Mike and Danny Go to College
Chapter 2, Part 2
"Danny's a good lad," Ted is saying. "The bunch he hangs out with on campus can be real yo-yos, but that's his business." He pulls open the stove and tosses in a couple more split logs.
Watching him bent down in his paint-smeared jeans, Mike wonders again how well Ted knows Danny and finally decides that's their business. If Ted taught him anything about sex with guys, so much the better. It helped Danny find his way to Mike.
"Suppose I could work a while with one of your feet?" Ted says, sitting down at the table again with Mike.
"Yeah, with your boot off." Ted picks up the drawing pad and flips it open to a new page.
"Don't know why not," Mike says, realizing that feet, like hands and faces, need practice, too. He bends down to undo one of the laces.
"Let me do it," Ted says and motions for him to sit back.
Ted reaches down and pulls on the lace until it pops apart. Then he loosens it, working his fingers down along the tongue, and with one hand behind the heel and one over the toe pulls the boot off. Now reaching under the cuff of Mike's jeans, warm fingers around his calf muscles, Ted slips his fingers under the top of his sweat sock and slides it down, letting it pull inside out and drop to the floor. There's a rush of cool air on his naked skin.
Without a word, Ted lifts the foot and sets it on the edge of the table. Mike's leg and crotch now tight in his jeans, he scoots his butt forward in the chair and steadies himself with his other foot on the floor. He wiggles his toes a few times and then lets his foot relax.
"You're a good influence on Danny. I can tell," Ted says, drawing again.
"He seems pretty much the same to me," Mike says.
Ted doesn't answer, his eyes steady on Mike's foot, hardly glancing down to the pad.
Mike takes a sip of the hot coffee. "I really don't know much about this," he says. "I don't even know what to call it." He sets the cup down. "I've never been, I guess you could say, attached to someone before."
Ted's eyes catch his for a moment, and he smiles. "Yeah, it's not exactly going steady, is it."
Then he's concentrating on Mike's feet again. And Mike is thinking about the way Ted smiled and wondering what he meant.
"I got mixed up with this marine once," Ted says, reaching between his legs to pull his chair closer. "Semper fi all the way, this guy." Ted was fresh out of the Army, knocking around Denver. Knew a little about everything. And basically not much about anything. Had a couple civilian jobs, but couldn't stick with them. Along came this marine, about ten years older, and took Ted under his wing.
"Just to give you an idea of this guy," he says. "He had a dick on him like this." He stops drawing to hold his hands apart. "Biggest dick goes first; that was his rule. And you could tell he was used to going first."
Ted lived with him for two months, until he got tired of the guy's hoo-rah buddies treating Ted like shit. And tired of always going second, which usually meant having the guy come after twenty minutes of sweaty sex and then fall asleep like he'd been hit with a stun gun. "One night I just got the hell out of there. Went to the bus station and slept on the floor."
Mike looks at the dark-haired, handsome man and can see him on his own somewhere in a Denver night, his dark eyes filled with the same look he has now, of sadness and anger.
"And when I went back, it was just to get my things and go," Ted says. "But it didn't keep me from making more mistakes." He reaches out to Mike's foot now and sets it carefully across Mike's knee. "Which is why I'm saying, you're a good influence on Danny." And he keeps drawing.
Mike rests the coffee mug in his lap, the warmth seeping through the denim to his cock.
"After that I headed up to Wyoming," Ted says. "God knows why." There are queers in Wyoming, he says, but there aren't supposed to be, so they don't exist. Not even really to themselves. "I got this job as a guard at a hospital. Night shift," he says. "Worst job for someone like me."
This time it's a driver running deliveries for a laundry. "Married, of course. Four kids. He was built like Li'l Abner in the comic strip. Just as sweet and just about as smart." It all started in the back of the delivery van, and it ended five months later in a cheap motel room where they'd met whenever they could until the guy got religion and tried to convert him before they both went to everlasting hell.
"There's actually some humor in that," Ted says. "But I couldn't see it at the time." He is quiet for a while, eyes focused on Mike's foot. Then he puts the pencil and pad down on the table.
"Let me see your legs," he says, just like that. "I can tell you got nice legs. I wanna draw 'em."
