By The Way
Chapter 15

Typically there aren't a lot of stories in Nifty which are dedicated to anyone in particular.  Rarely are individual chapters dedicated.  I've done it once or twice in the past for some e-friends that I've grown fond of and I want to do it now as well.  You'll see in this chapter how Paul finally sort of "gets it" when it comes to really relating with Alan. 

And so I'll dedicate this chapter to The Hoss, who showed me the importance of conveying things in a little bit more serious manner and not masking sincerity with cheap disarm.  He may think I'm making a bigger deal out of his comments than I should, but anyone who can make this thick-headed son of a bitch (me) turn his eyes inward and become a little more introspective.....well, I'll just leave it at that.  Enough navel gazing, and don't get your ego too inflated.  ;-)

*   *   *   *   *

I made it through the first part of that year with my guts intact.  That was really rough y'all.  I was thankful that my teachers were willing to let me do some makeup work since I'd been hospitalized so many times. 

That spring quarter Kent was also in my psychology class, being crazy as usual.  The only problem with that was he sat right behind me and would always lean up and whisper something really funny that would make me burst out laughing in class.  One time the teacher asked everyone to write down on an index card things that they found attractive about the opposite sex.  I made something up.  Once we were finished the teacher collected all of the note cards, which were unnamed, and read them off.  He got to one that said "Six feet, tan" only he misread it as "six feet-ten," then shook his head saying something like "that's a tall guy" and Kent leaned up and said "That way a short girl could just walk up and milk."  I burst out laughing in class and couldn't stop.  By now the other students had gotten used to my outbursts but I couldn't stop this one.  I had this mental image in my head of what Kent described and couldn't get it out of my head.  The damn thing about Kent is that he'd just sit back like nothing was ever said while I laughed my ass off.  The guy's a nut.

My finals were finished a week before Alan graduated.  We didn't get to see each other that last week because he was really studying hard for his own exams.  Leading up to his graduation ceremony he and I had bickered a bit over whether or not he should hang out with his buddies from school or with me.  I thought he should see his friends; he wanted to hang out with me graduation night.  We finally compromised and both went to one of the several graduation parties together.  At the team's quarterback's house, I could see that he was having a blast with everyone and after an hour or so I signaled to him that I was about to leave.  He followed me to the door.

"Come on Paul, can't you stay longer and hang out with everyone?"

"Dude, this is your night.  Listen, I remember what it was like on graduation night for me and I want you to have the same experience.  We can still get together tomorrow night or whatever.  Tonight....well hoss, it'll be one of the last nights you get to hang with your buds for a long time.  You need to just do it."

"Oh come on, Paulie, everyone here knows you.  They won't mind you hangin' out."  He was right.  I'd been around a lot of his friends and they were a fun bunch of guys.

" 'S okay man.  I've had fun tonight, we got to hang out.  Trust me on this, you need to just chill with them, k?"

He rolled his eyes at me.  "Fine."

"Dude, it ain't like I'm goin' to Siberia.  Just give me a holler sometime tomorrow."  I really wanted to give him a hug so I over exaggerated one since the other guys were so close by.  "Congrats, A.C." I said, pulling him to me and slapping him on the back.  He hugged me back then we separated.  I was tempted to do more than that but stopped myself.  His eyes said everything and mine responded likewise.

Then, "A.C.?" he asked.

I smirked.  "Yeah.  My new nickname for you.  A.C." I repeated.

We looked at each other, each made a face and said "Nahhhhhh," at the same time.

"G'night buddy, congrats again," I laughed, walking out the door.

Alan leaned against the frame, reached past the door where nobody could see and smacked my ass.  "See ya, Paulie."

I laughed and saluted him as I walked away.

*   *   *   *

I have this bizarre ability to remember dates and numbers.  I'll be the first to admit that I'm no Rhodes Scholar; I graduated with a 3.4 g.p.a. and got A's and B's in college, but I'm not what you'd call quick on my feet when it comes to thinking.  I went down with Alan and his family to St. George Island on July 11th and returned on the 18th. 

The reason that I remember those dates is not because while down there we ended up watching the presidential convention, which was held in Atlanta.  There was another reason.  I was glad, however, to be out of town that week so the stupidity of the northerners who had flocked to Atlanta to cover the convention wouldn't suck whatever intelligence I'd had right out of my skull.  What surprised me the most about that convention was how many newscasters/commentators were going out to many different locations looking for Tara.  Yes, as in Tara from Gone With The Wind.  They went to Jonesboro, which is where the fictional plantation is located, southwest of Atlanta, along with some other cities in the metro area.  The last I checked it was the Yankees who marched south from Marietta and then through Atlanta on their way to Savannah (which Sherman gave as a gift to Lincoln for Christmas).  I'm pretty sure the history books have mentioned a factoid or two about how many farms and plantations were pillaged and burned on Sherman's march.  Today we refer to it as The Burning Of Atlanta.  Duh!  Now after that conflagration, just how many plantations did these newscasters expect to find, I ask you. 

