No Advantage
Chapter XVI

Walking into the pool house Rob and I tossed our shorts into the washer and returned the lube bottle to it's hideaway; fortunately, there was enough moonlight so we could see to retrieve those things in the dark, but we had a dickens of a time finding the top to the lube bottle. We were both rather musky smelling due in large part to our earlier bath in the creek water in the waterfall and reflecting pool, so I suggested we get back in the whirlpool for a bit while I grabbed a bottle of shampoo.

Like the Gazebo, the pool also has lights, but includes everything from subtle, indirect lighting to glaring floodlights. I switched on those lights appropriate for a couple exploring the beauties of romantic love and then Rob and I got into the whirlpool.

Opening the shampoo bottle I told Rob, "Watch this, it's cool," and let a few drops of shampoo fall into the water and get sucked into the water intake opening. Within an instant, thousand of soap bubbles began shooting out of all of the water jets, quickly transforming the whirlpool into a huge bubble bath.

"What is that stuff?" asked Rob in amazement.

"Just plain, generic shampoo. Shampoo is a detergent, not a soap; when it hits the pump motor it goes berserk."

"What's the difference between soap and detergent?" asked Rob.

"I dunno for sure. Something about soap being made out of animal fat but detergent isn't, I think."

"I can't believe those few lousy drops made all this," Rob said as he ran his hand around in the growing mass of bubbles.

"That's all it takes. I found that out the hard way. A few summers ago after I'd spent the afternoon digging a new flowerbed for Mom, I decided to get in here to relax. I was pretty dirty and sweaty so I figured I'd just take a bath; I knew the soap and dirt would just skim off the water and get trapped in the filter, and it did. So I go to shampoo my hair, working up a real lather, dunking my head under to rinse it off, then shampooed it again to get it good and clean. Had my eyes closed the whole time. When I opened them there was a mound of bubbles you wouldn't believe. Spilled all into the pool and went everywhere."

"What did your Dad say?"

"Not a lot. He called me 'Bubbles' for a few days, but he wasn't mad or anything. It was an honest mistake. He thought it was really cool and tried it himself, just to watch. Except he dumped the shampoo into the pool itself. After it got sucked into the circulation system, the same thing happened. The whole damned pool was covered in a couple of feet of bubbles. We also found out it did a really good job of getting the pool clean. After experimenting a little bit, we found that using plain old Mr. Bubble, the kind you use for kids in the tub, works the best."

"You use bubble bath to clean your pool?" Rob was using his "Clayton, are you on dope?" tone of voice.

"Sure, every week, it works great! Screws up the ph level of the water or something like that though; the dirtier the pool is, the more chlorine you gotta dump in. But those few drops I put in aren't enough to do anything, other than get you clean. Just keep dunking yourself around in the water and in just a little bit, you'll be clean all over. It's sorta like running yourself through a dishwasher."

"Clayton, do you and your family do anything like regular people do?"

"Of course we do," I replied. "It's just that we don't follow along blindly without thinking. We always try to ask 'Why? Why am I doing this? Why is it done this way? What is the reason behind this?' See, if you understand the reason behind something, you have a better understanding and can get a better result. Just like all that discussion we had about boyfriends, lovers, husbands and mates. That's gonna make our sex together even better now that we're getting a better understanding of what's going on in our heads when we have sex and are able to share it with one another."

"You're probably right. In fact, I know you are. Most people would think we were nuts, being like some type of college professors, analyzing why we enjoy sucking dick and fucking, trying to sort out all the psychological and emotional implications. Everyone else I know just goes 'I do it 'cause it feels good.' Guess this kinda proves the old saying about the most important sex organ you have is your brain."

Thinking over what Rob had just said, the "oh, shit" feeling came over me, so I said, "Oh, shit."

"What's wrong?"

"I just remembered something. When we were lying in the grass, I went into husband mode and got this overpowering urge to be nurtured and I started instinctively sucking your nipples. As I got into it, really into it, I decided to just let go, not worrying why I was sucking or what you might think. I started feeling like an animal, and that's when I went into mate mode and felt the need to be power fucked by you. I'm wondering if this ties in with something Mama and Daddy told me about several years ago."

"What's that?" I could tell from his tone of voice that Rob was genuinely interested in what I had to say.

