Homeward Bound Ch. 05bysr71plt©
It was mere happenstance that I received the letter at all—and I remembered later that I had every reason to suspect that there had been other letters sent to me at the boarding house that I never saw. I just happened to be the one standing at the front door when the mailman came by and, although I didn't usually do so, I glanced at the addresses on the envelopes he handed me.
The name was spelled with only one R, of course, but it clearly was addressed to me—and it was from a town in Ohio. I didn't know anyone in Ohio that I knew of. In fact, I couldn't name anyone in the world who would be sending me a letter at all.
When I opened it, I had to sit down and read it a third time before the message therein began to sink in. It was from the chairman of the English Department at Oberlin College. My works had been read—I had to return to this statement several times; only a few of my play scripts had ever been seen by anyone else. My works had been read with interest, it said, and Oberlin was prepared to offer me an assistantship if I wished to continue my college education there.
In the next few hours and days—not longer than that, because I was on the wing within a week—I poured over all of the circumstances of my life and everyone who was in it, and only two possibilities occurred to me. There was that strange man who visited me and seemed familiar with me but who had been unable to perform sexually. And, when I thought more on it, there was Alec Cotton, to whom I had sent my draft of The Boarding House. The more I thought on it, the more I became convinced that this was the source of my visitation by the angels—I couldn't think of the opportunity as anything else. I never even considered that it might just be a practical joke—and, in hindsight, I'm certainly glad I didn't, because that, by far, was the most logical conclusion. And if I'd thought that was a possibility, chances would have been good I would have marched straightaway to the grate and burned what I would have taken as a cruel joke.
The was another possibility—that it really was my play scripts that had been seen and admired. And I asked around at the playhouse about whether any of the actors and stage people there had sent any of the scripts to anyone, but they all reacted as I reasoned they would—fearing that I was seeking evidence of my work having been stolen for production elsewhere without my permission. Thus, it was not surprising when they all denied any knowledge of the scripts having been disseminated beyond Asheville.
Once I'd decided I would go to Ohio to at least find out what this was about, it was like walking on glass at the boarding house. Mrs. Childress, with her sharp sense of detection, obviously knew something was afoot. I had no idea why she suspected anything until she asked me whether I had any relatives in Ohio. Then I realized that I must have dropped the envelope in the front hall the same day the letter arrived. I certainly couldn't find the envelope later, and I was so shocked by receiving the letter that I easily could have dropped the envelope there.
I stonewalled her, however, and made my plans in private. And the next Sunday, while she was at church, I put the few belongings I had in my valise and trudged to the train station, where I had already bought a ticket for Oberlin, Ohio.
When I finally got in to see the man who had sent me the letter from Oberlin College, I found I hadn't been thinking clearly on the possibilities of why I had been invited to school at Oberlin on an assistantship.
"It is all quite unorthodox," the department chairman said, "but S. D. insisted he couldn't take up the position offered to him here without an assistant—and one of his own choosing—and when we quibbled on the educational assistant he had chosen, he merely said that we could educate you as we pleased—but that you had worked under him before and the two of you were a comfortable fit."
"S. D.? Worked under him before? A comfortable fit?"
"Yes, didn't Professor Dane contact you about this? He seemed quite insistent that you be brought over from Asheville to work with him."
"Ah. Stan. Stanford Dane." I almost pinched myself for being so slow—well, for that and for almost bursting forth with laughter at the double entendre references to my having worked under him and the two of us being a comfortable fit.
I finally got to the office they sent me to, the one they said was Professor Dane's—down a semidark, dusty hallway in one of the college's older buildings. The chairman of the English Department had spoken of it as if it were some hallowed ground and that his department wouldn't agree to move to newer facilities even if the college administration tried to force them to, I took my steps with increased hesitancy. I didn't feel worthy of being here. I knew I would make such a fool of myself for taking on airs above my abilities. And it couldn't be the Stanford Dane I knew who I was going to meet.
Somehow I didn't relate all of this to flamboyant, bigger-than-life, got-to-have-the-best Stanford Dane.
