Third Time's the Charm
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2017 by Xalir

Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Peter Elliot Hamilton is a man adrift. Estranged from the place he grew up, the family that betrayed him and a life that was torn away, he's searched for a sense of home that he could call his own, until the past he left behind finally catches up to him. Codes are used sparingly if I felt the element wasn't important.

Caution: This Drama Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Romantic   Heterosexual   Fiction   Tear Jerker   Workplace   Doctor/Nurse   Slow  

“Hey! Ham! Phone’s for you!” my boss shouted from the office. I looked up from my lunch confused. No one should be calling me at work. Hell, no one should be calling me period. I stuffed the last of my sandwich in my mouth and trudged toward the office in a hurry. Dave didn’t like having the line tied up, especially for personal calls.

When I went inside, he nodded at the desk at the far end of the trailer where we had a few computers and a set of the blueprints laid out. We were building a housing development. In reality, we were slapping together yuppie habitats for next year’s suburban expansion. Forget the fact that there was a housing development on the other side of Austin that was filled with abandoned houses that they couldn’t give away after the mortgage crash. The developer here swore that we had a whole new housing market and he was poised to cash in.

I thought about all this in the few seconds it took to cross the room and pick up the phone off the desk. I pushed the line that was on hold and answered the call. “This is Ham,” I said worried. The only people who knew to reach me here were either HERE or Mrs. Sanchez, my landlady. That meant there was a problem with my place and it was an emergency for her to call me at work.

“Petey?” asked a voice from my past. “Is that really you?”

Instead of answering, I hung up the phone. I didn’t quite run outside, but I didn’t linger either. When Dave came outside, I was throwing up over the side of the steps.

“You get some bad news?” he asked. Dave was a good guy. He generally left well-enough alone, but I was the one guy on the crew that never called in sick, never showed up late or drunk or high, never started shit on the job and never brought outside shit to the job ... until today, that is.

I just nodded and heaved the rest of my lunch up wetly. Thank God I’d opted for peanut butter this morning and not tuna. Dave lit a smoke and kept an eye on me until I was empty. When it looked like I was done barfing, he asked what was wrong.

“That was my brother,” I said, spitting to try to get the taste out of my mouth.

“Someone die?” he asked guardedly. I think he was assessing whether my trouble was about to become his problem.

I shook my head. “Dunno, don’t care,” I said, getting hold of myself.

“You running from something, Ham?” he asked pointedly. “I run a clean crew. I don’t discriminate against ex-cons, but if you’re on the run, I can’t keep you, you know that.”

I shook my head again. “Nothing like that, Dave,” I assured him. “I just left Denver without leaving a forwarding address, if you know what I mean. I didn’t want anything from my old life and no one from my old life wanted me. Don’t know why Billy called me or how he tracked me down here, but he’s got nothing to say that I want to hear.”

Dave winced. “Sounds pretty bad,” he said. “You think it’s gonna follow you down here?”

“I hope he gets the message that I don’t want to talk to him or anyone else from Denver,” I said woodenly.

Dave shrugged. “Family are strange like that,” he said softly, taking a drag off his smoke while he talked. “They’re more likely to hound you ‘til they have their say and then hound you ‘til you knuckle under. You got two choices, really. You can keep runnin’ or you can stand your ground. Whatever happened in Denver, musta been bad if you walked out on family. Sometimes they ain’t much, but by and large, they’re all we can count on.”

“Not my family,” I shook my head. “The only thing I can count on them for is to fuck me.”

“Then what’re they calling here for?” he asked, curious.

“Someone probably needs a kidney or bone marrow or a lung or some shit like that,” I muttered darkly.

“So what’re you gonna do then?” he asked, finishing off his smoke and flicking it into the bucket full of water that was sitting at the bottom of the steps for just this purpose. “Run or stand? You’re a good worker, Ham. I’d hate to lose you, but you could do this work for this wage pretty much anywhere in the country. On the other hand, you’d have to leave your life here behind. You have some friends, you know your way around, you’re pretty senior on the crew. You’d have to start from scratch somewhere else if you left. Think about it.”

