Warning: The following story may contain graphic descriptions of sex between consenting adult males. If you are underage or do not wish to read such material, or if reading this sort of material is illegal in your jurisdiction, then read no further. This multipart story is primarily about romance and relationships between men. Any reference to actual persons, living or dead, is only to enhance the fictional nature of the story and does not suggest a particular sexual orientation.
A special acknowledgement to David from the Lakeview area of Chicago and Brad from Denver for providing diligent proofing and editing of the story, to Carey for being a patient teacher, and to Drew for helping to expand my boundaries.
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Part 4, EARLY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
The next two weeks flew by. Martin Consulting - Chicago won two big contracts that would put billings 30% ahead of last year. Ben and the New York hierarchy were very pleased. With a significant bonus, the Jerry Franklin retirement account would be well fed for another year.
Irene kept my business life organized. As the keeper of the gate for the past year, she was a very thorough and efficient executive assistant and office manager. Not only did she have a respected rapport with all the staff, Irene had become an older sister and personal listening post for me. We trusted each other. After finding out about Matt, and my policy of zero tolerance for homophobia, she opened up and revealed the long relationship with her roommate of 15 years. She and Susan had been lovers together since college.
Routine out of the office consisted of client lunches and Thursday noon handball with my lawyer at the Union League Club, late afternoon workouts at the East Bank Club a couple of times a week, and home to Mr. Charley. Almost every evening, I would talk to Matt on the phone or IM. On the surface, everything was cordial. Too cordial. We would relate stories about work but anything endearing was almost nonexistent. Neither of us was forthcoming.
That first weekend the blond dynamo and I had sex starting Friday and climaxing - oh boy, and how - Sunday evening. He was serious about the shower. And, serious that I join him. At least, this time I was wise to his stripping routine. With an exaggerated shrug and look of defeat, he laughed as I led him willingly upstairs that night.
Since we were both free-balling, undressing was a snap. Within moments, he was in my arms. The warm, compact body felt great. In the shower, after lots of groping with sudsy hands everywhere, we jerked and simultaneously shot our first loads on each other. We giggled like schoolboys while rinsing away the DNA.
Later, in bed I allowed him to rim me, and I offered no resistance when he tentatively inserted a finger. In fact, I handed him the lube. The probing excited me as the exploring continued with his index digit added. I wiggled my butt and pushed into his fingers to help him score with my prostate. I moaned as our eyes met. His eyebrows raised in an expectant fashion as his gaze quickly shifted to my butt and back. I smiled weakly and shook my head negatively. He understood and slowly withdrew.
Moving up to my face, he kissed with force and began grinding and pushing his hard cock against mine. I followed his lead, and soon a mutual climax left our pubes glued to each other.
After taking a more relaxed shower and redressing, we went downstairs for a beer. As we sat in the den across from each other, I said, "Sammy, if you're going to come over here, you just can't arrive unannounced."
"Um, you don't want me visiting you?" he asked, concerned.
"I didn't say that. You need to call and check what my plans are. Aside from really enjoying the sex, buddy, I think that we could become good friends. But, I do have other people in my life and a social schedule in addition to family stuff," I answered, as I moved over to the leather couch and sat next to him.
He grinned and replied, "I'd like that, Jerry. I want to be your friend."
"The only thing I ask is that you call first and find out if I'm free."
"Better than call, how about I find out right now when you're free next weekend?" We both took sips of beer.
I paused and considered his question. "Hmmm, I know that Friday night and Saturday are booked. But I'm not doing anything Sunday. Does that work for you?" 'Fuck,' I thought, 'have you no willpower, Franklin?'
"All I've got planned is church with my friend."
"Then why don't you come over here around 2:00 p.m? We could go over to the East Bank Club for a workout and return for dinner and a movie. Sound okay?"
"As long as the movie ends like it did last weekend," he retorted with a sly smile.
"That reminds me. I'd better stock up on some more condoms." We both laughed.
Turning serious, he looked at me with a quizzing expression. "Jerry, he began, "Is there any chance that I can explore getting to know you better physically. I mean..."
