Shooting Matt Ch. 25

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Randy contemplates his new life.

Thanks to LarryInSeattle for his always helpful editing assistance.



I arrived at the camp mid-afternoon. Leon showed me where I could park the truck. It was on the opposite side of the camp from Liam and Matt. I don’t think that was done on purpose; that was simply the spot where there was room to park my truck without bothering anyone. I’d decided that Kent was almost certainly right about an air mattress on a truck bed. I’d stopped and parted with some of my cash and got a six-person tent and a couple of camp chairs. The air mattress wouldn’t be any softer on the ground than on the bed of my truck so I bought a camp cot as well.

I’d also picked up a larger cooking ring, propane, when I bought the tent. At this rate, I’ll be a pauper before the first snow. I get it going and start some double-cut pork chops simmering with onions, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, and wine. I’ll use the smaller Coleman stove to fry some potatoes and heat some corn. After I get the pork chops going, there’ll be plenty of time to sit. I got everything squared away and walked over to the boys’ cabin, to invite them over to eat with me.

It’s obvious there’s a problem. The boys are down in the dumps and out of sorts. They appear happy to see me; that’s something. They ask about Kent and frown when I tell them he didn’t come with me. Even with the windows and doors open their small cabin reeks of sex. I feel a pang of what I hope is loneliness and not jealousy. I tell them to come over anytime but that the food should be ready around six o’clock. They decide to follow me back.

The boys tell me, Liam taking the lead, about what happened with Darren. Unless they’re lying, which I don’t believe for a minute, I don’t see what they could have done different, other than to ignore him. I think they realize now that might have been the best option. Joining them in bed was clearly something he’d wanted. I’m not surprised they underestimated the impact of what happened on Darren. They might have understood better if they had grown up in a home where they had to hide who they were. Matt hadn’t hidden his gayness from his parents, he truly saw it as irrelevant.

“Well, other than ignoring him, I’m not sure what you could have done,” I tell them, after I checked on the pork chops. “Threesomes and orgies sound exciting, and I’m not saying they can’t be, but there’s always the potential for trouble and the potential increases exponentially with every person added. In my, admittedly limited experience, it’s not worth the trouble.”

“So, you’d never do something like that again?”

“No, Matt. I don’t know that I’d make a categorical statement like that but I’d go into it with my eyes wide open and I’d think long and hard with my head and not my dick.”

We’re quiet after that, each lost in his own thoughts. The pork chops seem to bring some life back in the boys. There’s plenty of light left in the sky, the summer solstice is a few days away, but the mosquitos begin to swarm. I wonder for the first time if mosquitoes simply seem more irritating when your mind is unsettled or if it’s possible that an unsettled mind causes something to change in your body. Do you give off a scent, a scent that invites mosquitoes or any other unsettling force in the area, to come on over, have a bite or two? I recall a Star Trek episode, a couple of episodes actually, where an entity fed off fear or anger. Whatever the reason, the boys say goodnight soon after eating. They offer to help clean up but I shoo them away. I brush my teeth while water heats on the stove. I wash up the few dishes and climb into the tent, feeling depressed. I strip and lie down atop the camp cot. It’s too warm for a sleeping bag. I pull up memories of the toys Kent had introduced me to and wonder if I have the courage, or the desire, to try a butt plug that delivers shocks. Wondering that kills any desire to jerk off. Besides, we had agreed to not jerk off until we were together again. That, I remind myself, was my own brilliant idea. I consider reading but I’d need to light the lantern for that and that, frankly, seems like too much trouble. I climb off the cot, pull on a pair of shorts and my flip flops and duck out of the tent. I zip it up fast, trying to minimize the number of mosquitoes that get inside.

I set off down the dirt road toward the clubhouse, hands waving about my head like a man tormented by demons. There’s enough light left in the sky to see where I’m going. I’m too far from the tent to turn back when I realize I’ve forgotten to bring the flashlight. Fuck it. There are lights on in the club house but I walk past it and out to the dock. I glance around; I’m alone. I shuck off my shorts, drop them on the bench and dive in.

The water retains the day’s warmth. I swim out to the platform and climb out. In the dim light, I see I’m not alone. Matt and Liam are there. So are Leon and Glenna.

