Tim and the Guys


Chapter 5

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 to Tom for doing the editing chores, and to my Nifty Six colleagues.


After the burial of Tim's father, our routine returned to normal.  We ran every morning and then had breakfast together.  Since Cedric wasn't around, we took turns fixing the breakfast.  Even I could do eggs and bacon.  But Tim occasionally made real pancakes, whereas mine were the kind you took from the freezer and zapped.

Tim wasn't teaching that summer.  Supposedly he was doing research for another book.  Before Ced's accident Tim had been spending a lot of time at the university library.  Since he found out about Cedric's amnesia, Trey, Chaz, and I had made a point of spending time with him, just as they had with me after David left.  The three of them had been wonderful to me, and now I had a chance to pay Tim back.  I assumed, however, that Tim was still going to the library regularly and working on the book.

When we were together, we talked a lot, and, just as it always had, our conversation ranged over many topics.  Tim had been very strong about Ced's memory loss, or so I
thought.  The first hint I had that something was wrong was when my phone rang one morning just before I would have left to go join Tim for our run.


"Max, this is Tim."

"Mornin', Tim.  What's up?"

"I won't be running this morning.  You go ahead."

"You okay, Tim?  You're not sick, I hope."

"No, I'm not sick.  Just don't feel like running."

"You're sure you're all right?"

He sighed.  "Yes, Max.  I'm fine.  Now, have a good run."

"Well, if you insist.  But this isn't like you."

"Max, we've run every morning the weather permitted, just about, ever since you came to town.  And I was running daily before that for two years.  I think I can take a day off.  Can you manage breakfast on your own?"

"Since you put it like that, I guess I can't object.  I'll call you later.  Love you, Tim!"

"Love you, Max."

As it turned out, I didn't call back that day.  The next morning there was no call from Tim, so I walked the short distance from my house to his and rang the doorbell.  There was no answer, even after repeated tries.  I knew something was wrong.  It just wasn't like someone as well disciplined as Tim to beg off running the day before and then be a no-show that day.  I ran home and got my key to Tim's place.

Tim was asleep on the sofa.  He was wearing jeans and a white tee.  He was barefoot.  From the looks of his beard, he hadn't shaved for a couple of days.  An empty bottle of Jack Daniels stood on the coffee table.  I noticed that the clock on the vcr was blinking.  We'd had a brief power outage in a thunderstorm two days ago, and Tim had obviously not reset the clock.  

On the coffee table there were also pictures of both his parents and of Cedric.  It was easy to see what had happened.  He had given in to his sense that he'd been rejected by all three of those people.  He was right, of course, about his parents.  But I needed to get him to see that Cedric wasn't rejecting him.

"Okay, Mead, let's get your sorry ass up!"  No response.

"Come on, you malingerer!  It's time to be up and at `em."  He opened one eye.

"Please don't yell.  Just go away.  Let me sleep."

"No way, Timmy."  I sat by his head, put my arm under him, and lifted him to a sitting position.  

"Man!  Your breath would peel paint."

He scratched an armpit and gave me a feeble smile.  "I don't recall inviting you here for a breath smelling this morning."

"Well, what do you know!  The real Tim is lurking somewhere inside that scuzzy body after all.  Come on, you need a shower!"

He slowly stood up.  "All right.  I'll take a shower.  You can go now.  You've ruined my sleep.  Let me work through this hangover in peace."  He started to take a step and wobbled, almost falling over the coffee table.

"Yeah, right.  You wouldn't make it up the stairs.  So, come on, let me help you."

Putting an arm around his waist, I steered him toward and then up the stairs and to the bathroom off the master bedroom.  When we got there I shut the door and then propped Tim against the back of it.  I pulled off his tee.  Then I unfastened his jeans and pulled them down.  He wasn't wearing any underwear.  I'd never known him to go commando before.  

I was kneeling as I took down his jeans.  There in front of me was his dick.  I'd seen it many times before, certainly, but never from a few inches away, at eye level.  My heart skipped a beat, my cock twitched, and my palms began to sweat.  

`Careful, Hewitt.  Just help the guy get his shower.  Control yourself!'

I managed to do just that.  I turned on the water in the shower and, standing outside it, reached in to adjust the temperature.  Tim was still leaning against the door, naked, his jeans puddled around his ankles, his eyes closed.  I realized he wasn't going to be able to do this on his own.  I quickly stripped, hoping that he wouldn't notice that I was half hard.

