Endless Black Ribbon

by Rick Beck

Part 2

Troy slept in the seat he sat in, once we stopped for the night. I tossed him one of my pillows and I got a blanket out of the side compartment for him. It was still warm in the truck but it would cool off once the engine cooled down.

I slipped out of my clothes and slid back into the bunk.

" You sleep naked?" he asked.

" Don't you?" I asked.

" When I'm with Bonnie. ...Was with Bonnie."

" One of the great joys in my life are clean sheets. Since washing them takes time, I don't get in the bunk with my clothes on. Keeps the dirt out. The sheets stay relatively clean, until I have time to do wash."

" Cool," he said. "Makes sense. Thanks for the pillow and blanket," he said, beginning to work on getting comfortable.

" Joe?" he said after a short time.

" Yeah?" I answered.

" Thanks for letting me go with you. I feel better."

" Good, Troy. I'm glad to hear it. You're a good kid,"

"Don't hear that too often ," he said, pounding the pillow again.

I listened to him breathing. There were a few sobs, more pillow pounding. He sat up for a while. Then there was more pillow pounding before the silence took hold.

It took time to fall asleep. Having a major hunk four feet away didn't do anything to quell my libido. Keeping my mind off of what I wanted to do to him wasn't an easy proposition.

It was going to be a long day tomorrow and I needed at least three or four hours sleep. Luckily I was tired enough to finally make the leap into a sound sleep, leaving thoughts of Troy behind.

Two days later we were in Eureka to unload. We had a leisurely evening with time for a hot meal, showers, and we cleaned the truck and did laundry. Both of our dirty clothes didn't make a full load.

Troy stood with a towel wrapped around his waist, giving new meaning to bubble butt. Both pair of his jeans were in the wash. The towel was the order of the evening, and His tight youthful lines were easy on the eyes.

" I'm giving up underwear," he told me. "I'm not wearing underwear with skid marks. I'll keep my jeans clean and go native."

" I'm not part of this conversation. You have it your way," I told him.

" I will," he said. "I don't see any underwear in the trucker's wash. They see it the same way I do."

He turned to face me and my eyes took him in from his size eleven feet to his twenty-four carat smile.

I wasn't a fool and I took my time folding my clothes. I was staying for the main event. I didn't see where it violated our contract to observe the dropping of the towel. I figured it would be quick.

As we separated our clothes, he dropped his towel, grabbing his jeans. We were in a public space and women did laundry as well. No one was particularly interested in Troy's bare butt. I got the view of him in all his uncut glory.

He began pulling on his jeans, but the heat from the dryer had tightened his skin tight jeans. Once they were up on his thighs, the wiggling began and his ding dong was hanging out, big time.

When he realized my eyes were on him, he turned to finish what he'd started, giving me a perfect view of his very nice butt. It soon disappeared inside the jeans.

With that image in my head, there would be little sleep tonight. All of Troy's secrets had been revealed.

We finished up and took the clothes to the truck before going to eat.

We hooked up to a loaded trailer outside of Sacramento and were on our way to Dallas. By the time the second trip ended, we'd established our routine. I didn't need to tell him what to do. He automatically went into action once the wheels stopped turning.

Instead of letting the fuel jockey clean the windshield, Troy did it. Once he was done, I had a great view, until the bugs began squashing themselves against the glass again.

Each night he checked all my lights and pounded the tires to make sure the air pressure was satisfactory. He kept the trash from our eat and run meals on his side, dumping it at the next fuel stop.

When we got to Dallas he spent four hours in the trailer unloading the freight, while I got a nap, and I was ready to roll when he brought me the signed bill of laden, which meant my business was done there.

After the first night, when Troy opened up to me, our conversations were rather mundane. I was expecting to hear more about his sexual escapades, but I think that reminded him of Bonnie, and he didn't want to be reminded of Bonnie.

He was a hard worker. As a lumper, he made my life easy. I spent most of my time behind the wheel and in the bunk. Troy sat facing straight ahead in the seat, seat-belt on, and he wore tee-shirts, which accented his muscular chest and arms. During the second week, he began to talk.

" A couple of truckers look at me, when I fuel them. One felt my package when I moved between the pump and his fuel tank. I told him I didn't swing that way. He was cool about it."

" You knew I was gay?"

" Figured, didn't know. It's not a big deal. I was in a state home. You think it doesn't go on in there? I was with Bonnie. That mattered to me. I'm not sure about anything any more. You gave me some things to think about. I've thought a lot lately. Thought a lot about going back."

"I figured you have. A lot of guys would do the same thing, Troy," I said. "But the question you need to answer, 'Is she forever or just easy sex?'"

