“So, we do we get to meet him?”

Luis, who’d been having a quiet breakfast with his family, looked suddenly cornered by his mothers’ question.

“What?” He asked.

Sophia Barraza cut a glance at her husband, who just nodded slightly.  Sophia turned back to Luis.

“When do we get to meet your new boyfriend?”

Luis started to stammer.  “Uh -”

“Yeah, c’mon Luis,” piped up Angela from the other side of the table. “Tell us about him!”

Luis looked shifty.  “What makes you think I have a boyfriend?”

Sophia just shook her head.  She started counting off on her fingers.  “One, you’ve been gone overnight all weekend for the last six weeks, during which time you never answer your phone.  Two, you’ve been gone most Wednesday evenings, too. Three, you’ve been a lot happier recently, and Four, every time I call one of your friends to try and find you, they always say you’re out getting snacks.  Apparently you spent most of last weekend buying snacks.”

The doorbell rang, and Carlos Barraza went to answer it.

Angela giggled.  “I think I’ve seen him.”

Startled, Luis stared at her.  “What?”

She just shrugged.  “You were wandering around with this big tall guy at Wal-Mart on Saturday.  Older white guy, long hair, golden beard, right?”

Carlos came back into the kitchen, followed by Shelley.  Shelley waved. “Hi, Mrs. Barraza!  Hi Angie!  What are we talking about?”

“Luis’ new boyfriend,” giggled Angela.

“Oh,” said Shelley.  “You mean Davis.”

“He’s not my boyfriend!” hissed Luis.

“Yeah, right, you’ve been spending every spare minute with him for weeks, but he’s ‘not your boyfriend.’” said Shelley.

Sophia and Carlos gave Shelley intent looks.  “You’ve met this person?” asked Sophia.

Shelley nodded.  “Oh, yeah.  He’s come out to the club to hang with us a couple times.  He works in that big office building a couple blocks from the cafe.  He comes in to the cafe for lunch all the time, so that he and Luis can make moon eyes at each other.”

“We do not!” hissed Luis.

“Oh, yes you do,” said Shelley.  She rolled her eyes at Sophia.  “You should see them.  They look like love-struck mooses.  It’s hilarious.”


“Well, we need to meet him.” said Sophia.

“Yes,” said Carlos.

“But -” said Luis.

“What, are you embarrassed of your parents, Luis?  You don’t want us to meet this person you’ve been seeing?” asked Sophia.

“Well, no, but -” stuttered Luis.

“Fine!  It’s settled,” said Sophia.  “Bring him to dinner.  Soon.”

Luis heaved a sigh.  “Yes, Mama.”

Shelley snickered.  “Can I come too?  I want to see this.”

Carlos raised an eyebrow.

“What,” asked Sophia, looking at Shelley. “Is there something wrong with this?”

Shelleys’ eyes went wide, and she held up her hands looking innocent.  “No, no, nothing wrong, Mrs. Barraza!”

Sophia looked at Luis.  “Is there something we should know about this person, Luis?”

Luis looked cornered again.  “Uh -”

“C’mon, Luis,” snickered Angela.  “What’s up with this guy?  Spill it!”

Luis shot Angela a glare, then ducked his head.  “Well -”

“C’mon, Luis,” said Shelley.  “It’s not that big a deal.  He’s not that much older than you.”

“Shelly!  Shut up!” hissed Luis.

“Oops,” said Shelley.  “Maybe I should go wait in the car...”

“He’s older than you?” asked Sophia.  “How much older?”

Luis muttered something.

“What was that?” asked Carlos.

“He’s forty-five, okay?” said Luis.

Sophia and Carlos exchanged a look, while Angela gave a low whistle of surprise.

“Look,” said Luis.  “I know he’s almost as old as you and Papa. I don’t care about that.  He’s a really nice guy, and I really like him.  Okay?”

“And he has no problem seeing someone so much younger?” asked Carlos.

“Actually, it kinda bothers him.  We’ve had to talk about it a couple times.  But I really like him, and I think he likes me, okay?”

Sophia looked disturbed.  “Shouldn’t you be seeing someone closer to your own age?  Like that nice Calvin?”

“Oh, Mama, Calvin was so immature and annoying.  He was everything I don’t like in guys my age.  Davis is mature, and easy going, and he’s got this great sense of humor, and we talk.  I mean, we really talk, and he listens, and he pays attention.”

“Well,” said Sophia, “We still want to meet him.”

“Yes, Mama.  I’ll talk to him tonight.”

*   *   *

Davis could tell that something was bothering Luis.  For one thing, Luis had asked to drive; usually he let Davis drive.  For another, he’d chosen a restaurant out on the edge of town, one they didn’t usually go to.   He hadn’t said much during dinner.  Davis didn’t have a problem with that, he was a big believer in companionable silences, but on top of the other things, he took it as a sign.  He’d also let Davis pay the bill without any complaint.  Then Luis had ordered a chocolate dessert.  That was pretty much the topper, Luis never ordered desserts, so Davis broke the silence.

“Okay, Luis, what’s going on?”


“Something’s bothering you.  What’s up?”

“Oh.”  Luis heaved a big sigh.  “Mom and Dad want to meet you.”

Davis’ eyebrows rose. “Really?  Are you ready for that?”

Luis blinked in surprise. “Am I ready?  I’m not worried about me, I’m worried about you, Davis!”



“Why are you worried about me?”

Luis frowned a little.  “I just don’t want my parents to give you a hard time about stuff.”

“Stuff?  Like what?”

“Well, just that you’re older than me.”

“Do they know that?”

“Yeah, I told them this morning.  That’s one of the reasons they want to meet you.”

“Okay, so at least they are forewarned.  It won’t be some big dramatic surprise.  That’s a help.”

“I guess.”

“Luis, I don’t mind meeting your parents.  I’ve met your friends...”

“Yeah, and look how well that went!”

“It really wasn’t a problem.  And they’re all fine now, aren’t they?”

“Well, yeah, I guess.”

“It’ll be fine.  It was going to happen eventually, wasn’t it?”

“I guess...”

“Luis, look at me, okay?”  Luis raised his eyes.  Davis looked into them with a gaze of quiet reassurance.  He reached across the table and covered Luis’ hand with his own.  “It’ll be fine.  They can’t possibly be any worse than Rob’s mother was.  She hated me from the minute she learned of me.  It took years before she’d even look at me.  Seriously, it was two years before she’d even speak to me.  If I could survive that, I can survive your parents.”

Luis’ lips curled in a faint grin.  “You haven’t met my mother yet.  She’ll take you down with a word, you just wait.”

“I don’t crumble that easily.  You’ll see.”

Luis heaved another sigh.  “Okay.”

“Is that the only thing you’re worried about?”

Luis got a guilty look on his face.  “Well, yeah, but no, but -”  He stopped.

Davis squeezed his hand a little.  “What else is bothering you, Luis?”

“Well, it’s just that, I dunno.”  He sighed.  “They think you’re my boyfriend.  And, if I take you to meet them, it’ll be like saying they’re right.”

Davis felt a little dagger cut of disappointment, but he kept his voice steady, and his face from showing the emotion.  “And you don’t feel that way?  You don’t want us to be boyfriends?”