"When I was little, I had to be bottle fed because I was adopted; Mom couldn't breast feed me. When Mom and Dad brought me home, Dad was still building my wing. It was summertime and it was hot, so Dad had his shirt off; he didn't have the air conditioning unit hooked up yet. He comes in to have some supper with Mom and while they were eating, Dad held me and gave me my bottle. I guess I wasn't hungry because I didn't want much, so Dad set the bottle down on the table. I then started sucking his nipple; he still had his shirt off. Dad thinks I'm hungry for some more formula so he sticks the bottle back in my mouth, but I won't drink any of it. He sets the bottle down and I go back to sucking on his nipple. This keeps going on, back and forth. Now this is pretty personal, but you know what?"


"Dad recognized that I was sucking his nipple because I wanted something more than just to be fed. He believed that I was trying to satisfy some need in me other than just hunger. He talks it over with Mom and after that, my parents started letting me suck their nipples after they fed me until I went to sleep, Mom and Dad both, whoever fed me. If I started crying and just holding and rocking me wouldn't quiet me down, they'd do the same, both of them. The only time they used a pacifier on me was when other people were around or it was inconvenient for some reason. It was probably a little weird, like so many things my parents do, but they did it thinking it would help me build an emotional bond with them. As Dad put it, if I wanted to suck tit just to be sucking tit, why not? I was a little, tiny baby who wanted to be loved and my parents allowed it to happen. I was only a week or two old, so there wasn't anything sexual about what I was doing. I was satisfying the instinctive urge to be emotionally nurtured by my parents in the only way I knew how."

Rob said, "Clayton, your parents are weird, but they're a good kinda weird. Your dad really does have an open mind. I think what we're calling nurturing is what a lot of people think of as mothering. Hell, an infant doesn't have any concept of sex. Kid sees a nipple and goes for it, both for food and the nurturing. Course he won't get fed by the father so only the mother gets in on the act. Fathers are just as capable of mothering or nurturing a kid, but society kinda frowns on that. Well, so fucking what? Maybe that explains why men have nipples, so they can provide the nurturing little bitty kids need along with the mother. How long did your parents do that for?"

"They said it wasn't all that long, just while I was bottle feeding. I don't even remember it. The other thing they told me was that by the time I was done bottle feeding, I didn't need a pacifier any more either. Mom told me the pediatrician found it interesting that I had stopped using a pacifier as early as I did. I've heard stuff about how not breast feeding a kid will potentially fuck them up somehow later in life. I wonder if that might be part of the reason I get along so well with my parents, both of them. I think I'm the only kid in the world who never got in a fight with either of his parents."

"Well," commented Rob, "I do know last night after that power fuck you gave me, I felt like a little kid who wanted your protection like a parent or something, and I just started sucking chest. It wasn't sexual or anything, I just wanted to do it."

Rob and I had our arms around the other and just relaxed together, thinking about this stuff. After a little bit Rob asked, "Hey, wanna try a little experiment?"

"What's that?"

"I wanna suck your nipples and see what happens. You know, try to forget all the stuff about how queer that is or that I'm somehow using you as a mother substitute or some other shit. Just let loose and go for it. Wanna try?"


Rob and I moved around to a shallower portion of the whirlpool where we were only waist deep in the water. Cuddling up next to me, Rob began licking and sucking my right nipple as I cradled his head in my arms and hands. I knew he was in boyfriend mode when he stopped, looked at me and said, "You know, it is enjoyable and kind of fun just to suck, sorta like why you chew gum," then switched to my left nipple for a taste.

As Rob continued I remained silent, just watching him and listening to what he was telling me. "This is fun." "I like it." "I really like it." During one long suck I could feel a change begin to come over Rob as the character of his mouth action changed; I actually felt Rob going from boyfriend into lover mode. And it wasn't just what he was doing with his mouth; his entire body relaxed and he began to caress me gently with his hands. I began to experience a different sensation, realizing the mental transformation Rob was going through. His breathing changed, becoming stronger as he began to muffle out yummy "mmmmm" noises as he sucked. I knew I was right about the change in Rob when he stopped his sucking long enough to mutter, "God, how I love you, Clayton."

