As the sun fell below the horizon the anticipation rose, fueled by the sounds of the track. The roar of the engines, the commentator over the loudspeakers and the buzz of the patrons in the stands that seemed to get louder as darkness settled over the small half mile track. Its lights created a small dome of sky that became the whole world for a few hours.

The time trails were completed, and the nights pole positions were established. The drivers were with track officials for their meeting prior to the start of racing. In the pits, along the back row, Tanner waited for his father, one of the drivers. He was perched on the side of the truck bed lost in thought.  Scanning the pits of the others who supported a driver, mostly family members, he saw them huddled in small groups around one car or another, talking and laughing. He been coming with his dad since he was twelve, over six years now, and in the last few years he felt a growing distance from the others. He didn’t feel like he fit in, wasn’t really part of the racing family. He knew as much about the sport as anyone, and could work on any of the cars of the different classes, but when he saw the confederate battle flags being waved around, or the pinup posters attached to the interior of some vans or trailers, or listened to the banter of the guys, he knew he didn’t share in their attitudes. When he first started coming to the track with his dad, he tried to be like the other boys who were there helping their dads or brothers or some other relation prepping a car for a race. For a while, he played his role nicely, but when he was fifteen the role seemed to dominant his life, suppressing who he really was. The next three years were maddening. Some days were cheerful, bright and sunny as the hot south Alabama sun, then others were dark and gloomy, a depression he had to fight his way through or else let it consume him. He knew the problem, the thing that pushed him down into that abyss. Always having to be someone other than himself.

Next to the truck and trailer sat his dad’s race car, a Super Late Model Chevy, with a body so reshaped for the track that the original model it was supposedly based on was lost beneath the shiny blue and silver paint, made more invisible by the large number 12s and sponsors painted on the sides and over the top. The black mark from another’s tires were still evident on the passenger side door panel from an incident last weekend, otherwise the body was perfect, which spoke more to its newness than to any notion the racing was always clean. It was his dad’s third car, and by far the best one.

The first car his dad owned for the track was a sportsman class car. It had belonged to another driver and was practically falling apart when his dad picked it up down in Pensacola. The body had been patched together so often that he remembered his dad finally getting the body from another race car using the decent panels from it to repair the car. Three years ago, the car got so bad it had to be retired and his dad bought another used car, but this time a Super Late Model. It was a step up, but the car was too worn, the engine used up to the point its power was down. His dad never competed for the checker flag with the car, always lucky to finish a race. But for three years he drove it, learning the feel of the track at higher speeds, the way the drivers weaved in and out of each other, jockeying for position. He learned when to hold his line and when to make his move. With the current car, brand new from the shop, his dad had shown competitiveness for the first time, last weekend, and tonight he had felt good about being better.

Tanner had to admit it was nice to come to the track with a decent car, one that stood a chance of winning. He saw the other drivers give his father a nod of the head or a slight wave of acknowledgement. Looking across the pit he saw the drivers were making their way toward their cars and after a few seconds he saw his dad coming his way. He watched him approach as a young driver came up beside him. The young driver whose racecar was parked in the slot adjacent to theirs. The young driver by the name of Hoyle, who’s battered old car had belonged to his uncle. The uncle had raced it for years before getting hurt on the job forcing him to quit. Over the years, Tanner had seen a lot of these cars, the old G-body General Motors cars. Hoyle’s car was a 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass, or at least what was left of one. He remembered the uncle had had it painted white, but now the nephew had painted it flat black, probably trying to hide the condition of the body, where every panel looked battered and patched together. The car didn’t even sit level, leaning toward the driver’s front wheel.

When Hoyle had pulled up, Tanner had seen how proud of it he was, this battered old racecar being his first. His dad had gone over and spoken to him right away, answering questions and giving advice, which Hoyle had seemed eager to receive. Tanner had stayed back and avoided making eye contact for Hoyle had always stirred something within that couldn’t be allowed to surface. Not here, at the racetrack.

Hoyle had been coming to the track for three years. His family had just moved back to their family place and quickly thereafter, Hoyle began to come with his uncle, helping in the pit and learning the life of a racecar driver. And Tanner had avoided him. At fifteen, with Hoyle seventeen, their age difference seemed insurmountable. Tanner still felt like a kid at times, only able to drive with a parent with him. And Hoyle had his own car.

But that wasn’t the main reason Tanner avoided Hoyle. The reason that created the real fear within him. The fear he would reveal his true self. Fear he could not continue to wear this mask and Hoyle would see through it. Of all the boys that came to the track, it was Hoyle that he felt the strongest attraction. A lust that fueled his fantasies. Hoyle appeared in dreams and became the image of his masturbatory releases.

Looking up he saw Hoyle and his dad walk between two cars and start across the pit road and all he could focus on was the brilliant blonde headed Hoyle. His dad was five ten and Hoyle had at least six inches on him. The white driver’s suit Hoyle wore made him stand out even more in the dimly lit pit, where most drivers wore black or some other dark color. To Tanner he looked like a demigod. Half human, half something else. Zeus, maybe? In the past, when he had found himself close to Hoyle, he had studied the smooth olive tone skin of his face with the small mole just below the left ear and eyebrows that arched up slightly and the perfect teeth that he swore glowed when Hoyle smiled. And Hoyle had blue eyes, so vivid blue they looked like an emerald.

