|This story is a work of erotic fiction involving
teenage boys. All the usual rules apply. If you shouldn't be reading this
now then don't continue on.|
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The VW cruised in the fading light, music soaring through the open windows. In the passenger seat an overweight beagle rode with his head out the window, ears flapping in the wind. The driver sang loudly to the music and only seemed to fall silent when he didn't know the words. The miles rolled under the car as it moved steadily westward. Cruising into the outskirts of a small town the driver was just contemplating dinner when steam began to pour from the hood. Striving to see the car slowed to the shoulder and came to a stop in the parking lot of a roadside diner. The beagle began to howl at the people and cars in the lot, wagging his tail in friendly greeting.
"Aww, damnit!" The driver swore bringing the car to a stop and cutting the engine. Steam enveloped the front end and the driver lifted the hood allowing the remaining vapor to escape.
"Wow, what happened?" asked a young boy in kitchen whites. "Are you ok, mister?"
"Oh, damn hose blew somewhere, probably. I'm fine except that I'm stranded I guess, thanks." The driver shot a rueful smile at the boy. The beagle continued to howl. The boy approached the car and extended his hand through the window at the dog. "Friendly guy, aren't you? Hungry, huh, I'll just bet you are!" The boy said as he scratched behind the dog's ears. The beagle showed his approval by wagging his tail so hard it almost seemed like the tail was shaking the dog.
The driver shook his head and smiled at the two. "Looks like you made a new friend."
I was bummed big time. I can't believe this! I get halfway to the middle of nowhere and I spring a leak! I glided the car off the road into the parking lot of a diner-motel. It was the only building in view, and so my hopes of getting on the road again right away were rather dim. The beagle was howling at the few people and cars in the lot. God he can be loud!
A kid in cook’s whites had seen my dramatic entrance and came over with a concerned expression on his face.
"Wow! What happened? Are you ok, mister?
"Oh, damn hose blew somewhere, probably." I replied offhandedly looking up to meet his eyes. Wow, this kid was on his way to being a model or something. "I'm fine except that I'm stranded I guess." I said ruefully smiling at him. He headed over to say hello to Tristan, my beagle, and I moved in to inspect the damage. Through the space in between the hood and the firewall I could see him scratching the dog's ears and talking while the dog wagged energetically.
"Looks like you made a friend." I said offhandedly while searching under the hood for the culprit. I reached down the passenger side where a few wisps of steam remained and felt the ruined end of a heater hose. Not just any heater hose, either. This one was special, I remembered, larger in diameter on one end than the other, and had a ninety-degree bend in it to boot. No quick fix at Napa for this one. Well, no sense getting upset, not much to be done right now. I closed the hood and put the windows up in the car, leaving a crack for the dog while I went in to see about our accommodations.
I entered the diner, which had flashy aluminum siding, no doubt polished by dust storms in the area. I stepped inside and was greeted by an almost empty room, faded vinyl seats and a few old fellows having coffee in the last booth. I took a seat at the counter and was greeted by the young guy that had been outside.
"Can I get you something, sir?" He asked politely, pad poised to take down my order.
"Well, you can start by calling me Dave, sir just doesn't cut it." I said with a smile.
"Ok, Dave it is. Can I get you something to drink?" He asked with a small smile.
"Yeah, tall glass of 'start the day over' if you please!" I chuckled.
"I'm sorry, we're out of that. I can probably get you a glass of anti-freeze if that would help?" He said with a shy smile, not sure if he was overstepping his bounds with the joke.
"Oh, aren't we funny?" I said with a smile. "How about a coke, burger with everything and another burger, plain."
He turned and bellowed through the alcove to the kitchen. "Two burgers, one plain Jane, one through the garden." He walked away to get my coke. I leaned back in the seat and contemplated my next move. Obviously I needed a phone and I would need to procure a room for the evening. He came back and handed me my coke with a shy smile.
"I kinda feel bad for ya, the mechanic in town doesn't know much about foreign cars, 'cept that he don't like 'em."
"That's ok, I just need to get a room first and then get a few phone calls in. I can do the work myself."
"We have some open rooms...well, actually they're all open." He said quietly. He seemed so shy one minute, and then he cracks jokes about my car. I liked him already.
