“Take your mask down for me,” the bored customs agent said, holding up Alex’s passport to compare as he tugged his mask down beneath his chin. “Thank you, that’s fine. What brings you to the States?”
“Visiting a friend,” Alex said as he readjusted the surgical mask.
“For how long?”
“And where will you be staying?” She wasn’t looking at him, perusing the visa paperwork he’d handed her.
“Here, in Denver. The address is, um…” He fumbled with his phone, trying to pull up the address he’d saved.
“It’s fine, you have it here.” The woman handed his passport and printed visa back to him. “Enjoy your stay. Merry Christmas,” she added, eyes already sliding to the next person in line.
“You too,” he said, managing not to drop his phone, his passport and papers, or either of his bags as he sidled out of the way. Alex parked himself beneath a colorful mural to put his papers away and poke at his phone without getting in anyone’s way, even though the arrival hall was echoey and unusually empty for an airport. Everyone who had to travel on Christmas day, for an emergency, or change of plans, or like him just because it was cheap, was hurrying as fast as they could to be done with their trip.
He finished signing into the wifi and his phone vibrated with a text he hadn’t gotten before departure.
(sent 11:32am) Rodnhammer: see you soon!!!
Alex bit his lip, heart hammering beneath his ribs, and thumbed his keyboard.
Frogfreak: I’m here
Only moments later, the three pulsing dots of a reply appeared, and then a text:
Rodnhammer: I’m in the pickup loop. Blue dodge truck, outside door 5.
Alex looked up. The nearest door was door 3. He hefted his pack onto his shoulders as his phone dinged again.
Rodnhammer: last chance not to get serial killed ;)
He let out a shaky laugh as the automatic doors wooshed open in a blast of dry, icy air. It stung his lung, somehow not quite as satisfying as a deep breath should be. He tugged his mask off but it didn’t help the feeling of not quite enough breath. The thin air was tinged slightly with jet fuel, and beneath that tasted clean and cold, making him think of sky and snow. The street lights were already lit in the arrivals roundabout, although twilight was still lighting the sky. Local time was 4:30 in the afternoon.
Alex looked to the right down the line of vehicles, past people greeting friends or family, hefting suitcases into cars, hugging and kissing their loved ones. He had no idea what a Dodge truck was, but there was a blue pickup idling by the curb with the driver’s side door open, and a tall, bearded man leaning out of it and waving.
Alex’s pulse leapt as he waved back. Roddy wore the same red and black plaid flannel that he cammed in sometimes. Alex hadn’t realized it wasn’t a costume. As he approached the truck, he realized also that the sizes of man and vehicle had been deceptive in comparison to one another. It was a huge truck that made the man standing beside it look a reasonable height.
“You’re bigger than I thought,” he blurted out, and then blushed. “I mean, hi. Nice to meet you? To really meet you, I mean.” Were they going to hug? Shake hands? What was the etiquette for meeting someone who talked you off on camera for paying subscribers on a weekly basis?
Roddy solved it for him by opening his arms wide and Alex let himself walk directly into them, feeling a jolt of this is it, this is our first time touching. They exchanged a brief, manly squeeze like Alex might greet any friend on campus, although Roddy’s hands lingered on his biceps as they pulled apart.
“Hey.” Roddy’s voice was familiar, the smell of his laundry soap and some kind of piney hair product was brand new. “How was the flight? Is this all your stuff? Let me put it in the back for you.”
“The flight was fine,” Alex said as he handed his big backpack and camera bag to Roddy. “Long.”
“I bet.” Roddy tipped the seatback forward and hefted Alex’s luggage into the backseat, being gentle with the camera. “You hungry?”
“Not really. They fed us on the plane. It actually wasn’t too terrible.”
“First time for everything,” Roddy said. “Let’s go right home then. I always want a shower after I get off a plane.” He gestured to the other side of the car. “Shit. I meant to clear this stuff off the seat before you showed up. Hang on.”
