Another Not For Profit Venture by Snow
No infringement intended. No real people here. Not stealing, just playing.
Beta by the beautiful stir_of_echoes
~ from stir_of_echoes’s Silent Witness ~
~ “People need people Seth, even you, it’s a basic human need, as essential as food, so all you gotta ask yourself is … are you hungry?”
Seth watched Dave reach out his hand, almost in slow motion, held himself perfectly still as he rubbed his knuckles along Seth’s cheek, his thumb across his bottom lip, leaned in, lowered his head and brushed his lips lightly across Seth’s for the briefest moment…
“Well … are you?” Dave whispered. ~
Dave stopped trying to tell himself that he wasn’t looking for Seth. Stopped driving aimlessly through the campgrounds that surrounded the lake. Stopped hiking through the dense forests, wading in the muck and weeds along the river.
He’d been home for a week and hadn’t done anything but sit in the hospital’s intensive care unit and yes, search for the boy. Watching helplessly as his father labored to breathe through the tubes stuck down his throat, dripping water from a tiny sponge to wet his lips and tongue. Sleeping fitfully in a small, uncomfortable vinyl-covered chair and listening to the high pitched sounds of the heart monitor and the pages that came randomly over the speakers. He’d sit by his father’s bedside for hours at a time. Stay until the harsh, antiseptic smell, the constant, grating noises, the room, deprived of any decoration save the whiteness began to close in on him until he couldn’t breathe. And then escape out into the day or night, smoking or driving or walking or running.
It didn’t matter how he got away, just that he did. For a few hours. Then Dave would return, sit beside his mother, hold her hand, nod at visiting relatives, family friends, neighbors, the mechanics and salesmen from his Dad’s car lot, as they came to pay their respects, express their concern.
Dave couldn’t bring himself to ask any one of them about Seth. He just kept looking on his own, but he hadn’t known before where Seth’s Daddy had hidden his stills. He had never known where exactly their cabin was located among the endless hills.
He’d been up north for two and a half years. Gone from this town for nine hundred and twelve days, give or take a few. Not returned for Christmases, Thanksgivings, or summer breaks. Had no intentions of ever returning, not ever, not for any reason, until that midnight phone call. Until the small, scared, tired voice of his mother made him sit straight up in bed, and make incoherent, but hopefully reassuring noises come out of his throat. Made him wake the blonde that slept beside him and make apologies that sounded as false as they really were, to his own ears, as he hurriedly dressed, packed and told her to get out.
“My father had a heart attack. I’m going home.”
“What? Going where?”
“Home. I have to go home. He’s having a double bypass. You need to leave.”
“Can’t I stay here? Until you get back? Can I go with you?”
“No. I mean, I’m sorry, but I have to go right now. I don’t know when I’ll be back. You need to leave.”
“Where is your home? I thought you were from around here. How far away is it?”
“Just get the fuck out. Now.”
He never told anyone where he was from. Never once mentioned the name of the town, not that they’d be likely to know it, but still. It lodged in his throat and wouldn’t come out through his lips. When pressed, he’d make random directional motions with his arm.
Down south, no place you’ve ever heard of.
And change the subject.
Dave didn’t allow his conscious mind to think of home, but that part was easy. His waking life was filled with new experiences, new people, new ways of thinking, behaving, and living. No one held him to any expectations, no one had already labeled him and not one single person knew or gave a shit what side of town he was from, what side of town his parents came from. Dave found himself participating in his college classes, for a change actually deserving the grades he received. He joined the drama group on a whim, did some plays in the off season, surprised to find that he enjoyed everything about the theater, the moments on stage when he could really become someone else. And then there was the football program. Nothing like what he’d ever known. It was everything he loved about the sport, taken to a higher level and Dave lived it, breathed it, absorbed it straight into his blood.
He could not remember ever feeling like this in his life.
When he slept, though, it was different. He couldn’t control his dreams and they circled back to the town of his birth every single night. It didn’t matter how much liquor he drank, how much pot he smoked, how hard he fucked whomever he was with, how relentlessly he worked his body in the training room or the gym or his mind in the classroom. Night after night, his dreams were as clear as the playing field on a bright summer day. And for the first few moments, each morning, Dave still felt Jimmy’s fingers digging hard into his shoulders, the harsh sound of his breath behind his ear. Chris’ soft lips on his, and the familiar, warm taste of his tongue, his cock, his skin, would be in Dave’s mouth. But the dreams that stayed with him the longest, the ones that he couldn’t ever shake off during the day were always of Seth. The open, honest, painful look in his green eyes when he’d asked if Dave was leaving. The tiny, bird like bones in his wrists, the wiry strength in his body when Dave had held him down, and then held him close. The memory of their one time together was burnt like acid into his brain.