"You want to know if you can..."
"Be inside you. I really want to pleasure you, there." We both knew where 'there' was.
"Sammy, I'll be honest. The man I live with, when he's in Chicago, has never had any desire to fuck me. He is a committed bottom. So, I've put the idea of taking it out of my mind." Holding his hand, I continued, "But I'm not opposed to it. Maybe we could take it slow next Sunday?" 'Failed on the temptation test again,' I judged. 'I'm just becoming a 29 year old slut.'
He leaned over and kissed me lightly. "I'll be gentle. Just don't get any more pink or blue rubbers!" With that we both doubled over. The remainder of our conversation was light and upbeat. I looked forward to next weekend and the sexual gratification he offered.
Friday night was a monthly dinner with Steve and Allen that began as a tradition when I moved back to Chicago. Allen and I, friends from undergraduate days at Northwestern, were both the same age. Steve was 10 years older. Not only were we great friends, the guys were neighbors. Their condo tower was on the corner of Schiller and Lake Shore Drive. Not quite a one-minute walk. Perched on the 40th floor, the corner apartment had great east and southern views of the lake and the city skyline with all the Chicago landmark skyscrapers standing out in the distance. And I didn't have to worry about a designated driver. On several occasions, I cautiously walked back home a block away.
Tonight, waiting for the elevator with a bottle of pinot noir in hand, I remembered that my hosts had just celebrated nine years together. Steve was an established banker, and Allen was a partner in a small, successful telecommunications company. I arrived at their slightly opened door to hear a voice in the background say, "Come on in, Jerry. Steve's putting on a hostess dress and I'm stirring the sauce. Closing the door, I went directly to the kitchen and lightly kissed my old friend, Allen Stein, and handed him the bottle.
Reading the label, he smiled and said, "Thanks for the wine. It actually will go well with the veal chops we're having." He went out to the hallway and yelled, "Steve, Jerry's here."
"I'll be out in a sec. Fix us both a drink."
Returning to the kitchen, Allen said, "Two margaritas coming up." Both Steve Phipps and I had a weakness for Allen's margarita recipe. As the Kitchen Aid blender churned the slushy mixture of 1800, Grand Marnier and frozen Bacardi margarita lime-lemon juice, Steve arrived. After giving me a light kiss, he repeated the same with his partner.
"Well, don't we look like we just stepped out of gay, preppy GQ?" Steve announced. We looked at each other and laughed while surveying the khaki cargo shorts, pastel polo shirts, and topsiders worn by all.
In a serious tone, I said, "Just following the dress code in the gay manual. I'm surprised, Steve, that you aren't all decked out in a Donna Karan knock-off and basic gold circle pin."
"Fuck you, Franklin. I'm more butch than your sorry Jewish ass will ever be.
"Phipps, you will never come close to my kosher ass. That's on special reserve."
"Kosher? Jeez Jerry, give me a break," Allen, inserted. "I think the last time you attended temple was Passover 1998. And I heard from the grapevine that you asked for roast pork to be the main course at your family's last Seder."
"And a shrimp cocktail, asshole." We all snickered at that. All jokes aside, I thought about the conversations with Allen concerning religion. Unlike my home, Judaism was always discussed in the Stein family. Allen had attended Beth Emet Reform Synagogue in Evanston since he was 10. But he knew that I felt more comfortable with Mom's side of the family, even if I hadn't taken the big step to convert.
"Ah, speaking of 'special reserve,' where is Matt?" Steve asked sincerely. "I can't remember the last time we were all together. I know he's in New York most of the time. What gives?"
"I wish I knew. He's busy with the job. Distance is a handicap. Big time. I feel us drifting apart and I don't know how to fix it. I'm going to see him for the eastern edition of my birthday celebration next weekend."
Allen and Steve digested this and studied my expression. "Jerry, sounds like all is not well in paradise? You keep ignoring the obvious," Allen said.
"The obvious being...?"
