Sam sat in his car with the engine off staring at the building in front of him. He wasn’t sure if he could go through with his plan. Luckily he had come prepared for that. Leaning over to the passenger side and searching under the seat he found his flask of vodka. Unscrewing it he took two shots. It was the cheap stuff so it burned going down. For Sam, it was a familiar burn and he knew that in fifteen minutes nothing was going to matter.
Twenty minutes later he felt ready. Taking another swig, he returned the flask under the passenger seat and got out of the car. It was a warm Florida night. Sam found warm nights the best for making bad decisions and a bad decision was what he was making now.
Sam walked up to the door of the bar and stared into the bouncer’s eyes. Sam was sure he could take him if he had too and he was sure that the bouncer was probably thinking the same thing.
“ID?” the large man asked after giving Sam a once over.
Sam pulled his wallet from his pocket. In it was his fake driver’s license. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough to pass the scrutiny of a flashlight. Sam would never use his real name for something like this. Too many people were after him. If he ended up on some database somewhere he would have to scrap the life he invented, and he was tired of inventing new lives.
“Have a good one,” the large man said handing him back his ID.
Sam didn’t respond. Instead, he pushed past the bouncer and entered the bar. The bar was different than he expected. He was expecting it to be more colorful. It looked like a normal bar.
Scanning the variety of patrons he made a beeline to the bartender.
“Give me a beer. Whatever’s on tap,” Sam said to the bearded man hovering in front of him.
The bearded man nodded and returned moments later with a full pint glass. He drank half of it in an instant. With it down he felt the accumulation of the alcohol taking effect. It was then that he spun his stool and looked around. His inhibitions were lowered. He could finally do what he had come to the bar to do.
Slowly scanning the room a second time he noticed just how many of the men were looking at him. They weren’t staring. Mostly they were being coy. When Sam looked at them, they would peek over and then turn away.
For the first time, Sam didn’t mind the attention. He was there for a reason. The attention helped him do what he was there to do.
“Hey, need another drink?” a man asked from Sam’s opposite shoulder.
Sam turned and stared at him. He was good looking. Sam might even refer to him as hot. Chiseled cheekbones, fit but not overly muscular, he was the type of man that Sam had run from his entire life. This was the type of man who Sam could barely resist.
“If you’re having one,” Sam replied feeling the vodka warm his insides.
The good looking man turned to the bartender and ordered two more of what Sam was drinking. They came as Sam finished his first glass.
“I’ve never been here before. What’s the vibe in this place?” the good looking man asked Sam.
“First time here too,” Sam explained.
“I thought so. You don’t seem like a regular.”
“What gave me away?”
“You’re too hot.”
Hearing the man’s words, Sam’s thoughts turned to his own cock. It was growing hard. This was what he hoped would happen when he was making his plan the night before. Looking at the good looking man, he wondered how far his fantasy would go. Lying alone in bed Sam had imagined a lot.
“You too, man,” Sam heard himself say.
The man smiled. His perfect teeth reminded Sam of someone, but the vodka was kicking in hard and he couldn’t think of who.
“How many people here do you think are just looking to fuck?” the good looking man asked as he sat on the stool next to Sam.
“All of them,” Sam joked. “Why come here if you’re not?”
“For the beer, of course.”
“You got me there,” Sam relented offering the man cheers.
Clinking glasses they both took a swig. Yes, the man definitely reminded him of someone and he was beginning to figure out who.
The good looking man leaned closer to Sam. “What are you into?”
Sam could smell the man’s musk. It quickened his pulse. Sam looked away trying to gather himself. It didn’t help. His breathing became heavy. He was starting to feel like an animal. He was a predator and this man was his unsuspecting prey.
“Into?” Sam asked feeling his large cock grow brick hard.
“You a top or a bottom?”
“What do you mean?”
The man looked at Sam confused. When he continued, it was with hesitation. “Do you like to pitch or catch?”
Sam washed the analogy around in his mind. He figured out the meaning. “I pitch. You catch?”
“I could play catch with you,” the man said looking down into Sam’s lap. “Do you have a place?”
Sam’s chest tightened hearing the question. “No. Do you?”
The good looking man scanned Sam again. Sam could see his hesitation. He was losing him. He would have to do something fast. So without thinking, he reached over, grabbed the back of the man’s neck and kissed him hard.
The man was startled but quickly relaxed. Sam teased open the man’s mouth and the hot man complied.
When Sam pushed his tongue into the stranger, his own body tingled. He had never done anything like this before. He never thought he could ever be so bold yet here he was. He had kissed a man.
