Copyright 2008, 2012 by Carl Mason

All rights reserved. Other than downloading one copy for strictly personal enjoyment, no part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except for reviews, without the written permission of the author. However based on real events and places, "Mike Hennigan" is strictly fictional. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. As in real life, sexual themes unfold gradually. Comments on the story are appreciated and may be addressed to the author at carl_mason@verizon.net.

If you would like to read additional stories by this author, please turn to the "Authors/Prolific Authors" link at the beginning of the Nifty Archive.

This story contains descriptions of sexual contact between males, both adults and teenagers. As such, it is homoerotic fiction designed for the personal enjoyment of legal, hopefully mature, adults. If you are not of legal age to read such material, if those in power and/or those whom you trust treat it as illegal, or if it would create unresolvable moral dilemmas in your life, please leave. Finally, remember that maturity generally demands safe sex.


(Revisiting Chapter 5)

[The Associate Director said,] "It's hard work, Mike; it's rough work; it's dangerous work. We'd support you while you got your feet under you, but you might have to work more than one part-time job for several years to make ends meet. I'll be honest with you, son. You have some wonderful skills with people. I wonder if this would give you what you need for a satisfying life."

"Thank you, sir," Mike responded. "Again, I'm really grateful. Strangely enough, it feels right...exactly right. At some point, I know I have to go to college - but I'm not ready to do that right now. Frankly, I want to strengthen my body and my knowledge of the working world and the people who work in it before moving in that direction. I also need to sharpen my feelings about the contribution I want to make. (Pause.) May I ask how to take it from here?"

(Continuing Our Story: Down on the Docks)

Within the week, the new nineteen year old was fully involved in tests and classes supervised by the union and the Maritime Association. They wouldn't even allow him on the docks before he passed a written exam and a battery of agility, lashing, and truck driving tests. For instance, he had to place and remove lashing bars on a stack of shipping containers under timed conditions. Drop one and you've failed! Shipping containers are secured to the deck with heavy steel bars and turnbuckles, which must be placed by hand. The longest bar is 20 feet and weighs 53 pounds. Turnbuckles weigh almost as much and can be hard to tighten if corroded. Working with such gear all day is like six to eight hours of pumping iron. 'What must the real job be like,' he wondered, 'if the preparation is this rough?' Supervisors didn't act exactly like the Parris Island Drill Instructors, but they didn't take anything off anyone - and they did delight in breaking in the "new meat". The men and women in his group also had to learn proper techniques for lifting and stowing cargo, and the correct handling of hazardous materials. In superb condition, Mike still found himself played out by the end of a shift.

At first, standing in hiring lines for hours and holding a second part-time job at a local gym, he kept his Center-provided apartment in the beach area. The owner, a former longshoreman, understood why he had to drop everything and head for the casuals' hiring hall when his chance came to nail a job that opened. Night or day, wet or dry, cold or warm, it didn't matter. You had to be there to get it - and this could mean lining up twice a day, once for the morning shift and once for the evening shift. Gradually, he learned the assignments that could come to a union worker. You might go through this process for seven to ten years before a chance to join the union arose. Then everything would depend on seniority, the hours you had put in as a casual, and your personal record.

Given the weird hours he was working, he began thinking about getting an apartment down in the dock area. The Center experience had been right for the time, even though he increasingly found most of his roommates to be noisy, immature and, with only one exception, girl crazy. He did like a few of the guys with whom he was now learning and working. They like the older longshoreman had clearly "finished school". Increasingly, the rough-hewn men with whom he was working came to like him. Mike was strong, he was smart, he knew how to take orders. He didn't goof around or suck up to you like many of the newbies. When push came to shove, he knew how to use his fists, e.g., the time that a loud mouth tried to cut in on a line at the hiring hall. He gave you a full day's work - and, like a fellow soldier, he watched your back as carefully as you watched his. That was important, for, in a situation where the bottom line lay in how many ships were turned around, the repetitive, fast-paced work with heavy cargo and huge machinery, work that took place outdoors around the clock no matter what the climactic conditions, almost guaranteed serious accidents. Nor was safety increased by management's attempts to boost profits by turning to foreign operating companies - or by the government's inspecting only about ten percent of containers coming into our ports for explosives/radioactive material! No, under such conditions, you had to depend on your own - and the longshoreman at Playa D'Oro came to see the heavily muscled, smart, good-natured kid named Mike Hennigan as one of their own.

Slowly - first from his fellow casuals and then from an occasional longshoreman - Mike began to get invitations to join them for a beer after the shift was over. The bars they habituated were surely not those favored by the "Fortune 500," and the entertainment was pretty raunchy, but the suds they quaffed together signaled the fact that a few more jobs were beginning to come his way. While he had to take on a third part-time job to make ends meet (viz, delivering and helping set up a popular line of gym equipment), he was able to rent a hole-in-the-wall apartment in the dock area. (Two rooms if you were willing to count a large closet as a room!) The timing couldn't have been better. One July night - for Southern California an atypically foggy night - Mike and Bo Simms, a buddy, stumbled into a leather bar. "Sheer accident", they agreed - one of the unforeseen dangers of barhopping...and the lack of a weather report! Still, they decided, they might as well look around. Little did they realize that "looking around" is decidedly a two-way street! The two hunky nineteen year olds couldn't believe how welcome they were in that bar...nor how many beers were pressed into their hands in welcome! The late hour and the high rate of evening-long consumption inured them to the pats on the rump, the sweaty arms roughly thrown around their shoulders, or the persistent random fingering by the middle-aged clientele. The boys were just a little turned on in spite of themselves until, that is, an obscenely fat, hairy, "executive-type" came up to them clad in full leather. You know...the works: the extra wide-strap full-body buckle harness wrapping his flabby torso in 1.5-inch English leather straps, with all chrome hardware, including 8 buckles, 4 O-rings, and a built-in two-inch cock ring! (Afterwards, cracking up, Mike's buddy Bo asked why the douchebag had needed a two-inch cock ring when his hard schlong was barely thicker than his little finger!) In any case, with considerable pride, he asked the boys if they would like to see their dungeon!

