By Tim Mead email@example.com
And Drew Hunt firstname.lastname@example.org
The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men. If you shouldn't be reading this, please move on.
The authors retain all rights. No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the authors' consent.
Now there was a surprising but most welcome development! G. wanted to sleep in my bed. With me. Naked!
I'd resolved I wouldn't push things, but he seemed to be the one who was moving things along. I'd have plenty of time the next day to second-guess myself, but at that moment, there was no doubt about what I was going to do.
After asking if he was sure that's what he wanted and being given an affirmative answer, I simply lifted up the covers so he could crawl in.
I'd lowered the room's thermostat a few minutes earlier, and it seemed there was a draft of cool air coming from the vents near the ceiling. So it felt good to be under the sheet and the light blanket on the bed.
Not wanting to do anything to make him regret his request, I said, "Well, then, goodnight, G." I turned on my right side, away from him.
Immediately he spooned up against me. "You mind, mate? It's kinda chilly in here, isn't it?"
"Yeah. That's nice."
He put his right arm under my head and draped his left over my chest. I could feel his cock in the crack of my ass. Or arse. Or bum. Being with Graham for the few days we'd been together on the tour had been an education for me, certainly. I was reminded of Shaw's comment that Britain and America were two countries divided by a common language.
My linguistic reverie was interrupted by the hand rubbing my chest.
"Oh, that's nice," I purred.
"You don't mind then?"
"Not at all." Mind? This great-looking guy had been making me leak in my briefs for days. If I had been thinking more clearly, maybe I'd have discouraged him. The next morning I certainly thought of reasons why I should have. At the moment, however, I was lying naked, wrapped in the arms of a hunky guy who seemed to want to explore my body. I was unable to refuse him. Not that I wanted to very much.
I got goose bumps all over from his touch. Then, while his big hand continued its exploration, managing to slide over both of my nips, he stuck his nose into my hair and inhaled deeply.
"You smell great, Willie."
After being alone since Sean dumped me, I was in heaven. It didn't matter to me at the moment that I had only known Graham for a week. All that mattered was that a strong, hunky guy was holding me, that he was rubbing my chest and nuzzling my hair. And he owed me nothing. He had to be doing it because he wanted to. I would later wonder why in the world he wanted to be so intimate with me, but at the time I simply reveled in the feelings.
His hand began to move south. Or west or whatever, since we were lying down. He briefly brushed his finger over my navel, and then began to stroke me just below the waist line. As he allowed his hand to glide smoothly over my belly, I began to spring wood. Almost at the same time, I could feel his cock growing and pressing into my crack. That did it! I was instantly hard.
"Are you sure you've never done this before?" I asked.
He chuckled, and the rumble in his chest against my back was electric.
"Yeah, I've done it before."
"You have? But . . ."
"Yeah, mate. But always with women. They like this kind of thing, too."
"Oh!" was all I could think of to say.
He ran his hand slowly and gently all over my front, from just above the pubes to my nips and back.
"Don't blame me `cause I haven't any experience with guys. I want to make you feel good, and I just thought what worked with the birds might work with you. Are you telling me you don't like it?"
"No, G. I'm sorry. It's great. Please don't stop."
He chuckled again. "That's what I hoped you'd say."
My cock had by that time hardened. He must have felt it, for the next thing I knew he had it in his grip.
I gasped. Then I rolled out of his arms, winding up facing him on my left side. Obviously I'd surprised him.
"Did I do something wrong?"
"No, man, as long as you really wanted to be doing it."
"It seems right, mate, it's good."
I scooted closer to him, put my right leg between his, and partially lay on him. His cock was hard against my thigh. I could see his wide-open eyes from the light coming through the window. His mouth was slightly open and he was looking intently at me.
I grinned down at him. "Yeah, it's good!"
Then I kissed him gently. His mouth remained open as our lips touched. I felt a jolt of electricity, and he moaned. This time I didn't worry. I ran my tongue slowly and lightly over his lips. It was incredible. His lips were delicious. I could smell the toothpaste on his breath. And then he began to slide the tip of his tongue across my lips. He wasn't turned off this time. He was responding.
