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"So where should I take you?" I asked.
"Could you take me to Love's Country Store?"
"Oh yeah, sure. No problem at all. Hey, that place has really awesome burgers, but the waitresses don't look very hot." He seemed to snicker after I said it.
"My mother is a waitress there." He said in a tone that seemed more amused with my impending embarrassment than upset over my insulting his mother.
"Ah fuck, I'm sorry," I said trying to remove my foot from my mouth.
"Don't worry about it," he smiled, "So where do you live?"
"Ah, I live over in Cherokee Heights, what about you?"
"Oh I live in town. We just moved here," he said he almost seemed evasive. But, I figured he was just new and didn't know the name of the locality yet.
" So where are you from?" I knew he wasn't from the South.
"Los Angeles" he said, looking out the window as we passed by the Wal-mart.
" Wow! How'd you end up here?" I said
"It's a long story. So what do you do for fun around here?" He said, obviously changing the subject.
"Heh. Do? Oh, well we watch the grass grow." He laughed "No? Well, seriously, there isn't much to do. I'm in band, some people do clubs at school, but other than that we mostly go to parties and hang out, and drink."
"So are the parties here any good?"
"They're not all bad, maybe not what you're used to, but better than looking at the walls. There is one coming this week at Alicia's. You should come with us."
"I'll think about it, Oh there's my stop." He said pointing towards the Country Store.
"So it is," I said as I cut sharply into the right lane so that I wouldn't miss the turn. This town was too fucking small. I don't know why but I really wish we'd had more time to talk.
"Thanks for getting me here in once piece" he said, letting go of the roll bar. My driving must scare him too, I thought.
"Ah, don't mention it, it was nice meeting you."
"It was nice meeting you too." He said as he stepped out of the car and walked with what appeared to be a bit of a limp into the truck stop.
Cocky bastard I thought to myself as I pulled out. The guy would never have survived if I hadn't picked him up. Why the fuck doesn't he have a car?
He let me out in front of the truck stop and I knew I was going to have trouble walking. My right hamstring was pulled. I had been far too excited to notice that it ached, but now that my adrenaline rush was wearing off, I could really feel it.
I watched him pull away. He lived in Cherokee Heights. I knew it. You couldn't miss that car if you wanted to. He even had a vanity plate that read SAXUAL. Jesus Christ. He must be my mystery saxophone player. God help me. I got a good look at my savior up close. He's really cute which is just dangerous. That grin alone could melt an iceberg. But, I have to stick to my plan. I am not getting involved with anybody because I know that I am not hanging around. So, I evaded all his questions. He'd eventually figure out we lived in the same complex, that probably couldn't be helped. I am not going to dream about him. I am not going to think about those soft, sweet brown eyes that have flecks of gold in them. I am not going to think about it at all.
I stalked into the Trucker part of the stop, and I was pleased that they had showers. I felt grimy and sweaty. I bought some soap, a small towel, and some thongs and purchase 15 minutes of hot water. I tossed my gear into a locker and hit the showers. I tried not to think about Jamie Hamilton as the spray hit my back but thinking about his lips made me hard as hell. I gritted my teeth and blasted the cold water, and it felt good on my over heated skin. I banished James Hamilton from my thoughts as I shut off the water and wrap the towel around my waist.
I reached my locker and vigorously rubbed my right calf and the back of my leg. The warm water had loosened it up some and I was able to walk without limping. I hoped Mom has some Tylenol. Another guy entered the locker room and it was subtle but I could feel him watching me. I stood up and stared him down. He dropped his gaze to the floor. He glanced back up at me sideways and then down to my crotch.
I licked my lips. He'd be an easy fifty dollars but my Mother would freak if she found out. I turned my back to him and yanked on the pants and shirt that I had worn to school. I shoved my shit into my backpack and all but ran out of the men's area.
The café Mom works at is called The Traveler. She's pleased to see me I could tell. "Lucas, don't tell me you rode your board all the way out here!" She said.
"Nah, I got a ride." I said and sat down in one of the booths in her section. She regarded me for a second and raised her eyebrow at me.
