When the evening all was all but over, the guys thanked me for the meal, insisting that it had been the best meal served from the kitchen since the renovations had been completed. I somehow doubted that that was the case, but I was glad that they had enjoyed the meal, all the same.
We had been sitting there talking and drinking coffees, but when I made a move to pack up the empty plates they were quickly taken from my hands, with Luke and Guy insisted that they would handle the clean up and the washing up. Aaron and I were sent packing, with us — apparently — having some serious catching up to do, according to the others.
Despite our protests we were barred from entering the house, with my cousin and Guy blocking the way, in a most good natured way, of course. Obviously there was no point in trying to argue with them or break down the fortress doors, so eventually we gave up and headed for the guest house, where we knew we would find a bed and some decent company without any problems.
Just as we were about to go inside I remembered my laptop, so I called back out to Luke, who was still on the patio where we had been eating, and asked him to shut it down and bring it down to me.
‘Okay, Will do,’ he called back, then disappeared into the house, carrying some plates and other things left over from the meal.
Aaron had been in here before, most recently being just yesterday as a matter of fact, so he knew the place, but it suddenly occurred to me that we hadn’t discussed whether or not he was actually going to stay the night. No sooner had I posed that question in my own mind than Aaron walked through to the bedroom, and perched himself on the edge of the large bed.
‘We haven’t talked about this yet,’ I said to him, as I sat down beside him and put an arm around his shoulder.
‘I know. But is there really anything we need to talk about?’ he answered with a smile. ‘We are together now, aren’t we? I figure your place, or my place, it doesn’t matter any more. Luke was right … we do have some catching up to do, so here is as good a place to start as any.’
‘Only if you’re comfortable with it,’ I insisted.
‘I’ll let you know if I’m not. How does that sound?’
‘About as good as I can hope for,’ I replied.
I got to my feet and stood in front of him, holding out my hands for him, which he took, then allowed me to pull him to his feet as well. I hugged him to me, nuzzling my face into his neck and taking in the scent of him. I had always loved the mix of sweat and Old Spice that seemed to be his own unique signature; it was something that I could never get enough of.
‘This is for real, isn’t it?’ he whispered.
‘And for forever?’
‘I certainly hope so.’
I felt a hand tug at my shirt, pulling it from the confines of my pants. I reached for his shirt and did the same.
It was just then that I heard the door slide open behind us, as Luke came in, carrying my laptop. I turned my head and caught a glance of him looking our way, but then he quickly placed the computer on the table and backed away, giving me a wink and then closing the door as he left.
‘How about I get the lights?’ I whispered. ‘And I’ll lock the door while I’m at it.’
‘That sounds like a plan,’ he replied quietly.
We parted and I quickly went to the door, flicking the little lever on the inside to lock it, then reaching for the light switch beside the door and flicking it off.
As I walked back to the bedroom I undid the buttons on my shirt and slid it off, and when I reached Aaron once again, seeing his faint outline standing in the same spot as I had left him, I found that he had done the same.
Shirts quickly fell to the floor, soon to be followed by the remainder of our clothes, and we were soon standing there before each other, cloaked only in darkness.
Tentatively I reached out for him, my hand coming to rest on his chest. I felt him shiver at my touch and I heard his sharp intake of breath, but then I felt his hand come to rest on my arm. It was warm and momentarily caressed my forearm, before finding its way to my shoulder, then slowly back down to my hip.
Silently we explored each others bodies, as we took those first steps toward banishing those years that had passed between us.
* * *
It was still dark when I awoke the following morning, with the night still having hold of the land and sunrise yet little more than a promise.
In the faint light that filled the bedroom I could barely make out anything, yet I could hear Aaron’s gentle breathing coming from beside me. Turning my head I could just make out his naked, sleeping form, his body being on his side and facing me, his arms folded up and his hands under his head, sleeping like a baby. Gently rolling onto my side so that I faced him I stretched out one leg and rested it across his, then softly brushed my hand back through his short hair, before allowing my arm to drape across his shoulder.
