'52 Panhead Part 24

To: bwnf@umail.com

From: byteme@ymail.com


I know a horse named Gracie. She lives next door and pulls a plow for a living. I was playing Call of Duty online last night and there was a guy on the other team who killed me about 20 times before I figured out where he was sniping from. We're going to a basketball game tonight. A friend of mine made it into the regional finals. Tell your mom yeah, I still like tomatoes.


Enough with the `Uncle Jeff' shit I thought as I hit `send.' My email sounded like some stream of consciousness thing Evan had listened to on the radio one day, but since Brendan wrote the same way, I figured he'd be able to read it ok.

It was early evening on the second Saturday in April. Tax season ended next Tuesday, which was a goddamn good thing because I wasn't sure Evan could take any more. The last week things had gotten much worse. He hadn't smiled in days, and our 9pm dinners were grim, silent affairs, followed by Evan walking off to bed while I cleaned up the kitchen.

"You ready?" Evan stuck his head in the door for a second before disappearing down the hall. I followed him out the door and as we climbed into his car, I waved goodbye to Chewy who was peering out the dining room window. Evan drove with a single-minded intent that left no room for conversation, and although I knew his mood wasn't directed at me, it was tough to keep from taking it personally. We hadn't been through a spell like this before, and I wasn't sure of the best way to handle him, so I played it safe and kept my mouth shut.

Kenny's team played like crazy men, heaving their bodies from their chairs to snag rebounds, and more than once we had to keep Rafael from pounding down the bleachers to beat the crap out of the guy who had knocked Kenny over. By the time our team won, the three of us were as tired as if we'd played the whole game ourselves. While we waited for Kenny to come out of the locker room, Rafael and I re-played the game basket by basket as Evan stared out across the parking lot.

The pizza parlor was packed with wheel chair athletes, their families and friends, and we had to squeeze in at the end of a table. Everyone except Evan drank beer as we wolfed down pizza and salad, lifting our mugs high every time someone hollered out a beery toast. He got into the spirit of things a little, but it seemed forced to me, like he didn't want to be a party pooper for Kenny's sake. I caught Raf watching him a couple times, studying Evan's face when he was looking the other way, but when Rafael caught my eye, I just gave a little shake of my head. Other than wait for April 15th to liberate him from the drudgery of taxes, I didn't know what to do for him.

It was almost midnight by the time we got home, so we let Chew out to take a leak before we fell into bed. I slept like a log, but woke up early, around 5:30, and it was a moment or two before I realized that Evan's side of the bed was empty. I sat up and looked at Chewy's blanket in the corner. Empty, as well. Since Evan was rarely the first one up, this was odd enough that I swung out of bed and hauled on sweats and a t-shirt before walking down the hall. They weren't in the living room, so I made a right into the kitchen. No boyfriend, no dog, but the green light on the coffee maker was glowing, indicating a pot made less than an hour ago. Reassured somewhat by that bit of domestic evidence that he hadn't driven away in the middle of the night, I pulled on sneakers, poured myself a cup, and went out on the back porch.

Where the hell were they?

It wasn't full light yet, so I could barely see the horses at the far end of the field, slowly working their way up to the fence for their morning carrots. The grass glistened with dew, the air was fresh and full of bird song, and I had the fleeting thought that I should get up at this hour every morning. As I walked to the end of the porch, I finally noticed that the barn door was open a little, just wide enough for Evan to have squeezed through.

I went down the steps and wandered toward the barn by way of the garden, surprised to see sporadic rows of green shoots poking up through the soil - volunteers from last year. No telling what they were; Callie might know. When I peered into the gloomy barn, it took my eyes a moment to adjust, but there was Evan, polishing the 80-spoke wheels on his bike by the glow of my shop light. He was sitting on the dirt floor with Chewy curled up next to him, humming to himself as he worked.

As I stood there debating whether I should join him or not, one of the horses whinnied; Evan and Chewy both glanced toward the door and spotted me at the same time. Chew jumped up and came wagging over to say hello, while Evan just smiled at me before going back to his spokes. I pulled a low stool over, sat down behind Evan, and began to rub his shoulders.

"Lotta spokes," I commented.

