NOTE: It might help if you read my previous series, Willing and Able, before reading this one. Some parts might make more sense if you read them in that order.
A Reunion by Patrick McComas December 20, 2000
Memory and Time are fiendish brothers working together. Memory is the thief, stealing your past and turning it into something unrecognizable. Time is the enemy too little of it when you're happy, too much of it when you're sad.
Beecher picked through the various fruits and vegetables in front of him. At one time Genevieve had told him how to pick the freshest produce. Now he was struggling to remember what he did yesterday.
More than six months had passed. Sometimes it hardly seemed that a single day had passed, and other times it seemed as though years had flown by. Beecher missed Keller. Missed him utterly. But he had moved on with his life, more or less. He was busy with work, and with raising his kids by himself.
By himself. He didn't like being that way, but what choice did he have?
Actually, he wasn't completely by himself. His mother watched the kids when school was out. That was a tremendous relief, both on his pocket book and his mind. Daycare was so expensive, and he didn't trust his kids with strangers. Another gift he received from spending all that time in Oz was the automatic distrust of most of the people he met.
All in all, Beecher didn't have a whole lot to complain about. But the loneliness; sometimes it weighed on him. It seized his heart when he let it, and crushed him under an imaginary force. He missed the touch of another person, close contact. As dumb as it sounded, he missed the hugs and cuddling more than the sex. Just having someone to lie next to.
Not that he didn't have options. A new lady at work, Maggie something, she had asked him out a few times. But Beecher had refused. His loneliness was actually self-inflicted, in a way, because she was a sexy little bombshell. And to hear the guys around the office talk, she's easy as hell. It was guaranteed contact.
Perhaps that's exactly what turned Beecher off. To go from Keller, `Mr. Fuck Anything with At Least Two Legs and Half a Personality,' to someone just like him - well, that's not what he wanted.
So alone he stayed. What was six months anyway? A minute portion in a lifetime? Less than a nanosecond in the whole of universal time?
Loneliness was a contradiction, as well. Beecher was never happiest that way, but he got his best thinking done alone. He always felt strangely at peace alone. Even when he was married and everything was peachy keen with Gen.
"Excuse me," an elderly gentleman said. Beecher stirred from his thoughts and moved out of the man's way.
"Quite alright." The man proceeded to squeeze the cantaloupe melons. Taking a cue from the older man, Beecher squeezed some of the fruit in front of him. He still couldn't tell fresh from unripe or overripe. He shook the cantaloupe vigorously. Was he supposed to hear something or not?
"You look like you're enjoying that a bit too much," a hushed voice sounded in his hear. The hot breath on his ear made him tingle.
Beecher turned to face the speaker -- none other than Tim McManus, Em City unit manager. They shared a smile. It was nice to see a familiar face. "Tim McManus."
"How are you, Beecher? What's it been, six months?" McManus wore a genuine smile, as well as a pullover sweater, weathered jeans and scuffed Doc Martens.
"Yeah, almost seven. I'm doing pretty well."
"That's good." Tim smiled again, and Beecher could not believe how good the man looked. He must have bulked up just a bit and gone shopping for some smarter clothes. And his face. The facial hair was expertly trimmed and shaped into a full, not to mention incredibly sexy, goatee. His gentle eyes and baldhead beamed under the grocery store lights. No more of that stressed-out, bug-eyed look on him. He was sharp.
"You look like you're doing well yourself."
"You mean healthier?"
"Yeah, you're looking more relaxed, more at peace."
McManus nodded. "Yeah, I guess I am. I've been seeing my psychologist for some time now, and it has been a great experience." The manager seemed happy to see him. Beecher could swear that the man was checking him out, but he chalked the feeling up to loneliness. "So have you been busy working, with the kids, what?"
"Work, kids, the whole nine yards. I've been working at my old law firm. Doing more menial things, but enjoying it. Definitely less stressful than being a lawyer." Beecher stroked his chin for a second, still admiring McManus. "I can't get over it. You just look so... different." He wasn't sure how to put this, trying not to offend the man.
Tim blushed slightly, as Beecher would have after such a compliment.
