A Valentine’s Day Romance.
Having outlived one older lover, young Washington, D.C., playwright Trent Colson is (only barely) resisting the attractions of another older man, stage director Gerhardt Von Hultz, who is in cancer remission. Trent retreats to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, nominally for quiet time to make rewrites to his coming play, but more in sexual frustration and denial. Here he falls under the power of a predator lover, Buster, who sees sex between men as a clear victor versus vanquished struggle in which the only point is the concluding ejaculation. Buster defines Trent as the natural vanquished and manipulates him as such.
Another man enters, however, who endeavors to prove to Trent that there is far more to a sexual relationship between men than that.
Will the spell Buster has cast over Trent be broken and what will be waiting for Trent when he returns to Washington?
The gas station attendant’s directions were good, and it was impossible to miss the house with the junk yard in front. It wasn’t directly on the ocean, but it was close enough that Trent could hear the surf. He also could hear someone chopping wood around at the back of the big shed ten yards from the house. Trent got out of the car and walked around to where he heard the noise coming from.
He stopped in his tracks when he got around the end of the shed. The man with the Jeep Wrangler was standing not far from said Jeep and splitting logs. He was wearing jeans and the hiking boots and nothing on top. His muscles were rippling and his torso was glistening with sweat in the light of the sun. If Trent was writing stage directions for the first appearance of the “outdoorsman hunk,” this would be what he’d write.
The man looked up. “You.” He gave a little smile that looked like it knew more than Trent did.
“Are you Buster?” Trent asked. He felt his voice was thick but the words seemed to have come out in the right order.
“That would be me. You come here for some of it?”
“Excuse me . . . a man at the filling station outside Oyster suggested I come here. There’s a chrome strip on my car that needs to be reattached or reglued or something. He said you might be able to fix it for me.”
“You don’t say. A chrome strip on your car.” Even Trent could tell that was said in a “likely excuse” tone of voice. He wanted to back away. But then part of him didn’t. And the car needed fixed.
“You sure you’re not here to get some. You’ve been like following me around the last day or so. And you’re a nice little piece. I wouldn’t mind getting into that.”
Trent didn’t know what to say. The man was forward and bordering on crude—well, across the border, but the way he said the words made them arousing to Trent. He certainly didn’t mince words. And they had run across each other’s paths in compromising circumstances the previous day.
“Honest. Chrome strip. Car.” He turned to the side, either as if proof there really was a car back there needing help or as a prelude to running to the car. He himself didn’t know what the movement meant. But, fuck, the man was a bronze god. Trent could feel himself going hard.
The man—Buster—put his ax down and walked toward Trent. Trent shrank a bit from him as they grew level, and Buster turned his eyes on him—those knowing eyes. He stopped just briefly, but so much was conveyed in that one look. Then he smiled, as if he’d seen something answering, coming back from Trent, and then continued back out to the front yard. He went down on his haunches at the side of the car and examined the problem.
“Not a problem,” he said. “It needs a couple of brackets tacked back in and then it will slide right in place.” He had looked up at Trent when he said “slide right in place” and had bracketed the phrase with ever-so-brief pauses, and Trent just about swallowed his tongue.