"So do I see you about getting a room?" I asked, raising a brow. He blushed furiously like I had said something forward.
"Actually, grandpa prefers to handle the rooms himself, I just clean them." He said
"Ok, so what do I do next then?"
"He'll be out when he's done cooking your stuff up, just a minute or two. Um, do you mind if I give your dog a marrowbone? We have a few extra if that's ok..." Back to being shy again I see.
"Actually, the plain burger is for him, but the bone'd be a good dessert." I smiled.
"Oh, cool." He said excitedly, "I've always liked dogs, but we can't aff...I mean we can't keep one cause of the road here, they'd get run over."
I nodded in understanding and was we were off talking about dogs and then onto baseball. Turns out the kid loved it, just didn't have the time to play. I figured it probably came down to money more than that. It was neat though, he was shy one minute and then just as quickly he was enthusiastic about our conversation.
"Goose! Leave the poor man be, can't you see he's had a hard day already?" said the old man who appeared from the kitchen with the food. "He doesn't want to hear all that!" He scolded.
The kid seemed to shrink away at the reprimand.
"No, it's great actually, he knows his baseball. Even if he has no taste in teams." I said, eyeing the kid identified as Goose. He gave me a small smile.
"Oh, ayah. Baseball he knows. Math too, helps me with the books here he's smart. Got his daddy's think box, mommas good looks and his grandpa's ornery disposition." The old fellow smiled showing a full set of enamel, but obviously proud of his grandson who beamed at the praise.
"So I guess I need to see you about getting a room here, my car seems to have decided we're not going any farther today."
"Well, I'll tell you what sir, "Goose flinched at the sir, "I have a sixteen room motel in the middle of nowhere, and you can just have your choice of room one or two, since they are the only ones Goose cleaned out today."
I smiled, "Well in that case, one'll do. Do I need to put down a security deposit for my dog?" I asked.
"No, but if he messes, you clean it!" He cackled.
And so with my arrangements made I pushed the car over to the room with Goose's help. After getting it set he showed me to the room, sparse but clean, and I tossed my bag in the chair next to the window. I walked to the phone and called long distance to my mechanic, crooking a finger at Goose so that he didn't run off.
"Howard?" I said in to the speaker.
"Dave, where the hell are you man?"
"I don't know, but that damn heater hose on the passenger side blew out. I need you to UPS me one."
"Oh, well I got one on the shelf, I'll drop it there right now so you'll have it tomorrow afternoon..." I completed the payment with my credit card and then handed the receiver to Goose.
"I need you to give him the address here so I can get this part." I explained.
Gooses nodded and gave the information to the mechanic whom then rung off.
I lay back on the bed and decided to get to know my host.
"So, Goose huh?" I asked.
He blushed, "It's grandpa's nickname for me. My real name is Kody."
"Ok, I'll bite, why Goose?"
"Grandpa is a big baseball fan and he calls me that after a pitcher he used to root for."
"Oh? You mean Goose Gossage?" I asked.
"You throw hard?" I asked.
"Well, actually he calls me that more for my, um, balance after throwing." He said, blushing again.
"Oh yeah? Got a spare glove man? I got nuttin' but time."
"No way! Really?" He asked excitedly.
We were interrupted by the sound of a beagle that could no longer stand being in the car by himself. Kody went to get the gloves and I let Tristan out, feeding him his burger and giving him some water at the same time. Kody seemed to return in a flash and we tossed the ball back and forth lazily and began to talk.
"So where are you going?" He asked.
"Nirvana." I said.
"What do you mean by that?" He asked quizzically.
"Indians have the happy hunting ground, Christians have heaven, and I have Baysville." I said.
"Baysville?" He said with an edge to his voice.
"Yeah, Baysville." I replied, "You know of it?"
"Um, well no not really. I think I read a magazine article about it once. Um, what are you going to do when you get there?" He asked.
"My family owns a building in downtown, I am going to open a coffee shop slash reading room. Maybe do a deli thing for lunch."
I heard him mumble a reply, sounded something like asking if I needed a dishwasher.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Nothing, just talking to myself." He said and zipped the ball in to me.
