The following is a love story. It, incidentally, is homosexual in nature, in that the main characters are gay men. Eventually, there will probably be fairly graphic descriptions of what these men do when engaging in sex with each other. If reading this type of information is illegal in your area, or if you have not yet reached the age of majority in the city, county, state, province or country where you are, you are requested to leave now. If this type of material offends you, why are you here? I guess that about covers that.

A special thanks to Jordy for his help editing and proofreading this. It's much better because of his help.

Comments appreciated, flames sent to hell. Contact me at

A New Start, Chapter 1

I couldn't stop the tears as I stood on the hillside, looking over the deep blue-green waters of the lake. It was a beautiful, warm late spring afternoon. The wisteria and lilacs were in full bloom, and, from where I was standing, it looked like a fairyland, with the myriad of colors that spring brings to the lake. There was a slight breeze blowing, which only accentuated the smell of the flowers, and brought with it the smell of freshly mowed grass. The smell and the sight reminded me of you, Travis.

Standing there, at your favorite spot, your presence was so real that I felt like if I turned around, you'd be there. But, the urn holding your ashes was heavy in my hands, more because of why I was here than because of the weight of the thing.

I was glad that you had asked for your ashes to be scattered here, and not to be stored in some crypt, or something. You were full of life, like this place. It was much more fitting that your ashes were to be scattered in the midst of life.

Allen sensed my inability to do what you had asked me to, and came down the hillside.

"I know I said I wouldn't interfere," he said, "but you looked like you really needed a friend."

I took my life partners' hand, lifted it to my lips, and kissed it.

"You are so precious to me," I said. "Have I told you how much I love you, how much appreciate you?"

"Oh, I think I have an idea," he said with a warm smile. "Do you want me to give you some privacy?"

"No, what I'd really like to do, is to tell you about Travis."

"You don't have to do that, babe," Allen said. "It has always been so hard for you to talk about your life with him."

"I know, but I need to. I owe it to you, to me, and to Travis."

I took Allen's hand, walked down to the edge of the lake, and sat down. I set the urn down beside me, and looked out over the lake that had become my sanctuary.

"I know you have questions, and you know how difficult it has been for me to talk about him. I hope that when I'm done, all of your questions will be answered. I chose to come here today, to take care of Travis' last wish, because it was ten years ago today that I met Travis. I remember it like it was yesterday.

"I was a freshman in college, visiting with some friends at Davidson College. We were goofing off on Main Street, not really paying attention to where we were going when I literally ran into him. I almost knocked him down. He grabbed my arm to steady himself, and the angry fire in his eyes went completely away when he looked at me. When I looked him in the eye, I felt like I had known him all my life."

"Anyway, I blushed, and apologized. I helped him pick up his packages, and I asked him if anything was broken. He said the only thing he could tell that was broken was maybe my pride."

"He introduced himself, and asked me if I were from around there. I introduced myself, and told him I was a student at UNC-Charlotte, a business major, and that I was from central North Carolina. I told him I was here visiting with my friends, who were a little farther up the street, watching us."

"Jeremy, I'm not usually this forward, but can I ask you a personal question," Travis asked me.

"Um, well, sure," I replied.

"Are you by any chance, gay?"

The first thing that went through my mind was "BUSTED". He saw the panic in my eyes, and all over my face, and quickly added, "Because if you are, I'd like to take you to dinner sometime."

I was not expecting that. I looked back up at him again, and blushed.

"That is, unless you don't want to be seen with a guy who is ten years older than you?"

"Oh, it's not that," I said, "I was just a little surprised by your question. You nailed me, and that scares me a little, because I have never told anyone about that part of me."

"I see," he said. "So dinner would be out?" I could see, and hear, the disappointment in his voice.

"Well, maybe not," I said. "Are you in the phone book?" I asked.

"Yes," he said, his face brightening.

"Can I call you when I get home?"

"I would like that very much, Jeremy."

"Then, expect my call tomorrow night," I said.

"You won't forget, will you?" he asked.

