Justin looked from Sally to me, and back again. Within seconds his complexion had gone from a healthy tan to a ghostly white.
‘It’s not what you’re thinking Sally,’ I said tersely.
‘Sure, whatever you say Scott.’
‘I’m serious, Sally. If you don’t believe me ring Tom down at the pub, he’ll tell you all about calling me at one thirty in the morning.’
I looked at Justin and noticed that now he was blushing.
‘You don’t have to worry about me, boys, I won’t tell a soul,’ she responded, with a wink and a smirk on her face that I didn’t like at all. She had walked in and straight away jumped to the wrong conclusion.
‘I know you won’t,’ I said, with my voice raised, ‘because there’s nothing to tell.’
At this she lost all trace of the smirk from her face, finally realising that I was being deadly serious. She looked from me to Justin and just stared at him.
‘It’s true, Sally,’ Justin offered, rather meekly. ‘Scott dragged me out of the pub at about two o’clock this morning. I tied one on last night and was passed out in the toilets.’
After a few moments of silence, during which she looked from one of us to the other and then back again, she finally said, ‘Oh. Sorry.’
Then she promptly turned on her heels and walked out of the kitchen, back toward the office.
I picked up my plate then went and sat down opposite Justin, and looked across at him. He was toying with his eggs, pushing them from one side of the plate to the other.
‘Don’t take any notice of her,’ I said to him. ‘She goes off half-cocked all the time, like all the women around here. Must be something in the water, I reckon.’
Justin looked up at me and managed a faint smile, then went back to chasing his eggs around the plate with a fork.
‘Are you okay?’ I asked him, putting my knife and fork down on my own plate.
‘She . . . she thought . . .’ he started to say, but couldn’t finish the sentence.
‘She thought we slept together,’ I said in a matter-of-fact manner.
‘Yeah, she did, didn’t she?’
‘I’m sorry,’ I said to him. ‘That’s just the way she is.’
‘She knows about you then?’
I nodded. ‘But she’s the only one around here who does . . . at least that I know of. And if she ever whispers a word of it to anyone, she’s one dead secretary.’
This brought a smile back to his face, if only for a minute, after which his expression once again returned to a serious one. For a moment I thought that he was going to say something to me, he opened his mouth as if he was going to, then he closed it and looked away once more, gazing out the window.
‘All in good time’ I thought to myself, then picked up my knife and fork and finished my breakfast.
* * *
When we had finished eating I cleared away our plates and set them on the sink, then showed Justin where his clothes were, still hanging in the laundry. He quickly pulled on his shirt and pants, sadly hiding the body from me that I had spent the last few hours admiring.
I pointed at his wallet and comb and the other things I had pulled from his pockets and he made as if to pick them up, then hesitated when he saw the little foil packet amongst them. He looked up at me, almost guiltily, with his hand paused above them, but still trembling slightly.
‘Don’t worry, I didn’t look at it mate. I don’t care what it is, or where it came from. It’s none of my business,’ I said to him.
I noticed his eyes flicker for a moment, then his hand dropped onto his belongings and he picked them up.
‘I believe you,’ he said. ‘I don’t know why, but I trust you. If it had been dad and he’d found it, he’d have been ranting and raving by now, wanting to know what it was and where I got it from. Then I would have been telling him to mind his own fucking business again and would have stormed out of the house again.’
‘But I’m not your father.’
‘No. You’re not,’ he replied, then put his belongings back into his pockets, all except the foil packet, which he held in front of him on an open palm.
I watched him as he looked down at what he was holding, his face clouded by indecision, as he tried to make up his mind what to do next. Then slowly his hand closed over the packet and he turned and walked out of the laundry and into the hallway, with me following. I stopped when I realised that he was headed for the toilet, which was at the end of the hall, and then watched as he tossed the packet into the bowl and flushed it.
He looked up at me and grinned, then started back down the hall toward me.
‘I don’t need it,’ he said to me.
‘Aren’t you at least a little bit curious about it though?’
I grinned and said, ‘Maybe. But like I said, it’s really none of my business.’
