Only six passengers disembarked before the bus took on four more and headed east toward its next destination in Braintree.
The last one off the bus in Shernhaven was a young man of twenty-five or so in dusty jeans, a tight white T-shirt, and brown, ankle-high construction boots. He walked just a couple of paces down the curb toward the park from the door to the bus and bent over and placed a duffel bag and his jeans jacket on the ground. While he was straightening back up in a languid motion, he pulled a pack of cigarettes and matches from under the fold of the sleeve on one of his biceps. Cupping his hand over the flaring match and leaning his head down, he lit a cigarette between his lips.
He shook out the match and rather than tossing it on the ground, ran it into the hem of his jeans at one ankle. Taking several deep drags on the cigarette, he stood there and looked up and down Braintree Road, seemingly a stranger in town getting his bearings.
Standing in the window of the Union Bank of Norfolk directly across Braintree Road from the bus station, the bank's president, Trevor Cole, was taking the scenery in. He liked to have his desk near one of the front windows. He was a window shopper of sorts. And this young man who had gotten off the bus was just the sort of shopping Trevor Cole liked to do.
He found the young man quite attractive. Slender, but with a good build. He had an assuredness about him and a fluid movement that Cole liked. In fact, he was sexy as hell. Trevor identified him immediately as a working man. The jeans, boots, and T-shirt helped him peg the young man, but so did his deep tan, his close-cropped dirty blond hair, and that red bandana around his neck. It was just the sort of bandana the Stilton kid had been wearing last summer on the road crew fixing the pot holes on the road up to the Upper Head. Cole had seen Andy Stilton there, because this was where the Cole mansion was located, on the bluff to the north of the Shernhaven harbor, one of three mansions of the town founders sitting in that prominent position.
The kid--home from college for a short vacation last summer before he had to report back for football practice, Cole had known--was the flag holder for the road crew, standing at one end to hold up traffic to take its turn on the one lane they weren't working on. He'd wanted a better-paying job at the shipyard, but he couldn't be home long enough for them to hire him. That's where he was working this summer, though. There had been little traffic on the Upper Head road that day because there were only the three houses at the top of the bluff, where the road led up from its intersection with Wharf Street, at the Shern Shipyards. But Cole guessed there must have been some sort of union that made them employ flag holders regardless.
The Stilton boy wasn't home for long, so he had to take the work he could get. Cole, whether Andy knew it or not, had arranged for him to get this job. Trevor Cole prided himself in thinking ahead. The pay was OK, but it was dusty work. That was what the red bandana was for. Andy had it around his neck and would pull it up and over his mouth and nose whenever a vehicle went by and kicked up dust. The road was asphalted, but, even though it led up onto a bluff, the sand got up there on dry days like it had been last summer and kicked up a choking cloud.
Even with the bandana--especially with the bandana--Andy looked good to Cole. He liked the construction work look. It gave him a thrill to slum. And Andy was in great shape--a college football player, just like Trevor Cole himself had been at Harvard only four years previously--and had been wearing just construction boots and low-hanging shorts in addition to that bandana.
Trevor Cole didn't just know when Andy Stilton would be home from college for the summers; he also knew quite a bit about what Andy did at college.
A twenty-dollar tip to the head of the road crew and another twenty to Andy, and Andy had ridden to the top of Upper Head in Trevor's BMW convertible with him, gotten in the backseat with Cole, and let the banker suck him off before folding Trevor's belly over the tonneau cover and fucking him doggy style. The college guy had been surprised that Cole had been the one who wanted to be bottomed. He was easier to convince and handle when he'd found that out. He'd said that Cole had looked too macho to want to be the one giving it up, but Cole just laughed and said he had always been good about putting up a good façade.
Yes, Trevor Cole had fond memories of a hunk with a red bandana around his neck.
And here, standing in front of the bus station, smoking a cigarette and acting like he was considering where to strike out next, was another hunk with a red bandana around his neck. He was older than the Stilton kid was, but he looked a whole lot more experienced. It got Trevor Cole's juices flowing.
"Ben," he called out across the bank lobby. "Come over here, please."
Ben Semple, sitting at the loan officer's desk, got up and trotted over to Trevor Cole's side. Ben always answered the call of a Cole--as had his ancestors back in time.
"See that young man standing across the street?"
"Yes sir, I do."
"Want you to go over and welcome him to Shernhaven. Find out if he's new here and needs anything. Anything at all. Understand, Ben?"
"Yes, I do," Ben answered. And indeed he did understand. There was a very good reason he understood.