"You do, honest. You look great." Beecher debated whether he should bring it up. "How are things in Em City?"
McManus gave an offhanded gesture. "Aw, you know. Same old, same old."
McManus kicked his feet together. "I guess you heard the findings of Glynn's investigation of Chris' death."
"Yes." Beecher looked down at his feet, fighting his emotions.
"I'm sorry. So sorry." McManus placed a hand on the man's shoulder.
Tears tried to well up, but Beecher fought them off. It was becoming easier to avoid crying, and the lawyer couldn't tell if that was a good thing or a bad thing. "It's alright."
"Investigators say it didn't hurt much. He probably went pretty peacefully."
Beecher nodded again. "It just didn't seem like him, you know?" He effected one of his defeated sighs. "I don't know. I guess it really was a suicide."
Tim touched his shoulder again with a gentle hand. He sized the former lawyer up. Still thin, with a slight build that gave him definition. Lovely pale skin, with soft blue eyes, expressive eyebrows and a sexy little mouth.
Tim hadn't been with anyone since his trouble with Howell and Wangler. He'd avoided any kind of sex hell, any situation remotely connected to sex, especially since Whittlesey dumped him to run off and marry some limey guard. Plus he was past due for some time alone. Much like Beecher, he suspected.
Yet he was tired of being alone.
"Hey, I'm almost done with my shopping. What say let's go grab a cup of coffee or something?"
"I really shouldn't."
Beecher thought for a second. "Actually, I don't know why. Holly's staying over with a friend tonight, and the little one's at my mother's house. I guess I don't have to be anywhere."
"So it's settled."
He looked again at his former unit manager. Once again Beecher thought he could spot a sexual glance from McManus, but he shrugged the thought off. Now was not the time. It would be nice to have some company, however.
Coffee turned into a three-hour conversation. The two talked about everything, from marriages to life in Oz to life outside of Oz. Beecher hadn't had a conversation like that since he and Said discussed God together.
The walls of the quaint coffee shop seemed to hug them as they talked. A cheap copy of Munch's `The Scream' hung above their booth. It distracted Beecher at times, but he tried to ignore it. He never did like that painting.
"So why haven't you remarried by now?" Beecher asked inquisitively while sipping his hazelnut coffee.
"Okay, did you even listen to the description of my first marriage?" They chuckled at this. "Besides, I could ask you the same thing." The words slipped out before he could stop them. It was just a reflex for McManus, a smartass comment.
The two fell silent for a moment. "I'm sorry," McManus said. "I didn't mean to disrespect your wife's memory or anything."
"I know," Beecher said, looking down at the table. He ran his finger along the tiled tabletop, tracing the path of the grout lines.
"Shit. Things just pop outta' my mouth, Beecher."
Beecher looked up at him, his puppy dog eyes drooping. "It's okay, really. I know what you meant."
"No harm done?"
Lawyer Boy shook his head. Their eyes met again. McManus could almost touch the man's face, if only to brush away the simple tear lines that ran down it. So smooth, this face. So delicate. There were lines on it - age lines or experience lines, call them what you will - but nothing could hide Beecher's handsomeness.
`Fuck it, just go for it,' McManus' mind told him. He leaned toward the former lawyer and swept away his tears. His movements were tender and loving. Beecher thought his motions were almost feminine. Like Keller moved when no one was watching.
"New subject," McManus said. He sniffed and thought for a minute or so. "So, what's it like?"
"What's what like?"
"What's it like, you know, with a man?"
Beecher smiled ear-to-ear. "With a man?" he repeated.
"You know what I mean." McManus took another swallow of his coffee. "I've always wondered."
The man's eyes were dodgy, but Beecher could tell that his tone was curious, not at all mocking or insulting. "It depends on the man."
"How about Keller?"
"Keller was," Beecher began, searching for the words. "Keller was surprisingly gentle."
"Like a woman?"
The lawyer shook his head. "No, not like a woman. Keller was too gruff to be that gentle. Not in a million years." He giggled at this, as did McManus.
"So, does it hurt?"
