Lower Than the Heart


All of the men deferred to the man, who appeared to be the oldest one there by far. The game was rough and tumble, and Trent was drawn outside to watch it more closely after the sheriff had said he needed to get back to work and had shoved off.

As powerfully built as the man was, his team kept giving him the ball and he plowed right down the field with three and four defenders hanging on to him and only bringing him down with difficultly. Mostly they just stopped him dead in progress and he gave up, laughing at their inability to put him on the ground, proudly staying on his beefy legs.

Trent was still loitering there when the game concluded. When they slowly scattered in different directions, the man, his arm around a young blond guy Trent's age or a bit younger, with long, curly hair, passed by Trent. The man looked at Trent in passing and gave him a little smile. Trent shuddered and felt a hot flash go through his body. The man looked dangerous, but in an arousing way. Trent felt like he could look right through him and that all they'd have to do was speak and the man would possess him, would know everything about him and all of his dark secrets. As they passed, Trent looked down and saw that the man was guiding the young blond with a hand on a buttocks cheek. Neither one had pulled his T-shirt back on. They climbed into a Jeep Wrangler with an open top and a roll bar, with the man in the driver's seat. As the Jeep passed Trent again, the man turned a piercing stare at Trent, and Trent shivered.

He went home to his small beach cottage and walked between the rooms—there were only two of them downstairs and two upstairs, besides the bathroom—restless and keyed up. At length, he took his laptop and a beach blanket, stripped down to his bathing suit and flip-flops, and walked out onto the beach and north toward an abandoned cottage that the sea, at some time, had briefly possessed and taken a big bite of at one end.

He decided to work on his play and soak up some rays at the same time. He figured it would stay warm enough for a bathing suit for another hour or so. He felt challenged by the sheriff to be able to tell him he'd managed it without freezing.

As he approached the beach below the abandoned house, he saw the Jeep Wrangler parked up near the dirt road that paralleled the beach and gave all of the properties here access to a paved state road paralleling that further inland. He didn't see any evidence of anyone around the property initially, though, so he went ahead and spread out his blanket, plopped down, and opened his laptop. The light was bad from the angle he thought he'd sit in—facing the ocean—so he turned his body to the north. As he did so, he saw them in the corner of his eye.

The abandoned house had had a porch on this side and there was a bench at one end. The blond with the curly hair was on his back on the bench. His arms were stretched above his head and bound by something to a porch column. The sun glinted off his bindings as he moved, so Trent thought that perhaps he was bound by a pair of handcuffs. He was naked except for the heavy construction boots he was wearing. There was a beach towel under the small of his back, protecting him from the wood splinters from the bench as his body was being moved forward and back by the vigorous fucking of the man Trent had been mesmerized by so recently at the village green. He too was just wearing construction boots.

Both bodies looked beautiful in their dance of the fuck. The blond was tanned, but Trent could tell that his natural skin color was almost alabaster because of the tan lines of the Speedo he obviously wore when he swam. The older man had tan lines as well, but his skin was a light brown where his shorts usually covered and was a darker brown where he had tanned.

The blond was being fucked hard, and now that Trent knew they were there, he could hear the cries of taking above the muted sound of the surf. The tenor of the cries told Trent that the man wasn't under any stress that he didn't want to be under. The blond's near leg was just dangling down toward the sand at the side of the porch. The man was holding the blond's other leg up the line of his chest. Trent thought the man must be long because he was rearing his buttocks back significantly before pounding back in hard. He was stroking fast.

So shocked was he to come upon this tableau that Trent didn't move or turn away for more than a minute. When he was recovering his wits, though, he saw that the man fucking the blond was looking down toward the beach—at him. Embarrassed at being caught watching, Trent gathered up his things and moved in the opposite direction, south on the beach, a couple of hundred feet beyond his cottage. Here he saw that a natural pond had formed in the beach and he could see fish—some of pretty good size—swimming around in it. He had brought his father's rod and tackle box with him. He determined that after dinner, he'd come back down and try his luck.

