Mike and Danny: The Snowstorm
Chapter 1, Part 2
There had been shrieks coming from the lake. Some girls out for a moonlight canoe ride had been surprised by naked boys bobbing in the water, grabbing their paddles, trying to upset the boat.
Gary had sent Mike and Corky out to put a stop to it. "First thing, the neighbors are gonna call the cops," he said. "We don't want that."
But by the time they got out there, it was mostly over. So Mike and Corky stood in the moonlight just drinking beer and cooling off, while fireflies flew silent under the trees.
"Look at them suckers," Corky said. "Fuckin' lightning bugs." He had unexpected moments of fondness like this for nature.
Several boys were playing king-of-the-hill on the diving platform, pushing each other into the water and cussing when they fell over the side.
"Goin' in?" Mike said, meaning the lake.
"Naw, I can't swim," Corky said. "Besides, you don't know what's out there. There's critters will bite you on the peterthink it's something to eat."
"Never thought of that," Mike said, trying not to laugh.
They stood until they finished their beers and then took a long piss in the grass.
"That Dixie is sure one hot tamale," Corky said thoughtfully, stroking his dick.
Then they walked slowly back to the cabin, where they saw that someone had thrown Don's clothes in the branches of a tree outside the front door. His white jockeys glimmered in the light coming from the windows.
When they stepped inside, there was the sound of heavy sighing and a rhythm of steady moaning coming from the back.
"Sounds like they're goin' at it," Corky said.
And after they fished more beers out of the slurry of melted ice in the bathtub, they stood listening, Corky's sly smirk turning into an expression of yearning, eyes tight shut, brow furrowed, like the sound of it was making his nuts hurt.
"Lucky bastard," he said between clenched teeth.
Mike looked through the door to the porch, and in the square of light that fell on the floor from the kitchen lay a twisted pair of jeans and faded red boxer shorts with what looked like white polka dots or hearts. Beyond, lying on its side, was a worn boot.
"Wait a minute," Mike said, puzzled, and he walked out onto the porch.
At first he wasn't sure what he was seeingtwo figures on the bed, naked legs and arms, thrusting together, a long back and butt cheeks pumping hard.
It was Gary.
Dixie saw Mike first and let out a little gasp.
"What the hell, Gary," Mike said. "Where's Don?"
Gary, in no mood to be interrupted, swore at themCorky had come in behind Mike and was gawking over his shoulder. And when neither of them made a move to leave, Gary swore at them again.
"Where's Don?" Mike kept saying.
"Shot his wad and left," Gary said, leaning up on his elbows, hips wedged between Dixie's thighs, his feet hanging off the end of the bed.
"We've gotta find Don," Mike said, turning to Corky.
Corky hesitated, like there might be a chance for him yet tonight if he waited long enough for a turn with Dixie. Mike grabbed him by the front of his tee shirt and pulled him back inside the cabin.
There they bumped into two guys coming in through the front door.
"Have you seen Don?" Mike said, about to push past them.
"Yeah," one said, laughing. "He took off in Gary's jeep. You shoulda seen him. He didn't have a stitch on." This being knee-slapping hilarious, they were still laughing about it.
"C'mon," Mike said, grabbing Corky before he started drifting back to the porch. They ran out to Mike's truck, jumped in, and by driving over the grass in front of the cabin, managed to squeeze out between the cars parked behind them.
On the road back to town, a pair of headlights loomed in the thin cloud of dust that hung in the air. It turned out to be another two boys, heading for the party. They'd gone into the ditch when the Jeep had come at them, taking a corner too wide.
"It was Don," the driver said. "Buck naked." He'd slammed on the brakes, sliding in the gravel, and backed up to where they'd gone off the road, only to say that he was out to fuck every girl he'd ever laidone last time. And then he was off again.
"No shit," Corky laughed.
"Did he say where he was headed?" Mike asked.
When they said no, Mike didn't wait to say thanks or goodbye. He stepped on the gas and kept going.
At the highway there was a wide spot in the road called Shady Bend, a stucco-sided motel under big cottonwoods and a late-hours filling station just closing down for the night. The outside lights switched off as Mike pulled up to the pumps.
"We're closed," a kid said, standing inside the screen door of the station.
"Did you see a Jeep come by here a few minutes ago?" Mike called out.
"Butt naked driver?" Corky chipped in.