"Sure," Mike says after a moment, putting his bare foot on the floor and flipping open his belt while Ted pulls off his other boot.
Mike stands and pushes down his wranglers.
"Sit," Ted tells him, and when he does, Ted pulls them off over his feet, letting them drop to one side on the floor, the wallet in the back pocket falling with a soft thump. Then he slips Mike's sock back on so he's wearing both of them again. "The floor's cold, I know," Ted says. "There's no cellar under the house." He says he could get in the crawl space and put in fiberglass, but the old duffer he rents from is too cheap to buy any.
Mike checks the fly of his boxers, which have opened over his nest of dark hair. He decides to leave it that way. Just pulls the front of his shirt down.
Ted goes back to drawing and talking. "There was a highway patrol cop I met in a bar in Sheridan. He'd come down from Montana, and when he found where I lived had this way of showing up at the door. At all hours. Usually still in uniform." Big guy. Big all over. Just wanted to get sucked. Then he'd go. "That got old. You get to feeling like a service station." He laughs. "I never turned him away though. That says something; I don't know what."
Mike gets the feeling he should maybe chime in with his own stories of mischance and disappointment. But it's not really his style.
"Whatever happened to him?" he says.
"Got a transfer," Ted says. "Or got service closer to home."
"Have you ever been with someone and it felt good?" He's fished around for these words, deciding they're close enough to what he wants to ask.
Ted thinks about this, still drawing. "Yeah, for a while." And he tells of a high school buddy he hung out with. Stayed over with him in town on winter nights during bad weather and the roads out to the ranch were snowed shut. They'd crawl shivering into the same single bed while snow blew around the house and piled up in drifts under the windows. Jacking off, then jacking each other off, whole nights from lights-out till dawn like this.
"I never really slept when I was with him," Ted says, his eyes brightening. "I felt like my skin was on fire. Like I'd been out in the sun too long."
One morning, a Saturday, early light in the window, he pulled the covers back to look at his friend as he slept, his jockeys stiff with cum and smears of it dried over his stomach and on his legs, the beat of his heart just visible under the skin. Peeling back the boy's underwear, Ted took a long look at the cock he had only known in the dark, by touch. It lay there stretched out, stirring as his body heat lifted upward, rich and thick with his smell.
He slipped two fingers around the end, its mushroom shape just like his own, and moved it to one side to look at his balls. "They were like the size of a pullet eggs when they first start laying," he says. And he explains to Mike, who knows nothing about chickens, how their first eggs are smooth and small. "You can hold two like this." He sets the pencil behind his ear and puts his hand out, fingers curled over his palm. "And they were beautiful. Covered with this fuzz of curly hair. I just fell in love with his balls."
He flips another page, has Mike bring one knee up and put his heel on the rung under the chair, and reaches down to pull Mike's other leg out straight.
"So what happened was," Ted continues, drawing again, "I was putting my mouth down on his balls before I even knew what I was doing." He'd never done this before. "I licked them and smelled them for a while and was just starting to go to work on his dick when he woke up."
At this Ted falls silent, concentrating on the inside of Mike's thighs, his lower lip tucked under his front teeth.
Mike finally says, "Is that the end of the story?"
"No," Ted says, and the light in his eyes fades away. "When he woke up and found me like that, he wasn't exactly happy. He wasn't happy at all."
Mike isn't sure he wants to hear the rest.
"He told somebody in school I was a cocksucker, and the word got around pretty fast." When Ted's older brother heard about it, he tried to kick the shit out of him. "That was how I got my nose broke," Ted says, "but it was the first time he didn't get the best of me. He never tried that again."
Mike has heard hard luck stories before. None of this is new. But he finds himself yearning for something he has no way to make happensomeone to come into this man's life and fill all the emptiness Mike has seen since he walked in the door.
"Any chance I can persuade you to get naked?" Ted says. He pulls off his own sweater. "I've been firing up the stove and it should feel warm enough in here for a while."
"You can keep your socks on."
Mike says, "Hell, sure." And he takes off the rest of his clothes, dropping his boxers last. He kicks them with one foot over to his jeans.