"Yeah, 47 down, 113 to go," he sighed. "And I been at it for almost an hour. Is that hot?" he added, reaching for my coffee. After he took a sip, he put it down and leaned back against my legs with a yawn. "I'm so tired."

"Then let's go back to bed for a while. It's not even six yet."

After giving that a moment's thought, he said, "Ok," tossed down his rag, put the lid on the polish, and pushed to his feet. The sky was a little brighter, the horses a little closer, than when I had come out the back door, but it was still too early to be up on a Sunday morning.

Back in the bedroom, Evan stripped and climbed under the sheet with a bone-weary sigh. I propped myself up on some pillows, gathered him up in my arms, and we both drifted off until Evan woke with a jerk a couple hours. (and no, I'm not the jerk) He was on his side next to me, one leg across mine, his soft cock and heavy balls a warm presence against my hip. He lay still for a bit, but then pushed away from me to sit up. Thinking to seduce him into staying in bed a while longer, I slid around him until my mouth hovered over his lap.

"Lemme start your day off with a bang," I offered in a throaty whisper, and then ran my wet tongue along his soft cock as I rolled my eyes up to look at him. The expression on his face as he gazed down at me was odd and I wasn't sure what it meant until he spoke.

"It's out of order."

I blinked. "Your dick's out of order?"

He sighed as he spelled it out for me. "Yup, can't get it up." He flipped his limp cock with a finger. "Impotent. ED's the PC term, I guess."

"I know what it's called," I said, sitting up next to him as we both looked down at his unresponsive penis. "Are you sure? I bet I can-"

"No, you can't, and, yes, I'm sure." He got up and walked to the window with his back to me. "Just... let it be, ok? It's got nothing to do with you and it'll go away. It always does."

Always? Jesus. And bull shit nothing to do with me. If Evan couldn't get a hard-on, it had pretty much everything to do with me, didn't it? I'd never had a guy not respond to me. And for the first one to be Evan was devastating. I slowly got out of bed and walked over to him, standing so I could see his face, but I had to swallow once before I could talk.

"Evan... how can you say it has nothin' to do with me? Are you..." Fuck, I couldn't even bring myself to say it.

He turned to me, cupping my face in one hand as he spoke. "It's not you, sweetheart -- honest. I love you. We're good. Relax. I'm just stressed out." He released me and shrugged a shoulder. "When I get really stressed, my dick's the first thing to go. Some people get headaches or upset stomachs; I get ED."

"What are you so stressed out about? Taxes are almost over..."

"Jesus, all sorts of stuff!" he erupted, waving his hands in the air as he paced around the bedroom. "I fucking hate taxes. I don't know why I ever thought I could do that for the rest of my life. The Center's about to open and I've got a year -- one year -- to make a go of it, but I have no idea if anyone's gonna hire me for anything. I've got an employee that I feel responsible for, never mind my dad's opinion of me if the thing falls on its ass! I've got this place to keep up with; I don't do anything around here to help you, so I feel bad about that. And I've got us to worry about. All sorts of shit!"

His final words were a shout, and then he shoved a hand through his hair in frustration, put his face in his hands and just stood there, his ragged breathing loud in the still room.

I stared at him for a moment, shocked by his outburst. "Jesus, Evan, I didn't realize..."

He dropped his hands to his hips and blew out a sigh. "I know -- I know. It just seems like it's all piling up right now."

"Well, don't worry about this place - I got it under control. And you're not seriously worried about you and me, are you? I mean, I miss you when you work so much, but as long as you come home every night..."

"Jesus, you can count on that. You're the only thing keepin' me sane right now." He reached for me then, wrapping me up tight enough to make me grunt. "Please don't get sick of this. Or of me. I promise it'll get better once the Center opens. I'm just wound really tight right now."

"Don't even think shit like that. It'd take a lot more than a limp dick now and then to get rid of me."

His snort of mirth burst against my neck and after a few moments he loosened his arms slightly to begin his usual slow rub up and down my back. Maybe Evan couldn't get a hard-on right now, but that sure didn't stop my cock from stiffening up against his belly. He snorted out another chuckle.

"My mouth still works. One of us might as well enjoy himself," he said as he dropped to his knees.

