Punking Mike, Part 2

Max H.  lilperv76@yahoo.com

Chapter 14

This story involves sex between guys.  If you shouldn't be reading stuff like that, move on.

The characters in this fantasy may not always practice safe sex.  In the world we live in everyone should practice safe sex.

It's okay to print this story out or save it to disc, but it remains my property.  Don't transfer it to another website or archive without my permission.

Once again, my friend "the Marine" has made valuable suggestions about this chapter.

MC:  Mike Cronin    GP:  Gage Patrick

The bed wasn't empty that night even though Gage was gone.  Call me a randy bastard, but I had trouble getting to sleep knowing that Jeff was right next to me in the bed.  Once again, my cuddly little brother had requested that we sleep together.  I think he was still feeling protective around me after watching what happened in the video and knowing what happened to me after that.  This was even though he was actually a year younger than me.  He had his arm around my shoulder in a brotherly hug as we lay there.  It really felt good that we both were comfortable and close enough to one another to share the same bed, even though we both knew and accepted that there would not be any sexual component to this.  Just two good friends and "brothers" enjoying being close to each other.  But I felt really close to him, and when I feel that way about someone, my instinct is to hold them and kiss them and lick them.  And more.  I knew that wouldn't work with Jeff.  But you can't blame a guy for dreaming.

At least, I thought as I lay there, the damned initiation stuff was over.  It remained to be seen what would happen with the ROTC guys who were in trouble.  As I drifted off to sleep, I felt good, at least, that Jeff and I were closer friends than ever after all of that shit.  I really hated having to be a part of his initiation, but he didn't blame me for what I had to do.

The next day we picked up Terry in the Rover and went to campus.  We all had lots to do before the holiday break.  I was surely glad Jeff had prodded me to get our sociology project in ahead of time.  

We all met for lunch, and Kim was there, too.  We talked about the upcoming holidays.  Jeff said he was planning to fly back to California. He hadn't seen his family since September.  Terry was local, of course, and Kim said he'd be around, too.  I decided to check with Gage and then see about having those two over some time during the holiday break.  Gage and I hadn't talked yet about what we were doing.  I realized that I didn't know what his Christmas traditions were.  I supposed we'd be with the Crosses at some point.  I also realized that I'd been so involved with school and Jeff's initiation that I hadn't given any thought about a Christmas present for Gage.  That was awkward, too, because the only money I had was what he'd given me.  I thought maybe I should get a job, but he'd always discouraged that.

As I walked up to the front door of the building where I had my English class, I saw my professor, Dr. M., hugging a really great looking Black guy.  He looked to be older than me and younger than the prof.  Then they separated and the younger dude walked toward the parking lot as Dr. M. went into the building a little way ahead of me.  Looked as if he'd found himself a friend.  Which was great, because he was a cool little guy.  

It had been gray all day, and it was beginning to snow as I went into the classroom building.  It snowed lightly the rest of the afternoon.  The streets were salted, so I didn't really have to use the 4WD on the Rover.  I almost wished they were full of snow, so I could use the car the way it was meant to be used.  Gage's Beemer was in the garage when I got home.  I hurried inside to find him.  He wasn't in the kitchen, so I dropped my bag on the counter and went looking for him.  I was about to call his name when I heard his voice.  He was in the study.

"Yes, that would be great.  Yes.  I'd like to meet you at the airport, but I think it would be better if you got a rental and drove . . .  Uh, can't talk more now.  Mike just got home.  Yes, I'll be in touch again soon.  Oh, you're welcome.  I'm looking forward to it."

As I walked into the study, he put down the phone and turned around.  He had a funny little grin on his face at first, but then it became his sexy, broad smile as he held his arms out to me.  "Mikey, I've missed you, even if it was just for the weekend!  How are you, babe?"

I walked into his outstretched arms and we hugged.  I kissed the side of his neck, and he shivered.  "I've missed you, too, lover."  We shared a nice, gentle kiss.  

"Who was that on the phone?"

"Oh, just a business contact."

I knew it wasn't a business contact.  If it had been, there wouldn't have been any reason for him not to talk in front of me.  Would there?

"Now, sweetheart, I don't want to go back out in this weather for dinner.  What do we have in the house?"

"How about if I make some cornbread?  We've got chili in the freezer, which we can thaw in the microwave.  And there's salad makings."

"Oh, that sounds good.  Didn't get anything to eat on the plane, and I'm famished."

"Well, let me take care of my man."  I went to the kitchen, sliced some Vermont white cheddar, poured us both glasses of merlot, and dumped some crackers into a basket which I'd lined with a napkin.

"Here, babe.  This should tide you over until supper, and we can drink the rest of the wine with the chili.  Or would you rather have beer?"

He chuckled.  "No, between the beer and the beans, I'd drive you out of the bed later.  The merlot will be fine."

I flicked the automatic starter, and a fire sprang to life in the great room fireplace.  We both took off our shoes and sat together on the sofa, facing the fire.  He draped an arm around my shoulders, and I snuggled close to him.  We didn't talk for a while, and then he asked how the weekend had gone with Jeff.

I told him all about Jeff's problems with the ROTC people and about his subsequent depression.  Then I explained about showing Jeff Seth's cd.

"My God, Mike!  You showed him that?"

"Yeah.  It worked, too.  He said after seeing that, he couldn't very well feel sorry for himself any more."

"But he's straight.  You were taking a big risk.  He might not have wanted to have anything to do with you after seeing that."

"Yeah, I knew it was a risk, but I decided to chance it.  He was disgusted by a lot of what he saw in that disc, but he took it the right way.  He knew that Jason and I were being blackmailed into doing what we did.  I mean, some of it wasn't so bad.  Jason and I really had great sex together -- though not as great as you and I have -- but Jeff understood how degrading all that stuff was.  And I think he and I are really closer friends than ever now.  So, as they say, all's well that ends well."

