I probably should point out that I'm not anti-religious -- every modern religion teaches peace and love, and the repudiation of hate. Unfortunately, there are preachers, rabbis, and imams who claim hate and fear to be the message of their god; and, even more unfortunately, there are people who believe them. So, I'm nowhere close to repudiating the God of Christianity in this story; but hate-mongers who claim to speak for Him are fair game.
This story is gay fiction. It is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced in any medium without my express permission. If you are a minor in your country of origin, don't read.
I have two other series running on Nifty: GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT appearing in the Incest folder and ILLUSIONS in the Beginnings folder. If these two stories don't give you enough hot vampires and mortals, Starbooks has just released my LOVERS WHO STAY WITH YOU, and that has 28 tales that'll have you offering your neck to the next guy who offers to lick it. <G> You can help Nifty by using its link to A Different Light Bookstore when ordering this book.
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Johnny devoured Troy's tongue as the youth pastor's ten inches began to enter him. Troy was still having a problem believing how far his relationship with the boy under him had turned around. He might have a problem believing it, but he was damned glad it had. He couldn't imagine how the sex between them could be any more perfect.
It'd had taken Troy that first week to accept that he didn't have a bi bone in his body. That he wanted dick and ass. Johnny's dick. His ass, too. Only, he'd never expected that he'd get the football player's ass. That first week, he'd come to accept that he was Johnny's bottom.
That had changed this past week, though -- starting Sunday night when Johnny sucked him off after fucking him. That first time had surprised Troy, but Johnny was full of surprises. The kid had proved to be a cocksucker who couldn't get enough of Troy's meat that night. By Wednesday night after prayer meeting, the boy'd been ready to take the youth minister's pole up his ass. He'd loved it before half of it was in him.
Johnny's hands grabbed Troy's buttcheeks and pulled him hard into himself. He ground his butt against the man's pubes. He broke their kiss and looked up at Troy. "Fuck me hard!" he growled. "Pound my ass." His hard dick throbbed against Troy's belly to emphasize his point.
"Troy, we need to talk, babe," Johnny said as they lay cuddling. He scrunched down to lay his head on Troy's chest. His fingers slipped across the youth minister's belly to play in his pubes.
"Is something the matter?"
"No ... Yeah ... Maybe. I don't know."
Troy sat up, trying to make out Johnny in the near dark. All he could see was the outline of a six foot tall man who weighed maybe two hundred pounds, all of which was muscle. A man who made no effort to face him.
Troy's hands went to Johnny's back and pulled him even closer. "Tell me," he said, his throat suddenly dry.
"It depends on how you feel about me," Johnny mumbled, his lips forming the words against Troy's nipple. "About us..."
"I like you," Troy started. "I like what we do for each other."
"It's just the sex then?" Johnny's voice was softer, harder to hear.
"That's pretty much all we've had," Troy said. "You're in school. You practice and play football ... By the way, who want the game tonight?"
"Did you catch the winning touchdown?"
Johnny chuckled. "I caught two touchdown passes -- we won fourteen to three."
"And you guys had to celebrate. I'm surprised you made it over by twelve tonight."
"Don't change the subject, baby," Johnny told him and turned to look up at Troy. "I need to know where I stand."
"I enjoy what we do, I don't want anybody else in bed with me..."
"Troy!" Johnny pushed his upper body up so that he was looking down at Troy. "What I need to know is that's all you want or do you want things to go further than just the sex?"
"You mean, do I want us to have a full relationship?"
"Yeah. Us do things together. Us living together. Us being lovers. That's what I mean."
"We couldn't do that here in Brunswick. We'd both be killed."
"We don't have to live here."
"I do if I'm going to stay with the church..."
"Then don't stay with the church," Johnny growled. "You don't believe half the shit you preach anyway."
"I need the money..."
"Yeah. And scaring people into seeing God coming down with a big belt like some pissed off daddy about to beat his kid -- that's a real easy job. It's all scam, baby. You know it, and I know it."
