'52 Panhead


Chapter 35



The next morning - Saturday - the day - I half expected Evan to be up early, unable to sleep, but when I woke up at 7:12am, he was still sacked out next to me, on his back with the sheet shoved down to his waist, one hand spread over his chest, his mouth open slightly. I lay on my side, head propped in my hand, and watched him for a while, following the slow rise and fall of his ribcage as he breathed, watching his eyeballs flicker under his eyelids, wondering if it was too weird to have sex on the anniversary of the day Luke had been killed.

In my mind, thanks to Evan's personal recollections and stories from people who had known him, Luke had assumed the status of something close to a saint. A good student, an outstanding athlete, a fast friend - by all accounts a boy who would have gone on to great things had he not died on the very day he was loosed on the world to try his skill at becoming a man.

Across the room, barely visible in the dim corner where Evan's dresser stood, I could just make out the photo of Evan and Luke and the bicycle - the one taken by Luke's little sister the summer they were fifteen, the summer they'd met. It was the only photo of Luke that Evan had put on public display when we moved into the Farm, and although it was such a part of things that I rarely looked at it, I was very aware that it was there. My original attitude about Luke, that he was no threat to my relationship with Evan, still held, so I didn't mind that Evan kept a photo of the two of them on his dresser. Right next to it was the black and white photo Maggie had taken of Evan and me the first time I'd gone to their house. The intervening thirteen years was evident in the maturity of Evan's body in the later photo - taller, broader of shoulder, the body of a man.

For a while, I studied the sheet where it lay bunched over Evan's hips, trying to decide which lump was his dick and which were just folds of sheet. I was thinking about gently poking each one, but when I looked up at his face to make sure he was still asleep, his gray eyes met mine. His expression was solemn at first, as we stared at each other, but after a moment, one side of his mouth curved slightly and he slid a hand behind my head to pull me down to him. I pushed my face into the curve of his neck and wrapped an arm around his body as I moved close. His skin smelled warm and sleepy, chock full of pheromones, and in about thirty seconds, I had a major boner going. I tried to keep from pushing it up against him, but every time I inhaled more Evan-scent, my cock went nuts, banging around between my belly and his hip. The third time it happened, he chuckled softly, turning his head to whisper in my ear, "Why don't we do something with that," as he reached for me.

He found plenty to do with it, stroking me slowly as he slid down the bed, working his way down my body as he went. My arm was lying against my side, and he put the tip of his tongue in the soft little crease where my armpit began, licking and probing. Evan's not much on pit play, so I was surprised, and at first, I thought it was gonna tickle like crazy, so I tried to move away, but when he pressed a little harder, it got really good. It was one of those feelings that makes your belly squirm, that makes you breathe in little jerks and hitches, and when Evan realized what it was doing to me, he moved to my other side, stopping to nibble on each nipple along the way.

By the time he got to my bellybutton, my dick was leaking steadily, a trembling thread of pre-cum that linked the tip of my cock to my belly, growing slightly thicker with each up-stroke of his hand. He knelt between my spread legs, one hand gripping my thigh, the other aiming my cock at his open mouth, but as he began to lower his head, he glanced up at me and stopped.

"What's the matter?" he asked. I just shrugged, uncomfortable enough with my thoughts that I really didn't want to tell him, but he gave my leg a hard squeeze and raised his eyebrows. "What?"

"I didn't know if it was cool that... if you'd wanna... you know."

"When did I ever not wanna?"

"Well... it's the day."

He stared at me for a moment, then blew out a sigh and crawled up to lay on me, our dicks pressed between us, propped on his elbows so that we were face to face. "I know this is a weird day, and this year, maybe it's even weirder for you than it is for me." We looked at each other for a moment, but I must not have looked very reassured because he slid partially off me onto one elbow so that he could talk easier, gliding the fingertips of his other hand lightly up and down my stomach. "Look, when I first met you, I felt guilty about getting involved with someone. I mean, I really liked you, but I'd only ever felt like that for Luke, and... I had to kind of block him out to make room for you, and that was hard. It felt disloyal, like I was forgetting about him or something, especially when the three of us were out at the cemetery that day and talked about him. I almost..."

