I was sitting at my favorite watering hole hoping for, but not expecting, something to happen. The fact that I was the only customer in the place certainly wasn't promising. Then some guy I'd never seen before walked in and sat opposite me at the big horseshoe bar. After his beer came, he nodded in my direction and I lifted my glass to him. He came around to my side of the bar and took a seat beside mine.

"Slim crowd," he observed. "Maybe it's the holiday. Tomorrow's the Fourth of July," he added like I somehow might have missed the fact.

"A momentous date in history," I replied like the died-in-the-wool history teacher that I am.

We exchanged some pleasantries. His name was Rick. I told him that my name is Bennett. "You live around here, Rick?" I asked.

"Yeah," he said. "My old lady and I moved here just after Christmas. That's my mom," he clarified, "not my wife."

"Yeah," I said. "You look kinda young to have a wife."

"I'm old enough," he said.

"Old enough for what?" I asked. "Old enough to vote? Old enough to know better?"

He looked at the glass in front of him. "Old enough to buy a beer if I want one," he said. We both chuckled.

"What are your plans for tonight?" I asked the empty space in front of me.

"I was going to go bowling with a dude I met this afternoon. I waited for him at the 7-Eleven but he was a no show."

"Too bad," I commiserated.

"Yeah," he said. "I was looking forward to it. I haven't been bowling for a while.

"Do you like to bowl?" he asked.

I was surprised by the question. I thought it might be a prelude to an invitation, but he was probably only nineteen - maybe twenty - and I was a relative old man at thirty-two.

"Sure," I replied. "I like to bowl." I waited to see where he was going to take this, if anywhere. My wait was a short one.

"Well," he said. "I don't have wheels. If you drive us to the lanes I'll spring for shoes and games."

"I've not had an offer that good since - heaven knows when," I said.

"You never know when the next one might come along," he said. "You'd better grab this one while it's in front of you."

I thought about it for a while. I had nothing better to do. I could spend some time with this attractive guy and fuel up a nice masturbation fantasy for later on. He was pretty much my ideal type: on the short side, lean and nicely tanned. He had clean, moderately long blondish hair. I supposed that if I could see his eyes I would find that they were blue. "Sure," I said. "Why not?"

"Cool," he said. We downed the last of our beers and headed for the door.

"Nice car," he said as he settled into his seat.

"Buckle up," I said and I pulled out of the parking lot. I headed out of town in a direction different from the one to the nearest lanes.

"Where are we going?" he asked not quite nervously, yet betraying some concern.

"To the place out on the pike. It's further away but it's newer and cleaner."

"I've never been there," he said. His body seemed to relax a little.

He wore a pair of cut off jeans. I surreptitiously scanned the gentle curve of his denim clad crotch. His legs were spread. Curls of soft blond hairs gleamed against the golden tan of his thighs.

We talked idly of his work, my career, the town in which I had lived my whole life and to which he had newly moved and other innocuous topics. We were approaching the lanes when he turned his eyes from the highway and fixed his gaze on my profile. I had to stop stealing glances. Too bad.

He threw me a curve ball. "You married?" he asked abruptly.

"No."

"Most guys your age are." It might have been an accusation.

"Yeah, I suppose so.

"What about you? Do you have a girlfriend?"

"No."

"Most guys your age do," I teased with a little more sting than I intended.

He paused long enough to persuade me that he was struggling with his response.

"I guess I don't like girls all that much," he said at length. His voice had lost some of its animation.

"I see," I said.

"Do you?" he asked in an even, almost cold, tone.

I was sorry for the change in him that I had apparently caused. "I'm not sure I meant anything by that, Rick. It's just that I haven't had a girlfriend for a long time and I don't think . . ." Not knowing how to continue, I left my sentence unfinished.

But I was hedging and I didn't like it. "I guess the truth of the matter is that I don't like girls very much either," I added.

I was turning into the parking lot of the bowling alley when he lobbed his next curve ball. "You're queer, aren't you?" His voice was level and cool.

I was too stunned to answer right away. "Gay," I said at length. "I prefer the word 'gay'."

"'Gay'," he repeated. "Sorry."

I parked the car and looked at him. "Does this change things? Are we still going bowling?"

"That's why we're here," he said. He opened his door and stepped onto the macadam. "Let's do it," he shouted to the evening sky. A small flock of startled starlings circled in the fading light. I followed him into the brightly lit lobby.

Rick took charge of getting the lane for us and setting up the score sheet.

He was a joy to watch as he moved through the bowling ritual. Arm muscles corded as he raised the heavy black ball into position; controlled breathing raised his chest and flattened his stomach as he studied the pins; tapering back and mounding buttocks swayed as he approached the foul line. He was a picture of grace and beauty.

And his face was a whole gallery of expressions. Depending on the degree of his success it registered surprise, disappointment, mock horror, glee or bashful pride. I was delighted to be with him.

