Monday, August 27, 2012
New Lives excerpt by Anel Viz
Otis lives alone and without prospects in a dying Nevada village. He has lost hope the man who took advantage of him years ago will return and now dreams of becoming a porn star.
Jared, an abused runaway, can’t stay forever with the kindly trucker who picked him up hitchhiking. They need to find a safe place for him to live.
Larry Jordan, a closeted collector of valuable gay erotica, fears the residents of his conservative, middle-class community will soon discover his secret life. He has just one friend, whom he met only recently.
Three gay men who don’t know each other and never will, but whose stories intertwine in unusual and unexpected ways . . .
Silver Publishing (August, 2012)
ISBN: 9781614955597 (e-book)
"Something eating you, Randy?" Jared asked. "You look so serious. I've never known you to be this quiet."
"Nah. Just thinking."
"Stuff. Thinking's a habit with me like it is for most truckers. You're not used to having someone with you all the time, and once you start thinking, you… My mind just thinks, that's all."
"Honest. Why? Something you want to talk about?"
"No, just worried about you."
"Well, don't. I'm fine."
He was thinking about Jared, and something was eating him, but he couldn't tell Jared, not till he'd figured out what he had to say and how to say it.
Jared had been riding shotgun with him for several weeks; they'd covered tens of thousands of miles together. He liked having him there, but it couldn't go on forever. A truck is no home for a teenager, even when it's the only safe place he's found to live. The kid needed friends his own age, needed to go to school, needed stability. And he could see that Jared was starting to get antsy. He couldn't bring him home to Cleveland. Some anonymous trucker he spent time on the road with was one thing, but if the kid wasn't as old as he said and was living with him or had lived with him, and then decided to press molestation charges against the cops after all, it would put both himself and the boys at risk. The kid sure didn't look eighteen, and Randy was a good judge of age. Over sixteen, yes; but eighteen?
The question was, where would he go? Ideally, they'd find a safe home for gay teens. Stupid thing was, he ran a safe home. He'd been taking in homeless boys for close to ten years. Zach, his first rescue, was in his mid-twenties now. He'd stayed on and was in charge when Randy was on the road. But having Jared live there wasn't an option because he'd had—was having—sex with him. He shouldn't have let it happen, but it had.
Finding another home would be a problem. He for sure wasn't going to find one here in Montana, and he wouldn't know where his next load would take him before he made the drop off late that evening. He hadn't been scheduled for a delivery to a major city in months, and just driving through wasn't enough time to look for one. Even if he found one, what then? If he dropped Jared off in front of the door, would he go in or just pretend to and disappear into the streets as soon as the truck was out of sight? He'd told Randy about what had happened to him at the last shelter he stayed at. It had been a disaster. He could walk him in, but that was taking a chance. What if it came out they'd been having sex together? That would land him in big trouble.
The sex was good, and he could tell that Jared liked it, too; he wasn't just putting up with it. Hell, it was Jared who came on to him. So, maybe the first time he did it so he'd be allowed to stay on. Or maybe not. Anyway, he knew now that he was welcome to stay whether or not he put out, and he still wanted it, said it didn't matter that Randy was more than old enough to be his father, pot-bellied and very ordinary looking. Jared liked him because he was a nice guy, because he was good to him, maybe the first person who'd ever been good to him, and because he felt safe with him. "And you're good in bed, too."
It wasn't a bed, really, just a mattress they slept on in the back of the cab. Was he as good a lover as the kid said he was? Randy didn't think so. Competent, but not blow-your-mind fantastic. The important thing was he'd shown Jared that sex could be comforting. It didn't have to mean hurting, physically or emotionally.
It had happened their second night together, parked in a rest area. By then Jared had admitted he was gay and how his parents had thrown him out the house because of it, information relayed as a statement of fact, neither asking for pity, nor, it seemed, afraid that Randy would freak out and beat him up. "I can get out here if that bothers you," he'd said.
