Mike and Danny: In Love
Note that these stories, including this one, are not an endorsement of unsafe sex. They take place many years before the appearance of AIDS and before it was standard practice to use condoms to reduce the risk of infection from sexually transmitted diseases. Remember always: that was then, this is now. Sex is precious, and so are life and health.
It hadn't been easy getting Danny on the phone. He got Danny's number from information, but after five calls there was still no answer, and he wasn't at his office on campus either. If Danny was at Mike's, Virgil couldn't remember Mike's last name, so there was no way to get that number. Then he'd tried calling his counselor, Barry.
"How've you been?" Barry wanted to know. "Still playing ball this summer?"
"Season's over, doc," Virgil said. He was back at home with his aunt again. It was still weeks before school started, and time was heavy on his hands.
Then Barry had told him, "I can't give out his number—school policy—but give me yours. I can call him and he can call you."
So Virgil did that and waited by the phone.
In less than fifteen minutes it rang, and there was his favorite teacher, sounding glad to be talking to him.
"Can I come see you?" Virgil said.
"Sure, you can."
"I can't remember how you get there," he said, and Danny gave him directions from off the interstate.
"I can be there tonight."
"There's kind of a party going on," Danny told him. "But you're welcome to come join us."
"I'll be there, sir."
He pulled off his clothes and quickly got showered and shaved, and when he was dressed again in a new pair of jeans and a dress shirt, he had to wait over an hour until his Aunt Doris and her boyfriend Dwight got back with the car. They'd gone to town for something and got sidetracked at a miniature golf course.
Then he hit the road.
"When will you be back?" his aunt had asked.
"Well, don't make me send the posse out after you."
"I won't," he said.
She'd said that to him so many times over the years as he was headed out the door, and no matter how long he was gone, no one had ever come after him.
"You have yourself a good time," she said as she handed him the car keys.
The hour and a half it took him to drive to Mike's farm gave him time to think about the summer. He'd had a not-bad season playing ball for a team in Des Moines. The home crowd had nearly filled the stands most game nights, and the team had traveled around the Midwest, ending up with more wins than losses.
He'd done his best to be an asset to the club, with a few good plays that got them out of some tight spots and won him some appreciation from the fans. His batting record was so-so but nothing for the books. When all was said and done, he'd enjoyed himself, and that was about as much as a college ball player could ask for. He'd never make the big leagues.
The team had been a bunch of good guys, and he had counted a couple of friends among them. The three of them had hung out together when they could, each of them staying with a local family and taking odd jobs during the day. The men who ran the Chamber of Commerce and were in the Elks and Kiwanis found them employment to keep them in pocket money, and Virgil and his two buddies had worked for a landscaping company.
One of them had a car, an old two-door Dodge, and when a few of the local girls started taking notice of them, there'd been an effort to triple-date to the movies. But after trying that once, Virgil had told his friends he needed to save his money, and squeezing four into the back seat of the car hadn't really worked out anyway.
"She was on your lap. What do you mean?" one of them had said.
But Virgil had not had as much fun as when it was just the three of them alone, and he had been embarrassed by his lack of interest in the girl. He'd seen the other two guys make the moves that guys were supposed to make—and they'd been pretty smooth, too—but his own gestures were clumsy and disappointing.
And you didn't need to be a genius to know why. He had been in love once—with his roommate—and knew what that was like, and more specifically, he'd had sex with another man—a cowboy named Kirk—and knew what that was like. A girl holding his hand in the movies or sitting on his lap or wanting a kiss now and then was nice but not what he most earnestly desired— either in his heart or in his shorts.
On those nights alone, when his buddies were out with the girls, he'd get to wishing he could see Danny. With Danny there wasn't any pressure to be what he wasn't. Danny understood.
They'd got to know each other better when Virgil came back to school after he'd worked that time on Don's ranch—though getting Danny alone to talk hadn't been easy. He shared his office with another teacher, who always seemed to be there, and in the student union or the cafeteria, he was usually with someone else.
