A solid month. Four whole weeks since Beecher had last stepped foot on this property, inside these garishly bland walls.
Oz. The name still gave Beecher fits at times. He still awoke at daybreak, half expecting to hear the buzzers to wake him. Sometimes he even missed that hiss-and-wail locking mechanism that released them each day. There is a certain comfort to living an organized routine. Now he felt like a chicken with its head lopped off — flailing about, arms like tentacles, searching without finding anything.
The lawyer stepped out of his father's Lexus SUV. A cold rainy breeze greeted him. The autumn months could be awful at times.
Beecher glanced around the countryside that surrounded the prison. A sea of endless hilltops, of greens and browns blurred by the soft sheets of rain. Gunmetal gray clouds spread out across the expansive sky. The sun was an illusion, a soft sphere behind the putrid gray.
The prison itself looked like a black hole of life against the canvas of natural scenery behind it. An amalgam of grays, blacks and in- betweens covered the bland, metallic row of buildings. It seemed as though the whole property were tainted with the grime, the filth of the prisoners. As if the culmination of all these awful souls gathered in one place had destroyed the nature around it. Even the grass seemed deader as he approached the building.
Beecher made his way up the old concrete walk. Patches of grass and weeds sprouted through the dark, rain-slicked path. The guard greeted him immediately as he approached the front desk. He seemed happy to be performing his job.
"Hi. Uh, I'm Tobias Beecher. I have a visit with Chris Keller scheduled."
The guard ran his bony fingers over the schedule book. "Let's see here… there you are. Right on time."
That same room. It felt weird now, on the other side of the table, so to speak. This withered and plain old room. How many prisoners had met with loved ones in this room over the years? Now Beecher was free, out and about, able to do as he pleased. But Keller.
Keller looked seductive as ever, in his trademark nameless trousers and t-shirt that was way too tight for his impressive physique. The t- shirt skirted up his abdomen slightly as he walked into the room, revealing a sexy little happy trail. The coiling hairs danced a bit, then dove behind his waistline.
He immediately flashed a sexy smile as he entered the room. Those blue eyes were glaring searchlights. He grabbed Beecher like an old flame and almost twirled him like in those romance movies. He was clearly excited to have company.
"How are you, Toby?"
"I'm doing well. You?"
"I'm fucking fantastic." He proceeded to kiss the man clumsily, across the neck and left cheek, finally finding his mouth.
Beecher withdrew a bit. "Somebody will see."
"You're not a prisoner any more," Keller replied, continuing his relentless barrage of short, plodding kisses. "Fuck `em."
"Keller," Beecher said, hands on Keller's shoulders, forcing the man back.
Keller shot him a hurt look. Hurt more from being called Keller than from being forced back from his affections.
The lawyer smiled at his lover, once again admiring his openness. Keller didn't return the smile. "Let's talk," he pleaded. He and his lover seated themselves at the 1970s-looking table.
"I've been talking for a month," Keller said. He still wore a wounded look.
"What, did you want to fuck me or something?"
"Only in my head." He grinned slyly now. Keller plopped his larger defined frame into one of the cheap plastic chairs.
"No Kitty this week?"
"No. No more Kitty. No more Angelique. And definitely no more Bonnie."
Beecher's jaw went slack. "No more, period?"
Keller nodded. "I told `em that I thought they should move on with their lives."
"But Keller." Beecher shook his head. "I'm not your ex-wife."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Beecher didn't answer; he only looked down at the stained and cigarette-burned table. "First you beg me to let you visit, and now you're thinking something else?"
"Of course not. It's just… that's very grown-up of you."
"Well, a boy's gotta' grow up sometime, right?"
"I guess so." Beecher was silent for a second. "Any trouble in here over the last month?"
"Nah. I've been keeping to myself most of the time. You'd be proud of me."
"Why is that?"
"Been talking to Sister Pete about my feelings," Keller said, putting a sissy pronunciation on the word `feelings.' Beecher smiled, chuckled a bit.
"What is it?"
"Bullshit. What's so funny?"
"What about me?" Keller asked, effecting his best `innocent man' look.
"How can you change so much and still be the same old Keller?"
"It's a gift."
They shared another silence, this one lasting a few minutes. They just gazed out, at each other, through each other, like an old married couple might.
"You found work yet?" Keller asked matter of factly.
Lawyer boy nodded. "Yeah. I'm working as a gopher for my old law firm."
"Yeah, I figure since they won't let me be a lawyer any more, I can at least work with the Law. Even after all the shit I've been through with it, I still love it. It's what I was born to do."
"That's good, Toby." The lawyer fidgeted with his fingers a bit. Keller took Beecher's hands in his own. He rubbed over the man's soft hands, with their delicate pronounced knuckles, simple lines, and tender palms.
