A Sea-Change by Laurie

A Sea-Change - Laurie

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Suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange
--The Tempest. Shakespeare.

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Part One

"Hey, man. Buy you a beer?"

I smiled to myself. Gotcha.

I turned slightly on the bar stool and looked the big-eyed kid over. He was dressed like a hippie, and had a supple leather choker around his neck. Mr. Natural was even better looking close up than he'd been across the room. Jesus, I wanted to kiss those pouty lips. Cocksucker lips. Yep, that mouth was made for sinning.

"Well, Chief. That depends." I drawled the words out and threw in what I hoped was a smoldering glance at him. Then I stood up.

The kid swallowed. He was maybe five foot, seven, in his shoes and I dwarfed him. Strong shoulders, slim body. Not overly muscled, but he'd shown a lithe grace earlier when I'd observed him moving in the bar. He had a mop of curly brown hair with reddish highlights that tumbled past his shoulders. I could see myself gripping his hair, running my fingers through it while I urged him to his knees.

He'd seen me checking him out earlier, like I'd intended him to see. And I could tell he was interested. He'd been waffling for the last twenty minutes, glancing at me, and then taking another gulp of his beer. He'd worked up the nerve to make a pass. If he agreed to my terms, then I'd reward him for that.

The kid answered me like he was following the lines in a play.

"Depends on what? And my name's -- "

I covered his mouth with my palm before he could tell me his name was Billy or Greg. I didn't want to know his name.

"It depends on whether we drink that beer back in my motel room. And if you keep your name to yourself for the night." I bent my head to his ear and whispered what I was in the mood for this evening.

"So, Chief. You in?"

The kid's eyes got even bigger at my invitation. And then I could see doubt start to creep across his face. He lifted his chin to me.

"No ID. Me in your motel room. I'd have to be pretty stupid to put myself in a situation where you could hurt me and nobody would know about it."

I shrugged. I wasn't about to exchange names and phone numbers.

"Take it or leave it, Chief. Unless you've got a better idea. I don't have sex in bar bathrooms, though. Too risky."

He gave a tiny shake to his head and looked apologetic. I sighed. He obviously wasn't into anonymous one-night stands. Too bad. I'd wanted him since I'd laid eyes on him, but he probably would be too nervous to relax, wondering if he'd agreed to have sex with a serial killer.

I smiled ruefully at him, mentally adding him to the-one-that-got-away list, and reached out and ruffled his hair. It felt as silky as I'd hoped.

"It's okay, kid. You're right, you know. You don't know what kind of man I am, and I can't expect you to take my word that I'm a good guy." Then I leaned back over and whispered to him again. "I'd have fucked you senseless. But maybe you should run along home, since you've turned me down. You were the only one in this place I even considered, so I'm leaving. Walk me out?"

The kid's disappointment was evident by the look on his face, but he didn't say he wanted to change his mind. He just turned and headed for the door, with a glance back at me to see if I was following.

I caught up to him at the door and we both went through together, his body brushing hard against mine. Little tease. I should teach him not to play with fire.

The parking lot was at the side of the building and we headed there, me silently, the kid starting to chatter about some of the attractions in the nearby Olympic National Park-- the large herd of elk, the Hoh Rainforest.

"Rialto beach, man. It's only about twenty minutes from here. Have you seen it?" We stepped around the corner into the shadows, and I crowded him into the wall.

"Ugh - what?" It was all he could say before I'd lifted him so that his eyes - dark blue eyes -- were level with mine, my leg in between his, his hands flailing before he grabbed my shoulders for balance.

"You shouldn't make invitations you don't intend to keep, Chief. It's rude. Here's where we say goodbye. I'm going to get in my truck - I indicated the F-150 with a surfboard tied down in the back - and leave. But I want to kiss you first. I want to see if that mouth of yours can do anything besides jabber. But I'm not forcing you, kid. You don't want me to kiss you? I'll put you down. We're right next to the bar. You're safe enough. What'll it be, Chief?"

For an answer he licked his lips. And lifted his mouth up for my touch.

It was sweet, that kiss. He tasted good, and I thoroughly explored his mouth. I kissed him until we both were breathless and I could feel him hardening under me.

"Not too late to change your mind, Chief."

But he shook his head and I let him slide back down till his own feet supported him. His lips were reddened and looked even fuller than before and I liked the dazed look on his face.

I backed away from him and got in my truck. And drove away without one glance backwards.

** ** ** ** ** **

I got out of the truck and looked out over the ocean, gauging the size of the waves and squinting at the afternoon sun. I had needed this. I had needed to get out of my old hometown and away from the job. The fucking job. I was sick of working in my old department and when I returned from my vacation I would be transferred. I wanted that transfer. And no doubt my ex-co-workers would be glad to see me gone.

