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Broken Promises by Jack

Broken Promises (Part 2 of Promises, Promises)

Jake was at the corner coffee shop again, sitting in the same overstuffed chair he stationed himself in every Saturday and Sunday morning, pretending to read the paper. He blew on his latte imagining it was still too hot to drink. But mostly he was staring out the window, just like he had every weekend for the past six months, reliving just about every conversation he'd had with Ben. Since Ben disappeared he he hadn't run into him anywhere, not at the bars, not at the pool and definitely not here at their favorite coffee shop. All he'd heard was that he'd taken a new job and moved to the burbs. Might as well be dead, Jake figured. The burbs, to him, were this place at the last exit to nowhere where you moved to raise kids, clean up dog s**t, and get fat sitting around in the great room watching your pubes grow. He glared down at the gut he'd acquired since he'd replaced the pool with a steady diet of beer, pizza and ice cream wondering if Ben still maintained his awesome body. He checked his phone again. No messages. No dates had been added to his calendar. Actually the only thing on his calendar was a haircut appointment he'd scheduled for Tuesday after work. Having rescheduled the past three appointments he was determined to make this one. Not that it really mattered. He swept his hair off his face and tucked it behind his ears and tried to change the dvd he'd been playing over and over again in his head. He thought about heading home, grabbing his suit and going to the pool. Too many memories. He thought about taking a run along the ocean; he and Ben had never done that together. But deep down he knew how he'd actually spend the day, just like he spent every day off, back home on the couch watching "their” favorite movie, shoving potato chips and onion dip in his mouth and washing them down with a couple of liters of Mountain Dew. By two he'd be back in bed. Around five he'd pick up another six-pack, order another pizza and spend Saturday night watching the same stupid movie again. Maybe he'd call Ben. Maybe he'd venture out to the burbs. Maybe he'd pass out again around nine and get up again tomorrow morning and do the same thing all over again.

On the way out Jake bought another chocolate croissant for the two and a half minute walk home. He was stuffing the last bite in his mouth as he trudged to the front door of his complex trying to pry his keys out of the pocket of the his gym shorts when a shadow appeared in front of him.

"Umm. Was in the hood.” The shadow moved closer. "Thought I'd stop by. See if you were around. Maybe hang out.”

Jake bit into his lower lip. He looked up, right into Ben's sparkling blue eyes. "Ah. Wow. Ah. Ben. Wow. Ahh.”

"Ah. Wow. Jake. Ah. Wow. Ah.” Ben walked toward him and grabbed his shoulder, "hope we have more to say than that.” He laughed then hugged his old boyfriend. "Look at you, man.” He rubbed Jake's belly then tugged on his hair. "Whole new you.”

"Ah. Wow. Right. A lot more of me.You look the same. S**t.” Jake looked away from Ben. "You look exactly the same.”

"Just came from Jimmy's place.” Ben ran his hand across the top of his head, "same buzz as always. Still head there every third Saturday. Old habits, y'know.”

Jake stepped a safe five feet away. "Looks good on you. Sexy. Like always.”

"So. You gonna ask me in,” Ben shrugged his shoulders and moved close enough to punch Jake's upper arm, "bud?”

"Right. Sure. Of course, b-bud.” Jake dislodged the keys and shook his head, "place is kind of a mess. Been way busy. Out every night last week. And work. Anyway. Umm.” He flung the door open. "Sorry. Wasn't expecting anyone. You know.”

"Seen it worse, okay. I was pretty much a pig when I stayed over. Remember, you were always picking up after me. So.” Ben wandered around the apartment opening doors and picking up stuff he remembered. Jake followed closely behind.

"So. Umm.” A long pause, "what are you doing here? I mean, I haven't seen you in like six months. And now here you are.” Jakes eyes zeroed in on the floor. "I guess I'm just sort of, umm, confused?”

