Straight Town: Chapter 7

By Wesley Bracken - wesley.bracken@gmail.com
published August 8, 2019
Summary

Steve searches out Kevin. Together they piece together who they’d been before Derryville, and plot an escape.

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That same evening, Kevin was at the tavern, sitting at the bar. It was a relatively pleasant evening, much to the surprise of all the men there, who were usually there drowning their various sorrows and frustrations with the town they called home. Of course, criticizing the town, or the mayor’s rule over it, was strictly forbidden–so the men usually spoke around the edges of things. Complaining about some new building that seemed to have popped up overnight–like that new restaurant, none of them could quite seem to remember having in town before. Sure, the food was fine, and it was nice having a family friendly place to go, but the kids were always so loud, weren’t they? Of course, they had a right to be–they were kids, but the men all liked to come here for a reason.

Kevin had, usually just listened to the rest of them and their old conversational grooves. Mostly, he was there for the company. While it wasn’t quite the same as the rowdy biker bars of his youth, he craved the camaraderie, the space where men could gather and just…just be men, with each other. But being there hurt in someways too–ways he could recognize better now. He didn’t just want company–he wanted intimacy. But now he had Steve for that–a faggot he could use when he needed to, safely compartmentalized away from his masculinity, and with that need met, he found himself much more willing, and able, to open up with the men around him in the tavern.

Of course, some of them still regarded him suspiciously–especially Benny, but that wasn’t surprising, given their earlier altercation in the bathroom. But that was history now, if not ancient, and even Benny found himself enjoying the rowdy biker’s raunchy stories, his exploits with strippers back when he was younger, back when he didn’t have a family that depended on him. Kevin, for his part, was never quite sure if the stories were real or not. They always started out as fabrications to him, little fancies he had in his head, but as the story got rolling, details would come to him, and he would feel them, and see them, and he…he became more and more convinced that he was creating himself, in them. That the stories were coming true–like so much else about him. It was powerful, somehow, and in his alone time, in the garage, thinking to himself, he would recall other stories. Ones with men–young, old, straight, faggots, brothers, enemies. Those were becoming more and more real too…but those, he would have to save for someone else, at another time. Those weren’t safe here–even if he found himself wanting to tell them all the same, longed to feel them dance off his tongue, see if any of the men would respond to them in kind.

He could feel them here, these men. They were longing for something, just like him. Freedom, maybe? That was probably too much to ask for, in Derryville, but at least they could have their stories. In the past, they could be free, right? Or at least, freer.

He was in the midst of one such story, describing how he and a buddy had tag-teamed an stripper one evening (leaving a sizable part of it untold, how he had fucked his buddy’s ass, while he in turn had fucked the bitch) when the door opened, and the men turned to look at who had come in. After all, the regulars were all here–all the other men were with their families, where they probably should have been as well. There, in the doorway, was Steve, breathing hard, looking a bit disheveled and stressed, and Kevin’s voice choked, just for a moment, and the bar fell silent.

Steve strode forward to where Kevin was sitting, amidst the men, and immediately, Kevin could see that something had changed in him. In his stance, in his confidence. He didn’t look like the faggot he had been taunting for months now, abusing in the garage bathroom. He didn’t even look like that desperate, aching cop from that night in the station. He looked like a man. That both turned Kevin on something fierce–a reaction he was not expecting at all–and also terrified him, wondering if Steve was about to spill their secret in front of all of these men.

“We need to talk, now,” Steve said simply.

“Fucker–I don’t have anything to say to you,” Kevin said, and downed the rest of his whiskey, “Unless you got some reason to put me in that car of yours, why don’t you get your ass out of here?”

Steve didn’t punch him hard–Kevin knew a punch pulled when he felt one, but the blow to his shoulder was enough to knock him off balance on the stool, and send him toppling down to the ground hard, away from the bar, when he lay for a moment, shocked by the sudden act of dominance from a man who he had assumed was largely passive.

“Out back, now,” Steve said and stepped over Kevin, heading for the back door of the bar. “None of you fuckers follow. This is about me and him–you don’t want to get involved if you know what’s good for you.”

They all knew full well what was good for them, and this looked like just the sort of trouble all of them had been at one time or another, and which none of them wanted to repeat. They watched as Steve left, and Kevin shoved himself up and stumbled after him, grumbling and swearing. Jack poured all the men a round on the house, and the atmosphere turned back into sullen introspection for all of them. Whatever was about to happen back there, it would only end badly for the two of them, they all believed, but they also all knew better than to try and stop it. They’d seen them, after all, that day, before. How close they’d been. A few even longed for it themselves, perhaps. But not hard enough to try again, to buck the mayor’s rule here in Derryville.