I hoisted the surfboard off the back of the truck and balanced it to carry it down to the beach. Vacation time. Time to blow off some steam. To push myself physically. And indulge myself with sex. Like I'd done when I was discharged from the Army. When I'd had that affair with Lila. Affair. That sounded so... polished. Cultured. Sophisticated. What I'd had with Lila wasn't anything so debonair. Primal was a better match. I'd fucked her and she'd fucked me. We were wild together and I had known her down to the bone. And then she disappeared. Taught me a lesson, her leaving like that. It's better not to know the person you're fucking. It's better to know you're going to be walking away, before you walk in their door. It's better to not even know their name.

Like the kid last night. That sweet-mouthed kid. He'd wanted to get to know me. Sit down over a couple of beers, and shoot the shit. Maybe end up in the sheets, sure, and maybe he'd call my name when he came. Names. Some tribes believe that there is power in knowing another person's name. I wasn't going to give some pretty hippie-boy power over me by wanting to hear him call my name.

La Push had a couple of beaches, but this sandy one was the best for surfing, and I found a place to lay down my board. I hustled back to the truck and got the rest of my gear. I intended to surf until the restless energy in me had quieted, since I hadn't burned it out of myself last night by fucking that kid.

The waves were okay. Not spectacular or anything, but better than average. All afternoon, I alternated surfing with peeling out of my full body wet suit and just letting the sun thaw me out. The ocean was fucking cold here in Washington. But I loved it anyway. I had even seen dolphins and seals swimming out past the breakers. Wonder what they had thought of me, a strange black shape on my board.

It had gotten a little windy and I eyed the darkening clouds with a sigh as I stretched out on a beach towel. You just couldn't avoid the rain on the Northwest Coast. I judged we'd have showers later this evening, but I'd be gone by then. The waves had picked up a bit and I thought I'd go in for a last run, before calling it a day and heading out to another bar. Tomorrow I was driving down the coast, maybe end up in Ocean Shores and try out that beach. I had two goals for this trip. Getting laid and surfing places I'd never been before. Sure, I could surf nearer to home. But there wasn't the feeling of doing something new, something a little different. I could have picked up women in my city, too. But sex with men? I preferred to indulge myself where nobody knew me.

The waves were beckoning, and I didn't want to be out at dusk - sharks liked to feed at dusk - so I pulled the wet suit on and headed into the surf. The waves were bigger and I had some very good runs. I heard distant thunder and I decided to call it a day since I was getting tired. I got myself in position and caught my ticket home. The wave shot me towards the beach and I grinned fiercely as I balanced on my board. There wasn't any feeling in the world like doing this. Not even sex.

The wave crashed on the beach and I loosened my ankle strap and jumped off the board. Not as gracefully as I would have liked, but the beach was pretty much deserted by this time, so nobody saw me stumble. Unfortunately, my jump had pushed my board further out from me and I went out in the surf to grab it. And got knocked off my feet by an incoming wave. Fuck, I must be tired, if a wave could sneak up on me like that. I was tumbled a bit, and lifted off my feet by the next wave. Now I was annoyed. I saw that my board had been thrown up on the beach and I put my feet down on the bottom to walk out of the surf.

Except my feet couldn't touch the sand. I tried a few strokes toward shore and then I knew what had happened. A riptide. A fucking riptide current had developed on this beach and it was a strong one. I was being taken out to sea and you can't fight a riptide. Not and live. I would have to ride it out, till it lost the power of its force, then try and swim out at an angle to get myself free. I wondered if anybody on the beach had seen me being swept out. I floated and treaded water and gave swimming parallel to shore a try. No good. This current was too strong yet. I didn't want to exhaust myself. The trick to surviving a riptide was not to panic and wear yourself out struggling against it. It would weaken. And then I'd swim back to shore.

Fuck. To add insult to injury, the skies opened up and it began to pour down. The water was choppy as the wind speed notched up. And I was still caught in the grip of the outgoing current.

I couldn't see very well, between the rain pelting down and the darkening skies. But I tried. I strained and strained my eyes, trying to see towards the beach. I put a lot of effort into listening, also, hoping that I could use the sounds of the surf as a beacon to guide me. Fuck. I couldn't see or hear. And I was still being taken further out into the Pacific.

I told myself to stay calm. I'd been in tight spots before. Hell, I survived a helicopter crash that had killed the rest of my team. I'd been on missions as an Army Ranger that had been dangerous and deadly. I'd been in tight spots on the job, too. I would get out of this. I just needed to rest until I could swim out.

Rain beating on me, thunder and lightning cracking overhead and the cold of the ocean seeping into my bones - but I'd be okay. I was a tough son-of-a-bitch. Ask anybody.

I lost track of time and I wasn't sure how long I'd been trapped, but it seemed like a long time. I tried again to break out of the current and felt I was making a little headway.

So I kept at it, swimming like I'd been taught, angling myself free of the riptide's deadly arms till I was released. And promptly got smacked by a wave that I hadn't seen coming. But I was okay. I could swim now towards shore. In the fucking rain.

I swam and swam, and started feeling a little wacky. And I knew what that meant. Shit. Meant I was getting hypo... hyper... Dold. Cold. I was... somethin'. But I had to keep on swimming, and the beach was that way. Except maybe it wasn't... I should be there by now.

