After a couple of weeks Brody began to feel a bit more settled in, less a stranger in his own home town. He'd taken off a morning to make the thirty-minute drive to the Colby State University campus and register for fall classes. He hadn't declared a major, but the veterans' advisor told him that could wait a while.
When he was finished on campus, he dropped by the new Cox Floral shop in Colby, where he met Missy Fielding, Bobby's second in command. Her name, she told him, was really Melissa, but nobody called her that. He got the message. She took care of weddings and other special events, and she tended to float between both stores, as did Bobby.
Brody had a standing invitation for Sunday dinner at his brother's house, and he'd enjoyed the first one so much he made a point of going back. The six years' difference in their ages meant that he and his brother had never really been close. Because of a change in major from pre-med to business, Bob had spent five years at Kent State. When he came home, he married Samantha, who'd graduated that year and was teaching history at Higgins High School. Bobby had immediately gone to work at the flower shop. The following year was Brody's senior year. Bobby occasionally came to see Brody's baseball games, but often he couldn't get away from work. Brody was busy with the usual senior activities so he seldom saw his brother or the by-then pregnant Sam.
Brody had worried that Bobby might resent his parents more or less requiring him to take on his kid brother in the business. Knowing all about the chain of command, Brody had made clear to big bro that he knew who was boss. His brother and sister-in-law, however, had both made him understand how happy they were to have him around, so that worry was erased. And Sam's Sunday feasts were as delicious as he remembered his mother's being. Marine food had been plentiful and nutritious, but it never reminded him of home cooking.
On those Sunday afternoons, pleasantly stuffed, he liked to get down on the floor and play with the kids. Lil Bob, as the five-year old was called, was disappointed the first time he saw his uncle because Brody was wearing khakis and a polo shirt. The boy had seen pictures of "Unca Brody," but in all of them he was in uniform. Three-year-old Lisa, dark and tiny like her mother, just wanted him to hug her. After about five minutes, though, she was down and running off to do something else. But both kids coaxed him to read to them, which he was happy to do. Lisa usually went to sleep before the story was finished, but Lil Bob was there, all ears, eyes sparkling. Sam said he talked all week about when Unca Brody was coming back.
The next time he went there for Sunday dinner Brody showed up in his marine khakis. It was just too hot for the dress blues, and he thought camis would be too informal for the occasion. Needless to say, Lil Bob was thrilled.
It was the evenings that were lonely. Brody had cable installed and then grumbled because most days after he'd stopped somewhere and gotten fast food or else nuked a tv dinner in the apartment, he'd flop in his recliner, flip through 70-some channels, and find nothing to watch. About the only things he enjoyed were the baseball games, especially when either the Tigers or the Indians were playing. Not that either team was having a good season, but they were the teams he'd always rooted for, and seeing them on tv did help make him feel like he was home.
The first Saturday night after he'd started work, he dropped by Gridley's, a local bar. It was raining, but he just didn't want to sit around the apartment all evening. He'd never frequented the place when he was in high school because he was too young, but he'd known it was a popular hangout with the locals. He could have gone to Colby to a gay bar, but he didn't figure he was ready for that yet.
He'd worked that morning to make up for the time he'd taken off to sign up for fall courses. That afternoon he watched an Indians game on television. Then, not wanting to spend the rest of the day in front of the tube, he took a shower, put on fresh khakis and a clean tee, and went to Gridley's, where he had fish and chips, cole slaw and a couple of beers. The place was busy, mostly men in their late twenties or early thirties plus a few mixed couples. There was a booth with two older couples, maybe in their forties, in the back.
He sat at the bar. The bartender looked as if he could be ex-military, his well-muscled body, short haircut, and general posture all adding to that impression.
"You're Brody Cox, aren't you?" he asked as he set Brody's order in front of him.
"Yeah. How do you know me?"
The guy held out his hand, and Brody shook it. "I'm Al Green. I graduated with your brother."
"Damn, man, I was just in sixth grade when Bob graduated. How could you recognize me?"
Al laughed. "I don't recognize you from back then. But there's no mistaking the resemblance. You look a lot like him."
"Oh, yeah. I guess we do look alike."
"So I hear you've been in Iraq."
"Jesus, did somebody take out an ad in the paper?"
