What Qualifies Me To Write Serious Erotic Gay Fiction?

What Qualifies Me To Write Serious Erotic Gay Fiction?

I spent most of my life in New York City as a public relations executive before relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 2002, where I enjoyed a second career teaching writing at a local university, I’ve been writing professionally since 2008 and my daily social commentary blog on gay life in America has been running since 2010 at str8gayconfessions.com.

That’s nice, you say, but what qualifies me to write serious male erotic gay fiction? You know stuff with handsome characters caught in sticky dilemmas, with lots of lovin’ and lots of man-to-man sex?

Well, I may call it fiction, but just about all my stuff is based on my experiences as a gay man. So when you read my books, you’re reading the real thing.

Because I’ve lived it.

All of it.

I’ve lived in the gay ghettos of New York, L.A., and Fort Lauderdale, played in San Francisco’s South of Market and Chicago’s Halsted, all locales for my books, at the height of their wickedness; been a paid escort, done porn, yea, done drugs – all for my art of course – seen Gay Liberation take root, survived the AIDS crisis, and played the web and phone apps like a Vegas gambler.

All while fucking and fisting men from a well-heeled Mafia contractor who wanted to keep me to handsome meth head losers from across the country and around the world, and having a couch potato sports junkie partner longer than most American marriages have lasted.

Convinced?

Yea, I’ve been a busy boy and I’ve been a bad boy. A real bad boy.

But hey, only bad boys know how to write great erotic gay fiction.

RP Andrews

My Books and What The Critics Think

My Books and What The Critics Think

Buy Guys

A tale of redemption, published by Wilde City Press.

Buy Guys is the story of Blaze and Pete, two young, handsome drifters with nothing and nothing to lose. Blaze convinces Pete, who is falling in love with him, to leave dreary New Jersey and lead free and easy lives as male BuyGuys_cvr Aprostitutes in sunny Fort Lauderdale, posting their profile on the male escort site, Buy Guys. Blaze, however, soon pulls Pete into a much larger, more dangerous scheme, a scheme that eventually threatens to destroy them both.

“Well written … I naturally assumed by the title that the story would be about two guys in the sex trade but I had no idea that this would also become a kind of mystery… the sex scenes are quite graphic … (and) Blaze and Pete use sex as a way to bolster their finances and get out of debt. More importantly, they try to deal with their pasts and it is with this theme that they find themselves involved in kidnapping, murder and drug use … RP Andrews gives us two characters that represent what can happen when the wrong choices are made and he does so in a way that they hold a fascination for us.”

Amos Lassen Reviews

The Czar of Wilton Drive

My erotic novel of sex, drugs, deceit and betrayal, set in Fort Lauderdale’s Wilton Manors, Gay America’s playground. From Kokoro Press.com, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

Jonathan Antonucci, a 21 year old, barely-out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York, overnight finds himself a multi-millionaire, Czar Cover Bthanks to a bequest by his late gay great uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto.

Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in the underbelly of Lauderdale’s gay scene. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle.

“This is one of those reads that just takes you along and dominates you as you read and you do not have to think about anything but getting lost in the story.”

Amos Lassen Reviews

Not In It For The Love

A novella of unconventional love, betrayal and redemption set in the New York City of 9/11. Available from Totally Bound Press and amazon.com.

Set at the turn of the new millennium. this is the story of Josh, a young street-smart Florida drifter is snatched from his dead-end existence as a male hustler in a cheap Key Largo motel by Bishop, a Wall Street power broker who sets him up as his trophy boy in Not In It CoverManhattan society.

There, Josh, after leading a promiscuous lifestyle within New York City’s gay sub-culture, meets Hylan, a young, bi-racial, down-on-his luck, wheelchair-bound musician who awakens in Josh what love can be between two men. But their chance at happiness and the lives of those around them are forever changed by 9/11.

“A brilliant story you can’t help but inhale whole non-stop till you reach the end … this is not your everyday romance, this is not your everyday fiction either. This story is like taking a peek out there in the lives of real people in the real world.”

MM Good Book Reviews

“Appealing,” … “(a) taut, richly detailed … unapologetic … gritty realistic tale… a character-driven plot that moves smoothly and easily from first page to last.”

Mrs. Condit and Friends

Basic Butch

A collection of edgy short stories set in some of America’s leading gay venues like New York, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale, with characters – gay men and women- whose arrogant, aggressive natures lead them down life paths they wish they had never explored. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

BasicButchCover_Amazon_960x1280“Andrews’ stories are sensuous and disturbingly human. His genius rests in his rare ability to weave deplorable criminal acts such as murder and child abuse into an erotic patchwork, and render the balance tragic poetry … a truly unique and darkly gifted writer.”

Fredryk Traynor, author

“Sweet is an author who uses irony to create literary image with the deft skill of a cloisonné artist. Civilization, truth, history and love are examined under the diamond brightness of an Indian sun.”

Wayves Magazine

Confessions of a Str8 Gay Man: Second Edition

The collection of my no-holds-barred, unvarnished, introspective social commentary on gay life in today’s America from my daily blog, str8gayconfessions.com. Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

confessionssecondeditioncoverI also offer my own critical reviews of some of America’s so-called gay hot spots, including my own home base of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which is frequented by more than a million gay travelers annually.

Written from my perspective as a “str8 gay” man, a member of the great silent gay majority who do not espouse the fluff of gay sub-culture or all its political correctness but instead lead quiet, ordinary lives,

Confessions covers such diverse subjects as:

• The Gay Psyche
• Man Makeovers
• Playing the Web
• Gay Culture
• The Hirsute Man
• Sex
• Friends and Family
• Relationships & Erotic Adventures
• Gays and God

“Confessions takes a deeper behind the scenes look at the gay community, but with the standard rose-colored glasses removed … for every opinion I did not agree with, there were many more that I felt were ‘right on’ and only wish were more openly discussed on a regular basis by the gay community.”

The Scrambler

Furry Man’s Journal

My memoirs as a hirsute gay men as told through my erotic experiences with the dozen or so iconic hairy men I knew – and loved. In it, My Furrry Journal Cover FINALstory parallels the evolution of Modern Gay Life in America from the birth of Gay Liberation, through the AIDS crisis, to today’s techno-crazed age. Available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

“Absolutely fantastic.”

