Tales from Bentonville
By David Lee
Copyright © 2005, 2016
Copyright © 2005, 2016
John Tracewell spent Thanksgiving Day in the hospital. He could have been discharged, but he wasn't quite well enough on Wednesday and there was little activity at the facility on Thursday. At least he didn't spend it alone. His parents had gone out with friends for dinner and had invited Dan to go along, but he had declined. Darrin was driving him to Iowa City to see John.
Neither of his parents could understand why he chose to be with that loser, but they were not unhappy to have the chance to party with friends and not be saddled with an under-age tag-along.
Darrin arrived earlier than he had to for the 30-minute drive. Dan was pleased because it got him out of the house more quickly.
"Darrin, I don't know why you're so nice to me and John," Dan stated shaking his head.
"Why not?" Darrin questioned.
"Well, we weren't exactly model citizens and we harassed Jerry a lot. I'm really ashamed of what we did. If I were older, they would probably get me for sexual harassment."
Then, he realized that he had said something that he shouldn't since John was actually over 18.
"Look, Dan, if Jerry has a big enough heart to forgive you then it's none of my business. Besides, if John loves Jazz, he can't be all bad!"
Dan was quiet for a while, but he seemed to need to talk. Pretty soon he was telling Darrin more than he had intended to - even about his childhood and enough about the abuse to give Darrin a pretty good idea of what had transpired.
"The man molested you?" Darrin asked pointblank.
Dan nodded, not trusting his voice if he spoke.
"Shit! Did he do that to John too?"
Again, the motion of Dan's head said what his tongue could not.
"Oh, God, that poor boy."
Dan was unaccustomed to anyone's speaking of his brother in that way. Most people only saw the bristly exterior instead of the softer interior. He swallowed the lump in his throat as best as he could.
The pair made it to the hospital long before dinner was to be served. They checked the cafeteria before going up to John's room and were delighted to find that turkey and dressing were on the menu for the day. They decided to visit with John until his meal was delivered and then get their dinners to take up to his room.
John was feeling pretty good physically considering what he had been through. Emotionally, he wasn't doing as well. He was obviously apprehensive about what would happen when Sheriff Larkin came to pick him up the following day. Dan had brought him clean clothes and some money. John was wondering if he should take off somewhere. But where would he go. He would have to face up to his responsibilities sometime.
"Darrin, can I ask a personal question?" John said.
"Sure, if it's too personal, I have the right not to answer," Darrin grinned.
"Don't you have someplace to go instead of hanging with a couple of losers on Thanksgiving Day?"
"Well, Miss Charlotte would have had me over for dinner if we hadn't felt like I should be here instead. I have no close family since my parents and my younger brother died in a small plane crash a couple of years ago. Lottie has been like a grandmother to me in recent weeks. I feel better than I have in a long time. It's ironic, but I would never have gotten that close to her if it hadn't been for the accident when you hit Jerry."
"Wow, you're all alone - kinda like we are." Dan interjected.
"But you still haven't said why you would waste your time with us," John continued.
"I don't consider being with you guys a waste of time. Both of you have things in common with me. You and I share the same taste in music. Dan likes basketball. I feel like Dan is my little bro and I'd like to feel that way about you too if it doesn't offend you. Dan and I were shooting some hoops at the rec. center the other night. It was almost like we were family. By the way, he whipped my butt."
John tried to let Darrin know that he wouldn't mind being thought of like a brother and was pleased that Dan had someone to do things with while he was laid up.
John was really having a "down" day. He couldn't see how anyone could like him in his present condition. He was a bully. He was ugly. And, he was a loser. He had little sense of self-worth so he had to keep up a tough exterior to hold himself together. Lately the façade was getting harder to maintain. All of these fucking do-gooders were getting to him. He must be getting soft. Darrin was really pretty cool though.
Toward evening, Darrin and Dan left for Bentonville again. On the way home, Darrin treated Dan to a fast-food meal at Steak and Shake in Cosgrove. Dan wanted to pay, but Darrin wouldn't let him.
When they got to Dan's house, no one was home. Darrin hated to leave the kid all by himself, but he had to get to bed because he was on duty early in the morning. At the door, Dan hugged his friend tightly.
"Thanks! You ARE like a big brother and I appreciate it. I know John does too. He just can't say it as easily as I can. He's depressed about what's gonna happen tomorrow. He's afraid to let down his guard, I think."
"You are very welcome. It was my pleasure to be with you guys. And I think You're right about John. He's afraid to feel. He's afraid he'll get hurt."