He stopped talking and looked away from me before sliding completely off me and rolling onto his back.

"You almost what?" I rolled up on one elbow to look at him.

He licked his lips and swallowed before meeting my eyes. "I almost didn't drive up to your place that night. I almost called you to say... that it just wasn't gonna work."

"Jesus, Evan." I was stunned.

"I know, I know. I wasn't ever gonna tell you that, but..."

"Jesus..." I flopped onto my back and stared at the ceiling, trying to absorb the fact that Evan had almost bailed on me. It reminded me of Sharon's story about the guy dumping her with a phone call. Fuck. Fuck. "So what changed your mind?" My voice was tight, strained.

I felt him shrug. "I'm not really sure. After we left the cemetery, I started driving back to the condo, but when I got to the turnoff for the freeway, I turned, and when I came to the ramp, I took it. Remember how I was kinda freaked when I got there?"

"Yeah. You couldn't hear Luke do John Wayne."

A short breathless silence, then he rolled his head toward me. "God, you do remember."

"Damn right. You were the most important thing that ever happened to me. I was fuckin' payin' attention!"

He studied my face carefully for a moment before continuing. "Anyway, I almost told you then that I was having second thoughts, but..."

"But what?"

He sighed and reached for my hand. "But when you opened the door and smiled at me, you looked really happy, and that made me realize that you were counting on me to be there and that made me realize that I wanted to be there, with you, so..."

We lay there for several minutes without saying a word. I was thinking back to that night, to the look on Evan's face when I'd opened the door to his knock. I barely knew him at that point, a few weeks into our relationship, so I'd had no idea what day it was to him, only that he was a little wild-eyed and tense. "Have you felt like that again, since then?"

He came up on one elbow, fast, and grabbed my face in his hand, pulling me roughly around to face him. "No. And I didn't seriously feel it then, or I wouldn't have jumped on the freeway." He fell silent for a moment as his grip on my jaw softened into a caress that ended with his fingertips tracing along the edge of my bottom lip. "When my mom told me that Luke was dead, my first thought was, `I don't wanna live without him'." His hand slid along my jaw, into my hair. "Now I feel like that about you. Luke is the past, Jeff. You're my future." He leaned down and kissed me, a big smack with closed lips that sounded loud in the quiet room and was intended to lighten the mood. "So, yeah – I wanna fuck this morning."

We'd both gone completely soft during that revealing little conversation, and I figured I was done for the morning, might as well go get in the shower, but Evan swung a leg across me and sat up as he settled down over my groin. He planted his hands on my chest and with slow, deliberate movements, massaged my dick with the ridge behind his nuts and the bony points of his butt, sliding forward and back, rolling his hips. The warm, shifting weight of his droopy ball sack draped over my cock, hiding it from sight and creating a gentle friction as he moved. For a while not much happened. It felt good, but my mind was still back on what Evan had said, on the thought of getting that phone call from him, of never seeing him again, of-

"Hey." Evan was staring at me, eyebrows raised. "Quit thinking about it, would ya? It didn't happen. It isn't gonna happen, so get your mind on your dick, please. I wanna get laid."

Evan didn't often talk like that – I was usually the crude one – so it got the smile he was trying for, and I began to concentrate on the physical things, on Evan's cock, plumped up nice and fat, nodding up and down as he moved. My hands had been lying idle on his thighs, but now I firmed up my grip and slid them slowly up his legs until my thumbs were buried in the warm crease between his legs and his balls. As he moved forward, I sunk them deeper, putting pressure where I knew he liked it. Each time I did that, his eyes would close and he'd drop his head back with a deep nnh. When he reversed his hip roll, the tip of his cock dragged along my stomach, leaving behind a slick trail that gleamed in the morning light from the window.

