‘Uncle M-M-Mike?’ I heard the nervous, disjointed voice say. The alarm clock said it was two thirty in the morning and my telephone had switched over to the answering machine before I’d had a chance wake up, shake the fog from my brain and pick up.
‘Fuck! Are you there? Please be there . . .,’ he almost sobbed.
In an instant I was there, rolling over and sitting upright on the edge of my bed. Picking up the handset from its cradle I pressed the button to allow me to speak.
‘I’m here Danny. What’s happened? Where are you?’
He was my nephew. Eighteen years old and just setting out to find his own place in the world, having recently commenced his studies at the local university, before he would eventually take his place in the family farming business.
‘Oh, thank God you’re there,’ he replied, his speech now sounding slightly slurred. ‘I . . . think I need some help.’
‘What’s happened and where are you?’ I repeated, with all sorts of thoughts flashing through my mind.
‘I . . . ummm . . .’
‘Are you drunk Danny?’
‘No!’ he answered in a forceful whisper.
‘Are you hurt, or in some kind of trouble? Has there been an accident?’ I urged.
There was no reply, but I was grateful that I could still hear him breathing on the other end of the line at least.
‘Uncle Mike . . .’
‘You c-can’t tell anyone.’
‘Tell anyone what?’
‘I’m at the . . . p-p-park. Central Park.’
‘Okay. I won’t tell anyone,’ I promised him, finally with at least some understanding of the situation, even without having had the facts presented. ‘Mate, what has happened?’
‘I . . . I don’t know what to do. They’re still out there. I can see them.’
‘Who is out there?’ I asked him. For a few moments there was just the sound of his breathing on the line, but then the line went dead.
‘Fucking hell!’ I exclaimed, slamming the phone back into its cradle. Getting to my feet I grabbed for my jeans and t-shirt, pulling them on as I headed for the door. As I passed the table in the hallway I picked up my car keys, along with the carry-all I kept beneath it which contained spare clothes and other essentials for quick trips away, then slipped on some boots and headed out the door.
As I ran for my utility one of the working dogs started barking at me from its kennel outside the house yard, but was soon silenced by a gruff, ‘Shut up!’
Jumping into the old Ford I quickly started it up and slammed it into gear, spinning the wheels on the gravel as I let the clutch out and jammed the accelerator down at the same time. There was no time to waste. Town was a forty five minute drive away on most days, but at this hour and with no traffic on the road I expected to be there in less than thirty. At least that was the plan.
As the miles sped by I went over and over in my mind what Danny had said to me. He was at the park. I couldn’t tell anyone. Someone was out there.
In calling me his actions explained a great deal and as I promised him, I wouldn’t betray his confidence. I just hoped that I would be able to get there in time to be able to help him with whatever the situation was that he had found himself in. I was deeply concerned for him, not just for what may lie ahead in the next few hours, but also for the immediate future, the days and weeks ahead, if my assumptions proved correct from what I was reading between the lines.
With not another living soul on the road at that hour it wasn’t long before I could see the glow of the city lights appearing in the skies ahead of me, and only minutes later when I topped the row of high hills to the east I could see it nestled below me in the valley, street lights neatly laid out in squares and twinkling away in the night.
I sped down the hill, passing what had previously been open grazing country and which was now rapidly being replaced by new housing subdivisions, past the racetrack on the edge of town, then the private boys’ school where generations of our family had been educated. It wasn’t until I was almost in the centre of town that I slowed down to a more acceptable — although still not entirely legal — pace, before then having to stop just briefly at the traffic lights. I was now just a few blocks away from the park and so I slowed down further, looking about me as I went at the few cars parked on the streets, looking for Danny’s new silver coloured Toyota Hi-Lux four-wheel-drive.
There was no sign of him or his vehicle as I reached the intersection at the start of the park. I continued driving slowly along the street, looking deep into the shadows of the park to see if there was any sign of activity about, but everything appeared quiet. Upon reaching the end of the block I turned right and drove down the western side of the park, still looking for any signs of movement. Then when I reached the turn-off into the car park area, I drove in.
I could see at the far end of the car park there was a single vehicle there, half hidden by shadows, so I drove toward it, pulling into a parking space just a few places away, stopping there and turning off the ignition.
Looking across at the other vehicle I could see that it definitely looked like Danny’s truck and so I got out and walked across to it. Upon trying the door handle I found it to be locked, so I tried looking inside through the window. Even though it was parked in the shadows I could tell that it was empty, so I stepped back and turned my attention toward the park, looking for any sign of movement or activity that I could find.
Cautiously I stepped over the curb and onto the start of the grassed area, standing in the shadows of a pine tree for a few moments as I let my eyes adjust to the light. There were paths running diagonally across the park from corner to corner, crossing over in the middle where a large fountain also stood. From all four side large triangles of grass stretched into the centre toward the fountain, while trees of various shapes and sizes stood along those paths and around the edges of the park. There were also a couple of buildings on the grounds, an old rotunda with ornate wrought iron decorations on the southern side where bands once played or speeches were given, while a building which housed the toilet facilities stood half way along the northern side, just down from where I now stood.