Al laughed again, and Brody liked the way his deep voice sounded. "No, I just heard one of our patrons talking about you being back from the Marines a few days ago. Can't remember now who it was."
Brody took a sip of his beer.
"Well, I'll let you eat your chow while it's hot. Nice to have you back in town, Brody. Let me know if you need anything else."
"Yeah, thanks, Al."
After dinner he still didn't want to go back to his little apartment, so he drove to the mall. He found an action/adventure flick on at the Cineplex and decided to watch it.
After an hour or two of mindless violence on the screen, he headed out of the theater. Standing in line to come in he recognized Pete Clifford's parents.
"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Clifford," he said.
"Brody, dear, we heard you were home. How are you? It's so good to see you!"
"Yes, ma'am, it's good to see you, too," he said as he was shaking hands with Pete's dad.
"What are you doing now that you're out of the Marines?" Phil Clifford asked.
"I'm going to start to CSU in the fall, and I'm working in the shop this summer."
"Well, Pete will be happy to hear that. He's coming home Monday."
"Great! How's he doing?"
"He's fine," Marie Clifford said. "And he's planning to be around a lot this summer. I'm sure he'd love to see you."
"It'll be good to see him, too. I still have the same email address. Would you ask him to get in touch, please?"
They promised they would and moved on into the theater.
Monday evening when he got home from work, Brody flipped on his laptop and found he had an email:
Hey Sarge, my folks told me they ran into you at the mall the other night. Mom's all gushy about how great you look. Now she's got me leaking in my boxers. LOL. Call me. The number's still the same. Your favorite Peter.
Chuckling because that was the way Pete always signed off his emails, Brody grabbed his newly-acquired cell phone and punched in the Cliffords' number from memory.
He was taken four years into the past when Marie Clifford answered the phone. "Clifford residence."
As he'd said many times before, "Hi, Mrs. C. Could I speak to Pete, please?"
"Oh, Brody dear, Peter's been eager for you to call him. Hold on a sec, and I'll get him."
A moment later a deeper voice than Brody remembered said, "Hey, Marine, how the fuck are you?"
Pete was obviously in his room, or he wouldn't have used the f-word.
"I'm fuckin' fine, dude, how are you?"
Pete chuckled. "Glad to hear your voice! After four years, man, I want to see you. What are you doing this evening?"
"Nothing special. Wanna get together?"
"Mom says she and Dad planned a special meal because this is my first night home. We're gonna have steaks on the patio. And she says you've got to come. Then, she says, if we want to go somewhere and catch up they won't complain."
"Well, Clifford, if your mom says I've got to come, I guess I'd better get my ass over there. What's the uniform of the day, and when should I be there?"
"Class Z or whatever. A tee and shorts will do just fine. That's what I've got on. This is out back, remember. And whenever you can get here will be fine."
After he put down the phone, Brody stripped, threw all the clothes he'd been wearing into the hamper in his bedroom closet. (He'd asked for and been given three more of the company polos. That wasn't a week's worth, but at least he didn't have to wash out the shirt every night.) He decided to shave, even though he seldom shaved twice in one day. Then he showered, his cock plumping up as he thought of seeing Pete again. After he dried off, he decided to wear what Pete had suggested, so he pulled on khaki shorts and a light blue polo chosen to go with his eyes. Then he put his new Reeboks on again. So far he'd bought only the one pair, but since he was wearing them to work he realized he'd better get another pair for "dress."
He had changed the sheets the day before, but he put fresh ones on his bed just in case. No harm in being prepared.
So far as he knew, the Cliffords had never suspected that he and Pete were anything more than good buds. Thus when Pete met him at the door Brody was careful to hold out his hand for the traditional greeting between two adult males. Pete, however, grabbed Brody into a hug. Since neither of the parents was there anyway, Brody relaxed and held Pete tight against his body. The two stayed that way for a couple of minutes. Pete's smell brought back a flood of memories. It seemed that four years hadn't passed and that the two of them were still just as they'd been at 18.
Then Pete pushed Brody away. "God, man, you look fantastic! The Marines have made you into even more of a stud than you were."