Lying there, even in this dim light, he looked simply beautiful, or he did to me at least; just as he always had. For the thousandth time I found myself asking why I had ever left him behind … why had I abandoned him like I had … and for the thousandth time I was left shaking my head, with none of the answers that were forthcoming being anywhere near adequate.
After last night, however, I knew that was all behind us now and that any doubts either of us may have had could finally now be banished from our minds. There was still one final threshold that needed to be crossed, but we both knew that would come in time. For now we were both content in the knowledge that this was a turning point in our lives and what lay ahead of us now would all be of our own choosing.
As time ticked by and light slowly started to filter into the room, the darkness faded away, replaced by shades of amber and gold, while also bringing with it the usual pre-dawn chill. In the ethereal light of a new morning I reached down and drew a single blanket up over our bodies to ward off the cold, then settled back so that I could take great delight in watching Aaron’s angelic, almost childlike, features emerge once more. I wasn’t sure what time it was, but I knew it was still early … too early to bother about getting out of bed … so I just lay where I was, content to simply be with him and have him in my arms.
Outside the guest house, as the day brightened, things started coming to life. Birds started chirping away, a rooster crowed somewhere, just as he had done each morning since I had arrived, and even at this early hour a car zoomed past us. Eventually Aaron too, began to stir, giving his face a rub and sniffling quietly, before settling back down once more. I felt like leaning forward and kissing him, but thought better of it. I was enjoying just watching him sleep.
A short while later he finally started to show some signs of life, his eyelids starting to flutter, before eventually opening. For the second morning in a row a look of confusion seemed to come over his face, but then he seemed to focus on me and that confusion quickly disappeared.
A smile came over his face and he said, ‘You again! This is getting to be a habit.’
‘A good one, I hope?’
‘Absolutely,’ he answered.
Leaning forward I kissed him on the forehead, then snuggled in closer to him, so that our faces were almost touching.
‘I’m actually starting to get used to this myself.’
‘Good,’ he replied. ‘Because you’re stuck with me now.’
‘I guess I can put up with that,’ I cheekily replied.
‘For better or for worse …’
‘For richer and for poorer?’
‘In sickness and in health?’
‘Til death us do part?’
‘I do,’ he said firmly.
‘And so do I,’ I added, before pulling him even closer and placing my lips over his.
What began as gentle kisses quickly began to heat up, igniting once more the passion and the fire which had warmed us through the night. With our lips locked together I rolled him onto his back, kicking off the blanket as I did so, and as I held myself up on one elbow above him we ground our bodies together.
‘Do you want to …’ I began to ask him, but the clouded expression that came over his face, even before I had finished the sentence, told me that he still wasn’t ready for us to take that final step toward consummating our renewed relationship.
I was fine with that. I was fine with anything that Aaron wanted to do. I knew that the time would eventually come for us to take that step, and I also knew that by waiting our relationship would be all the better for it.
Instead we continued to work our bodies against each other, as well as our lips, allowing ourselves to simply enjoy the closeness of each other and feel the rising desire, until finally we simultaneously emptied ourselves of our precious seed in what seemed like a well rehearsed action.
When we were done and had finally parted, I collapsed back onto the bed, exhausted, and as satisfied as I could possibly be. Aaron rolled onto his side, then draped himself across my body, with his head on my chest.
‘Thank you,’ he whispered into the cool morning air.
‘For what?’ I chuckled.
‘For understanding,’ he quietly replied.
‘I just want you to be happy.’ I whispered, as I cuddled him yet closer to me.
We lay there for a few moments more, content for both of us to just catch our breath, then presently I asked, ‘Do you feel like a shower?’
‘In a little while perhaps. Let’s just hold each other for now.’
‘Whatever you want,’ I replied, while placing an arm around his shoulders and hugging him tight.
* * *
It was some time later, after we had apparently drifted off to sleep once more, when we were both woken by the sound of someone knocking on the door.
