Sixteen – Tucker
Six Months Later
Black sand between my toes, the wind in my face, and the tide rolling over my feet.
A typical morning run in paradise. Slowing to rest and catch my breath, I looked down the beach, sweat dripping into my eyes. The sun was peeking thought the palms. A woman in a pink top and white shorts waded out into the surf, her boyfriend/husband filming her playing in the water. Hands on knees, I smiled at the couple. Newlyweds, probably. The islands were packed with people starting new lives. People just like me and Sterling although we were known to our neighbors as Stewart and Tanner Power. Newlyweds in our own rights, we’d moved to the island so that my husband could write – he was an author, obviously, just look at his beard – while I worked on completing my education while taking acting lessons at the local community college.
The kind and friendly people never once questioned us; they welcomed us with warm smiles and warmer tropical winds. There were a few raised eyebrows from the older tourists who flocked here to walk on the volcanic sands when they saw a black man and a white man walking down the beach hand-in-hand. Sterling and I didn’t care about them. We cared about keeping our heads down, his identity hidden behind a closely-cropped beard and his author persona while making sure we didn’t attract attention. His testimony had crippled several of the Bianchi holdings, as well as the Colts. They’d brought in new coaches after the owner had been forced to sell the team to his brother before going to jail. The team was shaken, but it would recover. Not with Sterling at the helm, though. He’d been banned from playing for life, which was totally justified, he felt. Me? Well, I thought that given the fact that the hoods had discovered he was gay and blackmailed him with that knowledge to throw games, he should have been given a pass. But the league, and Sterling, felt differently.
Straightening, I smiled at the duet of native singers arriving to set up for the tourists. The Blue Stork sat off to the left, a massive hotel that employed most of the people who lived in town. Sterling and I went to dinner here quite often. We’d both developed a real taste for saimin, poke, laulau, poi, and lomi-lomi salmon. And shave ice, of course. I padded along, finding an old palm tree by the foamy water’s edge, and waited for Sterling to come back. He’d run ahead of me, as he always did, the show-off, and would return shortly to find me winded and sunburned. Kids raced around in the waves, brown and white, playing without a care in the water.
The yellow of his running shorts grabbed my eye first. Back resting on my chosen tree, I watched him thundering along the shore. Thick thighs, muscled calves, upper body crafted by some Greek god with an eye to male beauty. He’d not gained an ounce now that he wasn’t playing. His physique was the stuff of gay dreams. Massive biceps, eight pack, deeply cut cum gutters…damn, the man was fine, and he was mine. The gold bands on our fingers were real, not just for the fictional story we now lived. We’d gotten married back in D.C., before the government shipped us off to Hawaii with a monthly stipend and a “thanks for the help putting some hoods away”.
Sometimes, when I was missing my boys back at Gems, which I did quite a bit, I’d cuss the Marshal’s for not doing better by us. Then, my privilege kicked in. I’d look at the mansion we lived in five minutes from the most beautiful beach on Oahu, peek at my gorgeous husband spread out beside me in our massive bed, and call myself the worst kind of spoiled brat.
“Hey,” Sterling panted, slowing as he reached me lounging in the shade. His skin was slick with sweat, his shorts stuck to his wet flesh. I could make out the bulge of his cock. “Where’s your shave ice?” he teased as he bounced on one foot to remove his running shoe, before doing the same one-legged dance on the other foot.
“I’ll take it home with me,” I replied, smiling at him as he yanked off his socks, then shoved them into his sneakers.
“Don’t make a lot of sense to jog every day, then eat shave ice after the run. Kind of defeats the purpose.”
I shrugged. He knew me well enough by now to know that running was not my favorite thing to do at the crack of dawn. I’d much rather lay in bed and suck his dick until he howled like the wild parrots that called our island home. Then, go back to sleep, wake up for lunch, go to class, emote, come home, have dinner, and fuck. Oh, and watch some hockey when it was in season. Perfect. Day.