Knowing and appreciating that Rob was in lover mode, I found myself getting an erection, and could feel Rob was getting one as well. This was wild. Rob's mouth was not producing the type of physical, sexual stimulation that sucking on my dick would, but it was producing the mental desire for me to be Rob's lover and I could feel myself going from boyfriend to lover mode as I clutched Rob closer to me, encouraging him to continue. Yes, Rob was engaged in physical activity, but he was also making love to my mind. Soon I could feel that tears were beginning to leak from Rob's eyes. This was incredible, absolutely incredible. Rob was actually making love to me and I was really enjoying it.

While the intensity of his sucking and licking increased, his quick, muttered statements of his love for me changed to expressions of his need for me as Rob entered husband mode and furiously sucked my nipples, alternating from one to another while his caresses turned into gentle grabbing and his hugs became stronger. His cries changed back to soft whimpers, then increased to moans as he fluctuated back and forth between husband and lover mode. I was astounded. We were right. There was something to this.

Rob's sucking continued unabated as he began to spend more time in husband mode than lover mode. After a long, wet suck in husband mode he looked at me and in a pleading cry begged me, "Clayton, please, I need you," then began to furiously grab me, pulling into me into him while he frantically sucked. He suddenly stood up in the water and pulled me upwards to sit on the edge of the whirlpool and began sucking my dick. The actions of his mouth were not, however, typical fellatio motions. Instead of keeping his lips closed around my cock as his head moved up and down, he was holding his mouth wide open as he went down, then closed his lips and flattened his tongue against my erection as he quickly pulled his head upwards. Rob had gone into mate mode and rather than suck in a standard method of fellatio intended to produce a climax, he was demonstrating his supplication to his dominant male by slurping on my cock, making no attempt to contain the saliva that drooled from his mouth down onto my balls which he would lick and nuzzle between slurps on my dick.

A sudden urge washed over me as I felt myself go from husband mode into mate. I grabbed Rob's head with both hands to keep it motionless and closed his mouth around my dick, then began to fuck his mouth with the same degree of fervor with which he had fucked my ass earlier in the Woods. Now realizing fully why I was doing this created a raging desire to demonstrate my dominance of my mate. As my mind began accepting what I now understood to be Rob's supplication and surrender to me, I felt an orgasm begin. I placed my thumbs above Rob's eyebrows and pushed upwards, indicating that I wanted him to look at me. Staring into his eyes, a wild smile on my face, rapidly massaging his head with my fingers, I felt the animal in me erupt into Rob's mouth with each ejaculation of my semen as the emotions of being Rob's boyfriend, lover, husband and mate all combined in spectacular fashion in my mind to create the mental rush of sexual climax.

After my orgasm had ended, his mouth still filled with my sperm, Rob rose and gave me a long, open-mouthed kiss as we sucked my semen and our saliva back and forth from his mouth to mine, allowing the thick, wet, musky mixture to dribble out down our faces and drip upon our bodies. Inhaling the smell of this combination of our excretions triggered the memory of another, similar odor: the natural scent of our bodies bathed in creek water that had wafted through the air earlier as we had sat in the Gazebo playing our game of Jogger and Hill Boy. As the rush of my climax faded, I felt the combined emotions of boyfriend, lover, husband and mate separate and hit me individually in rapid, repeated succession like a burst of machine gun bullets, slowing and then concluding, leaving me quiet and content.

Looking at me, a huge, boyfriend smile on his face Rob exclaimed, "Clayton! That was fantastic!"

Not knowing what to say to one another, we retreated back to our seats in the deeper water of the whirlpool. After dunking our heads underwater several times to completely wash ourselves I told Rob, "I don't know if this boyfriend lover husband mate stuff is real or just wishful thinking, but if that is what our sex and orgasms are going to be like from now on, we're both in trouble. We're gonna wear our clothes out taking them on and off to do that."

"I know," replied Rob with a tone of amazement in his voice. "I always thought our sex was great, but that was unbelievable. I could actually feel the changes in me, going from one mode to another, bouncing around. And when you shot off in my mouth, I thought I could feel everything goin g on in your mind." Standing up in the water he continued, "Look at that, raging hard on two minutes ago and now as limp as if I'd just cum myself."

Sitting back down in the water Rob uttered, "Damn. We forgot to bring any cigarettes with us. I really want one right now."

Standing up and scurrying out of the water I told him, "Hang on, I'll be right back with some," then ran to my bedroom, grabbed a pack of Marlboros, lighter and ashtray and dashed back. I lit a cigarette for Rob, one for me, reset the timers on the whirlpool so it would continue running for another half-hour, then slid back into the water next to Rob.