Finally, Virgil got an idea. He asked Danny out on a date. He didn't call it that, but caught him after class one day and said, "What are you doing tonight, sir?" And the two of them agreed to meet at Dunkin Donuts.
It was where Danny had found him —broken-hearted and no place to go—the night before spring break. A lot had happened in those few weeks, and a lot had changed.
"I figured it out, sir" he said, when they sat down with their coffee, and he took a big bite out of the jelly donut he'd bought for himself, the strawberry filling running down his chin.
"This sex thing," he said quietly, wiping his face with a napkin and glancing around the room at the handful of customers.
"Oh." Danny set some library books on the table he'd been carrying. "So you did," he said, like he didn't quite believe him.
"I got preferences. I know that now."
"I wouldn't be too sure about anything I learned from Kirk, if that's what you're saying."
"Kirk's OK. Just not somebody I see getting attached to."
Danny frowned and nodded.
"I told him that," Virgil went on. "He knows."
"I know he knows," Danny said, like it was no big secret.
"He say something?"
"He didn't have to."
Virgil shook his head. "I think I know what I want, that's all."
"And what's that?"
Virgil studied his donut for a moment and then looked up at Danny. "Someone more like you, sir," he said.
Danny winced as he sipped his coffee, and Virgil couldn't tell if it was from the heat of the coffee or what Virgil had just said.
"I don't mean you, sir—well, I do mean you—but someone like you." And he tried to explain how he felt when he was with Danny, how he believed he could trust him, how much he admired him. "That night here when you listened to me and then took me home with you, you didn't have to do that. I know that came from the bottom of your heart."
"I'm usually not like that, Virgil. Most of the time, I pretty much look out for myself."
"That's what I mean. So do I. But you didn't."
And he kept talking until he was sure Danny understood him—that he didn't want to hog his attention, but he needed Danny to be just what he was. "A rock. Someone I can depend on," he said.
"I'm not sure I'd know how to do that."
"You do, sir. You do."
And from that night on to the end of the semester, Danny had not let him down. Not once.
It was dark when he got to the farm. There were lights on in the house, and he could see cars and trucks and a motorcycle nosed up to the yard fence.
Danny had come across the lawn to meet him when Virgil got out of his aunt's old Plymouth Duster, and it was good to see him again and hear his voice. He'd come to love Danny like he'd loved his cousin Reg, back in the day when they were growing up together in his aunt's house.
He hoped he'd get a hug from Danny, and he did. It was a quick, wet one, because Danny had been in the pool. And Danny, being the teacher, didn't want Virgil the student—or anyone else— getting any ideas about them being too close. Which didn't bother Virgil at all. Danny could hug him till the cows came home. He'd be a happy man.
There was Mike, standing naked on the porch by the stereo, taking care of the music. Virgil said hello as they walked by, and then he followed Danny out to the pool, where Danny introduced him to everybody else.
Afterwards he would say that he never took his eyes off Marty from the minute he saw him. He'd have argued that there was no such thing as love at first sight, but it was because it had never happened to him. Discovering Marty's face in the glow of the candlelight, his heart, Virgil swore, skipped a beat.
"We got food, we got beer, or you can jump straight into the water," Danny was saying, but Virgil didn't need to think twice. He started getting out of his clothes.
He didn't know the other men in the pool, and after Danny had told him their names, he couldn't remember any of them—just Marty's. As he was getting in beside him, someone handed him a cup of beer, which he sat on the edge of the deck and instantly forgot about.
At first his heart was racing so fast he could hardly think of what to say. He didn't want his eagerness to show —while underwater his dick was already stirring to life between his legs—but when he got a smile from Marty, he felt encouraged, and before long he was talking nonstop, practically telling him his life story. He couldn't help himself.
