I went to Patterson the next day, and Saturday afternoon Evan's dad called. They chatted a while with Evan contributing an occasional 'I see' or 'yeah, yeah.' At the end of the conversation, Evan said, "Okay, I'll plan on it. Thanks a lot, dad."
After he hung up, Evan turned to me with a rueful expression on his face.
"Well, I have good news and bad news. That was my dad. I talked to him a month or so ago about maybe starting a family law division. He knows that's where I want to concentrate my practice. He talked to the board, they ok'd the idea, and the firm is sending me to school."
I raised an eyebrow at him. "That must be the good news."
"Yeah, it is. The bad news is it's in New York, it's three weeks long, and the weekends are volunteer work at legal assistance centers."
"Three weeks?" I repeated.
"Yeah. Bummer, huh?"
We stared at each other in consternation. If he had to work weekends, we wouldn't see each other the entire time. Never mind that New York was too far to drive for just a weekend. Since the second time he'd come into the garage, we hadn't gone more than twelve days apart.
But he wouldn't leave until a few days after Thanksgiving, so we put it out of our minds for now. It was exciting to be moving into the no-turning-back stages of our partnership. Soon we'd be buying a place, merging our possessions and our lives into a home that would be ours together. I wanted it with a longing that had settled into a steady ache deep in my chest, and I was counting the days until we could get my house sold and find one of our own.
But it was also a little frightening, and I was spending a fair number of sleepless nights sitting in the living room, thinking about things. Most of my life I'd been looking out for number one, and although I knew that I loved Evan, I wasn't 100% confident of my ability to make a lifetime of it, even with someone like him. I tried to tell myself that it was Evan who was the question mark, that he had a lot of issues that we'd be dealing with for a long time, maybe forever; but late at night, there in the dark with Chewy curled up in my lap, I was able to admit that it was really myself that I doubted. I had no role models for the kind of life I wanted to lead with Evan, no one to counsel me when the going got rough. I would simply have to figure it out on the fly.
And that scared the shit out of me.
Sunday we hung out with Raf and Kenny at their place, watching football and grilling ribs. They had a big family room with two full-sized couches angled in a V toward the wall that housed the TV and fireplace. The back patio was just out a sliding door, so it was easy to keep an eye on the ribs while we argued about questionable calls and did bad imitations of touchdown celebrations.
It was the first time we'd been around them when we weren't out in public, and all four of us were a lot more relaxed. As I watched Raf with Kenny, I realized he was observing Evan and me. Having been raised by warm and loving Maggie, Evan was a physically affectionate person. I was not naturally as touchy-feely, but I loved that Evan was like that, and I was learning fast.
Between the two of us, we spent most of the day connected one way or another - thigh to thigh on the couch, an arm draped around a shoulder, a hand on the back of a neck.
Often as not, when I glanced up, Raf's dark eyes were on us. I couldn't read his expression, but as the day went on, his attitude toward me warmed somewhat. Once when Evan nuzzled into me for a kiss, I looked past him to see Rafael staring at us, a look almost of sorrow on his face. A while later, when Evan was on the patio with Kenny, I went to the kitchen for another round of brews. Raf followed me, and when I turned back from the fridge, he was gazing at me with a half smile.
"What?" I asked him, still unsure of my welcome with him.
He shook his head, smiling wider. "I must be slippin'. I'm startin' to actually like you."
We stared at each other for a moment, and then I took step closer and gripped the back of his neck, pulling him close. When our faces were six inches apart, I grinned at him and whispered, "I love you, too." Then I laid a big smack on his mouth and breezed out of the room with my beers.
After dinner, we settled down in front of the TV. I flopped on one of the couches, full of ribs and beer. Evan sat with me for a while, rubbing my feet, but eventually got up to take a leak. He was gone for only a minute or so when Rafael got up and left the room also. I don't know why, but something about that seemed funny to me, so after a moment I eased off the couch and walked to the door of the family room. At the far end of the kitchen where the light was dim, Evan and Raf stood in each other's arms. Rafael's head lay on Evan's shoulder as he gazed out into the room; Evan's eyes were closed as he rested his cheek on Raf's hair. As I watched, they rocked slowly, swaying to music only they could hear.
I stared at them for a second, but it was an incredibly private moment and I was immediately uncomfortable. I turned back to the family room to find Kenny watching me. I must have looked as confused as I felt, because he smiled and tipped his chin at me. As I sat down near him, he put a hand on my knee, squeezing gently as he spoke.
