Shamrock Green, another excerpt

April 2, 2014

For the next excerpt, let’s fast forward a bit to chapter 2, and I’ll post the little tidbit that I’ll be reading at Rainbow*Con. :) Can’t believe the convention is only 2 weeks away now. I’m excited to meet and mingle.

 

Anyway, here’s the excerpt:

——–

Shamrock Green, Chapter 2, Scene 1

Wrapping the towel tighter around his waist, Hank entered the steam room on the second floor. Heavy vapors swirled in the dimly lit space, making it nearly impossible for him to see. The room’s only source of light seemed to be the frosted glass door that had closed behind him. He took two steps into the clouded dusk and stood unobtrusively near the wall.

When his eyes adjusted to the foggy dim, Hank could see two figures sitting on a bench that flanked the opposite wall, but he couldn’t make out any details. One vague figure was a thin guy leaning forward with his elbows resting on his knees in a closed posture. The other shape was much bulkier, more of a bear. He leaned back and spread open the gap in the towel wrapped around his waist, fondling himself. As the bear stroked his hand under the towel, he spread his legs wider apart to signal an invitation.

Hank didn’t find either figure very appealing, but at least the room was warm. His entire week in Ireland had been marred with clouds and a spitting drizzle that rarely found enough gumption to turn into real rain. The afternoons barely made it to seventy degrees, or twenty-one degrees Celsius as advertised by the little clock display of the tour van, quite a far cry from the ninety-eight-degree heat of June Hank had left behind in Texas.

The warm steam brought blessed relief after the eight nights of damp chill that seemed to settle into his joints and stiffen his journey-weary muscles. Leaning back into the wall, Hank let out a grateful sigh as he relaxed against the tiles. He could feel the first signs of a glistening sweat as the heat enveloping him warmed his skin and penetrated deeper into his tissues. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. His arches were still tired after the brisk walk through the Temple Bar district. More aggravation on top of eight previous days of much walking and hiking around the sights and towns where his tour bus stopped.

The room’s illumination suddenly increased when someone pulled open the door and stepped inside. Hank scanned the faces of the guys on the bench in front of him. The thin guy was definitely a twink, barely twenty-one, and the bear was probably pushing sixty. He felt no desire whatsoever for either man.

Before the door closed, he turned to glance at the new occupant. This nicely shaped silhouette was in his midthirties and not too tall, maybe five-ten — someone much more within Hank’s range of appeal. Hank flashed him a smile as the door slipped closed and the dusky dark returned.

Thirtyish-guy took a tentative step forward as his eyes acclimated. He took another step forward as Hank shifted his weight to the other foot. Hank looked up at the man’s face, but the thick mist obscured any details. While taking another step closer, the guy reached out his hand and lightly touched Hank’s left shoulder.

Hank leaned toward the hand in silent supplication. The man’s fingers lightly stroked the top of his shoulder and up the side of Hank’s neck. An involuntary sigh escaped from Hank as the gentle touching aroused him. The thin towel wrapped kilt-like around Hank’s waist offered no resistance to his swelling erection.

Stepping around, the guy stood facing Hank and put his other hand on Hank’s right shoulder. With both hands, he lightly kneaded at the bulge of knotted muscles on the sides of Hank’s neck resulting from the long week of carrying a heavy duffel bag.

Hank pushed himself from the wall to stand at his full height, short though he was, and reached his hand up to gently grasp and squeeze the shapely bicep of the man’s right arm. As Hank reached for the man’s clavicle with his other hand, thirtyish-guy removed his hands and pulled back, moving along the wall toward the room’s corner. He hesitated a brief moment at the back wall, then disappeared.

Hank walked to the corner and soon realized the wall he had been leaning against was merely a divider and at the corner, a gap opened into another room behind him. Trying to move nonchalantly, he followed the guy through the opening. He paused just inside the doorway. This room captured even less light, making it nearly pitch black. After a moment of visual acclimation, Hank could barely see the vaguest of shapes in front of him.

He walked to a bench discernable in the darkness. As he moved, a hand brushed against his butt while something else, maybe a hip, grazed his lower arm. When he neared the bench, a hand gently closed around his wrist and pulled him forward. Hank sat on the edge of the bench next to the shadowy figure turned sideways and reclining in the corner.

Another hand reached out and joined the hand around his wrist, slowly gliding and squeezing as it measured upward along Hank’s arm until it reached his armpit. A deep, masculine voice whispered, “Tá tú fear bideach.”

“Uh, ’scuse me?” Hank replied.