I stuffed a pillow under my head so that I could watch Evan's erection grow, thinking about how good it was gonna feel to push my way into him, the initial resistance followed by the exquisite sensation of his ass gripping me tight. Thinking about that cleared my mind entirely, and on Evan's next backward slide, the tip of my cock poked out from under his nuts. It disappeared again when he slid forward, but the next time it appeared for good, pulsing upward with enough force to lift Evan's ball sack off my belly.

"Whoa," Evan said. "That's what I'm talkin' `bout."

That cracked me up for a second, but Evan kept coming forward, off my dick so that it sprang up behind him, all slicked up and ready to go, and the last couple snorts of my chuckle were lost in his mouth as he kissed me. We had this dance memorized and as the head of my cock nudged into him, Evan closed his eyes and began to breathe through his mouth while he settled down onto me. Warm and familiar, his slick insides tightened momentarily as he shifted his weight back a little to get a better angle.

Guys who say that every hole feels the same in the dark are full of shit. Maybe it was because we'd been doing this together for longer than I had with anyone else, or maybe because I loved him, but Evan felt different to me than anybody I'd fucked in the past. Or maybe it was all in my head. Whatever.

Evan felt great, but he could be a little lazy in bed, mostly preferring to be on the bottom, (as well as being the bottom) so that I had to do most of the work, but this morning he stayed on top, bouncing around on my dick for a while until I got serious about it and grabbed him by the hips so that I could thrust harder. Once he started to blow, I slowed down, knowing that the contractions of his orgasm would trigger mine, and sure enough, a few seconds later, I was moaning along with him, wincing a little each time my cock fired.

As his dick deflated, so did Evan himself, slowly collapsing forward onto me, panting little hot bursts against my chest until our breathing came back to normal. Eventually, I slid free of him with the usual little pop. Evan always followed my exits with a heartfelt sigh, which I had at first taken as a sigh of relief, but after a few months, realized was a wistful sigh of regret at my departure.

After we showered and ate breakfast, we still had some time to kill before meeting Raf and Kenny at the cemetery, so I stretched out on the couch with a book while Evan sat down at the dining room table to pay bills. When we'd moved into the Farm, Evan had paid all the deposits and the first batch of bills because I didn't have a local checking account yet. After that, we just sort of fell into him handling the finances with me giving him a check once a month for my share. After he'd written a couple, he ran out of checks, and when he came back into the room from getting a new pack, I realized he was sitting there watching me. I looked at him over the top of my book. "Yes?"

"I need to order checks. This is the last pack." He waggled it between his fingers.

"Ok..." So order them, I thought to myself, but Evan was turning the checkbook over and over in his hands, fidgeting like he always did when he was nervous, and I realized something more was going on here. I sat up, put my book down and gave him my full attention.

"We've never talked much about money," he said slowly, "but... um... I was thinking about adding your name to my account. Make it a joint account. It doesn't mean you have to close yours or anything," he added quickly. "I just thought that... well, it's been a year, so..."

"Oh." I finally got over my surprise enough to answer him. "That'd be great, but... I don't make near as much as-"

He cut me off with a snort. "I'll be lucky to break even this year."

"You know what I mean. I don't have the kind of money you do, and I never will."

He waved the checkbook back and forth, erasing my argument. "That's not important."

I tossed my book on the couch, stood up, and took a few steps toward him. "It's fuckin' important to me. I didn't hook up with you just so I could sponge off your money!"

He stood up facing me, leaning forward to get in my face. "Calm down and listen! I didn't say I was gonna fund the thing myself! It'll be a joint account. Don't worry, you're gonna pay your share. And you didn't even know I had money!" He snapped his mouth shut, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath through his nose, pausing to get his temper under control, and when he spoke again, it was in the quiet, reasonable voice you'd use to try to talk a dog out of biting you. "We can both put in enough to cover the bills every month with a cushion for emergencies or upkeep or whatever we feel like spending it on. And if you like, we can each keep a personal account to buy stuff that doesn't have anything to do with the Farm."