"What are they doin'?" he asked me quietly.
"Hugging." Such an inadequate word for what I'd seen.
"Maybe you've already figured this out, but they need each other. I'm not sure either of them realizes how much. We were a little afraid that you'd take Evan away from here, from us."
I wanted to talk to him, but Rafael came back into the room and sat down on the other couch. Kenny patted my leg, then rolled over to Raf's side and levered himself out of his chair. After he got settled, Raf lay down with his head in Kenny's lap. I looked at Kenny, but he just shrugged. There was a lot of unspoken conversation going on here that I didn't have the key to, and I was about to go in search of Evan when he came around the corner.
He searched my face briefly before pulling me down on the other sofa with him. He stretched out, tugging me back against him with a strong arm. That put Rafael and me on the same plane, and our eyes met for a second before he closed his and snuggled into Kenny. Evan rubbed my chest in slow circles, and I gradually relaxed into him as I watched the fire leap and flare.
Later, when we got ready to leave, they walked us to the door. When Rafael stepped behind Kenny, Kenny tipped his head back to rest against Raf, taking his hands and pulling them down onto his chest. I watched, struck, as I always was, by the quiet certainty of their relationship, wondering if Evan and I looked even half as connected.
Evan was quiet on the way back to the condo, and I was feeling pretty thoughtful myself, so we made the drive in silence. I packed up my stuff with Evan folding a shirt or handing me a sock from under the chair. I was just zipping my bag closed when he pushed it away, turned me by the arm and pulled me to him, holding me carefully, as if I might break. I folded my arms around him just as he gave a huge sigh. I held him for a minute or two before asking, "What's the matter?"
He shook his head as he pulled back from me a little. "I don't know. I... It felt like Raf was saying goodbye back there." He raised soft eyes to me. "But I think maybe it was really hello." He paused again. "It's been a long, long time since he's seen me with someone."
"I... saw you in the kitchen. Just for a second," I added.
"I know. Raf said." He smiled. "It's ok."
"Kenny said you need each other."
Evan thought about that for a minute. "Yeah, we do. In a different way than I need you, but... yeah."
We looked at each other for a long moment before Evan touched his hand to my face, trailing cool fingertips down my cheek. "I love you."
I stared at him for a second before turning away to pick up my bag. I was unsettled by what I'd seen, unsure what it meant for Evan and me, and I needed time alone to think about it. I kissed him at the door.
"I'll call you."
As I drove away, he was still standing there, his palm pressed flat to the glass as he'd done that one night leaving my house.
By the time I got home, I'd hashed it around enough to accept that Evan and Rafael had a deep, complex relationship that had nothing to do with me. And in a rare flash of insight, I understood that the years of love and companionship that Rafael, and to a lesser degree, Kenny, had given Evan had kept him alive emotionally, so that when we finally met, he was capable of falling in love with me.
Evan answered on the second ring, so I knew he'd been waiting for my call.
"Hey," he said softly. "We ok?"
"Yeah. I'm sorry," I sighed. "You said you were good friends with those guys, but I guess I'm just finally startin' to understand what that means."
He was silent for a moment. "After all these years, and everything that we've been through, they're a big part of what makes me the person you love."
"Yeah, I get that now. I think."
"Ok... Sleep good."
"I love you, Evan."
Silence. Then, "I love you, too. Don't forget that."
Evan came to my place the following weekend, and we never left the house. We worked our way down my list of chores, fooled around a lot, and ate whenever we got hungry. Early Sunday morning we were eating cold leftover pepperoni pizza with a fresh, hot pan of Callie's cinnamon rolls, washing it all down with ice cold Dr. Peppers. I suppose it sounds disgusting, but it tasted great.
"Your mother would kill us if she could see what we're eatin'."
"Yeah," he chuckled with obvious affection. "She likes you so much," he added. I raised an eyebrow at him. He ran his hand down my arm in a reassuring gesture. "She does, you know that," he insisted. "She. . ."
His voice trailed off, and he looked away from me.
"She liked Luke a lot, didn't she?" I put my hand on his arm and he turned back to me. "It's ok to tell me stuff like that."
