At the busy market we picked up swordfish steaks, fresh salad fixings and local corn on the cob. We strolled through the market, passed stalls with every imaginable food product. I bought a paper sack filled with freshly roasted peanuts and we left a trail of peanut shells as we walked.
Charlie found the corner stall that sold coffees from all over the world and picked up a bag of Kona coffee. His storm cloud eyes held mine when he said, "For tomorrow morning."
I sensed he wanted to kiss me, but the moment passed and we moved on. I had to pass up sudden urges to grab his hand or slip my arm around his shoulder. Toronto is a pretty tolerant town and usually you don't get more than a few double takes but I knew it didn't matter to Charlie. He just wasn't ready to admit to the world that he was with another man. Not in that way. I had to respect that.
Back at my place we put the groceries away and I made another pot of coffee which we consumed in the backyard while we watched birds flit overhead and the neighbor's cat stalk a fallen leaf. Then we went back inside and I took his hand and led him upstairs where we undressed and made love all afternoon.
I cooked the swordfish on the barbecue and Charlie tossed salad while the corn boiled away on the stove. We ate on the patio and this time the cat stalked us until we fed her bits of swordfish and she deigned to wind her sinuous form around our legs and take our offerings.
Darkness fell and we eventually moved back inside. The third floor beckoned and we ended the day back in bed, making love until we were sated and fell asleep in each other's arms.
It was the most incredible day I had ever spent.
Michael and Donny arrived at five sharp. I kissed Michael on the lips then shook Donny's hand and led them into the front room where I took their drink orders. A smile played over my face while I waited for Charlie to make his appearance. I hadn't had a chance to say anything to Michael and I was dying to see the look on his face when he saw who was here.
Charlie had gone out earlier saying he had some shopping to do. When he got back he had gone straight upstairs, taking a half a dozen shopping bags from several trendy stores up with him.
I heard his tread on the stairs and looked up in anticipation. Michael had known something was going on and he followed my gaze avidly. His jaw dropped open when he saw the figure on the stairs.
His wasn't the only open mouth. I stared. Charlie had clearly gone all out on his shopping spree and had gotten some good advice for his money.
He wore a pair of khaki dress pants that flaunted his basket nicely, and a rich turquoise shirt that hugged his muscled chest and showed off his flawless bronze skin to perfection. He had a single ear ring in his left ear, a gold and turquoise thing that swayed when he moved his head. His hair had been freshly washed and combed back in its ubiquitous pony tail but this time held back by more turquoise.
The sight of him made my cock jump in my boxers. I saw Donny reach over and shut his lover's mouth with one finger, then grinned and shrugged when he saw me looking.
Michael turned to me. "You bastard," he said softly. "You never told me. How could you not tell me?"
Charlie came over to stand beside me. This time he let me take his hand.
"It came as a bit of a surprise to me, too." I raised adoring eyes to Charlie's. "He came back just the other day."
Michael took both of our hands in his. "I'm really happy for you, Ty. And you," he turned a mock glare on Charlie. "It's about time."
"Thanks, Michael," Charlie said drily. "I'm glad you approve."
Michael blushed and cocked his head to one side. "Love the jewelry." He brushed the single gold stud in his ear. "I feel under dressed."
I took in Michael's flamboyant purple and mauve ensemble and nearly choked on my beer. Donny was quick to reassure him.
"Nobody could stand out over you, honey. You look divine. Doesn't he, Tyler?"
"Believe it. Want to take this outside? I've got the steaks marinating and the crab salad's on ice."
I carried a tray of sliced cheese and fruit I had prepared earlier out to the patio, then went back to cut some pita bread up into triangles to serve with the hummus dip. Charlie trailed after me.
"Anything I can do?"
My mouth curved up into a lascivious smile. He saw it and grinned.
I sighed and pointed at the kitchen floor. "Grab that cooler and take it outside. Then get that tray of nachos and the salsa and avocado dips. I'll leave the steaks in the marinade another half hour."
Michael and Donny were sitting across from each other, with Michael's feet in Donny's lap. Michael raised his drink to me and wiggled his bare toes.
"I spent absolutely all day on my feet. I didn't know you could get blisters on blisters. Ah, yes, sugar, that feels divine."
"Shopping marathon?" I asked, grinning at Donny's discomfort. Michael's feet might be hurting, but probably no where near as much as Donny's wallet. "So many designers, so little time."
"You're making fun of me." Michael pouted. Then he sighed and grew serious. "Actually I was at the center most of the afternoon. Robby came in today," he said softly. "You remember Robby, Ty. Robby van Gruen? He used to be such a wonderful man. Remember how big he was? You'd hardly recognize him now. He's down to about ninety pounds. God, I hate this world sometimes."