Marty, he finally discovered when he let him talk, was from a farm just down the road. He was a friend of Mike's—and, holy crow, he had beautiful eyes. Virgil felt himself swimming in them.
It had been so long since he'd really touched another man. He wanted with everything in him to reach over and put his hand on Marty's chest, and it took every bit of effort to keep from doing it. He wanted Marty to like him, and if he touched Marty and he didn't smile or touch him back, he knew his heart would be crushed.
And his heart mattered more to him, he realized, than his growing hard-on. Somehow, in the time it had taken to get naked and get wet, he had fallen in love—head over heels—and he didn't want Marty to get away.
"I like your mustache," Virgil said, the words sounding dumb as soon as he said them. He'd been wanting to grow one of his own, he explained, but his coaches had rules about players needing to look clean-cut. No facial hair.
"Closest I ever got to a mustache was kissing a man who had one," he laughed, and he remembered the feel of Kirk's mouth on his, the bristly whiskers brushing over his lips. Then he wished he hadn't said that either.
Marty was studying his upper lip and gave the opinion that a mustache would probably suit him. "You'd look good," he said.
"You think so?" Virgil said, heartened, and then wondered if Marty found him good looking at all. He suddenly wanted to know and knew there was no way to ask.
Then it occurred to him that Marty might have someone else he cared for—more than he could ever care for Virgil—and silently thinking this very thought. Virgil wanted to know. But how could he ask him this either?
From the look of it, the other men there were each with someone. They were all couples—at least for the evening—and it meant Marty must be alone. So he got up the nerve to ask.
"You here by yourself?" he said.
Marty looked at him, like he'd been expecting the question and had an answer ready. He was going to reveal that there was someone else, somewhere—or worse yet, that there was no one, but that Virgil wasn't exactly what he was looking for either. He'd find some tactful way to put it, trying not to hurt Virgil's feelings—all the time ripping his heart out.
But all he said was, yes. He was here by himself. No sign, no inkling, no hint of anything else.
He decided to try some other tactic, just talking to keep Marty there with him, in hopes that an opening of some kind would present itself. He reached up for the beer he'd forgotten about. "You know Mike for a long time?" he asked.
Marty's hand came out of the water and he absently tugged one ear. "No," he said and told a story about milking cows and a power failure. Virgil hadn't been able to follow it all because he was absorbed in the expressions that were crossing Marty's face, his eyebrows lifting for a moment, a half-smile appearing, a frown of concentration creasing his forehead.
His eyes—those beautiful eyes—would focus for a while on Virgil's face, and then he would glance down or across the pool. How Virgil wanted to just hold that look, because each time Marty's eyes shifted to something else, he felt him slipping away.
"Never milked a cow," he heard himself saying, "but I worked on a cattle ranch for a couple weeks this spring."
"Where?" Marty wanted to know, like he was interested.
"Out in the Sandhills."
"Yeah," Virgil said and had a memory of the slant of evening light as George, the Indian, gave him a riding lesson.
"I always wanted a horse," Marty said. "But my dad said we didn't need one."
"Great feeling," Virgil said, remembering, "a big animal like that between your legs."
"Just two weeks?" Marty said, still interested.
And Virgil felt a wave of something sweep through him, quickening his erection. "Made up my mind to go back to school. Play ball. Maybe even study," he laughed.
"I quit and didn't go back," Marty said, and a cloud crossed his face.
"How come?" For the first time, Virgil heard the sadness in Marty's voice, and he felt the desire to touch and hold him shift to something deeper. His heart had begun to ache.
Marty shook his head. "Fucked up," was all he would say.
Virgil puzzled over this, wondering what it could mean. There were so many different ways a guy could fuck up, and he was trying to match Marty up with one of them.
"What's keeping you from going back?" he said.
Marty shrugged and told him about a friend and plans to find work in Alaska. "Blew off school, you know," he said. But the other guy had backed out.
"So you lost a friend, too?" Virgil said.
Marty sighed. "Yeah."
