Exit 32 five miles ahead the sign read as Pierce drove by it on the interstate heading home after a year at college. The four lane interstate lay over the undulating terrain of south Alabama with pine lining each side of the highway. Pierce had packed up his clothes and other belongings and had left campus early that morning, his old Cherokee packed up till he couldn't see out the rear window. It was the completion of his freshman year and he reflected on how much it had impacted him, the academic environment with all the different ideas, opinions, and the tolerance. He never knew it could be like this coming from the small community of Oak Hill, a farming community of less than seven hundred. He had allowed himself the opportunity to question those things he was taught not too and during the Spring Semester he had finally stood in front of the mirror of the bathroom in the dorm and admitted to his attraction to other boys. It had been late, around three a.m. and he had been having trouble sleeping, laid awake night after night thinking about an event that brought everything front and center; put the issue right in his face. He had panicked, sequestered himself in his dorm room for a few days, only leaving to go to class, eat and use the bathroom. One of the guys he had become friends with had been trying to get him to do something, stopping by all the time until finally he forced his way into Pierce's dorm room and sat down refusing to leave until Pierce talked to him.

Pierce had stammered out a lot of nonsense, excuses for the way he was feeling, and in the end Ryan had leaned over, elbows on his knees and looked Pierce in the eye.

"Whatever it is, you need to deal with it" he had said in a low quiet voice and Pierce told him he knew. Ryan had left not pushing the issue any further, but late that night Pierce had admitted the truth to himself and the next day to Ryan. He had expected all sorts of replies: outright rejection, heckling, name calling and all sorts of dark images that all came to the same end. Finding himself alone, ostracized.

Instead Ryan had smiled at him and then laughed.

"Is that it? Fuck...Pierce half the floor knows you're gay."

And suddenly it was okay. Life went on.

There was a few who didn't have anything to do with him but most treated him as they always had during the last two semesters and it gave Pierce the courage he needed, to go to the support group on campus, surf the social web sites the other gay students used and a few times, when the other guys were going to some sports bar in town he had made his way to one of the gay bars. The strange thing was he had yet to hook up with another guy. He wanted to but something held him back, usually something about the guys he was hanging out with or talking to online just didn't capture his attention. He wondered what was wrong and he realized one night talking to a guy from Baltimore, someone who lived all their life in an urban environment that he didn't feel a real connection to them, and it hurt when they would make some comment about him being from somewhere backwards, a hick, or some other snide remark. He knew there was truth to the image portrayed of the rural south, and even so, he was a product of that environment and he wanted someone who understood.

He thought about his dilemma a lot over the last few weeks and now that he was making his way home all those feelings, these ideas of what kind of person he was and what kind of person he was looking for rose up in his mind. He eased the Cherokee off the exit and coasted down the ramp till he got to the stop sign for the two lane road that would take him back to his home.

He drove through the small town that supported the region with its two car dealerships, four tractor dealerships, a diner, one fast food restaurant and a small strip center out on the edge of town. It wasn't much of a town, not anymore, and Pierce drove through town without having to stop at any lights as he headed into the countryside he knew as home. He cut through Howard, a community even smaller than his own and turned off on Highway 6. The narrow two lane road carried him to Cottonwood, the largest of the communities, the one with the school that was kindergarten to twelfth grade and even with it covering over half the county it still had less than three hundred students.

Pierce thought of his school years, the way he had made himself just one of the guys keeping to the side, never the center of attention. And he thought of the guys he had gone through school with over the years, the ones that he had always found cute, the ones that gave off some vibe, sexual, frightening, the way they bragged about slipping out at night and partying with some of the girls and the way they fucked around, and there were the ones who came from the very poorest families, those some of his classmates made fun of behind their backs, and in the worst cases, right to their faces and Pierce thought of Wyatt and how he seemed to remain upbeat regardless of his circumstances and the way most of his classmates treated him.

