“Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.”
As luck would have it, Mom’s fiancé, Jim Anderson, was at the house, his car parked in the drive, when we arrived. School would be starting in less than a month and he’d be returning to the classroom and Mom to work in the office. In the meantime, he wasn’t wasting any time doing stupid summer things, no, he was busy courting my mom and between them they were making plans. He and Mom set the wedding date for the end of September; a family only wedding. Both felt they were way beyond anything elaborate, opting for a simple ceremony and reception afterwards. They’d honeymoon during Christmas Break when they both would be free from work to go. So far they hadn’t announced where they might be going, but I’d be willing to bet it’s somewhere warm.
Before we transferred Stony’s gear to my truck, I thought it best to deliver the fish and eggs and introduce him to Mom and Jim. I really wasn’t certain how she’d react and even more uncertain concerning Jim’s reaction. I was fairly certain he had very little knowledge of my intimate relationship with Cameron, although he was aware we’d been close friends, since I was so devastated by Cam’s death. Mom may have clued him in, but who knows? Come to think of it, I really don’t give a good rat’s ass who does know anymore how I felt about Cam or what my relationship to Stony may be or become! But, I really wasn’t too certain concerning Stony, yet.
Stony parked behind me in the drive and we walked to the house together. Giving the door a sharp “rap, rap,” I entered hollering “Mom, I’m home. Are you two decent or do I have to cover my eyes?”
That brought a series of laughs and giggles from the kitchen, betraying their presence, so we walked toward it. Mom and Jim were sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and, with the pleasant odor of fresh baked bread still permeating the room, just finishing a snack or breakfast of warm cinnamon rolls, baked by Mom just a short time before. Lightly iced and fresh from the oven, they were to die for, believe me!
“Oh!” she exclaimed with surprise, turning around to find me in the company of another person, “Good morning, J.T. Who’s your friend?” I’ll say this about Mom, she never misses a beat or fails to recover.
For some reason, I hesitated, reluctant to explain to her and Jim the reason for Stony’s presence, but yet more than willing to let them know who he was and where he’d be staying. Something just cautioned me not to reveal everything I knew; not that they’d say anything out of turn or suspect anything else, I just had a feeling Stony wouldn’t want me to and that, perhaps, just perhaps, he may not have told me everything that happened leading to his presence here.
“Mom,” I began, “this is Stony Jackson. He’ll be staying with me out on the Island for a while. Stony contacted me yesterday concerning the death of his older brother, but I fear I was of little assistance to him and disappointed him greatly since I really didn’t know his brother; he died before I was wounded.”
I hoped that’d be sufficient to allay any probing questions and also hoped Stony would pick up on my glossing over his reasons for being here with my little bit of slightly twisted information!
Without a misstep, blunder, or negative acknowledgement, he stepped forward and with that million dollar smile of his, extended his hand to Mom, “Earl Henry Jackson, Ma’am or ‘Stony’ as J.T. said; late of Cape Girardeau, Missouri and although I found out very little, I hope to stick around, help J.T. on the Island, and look for gainful employment.”
Mom smiled broadly in response, taken with his manners and warm personality, clasped his hand, and said, “Cassie Gifford; I’m pleased to meet you and I can only hope my son doesn’t work you too hard on the Island. I also hope you can stand the primitive conditions over there. Why he doesn’t modernize the place, I’ll never quite understand!”
“Perhaps he never had a reason to,” Stony replied with a sly, but warm smile.
Turning, she continued, “My fiancé, Jim Anderson.”
Jim also stood, extending his hand to Stony, and when the salutations were done, Stony and I pulled chairs up to the table while Mom filled coffee cups for us and placed a plate of fresh cinnamon rolls in front of us. I must admit, although we had a good breakfast, the sight and smell of those rolls did nothing to discourage us from eating some more. I mean, who could pass up fresh, hot, rolls? Not me or Stony by the way he tucked into them!
As we ate, Stony probed the territory; speaking to Jim, he asked, “What do you do, Jim? You can’t be retired since you look too young for that.”
My God, this guy was a real smoozer with an ability to con a football team out of their jocks or a swim team free of their speedos. Come to think of it, that might not be all bad! Pleased at the compliment, Jim responded, “I teach sixth grade at the same school where Cassie works; how about you?”
“I’m an unemployed cabinet maker, but a jack-of-all-trades also, I guess. I hoped there might be some opportunities around here. Things were going south in Missouri as far as employment and I was let go from the shop where I worked. Any family, Jim?”
“I have three children; a son and daughter older than J.T. and one son about his age. The only one living around here is my daughter. The other two live in nearby cities, not so far distant that we don’t see each other often; in fact, I’m fortunate I have my family so close. My wife died of cancer about six years ago and I’ve been alone until Cassie and I began dating.”