Rick was a pretty fair bowler but I beat him in all three games. He jokingly accused me first of being lucky and then of cheating, but I could tell he didn't mind being bested by me. He was also pretty impressed with my knowledge of and stated ability in other sports.

As good as his word, and in spite of my protests, Rick paid for the bowling. However, he did allow me to treat us to pie and ice cream at the snack bar.

It was dark when we left the building. The moon, huge and orange, was just topping the trees that edged the parking lot. We continued our banter as we walked to the car, but once he closed his door Rick became quiet and reserved. This was yet another abrupt change in mood and I was a little perplexed. I tried to pick up the strands of our earlier conversation.

"Why were you so surprised when I told you about my playing sports in college?" I asked.

"I dunno. I didn't think guys like you went into sports that much."

"Guys like me? Does my being gay bother you?"

"I'm not sure. Yeah, I guess it does - a little."

"I don't do things like rape people, you know. You can relax."

"Yeah, I didn't think you did." He smiled faintly and slid down in the seat a little to demonstrate a relaxed attitude he probably didn't feel. "It's just something I think about sometimes." He fell silent.

My heart was pounding in my ears. I wanted to reach out to him. I wished I could run my fingers through his hair and over the curves of his neck and shoulders. In a short time I would be alone in my bed where I could do whatever I wanted with him. I would touch his naked young body all over with my fingers and tongue. I would straddle his chest and rub his beautiful face with my cock and balls and perineum. My cock thickened as I thought of the first penetration that he would initially resist but eventually beg for.

The harsh lights of the fast food outlets that greeted motorists to our town flashed against my eyes and brought me out of my erotic reverie.

"Where are we going?" I asked. "Where do you live?"

"You can drop me off at the 7-Eleven on Main," he responded.

"I'd be glad to take you home," I assured him.

"7-Eleven's fine," he said.

When we got to the parking lot I drifted to a stop. Rick made no move to get out. He sat motionless staring at the myriad lights in the big store windows in front of him. I looked at him but said nothing. He looked briefly into my eyes before facing front again. "Maybe you could take me home," he said softly.

He gave me the number on a nearby street. When we arrived at the small frame house he again sat staring, this time at the shaded front windows and the car with the out of state tag that was parked in the side alley. He exhaled a rush of air through his open mouth. "I wonder where she picked him up." The softness of voice did not hide the mix of sadness and anger he was feeling.

"Bennett," he ventured tentatively, "could we go for a ride?"

"Sure," I said and dropped the gear into drive.

Instinctively, I drove to the mountains south of town. The risen moon was full and white. It's glow through overhead branches created a patchwork of light and shadow on the deserted road. Rick remained pensive during the ride. My masturbation fantasy was fading with a growing empathy for a boy I hardly knew.

"If there anything I can do, Rick, just let me know."

"You're a good person, Bennett," he said softly.

The anguish he had been harboring for so long broke in a controlled tide from his small frame. "If I could only understand. If she only cared for me, even a little bit."

"I'm sure she cares for you," I said, not knowing his truth and doubting the accuracy of my assurance even as I offered it. "In her own way," I added feebly.

"No." He spoke with finality. "Every night it's the same thing. Only the guy is different. She'd be happier if I were out of her hair for good. I have to get away."

"Where would you go? Do you have relatives someplace you can call?"

"I probably have relatives somewhere. I don't know."

"Where would you go if not to a relative?"

"There's always New York."

"What do you mean, 'Always New York'?"

"You know. New York City. Lots of guys my age do it."

"'It?' What would you do in New York?" I didn't want to come to grips with the import of what he was saying.

"It. You know. Hustle. Sell my body. Lots of guys want guys my age. You'd like to make it with me, wouldn't you?"

What was he trying to do to me? "Y-Yes," I stammered. "Sure. But not like that. God, Rick! You can't want that."

He allowed his anger to explode. "Hell no, I don't want that," he fairly screamed. "But it's better than what I've got.

"I mean, hell . . ." he added regaining his composure, " I don't have anything now."

I turned my car down the coal blackened cinder road and parked in the gravelly lot where the long vanished railroad depot once stood that served the long vanished mining town. The trees were large and little light from the moon filtered through the leafy canopy. The motor hummed softly until I put it in park and turned it off.

"Want to walk?" I asked. Rick responded by opening his door and stepping out. The stillness of the night magnified the crunch of our footfalls on the cinder path.

We shielded our faces from the overhanging branches until we emerged onto a grassy level at the lake. It's surface reflected the white and shimmering path of the naked moon. The light of the moon contrasted sharply with the dark of the shadows on the ground and reduced our world to black and white and was not confused by the colors that the light of day reveals. The air was alive with the chirping of tree toads.

"Nice," Rick said.

"Yes," I concurred. We gazed at the silvery surface of the lake.