Pierce drove into Cottonwood going past the old red brick school and pulled up to the four-way stop in the center of the community. One corner had the only general store and from the intersection he could see the signs for the two churches in the community. He turned onto Highway 47 and headed south, his journey almost complete and he passed the Shady Oaks Trailer Park as he left Cottonwood and he thought of Wyatt again. He thought of the first time he saw Wyatt. It was the beginning of third grade for Wyatt's family had moved to the community that summer and when Pierce's bus had stopped at the entry drive to pick up the four or five students who lived there among them, with blonde hair so light it looked white and skin very pale with freckles over his nose and cheeks, stood Wyatt. He had been shorter than most in the third grade, and his clothes always were ill fitting, with holes or busted out seams. Some of his pants had bobby pins holding the fly closed, and Pierce had felt something toward Wyatt even then, but he had been afraid of the ridicule, the meanness of it and he kept his distance.

No matter how he was treated Wyatt had always held his head up and typically had a smile on his face. By the time they reached eighth grade Pierce had been shocked to see how Wyatt had grown over the summer, his body long and lean, with arms and legs that seemed too long and he had let his hair grow out longer, it still light blonde and Pierce remembered how he had thought Wyatt was attractive and couldn't believe the girls would have nothing to do with him just because his family was poor. It was the year he befriended Wyatt, without really knowing why he had done it.

Pierce drove down the road, looking in his mirror at the dilapidated old sign by the road for the trailer park and he admitted to himself why he had befriended Wyatt in the eighth grade, and why in the eleventh grade he destroyed that friendship. It still pained him, those things he said that night. He had fucked up, really made a mess of things. It was the night he buried his feelings about Wyatt, and all other boys, so deep he just locked himself up tight and it wouldn't be until this past spring he would finally let it all go.

Pierce wondered what Wyatt was doing now as he thought of how he matured in high school, his body filled out till even the old frayed clothes he had worn looked good on him. He remembered one t-shirt he wore a lot, a basic white t that was so stretched out the neck hung down several inches and the sleeves were just as stretched out of shape. Wyatt's body seem to float in it and Pierce remembered how he use to look up a sleeve whenever Wyatt stretched his arms out or reached up for something revealing the dark blonde hair under them. Graduation had been the toughest for Pierce had wanted to apologize to Wyatt, try to make amends, but when he saw him arrive for their ceremony in nice jeans, their snug fit revealing his lean narrow waist and round ass and the shirt was a nice dress shirt, all pressed and buttoned up to the neck he had been so shocked to see how truly attractive Wyatt was he couldn't approach him. Wyatt had even gotten a nice haircut, his thick blonde hair short on the sides and a little long on top. Even some of the girls had stared at Wyatt as he came in and took his seat.

Pierce arrived at his home and was soon surrounded by his family. The evening went by quickly with the unpacking and getting settled in his old room, then dinner with his family, his grandparents crowded around the table with them as he told them about the last few weeks in college. It was late by the time his grandparents left and Pierce found himself in the kitchen with his mother talking casually about some of the gossip of the community while he helped her put away the dishes.

"Pierce, you remember that boy you use to hang out with...lived up in that trailer park?" his mother asked out of the blue.

Pierce froze for a moment, the reference obviously about Wyatt, and he felt his stomach knot up afraid to hear what his mother had to say. He made himself move as he placed a platter carefully into an upper cabinet.

"Wyatt. That was his name. What about him?" he asked his voice full of apprehension.

"Well...this is sad. You remember how his father had left when he was fifteen leaving just him and his mother?"

"Yeah" Pierce replied wishing his mother would just spit it out.

"His mother had cancer and she passed away last week."

The image of Wyatt alone tore at Pierce and he tried not to let his voice reflect how he was feeling.

"Where's Wyatt living...I mean was he around for her?"

"Oh yeah; all the time. Mary said he was at the hospital every day in the end. Your Uncle said he lost his job at the grocery store because of it."

"Shit" Pierce exclaimed and turned to look at his mother knowing she didn't like him using profanity. She just nodded her head and smiled weakly.