"Nope, I'm fine with it."
"Yeah, you seem like a laid-back kind of guy."
It hadn't sounded like an invitation, either, so Randy didn't even consider coming on to him, not for a second. He wasn't the kind of person to force himself on someone, and the kid wouldn't welcome advances from a man in his fifties.
"It's cold," Jared said, moving close to him, too close for Randy's comfort.
"Want me to find you another sweater?"
"Nah, just put your arms around me for a bit and I'll warm up."
They lay there a while longer. Then Jared said, "I sure was lucky to get a ride from you. You know why I was so anxious to get away from those bikers? They raped me."
"You poor kid."
"It wasn't really a rape because I agreed to it, and least to doing it with one of them. I've already told you I'm gay. I like taking it up the ass. So when the rest of them wanted to join in, I didn't think I'd mind. God, was I wrong! It was fucking awful. They'd have done it again if I'd've stayed with them."
"You still hurting?"
"No, not even a little sore. It wasn't the pain so much as how they did it, like I wasn't there, just my hole. They all lined up to have a go at me. And I didn't like them slapping me on the backside. Like, sometimes it can be a turn-on, but they were hitting hard and wouldn't let up. Wasn't nearly as bad as the first time, though."
"You mean your first time?"
"No, the first time I was raped. When I got picked up for vagrancy and thrown in jail. I don't want to talk about it." He turned to face Randy and whispered in his ear. "You wouldn't fuck me like that, would you?"
"What makes you think I'd fuck you at all?"
"You're gay, aren't you? I thought so. You can always tell."
"That doesn't mean I'm interested. I like men my own age."
"I don't turn you off, do I?"
"No, you don't turn me off."
"Don't you get horny? I'm horny pretty much all the time." His hand ran down Randy's stomach and came to rest on his crotch. "I'm horny now. You are, too. I can feel it growing."
Randy held his breath and didn't answer.
Jared went on. "I want to suck your cock. I want you to fuck me. I know you have condoms. I saw them in the glove box."
"It isn't right. You're just a kid."
"Then your parents didn't have to keep you. You said the police brought you back after they threw you out."
"I wasn't eighteen then. I've been on my own over a year. I'm so fucking horny. Is it okay if I take off my jeans and beat off next to you?"
"Can we beat off together?"
"All right, but that's all we do."
It wasn't all they did. Jared went down on him without being asked, and before he knew it they were deep kissing and feeling each other all over.
"Fuck me," Jared pleaded. "I want it bad."
Randy wanted it bad, too. "You're not lying to me, now, are you? You are eighteen?"
"Eighteen and three months. Be gentle. Don't start slamming hard till I say I'm ready, then give it your all."
Since then, they'd had sex almost every night, a lot more than Randy was used to but he wasn't complaining. Every man in his fifties should be so lucky! Jared always bottomed. Randy would have been happy to flip, but Jared said liked it that way. Entering him was easy; his hole was a good fit for Randy's dick and the kid knew how to relax it. He had beautifully smooth and sweet-tasting skin, and he was so loving, so willing. A nice kid. Randy would miss him, but it was time they parted ways.
* * * *
Lost in thought, Randy drove on, preoccupied with finding a solution to the problem of what to do with Jared. He felt more than a little guilty about their relationship, but his mind kept coming back to their nights together, remembering the feel of his young body under his hands and his warm hole pressing around his dick.
Jared watched uneasily, as if he had something on his mind and was waiting for an opening so he could break the silence. Randy was about to tell him to spit it out when he asked, "Would it be okay if I turned on the radio?"
"Go right ahead."
"God, this road is empty!"
"You're telling me, kid? Nothing but sky in the whole eastern half of this state."