Ten toe-curling minutes later he was scrubbing my back in the shower. We ate breakfast on the back porch after we fed the horses their morning carrots. Max took another swipe at me, but I was ready this time and beat him to it with a back-handed clout on his cheek from my fist. He stepped back in surprise, his eyes showing white, but it was only a minute or two before he was back at the fence, looking for a new angle, so it obviously hadn't hurt too badly.


Monday passed, and when Evan came home that night around ten, he was in a slightly better mood. It was a warm evening, so we had a glass of wine on the back porch before bed. Chewy had gotten stung on the foot shortly after we'd gotten home from Kenny's and he was still limping around feeling sorry for himself. After a few minutes of being stared at mournfully, Evan picked him up and cradled him like a baby.

"You silly mutt. What'd you step on a bee for, anyway?" Chewy whined and licked Evan's chin, knowing a sympathetic tone when he heard one, then wiggled into a more comfortable position and snoozed while we finished our wine. I wanted to ask Evan something, but wasn't real sure how to bring it up.

"Should I... Are you gonna tell me when...?" I gestured at his crotch.

"I think you'll know," he sighed. "Prolly be a while, though." He gave me a sideways glance. "I'd be happy to, ah, help you out meanwhile."

I shook my head. "I wanna wait for you."

Evan's eyebrows shot up. "You're not gonna get off till I can? You'll never make it," he stated flatly. "You're the horniest dude I ever met. You'll be jerkin' off in the shower by tomorrow morning."

He gave my shoulder a playful shove, chuckling at the very thought.

"You don't think I can do it, huh?" I matched his eyebrows. "Fine. Just be ready when I fuck you the first time cause I'm gonna shoot so hard you'll have cum leakin' out your ears."

"Promises, promises," he said with an eye roll, ducking out of the way when I swatted at him.

In bed a little later, Evan curled up with his back to me for a few moments, but his foot was jiggling and it wasn't long before he turned to face me. The waning moon lit the room sufficiently for me to see his somber expression. We lay there, gazing at each other from a foot apart, holding hands, kissing a little, until Evan finally said what was on his mind.

"When we first got together I told you the main reason why I knew you were the one for me. Do you remember what it was?"

"My big dick?" I quipped, but then what he'd said months ago came back to me in a rush, skittering goose bumps down my arms. "Because you were able to stay hard and fuck me."

He smiled and nodded. "Exactly. Because I responded so strongly to you physically. I mean, I dug your personality, too, and I thought you were cute, and then there's always your big dick, but the fact that you made my cock hard was a huge part of it." He touched my mouth with his fingers. "That hasn't changed, Jeff. My current... condition truly has nothing to do with you and me, with how I feel about you. Ok?"

I curled toward him until my forehead touched his chest, and only then was I able to say it. "It scared me. I thought... maybe..."

Evan pushed me back so that he could look me in the eye. "Yes, I know what you thought, but it's so not true. It happens every tax season, but we weren't together last April, so you didn't know. And it usually happens around the anniversary of the accident."

Thinking of last June, I cheered up a little. "But it didn't last year."

"That's right, it didn't because by then you and I had been together for a little while. So don't make it something it's not, please."

Evan kissed me lingeringly, then turned over and fit himself into the curve of my body, sighing when I pulled him close. Although five years my junior, he had me beat all to hell in the emotional maturity department and I knew it. Life didn't consist of one identical day after another; people had good days and bad, relationships ebbed and flowed, and I needed to learn to roll with the punches a little bit more. I took a deep breath, exhaling slowly, concentrating on the things that were so right about Evan and me, and trying not to think about the stuff that was less than perfect.


The next afternoon, April 15th, I was programming away at Kenny's when Evan called just before 5pm.

"Hi! It's me!" His voice was exuberant.

"Hi, you. You sound awful happy."

"Happy!" he yelled. I heard cheering in the background.

"Yes, you're happy. Are you also drunk?" I was beginning to smile. Kenny glanced at me.

"Dru-uu-uu-uu-uunk!" he sang at the top of his lungs. More cheers. I held the phone away from my ear until it died down.

"In fact, you sound flat out hammered. Is the whole office wasted? And don't blow my eardrum out this time."

"OK," he said in a conspiratorial whisper. "Ummmm... what was the question?" he asked, bursting into giggles.