All Bear Magazine

The Conclusion of “Bike Ride”

The Conclusion of “Bike Ride”

Erwin stayed in town for the wake. The funeral chapel was divided into two factions. On one side were Victor’s parents and older sister, on the other, members of Vic’s motorcycle club, Tom, a few other friends, and Erwin.

There were two Victors up front, Victor, there on an easel in his NYU Law School graduation picture, preppy and beardless, and Vic, there in the flesh, open coffin, heavily made up.

A van had made an illegal turn as he was exiting the KFC lot and he had been thrown off his bike, more startled than hurt. But as he attempted to get up, his bike, which had been flung into the air by the impact, came crashing down on him.

It was as if Erwin were in the Senate with the Republicans on one side of the aisle and the Democrats on the other, but he knew what he had to do and walked over to pay his respects to Victor’s family.

So how do you know my son?” said the mother, curtly, not much younger than Erwin, but obviously fighting age with her heavy make-up and a jet black Jackie O coif. The father and sister remained silent.

“We were – we were business associates.”

“Well, it’s refreshing to meet someone who knew him professionally, who’s – who’s like us. Normal, I mean. You know, we never approved of Victor’s lifestyle,” and she threw an angry, vacant glare at the other side of the chapel.

“Well, he’s at peace now,” said Erwin, bored at his own words. Then he walked up to the coffin and stood there silently for an eternal five minutes, forcing his eyes on the picture.

Later, as Erwin waited outside for the cab to take him to the airport, Tom, who had already said his goodbyes, shook his hand again. Then, just as the cab pulled up, he grabbed Erwin and hugged him tightly.

“He had a good ride, didn’t he, Win?”

Tom didn’t discover the envelope Erwin had left by the TV remote until he had long left. The envelope with the $3,000 check in it.

Herb was finally back in town. With the shop closed and stacked floor to ceiling with packing crates ready to be shipped to dealers as far away as L.A. and Jersey, Herb begrudgingly agreed to meet Erwin at his hotel on Racine.

“No one saw you come in, did they?” said Herb, quickly slamming the door behind Erwin. “There’s a lot of people from Dana Farber on this floor.”

“Mind if I wash up?” said Erwin, ignoring Herb’s anxiety. “I’ve been packing stuff all day.”

“Sure, sure,” said Herb, as he got himself comfortable in one of the Queen Anne chairs in the corner of the suite.

Returning, Erwin found Herb with his pants and underwear swimming on the carpet, his dick as hard as a hammer. Without another word, Erwin fell to his usual position and began to do his magic.

“Hey, watch the teeth,” said Herb.

Erwin soon recognized those familiar, tired phrases. “God you’re good, Erwin, you’re getting me close, buddy, real close.”

“How close?” asked Erwin.

“Real close.”

Erwin got up and began walking over to where he had left his jacket.

“What – what are you doing? Ten more seconds and – and I’m there!” pleaded Herb frantically.

“See these?” said Erwin quietly, as held up his hands. “Use ‘em.”

“But what’s wrong? Why are you acting so pissed off? What happened?”

“Let’s just say it’s my little secret,” said Erwin as he grabbed the door knob, making sure that he left the door open wide enough so the three piece suits who had just gotten off the elevator could gawk.

Erwin had one last stop to make. Just about everything had been packed up at the shop, everything except for Dad’s 1903 Edison phonograph with its 1905 wax recording of Enrico Caruso. It was still sitting in the window, as it had for all those years.

Erwin picked it up and gave the wax cylinder a tender kiss. Then, holding the machine by its edges, he proceeded straight out the back door of the shop to the alley and an open dumpster.

He made sure he watched as the phonograph hit the bottom, its cast iron frame self-destruct, and the wax cylinder slip off and break into a million breathtaking pieces.

Then he slammed the dumpster shut and went home.

“Bike Ride,” IX

“Bike Ride,” IX

This time Erwin made sure he booked a nonstop flight. Vic was there to meet him at the airport, only this time in a scratched up lime green Neon.

“What happened to the bike?” asked Erwin curiously. Vic had let his beard grow out and had lost a few pounds but even under that loose pullover and baggy jeans, he still looked, well, breathtaking.

“I still have it – this – this is Tom’s.”

“So have you and San Francisco set a date yet?” asked Erwin casually on the ride to the apartment.

“It was real,” said Vic, “but not real enough.”

Tom was waiting for them on the small balcony. He was sprawled between two white plastic patio chairs. Erwin’s knee jerk reaction was that he certainly bore a strong resemblance to Vic, with one exception – he looked tired and obviously in pain. Like Dorothy in those last weeks.

“I meant to tell you on our way over,“ said Vic, suddenly at an uncharacteristic loss for words, “Tom. Well, Tom – he’s not my brother – ”

“I think partner is the politically correct term,” said the young man with the broad shoulders and broader smile and he reached out to shake Erwin’s hand. “So I understand you’re going to play the Good Witch Glenda and wave your magic wand?”

Vic pulled Erwin aside. “Let’s talk downstairs. By the pool.”

“So what’s going on?” said Erwin.

“Tom’s spine is falling apart. He needs major surgery or the docs say he may end up permanently paralyzed. Expensive surgery.”

“His insurance won’t cover?”

“It will but there’s still at least three grand in out-of-pocket, money neither of us have.”

“So that handicap pass – that was Tom’s.”

Vic nodded in a daze.

“Worse, I caused it.”

Win said nothing.

“A bad accident on my last bike. I only had few scratches but Tom ended up in intensive care. And this.”

Back upstairs they were all smiles.

“Listen, guys, we got two options for dinner,” said Vic. “We can go to Marcey’s which at this hour has about seven lonely alcoholics at the bar and nothing cute to look at. Or I can pick up a bucket with fixin’s at KFC. So what’s the decision?”

“Chicken any day of the week,” said Tom in a blink. “Can you get gas for the car while you’re at it?”

“I’m taking the bike,” said Vic, waving back to them as he walked out.

Erwin and Tom settled back on the balcony, cold beers in hand. Erwin could see by Tom’s slow gait that he could barely walk.

“If you’re trying to come up with a story on how the two of you met, don’t bother. I know all about his secret life,” said Tom. “Hell, it pays the rent. I even keep track of his regular tricks for him, man-hungry tourists from New York or Chicago – ”

“Like me,” said Erwin.

“Vic tells me you own a shop in North Halstead that deals in mechanical antiques.”

Erwin nodded.

