Friendship. Fucking. Fucking over. Keller lived and died by simple methods. And then he met Beecher. His lover, his semi/not really/don't ever say it to Beecher's face prag. Toby. He kept a sharp ear on the sounds in the bunk above him. Scribbling. "What's goin' on up there Toby?"
Pause. "I'm just writing a letter." Why the pause? What would he have to hide?
Keller stood up, stretching. He removed his T-shirt with slow ease. All those mind-fucking-numbing hours in the gym had to be worth something besides strength. Yep. Beecher put down his legalese pad long enough to get an eyeful. "You've seen it all before."
Beecher flashed him that straight to the groin, quasi-flirty leer. "That doesn't mean I still can't appreciate the view."
Keller smiled back, full-watt. "What's on the pad?"
Toby tossed the yellow pages onto his top sheet. "A...A letter to my children."
Keller nodded. Little too quick. What was he hiding? "Mind if I take a look? Those English courses I been taking, we're learning all about proofreading. Might need the practice."
Pause. Beecher jumped down to meet him. His dark blue eyes locked on Keller's, trapping him. Keller felt pissed and aroused all at once. The Look. And Keller fell for it, as he always had. His hand crept to just the right spot on his Toby's side, above the scar. He pressed, causing pleasure and pain. He let Beecher grab him by his thinning hair, sliding hungry lips over waiting lips. Hands roamed over his broad torso, sliding into the back of his clinging boxers, cupping him. He heard his own deep moan when teeth nipped into his neck. Frisky tonight. A hand snaked inside Beecher's in the way shorts, pulling on his cock as the other hand yanked the cotton down, around, and off his feet. Keller ran his calloused fingers over the leaking head. His reward was a hiss. Keller's boxers were quickly peeled off, Beecher dropping to his knees. Chris waited, running hands through hair, feeling the tongue lapping at his balls. Toby always knew just the right spot. Course he's had lots of practice. Keller had to smirk at that, as moistness dipped into his slit. He groaned, forgetting about the pad, the lies, the room, everything. Except that right spot.
Toby had to go do *work* with Sister Pete. That not-so-restrained concern of hers must bore into Beecher's back, at the thought of Golden Boy rooming with her temptor. Bad Boy, his very presence making her jolt at where she wanted him to put his ruler. Probably still in her dreams every night. Egotistical, sure, but a little ego never hurt anybody.
Keller threw down the cards in frustration, hating solitaire. He saw the postal boy. The motherfucker who wrote the book on ego. Schillinger. Big ol' smirk on his face. Uh-oh. That means trouble. Strutting over, lapping up all the attention. Guards, cons, dozens of eyes locked on one spot. Proud Papa Vern.
"Well hey Vern. Whatcha want? No cock-sucking, I hope, I already got the best at that. Course you got firsthand experience with that, doncha?"
The fuck just gave him that intimidating stare, worked so well back in Lardner. Doesn't really work now, they both knew it, but appearances are everything in here. The stare turned to dimply smile, turning on that charm to revolt. "No mail for today. Or ever, 'til an ex or two, or three, needs to change her panties. Hey, maybe *Toby* can mail you some soiled boxers. Special delivery. Do me a few favors and I'll even let you keep 'em."
Chris had had enough of this pissing contest. "Get the fuck away.."
Vern pushed a meaty paw onto his own chest, mouth opened to gasp. "I'm shocked. Babe, all we got is each other. I have friends in high places, and they're shouting down, yelling one word. 'Parole'."
No way either of them were smellin' real air anytime soon. That left...."Beecher."
"Yep. Soon. And he's not getting out of here alive. Two choices Chris. Keep that bitch on your leash, or dig a hole in the backyard." Chris just knew Vern got a sick thrill out of watching him make up his mind. "I taught you well." Away he went. What would Chris do about Toby's parole? Not the fair thing, cause trash like Keller and Vern don't do the right thing. And yuppie, conscience-crippled Toby, the light that keeps sucking the moths back in, got caught in the crossfire. He needs to be protected. *He needs me*, Chris thought, picking the cards back up to reshuffle.
