The next-to-the-last weekend had now descended for the gang at Spirit Lake before summer ended and we scattered again to our respective colleges and "whatever" activities. Giddiness was high, which is saying something for the group of friends from the affluent Atlanta uptown district of Buckhead, but we'd been on the other edge of giddy every weekend we'd come down to the lake.
Somehow I think we all knew this would be the last summer we'd gather at my parents' big old Victorian "cottage" on the Woodland side of the lake. It just wasn't the same without David Alexander, our erstwhile leader. The titular role had devolved on me--it was my family's vacation house we came to for our partying and debauching--but I just couldn't live up to David's role in the group--nor did I want to.

It was Saturday afternoon and, having mostly recovered from the party the night before, the six of us had piled into Danny Alexander's '55 fire-engine-red Cadillac Series 62 convertible for a "who knows where?" boredom-fighting road cruise, which Danny decided would be a slum run around the lake. The white-black class line, still strong in the Georgia of the mid fifties, ran down the middle of the lake from north to south. On the western side of the lake, on the outskirts of the town of Woodland, the manicured shoreline was lined with piles of Victorian-style wood monstrosities on verdant lawns owned by rich families like mine, the Maddoxes. The other side of the lake, with the small town for coloreds--the folks who served us on our side of the lake--that we called Coon Town, was where the "others" lived. The shore on their side of the lake was swampy and mostly undeveloped, just waiting for the vacation resort developers of the sixties to "gentrify" that side of the lake and push the coloreds out.

Although this was the second summer for the Alexander family's Cadillac convertible to be strutting around the lake--last year with Georgia University tennis star David Alexander in the driver's seat--it hadn't had quite the same impact this year on the Woodland side. A year-old bright red Cadillac convertible was still a head turner, but not so much with tall, gangling, trying-to-get-on-the-Georgia-basketball-team little brother Danny behind the wheel. This Saturday afternoon Danny's attempt to live up to his brother's aura had apparently caused him to decide to try to wow them with the car on the Coon Town side of the water.

As the current supposed leader of the "Wild Ones," I should probably have been doing the driving, but the Alexander senior's dictum had been "No one but Alexanders at the helm of the Cadillac," and the six of us wouldn't have fit in my jet-black '54 Ford Thunderbird convertible.

The six of us--once seven, with a leader, and now a loosely and mournfully bonded six--the tight little group from Buckhead, known as the Wild Ones. There certainly were more than those at the summer weekend parties at my family's lakeside cottage whatever night the Wild Ones were in residence--some added partiers coming by land and others by boats on the lake--but by day we reverted to the core group. Everything revolved around the six of us in this Cadillac rounding the northern head of the lake and nosing our way toward Coon Town.

The three young men in the car all were jocks--or, in Danny's case, a jock wannabe--at the University of Georgia in Athens, having been a "group" under the tutelage of athletic standout David Alexander since our high school days in Buckhead. The young women in the car also were from the Buckhead neighborhood, but, as they'd been jock groupies since high school, try as they might, the group just didn't revolve around them--certainly not in Georgia in 1956.

The group had always revolved around David Alexander, state tennis champion in his senior year at Georgia the previous year. As I've noted, a loose version of leadership had devolved this summer to me, now a college sophomore--my sports at Georgia were rowing and swimming--mainly because I, Lee Maddox, had the summer house at the lake and David was irrevocably gone. The "honor" had been dumped in my lap when David, out of college and newly in the Air Force, had nosed his P-80 Shooting Star training jet fighter into the ground at Moody Air Base near Valdosta the previous fall. Danny was trying to fill in his big brother's shoes in the group, but until he actually made the Georgia basketball team, he wouldn't be fully believable. He also hadn't achieved the maturity even of the college freshman that he was.

The third young man, Thad Price, an upcoming junior at Georgia, had age seniority in the group now, but, despite being a star All-State fullback on the Georgia football team, he'd had his head rattled on the field a few too many times to be making decisions about nearly anything.

Of the women in the car, Chas--who, for obvious reasons we had named thusly to avoid her given name of Chastity--was the floater, also known as the group punch. Anybody and everybody who had tooled around with the Wild Ones from Buckhead's North Atlanta High School on had had her, with no one claiming her as a steady. Everyone had had her but me, that is, with that missing dangler on her charm bracelet driving her nearly crazy. I'd already had to remove her hand from my crotch twice on our Saturday afternoon ride around the lake. I was wedged in the middle of the backseat of the Caddie with her to my right.

To my left was Maggie Campbell, who was still half drunk from the previous night--her usual condition in her grief. Maggie had hung on David Alexander from early days in North Atlanta High and had followed him to Georgia U. He'd been everything to her, and she hadn't been fully sober since his death. She was trying to substitute Danny for him, apparently thinking that clinging to him and keeping him between her thighs was the answer to her grief. Danny was taking advantage of that. While Chastity was trying to paw me in the backseat, Maggie was leaning forward in her seat, pressed against the back of the driver's seat, running her fingers through Danny's hair and nibbling on his ear. There was a frenetic, surrealistic aspect of Maggie's hanging on Danny, as if it disgusted even her that she clung so tightly to him.

