Prologue

 

 

ALTHOUGH THE Marine on top was blond and fair, his tightly curled hair and feline, green eyes slanting upward toward the ears gave him a menacing look. The brown-haired man below him, receiving a properly rigorous Marine pounding, somehow managed to be well muscled and well upholstered at the same time, taut but voluptuously rounded. The brown-haired Leatherneck was on his knees, forearms flat on the bed, forehead on the mattress, bottom proffered high. He mouthed moans into the sheet. The ferocious top used his own knees to spread the bottom’s knees a little farther apart and angled his long torso to get better purchase for the next thrust. He put his right hand on the bottom’s right shoulder blade and his left on the left ass cheek and splayed him like a hardback book that falls open to a favorite passage. He withdrew, circled the cockhead slowly around the reddened entrance, and plunged in with a guttural roar.

The brown-haired man grunted, shuddered, and then whispered, “Oh, shiiiit.” Seemingly intoxicated by lust, he turned his head to look back at his ravager.

“Don’t mark me,” he rasped. Then, under half-lidded eyes: “My girlfriend….”

“Fuck your girlfriend, Gyrene!” roared the blond tiger as he brought his flattened palm down with a loud slap on the creamy buttocks. The solid muscle quivered and pinked, rebounding like rubber under the thwack.

“Again,” breathed a voice. The men froze, as did the hand on the buttocks. Then the hand withdrew and came up, the cock was unplunged, and the scene played itself out in reverse.

Releasing Rewind and pressing Play, Honoria Abbott, a well-preserved fifty-one, acceded to the request of her guest. Ogorita Simmons, sixty-six-year-old professor emerita of Anglo-Saxon literature, watched with pleasure as the blond Marine thrust once again and heaped verbal abuse on his partner’s girlfriend.

Honoria pressed Pause.

“Most gratifying,” said Rita. “Fuck your girlfriend!” she marveled. “A properly robust sentiment for such an… erm… athletic undertaking. And every word in it has an Anglo root. None of your namby-pamby Latinate roots for these forthright fellows.”

Honoria smiled at her guest. You can take the professor out of the university, but you can’t take the university out of the professor. Honoria, full professor of physiology, had hardly registered the shouted oath. Unlike Rita, Honoria watched these movies with a keen anatomical eye, having dissected and inspected under the microscope every part currently on freeze-frame display. Fine specimens, these.

Rita fingered the case of the paused DVD. The cover of Ray’s Fine Meats showcased the delights to be encountered therein. The two Marines didn’t figure prominently, but they grinned salaciously among the small army of men crowding the cover. “Pfft!” sniffed Rita. “Another Ray Gagliani overproduced extravaganza with nothing but gym-buffed zombies and a legion of fluffers in the wings. The ‘fuck-your-girlfriend’ part was good, though.”

“Fluffers?”

“Backstage help—they keep the principals working if… well, if things start going south,” Rita said, “what with the production crew looking on, performance pressure, and the lights and all. They apply some private first aid to get things pointing north.”

Honoria smiled again. Who in the world, ignorant of Rita’s “predilections,” could have summoned the courage to tell her about—what was it?—fluffers? Really, Rita was… irrepressible.

Honoria’s mind went back ten years, reliving the beginning of their shared history with male-on-male films. It played out like a movie in her mind.

 

 

HONORIA WAS in the video store renting Bitter Rice. She saw Ogorita, spine ramrod straight, stalk directly to the porno corner at the back. Rita scowled intently at the titles on offer, plucked one with a satisfied grimace, and queued up directly behind her. Honoria glanced furtively at Rita’s choice—Under the Big Top, which featured a drawing of a perfectly toned and leering circus ringmaster holding a whip.

“I have great hopes for this one,” said Rita happily, seemingly to no one. She thrust the VHS tape at Honoria. “Look at the cover. Obviously made on a shoestring budget. Unknown producer. Probably a shaky handheld camera and no production values to speak of. And actors with real defects—not plastic people, otherwise they would have used a photo for the sleeve. Poorly delivered lines and wooden acting, it is to be hoped. It makes the sex seem so much more real,, somehow. And muskier. Yes, very promising.”

“Muskier?” repeated Honoria, enthralled yet appalled. Rita’s voice had a piercing quality that projected all too well. Already they were the objects of arch, interested glances.

“Yes. Muskier. A fine Anglo-Saxon word.”

Honoria could think of nothing to say.

