By Mickey S.
If you are under age, or live in an area where reading stories that include sex between males is illegal, or if you're not into this type of story, please leave. My thanks to Tim and Drew for all of their help. The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at NJMcMick@yahoo.com.
I was on the train home the next morning when Mom called.
"Why didn't you answer your phone last night? And why haven't you returned my call?"
"What are you talking about?"
"I called you last night around 11. I figured you'd be back in the city by then. When you didn't answer I thought maybe you were in the tunnel or on the subway so I left a message."
"Sorry, I didn't have my phone on me last night. And I didn't check for voice mail this morning."
"But I called you at the restaurant. You had your phone."
"I meant after that. Never mind, it's a long story." I wasn't about to tell her I'd spent the night at Johnny's and my phone was in his laundry room while he and I were sipping hot cocoa.
"So how did it go? Isn't he a doll?"
"It wasn't a date, Ma. And I knew how nice he was before last night. I just didn't know he was gay."
"So now that you know ... and have had a whole evening to just get to know him, what do you think?"
"You can drop the matchmaker routine, Mom. You got your revenge. The game is over."
"I'm not playing a game, Jack. Okay, it was fun setting you up, but I'm serious. You two would be great for each other."
"I'd say you can't be serious but you just said you are. The only other thing I can think to say would be more than a little offensive, so I'll just keep my mouth shut."
"Why won't you even consider the possibility? You're a lot like me and I'm crazy about him. And you like older guys. And he likes me, except that I'm a woman, and you're sort of a younger male version of me. So why shouldn't it work out?"
"I'm not going to talk to you as long as you're talking this nonsense."
What she was saying made sense on the surface, but two people are not interchangeable just because they are similar. And feelings can't be transferred from one redhead to another just like that. I was working up an argument I'd already refused to engage in when I realized Mom was still talking.
"Hello? Earth to Jack! Where'd you go?"
"Sorry, Mom, my mind wandered."
"Hmm. Anyway, can you come?"
"Dinner at Mom's on Sunday. Weren't you listening at all?"
"I told you, my mind wandered. So you mean it, dinner with you and Grandma? Both of you will be there? No Johnny?"
"Yes, no tricks this time. Just the three of us Martins. We haven't been together since the day I got here."
"And whose fault is that?"
"Yours, dear. Remember, you hooked me up with Johnny."
I sighed. "Never mind. What time is dinner on Sunday?"
"One o`clock, same as always."
"Okay, tell Grandma I'll be there. It'll be nice to see her, at least."
She was about to say something but I decided it was time to cut her off.
"Oops, gotta go. Tunnel coming up."
"Tunnel?" was all I heard as I flipped my phone shut, wishing I hadn`t said that.
Over the next couple of days I thought a lot about my evening with Johnny. It certainly wasn't a date, as Mom intended. It was more like two good friends just hanging out, enjoying each other's company. Except I couldn't really think of us as good friends, not yet anyway. We'd spent some time together over several months, but we were just starting to get to know each other. And, except for our connections through Mom and genealogy, there was no reason why we should become better friends. But I was beginning to see what Mom had seen in him all those years ago. There was something special about him, something sweet and gentle, something I couldn't quite put my finger on but which appealed to me very much.
Sunday I took the train back to Fanwood and arrived at Grandma's house around noon, just in time to be put to work setting the dining room table. I always enjoyed being with my two favorite ladies, although it didn't happen frequently. I'd been an infant when Mom left home so I had no memory of the years they didn't get along. By the time I was old enough to be aware of things like that, they'd made up, so our little reunions were always good ones.
While Mom got her looks from Grandma, she must have inherited her perky, upbeat, daring personality from her father. I could see bits of Mom's personality in Grandma, like her optimism about the future, but overall Grandma was much more prim and proper. She believed in following the rules, not bending or breaking them. In spite of that, she was quite tolerant. Mom assured me that that tolerance was a fairly recent change, probably brought on by Mom`s constant pushing the envelope.
We sat for dinner, Mom and Grandma at either end of the table and me on one side between them. Grandma said grace and we filled our plates with a standard, though delicious, dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans. I didn't get much home cooking and I loved Grandma's.
The topic of Johnny hadn't come up as we were getting ready for the meal, but once we started eating, Mom brought him up.
"So have you heard from Johnny since your date, Jack?"