The other two in the front seat were plastered against each other, giving Danny plenty of lateral room in the land boat to try to see the road through Maggie's waving fingers. Thad Price and June Milton had also been a couple from North Atlanta High days, when he was a standout on the football team and June was a cheerleader. June, like Chas, wasn't going to college. Chas was majoring in adding men to her charm bracelet and June was majoring in leading Thad down the aisle as soon as he graduated from college. None of us were hurting for money--all were attached to lucrative family businesses--so jobs didn't need to be a large part of our future planning or present concern.

We were strutting through Coon Town--I couldn't put the low speed Danny was taking on this stretch of the road any better than that--when he swung the Caddie into a rundown Texaco service station that I wasn't even sure was open.

"What are you doing, Danny?" I asked from the backseat. "We don't need gas. You filled it when we hit Woodland on Thursday."

"I want to help the local economy," he said, with a sneery laugh that told me this was the least of his motivations.

Then, as we pulled up to a rusting gas pump, I saw that the place was open. A massively built, the emphasis on built, black guy came sauntering out of the ramshackled service bay and headed toward us.

"Say, isn't that the guy who sometimes plays the banjo to LeRoy Brown's piano back in Woodland?" Chas asked, suddenly all attention to the guy with big chest and bicep muscles, trim waist, and bulging crotch.

Maggie confirmed that we had, indeed, seen him on the banjo at the honky-tonk called just that, the Honky-Tonk, on the edge of Woodland, where we went when we wanted to slum on the white side of the lake. I knew that his name was Sam Jackson. He was about our age and could have flattened Thad in a football game or any other sport I could name. A big, strapping, handsome black. Wearing just coveralls and barefooted, showing bulging biceps and the promise of the same from his pectorals along the edges of the coverall bib.

"Can I do for you?" he said, as he walked up to the car.

"Yes, indeedy, you can do for me," Chas muttered under her breath, although possibly--and purposely--not low enough for Jackson not to hear her.

"You sell gas here, don't you?" Danny asked. His voice was condescending. He'd stopped here for everyone within sight along the dreary street lined with leaning shacks to admire the shiny red Cadillac.

Sam nodded, not showing any belligerence, but not showing any subservience either.

"Well, then, fill 'er up, check the oil, clean the windshield, and you might shine up the white walls while you're at it."

I was feeling embarrassed at Danny's behavior, but I dared not get involved or show even that I knew Jackson from anywhere. Maggie still was hanging around Danny's neck from the backseat, and Thad and June didn't seem to know there was anyone around but each other.

Chas made no bones about being impressed by the big black, though. She was humming and flashing him her glamour eyes, and had unbuttoned the top two buttons of her blouse.

Sam did the full requested servicing that had been asked, with Danny badgering him about how he was doing it--and how fast he was getting it done. Just egging Sam along to see how far he could get. I was doing what I could to pretend I wasn't here. I'd probably say something to Danny later about demeaning a person of color needlessly, especially on their own turf and regardless of their relative size, but anything I did now would be like lighting a match to a bonfire. Chas, shaking out her long, blonde, curly hair and sticking out her chest, was following everything Sam did with her eyes. She was virtually begging for eye contact, which the big black wasn't giving her.

When he was done, Sam said, "That'll be $2.50 for the gas." He said nothing about the other services.

"Pay the boy," Danny said gruffly to Maggie, barely containing his irritation that he hadn't gotten a rise out of the black giant. As Maggie dug the money out of her purse, Danny reached into his own pocket, extracted a quarter, and flipped it toward the attendant, who caught it deftly in his hand. "Here's something for you, boy," Danny said.

Still no rise, but there might have been if the black guy hadn't just turned around and sauntered back to the station office.

Danny moved to start up the engine, but, standing up from her seat in the back, Chas declared, "Wait for me, I gotta visit the ladies."

Danny fumed a, "Christ Almighty, why didn't you do it while the black boy was pumping the gas?" but, ignoring him, Chas just maneuvered around the spooning couple in the front seat, got the door open, and was sashaying her butt in an exaggerated dueling-cats-in-a-burlap bag roll toward the service station office in the wake of the big black guy.

A few minutes later she returned, a scowl on her face. "Let's get outta this dump," she said as she climbed over Thad and June and landed in the backseat.

"What's with you?" Danny said over his shoulder as he started the Caddie up. "You're all unenthused all of a sudden."

"The ladies back there wasn't worth peeing in," she answered, taking a long look at the condition of her manicured and purple-glossed nails and turning her face toward the side of the car.

