Going Home A Torquere Press Single Shot by Mychael Black “Yeah, Mama, I’ll be there.” Cigarette caught in his lips, Robbie cradled the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he shielded the lighter from the breeze coming in through the window. He tossed the disposable Bic on the coffee table and took a slow drag as quietly as possible. “Robert Sexton! Are you smoking?” Fuck. Obviously not quietly enough. Letting out the smoke on a natural exhale, Robbie did the only thing he could at that moment: he lied. “No, of course not, Mama.” “Well, that’s good. Burying your daddy in a few days because of those wretched things. Can’t have my boys smoking now too.” A Torquere Press Single Shot - 1 .
Robbie groaned quietly. “Yes, Mama. I take it Russ is going to be there.” “Now, Robert. Don’t come down here expecting to make a big fuss with your brother. He’s doin’ good now.” What? Not mooching off of his parents, you mean? That’s what Robbie wanted to ask, but he bit his tongue. No need to get Mama all upset. She had enough going on. Robbie stubbed out his cigarette and got up from the couch. If he was going back home, he’d need to get drunk before doing it. Down there, among birth family, no one knew him. Not the real him, anyway. “I promise,” he said. “I won’t start anything. But I still don’t think it’s right for him to lean on you every time he gets into a bind. I’ll be there in a couple of days.” “Love you, son.” “Love you, too, Mama.” Robbie waited until the line went dead before hanging up. He was so not looking forward to this trip. Trip? Hell, it was more than that and he knew it. His lease was up and there was nothing open in the city for him, work-wise. From big city to backwoods Athens, Alabama. Damn, he was insane. He had to be to agree to move back down South. And to a farm, no less! He knew nothing about raising animals, baling hay, or riding a horse. Even as a kid, he spent most of his time inside, drawing and sketching. Closet or no, he knew quite a few people in his family had the sneaking suspicion that he wasn’t straight. Only one of them, his cousin Danny, knew it was true; and Danny wasn’t far from that sort of family himself, considering he enjoyed both sexes. Robbie set the phone on its base and resumed the arduous task of packing. The worst parts were done already: clothes and books. His computer was still set up and he would pack it last. He’d promised Danny he’d shoot him an email before leaving. Thankfully, the efficiency had come furnished -- a rare treat and he’d been lucky to find it. But now, with no job and his savings quickly dwindling, he was out of luck. He had just enough to make it to Alabama with one stay-over, possibly in Knoxville, and then a bit to spare once he got settled at Mack’s. He thanked God that Mack at least had a cable internet connection. Downloading porn on dial-up was an oxymoron half the time. By six in evening, the bed of the truck was nearly overflowing with boxes and bags. The computer went in the cab beside him and Robbie stared out the windshield at what had been his home for nearly three years. Then he started the truck and backed down the sloping driveway. Ten minutes later, he left the key with his friend’s sister and was soon on his way out of the city. One thing about Baltimore that he had come to realize in three years: a person had to have a healthy amount of insanity to drive in the city. And that was just Baltimore. To drive on the Beltway, you needed experience driving the Autobahn in Germany. Traffic A Torquere Press Single Shot - 2 .
was hell, especially in the middle of rush hour. When it slowed to a standstill, Robbie did what many others had done: he turned off the truck. After an hour and a half, things started moving again. He put up his sketchbook and started the truck. By the time he finally made it out of the DC area, it was almost nine o’clock. He took the first exit with a McDonald’s, grabbed some dinner, and was on his way towards Manassas, Virginia. When he hit 81 South, heading for Roanoke, an odd peace settled over him. It was dark outside, but he knew this drive like the back of his hand. He knew that if the sun was up he would be able to see the mountains and trees surrounding him, seeming to go on forever. Summer was just around the corner and he rolled down his window and took a deep breath as he set the cruise control to sixty. The air outside was crisp and full of pine and earth. The mist hung low and Robbie could smell it -- clean and cool, like the fresh air of the mountains. God, how he missed that. He missed seeing nothing but trees and mountains, instead of cars and skyscrapers. He missed the sound of the wind through pine trees in the middle of winter, when he was huddled in a tent, cozy inside a sleeping bag. He longed to feel the rush of clear mountain water as he waded out into the middle of a mountain creek. Yeah. He might not love farms, but God, he loved the mountains. By the time he neared the outskirts of Roanoke, he was near dead at the wheel. Throwing out the idea of making it to Kingsport even, he found a quiet little hotel just outside of Roanoke. Key in hand fifteen minutes later, he parked the truck in a space right outside his room. He rummaged through the back until he found his leather jacket and then tossed it over the computer in the front seat. Making sure the doors were locked and praying to God the contents in the back would be safe under the tarp, he let himself into his room. He locked the door, kicked off his shoes and collapsed onto the bed. As he rolled onto his back, he tugged his cell phone out of his jeans pocket and clicked through the phone book until he found Danny’s number. Holding the phone between his ear and his right shoulder, he managed to shift and squirm until his jeans were down to his ankles, then he kicked them to the floor. “Robbie?” Robbie grinned. “Hey, man. You get my email?” “Yeah! Where ya at?” Danny asked. “Just outside of Roanoke,” Robbie said, absently rubbing his stomach, hand under his t- shirt. “Was hoping to make it to Knoxville, Kingsport at the least, but there was an hour- and-a-half jam on the Beltway. Got too tired to keep going.” A Torquere Press Single Shot - 3 .
