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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home

Circumstances - 1. Circumstances

A college senior at an LA Industry party gets a bit too focused on one of his dad's colleagues.

The kid wanted sex, needed it really, since he’d never had it before. Not that way. He’d been sucked off by his high school girlfriends and could imagine them being something other than girls. And he’d fucked his college girlfriends and had a lot of fun doing it but always figured there was something missing, something more, something he just didn’t get. Not simply being fucked himself though he imagined that a lot and watched plenty of porn. There was just something about being against a guy’s body.

He saw plenty of guys naked, probably more than even guys who watched porn. He was a jock, had been since grade school soccer and Little League, though in high school, he’d switched over to football. That was a wilder if somewhat dumber crowd, but he fit right in. He was never much of a student. He could hold low B’s without a sweat, but really wasn’t interested.

Just as he wasn’t interested in this party, another industry event of his dad’s. He’d been to them since grade school, too, at least hung out on the stairs with his sisters, like the Trapp kids. Now, he was old enough to drink and mingle, and there were always kids just out of college he could hang out with by the pool. But they were so focused on the business, on getting ahead, and were maybe only chatting him up because of his dad.

His dad was a middle level exec at a major studio. Not someone hot or creative, but with enough power to recognize and promote talent. And with enough brains to hang onto his own high-paying job for years. “The trick is to support without sucking up,” his dad had advised. But just then, the kid – Daniel – was more interested in sucking off.

And he knew just who he wanted to do it at this party. Not one of the kids. Not a guy his age, and definitely not one of the actors. They were often admittedly hot, but way too weird. Way too. He was more interested in another exec, a guy he’d seen for years.

Not his dad’s boss. Never that. But not exactly a studio friend. An equal, but in a different field. Someone who always had to be invited and occasionally turned up. Sometimes alone, sometimes with another guy, so Dan knew how things stood. He’d even seen the guy once in a Speedo, at a pool party. Dan must have been about ten, but he noticed. The guy was smooth and dark blond in a way that looked nothing like Dan’s hairy family. Though they were good hairy, guy hairy. His dad was fit and thinner than Dan, but even in summer camp photos, he had hair on his chest at 16. Dan was about the same at that age, as was his granddad on his mom’s side. And Dan’s sons would be...

He didn’t want to think about his kids. Didn’t believe he’d ever have any. He didn’t believe he’d even marry without getting too quickly divorced. Maybe, in that short time, he could slip in a couple of kids, but that wouldn’t be fair. Who wants a cock-sucking father? Who wants a complicated dad? OK, lots of kids would be happy just to have a father who loved them and played sports and was just there. But Dan didn’t think he’d have that chance, so what was the point of beating himself up about it? Besides, he was a draft pick. He couldn’t be gay. He just couldn’t. He didn’t have the stomach or the balls for it.

But there was that guy. He was his dad’s age, just under 50, and his hair was darkening more or edging toward silver or gray. He was definitely getting older. He didn’t dye his hair like Dan’s dad, though you couldn’t tell. No cheap, out of the box dye. Dan’s dad slipped off to a woman on Wilshire who knew how to keep a man’s hair looking natural, highlights and all. “I’ll quit in a couple of years,” Dan’s dad had told him. “But right now, I need to look 40.”

Actually, his body looked younger than that. Mid-30s at most, and he was in better shape than he had been then. “I work out more,” his dad admitted. “I have more time.”

Dan was the middle kid. His younger sister started Berkeley in the fall, and his older one was already working. Not in the industry, but close. Fashion. Still, Dan was sure neither of them had ever seen their dad naked. Dan had. A lot. And what did it mean when you thought your dad was hot?

It meant he needed to be fucked. And not just compensatory sex with his girlfriend. Compensatory – a word he learned in maybe sixth grade. “Getting something equal in exchange for loss.” Except it wasn’t equal. Not quite. At least, he didn’t think so.

