B & G
The following fictional narrative involves sexually-explicit erotic events between men. If you shouldn't be reading this, please move on.
In the world of this story, the characters don't always use condoms. In the real world, you should care enough about yourself and others to always practice safe sex.
The author retains all rights. No reproductions or links to other sites are allowed without the author's consent.
Thanks and love to Tom for always patiently and carefully doing the editing chores, and to the rest of my Nifty Six colleagues. Special thanks to Drew Hunt for helpful suggestions about this chapter.
My good friend Mickey has just started posting another of his great stories. Check out "Second Wind" in the Beginnings section.
I'd read through the score of the first piece on the program at the faculty quartet recital, and I'd heard them rehearse it once. Simon Wolfe, the Conservatory's "Composer in Residence," had written a masterful piece. It was, to the educated eye and ear, clearly twenty-first century music. Wolfe hadn't found it necessary, however, to prove that he had lived in the twentieth century, so the piece wasn't particularly dissonant. There were, in fact, lovely melodies throughout the one-movement work, though some of the chord structures and progressions might have startled the nineteenth-century composers who had clearly influenced his concepts.
Gabe and I went to the performance with great anticipation. I hadn't heard the faculty quartet in recital before. My only experience with them had been the evening I'd sat in on their rehearsal of the Wolfe piece. Gabe knew the Haydn "Emperor" quartet, and I loved both that and the Brahms quartet which concluded the program.
The day before the recital, I walked up to Rae's office and asked if she'd like to go somewhere after the recital with Gabe and me. She said she'd love to, once they were finished in the green room, but she asked if she could bring someone else along.
"Sure. Who might that be?"
"Do you know Bruce McDermott?"
I racked my brain, but couldn't come up with a face. "I don't think so. Should I?"
"Not particularly. He's in the English Department, and we've dated a couple of times since the first of the year. He's asked me to go to Hernando's with him after the recital. Maybe we could all go together, or you and Gabe could meet us there."
"Rae, Gabe and I wouldn't want to horn in."
She gave me one of her radiant smiles. "Little brother," she said, looking up at me, "you won't be horning in. If anybody's horning in, it's Bruce. But he IS nice, and I'd like you and Gabe to meet him. Gabe may know him, in fact, but he says he doesn't remember Gabe."
The recital was even better than I'd hoped. You'd have thought these people had been playing together forever, but I knew that this was only Rae's second year at the Con.
Gabe, sweet man, obviously enjoyed it, too. I had to poke him with my elbow once because during the second movement of the Haydn he was humming along. And I confess it is lovely. The melody that one thinks of being blared by a military band is really charming when played as Haydn marked it for string quartet, "poco adagio."
He wasn't familiar with the Brahms, but I could tell he found it as glorious as I did. He was on his feet as soon as it was finished, applauding and shouting bravo, as were many of the rest of us. I had to admit, my hunky electrician partner had both knowledge and taste. I wanted to take him home and rehash the concert and then have him make slow, sweet love to me, but we were committed to Rae and her new friend, Bruce. The love-making could wait.
In the green room afterwards, Rae introduced us to Bruce. We agreed to meet in a few minutes at Hernando's. Gabe and I said we'd go on and snag a table, and they'd get there when they could.
Hernando's, more properly Hernando's Hideaway, wasn't a Mexican or Tex-Mex place as the name suggested. It had been there forever, something of a campus/local institution. Gabe explained that it was named after a popular song back in the fifties. I've always meant to ask him how he knew that, but I keep forgetting.
We got to our seats at the quartet recital early enough that I had time to read Brent's program notes. I was impressed one more time by how helpful they were. He never wrote down to the audience, but he clearly intended to write descriptions of the music that would help those unfamiliar with it to understand and enjoy it. It worked for me!
