Chapter 18

The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men.  If you shouldn't be reading this, please move on.

In the world of this story, the characters don't always use condoms.  In the real world, you should care enough about yourself and others to always practice safe sex.

The author retains all rights.  No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the author's consent.  

The town of Stafford, the Sunrise Arts Center, and the characters in this story are fictitious.

Special thanks to Mickey S. and Drew Hunt, who have provided inspiration, advice, and encouragement throughout the writing of this series.


Everyone went back to work or school on the Monday after New Year's.  Stuart Blount and Frank Cummings, as well as Louis and Judd, were beginning a new semester at Stafford High.  At Sunrise we had to prepare for new exhibits, upcoming concerts, and our annual black-tie gala to be held on Valentine's Day.

I had some unfinished business with Chave MacPherson.  I had not as yet asked him to serve on the Board of the Arts Alliance, and I needed to deliver the large oval platter I'd made at his request.  I call it a platter because that's what it looked like, though I hoped he'd merely display it instead of using it for serving ham and eggs.

I called the offices of Gates, Brownlee, and Estes about 9:30 that Monday morning.  When I got through the phone menu to Chave's secretary, receptionist, paralegal, or whatever she was, I was told that Mr. MacPherson was with a client.  I asked that he call me and gave the woman both my office and home numbers.  He returned the call the next evening about 4:30, full of apologies for not getting back to me sooner.

"No problem, counselor.  I just had a couple of questions if you have a moment."

"Sure, Whit.  What's up?"

"Whit" again.  I wished he wouldn't do that.  "First, you didn't by chance send me a gift to be delivered on Christmas Eve, did you?"

He chuckled.  "No, `fraid not.  You get some kind of mystery gift?"

"Yeah, something like that.  Somebody sent me roses in a Waterford vase.  The card had my name on it, but not the name of the sender."

"Nice.  Sounds as if you've got a secret admirer, Dr. Pell."

"Beats the hell out of me.  I just can't figure who would have sent them."

"I wish I could say I had, but `twasn't I.  You said you had two questions?"

"Oh, yes.  I have the glass piece you asked for, and I thought I'd deliver it sometime at your convenience."

"Hang a sec.  Let's see, looks like I won't be free any evening this week until the weekend.  Unless you could do it right now."

"I'll have to go by the house and pick it up.  Would about a half an hour be okay?"

"Sure.  You have time to have a drink with me?"

"Sounds nice.  I've got something I'd like to talk with you about."

"If you'll tell me how much I owe you, I'll have a check waiting."

"Don't write the check until you've seen it.  You may not like it."

"I can't imagine not liking it, but if you won't tell me the amount, I guess I'll have to wait until you get here."

"Cool.  See you in half an hour."

I stuck my head in Jean's office to tell her I was leaving a little early.

"No problem, boss.  See you in the morning, unless we get lots of snow."

"Are they predicting snow?"

"Up to six inches overnight."

"Well, if it's bad tomorrow, stay at home.  I'll manage to get here somehow, and Jerome has his SUV."

"Well, it may not even happen.  You know how unreliable those weather mavens are."

I chuckled, bade her goodbye, and left.  I made it to Chave's condo in a little over 40 minutes.  The skies were gray and lowering, as if we could very well have snow.  I was used to heavy snows in the winter when I was living in Clearfield, but it didn't take much snow in Stafford to halt traffic.  They just didn't have the snow removal equipment or the crews to handle a heavy snow.  I thought to myself I shouldn't stay long at Chave's.  But I did want to ask him about serving on the Board.

It was beginning to spit snow as I left my house to drive to Chave's place.  

His "new" condo was on the second floor of a recently converted warehouse.  The original freight elevator was gone and a posh modern one substituted.  I had to call up so I could get into the elevator.  Chave was able to program it so it would come only to his floor.

I stepped out into what looked at first like one huge room.  The exterior walls were red brick, and there were huge windows with divided louvered shutters, so that he could close the bottom halves for privacy and leave the top part open if he wanted.  There was a free-standing fireplace with a fire burning in it.  I had to look very carefully to see that it had gas logs rather than real ones.

"Whitney, come in and get warm.  Your cheeks are ruddy.  You must have gotten that way just getting into the lobby from the car."

I handed him the piece he'd commissioned, which I'd wrapped in bubble wrap and brown paper.  "Yeah, I had to park a little way down the block.  And it's getting raw out there."