Pulling open the passenger side door Alex watched as Roddy shoveled papers, power tools, three mismatched work gloves, and a large rattling toolbox into the back seat. A stack of business cards had spilled sideways and Alex picked one up as Roddy tidied them into the cup holder.
Roderick Chester, Fine Iron and Leather Craft, it read. “Your name is really Roderick?”
“Why, isn’t yours Alexander?” Roddy brushed some grit and crumbs into the footwell and patted the seat. “Hop in.”
“It is,” Alex admitted. The step up into the truck was disconcertingly high, the seat nearly at chest height, and he had to use both hands to clamber in. The sense of disorientation increased climbing in on the right hand side, with Roddy at the wheel to his left.
It had been bloody stupid to use his real name when he started out camming, but he’d been a stupid teenager at the time. Possibly he was still stupid, flying half way around the world and getting in a truck with a man whose name he had only just learned. He flashed the business card between his fingers and tucked it in the back pocket of his jeans. “Just in case they need a clue about who did it when they find my body.”
“Ha! I’ll have to remember to take it off you,” Roddy said, grinning at him sideways as he put the truck in gear and pulled away from the curb; the wolfish, eat-you-whole-and-make-you-thank-me expression that his fans loved. Alex’s fans loved it too, loved watching Alex whine and melt for the camera in response. Seeing it in person, just for Alex, sent a terrifying thrill through his stomach. He shifted in his seat, rubbing his sweating palms against his jeans.
They turned out of the airport complex, merging onto the motorway westbound, and Alex’s mouth opened. “Oh wow.” The land was flat and scrubby on all sides around them, the sky enormous, dusky violet and streaked with rosy clouds, and the mountains looked cut out of a magic lantern against the horizon with the fading peachy glow of sunset behind them. It was hard to imagine anything bad when the world looked like that.
Sitting beside Roddy in real life kept Alex’s stomach fluttering as they drove. It was true he wasn’t hungry, but it wasn’t because the bland airline food had been filling. Roddy in three dimensions seemed to take up all the air in the truck, making it hard to breathe. Alex stared out the windows as they drove rather than trying to make small talk, casting glances out of the corner of his eye at Roddy, looking relaxed at the wheel.
Denver sprawled across the flat plains at the foot of the Rocky Mountains like the world’s most restless sleeper in an empty bed. The motorway wasn’t any bigger than some of the A roads at home, but everything else took up so much room – each detached house with its own generous lawn, each strip mall with its gargantuan blacktop, huge lots of used car dealerships, apartment complexes and housing developments; a whole landscape of one- and two-story buildings and businesses, everything built out rather than up.
Off the motorway they drove through a residential neighborhood where nearly all the houses were decorated for Christmas. Tacky inflatable snowmen, light-up reindeer, blinking LEDs that looked more like a spaceship console than a holiday display, one house with a spiraling digital projection of snowflakes whirling on its front. The houses grew further apart, dark spaces of trees between them, then Roddy turned down a narrow road, past a sign for some kind of lake access, and parked the truck.
Alex peered around. Daylight was fading fast from the sky, bare trees blocking them in on all sides, a dark open space in front of them suggesting a small lake. The nearest house was a hundred yards down the road behind them. He could still see its light display through the trees, but they were entirely alone on the little pull-out. “Where are we?”
“Just a little pit stop,” Roddy said, turning off the engine, “where no one can hear you scream.”
Alex tensed. “Very funny.”
“Aw, don’t look like that. You like it when I make you scream.” Roddy’s tone made hairs rise on Alex’s neck, and made his cock twitch.
He took a deep breath to steady himself. “There’s time for all that later. Wouldn’t you rather make me scream in a bed?” He fluttered his eyelashes a little, like he might for the camera.
“Cute,” Roddy said pleasantly. “Extra cute if you think that’s going to save your ass.”
Alex glared. “Don’t,” he bit out, proud that his voice didn’t shake.