Gage kissed me.  "You're a gutsy guy, Mike.  I'm glad you and Jeff are tight.  If he's still your friend after seeing what he saw, then he's a friend indeed."

"Yep.  That's about the way I figured it."

I didn't tell Gage about the terrible dreams I'd had.  I didn't want to worry him.  He tended to get really upset when I had those nightmares, and he'd suggested once or twice that I see a therapist.  I didn't think I needed to do that, and things were cool with jeffie and me.  So I got him to tell me about his trip, and then it was time to start supper.

That night since Gage was very tired, we went to bed early.  He kissed me a lot and we snuggled and he fell asleep.  As I lay there, my mind wouldn't turn off.  I began to think about how vulnerable I was.  I was totally dependent on Gage, on his continuing to love me.  If he ever kicked me out, I didn't know what I could do.  I didn't know where Dad was, and I figured he'd never want to see me again anyway after the tremendous embarrassment I caused him.  Shit, I had made him lose his job and broken up his and Mother's marriage!

So, if Gage ever cut me loose, I'd have to drop out of the university and get a job.  But what kind of job can a 20-year-old with two years of college get?  I didn't have any special skills or talents, except for the ones I'd developed in Key West.  I could work at Mickey D's, I supposed, but you can't live on what they pay.  I figured I'd wind up turning tricks again.  Back to Key West, where it was at least warm enough if you couldn't afford a place to stay.

But being without Gage would make returning to that life really tough.  I loved my gorgeous blond bear.  I didn't even want to think about a life without him.  I felt ashamed for thinking of him as my meal ticket.  I just wished I weren't totally dependent on him.  Even the Christmas present I was going to get him would be paid for with money he gave me.

And then I remembered that phone call.  What could he have been talking about that he didn't want to say in front of me?  I sighed and decided I was letting my recent nightmares control my waking thoughts.  I was the luckiest guy in the world.  I guess I went to sleep not long after that.

The next morning Gage was shaking me, telling me I needed to get up.  "It's a school day for you and a work day for me, Mikey.  We gotta get our asses in gear, babe!"  I've never minded getting up early, but I was disappointed he hadn't waked me up in time for some sex.  After all, we hadn't done it since the previous Thursday.

At breakfast Gage asked me if Jeff was going to be around for Christmas.  I told him Jeff was going back to California for the holidays.

"That's good.  But he would have been welcome to spend Christmas here.  Jeff's a great kid.  I enjoyed getting to know him at Thanksgiving and when he's been here since."

"Yeah," I said, grinning at him.  "If Jeff were gay, you'd have to keep me in a chastity device."

He chuckled.  "Maybe we'd just become a threesome.  He is a hot little guy."

"I can see I'm going to have to do something tonight to take our minds off of Jeffie."

"Kiddo, that better be a promise."

I put my dishes in the dishwasher and then leaned over and stuck my tongue in his ear.  "Maybe even a threat.  Plan on going to bed early tonight, sire."

It was Terry's turn to drive, and on the way to campus I asked him what he and his family were doing for the holidays.

"My folks are going on a cruise, can you believe that?"

"Without you?"

"Oh, they said I could come along, but I refused.  What's there for a guy our age to do on a cruise ship filled with old folks?"

"So, whatcha gonna do?"

He grinned.  "A lot of fuckin', I hope!"

"This would involve Kim, maybe?"

"Oh, yeah.  He wasn't going home for the holidays.  He hasn't said why, and I'll wait until he decides to tell me what's up with that.  But I invited him to spend the holidays with me.  My folks have met him and they're cool with him staying at our place."

"Well, look, Ter, you and Kim have to spend some time with us, maybe Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  I'm not sure what Gage's plans are yet, but I know he'll want you to be with us."

"Cool.  That would be great.  I mean, I'm not really very sentimental about the holidays, and I'm sure looking forward to having Kim around.  We've never managed to do it yet, you know, so I meant what I said about a lot of sex going on.  But still . . . .  Shit!  It's Christmas!  I'd like to be with you and Gage, and I'm sure Kim would too."

"Count on it!  I'll check with Gage tonight and let you know, okay?"

"Thanks, man."

That evening at dinner I asked Gage about our Christmas plans.  He told me that we'd been invited to the Crosses for dinner on Christmas Eve, and that we'd be home on Christmas Day.  He said he'd received some party invitations for the Saturday night between Christmas and New Years, and there was the question of what we were going to do New Year's Eve, but we'd talk about that later.  

I told him about Terry and Kim and asked if we could invite them for Christmas dinner.

"Sure, Mike, Terry's an old friend.  He's done lawn work for me since he wasn't much older than Gus is now.  And your friend Kim will be welcome, too.  And they can come over here anytime they want on Christmas Day, but we won't be having our big meal until evening."

"Oh, is that a tradition of yours?"

He seemed uncomfortable.  "No, not really, but we'll be having a dinner guest who can't get here by early afternoon.  In fact, our guest will be staying over for a day or so."

"Oh, who is it?  A relative?  A friend of yours?"

He got up to clear the plates, and I stood to help.  He kissed the tip of my nose.  "Yeah, something like that.  Now, let's get this kitchen straightened up.  We've got some serious catching up to do!"

I knew he was being evasive, but I also knew what he meant by catching up.  As soon as the kitchen was cleaned up, Gage grabbed my hand and hauled me into the great room.  We'd started a fire there before dinner.  He put another log in the fireplace.  Then he picked up a remote.  Some guy began to sing over the sound system.  He had a light but sexy voice.  He was singing one of those old 40's ballads.  It began, "When I fall in love, it will be forever . . . ."