“It would appear I’m not the only restless soul tonight,” I offer Betturkey by way of a greeting. They ignore my nudity; I wish I could. I find myself wishing Kent were here. Glenna and Leon are in the middle. I’m surprised to see Matt lying beside Glenna. They’re holding hands. Liam lies close beside Leon. I’m the fifth wheel. As if reading my mind, Glenna turns to Matt and asks him to scooch over a bit. She follows him and gestures for me to lie down between her and Leon. They are all lying on their backs, so I lower myself carefully and stretch out. Glenna takes my hand and rests it atop her tummy, then reaches across me and wraps her fingers around Leon’s.

The light fades from the sky and stars begin to appear. No one speaks but we all, ‘oh’ together when the first shooting star zips across the sky.

“This time next year, I’ll have a three-month old,” Glenna whispers.

I tap on the decking. “Don’t jinx yourself.”

“I’m not.”

Liam rolls onto his side. His hand rests companionably on Leon’s chest. “Did you take the test already?”

“No, Leon wants me to wait until there can be no question but I don’t need the test; I know it worked.”

“Right on,” Matt chimes in. “Way to go, Ran…” His voice trails off. “Sorry, Leon, I’m a fucking idiot sometimes.”

“Nothing to be sorry about,” Leon replies in the same laconic tone he uses for nearly every pronouncement that issues from his mouth. “If this worked, no one’ll be happier than me.”

Nothing more is said. They watch the stars. Matt and Liam climb to their feet, whisper “g’night”, dive off the platform, and swim to the dock. They’re briefly visible, beneath a dusk-to-dawn lamp, holding hands and then the night closes in around them.

“What if we fell asleep and woke up in a different world?” Glenna’s voice is a soft whisper, as if speaking too loudly would offended the stars above them.

“Well, that would depend on the world, wouldn’t it?”

“Yes, Leon, Mr. Logical,” as she lightly smacks Leon in the chest. “It would be a magical place, like Narnia or something but without anything evil and without the heavy-handed religious allegories. A place where, when you’re making love to me, you can feel what I feel and I feel what you feel. How great would that be? Shoot, maybe everyone we love can feel it, so there’d be no jealousy, no hurt feelings.” She rolls over to lay on Leon’s chest. Her butt is warm against the side of my leg. “And, no, I’m not trying to ask you if I can make love with Randy again, not that I would mind, Randy, no offense.”

“None taken,” I reassure her with a chuckle.

“Glenna, my love, I wasn’t worried about that. I know you as well as you know me. I know if that was something you wanted to do, you’d ask. And you know that I’d say yes, if that was something you wanted to do.”

“What about me, would I get a say in it?”

“No, Randy. Honey, you’d be forced to lie back and let me jump your bones.” Glenna bumps me with her butt. “What about you two, don’t you ever want…”

“No,” Leon interrupts her. “I loved the big lunk you’re busy rubbing your ass all over, I still do in a way, but, I’m married to you. I don’t want or need anyone or anything else.”

“That’s sweet but why don’t we leave it at ‘need’ anyone else. I know you have wants that I can’t provide. That’s all. You let me be with Randy. It seems a bit churlish not to offer.”

“You didn’t want Randy as a sex partner. You wanted Randy to help us have a baby. There’s a difference.”

“Uh, not to be a dick or anything, but I’m right here. At the moment, I have my hands full figuring out how Kent fits into my life. So, for the foreseeable future, no one is fucking me but him.”

“Are you a bottom, then?”

“Jesus, Nena, that’s a bit personal, isn’t it? We’re versatile, if you must know.”

“I admit it, I’m curious. I know what it’s like to have a penis inside me, including in my butt, but I’ve never really like it, in my butt I mean. I love having Leon in my pussy. I’m just trying to understand how it all works.” She bumps me with her butt again. “I feel sorry for you and Leon, Kent. You sort of know what it feels like to have someone inside you but not really. I can tell you, from my perspective at least, that having someone in your ass is not the same as someone in your pussy.”

“Bit presumptuous, aren’t we my love? Or perhaps it’s more patronizing. I mean, I’m glad you love your pussy but that doesn’t mean us poor men are suffering a great deprivation.” Leon tells her gently.

“Sorry, Nena,” I add. “I have to agree with Leon on this one. I can’t imagine I’d feel more a part of someone, more filled by someone, just because they’re in my pussy instead of my ass. It’s not just the pleasure, it’s the sensation of being full, of being filled up by someone you’ve given yourself to. I’d argue, since a pussy is ‘supposed’ to have a dick in it, that surrendering my ass to someone represents a greater act of trust than surrendering your pussy is Betturkey Giriş for you.”