At that very moment, my penis squeezed a dollop of precum onto his thigh. He obviously felt it, for he twitched suddenly and then put a hand behind my head, forcing my mouth against his. Suddenly his tongue was in my mouth, exploring, counting my teeth, swabbing the sides, probing for my tonsils. I was so mesmerized that for a moment I failed to respond. He used his free left hand to press on my butt, and that brought me out of my fog. I began to react, and our tongues did the customary dance.
I don't know how long we kissed. It seemed forever and not long enough. G. had obviously had experience. Trying to forget that all his experience was with women, I concentrated instead on the fact that he'd never done it with a man before and that he was willingly, eagerly doing it with me. Later I'd wonder why, but that night I simply accepted it.
Good sex isn't cerebral, it's instinctive. But that night I was still enough in possession of my brains to know that I didn't want to spook my bedmate. My cock had become importunate. I simply had to have some sort of release. And the way his big tool was throbbing and dripping, I could tell he did, too. I knew we weren't ready for the anal thing, much as I'd have loved to explore that beautiful bum of his, and I didn't know whether he was ready to take a cock in his mouth. I could have gladly swallowed his hefty uncut meat, but I wasn't even sure how he'd react to that.
So, as we kissed, I moved on top of him. He wrapped his arms around me and held me tightly, our cocks trapped between our abs. Or, rather, between his abs and my flat belly. I slowly began to hump him. The motion not only rubbed my prick against his abs, but my belly against his prick.
He groaned and began to kiss me with even more fervor.
We needed to come up for air at intervals, and during one of them I raised my head so I could look at his face. He was staring at me, still wide-eyed.
"Are you okay, G?"
"I can't believe I'm on the bottom, Willie, but it's grand. Don't stop what you're doing!"
I began to hump him in earnest, and he met my thrusts with his own. Soon we were groaning and bucking vigorously. I had only come once in the week we'd been together, and that had been when I'd jacked off in the shower. I think he must have been in the same condition. We were ripe, full, ready.
Since he was younger, it's not surprising he came first. But I was amazed by how much he came. He coated his chest and stomach – and mine. I continued to slide against him, turned on by the slipperiness provided by his cum. It was only moments later that I added my own thick fluid to his. The odor of cum was powerful as I collapsed onto him.
He put his arms around me and began to stroke the hair on the back of my head. We lay there panting for a few minutes. Then I kissed him gently.
"Will, I feel like I've seduced you."
I gave him an Eskimo kiss. "You sure you're not the one who was seduced?"
I chuckled and rested my head on his shoulder. We didn't say anything else. At some point he turned on his side to face me and we lay holding each other tightly, our wet bodies pressed against each other until we both went to sleep.
Some time during the night one of us wanted to roll over. The dried cum which had stuck to our skin hurt enough to wake us up as we separated. He gave me a quick peck on the lips. We turned our backs to each other and quickly returned to sleep.
I woke up before daylight. Not thinking about my ankle, I swung my feet off the bed and stood up. I almost fell over, though. My ankle was still pretty sore. I had to hobble to the bathroom to relieve myself. Before getting back into bed I turned up the thermostat. The room seemed chilly, and I knew Graham and I would need to shower first thing.
When I climbed back into bed, I snuggled up against his back, spooning with him. He gave a contented little sigh, but he didn't wake up.
When I woke again it was daylight. The bedside clock said 7:33. If we were going with the tour, we needed to get up and get with it. I nuzzled the back of Graham's neck while letting my right hand stray over his nipples.
"What? Oh, Will, is it morning?"
"Yeah. If we're going to see Vizcaya this morning with the group, we'd better get up. I'd say we both needed a shower pretty badly, and I'll be ready for breakfast by the time we can get down there."
He took my wandering hand, lifted it off of him, and sat up, crossing his legs Indian style. His hard cock was standing straight up.
"Are you okay, G.?"
"Yeah, mate. I'm still half asleep's all. Yech. I stink!"
"Same here. Would you like to shower together?"
He was quiet in the shower. We washed each other, and that was very tender and pleasant. He just didn't say much.