I was about to ask him who the singer was, but he began taking my clothes off.  I just stood there and let him.  Through the window wall, I could see snow falling gently.  We were inside by the fire.  And this guy was singing, backed up by a lush string orchestra.  We hadn't made love for five days, so I was way ready.  But Gage didn't rush things.  He undressed first me and then himself slowly.  Then he pulled me down on the couch on top of him, and we kissed for a long time, rubbing our leaking cocks against each other.  I noticed that the cd was alternating that guy singing with some nice trumpet solos.  And I was getting too close to cumming.

I pushed up with my hands and smiled down at his beautiful, sexy face.  "Gage, babe.  What can I do for you?  How can I welcome you home?"

He grinned up at me.  "I'm sorry, Mikey, that I pooped out on you last night.  That's what you get for connecting with an old fart like me."

"Old?  You're not even a middle aged fart yet!  Now, you want me to make love to that club you've got pressed against my belly, or do you want to fu-  that is, make love to me?"

"Get up a minute, babe."  I stood up, my leaky tool waving around as I did.  He moved the coffee table and then had me get on my knees with my arms resting on the sofa.  I reached under the sofa, grabbed the lube we always kept there, and handed it to him.

"Don't need that just yet, stud."  I felt his breath on my exposed butt.  He began lapping his tongue over my cheeks, over and around and up and down.  Gradually he moved toward my crack, which he then gave the same treatment.  I knew what was coming, but I still jumped when he stuck his tongue into my hole."

"Oh, shit, Gage, that feels so good!"

He chuckled and kept on tonguing me.  It felt wonderful, but it wasn't enough.  I felt empty.  I needed the pain and fullness and bliss of his cock inside me.

"Make love to me, please.  Connect with me.  Show me I'm yours, lover.  I need you now!"

There was a slight pause while he lubed his cock, but soon I felt its hot tip resting against my pucker.  After a gentle but sustained push, he was inside me, and I sighed.

"Ya like that, Mikey?"

"Oh, yeah, daddyman.  I love that.  I need that!"

He leaned over me so he could kiss the back and sides of my neck as he pumped very slowly in and out.  My mind shut down as I surrendered to the feelings.  Feelings of perfect sex.  Feelings of love for this man who could send me over the moon with his smile and into another galaxy when he made love to me.  I didn't want it to end, and my man was able to go for a long time.  But it had been almost a week, and eventually he unloaded his hot seed in my bowel.  

Collapsing on top of me, he said, "Unnggh!  Oh, I've missed that.  I love you baby boy.  You do know that, don't you?"

"Yeah, for now.  But you're going to have to remind me regularly for the rest of our lives."

"You got it, kiddo.  Now, you haven't come.  Let daddy take care of that."

"Gage, I'm fine.  That was incredible.  You don't have to do anything else for me tonight, honest."

"Don't move."  He slapped my butt, got up and went into the kitchen.  He came back with a handful of kitchen towels.  "Let me wipe you a little.  You're leaking cum from behind, and I'll bet you're leaking precum from the front."

He cleaned me up and then had me sit on the sofa on one of the clean towels.  Then he knelt between my legs and began to make love to my cock.  By this time it was beyond hard, it was throbbing, leaking desperately -- but not for long.  His hot mouth and his busy tongue soon had me groaning.  I laced my fingers behind my head to keep from grabbing him by the ears.  

"Oh, god, I've missed that!  I've missed you, lover!  Next time you go out of town, I'm gonna stow away in your luggage or something.  Ooohhh, yeah!  That's soooo gooood!"
I didn't last as long as he had.  He began to hum along with the guy singing on the stereo, and that did it!  I did put my hands in his hair to warn him I was about to come, but he ignored the signal and kept on sucking and humming.  I must have really flooded his mouth because when I quit shooting into it and opened my eyes, there was cum running out of his mouth.  I pulled him up and licked it off.  He swallowed some of what was in his mouth and fed me the rest of it.

After lots of cummy kissing, we snuggled together on the sofa under a throw we always kept there, naked, our feet on the coffee table, watching the fire.

"Who IS that guy singing?"  

"Oh, haven't I introduced you to Chet Baker?  He was one of my Uncle Rich's favorites.  I've got three cd's made from his old vinyl albums, and I put them all in the changer and set it on `random'."

"Well, sweetie, that was a perfect choice for tonight."

Neither of us said anything for a while.  


"Yeah, babe?"

"If I was a disappointment to you, or if you got tired of me, you'd tell me, wouldn't you?  I mean, I'd do anything I could to be what you want.  I love you so."

"What brought that on, Mike?

"I just think this is all too perfect.  You're too perfect.  I worry that I'm dreaming, or that it can't last."

He stroked my hair.  "Mike, I don't know what I can say.  I love you, baby.  I have never been as happy as I've been since I literally found you on that beach.  I can't imagine your not being my lover, my partner, my mate. Please just relax and believe that."

"Okay," I sighed, snuggling closer.


I'd been worried about Mike's nightmares.  I really thought he needed to see a therapist.  He had to have lots of unresolved issues about what happened to him at the hands of that sick fuck Seth the previous summer, and the loss of his family and home life that followed.  He often seemed insecure, but who could blame him?

I decided there were some things I could do which might help, so I got busy.  And I was able to cook up a nice surprise, or what I hoped would be a nice surprise for Mike for Christmas.

I also had a surprise ready for him when he got home the next evening.