"Like more goddamn un-identical black socks for me to match?" I felt like a jerk for getting wound up over nothing and was trying to joke it off.

"Yes, actually - some of mine are getting thin in the toe."

"You buy any more fuckin' socks and we're gonna spend the cushion on somebody to do the laundry around here."

Evan sat back down at the table. "So that's a `yes' on the joint account?"

I sighed. "Yeah, that's a `yes.'" I walked back to the couch and sank down. "But I mean it about the socks." I glanced at Evan. He wasn't looking at me, but he was smiling as he wrote out his next check. "Thanks," I added by way of apology.

He turned the smile my way. "Don't thank me yet. A joint account means that you can spend some of your free time doing the bills instead of me."

He grinned and went back to his work while I just sat there and looked at him. I didn't often think about Evan's big pile of money. Because he never spent any of it, it existed only on paper and didn't seem all that real to me. After my initial surprise at finding out I had a rich boyfriend, it had simply become one more thing that I knew about him, like the fact that he had grey eyes and preferred his bacon crispy.

Twenty minutes later, he stuck stamps on the envelopes and stood up. "We should get rolling."

As we were going out the door, I stuck my knee in Chewy's face to keep him inside, but Evan said, "He can go," so I let him through and locked up behind him.

I knew where the cemetery was, so Evan sat there with his hands in his lap for the first couple miles, then reached one over to tuck it into the crease of my jeans with the back of his hand snugged up against my nuts. I glanced at him, but his face was turned away as he watched the scenery go by. Just as we pulled through the gates onto the main drive, someone was getting into a car about a quarter mile ahead. A flash of blond hair and a leg in jeans was all we saw before the car door closed and they drove away. Evan stared after them.

"There's almost never anyone here," he said when he noticed me watching him.

He directed me to about where the other car had been and told me to park. We were climbing out when Raf's truck pulled in behind us. Elvis was first out the door, bounding down to run circles around Chewy, acting like they didn't see each other practically every day of their lives. Raf hoisted Kenny's chair out of the back of the truck, one I hadn't seen before, with fat knobby tires.

"For offroading," Kenny explained while he got settled. He looked tired, with gray circles under his eyes, and I noticed that Raf pushed him for several feet, getting him started across the grass before letting Kenny roll himself, something I'd never seen him do before. We made our way slowly through the headstones. The atmosphere was pretty somber, and since I didn't know where we were headed, I lagged along at the rear. Raf threw his arm over Evan's shoulders as they walked, and was speaking softly to him. I couldn't hear the words, just the quiet murmur of his voice. Kenny looked back at me, then waited till I caught up, reaching out to give my hand a squeeze when I came up next to him. Evan and Rafael had stopped at a tall, dark gray headstone, and as I got closer, I could read the inscription.


Lucas Johansen

Beloved Son and Brother

Earth Has No Sorrow

That Heaven Cannot Heal


The dates of his birth and death were there, too, and lying at the foot of the stone was a handful of daffodils tied with a blue ribbon. They were fresh, the yellow petals strong in the sun, and I remembered the car we'd seen when we first arrived. Evan picked up the bouquet, turning it this way and that as if looking for a tag to tell him who'd left them, but there was nothing except the blue ribbon, tied in a soft bow. He looked at them for another moment, put them to his nose for a sniff, and then dropped them back into the grass. Raf and Kenny glanced at each other, but I could tell from their expressions that they didn't have any idea who'd left them, and I doubted that they'd seen the other car.

Evan sat down with his back to the side of the stone and his face turned up to the sun. Kenny stopped a few feet from him, Raf sat down near Kenny, and I sat across from them, near Evan's feet. The dogs sniffed at each of us, checking in, before running off through the stones.

"Here we are again..." Evan began before falling silent for a moment. Then, "Do you think we're obsessed with this? With the accident?" His voice was soft and he was looking away from us, but we could hear him clearly in the still of the graveyard.

Raf's brow knit in a frown, but Kenny studied Evan's face before replying with a question of his own. "Who said that to you? Who had the right to say that to you?"

Evan turned back and glanced at each of us before saying, "My mom. We were talking a few days ago and she was just sort of... thinking out loud."

The fight went out of Raf's face and Kenny closed his eyes for a second, then sighed. "I don't know... I don't feel obsessed with it. I mean, I think about it sometimes. I probably always will, but I don't think that's obsessive." He put his hand on Raf's head, ruffling his hair a little. "How about you? Do you think about it a lot?"

"You mean like every single time I look in the mirror?" Evan looked away, but Kenny just watched Raf calmly. "No, actually. It's just... normal now." He gripped Kenny's nearest wheel and gave it a little shake. "Like this is normal." Raf turned to Evan. "Why did she say that?"

Evan sighed. "She wondered what would happen if I was out of town on business or something. Would I come before or after? Or did it have to be on the actual date?" He shook his head, clearing away the thoughts. "It just got me wondering, that's all. I think she thinks we dwell on it more than we actually do." Evan nudged his toe into my leg. "You're a fresh set of eyes. Are we obsessed?"

Were they? Was it abnormal to remember an event that had changed your life to the extent it had changed each of theirs? To remember someone you loved who had died? How would I feel if Evan died, after just a year together? How long would I want to remember his smile, the feel of his hands on me, the taste of him? God...

"No," I said, strongly enough that Raf raised an eyebrow at me. "You're not out here moaning about how awful it was. It's more like you're visiting an old friend or something. That's not obsessive, it's... I don't know what it is, maybe showing respect for the memories, but it's not obsessive."

Raf turned his attention back to Evan. "And since you settled down with what's his name, here" – he plucked a dandelion and lobbed it at me – "I think about it a lot less. We were startin' to wonder if you'd ever find somebody else."

"Me too." Evan nodded slowly, looking up to meet Raf's eyes for a long minute.

What had Kenny said to me months ago? That Evan and Rafael needed each other and he didn't think either of them knew how much? Every now and then, I got a glimpse of that need. We sat there silently for several minutes, thinking God knows what. In the quiet, I could hear the far away drone of a tractor and the chirps of the birds in the big oaks along the drive. The dogs came back and flopped down in the grass, panting and grinning from their run, and that loosened us up again, gave us something to talk about.

"What the hell is Chewy, anyway?" Raf asked, as he tousled Chew's ears.

"Purebred Heinz 57," I quipped, then shrugged. "Just a mutt. Terrier and poodle, they thought at the pound where I got him."

It was the first really warm day we'd had and I tugged off my denim shirt just as Kenny pulled his sweatshirt over his head. We both had on Frank Zappa t-shirts – mine blue, his white – and Raf laughed. "You guys call each other this morning?"

"Yeah, you didn't get the memo?"

"I was out cleaning the fuckin' pool. Which reminds me – it's supposed to be hot tomorrow. Come on over in the afternoon. We'll barbeque."

"Sounds good," Evan replied as I nodded agreement. "We'll bring the beer."

We sat there for another few minutes, but none of us seemed to have much to say, and finally Evan stood up. "Let's get outta here."

Raf looked up at him. "You sure?"

"Yeah. Why – you wanna stay?"

"No! Kenny–" He snapped his mouth shut when Kenny whacked his arm.

"Kenny what?" Evan looked back and forth between them, frowning as the silence lengthened. Rafael stared at the grass while Kenny looked out over the tombstones, his eyes narrowed in thought. Finally, Evan took the few steps to Kenny and squatted down with his knees wide around the front of the chair, his hands gripping Kenny's upper arms. "What, man?"

When Kenny finally brought his gaze back to Evan and began to speak, his voice was gentle. "Coming here isn't a comfort to me, Evan. Coming here fucks with my head. I don't sleep good the night before and..." He looked down for a moment, his bottom lip caught between his teeth. "You loved him, so I do it for you. You're my friend and I'd do just about anything for you, but... I hate coming out here."

Raf sat white-knuckled with knotted jaw muscles as he listened to Kenny, but Evan's mouth had dropped open in disbelief and his face twisted with pain as he stared into Kenny's eyes.

"God! Why didn't you ever say something?"

Raf shoved Evan hard in the shoulder, knocking him sideways into the grass. "How the fuck could he say anything?" he yelled.

Evan scrambled to his knees, leaning forward to shout into Raf's face. "Cause we're friends! Goddamnit!"

As quickly as it had come, his anger dissipated and he slumped down onto his heels and dropped his face into his hands. The three of us watched him for a moment before Kenny reached out a hand and laid it on the back of Evan's neck. Evan didn't move for a long time, long enough for the dogs to get bored and wander off to chase a flock of birds that had landed near Raf's truck.

Evan was only a few feet from me, just out of reach, and when Raf pushed him, I'd almost jumped into it, but this wasn't my business. This went back way before my time, and although I was shaking inside with emotions I couldn't even put a name to, I stayed where I was with my eyes glued to Evan's face. When he finally raised his head, he looked first at me, a long intent look that I couldn't read at all. Then he turned to Kenny, who was still leaning forward in his chair with his hand on Evan, and whispered, "I'm sorry."

"It's ok," Kenny said softly. "It's not like it puts me back in therapy to come out here." He gave Evan a twisted smile, then pulled him in until their foreheads met. "It just isn't my favorite thing to do."

Evan closed his eyes for a moment or two, breathing deeply, then rose to his knees and wrapped his arms around Kenny, practically pulling him out of his chair. Raf had been scowling at the ground the whole time, but as he looked up to watch them, a little of the anger cleared from his face, leaving it mostly sad. After a few moments, Evan pulled loose from Kenny and turned to Raf. They stared at each other and just as the tension got thick enough to cut, the dogs came galloping into our midst and jumped onto Raf. Evan got to his feet and walked over to Luke's stone. As I watched, he stared at it for a few seconds, then turned to us with his hands on his hips. "I need to move. How about some b-ball?"

Raf shoved the dogs aside and stood up, brushing grass off the seat of his jeans. "I'm in."

Kenny did an about-face with his chair and started toward the truck. "I gotta change chairs. Thirty minutes at the school?"

Evan hauled me to my feet, eyebrows raised. "Feel like a little basketball?"

I shrugged. "Sure."

If Evan needed to jump off a cliff right now, that woulda been ok with me. He was still eyeing me, so I stuck a smile on my face.

We sent Chew with them to stay in their back yard with Elvis and buzzed back to the Farm, made quick work of changing our clothes and zipped into the high school parking lot twenty-seven minutes after we'd pulled out of the cemetery gates. Evan hadn't said much in the car, but he'd patted my ass while I was bent over tying my shoes, so I was a little less upset by what had taken place at Luke's grave. I didn't think everything was cool between the three of them, but I just didn't know them well enough to know that for sure.

While we did our various warm-up routines, Evan said, "Since I wanna win this little shootfest, it'll be me and Kenny against you two knotheads."


Raf picked up the ball and bounce-passed it to me, I blasted it back, and the game was on. I thought we'd have to modify the rules a little to give Kenny a fighting chance, but they just started playing, so I quit thinking about it and tried to keep up. Playing under just one basket meant that he didn't have to roll far to be effective; plus, he played on a much more regular basis than the rest of us and had super quick reflexes.