Sticking to the shadows offered by the trees along the side of the park I started walking toward the toilets, hoping that Danny may have taken refuge there, but when I walked inside the brightly lit building I found it to be totally empty.
Disappointed, I headed back out into the cool night, walking back toward where the two vehicles were parked and checking again to see if Danny’s truck was empty, then kept walking along that edge of the park. Once again I tried to keep to the shadows wherever possible, skirting around trees and looking for any spots where someone may be concealed, but found nothing.
When I reached the corner I started along the next side of the park, following the same pattern of skirting around trees and trying to keep in the shadows. If anyone had noticed me there they most definitely would have thought that I was up to no good, but thankfully I saw no one.
Coming to the next corner I turned and headed toward the rotunda, intending to repeat the process of looking amongst the shadows; however I soon came to a quite large raised garden area which was bordered by a rock edge about a foot high. Scattered throughout the garden there were quite a few flowering shrubs, while in the centre there stood a small clump of trees, growing quite thickly.
I studied the trees for a few moments, noticing that I could see through them, making out the open area on the other side which was bathed in light. Thinking that Danny wouldn’t be hiding in there I was just about to move on when I saw something move, stopping me in my tracks.
It could have just been a tree blowing in the breeze of course, but something made me take a second look and it was then that I could make out the outline of someone squatting there in the shadows.
‘Danny? Is that you?’ I called out softly.
The shadow moved slightly, but said nothing.
‘Danny?’ I called again. ‘I’m coming in. Okay?’
Stepping over the rock wall surrounding the garden I walked toward and into the clump of trees, soon being swallowed amongst their shadows. In the curious half light I could make out his shadow ahead of me, still squatting in the same position, but as I drew closer he stood up.
‘Uncle Mike?’ he asked quietly.
‘Yes, mate. I’m here. How about we get you out of here, eh?’
He nodded then took a few unsteady steps toward me.
‘You okay?’ I asked him.
He placed a hand on my shoulder to steady himself and I could feel him trembling slightly. Whatever it was that had happened couldn’t have been good, I thought.
‘Thanks for coming,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know who else to call.’
Then he did something he hadn’t done in a few years. He hugged me.
* * * * *
When we got back to the vehicles I managed to get a better view of him. His face and clothes had blood on them from several cuts, while I soon discovered blood on me as well, obviously from when we had hugged. He also had an eye that was rapidly swelling. I didn’t ask him anything about what had happened, but I think I managed to come up with a pretty fair idea of what had transpired, all by myself.
Leaving his vehicle parked where it was, we took mine and headed a few blocks down the highway through the centre of town, thankfully finding a motel with a vacancy sign lit up.
I had thought briefly about taking him to the office that our farming company kept in town, which had a sofa bed in the back room and even a shower in the hallway between our office and the one next door, but that would have just led to questions being asked when the office girls arrived for work the next morning. Finding the motel proved a blessing and while I went inside and roused the clerk from his sleep to arrange for the room, Danny stayed in the car.
With a room key in my hand, after receiving a few funny looks from him in the process when the desk clerk spotted the blood on my clothes, I went back out to the car and drove down to the parking space in front of room seventeen. I got out and then, after retrieving my carry-all from the back of the utility, I opened the door to the room and motioned for Danny to come inside.
He got out of the car and met me at the door.
‘Thank you,’ he said to me as he came inside, sitting himself down on the edge of the nearest bed.
‘You’ve already thanked me,’ I said to him. I walked over to him and inspected the damage to his face. He had a few superficial cuts and his swollen eye was going to have a beaut of a shiner in the morning. There were also a few cuts on his arms, but I think all in all the damage looked worse than it actually was.
‘Now, how about you have a shower and get yourself cleaned up then get some sleep? We can talk in the morning, okay? In the mean time, though, how about giving me your keys and I’ll go collect your vehicle?’
With a nod he fished the keys from his jeans and dropped them into my hand.
‘There are some clean clothes in my bag if you want them. There are also some toiletries and a first aid kit if you need anything from those,’ I said to him.
‘Thanks,’ he said to me, then getting to his feet he picked up a towel from the end of the nearest bed and headed toward the bathroom, closing the bathroom door behind him and giving me one last sheepish look as he did so.
Moments later I let myself out and headed back up the road toward the park, my head swirling with a mix of thoughts, some of which I found quite disconcerting.
* * * * *
Danny’s vehicle was still there when I reached the park, as I had expected. The driver’s side door had a small dent, along with a few minor scratches. I also found a mark on the window, which could have been blood, but apart from that everything looked okay.
There was also another vehicle parked farther down, near to the toilets, though I paid no attention to that one, instead just unlocking and getting into Danny’s and starting it up.
After switching on the lights I backed out of the car park and as I turned the wheel the lights fell on some bushes not far away from me. Some movement caught my eye and I noticed a guy standing there, his hand shoved down the front of his trousers.
