An Empty Grave...

Chapter 12: Depths

After breakfast, we sat out on the deck, reading the papers and drinking our coffee. After a while Eric said, "Well, can't be lazy all day, even if it is Sunday. He got up, took his shirt off and went out to the shed to get the lawn mower, leaving me to finish my coffee and watch him. Once he started to mow, Crash came and sat close to me, I think to protect me from the lawnmower which, in her estimation, might get away from him.

I made no pretense of doing anything but watching him. I'm sure he noticed but nothing changed. He neither shrank away nor showed off. He just kept mowing the lawn.

When he finished the lawn he came up on the deck and I got him a beer. "Hard work, you know Davy. But good for the soul. Les once suggested that he get one of those power mowers but I told him not to. I like the feeling of good, honest muscle work." He took a long pull at his beer and grinned. "However, I may change my mind one of these days soon."

He finished his beer, took off his boots and went to clean the pool. When he was finished he came back for another beer.

"You know, Davy, I've been meaning to ask. How come Crash here never goes for a swim? A lot of dogs, you'd never get them out of the pool."

I had to think about it for a moment. "I suppose it's because she's never seen anyone in the pool. This is the first swimming pool I think she's ever seen so she doesn't know what it's for. As far as she's concerned, it's just the world's biggest water dish."

"Well then, what say we show her what it's for?" He stood and pulled his shorts off. "Come on, let's go."

I mentally shrugged and took my own shirt and shorts off. He'd seen me naked often enough but me, I'd not yet had the pleasure of seeing him naked. And it was a pleasure. The man's magnificent.

I went down the couple of steps from the deck, carefully, and to the edge of the pool.

"Oh no. Not like that." Eric took hold of my shoulders and steered me down to the shallow end and the steps. "It's the steps for you, buddy boy, at least for now." He was walking so close behind me that I thought I could feel the heat of him.

He helped me down the first couple of steps and then let me go it on my own. It was wonderful. The water was cool and felt silky against my skin. When I had negotiated the four steps and was standing on the bottom I saw that Crash was watching me very closely. I wasn't sure if she was being a life guard or just wondering what the hell I was doing in her water dish.

Eric dived in from the deep end and surfaced a couple of feet from me. "Come on, doggie. The water's fine."

Crash looked a little uncertain but came over to the steps and gingerly stepped onto the first one. By the second step her body was partially in the water and the buoyancy effect took over. With a little yelp she took off swimming, making a wide circle around Eric and me. If I ever saw that dog smile it was then. She took to the water like... well, like a dog.

Eric went out on the lawn and got her ball which we spent twenty minutes throwing around the pool for her to swim after. When she was tired she swam directly to the steps, climbed out, shook herself and went to lie in the sun. Eric and I pulled ourselves up on the edge of the pool and sat, watching her.

It didn't take me long to become aware that Eric and I were sitting with our thighs touching. Neither of us moved away.

"Davy?" Quiet. Hesitant.

I turned and he leaned in and kissed me.  When he pulled back he said, "Don't be mad. I just had to see what it'd be like, kissing you."

We sat for half a minute or more, looking at each other. Finally I smiled at him. "Well, what was it like?"

He grinned. "More. If it's okay." He didn't wait for an answer. He put his hand on the back of my neck and pulled me to him. The kiss lasted a long time and when we broke apart we were both excited, our dicks thrusting up, out of our crotches. Eric's hand slid down my flank toward my waist and he looked at me, his dark eyes seeming to look right through mine, into my soul.

"Can I touch you Davy? Down there?"

My eyes never wavered from his. "You may touch me anywhere, any time you want."

When he took hold of my dick it was like an electric shock. He didn't move, he simply held it in his hand, as though absorbing my essence through it. Then he kissed me again and laid me down on my back. When he dropped into the water and pushed my legs apart. I brought my head up, wanting to watch whatever it was he was going to do. He moved forward and then paused and looked me in the eye.

"Please... Uh, please don't come in my mouth. I don't think I'm ready for that. Yet." Then, very slowly, very gently he took me in his mouth.

It was almost no time at all before I had to warn him off. Then he wrapped his hand around me and slowly stroked, his thumb riding along the underside, right below the head. It was exquisite torture for a couple of minutes and then, with a moan, I let go. He kept stroking until it became too sensitive and I had to stop him.

