Chapter 40

a home run ... just like the story itself :-)

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Summer Boys, Summer Dreams: Chapter 40

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SUMMARY: Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others. Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.

WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.

NOTICE: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams, clubs, or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.

NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so.

SUMMER BOYS, SUMMER DREAMS

Part IV – Winter

Chapter 40

I finally got to Warriors Stadium around 11:15 a.m. It wasn’t really that late, but it was late enough for Doc Howard. He was waiting for me when I finally suited up and made it out to the field.

“So nice of you to join us this morning, Ethan,” he said, sarcasm dripping from his voice. “I realize young men like you have active social lives. I’m so glad you could find the time to fit us into your busy schedule. Were you up late last night entertaining some pretty young lady? Did the two of you have a good time? Would it be asking too much for you to get that ass of yours out to the field and do a little warming up with the rest of your teammates?”

There was a part of me that wanted to tell him I had been up late entertaining a cute young dude, not some pretty young lady; and that, no, I didn’t have nearly as good a time as I wanted. But I knew better than to say something like that. Doc was from the old school, kind of like Grady but without the charm. Peons like me were expected to stand there silently and take whatever he dished out so that’s what I did.

I guess it helped him blow off some of the steam that would have caused a heart attack if it couldn’t be redirected productively to all the idiots like me he was expected to manage. When he had finally vented his wrath, I hustled out to the field and warmed up.

I played listlessly that day and we lost, falling two games behind in the race to win the Eastern Division. I didn’t make any errors, but there were one or two balls I would have reached ordinarily that got by me. If it had been any of his previous shortstops, Doc would have cut them a break. They weren’t exactly the easiest balls to get to; but by now he knew what I was capable of and he wasn’t about to give me a break.

My reward was another tongue lashing, this one directly in front of my teammates; and his mood wasn’t improved when I finally got a walk in the seventh inning and then promptly got tossed out trying to steal second base. It was his fault as much as mine for sending me, but arguing with Doc was like arguing with an umpire. There was no way you could win; and the truth is I didn’t blame him. No one likes being criticized, but I hadn’t played well and never liked it when I knew I could have done better.

Part of it was being tired, I suppose, but I think the bigger part of it was being depressed about what had happened the previous evening. I had tried to put the whole thing out of my mind during the game, but it was there eating away at me somewhere below the surface. Now that the game was over and I was preparing to leave, I knew there would be a long night of recriminations ahead; about the game, about the previous evening, about what a fuck-up I was.

As I headed for the nearest exit, Doc caught up with me and tossed one final brickbat my way.

“I hope you plan on rejoining us tomorrow, Ethan. I’ve known some guys who could mail in their games when tired. You’re not one of them, son. Try to get some rest; if not for me, for your teammates. They’re counting on you.”

It was the shortest and least caustic of his tirades that day, but it cut the deepest. In the end, you play for your teammates; and even though I was still getting to know these guys, I liked them. They weren’t a collection of paid gunslingers like the guys up in New York. Mostly drawn from within the Warriors own farm system, they were pretty modest. But they were working hard to bring a championship to Washington and I wanted to be part of that.

It’s not much fun when you know you could have done better and had let the team down. To try to make up for that, I spent more time than usual signing autographs that day. I stayed until no one else was waiting for one. The last kid I signed a ball for said thanks and volunteered one final observation.

“Don’t be discouraged, Ethan. Tomorrow is another day and I know you’re going to win. It’s going to happen. You’ll see. You’re going to win the World Series this year.”

“We will,” I said, trying to reassure myself as much as the kid.

I mean, the truth is he didn’t need any reassurance. He believed in us, even loved us; most of all he was rooting for us and I didn’t want to disappoint him or the rest of the boys who put their faith in the Warriors every day. More to the point, I didn’t want to disappoint my teammates or myself.

Eventually I made my way to the car and drove back to my place. I pulled something light together for dinner and watched the sports segment on one of the local television stations. It was one of those times you’re glad not to make the news. By 7 p.m. I was pretty much finished with everything that needed to get done that day.