Luis looked up from his dessert, with a shocked look on his face. “No!  It’s not that.  It’s just that, well, -”  He stopped again.  This time Davis didn’t try to prompt him.  Luis took a breath, and looked down again.  “When I was dating Calvin, we called each other boyfriend.  But we never talked about it.  He just started calling me his boyfriend one day, I think it was the third time we saw each other.  After that, I started calling him my boyfriend, too.  But I never really felt that close to him, and it really didn’t work out well.”  He paused again.  “I just don’t want to use that word, until it’s real.  You know?”

Davis, feeling sad, said,  “And you don’t feel it’s real, yet?”  He tried to keep his voice gentle and steady, but a little of the sadness he was feeling leaked through.

Luis looked up, and there was something in his eyes.  “I dunno.  It kinda does, but I’m not sure.  I mean, I guess I keep waiting for a sign or something.  I mean, I know I feel more for you than I ever felt for Calvin, I mean, uh, -”  Luis stuttered to a halt as a huge beaming smile broke across Davis face like the rising of the sun.  Luis felt a surge in his chest as his heart flipped over in the light of that smile, and he couldn’t help smiling in return.

They were quiet for a moment, just smiling at each other.

“What do you need from me, to feel that it’s real, Luis?”  asked Davis in a quiet voice.

Luis shrugged.  “I dunno.  I guess I thought we should talk about it.”

Davis raised his eyebrows.  “Well, we are talking about it...”

Luis smiled a little more.  “Yeah, I guess so.”

“Luis, I told you in the beginning, I would never pressure you for anything.   I’m not going to push you on this.  But it would make me very happy to be your boyfriend, for real.”

Luis eyes went wide, and his jaw dropped.  After a second, he got himself back under control, and said, “Okay.”

Davis tilted his head quizzically.  “Okay, what?”

Luis put his other hand over the top of Davis hand on the table, and squeezed.  “Okay, let’s be boyfriends!”

Davis’ breath caught in his throat.  Then he stood, stepped around the table and drew Luis to his feet.  And then, right there in public, in the middle of that restaurant, he wrapped his arms around Luis and gave him the most scorching kiss he could possibly deliver.  Luis, shocked, stood there with his arms dangling for a moment, then he got into it and kissed Davis back, wrapping his arms around Davis in a tight hug.

There were several gasps from the rest of the restaurant.  As the kiss went on, there were mutters, and then someone gave a loud wolf whistle.  Someone else shouted “Yeah!” and another guy shouted “Get a room, guys!”  There were a few feminine giggles from another direction.  

Finally Davis and Luis broke apart, both breathing heavily, and both rather red in the face.

After a moment, Davis leaned over and, in a very low voice, spoke directly into Luis’ ear.

“So, boyfriend.  How ‘bout you do your boyfriendly duty, come home with me and fuck me ‘til I can’t walk straight, huh?”

It was fortunate that the bill had already been paid.

Rather later in the evening, Davis and Luis were lying side by side, panting gently.  Davis brought up the original subject of discussion.

“So, when is this meeting supposed to happen?”

“I’m supposed to invite you to dinner.  Sooner is better than later.”

Davis shrugged.  “Okay, you know me, most of my evenings tend to be free.  When do you want to do this?”

“This Saturday?”

“Okay.  What should I bring?”

Luis looked startled.  “I have no idea.  I didn’t even think of that.”

“Would a dessert be okay?”

“Yeah, that’ll be fine.  I’ll let mama know.”

There was a pause, then Davis spoke again, and his tone was tentative.

“Luis, can we talk about the ‘boyfriends’ thing?”

Luis felt a little chill run down his spine. “I guess,” he said.  “What do you want to talk about?”

“Well, I guess I want to be sure that we both understand what we mean by ‘boyfriend.’  I mean, what does it mean to you in terms of our relationship?”

Luis looked up at Davis with a puzzled expression.  “I don’t understand.”

“Okay, I’ll start.  To me, being boyfriends mainly means being exclusive.  Not dating or hooking up with other people.”

Luis’ expression cleared.  “Oh!  I get you.  Yeah, I agree with that.”

“So this is a closed relationship.”

Luis nodded.  “Yeah, closed.  That’s what I meant by boyfriends.”

Davis smiled and gave Luis a squeeze. “Thank you, Luis; I was hoping you’d say that.  That makes me feel a lot better.”

*   *   *

Luis arrived at work the next morning at 6:00, as usual.  Shelley let him in.  They started morning food prep, and after several minutes of this, Shelley just couldn’t contain herself any longer.

“So,” she started, “Did you talk to him?”

Luis did his best innocent face.  “About what?”

Shelley cuffed him on the back of the head. “About meeting your parents, of course.  Stooge!”

“Oh, yeah, we talked about that.”

“Okay, and?”

“We’re going to do it Saturday.”

“Can I come?”

“I dunno, Shelley.  I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Shelleys’ eyebrows rose, and she sounded somewhat sympathetic.  “You think it’s going to be that bad, huh?”

Luis got an exasperated look on his face.  He shrugged.  “I don’t know!  I just don’t know.  That’s why I’m so nervous.”

Shelley shot him a glance.  “You’re nervous?  You didn’t look nervous when you came in this morning.  You looked really happy.”

Luis smiled.  “Yeah.”

“Okay, Luis.  What are you smirking about?  You look like the cat that got the canary.”

“Well,” said Luis, ducking his head bashfully. “We’re officially boyfriends now.”

“What, really?” squeaked Shelley.  “When did this happen?”

“Well, we were talking about the whole boyfriend thing last night, and Davis said he wanted to be boyfriends, and I agreed.”  

“That’s so great!  Tell me how it happened!  C’mon, I want details!”

“Well, it wasn’t much.  He just told me that there was no pressure, but that he’d really like to be my boyfriend, like, for real, not just talk.  You know?  And I said I’d like that too.  And then he got up, and pulled me out of my chair, and he gave me the most sizzling kiss, right there in the middle of the restaurant!  Right in front of everyone!  And people cheered!  It was amazing!”

“Oh, God, Luis!  That’s so romantic!  So then what happened?”

Luis suddenly turned a little pink.  “Well, uh, then we went back to his place, and kinda celebrated.”

“Really?  Like how?”

Luis got a little more red.  “Um.  We celebrated.” he said, stressing the word ‘celebrated.’  

At that, Shelley shot another glance at Luis, and saw the blush.  She rolled her eyes.  “Oh, Jesus, Luis!  What are you, still in the honeymoon phase?  Jeeze, you two are like rabbits, for Gods’ sake!”

Luis gave a half-shrug, still blushing a little bit.  “I can’t help it.  I just can’t keep my hands off him.  And he’s the same way about me.  Whenever we’re not out in public, he’s very touchy-feelie.  We cuddle almost constantly.  I’ve never known anyone like him.”

Shelley’s brow creased a little as she thought about this. “So, hes’ like, really clingy?  Isn’t that annoying?”

Luis shook his head.  “No, it’s not like that.  It’s hard to explain.  It’s like he can’t really believe that I’m there, so he keeps touching me to reassure himself.  He’s so gentle, it’s not possessive or anything like that, it’s just that he really likes to be around me.  We don’t even have to talk all the time. Sometimes we’ll watch TV, or I’ll work on my homework while he reads.  We’ll be at opposite ends of the couch, but he’ll do something like put a foot out to keep contact with me.  It’s sweet.”

“God, Luis, it sounds so mushy and romantic.”

“I know, and it kinda is, but at the same time it’s not.  But then, with all the touching, I usually get, you know, kinda excited, and then one thing leads to another.  But he almost always lets me make the first move.  And it just makes him so happy when I do, he’s like a little kid at Christmas.”