He stooped and removed his sneakers, and when he stood he pulled his T over his head.

"OK to swim?" he asked.

"At your own risk," I quoted the sign on the nearby beach, and with that he stripped off his cutoffs.

He turned to me wearing only his white cotton briefs and asked, "Are you going in?"

"I guess so," I said uncertainly. Then, "Sure. Why not?"

I stepped out of my loafers while Rick slipped his briefs down his slender legs. He stood facing me. The light of the moon behind him created a fine halo; a silvery outline that defined the curves and angles of his young body. His features were in his own shadow and his mysterious nakedness and the suggestion of his nascent erection made my own cock begin to fill and lengthen.

I looked at Rick as I removed my shirt. He shifted his weight slightly. There was no mistaking the half hard-on that bobbed in front of his pelvis. I lowered my jeans and boxers in one motion and stepped clear of them. I made no more attempt to hide my semi-erection than Rick did to hide his. He looked at me matter-of-factly before turning and diving gracefully into the water, briefly disturbing its smooth face. When I saw his head break the surface, I followed his lead.

The water stabbed me with countless icy needles. I surface-dived to the lake's incredibly cold depths and back to the relatively warm top layer of water. Each time I surfaced I checked on Rick who was swimming circles around my diving spot. Once he splashed me and we began to play and laugh like carefree children.

When he tired of our game he left the water at the grassy level and sat cuddling his knees. I was not long to follow. He watched me walk from the water's edge and when I approached him, he rose.

Instinctively, we moved toward each other. I put my arms around him and held him close. He squeezed me tightly and pressed his cheek against my chest. I stroked his wet hair. I looked down at his now upturned face. Our eyes locked briefly before we moved our lips together. Our kiss was long and tender and grew only slowly into passion.

My erection had diminished in the cold water, but now it grew again and I moved my hips outward to allow it to stretch up between our bodies. The head of Rick's hard cock grazed my thigh.

We broke our embrace to lie on the grass, Rick on his back and I on my side. I propped my head on the heel of my hand. He watched my face as I slowly ran my fingers over his arms and chest and gently undulating abdomen. Under my touch his skin became like goose flesh and the underlying strands and expanses of muscle twitched involuntarily. His torso was completely smooth except for the downy blond growth that penciled downward from his navel to fan out into his thick pubic patch. His wrinkled scrotum held his two lovely balls and his erection bobbed with each beat of his heart. A clear droplet of precum oscillated over the slit and reflected the light of the moon in pearly hues.

Slowly, I lowered my mouth to lick it away. His cock had that amazing hardness that only a boy cock can have. It's skin was velvet. I knelt beside him and sucked more precum out to coat my tongue and his pulsating shaft. As I moved my finger tips gently over his scrotum, his balls churned upward increasing the depth of the crevices of their wrinkled sack. I took his balls firmly in my right hand and moved my left down his heaving chest and stomach to encircle the base of his cock. He spread his legs and bent his knees, placing his feet firmly near his ass to give himself leverage for the upward thrusts of his hips that were already beginning.

I moistened the middle finger of my right hand with commingled spit and precum and moved it toward his anus. I tried to push it in but he resisted by tightly squeezing his sphincter. I placed my hands under his ass and lifted it into the night air. The light of the moon showed me a hairless and open hole. Rick gasped when I kissed it and, as I licked and tongue-fucked him, he moaned his pleasure. I re-wet my finger, inserted it in the now willing hole and lowered his hips back onto the grass.

Returning my mouth to his cock, I licked and sucked as I massaged his hard almond prostate. He was ready. After only a few seconds he cried out, thrust his pelvis hard against my face and shot jet after jet of acrid cum into my mouth. I swirled my tongue around his engorged and sensitive glans and he gripped my head strongly in an attempt to keep it still. I kept my lips firmly around his cock, savoring the taste of him as I slowly pulled my finger out of his asshole. He gradually relaxed and I stretched out beside him, propping my head on my hand as before. Slowly he turned onto his side and faced me. He nudged his top leg between my thighs.

I caressed his cheek and hair with my free hand. Soon I enlarged my touch to include every spot I could comfortably reach. We embraced again and rolled over on the grass until his body came to rest on top of mine. My cock oozed and made us wet with precum. Using both hands I rubbed his shoulders, his back and his lovely ass. With each pass I made my touch increasingly light.

Rick lowered his lips to my ear and broke the long silence. "Bennett?"

"Yes?"

"You said if there was anything you could do . . ."

"Go on."

"Well - I mean - if you meant it . . ."

I wrapped my arms firmly around him. He responded by hugging my neck so strongly that he hurt me. He relaxed his grip and said, "I was so scared."

"I know," I said. "It's OK. There's nothing to be afraid of.

"Let's go home. We can begin to sort things out in the morning."

 

Everett

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