Somehow I didn't think that the condition of the ladies room was her problem--she certainly didn't ask us to stop for a pee on our continued journey around the southern end of the lake and back to my house. She didn't even try to paw me anymore--just sat there and stewed, looking at the scenery with no indication of actually seeing it. Maggie continued trying to be a scarf around Danny's neck. Most of the way home, however, Danny was taking looks to his right in the front seat. I figured I knew why. June's panties had been tossed into my lap and she was on Thad's lap, facing him. Her blouse was open and Thad's face was buried in June's very nice rack. She was bobbing up and down on his lap, and I decided there was no reason for me to sail her panties back to the front seat for a while.

* * * *

I was wandering around the living areas of the cottage on the shore of Spirit Lake that night, hearing discussions on all sides of me, above LeRoy Brown pounding out Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" on the piano, of how much everyone missed David Alexander and wasn't it a shame that David wasn't here and how much livelier the parties were when Alexander was sitting on the piano and thumping on its side as LeRoy punished the keys. And these weren't even members of the Wild Ones. These were summer-only friends who had the huge houses we all called cottages at the lake too who had descended by car or boat and half of whose names I didn't even know--or had bothered to remember. Most of the owners from the lake came from the Macon area, not Atlanta, and most of them were going to out-of-state colleges.

Thad and June and Maggie and Danny were off humping each other somewhere. Chas was making the rounds and pulling guys out of the melee for quickies in her room upstairs. She had tried me twice, to no avail, but she wasn't having much trouble with the local guys. Everyone was frenetic, panicking that this was the next-to-last weekend of the summer and they hadn't been laid enough, hadn't gathered enough memories of the good life at Spirit Lake in the summer.

Well, I missed David too. In ways these shallow, socially safe young people would never realize.

I walked through the open French doors at the water side of the living room and down to the dock. I stumbled onto the pier and to the water end of it, plopping down in one of the scruffy-white wooden Adirondack chairs pointed at the lake. I looked over to the other one, half expecting to see David sitting there. But of course he wasn't. He had been, though, last summer, on the next-to-last Saturday night of the summer season on the lake, coming out to where I was sitting in one of the chairs, smoking a cigarette, and seeking a muffling of LeRoy Brown back in the house, pounding away on Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer."

"You need to give up those smokes if you're going to take the state swimming crown," he said, as he reached me at the end of the dock and settled in the other chair. He was a magnificent specimen of a man just out of college. Dark complexioned, in a half-surly, bad boy look that was transformed the moment he gave you a smile. His hair was dark too, and he never seemed to be able to shave close, but on him it looked good. The women at college opened their legs instantly for a man who looked this good. He was shirtless, having stripped his off while walking to the dock. It was a hot night. I'd taken my shirt off too. I felt young and immature, not yet fully developed, in contrast to him. His was a mature man's body; my body was still working at it. I was a swimmer, blond and smooth chested, the chest muscled well enough, but not deeply--just enough development to serve the needs of a sleek line knifing through the water. He was hirsute, deeply tanned, broad- and deep-chested, already a muscular man. A god to those of us in the Buckland Wild Ones--to the whole community of youths on the western shore of the lake.

Any woman cavorting back there in the house would go with him in a flash. I think that's why he usually kept Maggie Campbell close--to ward off women throwing themselves at him. She had been safe, malleable, and uncomplaining since high school. Maggie wasn't with him now. He hadn't brought Maggie down to the dock with him. My body tensed up. It was always dangerous when he dropped Maggie before searching me out.

I pointed to the large crystal tennis trophy he'd brought out--his prize for winning the state title early in the summer. He wasn't carrying it around so much to brag as because of how much beer it would hold. It was at least half full now.

"You're ragging on me about fags . . . and training for sports," I said, "and yet you're walking around with a gallon of beer sloshing in that trophy?"

I had stopped after speaking the word "fags" and looked away, as he had done. I regretted the use of the word. There had been moments throughout the previous year at college, where we had reached a point where I knew what he wanted--what he wanted to ask of me, demand of me, take from me--but when I couldn't bring myself to give him the answer he wanted. It wasn't that I didn't want to give him that answer. It was because I was scared. It would change everything, completely reorder my life. In the summer of 1955 that wasn't something you decided to take on lightly--if at all. You were expected to hide it--to not have such thoughts and desires at all.

"Well, I didn't bring the beer out here to share with you," he said with a laugh, even as he handed me the trophy and I took a deep draw off it. "My sports training days are over anyway."

"But you have to be able to fit in the cockpit of that fighter jet you've volunteered to learn to drive," I said. I couldn't help making my voice sound a bit bitter.

"I've told you not to worry about that."

"Anything that takes you way from Atlanta . . . from Athens . . . from here, at the lake, makes me sad," I answered.

"And away from you?"