"Not likely," I said with a big smile.

Well, things didn't go as I had planned. I was involved in a fairly serious auto accident on the way back to school, and ended up in the hospital for two and a half days. Monday morning, when I was finally alone, I looked up Travis's number, and called him. I got his answering machine, explained what had happened, told him what room I was in, and apologized for not calling. That was at about 9am.

Just before noon, I saw a bouquet of flowers come around the door, followed by Travis's face.

"Mind some company?" he asked.

"Actually, I'd love some company! Are those for me?"

"But of course," he said, with a flourish.

"I hope you're ok," he said.

"Actually, they're keeping me more because of this knot on my head than anything else," I told him.

"Can I sign your cast?" he asked.

"Sure," I said.

He wrote, in beautiful penmanship, "To Jer. Maybe now you'll slow down!! I still want that dinner, Travis"

I looked at him as he was writing. To me, he was one of the most handsome men I had ever met. I had known ever since I was twelve years old that I was different. I knew that boys excited me sexually, not girls, but, either way, I was still a virgin. And, truth be told, I was glad. As young as I was, I knew of two guys who had died of AIDS before they were 25, and I didn't want to be a statistic. So, I was waiting for mister right, and I was feeling like I may have just bumped into him, literally.

"And just when shall we go to dinner?" I asked him.

"Whenever you want. I'll clear my schedule for you."

"You don't even know me," I said.

"No, but I could tell when I met you that there's something special about you. And, having visited with you some today, I feel more certain about that. I just want to get to know you better," he said.

"I think you're pretty interesting, too," I said. "I'm supposed to be released tomorrow, but I've got class work to catch up on. What about this Friday night?"

"That would be great," Travis said. "Do you need someone to pick you up tomorrow?"

"Can I call you?" I asked. "My folks are in town, I'm surprised they're not here yet. If I can convince them I'll be ok, I'll call you."

"Will you call me anyway?" he asked.

"Sure you don't mind?"

"I'd really like you to call me," he said to me.

"Travis, how can you just up and take time off of your job?" I asked.

"I own the company," he said, with a slight grin.

"What do you do?" I asked.

"I own a landscaping company. I don't get in the field very much anymore, most of what I do is in the office. I miss being in the field, but I haven't met anyone I trusted enough to run things for me."

"That sounds neat," I said.

"I really prefer working with my hands," he said. "But, it's my company, and my responsibility to look after it."

"How many guys do you have working for you?"

"I have two general supervisors, six job foremen, and usually around twenty laborers, plus two people in the office. I handle the job bidding, and the designing for the larger jobs."

"Wow," I said. "I'm suitably impressed. And you're how old?"

He blushed, and said, "I'll be twenty-nine on May 4th."

"Can I hang out with you some? I could only dream to be as prosperous at business as you are!"

"Can I tell you something without you getting freaked out?" he said.

"Sure," I said.

"I have a feeling you and I will be spending a great deal of time together," he said.

"What makes you think that," I said, already knowing the answer.

"Because I think I'm falling in love with you, and, I can see in your eyes that you're falling in love with me."

"Travis, you're amazing," I said. "How can you tell?"

"I saw the way your face lit up when I came in the room, I see how you look at me while we're talking, and, I know that you can see the same things in me."

"Busted," I said.

"Can I kiss you?" he asked.

"Shut the door," I replied. "I'm not out to anybody but you."

He shut the door, came over and sat down on the side of my bed, leaned over and gently kissed me. All he did was press his lips against mine. No tongue, no moving, nothing. Just his lips, and mine. And, yet, I saw fireworks.

"Travis," I said when he finally sat back.

"Yes, Jer?"

"Did you know that I have never been kissed before right now?"

"You're kidding!!" he said.

"No. You're the first."

"Can I infer from this that you're also a virgin?"

I blushed, and just nodded yes.

"Hey, that's nothing to be ashamed of. Would you be terribly offended if I told you I wanted you to stay a virgin for a while?"

"Why would you want me to do that?" I asked.