"Yeah," the kid said.
"Which way did it go?" Mike said.
"That way," the kid said, pointing.
"Chapman," Mike said to Corky. "What girl does Don know in Chapman?"
Corky shrugged. He didn't know.
Mike threw the truck in gear, slipped the clutch, and they were off again, wheels spinning in the dirt and gravel until they glided onto the smooth surface of the blacktop.
The highway was deserted. Mike had his foot to the floorboard, willing the engine in the old truck to push the speedometer up over sixty.
Chapman was twelve miles of flat road straight ahead of them, fields of corn and hay rolling by on one side in the moonlit night, the Union Pacific tracks on the other. A pair of taillights in the distance could have been Don, but probably not. He had too much of a head start on them.
Corky was silent almost the whole way and said only one thing: "If there's a scratch anywhere on that CJ-5, Gary's gonna have our ass."
Chapman had a tall grain elevator, painted white, and a few dark streets. Mike drove up and down all of them, but there was no sign of Gary's Jeep. Central City was the next town, another twelve miles off.
"Has he ever had a girl in Central?" Mike asked.
Corky shrugged again. He didn't know that either.
"Don't you know anything, Corky?"
"I know I'd rather get back there before Dixie's gone," he said.
"Tell me something. Do you ever think about anything but getting laid?"
Corky thought for a while. "I guess not."
A long freight train rolled slowly through town, and they had to wait for it, to get back to the highway.
When the caboose finally went by, there was a sheriff's car waiting on the other side, rollers flashing as it came across the tracks. Mike considered this, had a hunch, and then made a quick U-turn to follow it, pitching Corky against the door on his side.
After two blocks they were out of town on a gravel road, the car still picking up speed and getting way ahead of them, its lights glowing bright in the dust it was kicking up. Gravel stones were banging in the truck's wheel wells.
And this is how they found Don, pinned on the porch roof of an old farmhouse by a graying woman in a nightgown with a double-barreled shotgun.
The sheriff's deputy, who'd been called, was shining a flood light on Don, crouching where he'd dropped to his hands and knees outside a half-open window on the second floor. Peeking through the curtains and then ducking away again was a girl with curlers in her hair.
"He's naked as a jay bird, all right," Corky said, like he hadn't believed it till he saw it with his own eyes. Don's upper body was dark tan and kind of blended with the night sky, like some wild animal up a tree, but the rest of him was untouched by the sun. His butt could have been a full moon rising.
"I caught him trying to break in," the woman was telling the deputy, her voice shrill with alarm and fury.
The deputy was more interested in getting her to put down the weapon. "Do you have a license for that, ma'am?" he asked.
"Sure as hell I do," she said.
When it became clear that Don's intentions had more do with the woman's daughter than breaking and entering, and that he was more likely to fall and break his neck than do injury to anyone or anything else, a ladder was fetched and Mike climbed up to help him back down to the ground.
"Where are your pants, son?" the deputy wanted to know, taking out a pencil to start writing things down.
And Mike did some fast talking to discourage anything like a full report of what had happened.
"He's paying for that trellis he busted," the woman said, waving the shotgun barrel at a pile of lath and trumpet vines that used to climb up the side of the porch. And which Don had used to climb up to the girl's room, who knows how many times on nights like this.
"How much, ma'am," Mike said, reaching for his billfold. And she settled for twelve dollars.
Don stood in the yard, weaving a little from side to side, kind of wall-eyed and grinning like an idiot. The deputy had given him his hat to cover himself, but he kept dropping it in the grass, until Mike finally led him away to the pickup.
"I'll get him home, officer," Mike said. And Corky would take the Jeep. They'd all be gone, Mike insisted, and there'd be no more disturbance of the peace in Chapman. "None, officer. I'll see to it," he said.
And the deputy, who seemed to have better things to do and didn't want to get anymore involved in this than he already was, put his pencil in his pocket and, trying to sound angry, said, "OK, boys. But don't let me see any of you anywhere around here again."
A few minutes later, Mike was driving away with Don beside him singing something that sounded like "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." His arms and long legs were spread wide as he sat there, his head turning to watch road signs, utility poles, anything that passed by in the night. He slipped one hand between his bare legs and cupped his fingers over his crotch, rubbing the foreskin on the end of his dick with his thumb.