“Cool.” A few seconds passed in silence and Robbie could hear Danny talking to someone else. “Sorry ‘bout that. Russ was wondering where you were.” Robbie almost growled. “Why is he stayin’ with you? He should be at Mama’s, helpin’ her out.” Danny sighed and Robbie heard him moving around. A few minutes later, Danny said quietly, “Because he knows she’s broke. The second thing out of his mouth when he got here was about borrowing some money.” “Goddamn it!” Robbie sat up and grumbled. “He’s a free-loading son of a bitch, Danny. Why’d you let him stay?” “He may be, Robbie,” Danny said, “but he’s still family. Wouldn’t you let him stay with you?” “Hell, no! I’d make the fucker get a hotel room.” “Even if you found out you’re going to be an uncle?” Robbie blinked and nearly dropped the phone. “What?” “Kristy’s pregnant,” Danny sighed. “They found out a few days ago.” Richie groaned and fell backward onto the bed. “Does Mama know?” “Not yet. I told Russ to keep his mouth shut for now. Last thing Aunt Susan needs is to find out her twenty-year-old son is going to be a daddy.” “Yeah,” Robbie muttered. “No shit.” He looked at his watch and sighed. “I need to get to sleep. Gonna head out around six, so I’ll get to your dad’s around three in the afternoon.” “Okay. Be careful tomorrow and we’ll see you then. Need to get the kids in bed. We let them stay up late.” “See you tomorrow,” Robbie laughed. He pressed the ‘end’ button and closed his cell phone before setting it on the table beside the bed. Then he set the alarm clock for five and settled under the covers. At least the worst of the drive was over. The best part was yet to come. * * * Five definitely came entirely too fucking early. Reaching up, Robbie pounded the table several times before he actually found the alarm clock. He smashed the snooze button and burrowed further into the covers, reluctant to move at all. He was looking forward to seeing Mama and to the drive itself. What he was not looking forward to was seeing A Torquere Press Single Shot - 4 .
