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Chapter 2


Remember that first real crush, the one who made you acutely aware of your own sexuality, even if what it meant was still some mysterious aspect of being human.  But you felt it, that rush, the increase in heart rate, the pounding so loud you just knew those around you could hear it. It was frightening in a way, this awakening. For a twelve-year old boy looking at another boy two years older, it was terrifying.

I knew Josh since first grade riding the same bus to school but that year was different, so very different. I was twelve and so confused about my attractions. The actors on television that I found appealing or other boys I played with that began to seem different, but it was Josh, on that first bus ride of my seventh-grade year, my first year of middle school, that made my stomach tie up in knots and heart race in my chest. He was fourteen and seemed so much older. He had grown taller over the summer, one of the tallest boys in his class, and he had let his hair grow out when so many of the others kept their hair cut close to the scalp. I couldn’t take my eyes off his tall gangly body as it moved down the narrow aisle, his eyes focused on the back of the bus, I knew he had not noticed me any more than any of the other ‘little kids’. I knew, in so many ways, it was futile. This attraction, toward another boy, an older boy, made me grow more introverted. Looking back, I knew it was a safety mechanism, a way to protect myself, both from others figuring out my attraction to other boys and an attempt to protect my own feelings.

Then I was fourteen, grown tall in my own right. I mimicked Josh, letting my black hair grow out longer and wore jeans so tight I struggled to get into them. Some of the girls noticed, coming up to me saying some of the most mundane things trying to get my attention. I struggled not to roll my eyes. There was an urge to admit the truth, I wasn’t interested. There was one person I wanted to notice me. I wanted him to notice I had grown up, felt more man than child, but Josh didn’t notice me at all. He was sixteen, a real teenager, with a driver’s license. The driver’s license, a threshold between being a kid on a bicycle and being closer to a man who was free to go where he wanted. It was unimaginable, this divide. And it made riding the bus a torment. I sat in the back and stared out the window at the familiar scenery, field after field, and the pastures with cows moving slowly across heads down eating the grass. It was boredom made manifest. Nothing out there for a fourteen year to do and sixteen was two whole years away.

I was in the same small rural county school as Josh, middle and high school sharing the same campus, but the layout and class schedules kept us apart. I kept my head down going from class to class, didn’t do anything to draw attention to myself. I had friends, those I trusted with anything, except for who I was as a person, a guy attracted to other guys. I didn’t dare. There was nothing else to it.

I saw Josh during lunch or at the break mid-morning, sitting at a table with others of his class. He was right there, only feet away, so close I couldn’t take my eyes off him. But never more than me staring and him oblivious to my existence.

It literally hurt.

The next year, Josh now a senior and I in the tenth grade, where I found myself in a class with him. It was unbelievable, this stroke of luck. It was even more surprising when I tell you it was art. Imagine a bunch of farm boys in art class? Actually, there were only four of us and eight girls, and I the only tenth grader. It was odd at first, being the youngest with a class of five juniors and six seniors, but as class wore on I settled into it, finding myself pushing to do good, letting the paintings, the drawings or the clay works be daring, expressive. I was letting all the pent-up feelings come out, the frustrations, the fears, and the desires.

I wasn’t particularly good, but the teacher complimented me on my efforts. But his highest praise went to Josh. Even I could see something in the way he drew, the way the charcoal or pencil moved over the paper, or the way he molded clay, as if releasing something from within wanting out. At times, I watched his hands move over the clay, fingers slowly working it. I watched the clay squeeze between them. Watched how he would pinch them together or fan them out, each time creating a new form, a new shape. I watched so closely I would fall behind in my own project imagining what those hands would feel like touching me, those fingers manipulating me. I grew aroused on so many occasions I knew my face would be red with embarrassment. But I got away with it because the others watched too. All of us were surprised at how good he was, how natural it seemed for him.

Then the year was over and Josh graduated. That summer was a mix of emotions. I knew the object of my affections was gone, not literally, but for all intense and purposes, he was out of sight, no longer in the world I inhibited. For the first month it dragged, time seemed to move at half speed as I moped around more depressed than I would admit, nor wanted to for it meant I would have to acknowledge why. An attraction to another boy who was no longer around, one that didn’t return my affection in any way. Loneliness set in like never before, and suddenly I didn’t want the end of August to arrive, didn’t want to go back to school. Then the summer seemed to fly by. The more I dreaded the start of eleventh grade the faster the days seemed to pass by, till I found myself heading back to school. I was sixteen now, had my driver’s license and was driving my grandfather’s old Ford truck. He had gotten a new one and passed his old one to me. It was fourteen years old, the paint faded, the tailgate bent, and the a/c didn’t work, but it ran good. And it freed me from the bus.