His heart pounded with lust. Touching his tongue with the man’s, Sam wanted more. Holding the stranger’s face between his hands, Sam’s cock fought against his jeans.
Out of breath, the man pulled away. Panting himself, Sam took control. “Do you have a place?”
“I have a place.”
“Take me there.”
The man nodded and complied. Tossing cash onto the bar he led Sam out. “It’s close. You wanna walk or drive your car?”
Both men got into Sam’s car. Thankfully it was close. Three blocks away, Sam parked and the man exited towards the two-story apartment building.
Sam followed still not believing that it was finally happening. He reached forward and touched the man’s ass. The man didn’t pull away. Sam’s pulsing cock tensed with excitement.
Entering the apartment the gorgeous man led Sam back to the bedroom. He looked like he was about to say something when Sam grabbed his face and kissed his lips. Sam couldn’t wait a second longer. He needed to be in him.
Holding the man between his hands, Sam’s mind swooned. His body lit up with pleasure. The man was grabbing his ass. Sam liked having another man’s hands on him. Wanting to feel a man’s naked body, he let go of his face and began to undress him.
Peeling the good looking man’s shirt back, Sam next attacked his pants. Stripping him, he grabbed the man’s cock. It was hard.
Sam inhaled briefly losing his breath. He enjoyed holding a cock more than he ever imagined he would. And when the man held Sam’s clothed cock and gasped, Sam couldn’t hold off his desire any longer.
Ripping off his own clothes, Sam backed the naked man onto the bed. He smelt so good. His broad shoulders and toned chest felt so good in his hands. This was a man beneath him, unquestionably and inescapably. Everything about him drove Sam wild.
Spreading his legs like he would a woman, Sam went in search of his hole. Prodding with his cock, he found nothing there. Sliding further and further down, the man’s flesh gave way. Rolling the man onto his back, Sam took aim and was about to claim his long-awaited prize.
“Wait,” the man cried.
Sam froze. For a moment Sam considered taking him anyway. It took everything in him to give in when the man fought to get away.
Pulling away from Sam, the good looking man crawled across the bed. Opening a drawer, he retrieved a bottle of something and handed it to him. It was lube. This wasn’t a sign that he wanted Sam to stop. This was a sign that he wanted Sam to fuck him harder.
Sam’s cock flinch stiff and froze. Sam needed to fuck him more than he needed to breathe. Sam flipped the man onto his stomach and slathered the lube between the man’s ass cheeks. He pushed a finger into his ass. The man yelped. Sam’s animal instincts liked the sound. Aiming his cock again, he pinned his prey down and thrust in hard.
Like a fawn, the younger man bleat. He bucked and squirmed trying to get away but he couldn’t. Sam fucked him mercilessly. Sam had never been more turned on in their life.
It didn’t take long for Sam to feel his orgasm coming. He tensed his cock fighting it off. Sam won holding it back.
With the feeling subsiding, Sam again fucked the man with full force. Wanting to see the man’s handsome face, Sam flipped him over and rolled him onto his back. The man’s cock was completely hard. As much as he squirmed in Sam’s strong arms, Sam realized that he didn’t really want to get away. The man wanted to be restrained and used. Sam was only too happy to oblige.
Pinching his nipples and pulling his hair, Sam manhandled the stranger. By the end, the man lay like a sack of flesh. It was then that Sam held the man’s neck and slowed his fuck.
Touching their lips for a kiss, Sam took the other man’s cock in his free hand. Letting go of his lips, he stroked the good looking man. His light groans escalated into the signs of an impending orgasm. The sounds pushed Sam to the edge.
Closing his eyes Sam again thought about what he was doing. This was what he had run from for so long. Now here he was sliding his cock into a man’s ass while stroking him to completion. It was almost unbelievable.
Sam felt the pull on his balls as the sting of his orgasm gathered at the base of his cock. He wouldn’t be able to fight off the feeling a second time and this time he didn’t want to. Sitting up, he ran his free hand down the good looking man’s hairless body. It made him think about long ago.
When the man beneath him tensed and his cock flinched, Sam could no longer hold on. The man groaned and erupted. Sam, grabbing onto the man’s chest, did the same.
“Ahhh!” Sam bellowed releasing an unbridled flood into the man.
Sam’s cock flinched uncontrollably. He was exhausted. He didn’t want to pull out of the limp man’s tight ass, but he also had to lie down.