After Darrin and Dan had left, John channel-surfed for a while. Finding nothing that interested him, his thought turned elsewhere. He was feeling very horny. He couldn't figure out why. Did it have anything to do with a rise in testosterone from watching football? Was it because of being worried about tomorrow? Or did it have to do with having a couple of guys in his room all afternoon? He didn't feel a sexual attraction for his brother, and surely Darrin would never want to do anything nasty like suck John's cock. But that was the image that began to play in John's mind no matter how he tried to block it.
So as not to be discovered, John hastily moved into the adjoining bathroom. Once there, he began to pound his piece like there was no tomorrow. He was soon rewarded for his efforts as ropes of cum spewed into the toilet with an audible splash. John kept on stroking until there was nothing more to ooze out.
Relaxed from his exercise, he climbed into bed where he quickly fell into a deep sleep. His dreams that night were erotic. Jerry was in them as well as Darrin. At one point, John was on his knees taking turns sucking both of them.
Thanksgiving night, Dane and Colt stayed at the cottage along with Wade, Roger, Sharon, and Dwayne. Sharon and Dwayne each had their own bedroom on the main floor while the others shared the loft. Colt suggested that they pull the sliding panels in place to give each couple a bit of privacy. Wade tried hard not to laugh. He knew that his son and his nephew probably wanted to make love and he could understand that. Now if he could keep Roger's mouth stuffed full enough not to make too much noise...
The two men managed to keep their lovemaking fairly quiet, but the two boys knew what was going on. Their grins were visible in the pale moonlight that came through the windows.
The boys were reasonable quiet too except when Colt yelped once as Dane nipped at his nipple unexpectedly. Dane quickly found something big to occupy Colt's mouth while he filled his own with Colt's hot meat.
The precum was flowing freely and the boys were working up a light sheen of sweat. This gave Colt the notion to do something that they both loved to do sometimes. He swung his body around on top of Dane and began humping against him. Dane reached up to cup Colt's buns in order to make the contact even stronger. Pretty soon, they were moaning into each other's mouth as they got a nice rhythm going. Then the contractions hit and with them the flood of cum. When the shuddering subsided, the boys still moved gently against each other until they were too sensitive to continue.
Using their discarded briefs, they mopped up the mess as well as they could. Then they settled into each other's arms to go to sleep. As they were drifting off, they heard some muffled grunts from across the loft. Evidently the older guys had been able to stay on the edge longer. Either that or they had experienced a second cumming. Either way, it brought more grins to the faces of the sleepy boys.
On Friday afternoon, Sheriff Larkin signed the forms to have John released to him. When he came into the room, John turned around and put his hands behind him in order to be cuffed. After the sheriff made no move, John turned back slowly and looked at him.
"Aren't you afraid that I'll make a break for it?"
"No, son, if you had wanted to go on the run, you had all night to do that. I'm not going to embarrass you any more than necessary. Get your things and let's go."
John was surprised to be riding in the front of the squad-car with Larkin. The older man drove them to the nearest McDonald's drive-through and asked John how he liked his coffee. John asked for it black because he thought it was a manlier thing to do. The sheriff took his with cream and sugar.
On the way to Bentonville, Larking visited with John about the high school football season and other bits of town news. There was never any discussion of how and why John had gotten shot.
When they got to Bentonville, the sheriff didn't go to the jail, but rather to a big old Victorian house. John shuddered involuntarily realizing that this was the scene of the accident.
"You've got to believe me that I didn't mean to hit Jerry. It really was an accident."
"I believe you, kid."
"Why?" John asked in astonishment.
"Because I have a pretty accurate sense of when someone is telling the truth."
"Why are we coming here?"
"We have a social call to make."
Miss Charlotte answered the door after the second rap of the ancient brass knocker.
"It's good to see you, sheriff. And this must be John. Welcome to my house. Please come into the parlor. You're just in time for tea."
Lottie hung the sheriff's coat in her closet, but not John's. The young man said that he didn't feel very well and kept it on. Lottie didn't push the issue, but offered to turn up the heat. Then she ushered them into the front parlor. John was surprised to see a number of familiar faces. Among them were Judge Gerick, Rev. Swenson, Lori Evans, Jerry, Darrin, and Dan. John felt like he was facing a tribunal. He felt like a lion in a den of Daniels!
Miss Charlotte picked up a small crystal bell and rang it gently. In a moment, her good friend Emma came into the room pushing an old fashioned tea cart which held sterling silver utensils filled with tea, sugar, hot milk, and a variety of tiny sandwiches and petit fours. Emma raised the two leaves on the cart and proceeded to set out delicate china cups and saucers.
