Derby & Max

by Eric Aaldersen

 Back in the 1950s, Derby Gleason was just trying to get by. Then he meets a sexy, young guy on his paper route that suddenly makes him long for more. The first chapter in a longer historical romance.

Added: Apr 2022 3,264 words 805 views No votes yet

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Derby Gleason’s bicycle was the greatest break anyone ever gave him. And he made the most of it. He delivered papers to help pay the bills. In this particular neighbourhood delivering papers was no small task. Derby lived in town but his paper route was out in the country by the lake. The houses were really far apart from one another, sometimes a ten minute ride on his bike. Thank god for his good old Schwinn five speed. It was as solid a bike as was ever made and Derby learned how to fix and maintain it himself. With big, sturdy metal baskets on the front and back it was perfect for getting groceries from the store, taking laundry into town, or delivering his papers. His whole route took two hours to deliver but it paid more for taking so long. Derby loved his bike.

It was the summer of 1959 in Abbottsville, Tennessee. Derby just finished his last high school exam—his last exam ever! Derby never really cared for school, never found much use for it except maybe his woodworking classes. Derby loved building things and that’s what he planned to do for a living. He already had people he sold things to on a regular basis: shelves, cabinets, desks, toys, frames and things for farming. His woodshop teacher Mr. Stevenson was really smart—nice too. He had promised Derby a letter of recommendation once he was ready to start apprenticing. Mr. Stevenson even told Derby that he could borrow his tools if he ever needed to, until Derby has able to buy his own. No, Derby didn’t have much use for school, least of all the other students.

Most kids his age seemed to spend their time and waste their energy talking about things that, in Derby’s opinion, didn’t matter anymore than the spots on a mouse’s back. Who won the last football game, what was on at the movies, who just got a new car, and other such nonsense that had nothing to do with putting food on the table or building a life. So Derby didn’t have much use for friends either. In many ways Derby’s school, and his best friend, was The Abbottsville Public Library.

Due to his circumstances, Derby had had to teach himself how to do pretty much everything from riding a bike to shaving his face. Thankfully Abbottsville’s big one-room library, which was an airplane hanger during the war, had books on pretty much everything. And if they didn’t have a particular book they could sometimes get it in from Nashville or elsewhere. Most Saturdays Derby would be in the library at a table reading a book on how to do something around the house, or in his workshop, or in the garden, or browsing through a new cookbook. Of course they had shelves and shelves full of novels and histories too, but Derby had little time for them. He’d sit at a table and read the whole afternoon away, sometimes taking notes on a yellow pad, and left only when the lights flickered to tell folks it was closing time. The librarians all knew Derby by his first name, and he knew theirs. They would even call him up sometimes when there was a new book they knew he’d like. They were all really nice to Derby, probably partially on account of his circumstances. Life was hard a lot of the time, but people can be real nice if you let them.

Next up on Derby’s paper route was the Roland house, a huge old mansion on a big slice of property that ran all the way to the lake shore. Mr. Roland paid Derby a little extra at holidays to bring the paper right to the front door as opposed to placing it in the mailbox on the side of the highway the way he was supposed to. Mr. Roland didn’t like his paper getting stolen. He was a really nice guy, a lawyer or something. So Derby turned off the gravel road and tore up the driveway, shirt clinging to his back like a second skin in the summer heat.

Not overly tall, overly short, overly lean, or overly anything Derby had gone through high school quite uncelebrated and unnoticed. He never joined any teams, made any friends, or dated any girls. The very thought of dating made him blush from his hairless chest to the floppy brown mop of hair on his head. Derby, so named because of his father’s fancy for horseracing, just went to school to do the work then came home to do more important things—he had a house to run and a small business to build! Then there was the matter of his dad, too.

He turned a curve in the driveway and the house sprung out from behind a cluster of tall cedars. As he approached the house he saw an unfamiliar pick-up truck and a man working in the front yard laying a flagstone path out to the pond.

Derby skidded to a stop, threw down his kickstand, grabbed a rolled paper from his basket and walked on up to the front door, eyeing the man lifting and laying the flagstones.

From up close Derby could see that he wasn’t a man, but a boy not much older than him. He couldn’t have been more than twenty-two, though from farther away Derby took him for much older. He was very tall—six-foot-two or maybe even taller—with big broad shoulders and beefy arms, all accentuated by the athletic undershirt that he wore. A small tuft of black chest hair decorated the centre of his powerful chest. The boy was also eyeing Derby.

“Afternoon,” he said to Derby, cocking his chin out at the boy and smiling.

“Hi. Just deliverin’ the paper,” Derby said, waiving the roll of newsprint demonstratively.

“I can see,” the other boy chuckled.

The older boy just stood there, one booted foot on a pile of flagstones, hands on his hips, chest heaving from exertion, smiling from ear to ear. He sure was good-looking, with perfect teeth and sparkling hazel eyes. He could’ve been a movie star! But Derby thought he was way better looking than Frank Sinatra or even Yul Brynner.

