There was a hard slapping sound from the engine compartment then several warning lights lit up on the dashboard. Brandon slowed down as he continued down the narrow two lane highway that undulated through the countryside. The engine sputtered and Brandon knew he had to pull over. He slowed to a crawl and eased over onto the shoulder, the tall grass raking the underside till he came to a stop. He shut down the engine and stared straight ahead.
"Fuck" Brandon uttered as he sat unmoving. Taking a deep breath, feeling like he could just cry with frustration, he opened his door and climbed out and stood on the edge of the pavement looking over his car. The Ford hatchback, packed tight in the rear and even a bag in the passenger seat, sat silent except for the ticking of the hot engine cooling down. He leaned into the open door and released the hood and moved to the front of the car, feeling along the gap searching for the lever that would release the hood completely. It took a couple of passes but he finally felt the lever and pulled the hook up. He had no idea what he was looking for but quickly he saw the fragments of belt in the engine compartment and then he saw the empty pulleys of the alternator and air compressor.
"Dammit" he cursed, then stood up and looked one way then the other down the rural highway he now found himself stranded on. He had wanted to get off the interstate, wanted a slower drive, one that let him think, process through his feelings and work out some kind of resolution before he got home for the summer. He had left the campus that afternoon after his last exam and as fast as he could, loaded his car and took off. The last two exams were a struggle for he fought to maintain his focus. The semester had been going so well, everything seemed perfect with his classes and more importantly to him, his finally going to that gay support group where he met Paul. His first semester he just focused on getting into the routine of classes and living on his own for the first time, but always hovering in his mind had been how he, a small town boy, was gay and inexperienced. He found the support group and several times that first semester he started to fill out the online application or just go to one of their meetings but each time he backed out. This past semester he was determined to follow through and the first week on campus he had gone to their first meeting. It was the third meeting he met Paul, who had asked him out afterwards and everything took off from there. For the rest of the semester they were together, helping each other with course work, going out to parties, the support group meetings just to socialize with others and more nights than not, Brandon found himself staying at Paul's apartment instead of his dorm room. Two days ago it all came to an end.
Paul had told Brandon he needed to focus on studying for exams and so he had not seen him for four days, only talking briefly on the phone, and in hindsight he should have realized something was wrong. Then two days ago Paul had shown up at his dorm. 'They needed to talk' he had said so Brandon followed Paul downstairs and outside where they walked the sidewalk around the commons between the dorms, Paul told Brandon the semester had been fun but he needed to move on, to have the summer for himself and come back next fall and go out with other guys. Brandon had sucked it up, told him he understood, and in his mind he did understand, but not in his heart.
Normally Brandon would take I-85 into Montgomery where he would merge onto I-65 taking it to within forty miles of his home town, but today he had gotten off the interstate and taken the old two lane roads that cut across the rural countryside, roads that would add over two hours to his trip. Now he found himself in a desolate stretch of road broke down with his car packed tightly with his belongings. He opened the hatch to his ten year old Ford and stood holding the edge of it in a death grip staring at his stuff till his vision grew blurry, the frustrations, the anger and hurt feelings all coming together. He wanted to slam the hatch down and walk off.
Brandon didn't hear the old pickup come up the road behind him till it was close and he turned to see the old faded blue truck slow down as it approached then ease off the road pulling up behind him. The truck was an old model, twenty years or more, Brandon was sure, and its blue paint was faded to a soft matt tone. The driver's door squeaked open and the driver stepped out, closed his door and walked in a slow gait up to Brandon.
"What seems to be the problem?" the slow southern dialect, so familiar to Brandon, so welcoming, broke the spell of his frustration and he quickly wiped his eyes with his shirt sleeve and looked up at the man coming toward him. Tall, broad shouldered, muscular, his face friendly with his slim lips, softly rounded nose and bright eyes, noticeable even under the bib of his cap.
"A belt on the engine broke apart and now I'm stranded."
"Well that can be fixed easily enough, but the problem is the parts store nearby closed an hour ago" the man stated in a soft friendly tone.
"There isn't another somewhere?"
"There is the truck stop near the interstate about thirty miles away but they won't have belts that fit a car. How far do you have to go?"
"I have..." and he had to think about where he was and then he realized he still had a long way to go. "I have over two hours of driving left to do."