After we had put on our tees, shorts, and footgear (sneakers for him, sandals for me), he asked if I could get downstairs for breakfast.
"Yeah. Hand me the crutches, please. I'm gonna get out of this room today if I have to slide on my ass."
I'd done some practicing with the crutches the afternoon before. Graham had figured out how to adjust them for my height. I've seen people using one crutch, but somehow for me it worked a lot better if I used both of them.
As I went swinging down the hall with G. by my side, he chuckled and said, "I'm gonna have trouble keeping up with that pace if you do that all day."
"Oh, sorry, man. I didn't think a jock like you would have any trouble maintaining a fast pace."
"Okay, `man,' lead on. I'll be right with you."
We were summoned, of course, to sit with Mamie and Dorothy for breakfast. They were all atwitter about my ankle. They didn't think I should come along because they said there'd be a fair amount of walking at Vizcaya, the mansion we were visiting that morning. By that time it had become, I suppose, a macho thing with me. I was going, ankle or no ankle. I didn't want Graham to have to sit around the hotel with me again. He deserved to enjoy the sightseeing. And I confess I'd read enough about Vizcaya to be curious. It wasn't just a big old house. It contained many rare paintings and pieces of furniture, and the gardens were supposed to be spectacular as well.
We weren't on the bus for more than a half an hour. We had to cross over the Inland Waterway from Miami Beach to Miami proper, but the house wasn't far from the end of the bridge. Graham was unusually quiet the whole way.
I couldn't help wondering if he had regrets about what we'd done the night before. I had some concerns myself. I'd never been a monk, but I really wasn't too keen on casual sex. I was looking for a monogamous partner, someone for the long haul. I'd thought I'd found him with Sean. And now here I was becoming involved sexually with this kid from England. He was ten years younger than me. He was going back to England in a week, and I'd never see him again.
Getting involved with G. was like having a shipboard romance. Our tour group were our shipmates, in a way. Surely he wouldn't have any expectations of me. Nor would I have any of him. He was young. Vulnerable. Feeling his way along, unsure of his sexual orientation. I'd vowed not to push him.
Yet what we'd done had been very satisfying. Not just because I was so horny. Not just because he was so great looking. Despite our rocky start, I realized I was coming to care about Graham.
On the other hand, what could he possibly see in me? He was a kid, still a teen. I was staring at the big three-oh. He was gorgeous. I was plain, mousy, ordinary. He was gregarious. I was quiet, introverted.
Nope. Maybe he wanted me to show him the ropes, so when he got back home and found himself a worthy friend, he'd at least have had some experience, would know what to do. But we didn't have any kind of relationship other than as temporary friends. Oh, I could see us exchanging an email or two, but then he'd be back in his own life and wouldn't even think of me any more.
And, after all, I had my own life in Cleveland. I had friends, straight and gay. I just hadn't found one I wanted to be with. And, of course, I'd pretty much shunned my friends, had no social life since Sean and I split up.
"Split up." I liked that. I'd have to quit thinking of our breakup as Sean's dumping me. Even if that's what it was.
"Will? Earth calling Will. You okay, mate?"
"Yeah, sorry. What's up?" It took a second to come out of my reverie.
"Oh, so we are. Sorry."
He handed me my crutches, which we'd put between us on the seat.
"Let me go first so I can help you down the steps."
I'd had a bit of a problem getting on the bus.
I managed to alight, with his help. Jim took us aside when we were both on the ground, handed Graham a brochure and a map and said, "Look, guys. You may not be able to keep up with the rest of us. And there are stairs inside. We'll be going to the second floor. If you find you can't make it, just see things on your own. The bus will reload right here at noon."
Vizcaya is a Renaissance style mansion built in the early twentieth century by an industrial magnate. It is called the Vizcaya Museum today because it has such a great collection of art works and antique furniture. I was looking forward to seeing it.
Graham, on the other hand, wasn't impressed. "Fuck, Will, the house I live in is almost as old as this place. We have stately homes in England that are 500 years old. This building is fake. We've got the real thing."