Willing himself, he lowered the good looking man’s legs onto the bed. Withdrawing his still hard cock, he lay next to him. The stranger rolled onto his side so that Sam could wrap his arms around him. He welcomed Sam’s embraced yearning to be pulled closer.
Spooning the stranger, Sam let his mind wander back to simpler times. Sam had once known a man who looked like the stranger. It was the man who haunted his thoughts. Now losing himself in the good looking man’s intoxicating scent, Sam couldn’t think of anything else.
When the man in his arms began to snore, Sam wondering what he should do next. He could do anything. The man had let himself be vulnerable. Why would anyone do that with a stranger? How could anyone even do that with someone they knew?
Liking the warm body next to his, Sam let the man sleep. He found that he liked holding him. It made him feel connected. There was something about it that lowered his guard. Finally with his guard completely down, Sam considered doing something else he had never done before.
Making sure not to wake him, Sam let go of the man and looked around the bedroom. He was looking for the stranger’s pants. Finding it at the foot of the bed, he crawled towards it. Searching the pockets he found the stranger’s phone. To his surprise, the phone wasn’t locked.
Sam entered in a number then paused. Why in the world would he do this? What would he have to gain? He knew the answer to that. Sam wanted to hear his voice.
The phone wasn’t his. It couldn’t be traced back to him. Not only would he never see the naked man again, Sam hadn’t even told the stranger his name.
It was with a wave of misplaced confidence that Sam clutched the phone and pressed send. His heart raced. The alcohol, the anticipation, it was making Sam dizzy. Catching himself, he was about to hang up when he heard a voice.
“Hello,” the resonant voice announced on the other end.
Hearing it, Sam lost his breath. His skin prickled. Warmth washed through him in a confusing way. Why was he feeling like this? Why had he even called?
“Hello?” the man on the other end asked again. “Sam?”
Hearing his own name, Sam froze. How? Why? Had he called him before? He didn’t think that he had. He was sure that he hadn’t spoken to Tom in years. How could Tom possibly guess that Sam was on the other end?
“Sam, if this is you, turn yourself in. You know you can’t run forever and I’m gonna guess that you don’t want to. Just tell me where you are and I’ll come get you. We won’t have to make this into a scene.”
Sam opened his mouth to speak but ended the call instead. As soon as the phone’s screen dimmed, he realized how big of a mistake he had made. What was he thinking calling him? Calling Tom had to be the worst of his lifetime of bad decisions.
Sam couldn’t stay there any longer. As far as he knew Tom was right outside the stranger’s building. Tom could have been watching him all night and could have followed him there. Sam needed to get out of there.
It wasn’t just him anymore. He had to worry about someone else. He had called Tom in a moment of weakness and now he wasn’t the only one who would have to pay for it.
Sam returned the phone to the stranger’s pants pocket and then gathered his clothes. Getting dressed he returned to the living room. Peeking through the window he wondered if any of the cars outside was Tom’s. Realizing that he couldn’t do anything different if one was, he exited the apartment and headed towards the parking lot.
When nothing stirred in the darkness, Sam changed direction and headed to his car. Getting in he started it. When again nothing stirred, he pulled away. Turning the first corner with no cars behind him, he drove towards the freeway. Getting onto the 528, he began the twenty-minute drive back home.
The further away Sam got from the good looking man’s apartment, the more he acknowledged how stupid he had been. He shouldn’t have gone to the bar in the first place and he shouldn’t have made the call. That call had destroyed his life.
How long would it be until Tom and his FBI friends traced the call? Not very long. By then Sam had to be out of town. The only question was where he would go next.
Sam pulled into the strip mall’s parking lot and glanced up at the apartments above it. His apartment light was still on. It was late but he was hoping it would be. Parking the car and jogging up the stairs to the door, Sam let himself in. Mable, who was asleep in front of the TV, woke up with a jolt.
Sam asked the large older woman, “Did everything go okay?”
Mable turned to Sam and did her best to clear her mind. “Yeah.” Mable sat up and looked around. “Yeah, she didn’t give me any trouble at all.”
Sam crossed the room to the closest bedroom. Slowly opening the door light poured in illuminating the little girl asleep within. Reassured, he closed the door and jetted to his own room.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Mable asked him as she followed him to his room.
Sam didn’t answer. Instead, he withdrew a duffel bag from the cupboard and stuffed it with his clothes.
“What’s goin’ on? You goin’ somewhere?” Mable asked.
“Snow and I are goin’ on a little trip,” Sam explained.
“You takin’ Snow Pea with you?” Mable said distressed.