“Don’t what?” Innocence was more unsettling on Roddy’s face than menace.
“Who’s joking?” Roddy was smiling again, that dangerous smile, and Alex’s heart leapt into his throat.
“Stop it, Roddy.” He swallowed. His mouth was dry and his cock was thickening against his zipper. “Just take me home. I want a shower and a lie down. There’s time for all that later.”
One of Roddy’s huge hands closed on his thigh. “There’s time for whatever I say.”
“Roddy, don’t — wait!”
Roddy grinned. “Alright. I won’t wait.” Grabbing Alex by the chin, he crushed their mouths together. Alex opened his in shocked reflex and felt Roddy’s tongue in his mouth for the first time. He tasted a little like toothpaste and he kissed like a military campaign – forceful but not sloppy. Precise and domineering, licking and sucking, forcing Alex’s mouth open, making his cock throb in his jeans. Just when Alex was beginning to relax into the kiss, Roddy bit his lip brutally. Alex whimpered and wrenched away. “Ow! Bloody ow! Arsehole.”
There wasn’t actually blood on Roddy’s mouth but he grinned like there ought to have been and put his hand between Alex’s legs, squeezing his erection. “Quit complaining.”
“I’m – uhng.” Alex’s hips jolted up into the pressure reflexively, and then he squirmed, trying to get away again.
“Don’t know what all the fuss is about. You’re gagging for it.” Roddy rubbed roughly at his stiff prick through his jeans. It chafed to the point of pain and tugged his foreskin back from the head, making him whine.
“You’re…you’re making me—” Alex protested, pushing futilely at Roddy’s arm.
“I’m making you what? Making you hard? Making you want it? I hardly had to do that, did I? Little slut.”
“Oh, I’m not…I’m not!” The muscles in Roddy’s arm flexed as Alex clutched at him, feeling the bulge of his thick bicep, the strong tendons in his forearm through the flannel.
“What else do you call someone who fucks on camera for money and visits strange men for sex?”
“A – a hypocrite,” Alex gasped and Roddy’s eyes flashed.
“Mouthy. You’re going to regret that.” His fingers closing in the short hair at the nape of Alex’s neck, a rough, careless grip, stinging at the roots, and dragged his head forcibly down into Roddy’s lap. The fat cock Alex had seen so many times on a screen strained in his jeans, obscenely big. Roddy’s hand on the back of his head pressed Alex’s cheek against the tented denim. The zipper scraped his lips, a tiny spark of distinct pain. Alex tried to say “Wait—” but Roddy ground his cock against Alex’s mouth so the words were lost.
“I’d better keep your mouth busy till you learn some manners, huh?” The button popped, and Roddy lifted Alex’s head a little to pull his zipper down, fishing out his swollen, scarlet cock. A bit of fluid gleamed at the tip in the weak glow of the dashboard lights. Alex breathed in the intensely male body-smell of a clean prick that was beginning to leak and felt his whole body pulse with helpless arousal. His own prick was trapped painfully against his thigh with the way he was bent over, straining in his trousers.
“Open up,” Roddy said, pressing a thumb against the juncture of Alex’s jaw. Alex opened helplessly, and then the thick, cut head of Roddy’s cock shoved into his mouth. It was salty and silky on his tongue, making his mouth water. He tried to swallow, but face-down and with his jaw forced open, he couldn’t help drooling around Roddy’s cock.
Roddy made an appreciative noise and pushed it deeper, till the head was a blunt pressure at his esophagus, making his throat flutter. Alex had deep throated dildos as big as Roddy’s cock, but always with his own hands controlling the depth and speed, never tense and under pressure, with a heavy hand on the back of his neck pressing him down inexorably. Nerves made his gag reflex spasm and he tried to breathe deeply through his nose, feeling the restriction of his windpipe beginning as Roddy pushed deeper. Tears welled in his eyes and dripped down his cheeks.