I walked him to the shower and got us both inside.  Then I propped him against the wall while I washed his front.  He was so out of it he didn't even react when I washed his privates.  I turned him around and did the other side.  I was tempted to linger over his adorable little ass, but I just ran my soapy fingers through the crease between those glistening, hard, white buttocks and went on down the backs of his legs.  And there I was, kneeling again, with his butt at eye level.  That did it.  Despite my resolve, I had a full-blown hard on.  But then, when did our resolves ever control our penises?

While Tim was propped against the shower wall opposite the head, his palms flat against the wall, I adjusted the water to make it as cold as possible.  That did two things.  It got rid of my erection, and it brought a yowl of protest from Tim.

"Hewitt, what the fuck, man?  You trying to give me a heart attack?"

Chuckling, I grabbed him around the chest and held us both under the cold water.  "I'm being cruel to be kind, Mead.  Besides, why are you complaining?  I'm in here with you, freezing my ass off, too, you know."

"Yeah, but you're behind me, and I'm getting most of this cold damned water.  And, by the way, this is getting pretty personal.  I can feel your dick against my ass."

"Well, at least you seem to be awake."  I turned off the water and, grabbing a towel from a nearby rod, began to dry him off.  

"Here, I can do that.  You've got me awake, and I'm steadier now.  Get yourself dry before your cock shrivels up any more than it already has."

"It's still bigger than yours, Timothy.  Always has been, always will be.  But it's nice to have you back among the living."

"Well, semi-living.  I've got the mother of all headaches."

"Let's get dressed and go make some coffee and get something to eat."  I grabbed my clothes off the bedroom floor and put them on.  Tim put on a clean tee, boxers, and jeans.  Then he pulled on some white socks.  "My feet are freezing from that ice bath you just gave me, you sadist."

"Yeah, yeah.  It worked, didn't it?  The acerbic professor Mead has returned, obviously."

Downstairs I managed to get Tim to take some tomato juice, black coffee, and toast.

After wiping his mouth, he put his napkin on the table and said, "Max, I'm sorry you had to see me like this."

"Well, Tim, I've seen you like that before."

"Yeah, but not since college.  I just got to feeling pretty sorry for myself, and made like Jake Barnes or one of the other fictional manifestations of Hemingway.  But I should know better."

"You do know better.  On the other hand, a little private binge once in a while doesn't hurt all that much.  Even priests do it."

He looked surprised.  "Not you, Max!"

"Yeah, even me.  Now, I've got a 9:30 appointment at St. Peter's.  After that I'm going to take off the rest of the morning and come back here.  Will you be all right until then?"

"Max, you don't need to do that.  I love you for what you did this morning even though I hate you for it, too."  He smiled to show me he was teasing.  "But I'll be fine."

"I'm coming back.  You'll be here, won't you?"

"Yeah, I don't think I'm ready to tackle the library this morning."

After we hugged, I went home to shave, jump into my clericals, and get to the church.

*          *          *


So, school was out.  I went back home to Sylvania, which is a suburb just west of Toledo, where my dad had a garden center he'd inherited from his dad.  It was expected that, as the only son, I'd take over eventually, but we don't need to go into that here.  

I missed Philip, even if he'd told me straight out he was committed to his partner, Geoff.  Emerson and I had fucked several times, and he was a nice dude and sexy as hell, but I didn't really miss him all that much.

What I missed was a dick up my ass!

I was working at the garden center for the summer.  I had done that since the summer after my eighth grade year.  At first mostly it was my job to water all the plants in "buckets," but now that I was a man, I did whatever was needed.  

We wore dark green collared tees with the name and logo of the business on them and khaki shorts, the regular kind, not cargoes or baggies.  

Dad had always hired college guys to help out during the busy season, and he did again that particular summer.  We were open from ten in the morning until eight at night, so it took a bunch of guys working different shifts to handle things.  Since I was his son and supposedly got some preferential treatment, I worked straight days, Monday through Friday.  I knew all the guys he'd hired in the past.  

That particular summer, though, he'd hired a guy for the first time and put him on the same hours I was working.  

