Rough Boys Ch. 22byroughboy18©
This is a copyrighted work of fiction. All rights reserved. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
All characters engaged in sexual acts in this story are at least eighteen years of age.
Abe grunted with pain as he lifted his arm to slide it into his sleeve.
"Here, let me help you." Ty was immediately at his side, helping him with his shirt, fussing with the hem. "Are you sure you're up for this?" he asked, peering up at Abe with concern.
"Yes, definitely. It will be good to get out of this apartment. And I wouldn't miss this concert for anything."
"There'll be other chances to see them, I'm sure."
"Probably not too many at a small private venue like this," Abe pointed out.
"Yes, but we're friends with them. We see them all the time."
Abe was about to argue further that he had never seen them play, but decided to leave it. "It'll be good for me to get out," he said instead.
"Yes, it probably will. But promise me you'll let me know the minute you get too tired or if you're in pain and we'll come home. Are you sure you don't want a pain-killer before you leave?"
"No, I'm good," Abe said. "I took some already—not the hard stuff, but I don't need it anymore." Abe made a mental note to destroy the rest of his prescription pain meds. He didn't want them sitting around the house to tempt Ty.
Ty disappeared into the bathroom.
Abe put his shoes on and grabbed his cell phone, wallet, and keys. A few minutes later he went to find what was keeping Ty. He was still in the bathroom, fussing with his hair.
"You look great, babe," Abe said appreciatively.
Ty's faded jeans hugged his ass perfectly. He was wearing an olive green T-shirt that brought out the color in his eyes. His auburn hair fell to his shoulders, shiny and sleek.
"I need a haircut," Ty said. "Maybe I should put it into a ponytail."
"It looks perfect." Abe ran his hands through the silky stands.
Ty stepped back into him, then turned and slid his arms around Abe's waist. He smiled up into Abe's warm eyes.
Abe bent down and tasted his lips. He meant it to be a short, sweet kiss, but the minute their lips touched, passion spiked through both of them. The next thing he knew Ty was moaning and rubbing his crotch against his thigh and his own hands were kneading the younger man's firm ass.
"Oh, god," he groaned. "Do we have time?"
Ty pulled away from him. "Not really, and we just got dressed."
"Babe, you get me so turned on," Abe adjusted his swollen cock to a more comfortable position in his tight jeans.
Ty smirked at him. "Yeah, I think it's mutual."
Abe eyed Ty's bulge and suppressed groan of desire
Ty went to the closet and grabbed hoodies for both of them. "It looks like a really nice day out, but I never trust spring weather."
"I'll be fine, babe."
"Yes, you will, because I'm bringing a jacket for you just in case it gets windy or something."
Abe smiled. "You're worse than my mom,"
"Abe!" Ty nearly choked. "I couldn't possibly be!"
Abe laughed heartily.
As they walked out the door, Abe asked, "So what do you think Sally's announcement is going to be?"
"My guess is that she's going to reveal what she's going to do next. I can't imagine her getting a regular job. She's bound to do something entrepreneurial."
"Hopefully less dangerous than her previous endeavor."
"Yeah, that didn't work out too well," Ty said darkly, thinking of Kaeden.
"Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later."
The elevator arrived and they entered it.
"You think? She was extremely careful. She took every precaution to protect her boys. What happened to Kaeden was just a fluke."
"Kaeden was in a dangerous business."
Ty glanced at him sharply and Abe hastened to add, "I certainly am not blaming Kaeden or saying he deserved what happened to him in any way. But, when it comes right down to it, when you have sex with someone, you are making yourself extremely vulnerable. You go someplace secluded together, you take off all your clothes ... if someone had an inclination to hurt you, you are handing them an opportunity. You really shouldn't have sex with someone you don't know well and trust."
"I hadn't really thought about that. Lots of strangers have consensual sex."
"That's true, but if you engage in that kind of activity on a regular basis, you're taking a risk—unless you're like me, of course."
"What do you mean?"
"Even alone and naked, I'm pretty formidable." Abe grinned.
Ty snorted. "Yes, you're invincible—until some crazy fuck with a gun comes after you." The elevator arrived at the lobby, but Ty couldn't help hugging Abe tightly. "I love you so much." There were tears in his eyes as he thought about how he'd almost lost his love.