Getting pretty cold and I felt my teeth start to chatter. Good thing my wet suit was on. Not that it kept me dry. My skin under the suit was wet with ocean water. Darn thing was a pain in the butt to put on, but it kept the cold, cold, water from freezing me.

Except not for forever. Which was how long I'd been swimming. Forever. And I was getting really, really tired.

I couldn't see the shore. And I stopped and treaded water and looked three... three hundred... oh, hell, I looked in a big circle in all directions. I couldn't see anything. I was lost. I was stuck out in the ocean and I was lost. I needed a map. If I could just see a map, then I could swim to shore.

But I couldn't just wait. I had to pick a direction and so I picked one. And even though I was about as tired as I'd ever been, I kept swimming.

Shit. I might die out here. And nobody would even miss me. Not my father and my brother, that's for sure. Well, Sally would cry. She'd been the closest thing to a mom to me, even if it was a paid job. And Danny, he'd be mad at me for not following the rules I'd pounded into his head when we went on trips with the Big Brothers. I shouldn't have been swimming alone.

How fitting. I'd lived alone and now I was going to die alone. But I wasn't just going to roll over and let a wave pull me under. I'd fight till I couldn't fight anymore. I mean, I'd swim till I couldn't swim anymore.

Hey! Something was swimming near me. Christ, I hoped it wasn't a shark! The light was dim from the storm, but I didn't think it was dusk yet - dinnertime for sharks. And Great Whites liked to feed in this area. There it was again, and it was even closer. I treaded water, trying to see where it went.

And then it popped up from under me, only inches from my face. A seal. With blue eyes.

I looked at the seal and he looked at me. And then I knew I really was hydro -- hypodermic? Because the seal was kind of talking to me. In my head, not barking like seals are supposed to do. And not with words, but by flooding my head with feelings. The seal was worried about me and wanted to help me. My brain obviously had frozen with hydroponics.

My pal again did his strange communication and I could tell that he was urging me to trust him.

What the hell. Maybe this was a hallucin... hallucination, but at least the seal liked me. I wouldn't die alone.

He turned around and pushed himself up against me and I clasped my hands around his neck. When he started swimming - and not in the direction I'd been going - my body was raised mostly out of the water. I concentrated on holding on as we knifed through the water, the seal skimming the waves.

The seal wanted something from me. The crazy impression I had was that he wanted to know... my name?

"Jim." I said out loud, feeling like an idiot. But an idiot who was thinking a bit clearer than a few minutes ago, since the seal's body was protecting me somewhat from the cold of the ocean.

No doubt I was still in the early stages of hypothermia but I felt like I had a chance to survive.

Thanks to a seal that must have been the reincarnation of Lassie. I was one lucky bastard to have run across a seal that would do this. I'd heard stories of dolphins helping stranded swimmers - but I'd never heard of a seal rescuing people.

"Thanks!" I said loudly to my rescuer.

A feeling of warmth and amusement flooded my brain and I felt a grin breaking out on my face in response.

I'm not sure how long we swam - well, the seal swam. I was just a hitchhiker -- until I started hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

Jesus, that was a sweet sound that I thought I'd never hear again.

We were picked up by a wave and carried very close to the beach. Judging by the sounds of the waves we were almost out of the surf, although I still couldn't really see much at all. My pal sent feelings of... be careful, watch out, don't worry - and then he twisted under me and I found myself floundering for a long moment before I felt a hand gripping me hard under my arm and pulling me up and along, then two arms were around me, helping to keep me upright. Somebody had me; somebody was steadying me as I staggered into shallower water.

I was freezing cold again and my body moved sluggishly as I struggled for the shore. A wave crashed over me and for a terrifying minute I couldn't get my bearings as the ocean batted me around. Whoever was with me tugged me along and kept me from being thrown down by the next wave, then shouted at me to come on, as I was hauled out onto the blessed beach.

There was a crack of lightning and in the flash I saw clearly who was helping me. He was male, short, and naked.

"C'mon!" He shouted. "Don't stop now, lets get you out of the rain and into your truck! Where's your keys?" Bossy, too. I slapped the pocket on my outer thigh. He unzipped it and fished them out.

The little guy was strong for his size and he helped support me across the sand and up to the parking lot. It had been difficult to walk across the sand, but I'd managed and by the time my truck door was opened and I was helped into it, I felt like I was going to be okay.

Short-strong-and-naked climbed in the driver's side, felt my pulse, and counted my breathing.

"You're doing all right, man. Can you tell me where you are and what today's date is?"

I gave him the right answers, which seemed to reassure him. He started the truck, flipped the heater on, and pushed on the door handle. I stopped him with my arm.

"Thanks for your help. Man, I was caught in a riptide. I'm cold and I need to get warmed up, but I don't think I have to go to a hospital. I can't ask you to baby sit me, so if you feel you should call 911, well, okay, but what I'd really like is to go to my motel room. I'd pay you to drive me there. If you don't get arrested first for public indecency, that is."

