After breakfast, Jesse and Ray exchanged phone numbers. Then Jesse drove back to his apartment in Higgins.
It was raining softly. No dramatics. No lightning, thunder, or wind. Just a gentle rain that looked as if it might continue for a while.
When he got home, he brushed his teeth and changed into a wife beater, jock, and running shorts.
As he did his morning run, he thought about Ray and their night together. It was a good night. Ray had been a little hesitant, frequently asking if what he was doing was okay, if he was making Jesse feel good. He'd topped both times, as Jesse would have expected the cop to do. But he was far from being a dominant top.
And after their first bout he'd asked Jesse to hold him. That was the last thing he'd have expected from a policeman, but it was endearing somehow, suggesting a vulnerability which Jesse found immensely appealing.
Of course Ray's muscular, well-maintained body had its appeals, too.
Then he managed to clear his mind, as he usually did while running, hearing the slap of his feet on the wet pavement, feeling the soft, warm rain as it plastered his hair to his head and neck, his clothes to his body.
He didn't encounter many people that Sunday morning. The die-hards had run earlier, probably, and the rest were staying indoors out of the rain. Or they had gone to church. He was happy running through the residential neighborhoods of Higgins. It was a lot more interesting than the indoor track where he had run in Manhattan. Even with the rain.
Once back inside, after stripping off his wet clothes and putting them in the washer, he took a long shower. Then he got his clippers and razor and removed his beard. That done, he saw the face that had appeared in so many fashion ads looking back at him. The well-known face of Jesse Crofts.
The gentle rain continued to fall on Monday morning. If he'd been in New York, Jesse would have used an umbrella. Here he pulled on a hoodie, shrugged into his backpack, and jogged from his car to his first class.
Not long after he'd begun his lecture that morning, Jake Handley looked at Jesse, smiled, stroked his chin, and went on with what he was saying.
After class was dismissed at noon, Jesse was putting his notebook in his bag.
Jesse looked up to see one of his classmates. He knew the guy's name was Casey Shaw, but they'd never spoken.
"I'm Casey. Casey Shaw."
Jesse stood up and held out his hand. "Yeah. I'm Jesse Crofts."
Casey, who stood about 5'9" with medium brown hair and dark brown eyes, seemed nervous.
"You won't be pissed if I say I like the new look, will you? I mean, the scruff was okay, but why hide a face like that?"
Jesse smiled. There was tacit acknowledgement that Casey was gay, that he recognized Jesse as being gay. "No, Casey, why would I be pissed? You just gave me a compliment."
Casey's yellow polo shirt and khaki shorts didn't conceal the fact that he had a killer body. Jesse wondered if he was a gymnast. He guessed him to be in his early twenties.
Instead of answering Jesse's question, Casey said, "I'm about to grab something to eat. How about you?"
"Is that an invitation to have lunch with you?"
"I'd like that," Jesse said. "I don't know very many people here. Where do you want to go?"
"Do you have an afternoon class?"
"Yeah, usually, but the prof gave us today off to go to the library and work on our term paper."
Casey chuckled. "Sounds like the prof had something else he wanted to do today. But that's good. I've got something in mind. Just let me make a call."
"Sure." Jesse shrugged into the hoodie and picked up his backpack and the two walked out of the building. The rain had let up, but it looked as if it might start again any moment.
Casey flipped open his phone and hit a button.
"Hi, it's Casey. Can I speak to Al Behr, please?"
"Hey, it's me. What's good for lunch today? Yeah. Yeah? Can I bring a buddy? Great! Be there in ten." He flipped the phone closed. "Have you ever eaten at Adrian's?"
"No. I hear it's good but expensive."
"Oh, it's good. But today lunch is on the house. Okay?"
"Casey, I dunno. I don't want to freeload. We've just, I mean this is the first time we've . . ."
"Relax, dude. The chef's a good friend of mine. I can eat lunch there any time I want. He says it's okay to bring you along. And we'll eat in the kitchen."
"Okay, if you're sure."
