Blue Collar White Collar

He was angry when I called him, as I knew he would be.

"Where the FUCK have you been?" his voice demanded.

"Busy," I replied, knowing how lame it sounded.

"You've been busy for six months? I haven't heard from you since last spring. Jesus, I ought to just fucking hang up on you."

"I know, Gary, and I'm sorry. I've been a jerk not to call you all this time."

"You're always sorry, as if that makes any difference." His voice was still truculent, but the fact that he was still on the line meant I was making inroads.

"So, how have you been?" For an English professor, I was sounding trite today.

"What do you think? Out all day, five days a week, hammering and sweating. Real work, unlike some people." Gary had a perverse pride about his lack of formal education. He was smart, though. Smart enough to know how to make me laugh, smart enough to sting with his words.

He had done both after our first encounter several years ago, out in the brushy woods beyond the creek in the north city park.

"For a desk jockey, you sure give good head, man." He had said this just after he had emptied his load down my throat. I had been passionate, turned on more than I had been in a long time by his icy blue eyes in a sunburned, craggy face, his half-open work shirt, and his tight jeans that fit his long legs and narrow hips perfectly. I had just come to the park from my last class of the day, still in my tie and dress slacks, and had gladly knelt before him, heedless of my clothes.

I looked up, half-surprised, half-amused.

"Thanks, I think."

"Usually don't let guys in ties do me," he said, buttoning his 501s.

I took the bait.

"What's wrong with guys in ties?"

"Soft. Scared. Usually married. You're pretty cute for a married guy, though."

I was starting to get irritated by his assumptions.

"I'm not married."

"Not to a woman, maybe." He saw that he had guessed correctly.

"Gonna tell your `other half' about me, bud?"

I tried to parry.

"What about yours?"

"Don't have one. Haven't found a rich guy like you to take care of me. Say hi to your `partner' for me, okay?" He turned and walked away. I rose, in a turmoil of frustration and desire, wanting to shout to him, ask for his phone number, fearing that I would never see him again. But I stayed silent, not wanting to give him the satisfaction. At that moment, he suddenly turned and said, "The name's Gary, by the way."

"Mine's Tom," I quickly replied. I had to say something.

"See you again sometime."

He paused at that, and an unexpectedly impish grin appeared on his face, making him handsomer than ever.

"You never know." Then he was gone. I had gotten so worked up by then that I walked back into the woods to a secluded spot, pulled my cock out and jacked it until I dropped my own load onto the ground.

I had stopped by the park regularly in the afternoons for weeks after that, but never saw him. Then things got really busy and I didn't have time to go cruising for a while. It was probably a year later that I finally saw him again.

I actually wasn't sex-hunting in the park that day, or so I told him later. It was a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon and I was strolling along the creek, watching the sun play on the water, marveling that fish still lived there despite the fact it ran in the middle of an increasingly large city. I was standing on the bank and heard footsteps near me. I turned and there he was. I remember exactly what he was wearing--jeans of course, a hot pink tank top that exposed his muscular, tanned shoulders and arms, Nikes, and a somewhat dirty white baseball cap. His thumbs were hooked into his front pockets--he made this tired pose look enticing.

"Fishing?" he said, grinning.

I was astounded and delighted to see him, but knew better than to let him know it.

"Nope," I answered casually, though my heart was pounding.

"Waiting for you."

"The hell you were," he said.

"Walked right by my truck in the parking lot, didn't even wave or nothing."

"Well, Gary," I pointed out, "I don't know what you drive. You could have said something."

"Decided to follow you instead. Wanted to see how long it would be before you noticed."

"Sneaky. So what now?"

"See those flat stones over there?" he said, pointing to a row placed across the water nearby.

"Little trail on the other side, leads up the hill to a nice shady spot. Come on," he said, starting to cross. He stepped across gracefully and easily, as I scrambled to keep up. One of my feet slid into the water and I cursed. Gary looked around and snorted derisively, but he did slow his pace a bit.

