W.A.R. Part Seven - Dustin's World

(2nd edition)

Chapter Two - The Beginning in the Ending

by Jeff Wilson

Nate Stevens pulled into the driveway of the apartment he shared with his boyfriend. “Fuck,” he swore under his breath when he saw the car parked in the driveway. Luke had told him he was going to be working late. He tried to think of a reason for why he had been out so late. Things weren’t great between him and Luke, but at least he had a roof over his head and food to eat. He’d been hungry many times in his life. He didn’t miss those days. If he’d have thought Luke would be home he never would have gone out.

He opened the door to find Luke sitting on the couch watching the evening news.

“Hey,” Luke said. “Where’ve you been? I thought you were staying in tonight.”

“Yeah. Well, I changed my mind. It’s a nice evening. Thought I’d get out and get some air before school starts tomorrow.”

“Come sit with me,” Luke offered.

Nate sat down gingerly next to Luke, the sting in his backside reminding him of his earlier activity.

“Sorry I worried you,” Nate said.

“It’s a nice evening. You smell nice. Is that Irish Spring?”

“I don’t know,” Nate said anxiously. “Why do you care what soap I use?”

“It’s just that we don’t have Irish Spring here and…”

“God! Why do you always have to do this?”

“Do what?”

“You always have to analyze everything.”

“Can you blame me, Nate? Who were you with this time?”

“Look, you were the one who said you wanted an open relationship!”

“You know that’s not true. Why are you getting so defensive? I asked a simple question.”

“Nothing is ever simple with you, Luke! Why do you always have to get on my case?”

“Just tell me if you were out fucking someone else!”

“I sure as hell wasn’t going to get laid waiting for you to come home complaining that you’re tired! You don’t think I know what you’re doing with that professor of yours?”

Luke jumped up from the couch and paced. “Dr. Thompson has nothing to do with this!”

“What kind of professor needs to meet with a student on a Sunday night anyway?”

“Dr. Thompson trusts me to assist him in the lab! School starts tomorrow and he needed me!”

“Yeah, and I’ll bet you have a real good time studying anatomy instead of computers!”

“Why do you have to be such a little smart-assed shit all the time Nate? I’m doing everything I can to provide a better life for both of us and you don’t appreciate a damn thing I do! You think I like fucking some middle-aged balding old queer? I’m doing it for you!”

“You’re as bad as my parents, only hurting me to help me.”

Luke sighed. “Nate, I swear, I’ve only had sex with you and Dr. Thompson since we got together. I’m not out fucking random strangers! I want us to be able to trust each other. I was honest with you right from the beginning about Dr. Thompson. But you keep lying about getting on that stupid chatroom and doing god knows what with people you don’t even know! Can you at least admit what you did tonight? I won’t be mad at you if you’re honest with me!”

“Yes you will.”

“God, you’re so fucking frustrating! I know you had to learn how to lie all the time when you were a kid…”

“Can we just leave my fucking childhood out of it? You want the truth? Okay, I met this guy over in Charleroi. It was just for fun. It didn’t mean anything!”

“And that’s supposed to make it better?”

“You said you weren’t going to get mad!”

“I’m not mad, I’m disappointed.”

“Oh, that’s so much better!”

“So who was this asshole?”

“I don’t know! Some dude in a ratty old apartment.”

“So what? Another fifty-year-old nasty fucker with no teeth and a meth addiction?”

“No, he was our age. Look, it didn’t mean anything. You’re the one I love.”

Luke laughed. “That’s hilarious! You don’t love me. You’ll just mooch off of me until you find somebody better. Did you at least use a condom?”

“Of course I did!” Nate lied.

“Yeah right! And you wonder why I have problems having sex with you! So did this guy have a name?”

“I don’t know. David? Duncan? Something like that. Who cares?”

Unable to hold back any longer, Luke slapped Nate in the face.

“OW!!!” Nate cried. “Mother fucker! You didn’t have to fucking hit me!”

“You’re so fucking stupid, Nathaniel! ‘Gee I’m bored! Guess I’ll go get a big dose of herpes or syphilis shot up my ass! Or worse! God! You’re such and fucking moron!”