The kid had an arm that was for sure. I threw a little harder, and he returned the heat with just a bit more, I grinned and threw a bit harder. The ball passed like a zephyr between us, as we would try to out do the previous throw by putting just a little more heat on it than the one we had just caught. I finally gave in, that sucker hurt!
"Kody, I can't remember the last time I played burnout. Check that, I can't remember the last time I lost!" I said grinning like a kid.
"That was fun. Hey, can I take Tristan for a walk?" He asked, a hopeful look on his face.
"Ah, yeah, sure he could use that. Let's dig his leash out." I said, opening the car and beginning to root around.
Tristan was more than pleased to go for a walk, but I have to tell you it was so funny to watch. Kody thought walking the dog would mean a nice stroll around the area. Not so, the beagle would alternately sniff and mark an area, and then walk YOU to the next area of interest whereupon he would stop once again and sniff the area for interesting stuff.
I noticed the grandfather walking across the lot; the diner's lights were out so he must've knocked off. I looked down at my watch and was surprised to see that it had progressed past eight o’clock. No wonder it was starting to get dark. The grandfather walked in my direction, glanced at the back of my car and then addressed me.
"Mechanic in town doesn't know too much about foreign cars." He said.
"That's what Kody said too. I can do the work myself, but I'll need to get a few things from town, like some anti freeze and hose clamps. I don't suppose there is a bus or anything?" I asked.
"Oh, no. No bus. 'Cept the Greyhound a course, but then you'd be staying in town overnight for the bus coming back the other way. I needed to go into town tomorrow, you can ride with me if you want."
"I'd appreciate that, thank you."
He turned to watch Kody playing with Tristan in the dust of the parking lot. Dog was going to need a bath it seemed.
"It's ok, least I can do for you. It's nice to see my grandson smile, not many people can do that anymore." He hesitated, "You, ah, got kids?
"No," I replied, "I wouldn't know what to do with a kid of my own!" I said with a small laugh.
"Oh, well you're really good with him. I haven't seen him smile this much in, well, it's been a long time." He hesitated, and then spoke again, "Like a cup a Joe?"
"Sounds great." I replied.
We walked towards the house set in behind the diner. I learned the grandfather's name was Sid, and from there the conversation just seemed to flow. He asked about the arrangements I would need to make for the car repairs, and I filled him in on the details. We talked about the depressed economy locally and the lack of people in the diner.
"It's been drying up for years, but it's all I have. My father started that diner when I was just a kid. He was a mess cook in the navy, opened this place in 1947 after the war. I was about ten then and I helped everyday after school. I learned to do short order cooking, handyman for fixing the grills and the ovens. Had gas pumps until '83, but we lost those when they told us we needed new tanks, lord! They wanted your first-born plus your wife for a night to put the new tanks in! He exclaimed.
"Anyway, I met my wife Anne here in 1952. We courted for a year and were married in the diner. My son Richard was born five months later." He grew quiet for a moment.
"Is he Kody's father?" I asked.
"He was. Died of Aids, summer of '86. Never saw his son, mom gave birth to him in the third booth of the diner one night. Left him on the counter all swaddled up and disappeared. Anne and I looked after him, and then she passed in the fall of '92. Since then it's just been Goose and me against the world."
"He's a great kid." I said.
"The best." He said.
The next day was quiet as Sid and I went to town first thing in the morning. We talked the whole way and I found him to be a fascinating guy. Upon our return Kody and I spent the rest of the day together repairing the car. We worked together, he from the top of the engine and me under the car, to get it all together. I taught him the trick to refilling a water-cooled VW's water jacket and he chatted almost constantly of baseball and how he had never worked on a car before. I might be being simplistic, but if I had a son, this kid would be my choice.
After testing the car Kody took Tristan for another walk and I joined Sid for a beer. We chatted amiably for a time before falling into a comfortable silence.
He hesitated and then looked at me directly as he asked, "That sticker on the back of your car. What's it for?"
I was a little uncomfortable, I was in a hick town with no visible means of escape after all, but I decided I could best the old fellow if necessary.
"It's a symbol for diversity, all people welcome kind of thing." I said.
He leaned back and seemed to contemplate for a moment.
"I see that sticker sometimes, usually it's two women traveling together, but sometimes two guys. Never one with the other though." He looked out at the stars that were appearing slowly in the night sky and I noticed that Kody was standing in the shadows of the hallway eavesdropping on us. The beagle had nested on the couch, silently.