I was laughing by this time, and Kenny was shaking his head with a grin as he listened to me. "This happens every year," he said softly. I put my cell on speaker so he could enjoy it, too.

"I asked if you're all drunk on your ass."

"Mmmm, ass. I miss your ass. I haven't seen it in daaaays." Roars from the office crowd. Kenny cracked up and wiggled his eyebrows at me.

"You just saw it this morning in the shower."

"Mmmm, yeah. You have a great ass."

I had a feeling Evan had me on speaker, too, because now I heard voices chanting, `ass, ass, ass.' Kenny was doubled over in hysterics.

"Jesus, Evan... Should I come and get you, or do you wanna party some more?"

"That's why I called!" You could practically hear him smack a hand to his forehead. "Come to the party! Bring Raf and Kenny the wheelchair bandit!"

I looked at Kenny and got a nod. "OK, we'll be there in a little bit. Should I bring anything?"

"JUST YOUR GREAT ASS!!!" what sounded like half the office bellowed.

I hung up and wiped my eyes on the hem of my t-shirt. "Oh, my God. They always get drunk on April 15th?"

"Yeah. I guess he forgot to tell you. I think it's kinda weird for a law firm, but they pay to get everyone home in a cab, or make sure they call someone who's sober to come get them. Raf and I usually go down and party for a while, then go someplace to eat till we're sober enough to drive. Or Maggie shows up and gives us a ride. They're closed tomorrow, which is a good thing cause Evan'll be useless. He doesn't do really drunk very well."

I thought back to New Year's Day. Evan had felt pretty bad then, and he hadn't been half as hammered as he was now. Kenny called Raf while I shut down the several computers we'd been running, and twenty minutes later we parked in the back lot of the law office. As we got out of the car, Raf cocked his head and held up a hand for quiet, so we all stopped to listen. It sounded like they were proposing toasts; there'd be a few moments of silence, then a huge cheer, then more silence and more cheers.

By the time we got inside, it sounded like we were entering a rowdy nightclub on a particularly good night - music blared from the intercom speakers, voices babbled unintelligibly, laughter erupted here and there, glasses clinked. We rounded the corner into the dimmed main room, coming face to face with a woman dancing all by herself next to her empty desk. Raf started to dance with her while Kenny and I grabbed a beer from a row of iced tubs and went looking for Evan. We said hey to Don, who was at the edge of the room talking to a couple other suits. They looked pretty sober and I figured they were the other partners, watching the goings-on with a smile.

We finally came upon Evan sitting at a desk, surrounded by cheering drunks as he tried to stick a spoon on his nose. He'd lick the spoon, bring it to his nose with the exaggerated care of the very, very drunk, and then fall out laughing when it clattered to the desk. I watched him go through the routine a couple times before walking around behind him and whispering in his ear.

"It'll work better if you lick the inside of the spoon instead of the outside."

He nodded sagely without turning around to see who had offered that bit of helpful advice, licked the inside of the spoon, and successfully hung it from his nose. The crowd roared its approval as Evan jumped up with his fists in the air and danced a victorious circle. When he saw me, he threw his arms wide and his face lit up like he hadn't seen me in years.

"You're here!" He hugged me tightly for a second and then gave me a boozy kiss. As I fanned the air in front of my face, he leaned closer, raised his eyebrows to his hairline, and confided with a grin, "Taxes are aaaaaaaall over."

He looked so thrilled with the news that I just started laughing and pulled him back into a hug. It was good to see him happy, even if it was chemically induced, but he was so drunk that I figured I better stay sober enough to deal with him. I drank half my beer, poured the rest down the sink on a trip to the can, and filled it with water from the cooler. Raf, Kenny, and Evan spent the next three hours drinking everything in sight, dancing with anyone who got close enough, and just generally being party animals. What had to be about fifty pizzas showed up around 7pm, but they were too busy drinking to eat.

As I was wandering around with a piece of pizza and my beer bottle of water, I came across Kathryn watching from a vantage point in the corner. She was smiling and tapping her foot to the music, but she looked sober enough. When she saw me, she held up her soda can.


I touched my bottle to her can. "Done drinkin' for the night?" I asked with a smile.

"Never touch the stuff," she replied.

I raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Never?"

"Not in twenty-two years." Her eyes met mine levelly as she added, "I'm an alcoholic."