As Roddy’s cock slid in further, the pressure in his throat cut his air off entirely. The thrill alarm sent Alex’s blood singing with adrenaline, extremities tingling and prick pulsing. He fought the instinctive urge to struggle, Roddy’s hand warm and relentless on the back of his neck, holding him there. Alex’s fingers flexed on Roddy’s thighs. His pulse thumped in his ears.
His lungs were beginning to burn and Roddy showed no sign of letting up. He wasn’t thrusting, just holding his cock deep in Alex’s throat, fingers petting the nape of his neck while Alex felt the tension of oxygen deprivation building – pressure in his ribcage, the spasming of his throat, a jumpy, twitchy urgency in his limbs.
Alex’s vision was turning cobwebby and dim at the edges, his head swimming. In an instant of clarity he thought I could die like this, and his body convulsed with some combination of terror and hilarity, body giving in to the desire to flail, to fight. He made a strangled noise around Roddy’s cock, hands clawing at denim, spine arching.
There was a dragging suction in his throat and a sudden void. His conscious mind hadn’t realized his windpipe was clear before his body was sucking in violent breaths, chest seizing with the urgency, limbs twitching. Air flooded into his bellowing, straining lungs, blazing through his brain, burning away the cobwebs.
The rush of oxygen hitting his bloodstream felt like fireworks, better than orgasm, a full-body elation. He was shuddering, convulsing with relief, still desperately dragging in air. He hadn’t finished gasping and blinking away stars before Roddy growled and shoved his cock again down Alex’s spasming throat. He choked, trying to gag and unable to, hands pushing helplessly at Roddy’s rock-solid thighs bracketing his head.
The muscle beneath his hands flexed as Roddy fucked his face, deep and carelessly rough. Alex’s throat and cock ached. His whole body was over-sensitive, his limbs trembling with adrenaline, cock throbbing in his trousers. Acute lack of oxygen made his lungs burn, and there was a ringing in his ears. Even when Roddy’s prick wasn’t blocking his windpipe entirely, the snot and saliva thick in his throat made it difficult to breathe and the thin air was unsatisfying. He choked and gurgled on each gasp when Roddy pulled back.
Alex’s face was wet with tears and spit, Roddy’s jeans soaked around the fly. He was almost entirely limp, letting Roddy move his head however he wanted, gravity sinking him deeper on Roddy’s cock, neck muscles too weak to lift himself off without the fist in his hair tugging him up and down. The world was gray at the edges, throbbing with Alex’s racing pulse, with his straining prick.
Above him, Roddy was talking — swearing and babbling. “…So good like this, fucking made to take my cock. Gonna use you any way I want and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it, is there? If I want to slap you around, choke you on my cock till you pass out—”
Alex came, soaking his underwear and the inside of his trousers.
“Jesus, fuck,” Roddy swore, pulling his cock out again, and the rush of orgasm and oxygen together flooded through Alex’s senses. His body was disintegrating into a floaty, blissful tingling. Purple and white stars danced in his vision. Distantly he could hear the hoarse whooping of his own breath, feel his throat burning and his sensitive cockhead twitching against the damp cotton of his briefs, but he was detached from them, drifting on the ripples of beautiful semi-consciousness.
“Alex? Hey, hey, Alex. Alexander.” There was a hand against his cheek, a calloused thumb brushing at the tear tracks beneath his eyes, and then the dome light clicked on, flooding the interior of the truck in warm yellow light. Roddy peered at him. “Color, Alex.”
“Green,” Alex rasped, barely audible, but Roddy’s face broke into a grin and he hauled Alex onto his lap, kissing his damp face, beard tickling his cheeks. It hurt his throat to laugh, and the giggles wrenched out of him almost like sobs, like the last shocks of orgasm. He was trembling.