The center was a non profit AIDS hospice. The first time I had heard Michael talk about volunteering there once a week I had thought he was joking. Michael volunteer at a place where sadness and death had such a powerful hold? That was the day I first learned there was a hell of a lot more to Michael Cartwright than he let on.
I still underestimated him after that. I think Michael made it a point to appear like a silly twink so that no one would take him seriously.
"I'm sorry, Michael," I said. "I know how much Robby meant to you."
"I hate that place. I don't know why I go back."
Donny reached over and captured his hand. "Because you've got a big heart, sweetie. That's why I love you."
Michael swiped at a tear then grimaced. "Look at me, crying on everyone's hummus. Why don't you get those steaks on, Ty. I'm gonna have another beer."
I looked at the near empty bottle in my hand. "Grab me one too."
I drank that beer then went to get the steaks. The barbecue was sizzling hot and soon the delicious smells of cooking meat filled my tiny haven. The evening passed in a friendly blur of good food, ribald jokes and an easy comradery. I found I enjoyed being part of a couple again. Enjoyed, hell, be honest, I loved it. I wasn't cut out for this solitary bachelor shit. And Charlie was exactly what I wanted in couple material. He was warm and funny and sexy as hell.
As the evening wound its way to a close I found myself wanting the others to leave. I was impatient to be alone with Charlie.
Maybe Michael caught my impatience, or maybe he was still in the honeymoon phase of his relationship and wanted to get home too. Whatever it was, he interrupted some lame joke Donny was telling and planted a big wet kiss on his mouth.
"Take me home, sugar. I think we've taken up enough time here."
"What --" Donny seemed confused then he looked from Michael to me to Charlie and his eyes went big. "Ohhh, right. It is getting late, isn't it?"
"Late, yes," Michael said, then pointedly looked at the drink in Donny's hand. "Besides, you have anymore of those and you won't be any good to me at all tonight. Baby has needs, you know."
I knew all about Michael's needs and grinned at Donny. "He's right you know. Lucky man."
Charlie choose that moment to possessively slip his hand around my shoulder and pull me against him. The look he seemed to be giving Michael had a 'keep off' quality that Michael found hilarious.
"Oh baby, he's marked you good." Michael slapped his leg and smiled at me. "I think I know who won that pissing contest. Is it good for you, sugar?"
I smiled back at him and captured Charlie's hand in mine. "The best, Michael." I raised Charlie's hand to my mouth. "Better than the best."
"I'd envy you but I got my own best of." Michael gave Donny an adoring look. "Come on, lover, let's go home."
Charlie and I followed them to the front door and watched them off. Charlie stood slightly behind me, not touching me now that the door to the real world was open briefly and we were exposed to traffic moving down Broadview.
When I swung the door shut and made sure it was locked I turned to find Charlie watching me.
Without a word I went into his arms and he lowered his mouth to mine.
"What did he mean about a pissing contest?" Charlie broke away from a very satisfying kiss and leaned back far enough to look into my upturned face.
I opted for full disclosure. No sense keeping secrets.
"He means we're two tops who had to figure out how we were going to do the horizontal mamba."
Charlie just looked confused. I leaned in to nuzzle his chest through the bright fabric of his shirt.
"You and I are both tops - we both want to be the fucker and not a fuckee."
His confusion faded to be replaced by a blush. I loved his naivety. It aroused me more than I would have thought.
"You want to fuck me?"
"Oh, man," I sighed, my cock throbbing against his thigh. "I would love to. But I know you're not ready to face that." I almost said 'yet' but didn't want to scare him with presumptions. "And I've got no problem with the way things are. I love it when you fuck me. I never knew I could love it so much."
"I don't know..." Unconsciously Charlie's own rigid cock was rubbing against my stomach. He might not be sure, but his body was. I didn't point that out to him.
Instead I said, "I don't expect you to jump into that or anything that makes you uncomfortable. Being a bottom is a big step. It's invasive and there's a real surrender of yourself involved. It can take a lot of getting used to."
"And it doesn't bother you?"
"Bother me? Fuck, are you kidding." I grabbed his hand and pressed it into my pulsing cock. "This is what you do to me. Right now I want you to fuck me so bad I'm ready to come in my pants just thinking about it."
"Right here, right now. Ohhh, baby." I fumbled with the zipper on his new pants and skinned them down his legs. I did the same with his jockeys and took his hot tool in my hand. "Right here."
I dropped to my knees and wrapped my mouth around his swollen dick. He rocked his hips, pushing his tube of flesh all the way down my throat.
"Baby," he moaned, his hands at the back of my head. "Ohhh, yesss."
I backed off and looked up at him. "Do you want to fuck me, Charlie?"