Chave put the package on a nearby table while he took my coat, knit cap, and gloves.  Then we shook hands.

"Let me fix us a drink, and then I've got to see this.  I've been dying to see what you'd come up with.  What'll you have?"

"Seems like a good night for bourbon."  

"That fire really puts out heat, so go stand next to it and warm yourself.  I'll get the booze."  The kitchen was at the far end of the big room.  There was an eating area between it and the living area.  So far I hadn't spotted the bedroom or bath.  I'd just gotten my fanny backed up to the fireplace when Chave put a double old fashioned glass in my hand.  I nodded, took a sip.  

"JD.  Hits the spot, Chave.  Thanks."

"No problem.  Now, I've got to see what you brought me."  He picked up the package, sat on a nearby leather sofa, and tore into the wrappings like a kid on his birthday.

"Ohmygod, Whit!  This is fantastic!  This is even better than I'd imagined it would be.  I said the colors of spring flowers, and that's just what you've done.  And I love the way you've suggested flower shapes without actually making any one piece look botanically correct.  This is a bit of a departure for you, isn't it?"

"Yeah, the colors in my other pieces tend to be darker, more dramatic."

"Well, I hope you'll explore this new palette in more pieces.  This is great.  And I've got just the place to put it."  He went to a magnificent Biedermeier sideboard along the brick exterior wall in the eating area, reached in, and brought out an easel designed for displaying plates and similar objects.  Above the sideboard was a large antique mirror in a gilt frame.  He put my piece on the easel in front of the mirror, which reflected it, so that one saw the platter twice.  

"Your ceilings are a bit high, but a spot up there somewhere might help bring out the brilliance of the color."

"I was just thinking the same thing.  I'll get that done right away.  Now, sit down and enjoy your drink."

I sat, happy that he seemed so pleased with the piece, and took a warming swallow of the JD.  It was then that I noticed a wonderful aroma.  Chave was cooking something.  My stomach growled, and he laughed.

"I've got a casserole in the oven.  It should be ready in another 30 minutes or so.  I was planning on having it with a salad and some crusty bread.  Will you stay and share it with me?"

I started to make the usual polite protests, but Chave really pressed, so I decided to stay.  Besides, it really did smell good, and I had no plans for the evening.  Stuart was having a busy week with the beginning of the new term, and we hadn't planned to get together until Friday evening.

We chatted for a while about this and that.  Chave was mentioning some people he'd run into in Raleigh who remembered me.  By the time I'd finished my whiskey, he went back to the kitchen, got something from the freezer, and a moment later put a tray in the microwave.  While whatever it was, was being nuked, he came back with two glasses of red wine.  Then he went back to the microwave and returned with a tray of piping hot miniature quiches.  

Handing me a cocktail napkin, he grinned at me and said, "Don't you dare say anything.  Besides, they're good.  Try one."

I tried one and found it delicious.  "Where in the world did you find these things?  I saw you take them from the freezer to the microwave.  I'm going to have to keep these on hand."

"You can get them where half the package is cheese quiches and the rest are spinach quiches.  And they come from Wal-Mart's grocery section."

I chuckled.

"What's funny?"

"I just can't imagine Chave MacPherson, bon vivant and man about town, shopping at Wal-Mart."

He raised an eyebrow.  "I am a man of mystery.  There are many things about me you don't know," he said, in a bad attempt at a Transylvanian dialect.  I chuckled, and then he did, too.  

It was snowing outside, warm in Chave's condo.  The wine was, of course, excellent, and I'd never felt so at ease with Chave as I did just then.

We chatted as we sipped the good red and noshed on the little quiches.  When he excused himself to get the salad and casserole on the table, I had a chance to think about my host.  I'd always been tense around Chave, always mistrusted him.  He was so much like my two asshole brothers, who were smooth, slick, polished, insincere, lawyers who exuded confidence, had a quiet flash about them which proclaimed success and power.  

But I had to admit that, except for continuing to call me "Whit," Chave had never been anything but charming to me.  He really seemed to like me.  I detected no trace of insincerity.  I thought perhaps my instincts about him were wrong and he might just actually be the nice guy he seemed.

Dinner was homey and good.  We talked easily about a variety of unimportant topics.  Then he asked, as he topped up my wine glass, "So you got roses in a Waterford vase for Christmas, huh?  And no name on the card?"

"Yeah.  And I haven't a clue who sent them."

"Do you remember which florist delivered them?"

"Not really."

