tagGay MaleIf You Choose Not to Decide Ch. 01

If You Choose Not to Decide Ch. 01


The doorbell rang. Terry waited a few seconds to see if his mother would answer the door, but he heard nothing. No footsteps, no sound of the door opening—nothing. She must have gone out without saying anything to him. With a sigh of resignation he muted the TV, and tossing the remote on the seat of the recliner, he went to the door and yanked it open.

Gavin Taulbe stood on the porch.

"Surprise, man!" he said. "We're on our way to Montgomery, but we thought we'd take a side trip and see you. Sid's been distracted—she saw a whatnot in front of that j—um, antique store on your main street and had to check it out. She dropped me off. She'll be around later. You alone? Great! Let's see how much fun we can have before she gets here."

They didn't even bother with going into Terry's bedroom. After he'd literally yanked Gavin into the house and slammed the door shut on the outside world—after that first ferocious, lip-bruising, tongue-spraining kiss they'd exchanged, their clothes were off and flung all over the living room. He joyously gripped the other man's shoulders, kissed him again, and then ran his hands and mouth over his muscular, sparsely furred body. Soon he was down on the floor between Gavin's legs, one hand cupping his tensed, hair-husked nutsack and the other wrapped around his thick, veiny, big-headed cock. He had his tongue out to lick the tear away from its single eye, when Gavin said, "Wait, I have a better idea. Lie down."

Terry did so, and the other man knelt over him, top to tail, leaning down to grasp Terry's cock, which had sprung to life at the touch of Gavin's mouth on his. That hot, skillful mouth covered Terry down to the root with the same desperate, years-unslaked hunger that had marked Gavin's first contact with him. Terry grabbed Gavin's ass and pulled him down, and his thick, formidable tool descended into his eagerly opened mouth. He felt a surge of energy, of pleasure run through them both. It was impossible to judge which felt better—Gavin's tongue spiraling around him, or the solid, meaty feel of Gavin in his mouth. It was nearly impossible to tell which was which. They rocked and rolled together, there on the living room carpet. Presently he felt/heard the vibration of Gavin's throat as the man groaned with ecstasy; above him, Terry could see his balls leap and tighten. Terry knew just what he was experiencing, because it was happening to him, too. He clamped his thighs around Gavin's head--

--and whimpered under his breath as warm gouts of semen hit his belly and chest. He felt his cock twitch and spasm in one hand and his balls contracting in the other. He waited for the rhythm of his heart to slow to its normal pace. Near him, in the bed, was the T-shirt he'd been wearing the previous day, kept there for just this purpose. Letting his long legs straighten to the end of the bed, where they hit the footboard, he cleaned himself up with the shirt, rubbing his chest and stomach vigorously to make sure that all trace of his deposit was gone. A canvas laundry hamper in a stainless steel wire frame sat on the other side of the room. Terry sat up and fired the soiled shirt at the hamper. "Two points," he murmured as the shirt disappeared into the basket.

"Ter-ry!" His mother always called him in that fashion if they were in separate rooms, or if she were indoors and he were out, like the old radio program. He'd never heard it, of course, but his mother must have, even though that had to be at second-hand; his grandfather had told him about it. "Terry! You awake?"

"Yes, Mom," Terry replied, pitching his voice so he could be heard in the kitchen. The smell of fresh, hot, strong coffee began to permeate the house and had now reached his room.

"I'm going down to see your father and take him some fresh...supplies. They called me yesterday and told me he was out."

Terry leaped out of bed and put on a pair of pajama bottoms. He never wore them in bed, except when it got cold, but he wore them around the house for decency's sake, when his mother was about. Barefoot, he padded to the end of the hall and stuck his head around the kitchen doorjamb. Victoria Pellegrin was putting two packets of Depends into a big plastic shopping bag, there on the kitchen table. A laundry basket, filled with freshly washed, dried and folded clothing, waited on the table next to her handbag. Terry looked at the kitchen window. It was still dark. Victoria appeared to have been up for hours already.

"Mom, you took him some at the beginning of the week."

"I know. They said he'd run through them all. I don't believe it. I think they're redistributing them to other patients."

"Could be," Terry said.

"Those sumbitches; you've got to watch them like a hawk," Victoria said. "Put the fear of God in them. I don't know how long I'm going to be, so can you go on and open the store?"

