The best stories are always the ones that are the most unlikely. Boy and boy hate each other, but gradually fall for each other. They are romantically epic and you can imagine the swelling orchestra music when they finally get over hating each other, have spent a month or two slowly getting closer and then – bam! Love. Kissing. Sex that's better than any porn.
That's my dark secret – I love those stories. I sit up late reading stories on my phone about guys who slowly circle each other and are dumb enough not to see it coming while I'm screaming in my head 'Kiss him! Kiss him now!' and of course they don't listen. Sometimes I get wrapped in my blanket at night and think about what that would be like – the unrealness. The romance. The sex.
Then I wake up.
Park Terrace sounds nicer than it is. I find people name crappy things with fancy names to make it sound better to live there. Like how basic is it to just put 'new' in front of a name and have the place be cool? Like New York? Simple and awesome. I don't know if it works for everything – I once saw a show where they named a planet New Earth, and that just seemed stupid. Or did they just randomly add it? Like...New Zealand. Was there a Zealand? A quick check of my phone informed me that there had been a Zeeland, so lack of imagination but it was named for a pretty cool place. My theory holds.
Park Terrace is part of Binghamton, but also thinks it's its own place. I mean, it is and it isn't. Like our school system is tied to Binghamton city schools, but then our elementary school is just for us. We don't mix with the 'city crowd' until we hit middle school. Out here in the wider open space – I say that because it's not like we have miles between houses, exactly, but there is more space than in the city. So out here you kind of got to know all the kids and make connections or not before hitting middle school.
You can learn a lot about people just from high school. There's the haves and the have-nots, but that's really just too broad. There's the Haves that know it and flaunt it, the ones that have it and don't care or realize it. There's also have-nots that don't care or don't realize it or who are perversely proud of being a future beast of burden for some corporation – breaking their backs working construction or for road crews. There's also the have-nots who want to be haves.
The haves parents wanted their little haves to stay in charge, so they got good schools and trust funds and inherited the family business. My family was different. We weren't exactly have-nots, but we weren't haves at all. What do you call the middle class in that case? The almost haves? The nearly haves? My phone had no answers for that one.
“Hunter. Hunter, will you fucking wake up?”
I turned to my sister, who was driving us to school on this fine spring day nearing the end of our senior year. My fraternal twin.
“I'm awake, Gatherer,” I teased.
Her eyes narrowed. “Don't make me hurt you.”
“Whatever. I can't wait for this nightmare to be over.”
She snorted. We climbed from her truck, an ancient Ford that she'd taken an obscene liking to. My sister intimidated most guys – she was tall, like me, and at six foot was enough to intimidate some of the lesser boys. She was also a tomboy – she liked auto work, for instance, and could change a tire faster than any guy I knew. She even knew the difference between a box wrench and a ratchet, which I admit I did know now, but I couldn't think of many other girls who would care to.
We walked side by side from the back of the parking lot.
“I'd do him,” she said.
I glanced where she was looking. Jessie Stewart. Nice body, stable personality for a jock. His brown hair was always short and fuzzy and made me think of woodland creatures.
“I heard he did steroids. Might have shrunk his package.”
“You've looked,” she said, looking away from him. “Notice any shrinkage?”
“Don't think so,” I replied.
“I'd do him, too,” she said.
Again I looked. Caleb Montgomery. We'd grown up with him. His parents owned one of the largest hothouses around. Slob. Apparently can't dress himself because sweats and other athletic gear seems to be the only thing he ever wore. And his barber must be blind or drunk. Renowned for being calm in just about any circumstance. It was creepy. All that and sparkly green eyes made me think about something gross like a gargoyle with a scrunched face and these all too human eyes. I mean, he wasn't ugly, but his ensemble needed work. I really wish he'd do something with his golden-red hair.
“I'm not sure he'd react to you riding his Johnson,” I said.
She snorted again. “If I was riding his Johnson, it wouldn't matter – he'd be fulfilling his purpose.”
I laughed and she grinned salaciously. “Him, too. I'd destroy him.”
This eye candy was Kelvin Richards. He was mixed race, and puberty had hit him like a truck. He was probably one of the prettiest guys in our class – and one of the dumbest. Maybe that's harsh. Maybe more like...he has no sense, common or otherwise.
