Today is a brilliant day! The sun is shining, but its not too hot, there's a lovely breeze, and the coffee is particularly fine.
This week I"ll be publishing the latest of the Pulp Friction books, Out in the Cold. Cannon and Finn are reaching a crisis point in their relationship, and its about time they started figuring things out, don't you think?
Same goes for these two. I can't believe its part ten of this story already and they're still behaving like this.
Heart of Clay
(c) June 2014 @Lee Brazil
July 28 –He'd have to hitch a ride home.
Steam rose from the hood of the truck, seeping out in tendrils and thick coils wherever there were cracks or seams in the construction of the old rust-bucket. His grandfather swore the 1970 Chevy was a king among trucks, built to last and do heavy duty. But if it couldn't stand up to a collision with one cow on a windy back country road, then he might as well be driving his Mercedes.
Clay glared at the red and white vehicle in frustration. He'd been driving along, minding his own business…
Well, if daydreaming about Brad Jorgenson could be considered his business.
The damned cow…he scowled off into the unfenced field on the left, where a large, brown and white spotted bovine stood, chewing her cud and eying him balefully. The cow had wandered into the road in front of him, and even though he'd thrown on the brakes as hard as he could, and the road boasted the melting skidmarks to prove it, he'd grazed her.
The damage to the cow had been minimal. She had a scrape on her side where the fender tagged her, and he'd written down her information from her ear tag so he could notify her owner. Odds were she belonged to the Mortons. Monica and Clive had been farming his father's land since high school graduation, and their land abutted the highway on the right, which was where the cow had ambled into the road from.
Mostly it had changed her attitude from placid to belligerent.
But he'd also managed to do something to Pip's old truck that rendered it useless. And as luck would have it, out here in the middle of nowhere, he had no cell service to call for help from Triple A or even home to get a ride from Nan. He checked his watch. She was probably deep in dinner preparations right now anyway. Dinner time was fast approaching, and he was already in Nan's black books for sins real and imagined. He didn't dare be late.
He'd have to hitch a ride home.
Sighing, Clay reached into the cab of the truck and grabbed Pip's old baseball cap, a grease stained blue Yankees cap that had to be as old as he was, from under the visor. He tugged it on with a grimace. Hats had never been his style, mostly because he had the misfortune to have the sort of hair that went limp at first contact with a cap and didn't come back to life until it had been vigorously shampooed and blow dried. His lips twisted in a wry grimace. Right now, walking into the sun, he had to be more concerned about sunburn than hat head. The bill of the cap would provide some protection; vanity none.
He pushed down the peg lock and slammed the truck door with more force than necessary. Making a point to any deity listening? Locking the door was probably silly, after all they didn’t even lock the farmhouse when they left it, but city survival instincts were hard to stifle.
He was miles from the farm, and on a road seldom traveled by anyone except those heading to the farm. Too late for the mail man, he could only hope the UPS truck would be coming by to deliver something either up at his grandparents' place or over to Brad, who was the only person to live further out than they did.
Clay started walking, letting the late afternoon sun beat down on him. Sweat beaded along the hat brim trickling into his eyes, making them sting and burn. He blinked back tears and licked salty drops from his lips. He could have gone to Jamaica.
Jamaica was a nice place for a vacation. Rum drinks, hot guys, fine dining, taxis…
A particularly vicious pebble dug into this foot through the sole of his shoe and Clay winced, stumbling a bit.His shoes weren't meant for this. They were perfectly nice running shoes, great for doing laps on a treadmill at the gym. Even better for grocery shopping and walking from bar to bar or shop to shop on his days and nights off in the city.
Like the princess whose delicate body felt the pea through thirty mattresses, it didn't seem to matter that his shoes had high tech soles made of the latest in synthetic sports enhancing rubber. Every pebble in the black top of the road seemed determined to make its presence known. Biting back a curse, he shoved his hands in his pockets and let his mind drift as he put one foot in front of the other. One foot, two foot, ouch. Left foot, right foot, fuckitall.
He'd talked to Bobby's ghost.
Honest to god for real, a spirit from another realm.
It should have been a life altering moment, a sort of Dickensian coming to awareness of his sins, shouldn't it? Instead, though he'd come to accept that it really had been Bobby who'd addressed him in the orchard, he couldn't focus on Bobby and his otherworldly connection. No… every time he closed his eyes, everytime he lost focus on the moment at hand, it was Brad who occupied his thoughts.
Not just the sex either. Though that had been pretty fucking awesome after all his fantasies. How could he have been both so right about sex with Brad, in that it was life alteringly good, and wrong at the same time? He'd imagined it many ways, but never quite like that.
But that lush, dark pleasure…the heat and scent and very hardness of Brad werent' what stole his thoughts.
No. He kept thinking about Brad's eyes, so deep and kind, his lips, the achingly sad way he'd held himself in the garden. A myriad of little details kept flitting through his mind, sparking thoughts, and feelings and to be honest, the least of them was lust.
He wanted to talk Brad, like he'd talked to Bobby, to tell him all the things he should have said so long ago.
More than that, because that would be for him, to clear his conscience and his heart. He wanted to know what Brad had been doing all these years, how he'd coped with being gay in a small town, with college, and teaching and coming back home instead of living somewhere where he could have a degree of anonymity to pursue his interests.
A rumble in the distance and a vibration under foot shook him from wondering about Brad's sex life. He glanced back over his shoulder and saw the faintest cloud of dust in the distance, signaling an approaching vehicle.
Hoping for a miracle, Clay pulled his hand from his pocket and stuck out his thumb. The engine's noise grew louder, and he turned, walking backward, squinting so he could hopefully make eye contact with the driver. Maybe whoever it was would be more likely to stop and pick him up if …
Oh hell no.
What were the odds?
TO BE CONTINUED