“You coming in?” He asked while scratching at his beard. He wasn’t fond of the facial hair, even though I thought it looked hot as hell. He claimed it itched when he was sweaty. Probably so, but a little itch was better than being spotted by a fan from the states.
“Sure.” With a nod, I freed my feet from sneakers and socks and lost my sweaty shirt. We ran into the ocean full speed, him diving into the waves, me falling to my back to float beside a turtle as it paddled its way out to sea. He came up beside me, linking an arm around my middle, then stealing a salty kiss. “Check out the sky.”
He did, allowing himself to float on the waves, up and down, up and down, the motion the most soothing thing I’d ever encountered, next to Sterling’s thumping heart under my ear at night.
“You seem distant of late,” he said, his fingers toying with the tips of mine as the Pacific played with us, up then down, up then down, up then down.
“Sorry, I’m just…” I closed my eyes on the beautiful blue sky. “It’s my father’s birthday tomorrow. I get weird around the day. Torn, I guess. Like, I can’t figure if I should honor it because he was my father, or ignore it because he beat me up.”
“I understand. My father’s birthday last month affected me the same way,” he confessed. I’d known he was upset when the day came and went. We couldn’t do anything about it, even if he had wanted to, which he didn’t. No contact with anyone from our old lives. That was the rule. And we’d both obeyed that rule. For the most part.
“Yeah, it’s fucked up. Why do I even care, you know?”
“You care because he’s your parent. Same as me. They both treated us terribly, but they’re still our fathers. We’re both severely fucked in the head, baby.”
“Yeah, no kidding.” I snorted as the upset began to leech away. The ocean did that for me. Just like Sterling’s voice or the touch of his hand soothed me. I wished I’d spent more time by the sea, but that hadn’t been a thing for me to even contemplate. I’d been too busy trying to avoid paternal fists or the slap of a shitty pimp. Now, I wasn’t sure if I could live somewhere where the roar of the surf wasn’t part of the sounds of life. Not that we had any plans to move any time soon. We were stupidly happy, for the most part. The new names sucked shit, more for Sterling than me. I’d been Garnet for years; it was the way the Gems guys still addressed me when we spoke. Which we totally didn’t, because it was so against the rules. But yeah, we did. Always from burners, always from different islands, always at different times. I could turn my back on Colchester and Toronto, but not my brothers.
He swam back to shore, then, me beside him. When we walked out of the sea, we dropped to the beach, asses filling with grit, toes on the rolling waves, shoulders tight.
“If you could have lived any life, what life would you have lived?” I asked, sighing dreamily when the surf tumbled over my knees.
“I would have lived the one where I met you sooner.”
Clambering over his legs, I sat on his lap, took his face between my hands, and kissed him all over his handsome, hairy face.
“That’s the life I would have picked, too,” I told him as I gazed into warm brown eyes. “But since we couldn’t pick that one, I’m so glad I chose this one. With you. Here. I love you.”
“I love you too.” He flopped to his back, a smile twisting up his full lips, and yanked me down on top of him, his thighs tight to my hips. “That’s the life I chose, too.”
It was a mostly perfect life for two totally imperfect men.
Next in the Gems world – Diamond
Gems has come a long way under its new management. The modernized business is now one of the Midwest’s most popular and elite gay escort services, and the men of Gems some of the most sought after escorts in the eastern United States. Despite the glamour, cash, and prestige, it can be a lonely life when all you are is a pretty ornament on someone’s arm…
Diamond has lived a life that has forged him into a man as tough as the gem he’s named after. Beautiful and in command, his looks are blinding, his heart padlocked and safely tucked away in a glittery cold lockbox.
Amber has loved Diamond from afar for ages now, but the shy young man is warm, golden honey while the man he loves is cold, clear ice. There’s no way possible for a tender, bouncy puppy to win the heart of a jaded junkyard dog without being bitten …is there?
Coming August 7th