The hand stroking his arm paused. With a strong Irish accent, the voice asked, “No Gaelic?”

“No,” Hank drawled in his Texas tongue. “I don’t know any Gaelic. What did ya say?”

The man released his grip on Hank’s arm and slid his fingers along the shoulder to Hank’s neck. Hank felt hardened calluses on the thumb and fingers of the stranger’s hand, and he quickly realized this wasn’t the smooth hand of thirtyish-guy.

Gently cupping Hank’s head, the hand pulled Hank forward. Hank turned sideways on the bench to face the mysterious man in the corner, then scooted closer, until his hip rested against the shadowy figure’s hip.

Near Hank’s ear, the Irish voice whispered, “I said, you are such a tiny man.”

The lyrical sounds of the Irish voice whispering so near sent a slight shiver of pleasure through Hank. “Not tiny, I’m five-foot-four. Don’t ask me how many centimeters, coz I shur[A1]  don’t know that.”

Hank felt the bursts of breath near his ear as the man quietly chuckled. “We usually measure height in meters,” the voice whispered back. “I would guess one-point-six, or 160 centimeters, if a bigger number makes you feel better.” The hand slid from Hank’s neck and around to the front, slowly sliding down to Hank’s chest. “Where are you from?”

The combination of the man’s touch and exotic accent sent a stronger shiver through Hank. “The U.S.,” Hank drawled in a shaky voice. “Texas, out in the boonies.”

The hand on his chest paused. “Are you afraid, Tex?” the strong Irish voice whispered in question.

As the lyrical words sent another shiver through Hank, he realized the contradiction hidden in the voice. It seemed so deep and strong, like it was used to bellowing with the calls of an army drill sergeant, but the lowered whisper tempered it with a softer gentleness. Hank reached into the darkness and found a stubbly chin. “No,” he replied firmly, as he stroked the firm prickly jaw with his fingers.

“Then, why does your voice tremble?”

Hank shrugged, but of course his new friend wouldn’t be able to see it in the misty dark. “Excitement. Anticipation, I guess.”

“Enough excitement to tremble?” the Irish voice asked. “How old are you, Tex?”

From the open side of the room, Hank felt another hand reach out from the dark and touch his knee, then that hand wrapped around and squeezed at his calf almost hard enough to hurt. Hank reached down and slapped at the hand, pushing it away. The hand returned again, this time on his thigh, but it gently sat without the squeeze. Hank turned back to the corner and answered, “I’m forty-one.”

The hand on his thigh quickly disappeared. The stranger’s hand on his chest didn’t hesitate; it continued exploring the tuft of hair over his sternum and moved toward one of Hank’s nipples.

“I see,” the strong voice replied, sounding almost amused. “And does Tex have a wife waiting for him in the States?”

“No, I’m queer as a three-dollar bill. Why would you think that?”

The shadowy figure chuckled and shifted before lips brushed against his ear. The intimate touch caused a quiver all over Hank’s spine.

In a very gentle whisper, the Irish voice replied, “I’m still a bit puzzled. A man over forty shouldn’t find sex quite so exciting anymore.” The hand moved from his chest up to the back of Hank’s head and followed his skull up to the top, feeling Hank’s short hair that curled slightly in the high humidity. “Is your boyfriend here? Or husband maybe?”

“Don’t have one.”

“But you seem so attractive. You’re not throwing blarney at me, I hope.”

“No,” Hank argued. “I did kiss the Blarney Stone yesterday, but it’s the truth.” He moved his hand across his new friend’s ear and around to the back of his neck, feeling the same short stubble he had felt on the jaw. He brought his hand up and over, finding the same buzzed stubble all over the stranger’s head.

“You were in Cork yesterday?” the Irish man asked from the darkness.

“Yes,” Hank answered as the shadowy figure shifted again. The lips gently brushed against his ear, then kissed it lightly before a warm, moist tongue lightly explored the ridges and valleys of cartilage. “Oh,” Hank said with a sighing tone as a jolting quiver raced down his spine and swelled his cock almost instantly.

Hank pulled his brain back into gear as the mouth explored his earlobe, then suckled lightly at his jaw. What was it about this man? He’d never in his life felt anything like this. With just a few whispered words or a gentle touch, this shadowy figure had the power to reduce him to quivering gelatin.

“Why?” the man asked in his ear.

“Why what?”

“How come you are still single?” the whispery voice inquired.

“I just am.”

“Aye Jeust ahm,” the man replied with a teasing tone, trying to match Hank’s Texas drawl.