Just as Seth had always been there at home, lurking in the shadows of the brush, watching from the high, strong oak trees, hiding in the reeds at the lake, he was still a constant presence for Dave. The fall wind bringing him the strong smell of cooking hops and barley from the local brewery, the orange color of charcoal embers from an open fire at an all night frat party. A sparrow flushed out of the depths of a bush when Dave took his predawn run through the city park and Seth would be there. In his mind. Talking with Dave when he was alone, watching him when he was with friends, always, always with him.
And every conversation in his dreams ended with Seth asking when he was coming back.
And in every dream, Dave would turn, walk a step away, look back, and Seth would be gone.
Dave was determined, that was not going to happen. If he found him, when he found him, he would not let Seth disappear again. Not until they finished this haunted, haunting conversation.
By the second week his father had been taken off the ventilator, unplugged from the constant heart monitoring and put in a regular hospital room. Bob had regained some of his vigor and although weak and in pain, he’d tease the nurses and flirt outrageously. Dave found it all embarrassing and took to leaving the room when they would come in to take his father’s blood pressure, hand out medication, and check his I.V.
He headed out for a smoke, going out back of the hospital for a change. The heat hit him as soon as the doors slid closed behind him, slowing everything down. Dave leaned against a pillar, his eyes closed against the afternoon glare. He reached in his pant’s pocket and pulled out his cigarettes, voices off to the side catching his attention.
Behind a high chain link fence that was connected to the building, Dave could see kids playing in the hospital’s employee daycare. Swinging, sliding, running, their laughter and shrill voices echoing against the bricks and Dave was back in school, back on the playground, standing off to the side as . . .
. . . Jimmy was pounding on a kid, sitting on his chest as the boy who had dared to tease Nicky lay on his back in the gravel. Blood running from his nose, his mouth. Kelly comforting Nick, whispering in his twin’s ear as they all stood in a circle, watching the one sided fight. Dave looked over his shoulder, saw a teacher heading over and stepped forward. Put his hand on Jimmy’s neck.
“Teacher’s coming. Get up.”
The sudden flash of sharp blue eyes looking up at him. Burning through him. Marking him. Jimmy’s blood covered fist wiping sweat from his face as he stood and backed away, not saying a word. Dave’s intervention hadn’t mattered in the end, he could still remember seeing Viggo come to collect his son. Watching his long legged fast walk through the school, dressed all in black, see the cold fire of the anger in his eyes as he dragged Jimmy out to his truck.
But the next day, Nicky and Kelly had asked him to eat lunch with them, and Jimmy had been there. Perched on the edge of the bench, unable to completely sit down, and though no one said anything, they all knew why. He nodded at Dave, handed him a Marlboro out behind the school at recess as they stood in the shade.
Jimmy was the epitome of cool to Dave. Hard. Quiet. Mean as a snake and so loyal to his small group of friends, that they all felt protected, safe under his spell. He wanted to be near him, with him. Part of Jimmy’s inner circle. Probably wanted it too much. Was too transparent in his desire, his need.
The shrill scream of a child brought Dave back to the present and his eyes tracked the cry to see a small boy standing off to the side, tears running down his face. And the slight, red haired young man that came to comfort him. The sun shining off his tanned face, his smooth, calm movements as he knelt beside the frightened child.
Dave held his breath, watched as Seth wiped the wet cheeks of the small boy with a worn handkerchief, said a few words, was rewarded by a smile in return and sent the child off to play again. Seth stayed in his squatting position, watching the children play. Then his head turned and time seemed to stop for Dave. Those hazel eyes, so full of thoughts and dreams and life, staring straight at him. Then the warm smile that curved up his lips. Seth stood, brushing dirt off the knees of his jeans. He walked over to the fence and Dave moved toward him, unaware that he was doing so, until he was there. Only the chain of the fence separated them. Seth wound his fingers through the links, the smile still on his face.
“Heard you were back.”
Dave’s throat was tight as he looked down at Seth.
“Yeah. How is he?”
“Good. Better. Healing. What are you doing here?”
Seth shrugged, gestured to the kids playing behind him. His intense stare never once leaving Dave’s face.
“Watch the kids.”
“You work here?”
“You told me to get out of the woods. Get into this, something. Tried with the adults, upstairs. Cleaning rooms and taking out the old folks. Couldn’t do it. Too much anger. Too much pain. Kids are better. They make noise, but when they do, it’s a good sound.”
“I told you?” Dave pulled hard on his cigarette, thinking back to that night. His mind though, only brought him the memory of how good Seth’s skin had tasted, how he’d reacted to every touch. As if he never had been touched before. “How long do you have to stay?”