Paul Steiner was on the short side, about 5'9".  He had bleached blond hair.  He wore it buzzed, and it looked so natural the only way I knew it was bleached was because his eyebrows were brown.   He had brown eyes, too.  At first I didn't pay any attention to him.  We just did what we had to do and talked when we needed to.  But he was such a nice guy.  He told me he was a rising sophomore at Oberlin, an art history major.  He never complained about what I told him we needed to do, and he was stronger than he looked.  Then I found out he was a varsity gymnast.  His butt began to look awfully good to me.  Jacking off just wasn't doing it for me.  Without Philip and Em around, I was getting majorly horny.

They layout of the Center was like this.  Out next to the street was the parking lot.  Then there was the retail center itself.  Behind that was a big area, about half the size of a football field, where we had our plants in containers, rose bushes, flowering shrubs, trees, and such.  At the back was our warehouse, which everyone called `the barn,' where we kept supplies, extra fertilizer, insecticide, tools, equipment, and stuff like that.

One Tuesday afternoon when things were a little slow, Paul and I were having a Pepsi and catching our breath in the barn.  Maury, a high school kid, was up front and could help folks to their car with their purchases or whatever.

Paul was on a bale of straw.  His legs were spread, and his nice basket was showing.  I was on another bale, taking a pull off my cola can.  

"So, Hook, how long have you known you were gay?"

I choked on my Pepsi and spewed some of it on the floor.  

"What the fuck do you mean by that?  You'd better be careful, little man, or you'll be out of a job."

He grinned.  "Oh, come on.  Don't pretend you're not gay.  Haven't you heard of gaydar?"

I'd heard of it, but I didn't believe in it.  I had passed for straight all the way through high school, and this shrimp had no way of knowing I was more or less out at the university.  So I played dumb.


"Hook, don't play games with me.  You know what gaydar is.  All of us do."


"I admit," he said, "that you aren't the stereotypical fag, but you can't hide from me that you're as queer as I am.  So why not admit it?  After all, who am I gonna tell?"

If he told my dad or anybody in Sylvania, I was toast.  My cock was getting hard as I sat there trying to think what to say to him.  Nobody in town knew about me, or so I had always thought.  It could be bad for the business if folks in town knew I was gay.  I had to find some way to keep Paul quiet.

"Uh, Paul, suppose I was gay.  You aren't going to tell anybody, are you?"

He came over and stood, looking down at me.  "Of course not.  But you and I can have some fun, can't we?"

I was staring straight at his bulge.  I gulped.  "Well, yeah, I suppose we could.  Ya sure you're not gonna out me?"

"No problem.  I promise not to do that, whatever happens.  That's for you to decide.  But I think you have an itch that I can scratch, right?"

"Well, uh, maybe."

He sat on my lap and gave me a kiss that ended up a tongue-fucking.  I was panting when he pulled his tongue out of my mouth.  He looked at his watch.  

"I think we have time for a quickie."  He stood up and reached down to unbutton the top button on my shorts.  Then he slid the zipper down.

"Stand up."

I don't know why, but I did what he told me to do.  My shorts dropped to the floor, and I stood there with my hard cock tenting out the front of my CK's.

"Okay, on your knees, and put your elbows on that bale of straw."

God!  He wasn't going to ask for a blowjob.  He was going straight for my ass.

Realizing that I was about to be fucked for the first time in weeks, I did what he said.  He pulled my briefs down to my knees and began running his hand over my bare ass.  Then he pulled my cheeks apart and began to rim me.  By this time I was so hot and needy that I begged him.

"Oh, fuck me, man!"

At that point he still hadn't taken off anything.  I turned to watch as he dropped his khaki shorts.  He was wearing a jock, and the top of his cock was sticking above the waist band an inch or so.  He slid off the jock, knelt down behind me, and went back to rimming me.  He was doing a great job, too, but that's not what I wanted.  My cock was rigid, red, throbbing, and drooling.  He had a fat five incher sticking out of brown pubes he kept trimmed, and it was in the same condition as mine.

"Oh, god, Paul.  I need you.  Stick that cock in me, please!"

He chuckled.  "You are so easy, Hook.  I thought you'd hold out longer than this!  But far be it from me to deny you what you so obviously need."  I heard him spit into his hand.  He smeared that and his precum over his cock and then put the head against my twitching pucker.  When he pushed, his tool slipped inside me right away.  I gasped when I felt his pubes against my butt.  

Both Philip and Em had been kind of gentle when they fucked me for the first time, but not Paul.  "Take this dick, fucker.  You know you need it!  You've been waiting for me to come along and make you my bitch, haven't you?"

