A Little Road Trip
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by Karenna Colcroft
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Gay Fiction
Description: On a road trip to Philadelphia, Braden Porter and his lover Vince Gutierrez deepen their relationship. Although Braden Porter and Vince Gutierrez have been seeing each other since February, no one else knows. Both men are firmly in the closet. But neither of them is happy with the situation, which leaves them feeling more like bed-buddies than lovers. When Braden is hired to pick up a classic car in Philadelphia and bring it back to Anglesey, Maine, in time for the Independence Day parade, he seizes the chance for some quality time with Vince. And Vince takes the chance to let Braden know how unhappy he is. Will the road trip allow them to deepen their relationship?
eBook Publisher: MLR Press, LLC/MLR Press, LLC,
eBookwise Release Date: July 2012
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [58 KB]
Reading time: 35-49 min.
First thing when I woke up that morning, I wanted to go back to bed. I probably should have, but instead I dragged myself into the shower. My tow truck sat next to my trailer waiting for me to hop in and head for the shop. It was July second; a hot Monday, with half the people in town already starting their Independence Day festivities. Which meant I'd start the day helping the die-hard worker drones start their cars that they'd run out of gas with over the weekend. By noon, I'd probably be dragging drunks out of ditches.
I put on my official Riley's Towing button-down work shirt; the short-sleeved version. Bob Riley required all of his employees to wear those damn shirts, whether it was ten degrees or ninety. According to the thermometer outside my kitchen window, it had already hit that high and was still climbing. I was damned if I'd wear jeans on a day like that, so I pulled on a pair of tan cargo shorts and headed out the door.
My head was still buzzing from the party my friend Gabe had talked me into at his house the night before. You'd think I'd have known by now not to get shitfaced on Sunday nights, but there wasn't a hell of a lot else to do in Anglesey, Maine on a summer night. Or on any night, for that matter.
My mood got a little better when I climbed into the cab of my truck. A little foil-wrapped chocolate sat on the dashboard. Vince Gutierrez, the candy phantom, was at it again.
The chocolates in my truck had started just before last Valentine's Day. For days, I hadn't a clue who'd been leaving it. I was the only gay guy in town as far as I knew. I'd found out who the candy phantom really was during a Valentine's Day snowstorm, when Vince and I'd teamed up to find some college kid who'd run off the road. He'd confessed to me on the way back to town.
I'd like to say we'd been together ever since, but in Anglesey, we couldn't be together much. Everyone knew everyone else's business in that freaking town. If Vince and I'd started spending too much time with each other, people would have noticed. I'd grown up here and couldn't afford to have people know I was gay. Vince had moved up from Portland only a few years earlier, and people already kept their distance because he was an outsider. So we just hung out at the bar with all the other guys, and once in a while when we figured it was safe, we got together at his house or mine and fooled around or fucked. Sometimes all we did was kiss, which was awesome all by itself. The guy was one hell of a kisser. I never would have told him, but I didn't mind just kissing. I liked just being around him.
And Vince kept sneaking chocolates into my truck to remind me he was around. It had become kind of a code letting me know he wanted to see me. My mind wandered off to thinking about what we'd do to each other next time, whenever that was, and that made the day look a little better. Not to mention giving me a hard-on.
I opened the foil wrapper and sucked the melted chocolate off of it. Vince obviously hadn't considered the heat when he'd left it there. It wasn't much, but the sugar made a little dent in the hangover. Plus it reminded me that we had plans for Wednesday night. Everyone else in town would be at the fireworks show over in Farmington, so we'd be able to have some quality time together without people nosing around or inviting us to get hammered.
I was looking forward to that. So was my dick. Summer was a busy time for towing and for car repairs, which was what Vince did. We'd barely had time to talk the past few weeks, let alone anything else. I was horny as hell, and I kind of missed the guy.
My radio crackled. Groaning, I picked up the mic as my boss's voice came through the speaker. "Porter, you there?"
"Yeah, boss." I rolled my eyes. There couldn't be anyone needing a tow yet. People who weren't working were probably still sleeping off the night before. People who were working...well, they might still be sleeping too. There'd been a lot of barbecues and parties around Anglesey that weekend. Like I said, there wasn't much else to do.
"Get your ass over here," Bob said. "You're late."
"Five minutes late." I was damned if I was going in without stopping at the town diner for a coffee and muffin. "I'll be there in fifteen. Haven't eaten yet."
"Whatever." Bob didn't sound happy, but he didn't argue. He knew better. I was the most reliable driver he had other than Terry, and Terry only worked nights. Bob figured if he pissed me off too much, I'd bail and take a job in Farmington or Bangor or something.
I wouldn't have. Living in Anglesey--or East Armpit, as the natives called it because of the smell from the paper mill a couple towns over--was boring as shit sometimes, but it was home.
The diner was mostly empty, so I got my coffee and an apple cinnamon muffin in just a couple seconds. Cristina, the waitress, did her usual flirting. She was kind of cute; short and curvy, with long red hair she tied back in a ponytail when she was working. "You sure I can't give you anything else?" she asked when she handed over my coffee.
"Thanks, I'm good."
"Okay." She gave me a perky little smile, and I couldn't help smiling back. If I'd been straight, I'd have been right on that.
"How are the cats?" I asked, trying to be polite.
"Good. Took in a new one over the weekend." She fostered cats for the local animal rescue. "You should come by some time and see them. Maybe you'll find one you like."
"Yeah, maybe some time." I was pretty sure she hoped she'd be what I liked, and I didn't want to give her any ideas. Everyone in town knew I was single, and all the single women in town took turns trying to pin me down. I played along with the flirting but that was as far as I was willing to go.
Usually I had breakfast at the diner. Not today. I didn't want to tick Bob off too much, and I didn't want Cristina to think I was more interested in her than I was. I drove the couple blocks to the shop and wished I hadn't.
A shiny black Beamer convertible with Massachusetts plates sat in front of the shop; right in the spot where my truck belonged. I knew who owned that convertible. The last guy I wanted to see. I groaned and put the truck in reverse so I could get out of there.
It was too late to take off, though. Bob walked out of the shop followed by Emil Harrington, owner of the Beamer. Emil was one of the summer people around town, and he wasn't hurting for money. The house he owned on the lake that Anglesey shared with a couple neighboring towns could have fit four of my trailers and still had room for the tow shop twice over. And he figured his money would make everyone jump for him.
Or on him. First time I'd run into the guy--when I'd been hauling his SUV out of his mud pit of a driveway-- he'd hit on me. The fact that he was about three times my age didn't bother him, but it sure as hell didn't appeal to me. Even when he'd offered to pay me for the time I'd miss from work to be his "playmate."
I wasn't that desperate for money, and I sure as hell wasn't that desperate for a fuck.
I slid out of the truck and stuck my hands in my pockets so they wouldn't see my clenched fists. "Morning, gentlemen."
"Good morning." Harrington gave me a shiny smile that in his younger years might have made men's knees weak. At his age, it was more disturbing than anything. "I have a business proposition for you."
"Mr. Harrington, your business is with me," Bob said. "Braden's my employee. I thought we'd cleared that up already."
He winked at me. That gave me a little bit of relief. Looked like my boss wasn't totally unaware of Harrington's--um--interest. That was good. It meant Bob would have my back if Harrington went too far.