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The writing of Paul Gavin featuring novels, short stories, anecdotes, politics and anything else that's on my mind.


Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Break - Chapter 19

Chapter 19

As they made their way to the back of the bus, Ass turned and shut the flimsy divider. When he turned back around Ben was already sitting on one of the four beds that where set up in the back of the bus. It was a very nice setup. It was a little too close quarters for the band to use on a regular basis, but it served well for the long road trips or on nights when they couldn’t or didn’t want to find a hotel.

Ass paused and observed his friend. Ben was busy picking at the lint on his shirt. Attempting to move, Ass found his feet were fixed to the floor of the bus. Panic gripped him like a bear trap. Unable to move, he just stood by the divider.

“Something wrong?” Ben asked when he finally looked up and saw his ashen faced friend.

“Uh…uh…” Ass tried. “I guess I don’t know where to start.”

Shifting he wait uncomfortably, Ass could still not find the inner strength to propel himself forward. Forward, towards Ben. Forward, towards completely changing his life.

“Since I’ve been dealing with this for a while,” Ben said. “Why don’t I start?”

“Sure…okay.” Ass agreed.

“Why don’t you come and sit next to me?” Ben asked softly.

Once again, Ass shifted his wait uncomfortably. But he did not budge from the spot. It was as if he was standing on the ledge of a skyscraper waiting to jump. Still unconvinced that he had though this whole thing through, he reached back and touched the divider as if it was the connection to his past life.

Standing in this doorway kept him safe, both in reality and metaphorically. If he just stayed here, he could still turn and walk back to his old life. But if he went forward, everything would be changed forever. If he and Ben worked it out, then he would live his life as gay man.

“Are you a queer, Eddie?” His own voice taunted him in his head. “Is that why they call you ‘Ass’? Are you a FAG?”

His breath quickening, Ass felt his knees going weak. His legs began to shudder uncontrollably. Sweat exploded from every pore in his body. Almost instantly, it began to show on his clothes. He felt bile rising in his throat. With concentration and discipline, he was able to choke it back down. Deciding that throwing up might send the wrong message to Ben.

Ben noticed the sudden physical reaction that had transformed his friend into a trembling wreck. Concern swept over him. Quickly, he stood up to give Eddie the support he appeared to need.

But in the moment it took him to standup, Ass had a vision appear before him. It was Pete. More like a disembodied close up of Pete’s face floating in front of his face, excluding all else from his sight.

“So, you guys packing the fudge, or what?” Hovering Pete’s face asked him.

Ass saw what he missed just an hour or so ago when Pete said that. Although it was a terribly crass remark, Pete actually said it with the love that these four shared between them. When Ronnie repeated it, he remembered seeing the same look in his eyes.

They were a team and that is made them good. They were a team because they all felt something for each other. What made them a great team was the fact that they would support each other without judgment.

“I have a shot at true happiness.” He thought again, just as he thought while he was running. “And I have the support of all the people that matter to me.”

“Eddie, are you all right?” Ben’s voice penetrated through to Ass.

“Uh…yeah.” Ass managed. “Whew, guess you can’t just go out and run 20 plus miles and expect not to pay for it.”

Wiping his brow, Ass stumbled forward.

“Think I need to sit down.” Ass said as he fell forward on to the bed across from the one that had been previously occupied by Ben.

“Can I get you anything?” Ben asked.

“Water.” Ass managed without moving from his prone position, face buried in the pillow. “And a towel.”

Ben went back to the front and retrieved three waters from the refrigerator unnoticed by the other three that appear to be fully engaged in a conversation of their own.

Walking back, he closed the divider behind him. Ass had rolled over and it appeared that the color was returning to his face. When he saw Ben, he propped himself up on his elbow.

“Here you go.” Ben said as he handed Ass the water. Then he went to fetch a towel form the bathroom. When he returned, he flipped the towel to Ass and started to sit down on the bed he had occupied prior to Ass’ little episode.

“Sit here.” Ass said as he patted his bed.

Quickly, Ass sat up and made room for Ben. After quickly wiping his forehead, he twisted the lid off of his water and took a long drink. Ben sat down next to Ass, but not too close. The timing of Ass little fit of tremors, left him feeling unconvinced that he friend was ready for this.

“Holy shit.” Ass exclaimed. “That was intense. I thought I was going down. Remember when that happened to me after that triathlon? Had to go get the IVs and shit.”

“Not quite sure this is exactly the same as that.” Ben said somewhat discouraged.

“Of course it isn’t.” Ass replied. “That was merely physical. I am use to physically exhausting myself. I am not use to having life changing conversations.”

Ben was completely taken aback by his honesty. In the eight minutes that had elapsed since he noticed the tremors in Ass’ legs, Ben had been busy convincing himself that Ass was going to devastate him. Tell him that although he loved him, he couldn’t see their relationship going that direction.

“You mean, it wasn’t just from the running?” Ben asked.

“Well, that certainly didn’t help.” Ass continued.

“So?” Ben prodded.

“Well, I was just standing there thinking if I go sit with you our entire world is suddenly different.”

“You’re afraid?” Ben asked.