I didn't answer that. I just looked away from him, toward the dark shoreline across the lake, not wanting him to see how close to home it hit with that question.

"Maybe if you'd--"

"Please, David, don't put this on me."

"This is it, bub," He whispered, pulling his chair close to mine and reaching over the arm of my chair to place his hand on my crotch. "Who knows if there will ever be another summer like this?" he murmured. "You know what I feel, what I want."

He was unzipping my shorts. I didn't stop him. I was trembling.

"I know you want it too. You've said as much. Your body is telling me as much. One kiss. That's all I ask for and I'll zoom up in the air--in my jet and beyond."

My face was turned toward his. I'm sure he could see the tears on my cheek. He came in with his lips for a kiss and I didn't deny him. He was fishing my cock out of my fly and fisting it. I couldn't hide from him that I was hard for him. And I didn't deny him this either.

"Oh, Lee," he muttered and was out of his chair, kneeling in front of me, taking my cock in his mouth. "This is it, isn't it? This is the time for this."

"David, no. No . . . not here," I managed in a strangled voice. "Anyone can come out here and see us. There's a houseful of people in there." The Joplin rags had ended, and LeRoy had moved into Cole Porter and Hoagie Carmichael mood songs. They would be slow dancing in there now, dancing close together, building up for "laters." But some couples' "laters" could come sooner, and they might drift out here to fuck on the sloping lawn between house and water.

"But you'll go with me? You'll let me take you?" he raised his face to mine, pleading. It wasn't in David's nature to plead. He was giving me a great honor--which reminded me.

"But I've never--"

"Then it would be my honor. I'd be gentle. I'm off to Valdosta in two weeks, Lee. Don't deny me this. Listen to what LeRoy is playing inside: Cole Porter's 'Anything Goes.' He's playing that for us. Here, come with me."

He fucked me in the voluminous backseat of the Alexander '55 fire-engine-red Cadillac Series 62 convertible that his family had just bought and he'd driven so proudly to the lake, bringing his younger, rising college freshman brother, Danny to the lake with him. Danny, who even now, while David was popping my male cherry in the back of the family car, was upstairs in Chas' bedroom losing his virginity to her.

David was gentle--at first--lying on top of me across the backseat of the car, between my spread legs, my left ankle hooked on the top of the backseat and my right on the top of the front bench seat, and with him, cooing to me and holding his hand over my mouth to stifle my deep groans, moving inch by inch up inside me with his thick cock. My luck to be deflowered by a horse-hung man. In the end, though, when he was three-quarters of a foot inside me, he lost control and started pumping in earnest. By then, despite the pain-pleasure, I wanted no less from him. His cock was all possessing, his kisses like wine. I never wanted him to stop sucking on my nipples; sending his cock revolving deep inside me; causing my channel walls to ripple from the pleasure of him; finding and rubbing, rubbing, rubbing my prostate with his bulb until I exploded in arcs of cum to his intake of breath and steely strokes. Again, and again, and again.

When he was done--and I had been undone--he said he didn't want me to leave him that night. I couldn't say that I wanted him to leave me either. He drove to a seedy motel at the north end of the lake that couldn't decide whether it sided with the Woodland whites or the Coon Town blacks and fucked me all night, leaving his girlfriend, Maggie, roaming through the lake house, nudging couples apart to ID them, and wondering where David was. She eventually found Danny, pounding furiously on Chas' locked bedroom door--where Chas was adding another, different charm to her bracelet--and led him away for each to console the other--laying a foundation for more intimate consolation when David's jet took a nosedive a few months later.

Late August to early November didn't leave much time for David and me. In fact, beyond the last weekend of that summer at Spirit Lake, there was only one brief, glorious weekend in October in my studio apartment at college in Athens.

I snapped out of the reminiscence to rejoin the summer of 1956, sitting on the dock, outside my family's lake cottage, where the next-to-last weekend of the summer was being celebrated and mourned in appropriate debauchery mode. LeRoy was on the slower Cole Porter songs now. It was his lot to play almost to the bitter end. He wasn't really a guest at the party; he was black; he was hired to be here. I sat through "Night and Day" and "Begin the Beguine." Couples were beginning to drift out onto the lawn to start their evening fucking. One couple already was at the other end of the dock, rocking against each other, playing "hide the hands." How much they missed David, they were saying, between moans and giggles.

I looked at my watch. Good thing it was time to be gone. I couldn't have stayed around for much more of this on this next-to-last summer party night. The rowboat was right there at the end of the dock, gently tapping against the pier. I moved down to inside the boat, untied the rope anchoring it to the dock, and pushed off with an oar.

I wasn't going to be state champion in anything this year if I didn't practice, practice, practice. I pushed away from the lights and laughter of the party into the wet darkness of Spirit Lake.

