Table Number Five

Copyright© 2011- Nicholas Hall


Standing quietly in the back of the supper club, slowly surveying the five white-clothed tables assigned to me, zeroing in on an empty water glass carrying a messy thumbprint at Table Four, I quickly signaled, with a nod of my head and holding up four fingers, to my table busser, Tommy, there was a problem at that table needing correcting. Smiling with satisfaction as he too saw the source of my concern, he replaced the defective glass with one of sparkling cleanliness, leaving the table ready and presentable for our next guests. Soft noises, in the background of the restaurant, emanated from the kitchen where the chefs were busy preparing for the onslaught, hopefully, of reveling football fans, if the Iowa Hawkeyes thumped the Wisconsin Badgers in this afternoons' football game.

The Maitre d', Edward Busonnt, stepped up beside me, whispering, "One minute left, we have them by three points, our third down and four, so let's hope." After making his announcement, he proceeded to the front to stand stoically at his post, ready to greet those guests who wished to join us for an afternoon or evening repast.

"Roxies", where I and the others were employed, "the place" to be in Iowa City, was a very upscale dining establishment known for its fine food, excellent service, and pleasant ambiance. The head chef and his associates were well experienced in the preparation of cuisine which could titillate the most discriminating of palates, accentuated with an excellent presentation; the table service provided by an experienced table waiter (moi) with assistance of my table busser, Tommy, while guests were greeted at the door by Eddie, choreographing the activities of the dining area with the skill of a concert master. The owner of "Roxies" spared nothing in creating a dining facility par excellence', claiming, "we want our guests visit to `Roxies' to be the best part of their day."

A Junior in Accounting at the University of Iowa, this is my third year at "Roxies." I started in my freshman year after receiving excellent recommendations from my previous employer, a cousin of Roxies' owner, Lee Bishop, while I was in high school. Mr. Bishop once confided in me he couldn't name the supper club "Bishops" because there was a buffet by that very name in the Davenport area, so he named his establishment after his wife, Roxanne.

The youngest of six children, I started waiting tables back home in Mt. Pleasant at the ripe old age of fifteen after the death of my father. His loss was a crushing blow to me and my mother, but I felt it more deeply than my brothers and sisters realized. Daddy was eighteen years older than Momma, married her when she was just sixteen, about two years after the death, by cancer, of his first wife. Daddy, standing tall at six foot two inches, dwarfed Momma, a diminutive, petite five foot, three inches and full of life. He entered the marriage with no children; she entered the marriage with a desire to have a medium to large family. Once started, the babies began arriving with regularity and after five youngsters graced the table, they declared the family was large enough, all that their small farm could support, and settled down to raise their children in a proper, but not the wealthiest Iowa farm home.

Then, when Momma was forty-two and Daddy was sixty, I showed up; Theophilias William Hennessey ("Theo" for short), premature and fighting for life. As I grew older, I once asked Momma why I was named such a terrible name. She smiled at me, as she always did, smoothed back my black hair, kissed me gently on the forehead and replied,

"Theo, honey, it's a boys' name meaning `loved by God', and surely you must be to come so late in our lives and survive the terrible struggles facing you early in life."

There were times I wasn't positive God always loved me, but Momma and Daddy reassured me that no matter what I did or who I was, He must since they loved me so very much. Daddy always called me "Button" because the day I was born, he looked at me and declared me "cute as a button. Since I came along quite late in Momma and Daddy's life, there was as tremendous age difference between me and my older brothers and sisters. The "big kids", as I referred to them, were well on their way in life when I arrived. Daddy and Momma had three daughters; Lauren Cecil, Carolyn Marie, and Theresa Ellen, followed by three sons; Thomas James (Junior), Robert Le Roy, and then, "moi". My sisters were already married and starting their own families, Tom was in the service, and Robert Le Roy, fifteen years older than me (we all called him "Bobby Lee") was living at home and attending high school. When Momma was tired or busy and Daddy wasn't home, Bobby Lee took care of me, along with helping Daddy on the farm. He often said when I was little all it seemed he did was feed me, burp me, change my diaper, wipe my butt, and powder my balls, but he loved every minute of it.

Starting school and riding that big, yellow school bus as it roared and lumbered up and down the country roads picking up students, was an adventure for me. I'd sit behind the driver, chattering to him all the way to school (lucky for him I was one of the last to be picked up and the first to be dropped off) about all of the wonderful things I saw or heard before or after school. Daddy would wait on the porch every afternoon for me to come home from school, even though there was work to be done. As I exited the bus, he would shout, "Hi yah, Button," watch as I'd skip up our short lane, run up on the porch, and sit on his lap. He'd hug me, give me a kiss, and ask, "So, Button, what did you do today?" and I'd tell him everything I could remember.

When I grew older, I'd pull up a chair beside him, then tell him of my day, school assignments, special assemblies, cross-country track practice and meets, everything that happened to me. By then, Bobby Lee, enlisting in the service right after high school, was back home and helping with the farm work. I shared all of my joys, my sorrows, my special feelings, my secrets with Daddy on that porch, knowing he loved me so very much, no matter what I did or what I was.

Then, one day when I came home from high school, I looked up the lane and saw Daddy in his favorite spot on the porch. By now Bobby Lee farmed our place, living with his wife and family just down the road, so Daddy many times took a bit of a snooze on the porch while waiting for me to come home. This day, when I got closer to him, I could see that the Daddy I knew and loved was no more, resting peacefully in that long, silent sleep, leaving a very sad and lonely fifteen year-old son with an empty place in his heart.