But we must give the northerners their due and say that the fires were actually started by Johnny Reb; the Yankees just took the idea and ran with it, literally.  (Now's when I get to shine with my history lesson, folks.)  Atlanta was built at the site where three railroads converged: the Macon and Western, the Western and Atlantic, and the Georgia Railroad.  The city was first named Terminus, because the rail lines all terminated there, before it's name changed to Marthasville.  In the 1840's or 50's it became "Atlanta", supposedly the female version of the name "Atlantic".  The three lines converge at a point in the city now known as Five Points, because eventually two more rail lines were built into the city.  All commerce started here and in general moved north through the region.  The W&A is the line heading east from Five Points towards Decatur, and it is along this line that you can still find old factories.  During the Civil War the city's armories and munitions factories were located there.  When it became clear that the city was falling to the Yankees, the Rebs vacated Atlanta but not before torching the factories to keep the Yanks from getting more munitions.

To be truthful Tara, or the architectural vision of it, never really existed in or around Atlanta.  Greek Revival architecture became popular in the 1820's and 30's when Atlanta was barely a postal stop.  The vast majority of people in the region were farmers and there weren't that many plantations.  The few plantation homes that did exist were actually very simple wooden frame houses with a low porch across the front.  Very seldom in Georgia would you have found the ante-bellum Greek Revival homes that you might find in Louisiana or southern Mississippi, simply because the economy in the area wasn't old enough and people weren't wealthy enough to import that sort of architecture.  Now you might see that in Savannah (where "Jingle Bells" was written) because that's the oldest city in Georgia and the hoi polloi in that city always have been in a rivalry with Charleston.  Macon might have one or two "Taras" but again, that's an older city than Atlanta.  Nope, most of the agriculture in and around Atlanta was farmed.  Sorry newscasters!  No Tara or plantations here!

But nope, it wasn't the convention that reminds me of the dates we were in St. George.  (Oh, he's back to his story).  It was the fact that the movie Die Hard was released on Wednesday, July 15th and I was on an island in the Gulf of Mexico, unable to see my favorite Hollywood hunk at the time, Bruce Willis.  Wednesday is not a common date for movies to be released so that's one reason it sticks out in my head.  See?  I told you I'd never be a Rhodes Scholar.  I was dying to go see it when it opened because that's the kind of movie you have to see with a big audience.  But we'd have to see it when we returned to Stone Mountain.

Alan's parents drove down and the trip was about six hours or so, which wasn't so bad.  Alan's brother Steve wasn't coming down with us so we were able to stretch out in the back seat without having someone sit in the middle.  We left mid morning and Alan and I both had brought our pillows for the ride down.  Near the city of Columbus, which is along the central Western border of Georgia, just at the beginning of the Fall Line, I'd finally fallen asleep, my pillow on the window.  Alan had dozed a while earlier against his window.  When I woke up, mouth hanging open, I sat up and got my bearings.  Sometime in my sleep I had leaned back against the seat and was shoulder to shoulder with Alan, my head drooped sideways in his direction.  I sat forward and stretched, groaning and rubbing the crick in my neck.  Alan's dad looked into the rear view mirror.

"Wakey, wakey--" he started to say but was interrupted by the pillow flung at my head.

"eggs and bakey."  Alan finished, smiling. 

I'm not really nice after waking up, whether it's morning, noon or night.  I took the pillow and started squashing Alan against the door frame with it.

"Wakey, wakey.  Wakey, wakey, " I mocked, pushing into him over and over.  He laughed and shoved me off.

"Fag," he laughed.

"Alan!" his mom said.

"You wish," I laughed back to him.

We were just crossing the Florida line and had a little less than an hour before we hit Appalachacola, which was the mainland city just north of the island.  If you look at the panhandle on a map the central portion sort of bumps down into the Gulf, and that's where we were headed.  I was looking forward to this trip as I hadn't had one to the beach in about five years.  My last family trip was when we'd gone up to New York all together back in '85.  Seemed eons ago yet it was only three years.  I noticed several times Alan's dad watching us in the mirror.  First he'd glance at me then at Alan.  I was almost feeling uncomfortable but that thought was fleeting.  His pop was really a super nice guy and his mom was a sweetheart.  I'd been around so much that it was usually taken for granted I'd be around on holidays, after being with my own family first, of course.