The day after Gage and I made love in front of the fireplace was Friday. On the ride to school I felt a little sad that I didn't have anyone to send Christmas cards to.  I didn't know where Mom, Dad, or Jason were, and I wasn't sure they'd even be happy to get a card from me.  On an impulse, though, I did buy one card and send it to Dr. M.  He had been really kind to me, and I wished him a happy holiday.  I didn't have Jeff's home address, so I couldn't even send my new best friend a card.

When I went into the house that afternoon, there was a note from Gage on the kitchen table.  It said, "Look in the great room, babe.  We'll take care of them after supper."

Eager to find out what that was all about, I hurried into the great room.  There, in front of the window wall, was a spruce tree that had to be 12 feet tall.  And outside, on the patio, was another one just like it.  We had two huge, gorgeous trees to decorate.

I had gotten up that morning in time to put a stew in the crock pot, so supper was merely a matter of popping a frozen baguette into the oven when Gage got home.  It would bake while we were having our wine.

As soon as Gage came through the door from the garage, I grabbed him, pinning his arms to his sides.  I kissed him until we were both breathless.  Finally, he chuckled.  "What did I do right this time?"

"Aww, studly, you do everything right.  But I love your surprises.  Those trees are gorgeous!  Are we going to have a tree decorating party?"

"Since it's already dark outside, I suggest we leave the outside one until after we've been to the gym and the Market tomorrow.  We'll need to stop by the garden center, too."

"Garden center?"

"Yeah, you'll see.  And we need to pop lots of corn.  About twice as much as we can eat while we decorate the inside tree."

"I'll bet I know why."

"Tell me."

"We're going to make popcorn garlands for the outside tree.  For the birds."

"Yep.  The patio tree is for the birds."

I chuckled and then he laughed.  "Well, you know what I mean."

He went upstairs to change clothes.  He came downstairs in jeans and a sweatshirt.  After supper we cleaned up the kitchen quickly.  Then he took me to the garage, where there was a row of 8-foot high storage lockers.  He opened one of them, and it was full of Christmas decorations.   We carried most of the boxes inside.  Some were house decorations, wreaths, and the like, and he said we'd work on those the next night or Sunday.  Tonight we'd just be doing the tree.  

I wondered why a single guy had so many decorations, and then I remembered that he and his former partner had probably done this together.  It took several trips to get everything from the garage to the great room.  When it was all there, I asked him, "Are you okay with this, Gage?"

He looked at me and smiled.  "Yeah, babe.  But I love you for figuring it all out.  This is the first time I've decorated a tree since -- "

"I understand.  Thanks, sweet man.  I'm touched you wanted to do this.  With me."

"Mikey, you are my life now.  This is our home.  And we are going to decorate our trees and our house for the holidays.  Now, let's start with the lights.  Woops, we'll need a ladder, won't we?  You know where the ten foot step ladder is?"

"Sure do!"  I went to get it while he began opening boxes.

We did spend the whole evening.  Gage put Christmas music on the stereo.  About 9:00 we took a break and I made popcorn and cocoa with miniature marshmallows on top, and we sat and sipped and listened to the music and looked at the fire.  When I finished my cocoa, I started to try to fool around a little with Gage.

"Hey, baby, let's get the tree finished and then do our playing in bed.  Okay?"

I was in such a great mood that anything was all right with me, and I said so.

The next day we put on parkas and went outside to decorate the patio tree.  We had stopped at the garden center and bought things like suet in net bags and other stuff to put on the tree for the birds.  We did put on lights first, though, so we could sit in the great room and see two trees the same size with the same kind of little white lights all over them.  In the day time the two looked very different, but at night, with the lights on, they looked like a pair.

On the Monday before Christmas Gage was at work all day, so I decided I'd better get my shopping done.  I used my VISA card to get cash so Gage at least wouldn't see the exact amounts I'd paid for his presents.  I started with him.  When he gave me the gold chain with the disc on it with our initials, it had come in a box with the jeweler's name.  I had looked up that store a week or so earlier.  I picked out a neck chain of heavier gold links than the ones in the chain that connected my nip rings.  Then I had them duplicate the disk I wore and put it on Gage's neck chain.  On Monday, I went to pick that up.  Then I went to the Summit Mall to shop for gifts.  Since Terry and Kim were going to be there, I picked up some cd's for them.  Then I got Gus some new things for his Game Boy.  I wasn't sure what to get his parents, but I found a Waterford crystal decanter and thought that they could always use that, even if they had one already.

The next day I slept late.  When I got up, I called Terry to see if he and Kim wanted to go to a movie.  We agreed to meet at the mall for lunch and then we'd see the first afternoon showing.  I checked the kitchen to see what I could fix for supper after the movie and then wrapped my Christmas presents, which, except for Gage's, I stowed under the tree.  I kept my lover's hidden in my sock drawer and didn't take it downstairs until Christmas morning.

I asked the guys to come back to the house with me.  When we got there I called Gage at the office to tell him they were there.  I suggested we could order in pizza, and he seemed pleased with that.  When he got home, he hugged Terry like the old friend he was, and then he welcomed Kim by hugging him, too.  When he went upstairs to get out of his suit, Kim said, "My God, Mike.  He's really hot!"

"What were you expecting?"

He laughed.  "I dunno.  Terry's told me what a great guy Gage is, and I guess I have known all along how much you love him.  I just never pictured him as being such a stud."

I sighed.  "He is that.  And, believe me, guys, I know how lucky I am."

Terry laughed.  "Well, Mikey, I think Gage has done all right for himself, too.  You two make a great couple.  You know, there was a time -- before I met Kim," he said, hugging his new friend and now lover, "when I really envied you."  He laughed again.  "Now I'm just happy for you."

