Hey. It's been a while since I've posted anything. This story here is very light (in sexual scenes) but a theme in here is very dark. It's the beginning of another series I've been developing for a while. All characters are over 18. Thanks, VN!
He chews softly, his dark eyes hidden by his greasy black hair, his freckles dotting his cheeks in dark submission to his ivory skin. His fork glints in the pale light of the kitchen, and I watch the piece of chicken dangle there, covered in slivers of yellow rice, the aroma continuing to fill my small dining room. I’ve known him for a few years now, seeing him here and there and sometimes everywhere, but I must admit that I did everything I could to avoid.
If I saw him walk my way I darted into dark corners, hid behind shelves in stores, pretended to speak to someone sitting in an empty car. Anything to make him walk away, anything to make him keep quiet.
But he would still look my way; flash a decent smile and say, “Hey, Dakota.” And I’d have to smile, wave back, and ask him how he was doing. And he would smile back, nod his head, then walk away.
Truth is I was friends with his mother. Yeah, I’m much younger, but I didn’t care. We worked together at a care center, packing clothes and delivering them to families that needed them for things like school and job interviews. She’d talk and talk, and I’d rarely get a word in, but I didn’t mind. I loved hearing her stories. Glenda was a woman in her late fifties, with graying hair and calloused hands. She was shorter than I, a little on the plump side, with dark eyes she kept sheltered behind oversized glasses. “I’ve had these for twenty years,” she told me. “I’ve yet to find anything else that flatters my face.” Then she would laugh and the noise would fill the car.
A month ago Glenda took a fall, shattered her knee, and was put out of work. At first things were fine, but then we all began to find out that she was months behind on her rent, and her car was standing on its last leg. Pretty soon I helped her lift heavy boxes out of her front door and place them in the back of her older son’s pickup.
“What about Quinn?” I asked her, and she just frowned and burst into tears.
“It’s time he grew up,” she said to me and patted my shoulder. “I have to go.” Then she pushed the wheels on her chair to her son’s truck so he could help her into the seat. “If you see him around, tell him I love him. And that I’m sorry.”
“He deserves this,” I assured her and rubbed her arm through the open window. “You’ve been trying to get him to get a job since he graduated. He’s had five years. It’s time he sees what real life is.”
“He’s right. I’m a monster.”
“No you’re not,” I reminded her.
“Then why do I feel like a heartless bitch?” Then she rolled her window up and waved me goodbye.
Two weeks later I stood in the back room going through a shipment of clothes when I heard a knock at the door. I jumped and turned around, and Quinn stood in the doorway. He hadn’t looked like he showered in days, his clothes tattered and dirty, his skin rubbed black from dust and dirt. “I don’t mean to bother you,” he said quietly. “But I need a place to stay. And I’m hungry. I was hoping…”
“I leave here at five,” I said back then shoved my hand in my pockets. “Here’s ten dollars. Go up front; find you a change of clothes. I’ve only an hour left.”
He smiled, thanked me and did as instructed.
Thirty minutes later my boss had me leave early and left the building to find him slicked back against my car, a half-finished cigarette hanging out of his lips. “That shit stays here,” I said to him and snatched the cigarette out of his lips.
“Okay,” he said and stamped it out. Climbing in my car, I immediately smelled his body as he scooted in beside me in the passenger.
“You need a shower.”
“I’m not your mother, Quinn. Don’t be a smartass.”
Quinn stayed quiet, shrugged down in the seat and crossed his arms over his chest. I heard him huff his breath and I smiled.
At twenty-three Quinn could have had everything going for him. But he had nothing, no home, no family any more. He wandering the streets of this sleepy town alone, dirty, begging for change outside of convenience stores and being rushed off by clerks.
As we passed through orange groves, from one town into another, and down a back road that led to a small house on the lake he asked, “So, I never asked. How old are you?”
I shook my head. “Nineteen.”
“You live alone?” We pulled into my drive and he looked over my small home—two bedroom, one bath, a large porch overlooking the dock that stretched into the lake and a small living room behind it, with crooked white siding and cracks in the stone path that led to the front door—and sat up. My dog Rufus stood in the yard, towering over his bowl with drool hanging down his lips. He saw the stranger in the car, barked at the top of his lungs, then hit the passenger door.
“No,” I finally answered. “Rufus keeps me company.”
“You’re horse,” he stammered then blushed. “He’ll kill me.”
