This is a continuation of events first outlined in Rules of the Road.
Chapter Two --
They stopped in the shopping center in Alna on the way home, and talked toJim Van Pelt and WadeTomlinson. Wade said he would tell Dave Routh and Mike Zurka about the party, and anyone else they saw before dinner. Jim said he'd swing by Zion Road on his way home and see who was there. Everyone would be told to be at the shopping center by six-thirty if they wanted to go to the party.
"Fuckin' excellent," Ed said, grinning like a demon, as they drove off. "It's gonna be a wagon train of hot Proctor iron going up Route 5 later on. I pity any dumbass who gets in the way of all that horsepower on the roll."
Brian laughed. "Only you would think of it that way, Ed." He looked over at his friend. "Don't forget that Jeff's Camaro and Tim's GTX will be with us. It won't all be Proctor iron."
Ed patted the Bee's dash. "It don't matter. The baddest car in the line will be a Proctor car."
Brian smiled, and drove on.
After Brian dropped everyone off, he went home with an aim to jump in the shower. Gone was the comfort provided by his swim in the quarry; the afternoon was hot and sticky. The air was on in the house, and he sat in the kitchen for a moment and luxuriated in the flow from the vent by the table. There was a note there from his parents, to the effect that they had gone to his dad's brother's house for dinner, but wouldn't be too late. Brian jotted a reply beneath their note that he was going to a big party and that he might be a little later than usual, but not to worry about it. He grinned, seeing his mom's raised eyebrows already, but knowing they would let him get away with a really late night every now and then.
The air in the house began to chill his damp skin, so Brian went to his room and stripped down, and went to the adjacent bathroom and dialed up a comfortable flow from the shower head and climbed in. The warm water felt good. He smiled to himself as he washed, recalling the events of the afternoon.
Poor Ed. That he had come to have some feelings for Missy was pretty plain. And that she had come the full circle from putting up with Ed's attentions to looking forward to them was also easy enough to see. They were getting to the point that they might want to start hanging out more together, and Brian saw that that might create two small problems if it came to pass. One: Brian wouldn't have his shotgun seat loaded all the time anymore - not unless he was willing to take Missy - and therefore Annabelle - everywhere he went in order to ensure Ed's company. Two: Annabelle would be at loose ends if Missy decided she wanted more time with Ed, and Brian was unwilling to accommodate them by taking the girls along. It could possibly be a complication to his life, and he wasn't sure how to deal with it.
Ed was his friend. His best friend, not counting that Jeff was Brian's boyfriend and that his needs had to come first. Brian didn't know if Ed would be offended by an apparent lack of support when it came to the girls. All Brian knew just now was that to have Missy and Annabelle constantly with them would make spending time with Jeff nearly impossible. There seemed no way to reconcile Brian having a boyfriend with Ed having a girlfriend - not without some sparks flying someplace.
Too, Brian didn't want to hurt either of the girls. Annabelle was used to Brian's distance - she would get along with whatever happened. Missy, though, might be offended if she and Ed got serious and Brian didn't want to at least acknowledge that. It seemed that no matter what happened, Brian and Jeff would suffer for it. Brian frowned, feeling a little selfish even at the thought.
Maybe it was too early to worry, though. Ed had shown no sign of wanting to give up what he was doing now to make more time for Missy. And Missy, as happy as she seemed to always be these days to see Ed, wasn't actively chasing him. Hmm. In actuality, there was a lot of similarity between the situation with Brian and Ed and the situation with Annabelle and Missy. The girls were also best friends and went everywhere together - maybe there would be just as must resistance to change in that relationship as there would be with Ed wanting to leave Brian.
Yeah - it was too early to worry. Ed hadn't said a thing about making changes, and Ed was scarcely the bashful type when it came to voicing his opinions. Better to wait and see than to get all worried at this point.
When Brian was done with his shower he toweled off, went back and laid on his bed to finish drying. He looked at the clock, had a thought, and grabbed up the phone by his bed and dialed Jeff's number. The phone rang a half-dozen times before it was picked up.
"Hi," Brian said, grinning. "Just wanted to hear your voice."
He heard Jeff laugh. "Yeah?I was just thinking about you - wondering how we were going to pull off having some time together this evening with twenty people in tow."
"That's the whole idea," Brian returned. "There's gonna be so many people there that everyone will have someone to hang with, and something to do. If you and I slip away for a little, no one will notice."
"Yeah..." Jeff sounded doubtful. "I'll have to see that work to believe it. Brian, you're kind of in the center of that group you hang with, in case you didn't notice. I think people will see if you disappear."
Brian shrugged to himself. "Well, then let 'em. I have a right to some time to myself, too. With you, that is."
Jeff was quiet a moment. "I really need to be with you," he said at last. His voice was soft. "I just need a little...you know."
"Lovin'?" Brian asked, just as softly.