I didn't know what to expect from the short piece by Simon Wolfe. I'd been in his office once or twice, and he seemed the antithesis of what you might expect of a composer. He looked as if he might go bowling once a week and work on model trains in his basement. No stuffiness at all. So much for stereotypes. But the thing he had written for the quartet was beautiful. I found myself really drawn into the music, loving the melodies, knowing full well that this guy was not much older than me and had grown up in a world of rock music. Not that there were any overt rock influences on the quartet, just that he was obviously one of today's composers. I don't think I've described that very well. I should leave that sort of thing to Brent, I suppose.
I was thoroughly familiar with the Haydn quartet, since I'd had a cd of it from my undergrad days. Though I knew and loved Brahms' symphonies and concerti, the quartet the faculty group played was new to me. I was surprised how symphonic four string players sounded, and I found myself drawn into the music. Brahms, for some reason, always makes me want to cry. (I've never told Brent that, for fear he'd laugh at me.)
In the green room afterward, Brent and I hugged Rae. She introduced us to Bruce McDermott. Brent had never met him. I had been in his office, and I'm sure he knew me, but he seemed not to when Rae introduced us. I'd never mentioned to him that I'd read some of his fiction. If I had, maybe he'd have remembered me. We agreed to meet at Hernando's after Rae had extricated herself from her well-wishers.
Brent had driven that evening, since it was cold but clear and we didn't need to use my SUV. We were able to get a booth at Hernando's when we explained that we'd be joined soon by two more people.
To keep the management happy, I ordered a beer (it was more a matter of image than taste), and Brent had Dry Sack. Eventually Rae and her friend showed up. When Bruce helped her off with her coat and hung it on a hook between our booth and the next one, she looked fantastic. All in black, she had a floor-length full skirt, as female cellists tend to wear, an off-the-shoulder top, to which she'd added a shawl in the Menzies black and white tartan. With her red hair and green eyes, she looked incredible. Most of the men in the room were ogling her, including my lover and me.
Bruce excused himself to go to the bar and get their drinks. He came back with neat scotch for both of them.
Brent and I raved about the performance while Rae and Bruce sat and looked modest. So help me, he almost seemed as if he wanted to take credit for what the quartet had done.
Maybe I should describe him. He was about 35, 5'10", thin. He had mousy brown hair, brown eyes, a mustache which he didn't trim as close as I kept mine, and a goatee. There were touches of gray at his temples and a bit more gray in his goatee. I had to admit he looked very distinguished. Distinguished but not sexy. I wondered what it was that attracted Rae to him. He was an American lit. specialist and in addition to a book and some articles of a scholarly nature, he wrote short stories, some of which had been very well received.
We talked of the recital first, of course, where Brent and I took turns exclaiming over how much we had enjoyed the program and how well we thought the quartet had played. As we talked, applause broke out in the front of the bar and then spread back to where we were. Brent and I were seated so that we could see the door. Simon Wolfe had come in with his wife, an exotic, almost gypsyish looking woman. Apparently most of the crowd in Hernando's had been at the recital, and everyone was applauding him for his piece. He made his way from table to booth, eventually stopping at our booth. He leaned over and gave Rae a kiss.
I said Wolfe looked like a regular guy, somebody you might go bowling with. He didn't act that way, though.
"Darling, you and the others were fabulous! You played my little effort perfectly!"
Rae protested that his piece was inspiring for the quartet and that they had loved doing it. Then she introduced Bruce, Brent, and me. Simon acted as if he had never met either Brent or Bruce, though they both told me later they'd met, but he knew me.
"Ah, yes, Mr. Sutton. I haven't seen you since you worked on my thermostat last semester. How nice of you to come to this evening's performance. I trust you enjoyed it?"
I assured him that I had, and he swept on, followed at an appropriate distance by his beautiful but subdued consort.
As the four of us talked, I began to like Bruce a little better. He wasn't as standoffish as I'd thought, and he was both musically knowledgeable and friendly. Just, I assumed, a bit shy at first. Perhaps he was uncomfortable being with a couple of queers. At any rate, with a second round of drinks, he loosened up, and we had a pleasant hour or so.
