They ran through town east to west, a straight line that didn't waver, didn't turn or curve like the streets or the undulating terrain. They severed the town, divided it, demarking one side from the other. The south side had most of the commercial district, the better neighborhoods and the better schools. The buildings were maintained and the people who lived there felt content, secure in their neighborhoods, with a pious sense of betterment. The north side was the opposite.

It had been the factory side of town, the neighborhoods the workers, from a time when the railroads were more important, integrated with the industry. But the industry of the town soon disappeared and the north side fell into disrepair and the workers into abject poverty. For decades this was the way it was, this hard life for the north with the south side saying they deserved it, thought it was retribution for some misdeed, this falling into poverty, of having the higher crime rates, most of the bars, bars that the south side residents went to in the dead of night, then spoke against on Sunday morning with their condemnations of the residents who lived around them.

Buck lived on the north side and he knew how people viewed him. He tried to fight it, tried to escape it, but he had dropped out of high school to help at home and now that he was nineteen and no skills he struggled to stay employed, to find work that paid enough to live on, even though he required so little. It was so numbing, this living day to day, barely scraping by, but this wasn't the worst, the thing that made Buck feel lonely, made him feel separate from even his own community, his own neighbors and friends and sometimes his own family.

Buck struggled with his attractions, these desires that frustrated him, for living in this small southern town where events of the national level were viewed with disdain, evil, a corruption of moral society. Surrounded by this atmosphere isolated Buck more than his poverty. Since his mother died he thought about leaving, just packing up what few belongings he had and taking off. But which direction and how far he could get on less than two hundred dollars and a thirty year old car that burned oil almost as fast as it burned gas made the proposition daunting, too daunting, and so each day he got up, dressed and went to his job at the grocery store where he worked part time hours and after he put in his few hours, he would go to his other job at the tire repair shop where they sold and installed new tires but most of the business on the north side was for retreading or buying used tires and repairing flats just one more time, and Buck would work there till closing.

Sunday was the only day Buck had all day off and he would sleep in late then treat himself to his best meal of the week at the fish camp out on Highway 34 where it sat among the old oak trees up the hill from the boat ramp to Black Water Creek. So it was, on a mild May morning just before church let out, Buck drove down to the fish camp for lunch. The dining room was already busy and Buck found himself at a small table near the back of room. He always ate alone, bringing a book or magazine to read while he waited for his food and on this day he was reading a magazine, it spread open on the table with him hunched over it reading, keeping his mind focused on the article to keep his surroundings blocked out. He didn't know why he looked up, maybe it was the voice, or the sense of someone looking at him, but he had let his eyes rise from the page and look across the room where he saw Charles.

***

Charles was the golden boy, the son of the town's most wealthy family, who owned the town's two car dealerships, a tractor dealership and the only hardware store. Charles was tall and attractive, and for all the girls in town, still single. He had been the football team's best receiver in years, had a scholarship to one of the big universities. Charles always knew how to be social, how to come into crowd of people and fit in and the people of the town viewed him as a good boy, one of their own destined to make it.

But for Charles, it didn't feel that way.

He struggled in college, not with his classes but with the atmosphere where he was just another student from some small town and on the football team he sat on the bench while the really good players rotated into the games and he knew his chances of playing were slim. But he also struggled with something else; he struggled with being gay, of his attraction to other guys. He went to socials, to the small bar in town, and he hooked up with several guys, but through it all he kept a low profile, hid this aspect of himself from his roommate, the other guys on his floor in the dorm and his teammates. There was something wrong, the connection not quite right, and when spring semester arrived he found himself going home on weekends more often. He didn't understand why he needed this reconnection to his home but it somehow gave him a sense of contentment, a sense of himself.