They walked the three blocks to Adrian's quickly, hoping to beat the imminent return of the rain. It began to drizzle just as they reached their destination.
Most of the customers in Adrian's, male and female, wore suits. The place definitely looked upscale. In fact, Jesse was surprised that Colby had such an establishment. The maitre d' said "Hi, Casey. You and your friend go on back. Al Behr is expecting you."
Casey led the way to the kitchen. He dropped his bag next to a plain wooden table and invited Jesse to do the same. A dark, fiftyish man in a tall chef's hat came up to them. He kissed Casey lightly on the lips and said, "Casey, it has been too long. Since you moved out, I see you only when you come here. I think you look thinner. Are you sure you are eating well?"
When Jesse heard the man speak, he realized he was French. Moron! So it's Albert, not Al Behr.
Casey grinned at Albert as he responded to his question. "Not as well as I did, but I'm not going hungry. This is my friend Jesse Crofts. Jesse, Albert Ronsard. He's the master of the kitchen."
Jesse and Albert shook hands.
"I am happy to know you, Jesse. Sometime you must tell me how you two met. Just now, however, assayez-vous, please sit. For you today I have soupe a l'oignon, salade, and baguette."
They sat and Albert went back to his work.
"I think that's onion soup, salad, and French bread."
Jesse nodded. "You've studied French?"
"Nope. But I lived with Albert for a while. Couldn't help picking up some things. Mostly I know a lot of food terms and some swear words."
Jesse wondered whether Casey and Albert were a couple. From what Albert had said it didn't seem so.
Though their table was in the kitchen, it was off to one side where it wasn't in the way of the busy cooks' complex choreography. Someone Casey greeted as Ron came to the table to ask what they'd like to drink.
"Albert says even a Frenchman would drink beer with this meal," Ron said. "But you can have whatever you want."
"Oh, I'll go with the beer if that's what the boss suggests," Casey said. He looked at Jesse.
"I hope I can stay awake in the library this afternoon, but yes, I'll have beer, too, please."
A moment or so later, a man in a suit came in and spoke briefly with Albert.
"My God!" Jesse muttered.
"What?" Casey looked puzzled at Jesse's exclamation.
"The guy over there in the suit. He's a dead ringer for Marcus Schenkenberg."
"Who's Marcus what's-his-name?"
"Maybe the most famous male fashion model in the world."
Casey chuckled. "Well, that's Adrian, who owns the place. He's pretty great looking, isn't he?"
"Yeah, I suppose." You're just being jealous because Marcus got so many jobs that you wanted. But he is great looking, and so's this Adrian. "What's he like?"
"He can be a little oily with the public, but Albert really likes him, so I guess he's okay. He and his partner throw parties two or three times a year for a group of gays. Unofficially they call themselves the Colby Queers."
"Have you ever been?"
"No. I don't suppose they invite students. And from what I hear they all dress up in suits and stand around and drink cocktails and nibble stuff and talk about ballet and stuff."
Jesse laughed. "Been there, done that. And, come to think of it, a lot of the people at affairs like that that I've attended have been gay."
Ron came just then with their food, and the two tucked in. Jesse suspected that the vegetables in the salad had been grown locally. He'd had "French" onion soup in New York, San Francisco, and even Paris. But this was as good as any he'd ever had.
Later, in the main reading room, Jesse was not drowsy as he'd feared he might be. But his mind kept going back to his lunch and his lunch companion. They'd exchanged "their stories." He saw no reason to hide the fact that he'd only recently given up modeling, since, as Ray had said, Bernie Caldwell would soon tell everyone he knew. Casey had been fascinated, asking so many questions Jesse had difficulty changing the subject to Casey's life.
He was interested to learn that Casey had been a mixed martial arts fighter for a while and had attended a community college before starting to Colby State. Jesse had watched the UFC and the WEC in hotel rooms occasionally. It was sometimes a brutal sport, but he'd enjoyed seeing the hot bodies of the fighters, especially the ones in the middle and lower weight classes. And now he understood why Casey was in such excellent shape. Once when Casey had absent-mindedly put his arms over his head and stretched, his polo shirt had pulled up and Jesse had caught a tantalizing glimpse of ripped abs.