Sitting down in a chair, I tried to think through what had happened since the previous evening. As far as the game went, I realized quickly enough I needed to put it behind me. There was no sense dwelling on our loss. It was over and done and nothing was going to change that. But tomorrow was another matter. I promised myself I would do better.

That’s the great thing about baseball. Every day the world begins anew, at least that’s what Grady used to tell me and I took comfort in that.

Going over the events of the previous evening didn’t take very long either. I had screwed up; badly. The question was what to do about it. At first, I thought maybe I should go back to Buzz to see whether I could persuade Riley to give me another chance. Assuming he was there, of course; there was no guarantee he would be.

Later I changed my mind.

You need to let this go, Ethan. You can’t pretend it didn’t happen or make it go away. It’s over and done and there’re probably some lessons to be learned. But going back to Buzz and asking for another chance? He would see that for what it was, kind of sad and pathetic.

He has to want it as much as you do and why would he after last night?

By now it was almost 7:45 p.m. and I decided to go for a walk. I headed south toward the Mall. Some people were still playing ball when I arrived. They were having fun, not because they were playing a game so much but because, unlike me, they were with friends. As I stood there watching I remember seeing that kid’s face again and hearing what he had told me.

Don’t be discouraged, Ethan. Tomorrow is another day and I know you’re going to win. It’s going to happen. You’ll see.

By the time I got back to my place I had decided I wasn’t going to stay home and lick my wounds. I thought about going to another club for a moment, but that would mean starting all over again. Thanks to Riley, I knew my way around Buzz and what to expect. It made sense to go back to the place as long as I was being honest with myself and understood it wasn’t about tracking Riley down and trying to persuade him to give me a second chance.

Maybe he would be there; maybe not. If he was, I would be polite and say hello. But I wasn’t going to stalk the guy, plead with him, or beg him to come home with me. I would mingle with others and see if something developed. If so, fine; if not, there would be another evening. Like Riley said, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Whatever happened, I wasn’t going to stay very long; no later than 11 o’clock at the latest. That way I could be home and in bed in plenty of time to get the sleep I needed. There wasn’t going to be any repeat of today’s performance.

I spent more time than usual scanning my wardrobe. It was never going to be trendy at Buzz, but it would have to do. If other people didn’t like my clothing, thought it wasn’t hip enough or whatever, so be it. It was their problem, not mine. On the other hand, I wasn’t going to wear just anything. I wanted to look reasonably sharp, at least by my definition of sharp.

I was looking for a pair of pants that would accentuate my butt. Just thinking about that embarrassed me a little, but I knew what I wanted. It probably wouldn’t happen tonight and that was okay. But I wanted other guys to know I had a hot butt; or at least one available to the right dude. Eventually I found what I was looking for, an older pair of jeans that were especially tight because of the muscle I had put on over the years.

The neighborhood around Buzz was crowded when I finally arrived. Lots of people were having dinner at the local restaurants and I had to circle around several times before finding a parking place. Once I did, I quickly entered and began walking around, avoiding the area where I had met Riley and his friends the previous evening.

I wouldn’t be able to avoid it entirely, but I didn’t want Riley to think I was stalking him if he was there. Soon enough I realized he wasn’t.

It was pretty early and the place wasn’t crowded yet; getting around proved easy. As I wandered from one floor to another I talked to a couple of people, if only briefly, including the waiter who had shown interest in me the previous evening. Sadly, he was going to be working until the bitter finish again. But he gave me his telephone number and told me to call.

You need to do that, Ethan; he’s a good looking dude and seems nice enough. Give him a chance.

And yet even as I told myself that, I knew I wouldn’t. I’m not sure what, but something was missing.