"That you never talk about Matt. Or change subjects when his name comes up. Wanna talk about it?"
"I haven't felt good about our relationship for a while. I'm not sure if there is one anymore. He spends so much time in New York working his office "brownie point" magic; I think he's creating reasons for not coming back very often. Maybe he's found someone else? God knows there are hot men back there."
"I can't believe he'd throw away everything you two have together," commented Steve.
"I'm not sure what we have anymore except me compiling American Airlines frequent flyer miles. I've even fallen off the celibate wagon."
"Just a fuck in the dark or something serious?" Steve asked.
"I think in between. It started out with me being seduced by this cute, blond guy. Willingly. But, I see a friendship growing. The guy is finishing college this year but knows how to take care of a horny, old man," I answered with a guilty smile.
Looking over at his partner, Steve replied, "So what are we talking about, nine or ten years? That's workable. At least it was for us."
"Allen was out of college when you guys met. This guy hasn't hit that passage. I think it is a big difference, at this point," I replied, while thinking of Gail Sheehy's two books analyzing the various phases or passages of life we all go through.
"Well, Mr. Horny, almost over-the-hill-at-30 guy, tonight you'll celebrate your birthday with your best buds. Let's talk about your new fuck buddy another time. Happy Birthday," Allen said before planting a sloppy kiss.
"Ewww, you've got to put up with this all the time, Steve?"
"Yeah. Ain't it grand?"
In a melancholy moment, I answered, "I bet it is." I kissed Allen back and went over to Steve and did the same. "Thanks for the friendship. I have a funny feeling that these topics will be revisited soon. I may need some big shoulders to cry on and big brother advice."
"Hey, any time. I truly hope that it doesn't come to that," Steve replied. "Allen, anything I can do in here?"
"The salads are on the table. Get out a platter for the chops, a bowl for the green beans, and a small sauce bowl for the gravy. That should do it." Allen always ran the kitchen like a general.
I went to the drawer and found the wine opener. "I'll let the wine breathe."
"What are we having?"
"A Salisbury Reserve pinot noir from Napa. I sampled it at the wine society tasting last month." Together we moved out of the kitchen and into the candlelit dining area with a dynamite view of the Chicago skyline for a backdrop.
Steve and Allen were both accomplished amateur chefs. Dinner was always a treat, as it was special to be around them. The veal chops with sherry and lemon marmalade were superb with the wine. Simple, but effective. The conversation flowed naturally between old and trusted friends. It was clear that they were still very much in love. Savoring the last of the wine, I asked, "How do you guys do it?"
In unison they looked at me and said, "Do what?"
"I see you two still in love with each other. Maybe more than when I first knew you as a couple. What's the secret?"
"Variety and a sense of humor," Steve answered. "We never let our lives get into a routine. And he continually amuses me."
"And I'm amused by him," Allen volunteered. "We constantly surprise each other and challenge our partnership to new levels of understanding."
Smiling, Steve concluded, "And the sex is pretty amazing." With that, Steve got up and walked over to Allen sitting and reached around for a kiss. We all got up and started clearing the table and returning the dirty dishes to the kitchen.
Going back to the living room, Steve said, "I've cracked open a bottle of Dow's 1972 Vintage Port. Let's gather around the coffee table and drink it with the trifle dessert. We all sat down while Steve poured the port, being careful not to allow the sediment to leave the bottle.
"Happy Birthday, Jerry," Allen toasted. We quietly spooned out the English classic after-dinner sweet of sponge cake, marinated fruit and vanilla cream, occasionally cracking a small joke or trading gossip.
"Thanks guys. You really are an extended family." Turning to their relationship again, I asked, "I am curious how you two handled the age difference when you first met.
"You knew Allen first. I think you'll agree that he was pretty mature at a young age."
"Yes, except for some of the shit we pulled at the Phi Delt house, he did have a pretty solid handle on things." Although both Sigma Alpha Mu legacies, we both had felt more at home in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at Northwestern.
"When we were approaching the start of serious romance, Steve took me to Europe for a month. Before, I had been over there with other kids. This time, we were two young adults looking for adventure."