"Wow," he said as he crawled up beside me. "That was awesome. I never saw anybody do that. Well, except for me and I was never that close." He kissed me for a long while and then pulled back. "Was it okay? I mean, okay to do? I guess it was okay the other way."

I nodded and kissed him back. "It was okay. Both ways. And now it's my turn." I slipped into the water and positioned myself between his legs. I took his dick in my hand and studied it, moved the skin back and forth a couple of times. Then I looked up at him, resting on his forearms and watching me. "It's okay if you want come in my mouth. I think that I am ready for it." I dipped my head and took him completely in, down to his tightly curled pubic hair. I heard him sick in his breath and let out a "Jesus."

It took him less time than it had taken me and he came in a gusher.

When I was back lying next to him I kissed him and asked him how it had been.

"I don't know," he said seriously. "I have nothing to compare it to but if it were any better it probably would have killed me." He grinned and kissed me for a long time. "Can we do it again? So I can compare?"

"Like touching. Any time, any place."

We sat on the edge of the pool for a while longer, not talking, not kissing, not doing anything. I'm still not sure if we were stunned by what we'd just done or just enjoying being together. Probably a bit of both.

When Crash got too warm from lying in the sun she came over to us and sat beside me, giving me a little kiss, inquiring if perhaps it was time for a little treat.

Without a word Eric stood and lifted me up, holding me under the arms. We went into the kitchen and I found a biscuit for Crash while he opened a couple of beers.

Back at the umbrella table on the deck I took a swallow of my beer and looked at him. "Okay Eric, where did that come from? What..."

"Not now, Davy. Please? Let's just let it be for a while." He took a long pull at his beer and then took my hand. "Okay?"

I nodded and we just sat at the table, drinking our beer and thinking about how wonderful it had all been. Well, that's what I was thinking. I couldn't tell about Eric.

After a long while Eric let go of my hand, got up from the table and said, "Come on, doggy. Lazy time is over." They went out to the big flower bed, the one he'd been planting the day I first saw him, and he started weeding it, leaving me to watch.

Later, when he was finished, he washed himself down with the hose and then came to drip on me. "Go for a swim?"

So the three of us spent another hour in the pool, swimming, throwing the ball and generally enjoying ourselves and each other. When we got out he took a towel and dried me, gently but thoroughly, and let me do the same to him.

He stayed the night in my bed and we fell into a flood of passion for each other and were all over the bed with it. At one point I looked down on the floor and there was Crash, stretched out on a seven hundred dollar quilt, snoring softly. I hoped she wouldn't get used to it.

The best part was sleeping with Eric's arms around me, holding me so I could feel his entire body against me. In the morning we did it all over again, but slowly, without the urgent hunger of the night before.

We spent the day sightseeing, something I hadn't been able to do yet. We ate lunch on a restaurant patio where Crash was welcomed and later had icy chocolate-coffee drinks at a place aptly named Koffee.

Late afternoon found us back at Les's, naked and napping under the grapefruit tree. I was a contented man and although I couldn't even imagine what must be going through Eric's mind, he seemed very at ease with everything that was happening as well.

Dinner was take-out Chinese again and bed came early. When I woke in the morning I was alone. No Eric, no Crash. I heard a few noises coming from the kitchen and figured Eric was in there, feeding Tux and Crash. I was right and a few minutes later Eric appeared with a mug of coffee.

"No rush to get up," he said. "The kids have been fed and watered and I have to go take care of a few badly ignored yards and pools. Be back later." He leaned down and kissed me. "Oh, Les came in early this morning. He finished the left-over Chinese and went to bed, probably for most of the day. Looked tired, that man did." He kissed me again and left.

I slept for a while longer, until Crash pawed at my arm, checking to see if I was alive. I found some left-over steak and cheese in the refrigerator and made myself a sandwich, only a small part of which I shared with Crash. Then we played ball for a while, until Les came wandering out and joined us in the pool. We played until Crash had had enough and got out, shook and went to nap in the shade. Les and I sat at the umbrella table and had a beer.

"Uh oh," Les said, looking at his watch. We'd probably better get some clothes on pretty soon. I think Susan's due about now.

Sure enough, we'd barely gotten into shorts and shirts when Susan arrived. "What a bunch of lazy guys," she laughed, "sitting in the shade and drinking beer at three in the afternoon."

"You want one," Les said, toasting her.