"There's no cops around here; there's nobody here. I'll take you to your motel - for free, man -- and make sure you're recovered. But if you get worse, then I will call an ambulance."

"Deal."

"I know your skin's wet; I wish there were dry clothes to give you. Just sit tight, and I'll be back." he said as he notched the heater up higher. I pulled my wet suit gloves and hood off, held my hands to the blower, and lowered my face to feel the warm air. He hopped out of the truck and I concentrated on not falling over. I really didn't want to go to the ER. Sometime later, I heard a thump in the back of the truck and realized my little pal was back.

The driver's door opened and short-but-no-longer-naked climbed in, tossing a backpack and my gear on the floor. He then reached over and patted me on my thigh.

"Hang in there, Jim. I've got your stuff, and your board is in the back of the truck. I'll take you to your motel room and then we'll get you warmed up the rest of the way. I don't think you're too far gone into hypothermia, but... maybe I should take you to see a doctor instead?" He looked at me, worriedly, and I shook my head.

"Motel," I said, and shivered.

The drive to my room took about twenty minutes, and we swung through a McDonald's on the way for coffee. It felt good to sip the hot drink. The guy chattered along the way about how we'd get my wet suit off and I could warm up. He also asked me questions that I answered in between bouts of shivering. They were orientation questions. I'd done the same thing when I'd functioned as a medic, when I needed to know if somebody was all there mentally. If I didn't want to go to the ER, I had to tell this kid the right answers. So far I'd passed.

I'm blaming the hypothermia, and the slow approach of night, but I didn't recognize him until we were in my motel room and I got a chance to really look at him in the light.

He was the kid from last night. The one I'd kissed after pushing him up against a wall.

"You - you're..." But the kid just unzipped the front of my damp, clingy wet suit.

"I see you finally recognized me, Jim. Lets get you out of this, okay? Man, I stopped by the beach parking lot and recognized your truck, so I went down to see if you were there just to, you know, say hi, and uh... All right, I was spying on you. You had that board in the truck last night so I was checking the beaches today to see if you were hanging out and then I, um... saw your board on the sand and you in the water and I got you out. How are you feeling now, by the way?"

I was naked and shivering still. I made a motion with my hand indicating 'so-so' and the kid grabbed a blanket off the end of the bed, wrapped me in it, and steered me towards a chair. He rummaged through the tiny kitchenette and came up with a handful of dishtowels. He folded them, held them under the faucet, then stuck them in the microwave. He practically ran into the bathroom and came back with some skimpy hand towels. He took the hot, wet towels and folded the dry ones around them and then advanced on me.

I had to admire the kid's ingenuity. He'd made hot compresses to warm me up. I opened up the blanket and let him settle the blessedly warm towels on my neck, groin and chest. He took my pulse and checked my breathing rate again. He was doing a bang-up job of playing EMT.

"Do you feel warmer?"

"Yeah, Chief. How about you? You were out in the ocean, too, and out in the rain."

"I'm okay, just a bit chilled, and," he ran a hand lightly across his torso, "kind of sandy; I can feel the salt drying on me."

"Take a shower, kid. I'll be fine sitting here while these hot towels do their job. Besides, I'd like to see you naked. Again." I grinned at my rescuer, who shot me a speculative look.

"I won't be long and I'll leave the bathroom door open." The kid handed me his cup of coffee. "Drink that one, too." He skedaddled away and I heard him start the shower. I would have liked to take that shower with him, but it would be dangerous to warm up my limbs and cause chilled blood to return to my heart. Which was why the heat packs were warming up my torso first. Still... I fantasized about how I'd run my hands over his wet skin, turn him so his back kept the water from inundating me while I knelt at his feet, and how his clean, hot cock would taste in my mouth while the steam from the shower kept us warm.

I really was feeling better when he emerged from the john, a towel blocking the best view of him.

He checked my vitals again, then reached under the blanket and felt my arms and legs. His hands were warm and his touch made me feel greedy to have more of him. He withdrew his hands, and contemplated me.

"Jim, I think I should get you into bed."

"Do you see me stopping you? I wanted you in my bed last night, remember?"

The kid looked mock-thoughtful. "You know, I've taken first aid and I think we should huddle together for warmth -- to make sure you're really recovered from hypothermia."

"Okay, Chief." I gave an exaggerated shiver for effect, which had the kid rolling his eyes.

We headed for the bed, me with a blanket draped around me, and the kid with a towel around his waist. He pulled it off and used it to dry his hair, then carelessly dropped it on the floor. I laid the blanket on the bed, and then touched him and trailed my fingers down the side of his face. His choker - the only stitch he had on - was wet.

The kid reached up and felt his choker, and then quickly removed it. He looked around, spotted a backpack that must have belonged to him, and took a step towards it. Before he could move away, though, I caught him, and pulled him closer to me instead. I kissed him and he tasted as sweet as he had the night before. He put both hands around my neck and let the wet piece of leather fall to the floor. I kissed him like my life depended on it. I'd almost died and I felt a powerful urge to feel very much alive. Sex was an instinctive response, and I felt I should go with my instincts.

