PERILOUS JOURNEY - 10
Copyright 2012 by Carl Mason
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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, 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, please respect yourself and those around you by practicing safe sex.
(Revisiting Chapter 9)
Rob made reasonable time until he reached a county road that was but lightly marked on his map. Holding his breath, he turned onto it. The map did promise that it would eventually snake its way up and over the moderate elevations in that section of the mountains. To increase his misery, what had been on-again, off-again rain had become a constant downpour and night suddenly was upon him. Other than the conflagration to his rear - now generally restricted to a strong, pulsing glow - it was black as pitch! Rob had only driven two or three miles up that mountain...track before realizing how bad the conditions were becoming. He breathed a sigh of true relief when he spied a weatherbeaten sign announcing that Drewstown, Pennsylvania, lay only one mile ahead.
(Continuing Our Story: Drewstown, PA - Garden Spot of the Alleghenies)
Drewstown... Ah, there was a thriving metropolis! Before they even reached the burg he passed several large tin signs that plugged the area's "vacation glories", e.g., a lake, an Indian village, a "real" haunted house, and the remnants of a colonial wagon trail over the (rather low) summit. The town itself was even worse than he expected. Beyond the fact that it was raining cats and dogs and the few kerosene lamps in windows didn't allow you to see much, there was little doubt that it was O-L-D. Very old, but not like Williamsburg or other colonial treasures... Its age felt more like that of an old, pretty well played out coal mining town...or a ghost town in the Nevada desert! The few buildings that stood along the single street appeared to be in a state of major disrepair. At least the inhabitants hadn't wasted much paint in recent years! Grumbling that it seemed much more like 2:00 a.m. than a little before eight in the evening, Robbie pointed the Jeep towards the one building that seemed to promise life...a combination drug/convenience store with a soda fountain that probably dated back to the early 1930s. Coming closer, he noticed that the store was closed, but something or somebody stood huddled in the recessed entrance. Rob parked and walked cautiously over towards the entranceway.
It turned out that someone was huddled there...an obviously exhausted sixteen or seventeen year old male. Dressed in a ragged coat that stretched down below his knees and an ancient hat that wasn't doing much to protect him from the teeming rain, he cleared his throat and hoarsely asked if there were any chance of his "catching a ride".
"Grant Tyson," the teen murmured through chattering teeth. His voice and facial expression suggesting that he was slogging his way through a deep mental fog, he continued, "Danny was with me. Found him wandering along the side of the road, a little blood on the side of his head, bawlin', and tightly grasping a stuffed bear...just about out of it. He told me that some "bad men" had pushed his parents' car off the road up ahead and "hurt them" before he escaped into the bushes." Suddenly getting a better grip on himself, he looked up at Scott before saying more clearly, "I took the garage's tow truck where I work and checked it out. They were dead and their stuff had been ransacked. When I got back, the garage owner took the truck, saying he had to go get his family. Nobody much was left in town...so I decided to give Danny a hand." (He paused, seeming to slip back into confusion.) "Hell, I don't have nobody...and it was pouring! It was getting dark when Miss Susan stopped me, looked at the little guy, and then told me that he was dead. How could that happen, sir? How could that happen? He hadn't done nuthin' to nobody."
Rob guided the youngster over to his vehicle and, after getting him settled, gave him the last of the hot coffee. Feeling for what Grant had been through, he peered deeply into the teen's eyes, but saw nothing that put him in any danger. Ok, so the kid was pretty rough around the edges, but he needed someone with whom to talk and work. At the very least, the lad appeared to be good-hearted and strong.
His hand on the lad's shoulder, a wide grin on his face, Robbie said, "Ok, Grant, that ride is yours." (The teen actually broke into a little shuffle. Obviously, the young man hadn't counted on getting the ride!) Have you got your stuff together?" "Yep. Clothes...not much...mostly jeans and T-shirts. I've got nearly fifty bucks, though that ain't much either. I did bag some food." Pointing at a sack that clearly held some cans and boxes, Grant suddenly ran out of steam. Though only slightly younger than Robbie and within an inch of being as tall, he stood quietly, expectantly...ready to follow the "boss's" instructions. Obviously having decided that neither food nor rest were to be had in Drewstown, the boss snapped, "Good, Grant! Get yourself and your stuff into the Jeep and let's get out of here!"