Russ. Ten years separated them in age and the gap was as expansive as the Mississippi River was wide. At twenty years old, Russ was still a kid. He couldn’t hold a job longer than two months and he was constantly hitting others up for money. Robbie had learned the hard way not to loan Russ a dime. And now Kristy was pregnant? Robbie rolled over onto his back and stared up at the ceiling, wondering just what the hell the woman saw in Russ to begin with. After three years of dating, surely she knew what Russ was really like. With a sigh, Robbie flung the covers off and got up. He slipped on his jeans and opened the door. For several minutes, he just stood in the doorway, eyed closed, breathing in the cool morning air of the mountains. Nothing in the world could begin to compare with it. When he opened his eyes, he felt more refreshed than he would have if he had taken a shower. Well, almost. He still needed a shower. He shifted through the back of the truck, feeling under the tarp for his duffel bag. When he found it, he pulled it out and went back into the room for that much-needed shower. He stripped on the way to the bathroom, tossing his clothes onto the bed beside his bag. Once the water in the shower was right, he stepped in, pulling the curtain closed. He sank against the shower wall, letting the warm water rain down on him, washing away the stress. As he washed, other parts of him began to wake up. It had been entirely too long since he’d even jerked off. Wrapping a hand around his filling prick, Robbie closed his eyes and thought of the farmhands he knew he’d find on Mack’s farm. He’d seen quite a few of them before -- hard, tanned bodies glistening as they worked, smelling like sun and sweat and male. A soft groan escaped Robbie’s lips and his strokes sped up. Tight jeans wrapped around muscular thighs, forming around asses made for licking and fucking. Cocks hard and leaking, just begging for a tongue to catch those sweet drops. Before long, Robbie was coming, hips thrusting as he rode out his orgasm, gasping for breath. His heart thundered in his chest as he stepped under the warm spray, letting it rinse the semen from his cock and hand. Clean and sated, he turned off the water and stepped out, grabbing a towel from the bar over the toilet. He’d needed that, needed the release as much as the shower. Back on the road, he simply enjoyed the drive, taking in the sweet air as it blew through the cab of the truck; fuck the air conditioning. Out here, with the mountain mist so close that he felt like he could touch it, Robbie was all for nature’s idea of air conditioning. He breezed on down the highway, flipping through endless channels on the radio, most of them belting out country or gospel. He could handle the country -- a little Garth or Reba never hurt anyone -- but he could do without the gospel. He’d grown up on the stuff and was pretty much sick of it. The drive was generally quiet, with a few stops for a drink or to pee, but then he was back on the road, actually itching to get home. No matter where he went, Alabama was A Torquere Press Single Shot - 5 .
always home, it seemed. Back where his family was, back with Mama -- whether they knew anything about him or no. He couldn’t really deny them and despite his bitching about them on occasion, he loved them. Then there was Dad. It was the first time Robbie had allowed himself to even think about why he was going home in the first place. He remembered the call he’d gotten from Mama; he’d never be able to forget it. Although the numbness had worn off, the ache was still there. He’d never been close to Dad, but Lord, he certainly had never wished the man into his grave. But just like all the others, Dad had had no clue about him, no idea that his ‘favorite son’ was a queer, as Dad had so kindly referred to others in the past. When most others would’ve felt sorrow, Robbie only felt numb. He was going home to start over, not to mourn the loss of a man he really hadn’t known. He was going for Mama. By 2:30 in the afternoon, he was turning down the old country lane that led to Four Quarters, Mack Sexton’s farm. Robbie had no idea how many acres Mack really had, but he knew it was more than he’d ever seen. He’d only been on the farm a few times as a kid, and even then, he’d spent more time messing around with one of Danny’s friends behind the tractor barn than anything else. God, those were the days. “Holy shit,” Robbie hissed under his breath as the farmhouse came into view. He knew there would be a ton of people here, but damn, he hadn’t expected them all so early; maybe after the funeral, but certainly not before. Before he even made it all the way up the long driveway, he spotted Mama running across the wrap-around porch. He smiled and parked the truck, leaving plenty of room for others to get back out. As soon as he got out, Mama threw her arms around his neck, kissing his neck and checking him over. “My Lord! Your hair!” Mama grimaced and fussed, tugging the ponytail loose. Chestnut brown hair fell over Robbie’s shoulders and Mama damn near passed out. “Please tell me you’re goin’ to get that cut.” “No,” Robbie laughed, pulling back a bit to make sure there were no scissors in her hands. “I like it long, Mama.” Mama put her hands on her hips, but smiled anyway. “Yes, well… We’ll talk about that later. Right now? Let’s get you inside and fed.” Robbie let her pull him across the yard and into the enormous farmhouse that was now his home. God Almighty! He hadn’t been in here since.well, since he was a kid. He looked around, wondering if things were the same as they had been back then, or if he was remembering things wrong altogether. Several of the farmhands milled about inside, some eating, some drinking from cans of Coke, and others just chatting. Mack always was easy on the hired help. A Torquere Press Single Shot - 6 .