"Once again, it wasn't a date. And I'm sure you've probably at least talked to him since then so you already know the answer is no." It had only been two days and I'd spent both of those evenings singing at Cay's, but the real reason I hadn't talked to Johnny was that neither of us had thought to exchange phone numbers.
"You're right, I had dinner with him last night. He said he enjoyed the evening with you very much. Why didn't you tell me you spent the night with him?"
"Spent the night?" Even after over fifty years, Mom could still shock Grandma so easily. "You spent the night with him on your first date, Jack?"
"I keep telling you both it wasn't a date," I said through clenched teeth, getting very frustrated. "And yes, I stayed at his house, Grandma, but it was because of the weather. And we didn't sleep in the same room."
"Yeah, I don't know what's up with that. Are you sure you're both gay?" Mom asked.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing, don't take offence. I just meant that you two like each other, you're attracted to each other, and you were thrown together by circumstances. So it would have been only natural ..."
"Whoa! Who said we're attracted to each other?"
"I know your type, Jack and Johnny fits it perfectly. And while he hasn't come right out and said so, I'm pretty sure he likes you."
"So now you're reading his mind? Aren't you the one who didn't even suspect he was gay?"
"Yeah, but neither did you. I can't believe neither of us suspected."
"I can't either. I assumed he was gay the first time you brought him to the house all those years ago."
Mom and I both turned to Grandma and stared at her in surprise.
"You did? I thought when I came out to you that was the first time you'd ever even heard of homosexuality." Grandma was always so proper I couldn't imagine her thinking about anything to do with sex.
"Just because I don't talk about sex the way you young people do doesn't mean I don't know what's going on in the world."
"But Grandma, what made you think Johnny was gay, especially back then?"
"He reminded me of Montgomery Clift, the actor. Not so much in looks, although Johnny was a cute boy. But there was something fragile about him, and he seemed a little afraid, maybe of himself, like he was struggling with something inside. When I saw how much he liked you but then it didn't go beyond friendship, that made me realize what it was. You two reminded me of Monty and Liz Taylor. Close, but more like buddies."
"I'm flattered that you're comparing me with Elizabeth Taylor, Mom."
"I'm not talking about looks. You're cute, dear, but you're no Liz."
Mom scowled and shifted the subject back to Johnny.
"I never really thought of the word fragile in connection with Johnny, but I know what you mean. When I've thought of him over the years, I wondered how his sweetness had held up when confronted by the big bad world. He was so idealistic in college I was afraid the real world would crush him. I couldn't bear to think of him disillusioned."
"I don't think he's disillusioned, Mom. From what I've seen, he's still sweet, still idealistic, but he's realistic, too. Under that fragile surface he's got a pretty strong core."
"It sounds to me like you care for him, Jack."
"I do, Grandma. I like him a lot. But as far as dating, don't you think we're too far apart in age?"
I was surprised to realize that, aside from the difference in our ages, I was a little interested in Johnny in a romantic way. If he was just a few years younger, or I were a few years older, or at least if he weren't exactly Mom's age, I wouldn't mind dating him.
"Well, usually I think it's a good idea for two people to be around the same age for a relationship to work. After all, you do have to relate. But while being the in the same age range helps, it's not everything."
"That's right, Jack. Age is sometimes just a number. If the two of you like each other, get along and can relate, as Grandma says, don't let a number get in your way. And don't let my teasing and the fact that I set you two up make you reject the whole concept out of hand."
All of a sudden I felt like I was being tag-teamed by my two favorite women. This idea of me dating Johnny, seriously, was something I'd have to think over. I sure wasn't going to figure out my feelings while Mom and Grandma were yapping at me.
"Okay, I'll give it some thought. But don't try to pressure me. This is something I have to work out on my own."
"I wouldn't dream of pressuring you, dear. Giving it some serious thought is all I want. But keep this in mind. You've gone out with a number of schmucks in your short life. Johnny's one of the good guys. You could do a lot worse." And with that, Mom, true to her word, changed the subject.
Over the next several days I spent a lot of time thinking of Johnny in a new way, not as a friend, or a friend of Mom's, but as a potential boyfriend. The more I thought about him that way, the more the idea appealed to me. He was, as Mom had said, one of the good guys. And there had been something appealing about him right from the start. He wasn't hot - I don't know if anyone his age could be described in that way - but he was attractive.