"Sure, Mom."

"Thanks, sweetie. And don't forget to turn off the coffeepot before you leave."

"I won't."

Terry helped his mother carry the laundry and the supplies out the back door and she loaded them into her car. He returned to the house and she backed the car down the long shell driveway and took off down the dark street. A faint blue tinge informed the sky to the east.

It was still cool, but that was because the sun had not come up yet. Terry took a quick shower, thinking about his morning as he did so. He'd been dreaming, an inchoate mélange of sexual images and sensations; as soon as he'd awakened, it was easy to sharpen it up by mixing in fantasies derived from the memory of his last astounding day at Latham Construction Supplies, when Sidonie Taulbe, who was outside sales, and her husband had essentially double-teamed him right there in his own office. It had started with just her, and then he'd come in, and Terry had found himself doing things he'd never thought he'd do—

--Like kneeling between another man's spread legs and enjoying the taste and feel of that man's cock in his mouth, enjoying the way he could make him gasp and shiver with just the movement of his fingers in his—

Not surprisingly, he felt his breath crowded in his lungs; his own cock was suddenly horizontal and twitching. He looked at it, and then consideringly at the bottle of body wash on the edge of the bathtub...

Enough outta you, he thought, and abruptly turned the faucet handle all the way to the right. The water wasn't truly cold, not in southern Louisiana at this time of the year, but enough to do what he needed it to do.

He dried himself and pulled on a pair of boxers. Coming back into the bathroom, he looked at himself in the spotty little medicine-chest mirror. He'd been doing that quite a lot since he'd come back to Lac du Miel. Not that it gave him any new information. He saw the same thing he'd always seen: a tall, gangling, almost-pretty guy with fair skin and reddish-brown hair that started looking like it needed a trim a week after he'd had it cut. Victoria said he looked much as his father had when she'd first met him, and he would settle into his looks and age well.

Terry supposed he would, but when he thought about how his father looked now, he got very depressed.

He had come back to Lac du Miel because of family obligations. His father had suffered a stroke, and his mother needed someone to help run their hardware store. Of course, Terry had quit his job at Latham and come back. What else could he do? He was the only kid.

Victoria did her best to prepare him for the changes the stroke had made in Thomas Pellegrin's appearance, but nothing ever prepared you. Even worse than the way Thomas' face was distorted on one side, the limbs that could not receive instructions from the brain to move properly, and the neural damage that had turned his speech to mush in his mouth, was the question of whether he would ever run his business again. He was young to have a stroke.

But there might not be a business in the next couple of years. It had been in the Times-Picayune and the Lac du Miel Gazette that a Wal-Mart was going up a few miles down the road.

"Even if it were ten miles closer to Houma," his mother cracked, "it would still be too close to home." She believed that stress over this coming event had contributed to Thomas' stroke—every bit as much as his long-standing smoking habit and inordinate fondness for fried foods, which he thought he could get by with because he was the kind of man who never gained any weight.

Terry ran a hand over the russet stubble of hair on the lower half of his face. Opening the medicine cabinet, he took out the can of shaving cream and gave it a shake. It was too light and it made no noise. He pressed the button and a pea-sized glob of foam came out. That was the thing he'd forgotten last time he was at the grocery. He thought briefly about running up the hall and borrowing some of the pink girly gel type stuff his mother used, and decided that there was no time like the present to start a beard.

His experience at Latham turned out to be helpful. True, there were more different kinds of inventory and more people to deal with, to say nothing of the direct cash and credit/debit card transactions when Latham dealt mostly in invoices and checks, but these factors were not that big a deal.

In some ways, it was nicer than his old job. There were times at Latham when he saw no one for hours at a stretch. Here, on Lac du Miel's main drag, people came in and out all the time. He had helped in the store in the old days; another reason it was work he was familiar with. Surprisingly little had changed. The strap of jingle bells that used to hang on the door handle had given way to an electronic buzzer that sounded when you opened and closed the door. There was a security system which he had to disarm as soon as he had let himself into the building. There was a nifty computerized cash register that figured up the change for cash transactions and a computer so you could order stock on line.