"One problem that kept biting us in the ass were my older friends who kept giving me shit in front of him about me buying a boy toy. That was really hurtful and created some tense moments."
"But the laugh was on most of those cocksuckers."
"Allen, such an endearing term," I remarked with a chuckle.
"I didn't mean it that way, babe. They're still single, swilling down double vodka martinis at the Gentry Bar, gossiping and being bitchy. I almost sent a case of Absolut to the biggest ass of the group for Christmas but figured he wouldn't understand the insult," Allen tossed out.
"Enough about those guys, Allen. We don't see most of them anymore," Steve replied.
"You're right. Sorry for the editorial."
"Back to the story. After committing ourselves to each other, I thought about the experiences I had over the ten-year period between 21 and 30. Experiences that Allen would want. It might be travel, getting promoted in a new job, discovering different foods, meeting new friends, exploring the arts, whatever. I set out to be a stealth mentor. That's why we went to cooking school for six months."
"The results are what you tasted tonight," said Allen, with a confident tone.
Steve continued, "He was also just starting out professionally and the first couple of jobs didn't pay much. After learning the hard way, I made a point of not aggressively spending money, so he didn't think he had to compete."
"Hard way?" I asked.
"For his birthday the year we fell in love, I bought Allen a Cartier tank watch. He went into a snit and demanded I return it."
"Looking back, I kinda wished I had kept the neat watch. But, it was more important to make a point," Allen added.
"I put the tail between my legs and brought it back. I exchanged it for a Seiko stainless steel sport watch. It was a good lesson. Thank goodness, Allen's earning power has changed."
"I bless the day I had the balls to get involved in our company start-up five years ago," Allen added. "Money is now not a problem."
"In fact, I think that Allen probably makes more than I do at this point."
I took the moment to add a little "Chu ching" sound effect with a smile.
"But that was our approach, Jerry. That, and communication. We set aside one dinner a week to discuss whatever is on our minds. If I've done something that bugs Allen, or visa versa, we talk it out. Sometimes quite loudly." Allen and Steve both smiled at that.
"Now I've got a question for you," Allen posed. "Matt will return soon?"
"November. I don't know if I can wait that long."
"Jesus, buddy, you better have a long talk with him next weekend. A stroll in Central Park, a buggy ride, a great ice cream sundae at Serendipity...whatever it takes. Lay it out for him."
"I know, Allen. That's what I'm going to do. After all the celebrating on Saturday, I'm going to take a late Sunday flight back so we can spend most of the day figuring things out. There may be tough decisions to make."
"Just talk things out," Steve added.
"Guys, I promise you that I'm going to make a big effort. But it looks like this will be the last one."
"Good luck, Jerry. It'll be worth it," Allen concluded.
Looking at my watch, I said, "I'll let you lovebirds go back to your nest. Thanks for dinner and the advice. You guys are the best. You've given me a lot to think about." With that we all got up and walked to the door. Brotherly kisses were exchanged as I departed.
I returned home to find Mr. Charlie impatiently waiting at the entry. I skimmed the Kitty Litter and filled the water dish before retiring after a very full day.
Saturday was chores and errands day. I made sure that the Trojan condoms I purchased were standard translucent. That night I went to dinner and saw an early movie with Irene from the office, and her lover Susan, before coming home to rest for Sunday with Sammy.
'Ah', I ruminated. 'Young Sammy. Hot, young, fun, young, tight, young, good looking, fuckable, young Sammy.' Here I was, turning 30 and messing around with someone still in college. 'Might as well enjoy the sex and the company,' I concluded. Becoming good friends was a distinct possibility. He was a nice guy and socially tuned into the scene.
Up early with my furry roommate, I did a final tidy up of the house and pre-prepped tonight's simple dinner. A mixed green salad, strip sirloin steaks, and asparagus tips. At 1:59 p.m., the doorbell rang. Knowing who it was caused me momentary tenseness. The cat joined me to welcome our guest. I opened the door. A ray of sunshine reflected from his blond hair as he stood there with a big grin, holding a wrapped package.