"Why doesn't it bother you? I've been thinking about how I'd feel if our situations were reversed. You've put up with Rafael's shit, and pictures of Luke all over the house, and 'Luke this', 'Luke that.' Sometimes I feel like I don't go five minutes without saying something about how great poor goddamn Luke was." He was talking fast by the time he finished, and I could tell he was really worked up about it.
I shrugged. "I'm not sure. That first night you spent with me, I realized that he was a part of you I'd have to deal with if I wanted to be with you. And after I heard the whole story, I couldn't be jealous of him. Jesus, what kind of a shit would that make me? Plus, I knew that you liked me." I paused. "That's not really an answer, is it..... I guess I like that you remember him, that you... that he's still a part of you. To me, that means you're a person who stays with something."
Me, being the unspoken something.
He thought about that for a second. "I used to wonder how difficult it would be for someone new to fit in. I knew my folks would be cool with whoever it was, and Kenny's pretty mellow, but Rafael's another story. Sometimes I used to think he'd keep me single forever just cause he wouldn't be able to handle anyone gettin' close to me." He smiled at me then. "But once I got to know you a little bit, I knew you'd be ok."
It was almost as good as hearing him say he loved me, and as we got back to work, I filed the moment away so that I could think about it later. We worked well together, finding that some of my weaknesses were his strengths and vice versa, and we got a lot done on the house. I made a mental note to contact a realtor on Monday, and get it on the market.
"So what are you gonna be?" Evan asked me over breakfast the following Saturday.
"Be? For what?"
"Halloween," he said in an incredulous tone as he stared at me across the table. "Are you sure you're gay?"
"Pretty sure. Wasn't that my dick up your ass last night?"
He grinned at me then. "Mmmm, yeah. But don't avoid the question. You don't get dressed up to answer the door?"
"I never answer the door. I always spend Halloween at the lake, as far from the whole thing as I can get."
"Well, not this year. This year you're gettin' dressed up."
I glared at him, but he ignored me. How bad could it be, I thought. "Ok, but I'm not wearing tights. Not even for you."
"Hold still," Evan told me for the fifth time. I was sitting on the toilet seat lid, dressed in the shabby clothes he'd given me, while he applied cosmetic adhesive to my forehead. "Now close your eyes."
I shut my eyes as he wrestled something out of a shopping bag and settled it on my head. He chuckled a little as he sealed the edges of the thing just above my eyes and tugged it down the back of my skull. I'd agreed to do this only under the threat of no sex for a month if he made me look like an idiot. The chuckle wasn't very reassuring, and just as I was about to start bitching, he said, "Ok, take a look."
I opened my eyes and looked up at him with a glower. He burst into laughter and turned me toward the mirror. The heavy brow ridge and tall square head of Frankenstein's monster stared back at me, complete with big gleaming bolts sticking out of my temples. He'd applied dark circles under my eyes and a grayish tone to the rest of my face. I frowned at myself and opened my mouth in a guttural monster groan. It was great! Evan put on a white fright wig and a pair of wire rimmed glasses, shrugged into a long white lab coat, and we left the bathroom.
Chewy was curled up by the fireplace as we came into the living room, and sat up to greet us, but when he got a look at me, he leaped up and darted behind the couch, growling. I crouched down and called to him, but he'd only peak around the end of the sofa, the fur on the back of his neck all on end. Finally, Evan had to come sit next to me and hug me before Chew would believe that it was really me. He slunk up to us from Evan's side, tail down, eyes wide, licking my hand apologetically before putting his front feet on my knee and sniffing my head warily.
Evan hadn't forgotten Chewy either, outfitting him in a floppy jester's hat and a wide ruffled collar made from brightly colored fabric. When he was finished, Chewy stood stock still, completely mortified, and rolled mournful eyes up to me in silent entreaty.
"Sorry, dude," I told him. "Look what he did to me."
Just then the doorbell rang for the first time, and we all trouped over to open it. The three kids on the front porch - a pirate, a mummy and a princess - stared up at us, open-mouthed, and the princess took a step back. I groaned at them and Chewy barked at the sword the pirate brandished at me. The kids shrieked and laughed - we were a hit.
So began the silliest evening of my life. Being in costume was freeing in a way I'd never experienced. I felt like a different person, like things were possible now that hadn't been, before my transformation into this lumbering, moaning monster. Evan and I quickly fell into a little routine where he'd summon me to the doorway, I'd groan and reach for the giggling kids, Chewy would bark. As the saying goes, it was as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.