" I'm still here," he said. "I like the truck. How old do I have to be to drive one of these things?"

" Twenty-one," I said. "I'll teach you if you stay."

He leaned with his back against the door and watched me. He hadn't done that in a while. He was wearing one of his button up shirts he hadn't buttoned up. It was late in September and it was cooling outside but the truck stayed warm inside and we were heading west again, so the sun shined in the windshield.

" You'd be willing to put up with me for that long?" he finally said.

" No put up with to it. I like you, Troy. You're a good lumper and you don't require a lot of upkeep."

"I still think about her at night," he admitted, looking at the highway.

" Easy to love easy loving," I said. "Not always smart getting it."

" You're kidding. I gave it all I had. Bonnie took a lot of loving to satisfy her. The words, 'Didn't we just do this,' meant nothing to her."

I laughed.

" You had it rough."

" I think about her. This is the first time I've rested up in two years. I think three nights is the longest I've gone between all nighters."

" Ah to be young again. Do it well once is my philosophy."

" You think it was just the sex that kept me going back?"

" I'm not sure, but there's more to love than easy sex. To have a better shot at making it work, you both need lives of your own, friendships, interests of your own, away from each other. Being with the same person all the time gets boring. Your life gets dull."

" Never a dull moment with Bonnie."

" I thought you lived with your sister. I'm missing something."

" Saturday nights and Wednesday nights I'm with Bonnie. She worked while I was off the rest of the time."

" I bet she did," I said. "You ever happen by her place on one of the nights she was supposed to be at work?"

" No, she worked. Why would I go by?"

" You've got a lot to learn, stud. Most guys would go by when the wood got to be too much for them. You know, hope to get lucky."

" She lived outside of town and my car limped to my sister's, which was only three miles. Has a bad transmission. Bonnie picked me up."

"She had you on this schedule for two years? How old is she?"

" Twenty-five," he said, watching me for a reaction.

" How long after you got out of state custody did she come along?"

"Nearly a year ," he said. "I got out of state custody before I turned seventeen. I met her just before I turned eighteen. I'd just started at the Texaco. She was in the restaurant. She came to my table to talk. We started dating a few weeks later. She'd pick me up at the fuel pumps at midnight on Wednesday and Saturday."

" So I'm guessing you hadn't been with a lot of women at that time?"

" Didn't know how to talk to people then. I'd been at the home. I learned to keep to myself. I did my work and minded my own business. She just started talking to me."

"State institutions are no place for kids. They don't have the funding to raise children properly. You're lucky you overcame it," I said.

" After leaving the home, I watched my sister's kids all day, while she worked. I was lucky to get on the night shift at the Texaco."

" You've had quite a life, Troy."

"Taking up with Bonnie made me feel good about myself. I was this scrawny kid and she's this hot babe. She liked me in spite of me being all arms and legs."

" And dick. Don't leave out dick. That seems to be her main interest."

" You make it sound like that's all she was after," Troy observed.

" I'm trying to see it the way Bonnie saw it, when you met her."

" I hadn't had much of a life up until then, Joe. Having a good looking woman come on to me was quite a change of pace."

" Yeah,famine to feast," I said. "Hard for a teenager to resist."

" She was the first person who really liked me."

" You've lived with your sister."

"I did. I could come and go as I pleased. As long as I watched the kids when she needed me, I could do what I wanted. My sister and I never got along that well. She went and got me out of that place, when she was nineteen. She said she'd take care of me.

" She never once said she'd send me back there if I didn't act the way she said. She did all she could for me. but she has more trouble than she needs and I didn't do anything to cause her more trouble."

He turned so his clear blue eyes focused ahead on the highway. We drove for a while in silence. I made the mistake of bringing up Bonnie, but that wasn't what was on his mind.

" I used to dream I was back there, after she got me out. I'd wake up yelling for guys to get off me. Sheila, my sister, would come in to quiet me down. She has kids, you know. She never once threatened to toss me out."

" Sounds like a rough road to go down," I said. "Was your sister in a home?"

Once again his eyes were on me. I couldn't read his look.

"I don't know. She was twelve when Mama died. They separated us right off. When she came and got me, she said she wanted me to have some kind of a home, and the state home wasn't it. If she'd been in a home until she was eighteen, that might be why she went looking for me. They'd have kept me until I was eighteen.

" If your mother is going to die on you, tell her to wait until you're sixteen. You can make it on your own at sixteen."

" The state has trouble getting out of its own way. They have no business raising kids. It rarely ends well for the kid."