They talked over food prep until it was time to open, and that was the end of the conversation for that morning.  

The rest of the week was quiet.  Friday the group went to the club, and Luis had a blast on the dance floor.  Davis, who simply would not dance where anyone could see him, had fun watching Luis and talking with the group.  He and Shelley got into a game of ‘rate the hot guy.’  Davis would always give two ratings; one for the face, one for the body.  

She found that Davis was very catholic in his tastes.  He almost never gave a number below a five (out of ten) to anyone.  Muscular guys got high body numbers, but so did stocky guys.  Skinny guys got lower numbers.  Almost everybody got a high face number,  Blond or brunette, bearded or clean-shaven, pretty, nerdy, rugged, masculine.  She did notice that darker-complected guys with dark hair and dark eyes - like Luis - tended to get higher face numbers.  Age didn’t seem to matter much, either.  Davis, she found, looked at everyone.  She decided to test that theory, and started rating women as well.  He went along, but refused to give body ratings; only face ratings.   Again, the numbers were generally higher, rather than lower, although she noticed that redheads generally got the highest numbers.

The game stopped whenever Luis came off the dance floor.  Shelley was interested to realize that this wasn’t because Davis was hiding the game from Luis, but because when Luis was close by, Davis was all about Luis to the exclusion of everyone else.  Oh, Davis kept up his end of the conversation, but his attention was on Luis.  

Finally, towards the end of the night, Shelley dragged Luis into the game.  At first, he refused to play, apparently thinking that Davis might be offended.  Davis explained that he didn’t mind at all, and also explained his dual-rating system.  Once Luis got that, he acquiesced.

There were almost no heavy guys at the club that night, and Luis gave pretty much everyone low body numbers.  Shelley was intrigued by this; apparently the whole thing about liking heavier guys was very real.  There were a few guys who got higher face numbers; they were usually scruffy-looking guys with beards.  Guys who were smiling and looking friendly got higher numbers too.  Eventually a trend emerged and Shelley noticed that Luis gave higher face numbers to guys who resembled Davis.  Luis refused to rate females in any way whatsoever.

The evening eventually ended, and everyone went home.  Luis went home with Davis.  Davis noticed that Luis was acting somewhat withdrawn, so he gave Luis his space.  They went directly to bed, and that evening Luis cuddled up to Davis, instead of the other way around.  Davis didn’t mind; he just pulled Luis in tight, and they went to sleep.

Luis was pretty distracted the next morning, too, and Davis didn’t push it.  They had some breakfast, and around midmorning, Luis decided he needed to head home.  Davis bid him goodbye and let him go, then went to run errands and kill time until it was time to head to Luis’ house.

*   *   *

Davis arrived at the Barraza house at the appointed time, carrying a large apple pie from a bakery he was fond of.  The house was a good-sized two-story place, set well back from the road.  There was a nice yard, well tended, and the backyard appeared to be fenced.  There was a long driveway that wrapped around the side of the house, leading to a large three-car garage.  

Davis walked up onto the large front porch, hit the doorbell, and waited.  He heard heavy, fast-moving footsteps from inside the house, and Luis opened the door, looking a little harried.  Luis opened the door wide to let Davis in, and a teenage girl popped her head around Luis and took in Davis in one surprised glance.

“Wow!” she said. “You’re a big one, aren’t you?”

Angie!” hissed Luis.  “Shut up!”

“Well, he is!” said Angela.  She held out her hand to Davis.  “Hi!  I’m Angie, Luis’ sister.”

Davis, stepping through the doorway, smiled, and took her hand.  “Hello, Angie.”  He bent and kissed the back of her hand.  “I’m Davis.”

Angela giggled, and took her hand back.  “Ooh, I like him!” she said.

Luis rolled his eyes.  “C’mon in, Davis.”  He waved Davis into the living room. There were two people waiting; obviously Luis’ parents.  The woman was about 5’4”, and the man was around 5’11”.  Both of them looked a little startled, and did the classic half-step-back as they looked up at him.  Davis managed not to roll his eyes.

The woman was standing in front of the man, and both of them managed to paste smiles on their faces after only a brief moment.  Luis stepped forward and half-turned.

“Davis, these are my parents; Carlos and Sophia Barraza.  Mama and Papa, this is my boyfriend, Davis Chapman.”  

Davis’ eyes flickered to Luis briefly at the word ‘boyfriend,’ but then he blinked and gazed back at Sophia.  He held out a hand to her.

“Mrs. Barraza, Mr. Barraza, I’m so pleased to meet you.”

Sophia took his hand and gripped it gently for an instant, then released it.  Davis then offered his hand to Carlos, who gave him a comfortably firm handshake.

“Welcome to our home, Davis; we’ve been looking forward to meeting you,” said Sophia.  Sophia glanced back over her shoulder at Carlos, who gave her a faint nod.  Sophia looked at Luis.  “Luis, we’d like to speak with Davis privately for a few moments.  Do you have something you can be doing in your room?”

Luis looked horrified for the briefest moment, then cut an apologetic glance to Davis, and nodded.  “Yes, Mama, I’ll go take care of it.”  He slowly backed away.  

Sophia leaned over a little and looked behind Davis.  “Angela, you can go upstairs as well, please.”

Angela’s voice came from behind Davis.  “Yes, Mama.” The teenager darted across the room and up the stairs.

Luis left, going upstairs, glancing back over his shoulder as he went.  Davis watched him go, then turned his attention back to Sophia and Carlos.

Sophia gestured to a large, overstuffed chair that was half-facing the couch.  “Please, have a seat.”

Davis nodded, and settled himself into the chair.  He sat forward in the chair, retaining an upright and attentive posture, hands folded in his lap.  This was an interview, and he didn’t want to look as if he wasn’t taking it seriously.

Sophia sat down on the near end of the couch, and Carlos sat down behind her; his arm across the back of the couch around her shoulders.  Sophia was also sitting forward in the couch, maintaining an upright posture.  Once she and Carlos were situated, she paused to gaze at Davis for a few minutes, apparently looking for something in Davis’ expression.  Davis gazed back, open and steady, not challenging, but not reticent.

After another moment, Sophia spoke.

“Are you having sex with our son?”

Davis quirked a faint smile, as if he’d won a bet with himself. Holding her gaze, he spoke.  “I’m sorry, Mrs. Barraza, that is a question I will not answer without Luis’ presence and permission.  If he wishes to discuss it, I’ll be happy to, but without him here, the topic is closed.”  He spoke firmly, with no hint of challenge.  He was simply stating his position.

Carlos’ eyebrows rose, and something in his expression told Davis that Davis had just scored a point.  Sophia pursed her lips a little, and she huffed a little breath through her nose, but otherwise she didn’t react.  After a brief moment, she spoke again.

“Very well.  Then I’ll ask this. What are your intentions towards our son?”

Davis smiled a little more, then straightened his expression.  “My intentions are to have a relationship with him, for as long as it may last.  To support him where I can, as he grows into the person he’s meant to be.  Perhaps to provide some guidance, if he asks for it.  But mostly just to be there, with him, as much as I can.”

“Do you love him?”

Davis looked down at his lap for a moment, then raised his eyes and met Sophia’s gaze again.  “Honestly, it’s a bit early to be speaking of love.  I like him - I like him a very great deal.  We haven’t been together long, but if he were to leave tomorrow, it would create a large hole in my life.  From my standpoint, we seem to fit together very well, and I really enjoy our time together.  I’ll miss him greatly if he goes.”