Not `was,' `am.' I couldn't think of an appropriate comment, so I gestured at the roomful of inebriated lawyers, clerks, and secretaries. "Quite the party."

"Yes, it's obviously a relief to have tax season behind them for another year. They all worked a lot of hours."

"So did you," I said with a glance her way. I'd never seen her less than perfectly turned out and tonight was no exception. She was dressed in black slacks and a mossy green sweater that showed her figure to advantage. Her hair was a little longer than when she'd talked Evan into hiring her, waving back off her face, and she looked like she'd lost a few pounds.

She waved a dismissive hand. "Evan burned the midnight oil. I mostly worked on getting the second floor ready to go. Furnishing the offices, stocking up on supplies, bookmarking the various forms and websites that we'll use a lot. I made some calls to local agencies so that they'll know who we are when we begin needing shelter rooms or foster families or what have you. Never hurts to grease the skids, as it were."

I watched Evan dancing with two girls, his head thrown back in a laugh. His tie was loose and flung over one shoulder, and his shirt was coming untucked.

"Is he ready?"

Kathryn followed my gaze with an amused smile. "He'll be fine. Actually, he'll be wonderful. He's a warm, compassionate man, and family law will suit him much better than what he was doing." She paused before turning to me. "But it's a soul-consuming way to make a living. He won't be able to save every kid he meets, and that will be very difficult for him. He'll need you."

"What do you mean, he won't be able to save them?"

She looked away and her face hardened. "I mean that no matter how good he is, how hard he tries, some of them will be left in unfit homes. Or run away to God knows what fate." Another pause. "And some will die, by their own hand or someone else's."

And with that, she pushed off the wall and walked away. I knew practically nothing about Kathryn beyond what her resume had stated and the little bit we'd talked at lunch that first day. The few times I'd run into her at the office, she'd been friendly but with a reserve that did not invite personal conversation. Looking at the square set of her shoulders as she crossed the room, I realized that years of struggling with the system, the families, the kids themselves, had dulled her optimism to a cynical realism that sobered me.

The same thing would happen to tender-hearted Evan, I thought. The first kid to run away from an intolerable situation before Evan could get him into a foster home would eat him up with guilt. The first kid to die would damn near kill him. I looked around the room until I spotted Evan deep in conversation with his dad and another man I didn't know. I hadn't thought through what `family law' meant, but now that Kathryn had made it brutally clear, I wished Evan had taken up real estate. As I gazed at him, he met my eyes and smiled. Oh, Evan, I thought, at least it won't be me that breaks your heart.

The tubs of beer and bottles of alcohol were gone by 8pm, and shortly after that the lights came up. Those less drunk began steering their more wasted colleagues down the steps to a line of waiting cabs. I was glad I'd stayed sober; tomorrow was gonna be a rough day for most of them. The four of us were starving, so we set off down the street in search of food. Kenny wasn't too drunk and was able to navigate the sidewalk in a fairly straight line by sighting along the curb as he rolled. Evan had lost some of his exuberance and was in the affectionate drunk stage, with an arm slung around my neck and his other hand patting my chest as we walked along. Raf kept a steadying hand on Kenny's shoulder.

The first place we came to was a sushi bar, but when Raf made a gagging noise and mimed puking in the gutter, we continued on to a sports bar for hamburgers. Since three quarters of us were already drunk, I figured we'd fit right in, but Evan's obvious affection for me caught the eye of a guy at the bar. He glanced over at us more and more often, shaking his head in disgust.

"Fag bar's across town," he finally muttered, but since Evan and Kenny were arguing about who got the last French fry, only Rafael and I heard him. I tried to catch Raf's eye, but he wouldn't look at me. He was sitting so that the asshole at the bar could see only the good side of his face, but as he spoke, he shifted in his seat until he was facing the guy.

"Excuse me?" he asked. Evan and Kenny had tuned in by this time, the French fry forgotten as they watched

The man turned on his barstool until he caught sight of Raf's face. "Jesus," he grimaced, "fuckin' carnival in town?"

I was out of my chair before I even thought about it, and had the guy on the floor a split second later with a hard right that exploded his nose all over his face. I would have kept going, but the bartender jumped in the middle of things just as Raf hauled me to my feet by my belt, and then banded his arms around me.