“Faggot, I am going to pound your face into the fucking ground for that,” Kevin said to him when he stepped out, after the door had shut behind them. “Then I’m going to fuck you, and remind you of where your place is.”

“Would you cut the fucking macho act for a second, and think for one goddamn second?” Steve said, “There’s something fucking going on here, in this fucking town. I know you fucking feel it too. This isn’t fucking right! I know something isn’t right here, with me, and I know it has something to do with you, and I’m not fucking leaving until we sort this out.”

Kevin didn’t want to hear it. He didn’t want to think about it, about all the anger and frustration he’d been able to avoid these past few months. It was too hard. It hurt too much. He was tired of hurting, tired of looking in the mirror and hating himself. He…he could belong here. There was something here for him, a place where he could belong in all of this, he just fucking knew it, somehow, and this fucker was going to try and take it away from him, he could tell. He strode towards him, ready to throw a punch, ready to restore order, ready to fight for himself, and was surprised when Steve did not meet him with equal violence, but instead stepped into him, and pulled him close, pulled him tight.

Kevin froze, smelling him. Wanting to push him away, but he ached, he ached for him, so hard, had ached for him every day, ached so hard it hurt sometimes in ways he could barely describe. He could barely restrain himself from running to him–the only thing that had stopped him these past few months was that line. On this side, on his side, was the man, and on the other side, the faggot, the degenerate. Already, the line was dissolving inside him. Either they were both men, or both faggots, and neither of those was tenable to him, in his mind, in everything he knew now. He tried to push him off, but Steve clutched him harder. “Talk to me. I know you saw something, felt something that night in the cell. You said something when you came, about how you’d been. About who you’d been. What did you see? What the fuck were we?”

Steve’s words were barely a whisper in his ear, but they rang so loud inside him. What had he seen? What had he felt? He’d seen himself. Someone he’d been, but who he could have never been really. A phantom. Young, not even twenty-five. Soft, thin, supple. Obviously a faggot of some variety, but a comfortable one. One who had heard the word often enough that it no longer carried the force of hatred and self-loathing to him. Someone who had grown up in a city, someone on a trip–but beyond that, nothing much. But even that little image had shaken him deeply. Deep enough that he’d denied it so hard to himself, told himself he must be imagining things.

“What the fuck did you see? You have to tell me, you have to.”

“I didn’t see fucking anything!” Kevin said, finally managing to push Steve off of him, “I don’t know what I saw, it was just some kid.”

“It was you, wasn’t it. Who you were.”

Kevin nodded.

“Fuck. What the fuck is this fucking…”

“What the fuck is this fucking shit about ? Why the fuck are you doing this to me?” Kevin said, “Why the fuck is it that every fucking time I see you coming you make me hurt so fucking much? I’ve been in bar fights, I’ve had broken bottles shoved in my side, and none of it has ever hurt like this in my whole fucking life.”

Steve told him, omitting a few details, what had happened to him in the sheriff’s office that evening. How so many things Guthrie had said to him didn’t make a lick of sense to him, unless…unless they had been different somehow, before this.

“No, this is fucking insane,” Kevin said, after listnening to him, “I know who I was before I settled down here. I wasn’t some faggot kid going to college. I remember everything.”

“Yeah, but you remember something else, don’t you?” Steve said to him, “You remember June 27th, don’t you? I don’t know why, but I woke up that day–and it was like the first time I met you. I knew I should know who my wife was, who my fucking kids were, but I didn’t. I could feel the outlines of something, some life I was supposed to live, but it wasn’t mine. And fuck knows, I’ve tried. I’ve tried to be the good husband, the good father, the good fucking cop, but it isn’t getting any fucking easier, because I fucking know it’s a lie, and you know it is too.”

“Yeah, so then who were you?”

Steve hesitated. “I don’t know.”

Kevin just stared at him.

“What, I fucking don’t, but I must have been fucking someone! I just…I just know that I wasn’t always this.”

Kevin turned then, and headed back towards the tavern. Steve grabbed his arm, and tugged him back. “Fucking let me go, I’m fucking done with this shit.”

“You…you fucking know this is a fucking lie, and what, you’re just going to go along with it?”

