As I made three trips from the car to the house in the driving rain, I cursed the lack of an attached garage; it was the only thing about the Farm that was less than wonderful. One trip in with groceries, a second with a big stack of blankets and quilts I'd borrowed from Maggie, and a third with a large box of candles and holders that Sharon had lent me. Then one more run through the rain to move my car around the drive a bit further so that Evan could park as close to the porch as possible when he got home. By that time, I was pretty well soaked, so I walked around the porch to go in through the back door into the kitchen, wiped myself off with an old towel from the laundry room, and got to work fixing things up for tonight.
I put the groceries away and turned the oven on low to keep the Chinese that I'd bought for dinner warm. Since the house felt chilly and damp, I got a fire going and then laid the blankets out on the floor right in front of the hearth so they'd be warm and dry for later. The candles (Sharon had a lot of candles!) got put all over the living and dining room, on shelves, tables, and tucked into corners.
By then, it was only about fifteen minutes until Evan usually got home, so I ran down the hall and jumped into the shower, scrubbed quick, and jumped out again in record time. I gave a few moments' thought to what to wear, but settled on just a pair of sweat pants. I knew my bare chest was a turn-on for Evan, especially now that I'd been back to the gym. I popped my pecs a couple times in the mirror, laughing at myself, and padded barefoot back down the hall.
The fire had burned down a bit, so I piled on a few more logs, turned the radio on low, and then walked around lighting the candles. As I'd hoped, all those flames gave a warm, golden glow to the room, perfect for a romantic evening. Just as I tossed the last match into the fire, I heard Evan's car door slam, his feet pound up the porch steps, and a second later the front door burst open just as a clap of thunder boomed out.
"Jesus!" he exclaimed. "It's raining li-" He stopped then, looking me up and down briefly before gazing around the room. When he turned back to me, his smile was appreciative. "Hi. The house looks great. You look great."
I walked to him as he put his briefcase down next to the little table, tossed his keys into the bowl, and shrugged out of his damp jacket. Holding it in one hand, he reached out the other to run his fingertips lightly down the center of my chest. When he reached my breastbone, he circled along under my right pec until his hand slid around my back and he leaned in to kiss me. He shivered a little as he pulled away, so I took his coat and pushed him toward the hall.
"Go take a hot shower while I get dinner on the table."
By the time he came back, mirroring my attire of sweat pants and nothing else, I was pouring the wine. As he took the glass I offered him, he touched the rim of it to mine, the clink chiming clearly over the pounding rain and the crackle of the fire. Then he looped his arm around mine, caught my gaze, and raised his glass.
"To us," he said. "To the memories we've made, to all those phone calls when neither of us wanted to be the first to hang up, to those two hour drives when the only thing I could think about was seeing your face... To our life together, this first year and all the rest to come. I love you, Jeff."
I didn't lift my glass to my mouth. I just looked into his eyes, into those eyes – dark gray tonight – that had, over the past year, looked back at me with humor and passion and anger. The eyes I'd first seen laughing at me as I vibrated my nuts on the tank of the Pan. Only a year. Not very long, really, but certainly a record for me. Evan watched me as I stood there thinking about it, a little smile curling one side of his mouth. I cleared my throat. I wasn't any good at this shit, but Evan deserved at least the effort from me.
"To us," I began, echoing his words. "To the Pan for bringing us together in the first place. To fucking in the woods." Evan grinned. "To old houses and good friends and dog cemeteries." His smile faded as his gaze softened. "To how good we are together, and most of all, to how much I love you. Thank you for an amazing year."
Another long look into each other's eyes, then finally we lifted our glasses and took a sip of cold, clean Chardonnay. Evan swallowed, then leaned close to kiss me, his mouth wet and cool from the wine. I could have dropped to the floor right then and got on with it, but Evan broke the kiss and unwound his arm before he sat down and waved a hand at the collection of takeout containers on the table.
"You went all out with dinner, huh?" he laughed.
"Well, I had other plans, but the rain..."
"Don't worry about it, this is perfect."
He dished out cashew chicken, green bean pork, mixed vegetables and barbeque fried rice while I got Chew a bowl of fancy canned dog food that I'd bought him for the occasion. He chowed it down as we ate slowly, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the intimacy of the candle-lit room, and listening to the storm rage outside. It continued to thunder more often, and occasionally a strike of lightning lit up the windows for an instant.
Now and then Evan picked out bits of things he knew I liked – a whole cashew, a crispy piece of pork - and offered it to me on his fork, something he'd never done before. It was a gesture that came of knowing me well, caring about me, wanting to please me, and it touched me deeply. The third time he did it, I took the bite of food, then grasped his wrist in my hand, gripping harder than I intended to, but my chest was tight and my breath was coming short and I couldn't just sit there one more minute.