“He’s a gentle giant. Promise.” Then I got out of my car, demanded he sit. And he did. “Now get out.” Quinn slowly pushed his way out of the car and leaned back again as Rufus bent forward, a gentle growl at his lips. “Stay,” I commanded him, then looked at Quinn. “You, come.” Quinn followed me to the front door, and was taken aback when he looked back at Rufus sitting in position, wagging his tail and chasing a butterfly with his head. “Now, in,” and Quinn went inside.
“Good boy,” I hollered and Rufus bounced through the yard towards me at the door. He collided against me and we both fell, tumbling on the porch, laughter at our heels. Quinn ran back to the door and started banging. “You okay?” “I’m fine,” I assured him then pushed to me feet. I opened the door and let Rufus inside, and he walked past Quinn, never looking at him, his eyes focused on the empty food bowl. “Okay,” I said and poured him some bits.
“He won’t hurt me?”
“No,” I said to him. “I took him in because his previous owners abused him. They thought he’d make a good guard dog but when they were robbed he played with the thieves. He didn’t know any better. Now, shower.”
“But I’m hungry.”
“Leftover’s in the fridge,” I told him and joined him at the kitchen table. He slowly nibbled on rice and chicken, his eyes repeatedly nervous and darting towards Rufus, though they remained hidden. Even though he wore freshly cleaned clothes you could still smell the streets on him, especially in the dead of woodland and lake.
I crinkle my nose as I rise to my feet and head to the suddenly beeping microwave. Through the glass I see steam rising, hear the soft crackle of rice and chicken overheated in the box. I frown and open the door, pull out my food and toss it into the sink. I’ll clean it later. My stomach’s too twisted for food. I keep going back to how I would avoid Quinn, keep thinking of the stories his mother told me in confidence, keep wandering why it was that she so willingly left him behind.
Was it safe for him to be here now?
Was I in danger?
I shake my head, laugh. For as much of a technical virgin Glenda was she did have a cell phone, even though I was the one that had to buy it for her. I make the decision to give her a call, run things from the day through her, see what I should do.
She’ll tell me things like, “He only did that to me. You have nothing to worry about. But I suggest you kick him to the curb, you don’t deserve that.” I put aside my reservations and decide not to call, grab the plate out of the sink and join him at the table.
“You’re nervous,” he says between a bite. “I can tell.”
“You listened to my Mom. I promise you most everything she said wasn’t true.”
I just sit quietly, take a bite and spit it back on the plate. I push it away again. “Your Mom is an incredibly sweet person.”
“I’m just glad someone treats her right,” Quinn said and placed his fork on the table. “She deserves that, you know?”
“I try, Dakota. Well, tried. I really did. But you don’t know the half of it.”
“I never claimed to,” I assure him.
“I know. But you didn’t live through what I had gone through. You would only understand if you knew.”
“Your Mom told me about your step-brother. How he married your sister, began to abuse her.”
“She did?” He stops cold, begins to shake slightly. “I need a shower,” he suddenly spats and climbs to his feet.
“I agree,” I say then wrinkle my nose again. Quinn pushes himself from the table, his face blood-red, and his eyes even more dark that I’d notice before.
As he showers I head outside to the dock, the sun is beginning to set and the sky is painted in roses and scarlets, splashes of lilac dot the garden of color turning blue the higher the horizon. I stare there, Quinn on my mind, and get lost in the view when suddenly I hear Rufus howl. I turn on my heels to see him in the yard, a tattered shirt in his mouth. “Oh, no,” I say and run to him. “Rufus, please tell me you didn’t—”
“My jeans,” Quinn yells from the house and comes out onto the porch, wrapped in a towel. “I didn’t hear him come into the bathroom…please tell me you have something I can wear.”
I blush. “I don’t,” I say to him, looking over his body, trying not to notice anything about it but his general size. But for the first time I can’t help but look at his smooth chest, his hairless arms, and the shadow of hair beneath his armpits poking out as me when he raises his hands in disbelief. He has little abs but his stomach is as slick as an oiled board, and where he remains hairless a thick happy trail, wide and black, disappears beneath the towel.
“Dakota,” he says, whistles. “You hear me? What am I going to wear?”
“I don’t know,” I suddenly snap back into focus and cross my arms. “Clearly I wear a smaller size than you.”
“No shit,” he says.
“What about your underwear?”