As we climbed up the steep path I was puffing from the exertion, though I wasn't too winded to notice how good Gary's butt looked in his jeans. At last we reached the spot he had been talking about, a small clearing quite a ways up the hill. In the center there was a large tree. When we reached it, Gary turned and faced me.

"The only way up is the way we came. Easy to tell if someone's coming."

I started to get on my knees before him as I had done the first time, but he stopped me by putting his hands underneath my arms.

"Not so fast, bud," he said, and kissed me, hard. His strong arms hugged me as our mouths ground together. I felt the ropes of muscle in his back and shoulders. We broke apart, our breathing loud in the still woods. He unzipped my khaki shorts and put his hand in, rubbing my cock through my briefs, then pulling down the waistband and taking it out. In a moment he had it in his mouth. I leaned back against the bark of the tree, closing my eyes as waves of pleasure pulsed through my body. A moment later I opened them as Gary paused a moment. He raised his hand, took off his cap and resettled it on his head with the bill pointing backwards. He looked up at me and grinned. He then continued his labors, taking me down to the root, quickly bringing me to the edge of cumming. He sensed this and stopped.

"Your turn," he said, rising to his feet.

I was more than willing to oblige, kneeling down and undoing the buttons on his jeans. He was wearing no underwear, and the cock I remembered jutted out. I deliberately teased him and myself by not taking it right away, licking and washing his balls, inhaling the scent of his pubes, letting the organ slide against my face, feeling a bit of precum from the dark head smear my cheek.

"Suck me, man," Gary said urgently, and at last I obeyed, sliding the dick in and deep-throating him with abandon. His hands caressed my hair, then moved downward, pulling the T-shirt I was wearing up and baring my back. They tried to get underneath the waistband of my underwear. Still keeping his cock in my mouth, I reached down and undid the front button of my shorts, loosening them. Gary pushed the clothes off my butt and continued to knead and caress my cheeks, a finger snaking down the crack toward my hole. He bent over so far I had to let go of his dick.

"Up against the tree, bud," he whispered in my ear.

I knew what he wanted and was ready to give it to him. I turned my back and braced myself against the tree, my pants and shorts around my ankles, bending at the waist and arching my back so that he could get at my ass. I felt his hands part my cheeks and a moment later the soft wetness of his tongue on them. It roved to the cleft between the cheeks and moved downward, leaving a wet trail that cooled quickly in the open air and sent shivers through me. Then he reached my asshole, his tongue and lips skillfully probing and teasing the flesh, wetting and softening it as I moaned softly. One of his hands reached around my leg and grasped my cock, which was still hard.

"Fuck me," I said.

Gary stood, and I turned to watch him peel off his tank top and drop it on the ground beside him. Staring into my eyes, he pushed his jeans down past his knees. I took in his hard bare torso, with a fine line of hair running from his navel down to his dark pubic bush, out of which sprang his hungry cock. He raised a hand to his mouth and spit into it, then dropped it to his organ, lubing it with the saliva.

"Take off that T-shirt. I want you naked for this."

I obeyed, aware that my knees were shaking. The knowledge that discovery would be disaster only added to the thrill. I turned away from him and wrapped my arms around the tree, and a wet finger was thrust into my hole. It was withdrawn and I sensed Gary move into position behind me. I felt something contact my hole again, bigger and blunter this time, and before I had time to think, it pushed abruptly and broke through the barrier of flesh. Pain shot through my body. I uttered a short cry and tried to squirm away, when a strong arm encircled my neck, pressing against my throat just enough to make breathing difficult. I let out a muffled protest, and felt his hot breath on my right ear.

"No you don't," he said softly.

"You said you wanted it, now take it, you hear?" More gently he said, "I'm not going to hurt you. Just relax and I'll go slow, OK?" I nodded rapidly and tried to obey. In a moment, the tension in my asshole, and with it the pain, lessened.