"Do you still have the card?"

"Nope, I threw it out when I had to toss the roses.  I've still got the vase, though."

He chuckled.  "Yeah, that's a pretty nice gift, especially for a gay artist."

I prickled.  "Hey, watch it!"

He grinned.  "Chill, Whit.  I'd have loved to get roses from somebody at Christmas, especially in such a nice container."  He picked up his wine glass and held it out.  "Didn't mean to piss you off."

I clinked my glass against his and we drank.

"I'd thought you might be able to ask the florist, tell them that the sender's name was probably inadvertently left off the card, that you'd like to thank the sender."  I don't see why they wouldn't tell you."

"Why didn't I think of that?  Because I'm not a smart lawyer, I suppose," I said, grinning back at him.  "I just can't remember which florist it came from."

"Maybe it will come back to you."

"Yeah.  Hope so."

He'd bought a dessert at the supermarket which was appropriately called "Chocolate Overload Cake."  We had pieces of that with coffee made from beans which he ground just before filling the coffee maker.  When we finished the dessert I helped him clear the table and load his dishwasher.  After that, we had brandy in front of the fire.  He sat next to me on the leather sofa, but he kept his distance.  He'd turned off the kitchen and dining area lights, so there was only one lamp burning in the whole place.  That and the fire provided a small area of warmth and illumination.

Chave kicked off his loafers, and invited me to take off my shoes.  I still hadn't brought up the business of his serving on the Arts Alliance Board of Directors, so I did as he suggested.  Then I turned toward him, pulling one leg up onto the sofa.

I'd always recognized that Chave was a good-looking man.  One of the things I'd held against him was that he seemed too comfortable with who he was.  I think he knew he was handsome.  I don't mean that he was cocky, exactly.  He just acted as if he was aware of his looks, his sexiness.

At any rate, he looked especially good that night with a fawn colored sweater, the light from the fireplace bringing out glints of red in his blond hair and flashing off his glasses when he moved his head.  As he turned from the fire toward me, his blue eyes shone with what looked like anticipation.

"Chave, there's something I've wanted to ask you for some time."

He smiled and looked at me expectantly.  "Yeah?"

"Several members of the Alliance's Board of Directors are stepping down this spring, and I'd really like you to take a seat on the Board."

His face fell for a moment.  Then he grinned.  "Okay."

"Okay?  Just like that?  I don't have to do a song and dance?"

"No way.  I'd be happy to be a member of your Board."

I took a deep breath and let it out.  "Wow.  The usual, uh, ritual, I suppose, is that you act coy and I do a selling job.  Then you reluctantly agree.  That way we feel in your debt for putting upon you so."

He chuckled.  "Nope.  No crap.  I said I'd like to be on the Board."

I explained that the Alliance had its annual business meeting in April and that the names of the new Board members would be presented then.  "It's possible to receive nominations from the floor, but I'm told it never happens, that the names presented are regularly ratified by acclaim, or some such parliamentary jargon."

"Yeah, that's the term."

"Of course you'd know that.  Well," I said, standing, "it's been a great evening, Chave.  Thanks for treating me to such a nice time.  The food, the ambiance, the company were all an unexpected and much appreciated pleasure.  But I'd better go.  The weather out there isn't getting any better."

He was standing now, too.  "You're not going anywhere."

I was startled by the peremptory tone, but I saw that he was smiling.

"I'm sorry, Whit, but as your host I'm responsible if you have an accident on the way home.  You've had too much to drink to be driving, Jack Daniels, half a bottle of merlot, and the brandy.  Besides, as you say, it's nasty out there.  You'll just have to spend the night here."

I could see large flakes of snow swirling past the windows.  And, now that he mentioned it, I realized I had a nice buzz on.  I'd driven that way often enough before, and I was confident that I'd be able to make it home.  

"Look, man, why risk being in an accident, or getting stranded, or getting a DUI citation?  You're welcome to stay here."

"Well, I--"

"No arguments."  

I'd come to his place from work, so I was still wearing a blue oxford shirt with a rust tie and brown cords.  Chave grabbed me by the tie and pulled me toward him.  I was too startled to move quickly.  The next thing I knew he had wrapped his arms around me, pinning my arms to my sides.

He bent his head down and whispered in my ear, "You're such a hot little fucker, Whit.  I've wanted you ever since I first saw you at that reception last fall.  And tonight I'm going to have you."  Then he began to lick my ear.