“Do you see a future with him?”

“I hope for a future with him, but I’m not going to push.  He is very much younger than me, and that places a responsibility upon me, to try and ensure that he becomes the person he’s meant to be, not someone I might want him to be, you understand?”

Sophia glanced over her shoulder at Carlos, who had no particular expression, then she turned back to Davis.  “I think I understand.  And how will you serve this responsibility?”

Davis shrugged.  “Mainly, by giving him the lead in whatever this relationship may become.  Make no mistake, I’ll tell him my hopes, wants, and needs, but - at least in the beginning stages of this thing - he will have the reins.  I hope we can build something that works for both of us, but in the beginning I intend to defer to him as much as I can; to give him the freedom he needs to become himself.”

“And he knows this?”

“Yes, we’ve discussed it at some length.”

Sophis was quiet for a moment, then came up with another question.

“How did you and Luis meet?”

Davis smiled a smile of remembrance.  “Well, we originally met where he works.  We were both attracted to each other immediately, but neither of us knew the other was gay, so nothing happened.  Then, sometime later, Luis spotted me again using an app on our phones called ‘Scruff.’  It’s a dating app for gay guys of a certain type.  When he saw me listed in the app, he used it to ask me for a date.  I accepted, and we met.  The date went well, but for some reason be both left thinking the other hadn’t liked it, so we didn’t see each other again for a while.  This was quite a few months ago.  

“But we both liked each other.  I know I had kind of a crush on Luis, but I thought he wasn’t interested, so I didn’t follow up on it.  Apparently, from what he’s told me, he felt the same way.  So, things went along like this for a while, and we probably would never have seen each other again, but Shelley intervened, and got us together for a second date, and we’ve been seeing each other ever since.”

Sophia had been looking a little surprised.  “So Luis approached you?  Not the other way around?”

Davis nodded.  “Yes.  I’m not a very forward person, I probably would never have approached Luis on my own.”

Sophia glanced at Carlos again, and shook her head.  “You certainly have been very forward with us today.”

Davis shook his head.  “No, not at all.  I’ve been very forthcoming, it’s true.  But that’s not the same as forward.  I’m always honest about these things.  Anything else is just a waste of everyone’s time.”

Sophia considered for a moment, then asked, “Have you been in a relationship before?”

Davis nodded.  “Yes.  I was in a long-term relationship for twelve and a half years.  We broke up amicably about a year and a half ago.”

“Why did you break up?”

Davis shrugged.  “We grew apart.  We probably stayed together five years longer than we should have, but I’m very stubborn about these things, and I kept trying to fix the situation.  As it happened, my partner wasn’t interested in fixing things, and so we eventually agreed to separate.  We’re still friends, although he’s moved to the east coast.  We email occasionally.”

“Does your family know you’re gay?”

Davis nodded again.  “Yes; once I figured myself out, there was no point in hiding.  I told my family and friends almost immediately.”

“So you’re, I believe the word is ‘out’?”

“Yes.  I don’t make a big deal of it, but my friends know, and they know at work.  Anyone who matters knows.”

Sophia looked back over her shoulder at Carlos again, and he looked down at her.  Something passed between them, and Sophia turned back towards Davis, unconsciously crossing her arms.

“LUIS!” she shouted, looking towards the stairs.  Davis turned to look, and saw both Angela and Luis darting up the stairs, hugging the wall so they couldn’t be seen from the couch.  Davis, with a monumental effort of will, kept his face blank.

“LUIS!” shouted Sophia again.

“Yes, Mama?” called Luis from the top of the stairs.

“Come down here please,” called Sophia.

Luis clambered down the stairs very noisily.

“Yes, Mama?” he said when he reached the living room, panting very slightly and looking a little flushed.

“You can take Davis upstairs and show him your room, if you like.   Please ask Angela to come down and set the table for all of us.  Dinner will be ready in twenty minutes.”

“Okay, Mama.  Davis -”

“Oh, and Luis?” interrupted Sophia.

“Yes Mama?”

“Leave your door open while you’re up there.”

Luis blinked, and started to blush.  “Yes, Mama.  Davis, c’mon, okay?”  Luis grabbed Davis’ hand and dragged him up out of the chair, and towards the stairwell.

They went upstairs, where Angela was waiting in the hallway.  Luis told her what Sophia had asked, and Angela punched the air with a hissed “Yes!”  She squeezed by them and darted downstairs.

Luis hauled Davis through a door, sat him down on a bed, then turned and almost-but-not-quite shut the door.  Then he started dancing around the room, whisper-shouting “Yes!  Yes!  Yes!”

Davis just watched all this with a smile and raised eyebrows.  Finally, Luis calmed down a little, and sat down on the bed beside Davis, pulling Davis’ arm around him and cuddling up.  He looked up at Davis.

“I can’t believe it!  You totally nailed it!”

Davis smirked a little.  “Did you really doubt me?”

Luis shrugged.  “No, but, I dunno, I was still worried.”  Then he sat up straight, looking peeved.  “She asked you about sex!  I can’t believe she did that!”

Davis hugged him again.  “So, you were listening the whole time?”

“Of course!  You thought I’d leave you there alone?”

“I guess not.”

“And then they asked you ‘what your intentions were,’ like you’re asking permission to court me or something.  Jeeze!”

“They’re just concerned about you, Luis.  They just want to make sure you’re not getting into a bad situation.”

“I’m not!  Why can’t they trust me?”

“It’s not about trust, Luis.  It’s about love and concern.  In their shoes, I’d be the same way.”

“I can’t believe you told her to stick it, and got away with it!”

Davis rolled his eyes.  “I did not.  I just respectfully refused to answer an overly intrusive question.  And I didn’t even refuse, I just explained that you needed to be there as well.”

“Yeah, but you got away with it!”

Davis smiled down at Luis.  “Luis, they aren’t unreasonable people.”

Luis rolled his eyes.  “You don’t know Mama.”

They were quiet for a few moments, then Davis asked, “You think it went well, then?”

Luis nodded rapidly.  “Oh yeah.  If it hadn’t, you wouldn’t be here now.  They would have kicked you right out the door.”

Dinner went well.  Davis was mostly quiet until Luis suggested the subject of cars in general, at which point Carlos and Davis got into an involved conversation that lasted the rest of the evening.

At the end of the evening, Carlos and Sophia extended an open invitation to  Davis to come for dinner whenever he was available.  Touched, Davis agreed.

*   *   *

At the end of August came the start of the new semester for Luis, the first semester of his senior year - but it also brought Davis’ 46th birthday.  Luis decided to try the ‘romantic date’ idea again.

Like he had done for Calvin, he took a room at the Marriott.  He stopped at one of the better liquor stores and asked for advice; they recommended a reasonably decent and reasonably priced champagne.  He stopped at the store and got a fruit platter and dipping sauce, then checked into the hotel and got everything ready.

He surprised Davis on his way out of work, then followed him home, instructing him to bring an overnight bag.  He took Davis to dinner, then to a movie they’d wanted to see.  After that, they went to the hotel.  In a stroke of luck, the room they’d originally hooked up in was available, and that’s the room he’d gotten.  When they got there, Davis was startled and then pleased; he remembered the room number too.

Davis was surprised with the fruit and champagne and they had a great time.  They drank the whole bottle, and there was much pointed and suggestive eating of fruit and playful feeding each other.  Then, slightly buzzed, they headed for bed, and Luis gave Davis his final birthday present, a blowjob.

