Sweet Southern ComfortbyDWSimon©
*** Liam ***
I stood by the side of the grave, staring at my mother's casket, draped in flowers. For some reason, I couldn't cry. I'd been inconsolable when my dad died, but now, my cheeks were dry. Of course, she'd been sick for years. I guess at this point, I was just glad she didn't hurt anymore. The pain, never ending, heart wrenching pain, had been so difficult to watch. Now all I felt was relief.
Not as many people were here as at my dad's funeral. He had served four terms as the small town's mayor. Half the town had been there. But a huge number of people had shown their support at my mother's funeral. It was really, really touching.
I stayed as long as was necessary, shaking hands, kissing cheeks, thanking all those who came to see her buried. When it was all over, I left for home, at a loss as to what to do. Once inside the house I'd lived in all my life, I took off my tie and hung up the lone suit I owned, putting on jeans, a tee, and my boots. It was Saturday; I always spent Saturdays taking care of the yards of those folks who no longer could.
When I got to Mrs. Samuels house, I mowed the yard, weeded the flowerbed, and then took out the trash for her. I did the same at Mr. Jacobson's, then the Martin's. After I made my usual Saturday rounds, I made my way to my cousin Claire's place. She was a few years younger than my twenty-seven, but we'd always been close. Of all the people in town, she was the first I told I was gay. Pretty much the whole town knew now, but that first time, telling her, was hell. She understood me very well, and I guess now that my life was pretty much empty, I hoped she could give me some advice.
"Liam, sweetie, what has you here on a Saturday?" Her cute, perky face scrunched up in her little concentration face that almost always made me laugh. "Not that you aren't always welcome... but it was your mom's funeral today."
After we'd gotten a couple of drinks, we went out back to sit on her patio, near the garden I had planted for her. "I don't know Claire. I don't know what to do now."
Her laugh was soft, almost musical. "Sweetie, what do you want?"
There were so many hopes and dreams, things I'd buried so long ago. It had always seemed like something hopeless. But now... anything was possible. "I'm not sure. I have an idea." When she arched her brows at me, I rolled my eyes. "Okay, so I know what I want. I just don't know how to get it."
She jumped up from her chair, clapping her hands. "Oh sweetie, I've waited years for this."
Oh God! Now what had I done. "What are you thinking, cousin dear?"
She snapped her fingers and scoffed at the look on my face. "You want a man and now you can go and have one."
Something akin to panic crawled up my spine. "Now come on Claire, I don't need you to manhunt for me."
She slapped her knees with mirth and curled up in my lap. "I wouldn't dream of it. Besides, I'd find the perfect guy and want to keep him for myself. No, you need my help getting started."
I slung my head low. "Am I that bad?"
She tilted my face up and kissed my cheek. "Hell no! But you could use an update on your wardrobe." She ran her hands through my hair and along my beard. "And a new haircut, perhaps we could shave the beard off?" When she saw me shake my head, she backed down. "Okay, we'll trim it... perhaps a goatee."
I shook my head at her, laughing while I did it. "And when are we planning on doing all this? I work all week you know."
She just chucked me under the chin. "Of course silly! We'll go next Saturday."
I rolled my eyes. "You know I've got all those yards to care for."
Claire groaned out loud. "Oh come on, you can make it up a couple of nights during the week."
"I know." Like I'd always been, I was the most honest and vulnerable with Claire. "I'm scared."
She hugged me up tightly. "I know, sweetie. But that's why you got me."
She shrugged. "That's why I'm here. Now... How much money can we spend?"
I thought about it. I didn't make a huge salary, but living with my folks and working constantly from the time I was sixteen had allowed me to squirrel away most of my salary. "As long is it isn't more than eighty thousand, we should be good."
Her look of shock was almost comical. "Why the hell do you still drive that beater truck then?"
I rolled my eyes. "You're gonna make me get rid of that too, aren't you?"
She nodded very emphatically.
"Okay, fine. Saturday it is."
*** Villain ***
He lay slumped in the front seat of his car. The drug had worked quickly, it always does when dancing is involved, all that heart pumping and adrenaline pushes it through the system that much faster. I'd found the combination quite by accident. I'd crushed up an ecstasy tablet and had some powdered drain cleaner. That first person was comatose within moments. When he started to swoon, I helped him into the back of his truck, near his home outside Sacramento. The bar was a dive and that guy had been a moron. I drove him a bit off the beaten track then crawled in the back of the truck and stripped him down.