I nodded. “I will,” I promised.

“Good,” he said. “Take the rest of the day off. There’s no way I want you operating a nail-gun if you’re this messed up.”

I was about to argue, but I saw the look on his face and nodded. “Thanks, Dave,” I said quietly instead. “I appreciate you looking out for me.”

“You?” he asked surprised. “I was thinking about the crew. If you drilled your hand with the gun by accident, Larry’d piss his pants, Clyde’ll pass out and Jerry would absolutely start talking about getting a lawyer and suing the company.” He was smiling a little when he said it, but he might as well have thrown his arms around me and hugged me for days. I could tell he was worried about me.

I laughed and then went to pack up. I got in my truck and pulled out of the job site for the drive home. On the way, I turned on the radio and started to think about how this had all started for me.

Linda Cooper had been my high school sweetheart. We’d met when she was a freshman and I was a year ahead of her. We we fell in love and we were inseparable until I went away to college. I’d gotten an academic scholarship to UCLA. It was too far to come home for the weekends, but close enough that I’d still hear all the hometown news ... or so I thought.

I came home at Christmas and things were off. I shook it off as people just being used to me being gone from the house, since it faded after a few days. That feeling never quite went away though.

I suppose I should go into the backgrounds a bit. My name is Peter Hamilton. I used to get called Petey, growing up, but since I left Denver that last time, I’d started going by Ham. At the moment I’d gotten in my truck, I was 24. I had a younger brother named Billy who’d just cost me a peanut butter sandwich and had cost me a whole lot more over the years. I also had an older brother named Mike. Mikey, Petey and Billy. Mike was two years older than me and Billy was two years younger.

I’d been eager to see Linda during my time at UCLA. I wasn’t living like a monk, but I kept my party time to Friday nights and I never got so drunk that I woke up with missing time. I also never woke up next to a girl. I got to be something of a joke on campus for never hooking up. I had Linda waiting for me though, so I took it as well as I could.

That first day I got back to town, Billy was tasked with helping me move back in.

“So, you tapping the LA pussy parade?” he asked bluntly as soon as we took my bags up to the room we’d shared together forever.

I looked at him strangely. “No,” I said, like it was the only possible answer. “I have Linda here waiting for me. I’m not gonna cheat on her. I’d rather get hit by a truck than break her heart like that.”

He looked disappointed for a minute. “For real?” he asked, incredulous. “It’s not like she’d ever find out, right? Never even looked?”

I shrugged. “She probably wouldn’t find out, but I’d know I did it and I’d feel like she deserved better than some asshole that’s gonna hook up behind her back.” I smiled at him. “You’ll understand someday. You’ll meet a girl that’s worth more to you than all the random hookups in the world and you’ll do the same.”

I chalked up his disappointment to him wanting to live vicariously through his big brother and we talked a lot about my time in LA, college, seeing celebrities, surfing and a dozen other topics until it was time for dinner.

Dad worked in construction as a foreman and Mike worked with him. We’d all worked with him during the summers, but Mike had gone full-time. He had his own apartment at this point, but frequently came home for dinner since there was always a place set for him. I noticed that he was a little warmer to me than he’d been before I went to college, but that was just an addition to the strange little behaviors I was picking up on all day. Mom kept giving me worried looks, but she smiled whenever she saw me looking. None of it sank in though. I just assumed she was worried that I wasn’t eating right. I’d dropped a little weight after initially picking up some of the “freshman fifteen”, so she was commenting that I looked thin.

“How’s school treating you?” Mike asked, shaking my hand as we sat down to eat.

“Good mostly,” I said with a grin. I was happy to be back. I’d tried to call Linda to see if she wanted to come for dinner, but I hadn’t been able to get through, so it was just the five of us. “My life’s not nearly as exciting as Billy was hoping, but I’m sure he’ll get over it.”

“Oh?” Mike asked, interested. “What have you been talking to Billy about?”

“He asked if I was sniffing around any of the girls out there,” I laughed. “I think he was expecting that Linda and I would call it quits when I went to college.”

He looked at Billy, who shrugged but didn’t say anything.

“Have you spoken with Linda?” Mom asked delicately.

“Not yet. She knew I was getting in today, so I’m hoping she’ll stop by later, but I couldn’t reach her earlier.”

She nodded and we got onto other topics after that. I was prodded into telling everyone about LA and some of the friends I’d made and the things I’d been doing for fun.

Dad and Mike talked about work and Billy mentioned that he still hadn’t been expelled from school, but he’d get there someday.

It went like that for about a week. I finally got together with Linda, but things seemed strained. She wasn’t used to having me around all the time. We spent a few days together and then her parents were taking her to have Christmas with her grandparents in Kansas City, so I wouldn’t see her again until just before New Years. We exchanged Christmas presents and said goodbye. We were both extremely sad, but there wasn’t much either of us could do about it.

I put her gift under the tree when I got home and went to my room. I’d been looking forward to spending time with Linda, but she was stuck going out of town. I was moody and withdrawn for the rest of the day, busying myself with some of the reading for next semester and trying not to hate her parents for keeping us apart.

Mom came in late in the afternoon. “Did you talk to Linda?” she asked delicately.

I nodded. “I really don’t want to talk about it right now,” I said with a sigh.

“Sometimes these things work out for the best, Petey. It’s not the end of the world.”

“I know,” I said sadly. “It just sucks. I’ve waited for months to be near her and her parents turn around and decide to drive to Kansas City to have Christmas with her grandparents. I was hoping to have more time with her.”

She blinked at that. “Oh,” she said, sounding a little surprised. “I thought you two might have had a fight since you’ve been up here since you came home.”

I shook my head. “No, nothing like that. Just ... I was really looking forward to seeing her and now I’m only going to get a couple of days with her before I go back.”

She nodded and her frown told me that she sympathized. She patted my shoulder and got up, saying that she needed to get things started for dinner and asked me if I’d run to the store for a few things she needed.

When I got back, the house was tense, but everyone was treating me like I was made of glass, so word had quickly spread.

By Christmas Eve, things were mostly normal. Billy was spending the evening with his girlfriend’s family for their tradition and I was glad he’d found someone. I remember hoping that he’d find the same thing that I had with Linda and being happy for him. He said that she wasn’t ready to face the family here yet, but he was sure that I’d meet her soon enough.

Christmas passed, New Years came with a phone call from Linda, telling me that her parents wanted to stay a few more days, but that she’d try to pressure them to come back in time to see me off.

My mood sunk even lower at that revelation and I found myself sitting at home alone for the countdown. Mom and Dad went to a work party every year and Mike went with them with his new girlfriend. Billy had his New Years out with his girl and I had the Times Square countdown to keep me company.

I got back on the plane to LA two days later. Linda sent me a text saying that they were on their way back and asked what time my flight was. She confirmed that she’d be getting in about an hour after I took off, but promised to see me for spring break.

So I went back to school and did what I could to make the time fly. I was taking a four year degree in engineering, but I was trying to pick up extra courses so I could do it in three. Linda was going to college locally, so I wanted to get back to Denver as soon as I could so we could start our life together. I was really THAT stupid.

Spring break came and my workload was just too much to go home for the week. Everyone was understanding and upbeat. Mom said she was very proud that I was taking it so seriously. Mike had flunked out and gone to work with Dad almost before he started, so it made her happy to know that I was taking a different path.

I was looking forward to the end of term for several reasons. I was waiting on my marks. I’d need to do well to maintain my scholarship. I was eager to get back home because Linda’s prom was fast approaching and I was looking forward to spending the evening with her. She’d told me that she had everything taken care of and I didn’t have to do a thing, so I got myself packed and headed home to my worst nightmare.

Mike picked me up at the airport instead of Mom or Billy. I was glad to see him now that I wasn’t his annoying little brother. We got into his car and drove back to Mom and Dad’s place slowly.

“You know,” he said awkwardly, “if things at Mom and Dad’s get to be too much to handle, you can give me a call and stay at my place. I know it’s not always fun.”

I smiled at him. “Thanks,” I said to him. “It’s cool though. I haven’t been home since Christmas. It’ll take a little time for things to get stale.”

“Still,” he insisted. “If you need to get out, even if it’s just for a few days, let me know. No questions asked.”

I nodded. “I appreciate it, Mike,” I said lightly. He dropped me off and went back to work.

When I got home, Mom was acting particularly nuts, fussing over me. She told me I could unpack later, but that she wanted to spend some time with me, so I helped make dinner with her. That night would be memorable for all of us. Linda had promised to be there for dinner and I was looking forward to seeing her.

We’d put dinner on the table and Billy arrived home from wherever he’d been to announce that they were there. I walked into the hall to say hello and Dad was a step behind me. True to his word, Billy was there, alright, but so was Linda. I opened my mouth to speak and the two of them deliberately turned their eyes away from me and kissed deeply and passionately.

I stood there in shock while they made out right in front of me. Shock turned to rage and I launched myself at the cocky little bastard. That’s when Dad grabbed me from behind. He was bigger than me, stronger and had been on the wrestling team in high school, so there was no way I was gonna beat him, but I tried.

“GET OFF ME!!!” I roared in rage, my face turning red as I watched my world come to an end. The two of them looked at me without the slightest trace of shame at what they’d been doing.

“Calm the fuck down, before you get yourself hurt!” he said sharply. I wasn’t listening. What the fuck did it matter if I got hurt. What was gonna compare to this? I wanted to kill them both. That hate was a living thing and it hungered for their blood. “Fine! You don’t wanna listen? We’ll do it the hard way.” He shifted his grip, wrapping an arm around my throat and suddenly I couldn’t breathe. There were black spots in front of my eyes and everything went black.

When I came around, I was on the sofa and the four of them were there. Linda and Billy were sitting on the loveseat together and Dad was leaning against the entry to the hall, poised to grab me again, if I should lunge for the happy couple.

“Son,” Dad said in his least menacing growl, “I’m sure you have a lot of questions about this.”

I sat up and looked around the room. They all looked at me with varying degrees of regret. “Just one,” I admitted. “You all knew about this? Mike too?” I was surprised that my voice was as calm as it was. I knew he was poised to put me down again if I got upset now.

“Yes,” Mom said. “Please try to understand. No one wanted to hurt you.”

“I don’t care,” I said and got up slowly. “You’re dead to me,” I said, starting across the room. I looked around, taking in each of them.

Dad pushed himself away from the wall and gave me a warning look. “Just calm the fuck down and talk it out,” he told me.

“What’s there to talk about?” I asked him coldly. “You always said when something bad happens, family comes together and protects our own. You protected your son and your new daughter from the outsider. You all pulled together at Christmas to fool me about where I stood. Not much point in talking it out. I hate each and every one of you and I hope you each die. Now, get the fuck out of my way.”

He rolled his eyes. “And you wonder why no one told you? You overreact to everything. You always did. You’ve always been a pussy. Just fucking man-up. You went off to college. Did you really think your relationship was gonna survive that?”

I shook my head and tried to move past him. I wanted to get my things, call a cab and go to the bus station to buy a ticket back to LA. Fortunately, I was good at tutoring, so I had enough money for that. I couldn’t count on anything from my family. He grabbed my shoulders and shoved me back into the living room.

I looked at him coldly and went to walk past him again, only to be shoved back. I tried it again and when he leaned forward to grab me, I kicked him in the balls as hard as I could. He went down in a heap and I kicked him a few more times, making sure to kick him in the face for the sake of his comment about being a pussy. I stomped his balls one more time to deliver the message and then left him on the floor to go upstairs I got my phone and called a cab, packing up and making sure I wasn’t leaving anything behind.

When I came back down, Mom and Billy were helping Dad up and Mom was nearly in hysterics. Blood was pouring out of his nose and he was groaning and coughing and sounded miserable. There was no sign of Linda, but at that point, I didn’t care. I was outside with my suitcases, waiting for my cab when Mike showed up from work.

“They told you?” he asked, taking in the bags and the fact that I was waiting for a ride on the street so I wasn’t even on the property. “Look, Petey...” he started before I cut him off.

“Fuck off,” I said. “Your father probably needs to go to the hospital.” I jerked my thumb in the direction of the door. “Your family needs you.”

“What are you gonna do?” he asked, not moving toward the house.

“Go back to LA, finish my degree, get a gun, shoot any of you if you come near me ever again. On second thought, I’ll probably get the gun first. One of you is bound to be stupid enough to think you can get me to hug and make up before I graduate.”

“Pete,” he said uncomfortably. “Come stay with me for a few days. Let this calm down and we’ll talk about it.”

“You knew about my piece of shit brother hooking up with my whore girlfriend behind my back?” I asked him pointedly.

“It wasn’t like that,” he said. “It was rough on both of them, keeping you in the dark.”

“I’ll bet,” I said darkly. “It must have been hard on Billy, seeing her pretend to be my girlfriend. Must have made him think that she was cheating on him. I can only imagine what it must have been like for him to have his own brother make out with his girl. What kind of a brother does something like that, right? Fucking whore!”

He looked miserable to be caught in the middle of this. We were his brothers. As much as he wanted to strangle us sometimes, we were supposed to be family. “Alright, so you’re not gonna calm down any time soon,” he admitted. “Just come stay with me. Stay for the summer if you need to, but don’t leave it like this.”

I shrugged. “What’s there to stay for, Mike? You all knew that she was with him at Christmas and you hid it from me. She lied about going away with her parents so that her and Billy-boy could fool around without me getting in the way. Mom covered for them, Dad covered for them, YOU covered for them.”

“Yeah,” he said. “It’s fucked up, but you don’t have anywhere else to go and you don’t have a plan. Stay with me, work for the summer and then go back to LA with some cash and a plan, at least.”

I shook my head. “So that everyone can lay hands on me the next time they want to dump on me. Thanks, no.”

“It won’t be like that,” he promised. “I’ll help you get a job. I promise that I won’t tell Mom or Dad where you are or when you’re going back. I won’t tell them anything.”

I was torn. I didn’t know what to do. I was running on rage and hurt and I wasn’t gonna be able to keep that up indefinitely. I was about to answer him when Billy stormed out of the house. He’d been careful to stay clear of me after I’d dropped Dad, but I guess he was feeling brave now that Mike was there.

“You broke Dad’s nose, Asshole!” he snarled, walking over to us with purpose.

“Go inside, Billy,” Mike told him.

“You gonna pick his side?!!?” he gaped. “He just kicked Dad in the balls and then kicked him in the face when he went down and you’re telling me to go back in the house? You should be holding him down for me to mess him up for what he just did.”

“Just go in the fucking house, Billy!” he snapped. “What did you fucking expect? You should have told him last summer when you started!”

“Last summer?” I said, looking at Mike. I’d been here all summer. That meant ... I shook my head. “And you assholes thought you could talk it out and I’d be okay with it? Tell your mother, she got her wish,” I said. “She always said she wanted a daughter. She just had to trade me in to get one. Hope she’s proud of her.” I looked at Billy. “Don’t you have a whore to keep an eye on? I blinked last summer and she was someone else’s slut. You’ve been out here two minutes. I’d imagine she’s kissing your father’s balls better by now.”

Now it was Billy’s turn to lunge at me. Mike grabbed him and pulled him back toward the house. “Just go inside!” he snarled and shoved Billy in the direction of the front door. “For once in your life, shut your fucking mouth and put your head down. You could at least pretend like it bothered you to snipe his girl out from under him.”

He finally managed to get him to go into the house and came back to talk to me. “You’re not gonna stay, are you?” he asked, taking in the look on my face.

“Last summer,” I repeated. “She was cheating on me with him before I even left, huh? And everyone in the family is cool with it?”

“I wouldn’t exactly say we’re cool with it,” Mike said carefully.

“Good enough that no one warned me at Christmas that it was over,” I pointed out. “Good enough that no one told me before I left so that I could find someone out there,” I added.

He frowned. “I didn’t know until you were in LA,” he told me. “The plan was to tell you at Christmas so you’d have time to cope before you went back, but ... Linda chickened out at the last minute and told you she was going to her grandparents’ place. When you didn’t come back for spring break, that put it off for another couple of months. Mom put her foot down and told Billy that if he didn’t tell you, she would.”

I nodded. “That’s very charitable of her,” I said with a minimum of sarcasm.

He nodded. “I get it. You feel like everyone’s against you. What were we supposed to do though? It’s Billy’s responsibility to tell you that he’s done you up dirty, not mine, not Mom’s and not Dad’s.”

“Maybe not,” I admitted. “Doesn’t change the fact that everyone hid it from me though. As parents, they have a responsibility for making sure their kids face their mistakes. Rather than let Billy take his lumps, he put me in a choke hold and then called me a pussy when I wouldn’t shake Billy’s hand and forgive him.”

“That’s Dad,” he said. “He’s always been a bit of an asshole when it came to Billy. Why do you think I moved out?”

“I really didn’t give it much thought before, but now, I figure it’s so that you could have a girlfriend without someone in the house trying to steal her,” I said bitterly.

He shrugged. “It was because Dad favors Billy. I finally moved out around Halloween. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I just told them that since I was paying rent here anyway, I might as well just get my own place. The money I was paying Dad for rent was going right into Billy’s pocket and you know what he was spending it on.”

I rolled my eyes at the thought of how many dates Mike had sent Billy on with my girlfriend. “Alright,” I said finally. “I’ll come stay with you for a few days, at least. If one of them shows up to try to talk to me, I’m gone.”

He nodded and clapped me on the shoulder. “Good,” he said, relieved. He picked up one of my suitcases and we got them to the car. I called and canceled my cab and we drove over to his place.

He had a two-bedroom place and there was already a bed made up in the second bedroom. “You were expecting me?” I asked.

“I knew today was gonna be bad,” he admitted. “Between you and me, I think Billy is a miserable little shit for what he did. He’s still got a year before he graduates, but once he does, I’m hoping they throw him out into the real world and he’ll straighten out.”

“He’ll end up with a job working with you,” I predicted. “He’ll keep living at home and they won’t even ask him to buy groceries.”

“Yeah. He’ll end up living there until they die and leave him the house,” he conceded. “I’m actually thinking about getting back into school and looking for a better job so I don’t have to put up with his shit once he starts working.”

I settled in and Mike took a phone call from home. After he was done, he came to talk to me. “Let’s take some pictures of your neck,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Mom said Dad’s furious and talking about pressing charges for you busting his nose. She’s trying to talk him out of it, but he’s ranting about teaching you a lesson.”

I rolled my eyes and we took pictures of my neck which had some signs of swelling. I told him I’d probably have other bruises tomorrow from him grabbing me from behind. I got him to send copies to my phone and then I waited until he was talking on the phone again to copy them to my laptop and save them there too.

Over the next few days, there was an agreement that his charges would be countered with me swearing out a complaint, so the matter stopped there. I still wouldn’t speak to any of them, but Mike passed the word along. Mike also got me a job with a friend of his at a restaurant. It wasn’t glamorous work. I was a dishwasher. The hours were long, the work was hard and the pay was low, but it kept me busy and the restaurant kept me far enough away from the rest of them that I never worried that they’d come in to eat there by chance.

I put most of my money aside except for what I paid Mike for rent and what I ate in groceries. He’d brought home care packages from Mom a few times, but I’d never touch them. I’d microwave a can of soup before I’d eat from her kitchen, the same kitchen that fed Billy. I told him that and he must have passed that along because they stopped after that. I never asked about them and I didn’t have much of a life for him to tell them about, so it all worked out.

I met Mike’s girlfriend and she seemed nice, but I was pretty bitter, so I made myself scarce so they could have time to themselves. I’d put in earbuds and read most nights. I wanted to get a lot of the reading done so that I could fast-track my degree. I was hoping to do enough this year and take summer courses next year so I wouldn’t have to stay for the fourth year.

It was the end of July when I get the visit that would send me back to LA early. My mother was waiting for me when I was through at work. I’d bought a cheap bicycle and was unlocking it when she spoke.

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