"I knew my son was different for a long time, but I couldn't understand it. Told him to be a man and make a grandchild. Well, he did, but it was just for me I think. I regret to this day that I pushed him so hard. I was there for him in the end, held his hand as that horrible disease took him from me." He fell silent and then spoke again slowly.
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." He said, eyeing me perhaps to gauge my response. I felt comprehension dawn on me and the full impact of his words was like a ton of bricks.
"I love my grandson more than anything in the world, I think you can see that. " I nodded as he continued, "And it's my job to see that decisions are made in his best interest. People around here, they don't cotton to difference too much. He and I, we talked last night. Says your going somewhere favorable to you folks, somewhere people will leave you in peace.
He sighed, "Goose, get out of those shadows, I see you boy. We need to talk about this."
He approached form the hallway hesitantly, and sat on the couch, which drew a grunt from the dog. He looked more timid than I have ever seen right then, and I felt bad for him. He was just a kid and he already knew who he was, in fact was brave enough to tell his grandfather. Sid caught my attention and spoke again in a measured tone.
"I want you to take Goose with you. Things will never be that good for him here, and I'm too old to do all that needs to be done for him. Please, you're a good man. Will you please look out for my grandson?"
I was in shock. My immediate answer was no, but I knew that if someone had given me that chance I might have been a whole lot happier a whole lot sooner in my life. I looked at Goose and saw hope reflected in his eyes, and I have to tell you it was heartbreaking. It was also blackmail to use that cute face on me, and I knew my answer before my head nodded the affirmative. He smiled like an angel.
"Ok, good." Sid sighed in relief, "There’s just a few particulars to deal with, and then you’ll be set. In the morning we can go to town and see Judge Chiarolanzio, he’s an old friend. I’ll transfer guardianship and then the legal stuff will be done with." He turned to Goose, "You know he doesn’t have to do this, and I know you’re a good boy. But Goose, what he’s doing requires you to be more than good, you have to listen and you must obey. Understand me?"
Goose nodded and stood slowly and crossed the room to his grandfather, and two generations embraced. Sid watched his grandson lovingly as he left him and came to me and embraced me as well.
"Thank you." He whispered.
The next day we were in town for a brief time while the appropriate papers were signed and then on the road. The five-cylinder engine accelerated smoothly and we chatted easily through the day, stopping to stretch our legs and to see occasional points of interest. We stopped for a late dinner and after night fell Kody had fallen to sleep. I began to munch on sunflower seeds to keep myself awake. We passed a sign that stated 312 miles to Baysville. Huh, if I go this fast I'll be getting there...about eight in the morning. Wouldn't that be awesome if the first thing we saw in the morning was Baysville? I thought so and sped on through the night.
As a side note, don’t drink Gatorade on the road, especially not on this highway. Distressingly few rest stops and thank god the top of the Gatorade bottle is wide!
The sun rose and about seven we pulled onto the main road leading into town. I needed coffee, and I figured breakfast wouldn't be too hurtful either. I drove down the main street and pulled up in front of my building. I glanced at Kody and corrected myself, our building. Just a block down on the opposite side was Lusiad's and I figured breakfast would be there. Kody continued to snooze as I got the beagle into the back yard of the building and then I came back to shake him awake.
"Huh?" He grunted.
"Wake up, Goose." I said with a large grin. " We're home."
He sat up and looked around with a dopey grin and climbed out to stretch. We walked in a companionable silence to Lusiad's and entered the empty restaurant. There was a handsome man behind the counter who spread his arms indicating all seats were open. We took a table near the window and the man behind the counter walked over.
"Good morning, my name is Chris. TJ will be your waiter. Can I get you something to drink?" I thought Chris looked a little tired himself.
"Coffee for me, my friend." I looked at Kody. " Goose?"
"Can I have a glass of Orange Juice please?" He asked.
"Java and OJ, coming up." Chris returned a few minutes later with two coffees and an orange juice, and after placing the drinks on the table, he took an open seat.
"You guys just pull into town?" He asked amiably before sipping his coffee.
"Yes, just about an hour ago. I'm Dave, and this is.."
"Goose, right?" Chris replied grinning at Kody who just nodded with a small smile on his face.