“Of course I am. She’s my daughter, isn’t she?”
“When you bringin’ her back?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, where you takin’ her?”
“I told you we’re goin’ on a trip.”
“You can’t just be draggin’ a little girl around the country like that. She’s at that age. She’s gonna have to start school this year. If you have to go, go. Leave her with me. When you’ve taken care of whatever it is that you’re doing, you could come back. She’ll be safe.”
With his bag packed, he gave the older woman a displeased look. “I’m not goin’ anywhere and leaving my daughter behind.”
“Why not? You know I’ve been lookin’ after her. For these six months I’ve been raisin’ her like my own. A little girl like that needs a home. She needs to have someone she can depend on.”
“She has that. She has me. Look, I appreciate what you’ve been doin’. But you’re not her mom and you’re not her grandma”
“I may as well have been.”
“Snow needs her daddy.”
“You know anything about raising a little girl?” Mable questioned.
“I know enough,” Sam stated knowing that Mable had a point.
Undaunted, Sam reentered his daughter’s bedroom. Opening her drawers he put the contents into his bag. Grabbing her teddy bear and her two dolls, he scooped the little girl into his arms and slumped her over his shoulder.
“Aren’t you gonna let me say goodbye?” Mable protested.
“I don’t wanna wake her.”
Mable followed Sam toward the front door. Sam was about to leave when he turned back to the older woman and lowered his eyes.
“Listen, I’m not gonna have time to collect my last paycheck. You think you could spot me a little cash. It’s for Snow Pea.”
Mable twisted her face torn by the loss of her favorite little girl and Sam request for money. “Stay here.”
Mable left the apartment and returned less than a minute later. “Here, take this.” She handed Sam a wad of cash. It was more than Sam would have ever expected.
“It’s for Snow Pea. You spend that on Snow Pea, ya hear me?”
Sam was moved by Mable’s gesture. For a second he considered leaving Snow with her, but he decided he was right the first time. Since her mother took off leaving her at his doorstep, she needed to have her daddy near her. She needed to have at least one of her parents around.
“I will, Mable. I promise.”
“You be good to her. You hear me?” Mable said tearing up.
“I will. She’s in good hands. I’ll keep her safe.”
Mable touched Snow’s sleeping face. “You take care, now. You hear me, baby girl?” Mable sniffled and pulled away.
Sam was again about to walk out when he remembered the key. “Oh yeah.” He handed the key to Mable, the landlord, then left his home of two years knowing he would never be back.
Carrying his daughter to the car he laid the little girl in the back seat. She didn’t stir. Dropping his bag in the front seat and quietly closing the door, he rounded the mustang, got into the driver seat, and drove off.
As the lights of the city disappear in the rearview mirror, Sam again thought about how much of a colossal mistake he had made. They had had a life there. He was working as a cook in a diner. Their life was set. What had made him make that call? Sam’s answer haunted him as he drove through the night.
It was an hour after sunrise when Snow woke up in the back seat. Sitting up, she rubbed her eyes. Sam spotted her in the rearview mirror and felt his chest clench. She would have questions. What was he going to tell her?
Sam watched Snow as she stared out the window trying to get her bearing. After close to a mile of mangroves and planned housing developments, she crawled over the center counsel into the passenger seat. Sitting quietly, Sam was the first to speak.
“Put on your seatbelt, Snow Pea.”
The little girl did what she was told. A little too small for the body strap, she climbed from under it. With Sam keeping a close eye on her, she rubbed her eyes again and then stared at him.
“Where we goin’, daddy?”
“We’re goin’ to Naples, Snow Pea. Do you know what’s in Naples?”
“Mommy,” Snow said unimpressed.
“Do you wanna see Mommy?”
Snow looked the other way for a moment making her answer clear.
“Why are we goin’ to see mommy?”
Sam tightened his lips uncomfortably preparing to tell her the truth. “Because Daddy keeps making mistakes, Snow Pea.”
“Why do you keep making mistakes, Daddy?”
“Because Daddy’s in love, honey,” he admitted for the first time.
“Is daddy in love with mommy?” Snow Pea asked trying to piece it all together.
“No, honey. Daddy’s not in love with Mommy. Daddy’s in love with someone else.”
Tom sat in a nondescript black sedan staring at the apartment building across the street. He had traced Sam’s call to a man by the name of Felix Clarkson who lived in Orlando, Florida. Tom couldn’t be sure that it was Sam who called but the pattern lined up and this was the best lead he had had in weeks.
“There,” Tom pointed out to his partner as a man pulled into the building’s parking lot.