"Good, man," Gary said, relaxing his grip around my neck. I felt his hardness begin to move slowly further into me. There was no more hurt, only warm fullness and the indescribable joy of surrendering to another man's invading strength. He penetrated deeper and deeper until I was sure he was halfway up my gut. At last I felt his body press against my butt and back and knew that I had taken all of him into me. It was Gary's turn to sigh with pleasure.

"Man, that's great," he said.

He began to slide his cock in and out. I had to brace myself against the power of his thrusts to avoid being slammed against the tree trunk. He bent and wrapped his arms around my chest as he continued to fuck me. I felt his warm quick breath against my neck, smelled the sweat from his exertions, felt the burning heat of his driving organ in my ass. I closed my eyes and gave myself up to his possession. My own cock had softened somewhat but hardened again as one of his rough hands grasped and began to jack it. In only a few minutes the combined sensations assaulting me sent me past the point of no return.

"Oh God I'm cumming," I gasped out as my organ began to throb in his hand. The first spurt splashed onto the tree trunk, the rest on the ground. Despite the fear of discovery I groaned with pleasure, dimly aware that Gary's breathing had increased in force until it was a series of hoarse grunts. His thrusts deepened to the point of pain and I knew he was emptying his load into my gut. He slammed all the way in and held his cock there, his arms tight around me--I felt the shaft pulsing in my hole and tightened my muscles to give him maximum sensation.

At last Gary let me go with a sigh and let his full weight rest on my back. He kissed the back of my neck.

"Man, you are hot," he said.

I was too satiated and breathless to reply. After a moment he rose and pulled himself out of me. I turned around to see him wiping himself with his tank top. He held it out to me and laughed at what must have been the squeamishness on my face.

"Better clean yourself up, buddy, there's cum running down the backs of your legs. It's this or your own T-shirt."

Faced with that, I obeyed, as Gary pulled his jeans back up. After I was done, I held the tank top gingerly in my hand.

"Just toss it," Gary said.

I shook my head.

"This is a wildlife refuge, we can't litter."

Gary guffawed.

"We just fucked our brains out in the woods and you're worried about littering? Whatever," he said, shaking his head, still chuckling as he started back down the hill toward the creek. I followed him, awkwardly trying to pull my clothes back on as we walked. But I still held the tank top.

When we returned to the creek, instead of crossing back over the stones, Gary sat on a large rock at the edge of the water. He looked at me.

"Come sit. Or do you have to go? Leave that thing for a minute, would you," he said, eyeing the soiled clothing in my hand.

Leaving it on the bank, I found a spot next to him on the rock. My lust was, for the moment, satisfied, but it still gave me a charge to be so close to his lean, shirtless body. The sun sparkled on the water. No one was in sight. After a moment, Gary draped one arm around my shoulder companionably.

"Great day, huh?" he said.

"Yes, it is," I answered.

"How about having some dinner at my place?"

I hesitated. Gary's eyes narrowed.

"Hubby's waiting, is that it?"

"Robert's out of town," I replied truthfully. Going home with Gary would be stepping over some invisible line that so far I had managed to avoid crossing.

"Then what's the matter? I'm not talking about Chinese take-out, man. I really cook."

"No kidding?"

"Sure, I worked in the St. John's University cafeteria as head caterer for years. I can cook for five hundred, no sweat."

"What do you do now, Gary?"

"Build things. Construction. I'm an independent contractor."

"Well, you look the part," I said. A construction worker who cooked--a wet dream come to life, I thought.

Gary smiled and, leaning forward, kissed me lightly.

"Thanks, man." I was becoming more and more intrigued by his rough charm.

"What do you say? It's been months since I cooked for anyone but me."

I shrugged and crossed the line.

"Okay, I'll follow you."

"Great! And," he said, his grin sharpening, "bring my top. I'll throw it in the wash while supper's on the stove."

