Tuesday Teaser, “Everybody’s just so nice” edition
I am incredibly, utterly stuck and frustrated with SPECIAL DELIVERY, which is not the birthday present I would have asked for. However, it’s hard to be upset because every time I turn around, someone’s sending me an LJ gift, shouting out in LJ posts (sometimes even giving me one of my own), shouting on my Facebook wall, @ replying me on Twitter, or sending me an email. (Winner of the latter is , who sent me a contract for my birthday.) So I had myself a short sulk, then made myself sit down and reread what I had written to either prove to myself I needed to quit this story or to remind myself why I was so excited about it two weeks ago.
My verdict so far is that the story is actually quite good, but I ruin it by tending towards angst. For the first time in possibly ever, I think I might be writing funny. I am not that good at it yet–it’s like Anna in her first days of bike riding, sometimes good, sometimes shaky–but overall, it’s good work, so I’ll stick with it. I just have to find the way to stuff the emo in a closet. It’s a rough gig, being Virgo/Scorpio with Cancer moon. Funny is not high on the skill set. But I’m Virgo on the Leo cusp, and I have Mars in Taurus, so I’m tough and stubborn. I’m going to keep at it and beat this, even if I bloody my head doing so. And I will continue to be light and funny, goddamn it.
So in my birthday present to myself, I’m going to post the scene that, I think, does at least a first draft worthy job of doing what I felt was impossible: getting two strangers to have sex in the back of a semi trailer. This is not the sex itself, but the setup. The pacing is not quite right, and there are a few bits where Sam needs to turn down the internal banter machine, but I can’t fix that stuff yet without breaking the whole. (I always think of it as tightening the screws on the legs too soon when you’re putting together one of those pre-fab furniture sets. You need to keep the give as long as you can.) Despite the flaws, though, I finished this scene determined to get over myself and make this a whole story.
And so, my birthday present to myself and to everybody keeping the flood of birthday wishes coming in from across the span of social networks, here is Sam, and here is Mitch.
Half an hour after getting back to the pharmacy, Sam was pacing the storeroom, Kylie Minogue playing full blast over his iPhone and into his earbuds as he tried to drown out the screams of rage inside his head.
He hadn’t even brought up the internship with his aunt, because he could tell already that a discussion about anything other than what a disappointment he was to the world wasn’t going to work tonight. He was starting to wonder if it ever would. She’d brought up the laundry, again, and then she’d nagged him for doing his homework on the job last night, which she’d discovered, apparently, by watching him on the security camera. The bitch was spying on him now. She said he wasn’t working, so she was docking him pay for the time he’d spent “dinking around.” Never mind that there hadn’t been a single customer for over an hour, and that he’d put down his work when some had finally come in. Never mind that Emma had been standing there at the counter the whole time flirting with Steve—he didn’t get in trouble, oh no. Neither of them had.
He’d been angry enough to point this out, which had only made her angrier, and she’d launched into her tirade about how ungrateful he was, and how she’d like, just once, to slap his smart little mouth, and for a horrible moment Sam thought she was actually going to do it until Uncle Norm had appeared at the door to let them know that the customers could hear them arguing out in the pharmacy. She’d sputtered and banished him to the storeroom, which had led him to the pacing. And now he was reliving it in his head, over and over and over again until he thought he was going to explode.
Fuck this, he thought, and slammed through the back door and into the alley.
And stopped short at the edge of the loading dock.
A semi had been backed into the alley, the cab blocking the mouth of it, and a man was walking across the ramp which had been pulled from the trailer’s open doors and onto the loading dock of the bicycle shop across the way. It was a narrow alley with old, uneven paving, and the shock of seeing such a huge vehicle in such a small space sidetracked how furious he was. Then he saw the man come out of the back carrying a large box, and Sam let go of being angry entirely.
It was the man from the convenience store. The blond man who he’d nudged trying to get a lid. And—he glanced down the mouth of the alley again—it was that blue semi that had blocked the road, too. And now it was backed into the alley so tightly it looked like it was going to take a crowbar to get it out again.
The man paused at the edge of the ramp as he caught sight of Sam and broke into a grin. “Well hello, sunshine. Long time no see.” At least that’s what Sam thought he’d said—he had his earbuds in, still, and Kylie was bolding declaring there’d be no more rain as he spoke. Whatever he’d said, the delivery man laughed at his own joke, winked, then finished carrying the bicycle into the shop.
Sam stared at him as he went, and as he came back again, and yet again as he continued unloading. If Sam could have place an order for a man, the this would be what he ordered. The only improvement he’d make on this one would be that he’d remove his shirt, though given that the air temperature was struggling to hit forty degrees Fahrenheit, this request wouldn’t be very kind. Of course, if he were half naked, he’d need someone to warm him up, and Sam, conveniently, was right here. He could rub him down with oil, too, soothing those great big weary muscles, then send him back to work with a sheen whose reflected light could illuminate most of Middleton’s downtown.