I considered making a trip to library, or even just calling him there, during the week but wanted to be sure of my feelings before making the next move toward him. And there was also the possibility that Mom had misread his interest in me. After all, in his one serious relationship, his partner had been much older, not younger. Yes, Johnny had mentioned that he preferred younger guys, but his history did bear that out. By the end of the week, I was sure I wanted to pursue more of a relationship with him so the first thing I had to do was find out if he felt the same way. I considered calling Mom to get his number but two things caused me to hold back. First, her probably gloating over guessing right about me. Also, I was busy at the bistro Friday and Saturday nights so I wouldn't be able see him until afterwards anyway. So I decided to wait until Tuesday and go see him at the library.
One of the things that kept nagging at the back of my mind as I was thinking about Johnny during the week was that I was making it a rational decision. After all, shouldn't romantic relationship be more about feelings than logic? I knew both reason and emotions should play a part, but it worried me that I was being too sensible about it.
All of those worries flew from my mind when Johnny walked into Cay's about halfway through my first set Friday evening. My heart started pounding, my chest tightened, my throat swelled up so I couldn't sing and my hands wouldn't function on the guitar. I had to stop mid-song and take a deep breath to calm down. My audience, which was usually more concerned with their food and their own conversations that with my music, stopped what they were doing and stared at me. Johnny's eyes met mine, he smiled and I melted. It was as if I were seeing a whole new person. Tracie started toward me, a concerned look on her face. I snapped back to reality, mumbled an apology to the room for the interruption and started the song over again. Tracie seated Johnny at a table at the back of the room and I went through the rest of my set on autopilot.
As soon as I finished the last song I rushed over to Johnny's table.
"What are you doing here tonight? Why didn't you call and let me know?"
"I hope you don't mind my dropping in this way. I was thinking about you this week and realized I didn't have a chance to really listen to you sing the night you arranged for your mother to meet me here. So I thought I'd come back for the show this time."
"Are you sure Mom didn't suggest it?"
He grinned and for a moment looked far younger than his years.
"Our very own red-haired Dolly Levi. Well, she did put in another plug or two for you when we went out the other night, but coming here was my idea."
"Has she been pressuring you about `giving me a chance?'"
"Not pressure really. She just said I should keep an open mind, for me, not for her."
"Almost word for word what she said to me. How about we just forget all about her?"
"Fine with me. I really enjoyed our dinner together and then our talk at the house afterward, and I don't think she came in the conversation once, at least once we got past her phone call telling us she was setting us up."
"I enjoyed the evening, too."
The waitress brought his dinner just then so I ordered a hot spiced cider to sip while he ate. We talked about some of the songs I had sung and that got him reminiscing about the seventies. I had liked him back when I knew so little about him and now he that he was opening up to me I liked him even more. I was so wrapped up in our conversation that it took Tracie standing next to the table, not too subtly tapping her toe and clearing her throat to remind me I had to get back up on stage for my next set.
Johnny and I continued our conversation between sets and after I had finished for the night. Closing time snuck up on us and neither of us was ready to call it a night as we left.
"Which direction are you parked?" I asked as we stood on the sidewalk.
"A few blocks south of here."
"I'm going that way, too. If you're not in a hurry to get home, how about stopping by my place for something to drink?"
"I'm in no rush. Let`s do it."
It didn't take me as long to give him a tour of my place as it had taken him the week before. You could see everything from the door - the kitchen along one wall, the large room half-filled with the electronic equipment that was my business, two chairs, a TV, a bookcase and the bed half-hidden in a shallow alcove at the far end of the room. It was a large room - I'd seen some three-room apartments in the Village that took up less space - but it was still just one room.
"How about some hot chocolate? I enjoyed it so much at your place I went out and bought some as soon as I got home."
I nuked two mugs of milk in the microwave, added the cocoa and we sat in the two chairs and resumed our conversation.
"So what do you think, Jack?"
"Think? About what?"
"About you and me. Us. Should we maybe go out on a date and see what happens?"
"I hate that word. I've never really been good at dates. They always seem more like job interviews than pleasure."
"I know what you mean. I haven't dated in nearly thirty years but it was a form of torture for me back then. But isn't dating sort of what we've been doing? We've had several lunches together, the day at the Archives, dinner at Snuffy's, tonight. Not that we intended them to be dates, but taken out of context that's what those could be considered."
I hadn't really thought of any of the times we'd been together as dates. As Johnny said, out of context they looked like dates, but that wasn't my intent or his, so they weren't really.