He walked past me and returned to the laundry, where he picked up his shoes and socks, then came back out into the lounge room, where he sat down and started putting them on his feet, while I leant up against the doorway and watched him.
‘How are the shakes?’ I asked him.
He looked up at me and said, ‘I’m fine now. Thanks. Something to eat usually helps settle things down a bit.’
I just nodded and smiled at him.
When he had finished tying his laces he sat back in the lounge chair and stared out the window. I followed his gaze and could see his father standing outside their cabin, looking up and down, as if looking for someone.
‘I got it last night,’ Justin said to me, finally, ‘off some young guy I was drinking with. That was what gave me the shakes.’
‘I kind of figured that one out,’ I replied.
Justin looked up at me, his expression remaining impassive. ‘It was E.’
‘E?’ I asked rather naively. ‘Oh, as in, E for Ecstasy?’
He nodded glumly.
‘Why?’ I asked.
‘I thought you didn’t care?’
‘Yeah well. There are some things I do care about,’ I answered.
‘I’ve tried it a few times and it gives me a rush, but it always seems to have this effect on me,’ he said, while holding out an unsteady hand toward me.
‘So why try it again and again? And what about next time?’ I asked.
‘There isn’t going to be a next time,’ he answered, looking back out the window. ‘I think it’s about time I cleaned up my act. I’ve been angry and resentful and unhappy for years, because I thought no one cared about me. But in a few days, you’ve changed all that. I suppose I should thank you.’
I simply shrugged. He looked up at me and grinned, and suddenly I felt the whole room light up.
‘What made you think no one cared? And what was the bit last night about being worthless?’
He looked back down towards where his father was still standing, and frowned.
‘Did I say that?’
‘Maybe next time,’ he replied with a wry grin, then got to his feet.
‘Thanks, Scott. And I really mean that.’
I nodded. I knew that he did.
‘You still going fishing later today?’
‘Maybe tomorrow now,’ I replied. ‘After last night, I think I need some sleep.’
Justin laughed, then headed for the door.
‘Okay, I’ll see you later,’ he said to me, then walked out into the morning sun.
With a knot in my stomach that I couldn’t fully comprehend, I watched him as he walked down the path and then turned down the main driveway and headed toward his father.
As far as getting him to open up to me about his problems, it wasn’t much really. But it was a start at least, and I was happy with that.
* * *
Sally came meekly into my office a couple of hours later and placed a cup of coffee on my desk, just as she did most days.
She was a few years older than I was. Still single, like I was. And still half hopeful, like I was.
It was a strange position that she held for me, which was a legacy from when my parents ran the business. She was part time secretary, part time cleaner and part time mother, all rolled into one, and in spite of her annoying the crap out of me more often than not, I would have been lost without her.
After she put the coffee on the desk she sat down on the comfy old arm chair opposite and sat there studying me for quite a while.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked her after a few minutes.
‘Did you really drag him out of the pub last night?’ she asked.
‘Uh, huh,’ I answered, then had a sip of coffee.
‘So you have saved him again?’
‘Hmmppff. Christ, Sally, does everything have to be so melodramatic with you? No, I haven’t saved him again. He still hasn’t even told me why he wanted to kill himself . . . but I get the feeling that he will . . . eventually.’
She considered this for a moment, then said, ‘He doesn’t seem as . . . intense . . . as he did when he arrived. I think he’s changed a bit, even in this short space of time, probably being back in these old surroundings, and probably . . . being around you.’
‘You’re imagining things,’ I replied.
‘I don’t think so,’ she said softly, then after a slight pause she added, ‘and I think you’ve changed a bit too in this past week.’
‘Now I do know that you have lost your marbles,’ I said to her. ‘You’re seeing things that aren’t there again.’
‘Am I? You just mark my words.’
She got up and left after that, leaving me sitting there alone, looking up at the smiling face of Justin shining out at me from behind its glass frame.
Was she right about Justin? Was she right about me?
Who could know? But I did know that since Justin had returned I certainly did feel different. I don’t know if it was just the fact that he was an old friend and I was glad to be trying to help him out, or if it was something deeper.
I felt it though, but there was no way I could ever let Sally know that.