"Relax. I wasn't hitching. A friend from school dropped me off," I said but she looked unconvinced. I sighed. "He lives in our apartment complex. He's the guy with the really hot Camaro that you see parked around. I know you've seen it. Its blue and gray?" I said, hoping she'd remember. She nodded slowly.
"You want a hamburger?" I nod. "Okay then" she said and I relaxed slowly. I took out a cigarette from my pack and smoked it; blowing smoke rings and watching them float toward the ceiling. I put my feet in the seat across from me, and I was starting to feel pretty good. My stomach rumbled, reminding me that I had not eaten all day. By the time my burger and fries came, I was starving and I wolfed it down. Mom is cool, she ordered me a second one, and I eat it more slowly. She got me fries and I coat them in catsup. My stomach was bloated by the time I finished and I'm sleepy. She laughed at me. She gets off at eight and she says she'll wake me up if I fall asleep. I didn't. I worked on that stupid homework package for the bitch algebra teacher. I finished all that shit in time to catch the bus home with Mom.
We rode back through town in silence. I know she's worried about me. I can tell. She finally asked me about the first day of school. I told her the highlights but left out the gruesome parts like my Algebra teacher and the wild ride down the staircase and the chase. She might hear about it anyway. I've learned that stories do travel fast in small towns.
She finally asked me the question she's wanted to ask me all night. "Lucas. This friend of yours...is he..?"
I laughed. "No Mom, he's straight as a board. Don't worry about it. I won't corrupt any of these wild eyed southern boys okay?" Her lack of faith in me bugs me but I've learned to shake it off. I deserved that and I know it.
She tried to apologize. "That's not what I meant, I just..."
"Don't worry about it Mom, okay. Just forget it."
We spent the remainder of the ride home in silence.
My dreams were chaotic. I woke up twice wringing wet with sweat. I couldn't sleep. It's so fucking hot here. I threw all my windows open and turned the ceiling fan on high. I went to sleep in my shorts but I stripped out of them and lay naked on top of my sleeping bag. It's really late. I didn't look at the clock but I could hear the saxophone playing quietly.
I finally relaxed. It's like my body had gotten used to this nightly serenade and I couldn't sleep without it. I guess it's my lullaby. I felt myself drifting with the notes. He was really mellow and soft this evening. I grinned to myself. James Hamilton. I fell asleep before I could think anymore.
In my sleep, warm lips press against my throat, and when he opened his mouth, these musical notes come out. I think it would have been surreal if it hadn't been... well, it seems strange to say, but it was comforting. I don't know why, but it was.
I hadn't thought about my roommates until I got home. They nearly attacked me as soon as I walked in the door. I had left them stranded at school. I'd totally forgotten they rode with me. Scott had an old beat up Nissan truck that was broken down more often than not and Chris was still saving up to buy a car.
"What the hell were you thinking? Do you have any idea how fucking pissed off the senior's were?" Scott said sharply as soon as I walked in the door. He wasn't concerned about the seniors. He was pissed at me; you could see it in the way his veins popped out around his eyes when he spoke. I tried to answer but Chris interrupted me.
"You fucking left us! We had to bum a ride off Kelly." He didn't seem quite as pissed as Scott, but he did seem a wee bit annoyed.
"Oh God, Kelly? So you mean the whole world already knows what happened?" I asked.
"Oh, fuck man, the whole world saw! The Senior class was going to kick his ass and the next thing we saw was you tearing out of the parking lot like Zorro in a Camaro some shit" Chris said, his annoyance gave way to a bit of amusement.
"I wasn't trying to play Zorro I was just... " My cell phone started ringing. "Ah fuck its Kelly hold on." I said as I flipped open the phone. She was talking 90 to nothing and I was only catching every 4th or 5th word. I got the impression she thought I'd gone out of my mind. She started screaming about the administration and what if they'd seen me racing through the parking lot. I hadn't thought of that. I didn't want to deal with that just yet so I lied and told her she was breaking up and I'd call her back later.
Scott had left the room when the phone rang. He was pissy but he'd get over it. Sometimes I think he only acted that way for attention. Turning my thoughts back to Chris I said, "Look, it's not like I robbed a fucking bank. The guy just had the balls to stand up to the entire senior class and knock them down a peg. That's something we've all wanted to do since we started going to this crummy school and I just thought that if the guy had the guts to do it he at least deserved the courtesy of a ride to safety."