"Clayton, the more I think about this boyfriend lover husband mate thing, I think there really is something there."

"How's that?"

"It was like you were saying earlier, knowing why something works makes it better, or something like that."

"I know what you mean, go on."

"I already know it's going to make sex better for me and probably you too. Remember how earlier at the Gazebo when we were playing Jogger and started talking about the guilt we had when we began to recognize we were queer?"


"Did it make you feel better afterward to kinda relive all that and talk about it?"

I knew exactly what Rob was talking about and told him, "Yeah, it did. I felt like I was sorta in a therapy session remembering all that, and as I talked about it, I felt like I still had lingering guilt about wanting to have sex with a guy, but as we talked, it, well, like, evaporated or something. I really did feel relief. You think maybe that's why we didn't have sex? Like the mental relief was just as satisfying as the physical relief of an orgasm?"

"Could be. In fact, you're probably right. Clayton, we've always wanted to be honest with one another, but there's something I never discussed with you. There's been times when we've had sex that I've felt a little bit of guilt; not a lot, but a little, like I felt I was using you. The only time I felt it was right after I would cum, and I'd think 'jeez, I just used your ass or your mouth instead of my hand to jack off with.'"

"Uhhh, Rob, you weren't the only one who felt that, sometimes I've felt the same way. And there have been other times I felt a little guilty about initiating sex with you, thinking you might not be in the mood and would think I was just using you for my physical pleasure and didn't care about you as a person. But just a little bit ago, I didn't feel guilty at all, fucking your mouth to get a nut to satisfy the mating desire. Mouth fucking you like that wasn't being friends, lovers or husbands. I did want to use you, and I did, but I don't feel bad about that."

"That's how I felt!" exclaimed Rob. "Well, not like I was using you. I wanted to be used by you. Like we were talking earlier, I wanted to surrender and let you be my dominant male. Before, there were times when you'd be fucking me that I wanted to tell you to fuck me like your whore bitch, but I didn't say it out loud because I was afraid it would sound like some cheap, made-up line out of a porno movie. Oh, god."

"What is it?" I could tell from the tone of his voice some major revelation had come to Rob.

"I just realized why I never enjoyed the sex when I was hustling. Those guys were not my friends, let alone my lover or husband, and there was no way I would mentally surrender to them. As your mate, I want to be your whore so you can get a nut, using my body instead of your hand. I know it's safe for me to surrender to you and let you use me. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I am your whore and that I enjoy it because I also know I'm your husband, lover and boyfriend."

As I pondered over what Rob had said, I realized that I too had wanted to be his whore in the Woods earlier, and then something else dawned on me, "That explains why Chance is the way he is" (Chance is one of our gay friends I met through Rob).

"Whaddya mean?" Rob was clearly interested in what I had to say.

"Okay, you know how Chance always says he won't get fucked, never has and never will?"

"Sure, sometimes I just wanna slap him and tell him he has no idea what he's missing."

"Well, he's not missing anything, for Chance that is. Okay, Chance ain't a bad guy, but you gotta admit he's an arrogant little shit, you know, the phrases 'please,' 'I'm sorry,' 'I was wrong' aren't in his working vocabulary. Well, Chance won't surrender to anybody over anything; when you do get him pinned down and has to admit he is wrong about anything, he gets all pissed and storms away. Well, getting fucked is a form of surrender. Hell, I remember feeling kinda embarrassed the first time I asked you to fuck me, like I had just lost a football game or something and was being a good sport or something; I was surrendering to you. Chance, being the control freak he is, has no choice but to engage in dominant activity where the other person surrenders to him and lets him fuck 'em. Remember how he kept bragging about that twink he fucked in the park? Going on about how he kept begging Chance for more? Well, that kid had surrendered to Chance and he loved the domination aspect. But Chance can't be submissive and take a dick in the butt because he'd be surrendering."

"God," sighed Rob, "that's also why the fags act the way they do. They're always bottoms, never a top. When they're out cruising, maybe they're acting nelly to let guys know they'll surrender to them so they'll get a dick stuck in 'em. Maybe they're signaling what they want sexually to fulfill the emotional need."