“I didn’t have any before, and I certainly wasn’t going to waste a dollar on a pair when I could have bought the shirt and jeans for ten. What am I going to do?”
“Don’t look at me,” I say to him and head for the door. “I gave you a place to stay, a bite to eat, money for clothes. I’ll run to the store in the morning but tonight I’m staying in. You best not let go of that towel.”
“Or I can just stay naked then,” he suggests. “I’m not wearing a towel all night, that’s foolish.”
I turn around, shake my head in defiance, and then stop. “Okay,” I say to him calmly. “Do what you want. Make yourself comfortable.” I swallow a lump in my throat, turn my head so he doesn’t see me lick my lips, and for the first time admit to myself that Quinn is entirely way too attractive. And I try my damnedest not to show my sexuality, to keep that part of me hidden.
Quinn laughs then heads inside with me. “I’m kidding. I don’t mind the towel.”
An hour later I lie in bed, my laptop on my lap, my body wearing nothing but a thin pair of boxers. I can hear Rufus snoring from the living room, hear the television playing a movie I let Quinn watch, hear the clock on my wall ticking back and forth. I check a few emails, read a couple Facebook messages, write a few things to other people. And then I type in a certain address in the bar, plug in my headphones, and reach out to shut the door—
“—are you doing,” Quinn says, standing in the doorway, stretching to see my computer screen. I slam the laptop shut and snatch the buds out of my ears. “Nothing that concerns you,” I snap.
“It’s cool,” he says then walks over to my bed. He’s still wearing the towel when he crawls onto the other side, smooth the fabric over his lap, and cross his legs. “You mind if I join?”
“I don’t care.”
“Care to talk?”
“What we were talking about earlier,” he says then looks at the door. I shake my head, and he listens. I’m not shutting out the door, I’m not cutting off my dog. Suddenly my heart races and I feel nervous. My hands clam, sweat, and beads break out on my brow. But I hold back my fear and look him in the eyes. “My step-brother/brother-in-law. Whatever you want to call him. He was the real monster.”
“How?” I ask, curiosity pricking at my ears.
“He was abusive,” Quinn whispers. “He would choke my sister, beat her until her lips bled. He hit her once when she was pregnant, sadly the baby didn’t make it…but through it all I held faith in one person, someone who was supposed to make it better.”
“Bull’s-eye,” he says and smacks his hand. “Guess who didn’t deliver? Course, it wasn’t her fault.”
“She told me he pointed a gun at her.”
“He did every time he began to beat my sister. We would be shoved back into a corner, my mother’s arms around me. And he would lay the gun on the table, silver tunnel pointing directly at her. All he had to do was pick it up and fire.”
“I’m so sorry,” I manage to say.
But he shakes his head, uncrosses his legs and spreads them out over my bed. In the corner of my eye I notice the way the towel shifts, lifts up his thigh, and my heart hammers. Quinn’s voice quickly pulls me back. “Then one night he left my sister alone. He had been drinking, and when he drank he became a little more sexual than desired. And when he looked at my sister, broken and bruised, he cast her away like rotten meat, threw her to the dogs. He turned that night, grabbed the gun and jammed it against my mother’s head, grabbed me and threw me against the table.”
I suddenly place a hand on his a part of his thigh left exposed, find myself leaning into him, reaching up to touch the side of his face. I turn my body on the bed as I pull back. “Oh, my God. I’m so sorry.” He stares at me, dark-eyed again, his eyes darting between my hand left hanging and the one on his thigh. Then he stares down at my clutched hand and sighs, leans back against the headboard, spreads his legs wider before him.
And my heartbeat quickens again.
He closes his eyes and faces the ceiling. “My mother,” he says quietly, “she could do nothing. Absolutely nothing but watch. If she moved, he would shoot. And I didn’t want my mother to die.” Then he goes completely silent, grab my hand, pull it closer to his groin. “But there was a moment,” he suddenly says after what feels like forever, “when he turned his back. A moment when he pressed his lips against my neck, a moment where he pressed himself against my body. He wasn’t looking at my mother, wasn’t thinking of her either.
“He. Put. The. Gun. Down.” Without thinking I push closer to him as the last word slips from his mouth, loosen the towel around his waist, and he presses my hand between his legs, his hardened member raging beneath my palm. Then he wraps me around him and sighs, forces me to stroke him as he remembers the past, trapped in the sick fantasy his brother-in-law lived out through him.