We had a great evening.  Kim and Terry were comfortable with Gage, and he was comfortable with them.  We all sat at the bar in the kitchen and ate pizza and drank beer.  Afterward, we watched an early Russell Crow movie about a gay guy in Australia and his straight dad.  It was funny and sad because the dad was trying so hard to prove to his son that he was okay with the kid being gay that he was driving the kid crazy.  After that the guys left.  I knew why.  They wanted to go home and fuck.  They had never done it until Terry's parents left on their cruise and Kim had come to stay with Terry.  I think they'd been doing it a lot since then, but they couldn't seem to get enough.  They were cute, too, because they couldn't keep their hands off each other.

When the movie finished, Terry and Kim stood.  They thanked us for dinner and said they'd see us on Christmas Day.  

"We won't be eating until about 6:00, guys," Gage said, "but please come over whenever you want.  Other people may be dropping by and the more the merrier."

We all hugged, and they left.  

"Who's going to drop by?"

"Oh, you never know, Mikey, you never know."

I wondered about that.  Gage fixed himself a little scotch on the rocks.  I didn't want anything, so we just cuddled and enjoyed the fire and the tree as he drank it.  Then we went upstairs to bed.  Between the mysterious phone call I'd overheard a week earlier and the mysterious visitor on Christmas day, I was really puzzled.  But I didn't have time to worry about it for long.  Gage and I had a nice, sweet 69 session, and then we went to sleep.

We'd been so busy we'd never found time to open the Christmas cards.  I'd sort the mail each afternoon when I got home from campus, and I'd throw the junk mail in the waste basket, make a stack of bills and things that needed attention right away, and throw all the cards into a big basket with a red bow on it.  After breakfast on Christmas Eve morning, we took a second mug of coffee into the great room, where we got a fire going.  It was snowing lightly outside and really looked like Christmas.  The woods behind the house resembled some of the cards we were about to open.  I took a letter opener and opened each one.  Since I didn't know any of the people who'd sent the cards, I just handed each one to Gage.  He'd explain who the sender was and then hand it back to me.  He told me which envelopes to keep because they had new addresses on them, and we tossed the rest into a waste basket.  Then, when we'd done them all, we put the opened cards back into the big basket with the bow.

"Just as I thought we were finished, Gage produced a large box, saying "Oh, sorry I forgot to tell you about this earlier, Mike.  This package arrived earlier today while you were upstairs.  Guess who it's from?"  

Guess who, indeed?  A package from Camp Pendleton, California!  I ripped open the box and found a "Smokey-bear" hat which Marine Drill Instructors wear, although from what Jeff tells me, you'd better not let them hear you calling it a "Smokey-bear" hat unless you wanted loads of extra PT!  Beside it was a beautiful blue sweater with the Marine Corps emblem on it, with their values emblazoned on it in gold: "Honor, Courage, Commitment."  I also got a nice mug with the words "US Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton, California."

In his card, Jeff thanked me once again for being his best friend and for all that I had done for him.  He explained the gift of the "Smokey-bear hat":  since I had been his "instructor," it was fitting that I should be given the hat worn by Marine Drill Instructors.  

He told me that he had spent some time catching up with his family in La Jolla and going around the San Diego area with his friends.  Then he got bored and linked up with a unit of the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton.  Seems that Captain Sasso had arranged for our young Marine to visit the unit while he was in the area. Jeffie didmore than visit. Although Jeff was nonchalant and modest in his description, it seemed obvious thatthe Marinesat Camp Pendleton were impressed with him sincehe was invited to stay with them and join them for their daily training routine.  

The Marines there were very friendly and accepted him as one of their own.  But they were riding him pretty hard, expecting the same standards as they would a fully-trained Marine, and he was punished accordingly for any lapses. I laughed out loud as I read his next line, "Although, so far, there have not been any paddlings so my butt is fine and I'm allowed to keep my hair." As usual, he was taking it well.  Since he was junior, Jeff was treated like the newest private in the platoon.  That meant he was given lots of the grunt work in his platoon (to the relief of the privates who would normally have to do it) but he was cool about that.  That's Jeff for you.

Smiling, I tried on the Drill Instructor's hat and the sweater, thinking of how else I might "torment" my buddy when he returned.  I was so glad I had Jeff Foster as a friend.

I kind of felt sorry for Terry and Kim being at Terry's house all alone on Christmas Eve, so I tried to get them online that afternoon, but they didn't respond.  I hoped they were doing something fun.  I sort of suspected they were.

About 4:30 Gage said we needed to shave and get a shower.  We showered together.  I was really getting into washing him, especially his nice cock and balls, but he told me we needed to stay on task or we'd be late arriving at the Cross's.  He suggested that I wear a pair of nice slacks and a sweater, and he did the same.  

He had presents for all three of the Crosses and seemed pleased that I had presents for them, too.  We put them all into a big Christmas shopping bag and hauled them along with us.  We took the Rover since it was still snowing.

I'll spare you all the details about that Christmas Eve dinner.  We all had a good time.  The Cross home was beautifully decorated, there was lots to eat and drink, and everyone seemed in a holiday mood.

Gus and I got to talk privately for a while after dinner.  I asked him how things were going at school.  He grinned and said, "It all turned out okay, you know, Mike?  The girls told some of their friends that I had a big dick, so now a lot of the girls and even some of the guys in my home room are pretty friendly.  Go figure."

I hugged him.  "Well, little stud, just make sure you use that big dick wisely, okay?"

He blushed.  "Shit, Mikey.  I don't get to use it at all, except by myself."

"Yeah, well, that kind of goes with being your age.  Promise me something."


"Let's talk some more about fooling around with others, guys or girls, soon, huh?"

"You mean before I actually do anything?"


"Okay.  But could we make it soon?"

I bopped him on the shoulder.  "You bet!"