"Do you think I ought to go back to hustling? I don't like spending time in jail for prostitution."
Johnny sat up and swung around to get off the bed. "I'm going to go home, Troy. I've got to get up early tomorrow."
Troy grabbed his hand. "Why?"
Johnny pulled away and stood up. "I'm driving to Atlanta -- I've to register at Georgia State for next semester and start looking for a job." His voice sounded lifeless.
"You're going to college next semester?" Troy asked, thoroughly confused.
"Yeah. I went to summer school this past summer so I could." Johnny began picking up his clothes.
"Why aren't you finishing your senior year?" Troy couldn't get a grasp on that. Kids didn't graduate early, especially not jocks.
"I'm bored with high school." Johnny pulled on his underwear, then the golf shirt he'd worn. He sniffed and quickly pulled on his pants. I've been taking advanced courses since ninth grade. I only stayed this long because I wanted to play football."
He wadded up his socks and stuck them in a back pocket before stepping into his sneakers. "I'll let myself out."
"Am I going to see you again?" Troy asked, trying to overcome the shock that had him planted to the bed.
"Sure -- why not?" Johnny's voice sounded even more dead as he crossed the room to the door. "We can stay fuckbuddies until I start school. I'll stop by Monday night after dinner."
* * *
Brenda skipped work Friday and was on the road to Mountain Hollow by ten. She made sure the speedometer stayed at the speed limit. She kept glancing at her purse in the passenger seat and thinking about the gun that was in it. She still hadn't figured out why she'd brought it along, but it did feel right to have it with her.
She was worried about seeing her father. He hadn't even spoken to her after he'd found out that she'd been a bad girl with Sammy. It even got worse after she told him of finding Sammy doing it with that queer Paul. He'd become absolutely cold. She just hoped that he found it in his heart to forgive her this past week.
There'd be no hope of saving Sammy at all if her own Daddy's back was still turned to her. If Rastus Reed rejected her, she knew God would.
Brenda went to the church right after she rented the last room at the little motel. Her Daddy hadn't arrived yet, but Reverend Phredd put her with two Ambassadors for Christ members from the tabernacle who were skipping school that afternoon.
* * *
We headed out of Atlanta Friday just ahead of rush hour, Henry and I in my car with Paul and five of his buddies in a big Jeep behind us. I'd had second thoughts about putting them up the moment I saw Paul's friends. Those guys were beefy!
I mean, they weren't exactly what I'd call hunks, but they were big mothers. Tall, muscular, and built like the proverbial brick shithouse. They were all older, in their forties I guessed -- but there wasn't a one of them I'd be willing to tangle with. They were all fifties-style beefcake, serious gym queens. There was something else about them, they all looked queer as hell. All they needed were tutus.
"Paul," I called him over to me when I saw the men climbing into the Jeep. I was trying not to be obvious but...
"They're the men you said you'd put up this weekend, Sammy."
I tried not to look back at the Jeep. "Taylor Mountain is pretty rural," I said sotto voce.
"I don't know how they'd go over if they decide to go exploring, Paul." There, I'd said it.
He laughed. "Don't worry about it, Sammy. They're not leaving that log cabin of yours -- unless there's something to worry about from Rastus and that bunch of holyrollers up there." Then he delivered what he obviously thought was the piece de rèsistance: "They've even brought along their own food. You'll hardly notice they're there."
"Their own food?"
"Yeah, most of the daddy types I know are into healthy food. There'll be a lot of tofu milkshakes tomorrow morning."
I nearly gagged as I heard that. I managed to nod and make it over to my nice, safe car and Henry sitting in it waiting for me.
Dusk was settling over north Georgia as we passed through Seneca. It was dark as we wound our way into Mountain Hollow. Henry was zoned out.
There wasn't a car in sight as we stopped for the light at the diner. The stores were all closed, and it wasn't even seven o'clock yet.
"How come it's so dead?" I said, more to hear myself than to engage my cousin in conversation.