But the thing was, Hoyle wasn’t perfect. He was too lean for his height, the driver’s suit looked like it hung on his frame, instead of fitting it. And Hoyle had a southern accent worse than his own, dragging out syllables in a way that made him sound less educated than Tanner knew him to be. He had seen the textbook Hoyle was reading earlier and when his dad had asked about it, overhead the reply of community college. But imperfections aside, or maybe due to them, Hoyle caused him to feel his inner demons, the desires he tried to keep in check, threatening to expose him. More than once he had found himself staring at Hoyle while tinkering with his racecar. Once when his dad was standing nearby calling his name over and over trying to get his attention. He had burned with the embarrassment at being caught.

“Son; grab the tire pressure gauge will ya?” his dad asked as he came up between their racecar and truck.

“Sure dad,” climbing out of the bed of the truck and going to the toolbox at the front of the trailer while cutting his eyes over to see Hoyle climbing into his car. The first race was the Sportsman class.

Once the racing began, the night passed quickly, Tanner busy helping his dad between races then cheering him on during them. But he had time to watch Hoyle out of the corner of his eye, coming in after the first race with fresh scraps and bends in the body then in the last Sportsman race being towed in after being bumped off the track and into the outer wall. The damage hadn’t looked too bad, mainly the front suspension for the passenger side front, but Hoyle’s night was over. At the time Tanner and his dad where busy changing tires for the final race of Super Late Models, so he hadn’t noticed Hoyle getting his racecar ready to winch onto the trailer.

“Tanner, I’ll get this last one, why don’t you go over and help Hoyle get his car on the trailer.”

“What?” Tanner replied, knowing the look on his face was out of proportion to the request by his father. Any other time he would have gone to help one driver or another without question. But this was Hoyle.

“Son, what’s the matter with you? Go on, help the boy.”

He walked over to Hoyle’s car, hesitate to approach. Glad of the dim light in the pits and the dark shadows he knew surrounded his face he moved to the front of the car where Hoyle was securing the cable from the winch.

“You need some help?”

There was the thud of flesh against metal and Hoyle jerking his hand from under the car.

“Mother FUCK, that hurt.” Hoyle looked up at Tanner rubbing his knuckles. He shook his head to get his hair out of his eyes, “Hey…Tyler, right?”

“Tanner. You need some help?” Tanner replied in as flat of tone as he could muster and knew it sounded like he didn’t really want to help him. And a part of him didn’t. But another part was glad his dad pushed him to do it.

“Yeah, I could actually.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“When I get this cable secure, I’ll work the winch. If you’ll get in the car and steer the one good wheel maybe it’ll pull up on the trailer easier.”

“Okay.”

Cable secured, Tanner watched Hoyle go to the front of the trailer where a winch was mounted. Hoyle tightened the line and tested it with a short pull of the car till it was at the foot of the ramps.

“Okay, Tanner, get in the car and steer if you can.”

Tanner climbed in through the window, feet first, slipping down into the seat. He was six-foot tall and yet, he noticed immediately the seat was too far back to comfortably reach the pedals. It didn’t matter, for all he had to do was steer. He heard the tightening of the cable then felt the slow forward movement of the car. The scrap of metal on metal as the front end was pulled up the ramps. He steered as best he could, feeling the odd sensation of only one wheel doing anything. He couldn’t imagine what it was like at speed to have such a thing happen.

The trailer jerked and rocked as the damaged racecar rose up the ramps then slide along the wood surface. After what seemed a long time, the forward motion stopped, and the winch grew quiet. As Tanner climbed out, Hoyle moved down in front of the car and strapped the front end down. Tanner went to the rear and slide the ramps in place, securing each one as Hoyle circled around the car with straps in hand. Together they secured the rear of the car. When they had the car tightened down the announcement for the final race came over the loudspeakers.

“Your dad is up” said Hoyle as he climbed up on the fender over the trailer wheels, stepped on the window sill and twisted around sitting on top of his racecar.

Tanner hesitated to follow, looking up at Hoyle then over to his dad’s truck thinking he should go over to it and not get on Hoyle’s car.

“Hey, Tanner, it’s okay, come on up. Ya can’t hurt this old thing…not now anyway” said Hoyle. It was as if he saw the question of where to go to see the race etched on Tanner’s face.

Tanner mimicked Hoyle, one step up on the fender, then the next on the window sill, and finally a quick twist around as he hopped on top of the car. Hoyle sat near the front and he toward back, side by side, so close they were nearly touching. The cars on the track were circling around, warming up tires and getting ready to take the green flag.

“Your dad is in the third position” said Hoyle pointing at the bright blue and silver car as the pace car came into the pits and the field accelerated toward the starting line.

The racecar sat on the trailer ticking with the cooling of the engine. Tanner was securing the toolbox as his dad secured the rear of the racecar. It had been a good night, his dad coming in second, his best showing to date. It was late, after midnight, and the pit was a hive of activity with other drivers loading up to leave and fans coming in for autographs and opportunities for photographs with the different cars and drivers. There were even five or six guys talking to his dad.

As he secured the top of the toolbox he looked over at Hoyle. He wanted to go over and talk to  him again. Some means of not letting the night end so abruptly. For all his fears of being around Hoyle, of doing something that was revealing, it had been nice to have hung out with him, even if for only one race. They had sat on top of Hoyle’s car, cheering his dad on. Sitting in the pits they had to turn one way then the other to watch the cars circle around them. Arms touched, then knees, sometimes his whole right leg was pressed against Hoyle’s leg. Every contact was a moment of opportunity, one that could lead somewhere, if only he had the courage. Or so he thought.

With the checkered flag, the race ended, Hoyle had jumped down first. He could see Hoyle’s expression, the excitement reflected there about his dad coming in second.

“Wow, that was a great race” Hoyle had hollered, arms thrown upward.

It had made him smile as he climbed down to stand next to Hoyle. His dad pulled in behind the trailer and Hoyle had thrown an arm around his neck and pulled him along to congratulate his dad on his finish. He knew it was a simple gesture, something buddies did all the time. But the contact made his heart race in his chest.


