One For The Road

by Sakana Sara (魚 サラ)


The thing about a bar on a two-lane state highway in the middle of nowhere is, nobody ever comes in but truckers and bikers. You deal in beer, peanuts, and plenty of Johnny Cash on the jukebox, and some of these guys sure look like they’d name a son Sue just to toughen him up.

You don’t know where they go after you close. The truckers usually sleep it off in their rigs, sometimes you let the bikers crash on the storeroom floor if they’ve behaved themselves during business hours. And if every once in a while one of them heads up to your room after closing time? That’s nobody’s business but yours.

It’s a Tuesday night. Slow. Tuesdays always are. You spend most of the night feeding quarters to the jukebox, opening it up, taking the quarters out, and feeding them in all over again just to have something besides crickets and wind to listen to. A couple odd guys come in, have a beer, shoot a little pool, maybe buy a pack of smokes from the machine in the back before they pay their tabs and leave. But there’s this one guy that stays at the end of the bar the whole time, grazing on a bowl of pretzels and nursing a few beers, alternately watching whatever you’ve got the silent TV turned to and messing around with a spiral notebook and a folder full of scribbled notes. Normally you’d turn a guy who made a beer last two hours out after the second one, but he’s paying up front and he’s tipping and he’s not causing any trouble. So you let him be.

He’s younger than the usual crowd, and even though there doesn’t seem to be a stitch of clothing on him that’s not denim, flannel, or leather, and he looks like he’s been on the road for a week without seeing a real bed or a shower he didn’t have to pay by the minute for, you can still tell without even looking out into the lot that there’s not going to be a truck or a bike out there waiting for him. His hair is short and spiky and a shade of red nature could not possibly produce. He’s got a silver ring in his eyebrow and a strip of leather with a few beads shaped like those Egyptian beetle things strung on it tied around his wrist, and once in a while he lights up a black cigarette that smells like cloves.

His name is Shawn, he tells you as you set a third beer down in front of him, and he’s a writer. Well, he’s going to be. That’s what this road trip of his is about, someone whose opinion must have mattered to him told him good writers needed experience to write from. He figured the best way to get that experience was to throw a week’s worth of clothes into the trunk of his car, pack up his notebooks and his tape recorders and whatever else he can’t live without, pick a direction and drive until he found something interesting, and keep it up until he either runs out of money or makes enough of it to stay put a while. He’s not going to be staying put anytime soon, he says, but at least he’s making enough money to keep moving. He sells little articles now and then; more often he spends a week washing dishes or pushing a broom to feed his car and himself.

You think about the tuna salad in your fridge upstairs when he mentions that. You’re not exactly supposed to serve food in here—sanitation laws and permits and all that kind of thing. But you ate it for lunch and you’re not dead yet, and it’s not like you’re charging him for it. Besides, you’ve been where he is, kind of.

He inhales that tuna salad on day-old wheat bread like it’s the best thing he’s ever put in his mouth, and he pays you with a good tip and a big grin that makes you wonder for half a second where he plans on spending the night.

One other guy comes and goes after that. He parks his rig out front, comes in, orders a beer, notices Shawn at the end of the bar, and looks like he’s about to say something nasty about his hair or that ring in his eyebrow or some damn thing. You give him a look that suggests that really isn’t a good idea. He finishes his beer and leaves without a word. You think you might see Shawn smiling as the guy leaves.


Nobody else comes in for the rest of the night. Mostly, you feed the jukebox and you watch Shawn work at the end of the bar. It’s a quarter till two, you’ve turned off the “open” sign and locked the door, and normally you’d be chasing people out by now. But you still don’t know where Shawn’s sleeping tonight, and he doesn’t look like he’s quite ready to sleep anyway.

“Last call,” you tell him, and he jumps like he’s lost all track of time. He might have. “You want anything else?”

He closes his folder and his notebook and tucks everything into the old olive canvas backpack next to his stool.

“Yeah,” he says. He almost laughs it.

And before you can ask him beer or Coke, he’s sliding off his barstool and pinning you against the bar and grinning, this grin that tells you he’s got some pretty good ideas as to where he’d like to spend the night.

You don’t bother asking how he knew you wouldn’t answer that with a fist to his face. They either never tell you, or else they mumble something about the way you’ve been looking at them all night before they shut you up with their tongues sliding up against yours. You just tell him “all right” and strip that battered blue jean jacket off him, let it fall to the floor while he yanks the tail of your flannel shirt out of your jeans and shoves his hands up under it. You figured he’d have soft hands, on account of the whole writer thing and all, but he doesn’t. He must have found some work a little rougher than dishwashing and broom-pushing on the road now and then, and he must have kept at it a while.