I did see Josh around the community, at fish fries by the volunteer fire department or at one of the small general stores buying a soda. I saw him in town at one of the fast food joints. And he acknowledged me when we passed each other, a brief nod and a ‘hello’. One time, he actually stopped me to ask how I was doing and how was school. I stammered at first but eventually held my end of the conversation. For a moment, I was relaxed enough to actually laugh at something he said regarding school. And he asked if I was taking art, that I had some talent and should not give up on it. I remember the look on his face when he asked and had to smile replying I was indeed taking art. It was my favorite class. And all too soon we parted ways, me watching him move away, all grown up, a real man now. How I longed for him, the way his body had filled out some, but still tall and gangly, the white t-shirt hanging loose on his frame and the tight jeans accentuating his long legs. I felt my heart beating hard in my chest. But I didn’t fool myself, didn’t let it mean anything, for I knew it didn’t. The whole conversation was too casual and he had walked away so easily, without a backward glance.

Josh had taken up farming with his dad and therefore was still in the community, only a few miles away, but out here, it seemed like a larger barrier between us. I continued to help my dad on our farm, working all summer and when school started, some evenings and Saturdays. I didn’t play any sports, could care less about them, and for my dad that meant more time to help him. So, it went for two years, two very long years till one day I realized it was coming to an end, this twelve-year passage through school.

The farming wasn’t bad, although I would have preferred doing something different from the usual soybeans, wheat, oats and corn. Out in a field, moving slowly across it, gave me too much time. Too much time to think, to create regrets, what ifs, and at times to fantasize what could have been. Josh played a role in all of it, one scenario after the next, ways it could have been different.  There was only one thing that could really take my mind off Josh and me being gay, this attraction to men in an environment where meeting them was difficult, and that was to do a repair on a piece of equipment. The getting my hands dirty, taking something apart and putting it back together in a way that it would perform correctly. To perform as it was designed. It was soothing and I found I was good at it, better than dad and soon he let me do all the repairs. That summer after graduation I pulled the old 4020 into the barn. We didn’t use it much for the clutch was nearly gone and it needed the motor rebuilt. I tore it apart covering the work bench with the motor components spread out so I could see what needed replacing and what was still good. I pulled the tractor apart to replace the clutch and for a long time the job looked impossible to my father and mother. It took all summer but by the time we were ready to harvest soybeans the tractor was put back together good as new.

Dad ran the combine and I drove the truck, hauling load after load of the beans to the elevator for weighing and dumping into the pit where they were moved into one of the silos. We had been at it for two weeks, working through one field after the next, cutting late into the night until the moisture in the beans rose too high. On Saturday afternoon, making my way back to the field I came upon a grain truck on the side, hood up and someone standing on the bumper leaning over into the engine bay. As I came along side of the truck I slowed to a stop. I lowered the window, hit the horn and realized it was Josh when he rose up from the engine bay. He looked frustrated, grease smeared on each hand and up his forearm. He even had grease smeared on his face.

“You need some help?”

“Lamont, hey…I…well, can you figure out why this damn thing just stopped running?”

“Maybe” I replied realizing I had an opportunity to be around Josh, no matter how futile it may be in the end. Parked on the opposite side of the road I was soon standing on the bumper next to him. “Does it turn over?”

“The engine turns over fine, it just won’t start.”

I tried to focus on the engine, tried to keep my eyes on the various components that could cause the engine to stop but time and time again I was looking over at Josh. He looked different. Hair cut short on the sides, but still long on top hanging down into his face. He wore a t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off and jeans so worn and frayed I could see the red boxers underneath through several rips around the pockets and side seam. Those jeans fit tight too, showing the round ass that filled them. I glanced over at him every chance I got, looked at his smooth skin along the side of his torso and down his arm. I looked at his arm, which wasn’t bulging like a body builder’s arm but more lean, taut, the arm of someone who does physical labor. I let my eyes move over the length of it, noticing the sun bleached blonde hairs on his forearm, visible only by the dust clinging to them, the long fingers, the way his bicep flexed with his every move and the sweat soaked dark hair in his armpit with the rivulet of sweat trailing down his side. And there was the strong jaw line, the sparse beard trying to come in along its edge, fading out before getting to his hairline. The shape of his nose, the slight hook in its profile and slightly upturned at its end. When he spoke to me I pretended to focus on what he was saying but really I was looking at his eyes, which I knew were a vivid blue.