Once we were in bed, the kid made good on his plan to warm me up. An octopus had fewer arms and legs than one determined guy with a Red Cross first aid certification.

Unfortunately, as I became toasty warm, I also became very, very sleepy. It'd been a hell of a day. After I'd yawned three times in a row, the kid kissed me on the temple and told me to go to sleep. Reluctantly, I did.

** ** ** ** ** **

I had nightmares.

I woke up with a feeling of dread. I'd dreamed of being swept away again in that damn current, only this time there were people I knew in rowboats waiting and watching as I was helplessly tugged out to sea.

And they didn't care.

Their bored eyes met mine with idle speculation, and I knew it didn't matter to them if I lived or drowned.

I was so tired and I couldn't swim anymore and I went under the water. I couldn't breathe.

I woke up then. I was sweating and shaking and I knew I'd hauled myself out of that dream in the nick of time. My granny had always told me that if you died in your dreams, then you died in real life, too. I didn't want to test that superstition. I vividly remembered that last dream about drowning; my earlier nightmare wasn't as clear. Oh, yeah. I remembered it now. I'd been lost in the jungle after burying my team. Well, that scenario was uncomfortingly familiar; it was one of my regularly scheduled night terrors. Tonight it had ended when Incacha entered my dream to lead me to his village. "Enqueri," he had said, his face calm and untroubled. "Be patient."

"For what?" I'd answered. But the shaman had not told me. I'd had this recurrent dream much too often. And Incacha -- who'd taught me how to survive in the Peruvian jungle a hell of a lot better than the Rangers ever did - would never tell me what I was supposed to be patiently waiting for.

My trembling was under control now, and I slid away from the sleeping man in my bed. I glanced at the alarm clock. 3:30 in the morning, and dark and quiet, with only the sounds of the kid's soft breathing. Unsteadily, I moved to the bathroom to wash this day's bad luck off of me. No danger now from taking a hot shower, and I let the water cascade over me, washing me clean of the stink of fear and the brine of the ocean.

Afterwards, I took a good look at myself in the mirror. Almost dying will tend to make a guy take stock of how he's been fucking up. At work, I'd gotten promotions fairly quickly. But I knew I was considered to be a hard-ass. A good guy to back you up, but not somebody you wanted to invite over for supper. Sometimes I let myself be dragged out with a group to play pool or to drink some joker into retirement. That was about it. My evaluations had me pegged as a loner - I avoided working with a partner - with an authority problem. Luckily, I was good at what I did.

I'd never been married. I went out with women I met at bars - the ones I let pick me up. I prowled for men when I was out of town, under the cover of anonymity. I had some old friends from before my Army stint, and Danny was more like a little brother. But I wasn't the same guy I'd been back then; it was easier to keep him and the few other old friends at a distance. My own brother - we didn't talk. He and my father evidently wanted to keep it that way.

So, I had to ask this tired looking guy in the mirror: What did I want out of life? A worthwhile job? Friends? Family? Sexual gratification? Suddenly I was sick of being so introspective. Yeah, I'd almost died. But I didn't, thanks to a strange blue-eyed seal and a longhaired hippie-boy.

The boy was in my bed now. And I wanted to sate myself in him. Feel his warm hands, kiss his sultry mouth, sink myself into the heat of his body. I'd been so cold; I craved his warmth.

When I walked out of the bathroom the kid was sitting up in bed, looking tousled and sleepy and concerned.

"Jim? You okay? Are you feeling warm enough yet?" I pulled the covers away from him and looked at his body. He shivered and made a move to grab them back, but I kept them out of his reach.

"I want you, Chief. I want us to sweat and I want your heat. I want to fuck you. Will you let me?

The kid lay down on the bed and opened his arms, reaching for me. I lowered myself onto him, stretching my body so I covered him in place of the blankets I'd swept away.

"Here's the deal, kid." I dropped my voice to a whisper. "I keep you warm and you do the same for me. I'm going to fuck you. I want to hear you howl like a god-damned wolf. If you've got any strength left afterwards, you can return the favor. Right now... I want to know your taste." I licked and suckled the sweet spot on his neck, right above his collarbone, then took my time on relishing his mouth.

I mapped that kid and I left a trail anybody could have followed. My stubble reddened his skin, my mouth left love-marks on his neck and chest and thighs and ass. I pinched the brown circles of his nipples up into high little points, then sucked on them until they were red and shiny and wet.

When I swallowed him down, he started babbling, until I had him to the point where he'd lost the ability to speak, when he was panting and half grunting and trying to gag himself with his fist. I wasn't having any of that. I wanted him to lose it -- to see him stripped of that steady competence and confidence. I slipped his dick out of my mouth and ran my fingers lightly down the sweet spot of skin between his asshole and his cock. I pressed hard along the ridge of skin that seamed that very private place on his body. He shuddered and his legs trembled.