Beginning to think that it was past time to move on, Mike allowed the apparition to lead them down the rickety stairs to a heavy door set between stacks of liquor cartons. Resigned to at least being polite, Mike stepped into the good-sized room that appeared to have been carved out of rock that underlay the building. Had he not seen something in the corner, he would have given the room a brief look and then departed - but there WAS something over there, something lying limply on a mound of filthy burlap sacks. Drawing closer, he saw that it was the nude body of a mid teen, a mid teen who had been sorely used. The youth was unconscious. His body was bruised; the manner in which it was lying allowed one to see that his anus was seriously inflamed, puffy, and leaking fluids whose sickening smell suggested rotting or putrefying matter. Lawdy, he looked familiar! The square shoulders, the tapered, muscled back, the beautifully rounded butt, the thighs so fully packed with muscle that the skin actually glowed... Oh, God, NO! The blazing dark copper hair! Falling to his knees, he ascertained that it was indeed Hal Bennett. Yes, a slightly taller and noticeably huskier Hal Bennett, a redhead further into puberty, a front tooth missing, one eye massively darkened and swollen shut... What had these bastards done to this kid who had idolized him...turned to him for hope...at the Center?

Mike rose and stood in front of the dungeon guide. Without inflection or raising his voice, he asked, "Who's responsible for this savagery?" Evidently, the guide saw something in his eye that was hidden in his voice, for he melted like an ice statue exposed to a blowtorch. "It wasn't us, sir...it wasn't us," he kept babbling. Moisture beginning to leak from his puny cock, he sniveled, "There's another group that shares this dungeon with us...on Thursday nights. Maybe..." Mike curtly interrupted him. "I'm taking this boy to a doctor. If anyone gets in my way, the police will be here in minutes!" Gently lifting the youth into his arms, he headed upstairs at a slow gallop. Seeing the look on his face, no one came anywhere near him.

The young men separated on the sidewalk outside the bar. Mike and Hal headed for the Center by taxi, Mike asking the driver to call ahead and request a doctor to be available. A sleepy, white haired professional who, thankfully, was on duty that weekend met them outside with a gurney. Looking deeply into Mike's eyes as they covered the boy with a white sheet, he said softly, "No, Mike, I know you didn't have anything to do with this. I've been worried about where we'd find this kid since he flew the coop not long after you left for the docks. Go home, get some sleep, call me around noon."

The imposing teen did considerably better than phone the Center. That is, he personally appeared shortly after twelve o'clock. The doctor was fuming. Mike had all he could do to convince him not to call the police immediately. "That's some bunch of people you've come in contact with, boyo!" he snarled. "I hope as a rule that you're keeping better company. You saw much of what they did to the Bennett, but I don't think you realize just how barbarous they were. Can you possibly believe - I know I still can't - that they inserted a live field mouse deep into his rectum? In its death throes, it did some serious damage, chewing and scratching, before it finally died. Frankly, I'm surprised that the boy is still with us. Another day or so and I wouldn't have given you a plugged nickle for his chances. Infection, you know... But, then, we've known that kid was a fighter from the time you first brought him in here, yes? A fighter just like you, my boy!"

Nearly three weeks passed before doctors had Hal Bennett back on his feet. During that time, Mike saw him nearly every day. At first, he clearly mistrusted the big Kansan. After all, he had left him in the lurch when he left the Center - or so the then thirteen year old had interpreted the situation. Gradually, the fourteen year old returned to seeing him as his primary source of hope. Having been instrumental in saving him twice, Mike came to believe that not only were their lives intertwined, but he had a special obligation to this youngster. Beyond that he would not go. When Hal was ready to leave daily care, he accepted Mike's invitation to go home with him, even though the Center retained some legal responsibilities. Yes, the boy had to agree to go back to school in the fall and help his hero to make his way - and Mike promised him nothing long-term - but both young men found the trade-off to be pretty even. It would have been a lot easier if Hal's blood tests hadn't come back "positive".

When the word got around as to what had happened at the bar and why Mike hadn't been seen as often over the last month, the longshoreman - union men and casuals alike - drew their own conclusions. (They never heard about Hal's blood work.) Mike was elevated to a position of respect rarely given by this bunch to a teenager. Suddenly, he was included more fully in their lives and found it easier to get work on the docks. His life was changing as his body was changing. At nineteen, going on twenty, the young man was clearly entering upon his prime. He would maintain his striking physique throughout his 20s - projecting a joyous, grinning, youthful image well into his mid 20s.

(To Be Continued)