But they were right. The door was open to his office and sitting behind the desk was none other than the Stanford Dane, showman extraordinaire, I had known in Asheville.
"He didn't tell you in the letter who was recommending you?" Stanford said when he looked up from the text on his desk, his face bathed in a beam of sunlight coming through a window that left the rest of the room in semidarkness, and saw me standing there in the shadows just inside his open door. I already knew him well enough, though, to know that it was all for dramatic effect. I'm sure he knew I was there the moment I entered the building and had taken pains in establishing his place on stage.
"Ah, that is a pity," he continued. "I didn't want to do it myself, because I could never quite be sure they would accommodate me. They salivated over my appointment as playwright in residence, but you know how testy the politics can be in a college faculty."
No, I didn't know, actually.
"My plays . . . the ones I directed in Asheville last winter attained quite a bit of acclaim. This wasn't the only college that took note of my successes and abilities."
"Your plays?" I screamed inside my head. "Don't you mean our plays?—the ones I slaved so hard over while you were prancing around the parlors of the wealthy in Asheville?"
I didn't say it, of course. And I didn't really believe it. The plays would have gone nowhere without his signature stamped all over them. If nothing else, I had no argument to give that the ending he loved and that I hated hadn't made Bound for Home fail in the eyes of the audiences. I had heard that the play had done well on the New York stage as well, which I took as a lesson for my own skills at assessment. It had humbled me.
"Why, Mr. Dane?" I asked instead. "Why did you send for me? When you left you didn't even say good-bye."
"I was slightly piqued at you, dear boy. But since we were parted, I discovered that I missed you."
I should have been satisfied with that—and I would have been—if he hadn't eventually gotten around to a deeper reason.
"I'm grateful, of course, for the opportunity to study. And to work with you—"
"I would like to know how grateful, Charlie. I would like to have that cleared up right at the beginning."
"Oh, very. I—"
"Don't just tell me, Charlie. I would like for you to show me, please."
With that he rolled his chair back away from the desk I know was facing as I stood between desk and door.
"Close the door, Charlie, please—and come kneel between my thighs."
"Here? Now? In a public building? The glass in the door isn't clear, but with the backlighting from the window—"
"Yes, here, now, Charlie. Don't you remember that we had a discussion about danger enhancing the ecstasy—on our first day together? Have you lost your sense of adventure?"
I knelt between his thighs then and unbuttoned his trousers and pulled that monster cock of his out, already in partial arousal, and closed my lips over the bulb to begin the ritual of what I knew he enjoyed the most.
When he was in full erection, he commanded me to rise, strip off my trousers and drawers and lean over the desktop with my belly on a pile of notebooks he'd been grading.
I moaned as in times of old as he reached between my legs and began milking my cock and ran his tongue into my ass. He knew all of me—what I liked better and what I liked best. He was the master of me—which, I knew, was the whole purpose of this welcoming session. But when he had his long, thick, strong cock moving deep inside me and I was writhing under his attentions and not caring about anything but that he hadn't given me this for so long, I again, almost instantly, was entirely his.
Immediately after his ejaculation, he put his lips to my ears and stabbed me with the real reason I had been sent for.
"You didn't ask what your duties would be as my assistant, Charles."
"They seem fairly obvious now," I countered with a groan.
"Beyond that—that's just a pledge of your loyalty—beyond that, I've been working on scripts since Asheville, but they seem to need something more. You did so well with the Asheville play that what I want your assistance with is cleaning my plays up and enhancing them."
"You want me to write your plays?"
"The plays are mine, Charles," and not having taken his still-hard cock all of the way out of me, I gasped as he slammed it deep up into me again—showing me that his forbearance had its limits. "I want you to work on them as you did in Asheville—no more and no less. You seemed content to learn from me then. Has that changed?"
"No," I whimpered. And I'm ashamed to say that my "no" was really because he was withdrawing his cock from inside me once again. He was still hard; I knew that he was capable of fucking me again—and the second and subsequent ones had always been the more pleasurable ones.
"Rise and dress now, Charles. This is perhaps a bit more public than we should chance further. But I'm not finished with you."
"No," I whimpered again, this time making clear that I wasn't finished properly either.
