(C)Tooluser September 2010

This story is fiction, and any resemblance to real people or places is entirely coincidental.

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Heaven Next Door
Part 2

Bill suppressed a sigh, and pushed the bedcovers off himself. Mary wasn’t asleep: he could feel the anger still radiating from her like a banked fire. So he slid out of bed and murmured: “Just going down to the workshop for a while,” as he had on so many other nights when he’d needed to think, to persuade himself that they were doing the right thing.

Once upon a time, Mary would have turned over in the dimness and given him a little half-smile. She would have said: No power tools, okay? It was like their little joke. Tonight she didn’t; just lay there rigid, feigning sleep.

Bill closed the door behind himself and walked down the dark upper hallway, wondering what it was about the night-darkened house that made him walk so softly: as though he were an intruder in his own home. He felt himself slowing as he approached the door to Jay’s room; felt his throat knot up, but still he knew he was going to do it. The brass knob felt cool in the palm of his hand, and the door swung open. Bill stood on the threshold, drawing a deep, painful breath as he looked around the room.

There were no curtains at the windows and the cold streetlights gave him more than enough light to see: the bare shelves; the angular shadows of the empty closet; the stripped bed. Jason Freund, their son - his son: sweet Jay - was gone. Gone, and he wasn’t coming back: he’d said that.

Bill stood looking at the stripped mattress a moment longer and then closed the door. It was Mary who’d insisted on stripping the bed: she was so much stronger that way. “He’s made his choices,” she’d said. Then, seeing his face: We can make it up again Bill, if we ever need to, she’d said, with that look that told him he was being an idiot again.

She’d wanted to turn the room into a study, or at least a guest bedroom, but Bill had stubbornly refused. He’d known he was being stupid, but he’d kept hoping: maybe Jay would forgive them; maybe he’d come home again, or visit, or even call. So long as the room was still “Jason’s room&lrquo; he’d felt as though there was still hope somehow. Every day he’d wondered how much longer Mary would wait before he came home to yet another of her fait accompli’s. As he closed the door again, he swallowed, tasting the bitter knowledge that she’d been right. And they’d both been wrong.

Bill descended the stairs and crossed the long-shadowed kitchen. When he let himself outside, the night air tasted sweet. He drew a breath and stood a moment staring at the moving reflections on the pool, remembering, and then turned hastily away, striding around the corner of the house and fumbling open the door of his refuge.

It wasn’t a workshop, not really. Just the rear half of the double garage where he’d converted an old desk into a workbench and hung his tools on the walls. He’d installed a couple of good work-lights, and a comfortable hard chair. It meant that Mary didn’t have to be so careful about parking her big black SUV in here, but still she griped about the extra insurance cost of him parking his pick-up in the street. Bill didn’t care: he couldn’t have imagined how he would have coped without his quiet space after Jay dropped the bomb.

He crossed to the bench and looked down at his latest half-completed project. It was a commission for their church: St. Christopher carrying the Christ-child across the river. He’d already transferred the pencil outlines to the flat sheet of plywood, and samples of wood veneer were scattered across the surface where he’d been comparing shades and textures for the saint’s robes. Lightly he traced the smooth gray curve of the child’s back with his thumbnail and then looked away, squeezing his eyes tight shut.

He groped for his chair and sat, and then pulled open the bottom drawer of the desk. His fingers brushed across the face of the unopened envelope, caressing the grooves of the angry inscription scrawled across it: Return to sender - F.O.A.D.!! as though touching the last thing that Jay had written to him would somehow bring them closer.

Behind the letter, at the back of the drawer was a tin. Bill opened it, took out the baggie and held it up - maybe enough for just one, he thought, eyeing the coarse, crumbled leaves.

What would have happened this afternoon, he wondered, if he hadn’t been smoking?

It had felt like a good day: the job had finished early; the traffic had been light and the tires had sang on the freeway - and anyway with the sun shining and that gentle breeze he wouldn’t have minded if he’d had to drive slow; just one of those perfect days from God’s hand. He’d meant to look in on their new neighbors, but the house seemed still shut-up: no curtains at the windows; no cars in the drive. Then he’d seen the flag up on his mail-box and felt a ridiculous surge of hope.

It’ll only be some damn’ circular, or a bill he’d told himself. Nevertheless his hands had wanted to shake and his chest had felt tight. He’d felt the first wash of cold when he’d recognized the envelope. And then the message from Jay, his son’s handwriting: Fuck Off And Die.