Derby carefully tucked the newspaper between the front doors of the Roland house as Mister Roland expected.

“Bye!” Derby called.

The handsome boy gave Derby a salute and went back to his work.

Derby turned and watched him for a bit before getting back onto his bike. He hefted those flagstones like they were made of cardboard. The veins running down his arms told Derby that he was working hard though. Even through the blue jeans he was wearing Derby figured he must have strong legs too.

“Must be nice to be strong like that,” Derby thought to himself—Derby who had always considered himself physically unremarkable. “I wonder if I could ever get that big.”

He knew darn well that he’d probably stopped growing. But he could hope.

The older boy stood up, stretched his back, then grabbed the hem of his shirt to wipe sweat from his brow, revealing a rippled stomach bisected by a thin trail of black hair that plunged down into the crotch of the man’s jeans.

“Damn!” Derby whispered aloud. He’d never seen anyone with a stomach like that, not even in pictures or magazines.

Derby stared at him fascinated, like some small animal staring at a fire for the first time; he was hypnotized by the heat and energy radiating from the older boy. Maybe the boy heard him, or maybe just realized Derby had stood there on his bike for a bit longer than what seemed right, because he glanced over and looked Derby in the eye.

Embarrassed without really knowing why, Derby launched into motion and took off down the driveway. He did, however, throw a glance over his shoulder before rounding those cedar trees and saw the older boy watching him ride away.

Charging down the highway, legs pumping like pistons, heart beating like a hummingbird’s, breath coursing in and out of him like a racehorse, Derby tried to rack his brain and think. He wasn’t done his route yet, but how many were left to deliver? Five? Six? Where was the next house on his route again? Did he turn right up ahead or keep going over the bridge? Damn! He hadn’t needed a map in a long time.

“What the heck is wrong with me?” he asked himself.

If he couldn’t settle himself down and think he might not finish his route on time. Feeling lightheaded, Derby decided to stop and take a breather. He turned his bike off the road and walked it under the bridge so he could catch some shade by the side of the river.

This was a place he had been to several times before in the warm weather. The shady space beneath the bridge felt sheltered, private, and safe. He sank down into the cool, grassy riverbank and chucked his t-shirt onto the grass so he could cool down. He should’ve been thinking about where the hell he was and where he had to go next, but his mind kept going back to the Roland house and that older boy like his brain was stuck in a rut. He kept recalling over and over again how the older boy’s arms bulged as he lifted, how his back and shoulders fanned as he reached, how his undershirt clung to his thick chest almost transparent with perspiration.

All alone on the riverbank, under the bridge, Derby allowed these thoughts to have the effect that he ran away from earlier. He let his head fall back and felt blood rush to his crotch, swelling his penis. In record-breaking time, Derby was hard as a nail. He looked around and saw no one. He listened carefully for a few seconds and heard only the forgiving sounds of nature.

He reached down, undid his pants, pulled out his cock and started stroking. He mixed his own musk with the dew on the riverbank; soon his hard, foreskinned penis was slick, glistening and throbbing like he’d never felt before. Thoughts of the boy back at the Rolands’ house streamed before his tightly shut eyes as he felt his orgasm build. His hips left the earth and thrust into his hand. Soon he jerked. A car rumbled over the bridge above him as his milky liquid shot up all over his bare chest and shoulders, his blissful cries of release drowned out by the thundering sound above him.

Derby lay there for another few minutes breathing in the scent of the earth mixed with that of his seed. He looked down at his penis lying just below his taunt belly, softening but still leaking pearly come from its eye.

He had never done that before.

He’d jerked off before, sure. He’d had thoughts about boys and gotten hard over them before. He’d ogled the bigger boys in the locker room after gym class, secretly out the corner of his eye. He even stole a muscle magazine from a corner store in Memphis when he and his dad visited the big city last year. That magazine was currently hidden safely between his mattresses at home and had provided a great deal of material for the fantasies that got his penis hard as rock on a regular basis. But Derby kept these fantasies in check and his thoughts to himself. He never acted on them, never sought the release of jerking off to them. But that boy! Damn! There was something about him that just… demanded it somehow.

He collected the come off his body, wiped his hands on the grass, and pulled his t-shirt back on. He’d need a shower when he got home, but that wouldn’t be unusual on such a hot day. He collected his thoughts, remembered the next houses on his route, and got himself back onto the road. His brain seemed to be working again, but it wasn’t long before his thoughts drifted once again.

“I wonder if that guy’ll be there tomorrow,” Derby whispered to himself as he pushed himself off and rode away.

“Where the hell you been?” Cassie called as Derby rolled into the driveway.

“Damn!” thought Derby. “I forgot.”

“I thought you’d be back by now to help me pick and shell our peas.”

“Yeah, I’ll be there in a second, Cassie,” he said quickly, keeping his distance from his neighbour.

“Where ya goin’ now?” she called as Derby stowed his bike under the eaves.