After finishing my coffee I returned to my bookwork, which had been rather neglected over the past week or so, and then when I was finished I went outside and jumped into the truck and turned it over, without telling Sally I was leaving.
The old beast finally started on about the third try, and when it did I wasted no time in backing out of the carport and heading out the gates. I wasn’t sure where I was heading just yet, but I knew that I needed to get away for a little while to clear my head.
I drove through the middle of town, crossing the bridge over the creek, and then following the main drag south. There were lots of places I could go on that side of town where I could just sit and think, or get out and wander along the beach . . . there was a nudist beach, another old lighthouse, or miles and miles of sand dunes between Thompsonville and Macquarie Harbour which were sometimes mined for minerals, or sometimes used for tourism, with camel trekking or quad-bikes tours. In the end I chose the lighthouse. It was as good a place as any to go and lose yourself for a few hours, so I turned down that road and headed for the point.
All I wanted was some time to think. Some time to be myself. Some time to let off a bit of steam.
When I stopped in the almost empty car park I got out and headed for the highest point, where I could look down toward the beach, electing to simply relax and watch the waves roll in. There were one or two adventurous souls out on the water, paddling out and then riding them back in to shore, time and again, but apart from them, the place was deserted.
I loved just sitting there and watching these graceful men and boys for hours, with their toned bodies and elegant moves. So that was what I did, and it was mid-afternoon before I made it back into town, thanks to a chance encounter with one of the surfers who had been out on the water.
He was about nineteen or twenty, with long dark hair, dark eyes and a smooth surfer’s body, and had said hello as he was walking back up from the beach with his board under his arm. I said hello back to him, and I watched him as he made his way toward the car park. I noticed him glance back over his shoulder towards me a few times as he trudged onwards, and continuing to do the same as he strapped his board to the racks on the top of his car, an old VW beetle.
As far as distractions went, to take my mind off other things, I thought that he would be a fairly nice one, so when I noticed him head toward the amenities building I got up and followed him, trying not to be too obvious but definitely not succeeding. Unfortunately he didn’t go inside, instead he simply turned on the outdoor shower that was set up outside the toilets and began washing off the salt and sand. I was committed, so I continued, and went inside, finding that there were both toilets and showers inside – surprisingly complete with hot water. He didn’t follow me in, but as I stood at the urinal feeling somewhat foolish I could hear the shower still running outside.
It looked like I had struck out, so I headed back toward my truck, passing him as I went, and noticing he had stripped off his wetsuit and pulled on some board shorts, which I hadn’t noticed him bringing with him . . . unless they were already on him, hidden by the wetsuit. He smiled as I passed him, but if all he was doing was being a prick-teaser it was a waste of time, so I headed for my truck, as he continued washing himself down, running his hands over his smooth, tanned body, and down into his shorts, while I furtively watched.
As I sat there I began to think to myself that I must be some kind of pervert or something. Or I was growing desperate. I mean, what kind of person was I to be staking out guys at public places such as this, and having wicked thoughts about them. Was that normal? I knew that I wasn’t alone . . . there were thousands of guys just like me out there who didn’t mind cruising these places, so maybe that was normal. After all, I was a typical hot-blooded Aussie guy in my mid-twenties, who liked a roll in the hay just as much as the next guy, so maybe it was those who were single and who weren’t out looking for some action who were the ones who weren’t normal? Who knows?
When he had finished washing himself I noticed him staring back at me, just as I had been staring at him. Even from the distance that there was between us, I could see him smile, then after shutting off the water, he started walking towards to me. Before I knew it he was sitting in the truck beside me.
We chatted about all sorts of things for a little while; the weather, the surf, the beach, but all the time we were looking each other up and down with appraising eyes. I jumped when he placed his hand on my leg and began running his fingers along the inside of my thigh, before eventually coming to rest on my groin, which had long ago become aroused.
‘Do you come here often?’ I heard him whisper.
‘Not really?’ I replied, my throat dry and raspy.
As we sat there in broad daylight, he moved closer towards me and reached over and undid the buttons on my shorts. He pulled my throbbing cock free of my shorts and I felt myself trembling at his touch, but I didn’t want him to stop. I wanted him to continue working his silky hands along my shaft, but I also wanted more.