"I'm going to fuck you now." I took his fist away from his mouth. I moved his arms until they were tucked right up against his thighs.

"Slide your hands under your butt, Chief. Or I'm going to find something to tie you down to this bed. I want to hear you come. I want everybody in this motel to hear you come. Understand?"

He answered me by complying, using his own body to restrain his hands. His eyes looked black and he licked his lips, waiting for me to move on him. I opened the drawer to the bedside table and roughly grabbed my supplies. I wasted no time in slicking up my fingers, then I settled down to play with him in earnest.

I rewarded him whenever he was more vocal by pressing up into his sweet spot or licking his cock. But just for the animal sounds I wanted from him -- if he talked or held back by gritting his teeth then I teased him without giving him any of the sensation he was craving. He tried twisting on my fingers and thrusting up into the air but I would soothe him down and start again. He caught on quickly and while he muttered one heartfelt "bastard," he was soon sweetly performing for me, losing his inhibitions about being quiet, and when I did enter him he let out a scream of lust.

I had lifted his legs straight in the air, and shoved a pillow under his hips, before I breeched his slick little hole. I settled his legs on my shoulders and I found my rhythm, the age-old rocking that would send me to paradise.

I was very close and the kid was too. I didn't know which one of us would fall over the edge first and I didn't care. A gentleman would have taken care of his partner first, but hell, I never claimed to be overly courteous. The kid's dick was hard and heavy and jerking in its own rhythm as we fucked. I found enough of my own language skills to pant to him that I wasn't going to touch him anymore. And he wasn't allowed to jerk himself off.

"You. You're going to come from dancing. Dancing on my cock... Just from my dick up your ass. Sing to me; let me hear you." I was so close to my own climax and I pushed up my speed, then gave my own shout as that wonderful, pulsing pleasure took over my existence.

The kid's legs tightened around my neck as I shook followed by the involuntary freezing of my muscles. When I could move again, I pounded his ass. He was gripping me so hard that he was almost choking me. Before I had to break his hold, the kid's cock jerked and moved like a runaway fire hose spraying out come, and he howled. Just like I'd told him to. Like a god-damned wolf.

His legs loosened and I held them up for him, while I slowly, slowly pulled out of him and got rid of the condom. He was trembling and sweat-covered and looked glorious. I leaned down over him and kissed him. I fumbled for the towel on the floor and wiped him clean, then tossed it back down. He looked ready to pass out, so I rolled to his side and hunted up the missing blankets.

I covered us up and whispered to him that if he wanted a shot, to go for it. I yawned and decided that until he made a move, I was taking a nap. He turned over and entangled himself with me and was asleep in about five seconds. It took me probably ten seconds to follow him.

** ** ** ** ** **

I woke up starved from only eating snacks yesterday afternoon and drinking coffee last evening. I staggered out of bed and hit the john, then rummaged around the tiny kitchenette putting together breakfast.

I debated whether I should wake the kid up and feed him too, but decided to let him sleep. He could eat when he woke up. Or when I got bored and woke him up. I made myself some coffee with the midget coffee maker and settled down with it and a turkey and cheese sandwich - which I practically inhaled -- to catch the weather and surfing reports on the news. I wasn't due back in Cascade for another week and I planned on trying a few other beaches further down the coast.

The lump in the bed shifted, becoming somewhat sentient as a plaintive, muffled voice said, "Coffee?"

I poured him a cup, hoping he liked it black, and hauled him one-handedly up from the covers before I pressed his fingers around the mug. He sipped it with sighs of appreciation, looking like a fallen angel with his tangled curls and pretty, pretty eyes. He had blue eyes, but they were nothing like my own washed out shade of blue. His were a darker, deeper shade that made me think of the Mediterranean Sea.

"Want a sandwich, Chief? You need to keep up your strength for round two, you know." I returned to the tiny kitchen and made two more sandwiches, split them between us, then sat down at the table to eat mine.

The kid, having come back to life with the help of a transfusion of caffeine, wandered off to the bathroom and then joined me, snagging the other sandwich off the plate. He was naked.

"Looking good there, Chief."

"Man, you need to lose those sweats and join me. We can pretend we're a nudist colony. Except that people get so used to nudity in those places that it stops being a trigger for arousal. And I am all about arousal this morning." He stuffed the last bit of sandwich in his mouth and looked at me expectantly.

I reached over and lightly smacked his cheek. "So... what'll it be, Chief? Got a plan?"

"Man, I've always got a plan. But for now how about we go with heading back to bed. Other stuff... Well, we can talk about that later."

There wasn't going to be a later, but I wasn't going to pop his bubble right now. I didn't want to distract him from the current plan.

I stood up and waited for him to do the same. Then I slid my arm around his waist, my fingers stroking and feather-sweeping over his belly. He shuddered, his cock starting to take a serious interest in what was going on.