I watched him for a moment then said to myself, ‘Not tonight I’m afraid, sunshine.’ Then putting the truck I gear I revved the motor a bit and then let the clutch out, leaving that place behind.
Danny was already asleep when I returned to the motel, having crashed on top of the bed wearing only his shorts and with the room lights still on.
He looked quite peaceful there and for a few moments I studied him, watching the rhythmical rising and falling of his chest, seeing the way his brown hair fell across his forehead, delighting in the sight of the trail of fine hair running up to his navel and the wisp of hair on his chest, while being impressed by the muscle and weight he had added since I had last seen him, which was about a year ago.
He wasn’t quite as tall as I am, being about five feet ten to my six feet, but apart from that we weren’t too dissimilar, both having the build and tanned complexions of someone who spent most of their time working outdoors. Being older, I was also a bit heavier than he was of course, but with a span of less than fifteen years between us the differences weren’t that great and we could probably even have been mistaken as brothers.
Shaking some other unwelcome thoughts from my head I picked up a blanket and placed it over him, then switched out the lights and stripped down to my own shorts, before lying down on the other bed and managing, at sometime in the early hours, to eventually nod off to sleep.
* * * * *
When I awoke in the morning, with bright sunlight streaming in through the drawn back curtains, I expected to find Danny still out to it, but instead of that I found him sitting in a chair, still in his shorts and studying me from across the top of a coffee cup.
He was framed by the sunlight coming in through the window behind him and that first look at him took my breath away. There was no other way to say it, he was a gorgeous looking kid, the likes of which I would have happily woken up with in a motel room any day of the week. But this kid was my nephew. I couldn’t go there. End of story.
‘Hey,’ I managed to croak as I sat up.
‘Hey yourself,’ he replied.
‘Feeling better?’ I asked him.
‘Yes, thank you.’
‘Coffee smells good.’
‘It’s only instant shit, but it’s okay,’ he replied, before taking another sip.
I got up and walked across the room to the counter where a kettle and tray containing the essentials for making tea and coffee sat, feeling his eyes follow me as I went.
‘That was quite a scare you gave me last night,’ I said as I switched on the kettle to boil some water.
‘I’m sorry Uncle Mike. I . . . I just didn’t know what to do, or who else I could call.’
‘It’s okay mate. You’re family. If you can’t depend on family then who can you depend on?’
For a moment he sucked on his bottom lip, before saying, ‘Some of my family members wouldn’t respond that way.’
‘That is true. But they aren’t the ones that are here, are they?’
‘No,’ he replied, giving me a wry smile.
I tore open a packet of instant coffee and some sugar, emptying them into a cup, then when the kettle switched itself off a few seconds later I tipped the water in on top and gave it a stir, before taking a sip.
‘That’s a pretty neat shiner you’ve got there,’ I said to him.
Gingerly he touched the side of his face and winced.
‘I’ve had worse,’ he replied.
‘Of course you have. You’re a Baxter!’
‘Yeah . . . well . . . three on one, even if the one is a Baxter boy still isn’t exactly fair.’
‘No. It’s definitely not.’
We both took sips from our coffee, both knowing that the next questions wouldn’t be easy, both unsure who would be asking what. In the end it had to be me to break the silence.
‘So, it seems we aren’t as different as some folks thought, eh?’
‘You figured out why I was there then?’ he asked in a very matter-of-fact kind of manner.
‘I think so. I mean, why would a good looking young guy be in a place like that in the middle of the night? It’s either sex or drugs . . . and even though I haven’t seen you in a while, you’ve never really struck me as being a stoner.’
‘No, I guess we aren’t that much different then. Are you shocked, or surprised even?’
‘I’ve always had my doubts about you,’ I added, with a grin. ‘When you were a kid you used to crawl up on my lap and go to sleep, or curl your fingers through my hair. You were a clingy little fucker,’ I laughed.
‘This might sound crazy, but I used to love the feel and the smell of you. Not that I knew anything about sex back then anyhow. It was just nice being with you . . . but then . . .’
‘But then you started growing up.’
‘Yeah. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I guess that’s why I stopped getting close to you . . . I mean I knew you were gay, hell, everyone knew you were gay, but I didn’t know how to handle that, or even if that was what I was. It was fucking confusing.’
I nodded, remembering all too well the pain of being fourteen.
‘I also saw how you were treated and knew I wouldn’t be able to handle that same crap. Being on the farm, too, I guess it was just expected that I would know all about the birds and the bees, but no one ever really explained this whole gay thing to me. It was something all together different.’
‘Nor was it ever explained to me, mate. But a guy has to figure these things out for himself and I always hoped that you would manage that on your own without any major issues, or without suffering too much.’
‘Dad certainly didn’t make it easier for me, the way he used to always go on about gays . . . “No son of mine will ever be gay” he used to say.’
It was my turn for a wry grin.
‘Yeah and don’t I know it!’ I laughed, remembering all too well the crap I used to cop from my older brother if I ever showed any sign of weakness. When I eventually told him that I was gay it was like I had suddenly turned into a leper or something. For a kid, being rejected by a family member can be a heartbreaking thing.