Bitch?  I wasn't anybody's bitch, was I?  

"Hey, guy, watch your mouth.  Fun's fun, but I sure as hell am not your bitch."

He laughed.  "So you say.  Do you want me to pull out and forget about all this?"

"Oh, no, man, fuck me.  Just don't call me names, okay?"

He slapped my ass and I jumped.  "Whatever!  Just so long as you understand that I'm giving you exactly what you so desperately need."

He began to fuck me, alternating long, slow pumps with short quick ones.  I was panting and groaning.

He slapped my ass again.  "Hey, Hook, keep it quiet, man.  We don't want your dad or somebody coming in here to see what's going on, do we?"

"Yeah, right.  Sorry.  Just don't stop!"

After a few minutes, he pulled out, and I groaned.

"Turn over.  Lie on your back on that bale."

When I turned over, he re-entered me and began to fuck me again.  He was grinning at me all the time.  I felt like I was his toy, and that was humiliating.  Neither Emerson or Philip had made me feel that way, but I needed what he was doing and I was willing to take the humiliation to get it.  Besides, he was hitting my sweet spot, and I couldn't help moaning because of how good it felt.  It had been a while since I'd had a cock up my ass, and I really needed it.

"Yeah, bitch.  You came on about how you weren't gay!  And now you're moaning like the slut you are."

I was humping my ass up to meet his thrusts.  I didn't care what he was saying to me, I needed his dick pounding into my ass.  And I still couldn't keep from groaning with pleasure.

Just when we were getting into a good rhythm, Paul pulled his cock out of my ass.  He began to pump on it and soon was squirting his load all over my face and hair.

"Yeah, cuntboy, take all that.  Take my load on your face.  This was for my cousin, Geoffrey!"

When he had finished cumming, he pulled up his underwear and his shorts, fastened them up, and left.

Geoffrey?  Who the fuck was Geoffrey?  I grabbed my throbbing dick and stroked off, eventually shooting my seed all over my chest and belly.  Finally it dawned on me.  Philip's boyfriend was named Geoff.  Paul was Geoff's cousin?  So it wasn't gaydar at all that put him on to me.  He knew all along about Philip and me.  

Was this whole thing a punishment fuck?  I hoped not.  I wanted his cock in me again as soon as I could get him to do it.  I took a burlap sack from a stack nearby and wiped all the cum off me.  Then I dressed and went back to work.  Paul was helping an old lady get her purchases in the trunk of her car.  When he came back into the retail center, he didn't let on that anything had happened.  

*          *          *


I was saddened by the news about Cedric.  I had liked him from the moment Tim introduced us, when I was in town for my interview.  My liking for him increased when Tim told me later it was Cedric who kept insisting that I deserved the benefit of the doubt about what I'd done to Doug.  

The morning after Ned left, I tried to call Tim but got no answer.  I kept trying that week to get in touch with him.  I wanted to find out how Cedric was doing, and I wanted to offer Tim some support, but I could never catch him at home.  Finally, I called Max, who told me that Cedric was doing well physically but just hadn't awakened yet.  I asked him to keep me posted and to tell Tim he and Ced were in my prayers.

Two days later I got a call from Max telling me that Cedric was awake but that he had lost his memory of everything that had happened in roughly the last year.  
"That must be terrible!  Do they think he'll get it back?"

"They are optimistic, but no one will venture a guess as to how long it will take."

"Well, meanwhile, I'll bet Tim will be right there with him, helping in any way he can."

There was a pause.

"No.  Tim isn't there.  You see, Ced's memory loss includes his whole time with Tim.  He remembers Tim as a professor he admired, nothing more."

"How awful for both of them!"

"Yes, it's really frightening for Ced not to be able to remember his whole senior year and the summer before.  But I think it's been even worse for Tim.  The doctors have asked him to stay away until the therapists can work with Ced.  They've even asked Chaz and Trey to stay away for a while, even though, of course, Cedric has known them since they were all freshmen together.  But they don't want his friends telling Ced all about what he can't remember, particularly his relationship with Tim.  At least not until they can work with him a while.  Ced has asked to see them, but the doctors have just told him to be patient, that Trey and Chaz will come when it's appropriate for them to do so."

"Max, how's Tim holding up?"