Corky, in Gary's Jeep, had quickly got ahead of them, and by the time they were turning onto the highway, headed home, he was well on his way back to the cabin, no doubt a boner in his levi's and every brain cell between his ears focused on a picture of Dixie posed like a centerfold.
Don suddenly bent forward, and Mike thought he was going to throw up, but after reaching for something he couldn't find on the floor, he said, "Where's that bottle I had?"
"Corky threw it in a ditch somewhere I hope," Mike said. "He's in big trouble if he gets stopped with an open container."
"Shit," Don said. "It was half full. Let's go back and look for it."
But Mike drove on. "I'm taking you to my place," he said. "You can sleep this off and maybe be half fit to get married tomorrow."
"Married?" Don said. "Oh, yeah, shit." And all at once he was sitting bolt upright, like he was coming to from a long nap. "We're going to Wood River," he said.
"No, I'm taking you home."
"No, Wood River," Don insisted. He was back onto giving out goodbye fucks for all his old girlfriends. And Mike wasn't driving fast enough for him. He reached for the steering wheel and slid over next to Mike, saying, "Let me drive. Let me drive."
Mike tried to elbow him back. "Dammit, let go of the wheel," he shouted. "You're not driving my truck."
They'd done this before, changing drivers without pulling over to stop, and only once swerved off the road, clipping a mailbox. But that was for fun, and now Don didn't seem to understand that Mike wasn't in the mood for this.
There was a rest area coming up along the highway, a couple picnic tables under some cottonwoods, and Mike hit the brakes, aiming for it, and pulling hard on the steering wheel. But ever since they were thirteen, Don had been stronger and bigger than him, getting the best of him whenever they got into a scuffle or wrestling match. It was even worse when he was drunk.
The truck's wheels slipped off the pavement just past the turn-off, its headlight beams plunging down into a weed-filled ditch and then zooming up into the tree branches, before the truck skidded to a stop in the dirt and gravel, sideswiping a trash barrel that went flying into the grass.
"You crazy son of a bitch," Mike yelled, grappling with Don, who was now pulling on him by the front of his shirt and pounding both fists into his chest.
"Just let me drive, for crissake!" Don kept saying. And he started crawling on top of Mike.
Letting go of the steering wheel, Mike grabbed for the keys in the ignition and when he had them, squeezed out from under Don, throwing himself at the opposite window, crawling through it and kicking his legs until he fell out headfirst onto the ground.
Rolling onto his feet, he could already hear Don shouting from inside, "What did you do with the goddam keys!"
While he stood there, already feeling a dull throbbing in the shoulder he had landed on, he heard the door on the driver's side fly open and in a second Don's naked body was sprinting around past the headlights, coming right at him.
Not thinking, just reacting in that moment as Don was blinded by the truck's lights, Mike felt all the fury and hurt surge up in him, and he made a fist that with everything in his throbbing arm he aimed for Don's gut.
The blow spun Don around, and he came back at Mike with arms swinging. One punch sent Mike backward against the front fender of the truck. And before he could get his feet back under him, Don had him by the shirt again and was slamming him onto the truck's hood.
There were no words, not even curses, just the two of them struggling, the warm hood hard against Mike's back and Don's face looming over him, teeth showing in a snarl like he wanted to break every bone in his body.
When Mike's shirt finally tore, buttons flying and zinging off the truck, there was a moment with a bit of room for him to bring up one knee, and when he kicked at Don, his boot got him square in the balls.
Don disappeared, sinking out of sight onto the ground. Sliding down to his feet, Mike found Don in the dirt twisted into a writhing ball, groaning in pain. And Mike stood over him for a minute, watching him, ready to kick him some more if he had to.
"If you try any shit like that again," Mike said, not sure yet how he was going to finish that sentence, "one thing's for damn sureyou can find somebody else to be your fucking best man."
Don kept groaning, and then gradually fell quiet, just breathing and holding both hands between his legs.
Mike reached into his back pocket and felt for the keys. They were still there. And he explained to Don, with what was left of his anger, that the two of them weren't going anywhere but home. "If you don't like that," he said, "you can go to hell and walk."
Don finally rolled over on his back, and when it looked like he was ready to get up, Mike held out his hand to help him to his feet. Don stood for a while, bent over, hands on his knees, sucking in air through his teeth.
"OK," he finally said, between breaths, "maybe I had that coming."