As Jim and Stony’s conversation continued, Mom looked at me, raised her eyebrows in question, but only received a shoulder shrug from me in answer. I was unwilling to make any commitments, uncertain of Stony’s sexual preferences or lack thereof. Although he hadn’t said it or given me any indication other than sitting quietly while I spoke of my relationship with Cam, I had some suspicions Stony was gay. The problem I really faced was; if he was gay, I didn’t know if he’d be interested in an older, somewhat damaged man who really liked what he saw presented before him! I wasn’t about to move hastily and be disappointed; I’d wait and see how things developed between us, watching carefully to see which way the water flowed through Stony Jackson!
I couldn’t read his mind quite yet, but he seemed tuned in to me, the way he artfully dodged the “why” he was here, taking the cues from my answers. Watching and listening to him, I could see he was an expert at turning the subject of the conversation away from him and toward something else; a subject he could control and not the other person. Stony didn’t give away any more than what he wanted and was adept at keeping it so.
I finally interrupted them announcing, “Stony and I both need showers, then we’re going downtown to do some shopping and exploring. We’ll be back after lunch to shift some items from Stony’s truck to mine and store the rest in my old bedroom until we can decide what to do with it. His truck will go in the garage out back and after all of that’s done we’re heading back to the Island before dark.”
With that, I stood, a signal for Stony to do the same, and, with a wave of my hand said to him, “Come on, I’ll show you the shower and towels. Bring your clean clothes in from your truck, shower, and change here. Any laundry you have bring in also and I’ll toss it in with mine. I generally save mine until I come in from the Island, except at those times I can’t get to town, and do it here at Mom’s. It should be done before we have to head back later.”
Stony didn’t object, went to his truck, and brought in clean clothes along with a laundry bag full of clothing for the washer. On the way to the shower, I asked casually, “I wasn’t certain what you told my cousin in the Sheriff’s Department concerning why you were looking for me. So I hope I didn’t fuck up by holding back in front of Mom and Jim, did I? For some reason, I just didn’t want to overplay your hand, just in case something comes up. O.K.?”
Stony nodded in confirmation and understanding, “I told him very little; only that I was hunting for you since you may’ve known my brother. As far as he was concerned, you could have known him in the service, college, or when you visited ‘bumble-fuck Iowa” for the annual pig-fucking contest. Beyond that bit of information, I told him very little and he asked damned few questions! Perhaps I’m cautious, like you, but I really don’t want people to know I’m on a hunt for someone I believe is a killer! All of the deaths really may be accidents, but I want to make certain before I commit myself to that. The old saying ‘softly, softly, catches the monkey’ applies here, I think. If I’m wrong in thinking it was foul play, then nobody’s the wiser.”
While he showered, I started the laundry. It’d take at least three loads, so we might be late in making our tour of town. Mom heard me in the laundry room, looked at the pile of clothes, and volunteered to finish up. “I’m not going anywhere so I can do this for you,” she explained, “besides it’ll give you more time to spend showing your new friend around the city.”
She paused a moment, then reached up, kissed me on the cheek, and said softly, “He’s really a nice young man J.T. I hope he can help you and you can help him, whatever his problem or goals are. Watching him watch you, I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a very good friend and companion!”
Stony, towel wrapped around his slim hips covering his pieces parts, humming some nameless tune as he emerged from the bathroom, smelling good and looking clean and handsome, hair all akimbo, smiled as he headed toward my bedroom to dress. I must admit, my gaze lingered on that young, almost naked, attractive body and face as he grinned at me and winked!
As I showered, I thought again about the changes coming in my thinking and my memories. My thoughts still turned to Cameron, but I also found myself thinking what life with Stony would be like. My fantasies took over and I stroked myself to a very satisfying and voluminous climax. When I spewed my load, looking down at my throbbing and dripping cock, I thought I could see the remnants of another load of semen stuck to the side of the shower where the spraying water failed to wash down to the drain. I wondered just what kind of volume Stony produced and what he thought of as he pumped his pecker to a pulsing finish!
Cleaned up and looking good, Stony plopped his pert little butt in the front seat of my pickup and, with a wave to Mom and Jim, we headed out for our city tour. Our first stop was at the city library where he checked out the stacks and the availability of WIFI for his lap top to connect to. He knew very well any research he did over the internet would have to done at the library, fast food restaurant, or internet café, and downloaded for reference once he returned to the Island. Stony was satisfied with what he saw, nodded his approval, and we headed to my bank next.