When I peeled away his shirt and saw a wall of furred muscle, my cock lurched. I didn't care that he was straight and I'd picked him up in a country bar. After I got his boots off him, I spread his legs wide, rolled the condom down my cock, and had at him. It had been so good, I got another condom and did him again. I watched in the papers, after they'd found him, but they couldn't link anything to me. He never recovered from his coma. As far as I knew, he still lay in some ward in California, brain dead. But now I had the right combination of drugs.
This one had been too easy. They'd all been too easy. No challenge. No thrill. After stripping him down, finding a slight, small, but sturdy build, I almost decided to leave him be, not worth my time. But I'd gone to the trouble. I took out the condom and had at him. It took forever; I wasn't interested. He started to stir, and that made it more urgent, but it was still boring. There had to be someone more challenging. Somewhere.
*** Jackson ***
I left the funeral feeling down. I hate funerals, ever since we laid Tante Maria to rest. Because it was expected of me, I went, despite how they always gave me the heebie jeebies. As Chief of police, and out of respect for a city employee, who also just happened to be the son of one of the longest standing mayors, I went and stood by the gravesite.
Liam McCoy was a good, hard worker. Although I'd only been in this small town for eight months, I had seen him out, working hard to keep the city's grounds clean, well maintained, and vibrant. More often then not, I found Liam out mowing the yards of the people who couldn't take care of them anymore. If I'd been inclined, I could have gone out and asked for an opinion of him, but I knew I'd find nary a person who would say 'boo' about him.
He was such a shy man, but a hell of a ball player. When the city held its annual softball games against the other city departments, his team always did well. Other then that, I hardly knew the guy. He was quiet and shy, almost withdrawn. He was the same height as me, but really solidly built. Other then that, I hardly knew him at all.
When I got home, I changed out of the damn tie and put on some sweats without a shirt, grabbed a longneck, and headed out to the garden in my backyard. After relaxing for a few minutes, the phone rang.
"What's your Cajun ass doing home on a Saturday? I thought you'd be out tomcatting."
My chuckle filled the phone. No one but Sam Dixon could get away with calling me a tomcat. "I love you too, asshole."
His own chuckle filled me up, and even though we'd only spent one night together, he could still make me sweat. "I got a problem Jackson. I need your help."
The joking dropped immediately. Hell! What could it be? Every thought ran through my mind. "What's going on Sam?"
His laugh was loud and quick. "Damn, I didn't mean to scare you. I meant I need your help on a professional level."
Relief poured through me. "Don't scare me like that." Belatedly, I added the usual refrain. "Asshole."
"I'm glad you left that hotbed of sin, lust, corruption and murder better known as New Orleans. I'm glad you're nearby, because I could really use your help."
"You got it. What's going on?"
"In the last two weeks, three men have died, two are in comas, and four more have been treated in the hospital; most have been raped. Someone at one of the clubs is dealing some bad X." I could picture him sighing. "It's at one of the gay clubs in town. But no one will talk to a straight cop."
My mind wanted to scoff at that. He wasn't that straight. He'd ridden my cock all through that one night. But I dropped it, because this was serious. "What do you want me to do?"
"You're new to the area, not well known. And no one knows you as a cop. You've always kept the two separate." I wanted to protest, but kept silent. "Go to the clubs, hang out, see if you can spot anyone pushing X."
"Let me guess. No backup?"
"If you spot anything, give me a holler."
I chuckled. Sounded like old times. "How're Melissa and the kids?"
His laugh was both full of humor and a touch of sadness. "They're great."
Oh well, it wasn't meant to be. I pushed it back for now. "I'm glad. Good night Sam."
"Good night Jackson."
*** Liam ***
I made it through the entire week, slowly dreading the coming weekend. Claire was a hurricane when she had an idea brewing in her head. But when Saturday dawned, I got up and headed over to her house at the agreed upon time. She made me bring my most comfortable shirt, jeans and shoes. We drove the forty minutes towards the ritzier parts of the big city where she dropped me off and put me in the hands of a hairdresser friend of hers while she went off to find me some clothes. Oh God! What had I gotten myself into?