We finally got down and crossed the main bridge onto the island itself.  You could see the remnants of the earlier one which was destroyed by a hurricane in the previous year or two.  Alan's dad turned right as we got to the island.  There were not a lot of businesses.  A couple of restaurants, one brand new the other one old; a shop or two; a couple of low-rise condos; and then houses.  The far west end of the island was called The Plantation and you had to go through a security gate to get into that.  The house where we were staying was a few houses outside that area and right on the beach.  Like all of the houses down there this one was on wooden pilings high enough to park your car beneath, and the floor plan was laid out rather simply.  The master bedroom was on one side of the house, the den and kitchen in the middle, and two more bedrooms on the other side.  One bedroom directly faced the beach and the other faced the road with a bathroom between the two.  Across the back of the house on the beach side stretched a deck that was open at each end and covered in the middle where the den stepped out onto it.

I immediately opened the deck door and stepped out, smelling the salt air and feeling the ocean breeze on my face.  What a beautiful place, I remembered thinking.  I couldn't wait to get some sun on my skin.  Being part Italian and part Indian (American) as well, I get sort of an orangy-brown tan in the summer.  I love the tight feeling that your skin gets when you've been out in the sun for too long, and then jumping in the warm Gulf to cool off.   A whole week at the beach and I knew that any vestiges of the rough time I'd had with my stomach would be all but obliterated.

Alan's dad leaned out the door.  "Y'all can take any room you want."   Inwardly I groaned.  I wanted to sleep with Alan so bad but knew that we'd have separate rooms on this trip.  At least the trip across the hall was short.  Since the Collins had been here last year Alan decided to let me have the room on the ocean side while he took the one facing the road.  My protestations were pointless and Alan won that discussion.  I took my suitcase into my room and he did the same.  As we were unpacking Mr. Collin peeked in from the den.

"Um...I said y'all can take either--" but was interrupted by Alan.

"We did, dad."

I turned to look at his father who had a bit of confused look on his face.  "Wasn't it sweet of Alan to let me have the ocean view," I joked.

He still looked confused.  "Uhh....yeah.  I..."  He walked off back into the den and then I was confused.  Oh well.

After we'd all unpacked our bags we piled back into the car and headed over to The Islander, which was the older restaurant we'd passed.  Apparently the newer one sucked, according to Alan.  I wasn't used to having seafood and ordered the fried shrimp.  By the end of the week I would be called "shrimp" because every night that's what I ordered.  His parents were cool and they of course paid for everything on the whole trip.  Being a well-mannered young man one of the days that we were there I went out to buy something for the Collins to show my appreciation.  I bought his mom a wrap which matched one of her bathing suits, and I bought his dad a bottle of Crown.  I figured that I'd get carded and have to figure out something else but I guess out in the middle of nowhere it didn't really matter.

Everyday we started out with breakfast and we each took turns cooking.  Then we'd hang out on the deck for a while before heading down to the beach.  On this island you normally didn't stay on the beach too long because of the sand fleas.  Lovely.  Every once in a while you'd come across the dead, nasty, mushy carcass of a jellyfish, and the crab holes which dotted the landscape.  The crabs came out at night and you better watch out if you took a post-dusk walk.

Hearing the waves wash upon the shore was just the constant white noise that I needed every night going to sleep.  Alan and I fooled around a little bit but felt awkward with his parents sleeping across the house from us.  His dad still was acting a bit strangely, and his mom kept watching his dad, I'd noticed.

Every evening Alan and I would walk the beach until it became almost too dark to see.  I tried really hard to keep my mind off of the fact that we were already halfway through summer, and that he'd be going off to UGA to start football training in about two or three weeks.  I hated the idea of his leaving.  My biggest fear was the unknown.  I'd managed to shrug a lot of mental weight from my shoulders, but this was one thing that I just couldn't escape.  We'd been together for almost two years but I couldn't help but worry about how things would turn in the fall. 

I was thinking about that during one of our walks, not doing much talking, when Alan said, "Quarter."

"Quarter?" I asked.

"For your thoughts."

"I thought it was a penny," I smiled.

"Inflation," he said.  I snorted out a laugh and kicked sand in his direction.  He just laughed.  "What'cha thinkin'?"

I shook my head a little.  "Oh, I'm just kvetching about the fall."

"The fall," he stated.

"Well, in a few weeks when you go off to UGA."

"Ahh," he nodded.

"Is that all you got to say?" I said half-jokingly.