"Because I want your first time to be special, and I want it to be with someone you're in love with. I would prefer it to be the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with, whether or not that person is me."

"Travis, that is the kindest, most unselfish thing anybody has ever said to me."

I took his hand, brought it to my lips, and kissed his knuckles.

"Jer, I do have to go. Will you promise to call me tonight?"

"Travis, I'm not going to promise you that." I said.

"Why not?" he asked.

"Because the last time I promised to call you, I ended up in the hospital," I said, "and there's only one place to go from here!!"

We both laughed at that comment, then his eyes and face got serious, and he leaned over and kissed me again. He took my hands in his, and said, "I don't know where this may go, but I hope it goes a long way. I've never met anyone that made me feel the way you do," he said.

"Travis, we'll just have to see. But, I feel the same way. Of course, you're the first guy I've ever been out with, but you make me feel good, and nervous, and cared for, all at the same time. And, when you kiss me...I see stars!!"

He smiled, picked up my hand, and kissed it, and said, "I'll be waiting for your call tonight."

Shortly after he left, my folks finally showed up. Mom was fussing about dad never asking for directions, and, what with Charlotte being such a big city and all, they had gotten lost, and had driven around for an hour trying to find the hospital. I smiled to myself, secretly glad that they were not here when Travis came by.

"You're in a really good mood. Does it have anything to do with these pretty flowers?" my mom asked.

"Oh, those are from my friend Travis. He was concerned that I might get upset because my car was totaled." Well, I was SURE he was concerned about it, even if he didn't say so!!

"What a nice friend. Will we get to meet him while we're here?" my dad asked.

"I don't know Dad, he's got a pretty tight schedule."

We visited for a while, and the doctor came by, and checked me over. When he asked my folks back in, he told us all that I was basically ok, and that the only reason he would not release me today was because it was too late in the day. I got an extra night in the hospital. Wasn't I lucky! (NOT!!!)

"So, I'm in no danger, then?" I asked.

"Definitely not," he responded.

"So, mom, you and dad really don't need to stay. I've got friends that can help me after I get checked out, so I'll be ok."

"Are you trying to get rid of me, son?" Mom asked.

"Of course not, Mom. It's just that, I'm ok, and there's no need for you and Dad to spend all that money on a hotel room, and miss another day of work if I'm ok. I know you still think I'm your little boy, but I do need to learn to rely on myself some."

"I really think I would feel better if we stay," Mom said.

"But, Mom!" I whined.

"It must be a girl," my dad said.

"Well, kind of," I said.

"What do you mean by that?" my Mom asked.

"Well, it's just someone I've only recently met, and we haven't even been out yet. That's all," I said.

"But it is someone special," Mom said.

"Yes," I said. "Very special."

"Well, then, we won't mess that up for you," Mom said, a little hurt in her voice.

"Mom," I started.

"I'm sorry, dear, I'm just not entirely ready to let you grow up. You're still my baby, you know."

"I know, Mom. But, I'm nineteen. I can, and I need to start taking care of myself when I can."

"Is it that you just don't want us around, or is it this girl?"

"It's just... oh, Mom!!! If you really want to stay, then stay." I said, kind of defeated.

"Well, if you don't want me here," she started.

I looked up at her, with tears in my eyes. I wanted so badly to tell them about Travis. But I didn't know how they would take it. I couldn't lose my folks, but I couldn't be honest about Travis, for fear that I might lose them.

"Mom, I always want you around. Please, stay." I said.

"I'm sorry, Jeremy. I don't mean to upset you, or to intrude into your privacy," she said.

"It's ok, Mom," I said. "Please, stay."

We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting, catching up on family and friends lives. Throughout the afternoon, several of my friends stopped by to see how I was. My folks really like the people I was hanging around with, and, when we were alone, they both commented on what nice friends I had.

At about 5:30, the phone rang. It was Travis. As soon as I heard his voice, my face lit up. I tried not to be obvious, but, I couldn't help it. He was great, and he made me feel wonderful.

"Hey, Jer!!" he said.