"Not well.  He's really depressed, as you can imagine.  I'm practically forcing him to continue running every morning, but I think he spends a lot of his days moping around.  He's supposed to be working on his next book, and before all this happened he was going to the university library just about every day with occasional trips to the Cleveland Public."

"Can I be of any help?"

"Oh, I think it would be good if you just went to see him.  And don't let him put you off.  Rick, I know you like Tim, but I also know you don't feel you know him very well.  You may have to push a little harder than you're comfortable with to make him see you.  But, please, do it.  He needs to feel all the support his friends can give him."

"I get the picture, Max.  I'll give him a call."

"Where are you living?"  I gave him the address of my apartment.  "That's only a few blocks from where we live.  Why don't you just drop in on Tim?"

"Okay, Max.  I'll do that right now.  And thanks for the update.  Maybe we can have dinner some evening?"

"Thanks, Rick.  Sounds great.  And, uh, Rick, let me know how it goes with Tim?"

"Count on it."

It was a beautiful summer day, so I decided to walk.  It was about 2:00 when I knocked on Tim's door.  I was amazed at what I saw when he opened it.

Tim was wearing a white tee and khaki Bermudas.  His hair was uncombed and he was barefoot.  He had what must have been a three-day growth of beard.  (It was just long enough to make me think he'd be sexy as hell with a full beard!)  This wasn't the almost compulsively neat Tim I knew, or thought I knew.

"Oh, hi, Rick.  Have you moved to town?"

"Yeah, Tim, I've been here for a while.  I've tried to call several times and never gotten an answer."

"Well, uh, the place is a mess, but come on in."

When he had closed the door, I held out my arms.  "Max told me about Cedric."

He came to me and put his arms around me and hugged me.

"I'm so sorry, Tim.  It must be awful for you."

He cleared what looked like unopened mail off the sofa.  "Here, sit, please."

When we were both sitting, he said, "Yes, it's pretty bad for me.  But think what it must be like for poor Ced not to be able to remember a whole year of his life.  He must be really frightened."

"Yes, I'd thought of that."

"And what makes it worse is that I can't be there to hold him up.  I am not allowed to see him.  And when he did see me just after he came out of the coma, he wondered what I was doing there."

"God, Tim!"

"Hey, Rick, I'm sorry.  Would you like something to drink?  How about some iced tea or a cola?"

"No, actually it's not been all that long since my lunch, and I'm fine.  Have you had any lunch?"

"No, I guess I haven't.  Max made me eat some breakfast, though, so I'm okay."

"How are things going for you apart from Cedric?  Making any progress on your research?"

"Not since Ced's accident.  I tried to get back to it when he woke up, but then my father died "

"No!  Max didn't tell me that."

"He must have forgotten."

"Tim, I'm SO sorry.  Two terrible blows, one after the other.  We don't know each other very well yet, but I think of you already as a friend, and I'm hoping that you, Ced, and I can become good friends.  Is there anything I can do for you?"

He shook his head.  "Rick, right now I'd just ask you to be patient with me.  I had some issues with my parents, and my dad's death seems to have exacerbated the situation with my mother.  I've got a lot to work through.  Somehow, I just can't seem to concentrate on my research -- or anything else -- at the moment."

"Okay, old man.  Then what say you forget about the Lost Generation and I'll forget about the Eighteenth Century for a while and we'll just spend some time on us?  I want you to show me around this area.  Introduce me to the delights of Cleveland."

"Well, I don't know, Rick.  I may not be very good company right now."

"Look, Tim.  I'm new in town.  I don't know anybody.  I don't know the area.  You aren't just gonna let me sit on my ass until classes begin in the fall, are you?"

He grinned.  "I see what you're doing.  Guilt me into coming out of my funk, will you?"

I returned the grin.  "Yeah, something like that.  Will it work?"

"You're right, of course.  I've got to grab myself by the scruff of the neck and get on with my life.  How'd you like to visit a gay bar in Cleveland this evening?"

"Now you're talking!"

"Good.  I'll get myself clean and pick you up about 5:00."

"Why don't I pick you up?  I think you might like my car."


"What's the dress code?"

"Casual.  Khakis and a button-up will take care of any restaurant we might choose on a weeknight, and anything goes at the Phoenix."

"Is that the bar?"


I picked him up in the Boxter, which he'd never seen.  He seemed suitably impressed.  
"Remind me to tell you a story about Max and David and David's Corvette."