"Guys just passing through or hanging for a bit?"
"Well," I answered, "Goose and I will be opening a coffee shop, reading room over where the vacant building is about a block from here."
"Oh, the storefront with the little bay windows on each side of the door?" Chris asked.
"That's the place. It'll have some couches and whatnot. The coffee will be a side thing I think, mostly a reading room and bookstore kind of thing." I said.
We were interrupted by a youth running into the restaurant with an unbuttoned white shirt and a bow tie sticking out from his shirt pocket.
"TJ, glad you could make it! How about getting these guys some menu's when you get dressed huh?"
The new entrant turned to look at us in surprise and then nodded. Kody seemed to have gotten his head stuck looking at the retreating TJ.
"Any idea what you want Goose?" I asked. Chris picked up my cue.
"Something listed on the menu perhaps?"
"Huh?" Kody said, finally turning to look at us. "Um, omelet sounds good. Yeah." Chris and I laughed and Kody just blushed. TJ was back out to take our order and Goose was back to the staring game, which honestly was really cute to watch. Diners began to filter in for a Saturday breakfast and Chris brought a number of folks over to say hello. A German fellow named Torsten and a boy sat down with us and we began to chat. The boys made fast friends, Jordan was his name.
Kody kept brushing his hair out of his eyes; it came down in long strands to frame his face. I knew he was flirting, but I couldn't resist.
"Goose, looks like you need a cut there, your hair is getting in the way." I grinned.
"I like it long!" He said sticking his tongue out.
"Well, it does make you kinda cute I guess." I replied.
"I'm not cute," He replied lowering the register of his voice, "I'm a man."
"Kinda short for a man, aren't you?" Jordan asked. We burst out laughing. I noticed that Kody was really connecting with Jordan; maybe he'd made his first friend.
After breakfast we were exhausted and upon arrival at the building we proceeded to the second floor, where the furnished apartment lay. It had three bedrooms, well, two and a closet really. I sat on the couch and looked around at the boxes that had been delivered a few weeks ago and just sighed. Later, I promised myself. Goose was sitting next to me and the beagle snuggled in as well and before you knew it we were all out like a light in our new home.
Late in the afternoon we awoke to stiff backs and hunger. After making ourselves presentable we headed down to Lusiads for an early dinner. As we took a table Chris waved hello and TJ came over to bring menus.
"Hi, can I get you something to drink?" He asked politely.
"I'll have a beer and...Goose! He said 'drink'!" I grinned.
"Oh, Uh, Coke...please." TJ nodded and then returned momentarily with our drinks.
"You guys are new in town, right?"
"Yes, just this morning."
"Opening a new shop down the street Chris says?"
"True enough." I replied.
TJ looked between Kody and myself before speaking in a mock confidential tone to me, "Does he talk? Or is he just for show?"
Kody's mouth snapped shut and he sat up as he realized he'd been noticed. His cheeks were positively burning. TJ, however, handled the situation nicely.
"I'm TJ." He said holding his hand out to Kody.
"Goo...I mean, I'm Kody."
"Well, Kody, some of us are going to go down to the little league game tonight, our Padres are playing the Red Sox, want to come?" He looked at me, "If that's ok that is."
Kody's eyes went wide and he stared at me willing a positive answer.
"Well, we were up all night, I don't know if Goose is up to a long night..." I began.
"I'll be fine, no problem. Can I go? Please?"
I smiled and nodded. The boys made their plans and I left Kody at the restaurant as TJ was just about done. I headed home and started to unpack the few boxes I had, and then headed down to the lower level to inspect the home of my future business. It was messy, and most of the stuff in here'd have to go. Looks like it was a jewelers or something similar for all the glass display cases, they'd have to go. I'd need a few tables and definitely a comfortable couch or two. Thinking of Kody, I thought a loveseat would be nice as well!
There was a knock at the door and I frowned as I saw a uniformed policeman at the door. I crossed the room and unlocked the door.
"Can I help you officer?" I asked.
"No, not really just saw the lights on and thought I should see if everything is ok, place has been vacant for a bit. New in town?" He asked.
"Yes, Just this morning." I answered.
"Well, let me welcome you to Baysville, I'm the sheriff around here, Rich Restless."