Pete had changed, too. He was maybe an inch taller, 5'11' now, but also thinner. His dark brown hair was a bit longer than he'd worn it in high school, not shaggy, but long enough to part. He had grown a mustache and a jawline beard. He no longer looked like that kid who'd been Higgins High School's best shortstop ever. He was more mature, not the boy-jock Brody remembered, but a man. Not old, but definitely older. He was wearing white shorts, a yellow collarless tee, and sandals.
"Thanks, Pete. You're looking incredible yourself."
Their reunion was interrupted by the persistent nudging of Molly, the Clifford's black Lab.
Brody dropped down on one knee and hugged her. "Hey, Molly girl, you still remember me!" He gave her the kind of scratching behind the ears he knew she loved, noticing as he did that there were white hairs mixed in with the black.
"She's looking a little old, Pete."
"Yeah, she doesn't get around as well as she used to, either, but she's in basically good health. We've got her on a special diet for older dogs now so she gets the nutrition she needs without becoming obese."
The Cliffords had had Molly just about as long as Brody could remember, and he'd always been jealous that Pete had a dog and he didn't. He'd spent a lot of time petting and scratching Molly. So, of course, he'd always been one of her favorite humans.
"Come on," Pete said, "Mom's in the kitchen and Dad's out back." He led the way. Brody followed, admiring his friend's ass.
The Cliffords' patio had new furniture and a new gas grill. Otherwise it looked pretty much the same. Phlox and day lilies were blooming along the fence at the back of the yard, and Brody noticed that Mrs. Clifford had put in pale yellow marigolds and blue ageratum as a border in front of the taller plants.
Pete's parents asked questions about his parents, how they liked New Mexico, saying how surprised they were when the Coxes retired and moved away. The steaks, potato salad, and cole slaw were delicious, but Brody's favorite part of the meal was the shortcake served with local strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.
Brody and Pete cleared the table, carrying everything back into the kitchen. When Brody offered to do the dishes, Pete gave him a dirty look, but his mother said, "No, thank you anyway, Brody dear, but you boys must have a lot of catching up to do. It won't take me long to put away the leftovers and load the dishwasher."
"Well, thanks for a great meal, Mrs. C. Now, I'm wondering if Pete would like to see my apartment. It's not much, but I haven't been able to show it to anybody yet."
"Of course. You boys run along. As I said, I know you have a lot to talk about."
As they were getting into their cars, Brody said, "My apartment is nothing special, but I thought we might want some beer later, and we'll have some privacy there. Somehow I just didn't feel right about going up to your room with you."
"Yeah. I know what you mean. Though we spent a lot of time in each other's rooms when we were younger, didn't we?"
"Sure did. So, you gonna follow me over?"
"Right behind ya, dude!"
When they got to his place, Brody kicked off his sneaks. Pete took off his Birks. Brody noticed what nice feet his friend had. He wasn't a foot fetishist or anything, but he did admire the long toes with the little tuft of dark hair on each.
"How about a beer?" he asked his guest. The two hadn't been drinkers in high school. They'd been too young to drink legally, and they had just never hung around with the crowd that always managed to get beer or stronger stuff illegally.
"Yeah, sure. I acquired the taste in college. Apparently you learned to like it in the Marines?"
"Can't be a real Marine if you don't get drunk with your buddies once in a while."
He grabbed a couple of cans of Rolling Rock and handed one to Pete.
"C'mon, let's sit," he said, going into the living room. He sat on the sofa, gesturing Pete to his favorite recliner.
Pete sat, took a swallow of beer, and grinned at his friend. "Fuck, guy, I can't believe how good you look. It's great to see you."
"It's good to see you, too, bud," he said, lifting his beer in salute.
"So, you never complained in your emails about life in the service. I was surprised when you told me you were getting out. Mind telling me why?"
"You should be able to figure that one out. For one thing, I didn't fuckin' want to get killed in Iraq, and for another the Corps is no place for a gay guy."
Pete looked steadily at him for a moment and then said, "Yeah, I guess I should have figured that out. And that explains why you didn't want to talk about it in an email."
"Do you mind talking about it now?"
"Not with you."
Pete set his beer down and leaned forward. "I thought you liked the Marines."