‘He used to go on and on about you, you know. It was like he was ashamed of having you as a brother.’
‘Why do you put up with him? How can you put up with him saying shit like that?’ he asked.
‘He’s still my brother,’ I answered. ‘Family, remember? Anyhow, he’s stuck with me now, along with your Aunt Phillippa and her kids, and whether he likes it or not, he’s stuck with you and your brother and sister too, especially now that you’ve turned eighteen.’
‘What do you mean?’ he asked, his face contorted by a frown.
‘Has the family trust ever been explained to you?’
He looked at me strangely, like I was talking a foreign language then slowly shook his head.
‘Okay then . . . maybe we’ll save that discussion for later.’
‘Why? What about it?’
‘First things first, mate. How about we get some breakfast and you can bring me up to speed on what has been happening in your life. Then you can tell me all about last night.’
‘Okay,’ he replied.
I didn’t bother finishing my coffee, instead just pouring it down the sink in the bathroom, then grabbing some clean underwear from my carry bag.
‘I’m going to have a quick shower,’ I said to Danny, ‘then we can get something to eat.’
Shutting the door to the bathroom I stripped off and turned on the taps, then adjusted the water. I stepped in and quickly washed myself, gladly washing away the worries of the night before.
When I was finished and had pulled on some clean shorts I headed back out to the room, looking for my toiletry bag. Danny was there, dressed in his jeans from last night, but bare-chested. He was holding his shirt out in front of him and looking at it.
‘I tried washing them out last night,’ he said to me as I looked him up and down. ‘The jeans were okay, but the shirt’s fucked.’
Reaching into my bag I pulled out two t-shirts and threw him one. ‘That’ll get you out of trouble for today,’ I said to him.
As he caught the t-shirt, I took notice of the bruises, which seemed to have come out overnight. He had them on his arms and his ribs, and there was evidence of a couple of gashes on his arms as well, which already looked like they had scabbed over.
After spraying some deodorant on myself I pulled on my shirt and jeans, then my socks and boots.
‘Ready to roll?’ I asked him, as I stood up and pulled my car keys from my pocket.
‘Sure,’ he answered.
* * * * *
We found a little cafe downtown, just near the courthouse on the main street, where we sat on the side walk and watched the world go by. I didn’t want to go anywhere near the company office, lest word might get back to Danny’s parents that he was all battered and bruised and it was me taking care of him.
The food and the coffee were great, hitting exactly the right spot as far as I was concerned, though I sensed that Danny wasn’t quite back to his usual self, even after the little heart to heart we’d had earlier.
I had been watching him carefully, watching him scan the faces of everyone who walked by. It was as if he were expecting whoever it was that he had bumped into last night to jump out at him again.
‘So, what actually happened?’ I eventually asked him directly. ‘You’ll feel better if you get it off your chest.’
He quickly looked around, as if worried someone might overhear, but there was no one else close by; we were alone on the sidewalk.
‘Now?’ he asked nervously.
‘We can go somewhere else if you like. It’s a lovely sunny morning for a walk.’
He played with his coffee cup for a moment then said, ‘Let’s head down along the creek.’
‘All right,’ I replied. I stood up and walked across to the counter, which was just inside the door of the coffee shop, where I paid for our breakfasts; then we set off down the hill towards the park along the creek lands.
‘You know what the place is like there, don’t you? And what they all do?’
‘Yes, Danny. I didn’t come down with the last shower. I’ve done the beats.’
Satisfied he gave me a nod.
‘I’ve been going there every now and then. Not every day or anything, just every few weeks or so, just to . . . you know . . .’
‘Get your rocks off?’ I prompted.
‘Yeah, something like that,’ he answered, while his face flushed red.
‘The first time anything happened was just by accident. It was last year, while I was still in school here in town. I had heard that things happened here, but never seen or done anything. Anyhow, one Saturday morning after sport had finished and I was heading back to school I called in there for a piss. This guy come and stood beside me and I thought he was doing the same as me, but then I noticed he wasn’t pissing.’
‘Still in school?’ I asked, somewhat surprised. ‘How old were you?’
‘Go on,’ I urged, thinking that not even I had done that.
‘Well, I glanced across at him and he was just playing with himself. He had an erection. I couldn’t help it, I just stared at it.’
‘Yeah, I’ve been there and done that myself. What happened then?’
‘He . . . he reached across and put his hand on mine. He started stroking me and I went hard in an instant. Then before I knew it I was blowing my load everywhere. Then he just left.’
We came to a pedestrian crossing and walked across it to the park, then followed a path, heading toward the creek.
‘Then after that first time?’ I prompted.
‘Well, it wasn’t exactly my first time,’ he offered.
‘Was that at school?’
‘Yeah, but just a few wanks here and there. Maybe the odd blow-job. Nothing too serious.’
‘I know all about how serious it gets at that school Danny. I went there, remember?’