A comfortable silence—at least comfortable for Rita—ensued. Honoria hesitated as she paid for the rental and turned to say good-bye.

“It’s been… er… illuminating,” she stammered.

“It’s time we women got some eye candy,” said Rita as she wrapped up her transaction. The clerk struggled to contain his laughter. “No use letting the men have all the fun,” she added, apropos, in Honoria’s view, of nothing.

“The men?”

“Yes. Who else do you think watches blue movies with purported lesbians? Men, of course.”

She glared at Honoria, as if daring her to refute the statement. “Certainly no self-respecting lesbian would watch such a thing.” She gave a snort of derision and sailed out of the shop, leaving a nonplussed Honoria in her wake. Honoria looked sheepishly at the now frankly staring customers and gave a little shrug, palms up, as if to say, “What was that?”

 

 

TODAY, OF course, Rita was as comfortable to Honoria as an overwashed old T-shirt. They played Schubert—badly—together at the piano. Both had a large collection of music, and they took turns listening to Honoria’s R&B and blues and Rita’s classical. For Rita’s sixty-fifth, Honoria had located a scratchy, jerky copy of the now out-of-print Under the Big Top. It had proved as bad as Rita had hoped. Vaguely sexy in parts, it sank, or perhaps soared, to farce in others. She had it copied so they could forever preserve their favorite scene: a distinctly ill-at-ease lion tamer wearing a jacket, boots, and nothing else, seemingly more exposed because of his clothes than because of his lack of them. The frogged and braided jacket more evocative of bellhop than of lion tamer. The tamer glancing nervously between where the camera obviously stood and the man he straddled, writhing exaggeratedly beneath him. The tamer’s apprentice looking bored as he moaned and spread his buttocks with his hands. The nervous licking of lips before the delivery of the sublime, unspeakable line. “Now, boy,” said the tamer, “you seen what I can do with those big pussy cats.” A glance at the camera, as if for approval. Then, slowly dragging the frayed end of the whip across the exposed entrance: “Let me show you what I can do with this kinda cat.”

At one viewing, a gasping, wheezing Rita had sputtered, “Oh, please. I’m dying. Divine.” Tears of mirth ringed her eyes. “Bringing,” she had said, “a whole new meaning to the term pussy-whipped! Ahahahahah! Hahahahah!”

Grinning at the memory, Honoria stood to eject the DVD of Ray’s Fine Meats. “Why do you suppose we enjoy this so much, Rita? Is it just voyeurism?”

Rita harrumphed. “Well of course it’s voyeurism. And exploitation.” Then, ruminatively: “But what I think I really enjoy is watching a man submit to another, with pleasure, taking his pleasure from the top yet knowing that he, too, could top. I get a feeling of power seeing that.”

“Power, how?” asked Honoria.

“Well, no matter how much pleasure we take in a good fuck—and certainly God knows I did—the act between a man and a woman is predictable and essentially submissive for the woman, even if the woman rides the man. God, Harold loved me to ride him!”

Honoria tried to suppress the image that jumped unbidden into her mind’s eye. She felt the beginning of a blush heat her face.

Rita continued, “Of course, I guess a dominatrix is not submissive, but where’s the pleasure in that?”

Honoria inwardly considered that some would consider it pleasure indeed.

“And I suppose I could have strapped one on and ridden him,” Rita mused.

“Ogorita! Really!” Honoria knew that her primness elicited this frank talk, which she relished.

“But then, again, where’s the thrill in that? I’m small and Harold was so big. I couldn’t have hoisted those meaty thighs. And a dildo doesn’t have nerve endings. I wouldn’t have felt what the top feels. It’s not like I could have fucked him with my—well, you know.”

“Oh!” This time Honoria really blushed. “No need to be crude, dear.”

“Crude-schmude, you priss-pot.” She paused, lost in thoughts of the long-dead Harold.

After a long silence, Rita finally ventured, “So. How’s the new crop?”

Honoria didn’t pretend she didn’t know what her friend meant. “The girls get shinier every year. Artificially white, ghostly teeth. The boys get cuter and more milk-fed, impossibly tall.”

“Tall?” Harold had been tall. Rita liked tall. “Any standouts?”

“Two,” Honoria replied.

“Tell.”

“They’re perfect. Oh, I would love to see a movie of them.”

“Oh?”

