It was dark when the phone woke me. George Benson was on the radio, and I'd been dreaming about my ex-lover, Daniel. Not my favorite thing. In the dream, I was yelling at him about something. I couldn't remember what. He had a pirate's patch over one eye and didn't bother to yell back. I cursed my subconscious and padded out into the living room, picked up the phone, and grunted into the heavy, black receiver.

'Nick? It's Eugene. You asked me to call if I saw that particular person. Well, he's here at Big Nell's.'

Big Nell's is a tiny storefront bar a few blocks from my apartment. They manage to pull in a crowd on Sunday afternoons with a combination of cheap drink specials and Al Parker movies playing on portable TVs dangled from every corner of the bar.

I got there a half hour later, freshly showered and smelling of Polo. Eugene sat at the bar with a couple of very young, very blond men. Twinkies. It took me a minute to be sure, but neither of them was Brian Peerson. I took a stool at the opposite end of the bar and ordered a Miller.

I scanned the bar until I found him. Brian Peerson stood in a huddle with three boys roughly around his age. He wore a dark pair of Calvin Klein jeans, a tight sweater, and a pair of Frey boots with a high enough heel to throw off his posture in a way that flattered his ass. He'd let his hair grow out a little, and the curls were coming back. It was blonder than it had been in his high school photo. He was going for a sun-kissed look, but that didn't happen in Chicago. Not in winter. In winter it looked dyed. He was an attractive kid, but already he was working too hard at it.

His friends seemed to like him, or at least they laughed at his jokes. I wondered a moment what kind of person he was. Then I told myself not to be stupid. All I had to do was wait until he left the bar, follow him home, and get his address. While I waited, I sipped a beer and considered ways to pad my bill so I wouldn't have to send back the part of my retainer I'd just spent on a pumped-up cassette player.

Around eight, Brian grabbed a giant, blue down coat that made him look like the Michelin man when he put it on. I was sure he hadn't noticed me keeping an eye on him. He'd kept his back to me most of the time. Besides, I'd spent the last twenty minutes trying to shake off a drunk guy in his early thirties who was hitting on me pretty hard.

'You sure you don't want to see my place? It's a loft. You know, like they have in New York. It's just fucking great.' Brian had just walked out the door. I got off the stool to follow, and the drunk guy grabbed me.

'Listen, listen to me, I'll give you a blowjob you'll never forget.'

'Yeah,' I said. 'That's what I'm afraid of.'

Before he could think about it, I pulled his hands off me and zipped out the door. Brian was half a block away, heading toward the Addison El stop. Fortunately, the snow had stopped. Everything was covered in a good eight to ten inches, giving the world a muffled quality, like the whole city was suddenly wrapped in gauze. Brian was a good five inches shorter than I am, with shorter legs; I had to be careful not to gain on him.

As we waited on the platform for the train, I hung back out of his line of sight. He smoked a cigarette and cruised a guy on the opposite platform. When the train arrived, I considered getting in the next car in case he recognized me from the bar, but I was afraid I'd lose him. When the doors opened, we both got in; he went one way, I went the other.

We headed north, zipping by Sheridan, Wilson, Lawrence; I began to wonder how far north we'd be going. Finally, he got off at Bryn Mawr. I had to wait until he was well off the train and barely got off without the doors slamming shut on me. Brian wasn't on the platform. Obviously he'd already made it down the stairs.

The area was called Edgewater. It had been nice forty years ago, but now it was seedy and cheap. As evidenced by the train station, which desperately needed renovation. I headed down the stairs. No sign of Brian. He must already be on the street. I picked up my pace to make sure I caught sight of him before he went and turned some corner.

When I spun through the turnstile that put me out onto Bryn Mawr, I was surprised to find Brian standing there, smoking another cigarette. I averted my eyes quickly and turned as though I had a particular destination in mind. My stomach sank when I heard his steps crunching in the snow behind me. He'd figured out I was following him, and now he was returning the favor. I was struggling to figure a way to save the situation when I heard him say, 'I know why you've been following me.'

I stopped. 'Right now you seem to be following me.' My mind raced. Had he figured the whole thing out? Did he know Walt was trying to find him? If he knew Walt was looking for him--

'You were at the bar,' he said. Then he looked me up and down. It was a look that should have melted the snow around us in a five-foot radius. I smiled. Obviously, he figured I thought he was cute and that's why I was following him home. I decided not to correct him.

He stepped passed me, and I quickly fell into step with him. 'Have you lived in this neighborhood long?' I asked.

'Less than a year.'

'You like it?'