After the funeral, the "Big Kids" got together with Momma and decided I'd be the one to go to college since none of them had. They believed it was what Daddy would've wanted, knowing I really wasn't much of a farmer, but damned good in mathematics and accounting. Daddy encouraged my dream of becoming a certified public accountant and "really amounting to something", according to him. I thought all of my brothers and sisters "really amounted to something" even though none had a college education. If I went, I'd be the first in either Daddy or Momma's family to go beyond high school, but in order to do it I'd have to work, although we all agreed I should still stay on the cross-country track team. When you're barely five foot four inches tall and weighing about a buck ten on a good day, there was no way I could participate in any contact sport except wrestling and I certainly didn't want that. All I'd need would be for someone to grab me in the crotch, touch my most delicate instrument, feel me pop a boner, and everyone would know I was a bit light in the loafers. I don't think so! I didn't think I wanted to suffer any more trauma, especially now that my confident and friend was dead and in the grave.

A nice restaurant in Mt. Pleasant offered me a job as a table busser and was willing to work around my track schedule. Since cross-country only ran in the fall, I was free to work unhindered on weekends and holidays the rest of the school year. By the time I graduated from high school, I'd progressed from table busser to waiter, increasing the amount of money I made from tips and adding to my college fund. When I enrolled at the University of Iowa at Iowa City, I began part-time employment at "Roxie's", not as a busser but as a waiter and have done very well at it, thank you very much!

Tommy, interrupting my reverie, sidled up beside me whispering softly, "We won, but only by three points or so according to the kitchen, so the crowds should start soon. I hope they didn't spend all of their money on beer at the stadium."

The early reservation crowd descended upon us, boisterous, in a celebratory mood and, hopefully, with plenty of cash left over for big tips after their meals. During Homecoming Week, when we played the Minnesota Gophers, I pocketed over six hundred dollars in tips on just Friday night and Saturday and that was after I paid Tommy his share and tipping Eddie and the kitchen staff also! They were all as an important part of the dining experience as I, guaranteeing very little wait time from Eddie for one of my tables and insuring hot food for our table guests by quick kitchen service. Attention to detail was important for our guests, adding to their pleasure, and for the size of the tips they left.

The crowd this evening was steady, jubilant, very appreciative of our service, and quite generous with their tips. None of my reservations canceled, thank God, and I was able to accommodate a few stragglers as well. My last reserved table at nine o'clock just made their dinner order when Eddie sidled up to me and asked if I would take a table of five - no reservations. I sighed, shrugged, and nodded my approval, with the caveat they understood the kitchen closed at ten. Eddie assured me he'd inform them and once he did, nodded their understanding and approval. Tommy quickly reset Table Five for the five, while I hustled off to the kitchen to let them know we'd have a late order and to check on any specials we might have left (none), then trotted back to the dining room to meet the new Table Five guests.

Eddie had them seated, Tommy was pouring water for them after passing out the menus and informing them I would be their table waiter for the evening. Winding my way through my other tables, checking each as I passed, smiling affably, I headed toward Table Five. As I neared it, Tommy glided past me toward the kitchen and whispered,

"Fuck-`em Bucky," giving me a heads up that Table Five's occupants were from Wisconsin and not to expect much in tips.

Approaching the three men and two women seated examining their menus; I pondered the relationship of each to the other, perhaps friends, relatives, or married couples and one single? Smiling, I introduced myself, gave them the usual spiel how we were there to provide the ultimate dining experience for them this evening, then apologized for being out of our nightly specials (I really don't think they would've wanted "Iowa Chops" or "Prime Hawkeye Rib Eye"). Flashing my most disarming smile, I asked if I could take their drink orders while they took their time perusing our menu. Secretly I hoped they'd hurry up so we wouldn't be waiting to go home until the wee hours. Moving around the table jotting down their drink orders, it became apparent they were, in fact, two couples and one single man. Turning to the single man for his order, I found him staring quite intently at me as if there were something about me he was aware of and I wasn't. I quickly checked my fly to make certain I was not at half-mast or wide open with little "one-eye" poking out, winking at the handsome devil. After taking their orders, I delivered them to the bar, and serviced my remaining tables while waiting for the bartender to mix the drinks. Two tables were finished, awaiting their check, which I handed over (again with a smile and a warm thank you), while the group at Table Four conversed quietly while sipping their after-dinner aperitifs.

Tommy cleaned the two empty tables and reset them with clean linen and service, readying them for the next night, while I returned to the bar, retrieved Table Five's drink order, served them, then took their dinner orders, trying to avoid staring at the devilish rogue staring at me. Man, if looks could disrobe someone, he had me naked! If he'd ever seen me naked, he may have changed his mind since my equipment wasn't all that spectacular. The old wives tales concerning small men having big cocks just didn't hold water in my life since my dingus was a bit small, but, just the same, the thought of him seeing me in my "starkers" still made "Tiny Tim" twitch in my pants.

After sending the dinner orders to the kitchen, standing back in the shadows where I could discreetly scope the guy out, I couldn't help but notice, other than being a handsome rogue, with dark hair, dark eyes, and a tan complexion, he maybe outweighed me by forty pounds and was probably eight to ten inches taller. He definitely wasn't a football player, too lean for that, but I really wouldn't mind having him punt between my goal posts, or perhaps, he was a swimmer or basketball player, causing me to think we could do a sidestroke together or I could dribble his balls. He wasn't what you'd call "drop dead gorgeous", not plain but not ordinary, just damned handsome!