‘Fuck, this is embarrassing,’ he laughed. ‘I’ve never spoken to anyone the way I’m talking to you.’
‘There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. For some of us it’s perfectly natural. We just have to be careful who we talk to about these things.’
We had stopped walking and were standing facing each other, just away from where a family of ducks swam in the creek, the mother leading the way while a clutch of youngster swam in a single file in her wake. He looked around then his eyes focused on me. The look on Danny’s face was one like I had never seen on him before. It was like the world had been lifted from his shoulders. Suddenly he reached out and hugged me, planting a brief kiss on my cheek, before seeming to remember where he was and stepping back, glancing around as if to see if anyone may have noticed him do that.
‘What was that for?’ I asked, laughing.
‘For you being here. For you being you. I should have come to you ages ago. I can’t tell you how liberating it feels to be able to actually talk about this shit with someone else.’
‘We all need someone we can talk to, Danny. Let’s sit down for a bit. I want to know about last night.’
We found a park bench which looked out over the water and sat down. I didn’t push him, but he seemed to still be a bit reluctant to start.
‘It’s okay,’ I said to him, placing a hand on his knee. He looked down at my hand then placed his on mine, letting our fingers become entwined.
‘I had been at the office,’ he said, referring to the farms’ office here in town. ‘I go there to use their computers and photocopier and stuff for Uni. Dad arranged it with the girls who work for us and I have my own key.
‘I finished there at about nine thirty, then after I left I drove through Macca’s for something to eat. Then I drove by the park, just to see if anyone was about. There were no cars around, nor could I see anyone anywhere, but I stopped there anyway and ate my burger.’
‘Okay,’ I said to him. ‘Then what?’
‘When I was finished I got out and threw the rubbish in the nearest bin then went for a bit of a wander around. I still didn’t see anyone, so I went into the toilets for a piss. There was nobody in there and nothing happened while I was there, so I went back to the car and just sat there, watching to see if anyone showed.’
‘Obviously someone did,’ I remarked.
‘No, not then. That wasn’t ’til later.’
‘Yeah. It would have been about an hour later, at least half past ten, but it could have even been going on for eleven. A car pulled in down the far end and a guy got out and started walking about. I watched him for a while. He was going back and forth, dodging between shadows and stuff, but being dark and with him not coming anywhere near where I was I didn’t get much of a look at him.
‘I didn’t have anything else to do so I hung around there. I was a bit interested to see what he was like, but after about another half hour or so I was getting restless, so I got out and went for a walk around. I didn’t see him . . . his car was still there and he might have gone back to it, or he might have been hiding in the shadows some place and just watching. Anyhow, I went inside the toilets and stood at the urinal, looking out through the window into the park.’
I nodded, knowing the layout of the place well. Where the urinals were there was a window, or should I say just a frame where a window once was. The bottom edge of the frame was at almost six feet, so if you were around that height and stood on your tip-toes you could easily see out into the park to watch the comings and goings. If you were standing at the urinal and were tall enough, anyone outside could also see you standing there.
‘A couple of minutes later the guy appeared from out of the shadows and started to come my way. From a distance he looked tall, with a muscly build, and he walked back and forth a couple of times before stopping at a picnic table and leaning against it. He kept looking around, then looking my way then looking around again. Eventually he detached himself from the table and headed toward the toilets, with me thinking that the closer he got the better looking he was also getting.
‘A few moments later I heard the sound of footsteps on the path outside, then they grew louder, until I saw him come inside. He was older than I had imagined, but looked to be in good shape. He walked in and straight past where I was standing, giving me little more than a glance, before checking out the cubicles to see if there was anyone there. Then he turned and walked straight back outside. Apparently he doesn’t like twinks!’
‘You have come a long way,’ I laughed at him. ‘At least you know what a twink is!’
He grinned at me. ‘Yeah, but there’s still a lot of stuff that guys say that confuses me! I mean, for starters, what the fuck is an otter?’
‘I’ll try and explain all that later,’ I replied. ‘So, what happened next?’
‘Well, after he had left I looked out through the window into the park and watched as he started walking away. Ah, well . . . easy come, easy go I figured. It was just then that I heard a car pull up outside and then moments later I heard a car door slam.
‘Once again I heard the sound of footsteps on the path outside, then listened as they grew louder and louder, until finally they were inside and right behind me. I glanced around behind me and saw a young guy walk past. He stopped for a second and said “Hey.” I thought he was going to come and stand beside me at the urinal, but then he seemed to change his mind and went into one of the cubicles instead.’
‘Do you know who he was?’ I prompted.
‘No,’ he answered. ‘At first glance he looked like someone I had seen around town, but it wasn’t him.’
‘What did he look like?’
‘Oh, Uncle Mike, he was breathtaking,’ Danny replied.
‘Oh Jesus, please!’ I laughed.
‘What? Haven’t you ever spotted someone who just took you breath away?’
My mind flashed back to earlier that morning when I had just woken up.
‘Yes mate. I can honestly say I have,’ I answered with a sigh, but I didn’t want Danny to stop there. I needed to know if Danny would remember the guy again if he saw him. ‘So go on, describe him. Every detail you can remember.’