That night Pierce lay in bed thinking of Wyatt. It had been bad enough his infatuation with him during high school and how he had rejected their friendship instead of admitting to the truth, but now, with the news his mother told him, he felt depressed. He wondered if he could bring himself to go see Wyatt, and he fantasized about what it could be like, Wyatt greeting him like nothing was wrong and it being like it was in the tenth grade when they would ride bicycles around the community, putting miles and miles on their bikes, Pierce with his new bike and Wyatt with one he had gotten at a pawn shop. He lay awake half the night, reliving that night he had turned on Wyatt and he thought of how things turned out, him away at college and Wyatt left here, jobless, his mother gone.

Pierce woke to the smell of bacon and pancakes and quickly rose, dressed and made his way to the kitchen. They gathered around the table where Pierce's father said he needed some help today getting some fencing repaired, that with his help they could get it done in a day. Pierce agreed, knowing how hard a job it was to do alone, even though all he could think of was going to see Wyatt. That night, exhausted from his labors and lack of sleep, he called it an early night.

The next day Pierce paced around the house and the yard, telling himself to go over to Wyatt's later, it was too early, all the while practicing in his mind what he was going to say, how he was sorry about what he had said three years ago and how he was wrong and each time he felt his frustrations and old fears creep into his mind. It was after ten when his mother came out to where he was sitting in the swing, asking him if he could run into town for her, there were a few things from the grocery store she needed.

Pierce jumped at the chance to do something, telling himself he'd stop at Wyatt's on the way into town. He jumped in his Cherokee and headed down the road, his stomach knotting up tighter and tighter. He drove past the trailer park telling himself he'd stop on the way back. All he was getting was flour, cooking oil and a bag of rice; nothing that couldn't sit in his Jeep while he talked to Wyatt.

As much as he lingered in the grocery store, made a loop through town and stopped at a tractor dealership where a classmate now worked, he soon found himself driving back into Cottonwood and turning on Highway 47. He was soon at the entry to the trailer park and he pulled in, almost holding his breath as he pulled down the narrow dirt lane that wove through the trees past the mobile homes positioned among them. It was near the back, on a side spur, where the ground was hard packed and nearly bare where the old faded light yellow and white mobile home sat. Out front sat an old motorcycle, the paint faded and the seat taped over where it was ripped open. Pierce pulled up behind it and shut off the engine just sitting for a moment building up his courage. He looked at the mobile home, the windows all dark, the curtains closed and he wondered if Wyatt was even home, then he saw one curtains move from someone looking out quickly.

The door opened and Wyatt moved into the opening. Pierce couldn't help but notice he wore the jeans he had worn to their graduation but now they hung on his hips low, the hems frayed, one knee blown out and he had on a shirt unbuttoned revealing his lean smooth chest and flat stomach and Pierce found he was staring at Wyatt's body.

"What do you want?" Wyatt asked his voice firm and hard in tone.

Pierce eased his door open and moved around his Jeep and to the bottom of the old wooden steps at the door. He looked up at Wyatt, at the boyish face with its freckles lightly spread over his nose and cheeks, his messed up hair that still looked good, the thick blonde mop hanging over his forehead partially concealing one eye and Pierce let his eyes roam down the smooth chest, the small round nipples, the tight skin over his chest and down the flat stomach to the narrow waist where the jeans hung seductively low revealing the white waist band of the cheap briefs Wyatt wore.

Pierce finally looked up into Wyatt's face and saw, for a brief moment, a look of pain and sadness.

"Wyatt, I..." and he stammered, froze up, couldn't think of all the things he had rehearsed and he looked down at the ground, embarrassed by his inability to say what he wanted to say. He took a deep breath and looked up at Wyatt.

"I wanted to tell you I was a fucking asshole to you in the eleventh grade. I let my...fear...my..."and he looked out across the shaded lot to the woods before looking back at Wyatt, "...my cowardice destroy our friendship. I was afraid of what others would think and I wasn't...confident" Pierce stammered, choosing his words as best as he could. He looked down Wyatt's body feeling those old feelings rise up, his desires and he began to talk without looking Wyatt in the face.

"I know I started it...back then, the touching and I know you were going along with it just because you were my friend, willing to let me...but...I freaked out. You see, this past spring I finally faced those...feelings that made me do it, and I'm sorry, Wyatt. You did nothing wrong and I was...an asshole" Pierce said coming to a stop, waiting to see if Wyatt would say something and after a painfully long silence he looked up and saw Wyatt giving him a pained look, one he couldn't read, not now after such a long time away.