“Are you kidding me? Come on, Randy. A huge part of this world, this patriarchal fucking world, thinks all a woman has to offer is her pussy. Give me a break, for Christ’s sakes. A woman’s pussy is a far bigger part of her identity than a man’s ass is part of his.”

“So, you’re saying it’s harder for a woman to open up to the possibility of physical love than it is for a man. Actually, allow me to rephrase, not physical love but penetrative love slash sex? You think the first time a young man offer’s himself to another man’s dick isn’t just as hard, just as scary? At least a pussy gets slick, it’s designed for it. Men have to make do.”

“Make do? Please. Men are designed to fuck anything that breaths.”

“I’m not talking about fucking, I’m talking about being fucked. Besides, the man you have your head on doesn’t appear to have been designed to fuck anything that breaths.”

“Of course, he is, he’s simply too kind and too wise to listen to the animal part of his nature.”

“And women don’t have an animal part to their nature? I think it’s my turn to ask to be given a major fucking break. Jesus, Nena.”

I see Glenna’s head begin to bounce. At first, I’m afraid she’s choking, then I realize Leon is laughing. It’s his laughter jostling her head. He wiggles from underneath her and sits up, guffawing into the night.

“Leon Anderson, are you laughing at me?” Glenna smacks him on his shoulder but she’s chuckling too.

“I’m laughing at both of you. Why don’t we agree that offering yourself, emotionally or physically, to anyone, regardless of gender is fraught with peril?”

“Bud, that’s all I was saying in the first place. I don’t know what your wife was going on about?”

Glenna turns and smacks me.

“And look, you want to talk about ‘animal nature’, she’s beating on you, beating on me.”

“Randy Bigland, you take that back or I’ll show you what a beating looks like.”

I sit up, pull her to me and kiss her, hard. Before she can react, I jump up and dive into the lake.

“Nighty-night,” I call when I surface.

“I accept that very nice, very gracious apology,” Glenna calls after me.

I see her turn to her husband. I think they may have business to attend to before heading back to shore.


I wake from a deep sleep. I’d been dreaming that Kent, Glenna, and Leon were all gathered around me. I was stretched out on some medieval rack, the ones with the ropes and ratcheted wheels. We were all naked. Glenna wore a strap on that was bigger than any of our dicks. There were electrodes on my nipples, my cock, my balls – and a dong in my ass. I grant you, it may sound like one, but this was most definitely not a nightmare. My cock was standing up off my belly. Me and my stupid idea that neither of us should cum until we were together again. I tell myself I could just stroke a few times but I know how easy it is to slip on by the point of no return. So, I’m a good boy and keep my hands off my dick.

I roll off the cot. I don’t feel too stiff. It’s more comfortable than I had dared hope for. I stretch, as best I can, inside a tent. I need to pee and I want to take a shower. I hadn’t after swimming in the lake. I pull on a pair of shorts, grab my shower bucket and use my towel to hide my erection. I piss, brush my teeth, and hit the shower. The warm water feels good. My erection had faded after I’d peed but the warm water and the need to soap my crotch starts to get me hard again.

“Glenna’s right. I do want you.”

I’m not startled by his voice. I’d almost been expecting it. I turn and Leon is leaning on the chest high wall that blocks off the shower area.

“I know, Leon. And I want you, too. I wished I’d been able to understand more, to have been strong enough to protect you or at least help you, all those years ago. I regret that, probably more than anything else in my life.”

“I’d rather you not,” he tells me, a wry smile stretching the corner of his mouth. “I got Glenna, you got Liam. It worked out.”

“Yeah, it worked out.” I walk toward him but stay on my side of the wall. “It worked out but that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt. I look at you. I think of how young we were and my heart clenches up inside my chest.”

He nods. When he turns to go, I reach out and touch his cheek. He stops and then leans over the wall. His kiss is as sweet as I remember.

“I just wanted you to know,” he whispers as he steps away.

“I always have.”

He nods and leaves.

I stand for a long time with my head hanging down, letting the water run over the back of my head and shoulders.

I’m getting dressed when Liam walks in. He looks at me and pauses. “You okay, pop?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Got soap in my eyes.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m good. You working out with Matt this morning?”

“This afternoon. He’s sleeping in.”

“You Betturkey Güncel Giriş guys doing okay? You seemed a little tense last night.”

“We’re good. The thing with Darren was more, I don’t know, upsetting or something, than I thought it would be. Not the sex, but you know, the aftermath.”