He thought about his time in grade school, the guys he went through each of the grades and inevitably he would let his mind return to how he use to look at them, let his imagination consider the possibilities, think of how they looked in the showers their bodies growing more mature with each passing year. He thought of John and his light pale skin and blonde hair so light it looked like it shined, Mark who was short, a tight compact body with dark skin and a surprisingly large cock, Bill who was average in so many ways, but who's personality gave him an attraction not even Charles could deny and then there were some that he felt were somehow taboo, even more wrong, if that was possible. Tobias with his dark cocoa colored skin and the most muscular body of any of his classmates, Ryan who was feminine, his body so androgynous most of the other guys called him 'fag' and 'homo' making Charles feel even worse, and finally there had been Robert. He was nearly as tall as Charles and when they had had PE together Charles remembered how hard it had been to not stare at Robert when he showered and changed. Robert had dirty blonde hair that lightened up in the sun and he had a boyish face that had freckles sprinkled over his cheeks just under his eyes and over his nose, and his skin a light olive tone. His body frame was lean, muscular from work, strong without a body builder's definition, and his cock had hung loosely over his sac, the skin of it darker than the rest of him and Charles had fantasized about Robert the most during those grade school days until the day he stopped coming to class. He saw Robert in town on occasion, sometimes in some sleeveless shirt and cheap frayed jeans filthy from his job at the old tire repair shop on the north side and each time Charles would find him attractive, alluring, like something exotic, dangerous, forbidden. Charles would go out of his way to speak when he saw Robert, had tried to be friends with him even though his own friends criticized him for it, but Robert had kept a barrier between them, never would let Charles close and over time Charles noticed Robert seemed to keep everyone a bay, not just him. There were a few people he had seen Robert hanging out with on occasion, three others he would come to football games or some festival the town had two or three times a year. Jason and Cindy, who were dating and Stan who all lived in the same neighborhood as Robert were the few to call Robert let close and allowed them to call him by his nickname. Charles had tried many times to befriend Robert, even go so far as calling him by his nickname when he addressed him, but Robert always rebuffed him.

Charles was home again and decided to go grab an early lunch at the fish camp since his parents left earlier than morning to go to the beach for the week. The place was busy already, those trying to beat the church crowd and he pulled his Jeep into a space along the perimeter where there was shade from the trees. As he walked to the restaurant he saw the old Pontiac sitting in back with its faded paint and cheap aftermarket hubcaps and his felt his stomach knot up knowing who was inside as he had hoped. Robert may not let him close, but it wouldn't stop him from trying.

Inside he scanned the room and wasn't surprised to see Robert in the back, alone, and he told the waitress he would take one of those tables in back sense he was alone as he pointed toward the tables adjacent to the one Robert was sitting. He followed the waitress through the dining room, speaking to different people as he went, saying hello and telling them his parents were off on their vacation and he was just grabbing lunch before hitting the road to get back to college.

The waitress did perfect and moved to the table that was in front of Robert, the one that would provide eye to eye contact. Charles followed her to the table and when she pulled the chair out that would put his back to Robert he casually ignored her and moved to the one facing him. Seated, he picked up his menu and after a moment's hesitation, laid it back down.

"Hey Buck, how are you doing?" Charles asked as he looked over at Robert, using his nickname in his continued attempt to get close.

Buck looked up, his face stern, unreadable.

"I'm okay, and you?" Buck replied his tone indicating he didn't really care.

"I'm good. Just came home to see the folks before they left on vacation."

The waitress arrived and took Charles' order and Buck immediately told her he would take his check.

"What's the rush?" Charles asked.

"No rush. I'm done so I'm heading out. See ya around."

There was a barrier there Charles didn't understand, couldn't figure out how to break through, and as he watched Buck stroll toward the door he found his frustration tied to his attraction to Buck, for even in cheap ill fitting clothes and his hair needing a decent cut Buck was still attractive. And Buck's being single, always alone gave Charles some sense there was possibility, as remote as he knew it had to be.