“Don’t know if it’s fear.” Ass responded. “I just kept thinking that it felt like I was standing on a ledge convinced I was going to jump off, but …”

Ass vigorously wiped the sweat from his brow and rubbed the towel on his head. Setting the towel on the bed, he turned back to Ben.

“Oh, sorry.” He apologized. “Just had to do a quick wiped down.”

“But what?” Ben asked.

“Well, if you really think about it, I’ve already jumped.” Ass stated matter-of-factly. “The minute I told you how I felt.”

“Yeah, but you could change your mind.” Ben managed tentatively.

Ass threw his head back against the bus, exasperated. Sitting that way, looking up and the ceiling of the bus.

“You were completely right.” Ass said. “Think about it. Remember in high school, when I always went after the girls? Same in college, just a wider variety.”

“Yeah.” Ben said jealously. “You talked about it non-stop.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little strange that I haven’t had sex with anyone in over two years?” Ass said. “I mean you DID bring it up.”

“Well, yeah.” Ben agreed timidly.

“Well, that’s one of the main things I thought about when I was running.” Ass explained. “I couldn’t come up with any other answer.”

“Other than what?” Ben asked.

“That I get all I need from you.” Ass said sincerely. “You and I are already in a relationship and I get exactly what I need from it. Hang on a sec.”

Ass stood up and peeled off his sweat soaked shirt. Ben sat staring at Ass, not really believing that the conversation was going this way. He thought he would have to convince Ass. Coax him into feeling as he felt. All it took was one conversation. A spontaneously conversation at that.

Ass retrieved a new t-shirt and pulled it over his head. He had interrupted the conversation for a couple of reasons. First, he really was uncomfortable in the shirt. Second, was to burn off a little of the excess nervous energy he was feeling. Lastly, as the last breath before he dove off the edge. When he was dressed and mentally prepared, he sat down next to Ben and took his hands tenderly. He gazed into his eyes.

“Look in my eyes.” Ass said as he felt a familiar tinge in his groin. “What do you see?”

“I see it.” Ben replied sharing the moment.

“You can do this.” Ass said to himself. “You WANT to do this.

“And so do I.” He said as he leaned forward and kissed Ben fully on the lips.

Ass felt the incredible softness of Ben’s lips as he continued kissing him vigorously. As Ben’s lips parted, Ass slipped his tongue into his mouth. It was met by Ben greedily sucking his tongue. The little twinge in his groin some became a tremendous throbbing. Gently, Ass reached up and began stroking Ben’s long hair. Ben responded with a low moan. This spurred Ass on to be more aggressive in his kissing and in his treatment of Ben’s hair as he began to pull on it firmly.

Completely immersed in moment, both men gained momentum of both kissing and in moans of approval. Ass felt a tingle run down his spine and settle in the area between his ass and his testicles as Ben’s hand reached up his shirt and began to pinch his nipple. Thoroughly enjoying the feeling, Ass opened his eyes for the first time since they had started kissing well over ten minutes ago. He was greeted by the vision of Ben staring back lovingly.

Ass leapt off the bed as if it were well preheated skillet. As he stood, he pushed Ben away.

“OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!” he said involuntarily. “Oh my God...oh my God.”

“What?” Ben asked.

“What, what?” Ass replied.

“What’s wrong?” Ben asked. “It’s pretty obvious that you are enjoying yourself.

Ass followed Ben’s gaze to the very obvious erection in his pants. Although he had stopped the sexual activity, it continued to throb as it rarely had ever done before.


Despite the all encompassing depression, Annie was getting ready for work. She couldn’t afford to miss any more shifts. In the week since Ronnie left, walked out, she had missed two shifts. One more and they would fire her for sure. But there was even more at stake than her job. Her mental health was at risk. Based on what she learned from her two previous experiences, she knew if she didn’t maintain human contact the risk of losing it was increased.

Despite her past, Annie tried to present her life as perfect to the outside observer. Annie wouldn’t have it any other way. She strove for perfection in everything she did. But it was an illusion. Annie was not perfect. She had a terrible secret. But she would never tell anyone that – ever. She couldn’t.

Finally for the first time in her life, she had met someone that she trusted enough to tell her horrible secret to and what happened? He walked out without saying a word. Nothing. Complete silence.

This time it was going to be different. Annie was not going to give in to the depression and anxiety. She was not going to be institutionalized for a third time. She had worked too hard with her therapist. She was the one that convinced Annie that if she was going to have a relationship with someone, she was going to have to be truthful about her past.

Maybe she hadn’t waited long enough to tell Ronnie. But he deserved an explanation to her reaction to the first time they made love. People don’t usually burst into tears immediately upon completion of sex which is what she did when she and Ronnie had finished that night. She felt it was time. It was time to tell the whole truth. She started in reverse order because it was easier to tell it that way.

When Annie was a senior in college, she had a plan. Early in her college career, she met Branton Stokes, IV. Branton was from a very wealthy family. He was just the kind of boy Annie’s mother wanted her to marry. He was perfect. Naturally, they went through the promise, pre-engagement, engagement progression without having sex. The perfection was complete when they scheduled the June wedding and the European honeymoon.