"I heard him," the bartender said, "so I ain't callin' the cops, but get the fuck outta here. Now!"

I jerked out of Rafael's grip and stalked out the door without a backward glance, shaking slightly with reaction. I've seen some rough shit over the years, but I'd never witnessed such blatant, unprovoked cruelty in my life. To see it played out in public, with my friend as the victim, made me ill, and just as I turned the corner into the parking lot, I lost my burger and fries next to somebody's Mercedes. I was chewing gum in the Jeep when they got to the parking lot, and we drove straight to our place without a word being spoken. Evan glanced at me a time or two, but I couldn't talk about it yet.

Chewy came bounding out the door when I let us in, did his business on the nearest tree and dashed back in. Kenny was one of his favorite people, and Chew made a bee-line for his lap as I tromped through the kitchen and banged out the back door, still too wound up and confused to face them yet. My hand was throbbing by now, and I just wandered around shaking it out for a few minutes before sitting down on an old bench in front of the chicken coop.

I didn't know what I felt; I was embarrassed and ashamed and angry all at the same time. Tonight in that bar, courtesy of some asshole I didn't even know, I had been given a very small glimpse into Rafael's world, and for the first time, I had an inkling of what Evan had been talking about when he said that he wished he'd been hurt as badly as Raf and Kenny. It felt wrong to be whole and unmarked when Rafael was so damaged - but thinking that made me feel bad about thinking of him as `damaged.'

Fuck. What a fucking mess.

I was trying to decide if I could ever look Raf in the face again when I heard the back door's distinctive squeak. I didn't look up to see who it was as the footfalls stopped in front of me and a baggie of ice landed in my lap. While I winced my way through the first few moments of settling the baggie over my knuckles, Raf sat down to my left, a foot or so away. He was quiet for a couple of minutes, just gazing off across the dark back yard as if we did this every evening, but finally he spoke.

"Last time I did something like that, Kenny didn't speak to me for three days."

"Jesus," I burst out. "How can you not?"

He turned to look at me, his face as serious as I'd ever seen it. "Because it doesn't do any good. You think just cause you poked him in the nose, he'll think twice about saying something shitty to the next person he meets who's worse off than him?"

"No, but-"

"But nothin'. Took me a while, but Evan and Kenny finally convinced me to quit jumpin' people who stared too long or said something about the way I look."

I shook my head and stared at the grass between my boots. "Doesn't it..."

"Bother me? Of course it bothers me. It bothers me that people are that insensitive, because I know they'd probably do the same thing to some poor kid who doesn't yet have the defenses to deal with it. You gotta remember that I've looked like this for almost ten years. I've had a long time to-" He paused with a sigh. "I was gonna say `get used to it,' but you never get used to it. You just learn to live with it."

The bad side of his face was to me, so I swung my head and took a long look. The discoloration wasn't very evident, but the slick, twisted skin was obvious, even in the kind light of a half moon. Raf sat still for a bit before turning to meet my eyes.

"I appreciate what you did," he said, "even if I don't agree with it." We stared at each other for a long moment, and then he stood and added, "Come on. We could all use some sleep."

He waited until I stood up, and then we walked across the grass, up the back steps, and into the house. Outside the guest room door, Rafael put a hand to my face and kissed me softly before going in to Kenny. I stood there for a moment, feeling more at ease with what had happened, but still unsettled and not the least bit tired. I opened the door to our room to find Evan sitting fully dressed on the edge of the bed, waiting for me.

"Your hand ok?" he asked me.

I nodded. "Yeah." He sounded fairly sober, but with as much as he'd drunk, he was gonna feel horrible in the morning. "I'll get you some aspirin," I said as I pushed off from the door.

"I took some already. Just come to bed."

By the time I brushed my teeth and took a leak, Evan was lying on his back with his hands behind his head, a sure sign we were going to talk. He didn't move as I slid under the covers and joined him in contemplating the shadows on the ceiling. I felt like I should apologize for losing my temper, but I wasn't at all sorry that I'd broken the guy's nose. His comment had been totally uncalled for, and I'd reacted without hesitation. Evan rolled toward me, sliding a leg across mine and sweeping a hand up my body to rest on my chest. I sighed deeply and put my hand over his, gripping it tightly for a second.