As much as I was enjoying my fantasy, the fact is, a virgin I am and a virgin I'd remain, gay as a day in spring, queer as a deer, and chicken-shit besides! My family knew my proclivities, accepted them, celebrated them, but I wasn't ready to come out on campus or anywhere else for that matter, although as liberal a city as Iowa City was, it would've been no problem. I wasn't ashamed, just not the flaunty type, not wanting to call attention to myself, really wanting someone who wanted me for me, not because I was gay and wanted to hump all night, but someone to love, to share with, to grow old with, someone who would love me and care for me just like Daddy did for Momma, a soul-mate, but gay. That's what I wanted, I just didn't know if that sort of love existed for me anywhere for that matter and I was too shy or fearful to find out.

As smitten as I was, as handsome as he is, it's fortunate he's from Wisconsin, destined to return there, since he was someone to be avoided by me, someone who was dangerous, a threat to me, my closeted life, and my comfortable, frustrated sexual existence. Beyond being a customer who may or may not tip, I wanted no more to do with him, no matter how long he continued to stare at me and smile with those bright, white teeth flashing through those incredibly beautiful lips. Nope, I needed to avoid this stunning apparition before me or I'd end up having his babies and I wasn't all too certain about that.

"Fuckin' hot isn't he?" muttered Tommy, standing beside me in the near-dark. I don't think he realized what he said, until he turned his face and saw me looking at him. Blushing quite red, he looked down, then hustled away to fuss with some dishes. I didn't have a clue Tommy batted for the same team as I.

My serving light flashed indicating my order for Table Five was ready in the kitchen, so once it was sorted out I began to serve my guests. Serving the ladies first, then their escorts, saving the single gentleman until last, I leaned over his shoulder, placed his plated steak in front of him, feeling my knees grow just a bit weak, my heart fluttering, as the aroma of the steak was overshadowed by his scent, warm, sensual, a touch of cologne, aftershave, and him! God, he smelled good enough to eat and if I did, I knew exactly where I'd start. As I started to move my hand aside, he reached forward, touching it lightly, looked up, then licking his lips, said softly,

"Thank you, Theo."

I returned his smile, pleased he'd use my name. Well, of course, why not? I had a nametag with my name on it pinned to my shirt. I was acting like a thirteen-year-old on a first date and I didn't even know the guy. Quickly murmuring, "You're welcome," I headed back to our waiting area just off to the fringes where I could observe our tables discretely, responding to any need the diners might have or we would observe. Table Four signaled for their check, giving me a credit card (cash or credit card only, please, no checks, thank you) for payment, and then waited patiently while I ran the card, returned the slip and card for signature. A very substantial tip was added, which pleased me and would please everyone with whom I shared it. The only table I had left was Table Five while the rest of "Roxies" was quickly becoming deserted, except for staff.

Tommy, cleaning and resetting Table Four, raised his eyebrows in question as he tilted his head toward our last group of guests and was answered by me with a shoulder shrug. I was almost tempted to approach the table, since it was getting late and we were tired, when the oldest of the three gentlemen suddenly looked at his watch, signaled to me requesting all three of the checks. Hey, if he wanted to foot the whole bill, so be it, I wasn't about to argue with him. They can settle that among themselves. Moving quickly, presenting the checks, then accepting a credit card for payment, I processed it, then returned for a signature. I made an effort to notice the name on the card, then observed his signature (with a nice tip attached, thank you very much, please dine with us again) on the credit card slip as "something" Montgomery. I don't know why some people make it so difficult to read their signatures. I had no idea if this was the single man's name or not, but I couldn't very well ask, could I?

As they prepared to leave and the single gentleman stood, I could see my original assessment of his height was correct – about eight or ten inches taller than I and maybe thirty to forty pounds heavier, perhaps six to ten years older, lithely built, not muscular, well-proportioned ,but not frail or flabby or small (like me), really fit, nice, svelte' Turning, before following the other four to the front, he smiled at me, gave a slight wave of his hand, then winked, as though he knew a secret and was inviting me to share it with it him. As God is my witness, I didn't want to, but I smiled back and returned his wave, also ever so slightly. Once they were gone, I felt lost, alone, wishing he hadn't left, knowing I wouldn't see my Wisconsin stranger again, doomed to only fantasizing my love and life with him.

The weekend's tips were very good, very good indeed. Three years ago, before I started a "Roxies", before entering the University for my freshman year, if anyone would've told me I could make enough money waiting tables to pay tuition, books, fees, apartment rent, and run a used 4WD pick-up truck, plus money in the bank, I would've said they're crazy. Well, crazy or not, it's a fact, Jack, I can and do!

Mr. Bishop, owner of "Roxies", was kind enough to give me the day before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Day off, and promised me the same arrangement for Christmas, if (right, there's always seem to be a hook) after the first of the year, I'd begin training Tommy in the fine arts of table waiting. I readily agreed, although Tommy was the best busser I had in three years and really didn't want to lose him, he'd be a damned good waiter. Mr. Bishop knew very well once I graduated, I wouldn't want to continue waiting tables, so he wanted to be prepared to replace me. I don't blame him for planning ahead.

Thanksgiving Day was spent at home on the farm. I occupied the guestroom since Bobby Lee and his family moved in with Momma. I was happy to see her and my brothers and sisters and their families when they arrived for dinner. Although everyone brought something to eat, it was Momma who prepared the turkey and supervised the meal preparation. Mealtime, at our house, is a time for conversation and conviviality, a time to celebrate each other, the good fortunes of the previous year, and remember those who are no longer with us.

When dinner was over, watching the family interact, each in their own particular way, observing the joy and love they felt for each other, I saddened a bit wondering if I'd ever be so fortunate to have someone to share my holidays and every day with. My thoughts returned to the "Badger Man", the Wisconsin stranger, wondering where and with whom he was spending the day. Letting my thoughts drift a bit more, I thought how I might feel if he decided to stuff my turkey or, better yet, let me nibble on his neck or play with his drumstick – not going to happen, so forget it, Theo.