“Luke, I’m sorry!”

“Shut the fuck up, you stupid whore! Don’t try to apologize for something you’re not even sorry about! I’m going to bed. You can sleep here on the couch and whether you’re here or not in the morning, I don’t give a fuck either way. Go back to the guy who fucked you, see if he’ll be as nice to you as I am!”

Luke stormed off to his room and slammed the door, leaving Nate alone in the living room to ponder just how his life had ended up so fucked up. He sat on the couch for a long time, rubbing his eyes when they started to burn. Luke was right, he was a stupid slut. Nothing more. He was lucky to have Luke. He rubbed his cheek. It certainly wasn’t the first time he’d been hit. Nobody would have believed him if he’d have told them everything he’d been through. Nobody would have cared. He wondered about what Luke said. What would happen if he went back to that ratty old apartment in Charleroi? He found a blanket and lay down on the couch, leaving the television on for company.

“Dustin…” Nate said to himself. “Nice name…”

* * *

Meanwhile, in that ratty old apartment in Charleroi, Dustin lay on his bed wide awake. He’d become so accustomed to working nights that it was difficult to adjust his rhythms to waking and sleeping like a normal person again. There were some nights when he’d just stare at the ceiling all night long. Sometimes he’d go out to his computer and wake up in the morning to find his face smashed into the keyboard. He’d just gotten laid twice in the last six hours. That should have expended enough energy to allow him some opportunity to rest. But instead, he just lay there thinking. His doctor had prescribed him some medicine for nights like this one, but he hadn’t even filled the prescription. Who had money for fancy pills to put him to sleep?

He’d never been with someone like Nate before. He wondered about what was so different about him. He’d been with guys who had a lot more experience than Nate. He’d been with guys with more interesting backgrounds. Hell, he’d even been with cuter guys than Nate. But there was just something about their encounter that he couldn’t stop thinking about. When he closed his eyes, he saw that face again, those adorable brown eyes, the look of ecstasy on his face as Dustin filled him with his seed. He’d really wanted it, and he took it better than anyone ever had.

He blinked and suddenly the alarm clock began to buzz. Six o’clock came quickly. He turned it off and sat up in bed. He stood up and stretched his arms and legs. Time to get ready for school already. He wondered if he’d see Nate around campus. He dug through his memories to see if they’d ever crossed paths before that night. Cal U wasn’t that big of a campus. Surely they’d met before without even realizing they were destined to end up having a one-night fling. Dustin pulled down the underwear he’d worn to bed and jumped into his tiny shower. While he was in there he grabbed the shaving cream and razor and made quick work of his face and chest. Red chest hair never looked good on him. He grabbed the Irish Spring and washed himself. His soft dick swung harmlessly in front of him. He wondered if he’d get the chance to use it again soon.

Dustin never knew when the chance to get laid would come up. When he’d left Mike’s house, he never expected he’d be balls deep in the best fuck he’d ever had not more than a few hours later. Those moments just presented themselves to Dustin, and he’d never been afraid to jump on them.

“Nathaniel Stevens...” Dustin said to himself. What luck that he would meet someone he’d heard so much about on a random anonymous sex chatroom! Even though they’d grown up in the same town, their paths had never crossed in Donora. Dustin was a poor kid from the bad part of town who went to Mon Valley High, while Nate and his family lived in a nice home near his father’s church, and Nate’s mother had homeschooled all of her kids. He’d just heard rumors about the kid. How he was the youngest of six or so kids. How he’d had sex in the church and gotten caught in the act by his father. How he’d been sent to special camps to pray away the gay. And how he’d been thrown out of his parents’ home when he refused to not be gay and got caught by his father having sex in the church. Dustin hadn’t heard anything more about him after that, though Dustin had troubles of his own around that time, troubles which had ended in the scars on his wrists. He looked at the tattoos he’d gotten when he turned nineteen on his forearms. Sure, you could still see the scars if you knew where to look, but Dustin felt better about his arms after the tats. His left arm had the Grim Reaper and his right arm had a tiger. He often thought about adding more, maybe on his upper arms, but he never had the money.