My heart raced in my chest as I tried to think, consider the variables that could make an engine suddenly stop running. I looked at the battery, the cables running to it, then over to the engine, looking at the wiring then up around the air filter and down to the fuel line and its small filter inserted in its length just before disappearing underneath the air filter.

“When is the last time you change the fuel filter?”

“Shit…I don’t know.”

“Our old truck goes through them for some reason, so we change it constantly. Let me see if we have one in the glove box.”

I hoped it was that simple, just a fuel filter, and from what Josh has said, it sounded like it. Tools on the wheel well and me half in the engine bay where I could reach the fuel line I soon had the old one off and a new one installed. Wiping greasy hands on an old cloth, I stepped back out onto the bumper. “Try it now.”

Josh climbed into the cab and hit the starter. The engine turned over a few times then started up. He yelled ‘yes’, pumping a fist in the air.

Tools put away and ready to go we stood in the middle of the road. I hesitated for some reason, couldn’t just casually say goodbye and leave. Josh looked down the road in one direction then the other then sort of toward me, but not in the eye.

“Hey, thanks Lamont, I owe you.”

“Don’t worry about it. Hell, that part is nothing expensive and it took no time at all.”

“I know, but…hey, how long will it take you guys to cut your beans?”

“We should be done by Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Why?”

“We should be done by then too, Friday at the latest. I was wondering if you wanted to hang out or something. It has been boring as fuck lately and I was just wondering…”

“Yeah…sure” I interrupted him.

We traded cell numbers with plans to talk at the end of next week. For me it was an awkward conversation, so full of anticipation and hope for something more I stammered and rambled on while we loaded each other’s contact information. On the drive back to the field, I found my speed at times too fast and other times I was ten below the limit. I couldn’t concentrate, my mind was a jumbled up mess, trying to relive each moment, every comment, gesture, and movement by Josh, trying to read something into each one, some signal I may have missed before, hoping I was right, and afraid I was reading too much into it. And I slapped the steering wheel and uttered ‘pathetic’ out loud, to no one but myself.

Everyday leading up to the end of the week I played out the scene, me stopping to ask if he needed help, the two of us hovered over the engine bay, me replacing the fuel filter. Each time I looked for a signal, some unspoken communication that there was more to it. I knew I was desperate for it to be so, wanted it so bad I could be misconstruing everything. But what if?  Could it happen with such a simple encounter? That one small event be the thing that brings us into contact and sets things in motion? It seemed ludicrous. But I was eighteen and he was twenty and the age difference didn’t seem such a barrier.

I was early, of course, to the diner over in Jasper, the small town about twenty miles away. The diner was on the edge of town, a small place with a gravel lot, but it was probably the best food in the county and I was to meet Josh at noon. He had to go to Greenville for some part so I was to meet him here, where he would stop on his way back. I sat in the gravel lot fanning gnats watching other customers come and go and checking my watch constantly. 11:38. 11:42. 11:47. 11:51. It was ridiculous.

Then I saw the familiar black Jeep pull in, top off, lift kit and large tires. I would know it anywhere, down to the small dent in the side just below the passenger door opening. Josh waved as he pulled in next to me.

“Have you been waiting long?”

“No…just got here. You get that part you needed?”

“Nope. They had to order it” he replied as he climbed down and moved aside to let me get out. We walked toward the restaurant, an ambling slow walk, side by side. ‘Just two country boys out for lunch’ I thought when I saw our reflection in the window.

This is where I tell you lunch was perfect. Tell you Josh flirted with me and we ended up back at his place. But that would be a lie. We stammered in our conversations, awkward moments that dragged on for an eternity. I was so self-conscious about my own awkwardness I didn’t really think about how Josh was the same. We bumped knees once and pulled apart as if shocked, both apologizing. He passed me the salt and I nearly dropped it, afraid to touch his fingers. And we talked mostly about farming, how we both wished our dads would farm something else, like vegetables to sell at one of the farmer’s markets in a nearby town or raise chickens for eggs, or anything but the same dull routine of soybeans, wheat and occasionally corn.

Don’t get me wrong. I would not have traded that moment for anything. Any time with Josh was better than none…such was my crush. I knew that was what it was, just a crush.

Somewhere between checking out and getting back to our vehicles the topic of working on tractors came up and I admitted how I loved to do the repairs and maintenance.

“Really? You like doing it?” Josh asked me, then he nodded looking over my way. “You were quick to fix our grain truck the other day; I guess I should have realized it.”

“It’s nothing really. I just like taking them apart and putting them back together.”

“What about coming over next Wednesday and doing the repair on our old truck?”