Sleep. Overrated. Ya gotta keep an eye open, even in Dreamland. And that's no fun, just ask Beecher. Chris'd walked into this pod so full of himself, thinking he could control every part of the prag turned nutjob. The first day, those haunted eyes of a supposedly unknown sponsor, a little part of him fell, the rest bit by bit. Now Beecher controlled him, his movements, his thoughts. He couldn't live without him.
Keller's arms were around Toby, comforting, as he dreamt of Kathy's and Vern's and Gen's and an occasional side dish of Keller thrown in. He hadn't done that as much tonight. "Mmm...Gen...few more minutes..." Gen...? That bitch offed herself years ago. Must be dreaming of life after parole. After Chris. Not gonna happen. Keller ran his hand over his lover's clean-shaven face, thinking of their New Year's reunion, the way he had memorized every part of Toby's body. The hair had shortened since their first meeting, the face not as obviously tortured, but his soul was the same. Troubled. Always searching for more, never finding. Except once. *Me*.
"I can't take away all your problems, but I can help you through 'em." Chris nibbled on his ear, sticking his tongue in the canal. He leaned back, whispering. "Without you, I'm shit. Without me, you're dead. We need each other."
He put Beech's deceivingly fragile hand on his cock, arching up at the squeeze.
"Mmm...Gen, honey...when did you get one of those..."
Keller tried to hold back his snort of laughter, unable to. He flipped Beecher off his back, shaking him awake. Beecher smiled up at him drowsily. "You."
Keller relaxed a little bit, laying beside him, foot-to-foot, cock-to-ass. "Yeah. Me."
Next day. Toby gone again. He had to do this now. Too much thought might make him wimp out, full of self-doubt and recrimination. Or so Pete might say. Or, as Vern might say, pussy like you can only keep balls if he steals 'em from real men. *Fuck you BOTH*. He hated falling into that motherfucking bastard's trap, playing the game the way Schillinger wanted him to. Adolph plants the seeds, Keller watches 'em grow, Beecher chokes Keller with the weeds, and the gardener sits back, laughing, satisfied. But what choice did Chris have? He could kill Vern, let Toby free, but something inside him pushed that away. He hungered for that man's touch. Not solitary.
Every time Chris closed his eyes he thought of McManus telling him they'd found Beecher dead only minutes before parole. Or watching the news and seeing a "killed in random act of violence" report, every old-schooler in Oz knowing randomness never had dick to do with it. Or Beecher, happy, thriving in the real world, with his old demons, with that cute-postcard family. Chris wasn't sure which alternative upset him more.
Back to fucking important matters. He'd never go to McManus, that guy'd suck Beecher's cock if he asked nicely enough, he felt so guilty about what went on under his all-powerful command. So Chris had to weasel, charm, and drop enough hints to get his way into the head honcho's office. Leo Glynn. Or so that hot little blonde secretary said.
Glynn stared him down humorlessly, condescendingly, the way he did most prisoners. "This field trip had better have a purpose, Keller."
Keller nodded, stepping forward, putting on a concerned face that wasn't very hard to conjure up. "Yeah. It does. It's about Beecher..."
A few harsh words and brutal truth later, Keller's field trip led him back to Em City. The quad. Meeting place of all kinds. He spotted Beecher out of the corner of his eye, being summoned away. The knot of nerves in his stomach, never completely gone, back more than ever today, pulsed in him. He needed a distraction. Like Sister Pete. But even tougher. He looked around him. No prisoners. He wanted clean meat. Kinda like the good ol' pre/post jail days when he'd go bar-hopping, *just* drunk enough, sweet-talking the shy wallflower gals into dropping their drawers. Or looking right through them, toward the men, who weren't even there for him, but still somehow fell for his charms. The look on Mr. Perfectly Hetero And Proud Of It's face the next day, when he'd wake up in that unknown bed, beside a M-A-N. Dredging up some of those expressions of horror could make him smile no matter what. He plastered that smile on his mug right then, because he needed it. He went up the guard tower stairs, casually. "Officer Murphy. Just the man I wanted to see."