Within less than ten miles, they passed a sign and left the rutted track for a smoother section, a section of the road that was clearly headed down the mountain. For a few moments, the tense driver relaxed. They had crossed the summit; he might make it yet! Then, as the rain continued to pour down, he suddenly realized that the road surface his lights were illuminating was shiny...as if it were flowing...as if it were a sea of mud. In terms of the traction it offered, it was only a half step or so above ice! Feeling the sweat beginning to pour down his body, Robbie gritted his teeth and just hung on. He barely sensed that Grant was gasping in terror and digging his fingers deep into his thigh.
Suddenly, almost immediately ahead on the right, he caught a quick glimpse of what might be the entrance to a farm road. Praying that he didn't wrap his relatively new 4x4 around a tree, the youngster who had been driving officially for about a month eased his trusty steed into the opening. Miraculously, he felt his wheels encounter enough gravel to get things back under control and then, slowly, to stop. His blanket askew, holding on for dear life, Grant fell over onto his hero. Giggling hysterically, he finally managed to look up and sputter, "Nice driving, boss!" Obviously, he had been scared out of his wits. Even now, color was only slowly returning to his face. Back under control, Rob exhaled, admitting that he wasn't much interested in getting back on that road, at least tonight. His suggestion? They should drive a little ways further down the drive on which they found themselves and see if it led to anything. Maybe they could finally park and sleep, and then resume their journey when the weather had quieted down. Indeed, they had only driven a few hundred feet further when they spotted a farmhouse, a farmhouse newer and in better shape that anything else they had seen in the area. A kerosene lamp in the window offered a sign of welcome, as did smoke coming out of chimney
They were greeted at the door by a young married couple, John and Mindy Masterson, who appeared to be terrified. Although young Thayer asked them only for permission to park his SUV on the property and sleep in it for the night, Mindy took the lead in offering considerably more. The boys were welcome to stay in a small apartment that John had built over the garage for Mindy's mother, recently passed. There was no electricity, but there were kerosene lanterns, and the propane tanks were still hooked up. Thus, there was hot water, and a clothes dryer that operated on propane. John would bring some hot food over to them directly.
Grant was still in the bathroom when a heavy knock sounded at the front door. Rob opened the door to John Masterson who was laden down with an generous quantity of a rich meat and vegetable stew, some freshly baked rolls with butter, half of an apple pie that he assured his guest had been baked by his wife only that afternoon, a pot of coffee, and several canned sodas. "We just finished supper, so it didn't take long to gather the leftovers," he murmured with a wry grin. He then removed an assortment of metal plates, utensils, and cups from his backpack. "Don't worry about gettin' those things cleaned up tonight," he drawled. "I'll take care of them in the mornin'." Once everything had been unpacked on the table, he immediately turned back towards the door. "The wife's real nervous tonight," he said apologetically. Our road has been a mess all day, and we've got the feelin' that some real bad characters are out there. With all of the overgrown bushes and it's bein' so narrow, you can scarcely see our access road for the 'weathuh'. I've always hated the way it hits you so close to the summit, but today I was kinda prayin' my thanks."
Placing a hand on John's shoulder, Rob said quietly, "Sit down for just a minute, friend. I need to fill you in on some of what we've seen." For a very few minutes, he related what he had seen on the county roads and tracks that he had followed to stay off the main highways. He also related the fate of little Danny and his parents. He suggested that they might follow the example of Drewstown. In answer to John's raised eyebrows, he suggested that either the town was deserted...or everyone was staying quiet and out of sight. "For another few days, there may be worse things than no light or being unable to use your fireplace on a cool night in the mountains - and, say, just be happy that the winds seem to be sweeping the worst of the pollution out to sea." Extending his hand, he added, "John, we're really grateful. Thanks."
"We may be the ones who should be grateful," the young farmer muttered. "Now don't worry yourself about breakfast. We'll put something together for you." Waving the youngster's protest aside, John simply said, "If you want to do a little something for us, help me dig up a bush or two in the mornin' and plant it in the middle of my access road where it meets the highway." With that he was off into the night.
Clothed only with a towel loosely held up by his hips, Grant had obviously been waiting for John to leave the little apartment. Once the door was closed, he charged into the main room like a tsunami to end all tsunamis! Not a word was heard for several minutes as they consumed the delicious meal. (When finished, believe that the dishes had been all but licked clean!)