I stand up, pull his head forward with one hand and kiss his forehead. “Liam, my son, it’s always the aftermath that’s the problem, be it the aftermath of sex, driving drunk, or eating too many green apples.”

“See ya, later, pop.”

I toss him a wave as he walks into the shower.


“Nena, let me work the grill or something. I’m going crazy from boredom.”

“I thought you were retired, Randy?”

“Not hardly. I’m just not a forklift operator anymore.”

“Well, hon, I don’t need anyone to work the grill. Let me make you some breakfast, then I have an idea. You got your camera stuff with you?”

I nod.

“Good, sit your butt down, you, patriarchal bastard and I’ll get you some coffee.” She smiles and I wink.

“Glenna, just oatmeal, or some toast. I’m getting fat.”

“Toast and some strawberries?” She asks as she sets a mug of coffee in front of me.


“Dry or butter?”

“Butter, please.”

The coffee is good, strong and hot.

The toast is sourdough and delicious. I hold it in my hand and ask the question with my eyes.

“No, I didn’t bake it.” She drinks from her own mug. “But I was wondering if the fella that did would be interested in expanding, taking on a partner.”

“You sure you want to do that?”

She shrugs. “I need to bring more to the table than cinnamon rolls.”

“I’m not so sure about that,” I tell her, after swallowing the last bite of toast. “What else do you enjoy baking?”

“Any kind of cake, pies, mostly sweet stuff.”

“What’s this guy do?”

“Breads mainly, a coffee cake or two.”

“Does he sell coffee and stuff, like for breakfast?”

“No, just loaves.”

“Sounds like a marriage made in heaven. Business marriage, I mean,” I add as Leon comes in from the dock. We nod at each other.

“What was that idea you had?” I ask Glenna.

“Head over to Clairton, find a dead-end street called Lincoln Way. Take your camera. See what steel country looks like these days.”

“That’s gotta be better than lying in my tent, sweating. Sounds like a plan. Hey, you want to come with me? You said you weren’t busy.”

“I said I didn’t need you to work the grill. I didn’t say anything about not being busy. You go on. You want to come down for supper tonight?”

“Thanks, but no. I want to see how crazy this living in a tent idea really is.”

“Suit yourself. When is Kent coming down?”

“Next week. I’ll drive Matt up this weekend for his appointment with Price. We’ll come back Monday or Tuesday.” I slide off the stool. “How much?” I wave away her protest before she can voice it. “How much?”


“Have you two given any thought to what I said about helping out around here, maybe buying in as a partner? I don’t mean to put you on the spot. If the answer is, ‘no’, that’s fine but I don’t want to assume it’s no, just because we haven’t talked about it.”

“Place is Glenna’s. I’m fine with whatever she decides,” Leon replies.

“If you don’t stop with that, ‘the place is Glenna’s’ crap, I’m going to bean you one,” she snaps at her husband. She looks at me. “I’m studying the idea, Randy. I think it’s a good idea. It feels right but that’s what worries me, that I want to do it not because it’s a good idea, but simply because I like the idea of having you around.” She smiles at me and then squeezes Leon’s arm. “Even if you two are still a little in love with each other.”

I open my mouth to deny it, then close it, nod and leave.


“I won’t tell him yes, not if you think it’ll be too hard having him around,” Glenna tells Leon. “I don’t want to lose you, not even to Randy. At the same time, I don’t want you having to constantly look at something you want but don’t think you can have.”

“I have what I want,” Leon tells her, looking straight into her eyes. “Randy and I are a ‘what could’ve been’. Everyone has at least one of those, or more. I think Randy has some good ideas. But he didn’t sell his house. My understanding was he was going to sell the house and use that money to invest in the resort, provide the capital to fix up the cabins. He doesn’t have that money now. Does that make a difference?”

“Of course,” Glenna snorts. “I love the guy but I’m not giving him an interest in the resort because of that. That’s an issue alright. I suppose he could take out a loan or something. Or maybe he has money we don’t know about.” She looks closely at her husband. “So, we agree? Ask him to come in as a partner, providing he has the money?”

“Sure,” Leon agrees, nodding his head. “Now, the hard part. How much money? What percentage? You thought about those details?”

“Indeed, I have Mr. Buffett.”

They don’t get a chance to talk further. They have a customer. The morning is half over and the resort is waking up, or the younger customers, the ones that use the rec room and want a soda, are waking up.

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