"Yeah, G., but it's magnificent, isn't it? And the art and furniture inside are the real thing, brought here from Europe."
"Nicked, you mean."
"Hey, Knight, have you ever heard of the Elgin Marbles?"
"They were part of the Parthenon, torn off the building and brought to London by some lord named Elgin. You guys were busy collecting art works all over the world, back in the days when a lot of the world was pink."
"Pink? What do you mean, pink? Communist? Queer?"
I chuckled and kept crutching toward the entrance to the building. "No. But the standard color on maps for a century or more was pink for Britain and British possessions around the world.
"So, babe, humor me, please. I'd like to see this place."
"Aye, aye, Captain!" He gave me the funny open-palmed salute the British military use, and stamped his foot on the pavement.
Well, that set me laughing.
Following Jolly Jim's advice, we made no effort to keep up with the group, which suited me fine, for then I could poke around and look at things as I wanted. I tried to explain as much as I could to Graham, probably telling him more than he wanted to know. But he was kind enough to act interested, and occasionally he read to me from the printed guide.
After an hour or so, I was beginning to tire. We couldn't sit on any of the furniture in the mansion, of course, but G. remembered he'd seen benches on the grounds, so we went outdoors. According to the pamphlet we'd been given, there were extensive grounds, including one of the major tropical gardens in Florida. So we found a bench and sat while I rested my ankle. I had never used crutches before, and I was surprised that, even with the padding, my arm pits were sore, too.
"Graham, I feel terrible that I'm keeping you from being with the others. You could probably be learning all kinds of interesting things if you went with them. Why don't you go see where they are? I can rest here and then wander around the gardens when I feel up to it."
"You make a good guide, Willie. I'd rather be here with you than tagging along with all the old ones. Besides, you might get into trouble if I left you here. You might wander off and miss the bus. And then where would I be?"
I laughed. "You'd have the room to yourself, for one thing."
"How can you think I'd want the room to myself after last night?"
"You seemed awfully quiet this morning. I thought maybe you were having second thoughts."
He took my hand without even looking around to see who was watching. "Not me, mate. You're the one who was quiet. I thought maybe you were sorry we'd done what we did."
"I admit I was thinking a lot about last night, but as long as you don't feel I've pressured you or that we've gone too fast, I'm happy, I think."
"You think! You think? You'd bloody well better be happy! I don't sleep around with just any bloke, you know!
I couldn't help laughing. His twinkly smile assured me that he was mostly teasing, but he was also reassuring me that what we did the previous night had been okay with him.
I heaved a big sigh.
"Oh, yeah. I'm fine." I grabbed the crutches. "Let's go explore the tropical gardens."
And explore them we did. They were extensive and beautiful, unlike anything either of us had seen before. We stopped often to examine a particular plant. I don't think Graham was much into botany. Neither was I, for that matter. But we could enjoy the unusual leaves and growth patterns and the brilliant blossoms of the plants we encountered.
I confess I was tired by the time we met the group back at the bus. Jim considerately asked the others to let us get on the bus first. I heard some muttering. Turning my head I saw, not surprisingly, that it was Marv who was unhappy. `So,' I thought, `let him grumble.'
I had a hard time getting on the bus, though. I handed the crutches to Graham and grabbed the railings on either side of the steps up to the level of the seats. But hopping on one foot was awkward, and I didn't have enough strength in my arms to pull myself up. I was embarrassed that I looked so much like a weakling in front of our whole group. Then I felt a hand on my butt.
"Try it again, Mate." He simply boosted me up, though I thought a finger pressed into my crack a little more than was necessary. Some of those standing closest giggled, and I blushed. But it worked, and soon we were on our way.
As we pulled under the porte cochere of our hotel, Jim got on the loudspeaker and said, "Ladies and gentlemen, as announced in the tour schedule, you are on your own for the rest of the day. There are many excellent restaurants and shops in the area. Or, the more adventurous of you may wish to explore greater Miami this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow morning you can sign up for local tours through the concierge, or we're taking anyone who wants to go to a fabulous, up-scale shopping center in Boca Raton. After lunch we'll reboard our bus and make the four-hour trip to Orlando, which I'm sure all you kids have been looking forward to."