Chris just nodded his head. He'd already found something more interesting on the TV. He never stayed keyed up about shit for very long. I padded off to my room to call Kelly back. As usual she was busy doing something with her hair. I don't even know why I bothered to try and call her back. She was never interested in the whole story anyhow. She existed in her own little world.
I decided I'd pull out the package of paperwork from Ms. Echols class and began to fill it out. Shit like this always made me slightly sad, most guys my age would simply hand this to a parent and leave it at that, but not me. I'd been my own parent pretty much as long as I remembered. I trudged through it all mindlessly affixing my signature to the various forms. When it was done, I tucked it back in the folder and pulled out the packet of homework from Algebra. Homework the first day, what a crock of shit. I hated math. There was just something about it my brain didn't compute, and the more I tried to work it out the more taxed I felt. I put it aside for a moment trying to read the textbook for advice, but math textbooks should really be sold as sleep aids. I passed out sometime around seven and didn't know the world existed again until just after one in the morning.
My stomach was growling, I hadn't had anything to eat since lunch at school and that could hardly be called lunch. Nuclear Pizza. They microwave it and slap it on a plate with some genetically mutated apple they pass off as fruit and call it lunch. I left my room and made my way into the living area. The lights were all off; Scott and Chris must have passed out already. I didn't see any light coming from under their doors. Our apartment wasn't big, but we each had our own private bedroom and bath. We shared the living room, the kitchen, and apparently the hot water heater. I was getting used to cold showers in the morning and I laughed at the thought as I made my way to the kitchen for some "real food." I shook open a package of Ramen noodles and watched it bubble in the pot while I sipped a beer. Food of the Gods.
My hunger subsiding, I decided to get my sax and step out onto the balcony. I couldn't sleep. I'd napped too long and all I could do was seem to replay the events of the day. I thought maybe playing would help me mellow out. The night air was cool and still and the half moon shown brightly revealing a crystal clear path to the stars as I took out my sax and began to play. I was in a bit of a somber mood, I wanted something soft and soothing; something I could relax to so I began to play a piece called Donja by Candy Dulfer. The notes were long and soothing and they seemed to wrap around my body wiping my cares away as I looked up at the stars and poured my heart into the music. There was something about playing music, it had this ability to transport me out of my body to some far off place where everything was perfect and nothing mattered. I could have played all night but; I was interrupted by the old lady across the way.
"SHUT UP!" She yelled, "People are trying to sleep!"
"Ha! I knew it was the underwear show she liked," I chuckled as I packed up my sax and made my way back into the apartment. I stowed the sax in the corner of my room where I always put it and slipped out of my clothes. The air was still on the fritz and it was hot and humid. I lay there naked and sweltering on top of the bed as I looked at the clock; it was only 3:45. I thought about the new kid, his sparkling blue gray eyes haunted me. There was something about him, something I couldn't put my finger on, exactly. I sighed, rolled over and punched the pillow. It was going to be a long night.
I must have made one hell of an impression because people kept coming up to me and congratulating me. I had three girls ask me out, and one girl asked me to the Prom next year. I turned her down. She was nice about it though. I checked with administration about me being transferred to Calculus, but my letter had not shown up from NC yet. Instead, I got a lecture about riding my skateboard on school property and smoking. The principal, whose name was completely forgettable, told me that "Because I was a new student, and probably had no time in which to read the handbook, that he would be lenient on me this time." Translation: nobody saw you do it, they just heard about it. Fuckers.