“Nial Henderson? Do you want stupid children?”
“Who said anything about children?”
“Wow, are you ever horny this morning.” I laughed. “Where's your old standby?”
She pushed me, and we separated to go to our first classes. We were in the final weeks of school. Finals were looming, and I was busting my ass to get good grades. I had a spot at SUNY Binghamton in the art and design department calling my name, but I think more than a few of my classmates were majoring in working fast food or convenience stores forever. Which, you know, it's an honest living. Not what I wanted for me, though.
I passed Bruce Clarkson, the guy my sister always ended up with. My sister's real name was Andrea, but people called her Andy – which suited her masculine endeavors pretty well. If I wanted to tweak her I could bring up her middle name – Larkspur, a flower. Of course then she'd bring up mine, Aciano – which people didn't realize was a flower, but then she'd tell them. Most of the time we kept our flowery middle names to ourselves, or like most middle names, largely forgotten. Bruce was a decent guy, but not exactly built like a football player. He was about five foot ten with an easy smile and light brown eyes. He was reasonably smart, but always seemed to find himself in the middle of trouble – and frequently that trouble was my sister. Over the winter she'd get frustrated with something and she'd throw her coat on to leave. I'd ask where she was going and she'd snarl, “I need some dick.”
“Say hi to Bruce for me,” I'd tell her. I don't know why she doesn't just date the guy. He likes her. They've already seen each other naked and not run screaming. What’s the holdup? She isn't big on talking about it.
I breezed through my classes, talking to people and being friendly, though I really had no patience left for high school. I usually enjoyed guys wearing lighter clothes that showed off some skin, but not even that did much for me at this stage. I just wanted to be done. All of our classes were down to the review stage. It was nearly over except for the testing and the McDonald's applications. I busied myself with my social media accounts to take my mind off the stupid tests to come.
I glanced down the list of hearts, a fire icon, emojis with hearts in their eyes and peaches with eggplants and water squirting. It all ran together sometimes. There were several of the same kinds of messages: 'OMG You're Gorgeous'. 'Why are you so perfect?'. 'I love you!'
I'm not immune to flattery, and I admit the comments were good for my ego. At the same time, they were just comments from a screen name, a means to increase my follower count. I flipped through my other accounts on different platforms, and when I had exhausted that I checked out my image stash to evaluate the stuff I hadn't posted yet. I'd originally stuck to a rigid posting schedule so they'd know when to expect stuff, but now I posted at odd times, to keep them on their toes – but, my fuck, it was exhausting.
Andy had helped me this past weekend – she was usually game as long as I don't make her dress up. I have to guilt her into costumes, but she's so damn gorgeous when she does it. Anyway, she'd gotten into this one because she got to work with metal. We got some metal stock and piano wire from the local hobby store and made wings out of them – like fairy wings. Then I added gauzy cloth, tacked into place with hot glue, to spread out behind me.
Attaching it to my back was much harder. A harness would look weird. I was going for the whole magical fairy motif, not a leather kink vibe. Although...I made myself a note to give thought to a leather vibe shot. My slender build and baby face don't lend themselves readily to more rough-trade ideas, but with some make-up and good camera angles, I may be able to pull off something cool.
Back to the wings.
I'd let the idea of how to attach them sit in the back of my mind while I worked on the rest of the costume. I used the same gauzy material to fashion a multi-colored vest that would fall apart if you washed it, and then I went nuts and made pants as well. The material is so cheap and flimsy I couldn't use the costume for very long, but I could probably salvage the remnants for a later project. Light tan bikini briefs completed the look – except for the damn wings. And I had to leave holes through the vest to attach the wings to my back. In the end I'd used double sided tape, and the effect was great, but taking the tape off afterward had hurt like a motherfucker. I'd used a white background with some house plants I'd swiped from around our home, and I was pretty pleased with the whole 'male fairy in the wild' thing I created.
My followers were pretty pleased too. I had a link tree that sent them to different ways to support me and my efforts. Among other things, that netted me underwear they wanted to see me in – which was part of another platform, for the most part. I got gadgets, gift cards and things of that sort, so it was lucrative enough to beat my head against the wall to express my creativity.