"No," Ted says picking them up. "Let me hang them by the fire so they'll be warm when you put them back on." He moves the chair Danny was sitting in and sets it by the stove, hooking Mike's wranglers, his shirt and tee shirt over the back, then hanging his boxers out flat on top to face the heat.
Mike stands with his hands on his bare hips, feeling the air against his skin in little stirrings of cool and warmth. Funny, he thinks, the only thing really odd about all this is that Ted is still dressed.
"I hope you're not thinking this is some piss-poor attempt to seduce you," Ted says.
"The thought crossed my mind. That was a while ago." He trusts this man. Without asking, Ted knows that because of Danny, Mike would turn him down.
Ted smiles, the light returning to his eyes, and he looks Mike up and down. He finally decides he wants Mike to put one foot on the chair, with his hand resting on the chair's back. "The other arm, just let it hang."
"Look your way?"
"Yeah," Ted says. "Like you're keeping an eye on me."
They both laugh.
Ted sits again, and starts drawing. Mike watches as his gaze moves around his body, his drawing hand making long quick lines, covering the sheet of paper. And Mike forgets that he's naked. There's only a brief funny feeling as he sees that Ted is drawing his cock, and like he was being touched, it flexes in a little twitch.
After a while, Ted has him change position. And a while later asks him to sit down, legs crossed one way and turning his shoulders the other, his arm hooked over the back of the chair.
"Getting cold yet?" Ted says finally.
"Am I turning blue?" Mike says and, when he says it, thinks of the painting of Danny.
"We'll do just one more then." And Ted has him face forward, hands on his knees, legs open. "Look down," he says.
Mike obliges and finds that he's looking at his cock. It has shrunk, the loose skin bunched around the head, the rest of it disappearing into his thick pubic hair.
"You've got a nice pair, too," Ted finally says after a while. "Your balls."
"They're pretty much standard issue, aren't they?" Mike says. "Nothing special."
Ted puts down the pad, flipping it closed, like he's done. He stands, stretching out his back. Then he squats down and reaches between Mike's legs to cup his balls in the palm of his hand. "No they're a handsome set." And he bends forward, pressing his lips to them, the stubble of his chin bristly against Mike's thighs. Then he lets Mike go and rocks back on his heels.
"I'll bet you anything yours don't look any different," Mike says, covering his surprise.
Ted says nothing. Just gets up and walks to the stove to get Mike's clothes.
Mike takes them, and they fall warm into his lap. "Well, am I right?" he says.
"Remember that brother I told you about?" Ted asks. "We were out hunting when we were boys. We had just one rifle. I was still too young." They'd been out several hours on a cold fall morning, and were heading back to the ranch. Climbing through a barb wire fence, his brother was carrying the rifle, and it discharged sending a round through Ted's leg. "Right here," Ted says, pointing just to one side of his crotch. "It didn't hit bone, missed the artery, but it got me good anyway."
Mike listens without making a move to get into his clothes.
"I'll show you," Ted says and unzips his jeans. He pushes down along his hips, thumbs under the waistband of his underwear. His long cock falls out, more than half hard, and then bounces up at an easy angle.
He laughs a little. "Sorry. Been like that ever since I saw you bending over to get the jumper cables out of your truck."
Then he shoves jeans and underwear down farther, and Mike can see the rest of the story. There's a blue-gray dent of scar tissue in the skin and muscle of Ted's thigh. And next to it is the rest of the damage that was done. One testicle hangs small and undeveloped high in its sack, close to Ted's groin. The other, like a small pullet egg, falls to the center under it. Two like that, Mike thinks, would have made a handsome pair.
"When it happened, my brother grieved more than I did and didn't forgive himself for a long time," Ted says.
"The same brother who broke your nose?"
"Yeah," Ted says. "When he found out I was queer, he said he wished he'd shot me through the head that day."
Mike glances up at Ted's face and feels a wave of sorrow pass through him. Then leaning forward and pressing his thumb over the scar, he puts his lips to Ted's testicles and gives them a kiss.
"Heal," he says softly. "Heal."
And if you're interested in other Danny stories, you can find two in the nifty.org Gay/College section: "Blue Paint Special" (posted 8/19/03) and "Friday Night Football" (posted 8/21/03).
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