You've spent your life with good-looking men, Crofts. Focus!
He devoted the rest of the afternoon to working on his English paper.
As he walked through the drizzle to his car, he realized the summer term was half gone. The five-week summer terms seemed awfully compressed. He was just getting to know his two professors and some of his classmates, just beginning to settle in to being a college student, and now he was faced with a term paper deadline and impending final examinations. And another five-week summer term after that. He thought he'd like the longer terms of the regular academic year better.
That evening he broiled a steak and steamed some asparagus to go with it. For dessert he ate the apple he'd put in his backpack that morning, planning to have it for his lunch.
He read for a while after supper.
Then, at 9:00, he told himself he was entitled to some relaxation before bedtime. He channel surfed for a while and finally settled on an episode of NCIS.
He wondered what Ray was doing.
As he was locking up prior to going to bed, he saw the mail he'd dropped on the table just inside the door. It was the usual junk, except for one thing. An envelope. Expensive stationery. Postmarked New York. No return address. But he recognized the handwriting on the address. He clenched his teeth and tore open the flap.
It was naughty of you to run off. Did you think I wouldn't find you?
What possessed you to go to Ohio, of all places?
Still, it can't be too terrible if you're there. Maybe I'll have to come out and see for myself.
The next morning Lieutenant Havers came into Ray's cubicle and dropped a piece of paper on the desk.
"Good morning, Lieutenant."
"Good morning, Stonesifer."
"That looks like a search warrant."
"Very observant, grasshopper. Find Persichetti. You two go and execute it."
"What's it all about?"
Havers grinned. "Sometimes stuff just falls into your lap. The Toledo police tried to stop a black SUV because one of its tail lights was out. The damn fool took off. When they caught him, they searched the van and found a considerable amount of crystal. Now he's in their lockup. But according to his driver's license and vehicle registration, he lives on Columbiana Avenue right here in Colby. We've got probable cause to search. So you know what you're looking for."
"This is the guy who was picking the stuff up from Scheman?"
"He hasn't admitted it yet, but it looks that way. At least now we've got a lead to follow."
With Persichetti driving the unmarked police car, the two detectives headed for the 800 block of Columbiana Avenue. It was a neighborhood that had been built on what was the edge of Colby in the years just after World War II. The small ranch-style houses had been constructed quickly and cheaply for returning veterans and their families. Now, sixty years later, the area was bedraggled. Some houses had single-car garages, some had carports, and others had neither. Despite the rain, which continued to fall softly, the lawns looked scraggly, as if they'd never been fertilized, never had a dose of weed killer. Big Wheels, plastic wagons, balls, and Frisbees littered many of the lawns. The only attractive thing about the area was that trees which had been planted in the late 40's and early 50's now had grown to maturity and they lent an established look. The foundation plantings, however, were either monstrously overgrown or else were missing, having been removed because they'd become too big and not replaced.
A few of the houses had newish-looking aluminum siding. Most of the rest needed a coat of paint.
The one they sought was painted light blue with white trim. In spots the paint was blistered and peeling. A rain gutter had come loose from the corner of the house and drooped below the eave, slowly trickling rainwater onto the hard ground beneath.
The doorbell didn't work, so Persichetti knocked on the door. When no one answered, the two men walked around the house. They knocked on the back door with the same lack of result. The top half of the door had 9 panes of glass. Ray picked up a rock lying beside the back stoop. He'd planned to break one of the panes and reach inside to open the door. It turned out, however, that the rock was fake and the bottom slid open to reveal a key.
"Some big-time criminal," Persichetti laughed.
They used the key to go inside.
The kitchen was worn, but clean. A plate, a mug, and a saucepan were in the dish drainer beside the sink. There was no dishwasher, but the range, microwave, and refrigerator seemed to be new. The linoleum, however, must have been at least twenty years old.
