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Adermoor Cove Part 1: The Rainbow Beret - 3. Chapter 3

Brendan pulled up to The Mountaintop Inn in his red Ford pickup truck. He’d put on a plaid shirt and jeans and cologne. I’m too old for him, he kept telling himself. Why would he want to be with an old man like me? But then he reminded himself he’d never been with a man who wore eyeliner and had piercings and tattoos, or was half his age. This was a first.

Looking at himself in the mirror, he ran his hand through his thinning hair and tried to cover up the bald spot as best he could. When he was sure he was presentable enough, Brendan honked the horn jovially three times. One of the hotel doors - there was a brass number 12 on the front - opened and Lane stepped out. Brendan caught himself letting out a sigh of relief and hated himself for it.

Lane wore a black leather coat over a red shirt. Brendan gave another cheerful honk. His heart galloped in his chest. Lane climbed into the truck.

“Hey,” he said.

“Howdy.”

Lane looked around the cabin of the truck. “Nice ride.”

“Thanks.” Brendan patted the dashboard. “She’s my pride and joy.”

“That’s mine.” Lane pointed at the vintage black Mustang across from the truck.

“Where did you find that beauty?”

“A friend of mine had a talent for fixing up beat up cars - a hobby of his. He let me have this one.”

They were on the road now heading towards Denver. “I hope you’re hungry,” Brendan said.

“I am. I haven’t had anything to eat since this morning.”

Brendan looked at Lane’s bony arms. “We’ll have to put some meat on those bones.”

“Good luck with that. No matter how hard I try I can’t gain a pound.”

“I wish I had that problem.”

Lane flashed him a playful smile. “Don’t worry, I like men with some weight to them.”

Twenty minutes later they sat at the back of a Waffle House. Brendan pretended to look at his menu but really he was watching Lane. The younger man was tapping his fingers along to a John Mellencamp song; the black fingernail polish on his fingers was starting to chip.

“You like John Mellencamp?”

Lane took a sip from his coke and let out a small burp, holding his fist to his mouth - Brendan thought the gesture was both endearing and sexy as hell. “This is the only one I like. I like the beat. The rest of his music is overrated. You know Mellencamp’s an asshole, right? My mom met him once. She said he was an asshole. Of course I’d be an asshole if I was a celebrity, everyone clamoring to get in my airspace.”

Their waitress/second shift manager of the Waffle House, Pamela, came by their booth. She flashed Brendan a knowing smile (he was a regular.) “You two ready to order?”

Lane ordered a ham and cheese omelette and Brendan ordered the breakfast bowl with a side of biscuits and gravy.

“Something different this time?” Pamela said to Brendan, lifting an eyebrow. “”I’ll put the orders in.”

As Pam went behind the counter Lane got up and said he had to use the bathroom. Pam watched him through her glasses and waited until he was out of sight before sitting across from Brendan.

“Who’s the youngin’?” she asked.

“Someone I met at The Rainbow Beret last week. He works as a bartender there.”

She cocked an eyebrow. “Not that it’s any business of mine but isn’t he a little young for you? Usually you get with guys closer to your age. And he just doesn’t seem like your type.”

“He’s an old soul. What type do you mean?”

“Just...rough. I’m not trying to say anything I shouldn’t, I just want you to be careful.”

“I know I’m quite a bit older...older than I have any right to be, but I wouldn’t hurt him. There’s just something about him I’m drawn to.”

Pamela glanced over her shoulder. Lane had not come out of the bathroom yet. She gave Brendan a sad smile and took his hand. “Brendan, you are the most gentle and loving person I know. You’d never hurt a fly. I’m not worried about you hurting him...I’m worried about him hurting you. Maybe I’m just being paranoid but there’s something about him I don’t like. He’s not anyone you want to be going around with, I can feel it in my bones.”

 

 

When Brendan and Lane left the Waffle House night had fallen. Lane was pleasantly full. The night air was cool and smelled of pine. The sky was blanketed with stars. Gravel crunched underneath their feet as they head back towards Brendan’s truck. He found he enjoyed Brendan’s quiet, amiable nature.

He reminds me so much of Charlie, it’s scary…

Brendan and stopped and turned to him. “You know what I like to do on nights like this when the stars and moon are out?

“What?”

“I like to go to the Chatfield Reservoir and look out at the water. It’s always nice and quiet but I always go alone. I never have anyone who wants to go with me. I guess it makes me too soft, you know? I know it’s late but we could stop at the liquor store and pick up some beer...”