"If he needs a job or some place to stay, take care of that for him. Just say the word at the shipyard and they'll take him in. Tell them I suggested it. You can tell him it was I who set it up, too. And there's an apartment over my garage he could use for a couple of days at least."
"Yes sir, I'll tell him."
Cole watched Ben leave the bank and cross the street. His eyes went to the bulbous buttocks in the tight-fitting trousers of his loan officer. Cole loved those butt cheeks. He loved pressing his face between them just before Ben got in the mood to grab him and turn him and skewer him with that big black cock of his.
Ben Semple was another one of Cole's "slumming down" fetishes--in fact his primary one. As he watched the young black man walk away from him, like he was dancing on the balls of his feet, Cole marveled at the perfect V from massive shoulders and biceps down to a thin waist and hips and then flared buttocks bouncing along on strong thighs.
This was not your typical bank loan officer. This was more like a prize fighter or a champion bodybuilder. But the Semples had been in Shernhaven almost as long as anyone else, brought here by Trevor's own ancestors. And Trevor's ancestors went back to the beginning of the harbor town. One of the streets here was named Semple. Not a major street, though, but, to Trevor's consternation, it was almost as prominent as the street named for the Coles.
So, although Cole often made Ben put on construction boots and a bandana when they fucked--which was frequently--to the rest of the town, Ben Semple, who had been a sports hero in the minor baseball leagues before coming home, was quite acceptable. He and his family were a colorful part of the town's long history.
* * * *
"Hello, I couldn't help but notice you arrive on the bus. I don't wish to be forward, but if you're new to Shernhaven, I'd like to welcome you--and help you get to where you're going if you aren't sure."
The young man looked Ben Semple over from top to bottom and gave him a little half smile that piqued the black man's interest. Cole sure can pick them, Ben thought. From across the street he could tell. He put out his hand. "Hi, my name is Ben. Ben Semple. I work in the bank across the street there. Can I help you with anything?"
The young man met Ben's hand with his and gave him a firm, assured handshake, holding on maybe a bit longer than he really needed to do. "My name's Tab. And, yes, I've come to town to try it out. How's the work around here?"
"Tab . . ."
"Just Tab. That will do. Work possibilities?"
"Sure there are possibilities. We have very low unemployment here. If you're willing to get your hands dirty--"
"Handyman or toolman or construction work. Just about anything with my hands. I'm good at fixing things."
Ben looked down at the young man's hands. They indeed looked like they'd done plenty of manual work. They were good, strong hands. Pretty much like Ben's hands would be if he hadn't wound up in an office and inside an arrangement with Trevor Cole--which he didn't much like, but which had been in his family's blood since back in the middle of the eighteenth century, when Trevor Cole's ancestor, a slave trader, had brought Ben's ancestor from Barbados.
"A handyman, eh? Plenty of work for that around here. So you've come to Shernhaven to fix us, have you?"
It was meant as an ice breaker, and it was taken that way. Tab gave Ben a wry little smile.
"You could say so, I guess. Much around here needing fixing?"
"More than it looks, maybe. Here, let's walk down along the park, and I'll help you get oriented. We have a shipyard here that's doing real well. It builds racing yachts now. And they always need good workers. It's noon. Let me treat you to a welcome lunch and then I'll walk you over to the shipyard and introduce you."
"That would be real good," Tab said, as he leaned down and picked up his duffel bag.
That had been easy, Ben thought. It was almost like the guy was on the make. Well, Ben certainly wouldn't mind making him. He looked like a real sweet piece of tail.
"We'll go to the Blue Marlin Café just over on the corner of Hobart and Cole, down closer to the wharf. That'll put us on the way to the shipyard."
Tab stiffened noticeably.
"It looks a bit like a dive, but the prices are good and so is the food," Ben said, not knowing what had caused the slight scowl on Tab's face. "It's one of the oldest buildings in town--or parts of it are. A tavern for the fisherman originally, I hear. Until recently it was a bar called Dungan's."
"That will be OK. Sounds like my kind of place."
Ben thought Tab's voice sounded rather funny, but when he looked over at the stranger in town, the young man was wearing a wary smile that looked good on him.
Over lunch, the discussion became increasingly probing and suggestive. Tab was dropping hints of his approachability, and Ben was becoming much more comfortable in alluding to his preferences as well. He also was close to forgetting that he was supposed to be setting this guy up for his boss.
"Any night life here?" Tab asked.
"Yeah, sure. Mostly out the road toward Braintree. Some motorcycle bars and girlie clubs and . . ."
"And anything else? Anywhere a guy can just . . . hang out?"