"I liked a lot of things about the Marines. They whipped my ass into shape. I learned a lot about discipline, both external and self-imposed. I learned something about loyalty. I mean, you and I had a certain feeling for the other guys on our baseball team, but that was nothing like what you feel for your buddies in the Corps. I got into better shape even than I'd been in high school. I learned how much I was really capable of, mentally and physically."
"Okay, I get all that. But then why the change of heart?"
"Well, think about it. When I enlisted, the summer of 2001, right after we graduated, things looked pretty good. Then came 9/11 and fuckin' Bush went crazy. We should never have been in that war, as I think most people see now. I saw buddies get killed in Iraq. They're fuckin' dead! For what? So Dubya could say he has more balls than his old man? I mean, a Marine has to do what he's told, do or die. And I admit a lot of my buds would disagree with what I'm saying."
"Yeah, from what I've read, most service personnel think the peace protesters here at home are unpatriotic and are being disrespectful of the military."
Brody took a big swallow of his beer. "It's not disrespectful to say that my friends shouldn't be sacrificed in an unnecessary war."
"Brody, I'm with you. I'm just surprised to hear you saying all this."
"Well, not being able to say it for most of four years is one of the reasons I didn't re-up."
"And then there was the gay thing, too?"
"Mind telling me what that was like?"
"Pete, when did you come out?"
"I told my parents that summer after we graduated because I was tired of hiding it and wanted to be free to be myself in college."
"Uh huh. You know the military policy. `Don't ask, don't tell.' Well, in the Marines you sure as fuck don't tell. Or let on. Or act like. I had plenty of opportunity to fuck women. Off base. On weekends. And I did sometimes. I mean you gotta get your nut or your balls will give you grief, right?"
"So you did mess around with women?"
"That's what I just said, asshole," Brody said, grinning at his friend.
"Okay, dickhead, I just wanted to understand." The two were lapsing back into a habit of name calling they'd had throughout their high school friendship. "But did you ever get to be with men?"
"Twice a year, maybe. You can imagine how careful we'd have to be to do it where nobody would see us. Usually in a motel room a long way from the base. And never in Iraq. There were some guys who were messing around, but it just wasn't worth the risk."
"So, have you come out here at home?"
"No. I'm going to tell Bobby next week, if I can catch him long enough. And then I suppose I'll have to tell my folks. I'm gonna do it quietly and gradually."
"You'll feel a lot better about yourself when you do, Brode."
"Hey, there's something I need to tell you."
Pete had picked up his can. He drained it, crushed it, and set it back on the chairside table. "What's that?"
"You remember Sheila Henderson, used to be Sheila Brown?"
"Sure. You were bangin' her for a while senior year, right?"
"That's her. Well, now she's working at the shop, so I see a lot of her."
"How's she doing? I hear she's got a little girl now."
"Yep. The kid's name is Susie, and she's really cute. I've seen pictures of her."
"So, what do you have to tell me about Sheila?"
"She figured out about us while she and I were dating."
Pete grinned. "Busted, huh? Did she say what gave us away?"
"This is kind of embarrassing. She said that when we were fucking she didn't think my heart was in it, that something was `missing.' And she said she could tell by the way you and I looked at each other that we were a couple."
"No shit! She really said that?"
"Yeah, dumbfuck, that's what I just told ya, isn't it?"
Pete grinned. "Well, old Sheila must be quite a girl. Is that why she dumped you?"
"She never said, so I'm not sure. Besides, who said she dumped me? Maybe it was the other way around."
Brody went to the kitchen and brought them each another beer.
"So, was it?"
"Was it what?"
"The other way around? Who dumped who?"
"Oh, I don't remember. I was just using women as covers so people wouldn't catch on to us."
"Guess we weren't as clever as we thought we were."
"Apparently not. But Brode, like I said, Sheila must be a pretty decent woman if she knew all that and is still friendly with you today. Suppose she'd like to start up with you again?"
"No way. She says she's crazy about Jeremy, her husband, and I can tell she's really happy."
"Since you've got to work with her, you're lucky she's not the kind to carry a grudge."
"I guess I am." Brody took another swallow of his Rolling Rock.
The rest of the evening passed quickly and Brody and Peter continued to catch up, drinking as they did.
Brody got Pete talking about some of his university experiences. Since he was about to start his own university career, he was interested in what Pete could tell him about academics, classes, professors, college life in general.