Tell him no. You can’t afford to fall in love. It’s dangerous for you both.

“Okay,” Lane said.

“Yeah?” Brendan looked relieved.

“Since you got dinner I’ll get the beer.”

It was almost ten o’clock when Brendan parked in front of the water. From where they were Lane had a perfect view of the dam. The surface reflected the silver light streaming from tonight’s half-moon. Classic rock music played on the radio. Lane grabbed a chilled bottle of Heineken and handed it to Brendan. For himself he’d gotten hard cider. For a moment they shared a companionable silence, listening to Stone Temple Pilots and drinking beer.

I forgot what it was like to just sit with someone and not talk and be okay with not talking, Lane thought. Really it had only been a year since Charlie’s death. But time had a way of stretching when you were on the road.

“This is beautiful,” he said, clearing his throat. He felt at peace. He’d come to hate the feeling, to mistrust it: Because the moment he started feeling happy was the moment when things went wrong and he had to run again.

“It is,” Brendan said. His face was a shadowed outline. “I love how still it is here at night, no one to bother you. Do you have any family back in Indiana? I’m not trying to pry, I just want to know more about you.”

I can’t tell him about Charlie or my father, Lane reminded himself.

“Just my mom - no one else.”

“And are you and she close?”

“Yes - very. But I haven’t seen her in awhile. I really miss her.” He decided not to admit she was his adoptive mother; he knew nothing about his real parents or where he was from.

“So you have no siblings?”

“Nope. Only child. What about you?”

“I have a younger brother. He takes care of my father - he’s sick with Parkinson’s disease. Years of alcoholism and smoking hasn’t helped. The doctors say he doesn’t have much longer left.”

“I’m sorry,” Lane said because he didn’t know what else to say.

Brendan looked darkly out at the water. “He was a nasty man. Abusive both physically and mentally. My brother Jimmy is an alcoholic just like him and my mother did nothing but enable my father. She passed away five years ago. I’m pretty much a loner. You don’t know how lonely I get sometime.” He chuckled dryly. “Sorry, you must think I’m silly, an old man talking about his woes. I’m just lonely and horny all the time.”

“No, it’s not ridiculous,” Lane said before he could stop himself. “I’m lonely and horny all the time too.”

Brendan reached over and put his hand on Lane’s knee. Lane was amazed at the size of it - it was like a paw. “Can I kiss you?”

Lane gulped, his penis going erect. His face was hot with beer. He’d lost track of what song was playing on the radio.

Removing his hand from Lane’s knee, Brendan put his hand in Lane’s hair, leaned forward, and pressed his lips against Lane’s. They started out slowly, exploring the shape of each other’s lips, the rhythm. Brendan’s lips were warm and soft and firm and full all at the same time. Their tongues danced. Lane’s scalped tingled from Brendan’s touch.

Brendan’s hand crept under Lane’s shirt, feeling his hairless belly, the steel rings that pierced his nipples. “What is this?” Brendan said when he felt them, lifting up his shirt further until Lane’s piercings glimmered in the dark.

Lane caressed Brendan’s cheek, feeling the coarse, thick hairs. “Do you like them?”

“I do.” Leaning over the console, Brendan licked at Lane’s nipple making the younger man moan in pleasure.

“You’re so fucking hot boy,” Brendan said. He lifted his head to kiss Lane on the lips again.

Lane’s hand quested until he found what he was looking for: Brendan’s crotch. He could feel Brendan’s cock pressing up against the denim of his jeans, hard as a rock. “I wanna suck you off, daddy,” he whispered. “Can I suck you off, daddy?” He remembered he used to call Charlie daddy when they’d have sex but the thought was far in the back of his mind, muted by his arousal.

Brendan grunted with a nod. He leaned back in his seat. Now it was Lane’s turn to lean over the console. He unzipped Brendan’s fly and reached in. He pulled down Brendan’s length in his hand. “Fuck yes,” he purred in excitement. Brendan’s cock was long and fat, the tip pierced with a steel ring. Precum had begun to supperate from the hand. “I love Prince Alberts.”

Brendan had his hand on the back of Lane’s head once more. Lane took his cock into his mouth and slowly began to bob his head up and down, gauging the rhythm by the alternating grunts, moans, and curses.