Have you ever tried to talk sensibly when someone's got his tongue in your ear?  It's damn near impossible.  At first I held my breath.  Then as I was remembering to breathe, he lowered his hands and began to knead my ass, pulling me so tightly against him I could feel his erection against my belly.  

I suppose I could have kneed him in the balls.  Maybe that's what I should have done.  But by that time he was licking the side of my neck, under my ear, and doing his best to get his fingers into my crack.  The corduroy fabric was thick enough that he wasn't having much luck, but it sure as hell felt good.  I could either leave my hands at my sides or wrap them around him.  I reached around him.  What to do with them when they were behind him?  I could hold hands with myself, or I could feel his buns.

He had surprisingly hard glutes I discovered as I squeezed them and at the same time whimpered.  

Then he did the most amazing thing.  Chave is six feet even.  If I stand up straight I'm five nine.  That's only three inches difference.  But he bent his knees slightly and then hoisted me over his shoulder.

"Let's take this to the bedroom."

As he carried me I was looking, of course, at the floor behind Chave.  I tried to protest. "Uh, Chave, I've really got to get home, and I, uh --"

He chuckled, and I could feel his chuckle in my belly, which was resting on his shoulder.  "I've already told you, little man, that's not an option.  Besides, if you'd had any sort of important engagement tonight you wouldn't have stayed for supper."

The ceilings in Chave's condo are about 16 feet above the floor, I'd guess.  The bedroom and bath area are separated from the rest of the place by eight foot partitions.  

The next thing I knew I was set on my feet beside a king-size bed.  Chave put his sock-clad feet on top of mine, making flight difficult, though not impossible.  He grinned down at me as he took off my tie and unbuttoned my shirt.  He pulled the tail of the shirt out of my pants and removed it.  Then he began to play with my nipples through my tee shirt.  My cock, which had gotten hard in the other room when he was tonguing my ear, began to dampen my boxers.  

I suppose I could still have pushed him away, grabbed my clothes, and left.  I wish I could say I rationalized that Chave was a soon-to-be member of the Board, that he was an influential and generous member of the community.  What I did say to myself was something like, "Oh, fuck, he's so hot!  And this feels so good!"

Soon I was ass up on the bed, my face in the sheet, feeling rushed, overwhelmed, and unbelievably horny as Chave finger fucked me.

"Oh, yeah, play with my ass," someone said.  Some slut.  Me.  

He grabbed my pony tail and pulled my head back.  "Yeah, you like this don't ya, little man?"

"I like, I like.  But it would be even better if you'd just shut up and fuck me!"

"You're pretty feisty for a little guy."

Chave's cock isn't as big as Stuart's, so it didn't hurt when he entered me.  I'd been opened up pretty regularly since Stuart and I started having sex.  I must say, though, that Chave was careful.  He obviously didn't want to hurt me.  Once he was inside and sure I was okay, however, he really went to town.  He knew how to hit my prostate, and he did, but he was more into his own pleasure than Stuart, who always seemed to want to know how it was for me.  Stuart and I seldom did it doggie fashion.  

Occasionally Chave would pull on my hair and say something like, "You've got a great ass, Dr. Pell!" or "Oh, Whit, you're just as hot as I knew you'd be."  Once in a while he'd slap my butt and then grunt when I tightened down on his cock.

He managed to last for, I'd say, a half an hour.  Once when I was pumping my dick he slapped my ass and said, "Stop that.  You'll come too soon.  Stay with me."  Several times he apparently got close to coming and would simply stop, lean over me and kiss the back of my neck or my shoulders, or nuzzle my hair.  Then off we'd go again.  

He was right, too.  Eventually he fucked the cum out of me, and after I'd shot all over the sheets under me, he said "Oh, I'm coming, hot stuff!" and unloaded.  

It wasn't late, so after we'd both come down from the orgasmic high, we changed the sheets on the bed and showered.  The bedroom was chilly, so as soon as we'd dried off, we got back in bed.  I thought again that I should leave, but it was nasty outside and warm in Chave's bed.  Chave pulled a thick duvet over us, and we snuggled.

I woke up a couple of times during the night, what with being in a strange bed and all.  I heard the wind howling and figured it was going to be a wintry mess when it came time to get out and about in the morning.

Again I woke up.  I opened an eye and saw by Chave's bedside clock that it was 7:00.  I rolled over to discover that I was alone in the bed, so I got up and went to the bathroom.  I could smell bacon and coffee.  After pulling on my clothes, I padded out to the kitchen to find Chave fully dressed, shaved, looking fabulous.