Obviously exhausted, they headed for the small bedroom as soon as they had gathered the dishes and shoveled all the wet clothes into the dryer. "Let's grab a quick shower first," Robbie suggested wearily. "It may be some time before we have another chance." Shedding the last of his clothes, he turned around only to find both Grant sitting on the edge of the bed. For the first time since Thayer had seen him in the village, Grant was very close to losing it. Though he was trying manfully to keep it hidden, he sat there quietly, hunched over, his shoulders quivering.
When "the boss" sat beside him and asked how he could help, the boy turned towards him and half-sobbed, "I don't think I've ever had anyone looking out for me - maybe even caring a little for me. Mom ran off before I was old enough to notice. My dad's worthless. Believe me, he doesn't care for anybody besides himself - and I don't think he likes himself all that much. Most of the few dollars he earned were spent in a bar. More often than not I had to beg for food and hope someone would give me some clothes at school." (Saying nothing, Rob simply put an arm around the lad's shoulders. Grant cleared his throat.)
Breaking the silence, Grant continued, "Earlier I told you I was not all that good at football, The truth is that Coach Mason told me he would try to arrange a scholarship and would help with expenses that weren't covered...as long as Dad gave his permission. When I asked, Dad blew his top, yelling that he never took charity. Further, I wasn't worth much beyond learning to be a grease monkey at the garage where one of his buddies worked. You just can't know how grateful I am." Some of the pressure seemingly off his shoulders, he swiped his face with a big hand, stood, and pushed Rob towards the shower. Clearing his throat, he muttered, "Sorry, friend. Sometimes I act like a wuss!"
On adjusting the water and climbing into the stall behind his friend, Grant simply grabbed the bar of soap and started lathering his Robbie's back. The pater familias (Latin for "the father of the family") was at a loss to know exactly how to react. Finally, he just let Grant do his thing. When he sensed that the lad was becoming...excited, he retrieved the soap and pushed the sturdy youth in front of him. (When all of that muscle squeezed into a minimal shower stall, believe there wasn't much room. On the other hand...) "What position did you play," Rob growled as he reached around Grant's body and spread the suds onto his thick neck and solid pecs. "Running back, R-Rob," the boy replied, unable to suppress a light stutter. "Thought so," his fellow jock responded with an explosive grunt. His hands moved the soap suds to the youth's upper abs and flat lower stomach. "Despite the shoulders, you're too damned light to play guard like my roommate, Andy, back at school. I even think we're both a little light for any college's line. Guess we're just two so-so running backs." Vigorously clapping the heavy upper arms of the muscular teen who stood naked before him, he said in all seriousness, "Lookin' great, bro!" The mixed sense of joy and hope...and, yes, more than a little excitement...that he felt spreading throughout his body began banishing the Drewstown teen's dark spirits. Almost giggling, Grant rather leaned into his new buddy. "Better not call yourself as a 'so-so running back', Rob," he observed seriously. "I'm sure not going to!" Rob snickered as he whacked a solid butt, laughed, and said, "Ok, stud, finish up, wash the soap off, and get yourself together.
Taking a few minutes to complete his own shower, a near exhausted young Thayer reentered the bedroom to find Grant spreading his blanket out on top of a small rug on the floor. "May I ask what in hell you're doing down there, grease monkey?" he snarled. "Sorry, boss," the youngster replied. "It's just that I didn't want to bother you." Robbie simply sat down on the bed, lifted a corner of his sheet, and snarled, "Get the hell over here, frosh, or suffer the consequences! (Well, at least the Kappa Pledgemaster had taught him something!")
Almost buried under muscle, Rob would have been lying through his teeth if he hadn't admitted that he felt wondrously warm and comfortable. He'd had to share a bed with teammates a few times over the last couple of years when traveling for away games - but it hadn't bent anyone out of shape. Sure, they'd...explored a little through their mid teen years, but gradually, as high school rolled on, they'd put it away. But...OH, MAN! Feeling his muscles up against the kid's strongly developed body felt just plain...awesome! Before he suddenly fell asleep, he even pushed a bit more forcefully against that rounded, heavy-duty butt. He wasn't completely sure - for he was on the very edge of sleep - but he thought he might have heard Grant softly moan, "Ah, fuck! That feels so . . ." At that point his voice slowly faded into the dark silence. Realizing that one more opportunity had been lost, Rob just groaned as he felt himself sliding into the arms of Morpheus.
(To Be Continued)