The edge of my screen lit up and a new incoming message flashed across the top of my screen.
I looked up, startled.
“Do you have your packet done?” the teacher asked.
“Oh, yes, I'm sorry,” I said and opened my laptop.
“Just turn it in for me, okay?”
“Right now,” I promised. Stupid school machine was so slow. Once it was awake I navigated to the right class and opened the folder with my review packet. Ninety-eight percent complete? What the hell? I opened the packet and scanned it until I found a true/false question I'd missed. Once answered I sent it to the teacher. Weird. I thought I'd sent that. Glad I hadn't; don't need to take points away by skipping a question.
The bell rang and I left with the class, heading to lunch. I met Andy in the parking lot and we sat on folding chairs in the bed of her truck. She kept a cooler with our lunch in the extended cab area, so we sat back and worked on our food. Well, mine was food. I had fruit, sprouted grain bread to get actual nutrition from it, lean meat and my one vice – cheese. I had two slices of cheese, but I think my body can handle it.
Andy had a sandwich with a jar of mayo on it, white bread that was soaked through with said mayo, and liverwurst. I mean...fucking eww. Oh, that and her stash – a handy little bag of diabetes that she kept in her glove box.
“Tests next week, then we are done,” she said with a note of finality.
“Yep. Can't wait.”
“When are you posting your Tinkerbell set?”
“It's a male fairy,” I said with a trace of sourness. “Probably tonight.”
“The wings were fucking awesome,” she said. “You should do more stuff where I can work with metal. Maybe a steampunk thing?”
“Oh! That would be fucking cool!” I said. “I need to write that down. How would I do that?”
“We can make you look like a Borg,” she said and snorted with laughter.
“A gear over one eye like an eye patch?” I mused.
“That's not half bad,” she said agreeably. “Maybe use more wire to - oh yeah! Use a big gear to hide your junk!”
“Hmm. Kind of edgy. It might actually work,” I said, turning the idea over. I definitely used my body to my advantage in my creative endeavors, but I walked a fine line between smut and something more elegant. I like elegant versus classy. Classy sounds like a word people use when they don't know things can be elegant.
“Jesus. I so want his dick,” Andy said.
I turned to see who she was looking at. Some guys were throwing a football around. I recognized them all, but wasn't sure who she meant.
“Caleb. Look at his chest,” she said and bit her sandwich with lust in her eye, leaving mayo around her mouth that was both funny and obscene.
I turned from her and sought out Caleb. She was right, his chest was nice to look at – lean and showing the muscles he had, even if they weren't huge. His sweatpants sagged down and he would pull the waistband periodically. His hair...well, a bird may land in it. A few feet away from Caleb, Kelvin lifted his shirt to wipe his face with the bottom, which is nasty even if necessary, and Andy growled.
“Jesus, why do you need to get laid so badly?” I asked, chuckling.
“Ugh. This testing crap, it's eating at me. I know I need it, and I don't want people to think I'm dumb, but I want to build shit. I can't wait for the summer to start so I get on that building crew.” She looked at me. “There will be some real dick there. But for now...I'm just going to get Caleb. I'm afraid if I keep fucking Bruce he's going to develop feelings.”
“Are you afraid to develop them back?”
“Every bit as much as you are,” she said with a pointed snort.
“Fear isn't part of it,” I scoffed.
She grunted, but dropped that line for now. “Heard we're all invited to Caleb's one more time,” she said.
“Stress relief? Yay. Well, those are kind of fun,” I said. It was true. Caleb's family had a big house – they'd needed it with five kids – and they had stress relief parties to celebrate the end of each quarter of school. They reasoned that we worked hard and stressed over our grades and it was nice to have a relaxing time to have fun and acknowledge our hard work. In truth it was really nice of them, even if they offered way too many junk food options. They had indoor activities like you'd expect – movies, video games, a VR. They also did board games and let the music be louder than most adults could tolerate. Outside they'd do silly things like bag races, lawn twister and junk like that. It was an innocently good time for the local kids who'd all grown up living near each other – or was supposed to be.