He bet the exec did. In fact, Dan knew damn well he did. He could picture the guy having sex every night. In his pool. In his house. Or in his slick apartment, way up in some building on the corridor, overlooking the city. He could see the guy with some kid. With someone Dan’s age. Someone new to the business who needed an extra boost. Or anyone who could see how hot the guy was.

Dan had never come onto a guy. Never. He’d never hooked up with a guy online or in a bar. He never met any guy’s eyes that casually followed him on the beach or in a gym. He knew there were willing men all over the place, and he was decent bait. But he focused only on what was in front of him, only on what was acceptable.

The guy was across the patio from Dan, at the far corner of the pool, leaning against a lamppost. Talking with a studio couple his age. He had a drink, wore his shirt typically open a few buttons, tight enough jeans to show off his butt, and probably expensive shoes, loafers. No socks, no jewelry besides a shiny watch on a leather band, and probably name sunglasses. There was nothing cheap about him.

Dan picked up a drink from one of the bartenders, carefully skirted the pool, and approached the guy. He smiled and nodded at the studio couple, friends of his parents. He smiled at the guy, too, handing him the fresh drink and saying, “You were almost out.”

The guy looked at him. At least, Dan thought he looked from behind his dark glasses. Probably thinking: Who is this guy? Do I know him? Does he work for me? Have I slept with him? Maybe a dozen other questions along that line, but the guy wasn’t stupid. He knew a pick-up line. And he quickly looked Dan up and down – Dan could tell that by the slightest movement of the guy’s head. Then he smiled, said “Thanks,” took the new drink, gave Dan his old one, and continued his conversation with the couple.

Dan moved on. He’d done his job, shown interest. If the guy was as interested, he’d follow.

Skirting back around the pool, Dan downed the rest of the guy’s drink, tossed the glass in the politically correct recycling bin, and eased into a very visible discussion with a couple of kids his age. Maybe five minutes later, the guy gestured Dan away from what he probably thought were his friends, took off his sunglasses, and said, “We don’t really know each other, do we?”

Dan smiled. “I’ve known you since I was ten.”

“And I know you’re Ken and Amy’s son, and you play football at USC. But that’s about it.”

“May be all there is to know.”

“I doubt it.”

“Might be all you want to know.”

“Then why the drink?”

Dan smiled again. He wasn’t good at this, and that was as far as he could manage. Fortunately, the guy sensed this.

“My putting you on the spot?” he asked.

Dan nodded, slowly.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Is there some better place we can talk?”

Dan nodded again and turned, knowing the guy would follow. He deftly wove his way through the crowd, into the as-crowded house, down the hallway past the kitchen, up the narrow back stairs, and into his bedroom. When he knew he guy was in the room, he closed and locked the door.

“Nicely done,” the guy admitted. “Broken field running?”

Dan smiled but didn’t know what to do next.

The guy kissed him, pulling Dan close against his body. The guy was almost Dan’s height. They were both hard.

“I take it you have to be discreet,” he said. “Considering your business. Fortunately, I don’t. Considering mine.”

“I’ve never done this,” Dan said.

“And might not ever again?”

“I doubt that.”

“I needed to know.”

“But not for a while... a long while. I’m about to turn pro.”

“I missed that.”

“Third round draft pick. Not bad for an outside linebacker.”

“Congratulations.”

“Thanks.”

And the guy kissed him again, while opening Dan’s shirt. Dan’s shirt had been opened before while kissing, though he’d been slouching a bit and had been as busy with his hands. Now they stayed dumbly at his sides.

The guy popped the button on Dan’s jeans. He wasn’t wearing a belt. Then he seemed to change his mind and eased Dan back on the wide bed behind him. He slipped off Dan’s shoes and socks, then his jeans and shorts. Zero to sixty in what seemed like two seconds.

The guy eased Dan back on the bed and stretched on top of him. They kissed again, longer this time. Way longer. With girls, Dan had never taken control. He always felt he shared. But he liked not being in charge. And he was learning.