Ray guessed from this information that the occupant, one Kirk Fosse, wasn't interested in the décor, but he wanted functional appliances.
The living room confirmed this. The carpeting was a beige berber that had seen better days, but there was a leather sofa with a matching recliner. On the wall facing the recliner was a big flat-screen television. Under it were shelves containing an expensive sound system and lots of CD's and DVD's.
In what had obviously been the original dining room, they found a desk on which sat a computer of recent vintage. Bookshelves on either side of the desk were mostly empty. The few books there were college texts, mostly having to do with marketing and accounting.
There were two bedrooms, one of them empty. The other had a king-sized bed, a chest of drawers, and a small wooden chair.
"I suppose Fosse sits on that to put on his socks," Persichetti said.
There was one bathroom. The floor and fixtures were old and worn, but it was clean. A damp bath towel was hanging on a rod at the foot of the tub.
"Okay," Ray said. "You start here. Do the bedrooms and the bath. I'll start in the kitchen and we'll work our way towards each other."
An hour later, neither had found anything incriminating. Not the slightest hint of drugs. The mail on the desk had some bills. There were condoms in the nightstand. But nothing hidden behind picture frames, in the toilet tank, or in the freezer. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets, the dresser drawers and closet shelves gave up no guilty secrets. They found a pull-down stairway in the empty garage and searched the attic, which, except for some very old luggage and an artificial Christmas tree in black trash bags, was empty.
Brushing dust off his knees, Persichetti said, "Nada, sarge. What do you make of it?"
"I'm guessing Fosse is just a messenger. It sure doesn't look like he's a user himself. And he's not making or storing anything here. So maybe he just picks up the stuff and delivers it to some place in Toledo or Detroit."
"Havers won't be happy that we didn't find anything."
"We can't manufacture evidence. If the lieutenant isn't happy, he can come out here and check for himself. He won't find anything."
They took Fosse's computer back to the station for further investigation.
Havers was not upset with their findings. He agreed that Fosse must be just the delivery guy in the setup but that maybe the Toledo police could get some information from him about the operation. Or that maybe the computer would reveal something to the specialists at the state crime lab.
The next day someone mentioned that there'd be extra uniforms on duty Saturday night because it was the weekend before the 4th of July and the City was putting on its annual fireworks display.
When he got home that evening he called Jesse. Probably because he'd lived in several places, the ex-model had a more or less standard dialect, but once in a while things he did with vowels and "r's" revealed that he'd been brought up somewhere around New Yawk City. To Ray, that simply added another exotic detail to his new friend's appeal. Except for four years at the University of Toledo, when he lived on campus, he'd lived with his parents. Jesse, by contrast, seemed to be sophisticated, having participated in photo shoots in many locations around the world.
Ray couldn't help wondering why Jesse would be interested in having a friend like him who'd never been anywhere, never done anything.
Still, they'd had good sex the other evening, and Jesse had spoken of their getting together again.
"Hey, Jesse, how's it going?"
"Oh, hi, Ray. I'm keeping my nose to the grindstone. I'm not used to being a student, and I've got that big paper to write and finals to get ready for. How are you?"
"Same old, same old. But I was wondering if you had anything on for Saturday night?"
"No. Did you have something in mind?"
"Well, it may seem hokey to you, but Saturday night is the annual 4th of July fireworks display. I wondered if you'd like to go. I mean, you've probably seen fireworks in New York and places, but I just thought . . ."
"Ray, I'd love to go. Do you want me to come to your place, or should we meet somewhere?"
"No, come here. The show doesn't start until a little after 9:00. But why don't you drop by about 6:30 and we'll have something to eat first?"
"Sounds good. Can I bring anything?"
"I don't have a clue what I'm gonna fix, so just bring your sexy self, okay?"
"Great! See you then."
Ray had an afterthought. "Oh, and bring your toothbrush if you want to."
Jesse chuckled. "Sounds like you're planning some fireworks for after the fireworks."
"That could happen."
"I like the way you think, copper."