He dressed himself and thought he looked okay in the mirror. He was never all that happy with how he looked, but other guys seemed to like what they saw, and girls too. He could have had all the pussy he wanted through his college years, but he always turned it down. He never had a big momentous coming out moment, he just lived his life and didn’t really give a shit what people thought of him. If anyone ever asked he told the truth. All he’d ever been interested in was men. It was no secret who he was. Everybody knew he was gay. Nobody cared much.

* * *

Luke had to shake Nate to wake him in the morning and warn him that it was time to go for school. Luke was a couple years older than Nate, but the way he had to care for Nate, Luke felt like he was the guy’s dad. Luke never wanted his relationship with Nate to end up that way. Nate had seemed fun and interesting when they first got together. Nate had seemed like a little lost puppy, and Luke took him in and hoped that they would somehow work through their obvious issues. Nate had some serious issues in his life. His father had tossed him out in the street when he was only fifteen, and he’d had a hard life trying to survive. Luke didn’t need to ask. He knew that one of the ways Nate had survived was by selling his body. By the time he was eighteen, he was addicted to meth and heroin, the product of a life lived on the street. Apparently, his mother had found him and sobered him up after she’d divorced Nate’s dad. He’d only lived with her for a year or so when Luke met him, and he’d moved in with Luke a few months later. But the year since that day had been one battle after another for Luke Cunningham.

He’d never wanted to cheat on Nate. He really did love him! But Luke wasn’t the greatest student in the world and he’d fallen behind in his advanced networking course. It seemed so simple. Spend a little extra time with Dr. Thompson, earn some extra credit, and get through the semester with not much damage done. But Dr. Thompson had other ideas about what “extra credit” meant. One thing led to another, Luke wasn’t exactly sure how, and he’d ended up having sex with Dr. Thompson. He wished he could say it was a one-time mistake, but one time turned into two, which turned into ten, which turned into a full-blown affair. Nate hadn’t seemed all that concerned or upset when he found out, but then Nate discovered the chatrooms. Soon, the two of them were having so much sex outside of their relationship that Luke wondered if they could still call it a relationship at all. He loved Nate. He wished there was a way to go back and undo all the damage the two of them had done to each other.

“You coming to school with me?” Luke asked.

Nate’s addictions had delayed his entry into college, and seemingly his maturity as well. He was only a sophomore even though he was old enough to be a senior. He acted like a fifteen-year-old. Nate pulled himself off the couch. His hair was a tangled mess and his neck hurt from sleeping on the couch. He rubbed the back of his neck and tried to stretch.

“Yeah, I’ll just need a few minutes to shower and get ready,” Nate said.

“Well hurry up. I don’t want to be late on the first day.”

“Luke, about last night…”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Luke snapped. “Just get yourself ready to go.”

“No, dude, I really think we should talk about this. I hate all the lying and sneaking around we’re both doing. It’s not right.”

“And you’d be the king of knowing what’s right and wrong?”

“I know enough to know I hurt you last night and I didn’t mean to! I don’t know what came over me.”

“Apparently some random guy came over you!” Luke sneered. “Or in you, rather! Look Nate, let’s just go to school and forget about last night. We both made mistakes. I shouldn’t have hit you, you shouldn’t have fucked some random guy you met on the internet. We’re both sorry. Let’s just forget it.”

“Okay. I love you, Luke,” Nate offered.

“Thanks,” Luke replied. “Come on, let’s get moving.”

* * *

Dustin Smith had a secret. An embarrassing, humiliating secret – He liked school. For someone who looked like he did, with the reputation he had, no one would have suspected he enjoyed learning new things. He’d always liked school. He had been an exceptionally bright little boy, but he quickly learned that intelligence and book smarts were not attributes which were valued in his family. Toughness and the ability to hold one’s liquor were the traits his father prized. The ability to beat one’s son without leaving visible bruises was his father’s most exceptional skill. Dustin didn’t like to think of himself as an abused child. Everybody had their problems in life. Just because his father was an abusive drunk didn’t mean he needed to bitch and moan about it. Dustin didn’t want to let the things in his past rule over him.