“There lube in the night stand?” the guy asked.

“Hand cream in the john.” Dan glanced toward the bathroom door.

The guy came back from the john, set his sunglasses on the night stand, and gestured for Dan to scoot up on the bed and lean back against the pillows. Then he filled his hand with lotion and settled on the comforter. He was soon edging Dan way past a grin.

Dan had edged himself before. He’d never asked a girl to do it because it seemed too weak. Now, he relaxed. He quickly slipped down from the pillows and was lying flat, with the guy between his spread out legs. He was floating, and twisting a bit, too. He hoped the guy didn’t mind. His whole body seemed on the edge of orgasm.

The guy wasn’t just stroking. He explored Dan’s body. Riffed the hair on his chest. Ran his hand down Dan’s leg. Tickled his sole, then slid his hand back up. Past his knee. Past his hip. Past his chest and to the top of Dan’s head. Dan’s hands were clasped behind his neck. His eyes were closed. Whenever he opened then, the guy looked straight into them, and that was too much.

When Dan was somewhere in space, there was a knock. Dan quickly opened his eyes and looked at the guy. The man put his finger to his lips.

Another knock. A guy’s voice: “Hey, I need to use the john.”

The guy shook his head, so Dan said nothing.

The sound of the door handle trying to turn. “C’mon, I really need to go. Every other john in this place is full.”

The guy again shook his head. Dan felt himself going soft, but the man’s hand stayed firm. The man outside knocked again and kept knocking. Finally, he went quiet.

Dan waited, then smiled. The man beside him nodded but kept studying the door. Suddenly, he scrambled off the bed, though Dan had never seen a move more graceful.

“Hey!” yowled the voice behind the door. “Gimme that back!”

Dan leaned up on his elbows, looking toward the man. As he straightened up, he held an iPhone.

“Gimme that!” the voice shouted, and one of Dan’s family dogs started to bark. “Gimme that, goddamit!”

The man with Dan made several small moves on the phone then slipped it back under the door. The dog continued to bark.

“Video,” the man whispered. “Audio. It’s been deleted.”

As Dan absorbed this, the man picked up the hand cream from the night stand, pocketed his sunglasses, moved to the bathroom, and locked the door.

“What are you doing there?” Dan suddenly heard his dad ask, clearly to the guy outside the door. “Stop it,” he ordered the dog, which kept barking. The door knob tried to turn. “Dan. Dan? Are you in there? Danny? Daniel?”

“Be right with you, Dad,” Danny called, scrambling for clothes.

“Get out of here!” Dan’s dad ordered the guy. Then,“Stop it, Soph,” he repeated to the dog. “Stop it.”

Dan opened the door, wearing his shirt and jeans. He’d kicked his shorts under a chair.

“You OK?” his dad asked.

“Just taking a nap. Trying to...” He kind of grinned.

His father laughed. “Party too much for you?”

Dan shrugged. “A little.”

He could tell his dad didn’t completely believe him, but they rarely pushed each other. His father didn’t even glance into the room. He simply left. Sophie jumped on the bed as Dan closed the door, then licked his hand.

“Good Soph. Goood Sophie.”

The bathroom door opened. The guy’s sunglasses were on, and his hands were clean and dry. “Another time,” he said. “Better. Call me.” He handed Dan his card.

Dan nodded.

“The hallway clear?” the guy asked.

Dan opened to door partway. “Yeah. Want me to take you down?”

“Nah. I’d better do this myself.”

“Sure.”

The guy smiled, resting his fist against Dan’s chest, massaging it slightly. Taking off his sunglasses, he repeated, “Call me.”

Dan closed the door after him, and after Sophie, who’d trotted along. He locked it, pulled off his clothes, then went into the bathroom and took a long, politically incorrect, hot shower.

Dan’s dad followed the reporter down to Valet, to make sure he left. Coming back to the house, he said goodbye to one of his studio friends.

“Leaving early?” he asked.

“Got to,” Michael said, “unfortunately. Just got a call.”