And then he says, “She could have stopped him—”
And I’m quick to interrupt. “What could she have done? Grabbed the gun? She wouldn’t have had time.”
“So what,” he spits and pushes me away, slams me against the headboard. I back down, cower against my pillows. “At least she would have tried but she didn’t. She sat there and watched him do it. He took everything from my, every ounce of happiness, every ounce of hope, my very soul.”
“Blame him,” I say evenly, my voice steady. “Don’t blame your Mom.”
Then he lurches forward, grabs me by either wrist, and pins me down against the bed. “I saw the way you looked at me outside,” he spits. “The way you lingered on my body, the way you said you didn’t care if I went naked.”
“I was trying to be polite.”
“LIAR!” Then he shoves himself against me and holds me still. “Do you really think it was me that grabbed my groin; was it me that began to jack my dick? It was you, Dakota. You’re no different than my mother that bitch. And you’re no different than my brother-in-law.”
“Please,” I say to him quietly, twisting my wrists under his grasp, trying to force my way off of him. And at the same time I want him to see that I’m here, that I’m on his side, that he doesn’t have to fear me. But his face turns scarlet again, and this time his eyes turn black, soulless, the reincarnation of that forbidden memory burning somewhere there. He pushes harder against me, grinds his nails into the flesh of my wrists, and I beg him to hear me. “I am different, Quinn! I gave you a place to stay, a bite to eat, some clothes to wear. I’m not your brother-in-law!”
But he’s already turned. I can see that in the way his eyes shoot to my own waist, and suddenly realize with horror the way my body’s reacted. From beneath the thin fabric of my boxers I’ve grown hard, throbbing, my head poking out slightly through the hole in the crotch.
“Just. Like. Him.” He growls and balls his hand into a fist; before I can protest he lands a hard ball into my stomach and watches me double over in pain, loss of breath, and he reaches out to slam my bedroom door as Rufus collides into the wood. Rufus barks, shouts, scratches against the door, tries to fight his way into the room.
“Roll. Over.” He demands into one-worded sentences, and I comply with him. Then he tears my boxers from my body and throws the towel across my head. With one hand he slams my face into the pillow, and the other he slices down my back. I howl into the air until I feel him against me, the stinging lines of lacerated skin following his nails.
He doesn’t try to find lube, doesn’t spit into his hand, and doesn’t try to make it easier. He just pushes into me, shoves his cock into my ass, tears me apart as if I’m no more than paper. And I howl, and Rufus howls, and I twist into myself as he shoves down into me. The pain rips me in half, soars through my body, makes me burn hot. I scream as he drills into my ass, scream as he snatched the pillow away and wraps his fingers through my air and snaps my head back.
Then he bends over me and whispers into my ear, “Take it like a bitch. Take it like I had to.”
Then he shoves me back down, and pulls off. For a moment I think he might suddenly be finished, but he repositions himself, wraps his legs around mine, and slams into me as if I were butter. Then he presses his lips against the side of my neck and kisses me, sucks on my skin, bites into my flesh.
Moments later he grunts and warm liquid floods inside of me.
Struck with fear I lie there beneath him, my body torn into a million pieces, my heart breaking inside my chest. Quinn doesn’t move. He hold me there, rocks his body against me, easily slides in and out of me. He breathes roughly in my ear, nibbles at my neck, and collapses. Our bodies entangled, we fall against the bed as one.
And then I say, “You are your brother-in-law. Not me.”
Without a word he pushes to his feet, walks out of the room and slams my bathroom door shut. Whining, Rufus climbs in next to me and curls into a ball. I wrap my body around him and cry into his fur coat. I spend the next hour listening to the night roll by in a chorus of frogs and crickets, and the blood-curdling screams Quinn makes as he stays hidden in my bathroom. Eventually, I fall asleep.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The early morning sun broke through hazy clouds in thick rays, glittering brightly off the rolling waves of the water. My eyes scan the area lazily, knowing exactly where he is, seeing his form there before me, but purposely skipping over his presence as if he didn’t exist. Rufus is perched beside me, his body stiff and eyes sharp, a steady growl vibrating the back of his throat. He barks quietly and stands to his feet. “Calm down,” I demand to him and bend down to scratch his neck. “Everything’s okay.” Rufus licks my face and runs around my body, knocking himself into my backside. I wince from a dull pain there and push myself back to my feet. “Enough of that, boy.”