‘Well, I think he was about the same age as me, or maybe a little older, it’s hard to tell sometimes. He was taller, taller than you too I’d say, and heavier. Not fat, just . . . solid. Like he worked out a bit. He had this tanned sort of complexion, not overly dark, but just right, if you know what I mean?’
‘He was very attractive. Short dark hair, dark eyes and sporty clothes. He was wearing light coloured shorts and a dark blue sports shirt with the number nine on the back of it and the name CLARKE was written above the number. I remembered that vividly as one of the guys I went to school with was a Clarke.
‘When he went into the cubicle I noticed that he didn’t shut the door behind him, and from where I stood I could actually see the top of his head when I turned to look that way. He was standing well back from the toilet, there was no sound of him taking a leak, but there was another sound I could hear . . . it sounded like that of a hand being rubbed over fabric.
‘I didn’t hear any other car doors close or any other noises from outside, so I figured he was alone . . . and maybe like me just looking to get off or something.’
‘I guess we’ve all made that mistake at times,’ which earned me a set of raised eyebrows. ‘Lets just say I’ve had the occasional close call. It comes with the territory, though most people don’t understand why we even take the risk.’
‘Well, what’s the alternative . . . go without?’ he remarked.
‘Looks like you’re a quick learner, kid.’
He just grinned at me.
An elderly couple came walking along the path just then, so he stopped talking while they strolled past. When they were gone I motioned for him to continue.
‘Well, I guess I figured that I had an idea of what the guy was doing in there, so I zipped up and went to leave, but instead of walking straight outside – like I should have done – I took a quick look around the corner at what he was up to. Sure enough he was standing there, side on to the toilet bowl, which gave me a good view of what his hands were doing, just rubbing himself up and down. he had this huge bulge in his pants . . . the outline of his cock was showing clearly.’
‘And then?’ I asked him.
‘He just looked up at me and smiled at me, so I said “How’s it going?” And that’s when things went all pear shaped,’ he said to me. Over the next ten minutes he told me everything that happened and while the longer he spoke for the more his colour seemed to be draining from his face.
* * * * *
‘What are you doing?’ the guy said to him.
‘Nothing,’ Danny replied.
‘What do you want?’ the guy demanded once more, walking out of the cubicle toward Danny.
Danny started backpedalling.
‘I said, what do you want?’ he repeated, only much louder this time.
‘Nothing mate. Sorry,’ he said, and that was when he received the first push, forcing him against the wall. Things weren’t looking too good.
Danny tried slipping past the guy, but he came around in front of him, as if to block the way out.
‘What are you doing you dirty cunt? Hey . . .’
‘Sorry, I’m just going’ Danny had said, while thinking to himself how pathetic that was starting to sound.
He started to walk outside, having to push past the aggressor, only to receive yet another push in the back. That’s all he seemed to be doing . . . push, push, push . . . and of course getting louder all the time.
When they got outside, with Danny trying to get away and the guy continuing to come after him, pushing and yelling, that was when Danny saw the car there. It was parked in the shadows produced by the trees between the car and the street lights, a light coloured Commodore or Camry or something like that he said it was, but when he saw two other people sitting in it his heart sank.
I asked him about the first guy that had come into the toilets while he was there and then left, but there was no sign of him at all when the action had started.
Danny tried heading toward his truck, still being dogged by the guy, only now things were starting to really get sticky, as his two companions got out of the car and also headed their way at a trot.
‘What did you do you dirty cunt?’ one of them yelled as he ran up to them, landing a solid punch to the side of Danny’s head at the same time.
‘Nothing. I didn’t do a fucking thing,’ Danny yelled back.
As he fumbled in his pockets for his keys a couple more punches were thrown, another hitting the back of Danny’s head and one hitting his shoulder, as well as getting pushed hard up against the truck by the two of them, the full weight of both of them knocking the wind from his lungs.
Somehow they managed to turn Danny around so that his back was against the truck, crowding around him and pushing and shoving him. The more aggressive of the two newcomers apparently decided that that wasn’t enough and threw a punch at Danny, which he managed to duck. The guy’s hand smashed into the driver’s side window of Danny’s truck, forcing a loud yell from the young fool.
This was the first time Danny had actually had the chance to get a look at this guy. He was about the same age as the others, though not as tall and quite skinny, wearing a yellow top and a blue and yellow baseball cap sitting half askew on his head, how some young guys seemed to like wearing them these days. He also had a piercing in his left eybrow, with a ring in it.
‘Fuck it. I’m gonna kill you,’ the guy screamed in Danny’s face. ‘I’m gonna kill you . . .’
Just then another car turned into the street, its lights falling across the group of boys. His two main attackers turned to look at the car and that’s when Danny seized his opportunity, while their attention was elsewhere, and brushed past them, running for all he was worth.
‘As I ran away up into the park all I could hear was the sound of his voice ringing in my ears . . . “I’m gonna kill you . . . I’m gonna kill you . . . I’m gonna . . . . .” and also his laughing,’ Danny said to me.