He’d blundered in here, out of the blurred, bright sunlight, the letter clutched in his fist, feeling the trickling tears and just - switched off, for a while.

He didn’t usually smoke in here. Usually he was careful to smoke by the pool, or in his pick-up - wherever Mary wouldn’t smell it. Just then, he hadn’t cared.

The sheer mechanics of making the spliff had been calming: a physical memory of the nights he’d spent here thinking; praying; working; trying to understand what he’d done - where they’d gone wrong with Jay.

He’d sat, dragging at the end of the badly rolled joint, tasting the strong, increasingly hot smoke across the back of his tongue as he smoked it down to a burning roach, staring muzzily at the letter and wishing that he understood. He’d give anything, he thought as he rolled the second: anything to understand his son; his choices. Why his son would choose to be an abomination in God’s eyes.

Eventually the stale air had gotten too much. He’d pushed the door open and emerged into the back yard; stood swaying a moment enjoying the sunlight before realizing that someone was using his pool. He’d drifted across and stared down at the pale, slender form half-hidden by the sparkling water.

Smooth, slender, sun-burned arms cutting the surface. The rhythmic bob of a sleek head with water-darkened hair. A narrow back; a white stripe of tight, gleaming little buns when they broached, the boy flicking over in a racing turn; glimpses of scissoring legs as he stroked to the other end of the pool; another turn; the rhythmic, hypnotic bob of head and flash of buns as the boy swam and swam.

Bill had no idea how long he watched: he was jerked out of his trance when his gaze tracked to sparkling, empty water where the boy should have been. He’d looked down to see the kid treading water, scooping his pale hair back, bright crystals dripping from his slender arms. Bill had heard himself gasp aloud as he saw the face.

The angel’s face that he had studied in the countless paintings he had researched for his projects. The face that he’d returned to again and again. The face that he’d held in his mind as he’d huddled at his desk in the long, sleepless night sessions when he’d prayed for Jay, struggling to understand his son. Now he saw the brow, the nose, the lips: perfectly sculpted and far more beautiful than pigments and mere genius could capture. The boy’s throat was slender, his shoulders smooth. All that Bill noticed, but as background: mere supporting beauty for those angelic, liquid dark eyes. Wide, slightly tilted, they stared into him with a knowing, otherworldly calm.

He’d heard himself say it before the rest of him understood he was speaking. He’d said something after that: trying to seem cool, but the word was still thrumming through the whole of his body: angel.

It had felt inevitable to lean over and offer his hand. Even now, Bill could feel the echo in his fingertips of the slim, wire-strong wrist he’d gripped. The boy had risen from the waters: Eros usurping Aphrodite, with the sun a glory on his shining skin. The details of his slim waist; his slender, coltish legs, the oval shadow of his navel and the glistening “vee” pointing down toward the water-shrunk curl of gleaming flesh between his smooth thighs all burned themselves into his memory; recalled with every blink. He could see them now.

His angel had seemed briefly fearful, but then had stepped forward and wrapped his little arms around Bill’s waist. The shock of the cold pool water had stirred Bill into a new awareness: he’d never been so focused on another person, ever. He’d realized several things in a complicated simultaneous flash: one, that his own personal revelation aside, his angel was also a boy; two, he was scared; and three - that mattered.

His back had felt like silk; a fine covering for the bone and muscle beneath, and Bill had stroked him gently, encouraging closeness and only belatedly recognizing his own excitement.

He’d led the boy over to the lounger and sat on it, but when he’d asked his name, his little angel’s eyes had filled with such remembered pain that he’d cursed himself. He’d had to look away: the big glittering tears rolling down those smooth cheeks were too much to bear. He’d retreated into mundane hospitality: offering whatever he thought might be welcome.

He’d opened the fridge, and handed the boy water. His angel had looked up at him, accepting it with both hands, his small fingers brushing Bill’s bigger ones in a secret caress. The boy’s eyes were filled with hunger and a desperate loneliness, abruptly veiled as he looked down and then begun sucking on the bottle as though he’d never tasted such water in all his life.

It was so intense that Bill had tried to make a joke about water-bottle porn but it had emerged as pure worship: adoration of the living miracle he was devouring with his gaze. The boy had asked for another drink, and when Bill had offered it, he’d looked up, his ancient eyes dark and full of secrets, commanding Bill to follow: to accept what he was shown.