"The revival, Sammy," he grumbled but sat up to look around. "There's nothing to do out here in the country; a big-named preacher leading a revival will have everybody in this part of the county going."
"Oh, come on! This is already the twenty-first century."
He laughed. "Folks around here round up their kids and come to town to look at the new refrigerators at the Western Auto, Sammy." He looked at the deadness around us again. "It's so fucking boring!"
The light changed and we started down the street out of town. "The Taylors do this, too?" I asked carefully. I'd learned a long time ago that it was all right for a native to put something local down but God help the poor outsider who did.
"No. We've got sense up on the mountain; we go over to Gainesville or up to Greenville in South Carolina when we're bored out of our gourds."
"So, this revival of theirs starts tonight?" I asked, making sure that I didn't get pulled into personal issues Henry might have with the rural lifestyle.
"Yeah," he grumbled, looking out the window as we left the city limits. "They've been pushing the thing for going on two weeks now, and they sound like they're really out for blood this time."
I'd heard about Henry's troubles at school last weekend and didn't want to go there again. It was time to change the subject again.
"Where am I going to put those guys up?" I grumbled as I watched the Jeep in my rearview mirror.
"You've got three bedrooms upstairs and a hide-a-bed sofa in the living room," he answered and I detected a sense of dejection in his voice.
"There's six of them including Paul -- and the two of us. I hope they don't mind sharing beds..."
"You mean you want me to stay with you this weekend?" he interrupted and, when I glanced over at him, I saw that he was watching me closely.
"Of course I do, Henry. Why wouldn't I?"
He turned to look out the windshield. "I thought you might be getting a little tired of me."
"You do take a little getting used to," I said and turned to grin at him. He was frowning. "I meant that as a joke, Henry."
"Yeah, well ... I don't want to be a bother or anything."
"Henry, loosen up. Okay?"
"Sammy, what do you really think of me?" he demanded and there was definitely no sense of him loosening up. I figured that he needed to know where he stood. The problem was that I wasn't exactly sure I knew where that was.
"I thought we'd had this discussion a couple of times before," I temporized. He waited, just watching me.
"I like you -- a lot. I enjoy being with you, doing things with you."
"I'm not just your fucktoy?"
"Jeez!" I groaned as I slowed down to turn onto Taylor Access Road. "You're a hell of a lot more than that to me."
"I'm more than just a friend?"
"Henry, of course you are. Where is this going?"
"I'm sorry, Sammy. I guess I sort of got carried away there."
"So, why did you?"
"I was trying to figure out how I feel about Paul -- and compare it to how I feel about you. And the way you feel toward me."
Uh oh! My little cousin with the big-assed dick was falling in love. Or he already had and was now trying to determine what its dimensions were.
"How do you feel about Paul?" I asked.
Henry shrugged. "I like being around him. He can be funny. And interesting. And I do dearly love fucking him."
"I guess I'd have to say that he's a pretty good friend."
"What about me?"
"I want to be with you all the time, even when you're pissed at me." He sighed. "I'm pretty sure I'd have to say that I'm in love with you."
I'd just gotten it from the horse's mouth, all right. I felt the same way, only I didn't know if I'd want to be around him if he was angry at me. I sure felt more like having Henry Taylor around than I'd felt like having any girl I'd ever dated. I hadn't worked that out to be love yet, but it was a reasonable definition in my book.
"And me with you," I said as we passed his father's house. "Which leads us to an interesting situation..."
He looked over at me. "What's that?"
"Usually two people in love with each leave off sex with anybody else." I glanced over at him. "How do we handle Sam?" I asked.
"Uh oh," he groaned.
"For that matter, what about Paul? Didn't you say Sam gave him to you as a fucktoy?"
He grimaced in the dash light. "It'd be easy enough to tell Paul that he couldn't get into our bed," he said slowly.
"He'd probably be one pissed-off boy," I observed, watching the left side of the road for the beginning of my driveway.
"Yeah, well ... He can just get over it, Sammy."
"He'd be a problem."
I felt him studying me again. I glanced his way. "What is it?"
"How do you feel about old Mr. Sam, Sammy?" he asked slowly. "I mean, deep down?"
I tried to focus on the blond who'd fuck me all night long and have me coming back for more. The blond who was my great-granddaddy -- and a vampire. The blond who wanted everything his way or, else, you felt bad that you'd crossed him.
I mean, there were thoughts there. Oh, boy, weren't there thoughts there -- whole bunches of them! And feelings. And emotions that felt like they might go right down to the roots of my brain.
It was just that all that was covered with a mist that I knew better than to try to explore. There wasn't enough time in the world for me even to begin.
And behind all that there was this ground fog of a suspicion. I just didn't know how much of my feelings and everything the past four weeks had been me. Really me.
"I don't know how to put that into words," I admitted.
Henry snorted. "We love, hate, respect, and disrespect the man -- everything you can think of and it's opposite, all at the same time."
"You said 'we'?"
"Every boy on Taylor Mountain." He laughed. "I've had six years to get as confused in as you feel after a month. And how about men like Daddy? Old man Sam's been confusing them for forty or fifty years now."
"Maybe they finally understand things now."
"I guarantee you that they don't, Sammy. They love the man just about as much as they hate him. They don't like him fucking their sons but bend over fast themselves."
I turned onto the drive from the access road and saw in the rearview mirror that Paul was still following me.
"I couldn't tell him to go away, Henry," I said. "Part of me wouldn't want him there when we were making love." I sighed. "But another part of me would want him plugging whatever end doesn't have you in it."
He smiled at me and I could almost make out that his eyes were misting. "I'm the same way about him. I think most of us on the mountain are." His fingers went around my wrist and squeezed. "Just remind me now and then that I'm more than just a fucktoy to you, Sammy."
I thought I heard a catch in his voice but wasn't sure. We broke through the forest then and I turned the car into the paved parking at the bottom of the clearing.
As I led our troupe up to the house, I almost laughed. There were five super-macho daddies following Henry, Paul, and myself. I wondered how many would still be super-macho and daddies tomorrow after spending a night with Sam Adams Taylor, the first. I didn't know which of them, if any, would survive the whole weekend.
They might not become quite the queen that Paul had proved to be at times the last two weeks, but I figured any one of them would be wiggling his butt in happy anticipation if someone wanted it after this weekend. Sam just seemed to have that effect on people.
* * *
"I smell sin -- yes, I do." Rasus Reed swept the tent with his gaze. "I smell your sin!"
His gaze fell to the opening in the tent where the ushers were counting money. "I smell more than just sin, folks," he continued, his voice rising. "I smell abomination!"
There was complete silence. Not one person even cleared his throat. All eyes were on him. Rastus knew he had them. He held them in his hand.
"Beelzebub is stoking the fires of hell, folks, getting them ready for you. I can smell that horrible smell even up here on the sanctified grounds of the Tugaloo Baptist Sanctuary. You can too, if you don't close your mind to what God wants you to see. What you're smelling is the smell of sulfur burning."
His gaze moved slowly over the thousand upturned faces before him. He feigned surprise. "Can't you smell it, people? Can't you smell those eternal fires -- ready to consume you when Satan and his fallen angels cast you down into them? You'll be screaming and praying and trying to save yourselves -- but it'll be too late then. It almost is even now." His voice lowered and people leaned forward to hear him. "Yes, almost too late even now."
He looked quickly to the side. He cocked his head, pretending to hear something there, and nodded. "I hear something else too, folks. Something more than the crackle of the fires that will roast you for all eternity. I hear Jesus' voice calling. I hear His still voice calling you to follow Him. To follow Him away from the eternal fires of damnation. To follow Him into the light. To commit yourself to serve the Lord, His Father."
"Amen!" someone shouted from the front row of seats. The shout was taken up and became a roar, surging through the tent toward him. Rastus felt that roar and the commitment it held, wash over him.
"Confess your sins now and come to Jesus," he called softly, his voice suddenly an intimate whisper in the microphone.