This was something they hadn’t done before; Luis didn’t like giving blowjobs, and had never done this for Davis.   Davis had never suggested or complained; but Luis had started to feel a little guilty, so he squared his shoulders and did it anyway.  He was shocked to discover that he actually was enjoying doing this for Davis.  Davis panted and writhed and clawed at the sheets, and Luis found having Davis at his mercy in this way was incredibly erotic.  He brought Davis to orgasm, swallowed it all, then crawled in between Davis legs and fucked him through two more orgasms before he himself finally came.  Exhausted, they fell asleep in each others’ arms.  

At some point in the night, Luis woke from an incredibly sexual dream to find his hard dick all the way down Davis’ throat, and one of Davis fingers all the way up his ass twiddling his prostate.  Luis had never liked having his ass played with, but after an absolutely mind-shattering orgasm that lasted longer than anything he ever remembered, he decided that maybe he could reconsider on that point.  When he could finally see past the flashes in his vision, he found a very smug looking Davis lying beside him, snickering quietly.  

Not content to leave Davis thinking he had the upper hand, Luis grabbed a condom and the lube, bodily flipped Davis onto his back, surged up between his legs, and proceeded to fuck him into a quivering puddle of goo.  Once Davis got muscle control back, he dragged himself on top of Luis and did his level best to kiss Luis stupid. Dawn was beginning to tinge the sky when they finally fell asleep.  They both showed up at work late the next morning looking very tired and very mellow.

The new semester brought some changes; Luis had classes in the afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  He had a morning class on Tuesdays.  His work schedule changed so that he worked Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and all day Friday.  Tuesday evenings became ‘date night,’ and then Davis and Luis would usually spend Friday evening and all day Saturday together, with Luis going home Sunday morning.  At the invitation of Luis’ parents, Davis started going to their house on Sundays for family lunch, and then Luis would stay home to study and catch up on homework for the coming week.  This schedule continued into the winter.

As Christmas approached, Davis began to realize that he was in love with Luis.  He didn’t really say or do anything about it, because he’d promised not to push, but those weeknights that they were separate became a time of trial and loneliness for Davis.  He came to treasure their time together, and wished there was a way to extend that time.   He found that he had trouble sleeping when Luis wasn’t with him.  At one point, he managed to steal one of Luis’ sweaty shirts, and kept it hidden under his pillow.  On nights that Luis wasn’t with him, he cuddled the sweatshirt like a security blanket, and Luis’ scent on the shirt helped him relax and fall asleep.

At some point, Davis realized he was in trouble.  He came to understand that he’d never been in love with Rob, his ex; he had loved Rob, but what they had paled in comparison to what he felt for Luis, and Davis didn’t know what to do about it.  He’d promised Luis that he wouldn’t push anything, and Luis seemed happy with the way things were, so he let the issue lie.  But on the nights when Luis was gone, Davis slept with an ache in his heart and a lump in his stomach that would not go away.

Christmas was spent apart.  The previous year, Davis had made a promise to visit his parents this year, and that promise was made before he and Luis met, so he had to go.  Christmas break started, and Davis took an extra couple of days off before leaving, so that he and Luis could be together.  They exchanged gifts and spent every moment they could spare in each others’ company.  Luis drove Davis to the airport for his flight, and Davis found himself very near tears as he headed for the gate.

Christmas at home went well for Davis, except for missing Luis.  He spent the whole visit telling his parents about Luis and about Luis’ family, until his parents were sick to death of hearing about him.  At night, Davis slept with Luis’ sweatshirt clutched in his hands.

When Davis came home, Luis was there to meet the flight, and they hugged each other desperately, right there in the airport, until they started getting funny looks from some of the other travellers.  Then Luis took him back to the condo, and they fucked the sun down, then fucked it back up again.  They both called into work as sick the next day.

They both took the new years’ weekend off work, and Davis drove them the two hundred miles to the city, where Davis had reserved a suite with a two person jacuzzi.  The played in the jacuzzi all evening, and Luis proved that he was becoming quite proficient at giving blowjobs, with Davis returning the favor several times.  They had champagne at midnight, and spent several hours making love afterwards.  And it was making love - gentle and sweet and languid, with their eyes locked together and whispering each others’ names.

And then it was the new year, and the final semester of Luis’ college life.  Luis was taking a full load of classes, and had to reduce his hours at work.  The schedule changed again, and this time Thursday was date night.  That meant that Davis and Luis wouldn’t see each other except in passing from Sunday through Wednesday, which Davis hated.  Davis co-workers began to notice that by Thursday, Davis would be in a surly mood, and learned to avoid him.  Nobody asked why.  On Fridays Davis would suddenly be happy and mellow, and everyone assumed it was simply because it was Friday.

Luis started having trouble at school.  Specifically, he was having trouble in a class called Applied Psychology.  He’d taken it as an elective, because it sounded interesting, and it proved to be a lot rougher than expected.  He was expected to work with a partner on various projects through the semester, and his partner was a guy named Duane.

Duane was a junior.  He was blond, blue eyed, and had the face of a fashion magazine cover model.  Clean shaven and classically good looking, Duane had a dazzling smile, a great personality, and a sharp sense of humor.  Mature without being boring, he was unassuming and charming in the extreme.  Stocky, even a little portly, he had good taste in clothes and generally turned heads when he entered a room.   He and Luis quickly became friends, then good friends.  Duane started joining the group on Friday nights at the dance club, and he proved to be a great dancer.  His looks drew attention to the group, as both men and women flirted with him, and sometimes with the other members of the group as well.  Davis watched all this quietly, and although he still held his own with the group, participating in the conversation and cracking the occasional joke, he began to become more withdrawn.  Nobody but Shelley noticed.  But Shelley did notice.  Specifically she noticed that Davis watched Luis continually, with occasional glances at Duane.  This wasn’t new; Davis had always watched Luis; but now, when Luis wasn’t watching, Davis wasn’t smiling.  Whenever Luis looked in Davis’ direction the smile was there, but when Luis was looking elsewhere, Davis became somber, and unhappy.

When Duane realized that Luis was having trouble in Applied Psych, he suggested that Luis join a psych study group that met in the campus library on Thursday nights.  In some desperation, Luis agreed.  Since the group met into the later evening, Luis decided to just go home after group, and thus Date Night was lost.  When Luis explained, Davis just nodded and said he understood, and went to bed alone.  That first Thursday night without Luis Davis curled up in bed clutching the sweatshirt, crying quietly, not knowing what to do.  It took him a long time to fall asleep, and he was effectively worthless at work the next day.

A few weeks went by, and although the study group helped, Luis continued to have trouble with Applied Psych.  Eventually, Duane offered to tutor Luis, as Duane seemed to have an innate understanding of the subject and was acing the course with little effort.   Duane also had a job, and finding time to get together to study was difficult.  They wound up settling on Saturday afternoons.  They studied at Luis’ house, usually into the later evening.  That took another day out of Luis’ schedule, and now He and Davis only saw each other on Friday evenings.  Again, Davis showed that he understood.  Luis was near graduation, and needed to do well.  There would be time to be together when school was finished.  Davis took to having lunch at the cafe every day that Luis worked, just to see him at least for a moment.  Luis seemed to appreciate this, but he was usually distracted.  Davis became more withdrawn, and now even Jim and Rafe started to notice the change.  Shelley even tried to bring Davis out on the occasional weeknight, but Davis wouldn’t be drawn.