"Uh huh. I wish we could be together more often. You know - like a guy can be with a girl?"
"Yeah. I know. I've often imagined how wonderful it would be just to be out, and accepted, and to be able to walk down the street with my arm around you, and to kiss you in front of everybody. To be normal. But...we can't do that, Jeff."
"I know.Believe me - I know." Jeff sighed. "I just love you, Brian. I want you to know that."
Brian smiled, feeling good to hear the words. "I know that. I know you do. I love you, too. And tonight will work out. Trust me, okay?"
"Okay." Jeff sounded happy.
"By the way," Brian continued, "my folks went over to my uncle's house for dinner. I have the place to myself for the moment. So if you want to swing by here about five or so, we can get an hour to ourselves right away."
Brian heard Jeff take a startled breath. "You were going to tell me this when?"
Brian grinned. "I believe I just told you now."
He heard a noise on the phone, then a laugh. "It's almost four-thirty now. If I leave as soon as I hang up -"
"Yeah," Brian agreed."I'll be waiting, okay?"
"Okay. Can't wait to see you."
"Me, too. Bye."
Brian hung up the phone, and grinned. Amazing what magic an hour could bring.
* * * * * * *
Brian had just finished a sandwich when he heard the Camaro pull up outside. No missing that; the liquid in the glass of ginger ale on the kitchen table before him vibrated as though to a small earthquake from the resonations of the Chevy's dual exhausts. Brian grinned and got up to go to the front door.
He opened it just as Jeff got to the screen. "Come on in."
Jeff entered, Brian closed the front door; and then the other boy was in his arms. They hugged mightily, and kissed long.
"God, that's good," Jeff said, as they drew apart.
Brian just grinned. "Someone is getting spoiled."
Jeff looked surprised, but smiled. "So? I like being spoiled by you."
"Oh, yeah?" Brian couldn't help the sweet feeling of joy that coursed throughout him. Jeff's eyes sparkled with affection, and it was all for Brian.
"Let's see if I can spoil you some more, then." He took Jeff's hand and lead the other boy upstairs to his room. Jeff had been there before, and wasted no time checking out the posters on the walls or the many books and things that Brian had on his shelves. Jeff sat on the edge of the bed and pulled off his shoes and socks. Brian was still barefoot after his shower, just wearing shorts and a tank top. He went to sit beside Jeff, and wrapped an arm about the other boy's shoulders.
Jeff sighed. "I just really needed some time - just the two of us," he said, snuggling closer.
"Me, too," Brian agreed. "Sometimes I feel like I'm doing a juggling act, trying to keep you in the air with all of our friends."
Jeff's eyes came up to inspect Brian's. "I know." He squeezed Brian tightly, gave him another kiss. "And I wanted to tell you how much I like having friends now. Thanks for sharing."
Brian sighed. "See? I knew you would. Sweetheart guy like you? Everybody likes you, Jeff."
Jeff looked embarrassed. "Even Annie, a little, I think."
"Uh huh." Brian nodded thoughtfully. "She doesn't know exactly what to make of us, I think. She feels something, but she doesn't know what it is. If there's anyone out there who is going to figure shit out about you and me, it's going to be her. I've known her a long time, and she's very sensitive to me." He shrugged. "She'd be my girl, no question, if that was the way I was made." He rubbed his face against Jeff's cheek. "But she likes you, I can tell."
"I like her, too," Jeff admitted. "She's crazy about you, which is just sweet as shit." Jeff looked up. "I know what that feels like."
Brian nodded. "Me, too. And I know we need some time for just us. We'll have fun tonight, okay?" He smiled, and leaned his forehead against Jeff's. "I have a feeling this is gonna be an awesome party. I went to another party that Annabelle's cousin coughed up - a field party. We got there and there must've been two hundred cars out in this huge field. They had five quarter-kegs of beer and a live band, and more people gettin' drunk and high than I've ever seen in one place in my life. The band was awesome."
"Sounds really cool," Jeff said, gently turning his forehead against Brian's. Brian smiled, detecting the slight reservation in the other boy's voice. Jeff was like Brian in that respect, in that he didn't like to get drunk or really stoned. Both boys liked to be in control of themselves, liked to be able to function and get about without a hitch. But to be among so many partyers was still an amazing experience, and Brian sensed that Jeff meant it when he said the party sounded like it had been fun.
"Yeah, it was. Afterward wasn't so great, though. Because the party was on private property, we didn't realize that the cops knew about it, because they can't come on private property without cause or invitation." He laughed. "And they weren't invited, that's for sure. When we went to leave, and got out to the road, there were like ten cop cars parked there. They were stopping everyone that came out, and looking in the cars, and talking to the drivers, just to make sure no space cases were hitting the road."
"Sorry," Jeff said, in mock seriousness. "So they arrested you, huh?"