For the last year-and-a-half there had been some competition that had been just about good fun before, but now was worth some kind of mysterious bragging rights. It had taken on a seriousness that I found baffling. The highlight was the Mario Kart tournament, complete with brackets. Caleb was the reigning champ and the pressure had begun to escalate, especially the focus on distraction.
It started out as moving in front of someone to break their line of sight and progressed to making sudden loud noises, which is pretty tame. The last two times, though, things had shifted. There were tongues in ears, kisses, caresses – anything to distract the player. So far Caleb was impervious. It wasn't human the way he just never got stressed or whatever.
“I'm going to get a piece of Caleb,” Andy growled. As she did a group of people passed by our perch – some that we'd known forever and some from in town. They gave true meaning to 'birds of a feather flock together'. In this case, buzzards.
They giggled at Andy's statement.
“Going to eat the piece you get, slut?” one asked.
“Don't blame me because you're not getting any,” Andy snorted.
“Not everyone wants to be the town pump,” another said disdainfully.
“I pick who and when. If they get a chance to pump, it's usually by accident and I flip them on their back so I can do my thing,” Andy said, grinning evilly at them.
“Bitch,” one muttered as they drifted away, tittering among themselves.
“So you don't care if they enjoy themselves?” I asked.
“The guys you have sex with?”
“Who says they aren't having fun?” she demanded.
I just laughed.
“Seriously, who says?” she asked. I laughed again, but turned as I saw something from the corner of my eye. The buzzards were circling the guys throwing the ball, and two of them were talking to Caleb.
“I think your dinner is being stolen,” I said, tipping my head toward the scene before me.
Andy looked and scowled. “Damn it. I wanted him.”
“Yeah, I know. Maybe you can try again after he has a haircut or something,” I suggested.
“Why don't you ever need to get laid?” she grumbled. “Oh, because you have your old man?”
“We don't do that,” I replied with a sigh.
“And I'm so eager to have this argument again,” I groaned. “Go kill one of the buzzards and then you can fuck Caleb in victory. You'll feel better.”
She grunted at me and put her trash in the cooler. “I'm going to find Bruce,” she said.
“Good gathering,” I said cheerfully. She flipped me off and I laughed. She hated my wit, but if IU was a Hunter what then did that make her?
I finished my meal and took a yogurt out for dessert. My phone buzzed – probably another reaction to a picture – but it reminded me I'd missed a message earlier. I fished my phone out and thumbed to the new message.
'How would you feel about dinner tonight?'
I grinned. 'Hungry'.
A happy face popped up on my screen. 'Meet you at 7?'
'Sending me the address?'
'Yes. Wear what you did last time? Or close to it?'
'I'll try. You know I like to keep things fresh.'
A heart popped up and I sighed. Gary was my sugar daddy, with restrictions. While I have no qualms about sex work in theory, I'm not a sex worker – not in that sense. He pays me to accompany him for a meal, sometimes a show or gallery viewing. It's all public and he's allowed light displays of affection. I provide companionship, conversation, but mainly I'm an ear with a pretty face for him to talk to. I like Gary, and while older men aren't really my thing, I could see myself arranging something with him down the line. Like when I'm eighteen next month.
However, as much as Gary is enamored with me, he's also a married man who thinks I'm eighteen already and in college. I think he's happy enough in his marriage, but I provide something he doesn't get elsewhere. He takes me to nice places, and I've gotten to see art I might not have, which definitely feeds my creativity.
I tried to remember what I wore last time. I'd just gotten a pair of black jeans that were slim-fit, and he likes those on me – says my butt looks amazing. But what about the- oh, right. My eyes are a pale, pale blue. I didn't get the nice piercing, electric blue eyes or the deep sea blues or even the ones that looked like chips of arctic ice. Mine were just...washed out. But I'd found a button up shirt with a white background and subtle blue stripes that matched my eyes, and Gary had raved.
I hadn't really worn it since, so I could pull that back out. I opened the camera on my phone and looked at my reflection. Yeah, I needed a haircut if I was going on a job. I couldn't stay out late either since I had to be up for work in the morning.
Lunch ended and the day drifted irritatingly slowly. I met up with Andy at her truck once that interminable Friday had ended and asked if she was going out that night.
