Mayıs 27, 2024

Shooting Matt Ch. 11

ile admin

Asian

Sorry folks. This chapter moves the story along (I hope) but there’s no sex.

I’m leaving it in the “Gay Male” category because that is the category that fits the entire story best.

Thanks to LarryInSeattle.

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For the second time in his life, Matt wakes up lying next to another man. Liam presses hard up against his back and his soft snores flutter wisps of hair that tickle his ear. The light coming through the windows is muted. At first he imagines it’s still nighttime. A faint, tinny patter penetrates his thoughts; it’s rain on the cabin’s metal roof. He raises his head enough to look at the window that faces down the hillside. Ghost trees lurk in the mist. The lake itself has disappeared.

He slips out of bed. The floor is chilly on his feet. He pads his way into the small bathroom and pisses. He rips a small piece of toilet paper from the roll and squeezes the last drop of pee from his dick. He opens the fridge, empty except for the pitcher of water. He grabs the glass Liam left upside down in the dish drainer and pours a glass. His stomach growls and he wonders if there’s still anything to eat in the car. He downs the glass in two large gulps and then squeezes his eyes tightly as the cold water sends an ice pick deep into his head. Through squinted eyes, he refills the glass and returns the pitcher to the refrigerator. The cold air causes his balls to squirm closer to the warmth of his belly.

He scans the room, spots Liam’s jeans and fishes the Civic’s keys from the pocket. He eases the cabin door open, cringing at the squeal of the damp hinges. He’s surprised when he steps outside. He was expecting the mist to be cold, clammy. Instead, it’s almost warm. He stands on a porch that stretches the length of the cabin. There are two Adirondack chairs and a small table made of thin tree branches and twigs. He considers going back inside for his water. It might be nice to sit out here and listen to the rain. He decides not to risk waking Liam with the noisy hinges.

He does the half tiptoe, half limping, half crouching walk of bare feet on gravel and makes his way to the Civic. The rain is as warm as the air. He’s not sure if it’s raining or if drops of condensation are falling from the trees that surround the cabin. He doesn’t need the keys. The car is unlocked. He rummages inside the Civic and comes up with a half-eaten bag of Corn Nuts and a Honey-n-Oats granola bar. He eases the door of the car closed, trying to be quiet as possible and retraces his steps back to the porch. He saves the granola bar for Liam.

He lowers his body into one of the Adirondack chairs. The misty air may feel warm but the chair is cold. His balls shimmy up his leg. He braces himself and leans back. He’s been jumping into cold pools for years but he’s still not used to the initial shock of cold wet on warm skin. He stretches his legs out as he scrounges in the bag for a corn nut. When he bites on it the crunch is shockingly loud in the quiet of the morning. He’s starving but trying to eat the Corn Nuts out here will be like eating them in the middle of a silent prayer. He pops a second one in his mouth, sucking the salt off it, hoping if he holds it in his mouth for a while it will soften enough to eat without sounding like a small firecracker going off in his mouth.

He’s still shifting it from cheek to cheek when Lee appears out of the mist.

“Morning,” he offers as he stops at the step leading up to the cabin’s porch.

Still handicapped by the corn nut in his mouth, Matt contents himself with a nod. He succumbs to the inevitable and bites down on the thing just as Lee starts to speak. He can’t hear him above the crunching sound reverberating inside his skull. He finishes chewing and swallows. Lee smiles at him. Lee is wearing an old tee shirt, running shorts and a pair of well-used running shoes.

“I said,” he repeats still smiling. “You interested in going for a run?”

Going for a run hadn’t crossed Matt’s mind but as soon as he processes Lee’s words, it makes perfect sense.

“Yeah. Why not?” he answers, speaking as much to himself as to Lee.

He pushes himself out of the chair and turns to look at it. “Who the fuck got the idea that these fucking things would be a great idea?”

“You get used to them,” Lee replies, seriously. “They’re better in the grass, you can stretch out and relax.”

“Maybe, brah, maybe,” Matt says, shaking his head. He pushes the door open slowly. The hinges groan and squeal. “Fuck,” Matt hisses and enters the cabin.

“You awake, dude?”

“Not really,” Liam replies, face hidden beneath one arm.

“I’m going for a run. Want to join me?”

“Naw, bro. Go ahead,” Liam whispers, rolling over. He turns and opens one eye. “If you go past a McDonald’s bring me back a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit and a large coffee, black.”

Matt grins and tosses him the granola bar. “Breakfast is served, bitch.”