It took him a second of looking at my face to realize how wound up I was; then he put his other hand over mine and squeezed hard as his eyes searched mine.
"I know, Jeff. Me, too."
I took the fork from his hand and set it on the table without looking as I stood up. Evan rose with me, and we came together at the corner of the table, our mouths meeting first as I took his face in my hands. The stubble of his beard scuffed against mine as we kissed, a scratchy sound that I felt more than heard. Evan held my wrists loosely, swaying slightly as I leaned into him. He had done a wise thing this morning, blowing me, because as we kissed, some of the urgency left me and I settled into enjoying the feel of his jaw muscles moving under my fingers, the faint whiff of his aftershave, and the firm pressure of his lips on mine.
As the kiss wound down, Evan nibbled his way from my mouth along the line of my jaw to the soft little spot just behind my ear where he licked a couple times before sucking on my earlobe for a second. Then he dropped his face into the curve of my neck and wrapped his arms around me, his breath making a warm, moist spot on my bare skin. As our bodies came together, the hard shape of his cock bumped across mine when he repositioned his feet, and I pushed into it a couple times, slow, gentle humps that got a `mmm' of pleasure from him.
We probably would have stood there a lot longer, but suddenly the windows went brilliant white just as a deafening thunderclap made all three of us jump and duck for cover. Right on the heels of the thunder was a groan so deep and harsh that it sounded like the earth was splitting in two, and then a loud, metallic crash from right outside the house sent us running for the windows. In the flash from the next lightning strike, we looked out to where Evan had parked, but all we could see were leaves.
"Jesus Christ!" Evan yelled. "My car!"
We dashed around like the Keystone Cops, pulling on shoes and jackets and bumping into each other before finally running out the front door to find that a huge limb from the big tree in the center of the circular drive had broken off and fallen smack on top of Evan's car. It looked just like one of those `you think YOU had a bad day?' things that go around the 'net periodically. The limb had fallen diagonally, taking out the windshield, the rear window, and the right front and left rear passenger windows. Rain was pouring into the car, so we carefully stuck our arms in through the broken glass and fished the stuff out of the glove box and from the seat pockets – Evan's sunglasses and umbrella, a few maps, his registration and maintenance records – and ran them up onto the porch. Chewy dashed around and barked.
"Oh, man, my insurance guy's gonna shit," Evan moaned, shaking his head. There was something horribly fascinating about the crushed car and we just stood there, soaked to the skin, staring at it, until Evan shivered violently. I gathered up his stuff and turned him toward the house.
"Well, we can't do a damn thing about it now. Come on, I'm freezing."
Chewy was as wet as we were, and muddy to boot, so we all trooped around the porch, tracing my steps of earlier this evening, into the kitchen where I tossed a towel to Evan and put one over my head before I knelt to wipe Chewy off. He knew the drill and stood there while I rubbed him mostly dry and cleaned off his feet. Evan had dried off a little, but he was shaking from the cold, or maybe from the shock of seeing his car flattened, so I peeled off my clothes, then his, threw everything in the dryer, and took us down the hall for our second shower of the night.
A few minutes of hot water pounding down on him took care of Evan's chill, and my soapy hands got his mind back in the game. He smiled as he ran a hand over my chest.
"So where were we before my goddamn car was destroyed right in my own driveway? Oh, yeah..." he added as I grabbed his wrist and took his hand down to my filling cock. "I remember."
We played in the water a little longer, but I really wanted to get him onto the blankets and play out the little seduction-by-the-fire fantasy that had been rolling around in my head since mid-afternoon. Back in dry sweats, Evan put a couple more logs on the fire while I went to the kitchen to pour us a dark, sweet dessert wine. By the time I entered the living room, he was stretched out on the blankets on his stomach, chin resting on his crossed arms, staring into the flames. His bare back sloped down his sweats, which rose over his butt and covered his long legs, crossed at the ankles as he waggled one foot in time with the music. Several of the candles had guttered out, leaving the room dimmer than before, and casting shadows in the hollows of Evan's bunched shoulders.
I stood there long enough, just looking at him, that he turned around to see what was keeping me. When he saw me, he smiled and rolled onto his side, holding out his hand for a glass when I knelt on the blankets next to him. He took a sip, then sat the glass aside and rolled onto his back with a sigh of contentment as he slid a hand along my leg. I sipped also, but instead of swallowing, I leaned down and covered Evan's left nipple with my mouth, swirling the cool wine around with my tongue as he exhaled sharply.