This one girl, Alicia is her name, latched on to me and would not let go. She followed me to my locker, and to my first hour class. As it turns out, she's a friend of Jamie's. She sat down by me and talked the entire time. She invited me to her party, wrote her phone number on my hand and on my notebook. She's pretty I guess. Mike Wilson lumbered in, glared at me and took a seat in the back of the class. I didn't realize I was holding my breath until Jamie walked in. He saw me and grinned really big, and I know I blushed, so I looked down really fast. He collapsed into the chair in front of Alicia, next to me, and the blonde girl that was always with him sat down next to him on the opposite side. Just then the bell rang and the Evil Bitch began speaking. She wanted our folders passed to the front. I tossed mine to the guy in front of me, and tried to find someplace to put my feet in this miserable desk. She then demanded the homework be passed over, in a trade and grade. I could feel her giving me the hairy eyeball. I glanced at Jamie and he looked queasy. He handed his paper to me, and I handed him mine. I saw the reason for his misery. He'd not finished half of the homework. I opened up my book and tried to look attentive while the psycho bitch went over the answers. I scribbled down the problems on Jamie's paper and worked them, trying my damnedest to emulate his handwriting. Fortunately, Psycho Bitch was derailed by a question from one of the girls and got distracted from the homework for five minutes. I felt a pang of sympathy for the girl she humiliated, but it gave me the extra time I needed to finish Jamie's homework for him. She finished up the answers and told us to trade back. Jamie's mouth fell open when he saw that I'd marked it with a hundred percent. He turned and stared at me and I just grinned at him. "Owed you one." I mouthed.
He would have said something but The Bitch interrupted him. "Mr. Monroe, will you bring me your paper please." I unwrapped my legs from the desk in front of me, and walked to the front of the class and presented her my paper with flourish. I saw the evil gleam in those vile eyes and knew she'd expected me not to do the homework. I don't know why, but she reminded me of a reptile at that moment. She glanced at my paper and drew breath to berate me until she really looked at it. I could see the disappointment form on her face.
"Will there be anything else, Ms. Echols? " I said politely.
"No. Sit down" She said curtly, and it was all I could do not to snicker all the back to my seat.
Jamie and his friends all looked like they'd swallowed something that didn't exactly agree with them. I winked at Alicia and she blushed. I decided that one of the things I was going to have to do was take the book home this weekend and work all the problems. She'd be the type to single me out for massive homework. I spent the rest of the class period, stealing covert glances at Jamie. I could tell he was lost. He had that look. I could also tell that Echols terrified him. He almost froze completely when she went down the roll looking for victims. He bit at the end of his pencil, and put in his mouth a lot. He finally dug something out of his pocket and stuck it in his mouth. I was puzzled at first, but then I realized it was his reed. He palmed it back into his hand every time Echols looked up from her podium. Watching him suck on that reed made me hard. I was trying not to show it. I slid down under the desk and put my notebook in my lap. I had to stop watching him, so I drew instead, just doodling skateboards across the top of my notebook. I couldn't help but look over at him every once in a while. His pink lips were wrapped around that reed and I wished they were wrapped around something else. I had to stop those thoughts really damned fast so I watched the bow on Alicia's hair flutter in the faint breeze coming from the air conditioner. The bell rang, and while I was grateful to escape The Bitch, she laid on a mountain of homework. Perversely, I was going to miss Jamie, although I knew I'd see him last hour. I waved to all of them and trudged to my locker. Biology was not too bad. Spanish tolerable. Art was okay. Lunch. Study Hall. English. I finished most of the mile long Algebra assignment in Study Hall. My Algebra teacher from last year, John Ryan taught me how to back check my work so that I would know that I got the problem right. I missed him a little bit. Mom didn't like him. He'd trigged her gaydar and she'd not wanted him around me. He was okay, but I wasn't about to run away with him or anything. I think he liked his job too much anyway. Lunch had been unappetizing. I left the cafeteria on a hunt to find a safe place to smoke. Back by my locker there was a set of stairs to the third floor that wasn't used much. I went past the Publications room, and happened across an empty classroom. I walked in and looked around. The window was slightly ajar so I opened it, and climbed out onto the roof. I closed the window behind me and prayed that I could get back in that way. I couldn't see myself rappelling down the side of the building to get to my next class, although that would certainly add to my mystique. I edged around the corner and there was an overhang and a door. I went over and tried the door and luck was with me. The door was unlocked. I smoked my cigarette and examined the lock. I could press a piece of wax or something in it to prevent it locking correctly. I remembered the colored candle wax from art and resolved to liberate a piece the next day. I opened the door cautiously and found that it led down a short flight of steps. The exterior door was made to look like a classroom but it was really disguising the roof access. The lock on it wasn't much better than the one on top so I closed it carefully. I was pleased with myself. So, I got most of the Algebra done then had to haul ass to English. I got there seconds from the bell once again. Jamie was across from me and he looked up and grinned at me. That grin made the pit of my stomach grow warm. I grinned back at him and sat down. We began work on Nathaniel Hawthorne. According to the syllabus, we could write book reports on The House of Seven Gables, The Scarlet Letter, or a collection of short stories. I decided on the short stories, not because they were short, but because I'd already read the other two stories. I didn't mind writing a series of short reports anyway. I spent the rest of the class period admiring Jamie, and trying to be subtle about it. When he smiled he had a cute dimple in one cheek. He also had a slight overbite, which made his grin even more engaging. He had a sweet mouth, and I found myself wondering what he'd taste like. I shook my head. Pennzoil. He'd taste like Pennzoil and carburetor fluid, I decided. I had to think of something else. I'd never tried to ride my board with a boner and I sure as hell wasn't going to try to learn now.