When there was a lull in the conversation, Brent asked, "So, Rae, is this the only recital the quartet will give this year?"
"No, dear. Actually, we should have given this one in the fall term, but Simon just didn't have his piece ready. But we'll be doing our regular second term recital at the end of the academic year."
"Wonderful!" Brent said. "What's on that program?"
"Only one thing's for sure, and this will interest you."
Brent laced his fingers together and propped his chin up with them. "Oh?"
"We're doing the Mozart K. 407 quintet for horn and strings."
"Oh, that's nice. I suppose Roger will be joining you."
"Yes, that's the plan."
"I've played that for one of my professors at Columbia, but I've never actually heard it in concert. I'll look forward to hearing it." He paused. "Wait a minute! That piece is scored for violin, two violas, and cello, isn't it?"
Rae grinned. "Yes, professor, that's right. Grace Liupati, our second violin, will be playing the second viola part."
"Cool!" Brent said.
Shortly after that, Rae said, "Gentlemen, perhaps the adrenalin is wearing off. Or maybe it's just the scotch. But I'm losing steam, so I think I'll ask Bruce to take me home."
We all managed to climb out of the booth. Brent and I kissed Rae and shook hands with Bruce. We struggled into our coats and left.
A day or two after the quartet recital, it occurred to me that I should call my mother. We usually talked on the phone every other week or so, and I hadn't called her since New Year's. I knew I was in trouble. Not only had I not called, I hadn't told her anything about Gabe. Mother wasn't the nagging sort, but she was my mother, and she did worry, and I knew she loved me. It was tough being almost a whole continent apart, but we were used to that from the time she and Spence moved to Seattle and I was in New York. So, I grabbed the phone and used the speed dial.
"Brent, dear. I'm so glad you called." She didn't say "finally," but that was implicit in her tone of voice. She knew it was me because they had caller ID.
I apologized and then explained about all the changes in my life, that I'd finally let someone in and was happier than I'd ever been. Then I told her all about Gabe. She listened without interrupting, making occasional noises to let me know she was still on the other end of the line.
When I finally paused, she said, "Brent, dear, that's wonderful. I'm SO pleased for you."
"But . . . ?"
"No, really I am. Gabe sounds like a fine man. I can tell from your voice that you really are happy. And you deserve some happiness, finally."
"Mom, you're saying all the right things. But I sense some sort of reservation. Why don't you just say it?"
She sighed. "Well, dear, as I said, your Gabe is probably just like you've described him. But you need to remember something, especially since you have no experience with relationships."
"When you give someone your heart, you give them the power to hurt you. I'll pray that Gabe loves you as much as you seem to love him. But you'll both have to work at it, you know. It won't always be as exciting as it is right now."
"Yes, Mom, I'm sure you're right. But Gabe is a gentle, decent, good-hearted man, along with everything else, and I'm not worried about his hurting me."
"I'm really dying to meet him. It's terrible that we're so far apart. Any chance you two could fly out here during your spring break?"
"I dunno. We haven't talked about it. He was with his family at Christmas, though, so maybe he'd come along. I'm eager for you to meet him, and vice versa."
"I'm sure Spence would help with the air fare, if that's a problem."
"Oh, I think we could manage the cost. I'll talk with him and let you know. We still have a couple of months. How is Spence?"
"Wonderful. Kind, considerate, and sexy as always."
"It shocks me a little to hear my mother call someone sexy."
She laughed. "Well, get over it! Spence is a very sexy man, and I don't care who knows it."
I chuckled. "You're right, of course. I'm glad you two are happy. Please say hello to him for me. And I promise to talk with Gabe soon about coming out to Seattle."
We said our goodbyes and hung up.
That evening wasn't one of our days to have dinner or spend the night together, so it wasn't until the next night that I had a chance to talk with him about the Seattle trip.