Dustin did his best to try not to stand out, but it was hard for him to do. He was usually one of the tallest people in the crowd, and he was usually the only redhead. He tried not to appear too smart, and perfected the art of getting all B-pluses in high school. Sure he could have gotten all A’s, but a B didn’t make it look like you were trying to be better than anyone. It was just easier to quietly pass through the class and not draw too much attention.

There was one teacher in Dustin’s high school who saw through his scheme, his science teacher Miss Winston. She knew he was dogging it and she not only called him on it, she put him in her advanced classes. She was one of the few teachers who seemed to take an interest in him. Everyone else thought he was a lost cause. Miss Winston pushed him to be better than he ever thought he could be. She’d tried to buy him some new shoes once, because his old ones were falling apart. But Dustin quickly learned the price of accepting charity was a beating he would never forget from his father. She’d even offered him the opportunity to work on her farm to earn some extra money, but he had to turn her down. Going out and showing initiative would have just made his father ask more questions like, “You think you’re better than your old man?”

What Dustin liked most about learning was discovering new things. Dustin liked to find out things he hadn’t known before. He found it stimulating. He hated reviewing what he already knew. If a teacher was simply telling him things he already knew, he would check out. New and different excited him. The unknown piqued his curiosity. Because he was so bright and had been freed from the intellectual shackles of his father, Dustin excelled at college. “Cal U,” as people liked to call it, had been a place where he had thrived. He’d received a very generous scholarship that one of other teachers at his high school had helped him earn. Dustin found it funny that it was the two gay teachers in his high school who had helped him out the most, and he hadn’t slept with either of them!

Dustin knew his degree in computer science would be useful for getting a boring job in some office, but that wasn’t what he wanted to do. He wanted to push the boundaries of what one could do with technology. He believed the time was coming when everyone would have a smart phone, and that was where the money would go. He believed the era of the home computer was dead – mobile technology was the next big thing, and unlimited technology was the future.

Dustin sat in class, doodling in the margin of his notebook as his professor droned on about nanotechnology as if it were the wave of the future. Dustin’s insistence that the era of hardware was nearing its end, and that in the future the idea of limited data storage would sound as outdated as the floppy disk had invigorated the classroom discussion. It wouldn’t be smaller hardware, but no hardware at all. Dustin’s ideas intrigued his professor, but he insisted he still had to teach what was realistic, not what was science fiction.

Dustin’s thoughts wandered as the professor began talking about things that already were outdated. At least his fellow students were attractive. There was this blond guy in the desk next to him that he’d been interested in for a couple of semesters. Dustin had always had a thing for blondes. This one was a year or two older than Dustin, working on his master’s degree. He wondered if he might find a way to get into Blondie’s pants. He seemed a nice enough guy, and Dustin had him figured for gay. Dustin usually right about such things. All the signs were there. It was the subtle things, not the obvious signs. It was in the eyes. It was always the eyes that gave the guys away. Years of training had enabled Dustin’s gaydar to be uncannily accurate.

Dustin allowed his pencil to roll off his desk and onto the floor between himself and Blondie. Dustin leaned over to pick it up, but Blondie reached it first and handed it to Dustin. Blondie smiled politely at Dustin.

“Thanks,” he said, their eyes locking for just long enough for Dustin to discover all he needed to know. Definitely gay.

“Don’t mention it,” Blondie replied. A look of confusion and recognition swept over his face.

Dustin was getting a closet case vibe from Blondie. They were always fun. So conflicted and anxious that someone would discover his secret, yet so curious about the pleasures of gay sex. He went back to his notes. He’d made his move for the day. As much fun as he’d had last night, he enjoyed the hunt almost as much as the conquest. He could work weeks or even months to slowly conquer the boundaries leading up to the moment of penetration. Of course, once the act was completed, Dustin was on to the next target.