Dinner that night in his tiny second-floor apartment was delicious. When we were finished eating, he led me to the couch, stripped me and then himself, and took me again. Afterward, he lay with his head on my chest, spent at last. I looked at one strong arm thrown across my body and noticed long white scars on the skin of the forearm. I ran my finger down the length of one.

"What happened to you there?"

"Ex-lover came at me with a kitchen knife," he said sleepily.

I whistled.

"When?"

"Oh, years ago. He was coked up one night and got mad when I came home too late."

"Well, I hope he got what he deserved for doing that to you."

Gary laughed mirthlessly.

"You could say that. I pressed charges against Jack, got him sent up for five years, attempted murder. At the state pen some guys on his cellblock found out he was queer, cornered him in the shower and gangraped him. He hung himself in his cell soon after that."

I was silent with horror and also with embarrassment at the stupidity of my remark.

"Gary, I'm sorry, I had no idea."

He looked at me with those piercing eyes.

"It's tough out in the real world, professor."

We lay there in silence but the comfortable feeling I had had a moment earlier was gone. After a moment I stirred.

"I'd better go."

"I thought you said your lover was out of town," Gary said, letting me up unwillingly.

"Aren't you spending the night?"

"I don't think so," I replied. The reality of the situation was starting to close in on me, like Gary's cramped apartment. I had taken advantage of my partner's absence to fuck around and go home with a man I hardly knew, someone with a violent past.

As if reading my mind, Gary said, "I'm not going to murder you in your sleep, guy. Just because someone took a knife to me once doesn't mean I'm a psycho." He smiled crookedly.

"That's what I get for telling you about Jack."

"I asked, you told me," I said, pulling my clothes on.

"It's not that, Gary. Listen--thanks for dinner, and--" I paused.

"The fuck?" Gary grinned.

"Any time." I looked at him, still lying naked on his side on the couch, the cock that had impaled and conquered me hanging downward, heavy in repose. I drew in my breath.

"Could I--could I call you?"

"Like I said, man--any time. I'm in the book. Drive safe now."

I let myself out the door, got in my car and drove home to my dark and empty house. I removed my clothes, my own hands on my body reminding me at every instant of his hands. Lying on Robert's and my bed in the silent house, I saw his mischievous smile, his body taut with thrusting power. Finally I let my hands draw another climax from my body so that I could sleep.

How long did we last? It's hard to recall now. For months, perhaps a year or more, I showed up at his place whenever I could get away, which wasn't often. I think to this day Robert doesn't know what I was up to--his elegant mind would have had serious trouble imagining such a situation. Driving to Gary's apartment after having carefully crafted a few empty evening hours in my schedule, I would sometimes shake my head myself at the absurdity of it all.

I had always liked to fuck around--a fact that had resulted in some painful quarrels with my partner before we struck an uneasy truce--but this consuming physical hunger for one man amazed and scared me. At the same time, it allowed me to keep the thing between Gary and me safely boxed up in my mind, to tell myself it was all just chemistry.

What I hadn't counted on was Gary. I underestimated him. Because of his wit, his ability to skewer my pretensions, his willingness to laugh at my expense, I made the mistake of supposing he took us lightly too. I still regret that.

He began to complain about how little he saw me.

"I know I can't call you at home, man, but can't you call back when I call your office?"

"It's just a busy time, Gary." This was true--I was up for a promotion and I was really gunning for it. If I got it, I would be the youngest full professor at the university. I tried to explain to Gary what was involved, but he brushed the complexities of the issue aside impatiently.

"What's a `full' professor, anyway... aren't you one already? You're good at what you'll do, you'll get it," he said. As the time drew nearer, I grew more and more nervous. Gary's observations irritated rather than soothed me. He sensed this, of course, and was hurt by it. His ability to see through me didn't help my equilibrium.

"You don't want the money," he said one Saturday when I had finally managed to get away after more than month without seeing him.

"It's an ego thing for you--you just want to be the youngest full whatever. It's just like my job. It is," he insisted as he saw me shake my head.