When the stream of kids trailed off, we went next door and rang Callie's bell. She answered the door decked out like a wicked witch, complete with pointy black hat, hairy wart and broom. She stared at us for a long moment, finally recognizing us when Chewy nudged the door open and trotted inside.
She stepped back to let us in, staring at my head with a hand over her mouth. It was early yet, so we hung around for a while, eating cookies and chatting before taking Chewy for his walk, the three of us still in costume.
"So, was that so bad?" Evan asked me as we washed off our makeup in the bathroom before bed.
I caught his eyes in the mirror. "No, it was a blast and you know it."
We grinned at each other and went to bed.
I still have the picture that Callie took of us that night. We're sitting close together on her couch with Chewy sprawled across our legs. I have my eyes closed, my mouth open in a groan, Evan is grinning at the camera, glasses askew, and Chew's hat is down over one eye. After all these years, I have many other pictures of us, but that photo sits on the desk in my office, and is still one of my all-time favorites.
The first weekend in November, I was at his place, and we were at Peetie's Friday night. Kenny and Evan were about to beat the two guys who were playing when we first came in, so Rafael and I sat it out, watching from a table.
Rafael came back from the john and glanced at me as he sat down. He gave me a look before poking a stiff finger gently down into the mound of my denim crotch, making a direct hit on the head of my dick. I jumped a little.
"That all you in there?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
I looked down at my lap; it did look pretty good in these jeans. I grinned at him. "Yup." He smiled, and shook his head.
A while later it was my turn to piss, and when I got up from the table, I turned in my chair first, then stood, bumping my crotch into his arm. He glanced up at me, and I winked at him. He cracked up and smacked me on the butt as I walked away.
I played with my dick a little in the bathroom, putting it away half hard, and when I sat down at the table, I took Rafael's hand and clamped it around my cock, giving it a little shake. "Just want you to know that I can keep our boy happy, since you're always so worried about him."
When I let go of his hand, he took a better grip and gave me a few rhythmic squeezes, pumping me up even more. "Fuck, you're hung like Kenny. Figures," he said in disgust as he put his hand back up on the table. I smirked at him. Evan gave me a look when he came back to the table, then dragged me up to the bar with him for more peanuts.
"What were you two up to?"
"He was questioning my manhood," I said in a pious tone.
"And did you... convince him that you're every inch a man to be reckoned with?" he asked with a straight face, concentrating hard on the peanut bowl.
"I did," I assured him solemnly. He snorted, and gave me a quick squeeze of his own before walking back to the table.
That weekend was the turning point in my relationship with Rafael and Kenny. That night they both hugged and kissed me goodbye with almost the same easy affection they shared with Evan, and I felt great about it. I'd never had the sort of close friendship that Evan, Raf and Kenny shared, and it was beginning to feel like maybe I had a shot at being a part of it.
When I woke up the next morning, Evan was propped on an elbow watching me. When he saw that I was awake, he put a hand on my chest and rubbed slowly, brushing across my nipples with each pass. He didn't say anything, just studied me with that somber expression, his eyes wandering over my face. Finally, I reached a hand up and brushed his hair back off his forehead.
It took another minute before he began to speak. "That I'm not alone any more. Even with Kenny and Raf, I always felt alone. Not lonely, but alone. There was no one who cared just for me, someone to whom I was the most important person in their life." He stopped and swallowed hard, then licked his lips and continued, "But I am that to you, aren't I?"
Oh, God, Evan.
I knew my voice wouldn't hold, so I just nodded, riveted to his gaze. He nodded back, and when he blinked, a glistening teardrop rolled down his cheek. I caught it with my knuckle before it could drip off his chin, and it was followed by several more as he screwed his eyes tightly shut. I pulled him down to me where he took a long shaky breath and sighed deeply.
I lay there holding him, staring at the ceiling, thinking that I was happier than I'd ever been. I had this sensitive, intelligent, hot guy who loved me, and we were gonna live happily ever after in a little farmhouse out in the country, building gorgeous motorcycles, and making the world a better place with lots of free legal advice and exquisitely written computer code.
In the Twilight Zone, maybe.
Don met us in the driveway again when we pulled in for Thanksgiving dinner. This time he was hanging a swag of Indian corn on the pillar that held the mailbox.
"I hope you boys are hungry. Your mother went nuts, as usual. I think she's incapable of buying a turkey under 20 pounds. And the weird stuffing this year is raisin pecan."