Brian grinned. "Yeah, not hardly. I'd had like two beers, and I could still spell my name. The cop I talked to seemed surprised to be talking to someone who could still focus his eyes. After a few minutes he just stepped back and waved us out, and said to stay out of trouble."
Jeff nuzzled Brian's cheek with his own. "Sounds like good advice."
The feel of Jeff against him was overwhelming. Brian lay back onto the mattress, taking Jeff with him, and in a moment they were entwined, kissing gently. Jeff smelled fresh and clean; he had obviously jumped into the shower as well. Brian felt his body responding to the other boy's closeness, felt the tingle of excited nerves everywhere. His dick got so hard it almost hurt. And he could feel Jeff's dick, hard and straight, as the other boy thrust it gently into Brian's crotch.
God, I want him, Brian thought.
Brian pulled Jeff's shirt up, and Jeff let him take it off. Jeff returned the favor, and the two of them rolled onto the mattress, turned, and lay their heads on the pillows. Brian pulled Jeff close, and then rolled back and brought the other boy atop him. Jeff smiled at that, gave a small laugh, and wiggled himself until he slid between Brian's legs. Their dicks pressed together firmly, and Brian gasped at the thrill that raced throughout his body. The two of them rolled their hips gently, their faces together, trading kisses.
Brian slid his hands down the smooth flesh of Jeff's back, pushed them into the other boy's shorts and gently rubbed the firm curves of his butt. Jeff sighed, and pushed himself closer.
"Make love to me," he whispered, and lifted his head and smiled down at Brian.
Brian smiled, but didn't think it sounded funny at all. The request was lovingly tendered. They had come a long way since their first experiences in Jeff's Winnebago at the start of summer vacation. The summer had passed slowly, as summers always do when you're young, and Brian and Jeff had come to understand one another intimately. They had learned each other's bodies, become comfortable with sharing them, and had discovered all the things that pleasured each other and made their relationship a joyous one.
So Brian knew exactly what Jeff was asking.
He nodded, and turned and let Jeff slide off of him. He got to his knees and slid Jeff's shorts down and off of him. He smiled at what was revealed: a largely smooth and hairless body like his own, except that Jeff had a little path to pleasure - a thin, scarcely visible line of short, soft fur that traveled from his navel to his closely-cropped pubes. Jeff was fit, with the forms of muscles showing everywhere on his body, but cloaked in just enough padding beneath the skin to make him beautifully appealing instead of starkly muscular.
Brian sighed. "God, you're beautiful."
Jeff laughed, got to his knees and helped Brian out of his own shorts. They came together again then, holding each other tightly, and kissed, eyes closed, tongues exploring, each feeling the lust and the love that seemed to be the hallmarks of their existence together these days.
Brian knew he had never felt quite like this before, not even with Chris. Jeff seemed designed by nature to be held closely, to be kissed, to share his body more intimately with Brian than could any other person on the planet. When they were together like this, when their skin touched, and their tongues touched, and their minds touched - this was when Brian felt as if he was totally complete in life. The idea that it might not last forever had approached him at times - often in the dark of night when he was at the edge of his dreams - but he had shooed the idea away, not wanting to deal with it just yet. Not while there was still summer all about, not while the world still lent them the immortal shield of youth.
Not while there was still time.
He pushed Jeff back, laid him carefully upon the mattress. Jeff smiled up at him, his gaze loaded with the trust and affection that Brian had nursed out of him over time. Jeff had finally been drawn out of his loneliness and his unwillingness to dare to be a part of life, and the results were stunning: a sweet and loving, slightly crazy, often devilishly humorous boy who said more of what was on his mind and acted out more of his desires and fantasies than he had ever done before. Jeff was a wonderful companion, warm and alive and bursting with affection; and Brian had been counting himself as lucky beyond words these days to have found him.
Brian laid down against the other boy, kissed him again, and looked down into his sparkling gray eyes. "I love you," he said, and said it softly, and simply. A truth.
Jeff raised his head and kissed Brian; they lay back again. "I love you, too, Brian. Just as much as I can."
They looked into each other's eyes a moment longer, savoring the feelings; and then Brian got up and hunted in the drawer of his nightstand, until he found the tube of K-Y. He brought it out, showed it to Jeff. "Your wish is my command."
Jeff grinned, and held his arms out for Brian to come back to him. Brian laid the tube of lube on the mattress beside them, and laid back down on top of Jeff. They kissed for a while longer, just enjoying the comfort of contact - the simple and satisfying touch of another.
But Brian was feeling the excitement of what was coming, too, and that soon urged him down the length of Jeff's body, where he sampled everything that looked kissable and lickable, which was a lot. Jeff sighed, and made small sounds of delight at every touch, and encouraged Brian with his hands, which caressed Brian's face and head as he moved.