My melancholy must've been obvious to Bobby Lee since he leaned over, put his arm around me, very quietly whispering in my ear, "Don't worry, Button, someday you'll find some handsome guy and bring him home for all of us to meet and enjoy. Just give yourself a chance and everything will work out in the long run. There's someone out there just waiting for you to love and love you right back." I hoped Bobby Lee was right, but the "handsome guy" would have to come to me since I didn't have balls enough to go searching on my own.

The next day, heading back to Iowa City in plenty of time to go to work, I decided rather than wait until after the first of the year, I'd soon start some serious training with Tommy, although the busy weekend after Thanksgiving isn't a good time to begin. As strange as it may seem, people love to eat out after Thanksgiving, evidently wanting a change of diet or something, I guess. The lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas, however, gave me the opportunity to begin training Tommy, preparing him to be a table waiter.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day found me home with Momma and all of the family, then back to Iowa City early the next day since the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, was always busy. Even though the multitudes of students were gone on Christmas Break, there always seemed to be plenty of people around Iowa City. The time between Christmas and New Year's was continually busy with all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I looked forward to New Year's Eve, since Mr. Bishop kept the kitchen open later, had fantastic dinner and drink specials, and kept the place full until well after midnight. Our duty that night was to make certain our guests were well served, the bar crowd well taken care of, and rides arranged home for those people who happened to imbibe too much, after refusing to serve them anymore alcohol. We knew the rules and our customers knew the rules (in case they didn't, it was our duty to instruct them before they began their evening – if they weren't satisfied with the rules, we politely asked them to leave) so we really anticipated no problems. In the three years I worked there, there was only one time I ever had to ask someone to leave. Besides, New Year's Eve guests always were the biggest tippers of the year and we made out like bandits – a thousand dollars total was not unusual for just the one night for me.

It was a great crowd, as always, well behaved, really enjoying themselves, and we hustled our asses off for them from six in the evening on. Tommy and I'd be dragging by morning, and we knew it. The early reservations came for dinner, then left for private parties or elsewhere. Between nine and ten o'clock the late reservations began arriving for their evening of revelry, to enjoy the band and the other entertainment "Roxies" provided. Table Number Five was reserved for six beginning at ten o'clock, but I still had four people seated there finishing up at 9:30, causing me some consternation. Thankfully, just before ten, they left and Eddie ushered my table of six at Table Five to their seats while I was in the kitchen checking with the chef on the available specials or substitutes.

Returning to the dining area, I could see the guests had their menus, Tommy had their water glasses filled, and was just stepping away, so I moved forward, pulled my order pad from my apron and prepared to take their before dinner drink orders. Looking around the table, I nearly crapped my pants since, sitting at the table of three men and three women, was "Badger Boy", my fantasy dream lad from the football season. Just as I began to introduce myself, he interrupted, greeting me,

"Hi, Theo, I was hoping we'd get you tonight. In fact, when I made reservations, I specifically asked for one of your tables. I was telling my friends how impressed I was with you when I was here last fall with my parents, sister, and her husband."

Stuttering in response, smiling, I promised we'd continue to do our very best and certainly hoped they would enjoy their evening with us at "Roxies." From what I could observe, the six were paired off and the attractive lady who was his partner seemed to be about his age, causing me a twinge of jealousy. After taking their drink orders, I waited patiently at the bar for one of the bartenders to fill them while Tommy made the rounds of our tables, filling water glasses, removing soiled dishes, and other necessary chores, then, as he came to stand beside me, flicked his head toward Table Five and commented,

"He might be straight arrow, but he's still fuckin' hot," except this time he didn't blush or look away, instead looked up at me, expecting me to make some comment. I was disappointed when I saw him with his girlfriend, but it was something I'd have to live with. Why it is the gay guy always seems to fall in love with the straight guy? Rather than comment aloud, I merely returned Tommy's look and nodded my head in the affirmative.

The evening was extremely busy, the small dance floor was packed and the crowd enjoying the small combo Mr. Bishop employed for the evening, dancing readily to all sets the band played, including my "Wisconsin Wrangler" and his date. After midnight, when the appropriate toasts were made amidst all of the hoorah, and the crowd really started to thin, I presented the dinner checks to Table Five. As requested, each couple was billed separately and each presented a credit card for payment. I discovered my mysterious stranger was Clayton Montgomery when the cashier ran his card. Once Mr. Montgomery signed it, with a nice tip attached (thank you very much, please dine with us again when you're in town), he looked up at me, gave me a shy, but warm smile, and said, "Theo, I certainly hope to see you again."

Yah, right, like that's going to happen anytime soon. He lived out of state, had a girlfriend and, frankly, I don't think I could provide him with the same entertainment as she. I certainly wasn't interested in a "menage' a' tois" with her as the third party; not into that kind of stuff, thank you very much, I'll pass on that type of sexual romp.

January, February, and March were slow, but steady at work, allowing me to load up on classes during the spring semester. If my grades worked out, and I had little doubt concerning those, I'd be able to graduate the next year at semester. After discussing my situation with Mr. Bishop and requesting to stay on at "Roxies" until I started and completed my Masters in Business Administration (since I could start the program sequence with the next spring's semester) and receiving his approval, I applied for the program and was admitted. I continued my fantasy love affair with my straight man from Wisconsin. I mean, how pathetic can that be? In reality, the only thing that touched my cock was my right hand, unless I was feeling adventurous, then I used my left.