“Hush,” Hank scolded, reaching out and swatting the shadowy figure somewhere on the upper arm. “Yer not bein’ nice.”

The man chuckled warmly. “You are so bloody cute.” He reached up and stroked at Hank’s cheek. “I think you’re blushing, aren’t you.”

“Hush,” Hank hissed as his cheeks warmed and tightened with what he knew was indeed, a blush.

He chuckled again. “You didn’t really answer my question, love.”

“Just too selective, I guess,” Hank said as he reached out and found the man’s hand in the darkness. “I live in a smaller town, not much to pick from there.”

“Certainly there are other gay men in Texas, other places to find them,” the Irish man pointed out from the dark.

“Oh sure, I could drive to Dallas or Austin, or even Houston, if I just wanted to get off, but what’s the point? All that expense and road time just for a few seconds of pleasure?” Hank moved his grasp to the tips of the man’s fingers, feeling the hardened calluses that marred each finger.

“I see.” The hand on Hank’s cheek slid down and cradled his jaw. “Yet, here you are, Tex, in a bathhouse. Why?”

“It’s not such a big deal, dude,” Hank replied in a tone bordering on defensive.

“Dude,” the man repeated with another amused chuckle. “Maybe not, or maybe it is. It’s quite a puzzle, don’t you think?”

“Call it an act of desperation, then. The dinner show ran long tonight, and by the time I made it out to the bars, they were closing. Who ever heard of shutting down a bar at midnight? On a Saturday night even?”

“What time do the bars close in Texas?” The Irish man asked as the hand gently stroked Hank’s smooth jaw, moving forward to his chin.

“Close at 2:00 a.m., and that’s prob’ly only because they’re required to by law. They’d prob’ly stay open all night if they could.”

A thumb stretched up and stroked at Hank’s lip as the Irish man gently asked, “Why desperation?”

Someone groped at his foot in the dark. Hank pulled up his knees and scooted his back against the wall. “I wasn’t about to leave Ireland without touching at least one Irish pecker.”

The man chuckled as the shadowy figure adjusted position. “I see. And how many peckers have you touched tonight?”

“None, yet,” Hank admitted.

“Don’t try to blarney me. Even Texas guys don’t go to a bathhouse just to look,” the man said, sounding a little miffed.

“It’s the truth,” Hank reassured. “This is the closest I’ve gotten so far tonight.”

“And why?” the man asked in a whisper.

“I’m not exactly a gay dreamboat. I don’t fit the tall-dark-handsome or the hairy-bear molds, so I don’t generate much interest.”

“I see,” he replied.

Hank reached up and took the man’s other hand away from his jaw, examining the fingers and finding calluses on this hand as well. “What kinda work do you do?”

“Boring work,” the man dismissed flatly as the figure leaned further forward. Hank soon felt a warm breath on his ear, followed quickly by the exploring tongue. He sighed as he collapsed against the wall, feeling jolts with every flick and caress of the soft tongue as it moved over his ear ridges. Hank stroked the man’s buzzed head, rubbing the stubbly hairs and trying not to moan too loudly.

——–

 

 

6 Responses to “Shamrock Green, another excerpt”

  1. Susan says:

    Oh, so atmospheric! I love thinking of hearing their battling accents!

  2. Jackson_Cordd says:

    For those wondering, the callouses Hank notices on Darren’s fingers are from his guitar playing. He’s actually in a band called ‘Celtic Cantrips’, which I envision as a sort of cross between ‘Fleetwood Mac’ and ‘Celtic Thunder’.

  3. Jackson_Cordd says:

    Thanks Susan, it’s really gonna be a fun piece to read aloud for the crowd :)

  4. H.B. says:

    The first line hooked. I was like “what’s this? A towel were is thus going, lol.” Definitely hooked me with this excerpt. The different accents playing against each other is unique and It’s actually the first time I’ve read something in this way. I’m finding I quite like it.

  5. H.B. says:

    Sorry for all the typos lol. I’m typing everything on my phone it its auto correcting some words. Lol.

  6. Jackson_Cordd says:

    Thanks H.B. :) and no need to apologize, I hate the way my phone always wants to ‘correct’ my texts. LOL
    The intricate dialog scenes are one of the hallmarks of my writing style. Little known fact, back at the end of my college days, my first foray into a serious writing career was in the realm of stage plays. I had it in my mind I was going to be the next Tennessee Williams. But real life and the demands of a 50+ hour a week job interfered. I did manage to complete 2 plays during that time, though. I have to laugh when i read them now, they seem so contrite.

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