"No.  Are ya gonna miss me?" he smiled.  I punched his arm.  "Oww."

"Hell yes I'm gonna miss you, doh-doh," I said.

"I know," he exhaled through his nose.  "I am too."

We walked a little bit further along the shore, the wave edges caressing over our feet.

I broke the silence.  "And what is it with y'all and these damn scholarships, anyway!  All so people can watch you play a game."  He laughed at that.  Again I was half-joking with him.  "I mean, here I want to design buildings for future generations and I have to have practically a 1500 SAT to get into the only architecture college around, and you get paid to run around and knock people down."  Alan laughed even harder.  "I mean, I can use some financial help too!"  I was pulling his chain and he knew it.

"Well, occasionally I get to run with the ball, too, ya know."

I nodded with pursed lips and he chuckled again.  "Whatever."

"So Paul, how come you don't play any sport?"

"Does knitting count?"  He burst out laughing.  "I've just never really been good at any, I guess."

"Ever try anything?"

"Eh.  When I was a kid I tried playing baseball for like, five seconds."

"What happened?" he asked.

" 'Fraid of the ball," I chuckled.

"Come on, really," Alan said.

I just shrugged as we walked slowly up the beach.  "Really.  I was.  I was eight when I tried out for short stop, but once that ball came towards me I sort of froze up."

"Why so late?  I mean, most kids start playing younger than that."

I looked down at the sand as we walked and shrugged again.  "I guess nobody was ever around to teach me?"

He elbowed me playfully.  "Oh, bullshit."

"I'm serious.  My brothers are real close in age and they always sort of did their own thing.  And dad...." I paused.


I shrugged again.  Alan responded by grabbing my shoulders and moving them up and down.  "Will you quit shrugging," he laughed.  I knew he was trying to get me to laugh but I jerked away from his grasp.

"Dammit, Alan.  My dad just wouldn't--he never...."

"He never what?" this time with a little concern in his voice.

I stopped walking.  "He never....asked to do anything."

"You're kidding," he said incredulously.

I shook my head 'no'.  "I can't think of a single time growing up when he asked if I just wanted to play catch or anything.  He was always busy with work."

"Oh, come on Lyons.  No way."

"You douche, I ain't tellin' you nothin'."  I was sort of peeved.

"Wait, now.  You're serious, aren't you."

I was getting a little irritated.  "Yes, Alan, my dad never wanted to play ball with me.  He always did with my brothers, but never once with me.  We're not exactly close like you and your dad."

He stood there for a second and I could see in his face that I may have jumped at him.

"I'm sorry," I said, calming down.  "I shouldn't have griped at you.  I didn't mean to," I said resuming our walk.

"I guess that's a sore subject?"

"Ya think?" I chuckled.  "It's not like you would've known, though.  The topic's never come up."

"I just can't...imagine not playing ball with my kid," sounding somewhat astonished.

"Try being on my end of that equation.  I guess one thing that I never understood was why?  I mean, what was it about me that made him...not want to do anything?"  Alan was silent.  "You know, it's funny because for a long time I always thought that he didn't like me."

"That's not very funny.  But why'd you think that?  Because he wouldn't play catch?"

"No.  Because he never really showed an interest in things that I'd done."  I thought about this for a second.  "No, I should take that back.  Sometimes he and I would play tennis in the street in front of our house, but only if I asked.  And when I was in gymnastics--"

"You were in gymnastics?" he chuckled.

I punched him in the arm again.  "For a year, yes!  And what's wrong with that, my friend?"

"Nothin', gymnastic-fag."  He got two punches for that one.  We joked like that with each other a lot, calling each other names.

"Hey, I actually enjoyed it, and dad always took me to practice."

"So he was involved."

"Hmmm.  Only if I instigated it."

Alan nodded. 

"I wish I had," I said after a few moments silence.

"Wish you had what?"

"I wish I'd played some sort of team sport.  I think there's a sort of bond that you guys in sports have that...well, I'm not sure exactly what it is."

"No, you're right.  There's a camaraderie that you don't just find in everyday situations."

"Exactly!  Which is one of the reasons I wanted you to have your graduation night with your friends.  I'm older.  I know these things," I preened.  Again I was half-kidding.

"You idiot," he snorted, "you're only six months older than I am."

"Yeah, but I'm in college now!"  We both laughed at that.

"Ready to head back? It's gettin' kinda late," he said.  The sun was just a thin sliver floating on the edge of the gulf.  That only meant one thing.

Time for the crabs to come out.

