Mike and Danny: Big Hopes
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.
Deacon had never been in Kansas before. All he knew of it was The Wizard of Oz, and there was nothing in Topeka that looked anything like that. It could have been Billings for all the difference there was between the two places.
After a few days of waking up with Kenneth gone to work, he already had something of a routine started. He'd hang around the apartment in his underwear, then finding nothing to watch on TV while he ate a bowl of corn flakes, he'd get himself dressed and go for a walk.
Kenneth's place was not far from a main drag into town, where a steady flow of trafficbig old sedans and farmers in mud-spattered pickupsrolled along under the trees that lined the streets. Most of the leaves had fallen and been raked up, the last of them collecting on lawns and in the gutters, and the sunlight that shone through the bare branches was almost warm on his face.
He walked along with his hands shoved in the pockets of the old letter jacket he'd once borrowed from Kenneth and found again at the back of the closet in his bedroom. It brought back memories of his first trip with Ellis to see his family in Grand Island. It had been winter, and the snow kept coming down.
He and Kenneth had spent much of the time together back then, while Ellis was in the hospital at his father's bedside. Kenneth had talked a lotall in a quandary because his girlfriend and his best friend had taken up with each other. And it wasn't clear which of the two Kenneth missed more.
Back then, Deacon wouldn't have guessed that one day he'd be fucking Kenneth himself. Hell, he wouldn't have guessed it even a week ago when Kenneth showed up at Ellis' door in Billings. If there was a man in Deacon's life, it was mostly Ellis, plain and simple.
Funny how being on the road together and sleeping in the same bed at Don's had begun to change things. Always a loner, he'd got to liking Kenneth's company more than he'd expected. It had taken a few days, but he'd found himself thinking of Kenneth as a frienda friend he'd never really had before.
Then friendship, as he began to learn, triggered a kind of affection, which hit him at odd times. And affection, a feeling he wasn't used to either, was a short step away from sex, which led to what had happened that night in Kenneth's bedroomwell, what didn't happen there, but what did happen a while later when Kenneth found him still awake and horny and climbed in under the covers beside him.
It didn't mean anything, of course, and wouldn't ever. It was only something to do with another guy until he was back together with Ellis. He sure wasn't making any promises to Kenneth. This was just for fun and nothing serious, and Kenneth had to see that.
Deacon had been the one to pick up the phone the night Ellis called to see if they'd got to Topeka all right. Not content to take Deacon's word for it, he'd asked to talk to Kenneth, and while Kenneth had sat there on the couch with the phone to his ear, Deacon had slipped onto the floor and got between Kenneth's knees, burying his face in the crotch of the sweat pants he was wearing.
"Yes, sir," Kenneth was saying. "We made it just fine."
And while he squirmed trying to push Deacon away from him with his free hand, Deacon had loosened the drawstring and pulled down the front of the sweats, then opened his mouth around Kenneth's warm cock.
Kenneth kept talking, trying hard to sound calm, and Deacon could hear Ellis' voice coming small and far off from the other end of the line. He laughed as he started sucking Kenneth, who was trying to twist away from under him but only managed to slide further out of his pants.
"Don's good, yes sir," Kenneth was saying. "We stayed at his place a couple nights."
He swatted at Deacon's head, and when that didn't make him quit, he grabbed what he could of his hair and started pulling. Deacon, who already had one hand around Kenneth's balls, gave them a sharp squeeze until Kenneth let go of him.
By now Kenneth was flat out on the couch, the phone cord pulled out so far the phone was sliding off the lamp stand and onto the floor.
"Dammit, would you stop?" Kenneth said, clapping his hand over the receiver.
Deacon, with Kenneth's cock still in his mouth, shook his head no.
"Hmunh-unh," he managed to say and then broke out laughing, rolling backward onto the floor. He hadn't had such a good laugh in a long time.
Ellis had heard him and wanted to know what was so funny. "Something on TV," Kenneth told him, pulling up his sweat pants over his dick, which was half hard now and starting to angle along his thigh.
When he'd finished the conversation and hung up, he was all pissed off. "That was Uncle Ellis, you damn fool," he said. "Don't you care what he thinks?"
"I was just suckin' your dick," Deacon said, still thinking it was pretty funny. "That ain't no crime."
"What if he was right here where he could see us?"
"Well, he ain't. So relax."
Kenneth had then dived from the couch onto him, and they had wrestled for a long time like it was for real, bumping into furniture, knocking over a chair, until they were both out of breath.
"You take things too seriously," Deacon finally said, lying there on the carpet. "We was just having some fun."
Kenneth was getting to his feet, pulling up his pants and cinching the drawstring tighter. "Ellis trusted us together, and we pretty well fucked that up."
"He don't care."
"You said he made you promise."
