pete's pinkish brown rosebud. Still nothing gross. And even if there had been, Brody was getting off on being able to give Pete such pleasure. So he went ahead and repeatedly used his tongue to penetrate Pete's hole, trying to remember to do everything Pete had done to him. Soon his buddy was pleading to be fucked.
Brody obliged, and it was as hot a session as any he and Pete had ever had. Brody thought he preferred topping, but it was even better when his partner was obviously really enjoying what was going on as much as he was. And including rimming in the foreplay definitely made it better. He'd nearly gone out of his mind when Pete was doing that to him, and Pete seemed to be equally turned on.
So there was one more great thing his friend had taught him about being gay.
* * *
Friday night's game with the Clippers was close. It was tied in the top of the 9th inning when a Clippers batter hit a ball just inside the third base line. Cromer made a heroic leap to get it, but he missed, and as he landed he severely sprained his ankle. Play was interrupted as he was helped off the field. The problem was that there was no one to replace him except one of the pitchers, since they were short handed that night because several of the players were on family vacations.
Just when it looked as if the Hammers might have to use the pitcher or forfeit the game, fate intervened in the form of Justin Quinn. He came over to the home team bench and said, "Brody, I could play."
"What do you think, guys?" Brody asked, looking at his teammates.
"Is the kid any good?" one of them asked.
Cromer, who was sitting on the bench taking off his shoe and sock, said, "It doesn't matter how good he is. He's all we've got. We sure as hell can't use a pitcher at third base. Besides, he'd have to bat." Looking at Justin, he asked, "You're Mary Quinn's kid, aren't you?"
"I've worked with your mom. So, you played ball before?"
Brody fielded that question. "Yeah, Cromer. He's played before. Let's see what he can do."
"Then if the other team doesn't object, all he needs is a shirt."
The other team, figuring they now had a lock on the game, didn't object to the Hammers using the "kid." So the only problem was a shirt. Again Cromer had the solution.
"Kid, my shirt's pretty rank. But if you'll wear it, we can get on with this game."
Justin grinned. "That's no problem, Mr. Cromer."
Dave stripped off the sweaty shirt and handed it to the boy, who pulled it on over his own tee shirt. And so play resumed.
The guy who'd hit the ball past Cromer had gotten to second. The next batter hit a fly and drove him in. The batter after that flied out. Thus the Hammers were down one run when they came to bat in the bottom of the 9th.
Coincidentally, the top of the batting order came up at the beginning of the home half of the inning. Pete was the lead-off batter because he usually found a way of getting on base. He wasn't a power hitter, but he could place grounders well and frequently made it to first that way. Besides that, he drew more walks than anyone else on the team. This night, however, he hit a pop fly and was out. Batter number two hit a grounder that was scooped up by the Clippers' shortstop and tossed to first in time for the second out.
Things didn't look good for the Hammers.
The next man up was Quinn, batting for Cromer. Justin hit the first pitch. It was a fly that dropped between right field and center, a double.
And so it was time, not for Mighty Casey, but for Brody Cox who batted cleanup for the Hammers. Brody thought he'd spotted something about the Clippers' pitcher. He took the first pitch for strike one. He took the second pitch. Strike two. His teammates on the bench were yelling at him, and some of what they were saying wasn't too complimentary.
The third pitch was the one he'd been looking for. He hit it over the fence driving Justin in ahead of him.
Final score: Hammers 6, Clippers 5.
The rest of the team ran from the home bench to the plate to greet Justin and Brody as they arrived. High fives were exchanged. Many backs were slapped. Brody hugged Justin and said, "Ya done good, kid!"
Justin grinned at him and said, "Don't call me kid!"
Just about then Dave Cromer limped over and said, "Good work, kid!"
"Jeez!" Justin said. He peeled off Cromer's shirt and handed it back to him. "Thanks for letting me borrow your shirt."
"Hey, kid, you helped win the game for us. Why don't you keep the shirt? I've got another one."
"That's great, Mr. Cromer. Thanks."
"Call me Dave, kid."
"In that case, Dave, call me Justin."
Cromer laughed and hugged the teen, who was standing there holding the black Hammers' shirt in his hand.
Brody was surprised to see Cromer being so, well, so human to Justin.
At about that time, Fred Hotchkiss, an off-duty cop who played for the Clippers, came over.
"I can't believe you guys let this little fag play for you. So he won the game. He's still a fairy!"
"The word is gay," Justin said, looking Hotchkiss straight in the eye.
"Yeah," Pete said, moving to stand beside Justin. "Justin was merely helping us out. But I play on the team as a regular."
"Yeah, a damned good one," somebody said.
"And," Pete continued, "I'm gay."
"So am I," Brody said, standing beside Justin and Pete.
Hotchkiss began to look a little flustered. "Christ! Is your whole fuckin' team queer?"
"Look, you homophobic asshole" Dave said, hobbling so he stood nose to nose with the cop, "we beat you guys, after all. Why don't you just go fuck yourself?"
Hotchkiss bristled and made a fist.
"Come on, Dave," Pete said, tugging at Cromer's arm. "You need to get some ice on that ankle."
By this time some of the Clippers were pulling their teammate away, and thus a potentially explosive situation was defused.
As he gathered up his bat and glove, Cromer said quietly to Brody, "You're gay, Cox? I guess I should have known."
"Is that a problem for you?" Brody asked challengingly.
"That's not why I have a problem with you."
If you'd like to write me about this story, please do so at t.mead76@ yahoo.com. Be sure to put the name of the story in the subject line so I'll know it isn't spam. Thanks. --Tim