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Brick settled on the edge of the narrow hotel bed. He stretched his protestin’ back muscles. The shower hadn’t done much to ease the tightness. He sighed heavily, shut his eyes, and thought of Maggie.

Maggie was who Brick should think about.

The sound of cascading water ceased, signalin’ the end of Skipper’s shower. Brick didn’t think about Skipper’s wet, shiny-slick skin. Theirs was a good and pure friendship.

Brick stood to tug down the flimsy bedclothes. His eyes caught sight of the nearly empty highball glass on Skipper’s side of the night table. The bottle of Echo Springs was only a quarter full now. Skipper drank after every game of the Dixie Stars. Even though they lost every game.

He wondered how long Big Daddy would keep fundin’ the team. It was supposed to be a business. ‘Sposed to make money. Maybe gettin’ to see Brick and Skipper throw and catch the football, same as they’d done to thrill the crowds back in school, would be enough for Big Daddy to keep the credit flowin’.

It’s what Big Daddy expected Brick to do with his life. And Brick did just what that life told him he should.

Brick settled back against the sorry pillow and waited. Skipper should be out any moment.

He thought back to his telephone call to Maggie earlier. She was too cheerful by half. Always so bright and sprightly. Always puttin’ a pretty face on ugly things.

Skipper came out of the steamy bathroom. He wore only a small towel around his hips. Brick was surprised. Surprise was why his eyes lingered on Skipper’s chest and shoulders.

‘Cause Brick wasn’t queer. His friendship with Skipper was a good and pure thing, no matter what Gooper said. No matter what Maggie hinted.

“Have a drink with me, Brick,” Skipper said, his bright tone as false as Maggie’s.

“I just want to get some sleep, Skipper,” Brick replied, keeping his eyes averted. “Why don’t you put on your pajamas and we’ll call it a night.”

“Why do you sleep in pajamas, Brick?” Skipper tossed back the last of his drink. He poured another. “We seen all there is to see of one another in the team locker room.”

Brick swallowed past the lump in his throat at the memory of Skipper’s slick, wet skin. All of his slick, wet skin.

“‘Fraid I might ravish you in the night, ifn’ you aren’t wearin’ your pajamas?” Skipper said into Brick’s silence.

He wiped his damp palms on the bedclothes. In Brick’s world, men didn’t do such unnatural things to one another. They got run outta Old Miss for tryin’ such unnatural things.

Brick crawled beneath the rough sheet and turned on his side. Away from Skipper. “Turn out the light, Skipper. Let’s get some sleep.”

He had just settled down when Brick felt Skipper’s hand on his shoulder. He stilled; waiting. Skipper gave a firm squeeze. A friendly squeeze. A casual touch between two men who were friends, Brick told himself.

Briefly, he covered Skipper’s hand with his own, before sayin’, “G’night, Skipper.”

“G’night, Brick,” Skipper whispered.

The room went dark.

Brick closed his eyes and thought of Maggie. Big Daddy was fond of Maggie. He complimented her shape, her handsome face, her delicate ways. That was how Brick had known he should marry Maggie. That, and Maggie’s ultimatum. He tried to conjure her face. He tried to remember her eyes, her skin, the swell of her breasts and hips.

All Brick could see was Skipper, white towel slung low on his hips.


Brick was hot. He tossed the bedclothes aside, but it didn’t help. Somethin’ was pressed to his back. Somethin’ too warm was pressed to him, and burnin’ through his silk pajamas. Hot air drifted over the shell of his ear. Brick shivered.

He tried to shift ‘round. He tried to see what it was that was makin’ him burn up. Brick couldn’t move. Whatever was behind him was like a wall. A wall that was firm and soft, at the same time.

There were lips on the back of Brick’s neck. Soft lips. Lips that didn’t feel like Maggie’s. He moaned, likin’ the feel of those lips as they slid along the tendon of his neck. Brick pressed himself  backward as a warm tongue licked along his skin.

He caught someone’s scent. Brick expected Maggie’s familiar soap and perfume. This wasn’t it. This scent wasn’t floral and feminine. Instead, it was musky and masculine. Brick grew hard.

He shivered - not from the cold - when a warm, calloused hand slid beneath his pajama shirt. It was familiar. It was what Maggie did when she was in the mood for lovin’.

Brick came full awake. This wasn’t Maggie. This wasn’t the big bed Maggie had bought in Memphis.

This was the small hotel room he was sharin’ with Skipper. The heat at his back …


Brick tensed. Skipper, naked, in bed with him should not have pleasuring curlin’ in his gut like it was. Skipper’s touch on his skin shouldn’t be makin’ his cock hard. That had to be because he’d been dreamin’ of Maggie. Had to be.

He wondered if Jack Straw and Peter Ochello had lain together like this.

Brick choked on his next breath. He reached up, stillin’ Skipper’s hand where it was roughly twisting his nipple. It was too much and not enough at the same time.

“Be still, Brick,” Skipper whispered into Brick’s hair. “You need to relax. Let me help you relax.”

Skipper’s quiet pleadin’ was like a gut punch. Brick opened his eyes, but the room was too dark.

