Mike and Danny: Dog Days
Note that these stories, including this one, are not an endorsement of unsafe sex. They take place many years before the appearance of AIDS and before it was standard practice to use condoms to reduce the risk of infection from sexually transmitted diseases. Remember always: that was then, this is now. Sex is precious, and so are life and health.
They'd come inside from the pool, driven in by the mosquitoes as the sun had dropped behind the trees. Anyway, the beer cooler was empty again by then and they were getting hungry. Ed was bent forward now, with his head in the refrigerator, looking for something to eat.
He was just wearing a long khaki western shirt, and his ass stuck out from under the shirt tail. It was an ample backside, Ted thought, as he stood in his underwear by the kitchen sink popping the top on another beerample and imposingunlike his own, with his narrow hips and butt cheeks that almost disappeared in a pair of jeans.
Ed had the kind of backside that springs to life as a man walks away from you, or changes position as he stands shifting his weight from one leg to anotherall that activity almost wearing out the seat of his pants from the inside out. Like two pigs in a gunny sack.
Ted had wasted no time, when Ed was done fucking him, to return the favor, eager to get his hands all over him, and to lock his palms on those buns, to feel the weight and substance of them, the firm muscle under the skinand then the deep cleft between them, searching with his fingers there for the entry into him.
Ed had quickly hopped out of the pool, spread a towel on the deck for them and flopped down on his back, feet up, ready, willing, and able. Ted had been on top of him in an instant, their wet bellies slapping together, his cock hard.
Afterwards, they had lain side by side, arms slung over each other like lovers. Ed had turned his head to him, the smile lingering on his face.
"I wanna kiss you again," he said.
"I won't stop you."
And Ed's mouth had pressed forward to his, their lips meeting, eyes closed, in a long, hearty kiss.
"If I wasn't in love with somebody else already," Ed said. "I could really go for you."
Ted laughed. "Who's the other guy?"
"Mike," Ed said. "Who else?" Then he put his arm around Ted and kissed him again.
Ted couldn't tell if he was kidding, but he guessed Ed was telling at least a half-truth. He knew how he felt about Mike himself.
"Arm wrestle you for him," Ted said.
"We'd both lose. Danny's got him."
"No shit?" Ed said, like this was news.
"Bet your ass."
Watching Ed in the open refrigerator door now, Ted walked over to him and touched the cold beer can between the naked cheeks of his butt. Ed jerked forward, hitting the top of his head on the freezer door, then let out a growl, turning to get his arm around Ted's neck, locking him in a sleeper hold. The beer slipped from Ted's hand and rolled across the kitchen linoleum.
Ted grabbed for his nuts, just teasing first and then pulling harder when Ed doubled the pressure. They fell against the refrigerator door, which swung open wider, and the bottles and jars in the racks rattled together.
"Fuck you," Ted wheezed.
"You already did," Ed laughed. "Let go my balls."
Ed didn't let up, just pulled Ted with his arm still around his neck, into the next room, where there was a TV and some furniture, and stepped with one leg in front of him so he fell over it and onto the floor. Then Ed came down on top of him.
The room was almost stifling warm, and as they wrestled, grunting and laughing, they quickly broke into a sweat. Soon each of them was out of breath, and Ed fell back, one arm flung wide on the carpet.
"Shit, I'm so out of shape," he said. "I'm getting too old."
Ted crawled on top of him now, sitting on his chest and pinning his arms to the floor. He bent forward until his face was right over Ed's. They looked each other in the eyes, still panting, and then a corner of Ed's mouth curved into a grin. He lifted his head and kissed Ted again, their mouths opening and tongues coming together.
When they stopped for air, Ed said, "I'm usually not much of a kisser."
Ted leaned back, and against his butt he could feel the tip of Ed's dick, pressing into the fabric of his underwear.
"I got an idea," Ted said and stood up to pull off his jockeys. He tossed them onto the couch.
"I like this idea already," Ed said, not moving from the floor.