They were headed west on Highway 200 in Montana on their way to Great Falls with about another 175 miles to go, nothing in any direction but miles of empty grazing land and the barbed-wire fences that ran along on either side of the road. The towns were at least thirty miles apart, and there wasn't much more to them than a gas station. Randy had driven that route often, and he called it the Roadkill Highway. You hardly ever passed another vehicle, but when you did chances were the driver would be careening down it like a maniac, sometimes at ninety, a hundred miles an hour or more. He wasn't sure how often someone came by to pick up. Not many sections of the highway had been "adopted". For all that, there wasn't much litter—every car that drove by could toss something out the window and by the end of a month there still wouldn't be enough to make a noticeable difference—but there were lots of animal carcasses: squashed skunks, raccoons, jackrabbits, woodchuck, even foxes. The animals that lived here didn't have much opportunity to learn about traffic.
"What's that?" he asked Jared. "Looks like a truck stopped up ahead. We better see if he needs help. He could wait here for hours before anyone came by."
He slowed down and pulled up behind the pick-up. The hood was up, and a cowboy was sitting on the roof looking forlorn. That is, a cowboy or somebody dressed like one.
"What seems to be the problem?"
"Don' ask me. I dunno shit about trucks. All I kin tell ya is that I ain't run outta gas."
"Let me have a look at 'er. Maybe I can find the problem. And if I can't spot it, then I have my trucker's best friend to help. Get the book for me, will you, Jared?"
"Where is it?"
"Back of the cab, shoved behind that box with your papers and… well, you know what. Behind the box."
The man had climbed down from the roof to peer under the hood with him.
Randy didn't need the book; all he had to do was glance at the motor. "I'm afraid I can't help you, friend. You'll need parts. Probably have to order them, too. Want me to drive you to the next town so you can get a tow?"
"Got a tow truck at the ranch. Parts too. But ya don' hafta go outta yer way. I'll call from the gas station and someone'll come pick me up."
"Your ranch far?"
"'Nother ten miles down the road way yer headed, then twenty more on a dirt road off to the right."
"I'd drive you there, but then we won't make Great Falls tonight. It don't much matter, because I'm ahead of schedule, but we'll need a place to stay."
"Oh, we kin putcha up. We're a little short handed right now. Plenny o' extra beds."
"Then hop in and we'll take you there. I'll phone from the ranch to let them know I'll be half a day later'n I said."
"That's mighty kind o' ya," the man said, putting down the hood.
"You're not going to lock up?"
"What fer? 'Coons can't open doors, least not this kinda door."
The man was well built—tall, slim, strong looking, his movements easy. His plaid shirt, its sleeves rolled up to the elbows and three buttons open at the collar, showed powerful wrists and a few tufts of light brown hair on an otherwise smooth, broad chest, and his jeans hugged his hips and molded to his thighs. Pointed cowboy boots on average-sized feet. Nice voice, with a bit of a nasal drawl. Except for the square jaw and friendly smile, they hadn't had a good look at his clean-shaven face because he wore his cowboy hat pulled down over his forehead.
Jared slid over closer to Randy to make room for the newcomer.
"Sher am obliged to you two," he said, and held out his hand to shake. "Jack Lingham."
"Mind if I roll down the winder?"
"Go right ahead."
Lingham propped his forearm on the open window, elbow hanging out, took off his hat and leaned back, enjoying the wind blowing over his face and through his thick, wavy, light brown hair. "Shore was gittin' hot settin' out there in the sun." Jared reached behind the seat and handed him a soft drink from the cooler. "Thank ya kindly," he said and took a long swig.
From the corner of his eye, Randy could see Jared sizing up their passenger. Now that they could see all his features, it was apparent what a strikingly handsome man he was, a man who looked the way Hollywood wished cowboys looked. He wore his hair just long enough to hang over the tips of his ears, deeply channeled between the sharp ridging and lobes detached from his narrow, oval head. The height and prominence of his cheekbones, thin, straight nose and wide-set, dark chocolate eyes hinted at a good dose of Native American blood in him, despite his hair and light complexion. Jared was just about drooling, but the cowboy took no notice.
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