The first part of April, when the weather began warming nicely, with flowers sprouting up all about, and the absence of snowballs hitting me in the ass, I resumed my outdoor, early morning runs and this Saturday morning was a particular nice day to do it. I enjoyed participating in cross-country track in high school, the competition, and the thrill of the chase, but now I run for the enjoyment of just running, seeking relief from the stress of school work, late hours at "Roxies," but, more so, the continuing thoughts of Clayton Montgomery. In my fantasies, I often thought if he ever came back to Iowa from the Badger State and even hinted at it, I'd let him fuck me stupid! Yeah, right, the straight guy is going to make love to a small, light-weight, not-out-in-public gay table waiter and college student. Nope, it's not going to happen, so quit the dreaming so get over it, Theo. Shit, even Tommy has a boyfriend; a right fit looking dude. I found out about him one Saturday night at "Roxies" as we were about to close. Noticing Tommy fidgeting a bit, looking constantly toward the front door, I was about to ask him what the problem was, when he suddenly smiled and a young guy about his age walked in the front door and stood talking to Eddy.

"Boyfriend?" I asked, although the answer was obvious by the look on Tommy's face.

Blushing just a bit, but pleased I'd ask, Tommy looked at me, then up front, and softly said, "Yeah." I was happy for him and pleased he'd be starting as a table waiter the first of June, giving him a bit more cash to spend on the both of them.

My thoughts left Tommy as I picked up my pace, not fast, just an easy, distance consuming, sweat producing run, destined to bring me down the Iowa River Corridor Trail to City Park where I could take a breather before heading back to my apartment. Arriving at City Park as the sun rose past the horizon, I was treated to the sounds of the city slowly coming to life after its near dormancy during the night. Stopping, seating myself on one of the park benches next to the trail, placing my head between my knees for a moment in order to catch my breath, I was startled, reacting with my head snapping back, my body tensing, as a gentle, almost-out-of-breath voice asked,

"Hi, Theo, mind if I join you?"

Starting to look up in an attempt to identify the stranger whose voice sounded so familiar, my eyes became fixed on the bright, red, nylon running shorts encasing lithe, brown thighs, and capturing the smooth outline of a male appendage, resting comfortably against the left thigh. Whoever it was, was free-balling, like me, and certainly was all male. My own toy soldier started to salute in response, so I quickly raised my head, while covering my crotch with my hands, to find myself looking at the object of my fantasies – Clayton Montgomery. I sputtered, "Please." Hell of an opening, isn't it? About as subtle or coy as saying, "Wanna' fuck, big boy?"

Clayton sat on the bench beside me, to my left, his right arm resting on the bench behind my head. If I would've had nerve enough, I would've leaned back and made contact, but I didn't. Hell, he was straight and I was bent as a bobby pin, making me very cautious since I really didn't want to get pummeled within an inch of my life by some guy offended by my come-on. Well, I wouldn't mind him pummeling part of me, I don't think.

Stretching out, splaying his legs in front of him, he seemed relaxed, so certain of himself, so- delicious. My eyes gravitated to the bottom hem of his running shorts and there, outlined magnificently, laying along his left thigh, the helmeted, uncircumcised, head barely peeking out from under the red nylon like an inquisitive child seeking a hug, was that absolutely marvelous candy stick of his, much more prodigious in size than the short bit of a snack I possessed. Definitely an all-day sucker, I thought. My mouth dried as I ogled his rod, watching it extend just a bit more before I looked up into his eyes, then squirmed a bit trying to conceal my own tumescence growing in my shorts. Fearful of what to do or being caught gawking, I asked,

"What are you doing here?" (Another great line, right?)

"Resting, what are you doing here?"

I snorted my disgust with myself, embarrassed because I knew he was resting and realized he was playing games with me – straight guys like to do that, I think!

"I can see that (I almost added "thing", but didn't), I mean, are you visiting someone in Iowa City, passing through, or what, Mr. Montgomery?"

Before he could respond, two young guys jogged on by and, observing us sitting there, both greeted him with "Good morning, Dr. Montgomery."

Quickly acknowledging their greeting with a wave, he turned to me, smiled, clearly signaling the fact he heard correctly when I remembered his name (a mistake on my part, I thought), but now I find out he is a "doctor" of some sort (maybe if he is of the medical variety, he could take my temperature – rectally).

"Actually, Theo, I work and live here now, and the name is `Clay short for `Clayton'."

Man, I was confused, no - elated, but still depressed since it got me no further than I was before. Do I address him as "Clay", as he wishes, "Dr. Montgomery," which would be respectfully correct, or just "Hi-yah stud?" Instead, casting about cautiously, ready to dodge a fist if need be, I simply asked, "Where?"

Clay or Dr. Montgomery or whatever, melted me with a smile, and responded, "At the University, College of Education, Testing Division. I also teach some classes and those two young men are students in one of my classes this semester. The University made me an offer last summer after I completed my doctorate degree at UW-Madison, I accepted, and have been employed here since last fall."

Curious as a cat, I just had to know some more, snooping as best as I could, under the circumstances, as my eyes inadvertently dropped back to his crotch, I watched the head of his torpedo slide out a bit more. Snapping my eyes back up to his, hoping to avoid a launch of any missiles, I stuttered, almost incoherently,

"Dr. Montgomery did your wife and family join you?"

"Theo, it's `Clay' to you, please not `Dr. Montgomery', and no, no wife or children, I'm not married, although my folks and my sister and her husband helped me move. They came to visit and see the Hawkeye/Badger football game and check on how I was doing. The salary isn't all that great for a starting instructor so I let Dad treat when we went out to eat at "Roxies".

"I'm sorry," I said apologetically, "it was rude of me to be so presumptuous. I just assumed the lady you were with New Year's was a wife or perhaps a fiancé."

Damn, Clay grinned at me again, "Nah, just some friends I've made here at the University. Now, it's my turn, do you have anyone special in your life?"