Ted walked into the kitchen, closing the refrigerator door and then finding his beer where it had rolled under the kitchen table, some of it splashed around in a puddle, but the can still half full. He walked back to Ed, standing beside him as he took a mouthful of beer, letting it warm and turn to bubbles in his mouth, then squatted down to squirt it between his teeth over Ed's cock and his balls.
Ed said nothing, just made a high pitched moan, his eyes falling shut, both sides of his mouth now spreading into a wide grin. Then Ted straddled him and reached down for Ed's wet hard-on as he kneeled and sat again, easing it into himself.
"Holy fuck, you're a man who knows what I like," Ed said, his eyes still closed. "Marry me."
"Here they are," Ed said, buckling his belt as he peered out through the kitchen window. Mike was coming down the driveway on his tractor, and the Nash Rambler was slowly following him. "Who do you suppose that guy is?"
Ted shrugged. "Don't the Jehovah's Witnesses dress like that?"
"Or the Mormons," Ed said. "But I wouldn't put them and Mike together."
He and Ted had got dressed to go get takeout from a barbecue joint in town. There was no way either of them felt like cooking, and besides, they'd worked up an appetite for ribs, beans and cornbread. Since Mike seemed in no hurry for supperworking like a true farmer from sunup to sundownthey'd decided to proceed without him.
They walked outside and stood beside Ed's Cadillac, waiting for Mike to stop the tractor by his fuel shed and come over to them. Meanwhile, the Rambler parked with its nose to the yard fence, next to Ted's station wagon. With Mike's pickup pulled up under the old cottonwood that grew beside the garage, it was beginning to look like a used car lot.
"Sonofabitch, look who it is," Ed said, calling out to Mike. "I been waitin' here all day for you to show up."
Mike came over, grinning, and they fell into a manly hug, pounding each other on the back.
"You two know each other?" Mike said, glancing at Ted.
"We do now," Ed said, laughing.
And they all turned to the young man in the white shirt and tie who had got out of his car and stood several steps away from them watching.
"This here's Tyrone," Mike said and introduced them all.
The guy was hardly more than twenty, Ted saw, as he shyly offered to shake their hands.
"Tell you what, boys," Mike said before Ed started jawing. "I still got 145 irrigation tubes to move and set in that cornfield over there." He pointed beyond the barn. "And it's gotta get done by dark."
"You go on ahead," Ed said. "We were just heading into town for some grub and some more beer."
"Take Ty with you," Mike said. "If he tags along with me, like I think he plans to, he'll get himself all muddy."
Ed said, sure thing, glancing over his shoulder at Ty.
"And take good care of him, OK? He's had a rough day," Mike said. Ted heard what sounded like concern in his voice.
And he looked at Ty again, who seemed not so much shy now as truly worried about somethingworried and sad. It looked like the dusty smears of tears had been wiped from his face.
"You bet we will," Ed said, though coming from him, a promise like that wasn't totally convincing. He never seemed able to sound more than half serious.
And after Mike had a few more words with Ty, who seemed reluctant to come along with them, they piled in the Cadillac and drove off, Ted up front with Ed, and Ty in back.
With the top down, the evening air felt cool as it rushed by them, Ed driving so fast that the big convertible fishtailed on the loose gravel. He paused at the stop sign when they got to the highway and then gunned the engine so the tires spun and then let out a short squeal when they hit the hardtop.
"Don't this just give ya a hard-on?" Ed said.
It was like being a teenager again, Ted thought. Sex and beer and driving fast, and the whole summer night still stretched out before them. He let himself forget about making a living and acting always like a grown up. He turned on Ed's radio and found some music. It was the Rolling Stones, "It's Only Rock and Roll But I Like It." Perfect, he thought, too perfect.
He remembered Ty in the backseat and turned to find him there, a vague smile on his face and his tie whipping in the wind around his head.
"You all right?" he said.
Ted reached an arm around to him to pat his knee, but under his hand, he could feel Ty's leg go tense. And he recalled the concern in Mike's voice when they were all standing together beside the car.
When they got to the barbecue place, Ed went inside and Ted stayed in the car with Ty, trying to see if he could get the young man to talk a little.
"Mike said you had a rough day?" he said.