As we dressed, he wrote something on a scrap of paper and handed it to me. "This is my address. As soon as you are settled into your dormitory room this afternoon, attend me at my house, please."
"I am to live at the college, not with you?" I asked. I tried not to make it come out as a whine, but I'm sure I didn't succeed.
"Yes, it would be inconvenient—and perhaps a bit too obvious—if I were to take you into my home. You're a student now. You should be happy to make the most of this time among other students. As long as you don't get too familiar with any of them, of course."
I recognized the last sentence, addressed in a voice of steel, as the command it was rather than friendly advice. I was to be for his use alone.
* * * *
"Professor Dane?" I called out as I pushed the already-ajar door of his two-story cottage on the college grounds open enough for me to slip inside. I reasoned that if he wanted our relationship to remain a secret here, I shouldn't stand out on the open front porch for any length of time.
"Up here, in the bath. Come give me a hand."
I gave him two hands actually. Finding him in a stand of soapy water in a large claw-footed tub in the center of a good sized bathroom, I scrubbed his back for him with one hand and slow-pumped his cock with the other.
He sighed and issued an instruction in a low, melodic voice. "Take your clothes off and join me in here now, please."
"You want me in the tub with you?" I asked nonsensically.
"Of course. I did teach you how to sit on a man's cock in a bathtub, didn't I? I know that I taught you so much that I may have missed something, but that's pretty fundamental, I think."
I entered the tub and knelt over his pelvis and impaled my channel on his cock—and finally experienced the complete second-and-third-times-are-higher-heavens cocking I hadn't quite gotten in his office. When we were done, there was as much soapy water on the floorboards around the tub as in it and my eye sockets were swimming in his cum.
I was leisurely drying myself off with him watching me and me knowing that from his look he was not finished fucking me for the day, when we heard the front door slam downstairs and a saucy-toned male voice called out Dane's name.
"I'm home. Got the chops just as you directed."
I looked over into Dane's face and I saw both amusement and triumph. He was punishing me for having found Abe and me together in the hayloft.
"His name is Freddy," Dane said, and I heard the twinge of laughter in his voice. "He is taking one of my classes, he lives here with me, and I am teaching him to be fucked by men."
I passed Freddy on the stairs, and it seemed that he, a little blond snippet of an arrogant college freshman, looked on me with disdain.
I said nothing; but I knew two things now. One, an obvious revelation, was that there was a good reason Dane hadn't asked me to live with him here. And, two, no matter what I let Dane do to me and take from me, if any plays were going to be written by our collaboration, they would bear both of our names as playwrights.
I would do anything Dane wanted to do to me sexually—he had that sort of command over me. But he would not fully command my pen ever again—or at least that was my resolve at the time.
* * * *
Dane didn't like my conditions for working with him, but as long as I would open my legs for him on command, he chose to live with my name under his—and in smaller, less bold letters I soon found out—on the play scripts.
I think I would have been content with that arrangement as long as Dane was—and indeed, it lasted beyond the time I had earned my undergraduate degree at Oberlin and was starting to pursue a master of fine arts degree there as well.
What changed my life was another lover from my past unexpectedly drifting back into my path.
A book festival was being held at Oberlin and one of the keynote speakers was Alec Cotton, the frenzied writer who used sex with men to jog his writing muse and who had spent three memorable weeks with his cock inside me at Mrs. Childress's boarding house.
I saw his name in the festival announcements, and I made sure that Dane was having a private teaching session with his Freddy that evening—and I went to Cotton's lecture on the creative use of tense in novels.
I sat well back in the lecture hall, but he saw and recognized me anyway. And he embarrassed me by including me in the introductions of the writers he saw in the audience.
"Mr. Bairr with two Rs, could you abide me for a moment when I've attended to everyone else who wishes to talk with me?" he called out to me as the lecture concluded and some attendees moved to the podium while most turned and shuffled out of the hall, telling each other of their own important beliefs on the use of tense in writing.