"Wyatt...I'm sorry about your mother. Mom didn't tell me until I got back and I'm really sorry. I know how hard it was just the two of..." and Wyatt interrupted him speaking for the first time.

"You don't know shit. Why are you here, Pierce?"

Pierce stood frozen in place, unsure how to respond. He nodded his head and turned and made his way around his Cherokee stopping at the front fender looking over the hood.

"Wyatt, I wish things had been different, that I hadn't tried anything, for you see, I was struggling with...I'm gay, Wyatt, okay? I'm gay and I was...I am attracted to you."

Pierce opened his door and climbed in glancing up to see Wyatt still standing in the door watching him, the look on his face suddenly different, relaxed. He started the Cherokee and pulled the transmission into reverse.

"PIERCE, wait!" Wyatt cried out.

Pierce hit the brakes and looked at Wyatt as he came down the steps and walked around his Cherokee coming up to his window. Pierce lowered it and looked at Wyatt, the expression one of sadness on his face.

"Okay..." and Wyatt looked at Pierce with intensity; "...let's talk."

Pierce followed Wyatt into the mobile home, one he had not been inside of for over three years and he was shocked to see how neat and cleaned up Wyatt had the interior. The only mess was on the old dining table where piles of papers were lying over its entire surface.

"What's all this?" Pierce asked as he walked over to the table and he caught his breath seeing the applications for student loans, grants, assistance programs and a college application. "You're applying to college?"

"Don't sound so shocked. Just because I'm white trash..." and Pierce interrupted Wyatt.

"I didn't mean it like that. I meant...why now? Why didn't you do this last year?"

"Mom needed me. We knew she had cancer and didn't have...long."

"Wyatt...I'm really sorry."

"So you're gay" Wyatt stated changing the subject.

"Yes. Look, what I did that night...I'm sorry. The thing is I really wanted to do something."

"Why didn't you?"

"Because I was afraid you'd...reject me and then tell everyone."

"But what if I said I wouldn't have rejected you...or told."

Pierce looked up at Wyatt and saw him give a weak small smile as he moved over to one of the two chairs he had in the living room. Pierce followed him and sat in the other chair. He looked around the room, the few family photos on the wall, the old magazine on motorcycles and a maintenance book for his model sitting on the coffee table, but not much else, nothing really personal, no sense of any other person having been in the room.



"Are you seeing anyone?"

Wyatt looked up at Pierce and his mouth formed a small smile but his face was still sad as he just shook his head no.

"There was a time when I thought I had someone, someone I had hoped they could see me as someone they could love...someone they could share a part of their life with, but one day they...you rejected me" Wyatt said and it made Pierce realize so much about the way things had been before, up to the moment he fucked it all up and he turned away from Wyatt afraid to look at him.

"But now you tell me it was fear of being labeled gay made you do it, that you were afraid to go with your feelings and I don't know how..." and Wyatt let his voice trail off their conversation so painful for the two of them after the passing of three years.

Pierced leaned back and stared up at the ceiling trying to get his jumbled up thoughts aligned, some sensible reply that he could make and he turned toward Wyatt and whispered quietly across the room breaking the silence.

"You're applying to the same college I'm going. Was that intentional?"

Wyatt looked at Pierce and nodded yes.

Pierce smiled, for the first time, and he pulled out his cell phone and hit a contact number.

"Hey mom, can I bring someone over for dinner tonight?" and he listened to the reply. "It'll be Wyatt." He listened for just a couple of seconds and then said he'd be home soon killing the connection.

"You're coming to the house for dinner, okay?"

Wyatt looked at him and smiled. "Okay."

"Look, after dinner we can talk...I mean really talk" and Pierce stood up and looked down at Wyatt, the way his shirt hung open revealing his torso and Pierce let his eyes scan down over his body and down his legs looking at the exposed knee through the jeans, the light blonde hair that covered the skin and he wanted to reach out and run his fingers through the hole. "I should go and...let you get back to those applications."