"Missed you.” Ben reached for Jake. Jake pulled back. "Like I said, I was in the hood. Drove by your place here. Thought you might be home. I don't know. Thought we could head to the pool. Like, you know, like before.” He glanced down at his watch, "we still got time.” He tried to laugh, "I'm almost early, for me. Brought my stuff.” He dropped his shorts and showed Jake his speedo. His dick was close to breaking out of it. He moved a step closer, shoved Jake onto the bed and pounced on top of him. "Like I said, I missed you. dude.” His hand crept inside the leg of Jake's shorts and he went to kiss him.

"Wait. Wait. Wait. Can't do this again. You can't just run away then show up and think everything's the same. You haven't f***ing called in six months.”

"Did you miss me. I sure missed you, man. Thought about you every day.”

"You missed me. F***. F***. Who the f*** cares. I've moved on.”

I don't, I mean, I didn't mean to presume anything. I just,”

Jake stood up. "You just thought you could waltz back in and what, get your rocks off, then run away again. Just like that.”

"You look cute.” Ben's hand slid back inside the leg on Jake's shorts. "Still wearing the shorts I gave you. My old shorts.”

"Yeah. So. Just threw them on this morning, for my run, okay. Only thing that wasn't dirty.”

Ben tugged on Jake's tee shirt and lifted it up. He rubbed his buzzed head across Jake's chest. "Fresh cut. Just the way you like it, dude.” He smiled up at him. "You must've missed me some. We had a lotta great times. Really great times. Best of my life. I just needed some time. Some distance.”

"Time. Distance. F*** off.”

"Come on, man. Get in the car. We can go for a swim. I'll buy you lunch. We can talk.” Ben's hand inched inside the waistband of Jake's trunks and grabbed hold of his hard dick. "Gotta admit you missed this.”

"A swim. Lunch. Then you have to go.” On the way out Jake grabbed the duffle his swim things had been packed in for four months. "I have a date. Later. This afternoon. Been seeing someone. You know.” They walked back out into the bright sun. Jake spotted Ben's roadster parked across the street. The top was down.

When Ben's hand wasn't on the gear shift it was wrapped around Jake's thigh. For most of the ride Jake sat resolute, eyes straight ahead and he didn't speak. His overgrown hair thrashed about in the wind as the roadster sped along the expressway. Occasionally he glanced down at Ben's oversized hand and his thick forearm. When the car swerved into a parking spot and came to an abrupt stop Jake looked around and tried to figure out where they were.

"Okay, dude. Do you need me to go in with you or can you handle this one on your own?” Ben's hand was positioned on Jake's crotch.

The passenger looked straight ahead at the big window and ran his hand through his hair, "I'm good.”

"You know what I'm expecting, right?” Ben's eyes met Jake's. "Don't disappoint me, man.”

Jake eyes shifted back to the big window. He took a deep breath and blew the air out.

"Gimme the tee shirt bud. And move it.” Ben twisted Jak's nipple, "we gotta get to the pool.” Jake handed the driver his tee and opened the door. He didn't look back over his shoulder as he walked toward the barbershop.

The barber smiled at the man lurking in the doorway, "c'mon in. Can take you right away.”

"Jim. It's me. Umm, Jake, remember. Ben's friend?”

"Gosh. Jake.” Jim hugged him like he was his own kid, "great't see you, son. Me and Jimmy, we talk about you all the time.” Jim grabbed a big clump of Jake's hair, "been a long time. Didn't even recognize you with all this hair.” He hugged him again.

"Sort of out of control.” Jake looked around the small shop. "A long time. Too long.”

"Jimmy. He cut out early today. Just me. He'd wanna see you.” Jim slapped the back of Jake's head, "you'll be back soon enough.” The barber walked toward his chair and grinned, "the chair's ready and waitin'.” Before Jake had time to ease back in the chair Jim has waving his clippers in front of his face, "same as always, right, son?”

Jake hesitated and started playing with his hair. "Umm, I guess.” He stared in the mirror then glanced out the window at Ben, "Yes, sir. Definitely. Same as always.”

"Gonna feel real good t'lose this mop, huh, Jake?” The clippers touched down, "how long's it been, five, six months? Geeze. This's a lotta hair, son. Have you looking like your old self again in a couple of minutes.”