Out on the dock I can see Quinn sitting there, staring in a completely unmoving fashion. I wonder what he’s thinking, hoping he’s thinking about leaving. Against my better judgment I swing the front door open and command Rufus into the home. I should just go on to work for the day but I don’t. I had already called Riker this morning and explained that I needed to take a personal day from work, for personal, private reasons of course! I asked him if it were okay I run by the store real quick even though I took the day, and he agreed. Without taking another breath I turn around to see Rufus scratching at the window. I glower at him with puppy eyes of forgiveness then head down to the dock. A wind catches me and I shiver.
My heart pounds.
My palms sweat.
My ears burn.
Then I speak. “Good morning.” Quinn doesn’t say anything back. He just shrugs his shoulders and heaves a heavy sigh. I sigh aside him and kneel down. His bare body is still covered in the towel which I suddenly realize is no longer white. “Quinn,” I say to him and think back to mere hours before. The screaming. “What happened?”
He doesn’t say anything again, but I want answers. I want to know why it is that my towel is now streaked scarlet. I look at his exposed arms, his chest, and his wrists he instinctively holds out before him and come across near-perfect skin. Then I panic and look back at the window where Rufus stares intensely at me through the glass. But he couldn’t have hurt my dog, I locked the door. He never had a way into the room. And I would have heard…
Immediately I throw my hand forward and snatch away his towel. He doesn’t so much as flinch from me or try to hide his now completely naked body. Instead he slings his head down and weeps. And leans onto my shoulder. I try with all my might not to look at his groin area and then his thighs catch my eyes. Seven total, his thighs shine bright red and slashed with newly forming scabs and dried blood. I reach down and trace one and feel the fever burning in his flesh as he works to heal himself.
“I’m so sorry,” he suddenly wails and tackles me onto the dock. “I’m so sorry. I never meant…Didn’t mean to…God, what have I done?!”
“It’s okay,” I try to say but he doesn’t let up. Instead he gets worse. And before I know it he’s on top of me, kissing my neck, rubbing his now raging groin against my waist. For a moment I think about staying there in that moment, a moment so wild and crazy and foolish and irrational and stupid, a moment that should have him drugged and locked up in the nearest mental institution, and when he suddenly jerks his head to kiss my lips I kiss him back. Just as I’m about to break us apart after what feels like an eternity he suddenly grips my cock in his hand through my shorts and tugs—
“In me,” I suddenly say between my teeth and grip him harder to me. He fights with the button on my shorts until he frees my cock. Without even looking in my eyes he presses his cock against my own and grinds into me, heaving breathy sighs over me, sweat suddenly beading on his brow. I dig my nails into his back and yank my face up to his. “I want you in me, Quinn.”
Still grinding, he furrows his eyebrows.
“Are you sure,” he whispers and suddenly stops moving.
And without hesitation I say, “I need to go.” He nods and pushes himself off of me. His thighs are bleeding again and I look down to see red dots on my shorts. “I need to change. I’ll be back soon.” Quinn just nods his head and rolls over on the dock, gripping his groin in his hand and trying desperately to catch his breath.
I shove myself through the door and before I can take a step Rufus is barking, he’s on me, sniffing my body, trying to sniff out Quinn between my legs and on the stains on my shorts. I shove him away and slam the door behind me. “I’m fine,” I holler at him and rush off down the hall. I change my shorts, throw the other’s in the washing machine, and then grab my keys. Rufus greets me at my door, tail sort of wagging, head held down and whining. “I’m sorry,” I say to him and let him kiss my face. And then I leave.
An hour later I’m shoving clothes out of my way on this rack nobody ever looks at in the CC. If I’m going to buy something for the boy who took my virginity and raped me at the same time I sure as hell am not going to spend it on anything worth any amount of money than a few rusted pennies. As I’m looking at a stained, plaid shirt I feel someone tap on my shoulder. “Shouldn’t you be working,” his voice asks, kind and gentle, a slight southern drawl (y’all!) creeping quietly under his sound. I jump and turn to see a regular customer of mine smiling brightly at me, his teeth now noticeably perfect and pearl-esque. I take a step back and nod my head. “I should.”
“What are you doing out here, then?”
“I took a personal day. Thanks for noticing.” I turn away from him, half looking his way at crooked glances and half looking at the tattered shirt in my hands.