"Dave." I answered and shook the offered hand. I shook myself internally; I was being a bit cold wasn't I?
"C'mon in sheriff, please."
"Thank you, place looks a bit dusty, looks like you have some work ahead of you. Call me Rich, by the way." He grinned.
"Ok, Rich." I smiled back, "Yeah, lots of work to be done, some furniture shopping tomorrow, get some equipment and this place will be on its feet in a few weeks."
"Reading room coffee shop huh?" He asked looking the place over.
"Um, Yeah. How'd you know?" I asked quizzically.
"Oh, Chris was spilling the beans at lunch. No secrets if you talk down there!" He laughed heartily. "I understand you have a boy with you?" He asked.
"Yes, Kody. He's out right now with TJ from the restaurant. A little league game tonight, a big one I guess."
"Yeah, funny all the boys like TJ." He laughed again, "He and Ian and a few guys that have a band are going down tonight, Mouse, Jay, Andy and the rest."
"Mouse?" I asked.
"Don't ask, I haven't a clue!" He replied.
I liked this guy already.
"Big game, though." He continued, "City championship game. The head teacher of the high school and the junior high principal are the coaches and they usually are right in the thick of things. Good kids, all of them."
"You usually get to know most kids around here?" I asked.
"Well, kind of. We get a few runaways here and I like to keep up on them." He said.
"So the kids that run here usually stay? And why do you get so many?" I asked.
"Well, yes they usually do stay, we have a good foster care system in place and we are working on getting a shelter for them so they can be safe. And as far as why, well, all kinds of reasons really. We had two come in a little while ago, well, they hadn't been treated well." The sheriff's face showed the agony of the wounds he had witnessed.
"I guess in your line of work you get more than your fair share of that stuff." I answered quietly.
"I...well, I never saw it quite so bad, and I'll die a happy man if I never see anything like that again." The sheriff said quietly. "Anyway," he continued, "We get a few runaways here, and the kids here a pretty good actually. You hear a lot of stories about kids, teens mostly, that just don't care. Desensitized with video games and that kind of stuff. These kids here are pretty good."
"So, what do you know about this TJ guy?" I asked.
"He's a good kid, lives with a great foster care couple. They already had one kid and TJ needed some acceptance. Really blossomed into a nice person. Your boy will be safe with him I think. But I was wondering, you don't look old enough to have a kid Kody's age." The sheriff asked with a small smile.
"Well, that's because I'm not. I have guardianship over him because his grandfather thought he would be better off out here with me than he would have been in the little town they lived in."
"Ah, well, that explains that." He said with a gleam in his eye.
"What? It looks like there is something good about that!" I said jovially.
"Yeah, just won me a bet with Bubba."
"We had a bet whether or not you were old enough to have a kid that age, I won." He laughed.
"I see," I grinned, "And so what is the prize?"
"Bubba's is buying me dinner. I love the kids but, jeez! It'll be nice to have a night away from them too!"
"Oh, you and, ah, Bubba was it? You guys are together."
"Yeah, most of the time anyway." He smiled slowly, like a something sweet just crossed his mind.
"Wow, must be nice to be out and accepted like that."
"Well, I don't know how much you know about this town but we all get along. Well, most of us. We always have to leave out Rev. Creed. He doesn’t play nice!" He laughed.
We heard the approach of a group of people talking and laughing. One asked for the group to wait outside for a second. Kody came through the door with a grin plastered from ear to ear.
"I need to talk to you for a second!" He then noticed the sheriff, "Oh, um did Interrupt something?"
"No, what's up Goose?"
"Well," Kody lowered his voice, "We went to TJ's house after the game, and I met Mouse and Andy and a few other guys. TJ's dad isn't his real dad, but he loves him just like you would a dad, you know? And I was thinking, I mean I wanted to ask you. Um, I know you’re not my father. But I guess your, like, my dad now. I'd feel funny calling you by your first name in front of the guys." He went very quiet, "I was wondering if it'd be ok if I called you dad? At least in front of them?"
I felt my cheeks getting warm and a tear forming in the back of my eyes. "Yeah, Kody, that's cool. I'd like that."
He smiled and bounded back out the door inviting the crowd in.
Chapter 9 by Dabeagle