Wyatt stood up and as Pierce reached for the door he put his hand on Pierce's shoulder causing him to freeze in place.

"Don't go; not yet."

Pierce turned and the touch was what he had wanted from the beginning, to feel Wyatt break the barrier he had allowed to come between them. He ran his hand around Wyatt's waist feeling the smooth warmth of his skin as he pulled their bodies together and kissed. They were clumsy with each other, not sure of what the other expected. Pierce slipped Wyatt's shirt off his shoulders and let it fall to the floor. He ran his hands down the firm lean chest, over the small round nipples and down the flat stomach, feeling the firm muscle beneath the warm smooth skin. He kissed along Wyatt's neck, over his ear as he ran his hand over Wyatt's crotch, groping him, feeling his cock get hard.

Wyatt reached for the tail of Pierce's t-shirt and pulled it over his head revealing his lean body with his fair skin and Wyatt's hands moved over him, touching him, caressing him and he put his hand on the back of Wyatt's neck and pulled them back together to kiss again.

"Come on, let's go back to the bedroom" Wyatt whispered and he pulled back and held out his hand. Pierce took it and followed him down the short hall to the first bedroom, the one he had always called his room and when he opened the door Pierce saw the same old double bed and the mismatched nightstand with its cheap little lamp and he realized nothing had changed, not in this place, for over three years. Wyatt led him into the room and had him stand by the bed as he undid his jeans. Wyatt worked patiently as he took Pierce's clothes off, laying each garment on a small desk opposite his bed. Pierce stood naked in front of Wyatt and he watched Wyatt ease down on his knees in front of him, reaching out to take his cock.

Pierce felt Wyatt's hot breath just before he felt his lips touch his cock, the tongue snake out and slide up the shaft and move over the head and Pierce gasped for breath. Wyatt took his cock, roughly, teeth scraping his shaft from inexperience but Pierce didn't care, for something about it made it better, this innocence, and he ran his hands through Wyatt's hair. His cock grew to full erection, hard, the head quickly leaking and he pulled back from Wyatt.

"Not yet" he uttered as he reached down and got Wyatt to stand, kissing him again.

Pierce undid Wyatt's jeans and pushed them down along with his briefs, roughly, sloppily, letting them fall to the floor as he pulled their bodies together feeling Wyatt's warm body against his own. Wyatt pulled Pierce with him down onto the bed and they became entwined as they let their hands roam over each other, exploring each other. Wyatt was lying on his back with Pierce on top, his hands moving up and down Pierce's torso. Wyatt was aggressive, his hands moving over Pierce's ass, his fingers exploring down in the cleft between the cheeks and when he touched Pierced over his hole, rubbed fingers over its tightness Pierce found he was spreading his legs letting them rest on either side of Wyatt.

Wyatt dug a finger into Pierce, penetrated the tight ring of his opening and Pierce shivered with the feel of Wyatt's finger inside him. Wyatt worked the finger in, sank it all the way inside Pierce till he felt Pierce's hole loosen and he pressed two fingers into his hole, then three, stretching him open.

Wyatt rolled Pierce over and the two of them had to shift over to allow Wyatt to get on top for the bed was so narrow for the two of them. Pierce moved under Wyatt, spread his legs and let Wyatt move between them and when Wyatt pushed against his hole with his hard cock he grabbed Wyatt by the ass and pulled him downward till he felt Wyatt's cock breach his hole and penetrate him.

"Oh fuck" Wyatt uttered as his cock sank into Pierce. He eased his cock all the way into Pierce and laid still a moment letting Pierce loosen to the penetration. He held Pierce by the chin and looked down on him.

"I had always imagined...you'd be doing me" and Wyatt smiled as he moved his hips upward backing his cock out till only the head remained in Pierce and he pushed forward driving his cock back in all the way.

"I'm sorry Wyatt" Pierce whispered as he moved his feet up, raising his knees letting them spread apart. Wyatt felt his cock sink a little further into Pierce's upturned ass and he began to fuck, to move his hips in a slow steady rhythm, driving his cock in Pierce's tunnel, feeling how his tight hole was milking his cock and enveloping it in soft warmth. The feel of Pierce underneath him, the heat of his body, the way he moved, his hands rubbing over his back and ass and Wyatt couldn't push his cock into him deep enough.

