It had been just over two years since Jake had come out to Seattle permanently. As I was turning my key in the door to the condominium on an August day, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Jake was there at 5 in the afternoon on a weekday! He had been working such long hours for the past two years that he rarely got home before 9 pm unless he had planned on it ahead of time. Yet there he was when I walked in the door about 5. Was he sick? He hadn’t been sick in the time he was in Seattle.
I pointedly looked at my watch. “Hello, five o’clock stranger,” I said. “What did they do, fire you?”
“No,” Jake said, with a huge smile on his face and light dancing in his eyes. He literally vaulted the coffee table and threw his arms around me and then put his hands on each side of my face and started to plant rapid kisses all over my lips and face and neck and hair, and then he did it again. Maybe he thought I had just returned unexpectedly from the dead. Maybe he was always like this at five o’clock on a weekday, but I wouldn’t have known because I never saw him at that time. Between those frequent angel kisses he was flashing his enchanting smile. I was bewildered, to say the least but not totally surprised, because I knew that Jake did strange things at times, and this was turning out to be one of those times.
“I have a big surprise but I can’t tell you about it.” Jake announced, coyly. He seemed to enjoy this little power he had over me.
He let go of me, dashed into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of Pol Roger Churchill Cuvee, that unbelievably expensive French champagne that meant so much in our relationship, and brought it back to the living room. He planted another bunch of machine-gun-style kisses all over my face, put his arms around me and dangled the champagne bottle down my back. A little of the precious liquid spilled out and onto my shirt.
“Hey! Hey! That bottle’s freezing!” I finally complained. “And you might drop it in a fit of debaucherous passion.”
He pulled back and looked me in the eye, brushing his auburn red hair out of his eyes. “Debaucherous? No such word. Look it up. Point for me.” Jake marked his side of his air ledger with the champagne bottle.
I didn’t need to look it up. “Easy with that bottle.” He wrapped his arms around me again and again let the bottle rest against my back. This time I was ready and squirmed away.
“Wimp,” he said and turned to the side board. He took two champagne glasses from the shelf and filled them. He handed me one, we clinked them, caught each other’s eyes and raised the glasses to our lips and toasted—enjoyable, obviously, but I had no idea what the occasion was. Furthermore, I don’t know if the champagne or Jake was bubbling more.
“I made dinner reservations at Le Forêt—at 7:30,” he announced. I raised my eyebrows at the name of probably the most expensive restaurant in Seattle. I also thought about my credit line and pocketbook—Jake being perennially cash short as a result of the McDonald’s level hourly salary his company paid him. I looked at the champagne label and mentally shrugged my shoulders in resignation. How could I resist the love of my life when he was so exuberant. Oh well, we could eat hot dogs and Wonder Bread next week.
“Okay, okay! What’s the deal, Sawyer?” I asked.
“You’ll find out at 9 o’clock—not a minute sooner.” Jake kissed me lightly on the lips about 100 times, stopping only to sip some more champagne.
“Help, I’m being pecked to death,” I complained, but not seriously.
“Let’s take a shower before we head off,” the pecker said with a lascivious grin. It had been a long time since we had been able to shower together in the afternoon. It was a stirring idea, but since he wasn’t forthcoming on what this was all about, it was time for me to assert my own independence.
I lifted my arm and smelled my armpit. “Nah, no need. I’m okay. Go ahead. Want to go on a bike ride? Abstinence makes the hard-on fonder.” Jake gave me the finger.
Then he tried the lost-puppy look. I deliberately ignored him. “I’d just get horny if I took a shower,” I said, “then I’d have to have relief, and that would lead to one thing after another. Besides, it would take awhile. Pretty soon, it would be 7:30 and I wouldn’t even be clean and we’d lose our reservation at the restaurant. Naah!”
Jake was standing about three feet from me, continuing to look at me lustily. Suddenly, he advanced, bent his knees, and threw me over his shoulders. I cried for help—to whom I have no idea—as he carried me to the bedroom and threw me down on the bed forcefully, then jumped on top of me, his fingers digging into my sides and under my chin in my most ticklish places. I was not going to win this battle—even if I wanted to—so I surrendered and went limp—that is, most of me. Jake then reached for my shirt, and literally ripped it off me, buttons flying all over our bedroom.
“Hey, that’s an expensive shirt, Sawyer. What the hell are you doing?” I truly became a bit upset. That just got him going with more kisses.
