I was slowly awakening, opening my eyes, orienting myself, closing them again then finally opening them and staring at the wall. I could feel Jake’s body heat on my back. What the hell was I doing, I asked myself over and over. My finger was tracing small nervous circles on the sheet.
Then, I felt something on my back. Jake’s finger was writing something between my shoulder blades. He was doing what I used to do with my children when I put them to bed when they were little—write or draw something on their backs and let them identify the word or picture I was making. So, I recognized immediately what Jake was doing: the long stroke at the top, the angle strokes in the middle separating an O and the dashes of the E at the end. He was writing “I love you” over and over. I didn’t know how to react. I knew that I had loved him once years ago, and I probably did again. And I was dangerously close to being in love with all the problems that entailed. I thought that, maybe, the fact that he was leaving in a couple of weeks would make the whole relationship more workable for my life—short, sweet and done with. But the prospect of him leaving was beginning to make me sad. Shit!
I rolled over onto my other side and looked him in the eyes. He saw the warm sheen in mine, and we just gazed at each other in the dim morning light coming through the curtains. I moved my arm and put it on his hip. He moved his finger and let it drift through the hair on my chest.
“I love you, too,” I said, and at that moment I meant it with all my heart. I moved my head toward him, and we kissed. We lay and gazed at each other as the light rose in the room, but my hesitancy and nervousness increased as the silence continued.
“What are we doing, Sawyer?” I asked finally. “What the hell are we doing?” I pulled the sheet up to cover my lower body.
Jake took his time, searching my face with his eyes. “We’re completing what we almost started years ago, Robby. I…no… we need to play these final cards, to see what happens. Trust me. I’m as hesitant as you are about this.” I looked him in the eye again, and I thought I saw the same thing in his eyes—a combination of lust, love, fear, uncertainty, questioning—that I’m sure was showing in mine. It was a decision moment. I sighed deeply, once, and then I sighed again. I indicated my assent when I moved my face forward for a long kiss. Afterwards, we pulled back and looked at each other again.
Jake placed his hand flat on my chest, and I pulled his hip toward my body. Our erections touched, sending lightning through my body to my lips and tongue which were locked to Jake’s, then sent it back again to my groin. Lust (and love) were taking me over willingly—at least for the next couple of weeks, I thought. I decided I should cool it and enjoy life day to day.
We kissed again. I wondered what to do next, how to move forward. I moved my hand down between our bodies and grasped our two erections. I guess that was a start. They felt warm and soft and hard and lumpy all at the same time. Jake moaned softly. He broke our kiss and moved his lips to my chin and neck and shoulders. He kissed his way down to my left nipple and used the swirl of his tongue to bring it to full hardness. The circuit to my cock lit up. It lit up more when he moved to my other nipple. Whatever reservations I had about the relationship with Jake were being pushed into the background as his lips moved down my body. I moved my hands to the back of his head as his explorations continued. My fingers sifted through the auburn of his hair.
That day was a whirlwind that is imprinted on my memory to this day. It was a day of firsts. It was a day of sensuality. It was a day of physical discovery. It was a day of nonstop love and nonstop sex. It was a day of fantasy, an abandonment of the reality of my life up to that point.
We never were but a few feet from each other the entire day, rarely not touching or caressing each other. We could have been anywhere in the world that day and it wouldn’t have mattered.
During that day I memorized Jake’s body—with my fingers and hands and with my tongue and lips. By the end of the afternoon, I knew his long and short muscles, the soft and hard spots on his body and, of course, the part that was both hard and soft, depending on the moment. With my tongue and fingers I had felt the ridge of flesh on the scar on the inside of his thigh where he had impaled himself as a teenager with the blade end of a sickle. I knew the bristle of his eyebrows, the soft curls on his head, the hard curls of his pubic hair, the few stray hairs on his nipples and on his testicles. I ran my hands down the hair on his legs, and I felt the sensuous feel of my hair against his. After that day, I believed I would know his body even if I were blindfolded and put in a dark room and had to identify who was with me.