Roddy’s strong arms wrapped around him, rocking him, while Roddy whispered words of assurance that Alex barely heard. “—So good for me, so goddamn perfect, you’re such a good boy, my best boy. Keep breathing, darling, you did so well…”
Alex choked on his stinging breath and clung to Roddy’s shoulders, letting the last of the tension flow out of him in violent tremors while condensation formed on the inside of the fogged windows and the dashboard vents panted hot air. At some point, Roddy turned the radio on low, and the reedy croon of some old country singer covered the harsh sound of Alex breathing.
Eventually Alex lifted his head and sat back, letting Roddy’s arms slide off his shoulders as he squared them a little, re-centering himself. He rubbed his damp eyes, and snuffled a little.
“Here.” Roddy fished a paper napkin out of the glove compartment. “How are you feeling?”
Alex blew his nose, hands still shaking. “Exhausted.”
Roddy smiled wryly. “I bet. Other than that?”
Alex turned his head away, suddenly shy, looking out the window though there was nothing to see through the fogged glass in the darkness beyond except the blurry patterns of Christmas lights through the trees. “Good,” he said softly. “Really good.”
“Was it like you wanted?” Roddy asked, and Alex reached across the bench seat to squeeze his hand at the anxious note in Roddy’s voice.
It gave him the courage to look up and meet Roddy’s gaze as he said, “Exactly what I wanted,” and was rewarded by the smile spreading across Roddy’s face. “You went off-script, though.”
“Had to keep you on your toes,” Roddy said cheerfully. “When you called me a hypocrite, I nearly lost it. You’re always making me laugh.”
The elated warmth in Alex’s ribcage pulsed. He tipped his face up. “Kiss me again. For real, this time.”
Roddy leaned in and they shared a soft, slow kiss, Roddy’s mustache tickling Alex’s upper lip, one big hand warm on his cheek. A first-kiss kind of embrace.
Eventually, Alex pulled back with a sigh and glanced down. Roddy’s prick was still out, plump and shiny with drying spit, only partially hard. “You didn’t finish?” Alex had been pretty out of it for a bit but he was pretty sure he would have noticed choking on a mouthful of come or getting it all over his face. A bubble of anxiety disturbed his sated calm. “Did you…you did like it, didn’t you?”
“Very much,” Roddy rumbled, kissing his temple. “But don’t worry about me right now. That was for you. And for my spank bank.”
Alex huffed a laugh, stretching. His neck was stiff from the plane and then from being held down at an awkward angle, but the rest of him felt deliciously loose and buzzy. “Well. Merry Christmas to me, I guess.”
Roddy laughed too, looking younger, boyish beneath the beard, and tucked his dick back into his trousers, zipping up. “I uh, actually got you something else.”
“What? We said no presents!” Alex protested, as Roddy reached a long arm over the back of the seats to rummage in the mess of tools in the back of the cab. He retrieved a rectangular box wrapped in plain brown paper, about the size of a hardback book, but too light. Alex glared at Roddy, who jerked his chin in a go on motion. Sighing, Alex ripped the paper off and lifted the lid off the box.
For a moment he thought it was a leather collar folded over, but then he saw it was a pair of wrist bands in soft chestnut leather, each with a gleaming silver buckle. The polished leather was stamped with flourishing leaves and tiny frogs, decorative enough to be worn as accessories, but sewn into the leather beside each buckle was a shiny, sturdy metal ring.
Alex’s mouth was open. “Did you make these?” Roddy made a vague affirmative noise. His face was pink. “Oh my god. They’re beautiful! I love them. Arsehole.” Alex punched Roddy in the bicep, to no effect. “I didn’t get you anything.”
“Are you kidding?” Roddy said. “After you came all this way for me?” He wrapped an arm around Alex’s shoulders again, and Alex breathed in the newly familiar scent of his sweat and laundry soap. “That’s all the present I want.” He pressed a kiss against Alex’s forehead, and Alex felt it all the way down in his stomach, a warm shiver like an advent candle, that bloomed brighter as Roddy rumbled, “And if you’re very good, I’ll put you in those cuffs and give you another present later.”