"I know what I said, but he don't care."
"I think maybe I know Uncle Ellis better than you do."
Deacon laughed at that. "You don't know shit," he said and got up from the floor.
And that was a fact. Before the night was over, after they'd got into bed, he reached over between Kenneth's legs and began sucking him again. This time, Kenneth sure as hell hadn't objected, as good as admitting that he was all talk and no better than Deacon or anybody else in this godalmighty world. When it came down to it, he wasn't going to let whatever he thought of his Uncle Ellis keep him from getting his rocks off.
After Kenneth had come, like thick hot oatmeal filling Deacon's mouth, Deacon had turned him over and given him a real workout. And Kenneth hadn't said another word except to sigh and groan and mumble into his pillow stuff Deacon couldn't make sense of.
When Deacon was done, he could have rolled over and gone straight to sleep, but he hadn't. It didn't make him a better man, but he'd put his arm over Kenneth and rocked him gently, talking to him to show it hadn't been just a cheap fuck.
"Hey, Kenneth," he kept saying softly, finally touching his lips to his ear with a little kiss. "We're still buddies, OK?"
Kenneth would not stir, just lay there like he'd had the wind knocked out of him.
"You mean something to me," Deacon said. "Don't think you don't." He stroked the back of Kenneth's head and kissed him again.
Kenneth turned his head a little on the pillow, sniffing back tears.
"Was I a little too rough on you?" Deacon wanted to know.
Kenneth said nothing. After a moment he drew closer to Deacon and pressed against him, his wet cheek against Deacon's chest.
And Deacon hugged him for a while until Kenneth fell asleep in his arms.
Out on Deacon's morning walks, he'd go as far as a busy intersection where he'd stop at a donut shop and sit in a booth by the window with coffee and a fat cinnamon roll, watching the traffic go by. Across the street was a gas station, and he got to noticing the two men working the pumps and servicing cars. One was little more than a skinny kid, but the other was older, beefy and broad chested. Today he was inside the garage, where he had a Pontiac up on a hoist, rotating the tires.
He wore a shop cap pulled down low on his forehead, and every time he bent over, the seam in the back of his blue coveralls tugged neatly between the cheeks of his butt. His face was clean shaven but for a thick dark mustache. The way he called out to the kid and kept him busy, it looked like he owned the place. He was definitely the man in charge.
After a while, he saw the guy get into the car he'd been working on and back it out of the garage, parking it under a tree at the side of the lot. He called out something to the kid as he stepped from it and came walking across the street.
In a minute he was inside, getting a mug of coffee and three jelly donuts and sitting in a booth across from Deacon. He was even older than Deacon had first guessed, a little gray in his mustache. There was some gray, too, in the dark chest hair that showed where he'd zipped down the front of his coveralls.
He wolfed down the first two jelly donuts, and then he took his time with the last one, gazing out the window, lost in thought, then pulling some paper napkins from a dispenser and taking off his cap to wipe his head, which Deacon discovered was almost totally bald. The hair left over his ears was cut almost to nothing.
"You own that station across the street?" Deacon said.
The guy's gaze drifted over to him and he nodded. "Me and my brother-in-law."
"I've been watching you over there. You look pretty busy."
The guy nodded again, looking away and wiping jelly from his mustache with the paper napkins. "It's a busy corner. Good location."
"Stay that way all day?"
"Right till we close."
The guy looked at him now, taking him in. "Eight o'clock most nights."
"Long day for you."
"My partner comes by middle of the afternoon. He's the one usually closes down."
"I see," Deacon nodded, aware that the guy was still looking at him.
"You some kind of cowboy?" he said, nodding at Deacon's hat.
"Down here a few days from Montana."
"You got family in Topeka?"
"Nope. Just seein' the world."
"See anything you like so far?"
"You might say that."
The guy gave him an even look and then finished his coffee.
Kenneth's days at the station were long ones, lasting into the evening as he trained the new guy who would take his old night shift. His old boss had left him pretty much in charge during the day. Once the holiday weekend was over, he'd be packing up and leaving town for his new job.
"I'm gonna miss you," Kenneth said one day when the full weight of that had begun to sink in.
"You'll be fine. A month from now you won't even remember me."
"I doubt that," Kenneth said and meant it. His boss had been a good man to work for. Always clear about what he wanted and never unfriendly about it.
The manager of the station had shaken his hand when he offered him the job. "So you're my new senior engineer," he said.
"Looks that way," Kenneth said, self-conscious as he saw himself suddenly moving up in the world.
And he'd taken only a day to call his folks and share the news. His mom had been pleased, and his father had told him a man who was a senior engineer would need a proper haircut.
"Yeah, dad," Kenneth had said, resolving to keep it just the way it was.
