by Rigby Taylor

Chapter 25


Zeno was dreaming away as the car hummed along through vast fields of sugar cane, thinking about his grandmother and Sebastian. It was only eight months since he'd seen them, but it seemed like years. Would everything be the same? The first thing he'd do was dive into the pool. It wasn't large but it was deep and overhung by a large eucalyptus from which Sebastian had hung a rope. Zeno was seven the first time he managed to climb the three metres to the top, let go and fall shouting with terrified delight into the water. Sebastian was like Jarek, able to haul himself up non-stop using only his arms. He was responsible for remodelling a skinny boy into a lean athletic young man. Rope climbing had taken care of the arms and upper body, long walks and jogging had given him decent legs and bum.

'Never trust a man who has no bum,' his grandmother used to say.

'And never rely on anyone who's fat,' Sebastian would add.

His grandmother was always ridiculously proud when he did well at school. It made him nervous; worried he would one day disappoint her. He kept insisting it didn't mean he was clever, it was just that the other kids were stupid, but she would nod her head, smile and repeat dreamily that he was exactly the grandson she'd order if it was possible to breed children to order. He wished she wouldn't lay that responsibility on him.

'I hope your grandmother isn't disappointed when she sees I'm just a scrawny old man with no special talent.' Stephen said nervously, already doubting the wisdom of accepting Zeno and his grandmother's invitation. It did seem a bit strange now he had time to think about it, that he'd made a friend of a sixteen year old ex pupil. What did it say about him? He didn't want to think about that!

'She's just a scrawny old woman about the same age as you. Don't worry, she'll love you, she's always saying she wants to meet a congenial man; well now she's going to.'


Zeno turned to smile at Cador, stretched out across the back seat. 'She'll be surprised to see Cador. When I left I had a girlfriend. Now I'm returning with a boyfriend.'

'Will that be a problem?'

'The opposite, I think. She never liked my girlfriends. Said they just used me. At the time I couldn't see it, but looking back I understand what she meant. I always had to be at their beck and call, telling them how wonderful, beautiful, desirable they were, or they went into a sulk. Sebastian's her neighbour and he's gay. His partner, Reginald, died last year. They'd been together since high school. Reggie was big and tough and a karate expert. That's what got him into trouble. He saw some guys getting beaten up one night so ploughed in to help them—five against one. Someone clobbered him over the head with a pipe and he died. The guy who killed him got done for manslaughter, a light sentence because he pleaded self-defence. Don't mention it to Sebastian; he's still upset. They really loved each other. Reginald was a horticulturist, growing and marketing all sorts of interesting edible varieties to make vegetarianism more palatable.'

'Thanks for the warning; I'll be discreet. Does Sebastian work?'

'Not really. He's filthy rich. His stepmother's a smart cookie and made some brilliant investments for him when he was still at school. He's a stripper and dancer—mainly private shows. Don't ask me why, I think he just likes it and it takes his mind off Reggie. Nana's his agent.'


'My grandmother. She wrote that the school run by Sebastian's father will be exactly right for me. If Seb's got anything to do with it, it'll be great and I won't have to go back to the old high school.'

'Wasn't it any good?'

'Academically it was OK, but it's one of those religious places. There's a huge born again Christian group—youth for Christ or something and they're always rabbiting on about carrying Jesus around in their hearts, whatever that means. The teachers were constantly telling us we ought to join, suggesting that we're immoral if we don't. What they don't know is it's the religious ones that are immoral—especially the girls.'

'Immoral?' How?

'There's a group that goes down to the beach after school for sex in an old boathouse.'

'How do you know?'

'I used to swim near there and a gaggle of older girls from years eleven and twelve would call out and make me feel silly. I ignored them till one came up and told me Miriam wanted to have sex with every good looking boy in the school, so I had to do it. I didn't even know Miriam so I told them to fuck off. They reckoned it was every boy's duty to fuck girls if they asked, so as I refused I must be queer. Later they spread a rumour that I was being fucked by the groundsman.'