The man stood quiet for a moment, looked back at his truck as if some answer lay there, then he looked at Brandon.
"I have the tools we'll need to fix it, but it'll be morning before the store opens in Hanson..." and he looked at his watch, then back up at Brandon, "...so you'll need to stay here overnight."
"Fuck" Brandon uttered; then looked sheepishly at the man who smiled at him nodding his head.
"Yep, that sums it up" the man replied.
"Is there a hotel or something in Hanson?" Brandon asked, realizing his situation.
"Yes, there is an old motel...but you probably shouldn't stay there" the man replied then he held out his hand, "I'm sorry, I've not introduced myself; I'm Thomas."
"Thomas, I'm Brandon" Brandon replied taking his hand, feeling the firm grip and its calloused palm. "May be I should just crash in my car anyway."
"Nah, you don't need to do that, it'll be fine if you lock it up. Why don't you come back to my house...it's just up the road less than a mile. In the morning I can take you into Hanson, get a belt. It'll take only a few minutes to slip it on and you can get back on your way."
"Oh...I can't impose..." and Thomas interrupted him.
"It's not a bother, grab what you need and lock up" Thomas said and Brandon, for some reason he couldn't explain just nodded and took out his gym bag he had thrown his toiletry case and some of his clothes and shut the hatch, went to his door, locked it and headed to the truck where Thomas was already starting it up..
Thomas didn't understand why he was being so generous with this college student, but when he first approached him there was something rather sad about him, the way he had to wipe his face quickly before acknowledging Thomas. Brandon was so lean he was skinny, and his fair skin was so white and soft looking it made his black hair stand out in sharp contrast so Thomas at first didn't really look at the boy, didn't think of him sexually, he was so different from the men he usually hooked up with, men near his own age, muscular, brawny men who liked to fuck and then leave as soon as it was over. Living in the countryside made it difficult, and at thirty-eight he found having a relationship with another man damn near impossible. So he went to the small bars in the towns nearby, or drove all the way to one of the cities and once a year he took a vacation to some city where he could relax and be himself, last year being Dallas. He found his taste in men changed, as well as his expectations, as he grew older. As he watched Brandon walk toward his truck, the dim light of dusk making his skin appear to glow he remembered what it had been like for him when he was Brandon's age, the sneaking around hooking up with that boy over in Jasper, and then there was Mitch whom he met at a farm auction while his father looked for some piece of equipment. Mitch had been his first love, the guy he thought he could actually live openly with, but it wasn't like that for Mitch and he soon joined the army and left.
Thomas watched Brandon climb into his truck, the thirty-one year old truck one his father had bought new and had been used on the farm ever since, now by him for his father had to stop farming a few years ago. Brandon slide up on the worn vinyl seat and set his gym bag between them and Thomas, by the interior light of the truck, looked at Brandon closely for the first time, the way he wore his hair a little long, the cut rough letting it fall in an uncombed way that even Thomas found looked good. But he was so pale, and his skin was so soft looking, his arms were as smooth and hairless as a young boy and his clothes hung on his skinny frame and Thomas realized he wasn't as tall as he initially thought, actually a few of inches shorter than his six foot one, but his skinny frame and long arms and legs made him look taller.
"My house is just down the road a short piece" Thomas said as Brandon closed his door and Thomas put the truck into drive and eased off the shoulder back onto the highway. They rode in silence till Thomas turned into his drive heading up to the old two story farm house he had renovated, one that belonged to his great-grandparents.
"This is it" Thomas said to Brandon.
"Nice" Brandon replied.
"So you're in college?"
"Yeah, just finished my freshman year" Brandon said.
Inside the house Thomas took Brandon upstairs and showed him to one of the two guest bedrooms and the bathroom at end of the hall.
"My bedroom is downstairs so I won't be bothering you during the night and if you want to clean up go ahead for it'll take me an half hour or more to throw something together for dinner" Thomas told Brandon as he made his way out to the hall.
"Oh, don't go to any trouble" Brandon called out and he heard Thomas voice come back to him from down the hall.
"It's no trouble; come on down when you're ready."
