This is Part 3
The other sections in "The Angel Stream".
The Fieldstone Inn, March 2005
Because Brian didn't feel like driving all over the mountains looking for one of the supposedly decent restaurants on Mrs. York's list, they decided that a pizza at Angelo's, the pizzeria in Wiley, the village they had passed through on their way to the Fieldstone Inn, would do the trick.
Brian was hungry and Justin was positively starving by the time they got there and ordered, so Brian was willing to accept anything they happened to slop on the plate. However, he was pleasantly surprised by the food. The pizza wasn't bad at all. And the cold Rolling Rock beer, which was brewed not far from there, also hit the spot.
The only fly in the proverbial ointment was the young waitress. From the minute Brian and Justin walked into the place she was falling all over Brian. She kept coming back to their table again and again, refilling their water glasses, bringing unneeded napkins, and asking constantly if their pizza was okay.
"Jesus," Brian whispered to Justin. "She keeps bumping her tits against my back every time she comes over here."
"She likes you," said Justin, greatly amused. "Maybe we should invite her back to the inn for a three-way? That certainly would make for a new and different experience -- at least for me."
Brian snorted. "If you want THAT, you'll have to find it on your own! I don't go hunting pussy under any circumstances. Especially not when my dance card is already filled up for the weekend."
Justin grinned at that. "Should we start making out? That might give her the hint."
"Right," Brian replied. "And get our asses kicked from here to Pittsburgh by the neighborhood rednecks! Finish eating and we'll get the fuck out of here. I have better plans for the rest of the night than flirting with the locals."
Justin stuffed the last slice of sausage pizza into his mouth while Brian paid the bill. What the fuck, Brian thought, leaving the enamored waitress a large tip. We might have to eat here again before we leave. But he also made certain to take hold of Justin's hand before they walked outside to the Vette.
Back at the Fieldstone Inn an elderly man was stationed behind the front desk when they stopped to retrieve their key. "I'm Fred York," he told them. "I hope you're enjoying your stay so far."
"We are!" Justin exclaimed. "It's beautiful here in the mountains."
"We'll let you know on Monday morning when we check out," said Brian, more guardedly.
"By the way," said Mr. York as he handed Brian his key. "My wife forgot to ask when you checked in, but for honeymooners we provide a complimentary bottle of champagne."
Brian choked at the word 'honeymoon,' but Justin immediately blurted, "Yes! We'd like the champagne!"
"Down boy!" Brian ordered, tugging at Justin's arm. "No, we aren't on a honeymoon or any other such ritual execution, but we would like that champagne brought up. You can put it on my bill."
"Certainly, Mr. Kinney," said Mr. York. "It'll be sent right up."
"Brian, why didn't you let him give us the free bottle?" Justin asked as they climbed the staircase.
"Because, Justin," Brian stated. "We aren't breeders. We aren't on our honeymoon, whatever the fuck that means. And I can afford to buy a bottle of champagne. We don't need to act like we're something we aren't in order to get it."
"I know," said Justin. "But it's kind of fun to imagine, isn't it?"
"No," said Brian, flatly. "Just because we're in the middle of Breeder Haven doesn't mean that we have to pretend to be anything we're not. We're queers. We're here to fuck, not to 'honeymoon.'"
"I think it's the same thing, Brian," said Justin. "Or so I've been told."
Brian unlocked the door of their room. "I wouldn't know -- and I'm not planning to find out any time soon. Or ever."
A few minutes later the old man brought up the champagne in a bucket of ice. He began to fiddle with the cork.
"Never mind. I'll open it," said Brian, practically pushing Mr. York out the door.
"Don't forget -- breakfast from 8 to 10 in the morning," said the old man before Brian closed the door.
"We'll be there," said Brian, locking the door. "Christ! Next time we'll get a cabin AWAY from civilization. No Mikey to walk in on us, no horny waitresses, no helpful innkeepers -- nobody!"
Justin put another log on the fire. "How about a desert island? Like on 'Lost'?"