Beecher scoffed slightly. He blushed a bit, surprised by McManus' forwardness. "A little at first, then you adjust to it."
"It just seems like it'd painful."
"I'd say no more than when a virgin woman does it for the first time, you know? It's all penetration."
"How graphic do you want me to get, Tim?"
"Sorry, uh, McManus."
"No, please. Call me Tim. Don't be so formal." McManus smiled behind his coffee cup.
"Well," Beecher continued, stroking his smooth chin, "there are subtle motions and different techniques and positions. It can be gentle and it can be brutal, just like in straight sex."
McManus nodded, pleased.
"Why this curiosity?"
"I don't know."
"Oh, come on, Tim. You're not fooling me." Beecher touched the man's hand. He petted it a few times, and then withdrew. "You want to ask me something." The former lawyer licked his lips and stared at his coffee companion.
McManus looked up to meet his gaze. "Not really."
"Bullshit. I've noticed the glances."
"What?" McManus snickered. "Be serious." He looked sullen as he spoke.
"Then you want me to ask you something."
"And just what do I want you to ask me?" McManus said, cocking his eyebrow. He forced back a smile, but it appeared anyway.
"You wanna' fuck me, McManus?"
The chair squealed against the hardwood floors as McManus stood with a start. He buried his face in his small hands. He wanted to run and hide, but he stood still, frozen in place. He could feel the eyes of the coffee shop patrons on him. On them both. He thought again about running away.
Beecher stood and walked around the table to the man. He placed a hand on McManus' shoulder and massaged his lower neck with it. People around the coffee shop looked at them, but he didn't care. After living in a glass cage for four years, you begin to ignore stares.
The question had stirred the memory in both their minds: that time in the Hole. The memory of Beecher's words echoed in McManus' mind: 'You wanna' touch my dick?'
McManus withdrew from him. He looked up from his hands and spoke: "Sorry. I didn't mean to freak out there."
"Yeah." He coughed a couple of times and gave an anxious look. "Yeah, I'm alright."
They seated themselves. McManus laughed nervously. "You're not very subtle, are you?"
"I was in Oz for four fucking years. Subtlety isn't good for much in there."
"But you're not in prison anymore."
Beecher looked McManus straight in the eye and grinned: "Old habits die hard."
"So I see."
The table was silent for some time after that. McManus sipped some more coffee, and Beecher crunched on his biscotto.
"Shouldn't you be in mourning over Keller's death?"
"I am," Beecher said. His face was serene. "I'm also lonely."
McManus nodded. He understood that feeling perfectly.
"I'm not sure it's a good idea," McManus said. Beecher could tell that the wheels were turning in the prison manager's head. He was rationalizing and organizing his thoughts.
"Is anything in love or sex ever really a good idea?"
"I gotta' be honest, Beecher."
"Call me Tobias, please."
McManus nodded. "Tobias." He sighed heavily. "I've wanted to touch you for some time, but-."
Beecher thrust his left hand under their table and ran it up McManus' thigh. He could feel the man's sex, a sleeping appendage awakened by his actions. With his right hand he took Tim's hand again and interlaced their fingers. The warmth they shared was nice, inviting. "I'm attracted to you, Tim. I think you're attracted to me."
The apartment was cold and dark when they arrived. McManus immediately flipped the end table lamp on, throwing soft light across the foyer and into the living room.
Beecher stepped in, admiring the tiled foyer. "Nice place," he said.
"Thanks. It's not much, but it keeps the weather off my head."
"I think it's great. What do they pay you, anyway?"
"Not enough," McManus said grinning.
"It's never enough."
"Make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink or something?" The second he asked the question, McManus smacked his forehead with the heel of his hand. He laughed nervously. "Could I please make one more mistake when talking with you? Is it fucking possible?"
"I don't think so; you've pretty much touched on all of my fuck-ups tonight," Beecher said with a genuine grin.
McManus laughed at this. He poured some Jack Daniels on ice, splashed a bit of Coke in it, and then moved back to the living room. Beecher was seated comfortably on the sofa.