Evan rolled his eyes and explained. "Every year my mom makes normal stuffing, but she also tries something new from one of her zillion cookbooks. Last year it was lemon peanut, and it was as awful as it sounds."
Lemon peanut sounded bizarre, but I thought raisin pecan sounded pretty good. We all helped get dinner from the kitchen to the dining room, and spent a very pleasant two hours sitting around the table, eating and talking and laughing. Don and Maggie treated me like I showed up for dinner every day of the week, and it amazed me again just how comfortable I was around them. The feeling of 'family' that the three of them gave off was palpable, and I soaked it up like a sponge, feeling something deep inside me thaw a little more each time one of them smiled at me or touched my arm.
I learned that it was always just the immediate family on Thanksgiving Day, and that Maggie threw an open house buffet on Saturday for friends and neighbors, which explained the bowls and platters and trays of delicious food. The raisin pecan stuffing was a hit with Evan, Don and me, and Maggie beamed at our second helpings, pleased to have hit a winner this year.
We stayed around for a while after dinner, helping pack everything up for Saturday, and then watching some football with Don. Evan came into the family room last, and sat down close to me on the couch, laying his hand on my thigh with a squeeze. Don glanced at us, noting Evan's hand, then went back to the game. That easy acceptance that Evan took for granted wasn't something I had any experience with. I lay my hand over Evan's, smiling to myself.
It was probably the best Thanksgiving of my life up to that point, and I hugged Maggie with real affection when they walked us to the car. Evan was smiling at me as I drove toward his place.
"They really like you. Not that I had any doubts, but it's been a long time since I had someone over, and I wasn't sure how they'd be with it right in their face. God, it's good to feel normal again."
"You're not normal, you're 'gay'." I put it in quotes and made an 'eeeuw' face. Evan cracked up.
"Yeah, you're right. I meant it's good to be part of a couple again. I guess I'm one of those people who just aren't happy by themselves."
I frowned at him. "Is anyone?"
He shrugged. "I guess some people are, but I'm not one of them."
Friday we took a drive south and east of town, looking at the different areas where there were houses for sale. The countryside was stark, with leafless trees silhouetted against the gray sky and flights of crows passing overhead, their noisy calls muted by the heavy air. We didn't stop anywhere, just drove around, snug in the Jeep. A few places looked okay, but nothing really grabbed us and we went home in a sort of funk, somewhat let down after the holiday mood of yesterday, I guess.
Evan watched me mope around the condo for a little while, and then disappeared for a bit. When he found me in the living room, flipping desultorily through the TV channels, he took the clicker from my hand and hit the 'off' button. I glanced up to see him, totally naked, looking at me with an odd smile. Involuntarily I smiled back.
"What?" I asked him. "What happened to your clothes?"
"Come with me."
He led me by the hand into the bedroom which was lit only by a few candles here and there. It smelled good, too, and I saw the burning end of an incense stick on the dresser. Shades of the seventies, I thought, but it was kind of neat.
He removed my clothes, not allowing me to help, and I got into the spirit of it, letting him turn me this way and that to get me undressed. I steadied myself with a hand on his shoulder as he squatted to remove my socks, waving my semi-hard dick in his face, but he ignored it and steered me onto the bed, easing me down with an arm around my back.
He rolled me onto my stomach, straddling me, and I felt the warm drizzle of oil zigzag down my back, then the firmness of his hands smoothing it around before he began to work my muscles with long, deep strokes. It was heavenly, another talent of his that I hadn't known of. I moaned and stretched and damn near purred as he kneaded away all my discontent.
The condo was quiet; all I could hear was the occasional moan of the autumn wind and Evan's deep breathing. My mind drifted as he worked on me, and I decided that if I ever won the lotto and was filthy rich, I'd hire a hot, hunky massage therapist to follow me around and rub me down whenever I was in the mood.
Evan did my entire body, down each arm to the tips of my fingers, the soles of my feet, which didn't tickle as much as I thought it would, on up my legs to my ass which he spread and licked with a wet tongue, then blew on, and I gripped the sheets. When he turned me over, he oiled me again, ending at my cock, which was dancing around too much for him to aim at with any precision. He chuckled and pressed it to my belly with one finger, ran a bead of oil up it and let it spring loose again.