There were some good-natured groans at the word "kids," but as we got off the bus I heard some grumbling from people who didn't think they should have to pay for their own lunches.
After we'd gone to our room, whizzed, and washed our hands, I flopped down on the edge of the bed.
"Okay, sir Knight, what do you want to do about lunch?"
"No room service. It's too dear."
"I don't want to have room service either. Do you wanna go down to the restaurant?"
"I'm gettin' tired of fancy food, Willie. Have you seen a McDonalds around?"
"No, but I just thought of something."
"Come with me."
"Where are we goin'?"
"Don't ask so many questions. Just come with me."
"Yeah, and I'll probably have to carry you back."
"Oh, my hero!" I said, batting my lashes at him.
He swatted me on the ass as I grabbed the crutches and made for the door.
On one of our earlier excursions, I'd spotted a fish house that would, I was sure, have fish and chips on the menu.
I was right, too.
I had wonderful crab cakes, cole slaw, and crusty rolls. Graham was in his element with fish and chips.
Pointing at a bottle next to the catsup, he said, "Look, they even have vinegar, just like at home."
"Yeah," I said, smirking at him, "all you need is for your fries to be wrapped in newspaper."
He stuck his tongue out at me and took a crunchy bite of his haddock or whatever it was.
A little later, as I was finishing my iced tea and he was finishing his second cup of Lipton's, I asked what he wanted to do that afternoon.
"Let's lie by the pool, swim a bit. I'd like to go home a bronzed god, so let's work on our tans."
I chuckled. "And he's modest, too."
"Yeah, you're just jealous," he said, looking at me over his teacup, which he'd just taken a drink from.
"Actually, you do have a certain Apollo-esque quality about you. And with a tan, oh be still my heart!"
He blushed, and I felt movement in my briefs.
Later that afternoon we had swum a while and, having smeared each other with sun block, were lying on loungers near the pool.
"Are you, um I mean, do you feel all right about what we did last night?"
I looked around to see if anyone was near enough to hear us. The closest people were a pair of newlyweds on the other side of the pool. The breeze was cool, and none of the old folk on our tour would brave it. But we were in the sun and sheltered from the wind, so it was pleasantly warm. I felt I might go to sleep if I let myself.
"I loved what we did last night. I just hope you don't think I was pushing things."
"Pushing things? Pushing your dick against me belly, you were."
I chuckled. "No, I meant I hoped you didn't think I was taking advantage of you or anything like that."
"I'm the one that wanted to sleep in your bed, remember."
"True. And you're not sorry?"
"No, I want to do it again. Is that all right?"
We were quiet for a while, listening to the lap of the water in the pool and the sound of motorboats on the Inland Waterway. The couple across the way were motionless, staring into each other's eyes. I'm sure they didn't even know we were there. The guy had a major stiffie tenting his shorts, but his bikini-clad wife didn't seem to notice.
"We're supposed to have rooms of our own when we get to Orlando, aren't we?"
"Could we tell Jolly Jim we'll only need one?"
Hallelujah! I'd been thinking about how much I'd miss Graham when we weren't sharing a room. Although I'd had all sorts of doubts earlier in the day about our sex play the night before, I really didn't want to spend the rest of my nights in Florida alone. Granted, we could have slept together even if we'd had our own rooms, but being together would be much more convenient. And cozy.
"Well, I don't know whether I'm up to being attacked by a horny teen every night for the rest of the trip."
He looked as if I'd smacked him.
"Oh, well, then, well, I'm sorry, Will. I thought we . . . "
I jumped up and was sitting on the edge of his lounge chair in an instant. I didn't even think about my ankle.
He'd been lying on his stomach with his head turned toward me. I put a hand on his butt and leaned down to whisper in his ear.
"Baby, I was joshing you. I don't want to spend my nights alone. So why should we have two rooms? Let's go find Jim."
He rolled over onto his back. Since I hadn't moved my hand, it wound up resting on his bulge. He glanced at the couple across the way and then grinned. I felt his cock begin to grow.