I stood up and pointed to the nearest recliner. "Sit," I said.
Then I went into the downstairs bathroom and got the lube and a handful of condoms. When I came back I found Charlie had removed his shirt as well and sat on the edge of the chair, his dick pointing straight up at the ceiling. I stripped off my own clothes and slid between his legs.
I spread his legs slightly and bent over to take him into my eager mouth again. I sucked him for a while until Charlie was beginning to mindlessly fuck my face, and I felt his balls start to tighten in their velvet sacks.
Backing off I tore open a plastic package and withdrew the latex condom, unrolling it carefully over his stone hard flesh. Then I applied liberal amounts of lube to him and slid my hand between my own legs to poke a gel covered finger to my puckered hole.
Charlie held me in his arms when I straddled him and poised myself over his fleshy spear. His face contorted with lust as I sank down, impaling myself on him. I eased him into me slowly, pausing to give my tight sphincter muscles time to relax at the invasion then I sat down on his lap, his dick stuffed into my dark channel.
I stared down into his dark eyes and leaned down to rub my goatee against his cheek before capturing his lips with mine.
"I love you, Charlie," I murmured as I began to move, slowly at first then with increasing speed.
He grabbed my hips and pulled me even tighter against him. He groaned and shoved his tongue down my throat. His neck muscles stood out in sharp relief as he arched his head back and drove himself into me again and again. He reached between us and grabbed my cock, wrapping his big rough hands around me and stroking me hard.
My cum boiled out of me. My cock jerked in his hand and my balls slammed up into my scrotum as I spewed gobs of nacreous fluids across his bronze stomach and chest. I shuddered as spasm after spasm rocked me and my ass muscles tightened around his plunging cock.
Charlie cried out and grabbed my hips so hard he left white marks in my skin. His cock contracted and swelled and shot his load into the latex shield.
I sagged against him, feeling our sweat slicked skin slide together and become one. His arms circled my shoulders and held me tight. My bearded face rubbed against his cheek.
"Love you," I said again.
His arms tightened and his lips brushed my ear.
"Baby," was all he said.
I was disappointed, but didn't say anything. Saying he loved a man was a big step for Charlie Reid. It had to be enough for now that he was here and letting me love him.
I kissed his mouth, letting the tip of my tongue slip in between his lips. "Let's go to bed."
We grabbed our discarded clothes and climbed to the third floor. There we made love again and afterward took a shower. Later I changed the sheets on the bed and we crawled under the blankets to fall asleep holding each other.
I drove him to the airport the next day and reluctantly let him go with nothing more than a handshake and a meaningful look. I didn't speak of love again or try to touch him once we left the house.
I was already missing him terribly by the time I got back on the 427 and aimed the Landrover north. It was time to check on the progress at Lynx Woods.
Work is a wonderful panacea for missing someone. Even so I had more than one person ask me if I was all right as the long day progressed. I wasn't looking forward to an evening alone and kept finding things to occupy my time and prolong my stay on the project site. But finally I couldn't delay the inevitable anymore and climbed into the truck for the long ride back into town.
When I let myself into the house my phone was ringing. I sprinted for the kitchen and snatched the handset off the cradle and barked, "Yes?"
"Ty, hi. I just wanted to let you know I got back okay."
Charlie's voice on the phone made my knees go weak and I leaned against the wall separating the kitchen from the seldom used dining room.
"Yeah, babe, it's me," he said softly. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I just miss you like crazy. I can't believe it's only been what, eight hours?"
"Know what you mean."
Did that mean he missed me too? His next words made my heart soar.
"Too bad you couldn't get free and come down here for a few days. I'd love to show you my neck of the woods."
"You mean that?" For Charlie to suggest I come down there, to be seen with him by his friends and neighbors made me ache with love. "Right now?"
"Yesterday," Charlie murmured, his voice shaky. "Does that mean you can?"
I gripped the phone so hard my knuckles were white. "Yes," I said in a strangled voice. "I will."
"Let me set things up tomorrow. Make sure the team knows what to do... oh, God babe, I can't wait."
"Me neither. Hurry." He gave me his address and directions and I wrote in a daze.
"I'll find it," I said. "Believe it."
I hung up the phone and stood there leaning into the wall for support. Then I felt a massive smile break out on my face and a lightness fill me. He wanted me! He'd left and found he couldn't stand the separation. That had to mean something, didn't it?
I snatched the phone back up and called airline companies until I found one that booked me an early evening flight to the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport in some place called Sevierville for the next evening. I followed that with a call to a national car rental place, booking a mid-size sedan for my drive to Gatlinburg. I would be at Charlie's place by midnight tomorrow.
I couldn't wait.
[More to come]
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