A day or two later the phone in Ray's cubicle rang. It was Lt. Havers, who wanted to see him.
When he got to the lieutenant's cramped office, he was invited to sit. For once, there wasn't a stack of files on the chair facing the desk.
"Just wanted you to know that we're closing the burnt-out trailer case. Kirk Fosse has admitted to the Toledo police that the guy who lived in the trailer was Scheman and that Scheman was one of the suppliers."
"So that's as close as we're gonna get to a positive ID on the corpse?"
"Yeah. It chaps my ass that we can't pin it down better than that." He put down the rubber band he'd been playing with. "Still, we have a reasonable certainty that the guy in the fire was Scheman. He hasn't been seen since the fire. And we know he lived there. And that he was cooking up meth for his bosses in Toledo."
"Do we have any idea who they are?"
"Yeah, Fosse rolled over on everybody. Gave the Toledo cops the names of the other suppliers, four of `em, two here in Colby County, two in Ottawa County. But he claims he never knew the names of the big guys. Says he dropped the stuff off at a locker in the bus station. Then money showed up in his checking account."
"Any chance of finding out who was making the deposits?"
"The guys in Toledo are working on that. But it's not our problem any more. The State cops are gonna close down the three remaining labs. Like I said, we can close the books on Mr. Scheman."
"What're you thinking, Ray?"
"About Professor Jensen. He was pretty sure what Scheman had been up to after he and I talked, but he still claimed the body. Said the guy wasn't all bad and deserved a decent burial."
"Suppose the old guy was queer for Scheman?"
"Uh, Lieutenant . . ."
Havers smiled. "Well, I wondered if your gaydar started pinging when the prof was in your office."
"Nary a ping. And we don't like the word queer."
"You guys can use it about yourselves, but the rest of us can't?"
Ray grinned. "Exactly."
Ray, who was still a probie when it came to cooking, went to his favorite deli on Saturday afternoon and brought back barbecued ribs, potato salad, cole slaw, and cheese cake.
When Jesse arrived, he had a bottle of red wine and a six-pack of Sam Adams.
"I didn't know what was on the menu, so I came prepared."
The City had traditionally used the biggest of its parks for the fireworks display, but this year they'd moved it to the CSU football stadium. Ray and Jesse opted for the beer, and since they were walking to the stadium, Ray allowed himself a second one.
The conversation over supper was largely exploratory as the two tried to know each other better. Ray was fascinated by Jesse's life in the fast lane, by the places he'd been and people he'd met.
"And tell me again why you gave up all that," he'd asked as they put away leftover food and stacked the dishwasher.
"Lots of reasons. Modeling was never my idea. It was something my mother got me into. I was living out her dream for me, I guess. And you can't believe the pressure. Got to work out, to eat the right foods, to get facials and expensive haircuts. And live with the competition. Most of the guys I knew were aggressive and bitchy."
"Maybe I shouldn't ask this, but . . ."
"Well, did you ever have to, um, . . ."
Jesse sighed. "Yes. From the time I was fifteen I had to sleep with guys and occasionally women to get or keep jobs."
"Jesus! Did your mother know that?"
Jesse shut his eyes for a moment. "Sometimes, she engineered it."
"That really sucks, Jess."
"I've been able to choose my sex partners for the last few years. After I got a name for myself and became a regular for some of the top labels, I didn't have to do any of that casting couch shit any more."
"I hope you don't mind that I asked. I didn't mean to bring back bad memories."
"No, it's all right. I want us to be friends, and you need to know that I'm pretty much used merchandise."
"Bullshit! Like that matters."
Jesse's response to that was a big smile.
They were crossing the stadium parking lot when Jesse spotted and called out to a young guy walking along with his hands in the pockets of his khaki shorts.
"Hey, Casey," Jesse said.
Casey turned and smiled. "Oh, hi, Jesse. Good to see ya, man."
"Yeah, you, too. Are you here with someone?"
"No. Just thought I'd check out the fireworks. It's not like there was anything else to do tonight except go to a bar. I'm sure as fuck not gonna study on a Saturday night."