Tanner felt like the moment was getting away from him, at the same time he questioned whether, or not he was trying to make the situation something it was not. He stood by the bed of the truck on the passenger side watching Hoyle. Putting a toolbox in the bed of his truck, tossing his driver’s suit into the passenger seat, and double checking the racecar to make sure it was secure. Tanner looked back and saw his dad doing the same, checking each strap under the rear then the front of the car.

Tanner, with arms resting on the side of the truck bed, held his head down and rocked on his feet trying to think of something other than Hoyle. He kicked at the loose soil wondering what he would do the tomorrow. Saturday in small town Alabama left much to be desired, especially for him. Listening out, waiting on his dad to tell him to hop in, it was time to go, he wondered what Hoyle did on the weekends, knowing after tonight’s accident, tomorrow would probably be spent tearing apart the damaged suspension.

“Hey Tanner” came a voice that wasn’t his dad’s but Hoyle’s. Looking up he saw Hoyle standing at the back of the truck by the hitch looking at him over the bed. Hoyle’s face was in shadow, so he didn’t know how to respond to him.

“Huh…yeah?”

“I was wondering…tomorrow…if you wanted to…didn’t have other plans, would you like to come over. We could play video games…or something.”

At first, he wasn’t sure he heard right, but slowly the brain cells communicated with each other and he realized the invitation was before him, one he had been fantasizing about but never dreamed it could really occur. An invitation to Hoyle’s.

“No…I mean I have no plans. I’d love to come over. And play video games. What time?”

“Why don’t you come over around five. We could play a while then maybe fire up the grill. Here’s my address” said Hoyle, holding out a page from a small ruled notebook.

“I’ll see you at five” replied Tanner as he took Hoyle’s address.

“Good luck fixing that car Hoyle. Tanner, you ready to go?”

“Thanks Mr. Matthews” Hoyle replied.

“Yeah, dad” Tanner replied, nodding toward Hoyle who was backing toward his own truck, then he climbed into the cab for the thirty-minute ride home.

Tanner drove through the countryside squirming in his seat, changing the radio a dozen times or more, while his mind was a conflicted mess. He wanted Hoyle. No doubt. But was Hoyle even available? He had moments when he was sure there was a chance and moments when he was sure he didn’t have a chance in the world. It took him over thirty minutes to get into Monroe County. He followed the two-lane road through pine woodlands, farms and small communities coming in from the north of Monroeville heading south. He followed Hoyle’s directions following 21 till he came to his turn, the secondary road making a hard curve into it.

Only two miles to go and he felt an anxiousness and excitement he had never in his life felt before. It was such a new feeling. One he didn’t know, and he wondered if this was what it felt like arriving on a first date. Glancing at the directions he slowed down. He was to pass a farm house, one painted white with a full width porch on the front, and in back two old wood frame barns. Just past the drive and a small pasture was another drive, one that wound its way along the edge of the pasture and into the woods at the back. This was the drive he was to take.

Hoyle noted he lived at the back of his parent’s property, behind the old farm house that had been in the family since 1904, built to replace the house that burned down that year. Although Hoyle worked in town at the Chevy dealership in the shop, he still helped his father on the small farm when he could. On the back of the property at a fish pond built back in the forties, he had a prefab house set seven months ago. 

Tanner slowed down as he passed the old farm house easing down to the second drive. It was a two-rut lane that ran along the edge of the woods by the pasture, then cut through the woods at the back of the property. Curving down a steep grade the lane came out at a clearing where the fish pond sat. It circled around to the far side where a small light beige house sat. In front was the old truck with the trailer still hitched to it and to the side of the house sat a late seventies Trans Am.

Tanner pulled in behind the car. Engine off, he sat for a moment gathering his wits about him, worried he was hoping for too much. The front door swung open and Hoyle came out wearing frayed and worn jeans and a tank top which revealed the long lean arms and shoulders.

“Hey Tanner…come on in.”

Tanner was surprised to see the interior neat and clean. It wasn’t perfect, with car magazines lying over a coffee table, a couple of glasses on the counter in the kitchen and old boots and shoes sitting by the door. But it wasn’t like the homes of some of the other guys he had been in with dusty and dirty surfaces everywhere, empty beer cans stacked up, dirty dishes piled in sinks.  And there was the way Hoyle had made the place feel a part of him. There was no cheap mass-produced art on the walls. Instead there were framed photographs. Over the television was a large image of Hoyle with his uncle and another man, probably his dad. On the wall coming into the room was a collage of photographs. Family at different functions or casual shots, some at the pond outside, photos from the race track (the one of Hoyle helping his uncle change a tire catching his eye) and closeup shots of the racecars.

“You like the photos?” Hoyle asked. “Mom wanted to hang some framed images of flowers and old barns” he added shaking his head.

“A little woman’s touch to your place” Tanner replied smiling at the thought of such images every being on these walls.

“Yeah…like I need that” said Hoyle, his voice going low till nearly inaudible.  “Hey, let’s go out back. I need to fire up the grill.”

Tanner followed Hoyle into the kitchen as they headed toward a door leading into the backyard. Hoyle went to the refrigerator first and pulled out two beers, holding one out to him.

“You want tell on me will ya?”

“Hell no” Tanner replied taking the cold beer and twisting off the cap. It wasn’t his first. His mom would have killed his dad if she knew, but in the last few months, when out in the barn working on the car his dad had let him have one on occasion.