Mid-semester exams came, and Luis was frantic trying to keep up with everything.  He cut back on his hours at work and spent most evenings studying, often with Duane.  

The group continued its tradition of going to the club on Friday nights, and Luis would always go home with Davis afterwards, but things started to become strained.  Luis was usually too exhausted to initiate anything, and Davis just cuddled him up and said he understood, then quietly cried after Luis had gone to sleep.  Although the sex didn’t end, it gradually became perfunctory and uninspired.  Davis did everything he could think of to draw Luis out, but Luis continued to be distracted and frazzled, and nothing seemed to work.  

Davis still got to see Luis’ family.  Even though Luis was no longer spending Saturday nights with Davis, Davis still went over for Sunday lunch.  Right up until the day that he arrived to find that Luis wasn’t there.  Duane, it seemed, had gotten that Sunday off, so Luis had gone over so they could finish up a project that was due the following week.  Davis was clearly mortified, but Sophia dragged him inside anyway, and they had a great afternoon.  Although Davis was clearly uncomfortable being there in Luis’ absence, they had a good lunch and afterwards Sophia took him into the living room for a long, quiet conversation.  Luis didn’t make it home until long after Davis had left.  Davis never came back for Sunday lunch after that.

*   *   *

It was a couple of weeks after that last Sunday that Sophia found Luis in his room, staring at the ceiling with a profoundly unhappy look on his face.  She pushed his door open, and stepped inside, then sat down on the desk chair and scooted over near the bed.

“Luis?  Is everything okay?” she asked.

Luis gave a little sniffle.  “Yeah, I guess.”

“You don’t look like everything’s okay...”

Luis glanced at her for a moment, then went back to staring at the ceiling.  

“Are things okay with school?” asked Sophia.

Luis nodded.  “Yeah, I’m doing okay.  With Duane’s help, and the study group, I’m doing okay in Applied Psych, and the other classes are going well.  There’s so much work, but I’m keeping ahead of it all.”

“Okay,” said. Sophia.  “Then, is everything okay with work?”

Luis nodded again.  “They aren’t happy with cutting my hours, but they’ve been real understanding.”

“That’s good,” said Sophia.  “So, are things okay with Davis?”

Luis heaved a big sigh.  “I dunno, Mama.”

“What do you mean?”

“He’s become so distant.  I never see him anymore.”

Sophia nodded.  “Yes, and whose fault is that?”

“Well, mine, I guess.  School has been so busy this semester.  But even when I do see him, it’s like he’s not there.”

“Has he complained about anything?”

Luis shook his head.  “No, he’s been very understanding. He knows how much time school has been taking.  I know he’s missed me - or at least I think he’s missed me.  We don’t talk much anymore.”

“And do  you miss him?”

Luis turned his head to look at Sophia, and his eyes were glistening.  “Oh, Mama.  I miss him all the time.”

Sophia reached out and put her hand over Luis’ hand.  “I think you need to talk to him, Luis.”

“But what do I say?”

“Tell him what you just told me.  Ask him what he’s feeling.  He’ll tell you.  He’s a talker.  You just have to talk to him first, and he’ll tell you anything.”

Luis sniffled.  “I guess so.”

Sophia smiled an ironic smile.  “Oh, I know so.  If he isn’t talking to you, it’s because you’re not talking to him.”

Luis looked at Sophia quizzically.  “What do you mean?  I mean, I know that, I guess, but what are you talking about?”

Sophia looked a little uncomfortable.  “Well, you know that he came to lunch a couple Sundays’ ago?  When you weren’t here?”

Luis nodded, and Sophia continued.  “Well, after lunch, Angie went to her friends’ house, and your father went to watch the game in the den.  I got to talk to Davis for quite a while.”

Luis, who suddenly looked a little alarmed, asked, “Mama, what did you talk about?”

Sophia turned a little pink, which was a first in Luis’ book, and he really started to get worried.

“I asked him about gay sex.” she said.

Luis sat up in his bed and choked.  “You WHAT?” he whisper-shouted.

“You heard me,” said Sophia.  

Luis goggled, speechless.  Finally, he managed to choke out, “What did he say?”

Sophia rolled her eyes.  “Well, first he told me that he wouldn’t talk about anything that might be happening between you and him.”

Luis, nearly panting, calmed down a little bit.  “Okay, what else did he say?”

“Well, first he asked me what I wanted to know.  I said ‘everything.’  Then he, well, he explained it.”

Luis, still off-balance, asked, “‘It’ what?”

“Well, everything, I guess.  First he wrote down a website for me to look at, that gave some explanations about safe sex and things like that.  Then he wrote down another website that has, I guess you’d call it gay romance stories.  There were two or three he particularly recommended.”  She turned pink again.  “Some of those were really good, by the way.”  Luis started to choke again.  “Calm down, Luis.  It’s not that big a deal.  I kind of suspected some of it anyway.  I just hope you and Davis have some of what I’ve read in those stories.”

Luis, blushing furiously, muttered “Not recently.”

Sophia noted that, but acted like she hadn’t heard it.  “Anyway, he explained about top and bottom and versatile, and the different ways men can have sex together.  He was very clinical about it, and he answered my questions very nicely.”

Luis, eyes wide, stuttered, “So, uh, did he tell you -”

Sophia interrupted.  “No, he didn’t tell me anything at all about you two.  I still don’t know anything about what who does to who, or if you’ve done anything more than kiss.  He said you’re a good kisser, by the way.”

“Oh, it’s not me, it’s him.  I’ve never met anyone, uh, um -” Luis cleared his throat a couple times, then continued,  “Anyway.  What else did he tell you?”

Now Sophia really blushed.  “Well, I won’t repeat it.  We talked for a while.”  She paused for a second. “He gave me a couple tips on oral sex that made your father very happy.”

Luis nearly fell backwards off the bed.  “Eew!  Mama!  I don’t want to know that!  Oh, eew!  Aaugh!”

Sophia laughed out loud, still blushing.  

“Anyway,” she said.  “If you two aren’t talking, it’s most likely your fault.  If you want to know what’s going on with him, you just have to ask.”

Luis heaved a sigh.  “Yeah. I guess so.”

“So?  What are you going to do?”

“Talk to Davis.”

“Good,” said Sophia, patting Luis hand reassuringly.  

Luis spent the rest of that week thinking.  Really thinking, about school, and work, and Davis.  He tried to examine his feelings for Davis.  He tried to imagine what life would be like with Davis, and without him.  He coasted through his classes, and was distracted at work.  When Davis came to the cafe for lunch, he studied him closely.  Whenever Davis spoke with him, he was pleasant and smiled, and everything seemed okay, but Luis noticed that when Davis thought he wasn’t watching, he looked pensive, and unhappy.  He picked at his food, and stared off into space.

Wednesday evening, Luis went over to Shelleys’ place, and they talked for quite a while, something they hadn’t done from some time.

Thursday evening, after study group, Luis took Duane out for coffee and they talked for a long time, ‘til quite late that night.

Friday, Luis called Davis at work, and said he didn’t want to go to the club that night.  Davis seemed happy, and offered to cook dinner, and Luis agreed.

When Luis got to Davis’ condo that night, he got a perfunctory hug, and was then sent to watch TV.  Davis puttered around in the kitchen, making up a simple spaghetti dinner, with salads and homemade bread.  Once dinner was ready, he made up plates, then brought the food out to Luis.  He then sat in his favorite easy chair, instead of next to Luis on the couch.  They had a quiet dinner, while watching something on Netflix.  Luis continually watched Davis, who seemed distant.