"Maybe!" Mike said. "You stupid fuck, you coulda killed both of us."
Don just shook his head and reached again between his legs. "Jesus," he said. "That hurts."
Mike pulled off his torn shirt and started wiping the dirt and dust from Don's shoulders and his butt. "Sometimes I get so goddam pissed off at you," he said.
Don finally stood upright, once again taller than Mike, and Mike brushed off the front of him, his belly, his dick, his knees. And Don tried walking around a bit, his hand rubbing his chest and his face, saying nothing.
Then they got back in the truck and pulled back onto the road.
Cool night air rolled in the windows, and the distant lights of Grand Island lay stretched out along the flat horizon, gradually growing closer. Finally, on the outskirts of town, Mike took a hardtop side road and after two and a half miles was pulling into the driveway at his dad's house, parking behind his dad's big rig.
Don seemed to know where they were but sat without a word as Mike killed the engine and switched off the lights. At once they were plunged into darkness, crickets chirping in the silent summer night, the full moon high in the sky over the trees.
"Sleep here tonight," Mike said. "I'll get you home in the morning."
And as they went inside, Don put his arm over Mike's shoulders, steadying himself. "You're my best buddy," he said.
"Yeah, right," Mike said and after a moment put his arm around Don's back.
In Mike's room, Don flopped down on the bed, going "Whoof!" his naked legs spreading apart and his dick doing a flying spiral before dropping flat on his belly.
Mike turned out the light and left him there. He went out to the kitchen, opening the refrigerator to take a long drink from a carton of milk.
About to put it back, he realized Don was out of bed and standing beside him, taking the carton from his hand and drinking down the rest of it. Mike watched his Adam's apple go up and down with each gulp, drops of the milk falling onto his sunburned chest and running onto his stomach.
The kitchen was still dark, and the light from the refrigerator bathed his skin in a cool-white glow. Drips of milk now settled into his bush of curly pubic hair.
When he was done, he put the empty carton back in the refrigerator.
"Got anything to eat?" Don said, like they were just school boys again, and they had never stopped hanging out at each other's houses, consuming whatever they could find to keep from going hungry.
And they ate what was left of some cold fried chicken and macaroni salad and half a cherry pie, washing it all down with more cold beers, leaving the refrigerator door open as they sat at the kitchen table, because neither one felt like getting up and switching on the kitchen light.
Finally, leaning back in his chair, Don belched loudly and said, "Time for the sack. I'm dog-ass tired."
"You can have my bed," Mike said. "I'll sleep on the couch."
"Naw," Don said, leaning toward Mike and putting his big hand on Mike's sore shoulder. "Let's sleep together tonight. Like we used to."
And Mike said, "OK," thinking, one last time.
He followed Don back to the bedroom, his broad naked back disappearing in the darkness as they walked through the living room, Don somehow dodging around all the furniture.
Mike undressed in the dark, down to his boxers, as Don fell again into bed. When Mike crawled in after him, their bodies came together, Don having settled himself right in the middle.
"You wanna move over a little?" Mike said.
But Don hooked his arm around Mike's neck and pulled him into the middle with him. "You're my best buddy," he said, his breath warm on Mike's face.
They had been like this before, when they were younger. It had been the easiest thing to fall asleep together, one with his arm over the other. And it wasn't all that long ago that they'd checked out each other's hard-ons, and finally, trying not to laugh loud enough to be heard, they'd jerked off together in the dark.
Then there was the night, drunk on a stolen bottle of Wild Turkey, that Mike found himself doing what he had only half-way imaginedsucking Don's cock after they'd been out swimming naked in a sandpitwhich afterward Don seemed not to remember. And Mike had never tried doing again.
Lying beside him now made Mike feel the old yearning that overcame him when Don had started seeing less of him and more of Carolthe yearning that welled up in him on nights alone and sometimes when he heard Elvis on the radio singing "Heartbreak Hotel."
"You're my best buddy," Don kept saying, still pretty drunk, and with no idea how he was stirring the old ache in Mike's chest.
"Yeah," Mike said softly. And he put his arm around Don, who sighed comfortably against him.
Don fell quiet, on the edge of sleep, then wakened again and tightened his arm around Mike's neck, and Mike could feel the bicep bulge against the side of his face. "Best buddy," Don murmured.