"Sure, it bugs me that I'm assistant superintendent on the site and the real super is a twenty-four year old kid. You hear me moaning and bitching about it?"

"It's not the same, Gary," I said, a bit wearily.

"That's not the only reason I want the promotion. Let's drop it, it's too complicated."

"I know you think I'm a stupid hick, Tom. Maybe you're right, I don't know much. You don't have to rub it in. Fuck you," Gary said with sudden bitterness.

"Don't come around if all you're going to do is put me down."

"Oh, Christ, Gary, why do you have to blow everything up? Look, maybe today just isn't a good day," I said, getting up from the couch.

"Yeah," he said, "Go back to your lover, you ought to be with him anyway."

"Okay, that does it," I said, walking toward the door.

"I can't deal with this today."

"Drive safe now," he said sarcastically. It was what he always said to me when I left, ever since that first time. Stung into anger, I walked out without a word, and stayed away for six months.

Gary was as proud and stubborn a cuss as I was. During those months, he never called--or at any rate, never left a message. I guess in the end he won, since I was the one who broke down and made contact first.

So here we were.

"Can I come by?" I said into the receiver.

A long pause, then a sigh.

"Why the hell not."

I had called him from my office on a Friday soon after the school year started. On Monday I had a little time after my last class of the day before I was expected home--Robert had a meeting that he had told me would last into the evening.

I parked my car in the lot of his apartment complex and walked up the flight of stairs to his door. The nondescript gray paint on it was peeling, I noticed. I rapped the knocker, feeling the familiar nervousness at the thought of his eyes scrutinizing me. I had on my usual work clothes: a blue oxford shirt crisply pressed gray wool slacks, a necktie. On one of my visits, he had said, "I like seeing you dressed up."

I had been pleased at the unexpected compliment, but, unable to leave well enough alone, had tried to tease him.

"Why's that? Remind you of those married guys who service you?"

"Nope. I like it `cause I know what's underneath when I get those clothes off. Tom the professor turns into Tom the slut." He had laughed then, knowing that he had bested me yet again.

The door opened and Gary was there.

"Hey," I said, trying to sound casual. He did not reply, but turned and walked back into the apartment, leaving the door open. I followed him inside into the cool semidarkness, shutting it behind me.

He turned to face me again and I braced myself, anticipating his temper. Instead, without a word, he caught me suddenly in a fierce embrace. Touched, I hugged him back. Just as abruptly he let me go, but kept hold of my hand and led me into the small living room. He sat on the couch and pulled me toward him, enfolding me in his arms again. We lay there for a few moments. His hard body felt good next to mine. I spoke against his ear.

"Why so affectionate?" I asked.

I heard his snort of disgust, and he grasped my head and lifted it so that I was gazing into his eyes. The steel in them had returned.

"I can't act like I'm glad to see you?"

"Well," I said, "you didn't sound all that glad on the phone."

"Maybe you pissed me off, not calling for six months. Maybe I actually missed you and wondered where the hell you were, did you think about that?" He made another contemptuous noise.

"What the fuck am I saying this shit for. Like you care."

"You're right. I was a jerk." I sat up, wanting to get away from those eyes.

"Big of you to say that, bro."

"Well, Gary, should I just go?"

I looked at him. He stared back, still pugnacious, then, abruptly, his smile broke out. It had been a long time since I had seen it and it took my breath away.

"You ain't getting away that easy, asshole."

He then sat up, grabbed my tie and pulled my face to his. He kissed me, hard as always. I fumbled at his jeans, managing to get them undone as our mouths stayed locked together, and found his hard cock. I held the shaft for a moment, my thumb rubbing the front of the knob in a way I knew he liked, spreading the wetness at the slit over the head. Then I bent and took it into my mouth. Gary let me suck him for a few moments, then said, "let's get naked."

