Completion: A Love Story
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The tornado came in the night, tossed trucks and cars from I-10, and scoured away several neighborhoods on the southwest side of Houston. I was lucky; I lived on the northwest side.As a survivor and morbid fan of tornadoes, I became a longtime volunteer of the city’s emergency management team. Over the years I did get many opportunities to witness destruction that disobeyed the laws of physics and I did witness the destruction of lives. The latter I endured for the former (I did say it was a morbid fascination).Arriving to the buzz of activity at the center, I got my assignment, got my saws, and got the hell of the confusion. Out of that confusion, however, stepped a man that brought to mind the brute strength of a brand of paper towel. Carrying the same brand of saws as I did, he walked toward me, and extended a hand.“Horton Schmittbehr, he said.”“Interesting name,” I said.“I get that a lot,” he said and smiled. His nice sunny smile, I thought, goes well with his deep tan. He’s probably in construction.“Call me Smitty, and what do I call you?”“I’m Arnie; well, Arnold, but—”“Yeah, I don’t like Horton,” he said.We both laugh.“The truck’s over there, if you wanna get going” I said and watched him walked over to stow his gear. I lingered to look at his powerful back and breadbox of an ass. Woof!“We’re going over to Lang Street,” I said and gave him the map. “A lot of trees blocking the road. We gotta get the haulers in there.”“Some fuckin’ storm, huh?” he asked.“That’s the truth. I heard some people died.”“Yeah, I heard that too,” Smitty said, examining his fingers. “They don’t know who the folks are yet, do they?”“I don’t think so; it’s too early,” I said and occasionally looked at him. Normally, I noticed something about a guy’s body: beefy, chiseled ass, muscular legs, tan (with no pesky lines), hairy, tall—well, you get the picture. Yet, the thing that attracted me most is the way Smitty spoke, as if he’d known me all his life.Sun teased on the way to Lang Street. The system that had brought the tornado moved east but the weather folks predicted scattered thunderstorms, some possibly severe. We saw damage increase as we approached the hardest hit area. Trashcans, lawn furniture, and the odd toy littered the streets. Limbs, leaves, and pieces of wood lay on manicured lawns, and more than once we stopped to clear away a large limb or entire tree.Lang Street looked bombed. Houses lay open like wombs. People with stricken expressions sifted through what was left of their lives. We parked on the corner of Weaver and Lang to cut away the first of many trees that had fallen across the road, across wires, or across cars.“We don’t touch the trees across the wires,” I said.“Good, I wasn’t going to,” Smitty said.“Well, let’s get to it,” I said reaching for a saw at the same time Smitty did. The warmth of his touch sparked electricity—something I’ve never felt from anyone. Hell, I just thought that was something written in romance novels.“Go ahead,” he said, “I’ll take this one.”I Haramidere escort checked his clear, light-blue eyes to see if he felt the same thing. A slight smile appeared quickly before turning to an expression of effort. He felt something. He lowered his eyes, the lashes batting in slow motion, and touched a hand to his thick beard. He said nothing about the electric touch, only cleared his throat and yanked away the saw.We talk about backgrounds during breaks. He used to live in Minneapolis. “We are practically neighbors,” I said. :”I used to live in Hudson, Wisconsin. We had both served our country for the four confusing years after Vietnam and we both had found jobs in construction. During lunch, we really got to know each other.“You don’t have much of a tan,” he said, “You must be management.”“Good eye,” I said. “I’m too fuckin old to be out there.”“You don’t look old; you probably aren’t starin’ down forty,” he said with a smile.“Hell, if I aint,” I said. I’ve stared down the fucker and trampled all over it.”He chuckled and lightly punched me on the arm. I looked at him the way I looked at something I wanted. He returned the look briefly then looked away.“Whoa, we know my age. Come on, give,” I said.He stood, arms measuring the length of nothing, and said, “Guess.”“Tight body, few wrinkles, no gray in your chest hair; I’d say thirty, easy.”“I’ll take that. You’re pretty tight yourself,” he said and leaned into me.If that wasn’t a signal, then I needed to get my radar checked. But just to make sure, as he talked, I rested my hand on his leg for a moment. He only looked down and continued talking.“You know I have been in this town for almost a year and haven’t met anybody. Did you have that problem when you moved here?”“Not really,” I began. I had to speak carefully. Even if the signs were there—the touching, the glances, and the keywords—I could have the guy all wrong. “I was in a relationship that moved us here, but it ended.” Again, I patted his leg and asked, “What about you?”“I just wanted to get away from the winter,” he said.Safe answer, I thought. “So, why are you having a problem meeting people?” I asked.“I don’t know,” he said looking into my eyes again. What he didn’t say with his words, he said with his eyes. The look was one of longing, a weariness that guys like us recognized immediately. I saw struggle, sadness, and I saw a need. I saw these things because, now, they resided in me.I didn’t know what to say to that but I did know I wanted to kiss his full lips. I wanted to run my hands along his face and cup his furry chin. At that moment, his dark-pink lips had my attention; yet, had I looked skyward, I would have noticed the cumulus clouds gathering to the southwest of the city.Also, southwest of the city the sound of cleanup came in the form of trucks hauling debris, saws cutting through gigantic trunks, and the creek of cherry pickers. Lunch over and dinner hours away, I felt hungry again, but it wasn’t İkitelli escort bayan the type of hunger food satisfied. The heat had forced us to remove our shirts and the hard work had brought the musk of our effort. Smitty’s was intoxicating.Each time he brushed my skin with his furry arm, I tingled, and each time I tingled, my cock hardened and oozed precum. When he bent to pick up debris, my mouth went dry. The perfect image of masculinity, he had musculature that complimented the thick fur on his chest, fur the same color as the hair on his chin. Only it curled in confusion the length of his torso and rioted with lighter shades of brown in the valley of his pecs (Give me fur on man and I’ll max my plastic).By late evening, the sun completely abandoned us as violence in the form of green and gray ragged clouds approached from the southwest.