(from Chapter 12)
Ben wrapped his arms tighter around me and I could tell there was something else, something that was bothering him, but I didn’t push. It would come when he was ready. He tilted his head and kissed me, sweet and slow, and the damp lake air enfolded us, cocooning us in its heat. When he broke the kiss, his words were shaky and he kept his eyes closed. “But is it just Daryl, or do they all wonder who’s the man? When they look at us together, are they trying to figure out who tops?” Even in the dark, I could see the shine of his eyes when he finally opened them. “They think this is just sex, that you’re some blowjob genius and I’m bending you over and... They can’t see it as something real.”
I hooked my thumbs into Ben’s belt loops. “Oh, my dear, no. I don’t think that’s true. And even if they do, it’s just because it’s a new idea to them, you liking dick. Honestly, I’m amazed at how well it’s going. I never expected…”
Ben tightened his grip around my ribs when I paused, “What didn’t you expect?”
“For you to be so open about it? For a group of rednecks to be so accepting?”
Ben relaxed as he laughed. “Are you calling my friends rednecks?”
I grinned to let him know I was joking, but kept my voice serious. “Sure. I’ll bet they play Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash on the jukebox every Saturday night.”
“I’ll have you know they’re all into Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Spice Girls like any red-blooded boy of the ‘90s should be!” His mock offense had me chuckling and I felt his mood lift as if it were a physical thing.
I kissed him, a quick peck. “Ready to go back? I think we have a ritual to finish.”
“Oh, yeah. That ritual. And just how does that work?” he asked as he took my hand and started walking back towards our metal love shack.