'That's terrible. What did you do?'

'Nothing I could do, so I ignored it. It made no sense.'

'It does if you realise it's a power game.' Stephen said thoughtfully.

'The really bizarre thing is, the groundsman's quite handsome and a champion weightlifter so quite a few kids started to admire me.'

'It didn't undermine your self-confidence?'


Stephen sighed and smiled. 'Ah Zeno, you're such a breath of fresh air.'

The sealed road that served the monotonous little boxes of the North Western suburbs began to rise steeply and the houses petered out about a hundred metres before a farm gate. Beyond it loomed a rocky escarpment that looked like a barrier to further driving. Zeno opened the gate and closed it carefully after the car.

'I hope Jarek can follow your directions.'

'Of course he will; he's a genius, didn't you know?'

'I had guessed. Is this a private drive for your grandmother?'

'She shares it with Sebastian. He's Nana's only neighbour. She has three hectares cut off a corner of his land. His house is about two kilometres further along the track past Nana's.'

'How much land has he?'

'Hundreds of hectares. It's huge like a national park. I'll take you there soon.'

'If Sebastian doesn't mind.'

'He'll love you and Cador. He's the greatest.'

The dusty track followed a winding creek that had eroded its way through the bluff and been widened to take large vehicles. After a hundred metres the canyon widened and forest encroached on the road, branches and vines hanging over the car, brushing the roof in places.

'Nearly there,' Zeno said excitedly. Cador leaned forward nervously, wondering what sort of reception he'd get. 'There, on the right. Just drive in, Nana's opened the gates.'

Stephen drove in and parked on the gravel in front of a traditional old Queenslander house; set high on stumps, encircled by a wide verandah decorated with simple wooden fretwork. Painted forest green, it was another unobtrusive object in a living tapestry that included every possible texture and shade of green and brown imaginable.

Chloe came striding out, barked a laugh of pleasure and wrapped her arms round Zeno as if she hadn't seen him for years.

'Nana, this is Stephen who believed me, and this is Cador my boyfriend.'

Chloe's eyes lit up. She grinned, shook hands enthusiastically, said how pleased she was to meet them and ushered everyone inside to relax and freshen up after the drive. An hour later Jarek arrived to a similar welcome.

After a fine dinner and a question and answer session on the verandah, bed beckoned even the apparently inexhaustible youths. Zeno and Cador were delighted to find they'd been put in a room with a double bed. Stephen and Jarek each had pleasant rooms, and silence reigned until sunrise when roosters crowed, kookaburras cackled, noisy minors screeched, a flock of rainbow lorikeets fought for nectar in grevilleas and Chloe set about preparing breakfast.

The day was a dream. Stephen and Chloe hit it off immediately and spent the day discussing, questioning, and relating their histories. Chloe's laugh when she heard about Stephen's last couple of months planning and ultimately escaping his wife could be heard from deep in the forest where Jarek had wandered to think, and ask himself if he had done the right thing. He felt a little lost and superfluous. The feeling worsened as the day progressed. After lunch the other four relaxed by the pool; Zeno and Cador swimming and laughing, Stephen and Chloe indulging their apparently inexhaustible urge to converse.

Jarek wandered back into the forest, guilt adding to his feeling of superfluity. He should be spending Christmas with his family—not that he ever enjoyed it. There were always arguments, recriminations for perceived neglect or insults during the previous year; and this time would have been worse because he'd have to tell them he was gay. He sighed and accepted it was better to be staying with people who liked and accepted him—even if they didn't need him, than with people who thought they had the right to control him simply because they were related. He'd outgrown his family the day he first went to the State Forest on his own, he now realised. It was a pity it had taken him ten years to accept this, but better late than never—he had to break free and get on with his life.

When Zeno took Cador to see the boundary with Sebastian's property, Chloe offered Stephen a massage to relax him after the long drive and the stresses of the previous weeks.

'You've an excellent body for an oldie,' she laughed. 'Good tight bum, not even an incipient pot, and strong legs.'