Watching the boy drink again: seeing those coral lips caressing that unfeeling blue plastic he’d felt first dizzy then hungry, with a possessive, cell-deep craving that only incidentally involved his cock.

His angel had tilted his little hips like a sacred dancer, commenting on his nakedness; beautiful as he was created, undefiled by man-made additions of clothing or shame. As he’d handed back the water he’d reached out and cradled Bill’s cock.

Fear had exploded through him; ignited by the want he’d briefly allowed himself to feel. He’d gasped a profanity: his saviour’s name - and seen concern flare in the depths of those dark eyes.

“Sorry,” his angel had whispered, suddenly all vulnerable boy again, offering an escape route back into ignorance.

Bill had stood, blinking, one hand against the cool of the aluminum door. You know all you need to know, part of him said: the part that agreed with Mary. The part that went to church every Sunday. The part that said: Jay turned away from us when he made that choice: when he spat on morality and rejected God’s word. What father wouldn’t be ashamed of a son like that?

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Bill said, angry and incredulous at the smug tone of that internal voice. Do you think there’s anything I wouldn’t do for my son?

His boy-angel had offered an immediate, pragmatic test: wearing wet things was “icky.” Why not take them off? Offering water, stroking, all that could - just conceivably - be friendship, caring. But getting naked? Sin, the smug pastor’s voice said. What price “anything” now?

Bill focused on the boy, who was now unambiguously hard: his slender fingers stroking the length of his attractive little weapon. It was creamy, paler than the rest of him and Bill was sure the hot silky harness would feel good in his hand.

“Would you-” Bill swallowed, balancing vertiginously on the point of no return. “Uh- would you like me to do that?”

His angel nodded, and his sparkling white smile was pure joy. Bill was eager as he “got comfortable”: stripping off his shirt and pants, happy that the boy’s gaze remained bright and curious; pleased that they both liked swimming.

Bill remembered “playing doctor” when he was young: giggles and the shy flash of bald “naughty bits” among friends, so he was taken aback when the boy stepped forward and suddenly he felt the warmth of skinny arms wrapped tight around his waist. He felt a hot rush of father-son caring as the boy rubbed his smooth cheek against his abdomen, the feeling meshing seamlessly with lustful affection as the boy first admired his manhood and then talked innocently of playing games with it. Bill smiled, feeling back in familiar childhood territory - and was then blasted out of it as he felt the boy’s kiss on his cockhead.

He blasphemed again in pure shock. Mary had made it clear from the very beginning that all such whorish activities were far outside the marital duties of any decent woman, and he demanded to know where the boy had acquired such knowledge.

That ancient look again. A tilt of his pretty head and a small, knowing smile. “It’s real nice,” he’d said, the tip of his little pink tongue touching his lower lip for an instant, his eyes first watchful, then  hopeful. “I like it a whole lot.”

Bill had smiled back as the boy had curled his fingers around his fat, hard cock, his little angel’s smile growing wider, naughtier. He’d moved close with a child’s half-skip and then Bill had gasped a descending groan of lust as he’d felt his cockhead engulfed in hot, massaging wetness; felt the boy’s tongue teasing him, rough and slick.

His angel’s hair was beginning to dry into blonde curls and Bill found his fingers irresistibly drawn to where they brushed the sun-kissed skin at the back of his neck.

“Oh, baby!” he groaned, feeling the movement as the boy bobbed his head, sucking hard at his flesh as he brushed his fingertips over the juvenile knobs of that little spine. Bill could feel the soft inside of the boy’s mouth; his probing tongue; see his small boy-muscles moving in his slender arm as he pumped his little fist up and down his shaft. He was no amateur: Bill felt himself hardening further as he wondered how long his little playmate had been doing this. OH! Now the boy was caressing his balls! Going down deeper as he snuggled closer against him. Bill could feel the heat from his smooth, tanned little body like stored sunshine against his hips and legs.

Bill could feel his breathing was ragged: the boy gave little gasps and moans as if in answer as he worked the thick cock in his mouth, wriggling against him. Bill could feel his spunk rising and pulled out, remembering Mary’s shrill anger the one time he’d defiled her with an accidental splatter that escaped the medical wipe.