"You pissed at me?"

"Cause you stuck up for someone I care about? Not hardly." He kissed my shoulder. "When we first got together, I didn't really think about how their injuries would affect you, other than you having to get comfortable being around them. We haven't run into someone like that in a long time. Years. Most people just look too long, or look away too quick. It's tough to see someone you love be hurt like that, and I guess I'm mostly just sorry you had to go through it."

I rolled over so that Evan was under me and buried my face down in his neck. "I wanted it to be me, not Raf."

I felt Evan nod. "That's kinda what I was trying to explain a week or two ago, that I wished I was hurt as bad as them."

I lay still for a few minutes, letting the dark and the quiet and the body contact take the edge off my frazzled emotions. When Evan started to kiss his way from my shoulder up along my neck, I put most of my weight on my elbows and knees so that I could move against him more easily, and to my surprise, I felt his body begin to respond. I kept things slow, enjoying the little cool spots his wet mouth left on my skin, the sound his lips made as he kissed my face.

When I turned my head to meet his mouth, he rolled us over and drew his knees up alongside my hips, then planted a hand on each side of my head and stared down at me.

"I'm back in the game," he whispered.

"I noticed."

"I wanna do something different." His voice was almost shy.

"You do?"

"Yeah. We've done it before..."

As I realized what he was talking about, a warm flush moved through me, tightening my balls. "We have?" I teased him softly. "Did I like it?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Ok," I agreed, pulling him down for a deep kiss as the tingle in my gut got stronger. We kissed some more, slowly working our way to getting me on my stomach with Evan between my spread legs. He took his time, so that when he finally spread me with his thumbs and dragged his tongue from my nuts clear up to the base of my spine in one long slide, I was humping the mattress in an effort to give my aching cock some relief.

Evan often slid a finger into my ass while he blew me, but when he did it this time, I almost came. My gasp alerted him and we both froze until I let out my breath in a long sigh. I hadn't been fucked in almost a year, and now that Evan was about to, I wanted it with an intensity that made me impatient. As he began to put some weight on me, pressing down and in, I arched my back and slid my sore right hand underneath to squeeze my cock.

Timing it with his next thrust, I held my breath and pushed back onto him. There was a moment when I thought he'd back off, but he bit my shoulder hard and pushed into me with a grunt. Evan's arms were trembling as he lowered himself to lay on me, sinking deeper until I felt the weight of his low-hanging balls settling onto mine.

"Jesus," he said in a rough whisper, as he withdrew a few inches and then sunk back in, his breath ragged next to my ear. "I forgot what it feels like."

"Me, too." I unclenched my free hand from the sheet to grip his wrist, and turned my head to put my face against his. "Fuck me, Evan."

As he began to stroke, I turned my face back into his pillow, breathing him in as I let his movement force my cock through my clenched fist. It had only been a few days since I'd gotten off, but the feel of him in my ass was so different from our usual way of going about it that I knew I wouldn't last long. As good as it felt, it was the little cries he made each time his belly smacked against my ass that finally destroyed my control.

With a cry of my own, I climaxed with a convulsion that froze me in place for a long moment before surging through me like an electric current. I bucked against the mattress, barely aware of Evan crouched over me, his breath hot on my neck as his cock pulsed inside me. Coming with Evan inside me was a different kind of orgasm than when our roles were reversed -- or maybe it was that it had been a few days. Whatever, it was very good.

When the spasms weakened enough to be manageable, I pried my fingers from Evan's wrist and reached down to caress his thigh where it lay outside mine, getting the usual soft `mmm' from him. After a bit, he pulled out of me, and a moment later I heard the shower start. When he came back to get me, he leaned down to kiss the bite marks he'd left on my skin as he'd entered me. We washed each other slowly, turning a simple shower into an extension of our lovemaking, and toward the end Evan pulled me into a hard hug, his expression unreadable.

It had been a weird evening, but by the time we slid between fresh sheets, I knew I couldn't have done anything less than go after that guy for his remark to Rafael.

I also knew I wasn't gonna let Evan go back to being the only one gettin' fucked around here.

Thanks, David, for the usual fixings.

Big news on the blog. Read the `I'm honored...' post. http://qwb224.wordpress.com