I hear him laugh, a sound that bubbles quietly in the back of his throat until they wave graciously off his tongue. It’s enough to make my palms sweat, this time for a very different reason. This boy’s presence next to me fills me with bliss, as it’s always had every time he approached the counter when I held the register. Only this time he’s talking to me for me, not to ask the price of something or tell me he’d like to use his card as debit. I feel him move closer to me and he pulls a pair of baggy jeans off the rack. “I’m all about noticing everything around me. It’s what I do.”
“You’re very good at it.”
“I intend to be.” He places the jeans back where he got them and shuffles his feet. “I don’t think I’ve ever introduced myself. I’m—”
“Billy Cahill,” I say back to him and return the shirt in my hand. “Not only have I noticed your name on your debit card and license for verification but you and I shared at least one class from grade one to graduation. You didn’t exactly speak to me then. At all.”
“Hey,” he says and throws his hands up defensively. “You didn’t exactly speak to anyone then, either.”
“I had…issues.” I shrug my shoulder, shy away from and turn to walk down the aisle. An elderly lady who comes in on weekends to donate toys and clothes asked me if I could direct her to a certain object. I pointed her way and she gave me a hug. Billy laughs again.
“You,” he says once she’s gone then points to his chest. “And everyone else.”
“Not like the problems I’ve had.”
“Oh, yeah?” he asks with a charming edge to his voice, like he’s trying to sound incredibly tough but the adorable in his southern twang just makes him sound deliciously cute. Then I think to myself, Will you shut the hell up already, you’re beginning to sound like one of those feminine twink boys in the porn you watch… I stop to look at him and he flashes me another smile, and I notice the way his eyes crinkle and grow small with it. He pushes his wavy brown hair out of his eyes as if his hands were bored and cocks his head to the side. “I kissed Dean Wagner, on the lips, full tongue. In front of a large crowd. I was labeled a fag for, like, five minutes.”
“No you didn’t!” I slap his shoulder and push away from him again. “Why would you even joke like that? And who the hell do you think you are? You don’t know anything about me!” I stalk my way to the front door of the CC, and Riker stops me in my tracks. “Is this boy bothering you,” he says and looks darkly at Billy Cahill. “Should I have him barred from the store.”
“No,” Billy tries. “I’m just talking to him.”
“He’s pissed me off is all, Riker. I’m good.”
Riker crosses his arms over his chest. He dismisses Billy and looks sternly at me. “Do you need another day off tomorrow? Charlotte said she’d cover your shifts as many days as you need.”
“I couldn’t,” I say.
“I need the hours,” she suddenly appears beside Riker; she’s a middle-aged woman, a single mother, trying her damnedest to make ends meet. Charlotte stands at exactly five foot, poor make-up on her eyes and frizzy blonde curls outline her face from younger years, but she’s the sweetest sweetheart in the world, besides Glenda, and the only one who truly knows my secret. So I let the defense slide when she sort of, kind of, rudely says, “No offense, but you do not!” followed by, “You’ve more money to live comfortably and I’m having trouble making my mortgage payment this month. I could use them and Riker, here, is willing to pay overtime.” She winks at me, looks at Billy, and winks a second time. I blush and shove open the door. “Take the rest of my week if you need, Charlotte. The time off will be appreciated.”
“I’ll repay you.”
“Just keep your lips sealed,” I say in a laugh and glower at her. She nods her head and storms off into the store.
Riker pretends he’s heard nothing.
Billy follows me out to my car. I kind of, sort of, want to turn on my heels and deck him in the face but then there’s the side of me that wants to bask like a puppy in sunlight in the gorgeousness that is his face and charm and…everything. So when he says, “I’m serious!” I half-heartedly laugh and drop my keys on the concrete. Billy bends down to pick him up and hands them to me. Our fingers touch, I blush and Billy scratches the back of his neck as if he didn’t see.
“Who told you?” I suddenly ask him when I look around and notice that my parking lot is, in fact, empty.
“Told you what?” He looks at me with his cocked head again and stares at me. I notice his eyes for the thousandth time, only in this sunlight does the green in them outshine the emeralds of Quinn. They sparkle and glitter and sing with all of the Angels hymns and I pretend for a moment that I can hear them calling my name. But then I hear Billy ask, “Told you what?” again so I suddenly spit,
“That I’m gay!” Off to my left down the street a boy we went to school with together suddenly stops in his tracks, turns to look at me, and sticks his thumbs up. “BE LOUD, BE PROUD, DO THAT HOMOSEXUAL THING IT IS THAT YOU QUEERS DO! I SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE. I LOVE GAY BABIES. I HOPE I’M NOT EMBARRASING YOU I’M JUST KIND OF…OKAY, I’LL SHUT UP NOW.”
