Shooting Matt Ch. 13byTurbidus©
Dreams are shared. Matt and Liam continue to get to know each other.
Thanks, as always, to LarryInSeattle for his editing assistance.
"Is today Wednesday?"
"No, Tuesday. Hard to keep track of the days in here. Not that unusual," Kent replies.
Matt is sitting on a chair. His hair is pulled back in a ponytail. His tee shirt is dark with sweat and the gym shorts are dark above his ass crack. He's breathing hard.
"It looks like they're putting you through your paces," Kent offers. He's not sure if he should have dropped in for a visit. He doesn't want Matt to get the wrong idea. He's fond of the kid, and Liam, but that's all. It's just nice to see a happy couple, if that's what they are. He misses that.
"Yeah, it's tougher than I thought," Matt admits.
"How's the pain?"
Matt shrugs. "Not bad."
Based on the way the kid is dripping with sweat Kent is not sure he believes him.
"They letting you out today?"
"Tomorrow. Price is not clear on the concept of 'couple'." Kent looks confused. "He said a 'couple' of days. Now he's talking about three."
"Don't give him too hard a time. He really is good at what he does."
"Naw, I like him. He cracks me up. He tries to be so formal, almost fucking regal, but underneath it all he's dying to cut loose. He just won't admit it."
"You're not saying you think he's gay?" Kent asks, appalled.
"Huh? Jesus. No," Matt scoffs. "He just needs to let loose, tell his silly jokes, ask what's her face, the nurse out front, out to dinner. He can still be Dr. Perfect and have fun."
"Beth? I don't think she can stand him?"
"Seriously? Dude are you that fucking gay? She's fucking gaga for him."
"Are you sure?"
Kent shrugs. "Well, I just wanted to see how you were doing. I better get back upstairs. I'm off the next two days. So, I won't see you before you go. Stay off the rocks, dipshit."
"I'm pretty sure that violates the patient's bill of rights I see posted everywhere," Matt tells him trying to look irritated and failing. "Hey, walk back to my room with me. Liam should be there. You can tell him bye, too."
Kent hesitates before he nods.
Liam is sitting with his feet up on the window sill, reading. He smiles when he looks up.
"Hi, Kent." Matt walks over and they kiss quickly. Kent feels himself blush. Jesus, they're so fucking cute. It's ridiculous. He feels old and lonely.
"I just wanted to say bye and wish Matt, both of you, luck."
He starts to turn but Matt touches his arm. "Hang on, dude. You have plans for your days off?"
"No," Kent looks at him, confused. "I work the weekend, just the usual laundry, shopping, binge watching 'Game of Thrones'. Why?"
"Have you ever been to Cedar Lake Lodge?" Matt doesn't wait for an answer. "Liam, call your dad. I bet he'd let Kent crash at our cabin until we get back."
Liam looks doubtful.
"Huh? No, I can't do that. Don't be ridiculous," Kent protests.
"Call him," Matt tells Liam, raising his eyebrows for emphasis.
Liam punches in the number. He doesn't expect an answer. The cell signal at the resort was awful. His dad answers immediately. The connection is crystal clear. Liam passes on Matt's suggestion.
"Absolutely," is Randy's immediate response. "Tell him to bring a swimsuit. Does he water ski?
Randy's voice is easily heard by Matt and Kent. Kent nods.
"Yeah, he skis," Liam tells his father, wondering what kind of weirdness he's caught up in.
"Good. When should I expect him?"
"With traffic, 6 or so," Kent answers, as if he'd not intended to say 'no' to the whole crazy idea.
"Perfect. Tell him to bring wine if he wants wine. All I have is beer." Randy answers without waiting for Liam to relay Kent's answer. "How's Matt doing?"
"Great," Matt shouts over Liam's shoulder.
"Good, great. Liam call me if you need anything. I love you."
"Love you too, dad," Liam whispers.
"Love you, too, also," Matt hollers.
Kent looks stunned. He finishes his shift, throws a few things in a gym bag and heads for the interstate. His shift was over at three, so the rush hour traffic is light. He catches himself whistling as he drives.
When I wake, it's sudden, like at home. The dream, in the morning light. I simply can't think of it as a vision and it doesn't fade away like most dreams. It's as clear and real as the sun flashing off the lake through the trees. What the fuck am I supposed to do with it?
I lie in the bed and stretch, wondering if I should feel weird for enjoying lying in the love nest of my oh-so-brief lover.