She mumbled something.
She gripped the steering wheel. “I'm going to fuck Bruce later. After work, if he answers his damn phone.”
“Oh. Can you drop me at the convenience store about six-fifteen?”
“Work at six, so no.” She shot me some side eye. “Got a hot date with Ebeneezer?”
“Gary is a decent guy.”
“That you aren't attracted to.”
“Firstly, I don't have to be attracted to do this job. Secondly, he's not repulsive.”
“Thirdly, he's married, and you have no future.”
I sighed. “He's a sugar daddy, not my fiancé,” I said. “I give him things he doesn't get elsewhere, and it's been a good thing. Why does it bother you so much? It's not you sitting and listening to him about his job or his kids or his wife.”
“What's the point?” she demanded. “Money? You have practically no expenses. Sex? You claim there isn't any.”
“There isn't!” I protested.
“Then what?” she demanded.
I sighed and put my hands out in front of me as if to tell the dashboard to back off. “He's opening doors for me. He talks to me about the business world he works in. He's in management, and that takes a certain amount of experience to do well. He takes me to restaurants that I wouldn't experience and to gallery openings for artwork that sets me on fire, creatively.” I looked at her. “Just because he's older than I am doesn't mean I couldn't fall for him. He's kind and generous.”
She looked back at me for a moment, then back out the windshield and tromped on the gas. Quietly she said, “But it seems wrong-”
“Someone so much older wanting you. Your time, your...whatever.”
I took a calming breath and folded my hands over each other. “I think I look pretty good when I get myself put together. He thinks I'm in college, and he enjoys my company and that I listen to him. If he goes home and jerks off thinking about me, I have no problem with that – what someone else thinks about me isn't any of my business. Besides, have you ever looked at the way porn gets marketed? Young, beautiful people together. Older with younger. I don't think I've ever seen an ad or something for 'mature sex' or anything like that. As soon as we can view porn we're programmed to think it should only happen between two young, pretty people.”
She glanced at me and laughed. “Okay, professor! Clearly you watch too much porn!”
I grinned. “Maybe. But it's a good way to gauge people accurately. Look at the charts they put out about the categories people search for – the repressed south is always highest in gay and lesbian porn. Why isn't it okay for people to be honest about what attracts them?”
“Judgment, that's what,” I said, cutting her off. “If a guy like Gary is attracted to younger men, people judge and call him a manther. A woman is a cougar. And what about younger people who are attracted to people older than they are?”
“But you said you weren't attracted to him.”
“He's handsome, but no, I'm not interested romantically. I want to learn from him. But if I was attracted, who am I hurting?”
“Well, if you were eighteen,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “He's got a good job and a house he might not lose in the divorce. What do you bring besides your virgin butthole and being a weird age to be step-daddy to his tweens?”
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “Who says Gary would be the older person I'd be interested in? I mean, Brad Pitt is still hot and he's like old enough for AARP!”
She burst out laughing.
“Oh, oh, stop! Drop me at the Chop Shop,” I told her. The Chop Shop was a salon and my go-to place for a haircut. She shook her head and put her blinker on before pulling into the lot and stopping.
“When are you going to learn how to drive?” she asked.
“When I need to, I guess,” I replied with a shrug.
“Good thing you're getting a haircut,” she said, looking away from me as she did. “You look like a lesbian.”
“I do not!” I stated hotly, closing the door behind me harder than I strictly needed to.
She looked back at me, grinning and resting her arms on the steering wheel. “You look like a butch lesbian, so essentially a flat chested boy. You're going to fight with that?”
“A lesbian has no dick. I have one and I like other dicks,” I told her firmly.
“Oh, hi, Mrs. Walters!” she said cheerily, looking past me and waving. I whipped around, mortified that I may have spoken like that in front of our retired town librarian, only to find an empty sidewalk behind me. I turned back to her with narrowed eyes.
“I'll get you, my pretty,” I told her.
“Yeah. Later, Toto,” she snickered and was gone.
Bllom is complete at 15 chapters and over 70k words - now available for read ahead. For $5 per story you can get my newest first through my Patreon.Next Chapter