We turned and walked a little bit more in the rolling tide, heading in the direction of the slowly rising moon.  He put his arm around my shoulder as we walked and kept it there as I leaned into his side, bringing my own arm around his waist.  This was the first time that we were showing any sort of affection in public.  Granted it was dark outside and we couldn't be seen, but it felt great. 

"I wish things were different for you growing up.  I'm sorry about your dad," he said.

I sighed.  "Me too.  But things are good now."  Then I thought for a second.  "Speaking of dads, what's up with yours?"


"I dunno, it seems like he's always...looking at us funny, like he suspects something."

"Oh.  That.  Well....." he started to say but stopped.

"Well what?"

"Well, he more than suspects.... he knows."

"Do what?" I asked.

"About us.  He knows."

That got my attention.  "Say what?"

He stopped walking and turned to me.  "I had a sit-down with my parents before we came down here."


"And what?"

"What did they say, goober smooch?"

"Well, you're here with us, aren't you?"

I thought for another second or two.  "Do you think he was asking for us to pick which room we wanted when we got here."

We started walking again, our shoulders and arms brushing and bumping against each other.

"Mmm hmmm," he said.

I playfully smacked him on the back of his head and said "Get out!"  Alan just laughed.

"Dude, right now I can't imagine you and I sleeping in the same bed with my parents in the same house, though.  It's just too....weird."

"Gee thanks," I feigned hurt.  I got an elbow in my side for that.  I knew what he meant.  Hell, we were eighteen and that just seemed like a line you didn't cross in your own parent's house.  Or at least if they were under the same roof. 

We walked in silence until we were about halfway back to the house when Alan spoke up again.

"Can I ask you something?"


"Well....this sounds...I feel funny asking...."

"Ask me."

"Well, whenever we're....I dunno...together--"

"When we have sex," I corrected.


"You're welcome."

"Thanks," he laughed.  "Whenever we're together..."  He paused again.

I stopped walking and turned to look at him.  "Alan.  What."

He took a deep breath and I could tell that whatever he was about to ask me had been on his mind for a while.  "Well, when we have sex--"

"Make love," I corrected, smiling at him.  This time I got a punch in the arm.  "Owww fuck!"

"Yeah, when we do that!"  We both laughed.  "Seriously, Paul...why do you always...receive?"

Wow.  I wasn't expecting that.  "Alan, I'm not really sure how to explain it," I said slowly.  "I just...well, I just want you to much a part of me....God, how do I say this."  I struggled for the right words.  "I feel that when I receive you it's the most important way that I can show that I'm giving myself to you.  Totally.  When you''s like my world is complete.  Know what I'm saying?  I've taken you physically and mentally, well, into me and I can feel that you're a part of me."

His expression looked so eager, almost childlike.  "But what if I want to give myself to you?  That way?"  I took a deep breath.  He was being so sincere and looked so vulnerable, and it blew me away.

"Oh Alan," I said, "oh my God," I muttered.

"What?" he asked, the eager look still on his face.

What he was saying hit me like a ton of bricks, and my eyebrows started twitching.  "I've been so....selfish. I never once considered you'd want that too.  C'mere," and I pulled him to me and held him.  His face was in the crook between my neck and my shoulder, his strong arms wrapped around my back.  I let my fingers caress his scalp and he moaned a little bit into my neck.  I pulled back and reached to hold his jaw in my hands.  "I love you.  God, so much."  I leaned in and kissed him in the dark of night.  It was a deep and eager kiss, our chests pressed together, his hands pulling me into him. 

It was a while before we heard the clicking and pattering on the sand.

We broke our kiss and said "Crabs!" at the same time.

It was dark and the beach was no place to be when those bastards came out.  In the growing moonlight, if you looked closely, you could see the sons of bitches running all over the place.  Fuck!  We were still about a half-mile from the house.

I laughed and said "Run!", pushed him towards the water, then hauled ass down the beach knowing that it would take about a nanosecond for him to catch me.  I could hear his footsteps pounding behind me, all the while he was hollering at me and I was laughing my ass off.

"You son of a bitch!" he laughed.

"Uh huh!" I kept running as hard as my legs would pump.  I could hear that he was about to catch up with me then I noticed that the fuckin' crabs were chasing us!  I stopped short and he ran past me a few feet, then the crabs scurried by a bit past him before stopping.

"Your ass is mine Lyons."

"Not if I get you first" and I lunged forward in a feeble attempt to hook my arm around his chest.  I lost and he flipped me around into the water where I landed on my back.

"Oh God!" Pretending I was hurt I arched my back and thrashed my legs as the night tide washed over me.