But for now, he had work to do. Seeing the men fuck had given him a buzz and as he reviewed what he'd written on one of the scenes he was working on, he unconsciously unzipped and pulled his cock out and played with it. For some reason the buzz had energized his brain, and, typing mainly with one hand, he polished the scene up with inspiration he hadn't been able to achieve back in Washington.

He felt more than heard the presence and looked up toward his cottage. The older man was standing there, on a sand dune, in his shorts and the hiking boots now, watching him. When he saw that Trent noticed him, he turned and slowly walked away.

Trent felt a chill running up his spine and he looked down almost in surprise to find himself hard and encased with a hand. But then he laughed. This whole afternoon had been almost too much like a Scandinavian movie, he thought. Long, sweeping vistas of desolate country, solitary figures standing and observing "whatever" for long, pregnant periods, and over everything a heavy silence. Gerhardt would feel vindicated on his characterization of the place even without having seen it. As Trent contemplated this, an inspiration for a new play came to him, and he opened another file in the laptop and, quick as he could, spilled ideas and possible scenarios and sets, props, and characters into his laptop.

It was well onto dinnertime when he felt the evening chill on his body and lifted his head from the computer again. He stood, brushed the sand off his shorts, picked up his laptop and his beach blanket, and trudged back up to the cottage. It had been a good afternoon. The sexual acts—and the innuendo—he'd observed were there in his mind, but in front of those was a solid day's production work. He was pleased with himself. And he had to admit that there might have been something in what Gerhardt had said about needing sexual activity to release the creative juices. Maybe that was why he had been so productive in the Kevin years—because Kevin had kept him well fucked.

After he'd eaten his solitary meal in a silent house, reminding himself to buy a radio or CD player or something when he could find someplace that sold them, he found himself walking from room to room again. And this time he was thinking of that man with the magnificent brown body fucking the blond. It had been a cruel fuck, both because of the bound wrists and the strength of his stroking. Not that the blond sounded like he was complaining. But perhaps that's what Trent found the most arousing part of the memory—the rawness of the tableau, the pulling back of the hips and the cruel thrust forward. The older man beating his fists on the chest of the blond while he was pounding his ass. The handcuffs.

He almost forgot that he had intended to try his hand at fishing after dinner and thus it was getting toward dusk before he managed to get out to the pond with the rod and his tackle box. As he approached the pond, the hinges on the tackle box lid gave way and hit the sand, sending all of the lures scattering. By the time he'd found them all—determined not to lose any, as both the box and the lures had come down from his grandfather to his father and then to him—it was too dark to fish.

He gathered up the gear, wondering where he could get the box fixed—he certainly wasn't going to throw it out and get a new one—and went back to the house.

For the next couple of hours he wandered between the four rooms, stopping here and there for pregnant pauses, and thought long thoughts—brief ones on possible scenarios and nuances for his play and longer ones on images of the fucking he had so briefly watched—and made no noise and steeped himself in the silence—just like in the Scandinavian movies.

"Just like in the fucking Scandinavian movies," he boomed out in a stage voice and then laughed and headed for the trickling shower with the rusted pipes and masturbated as the eyes of his mind roved over the body of the man with the Jeep and wondered what his cock felt like when he was pistoning hard. Kevin had been a pounded in the throes of passion too.

* * * *

"Did yer know you have a piece aflappin'?"

"Excuse me? A piece flapping? On the car?"

"Yep, right there, down that side. Half on, half off. Yer outta either get that fixed or tore off. It might get caught on somethin', and it's sure to mark up your finish if you don't stop it from aflappin."

Trent walked around to the passenger side of his car. Sure enough the flexible chrome strip running down the length of the car under the car doors was half on and half off. Now that he thought about it, he'd been hearing a flapping noise. He'd tried to block that out of his mind, though, thinking that maybe it was something internal in the engine—and maybe was an expensive something.

He had stopped for gas just outside Oyster, and the cashier had come out of the station while he was pumping gas to tell him about the strip.

"Do you fix things like this here?" Trent asked.

"Nope, sorry. Just gas these days. Folks don't bring their cars to gas stations for fixin' like they used ter."

"Is there a Ford dealer nearby?"