"Well, if you're alone, why don't you sit with us?"
"Oh, okay." He looked at Ray. "If you guys don't mind."
"I'm sorry," Jesse said. "Casey, this is Ray Stonesifer. Ray, Casey Shaw. Casey's in my history class with Dr. Jake."
Ray and Jesse shook hands and then the three of them moved along with the crowd. Ray tried to get a look at Casey, but he was on the other side of Jesse, so he decided to wait until later.
There was a nice crowd in the stadium, but it wasn't by any means full. When they realized that for fireworks where they sat really didn't matter, they took seats high up on the home side of the field near the press and coaches' boxes. A group of noisy high school students were sitting behind the goal posts at the closed end of the field. Most of the people were families, however, and some kids were running up and down the concrete steps.
Although he was a little disappointed that he wouldn't have Jesse all to himself, Ray suggested that Casey sit between them so they could get to know each other.
Jesse's classmate (and friend, apparently) was hot. Great triceps and biceps. Flat stomach. Muscular calves. Shorter than either Jesse or Ray, he had medium brown hair and eyes so dark they were almost black. All in all, a hot little stud, Ray thought.
A fireworks display isn't the best place for casual chatting, so Ray wasn't able to find out much about Casey except that he was originally from Cleveland and had worked and gone to Cuyahoga Community College before coming to CSU.
Casey quite naturally asked what Ray did. When Ray said he was a detective, Casey got a strange look on his face.
"What, you don't like cops?"
"Oh, no, it's not that! I was just trying to decide whether to ask you about my laptop. It was stolen a few weeks ago."
Ray mentally gave himself an Agent Gibbs slap on the back of the head. "Oh, that's why your name sounded vaguely familiar!"
"We haven't met, have we?" Casey grinned at him. "I'm sure I'd have remembered."
"No, but Detective Persichetti told me about you, and I saw all the paperwork."
"So, there's not much hope, huh?"
"Casey, I'm sorry, but I'm afraid not. I don't suppose you have any kind of personal property insurance."
"Nope. I figured I'd never see it again. At least I've learned not to be so trusting around the dorm." He shrugged his shoulders.
Damn, he's cute! Ray thought. I wonder if he and Jesse are anything more than classmates. Then: Come on, Stonesifer! You and Jesse are just friends at this point. You have no right to be jealous. Then: Yeah, but friends with benefits. He had his backpack with him, which means he brought his toothbrush and probably a change of underwear. Yumm!
When the fireworks were over, Jesse suggested they go to Nellie's. Casey seemed reluctant.
"Come on," Jesse said. "It'll be my shout."
"Nah, thanks anyway. I don't want to crash your party."
Although Casey seemed like a nice enough guy, and he was certainly good to look at, Ray was relieved when Jesse didn't insist.
So he and Jesse shook hands with Casey and they separated.
"Do you really want to go to Nellie's?"
"I just thought Casey seemed a little lost and didn't want to cut him loose. But Nellie's will be mobbed, and I'd rather go back to your place."
"So," Ray said, dropping his keys on the table beside the door, "we didn't have any of the cheesecake. You want some now?"
"Let's open the wine I brought instead."
"Okay. I've got some white Vermont cheddar in the fridge. Would that go with it?"
"We'll have to use juice glasses. I don't have any wine glasses yet." He'd always felt like a hick around Jesse, and that admission didn't help.
"That's not a problem," Jesse said, smiling.
As they were having their wine and cheese, Ray said, "I suppose tonight's display seemed pretty rinky-dink to you."
"I've seen fireworks in a lot of places."
"Well, I've been on the Mall in DC on the 4th. And I've watched the fireworks at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in Boston. They're great! And in New York, of course. Macy's sponsors the fireworks there. The best place to see them is along FDR Drive, but any place with a view of the East River will do. And they put them off in two locations, so it's sort of a stereo effect."