Leo was a very competent, very thorough worker. Claire had given him very specific instructions for both of us. What she told him, I didn't have a clue. What she told me was to sit back and do whatever I was told. Jesus. The man was a freaking flame. He practically swished when he walked. I'm surprised he could hold a comb his wrists were so limp. Okay, so it was stereotypical as hell, but man, the guy didn't have to try to set off my gaydar. It was blipping hard.
Three hours later, I'd had my hair gooped up with chemicals, wrapped in foil, and spent a time under a dryer. After it was all done, my hair cut, my beard trimmed and my eyebrows plucked. Ouch. A few minutes before I was all done, Claire came back, smiling big and I knew at that moment I was screwed.
Leo spun me around, so I could see myself in the mirror. What greeted my eyes was a bit of a shock. My normally dull brown hair now had golden and a few red highlights. What had been a full beard was now a thin, nicely trimmed mustache and goatee. It made my eyes look larger, bluer. I couldn't help the grin that spread across my face. Claire met my eyes in the mirror. "So do you think now you could trust me?"
Later, after a marathon of shopping, we were at my house, still toting bags into my bedroom. The woman was insane. She'd bought brand new everything for me. As I went through all the packages, I was amazed at what I saw: shirts, jeans, pants, a vest or two, new socks, and totally different underwear. What was wrong with my boxers? Geez.
"Okay sweetie, try it on. Let me see."
I waited for a few moments, waiting for her to leave. When she didn't move, I know I turned a few shades of red. "Aren't you going to wait in the living room?"
She smiled impishly at me. "Why would I do that?"
My voice held a lethal warning to it. "Claire..."
She rolled her eyes at me. She actually rolled her eyes. "Liam..."
I shook my head. "Fine."
I unbuttoned my shirt and pulled it and the tee under it off. When she gave me a wolf whistle, I actually felt so embarrassed that I held my shirt against my chest. "Claire. Please?"
"Okay fine." She rummaged through a few of the sacks and handed me some clothes. "Try these on. They go together."
As I undid my belt and started sliding my jeans off, she poked her head back in. "Try the new underwear too."
I slammed the door in her face, but did as she told me. As I pulled the silk boxer briefs up my legs, I was amazed at the soft, almost clinging feel of the fabric against my hairy legs. Damn, but it felt good. After pulling them on then reaching down to adjust everything to how it felt comfortable in the now confining underwear, I grabbed the jeans and shirt and got dressed. When I made it out to the living room, Claire whistled at me again. "Damn. I have great taste."
She pulled me into the bathroom and had me stand in front of the long counter mirror. I had to admit I looked pretty damn fine. The shirt clung to my chest and belly, accentuating the strength of one and the flatness of the other. My arms looked huge in the tight, shorts sleeves. As I turned around, she held up a hand mirror and I saw that the jeans hugged my ass, showing off a muscular, well rounded, rather fine looking work of art at me. I couldn't help but grin at Claire. With the new clothes and hair changes, perhaps it wouldn't be so hard to find someone.
When I finished doing my impression of a runway model, Claire and I sat down to dinner. We talked about all the new things I bought and what I should wear with what. After a bit of a silence, I looked over at my cousin, who had this warm, compassionate smile on her face.
"I'm gonna miss you, sweetie."
I was confused. "I'm not going anywhere Claire."
Her smile was happy and sad at the same time. "Perhaps not physically, but you won't be single for very long."
I took her hand. "No matter what, you'll always be my favorite cousin."
She chuckled at the old line we'd said so many times. "I'm your only cousin."
This time, I couldn't bring myself to smart-ass back to her. "You'll always be the one I turn to."
She took a sip of water to clear her throat from emotion. "So... where do you plan on meeting Mr. Wonderful?"
That made me pause. This part was easy; painful, but easy. "I'm not sure. Any suggestions?"
She shrugged. "There are all those clubs in the city. I'm sure you'll meet him at one of those."
The idea filled me with dread. "Come on, Claire. You know I hate those places."
She patted my hand. "I know sweetie. But this way, you can test the waters a bit."
She had a point. So I agreed to go over there that night, to see what was happening.
*** Jackson ***
Sam's plan was a good one. He was right, no one really knew who I was around here. I'd only moved from New Orleans eight months before and had lived my life as a monk. I was burned out, running ragged in a job that took me nowhere. At least here, I was in charge, and could make things happen. I liked the slower pace. It was refreshing to know that I could walk down the streets of my town, knowing that when I saw someone, they wouldn't stare at me as if I were diseased.