“Looks like we’re getting’ another round,” Smitty said.“Let’s just hope nothin’ drops outta those,” I said, pointing to a group of nasty green clouds with an equally green rain shield below them.The wind began to blow, the first warning that this hard-hit area was about to be hit again. As we ran for the truck, between stalks of rain, my experience with tornadoes gave me a bad feeling about sitting exposed. Even if the approaching green clouds camouflaged nothing, any debris could be easily picked up and flung through the windshield by a nasty gust.I looked at Smitty, who nodded, and we ran across Weaver Street to a convenience store. Bursting through the door, pushed by a gust of wind, we startled a clerk, who watched a few plastic carousels toppled from the counter.“Sorry,” Smitty and I said in unison, then looked at each other and laughed.As soon as we arrived, wind-blown rain scoured the large windows of the storefront, but large boards covered the pane-less windows on the store’s southwest side. The large windows of the store echoed in my mind as I watched ocean green drapes of rain rise above the tree line of the neighborhood that only the night before suffered the wrath of a EF3 tornado. Except, this chaos approached from due west.However, the heavy rain and blast of wind, for the moment, didn’t cause much concern as soon as we realized it was only a nasty Houston thunderstorm. It was inevitable, I thought, that the storm should strike with explosive force. After all, Houston around mid-June became a giant sauna: the perfect conditions for explosive thunderstorms.“Fuji-who?” Smitty asked more playfully than anything.“The Fujita scale,” I explained to the clerk and Smitty, “has five levels to it—Either of you watched The Weather Channel? How about Twister?”“You kiddin’?” Smitty asked and the clerk chuckled.“Don’t give me that shit, Smitty,” I said. “I’m not the only geek standing here. What about the shortwave radio you said you built from scratch?”“Oh, well that’s just a hobby,” he said looking a little sheepish. “Besides, there are a lot of radio operators.”“Yeah, but I don’t Escort Çapa think there are many that build their own radios from scratch.”“Anyway, the Fajita scale?” he reminded and gave that killer grin while playfully collaring me. As old as we were, it seemed great to joke around like two big kids. And strangely, Smitty had brought out the kid in me that life had scared into a dark cave that had become my soul.The moment, however, ended as soon as it began when lightning scratched the sky and followed with a tremendous crash of thunder that rolled deep into our cores. I felt the thunder roll in my balls, saw the wind bend trees forward, and watch draperies of rain chase each other down Weaver Street. And still the low rumble persisted. Lightning flashed hateful eyes and thunder pounded its fists into the ground, while wind collapsed structures that were a splinter from falling anyway.We saw the soundless screams of scattering survivors as wind picked up leaves, limbs, and loose debris to send them flying in our directions. As I watched the calamity, I remembered what I had noticed when I walked into the store—the large windows.“Freezer! Where’s your freezer?” I yelled at the clerk.We rushed into the frigid safety of the freezer just as glass shattered and as unrecognized objects hit the walls, and when the store pitched and bucked, I looked at the terrified clerk and trembled. Whether from the cold or the danger, I didn’t know; yet, when I looked at Smitty, a soundless peace settled over me. I saw his eyes soften, I saw his wry smile, and I felt my own smile form. Amid potential death, it seemed, I found solace in a man I had met only hours before. If we survived, I thought, I wanted to get to know the man who brought peace to me.Outside the freezer, destruction pushed aside calm. Objects continued to fly about the store, the wind bashed anger into the store with growing force and at tremendous volume. But the maelstrom lasted no more than five minutes. Everything suddenly stopped, replaced by the steady hum of the freezer’s generator. At least we still had electricity, I thought, but before the thought passed through my mind, the generator whirred to a pathetic stop.“Wait,” I said as the clerk and Smitty began to move toward the door.“What?” Smitty asked.“Sometimes, tornadoes strike when it gets like this,” I said, not really hearing how odd my comment was, but they both waited and craned their heads in the same way I did. After several embarrassing moments, I looked at them and hunched my shoulders to continued silence. “I guess it’s over.”Smitty patty my shoulder and moved to the door. “Sounds like it,” he said, but he didn’t speak in condescension. His tone communicated that I only wanted to keep them safe. And the hand he placed on my shoulder sent shivers through me.A rush of tropical air met us when we left the chilled air of the freezer.“What a mess,” Smitty said as we stumbled through the confusion of the soggy store. Most of the merchandise had been blown to the floor, confused with leaves and limbs. Water dripped from the ceiling and exposed wires hung in places where tiles were ripped away. We saw that most of the wood we had cleared still sat in large piles, but a few pieces had rolled back into Lang Street, along with debris from already destroyed property.
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