I continued wandering around the place aimlessly, smiling when someone seemed to be showing some interest. Around 10 p.m. I ran into Gina and Marie in another part of the club. They were friendly enough and I stopped to chat with them. At some point Marie wandered off to refresh her drink and I decided to take advantage of that to see whether Riley had said anything about me to Gina.

"So, um, Riley mentioned something about spending the afternoon at your place. He must have been pretty tired. I know he didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Was he upset about that? Did he tell you what a lousy host I was?”

“No,” she responded, laconically.

“Did the two of you have a good time?” she asked, turning the tables on me.

“Um, well, I’m probably not the best judge of that,” I replied. “What did Riley say?"

“Riley’s never been into kiss and tell,” Gina responded. “He didn’t say very much except you were a little different than most of the guys he meets at Buzz.”

“Uh-oh; that doesn’t sound like much of a compliment, does it?” I said, trying to draw her out.

“Actually, I think it was,” Gina replied. “So what did you think of Riley?”

By now it was apparent she was better at this than me.

“I liked him. He’s a terrific looking guy and fun to be around and gave me a tour of Buzz. It’s just that, um . . .”

Not knowing exactly what I wanted to say, I allowed my voice to drift off. But Gina wasn’t about to let me off the hook that easily.

“It’s just what?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I responded. “A couple of times he said things that were, um, well; I don’t know exactly.”

“Confusing? Insulting? Over the top?” she volunteered.

“Kind of,” I replied.

“I’m not surprised,” she said. “Two masculine dudes; I figured that was bound to happen at some point. The thing you have to understand is that Riley is the resident alpha male here at Buzz. That should explain everything.”

In fact, it just left me more confused.

“Um, well, it doesn’t; not really. What do you mean, the alpha male?” I asked, curious.

Hearing that, Gina arched an eyebrow, took a long look at me, and just shook her head.

“Oh my god; he was right. You are different, aren’t you?”

“Not really,” I said. “I just don’t know what an alpha male is. I’ve never heard that expression before.”

“The alpha male is the leader of the pack,” she replied; “in this case, the dude all the guys and girls want to go home with because he’s so hot, sexy and masculine. Everyone thinks being the alpha male must be the greatest thing in the world and I suppose it is in some ways. But it isn’t all fun and games. There’s always some other dude who wants to be the alpha male spoiling to take you down.”

“That’s just another way of saying that sometimes Riley feels threatened by guys like you. I mean, it’s strange actually. On the one hand, he’s only attracted to guys like you who are masculine and cute and rate high on the hotness meter, as he would put it. And yet as much as he’s attracted to guys who are masculine, he sees them as the competition. You know? Like who’s going to be the top dog tonight?”

“I guess it’s a dude thing, but Riley feels compelled to win that kind of competition and always does. Though sometimes I wonder whether he finds winning all the time satisfying.”

“Most guys prefer winning to losing,” I replied, still confused. “That doesn’t make him all that different.”

“If you think sex is about winning and losing, I suppose not,” Gina said; “and a lot of guys here at Buzz do look at it that way. It’s kind of sad, actually, because Riley’s a really nice guy if you dig deep enough.”

“Um, well, I’m not sure I really understand,” I said. “I don’t think sex is about winning and losing. I was just hoping to make a friend last night.”

“Maybe you did,” she said.

“I doubt it,” I replied. “I did just about everything wrong.”

“Funny; I didn’t get that impression from Riley, but I could be mistaken I suppose.”

By that time Marie had returned with her drink and I decided not to pursue it further right then; and yet the whole thing made me wonder. All my life I had been playing a game that involved winning and losing; and while I was as competitive as the next guy and didn’t like losing, at some point you begin to understand most baseball teams end up losing almost as much as they win; sometimes more, like the Heat.

You play to win, of course; that never changes. But you also play because you want to get better and help your teammates get better and just because you enjoy playing the game. You try to give 100 percent every time you take the field, but you know that’s never going to be possible given injuries and all the rest of it. You also know the guys on the other team are trying just as hard and are pretty good themselves.