I leaned down and licked the edge of his ear. "All right, Mr. Man-With-a-Plan. I'm not stuck on being the top. The fucker instead of the fuckee. Last night, it was my show. If you want it to be your show this morning, then go for it, Chief. But there's a time limit on this offer. You've got one minute to show me you're up for the job before I decide to be in charge this morning. And if that's the way you want it, me in charge, then that's fine." I started making the sounds from some game show my granny used to watch when she babysat my brother and me.

The kid turned to face me and put his hand over my mouth. "Be quiet, Jim. Last night, you wanted to see how embarrassingly loud and wild you could get me. And it felt good to let go like that. But you. I want to see you struggle not to yell and growl and grunt. And if you can't do it - then I'm going to gag you." I felt my cock harden with his words and I licked the palm over my mouth. Mmmm. His voice -- strong and decisive and so smooth sounding. I could take orders from a voice like that. I nodded my head and he pushed me towards the bed. And I went very willingly indeed.

** ** ** ** ** **

I'd proved I could follow orders and he'd shown me he could give them, and we both were sprawled out on the bed, and half asleep again. It was kind of bittersweet, this drowsy lull before we went our separate ways. I reached over and let my fingers play with his hair. Maybe I should give my standing rule of no names, no connections beyond a night of sex, an exception. Get his phone number; maybe he lived up my way, maybe he'd be agreeable to meeting again like this.

Then I remembered how well that had worked with Lila. I'd started to build some pretty impressive castles in the air with her and they all crashed when she'd walked out on me. No. I had that rule for a damn good reason. I felt a little lonely, and I thought again of the talk I'd had with myself in the bathroom early this morning. Maybe I did need to start making some changes in my life. Maybe I needed to think about building a real relationship with a woman. Maybe it was time to think about getting married. Have somebody to come home to at night, somebody who I could openly acknowledge as my lover. This boy was sweet, and great in bed. He was easy to talk to and smart and inventive. But I couldn't marry him, so our time here wasn't going to go anywhere.

No, I should pick somebody who already knew me. Somebody who would understand the pressures of my job so I wouldn't have to explain them. Somebody with common sense and educated. I liked smart. And good looking. Pretty shallow of me, for that to be on my shopping list for a wife, but hey, I should be honest with myself.

I wasn't thrilled about dating. I wanted to skip the getting to know you part, because there were too many ways for that to dive bomb. But I had a candidate in mind that I wouldn't have to start at ground zero with. Carolyn was interested in me, from the cool way she would appraise me when I had to coordinate with her department. She knew me, knew my reputation. She didn't know I was bi. That I enjoyed men. Nobody knew that except those one-night stand guys I never had to see again. She didn't need to know that about me, and I wouldn't cheat on a wife. It wouldn't come up.

And she was a tall redhead.

I looked again at the kid's hair, as I lay there in bed next to him. Twirling curls around my fingers. His hair was a beautiful mix of shades, dark and light browns, and red strands. I really enjoyed tracing the reddish highlights and I stopped moving my fingers as my sight sank into the rich tapestry of his hair...

"-kay? Hey, man. Hey, Jim? Jim, you okay? Talk to me, would you? I'm knocking on the door but I'm not sure anybody's home. Jim?"

And I came back from wherever I was vacationing, back to this room, this bed, this kid who was running his hands over my body and leaning over me, warm breath on my face, low voice in my ears. I'd been looking at his hair and... I'd checked out, apparently.

"I'm okay, Chief. Must have dozed off or something."

"You weren't asleep. Your eyes were open. You didn't respond to me at first, and I was getting scared. Does having had hypothermia the night before give you this kind of follow-up reaction? Maybe we'd better get you to a doctor, after all." The kid's eyes were wide and he had a questioning look on his face.

I shook my head. "I'm all right. Sorry to have worried you. And I want to thank you for all the help you gave me last night. You and that seal. I'd buy him some fish if I could find him again. Did you see him when you went into the water to help me, Chief? Out there in the ocean he popped up after I'd gotten free of the riptide. I was getting loopy and kept me from drowning. He towed me in almost all the way to the beach and then he was gone and you were there." I debated telling him this part, knowing it would make me sound all too loony, but then I wasn't going to ever see him again, so why not?

"That seal was almost human. He communicated with me, uh... in my head. Let me know he was going to help me, to trust him. He saved my life. It was strange, though, that he wanted to know my name. Why would a seal care what my name was anyway? And he had blue eyes, Chief. I thought seals only had brown eyes, but I guess I was wrong..." I looked at him, thoughtfully. "He had blue eyes like yours."

The kid jumped out of bed like a scalded cat. He walked over to where he'd dropped his clothes. "Well, you're talking and you seem to be okay now, although maybe you were kind of out of it when that seal helped you. A seal can't really do the ESP thing, you know."

I shrugged. "Maybe they do and we humans just don't know it. I believe there are a lot of mysteries in the world."

The kid was pulling on his ragged cut-offs. He quickly finished dressing while I watched him. I guess the morning-after awkwardness had caught up with him because he was sure sending out 'Time to Go' signals.

I hauled my ass out of bed and went to him. I put my arms around him to slow him down. And I don't know why I did that. I should be eager to see him heading out the door. But I wasn't.