Shaking my head slowly, swallowing hard, trying to camouflage my feelings, concealing my heartache, and hoping the erection in my running shorts would not betray me as the object of my desires looked deeply into my eyes, I quickly averted my eyes, unfortunately settling, for a moment, back on his valley of dreams where, although not certain from my fast glance, "old one-eye" was beginning to emerge from its fleshy jacket, I softly said, "No."

Clay was very quiet as I continued to try to look away, and after several moments, asked, "How about dinner tonight, Theo?"

Whoa! Did I just hear him correctly? Did he ask me out? My chest fell, my shoulders slumped, and I damned near cried, right there in front of him, but I didn't, saying forlornly, "I'm sorry, I have to work, perhaps another time?"

"Great! Breakfast this morning then and it's my treat," Clay gleefully announced, seemingly as excited as I suddenly became.

Smiling, so fucking happy I could've just shit on the spot, I giggled out, "Well, I do have to go back to my apartment to shower and cleanup first."

Grinning back, mirroring my shit-eating grin, Clay said, "So do I, but my clean clothes are in my car, so I'll give you a ride to your place and, if you don't mind, I'll shower there too. Save me from driving all the way across town. Just point me the way and I'll follow you like a bear to a honey tree."

I swallowed nervously since the needle on my compass was already stiff, but pointing up, not forward and followed him to his car. To say I was scared shitless would be an understatement, knowing if he happened to see me unclothed, hard as the Rock of Gibraltar, it wouldn't be nice for me, not wanting to be bruised and bloodied. I'd have to wrap myself in a towel, tightly, because if I saw him naked or even partially clothed, Rover would pop his bone and I'd be in trouble.

Relaying directions to my small apartment and once we arrived, I apologized for its size and lack of accoutrements, but it didn't seem to bother Clay in the least. We finally tossed a coin to see who would shower first – I came in second. While Clay showered, I hustled about gathering up clean boxer shorts, shirt, pants, shoes and socks to take with me to the bathroom. No sense in taking any chances I thought. He emerged from the bathroom fully clothed, thank God, but, man, he still looked hot! As "hetro" as I thought he was (even if he was "bi"), I knew I stood no chance with this one since I didn't think I was all that attractive, although I did turn a head every now and then, but I think it was those who just took pity on me. The people I generally attracted were women who seemed to want to cuddle me, hug me, take me home with them, as a pet or toy. Frankly, they did nothing to my libido, causing the incredibly shrinking shaft to almost disappear into my pubes, so when confronted with one of these ladies, I would demur contact, other than a polite greeting.

Breakfast was great! We had nothing special to eat, just a nice conversation with what I was finding out, a very intelligent, caring, soft-spoken, well-fit man. It was relaxing to be with him and I soon forgot his status with the University and mine as a student. As spring moved forward through the summer and into the fall term, my routine now included classes, study, work, and running with Clay, not only on Saturdays, but two other days of the week, when he didn't have an early class to prepare for. Office hours for him normally began at eight o'clock so we were able to enjoy our run together, followed by separate showers, then breakfast together, enjoying each other's company. Once in a while, he'd show up at "Roxies" with some friends (always requesting Table Five), and request me as his waiter. His smile, his eyes, everything about him only caused me to fall more in love with him. It was a love I knew could never come to fruition, since an under-graduate student (soon to be a graduate student) just didn't fall in love with a PhD University Professor and live happily ever after. We'd never be anything but friends, provided he would tolerate a gay friend and not kick my head off. Yet, in the still of the night in those near-light hours of the pre-dawn, when lying awake, thoughts all akimbo, so lonely, depressed over my plight, wanting someone to hold me close, kiss me lightly, and tell me everything will be fine, I hope and wish I had someone like Clay. Life can be so complicated, at times.

Tommy now had his own set of tables, his own busser, and a live-in partner to keep him company at home. One evening, after Clay and some of his other friends were seated, I mentioned off-hand to Tommy that Dr. Montgomery and I often breakfasted together after our morning run and I really enjoyed his company. Tommy looked at me, then, with an impish smile, asked, "So, have you let him fuck you yet?"

Snorting in despair, I replied, "I would in a minute, right here on the table top, if he'd only ask. He's not given a hint, made a move, or anything, besides he's straight as a string, so no hopes for me there. I'll just continue to date Mother Thumb and her Four Daughters."

Tommy, sensing my frustration, seeing my face and shoulders slump a bit, placed an arm around me, in the darkness of the restaurant, and said softly, "If I didn't have a boyfriend, I'd plow a furrow into you and plant you deep."

I shook my head, but in gratitude for his concern and feelings toward me, smiled at him saying, "Nah, thanks anyway. I'm still a virgin and I think I'll stay that way until the right one comes along."

With that, I signaled my busser to clean Table Three while I checked on Clay and his guests at Table Five. Approaching the table, my face must have betrayed me, saddened with the realization my lover would have to be someone other than him since Clay looked at me, oddly I thought, quizzically, as though he wished to speak. Instead he frowned, so I smiled as best as I could and asked if they desired anything more. When they replied in the negative, I presented them with the check and beat a hasty retreat to the waiter station near the back of the dining room. Once there, I vowed the next Saturday's jog and breakfast would be an excellent time to admit to him I was gay and we had to stop seeing each other. The torment was just too great for me to continue an intimate relationship without any intimacy, intimacy that would never go beyond fantasy.

Saturday's run began as all others, down to the park and back, but we both became quieter as we neared my apartment. I really didn't want to break off our friendship since I enjoyed being with him so much, but I knew it'd be better for both of us and certainly less frustrating for me. Why he was withdrawn, I had no idea unless he sensed my anxiety and sadness. When we arrived at my place, Clay immediately headed for the shower while I stripped, wrapped myself in a towel, and waited patiently for him to finish up.