"Too many fucking people there, too!" Brian huffed. He got undressed and put on his blue silk dressing gown. "I'm going to let the champagne chill a little before I open it."
"Sounds good to me." Justin opened up his suitcase and pulled out his bathrobe. It was a white terry cloth robe that he used to go back and forth from his dorm room to the shower.
"You need a completely new wardrobe," Brian sniffed at the ratty bathrobe. "What kind of homosexual are you with a thing like that? It's awful!"
"I'm a college student kind of homosexual, Brian," Justin replied. "My mom bought me this before I left for Dartmouth. She doesn't usually shop at Armani or Prada. And I don't think she imagined at the time that I'd need a fancy silk robe to go away for dirty weekends with my male lover."
"Then I'll have to handle updating your closet myself," said Brian, scanning the room. He had already turned off the lamps, leaving only the light from the fire to illuminate the room. "But now -- first things first."
There was a rug in front of the hearth, but it looked a little thin. Then he remembered the extra blankets on the end of the bed. There were two of them, thick and warm-looking. Brian shook out one and then the other and laid them down in front of the fireplace.
"What are you doing?" asked Justin.
"This," said Brian. And before Justin knew what was happening he was on his back on top of the blankets and his terry cloth bathrobe had been discarded.
"I was wondering when we were going to get around to this," Justin laughed. They had actually already fucked in the whirlpool, but it had been rather cramped in the tub and a little hurried because they were both hungry and wanted to get to dinner. But now they had all the time in the world.
Justin thought Brian's golden skin looked on fire in the glow of the hearth. He was like a primeval creature. Something feral and untameable. That made Justin a little frightened. And very excited.
Brian thought the floor was a little too hard, even with the blankets cushioning them, and it was a little too warm for real comfort in front of the open flames. But this was only a place to start. That big, silly canopied bed had plenty of bounce to it. He planned to move the action there when things got serious. But until then this was perfect. The fire was making Justin's skin flush to a deep pink, hot and moist to the touch.
Or maybe it wasn't the fire.
Maybe it was everything.
Brian buried his face in that hot skin and breathed in like a man who had been drowning before and who finally reaches the air. His own personal air. Saved. Alive.
The Fieldstone Inn, March 2005
Brian opened his eyes and for a moment he wasn't sure where he was.
It was the yards of Laura Ashley fabric hanging over his head that confused him. He thought he'd died and been reincarnated as a femme dyke with really bad taste.
Then Justin rolled over on top of him and he remembered that they were in the Fieldstone Inn.
They had done all of the preliminaries on the floor in front of the blazing fire, but for the serious fucking Brian had picked Justin up -- it always surprised Brian how solid the kid was -- and thrown him onto the bed. Brian had a weird flashback to some scene in 'Gone With the Wind,' but he shoved it out of his head right before he buried his cock deep into the impatient, demanding Justin. Yes, that big bed had a lot of bounce in it. And so did Justin's plush ass!
Now light was flooding into the room from the bay windows and the fire in the hearth had burned down to glowing ash. And Brian and Justin were enveloped in what seemed like acres of white marshmallow fluff. The downy mattress. The huge, soft pillows. The lace-edged sheets. In the dark while they were fucking it hadn't seemed so bad, but in the light of day Brian was horrified. He had to get out of there and clear his head before he suffocated in the fluff.
"Hey," said Brian, nudging Justin. "Get up. It's time for breakfast."
"Breakfast in bed?" Justin yawned.
"Yeah, right here," said Brian, pushing Justin's head against his dick.
Brian sank back on the big pillows while Justin went down on him eagerly. Maybe he could stay in the fluffy bed for a few minutes more. If he closed his eyes it felt just fine. Better than fine, actually. Pretty great.
"So, where to today?" Brian asked as they finished up breakfast.
He noted three other couples in the dining room, all straight, white, and middle-aged. Mrs. York and another woman in an apron were going around to each table, refilling coffee and chatting with the guests.