We were at my place. I was trying to be more inventive with meals since Gabe was eating with me fairly often. He was a much better cook than I, and I didn't want him to feel short-changed when he had to eat with me. I found beef and gravy in a foil packet in the supermarket's meat department. All you had to do was put it in a dish and bake it. I made mashed potatoes to go with it. That's something you can't really mess up. We had a salad. I'd gotten some sourdough baguettes, and we dipped hunks of warm bread in olive oil with our merlot before dinner.
For dessert I'd found cherry/vanilla ice cream, which they were featuring because in a few weeks it would be Washington's Birthday, I supposed, and I heated fudge sauce to pour over it.
We took our bowls of ice cream into the living room. I wished my apartment had a fireplace, but it didn't. It was always so cozy when Gabe and I could kick off our shoes, prop our feet on the coffee table, and sit together watching the fire at his place. Our sometimes-one-place, sometimes-the-other arrangement really was really a pain, and I felt I should talk with him about it, but I didn't want to spook him by suggesting we should share a place. Besides, he owned the building he lived in, and I was pretty sure he wouldn't be interested in moving out. Therefore, any suggestion from me that we should live together would look as if I were inviting myself to move in with him. And, as I said, I didn't want to seem pushy, so I postponed that discussion for a later time, perhaps until he brought it up.
"I talked with my mother yesterday."
"Uh huh. I told her all about you. About us."
He swiveled around to face me, looking concerned. "How did she take it?"
"Well, how do you think? I told her I'd met the greatest, handsomest, sexiest man in the world and was totally in love with him. She is very happy for me, and she and Spence want to meet you."
"No shit? You actually told her that?"
"Well, of course, dummy. It's true."
He leaned forward, put his hands behind my head, and pulled me into a long kiss.
Some time later, he said, "I've been wanting to show you off to my folks, my parents and my sis and her family. Maybe we could go there for a weekend sometime soon."
"I'm eager to meet them. They all sound like special people from what you've told me. But I want my folks to get a look at you, too. Mom suggested that we come out there during spring break. Is that a possibility for you?"
He grinned. "I've never been to Seattle, and I've always wanted to visit that part of the country. Have you been out there before?"
"Only once. Seattle is beautiful, but there's lots of it I haven't seen. I'm just thinking the weather might be nicer if we were there in June instead of March. But knowing Mother, there's no way she'll wait that long to check you out."
"Well," Gabe said, "it may be rainy in Seattle in March, but let's plan to go. I'm really looking forward to meeting your mother and her husband."
"I think you'll like them. Spence loves Mom. She's been through a lot, and I'm grateful that he makes her happy."
Brent was to spend that weekend at my place, but we had decided to eat out on Friday, his treat since we'd be eating in the rest of the weekend, probably. We had a lot to work out in that department. It was becoming increasingly awkward for us to be together as much as we wanted and still maintain two establishments. My place was bigger and nicer than his. Besides, I owned it and wasn't about to leave it. But I didn't want to encroach on his independence, so I didn't press the matter. He could have moved in with me, and I'd have loved that. Oh, there would have been the problem of my co-workers at B & G, but I figured I could deal with that.
Anyway, on that Friday, the night after he'd talked with his mother and we'd decided to fly to Seattle for part of spring break, we ate at a popular steak house in town. One of the specials that evening was brook trout. I love trout and was not surprised to learn that Brent did, too. But in Ohio in late January, you know very well that trout on a restaurant menu is going to have been frozen, so we chose something else.
We ordered wine. Brent was having shiraz, and I'd selected the slightly heavier, more full-bodied merlot. We smiled at each other when the cute waiter brought us sourdough bread and herb-flavored olive oil to dip it in, since we'd had that at his place the evening before.
Brent ordered Veal Oscar, and I had a New York strip, medium rare. He said something about my carnal appetite. Refraining from commenting about innocent little calves, I dipped a hunk of bread in the oil.
We had finished the salads and were midway through our entrees when I looked up to see Guy Mannington standing beside our table, smiling at us.