"I know what that feels like."
Marty's eyes met his now. "You do?"
"Yeah, I do," Virgil said simply. He was thinking now of Brian, his old roommate, and how the world had come crashing down around him when he'd walked out of Virgil's life.
At some point two of the other men had got out of the pool, and now the other two were leaving. Before he pulled himself out of the water, one of them bent over and said softly in Virgil's ear, "Don't worry. He likes you."
Virgil became suddenly aware that the others had been watching and listening. He felt his face go hot and his heart started racing again.
Then, left alone in the pool with Marty, he was suddenly self-conscious. He realized the others had sized up the situation—rightly or wrongly—and were making themselves scarce so that matters could develop between the two of them in private.
This was all moving too fast—maybe not for him, but surely for Marty, who seemed troubled and distracted by something he wasn't telling Virgil. There was laughter now coming from the house, and he wondered if they were laughing at what they thought was now happening between them in the pool.
For his own part, he'd been trying to make something happen. And now that wasn't so important as just being the friend Marty obviously needed—the reason, he was sure now, for Marty's sadness.
They had talked and talked, and when the stereo had played through its stack of records, they realized the house had grown quiet. They got out of the pool and got dressed, turning away from each other as they pulled on their pants, Virgil's cock now shrunk to half-mast between his legs and his balls beginning to ache.
They walked into the house, where they found the kitchen empty. The others had gone to bed.
Marty stifled a yawn and looked up at the clock. It was almost three. "I should go home and get some sleep. I've gotta be up in three hours to milk those cows again."
But Virgil wasn't about to let him go. "Let's stay up all night. Watch the sunrise."
"I've seen that often enough."
"Every one's different."
Marty looked at him for a long moment, then smiled and said, "OK."
So they went back outside and started walking, out past Mike's barn and sheds into the starry night, along a dirt track that followed a fence line, with pasture on one side and corn tall as your head on the other.
After a ways, they were just walking, not talking, and Virgil put his arm across Marty's shoulders. The feel of their bodies touching now after so long just inches apart in the pool made Virgil's head swim. And the further they walked, Marty pressing closer against him, the more Virgil felt his heart sing.
"I like you, Marty," he said, finally risking it all, knowing that in the next moment his hopes could be flattened dead as road kill.
Marty said nothing for a while, like he was thinking hard. Then he stopped walking and turned to Virgil.
For Virgil, it felt like time had suddenly ceased, the night ready to swallow him whole—the world at the split second before the end of everything.
"I like you, too," Marty said and put his arms around him, giving him a long, strong hug. Then he pulled away and kept walking. "I've been wanting to say that."
"You have?" Virgil said, stumbling over his feet as he caught up with him.
"Yeah, I was about to say it back there in the kitchen, when I was gonna leave." He laughed a little. "Well, to be honest, before that." He laughed again. "I think it was just after you said hello."
There was no stopping the impulse. Virgil reached over to him and took his hand. And they walked along together hand-in-hand until they got to the last rows of the cornfield, and a field of alfalfa lay open beside them in the starlight.
Without a word, they walked out into the field and lay down side by side, looking up into the vast night sky. They were still holding hands.
"I have to tell you something," Marty said.
"I get a funny feeling whenever I do this by myself." And Marty explained how looking up into the night sky gave him a kind of vertigo—a sensation that he was just a speck, about to disappear into nothing. Then he squeezed Virgil's hand. "But it's not happening now when I'm with you."
Virgil felt his heart soar. If the sky had suddenly come alive with shooting stars, he could not have felt more filled with excitement.
He leaned up on one elbow. "How would you like it if I kissed you?" he said.
"Don't know if there's ever been a man I wanted to kiss me."
"Maybe you never met the right one."
He leaned down now and put his mouth to Marty's, feeling the tickle of his mustache and then his lips, hesitant at first and then opening softly to him. Then he pulled back.
"What do you think?"
Marty sighed. "I liked it."