“I like old things, too. I was an architect before I met Vic, based in Atlanta, though I’m a New York boy, born and bred, a very successful architect I might add, into all that preservationist bullshit. I was working on one of the art deco hotels down on South Beach when we met.”

Tom grimaced. “Waiting for my pain pills to kick in.”

“Vic told me everything.”

“About my surgery.”

Win nodded.

“He feels it was all his fault but shit just happens, you know?”

“And playing escort is one way to grab the money he says you need to get it.”

“Right now it’s the only way.”

A few minutes later, the phone in the kitchen rang. Tom got up to answer it, then, moments later, threw it to the floor and ran out to the balcony, pressing himself against the screen that separated him from the parking lot ten stories down, gnawing at it until his fingers bled.

Erwin picked the phone up from the floor.

It was the state police.

Next: The Conclusion of “Bike Ride.”

“Bike Ride,” VIII

“Bike Ride,” VIII

The flight out Monday morning at noon was uneventful except when the plane stopped in Orlando to pick up another set of noisy, fat, no-neck kids and their noisy, fat, no-neck parents, this time sprouting Mickey ears and hauling Donald Duck dolls. Behind Erwin was some mommy and her two year old who kept kicking the back of Erwin’s seat with his little feet. Fantasizing about sticking the kid head first into one of the jets kept his mind off Vic.

At least until the plane landed.

The notice was casually stuck in the mail slot of the shop door like one of those take-out menus from Cathy Palace down the street. It was addressed to his father, Dulles Kramer.

“The building located at the above address has been acquired by the Arthur Properties Development Corporation which has decided to undertake a luxury condominium conversion of said structure. Consequently, all tenants must plan on vacating said address within 60 days of the date of this notice. Those with long term leases should contact the offices of Arthur Properties Development Corporation for any buy-out arrangements if applicable.”

“Fight the bastards!” was Dad’s reaction when Erwin showed him the notice a few days later. “I’ve been there forty-two years, forty-two years, longer than most of them have been alive!”

“Yea, but your lease gives you almost no rights. Remember, you didn’t want a lawyer to look at it the last time around.”

“Lawyer? At $200 an hour? So he can read it? I can read!”

“Well, I saw a lawyer and he drafted some correspondence as a first step,” said Erwin pulling a letter from a small, black, beat-up attaché case he had used centuries ago as a student. “But since the lease – in fact, everything – is in your name – I need you to sign it.”

The old man scoured as he grabbed the letter. “I gotta read it first,” he grumped, as he searched for his glasses on the night stand.

“What, don’t you trust me?” said Erwin quietly but with force.

“Ah, do I have any choice?”

Erwin held the letter printed on “Cohen and Cohen, Attorneys at Law” letterhead taut as the old man signed at the bottom.

It was Erwin who took the deep breath this time. Now he could do what he wanted to do – what he had to do. The reign of Dulles the First was finally over.

“And what happened to your hair? Is that the chemo?” continued the old man as he lay back in his bed.

“I guess a little,” said Erwin, “but I got it cut short and I’ve decided to keep it that way. No maintenance.”

“Hell, you’re beginning to look like your mother after those doctors worked her over. And you know what happened to her!”

Walking to the shop the following morning he ran into Chuck, his hairdresser neighbor from across the street, who scanned him head to toe.

“Like your new do. Real butch. So, girl, you finally got your shit together. Well, you know what they say, better late than never!”

Herb had planned to be in town for a convention but then called and said that Marge’s mother was on her death bed and he would have to cancel.

“Maybe next month,” he said, between meetings. Erwin had decided there was no good reason to tell Herb about the chemo or the Lauderdale weekend.

It was mid-morning and Erwin was haggling with a customer over the price of an 1893 Blickensderfer portable typewriter, which used a type wheel 70 years before IBM, when he got the call.

He recognized the voice immediately.

“Don’t hang up.”

“I’m with a customer, Call me back in ten.”

Seven minutes later, he did.

“So how did you find my number?” asked Erwin quietly.

“Your address was on your check,” said Vic, “It wasn’t hard.”

“So – so why are you calling?”

“I – I need your help.”

“What kind of help?”

“Win, I know I’m a shit-head but you – you’re the only one I know that can help me. All my other, so-called buds are useless.”

So what do you need help with?” said Erwin, his voice monotoned, his heart racing,

“It’s – it’s my brother, Tom. He needs an operation and the insurance isn’t enough. If you could just loan me the money, I’d pay you back as soon as -” There was a break in his voice. “Oh, I don’t know why I’m bothering you.”
“I’ll help you.”

“No, you don’t have to. Listen, I’m sorry I called. I –“

“I’ll help you but only under one condition.”

“What?”

“I meet your brother. Face-to-face.”

Next: Desperation

“Bike Ride,” VII

“Bike Ride,” VII

The knock of the maid woke Erwin up the following morning around 11 – complete with the biggest hangover of his life – and after two alka seltzers he walked up to the beach, casually searching for, yet not wanting to find Vic and his friend.

It was another sunny, breezy July day in May and Sebastian was littered with men, the best looking ones making sure to instinctively stand up like erect dicks and swagger and stroke their abs or lather lotion over their chests as they chatted with their buddies or on their cell-phones or bobbed in the waves, all just to be desperately noticed among the sea of attractive clones, desired, lusted after, even ridiculed.

Anything but be ignored.

Erwin was trying his best to concentrate on distracting himself with the Sunday paper when he felt a hand on his shoulder from behind. He turned. It was the kid – Ben – from the night before. Tight little hairless body, more a boy’s than a man’s, with nipples-in-training, Batman sunglasses and a blazing white bikini that might as well have been Handi-wrap. The kid crouched down next to his chair so whatever was between his legs only hung more.

“Well, Daddy, why didn’t you come back last night? Don’t you love me anymore?” quipped Ben with a toothy smile as white as his suit.

“I was supposed to meet a friend – but in the end he didn’t show,” said Erwin apologetically. “So did you find the love of your life last night?”

“No,” said Ben softly, his mouth two inches from Erwin’s face. “I was waiting for you.”

Erwin returned to the Business section of the Sun Sentinel. “And the next thing you gonna tell me is you come cheap – daytime rate, fifty bucks a half hour.”

Ben rose up and began laughing.

“Thanks for the compliment, but I ain’t no hustler. No, just a boring store clerk from Boston down here for some R and R.”

“Boston, you don’t sound Boston.”

“I grew up outside Phoenix with my aunt – moved to Boston with my very first lover about a year ago – a guy that looked a lot like you – but it didn’t click.”