Not seein’ maybe made it easier. In the dark, he could pretend the calloused hand skimmin’ down his belly was Maggie’s. He could tell himself it was Maggie’s perfume he smelled, not Skipper’s cologne.

In the dark, he could tell himself they weren’t Straw and Ochello. They weren’t a pair of old sisters.

Brick sucked a breath in through clenched teeth when Skipper’s hand slid under the waist of his pajama pants. His hips moved, without his wantin’ them to. His cock was full hard, now. It ached and strained. He could feel the tip leakin’.

He wanted Skipper’s hand wrapped around him, touchin’ and strokin’. Come mornin’, he’d tell himself he’d dreamed that it was Maggie touchin’ him.

“Brick,” Skipper whispered against the skin of Brick’s neck. He felt Skipper’s other hand card through his hair, gentle like.

Finally, Brick felt his cock enfolded in Skipper’s rough, tight fist. He gasped, loud in the dark, quiet room. It felt so good.

Skipper’s touch was sure. He stroked up the length of Brick’s cock. He squeezed the head firmly. Brick moaned. He flexed his hips. Brick pushed forward into Skipper’s hand and backward into his hardness. Skipper loosened his grip down at the base. He tightened his fist as he swept upward. He gripped the head of Brick’s cock tightly.

Brick’s moan was indecent. He bit back a sob when Skipper released his shaft and slid his hand down to cradle Brick’s balls. Strong fingers cupped and cradled his sac. One finger snaked back and caressed the soft skin just behind. Brick stopped movin’. He wanted to lift his hips slightly, ease Skipper’s finger just a little further back. He didn’t. He couldn’t.

Skipper’s hand was back on Brick’s erection. He stroked Brick fast; he stroked him hard. It was just like Brick liked it. It was like he’d do to himself. He was breathin’ hard. His lips were parted to make it easier, but it wasn’t. Brick fucked himself into Skipper’s hand. He fucked himself backward into Skipper’s hard cock.

Brick choked on his own breath when Skipper suddenly released him. That agonizing hand slid around Brick’s hip. It started to work its way down between his ass cheeks. He ached to feel those fingers find him. He wanted one or two of them inside him. He wanted it so bad it hurt.

“No,” Brick said, his whisper harsh. He reached back, gripped Skipper’s wrist, hard.

“I want to be inside you, Brick,” Skipper whispered against Brick’s ear. “Please.

Brick was gutted. Still, he pulled Skipper’s hand back ‘round. He pressed it to his still-hard cock.

Skipper obliged. He took Brick back into his fist and jacked him. He jacked Brick like he was runnin’ for a touchdown.

Brick started to turn his face. He searched – yearned – for a kiss. He stopped himself in time. He turned into the pillow instead. He listened to his own ragged breathing. Skipper’s hand stroked him and stroked him.

It would have been fast, and dirty and very arousing. It would have been if it hadn’t only been a good and true friendship between two men.

Skipper’s hands shifted. He was trying to turn Brick. Skipper tried to force Brick onto his back.

“Let me put my mouth on you,” Skipper groaned. His teeth sank into Brick’s shoulder.

Brick groaned and the sound was dirty. He let himself be laid down on his back. He let Skipper throw one muscular leg over both of his. Brick let Skipper bury his face in his neck and breathe, hot and heavy.

He did not let his face be turned for a kiss.

“My mouth, Brick. Let me.”

Brick’s answer was to cover Skipper’s hand with his own. He pushed his hips up, shovin’ their hands down. His cock ached. He needed pressure. Pressure and friction.

Skipper twined their fingers and together, they stroked Brick’s cock. He fucked up into their hands. He listened to the dry rub of their fists on the skin of his erection. Their calluses scraped and it felt good. Skipper moved beside him. He pushed his own hard cock into Brick’s hips. They pushed against one another. Together, they stroked Brick’s cock.

His orgasm startled him. It was sudden and surprisin’. Brick’s muscles tightened, even as the bed rocked with his spasms. He choked back his shout and it sounded like a sob. He pushed his hips into their clasped hands over and over. His balls ached with the force of it all.

It almost felt this way with Maggie. Brick almost felt this way, buried deep inside of Maggie.

He felt hot splashes of come land on his belly. Two or three landed on his skin. Most, though, ran down and over Brick’s and Skipper’s joined hands. As he settled down, Brick realized Skipper lay beside him, shivering. Skipper was breathin’ ragged into Brick’s throat. His body was wracked with shudders. Brick was worried. He was worried until he felt a wet warmth on his hip. It was wet where Skipper had pressed his cock into Brick’s hip.

When Brick could breathe again, when he thought his legs would hold, he got out of bed. Brick pushed Skipper aside and crawled out of bed. He flicked on the light in bathroom, and used it to rummage in his bag. He took out another set of pajamas.

Alone in the bathroom, Brick wouldn’t look in the mirror. There was no need. He cleaned up, then changed his pajamas. When he was done, there was no sign of what had transpired.

Brick shut off the light before he opened the door. He shuffled blindly back to his bed. Sitting on the side, he gauged the weight on the mattress. Skipper was still there.

“Go clean yourself up,” Brick said softly. “Then get into your own bed.”

Skipper went, without comment or complaint.

When he came out of the bathroom finally, Brick pretended to sleep.