An Autumnal Homecoming Ch. 01
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It had been eight years since I left my hometown. I left at eighteen for college and stayed away. I’d often thought of going back, but something kept me away. I missed the narrow streets and the whitewashed storefronts and the sound of the ocean lapping on the pale sand, but there were other things I didn’t miss.
I’d traveled far, across the ocean, to England, and I thought I’d stay there forever, but then a lot happened. I lost my job and my partner left me, and I suddenly found myself homeless in a foreign country. Defeated and alone, I booked a flight back to New York and then took a train into that sleepy seaside Connecticut town I used to call home.
Not much had changed. The streets felt familiar – a few new businesses here and there, a few old ones missing, fresh coats of paint on the streetlights, but by and large it was just as I remembered it. It was odd to think that I’d only been gone for eight years – it felt like a lifetime.
I walked from the train station, rolling my only suitcase. Most of my things were locked up in a storage unit in the London suburbs – I wondered if I’d ever be coming back for them.
Reaching the end of the main street, I faced it. A long building, two stories high, made of ruddy red brick with big bay windows and an old-fashioned white door with a little bell over it. A faded sign reading “The Mariner.” My family business.
I stepped into the dusty, dimly lit interior. Rows of bookshelves stretched from floor to ceiling, narrow passages weaving between them. On my left was the front desk, unmanned at the moment, but the sound of the bell had alerted someone. I heard the shuffle of feet.
My sister Laura appeared out of the labyrinthine shelves and stood awkwardly a few feet away. She was a tall, big-boned woman, five years older than me, with long brown hair and a pretty oval face. Her big dark eyes had a strange elegiac quality to them.
I stepped forward. “Hello, Laura.”
I leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek; she patted my forearm with a nervous hand. She looked uncomfortable until I backed away.
“I thought you were coming on the 3:15,” she said.
“I caught an earlier train.” I tried for a smile, but Laura didn’t smile back. She rarely did.
* * *
Our father had died when I was sixteen, and since then my mother and Laura ran the family bookshop together. Last year, my mother had retired and moved in with her sister in California, leaving Laura to manage the place on her own. I hadn’t realized how much of a strain it was on her. Laura had lost weight and looked haggard and drawn.
Laura spent the next few days giving me a crash course in what my duties would be. I would be doing much of the day-to-day work involved in running the store, manning the register, doing whatever grunt work was necessary. It was clear that Laura was not ready to trust me with anything higher, and I respected that. It had hurt her, the way I had left for years, and it would take a long time to win back her trust.
So I spent my first week at home getting used to the work – not so different than what I’d been doing in England, where I’d been the assistant manager of a small but successful art gallery. The basic principles of the work were the same, and I found myself getting used to it quickly.
Laura still lived in the old family house, even though it was far too big for her. I don’t know whether she had expected me to move in with her, but I made it clear that I’d only be staying until balıkesir escort I could find somewhere to stay. By the end of that week, I’d found a small loft in a converted factory on the edge of town, a handsome place with uncovered brick walls and gleaming hardwood floors. The kitchen and bathroom were the size of postage stamps, but it was good enough for me.
I also had the use of my mother’s car, an ancient bottle-green Ford Focus, of which I was grateful because the deposit on the apartment had eaten up the very last of my savings. I would be living from paycheck to paycheck for a good while.
I didn’t reach out to my old friends. Most of them, Laura told me, had moved away, like I had, and I didn’t particularly want to reconnect with my past, anyway. I was looking forwards, not backwards.
* * *
My second Tuesday back home was a terrible day. Laura had gone out of town to look at estate sales, and one of our cashiers had called in sick. It was just me and Cassandra, a timid high-school girl, and the day was unusually busy. I spent the day terribly harried, and the worst came near closing time.
A thin, red-faced man had stood in line for close to fifteen minutes, glaring at his watch, tapping his foot, and when he came to the register, he asked for a book he’d asked someone to put on hold for him. I looked for it, but it wasn’t there – somebody must have sold it to someone else by accident. I was about to start placating the man when he exploded.