And he started to giggle uncontrollably, giddily. Then he proceeded to rip off my undershirt. Thank God it had been through the washer enough times to weaken the cloth. He jumped off me, reached for my belt buckle and unbuckled it—at least he didn’t try to rip that off me—pulled my pants and boxers down to my ankle in one fell swoop, planted a kiss on my rising penis, planted a kiss on my mouth and sent me packing to the shower with a slap on the butt. I pulled off my socks on the way, using the stepping method.
In about 10 seconds he was in the bathroom with me, carrying the champagne bottle and our glasses, which he set on the toilet seat. He was naked and fully aroused and ready to play. And that we did until we pulled our clothes over prune-looking skin, reaching across from time to time to get some Champagne. Thank God, we had lots of hot water.
We got to the restaurant just before 7:30, our faces flushed after our shower escapade and the rush to keep our reservations. Jake gave his name to the hostess, who showed us to a window seat in a wood-paneled, private room overlooking Elliot Bay and the Olympics silhouetted in the approaching sunset. The maitre d’ came over. “Good evening, Mr. Cantwell, I hope you enjoy your dinner.” He left, and the wine steward returned shortly with a half bottle of Pol Roger Champagne—it had to be ungodly expensive in a restaurant like Le Foret. The steward opened it and poured our glasses before leaving. I raised my eyebrows again to Jake in a large question mark, and he just laughed, leaned over and kissed me deeply, then moved back and looked me over for a long time. “I know you like that Champagne.”
I was starting to get impatient. “Sawyer, what the hell is happening?”
“All in good time, Robbie,” was his only response, as he raised his glass to me in a toast. We clinked glasses again and drank some more Pol Roger. I felt like I had made toasts to a lot of unknowns that day and was feeling a bit tipsy with all the alcohol. I knew I would survive, however, though the next morning might be a little rocky even after a meal.
The waiter then arrived with an appetizer of puff paste with chanterelle mushrooms in a chardonnay sauce. We both took bites and said “Mmmm” in unison, which caused a double burst of laughter.
“Okay, you won the lottery and you didn’t even tell me you bought a ticket?” I asked.
“Nope,” Jake said, almost breaking into a broad, warm, mischievous grin again. I was getting a bit exasperated, but Jake was enjoying himself so much it was hard to get mad at him.
“A rich uncle died?”
“Patience, my love.”
“You found a bag of Mafia cash on the street and they didn’t see you take it?”
“You got a promotion?”
He shook his head. I gave up—temporarily. Jake knew I would be back at him.
We finished our appetizers. I was gazing at Jake and he was gazing at the sunset as the waiter took our plates. The warm light from outside made Jake absolutely golden. Of course, I was biased. He kept glancing over to me from time to time, the silly grin on his face. The maitre d’ came back—this time with a bottle of 1962 Clos Vougeot and two enormous crystal glasses.
“Jake, this is really too much,” I said, but he only mumbled “Mmmm” as if that were enough of a reply. The wine steward opened the wine and started to pour Jake a taste, but Jake covered his glass with his hand and indicated that I should test the wine. I swirled it, put my nose in the glass and smelled the bouquet, then sipped it. The wine was truly wonderful. Or course it should be at the price I hadn’t seen but knew was going to be eye popping. I nodded my okay to the steward, but he had seen my near swoon when I sipped it. He filled our glasses and departed. It occurred to me that I hadn’t seen a menu. “And what did I order for a main course?” I asked.
“I wondered when you would figure out there were no menus. We’re having tournedos Rossini,” Jake said.
“And what are we having for dessert?” I asked. Besides each other, of course, if this dinner was going to amount to anything. If we’re going to spend this much money, I’d better end up being seduced with chocolate.
“We will see soon enough,” was Jake’s only reply.
The tournedos were magnificent, on perfectly prepared croutons, with outstanding foie gras, cooked just right and finished with an unbelievably grand sauce. We ate with relish, stopping from time to time to raise our wine glasses to each other. As I sopped up the last of the sauce with a piece of French bread, Jake announced: “By the way, you’re going to have to put this evening on your credit card. I don’t have enough left in my credit line.”
“Just what I expected, Sawyer. You overspend on a bottle of champagne, which makes you become foolish and causes you to rip my clothes off my back—my expensive clothes, by the way—in a fit of intoxication—intoxication with me of course. Then you tackle me, rape me, and take me out to a truly fine but very expensive dinner that will cause us to eat like paupers for the next month. Then you hand me the bill.” I faked a look of anger. “This is obviously preparation for a seduction. So, is it you that is seducing me, or since I’m paying, am I seducing you?”