They smiled at each other. “Work.”

Mike got into his car, still a little rattled. The kid had been something. That body, stretched in front of him. He could have edged the boy for hours, then fucked him, then let himself be fucked. But it wasn’t the time. Still, he could hardly breathe.

Coming down from the Palisades, he turned the wrong way on Sunset, then figured, “What the hell?” and took PCH to Santa Monica. He’d stop at the Farmer’s Market. It had been in his plans anyway, after the party.

But the kid. Jesus. When had he been with someone that young? And that easy? That eager? And he didn’t seem like a kid. There was none of that adolescent smoothness. Other guys liked it, but Mike preferred a little hair. “Where do you get waxed?” guys would ask him, and he’d laugh. “I’m genetically lasered,” he’d say, and some of them would get the joke.

Would he call? Could he call the kid? How could he even casually work into conversation, “Hey, Ken, can I have your son’s cell number? I just heard about his draft pick.” Impossible. And did Ken even know?

He didn’t think so. Ken probably figured the kid – Dan – was fucking some girl from the studio. That’s who was hiding in the john. Football players didn’t fuck guys, especially draft picks. Well, there were a few. Kopay, years back. And that new kid who was brazening it out. Or did he only play one season before he was cut? He’d have to check. Have to try to remember to check. Football wasn’t his interest.

Movies were, and their promotion. And guys. Too many guys. Too many younger guys. “When are you going to settle down?” his friends would ask. “Now that it’s legal.”

“It’s been legal for years,” he’d joke. “Allowed. Accepted. Especially in the industry.” That’s why he worked there. It was comfortable.

And being married wasn’t. He couldn’t imagine it. Waking up to the same guy. Growing old with him. Just growing old. Being in love. That was the stuff of other men, mainly straight. Not him.

In Santa Monica, he parked at his usual garage, so he’d remember. There were four, nearly identical. He went to the market and found it closed. Not even packing up. Gone. It was too late in the day. That was too bad, as he missed flirting with his regular guys. It was always harmless, he knew they weren’t interested, and their wives or girlfriends were often nearby. Still, it was fun. Heading back to his car, he stopped for frozen yogurt and was surprised to see an old friend.

“Nick! What’re you doing here?” He knew Nick owned the place, owned the whole small chain, but they rarely saw each other.

“Training a new manager,” Nick said. “Good to see you, Mike. It’s been years.”

“It hasn’t been that long.”

“Years. Since the reunion.”

“The 30th? That was last summer.”

They knew each other from Crossroads.

“Oh. We skipped that. We were in Europe. ”

“The 25th? It can’t be that long.”

“Nothing’s impossible.”

“No.” Mike laughed, then offered, “You’re looking good, Nick.”

“Thanks. It’s hard work.”

After five minutes, Nick was called back to his manager, and Mike waited in line. Growing up, even as late as high school, Nick had been big. Not fat, but solid. Mike had been one of the few kids brave, or dumb enough to tackle him at football. Not football like Ken’s son. Pick-up football on the playground with no equipment but rougher than Touch. “They can’t hurt themselves,” their teachers would say. “And they’re easier to manage afterward.” But when Nick went down, if only for seconds, he’d be on top of Mike.

He wondered what Nick looked like now, with his runner’s body. He’d seem him plenty, growing up. In the locker room, the showers. He was very pink then, with just a little hair. He’d seen him hard once, too. Nick wasn’t only one of the big guys, he was what adults called “advanced for his age.” Meaning he was openly horny. The rest of the guys jerked off in their bedrooms, to Hustler if they got lucky, but Nick wanted actual girls. And he got them. Once, in ninth grade, he charmed a “guaranteed slut” from Beverly Hills High into coming to his house one afternoon when his family was gone. Mike went along not because he wanted to screw the girl, but he wanted to see Nick. True, he also got laid – for the first time – and that was great. But he only got hard by staring at Nick.