I will remember the feel of his erection, where the ridges and the lumps are, the incredible smoothness of the head of his penis when moistened, the surprise flood in the mouth and its saltiness and the surges and expansions that preceded the cum. I will remember the sounds of pleasure as I found the places on his body where my touches pleased him.
I will remember my first orgasm brought about orally and the feel of Jake’s lips sliding down the outside of my erection and the feel of his throat constricting around its head.
I will remember also the degrees of softness when our groins pressed softly together in the post-orgasmic glow.
I will remember the happiness and the laughter and the devoted silences as we enjoyed merely being beside one another.
It seems like we made love a dozen times that day. At least I’d like to imagine it that way. And I know I’ve never taken more showers in one day—sometimes twice without leaving the shower stall.
We finished the food left over from Jake’s dinner. We opened some fine bottles of wine. We raided the refrigerator and made omelettes and hot-fudge sundaes. We would have ordered something in, but neither of us wanted to get dressed even to answer the door.
At the end of that incredible day, we fell asleep totally sated and exhausted and in love. I embraced this fling, this affair, this time apart from my day-to-day life.
As I awoke the next morning, Jake’s body was spooned up against me, his arm slung over my chest. I lay there fully rested and content for the first time in months, enjoying Jake’s physical presence and reliving the day before in my mind.
I kissed Jake’s neck. “That was incredible. Maybe we should do that day again some time.” I whispered in Jake’s ear.
“Are you sure? It was so unnatural,” Jake replied.
“Okay,” he said as we laughed. Then Jake looked me in the eyes, ran his fingers lightly across the back of my neck, and said, “I love you, Robbie.”
“Sawyer, I love you, too.” I did love him. It was more than just living out my fantasy about Jake; I was fairly sure of it. If I was capable of full love for the first time since the early days of my marriage with Anne, it was probably with Jake. In the meantime I would enjoy this dream.
We lay there, arms and legs intertwined, as the morning sounds outside the condominium grew in intensity.
“I’m sorry this is going to end in a couple of weeks,” I said. “Will you write me love letters—or send me dirty postcards, at least from the Combat Zone?” I wrapped my hand around his now-soft cock and balls as encouragement for the latter.
“No,” he said very seriously. But he kept looking directly into my eyes, softly and warmly.
Did I hear that right? Were we going to have more years of separation?
“No, I won’t” he repeated, shaking his head, finally breaking into a giddy grin. “The reason is that I don’t plan to be in Boston long.” I must have looked somewhat perplexed. “Nobody outside the company is supposed to know this yet, but our company has made the decision to relocate to Seattle, and my special project has been to find space to lease and get things set up. I go back to Boston at the end of the week, but I’ll be back next month—for good.”
This was not what I expected. This didn’t fit into my fantasy. I was thrown off guard. I was shaken. I had accustomed myself to the notion that this affair would end in a couple of weeks. I didn’t realize how much I was counting on the possibility that the fantasy would end so I wouldn’t have to face all the complications in my life that a long-term relationship would cause—at least not right away. At the same time I was regretting an end. The turn of events over the last 24 hours had completely upended my life. “Shit,” I said. “Shit, shit, shit.” My tone was serious enough to shake Jake.
“What?” he asked. “What? What? I thought you’d be happy,” he tried again, a real look of concern on his face.
“I am—I guess. Sawyer, I think I love you, so please don’t take this wrong. I don’t know how to say this right, so I’ll just tell it to you honestly.
“You just burst into my life, and you’ve brought me more happiness than I’ve felt in a long time. And I am truly enjoying this wonderful feeling. But it has been in my mind all night and this morning that what we started the night before last was going to end soon, like a summer romance on the Riviera or on a Caribbean cruise. I assumed our affair would be short and wonderful. It would be a memory forever, but a reality for a week or so. But it would be done with, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences—at least not right away. That’s how I constructed it in my mind. So when you say you’re coming back for good, I’m not sure how to take it.”
“A reality for a week or so?” Jake mimicked my tone voice. “Christ, I’m sorry I mentioned anything about coming back,” Jake said with a bit of sarcasm in his voice.