Once they’d eaten, Davis collected the dishes and went to load the dishwasher, tidying up the kitchen as he went.  Luis followed him into the kitchen, but stood back, staying out of the way.  Finally, when things were more-or-less done, Luis spoke.

“Davis, we need to talk.”

Davis, who’d been facing away from Luis at that moment, froze.  Then he turned to face Luis, and nodded, his face blank.

Luis led the way back out to the living room, and sat down on the couch.  Davis moved past him, and sat down at the opposite end of the couch, facing Luis.  He curled his legs up underneath him, and crossed his arms, his whole posture closed and defensive.  He heaved a sigh, and waited, not saying anything.  After several moments of increasingly uncomfortable silence, Luis spoke.

“Davis, tell me what’s wrong.”

Davis gave a sniffle, but kept his face straight.  In a weak voice, he said, “Nothing’s wrong, Luis.”  His eyes started to glisten.

Luis glared at him.  “Don’t give me that,” he said angrily.  “You told me you’d never lie to me.  Now tell me what’s wrong.  You always said that you’re a communicator.  Well, communicate!  What’s wrong?”

In a very small, quivering voice, totally unlike his normal resonant baritone, Davis said, “You’re leaving me.”

Shocked, Luis said, “What?”

His voice a little stronger, Davis said, “You’re leaving me for Duane.”  Tears started to roll down Davis’ face, but he kept his voice steady.  “It’s okay.  I understand.”

“You think I’ve been cheating on you with Duane?” spluttered Luis.

Davis shook his head rapidly, tears flying off his cheeks.  “No!” he exclaimed, his voice breaking on the word. “I know you wouldn’t do that to me.”  He took a huge, shuddering breath.  “But that’s why you’re breaking up with me.  To be with him.”  Luis, who had never seen Davis like this, couldn’t speak, and Davis continued, talking more and more quickly.  “It’s okay.  I understand.  He’s your age, and he’s smart, and funny, and he’s not as fat as I am, and he’s better looking, and -” he hiccuped, but kept going, “and he can dance, and he’s charming, and he’s your own age!  You deserve someone like that.”  Davis came to a stuttering halt, and started to sob.

Finally, Luis got his voice back.  “Oh, God, Davis!”  He jumped up off the couch and knelt in front of Davis, wrapping his arms around the bigger man and pulling him close, starting to cry himself in response to Davis’ distress.  He pulled Davis’ head down on his shoulder, and spoke into his ear.

“Davis, I’m not breaking up with you.  I love you!”

Davis stiffened in his arms, and pulled back, staring at Luis through tear-filled eyes.  “What?” he asked.

His own eyes overflowing, Luis stared into Davis’ eyes trying to put as much sincerity into his expression as he could.  “I love you, Davis!  These last few weeks have been awful, I’ve missed you so much.  School has been so rough, and I’ve been looking for jobs, and getting ready for graduation, and I’ve been so tired all the time, and it’s been horrible that I couldn’t see you.”

“But, Duane -”

“Duane has become a very good friend, and without him I wouldn’t be making it through that class.  But that’s all he is, Davis.  He’s a friend.”

Davis sucked in another shuddering breath.  “Then, what did you want to talk to me about?”

Luis let go of Davis, and climbed back onto the couch, this time right in front of Davis, their legs touching.  He reached out and uncrossed Davis arms, and took his hands into his own.

Looking down, he spoke.  “Davis, you’ve said from the beginning that you would let me take the lead in our relationship.”

Davis nodded.

“Well,” said Luis, “I’ve been thinking all week about this, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to ask you this.”  He took a breath.  “Davis, I want to move in together.”

Davis eyes went wide.  “What?”

Luis looked up, gazing into Davis eyes.  “I want to live together with you.  I miss you all the time, I have a hard time sleeping when I’m not with you.  I don’t want to do that anymore.  I want to go to bed with you every night, and wake up with you every morning.  I love you, Davis!”

Davis’ eyes had dried, and he looked stunned.  “But - you’re going to graduate!  You’ll move away, and find a job in the city!”

Luis shook his head.  “No, I’m not going to move away.  I like this town - I’ve been here my whole life.  I found a job here,  They confirmed the offer on Monday.  As soon as I graduate, I’ll start with them.  I was keeping that as a surprise for you.”

“You really want to be with me?”

Luis was starting to feel a little hurt.  “Don’t you want me to?”

Davis took a shuddering breath.  When he spoke, his voice dropped two octaves and came out as a basso growl.  “Oh, God, Luis!  I want that so much!”  He hiccupped again.  “I’ve missed you so badly, I’ve been so miserable.”  He sniffled.  “I love you, Luis.  I’ve loved you since last fall.”

Luis’ heart leapt in his chest, and he dragged Davis into another hug.  This time, Davis hugged him back, and they stayed that way, until the position became too uncomfortable to maintain.  Finally they both sat back.

“So,” said Davis, still sniffling a little bit.  “How do you want to do this?”

“Well, as much as I’d like us to get a new place together, I know you’re pretty tied up in this condo.  But this is a nice place.  I was hoping I could move in here with you.  I’d pay rent, and my share of the utilities, once I start my new job.”

“Do you want me to ask Kenny to move out?”

Luis shook his head.  “No, I know you can use the money from his rent, and he doesn’t bother me.  He’s never around.  Let him stay until he’s ready to leave, then it can be just the two of us.”

Davis sighed, and smiled.  “Just the two of us.  I really like the sound of that.”

Luis smiled back.  “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

“So, when do you want to do this?  After graduation?”

Luis ducked his head a little.  “Well, I was kinda hoping we wouldn’t have to wait that long.”  He gave Davis his best puppy-dog face.

Davis snickered.  “Luis, as far as I’m concerned, you can stay here from now on.  I don’t ever want you to go, ever again.”

“I still need to talk to my parents.  I don’t know what they’re going to think.”

“It’s okay.  We can do this whatever way works.”

Luis was quiet for a few moments, then he looked up into Davis’ eyes.

“Davis, is that why you’ve been so distant lately?  You thought was I going to dump you?”

Davis nodded.  “I was trying to get ready for it, trying to get away a little bit, so it wouldn’t hurt so bad.”

“Davis, you can’t do things like that.  I was afraid you were going to dump me, and I didn’t know why.”

Davis hung his head.  “I’m sorry.  I guess I thought it was inevitable that you’d find someone better than me, younger than me.  Then Duane came along, and he was everything I was afraid of.  And you were spending so much time with him, I dunno, it just seemed so obvious.”

“Davis, you have got to get over this age thing.  And Duane has nothing on you; you have to believe that.  You are ten times more my type than he will ever be.”

Davis ducked his head again.  “Okay, I’ll try.”

Luis reached over and put his hand under Davis’ chin, lifting Davis’ face to look at him.  “And, Davis - promise me something?  Next time, talk to me, okay?”

Davis dropped his eyes to his lap. “I’m sorry, Luis.  I just didn’t want to seem too needy.  I didn’t want to come across like some whiny drama queen.”

Luis rolled his eyes.  “Yeah, and boy did that work out good, eh?” he said sarcastically.


“It’s okay, Davis.”  Luis sighed.  “C’mon, let’s go to bed.”


Luis got up off the couch, and pulled Davis up after him, then pulled Davis into another hug.  They stood there for a little while, just wrapped in each others’ arms, then finally Luis broke away, and led Davis by the hand up the stairs and into the bedroom.  

