Warning! This is a tale about men loving men. If you find this disturbing - click off. If it's unlawful for you to read this - click off. If you under age - good luck if you can get away with it.
This is not a story for getting your rocks off. Just thought I'd let you know, so you won't waste your time if that's what your looking for. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy my writing.
I appreciate feedback and do my best to respond to it all. I may be contacted at: J S.Collection@Verizon.Net
Those Golden Eyes
Once again I'd like to publicly express my appreciation to Dave for his corrections of all my mistakes. And also for forcing me to rewrite some points to make them more clear. Thanks again, Dave, you definitely make me a better writer. JWS
When Charley left the hospital that morning he was dead tired, but he felt good about life for the first time since the day that Jake had called from Atlanta. As he recalled that day it seemed eons had passed. Had it really only been less than two weeks? He stumbled his way back to the house, thankful the two younger guys were in class. He started stripping his clothes off as he closed the front door and headed to the kitchen for a tall glass of cool water. He felt grimy not having bathed since yesterday morning. He pulled off his shirt and lifted an arm to smell his pit.
Teddy heard the noise of someone coming into the house, and thinking it would be either Jason or Pete, went out to greet them. Instead one of them, he walked in to the living room and saw a tall well muscled blond taking his shirt off. Teddy had padded barefooted over to greet him when Charley lifted an arm and sniffed his pit. Teddy , standing close behind him, inhaled deeply and said,"Smells good"
Charley whirled around to see who that baritone voice belonged to. Teddy was standing there in a pair of low hanging cutoff Levi's, the auburn hair on his chest tumbled over the low cut neck of a tight undershirt. "Who the hell are you?" he demanded.
"You must be Charley Hill. Jason told me you were living here while your partner is in the hospital. I am Ted Edwards." He offered his hand to Charley.
Charley took it, shook it and quickly let go. The man's good looks and self confidence made him uncomfortable. He cleared his throat. "You startled me. Yeah, I'm Charley. Nice to meet you."
"I saw you yesterday sitting in front of a bookstore across from the campus. You didn't look very happy."
"No, I wasn't. I mean I wasn't very happy." Charley balled up his shirt.
"Things are better now?" Teddy stepped past Charley into the kitchen and parked his butt against the sink.
"Much better." Charley finally got his head screwed back on. "Why are you here?" he asked.
"I'm a guest at the moment, but hope I'm going to be renting one of the bedrooms here."
"You're a student?" Charley asked and stifled a big yawn.
"Not yet. I hope to save up enough for tuition for a couple of years before I start next fall." He stuffed his hands deep in the pockets of his cutoffs to hide his growing excitement.
Charley ignored the move and got the water bottle out of the fridge. He silently offered Ted some. He declined with a shake of his head and a smile. "So you're working around here?" Charley asked, getting a glass out of the cupboard and filling it.
"I got hired by Mr. Paolini at Gio Gio's Italian restaurant yesterday. He told me to take a day to get settled in. I start tomorrow."
"Which Paolini hired you?"
"I didn't know there was more than one, so I guess the one that runs the restaurant, Gio."
"Oh, I didn't know his name was Paolini, too," Charley said. "I heard Johnny call him Cuz, but it didn't register that he is one of them." He drank the water, and set the glass in the sink. "Listen, I've got to get a shower. I'm feeling really grimy."
"Please, don't let me stop you."
Charley noticed that Teddy made several short inhalations through his nose as he walked past him to the fridge. After replacing the water bottle and closing the fridge door, he raised both arms above his head in a total body stretch and yawned. "I know you like my scent, Ted. But I don't play around. Jake is my one and only. But you're free to sniff if you want." Charley grinned at him, thinking it would embarrass him. He walked back to the cabinet and closed the door which he'd left open.
Ted pushed off the sink and walked past Charley as he turned to leave the kitchen. He grinned over his shoulder at Charley, inhaling deeply. "Thanks for the sniff. You do smell good, Mr. Hill," he said, as he stepped into his bedroom and closed the door in Charley's surprised face.