Lottie poured spiced tea for each of her guest adding milk and/or sugar as they requested. Each was invited to help themselves to the food. When she got to John's cup, she did not ask how he took his tea. She added a good quantity of hot milk and two cubes of sugar. Using a demitasse spoon, she stirred it lightly before handing it to him.
The minute John inhaled the aroma of the mixture, he felt like he was being transported back to his grandmother's house - to a time when life was good and safe; a time before Marv.
Suddenly the room was closing in on him. He couldn't breathe. He wanted to bolt for the door. Lottie sensed his discomfort.
"Please bring your cup and come to the kitchen with me, she whispered to him."
He nodded and followed her like a puppy. Once there, Lottie asked Emma to join the others in the parlor while she remained alone with John.
Sitting at the kitchen table, John felt even more like he was back in time. He wanted to flee in order to preserve his image and he wanted to stay and bask in the love of the old woman at the same time. He sat unable to make up his mind and unable to move.
When the old lady put her bony hands on his shoulders and rubbed them gently, there was no longer any doubt as to his course of action. Tears flowed down his tough young face and sobs wracked his body.
"Grandma, I'm so sorry. I've been so bad." He blurted out not realizing how he had addressed her.
"There, there, Grandma's going to look after you. It'll be okay."
John cried for several minutes. His tears washed out a mixture of guilt, frustration, unhappiness, and grief for his lost childhood. When it was over, he looked up at Lottie through puffy eyes and thanked her. Then he stood and embraced the old woman. She felt safe as she laid her head against the chest of the tough young man who towered over her.
"Miss Charlotte, would you send Jerry in here? I have something to say to him. Please tell Dan and Darrin to come with him so that he won't be afraid to be alone with me. And could you please make sure we aren't disturbed until we come out?"
Lottie nodded her assent as she scurried down the long hall toward the front parlor with a speed that belied her years. Moments later, the three guys came into the kitchen. John asked Darrin to close the swinging door and hook it. He asked Dan to do the same to the other door that led to the dining room. Seeing Jerry frowning at those requests, John quickly assured him that it was just so they wouldn't be disturbed.
"I'm not going to hurt you. Darrin and Dan are here to make sure you know that. I also want witnesses because I humiliated you in the presence of others and I need to ask your forgiveness in the presence of others."
Then John got down on his knees in front of Jerry and began to undo Jerry's belt. Jerry resisted.
"Please, I have to let you know that I am willing to do for you what I once demanded that you do to me."
Jerry's mind was in conflict as he felt his jeans drop to the floor. He felt John's nose against the thin cotton of his white briefs and he quivered. A part of him wanted to whip out his stiffening cock and ram it into John's mouth until the older boy's tonsils were raw. It would give him a sense of power over his one-time tormenter. Another part of him wanted to save this piece of unpredictable flesh to share with Carrie or some other girl in the future. Still another part of him was embarrassed that Dan and Darrin were seeing this.
Jerry gave in to the feeling of lust that permeated his body as he thought about getting his first blow job. He ran his hands through John's hair in a gesture of desire.
John had determined that this was the ultimate act of contrition for him to perform. What could be more abasing than sucking another guy's cock as he had been forced to do as a helpless child? But now, the position he was in didn't seem all that bad. Bits of his dream from the night before flashed in his mind as he inhaled the subtle, but rich aroma emanating from the crotch of an aroused, clean young male. It was pleasant; nothing like the acrid odor of Marv. Jerry's touch encouraged him.
To his amazement, the dampness from Jerry's oozing penis was making his mouth water. John nuzzled in, opened his mouth and nibbled on the cloth-covered sausage.
Jerry was fighting with himself for control. The part of him that wanted to wait to have a blow job from a girlfriend was winning out. He pulled back from the awesome stimulation with all of the self-discipline and determination that a horny 14-year-old could muster.
"We can't do this. I can't..."
But, at that moment, he could and did. He had passed the point of no return. As he held his hands over his crotch, his body began to tremble and with moans and whimpers, he soaked the front of his underwear with spunk.
John folded into heap on the floor.
"I'm so sorry, Jerry. I thought you'd like it. I thought I could makeit up to you. Shit! I don't do anything right." He sobbed.
"It's okay, John," Jerry assured him. "What you wanted to do for me was really nice. You meant it in the right way. And, it felt DAMNED good! But how am I going to get home with this mess in my skivvies?"