"Okay.  How is David?"

"You don't know that he and Max split up?"

"No, that's something else Max never mentioned."

He gave me directions to get to Bath.  He wanted us to have dinner at Ken Stewart's Lodge.  As I drove, he told me about David's taking a job in California and Max's refusing to go along.

"And that really puzzles me, Rick.  I thought those two had something pretty solid.  There's something Max won't tell me, and, of course, I won't pry.  But I'm worried.  I want my oldest friend to be happy, and right now I fear he's not any happier than I am."

"Max is your oldest friend?"

"Yep.  We were friends at Kenyon.  Both of us ran cross country and hung out together all the time."

"How did you both wind up here?"

"Accident.  Or serendipity."  He explained how he'd been running one morning and heard a familiar voice behind him, Max's voice.

We never got around to the story about Max, David, and the Corvette, but I realized pretty quickly that Tim and Max had a very strong bond that went back to their freshman year in college.

The restaurant looked like a cabin that ought to be on a mountaintop somewhere, but it was on the Cleve-Mass road in suburban Bath.  

We had wonderful steaks, but I was more interested in Tim than in the food.  He had shaved, almost to my disappointment, and he looked a lot better.  I realized that he, Max, and I were almost the same height.  Three "vertically challenged" guys!  Max and I were both a bit heavier than Tim, more muscular.  But we were pretty much of a size.  I couldn't help thinking what a three way would be like with those two hot men.

`Get a grip, Modarelli, you're as horny as a teenager!'

After dinner Tim directed me to go north on Cleve-Mass to I-77, which took us to downtown Cleveland.  We got off by Jacobs Field, went around Public Square, and soon we were in what is called The Flats.

The Phoenix was right beside the river.  There was a boardwalk out front with a dock beside it.  Being midsummer, it was still daylight, and lots of people, most of them young, were walking around.  Tim explained that this was a nightclub area and very popular with the younger crowd.  I saw the Nautica complex down the river a way.  And there were boat taxis taking people back and forth from one side of the Cuyahoga to the other.  

"Tim, this is cool!  I never knew Cleveland had anything like it."

He grinned.  "Yeah, Ced's a native Clevelander, and he's shown me a lot of nice things about the city."

We went inside and got a pitcher and two mugs and found a booth.  It was too early to be crowded, but there were several couples dancing.  

"I thought you were a wine drinker."

"I am, but I've had the wine here."

I chuckled.  "Ooohkaay.  I get the point.  By the way, remind me to go easy on this stuff since I'm driving."

"Rick, if you trust me, you drink, and I'll drive us home."

"Can you handle the shifting?"

"Uh oh!  Probably not.  Guess you'd better drive.  Don't want to mess up your baby."

"Okay.  I'll go easy on the suds."

We chatted about this and that.  He wanted to know if I'd checked in with Gwen Fairchild, our "boss" yet, and I said I hadn't.  He suggested it would be a courtesy to let her know I was in town, and I agreed to do it the next day.  

He asked about my dad, so I told him about the great week we'd had together in West Virginia earlier.

After we'd been there for an hour and a half, making some conversation, mostly enjoying all the hot hunks parading themselves around, I noticed Tim had gotten pretty quiet.  When I looked at him I saw tears in his eyes.

"Tim, this place has memories for you, doesn't it?"

He gave me a sad smile.  "Yeah, Rick.  I'm sorry to get maudlin.  But it was Ced who introduced me to this place, and this is the first time I've been here when I wasn't with him."

"Well, then, let's get out of here."

"Do you mind?  This was a mistake.  I'm really sorry.  I feel like a jerk."

I hugged him and got a frown from the bartender.  Since it was a gay place, I could only assume that Tim and Cedric were known to him and he thought I was moving in on Ced's guy.

"Hey, this is an okay place, Tim, and I appreciate your bringing me.  But why hang around if it's painful?"

An hour later when I pulled up in front of his house, he said, "Rick, I've got a half gallon of butter pecan ice cream in the freezer, and maybe I can find two clean spoons.  Want to come in and share?"

"Sounds like a plan, professor."

We sat at the kitchen table and ate ice cream from the carton.  We didn't finish the whole half gallon, but we made a good dent in it.  Perhaps we were drowning our sorrow in butter pecan because neither of us had a man . . .

To be continued.