"I love you too, babe." Abe squeezed Ty's hand tightly as they went to flag down a cab.
Butterflies careened around in Dani's stomach.
"You're not nervous, are you love?" Nigel asked, taking his hand.
"A little," Dani admitted.
"This crowd is nothing. You'll have to get used to playing for thousands—tens of thousands. We're going to be rock stars."
Dani laughed. "Modest much?"
"He's just being realistic," Erin assured him. Her blue eyes sparkled with anticipation. It was clear she loved playing for a crowd. Dani couldn't help but feel jealous of her enthusiasm as his stomach flip-flopped like a beached fish.
An elevated stage had been set up in the corner of Sally's yard. All of the sound equipment was in place. Leather had agreed to play for free as a benefit for Sally's new venture, and the studio was looking at it as a PR opportunity and a trial run for the band. They hadn't played in public since Dani and Erin had joined. The studio had supplied some equipment and a soundman, and one of their videographers was on hand to record the event. Dani wished he wasn't.
Sally's backyard was already crowded with people who were chatting happily and drinking sodas or lemonade. Balloons and streamers added a festive feel, and the soundman was playing background music, currently a track from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Dani glanced at his phone, noting that Sally was due to make her announcement in just a few minutes, after which they would be up. He wished it were over already.
"Hey, Dani!" He spun around and found Ty and Abe behind him. He hugged Ty warmly and Abe gingerly.
"They let you out and about, huh?" Dani asked Abe.
"Yes, as long as I'm with my keeper."
Ty rolled his eyes. "Let me find a chair for you," he said.
"I'm okay," Abe protested.
"Yes, now maybe, but you'll get tired if you stay standing." Ty disappeared into the crowd.
Abe shook his head. "See what I mean about my keeper?"
Dani smiled. "Better do as nurse Ty says," he teased.
Abe muttered something that Dani didn't quite catch. His voice sounded almost like a growl.
"Here you go," Ty said. He was carrying a sturdy dining chair. "Let's sit over here in the shade." He led the way off to the side of the lawn but still close enough to the stage for a good view. He set the chair down in the shade of a large oak tree.
The rest followed him.
"I'm not an invalid," Abe grumbled, but Ty shot him a piercing look, so he sat in the chair without further complaint. It did feel good to be off his feet. He'd already done more standing and walking in the past hour than he had for weeks.
The music suddenly cut off and all eyes turned to the stage as a hush fell. Sally was holding a microphone and beaming at the crowd. She was wearing a bright Indian-inspired dress, and her salt and pepper hair hung in a long braid over her shoulder. She looked much better than she had the last time they'd seen her.
I wish that Kaeden had recovered so well, Dani thought.
"I'd like to thank you all for coming out today and supporting me on my next venture. Of course, I know you're all really here to hear Leather play, so I'll be short and sweet." Sally's voice rang out clearly.
"I've thought long and hard about what I want to do next. Up until the disastrous ending of my previous endeavor, I really enjoyed it. I realized what I enjoyed the most was not the business aspect of it—in fact, no matter how many years I did it, that part always made me a bit uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong; I think it's is a beautiful thing and I also believe there's nothing intrinsically wrong with making money by selling it, as long as all parties are willing and everything is done safely. However, I always worried about my boys. Not only did I worry about their physical well-being, for good reason...." Her face darkened momentarily. "But I also worried that some of the boys weren't as eager as they led me to believe and were working out of a sense of desperation or obligation."
"The part I loved about my business was running the house, interacting with the boys, making sure they were taken care of, eating right, not turning to drugs or alcohol or other destructive behavior. I loved the feeling of knowing I was getting someone off the street—pulling them out of a life that would surely be miserable."
Dani was standing next to Ty and felt him shudder. The youth had his hand on Abe's shoulder. The big man glanced up at Ty with concern; he grabbed his hand and squeezed it. Ty's attention was still focused on Sally.
"So I've come up with something that still gives me what I loved most about my previous work, without any of the unsavory bits," Sally continued. "I am going to open a non-profit home for runaway boys."
At this point a mummer went through the crowd. Ty leaned next to Dani and said, "There's Kaeden—on the porch." Dani looked across the yard and spotted the thin Asian standing in the shadows. He couldn't see his face, but his body language said he was nervous or uncomfortable.