I saw Liam on Wednesday when he came to take care of the grounds at the police station. We tried to talk, but I couldn't come up with anything to say. He had such incredibly beautiful, gentle blue eyes. His beard made him look rough. Hell, the muscles and broad shoulders made him look like a bruiser. But it was his eyes, they were so warm, so gentle, that I found myself staring, feeling like an idiot. We'd talked maybe ten times since I'd been in town. Never before had I noticed him. More than anything though, he looked lonely and a bit lost; I tried to pay my condolences, but for the most part, it fell flat. Oh well.
Friday night, I'd noticed some petty drug deals, mostly grass. Not enough to warrant why I was there. Yes, it was against the law, but I was there looking for a shifty X pusher, not a misdemeanor grass charge. I nursed a beer for almost three hours, but when I saw nothing, I left and drove home. If there was someone slipping X into the drinks, like Sam thought, I sure as hell didn't see it.
When I got to the club Saturday night, the crowd impressed me. Lots of gorgeous men, dancing hard to a techno beat on the floor. The previous night, I'd danced a bit, even did some simple grope and neck work on the dance floor. Taking advantage of the upper balcony, I nursed my beer, watching the bar and floor below, searching for any sign that someone was tripping on some bad drugs.
Someone behind me pinched my ass. I saw some huge mountain of man walk out onto the floor and start to dance. He had this graceful air about him, but seemed awkward at first, until the beat sank into him and his mind shut off. The man had some incredible moves. Any thought of drugs left me as I stared through number after number. He seemed to move by his lonesome, but some men turned to him and moved with him. After the seventh number, someone got bold enough to pull his sapphire blue shirt out of his pants and raise it over his neck, leaving it wrapped around his shoulders. What a fucking chest!
Sweat matted hair covered his chest, belly, forearms, a bit at the base of his spine, and a smattering at his neck. God I loved rubbing a hairy front against my own. Something about the rasp and crinkly sound as all that hair fought made me hard. I moved before I knew it. When I got to the main floor, the sweaty, hairy mountain turned to some guy and landed his knee swiftly into his crotch. Oh fuck!
The man crumpled and fell backwards, knocking into some short guy, whose arm propelled, throwing his drink onto a couple smooching on the dance floor. All hell broke loose after that. I had one thought in my mind. Get him out of there. I grabbed his strong, rock-hard bicep and pushed him towards the door. By the time we cleared it, chairs flew, fists met faces, and general bedlam ensued. I pulled the man out of the club and into the alley, where I figured he'd parked, just like me. As we rounded the building, I heard sirens. No drug bust tonight. Damn it!
When we were in the parking lot, I noticed the guy I'd saved tugged his arm away from me. I spun around, pissed that he acted like this after I'd saved him from a night in jail.
"Take your hand off me." His voice was rough, deep and warm. It sent chills up my spine.
"Hey, buddy. In case you didn't notice, you started that riot back there. So I'd consider thanking me."
His eyes widened. "I didn't mean for that to happen."
I chuckled despite my irritation. "Then perhaps you shouldn't have kneed his balls into his throat."
Indignation sparkled in his deep blue eyes, the only thing I could make out on his face. "No, wait a minute. I never said the guy could grope my ass and rub his not very impressive hard on into my hip."
I rolled my eyes at his stupidity. "You were the prime, number one choice tonight. Of course men are going to grab your ass and hit on you. Jesus, first time in a gay bar?"
His eyes were downcast in the shadows. "Yes."
Oh Christ. Contrition filled me. I'm not often wrong, but when I am, I apologize. "I'm sorry. Someone should have told you that what you are wearing was lethal. And if it was your first time, hey, you were fresh meat in there."
The groan would have been comical, if it didn't sound so embarrassed. "Christ, all I wanted... never mind."
"Come on, before we get rounded up and taken to jail." He moved with me, deeper into the parked cars. I spun around when we were under the streetlight, so I could get a better look at him. I almost fell down when I did. "Liam? Liam McCoy?"
His face was just as shocked. "Chief?"
*** Liam ***
It had taken me fifteen minutes, sitting in my car, cursing my cowardice, before I could go into the club. Once I did, I headed straight for the dance floor. It took me a few minutes to relax, let the beat take over, and start moving. A few guys danced with me, a few touched me, offered sex. It wasn't what I wanted, not yet at any rate. I only wanted to dance, to see all these men, look my fill.