With a little encouragement from his host, Pete also talked about the guys he'd had sex with. Brody envied him having been able to live with someone he liked, someone who was gay, someone he could fool around with. He said as much to Peter.
"Yeah, well, it's not all easy. As the old song says, `Breakin' Up is Hard to Do.' You get attached to some guy. He becomes an important part of your life, and then for whatever reason, he leaves you."
"Or you leave him?"
"True. Sometimes I was the one to break it off. And even that can be painful. After all, you like the guy enough to live with him, go to bed with him every night. So even if you decide the relationship's not going anywhere, you lose a part of yourself when you break up. I hurt for a long time after you left."
Brody hadn't been prepared for that last comment.
"It hurt when you left me, when you enlisted. You never told me you were going to do that. I moped around home all summer after that. It wasn't until I got to college that fall that things began to look brighter for me. And then I kept comparing every likely guy I met with you."
"Christ, Petey! I never meant to hurt you, man. You got accepted to a good school. I was pretty sure they'd never accept me. I felt like I was the one being left behind. Besides, at that time I still wasn't sure whether what you and I had was just something special between two guys who'd been best buds forever, or whether I was really gay. I thought being in the Marines would help me get that figured out. And it did."
Neither spoke for a few minutes. It was Brody who broke the silence. "Pete, I'm sorry. Jesus, I never felt about anybody before or since the way I felt about you. But like I said, I thought you were moving on and I didn't want to hold you back. I guess we should have talked, huh?"
"Yeah, I guess we should have."
Brody went to the kitchen and brought back a bag of pretzels. It had been a while since supper. When he came back into the living room, he tossed the bag to Pete.
"You remember Dave Cromer?"
Pete grinned. "Yeah, he was the dude who rode your ass so much sophomore year."
"I saw the son of a bitch my first day working in the shop. He hasn't changed. Still the same nasty bastard he always was."
"I never thought he was so bad."
"He didn't hassle you all the time."
Pete grabbed a handful of pretzels, which he ate one at a time. When they were all gone, he washed them down with a swallow of beer. "You know, maybe you should cut him some slack. I think he really liked you."
"He had a fuckin' strange way of showin' it," Brody said with some resentment, absent-mindedly scratching his balls.
Pete pushed the recliner's footrest up with the lever on the side. He wiggled his toes. Brody watched with interest.
"Brode, you had the reputation of being something of a fuck-up back then. You were a damn good baseball player, both out there in center field and at the plate. But the coaches thought you didn't push yourself. Like, for example, you were a great hitter, but you tended to lope around the bases instead of running full out. And, admit it, didn't your counselor tell you more than once that you had the aptitude to make much better grades than you were making?"
"Grades just didn't seem important at the time. Nothing seemed very important back then except having fun. Baseball was fun. I was good at it. I guess I didn't see any need to bust my ass at a game."
"Now that you've been in the Marines, do you think you'd say your attitude had changed?"
Brody thought about that for a moment. "Yeah. In the last four years I've learned something about life being real, being serious. And the Marines did tell me with my test scores I should go to OCS. But what does any of this have to do with Dave Cromer?"
Pete grinned. "Patience, my child. I'm getting to that. Cromer liked you. But it disgusted him to see you fuckin' around, not pushing yourself to do anything. He thought you could have been so much more if you'd worked at it. I know it's the Army that says you should be all that you can be, but that's what Dave wanted for you, I think."
Brody frowned. "How do you know all this?"
"Oh, he used to sound off in the locker room after practice. When you were there, he yelled at you. When you weren't he complained about you to the rest of us."
"It's impossible to satisfy the fucker. He as much as said the same thing to me the other day."
"Where did you see him?"
"He came into the shop to order some roses for his wife. Then I saw him later in the day when he was on a job. He seems to be working for his dad."
"Oh, yeah. He went to Colby State and got a degree in landscape architecture, so he's doing all the design work and supervising the planting and installations. His dad more or less takes care of the business end of things."
"I didn't know you and Cromer were so tight."
"We aren't. Not really. But summer after freshman year I worked for the Cromers. Dave was home and working for his dad, so we saw each other a lot. Then, later on, when I was home from school on vacations, I'd often meet up with Dave at Gridley's. He always asked what I'd heard from you."