* * * *

I rowed all the way across to the eastern side of the lake, in quick time. Rowing that distance normally was a piece of cake. Tonight, though, I wanted to punish my lungs and empty my brain of thoughts of David--pull in more pleasurable thoughts--and so I rowed double time. Reaching the other side, which was swampy at the shoreline rather than dressed with concrete rip-rap like on the wealthy, white side of the lake, I struggled out of the boat and pulled it onto the shore. Struggling up the grassy verge, I plopped down on my butt, facing the water, and looked toward my lit-up house on the other shore.

I could still hear LeRoy playing the piano, the sound coming in on the breeze across the lake in more gentle, melded tones than as heard from my dock--and, most certainly from inside the cottage. Hoagie Carmichael this time. "Stardust," "Georgia on My Mind." LeRoy had his favorites that he played forever, from one summer through the next. Those who came to the parties at the cottage expected it and, in truth, had grown used to it as a nonintrusive background partner and shield to their fevered and lecherous business.

They'd be swaying against each other in the living room now. She'd have lost her panties somewhere and would have a knee hooked on his hip. He'd be inside her, undulating to the beat, moving his dick languidly inside her. Sighing in the living room, moaning on the grassy slope between house and water, cries of passion in the bedrooms, pans swept off the counters and hitting the floors in the pantry. Probably even the springs of the fire-engine-red '55 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible bouncing up and down as Danny fucked Maggie in the backseat, Maggie dreaming of being fucked by David, and Danny frantically trying to fuck David out of Maggie.

I wondered if they knew that David had grabbed my virginity from me in the backseat of that car. It was what I mostly was thinking of as we drove around the north end of the lake earlier in the day as I, smiling regretfully for the camouflaging effect it provided, removed Chas' hand from my crotch again, and again, and again.

In the dark now, sitting on the grassy slope of the eastern shore, I was hard. But it wasn't for anyone across the lake, at my family's vacation house. I already was shirtless. I pushed my shorts and briefs down, off my legs, and took my cock in my hand. Slowly beating myself off--putting my mind to discerning and matching the meter of the strains of "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" wafting across the lake from LeRoy's long, sensuous fingers on the piano keys. I had more than once thought of LeRoy playing me with those sensuous fingers.

I didn't flinch from within my reverie when my thighs were encased in beefy, brown, rugby-player-muscled thighs, thighs that then moved over mine, hooking my legs and teasing them apart, trapping me there. Muscular chocolate-brown arms encircling my shoulders; wet lips pressed into the hollow of my neck; a huge, hard cock pressed against my back, running up the small of my back; warm balls pressed to the base of my spine; a beefy brown hand covering mine on my cock and taking over the beat of my meat.

The cock was the thing. The muscles were very nice in their way. The handsome face didn't hurt. But though I tried to recapture over the last year at college what I had briefly had with horse-hung David, not before there was Sam had there been a man who could--who would--fill me almost to splitting me and make me come in great arcs of cum as David then could--as Sam Jackson now could.

By freak accident I had met Sam in the lake--in the lake's water itself. I was swimming laps across the lake and back to my house, stealing a march on the hard training that was to come when I returned to the University of Georgia in September. And there, right before me, completely unexpectedly, in the middle of the lake, had popped up the wooly black head of a black man.

The shock of it had made me swallow water and sputter. Sam had put me in a lifeguard's hold and paddled me to the Coon Town side of the lake, to this very shore. I probably would have been all right on my own, but the shock of his sudden emergence from the water had knocked the wind out of my sails. As I had been swimming I had been dreaming of that last time, in my college room shower last October--of David fucking me up against the shower tiles with the water cascading over our steaming bodies. His massive cock invading and possessing me fully, stroking hard and deep.

We had both been swimming naked, the black man and I. His nakedness was magnificent. The mouth-to-mouth resuscitation had moved from the clinical to the passionate. Still half in the dream state of David covering me from behind in the shower and possessing my lips as his staff invaded my channel, I grabbed the initiative, embracing the black man's broad back in my arms, digging my nail in the bulge of his shoulder muscles, weaving my calves around his thighs, possessing his cock in a death grip of a hand and guiding him inside me. He was hard and strong. I was yielding and moaning.

And I was fucked. Hard, deep, horse-hung thick and long, and at great length. Fucked.

Thus had Sam been included thereafter in my nightly rowing exercises during the weekend days of August of the year 1956. And in that next-to-last Saturday evening of summer at Spirit Lake for the year--I made a point of checking the statistics some time later--in which there were 492 reported lynchings of black men in Georgia, many for sexually messing with someone of white color, Sam Jackson fucked me hard, with no inhibitions on either side. He totally merged his black body with my white one as LeRoy Brown's fingers on the keys across the lake reverted to Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin."