One week before the wedding, Annie just fell apart. She began weeping uncontrollably for hours at a time. After several days of this behavior, her roommate took her to the hospital. They held her for a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation. At the end of that period, the doctors checked her in to a long-term care facility for six months.

Even without the benefit of an explanation of the crisis, Branton waited patiently for the time to elapse. Knowing that he loved Annie, he was sure they could work out whatever issues confronted them. Two weeks before her scheduled release, the doctors told him that they were not going to release Annie for another six months. Since Annie would not include him in her recovery or even allow anyone to tell Branton the extent or cause of her problems, he decided it was time for him to find a new Mrs. Branton Stokes, IV. The decision was made with the full support and counsel of his parents.

Although she did not want to involve Branton, Annie was making excellent progress on the real issue. Her father had been killed during Desert Storm when she was just eleven years old. One of those clean little conflicts where there are very few casualties. No big deal to anyone except the families directly affected. Her father’s death devastated her mother and almost destroyed Annie. She had always been Daddy’s little girl.

Four years later, Annie’s mom met Tony. It was a whirlwind romance and not just for Annie’s Mom. Annie was totally smitten with Tony as well. He was wonderful and he paid special attention to his new stepdaughter. In addition, he was a great provider. He was the owner of a local restaurant chain.

Annie was beautiful at fifteen and by her seventeenth birthday she had blossomed into a gorgeous young woman. Despite this, she didn’t have a boyfriend. The primary reason being, she was completely in love with Tony. Since the first moment she saw him she knew the depth of her feelings. For this reason, Annie began flirting with him constantly with the desired effect. She knew he felt the same way about her just by the way he looked at her.

Just a couple of months before Annie’s eighteenth birthday, Annie’s mother delivered the bad news.

“Annie, honey.” Her Mom started. “Your grandmother is sick. She needs to have an operation. Since she can’t be alone, I am going to go stay with her for a month or so. I have made arrangements at work, but I want to know how you feel about me leaving you here with Tony.”

Annie was shocked. Tony had been living with them for over two years. She had been infatuated with him for almost the entire time and now her mother was telling her that she would get to be alone with him for at least a month.

“A whole month?” Annie replied trying to hide her excitement. “I…I …guess that’d be okay.”

Her mother studied Annie, trying to determine if her daughter was really okay with staying behind or if she was just putting on a brave face.

“You sure it’s okay, honey?” Her Mom pressed. “I could just go up for the operation and come back.”

“No, I don’t mind.” Annie replied as the wicked thoughts raced through her head. “Grammy needs you. You should be there for her.”

“Well, if you’re sure…” Her Mom said tentatively. “I am leaving on Thursday.”

“Yes, I am sure.” Annie responded as she tried to figure out how she would be able to contain her excitement for the next two days.

Her mom left at nine o’clock Thursday morning. Annie had spent the last two days developing a scheme to get Tony to notice her. She had the perfect plan, but it would have to wait until tomorrow night. Right after dinner. That way, she would have the entire weekend with him.

The following night, Annie set her plan in action. She began by cooking Tony’s favorite meal, lasagna. Then she set a marvelous table with her mother’s china and candles. The arrangements for the evening extended to the bedroom. Candles on the nightstand and rose petals on the bed. Annie had also purchased a very nice piece of black lingerie.

When he walked in, Tony was taken completely by surprise. At first, he just thought Annie was being nice. But when Annie poured him a glass of wine, she made such an obvious attempt to make sure that he had an unobstructed view of her cleavage that her intentions became clear.

“So, what’s going on Annie?” Tony asked.

“Just some dinner.” She said coyly.

“C’mon Annie.” Tony said.

“Tony, you know how I feel about you.” She said. “I know you do and you feel the same about me.”

“How I feel about you is that you are my step-daughter.” Tony replied.

Annie was totally stunned. She knew how he felt. For the last five years she had noticed how he looked at her. He flirted with her almost as much as she flirted with him.

“Tony, how can you say that?” Annie replied hurtfully. “I know how you feel about me as a woman. I know you want me.”

“I want you as my step-daughter.” Tony replied in a firm and fatherly tone.

“I can’t believe you are saying this.” Annie cried out, tears streamed down her face. “I had this all planned for us and you are ruining it.

With that, Annie got up from the table and ran to her room. Tension was heavy for the next three and a half weeks between the two. Annie made a few false apologies that ended with her attempts at seduction being rebuffed by Tony.

Things came to a head five days before her mother was scheduled to return. Annie made another attempt at Tony. This time his patience had worn out. He had been fending off her onslaught for too long. Instead of a verbal rebuke, Tony pushed her to the floor. When she stood up, Tony backhanded Annie across the face – hard.

“This is the last time I am going to tell you to leave me the fuck alone.” Tony said harshly. “Do it again and I am telling your mother – got it.”

Then an idea came to Annie. She wasn’t sure how she thought of it. Maybe from one of the crime TV shows. Where ever it came from it was a bad idea, but she decided to do it.

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Copyright (c) 2006 Paul Gavin. All rights reserved.

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