"Well, mate, you know we can't parade through the lobby in our swim shorts. And, uh, I'm a little embarrassed to ask him."
"Okay, I'll talk to the concierge and ask him to give Jim the message. Since I'm the one who made all the noise about not wanting to share a room, it's only right that I should be the one to tell them about our change of plans. Besides, I'm sure the tour company will be delighted."
Just then two young guys came out of the hotel and dived into the pool. I just saw a couple of flashes of skin and brightly-colored board shorts. They horsed around a while, dunking each other and that sort of thing, and then they got out and walked over toward us. That gave me a chance to check them out, and I noticed that Graham was doing the same thing.
They both looked to be in their mid-twenties, one a redhead about 5'9", the other with black hair and standing close to six feet. Both were nicely built, as if they worked out but weren't real gym rats.
"Hi, guys," the redhead said as he came up to us. "I'm Casey and this is Mark." Graham and I both stood to shake hands with them.
"Hi," he said, "I'm Graham and this is Will."
"We're on our honeymoon. You look as if you could be, too. We saw your hand (nodding at me) on your (nodding at Graham) dick."
I tensed up wondering what my friend would say. He grinned and said, "No, we're just mates."
We invited them to sit with us at one of the umbrella tables on the poolside patio. They told us they lived in Cincinnati, but that they'd gone to Vermont to be married and were honeymooning in South Beach and later Key West.
We immediately began asking and answering questions, getting to know one another. Casey was gregarious and, with his sparkling green eyes, adorable. Mark had deep blue eyes. His black hair hung down over his forehead almost to his eyebrows, and there was something incredibly sexy about him. He was the quieter of the two. Like me. But he followed the conversation, which was mostly between Casey and Graham, closely, and occasionally he flashed a nice smile.
After we'd talked for a while, Casey said, "I'd love a beer. How about you guys?"
"The bar isn't open yet," I said, "and we couldn't go in there dressed like this anyway, but we've got beer in the fridge in our room. Hang on. I'll run up and get some."
"No, Will. I can get there a lot quicker than you can." G. jumped up and hurried into the hotel. All three of us watched his buns twisting under his shorts.
"He's cute, Will. You're lucky. Now, tell us how you hurt your ankle." I told them about my clumsiness getting off the elevator. Then I went on to explain about the mix-up over the rooms so that Graham and I had wound up sharing.
"So," Mark asked, looking at me intently with those blue eyes, "are you and Graham a couple? You seem pretty much together."
"Like I said, we've only known each other a week."
"That doesn't answer Mark's question," Casey said, grinning at me.
I'd thought a lot about that very question recently.
"Graham and I have become good friends, though we didn't start off that way. But it would be foolish for us to think of ourselves as a couple. First of all, he's going back to Yorkshire at the end of this tour we're on, and we'll probably never see each other again. Second, I don't know for sure how he feels about me."
"I think I know how he feels about you," Casey said, grinning at me. Mark nodded.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, the way he looks at you, it's plain as day he likes you."
"I know he likes me, Casey."
"No, Will, Casey means Graham likes you," Mark said, his blue eyes looking intently into mine."
I sighed. "Well, if you're right, that just complicates things, doesn't it?"
Casey sniggered. "Where there's a Will there's a way, pun intended."
"A way to what?" Graham had arrived back with four cans of beer.
"Oh, to do whatever you really want to," Casey said, winking at me.
We sat and talked for quite a while. Then Graham said if we weren't going to get out of the sun we'd better put on more sun block. He offered our bottle to the new guys, but they politely refused, saying they'd smeared up just before coming outside.
They looked on with great interest as Graham and I did each other's backs.
"Markie, that looks like fun. Maybe I do need some sun block."
"Yeah, you horndog, but you don't want it on your back, do you?"
Casey grinned. "Busted."