"They's ones up in Exmore or down on the other side of the tunnel bridge in Seashore."

"Both sound pretty far away."

"Yup, they is. But then, I think you can get that fixed up at Buster's. He's just up aways there. Turn off the state road onto Seaoats and go north 'til you come pon an old house with what looks like a junk yard in front and a shed off to the side almost bigger'n the house. That would be Buster's. Some people herebouts wants him to clean up all that junk, but you wouldn't believe what he can pull out of there to fix things thats broke."

"Buster's, you say?"

"Yep, right up the road there. Off the state road onto Seaoats and go north 'til you come pon his place. He can probably fix it up in a jiff. He's a half cast, but he does a good job and mostwise keeps to his self, which is more than I can say about a lot around here."

His directions were good, and it was impossible to miss the house with the junk yard in front. It wasn't directly on the ocean, but it was close enough that Trent could hear the surf. He also could hear someone chopping wood around at the back of the big shed ten yards from the house. Trent got out of the car and walked around to where he heard the noise coming from.

He stopped in his tracks when he got around the end of the shed. The man with the Jeep Wrangler was standing not far from said Jeep and splitting logs. He was wearing jeans and the hiking boots and nothing on top. His muscles were rippling and his torso was glistening with sweat in the light of the sun. If Trent was writing stage directions for the first appearance of the "outdoorsman hunk," this would be what he'd write.

The man looked up. "You." He gave a little smile that looked like it knew more than Trent did.

"Are you Buster?" Trent asked. He felt his voice was thick but the words seemed to have come out in the right order.

"That would be me. You come here for some of it?"

"Excuse me . . . a man at the filling station outside Oyster suggested I come here. There's a chrome strip on my car that needs to be reattached or reglued or something. He said you might be able to fix it for me."

"You don't say. A chrome strip on your car." Even Trent could tell that was said in a "likely excuse" tone of voice. He wanted to back away. But then part of him didn't. And the car needed fixed.


"You sure you're not here to get some. You've been like following me around the last day or so. And you're a nice little piece. I wouldn't mind getting into that."

Trent didn't know what to say. The man was forward and bordering on crude—well, across the border, but the way he said the words made them arousing to Trent. He certainly didn't mince words. And they had run across each other's paths in compromising circumstances the previous day.

"Honest. Chrome strip. Car." He turned to the side, either as if proof there really was a car back there needing help or as a prelude to running to the car. He himself didn't know what the movement meant. But, fuck, the man was a bronze god. Trent could feel himself going hard.

The man—Buster—put his ax down and walked toward Trent. Trent shrank a bit from him as they grew level, and Buster turned his eyes on him—those knowing eyes. He stopped just briefly, but so much was conveyed in that one look. Then he smiled, as if he'd seen something answering, coming back from Trent, and then continued back out to the front yard. He went down on his haunches at the side of the car and examined the problem.

"Not a problem," he said. "It needs a couple of brackets tacked back in and then it will slide right in place." He had looked up at Trent when he said "slide right in place" and had bracketed the phrase with ever-so-brief pauses, and Trent just about swallowed his tongue.

"You the movie guy they say is here to write a movie?"

"Not exactly," Trent answered. "I write stage plays. I'm here just for the two weeks to doctor a play that will show in Washington. My name's Trent."

He extended his hand down, and Buster presented a big paw with long, fat fingers. His grip was strong and he curled a finger around Trent's middle finger and also rubbed his palm with a fat thumb, both of which sent a chill up Trent's spine. He also held the shake a tad longer than necessary.

Trent shuddered, and he knew the man had seen him do it.

"I could fix you as easily as the car. You sure you're not here to get a good fucking? Rumor has it you're running away from something—a boyfriend or something."

Damn Carson, Trent thought. Had his cousin spread his problem throughout the neighborhood.

"Yes, I'm sure. The car needed fixed. And I came here . . . to the Eastern Shore . . . for some quiet and privacy to fix a play script."

"Well you do lay under men, don't you? I could see that the first time we walked by each other. And I'm sorry, I don't beat around the bush. Men who come out here acting like they need to be fucked, get fucked, if I like the looks of them. And you're a good-looking piece of tail."