After a minute or two Lane went faster, taking Brendan’s length all the way in his mouth, playing with his balls which were pleasantly large and proportionate with the size of his penis. )

“Fuck!” Brendan said, his fingers clenching through Lane’s hair, “I’m going to come!”

He ejaculated in Lane’s mouth. Lane moaned in a mixture of pleasure and surprise. Brendan kept unloading in his mouth, his breathing loud and rapid. His come was salty and thick like milk.

Lane sat up and wiped his mouth with his sleeve. Beside him, in the driver’s seat, Brendan panted, trying to catch his breath.

Are you proud of yourself?” Charlie asked from the back seat. “After a year of running from place to place you finally got some dick.

Even though he knew in the back of his mind Charlie wasn’t really sitting there, Lane looked up into the rearview mirror. Of course the back seat was empty. This didn’t stop the tide of shame from washing over him.

He looked out at the water and hated himself.

 

 

Something’s wrong. I’ve done something wrong but I don’t know what I did.

They were heading back to The Rainbow Beret. The whole time Lane had been cold and distant, not taking his eyes away from the window, not looking at Brendan; he only grunted in response to Brendan’s attempt at conversation.

Brendan felt a plummeting sensation in his belly, a familiar feeling dredged up from his childhood when his father would admonish him for being a “big queer.” Brendan wanted to ask and didn’t want to ask for fear of the answer. This is a mistake, Lane would say. We shouldn’t have done this. You’re too old for me. I’m sorry but we can’t see each other anymore.

By the time they reached the hotel he couldn’t keep the question a bay any longer. “Did I do something wrong?”

Lane glanced over. There was a sad look on his face. “No - I did something wrong.”
“What?”

“I just made a mistake.”

“C’mon, give me something more than that.” Brendan reached for his hand but Lane pulled it away.

The look he gave Brendan was full of anger and pain and his eyes were full of tears. “I’m dangerous, okay? Do you think I came to this buttfuck state just for the hell of it? Trust me when I tell you it’s safer to stay away from me, okay? So stay the hell away from me before you end up dead.”

He threw the door open and jumped out. He slammed the door shut. In the glow of the headlights Brendan could see the younger man was crying. He wanted to get out to chase after him, but he could only watch as Lane let himself into his motel room, the door flying shut behind him.

Brendan’s vision blurred with tears of his own. He wiped them away. I won’t cry - Pam said this would happen and she was right. I’m such an idiot.

 

 

 

It was a long time before Lane stopped crying - he hadn’t cried this hard since the day Charlie died. The tears stopped but the hate and shame he felt towards himself had not.

“You did what you had to do,” Charlie said gruffly. He was leaning against the bathroom doorway. “It may hurt now, like hell, and it may hurt for a while, but you can feel better knowing he’ll live longer if he stays away from you.”

It was the first time Charlie, this version of Charlie, had not admonished him. Lane studied him, eyebrows knitted together.

“What the fuck are you?” Lane demanded. “Are you a ghost…?”

Charlie dropped his head back and laughed. “I’m not a ghost and you know it. I’m the part of your psyche that’s been suppressed and I’ve been trying to get through to you.”

“Suppressed? What do you mean?”

“You mean to tell me you don't remember? Ask your mother. Why do you think Charlie was so upset when he found you in the living room with your mother?”

Lane could feel the beginning pangs of a headache start to take hold. “Goddammit, you’re not making any sense.”

Charlie took a step towards him. Lane took a step back. “Stay away from me.”

“You can’t run away from this,” Charlie said. His eyes started to glow, as if there was a bright white light shining behind his eyes, coming from somewhere within. It filled the room, blinding Lane. “You know the darkness is coming and we are the light. You just have to let me in and quit fighting.”

Lane sobbed. There was no where else to go; his back was pressing up against the wall. “No - stay away from me, goddammit.”

He could feel something building inside him, a tide of emotion: Anger, guilt, and a yearning to be free of the thing chasing him. Power.

He’d felt it before a year ago when Charlie tried to kill him. And instead I killed them.

He wanted to unleash these feelings, let them wreak havoc on everything around him. Let them break glass and bring the ceiling down around his ears. It would be the ultimate release, the ultimate reconciliation.

Lane didn't know it because his eyes were closed but the lamps had begun to flicker on and off. Then the phone rang and everything was gone: the power inside him which had somehow manifested into the shape of Charlie (this knowledge in the back of Lane’s mind, a fact he couldn’t fully bring himself to accept), and the tide within him.