Charley chuckled, slightly embarrassed himself, and headed for the private shower in the master bedroom, thankful that he didn't have to share a bathroom with that handsome redhead. He let the heat and the strong force of the spray beat some of the tiredness out of his body. After quickly toweling off and brushing his teeth he stretched out on the bed, covering his middle with the sheet. As he dozed off he could have sworn that he heard the door knob turn, but he was too tired to care if Teddy did take a peek.
Gio had called early that morning and told Teddy to take the day to get settled in and explore the neighborhood. He'd asked Teddy's clothes size so he could order work uniforms for him, and informed him that they would be ready tomorrow.
Jason and Pete had left for early classes leaving Teddy on his own. He finished unpacking and hung up his clothes and filled the dresser with his socks and underwear. When he finished that, he was at loose ends.
Teddy had stopped at Charley's door and laid a hand on the knob as he considered knocking and visiting more with him, but hearing a light snore, he wandered on through the house and ended up in the livingroom. Plopping into the big recliner, he lay back and thought about his life.
He'd immediately enlisted in the Air force after graduation. His oldest Brother, Al, was a career Marine and was so much like his dad. Jeff, his other brother, had always copied everything that Al did, and had also become a Marine. His dad had expected him to join the Marines, too, but Teddy, knowing himself to be gay, figured he'd get through four years in the Air Force more easily. And then he'd been offered a a chance to train as a chef in one of the most prestigious schools in the world if he agreed to sign up for an extra four years. Teddy had thought why not, maybe he'd just make a career of being a chef for officers.
What he hadn't figured on was being seduced by an officer and being caught in his bed, sucking on his cock. The Lieutenant had blamed him for the seduction, not that it mattered at that point, they were both processed out. The Lieutenant got a general discharge, but because of the Lieutenant's cowardly lies Teddy had been given a dishonorable. Teddy was certain that the reason that that'd happened was the court martial board was made up of officers. What was really frustrating about the whole affair was that the OSI Officer had told Teddy that the Lieutenant had been under investigation at the time of their arrest.
Teddy had known that it was stupid to fraternize with an officer as well as it being against regulations. But the Lieutenant has been so handsome, so suave and debonaire that he'd been swept off his feet. So here he was isolated from his family and friends in a strange new city.
But the gods that be must have been watching out for him. He'd already found himself a good job, a nice place to live and some neat guys that would probably become good friends. So what if he had gotten a dishonorable, the only person it would matter to was his dad, and he really didn't feel bad about that.
Teddy was never shown love from his parents like they loved his two older brothers. His parents had always looked upon him as an imposition. He was an unwanted pregnancy, born seven years after his older brother, Jeff, who had resented his coming into the world and taking his place as the youngest. His mother's career as an upcoming lawyer came to an abrupt halt for the first year of his life. Then a nanny was hired to take care of him until he was old enough to be put into day care.
No matter how he tried, the love never was given that should have been his no matter whether he was an outstanding student and athlete or not. He eventually learned that he was not going to earn their love and quit trying.
Teddy didn't become a problem teenager like many kids in his situation. He never rebelled, he simply
obeyed his parents and went his own way as much as he was allowed. He became self sufficient and
lived for himself. He graduated an honor student, joined the service and didn't regret leaving his former
Dave was having a hard time containing his excitement as he opened a box from the publishing house to which he'd sent the manuscript of the recipes that his mother-in-law, Angie, had given him. He'd taken a photo of her himself and sent a biography along with it for the cover. Now here was the finished product. He held it up admiring the cover. It read in big letters, "Angie's Favorites" and in smaller letters below, "A compilation of an Italian family's heirloom recipes."
He called Joe and told him about it.
"Let's get the whole family together and celebrate it. Make it a surprise for mom," was Joe's response.
"That's a great idea, Babe. I'll call everyone and we'll get it catered. I know Angie will complain but let her."
Dave started calling everyone in his and Joe's families. He had to visit with each one and spent the next two hours just inviting everyone. He included Sue, being she ran the bookstore and had been instrumental in getting Angie's handwritten recipes typed into a machine-readable document.
