Danny Ray

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The summer air was dead. It was only Noon and it was already hot. It was going to be another scorcher today. I walked with my head down from Phil’s Auto Body on the deserted sidewalk. Phil was my dad. I went to work for him after high school. No prospects for college, I wasn’t interested in school anyway. My grades hadn’t been that great and besides, I liked working with my hands.

I had gone to a six month trade and tech program in Las Cruces while I lived with my folks. My dad was glad for the help and paid me well enough for me to have my own place and drive a new Ford F-150. Not a bad life for a twenty-four year old living in San Pablo, about twenty minutes south of Las Cruces and about an hour north of El Paso.

My social calendar wasn’t exactly full, but I had a few friends in Las Cruces. I didn’t date as girls weren’t exactly my thing. In high school, girls were all over me to go out as I was a jock, tall and, I guess, good looking enough; but I knew I was gay when puberty hit and I came out to my parents after I graduated. They had suspected but allowed me to find my own way, thankfully. While they were supportive, they also cautioned me that since we lived in a small southwestern town, it was probably best keeping it on the down low. I had driven to El Paso a couple of times and gone to a gay bar, but that really wasn’t my thing. San Pablo was a town of less than a thousand people and it wasn’t exactly a hot bed of gay rights. Although there was a lesbian couple that ran a kachina shop downtown selling what nots and Hopi rugs to tourists. Everyone in town gossiped about them, but over all, the town was pretty tolerant.

The auto body shop was busy. Most of our business came from Las Cruces. I was a fairly good mechanic and my dad and another guy, Jim, ran the body shop. My days normally consisted of going to work and coming home to watch TV with my Australian cattle dog, Bonnie. Grey and tan, she had one blue bright blue eye and one green eye. She was my companion and I took her to the shop with me every day. It was a lonely life, but a good life.

On weekends, I would usually drive into Las Cruces and pick up a b-ball game in the evenings with some of the college guys or go to a movie. I shied away from the local hang out just down the street from the shop, the Canyon Club. It was a greasy spoon and bar with pool tables. It got rowdy on weekends and there was usually a fight or two for the local sheriff to break up. Not my type of place. On weekdays, however, that’s where I would walk from the shop, two blocks to the Canyon Club to pick up my lunch and take it back to the shop to eat.

On that hot summer day, Bonnie was tagging along behind me as I walked those two blocks, my cap down over my eyes. The front door to the Canyon Club was propped open and cool air was pouring out into the street from a swamp cooler that was barely able to keep up. My work shirt was damp from sweat and my boots kicked up dust even off the concrete sidewalk.

Walking into the bar, my eyes struggled to adjust from the bright New Mexico sun to the dimly life interior. I stood in the doorway for a second to get my bearings.

“Jackson,” I heard a deep baritone voice boom from the back by the pool tables.

I turned my cap around so the brim was at the back of my neck to clear my view. I had a puzzled look on my face as I tried to decipher if that someone was talking to me. My name was Ethan, not Jackson. Wait, Danny Ray used to call me Jackson back in high school. I saw an arm waiving me to come to the back of the bar.

I approached him, my mind trying to adjust to the difference between the man I was looking and the boy from high school. Danny Ray was two years younger than me, but he had a brother, Randy, who was my age. Danny Ray was kind of pest as a kid, but he was always around us older boys. In high school, he was a short, skinny, little shit with curly coal black hair. He and his brother were kind of trouble makers, smoking and drinking. Their older sister turned out to be a heroin addict. The family was kind of poor, but the boys always had cars. I had a crush on Randy when I was in school and that is where I developed my like of automobiles. I would drive around with him in some sweet rides and pretend that he was my boyfriend. It was a good fantasy, never to be realized. Randy died in a car accident right before we graduated, that nearly killed his folks too, now that their oldest son was gone.

I liked Danny Ray enough, even if he was a pest. He was cut kid, but he was only sixteen when I graduated and I never really thought about him much. He was always trying to be my best friend and called me Jackson, for some silly reason. After his brother died, he was kind of a lost kid, but he cleaned up his act after that, didn’t get in any more trouble and joined the Marines after graduating. I hadn’t seen him since. That was four years ago. I was now twenty-four and he would be twenty-two.

“Jackson, how the fuck are you,” Danny Ray said with a big grin. He sat casino şirketleri on the corner of a pool table holding on to his cue balancing it on the floor.