When the final bell rang I high tailed it out of there. I wasn't so sure that the Seniors might try to gang up on me after school so I grabbed my gear out of my locker and took off down the front doors and down the street as fast as I could. Mom was working another double. I was dripping wet from sweat when I got home. The humidity was terrible. I was sure it might rain, the clouds built up like it might but the storm never materialized to my relief. On my way home, I noticed that they'd already drained the community pool. It wasn't even Labor Day yet and the pool was gone for the year. I thought that was sad. But, on the other hand, the fence looked scaleable so I had a new place to practice. I woofed down a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk. Then I decided to strip off my shirt and take a shower. The water was nice and warm, and I drifted on a cloud of steam. Lazily, I began to play with myself, just stroking slowly and trying to imagine Alicia naked. She had nice tits, and she wore low cut shirts for emphasis. I tried to imagine her and Kelly kissing, but try as I might that image just...left me cold. I tried not to think about Jamie, but I kept seeing those soft brown eyes looking up at me, and those delicious lips encircling my cock. My dick was so stiff it hurt. I stroked myself and imagined him, touching me, stroking me. He rubbed his tongue over the head of my dick and probed my slit, and I just exploded. Ropes of my cream splashed against the wall and washed down the drain and my knees sagged. I held onto the wall for a bit until I felt steady then I wrapped a towel around my waist. I walked into my bedroom and threw myself on my bed. Tears of frustration welled up in my eyes but I willed them away. I will not think about James Hamilton. I will not. I recovered enough to put the finishing toucheson my Algebra. Except for the length of the assignment, the problems were deceptively simple. I finished up, grabbed my water bottle out of the fridge and made my way down to the pool. The last of twilight ebbed away and I went over the fence. The pool was fairly close to the High School and I could hear the band practicing out on the field. I strapped on my roller blades and my helmet and I could hear the drums pounding away. I recognized an old Fleetwood Mac tune in there and smiled. The band was good, a little rough, but good. I smiled and circled the bottom of the pool building up speed. I checked the bottom over making sure there were no hidden snags or uneven concrete to trip me up. The pool seemed fine so I really started to skate. I whistled through a lot of just basic exercises to get myself limber enough for the stunt work. My hamstring was still giving me trouble after yesterday, so I sat on the bottom and stretched. The lights over the football field illuminated the area enough for me to see. I poked my head up over the side once, clinging to the deep end ladder to watch the band. They had marched to the opposite side of the field and were doing some kind of complicated formation. I felt sorry for them, marching in full uniform. I was dripping wet with sweat and I was just wearing shorts. I stripped off my shirt for a while. The night breeze felt good and somewhere close by a jasmine vine bloomed. I felt confident enough to start working on my stunts and flips. I fell on my ass a couple of times. I got so involved that when they turned the lights off on the football field I was startled. I took my lighter out of my pocket and found my flashlight in my backpack. The illumination was good enough for me to continue. I built up speed again and attacked the wall, sailed up the side and grabbed the rim with my hand and forced my knees in the air up and over my head. My skates landed on the edge with a crack and I rolled back down. I did this over and over until I was comfortable enough to try a full extension. Clack! My skates came down hard. I rolled at the wall and did it again. Clack! The third time I heard faintly from over by the fence. Lucas?" I stopped for a second but I didn't hear it again so I decided I was just hearing things.