" I'd hardly call it raising. They keep us under lock and key and kiss you goodbye at eighteen, without the kiss," Troy said. "I was no easy keep. I ran every time I got a chance. They always caught me."

" I'm sorry, Troy. I know it couldn't have been easy," I said.

When I slipped into the booth at the 76 truck stop in Slidel, I put his pay in front of him, after our delivery in New Orleans.

" What's this?"

" Your pay. Four hours."

" That's thirty-two dollars," he said. "I can't make change."

" You earned forty. Don't argue when I'm feeling generous. I might not have extra next time. You do good work, Troy. That makes me money. If you keep it up, and decide to stay, I'll give you a percentage of each load."

" I'm having fun. You're cool, Joe. I felt like shit when you picked me up. I feel fine now. Better, I mean. I like being on the truck. I like moving. It feels right to me."

" I'm glad, Troy. You're a good guy. You deserve to be happy. There are people out there who aren't looking to fuck you over. The trick is to take your time when you're picking someone you intend to fall in love with. You don't fall in love because the sex is easy."

" It's easier when it's easy to get, you know," he said.

" It also ends up with your best friend screwing your woman because she's easy to get. Think it through."

" Don't think I haven't thought about it. How many guys didn't I catch her with? While I worked so I could afford to take her out and treat her nice, she was doing other guys. I was going to marry her."

" You loved what she gave you. When it's too easy, you need to think about what that means. You're young. You learn from experience."

"I hope so. I don't want to go through this again. I'm making myself raw from jacking off. Every time I get a chance I jack off. I've got a hard-on most of the time."

" TMI," I said.

" What's that?"

" Too much information. You know I'm gay, don't wave it in front of my face and expect me to pretend you aren't a good looking guy."

" I do that?" he asked, looking at my face for the answer.

" I'm saying, don't do it. I'm being good, Troy. Don't make it hard for me to be around you. That's all I'm saying. Just do what you do and we'll be fine. Don't say things that make me think you'll do what I do, and we'll be fine."

" Sorry," he said, looking at his hands and then out at the restaurant.

" I don't look that good. I don't think I do. I'm sort of awkward."

" Please," I said. "I like you. I like you being on the truck. We aren't doing anything to fuck that up because you get a wild hair you might want a blow job one night. I'm not kidding here. You know you're hot. Quit pretending you don't know the score. I've told you the score."

" Sorry," he said.

'"Quit apologizing. It's my problem, not yours."

" Sorry," he said again.

He looked away and then he looked at me and smiled.

" I am sorry. I didn't mean to piss you off. I didn't intend to."

" You didn't. I'm heading off trouble. You're trouble, young man. I've been there before, Troy. I know trouble when I see it."

He blushed but he didn't look at me for a while.

" I haven't seen you even look at a guy," he said. "That's weird for a gay dude, isn't it. They like to get it on."

" I look at you," I said. "You're a dude."

" I know, but we aren't... we don't... you know what I mean. I'm always looking at girls. I think about sex all the time. You don't? I'm hard all the time, Joe."

" You're with me. You're on the truck. So, I take to looking around at what's available. I find a guy I really like. He likes me. He wants to come on the truck with me and keep my chrome polished. You're on the truck. My word, we've run out of room. So long Troy. So you see, I don't look at other guys because you're on the truck."

" Oh!" he said, like something clicked into place.

" I thought it was me," he said.

" It is you. You're with me. You need to be on my truck. In a while you'll get tired of being on the move all the time and I'll start looking at guys again. Until then, I have you to keep me from getting bored."

He laughed and then blushed again.

For the first week Troy's emotions were all over the place. He'd go from laughing and seeming like he was OK to morose. By the end of the second week he wasn't having the big mood swings. We got along fine and his initial apprehension about being in a confined space with a gay man

My emotions were less predictable with Troy on the truck. I had been attracted to him from the first time I saw him. Having him four feet away from me most of every day and night was a challenge. I went out of my way not to touch him, but there were the typical brushes of hands and bodies in the narrow spaces where we worked.

I did not confess that I also was erect about half the time. It wasn't my usual condition. It didn't take a brain surgeon to know what stimulated me at this particular time. It wasn't easy exercising self-control, but I liked Troy being on the truck and didn't want to expedite his departure.

" You're too damn cute for your own good, you know?" I said, as we ate.

Self-control only went so far. Stating the obvious wasn't that risky.

"Am not ," he said. "I don't mean to be. Anyway, thanks, Joe."

" For what? Telling you you're cute embarrasses you."

" For putting up with me. For not looking for someone to replace me. I like being on your truck. You treat me good, Joe. Thanks for that."