Ben laughed, a bit nervously. "If you mean just guys, there's Hernando's."
"Hernando's? That sounds pretty south of the border for Massachusetts."
Ben laughed again. "Well, yes, the Hispanics are seeping in everywhere. It was called Henry's until recently. It's over on the other side of the park at Cushing and Semple."
Tab gave him a look of surprise. "Yes, the street's named for my family. My family ran the bar there for generations--until the Hispanics started creeping in. Eventually, we just let them have it--mostly; some of my brothers still work there. But there are some really cute guys--if you like the darker skin. And if it's really guys that you like." There he'd said it about as plainly as he could.
"I like dark skinned guys just fine," Tab said, leveling his gaze at Ben.
Ben swallowed hard. The guy hadn't flinched at the "just guys" statement. He'd accepted it like it was natural. "Guess we're done here. Still want to check out the shipyard or feeling like you want to get back on the bus?"
"Oh, I don't think I want to get back on the bus today. The shipyard it is."
All it took was the invocation of Trevor Cole's name to secure a provisional handyman job for Tab at the shipyard. Ben knew from experience that the foreman of the work crew there would be quite pleased to take a guy like Tab on--in several ways, including the work angle.
"Now for some place for you to stay--unless you don't like me getting too pushy," Ben said as they were sitting at a wharf-side bar and drinking off a beer after the short interview at the shipyard, which got even shorter when Trevor Cole's name had been invoked.
"I wouldn't mind you getting pushy at all," Tab said.
"Well, Mr. Cole, my banker boss, says he has a small empty apartment over his garage you could stay in for a while. He lives up there in the big house on what we call the Upper Head--on the bluff above the shipyard. You could--"
"Where do you live?"
Ben hesitated. A chill went up his spine. Why was this so easy?
"Right here on the wharf--my apartment is in the building over there, with a good view out over the marina of the boat basin. I've got a great view of the fishing boats going out in the morning as I do my workout."
"Interested in proving it to me?"
"That the view's good. And that you can give a guy a good workout."
They fucked on an exercise mat in front of the French doors that opened out onto a third-floor balcony from which, in their position, all they saw were the tops of masts of sailboats docked at the yacht club below.
The exercise mat was the appropriate equipment for them, because there was the initial wrestle for who was going to fuck whom. In the end they both got their turn.
Neither had been quite so picky about exchanging cock sucks. While Ben was in the kitchenette breaking a couple of beers out of the refrigerator, Tab stripped down to his briefs and was waiting on the sofa. When Ben returned, there were no romantic preliminaries. As soon as he sat down next to Tab, Tab reached over and unzipped him. He pulled out Ben's cock, said he was pleased to see both that it was already half hard and that it was worth the trip, and immediately deep-throated him and began going down on him in a steady rhythm.
Ben managed to strip off his clothes as he groaned and moaned in the pleasure of a more soft and expert mouth than Trevor Cole had. It was Ben who moved them to a 69 position on the sofa and began going down on Tab as well.
He murmured something Tab didn't hear when Tab moved out of that stance, pushed Ben up to a seated position, and knelt on the carpet between his legs, lifting the young black man's beefy thighs over his shoulders. Tab's tongue went down Ben's taint, that strip of flesh between the base of the balls and the asshole, and into the crack between his butt cheeks and explored, eventually with the help of his fingers.
Ben laid back and moaned at first, his hands massaging Tab's scalp, but then he started to get the idea of what Tab was moving toward. Ben muttered an objection and started to push Tab's head away from between his butt cheeks. Tab licked back to where he had started, swallowed Ben's cock, and started to work it.
"Hey, we'd better . . . I'm gonna come if we . . ." But it was too late, because Ben did come then in Tab's mouth. This was when they first kissed, with Tab rising on his knees and pulling Ben's head down to his and giving him a deep kiss on the mouth, lubricated by Ben's cum.
Ben, the stronger of the two, lifted Tab up and sat him on the sofa next to him, and this time it was he who went down between Tab's knees and resumed his sucking of Tab's cock.
Before he could make Tab come, though, the young white man pulled away and stood. He fisted Ben's wrist and pulled him up off the sofa with a laugh, guided him over to the exercise mat in front of the French doors, pushed him down, and landed on top of him.
Sitting up, he said, "You got any?"
When Ben returned from the bedroom, he had already rolled one on himself, clearly signaling who he thought was going to be fucked.
"That was supposed to be for me. So, you like it bareback?" Tab growled. "That's OK with me."