Brandon went and took a shower and back in the bedroom pulled out a pair boxers, gym shorts and t-shirt. Dressed he took a moment to look around the room and noticed for the first time the photos on the wall were of Thomas as a kid, then a teenager in different family settings. He went around the room looking at each one, noticing how Thomas had been a lean framed teenager, the shot of him at some beach in swimming trunks showed a body only a little more developed than his own and he found it comforting how Thomas had matured into such a nice looking man and he hoped he would as well. Moving around the room he came to three photographs grouped together showing Thomas with another boy, both teenagers at some fair grounds or festival and Thomas looked closely at the way they hung on each other, the way Thomas had such light brown hair, in some shots almost blonde and the other boy was dark headed, not as tall with the same build and the bottom photograph had Thomas looking at the other boy as he looked at the camera and Brandon knew the look, one that was more than friendship.
Brandon could smell something cooking in the kitchen and thought he should head on downstairs and he walked down the hall looking at the photographs along the wall thinking they must be Thomas' parents and other relatives. As he passed the other bedroom door he stopped, wondering what photographs would be on its walls and he eased the door open and turned on the light. The room was the mirror image of the other room except the bed was a newer style and there was a bookcase on one wall. The walls were covered in photographs like the other bedroom but these were more recent for they showed Thomas as a man, in different locations, such as the mountains, New Orleans, Key West, and other locations and in all of them Brandon quickly realized there were few if any women, for Thomas was always with another man, or in some photographs, a group of men, and as he went around the room he realized there were a few of Pensacola Beach with rainbow flags in the background, more shots of Key West and again the obvious signs in the background and Brandon smiled for it was comforting, this random meeting where even out here in the middle of nowhere he found someone like himself.
Brandon eased the door closed and went downstairs finding Thomas in the kitchen pulling some pork chops from the oven after broiling them and on the countertop was a salad and some beans.
"It isn't much, but it'll satisfy your hunger" Thomas said without turning around.
"Anything would have been fine" Brandon replied. "You've done too much already."
"Oh don't worry about it. I get few visitors out here and having someone around is kind of a nice change" Thomas said as he set the hot the broiling pan on the countertop and placed a couple of pork chops on each plate. "Damn, I'm hungry; let's eat."
Brandon moved around the island in the kitchen and Thomas noticed the way he was dressed, the gym shorts that hung loosely around Brandon's narrow waist and how his thin legs didn't come close to filling the leg openings. The t-shirt just hung off his shoulders and Thomas couldn't stop from thinking how easy it would be to slip Brandon out of his clothes as loose as they were but he turned his attention back to their meal and laid plates and dinnerware on the island.
They prepared their plates and moved to the dining table, Thomas taking the chair at the head of the table and Brandon to his right. Thomas asked Brandon about college, and Brandon began to tell him what his freshman year had been like, hinting at how the first semester had been tough and the second had been, he had thought, perfect, and Thomas listened. When Brandon found he had nothing more he felt comfortable saying the room grew quiet for a moment, the silence worrying to Brandon, and he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
"Are you gay?"
Thomas stared at Brandon, surprised at the way he had asked without any warning, and he saw how serious Brandon looked, the anxiety knowing he might be overstepping his boundaries and Thomas smiled, sitting back in his chair.
"You saw the photos in the other guest room?"
"Yes" Brandon replied and Thomas laughed, casually, shaking his head and he saw Brandon visibly relax, a smile form on his face.
"I think that is obvious if you saw those photos" Thomas finally said and he grew quiet, saw how Brandon was fidgeting in his chair and when Brandon finally looked up at Thomas, there was a sadness there he had seen earlier.
"Me too" Brandon whispered.
"So what went wrong this last semester?" Thomas asked although he had a good idea. Brandon leaned forward, putting his elbows on the table with his hands out in front of him, his fingers intertwined, and be told Thomas about Paul, every detail and when he came to the place he was standing on the side of the road and Thomas had drove up he leaned back and took a deep breath before looking at Thomas.
Thomas leaned forward, faced Brandon and for the next twenty minutes he told him how tough it could be, this being gay in a predominately straight society, how some guys were only looking to hook up, and others no matter how much they may want to be in a relationship, seemed unable to do so, and he told of the guys he had let slip past him, some that may have been someone he could have spent his life with and others, who he tried to form a relationship had not been interested, and he told Brandon it was getting easier, society was moving past its prejudices, slowly in some cases, but it was getting easier and he talked of how much of his life was in front of him, the next few years of college, and when Thomas finally stopped talking he saw Brandon staring at him in rapt attention having listened to every word.