He thought a minute and then continued. "But you know maybe the most interesting was in England on Guy Fawkes' Night. I was in York for a gig and when it was getting dark, I heard a lot of people going past my hotel. I didn't have anything better to do, so I put on my shoes and went outside and followed them. We came to a place where there was a huge bonfire. And later there was a big fireworks show."
"Well," Ray said, grinning, "they'd not be likely to celebrate the Fourth of July, would they?"
Jesse shook his head. "But you know what?"
"I don't mean to sound condescending, but tonight was charming. Sort of Norman Rockwell. Small-town America turning out with mom, pop, the kids, and in some cases grandma and grandpa. A beautiful evening. Not too hot or too cold. Just very nice. The kind of thing you read about, but which most New Yorkers have never experienced." He put a hand on Ray's arm. "Thanks for asking me. I don't take a paper, so I wouldn't have known about it if you hadn't mentioned it."
"Yeah. Out in Higgins they have their own show, and you'd have heard it for sure. But it's paid for by donations, and it isn't as nice as the show here in Colby. Some people drive up to Toledo. And I hear Cleveland and Detroit have great shows. But Cleveland's too far away, and most folks don't want to be driving around Detroit at night."
Jesse set down his glass. "Ray."
"Shut up and fuck me."
Ray stood up and held his hand out to Jesse.
"We `Protect and Serve.' Can't refuse a reasonable request from a member of the public."
"This would fall into the category of serving, I suppose."
"'Fall into the category.' You don't talk like a college freshman."
"Maybe that's because I've never spent much time in schools. But I've spent a good part of my life in hotel rooms where the choice was television or books. So I've read a lot."
Jesse hadn't spent all his time in hotel rooms reading. He obviously knew what to do in bed, too, as he showed Ray once again. Though it was he who had asked to be fucked, he didn't just lie there expecting Ray to do all the work. As soon as they were naked, Jesse put his arms around Ray, trapping his arms at his side and began to lick and suck on the spot where his neck joined the shoulder . . . a place he apparently remembered from their previous time together.
As Ray stood there relishing the feelings Jesse was giving him, he jerked. Their hard cocks had touched.
"Fuck, Jesse! You really know how to turn me on!"
Chuckling, Jesse quit sucking on what would soon be a hickey and said, "Yeah. First we turn you on and then you `fuck Jesse'."
Ray was already turned on, but Jesse took him to such a fever pitch that he could hardly put on the condom. Jesse helped with that. Then he lay back on the bed and began to lubricate his anus, his eyelids drooping.
"Jesus!" Ray could hardly breathe.
This guy's enough to make me forget I'm a natural bottom!
He went as slowly as he could, but he'd been so worked up he didn't last long.
When he'd erupted into the condom, he took it off, tied a knot in it and put it in the waste basket by the bed. Then he went between Jesse's legs and began licking the nice hairless balls he found there.
"Oh, shit, Ray. I'm ready. Take my cock, please!"
After making one more swipe of Jesse's sac with his tongue, Ray took Jesse's cock in his mouth. It tasted strongly of pre-cum. He was just getting into a nice rhythm when Jesse stiffened, grunted, and flooded Ray's mouth. There was a slight tang to the thick fluid. Ray wondered if it was because of the barbecue sauce.
Afterward, Ray got up, put away the wine and cheese, and adjusted the thermostat on the AC. Then he lay down beside Jesse.
They were quiet for a while.
"That was nice," Jesse said.
"Yeah, it was."
"I wish we could go again, but I'm not nineteen any more."
Ray rolled onto his side so he could look at Jesse. "We've got all night. You've probably got room in that bag for a bunch of toothbrushes."
"I just brought one. Is that okay?" He grinned.
"I'm glad you brought it." He wondered if he could ask Jesse to leave the toothbrush but was afraid that would be pushy.
They were silent for a few minutes.
"Would you hold me again? I liked it when you did that before."
"You got it, copper."
To Be Continued
Emails encouraged at firstname.lastname@example.org Please put the title of the story in the subject line so I'll know it isn't spam. Thanks. --Tim