"The Antique Market?" said Justin, hopefully.
Brian groaned. "No sex clubs or nude beaches in the area, huh? Or Prada outlet stores?"
"Not really," said Justin, looking at a booklet he'd picked up the night before in the village. "But there's the big Antique Market -- it's got a flea market, too -- and then some of the individual shops in Wiley and all along these two roads." He pointed to the map where stars indicated the stores.
"Oh, boy," Brian mumbled, finishing his coffee. "Sounds peachy keen!"
"Come on, Brian! It'll be fun!" Justin took a red pen from his jacket and marked the map. "We can start at the main Market and go from there."
"More coffee?" asked Mrs. York, suddenly standing there, coffee pot in hand. "What are you boys looking for? Furniture? Collectibles?"
"No more for me, thanks," said Brian, pushing his cup away. Brian almost asked the woman where the nearest backroom was located, but he doubted she would get the joke.
"I want to look for old prints," said Justin. "Folk art. Toys and dolls. Maybe movie memorabilia, too. Brian likes old movies."
"Ask for Charlie Newberg at the Antique Market. He's the best for prints and art. Tommy and George have dolls and toys. Tommy has one of the biggest collection of Barbies in the state. Do you boys collect Barbie dolls?" asked Mrs. York.
"Yeah," Brian snorted. "I'm looking for more furniture for my Dream House!"
"Just ignore him," said Justin. "He hates antiques and only likes modern stuff. But I thought I'd try to find something nice for my little sister Molly. She loves dolls."
"Then definitely talk to Tommy. He'll find you something special," Mrs. York said before moving off to the next table.
"Jesus, Justin!" said Brian. "Grown men collecting Barbie dolls! No wonder straights think fags are fucking nutcases."
"She never said those guys were gay, Brian," Justin pointed out. "That's your assumption."
Brian took out his wallet and laid it on the table. "Want to make a bet? A hundred bucks against your ass that the doll guys are a couple of old queens."
Justin wrinkled his nose. "I think I'll pass on that bet."
"Ha! I rest my case," Brian said, standing up. "Let's move it."
The Antique Market was a sprawling complex of wooden buildings and tents that looked like a makeshift fairground. On a Friday morning the parking lot was already crowded with cars and SUVs. Justin noted license plates from many places besides Pennsylvania, including New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada.
"How the fuck do you find anything in this mob?" asked Brian as the pair made their way into the main building, which was painted to look like a red barn.
"I don't know," said Justin, looking around. "People just seem to know where they're going."
"Well, don't get lost," said Brian, linking his arm through Justin's. All the people pressing against him was starting to make him nervous.
"Why don't we just follow the flow?" Justin suggested. "It's not like we're in a hurry to get anywhere in particular."
Brian sighed heavily. "I thought you were looking for those prints? And the dolls? How can we find them in this fucking maze?"
"We'll find them," said Justin, pulling Brian by the arm. "Leave it to me."
Brian allowed Justin to lead him up and down the rows of booths. He'd never seen so much worthless junk in his life. Old pots and pans. Battered furniture. Piles of tarnished jewelry. How the fuck were you supposed to find anything of value in this mess? A few of the larger dealers had nicer displays, with the merchandise much cleaner and arranged in a way that you could actually see it. Brian moved over in that direction.
"That's the expensive stuff, Brian," said Justin. "Mrs. York told me that the real bargains are here in the flea market section."
"Yeah, that's why they call it a flea market, Justin," Brian scoffed. "Everything is full of bugs!"
Justin stopped in front of a table loaded with old plastic toys. "Look at this G.I. Joe! My dad has one like this! It's only $5!" He picked up the doll and examined it avidly.
"Five bucks for that fucking thing? It's missing an arm, Justin!" said Brian.
"It's a collectible," Justin reasoned. "How old is this doll?" he asked the woman tending the table.
"That action figure is a 1964. First year issue," she said. "It's highly desirable."