When he did a head-count for the caterer, he was amazed that the number came to twenty-two. He wondered if Gio could get away from the restaurant. The restaurant closed at eight on Sunday evenings so maybe he could get there late. He told the caterer twenty-four, to be on the safe side.
Gio was ecstatic. He didn't know if Teddy was straight or gay, but he had a really good feeling about the young man. First off, to have the highest of training at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, that was impressive. He was amazed that the Air Force would send men to such an impressive school. But not being a born a citizen of the U.S. he shrugged it off. Second, Teddy had an openness about him that gave Gio a good feeling about him. Third, he was so breathtaking to look at with his creamy white skin with a hint of light freckles across his nose, complemented by his dark auburn hair and his startling emerald green eyes. Gio was enthralled.
He'd called Teddy early that morning to tell him to not come in to work since he had no uniforms yet. Gio would order them and they would be delivered in the afternoon. So he was surprised to see Teddy standing in the doorway to the kitchen that mid afternoon.
"What are you doing in here?" He asked. "You are supposed to be getting settled in."
"How settled in can one get? I unpacked my clothes. Nothing else to do."
"So why are you here?"
"I thought it would be interesting to see how you work. That way I can I adjust and work with you more quickly."
"Well, pull up a stool and keep me company."
Teddy pulled a stool up across the stainless steel table where Gio was working. Teddy watched him mix breadcrumbs, herbs, crushed garlic, milk and eggs into a bowl of ground beef.
"Meat balls." Teddy said.
Gio nodded and set the bowl into the cradle of the big commercial mixer. After attaching the mixing hooks and turning the machine on he turned and handed Teddy four one gallon cans of Italian plum tomatoes.
"Here, open these for me."
Ted looked around for the big hand-cranked commercial can opener. Not finding it, he shrugged at Gio who grinned and picked up a little gadget small enough to fit in his hand and gave it to Teddy.
Teddy laughed. "This is something my mother would use."
"Try it. It works easier than that old crank opener."
In seconds Teddy had the first can opened and started on the next. Gio took each can and emptied it into a big pot on the stove. Teddy moved around to where he could carefully watch exactly what and how much of what Gio was adding to make a Red Gravy as he called it.
Gio was impressed by Teddy's scrutiny of what he was doing. He nodded to himself thinking. 'I didn't make a mistake hiring him.'
The mixer had turned off. As soon as the sauce was mixed and simmering Gio took the bowl of ground beef to the table and started making balls. Teddy looked around and found an apron and put it on. He washed his hands and pulled the bowl to his side of the table. He started scooping out measured amounts and dropping them on the work surface in front of Gio who grinned at him, took each gob of meat and rolled it into a ball and placed it on a large cookie sheet. In minutes the task was done.
"We haven't discussed your wages, I think I need to raise the amount I was thinking of offering you."
Teddy raised his eyebrows. "And how much was that?"
"I was thinking of starting you off at nine dollars an hour, but I think I should raise it to fifteen."
"Fifteen?" Teddy had no idea what a trained chef could command. Fifteen sounded good.
"To begin with. In two months I will give you a raise if you are as good as I think you might be."
"Thank you, Gio."
"Don't thank me. You are going to be working for every cent. In two months I am opening a new restaurant downtown. If you prove yourself you just might be the head chef there."
"You are kidding me."
"I kid and joke much. But this is not a joke. I have put out advertising to several of the schools around the country for chefs. We will be hiring eight to begin with. More as we see the need. And just maybe you will be the main one."
"Geez, Gio, I don't know what to say."
"Say nothing. Show me I am right."
The Paolini patriarch sat on a bench under a tree in the park near his home. He studied his companion, who paid no attention as he sat next to him. The man sat with his head down, his forearms on his knees, staring at the ground in front of him.
"I don't know what the problem is, Jim, but you've got to snap out of it. You're not eating. You've lost weight. You look like you lost your best friend. Where is the smart-ass that was always talking back? I miss him. For all the company you can be, I'm feeling mighty lonesome sitting on this park bench with you."
"I'm sorry, Joe. I've got a lot on my mind."