He had slowly pitched me forward until my cheek was pressed into the grass. Working his way in licks and kisses down to my buttocks, his broad hands pulled my butt cheeks apart, and I groaned as his tongue went for the gold. He covered, mounted, and thrust inside me and fucked me hard and long in a no-prisoners-taken doggy fuck. He was more brutal and consuming than he'd ever been before, and I was afraid the taking was in some sort of retribution for my not having spoken up that afternoon at the gas pump.

I was equally scared that I had responded to this cruel taking with as much want and passion as I did.

"No," he whispered to me later, as we sat cross-legged, yoga style, my legs on top of his thighs, my ankles crossed behind his trim waist, and the bulb of his cock pressing, but not yet entering my entrance. "I would not have wanted you to say anything. I get that a lot when white folks drive through town and need gas but aren't happy they're paying a black man for it. That guy, despite his height and his Cadillac--probably his daddy's Cadillac--is just a pipsqueak in his brain. He isn't worth a fight."

He had Danny pegged to a T. "But why? You took me almost in anger just now. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I'd take it every which way from you. But you haven't been that demanding before . . . well, the first time, I guess, but I almost took it from you that time, I wanted it so bad."

"Yes, you did want it bad, didn't you?" he asked, with a grin, pressing his forehead to mine. He looked down at his long, long, thick cock, poised there at my hole, the bulb resting at my throbbing entrance, his staff too throbbing in anticipation. His glance downward caused me to look down too.

"You know I'm going to give it all to you again," he said, calmly, matter-of-factly. "I don't usually go into the hilt, but today you get it all. And you want to know why, don't you?"

"I want it all. But, yes, I want to know why."

"I'm just sulking and looking for someone to hurt. You're leaving. You're going back to that fancy university town in Athens. You're probably now going to go back to that party of yours across the lake and fuck one of those hottie white women who was in the car today. Another week and you'll be gone. I won't be here when you come another summer, you know. I can't stay here any longer."

"But don't you have family here?"

"I got no one. And nothin' in this hell hole of a town. Or anywhere else, for that matter."

"I understand," I said. He made me stop and think. Who did I have here myself? My mom dead, my dad in New York most of the time, my step-mother clubbing her life away inside a martini glass in Buckhead. This was why I could use the Spirit Lake house every summer and trash it. No questions were asked when the bills came in to put it back together again. No questions were asked whenever I cashed a check. No one even asked where I was when I cashed the check.

What was I doing in Georgia anyway? Look at us, Sam and me. Him a black bull, me a white twink. Who cared what we did--other than the good people of Georgia? Who the fuck were we hurting by making our kind of love? We were committing a felony here in Georgia law, the two of us sitting close together, Sam just having fucked me; Sam about to fuck me again. A double felony. Not only were we both men, but he was black and I was white. Can't do that here in Georgia in 1956. Not that it even mattered that it was illegal. Who would wait for the law in Georgia when there were so many strong, low-lying tree limbs conveniently nearby? So, what the fuck were we even doing here in Georgia? Who would give a fuck if we just disappeared?

"I doubt I'll be coming back next summer either," I then said. "It won't be the same. It wasn't the same this summer. But, don't worry, I won't be fucking any women when I go home tonight. I'll go straight to my room and dream of your fucking me--even with you are doing it with a bit of anger behind it."

"That's the other reason I'm going to fuck you hard again," he said, with a grin. "You want it hard from me."

I couldn't tell him he was wrong.

"You don't fuck women?" he asked, doubling back on our earlier conversation.

"No, I don't. I can't help it; I only want it from men." I didn't ask him the obvious question, but he answered it anyway.

"I fuck women. I fuck both men and women. I like it both ways, so I do it both ways."

"I don't care," I said. "as long as you fuck me. As long as you fuck me again . . . now . . . and give me all of it. Make me remember this."

I was trembling when he placed a strong hand at the base of my spine and, our foreheads pressed together, my eyes locked by his, began to pull me into him, onto his cock. He released my eyes than, and lowered his, causing me to look down. His hands grasped, squeezed, and separated my butt cheeks.

"Here it comes," he muttered and continued pulling me into him. I watched, panting, groaning giving little cries, as inch by relentless inch he made it all disappear inside me. I dug my fingernails into the meat of his biceps on both sides and arched my head back in a cry to the sky as wild, wiry black pubic curls pressed into and mingled with trimmed blond silk.

Giving a grunt, he rose up on his feet, maintaining his hold on my buttocks. I, in turn, maintained the lock of my ankles at the small of his back, but I pulled my claws out of his biceps and let my arms fall behind me, reaching for the grass. My weight, such as he gave over, was resting on my shoulders. I looked up the line of my body to his magnificent, black, sweat-slicked torso, every muscle bulging, struggling to burst out of his skin, as he pulled my channel on and off his cock. Harder, deeper, deeper, harder. Stretching up for my tonsils. Faster, harder. Forever. The glorious shared gush of release.

Another chorus of "I've Got You Under My Skin" floating across the water.

