This is the day after the prior scene. Trek has learned Commando must be quarantined because he bit the car thief and Dan has offered Trek a room so Commando can have a yard to run in.
“My place wouldn’t know a decorator if he knocked down the door,” Dan said. He gave a self-depreciating chuckle. “You’re welcome to come in and hang out for a while anyway. I’ve got some beer in the fridge and some tequila. Probably could even scrounge up a lemon or two for a basic margarita. Let Commando check the place out, too.”
Dan waited, trying not to fidget as Trek seemed to consider the idea. Finally the other man nodded. “Sure. Why not? We can plan what we’ll do tomorrow.” He jumped out, snapping his fingers at Commando, who followed him without hesitation. They both trailed Dan through a gate at the rear of the carport and into the back yard. The east-facing patio, well shaded by a couple of mulberry trees, felt cool and pleasant. Trek chose one chair and dropped into it. “Hey, this is nice. I bet you live out here in good weather.”
“I do,” Dan admitted. “What’s your pleasure, a Bud Lite, a Dos Equis or a glass, a lemon and some Jose Cuervo?”
“You forgot salt, but I think I’ll start with a beer. Cold double ex sounds good right now.”
Dan grabbed two brown bottles from the fridge and headed back outside. He slid one across the glass topped round table toward Trek as he sank into one of the padded chairs. He felt both pleasantly tired and keyed up. Having company was a novelty, since his buddies on the AJPD hardly counted. They were somewhere between family and maybe kissin’ cousins as his southern relatives would say. Not quite kin but next thing to.
This was different. Trek was different. In fact he was about as different as anybody Dan had ever encountered. Just looking at the guy while pretending not to had Dan as hard as a night stick. He shifted in his chair to take some of the pressure off as his cock strained against the fly of his Levi’s. He took several quick, deep swallows of his beer. Man, I gotta cool off here. Even if I’m sure he’s gay, too, that doesn’t mean I turn him on at all.
He emptied the bottle much too fast. Trek had barely lowered the frosty line on his. Scrambling for something to start a conversation, Dan asked the first question he thought of—well, the first innocuous one.
“How did you get to be a travel writer? It doesn’t quite sound like something you might have wanted to do ever since you were in second grade.”
Trek laughed. “Hardly. I kind of fell into it after I got out of school. I’d majored in artsy fartsy stuff, but I didn’t want to teach, for sure. I wasn’t all that talented after all, either.” He laughed again, this time a kind of rueful chuckle.
“Then as graduation drew close, it hit me: damn, what was I going to do for a living? I like to wander around and I enjoy photography, really more than any other form of art. I figured maybe I could make something work with my two main interests. To start, I went to a couple of places close to home, the kind you never visit when you live there, you know. I took pictures and wrote them up and sent two features in to the main newspaper in Memphis. Damned if they didn’t grab them right away. Then a sub-honcho of Road Trip contacted me to jazz them up some and send them to his mag. Next thing I knew, I was goin’ down the road visiting places.”
He took a couple more pulls off his beer. “I bet you always wanted to be a cop, right? Probably some others in your family were in law enforcement.”
“Not really,” Dan admitted. My grandpa and my dad had been in the military and when my big brother went in, I knew I’d be next. Somehow I wound up in the MPs—that’s military police. I think it’s where they put the fuck ups who don’t handle tech stuff real well, but are a little too smart to be grunts—that’s the guys who carry a rifle and make good cannon fodder.
“I didn’t make rank fast enough so as they started the last cutbacks, I was out of a job. With that experience though, and being a vet, I decided to use it if I could. I’d gotten out at Fort Bliss, down in El Paso, and I really didn’t want to go back to Kansas so I applied in west Texas and New Mexico. Wound up here. Could have done worse, I reckon.”
“If you’re doing what you like, that’s good.” Trek gazed off into the distance after he shared that. His far-away gaze told Dan the other man looked at a memory, not the block wall that enclosed his back yard.
“I didn’t figure you for a country boy like I was. Did you grow up in Tennessee?”
Trek snapped his gaze back to Dan. “Yes and no,” he said. “My old man was in the military so we moved often when I was little. When Mom split from him, she took me back to her family’s home. I was a lonely only since she never hooked up again.”
Dan nodded, glanced over to see Trek’s beer was now gone too. He jumped up. His prick, when he met Trek’s keen and knowing stare, did too. Well, fuck it! “You want another beer?”
“Sure, if you do, but why don’t you chill? You’re as jumpy as a three legged cat in the litter box.”
The remark made Dan laugh, hard-on or not. “That’s gotta be an old Tennessee hill country phrase! Yeah, I guess I am a little antsy. Not used to company, especially company like you.”
“What’s so special about me?”
Dan felt the blush heat his face and hoped his tan would conceal most of it. “I—err–you turn me on like a radio!” He hadn’t meant to blurt it out so directly but the words emerged anyway.
“Well, hell, we can fix that easily enough! Where do you want to start?”