While I was considering what Rob had just said, my concentration was broken by Rob breaking out into laughter and slapping me on the back exclaiming, "Ducks!"

Looking at Rob with an "are you on dope?" expression on my face and a tone of voice to match, I uttered, "Huhhh?"

"Ducks!" exclaimed Rob. "Clayton, those nelly bastards are like a bunch of fucking trained ducks! Blow the dick whistle and they all come swimming and quacking down the creek, flapping their wings and looking like a bunch of goddamned idiots. Throwing their stupid, fat asses up in the air and everything. They're like a bunch of fucking hogs going to a trough to feed. They ain't got no manners, but they're hollering and screaming so loud they drown everyone else out. That's why people hate us. They think we're a bunch of fucking ducks."

The thought of being no more than a brightly colored creature sometimes admired, oftentimes laughed at, but largely ignored was disturbing. But it fit. With the thought of trained or learned behavior in my head I asked, "Hey, Rob, you know more about this than I do. Those leather guys, the S&M ones with their chains and whips and master slave boy shit. You said when you smile and try to be friendly and shake hands, it scares the crap out of them and they don't know what to do. Does that tie in with this?"

Thinking out loud, Rob said, "You may be right. I hate to admit this, but maybe I've been a little too harsh on those guys. I mean, god, look at the way you and I have been power fucking one another the last two days. If that's not extreme dominant submissive behavior I don't know what is. Maybe that's all those guys have at their disposal. Maybe they all had messed up childhoods or something. Come to think of it, the ones who are the masters are the ones who are unfriendly; they're the ones who don't seem to exhibit any capacity to show friendship or love in an ordinary manner. The slaves aren't really all that bad, except for the weird clothes and other shit, actually, the slaves tend to be rather childlike and nelly in a submissive way. There was a guy one time trying to explain to me all their codes about what all that crap signified, like wearing a dog collar meant you were somebody's permanent slave, so hands off. Arm band on left means something, on the right, something else."

"Rob, there's something else too."

"What's that?"

"Maybe the leather guys aren't the only ones who maybe deserve an apology. You gotta admit, when you and I are in boyfriend mode, playing around, and want to suck the other or get fucked, we act pretty faggy sometimes."

"Yeah, but there's a difference with us than those guys and the leather ones. If we wanna get into the power fucking mating mode, we don't have to put on funny clothes and inflict pain on the other, and when we act nelly, we only do it in boyfriend mode in a playful manner. As your lover, husband or mate, I would never scream out in a soprano voice 'take me, you brute, you're so manly.'"

Rob's nelly queen imitation started me to laughing as I told him, "Yeah, but you have to admit that we've done shit like that, but only in boyfriend mode when we were playing."

"Yeah, but don't laugh. I used to have a nelly fag customer that hollered out that sorta stuff while I fucked him and he was serious. He wasn't joking around like we do. Damn. I need a beer. Can we go into the kitchen buck-ass naked like this?"

"Probably, but let's throw on some shorts just to be safe. Besides, it might embarrass Wilbur if he saw us like this."

Rob started laughing and after I asked him what the cause was he told me, "Hell, Wilbur wouldn't be embarrassed. After all, he is a canine and therefore understands all the stuff about dick licking and dominant males; maybe we should schedule taking some sex lessons from him."

The mental picture of Wilbur in a little cap and gown teaching a sex education class, holding a ruler in his paw and pointing to a drawing on a blackboard to explain fucking dog style to a classroom full of gay guys popped into my head and I started laughing.

Rob and I, wearing gym shorts, went to the kitchen for a couple of beers. Wilbur joined us in the kitchen and followed us outside for his evening piss before retiring for the night. Rob and I agreed there was indeed instruction we could receive from Wilbur, so we joined him and took a pee against the same tree.

After letting Wilbur back into the Shack, Rob and I went back to the pool, shut off everything, grabbed the smokes and began walking around the back yard continuing to talk over our newfound theory of the four aspects of our sexuality. We sat down in the grass, leaned up against a tree (not the one we and Wilbur had peed on) and, as had Mom and Dad, we strengthened our commitment to one another by agreeing that under normal circumstances, we would always go to bed together at night, that we would never go to bed if we were angry with one another, and that we would never be hesitant to show our love and need for one another, which included never feeling hesitant or guilty about asking the other to engage in sexual activity.