" Actually, saying you're cute isn't being completely honest. You're sexy, Troy. You have a quality that goes beyond looks. Like thanking me for saying things that make you uncomfortable. It's charming."

" Now you're just saying that to make me feel good. Thanks. You don't know how much of my life I didn't dare feel anything. You do make me feel good about myself. Being on the truck feels safe."

"I call 'em like I see 'em," I said. "The truck is my home and yours too, when you're on it."

He took a major bite of his cheeseburger, looking quite satisfied.

We found smooth highway for most of the next week. Troy was quiet and life felt good to this trucker. All the dark clouds seemed to have passed over and we went about being trucker and lumper without much rough road. We enjoyed our travels and the incredible scenery America offered, while sitting eight feet above the highway..

Reaching the end of our third week, Troy began to engage in horse play. After delivering office furniture to the offices for a new surgical unit in Mendocino, Troy folded blankets in the trailer.

The blankets were taken off as the furniture went into the building. When I drove away, the offices were ready to do business. There was no plastic or cardboard all over the place. The lumper folds the blankets so we're ready to cover the next load of office furniture.

Once the bill of laden was signed, we were done, except for tiding up.

As Troy folded the pile of blankets in the middle of the floor, I moved up behind him and tossed a loose blanket over his head. Faster than I could see, he tossed the blanket back, so it covered my head, and he drove me into the pile of blankets.

He'd been ready for me, even with his back turned, and he was quick as cat, and strong as a baby bull. We wrestled for a few minutes and I enjoy the feeling of muscle against muscle. I'd had the urge to hug Troy to comfort him since we'd embarked on our journey together, but as is not unusual, this was how it was finally accomplished. Touching each other while doing battle was allowed by men. A simple comforting or encouraging hug was not always welcome.

When all was said and done, he was on top of me, the front of his body pressed against the front of mine, and both of us were laughing uncontrollably.

" That was fun," he said, as he rolled off me and lay on his back in what was left of the pile of blankets.

We'd made a mess. I'd help him fold them so we could head for a truck stop and see what was shaking on our next load.

Our wrestle in the blankets meant we both needed a shower. Most of the blankets were new and clean, but there were always a few that had been dragged across the dirty deck of a trailer, and they collected their weight in dust.

We also needed to wash clothes and clean the truck before having a casual dinner and settling in for the night. As was typical, my phone call to dispatch came back, 'hold tight, call in the morning.' Some time getting into California was a lot easier than getting a load out, but a day off sounded good to me.

Usually I'd have taken a day or two off after delivering several loads, but I figured work gave Troy less time to fret about Bonnie. The last few days he'd been so easy to get along with that a day off seemed to be in order.

We used one same shower room to save five bucks, I, being the senior member of the team, went first. Troy folded his clean jeans and shirt, dumping his dirt clothes on the floor, while I showered. As I came out of the shower, his body brushed mine as he went in, evoking an immediate response.

I kept my back to him while drying off and allowing time to ease the strain in my crotch. When I sat to dry my feet and legs, Troy was facing the shower, vigorously lathering up his crotch. I mean he took care to slip the skin back and massage soap into the gland and fold of skin created during such a move.

This was fascinating to me. I'd seen uncut men before but rarely got to see the care they took to keep clean under the excess skin that protecting the gland so it remained super sensitive for the greatest gratification.

As with our blanket party in the trailer, Troy knew I was watching, and he probably knew I'd stiffened back up again as well. He ignored my presence and bent to do his feet, lower legs, thick muscled thighs, and then his butt. He didn't take as much care with his backside, but at one point he bent so that I saw the tan hot spot that was had a delicate look to it in spite of his manly body.

He made small circles under the shower after being lathered from head to toe. The lather swirled on the bottom of the shower stall and left his skin shiny under the sheet of water that caressed it.

When he turned his back and began to lather his crotch with care, I knew that it was time for me to finish dressing and give him privacy. He made no secret he jacked off in the shower and a guy like Troy might do it with his back turned, but he wasn't going to do it while I watched.

He was still working on the gay thing. When he leaned against his door and watched me drive the truck, those crystal clear eyes were working on more than the operation of the truck. A man who fancied himself straight, couldn't simply understand a man who said he wasn't.

Besides being strong and a hard worker, Troy was smart. He hadn't had the education he deserved, so his intellect was but partially developed. There was little I needed to tell him, as he figured new things out in a flash, even before I explained it to him.

Most of it was simple mechanics, but even some of the mechanics hadn't been easy for me to learn. Troy picked everything right up. He'd make a good trucker. I'd teach him what I knew about the business, but Troy needed to finish being educated so that he could have an easy road to go down than trucking.