“And what the fuck do you suppose we do? You’re telling me that something in this town turned…took me, that me, that whispy little faggot, and turned me into some burly biker with no fucking memory of who I had even been. Gave me a wife and three boys, and…and what? What the fuck do you propose we do about it? We don’t know shit–I wish I didn’t know any of this shit, and I’m going in there, and I’m going to drink until I fucking don’t remember it, I can tell you that.”

“You can’t just fucking turn your back on me!” Steve said, “Whoever we were, we were together, you realize that, right? I…I don’t think I can stand it, living here apart from you. Knowing that we could have been something, and…and now we’re just this! Doesn’t that fucking piss you the fuck off? I thought you were some big fucking biker rebel, and now you’re just going to drink yourself under the god damn table? I know that you’re fucking terrified. Hell, I’m fucking terrified! I don’t know what the fuck is going on, and…and I know I’m fucking toast, if I stay here another day. I’m leaving, and fuck it, I want to leave with you.”

Kevin turned and looked at Steve. He had seen something else, in that moment. Someone else. He hadn’t known who, until now, but looking at Steve in the light, if you got rid of the mustache, and the wrinkles, and the uniform…he was the same kid, the one across from him at the table, beside him in the car, with him then. But that was a lifetime away. It didn’t even exist anymore. “Yeah? You want to run off with me? What the fuck are we going to do then–one washed up biker thug and a overly earnest deputy? What the fuck are we supposed to do if we leave? Where the fuck do we even go? I…I don’t know what’s out there, anymore. It’s all gone, all of it, and I know you don’t know either. We have lives here–families. It…it doesn’t matter how we got them, or who they are, you think we don’t owe them some responsibility too.”

“Oh cut the crap, you’re just scared.”

“Of course I’m fucking scared! I’m fucking terrified! The fact that you somehow aren’t just tells me you’re either insane, or an idiot.”

Steve kissed him then, forced himself at Kevin, into his arms, smelling the whiskey and smoke on his breath. Kevin resisted for a moment, and then kissed him back, letting Steve push him back, up against the brick of the tavern behind them, let him thrust his hand down the front of his jeans, grope his cock. “I don’t know what’s out there. I don’t. But I know that…that together, it’s better than this. Tell me you don’t feel this, fucking tell me you don’t want this, and I’ll…I’ll let you leave. I’ll go alone, but I’m fucking going, with or without you. I can’t do this anymore, whatever this is, and…” the words were lost again, as they kissed, growing more and more forceful, Kevin trying to force his way into a dominant position, but he felt something else welling up inside him. Not a weakness, though that was the first word that came to mind, He let Steve turn him around, push him up against the wall. Let him tug down his jeans, felt a finger running up and down his crack. He shuddered, knowing what was about to happen, thought about that line he had constructed so carefully between them, how it was crumbling more and more, how everything was becoming so confusing, but so thrilling. Then, Steve was inside him, and Kevin cried out in surprise and joy and ecstasy. He had thought about this, he’d thought about this, and he’d been terrified by how much he wanted it, but now that it was happening, he only wanted him deeper, pushed back harder, and harder still, Steve fucking him, both of them trying to stay quiet, but unable to bring themselves to stop.

For Steve, the world began to fall away, in those next moments. Their families, their jobs, this town–all of the structures that had been holding them apart all of this time just collapsed, and it was just them. Two men, as close to each other’s bodies as they could possibly be, reveling in something animal between them, and Steve could see himself there, that…old him, that young him–not the youth that was part of his story now. Burly, still holding onto that masculine ruggedness that had kept him safe in that small town, even as Kevin had tried to sand off the hard edges and get him to adjust to life in college, to life in the city.

The vision did not come with the sort of revelatory catharsis he craved. He saw himself, the truth of himself…but no longer felt any connection to him. There was grief there–sorrow for the years he had lost, but he found himself surprisingly unenvious of him, of that future. He found himself drawn back to the moment, to the sensation of his cock buried in Kevin’s ass, the smell of his musk, the rough denim under his hands, Kevin urging him on, telling him to get rougher with him, that if…if he thought he was man enough to be on the road with him, he was going to have to prove what kind of rough, raunchy fucker he was willing to become.

Steve came inside him with a moan, feeling his seed pump its way into Kevin’s ass, as Kevin stroked his cock off, spraying his own load all across the side of the building with a shuddering gasp, and then he collapsed against it, Steve clutching him, cock still softening inside his buddy’s hole–and he knew he’d done it. They’d done it. They’d found each other again, themselves again…and somehow, this time, in spite of everything, it felt right. More right than it ever could have when they were those young men, fumbling along.