You’re going to lose some games, a lot of games actually; that’s just the way baseball is. You have to take the bitter with the sweet. In fact, without the bitter, how would you ever really be able to appreciate the sweet? The important thing was trying to become better every day, a better hitter, a better fielder, a better teammate; and as you got older and began to appreciate the game even more, a better role model for all the young boys who loved playing it as much as you did.

Sex as a competitive sport just didn’t seem to make any sense; and yet there was something about what Gina had said that seemed to explain Riley’s behavior the previous evening. Our conversation had been mostly relaxed. But looking back on it now, I guess Riley had decided at some point he needed to assert his dominance and he had done a pretty good job of it with his choice of words.

The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I became.

By now Gina and Marie had tired of the scenery where we were standing and invited me to come along as they wandered from one spot to another. Eventually they ended up where I had met them and Riley the previous evening. Riley wasn’t there so I was comfortable staying and chatting with them. Later, when Marie went to the bathroom and I was alone with Gina again, I decided to continue our previous conversation.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said and I just don’t get the whole alpha male thing. I mean, it seems like you can’t win for losing if you approach sex that way. If you win, which I assume means getting your way in bed, it seems like you’re only going to lose because who’s going to want to be friends with someone who thinks sex is a game designed to reward selfishness? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

“You have to understand the club scene is different, Ethan,” she replied. “Some people become addicted to it and it ends up warping the way they think. I hope that won’t happen to you because you’re right. The whole thing is stupid.”

Gina and I were on the same wavelength and for some reason that made me feel comfortable confiding in her.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It’s just so frustrating. Where are you going to meet people except at places like Buzz? And yet it’s almost like people don’t want to make new friends. Going home with someone should be about more than just having sex, shouldn’t it, Gina? I mean, that’s not the only reason you live with Marie, is it?”

“No; it isn’t,” she responded. “But spend too much time in a place like this and you can get jaded pretty easily.”

I was about to respond when a pair of arms wrapped themselves around my chest and pull me tightly against his groin. Looking around, I saw it was Riley and he was smiling at me. I hadn’t seen him approaching from behind and that was probably for the best. I would have been nervous if I had and probably tried to escape.

It was only later I learned Marie had given him a call to let him know I was at Buzz. She was a matchmaker and had already decided I was perfect for Riley.

“Well look who’s here?” he said, grinning. “I thought you would be home catching up on your sleep after a long day working.”

“I’ve been here a little while,” I responded, “but I’m not planning to stay very long. I just wanted to check out this place to see what it’s like on a Saturday evening, but I’m going to leave at 11 o’clock.”

“You’re not going to see very much then,” he replied. “If you really want to see what this place is like, you should have come three or four hours from now. That’s when Buzz really gets rolling.”

“Too late for me,” I said, shrugging my shoulders. “I’ll have to settle for what I can see in the next fifteen minutes; or from talking with the girls. I can’t speak for them, but I’ve enjoyed having a chance to get to know them better.”

“What have you been talking about?” Riley asked, looking at me.

“I don’t know; you, me, last night, whatever,” I responded.

“Oh, yeah; and just what have you been telling this boy, Gina?” he said looking over at her.

“The truth,” she replied.

“Oh, Jesus, I’m in big trouble now, aren’t I?” he responded, grinning and winking at Marie.

“Not really,” I interjected. “Gina was saying nice things about you.”

“Oh, God, my reputation is ruined for sure then,” he said.

“Maybe that would be good for you Riley,” Gina responded. “In any event, Marie and I are going to dance for a while. We’ll catch up with you later.”

“Nice to see you again, Ethan,” she added.

As always, Marie said nothing, just smiled at me demurely as she and Gina wandered off.

Being left alone with Riley was awkward. But with only fifteen minutes to go before my self-imposed deadline, I figured some small talk would help pass the time quickly enough.

“So,” I said looking over at him; “how was your day?”