Jake smiled and looked at me for a full minute. Then he looked down at his plate. His face grew increasingly serious and his eyes started to glisten. “You seduced me long ago, Robbie, and that seduction was forever.” That statement rolled past me before I could digest it. Then I noticed that Jake was gazing into my face, but his fingers took a quick swipe at the corner of his eyes. It finally dawned on me what he had just said, and I took a deep breath and leaned over and kissed him.
Just then, the waiter entered and broke the mood of the moment with a polite cough. He cleared our plates to serve dessert—me a chocolate masterpiece and Jake just some late-season berries with Grand Marnier. As we were eating our desserts, the waiter arrived with coffee. A few minutes later we finished the desserts, the waiter cleared our plates, asked if we wanted anything else, refreshed our coffee and left.
“Okay,” he continued, looking at is watch. “Time to get started. It’s almost 9.”
“Mmm. It’s past time,” I corrected, trying to sound annoyed through a haze of wonderful wine and food.
Jake reached beneath his chair, fetched two envelopes and set them on the table. He picked one up in each hand, tapped them on their sides against the tablecloth, obviously trying to decide which one to give me first. Finally, he handed me the one in his right hand, put his elbows on the table, put his chin in his hands and grinned at me.
“Thanks.” I opened my jacket and put the envelope in my pocket, put my elbows on the table, put my chin in my hands and grinned back at him. Sweet revenge for the torment he was putting me through. He rolled his eyes and just stayed there, unmoving, the unbroken smile on his face. We were ego wrestling. He was winning, as always, and he knew it, and it was galling to me. I didn’t call him Sawyer for nothing.
Eventually, I straightened up and reached into my pocket, pulled the envelope back out and opened it: He raised his hand and marked a point on his side of the air ledger. Damn him. In the envelope were four season tickets to the Mariners, behind the first-base Seattle dugout. I had always thought about season tickets but never felt I could afford them. “Thanks,” I said again, very appreciatively, “but you haven’t told me how you can afford all this.”
Jake tapped the second envelope on the tablecloth and handed it to me and resumed his head-on-chin stance. I opened the envelope. In it there was a certificate for two for a three week hiking tour of southern France starting in late September. I’d always wanted to spend some time there. “I’ve always wanted to show Alec southern France. Thanks, we’ll enjoy this trip.” I looked again at the tickets, my eyes opening wide. “First Class air, too.”
He kept the grin on his face and his chin still resting in his hands, waiting me out.
“That was feeble, wasn’t it?” I said.
Jake nodded. “But I love you when you struggle,” he said with a smile.
I continued to look him in the eye, then surrendered to his smile. I leaned over the table and pressed my lips to his, softly and I let them linger there. I had no idea how these gifts were going to be paid for, but something was up, and I loved that moment. “I love you, Sawyer. I look forward to this trip. Thank you.” We had not been on a real vacation since he had come to Seattle.
Jake checked his watch. “Ten more minutes,” he said, “and you will get an explanation.”
Finally! But what was so important about 10 more minutes, I thought.
Jake took my hand, and we turned to look out the window at the fading light over the Olympics. We stayed like that for the ten minutes, not talking but glancing at each other from time to time. I was sure Jake was enjoying my torment. Then, Jake checked his watch and broke the mood. He leaned over and kissed me.
“You probably wonder why I’ve gathered you here tonight?” Jake intoned sonorously. I rolled my eyes, and Jake started to laugh. Then, in a more normal tone over the next few minutes he proceeded to astound me and turn our lives upside down.
“You know I’ve been working 12-hour-or-more days, 6 days a week for the past three years for hamburger-flipper pay.”
“Fifteen hours a day is more like it.” I corrected.
“Well, more than 12 hours sometimes.
“You remember also that we talked about whether I should try to get more cash wages from my company or take my salary in stock, and you said we didn’t need the cash.” I nodded, again. I did remember saying that, but it had been over two years earlier and had slipped my mind. “Well, I followed your advice and took as much stock as possible. Every time they offered me a promotion with more money, I just took stock instead, because I thought that would be your advice. Did I go too far?”
He looked at me. I rolled my eyes and affected exasperation.