Brian took Jeff's dick and laid it against his face, and closed is eyes as he rubbed it slowly against his nose and his mouth and his cheeks. This was ritual now, one he had learned from Jeff, and come to love. Getting comfortable, he thought of it. He kissed Jeff's dick, opened his eyes and gently sucked on the head; then ran his tongue slowly down the underside of the shaft and kissed Jeff's balls. They were full, warm and soft, and smelled faintly of soap and boy. He took the tip of his tongue and slid it gently up and down along the center seam separating Jeff's nuts, and smiled at the little shudder that passed through his boyfriend's body.
Brian got to his knees and carefully lifted Jeff's legs and folded them back until Jeff caught them behind the knees and held them. Brian got down and laid the tip his tongue against Jeff's taint, licked upwards to underneath the back of his balls; then slowly brought his tongue back down.
All the way down.
Jeff's browneye - actually pink - was also hairless, tight, and somehow very cute to Brian. He closed his eyes and ran the tip of his tongue around it, dabbing carefully, tickling and stimulating, while Jeff gasped and laughed and his hips twitched. Brian couldn't help smiling. Jeff always seemed amazed by that touch, as though the idea of having that part of him sampled in a loving manner still was not quite something he understood. Brian loved the reaction, and always pushed it to the limit. He smiled, let his tongue slide into the center of Jeff's browneye, and lapped daintily, like a kitten before a bowl of milk. Jeff smiled and pushed his head back into the pillow and squeezed his eyes closed, and that was all the reaction that Brian needed to feel pleased with the effort.
He sat up, grabbed the tube of K-Y, and squeezed some onto his fingertip. He wiped it carefully into Jeff's browneye, stimulating the flesh there with a gentle circular motion that had the other boy smiling. Brian grinned at the expression on Jeff's face, almost feeling the pleasure of the touch himself.
He applied pressure to his fingertip, and Jeff sighed as the finger sank deeply within. Brian stroked it slowly back and forth, calming the muscles, preparing the way.
Jeff opened his eyes and smiled. "Do it."
Brian laughed, but slowly withdrew his finger and picked up the tube of lubricant. He got to his knees, squeezed out some more of the jelly, coated the head and shaft of his dick with it, replaced the cap on the tube and tossed it onto the other side of the double-sized mattress.
He knee-walked closer to Jeff's awaiting browneye, settled himself, took his dick in his hand, and laid the tip of it against the waiting opening.
Jeff closed his eyes and nodded. Brian leaned in carefully, applied pressure by pushing his hips forward. He felt a shudder pass through Jeff's body, and then felt it relax. Brian's dick began to slide in, and he moved his hips forward; and suddenly was there. All the way in.
"Okay?" he asked quietly.
Jeff opened his eyes and grinned. "Don't just sit there."
Brian laughed, and began a slow cycle, in and out, thrusting his dick deep within Jeff, sliding it back, repeating. The slight resistance he had felt at first faded, and Jeff smiled and began to breathe harder.
Brian leaned forward between Jeff's legs, keeping the motion going, and put his elbows down on the mattress, got his hands underneath Jeff's upper back, and lifted him high enough that he could kiss the other boy while he stroked. They rubbed their faces together, and traded little gasps of air, and kissed and tongue-danced while Brian patiently tagged the little button inside Jeff that made him groan and laugh with pleasure.
"Oh, fuck, Brian," Jeff gasped.
Brian stuck his tongue into the other boy's open mouth and touched tongue and teeth, and pressed close and kissed Jeff with all his heart.
Jeff responded, his hands clenching Brian's flanks, squeezing and rubbing them as Brian's hips moved back and forth. Time passed slowly, unmarked, colored only by pleasure and need.
Brian soon felt the stirring inside his loins, the slow refine of a feeling with no name, the prelude to orgasm that was slightly different in every human male on the planet. It built slowly, causing his breathing to accelerate, the slow tingle along his nerves to approach numbness. His middle pulsed with feeling with each stroke, and he began to pant, and to stroke a little faster. Jeff also gave out little gasping sounds, and closed his eyes and thrust his head further back into the pillow.
When it happened, it was quick. Brian felt the sudden build of energy, the electric crawl along the underside of the head of his dick; and then he was gasping hard, and pumping his cum into Jeff's insides. The feeling was wonderful, and long, and Jeff clenched him and pulled him closer as Brian's body spasmed.
Then came release - it was done. Brian let out a long gasp, and laid down carefully on top of Jeff, and pushed his face into the side of Jeff's neck and just lay there, his heart throbbing and his body pulsing with energy.
Jeff huffed, and Brian gently flexed his hips and withdrew himself from Jeff's gut. Then he snuggled closer, and they kissed.
"That was so good," Jeff breathed into Brian's ear. "God, that was good."
Brian just nodded. It had been great.
They rested together a few minutes, gathering their energies again. But then Jeff squeezed Brian tightly to him, and rolled, laying Brian down on the mattress. He smiled down at Brian, his eyes full of affection. "Don't want the moment to pass. My turn."