I'm glad he was having fun; I was seriously hard and starting to ache, but he steered clear of my dick and continued on with his massage. By the time he got to my upper thighs, I was pushing up into his hands. I wasn't quite at the whimpering and begging stage yet, but it wasn't gonna be long. A glistening strand of precum drooled from the tip of my cock down to the oiled hair of my belly, swaying as my dick throbbed.
Finally, I grabbed his wrists and looked up at him. "You're killin' me here."
He smiled and took my hand, pouring oil into my palm and laying it against his chest. I rubbed it all over the front of him, paying special attention to his cock and balls cause I thought I knew what the grand finale was going to be.
When he was satisfied with my lube job, he positioned himself flat out over me on his hands and knees, lowered himself down, and began to move his body forward and back over mine, but very lightly, keeping most of his weight in his hands. His hard nipples grazed my chest, and the ridge of his cock head bumped up the tight ripples of my stomach as his pubic hair and balls caressed my dick.
Then back down, and all those same parts of him dragged their slow, oiled way across other parts of me and it became a different kind of massage. He gradually increased both the speed of his movements and the pressure of his body against mine until both of us were breathing like steam engines and grinding together. I held out as long as I could, but finally grabbed his slippery ass hard in both hands and slowed down to take three big plunges through the slick warmth of our stomachs before cumming in long, surging contractions that froze me at their peak, straining against Evan.
His orgasm was slower, easier. He lay fully down onto me, his arms under my back with his hands up over my shoulders from behind, pulling himself along me as he breathed deeply through it, shuddering a little with each shot. When it was all over, he made no move to get up, just snuggled into the squishiness of our accumulated cum and lay there.
"I can feel your heart beat in my chest, almost like it's mine," he said quietly against my neck.
"Oh, God, It is yours Evan," I replied. "All yours. I love you."
It's times like these when I felt most confident that Evan and I could make a lifetime together. I know that phenomenal sex is no guarantee that a relationship will function well in other areas, but the fact that we were so close, so good together physically, gave me hope that we could master the rest of it - the finances, the families and friends, the plethora of details that can, and do, ruin the best of intentions.
"Does it ever scare you...?" he began.
"What?" I prompted him gently when his voice trailed off. "Does what ever scare me?"
"Do you ever think that maybe this is too good? That somehow you don't deserve to be this happy?"
He had voiced a fear that I'd been struggling with since our first weekend together.
"Yeah, sometimes... but I don't really believe in that shit. I think you make your own happiness." I shifted us so that I could see his face, and looked deep into his shadowed eyes. "You and I are for real, and we're gonna stay that way. I know life's not a fairy tale, and God knows, so do you, but we're smart enough to take care of what we've got goin' here." I thought about what his mom had said to me in her kitchen the first time we'd met. "To cherish it and keep it alive."
He sank back down onto me, and I welcomed the heaviness of him, his weight grounding me somehow. I gazed over his shoulder out into the dim room, watching the flicker of candlelight on the walls, and vowed that I would never forget what it felt like to be loved this much, and never let him forget it either.
We dozed for a while, still in each other's arms, then wandered into the kitchen and made quesadillas for supper. I grilled them in a skillet them while he got plates and glasses out, and we had a quiet meal, talking about the houses we'd driven past today and about going to his folks' open house tomorrow. After Raf called to invite us over for pre-buffet drinks, we watched a little TV and went to bed early, just cuddling under the blankets together before falling asleep.
Saturday morning was clear and chilly. We took a long walk around the neighborhood, exchanging cordial nods with people who had gotten used to seeing the two of us hand in hand. In the early afternoon, we dressed more casually than on Thursday, jeans and decent shirts, and drove over to Raf and Kenny's place.
Evan banged on the door and then walked in, hollering that we were here. Kenny called from the kitchen, so we went out there to see him getting out the blender and glasses. They had done extensive modifications to make the place work for Kenny, with ramps, wide doorways, and all sorts of other stuff that made it easier for him to get around and get things done.
We were shooting the shit, waiting for Raf to get dressed, when I went to take a leak. I was just leaving the bathroom when a movement caught my attention and I glanced to my left. Rafael was visible through a partially open door at the end of the hall.
He had just gotten out of the shower with a towel draped over his head, and his arms raised as he dried his hair. He was sideways to me and I could see the roundness of his ass in back and the arch of his soft uncut cock in front, curving down from a patch of short black curls over a set of balls that hung heavy in their sack. His arms and shoulder muscles bunched and flexed as he scrubbed the towel over his head, and my feet quit moving on their own.