"Here's another one," Virgil said and kissed him now longer and deeper, his hand stroking down the front of Marty's shirt to his belt buckle. Then he put his hand on the front of Marty's jeans, where in the moment before Marty stirred, he could feel his cock full and getting hard.
"Whoa," Marty said, pulling away. "Aren't you kinda rushing things?"
Virgil's own cock was leaking against his leg and had been ever since he'd pulled on his pants. His mouth was gluey with sex and his desire for Marty was almost making him dizzy.
"It's OK," he said, taking back his hand. But it was like trying to stop a car with no brakes. "I just like you so much, I want you to feel good."
Marty reached over to touch Virgil's arm. "I know," he said. "You already made me feel good."
"I mean real good. I wanna suck your cock."
Marty was still for a long time. "All right," he finally said. "But promise me something."
"Tomorrow we're still gonna be friends, OK?" Marty said. "Because if this is going to be my first time, I don't want a one night stand."
"What do you mean?" Virgil pleaded. "My heart's already breaking because I never want to leave your side."
He didn't wait to discuss it further—just bent down and kissed Marty again. And this time Marty let him open his jeans, helping first with his belt buckle and then letting Virgil push his hands away.
When Virgil pulled down his shorts, his cock flopped out, and Virgil stroked it a few times, pushing up Marty's shirt to rub his belly with his other hand. Then after licking the length of his erection, he put it wet and hard into his mouth, pressing down until it was against the back of his throat, his chin nestled into Marty's balls.
"Aw, wow," he could hear Marty saying over and over. "Aw, wow."
They missed the sunrise. The sun was already over the horizon when Virgil woke and found himself asleep in Mike's alfalfa field, Marty stretched out beside him. Their clothes were damp with morning dew.
Virgil lay with his jeans half-way to his knees, little alfalfa leaves pressed into his skin where cum and spit had pasted the hair on his thighs into neat whorls. They had sucked and masturbated each other and there was no telling what on his legs was whose.
He looked at Marty's sleeping face and felt—if this was possible—even more deeply in love with him. He had never fallen this hard for anyone. And the day that stretched ahead was full to the brim with possibilities. He was not going to let Marty out of his sight.
Marty's eyes blinked open and he jerked his arm up to peer at his wristwatch. "Aw, shit," he said. "I gotta get over to milk Tully's cows." He suddenly sat bolt upright and got to his feet, buckling his belt and zipping his fly.
"I'm comin' with you," Virgil said, and he stood, too, pulling up his jeans. He'd lost a sneaker and had to search through the alfalfa around them until he found it.
As he bent to get it onto his foot, Marty smacked him on the butt and said, "You better get your ass movin' then."
And they went back along the dirt lane that had brought them out to the hayfield, stopping for a minute to step into the first rows of corn they came to, to take a piss.
"Hurry up," Marty said when he was done.
"Hold your horses," Virgil said, still peeing.
"Ain't got time for that," Marty said and left him there.
Virgil had to run to catch up, stuffing his cock, still dribbling into his fly as he ran.
They jumped into Marty's truck and drove off, no sign of life around the house, where sensible men would still be sleeping soundly on this Sunday morning.
"You OK?" Marty said backing around and heading the truck out along Mike's driveway. Virgil was struggling with his fly and yowling. He'd caught some of his pubic hair in the teeth of the zipper. Then, as they got to the road and the truck picked up speed, Marty had started laughing.
Virgil punched him in the arm. "Shut the fuck up," he said and punched him again when Marty didn't stop.
When they got to Tully's, the cows were crowding around the barn door, waiting to be let in, and Marty jumped from the truck to get inside and start the milking. A man came from the house—Tully—a few minutes later. He was dressed for church.
"Alice says we're going to early mass to thank the Almighty for letting me live to see another day," he said, and he hung around just long enough to get corn meal dust on his suit pants as he threw down feed for the cows in their stalls.