“It was boring. I slept most of the afternoon at Gina’s. How was your game? Did you play well? Did you guys win? ”

“We didn’t,” I responded. “We lost 3 to 0. I was tired and not on top of my game. That’s why I’m leaving in a couple of minutes. I don’t want a repeat of today.”

“I’m not the biggest baseball fan in the world,” he said, “but I imagine it’s like everything else in life; some days you’re hot, some days not.”

“Yeah, I guess,” I replied. “Kind of like last night, I suppose. I definitely wasn’t hot, was I? I guess I was nervous, tired, whatever. I’m going to try to do better by the next guy I invite back to my place.”

I was trying to signal he didn’t need to worry; that I wasn’t going to bug him again about coming back to my place.

“You apologize just about more than anyone I know,” he responded, “and for less reason. You make it sound like last night was torture. Did you have a good time?”

“I did,” I responded. “It was fine, especially just falling asleep like that with you holding me. I liked that a lot.”

“Well there you go,” he responded. “You had a good time. I had a good time. What’s to worry about?”

“I suppose,” I responded, “but it could have been better for both of us.”

“That’s true enough,” he said. “It could have; that’s what happens when you rush something that should never be rushed. When you rush, everything ends up being focused on getting to the release. Don’t get me wrong; the release is great. I enjoy it. But I enjoy it even more if I take my time getting there; let it build slowly, gradually, until the need for release is totally overpowering and, then, boom!”

“That’s when sex is the greatest; at least I think so.”

“Can I ask you something” I said, my mind focused elsewhere.

“Sure.”

“Last night you introduced me to Gina as Bob? What was that all about?”

“Oh, jeez, that’s kind of a private joke, Ethan,” he replied; “and a tasteless one at that. Like I told you this morning, there are times when Buzz brings out the worst in me. Last night was one of those times.”

“Okay,” I responded. “I understand, but what’s the joke? I won’t be offended.”

“You probably will be and I wouldn’t blame you,” he said. “Why don’t we just leave it at that?”

“Why don’t you just tell me the joke,” I pushed back. “I realize I’m not the hippest dude in the world. Maybe you can educate a newbie like me.”

He looked away and didn’t say anything for a moment. He was uncomfortable and I was glad about that. Realizing I wasn’t going to back off, he finally responded.

“I mean, sometimes when I meet someone I’ve decided to go home with, I introduce him to Gina as Bob. That’s just my shorthand way of telling her I’ve met my bend over boy for the evening. Like I said, it’s crude and tasteless, but kind of a cheap thrill.”

He was right. I was offended. The whole alpha male thing was still nagging at me.

“It isn’t that big a deal,” I continued. “It’s kind of funny, I guess, but there was other stuff too. I mean, you talked about stripping my masculinity away; about not really having much of a preference between boys and girls so I guess you must be bisexual. I’m curious what guys like you think about guys like me who are gay? I mean, be honest; do you think I’m less masculine than you somehow?”

“That’s a big topic, Ethan, masculinity, I mean,” he responded; “and a pretty complicated one as well. I don’t think it’s something I could explain very well before you leave. If I said something that made you think that’s what I believe, maybe I should be the one apologizing. I didn’t mean it to come across that way; or maybe I did at the time if I’m being totally honest. In any event, I’m sorry about that.”

Up until now I had been trying to be polite, but there was a part of me that was angry as well.

“How could I not take it that way?” I responded. “I mean, you talked about helping me get in touch with my feminine side, about stripping my masculinity away. What was I supposed to think?”

“Well, again, I apologize, Ethan,” he said. “I mean, the truth is Buzz is filled with masculine dudes. Some of them wear their masculinity like a uniform and then some of them are just quietly masculine. When I met you last night that’s how I pegged you, as one of those quietly masculine dudes.”

“They’re the ones I worry about the most because I’m attracted to them so they pose the biggest challenge for me,” he added. “I suppose that’s why I was so nasty last night. You scared me in some ways.”

“Why?” I asked, incredulous.

