Cruel Summer

By Blue C.

Disclaimer: Don't be stupid. This story depicts homosexual males kissing, dancing, having sex, and other activities that they find enjoyable. If that is not your thing, then really, why are you here?

Copyright 2005 by the author. This story is not to be posted anywhere without the author's permission.

Chapter 2: Devil on the Left, Angel on the Right

Jeremy Dominguez is hard to describe; he might take a stab and say that he's a "a study of in-betweens," which is what you`d expect from a poet. Most call him confused. A gay male who hits on women when drunk. A Chicano kid who speaks not Spanish, but English better than most Americans and French with only a slight accent. A student of a beachside school who is afraid to swim in open water. A control freak who hates being in charge. Opinion is even divided over whether he's good looking or not. With his short trimmed black hair that's darker than most dyes can achieve, eyes only a few shades lighter than his hair, skin a light brown somewhere between oak and caramel, fingers long and thin and delicate looking, and taller than average frame starting to fill out with muscle, he does seem to have potential. He even has a conversational scar running the length of his left jaw line. But his smile is disconcerting, his nose and ears are far to big, and his voice can ruin even the best-scripted phone sex.

Unlike Tommy and Drew, Jer does not have the day off. He never seems to have any day off. "They call me the phantom," he'll say explaining how his roommates think of him. Between work, classes, his various group memberships, and the occasional studying time at the library, he gets to sleep in his own bed during the regular school year about twice a week. It got to the point last spring that his computer chair started to feel comfortable. Because of his schedule, he doesn't feel bad at all that he has no boyfriend. Anyone interested would have to be squeezed into the forty-minute slot every other Friday that isn't yet filled up. Jer knows this for a fact; there has been interest, a little anyways. Something about his seriousness is compelling to watch and hard to forget. Even Drew, who goes through boys like bags of ramen noodles, and officially despises Jer (it`s very mutual), has wondered how much attention he could pay to a single kiss, or one act of love-making.

"Why do these shifts take forever to be over?" he asks Oren, his partner for the evening. Jer works as a campus security officer, something he enjoys doing, especially now in June. Summer is slow for the CSOs; fewer students mean fewer problems, but also a lot fewer distractions on their patrols, which are already pretty boring. If Jer's partner was more like him, the night might not have been so tedious, but Oren worries Jer. Anyone that naturally cheerful obviously has something to hide. He was very irritated that morning, when as he walked out, Tommy and Drew were heading off to the beach. It got worse when Oren came up from behind him as he was clocking in and proudly exclaimed, "Hey Jeremy! I haven't seen you in forever. Have you been avoiding me or something?" Now his annoyance is reaching the level of physical pain.

Oren smiles wearily (he's had a long day too, made longer by Jer's unwillingness to horse around with him) and says, "It will all be over soon."

"That's what they say to death row inmates just before the juice hits." Oren laughs at Jer's sarcastic attempt at humor. Jer laughs too.

Once the moment passes, Oren says to him, "Speaking of death sentences, are you going to visit your family next week? It'll be nice to head home for the fourth."

The brief happiness that had graced Jer's features is instantly gone, like someone had thrown a switch. "No."

Uncertain, but unwilling to call attention to Jer's behavior, Oren asks "Why not?"

Jer gestures around him. "Here, IV, this is my home now. I got the beach, I got the cliffs to walk along; I have the mountains to look at. I don't need to go anywhere but my own apartment." He starts tapping his fingers on his pocket, while his other hand fiddles with his radio. "So, are you still living in the same place this year as last?" he says, also out of nerves.

"Yes. Why aren't you going home?" Oren is not one to be diverted, possessing the combined tenacity of  a bulldog and an investigative reporter. "Don't you want to see your family?"

"Oren, shut up." His tapping fingers win, digging into his pocket and coming up with his packet of cigarettes.

Oren scowls. "Do you have to smoke? I hate the smell of tobacco." As his only response, Jer lights the tip and blows the first puff of smoke towards his partner.

Evelyn Dire is never wrong. She cannot be; such a circumstance would undo her entire world. Sure, sometimes, she might act a bit hastily, speak without fully thinking, but such slips do not make her wrong. Just not as right. Sadly for her at the moment, not everyone subscribes to her convictions.

"YOU DID WHAT?" her husband Robert screams, spittle flying out of his mouth.

"There is no need to shout," Evelyn says, voice artic. "I'm not going to stay in the same house as that faggot." She says this as if it were the most logical conclusion to reach. "And in case you forgot, this is my house. I own it, so I make the rules here."

Robert is appalled at the finality of her tone; as far as she's concerned, the conversation is over. He is suddenly reminded why he is so fond of saying "the best way to live with Eve is in another city." He tries to plead with her, appealing to her maternal instincts. "He's our son Eve. You can't just throw him out like that."

"I can. I did." Evelyn takes another drag on her cigarette, the last of the pack. Three months of will power have folded this afternoon. "Just think Robert. You can finally have that divorce now. I know you were only holding out till the kids were out of the house."

"Are you human?" Robert asks, his voice rising in hysteria. He shakes his head, rubbing one eyebrow with his free hand. "Listen to me carefully Eve. You will find our son and bring him home."

"How exactly am I going to do this? You already tried his cell phone. He didn't take the Camry. I doubt he has much cash on him. How the hell am I going to track him down?"

"I don't care. Find him. I'll be in Stent's in a couple of hours." Robert hangs up the phone, cutting off Eve's last word.
"I don`t think so," she says, stubbing out the cigarette. Evelyn's maiden name is Stent; roughly a quarter of Stent's Cut-off is related to her by blood or marriage. Even Robert is a fourth cousin form one branch or another. Of them all, Evelyn is the sole executor of the Stent family properties, which are extensive in that county. If Evelyn wanted to, she has the means and the money to track Jake down anywhere on the west coast and have him beat Robert to Stent's. She even has a private investigative firm on retainer, usually employed just before a particularly large or long-term lease, but they are sharp and effective as hunting knifes. All it would take is one phone call.

But no one orders Eve around. Especially not her husband. So instead of dialing, she places the hand-held phone gently down on its cradle and takes her car keys off the hook above it. If Robert intends to be around full-time again, Evelyn is going to need a lot more cigarettes.

As she exits, she practices what she will tell him when he arrives. "Jake's been fingerprinted Rob; if the cops pick him up, they'll call us."