Then he was gone, waving his hand to both of them as he went out the door, the sound of his wife impatiently honking the horn on the family car just audible over the rumbling noise of the milking machines.
Virgil watched as Marty wordlessly went about his job, strapping the milkers to one cow after another, carrying each one when it was full to the bulk tank cooler and emptying it, moving the cows in and out of the milking parlor, talking to them when they didn't do what he wanted.
Virgil had known where milk came from since he was a boy, but he'd never been right there at the source. The smell of it, rich and warm, filled the room along with the odor of cowshit tracked in from the corral. It amazed him.
Most of all, there was Marty, making it all happen and glancing over at him now and then with a smile, sometimes coming over to shout something in his ear.
Watching him as he worked, Virgil couldn't decide what he liked more about him: his handsome face, the movement of his shoulders in his shirt, or the way his jeans fit him snug across his butt when he bent over. Then he noticed Marty's hands as he patted the cows or rubbed their udders with a cleaning cloth. He had just melted under the touch of those hands in the dark the night before.
Afterwards, when Marty had cleaned up the milkers and the milking parlor, hosing it all down with a stream of water, they'd stepped again outside, the morning sun risen in the sky, the job done. And they got into the truck.
"I've been thinking," Virgil said when they got to Mike's place. "Why don't you go back and finish school?"
Marty looked over at him, surprised, then just shook his head. "School isn't for me."
"What else have you got to do?" Virgil said. They got out and were standing now by Virgil's car.
Marty shrugged. "I dunno yet."
Virgil opened the trunk, rummaged around in a gym bag and took out a baseball glove. He tossed it to Marty and got out another one for himself. A worn and scuffed baseball was pressed tight into the webbing.
And like they'd agreed to play catch, without saying so, they began tossing the ball back and forth, stepping away from each other, until they were far enough apart to throw hard if they wanted.
He started out easy, letting Marty set a rhythm, and Marty tossed the ball back to him.
He had a good arm. After three of four throws, they started arriving with a little sting.
Virgil threw one high and wide, and Marty caught it easy.
"You could move in with me," Virgil said. "I got a place of my own."
"You been out a year. They'd let you transfer credits. Start over."
Marty wasn't saying anything, just returning the ball.
"Does a man good," Virgil said. "That higher education."
Marty gave him what seemed like an impatient look.
A little more sting this time. "I'm serious," Virgil said and threw one over Marty's head.
He jumped for it and missed, then turned and chased the ball until it rolled under one of the cars. He had to get down on his hands and knees to reach for it, and watching him from behind, Virgil knew that it wasn't just Marty's butt that he loved. He loved every last part of him.
When Marty stood again, with the ball in one hand, he threw it hard, like an in-fielder going for a double-play.
"You're gonna keep this up, aren't you?" Marty said, his hands on his hips.
"Yeah, till you give in." And Virgil gave the ball a lazy toss that fell into Marty's glove, right in front of his belt buckle. "Give?" He was walking now across to him.
Marty's face broke into a reluctant smile, and he shook his head. "Why should I?"
"Because you don't have a good reason not to." Virgil was standing in front of him now. "And besides—" He put his free hand around Marty's neck and pulled the two of them together. "I love you like crazy, and I can't stand the thought of being without you."
He looked into Marty's eyes—oh, those beautiful eyes—and he kissed him, pressing him against the side of the car with his whole body. And wonder of wonders, Marty was kissing him back.
"Does this mean you will?" Virgil said, still holding him tight.
Marty laughed. "Kinda looks that way," he said and kissed him again.
At that point, Virgil could hear the sound of cheering and applause coming from somewhere, and when he looked over at the house he saw they had an audience. Mike and Danny were standing on the porch steps watching, and grinning as they clapped their hands. One of the othersRich he thoughtwas just behind them in the doorway, putting his fingers into his mouth to whistle.
Continued . . .
© 2007 Rock Lane Cooper
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