‘I feel like such a wuss for running like that. But what else could I do, apart from get my head bashed in? I found that spot amongst the trees and that’s where I stayed until you came. They only left just before you got there. They were sitting down there drinking and getting louder and louder, so I wasn’t game to move.’
‘You did the right thing Danny, both by getting away from them and by calling me. You have nothing to feel ashamed about. Do you understand me?’
When I had finished Danny looked up at me and nodded. The relief in his eyes obvious. Someone who cared about him still loved him for what and who he was. Totally unconditional. Then he hugged me once more.
* * * * *
As bashings go I guess it really wasn’t what you would call a big deal, maybe a four or five on a scale of one to ten, but it certainly could have quite easily escalated into something worse. As it was I think Danny could consider himself lucky to have gotten out of it with just a few scratches and bruises.
I deliberately didn’t mention to him my own experience in this very same park when I was not much older than he was now, when I’d had a knife pulled on me. I did the very same thing that Danny had done, high-tailed it out of there, so for that reason alone I certainly couldn’t judge him harshly for what had taken place. Maybe I’ll tell him about that some time later on? Or maybe not.
I was just glad that this time he had escaped relatively unscathed, all things considered. It would be an experience that he would remember for a long time and quite possibly even carry around some emotional scars because of it, but it would be an experience that he would learn a great deal from and next time he felt the need arising to visit this place, assuming there was a next time, then he would be better equipped to handle it. Of that I was sure.
We stood up from where we had been sitting and walked a little further along the creek, following the concrete path as it followed the gentle curve of the waterway. Along each side of the creek there stood rows of massive willow trees, their leaf-covered branches reaching down like tentacles into the brown water, occasionally being whipped up by a breeze and flicking water here or there. We laughed as ducks were sent scurrying by the branches. Beneath these branches it was cool and refreshing, and we stopped and lingered in the shade of these trees a few times before continuing along the path.
As we wandered along we made small talk about a few different things, like how his parents and siblings all were, and what was happening back on the farms. I asked him how everything was going for him, with his university studies and living in town.
‘To be honest,’ he replied, ‘I’m really struggling.’
‘Really?’ I asked, my eyebrows raised.
‘Yeah, well, you know that it was mum who wanted me to go to uni, but I’m really not cut out for it. I struggle big time with my grades . . . I’m flat out keeping up. My place is at home, working on the farm, working with the sheep and cattle, or being on the back of a horse, or even driving a bloody tractor.’
‘Your mum knows that an education is important. She only wants what is best for you.’
‘Yes, I can understand that, but if I can’t hack it, then what is the point in pushing it? I’m cut out for working on the land, not studying books.’
‘Have you spoken with your folks about this?’
‘Are you going to?’
‘I . . . I don’t know.’
Pretty soon we came to a road which intersected the park, leading back up toward the main shopping area.
Without comment we both turned, following this street back up the hill until we found the main street once more. We weren’t actually very far from where I had parked the car so we went to it and got in.
‘I don’t know about you,’ I said to him as I put the key into the ignition, ‘but after all last night’s excitement I think I could do with some more sleep.’
‘Excitement?’ he asked.
‘You know what I mean.’
‘Yeah, I think I do. So what are you going to do now?’ he asked. ‘Are you going to go back home?’
‘I think the more important question is what are you going to do?’ I replied.
He looked across at me with disappointment etched across his face.
‘Whatever you want to do in life mate, I will stand by you. I want you to know that. If you are miserable here and can’t seeing it making any difference to your future, then perhaps you should think about coming back home and working on the farms? There’s always plenty to do there.’
‘My old man won’t want me anywhere near him if he finds out about last night,’ he replied flatly.
‘Well, he’s not going to find out anything about it from me.’
‘But having said that, you don’t want to let that, or him, rule your life entirely. I mean, sooner or later you are going to need to face your father about this . . . about who you are . . .’
‘I know,’ he sighed.
‘Just sleep on it,’ I suggested. ‘And speaking of sleep . . . that’s where I think I want to go right now.’
Starting the engine I backed out of the parking space and headed back in the direction of the motel. Danny was quiet as we drove the short distance back there.
I switched off the car and pulled the keys from the ignition.
‘No matter what happens Dan, everything will work out for the best.’
‘Do you really believe that?’
‘Yes, I do,’ I answered. ‘Sometimes the path we have to take may not seem like the right one at the time, but we end up in the right place at the end of it.’
‘I hope so.’
‘Trust me,’ I said as I opened the door and stepped outside.
He followed me into the motel room and, as I pulled the curtains across to block out the sunshine, he switched on the air conditioning unit, then kicked off his boots and pulled off his shirt.
I walked over to him and checked out his bruises. They had darkened slightly in the few hours since this morning. Reaching up to his face I placed my hand on the side of it and brushed my thumb over the bruise on his cheek and around his eye. He winced slightly.
‘Maybe you better not go home for a little while,’ I said. ‘At least until the damage isn’t quite as noticeable.’