He had a really good body, with sculpted musculature, taut brown belly skin over an 8-pack of abs that I would have killed for, strong, lean legs, and not a spare ounce of fat. He must have felt my stare because he lowered the towel slowly and turned his head to look at me. We just stared at each other, and after a moment he moved out of sight.
I let out a breath, shoved my hand in my jeans to re-arrange my chubbed-up dick, and then went back to the kitchen where Kenny had just whipped up a batch of mudslides. Raf came in a few minutes later and greeted Evan and I with a hug and a kiss. We made eye contact across the kitchen, holding it for a few seconds before Kenny handed him a drink. I couldn't get the sight of his cock out of my head. When we flipped for designated driver, I lost, and had to settle for just a sip of Evan's drink.
We sat around their family room looking at the latest issue of MEN, and wondering what it would be like to see large naked pictures of yourself on the newsstand. I guess if you've gotten to that point in your career, your family and friends probably already have a clue that you're something other than a Sunday school teacher. We admired Shane Rollins' beautiful round ass, which made me think of Raf's beautiful round ass, which gave me another boner, but we all had one, looking at Shane, so no one noticed.
We piled into Evan's car, loaded Kenny's chair in the trunk, and headed for Don and Maggie's. The street was lined with cars, but we found a spot about halfway down the block and made our way back to the house. Maggie saw us coming from the front window and came out to meet us, warmly hugging Evan before turning her attention to Raf and Kenny.
She took Raf's face in both hands and kissed his good cheek. "It's so good to see you, Rafael. And you..." she said, turning to hug Kenny, "you look wonderful."
Kenny grinned at her. "Yeah, we're both doin' good. Thanks for having us over."
"My pleasure. I don't get to see you boys near enough. Come on in."
She gave me a hug, holding me close an extra few seconds, and it felt wonderful. I know I have 'mother' issues, since my own was such a wash-out, and Maggie's warm affection just plain felt good. She kept a hand on my arm as she kissed Evan, and the three of us followed Raf and Kenny into the house. Don said 'hey' as he walked past with a pumpkin pie in each hand, stopping to kiss Evan briefly on the cheek and bump his elbow into my arm.
We ate a couple platefuls each, sitting around their family room with more football on the TV. The house was full of people I didn't know and never got introduced to, so I just stuck with the boys. As I took my plate and Kenny's into the kitchen, Maggie took my arm and pulled me into her little office off the hall. Silently she handed me a picture frame, and as I turned it over, I felt the same chill I'd gotten that first time in Evan's room when I'd spotted the picture of Luke and Evan by the truck.
"Oh, Maggie. . . " was all I could manage.
It was a black and white shot of Evan and me, taken Thursday. We had our backs to the camera, gazing out into the yard, almost in silhouette from being in front of the window, but there was enough light to tell it was us. Evan was standing slightly behind me and a little to the side, his hand wrapped around the back of my neck, and his face was turned mostly to me, tilted to rest his forehead against the side of my head, as though he were whispering into my ear. I remembered that I had reached across the front of him to wrap my hand around his hip; you could just see the tips of my fingers pressing into him.
This photograph had the same quality as the one upstairs - you couldn't mistake it for anything other than two people in love. I stared at it with a tight chest, and then looked at Maggie, who was watching me with a slight smile. "I thought you'd like it," she said, pleased with my reaction.
I managed to release the iron grip of one hand from the frame and reached for her, pulling her to me. She gave a little laugh and hugged me. As I held her, I felt her body jerk once, and then she started to cry, quick, hard sobs that sounded like they hurt. I sat the picture on her desk and wrapped my other arm around her. After a couple minutes, she pushed away from me and blew her nose with some tissues from the desk, sighing and trying to get her composure back.
"What's wrong?" I asked her, almost afraid to hear.
She smiled through her sniffles and laughed again. "Oh, God, nothing! I'm just so happy that Evan has you. I ached for him all these years, but there was nothing I could do except love him, and wait for him to find the man that he could trust enough to love again." She smiled and patted my arm. "I'm sorry to fall apart like that. I didn't feel it coming until I watched your face as you looked at the picture."
She patted her face dry and fixed her makeup in the powder room off the office, then came back to stand in front of me, serious now. "Thank you for loving Evan. I couldn't have wished more for him." She reached up and kissed my cheek, then left the room. I stood there for a moment, then picked the photo back up and studied it some more. It was only then that I finally felt equal to Luke, somehow documented in my love for Evan, as Luke had been in the many of pictures I'd seen of the two of them together.