I pulled off his tight nipple with a big smoochy kiss, but when I lifted my head to swallow, our eyes met and all my silliness died away. We looked at each other for a long moment before I put down my wine and rolled onto him, one leg between his, my weight on one elbow as I leaned down to kiss him. The kiss by the table had been sweet and slow, a prelude of things to come. This one started that way, but when Evan began to move under me, rolling his hips to thrust along my thigh, things shifted into second gear and I put some more weight on him.
It was early yet, only a little after eight, when I broke free of his mouth to tug my sweats off, then pushed back onto my heels between Evan's legs and did the same for him. Free of the restrictions of clothing, his hard cock pulsed in a gentle, two-bounce rhythm that mimicked his heart beat. My own dick responded with a healthy jerk that nothing to do with my heart beat and everything to do with the sight of Evan, stretched out naked in the firelight, waiting for me.
I paused, thinking that this wasn't going anything like I'd thought it would. I'd planned to get him tipsy and molest him on the blankets in front of the fire, my own personal re-enactment of a homo caveman or something. But every time I got my hormones fired up, I'd look at Evan and my emotions would kick in, softening my attitude (but luckily not my dick) and my approach to him enough to slow me down again. Looking at him now, his head resting in the hand that was behind his head, his rib cage rising slowly as he breathed, I wanted to freeze time, keep him here with me, just like this, naked and wanting me, forever.
But that wasn't possible, so I went for the next best thing. I smiled at him as I dropped my hands to his thighs, which got a quick bounce from his cock, then slid them slowly up his body, over his hipbones, across the smooth expanse of his stomach, along the bumps of his ribs until my hands rested on his chest. I squeezed his pecs a few times, then brought my hands together and dragged them slowly down the center of his belly. When my wrists bumped into the wet tip of his cock, I lifted one hand into a loose fist and slid it onto to his erection, slowly tightening it as his eyes narrowed and his mouth opened slightly. My other hand kept going until I had his balls gathered up into a big squishy handful. I jacked him steadily but slowly as I kneaded his nuts, leaning down to kiss his belly and nuzzle around in his crotch. Since he'd showered twice this evening, he smelled mostly of soap, but there was enough of his own body scent to get me going, especially once I got down below his balls.
Neither of us was in a hurry, so I wandered around between his legs for a good long while, long enough to get him close a few times with my hands and mouth. Each time I backed off, he'd arch his head back and moan like I was killing him. He didn't ask me to get on with it, but finally I was ready, too, and slid up close, my knees wide around his butt. My dick had leaked enough to provide all the lube we needed, so I slowly pushed into him, taking a couple minutes to get fully seated, watching the expressions move across his features. When I first entered him, there was a crease of concentration between his eyebrows as he worked on accepting my big old dick. As I began my usual short strokes, going deeper all the time, his face relaxed and he pulled me down to him.
Kissing Evan while fucking him was one of my favorite things. Having my dick and my tongue both deep inside him seemed to double the sensations and it was a sure-fire way to the point of no return. However, since he'd gotten me off this morning, I was able to hang in there with no danger of losing control, letting him set the pace as we thrust and parried. It had been weeks since we'd taken this much time making love and it was wonderful, but eventually Evan blew the whistle by grabbing his cock and stroking quickly. I pushed back up to my knees and hauled his ass up into my lap, holding his thighs as I pumped into him.
After so many close calls over the last hour, our orgasms were powerful and long. Evan's ass clutched my exploding cock in its silken grip, pulsing around me, milking me as he climaxed, and the longer it went on, the higher my moan went until I was almost wailing. In contrast, Evan was grunting - deep, harsh sounds that I'd never heard him make before - and the combination almost made me laugh out loud.
When the last spasms had died away, I opened my eyes to look at Evan. He was covered in his own cum, lying there with his softening cock in one hand and a smile on his face. He looked so totally satisfied that I snorted out a chuckle.
"What?" he asked without opening his eyes.
"Nothing," I replied. "Just you."
I pulled gently loose from him and wiped us up with yet another towel from the laundry room before putting another log on the fire. When I was finished, I lay down and Evan rolled over to curl against my side, draping one arm over my chest as he did so. I slid my arm under his head and wrapped it around his shoulders.
"It quit raining," he murmured, his voice drowsy with pleasure. He was right. It hadn't registered with me at all, but the storm had blown through, leaving the night so still and quiet that the low pops from the fire were the only sound in the room. "That was really good," he added, snuggling a little closer to me.
"Yeah," I agreed, hugging him for a second. "Happy anniversary."