Beecher walked back from Glynn's office, head down, thoughts tinted with rage and shock. No, not really shock, this had been in the back of his mind all along. Still, the words, "under suspicion in the death of Correctional Officer Karl Metzger." "...parole postponed indefinitely until further notice..." coming from Glynn's pompous face. His protests of innocence were pointless. "you were the last person seen with CO Metzger...and when I take your other violent acts into account...", and Beecher remembered screaming back, "Violent acts caused by cocksuckers like you who were too stupid to protect prisoners!" It had all been a blur, he thought he even used the word "nigger" on his way out. A leftover lesson from his beloved Vern, apparently. More years without his kids. More years to look forward to being the meat in a Keller/Schillinger mindfuck sandwich. At least 4 more years, God knows what if they took this to trial.
Couldn't even look forward to the extra years with Keller, cause his oh-so-concerned pal is the one who fucked him over. No wonder Keller had been so off-kilter lately, he'd found out. And damn what made his *Toby* happy, he put himself first. Big surprise. And Toby just blocked it all out. In denial as usual. No more. No more.
Back to the pit of hell. His baby's chatting with Murphy. Screwing him over too. No! Keller saw him, coming down to "comfort" him. Laughing, laughing, Beecher laughed. Red flashed in his eyes. Blood. Keller's blood. Need to see it. Now. He put his hand on a chair, kicking the seat up, picking the chair up, swinging, HARD, quick, vicious. Metal hit bone and skin with a crack, cheering, Busmalis yelling, "just like professional wrestling!!" He lifted his arms in the air at the sounds, howling as he was led away.
Hole. He hadn't been here since right after the first riot. The damp floor and wall brushed against his naked skin. Gen(dead, *can't* forget that Toby) HollyGaryChris. Who didn't belong? The person he was going to spend several more years with. He had to get revenge. More than just physical, although that had calmed him down. Schillinger, cause that asshole was responsible for ever siccing Keller on him. Then Keller. He had wanted to kill Keller. Crazy Beecher told him to. But he stopped listening after day....14...20....who the fuck knew. When he thought of Keller dead he knew his days and nights in Dante's Inferno would be even lonelier. Besides, that's what Vern wanted him to do. Alone, vulnerable, crazy, *swoop* dead meat. The battle raged on. *He broke your arms.* "But he saved my life." *He broke your heart. He made you stay in this hellhole.* "I'll get him back. But I love him." The last three words seemed to calm his own doubting inner voice. Or maybe he simply tuned that out. Times like this were when he missed booze. Mineo entered, dejectedly, waiting for him to stand up and get his clothes.
Beecher stood, putting on his underwear.
Shit, why did Keller have to get under his skin? Why couldn't he face the darkness again, alone?
Keller had the same thoughts in the infirmary, a last checkup on his injuries post-folding chair to the face. Cuts, bruises, a few teeth worked on by the dentist, he'd had worse. He smiled at Gloria. "Thanks Doc."
"If I were Beecher, I would have done a lot worse."
Damn bitch. Must still be defensive after Ryan bumped off her hubby. We're all bad, just like him. She'd never get all the reasons for what Chris did. He just hoped Toby did. He heard the voice when he walked back from the infirmary.
"What the FUCK are you all staring at? Is this Melrose Penitentiary? Get some lives of your own!"
He had to laugh. Beecher was back. It scared the shit out of him, but it was the happiest he'd been in a month. He made it to the center of the room. His smoldering eyes emblazoned on Beecher, asking for forgiveness, for understanding. Beecher looked straight back, cold, unfeeling. Eyefuck over, Beecher headed for the showers, body language telling all to stay away. Keller gave him his time, preferring to wait until later.
Lights out. Finally. Beecher had ignored him for the night, glaring at him every time he interrupted his reading. At least now Chris had the cover of darkness to help him. He sat beside him, the bottom bunk creaking slightly under extra weight. "Toby..."
The laugh, harsh, frenzied. "Just like old times huh? I wanted to throw you out so badly I could fucking taste it. As much as I could taste your sourness in my mouth. You're worthless." Chris glared, trying to hide his pain. "Awwww...poor baby Chris is all hurt and wants somebody to make it better. How do you think I felt?"
Chris stood from the bunk. "Toby, that fuck told me he'd kill you."
"And my life was ruined cause of the kindness of your heart. Cut the shit! A big reason for killing my parole was selfishness. I'm *yours*, and no one else's. Not my kids, or my family, or even the outside world. Keller's got his own special brand, as deadly as his former Daddy. Isn't that right?" Beecher pulled him closer, face to face. "Huh? Bitch?"