“I’m good,” I said smiling back. I was standing in front of a man I really didn’t recognize. His curly black hair was shaved down to a military buzz, but he sported a fashionable beard the same length as his hair — short. He was muscled, every bit a jarhead. His arms had grown with muscled biceps and sculpted triceps. His hairy forearms were strong and led down to a set of man hands, big and broad. He was wearing his marine fatigues and a white tee shirt with his tags hanging down between his sculpted pecs. A thin waist, made his upper torso look enormous by comparison, and his thighs were thick and muscled as he sat on the edge of the pool table. I’m sure my mouth was watering as his big, brown eyes stared through me. I watched as he reached forward with his right hand and pulled me into him. I felt his feet wrap around my calves and his ankles lock around my legs, holding me from moving. I felt weak in the knees, but I couldn’t help but just look at his handsome face.

“It’s good to see you again, Jackson,” he whispered in my ear.

“It’s good to see you again, Danny Ray,” I mumbled, barely able to talk.

“Don’t call me Danny Ray!” his voice became deep and serious, “Danny Ray died in Afghanistan. It’s just Danny now.” His hand was squeezing my bicep and I felt that there might be bruises when I felt his hand finally relax and a smile return to his face.

“Yes sir,” I answered with a certain look of hesitation. Why was I calling him sir? Fuck, he was younger than me. Maybe it was just his commanding presence.

“Haven’t been called sir, since I got back. Kinda like it though. The men that I commanded in my unit called me sir. Having you call me sir is kinda hot,” he grinned.

“Ya, your dad was by the shop last week, told me you were back,” I tried to induce a conversation feeling a little confused. Was he flirting with me? No, it was all just wishful thinking on my part. Still, his ankles were locked around my calves, holding me in close to him and his hand was now holding mine.

“Flew into Holloman last week. Just getting readjusted to civilian life,” he said.

“Am I making you nervous?” he said with a grin.

“A little,” I answered truthfully. My hand was trembling, so it wasn’t hard for him to tell.

“Good,” was his response, “mean’s you’re interested.”

“You are gay, aren’t you?” he whispered very softly in my ear and then blew a hot breath against my neck. I felt a shiver run down my back and thought I might faint.

My shoulders slumped and my head dropped. How did he know such a private thing?

“I need to pick up my lunch and get back,” I said trying to back away from him.

Just then Beth, the haggard waitress, yelled over the bar, “Danny, you want another draft?”

She was only in her thirties, but looked much older. She was rode hard and put away wet. Her cigarette voice was harsh. She had a passel of kids and none of them had the same baby daddy. I liked her, but she was a rough character.

“No thanks, Beth,” he answered, “but Jackson needs a burger and fries to go.”

He didn’t miss a beat and pulled me back into him again. “Now as I was saying, you are…”

I interrupted, my face flushed red, “ya, but how?”

“Jackson, you’re cute when you’re blushing,” he said, “I’ve know for a long time. Why do you think I was always trying to get your attention when I was a kid? You were a good lookin jock with a hot bod and no girlfriends. Gay.”

I cleared my throat and mumbled, “So are you?”

“What do you think?” he said squeezing my hand. That brought a smile to my face and my nervousness seemed to ease a bit. But damn, he was handsome and that made me feel a twinge in my crotch.

Beth called out, “Ethan, your order’s ready.” She was eyeing the fact that I was standing between Danny’s legs and he was holding my hand. A slight grin crossed her withered face.

“I’ll pick you up at seven,” Danny whispered in my ear.

“I don’t, I think, I’m not,” I was stuttering.

“That’s not a request Jackson. I’ll pick you up at seven. Be ready and dress nice, we’re going out to dinner,” he said.

“Yes sir,” I answered.

“That’s better, Jackson,” he smiled and released my hand as I backed away and he stood up before me. I was six foot and he was just a bit taller at six two. He had a good twenty pounds on me at 210 pounds. He was a big man and I liked it.

“I gotta pay and get back to work,” I said.

“I got it Jackson,” he winked. He walked up to the counter and flipped a ten out of his wallet. He grabbed the bag with my burger and fries and handed it to me.

“Thanks Danny. I’ll see you at seven,” I said blushing again.

“Damn. Cute,” he said in a low voice.

Bonnie was patently waiting for me outside the bar. “Come on girl,” I said in a happy sing-song way. My day was going great. casino firmaları The shop was fairly quite, I only had a couple of oil changes and an ignition switch change out.

Dad was locking the garage doors to the shop, “Your mother thought you might want to come over for dinner tonight.”