He stared at the phone with wide fearful eyes. His cheeks glimmered with tears. He shivered, suddenly very cold. It’s just Mom calling you, he told himself. Somehow she got a hold of the number and is calling to demand where you are.

But the same feeling that let Lane know of impending danger told him it wasn't his mother. A premonition. He’d always had them, for as long as he could remember.

Despite the paralyzing fear that made his muscles and joints want to lock up, Lane went over to the phone and lifted it off the cradle with a shaking hand. “H-hello?”

“May I speak with Lane Hardy, please?” a woman's voice said. The voice was wheezy and labored as if its owner was out of breath.

“I’m him.”

A congested sigh of relief. “Oh thank God.” Pause, a rattling exhale that made the phone echo in Lane’s ear. “I was worried I had the wrong information - that happens sometimes.”

“Who is this? How did you get my number?” Lane was proud of himself for managing to sound braver than he felt.

Another phlegmy intake. “My name is Vanessa Stanton,” said the woman. “I don't know if you can tell or not but it’s very hard for me to speak. I’m constantly attached to this damn air tank.” Pause. “For this reason, I’m going to head straight into things - from there you can make your own decision on whether or not you believe me.”

Lane remained silent, gripping the phone in his hand so hard his fingers had gone white. He simply didn’t know what to say. This has got to be the weirdest phone conversation I’ve ever had. He wanted to put the phone down and go to bed and forget about this whole fucked up evening but some deeper ingrained part of himself knew he needed to hear what this stranger had to say.

The woman continued. “I know you’re at a hotel near Denver.” Pause. “I know you work at a bar called the Neon Beret…”

“Rainbow,” Lane said despite himself.

“Whatever. The fact is I know these things and you’re wondering how I know, right? You’re wondering how I got the phone number to your room, which just so happens to be number six, right?”

Lane decided to let his silence speak for him. Vanessa went on.

“I know you're running and I know what you're running from. I don't know everything about it but I certainly know more than you do. If I can, I want to help you.”

“You can’t help me. No one can.”

“With that attitude you’d be right. I’m not offering hope. To do that when I’m not certain if there really is any is cruel. But I do have some answers. It’s better than being completely in the dark. I’m at a place called Adermoor Cove. Have you heard of it?”

“No,” Lane croaked.

“It’s a small island just off the coast of Maine. If you hurry you could get here in two days. You have enough saved up to get here.” Lane was tempted to ask how she knew all this but he suspected the answer defied a logical explanation, so he didn’t. “I live in the lighthouse on the northern side of the island. Ask any of the residents on the island how to get here and they’ll tell ya. I would say take some time to think about it but there isn’t much time left.” Vanessa burst into a fit of coughing. She said “thank you” to someone else and then said, “I don’t have long. This cancer is terminal. I hope you do decided to come Lane. No one should be trapped in the dark. I’ll be waiting for you.”

Click.

Lane listened to the drone of the dial tone, staring at the wall opposite him but not really seeing it. After a minute he set it gingerly in the cradle.

Copyright © 2019 ValentineDavis21; All Rights Reserved.
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So is Brendan caught up in whatever weirdness Lane is? Can Vanessa provide enough answers to help Lane?

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Marty

Posted (edited)

Curiouser and curiouser... :unsure2:

So it seems like Charlie only exists inside the dark recesses of Lane's mind. Or is it that the memory of him only exists there? I also get the feeling that there is something more about the relationship between Lane and his adoptive mother than we are being told (of course, I could be completely wrong there).

And just who is Vanessa, how did she now so much about Lane, and can she really do anything to help him. The fact that she says she lives in Aldermore Cove is probably going to be of significance anyway (if only because of the actual title of this story).

We were told in chapter one that Brendan had only a month left to live. I certainly don't want him to die. And if he does have to die, I would rather it be from natural causes rather than at Lane's hands.

Or am I missing something Will there be a new unexpected twist to this tale?

Edited by Marty
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The statement about "curiouser and curiouser" was certainly the understatement of the year! Charley is obviously a deeply ingrained part of Brad's psyche, and I feel he is an important key. The lighthouse at Ardmore Cove will be the key that opens up the box of mysteries. The tats, jewelry and makeup are a declaration of difference for Brad, but they are a somewhat conventional declaration of "I am unique," we will see.

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