"So talk to me."
Jim stared at the ground in front of his feet so long that old Joe started wondering if he'd heard him. He reached out his aged hand and rubbed Jim's back. "I'm listening, Jim."
Jim looked up at him. The sadness in his eyes tugged at the old man's heart.
"Joe, I've really enjoyed working for you. I like you. But I'm going to have to resign before I become an embarrassment to you and your family."
Old Joe looked at him and frowned. "And what have you done that would be embarrassing to me or my family?"
Jim stared at the ground for a moment and then turned his head to look up at Joe without moving his body. "We've never discussed it, but I assume you know that I am gay."
"Yes, I know that."
"I did a very stupid wrong thing. I've lost my nurse's license. And I could end up in jail."
"What the fuck did you do, boy?" Old Joe asked.
Jim looked up at him. "I drugged and raped a friend." He quickly turned his head to stare back to the ground.
Old Joe was silent a long time as he studied the young man sitting next to him.
"Why aren't you in jail if you've lost your license?"
"Jake hasn't pressed charges."
"So how did you lose you license?"
"He had a bad reaction to the drug and nearly died."
"While you were fucking him?"
Jim looked up in shock at the old man's bluntness. "No." he shook his head. "It was days later."
"I don't understand how you can have a reaction days after taking a drug."
Jim went into explaining the whole sordid incident. The old man chuckled about the rubber band around his testicles and told Jim he'd like to meet the man that did it. When he got through the part about finding Jake and getting him hospitalized, he explained what Charley had told him about Jake's promise.
"Sounds to me like this Jake may have had a broken heart." Old Joe commented. "People do die from that you know. They just give up the will to live."
Jim audibly gulped and shook his head. "That would be worse than him nearly dying from a drug reaction. Oh god, that I could take it all back." He shuddered. "I don't know what I was thinking."
Old Joe patted him on the back and chuckled. "That's the thing Jim. You weren't. But, it's pretty obvious that you are remorseful about it. Have you talked to Jake since?"
Jim shook his head.
"Well, it might do you both a lot of good if you did talk to each other about it."
Jim nodded, still staring at the ground. "I told Charley, his new lover how sorry I am."
"That's not the same as telling Jake him self."
Jim nodded again not lifting his eyes from the ground. The old man stared off into space. Minutes passed. Finally Jim sighed. "So I guess I should quit before the family learns about it and fires me."
"What kind of work would you do, now that you've lost your nurse's license?"
"Jim shrugged. "If nothing else, I could always dig ditches or wash dishes."
"You've been a good companion. I'll miss you if you quit." He paused in thought. "Damn, that means I'll probably end up with another crotchety bossy ol' maid."
Jim grinned and looked at the old man. "I've enjoyed working for you. You never really treated me like a servant."
"Never thought of you as one."
Their eyes met momentarily and then they were again lost in their own thoughts.
Teddy left the restaurant at Gio's insistence an hour before the doors were opened to the public. He wandered around the commercial area next to the campus, checking out the bookstore, Fine's Grocery/Deli, and the coffee shop. He headed back to the house filled with enthusiasm. Head Chef at a new restaurant, he couldn't believe it could happen.
He burst through the door to tell his new roommates the good news. Neither of them was in the living room, but there was a good-looking stranger sprawled in the lounger fast asleep. He walked over and checked out the big guy. Teddy decided that he must be a football player the way he was built.
He studied the handsome face, almost angelic in repose. The nearly military short brown hair complemented his clear tanned complection. The bulge of his biceps even relaxed was awesome. His tee-shirt was pulled up showing a flat belly with a slender pencil line of hair from the top of his Levi's to his navel. Teddy was tempted to run his finger down it.
As Teddy watched, the big guy stretched and opened his eyes. Arlen smiled, taking in the creamy skin accented by the dark auburn hair. Teddy smiled back.
"You must be Teddy. I'm Arlen Aldridge, friend of Pete and Jason's." He brought the chair into an upright position, stood and offered his hand and gazed into Teddy's deep emerald green eyes.
Teddy took it. "Yeah, I'm Ted Edwards."