“That’s all for today, class dismissed. Mr. Smith, could I have a word, please?”

Dustin gathered his belongings and made his way to the front of the class. He figured he was destined for a lecture. He noticed Blondie was hanging back as the rest of the class departed, but then he too followed the rush of students out into the hall.

“Dustin, while I’d love to hear more about your theories about cloud storage, I hope you understand why I had to shut you down. Half these kids have no idea what you’re proposing. I’d suggest you channel your ideas into a thesis. I’d love to advise you on it.”

“That sounds great, Dr. Thompson,” Dustin replied.

“You’re one of the most intelligent students I’ve come across in my time here.”

“Well if you want to get technical, I think I’m the one who came across you,” Dustin grinned.

“Hmmm,” Dr. Thompson smiled. “Yes. But Dustin you have to understand…”

“Hey, you don’t have to worry about me. I don’t want my advisor to be taken down by a student sex scandal.”

“That’s good. Of course I can’t allow a repeat of last semester.”

“Dr. Thompson, trust me. Unless you’re banging any other students you don’t have anything to worry about. We both know what happened. You won’t find me saying anything. I don’t need anybody questioning my grades because I banged the teacher.”

Dustin and Dr. Thompson shared a laugh and then Dustin was on his way. Dr. Thompson had been an interesting fuck for Dustin. Such a reversal of the power dynamic, the student fucking the teacher. It hadn’t been all that good though. He was getting a top vibe from him, but Dustin never, ever bottomed. So Dr. Thompson had to assume the bottom position, and he wasn’t very good at it. He gave Dr. Thompson a three out of ten, and the three was mostly because he’d never had sex in a professor’s office before.

The midday sun was shining far too brightly as Dustin left the technology building. He squinted in the light and tried to adjust his eyes. He was finished with classes for the day, and couldn’t wait to get a quick nap before work. There, waiting on a bench outside the building was Blondie. Dustin grinned. He walked over and sat down next to the guy.

“Hey,” Dustin said.

“Hi! Mr. Smith, was it?”

“Yeah. Dustin Smith.”

“You’re kind of brilliant, aren’t you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, Dr. Thompson certainly seems impressed. The stuff you were talking about has to be at least twenty years in the future.”

“Not necessarily. The rate of discovery is advancing so exponentially. By the time we get out of here all of the stuff we’ve been learning will be like ancient history.”

“Well that’s comforting. Thousands of dollars down the tube, eh?”

Dustin laughed. “We’ve been in a few classes haven’t we?”


“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name.”

“It’s Luke.” Luke offered Dustin his hand and Dustin shook it. “Nice to meet you. What were you talking about with Dr. Thompson?”

“Wave of the future stuff. Wants me to write a thesis. Sounds like a lot of work. You waiting for somebody?”

“Yeah, my roommate. He’ll be around in a few minutes.”

“Roommate huh?” Dustin asked. “Cool. Anyway, it was nice to meet you. Maybe we can get together some time and study.”

“That’d be good,” Luke replied.

Dustin smiled as he walked away. That was enough for a first-time contact. Guy was definitely up for something, but what? The chase had begun.

Dustin went home and took a quick nap before going to his job for the evening. Dustin had a couple part-time jobs to keep food on his table and a roof over his head. One of those was working at a place called Janet’s Diner, owned by the mother of one of his high school classmates. Janet’s son, Bobby, was a big-time football player at Ohio State, and headed for the NFL. Janet had offered Dustin a chance to make some money waiting tables and washing dishes, but it also gave her the chance to give him the only good quality meal he’d have in a day. He was certainly popular with the customers. Dustin knew how to turn on the charm when it came to getting people to give him money for his services. That, too, was a game to him. Dustin was always early for work and he worked twice as hard as any other employee. His name dominated the employee of the month plaque.

“I’ll need to cut back my hours a bit now that school is starting,” he told Janet during his break. The two of them had developed a deep bond of affection in the time he’d worked there. Janet had become more of a mother to Dustin than he’d ever had. He liked the food she generously gave to Dustin, and the occasional phone number he had slipped to him by some of the patrons.