“Which truck?”

“The old three-quarter ton Chevy we use to haul the fuel tanks. The front spindle on the driver’s side is bad and due to the age of the truck the parts store had to order one.”

“That’s all it needs?”

“Is that all? Damn. So, you want to help me or not?”

“Yes..yes I’d love to help you” I replied, too eagerly I knew, blushing at the realization. Josh just smiled and nodded his head as he turned toward his Jeep.

“I’ll see you Wednesday. Come over about one or so.”

When Wednesday arrived, I was anxious beyond measure. Pacing back and forth in my room, taking out different jeans and shirts, realizing I was being stupid for I was going to work on their truck and should wear old clothes I wore around the farm. I threw on a pair of old jeans, worn and faded, frayed along hems and seams, so rough my mother kept threatening to throw them out. But they felt so good, soften and loosened to a perfect comfortable fit. Then I grabbed an old t-shirt, one that was gray in color and softly worn. The neck was beginning to fray and the fabric was stretched such it never fit exactly right, looking like it was trying to slip off my body.

After a quick sandwich, I headed to Josh’s place.

He lived in a house that had been his great aunt’s, a small simple house, a small porch on front and a full width screen porch across the back. I followed the narrow dirt drive to the rear and saw a new carport with Josh’s Jeep and an old Chevy truck, but not the one I expected. Looking across the rear yard into the barn, a structure twice the size of the house, with its large double doors swung open, sat an older Chevy up on blocks, hood up, doors open. ‘That’s the truck’ I thought as I headed toward it.

Josh came out from some side room and around the truck as I came into the barn.

“You made it.”

“Yep…so this is it.”

“Best damn truck on the farm, but it is getting old and starting to need too many repairs.”

“Well let’s see if we can give it a few more years” I replied as I moved to the work bench to check the new parts.


“I thought we could do the oil and filter while we were working on it.”

“Okay.”

Soon I had the old parts removed and installed the new. It didn’t take long to replace the spindle, get the brakes set back in place and the wheel on. Then I scooted under the truck to remove the plug in the oil pan. To get the oil filter I had to scoot back out a bit sliding on my back on the floor. Josh was preparing everything under the hood then I saw him move down next to me.

“You almost got it?”

“The damn oil filter has gotten too tight. Wait…I got it.”

Old filter off and new one on, tightened to just a snug fit, I lay back and looked around the oil pan for leaks before sliding out. The barn was silent and for moment everything stood still. Then I felt it. The touch. Lightly, just above the waistband of my jeans. I froze, tried to control my breathing, not believing what I was feeling. Fingertips grazed my skin, moved slowly parallel with the waistband. It was almost ticklish and I struggled to control my breathing.

Then the touch was gone.

I lay there waiting for its return, then looked down to see Josh just frozen in place, squatted down next to me staring down at my stomach, fully exposed by my t-shirt having slid upward when I had scooted back a bit. Taking a deep breath, I slowly slid out from under the truck till I was looking up a Josh. He looked scared, afraid of how I would react. I tried to smile but my own fear made it weak. It seemed like a very long time, this moment of doubt, of neither moving or saying anything. Would I have to make the first move? I thought, and would it be the right one?

“Why did you stop?”

Finally, I found my voice, able to speak, even if just barely a whisper. I lay there, torso exposed, t-shirt rolled up to my arm pits. I felt the exposure, the odd sensation of nakedness, even though it was just my chest and stomach. Slowly, hand shaking, Josh reached out till his fingers were grazing the skin near my bellybutton. My breathing grew heavy, stomach heaving up and down. I watched that hand move upward, to the center of my chest then over to one nipple were the fingers circled it, rub the hardening nub till I couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed his wrist to stop the sensation, it too much, and sat up. Holding his hand against my chest I reached with my other hand and took him by the back of the neck. He came easily forward with my lead and our lips met.

Then it all became a blur.

Pushed back against the truck fender, Josh held me tightly, lips pressed together, bodies pressed together, moving back and forth and grinding together. I felt my arousal, growing harder and harder between us. Josh pulled my shirt off, then his own. Our chests came together, hot with our exertion, skin sensitive to every touch, the press of flesh to flesh.

Josh pushed over the tailgate, me behind him, pressing against his ass. I felt him move beneath me, felt the push back as I ground my hardness against him. I kissed his neck. I bit his shoulder and fumbled with his jeans, undoing them. As I pulled them down I squatted down behind him and kissed that spot just above his boxers. I felt him push gently back against my lips. One foot then the other, I helped him out of the jeans, then I took the waistband of the boxers and slide them down. I kissed one ass cheek, then lightly bit the firm flesh. Josh moaned and stepped out of his boxers when they fell to his ankles.