I lift my head. Glenna is peering in through the window. Leon is behind her. She has a plate in her hand.
"Yeah, just woke up," I reply. "Uh, give me a sec. I'm not dressed."
"Doesn't bother us but if bothers you we'll turn our backs," Glenna laughs. She stands up and her head disappears from the window. If she wants she can peek through the top of the window but I don't care.
I hop out of bed and pull my shorts on. They don't do much to hide my morning boner but they'll have to do. I unlock the door and open it.
"I got to hit the head. Be right back," I tell them as they enter.
Over the sound of my pissing, Glenna hollers through the door. "I brought fresh cinnamon rolls."
"Okay, but only if you let me fix you guys a real breakfast," I call back. If she can ignore the sound of piss ringing in a toilet bowl, so can I.
"We already ate but you can fix us breakfast some other morning."
The way she says it, it sounds like she assumes I'll be here longer than one more day.
"What time is it?" I ask through the door as I rip off a piece of toilet paper and squeeze it over the head of my cock. I don't want to greet them with a big ass pee spot on the front of my shorts.
"Not that late. It's a little after eight," Leon tells me as I join them by the small kitchen table.
"Well, at least let me make a pot of coffee," I say, shrugging.
"I think you mean 'brew' not 'make'," Leon offers. I look over my shoulder at him. He's not smiling. I honestly don't know if he's joking or not.
"He's a damn pain in the ass. Ignore him," Glenna tells me. "You got any butter? They're still warm. It's not like I need any more calories but they're pretty damn tasty with a dollop of butter melting over the top."
"In the fridge," I tell her without looking as I futz with the coffee. "Sit. Sit, already. You really need an invitation?"
Chairs are pulled back with a minimum of scraping as I set plates, cups, and silverware in front of them. I set the half-n-half on the table. Glenna occupies the time by dropping absurdly large pats of butter atop the cinnamon rolls. My stomach growls at the smell.
By the time the coffee is poured the butter has turned into a bubbly lake of soft yellow. Glenna serves each of us. I moan at the first bite. I can't help it. It is truly the best cinnamon roll I've ever tasted. If, going forward, I am only allowed sex or one of these cinnamon rolls, I'd have to think for a minute. I'd pick sex; I'm not that fucking old, or stupid, but I would have to think about it for a moment.
"Good, aren't they?" Leon asks.
"No," I say with a shake of my head. "Good doesn't begin to cover it. That's like saying Audrey Hepburn was 'okay' looking."
Glenna is doing her best not to beam but she's clearly proud of her rolls. As she should be; they're fucking magnificent.
Whatever plans for whatever I'd thought about saying are forgotten in the delight of that cinnamon roll. I know I cannot have a second. If I do, I'll eat the rest of the plate. If I can give up drugs, I can give up Glenna's cinnamon rolls. Probably.
"This is not your mother's recipe," I tell her, hiding my full mouth behind my hand. "Your mother's rolls were okay but nothing close to these."
"My mother's?" Glenna huffs. "She bought them at the store and just put 'em in a baking dish. You're damn right their better than my mom's. That's not saying much. She's a terrible cook."
"She still alive then?"
Glenna nods. "Assisted living but other than housework and meals she takes care of herself."
"I'd like to stop by and say hi if that'd be okay?"
"Oh, Randy, are you kidding? She'd be in heaven. You don't have to do that but she'd love it."
"I know I don't have to. I'd like to." I pop the last bite of the roll in my mouth. Like all things lovely, it's gone too soon. "I won't tell her what you said about her cooking."
"Pfft, go ahead. I do."
"I had a strange dream last night," Leon offers. It's a random comment, apropos of nothing, yet it stops the conversation dead, as if we've all been waiting for someone to say it.
"Me, too," I offer. Glenna says nothing. I can't read her expression. She seems excited, scared. I decide that's perfectly reasonable. Leon seems to be disinclined to say more.
So, I do.
We're sitting around a fire pit, the one around the point, the one the kids go to when they want to get high or make out or both. We're high. We've smoked some really killer weed and we're in the depths of a most beautiful mellow. The sun is just going down. It's warm. Leon and I are in swim trunks. Glenna's wearing one of Leon's tee shirts, tied in a knot to one side, with a bikini bottom under it. She...
Glenna's voice over rides mine.
I slap my ankle and say the bugs are eat...
Are eating you alive. Leon finishes. I pick up your hand and kiss the back of it and...