He grabbed Ben's ankle and pulled him off balance. The two were flattened in a heap and the wrestling match had begun. It was a good match, but Ben was the stronger of the two. He got Tab onto his belly, with Ben stretched on his back and getting him in a full Nelson.
Ben leaned his mouth into Tab's ear and whispered. "Tell me you've been fucked before."
"Yeah, I've been fucked before, but . . . oh shit!"
Tab was being fucked again. And Ben was as hard as a rock. He'd recovered nicely from the blow job on the sofa. He proceeded to show just how good a shape he was in, while Tab groaned at the deep-seated entry. He squirmed and moaned and encouraged Ben for deeper and more vigorous penetration, and Ben held him in thrall with a choke hold and his sword pinning Tab to the mat.
"You . . . really do a good workout," Tab said with a groan when he could manage to talk at all.
"And you've proven yourself as a handyman," Ben answered.
Tab pulled himself from under Ben and sat up on the mat beside him, taking his head in both of his hands and pulling Ben's face to his and into a deep kiss.
Ben didn't even feel the pressure of Tab's fingers on the tender points on his neck until his head was swimming from the lack of oxygen. About the time he learned he was under attack, he blacked out and keeled over onto the mat.
When Ben came to--and not fully then for several minutes--it was too late to defend the virginity of his channel. He was on his back on the mat, with Tab kneeling between his thighs, his knees up under Ben's buttocks, and Tab was already fucking him in long, deep strokes.
Ben was hurting, but it was a hurt that was swamped with a feeling of pleasure and utter taking that he had never known was possible. He began to resist, but he felt Tab's fingers starting to dig at the arteries in his neck again and to become woozy.
"We'll both enjoy it more if you are awake for it," Tab said in a low voice. "You're great at wrestling, but I've taken an Oriental martial arts class or two. I let you fuck me when you won at wrestling; only fair to let me fuck you when I've won."
Ben's answer was a long moan.
"Going to stay awake? Good." Tab loosened his grip on Ben's neck but kept his hands there, ready to take charge again. "Better when you are awake for it. You've got a sweet, tight ass. And don't worry, I found the rubbers in your bedroom."
Ben indeed was enjoying it now. He encircled Tab with his arms and stroked his shoulder blades with his fingers in the rhythm of the fuck. He hooked his heels on Tab's thighs and rubbed them up in down in cadence as well. Even his hips were moving with Tab. And when Tab came with a little cry, so did Ben.
When they were able to speak again, they were laying in each other's arms, their legs entwined, both of them looking through the panes of glass in the French doors to the masts of the sailing vessels below.
"Sorry, but I like it both ways," Tab murmured. "I think you take it both ways too, don't you?"
"These welts on your back, buttocks, and thighs. Did Cole do this? Is that what he's like?"
"No. Not Cole. He's not the only one with the power around here to get guys like me to do the dirty with them--and in ways they like. Shernhaven is that sort of town. Maybe you need to understand that before you decide to stay here for any length of time."
Tab gave Ben time to say more about that, but when he didn't, he changed the subject. "It was a good fuck. One of the best. So, do we go look at this Cole guy's garage apartment or . . . ?"
"Or you can stay here if you want."
"In your apartment, with you?"
"In my bed, with me."
"Will your boss, Cole, like that? I got the impression he was having you set me up for him."
"He was. No, he wouldn't like it . . . if he knew you were staying here. And not just because he wouldn't be getting a crack at you. Because I fuck him, and although he doesn't accept any 'one and only' responsibility, he expects me to."
"So, it might be difficult?"
"Fuck it. I want you to stay. You get settled here. I've got to go back to the office."
Tab laid there on the exercise mat, recovering from the workout, as Ben went to the shower and then redressed and left the apartment.
"Here's a set of keys in case you go out," he said, throwing them across the room to Tab as he left.
Tab waited until he was sure Ben was gone and then he got up from the mat and padded around the apartment, looking into this and that, being careful to return everything to where he found it. He wasn't looking for anything in particular, but there was no telling what he might find that would help him.
Then he went in and took a shower. He came back into the living room with a towel around his waist and sat down on the sofa and reached for the beer he hadn't gotten to drink before the fun and games started. He laid back into the sofa, put his feet up on the coffee table, looked up at the ceiling, and smiled.
This had been easier than he'd supposed it would be. He hadn't planned to start with Semple and Cole, but he had certainly planned to get around to sticking it to Trevor Cole. Now to see what he could do to move Ben out of Cole's bed and ass more permanently and into bed with him instead--along with all of the rest he had to do here in Shernhaven.
"Here's to you, Dad," he called out to the empty room, as he lifted his beer bottle in a salute.