"Paul?  Oh fuck, you okay?" he leaned over me.  I winked at him and he said "Oh fu-" when I grabbed his shirt and flipped him over me and into the water.  I got up and ran as fast as I could towards the house, trying to dodge all of the crabs.  The dry sand squeeked beneath my feet and I could hear him again pounding up behind me.  I turned on the juice and felt his fingertips on my waist so I twisted my body and slipped out of his grasp.

"Fucker," he said and I laughed.

As we neared the steps to the house I slowed down and said "Time!  Time out!"

"Time out my ass," he said, then he plowed into me and knocked me on my ass.  He got back up and it took a second but I finally got a breath and started laughing.

"Boy, you play rough," I said, holding my hand up to him.  Alan took it and I tried pulling him down but he stood there, solid as granite.  I flexed my arm an pulled myself up.  I looked up to see if his parents were up on the deck.  They weren't so I pulled him into a kiss. 

"Man," he said.  "I need a shower," he flashed his eyebrows.

I sighed.  "Wish I could join you, hoss."  I leaned in to kiss him again but he kicked my feet out from beneath me and I fell on my ass, then took off after him when he ran up the stairs into the house.  As we ran through the den I hollered at him "You shit!" then "Sorry Miss Collin!" when I saw his parents sitting there watching television.  She shook her head and grinned as Alan slammed the bathroom door shut in my face.  His parents looked up at me as I came back into the den, breathing hard.  "That boy's crazier then a peach orchard sow!" and they laughed.  I headed out to the deck and took a seat to watch the still-rising moon, then propped my feet up on the railing.

"Would you like a drink?" Alan's dad said, stepping out on the deck.  I turned to look and he had a small tumbler extended out to me.  "Thought I'd share some of this Crown with you."  That blew me away.

'Um..uhh...yeah!  Sure," I stammered.

"Hey, I was your age once, remember?"  Then he sat down in the chair next to me.  A few thousand things were going through my mind.  His dad was really cool, but we'd never really sat and talked before.  I think he sensed my nervousness.  "It's okay, I'm not gonna hurt you," he smiled.

I smiled and took a drink.  "Jack and Coke."

"It's not too strong?" he asked.

"No sir, it's fine."

"Paul, I don't mean to make you uncomfortable, but you've been around enough and you're old enough to call me Ben." 

"Uh...thank you sir," I said.

"Ben," he repeated.

"Yes sir.  You'll forgive me if it takes me a while to get used to that," I smiled.

"I understand.  We all have things to get used to.  Right?"

Gulp.  I took a deep breath and another drink.

"Paul, I never would've guessed that you and Alan item," I listened and kept my eyes on the moon.  "Mrs. Collin--Allison--and I...well, we don't have a problem.  I'm sorry if I've acted a bit strangely lately around you.  I apologize if I've made you uncomfortable in any way."

I shook my head.  "Mr. Collin, it's okay.  I understand.  I guess it's like, when you're looking down a curving railroad track you're expecting to see a diesel engine coming towards you eventually, but then here comes this jet airplane rolling towards you and you're like, 'oh crap'."

He laughed out loud.  "You know, that's exactly what it's like."

I smiled to myself.

"You're a good guy, Paul."  I blushed and took another sip of my drink.  "Have you told your parents about...."

"I told them about me about a year and a half ago.  They asked about Alan but I lied and told them no."

"How come?"

"Well, sir, I figured that if Alan wanted to tell them, or anyone for that matter, it was up to him and not me.  I mean, the guy still had a football rep, right?  Not a lot of gay guys on the gridiron, I'll bet."  I looked over at his dad.  He smiled slightly and nodded.

"I was wrong about you.  You're not just a good guy, Paul, you're a really good guy."

I just smiled and held up my glass.  "Here's to the good guys!"  Immediately I felt like a moron, but his dad just chuckled and toasted me back.

Just then Alan stepped out onto the deck.  "Wha'chyall up to?"  He was wearing loose shorts and I could tell that there was no underwear beneath.  His tank top showed off his physique quite nicely, along with the hair that was now starting to grow across his pecs.  Man!

"We're toasting the good guys, Alan," his dad said and gave me a wink.

"Well here I am!" from Alan.  We all laughed, then his dad stood up and took my empty glass.

"Another?" he asked.

"Yes, please, Mr. Collin."

"Ben," he corrected.


"You want one Alan?"

"Yeah dad, thanks."  His dad went inside and returned with two tumblers of j-and-c.

"Well guys, we're heading off to bed.  Who's gonna catch the sunrise with me tomorrow?"

We both groaned at the idea of getting up that early on vacation.  Mr. Collin laughed and went back inside.  The two of us sat in our chairs looking through the railing at the gulf below and the moon above.  We didn't talk at all, just enjoyed each other's company.  Finally I stood up and announced that I'd be taking a shower too.