“Blond and dark. First the dark. He’s the really incredible one. Think Rock Hudson, blurred onto the young Warren Beatty. Lopsided grin. Soft black curls and gray eyes. Six five at least. Moves like a leopard, a dancer. Inhabits those muscles like he’s been at home in them for a long time. Always jiggling, always in motion.”

“Endowment?”

Honoria paused to reflect, casting eyes to one side and up. She’d rehearsed this sentence especially for Rita. “I think he’s packing serious meat.”

“Honoria!” said Rita, rapt. “Make that ‘packing heavy meat’ and it would be worthy of Beowulf!”

“No, Rita, this meat is more than heavy. It’s serious. I saw it flopping around in his pants like a big catfish.”

“Honoria, you devil! And the blond?”

“Think Redford, but not so teddy-bearish or boyish. Think Viking. All lines and planes and burnish, with a little bit of Alan Ladd vulnerability. Eyes either green or blue. Green, I’m hoping. Six-three slab of granite.”

“Honoria, you are waxing lyrical over these two boys! But…. Alan Ladd…? You’re dating yourself, dear. Five six, I think he was. Cute.”

Honoria snickered.

“Blondie endowment?”

“Standard issue, I’d say. Strictly Model A. No trouser trout in evidence.”

Rita savored “trouser trout” for a while. “As good a kenning as ‘whale road’ for ‘sea’ or ‘sea steed’ for ‘ship.’ I believe my influence is making itself felt. I’ll have you teaching Anglo-Saxon yet. So—the dark is the top and the blond is the at-first resistant and then pliant bottom?”

“Something like that. But maybe Blondie will want payback. After all, it’s not the meat; it’s the motion.”

“Trite but true,” replied Rita. “And how do you intend to bring this about, you slutty old procuress?”

“Well, they’re both in my Anatomy and Physiology Lab. I think I’ll make them benchmates. It’s a start.”

“And how do you propose to accomplish that?”

“I’m instituting a new system this year. Benchmates assigned alphabetically.”

Rita arched an inquisitive eyebrow.

“You see, they’re both named Abbott.”

“Honoria Leonora Abbott, this is beginning to sound incestuous!”

“Yes,” Honoria said with a smile. “But Abbott is a common name. Case in point: the New Orleans Abbotts, of Councilman Achille Abbott fame. Actually, I believe the dark one is Achille Abbott’s son.”

“No! Really?”

“I think so.”

“Watch yourself with Councilman Abbott. He’s as slick as a greased dick.”

“Pish! I’m not scared of him.”

“I’m not kidding, Honoria! You don’t want to be messing around with Achille Abbott. But—Achille Abbott aside, how do you know there won’t be a late-registering ‘Abadie’ to upset your Abbott-Abbott applecart?”

“Rita, you are hateful.” Still, Honoria pondered this possible impediment. “Ogorita Simmons, I don’t believe there’s such a surname as ‘Abadie.’ You made that up, out of spite.” Still, she looked a little uneasy.

“And how do you even know they’ll be into each other?”

“Well, they’re not now, I’m guessing. I don’t think they’re even aware of each other. Blondie is a transfer student from Ohio, and they registered on different days. But. I have my ways. It would be a shame if Blondie didn’t get to experience that serious meat.”

“Heavy meat.”

“Rita, sometimes you need some Latin spice on your Anglo-Saxon ‘mete,’ which—yes, you’ve told me often enough—means ‘food.’ God, imagine Mighty Meat force-feeding Blondie!”

“Twisted, that’s what you are. It’s why I like you. But speaking of, if not serious, at least available meat….”

“Yes?”

“What is your boyfriend Bernie packing?”

Honoria drew herself up regally. “In the first place, Rita, women of a certain age don’t have boyfriends. They have escorts. In the second place, Bernie’s size—which, by the way, is halfway between six and seven inches, given a liberal dose of Viagra—is none of your damn business and nothing I would ever divulge. And in the third place, the location of an attractive bulge in a man’s trousers shifts as he ages, moving from his crotch to his right hip pocket, where the wallet is usually kept.” Honoria flashed a gold bracelet.

Rita grunted her satisfaction with this reply. A silence ensued, and finally Rita ventured, “Under the Big Top or Schubert?”

“Oh, Schubert, I think,” said Honoria. “I think we’ve had quite enough postmenopausal heat for one day.”

“Hmmph,” concurred Rita.