He got up and I followed him to the bedroom. He turned as I entered and shut the door behind me, his eyes glinting in that way I had learned signaled his desire. He undid my tie and whipped it off, then unbuttoned my shirt, slipping a hand inside and pinching one of my nipples. He grinned when I jumped, bent and took the same nipple into his mouth. I could not restrain a grunt of pleasure, running my hand through his wiry locks.

Gary turned me around and pushed me onto his bed, a mattress and box spring thrown on the floor. He kissed me again, his hands pinning mine to the mattress. It was as if the pent-up emotions of the past months were pouring out of his mouth all at once. I freed myself and threw my arms around him, responding to his passion. He finally withdrew for a moment and I stared into his wild eyes.

"I thought we were going to get naked," I said.

He nodded wordlessly, sat up and began taking off his clothes. I did the same. Then he came at me again, kissing my body all over, working downward until he took my cock in his mouth. Propping myself on my elbows, I lifted my head and watched him suck me, hard and with concentration, sliding up and down on my shaft with tightly sealed lips, pulling my balls just hard enough to tighten the skin on my shaft and heighten my pleasure. I felt the cum start to gather in my balls.

"I'm going to shoot if you keep doing that," I told him.

Gary stopped sucking me in response.

"Not yet. This load's for me, bud." He sat up and reached past me to the cinder block he kept by the head of the bed as a nightstand. He pulled the tube of K-Y out and squeezed the lube out onto his hand. Then, to my surprise, he grasped my cock and slickened it. As I started to protest, not wanting him to jack me off, he again stopped. This time he reached behind him with the same hand. My eyes widened and Gary smiled. He saw that I had figured out what he was up to.

He straddled my body, his knees on either side of me, took hold of my cock again and positioned it between his cheeks. I felt it pushing against his hole and then, all of a sudden, the heat of his innards as the head slid in. At the same time, Gary said "Shit!" and a grimace of pain crossed his face. I took hold of him with my hands to stop him from descending further. Gary looked at me, twinkling despite the hurt.

"Don't worry man, I'll be okay. It's just been a while, that's all." In a moment, he began to push down with his body until his butt was pressed firmly against me. Gary's eyes were closed, his mouth open, his face upturned with pleasure.

"God, that's great," he whispered, as he began to slide up and down on my cock.

I was giddy myself at the sensations he was drawing from me, squeezing with his ass muscles as he continued his motions. That's a picture of Gary that will stay forever in my mind--my tough working man, who had never let me top him before, on his knees riding my cock, jacking himself off in rhythm with his downward thrusts against my pubes. His blue eyes had lost their glitter and were veiled with pleasure, his mouth hung half open, his breathing was quick and shallow. I reached up and began to tease and squeeze his nipples and he closed his eyes again.

"Yes Tom," I heard him breathe.

I began to feel another climax approaching. Gary had an uncanny way of sensing this and slowed his movements.

"Oh no," I protested and he grinned in his usual mischievous way.

"Not yet, bud," he said, and lifted himself completely off of me.

"Hey, where are you going?" I asked.

He turned onto his back onto the bed at my side.

"Come and get it man, I want you on top."

I needed no further urging as I knelt between his legs, grasping his ankles and spreading them apart, quickly pushing into his stretched hole. No longer interested in prolonging our coupling, I began to drive into him fiercely. Gary's eyes shone again as he took the force of my assault, his hand pulling on his own cock.

"That's right, fuck the shit out of me man, fuck me, fuck me...."

His whispered words drove me to frenzy.

"Take it, Gary. Take my cum up your fucking hot hole. Take it... Oh god... HERE IT COMES," I shouted, as I felt myself go past the point of no return, the cum rush up from my balls, through my dick and deep into his gut. No more words came from me, only hoarse cries as I dumped what felt like gallons of sperm into his ass. After a few seconds, I opened my eyes and saw the last few spurts from Gary's dick landing on his stomach.