Struggling to control himself, he staggered back against the breakfast bar, falling half across a stool, and felt tears of gratitude sting his eyes as his angel followed, engulfing him again in wet heat. Deeper this time; deeper as he stroked the boy’s head his gestures clumsy and rough with his increasing excitement. Bill crooned a gasping whimper as the boy did something incredible with his mouth: hot, slippery and excruciatingly pleasurable. Then he was bucking upward, his balls tightening, cock straining as he spurted into the boy’s mouth; his leg muscles tightening, making animal sounds of need as he came again, a long ecstatic squirt immediately followed by more; his cock throbbing and pulsing.

He could feel as well as hear the boy swallowing, but when he looked, Bill saw white drooling down his cock and over the boy’s glistening fist. His angel let the hard, slick meat slip out of his mouth, causing Bill to gasp and shudder at the sensations and then proceded to lick the blobs of cum off his stalk, first with delicate flicks of the tip of his tongue, then slower, broader strokes, his small, sticky face calm and intent.

He looked up, and his eyes warmed into mischief, his widening grin reflecting the one Bill could feel stretching his own face. Bill slid his arm around the boy’s narrow shoulders. He started to pull the boy into a hug, but felt the slender body tense, alarm sparking in those eyes. He slid his arm down the boy’s back and felt him relax a little. He seemed happy to have his little hips hugged close: a goofy grin spread over his face and for the first time he seemed to be only a boy.

“So what’s your name, then, honey?” Bill asked.

“Shayne,” the boy whispered, blushing beneath his tan.

Bill stroked the boy’s shoulder with his free hand, his other arm still loosely looped around the boy’s waist. “Well, I’m Bill,” he said, trailing his fingers through a ribbon of cum that had trickled down the boy’s neck, and smiling as Shayne caught his eye for a moment and looked down again. “So where did you drop in from, Shayne?”

His little playmate flinched and ducked his head. “Uh... next door,” he mumbled. Bill felt him shiver and tense.

“Hey, Shayne,” he said, stroking the boy’s back, calming him. “It’s okay.” So what - the kid had broken into the vacant property next door: it was no problem of his. He felt sure Shayne hadn’t vandalised anything. He squeezed one of the boy’s perfect little asscheeks, and when Shayne looked up, he leaned forward and kissed his perfect, pink lips.

Bill had been startled when the boy gasped and jerked his head back; had drawn breath to apologize, to ask what was the matter, but then their world had been blasted apart by the blare of Mary’s auto horn and he’d panicked.

He’d bundled his precious angel over the fence like so much unwanted baggage and leaped into the pool to rinse any damning “evidence” off himself, just as Mary had stormed out into the back yard outraged at the smell of reefers in her garage; rage which had swelled to incandescence on discovering him skinny dipping. She’d swept the yard with a piercing, pale glare and then raced indoors where she practically tore the house apart searching for evidence of the other women at his “pot party.” She seemed to find the lack of evidence as damning as brassieres dangling from the light fixtures would have been.

The rest of the evening had been no better: his wife had alternately glowered at him and savaged him: rehearsing all the reasons her family had thought he wasn’t good enough, and adding her own: his lack of ambition; lack of drive; the small wage he earned and the small brain he used to earn it with.

He tried not to argue, having long since discovered his high-school diploma no match for her ivy-league education: she always twisted everything he said and left him feeling angry and stupid. But she’d pushed and pushed, needling and jabbing him until finally he’d yelled at her and she’d had the satisfaction of telling him what a throwback, Neanderthal brute he was, and how he never had any chance of beating her except with his fists.

Now, sitting in his chair with the roach burning his fingers as he stared out of the workshop door into the blue-gray dawn light, he wondered if it hadn’t all been for the best. He had been about to kiss that boy; he’d never felt attraction so strong before - it wasn’t just sex.

He’d sat here and prayed to be given the chance to understand why Jay chose his unnatural lifestyle, and he’d been granted a revelation: that all the talk of sex missed the point. To be like Jay was not just about who he had sex with, but with whom  he fell in love. For a shining hour Bill had felt the joy of that, but mercifully the temptation had been snatched from him. He knew he would have succumbed, and how could he have hidden that wild passion amid the pallid, dutiful habit that was his marriage?

He thanked a merciful God that he was never going to see his dark-eyed angel, Shayne, again.

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Hope you enjoyed that!

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