What he had to say when others were far enough away not to hear what he whispered was, "Can you come back to my hotel with me now? I need to be inside you. I was so afraid that my need could be seen by all as I spoke. Did you see me hiding behind the lectern the entire time? Just seeing you in the audience gave me an uncontrollable hard."
He fucked me more furiously than I can remember him ever having done before when we returned to his room. When we were both spent, he sat up in the bed and reached over on the nightstand and retrieved a cigarette and lit up. He offered one to me, but I demurred. I just lay there, looking up at him, not fully believing that he had thundered back into my life like this.
"How did you recognize me in the hall?" I asked. "Surely I have changed."
"For the better—which I would not have thought possible," he answered. "I knew you were here. I'd heard about Dane's assistant and I knew it was you. That's why I came to this dreary gathering."
"You came just for me?"
"I have wondered. Why didn't you answer my letters on your book? I was drowning in enthusiasm—as was my editor, Max Trudeau, but I received no response from you on helping you have it published."
"Published? Letters? I'm sorry, I received no letters." Mrs. Childress had interceded. I knew it then. And if she'd been present here, I would have choked the life out of her for her grasping interference. Any thoughts of remorse I might have had about leaving her without notice were now flown.
"Trudeau is a master of guiding an author into publication. You'd be smart to let him take you on. He says The Boarding House is far too taboo to put directly into the mainstream market here, of course. But it can be translated into French and supposedly pirated editions can filter back into the American market. He says he can guarantee you a faithful and well-heeled following. And, with his credentials, that's saying a lot. So, I don't understand why—"
"Yes," I said.
"I don't understand—"
"I said 'yes,' Alec. I'm interested. I didn't receive the letters. They were kept from me."
"You will have to come to New York, of course," he now said. "Trudeau works extremely closely with those he's editing and mentoring."
"That may not be quite as possible," I said. "Perhaps I should sound Stanford Dane out on it. I'm supposed to be working with him on play scripts."
Alec was not thrilled about this, but I insisted. "I will have an answer before you leave Oberlin on Saturday," I said. "I owe this to him."
I went straight to Dane's cottage and opened the front door when no one responded to my knock. In the foyer, some proofs lying on the table in the hall caught my attention. I could hear Dane and Freddy in their lovemaking in Dane's room at the top of the stairs, but I was more interested in the proofs. They were releases about his newest play—our newest play. My name did not appear on the title page.
I was seething as I mounted the stairs. The door to Dane's bedroom was open and they were on the bed. Dane was kneeling on the bed, facing the door, his torso arched back. Freddy, also facing the door, was stretched out on top of Dane's torso, also kneeling on the bed. Dane was palming Freddy's belly, holding him close in to give his impaling cock as much purchase up Freddy's channel as possible. Freddy's torso was stretched up as his arms were flung back and his hands locked behind Dane's neck. His pert little cock was bobbing up and down to the rhythm of the thrusts of Dane's cock inside him.
When he looked up and saw me, Freddy gave me a sneery little smile of possession and triumph.
"Oh, it's you, Charles." It was Dane who spoke. "I thought it was a couple of football players I summoned to play with us tonight to receive passing grades and keep their positions on the team. Good. Come join us, please. Suck on Freddy for me please. And when the football players arrive—"
I heard no more. I had turned and was stumbling down the staircase—more upset, I'm afraid by the evidence of the proofs missing my name than by Dane's sexual plans for the evening. I went back to the hotel and knocked on Alec's door.
"Who is it?"
"It's me, two Rs," I answered through the flimsy wood of the door.
"Come on in. Back so soon?"
"Yes and yes," I said, as I moved to the bed and straddled his pelvis with my knees and began to fuck myself on his willing cock.
I stayed the night and gathered up my few belongings and returned to his bed until his lectures were finished. And when Alec left for New York, so did I.
I had the presence of mind to let Dane know I was going—and that it wasn't really about the sexual demands and degradations but because of the continued attempts to cut me out of my due in the playwriting. I told him I would give him my address wherever I'd be and I'd even continue to work on the plays with him from a distance, if he liked. But I would do so only if my name appeared on the scripts, that I received confirmation of this from any theaters or publishers working with the scripts, and that I was sent my share of any profit from them.