Aaron got to his feet, while I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, and after wrapping a sheet loosely around himself he padded out to the door and flicked the lock, before sliding the door open.
‘And it’s about time you two woke up,’ I heard Luke say from the doorway as I propped myself up on my elbows to see Aaron being followed back into the bedroom by my cousin.
Aaron lay back down on the bed beside me, quickly covering our mutual nakedness with the sheet, much to Luke’s amusement.
‘At least it looks like you’ve sorted everything out, then,’ he said, the corners of his mouth turned up slightly in wry amusement.
‘Yeah, we’re all good,’ I replied.
‘Better than good,’ Aaron added, as he snuggled up to me once more.
‘Well, it’s good to see you both happy again, that’s all I can say.’
‘Thanks mate,’ I said to him.
‘Now, we’re all about to head off for the day, so just help yourself to some breakfast or whatever you need, oh, and that printer is in my room if you want to grab it and use it.’
‘Thanks. We’ll do that.’
With a nod he left us to it, sliding the door closed behind him and shutting out the sounds coming from outside, where we could hear the other guys also getting ready to leave.
‘Do you have to work today?’ Aaron asked me.
‘Yeah, I do. I need to finish up some stuff this morning and print it off, then head into Mac Harbour to meet up with someone. What about you? Do you have much on?’
‘Not a stitch at the moment,’ he joked, as he quickly lifted the sheet and took a look, ‘but yeah, I do have some jobs booked up, then I’ll be back out here this afternoon to start on that job Luke asked for.’
‘Okay then. I guess after we part this morning I’ll see you back out here again this afternoon?’
‘You can count on it,’ he said, then reached up and kissed me once more.
When the kiss had finally finished I asked him, ‘Feel like that shower now?’
‘That might be a good idea,’ he answered. ‘It’s a wonder Luke didn’t complain about the stink in here when he came in. It must smell like a whore-house!’
‘That’s one of the good things about Luke … he understands about these things.’
‘He understands about a lot of things. He’s a one in a million, that guy.’
‘That is so true, mate. So very true. Come on, let’s get ourselves cleaned up then get something to eat. We both have work to do today.’
‘Whatever you say, boss!’
We got up off the bed and padded into the bathroom, where I turned on the shower tap and adjusted the water pressure and temperature. Aaron stepped in first, then I followed, before pulling the curtain across behind us.
Picking up the shower gel I squeezed out a generous portion onto my hands. He was standing with his back to me, letting the water cascade down across his chest and stomach, so I smoothed the cool gel over his back, beginning high up at the base of his neck and gently massaging it into his neck and shoulders.
‘Oh, man, that feels so good,’ he cooed.
I continued to work my fingers across his firm back, marvelling at the feel of him. Applying more gel to my hands I then started working my way down to his lower back and then across his buttocks, daring to let my fingers slip between his cheeks and brush across his tender rosebud, at which I heard a sudden intake of breath.
‘Turn around,’ I whispered into his ear, which he did, soon gazing up into my eyes with a look of pure adoration on his face.
Applying more gel to my hands I began by rubbing it into his chest, which was firm and well developed, yet smooth and almost hairless. His nipples were standing erect, just begging to be played with, so I tweaked each of them briefly between my thumb and forefinger, which elicited a groan from Aaron on each occasion.
With a little more shower gel I ran my hands over his hardened six-pack, honestly earned in the hot summer sun, before working my way lower still. What had started out as a simple act of cleaning each other was now beginning to morph into something else entirely.
‘You want me to continue?’ I whispered to him. The pleading look in his eyes told me all I needed to know.
I quickly rinsed him off, before then dropping to my knees, allowing my tongue to run over the end of his penis, then eventually swallowing him whole, until I could feel his head pushing at the top of my throat.
A low groan came from his lips, one that I could feel had started deep within him. Tightening my lips around him I bobbed my head a few times. Suddenly he gripped my shoulders with his hands, and before I knew it my mouth was flooded with his warm, sweet juices.