McManus sat in the armchair opposite him. This all seemed so premeditated to him. Before, with Howell and Whittlesey and Dr. Nathan, it had been so spontaneous. He and the women had sort of fallen into passion with one another. Of course, spontaneity ended up getting him into trouble.
He had secretly imagined some scenario involving Beecher for four years. All shit aside, McManus knew he had desired the man since first seeing him in Oz. He couldn't explain his desire, but it was always there, wedging its way into his thoughts each time he saw the former lawyer. He would even watch him from afar, in the Em City quad playing chess, in the gym working up a sweat.
He took a sip; the ice cubes jingled lightly in the rocks glass. "So are you living in the city now?"
"Actually not very far from here," Beecher replied. He sat up and adjusted his posture against the sofa.
"Have you lived here all your life?"
"It's called small talk." McManus took another sip of the liquor. "Trying to break the ice, and I don't know how to do anything but shoot the shit."
"It seems very calculated, doesn't it? My coming here?"
McManus nodded. Beecher could read his thoughts through his gestures.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to be that way." Beecher stood and walked over to the man. He knelt in front of him and placed his hands on McManus' thighs. The unit manager was shaking, but he held the glass as still as possible. "You know, I was just looking for company. I had a feeling that you were too."
"How'd you guess?"
Beecher ran his hands over the man's thighs, paying careful attention to his crotch. "You're shaking like a leaf. Like you haven't been touched in months, maybe years."
"Months." McManus didn't want to appear more pathetic than he already did.
"We can just sleep together, if you want."
"Isn't that what we were going to do?"
"I mean, just hold each other. If you want."
McManus didn't reply. No gesture, no statement.
"I could leave, if you're having second thoughts. I don't want you regretting anything."
"No," he said quickly. He reached down and touched Beecher's shoulder. Standing up, he helped the former lawyer up with him. "Don't mistake nervousness for disinterest." McManus licked his lips. He leaned into Beecher and kissed him on the mouth. Just a peck.
The kiss wasn't disgusting, like he had thought it might be. Beecher's soft skin was warm and sensual. His slender lips were feminine anyway, as were his long eyelashes and calming eyes.
Beecher looked at him, judging his reaction. He didn't seem repulsed- a good start with any intimate encounter. This time he moved toward the man and kissed him. A longer, more intimate kiss.
McManus ran his hands over Beecher's back, shoulder blades and arms. He felt the slight outline of muscles on the man's biceps, and his forearms were more powerful than the women he had been with. He had always felt inexplicably drawn to Tobias, and now was no different.
Planting soft kisses, Beecher worked his way around McManus' lips, cheek, and neck. The thick and bristly hairs of the man's goatee excited his senses. The constant tingling felt like heaven against his smooth skin.
The kisses ceased. Beecher buried his head in McManus' shoulder and hugged the man tighter. He almost wept against the soft material. The heat. He missed the heat most of all. The simple warmth and closeness of holding someone else. Being held and being close; that was heaven.
McManus felt the same way. He pulled the man's head back from his shoulder and stared into his quiet eyes. They revealed a certain relief, a comfort. And the prison manager felt the same way, too. "Let's rest together," he said.
Tim led the way into his handsome little bedroom. He pulled the sweater up and off his torso, then his undershirt. Tim had a sexy little paunch. Beecher poked him in the stomach playfully. Tim also liked this action. The former lawyer admired the localized fur that spread out across the man's chest. Beecher himself didn't have a bit of hair on his chest and, even during his slut phase, he had never been with someone hairy. This intrigued him.
Next was Beecher. He removed his button-up Polo shirt, then his tank top undershirt. Forcing his khakis to the floor, he stepped out of them. The room was cool, especially in nothing but his boxers. McManus touched him in the soft light. His hands wandered over the man's torso, exploring right down to his waistline. He stopped there.
They shared another warm, passionate kiss. Beecher felt his companion still shaking.
They slid into bed together, the former lawyer curling up next to the unit manager. What could he say? Beecher was a little bitch. He liked to cuddle up next to someone else. Tim clicked the lamp on the bedside off. Outside, a streetlamp beamed across the courtyard. Beecher rested his head against the man's chest, a ka-thudding heartbeat greeting his ears. The former lawyer chuckled a bit.