The cottage looked like a battle zone when I returned. Everything that could be pulled down onto the floor or set askew was. There wasn't too much breakage, though, as was understandable. We'd already had another entire summer to tear the place apart and trash anything that wasn't nailed down. My father hadn't bothered to check the house out for years. Among the wreckage were bodies, strewn about in twos and threes and even fours. Legs and arms entwined. Clothes in tatters and pushed away from flesh. Still a twitch here, a movement of crotch against crotch or buttocks there.

No one was at the piano. I found LeRoy Brown on the leather sofa in the library. Naked, he was stretched out on top of Chas, whose face was turned toward mine, eyes slitted, and locked in an expression of total satisfaction. They were the only couple I could see on the battleground who were still fucking. She had two sofa pillows under her hips to give him a good angle, and he was languidly moving his long, gaunt, black body in pushups above her. He was taking long strokes--extraordinarily long strokes--in her maw of a cunt, much too cavernous to feel tightness from the invasion of his cock. Not being able to help myself, I took in a long breath as nearly a foot of shaft came out of her cunt and then let the breath out as it slid back deep inside her.

He wasn't wearing a condom--which was a detail that I was to remember of the night.

I just shrugged and trudged upstairs to unlock and enter my bedroom. I had locked the door against invasion by anyone else, knowing that the next-to-last party at my family's Spirit Lake house would end in precisely the shambles that it did. If I didn't have the fortitude to prevent the party, at least I could preserve a retreat for myself--and for my dreams of Sam--and, still, of David.

* * * *

The very last weekend of the summer of 1956 at Spirit Lake arrived. I had driven from Buckhead to the lake in my '54 two-seater Thunderbird. Danny, Maggie, and Thad had come from Athens, where Thad already was into week-day football practice, in the Alexander family Cadillac. I'd made one stop on the way down from Atlanta, and what I'd gotten was burning a hole in the floor under the driver's seat of my Thunderbird. By agreement we were hooking up at the Main Street Café in Woodland before going out to the house. Chas and June, their time totally free of any obligations, had stayed on at the lake house during the week to bring some semblance of order back into the house before one last shove over the edge of debauchery this weekend. Chas had her MG Sprite, so they were good to go for transportation.

"One more weekend," Danny said as we were sitting in the booth at the café. "Then it's back to school." All four of us nodded; it was the four us, the remnants of the Buckhead Wild Ones who were starting back at the University of Georgia in Athens next week.

"You got a letter from the basketball coach yet?" Thad asked, turning to Danny.

Danny looked away, gave a sigh, and then said, "God, I miss David."

"So do I," Maggie said in a small voice. I looked at her. It was obvious she did miss David, at least in comparison to Danny. In other circumstances, when we got back to school, I'd take her aside and tell her she needed to get on with her life--that Danny never was going to be David. That, in fact, she should stop trying to live in the shadow of any jock. That being a groupie for horny jocks was so high school. She had a good head for figures. She could make something of herself in her own right. Maybe I'd write that to her instead.

Thad looked at me then. "I'm team captain again, so I'm in solid on the football team. How about you, Lee? You heard from Coach Tomlin yet?"

Coach Tomlin. I sure had heard from Coach Tomlin, the swim team coach. He'd written about how anxious he was to have me back at school. How much his balls ached from not having me there. How hard he was going to fuck me when he could get me under him again. As if Coach Tomlin of the "not so much cock and even less stamina" knew what hard fucking was. Yeah he wanted me back. Pretty stupid of him to put it in writing like that, though. Not that I'd do anything about it, other than ensure he wrote me good letters. "Yeah," I answered. "Coach Tomlin's written me. I'm good to go for the year."

"Just one more weekend here this summer," Maggie said in a small voice. "It just hasn't been the same this year."

Each of the other three of us chimed in agreement in our own way and then each sank into his or her own thoughts, thoughts that were interrupted by commotion at the door and the sobbing, half hysterical exclamations of the woman standing inside the door, clothes in disarray, face puffy and bleeding.

All of the men in the café rose from where they sat, suddenly warriors, avenging knights in white armor. All the women shrank away from the sight, taking faint. It so easily could have been them. Every face in the café was white, of course, and steeped in avenging anger.

The waitress behind the lunch counter was the first one to react, moving quickly to Chas and putting an arm around her. "What is it, sweetie? What's happened? Who's done this to you?"

"That big black man over in Coon Town. The one that pumps gas at the Texaco station over there," Chas burst out. "He beat me when I said I wouldn't. And then he . . . he . . . he was too strong. See the bruises on my arms . . . my legs? Then he . . ."

All four of us came shooting out of our booth--Maggie, Danny, and Thad moving toward Chas, who took a couple of steps in their direction as well--me going around them, to the door, into my Thunderbird, and roaring toward the north end of Spirit Lake.