“Oh, what happened?”

“Things.”

“Things? Like what?”

“Just things, that’s all. Actually I’m thinking of moving here.”

“I’m sure this town is in short supply of store clerks,” said Erwin, putting down his paper. ”So Ben, what do you want from me?”

“To pick up where we left off,” said Ben energetically. “You’re a top, right?”

Erwin had never fucked in his life – not even Dorothy.

“Sure, my guest house is just two blocks over.”

Ben grinned, gesturing with his chin. “I’m right across the street.”

Young guys with boy bodies weren’t Erwin’s first choice but the kid was all of twenty and here was a chance to try something new.

The door of the room had barely closed behind them when the kid tossed off his bikini – more illusion than reality thought Erwin when he saw the small package – then pulled Erwin’s baggy swimsuit to the floor, knelt down and began sucking him like he was in some kind of race against time.

“Slow down,” said Erwin, gently pushing him away. “I like it slow.”

The kid complied and so did Mother Nature.

“Nice daddy dick,” said the kid between licks. Gently grabbing Erwin by the root of his cock, the kid led him to the bed, lay back and threw his legs up onto Erwin’s broad shoulders. Then he leaned over, retrieved the tube of KY from the edge of the bed and threw it between his crotch, the cap aimed right at his hairless butt hole. Erwin was about to reach for the tube when the kid pulled away.

“Wait –” said Ben, scanning the room.

“What, looking for a condom?” asked Erwin politely.

“No man, no way – but there’s something else –” and he strained to reach a small duffle bag that was lying on the side of the bed. Rummaging through it a second, he pulled out an orange plastic syringe.

Ben held the offering out to Erwin.

“I want you to do it,” he said like a five year old anticipating some carnival ride.

“I – I can’t – I don’t – I’ve never -” stammered Erwin.

“O.K.,” clipped Ben, still grinning, who without a moment’s hesitation, stuck the needle into his arm. Erwin looked away, trying to hide his surprise but wondering whether it was time to grab his swimsuit. He heard the syringe hit the floor.

“All right, daddy,” said Ben throwing his silky smooth legs once again over Erwin’s shoulders, as he grabbed those hairy nipples and tugged. “Now, I want you to fuck me, fuck me good and hard, and keep fucking me until that Daddy dick of yours falls off.”

Forty five minutes later, a limp, sweaty Erwin left an equally drenched Ben, who was contemplating his duffle bag’s dildo collection as Erwin closed the door. Erwin returned to the beach. No Vic and friend. But as he cut through the small lot across the street, he saw Vic’s bike was there after all, in the same handicapped space he had used the day before. Only this time accompanying the handicapped card was what appeared to be a parking ticket. With no one around, Erwin pulled the ticket around so he could read it.

“Handicap Pass expired,” was scribbled at the bottom in classic almost indecipherable cop-ez. Erwin thought a moment about returning to the beach, then continued walking on.

That night, his last night in Fort Lauderdale, Erwin went for dinner at Teddie’s Kitchen, a small quiet restaurant with fake fine art on its velvet wallpapered walls. There were only about ten men in the place, and as he waited for his chicken cutlets, a plain but pleasant looking bald-headed guy, late fifties, early sixties guessed Erwin, kept staring back at him with a faint, bemused smile on his face. The guy used the moment as the waiter came with Erwin’s light beer to get up and come over.

“Are you waiting for someone?” asked the short, slight man.

“No, said Erwin, just as benignly pleasant.

“Would you mind if I joined you? I hate eating alone.”

Erwin gestured to the empty chair across from him.

“I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner,” said the guy, sitting down, “but, last minute, he called and said he wasn’t feeling well.”

Erwin smiled.

Suddenly, the man bowed his head. “No, that’s not it at all. Why should I lie to you? I guess you can say I got – got stood up.”

“So what happened?” said Erwin.

“I belong to the Christian Brothers,” said the guy whose name was Mel, “a dating service for older Christian men. There’s a newsletter, mailed discretely of course, where we post descriptions and our likes and dislikes, and if you’re interested in someone, you exchange pictures and letters and sometimes you even actually meet.”

“Kinda quaint,” said Erwin. “No internet?”

“Oh, no,” said Mel, “all snail-mail as the kids call it. Most of our members are not too comfortable using computers or phones.”

“And –” prompted Erwin.

“Well, this guy – he’s retired down here now from Great Falls, Montana – he and I had been corresponding for the past couple of months. He’s a retired teacher like me – I’m from Omaha.”

“I’m from Chicago,” interjected Erwin.

“You’re a big city boy,” said Mel with a light smile. “We – we’re just country bumpkins I’m afraid.”

“So what happened?”

“Well, I decided to come down on a vacation and Quentin – that’s his name – Quentin suggested we meet here for dinner – a nice quiet place, not a lot of people – it was going to be our first, face-to-face meeting. I even spoke to him on the phone earlier this afternoon. Everything was set.”

Mel’s iced tea arrived.

“But I guess he had cold feet, or maybe he passed by the restaurant and didn’t like what he saw. It’s not that I sent him an old picture or lied in my description –“

“It could be he was intimidated by you,” said Erwin. “Maybe he was the one who wasn’t honest.”

“You know, I never thought about it that way,” replied Mel, suddenly sounding relieved. “Thanks for making me feel better.”

“But you are going to call him, and tell him off, aren’t you?” added Erwin.

“Well, I don’t know whether I can – or I should – ”

“Don’t let anybody shit on you,” said Erwin grabbing a hard hold on his Bud Light. “I don’t care if they look like Rock Hudson in his prime.”

“Would you – would you like some company tonight?” asked Mel meekly.

“I’m afraid my flight leaves tomorrow morning at 6,” said Erwin, thinking quickly. “I need to get to the airport at 4 when they’re just milking the cows.”

“Well,” said Mel, hiding his visible disappointment in a laugh. “I know something about milking cows, that’s for sure.”

He took a couple of quick swigs of his iced tea then got up and tossed three dollars on the table.

“You know, I’m not as hungry as I thought I was. It was good talking to you. Enjoy your meal.” And then he smiled that faint smile one last time and, head up, walked out onto the street.

Erwin realized he wasn’t hungry either. But it was too late. His chicken cutlets had arrived.

