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Dash's loud barking outside the bedroom door finally woke Trishul, and as he blinked his eyes open he found Rachit already awake, looking at him, smiling.
"Better let him in," Trishul murmured, stifling a yawn, "or he'll tear down that door!"
Getting off the bed he quickly pulled on his robe and as he opened the door, Dash flung himself at Trishul, yapping away, his tongue unceasing as he licked his beloved master's face.
"Yes, yes, I too missed you," Trishul laughed closing the door, "and if you hadn't been so disgracefully intrusive last night, I'd have let you stay with us..."
The union being wild and tempestuous... the men, like powerless pieces of straw caught in a raging maelstrom, inexorably sucked into the churning vortex of their roaring passion... hurtling mindlessly through a swirling vacuum... afloat in boundless space...
They had repeatedly united in their insatiable desire... Untiring.
It had been rabid, and though they had hardly slept a wink, they both felt weirdly invigorated. Rejuvenated and alive!
Leaning forward Trishul kissed those pouty lips, pulling back to smile, "Sorry about Dash..."
"It's cool, really," smiled Rachit, reaching up and grabbing Trishul's face with both hands, pulling him down.
Soon the gentle kiss became hungry... headily passionate. Hands once more roving the naked flesh... bodies heaving and shifting as they restlessly changed position, unable to get enough of each other... Both sensing the rapidly awakening passion between their legs... moaning as they rocked their hips.
Leaving those succulent lips Trishul threw away the duvet... his mouth seeking out each tiny cut, and every single bruise... gently kissing each wound, kissing away the hurt... making Rachit squirm and wiggle, susurrate as his slim frame twisted and bucked... his fingers curling in Trishul's hair, tugging...
Shrugging off the robe, Trishul climbed over the prone man, covering him... and as Rachit wrapped his legs around Trishul's manly hips, pulling him close, Dash, as if remembering Trishul's earlier remonstrations about the previous night, obligingly got off the bed and curled himself up in a corner of the room, leaving the men alone as they began to make slow and gentle love... leisurely and unhurried... Both men unconcerned with the dog's presence in the room... both unabashedly vocal in their desire.
"You know," Rachit whispered, holding Trishul's hand still for a moment, "when you called out and I opened my eyes, in that ditch, well, I honestly thought I had died and God had sent his favourite Angel to take me. And as you picked me up, passing your hand around my waist, pulling me close," he paused for an awkward moment closing his eyes, and then blinked them open, "well, this might sound insane, but despite the situation, the excruciating pain, I grew hard!"
"I too have a confession to make," whispered Trishul, kissing those pouty lips, "I too felt a weird thrill... and desire, as I held you. I wanted you from that very moment... constantly struggling to control my emotions, afraid I'd creep you out..."
They both laughed, both realising that they had indeed crossed a fresh threshold with their mutual confession.
After dinner that night, they once more sat out on the terrace - Rachit curious with numerous questions about the vineyard and the winery, Trishul clarifying and explaining.
And as Trishul finished his lengthy explanation of the biodynamic method of wine-making that they practised, Rachit suddenly asked, "Um, your cousins, like, they know about you?"
"Er, that you... you're gay, I mean, the way they were looking at me... and exchanging glances..."
"Oh, that?" Trishul laughed. "Of course they know, my family knows."
And after a brief pause, recounted, "I was seventeen, and it was my grandmother's birthday. I was living in Europe then, had just started college, completed the first semester. But Grandma insisted that I come and so, there I was, visiting home..."
Trishul had arrived the previous day, early morning, and with all the visitors and well-wishers dropping in, throughout the day, no one had a chance to question him about his stay in Europe. Everyone curious to find out how the youngest son of the family, their 'little darling', was doing on his own.
And there was a flurry of questions from uncles Pranav and Pranay, and his two aunts... their conversation routinely interrupted by his cousins as they playfully teased their 'little brother'. His grandmother silently watching them, smiling.
'Grandma,' Trishanu suddenly exclaimed, 'I never really understood how you ever agreed to let your darling grandson go alone... didn't send someone along to take care of him!' and then turning to Trishul, added, 'I'm sure you don't even wash, and must be wearing some stinky underwear right now!'
'Trishanu,' his mother finally called out, 'if you're done with your food, you may leave the table. And if you even had half of Trishul's sense, I wouldn't have to ask you to leave, not at twenty-two!'
The cousins fell silent for a while, before Nayan, uncle Pranay's daughter (and Trishanku's older sister), asked, 'So, little brother, have you found yourself a pretty blonde girlfriend yet?'
'Yes, tell us, have you found someone interesting!' cried Neha, Trishanu's sister, just a year older to Trishul.
Trishul shook his head as he looked up at his grandmother, 'No, I haven't found him yet...'
'C'mon, our cute little brother must have loads of interested girls keen on befriending him...' Nayan began, when Neha suddenly squealed, 'Did you say 'him'... HAVEN'T FOUND HIM?!'
Still looking at his grandmother, Trishul nodded, suddenly wishing he hadn't started it.
'OH MY GOD!' Neha exclaimed instantly, Nayan quickly joining in, 'Oh, my God!'... the two boys sliding halfway down their chair as they desperately tried to stifle their snickers.
It took a while, and as he watched his family, he saw both his uncle, and his aunts look at him... questioning... making him wonder what he had unwittingly unleashed... suddenly wishing he was back in college.
'You don't have a boyfriend yet?' he heard his grandmother's voice float in through the deafening haze, and looked back at her, his vision suddenly blurred.
He didn't trust his voice, didn't know if he could even speak, and so, he shook his head... and saw her smile - that same smile... her loving, all-fear-annihilating smile... and almost passed out with relief.
'Well, you're old enough to know what you want, and also the realities out there,' she said, her tone soothing, the smile gentle, 'so, I can only say that you should be careful, very careful, and make sure you choose the right man...'
It took a while and as he stared on, something happened... as if a soundless explosion had gone off... the room was blazing with an intense glow, humming with a celestial melody... everyone smiling. And the boys now openly snickering as they eyed him.
Trishul felt the tears well up and quickly lowered his face, blinking them away rapidly as he picked up his fork... RELIEVED!
(Of course, grandmother had a lot more to ask, and say... but that was later, in private.)
"My parents died when I was seven..."
The air abruptly grew heavy, Rachit staring at him in stunned silence... and then slowly reached out, taking his hand, gently squeezing, "I'm so sorry..."
Trishul let out a soft sigh as he turned to look at Rachit, giving him a faint smile, "Its been a long while now, twenty years..."
They sat staring at each other... both pair of eyes eloquent in the silence of the still night, brimming with a thousand unspoken promises.
Trishul was suddenly tempted to give in to the urge and make that final statement... tell Rachit what his heart desired. And, also ask all those questions that struggled within him...
He had shared his life, his family with the man... and yet, he knew nothing about him - his family, his parents... his past...
It is true that one may need a whole lifetime to know someone, and sometimes just one glance may reveal everything... but still, there had to be a begining, and he was curious... curious to know every detail about Rachit, a stranger he had fallen insanely in love with. Wanted to learn everything about him.
And as the questions quivered on his lips, Rachit leaned forward, covering his mouth... silencing all the unasked queries with his own lips...
... to be continued
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