So that I didn’t feel quite so confined, I hooked my thumbs in the side of my shorts and managed to pull them down a little, allowing my new friend a little better access, at which he dropped to his knees in front of the seat and leant in closer to me.
I could feel his hands wrapped around me. I could feel his hot breath blowing over me. I just shut my eyes and leant back, shivering at the first touch of his tongue on the tip of my penis, but then being swept away with a familiar warm and fuzzy feeling as his lips wrapped themselves around me.
It felt weird, doing this out in the open like this, but there was no one around so we both just enjoyed the moment while it lasted, and it lasted a while as he skillfully went to work on me. He ran his tongue around the head of my meat. He licked my shaft from one end to the other and back again. He sucked each testicle into his mouth, one at a time, and teased them gently.
Then he started working on me in a familiar rhythmical fashion, with both his hands and with his mouth. Time and again he brought me to the point where I thought I was about to explode, but each time he backed off at just the right moment and let me relax, before starting all over again.
‘Don’t tease me like this,’ I whispered to him.
There was a muffled response, but as he had his mouth full at the time, I couldn’t really understand a word he was saying.
This time he didn’t tease me any more. This time he let it happen. And when next I came to the point of no return, he let me pass it, finally exploding in his mouth, filling him with all the juice that he could suck from me, right down to the very last drop.
When he had finished he sat back upright and grinned at me, with cum dripping down his chin, like some medieval vampire who had just drunk his fill from his latest victim. Still grinning, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and said, ‘Thanks, I enjoyed that,’ and then he climbed out of the truck and walked away.
* * *
Sally and Mrs Richards were both in a fluster, beside themselves with either worry or fury (depending on which one of them you were listening to), when I finally arrived back at the caravan park in the early afternoon.
They both met me in the carport as soon as I had pulled up and both were rambling on incoherently.
‘I knew that boy was no good,’ Mrs Richards kept saying.
‘Scott, you’ve got to go and look for him,’ Sally was saying.
‘Fancy standing out in the middle of the park arguing at the tops of their voices for all to hear. Whatever happened to having respect for your parents?’ Mrs. Richards added.
‘I’m really worried, Scott. He was so angry when he ran past the office. I don’t know what he might do.’
Faced with the differing opinions being offered, I knew which one I would rather believe.
‘Calm down, both of you,’ I snapped. ‘Now tell me what has happened?’
Eventually I managed to piece the story together from the bits and pieces that each offered. It seemed that Justin and his father had had an argument some time after I had left that morning, a real toe-to-toe screaming match right outside their cabin, and if it hadn’t have been for a couple of guests intervening, it apparently could have resulted in more than just words being thrown.
I left them there then, squabbling amongst themselves, and ran down the road towards the cabin that the Blacks were inhabiting, before banging on their door when I reached it.
The door was opened by Justin’s mother, her hair disheveled and her face streaked with tears. She looked up at me, helpless and afraid.
‘What’s happened?’ I asked. ‘Where are they both?’
‘I don’t know,’ she answered, turning away from me and heading back inside.
Not knowing what else to do, I followed.
‘Justin came home this morning,’ she said, ‘and Peter demanded to know where he had been, so Justin told him. He said he was at the pub last night drinking with some friends, and that the owner rang you, because he was passed out or something, and that you went and picked him up. Is that true?’
‘That’s about it,’ I agreed, deciding that I wouldn’t mention anything else about what had happened, or what I had found in Justin’s clothes, unless they brought it up themselves.
‘Peter told him he should wake up to himself and not drag you into his troubles.’
At this, I almost laughed, since it was Peter who had asked me to get involved in the first place and try and get through to his son.
‘I don’t want you to worry about Justin,’ I said to her. ‘We had a long talk this morning and I think he’s on the way back from wherever it was that he’s been for these past couple of years. He hasn’t told me why he tried to harm himself yet, but I think he will eventually. He’s a good kid, Jenny. He’ll be all right.’
‘I hope you’re right,’ she answered. ‘But where is he now? I think Peter has gone out to look for him.’
To be continued . . .