He rummages through his bag and pulls on a pair of shorts. He doesn’t Betturkey bother with a shirt. He carries his shoes out to the porch. It’s not cold out. He leaves the door open and closes the screen door as quietly as he can. Inside, he hears Liam’s soft snores and smiles. He picks up the bag of Corn Nuts and empties the remainder into his mouth. He begins crunching away.

“How long have you two been together? If you don’t mind me asking.”

Matt sits on the top step and wiggles his foot into a shoe. He can’t answer at first; he’s grinding away at the mouthful of corn nuts. “About twelve hours or so. I’m not sure we are together. That’s sort of why we’re here.” He wiggles the other shoe on.

“There’s a nice trail, starts just past your cabin. It works its way up the ridge, then along it. There are some nice views of the lake. Careful, it’ll be slippery in this mist and watch for tree roots.”

Lee says no more. He simply turns and begins to run along the path that leads up the hillside on the far side of the cabin. Matt follows. As he draws near, Lee picks up the pace. He does this a few times and then settles into a pace Matt is comfortable with. Trees appear out of the mist, only to fade away as they pass by. Out of the corner of his eye, Matt notices the occasional clearing but he’s too busy watching the trail to do much looking. Something large crashes through the underbrush and he pauses for a second to peer into the mist. Nothing.

He’s breathing hard by the time they reach the ridgeline. There are fewer trees but more rocks. He lopes along a yard or two behind Lee. They pick up the pace now that they’re no longer climbing. Matt falls into a rhythm. Running has not been part of his routine for a few years now. He discovers that he misses it. He’s not sure how long, or how far, they run. Lee slows and then stops.

“Breather?” he asks Matt.

Matt nods. It’s clear to him Lee does not need a breather.

“Look,” Lee tells him, pointing toward the west.

They aren’t all that high. The highest point in Pennsylvania, to the south of them, is only 3,200 feet. Still, they’re high enough. The mist flows through a gap in the ridge at the west end of the lake. The lake is hidden, so is the resort. Above the mist, two, roughly parallel ridges run toward the northeast. He and Lee stand on one, the other, a mile or so across the lake is lower and forested. The mist undulates in the valley between them, imitating, in slow motion, the water hidden below. The sun has cleared, but just barely, the mountains to the east. It’s earlier than he’d thought.

“It’s beautiful,” he tells Lee, who nods.

“The trail runs along the ridge. In a half-a-mile it splits. We can go right, that’ll take us down the south side of the ridge to the county highway. We can run along it back to the resort. Or we can go left, cut back down the north side, and hit the lake. We can run most of the way back along the shoreline, but there’s a rock fall a half-a-mile from the resort. It’s a bitch to climb over, especially when it’s wet. What I generally do is swim from there. Your choice.”

“Easy, let’s do the lake, the north side.”

Lee nods and without a word, takes off down the trail.

***

“What do you do with your shoes?” Matt asks, breathing hard. The run down the ridge was harder, in its way, than going up. His knees are already aching. He adds ibuprofen to the shopping list in his head.

“I usually just leave ’em on,” Lee answers, resting his butt against one of the large rocks. “I need to catch my breath a sec.” To Matt’s ears, the man isn’t even breathing hard. “Once we get around these rocks, we can get out and walk along the shore, if we need to. The trail is too rough and broken up to run but it’s walkable.”

Matt walks over and sits down on a small rock, his legs out in front of him.

“Glenna was telling me some crazy sounding story about you and Liam and Liam’s dad,” Lee offers.

Matt nods. “Crazy is about right,” he admits.

Matt says no more.

Lee opens and closes his mouth several times before speaking. “Did you really tell Glenna you tried to seduce Liam’s dad?”

Matt nods. He bends over and pries a few rocks from the mud and begins to casually toss them, one by one, into the lake.

“But, I don’t understand how you ended up here with Liam; not that it’s any of my business,” Lee says.

Matt murmurs, a noncommittal sound that is swallowed by the mist. He tosses the last rock and bends over, searching for more. “Liam looks a lot like his father,” he tells the muddy ground. “Don’t you think so, Leon?”

“Yeah, that he does,” the other man agrees as Matt continues to pluck rocks from the ground.

Matt hears no surprise in his voice. He straightens up and resumes lobbing rocks into the still waters of the lake. “Don’t you want to know how I know your name is Leon?”

Lee, as Matt knows him, shrugs. “No.”

“Randy talked about you,” Matt tells him, ignoring Betturkey Giriş Lee’s answer. “He told me a little about his life.” Matt looks closely at the other man. “He liked you, a lot. He feels terrible about not defending you from Mary Beth.”