“I gotta take a shower.”

“But you’re just gonna get all sweaty again in the garden why would you—”

“I’ll just be a minute, Cassie—hold your horses,” he said as he went inside his house.

Derby’s dad wasn’t home. His truck was gone so he must’ve been on a delivery somewhere. It was just Derby and his dad in that old house now. Derby peeled his clothes off, leaving them in a sweaty lump on the floor, and ran naked to the bathroom. He jumped in the tub and ran cool water all over himself with the hand nozzle.

“That was close,” he thought to himself. He was sure that he stank, and this time he stank of more than sweat. There was no way he’d be able to work shoulder to shoulder with Cassie in her pea patch that way, not without causing a wrinkled nose, an arched eyebrow and, of course, questions—questions that Derby couldn’t answer.

Cassie was Derby’s next door neighbour and best friend. She lived with her mom and they shared a backyard and driveway with Derby and his Dad. It was Cassie’s workshop that Derby used for his woodworking, or rather Cassie’s father’s, but he didn’t use it anymore seeing as he wasn’t at home anymore. He ran off years ago and it had just been just Cassie and her mom ever since. And Derby. They did most things together, the three of them, plus Derby’s dad but only on the rarest of occasions.

He lathered lightly—to save on soap—resisted the temptation to jack off again when his demanding penis hardened despite the cold water, then jumped out and toweled himself off lightly. His erection went down at long last and he left his massive head of brown hair dripping wet. He threw on a fresh t-shirt and some blue jeans and flew out the door to meet Cassie in her garden.

Derby had his own garden as well. Year ago he built a lattice on the sunny side of their house and grew green beans on it. At the feet of the bean stalks a collection of various types of squash swelled in the sun of late June. They controlled the weeds. He also grew tomatoes in an old repurposed watering trough and potatoes in several old wooden crates. Cassie grew peas and corn at her house—spinach too, but it was finished for the year. The corn they would sell at a corner stand in August along with whatever squash they didn’t have time to lay up. And two apple trees grew at the back where their properties met with black current bushes beneath them. Beyond that was farmer Brady’s oat field which stretched almost as far as the eye could see. Between the two of them Derby and Cassie kept their amalgamated family in vegetables and preserves for most of the year.

“About time!” Cassie said as Derby knelt down next to her and started picking peas.

“Sorry, Cass.”

“What took you so long?”

“I, uh… got turned around on my route. Had to find my way again.”

“What? You’ve had that same route for years now. The heat getting to you or something?”

“Dunno. Maybe,” Derby shrugged, thinking to himself, “‘Or something’ is right.”

“Farmer Brady came by about half an hour ago. Asked if those frames he wanted were ready yet.”

“What? I told him they wouldn’t be ready until the end of the week.”

“I know, I know. He said sometimes you’re done things early and he was just driving by and thought e’d save himself a trip if they were done.”

“Oh… Man, it sure is hot lately.”

“Yeah, no kidding. What’d you go and get a shower for before working in the garden? You weren’t making yourself all handsome for me—that’s for sure—if so, you’d have done something with that hair of yours.”

Cassie gave Derby a friendly nudge and he nudged her back. Cassie was a year younger than Derby and had two years of school left. She was short and solid—not fat, but solid—with a long, strawberry blond ponytail that wagged all the way down to her full hips. Her skin was awfully fair, with freckles, so she had to wear long sleeves and a straw hat when working in the garden on a day like this.

“How was my Dad when he left? Did you notice?” Derby asked as a matter of routine.

Cassie shrugged and kept on working, “He could drive straight when he left. Be gentle. I didn’t tie these up as well as I could have.”

Derby nodded in silence. His dad was a man who spent much of his waking hours either drinking or driving, but remarkably those two activities had never overlapped to the point of disaster. So far.

“I’m gonna steam some of these for dinner,” Cassie said. “You’re coming over, right?”

“Sure.”

“Momma bought some sausages and we’ve got potatoes. Any of your tomatoes ready?”

“Some little ones, sure.”

Derby wanted to tell Cassie about the boy working at the Roland house, but realized there wasn’t really anything to tell. As excited as Derby had gotten over the boy, they had barely exchanged two words and were only in each other’s company for a minute or two. But it seemed like more. Somehow, in two minutes, that boy had managed to fill up Derby’s head more than his History teacher had been able to in four years. But then who cared about Andrew Jackson?

Of course, Derby couldn’t tell how he felt about the boy or what he did under the bridge after seeing him. He and Cassie weren’t that close. Well… no, they were. Cassie was closer to him than any of his own brothers or sisters. But he didn’t know how she’d take it. And he couldn’t afford to drive her away. Derby and Cassie needed each other on far too practical a level for either one to risk putting a rift between them. But, oh, how Derby wanted to tell someone about that boy!

Author’s Note

Wanna read the next chapter? Visit me at patreon.com/eaaldersen for this and much more. Kisses!

Love, Eric

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