"Less talk, more action," Brian returned, grinning.
Jeff kissed him, applying all the new tricks he had learned for his tongue. Brian couldn't help laughing at the energy with which the other boy had at him; Jeff was going a little crazy, making small noises of pleasure as he attempted to sample as much of the interior of Brian that was in reach of his tongue. Finally, Jeff withdrew, grinned down at him, and gently kissed Brian's face - all of it, everywhere - soft touches that caused Brian to relax and smile. Jeff had proved to be an incredibly fast learner, full of a natural passion that seemed to only grow now that Brian had set it free.
Jeff let his hands go wild, rubbing and gently squeezing - a combination that both thrilled and relaxed Brian's body - and slowly worked his way down Brian's front to his hips, where he spent some minutes on the joins at the tops of Brian's legs where they met his torso. It was a sensitive place - especially so for Brian, it seemed - full of nerve endings that expressed their joy at being stimulated, and Brian gasped and grinned and started at the feathery touches. Once Jeff had found how much Brian loved to be touched and kissed there, he never failed to apply liberal helpings of love.
Finally, Jeff sighed, and lay down beside Brian and urged him up onto his side, and lay against his back. Brian sensed the motion of Jeff picking up the tube of K-Y, and bent his upper leg forward at the knee, exposing the curve of his butt. In just a moment he felt a gentle presence at his browneye, and then Jeff's finger slowly worked up inside of him. Jeff massaged gently and Brian relaxed, feeling the muscles there settle in anticipation. Jeff kissed the back of Brian's head, raised his own and kissed Brian underneath his ear.
Brian just nodded. At this point conversation was only a distraction.
He felt Jeff applying lube to himself; and then the feel of Jeff's dick in his butt. It was a slow introduction, gentle but insistent, and Brian gasped at the feel of Jeff sliding up inside of him. Knowing what it was that he was feeling was a part of the amazing wonder of it all. There was nothing more intimate than this kind of sharing.
Jeff began a slow stroke, in and out, thrust and pull. It was mildly painful for all of thirty seconds; then it grew warm and close and pleasant, and Brian began to breathe in time with Jeff's movements. Jeff let his hand slide gently up and down Brian's flank in a soothing, airy massage, that somehow heightened the sensation of entry behind. Jeff played with Brian's skin, wafting fingertips across warm expanses of it, causing Brian to start and laugh; then sliding his hand around the curve of Brian's body to the front, to play pinch-games with Brian's nipples.
All of it served to heighten the sensation of having Jeff deeply inside of him.
Finally, Jeff came up on one elbow as he stroked, laid his face alongside Brian's. Brian turned his head and they kissed, and it was all that Brian could do to take in enough air around the gentle probing of the other boy's tongue. Brian gasped, and grinned, and loved every second of it.
Jeff settled into kissing Brian's face, and Brian relaxed and let him. He could feel the warmth of Jeff's breath against his skin, hear the other boy's gasps of pleasure at what he was doing. Brian's dick was hard all over again, and he dropped a hand to play with it, massage it, keep it happy.
The feel of Jeff's body all along the back of his own, pressing close, warm and soft, heightened as the other boy began to tense; and Brian felt a small increase in the speed with which Jeff's hips were moving. The warm burn in Brian's butt grew even more pleasant, and he closed his eyes and simply thought about breathing, and thought about the soft body pressed against him, and the part of that body inside of him, and the sweet affection of the owner, who he knew loved him as no other quite could.
There was a timeless period, where they both gasped out their breaths, and moved against each other, and felt pleasure; until, finally, Jeff's gasping reached a pause, and he shuddered, and by the motion of Jeff's hips Brian new the other boy was climaxing, was jetting his cum up inside of Brian. For a brief few seconds, they shared a singular joy.
Then all motion ceased, except for their rapid breathing and the fierce pounding of their hearts. Their bodies - tense with their lovemaking, cool with the first drops of a pleasantly erotic sweat - sagged slowly together as they relaxed. For a moment Brian just lay there, his eyes closed, his mind empty save for a glow of satisfaction and an affectionate awareness of the boy pressed against him.
Then Jeff moved, and gently withdrew. Brian sighed, and then rolled to face the other boy. Jeff had his eyes closed and a little smile on his face, and Brian grinned as he kissed him.
Jeff's eyes fluttered open. "Awesome."
Brian nodded, kissed his boyfriend. "Yeah," he agreed.
They lay for a while in each other's arms, kissing. Finally, Brian raised himself and looked at the clock on the nightstand by the bed. It was five-forty.
"Take a quick shower with me?" he asked, looking back at the relaxed features of the boy he loved.
Jeff nodded. "If we have time."
"We do. Wouldn't be good to show up in front of the car crowd with both of us smelling like sex."
No, that wouldn't do at all.