"Jason didn't tell the full truth."
"What?" He pulled his hand back and blushed when Arlen resisted.
Arlen grinned at Teddy, offering no explanation for his statement. "Cool. So you're going to go to school here?"
"That's my plan."
At that moment they heard a car pull into the driveway and two doors slam. Seconds later, Jason and Pete came through the door. "Hey, Teddy," Jason said, heading to the kitchen to drop his books on the table.
"What are you doing here Arlen? I thought you had football practice this afternoon," Pete asked.
"I do, but I had to come see if Jason was telling the truth." He grinned at Jason who had come back in the room. "You lied."
"What are you talking about?" Jason bristled.
"You told me Teddy was good looking. He's about the most handsome dude I've ever seen."
Teddy turned a dark red, nearly matching his hair. Pete, seeing him blush, couldn't help but kid him more. "He is purty, isn't he?"
"I am not an object, guys. I can't help my looks, so stop it."
Arlen grinned at him. "Sorry, I was just telling the truth."
"Well, keep it to yourself. Go talk about me behind my back." Teddy stomped off to his bedroom and slammed the door.
Arlen looked surprised. "I guess I blew that didn't I?"
Jason couldn't resist the chance to dig him. "Didn't know you were into blowing," he grinned at Arlen.
Before Arlen could respond Charley walked into the room stretching and scratching his bare hairy chest. "What's all the ruckus?"
Arlen ogled. Pete and Jason grinned at Arlen's response to seeing Charley. "Jason and Arlen just embarrassed the hell out of Ted, talking about how handsome he is," Pete said.
Arlen's blatant stare aggravated Charley. He ignored Arlen, frowned at Jason, grunted and turned back down the hall to his bedroom.
"Who was that?" Arlen asked, nearly drooling. Jason went into a long explanation, while Pete went into the kitchen, dropped his books on the table and opened the fridge, looking for a snack. "You guys want something to eat?" he yelled out.
"I've got to get to practice, I'm going to be late if I don't get going."
Jason walked into the kitchen after Arlen left. Pete offered him a bite of his sandwich. Jason took a bite, chewed and swallowed. "I guess I'd better go apologize, huh?"
"Huh," Pete grunted in agreement.
Gio closed up the restaurant for the night and headed to his apartment. He'd found the place when he had come to the States with Joe four years ago. It was a big roomy comfortable place with three bedrooms. He liked it and hadn't seen any reason to look for a house, even though he knew a house was a good investment.
As he undressed getting ready for a hot shower his thoughts returned to Teddy. He'd been right at home that afternoon when he'd stopped in, he obviously knew his way around in a kitchen.
He wondered if he might be gay. Teddy had certainly not given him any clues. He fantasized about what he looked like naked, as he washed his own body. He could see a dark auburn treasure trail pointing to the treasure below. He stopped to wonder if he was circumcised. Gio liked an uncut cock, but he knew that most Americans were cut. He visualized Teddy both ways and decided that a big mushroom head on a trimmed shaft fit him best, and went on with his fantasy.
As he dried his body he recalled Tommy. Tommy had been a sweetheart. It had been difficult to let him go. But Tommy had been honest with him from the start. He had plans on getting his masters degree at UCLA. He wanted to be a movie director.
Gio had talked him into living with him until he graduated. Tommy had, and they had been intimate lovers until the day he left for California. Tommy had promised to keep in contact, but like all long distance affairs, the calls and letters became fewer and fewer until they stopped.
Joe had offered to help Gio get started with a new restaurant on the West Coast, but Gio knew that the umbilical had already been severed, and it would only be a matter of time before Tommy would drift away even if Gio had moved.
He sighed and wondered again if Teddy might be gay. After turning out the light he lay on his back and stared at the ceiling. He imagined a scenario where Teddy became his lover and partner in the new restaurant on top of Joe's new office tower that was nearing completion. Maybe tomorrow he'd invite Teddy to accompany him to Dave and Joe's Sunday night. It would be a good time to introduce him to the family. He sighed, and wondered for the hundredth time if Teddy might be gay.
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