As Hoyle piled coal in the grill and got it to burning Tanner surveyed the rear yard. There was a trellis under construction near an oak tree, and around the base of the house newly planted shrubs, which made sense as he listened to Hoyle tell how he got the house set and had been working on the yard when he had time. There was nothing extravagant about any of it, just a neatness and honesty to everything that was relaxing, familiar, for the place could belong to any family.  Toward the woods at the rear sat a new pre-engineered building. The metal panels shiny in the sunlight of late afternoon. There was one rollup door on the right side and in the center a man door with a couple of windows to its left. The disturbed soil around the base and the fresh gravel in front of the doors spoke to its newness.

“That’s your shop” said Tanner nodding toward the building.

“Yep. You want to check it out while the coals burn down?”

“Yes.”

After the short walk across the yard Tanner watched Hoyle unlock the rollup door and lift till it rolled up completely. In the dimly lit interior, he saw the racecar up on jack stands. The front was disabled down to the engine on the chassis and the driver’s side suspension that had not been damaged. Everything else was removed sitting off to the side in the shadows.

“Damn, you have it tore down already?”

“It doesn’t take long to take it apart. It’s putting it back together that takes time.”

“Will you have it ready by next weekend?”

“Nope. I’m not going to rebuild.”

“What?!! You have to…”

“Tanner…let me show you something.”

Hoyle stepped inside the door and flipped on the fluorescents lighting up the interior in their harsh glow. Tanner moved up beside him and saw on the other side another car, a Buick Regal of the same G-Body series. It looked complete, ready to race. Even the number 55 was painted on the door panels and Hoyle’s name over the side window.

“I don’t understand…If have that car why race…”

“Why race the old one?  My uncle gave me both cars and told me to race this one first. Get the feel of the track and the other drivers before I put the other one on it. Besides, it’s not ready to race…not yet.”

“It looks ready.”

“Come here” Hoyle replied as he walked to the other car. Tanner followed and stood to the side as he raised the hood revealing an empty engine bay.

“Oh. That is a problem.”

“Not really. The old Cutlass has a new engine in it. I’ll just pull it and put it in here.”

“So, you’ll be ready to race next weekend.”

“Yep.”

Tanner strolled along the side of the car noting the front fender had been repaired at some time in the past. The drivers seat looked new and the roll cage was welded in place. Leaning on the window sill surveying the stripped interior Tanner asked why he didn’t move up to the Super Late Model class.

“I want to, but my uncle told me to race in Sportsman for a year or so. He said I needed the experience first, and I guess he’s right. I’ve seen a lot of new drivers leave the track in an ambulance.”

“Yeah…dad has commented on it; how new drivers show up in the class not ready for the speed.”

Tanner moved to the rear of the car and saw the dealership where Hoyle worked was the main sponsor. At the rear wall he ambled along the work bench, noting the neatly hanging tools on the wall, the components and tools on the bench and near one end components of another engine lay spread out.

“Another engine?”

“Never know when one will throw a rod or burn up a piston.”

Tanner raked a finger over one of the pistons feeling the smooth oily surface. It was all so familiar. The smell of oils and the various parts scattered around, always spares for when one breaks. It reminded him of his dad’s shop and so many others he had been in, although most were not new and this neat.

Hoyle moved up beside him and before he realized what was happening, stuck his finger in a pan of oil and smeared it on his cheek. Hoyle took off running around the Buick. He stabbed his finger into the oil and pursued him.

Laughing and taunting each other, Tanner chased Hoyle around the Buick then across the floor to the Oldsmobile. Hoyle stumbled and caught himself on the car. Tanner took advantage, spun him around and pinned him to the side of the car.

“You need a unibrow” Tanner taunted as he wiped his oily finger between Hoyle’s light brown eyebrows, connecting them with a black smudge.

Then everything was awkward. Tanner felt his face flush red. He was too close, right in Hoyle’s face. He could feel each hot exhale. Hoyle looked surprised, a certain uneasiness creep over his face and Tanner knew he had been frozen in place far too long. He stumbled back a few steps and looked away, trying to find something to focus on, anything to change the awkwardness of the moment. He saw a mountain bike leaning against the front wall near the man door. It was muddy, the frame scuffed up from frequent use.

“You ride a lot?”

“Yeah, whenever I can. Some of the guys I went to school with at the community college go up to the park and ride the trails some weekends. Do you ride?”

“Yes, but nothing as series as those trails. Mostly around the farm and the countryside.”

“If you want to ride with us one weekend, I’ll give you a call.”

“Okay.”

“I think the coals should be ready.”

Dirty plates and a few empty beer bottles sat on the counter. Outside the grill still smoked through the vents, burning off the residue of grilled meat. In the living room, dark except for the light on one lamp and the television, Hoyle and Tanner were on the sofa playing a video game. The television blared with explosions and gun fire. Hoyle was taunting Tanner. Sitting on the sofa only a few inches apart, fingers working furiously at the controllers, they rocked back and forth, and leaned to one side then the other trying to gain any advantage they could.

When Hoyle had won again, letting the game reset, he set the controller down and headed to the kitchen.

“Another beer?”

“Sure.”

“Tanner, isn’t Sarah Davis one of your cousins?”

“Yeah, a first cousin.”

“She’s marrying one of my buddies from high school. Brad Atkinson; you know him?”

“No. I just knew she was  seriously dating someone. She and I don’t see each other much. Her parents are really religious, and don’t like dad’s racing and…”

“Beer drinking” Hoyle interjected as he held out another beer to Tanner.

“Yeah.”

“Well, she’s marrying into the right family. Brad’s parents are religious freaks. I had thought Brad would leave after graduation to get away from them, but he seems to be falling in line with their religion. I’m surprised he invited me to the wedding, but honestly, I don’t think he has many friends left.”