And Mike simply followed the impulse that struck him like the sudden shift of wind before a storm. He pressed his face against Don's smooth, bare chest, listening to his heart beat for a while, Don's arms now around him in a bear hug, then relaxing as he drifted back toward sleep, breathing heavily.
Mike waited a moment and then pushed himself down across Don's belly until his cheek came against Don's cock, warm and almost hard. He opened his lips, and there once again was the taste he remembered, the tender soft feeling of foreskin against his tongue that so surprised him, and the way the length of Don's cock filled his mouth and kept growing.
"Awww," Don said, waking again, lifting his hips and pulling up his knees. "Awwww, buddy," he sighed. As if this was something he had not forgotten at all, but remembered like he had always wanted it to happen again.
And Mike sucked on Don's cock, not sure what he was doing or whether there was any right way to do it. He only knew that having his face buried like this against Don, breathing in the musky smell of him, Don's hips beginning to buck and roll from side to sideall this made the ache inside him fade away.
Don's dick grew harder and longer and pressed against the back of his throat. The slick of his precum glided over Mike's tongue.
Then with a sudden jerk that seemed to make his whole body go tight, he sent a surge of warm, warm cum into Mike's mouth. With another jerk there were more. Mike pulled back, swallowing, and there was still more, hitting his chin and his cheek.
And when it was over, he rested his wet face on Don's stomach, which quivered for a while as Don caught his breath, his body slowly relaxing. One hand came to rest on Mike's shoulder. "Awww, buddy," he said one last time, and then fell into a deep sleep.
Mike lay awake beside him for the rest of the night, his dick hard in his boxers, until birds began singing outside in the first gray light before dawn.
From the sound of his voice, Mike can't tell if he's mad, sad, or glad, or even if he believes him.
Don scratches his head, looking like he does when he doesn't know what the hell to say. One of his knees is up, and he's got his arm bent across it. Between his legs, the crotch of his jeans is tight over his butt.
"You know," he finally says, "if it happened like you say, I really don't give a shit."
Mike sits, having run out of words.
"But I'll tell you one thing," Don goes on. "When you went away like you did," and his eyes dart to the side for a moment before looking back squarely into Mike's, "I sure as hell did miss you." With that he puts the back of one hand over his mouth, as if this was more than he meant to say.
"Yeah, well," Mike says. "You see how it is."
Don laughs without smiling. "Like my old man says all the time, things never work out the way you want." He stares now at the floor, as if lost in thought.
Mike is quiet for a long time. And he finally says, "No, they sure don't."
A voice calls out from the motel lobby. The young man at the desk tells them that the snowplows have gone by on the highway, heading west.
If they get back on the road, maybe they'll be home in two-three hours. Don gets up on his feet. He takes his hat from where he's hung it in on the phone, and he tips his head to put it on his head. Then he turns to go.
Outside in the truck, the seat is cold on Mike's butt. He keeps his hands in his pockets as the engine warms up, and Don leans across the hood scraping ice off the windshield.
And Mike remembers more of that summer morning. . .
Still warm from lying next to Don, Mike felt his own face break into an easy grin. He took the armful of clothes that Corky held out to him over the gate and in the other hand Don's pair of cowboy boots.
"What got you all scratched up?" Corky said, looking at the side of Mike's face and his shoulder.
"Little scuffle with Don," Mike told him and shrugged it off.
He stood there and watched Corky drive away, engine idling quietly, tires crunching on the stony gravel. Across the road, the early morning sun was turning the cornfields golden and, beyond them, the grain elevators along the railroad tracks were bright against the cloudless sky. He went back to the house, taking a few steps across the cold, wet grass, heavy with morning dew.
Stepping onto the front porch that ran around two sides of the house, he sat down on an aluminum lawn chair, where his dad liked to sit on warm evenings reading the Daily Independent. The back of the chair was cool on his skin, and he felt the rough painted porch floor under the wet soles of his feet.
Someone had neatly folded Don's clothes, his jockeys tucked inside his levi's. Mike pulled them out and held them to his face, inhaling Don's smellsome mix of his tangy sweat, precum ooze, salty piss drops and bath soap.
Later, when he went back in the house, he slipped them into the bottom drawer of his dresser before putting out the rest where Don would find them when he woke up.
Mike had kept that pair of jockeys for years, long after the smell in them was gone.
End of chapter 1. More to come. . .
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