Although Pellegrin's Hardware sold most of the usual items you found in a hardware store, there were also specialized supplies for the cane farmers and fishermen who made their living in and around the town. You did that, or you worked in a town business, or you commuted to New Orleans or down to Houma. Right now, the store did a decent amount of business, and Terry adjusted to his new-old job easily.

This was the easiest thing about being back in his hometown. After the initial flurry of greetings and reminiscences which had ensued upon Terry's arrival in town, things got dull again. People were glad to see him back, they thought, for good, instead of just infrequent weekend and holiday visits—they asked him how he was bearing up, with the news about his dad, and if he missed living in Houston, was he going to take over the business. But to quote Larry McMurtry, all his friends had gotten to be strangers. He'd been glad enough to leave Lac du Miel. He wanted to go out and see the world. He had somehow managed to get a basketball scholarship to UH, and while he had no illusions about turning pro when he was only a slender 6'3", he'd enjoyed college life and had not screwed up much. The job at Latham had started out being part-time and turned full-time later on.

Now that he was back in his hometown, he felt as if everyone had moved on while his life had stayed at a standstill. All his old girlfriends from high school were married with children now, mostly married to the guys he used to hang out with. It was difficult for him to meet up with anybody. On Saturday afternoons and evenings, he saw the shoals of young girls promenading up and down the streets, giggling in groups; all of them, it seemed, in the regulation uniform of the tribe: the tight little belly shirts, the low-rise jeans, navel-studded to a woman (if you wanted to call them women), their hair streaming waterfall-straight down their backs. They carried their stuff in little backpack-shaped purses. They wore platform clogs that added three inches to their height and he still could not look any of them in the eye. What had happened to all the tall girls? Didn't they grow them here anymore? And not a one of the present crop had graduated from high school yet. For all he knew, they were still in middle school. He honestly couldn't tell.

What his old pals would have said if he'd told them about his last day at work didn't bear thinking about. Especially the way it had ended.

As soon as he got settled in, he set his computer up again—Lac du Miel still didn't have DSL or broadband service—and annoyed Victoria by tying up the phone with his e-mail downloads. One of them was from Sidonie, asking how he was and how he liked life back in his old stomping grounds. Jolene said hey. Included in the e-letter was an attempt to explain why she had orchestrated that Friday afternoon.

She said that her husband came from a deeply conservative, if not entirely conventional background. In fact, his father was a tinfoil-hat-wearing wingnut who'd done time in a Federal pen for his involvement with The Sons of the Lone Star, a survivalist/militia organization. He'd done his best to indoctrinate his son with his prejudices; fortunately Gavin had a lot of them knocked out of him in the Army. But he had enough left to feel very, very conflicted when he had an encounter—which turned into an affair—with another man, in Vietnam. He never told her about it until she accidentally found out, and then she did not handle it well. After thirty years they were still working through this issue. Terry wasn't sure he wanted to know this. He'd had a grand good time in the process of being sucked in—and sucked off—but liked the event better as something like a freak weather occurrence, a tornado where tornadoes don't happen or a rain of frogs. Further, issues and insecurities and expiation were not concepts he was used to connecting with her.

Not that she was apologizing. And from what he gathered, Gavin had gotten it out of his system—he'd made his decision, and wasn't going to look back now; he was more committed to his marriage than ever. So much for Terry's morning fantasies...

The phone rang.

"Pellegrin's Hardware," Terry responded automatically. "How may I help you?" A few times he'd had to stop himself from saying Latham. It was Victoria.

"Is it very busy right now?"

"No, it isn't, Mom. How are things at the care facility?"

"I'll talk about it at a better time. I'm going to be here a while longer. I just remembered something I wanted to tell you. If Brent Primeaux should come in, could you tell him the yard needs some attention?"

"Sure," said Terry.

"I keep meaning to call him, but I've been so frazzled with this problem at the Home."

"He comes in here, I'll tell him," Terry said.

Terry remembered Brent Primeaux from the old days. Brent and his brother Martin earned money mowing people's yards and trimming their shrubbery. They drove and made their own money, so they counted as grown-up to Terry, even though they still lived at home. They went about town in an old dark blue Dodge Ram truck with magnetic signs on the doors saying "Primeaux Bros. Lawn Care." There'd been a sister, too, Sarabeth, but if he knew Brent and Marty only slightly, he'd not known Sarabeth at all.