“What about you?”

“What? Am I religious?”

“No. Are you seeing someone?”

Hoyle hesitated, seemed to be looking for the right words. Easing back down on the sofa, his voice lower than before, “no…haven’t found the right person I suppose.”

Hoyle began to start the game but hesitated, looking over at Tanner, “what about you?”

Tanner scoffed before he could stop himself, then realized how it sounded. He moved the toggle switch of the controller in small circles before answering.

“No. I guess I’ve not found the right one either.”

After several games, Tanner wondered if he had been wrong. Nothing of the last hour or so gave any indication that Hoyle could possibly be interested in him. He leaned back on sofa, sliding down till his ass was at the edge of the cushion. He rested his arms over his torso and each thigh holding the controller with both hands as fingers manipulated the buttons. Hoyle was on the floor, back against the sofa, knees up with his arms draped over them working his own controller. Tanner had Hoyle cornered and was working his way around some obstacles when Hoyle attacked. He should have known, for cornered, Hoyle had no choice. He worked furiously at the controller, fighting back and diving for cover. He rocked, shifted his body and swung his legs back and forth as if it helped his gaming character.

He bumped Hoyle with his leg, then bumped him again, this time holding the contact, not thinking about what he was doing for Hoyle had him focused on the game, taunting him, keeping him off balance. Then the fight was over, and Tanner realized how he was pressing his leg against Hoyle. He pulled away and felt a hand on his calf. It made him catch his breath, holding it, wondering if this moment was real, and whether, or not he was reading it correctly.

Frozen in place, Tanner waited to see what Hoyle would do next. The hand squeezed his calf.

“Tanner” Hoyle called softy, his voice low and meek.

“Yeah” Tanner replied, his tone the same.

The hand moved on his calf, upward a few inches then down to its original location. Tanner sensed Hoyle’s hesitation and he didn’t want it to stop. Not now. He reached out, his fingers only an inch away from the back of Hoyle’s neck. He hesitated, wondering if this would be the line crossed that would crash the whole evening. Regardless, he knew he had to know. Brushing his fingers along the edge of the hairline along the back of the neck, he felt the softness of it, then the smooth skin.

Hoyle moved up on his knees, turned toward Tanner moving up between his legs. He rested each arm along the length of each thigh and leaned in close. Tanner could see the vivid blue eyes and the smooth dark skin of his face, lightly dotted with freckles over the cheeks and nose. Hoyle leaned toward him till only inches apart. Neither could speak and Tanner sensed another point where he had to be the one to close the distance. He leaned up, moving toward Hoyle till he felt his lips press against Hoyle’s.

It was the moment that broke down some barrier that was between them. The hesitancy, unsure of the other. Tanner took Hoyle’s tongue into his mouth as he felt hands move up his thigh, then fingers rake over the front of his pants toying with his growing erection. When he felt the soft squeeze on his cock he moaned into Hoyle’s mouth and spread his legs further apart. He wanted to open himself up to Hoyle, offer up his body to their pleasure. He felt the fumbling hands tugging his belt loose, then unfastening his jeans. Hoyle pulled away and Tanner watched his head move down to his spread open jeans. Hot breath then the press of lips on his cock and he struggled not to push up against them. Those hands kept touching him, then took the waistband of his jeans and boxers and tugged down. He lifted his ass and let Hoyle drag everything down his legs till they were laying at his feet. Those hands pushed his knees apart and Hoyle’s tongue licked at his balls, then tugged each one till he shuddered. Releasing his balls letting them draw up tight, the tongue dragged up along his shaft, then lips kissed the head, parted and took it along with most of the shaft. Tanner grabbed at the edge of the sofa cushion as his cock sank into the wet heat of Hoyle’s mouth.

As Hoyle moved up and down on his cock, he felt the hands working each foot free of his jeans and boxers. Then he felt them tugging on his shirt, pulling upward on the waist. He sat up and let Hoyle remove his shirt leaving him naked. Hoyle kissed his upper chest, then neck.

“I want to fuck you” Hoyle whispered in Tanner’s ear; lips so close they grazed it as they moved. He shivered and moaned ‘yes’ as he felt Hoyle’s lips move down his chest taking the right nipple and biting it lightly. His cock flexed as the pain traveled down his spine. He brought his legs up and wrapped them around Hoyle’s waist.

“Fuck me…fuck me” Tanner whispered as he felt fingers rubbing his inner thigh, then rake over the skin below his balls down to his opening. They rubbed it till he spread his legs wider apart. He twisted around and lay back across the sofa as Hoyle’s hands took his legs behind each knee. They lifted then pushed back spreading him open. He felt the cool air over his ass and knew he was fully exposed to Hoyle for his manipulation…his pleasure.

Hoyle moved down and Tanner felt the wet drag of tongue along his ass till it raked over his opening. He shivered from the contact and wondered how much more he could take. His cock was hard, the head leaving a wet trail over his stomach. Then the tongue bore into him and he cried out.

Tanner opened to Hoyle’s ministrations. Felt himself relax to it. Hoyle took his cock and sucked down all the way and Tanner didn’t realize it until Hoyle’s fingers were buried all the way into his hole. They twisted around within the tightness till he loosened to the penetration, then they pumped through it till he whimpered and begged Hoyle to fuck him.

Hoyle sat up on his knees, grabbed Tanner’s legs and pulled them flat to his chest. Tanner felt Hoyle’s cock touch him. It was free of its confines and pressed against his ass. He pushed against it, wanting it inside him. Hoyle pulled back and the next contact was the fat head pushing at his opening. Eyes closed Tanner didn’t see Hoyle reach up. He only felt each nipple get pinched, then twisted till he cried out. Hoyle’s cock pushed through his tightness and he shivered with it as it sank into him, inch after inch till Hoyle’s abdomen was pressed against his ass.