“Make way, boys!” Mama shouted with a laugh as she dragged Robbie -- red face and all -- through the throng of bodies. Hard bodies. Wrapped in denim so tight, it was indecent, bordering on illegal, Robbie was sure. Skin tanned to golden brown. Oh, Lord above. He could get into so much trouble right now.if his left hand wasn’t held by a tight, motherly grip. Fuck. He waited till they were in the kitchen, then he turned away from Mama, pretending to fiddle with something on the counter, and adjusted himself in his jeans. “Now, Robbie baby,” Mama said, thrusting a doubled paper plate at him when he turned around. “We’ve got potato salad, baked beans, cornbread. Oh! And Melissa -- you know, Danny’s wife? -- sent some heavenly sweet potato casserole.” Before Robbie could even open his mouth, Mama had a little bit of everything on his plate. He had to hold it with both hands then, just waiting for the bottom to fall out. Baked beans were murder on paper plates, doubled or not. He sighed and just let Mama have her way filling his plate. Nine-tenths of the stuff he probably wouldn’t even touch. At least there was fried chicken. Now that had his mouth watering. kind of like that tall, golden-skinned sun god staring at him from across the expanse of the den. My God. Just then, Robbie would have dropped everything just for a single taste of that sun-kissed body. “Robert Sexton!” Robbie shook his head quickly, warmth creeping up his neck and cheeks when he realized the sun god in a cowboy hat was laughing at him. “What?” Robbie asked, turning back to Mama. “I was askin’ you what you wanted to drink, baby,” Mama said. She leaned to the side and peered into the den. Robbie was actually grateful the cowboy had moved. When Mama looked back to him, her face wrinkled with concern. “You feeling okay, Robert? You’re lookin’ feverish.” “I’m fine,” Robbie choked out, trying desperately to will away the terminal hard-on trying to make itself prominent. He wasn’t huge enough for it to be glaringly obvious, but he was nowhere near small. “Just tired from the drive, I s’pose.” Mama seemed to take that well enough. “Well, you just eat and relax, baby. There’s plenty of room in the den if you push some of the boys out of the way.” Oh. No way in Hell was he going to eat inside. Not food at any rate. A Torquere Press Single Shot - 7 .
“Thanks, Mama,” Robbie said, “but I think I’ll find a spot outside. Less crowded.” Mama nodded and handed him a cold can of Coke. Plate balanced precariously on one palm and a Coke in the other hand, Robbie slipped out the screen door in the kitchen and into the backyard. He found a nice quiet spot against the trunk of an ancient-looking oak and settled back as he ate his lunch. He could hear kids screaming and laughing around the front and a few minutes later, he was fending off four sticky hands. His attackers gave him just enough time to set his plate and Coke down, and then they were on him full-force, small bodies taking him down in a pile of limbs and giggles. And fur? “Oh, man!” Robbie swatted the dog away, getting a tongue bath from the elbow up for his efforts. When he looked over, two pairs of crystal blues eyes met his own pale blue ones: Julia and Taylor -- Danny and Melissa’s rugrats. Robbie was more an uncle than a cousin to them. “When’d ya get in?” eleven-year-old Taylor asked, dropping down by Robbie’s head to pet Rocks, their Lab who thought he was a Chihuahua. “’Bout twenty minutes ago.” Robbie sat up and dragged Taylor’s five-year-old sister Julia into a hug. “Where’s your daddy?” “Still inside,” Taylor said as he stole a bite off a chicken leg. “Tryin’ to keep Mama off the cowboys.” Robbie bit his tongue as another shadow darkened the immediate area. “Why don’t you two go get somethin’ to eat,” he said. As soon as the kids left, Danny sat down beside him. “Scopin’ out the cowboys, huh?” Danny chuckled. “Can ya blame me?” Thinking about the sun god in a Stetson, Robbie shook his head. “Hell, no.” “You see the cowboy in the black hat?” Danny grinned at him. “You fuckin’ kidding? I damn near drooled in front of Mama,” Robbie laughed. “He’s family,” Danny said. There was more than a hint in his tone. Robbie just stared at him. “He is! Met him ‘bout three weeks ago in Huntsville. They got a new bar over there. Met him and kinda chummed it up for a while. He was new in town, from Houston, and lookin’ for work. Told him about Dad’s farm and, well, here he is.” “Fuck me,” Robbie groaned. “Oh, fuck me runnin’. How the Hell am I s’posed to work around the man and not stare until my eyes are bulgin’ out?” A Torquere Press Single Shot - 8 .