"Can I join you?" Alan asked.

"Dude, I'm comfortable around your folks, but not that comfortable."  He smiled and I leaned down to kiss the top of his head.  It smelled fresh, like shampoo.   Oh, man.

After my shower I put on a pair of cotton shorts and headed back to the deck.  When I reached where Alan was sitting I started rubbing his shoulders and his head lolled slightly on his neck as he moaned.  "You have magic in your hands, Paulie."  I smiled and rubbed his jawline then down the sides of his neck, concentrating just below his hairline.  He sighed.  Slowly I worked my way down the front of his neck to his pecs before slipping my hands beneath his tank to feel his chest.  He was definitely at attention as I bent over to reach further down his abs and into his shorts.  Definitely at full attention down there.

"Let's go inside," I whispered and he kissed the side of my neck.

When he stood up he was so tented out that the front of his waistband pulled away from his stomach.  Christ!  I think I probably licked my lips because he chuckled a bit.

We walked into my room and shut the door, then Alan practically attacked me, pulling my body to his and kissing me all over my mouth and neck.  I had to stop him from sucking on my neck and giving me a hickie.  He was pretty talented with his mouth.  I felt like the luckiest guy on earth as he pushed me back onto the bed.  All of the windows in the room were open and the sea breeze wafted in, as welcome as the memory from when I was a kid looking into my neighbor's back yard that long-ago night.

I rolled Alan onto his back and he pulled off his tank top while I slid his shorts down.  I had never ceased to be amazed by him.  Immediately I put my lips onto the head of his cock which was leaking a good bit already.  I swirled my tongue around it and rotated my mouth back and forth, round and round on it, getting it slick with my spit.  I'd learned that if you took a really deep, quick breath through your nose that you could get cock even further down your throat.  After a few deep breaths his balls were squashed against my chin and his head was turning back and forth on the bed.  I could barely move my tongue around while I gently pulled at his swollen balls with my fingers.  I pulled my mouth up and then plunged back down.  Alan growled low in his throat when my fingers found his hole and started tickling it. 

After a few minutes of this sweet torture I pulled my mouth off of his cock and pushed his knees up, exposing his entire ass to me.  I looked up and Alan was just watching me, so I slowly bent over, our eyes still locked, and flicked my tongue out to graze his asshole.  He pushed his head back into the mattress but I kept my eyes on him.  I licked him over and over, up and down his crack, getting him all nice and slick.  Once I'd driven him relatively crazy I latched my lips onto his hole and flipped my tongue around on him.  More groans from his neck.  Then, sticking my tongue straight out I rocked my head back and forth with my lips still stretched around his hole, and tongue fucked him.  He responded by gyrating his hips and ass into my mouth.  I reached around his leg and started jacking him slowly.

"No, don't!  I'm like, almost there.  Please."  I released him and licked as far in and around him as I possible could.  He rubbed his eyes with one hand and gripped the pillow with the other.  "Fuck.  Do it Paul.  Fuckin' do it right now!" he demanded in a whisper.  As I parted I licked up his balls then up his shaft to his head.  I deep throated him one more time and he almost managed to buck me off, but I released him and went to my suitcase where I had some lube.

Alan shifted around on the bed so that his head was on the pillow and then bent his knees to his chest.

I smiled.  "Damn, son.  You are ready aren't you?"

He just nodded. 

I put some of the lube on my fingertips and started rubbing them around his hole, slipping one and then two fingers in.  He closed his eyes as I twisted my fingers in and out of him.  I was hard as granite and leaking like a sieve.  I got him ready with a third finger before squeezing out a line of lube onto my own cock.  God damn I was ready for this.

"You ready?"

Alan just nodded and smiled a bit.  I leaned in and put the hard and spongy head against his hole.  I pushed and could hear that Alan had taken a deep breath.  "Push out.  With your abs."  He did and my dick head slipped in.  Alan's eyes got a little wider as my cock started to push it's way in.  "You okay?" I asked.

He shook his head quickly and said "Hang on a sec."

I rubbed his legs and pecs as his breathing returned to normal, then he said.  "Ok."

Slowly I pushed a couple of inches inside of him, then pulled back out, then a few more inches back in.  After a minute or so I went all in and he laughed and groaned in his throat as my balls became seated against his ass.  He was so fuckin' tight, and I just stayed put, not moving.  When I finally went to pull out his body twitched a bit.  Bingo!  I slipped my head back and forth over his prostate and drove him nuts.  I sat back and slipped my legs out from beneath me and under his thighs.  From this angle I was able to hit his prostate over and over and over.  I knew what he was feeling, but it was different for me being at this end.