Seth shrugged again, his thin shoulders moving under his shirt.
“I can leave. I’ve been off for hours.”
“Meet you out front then?”
Dave walked back into the hospital, shaking his head in disbelief. All this week, while he’d been out, looking through the hills. Seth had been here. He ran up the stairs, rather than waiting for the slow, cranky elevator and grabbed his leather jacket from his Dad’s room.
“Be back tomorrow.” Dave leaned down, gave his mother’s cheek a quick kiss and was gone before she could voice an objection or query. Strange how being home for even a short time had brought back the familiar behavior patterns between them.
Out in the parking lot, Dave found Seth sitting on the hood of his mustang. He unlocked the doors, got in and started the engine. The late afternoon sun shone off the chrome of other cars as he pulled out, making him squint.
“Where do you want to go?” Dave asked, feeling all at once like a stranger in this place he’d grown up.
“I don’t care.” Seth answered, rolling down his window. His eyes closed, the wind ruffling through his hair as he leaned his head out.
“What do you want to do?”
“Anything.” Seth sighed. “Just drive. Never get to ride in cars.”
Dave glanced over, saw the beautiful smile on Seth’s face and gunned the mustang. It had been a long time since he’d driven through any town at breakneck pace, and Dave felt the dulled, but always, always with him ache for Chris. Of blasting through stop signs, ignoring red lights just to get his attention, doing anything to make the Deputy follow him. Dave turned up the radio, lit a cigarette and let the power of the engine, let the steering wheel do the thinking for him. And kept stealing looks at the calm, happy expression Seth wore as Dave just drove.
Dave made only one stop, picked up beer at a liquor store, smiled at the looks of the young kids that were hanging out in the parking lot, as he burnt his tires pulling back out into the street. Memories flooding back and Dave drove faster, trying to leave them behind him.
Seth reached over and turned off the radio when they hit the edge of town. Leaned back into the black leather, one arm hanging out the window, riding the air currents. Dave set his bottle of beer between his thighs and kept driving.
“Miss seeing you around.”
Seth’s words over the sound of the wind rushing through the car caught Dave by surprise and his hand slipped a bit on the steering wheel. He tightened his grip.
Dave pulled off the two-lane highway and took a dirt road that he knew. It curved through the trees, naroow, winding, but wide enough to drive along. The trees blocked out a lot of the light and the brush scraped against the sides of his car. If he remembered correctly, it ended up, yes. Here. Topping out on the crest of a hill that overlooked the drive in. Dave turned off the lights, killed the engine. The sun was just setting and the long evening shadows around them started disappearing into the coming dark. They could hear the faint laughter and music from car radios floating up from below.
“No you haven’t. Tell me about up North. What’s it like? What do you do?”
Why is it that no one but Seth had asked him that?
He took a beer out, opened it with his senior class ring and started talking. Telling Seth everything. From the clenched, scared, excited feeling that had ridden in his gut the day he’d driven out of this town all the way up North without stopping. The difference in the air, crisp and cold. The smell of snow in the breeze, the way it would cover the city during the night and for a little while, everything would look white and clean. The terror he’d overcome when he’d played in his first college game. Televised. The roar of the crowds. The flash of the cameras. The insanity that became easy to block out, once he was on the field. The classes, the professors, the way everyone treated him as an equal and no one talked down to him just because he was his father’s son. The tall brick buildings that housed the students. That were covered in ivy in the spring and summer, growing so thick birds would build nests in it. And when he slept with his window open, the sound of babies chirping to be fed would wake him before his alarm clock, and he would get up and go for a jog around the campus before anyone else was awake. When the world was still silent and dew hung from everything and his running shoes would be soaked before he’d even gone a half a mile.
Dave talked until his voice became hoarse and it was completely dark, the movie playing in the distance and the moon giving them just enough light to see each other’s faces. They’d moved out of the car, to sit on the hood, hooking their feet on the front bumper. The night breeze giving the false impression of cooling the air.
Dave finally ran out of words, out of descriptions, out of anecdotes and stories and they sat quietly for a moment.
“You’re up there with me all the time. You’re the only part of this town I keep with me.”
Seth looked back at him.
“And you’re with me. I still see you when I walk the woods. I still think of you when I see them.”
It was the first mention of anyone else from the past and Dave let it slide right on by. He didn’t want to know. Knew that he was not ready. Not yet. Instead, he did what he’d thought of doing all evening. What he’d dreamt about for two and a half years. He leaned toward Seth and gently, carefully put the tips of his fingers on Seth’s face, felt his jaw, his cheeks. Then Dave wet his lips and kissed Seth. Lightly. Softly. Looking for a reaction, Dave waited.
Seth stared at Dave, tasted him on his mouth.