“Because I end up turning everything into a competition only one of us can win,” he said; “and since I have to win all the time, I end up losing.”

“I’m not sure I understand that,” I replied. “I’m confused.”

“Join the club,” he responded.

“The point is you’re a very masculine dude, Ethan, but what does it really matter what I think after all? The only opinion that counts is yours. Do you think I’m more masculine than you?”

“Um, well, I dunno,” I replied. “Not really, but I suppose some people would.”

“Why do you think that?” he asked.

“I guess because some people would say tops are more masculine than bottoms.”

“You’re right,” he said. “Some people would say that; and I’m one of them, I suppose, at least until I win the competition. Once I have, I can be more relaxed about the whole thing because I think everyone has a masculine and feminine side.”

“Some people like me choose to hide one side or the other; others don’t. It’s hard to say which one of us is better off for that. I think you’re more genuine than me and I admire that. But, like I said, it’s a big topic; too big for tonight, that’s for sure.”

He was trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t sure what. It was confusing; and yet whatever he was trying to tell me, it didn’t seem like he was trying to put me down anymore. He was trying to be honest with me.

“Maybe I’ll understand if we get to know one another better,” I responded. “I’m pretty new to Washington and don’t really have any friends here. Whatever happened last night, I’d like to make some friends and I’m hoping Gina, Marie and you will be among them. It’s nice to have someone to talk to at a place like this. Maybe the three of you can help me navigate Washington’s social scene.”

“Sure,” he responded. “We can help. It depends what you’re looking for. If you’re just looking for some fun, some sexual companionship, Buzz will be a great place for you. You’ll do really well here; if you’re looking for something more, not so much.”

“Is that why you like this place, Riley,” I asked; “because it’s just about sex and having fun?”

“Pretty much,” he said. “I mean, there are some people who come here who are into relationships. Gina and Marie are an example. Me? I’ve never been into commitment and stuff like that. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the people I go home with. I do. But I try to be upfront with them about not falling in love with me or stuff like that.”

I guess it didn’t shock me. He was popular with everyone and I could understand why. I mean, he was sexual energy personified, not so much now just standing there talking to me casually like we were doing. It was something he could turn on and off whenever he wanted and I had recognized it immediately when I saw him dancing the previous evening and he was turning it on for his audience. It was probably why I was so attracted to him in the first place.

He could be deceptive that way, seemingly sweet and innocent one moment and then, when he decided the moment was right, turning it on and drawing you in like a moth attracted to a flame. I had never met anyone who radiated so much sexual energy when he wanted; and yet I remember thinking it was a shame that someone like him didn’t seem interested in love and commitment and all the rest of it.

And, yeah, if I was being totally honest about it, there was still a part of me hoping I could change that.

He just needs to find the right dude, Ethan. You could be the one he’s looking for.

“Sure,” I replied. “I understand. I wasn’t asking for a commitment when I invited you back to my place last evening; just a chance for the two of us to get to know one another better.”

“And to have some fun in the process, right?” he said. “Isn’t that what sex should be all about?”

“I don’t know,” I responded, confused again. “Maybe; maybe I was fooling myself last night, trying to portray it as an effort to get to know you better when all I was really interested in was looking for someone to fuck me. I guess I should be embarrassed telling you that, but then again it seemed like you knew that from the moment we met. I don’t know how, but you did. Was it that obvious?”

“Not at all,” he replied. “You’re a masculine guy, Ethan. You held your cards a lot closer to the chest than most of the dudes at Buzz do; and for longer as well. To be honest, I thought it was mostly an act and you wanted to fuck me. A lot of dudes would like to.”

“I didn’t know how you would react when I rubbed your butt and asked whether you had a tight hole. But I was interested in finding out because by then I knew I definitely wanted to fuck you. To me it was worth getting in your face to find out what you wanted. If you hadn’t been interested, I would have found some other dude who was.”

He was being honest and I liked that and I remember being shocked by what I said next.