I reached forward and with my hand behind his neck, pulled him into a sitting position--my favorite.  One of my favorites.  He leaned in to kiss me and I quickly lubed up my palm before grasping his formidable cock in it.  He sighed into my mouth as I kept the constant rocking motion in my hips going.  The whole time I was thrusting into him his dick was fucking my slick hand.  Suddenly he grabbed my head and started moaning more urgently into my mouth.  I could tell that he was near cumming.  I held onto his shoulders tightly and kept thrusting into him, picking up speed a little bit.

"MMMMMMMM!!!" he moaned into my mouth as I felt the first spatters of cum shoot out of him onto our chests and my hand.  His ass gripped me even more and that was all she wrote for me!  I fell onto him, pushing him onto his back and deep dicked him twice before losing my load inside of him.  I took my mouth off of his and whispered, "Fuck!  Shit!" before collapsing onto his chest.

We were both heaving, trying to get our breaths.  I felt the warmth of his cum between us and I lay my jaw onto his shoulder.  "God, I love you," I said quietly.

"I love you too."  We were still breathing hard.  "Fuck!  No wonder you like to receive!"

I laughed quietly at that.

"Selfish," he continued.  "Keeping that all to yourself," then he smiled.  I kissed him and lay my head back on his chest, feeling his hairy pecs against my cheek and tracing his bicep with my fingertips.  We lay like that for a few minutes before shifting around where he was laying behind me, spooning against my back.  He draped his arm over my chest after pulling the sheet over our waist.  Before I drifted off to sleep I was soothed by the sounds of the waves on the beach, my best friend and lover at my side, and I knew I could do this forever.....

*   *   *   *

I woke up pretty early the next morning as the eastern sky was brightening with the rising sun.  I stretched and remembered Alan's dad's comment about the sunrise, then surprised myself by jumping up and putting my shorts on.  Then I put his tank top on and headed towards the door.  "Alan!" I whispered out loud.  No response.  "Alan!" a little louder.  He jolted slightly and grunted.  "Alan, get up and check out this sunrise!"

"Awww, dad...." he groaned.  I laughed and pulled the pillow off of his face.

"Come on, dude, get'cha ass up!"  I couldn't move him though, freakin' mound of muscle.  "Up!" I shouted and flung the sheet off.  That got his attention, especially since he was still naked.  Oh fuck!  It dawned on me that we'd slept together with his parents across the house!  He sat up groggily and rubbed his face, pulling the sheet back up.

"I'm gonna get you for that, Lyons."

"I'm countin' on it.  Now come check out this sunrise!"

I headed out to the deck and saw Alan's dad standing there drinking a cup of coffee.  I walked over and stood next to him as the first rays made their struggle over the horizon.  "Morning Mr. Collin."  He just smiled into his cup.  "Sorry, some habits are hard to break."  He just nodded as Alan stumbled through the door onto the deck.

"Where's the frickin' sun," rubbing his face.  He walked over and stood next to me, his body swaying from sleep.  The sun finally made it's way over it's last hurdle to starting a new day.

"Beautiful," I said.

"Isn't it," his dad said.

After a few minutes Alan grunted and said, "Okay, I've seen a sunset.  Sunrise.  Gone back to bed, y'all.  See ya."  He shuffled back into the house while his father and I stood there laughing at him. 

As the sun made it's way slowly above the horizon I regretted being selfish for so long with Alan.  Selfish because I'd never offered him the same physical pleasures that he'd been able to give me time after time.  Selfish because in a way I'd kept him from having the feeling of giving himself completely to me and denying him the emotions that go along with that.  God, how could I not see that?  I knew that for our relationship to grow even more that I couldn't be the only one to give all of myself, he had to do it as well; and he could only give himself if I allowed it.  Then we'd truly be each other's equal.  I pondered that a while longer and felt good about where our relationship would go from here.  I felt like Alan and I were like a pair of well worn jeans:  we each had our own thoughts, feelings and personalities, but we were still together as one.  God, I loved him so much.  I saw us together forever--then, when I was eighteen.

But the sunrise that morning was one that I've never forgotten.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Y'all, there's more to come.  Thanks for sticking around this long.  I've put more detail into this story than I originally had planned.  The problem is (if indeed it is a problem) that as I write things down memories come flooding back and it's important to sort out the relevant things that happened along the way.  I've discovered during the writing process that certain circumstances are more life shaping than I originally thought that they were at the time they happened.

Copyright 2005 - Mark Logan