All Ashford wanted was for his son to talk to him again. It felt like it had been ages since they’d last sat down together–over a meal, or playing a game, or just out on the back porch–and really talked to one another. When Carter had been younger, he’d never had a problem telling him anything, and Ashford loved listening to him, and learning from him. There was something about how a child saw the world that made you look at things differently, sometimes like you were seeing them for the first time ever, and Carter, too, had always seen his dad as some amazing repository of knowledge. Everyone had to grow up sometime, though, and Ashford could have accepted that, or at least, he’d told himself that he’d need to accept it at some point.
For a time, he’d been able to pass the distance growing between them off as as just that–his son just growing up, and while he was never quite the buoyant, precocious little twerp he’d been before, he still was, well, normal. Normal interests, like a normal boy. But things had started to shift at some point–Ashford had never really been able to pinpoint where exactly, but things certainly hadn’t been easy, after his son had told him he was gay. While Ashford did his best to be supportive, he knew almost nothing about it. It wasn’t that though, but it was something else like that. He started keeping secrets from him, outright lying to him on occasion. Ashford was too afraid to put his foot down, worried he’d just drive him further and further away, but he just kept drifting all the same. Still, when Carter graduated from high school, he could still recognize him. It was sometime during Carter’s sophomore year at college that…something struck him, hard.
Carter had gone to the state school in the city, close enough that he could live at home, and take the lightrail to campus each day. Ashford gave him the space he felt he needed, but did his best to enforce some boundaries too–making him get a job and buy his own groceries and pay for his own transportation. He had a habit of staying out late with his friends, and Ashford didn’t pry into where he was going, or who he was seeing, figuring Carter would bring someone home when he was comfortable doing so. Then, from one day to the next, one Carter left to go to school in the morning, and the next day, a…different young man left his son’s room, came down, and ate breakfast with him at the table. His head…told him he was his son, and he had no trouble recognizing him…but how had he grown a beard overnight? And why did he smell like cigars?
Carter grew more and more distant after that. His grades were suffering too, and the friends he’d been hanging around with before had been replaced with others, older men mostly, scruffier, and not the sort of type Ashford wanted him associating with. On one hand, he was his own person, but didn’t he have some duty as a father to make sure he wasn’t in trouble? Frustrated that Carter wouldn’t talk to him about what was going on with him, wouldn’t explain why he kept wearing all that leather, and who those old men commenting on his facebook selfies were with all that…inappropriate innuendo. In the end, he did it not for Carter’s sake, but for his own peace of mind. He just had to know that he was alright, that he wasn’t in any real trouble. So here he was, on a Saturday night downtown, following his son down a lonely sidewalk, watching the cloud of cigar smoke drifting up as he strode in his leather pants and jacket, looking lonelier than Ashford had ever seen him in his life.
He just wanted to rush up to him and hug him, tell him everything was going to be alright, tell him that no matter what it was that was going on with him, whatever trouble he’d gotten himself into, that he’d help him if he could. He didn’t though. He hung back most of a block behind him, waiting as Carter chatted with a few guys he passed along the way, laughing and chuckling, more than one sharing a kiss with them, and the occasional grope. He’d never imagined Carter doing something like that…maybe he’d never known him as well as he’d thought. He followed him deeper into the city’s gay district, away from the well travelled streets and down into the alleys, where he stopped at an unmarked door–aside from a sign hanging above it with the face of a cartoon pig winking on it, and rang the buzzer. After a moment, the door opened, Carter slipped inside, and then he was gone.
Was that it? What was behind that door? A club of some sort, probably. But what was wrong with that, exactly? He hadn’t been buying drugs. He wasn’t working the street as a prostitute…probably. But none of his questions were answered by this…but maybe, if he went in…and then what? Maybe he should just accept that his son had grown up and away, that there was nothing he could do to fix the distance between them. He was, most of all, tired–and wanted to go to bed. He turned around, when three burly guys turned the corner in the alley and started coming towards him. He froze. The space was a bit too narrow to pass them easily, and he didn’t really want to get into trouble with anyone.
One of them whistled. It took him a moment to realize it was directed at him–that all three of them were staring right at him, coming closer, the one in the back openly groping his crotch. “Now what’s a cute little business bear like you doing in a scummy little alley like this?” one of them said, closing the distance between them, the others circling and pinning him to the brick wall in a semicircle.
“I was just…leaving, actually, if you wouldn’t mind,” Ashford said, and tried to push his way out of the three of them, but when he tried, one of the bears just spun him around, pushed him back to the brick and leaned into him–where he could feel the man’s hard cock pressed against his ass through both of their pants.
“Leaving? But the night’s just getting started. You weren’t gonna leave without going inside, were you? I don’t think I’ve ever even seen you around here before, buddy.”
“Get off me, you fucking homo!” Ashford said, and shoved back from the wall, making the bear come away from him laughing. The other bears were chuckling too. He tried to get back out of the mouth of the alley, but before he got very far, two of the bears grabbed him, and the third, who he’d shouted at, stepped very close to his face.
“Homo, eh? And what does that make you?”
“You don’t…I was looking for my son.”
One of the bears whistled, and the bear put on a mocking grin, “Oh daddy, don’t worry about your little boy, I’m sure he can find someone better than you in there. Hell, he probably already has. But I’ll tell you what–why don’t you let the boys and I give you a tour? See if we can find him for you. Or who knows, maybe you’ll find something a little better–us homos have a way of knowing what men are looking for,” he reached out and started rubbing Ashford’s cock through his pants, and with the other hand, grabbed him around the back of the neck and pulled him into a kiss, Ashford trying to pull away from the man’s breath that mostly smelled of cigars, until he pulled away. “Come on guys, let’s help the daddy find a boy–or something better. After all, you never know what you might find in Pigtown, right?”