"Hi!!! I wasn't expecting your call," I said.

"Well, I didn't want to take the chance that something had happened to you," he replied.

"Well, this time you're in luck."

"Would you mind terribly if I came to see you tonight?"

I hesitated, just a moment, "Uh, sure, that would be fine."

"Is something wrong?" he asked.

"Um, no," I said.

"Your parents are there, aren't they?" he asked.

"Yep," I said.

"Would you prefer that I not come?" he asked. I could hear a tinge of disappointment in his voice.

"Actually, I think it would be nice, if you have the time," I said.

His voice brightened noticeably. "Would you like me to sneak you in some real food?"

"That would be awesome!!" I said.

"How about for your folks?" he asked.

"Hold on, I'll check," I said. "Mom, dad, my friend Travis, the one I was telling you about earlier, said he would bring us some contraband food, if you'd like."

"He doesn't have to do that," my dad said.

"He may feel a little put out if you don't let him," I said. I had let the phone away from my shoulder a little, so that Travis could hear the conversation. "He's a really thoughtful guy, and I know it would make him happy to be able to treat you."

"Only if I pay him back," said my dad.

I repeated back to Travis, who had heard every word, what my dad said. He replied, "We'll just deal with that when I get there. I've got to jump through the shower, so, I'll be there in about an hour. Don't be surprised when I show up with a suitcase. It'll be full of food, ok?"

"That's a neat way to get past the nurses," I said. "We'll see you in about an hour."

"See you then," he said.

I hung up the phone, and turned back to face my parents, and noticed my mom looking at me kind of funny.

"Ed, I really need to walk a little, these tired old bones of mine are stoving up. Would you like to walk with me?"

"Sure," said my dad.

"We won't be gone long, honey," Mom said, as she leaned over, and kissed me on the forehead. She gave me another of those funny looks, then she and dad walked out of the room.

They came back a few minutes later, just about the time the nurse was coming around to see if anyone wanted to order a plate for dinner. My parents made excuses about going to get something later, and the nurse told me that my dinner would be there in about half an hour. As soon as she walked out, I busted out laughing, and my parents joined me.

My food finally showed up, and it was awful! Meatloaf (which had never been a favorite of mine, less so when it was from the hospital) bland veggies, and Jell-O, with a slice of white bread. After she left I said to my mom, "This stuff could set back anybody's recovery!"

She and dad laughed and she moved the plate, on the tray, off to the side.

A few minutes later there was a knock on the door, and Travis walked in. Try as I did not to let it happen, my eyes lit up and I smiled real big. He just brought out the happy in me.

"Mom, Dad, this is my friend Travis. Travis, this is my mom, Linda, and my dad, Ed."

"Hi, Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, it's very nice to meet you," he said, like a perfect gentleman.

"Oh, none of that 'Mr. Smith' stuff," my dad said. "I'm Ed, and this is Linda," he said as he shook Travis's hand.

"I hope you like Mickey Dee's," Travis said.

"It's my home away from home," I said, to which my mom gave me a glare.

"You're supposed to be eating in the cafeteria," she said.

"I do, I do, but, hey...when I get the chance...I LOVE the quarter pounder with cheese!" I said.

"Well, that's a good thing, because that's what I brought," said Travis. He looked over at me, and, it was like time stopped. He had just been here that afternoon, but, it was like I saw him for the first time, every time I saw him.

I had to break that glance, before I gave myself away. Once again, Mom was looking at me kind of funny.

"What?" I asked.

"Oh, nothing," she said.

Travis passed the food around, and even pulled canned soft drinks out of his suitcase. He thought of everything, including napkins. He and my folks were talking. Dad was trying to get as much information about landscaping out of him as he could.

Occasionally, Mom would look at Travis, and then back at me. I had to be real careful not to stare at Travis, but, it was hard. Travis was not some model, but he was handsome. He had those rugged good looks that come from good breeding, and right living. He was a little over six feet tall, his hair was more brown than blonde, with reddish highlights. His eyebrows were also light colored. In later years, he grew a goatee, and it too was light colored. To me, the most striking feature was his eyes. They were SO green, as green as emeralds. And they were strikingly clear. When he looked at you, it was like he was looking into your soul. I found myself just watching him, thinking to myself how every time I saw him he was more handsome than the last.