"It doesn't have an arm," said Brian, taking the doll out of Justin's hands and putting it back on the table. "It's junk."
"That's why it's only $5 and not $50, sir," the woman replied. "If it was in the original box the price would be quite a bit higher. In the hundreds."
Brian grimaced. "Who keeps a cardboard box for 40 years? These people are crazy!"
"That's why it would be valuable, sir," the woman informed him. "It's rarer with the box."
"Do you know a man named Charlie Newberg?" Justin asked. "Or Tommy and George?"
"Sure!" the woman smiled at Justin. "Charlie Newberg is in the next building over. With the print and book dealers. And Tommy and George are right over there." She pointed to a large display in the corner.
Brian saw an array of Barbie dolls, spread out like Miss America contestants on a homemade stage with velvet curtains and little spotlights pointed at them. Then he saw Tommy and George.
"Hey," said Brian. "Look at that, Justin. It's a good thing you didn't take my bet. Because there are your doll guys in all their glory!"
Justin squinted at the display. "And that's where we're going!" he said, tugging Brian's hand. "Right now!"
"I was afraid you were going to say that," Brian replied. But he let himself be dragged once again, this time right up to Tommy and George's Wonderful World of Barbie.
The Fieldstone Inn, March 2005
"Tommy!" George poked his partner in the ribs. "See what's coming this way."
Tommy looked up from dressing a 1967 Midge in a pink sundress and followed George's gaze. "Too pretty!" he exclaimed. "I just love young and juicy blonds."
George rolled his eyes. "Not the little blond, you berk! The tall dishy number in the black leather jacket! You are such a chicken chaser, luvie. I don't know what I'm going to do with you."
"It's too late to get rid of me now," Tommy said smugly.
The two men had been romantic partners for 21 years and business partners for 18. They had met when Tommy was on a buying trip to England in 1984. He was looking for antique silver settings and he found them at a shop on Portobello Road. He also found George on Portobello Road, lounging outside the Duke of Wellington pub, and they had been together ever since. Now they owned their own shop just outside of the village of Wiley, Pennsylvania, but their weekends were spent at their booth in the Antique Market, exhibiting (and sometimes even selling) examples from their extensive collection of vintage dolls and toys.
"Hey," Justin greeted them. "Are you Tommy and George?"
"I'm Tommy, honey," Tommy said delightedly. "And this older gentleman here is George." George was exactly 13 months older than Tommy, but Tommy never let him forget it.
"Mrs. York at the Fieldstone Inn said that you have dolls. I'm looking for something for my sister," said Justin. There were a lot of older dolls arranged on a large table, but Justin's eyes kept moving to the impressive Barbie display on the miniature stage against the wall. "She used to have a lot of Barbie dolls, but nothing as elaborate as the ones you have."
"Why bless Mrs. York for directing you here," Tommy gushed. "I'll have to send her a thank you note!"
"You do that, luvie," George sniffed. He wished that his partner wasn't forever falling all over the youngest pretty boys. It was embarrassing, especially at Tommy's age.
But the young man's boyfriend -- now there was something much more to George's liking! He was a real man and that always caught George's fancy. He was tall and perfectly groomed and turned out, even in casual jeans and a leather jacket. In fact, there was something very European about the man's sense of style. About the way he had his hair cut. His perfect manicure. And his skin looked as if he took time with it as well. It was unusual to see an American man who took such attention with his looks these days. Younger Americans always looked messy to George. Like they didn't care how they appeared to others. Or as if it wasn't manly to care about your appearance. But this fellow was both stylish and manly. Yes, George liked that very much. Let Tommy fall all over the skinny piece of chicken and leave the other one for George to drool over!
"Don't you think Molly's a little old for Barbie dolls?" Brian asked.
"She's 12, Brian," said Justin. "She'll be 13 in October. But she still has a lot of dolls in her room. She doesn't play with them, but she has them."