***

'What did that fucking pretty boy want?' Buck wondered as he strolled through the gravel lot to his car. There had been several boys in his grade school classes that he had found attractive, boys he would steal glances at when in PE or in the cafeteria as they were horsing around, laughing and talking. Of all of them the one that spurned the greatest confusion in Buck had been Charles. Dark haired, fair skinned, and tall, the tallest in his class with his strong jaw, small nose, bright blue eyes with their thin arched eyebrows made him attractive and his rosy cheeks and inability to grow a beard, even now, made him look young, boyishly young, but Charles was also someone who represented the ideal boy, from the ideal home, both parents there for him, encouraging him, sending him off to college. Buck's rancor clashed with his attraction of Charles.

He drove back into town, turned north on Pinehaven Drive and crossed the railroad tracks. He drove past the boarded up shops, the pawn shop and on the next block the tire repair shop where he worked. A few more blocks and he turned into Northview, the trailer park that sat between a warehouse and a mill village of old derelict homes. It was a sliver of land, barely wide enough for the access road and the mobile homes on one side and Buck eased along the rough unpaved lane to the mobile home he called home.

Inside he pulled off his shirt, tossing it over the back of a chair and went into his kitchen to grab a beer. Beer in hand, he turned on the small television sitting on the dining room table, adjusted the antenna till the station he wanted came in fairly clear, moved to the sofa and fell back into its sagging cushions. He kicked off his shoes and propped them up on the sofa.

It was an old movie, about young guys from different parts of town, fighting against each other, and the actors, all so young at the time in scenes with their shirts off, their bodies lean and muscular and Buck let his mind wander, think back to the guys from his school days, the guys he saw in town, coming in the grocery store or coming to the tire shop to get a flat fixed and he thought about Charles, coming into the restaurant. He pretended not to notice Charles come in, but he had saw him. Saw Charles' body stretching the t-shirt he wore, with his broad shoulders and muscular body and the way the t-shirt hung loose over his narrow waist where it was tucked into his jeans, snug fitting showing his round ass. Buck let the image arouse him, make his cock grow hard and he rubbed his hand over his crotch, his loose jeans letting his cock shift around, stretch out thick and hard and he rubbed it more, his mind no longer on the movie, but on images of Charles, they way he looked years ago in PE and then today, coming into the restaurant and he felt his cock turn up and he rubbed downward till the head slipped out from his boxers and jeans coming into view.

His fingers slipped the button on his jeans free, pulled the zipper down and his cock pushed upward, the head rising up slipping his cheap loose boxers down revealing more and more of the shaft.

'Fuck' Buck thought, expressing his arousal, his horniness and his frustration and he raised his hips so he could push his jeans and boxers down till they were mid-thigh and his cock was free, bobbing in the air over his stomach. He stroked it slowly, letting his hand move along the shaft and circle over the head. There were days he would jerk off quickly, pump his cock until he shot releasing the frustration, then there were days like today, when he would slowly stroke it, feel it get so hard it ached, the head leaking till it drooled down onto his stomach and he would have to let go for minutes at the time, let his cock flex down, his sensitivity, his need to cum subside and he could do it all over again.

Buck wondered what it would be like to actually mess around with another guy, to feel their rough hands on his cock, or how it would feel to touch theirs, to run his fingers over the hard shaft, feel the spongy head, and to put it in his mouth, let it fill him, slide over his tongue till it pumped its cum out flooding his mouth.

Buck let his hand stroke slowly upward as he slid his other hand down between his legs and rubbed over his hole, pressed his finger against it till he breached his opening, his finger penetrating deeply into his hole and he arched back on the sofa having to squeeze his cock, the dark red head flared out wanting to shoot. He slipped a second finger in his hole as he imagined it was Charles' cock penetrating him, pushing deep inside of him and he felt his body grow tense and the room become even hotter. He slid down on the sofa flat on his back, his jeans and boxers pushed down to his ankles so he could spread his knees and open himself up to his self ministrations. He laid there, eyes closed, fingers working his hole and his other hand stroking his cock.