I put it with my jacket and joined the guys for a run at the dessert table. When we got ready to leave, I tucked the frame in my shirt, and then put my coat on. I wanted to show it to Evan alone before anyone else saw it. When we got back to Raf and Kenny's, I kept Evan in the car with me a while Raf got Kenny into his chair and into the house.
I pulled the frame from my shirt and handed it to him, facedown as Maggie had handed it to me. He glanced at me curiously, and then turned it over. At the instant he recognized the picture, his face broke into a beautiful smile and he looked up at me.
"It's wonderful, isn't it?" he said. "It looks exactly like what I feel for you. Mom, huh?"
I nodded, and he gazed at the picture for another minute, then sat it carefully on the back seat and took me in his arms. We held each other until Raf yelled out the door to get our asses in the house. Laughing, Evan kissed me and slurped his tongue up my cheek. "That's just until we get home," he promised me.
We spent a good evening with Kenny and Raf. They had a regulation pool table set up in the front room, and as we played, we talked about Evan and me getting a place around here somewhere. Kenny gave me the name of the gay-friendly realtor, Tom Stanton, who they'd bought their place from, saying he was a cool guy and would work hard to find us the right deal.
As Raf was setting up his shot, Kenny rolled one shoulder and sighed. When I glanced at him with a raised eyebrow, he said, "I tore up some stuff in the accident, and it aches when the weather gets cold."
I moved behind him and gripped his shoulders, kneading the big muscles of his upper back. He worked out regularly, and that, plus rolling the chair everywhere, had given him a great upper body. He leaned forward to drop his head and rest his elbows on his knees as I worked the knots out, circling my thumbs down the sides of his spine. I'm actually pretty good at this, and he was loving it, groaning with pleasure as he relaxed under my hands.
After a few minutes, when we realized we were holding up the game, he sat up, raising a hand to hook around my neck and pull me down to him as he turned his head to meet my mouth. The kiss was more than a peck; it shot a quick tingle to my nuts, and had Evan smiling at me as I straightened up.
After several games of pool and a few too many beers, we ended up spending the night, although Evan's place wasn't five miles away. As we got undressed, I sat on the edge of the bed and pulled Evan over to stand between my knees, nuzzling my face into his stomach and dragging down the waist of his shorts to nibble on the trail of hair that went south from his belly button. He was still semi-soft when I sucked his dick in, and he held my head in both hands as I buried my nose in his pubes.
Our door wasn't completely closed cause I had thought we were just going to sleep, and I could hear Raf and Kenny talking softly in their room. I couldn't hear what they were saying, just the murmur of their voices. Getting head while his two buddies were just around the corner must have been pretty exciting, cause it wasn't long before Evan was on tiptoe with his gut clenched tight, trying to last a little longer before he blew.
I knew that trick, though, and started to tickle his nuts with one hand, which got through his defenses, and he unloaded with deep grunts as he pumped into my throat. His knees were quivering as I pulled off him, licking my lips and smiling up at him.
"Unnnhhh! Fuck!" he exclaimed as I pulled him down on the bed next to me. "Damn, you're good at that."
I leaned over to kiss him, and then pushed him back to haul his pants the rest of the way off. I stood and yanked my shorts off, too, and when I released my dick, it slapped up against my belly, bobbing with anticipation. There was lube in the bedside table drawer (good hosts!), and I shoved some up Evan's ass before I crawled up onto the bed, pushing his legs back to his chest and pulling him onto my iron hard cock. He breathed deeply, open-mouthed, as I settled down into him, his eyes closed with his hands resting on my legs. I began to fuck him slowly, stroking in and out, then nestling deep and rocking back and forth. It all felt great, and I stayed there for a long time, just enjoying the sensations.
As I was beginning to think about getting off, a shadow from the doorway fell across the far wall. Evan was flat on his back with his eyes closed, so he didn't notice. I leaned forward on my hands and went back to the long, quick strokes that would finish me quickly. As my nuts tightened, the shadow stayed where it was and I realized he was going to watch us until the end. I hung my head, braced on straight arms, and growled my way through a hard orgasm. When I was almost finished, I tipped my head slightly, and watched Rafael's shadow slide out of sight.