I ignored his tone, but his comment cut to the quick. There was a big difference between these temporary moments and something permanent, with all the complications of permanency. “I’m really conflicted. I told you that. On the one hand, I guess I’m really happy you will be here in Seattle—in fact, I’m overjoyed. On the other hand, I’m terrified of the change.”
Jake sat up on the side of his bed and stared at his feet. “Terrified of the change? All you wanted was a one-night stand or a one-week stand? That’s not what I want. I want more. I want you. If you don’t want more, it would be better for me to leave now.”
“No, please don’t.”
Jake looked uncomfortable. “I do have to go back to Boston next week—for about a month. If, when I come back, you don’t want to have anything to do with me...”
“That’s not what I mean, Sawyer,” I said, tears forming in my eyes.
“…then we can start over—or not. It’ll be up to you.” He said the last sentence with steel rising with each word Jake stood and went across the hall to Alec’s room, closing the door firmly behind him.
Well, I really fucked that one up, I said to myself. I could think of nothing more productive to do than stare at the ceiling as tears welled in my eyes.
I finally stirred enough to go to the kitchen to make some coffee and heat up some fresh pastries. I put a thermos, two cups, two place settings and the pastries on a tray, went up the stairs and knocked on the door to Alec’s room. I heard a muffled response that could have been “Fuck off”, but it also could have been “Come in.” I decided on the latter and opened the door. I set the tray down and went over to the bed. Jake was still naked, sitting on the bed, his knees pulled up and his hands wrapped around his shins. When he looked at me I could see red around his eyes.
I put my hand on Jake’s golden back and started to rub softly. “Sawyer, I’m just not ready to make a commitment. Okay? In time, maybe. Soon, maybe. Let’s go wild this week, pretend like we’re having that love affair in Paris or someplace exotic, then let things settle out for a month. Then we can decide where to go from there. Please!” I was pleading.
Jake turned his body, looked me in the face, moved his hands to the side of my head and pulled me to him in a kiss, his eyes glistening. We settled back on the bed and made love softly and warmly, extending our earlier morning’s mood into the late morning.
Afterward, we were leaning on Alec’s bedstead, enjoying the afterglow, both of us with the hands behind our heads, foot caressing foot. I finally got up and poured some coffee from the thermos and put a pastry on a plate. I tore off a piece and fed it to the person I guess was now officially my lover for a while. He tore off a piece and did the same to me. We drank coffee, fed each other and quietly gazed into each other’s eyes, wordlessly expressing our affection.
We were lying side by side on Alec’s bed. My curiosity finally got the better or me. “So, Sawyer, how was it that you read my story?”
“What will you give me if I tell you?”
I rolled over, planted my lips on his, sent my tongue into his mouth in small darting motions, then pulled my head back and grinned at him. “Down payment,” I said.
“I charge a high interest rate, and there will be many payments. So watch out.” He paused, then went on, “It’s kind of a roundabout story. One of our programmers was looking at this bulletin board of gay stories—he didn’t care if everyone in the world knew he was gay—so, to make conversation and to learn something about computers, I asked him about bulletin boards and this one in particular. He told me how to log into it and gave me his password to try it.
“Well, later that evening, I tried the number and logged in and started to read some of the stories. I was just curious, and I was horny. I’d never done anything homosexual before. I’ve never had a sexual relationship with another male before, even during puberty when my friends would play around. Then, by sheer happenstance, I came upon your story, and I started to read it. I was stunned to say the least. Now I realize that maybe everything in life has some purpose. Then, I was just amazed at the coincidence.
“You know, your story was really good. It captured the feel of that summer for me. But it also exposed the sexual tension that you were going through. What you didn’t know were the feelings I had on my side. I thought it was just me with unexpected feelings, but you were as torn as I was by what was happening sexually. After I read the story, I promised myself to look you up if I ever got a chance, and maybe we could take off from where we ended up 14 years ago. I knew you were probably living in Seattle, and maybe you were available—you had mentioned your divorce in the story—so when this special project came up, I jumped at it. It was a wonderful story you wrote, Robbie, even if it was supposed to be, er, porn.” He grinned, then turned and kissed me.