Next: The Call

“Bike Ride,” VI

“Bike Ride,” VI

“So, what I don’t get, Win buddy,” said Vic as they later waited for their waiter at Rosie’s, one of the popular restaurants on the strip and just a hop from Vic’s apartment. “What I don’t get is you live right in North Halstead –“

“Actually, a few blocks in,” corrected Erwin.

“But your shop, you said, is right on Halstead.”

“And?”

“That’s right in the heart of Chicago’s gay ghetto. Hell, I know, I spent a couple of MIL weekends there.”

“MIL?” said Erwin sipping his rum and coke ever so slowly.

“That’s what I mean, Win,” said Vic with a sexy boyish grin. “That’s exactly what I mean. For someone who’s right in the heart of it all and not exactly 22 anymore –“

“I’ll be 55 January fourteenth,” said Erwin with no hesitation., “old enough to be your father.”

“Well, you’re – you’re so –“

“Closeted, is that the point you’re trying to make?”

“Exactly,” agreed Vic energetically, “closeted. You don’t know that MIL is Mister International Leather, just about the biggest leather weekend in gaydom. Hell, you didn’t know what scat was!”

“And by the way, thanks for sharing that wisdom, but let’s eat first, huh,” said Erwin.

They both slugged down their drinks. Just then their tall, curly haired, profoundly deaf waiter, who asked they speak to him head-on so he could read their lips since his hearing aid battery had just died, took their order.

“So,” said Erwin abruptly, “What’s your HIV status?”

“Why negative, of course,” snapped back Vic as if he had rehearsed the line. “And – and you?”

“Don’t know,” said Erwin, casually. “Never been tested – after all, you know I’m as boring in bed as chicken soup.”

“So why did you – why did you ask me, then?”

“To show you I’m not as out of touch with this – this life as you think I am. In fact, I’m kind of glad I mostly window shopped.”

“Well, I admire you, Win, I do, Christ. I think I might even envy you, not having that itch to satisfy and be satisfied, like wanting to take a piss but sorry once you do because the urge felt so good. Me, I can’t deny myself who I am,” said Vic.

“If I looked like you, I’m sure I wouldn’t either,” replied Erwin. “I’m sure you even had to fight off the girls.”

“I’ve fucked a few,” said Vic smugly.

“But, aren’t you – aren’t you worried some day when it’s all gone and nobody wants you – then what?”

“Hell, Win, you and your old phonographs and photographs. You, sir, live in a fantasy – this – ” Vic swept his hand in the air around the room – “this is reality!” An older couple in matching polos and Bermuda shorts who were passing their table caught Vic’s grin and smiled coyly back.

Before leaving for the Pit Spot, Vic took one of Erwin’s button-down shirts, cut off the sleeves and the strips of buttons and button holes, and handed it to Erwin.

“Put this on,” ordered Vic.

“But, but I feel practically naked in this,” protested Erwin, as he looked at himself in the bureau mirror.

“We’re going to a bear bar, remember?” said Vic.

Shirtless and puffed up, Vic danced around on invisible roller blades behind the bar, satisfying the ever booming number of guys with Buds and vodka tonics and a grin or two. Erwin, meanwhile, who had stationed himself in Crazy Glue near the pool table, found himself getting cruised.

He hesitantly smiled at a few, then got cold feet when, after grinning back, they moved on or looked away.

Not Ben, though.

“You’re a hot lookin’ daddie,” said the slim-Jim kid in the tight kaki T, a few inches shorter and light years younger than Erwin.

Daddy? Maybe he should have touched up the gray after all, thought Erwin.

“Aren’t I a little old for you?” said Erwin, not knowing what else to say.

“Hell, I’m 28. I dig guys in their forties.”

Erwin grinned. The kid hadn’t taken his eyes off Erwin since he started talking.

“You – you a cop?” said Ben.

“No, why did you think that?”

“Well, you sure look like one. That buzz and sexy beard and – ”

The kid began slowly licking Erwin’s left nipple when Erwin noticed Vic wasn’t behind the bar. He let the kid be distracted for a few seconds more, then gently pushed him away.

“Gotta take a piss,” said Erwin.

“O.K.,” said Ben, slightly miffed but ready for another beer.

Erwin walked over to the line at the men’s room and waited. When Vic didn’t exit and didn’t reappear within eye shot, Erwin crept up through the bellies and brick shit houses to the bar.

“Vic? That asshole just picked up and left with somebody,” said the bartender with the cue-ball haircut, none too happy to be left alone with the masses. “Said he was leaving with some buddy he hadn’t seen in a long time. Hope the lay is worth losing his job.”

On the cab ride back to the guesthouse, Erwin had the driver stop at a liquor store where he bought a quart of the cheapest vodka he could find. Then, while those young boys were taking nude midnight swims with their new loves in the pool, Erwin went back to his room, locked the door, and drank.

It was almost 3 when he heard the bike pull up outside the gate. He got up to answer the buzzer, then returned to his chair and fifth plastic motel glass of the good stuff.

No knock. Instead, slid under the door was Erwin’s check for five thousand dollars. As he once again heard the footsteps, this time returning to the street, Erwin got up and opened the door.

Vic turned around and they stared at one another for what seemed forever, saying nothing.

“Come in,” said Erwin finally.

“But – but I – I didn’t fulfill my part of the deal,” said Vic.

“Remember, no refunds,” said Erwin, shoving the check in Vic’s hand, as he gestured him back in his room and shut the door.

“I guess us fags would leave our mothers in the middle lane of a highway at rush hour for a dick, wouldn’t we Vic?” said Erwin, realizing he was drunker than the night he had made that first call.

Vic plead no contest.

“So who was worth throwing all that money away for?” asked Erwin.

“We met last year in San Francisco.”

“Did you see him again?”

“No – not – not until tonight – he just showed up –“

Erwin slugged down what was left in his glass.

“He’s waiting outside,” continued Vic. “I told him all about our deal – he was the first to agree I had no right to this money.”

“Keep it and go enjoy yourself,” said Erwin quietly, with no hint of belligerence or anger in his voice. “Somebody in this town deserves to be happy tonight.”

Erwin opened the door and Vic crumbled the check in his hand and dropped on the floor. Then he turned around and left.

Next: Ben

“Bike Ride,” V

“Bike Ride,” V

Jock Gym, next to Lenny’s Hideaway, was Vic’s second home. “Let me just get in a quick session,” said Vic. “You know, in this business it’s a bitch looking butch.”