For the few minutes he talked to them on the phone, he was the college boy they had once known, standing with them on graduation day in his gown and mortarboard, holding his diploma and getting their pictures taken. He'd smiled at the camera, glad for school to be done but still jobless and not knowing when and where he'd find work, and all the while the draft hanging over his head.
"Your dad still giving you a hard time about your hair?" Deacon said after he hung up. He'd come from the kitchen with a bag of Chips Ahoy, crumbs falling from his mouth as he ate.
Kenneth nodded and sighed, aware that his parents would be far less concerned than they were about his hair if they knew the whole storythat he and Deacon were having sex every night. They'd started, in fact, right there in an upstairs bedroom of the house he'd grown up in.
The tears that night as Deacon fucked him hard were as much about that as anything. There was no explaining afterwards how troubled he now felt. During that week in Canada, the sex with Butch had come from the heart. The two of them were making love. This was just fucking.
The first time, he'd let it happen because it was going to be only oncea way to get through the loneliness of the night and the strangeness of being in his old bedroom full of old, hurting memories. But once turned into twice, and now he'd almost lost count.
Being in love had made him feel more alive than he'd ever felt before. Now love seemed dead and gone. And it felt sometimes like he was good as dead himself. He'd tried feeling something for Deacon, but he couldn't make the feelings last. They'd flicker and then go out again.
He wished that the desire he sometimes felt would do the same. But all Deacon had to do was touch him in a familiar way, and his resistance began to weaken. He wanted to be kissed and held naked in another man's arms, feeling their hard cocks pressing together. It made him feel alive again for a while.
Part of him was glad that it would all be over soon. Deacon would return to Montana and be out of his life for good. But looking beyond that, there was just this empty apartment to come back to and an endless, endless string of lonely nights. Though he felt no deep love for Deacon, he'd been a lifesaver, tossed to him as Kenneth's little world went down like a sinking ship.
He was thinking about all this on his way home from work, the evening sky already dark and the streetlights burning brightly through the leafless branches of the trees. He'd put a Seals and Crofts tape in the 8-track, and they were singing:
Summer breeze, makes me feel fine,
Blowin' through the jasmine in my mind
Their voices evoked images of screen doors and the mellow glow of front porch lights on warm, lazy eveningsthe peaceful, happy times of his boyhood.
Stepping out of the car after he parked near the front door of his apartment building, he felt the rush of cold air and was brought back to the present. He stopped for the mail in his mailboxsome circulars and a Time magazineand went up the stairs to his apartment.
The door was unlocked, and as he opened it, he could see into the living room, where the lights were on and the TV. He expected to see Deacon sprawled on the couch, but there was no sign of him. Just an empty pizza box lying open on the coffee table and several empty beer cans.
Then, although he didn't recognize the sound, he had a good idea what he was hearing over the sitcom laugh track coming from the TV. Through the open door of the bedroom, he could hear someone going, "Huhhuhhuhhuh." It wasn't Deacon; the voice was too deep. But there was no doubt Deacon had something to do with it.
Kenneth went to the bedroom, and there he found Deacon, pants around his boot tops, bent over the foot of the bed, another man under him with his naked legs in the air.
"What the fuck?" Kenneth said.
The two men, if they heard him, didn't stop. Deacon kept pumping his hips into the other man's backside, his hands around the guy's ankles. He'd taken his shirt off but still wore his cowboy hat.
"Hey, we got company," the guy said, catching sight of Kenneth in the doorway.
He was beefy and covered with hair, his mouth opening in a big grin under a thick mustache. "Come on over here," he said, with a sweep of one arm. "The more the merrier."
"Deacon, who is this guy?" Kenneth said, not moving from the door.
Deacon wasn't talking, just kept working his dick in and out of the guy's ass, his balls swinging and slapping against him with each stroke.
"Name's Seymour," the guy said, holding out his hand now. "Glad to meet ya."
"I don't believe this," Kenneth said, turning to go.
"Say hello, Kenneth," Deacon said, eyes closed and slowing his rhythm to push in deeper. "Where's your manners?"
"Wait. Hold it," Seymour suddenly said. "Is that your hair?" He was calling after Kenneth, who had already left the room. "Is that his hair?" he was asking Deacon now.
Kenneth's first impulse was to simply walk out of the apartment, get in his car and drive somewhere, anywherehe'd figure out where to go once he got out on the street. What stopped him for a moment was seeing his old high school letter jacket thrown over a chair and wondering how it got there.
Another burst of laughter came from the TV. It was a rerun of "The Beverly Hillbillies."
"Wait, where ya goin'?" came the guy's voice from behind him. He was coming from the bedroom. "Let me see that beautiful hair."
In a second, he was right behind Kenneth stroking his ponytail with both hands.
"That is so beautiful," he kept saying. "I never seen anything like it."