After dinner we did something Gage hadn't told me about.  We all went to the Christmas Eve Eucharist at the Cross's church.  I had been there once or twice, but Gage wasn't a very devout Catholic, and I wasn't going to bug him about going.  It was a beautiful service, and the church was, of course, packed.  I did feel as we left that one of these days I should go to Confession, but I figured I had so much to confess I didn't know where I'd start.

It was after midnight when Gage and I got home.  We put the presents our hosts had given us under the tree and went upstairs.  I was still "up" from the evening and hoped Gage wasn't going to be too tired to have sex.  I should have known better.

When we were both naked and cuddled in bed, he said, "Mikey, Merry Christmas!"

"Hey, it IS Christmas, isn't it?  Merry Christmas, loverman."

He grabbed me and pulled me on top of him.  I loved the feel of his fuzzy chest against my smooth one.  I licked the end of his nose, and he returned the gesture of love.

"Mike, I want a Christmas present from you!"

I grinned.  "Now?  You can't wait until morning?"

"Oh, I can wait until morning for the stuff under the tree.  Right now, I want you to make love to me.  I want to feel that beautiful Cronin cock in my ass."

"Well, it will be a terrible sacrifice, but I suppose I have to do it, since you're pleading with me."

He laughed and swatted my butt.

"Ow!  That's no way to get what you want."

"Okay, okay, young `un.  Do you want me to plead some more?"

"No, babe.  Just hand me the lube."

Normally after sex with Gage, I had no trouble going to sleep.  That night, though, I lay awake for awhile.  I hadn't been so excited about Christmas for years.  But this was the first Christmas of my new life, my life with Gage.  I was happy about the gift I was giving him but also worried that it wasn't good enough.  I wanted so much for him to like it.  I knew we had a big day, for we were fixing Christmas dinner for ourselves plus Terry and Kim plus some sort of mystery guest, it appeared.  Gage wanted to have drinks and snacks available from noon on.

Maybe because it was late when I finally got to sleep Gage let me sleep late the next morning.  He wasn't in bed when I woke up.  I got up, did the bathroom stuff, and put on sweats and socks.  He was in the kitchen.  

"Merry Christmas again, babe!"  He kissed me.  

"Merry Christmas, daddyman.  You know this is my best Christmas ever!"

He squeezed me and then grinned.  "Yeah, Mikey, mine, too!  Now grab some oj.  I've got blueberry pancakes and sausage staying warm in the oven."

After we ate breakfast, we went into the great room.  It was a clear morning, and the woods out back were blinding in their white coating in the bright sunshine.  Gage said it was very cold, about 10 above.  He had lighted the logs in the fireplace.

We sat cross-legged on the floor at the base of the tree and hugged.  I gave him my gift, which he said he loved.  He had to pull up my sweat top to make sure that the discs on my chain and his were identical.  Then he put it on.  We kissed.  "Mike," he said, with tears in his eyes, this is so sweet!  That's almost like matching rings."

"I hope we can have those, too, someday, Gage."

"Oh, we will, Mike, trust me!"

Then he gave me a small, beautifully-wrapped box.  I tore into the wrappings and opened the box.  There was a Rolex!

"Gage, you shouldn't have done it!  It's too much.  I don't need anything like this.  Besides, it probably cost ten times as much as what I got you."

"It will be fun to have, Mike, and that's what counts.  I just wanted you to have it."

We hugged and just sort of fell over on the floor.  We lay there for a while with our arms around each other.  Eventually, though, he said we needed to get busy getting ready for the rest of the day.

I helped pick up the debris, dust, and generally tidy up.  We'd eaten breakfast late, so we didn't bother to fix lunch.

About 1:00, Gage handed me an envelope and said, "You should open this now."

Inside was a Christmas card from him to me.  And there was a small card with a phone number on it. It said, "Call this number now.  But sit down first because it may be a long conversation."

I looked at him. "What's all this about, love?"

He just stood there grinning.  "Call the number, Mikey.  And use the cordless."

I grabbed the cordless off the kitchen counter and dialed the number.  The person on the other end picked up after the first ring.

"Mike, is that you?"

"Jason!  Is that you?"

"Yeah, babe.  I've been waiting for your call!"

"But, I don't understand.  How did you know I'd be calling?"

"Oh, your Gage called me a couple of weeks ago.  He told me that he wanted to surprise you on Christmas day."

"Well, he sure as hell did.  I didn't have any idea where you were.  Where ARE you, by the way?"

"I'm living with my aunt and uncle in Berkeley.  I'm going to the University of California."

"Jason, it's so great to talk with you, but I'm just a bit overwhelmed.  How did Gage find you?"

"I think he used a private detective who used the Web, or something like that.  You'll have to ask him for details."

I laughed.  "Oh, believe me, I will.  But right now, tell me all about your life."

I took the phone and headed upstairs.  Gage grinned and waved at me, knowing that Jason and I had a lot of catching up to do.

I flopped down in my computer chair.  Jason told me that, like me, he needed to get out of Indiana.  "It doesn't make much sense, I know, because guys from anywhere might have seen the online pix or bought the cd.  But I just felt like I wanted to run, as far away as possible.  I couldn't tell me family why, but when I begged to be allowed to go to UC, they said sure, if it was okay with Uncle Charlie and Aunt Sue.  They didn't have any problem with that.  They have a spare bedroom.  I'm not here much, and I keep the grass cut and take out the garbage and things like that."

He went on to say that he'd found lots of gay friends on the Berkeley campus and that from time to time they went across to San Francisco to the Castro for fun.

"Jase, do you have a guy?"

"No, not yet.  But I have lots of friends.  I'm out, and it's okay to be out here.  You can't believe what a sense of freedom I have now."

"Sounds wonderful, bud.  I'm really happy for you."