Lost in my reverie, I didn't hear the question posed to me.

"Earth to Jeremy! Earth to Jeremy. Come in Jeremy. Are you there?" It was my dad.

"Oh, sorry, I was lost in thought."

"You looked like you were a thousand miles away," said my dad.

"Or maybe a few feet," my Mom uttered under her breath.

I looked at her kind of funny and said, "I'm sorry, I sometimes zone out like that. It's real annoying during a seminar. Fortunately, I always manage to sit near someone who will let me copy their notes."

Whatever the original question was, it was forgotten. A few minutes later, my Mom said it was time for them to leave, since I didn't want them around.

I looked at her with my hurt eyes, she leaned over, kissed me on the forehead, and said, "Jeremy, maybe you were right. We should let you learn to take care of yourself. It's obvious that you have friends that care about you, and who will help you. Especially young Travis, here." Travis blushed, but didn't say anything.

I didn't quite know what to make of that comment, so I just let it drop.

"You can stay if you'd rather," I said.

"No, son. Your mother decided when we took that walk that we would probably do as you asked, and go on home. You do seem to be doing fine, and, I'm sure you will get back to the dorm without any problems."

"Actually, Ed, I had offered to pick him up to take him back to campus earlier today," Travis lied. "But if you and Linda would rather stay and do it yourselves..."

"No, Travis," my mom said, "I think you and Jeremy have things under control."

I absolutely did not like the way my mom was talking. It was like she was trying to say something without saying what she meant to say. I couldn't help but think that she knew that I liked Travis 'that way'.

Mom and Dad said their good-byes and left. Travis walked them to the door, telling them how nice it was to meet them. He stood at the door, watching them as they walked away. He stood there for a minute, then turned toward me. With a cute gleam in his eye, he walked over to the bed and laid one of those mind-bending kisses of his on me.

"Do you know how hard it was for me not to kiss you when I came in." he asked.

"Almost as hard as it was for me not to pull you down here and kiss you," I replied.

"Travis, I think my mom knows," I said.

"How could she?"

"I don't know, but, just the way she would look at me sometimes, and the way she said stuff. I'm a little unnerved."

"Well, don't worry about it Jer. She didn't say anything, so we're safe right now."

He pulled me to him, for a hug. I closed my eyes, and just held him for a minute. I felt so safe in his arms. As I opened my eyes, I thought I saw a flash of material going past my door, but I couldn't be sure.

"So, what time do you get sprung tomorrow," he asked me.

"I'm not sure. The doc will be around, in the morning, to let me know."

"Mind if I use your phone?"

"Go right ahead," I said.

Travis picked up the phone, and dialed.

"Doris? Travis. Sorry to bother you at home, but, I'm going to need you to cover for me tomorrow. Yeah, something has come up, and I'm going to have to be in Charlotte all day tomorrow. I'll check in with you throughout the day, just to keep in touch. OK? Thanks, Doris. I owe you one."

"Who is Doris?" I asked.

"She's my office manager. Whenever I know I'm going to be out of the office, I let her know, so she doesn't worry. She frets over me like she was my mom," he said with a little laugh.

"Doesn't your own mom worry about you?" I asked.

"My mom died when I was ten. Then, my dad died of pancreatic cancer when I was twenty-one. My grandparents have all died, and, I was an only child."

"Oh, Travis, I'm so sorry!"

"It's ok," he said. "I've been meaning to tell you about my family, or lack there of, since this morning. Just wanted you to know you didn't have to worry about my folks catching us or anything."

"I thought you lived alone," I said.

"I do. It's the family home. When dad died, I inherited everything. The house, the boat, the beach house, and a fairly large estate, most of which is still in trusts. I did use quite a large chunk of it to start my landscaping business. I know that even if my dad had lived, he would have helped me get started. He was proud of me, and he even was proud of Thomas."