Both men lowered themselves into the seat while keeping a close eye on the new arrival. They needed to know if he would enter apartment number four. If he did, they had their man.
The man got out of his car and retrieved bags of groceries from the trunk. Locking the car behind him, the man ascended the stairs and stopped in front of apartment four’s door. This was him. It was go-time.
Tom and Bill exited their car and crossed the street. Tom’s heart raced like it did whenever he entered a life and death situation. It was one of the reasons he loved his job. The thrill of the chase made him feel alive.
It wasn’t until Tom and Bill were running up the stairs that Felix spotted them. Panic struck. He didn’t know what was going on but he knew he was in danger.
He twisted the key in the lock and tried to escape inside. Flinging open the door, he tossed the bags. Trying to force the door shut, he failed. There was someone countering him and that someone was much stronger than he was.
“FBI. Open the door!” Tom bellowed.
Hearing those words, Felix froze. It was long enough for the two men to overpower Felix and throw open the door. Pushed backward, Felix stumbled to regain his balance. He looked up at the two men stepping into his apartment. One was holding up a badge and both had their hand on their holstered gun.
“What’s going on?” Felix questioned.
“Tell me, is there anyone in here with you?” Tom asked ready to draw his gun.
“No. No. I’m alone. What’s going on?”
Tom nodded at Bill propelling him to draw his gun and check the rest of the apartment. Quickly scanning the bedroom and bathroom he returned with his gun by his side.
“He’s not here,” Bill declared.
“Who’s not here? I don’t understand.”
Tom removed his hand from his gun and relaxed. Giving Felix a once over he closed the front door and ushered Felix to the couch. Bill grabbed two chairs from the dining table and placed them in front of the scared man.
“I’m agent Tom Sweet, this is agent Bill McConnell. We’re with the FBI. Do you know a man by the name of Sam Bitter?”
“Sam Bitter? No. What’s this about?”
“Mr. Clarkson, are you currently in possession of your phone?”
Felix touched his pocket and then withdrew it. “Yes, I have it right here.”
“The FBI will need that, sir,” Bill informed him.
Felix reluctantly handed it over. “Seriously, what’s this about?”
“Two nights ago we received a call from a phone registered to you by a man who is a known criminal.”
“Two nights ago?”
Felix thought back. As he did, Tom withdrew a picture from his shirt pocket.
“Do you recognize this man?”
Felix looked at the picture and recognized him immediately. It was the man he had brought home from the gay bar. Felix’s body tensed.
“Do you recognize him, sir?” Tom asked patiently.
Felix’s eyes flicked up to Tom. Felix remained silent.
“Are you in any danger, Mr. Clarkson?”
Refusing to say anymore he shook his head in denial.
“You’ve met this man?” Tom pushed.
Felix’s eyes bounced over to Bill and then back to Tom. Tom looked at his partner confirming his suspicion.
Bill spoke up losing his patients. “Withholding evidence in a federal investigation could land you in jail, Mr. Clarkson. Is that what you’re looking for?”
Felix shook his head ‘no’ but didn’t speak.
Bill continued. “You seem like you have a fairly good life here, Mr. Clarkson. Do you really want to obstruct a federal investigation?”
“Do you want your name splashed across newspaper headlines?” Tom added.
“No press,” Felix quickly replied.
Tom stared at Felix and squinted as he put it together in his mind. When he thought he had it, he looked around the apartment in search of evidence for his theory. He didn’t find any but he was still willing to take a shot.
“Bill, could you wait outside for a second? I wanna talk to Felix alone.”
Bill looked at his partner confused.
“Just give us a minute,” Tom requested.
Bill gave Felix a snare and exited the apartment. Tom watched his suspect become more nervous instead of relaxing as he had intended.
“Mr. Clarkson, a conversation here, now, could get us to leave and there is a chance that this visit may never end up in our report. But for that to happen, you’re gonna have to tell me the truth and I’m gonna have to believe you. Do you understand?”
Felix shook his head in agreement.
“Good. Now, two nights ago, did you meet Sam Bitter?”
Felix shook his head ‘yes’.
“Did you lend him your phone?”
Felix shook his head ‘no’.
“Did you know that he had used your phone?”
“Did something happen between the two of you that you would prefer to keep off the record?”
“Yes,” Felix finally said.
Tom looked around the apartment trying to confirm his suspicions. Again he found no evidence confirming it. He asked the question anyway.
“Did you two have some sort of intimate relationship?”
Felix lowered his head ashamed.