I bent downward and kissed him. Our tongues tangled together sensuously, still passionate but tired as well. I licked some of the cum off him, then let myself slip out as I stretched out full length on his body. We lay in each other's arms as our breathing slowed.

I finally raised my head and looked at him.

"Why'd you do that?" I asked.

"Do what?"

"Let me top you. You never let me do that before."

He shrugged.

"Changed my mind. Wanted to know what it felt like with you."

"So what did it feel like?"

He glared at me in mock annoyance.

"You have to ask? Let me up, I have to go get dinner started." He wriggled out from under me and started to head for the bathroom.

I sighed inwardly.

"Gary, I don't think--"

He turned and I expected his wrath to descend. Instead, he simply said, "Please Tom, stay and eat, would you?"

This was so unlike him that I could think of nothing to say except, "Okay."

Dinner was tasty as usual, but I wondered all the while what was going on. I watched Gary as he ate a slice of the apple pie he had baked for dessert, cutting a bite with his fork and putting it in his mouth. He finally looked up and said, "Never seen a guy eat before?"

"What's going on?" I said flatly.

He finished chewing his bite, swallowed it, put down his fork and looked at me.

"Tom, I'm really glad you called. Thought I might not get to see you before--"

"Before what?"

"Before I left town," he said.

I tried to comprehend what he had just said.

"You're--leaving?"

"Yep. Got a job offer from a cousin I have in Tallahassee to come manage some apartments he owns for him. It's steady, the pay's better than what I get now, and I get to live rent free in one of the units on site."

"When?"

"Lease is up at the end of the month, so in three days I have to pack up my stuff, load it in the pickup and off I go. This is a furnished unit so none of that is mine anyway."

I struggled with the hollow feeling that was spreading inside me, and the lump that was forming in my throat.

"I don't believe this."

Gary shrugged.

"Tom, it's not like I'm your partner or anything."

It was true, but.... How could I say what I felt to Gary when I could barely understand it myself? Somehow during the time I'd known him he'd become more than just a hot number. Now, I was losing him.

Some of this seemed to be going through Gary's mind as well. He shifted uncomfortably in the shabby kitchen chair, turning to one side.

"You know, I used to go crazy when weeks went by and you wouldn't call back. I'd tell myself, why are you letting him get to you, he's just a jerk who's crazy for your cock...."

I found my voice.

"Gary, it was more than that."

"Well," he replied, "me too. I cared for you. Guess we both let things get a little out of hand."

"I treated you like shit."

Gary smiled in his crooked way.

"What else could you do? I'm just a trick, man. I knew that. It's okay."

He had seen through me again, as he always had. I got up and went around the table. Kneeling in front of him, I laid my head in his lap and put my arms around him. I thought I would cry, but the tears wouldn't come. The anguish remained tight and hard, locked inside my chest. Gary stroked my hair.

After a while, he said, "Better go, it's late." I nodded and stood up.

"Do you have an address where you're going?" I asked.

"Sure. Come and visit if you're ever in the neighborhood." Gary got up and picked up a pen from somewhere.

"Got something I can write on?"

I took a business card out of my wallet. Gary put it on the kitchen table and printed neat characters on it. I had never seen his handwriting before.

"The number is my cousin's. He'll be able to tell you mine when I get a phone."

I took the card and put it back, and gave him another copy. I knew I probably never would write or call, and Gary knew it too. Still, it was better than just saying good-bye.

He walked me to the door. I turned and put my arms around him one last time. He hugged me back and kissed me lightly.

"Drive safe now, guy," he said.

"You too," I answered, then quickly let myself out.

It's been over a year since that last evening. How can I explain what Gary was in my life? He was not my lover, but he was more than just another trick. I miss him, I know that. I miss his blue eyes, his crooked grin, the urgent touch of his rough hands. He surprised me one last time, sending a postcard to my school mailbox a month after he left.

"Got here in one piece," it said.

"Come and visit." Gary, you never know. I just might do that.

written by ivrys88

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