The tension was broken, and boys all snickered at Jerry's last comment. Each had been afraid that Jerry might be pissed or scared or emotionally scarred by the encounter.
Darrin came to the rescue with a plan. Jerry turned several shades of crimson as Darrin helped him remove his soggy briefs. Then Darrin handed him a couple of paper towels to clean up with and a third to wrap his dick in before stuffing it into his jeans.
"That should catch any after-drips. You can go commando for a few hours. Will your mother notice that the underwear is missing?"
"No, I do most of the laundry. She doesn't always have time."
"Okay, I'll fold these up with the cum-side in and put them in John's coat pocket to smuggle them out."
"What if the sheriff searches my coat?" John asked in panic.
"You can slip them to me and I'll put them in my coat when we get ready to go if you are worried," Darrin suggested.
After the four got things taken care of, they sat at the table for a couple of minutes composing themselves. They agreed with Jerry that what had happened there would stay there. Each swore an oath never to tell. Darrin had been concerned about whether this act would further jeopardize John's future. He was relieved that Jerry didn't seem to be upset.
Then Jerry went over to John who was still seated.
"Am I allowed to do anything I want to you?"
"Yeah, I guess," John gulped. "Please don't cut my dick off or anything drastic."
Jerry bent down and kissed John on the forehead.
"There is no evil in you anymore," he announced.
Then he did something that even he had not anticipated as he took his index finger and lightly traced the sign of the cross on the spot he had kissed.
John had thought that he didn't have a tear left in his body. He was wrong.
While the boys were occupied in the kitchen, the adults in the front parlor were discussing John's situation. All agreed that he was salvageable and that his behavior, while not acceptable, was certainly predictable given his lack of parental love and guidance.
Lori said that though she couldn't share much of what she had learned in her interviews with the young man, (because of confidentiality) she could testify to the fact that John had had a rough childhood. Judge Gerick nodded in agreement. He had the full report and admitted that there were some tear-stains on it after he had finished.
Pastor Swenson added that anyone could be redeemed.
"All you have to do is read the story of Saul of Tarsus to know that a person can change. When the worst persecutor of the early church went on to become its greatest advocate, you have a genuine miracle. I'm not saying that John will sign up to be an altar-boy next week, but after what Lottie told us, I think he's got a chance of straightening out."
Judge Gerick surveyed the rest of the adults in the room before opening his mouth again. He was pretty sure that he could count on this bunch to be discreet.
"I have a hypothetical scenario for you to consider. Remember, this is only a hypothetical situation. If John were to be tried by a judge rather than a jury, he might stand a better chance of receiving a sentence to foster rehabilitation rather than to exact retribution. However, since I would likely be the one to hear the case, I cannot suggest that to his lawyer. Of course, if someone like a psychiatrist, or minister, or..."
"...or nosy old lady?" Lottie chortled.
"...or concerned senior citizen," the judge continued, "...were to put a bug in his ear, I think it might all work out for the best."
"I'd do it in a heartbeat, but it would probably look like a conflict of interest," the sheriff offered. "Perhaps I can work on the DA to cut a deal for a guilty plea to a lesser charge."
All nodded and three others each decided to take it upon themselves to make the call.
Four young men filed back into the room. It was obvious that all had shed a few tears. None had felt any pressure to hide the evidence. Lottie beamed.
"Come and sit a spell. Emma has offered to heat more water. One can't drink cold tea."
After the boys had consumed more tea, several sandwiches, and a few petit fours, Sheriff Larkin said he needed to get back to the station before they sent out the troops looking for him. John arose to go with him.
"Oh, sorry John, we didn't go over the arrangements. Since you went with that drug dealer under duress, you aren't guilty of jumping bail. Judge Gerick cleared that up this morning. So, you're welcome to go home."
Dan shook his head in disbelief.
"I'm glad he's not going to jail, but I'm afraid he can't live at home. Mom and Dad said that since he's 18, they aren't responsible for him anymore. He's not to live with us. I'm sorry. I didn't want to hurt you and I thought you would be going to jail anyway..." he said turning to John.
John put an arm around his younger brother's shoulders and squeezed. It was for his own comfort as much as for his brother's.
"Well, I have lots of unused rooms here," Lottie announced.
"No, Miss Charlotte, I'll take him to my place," Darrin announced. "I know it isn't very fancy or very big, but I could really do with a brother."
John was smiling through moist eyes. Not only did he have a place to stay, but he had more than one person who was willing to reach out to him. For the first time in many years, John Tracewell was overwhelmed by the feeling of love.
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