As the evening slowed down and Dustin finished his shift, he sat at one of the tables to enjoy his dinner. He would have never accepted someone just offering him free food, but he felt like he’d earned what Janet was offering him. As he sat there, he heard a voice he hadn’t heard since high school.

“Oh my god! It’s Dustin Smith!”

Dustin looked up from his plate and saw who had recognized him.

“Sarah Taylor,” he said. “What are you doing back here? I thought you were going to Stanford.”

Sarah sat in the booth across from Dustin and Dustin motioned for the waiter who was working to take care of her.

“Yeah, about Stanford…”

“Not going back?”

“No. Let’s just say there were academic issues and leave it at that.”

“Wow, I didn’t see that coming.”

“You didn’t? Everybody else seemed to.”

“What? You mean Billy?” Dustin scoffed.

“Billy, Joey, Brett, Emily, Bobby… Yeah, pretty much your whole crowd.”

“My crowd?” Dustin laughed. “That’s funny. I haven’t seen those guys in years.”

“Really, not even Billy?”

“Billy’s an asshole. He went off to school and that’s the last I saw of him. Brett comes back from time to time bail Joey out of jail or rehab. Em got married last year to some Catholic guy and I threw the invitation in the trash. I’ve got to watch Bobby on tv if I want to see him. Everybody got out of this shithole town and is making something of their lives. Everyone but me. Which begs the question, what are you doing back here?”

“Let’s just say I didn’t learn the best study habits while I was here. Fortunately, daddy said he could get me in at the elementary school if I finish my degree at Cal U.”

“Wow. And you were the valedictorian!”

Sarah laughed. “Oh please! Wasn’t that the biggest joke in school history? I love my father, but we both know what he did. Billy should have been valedictorian and it wasn’t even close.”

“I never thought I’d hear you say that.”

“It’s the truth isn’t it? I mean my father practically beat him over the head with a club and took it from him. Just don’t tell Billy I said that or we’ll never hear the end of it.”

Dustin laughed. “Yeah. That’s Billy.”

“So was he like OCD or something?” Sarah asked, enjoying the food the waiter had brought for her.

“I don’t know. Definitely a genius though. The way he could do numbers in his head was just freaky. Dumb as a box of rocks when it came to people though.”

“Yeah… He had me figured out, though, and I hated him for it. I did learn a lot at Stanford you know. I learned a lot about myself. All those years I never realized how much my father was manipulating people. I wish valedictorian was just some trophy I could hand over to Billy and be done with it. It’s caused me nothing but trouble.”

“Knowing Billy, he wouldn’t take it now if you offered it to him. Besides, it wasn’t your father who screwed him in the end. It was me.”

“What do you mean?” Sarah asked.

“Didn’t you wonder how two guys could go from being best friends to not speaking to each other for three years? I screwed him over pretty bad.”

“Do I even want to know?”

“It involves your brother and the prom,” Dustin admitted.

“Oh my god! You’re the one who Kenny was seeing that summer!”


“You’re apparently very… skilled at what you do.”

“So they say. Anyway, Kenny blew me at the prom and Mr. Hartley recorded it. Hartley told Billy he’d release the tape and ruin my chances at playing pro baseball if he didn’t accept a bad grade in his class.”

“Wow… That’s the missing piece! I always wondered why Billy stopped fighting and gave up. Now it makes sense! He did it to protect you!”

“Yeah well who asked him? It was all a trick. Mr. Hartley knew I wasn’t going to play pro ball. The whole situation was stupid. Mr. Hartley just did it to have your father make him the principal and he’d already bought me off with a scholarship, so I ended up not only screwing my best friend but looking like a total asshole in the process. I couldn’t even look Billy in the face after it all went down. I felt like such a dick. So after graduation I told him I didn’t want to be friends anymore and that was that. He didn’t even fight me about it, he just said okay and moved on. He went on with his happy little life and I’ve been stuck here ever since.”

The two of them continued their meal. Dustin felt good finally being able to tell someone the truth about what had happened.