Jake knew the routine. He sat tall and still in the chair. Like always, his feet were firmly planted on the foot rest. Without any more discussion Jim grabbed his head and the familiar buzz of the clippers filled the room. The warm metal grazed Jake's forehead. His eyes shifted to the reflection in the mirror and he watched the clippers shoot straight back and rip through six months of growth. Within a few seconds the entire top of his head was reduced to stubble. An eighth inch, just like it had been cut every other week for almost a year. His eyes remained fixed on the reflection like he was in a trance wandering back in time.

"You still with me there, son?” Jim's hand grazed the fresh stubble, "too late to change your mind now, huh?” Jake's dick surged as he watched Jim discard the attachment and place the bare blade on his temple. Stark scalp that hadn't seen the light of day for almost half a year quickly peaked through. The clippers continued their course and cleared away the rest of the hair on the side of Jake's head while he sat there staring, transfixed by his transformation. His dick was hard. Harder than he'd ever remembered it getting. He could see the big bulge outlined in his shorts. His mind was chasing ahead, already imagining Ben rubbing his freshly buzzed scalp.

Just as Jim finished blending the sidewall into the stubble on top Jake got this funny grin on his face. He started rubbing his head and making weird faces in the mirror. "F***, this is f***ing short. Crazy short. Kind of forgot how short is used to be.” Jake leaned forward and smiled up at the barber, "what do say, you shave it all off, sir. Induction-style. You know, a real baldie. Think Ben will get into that?”

Jim's eyebrows shot up. He winked at Jake and kneaded his bicep, "he's head over heels for you, son. Just scared.” Almost before the words were out of Jim's mouth the guy he was talking about appeared in the doorway. Ben looked taller and broader than Jake remembered. His tightly cropped hair looked even shorter than he remembered. And he looked way hotter than he remembered. As Jake watched the love of his life strut toward him his dick shot straight out and when Ben's hand grazed the top of his head, he shot like he hadn't shot in way over six months. Jim chuckled as he watched Jake squirm around in the chair trying to act like that didn't just happen.

"You still want to do this, son?”

Jake looked at Ben, "going to have it all shaved off. All the way down. Nice and shiny.”

Ben grinned, "go for it, dude.”

"Got this ott 4. Don't get to use those babies much.” The barber plugged the clippers in and swung them in front of Jake's face like he was going to hypnotize him. He waited for Jake to nod then let the clippers rip away at what was left of his hair. The clippers zipped across the top of his head first and obliterated any trace of stubble in a few seconds. Jake grabbed at his head and stared into the mirror trying to make sense of the new look. Ben was beaming ear to ear in the background. When Jim finished shaving Jake down he massaged a little oil into his scalp. Jake's head definitely looked shiny. Super shiny. Can-spot-you-a-block-away-shiny.

Ben couldn't keep his hands off Jake's bald head. He stroked it over and over again like he was playing with a shiny new toy. Jake hopped out of the chair and ripped off Ben's tee then he shoved him into the chair. "He's next, Jim. Just like mine. All the way down. Induction-style.”

The two of them left the shop grabbing at each others' bald heads. This time when they got back in the convertible they were laughing and teasing and poking at each other. Looking at Ben's shiny dome made Jake's dick hard to control and touching his own head made it even harder. Ben's hand bounced between the gear shift and Jake's head as he zigzagged in and out of traffic. When he stopped for a red light the other hand slid comfortably inside Jake's shorts. "So. This special guy. The new boyfriend.” He tugged on Jake's erection, "think he's gonna get into the skinhead? Kind of a big change, huh?”

Jake rubbed Ben's bald head and squinted up into the sun. His hand moved inside Ben's speedo and their lips locked. Instead of the pool, they made a detour and headed to the ocean. They couldn't rip their clothes off fast enough to chase into the waves after each other. Almost before the water was waist deep they had each others' speedos wrapped around their necks. The water glistened and beaded up on their shiny scalps and bare butts as they leaped up and down in the surf like a pair of slick dolphins porpoising out to sea.

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