He reached up and placed his hand over mine, sandwiching it between his hand and his cheek. I could feel the heat of him on my hand.
‘I could always come and stay with you for a while?’ he asked, his eyes almost pleading with me.
‘Do you think th. . .’ I started to say, but was soon silenced by his placing a finger over my lips.
‘Please, don’t say anything,’ he whispered.
Despite the air conditioning unit humming away solidly, the temperature suddenly felt as if it was starting to rise.
Reaching his face forward he placed his lips over mine, lingering there for a few moments before pulling away and gazing into my eyes. It was almost like he was challenging me to push him away, but right at that moment I was powerless to respond in any way, shape or form.
My mind was in turmoil. Here was my own nephew, a young man whom I found incredibly attractive, throwing himself at me. I knew it was wrong. It was against every principle that I had ever known, yet . . . yet did those principals truly matter if there were two consenting male adults attracted to each other as clearly as the two in this room were attracted to each other?
Once more he reached forward and kissed me, lingering there for a long time, before then probing forward with his tongue.
I couldn’t resist. My lips soon parted, accepting his advances. This was all the invitation he needed as one arm reached around my waist and pulled me close to him, our groins coming together, each feeling the growing heat and passion of the other.
With a hand on either side of my waist he tugged at my T-shirt, pulling it loose then pulling it upward and over my head. I raised my arms to allow him to remove it then dropped my hands to his jeans, clumsily undoing the button and pulling down his zipper, as he did the same for me.
‘You’ve had some practice,’ I gently teased him one time as I came up for air.
‘But there is still so much for me to learn,’ he responded. ‘Will you teach me?’
I had to give him credit, he was certainly crafty. He had managed to get me to the point where I couldn’t resist him any further, so then it would have to be me who took us on the rest of the journey.
As we both stepped out of our jeans and came together once more I turned him slightly so that he was backed up against the bed, then while our lips were still locked together I placed one hand on his chest, gently pushing him backwards as I did so, until he lay on the bed beneath me.
Breaking contact with his mouth I started working my way down his body, caressing his neck, kissing each of the dark blue bruises that he was adorned with, kissing each of those well formed nipples which were standing to attention on his chest, kissing down along the well defined six-pack to his navel, into which I thrust my tongue.
Suddenly I found myself face to face with the engorged head of his penis, and an incredibly well formed, uncut, seven inch specimen it was too. Much to my surprise I found that he had trimmed his pubic hair, something which I had always found highly erotic.
From the tip of his cock a healthy drop of pre-cum oozed, glistening and inviting, so I reached for it with my tongue, scooping it up and savouring it. No doubt about it, the boy was sweet.
As I did this Danny gave a sharp gasp. He obviously liked it, but what followed was something he liked even more, as when my mouth engulfed his cock his moans were soon echoing around the room.
I worked on him for a few minutes more, teasing him by bobbing my head up and down, working my tongue around the head of his penis, before starting to work my way down his shaft, then back up again. Eventually I settled my mouth at the base of his shaft, taking first one ball, then the other into my mouth, gently tugging with my teeth at his sack with each one and also sucking on each testicle, before then nuzzling that sensitive area below his balls, licking and probing with my tongue.
‘Oh fuck, don’t stop that,’ he swooned, but I had to stop, as I wanted to save something for the next time I was down there.
He may have been disappointed when I went back to work on his balls, then up along his shaft to the shining head of his cock, but that was soon forgotten when I once again swallowed him whole. Quickly I built up rhythm, rocking back and forth while teasing the head with my tongue.
I soon felt his body tense beneath me and saw his testicles draw up tight to the base of his cock. It was almost time. There was no stopping now.
A few more strokes and he was finally over the edge, his cock spewing long ropes of precious semen into my mouth, hitting the back of my throat. I sucked and sucked and used my hand to squeeze his cock and milk every last drop from him, before finally rolling on my back and letting him go.
I hadn’t quite finished yet, however, so crawling up alongside him I was soon face to face with my angelic nephew, whose grin went from ear to ear.
Without giving him a chance to say anything I covered his mouth with mine, forcing his lips open with my tongue and allowing some of his own precious seed which I hadn’t swallowed to trickle down into his mouth. Much to my surprise, he wanted more and soon thrust his tongue into my mouth, searching every crevice for every last drop.
‘Oh wow,’ Danny said when we finally parted and I rolled onto my back beside him.
‘You liked that, hey?’
‘Fuck yeah!’ he replied, rolling onto his side and facing me, licking his lips as he did so.
‘I don’t think you’ve been entirely honest with me!’ I teased. ‘Just a few wanks and blow jobs at school?’
‘A guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do,’ he chirped.
‘So it seems.’
‘So, what do you think? Can I come and stay with you?’ he asked.
Cuddling up close to him I said, ‘How about you just let me sleep on it?’
Of course, I already knew what the answer would be, but figured he didn’t need to know that just yet, and so, content in each others arms, we both soon drifted off to sleep.