He tastes like beer and cloves. You could get used to that.

After a while you notice you’ve got one of your knees pushed up between his thighs, and he’s got his hip pressed right up against your dick and you’re both grinding up against one another and you’re both hard enough to cut glass.

“Let me.” Shawn whispers that into your mouth and worms his fingers under the waistband of your jeans. “Let me–”

Before you can ask him “let you what?” he’s sliding down to the floor, down to his knees, mouthing your cock through your jeans like he can’t even wait to get your fly open. You unbuckle your belt for him, and since it looks like he can handle the buttons himself you just bury your fingers in his candy-apple red hair. Your cock jumps against his fingers and his lips and your hips twitch forward every time he gets one button undone and moves down to the next. When he runs out of buttons, he yanks your jeans and your boxers down just enough to get his mouth on your dick and one hand under your balls. His other hand drops to his own belt and yanks it loose, repeats the process of popping buttons on his own fly, shoves his own jeans down, and wraps tight around his own cock.

He goes slow at first, slower than you’d like, damn sure slower than you want right now. But his mouth is hot and wet and his tongue’s pressed tight against the underside of your dick and his fingers are doing something to your balls you’ll spend the next month trying to duplicate every time you jack off, so you don’t so much mind the slow pace. Even if you did, all you’d have to do is turn your head to the side a little and watch Shawn’s hand slide up and down his shaft in the exact same slow rhythm; with a show like that going on, you’ve got nothing to complain about.

But just as you’re getting used to that slow pace he growls deep in his throat and swallows you to the root. Your hands clench in his hair, mostly by reflex; he doesn’t seem to mind. He doesn’t seem to mind the way your hips snap forward to meet him either, especially if that hand on his dick is any indication. You think you’re going to hold back a little longer, let him find his rhythm before you start thrusting back in earnest, but then he presses two fingertips up against this spot behind your balls and that’s it, you don’t think of anything else, you don’t think about anything but holding onto Shawn’s hair and fucking his mouth and watching him fuck his hand. Somewhere in the back of your mind you’re worried about hurting him, maybe choking him, and you loosen your grip on his hair and hold back a little on the next few strokes. Shawn doesn’t hold back at all, though, and he even slams down on you harder to make up for it.

You’re already gasping random words like god and fuck and wanna see you come and you can feel the thin skin of your balls drawing tight in Shawn’s hand when he makes that growling noise in his throat again, right when the head of your cock hits the back of his throat, and you barely have time to choke out “oh fuck I’m gonna come” before you do it. It still takes him by surprise, or at least that’s what you think that noise he makes means. But other than one little jump he doesn’t falter at all, just sucks you through it, pulls back to swallow, then takes you in deep again; the whole time he’s pressing those two fingertips up against that spot behind your balls and it feels like he’s found some kind of a switch there that makes you come a little more every time he trips it.

You’re barely done before he lets you go. That one hand is still on his dick; the other comes out from under your balls and pulls the hem of his T-shirt halfway up his chest, baring a flat stomach with a black-rayed sun tattooed around his navel. He clamps his shirt in his teeth (to keep it out of the way) and then leans back, still on his knees, his free hand splayed out on the floor behind him. He gives you a clear and unobstructed view while he jacks himself off, hard and fast, just the way he sucked you. Just watching his stomach and chest rise and fall with his rapid breath is almost enough on its own to get you hard again already.

It doesn’t take him long. You count maybe six or seven strokes before he growls through his clenched teeth and the fabric clamped between them and slams up into his hand hard, come arcing up from his clenched fist. His aim is such that most of it lands on his forearm and his bare stomach, barely any finds the floor and you can’t help but laugh a little because you know he’s doing this to save you most of the trouble of cleaning it up. Your own dick twitches sympathetically as you watch Shawn come, and even if you hadn’t just had an amazing goddamned orgasm yourself you think you’d be tired on his behalf just from watching this.

When it’s over, Shawn just kind of slumps backwards, his softening cock still loosely cupped in his fingers; his legs twist out from under him, and he flops fully onto his back on the hard and none-too-clean floor of your bar.

He laughs a little and asks if he could trouble you for a paper towel. You tell him you can do better than that. You wet down a clean rag with warm water from the tap, wring it out, and toss it to him. He cleans himself up, wads the rag up, and pitches it over the bar. It lands right in the sink.

You finally get around to asking him where he’s sleeping tonight.

“You tell me,” he says, and he laughs again.

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