"Sure, I'm not sleepy" Brandon replied and he helped Thomas clear the table and load the dishwasher before they retreated to the living area. Brandon sat on the sofa and Thomas loaded his old DVD player and sat back in his favorite chair. The movie began and for a few minutes they watched in silence, then Brandon asked Thomas what were his favorite places to visit and within a few minutes the movie played without their attention as they talked.
The movie ended just as their conversation wound down and when Thomas turned off the DVD player and television Brandon stood up and said he guessed he should call it a night. Thomas waited till Brandon was up the stairs and killed all the lights in the kitchen and living area, retiring to his bedroom. He laid on his bed thinking of Brandon, how this young man, still a boy in Thomas' eyes, had gotten to him, made him remember his own coming of age, his own frustrations, loves lost, and all the times he had his feelings hurt. He lay there staring up in the darkness, his eyes open but unable to see anything except what he was envisioning in his mind.
Brandon, upstairs in the guest bedroom, lay in bed on his side staring at the door, the lamp on the nightstand still on. He couldn't sleep, couldn't get all the things Thomas had said out of his mind, the way he had been so sympathetic, so reassuring. He still felt like there was a hole in his chest but the last couple of hours it no longer seemed insufferable.
Thomas heard the creak of the floor upstairs and assumed Brandon was going to the bathroom but then he heard him come down the stairs, that squeaky fifth tread giving him away, and Thomas wondered what he was doing up. He started to get up and see if he needed something but then he saw under the door a light come on followed by Brandon's shadow breaking across it. His door opened slowly, squeaking on its hinges as light cut across the room in an ever expanding width until it cut across Thomas lying in his bed staring back. When Brandon stepped into the door way his shadow fell over Thomas casting him into darkness.
"Thomas...are you awake?" Brandon whispered.
"Yeah" Thomas replied as he lay still watching the silhouette of Brandon move into the room.
"Can I...sleep with you tonight?"
Thomas hesitated for a moment but the tone of Brandon's voice, the insecurity of it, tore at him and he pulled the covers back and shifted over making room for Brandon. Brandon was in his boxers, the dark fabric making his pale white skin glow even brighter in the dim light.
"Brandon I have to tell you I sleep naked; okay?"
"That's okay" Brandon replied as he slipped down on the bed next to Thomas snuggled up to him, back first. "Will you hold me? I'm not expecting anything...else."
Thomas put his arm over Brandon and pulled him close and Brandon's skinny smaller body fit snuggly up against him. He tried to relax, tried not to think about this boy lying up against his body, but the warm body, so soft against his skin, caused him to get an erection. His cock thickened, stretched out between them and pressed against Brandon's ass.
Brandon knew he was pushing Thomas, knew he was getting to him by the way Thomas' cock was pressed against his ass and he couldn't help it, couldn't control himself and he pushed back against Thomas feeling his cock flex and grow harder.
"Brandon....please..." Thomas whispered, his tone pleading, but he couldn't stop himself, couldn't refuse Brandon, this intimacy and when Brandon, holding his hand, pushed it downward rubbing it along his flat smooth chest, over his stomach and then down into his boxers and over his own growing erection, Thomas took it, held the growing shaft in his hand and stroked it slowly as he moved down burying his nose in Brandon's hair smelling the clean shampoo smell and he kissed Brandon's neck, then his ear and as his tongue rimmed it curves Brandon pushed back against him hard, then pumped his hips forward sliding his cock through Thomas's fist.
Thomas moved back and eased Brandon on his back and caressed his hand over Brandon's chest and stomach as he leaned down and kissed him. Brandon relaxed against him as Thomas ran his hand down and took the boxers by the waist band and worked them down. Brandon kicked them off his feet as Thomas took his hard cock, stroked it, rubbed his hand over the head till Brandon moaned and pushed upward with his hips.
Brandon shifted, became more aggressive as he turned and pushed Thomas on his back moving over on top of him. Brandon sat on Thomas, the sheet sliding from his shoulders revealing his slim body. He moved his ass over Thomas' cock, rocking his hips back and forth and when he leaned forward he ran his hands over Thomas's chest, his fingers sliding through the matt of hair that covered it.