"You sure you don't want to go for round three?" I rocked my hips into his belly.

He went still and then looked up at me, lip held between his teeth. "Do you want to know my name, Jim? Do you want to tell me where you live? Do you want to ask me anything about my life, other than which position we should fuck in this time?"

I stiffened and moved away from him, no longer touching him.

"Goodbye, Jim. I like you, you know. Not just as a bed partner. I like you. But I don't live in the closet. Not about being bi-sexual." He looked sad and beautiful and I wavered. I really did.

I said nothing.

"Enjoy the rest of your vacation." He headed over towards his beat-up backpack.

I found my voice.

"Wait. Let me get dressed and I'll drive you back to -- what? Your car? This dinky place won't have a taxi service. I assume your vehicle is at the beach parking lot, right? Just... hang on a minute and let me get showered. Do you want a shower too?"

He looked at me somberly and shook his head.

I scrubbed myself clean, remembering how I'd felt when he slid into me, how tender he'd been, the way he'd breathed out my name when I came. And, earlier, how sweet it had been to hear him lose himself and cry out his pleasure. Was I making the right decision by letting him go? I had no answer to that question by the time I opened the bathroom door and stepped back into the bedroom.

He was gone.

** ** ** ** ** **

I looked for him, of course. It would be a shitty way to repay him to let him hitchhike his way back to the beach. I didn't see him. He wasn't at the beach parking lot and I didn't see any vehicles that screamed out, 'I belong to a hippie!'

No reason to keep debating if I'd done the wrong or right thing by not sharing personal information with him, by not wanting to keep in touch and see where we ended up. It was a moot point. He'd taken off.

I drove back to my cheap motel room to pack. I was feeling lousy; maybe the beating my body took yesterday was catching up to me, because the sun seemed too bright and the glare reflecting off of surfaces gave me a headache.

The motel room walls were thinner than I'd realized because I had no trouble hearing the occupants of the rooms on either side of me as I packed up my food and clothes. Not that I wanted to listen to the bickering from the one couple or boring conversation from the other one. But I couldn't seem to tune them out.

I picked up the towel on the floor by the bed and something dark was lying under it. I plucked it up, looking it over carefully.

It belonged to the kid. It was the choker he'd been wearing yesterday. I felt it, smooth and slick, not like leather, exactly, but more flexible, more like skin. Animal skin.

And it felt good to stroke my finger across it and the rhythmic movement must have been soothing, because my headache lessened into nothing and the neighbors' voices dropped off.

He'd want it back, probably. It was a connection between us and I found that I kind of liked the idea. Maybe I did want to know him.

I didn't want to misplace his property so I wound it around my wrist and fastened it.

I left a message with the clerk when I checked out. I couldn't tell him the kid's name or how he'd lost it, so I just said that I'd found a necklace and if somebody was missing it, they could call the number I'd left with the clerk.

I went back to the bar where I'd met the kid. It was quiet, not a lot of customers. I talked to the bartender, said one of his customers had dropped a necklace the other day and I had it. I gave the bartender my phone number and described the kid, and asked the guy if he knew him, knew his name.

The guy thought about it while he pulled me a house beer.

"I've heard it. It's kind of funny for a guy. Sort of a girl's name. Robin? No. Kim? Dana? Hang on, I'll remember it in a minute." He put the beer down in front of me and walked over to the sink under the bar counter and started washing glasses.

I drank it and thought about names. Mine was an old family name handed down ever since my ancestors had left Ireland. My granny had been fond of telling stories about the family history so I knew that James Joseph Ellison was the name of the guy who'd left the old country. I'd been named for him. I preferred to be called Jim, although I'd been Jimmy when I was a kid.

Jim.

How had the kid known my name? I racked my brain trying to think of when I'd slipped up and told it to him. I couldn't remember doing so and I knew I'd been coherent when he'd helped me out of the water. I thought over every conversation we'd had, and he'd first called me by my name while we were in the truck. Maybe he'd searched my truck before going down to the beach. Yeah, he must have done that, found my registration. No. The truck had been locked. Well, he must have rummaged around when I first got in and I just didn't remember him doing it. Because the only time I'd given my name to anybody - and I'd signed with my initials on the motel registration and paid in cash - was to the seal who'd rescued me.

The bartender walked down the length of the bar and stopped in front of me. "That guy was only in here maybe two times. I got the impression he wasn't staying in this area very long from catching bits and pieces of his yakking with other customers. He was a friendly little guy. I'll give him your message if I see him again. And I don't know his last name, but his first name was Ben or Barney. Something that started with a B."

I thanked him and got out my wallet. I was on my way to the door when he called out to me.

"Oh, hey, I got it. The girly sounding name."

I turned around and looked back at him.

"It was Blair."

To be continued...

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Acknowledgements: Part One, ONLY! Part Two to be published in the next My Mongoose Ezine. Thank you, T. Verano, for your insightful comments. Thank you to K-9 for the gorgeous cover art.