I needed to transfer some money to my checking account, withdraw some cash (a bit more now that there were two of us on the Island), check on my stock and bond portfolio, and make certain my rental checks were in from my renters and from the farm I owned in Cedar County. Everything seemed to be in order. Stony waited patiently in the outer lobby while I met with the banker who handles all of my accounts. He really didn’t seem to mind doing so, in fact, he commented when I invited him in, “No, I really don’t need to know what your business is; it’s enough you’re giving me a place to live.”
Business concluded at the bank, we dropped by one of the local farmer’s markets in a city park and browsed our way through it. There were a number of different vegetable stands, all offering varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as canned. Stony was most interested in the handcrafted furniture, shelves, and other items offered by a couple of the booths. He questioned the vendors closely, but his face remained impassive as they explained their wares. When we left, he looked at me and said, without rancor, but just as a fact, “Those guys charge way too much for the quality of the merchandise they sell. I could make much better for a lower price and still make a tidy profit.”
From there we headed to a favorite diner of mine, had a great lunch, and then scooted across town to a strip mall containing a couple of big box stores and super markets. We filled a couple of carts full of groceries including staples, canned juices, canned vegetables, beer, and fresh meat. Some of the meat I’d leave at Mom’s for her use. I tried to keep her freezer full as well as her pantry shelves. She often complained, but, what the heck; she’s my Mom!
Our next stop was the feed store where four one hundred pound bags of chicken feed and hog pellets were loaded into the back of the truck. About four blocks away was the bottle gas dealer so we off-loaded the empty cylinder and loaded two full one hundred pound ones into the truck. Our last stop, before heading back to Mom’s, was a gas station where we filled four six gallon containers with regular gas for the boat motors, generator, tractor, and other gasoline powered equipment I had on the Island. I had a feeling we might be using more of this than I had in the past, now that Stony was joining me!
Our laundry was done and somehow we managed to find room for it in the already loaded truck. I left meat and some staples with Mom (she objected, but took them anyway), gave her a kiss goodbye, and we drove back down to the river and Hennessey’s to load up the flat boat. It was a good thing I brought the old, wide, long flat boat that had belonged to Uncle John, since we were loaded to the gunwales. Stony looked a bit apprehensive as we headed across Johnson Slough separating the Island from the mainland and then down around the end and up the main river side until we came to the lake entrance leading to the cabin. I was thankful we didn’t have any bad weather, considering the weight of the cargo we were carrying.
Stony’s presence and help unloading and storing everything we bought was immeasurable since it would’ve taken me a considerable amount of time to do it alone! As small as he was, he was able to handle the feed sacks and propane cylinders quite well, not easily, but better than I could with my game leg and arm, although I can and have done it so these past few years. I carried the groceries, laundry, and other items to the house as he stored the feed in the shed. Once the meat was in the refrigerator and freezer, I brought up the gas cans and put them in shed also.
Stony hummed and whistled as he worked, apparently happy with where he was and what he was doing. His gear was stored in the spare bedroom, now his room, and then we put the canned food and staples away in the pantry off of the kitchen. We didn’t need to put things in the root cellar just yet, but as fall and winter approached, we’d use it to keep some things from freezing- in case the fire went out in the cabin, although I hadn’t had any problems in the past. The auxiliary fuel oil stove managed to keep the place above freezing.
We drank a beer while I grilled fresh steaks for supper and Stony fixed a salad. The sun was just about gone over the western horizon when we finally finished the dishes and headed to the porch for a nightcap. We were a couple of tired puppies and I ached all over, especially the old wounds. The nightcap would help ease the pain somewhat, or at least I thought it did!We sat quietly listening to the night sounds of the river, slough, and the Island begin their choruses; bullfrogs joined in as whippoorwills whistled throughout the timber, and crickets and other unidentified insects buzzed and hummed in the night. Stony cleared his throat, shuffled his feet a couple of times, and finally said, “J.T., you need to know I wasn’t fired because of poor work, causing unrest or any of the other reasons they put down on my dismissal papers. I was disgusted, however, with the owner degrading the quality of the product. I like to do quality work and as far as I was concerned, they were fucking it up. I suppose it would’ve gotten me dismissed eventually since I made no secret of the fact I didn’t like it. But, for the three years I worked there, the foreman kept eyeballing me, making certain suggestive remarks, maneuvering me into situations where he could be alone with me. He was a big, mean, ugly fucker and scared the shit out of me! One day, he caught me alone in one of the supply rooms, grabbed me and said he was going to fuck me, like it or not! He saw me as small, delicate, and vulnerable, just what he thought he could conquer and impale on his puny dick! I didn’t dare tell him to ‘kiss my ass’ for fear he’d do it so I dug a knee into his balls and scooted out of the room. The next day, I was fired!”
Thank you for reading “Gif’s Island – Chapter Six-–“Every man is a volume, if you know how to read him.”- (Channing)
s is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental