Coming Home: Book 1
Chapter 1: A new life in an old town
Caution: This Action/Adventure Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa,
Desc: Action/Adventure Sex Story: Chapter 1: A new life in an old town - A man returns to the town he left 20 years before to find that sometimes time doesn't heal all wounds. His old friends have new lives and the people he left behind aren't the same as he hoped to find. Can he enjoy a rebirth in the town where he was born?
It had been almost 20 years since Steve had been there — the terms of his return no more his decision that those of his departure.
The place really hasn't changed much. It just seemed smaller than he remembered. In a way he was glad his mom decided to keep the house. Her decision had given him a place to come to, even if it isn't home any more.
No one in town recognized him when he stopped. Maybe that was a good thing. His life had been different than what they'd expected. But it's exactly what he always hoped it would be — up until now at least.
The only thing he regretted was the fact that he really had other place to go. The choices he made in the last 20 years ago had made sure of that.
A series of budget cuts left his job superfluous — at least according to those with the purse strings. He was sure his open disdain for their entire collection didn't help matters.
His bosses were satisfied with his effort. His successes were their successes. Of course no one could know his part in it. That's just as well. He'd never minded anonymity. In his former job and former life, anonymity was a good thing.
But he was never anonymous in this town. He guessed he never wanted to be either. Maybe that's why it bothered him so much that no one seemed to remember him when he stopped at the grocery store a couple of hours before.
He figured someone would recognize his face — someone he'd gone to school with or one of the many people in town who seemed to follow his every move on the Friday nights long ago.
But no one did. Or if they did, they didn't say anything. Maybe the hard feelings he'd left behind were deeper than he'd realized.
It wasn't like he was given a choice in the matter. His mom left for California and so did he. He was only 16 at the time.
Oh sure, the way they did it wasn't the best. He should have been able to tell a few more people that he was leaving. As it was he only told his then-girlfriend and her family — and they were sworn to secrecy.
But he realized he hadn't had many friends anyway. Sure, a lot of folks were appreciative of what his right arm could do — especially on fall Friday nights.
After a state football championship during his sophomore season, he'd had more admirers than he knew what to do with. But Steve didn't really count them as friends.
On a July night 20 years before, he and his mom snuck out of town like thieves.
He kept in touch with Janey Reynolds — his girlfriend at the time — for a few months. She told him that no one but her really missed him until he didn't turn up for the start of football practice in August.
Then everybody missed him like crazy. Janey and her sister, Allie, kept him up-to-date of the happenings of the town through weekly letters and a couple of phone calls per month.
At least until Christmas they did. Then the letters stopped and their phone number was changed to an unlisted exchange. Steve always wondered what happened.
Letter after letter he'd sent would go unanswered. Then they came back to him marked "Return to Sender."
Steve's mom took it as hard as he did. But by the time he realized the letters he'd hoped for were never coming, it was almost time to start a new portion of his life.
So he moved on and tried to leave Janey behind.
Janey was the first girl he'd ever kissed; the first girl he'd ever touched; the first girl he'd ever told he loved; and the first girl he'd made love to.
They were inseparable — along with Allie, who was six years younger — from first grade right up to the time he'd left.
Janey was the first of many who'd grow tired of the distance between themselves and Steve. For Janey at least it was physical distance. With the others it was mostly emotional.
His job required him full-time. It could accept nothing less, and he wasn't willing to try anything less. It was part of what made Steve who he is.
The women in his life weren't willing to be a mistress to his profession — his life really. Even when he was throwing touchdown passes all those years ago, his dreams revolved around doing what he'd done for the last 14 years — well that and Janey.
Janey was never far from his dreams in those days. She often wasn't far from his dreams these days either, but he'd never admit that to anyone.
Steve wasn't surprised when his wandering mind led him past the house, down over the hill to the creek that lay below. For some reason it seemed smaller than he remembered.
Janey's family had lived on the other side of the water. It was there he'd first seen the red-haired girl who'd be the first to steal his heart.
She didn't look like much then — of course she was only five at the time, so looks didn't matter much. But Janey was fearless.
She wasn't into dolls and frilly dresses. She was into climbing trees and digging in the dirt and trying to catch salamanders in the creek. She was the best friend any boy could hope for — right up to the time she stopped answering his letters.
Part of coming back here — not that he had many viable choices — was to finally close that part of his life. Steve wanted nothing more than to see Janey and ask her why.
He'd read and re-read the letters over the past 20 years. They'd offered no clue. The last one she sent asked when his spring break was that year and wondered if he'd be coming back to see her in the summer before both took college tours.
Then nothing. Nothing but memories he couldn't seem to shake.
Despite what he'd prepared himself for Steve was surprised at the changes he saw before him.
He used to be able to look from his side of the creek onto the back deck of Janey's house. Now the property was surrounded by a privacy fence.
He wondered if Janey's parents were still alive. They were younger than his mom, so they might be.
Steve's mom had died a couple of years before. He'd been on assignment at that point and didn't learn the news for almost four days after her death from a heart attack at the age of 62.
It took him almost a week to clear things up enough to make it back so he could bury her. He was sure she didn't mind. Her devotion to Steve and his ideas and ideals was never questioned.
She supported him even when she thought he was wrong. She always said that's what mothers do. Of course mothers also tell their sons that they still own the house he grew up in. It was a few months after his mom died that Steve found out it was still in the family and belonged now to him.
He'd always assumed that she sold it when they moved. He'd never asked, he realized, but given their departure it seemed reasonable.
Steve knew his mom wasn't any happier about leaving than he was. But she also knew it was necessary. This town had a way of taking a person's dreams and crushing them to dust. His mom wasn't about to let that happen to him as it had to her.
So when the town and its residents started to threaten the dreams Steve always had, his mom made the only decision she could. She left it behind. She knew Steve would be leaving for college in two years anyway, so she didn't worry about losing her son.
No, all she worried about was her son losing his dream. And if the two of them stayed there, that was a distinct possibility. That was the problem with this town — no one ever left and dreams had a way of fading under the pressure to be what everyone there thought you should be.
And Steve's mom and the people in town had distinct differences in what they thought Steve should be. Everyone in town already had Steve's future mapped out. Of course they didn't bother to consult him on his life. He was the star quarterback who would lead the high school to a couple of more state championships, who was destined for college greatness and then to a career in the NFL.
It wouldn't have surprised Steve's mom if the town leaders didn't already have a street picked out to name in his honor. Steve's mom knew those things were a possibility for her son, but they certainly weren't the only possibility.
She patently refused to allow him to limit his choices like so many before him had. If he decided he wanted the same things as the local residents, so be it. But if he decided differently — which he ultimately did — she wasn't willing to let anyone there throw roadblocks on any path he picked.
She and Steve left for California and the part of the town's dream did come true. He was a star quarterback in college and he might have been a great NFL quarterback. God knows his announcement that he wasn't planning to play after his senior year at Texas A&M drew some howls from pro football pundits.
Steve held true to his word — even after he was drafted in the fourth round — and eschewed any attempt to lure him to play again, regardless of the money offered.
His dreams never revolved around money — at this point in his life he wished they would have revolved a little more around it — but instead his only goal was to follow in the footsteps of his father, a man he'd never met.
So while other players were taking art appreciation classes and beginning golf, Steve was studying political science, languages and taking ROTC courses. His teen years saw the end of the Cold War and his college years saw the beginning and end of the Persian Gulf War.
The downsizing of the military didn't affect him, because by the time President Clinton managed to cut the armed forces in half, he was already assigned to special duty.
Steve and his team were indispensable, right up to a few months ago when Congress decided his particular services were no longer needed. Maybe it was just as well.
He was 36 now, a little long in the tooth for traipsing around the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan — or any of the other "stans" for that matter. His last trip to the sand dunes of Iraq had led to three days with an IV drip in his arm.
But he'd had a good life and a good career. He was mostly immune from the petty bureaucracy of the military — although not entirely — and his special group of hand-picked people had found ways to keep the country safe without running afoul of blow-hard politicians until his last misstep a few months ago.
But that was history. Steve was here now, looking at the fence across the creek from his new home. He was unemployed and almost unemployable. His particular set of skills weren't exactly needed in a civilized society and he had too much pride to hire himself out to the highest bidder. At least he did for now.
All in all, it seemed like the perfect time to head into town to have a beer.
As with many things in Steve's life, the plan and the execution of the plan varied greatly. The variance was a direct result of a man named "Pig."
In high school, Anthony "Pig" Chambers was a member of the offensive line that kept Steve upright during that magical sophomore season.
Now, Pig was an under-employed laborer at the factory in town that seemed to be the resting place for all the area's failed dreamers. Pig's dreams revolved around Steve — more specifically around the glut of college recruiters he thought would follow Steve around during his junior year. College recruiters he was sure would be impressed enough with Pig Chambers to offer him a free ride to somewhere nice.
The recruiters did shadow Steve during his junior year — but it was 2,500 miles from Pig Chambers and the rest of the Buckley High School Buccaneers. The free ride Pig — and many others on the team — expected never materialized. And Pig and his teammates, instead of chasing pretty coeds on a sunny college campus, were left to try to chase a paycheck at the mill.
Of course, none of the newly hired mill workers, or their parents, took into account the fact that plenty of recruiters were there during Steve's sophomore year and none of them saw anything worth returning for after Steve left. Recruiters took note of some of the Buckley players after Steve left — often when they played at other venues closer to the universities than Buckley was — but few stood out enough to warrant further attention.
A few players managed to attend college and one or two tried to walk on to the football team but none successfully. Others couldn't handle the academic pressures of high school and recruiters shied away after they got a look at the lest-than-stellar GPAs.
But men like Pig Chambers rarely see their own hands in a failure. The fact that he was stuck working in a factory and married to a woman he didn't like rested solely on one man's shoulders — Steve Booth.
For the most part, Steve didn't care. He had shouldered the load of this town's expectations before and he was far better prepared to handle it now than he was then. But that was before Pig Chambers decided to take things one step too far.
Steve's temper was forever an issue. He was slow to anger, but once enticed he often slipped from peeved to irate at the drop of a hat.
Steve lived in a world of violence, so violence was always dealt with in kind. In his personal life, Steve rarely backed away from a fight, but he always tried reason and intellect before resorting to fisticuffs.
He usually was successful because, as talented as he was with his fists and feet, he was more talented as a thinker. He also had no problem admitting mistakes and providing proper restitution for misdeeds. It was a philosophy that served him and his team well — along with having trusted advisers who could temper his, well, temper.
Steve was sitting at the bar, shooting the breeze with the bartender — a retired non-com from the 101st Airborne Division — when Pig made the recognition. The bartender had seen the small tattoo of a snake on the web between Steve's thumb and index finger. He knew immediately the significance and did his best to get Pig to head back to his table.
For his part, Steve did the same.
"You're right, Anthony," Steve told the obese, sweaty, smelly former lineman. "It was fucked up the way things happened. If I could go back and change it, I probably would.
"But neither of us can do that. We just have to play the hand we're dealt. How about I buy you and your friends a round and we'll talk about this some other time?"
Pig had been waiting for almost 20 years to get things off his chest, and he wasn't prepared to go away with just a round of beer. He wanted his revenge for the misdeeds he imagined.
"How about you and I go outside and I beat the fuck out of you?" Pig slurred at Steve. "Then we don't have to talk about nothin' until I see you again and talk the same way again."
The bartender did his best to intervene, telling Pig that maybe that wasn't such a good idea.
"You know you're already on probation," the bartender, Ted, told him. "Why don't you accept the man's apology and have a couple more beers before you get yourself into trouble you can't get out of."
But Pig was determined.
"Shit, Ted," he said. "By the time I'm done with him, there won't be enough left for the Sheriff to even worry about."
The idle chatter didn't bother Steve. The invitation to settle their differences in the parking lot didn't either. But Pig made his worst mistake when he spat in Steve's face.
"Alright, Anthony," Steve said after taking a deep breath. "If that's what you want, that's what we'll do. I was going to teach you some manners before you spit on me. But now I'm going to teach you some lessons."
Pig headed for the door and the bartender headed for the phone to call the Sheriff before Steve stopped him.
"You better call the ambulance first," he said simply. "He's going to need it a lot more than you're going to need the cops."
Steve hated unarmed combat. Even if the other combatant didn't land a blow, you still were likely to be injured. There simply was no way to avoid a broken hand, a dislocated finger or a fractured wrist that often came when you struck another person's body with your own at high velocity. Steve's motto — the one he trained his elite team with — was simple: Anything is a weapon, be it a rock, a stick or another human being. Use whatever you need to avoid hurting yourself.
Steve's keen vision caught the movement the split second he walked out the door. As Pig swung the two-by-four like a baseball bat toward Steve's midriff, Steve simply stepped back inside and let the doorframe absorb the impact. Then Steve calmly disarmed the stunned Pig with a martial arts chop that broke the man's ulna.
"If any of you motherfuckers step in, you'll get twice what I'm going to do to him," Steve said to the crowd as he pointed to Pig, who stood whimpering and looking at his useless right arm.
The pain that Pig felt from the doorway and his broken arm was long forgotten by the time Steve stepped away.
One of Pig's drinking buddies didn't get Steve's message and pulled a knife from his pocket and tried to toss it to Pig. Pig, with his coordination limited by alcohol and pain, missed badly and he didn't get the chance to recover.
A quick kick to the outside of the left knee put Pig on the ground and a straight-fingered jab to the larynx put an end to his whining. Pig didn't even see the roundhouse kick that broke his jaw and left him almost unconscious on the ground.
Steve grabbed the knife and straddled Pig's chest.
"Every morning when you wake up you're going to feel the constant throb in your arm and your knee," Steve said. "All the Advil in the world won't take away the ache. Every time you look in the mirror I want you to remember what happens when you fuck with someone tougher, meaner, and a hell of a lot smarter than you are."
Then Steve drew the blade of the knife down Pig's face leaving a four- or five-inch slice. The blood mixed quickly with Pig's sweat and tears as Steve stood up and looked for Pig's accomplice. It didn't take long to find him because three other bar patrons had the man pinned the ground.
The wet spot on the front of his jeans told Steve the man was dreading what was in store.
"I'm a man of my word," Steve said. "I promised you twice what I gave him. But I'm going to let you off easy. I'm just going to break both your arms. I'll leave your legs and jaw alone because I want you to walk around and tell all your pals about what happens if they fuck with me again."
The ambulance showed up as Steve was finishing his beer and he was already driving home when he saw the Sheriff's car go screaming past him toward the bar.
It was past noon the next day when the police car pulled up in front of Steve's house and a young woman in a uniform got out.
"Can I help you, Sheriff Cummings?" Steve asked the startled woman. The Sheriff looked familiar, her brown hair framing her face in a way that he recalled but couldn't immediately place.
"Three things," the woman said. "First, how'd you know I was the sheriff and not a deputy? Almost everyone thinks I'm too young to be sheriff here.
"Second, how'd you know my name? I remember you but I've changed a lot since the last time you saw me.
"And third, why do I have one asshole in the hospital eating through a tube and another asshole who won't be able to whack off for six weeks? The Doc said Pig will be out of commission for at least a month while the ligaments in his knee heal and the bones in his arm set. And other poor bastard just keeps crying and pissing himself. Would you care to explain?"
The woman was smiling, at least. Steve couldn't remember a family named Cummings in the area, so he dismissed his earlier notion that he somehow remembered the woman. But he gamely set out to answer her questions.
"Well," he said slowly, "I knew you were the Sheriff and not a deputy because your badge has six points and not five. That was pretty easy. I knew your last name is Cummings because it says so on your nametag. And Anthony and his crony are drinking through a straw today because they just couldn't leave well enough alone.
"No less than three times did either I or the bartended try to get him to walk away. I was prepared to walk away myself but he wouldn't allow it. I hope that answers all your questions."
The Sheriff smiled again and shook her head.
"I never thought I'd see you around here again," she said sadly. "We were all pretty shook up when you just up and disappeared."
"You look really familiar," he said. "But I can't place you."
The Sheriff tilted her head to side and asked Steve to take a walk with her.
When they got near the creek, she spoke again.
"See that tree up there?" she said pointing to an old oak on the opposite side of the bank. "That's where I used to sit and watch you and Janey. I watched the first time you kissed her. I saw the first time you two had a fight and I saw how you two made up later, too. I saw almost your whole life unwind beside this creek from that tree.
"At least this time I didn't ask you to put me on your shoulders as we came down the path."
Steve was stunned to say the least.
"Allie," he said as he grabbed the woman around the waist and swung her around. "Holy shit, you were only what, 10, the last time I saw you. Look at you now! You look great."
Allie Reynolds was perhaps the world's best little sister. She certainly was the world's best in Steve's book. She always wanted to go places with Steve and Janey and was glad when they'd let her and rarely pouted when they didn't.
The last time he'd seen Allie was the night before he left. He and Janey had taken her to the fair and he carried her piggy-back almost the whole night. Allie had graciously disappeared with a kiss on the cheek when they returned home and she'd hidden for almost an hour so Steve and Janey could say goodbye in private.
The host of memories that came flooding back threatened to overwhelm Steve before he felt Allie take his arm.
"I have to file some paperwork on this 'incident, '" she told him. "I've already talked to the bartender and about a dozen patrons too. If you want to file charges against Pig, come down the station, but I'm of the opinion that he's already gotten what he deserved. "I hope you are, too."
The summer before Steve and his mother left for California was almost magical. On a late spring night — beside the creek where they met and where they fell in love — he and Janey had consummated their relationship.
By that time they'd been inseparable for more than 10 years and linked romantically for more than four. At the time, neither of them knew they were nearing their final weeks together. It probably wouldn't have made a difference if they had.
There was no awkwardness or shyness in their love making. By the time they decided the time was right, each knew the other's body almost as well as his or her own. Although it was a huge step for each of them, it was a natural progression from friendship to puppy love to almost kinship. Making love to Janey was as natural to Steve as breathing.
Everything hadn't always been easy for the couple, but most things were. Janey matured faster than Steve and she was ready to put away the frogs and toy guns and move to other things well before he was. She started to steal kisses from him by the time they were 10 and was urging him to play doctor or other related games not long after.
Their first real kiss came as a dare — not surprisingly from Janey's sometimes co-conspirator, Allie. Allie was six years younger than Steve and Janey, but far more precocious than either of them.
It probably had to do with all the attention Janey and Steve lavished on the little girl. To Janey, she was like her own personal doll. Janey never had a great affinity for the plastic models, but she loved to dress up Allie in all sorts of ways.
To Steve, Allie was like his own little sister. She, like Janey, had no qualms about climbing trees and skinning knees. Janey and Allie became Steve's refuge from the storm whenever anything was bothering him and Allie's practical jokes and natural charm always put a smile back on his face regardless of his dilemma.
The only time she couldn't was when he told them of his mom's decision to move. The three of them, two 16-year-olds and a 10-year-old, held the other and cried throughout most of the evening. It was one of the rare times in his life that Steve showed any outward emotion except for anger.
Allie's voice brought Steve back from his reverie.
"Yeah, I think he's gotten all he needed," Steve said, still nonplussed at the images that raced through his head. He simply couldn't reconcile the 10-year-old Allie Reynolds with the 30-year-old Sheriff Allison Cummings.
"I guess we have some catching up to do," Allie said with a smile. "How about you come over for dinner this evening? I'm sure you remember how to get across the creek."
Steve looked at the woman again, trying to remember details about the face of the girl he used to know.
"You live over there now?" he asked. "I wondered about the fence. It didn't seem like something your mom or dad would do."
Allie smiled sadly.
"We'll talk about that when I see you tonight," she said. "You certainly have some explaining to do."
Edited by Papere