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

FLIP NOTICED the bicycle first, with irritation. A bright-orange fixed-gear BMX, just like his own, with pegs projecting from the center of the wheels, where the spokes met, on both sides. The man on it was describing perfect circles, first pedaling backward and then forward, moving in slow motion. He lifted his butt off the seat, glided to a slow stop, and stood on the pedals, balancing without moving. Flip understood how difficult this stationary balancing was, especially for such a tall person. He watched for about thirty seconds before he started clocking the man. How long could he keep it up?

The first wobble, according to Flip’s watch, was about a minute and a half later. The man, wearing a T-shirt with the legend “Ask me about my vow of silence,” pedaled into the wobble and started the slow backward circling again. He intoned a mantra in a low baritone as he pedaled: “Uhm uhm bwah, uhm uhm bwah, uhm uhm bwah bwah.” And then he executed, in succession, the elementary moves Flip recognized as the one-footer and the one-hander, all the while keeping up the uhm-bwah chant in several variations.

For the one-footer, the man reared the bike up and took his dominant foot—the right, Flip noticed—off the pedal and kicked it to the side. The cranks rotated downward as the foot came off, and he shoved his foot back onto the pedal just before landing. “Uhm uhm bwah,” he grunted low. For the one-hander, he pulled up on the bars until the BMX was nearly vertical and the bars were in his lap. Then he took off a hand, keeping the bars straight. “Uhm uhm bwah bwah” again. The man knew he had an audience of one at seven in the morning, in the deserted Redemptorist University quad, on the first Monday of classes. Flip had the feeling the tall man was showing off just for him.

For the first time since arriving in New Orleans, Flip felt the comfort of the familiar. Everything seemed so strange in the city—the way people talked, the food, the air that clung to his skin like a wet rag. In fact, the only thing New Orleans had in common with Columbus was that both cities were as flat as a countertop. Both perfect for flatland-style stunting, whose finer points Flip now intended to demonstrate for this show-off with nothing to show. The desire for one-upmanship, a fierce spirit of competitiveness, felt like old friends too.

Flip pedaled toward the man. Just before reaching him, he put both feet on the front pegs, leaned his long frame forward, and grasped the rear tire so the handlebars just skimmed the ground. The man looking on raised his eyebrows and frowned. The frown turned into wide-eyed astonishment as Flip gyrated on the pegs to face the rear tire and simultaneously raised the front one, never letting both tires hit the ground at the same time. Flip gave the man a shit-eating grin. Then he put paid on the stunt. Keeping his right foot on the peg, he used the left to scuff the rear tire. Flip twirled to the front, brought both tires down, and slid to a stop.

“Oh, most impressive,” sneered the dark-haired man.

“Just the basics,” said Flip. “First the hitchhiker. Then the dump truck.” He grinned insolently. “Standard stunts.” He was pissing the guy off big-time and loving it.

“Well,” said the dark-haired man. “Let me show you how the hitchhiker and the dump truck should really be done.” And then he did. Flip kept a straight face, but, as he watched the dark-haired guy, he was pissed. Totally pissed. The guy had the moves.

Then: “Nice bike.” The dark-haired man jutted his chin at Flip’s identical orange BMX. They both grimaced in annoyance. “Go figure the odds,” he said.

“Flip,” said Flip, extending his hand.

“Dutch. Well met in Padua,” the man drawled in a refined uptown New Orleans accent as he accepted the handshake.

“Well met in Padua? What the hell does that mean?” Flip was clearly a Yankee, Dutch registered.

“It means ‘’Sup, dawg,’ in whatever patois they prattle where you hail from.”

“Patois?”

“You could look it up. Haw! Haw! Haw!”

What an asshole.

“Well, gotta run. Later.”

“No, wait. Don’t be such a touchy Thomas. Nobody else around here stunts.”

“Maybe not. No skin off my nose. See you later!” For some reason, the encounter left Flip feeling better, even though he’d been bested. New Orleans was suddenly a little bit less daunting. There was someone else who was into stunting.

 

 

THAT AFTERNOON, at the change of class, Flip noticed Dutch’s orange BMX locked up next to his in the bike rack. He decided to wait for five minutes to see whether Dutch would show up. He soon saw a tall figure emerging from the Liberal Arts Building.

“Dutch!” he called.

“That’s my name; don’t wear it out. Figured I’d see you here. Locked her up next to yours. They look good together, huh?”