Clack! "Lucas!" I heard that. I poked my head up over the side of the pool to see two figures standing by the fence. "Lucas!" It was a girl's voice this time. "You can't practice here!"
"What?" I said dumbly.
"The cops come around and circle this area after band practice. You'll be busted for trespassing!" I recognized the voice as Jamie's. I sagged. Shit. "Come on, you don't have much time. " He sounded worried. I yanked off my bootstraps and scrambled for my backpack.
"Lucas!" The girl hissed. "Turn off your flashlight" I no sooner switched it off when I heard Jamie curse.
"There's a patrol car approaching. Stay down and Kelly and I will ward him off." My heart was beating hard in my chest but it was hard for me to say that was fear or the thrill listening to Jamie's soft southern accent. I quietly yanked on my shirt but tied it in the back. I pulled my skates off as silently as possible and put on my shoes. I must have put them too near a puddle. My left shoe was wet. Great.
They must have been quite a sight. I listened to them chat to the police officer. I heard Jamie choke when the officer asked him if he'd heard about the race yesterday. The cop then commented he'd been on a speed trap yesterday but his son came home with tales about racing the flyer. I couldn't remember which one of those assholes chasing us yesterday had the cop for a father. Jamie and Kelly made up some excuse about being exhausted and resting their feet before walking the rest of the way home. The cops apparently bought it and finally left. The second they turned the corner Jamie hissed, "Lucas, come on!"
I stuffed the last of my gear into my pack and grabbed my skates. I ran up the steps at the shallow end and jogged to the fence. They stepped back so I could throw my gear over. I then climbed the fence and scratched the fuck out of my arm going over the top. I hissed and landed on both feet. I picked up my stuff and rubbed my arm.
"Thanks you guys." I said quietly.
"Not a problem!" Kelly bounced along in front of me. "Where's your board?" she asked.
"Left it at home." I said softly. My legs were tired after that workout and I was a little wobbly. "Where's your wheels?" I said to Jamie."Roommate borrowed them." He shouldered part of his gear. In the dark his sax and drum major gear looked like a large fuzzy elephant.
"So where do you live Lucas?" Kelly was trying to make conversation and I just felt trapped for a second. I waved my arm in the general direction of the apartments. "Over thataway."
"Oh cool," Kelly said, and continued bouncing along in front of us, "we are going thataway too! Aren't we Jamie?"
Jamie just looked tired. "Yeah."
"Is she always that chipper or does she get wired from marching?" I asked, trying to be funny. Kelly just laughed.
"She's always that chipper. Her mom did a lot of happy drugs." He replied with mock seriousness.
"Hey!" My mom just likes lots of coffee.
"And you drank a quart huh?" I said and she giggled. We made a left turn and came to a row of houses.
"That's mine" She said and pointed to the pink one with the white picket fence. "You guys want a glass of lemonade or something?" She said as she bounced up the steps.
"Um no," I said quietly. "But, thank you." I couldn't think of a way to escape gracefully. "I'll just go on..." I started to say.
"Nah hold up a minute okay?" Jamie said. He walked up to the porch with her and I heard her whispering to him. Her voice carried on the breeze. "I think he's got a belly ring!' I couldn't hear Jamie's response. He was gone about two minutes. In that time, I pulled the knot in the back of my shirt loose and covered my stomach. I felt a little funny about him knowing about my piercings. For the first time, I almost felt ashamed that I had them. My arm was itching. Blood slowly seeped down to my fingertips but it was not a deep scratch. Jamie came back down the steps. "Ready?" he said to me I nodded and we set off down the street.
He seemed to be walking rather slowly so I had to match pace with him. "I've heard there's an abandoned pool out on Shoreline someplace. I can ask around. But, that's probably a better place for you to practice. At least you won't get arrested." He said softly.
"Yeah. Arrested, that's all I'd need, my mother would have kittens." I mumbled. We walked on in silence for a bit. I thought, I could have put on my blades at Kelly's house and been long gone by now. Instead, I was walking in almost silence with Jamie Hamilton.
"I live in those apartments over there" he said and pointed.
"I know." I said softly. "So do I."