'That's thanks to Zeno and Jarek. When I saw them swimming the first day we prepared for the camp, I realised I was letting myself go a bit, and when I became a de-facto parent to Cador I thought I'd better set an example. So for the last six weeks I've been eating and exercising properly. You're not too bad yourself for a senior lady. No excess fat, and small tits. I like that.'

'Ha! When I was young I wanted huge breasts, but now when I see great sagging, wrinkled dugs on old women I'm glad I never had anything larger than lemons. Mmm, this is looking interesting.' Chloe had been massaging Stephen's feet and was working up to his thighs. His erection was firm and larger than she'd expected. 'I think you'd better get rid of this before I go any further with the massage.'

'How do we manage that?'

'Like this.' Chloe lay on her back beside Stephen, pulled him on top between her legs, raised them, and without a second's hesitation he slid into her as if he'd been doing it all his life.

'Ah…' she sighed. 'Long, slow strokes—exactly as I love it. How did you know?'

'It's what I like.'

Cador and Zeno returned and slid noiselessly into the pool, watching in amused astonishment.

'You never think of old people having sex,' Cador whispered. 'He's not too bad. Can't imagine my parents doing it, and if they did it'd look revolting. Dad's gross.'

Zeno was delighted. It was the first time Cador had spoken about his parents. Perhaps he felt able to because he was now safely away from them.

'Let's take a closer look.' They swam across the pool underwater, surfacing silently only a couple of metres from the self-absorbed pair, watching in awe as the elderly couple pleasured each other, murmuring softly, the occasional soft moan of gratification escaping into the air.

'They look great,' Cador whispered. Who'd have thought two old people could do that and still look sexy.'

'Shit, Stephen's got a long cock!' Zeno whispered in astonishment. 'You wonder how Nana can fit it all in.'

'She's loving it.'

'They both are. Look, they're coming.'

A soft wail escaped Chloe's lips and Stephen's growl was audible as he arched his back and clenched his buttocks for several long seconds before subsiding, kissing Chloe, carefully withdrawing, then rolling onto his back.

'That was the best fuck I've had in living memory.'

'Me too,' Chloe laughed. 'We must do it more often.' They lay back and chatted softly.

Zeno and Cador submerged again and emerged rather noisily on the far side, hoping to look as if they'd just arrived. Cador was looking worried.

'What's the matter?' Zeno asked.

'If Stephen falls for Chloe he won't be interested in me any more. He'll want me to go back to my parents.'

'Rubbish. He dotes on you. If he and Nana decide to shack up together that means he might stay here permanently and you and I can be together. The house is big enough, Stephen's got no plans and enough money to pay his share, so we'll both go to the same school together. Better hope they do get it on together.

They were talking louder than they realised and when they looked up Stephen and Chloe were looking at them speculatively.

'Been there long you two?'

'A few minutes, Nana.'

'So you've just had a lesson in how to do it.' She turned her gaze on Cador whose face reflected his embarrassment. 'What're your plans, Cador?'

'None, Chloe. I just… that's to say... Stephen… I mean…' Helplessly he turned his looked at Zeno.

'Cador, how would you like to stay here a little longer than we planned?'

Cador's eyes widened in hope. 'I'd love it, Mr. Noble… Sir… Stephen! This is the best place I've been in my life, but I don't want to get in your way… if you've changed your plans and…'

'Cador! As far as I'm concerned you're my son. You come first. Chloe's invited us—that's you and me—to stay longer; would you like that?'

'More than anything.'

'Then that's settled.'

'Are you sure you're not missing your parents, Cador?' Chloe asked seriously? 'You've had time to think about things. Are you sure you wouldn't like to give them another chance?'

'No! Please don't send me back! Jarek, Zeno and Stephen have shown me what it's like to live without the fear of an angry god. You've already shown me that women are different but just as good as men. I was taught that the body's a bag of sin never to be enjoyed, but here we're all naked and I've just seen you two having sex and it was beautiful, even though you're old.'