“That’s Randy,” Lee agrees. “That’s water that passed under the bridge a long time ago.” He’s quiet, listening to the plop of the stones, watching the ripples collide. “I get that Randy might have talked to you about a guy named Leon he knew in college. But how did you know I was that guy? That I went by Leon in college? I didn’t start going by Lee until after I graduated.”

“Recognized you from the video,” Matt answers easily. For the first time, Lee looks troubled.

“Randy still has that? Let you see it?”

“Yeah, he still has it. And, yeah, he let me see it, reluctantly. Or at least he acted reluctant. I don’t think he minded all that much letting me see how hot he was, not that he isn’t still hot.”

“Jesus,” Lee mutters.

“It turned into kind of a bummer though. He turned the volume up. He told me he usually watches it with the sound off.”

“He still watches it?” Lee interrupts.

“Yeah, a lot I think. He had it copied to a DVD.” Matt pauses as Lee shakes his head. “Anyway, when he heard the stuff his ex was saying and how she sounded, he got totally upset. Like I said, he liked you a lot and felt like he’d betrayed you by not putting bros before hos.”

“I feel bad about what happened to her but I’ve always felt Randy was wrong. It wasn’t the drugs. Mary Beth was always a fucking bitch on wheels. Always.”

“Dude, I won’t argue that one with you. I only met her a few times, totally cold.” Matt’s eyes go cold. “She totally fucks with Liam. Randy’s learned to deal with her. Not Liam. I fuckin’ hate her ass.”

“Me too,” Lee sighs. He looks hard at Matt. “I’m trying to decide if I should hate you, truth be told,” he states flatly, unblinking.

“Me?” Matt squeaks. “Why me?”

“Because I liked Randy a lot, too. So, if you’re fucking with him, playing with him, or his son for that matter, that would cause me serious displeasure.”

To his surprise, Matt’s shoulders slump; he looks less like a college junior and more like a junior high kid, sitting alone at a lunch table.

“Oh, yeah. Bro, I get that. Totally. Sometimes I wonder if I should hate me.” He looks at the older man. “I’d totally been crushin’ on Randy for, like, a year or more. Before that, I was crushin’ on Liam but,” he shakes his head, “I was pissed at Liam, though he’d put me in the dumb jock club.” He stares out at the lake. “Plus, it’s weird but, dude, I never got a gay vibe off Liam, never. Not that Randy is a mincing queen or anything but he was also so careful around us, like he would totally freak if one of us thought he was looking a little too long. You know?”

Lee nods.

“Anyway, I had this idea. I thought it was a pretty nutty plan, like something outta ‘I Love Lucy’ – love that show, bro, fucking genius, better than any shit on today – but my nutty plan worked, sorta. Not that it was easy. It took a lot for me to convince Randy that it was okay, that he wasn’t molesting me or something; that I knew what I was doing and that I wanted to do it. It was worth the effort. Totally,” Matt’s voice trials off and the world is silent.

The mist is breaking up. It’s huddled together near the center of the lake. Where they sit would be in the sun if not for the trees that crowded the shore, leaning over the lake as if searching for car keys that were accidentally dropped into the water.

“So, why are you here?” Lee asks.

“I don’t know, bro,” Matt groans. “I’m totally fucked up, dude. It was Randy’s idea, honest,” He looks at Lee, who nods. “I’m not saying I went into this thinking I was going to fucking marry the guy or anything but I wasn’t just looking to suck his dick either. You know?” Lee nods again. “I really, really fucking dig the guy. I mean the last couple of days were, I can’t even describe it. He was totally completely fucking cool about everything. Then, out of the blue, he tells us he’s rented this cabin and wants us to see if there’s anything between us. And, dude, there totally is,” Matt moans. His confusion is evident in the sound of his voice.

“Liam is so fucking cool, bro. He’s like his old man but different. It sounds fucking cheesy as shit but I’m really falling for the guy, which normally would be like, ultimately awesome, but at the same time makes me feel like a total ass wipe. Worse, I know Liam feels the same. His old man has dealt with a lot of shit and the idea that he’s making a move on his own dad’s boyfriend is doin’ a major fuck job on his head.”

“Sounds to me like it’s Liam you’re interested in,” Lee offers. His voice is soft but his stare is hard as the rock he’s leaning against. “Otherwise, what’s the point in coming here with him?”

“I like Liam a lot,” Matt sighs. He lets his head hang back between Betturkey Güncel Giriş his shoulders. “Fucking video games.”

“What?”

Matt lifts his head and looks at Lee. “Fucking video games,” he repeats. “I was playing video games with Liam, at his house, Randy’s house, before I even knew Liam was gay, or bi, or pan, or whatever the fuck. And it hit me. Dude, I know this will sound lame as fuck, but it hit me, I’d never play video games like this with Randy. Isn’t that fucking stupid?”