Naked, on his knees, Josh was before me, his cock angled up hard, the head wet. His fingers worked my jeans open, pulled them part and down along with my boxers till my cock bounced up hard, free of its confinement. I watched Josh take me in hand, his grip tight and my cock flexed with its hardness. Josh moved forward and I watched his lips press against the wet head, move along the shaft down one side, firm urgent kisses, down to the base then back to the head. Then he took me, lips parted, sliding down over my shaft. Inch after inch disappeared between them. I felt the heat of his mouth; the soft wetness engulf me. I struggled not to push forward, savoring the feel of his mouth on me.

He sucked me, head moving back and forth as he worked my jeans down to my ankles. He didn’t even release me as he worked each foot free. His hands held my waist preventing me from thrusting inward. The hands kneaded each cheek, pulled them apart and pulled forward as he took me all the way, over and over and over. He was in control as he submissively took me.

The old bench seat in the truck squeaked noisily beneath us. Josh on his back, head against the passenger door watching my every move. I was between his legs, one on the back of the seat and the other hooked in the steering wheel. I pushed into him feeling the tight opening milk my cock as inch after inch penetrated. Initially I fucked him slowly, pushed inward gently, feeling each inch squeeze into him. He was tight and I knew the penetration hurt at first. His body quivered beneath me with every push inward. Then he relaxed, his hands coming to my sides, guiding me to move with more urgency.

“Fuck me…fuck me harder” he uttered through clinched lips as his hold on my waist tightened and pulled at my body.

So, I drove into him harder till the seat squeaked and the truck rocked with our fuck. My cock sinking into him, every inch. It was what I was reduced to, this fuck. I drove into him, harder, faster, our bodies smacking together. I was burning up, my body hot with its exertions. Sweat covered my skin and rivulets ran down my chest and back. Drops rained down on Josh as I fucked him. His hands moved slickly over my back and sides. He became more vocal, his moans and grunts louder, louder than my own.

“Fuck me Lamont…take me…” he stammered and cried out. “Please…”

Too quickly I felt close and slowed. Leaning down I kissed him, felt his tongue push between my lips. There was an urgency to every move, every act, primitive, base, this need to pleasure each other, and I raised up and began to fuck again, quickly back to speed, my cock a blur as it piston in and out of him.

“I’m going…to…come…” I stammered as I hammered his hole, slammed into him till the sound of our bodies coming together filled the barn.

I lay on Josh, breathing hard, our slick bodies hot against one another. His hands move slowly up and down my back as I felt my erection subside and slip from him. I felt Josh’s erection press against my stomach and a renewed sense of desire overtook me.

I lay on the seat, my ass right at the opened driver’s door, Josh holding each leg against his shoulders as he drives into me, his thick hard cock penetrating me, over and over. I feel him sink into me, deeply, a sense of fullness, our bodies connected. I stretch out on the seat, push my hands against the passenger door and push. Every muscle seems stretched taut. When Josh presses against me, cock sunk all the way inside me, I feel my nakedness, the hot humid air against my sweaty skin. Everything is hot, slick with the exertion. This is the fulfillment of my fantasies, spread out before Josh, open to him, giving myself to his need. I feel every touch between my legs. I feel every inch moving inward and back out, the piston movement getting faster and faster. Josh grabs by thighs and pulls me tighter to his chest as he grinds his hips against my ass, working his cock deeply into me.

“Fuck” Josh utters as he jerks against me, short jabbing motions as he releases inside me.

The barn closed up, the sun low in the western sky and we’re inside under the cool spray of the shower. All afternoon we spent in that hot barn. We lay in the bed of the truck holding each other. We moved from one place to the next fucking. We fucked till we were spent, exhausted beyond belief. Our clothes in hand we slipped across the rear yard naked, skin glistening with our last exertions, that one last fuck in the cab of the truck. Then we were in the shower, hands roaming over the other, cool water cascading down our bodies washing away the sweat, the dirt and the remnants of our sex. Josh pushed me against the wall, pressed his body against mine, as he kissed me. Tongues dueling, lips pressed together, then mine sliding over his jaw and neck till I could nibble at his earlobe.

We crashed on his bed, feet twisted in the sheet and bodies intertwined together. The cool air felt good against my exposed skin, made the gentle warmth of our bodies pressed together comforting. Light filtered through the blinds, and moved up the walls as the sun set, bringing on night. When it arrived, we were unaware, lost in a deep restful sleep.

Grant
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