* * * * * * * * * *
Brian and Jeff agreed that it would be simpler if they split up when leaving Brian's house, and met up again at the shopping center in Alna. Brian had to pick up Ed and the girls, and he didn't think it wise to advertise that he and Jeff had been together beforehand. Ed was cool, but the more small events that the girls - especially Annabelle - had to add up in their minds, the greater the chance that they would eventually arrive at the big picture. From tiny streams are born the floods of ages.
Jeff disappeared up the road the other way from which Brian had to go, following the directions Brian had given him to get out of the neighborhood unnoticed. Brian started the Bee and pulled out of his driveway, and turned down the next street to pick up Ed. Ed was out the front door even as Brian pulled up - he'd obviously been waiting.
He climbed into the Dodge's front seat, grinning. "Car lookin' good, brother. You got enough gas?"
Brian nodded. "Still have three-quarters of a tank. We'll get some more later." The Bee was not known for its gas mileage. It was not unusual for Brian to burn more than a tank of gas in a night's roamings - especially if he raced the car a few times.
They got the girls next. When they got to Annabelle's house, she and Missy were sitting in lawn chairs by the driveway, sipping on a couple of Molsons.
"Thought we'd warm everyone up," Annabelle said, as she and Missy climbed into the car's back seat. She was carrying the rest of a six pack of the beer, which she handed over the seat to Ed. "Help yourself."
"Cool, cool," Ed returned, grinning. "Nothing like a little liquid libation to set the old tatsebuds goin'."
Brian rolled his eyes, put the Bee into first gear as Ed shut the car door. "Thanks, girls." He pulled away from the curb, headed out to the main road. "Hopefully there will be time for Bailey to make a beer run for us when we get to the shopping center. We'll get another six, okay?"
Ed dug his wallet out, and withdrew the two joints he had left from his purchase at the quarry earlier in the day. "What d'ya say? Toke on one of these now, or save 'em for the party?"
Both girls laughed, knowing full well that if Ed had wanted to save the joints for later, he would never have hauled them out now.
"I'll help you smoke one," Missy offered. "No problem."
Ed grinned. "Annie?"
"Sure. I'll take a hit or two."
Brian looked at his friend and grinned. "Fire it up. Ain't no good until we smoke it."
"Now we're cookin'. Let's do one now, and save the other for when we get there. That way the buzz'll hang on for a while." Ed grinned, in his element now.
He pulled the Bic from the Bee's glove box and lit the joint. Mindful that there were four of them, his first hit was generous, but small in comparison to his usual wind-tunnel-like draws.
"Mmmph. Good shit," he said, around a lungful of smoke. He grimaced, holding the hit in, and passed the joint to Missy. She took a good toke, and handed it to Annabelle, who kissed it, and offered it over the seat to Brian. Ed took it, and waited until they hit a stop sign before handing it over.
Brian took one solid hit, then passed the joint back to Ed. Brian could feel the smoke in his chest, doing that little crawl as it crept into every corner of his lungs. He felt a mild rush to his head, and turned and blew the hit out the window. "Damn. I could feel that, Ed. That's the same stuff we smoked earlier?"
"Yup. Told you it was good."
Brian frowned. Maybe he had just taken a tiny hit earlier. This one would be enough to keep him going for a while. He took a hit off his beer, swallowed it, and returned the bottle to the seat beside him, tucking it into the seat belt strap where it met the seat.
They pulled out, the Bee giving forth a small roar of anticipation and a brief chirp from the tires as they lovingly caressed the pavement. The car surged forward to fifty miles per hour, and then Brian backed off so as to keep the car from too-rapidly overtaking the traffic in front of them.
The evening sun hung just above the distant tree line, a fierce orange eye watching all that transpired below. The sky had turned to russet and gold around it; while above them stretched an unbroken field of blue so deep that Brian thought he'd be able to swim in it if he could only reach it. But he was not fooled by the beauty of it; summer was a flicker in the life of a year - here today, gone tomorrow; only feeling long and accommodating to the small lives of those caught within it's sun-warmed grasp.
August was almost done; school would be starting in less than two short weeks, and the year would then die, and a new one start. Brian and his friends would be seniors this time around. The last of the finest, kings and queens for a time; they would enjoy a small moment of grandeur out in the sun and the air, and then they would be off down the road of life, looking for their futures.
Ed reached over and prodded him, and Brian started, and then grinned. He looked over at his friend, realizing how quiet the interior of the car had become. "What - is everybody stoned? Already?"
Brian looked in the rear view mirror, at the smiles on the faces of the girls, and realized that everyone had gotten a buzz off just one hit of the stuff Ed had. He laughed. "I'd say you got you money's worth from that dude, Ed. Me and the girls look a little stupid right now."
Annabelle and Missy both laughed, but didn't contradict him. Brian felt more alert now that he had been refocused. Damn. One hit and he was already inspecting the inside of his head with a magnifying glass. "Yeah - I don't want anymore of that stuff for a while, okay, Ed?"