Erwin was hesitant to venture into the inner sanctum with its monsters of metal and flesh, and left Vic to do his reps while he did battle with one of the row of treadmills that lined the front windows facing the lot. Two, taller guys with taut buzz cuts and just as tight shorts were on neighboring machines eying a fellow clone passing by who looked like he was carrying his bottle of protein shake in his jockeys.

“Had him,” gloated one to the other. “At the baths. Loves to bareback.”

Erwin glanced around as he trotted up his heart rate. Outside of three or four pairs of guys there pushing one another harder, most of the guys were solo. Even Vic, working the dumbbells in the back, was off in his little world. Erwin thought some guys were staring at him, then realized they were only looking at themselves in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors that lined the walls like the Palace of Versailles.

After putting in his 8 minutes of trotting, he decided to hit an abs machine closer to the dumbbells and Vic. Two lanky, blonde guys with swimmer builds were straddling some kind of contraption as their conversation drifted from T cell counts to their latest two week, “he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not” affairs.

“All done,” said Vic, patting Erwin on the back as Erwin finished his forty-ninth crunch.

“So, hope you come again,” said the muscular guy at the desk to Erwin. With his blue eyes and soap opera face, he was just a fart past his prime. The two of them threw their sweaty towels over into the white plastic laundry basket as Vic retrieved the keys to his bike.

“Just one thing.” said Erwin.

“Sure,” said the guy.

“Have you considered giving speech lessons as a bonus? You know, so all those muscles don’t go to waste when they open their mouths.”

Vic didn’t wait for the guy’s response. Neither did Erwin.

“Getting ballsy, aren’t you?” said Vic as they strolled up to the bike.

“Always have been – I think,” said Erwin.

The small municipal lot closest to Sebastian Beach was filled up when they arrived but there was one handicap spot open. Vic zipped right in and pulled out the blue and yellow placard from his back compartment and stuck it on one of the bike handles.

“How did you swing that?” asked Erwin.

“Let’s just say that’s my little secret,” said Vic.

With their swim trunks under their gym shorts – Vic wore his black bikini – they rented two lounge chairs and positioned them close to the water’s edge. The beach was packed.

“You first,” said Vic whipping out a tube of Banana Boat sun screen and rubbing some stuff on Erwin’s back.

“You know, Win, you can be an attractive guy if you just worked at it a little more.”

“What, with all this gorilla hair?”

“Hey some guys like hairy guys. After all, you do,” said Vic rubbing some of the white stuff on his own chest in between taking care of Erwin.

“And – and you?”

“Me, I’m eclectic in my taste of men – guess I have to be in my line of work.”

“Eclectic,” said Erwin. “That’s a pretty fancy word coming from a male – “

“Escort – hell, you’re talking to one educated, motherfucker!” laughed Vic.

“So, no sad story about running away from some abusive father in Iowa who raped you before you were 15,” said Erwin. They were both back on the lounges all lathered up and taking in the sum.

“No, I was a suburban brat – Suffolk County, Long Island – went to St. John’s for my law degree but never practiced.”

“Why not?”

“Would’ve spoiled my tan line,” clipped Vic. Just then, his phone rang. Erwin glanced over. Vic turned it off.

“So how ‘am I doin?” he said as he slide his body over closer and began stroking Erwin’s chest every so slowly.

“What – what do you mean?”

“Pretending I’m in love with you.”

“The jury’s still out but I guess there’s no refund, huh?”

“Not on your life,” said Vic, sliding back to his chair. “I’ve got a lot of pissed-off guys I had to cancel out on – told ‘em I thought I had the bird flu.”

Erwin scanned the blankets. Sprinkled between the twinkies on their cell phones were, here and there, old men and young guys, together under their beach umbrellas, paired off like lovers.

“Are they all like us?”

“Who?”

“All these May-December marriages, you know these old guys who can barely walk with some hot, thirty-something stud – your type.”

“You mean, are the pretty boys in it for the Rolex, the Lexus convertible, the bedroom overlooking the intracoastal? Sure, some of them are. But there are younger guys who really like older men. A daddy thing I guess. You never know.”
With that, Vic grabbed Erwin’s hand and plunged both their bodies into the water.

Before going back to Palmdale, Vic swung by the white, 15 story apartment house he lived in just off Wilton Drive.
“Give me five,” he said and a few minutes later he was back with an overstuffed, white plastic bag.

“Chains to tie me up with,” said Erwin as he hopped back on.

“No, better,” replied Vic.

Back at the guesthouse, Vic revealed his treasure trove. It was a large black barber-shop-style electric razor. He gestured to Erwin to sit down.

“It’s time we got rid of that ‘70’s haircut. Especially when your hair is thinning. It only draws attention to the wrong places,” and Vic commenced to strip Erwin’s head down to the minimum.

“Now stand up. Shoulders straight.”

“What – what are you doing?”

“Chest hair is fine – but your back hair – trust me, that’s gotta go.”

Next came the beard. “Too long, you look like a cross between Burl Ives and Charles Manson,” said Vic, and with that he trimmed it down to a stubble not much longer than the buzz on Erwin’s head.

After Vic was through, he studied his handiwork, smiled smugly, then grabbed Erwin’s head softly from the back and kissed him. The kind of kiss Erwin gave comatose Dorothy just before she died.

Erwin instinctively began lowering himself. Vic stopped him in midstream.

“No,” said Vic firmly. He pushed Erwin back into his seat, knelt between his legs, unzipped Erwin’s pants, and reached in.

The maid had left the Venetian blinds open so Erwin could see clearly out to the pool. That also meant people passing by the room could see clearly in.

But for the next ten minutes, Erwin couldn’t care less.

Next: Betrayal

“Bike Ride,” IV

“Bike Ride,” IV

The next morning on the suggestion of his Chuck look-alike, Erwin grabbed a cab for Andrews Diner, a popular breakfast hang-out as cruisey as any bar on a weekend night. It was already 80 degrees when he got there at 9 and he was surprised to see the long front bench that ran the full length of the place already filled with people – mostly paired-off guys or trios of friends of every size and shape – waiting for a booth or table. When the hostess with the frosted hair and Brooklyn accent popped out and yelled if anybody was interested in a stool at the counter, Erwin took her up on the offer and bypassed the line.

His old-style diner waitress – light years back in time from the funky punk rockers he was used to on Halstead – had just delivered his Swiss cheese omelet when some growing commotion outside in the front lot began stealing people’s attention away from their hash browns, tomato juice hangover cures, and Target talk.