We lay there quietly as the new log caught, snapping and crackling as the flames devoured it, dozing and waking to kiss a little, then drifting off again. Despite the drama of Evan's flattened car, this night was the most peaceful and perfect time we'd ever spent together. For the next hour, the real world seemed far away, but when Chewy climbed out of his bed and stretched, then whined at the door, I eased loose from Evan, got to my feet, and started blowing out candles.
"Mmmm," he sighed, half asleep. "Where you goin'?"
"Chew needs to pee."
He chuckled softly and sat up. "I'll come with you."
We got dressed, tugged on boots and jackets at the back door, and walked out onto the porch. The clouds were gone and the night sky was dappled with stars as we went down the steps. Chewy dashed off to pee on a bush, then came trotting back to follow us around the side of the house. The air was cool and clean and sweet like it is only after a rain, and the woods were alive with the drips and plops of water from the trees. By unspoken consent, we started down the drive, the wet earth squishing beneath our boots, the cool night breeze fresh in our faces.
When Evan took my hand, I gripped his snugly for a moment, enjoying the warm, firm pressure as he did the same. Our hands swung between us as we walked, and I smiled a bit ruefully, remembering how self-conscious I'd been about holding hands at first, thinking it was something only het couples could do without looking ridiculous. What a difference a year makes, I thought with a sigh, as I squeezed Evan's hand again. He turned his head to look at me, studying my face for a moment, before looking back up the lane.
"So what were you thinking a year ago tonight?" he asked me. His breath fogged slightly in the cool air.
I thought back... We'd met in the park and fucked like crazy men in the woods, then ridden back into town and left our bikes at the garage. Conversation at the Italian restaurant had been awkward and sparse, and I remembered thinking that, if nothing else, I could probably get laid again before he split for good. But I also remembered the look on his face when he replied to my question of why he'd been in town the second time we'd hooked up.
"...I came to see you," he'd said, five little words that had changed my life.
"Mostly that I couldn't hardly believe it was you standin' there lookin' at me. I mean, what are the odds we both went to that park on the same day at the same damn time?"
He slid a smile my way. "Pretty slim, probably."
"Ya think?" I shook my head. "It was unreal. At dinner, I got to wondering if it was just a physical thing cause we couldn't keep a conversation going for more than a few sentences, remember? But once we got to my place, it got a little easier."
He snorted then. "That's cause we got naked pretty quick."
"Nah, we drank a couple beers and talked about bikes for a while. Then we got naked." I glanced at him. "What were you thinking?"
He tightened his fingers in mine for a moment before he answered. "I was too fuckin' scared to think." He scrubbed his free hand down his face, then stopped walking and turned to face me. "Despite the fact that it took me forever to tell you, I..." he paused to bite his lip. "I fell in love with you that night." I just swallowed and stared at him as he continued. "Crazy, huh? But being with you was so easy. I know I was acting weird, but you just let me be. You didn't keep asking me questions and trying to find out all about me in the first five minutes – why I limped and why I was so evasive when you asked me if I topped." He dropped his head with a sigh, squeezing my hand hard enough to hurt before he looked back up into my eyes. "When I heard your bike pull in, I almost took off. I'd thought about you so much by then that I figured there was no way a real guy was ever gonna measure up to what I had going in my head-"
"-but you did," he finished. "You did. And here we are," he swept his arm in an arc to take in the Farm, "an entire year later."
We stood there in the dark, looking at each other as his words sank in. Evan had loved me almost from the start and I hadn't known. For a while there, I'd barely been sure he liked me well enough to come back the next weekend. I guess if you can't be mushy on your anniversary, when can you, but my emotions were so close to the surface just then that I could only grab Evan in a hard embrace, wrapping my arms so tightly around him that he could barely move enough to hug me back. Making love in front of the fire had been deeply satisfying to my heart as well as my balls, but holding him here, in the middle of the muddy driveway, feeling his heart thudding under my hands, his breath hot behind my ear, was more intense somehow and I fisted my hands into the fabric of his jacket and just held him, eyes closed, until the ache in my chest eased a little. I'd come that close to losing him and hadn't even known. The thought scared me to death.
As I loosened my grip slightly, Evan pulled back just enough to nuzzle into my face for a moment before kissing me and stepping back. "Ready for bed?" he asked with a smile. I nodded and we walked back up the lane. Evan went off to brush his teeth while I walked through the house locking doors, banking the fire, refilling Chew's water bowl, and thinking about us.
About how much Evan had come to mean to me in only a year.
About all the years we still had before us, the things we'd do together, the places we'd see as our lives unfolded.
About where the hell I'd be if he had given in to his impulse to cut and run when he'd heard the Pan that day.
God, that didn't even bear thinking about.
I turned off the kitchen light, and smiled at the blankets in front of the fire as I walked down the hall to where Evan waited for me.
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