"He was my first lover. We lived together from when I was nineteen until about six years ago."

"What happened?" I asked.

Travis got this far away look in his eyes. "I really loved Thomas. We met at college, the first day. We talked for hours, and from that day on, we were inseparable. I went home with him for Thanksgiving, and over the holiday, we became lovers. To begin with, we couldn't get enough of each other. I mean, we skipped a bunch of classes to have sex. The sex was awesome. We learned everything about how to please a man, from each other. But more importantly, our love for each other grew."

"That first summer, he came to spend a week with me. We weren't careful one night, left the door unlocked, and my dad found us the following morning, asleep, but wrapped up in each other, naked. He didn't get pissed off or anything, but, I could tell he was disappointed. I explained to him that I had never had any idea that I was gay until Thomas. But, he saw immediately that I was head over heels in love. And, at that time, Thomas was over the top for me as well."

"The next semester, we moved in together, and life settled in to a dull roar. We made it through our junior years before his folks figured out what had happened. They went ballistic. They threatened to have him committed, and all kinds of other stuff. He was pretty devastated by their reaction. It took a long time for us to work through it. In fact, our relationship was never the same after his folks found out."

"Our Senior year in college, things started going south pretty quickly. Thomas was moody, he seemed distant. The frequency of our lovemaking dropped off, severely. We would give each other head, but he would never cum in my mouth. We never made love anymore, mostly, we just jerked each other off."

"Finally, as May and graduation were fast approaching, one day I sat him down to talk to him. I told him that I felt that we were drifting apart. He told me that it was his fault. He started crying, and said that two things had happened. The first was, the previous summer, he had agreed to go to work for a company in New York after graduation. At first, he thought we could work something out, long distance romance and all that. Then, two weeks before school started back, he met this other guy from school, who was also going to be moving to New York. Things happened pretty quickly for them, and, for this whole year, he had had a divided heart. He loved me, because I was his first love. But, what he felt for Dennis was different, he said."

"I was in shock. Here I thought we were going to be together forever, and he tells me he's moving to New York right after graduation, and that he's in love with someone else."

"He slept on the couch until after graduation, by his choice. He asked if I wanted to meet Dennis, but I declined. I cried myself to sleep every night for a long, long time. After graduation, as we were packing to leave, I told him that I loved him, and that I wished things could have worked between us. He didn't even cry. He said he was sorry that he had hurt me, and that he would always have a soft spot in his heart for me."

"We kept in touch for a couple of years, Christmas cards, birthday cards, and the such. Three years ago, I got a letter from Dennis. Apparently his love wasn't enough for Thomas either. Thomas had slept around in New York, contracted AIDS, and died. That letter came with some things of mine that Thomas had kept, a picture of Thomas when they had first moved to New York, and a copy of the obituary. I threw it all away. I couldn't bear the thought that he was gone."

"I have since accepted Thomas' death, and have moved on. Something that may surprise you is, that, since Thomas, I've only dated one other guy, for about six months, and that was two years ago. I was celibate between Thomas and Roger, and have been celibate since Roger. A year after Roger and I stopped dating, I was tested for HIV. It came back negative."

I sat there, tears streaming down my face. I grabbed Travis and hugged him, held him tight to me, and I cried.

"Oh, Travis, I'm so sorry. How you must have been hurt!"

"It's ok, Jeremy. Really, I've cried all the tears I have for Thomas. And Roger wasn't significant enough to cry over. He was just a nice guy that I got close to, but found out we didn't have enough in common to make a relationship work."

"And you've been celibate for the last year and a half?" I asked.

"Yes. I'm real old fashioned," he said. "I believe that you should only have sex with someone you love. That's why I will not jump your bones, as much as I want to. If we have sex, it will be because we love each other, because we're IN love with each other. I don't want to scare you off, but, I made a promise to myself that the next person I make love with will be the last person I ever make love with."