He looked at me deeply and seriously in the eyes: “As of a few minutes ago,” he checked his watch again, “our company was officially acquired by our friends across the lake, for $13.25 a share. I’m sorry but I couldn’t say anything until 9 p.m. Pacific time, midnight Eastern time.”
“That’s wonderful. What does that mean? Will you finally have a reasonable salary? Do you really want to work for a different company?”
Jake leaned his head back with an expression of exasperation. “You’re missing the point, love. Aren’t you going to ask me what happens to the shares of stock I own at $13.25 a share?’
“Okay, what happens to the shares of stock you own at $13.25 a share?” I asked dutifully.
“I have the choice of cashing them out or rolling them over into Microsoft stock or any combination of the above.” He laid his hands on the table and waited for me to say something. Finally, he said, exasperation in his voice: “Aren’t you going to ask me how many shares of stock I have accumulated?” By this time, I was enjoying keeping him on tenterhooks waiting for me to draw him out. If he was going to keep me in the dark all evening, I needed to get even.
I stared at him, hoping he would break first. But he waited me out. “Okay, how many shares of stock have you accumulated?” I asked. I was thinking that it would take at least 10-thousand shares to justify this extravagant evening.
Jake was looking at me seriously and said quietly: “I will get just over one and a half million shares.” My mouth fell open and froze there. I was dumbfounded.
Jake finally reached across the table, put his fingers under my chin and pushed up on them to close my gaping mouth. He held his hand on my chin, then leaned across the table and put his lips to mine and kissed me. “Stunned you, didn’t I? That’ll teach you to try your little revenge tricks on the Great Sawyer.” Jake laughed.
“My god, that’s almost $20 million,” I said, still aghast. “No wonder you were bubblier than the champagne at home. I never dreamed it could be so much.” I was elated for Jake. And then I realized what I had just thought: ‘elated for Jake.’ I felt a cold gust of thought going through me.
Elated for Jake. The implications of his good fortune began to hit me. Our entire relationship could be changed. He didn’t need me anymore. I had been the major breadwinner, though Jake helped out whenever he could. Jake had been living under my roof. I began to feel a real uneasiness—bordering on terror—that my new world with Jake would crumble out from under me, like it did with Anne whom I thought I lost, in part, when she achieved her financial independence. What would this fortune do to change our relationship? I sighed. I could see losing Jake. “You’re wealthy beyond all your dreams, Sawyer,” I said, smiling, but with tears almost rising to my eyes.
As if he could see into my soul, Jake countered: “No, we are wealthy.” Jake took my hand in his. “The operative word is we. You were as much a part of this as I was.”
“It’s yours, Jake.” I realized that I had used ‘Jake’ instead of ‘Sawyer,’ as if a distance had already come between us.
Jake noticed. “Look, you can’t distance yourself from our good luck that way. If you think this money is going to change much in our relationship, think again.” He grinned. “Except, of course, we get to go to France.”
I must have still looked uncomfortable.
Jake went on. “How many times have I come home late, eaten dinner and just gone to sleep with your fingers massaging my back? How many times have we rushed our sex because I was just too tired? How many meals of yours have I eaten and not done my share? How many times have I missed one of Alec’s ball games or concerts or Celly’s plays because I was working late? How many one-day weekends have we had? How many times did you save my life?”
“Sawyer, please. I’ve accepted all that with you. But you earned the money. It was your long hours, not mine. You’re the one who’s rich.”
Jake just stared at me with his mouth open. “Rob, sometimes you are so exasperating. You’re pissing me off. The trouble with you is that you are willing to give and give and give but you don’t know how to receive. This time I’m not going to let you get away with it.”
We sat looking at each other for some time, but I couldn’t meet his eyes for very long. I just let his comment sink in.
“Goddammit, look at me,” he said sharply. “You’ve given me back my life. You’ve been my financial foundation these past two years. You’ve housed me, cooked for me. But more important, Robbie, you’ve loved me through some of the worst ordeals of my life. You’re my emotional foundation. Despite the money, I will always need you. You’re my rock, for Christ’s sake. Can’t you get that through your thick skull?” My eyes were starting to tear up. Jake grabbed my chin and made me look at him. “Please accept that we both earned this.”
I sat silently for a few minutes staring at him, digesting the turn of events, my fingers toying with the side of my wine glass and twirling it by the stem. Fearful tears silently streaked down my cheek; my eyes remained on Jake’s face. Jake reached over with his napkin and wiped them away. Eventually the cough of the waiter broke the trance as he asked us if we wanted anything else. I indicated no, as did Jake. The restaurant didn’t sell what I wanted just then, and I suspect Jake felt the same way. The only thing I wanted was to hold Jake in my arms so he couldn’t get away.