After more talk, during which we learned that Mark had recently graduated from law school and was working as the newbie with a big law firm and that Casey was, as he put it, "last chair cello" for the Cincinnati Symphony, we all jumped back into the pool, where we played what was supposed to be water tag and turned out to be mostly grab-ass, with a lot of laughing and wrestling around. My ankle didn't interfere with my swimming, and I had more fun than I'd had in years. Except for some fun in bed, of course. It was good for me to be with these guys. They were all younger than me, full of energy – and testosterone.
I also thought it was good for Graham to see this couple. Except for Casey's tendency to use an occasional term of endearment when he was talking to Mark, you'd never have known they were gay. Well, except when they had their hand on your dick underwater. They were bright, articulate, funny, and hot. Certainly neither one had limp wrists or a lisp.
We all decided to have dinner together. Graham said, "I want some red meat and loads of it. Would you guys mind if we found someplace that specialized in steaks?"
"'Guys'! You said `guys,'" I crowed. "We're going to teach you how to speak American yet!"
He laughed. I always loved it when he laughed because he seemed to radiate happiness. "You're bloody well corrupting me, you are."
Surprisingly, no one commented on his red meat craving.
The honeymooners agreed that they could manage a steak. We parted to get cleaned up, being sure to put our empty cans in a trash receptacle. In the room, I called the concierge and asked about nearby steak houses. He said there was a good one about three blocks north of the hotel.
We had a great time with Mark and Casey at the restaurant. We all got a good laugh when they carded Casey but not Graham. I think it puffed up my buddy a good bit. Casey merely laughed as he produced his driver's license and said it happened to him all the time.
During dinner we mentioned the shop that sold the sexy postcards and the genital pasta. Our new friends decided immediately they had to go there. Since that place was several blocks the other direction from the hotel, I had to beg off.
We all walked together back to the hotel.
"Look, G.," I said, "why don't you go along and show them where it is? I don't want to hold you back, but you don't need to stay in the room and baby-sit me, either."
"I did see a tee shirt there I'd like to have. If you're sure its awright, Will, I'll go along with Mark and Casey."
I didn't expect I'd see our new friends again, since we were leaving for Orlando the next day. We'd exchanged addresses, emails, and phone numbers at the restaurant. When I started to give them goodbye hugs, each of them gave me a not too quick kiss on the lips.
My ankle was hurting a bit, so when I got to the room I flopped down on the sofa and put my foot up on the coffee table. I grabbed the remote and began to channel surf.
I couldn't find anything that held my attention, and besides my brain was teeming. I kept thinking about Mark and Casey and how much in love they seemed to be. I envied them. And then I wondered what would happen when Graham and I went to bed. Did I want to go to the next step sexually? If so, would that mean I wanted Graham and me to become closer? Or would I just be using him for sex, knowing we'd have to part soon.
What if we did want a serious relationship? He was going home to try to find a job, I presumed. He certainly couldn't afford to fly to Cleveland just to see me. And I'd used up half of my yearly vacation time, even though I could afford to fly to England to see him.
However, the thought of his going back home bothered me. Graham hadn't just been good company for me on the trip. I realized I cared about him. But that wouldn't do. There was no way we could ever have a relationship.
I continued to flip channels. I watched a standup comic on Comedy Central for a while, and then got interested in an episode of "Law and Order." When it was over I realized that it was 11:00 and Graham still hadn't come back.
All he'd said was that he'd show Mark and Casey the shop and that he wanted to buy a Miami tee shirt. I had assumed he'd be back soon. But we'd parted about 8:30, two and a half hours earlier. Where in the world was he? I had visions of him lost or, worse, being attacked on his way back to the hotel alone.
I was getting nervous. My palms were sweating and my heart was pounding.
I took a long, hot shower, which, even though I was standing with all my weight on one foot most of the time, helped relax me. I dried my hair with the dryer hanging on the wall in the bathroom, turned off the lights, and climbed into bed, where I lay on my side facing the center. I grabbed Graham's pillow and pulled it toward me. It had his scent. I burrowed my nose into it and lay there, worried that something had happened to him, angry that he hadn't called me if he'd had a change in plans.
It was a little after midnight when I heard him use his key card. He came in and closed the door quietly. I rolled over, flipped on the bedside lamp, and asked, "Where the hell have you been?"