Sam was calmly standing at the gas pumps at the Coon Town Texaco station, clipboard in hand, and checking the meters when I drove up.

"Nice ride," he said, as pulled the Thunderbird to a stop next to him. "Very nice ride. Don't see Thunderbirds on this side of the lake often. Maybe you'll give me a ride in it someday. I'll ride you and then you can ride me in that car maybe." He laughed at his own joke but then could clearly see that I wasn't laughing.

"Get into the car, Sam." I said.

"Want to give me a ride now?" he asked. "Want to go somewhere on our last weekend together and fuck like bunnies and ride around in your fancy Thunderbird between fuckings?"

"Stop that, Sam. Just get into the car. They'll be here any minute, I'm sure. We got to get out of here."

"Why? Out of here to where?"

"Does it matter, Sam? Just get in the fucking car."

He got in the car.

I took a road straight east, not a main route north toward Atlanta or south toward Macon and Athens. I'd turn north when we got closer to the coast.

"What's this all about, Lee?" Sam asked.

I told him.

He was quiet for a moment. I had expected to hear a denial from him. But I didn't.

"Sure I fucked that woman," he finally said. "She wanted it bad. Came pestering me. Pestered me every day since you came riding in with the pipsqueak at the wheel of his daddy's Caddie that day. I finally gave her what she wanted. Every day this week. You weren't here. But I didn't beat that woman. I didn't have anything to do with that. She wanted it and I wore rubbers. You weren't here and I wasn't in the best frame of mind. All you rich whites got to me. She wanted it again this weekend and I told her I was finished, that she clung too much, demanded and expected too much. But I didn't beat on the woman. I don't beat women. I don't have to beat white women to get it from them."

I keyed in on him saying he wore rubbers--at about the same level as hearing his disclaimers that he'd beaten Chas. I believed him. But Chas had been beaten. She was crazy, but not crazy enough to do that to herself. Then I remembered that LeRoy hadn't worn a condom when he fucked Chas last weekend. If there were repercussions and Chas pushed her case of vindictiveness by producing a black baby, Sam would be in even more trouble--if he hadn't already been hung from a tree by then. This was Georgia in 1956. LeRoy certainly wasn't going to step up to admit that he'd barebacked Chas, that was for sure. And I couldn't blame LeRoy for that--not even for spiking Chas. She went with any and every man, of whatever color. That was on her.

I also didn't see LeRoy as a woman beater. No, Chas had picked up one too many casual fucks and had gotten more than she'd bargained for--and then decided that Sam was her most-likely scapegoat.

Not that the Georgia boys in white sheets, passing for armor, would choose to believe that.

"It's OK, Sam," I said. "We'll be OK. I'm heading north. We can blend in in the North. I got enough under my seat to get us started and there's more where that came from."

"You got to be at college next week," Sam said.

"They have swim teams and classes in business at good colleges in the North too," I said. "I'll have no trouble getting letters of referral from Georgia U. As long as you are willing to be with me, we can make this work. And even if you don't want to be with me for long, I can give you a new start. If you want to be with--"

"What do you think?" he murmured, turning toward me, reaching a hand over and unzipping me, finding me hard. "You had planned this anyway, hadn't you? The white woman had nothing to do with this."

"Only the urgency of getting you out of town, out of Georgia," I answered. "Yes, I hoped you'd let me take you away--or take money from me to get a better start in life if you wouldn't go with me. Does that make you angry?"

There was silence for a few minutes and then, "Not at you. No, that's all good where you--we--are concerned. It's better than thinkin' you just don't want to see me lynched for fuckin' a white woman. But how far do you think we'll get in the South, a white boy with a black man in his car?"

"We'll find a lay-by somewhere to hole up until dark--when we're well away from the lake. A couple of days, driving at night, and we'll be across the Mason Dixon line. Then nobody will care. I'm not running from anybody. I have nobody to run from. I can get us through this. I only have you to run to, to run with, if I'm not being too presumptuous, too pushy."

"No, course you're not. Maybe for this daytime lay-by--I like the sound of the word 'lay'--you can find someplace quiet and real private, maybe next to a river. I like fuckin' you next to water."

"If you don't stop beating me off, I'll run this car off the road," I said, but then, quickly, I added, "not that I want you to stop."

"I think I can do one better," he said, with a laugh. "I put my head down, maybe no one will notice that you have a black man riding with you in a fancy Thunderbird in the South." With that, he leaned over, pulled my shorts and briefs down to my knees, took my cock in his mouth, and ran a finger down between my thighs and up to--and into--my puckering asshole.

We went for miles and miles without anyone seeing a black man in my passenger seat.

One thing was for sure, though, I was going to have to find a private turnoff real fast. And the other thing that hit me was that, though I'd been thinking this was the worst end to summer at Spirit Lake, I, in fact, was going to remember it as the best summer's ending I could ever wish for.



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