Than he wanted to know all about me and how I wound up in Ohio.  I told him about going to Key West, though I played down what I had to do to survive there.  I just told him that I'd met Gage while he was there on vacation, and that now we were partners, that I was going to Kent, and that I was happier than I'd ever expected to be."

"Kent.  Isn't that where they shot those demonstrators?"

"Yeah, but that was 40 years ago.  It's a great university, Jason, and I really love it."

"Mike, are you out there?"

"Yeah.  I don't flaunt it, but I've got a bunch of gay friends.  And a real good straight friend who's my best buddy and doesn't care that I'm gay.  And, of course, Gage."

"He sounded really sexy on the phone.  Tell me about him."

So I spent a long time telling him about how sexy and how wonderful Gage really was.  We talked and talked.  It was SO good to get caught up.  After an hour, though, I thought I should be downstairs helping Gage get ready for our mystery guest and for Christmas supper with Terry and Kim.

"Mike, you know I love you and I miss you."

"Yeah, Jase.  I'll always love you, too."

"Why don't you and Gage come out for Pride Weekend next summer?  I'd love to meet him.  He sounds like a great guy.  He's very lucky to have you."

I said I would talk with Gage about going to San Francisco for Pride Weekend.  That sounded wonderful.  Jason and I exchanged email addies, and I promised to send him a picture of my hunky lover.  We said again that we'd always love each other, and hung up.  I had tears in my eyes when I went back downstairs.

I walked up behind Gage, who was putting caviar in a bowl.  "You sweet, man, how can I ever thank you for finding Jason for me?  That was so special.  You are much too good to me, Gage Patrick, and I'm going to spend my life trying to deserve you."

He chuckled.  "Mikey, you don't get it, do you?  I'm just a 35-year-old broker, a dull guy in a dull profession, and I've been blessed by having this exciting young hunk in my life.  I'm the lucky one, baby."

I kissed him.  Then I said, "We'll just have to agree to disagree about that.  But I love you all the more for finding Jason for me."

We worked feverishly around the kitchen for a while, getting snacks ready and getting started on supper.

We didn't know when Terry and Kim might show up, and obviously Gage was thinking about the "mystery guest."  I couldn't help picking up on his nervousness, but I refused to ask him about what was going on.  This was something he'd cooked up, and we'd just play it his way.

Gage suggested that I go shower, shave, and dress.  He said he'd wait downstairs until I was ready, and then he'd clean up.  That way there'd be someone to answer the door.

I got cleaned up and put on a red crew-neck sweater in the spirit of the season, some new jeans, and my loafers.  When I got back downstairs, Gage said I looked good enough to eat.  

I leered at him.  "I may take you up on that later, Santa."

"I fully expect you to.  Now, it's my turn to get clean."

He hadn't been upstairs ten minutes when the doorbell rang.  Thinking it might be Terry and Kim, I pulled it open, smiling.

And there stood my Dad!

"Ohmygod, Dad, is it you?  I mean, of course it's you, but how did you . . . ?  Oh, you're the mystery guest!"  I grabbed him around the chest so that he had to drop the suitcase he'd been holding.

He put his arms around my waist and kissed the top of my head.  "Mike, I've never known you to babble, son.  Yes, it's me.  May I come in?"

I was crying by that time, and I just wanted to hang on to him.  But I picked up his satchel and invited him in.  I set the bag down inside the door and pulled him to the sofa facing the fireplace.  

"Where did you go?  What are you doing?  How are you?  I didn't know where you were or how to get in touch with you.  I was afraid I would never see you again. I thought you would never want to see me again. I'm so ashamed.  How can you --"

He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled my head against his chest.  
"Mike, calm down.  We have time to talk, son.  I'm staying until the weekend."

"Where did you come from?  You just flew in from somewhere?  Do you need anything?"

He chuckled.  "Yeah, I need to use the john pretty bad."

I showed him where the downstairs bath was and then waited in the great room for him.  When he came out I asked if he was hungry.

"I've flown from California, and Christmas or not, we didn't get anything to eat on the plane."

I made him sit on one of the stools at the kitchen bar while I fixed him sandwich of shaved ham and swiss, got out some cole slaw, and poured him a cup of coffee.

"You still remember what I like, Mike!"

"Just eat, Dad.  Let me look at you.  You look good.  When you've finished, I want to know all about you, what you are doing, where you live.  I've missed you so much!  Where's Mother?  What's she doing?"

He swallowed a bite of sandwich and laughed.  "I've missed you, too, son.  Now, as I said, relax.  Gage has invited me to stay until Sunday, so we have plenty of time to get caught up.  I want to know all about how you two connected, too.  He seems like a pretty special guy."

I smiled through my tears and nodded my head in agreement that Gage was a special man.  But I waited while he ate.

Just as he was finishing, Gage came downstairs.  He was looking terribly sexy in 501's, a dark green sweater, and loafers.  Either he was paying very close attention to what I had put on, or he and I had become really attuned.

Dad stood up when Gage came into the room.  Gage held out his arms and said, "Jim, it's wonderful to meet you!"

"Gage," Dad said, "you have no idea how much it means to me to be here.  Thank you so much!"  They hugged and I stood there with tears streaming down my face.

Then Gage said, "Look, I'm going to go into my study for a while.  The dinner can take care of itself for now.  You two have the run of the house, and I know you need some time alone together to get caught up.  I'll see you later."

I grabbed him and kissed him and whispered in his ear, "Thanks, lover."

I pulled Dad into the great room, where we sat, me on the sofa, him on a chair at right angles to it.  The fire was blazing against the cold, and the lights of the tree reminded us of the season.  