“So can I ask you something personal?” Sarah asked.

“Eight inches,” Dustin replied.

“I’ve had bigger. But no, that’s not what I was going to ask. This is very personal, and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.”

“I already feel like my life is an open book. Ask away.”

“Okay, so what happened to you in tenth grade? I mean, you were the star of the baseball team, making good grades, and then your life just exploded and you almost died and then you disappeared for a year. What happened? There are so many rumors.”

“What have you heard?”

“One, that you were a gay prostitute. Another that you had AIDS. Another that your father beat you up. Another that you tried to kill yourself. Like I said, there’s a lot of rumors.”

“You only said one that wasn’t true. I don’t have AIDS. I don’t have any STD’s.”

“So all the other stuff is ture?”

Dustin nodded.

“Wow, so you did try to kill yourself?”

Dustin laughed. “Usually it’s the gay prostitution thing that gets the big shocked reaction.”

“I don’t care about that. I’m just sad that you tried to kill yourself and I never even knew.”

Dustin turned his hands over, palm-side up, showing Sarah his wrists. “If you look through the tats you can still see the scars. My dad was a drunk and a vicious bastard who liked to beat the shit out of me to feel good about himself. He found out about the prostitution and jammed a broomstick up my ass. I almost died. So one Saturday night I got drunk and did this to myself. Billy found me in the woods and took me to Brett’s house. I would be dead if not for a random act of chance. Billy had no business being in those woods that night. I guess I should have used a gun.”

“Don’t say that,” Sarah said, her face whiter than usual.

“Why not? I’d be doing a lot of people a favor if I just died. I wasn’t ‘crying for help’ like my shrink said. I didn’t want help, I wanted to die.”

“You would have hurt a lot of people if you’d killed yourself.”

“Who? Would you have cared if I died, Sarah?”

“I would have been very sad. You’re a nice boy, Dustin. I thought Emily was crazy to let you get away.”

“Well, she’s not my type,” Dustin said.

“And who is your type?” Sarah asked.

“Well, the type with a penis, obviously.”

“So you’ve never had a brother and a sister before?”

Dustin smiled and did his best Dustin Hoffman impression. “Why Miss Taylor! You’re trying to seduce me!”

“Well according to my brother you are very talented.”

“You talked to your brother about him having sex with me?”

“I never knew your name, but I knew there was someone that summer. He was only going to stay in town for a few weeks and he ended up staying all summer. Kenny tried to pretend he was straight for mom and dad, but I’m his little sister. We talked about everything. I always knew he was gay. I knew there was someone, I just never knew you were the guy. Makes sense though, you’re very cute. I must admit, I am intrigued. My brother and I have a lot in common, but the idea of having the same boy…”

“Don’t get too excited about it. I’m not interested in breeder sex. Now, you’ll have to excuse me. This has been great, but I need to get to my other job soon,” Dustin said, standing up. “Don’t worry. Dinner is on me.”

“Thanks. Dustin, here.” Sarah wrote her phone number on a piece of paper and handed it to Dustin. “Give me a call sometime. I’m living at home. This is my cell phone.”

Dustin looked at the number and smiled. He tucked the paper into his pocket. “Cool. Your brother was a nine, by the way.”

“A nine?”

“On a scale of one to ten. Definitely a nine.”

Sarah just smiled. “I’m better,” she said.

“Cool. I’ll see you around, I guess,” Dustin replied.

It was after two in the morning when Dustin finally made it home. His body was tired, and his mind was exhausted. It had been a long day. Just as he reached for his doorknob, Mr. Johnston’s gruff voice startled him.

“All alone tonight, Red?”

“Jesus! You spooked me! Yes, I’m alone. And I’m tired and cranky so fuck off!” Dustin replied.

“Good, maybe I’ll be able to have some peace tonight.”

“Oh, go fuck yourself, you old fossil!” Dustin mumbled under his breath.

Thanks for reading!

Oh, I almost forgot! I love to hear your thoughts on the story! You can reach me at jkwsquirrel@yahoo.com

Next time - The Reunion at the Old Homestead