“Can’t, have a date,” I answered trying to hide my excitement.

“A date?” he asked knowing that I didn’t ever go out of dates.

“A date!” I answered. “I ran into Danny Ray at lunch, only now he’s just plain Danny.”

“You have a date, with Danny Ray, I mean Danny. So he is…?” he stopped. I just shrugged my shoulders, “Don’t know dad. I guess I’ll find out tonight.”

“Be careful Ethan and wear a condom,” he giggled.

“Fuck, dad,” I said with surprise. I certainly didn’t need to hear that from my own father.

I got home and took a shower trying to scrub off as much of the grease and grime from the hands of a mechanic. I dressed in a pair of chinos that showed off my butt and a white linen shirt. Hair, check. Fingernails, check. Clothes, check. I was feeding Bonnie as the door bell rang.

There he stood. Black tee shirt, tight against his torso, showing off his arms and chest. His narrow waist held up a pair of black jeans with a wide, black, leather belt. He was sporting a pair of black motorcycle boots. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of aviators. I’m sure I was drooling as I stared at him.

“Are you going to ask me in?” his deep baritone voice asked.

“Sorry, come in, I was just feeding Bonnie,” I said.

“Bonnie?” he asked.

“My dog,” I smiled. Just then Bonnie ran up to Danny and sniffed him out. He reached down and petted her. She took to him immediately and sat at his feet. Again, maybe it was just his commanding demeanor that made us act this way.

“I can’t believe I’m going on a date with…” I stopped midsentence. “This is a date isn’t it?”

“Ya, Jackson, this is a date,” he smiled, “I noticed you didn’t have on a wedding ring and you didn’t say anything about a boyfriend, so I assumed?”

“No. I don’t have a husband and I don’t have a boyfriend,” I blushed.

He pulled off his aviators and tossed them on the coffee table. He took me in his arms and kissed me deeply on the mouth, sliding his tongue against mine. Then he backed away from me, picked up his glasses, and placed them back on his face, covering his eyes once again.

I was shocked, but thrilled. Again, I was blushing. Shit, this man was sexy.

“My dad told me that you almost always picked up lunch at the Canyon Club, so I hung out there until you showed up,” Danny grinned.

“You’re using your father to spy on me?” I asked.

“Not spy, just check up on you,” he said.

“He knows about you?” I asked.

“Sure, I tell my folks everything. Well, not everything,” he laughed. “I told him I wanted to ask you out when I got back and that is really why he was at the shop last week. I have been thinking of you for a while, wandering if what I thought back in high school was true; and if it was, did I stand a chance.”

“I think your odds are pretty good,” I admitted with a big smile.

He escorted me to his car with his manly hand in the small of my back. Like a perfect gentleman he opened the passenger door for me and I slid into his black Dodge Charger. The windows were tinted black and helped with the glare of the New Mexico sun. As he drove to Las Cruces for dinner, it was like being back in high school riding shot gun with Danny’s brother. But that was now a distant memory and here I was going on a date with Danny.

Café’ Guadalajara was an upscale Tex-Mex restaurant. Danny pulled up and walked around the front of the car to open my door. “You don’t have to open my door for me, Danny,” I smiled.

“You’re my date, of course, I do. It shows that you’re important to me,” he said.

“Well then, thank you sir,” I said.

Danny ordered us a couple of Dos XX. When the waiter returned with our beers, Danny ordered for the both of us. I wasn’t used to having someone take command like this. It was really nice. I was always on my own and used to doing things for myself. Danny seemed to relish the role of being an alpha male.

“So now that you’re done with the Marines, what are your plans?” I asked.

“I just nailed a job here in Las Cruces. I start on Monday working as a warehouse manager,” he said, “that ought to fit my personality fairly closely.”

“So, no boyfriends?” I asked tentatively.

“No,” he became silent.

“And you? Never anybody serious?” he asked.

“No. I’m not really into dating. I’ve had a couple of hookups in El Paso over the years, but that’s not really my thing either. I want to settle down and have a serious relationship with someone that I love. But meeting someone is hard for me. The shop takes a lot of my time and there aren’t many opportunities to meet a guy in San Pablo. The college boys in Las Cruces are fun, but they aren’t ready to settle down,” I answered. güvenilir casino Even after two beers, I was nervous and my knee was shaking. I felt Danny’s hand take hold of my thigh and gently squeeze.