He glanced at Sean who was standing on the other side of Abe and saw the Irishman's eyes fixed on Kaeden, the expression on his face unreadable.
"The format will be much the same. I'm hoping my staff will come back and work for me again, with slightly adjusted responsibilities. My money will come from grants and donations, which is completely different from my previous business model. The paperwork is all completed, and that was a new adventure in bureaucracy as well." She rolled her eyes and gave a small laugh.
"I am now licensed to house up to eighteen boys, ages fourteen to twenty-one. If they're under eighteen, their parents will need to be informed, which could be a sticking point for some of them, but I'm hopeful we'll be able to keep a lot of them off the streets and help them adjust to being on their own."
"Yeah, that wouldn't have worked for me," Ty whispered to Dani. "My dad would have been here in a heartbeat to drag me home."
"I guess for it to be legal, the parents would need to know."
"The courts may step in with some cases and grant me temporary custody if there is concern that the youth isn't safe at home. We'll take that on a case-by-case basis. As I said, this is a new adventure, but I'm very excited to learn the ropes.
"Speaking of which, although fund-raising is all new to me, I've had considerable luck in that area so far. Several of our former clients have donated funds to the new endeavor, and one client in particular has been extremely generous, giving us a grant large enough to cover our expenses for the first several years. Although he couldn't join us today, I'd like to hear a round of applause for Mr. Yoshi Takimura."
As the crowd enthusiastically complied with her request, Dani looked toward Kaeden, but the young Asian was still in the shadows.
"That's great. I'm really glad Yoshi came through like that," Ty said.
"Maybe he feels guilty for breaking up with Kaeden. He must have heard of what happened," Dani replied.
Sally wrapped up her speech shortly afterwards, bidding everyone to stay and enjoy the concert, and urging them to give what they could. Donation envelopes were passed around.
"Quick conference," Sean said, gathering his band members together.
Abe tugged on Ty's hand, pulling him down into his lap.
"Be careful," Ty said, worried about hurting Abe. However, his smile showed he was pleased.
"Shall we share the wealth?" Abe asked, accepting an envelope from Tommy as the tall femme worked the crowd.
"I certainly won't argue against the need," Ty said. "I wish she'd made this change a year or so ago. It may have a made a difference for me. Although, then I never would have met you, so maybe it's just as well that things worked out as they did." Sitting on Abe's lap, Ty could feel him boning up. His own cock was getting hard as well. He couldn't be close to the big man, smelling his wonderful musky scent, feeling his hard muscles rippling under his hands, without an immediate and extreme reaction. He had no control where Abe was concerned. He nuzzled his lover's neck and Abe moaned softly into his ear.
"Hey, let's keep it PG," Tommy said, slapping Ty on the thigh with a handful of envelopes.
Ty pulled his face away from Abe's, blushing furiously.
"Oh, good," Abe said. He'd pulled the form out of the envelope and was examining it. "I'm glad you take cards, because we didn't come with enough cash to donate."
"We're a full-service house. Now, be sure to dig deep," Tommy urged, "It's for a good cause."
Ty giggled. "I think Tommy may have found his calling," he whispered to Abe.
A short time later, Leather started their first set with the song "Angels."
Ty watched with rapt attention. He'd heard Dani play numerous times at Café Donovan's but hadn't heard him sing with a full band backup. They sounded awesome. Erin lent her clear alto voice during the chorus, and Sean chimed in with a deep baritone.
They looked amazing too. Erin was clearly in her element, prancing back and forth at the front of the stage in tight, faded blue jeans and a form-fitting red leather tank top. The interplay between her and Sean was perfect as well. It was clear from their body language that they knew each other well and were enjoying themselves immensely.
Ty could tell Dani was nervous, but by the end of the song he seemed better. Nigel was the epitome of British cool as his long-fingered hands expertly kept the rhythm.
They were partway through their third song when Ty left Abe's lap to go talk to Kaeden. He caught up with the young Asian on the porch. Kaeden looked pale and subdued.
"What do you think? They're really good, aren't they?" Ty asked.
"Yes, they really are. I used to watch them practice when Taylor was still in the band. The switch out for Dani and Erin really brings them to the next level."