I said, "Dad, let me begin by apologizing.  Not that an apology will ever be enough.  I've ruined your life and your career."

"Mike, what happened is the fault of that bastard Seth Watkins, who's getting exactly what he deserved.  You did what you had to do.  I realize you had no choice.  I just wish we had been able to talk before you disappeared."

"I'm sorry, Dad, but I was just so ashamed.  And then when I tried to call you from Key West, I couldn't locate you anywhere. Someone told me you had quit your job and left town.  Where did you go?"

"I'm living in San Jose.  I'm building a nice private practice, slowly."

"What about Mom?"

He sighed and looked sad.  "I honestly don't know what's with her.  She said she couldn't ever face either one of us again.  She said we'd been having sex with each other, and she could never forgive that."

"Didn't you explain what really happened?"

"She wouldn't talk to me.  She saw pictures that Seth had taken at the moment when I pulled off your hood, and that was it so far as she was concerned.  I did all my talking through her lawyer.  I understand she's living in Poughkeepsie now.  She got the house and just about everything else in the settlement.  I didn't feel like contesting it all with her.  She sold the house and moved away.  So I decided to start over in California.

"Dad, I'm so sorry."

He came over and sat next to me and put his arm around my shoulder.  "So am I, Mikey.  But remember it's not your fault."

"But, aren't you lonely out there?"

"Well, son, that's the bright spot in the story.  You remember Darren?"

"The guy that you were kissing in that picture?"

"You remember what I told you about him?"

"Yeah, that you two had been lovers in college, but he had a partner now, and you'd always been faithful to Mom."

"Right.  Well, Darren's partner dumped him after Seth sent him a copy of the picture of him and me kissing.  That bastard managed to find out who Darren was, who his partner was, and ruin things between them.  When I found out what happened, I offered to go to Blaine, the partner, and explain everything, but Darren didn't want me to.  He said if Blaine would believe Seth and not him, then Blaine wasn't the man he thought he loved.  And since then, Darren and I have been getting closer and closer.  I think I might move in with him sometime this spring."

"Oh, Dad, that's so cool!  I want so much for you to be happy."

He hugged me.  "So, Mike, Gage told me he'd met you in Key West.  You'll have to tell me the rest of the story."

I told him a highly-censored version about running away to Key West, of being down on my luck, and meeting Gage.  I told him about how Gage had made me his partner, about how good he was to me, about how much I loved him.

"And you're a student at Kent State now?"

"Uh huh."

"And Gage is paying for all that?"

"Dad, everything I have, Gage has paid for.  It makes me really uncomfortable, but he says that since we're partners, everything he has is mine."

"He's a very generous guy, Mike, and I'm looking forward to getting to know him better.  I can tell by the way you two look at each other that you both really love each other."  He kissed me on the cheek.  "That makes me very happy, and I'm grateful to Gage."  He turned to face me.  "But you know, Mike, you don't have to be dependent on Gage."

"I don't?"

"No.  I had saved up money to pay for your college education, and I was using it while you were at I.U.  There's enough of that left to pay for the rest of your four undergraduate years."  


"Yeah.  Besides that, though I never told you, your Grandpa and Grandma Cronin left a trust fund for you.  When you turn 21, you can access it.  It's not a lot by today's standards, only a couple of hundred thousand dollars.  But by the time you graduate from college, it will be available for you to use for grad school or anything you want.  If you find you don't need it, you can invest it, and even at today's low rates, it will give you some discretionary income."

"Geez, Dad.  I don't know what to say."

"Well, Mikey, the next time you pray, you might thank God for your grandparents."

"And for you, too, Dad."

Not long after that, Terry and Kim arrived.  They were surprised when I introduced Dad, for I'd told both of them I had no idea where Dad was.

We had a wonderful afternoon.  Then supper.  Gage, with a little help from yours truly, had managed to fix a roast of beef, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, glazed sweet potatoes, sauteed asparagus, a salad, a relish trey, dinner rolls, and mince meat pie for dessert.  

Although the food was wonderful, the best part was the camaraderie.  Dad was about 45.  Gage was ten years younger.  Terry, Kim and I were all about 20.  Despite the difference in ages, we were all gay, we all had men in our lives that we loved, though Darren unfortunately wasn't there, and we were all happy together.

As we were talking, the phone rang and I went to get it.  I smiled as I recognized the voice on the other end.  "Jeffie!  How are you?  Merry Christmas!  This is so nice of you to call!"

Jeff was calling from his home, waiting for dinner to begin.  Most of the platoon he had been staying with at Camp Pendleton was gone for Christmas anyway and there were no major training activities scheduled.  True to form, Jeff had volunteered to remain with those who had to stay aboard the base to cover essential duties, but the Marines would have none of it.  Even the privates who normally were glad to have someone to pass the work to had insisted that he take the weekend off and ENJOY himself for once.  It seems the Lieutenant finally had to order "Private"/ Cadet Foster to go home for Christmas.  We chatted for a short while and promised to meet up once he got back from the break.  He mentioned that he might be back earlier as there were still issues with the ROTC "incident" that might require his testimony.

As we ended the conversation, I remembered the Marines' motto and said, "Semper Fi, Jeffie!"

As we were all sitting in the great room with coffee after dinner that Christmas night, I mentioned that Jason had invited Gage and me to San Francisco for Pride Weekend the following summer.  I asked why we didn't all go.

They thought that sounded like a wonderful idea.

The End

[Those of you who are curious about the rest of Jeff's story might want to write to the Marine at Jeffie_Foster@yahoo.com    Let him know if you would like to read more about how the situation was resolved and what happened to Jeff after that, possibly in a spinoff series.  I think, given a little encouragement, he might be willing to write some more about Jeff and the ROTC "incident."  --MH]