“I remember you.”
And Dave fell into him, wrapping Seth in his arms, pulling his smaller body close. His mouth on Seth’s neck, his tongue feeling the heat, the pulse under the pale skin. He could feel Seth’s fingers on his head, in his hair, hear his light moan as Dave slid his palm across the crotch of Seth’s jeans, his short nails scratching on the material, pressing on the hardness he found there. He slid off the hood of the mustang, stood between Seth’s parted legs. Dave pulled Seth’s shirt up, pushed him so that he was lying back on the metal. Licked and bit at his nipples, first one, then the other, then back again, all the while his hand was there, rubbing Seth’s erection through his pants, listening to sounds that Seth was making as he arched his back toward Dave. Waiting for him to ask, for the words.
“Need . . . something. Dave. Need you.”
Dave popped open the buttons that held Seth’s jeans closed, slipped his hand under the waistband of his jockeys. Wrapped his long fingers around Seth’s hard cock, already wet at the tip, then Dave moved down and sucked him in his mouth, all the way. Tightening his lips, swirling his tongue, back and forth and up and down, Seth’s hands in his hair and Seth came suddenly, hard and fast. Dave held narrow hips in his hands as Seth bucked against him, into him and he drank him down, salty sweet, ignoring Seth’s whispers.
“Please. Stop. Don’t stop.”
Dave looked up to see Seth biting his hand and he moved up. Pulled Seth’s fist away from his mouth. Kissed him softly again, as soft as the first time. Held back so that Seth had to raise his head to keep their lips together. Surprised at the warm feel of Seth’s hand on his crotch, hesitantly touching him through his jeans. Dave opened his eyes, met Seth’s, the hazel almost completely obscured by the black of his pupils.
Seth asked. Suddenly Dave was sure that Seth had not been touched by anyone before him, wondered if he’d been with anyone since. He swallowed, nodded, his mind weighted with emotion and longing.
“Yeah. Like that.” Dave wet two fingers in his mouth, moved his hand down between Seth’s legs, behind his balls. “And like this.”
He let Seth open his pants, closed his eyes as he felt Seth’s fingers on him. Carefully pushed one finger into Seth, buried his face against Seth’s neck, bit his bottom lip, tried to keep his impulse to drive hard into the boy checked. He moved his finger in and out slowly, gently, rubbing the sweet spot each time Seth let him in a little further, opened up a little more. Seth’s hot palm, slick with sweat, tightened on Dave’s cock. Dave could hear Seth’s breathing speed up, felt him harden again between them. He just concentrated on licking and nibbling at Seth’s neck, on his collarbone, inhaling the smell of him, memorizing the tremors that ran through him.
“Dave, do it like the last time. Get inside of me.”
Seth’s hands had moved to Dave’s shoulders, his fingers digging into muscle, holding on. Dave could see fear battling with lust and need in his eyes when he looked at him. His cock harder than he could remember as if it had a mind of it’s own, dripping with precum and Dave guided it with his hand to Seth. Tried to go slow, tried to not hurt, but Seth pushed up against him, wrapped his legs around Dave’s. Forced Dave in deep, tight, hot, gritting his teeth and moaning. Dave kissed him, swallowed the sounds, distracting Seth, chasing his tongue around his mouth. Pulled out, then back in, over and over until he couldn’t kiss anymore, couldn’t concentrate on anything but the feel of Seth beneath him and around him.
Dave grabbed Seth’s cock, yanked and twisted in time with his thrusts. His other hand at the top of Seth’s head, in his hair, holding him in place. And then the dark became light behind Dave’s tightly closed eyelids as he came, Seth joining him, coming again, hot on Dave’s chest. He felt Seth’s fingers on his cheeks as he shuddered, rode the wave down, sucking in the humid air, trying to catch his breath. He opened his eyes, met the face that haunted his conscience, his dreams, and had to return the smile he found there. The smile that waited for him. Lived in him.
“Just like that.”
Dave laughed out loud at Seth’s words, slipping from him, out of him, rolled to the other side of the hood.
“Yeah. Just like that.”
They lay there for a while, looking up at the stars, the soft warm breeze cooling the sweat on their skin. Dave stretched, closed up his pants while Seth slid off the hood, gathered his jeans off of the dirt and put them back on.
“You’re leaving again.”
Dave caught Seth’s smaller hand in his large fist, and didn’t let go. Not for a moment.
“Not right away. Not until my father gets home. Not before you and I spend more time together.”
Dave felt Seth’s grip tighten and they sat together in the dark. Drank the last of the beers and talked of everything and nothing at all, until dawn pinked the sky and another day started.
In Dave’s home.
::snogs you all senseless::
*runs off to pack*