"Well, neither of us thought of them as dates but at least if we went on an official date now we wouldn't have all of the awkwardness and nervousness of a first date." I thought for a moment. "Do you have any plans for tomorrow?"
"Just my usual weekend chores, some errands and a few things to do around the house. Nothing I can't postpone. What do you have in mind?"
"I thought maybe you could stay over and we could spend the day here in the city. I can't offer you your own room, or even your own bed, but I can return your promise of no hanky-panky, at least tonight. After all, it wouldn`t be proper to fool around before our first date."
"I've never been overly concerned about being proper but I think you're right about waiting for the hanky-panky, if we ever do get to that point."
Though I hadn't been thinking of Johnny in that way I kept stealing glances of him as we self-consciously stripped down to our underwear to get ready for bed. He was in good shape for his age, for any age for that matter, and I had the feeling that I would like it if and when the time came for `fooling around.'"
We were good that night, though. We went to sleep on our sides, back to back, in my double bed. It was a little different when we awoke. I was still on my side but he had turned around during the night and was pressed up behind me, spooning me with an arm draped over me. It had been a long time since I'd cuddled in bed with anyone and it felt so right. But again, we were good. We lay there for a while, both awake, but aside from a little nibbling on my neck and ear, Johnny didn't try anything, although when we got up we both had very obvious bulges in our boxers.
Mother Nature cooperated and gave us a beautiful fall day. We started by going down to Battery Park and taking a ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. I'd been to Liberty Island before but never to the immigration museum on Ellis. Johnny had been there many times in connection with his genealogy studies so he was able to show me around. After lunch downtown we took the subway up to Central Park, strolled around and toured the zoo. The day just flew by and before I knew it it was time to head back to the Village to get ready for work.
"Would you mind if I came to the show again tonight, Jack?" he asked as we left the park. "I've had such a good day I don't want it to end."
"I wouldn't mind at all, though I'll have to go through my repertoire and pull out a few new songs. I wouldn't want to bore you with the same show as last night."
"I don't think you could ever bore me." He pulled me toward him and kissed me, lightly on the lips at first, then harder, working my lips apart and slipping his tongue into my mouth. We were both breathless by the time we separated.
"Keep that up and neither one of us will have to worry about being bored."
That night I included more romantic songs in my act. It wasn't a calculated move, just my mood. Now that I'd dropped my reluctance to think of Johnny romantically, I saw him in a whole different light. He wasn't just Mom's friend anymore. He was an interesting, sweet, attractive man. After my last set, I invited him to spend the night at my place again.
"But I can't promise no hanky-panky this time."
"I wouldn't have it any other way. I think we're both ready to move on to the next step."
We didn't waste any time moving on to that step once we were back in my apartment. We practically tore each other's clothes off, not stopping at underwear like the night before. Once naked we embraced, kissing deeply and rubbing our bodies together. Finally he pulled me down onto the bed and we continued, not just kissing but orally pleasuring all parts of each other's bodies. I finally reached the point where I couldn't take any more.
"Didn't you once say something about being a top?" I asked, lifting my eyebrows.
"I believe I might have mentioned that," he responded with a smile.
"Then how about proving it?"
And he did. After digging a condom and some lube from the drawer in the nightstand, I prepared us, then slowly, very slowly, he entered me. He made slow, passionate love to me for quite a while, then gradually picked up speed and force until he finished by pounding me hard. I was near exploding when I saw the signs that he was reaching that point also, so I stroked myself in time with his thrusts and we managed to come close to simultaneous orgasms. He collapsed on top of me and we lay there for a while, panting, trying to catch our breath.
"Not bad for an old man."
"Not bad for a youngster.," he returned with a grin as he rolled off me.
"It's been a long time for me, but that was even better than I remember it. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me."
"It was fantastic. Any better and it might have killed me." He cleaned us up a bit then snuggled with me. "I'd say our first official date has been a resounding success. Do you agree?"
"Absolutely! Over twenty four hours of great fun, great conversation and even better sex. I can't imagine what we were thinking the past four months, not doing this sooner."
"Neither can I. But that just means we have a lot of time to make up for."
"Does that mean you're up for seconds?"
"Not quite yet. I may have to take a few minutes to re-charge my batteries."
"It'll take me at least that long. How about we wait until morning? We should both be fully re-charged by then."
"Whenever you're ready, youngster."