Finishing, Clay opened the bathroom door, then stepped out, facing me, not dressed this time as he had been for the past six months, but totally, completely nude, except for his towel, thrown casually over his left shoulder. He was magnificent – virile, well-proportioned, lanky, possessing the fit body of a runner. Clay was the most handsome man I'd ever seen, bar none, and I wanted him so bad. I continued my survey of his body as he stood there, focusing on his trouser trout, now leaping, struggling, stiff with desire, and the two well-formed egg-sized balls supporting it, providing him with those necessary legions of little wrigglers who could swim their way through any orifice and claim it as his own.

He focused his eyes on me, riveting me to a standstill, mesmerizing me to paralysis as a cobra would a mouse or rabbit. His own hooded cobra was fully unsheathed, rigid, pointing slightly upward, thick, enticing, wagging to and fro as he walked toward me, until, reaching me, sliding the towel from my waist, securing me firmly in his arms, hands reaching behind me, cupping the soft globes of my ass, he brought his lips to mine – soft lips, caring lips, sexual lips, desirous of me. His tongue gently probed the opening of my mouth, entering it slowly then danced a cotillion with mine, as he explored my teeth, my tongue, breathing a new life into me.

Clay's cock, poking at my navel, his balls resting on the seeping head of my own love stick, caused me to shiver with delight and anticipation. Releasing my mouth, he allowed my head to rest on his chest while he softly smoothed my hair with his left hand and I struggled trying to comprehend what happened to the straight guy I thought I knew. Moving his right hand down my torso, lightly touching the sparsely forested foundation of my sprig, he fondled my small, sweet nuggets, then returned to my shaft, gently stroking my circumcised pleasure pole. Following his lead, I reached down, grasped his maleness, soft in texture but hard, velvety smooth, stroking it, feeling the foreskin slide back and forth over the spongy head, hearing him sigh contentedly as I fondled the object of my joy.

Head on his chest, I could but gurgle, "Mine's pretty small" and he lovingly murmured, "It's just perfect, like you." His hands, those powerful, yet delicate instruments, continued their journey around to my ass-cheeks until the fuck-finger of his right hand located that special rose-bud, the hitherto unexplored, other than me, entrance to my body, that twitching, pulsating gateway to my inner being. With a little assistance of a quick lubrication by inserting his finger into my mouth, he eased that slender probe into my inner sanctum.

Raising myself up on my tip-toes, squealing with pleasure, clasping my arms around his neck, engaging those precious lips with mine, sucking his tongue into my mouth, I gave him better access to that which he sought as his digit sunk ever deeper into my chute. Clay began wiggling it inside me, touching that very sensitive button located within, sending electrical impulses from my asshole to my cock, causing that pleased appendage to drip copiously, while I moaned my satisfaction into his mouth, twisting my butt to encourage his exploration.

Slowly withdrawing his dancing digit, pulling back from the suction created by me on his lips, detouring to grab a tube of lube from his duffle, he carried me to my bedroom, his turgid cock prodding the entrance his finger just left. Laying me gently on my back on the bed, positioning himself between my legs, then slowly lifting them to his armpits, all the while looking deeply into my eyes seeking my consent, readying himself for the pleasure plunge awaiting both of us, he carefully lubricated my puckered gateway, applied some to his fingers and his cock, then inserting one, then two, and finally three of his fingers into my anus, opening me, preparing me for the ultimate in loving sacrifice.

Satisfied I was ready, positioning his lovely staff of gratification at the entrance of my soul, slipping back his foreskin, he began his journey, one inch at a time, into my warm, pulsating, tight tunnel. The head nudged into the guardian gate, causing me to gasp with momentary, but glorious pain, and he hesitated, allowing me to adjust to the intrusion, his girth, until I nodded my consent, then leaned forward, set his lips on mine, signaling to me his desire and love, distracting me from further pain or discomfort, as he slowly, gently, carefully pushed the tapered end of his now un-helmeted, steely, and throbbing cock-head past my ring.

Once nodding ever so slightly, signaling my willingness and encouragement, Clay began that short, but long, luxurious, phenomenal entry into my chute, until his balls rested in the crevice at the back of my ass-cheeks, his cock fully sheathed into my bowels, filling me. It was as if the head of his prod was inserted clear to my stomach as he began to fuck, pulling out slowly until all but an inch or so of his delight remained, then, pushing forward, then back, repeating his motions time and time again, brushing my prostate with each pass. I wrapped my legs about his buttocks, my arms around his neck and pulled him closer, forcing him deeper into me, urging him to take us to the heights of orgasmic pleasure we both sought.

Encouraged, his passion and desire growing ever more urgent, he started that rhythmic action instinctive to all creatures, faster and faster, plunging balls deep until we both were moaning, crying our pleasures as we fucked each other with unabashed passion. Suddenly, my ass-hole tightened, my balls scrunched up, my writhing tunnel massaged Clay's cock, as I released my spunk between us, causing him to shove forward, thrusting his scepter deeply within me, shuddering, whimpering in ecstasy as he released throbbing pulses of his essence, sending his little soldiers marching their way into my depths, coating me, claiming me as his, and only his, possession and love. Clay fucked a bit more, emptying himself into my passage, lowered my legs, and covered me with his body, both of us spent in our love-making, but his stiff presence remained well seated.

Resting there in that post-coitus bliss so familiar to lovers, nuzzling my right ear lobe, tonguing my neck, his rampant, apparently not weary, member periodically throbbing, jerking inside me, trying to spew more, Clay moaned, "God you're so beautiful. I've wanted to fuck you- like- forever, Button."