The man was ripped. His muscular frame bugled through the thermal shirt and ragged flannel and filled out his jeans. He hefted bicycles as if they were sticks and huge boxes of parts as if they were full of feathers. Best of all was when he crouched down to pick something up: Sam wished he had a camera to capture that moment before he started to rise, his seams straining, his perfect, perfect ass presented to Sam for a private viewing. His face wasn’t bad, either. He wasn’t quite a Greek god, but he was very chiseled, his jaw nicely peppered with stubble, his nose not pert and cute, but not chunky, either. Good mouth. His lips weren’t lush, but they weren’t thin. They looked quite luscious, in fact, especially when the man’s tongue snaked out between his teeth to wet them, which though in this weather would make them chapped pretty quickly, still made Sam’s blood hum. The only flaw the man had at all, in fact, was his hair. It was ragged, too long, and dull, suggesting that the man washed it with a bar of Coast and got it cut with a butcher knife every three months.
Ah, straight boys, Sam thought, with a quiet regret.
The man turned, caught Sam still looking at him, and smiled. As the man’s smile turned lazy, Sam went still. He watched, stunned and slightly dizzy, as the man watched him back.
Maybe not straight?
Sam fought off the urge to blush and kept staring, but he had to cross his arms over his chest because he was afraid his heart was going to come pounding out of it. The delivery man’s smile faded, mellowing into an expression while still inviting seemed to promise something else entirely.
You’re imagining things, he scolded himself. Even if he’s gay, a guy like this is not going to come on to a scrawny little rat like you.
The delivery man’s thumb stole up to his mouth and toyed lazily at the side of his mouth, which had the effect of making Sam fill out his own jeans a bit more snugly. Oh, god, but he wished a guy like that really would come on to a scrawny little rat like him.
And then suddenly, to Sam’s surprise, he was.
He was also talking, and this time Kylie’s Wow wow wow wow!s were too loud to even fake understanding. Sam quickly unfolded his arms and tugged his earbuds out of his ears. “Huh?”
“I got a camera in the front of my truck.” The delivery man spoke the words in a drawl so thick he practically applied it with a trowel. He jerked his head towards the front of the semi. “You could take a picture and make this last a bit longer.”
There was no stopping embarassment now, and Sam felt the heat rising all the way from his feet in a blush determined to take his entire body prisioner, which was why it surprised him so much when he replied, his voice almost steady, “I’ve got one on the phone in my pocket, thanks.”
The man laughed, a quiet huff that made his shoulders rise but came out only as “heh, heh, heh.” Then he planted his feet firmly on the ramp, lifted his square chin and held out his arms. “Well?”
Sam’s hands were shaking, and his mind had shut down all thought outside of oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god!, but he managed to pull out his iPhone without dropping it, and his hand was almost stable as he flipped it open, raised it up before him and fumbled with the camera function. He had no idea, though, where he found the chutzpah to lift his other hand and make a spinning motion with his finger as he said, “Turn around.”
The man grinned, rubbed his thumb across his lips again, then did as he was told, boldly giving Sam a front-row viewing of his jean-clad ass.
The tiny click of Sam’s iPhone shutter seemed to echo like a gunshot through the alley. He felt surreal—happy, but surreal. Things like this did not happen to Sam. Yes, there was Keith, and there was Darin, but those were exercises fraught with shame and terror and a naughty sort of subjugation. This was . . . well, naughty, yes, but it wasn’t the sort Sam was used to. It wasn’t the quiet, desperate sex or parody of it that he was used to. It wasn’t sex at all.
The man glanced over his shoulder. Sam’s thumb, still hovering on the camera button, quickly clicked again. Then he cursed his timing when the man’s mouth curved into a slow, delicious smile.
He frantically pushed the button one more time, but he lowered the phone without looking to see if he’d captured it.
“Thanks.” Sam tucked the phone back into his pocket and gave what he hoped was a rakish and not constipated smile.
“Not a problem.” The man turned back around, but he didn’t go back to work. He just kept watching Sam, as if he didn’t have a trailer full of bicycles to unload. Then Sam thought to take a look inside and realized he didn’t see any more bicycles at all, in fact. The man was done delivering.
And yet, he was still here, playing with Sam. Waiting for him to play back.
Sam tried to think of a witty rejoinder, or any rejoinder, but his mind was blank, still melting down to oh god oh god oh god, his dick helping nothing by pulsing like a nuclear bomb inside his pants. “I’m Sam,” he said at last, extending his hand. He realized the ridiculousness of the gesture when they were standing more than twenty feet apart, tried to turn in into a wave, then gave up and stuffed both hands into the back pockets of his jeans. “Hi.”
“Howdy, Sam.” He eased his stance, then braced his arm against one of the open doors of the trailer. “Mitch Tedsoe at your service.” Another lazy smile stole across his lips, this one so wicked it practically came with its own arrest warrant. “You need anything delivered, sunshine, I’m your man.”