"Good morning, hot stuff.  There's OJ on the counter.  Or go straight for the coffee if you'd rather.  How do you like your eggs?"

"Basted, please."  

"Might have known you'd want them the hardest way to fix," he grumbled, grinning at me.  

"Yeah, yeah.  How are the streets?  Have you heard anything?"

"We've had 7 inches of snow. Downtown and the main arteries are clear, but some of the hillier sections are still unplowed.  I'm guessing that might include the Sunrise area."

I pulled on my shoes, drank some juice, and poured a mug of coffee.  Chave set the fried eggs, bacon, and a couple of biscuits on the table and said, "Dig in."

Next to my place mat was a check, made out to me.  "That's for the fabulous piece, Whit.  I love it!"

For a moment I thought he meant "piece of ass," as in our coupling that night.  Then I realized what he really meant.

We hadn't discussed the price, and the check was for roughly twice what I intended to charge him.

"Chave," I said between bites, "this is too much.  Way too much."

"I don't think so.  Maybe you undervalue your work.  So, take that with my thanks, and don't say anything more about it."  The way he said it let me know that the discussion was closed, almost as if he were my parent.  Or an older brother.

"How do you feel this morning?"

"I'm not hung over, if that's what you mean.  Actually, I'd say I felt well-fucked."

"We aims to please, Dr. Pell."  He gave me a mischievous look.  "Now, there's a new toothbrush in its package on the bathroom sink if you want to use it.  You are welcome to stick around here as long as you want, but I have to get to the office.  I've got a bunch of documents to look over before my first client arrives at 9:00.  Assuming she's able to get there."

"Thanks, Chave, but I need to get to the office, too.  We've got a school group scheduled, and I'd forgotten that when I told Jean not to come in if the roads are bad.  I think we've got a docent lined, up, too, but I need to be there in case I'm needed."

"Well, you may have trouble, especially since you don't have a four wheel drive vehicle, so you'd better get going."

I carried my dishes to the sink and then went to brush my teeth.

Chave helped me with my coat, nuzzled my ear, patted me on the rump, and sent me on my way, cautioning me to drive carefully.  As I rode down in the elevator, it occurred to me that we'd never kissed.

At least in the mid-west we hadn't had hills to deal with.  Even with traction control and front-wheel drive, my tires did a lot of spinning on the way up to Sunrise, but each time  I'd begin to think I wasn't going to make it up a hill, I'd hit a patch that had been salted.  I pulled into the parking lot about 8:45 to find Jerome already had it plowed.  His and Jean's SUVs were in their usual places.

I parked in my reserved spot and went inside, stopping to stomp the snow off my shoes on the mat inside the door.  The volunteer hadn't arrived for the front desk yet, but then they weren't due until 9:00.

"I thought I'd told you not to bother to come in," I said to Jean as I went into her office.  

As I took off my coat, she said, "I didn't have any trouble.  The Cherokee goes through just about anything.  You should get one."

"I hate those big beasts." We'd had that discussion before.

"Say, aren't those the clothes you were wearing yesterday?"

I think I blushed.  "Yes, ma'am."

"You were on your way to Chave MacPherson's when you left here.  You must have stayed the night."

"Not that it's any of your business."

She laughed.  "I told you last fall you'd eventually wind up sleeping with him!"

"You're assuming that we did, you know.  Actually, when I got there, he gave me a drink, and then invited me to supper, and afterward said it was dangerous to drive, and invited me to stay.  And you'll be delighted to know that he's agreed to become a Board member."

She grinned.  "So it was worth sleeping with him."

Then I really blushed.  "But," I stammered, "that's not, I mean, --"

"Oh, by the way," she said with a wicked grin on her face, "Stuart Blount called just before you got here.  He said he'd tried to call you twice yesterday and got no answer.  He called again this morning and again, no answer.  He said he was worried about you.  He had to go to class but said he'd try to catch you either here or at home later today."

"Thanks.  Have you heard from the docent who's supposed to handle the school group, or are they coming?"

"Oh, I forgot to tell you.  Their principal called a while ago.  They want to reschedule in view of the weather.  So I called Carole and told her to stay in and stay warm."

"Great, thanks.  Sounds as if I might actually get some desk work done.  And you can still go home if you want to."