We fell asleep, our bodies entangled. We didn’t need sex that night. We needed only to hold each other.
* * *
The next day was different, however. We were lying in bed the next morning, Jake holding me from behind. His fingers started to toy with the hair on my chest. I started to stir, and I felt his penis pressing my middle regions. “Mmmm,” I said, and his arm pulled me closer to him. “Mmmm!” was all I said as his cock slipped into the crack of my butt and he pulled himself toward my body. We lay there for ten minutes or so, me “Mmmm-ing” over and over with each movement, voluntary or involuntary of our bodies.
“Mmmm, to you, too. Is that your full vocabulary, Rob?”
“Mmmm,” I said, though with a different intonation.
“If you can’t hold up your end of the conversation, I’ll have to try somebody more alert.”
He undid me from his grasp, hearing an annoyed “Mmmmff” from me then turned me over. He grazed his lips down my body to my now quite substantial erection, which acknowledged his presence with a couple of personal twitches. He grasped it in his hand and brought his face to address my cock—up close and personal as if it were a miniature person: “Hello, Lord Robert. Speak to me.” He put his ear up to my slit and heard nothing but another “Mmmm” from up the bed.
“You may not be too talkative but you’re kinda cute.” Another kiss, another “Mmmm” from me.
“At least you are fully awake, quite unlike Mr. Ellis up there.” He kissed my erection and let it go. It bobbed a few times in recognition of the compliment. “Your master up there seems to have lost his tongue. Then again, I suspect you’re the master at the moment, aren’t you. Make him go ‘Mmmm’.” He put his hand on my cock again and heard another Mmmm. “Yes, definitely I know who’s boss.”
He extended his tongue to lick off the pre-cum that was forming, causing even more “Mmmms” to emanate from my mouth. It seemed I could manage only a one-word vocabulary that morning. He took a long look at my erection, braced himself, and took my penis into his mouth. My “Mmms” turned into sharper “Ooohs,” which represented a doubling of my vocabulary that morning. He let his mouth caress my cock.
I reached for Jake’s golden-red haired legs to pull them closer to me. “If you’re going to play these silly-ass games with young Robert, you’d better send rich-boy John Edward Cantwell IV my way,” I said.
“Amazing, Lord Robert, he speaketh in whole sentences,” Jake said from the nether regions. “One for me.”
“No points during sex. Remember?”
“He speaks, he gripes,” Jake said to 6 ½ inches of me.
I shifted Jake’s body so that I could address my attention to John Edward Cantwell IV. Then, I kissed the head of his cock, which caused an intake in Jake’s breath and a tightening of his lips around my penis. And then I took the rest of Jake’s penis in my mouth and began sucking it gently. I felt that wondrous combination of hard and soft, the textures of his glans and his shaft, sensed the tastes, and felt the expansion and contraction of his erection. I sucked gently around the head of his cock.
As I was pleasuring him, Jake said, “Mmmm” and another “Mmmm”, and then “Oooh,” in a perfect mimic of my earlier sounds. Must have been his actor training, but I knew it was just to get back at me. He giggled, his abdomen shook, so I slapped him on the butt, which sent his mouth into another region of my cock and sent another lance of pleasure through me.
Jake then started moving his tongue and lips around my crown. God, that felt incredible.
We sucked and nuzzled and kissed each other’s cocks and massaged each other’s testicles and butts, no sounds but heavy breathing and soft moans of pleasure and wet kisses on genitals. We backed off from time to time to prolong our experience. After a while, the pressures built, our breathing got heavier and erratic and I realized it would not be long before we could hold out no longer. I felt Jake’s cock starting to enlarge more frequently in my mouth and heard louder animal noises coming from my own genital region where he was feeling similar things from my cock. The sound of Jake’s enjoyment caused me to thrust my hips towards Jake’s mouth and work more intensely on him with my mouth. That was all it took. The sounds from our mouths became more guttural. I held onto him, even as he started to move his groin away.
In a few seconds he spurted forth what must have been from the sounds of it an incredible orgasm. Almost immediately, his mouth filled with the first flood of my cum. Panting and spent, we nuzzled and gently kissed each other’s cocks until our erections softened. Then, we pulled ourselves face to face and enjoyed a long embrace.
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