"Hey, Guy," Brent said. "Great to see you. Want to join us?"
"Well, I'm with somebody, but I'll sit just a minute to visit, okay?"
"Sure," I said, "sit."
He pulled out one of the unused chairs and sat.
"Who's that you're with?" Brent asked.
I looked at the guy sitting at a booth against the wall watching us. I recognized him as a member of the Art Department. Just a bit over six feet with a receding hairline, but with a handsome, clean-shaven face, he was watching us closely. I'd met him before, and he seemed like a nice guy. I hadn't known he was gay, but if he was with Guy for dinner, it was a safe assumption they were going home for a night of sex later.
"Oh, haven't you met Ben Compton? He's in the Art Department I told him I just wanted to say hi." He twinkled at us. "So, guys, you two having fun together?"
"Yeah," Brent said, rubbing my calf with his foot under the table, "we sure are."
Guy grinned. "The sexiest couple on campus."
Brent blushed and seemed at a loss for words.
"Thanks, Guy. So are you and Ben a couple?"
He twinkled at me. "Not really. I'm going to get him in the sack before the evening's over, but you know me. Nothing binding. No commitments."
"Just casual sex," I commented. Brent hit my shin with his foot hard enough to let me know he didn't approve of what I'd just said.
Still smiling, Guy said, "What else?"
I wondered that he would leave Ben alone for so long, but Guy had his own ways of doing things. I noticed that Ben had ordered a clear drink for himself, probably a gin and tonic, and Perrier for Guy. From that I concluded that they had been out together before and he knew about Guy's penchant for healthful food and drink.
"Look, you two," Guy said, "it's good to see that you have a relationship. I envy that. It's not for me at this point in my life, but it's a good thing."
Brent seemed unsure how to reply, so I just said "Yeah, Guy, what we have is pretty special."
He put his hands in his lap, leaned forward over the table, and said, "That's great. But I was wondering . . ."
Neither Brent nor I said anything.
"Would you two be interested in a three-way sometime? No strings? No conditions? I don't want to fuck with what you have, but I'd sure love to fuck with the two of you."
I'm not the violent type, but I was ready to slug him. (God, I've been reading too much Hemingway and Hammett! "Slug" indeed!)
"Guy," Brent said with considerably more aplomb than I was capable of at that moment, "you're a really nice man. And as both Gabe and I know, a very sexy man as well. But now that Gabe and I are together, I don't know how we'd feel about that. Can we talk about it and get back to you?"
I was about to say, "No way, fuck off," but I controlled myself, staying silent and keeping a straight face.
"It's flattering that you'd want to do that, and you're such a stud that I know it would be incredibly hot, but Gabe and I need to talk about it. Okay?"
Guy favored us with another of his sweet smiles, and said, "That's all I could ask. You two are special. Both of you are really nice guys. I wouldn't do anything to spoil what you have, but I'd sure like to be the filling in your sandwich sometime. So, think about it and let me know."
He stood up. Brent and I stood up and shook hands with him, after which he went to rejoin Ben at their booth.
By tacit agreement, Brent and I didn't discuss Guy's offer during our meal. I suspected that Brent wouldn't mind a three-way romp with Guy, whereas I was offended by the idea. As I thought about it, I realized that Brent had had no sexual experience as an adult except first with Guy and then with me. Since I'd had considerably more experience, I was at this point in my life more than happy just to settle into some sort of domestic relationship with Brent. He was what I'd always been looking for, and I didn't need anything else. He, on the other hand, had been hiding from personal relationships for eight years, and his sexual experience was limited. I couldn't really blame him for finding Guy's offer attractive. Guy was sexy and sweet.
"Gabe, you've been awfully quiet since Guy was here. What are you thinking, love?"
"As if you didn't know."
"You're thinking about his offer of a three-way?"
"And you're troubled by it?"
Damn! He really could read me. "Yeah, I suppose I am."
"Well, relax, lover. It ain't gonna happen!"
