Missed opportunities with unrequited love force drummer Keith Zander to hit the road on his motorcycle. With each mile ridden he hopes to dull the ache of the truth that his bandmate Nat may never be his. But when Nat and Kurt, the third in their trio and Nat’s lover, track him down with a surprising revelation, will Keith return home or keep running?
(This story features explicit male on male encounters, and multiple partners.)
By set’s end he was wringing wet, and nearly deaf for the crowd and the speakers parked alongside him. He rubbed his sore shoulder, fully aware now of how out of practice he was, not that anybody noticed or cared. The crowd before him of pierced twenty-somethings seemed more enamored with the acrobatic guitarist than the older man tucked in the back.
Limply he rose from the drum set and staggered into the hallway, stopping short of the men’s room. His mouth was dry, his heart pounding in time to his head. He leaned against the cold brick wall and savored the sensation; he felt odd, as though living a recurring dream of being his present age in high school on exam day. Retaining no knowledge, yet somehow managing to pull through at the last minute.
From his hiding place, he noticed the crowd’s enthusiasm for the music diverted piecemeal by new rounds of beer and mild harassment of the band as they quickly packed their things to make way for the next act. He turned away, toward the glow of the exit sign and the back door for fresh air, when a hand grasped the collar of his dress shirt and pulled him back.
Evan’s eyes were red and wild, boring into him with blissful admiration as his free hand pinned a longneck bottle to his chest.
“You fucking killed, bud,” he said breathlessly, and Keith wondered what else he had popped, smoked, or drank between their final bow and this moment. Judging from the crowd, and sniffing the lingering second-hand smoke still wafting in the air, Keith didn’t think it possible to get this stoned so quickly.
He thanked Evan and helped himself to a long pull. The bassist continued to babble. “Jesus Fucking Christ on a stick, when you said you could play, I figured– His gaze drifted to one side, watching invisible words float away before he could capture them.
“Yeah, what can I say? All those lessons paid off finally,” he finished for the boy. Evan stood too close to him again. The temptation to run a hand through Evan’s sweat-soaked hair and guide him in for a kiss”to land that luscious bow-mouth on any part of his body”proved too much for him when accompanied by the cloying heat of the hallway. “I should be getting back…”
“Long ride ahead of me tomorrow. I’d like to get on the road before the rigs do.”
He hadn’t decided yet, and had told nobody when he”d left California and where he planned to go, so he saw no point in saying anything now. Briefly he wondered how long it took for Nat and Kurt to realize that.
“What’s so important that you can’t hang around for a while longer?” Evan asked as a crash of cymbals in the distance signaled an impending musical explosion from the next act. “There’s people out there who wanna talk to you.”
Bullshit. “Who?” If anybody had recognized him tonight, it would have been pointed out much earlier in the set. In the haze of weed and beer-glazed vision, he was just another drummer, one who rocked but probably offered little more than that.
Evan inhaled, then said, more softly, “Me.”
Keith moved forward and Evan stepped back. The neon and track lighting of the club filtered into the hallway spread over the boy’s face so Keith could better sense the desire smoldering in those dark eyes. What did Evan see: a temporary hero to admire until his head cleared and sanity prevailed, or a potential one-night stand deserving of a different brand of worship?
“I hadn’t planned to stay long anyway,” Keith said, rocking back on his heels. He turned away from the light and glanced longingly at the exit. In three steps he could free himself of Evan’s seductive hold, vault onto his bike, and roll to the nearest motel. Yet the slightest brush against his shoulder carried the weight of iron manacles locked to his wrists and ankles.
Those eyes…that face, so much like Nat’s. Evan kept him a prisoner, and the boy damn well knew it. Keith’s cock jerked in response, straining against his jeans zipper.
He offered one final, futile protest. “I do all my writing at night,” he said. “I’m writing a book, and I’d like time to concentrate.”
“Nobody’s gonna want to read a book about a guy who sits in his hotel room and does nothing,” Evan said.
“I’d read it to you. I imagine I’d have to.”
“Hardy har. Why don’t you tell me a story I want to hear?”
The husky tone of the challenge issued caressed Keith’s ears and slid down his chest toward his cock, prickling his skin along the way. If he could last at least the first song now playing, he”d consider that a happy ending.
“You”re on,” he said, and crooked his head toward the men’s room door. Evan winked, he clearly knew the score. Nothing changed at The Clover at all.