Billy laughs again, and even though goose bumps rise along my arms I kick him softly in the shin and unlock my car. I wave to the boy, and he waves back, yelling, “I’M STRAIGHT! LIVE LOUD AND PROUD, MAN!”
“CONGRATULATIONS ON YOU’RE HETEROSEXUALITY, MY MAN,” Billy yells and I can’t help but fall against the door of my car in laughter. “WHILE I ENJOY THE BLISS THAT IS SCALING THE HEIGHTS AND DROPS OF THE MAN PENIS I HOPE YOU HAVE THE GRANDEST ADVENTURES AS YOU VENTURE THE MOIST CAVES OF THE WOMAN VAGINA AND THE GRANDEST MOUNTAINTOPS THAT IS HER BOSOM!” The guy starts laughing uncontrollably and without hesitations decides to meet us at my car. “Kit Runner,” he says to the boy with incredibly messy hair and the smell of a recent cigarette on his lips. The boy with gray eyes and a devilish smile shakes Billy’s hand and they do that hug thing guys do where they smash their fists between their chest and pound on the other’s back. “Was graduation only two years ago? Feels like forever.”
“Yeah,” Billy says then motions towards me with his hand as if I had just arrived. “You remember Dakota?”
“Hell yeah, I do,” he says then tries to do the handshake/hug thing with me. I offer him a wave and turn back to my car door. “Congratulations on coming out of the closet, man. At twenty it must have started to stink in there!” He laughs.
“I’m nineteen,” is all I say back as I pull open my door. “I’ve got to get going.”
“Me too,” Billy says and walks around to the passenger door. I see him move his arms outside of the window but I lose sight of what he’s doing due to the roof of my car. When he slings it open he says, “Dakota here and I are trying to figure out where to have our first brunch together at.”
“Brunch,” I say and reach across and grab the door. “I’m going home.”
The two ignore me. Kit says with complete seriousness, “My Aunt Sarah’s joint off of Carlton and Hayfield street is probably the gayest place I know in this town. You should go there.”
“Does she serve chocolate pudding,” Billy says. I don’t see Kit nod his head but definitely here Billy agree. “Then Sarah’s it is.” He slides into the car forcing my hand back to the steering wheel and slams the door shut. “You know how to get to corner of Carlton and Hayfield?”
“My parents live on Carlton,” I say to him. “We’re not going there. Not together, anyway. They don’t know.”
“Then we’ll go to my place,” he suggests.
“No,” I say to him. “My place.” I put the engine in reverse and take off down the street. I’ve completely forgotten about Quinn at this point.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Quinn had been sitting at the window for the last hour watching Rufus scratch the surface and try to claw his way through to the boy who attacked his human the night before. For an hour he stroked the window as if he were stroking the dog’s fur, for an hour he spoke quietly and tenderly to the dog through the glass, begging forgiveness, saying sweet nothings about Dakota so that Rufus could try his damnedest to like him. Within a few minutes of the second hour Rufus backed away from the window and sat back on his hind legs. Quinn carefully moved his hands to the window sill and pushed up…
…and the window gave way. Moments later he had the window up and the screen removed and was placing one leg in the room when Rufus barked so loud he swore the ground shook. “All I want to do,” he spat at the dog in forced gentleness, “is find something to wear so I can get the hell out of here.” He had abandoned the blood-streaked towel on the dock, sped his way to the house in pure nakedness. Rufus barked again but he didn’t move an inch. Quickly Quinn put the screen back in the frame of the window after forcing the glass shut.
When he turned Rufus was on his feet, growling a rumbling sound under his breath.
Quinn hunched down on his ankles and patted his knee. “C’mere, boy!” The dog rushed to him, lapping at his face with his drenched tongue. After a moment Rufus pulled back and sniffed Quinn’s chest, sniffed Quinn’s hands, pressed his nose against Quinn’s groin. Instinct told Quinn to swipe the dog against the face hard enough to make him squeal but he just sat there like a marble statue. The dog continued to sniff his body, moving his nose towards the boy’s cuts on his thighs. “Not there,” he guided the dog away from his cuts and scratched the back of his head. But Rufus suddenly bucked his body and knocked into Quinn’s bare chest.
Then he was on him in an instant and Quinn screamed!