Luis climbed into the bed first, then patted the mattress beside himself.  Davis climbed in next to him, and curled up in the circle of Luis’ arm, putting his head on Luis’ chest, and wrapping his arm around Luis body.  Not for the first time, Luis reflected on how strange it must look for the larger, heavier man to be cuddled up against him like this; but it didn’t bother him, he was just happy Davis was there.

They fell asleep quickly, but before long, Luis woke up again.  It took him a moment to figure out what had awakened him, and it wasn’t until Davis gave a huge, shuddering sniffle that he realized that Davis was very quietly crying.

He blinked a couple times, then looked down.  “Davis?  What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know, really.” said Davis in quavery voice.  “I’m so happy, and I’m so scared, I just don’t know what to do.”  

“What are you scared of?”

Davis gave a wracked, inward sob, and was obviously trying to get ahold of himself.  After another huge sniffle, he managed to calm down a little.  “Well, it’s just that, in my life, things have never gone well for me.  I mean, there’s never been anything very bad in my life, but there’s never been anything very good, either.”  Another sniffle.  “Anytime anything good came along, something bad would come along, as if to balance it out.  And now you’re here, and you’re so much more than anything I ever dared to hope for, and it’s like I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“Davis, nothing bad is going to happen.  Don’t borrow trouble, okay?”

Davis sniffled again.  “I guess.  I mean, you should be right.  I just, it’s just, you’re just, you’re so important to me.”  Davis sucked in another shuddering breath, and breathed out.  He gripped Luis more tightly.

“Davis,” said Luis, in the most reassuring tone he could manage.  “I love you.  I’m not going anywhere.  We have a plan to be together, and it’ll work, okay?  Whatever went before doesn’t matter, now it’s us.  Okay?”

“Yeah...  Yeah, okay.  I love you too, Luis.  Just, don’t go anywhere, okay?”

“I’m not going anywhere.”

Davis heaved another shuddering sigh, and calmed down a bit more.  “Okay.”  He paused.  “I’m sorry I woke you.  I didn’t mean to turn into some bawling drama queen.”

Luis tightened his arm around Davis’ shoulders.  “It’s okay, Davis.  You’re usually the calm, collected, mature adult - you’re allowed to have your moments, occasionally.  I’ll have my moments too.  We just need to be there for each other, and we’ll be fine.”

Davis’ breathing calmed down more, and he settled in a little deeper.  Luis was awake for a while, thinking about the evening.  He’d known that Davis had his share of insecurities, but usually they were well camouflaged.  He’d never seen Davis so emotionally raw and needy before, and that told him more than anything how deep Davis’ feelings ran.  Davis had professed his love tonight, but those were just words.  Now Luis could see it, and although he hated to see Davis so upset, his heart soared to realize how much Davis really cared, really needed him.

A little while later, Luis realized that Davis still hadn’t fallen asleep.  He listened to Davis’ breathing for a few moments, then spoke.



“Are you okay?”

Davis nodded against Luis chest.  “Yeah.”

“What are you thinking about?”

“Nothing, really.  I just still can’t believe you love a lump like me.”

Luis sighed quietly.  “Davis, I want you to listen to me, okay?  No interruptions.”

Davis nodded again.  “Okay.”

“Do you know why I love you?”

Davis shook his head.

“It’s not for your body, although I really like your body.”

Davis didn’t say anything.  Luis continued.  “And it’s not because of the sex.  Mind you, the sex is great.  It’s amazing.  I mean, your blowjobs, honestly, I think you could probably suck-start a harley.  And your ass!  What you do with your ass, I just don’t know how you do it, but I love it!  But that’s not why I love you.

“There are two two things that really make me love you.  I mean, there are lots of things, your mind, your personality, your sense of humor, the sex, the way you can get so excited over the littlest things, the way you cuddle up to me, the way you touch me all the time,  all sorts of reasons.  But the two biggest are the way you kiss me, and the way you treat me like an equal.  

“You always treat me with respect.  You never condescend to me, or act like I’m a kid.  You ask my opinion, and you listen when I answer.  You always give me space in any conversation, and you pay attention.  

“And the way you kiss me is just, it’s like there’s nobody else on earth but me.  Like the world could dry up and blow away and I’d still be the most important thing in your life.  Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.  

“So, does that help?”

“Yes, Luis, it helps a lot,” said Davis, in a quiet voice.  “It really does.”

*   *   *

They slept in the next morning, until quite late, but then made up for lost time.  The sex was frenetic and impassioned as they strove to reconnect.  As much as they could, they held each others’ gaze at all times; watching, feeling, gauging, loving.  Davis, who was normally very quiet during sex, whimpered and mewled and begged, firing Luis’ desire with his abject submission.  When they had both reached climax, Luis didn’t collapse, instead he stayed buried in Davis, moving gently, just enough to maintain his erection, as they both panted raggedly and gradually descended from the heights.  He maintained this quiet, gentle connection for what seemed like hours, and then - at a whispered plea from Davis, he began to drive in ferociously, hammering Davis relentlessly, striking that spot within Davis that elicited a series of breathless yips from the larger man as his vision clouded with flashes of light.  As the tides of pleasure rolled over both of them, Luis shouted Davis name, and when it was over, he climbed up beside Davis and collapsed in Davis arms, whispering words of love and devotion.  Eventually they slept again.

They decided to approach Luis’ parents that evening.  When Luis explained their plan, Sophia just smiled, and extended a hand to Carlos, palm up.  Carlos rolled his eyes, pulled out his wallet and dropped a twenty dollar bill into Sophias’ outstretched hand.  They both smiled, and hugged Luis, and shook Davis’ hand.  

There wasn’t much to move; Luis really only needed his clothes and his computer, and a few other things; pictures and mementos and some electronics.   Luis’ parents promised to keep his room as it was, and encouraged Luis to come back and stay whenever he might need to.

The following Monday, when Luis broke the news to Shelley, she squealed and laughed and hugged Luis and congratulated him.  The rest of the group got the news at the club the following Friday night, and Duane was the first to offer his best wishes to Luis and to Davis.

School was still rough, and Luis was still frazzled, but each night, Luis fell asleep next to his big, cuddly grizzly bear, and Davis cuddled up to his sexy, young Latino Cub.

Luis graduated with honors, and started work the following week after a mind-bending graduation party at which even Davis got a little tipsy.   Davis took Luis to the city after graduation and bought him a new wardrobe of suits, shirts, ties, and shoes for his new job.  Davis got a major promotion at work and accepted a significant raise.  They put the condo on the market and it sold soon thereafter.  With both of them working, they were able to buy a beautiful large log cabin in the woods about ten miles outside of town, along with several acres of wooded area around it.   They spent the fourth of July in Texas and Luis got to meet Davis’ family, who were all happy to meet Luis and thrilled with how happy Davis had become.

Shelley went to work, fell in love with a co-worker and was married the following year.  They made Luis the godfather of their first child.

Duane met a beautiful young woman and married her within two months.  They moved to the city, but visited occasionally.

Scooter and Rafe were both married within two years.  Jim moved to florida and took up alligator ranching.  

Two years later, Luis and Davis travelled to a neighboring state that allowed for civil unions, and got married.

But that’s another story.


So - that’s the end of Misunderstandings.  

Many, many thanks to those of you who have expressed your appreciation.  This was my first effort, and it’s been a lot of fun.  I’ve got some more ideas, so I think there will be more in the future.

Comments are appreciated; flames will be ignored.  Feel free to contact me.