"But . . . "
"But nothing. Look, I admit Guy is one sexy little hunk. And I admit I think he's likable, too. But I also know you don't want anybody else but me. I'm the luckiest guy in the world that you feel that way, and fuck if I want to jeopardize that in any way. We'll just tell Guy thanks but no thanks."
As I looked at his beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, face, I almost creamed in my boxers. "Brent, what can I say? You know me almost too well, lover. You're all I want and need. I hope I can be what you need, too."
Smiling, he lifted his wine glass to me and grinned. "Keep working at it, stud. I think you'll do just fine."
I looked over at the booth where Guy and Ben were sitting. Guy was leaning forward toward Ben and listening intently, smiling, as Compton talked to him. The hunky little gymnast was not only a great fuck, but he was also, I thought, sincerely concerned about whatever person he happened to be with. It wasn't an act. Guy really liked people and had the ability to let them know he truly was interested in their stories, their states of mind. Their cocks and asses, too, of course.
I was brought back from my reverie about Guy by Brent's saying, "Gabe, let me ask you something?"
"No, hon, about us. About our living arrangement."
"Don't you find all this to-ing and fro-ing awkward? Sometimes at your place, sometimes at mine?"
"Yeah, we need to keep the days on our calendars, don't we? It gets confusing, for sure."
The waiter came at that point and took away our plates. We ordered coffee but no dessert.
When he had left, Brent asked, "Got any ideas about how we could simplify things?"
"I've been thinking about that, baby. But there are problems."
"Well, it would make a lot of sense if we just lived together, wouldn't it?"
"Would that be a problem for you, so far as the campus is concerned?"
"No, not really. After all, a lot of people just assume that musicians are gay, however untrue that is. I'm not worried about being out on campus, so long as you and I are fairly discreet. I think the University would have some problems if a faculty member had an affair with a student. But two adults living together in this day and age, what's the problem?"
"The operative words being `faculty member'."
He thought about that. "You'd worry about the guys you work with?"
"Oh, yeah. I've always tried to be one of the guys with my colleagues. They know I know my business. I've paid my dues, and I fit in with them. No one in B & G except the superintendent knows about my graduate work in English. They just know that my dad's a contractor and I learned my trade through him. I don't know what would happen to my working relationship with the others at B & G if they knew I'm gay."
I was quiet for a while. "Yeah, love, I can see that. So if we were living together, it would make things really tough for you at work?"
"It could, yes."
"Well, shit, Gabe. I don't like this some days at your place and some at mine business, and it's a drag to have to play down what you and I have together. But I'm sure not going to do anything to make life more difficult for you. So I guess we have to just keep on as we are for now, right?"
"Yeah, baby, I think that's all we can do. You're such a love for understanding."
Later that night in bed, a tangle of arms and legs, we were kissing.
"Baby," I asked, are you sure you aren't disappointed not to have the three-way Guy suggested? We haven't given him an answer yet, you know."
He began to give me light kisses on my forehead, eyelids, nose, ears, and lips. I lay there too happy to worry about his verbal response. When it came, I couldn't have asked for better.
"Gabriel Sutton, you are all I need. I know my sexual experience has been limited, and Guy's a hot little fucker, but if you are uncomfortable with the idea, and I sense that you are, we'll just forget the whole thing. I wouldn't do anything to make you uncomfortable or unhappy."
He grabbed my hard cock and squeezed. "Got it?"
"Yeah, professor," I chuckled, "I got it! And I love you for understanding. I just hope you aren't gonna get bored with me someday and wish you'd had more experience with other men."
He pumped my cock and I groaned. "Maybe in fifty years, when you're eighty, I'll regret spending all this time with you. But by then I'll be seventy-five or so, and it will be too late to do anything about it."
He kissed me again, still pumping my cock. After that, everything was a blur of tongues and tits and cocks and asses, and I don't remember too clearly what we did, except that it was steamy and very, very fulfilling.
To be continued.