At the brief pause between songs, Ty asked quietly, "How've you been?"
"I'm okay," Kaeden replied. "Mostly just working, not much else. How's Abe?"
"He's doing a lot better. He got his drainage tube out a few days ago and he's planning to go back to work, just part-time, in another week."
"That's great. Do you know...?" Kaeden stopped in mid-sentence as the opening bars of the next song rang out. His face paled and Ty caught a panicked look in his eye.
"I need to go," he said abruptly. He pulled away from Ty and disappeared into the house with a brief backwards glance at the band. The expression on his face was so sad, it tore at Ty's heart. He wondered what was going on with Kaeden, but decided it wouldn't do him any good to chase him down and demand answers. He was obviously still working through things and it took time to heal.
As he picked his way through the crowd back to Abe he listened to the words of the song and realized it was about Kaeden. It was a beautiful song and by the time Ty had reached Abe's side, a lump had formed in his throat. This was clearly why Kaeden had left so suddenly.
He looked up at Sean and found the big man staring at the porch where Kaeden had been standing, his face carefully blank.
After that Sean's energy level was clearly different. Perhaps most of the crowd didn't notice, but his friends saw his heart on his sleeve. Kaeden's disappearance was tearing him up.
With each song, the audience got more and more worked up. By the time they'd made it through all the songs on their first album, the crowd was in a frenzy. They sang several songs again, but in spite of numerous requests, Sean refused to play "Little Bird" again.
When they left the stage to a roar of applause and Dani's huge smile of relief, Sally took the microphone again for a last short announcement.
She looked happy and excited as she announced that their concert had garnered twenty-seven hundred dollars for her home for boys, as well as a surprise donation by Leather. The band had agreed to donate three percent of their profits to the home for the foreseeable future—a sustaining grant. She had tears in her eyes as she thanked the band for their generosity.
It was a small balm on Sean's soul. It had been his idea and the rest of the band had readily agreed. He just wished Kaeden would have stayed for the announcement. Not that it would have made any difference, he thought bitterly.
I know Kaeden's attracted to me, but I don't think he fell in love with me the way I fell for him. Maybe if he hadn't gotten hurt, we would have had a chance. I may have changed that last verse a little too soon; I'm not sure he'll ever recover. Sean swallowed the lump in his throat. Mechanically he started packing his equipment up.
I'm a fool, he scolded himself. He told me to find someone else. He doesn't love me. I need to learn to live with that. I need to try to forget him.
Kaeden hurried toward the light rail station. His heart was beating too fast and he glanced around nervously.
It's broad daylight, for god's sake. There's no one out to get you, he told himself. That still did not slow his pulse or calm the anxiety that had a firm grip on him.
It wasn't until he was standing on the platform near several women with young children that he started to calm down. He wondered if he'd ever be able to go out alone without coming close to panicking.
He'd never been this way before. He'd walked all over the city by himself at night almost without a care. Now he was afraid of his own shadow.
The pain of loss suddenly hit him hard. Loss of his freedom. Loss of his happiness. Loss of his love. He blinked back tears. It had been so painful to see Sean. He wanted the big Irishman so badly. When Sean had started to play the song he'd written for Kaeden it had been too much. Kaeden was sure he would have broken down sobbing right there if he'd stayed to hear that song.
It's best if I never see him again—give both of us a chance to forget.
There was a little voice in the back of his mind that asked him why. Why should I give up what I want more than anything? But he knew the answer. He'd been over it a thousand times. He'd made a promise to his parents that he intended to keep. He didn't think he'd be able to enter into a serious partnership—he was just too damaged. And there was no point in playing or pretending that he could have a real relationship. That would only hurt his partner, himself, and his parents. He would immerse himself in his work and his large extended family and forget that he was alone.
I'll get used to being by myself, he told himself. It's best this way.
But he couldn't stop his heart from bleeding for what it wanted most.
"Where are we going?" Ty asked Abe in surprise as the black man gave the cab driver an intersection that was nowhere close to their apartment.
"It's a surprise," Abe said with a wink.
"Are you sure you're up for going somewhere else?" Ty asked, looking at Abe with concern. He looked tired.
"I'm fine, babe. I'll be even better if you indulge me just this little bit. It won't take long."