"That's nice. Can I have a foot rub next time?"
Keller smiled. "If you take out your feet right now, I'll not only massage them, I'll suck your toes." Another sexy grin.
Beecher blushed, as he sometimes did when Chris was so open and nonchalant in his manner. "Perhaps next time."
"It embarrasses you."
"This attraction. This relationship. My fawning over you, it embarrasses you."
"Aw, come on. Don't lie to me, Toby." The words were harsh, but Keller's manner was more reserved, almost sad.
"It embarrasses you, doesn't it?"
"Alright, yes. Sometimes it does embarrass me."
"I don't know. I've never been the huggy, kissy type." Beecher swiped his nose. "Never in public, anyway."
"You seemed like the huggy, kissy — hell, fucky — type in here, Toby."
"Prison changes a man. I'm better now."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Beecher looked tired and impatient suddenly. "I don't know. Forget I said it."
"No, what did you mean?"
"Nothing." Keller looked at his lover, and he knew that Beecher never meant to say those words.
"Do you love me, Toby? Honestly? I'll know if you fucking lie to me."
The lawyer glanced at him; his pale blue eyes were soft, unassuming. "I love you with all my heart."
This pleased Keller. "Prove it," he said flashing a shit-eating grin.
"Come over here, put your hand on my cock, and massage it while you kiss me."
"You heard me. You do me, and I'll do you." Keller could see that Beecher was not responding very well to his request. "I want to be close to you, Toby."
"The fucking CO is right there, Chris."
"So what?" Keller was fretting. "You don't think I pleasured my wives right here, in this exact same fucking room." He huffed like an impatient child. "Sex isn't just penetration, Toby. It's friction, it's passion. It's quick and fleeting motions that create lasting emotions."
"I know what you mean, and I know what you want, but—."
"But things don't come as easy for others as they do for you." Beecher had raised his voice without meaning to. It was almost a subconscious thing. And Keller knew all his buttons. Keller knew how to push him.
And Beecher could see what his lover was doing.
"Alright, you beautiful prick. You want me to join you?" Beecher stood, his eyes flaring up, his face gaining a crimson hue. "Officer Armstrong." His tone and volume caused the other people in the room to look at him.
"What is it, Beecher?"
"I'm going to cross this table and sit by Chris Keller."
"So fucking what?" Armstrong said. He was in a mood today.
"That's not all," Beecher continued. He spoke with his hands as much as with his mouth. Especially when he was all worked up. And when he was angry, he was sexy. Keller was in heaven. "No sirree, that's not all. I'm going to jerk him off, through his clothes. I'm gonna' stroke him as best I can without being able to whip that baby out right here. You got a problem with that?"
CO Armstrong turned his back the lawyer. Raving lunatic, he thought to himself.
"Is that what you want, Keller? Everyone to know our business?"
Keller was silent, still. He was hard as a rock, though. He chuckled a bit. "Beecher, sit the fuck down."
"I thought you wanted me to jerk you off?" the lawyer said in an elevated tone.
"Next time," Keller said, the shit-eating smile still spread across his warm face. His smile lightened the mood. "I always thought you were sexiest when pissed off. Like that time you called me a fuckin' bitch."
"Yeah, I have to admit, you looked really sexy, acting all innocent." They shared a short giggle, but Beecher's face became serious. "We're going to be okay, aren't we Chris?"
Again, their eyes met. Beecher was sad but not depressed. His pale blue eyes reflected the glaring lights in the room. Tears formed in the corners of his eyes, and he couldn't explain why.
Keller enjoyed simply staring at Toby. His Toby. His love. He leaned into Lawyer Boy and ran his fingers through the sandy blond hairs on his head. His hair was short again, like it was when he moved Said into his pod, when he sought out the Imam to talk about God. "I always liked this haircut the best," Keller said warmly.
Beecher blushed once again. "Oh yeah?" He ran his fingers through his hair nervously, grinning like an adolescent.
"What do you mean by what, Darling."
"Don't call me that."
"Why Honey-Bunny?" Keller was affecting that sissified intonation again.
"It's embarrassing?" Keller finished for him.
Beecher stared at his ornery, and horny, lover for just a few seconds. "Because I might have to resort to calling you My Little Dumpling. My Bottom Boy."
"Yeah, right," Keller said chuckling. "Who's the real bottom here, Toby? Huh?"
They laughed together, a hearty resonant laughter that reverberated across the small meeting room.
"We're going to be just fine, Sexy." Keller spoke passionately.
"Just fine," Beecher repeated.
Also be sure to check out his Other Ending