“How about tonight, then, Riley,” I said. “I still want to be fucked. My hole is as tight as it’s ever going to be. Are you interested in fucking it tonight? Because you can if you want.”

Later I would be embarrassed I had said that, but at the time I think it shocked him a lot more than me. He didn’t respond immediately. He just stood there looking at me as if he couldn’t believe I had just said something like that.

“Um, well, jeez, I don’t know about that, Ethan,” he finally volunteered.

He was trying to grin, but it was even more obvious now he was taken aback by what I had said.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, tossing his words back in his face.

“Do I scare you because I want to be fucked?”

“Um, well, I dunno,” he replied. “But, you know, two nights in a row; for most people at Buzz that would amount to a long term commitment. Gina and Marie would be planning our wedding if I did something like that.”

By now I realized I had him on the defensive and decided to keep him there.

“Oh, hell, planning our wedding shouldn’t take those girls very long,” I responded. “I’m sure they already have the tuxedo picked out for you so it would only be a matter of picking out the wedding dress for me. Do you think I should hold out for white or settle for off white, Riley? I mean, I already sucked your cock this morning after all.”

He just stood there staring at me for a couple of moments. He hadn’t expected me to say something like that. Neither had I, but I was enjoying being the aggressor for once.

“You’re a quick learner, Ethan,” he finally said. “I’ll give you that. For just your second night at Buzz, you’re definitely a very quick learner. Are you a quick learner in bed too?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “It might be fun to find out, don’t you think?”

“Maybe; but didn’t you say you have another game tomorrow?”

“I do,” I responded; “two to be precise. It’s a day/night doubleheader. I have to be at the stadium at 11 o’clock tomorrow morning.”

“And it’s a little after 11 p.m. now,” he responded, lifting my wrist and looking at my watch. “Do you think we have enough time?”

“We have all the time in the world, Riley,”

He took another long look at me and shrugged his shoulders.

“Don’t take it personally, Ethan. I’m not trying to put you down. But like I mentioned, everything was kind of rushed last night. It seemed like you had some kind of checklist we had to get through before going to sleep.”

“It’s never good when it’s rushed like that,” he continued. “You know what I mean?”

“I realize that now,” I said, “and I can do better. Like I said, we have lots of time; as much as you need.”

At some point everything had changed. At first it had been about letting him know I was mad for what he had said the previous evening, but now it was out on the table and I realized it wasn’t really about that after all. It was about getting a second chance; that’s why I had come back to Buzz, because I liked Riley so much and wanted a second chance. I wondered how he would respond.

“And the other thing is, like I said before, I want to be sure you understand it’s just about sex. You understand we’re just talking about sex here, Ethan; nothing more?”

“Yeah, I understand,” I lied, knowing what he wanted to hear.

“It’s just about having sex, Riley. It’s just about sex and having some fun.”

“Okay,” he said, having decided. “Let me tell Gina and Marie. Then we can go back to your place.”

12 thoughts on “Chapter 40

  1. Wow! Something tells me Ethan will be late for the game tomorrow. This was a surprise to me. I had not expected them to hook up again. I hope Ethan feels two late nights in a row is worth it. I guess this is one of life’s curves.

    Good one, Kit. Thanks again.

    1. We’ll have to see how it works out, but it was interesting to see Ethan being more aggressive in pursuing what he wants. Off the field, he’s been kind of passive. But now he seems to be more determined to get what he wants.

      As always, thanks George.

  2. Kit

    Again an interesting twist to the story. I never thought that Ethan would be able to put Riley on the wrong foot, but he did. I have to give Ethan credit for having the balls to go back the next night even though he tried to kid himself. He was looking for Riley.

    It is interesting the way you interplay the two people and it is a change from most gay stories that do not spend time talking and thinking but rather just jumping into bed with a sexy description of what they do. This is why I like your stories as you develop the psychology of each character.

    I look forward as ever to the next chapter.