Ty nodded again, seeming to hunker down in the seat, looking around at the other cars in the parking lot. He realized Ty was acting like he didn't want to be seen, and he wanted to ask him who he was hiding out from. Ed would have gone ahead and asked, but then Ed was Ed.
"How long you known Mike?" Ted asked, figuring he'd take another tack.
Ty thought for a moment. "Six, seven months," he said, but offered nothing more, like this wasn't a safe subject either, or he just didn't know how to hold up his end of a conversation.
"Do you know Danny?" Ted asked.
Ty's eyes suddenly darted to his. "No, I haven't met him," he said, like it mattered that he hadn't. "Do you know him?" he said then.
"Yes," Ted said and explained how they'd known each other in college. "That painting on the wall in the bedroom, the dancing blue man? That's Danny. I did that."
Ty shook his head. "Never seen it."
This was like pulling teeth, Ted thought, and he turned back to look through the windshield, waiting for Ed.
"Are you and Ed like that?" The voice coming from the backseat was small and tentative.
"Like Mike and Danny."
Ted laughed a little and without turning said, "No, we aren't."
There was a long silence behind him. "Does it bother you?" Ty said.
He turned again to look at Ty. "Does what bother me?"
"What they do," he said. "What they do with each other?"
All at once, pieces started falling into place, and Ted thought he got the picture. He remembered Mike's words again and said as carefully as he knew how, "They're in love with each other. What they do is fine with me. It's normal."
He could have added something about himself and Ed, who weren't exactly lovers, but he decided to keep it simple for the time being. Ty was obviously wrestling fiercely with the whole idea.
His impulse was to reach over the seat again to reassure Ty with a touch, but he stopped himself, understanding now how putting his hand on Ty's knee had made him uncomfortable.
"It's not normal," Ty said firmly.
Ted opened his mouth to say something, just as Ed burst from the restaurant, his arms full of paper bags. It looked like enough food for an army. He set it in the backseat next to Ty. "Keep an eye on that, buddy," he said, winking at him, still wound up and full of himself.
Ed opened his door to climb in, turning the key in the ignition and revving the engine, giving every sign of intending to peel out onto the street. The radio came on again at full blast.
"Maybe not normal," Ted said to Ty, figuring it might be the last chance he'd get to say this. "But when it happens, there's nothing wrong with it."
"When what happens?" Ed said, looking over his shoulder as he threw the Cadillac into reverse.
Now Ted wished he'd kept his mouth shut. He hadn't expected Ed to take an interest in anything that sounded like a serious conversation.
"When what happens?" Ed said again.
"Two guys having sex," Ted said.
"Aw, that," Ed said and laughed. "Happens all the time. Hell, me and Ted's been fucking each other all afternoon. What would you say, three-four times at least?"
Ted could feel Ty freezing into a solid block of shock behind him. He was glad the car was moving again, or he might have tried to jump out, just to get away from them.
When they got back to the house, it was dark, only the faint glow of a lingering summer twilight in the western sky. They had laid out the food on the kitchen table and were starting into another round of beer as Mike walked in the door, stepping out of his irrigation boots on the porch and coming into the kitchen in his stocking feet.
He changed into a clean pair of jeans, washed his hands at the kitchen sink and then joined in as they sat around the table, most of them by this time with streaks of barbecue sauce on their hands and faces.
"Anybody need napkins?" Mike said. "I got 'em."
"Naw, when I'm done just throw me in the stock tank," Ed said, and licked his fingers.
The conversation that had started in the car had gone no further. In fact, Ty had not said another word. Even when Mike tried to get him to talk, he got nowhere with him. He seemed a little puzzled by this, but for Ted it was the elephant in the room no one wanted to mention.
Finally, Mike said, "I think Ty's got a little story he wants to tell."
All eyes turned to him, and he looked back at the three men, then down again at his food.
"What story's that?" Ed wanted to know and got up for another beer.
"Ty, you need to tell it," Mike said quietly. "Get it off your chest."
"I told you already," Ty said.
"I can see it's still there on your chest," Mike said. "Another go at it might just do the trick."
Ty was looking at Mike now, like someone he'd always trusted had asked him to jump off a cliff.