"Oh, my dolls are not for playing with, honey," Tommy interjected. "They're all collectibles. What young lady wouldn't love to display beautiful dolls like these? Here's a lovely one. It's a 1965 Barbie wearing a vintage dress." He took down a doll wearing a long, tight black dress. The doll was posed in front of a plastic microphone stand as if she was about to break into song. "This is 'Solo in the Spotlight.' It's a classic." Tommy smiled fondly at the doll. "Perfect condition! See the hair? And the earrings? You'd never know this doll was 40 years old."
"She must have a really good plastic surgeon," Brian deadpanned to Justin. "With the accent on 'plastic.'"
Tommy shot Brian a scathing look, but George laughed out loud at his comments. This fellow was a real mixer, he was! George enjoyed seeing someone take the piss out of Tommy occasionally. His partner took everything so seriously, especially his dollies! Too seriously, to George's mind. To him, antiques were a business, not a frigging religious vocation.
"How much would a doll like this cost?" asked Justin. He thought Molly would go nuts for something like that. He extended his hand to touch it, but Tommy pulled Barbie away from his grasp.
"Oh, she's not for sale," said Tommy, setting 'Solo' back on the wooden stage. "But a doll like it might go for anywhere from $500 to $800 -- depending on condition. of course."
"$500?" Brian almost spit. "For a fucking Barbie doll?"
"It's a collectible, young man," Tommy said grandly. "And in first-rate condition."
"Yeah, every piece of trash we've seen today is a 'collectible' -- supposedly," Brian huffed. "But I haven't seen anything yet that I'd pay 5 cents for let alone $500!"
"We're going to look around a little more," said Justin, taking Brian's arm. He thought it might be a good idea to move on before Brian really insulted the man and his dolls. "But we'll be back later."
"And we'll be right here, young man," said Tommy. "We're here every weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Let me give you my card." He handed Justin a business card embossed with the names of Tommy and George alongside a drawing of Barbie.
"Jesus," said Brian as he and Justin worked their out of the main building. "Guys like him give flaming queens a bad name!"
"He was a little over the top, but the dolls were really beautiful," said Justin.
"Yeah, and fucking expensive, too," Brian said. "It's one thing to buy a kid a toy and another thing to make it into some kind of fucking fetish. That guy is way too into those dolls. I thought he was going to hyperventilate when you reached for that Barbie. I bet he doesn't let anyone even breathe on the things!"
"That's because they're valuable, Brian," Justin reasoned, wanting to give the older man the benefit of the doubt.
"Listen, my collection of Armani suits is valuable -- for as long as they're in style. The minute they're out of style, then they're fodder for the Goodwill. The same with anything. It's just stuff, Justin. It's nice to have and nice to use. But once it's served it's purpose, then get rid of it."
"Your friend Michael collects comic books," Justin reminded him. "And he has a store and sells them to other guys who collect comic books. So it isn't just freaky old queens, Brian. It's a lot of people. Maybe those things make them happy? Maybe they help them remember their youth or something? That's not a bad thing."
Brian shrugged. "It depends on whether or not you want to remember. When I was a kid I used to have a bunch of model airplanes that I made. I kept them on my shelf and was pretty proud of them. But that was when I was 11 years old. Now I'm a man and I have different priorities. You might say that I collect other things."
"Like guys?" Justin asked bluntly. "Tricks?"
"Maybe," Brian replied, but his voice was more subdued. "Like I said, you move on. Other things start to seem more important than things you valued so highly when you were younger. Those model airplanes would look a little silly in the loft. And maybe a lot of other things would, too -- now."
Justin slipped his hand into Brian's. "Let's find the guy with the prints, Brian. And after that -- how about some lunch? I'm starving!"
"The Taylor Food Clock strikes!" Brian laughed. "Okay. You lead the way!"
And Justin did exactly that, but not before a leaned up and kissed Brian, right in the middle of the Antique Market. Yes, he needed to do that. And Brian needed to have it done.
Priorities, after all.
Continue on to "Spring Break -- Part 4".
©Gaedhal, June 2005.
Posted October 29, 2005.