    1. You got it exactly right, Graham. As much as he tried to hide it from himself, Ethan was looking for a second chance all along and that was different because he hasn’t really gone all in up to this point. I guess the question now is whether the pendulum will swing too far in the opposite direction.

      It’s probably good I haven’t read that many gay stories. I just try to write the way it seems like it would be in real life. I wish I was better at writing villains though. Most of my characters turn out to be nice people even if a bit complicated at times.

      It looks like it’s do or die for Ethan, Let’s hope he doesn’t mess up his second chance. In any event thanks for the comment, Graham. They’re always appreciated.

  3. Kit, I always enjoy every chapter. This one showed an interesting twist on both Ethan (agressive) and Riley (off balance). I liked that. Riley sounds dreamy. But his agressive dominance is a bit of a turn off for me. I like that your characters trend toward sweetness. They are often adorable personalities. And Ethan tends to bring out the best in people, so I have a hunch we might see Riley become a lovable sweetheart after all. I’m rooting for him.

    Thanks again for all your hard work and dedication to your craft. It’s always a good sign when you leave me wanting more.

    1. Thanks, Dean; I think one of the challenges for me as an author is to be able to write characters who aren’t so sweet after all. I’ve started and abandoned several stories featuring boys and young men who, if not fully formed villains, were at least less than honorable souls; often cute but usually totally selfish at the very least and sometimes completely dishonorable in their designs. In other words, the kind of people all of us know 🙂

      For some reason I find myself attracted to characters like that and I can usually pull together one or two interesting chapters about them. But then I have problems with where to take them. Are they lost souls waiting to be saved (and is that even possible)? or just selfish cads whose depravity can only grow deeper over time?

      My characters do tend to be sweet, if perhaps a bit complicated and confused at times. But I’m not sure most people would have much sympathy for villains, even complicated ones. Where’s the fun in rooting against someone after all? And what if they actually turn out to be the winners in life? What kind of message is that?

      As for Riley, I honestly don’t know what to say. He’s been an especially hard character for me to draw from the very beginning and I’m honestly not sure how he’s going to end up. Could Ethan bring out the best in him? Perhaps. But it’s also possible Riley could bring out the worst in Ethan. We’ll just have to see how it evolves. It’s not fixed in concrete by any means and it could be a confusing ride.

  4. I wasn’t trying to be harsh but I’ve always felt he needed to talk to Hunter and you have built the story really well and hence my frustration with Ethan! The other thing that comes out in this encounter is Ethan’s strong and principled view of sex and love. I suppose I’m wanting Hunter and Ethan to get together!!

    1. Sorry, Harry; I wasn’t trying to be critical. I was surprised to see a comment this late in the week and I was rushing to get out of the house so I guess I didn’t take enough time to explain myself.

      The great thing about writing stories is everyone reacts differently to the characters; and I’ve always believed that everyone’s point of view is valid for them. I have a point of view too as an author; and while I don’t try to beat people over the head with it, I do try to get it across.

      That’s not as easy in this case because so many people living abroad don’t really understand baseball or just how demanding it is on the people who play it. That’s not your fault. I probably haven’t done as good a job as I should have in making that clear.

      The point is Ethan has two passions in life, baseball and Hunter; and yet the game has kept the two of them apart for a long time now. Being a normal 21 year old, Ethan also has a powerful need to connect with someone sexually that he’s been suppressing. Lo and behold, Riley happens to be in the right place at the right time. He’s VERY good looking and Ethan still thinks Hunter is straight.

      It’s a recipe for something. We’ll have to see exactly what in the next few chapters and that’s the downside of not being the author. Everyone would probably do it a little differently than I will, but hopefully things will turn out for the best.

  5. Thank you for your effort in replying and also for all the effort put into writing the stories. I enjoyed the other two stories and the empathy you have for your characters. I look forward to my weekly fix with Ethan and Hunter. Ironically I don’t want it to end while at the same time I want to the whole story all tied up NOW!!

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