"The car. I came to get the car fixed. I didn't know it would be you." Trent knew we was sounding flustered. He also knew that if he let his gut honestly answer the man's questions, he would be helpless before him.

"Well, if it's a boyfriend thing, a good fucking probably is just what you need. And I would be your man for that. I saw you looking at us yesterday and then I saw you beating off on the beach. You want it, I can tell. Men fuck you, don't they? I'm not wrong about that."

"Not in a long time," Trent said. But then he was mortified that he'd been so flip—and also so honest. He'd said entirely too much in that remark. And this guy wasn't a dummy. He'd pick up on it.

"So that's what you do need. A good fucking. Come on in the shed."

Trent gave him a panicked look.

"We need brackets and a soft hammer. For the car. They'll be in the shed." He turned and started walking toward the building. Not knowing what else to do, Trent stumbled along behind him.

It was cool in the shed. It also felt close. There was junk everywhere—or what looked like junk—but if Buster found the right size brackets and a leather mallet in here, the gas station guy would be right; it wasn't junk.

It didn't take Buster long to find just that. As he walked back toward the front of the shed and was passing Trent, he lowered a hand and brushed it over Trent's crotch. Trent jerked and gave a little gasp.

"I was right. You're hard. You need a fucking." He laughed and left the building, leaving Trent there to walk around and pretend to look at what was in there, while, humming, Buster worked on the chrome strip on the Ford. He certainly couldn't go out and watch Buster work. That would melt him.

Trent was trying to will himself to go soft, but he couldn't do it. Of course he needed a fucking. He'd needed a good fuck since Kevin passed. But Kevin was his one and only. So fucking passed with Kevin. As he looked around his eyes stopped on a long row of hinges. Hinges of all sizes.

"All fixed," Buster said when he came back into the shed. "Now let's get you fixed."

Trent ignored that. "I see you have hinges here."

"Yes, and I have screws too. And that's what you need from me—a good screw."

"Please. That is not what I need. Seeing the hinges reminds me that I have a fishing tackle box that's fallen apart that needs a hinge replaced. Do you think you could do that? You probably saw me down at the pond by my cottage with it yesterday."

He wanted to swallow those words as soon as he'd said them. It had been later in the day when he tried to go fishing. Buster had seen him earlier in the day.

"I don't remember seeing a fishing tackle box. What I saw was a nice young piece jacking himself off—when what he really needs is a good fucking."

"A tackle box. Do you think you can fix it?"

"There's really a tackle box? Yeah, if there's one, I can fix it. But maybe there isn't one. Maybe you are just standing around trying to build up the courage to do what you know you want to do."

Trent stood there, not knowing what to say.

"If you were so upset with what I'm saying you need, you'd be half way back to Oyster now with that chrome strip still flapping on the car. You know you need to get fucked. And you know I can fuck you good. You saw me fucking Paul at that abandoned house yesterday. If you want to leave and don't want me fucking you, go on out to your car now. And forget the shit about a tackle box needing fixed."

"It was my grandfather's tackle box and then my father's," Trent said weakly. "It's a family thing."

Buster gave him a horselaugh and turned his body, leaving some space for Trent to get by him in the aisle and exit the shed. Trent hesitated. He took two steps and hesitated again. And then he went into motion. But when he got abreast Buster, Buster laughed again and turned into his pathway. With one swift movement of both hands he pulled Trent's polo shirt over his head, doing it fast enough that he had Trent back into an embrace, with one strong, heavily muscled arm around his waist, and was bending Trent back and possessing his mouth in a brutal kiss.

Trent gasped and groaned, trapped by the arm and the kiss. He beat on the man's back with his fists, but even that betrayed him as his hands preferred caressing the man's shoulder blades. He felt his belt buckle being undone and his zipper lowered. His pants were pushed down his legs, and he heard them hit the floor. He felt his briefs being pushed down his hips to his knees as well and the beefy hand encase his cock. Buster let loose of his mouth and, bending him way back, worked his teeth down to Trent's nipples.

Trent whimpered at the onslaught. "Please," he muttered.

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