If the state of Iowa hadn't ruined him on being educated, he might be able to accomplish something special, but these were things way beyond my ability to facilitate such a thing. I'd make it as easy as I could for him to do what he was best suited to do, but finding his direction and doing the work to achieve such goals was up to Troy.

Unfortunately he was dressed when we did laundry this time. I liked him standing around in the towel. He cut a lovely figure in a towel. Now he was so squeaky clean and his hair, uncombed, gave him the look of an athlete in his prime.

" What are you looking at?" He asked.

" Just amazed by how you look after a shower. Being on the truck must agree with you. You're getting better looking all the time."

Usually he argued my admiring his looks. This time he smiled and went back to watching our clothes going round and round.

It was still early when we were caught up and ready to eat again. We'd had a late breakfast once we got to the truck stop, after our delivery, but that was before noon and I was looking forward to dinner. I knew the truck stop and they offered great food.

We both ordered T-bones, baked potato, and a salad. The steak was a half pound of tender beef and you didn't need a lot of extras. Troy, as usual, dug in. His abs were naturally flat. His legs were well muscled, and his chest was full and cut nicely without being too much. There wasn't an ounce of fat on him. He ate like a horse.

" You like steak?" I asked.

" Yeah! This is great," he said, shoveling in a substantial piece.

" Doesn't cost much more than burger and fries," I said.

" You serious? This is dynamite. I haven't had steak much, Joe."

" You want me to order another one. May as well eat while you can get it. Most places don't know how to do steak right."

" You serious?" he asked.

" Do you want another one or not. May as well order it now so you don't need to wait."

" Damn right. Thanks!"

" No, thank you, Troy. You're a damn good worker. What do you want to do with the rest of your life, and you have a job with me as long as you like, but I was thinking you might have thought of something you really like doing."

" Drive a truck. You said you'd teach me."

" I will. It's a good career if you don't mind the hours and being in constant motion. You don't really have a life if you are on the road all the time. What I mean is, for a guy like you, you might find a girl in every port, but it's not safe to sleep around too much. You don't know the people you meet that well. It makes it difficult."

" You manage," he said, after I flagged down the waitress and ordered the second T-bone for Troy.

" It's what I do, Troy. This is my life," I said. "What's right for me might not work for you."

" I want to be a trucker. I'll meet woman. I'll figure it out as I go. If you teach me, we'll be together for a while," he said.

" How old are you?"

" Twenty years three months and some days."

" I can't get you authorized so I can teach you to drive, until you're twenty one. That's almost a year."

" Cool," he said, chewing on the final piece of his first steak. "Boy this is good."

" Texas has a couple of places better. More expensive too. We'll stop there when we get in the area of one of those restaurants."

" Cool!" he said. "Can I ask you a personal question, Joe?"

" Shoot, cowboy. Ask away."

" I mean," he said, looking from side to side and then over his shoulder. "When do you take care of business, Joe? I mean," he looked around us again, "I pound away every chance I get. I never see you.... You don't.... How do you take care of it?"

His face had turned a wonderful shade of red.

" You're young, Troy. As you grow older, having a really nice partner makes the experience something memorable. When you like someone a lot, sex is like... it's like nothing else. The mingling of two bodies, the rise and fall of having sex together makes it wonderful. Do I masturbate? Yes, but not that often. When I was twenty, I did it all the time. Four, five times a day some days. Your hormones are racing at that age. You're at your sexual peak. In a different setting you'd be making out like a champ. You lack experience and your hormones rage away."

" So if I wasn't on the truck, you'd be having better opportunities."

" That's the difference between being twenty and forty. Having you around creates a certain... difficulty. Knowing you are out of bounds creates the barrier that keeps things under control. At twenty there isn't a lot of control. You're horny all the time."

" You can say that again. I'm horny all the time, Joe. I jacked off twice in the shower and I'm hard as a rock," he said, whispering and leaning across the table toward me with this confidential confession.

" Makes me glad I showered first," I said.

Troy noticed the waitress standing there with the coffee pot, listening.

" Oh! Sorry!" He said, turning that lovely shade of red again.

" OK, honey. You'll fit right in," she said, filling my cup and moving on.

" Why didn't you warn me she was there? She heard us."

" I was listening to you. I didn't see her. She's heard worse, Troy."

Troy was an amazing mixture of man and kid. It was obvious his upbringing hadn't allowed him to mature emotionally. He blushed like a thirteen year old boy with a constant erection.

A charm came with Troy as he became more open.

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