"You're the one who needs to go home.  Shower, put on some fresh clothes.  By then they should have the streets in better condition. I'm perfectly able to deal with whatever comes up until you get back."

I gave her a peck on the cheek.  "Okay, `Mom.'  You're the greatest."

"Thanks, Whitney," she said, looking at me over her glasses.

I began pulling on my coat.

"But what are you going to tell Stuart?"

"None of your business."  I blew her a kiss to show I wasn't angry.

Just as I got to the door, she called to me, "Oh, Whitney, when you get back there's a letter to the editor in this morning's Sentinel that you ought to read.  I'll put it on your desk."


My mind wasn't on the newspaper.  It was on Jean's question.  What was I going to tell Stuart?  I had no idea what to tell him.  I wasn't even sure how I felt about what had happened with Chave.  On the one hand he was a hot guy and I'd enjoyed the sex, but on the other I'd felt as if I'd been used, manipulated.  And what really worried me was that perhaps that's what turned me on the most.

I went home, shaved, showered, changed clothes, and returned to the office.  I hardly remember doing that, however, for I was preoccupied with what had happened the evening before.  

Had I "betrayed" Stuart?  We had never made any kind of commitment to each other.  True, we'd become very close in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, spending a lot of time together, going places, staying at home, and having fabulous, sweet sex.  But we'd never talked about any sort of "arrangement" or "understanding."  Technically, at least we were free to see -- and fuck -- whomever we pleased.  Having said that, though, I still felt guilty.  Stu and I hadn't planned to get together any evening that week, so there was no "date" I was breaking by going to Chave's.  

And what about Chave?  Was that night a one-off, or was he expecting more?  Was I expecting more?  How did I really feel about what happened?

`Ambivalent' may be the word for how I felt.  

As I drove back to Sunrise, I admitted that I had been a willing, even eager, participant in what had happened with Chave the night before.  Chave, after all, was -- is -- one very sexy man.  But there was more.  How can I explain this?

When I'd first seen him, I'd been turned off.  I've said he reminded me of my brothers, and that's a strong condemnation.  They are -- well, I've already explained my feelings about them.  It took a long time for me to overcome my sense that Chave was just like them.  Gradually, however, by being charming and appreciative, by not coming on strong at all, he seemed to show me that my first impressions of him were wrong.

Something happened at his condo that night.  I was able at last to relax in his presence, to accept him for what he seemed to be:  a genuinely nice, sexy guy who liked me.  Then he literally swept me off my feet and carried me to his boudoir for sex.  Could I have stopped him?  Probably.  No, certainly.  Chave's a lawyer.  He wouldn't have raped me if I'd made it unequivocally clear that I didn't want to have sex with him.

So why did I have sex with him?  I'd had a good bit to drink, but I'm not blaming the alcohol.  The fact is, I have to admit, that I found him overwhelmingly attractive.  As the evening went on, he became more and more dominant, and I use that word intentionally.  He obviously enjoyed making me into his fucktoy for the evening.  And, to my surprise, I loved it.  I remember that he said he'd wanted me since the first time he'd seen me, but I wasn't sure whether he'd still want me after he'd had me.  

I should explain that I'm not a total bottom.  When Kyle and I were together, we'd trade off.  Granted, he topped more than I did, but he enjoyed being bottom as I happily got off topping him.  With Stuart in our few weeks together we traded off, though I found a new pleasure in allowing him to be his gentle but masterful self.

So what was it about Chave?  

As I stopped at a 4-way intersection, I noticed that the snow on the streets seemed to be wet but not slippery.  It wasn't so much that they'd been salted as that the temperature had risen enough so the snow on the streets had melted.  That's nice, the difference between North Carolina and the area where I'd lived before coming home.  

What was it about Chave?  He was certainly fascinating.  Unquestionably he was a handsome man.  He had never been anything but charming to me -- until that night.  He'd been enthusiastic about my glass.  He'd said he loved the piece I'd made for him.  He'd insisted on paying me twice what I'd have asked him for it.  He'd told me he'd found me attractive from the time he'd first seen me.  And God knows I had enjoyed his fucking me.

Or at least I think I had.  There were times when I felt as if I were being raped by my brother, the victim of some sort of power play.  Looking back on it, that was the scariest part of all.  Why?  Because I had given in to it, become a willing participant in it.

As I pulled into the Sunrise parking lot, I realized I still didn't know what I'd say to Stuart, who'd probably call me on his lunch break.

To be continued