Pierce shivered and moaned, the feel of Wyatt pumping cock in his hole stroked his desires and he clung to Wyatt, begged him to fuck him, to push it in him harder and he pulled on Wyatt's ass driving his hips downward to sink cock deeply into his own hole.

Wyatt worked his hips, his need rising up and he drove his cock into Pierce harder, his rhythm faster and he slipped his hand up and around Pierce's shoulders and held him tightly, locked their bodies together as he pumped his cock faster and faster.

"Oh fuck" Wyatt uttered as he pushed inward all the way, "I'm coming." He pumped his cock in short jabs as he pumped cum into Pierce.

Wyatt pulled his cock free and shifted to the side pulling Pierce on top of him.

"Fuck me, Pierce" he whispered as he shifted underneath Pierce, letting him move down between his legs. Pierce kissed him as he ran his hand down between them sliding his fingers down over Wyatt's cock, over his sac and downward till he was rubbing his finger over the tight opening. Pierce pushed in, penetrated the tight hole and Wyatt shivered underneath him moaning loudly. Pierce worked his finger in Wyatt, loosening his hole, and he worked a second finger in Wyatt, then a third and each time he felt the shivering body underneath him.

"Fuck me Pierce...please" Wyatt uttered as he pushed his hips downward feeling Pierce's fingers sink into him again.

Pierce pulled his fingers out and shifted pushing his cock against Wyatt's hole, smearing his leaking cock over it. He pushed and his cock breached Wyatt's hole, and Pierce sank inch by inch of his cock into him. He felt Wyatt's lips on his neck, felt them slide over his skin, and tug on his ear as Wyatt's hands moved over his back and ass. He began to fuck, to drive his cock into Wyatt and his cock was soon sinking all the way into Wyatt's hole.

Pierce held Wyatt tightly, almost afraid to let go, as he pumped his hips up and down, driving his cock into Wyatt's hole. Wyatt wrapped his arms around Pierce and hugged their bodies together.

"I want on top, okay?" Wyatt whispered as he got Pierce to roll over, slowly, carefully, his cock buried in Wyatt's ass. Wyatt got him on his back and straddled his waist and Pierce was surprised to see Wyatt's cock was hard again, the head wet and pre-cum drooling down. Wyatt rose up and moved back down, over and over and over, riding Pierce's cock, taking it all the way in his hole. Pierce rested his hands on Wyatt's thighs feeling the muscle flex and relax watching the lean body exert itself, move on his cock as it stroked his desires. Wyatt took his own cock and began to stroke it, his hand moving at the same rhythm as his fuck, the rhythm of his body moving up and down. He leaned back slightly and the angle worked Pierce's cock harder and as he watched Wyatt's ass slide up and down, he watched his shaft appear and disappear, sinking all the way inside Wyatt.

Wyatt began to stroke his cock harder and slam his ass down on Pierce's cock. Pierce saw how Wyatt's body glistened in the dim light, the skin getting slick with sweat with his exertions.

"Fuck...Wyatt...I'm close" Pierce uttered, his voice reverberating with the rhythm of Wyatt's fuck.

"Me too" Wyatt exclaimed and he grunted and his hips jerked back and forth and Pierce saw Wyatt's cock swell up thick, the head flare out and cum blast out into his face, then ropes of it land over his chest as he felt Wyatt's ass milk his cock and he squeezed Wyatt's thighs shoving his hips upward pumping his own load into Wyatt's hole.

"Goddamn" Wyatt uttered as he slowed down and eased to a stop leaning over and laying on top of Pierce. They lay still as their breathing slowed back to normal as Pierce let his hands move up and down Wyatt's back feeling the slick wet heat of his skin. After a few minutes, just lying quietly, Wyatt leaned up and looked down on Pierce and the old smile formed on his face, boyish, innocent and he moved to Pierce kissing him gently.

"I need to go but I can come back and get you for dinner" Pierce said.

"I can ride my bike. What time?"

"Come on over around five...and bring those college papers and I'll help you."



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