"I want you in me" Brandon whispered as he sat up, rose his ass up over Thomas and reached for the hard cock he had been sitting on and held it up. Thomas started to say something, but he didn't know what to say, knew there was nothing to say as he felt Brandon ease down till his tight hole's resistance gave way and Thomas felt his cock penetrate, squeeze through the tight opening. Brandon cried out as he let his body slide down the thick hard shaft till he was completely impaled. Brandon leaned back, his torso stretched out and Thomas ran his hands over the smooth flesh feeling it quiver as Brandon brought his hips up and then sank back down on Thomas' cock. Slowly, over and over, Brandon moved up and down, worked the hard thick shaft through his tight hole till it loosened up and he easily rode Thomas' cock and Brandon moved faster, fucked his ass up and down hard, rocking the bed. Brandon took his own cock in hand and began to stroke it, hard, his hand in rhythm with his hips as they moved up and down and all too soon Brandon was breathing hard, his rhythm became rough and uneven and Thomas knew he was going to cum.
The first wad spattered against his cheek and the next roped up along his upper chest and hit him under the chin with all the rest spattering over his chest and stomach. Brandon came hard with a large load and it surprised Thomas how it spattered all over him, but he let Brandon finish, felt him fuck his ass up and down to the strokes of his cock, each ejaculation making his ass spasm around Thomas' hard shaft. When Brandon was spent he fell forward and wrapped his arms around Thomas's neck kissing him on the mouth, then along his jaw and finally his ear.
"Now fuck me...fuck me Thomas" Brandon whispered and Thomas wrapped his arms around Brandon and rolled him over on his back, keeping his cock buried in his hole. He moved slowly, full swings of his hips, sinking his cock all the way in and then pulling nearly all the way out, over and over and over, driving his cock into Brandon, opening him up all the way. Thomas was gentle, moved gracefully, slowly, hands rubbing over Brandon's body, holding his small round ass as he fucked his cock into him, locking their bodies together. He felt the cum smear between them as he let his weight rest on Brandon, smothered him with his body as he fucked his hole deeply.
"Ah...ah...ah...Thomas..." Brandon cried out and Thomas realized Brandon's cock had never gone soft, was still hard rubbing against his stomach and he moved against him harder, drove his cock faster bringing himself closer, his need rising faster.
Thomas's thrusts were even, rhythmic, the way he drove his cock into Brandon and when he felt his need to cum build up, his body tense up tight he swung his hips faster, drove his cock down into Brandon harder making Brandon cry out, moan and beg for him to fuck harder till he felt his cock swell up larger and the head of his cock plow through Brandon with too much sensitivity and he came, pumping his load into Brandon. He fucked with hard jabbing thrusts and Brandon was undulating below him as if possessed, his body rocking with each thrusts Thomas pushed into him till Thomas felt it, Brandon's second load as it pumped out between them.
They were exhausted when both were spent and soon Thomas moved back on his side with Brandon in his arms and only a minute passed before both were asleep.
The early morning light made the curtains glow brightly and Thomas opened his eyes to see he still held Brandon. He liked the feel of his warm body next to his own, the soft smooth skin of it, the way it fit snuggly against him and he ran his hand up and down Brandon's chest and stomach feeling cum flake off the smooth skin. Brandon stirred and twisted his upper body till he could look back at Thomas and he smiled up at the man who held him, the man who had taken him in and then let him come to his bed.
"Good morning" Thomas said in a low voice.
"Good morning" Brandon replied, and then he smiled, big, teeth showing through his lips.
"What...What's so funny?" Thomas asked.
"Nothing is funny, it's just..." and Brandon hesitated, his face grew serious for a moment, and then he gave Thomas a look of contentment, "thanks Thomas...for last night...ya know?"
Thomas stood on the side of the road watching the little hatchback, packed so full he couldn't see Brandon driving, move down the road. It hadn't taken very long to put the belt on, but they had spent half the morning in Hanson having breakfast, just sitting at the table afterwards drinking coffee and talking till Brandon told Thomas he really needed to get going. Brandon had hugged him so tightly it was surprising as he told Thomas how much last night meant to him. When Brandon had finally let go he had a look of someone much more confident than the evening before and Thomas felt a sense of pride at being able to help him. As the car disappeared around a curve he also felt a sense of regret, and he had to admit it, he missed the boy already, but he held up the piece of notebook paper and read the email and cell phone number and smiled as he slipped it in his pocket and headed to his truck.