Ed actually nodded. He had finished up the joint on his own, and looked like he'd just had his eyeballs compressed in a vise. "Whew. No lie there. That don't even feel like the same stuff as was in that other joint. I'm feelin' no pain, dude."
Brian was impressed then. If Ed was stoned, it must have been some damn good pot.
Fortunately, it did not seem long-lasting, and by the time they pulled into the shopping center parking lot they were all laughing and carrying on again.
Until they saw the corner where the car crowd hung out, which kind of stunned everyone into silence.
It looked like a used car lot.
"Holy shit," Brian breathed, as he pulled the Bee in next to Pete Brigg's GTO and shut off the engine. "Will you look at this place? The guys must have talked to everybody about the party."
No lie there. The corner was packed with cars, and people milling about them. Even as they opened the doors to get out, Bailey Maxwell staggered past them, carrying three cases of beer and several six-packs piled on top of them.
"Need your services," Brian called to him, before he could get away. Bailey grinned at him, nodded, then passed into the crowd, which opened magically for him to pass.
Ed laughed. "Bailey's gonna be a happy dude later. All this business - he's gonna get drunk tonight."
Ed referred to Bailey's little side game of buying beer for everyone that was underage and couldn't legally buy it on their own. He would take their money and run across the street to the liquor store and make a purchase for them - for one beer out of every six that he bought. Between his beer runs and the good will that they engendered among his clientele - which often equated with a couple of bong hits or a few tokes from a bowl or joint - Baily spent most of his evenings in a pleasant fog that was free of charge beyond a little footwork. Brian was of two minds on that: on the one hand, Bailey never had to search for a high or pay for a beer; on the other, his free-wheeling lifestyle supplied no impetus to move on with his life and get out of his parent's house. That Bailey was in danger of becoming a bum was very real, at least in Brian's eyes.
Ed and the girls came around the car to stand with him. The parking lot was full of voices, and music as radios and tape players in a dozen cars competed for attention. Brian was gazing around, looking for Jeff's Camaro - there it was, off to the one side. Tim's GTX was parked next to it, along with a couple of cars that Brian didn't recognize.
Then Brian saw Jeff. He had spied the Super Bee drive up, and was making his way through the crowd towards them. Brian smiled.
"Here comes your buddy," Annabelle said, seeing the same thing. Brian looked at her, but there was nothing unsaid in her eyes. She seemed just to be remarking on spotting Jeff, and Brian allowed it to sit at face value.
"Yup. There's Tim, too. " He thought for a moment, trying to recall the name of the girl that had been with Tim at the quarry. "Oh, uh, and Deedee. "
Bailey came back then, his fists full of bills. "What'll you have, Brian?"
Brian had planned to just get one six of the Molson's; but after trying Ed's weed and finding it a little strong for his tastes, he was thinking that maybe an extra beer or two for everyone would be better. He pulled out his wallet, handed Bailey ten bucks. "Two Molsons. The beer - not the ale. Can you get me a bag of ice, too?"
"Sure. I remember what you drink. Standard charge?" Bailey was asking if he would get two beers for his trouble.
"Yup. No smoke tonight. Al least - not right now."
Bailey shrugged. "I can only try. I got almost a case of my own now back there by Dave's Nova. I never saw such a crowd here."
Brian looked at his watch: six-twenty. "Well, don't get used to it, because we'll all be pulling out in about ten minutes."
Bailey nodded. "I heard. Big party out in the sticks someplace."
Brian nodded, and Bailey was off.
Jeff came up then, and Tim and Deedee arrived from a different angle at the same time. They all exchanged greetings.
Jeff looked around the lot before looking at Brian and Annabelle. "You ever see so many damn people here? Is this going to work, Annie?"
Annabelle also looked around the lot, and shrugged. "Jennifer said to bring anyone I wanted. No limits on the number. Far as I know, one is as good as a hundred."
Jeff laughed. "I'd say you've almost got that hundred, then. I counted twenty-seven cars, and most have three or four people in 'em."
Brian looked at Annabelle. "Might be a good idea to hand out some directions. With this mob, any of them get separated from us, they won't get there. Be some disappointed people then."
She smiled. "Good idea."
Brian nodded, turned back to the Bee, stuck his hand in through the window, and laid on the horn. The babble of voices immediately died as dozens of faces turned towards him.
Brian let off the horn and waved. "Hey, people. Nice to see you all. We were just thinking we'd give out directions in case anyone got separated on the trip up. Can I get your attention for a minute?"
People came closer and crowded around the Bee. Brian knew a lot of them - but he didn't know a lot of others. He smiled - nothing travels faster than news of a party.
He turned to Annabelle. "You have the floor, little girl."