“How do you know he doesn’t play video games?”

“The console was in Liam’s room and covered with dust. Besides, I’ve never met a gamer over thirty.”

“Hmm,” Lee mutters. “You could teach him.”

“Sure, but that would make him seem even more like a dad, not a lover.”

“Why? You think there isn’t things lovers, no matter their age, teach each other? Don’t be daft.”

“‘Daft’, cool word. Were you an English major too?”

“Engineering.”

“Bro, what the fuck should I do?”

“Beats me,” Lee says, shrugging. “But whatever you do, it’ll have to be all in or all out. You pick Liam, Randy’s done and vice versa. You can’t have it both ways.” Matt starts to say something and Lee holds up a hand. “I’m not saying you can’t be friends but you can’t decide to stay with Liam and pine away for Randy. That’ll poison everything.”

“What are the odds we’d find you here, bro? I mean fucking get real.”

“I ran into a friend from high school in Beijing once. Weird shit happens,” Lee replies, standing. “This is a popular vacation place for this part of the Midwest. Not all that unlikely.”

Matt shakes his head, unconvinced. “Does Glenna know you’re bi?”

“I’m not bi. I’m gay,” Lee tells him, still standing.

“But – ”

“I’m married to Glenna? Yes, I am. And I love her as much as she loves me. But if you ask me who I prefer to have sex with – men.”

“So why did you marry her, dude?” Matt asks. “I mean, come on, talk about being fair and shit. Was it fair for you to marry Glenna if you’re gay?”

“Why shouldn’t I? People need to quit equating ‘love’ and ‘sex’. True, they often go hand in hand. But one is not a necessary pre-condition for the other, which is pretty self-evident when it comes to sex. I fell in love with her. I married her. I have sex with her because I love her and she appreciates it. I don’t hold my nose; I’m not doing her a favor. When I cum, it’s great. But if you ask me who do I fantasize about having sex with, who do I wish I could have sex with, it’d be with a guy. Randy.” He gives Matt a hard look. “You. Liam.” He lets his words sink in. “But I won’t. If I was married to Randy I wouldn’t have sex with you. I’m married and to me that means monogamy. I don’t have sex with other women or other men. What’s so strange about that?

“Does she know?”

“Of course, she knows. Fuck, kid, what do you think?”

“I don’t know. What the fuck you think I should think? Old man,” he adds. “I’m guessing the number of women who want to marry a dude who tells her he’s gay is on the small side.”

“You might be surprised,” Lee snaps.

“Maybe. Or maybe you’re still hiding, still afraid your parents will find out, or your church or something?”

Lee takes a step closer to Matt, who remains sitting on the rock.

“I’m not hiding from anyone.”

“So, your parents know you’re gay?” Lee looks away. “Uh-huh, that’s what I thought. Any of your neighbors? Dude, she’s your fucking closet. What the fuck? You got nothing that’ll help me,” Matt snarls as he stands. As he walks past Lee toward the lake, Lee spins and throws a wild punch.

Lee’s fist catches Matt on the side of the mouth and check. As he steps back, his foot rolls on one of the loose rocks he was pawing through. He loses his balance and sits down hard. His lower back hits the rock he’d been sitting on. He gives a soft groan and falls over on his left side. He has trouble focusing; the pain in his back is immense. It rolls down his legs and around his sides, a tidal wave of pain makes it hard to breath.

Lee’s face is twisted in rage. Matt brings his arms up to cover his head; certain Lee is about to kick him. He’d imagined the pain in his back couldn’t get any worse. The movement of his arms showed him how foolish he was. Lightning bolts rocketed down his legs, they jerked as the pain faded, his legs tingled and pins and needles danced their way up his legs.

Lee falls to his knees, his face white.

“Oh, Jesus, Matt are you okay. Oh, Jesus. I’m sorry, so sorry.”

“Dude, shut the fuck up,” Matt snarled through clenched teeth. “Don’t fucking touch me,” he snaps as Lee starts to extend a hand. “Leave me the fuck alone and go get help. I don’t think I can walk.”

“Oh, Jesus. Fuck me, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just – just snapped. I’ve never hit anyone in my life,” Lee sobs.

“Lee!” Matt cries. The man just kneels in the mud, shaking his head, mumbling. “Leon! Fuckin’ get a grip!” The use of his old name seems to cut through Lee’s near hysteria. His eyes focus on Matt’s face.

“Just, get a fucking grip,” Matt pants. “Go get help. My back is killing me. I don’t think I can walk or even try. Run back or swim back or fucking fly back, I don’t give a fuck, to the resort and get help.”