“This is fucking bullshit! What the hell kind of a business do you think you’re running? Who do you think you are?” His voice boomed.
“Sir, we’re very sorry, but accidents do happen and we’ll be happy to order a new copy for you…” I began, but he cut me off.
“Fuck that! I’ll get it somewhere else.” He walked out, slamming the door.
Cassandra burst into tears and ran out into the back room. I sighed.
“Next, please,” I called – there were still a handful people left in the line.
I gave the briefest of glances to the next customer and rang up his purchases, two Toni Morrison novels.
“Hey, I’m sorry about that guy. What a dick.” His long, slim fingers seemed to linger on mine as he passed me his credit card.
I shrugged. “Occupational hazard,” I said. I was too tired and irritable to even manage a smile.
“How about I make it up to you? Let me buy you a drink when you get off.”
I stared at him. He was young, younger than I realized at first, maybe no older than twenty or twenty-one. Tall, slender, with floppy auburn hair, nice plump lips, and nicer green-grey eyes. He was smiling, and the smile was nice, too.
I wasn’t in the mood for a drink, and he was too young for me, probably still in college, and – and –
“I get off at eight,” I said, sneaking a look at the clock. It was twenty past seven.
“I’ll meet you at the Blue Cat,” he said, naming a low-key bar down the road that sometimes had jazz musicians and, thankfully, never had karaoke.
This time, I did manage a smile. “All right. Thanks.” He grinned at me, and was gone.
* * *
“I’m Max. Max Redman.”
We clinked glasses, his beer and mine wine (white). On a weeknight, the bar was only about half-full, and we were sitting in a quiet corner.
I’d been half-afraid he wouldn’t be there, and felt stupidly relieved when he was. He was wearing a leather jacket over a thin blue sweater and skinny jeans, Converse balıkesir escort bayan high-tops on his long feet. I was reminded again that he was a good four or five years younger than me. Still, if he was at the Blue Cat having a beer, he was definitely over 21 – I knew the bartender and he didn’t fall for fake IDs, as my friends and I had learned when we were in high school.
Something in me said that this meeting was a bad idea, but I couldn’t help it – I was enjoying myself. Max spoke in a pleasant, airy tenor.
“I graduated in May, and over the summer I did an internship at a graphic design studio, and since then I’ve been doing some freelancing and working at a coffee shop – the usual.” He shrugged self-deprecatingly and smiled again. “What about you?”
“Oh, you know. The usual, too.” I smiled back.
* * *
We spent a good two and a half hours at the Blue Cat (having switched from beer and wine to Coke and orange juice, since we both had to drive home). Afterwards, we walked down the street to the municipal parking lot where Max’s car was. It was a fine clear night, cool and breezy, the gulls shrieking overhead.
“I know I’m a cliché, the artist working at the coffee shop,” Max was saying. “But I don’t want to get some boring desk job. I want to do something I care about.”
I smiled to myself at how young he sounded. This shouldn’t go any further, I decided.
We reached his car. I knew this was the time to let him go gently, but I lingered.
He put a hand on the nape of my neck, the touch sending a current of electricity down my spine, and pulled me in close, kissing me hard on the lips. I felt the sweetness of the orange juice on his tongue.
I responded to the kiss – I’m only human, after all. I put a hand on the small of his back and leaned forward.
Finally, we drew back.
“Your place or mine?” Max asked, then giggled. He giggled!
Somehow either prospect felt too intimate. I had to let it go, forget about it – it was only a recipe for disaster.
“I have another idea.”
* * *
As I fumbled with the keys of the shop’s service entry, I felt Max’s lips on my neck, his hands slipping beneath my sweater and stroking my belly.
When we made it inside, I barely had time to close the door behind us.
Max was kissing me hard, deftly undoing my belt and pushing my jeans and underwear down my thighs. Running one hand through my hair, he jacked my cock off with the other. I leaned my head back and moaned softly. It had been so long since I’d been with anyone.