The piano at the lower end of the platform softly began to play a slow hymn. The Sanctuary's choir joined in.
"Walk away from the fires of eternal damnation now -- while you still can," Rastus called softly. "Come to Jesus now. Take His hand, its stretched out to you. Hear His voice calling you. He calls you to salvation." He glanced to the steps onto the platform where Philin Phredd was standing and the small prefabricated swimming pole someone'd still been filling when he began to preach.
"Come, wash away your sins," he called in that intimate whisper again. "Become a lamb again and accept Christ Jesus into your soul. Come, take His hand."
He watched as lines began to form in the aisles. One by one they moved, stepping across those still seated to reach the aisles. He nodded slowly to himself. It was going to be a good revival, a thousand people there the first night. He was glad Brenda had talked him into coming.
The bat walked along the support until it reached the hole at the apex of the revival tent. It followed the center pole through the top of the tent. Hopping onto the fabric, it spread its wings and began to fly toward Taylor Mountain.
The bat landed on the bank of the pool under the waterfall and began to grow. Sam Taylor didn't bother to watch as his body continued to change. His thoughts were on what he'd just witnessed.
He knew Rastus Reed now. He was just another old tent preacher like Sam himself had been back during the Depression -- in it for the money.
Only, Rastus made a whole lot more than Sam had ever dreamed of making. Television might be an electronic marvel, but people still put blinders over their own eyes and pretended their hates and prejudices were Christ-given. If a tent preacher hooked into that, along with figuring out how to use television, he got rich. Rastus Reed was rich.
But the man was still a tent preacher. And tent preachers didn't get involved in local doings. Sam knew that from his personal experience. The moment a traveling preacher got onto specific local happenings, calling them a sin and threatening hellfire and damnation to the locals, he got booed out of the makeshift pulpit.
So, why was he hitting so hard on Taylor Mountain? On what he was calling abomination?
True, not one Taylor was going to be in that tent, whooping up on the craziness that made a revival work. He'd spent almost seventy years teaching the members of his family to think for themselves, instead of goosestepping off like those Iranians who'd followed their mullahs or the Germans following Hitler.
Property taxes from Taylor Mountain kept the schools going and even paved the roads in the eastern part of the county. Money had always got local people to look the other way before.
So, why did this revival feel like it was aimed directly at Taylor Mountain and how things were done here?
That bugged Sam Taylor. And he couldn't see any way of deflecting it now that it had been let loose upon them.
He felt old. He'd never thought that he'd have to take care of every little detail to keep his family together and strong. He'd hoped that Junior would join him in running the family.
His son had wanted none of tent preaching, even though it could have kept him out of the war. Junior had fought in Europe and stayed alive to come home and use the educational benefits of his army service to go to Harvard.
They'd struck a deal when it was obvious that Junior wasn't going to knuckle under to his father -- one that Junior's son had lived up to as well. Junior's line would handle the finances for the whole family and Sam would take care of everything else.
That had been a break from everything Sam had ever known, investing money and making it grow. As far back as he could trace his family, they'd always invested in land. And never had a pot to piss in.
It'd been a risk, but Sam knew that he could go back on the preacher circuit if he had to. And the stock market had been a siren calling to him everywhere he'd turned. He'd insisted that Junior train at a brokerage before he gave him the money he'd made over fifteen years on the circuit, but he'd bought into the risk -- lock, stock and barrel.
And it'd worked.
It continued to work even after he'd been turned visiting in France back in the 1948. Junior had put in some restrictions to their agreement -- he and his son were exempt from Sam's old taste for dick and his new one for blood. They'd made the Taylors money, and that had been the important thing.
Junior and his son had avoided the mountain, except for family councils. But neither one of them had thought to include Sammy in the restrictions they placed on their father. And Sam did nothing to remind them.
It was time that Sammy joined him in running the family -- and protecting it. Sam needed his help. It was a risk, like that other one more than sixty years ago had been -- but it could be just as important as that one had been