Flip couldn’t really say why he liked that. But—what the hell—why not? It wasn’t as if he had a shitload of friends in New Orleans, and, well—the guy was into stunting. That counted for something, anyway.

“Hanging out at Lib Arts, are you? What are you taking?”

“Analytic Philosophy,” Flip answered. “Seemed okay. I liked the professor, I think.”

“What? Peiser? Don’t let old man Peiser pull the wool over your eyes. Do you know the word draconian? Well, of course you don’t. Haw! Haw! Haw! You could look it up.”

“Maybe I don’t need to look it up, fuckwad.”

“Oooh. Too easy, eh? Then maybe I’ll just have to kick it up a notch. Lutulence.” He stared pointedly at Flip’s muddy sneakers. “Always a bad thing.”

“Well, I’ll tell you a good thing—beating your ludicrous, lutulent ass at stunting.”

“Haw! Haw! Haw! As if. Never underrate vocabulary building. Anyway, about Peiser. Took that class last year. First session you think it’s going to be a no-brainer, but he gets mean soon enough. Just doesn’t want to scare you off too soon, during the grace period when you can drop the class for another. About session four, he shows his true sadist colors.”

“Uh-oh. Are you serious, here, Dutch?”

“As serious as ice cream and cake is to a centenarian. You could look it—”

“Oh, please, get over yourself. Really, Peiser is that bad?”

“In a word—yes.”

“Where were you when I was choosing my coursework?”

“I was right here, waiting for you to ask. I mean, really, I was right here, waiting for you to ask.”

“What?” Is this guy coming on to me?

“Drop that class, and I mean now. You must be new here, or else you would have shied away from Peiser.”

“Yeah. Transferred from a small college in Ohio you never heard of, so don’t ask.”

“Whoa,” whistled Dutch. “Are you in culture shock, or what?”

“Always wanted to live here. Not like any other city.” Flip kept his homesick reservations to himself.

“Well, that goes without saying. Any more classes today?” Dutch gave Flip a crooked, engaging smile as they unlocked their bikes. Flip considered it suspiciously, not totally off his guard.

Flip shook his head no.

“Then c’mon,” Dutch said, sliding one foot into a pedal and hoisting himself onto the bike. “Let me take you for a ride. Show you the Redemptorist hot spots and something of uptown.”

“Why not?” Flip removed the lock and hopped on his bike to follow where Dutch led.

 

 

DUTCH SALUTED the sunrise in a booming baritone. “Hail, Helios in your fair chariot! Do not surrender the reins to overstepping Phaëton.”

A groggy Flip was in a foul mood. He couldn’t believe he’d agreed to a 6:00 a.m. stunting session. “What? Who’s this Phaëton?”

“You could look it up. Haw! Haw! Haw!”

“You know what? I don’t need your shit at the crack of dawn. Take your Phaëton and shove it up your ass.”

“Touchy, touchy, sensitive hothouse plant with a hair-trigger temper. Tsk, tsk. Phaëton is my cousin once removed. He’s a notoriously reckless driver. Drives a gold Lexus and has two DUI citations under his belt. He downed several other kinds of belts beforehand.”

“Yeah, right.” Flip mounted his bike and prepared to pedal away.

“No, wait. Cheese and rice. Touchy, touchy. I’m going to have to watch my step around you, I see that now. I just mean that there’s no time like early morning for stunting. Not many people awake at this hour to see you making a horse’s ass out of yourself.”

“Speak for yourself, ass.”

“No, I’d rather speak for you. I do it so much more eloquently. But look what I brought for us.” Dutch reached for the back pocket of his jeans and withdrew two cloth bandannas, one black and the other yellow. “Blindfolds.” He presented them with a flourish.

“Blindfolds! What kind of nut job are you? You intend to stunt blindfolded?”

“Yes. The theory is that by eliminating visual stimuli, you become much more attuned to your sense of proprioception, where your body is in space. Improves balance and coordination. I haven’t had a chance to test the theory because I never had a stunting partner before.”

“I have a different theory to test—whether, if you had another brain cell, it would rattle. Of all the dumb-ass ideas….”

“Here, I’ll go first. Let’s start with something simple. The backhop.” He handed Flip a blindfold. “Put it on me.”

“Okay, but you’ll never get me to try this.” After Flip tied and adjusted the blindfold on Dutch, he led him to his BMX. Dutch swung confidently onto the saddle and stood on the cranks.

“Stand beside and grab me if I start to tip over, okay?”