Max pulled my sweater up, exposing my chest, and began to kiss it, biting gently down on one nipple, then making his way lower and lower until he was kneeling on the floor, his face level with my cock.
He stroked it slowly, smoothly, looking up at me, his gentle face flushed with lust. With his free hand, he fondled my balls. I stumbled backwards, losing my footing, and having to lean against the wall.
He kissed the tip of my cock, and then opened his mouth and slid it in. With those beautiful eyes half-closed, he took more and more in, and as I felt the velvety wetness enveloping my cock, I let out a deep sigh.
He began to suck more hungrily, moving his head up and down the shaft, tugging gently at the balls with one hand, stroking my inner thigh with the other.
I ran my hand through his thick soft hair and began to slightly move my hips in rhythm with his sucking. He began to escort balıkesir go down deeper and deeper, and when I felt the climax approach, I held onto his head and pulled my cock out of his lips. He looked up at me with mock reproach, and I pulled him up to kiss him again.
Without breaking the kiss we moved out of the narrow hall into the staff break-room, where an old sofa was slowly sinking to the ground. I pushed Max onto it. Kneeling on the floor in front of him, I undid his belt, and tugged his jeans and briefs down, his big pink uncut cock springing free and slapping against his taut stomach.
I grabbed his dick at the base with one hand and went down, taking as much of it in one go as I could. Max gasped and threw his head back, his Adam’s apple jutting out.
His cock filled my mouth and it felt incredible – I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed this. I sucked it greedily, taking it deep within my throat, feeling its warmth and fullness and the salty taste of the precum. With my hands I tugged at his balls.
Then Max wriggled one slim leg, covered in fine brown hair, out of his jeans and sneakers and put it up on the sofa, giving me perfect access to his asshole.
Still sucking his cock, I began to circle his hole with my thumb. Max started to whimper softly. Finally I slipped his cock out of my mouth and transferred full attention to the hole. I spat liberally on my fingers and began to massage it with my fore and middle fingers, then started to insert my forefinger slightly into Max’s hole.
I stroked his cock at a leisurely pace and began to fuck him with my finger. He writhed on the sofa, buckling his hips, eyes closed, moaning. He pushed himself onto my finger.
“Please, Brendan, fuck me,” he whispered.
“I don’t have a condom, babe,” I said.
Max pointed to the messenger bag that had fallen to the floor in the doorway of the break-room. I dove into it and quickly found not only a packet of condoms and a small bottle of lube. I grinned to myself. Not such an innocent, then.
I poured some lube onto my hand and massaged his hole. Then I pulled the condom onto my painfully hard cock and squirted some lube onto the head.
Max and I were still wearing our sweaters, and our pants were bunched up around our ankles. The sofa was low enough to the floor that, if I knelt down in front of it and Max lay with his ass on the edge of the seat, I could fuck him comfortably. Which I proceeded to do.
I slid my cock into his ass slowly, as deep as it would go, then slid out. I fucked him slowly at first, jacking his rock-hard cock with one hand, slipping another under the soft wool of his sweater and playing with his nipples. Max bit down on his lip and made little whimpering noises.
I started to fuck him faster, slamming into him rhythmically, jacking his cock faster too, my balls slapping against his ass. He put his hands on the back my neck and drew me in for another lingering kiss. As I fucked him harder and harder, he nibbled my lower lip, and stroked my cheek with his hand. It was the tenderness of his touch that did it.
“Oh, Max!” I breathed heavily, gasped, and crashed into him as I climaxed. My body sang, feeling weightless, as the pleasure washed over me. It took me a good minute or two to gather my bearings after that.
I fell onto the sofa next to Max, slipping the condom off my cock and dropping it onto the floor, and he kissed me again. I jacked him off gently for a while as we kissed, then faster and faster until he was thrusting his hips forward, moaning again. Finally he closed his eyes and tensed, and then came all over his chest, silvery jizz hitting him on the belly and higher up, staining his lovely sweater.
“Oh, um, sorry about that,” I said.
Max laughed breathlessly. His chest rose and fall as he took ragged breaths.
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