'Not really. There's a lot of weirdos on the street.' He laughed after he said it. Just to let me know he meant me. 'Do you have a name?' he asked.

'Nick Nowak.'

'I'm Brian Peerson.'

I nodded like it was the first time I'd heard the name. We walked a few blocks without saying much, then we turned south on Kenmore. Halfway down the block we stopped in front of a building done up in a Tudor style, like it could have been sitting someplace in Merry Olde England. It was three stories tall, the kind of building that was all studio apartments. I noted the address: 5518.

Brian pushed the security door open. It was broken and no longer required a key. We walked half the length of the building to a small, rickety elevator. After we squeezed in, he pulled the gate shut, and, with a jolt, we began to rise. He seemed nervous. Or maybe I was just projecting. I was nervous, that's for sure. I shouldn't be doing what I was about to do. It violated all sorts of ethical codes, I was sure.

As soon as we got to his apartment door, I'd know his exact address. I should make some excuse and just leave. After all, my client made it seem like he was this kid's boyfriend, and it might even be true. Either way, I knew he wouldn't be too happy about me fucking Brian. Of course, Brian had made it pretty clear he'd be real happy about me fucking him. So it would be hard not to.

When we got into his apartment, number 321, we began to peel off our outer gear. The place was small, about the size of my living room, but cute. Maybe too cute. The walls in the living room were baby blue, and the kitchen was lemon yellow. I couldn't see the bathroom, but I was betting it was pink. There was a mattress and box spring on the floor, a love seat, a desk. One side of the place was all closet doors. Doors that had once flipped open and dropped a Murphy bed.

He had a lot of stuff crammed in there: books, records, prints on the wall. He'd hit the boutiques in New Town pretty hard. All the stuff and the colors he'd picked to paint the place up told me he'd made a home for himself here. Which didn't quite fit with his being on the run from some old boyfriend.

'So, have you got a boyfriend?' I asked. Given the situation, it seemed like a reasonable question.

He looked around the apartment and said, 'Where would I put him?' It seemed more evasion than answer, and I wanted to give him a good slap.

Standing on his toes, he kissed me. His lips were still cold from the ride home. He smelled like cigarette smoke and snow and Aramis. He kissed me so deeply I began to wonder how he'd breathe. Then he pulled back and said, 'The minute you walked in the bar, I could tell you were there for me.'

So much for my surveillance abilities.

'I love guys like you,' he said.

'Really? Why's that?'

He smiled at me and licked his lips. At the same time, he was opening my belt. 'Guys like you are easy to figure out.'

I don't like being easy to figure out.

Brushing away his hands, I opened up his jeans and yanked them down around his knees. I pulled at his striped bikini briefs until his half-hard cock popped free. It was pink and hooded. Another time I might have enjoyed paying it some attention. Instead, I spun him around and pushed him up against the arch between the living room and the kitchen. I dipped my hand between his ass cheeks and rubbed his hole.

His ass was covered in a light coating of blond hair. I spit on a finger and slipped it into him. Brian wiggled back onto my hand. Deep in his throat he made a rumbling sound, halfway between a whimper and a demand. We were a foot or so away from a little dinette table. A glass dish sat in the middle of the table holding a half stick of butter. I squeezed a chunk and warmed it up in my hands. Quickly, I spread the butter on my dick and all over his ass.

'Ah... Jesus fuck,' Brian said as I entered him. I braced myself against the wall and began pumping him. I left a buttery handprint on his wall, but I didn't give it a thought. I wasn't thinking about much besides his ass squeezing down on my dick, the shockwaves rippling through his fleshy buttocks, and the panting sighs escaping his lips.

Wrapping both hands around his hips, I pounded into him hard and fast. With each pump I lifted him off the floor so that his cowboy boots tapped against the hardwood floor. I was punishing him, though I couldn't have told you what for.

'Oh my God, oh my God...' Brian groaned.

I picked up speed. A thin layer of sweat broke out over most of my body. With a yelp, I was coming deep inside of him. But still I continued to slam into him until every last drop was squeezed out of me.

Breathing heavily, I stopped and stayed very still for a few moments. I pulled out of him and stepped back. At first, I wasn't sure if he'd come or not. But then, when he stepped away from the wall, I saw that he'd sprayed jizz all over it. When he turned around, there was come all over the bottom of his sweater, as well.

I noticed he was shaking. A good fuck will do that to you, I thought. But then he turned and looked at the mess we'd made of his wall, come and buttery handprints everywhere. He took it all in, his neck flushing red with anger.

'I think you'd better leave.'

 

Marshall Thornton

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