Erwin glanced over to the front window. It was him – Vic – dressed like he had been the night before only with a leather jacket on – a bit “special-effectee” thought Erwin in this 80 degree weather. He was cursing at some overweight guy uniformed like a car mechanic, whose flatbed truck simmered in the driveway.

At first he thought it too obvious to get up and go outside but when a few people did, Erwin followed.

“Look, I told you I sent in the god-damn payment last night. Can’t you call ‘em up and tell the fucks the check’s in the mail?” yelled Vic at the guy.

“Listen buddy, it’s Saturday, remember, and it’s a holiday weekend. No one’s around in the office. So don’t give me a fucken problem. You can settle it with them on Tuesday but right now I gotta take back that bike.”

Erwin took a deep breath, then walked casually over to the fighting duo.

“How much?” he asked the guy in the uniform.

“What?” said the guy, still pissed.

“How much does he owe?”

The guy looked at his pad. “Fifteen hundred, fifteen hundred and seventy five dollars to be exact.”

“Erwin reached in his back jeans pocket for his wallet.

“Will a check do?” He could see from the corner of his eye Vic’s amazement.

“I don’t get it,” said Vic, “I – I don’t understand – why are you doing this?”

Erwin leaned on the hard bike seat to fill the check out. Then he handed it to the guy.

“Park this thing, will you,” said Erwin, “and come in and have breakfast with me. Just make it quick, my omelet’s getting cold.”

Erwin knew Vic could have just turned around and sped out. Five minutes later they were sharing a carafe of coffee.

“I don’t get you,” said Vic. “You know, I don’t even, Christ, I don’t even know your name.”

“Win. Call me Win.”

“OK, Win, so what’s the deal? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate what you did for me. I swear I’ll pay you back, I’d say in services rendered, but last night was like taking candy from a baby.”

“You don’t have to pay me back,” said Erwin, expressionless as he sipped his coffee. “But I do have a proposal for you.”

“OK,” said Vic, finally stripping off his leather jacket. It seemed as if the whole place was staring at them. Or at least at Vic.

“Not here, Let’s go back to the guest house. I’ll explain it to you there.”

Erwin realized after Vic had coaxed him to hop on the bike, a mile long, all chrome and rich copper trim, that this was the first time in his fifty-five years of living that he had ever been on one of these things. It was like they were floating in the air in some kind of controlled free fall as they buzzed down congested Oakland Park Boulevard to A1A and the guesthouse. It was only 10 a.m. but the beach was already littered with early birds.

“No helmet?” he yelled to Vic above the noise. Holding tightly onto Vic’s hips was giving him a hard-on.

“You don’t have to wear one down here. Plus who the fuck wants to?” yelled back Vic, as he zipped through his third yellow-to-red traffic light.

The bar-hoppers from the night before hadn’t staggered out of bed yet, leaving poolside all theirs. Vic grabbed a seat at one of the patio tables, throwing his legs up onto another chair. Erwin sat down across from him.

“So what’s this deal you want to talk to me about?” said Vic, trying to mask his impatience. He snuck a quick glance at his digital.

“I want to buy you for the rest of the weekend,” said Erwin as if he were reciting the phone book.
Vic didn’t move.

“But I’ve got clients lined up –lots of clients. It’s a long weekend and –“

“Cancel them.”

“But I still have to work tonight. I mean, a real job. I bartend at the Pit Stop.”

“The Pit Stop?”

“Yea, that’s the big bear bar here. It’s just tonight. I’m a fill-in, you know, when they need me. They’re gonna be packed.”

“OK, I’ll come with you. But the rest of the weekend, you’re mine.”

“You know, it’ll cost you.”

“How much?”

Vic thought a second, then blurted out, “Five – five thousand dollars.”

“No problem,” said Erwin finally grinning.

“Well,” replied Vic, grinning back.

“One more thing,” said Erwin, tapping lightly on the table.

“Yea?” said Vic.

“I want you to pretend you love me,” said Erwin, not looking up. “I’m not talking about anything sexual. Just act like you love me, that’s all.”

Vic pulled his legs off the chair, sat up and reached over for Erwin’s hand.

“OK, then, if that’s all you want, I’m yours til 12 noon Monday.”

“10 will do,” said Erwin, “My flight leaves at 12.”

“So where do you want to start?” asked Vic.

“Well,” said Erwin, “you can start by telling me all about scat.”

Next: The Makeover

“Bike Ride,” III

“Bike Ride,” III

The only flight he could get out of O’Hare made a stop in Orlando on the way down so that for two thirds of the trip the plane was loaded with noisy fat, no-neck kids and their noisy, fat, no-neck parents. There was another delay with thunderstorms over central Florida and he didn’t check into the Palmdale Guest House, just a few blocks from the beach on Birch Road, until almost 5 that afternoon. But after leaving a rainy, mid 60’s Chicago, the palm trees and lush green ferns and warmth of the late day sun made up for the misery.

The ad for the place in the Fun Map had certainly looked inviting. Young gym boys with tight trunks frolicking around the pool and another shot of an older, in-shape guy with sexy steel hair, his young love lying beside him butt-naked on one of the lounges – didn’t the ad say “clothing optional poolside?”

As he walked through the entrance gate, which was enveloped in 8 foot bushes, the only people he spied at the pool were two older women with buzz cuts and waist 46 levis and a trio of noisy, hairless, chicken-chested, iron-board-bodied twenty-something queens. They gave him a second’s scan then turned away and resumed their girly giggling. The women never looked up at all.

“Well, you may want to go to Lenny’s Hideaway on the strip,” advised the guy by the check-in desk, an over 40 bleach job who reminded him of Chuck, the hairdresser across the street from his shop on Halstead. “They always have a good crowd.”

He tried to take a nap but with his room near poolside, the giggles of the boys were distracting. He remembered seeing a pizza place on the cab ride over just a few blocks up on AIA and walked up for two slices and a diet Pepsi. He didn’t want to eat too much right now and have his stomach sticking out – he’d wait til later.

After a quick shower and quicker unpack, Erwin pulled out his favorite black T-shirt – a bit faded but one he looked good and felt comfortable in. He had debated about touching up the gray in his beard – echoes of Herb ran through his mind – then decided not to bother. He was here for the sun and the ocean air. He’d at least have that to remember when he started puking his brains out next week from the chemo.