***

Charles had eaten only half of his lunch, no longer feeling hungry, his mind circling back to the image of Robert sitting in front of him, so close he could see his brown eyes, the freckles over his cheeks, the scruffy beard he tried to grow with bare places along his cheeks and he felt that sense of missed opportunity. He sat back and stared at his plate, half the food lying there getting cold. Movement to his right captured his attention and he looked over to see it was Jason and Cindy sitting down, friends of Robert's.

"Jason...Cindy, how are ya'll today?" Charles asked, giving them his friendliest smile.

Cindy looked over, shaking her head, "We're fine Charles. So what the fuck are you doing here? Shouldn't you be at the big university banging a cheerleader or something?"

Charles laughed, for Cindy had always been blunt, crude, holding nothing back, and he liked her for it.

"Just came home to see the family before they took off on vacation" he replied, and he leaned forward, his face growing serious. "Can I ask a question?"

"Sure" Cindy replied, Jason just nodding.

"Bu...Robert was in here and he seemed...I don't know...depressed? Is he okay?" Charles asked, working his way to the question he really wanted to ask.

"Oh he's fine" Jason replied, his tone casual and unassuming.

"Well...he is alone all the time" Cindy offered, "I mean I've tried to hook him up, but he..." and she just stopped talking, unsure how to finish.

"Well, shit, Cin he works all the fucking time. He has no time to do anything" Jason added.

Charles sensed his opening and he leaned back, his expression showing his seriousness.

"I might be able to help him" Charles stated, letting the idea of his help float between them a moment, then he asked the question he wanted to ask. "Where does he live? I could swing by on the way back to college and talk to him about it."

Cindy gave him a questioning look, a distrusting expression but Jason didn't hesitate telling Charles where Robert lived.

Charles had driven through the north side on many occasions, but this time was different. He turned on Pinehaven and eased over the rough crossing for the train tracks and eased along the few blocks north eyes scanning his surroundings, really noticing how different it was than the south side. He saw the old concrete block warehouse, its paint fading and flaking off with grass and weeds grown up all around it and just beyond the wood sign for Northview , it fallen over and its paint faded till the name was barely legible brought a sadness to Charles he had never felt before. His Jeep bounced and rocked as he eased down the rough drive and he wondered how the hell Robert's old Pontiac could make it.

Charles looked at the depilated mobile homes, the bare ground around them, the old cars and trucks parked all around them and he tried to imagine what it would be like to live here. He began to wonder if Jason had sent him off on a wild goose chase but as he came toward the rear of the property he saw Robert's old Pontiac parked at an old mobile home, one of the smallest ones in the trailer park and Charles pulled over to the side of the road under a tree and parked. He sat for a moment looking at the mobile home for signs of life, a light on inside or some noise to indicate Robert was inside. He sat gathering up his courage.

Charles stepped down from his Jeep, strolled across the bare ground toward Robert's mobile home, all the time expecting him to stick his head out with some accusing statement. When he was close he could hear the television and he recognized it as a commercial, and for reasons he could never explain, he eased up to the door and didn't knock. Instead he grabbed the knob and jerked the door open.

"Jesus...fuck...what the hell..." Robert cried out, struggling to sit up, to conceal his hard wet cock, the way he had been so close to coming, and his jeans and boxers around his ankles hobbled him, nearly made him fall to the floor and he leaned over bringing his legs close to his chest. "Charles?! What the fuck, ya asshole..."

"I'm sorry...I didn't mean to... I'm not trying to..." Charles stammered shocked at catching Robert on his sofa, his cock in his hand with his jeans around his ankles.

"Not trying to do what?" Robert yelled at Charles as he gave up trying to hide his hard cock and began to pull up his jeans.