Sipping our beers beneath the tree, Rob looked at me and said, "Hey, boyfriend, stand up, I wanna test something here."

Standing up in front of Rob, he turned me around, pulled down my shorts, spread my butt cheeks apart and licked my hole four or five times, then pulled up my shorts and asked, "How did that feel?"


"Well, I think the theory is working. I just wanted to let you know how much I like being your boyfriend, and I didn't feel the least bit guilty about kissing your ass to show it."

"Hmmmm." Remembering something that had happened earlier, I said to Rob, "Let's test the theory a little further." Sitting down next to him, I began sucking on his nipples. Rob was right, with the guilt about sucking removed, it indeed was fun to do that in boyfriend mode; it was not unlike the pleasure of chewing gum to satisfy an oral need. In a playful, childlike voice, I asked him, "Like that?"

"Yeah, keep doing it."

I continued giving Rob little licks and sucks, alternating from one side of his chest to the other. After a couple of minutes, I slipped my hand down inside his shorts. Yep. It worked. Rob was hard as a rock. Amazing how expanding your awareness and removing some mental programming can convert what had formerly been a meaningless act into something special. I was beginning to realize that sucking chest was going to be another activity we'd be engaging in with frequency. Lightly stroking his cock I asked, still in playful, childlike voice, "Wanna show your boyfriend something?"

"What's that?"

"What underwater fucking feels like."

Less than a minute later, Rob and I were again standing in the shallow end of the pool getting his dick lubed and my ass ready. He carried me into the water, entered me, and then we worked our way to deeper water so I could float on his dick. As I leaned back into the water the most incredibly feeling I have ever had came over me. Positioned as we were, the head of Rob's cock was planted squarely on my prostate. Rather than rubbing against it as it did when we had intercourse, his dick now pressed directly into it and was hitting other buttons inside of me I had no idea existed. Women ain't the only ones who have a G-spot. Men got one too, and Rob and I had stumbled upon the way to punch it.

Trying to explain how an orgasm feels to someone who's never had one is damned near impossible, somewhat like attempting to describe the color red to a blind man. Trying to describe the feeling Rob was producing in me is the same way. The best way I can describe what I felt is to take the release and relaxation that sweeps over you during an orgasm after the third or fourth squirt of cum. Then, multiply that feeling by about three hundred and eighty-six, add in the warmth of forty-seven winter evenings by the fireside, then multiply that sum by the immense joy you had when you first heard the words "I love you" uttered by your boyfriend lover husband mate. Once you get that number worked out, you will have just scratched the surface to understand what it feels like to have your G-spot punched.

Oh, and floating weightlessly in the water seems to be an essential part, so if you don't have a swimming pool, go borrow one. If you don't have a boyfriend lover husband mate, get one of those too. Something tells me it will only work with one of them.

Knowing what to expect, Rob managed to catch me as I lost my grip on the edge of the pool so I didn't fall off into the water as unceremoniously as he had earlier in the day. I let myself collapse in his arms as he carried me to a lounge chair to recuperate. I could not talk. I was reduced to a blithering idiot. Mind altering drugs could not feel that good.

After a few minutes, after taking a few puffs on a cigarette and having a swig or two of beer I told Rob, "You were right. There's no way to describe it."

We went back to my room and showered. Rob got in bed while I put everything in the coffeemaker for the morning, then went through the Shack to turn off lights and make sure everything was properly shut down for the night. After discussing times and schedules with Rob, to avoid having to rush around in the morning, we decided we needed to get up at 6:00 to give me time to wake up while we had a morningshower together and then eat some breakfast to be able to leave in time for me to get to school and for Rob to catch his ride with Dad. I set the alarm, then handed the clock to Rob for him to put on his nightstand. He'd wake up immediately when it went off, so there was no need to leave it on my side, blaring away while it took for however long it takes for me to realize the thing has gone off. After curling up together a thought came to me, so I turned the light back on, asked Rob to hand me the clock and set the alarm to go off half an hour earlier at 5:30. Rob of course asked, "Why are you doing that?"

"Well, instead of spending twenty minutes or so in the shower while I wake up, why don't you just screw and fuck me while I wake up? Won't waste any water that way. Is that okay with you?"

"Only if you let me suck your nipples while I go to sleep."

Curling back up together, I drifted off to sleep while my husband nurtured himself into slumber.