"That doesn't scare me," I said. "That's the way I was raised. Albeit, it's supposed to be a girl, and we're supposed to get married. But, even for you and me, I think it applies. You have really knocked me for a loop, you know. I can't believe how fast I'm falling for you, and I don't even know you."

"I feel the same way, Jer. There's something special about you. Can I tell you something without you thinking I'm crazy?"

"Sure!" I said.

"The other day, when you ran into me, I was pissed that you hadn't been paying attention and had almost knocked me down. But then, I looked into your eyes, I felt like I had known you all my life."

"OH MY GOSH!!!" I said. "I felt exactly the same way. When you looked at me, time stopped. It was like I had known you all my life. When you came in tonight, I looked into your eyes and time stopped again. When I was zoned out earlier tonight, I was just drinking in your presence. I was studying your face, burning it into my memory, so that, when you're not with me, I can close my eyes and see your face."

Travis looked at me with such tender eyes. I could feel love pouring out of him, into me. I reached for him, and held him to me, hugging him close. We sat like that for a long, long time. After a while, he got up, closed the door, and sat back down beside me.

"You know, I'm falling for you, hard," he said.

"And me for you," I responded. "Will you hold me again?"

"That's why I closed the door," he said.

He sat up on the bed beside me, and I leaned back against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me, and dropped his chin on my shoulder. We sat like that for a long time. Just being together. I was quite comfortable, not needing to talk, just being with this incredible man.

At one point, I turned, and gently kissed him. He responded, and we started necking for a while. I was hard as a rock, and I could feel his hard dick pressing into my side.

"Ok, Jer, we're gonna have to stop this," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you're making me too hot. As much as I like you already, as hard and fast as I'm falling for you, I'm not willing to go that far yet. But you are sorely tempting me!" He was grinning as he said this. "Did it bother you for us to just sit here, me holding you, but not talking?"

"Are you kidding? I could sit in your arms forever!" I replied. "I have never, not even with my friends, felt as comfortable with another human being as I do with you. When you were holding me, I felt safe and secure. It felt like home."

Travis's eyes misted up. He pulled me to him, and just hugged me. "I've waited a long time for someone who felt comfortable with not talking, just being together. Jer, I really want to get to know you, but I need a favor."

"Anything, Travis. Just name it."

"I really like you, and, I think you like me."

I nodded affirmatively.

"I want to take this slow. I don't want to rush you, and I don't want you to rush me. I don't want to push you away by making you wait, but, to be honest, I'd really like to just date for a while. You know, dinner, movies, day trips. Stuff like that. But I don't want you staying over at my place just yet, and I won't ask to stay with you. If we're going to have a relationship, I want it to be built on friendship and trust, not sex."

I paused for a moment and just lost myself in his eyes. I know that tears were forming in mine. Travis closed his eyes, looked away, and went to get off the bed. I grabbed his arm, keeping him there, put my head on his chest and hugged him. I started sobbing, but I would not let Travis go.

"Jer, what's wrong?" he asked. "Am I asking too much of you?"

"No," I sniffed, "you said everything I wanted to say, but didn't know how."

I sat up and looked him in the eyes. "I like you a lot. I can see myself in a life-long relationship with you, being together every day. I'm crying because you're wonderful. You're everything I would have dreamed of in a man. I'm emotional, I can't help it. This is something I'm afraid you'll have to learn to deal with, if we're going to have a relationship."

"I can handle that," he said.

"I'm so glad I bumped into you," I said, my eyes still brimming with tears.

"I am too," Travis said.

He stayed WAY past visiting hours, then finally had to leave, but promised to be back early the next morning to drive me to my dorm when I was released.

My roommate had been by earlier in the day, to bring me a change of clothes. The next morning, the doctor examined me and signed my release forms. As he was walking out the door, Travis was coming in.

I broke out in a huge smile when I saw him. He walked over, gave me a big, long hug, and another one of his mind-blowing kisses.

"I hope you're always this happy to see me," I giggled.

"I'm sure I will be!" he replied.