Charles didn't reply as he looked at Robert, his nakedness, his cock still half hard, glistening in the light coming in through the door over his shoulder and he moved into the trailer as Robert stood up pulling his jeans to his waist trying to get his cock tucked into his jeans.

"Robert" and after a moment's hesitation, "Buck..." Charles said in a low tone and Robert looked up at him his hands freezing in place at the sound his nickname. Then Charles saw it, that little boy, from the wrong side of the tracks, struggling with the place he found himself living, the boy full of confusion and frustration. Charles moved close to Robert, let his hands move to Robert's lower arms just above his wrists and he gently, daringly, touched him, let his fingers rest on the smooth skin.

"Why do you avoid me?" Charles whispered and Robert looked from where Charles was touching him to his face and he saw the seriousness of it, blank of its usual playfulness and he shook his head 'no', for he couldn't admit it, not to Charles, who was everything he was not.

"I know I must...represent something that strikes at everything that is wrong for you, this having to work your ass off to survive while I..." and Charles stopped, not sure how to continue, then he looked down, suddenly afraid, afraid he was going to fuck up, to say the wrong thing, afraid of Robert's response.

"Robert, you see, as good as I have it, there are things I struggle with...actually one thing really and every time I see you...it..." and Charles looked up and saw Robert staring at him, his brown eyes wide, a sense of curiosity in them. "Robert I like you...really like you...and..." Charles stammered and Robert interrupted him.

"Are you gay?"

Charles stopped, smiled at Robert when he saw the question wasn't asked in a derisive manner and he shook his head 'yes'.

"And you...like me?" Robert asked, his voice rising an octave with his incredulity.

"Is that so hard to believe...or to accept?"

Robert looked out the door, let his eyes roam outside as his mind processed what Charles was saying, then he looked back Charles, raised his hand up to Charles' face fingers lightly grazing along the line of his jaw, over his chin and traced over his lips. Robert let go of his jeans with his other hand, letting them fall to the floor as he took Charles' by the wrist and moved Charles' hand to his stomach, rubbed it over his skin, letting him feel the warmth and smoothness of it.

"You want to...touch me?" Robert asked and Charles moved to him, wrapped his arms around the naked body, pulled it to him as he kissed Robert, and he felt Robert relax in his arms. Charles reached out, grabbed the chain at the top of the door and pulled it closed casting them into the dim light of the interior. Robert let Charles guide him to the sofa, ease him down on it as Charles moved on top of him.

Robert ran his hands up under Charles' shirt caressing his back. They kissed while hands moved over the other. Charles moved down between Robert's legs and felt his hard cock push up against his own body.

"Why did you avoid me" Charles uttered as he ran his hands up and down Robert's sides.

"I was...I don't know" Robert whispered back.

Charles moved off Robert and down on the floor on his knees and he ran his left hand up Robert's stomach and chest and with the other he encircled Robert's cock, holding it up where he could see the clear liquid bead up at the slit and he leaned over and licked it off, licked around the head and then he put his lips to the head and let it slide into his mouth. Robert had never felt such a sensation the way Charles took his cock.

Charles sucked Robert, took his cock deep into his mouth and then pulled up feeling each inch slide through his lips. Robert began to breathe hard and he pushed upward with his hips, fucking his cock into Charles' mouth.

"Fuck" Robert uttered as he felt Charles run his fingers down below his sac, rubbing over him, probing downward till they touched him, pressed against his hole and he spread his legs letting Charles know he liked it, wanted to feel him penetrate his hole and Charles slipped two fingers into him, stretched him open and Robert cried out.

Robert sat up and began to work Charles' t-shirt up and over his head, stripping him of it, and Charles stood up, unbuttoned his jeans and pushed them down along with his boxers. Robert dropped to his knees and took Charles' enlarging cock and for the first time let a cock slide into his mouth. He pumped his head back and forth, tongued the shaft and head and Charles held his head and for a few minutes while he pumped his cock through Robert's lips and deep into his mouth.