“It’s such an embarrassment, Sawyer; I wish I could retract it. And if I’d known that anybody I knew would read it, my face would have turned redder than a tomato.” I started to turn redder than a tomato again. “But thanks, I guess, for the writing compliment.”
“Rob,” Jake laughed, socking me lightly on the arm. “Don’t be so uptight about all this. Settle down.”
“My story’s probably out there on a bunch of bulletin boards. Shit.” I said. Jake started laughing at my consternation, and his amusement became catching. What the hell! I thought to myself as I started to laugh with him. What was the probability of someone else I know recognizing me? Almost nil—except, I thought, it happened once.
It was just a week later as I was sitting in the living room when Alec stopped by to get some things from his room. A few minutes later, he emerged from his bedroom, his knapsack stuffed with whatever he had retrieved. “Dad, is Jake still staying here?”
“Yes.” I wasn’t sure of the drift of his question. “Why do you ask?”
“My bed hasn’t been slept in for days. I put some clothes and stuff down on the bed when I dropped by last Friday, and they’re exactly where I laid them. Nothing has been moved.”
My face reddened. Oh, oh! So much for keeping this summer romance quiet. This was going to be complicated. Alec is 13 going on 25 but he’s also 13 going on 10. It was major decision time. Could he be fooled by some hokey explanation that I dreamed up in the next 10 seconds—like Jake preferring the couch to sleep on? Or, would that be an insult to his budding adulthood. Which Alec was asking the question—the 10-year old or the 25-year old?
“Dad, if nobody’s using my bedroom, I’d like to come back over here. Mom’s been working long hours on a case, so I never see anybody, except Celly, and she’s constantly on the phone with her friends—and I like being with you.”
I took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. “Sit down, will you please, Alec. We need to talk.” The last thing in the world I wanted to do was hurt my son by deceiving him. I decided to treat him as someone old enough to understand.
I sat for a few minutes, trying to give words to my good intentions, then gave up—temporarily. “Can I get you some lemonade?” Alec nodded, and I went to the kitchen to pour two glasses of lemonade. For me, a stiff shot of brandy might have been better.
When I came back, Alec was sitting on one end of the couch, his mind obviously working in overtime. I handed him a glass and took mine to the other end of the couch as if distance between us was going to be the end result of this talk. I looked at my son for a full minute, tears starting to rise in my eyes. How was he going to react? I could only stare at him. God, he was a beautiful child, with long dark, almost black hair, a lean face emerging with his adolescence, dark brown eyes, intense sharp black eyebrows and long lashes. He had looks, talent and brains. And I would have to rely on his brains this time. “Jake is staying in my room.”
Alec looked thoughtful, as if this was what he had deduced. We said nothing for a while. The subdued sounds of the apartment and muffled noise from the streets outside filled the room. Alec turned to the coffee table, ran his fingers through the condensation on the outside of the glass, raised the glass to his lips, set it down again then looked up at me. Then he went through the same sequence again before he was able to speak. “You are lovers?” he asked. He looked me directly in the eyes this time, and his gaze never wavered while I sat there contemplating my answer.
“Yes.” I said finally. Simple is better. And I had answered the question for myself as well.
Alec looked down at his lemonade glass, now empty, then up to me again. “Are you serious lovers or is it just hormones?” I wanted to laugh, but I saw how serious this young man was. A perspicacious child had just put me on the spot. I wasn’t sure of the answer.
“It’s more than hormones.”
“Are you gay, Dad?”
“I don’t know. It’s just with Jake.”
Alec looked at me, nodded, then stood, came over to where I sat, wrapped his arms around me in a hug. I was immensely relieved that I’d passed one hurdle. “I’ve got to go,” he said, “and I need some time to think. I don’t know about all this. But I love you, Dad, and I want you to be happy.” He picked up his knapsack and went toward the door.
“Alec,” I said. He stopped and turned to me. “I realize that someone new entering my life—whether that person is named Jake or Alison or Marie—will inevitably affect the relationship between us. But I don’t want our relationship to be changed for the worse. I want it to be better. Unfortunately, it will be different. Please consider that.”
“Okay.” Alec went out the door.I sighed and wondered what turns my life would take now.
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