She looked shocked, and gazed at the crowd around her. Brian saw immediately that she had stage fright, and stepped closer and put a hand on her shoulder. "Just tell 'em where the place is." She looked at him, and he smiled. She nodded, a faint smile of her own coming out. She turned back to the crowd.
"Everybody here know how to get to Komus? You just go up Route 5 to Route 38, and turn left there. Follow that to where Route 38 intersects with Ridge Road."
"It's a cornfield!" someone yelled, and everyone laughed.
Annabelle grinned, relaxing. "Right, it is. Turn left on Ridge Road and go about three miles. Watch for a dirt driveway on the right side of the road. There will be a big sign out that says 'Eighty Acres'. That's the driveway you want. Just go on back and you can't miss the house."
"That's a pretty good drive," someone else called. "They gonna let this whole zoo in? I'd hate to get there and be told there's too many of us."
Annabelle held up a hand. "I was told there was no limit. That's because the party isn't all inside. It's a field party, too."
A lot of people looked happy to hear that.
"That's by Sugarloaf, ain't it?" someone else asked.
Annabelle nodded. "Yes. I was told you can see the mountain from the house."
"Shit, I know where that is," said the same voice. "I got drunk and nearly fell off that sucker once!"
More laughter. The voices started up again as people compared notes. From what Brian could hear, the consensus was that no one didn't know about where to go.
He patted Annabelle on the shoulder. "Good job. Soon as Bailey gets back, we'll roll."
Annabelle grinned; but just then Missy came and pulled her aside.
Jeff came over to stand by Brian. "This looks like it is going to be fun as shit."
Brian nodded. "I said we'd have a good time, huh?" He looked around, saw that no one was watching them at the moment, and leaned closer. "Be a breeze for you and me to slip away from this mob."
Jeff grinned, but before he could say anything, Tim turned to face them. "Hey, Brian. How's things?"
Brian laughed. "I'm cool. Looking forward to getting to this party."
"Yeah, no shit. Me and Deedee were watching this bunch. Some of them are a little loose already. I'll be surprised if everyone makes it up there."
Brian didn't like hearing that. He leaned closer. "Anyone we know?"
"Nope. Hell, there's bunches of people here I've never seen before. Not my crowd, not yours." He laughed. "News travels fast, doesn't it?'
Brian nodded. "I was thinking that same thing just a few minutes ago."
Jeff leaned closer. "Be careful about letting this bunch too near you on the road, Brian. I don't know about you, but I don't want some drunk pounding his car against mine."
"Yeah. No lie there."
Bailey returned, again staggering under the load of several cases and an assortment of sixes. A bag of ice balanced precariously on top of it all. He stopped long enough to let Brian claim his beer and ice, then started to go on.
"Hey," Brian said immediately. "Don't you want your two?"
Bailey turned and grinned around the cases. "Shitfire, Brian, I won't be able to drink all I got now. How about you save those two for a night I really need 'em? I trust you."
Brian grinned, and nodded. "Are you going up to the party?"
"Nah. I gotta get all my beer home. I'll have my own party."
There was something sad about that, but Brian just nodded. "Thanks, man."
"Any time." Bailey turned and staggered off.
"That dude's a puzzle," Ed said, watching him disappear into the crowd.
Brian just nodded, hefting the ice and grabbing up the beer. Ed and Jeff followed him as he went around to the back of the Bee and opened the trunk. The little cooler, secured in a corner by bungee cords, had just enough room for a bag of ice and two sixes of beer. They opened the lid, arranged most of the bottles inside, and poured in the ice. Brian kept a beer for himself, and Ed took one, then went to see if the girls wanted any. Brian offered one to Jeff, who smiled but shook his head. "Brought some of my own Molsons this time. But thanks."
Brain laughed. "Convert, huh?"
"Damn straight. That's some good drinkin' suds, Brian."
Ed came back. "Need two for the girls."
Brian nodded, dug them out and gave them to his friend. Ed grinned, disappeared back around the trunk lid.
Brian closed up the trunk and he and Jeff went back around to the side of the car. "You gonna try to stay with me?" Brian asked.
"Yeah. Me and Tim figure we'll keep close to you. Just don't lose us."
Brian laughed. "Those cars? Not hardly."
Jeff grinned, and ran back towards his car. Tim and Deedee had apparently already returned to the GTX. Brian waited until he heard their cars start, then motioned for everyone to get in the Bee.
People around them saw them get in, and the crowd began to move towards the parked cars. Brian started the Dodge, and a moment later Jeff's Camaro and Tim's GTX pulled up beside him. They waited a few more minutes as cars began to line up behind them, and then Brian moved the Bee forward. Jeff and Tim fell in line, and the caravan headed for the road.
Brian looked in the rear view mirror, at the sea of cars behind him, and grinned. "We pull this off, it'll be a record."
"We'll all make it," Ed said. "Karma, dude."
Brian checked the rear view mirror again, and could only smile.