"Go on," Mike said.
Ty nodded finally, swallowed hard, and began. "I was out late last night," he said, "and I stopped for a while in the park."
And he told them about an encounter with a stranger in the front seat of his car, and the arrival of a cop, who let him go after making him so scared he was shaking in his shoes. Then when he thought it was all over, he'd been confronted by the senior minister at the church where he was a deaconah, the white shirt and tie began to make senseand now he didn't know how much trouble he was in.
"Asshole cop," Ed said, shaking his head. "This was your first time?"
"Who was the other guy?"
"I don't know," Ty said. "He ran off."
"Coulda been another cop," Ted said.
"You poor bastard," Ed said, kindly. He reached across the corner of the table and put his big hand down firmly on Ty's shoulder. "No wonder you been so quiet."
Ted waited for Ty to pull away from Ed's grasp, but he didn't. Just braced himself against it as tears welled in his eyes.
"Your boss there at that church, he must have a heart of stone and horse feed for brains," Ed said.
"But he's right," Ty insisted. "What I did was wrong."
"Bull shit," Ed said, so sharply that Ty flinched like he'd been stung.
"It's there in the bible," Ty said.
"I bet you twenty bucks it ain't," Ed said.
"Well, I don't believe in betting, but I can show you," Ty said.
And when Mike said he didn't have a bible in the house, Ty got up and went out to his car to get his, paging through it as he came back in the door.
"I wanna see this," Ed said, taking a long pull from his beer.
Ty pushed aside an empty carton of baked beans, wiped up some coleslaw, and put the book down next to Ed, pointing into it and reading a verse aloud.
"Abomination?" Ed said. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, it means something that'sthat's detestable, disgusting," Ty said.
"Like the Abominable Snowman," Ted suggested.
Ed thought for a moment, trying to absorb this. "Tell me something," he said. "Is that what you were feeling when you were with that guy in your car?"
Ty just looked at him. "No, it felt – it felt," he said, and closing his eyes, he seemed to be letting himself remember it for the first time. Slowly he told them that when the man touched him, touched his chest, his belly, and finally his cock, the man's breath on it warm as his fingers caressed him, he'd never felt anything so wonderful. Every moment had seemed like a foretaste of heaven.
"Did you ever, once, feel disgusted?" Ed was sounding like Perry Mason, cross examining an uncooperative witness.
"While it was happening?" Ty said, blinking his eyes as he focused on what Ed was saying.
"No, I didn't, but."
Ed smacked the table with his open hand, and there was a rattle of plates and silverware. "I rest my case," he said. And he took the page that Ty had read from and tore it from the book, slamming it shut and handing it back to Ty. "Now you got a Bible without that bullshit verse in it."
He leaned back in his chair now and looked at each of them, with an expression of am-I-right? on his face.
Ty just looked at his bible, like Ed had desecrated itwhich he had.
The argument ended with that. As far as Ed was concerned, he'd proved his point and would hear no more of it.
Ty more or less went quiet again, but it seemed to Ted that Mike was right. It had done Ty good to talk about it.
When Ted went to the refrigerator for another beer, he stopped for a moment behind Ty's chair and gently put his hand on his shoulder, and when he didn't stiffen or pull away, he bent down to put both arms around him and hold him.
"You are a good man," he said to him. "Don't let anybody tell you otherwise."
Bedtime came soon after. Mike, the early riser, was yawning as they cleaned up the kitchen, piling dishes in the sink and tossing beer cans and empty takeout cartons in the trash.
Ed and Ted got out of their clothes and went outside with a bottle of Jim Beam to sit up to their chins in the pool, watching the moon rise over the barn roof and fill the sky with its milky light. Ed held him for a long while in his arms, stroking him softly between his legs until he finally came.
It was way after midnight when they went inside again, the lawn grass damp on their feet and the night air now cool enough to make Ted shiver. On their way to the back bedroom, they stood naked over the couch where Ty lay sleeping.
"He's still young," Ed said. "He'll be OK."
Ted hoped he was right.
Continued . . .
© 2006 Rock Lane Cooper