When I finally let him go and his softening penis slipped from my mouth, I leaned back on my haunches and looked up at him. He was gazing down at me, smiling.
‘You like that?’ I asked.
‘You better believe it. Your turn now?’
As I got to my feet I said, ‘Just help me wash off. Otherwise we both might be late, and that wouldn’t be good for business.’
‘Always thinking of the bottom line,’ he smirked.
‘Only your bottom line these days,’ I replied, then I leaned forward and kissed him.
* * *
Some time later, after we had both dressed and eaten some breakfast up at the house, I waved him farewell and watched as he drove away, sending up a cloud of dust along the full length of the road outside the house.
When he was gone I walked back to the house and found the small laser printer in Luke and Matt’s room, then carrying it and the cables down to the guest house with me, where I set it down on the kitchen table.
It didn’t take very long to have everything set up and operating, as by some miracle the printer drivers were already on my laptop, amongst the hundreds that come pre-installed. It was now after nine o’clock, so I had a little time up my sleeve to re-work some of the pages I had written, then print them off and head in to pick up Harry.
Once more I opened up the file containing the new story, then had a quick read through of my opening chapter. I wanted this story to be uniquely Australian, so I decided that featuring a kangaroo in the opening paragraphs would set the tone well, then after that the story would start to take the mysterious twists and turns that I had intended, while at the same time delving into the personalities and flaws of the father and son who would be two of the main characters.
After about forty-five minutes I figured I’d had enough of the text polished up to the point where I was happy enough to show it, so I quickly saved it then hit the button and printed it off. In all I ended up with just over six thousand words and about twenty pages, which was enough of a start, I felt.
When the file had finished printing I quickly read through it once more, knowing that the words can sometimes look entirely different on paper to what they appeared on the computer screen, but for this first draft it seemed okay. I then shut down the machines and found my keys and phone, then headed out the door, with pages in hand.
Just before I reached the Toyota I had a sudden thought, wondering if Luke might have a folder or large envelope in his office, so I made a quick detour back into the house. I soon found just what I wanted on the shelf above his desk, a large buff coloured envelope that the printed pages in my hand fitted neatly into, as well as a paper clip to fasten them together, so with the beginnings of my new story safely stored I headed for the Toyota and climbed in.
If I was going to be on time to collect Harry from the airport I knew that I would have to get a move on, so I quickly backed out of the yard and onto the road, just after another car had passed. Travelling in that vehicle’s dust until the intersection with the main road I pulled up behind them, as they waited for several vehicles to pass, then once it was clear they turned left and headed for Thompsonville, while I turned right and headed for Macquarie Harbour.
It was a beautiful sunny morning, with just a hint of cool in the air, and with hardly any traffic on the highway the drive into town was a pleasant one. I made good time and found myself at the airport with plenty of time to spare, so after easily finding a parking space I figured a coffee in the small airport cafe while I waited would be as good an idea as any. Thankfully there were very few people about so after I placed my order and received my coffee and accompanying slice of carrot cake I found a quiet table and sat down to wait for Harry’s arrival.
For the twenty minutes that I waited nobody seemed to pay me any attention as I sipped away at my coffee and nibbled on my slice of carrot cake, and by the time the announcement came over that the flight from Brisbane was landing I had finished and was already on my way toward the arrivals gate.
Looking out through the large glass windows I could see what looked to be the same aeroplane that I had travelled in just touching down. I watched as it landed, before slowing and finally coming to a stop at the far end of the runway, then turned around and started to taxi slowly back toward the terminal.
It took some time before the aeroplane was in position and the engines were shut down, then a little while longer still before the stairs were put in place and the doors were opened.
A few moments later the first of the passengers started coming out of the door and descending the stairs for the short walk across to the terminal gates. I was looking for Harry, but initially there was no sign of him, until finally, after about twenty people had already alighted I saw him make his way out as one of the last people to leave.