"Hey, Sammy. Good to see you." As I closed the door, he came up and rose up for a kiss that I received. The tension eased.
"Happy Birthday." With that he handed me the package.
"You didn't have to do that," I said, looking into his warm eyes.
"Yeah, I did. Open it."
Like a kid, I tore open the wrapping paper and saw a set of king-size DKNY sheets and pillowcases in the 'Play with Blue' pattern. "Thanks buddy."
"I figure that this will replace any we've worn out, and the colors match your condoms."
"I'll get you later for that comment, bud."
"I'm counting on it. I've got the Jeep out front with my gym things. Grab your bag, and I'll drive."
"Deal. The bag is right over here," I said, pointing to the corner next to the door. We left and drove over to the East Bank Club
Even on Sunday, Chicago's premier health club was busy. With over 150,000 square feet of space, East Bank had every type of workout equipment, class instruction, lap swimming, and every gym team sports imaginable. Other services included an incredible staff of massage therapists, plus two restaurants dedicated to healthy, low-fat cooking. East Bank was quite different from the Union League Club - a men's club in the financial district. Union League was great for business entertaining and handball matches, but it was too up tight and waspy to relax. Here at the East Bank, there was a good mix of men and women that came from all sorts of life...albeit affluent.
In the locker room, I recognized a few friends and introduced Sammy. All recognized the McDonald name and drew no conclusions about us other than two guys of the same social circle in for a little workout. Going upstairs for the machines and free weights, we went separate ways to our favorite Cybex equipment. We promised to meet in a half hour to do free weights and spot each other for lifting.
When I reached the full-mirrored weights room, Sammy was talking to guy about my age who I knew slightly, Bill Saunders. He was an in-house lawyer for one of Chicago's bigger companies. Good looking man who subtly projected success and polish. Our paths crossed socially on very rare occasions. "Hey, Bill, good to see you. Sammy, you ready to do some lifting?" Sammy nodded and flexed his bi-ceps.
"Jerry, Hi. It's been a long time. You guys at Martin still making the corporate world a better place to live in?" Bill said, with a grin and natural warmth that made you want to stand closer. I doubted if Bill was aware of the charisma he projected. Bill achieved his sparkling personality with ease; I couldn't help compare him to Matt, who really had to work at it.
"Oh, you guys know each other? Great. Saves introductions. Bill and I work together. Well, actually I deliver his mail." We all laughed. Now I remembered Bill's firm. American Foundry.
"Yes, but very efficiently. How do you two know each other?" Bill asked.
Scrambling for an answer, I calmly said, "Actually, we were introduced recently at a party, and I thought he might like to check the facilities here and try a workout." I looked into Bill's eyes and smiled. Bill bought it.
Sammy added, "Yeah, I've got to upgrade to a better health club. The Bally's I go to really sucks."
"Actually, American Foundry has a corporate membership plan. If you like, I'll add your name to the authorized list Monday. I'm sure your dad won't mind."
"Bill, that'd be super. I'll run it by him when I get home tonight. Thanks for the suggestion."
"Seriously, how goes the consulting biz?" he asked, in a friendly breezy manner. When Bill spoke, he devoted all of his attention to you, in contrast to Matt, whose eyes would be darting everywhere while carrying on a conversation.
"We're as busy as hell. Seems some company is always seeking advice about how to reorganize and be more competitive."
"You and I need to get together soon. I think that Martin may be just the firm to bring into American Foundry for a project. Mr. McDonald and I have been tossing around strategies to improve productivity and earnings."
"I'd be happy to sit down with you and listen. Call me soon, and we'll coordinate calendars. Maybe lunch?" 'I would love to have lunch with him anywhere, any time,' I concluded.
"I'll do that tomorrow. By the way, what has ever happened to Matt?" Bill asked. "I never see him anymore."