Kenneth turned now and got a good look at him. He was stark naked, except for a pair of sweat socks on his feet. He was short and barrel chested, with big arms and shoulders, and wide hips, his dick barely sticking out from a bush of thick hair between his heavy thighs.
He was looking up at Kenneth with a dreamy expression. "You're the one I wanna fuck. You are so beautiful."
Kenneth looked over the guy's shoulder to Deacon who was now standing in the bedroom door, pulling up his pants and looking pissed.
"Get him out of here," Kenneth said.
But Seymour was already slipping one hand inside the jacket he was wearing to touch his chest, cupping his hand into his crotch with the other.
"Just let me suck your cock," he was saying. "I bet you got a beautiful cock."
"Let him suck your cock," Deacon said. "He's good at it."
"Three-way," Seymour said, backing Kenneth into the wall. "We'll do a three-way. I'll suck you off and the cowboy here can fuck me."
Deacon walked over to them now, holding up his pants, his fly open and his cock still hard and bobbing in front of him.
"There's an idea, Kenneth," he was saying. "You ever done that before?"
"I think you have. I remember you telling me something about that time back in college, with your girlfriend and your best friend. What do you call that?"
"We all cared about each other."
"You care about me a little, and Seymour herewell you just met him, but he's a good guy, once you get to know him. Real friendly."
Seymour brightened at this and nodded, like it all made perfect sense. Meanwhile, as he kneaded Kenneth's crotch, he had found a nipple under his shirt.
"Once ain't gonna kill you, Kenneth. You know if you don't now, you'll do it some other time. It may as well be tonight."
Deacon was pressed against Seymour's backside now, his arms reaching around both of them and braced against the wall behind Kenneth. Standing in his boots and taller than Seymour, he was looking over the top of the bald man's head straight into Kenneth's eyes.
"He's got a big one," Seymour was saying. "And it's gettin' bigger."
And it was true. In spite of everything, he was getting a hard-on. The feel of the hand between his legs was sending shock waves through him. And the broad, warm body pressing against him was making him ache once again with desire.
He wasn't sure whose hands they were, but they were unbuckling his belt and opening his pants. Then Seymour had sunk down, bending over, and Kenneth could feel fingers pulling his cock free from his underwear.
"Ah, it's a beauty" were Seymour's last words as he pushed his face into Kenneth's crotch, pressing his stiffening erection flat against his belly to lick the length of it with his wet tongue, the touch of his mustache prickly against his skin.
And taking his own cock with one hand, Deacon angled it back into Seymour from behind, winking at Kenneth and then closing his eyes as a grin spread across his face.
"Who was that guy last night anyway?" Kenneth said. He'd got off work at noon, and they were getting ready to make the drive back to Grand Island for Thanksgiving.
"Was that his real name?"
"It's what it said on his coveralls."
Kenneth was putting a change of clothes into a carry bag. He'd only be gone a day, so there wasn't much to pack.
"Where'd you find him anyway?"
"Gas station up the street."
"You just walked up to him and said, wanna fuck?"
"No, it wasn't like that at all. There's a donut shop thereyou probably know it. He came in, and we was just havin' a friendly conversation. Hell, you met him. You know what he's like."
"I didn't have the benefit of the friendly conversation."
"Yeah, soon as you blew your load, you was outta here. Headed straight for the door without so much as a thank you."
"I didn't like what we were doing."
"Didn't look that way to me."
"I didn't like what I'd been doing. I had to get away."
Deacon sighed, leaning in the doorway to the bedroom as Kenneth took socks and underwear from a drawer and put them into his bag.
"It was just three guys havin' a little fun in this sorry world that don't have near enough fun in it," Deacon said. "But you wanna be miserable instead, then be my guest. I ain't stoppin' you."
"I don't want to be miserable," Kenneth said, pushing Deacon aside to get to the bathroom for his shaving kit. "I just want to feel good about myself. And to have someone there with me I can feel good about, too."
"Well, that's a noble sentiment," Deacon said. It was a line from a movie he'd seen once, and it came in handy at times like this when a little sarcasm had a way of cutting through the bullshit. "But like I already told you. You keep waitin' for that and you'll wait a good long time."
"I can't let myself believe that."
Kenneth pushed by him again to toss his shaving kit into his bag and zip it shut. He stood now facing Deacon.
"Because it's just too goddam sad," he said. "C'mon let's get going." He grabbed the bag and headed for the door where Deacon still stood.
"In that case, I got one more thing to tell you," Deacon said and stopped him as he pushed by, putting his hands on Kenneth's shoulders.
"At least try to see the difference between them that care a little about you and them that don't." And he took Kenneth in his arms and gave him a long kiss.
Continued . . .
© 2008 Rock Lane Cooper