And tell her she's too sweet, that's why the bugs like her. You suggest we go inside.
I resume narrating my dream and this time they are content to listen.
We make our way back to the dock. Glenna wants to rinse off the lake water but there are still kids jumping off the dock and hanging around the pool. No nude showers. She scowls. Leon shrugs and leads us up to your apartment. She pulls the tee shirt off as soon as we're inside, heads to the bedroom, and takes off the bikini bottom. I can see her for a moment as she walks down the hall to the shower. Leon tells me it's the time of the month when the two you have sex as often as possible. It's when Glenna should be ovulating. He tells me to go take a shower with you, to make love to you, to try to give you the baby he's not been able to.
I tell him no, only if he's there, he's with us. He says no. He doesn't want to have sex with me, not in front of his wife, not at all. I tell him I understand but I think he should be there. He'll be the father, not me. He should be there. He nods.
Somehow, we all manage to fit in your shower. I've never been in your shower. I was in your bathroom once but the curtain was pulled.
More for form's sake than because I'm afraid they won't believe me, I describe the various bath products I know crowded the sill of the small window behind the tub. I describe the way the sill, despite the oil-based paint, is starting to rot at one corner. They both nod.
The shower is small but we squeeze in. Glenna doesn't say a word; it's as if she knew we'd join her. I do my best but in the small shower I can't help brushing against you, Leon. To touch you after so many years makes my heart ache. I hold Glenna's hands, steadying her, while you wash her. She washes you, then me. It's as much a ritual cleansing as a physical one. Glenna says she feels like we should have satin white robes or something. No one smiles. It's not a joke.
We go to the bedroom. You cradle Glenna, cooing to her, spreading her hair over her shoulders, around her face. You're staging her. She looks like a woman in a painting. I'm afraid. She smiles. You nod. I make love to her.
No one speaks. We all jump when the coffee maker beeps, signaling that two hours have past and it's powering down. Two hours?
"I had the same dream."
Glenna and Leon speak in unison.
I nod. I knew that. I think we all knew that. Glenna's sweet but we barely know each other. Baking cinnamon rolls and delivering them in person makes no sense. And she didn't need Leon's help to deliver them.
"I'm going to call Liam, see how Matt is doing."
"Good luck," Leon tells me. "No signal on this side of the hill. You can use the phone in the lodge or it's a nice walk up the trail behind the cabin. Once you get to the top of the ridge, quarter, maybe a third of a mile, you'll get a great signal."
I glance at my phone. He's right. It says "no service" at the top. As I'm looking at it, it rings. It still says "no service". I answer. I can hear Liam as clearly as if he was standing in front of me. I should be shitting my pants at this point but I feel calm. I can hear Kent protesting. I can hear Matt. I tell him to come. I don't have to think about it. We say we love each other and I hang up. The phone still says "no service".
"What the hell is going on?"
"Beats me, Glenna. Beats me." I stand up and stretch my back. "Kent won't be here until six. Should we do this here or at your place. In my dream, it was at your place, so I think it should be there."
"Do what exactly?" Glenna demands.
"Get you pregnant."
She turns to look at her husband. I can't read her expression. "You want me to have sex with Randy?"
"I'm not sure I do. Someone seems to think it's a good idea." He returns her stare. "We all had the same dream, Glenna. All three of us. That's one better than Field of Dreams."
"You want another man to fuck me?"
"No. I want another man to make love to you. I believe doing so will give us something we've always wanted."
"How do you know you didn't knock me up last night?"
I'm not sure it's my place to interject, despite the fact I'm integral to the plan. "We don't have to do it like in the dream," I offer. "How do they do it in a clinic? I could just ejaculate in a cup or something. Leon could - " I search for the right word. Inject? Deposit?
"Squirt your cum into my pussy? With what? A fucking turkey baster?"
"A syringe of some kind might be more appropriate."
The look she gives her husband would have terrified me. She has worked on her glare since we were younger.
He doesn't return her glare. He remains the same calm, reasonable person. I remember, now, how much that used to irritate me. It doesn't seem to bother Glenna. Her anger melts away as quickly as a snowflake on a cheek.
"You're actually okay with this?"