Hold it right there! Back up the bus, Gus! He called me "Button." I tensed, then tried to squirm out from under him, eager to pull away from him when I heard my nickname. I've read those books and seen movies where "Mr. Slice and Dice" stalks, seduces some innocent thing, has his way with them and then -- the knife, off with their heads or something. Frightened, ready to scream in terror, I heard Clay mutter, "Oh shit, I fucked up, didn't I?"

Still trying to wiggle away, angry and a bit worried concerning my fate, I snapped, "You bet your sweet ass you did, no one except my family knows me as `Button'. Just who the hell are you, anyway?"

Continuing to struggle, trying to shift him off of me, I succeeded only in keeping him anchored inside of me, twitching over my sex button with my every move. Unfortunately, my little tiger was having none of it, wilting into that soft forest surrounding it since my mind could only imagine, once fucked, Clay would butcher me and eat my little pieces parts, like that Jeffrey-whatever-his-name from Wisconsin. Oh, my God, that's where Clay is from! Maybe the two of them are cousins or something?

Slipping his arms under my shoulders, he held me securely pinned to my bed – my death bed I thought. One hell of way to die covered in spooge with a murder's cock up my ass, albeit a nice cock, at that, but still one belonging to a murderer.

"Just quit you're damned struggling and flopping about, Theo," he said firmly, but softly, "you're not going anywhere until you hear me out."

I sighed, wiggled just a bit, feeling him thrust back, before I stared into his eyes and in an exasperated tone replied, "How could I? You've got me skewered through the ass clear to my belly button with that fence post of yours, like a pork roast ready for spitting on the grill. Jesus man, doesn't that thing ever go soft?"

Clay, taller, stronger, outweighing me by forty pounds or more, covered me like a mother hen covers chicks, only nested deep inside me, thwarting any chances I might have for escape. I was a captive on my own bed and would remain that way until he chose to pull that beggar out and release me

Shifting his face back to mine, focusing intently on my eyes, giving me a soft kiss on my lips (God, I hoped it wasn't a goodbye kiss or the beginning of a meal), he smiled, asking, "You really don't remember me at all, do you Theo?"

If I ever saw this hunk before, there is no way I could have NOT noticed him, but I couldn't place him. I thought there's no way Clay ever entered my life before he was seated that first time at Table Number Five in "Roxies." Shaking my head ever so slightly, responding, "No," at the same time flexing my pucker strings a couple of times to test his steel and found the familiar stiffness pulsing each time – nothing lacking there!

Kissing my neck, nibbling on my lower lip, causing the only defensive tool I possessed and unhindered, to raise again to its full five inches, fully charged, ready to do battle, he began,

"When you were in grade school, I rode the same school bus as you the year we lived in Mt. Pleasant. I rode near the back of the bus while you sat just behind the driver. I'd look forward to you getting on and off the bus every day, then watch you skip down your short lane where your Daddy sat waiting for you. I'd hear him call `Button, what did you do today?' and you'd scamper up the steps, scoot up on his lap, and, as the bus would pull away, I'd see him kiss you on the forehead, smiling, while you seemed to be talking a mile-a-minute. The bus driver would always wait until he was certain you were safe in your Daddy's arms before he would pull away. I thought you were so fucking cute I could hardly keep my eyes off of you, wishing it was me holding you, kissing you, asking you how your day was. You couldn't have been more than seven or eight years old."

I was at a total loss, but then, when you're seven or eight years old, you just didn't talk to the older boys or even look at them, unless, as it was in my case, you happened to glance at their zippered jeans wondering what was hidden in there. Tears welled up in my eyes, remembering Daddy and missing him so very much. Clay, mistaking my tears for those of fear, said soothingly, "Don't worry, Button, I'm not going to hurt you. Let me finish what I have to say before I let you go."

"I fell in love with that gorgeous boy, often wondering through the years what became of him. Then, the first time I came to "Roxies", I saw you. I wasn't certain, but seeing your nametag and realizing not many people would share a name such as yours, I knew it was you when you smiled. There, before me, was the beautiful, perky boy I fell in love with, now grown into a handsome, delicate, young man with that same bubbly, loving personality. I damned near ate you that night instead of my meal."

I began to relax a bit, realizing he wouldn't butcher me and eat me – well, not butcher me at least, but, perhaps, nibble on one of my more sensitive parts. My own little horn twitched a couple of times in anticipation of the soft lips of the trumpeter giving it a bit of a toot, readying itself to march in the parade again. I tested the Drum Major's baton still stuffed up my parade route and it responded with a gentle thrust forward, still rigid, still pinning me down, but preparing for a rousing Souza March.

"Every time I went to "Roxies" I wanted to ask you out but I wasn't certain what team you batted for. Over the past six months, I hoped you'd give me a clue or begin to feel the same way toward me as I did toward you, but you never made a move and all I could do is fall more deeply in love with you. If Tommy hadn't called my office the other day, I probably would've never taken the chance I took today. In fact, I was getting ready to stop seeing you, the pressure on me just too great. I'm really not very brave when it comes to this sort of thing, but I just couldn't take a chance and lose you. Theo, if you'll have me, I really, really want to be your soul mate, your lover, your spouse. However, if you're still pissed at me and don't feel the same way, then I'll leave, never bothering you again, but not forgetting what you mean to me."

I looked up at him, wrapped my arms around his neck and saw in his eyes everything I'd been searching for. Giving my pucker strings a bit of a pinch, causing his cock to thump inside me, I announced I was more than ready and willing to make a commitment by smiling up at him, nuzzling him on the neck and behind the ear, then softly asking, "What're doing for Thanksgiving, Stud?"