At first, we were just playing basketball, and it felt good to expend some energy and work off some of the tension of the last couple hours. After getting clipped in the shins, I learned to stay out of Kenny's way when he spun his chair, and after Evan scored three times in quick succession, to keep an eye open for his drives to the hoop. It wasn't until Raf and I got into sync and started scoring that I realized Rafael and Evan weren't finished with each other. Not by a long shot.

As Raf dashed behind Kenny, I circled and passed him the ball just as he was going up for the shot. Without looking behind him, Evan launched himself into the air, looking to snatch the ball, I guess, but what he ended up doing was smashing his elbow into Raf's chest when they collided. They crashed to the blacktop in a pile, and then slowly picked themselves up, rubbing sore spots and brushing dirt off the scuffs on their elbows and palms. Raf eyed Evan for a minute but didn't say anything.

Kenny shot surprisingly well from several feet lower than the rest of us and soon it was all tied up. I signaled Raf for that same play, but this time he faked his jump, then leaped after Evan was already in the air. I guess I should have seen it coming when they hit again, except this time it was Raf's elbow in Evan's mouth, and the blood was flying even before they both landed and went at each other. While Kenny crowded in between, yelling at them to knock it off, I grabbed Evan from behind, but he jerked out of my grasp, snatched up my keys and ran to the Jeep. Raf stared after him for a moment before sprinting to his truck to screech out of the lot after him. That left me and Kenny there with a basketball, period. No keys, no vehicle, and no phone or money cause everything was all locked in the Jeep's glove box. We looked at each other but there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it, so we walked slowly toward town, me bouncing the ball and wondering whether or not Raf had caught up with Evan and killed him before they both came to their senses, Kenny just rolling silently along, lost in his own thoughts. After a couple blocks, he cut sharply in front of me and grabbed the ball out of the air.

"Calm down," he said. "They need to... talk."

I snorted. "You sure that's all they're gonna do? Looked to me like they wanna beat the crap out of each other."

"Well, they might do some of that," Kenny conceded. "But mostly they just need to talk." He was quiet for half a block before saying, "Raf didn't slip when he said that. We had a big fight about it this morning. He wanted me to tell Evan the truth – about how much it bothers me – but I made him promise to keep his mouth shut. Lotta good that did." He heaved a sigh. "Well, it's probably for the best..."

We got another half block as I thought about that, then said, "When I first met you guys, I remember thinking that you seemed the least affected by it." The instant that was out of my mouth, I realized how stupid it sounded as he rolled along next to me. Jesus, Jeff. "Well, except for–"

"Except for this," he finished for me with a loose grin, bouncing his front wheels off the sidewalk a few times. "But emotionally, yeah, I think I probably am - now, at least. Raf was all stoic for the first year or so, with all this pent-up anger inside him, till Evan left for school, anyway. Then we got together, and he sorta fell apart, and then he finally started talking about it. That first week he moved back in with me... I bet we talked more that week than we had in the whole previous year. His face didn't look near as good as it does now and he was having a hard time believing that it didn't matter to me." He paused for a moment before adding slowly, "That worked both ways. I was pretty worried that he'd get tired of nothing but blow jobs."

That was the first time I'd heard anything about their sex life, and it seemed to confirm what I'd wondered – that Kenny couldn't actually screw. Or at least he couldn't back then, because his next words were, "But as my back healed more, we figured some stuff out and I quit worrying about boring him to death in bed."

We were just coming into downtown Patterson when a car pulled up to the curb and Sharon yelled out the window, "I've been looking all over for you guys. Why the hell don't you answer your phone?"

"Cause Evan took off with the Jeep and it's in the glove box. What's the matter?"

"Raf and Evan got arrested!"

Kenny and I stared at each other.

"Ah, fuck!" I glared at Kenny. "And you had me convinced that all they'd do was talk!"




Feedback welcomed at qwb224@gmail.com . Thanks for reading.