'Oh shit,' I remembered. Matt and Bill were fraternity brothers at the University of Michigan years ago. "Matt's been in New York on a temporary assignment. I'll be there soon and I'll pass on your regards." He was obviously tuned into our partnership.
"Please do. Talk with you tomorrow. Sammy, see you at the shop," he concluded with a big grin and a shake of hands as he departed.
"I assume Matt's the missing roommate?" Sammy asked.
"The very same. And I had forgotten until just a minute ago that Bill and Matt went to school together at Michigan."
"Yeah, and getting smaller all the time," I replied. 'Was running into Bill a stroke of luck or fate waiting to happen?' I wondered. I'd find out soon.
We proceeded with a pretty basic bench routine. I was amazed at the weight Sammy could handle. His physique had been well crafted. I was amused at the looks Sammy kept getting. 'God,' I thought, 'the closet queens are coming out of the woodwork today.'
We concluded by doing some serious stretching and a quick shower. My guest was really enjoying himself. And, while checking out other guys on the gym floor was natural for a healthy male, straight or gay, Sammy was totally into the workout and being with me. I felt very comfortable. I was surprised that he knew several members of all ages. At ease with everyone, he was oblivious to people acknowledging his status as being at the top of the food chain.
When we returned home, Mr. Charley shared his late afternoon rubs on both our legs. And, the Abyssinian loved it when Sammy picked him up while we leaned in for a kiss. As the passion increased, I said, "Careful babe, we'll crush the cat."
He let the Aby jump away and pulled me closely to him as he replied, "I only want to crush you."
"In time. But first, let's pull together dinner. You set the table, and I'll fire up the grill. I'm a medium rare guy. How about you?"
"Medium rare is fine for a steak. But for you, Jerry, I like it rare and raw."
"All in due time," I said while squeezing his butt as I passed him. I retrieved the steaks and went outside to ignite the Weber on the patio. After adjusting the temperature of the grill, I returned to heat the water for the asparagus. While nuking them was faster, I was a purist at heart. Walking back to the grill, I reviewed what had been happening between the two of us this past week. Just then, I heard the door slide open.
"I also brought a bottle of wine for your birthday. The guy at the Wine Warehouse said this '96 Mondavi Reserve Cab would work well." He handed me the glass and I naturally brought its bowl to my nose and inhaled the bouquet.
"This will be ideal. Thanks for the thought. It was definitely not necessary." 'This guy was continually amazing me,' I concluded, as we clinked our glasses and drank. "To being new friends."
"New friends. Happy birthday, Jerry." We both sipped.
"If you'll put on the steaks, I'll go in and start the veggies and pull the rest of the dinner together. The steaks should be ready to be turned in another couple of minutes or so." We smiled at each other as I returned to the kitchen.
Dinner was a fun and casual affair. He was pleased at the idea of joining the East Bank Club. We decided that he should tell his Dad that we had met at a mutual friend's house at a party. No need to fuel his Dad's speculation about Sammy and me. Since he would find out that Sammy and I had been at the club together, I suggested that he say "Hi." Plotting for a cover to the story Bill had been fed, I knew that our social circles would intersect, so we started the name game to find a plausible 'host' to the mythical party.
"I've got a guy in the office who is about three or four years older than you. He comes from the Evanston area. Do you know the Jenrette family? His name is Joe."
"Oh, yeah. His younger sister was in my class, and we dated in high school. Our families are members of Westmoreland Country Club. I played golf with Joe a couple of years ago. Super guy."
"Great. Okay, here's what you do. Let it drop that we met at his place for a party a couple of weeks ago. Joe actually lives not too far from here. This will avoid any complications."
"The only complication I see now is that we are both fully clothed," Sammy replied.
"You ready for a movie? I've got..."
"Let's skip the movie and go right to the main event. I'll help you clean up here later," he said with that subtle grin and wink.
"You really know a pushover when you see one, don't you?" Even though I was approaching 30, the idea of hopping in the sack with this prime specimen of young manhood was beyond tempting. 'To hell with it,' I rationalized. 'The idea is just too hot to pass up.'
TO BE CONTINUED