“Well, guess we’re both faggots now…” Kevin said, chuckling, but with an edge of bitterness all the same. “Wish…fuck, I knew it would feel good, I really fucking did, but I didn’t think it would feel…that fucking good, with you.”

Steve spun him around, and shoved him up against the brick of the building, and gave him a little slap. “Shut up with that faggot shit–we’re not fucking faggots. That’s what they call us. We’re fucking men, and…and fucking hell Kev, I fucking love you. I always fucking loved you.”

Kevin nodded, and turned away so his face was in shadow, to hide the tears he couldn’t seem to stop from streaming down his face. “So…so we just leave then? That’s it?”

“What the fuck else can we do?”

“We could…stay, couldn’t we?” Kevin said, but even he could hear how weak the suggestion was.

“You and I both know that’s a fucking mistake.”

“But Michelle, and the boys–who the fuck is going to look after them? I…I have fucking responsibilities here, and I fucking know you do to. I know! I know, before you say it, that it isn’t important–that…that it isn’t real. But I’m not that kid anymore, Steve. I…fuck, I fucking hate the idea of that kid, you know? Just…freaks me the fuck out, thinking about it. He might not have wanted to be me either, and maybe he should have gotten a choice, but…well, I’m here now, and this matters to me. It should matter to me too.”

“So what, we just fuck in the shadows? Hope no one fucking finds out? I think we both know that’s never going to work Kev.”

“Maybe…maybe we could change it here.”

Steve thought about the sheriff, thought about his rather rapid change of heart. Then he thought about the mayor, about his calmness for the last few weeks, about his hints. He knew he was the real threat. This was Derryville after all–this was his town. It didn’t matter how well executed their rebellion might be, it would be quashed ruthlessly…in ways that Steve probably wouldn’t even be able to imagine. “I wish we could…I do. But we can’t be safe here, and I know you know that. I know you’re braver than this–what the fuck is the matter?”

“M-Michelle is pregnant,” Kevin said.

“Fuck!”

“She just told me this morning, missed her period last week, and Ambrose confirmed it. I…She can’t do it alone.”

Steve sighed. “She can. You know she can. We have to get out of here, I know you know that, and it had to be now. Either we leave together, tomorrow…or we can’t keep doing this.” Steve stood back. “No–either way, I’m leaving. I can’t stay here, not…not after today. I’m leaving tomorrow. Come with me, please…please, I…I can’t make you, but I can’t keep you safe if you don’t come.”

Kevin didn’t say anything, he just turned away from him a bit, further into the shadow. “I have to think about it.”

“Kevin.”

“That’s not a no! I have to fucking think about it–come…come over, and either I’ll go with you, or say goodbye–that’s the best I can give you right now.”

Steve wanted to press him, but worried it might only drive him further away. In any case, he had to get home, and try and pack a bag without Christine or the kids suspecting anything. He gave Kevin a kiss, and then left around the side of the building, got to his squad car and drove off. Kevin stuck around behind the bar for a moment, breathing deep, thought about going back into the bar, decided against it, and headed around after him towards his bike. Neither of them noticed the other car parked a few buildings away down the alley, that had sat there and watched everything that had just transpired. Inside, in the driver’s seat, was Mayor Derry, and beside him, was Sheriff Guthrie, still trying to put himself back together.

“Well, I appreciate you telling me everything, Guthrie,” Derry said, “but I already knew what out two newcommers were getting up to. But your honesty means much, and it means some…leniency, when we discuss punishment.”

“I…I just want him. He did this to me, and he gets to be mine. I don’t care what you do to us otherwise…give him to me.”

“Now now, we’ll see if that sort of punishment seems fitting. I can’t, after all, support sexual degeneracy in my town, if that’s what you’re suggesting.”

“Oh fuck you–you have Jeremiah fucking all of his daughters already! Don’t you fucking talk to me about degeneracy. Just give him to me, that’s all I fucking ask. You fucking owe me–you know you would have never gotten this far without me.”

Derry tsked, but shrugged. “Perhaps. For now though, I think it would be best if we see if we can get our two trouble makers back onto a more righteous path–and if not, well, I will take your request under due consideration. First–I should go fetch your wayward deputy, before he does anything rash.”

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