Keller nodded, slowly, with building anger. The talk never amounted to much, only actions did. "Y'know, just tell me to move out if it's going to be night after night of this."
"That was the plan. But I knew you'd come back, sniffing around, begging to come back into my life, inside me. And I'd fight, and you'd push, and I'd fight, and finally give in."
"Certainly got a high opinion of yourself."
Beecher spit in his face. "Go ahead. Deny it!"
Keller wiped his cheek, reflexively grabbing the unbalanced figure, slamming him against the wall. He was surprised at the erection thrust against his. The first good sign. He stared at Beecher's chameleon-like face. In the span of seconds, he saw arousal, hesitation, rage, acceptance. How many of these could he blame himself for? Too many to count. His lips pressed into Beecher's neck, licking under the fresh beard, hands running up and down his still freshly clean back. Reaching underneath the shirt, he felt for nipples, pressing them into hardness. Toby was panting into his hair, groping him. A pair of hands ripped off his undershirt. Keller craned his mouth away from the space between collarbone and jaw. "Toby, I love you."
Beecher grabbed his hair, staring at him, touching his face, tracing the few scars left. "Fuck you." He laughed after his own whisper, licking the planes of his enemy, his friend, his lover's face, pushing into his lips. Keller flinched at the bristles against his lips. Mouth opened on insistence, Beecher sucked on the tongue that brushed across his teeth. Keller ground further into his pelvis, the intensity of their reunion driving him.
He pushed forward, Keller falling onto the bunk, both men fumbling with their remaining clothes. Beecher kissed a path down his abs. He moved further down, biting into flesh, making Keller deliriously wonder if he was trying to leave marks. Keller muttered an obscenity, feeling the tongue snaking into spaces between his thighs, two fingers inching toward his crack. He bit back a scream at the penetration, circling Beecher around, hips around his head. You get, ya gotta give in return, that's what he'd always heard. The head of Beecher's erection fit between thumb and forefinger, rubbing, slow torture until a flick of his tongue joined the fingers. He pushed it into his mouth, swallowing most of the length with a teasingly slow pace. His middle finger wound into Beecher's ass, rewarded by Toby biting into his upper thigh. The wilder man's mouth finally met his cock, deep throating in a single gasp. Another hand tugged at his balls, rolling them between fingers. Fearing some nosy hack, Keller moved fast, hoping Toby picked up on his movements. Beecher finished first, Keller adjusting to Beecher pulling out of his mouth. Toby lifted up long enough to swivel his hips back around, stroking Keller's nearly bursting erection with a fast hand. Chris used his elbows to sit up, watching, startled at the blue eyes trained on him. Gleeful and mad all at the same time. "You'd better hope to almighty Christ that I don't bite this off." Keller tried in vain to pull away at the sound of the cackle, groaning when Toby swallowed the length all over again, determined to finish his mouth work.
He clawed his fingers across the bedsheets, being slowly tortured. What seemed like an eternity later, he felt himself going, shooting into Beecher's mouth. Toby moved up to his broad chest, kissing him, sharing the semen with him. He kissed him back, tasting himself on the familiar, irreplaceable tongue. Reunited.....and it felt so damn good.
Beecher clung to him for only a moment, going over to stand in front of the mirror. "Now that we've fucked, it's time to plan how to fuck Schillinger." Keller joined him, wrapping his arms around his slender waist. From his eyes, Beecher seemed to be staring at himself like he no longer had an identity at all. Toby stared back at him from the mirror, clasping his hand. "You really love me?"
Keller balanced his head on the shoulder in front of him. "More than anything else in my whole damn life."
Beecher smiled. "I love you too Chris." He spun around, brushing his fingers across Keller's throat. "And I hate you, for doing this. I'm never going to forget. You'd better not forget either. Don't turn your back on me." He tapped Keller's lips four times, mumbling along as he did. "E-V-E-R." Followed by a giggle, no hint of happiness in the laugh. Keller pulled him closer, maybe afraid, mostly satisfied. Was it worth it, worth the danger, the craziness? He still had him. So, yeah. *Hell* yeah.