“Calm, Jackson. This isn’t a war zone,” he said in his commanding tone, but somehow he was also gentle and sweet. I could see how he would be a good leader. I just shook my head in agreement and my leg stopped trembling.

“Why did you kiss me back at the house?” I said demurely, looking down at the table.

“Well, I really just needed to kiss you. And you are hot. And I was trying to get you to calm the fuck down,” he laughed. “Didn’t you want me to kiss you?”

I nodded my head and blushed. “Yes,” I whispered, “I liked it. It’s been a long time.”

“For me too,” he confessed, “I have a feeling there’ll be a lot more of those.”

I thought about my father’s comment and started to laugh, “My dad told me to be careful and to wear a condom tonight?” I told Danny.

“So you think we’re gonna have sex on the first date?” he laughed.

“He’s the one who said it, not me,” I tried to respond.

“So your old man thinks you’re a slut that puts out on the first date?” he teased.

“I’m no slut! I’ve never even…” I stopped short, realizing what I was confessing.

Danny leaned in close and kissed my neck and whispered in my ear, “You mean I get to pop your cherry?”

That really embarrassed me, but I nodded in agreement, “Yes sir.” Hot damn. I would bottom for this stud at any point. I was hot and I could feel my nads, twitching but it wasn’t going to happen tonight. I needed time with Danny to get to know who he had become.

Danny paid for dinner and took me straight home. We had only been gone a couple of hours when he pulled into my driveway. He escorted me to the door and I asked him in. “Not tonight, Jackson,” he said. “Let’s go slow and easy. I want you to be sure.” He kissed me deeply and passionately and then he was gone. I couldn’t breathe.

The next morning at the shop, my dad came up front to check on things. He pulled at the collar on my work shirt and looked closely. I knew he could see from the redness on my cheeks and lips that I was whisker burned. “At least you don’t have any god damn monkey bites,” he quipped.

“None that you can see,” I grinned.

“Jesus Christ Ethan, I don’t want to hear about your sex life,” he was laughing as he moved on.

“Hey, I’m not the one who thought that I should rubber up last night?” I shot back.

He was just shaking his head laughing. I never in a million years thought that I would have such a great relationship with my parents. He had taken me in as a business partner right after I completed my auto mechanics certification and I had proven myself competent at not only working on cars, but also the business end. I had a good life albeit a lonely one.

Several days went by and I hadn’t heard from nor seen Danny Ray. Maybe our first date wasn’t what he expected. Oh well, I resigned myself to another dead end. It was a Saturday morning and I was in the shop by myself. I heard a car pull up and stop and I saw Bonnie tear out from behind the counter and head out one of the bay doors. Soon enough she was back walking beside Danny, like he was her master.

He patted her head, “Sit girl,” he commanded and she did. She apparently trusted him. “Good taste in men,” I thought to myself.

“Mornin Danny, sup,” I grinned.

“Mornin Jackson,” he smiled.

“Little surprised,” I said begrudgingly, “Didn’t know whether I’d see again or not. You haven’t called.”

“Didn’t have your cell number,” he said with a wry grin.

“Oh shit, I’m sorry Danny. I forgot. I was having such a good time with you, it just slipped my mind that we needed to trade cell numbers,” I apologized. “I was beginning to think that, well, that maybe you didn’t have such a great time.”

“Fuck, Jackson, are you always going to be so nervous around me? I was just as much at fault. I really did enjoy going out with you,” he responded. “In fact, that’s why I came by this morning to ask you out again.”

He moved in close and put his hands around my waist. I could feel his warm breath on my neck “Mmm, you smell good, Jackson,” he moaned in a soft whisper.

Just then the door from the back in the repair shop opened and Jim came in holding a carburetor in his greasy paws. “Shot, carburetor’s shot,” he said. Danny immediately stepped back from me and wiped his mouth and coughed to let Jim know I wasn’t alone.

“Oh hi Danny, old man told me you were back. Got a job yet?” he asked. “I guess not. Took me a while after I got back from Desert Storm to get back into civilian life. Nobody wanted to hire a Vet.” He was rambling and finally realized that Danny and I were not really paying attention to him. “I’ll let you boys get back to…well, good to see ya Danny.” He nervously left and went back to the repair shop.

We both laughed at Jim’s anxiety at walking in on us unexpectedly.

Danny stepped into me again, “Now where was I?” he said. I loved being so close to him, to feel him and smell him.

“What did you have in mind a date?” I moaned enjoying his attentions hoping for a little intimacy.

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