“FUCK” Tanner cried out as Hoyle held still while leaning over and kissing his chest.

Hoyle moved slowly inside of him, pushing inward deep into his body. The fullness of the penetration made his own cock flex up and down. When Hoyle pulled outward, the thick shaft dragging through the tight ring of his opening, he felt the emptiness and wanted Hoyle to push back inside him. Hoyle held his legs, and increased the pace of their fuck, driving into him faster and faster.

Suddenly Hoyle pulled out and stood by the sofa, cock wet and dripping.

“Come on…let’s go to my bedroom” Hoyle uttered in a breathless voice as he held out his hand.

Tanner was on his back with his legs resting on Hoyle’s shoulders. As Hoyle moved over him, cock sunk deep in his ass, he folded over till his knees pressed down against his chest and his ass was angled up for fucking. And Hoyle fucked him. Hard, pushing deep each time, making the bed squeak and rock with their movement. Tanner lay back, eyes closed, savoring the feel of it, Hoyle’s cock, as it piston in his hole. Inward till he felt the fullness of it, then out making him want it shoved back in. He stretched his arms out over his head for there was something about it that made him feel open, laid out for Hoyle. He felt the rhythm of their rocking motion that aligned with Hoyle’s movements, the thrusting into his depths, then pulling out.

Hoyle rose up over him and pulled completely out and he felt the air caress his opening. Then Hoyle slammed back in and he lost his breath as Hoyle pushed all the way into his depths, abdomen bouncing off his ass. His moans reverberated with the smacking together of their bodies.  As Hoyle fucked him, he felt every touch. The penetration of his hole and the way Hoyle moved in it. the rhythmic bump of abdomen against his ass and the brush of skin against skin. Hands roaming over his sides and along his arms, the press of chest to his own or the feel of wet lips raking over his neck, along his face then pressing against his own. And sometimes there was the light biting, the nip on his shoulder or the tug at his lower lips. Each contact fueled his arousal, made him ache for release, his own cock pinned between them.

Hoyle rose up on his knees and grabbed him by the leg, pulling it over.

“Roll over.”

Tanner rolled over to his stomach then twisted at the hips as Hoyle moved over him almost perpendicular to his body. He watched Hoyle push his wet hard cock down then push it against his opening. Then he felt the breach, once again the stretch to take the thick cock. It raked through his opening causing him to moan while throwing his head back. Hoyle didn’t hesitate. He drove into Tanner’s depths and fucked. Fucked hard. The bed rocked and squeaked. Tanner moaned and cried out, begging Hoyle to fuck him harder. To push in deeper.

Tanner felt like he could come any minute, his cock so hard it ached. Hoyle was driving into him hard, hitting his insides in ways that made him see stars. He took himself in hand and quickly felt the slickness of his arousal as his hand glided along his hard cock. He pumped furiously. He wanted to cum. Hoyle rose up over him and began to jab inward over and over, crying out, and he knew Hoyle was pumping a load inside him. It pushed him over the edge, the way Hoyle just jabbed into his hole, and he came feeling the spatter of cum land over his torso.

For weeks Tanner found himself at Hoyle’s place, helping with repairs on the racecar or playing video games or just lounging around while the grill smoked from cooking whatever meat struck their fancy. Regardless of how they spent their time initially, they always ended up in Hoyle’s bed, Tanner sated, his own cum spattered over his body and Hoyle’s leaking from his hole.

It was a Saturday afternoon, five weeks since that first night at Hoyle’s place and Tanner found himself riding with his dad. They were going to Mobile to pickup some parts. His dad, never in a rush except on the racetrack, took secondary roads, cruising across the country side and through small towns and communities. Frisco City, Uriah, Little River and Tensaw, and several other locales as they drove south to Mobile. It was a day that would grow hot, but even so, they rode with the windows down, the warm air swirling through the cab. It seemed to slow everything down, including their own heart rate. Even their breathing seemed to slow.

It was not unusual for Tanner and his dad to ride in silence for long stretches, but this morning there had been no conversation. No questions about community college and his registering for classes. There had been no questions about what he had been up to the last few weeks. Not even about the part time job in Monroeville, where he was working for the shop at the Chevy dealership. Tanner assumed his dad was lost in thought, planning the day’s work to repair the racecar. The water pump went out the night before. Luckily it was at the end of the race when it quit, literally as his dad was pulling into their slot in the pits.

At Spanish Fort they turned on 98 to take the causeway across upper Mobile Bay. They were on the longest bridge, the one that cut under Interstate 10 when his dad seemed to slow down.

“Tanner, I want to ask you something, but first you need to know…” his dad finally broke the silence, coming to a stop midsentence. After a few seconds he looked over, then reached over and put his hand on Tanner’s shoulder rubbing it. “You need to know I love you. No matter what. Understand?”

It was out of the blue, this seriousness, and Tanner felt trapped, unsure what to expect. He only knew to look at his dad and reply.

“Yes, sir.”

“I know things are not always easy for kids today. And I know it has not always been easy for you. I’ve seen moments in the past when you…were distant. But in the last few weeks I’ve seen you happier than you have been for a very long time. It’s okay if I’m right, but I just need to know. There’s something going on with Hoyle and you…isn’t there?”

There it was, laid out before him. Of all the people he thought would not notice, he was sure his dad was one. He thought if someone was going to be suspicious it would have been his mom, and he always thought he could handle her. Make up some story to tell her, change the truth to something she would accept. But it was his dad, and he had never been able to lie to his dad.