At first as he entered the bar, he got a few curious stares, but as the evening wore on and the place got more crowded with tall, mostly muscular types, some in chatty cliques, others with a sweet, busty girl or two grabbing their belt loops, Erwin came to rely more and more on those three dollar potent, iridescent blue Long Island iced teas. He looked at the men but all they did was stare at the videos of Rhianna. When the second duo of 6’4” brick shithouses stood right in front of him, he decided it was time to go for those two slices – no, four slices of pizza on the beach.

He knew he was staggering a bit as he fought his way through the crowd to the entrance where he could see two cabs waiting patiently. But it was the buff-bodied model on the cover of the gay mag just about everyone had picked up on their way in that made him grab a copy for himself before he left. All those people in all those glossy full-color ads looked so young and happy and hot. And here he was in his old, faded black T, thinking about ordering extra cheese on his pizza.

He flipped through the mag on his cab ride back. After the bar ads and gossip sheets, way in the back, after the real estate ads and ads for humpy handymen and muscled masseurs, there were those ads that didn’t say much at all.

The one with the hairy, bearded, lightly muscular thirtyish guy particularly attracted him. His name was Vic – it sounded real and manly not like all those Coles and Coreys and Dirks. And he was the only hairy chest on the page.
He had the cab make a quick stop at the pizza place and took the slices with him back to his room. Then, fully aware he was very drunk, Erwin dialed the number. He wasn’t happy about the voicemail but the voice certainly went with the face. He left a message, then wondered if he should pick up the phone when it rang a few minutes later.

There was that voice again.

“So where ya staying? Sure, know the place well. You’re in luck. I had a cancellation tonight. I can see you at 1.”

“Nothing – nothing earlier?”

“That’s all I got open for now. In fact, I’m booked solid for the weekend. It’s just that this client had some last minute bullshit back in New York – couldn’t catch his flight –”

“OK, no problem.”

“Good. I’ll pen you in. Like anything special?”

“Excuse me?”

“I mean is there any kink you want to get into?”

“No – I guess not.”

“Well, bondage, fisting, water sports – they’re OK. That’s why they call me Versatile Vic. But I’m a top. And no scat.”

“Scat?”

The guy laughed.

“I’ll explain that to you later. By the way, no cologne or deodorant. And cash only.”

With two hours to kill, Erwin decided to take another shower, then a nap. He set his travel alarm for 12:30 but it was the buzzer from the entrance gate that woke him up. He rushed to count out the twenties, stuck them underneath the guest house “welcome” folder on the top of the bureau, hid his wallet under some clothes in the bureau drawer, and threw on his shorts.

He spied through the Venetian blinds in his door as the tightly silhouetted figure in a trot-like pace quickly approached his room. Then came the knock and then, there he was.

“Found it quickly.” said Erwin, after opening the door.

“Yea, been in this room before,” said the boyish guy with the tightly trimmed beard. “In fact, just last week.” He laughed without making eye contact.

His hairline seemed higher than in his picture and he looked shorter than Erwin had expected, actually about Erwin’s height at 5-9. Ah, but he had the goods – well built in a basic butch nut brown T and, those oh-so-perfect fitting jeans. Rich chest hair peeked out from above his T collar, a cockteasy preview of things to come, thought Erwin.

Then the guy simply took the T off, and made himself comfortable on the bed. Erwin couldn’t remove his eyes from that dark, hairy, muscular chest and belly. And just enough muscle to make it interesting.

“So you’ve got me for the next hour,” said the guy, glancing down at his sporty wrist watch. “Actually 58 minutes and 17 seconds.” He tapped on the watch face. “It’s one of those digitals. Good for keeping track.”

Erwin slowly lowered himself in the arm chair a few feet from the guy who had by now stripped down to nothing. The luxurious black hair on his chest and abs continued all the way down to his toes. He reminded Erwin of that prehistoric Playgirl centerfold of Burt Reynolds that had dazzled Erwin in his youth, sans the rug.

“So what would you like to do, huh?” clipped Vic. “Want to blow me? Or I can blow you if you like. I don’t swallow, though.”

Erwin said nothing, but just continued to stare.

“You’re – you’re – you’re breath taking.”

The guy laughed deeply. Finally came the eye contact.

“Well, that’s a first. I’ve been called hot motherfucker, furry stud, bear buddy. But never – never ‘breath taking.’ ”
“Can – can I kiss you?”

“No kissing on the first date,” said the guy with a grin. “Fuck, suck, tie me up, but no kissing. And no scat.”

“Please get up,” said Erwin politely.

“No,” ordered Vic quietly as he stood up on the bed, “lay over here,” and he bent down and tapped on the mattress.
Erwin dropped his shorts to the floor and complied. Then he watched as Vic straddled his muscular, hairy legs on either side of him like the ancient Colossus of Rhodes. Vic grabbed the crossbar of the imitation brass bed posts to steady himself.

“I told you I know this room well. I find most guys love this angle the best.”

Erwin said nothing but eased up on the pillows as Vic arched slightly downward so his lean but steady-as-a-rock seven inch tool met Erwin’s mouth, his furry low hanging balls banging against Erwin’s grizzly beard. Erwin stroked Vic’s hairy ass from behind, occasionally fingering his hairy butt hole as he felt Vic’s dick quiver in his throat.
Erwin’s own hard cock came like a Bobble-head without a touch. It was over for both of them in minutes.

Erwin sat up as Vic knelt down, licking what little of his cum Erwin hadn’t swallowed off Erwin’s own furry, slightly flabby chest.

“I lied,” said Vic as he grabbed the damp towel that Erwin had left lying on the neighboring chair after showering, and briskly cleaned them both off.

“About what?” said Erwin, still staring at his transitory prize.

“About kissing on the first date,” and he knelt down and gave Erwin a brief press on the lips. Then he rabbit-hopped off the bed and slinked into his T and jeans like an athlete who had practiced re-dressing with a stop watch until he got it down in record time.

“Listen, just give – just give an even $100,” said Vic, glancing at his watch.

“Why, I – I thought your rate was $250 –“

“Yea, but you made it too easy.” Then, just as quickly as he had trotted down the walk, he was gone.

Erwin could hear the sudden roar of a motorcycle outside the gate as he sat on the bed, the bedcovers still warm from the body of his handsome man, sat quietly in the dark until the sudden chatter of that trio of chicken-chested boys who were returning from a night of bar hopping cracked his brain.

Next: The Deal

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