"NO...not yet" Charles cried out as he pulled his cock free of Robert's mouth and he watched how Robert's eyes were glued to his cock as it flexed up and down. Robert looked up at Charles as he rubbed his hands up and down Charles' legs.

"Fuck me Charles" Robert whispered and he got up on the sofa on his knees, resting his chest on the back of it. Looking over his shoulder, his hands pulling his cheeks apart he watched Charles move up behind him, his hard cock in hand aimed at his hole.

"Fuck me, Charles...push it in me" Robert urged and Charles pressed his cock to Robert's hole and pushed till his cock penetrated, sinking into Robert making him cry out. Charles leaned over Robert and laid over his back, his hips pumping his cock in slow deep penetrations. Charles felt the warmth of Robert's body, the way it shivered beneath him and he slid his hands over Robert's chest and stomach, stroked the smooth skin, felt his hard nipples and when he moved his right hand down he felt Robert's hard cock brush against his arm and he ran his fingers through the soft hair over the cock, over the base of Robert's cock and encircled his sac tugging it to him as he pushed cock deep into Robert's hole.

"Goddamn I've wanted you for a long time" Charles uttered as he fucked Robert's ass, thrusting his cock deep into Robert's hole while his hand took the hard thick shaft underneath Robert and stroked it, felt the slickness of it as his hand moved over the head and down the shaft.

Robert was too wound up, his cock already so hard it was leaking thick beads of lube till it drooled to the seat of the sofa, and Charles pumping his hole, thrusting cock deep into him, banging his insides till he saw stars and made him feel the cum surge through his cock, feel his cock swell up thicker and he shot, thick wads spattering the back of the sofa, then the seat as Charles' stroked his cock and slammed cock through his hole, each spasm with his ejaculations making it the most intense ever and he cried out, begged Charlie to fuck him harder as he slammed his ass back against Charlie.

"Oh fuck...." Charlie whispered, out of breath, as he felt Robert's body responding to his organism, the way he tensed up, the way Robert's hole milked his cock and the way Robert began to slam his ass back, taking every thrust of Charlie's hips and Charlie slammed into Robert one more time, hard, hips slapping up against Robert's ass and he bit Robert on the shoulder as he pumped his cum into Robert's hole.

***

The sun was low in the sky and Charlie once again said he had to go as he laid next to Robert on his bed, their cocks still slick and leaking cum from their continued sex. Robert was on his stomach and Charlie lay on his side beside him letting his fingers trace over his smooth back, along the valley of his spine, down to his ass and over each round cheek.

"You've got to get out of here" Charlie said for what Robert thought was the hundredth time.

"How?" he responded once again. "I don't make shit, can't afford a decent car and the one I do have barely runs...fuck Charlie I doubt I could make it to the state line."

"What if I get you a job up at the university?"

Robert rolled his upper body so he could look over at Charlie.

"Doing what?"

"Look Robert, I'll be home this summer and we can work something out. Just think about it, okay?"

Robert nodded and turned back around laying down letting the feel of Charlie's fingers over his skin caress him, give him a sense of contentment and for the first time in a long time he thought of leaving this place again, really leaving this time and he smiled.

"You better get your ass up, dressed and on the road or that fancy fucking university will kick ya out" Robert said, his tone light for the first time. He felt Charlie move on the bed, felt him move up next to him and when he turned Charlie kissed him lightly, gently.

"Okay, I'm going, but I'll call ya when I get there. And we're getting you out of this place, ya hear?"

Robert smiled at Charlie and nodded his head, then he watched Charlie dress, going around the room and then down the hall to the living looking for the rest of his clothes. A few minutes later Charlie called out he was leaving and the door closed. Through the window by the bed he watched Charlie get into his Jeep and drive away. When the Jeep was gone, the place quiet, he rolled onto his back and smiled, truly smiled, for the first time in years.

 

Grant

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