"I always thought he just had it in for me for some reason and wondered what I'd done to deserve it. It's just hard to believe what you're telling me. I'm not doubting you or anything, but . . ."
"Well, like I said, maybe if you see him again you could try being nice to him. Maybe he'd be nice to you."
Brody changed the subject.
A while later Peter glanced at his watch. "Jeez, it's 11:30. You've got to go to work tomorrow, so I guess I'd better be going."
"You think you should be driving, man? I've lost count of how many beers we've had."
"Brode, are you asking me to stay?"
"Well, shit yeah, man. I'll sleep on the couch and you can have my bed."
"It's a double bed, isn't it?"
"I was hoping maybe you'd ask me to share it."
Brody looked at Peter through his long, blond eyelashes. "Just didn't want to put any pressure on you, Pete. Didn't know how you'd feel about that."
"I feel fine about it. Let's get naked."
"Do you think you should call your folks?"
"Oh, they'll be in bed by now. Besides, I told Mom I might not be home tonight."
"Pretty sure of yourself, weren't you, asshole?"
"I knew you'd be hot for me, fuckwad."
Brody let his friend use the bathroom first. By the time he too had peed, washed, and brushed his teeth, Pete was sitting naked on the side of the bed, running his hand lightly up and down his upright prick.
With his thin but well-defined body, the dark hair on his chest, his mustache and jawline beard, he looked like something Brody vaguely remembered from a high school English class. What was it? Oh, yeah, a satyr. Maybe that was it. Anyway, he was enough to make Brody groan.
"You okay, Brode?" Pete asked.
He chuckled. "Yeah, it's just you look better than ever."
"Nah, you're the one that's hot."
There was a moment of awkwardness when neither knew what to do. Then Peter stretched out on his side with his head near the foot of the bed. Brody knew what that meant, so he lay facing the other man, but orienting himself the other way, so they were in 69 position.
Whatever else had changed about his friend, his cock hadn't, and Brody loved having it in his mouth once more. But he didn't really like to sixty nine. He couldn't concentrate on what was happening to his own dick while he was doing his best to give the other guy pleasure. This was what Pete had wanted, though, so he used everything he'd learned in order to give his friend the best blowjob he could.
It had, however, been over a year since Brody had been touched sexually by another person. Not surprisingly, it wasn't long before he knew he was going to explode. Taking his mouth off Pete's cock, he said, "I'm gonna come, bud."
"Mmm hmm," was Pete's reaction. That was the green light, so in half a minute or less Brody stiffened, shuddered, and filled his friend's mouth with cum. The experience was so intense that he had to wait for it to pass before returning to Pete's cock. But then he applied himself to his pleasurable task with renewed intensity, soon eliciting similar results.
After he'd swallowed the familiar-tasting cum he'd coaxed from Pete's willing cock, he pulled his friend around so they were lying side by side, both heads near the headboard.
"I've missed you, peckerhead."
"Me, too." Pete chuckled. "Well, you know what I mean."
After they'd taken a few minutes to recover from the intensity of their nearly-simultaneous orgasms, Pete turned on his side and began to nuzzle and suckle Brody's nipples.
Brody gasped. "Oh, god, Pete. You're gonna get me all hot again!"
"Yeesss, that was the general idea. I want you hot enough to fuck me, dickbreath."
Brody grinned. "Never let it be said a Marine didn't do his duty."
"Aww! I hope it's more than a duty."
Brody reached in the drawer of the bedside table and got out lube and condoms.
"An unfortunate comment. Turn over!"
Brody pulled Pete's legs apart and then stretched out on his stomach between them, his own feet touching the bare floor at the end of the bed. He pulled the other man's cheeks apart, noticing that they were hairier than they'd been the last time he'd seen them from up close. He began to run the tip of his finger up and down the hairy trench, going from taint to tailbone and back. Or perineum to coccyx, as the pre-veterinary medicine major might have said.
Pete shuddered. "Ohh, jarhead, that's incredible!"
Brody put some lube on his finger and eased it very slowly into Pete's pucker. Pete practically squealed. "Oh, yeah, babe, play with my ass. That's so good!" He wiggled his bottom, trying to push it back against the invading finger.