"What?" McManus asked.
"Feels a bit like lying next to a teddy bear." Beecher twirled the soft coiling chest hairs in his fingers, which made Tim flinch slightly.
"Oh really?" This comment made McManus grin. "You like it?"
"Yeah." Beecher sniffed, then buried his face into the man's chest.
He kissed him softly, nape to nipples to navel. The hairs streamlining the man's chest were much softer than those on his face. The chest hairs didn't tingle Beecher's face and lips; they only felt warm and held the moisture his mouth gave.
"I bet I know what'll really make you sleep soundly," Beecher said still planting kisses across the man's chest. He worked his way down to McManus' furry happy trail. Inching his fingers beneath the boxers, he moved the cotton material back enough to tease the pubic hairs there with his mouth and chin. He continued kissing, working his way to the stiffening muscle beneath.
"What's that?" McManus asked needlessly. His hips writhed, turning left and right in small motions. He ran his fingers through Beecher's soft hair.
Beecher didn't answer. His mouth was working the unit manager's shaft. He went down several times, slicking over the fleshy seven- incher. Bushy pubic hairs tickled his upper lip and nose as his mouth accepted more length of the prick.
McManus could see his glistening shaft in the poor light given by the streetlamp. His left hand massaged Beecher's hair, then worked its way down his lower back, finally diving beneath the man's boxers. Beecher adjusted his position on the bed, and Tim worked over his seducer's ass cheeks, kneading and massaging them. He was shaking with anticipation and anxiety; he hoped Beecher didn't notice.
The former lawyer pulled back from the man's shaft. His mouth was moist with pre-flow and saliva. He gripped the shaft with his right hand and jerked on it furiously. McManus' hips gyrated in wide motions as he did this; Beecher thought it was adorable how excited his partner was.
He leaned back toward the man's cock, probing the head with snake- like tongue actions as he stroked him. Next his mouth and tongue found their way to the man's handsome little balls. He licked, sucked and encircled the balls with his mouth while jerking.
Subtle moans escaped McManus' mouth as he worked the man's pleasure points. He clenched his teeth, hoping to muffle the sounds, but it was too much. Too much pleasure, too much ecstasy to withstand it. "Ah, ah, shi, shi, shit," he uttered amid the furious sucking, pulling and jerking.
Left hand cupping balls and right hand holding the cock base steady, Beecher moved his lips up the outside length of the shaft. He repeated this motion, working the length up and down, up and down. He broke up these tongue-gliding actions with cockhead teasing tongue lashes.
How cruel it was, that such a heavenly act had to end. McManus' hips were moving intensely now, his breaths heaving. Beecher watched the man's chest rise and fall frantically. Not wanting a face full of cum, he pulled his mouth away from the device, placed his right hand on Tim's cock and, massaging the man's nipples with his left hand, he jerked feverishly.
That devil's grip. Something about the gripping and pulling. No, not just pulling. Beecher knew how to pull and rotate his fist at the same time. He jerked the slick shaft from head to base until loads of semen shot and poured from the tip. For some thirty seconds the cock spewed and erupted, evidence of another good job from dear old Toby. The sticky shots landed all over the sheets, Beecher's jerking hand, and mostly on McManus's hairy chest, abdomen and legs.
McManus couldn't help but lie there like a stone, his chest still heaving with each breath. For a few moments, he couldn't even form words or syllables. "Shi, shit," he said finally.
Beecher sat resting and smiling, admiring his handiwork. He looked at McManus' post-coital face, still handsome and flush red and beaded with sweat.
Finally catching his breath, McManus sat up. The cum felt cold and dirty on his body. He noticed the enormous erection that Beecher was sporting, and he felt bad that he hadn't pleasured his seducer at the same time.
They sat still for another few moments, enjoying a smile and a few more kisses.
"I'm afraid I've made a mess of the sheets," Beecher said.
"You know the best part about making messes?" Tim asked. He smiled slyly, but Beecher wasn't paying attention.
"Getting cleaned up."
Continued in Dreamstate