"No, but a nice chilled white wine would be nice. I'm off for the rest of the day."

Les went into the kitchen to get her wine and she handed me the grocery sack she was carrying. "It's Rick's ashes," she said with a kind of sad smile. "That's the way they give them to you, in a cardboard box in a grocery bag." She touched my hand. "I'm sorry."

So that was all that was left of him, only enough to fill a small cardboard box. I wanted more for him but I didn't know what. Maybe just a decent burial.

"What's that?" Les said, handing Susan her wine.


He looked in the bag. "I thought there'd be an urn or something."

"No," she sighed. "Just a cardboard box." She looked at me. "Now what?"

I shrugged. "He's going home. To the grave his father made for him. Eric says he has it all worked out."

"Eric has all what worked out?" The man himself appeared in the kitchen door, carrying more grocery bags.

"Burying Rick," I said, pointing to the bag with his ashes. "He's here."

"Oh, that. Yeah, I think we can get it done." He disappeared into the kitchen for a few minutes and then reappeared, carrying fresh beers. He set one down in front of me and gave me a quick kiss. "Tomorrow, okay?"

I don't know who was more surprised, Les, Susan or me. Probably me because they had known him longer. "What tomorrow?" I stammered.

Eric grinned, knowing the effect he'd had. "We'll bury him. Okay?" Eric explained his plan to Les and Susan, both of whom thought it was risky but couldn't offer a plan with any less risk. After a while they gave up trying.

Eric and Les prepared dinner while Susan and I stayed out of the way, on the deck. "Are you okay with this, David? Are you sure this is what Rick would want?"

I nodded. "He was pretty close to his mother before she died and I think he'll be happy, buried next to her." I brushed a tear away. "I think, you know, that he really loved his parents, despite his father. He talked, sometimes, about—I don't know, about reconciling with his father. He even wrote to him once, just to tell him he was alive, living in L.A. It was a very hard thing for him to do but he did it."

"What happened? What did his father say?"

"Nothing. He never answered, never acknowledged the letter. Rick was hurt, maybe even more than the first time his father rejected him, but he never let on. But I know he kept hoping."

She drained her wine glass. "God, what parents do to their children."

The mood was broken when Eric came out with the wine and a glass for me. "Dinner in ten minutes, folks," he said, pouring the wine and giving me a wink. "Grilled giant prawns on Les's special salad, with blue cheese crumbles and garlic croutons."

After dinner Eric told me to get to bed early because the next day was going to be a tough one. Then he kissed me and said, "Five thirty, okay?" He looked down and scratched Crash's head. "And yes, you get to go with us. Now get to bed. Both of you." Another quick kiss and he took off.

Susan left almost immediately after that, without comment. Les raised one eyebrow at me and said, "You wouldn't want to talk about it would you? Or are we just going to leave it at that?"

I nodded and got out clean wine glasses. Les opened a bottle of Merlot and we sat out on the deck. After a few moments of silence Les said, "I take it Eric's gotten a little frisky? You okay with it?"

" I... I really have no idea what's going on. I guess I'm okay with it but I don't know what it is. I had no idea he was... well, that he might... you know, with another guy."

Les laughed. "Neither did I. And as far as I know he never has in the past." He laughed again.  "It seems that our boy has unplumbed depths. But the question remains: are you okay with it? It hasn't been very long since Rick. You're probably a little fragile just now and, no matter what Eric's doing, you have to be careful of yourself."

I held out my glass for a refill. "No, I've made my peace with Rick and wherever he is, I think he's made his peace with me. That's not... not a factor. But Eric..."

We were silent for a time, each, I guess, thinking his own thoughts. Finally Les cleared his throat and said, "Let me tell you something about Eric. I've seen him through a number of relationships, most of them fairly brief. But in all of them, without exception, he's never hurt anyone, except for himself maybe. He hasn't a hurtful bone in his body and he's always been sad when a relationship was over. And generally, it was the woman, the other person, who let him down, called it off, not the other way around."

I thought about that for a moment. "I think the same is true of me. Not the brief relationships part but the hurting. I'm not... that way." I finished my wine. "So, I guess I'll just go along with him and see where it takes us. What the hell, we can all use a little affection once in a while, can't we?"

"Yeah, we can," Les said with a faraway look in his eyes. "Okay, to bed."


Comments always appreciated and always answered.

Greg Bowden