Brody chuckled. "Hold up a minute, hot stuff. Let me get some more lube." Since Pete was liking it so much, he drew out the process of loosening him up.
Finally, after much writhing and groaning, Pete said, "Okay, okay. You're driving me crazy, big guy. Now just fuck me, please!"
After putting on a condom and using lots of lube, both on his cock and in his friend's ass, Brody turned him over and pushed his legs back. He put the tip of his cock against the winking pucker and pushed gently. It didn't take much effort to get the head inside.
Pete opened his eyes and grinned up at him.
"Never better. You're not hurting me. Go slow, but keep going!"
"Aye aye, sir!"
>From the ease with which his cock slipped into Pete's hot hole, he assumed Pete must have bottomed fairly often while in college. For a moment he felt a pang of jealousy at the thought, but then he became lost in the growing intensity of the coupling.
Because he'd just come, Brody was able to prolong the pleasure of the rut for about twenty minutes, during which both men moaned, grunted, and swore. Finally he came again, pumping so much cum into the rubber one would never have known this was his second ejaculation in less than an hour.
Pete hadn't come, so Brody offered to suck him off again, but Pete said that wasn't necessary. "Let's just clean up a little and then get some sleep."
Later Brody was lying there on his back, his arm under the sleeping Pete, whose head was resting on Brody's chest.
Brody was glad he'd had condoms and lube in the night stand. He hadn't really planned to have sex with Pete, but he was glad it had worked out that way. It had seemed so natural for the two of them to be together, almost as if no time had passed. Except that Pete didn't have the trouble accepting Brody's cock he did back in high school. And his ass did amazing things. He'd definitely learned some things in college. . . .
He woke up, gasping, his heart pounding. Drenched in sweat, he sat up, trying to breathe.
"Brode, what's wrong, man?" Pete was now wide awake, too.
Brody sat there taking deep breaths, which he'd learned would help him calm himself.
"Brody, talk to me! Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. I just had a bad dream, that's all. Sorry I woke you."
"That must have been some dream! Do you have them often?"
"I have it often. Always the same dream."
"Does it have anything to do with being in Iraq?"
"Yeah." Brody got out of bed. "Be right back, Petey. I need to get a drink." He went to the bathroom, filled a glass, drank it, and came back to bed.
"You want to tell me about it?" Pete asked.
"Not really. Would you think I was a wuss if I asked you to hold me?"
Instead of answering, Pete just held his arms out. Brody climbed in. He'd never done this with anyone before. He'd slept in the same bed with Pete after they'd had sex back in high school, and he'd done so with one or two of his sex partners in the Marines, but he'd never cuddled with a man. Right then, it was exactly what he needed. Pete knew him well enough not to ask any more questions, and Brody fell asleep in Pete's arms.
He woke up when the clock radio came on. Pete was lying with his back to Brody, apparently oblivious to the music. In the Marines Brody had learned to sleep whenever he was allowed and to wake up instantly when he heard reveille, the platoon leader, or whatever. Realizing he still had hours before he had to be at work, he turned over and spooned against Pete's back.
Enjoying the moment, he began to run the tips of his fingers through the hair on Pete's chest. It was hair Pete didn't have four years ago, the last time they'd had sex with each other. Brody liked it. He wished he had more hair on his own chest.
"Mmmm. What a great way to wake up." Pete tried to roll over onto his back but couldn't. Then Brody moved. "Oh, it's just you." His grin showed he was jerking Brody's chain. "How are you this morning, jarhead? You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay. But fuck! I'm gonna have to let my hair grow out. Everybody keeps calling me jarhead."
"Oh, maybe you'll always be a jarhead."
"That's right. You lead me on at night and put me down in the morning!"
"I resent that remark. I didn't lead you on. You inveigled me into staying here and then had your wicked way with me."
"'Inveigled'! What kind of word is that? You've gotten pretty fancy with your college degree and all!"
Pete began to lightly rub Brody's chest, moving from nipple to nipple. Brody purred.
"Tell me, big guy, did you ever let anybody top you while you were in the service?"
"Once or twice."
"How would you feel about me doing it?"
"You know where the stuff is. How do you want me?"
If you'd like to write me about this story, please don't use the email address at the end of chapter 1. Instead, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. --Tim