“Yes, sir.”


The parts lay on the seat between Tanner and his dad. They kept the windows lowered as they drove down the four-lane north of Mobile. Tanner thought they would get back on 98 and head back toward home, stopping for lunch somewhere along the way. Instead, his dad drove toward downtown.

“Where are we going?”

“To that little restaurant you and I found two years ago. Remember it, down in the middle of town?”

“Yeah. You think it’s still there?”

“That place has been in downtown longer than you’ve been alive. I’m sure it’s still there.”

Tanner watched downtown pass by as his dad negotiated the old one-way streets. Circling one block then working back they eventually came to the heart of downtown. Parked in a small parking lot surrounded by live oaks and azaleas, they walked the two blocks to the restaurant. Although two years had passed, it appeared as it had before. Rough around the edges but still using linen table clothes and servers dressed in black. It was old southern charm made manifest.

They were sat at a small table on the far wall and ordered lunch plates with sweet tea. The restaurant was busy with a diversity of patrons and the room had the dull drone of conversations. Tanner and his dad circled around the previous conversation, avoided it in such a public place. They talked about what the racecar needed done to get it ready for the next Friday’s night’s race. All through their lunch they also people watched. The front entry door was open, and they would look up to see who was coming in or going out. While waiting on their check the door swung open and they saw two guys come in. Tanner sensed immediately they were gay. They stood close together and there was the way they looked at each other. The hostess greeted them then led them across the room. As the two guys began to follow, Tanner saw it, the moment one took the hand of the other to get his attention, gesturing for him to follow to their table. It seemed so normal, such a natural gesture, he felt a sense of pleasure. Looking back at his dad he saw his dad had seen it too. His dad smiled, shook his head.

“I guess things are changing even here.”

“Looks that way.”

“Have Hoyle and you been out like that?”

“We’ve gone out for dinner, but we never…not in public.”

“Well, I would think Monroeville will be less forgiving for someone being different than Mobile.”

“I think you’re right.”

“I just want you to be careful and I want you to be happy.”



The cars raced around the half mile oval, bumping for advantage, as they made lap after lap. The noise nearly drowned out the announcer over the loudspeaker and only when the cars were on the back straight could the cheers from the stands be heard. Tanner watched the race intently, for Hoyle was near the front of the pack, his new racecar running well. He turned one way then the other watching the leaders pull away from the main field of cars. Hoyle was behind the leader with second place running beside them and forth place behind him. It was tight racing, occasionally bumpers touched, or fenders and door panels rubbed. Tanner was trying to will Hoyle around the leader, repeating quietly to himself ‘come on’ over and over.

“Hoyle is doing good tonight, but getting around 66 will be tough, especially with Bryon on the outside trying to get around him too” said Tanner’s dad as he climbed into the bed of the truck, standing in the middle, turning with the cars as they made another lap, then another.

“You think he can go low on the straight?”

“If his car is handling well, yeah, but he could lose enough speed that the leader gets away form him if he doesn’t do it right.”

The cars rounded the curve and roared by the stands. The leaders held their positions and dived low in the curve. The leader with Hoyle on his bumper kept the lead as second place stayed by his side. The fourth-place car fell back and as they came out of the curve onto the back straight, the leader increased his lead on the second-place car giving it to Hoyle. Hoyle stayed on his bumper. Through the next curve the leader dove low and Hoyle held a higher line and pulled up along side him. As they came onto the front straight Hoyle had the advantage, holding the leader down low. He eased by him, slowly, taking the whole front straight and the next curve before being able to pull in front. He now controlled the race, taking the best line forcing the other driver to follow in his tracks.

Tanner was on his feet, yelling and cheering. As the white flag came out Hoyle still held the lead and seemed to put more distance between him and the car behind him. Down the back straight and through the final curves Hoyle kept his maddening pace. Swinging out of the curve and taking a high line he flew by the checkered flag taking his first win.

In the pits, Hoyle pulled into his space and climbed out, setting his helmet on the roof. He came around the front of the car while Tanner raced around from the other side.

“Oh my god, you did it!” Tanner exclaimed as they came together.

Hoyle bear hugged Tanner, lifted him up and spun him around, while yelling at the top of his lungs. When he set Tanner down, he ran over to Tanner’s dad, who was securing his helmet after climbing in the car.

“Congratulations Hoyle, that was some nice racing.”

“Good luck to you. Go out there and win.”

“Thanks.”

The engine roared to life then the car backed up onto pit road. It moved slowly around the small loop till out on the track taking his position. Tanner and Hoyle stood in the bed of the truck, neither able to stand still.

Tanner and his dad rode home talking of the night’s racing, Hoyle winning the last race and his dad coming in second. They followed the traffic from the speedway till out of town, then they turned off to head home following the undulating old blacktop through the countryside.

“You going over to Hoyle’s tonight?”’

“Yes, sir, after I help you get everything put away.”

“I can do that. It’s late already so when we get home just head on over.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure he’d like to celebrate a bit with someone.”

Tanner glanced over at his dad who kept looking straight ahead as he drove.

“Thanks dad.”

Hoyle was still in the garage with the racecar backed in and toolboxes put away. Tanner walked in as Hoyle was raising the hood to look over the engine. As Hoyle leaned over the radiator Tanner moved up next to him.

“Something wrong?”

“Nah…just looking it over.”

“It’s a strong motor.”

“That it is.”

“Are you going to work on it tonight?” Tanner asked, trying not to sound disappointed Hoyle didn’t seem to want to go in right away.

“OH hell no. We’re going to go in and celebrate” Hoyle replied standing up and wiping his hands. “Come on, let’s close up and get inside.”