Danny broke into a fit of laughter, clapping a hand to Robbie’s shoulder. “That’s your problem, cuz. He’s already caught sight of you, I think.” Robbie rolled his eyes and fell backward onto the ground. “This should be interesting.” * * * “Wow. Very nice. You an artist?” The Southern drawl pulled Robbie’s attention from the sketchbook on his lap to the tall, tanned body standing in front of him. If he looked straight ahead, his line of sight was dead level with the man’s crotch, and even through a layer of faded denim, it was obvious the man was packin’. Gaze continuing upward, Robbie drank in the sweat-slick skin, stretched taut over chiseled muscles and tanned to a soft golden brown. A light dusting of pale brown hair -- bleached gold by the sun -- began at the man’s chest and drew a path down his sun-kissed torso, only to disappear beneath his jeans. His shoulders were broad and the sleeves of his thin, blue plaid shirt were rolled up, tight around hard biceps. A black cowboy hat sat on his head, cocked forward just enough to hide his face. As Robbie stood, the man tipped the hat back, taking Robbie’s breath away. Eyes greener than the new spring grass reflected the man’s easy smile. The slightest hint of a five o’clock shadow gave him a ruggedly sexy look. Not that he needed the help. “Name’s Seth Ellis,” the sun god said, extending a hand downward. Regaining his composure, Robbie stood and brushed the grass off of his right hand before shaking Seth’s. “Robbie Sexton.” Recognition set in Seth’s eyes then. “Oh, man. Your dad?” Robbie nodded. “Yeah. We knew it was comin’. Was just a matter of time.” “Sorry about that,” Seth said. “Thanks.” As Seth released his hand, Robbie noticed it was done with a bit of hesitation. Oh. Now that was promising. “I was just going to grab a beer. You wanna join me?” Please say yes. Please, oh, please say yes! “Sure,” Seth said, grin wide and, if Robbie dared to hope, full of ulterior motives. Robbie snuck around the porch and into the front yard, snagging two beer bottles from one of the big coolers and making it away without being seen. Hell, yes! The day was looking up! He returned to Seth and handed him one of the bottles. A Torquere Press Single Shot - 9 .
“Follow me,” he said. “I know some of the best places around here where a man can find some peace.” “Of what?” Seth chuckled before taking a long drink. Robbie glanced over at him. “If the right person’s offering…” He left the rest unsaid, waiting to see if Seth took the bait. A smile played across Seth’s lips just before they oh- so-slowly wrapped to the mouth of the beer bottle. “So,” Seth said, “is he offering?” He flashed Robbie a wicked grin from behind the bottle, followed by a quick wink. Robbie’s throat went dry as cotton as he stared at Seth, or rather Seth’s tongue as it did obscene things to the beer bottle. Oh. Hell. Clearing his throat, Robbie remembered how to do something other than stare. “This way,” he said quickly. He forced himself to walk when he wanted to run. Just as they rounded the corner of the combine barn, a strong hand gripped his arm. Within seconds, Robbie was captive, body caught between the hard metal building and an equally hard cowboy. Hips rocking, Seth ground against him, tongue threatening to choke him. The cowboy tasted like beer and sun and male, mouth blazing hot, breath almost scorching as the kiss moved from Robbie’s mouth to his throat. “Oh, fuck,” Robbie breathed. His head swam as long fingers found the button of his jeans, popping them open. Then those fingers were inside, slipping into his underwear, tips brushing to the head of his prick. Robbie gasped and held on, arms draped over Seth’s shoulders. “So hot,” Seth murmured, moving back up to take Robbie’s mouth in another searing kiss. God, this man was unbelievable. Too fucking good to be real, Robbie thought. Too fucking… Oh, God. Thumb stroking over his slit, Seth had Robbie melting against him. Don’t stop, Robbie tried to say, but nothing came out. He shook his head quickly, heart pounding as he thrust into the fist closing around his cock. Robbie’s legs shook and heat slid up his spine as Seth almost growled into his mouth. Feeding the cowboy moans and gasps, Robbie jerked hard, heat spilling over Seth’s fingers. He was too fucking dazed to even feel embarrassed. As his brain started to clear, Robbie was acutely aware of hardness pressing against his thigh. Seth was staring down at him, green eyes full of lust-fueled fire, pink tongue sliding across kiss-swollen lips. When he looked down, he saw the outline of the cowboy’s cock through his jeans. If he looked hard enough, Robbie imagined he could A Torquere Press Single Shot - 10 .