Well, hard because the girl was sucking Nick off, too, while Mike fucked her. Tried to fuck her. No, actually did. And she said he was better than Nick. More patient. Hell, as long as Nick stayed hard, Mike could have fucked her forever.

Once his yogurt arrived, he headed to an outdoor table. It was too nice to stay inside. A couple of women, his age, smiled. People were always “recognizing him,” thinking he was some actor. Though not consistently the same one. He smiled at the women, and they flirted for a moment, then one of them asked, “Do you know any graduation music?”

“Graduation music?” he stupidly repeated.

“Yes, we just came from graduation. Hers.” The woman pointed at the other woman, who smiled.

“I’m slow,” the second one admitted. “It’s taken twenty-five years.”

“Congratulations.”

“But they didn’t play any music,” the first went on. “Not even recorded. When I graduated, they played the same song, both times. But I can’t remember it.”

Suddenly Mike couldn’t, either. He blanked. All he could get was the ‘Wedding March,’ Mendelssohn, and not even that. Only the opening. Bom bom de dum dum dum dum da da da da da dum dum. He sang it for the women, admitting it was wrong, but hoping it would spark something. Instead, they all laughed.

“The other one’s called ‘Pomp and Circumstance,’” Mike told them. “I remember that. It’s also a British hymn – no, their national anthem. But I can’t remember the tune.”

“‘Pomp and Circumstances!’ That’s what they always played,” the woman exclaimed. “For high school and college. I wish I could remember how it goes.”

Mike tried again, but only came up with more Mendelssohn: what he called ‘the swoops’ from Midsummer Night’s Dream. He sat besides the women, and they talked about the Farmer’s Market and what he’d intended to buy. Then Nick slipped in opposite Mike, and the women moved off.

“Sorry. I was busy,” Nick explained. “I wasn’t sure you’d stay.”

“I wasn’t sure you’d get unbusy, but that’s not why I stayed. I didn’t want to interrupt.”

“She’s doing fine. Everything’s under control. Really. And it’s great seeing you. Always takes me back.”

“Yeah, too far back.” They grinned. “Past anything we should remember.”

“No kidding. Though look at kids today. Jesus. We were tykes.”

“I know.” Mike laughed. “But I just had a Mrs. Robinson moment.”

“Where was she when we needed her?”

“Supposedly, in Pasadena.”

“If we’d only known. If anyone had even hinted she was real. I would’ve been there in a minute.”

“We were probably surrounded by Mrs. Robinsons...”

“And you met one this afternoon. Jesus, she must’ve been 80.”

“I didn’t meet one,” Mike corrected. “I was one.”

Nick quickly got it. “You?” he said, laughing. “Well, good for you. Look at that.”

“Yeah.” Though Mike was slightly embarrassed.

“Was she hot?”

“He.”

“Oh, that’s right. Was he?”

“Yeah. Much more than we are.”

“Well, good for you. I’d be jealous if I were that kind. But it turns out I’m happiest married. Who would’ve thought that?”

“Who’d have thought anything in high school?”

“We got so much wrong.”

“But had so much fun.”

“Oh, yeah. Oh, fuckin’ yeah!”

Too soon, Nick had to go back to business, and Mike slowly walked toward his car. He wondered if the kid would call next week. Wondered if he’d call at all, or even could, since he was headed into his homophobic career. Mike wondered why he was interested. He knew so many more accessible guys.

Still, he would have liked to have been with Dan that evening. Stretched out, watching him smile. Another impossibility. Getting into his car, Mike noticed the clock. It wasn’t six. The party would still be going. He’d arrived early, intending to leave for other things. But industry parties often went late, and Dan would be there. He probably lived there. If he wanted, he could slip out and follow Mike home. Up into the hills, where they wouldn’t be interrupted by any reporter.

Mike nosed through Santa Monica traffic, made a choice, then headed north on PCH. He turned on Sunset and went back into the Palisades. What the hell could he lose?

2019 by Richard Eisbrouch
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