'Not too old to enjoy ourselves.'

'No, no, I didn't mean that, I think you're both wonderful! You can't imagine how great it is not to feel wicked when I kiss Zeno. I don't even feel sinful being naked now. The first time in my life I didn't feel frightened was the day Stephen said I didn't have to go home. And the first time I ever felt happy was the day Zeno kissed me. I never, ever want to go back to feeling I've disappointed my parents and their stupid, angry, vicious god. I never, ever want to see them again!' It was a good speech and wasn't spoiled when he burst into tears and clung to Zeno for support.

'Cador, you are precious to me and I will do all I can to help you remain a free spirit for as long as you want.'

Cador swam straight across the pool, hauled himself out and wrapped himself round Stephen in a hug of desperate gratitude.

That evening Sebastian came to dinner. Bronzed. Handsome. Lean. Sexy in butt-hugging faded jeans, scuffed rope-soled boat shoes, no socks, denim sleeveless jacket hanging open to expose a tight, leanly muscled chest. He shook everyone's hand, Jarek's last, looking into his eyes and maintaining a firm grip for several seconds as if he'd forgotten where he was, then with a slight shake of his head he came back to life and charmed his hosts for the rest of the evening by listening to their stories as if nothing else on the planet was more interesting, while shrugging off attempts to talk about himself with a self-deprecating smile.

Everyone was invited to lunch the following day at his place.

Violet and Irma had arrived on the coast, found a motel, and were meeting Amanda of Women's War International that night.

'She knows how old I am,' grumbled Violet. 'Why does she want to meet at eleven o'clock?'

'She's young. Take a rest, Violet. A nap for three hours will make you perky again. Relax, I'll wake you.'

But Violet couldn't relax, couldn't sleep, and was not enjoying herself when they arrived at the meeting place. The bar was busy. A pleasant, friendly place filled with women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

'Could be a meeting of Young Farmers' Wives,' Violet said with a slight sneer. 'Not the sort of place I'd imagined a revolutionary would choose for a meeting.'

Two pleasant young women approached. 'Hi, Welcome. Tourists or new residents?'

Irma smiled frostily. 'We're here to meet an acquaintance.'

'Everyone's welcome,' the younger of the two said quietly, somewhat taken aback by Irma's tone. 'Perhaps I know her?'

'Amanda.' Irma said with a sniff as if expecting the girls to open their eyes wide in admiration. Instead their faces closed down abruptly. 'You don't look that sort,' the older one said, shaking her head as they walked away.

'What on earth did she mean by that?'

'Heaven knows. They're lesbians!' Irma snorted in contempt.

'Surely not?' Violet was shocked. 'They were pleasant!'

Before Irma could respond, a tall, lean woman in her early thirties stomped over; topless in brief black-leather shorts, breasts decorated with silver rings through thick nipples, hair cropped and dyed crimson, feet in heavy boots. She stuck out her hand and growled, 'Amanda.'

They shook it, unable to find words.

'Beer?' Without waiting for a reply the Amazon marched to the crowded bar at which a space magically appeared, ordered three beers, extracted some notes from a pocket, paid and brought her booty back to her guests who sipped in trepidation while their hostess guzzled it down, wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and announced to half the room, 'Can't speak here with all these fucking lizzies making such a ruckus, come on!'

'Leaving their untouched beers they followed the half naked woman out to the street where a dusty Land Cruiser was parked with its front wheels on the pavement. They piled in and with a snarl of smoky exhaust took off towards the beach where they sat on a bench lashed by salty wind.

Amanda listened to their tale, nodded enthusiastically and seemed genuinely excited at the prospect of bringing a couple of male chauvinist pigs to a sticky end. It was decided that Amanda would pick them up from their motel the next day and take them back to her place where they could discuss plans.

'Don't put anything in writing,' she warned. 'Nothing should ever be written or put on computers or mobile phones. The only safe place for information is in your head.'

Violet and Irma nodded and smiled. Retribution was beginning.

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