He allows a half a smile to peek from behind his mask. "Okay? That might be too strong a word. I respect Randy as much as any man I've ever met and more than most. If I had a sister and if she happened to be gay and she told me she was going to use Randy as a sperm donor, I'd be more than happy with her choice. I very nearly fell in love with him all those years ago. It would appear you've always had a bit of a soft spot in your heart for him as well." The half-smile slips back behind the mask. "But I would be lying if I said I'm not afraid that you will decide you prefer him to me, prefer him as the father, real father not biologic, for your child."
"I know you do," she whispers. "Why do you think I'm so worried that this is a bad idea, stupid dream or not. If we did this, I'm afraid you'll always have that voice whispering poison into your ear. Your own personal, internal, never silent Wormtongue. You cannot accept that I chose you. I choose you." She chokes back a sob. "You're such a fucking idiot sometimes."
"Nena?" With tears on her cheeks her old childhood nickname feels natural. "He's a dude. I'm a dude. We're all idiots. It's our defining trait."
She gives me the glare. Luckily, she pulls back on the power. Only my eyebrows are singed. "I hate, totally hate, that excuse."
"I was joking." It's a lame defense but true.
"It wasn't in the morning. It was in the evening," is her reply. "It wasn't a syringe or a turkey baster. It was his dick, in my pussy." She stands up, shoves the tears off her cheeks with her palms and shakes her shoulders. "Bring the plate back when you're done."
She leaves us sitting at the table.
Two of her guests start to say hi but swallow the words. She's lost in thought. They turn to watch her walk down the hill, look at each other, and shrug. The door of the cabin opens. Leon and another guest make their way to the small table and chairs. Randy catches sight of them and holds out a plate.
"You folks want a cinnamon roll? Glenna made them. You'd be saving me from myself."
They walk over.
"Glenna made 'em?"
"Absolutely." The man picks up one, offers it to his wife? Girlfriend? They each take a bite and smile at each other.
The woman swallows, looks at Leon. "Glenna okay, Leon? She looks like her mind is a million miles away."
"It probably is," Leon confesses. "She, we're, trying to decide whether to use our friend Randy here as a sperm donor."
The man chokes and spits out a bite of roll.
The woman contents herself with a long look at Randy. She nods.
"A man who offers strangers cinnamon rolls as wonderful as these, can be trusted. Good choice."
Randy smiles at her. "That may be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, outside my kid and mother that is."
She peers at him. "Don't let it go to your head." She says it seriously. He takes it seriously.
"Excellent advice. I'll do my best not to."
She cocks her head to the side. "I don't think you'll have to try very hard." She takes another bite of the roll. "Thanks for the cinnamon roll." She turns her gaze to Leon. "She should open a bakery."
She turns and the husband or boyfriend follows, still a little red in the face and cinnamon roll seemingly forgotten in his hand. Randy almost calls after him to give it back if he's not going to eat it.
Glenna stops in the apartment long enough to change clothes. She doesn't think about where she's going. The kayak glides through the water. Her body paddles without the interference of conscious thought. She finds herself at the rock slide, where Matt was hurt. Where Matt was hurt by Leon, she reminds herself.
She beaches the kayak and clambers up the rocks until she reaches the top. She's never done this before. She's never done this before because doing it is stupid. The rocks are unstable, treacherous, not to be trusted. "If you can't trust a rock, what can you trust?" she thinks to herself.
Leon has always been her rock. Has that been an illusion? Look what he did the other day to Matt? Where did that anger come from if not from dissatisfaction? Of his life? Of her? Now he wants to give her to an ex-lover?
She lies back on the rock. It's warm from the sun. She closes her eyes, remembers last night, remember the way he felt beneath her, inside her. She knows it's not something he craves. Yet, she knows that last night they made love. He made love to her. Her gay husband made love to her and it was real. Does she have any right to demand more of him than that?
She sees herself lying on her back on the swimming dock, propped on her elbows. She's smiling. Leon is smiling. He's turned with his back to the water, knees bent, explaining how to do a back flip to a boy who looks like her. Behind Leon, off to the side, Randy treads water, telling the boy he can do it.
She stands, mind made up and climbs down off the rocks.
When she nears the dock, she sees Randy and Leon in the water. She pulls the kayak out of the water, returns the paddle to the bin and walks out to the end of the dock. She drops her tee shirt on the bench and dives in.
They don't talk. They tread water and look at each other. Without speaking, they climb out of the lake and make their way toward the lodge.
I introduce Kent to Glenna and Leon. I think we manage to make it look normal enough. Glenna's smile seems real. I hope that it is. As if reading my mind, she pats me on the arm and smiles at me.