A mysterious scandal had blown the family apart, the summer that their cousin Russ Cannon came from Texas to stay with them. The kind of scandal that had the adults heating up the phone lines talking about it, but hushing up when a kid came into the room. Russ had been sent home very suddenly. And the next day, both Marty and Sarabeth were gone, scattered to different parts of the country. Even at the relatively tender age of nine, Terry was able to conclude that whatever had happened had something to do with either sex or money, but when he advanced any of his theories to Victoria she told him to shut up and mind his own business.

Brent went away, too, but not far; only up the road to New Orleans where he studied at Tulane. His business expanded. Nobody called him the yard boy anymore. He had a landscaping business, and he had fleets of trucks and equipment and people working for him.

Great, Terry thought. If I do connect with him and give him Mom's message he'll probably send a couple of kids around and I'll have to hang around and oversee them.

A couple of days after his interchange with Victoria, the buzzer sounded and a man wearing khaki shorts, t-shirt and soiled athletic shoes came into the store. Terry was running the store by himself again. The man was vaguely familiar looking and Terry tried to think who he was. He was of medium height, which still made him shorter than Terry, and had the body of someone who worked as opposed to merely working out. He had curly black hair with a silver thread in it here and there, thick, quizzical dark eyebrows, laugh and squint lines around his eyes that he'd probably had even when he was very young, and a short, close-trimmed beard like the one Terry was starting. A tiny gold hoop adorned each of his earlobes. He was chewing gum—Juicy Fruit, as Terry found out when he got closer. He did an exaggerated double-take when he saw Terry, and pantomimed looking way, way up.

"My God, it's the Pellegrin boy!" he said. "I haven't seen you up close in a coon's age. I heard you were back in town but nobody said you'd grown a mile." By this time, Terry recognized Brent Primeaux, the man his mother had told him to look out for. He was now in his mid-thirties; and except for filling out some, he had not changed that much. Brent moved toward the counter, extending his hand, and the two men shook hands over the counter. Brent's hand was warm, dry, and work-callused. "But I should have known. You played basketball for UH, didn't you?"

"Yeah. I did my part. Not big enough or good enough to go pro, however."

"You back for good?"

"I don't know. It'll probably be a while. Hey, Brent, I'm glad you came in here; my mother said to look out for you. She said the yard needs attention."

"No problem," Brent said. "I noticed it was looking kind of overgrown. I'll see to it." Terry felt embarrassed. He hadn't lifted a finger to do anything to the yard since he'd gotten home, and he didn't know that Victoria had taken to having it cared for professionally. Brent bought half the store's supply of rose food and said he'd contact them later on in the week. A few minutes after he'd left, Victoria came in and Terry was able to report to her that he'd gotten the yard situation taken care of.

"That's good," Victoria said.

"Mom, you should have said something. I didn't even think about the yard. When did you start having it done? We never did before." When Terry was coming up, he and Thomas always worked on the yard on Sunday afternoons.

"Obviously I couldn't see to it all myself. Brent started offering to help me as soon as he heard that your father had to go into long-term care. He didn't want to take my money, but I insisted. Did he say when he was coming?"

"No. I forgot to ask."

"No matter. If he says he'll take care of it, he will."

For no reason, Terry felt somehow lacking again. There was no reason for it. He'd given up his job and his place and his life in Texas to come back to his hometown when his mother had requested it, hadn't he?

Terry had a split weekend. His days off were Friday and Sunday. Saturday was out of the question; the store was too busy then, with people catching up on all their home repair projects that they couldn't get done over the week. On Friday, he went to the grocery store, remembering this time to add shaving cream to the list Victoria gave him (although he was still growing the beard). When he came back with the groceries, he found one of the Prime Cut trucks in the carport. He thought this was a weird name for a landscaping company, as he tended to connect the name with meat. He pulled in behind the truck. As soon as he turned off his car he heard a lawnmower running. He got out of the car, opened the side door and carried the bags of groceries into the house. As he was putting the perishables into the refrigerator he glimpsed movement out the kitchen window. He looked out. Brent moved past him, pushing a lawnmower. He was wearing a pair of ragged cutoffs, work shoes and socks.

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