“I should be having my head examined, but okay.”

“Ready? Here I go.” Dutch reared up on the back wheel and balanced. Then he basically started using the bike like a pogo stick, making it hop up and down. He started a chant. “O, most wicked speed to post; O, most wicked speed to post; O, most wicked speed to post; O, most wicked speed to post….” He started moving the bike in an orbit with his body as the axis.

It was a strange and comical sight. Flip couldn’t help cracking a grin at the muscled giant, blindfolded with a black bandanna, jumping up and down in a circle.

“O, most wicked speed to post; O, most wicked speed to post….” He brought the front wheel down with a thump. “‘With such dexterity to incestuous sheets.’ Ta-da!” He whipped off the blindfold, brought one foot to the ground, settled his rump on the bicycle saddle, and grinned like an idiot.

“That was Hamlet, wasn’t it? I remember that from senior-year English.”

“It reads! Imagine that. You could knock me over with a feather.”

“Why are you backhopping to Hamlet?”

“I don’t know; it just came into my head. Posting. Riding up and down. Now it’s your turn. Your bandanna is yellow to go with your hair.”

This guy was a whack job. But Flip had to admit he’d been amused. “Oh, shit. All right. I know I’ll live to regret this.”

“I’ll be right here,” said Dutch as he adjusted the blindfold. “I won’t let you fall.”

Then Flip was up on the rear wheel, bouncing the bicycle up and down in a circle. “Oh, I think I need to post; Oh, I think I need to post….”

“Haw! Haw! Haw! ‘O, most wicked speed to post,’ you illiterate.”

“O, most wicked speed to post; O, most wicked speed to post….” After two minutes of “posting,” Flip started to wobble, and Dutch placed one hand on a shoulder and the other on a hip, to steady him. The front wheel hit the ground with a thump, and Flip put a foot out to steady himself. Dutch didn’t remove the hands until he was sure Flip had regained his footing.

Flip removed the blindfold and looked pointedly at Dutch’s hand. “Are you perving on me, trying to cop a feel?”

“If I were copping a feel, there would be no question in your mind about it. You’d know for certain.” Dutch smirked up a dimple. “Wasn’t it great, backhopping blindfolded?”

“You know. Actually?” Flip grinned. “It was great.”

“So what stunts do you want to try?”

“The tailwhip.”

“Okay. Then can we do the surfer?”

“Let’s do it in this order: The easy endo, the can-can, the bunny hop, the crooked grind, the tailwhip, and let’s end with the surfer. Oh, and for the crooked grind, let’s do mirror images. I’ll do the left rear peg and the right front, and you do the right rear and left front.”

Dutch was grinning hugely. He was in heaven. “Don’t biff it!”

They clearly had some stunting chemistry. They seemed able to anticipate each other’s moves in the graceful wheeled ballet. Flip called out the stunt, and they performed in unison. There was competitiveness, certainly, but somehow they brought out the best in each other. As they realized what was happening, their excitement mounted. “The surfer,” Flip called out the last stunt.

This was hands-down the most ambitious stunt of the morning. As their bicycles glided slowly forward, they both balanced on the frames, facing each other, one foot on the saddle seat and the other on the top tube. Simultaneously, they grinned in triumph.

“Dutch! There you are, you asshole!” Flip heard a feminine voice shout.

Dutch jerked, lost his balance, and fell forward onto the still-balancing Flip. They collapsed in a tangle of spokes and handlebars.

“Oof!” Flip pushed at him. “Get offa me. You weigh a ton. And you totally biffed. I win.”

“Owie. My knee’s all scuffed and scraped. And it wasn’t my fault I biffed. She distracted me.” To Flip’s astonishment, Dutch asked, “You like pussy, Flip?”

As if on cue, a young woman called out again from the other end of the quad. “Dutch! Did you hear me, you asshole?” A sling supported her heavily cast left arm.

“Shit. Here she comes.” Dutch looked glum, and Flip perked up visibly.

As she hurried over, Flip rose and dusted himself off. “Do I like pussy? Well, duh.” Of course he did. But, to his intense embarrassment, he’d come close only once, if you didn’t count oral. But that had been back in Ohio. Flip figured that in New Orleans pussy wasn’t kept in a crystal jewel box with a heart-shaped lock and that fathers didn’t dance with their daughters at chastity balls and that girls didn’t sign damn abstinence pledges.

“Well, that&rs