Sam nearly made a delivery himself right then inside his underwear. I am not cool enough to play this kind of game, he thought in panic, but tried anyway. “You do seem like you know your way around a package.”
The innuendo police should have picked him up for that one, but they weren’t here, just Mitch, and Mitch was more than happy to escort him down the road of groaners. “It’s all in the handling,” he said, his drawl making the last word come out missing its g. “You have to treat them careful, but at the same time, you can’t be afraid to be a little rough when the occasion calls for it.”
Sam was now so far out of his element he was on another planet, but he couldn’t seem to stop. He gripped the metal rail and pressed his groin against it, willing the cold iron to permeate his jeans and calm him the hell down. “That sounds a little dangerous.” It was a lame comeback, but his brain cells were all shutting down and heading south. And if he didn’t keep talking, this little play was going to end, and Sam was going to have to go back inside and unpack boxes of Depends.
“Sunshine, I’m only as dangerous as you want me to be.” Another lazy smile. “But somethin’ tells me you could use a little danger. And I bet you’d find you like it a little rough.”
It was good he was holding onto the rail, and it was even better that it was a double rail, which turned out to be a handy support for failing knees. “Hhhnnnnh,” he said, apparently out of vowels. He swallowed, drew a breath, and laughed, but it was shaky. “Okay,” he said, breathless. “You got me.”
A pair of blond eyebrow shot up. “Far as I can see, you’re still up there on your little balcony and I’m all alone over here. I don’t got anything, Sam.”
And Sam had thought this was surreal before. Shit, this guy was actually propositioning him? Like, now? Here? In the alley? “Uh.” His hands, despite the cold, were growing sweaty against the rail. “Aren’t you—uh—working?”
Still the lazy smile. And he was looking at Sam’s mouth. “I could use a break. You?”
It had to be some sort of joke. Or a mistake. Or something. Because this was the sort of fantasy Sam jacked off to alone in the dark at night, or entertained himself with while he was supposed to be taking notes in class. This wasn’t even the sort of thing he hoped would happen to him. This sort of thing did not happen to Sam in real life, and it was never going to. Except, apparently, for right now.
He dropped the game, and started doubting it out loud. “What, right here on the loading dock?”
“Naw.” Mitch jerked his head towards the open door of the truck. “You might like it rough, but I’m pretty sure you don’t like an audience.”
“Isn’t it a bit cold?” Sam’s voice was high, and panicked. He couldn’t stop looking at the open doors of the trailer. Dark, and close. And he’s right. Nobody would see.
And just like that, they were back at the bad innuendo game. “Don’t worry, sunshine. I’ll keep you warm.”
“You’re serious.” Sam was holding so tightly to the rail that his wrists ached. “You’re seriously propositioning me.”
Mitch grinned, crouched down, then braced against the edge of the ramp as he lowered himself to the ground. Sam clung to the rail as the delivery man ambled up to the edge of the concrete dock of the pharmacy, tucking his hands into his jean pockets and looking up at Sam. “Come on over and play a bit, Sam.” He laughed, wrinkling his nose as he did so. “I got the bat, and you got the ball.”
This was insane. “I have a bat, too,” Sam pointed out.
“That you do, sunshine, and I would rightly enjoy gettin’ my hands on it.” Mitch’s eyes were bright blue, Sam could see now, and they burned. “Wouldn’t mind a taste of it, either. Wouldn’t mind tastin’ any part of you.”
Maybe it was because he was so close, or maybe it was just that Sam hadn’t ever been talked to like this, or maybe, as another queen of drawl would say, it was Memphis. Whatever it was, Sam fell victim to it, and it took every last bit of his strength to keep from melting off the loading dock and into Mitch’s waiting, able arms. But the promise of sex washed over him, and as if someone had thrown a switch, he calmed, aiming himself with strange serenity towards this new goal. If he was going to do this, he wasn’t going to fuck around.
Pardon the pun.
“Do you have a condom?” he asked. “Lube?”
He liked the way Mitch’s blue eyes darkened. “I’m afraid not, sunshine. But there’s plenty of playin’ to be done with the equipment we bring with us.”
“You might not have noticed,” Sam said, his voice only breaking a little bit, “but I’m standing at the back of a pharmacy.”
Cats with cream didn’t have grins like Mitch’s. “Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with being well-supplied. But the question is, if you go back through that door, are you gonna come back out again?”
“With a box of Trojans and a tube of KY in my hand,” Sam promised, not so much as batting an eye. In fact, he was looking rather intently at Mitch now. “What about you? Are you going to be here when I get back?”
This time there wasn’t any smile at all. “Sunshine, if you don’t come out in under a minute, I’ll be comin’ in after you.”
Sam’s heart slammed into his chest, then slithered down into his groin with the rest of his vital functions. “Make it two,” he said, gruffly. “I think I have to unpack the box.”