Inside the house Hoyle pushed Tanner against the kitchen counter and kissed him. “I need to shower first. You want to join me?”

“Yeah, I could use a shower too.”

In Hoyle’s bedroom they helped each other undress, working buttons loose, slipping arms free, belts and zippers tugged on till they stood naked. Hoyle kissed Tanner as his hands slid down each side of his body. When he pulled away, he took Tanner’s hand and led him into the bathroom.

The shower was steaming up the small room as Hoyle helped Tanner step into the tub. He pushed Tanner under the spray and as water trickled down the lean body, he kissed him on the neck, tugged on the earlobe then dragged his lips along the smooth jaw till their lips were pressed together. Then he pushed him against the wall and pressed his growing erection against Tanner’s.

“I want you” Hoyle uttered as pressed his growing erection along side Tanner’s. Soon they were humping each other, pushing hard cocks into the other’s abdomen. Hoyle soaped up his hands and rubbed them over Tanner, circling the hard nub of each nipple, down over the smooth skin, around the navel, then down till he was stroking Tanner.

“Turn around” Hoyle whispered in Tanner’s ear. He helped Tanner to turn, to lean forward, hands on the wall as water sprayed over his lower back. Hoyle moved up to him, pushed his soapy cock to Tanner’s ass and eased through the tightness, sinking inch after inch into him. Tanner moaned as he pushed back trying to get Hoyle deeper.

Tanner closed his eyes and focused on his other senses. The heat of the shower, the scent of soap, the feel of hands holding his waist as cock bore into his depths, then pulled outward till he feared it would slip free. He rocked with the rhythm of Hoyle’s fuck, hands still on the wall bracing him. Hoyle fucked him slowly, driving all the way inside him, pushing deep within his hole, then pulling outward, over and over. A hand let go of his waist and it slid over his skin moving around his waist, raking through his pubic hair and along his cock. It grasped him tightly and stroked him, pulling downward as cock pushed in, stroking up as cock pulled outward. The hand raked over the head of his cock and he shuddered from the over stimulation. He wanted more.

“Fuck me…fuck me Hoyle…please” Tanner uttered through clinched teeth.

Hoyle increased his pace, aroused till he couldn’t hold back. He wanted to come. Needed to come. Thrusting harder with his hips Hoyle’s pace increased till Tanner’s face was pressed against the wall. He stroked Tanner’s cock harder, in rhythm with his fuck. He bucked hard against Tanner’s ass and cried out.

Jamming inward as hard and as deep as he could, Hoyle came, spewing wad after wad into Tanner’s depths. He hammered his cock into him with each ejaculation till he couldn’t take any more. When he collapsed against Tanner’s back, he pulled his hand away from Tanner’s cock realizing it was slick with cum.

Partially dried off and on the bed, Hoyle lay on his stomach as Tanner straddled his thighs. He held the wood spindles of the headboard and waited on the penetration. He wanted it. Wanted to feel Tanner’s cock stretch him open. To push through his tightness. To sink into him, every inch. In the past it was always him on top, but tonight, he wanted Tanner. Wanted him in every way.

Tanner pushed into him and bear hugging his body, began to fuck. Tanner didn’t hold back. Hips rose and feel in a steady rhythm, rocking Hoyle and making the bed squeak. He kissed the back of Hoyle’s neck, nipped at the firm flesh of one shoulder and whispered in his ear.

“Take me…take all of me.”

Tanner’s rhythm changed. Grew more intense. Faster, rougher, pushing inward hard enough their bodies smacked together. Every sensation centered on his cock plunging into Hoyle’s depths. The feel of it sliding through the tight opening and pushing through the hot recesses of Hoyle’s body made him so aware of every sensitive movement. His rhythm became ragged. His cock felt like it was swelling to twice its size. It felt like his whole being was pulled into it. The need for release surged through him and he shoved into Hoyle all the way and came.

With each ejaculation he tried to push in deeper, hammering his abdomen against the upturned ass taking his load.

Then he collapsed on the bed next to Hoyle, slid up next to the warm body where they embraced, kissed softly and fell into a deep sleep.

Six Months Later


The racecar was up on jacks, front body panels removed to reveal the engine. A table was rolled nearby and had parts of the engine laid out over it. Hoyle was leaned over the engine and Tanner moved around the table.

“Hand me the socket wrench with a 5/8” Hoyle asked holding out his hand without looking. Within seconds the wrench dropped into his palm. “Thanks.”

Hoyle had heard the engine running roughly last night during the final race. It had been down on power all night and he was struggling to keep up. Instead of taking a chance of major damage he retired into the pits and put it on the trailer with Tanner’s help. Tanner was with him all the time now.

It had been awkward at first. The judgmental looks in town and by some in the community. Then there were the other drivers at the track. Some gave him bumps on the track, made snide comments in the pit and worse, during the driver’s meeting. Some wanted Tanner and he gone from the track. But others took it in stride. Said ‘live and let live’ for they were there to race; nothing more.

So, Tanner and he played it cool. Acting as they always had and did nothing out of the ordinary. As the weeks passed, everything settled down. But for Hoyle and Tanner, it didn’t matter one way or the other. They had things just the way they wanted.

“Hey, when you get it apart and see what the problem is, why don’t we stop, go get cleaned up and go to Mobile for dinner. I know a place in town we could go” Tanner asked as he held one of the steel tubes that made up the front frame, leaning in to watch Hoyle.

Hoyle looked up at him, smiling. “Okay. You want to go on in and get cleaned up.”

“No, I’ll wait.”

Smiling up at Tanner, “You want to shower together…maybe have a little fun before we go?”

“Something like that.”

Grant
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