"Well, the doctor said I can go, but to wait for the nurse. Hopefully, It won't be more than a few minutes."

"Do you have a clean change of clothes?" he asked.

"Yeah, Billy brought them by yesterday."

"Would you like me to wait outside while you get dressed," he asked.

I thought for a second and then responded, "I have nothing to hide from you, I'm not ashamed of my body. No, please stay, the nurse should be here soon. I'll probably take a shower first, though."

The nurse stopped in and said I would be released shortly after lunch. I told her my plans and she agreed. Travis stayed in the room while I showered. I dressed in the bathroom, but left the door open, so we could continue to talk.

"Your mom called while you were in the shower," he said. "I think she was a little surprised to hear my voice on the phone."

"Well, I'll deal with them later. Hopefully, they will get used to hearing you

answer when they call me," I said.

"I hope so to," he said wistfully.

"You haven't changed your mind about us dating, have you?" I asked.

He walked up behind me, put his arms around my waist, and as we looked at each other in the mirror he said, "not on your life, mister!!"

I turned around in his embrace, put my arms around his neck, and kissed him for all I was worth. After a couple of minutes of tonsil hockey, he pulled back and laughingly said, "I've created a kissing monster!!"

"I can't help it Travis. I love the way you kiss, I love the way you taste. You're like a drug to me!"

"I feel the same way," he replied.

Shortly after 1 PM, the nurse showed up with a wheelchair. Travis carried my junk in a bag he thought to bring. The nurse waited with me at the door until he pulled around in his truck, the company logo all over the side.

Travis got me back to my dorm, and helped me get settled into my room.

"OK, Jer, one other thing."

"Yes, sir!" I said, with a smile. "Whatever you say, sir!"

He chuckled, and said, "I know you're working hard at school. I don't want to become a distraction. You need to keep up your grades, you're here to get an education. I am a firm believer in education, and I will give you all sorts of hell if you slack off on your studies because you want to spend more time with me."

"As weird as this sounds, I'm glad you feel that way. You will learn that I'm a very competitive person. It is my intention to be valedictorian of my class, but, I will make time to be with you."

Travis took me in his arms, hugged me close, and said, "That really makes me feel special, Jeremy." He pulled back, and kissed me.

This time, it was a gentle, loving kiss. I still saw stars, but there was nothing sexual about this kiss at all. I felt love. An overwhelming, consuming, peaceful love that left me content like I had only felt the night before, in his arms.

"You're rocking my world, Travis."

"And you mine," he said.

"A-hem," came from the doorway. It was Billy, my roommate. I didn't even bother trying to get away from Travis. I knew what he had seen, and heard, so there was no denying what was going on.

"Billy, this is Travis, my boyfriend."

"Uh, hi," Billy said.

Travis reached out a hand, and Billy hesitantly shook it, surprised, I think, by the strength of the handshake.

"Uh, you like 'em kinda old, don't ya?" he asked me.

Travis and I both laughed. "Yeah, Billy, I do. Do you have a problem with a gay roommate?"

"I don't know," he relied. "Probably not, as long as you stay on your side of the room," he said with a slight smile.

"Billy, if he doesn't, you call me and I'll come kick his butt." Travis said.

"No offense, Billy, but, when you've got filet mignon, why mess around with country style steak?" I asked.

"You callin' me country?" Billy asked, with a smile in his eyes.

"If the shoe fits..."

He threw his pillow at me. "Oh, no!!! I just got gay cooties all over my pillow!!! Does this mean I'm gonna become one too?" He asked, laughing.

"Nah, you're too straight," I said.

"Whew, that's a relief," he responded.

We all laughed, and sat around talking for a while. The whole time, Travis and I were on the bed. He was behind with his arms encircling me. I really liked sitting with him like that. We told Billy how we met, how similar we were. Billy talked about his girlfriend. He said that he was surprised to find out I was gay, but that he was ok with it.

Travis wound up taking the three of us out to dinner. We had a blast, and Billy seemed to be getting comfortable around both of us. I was really glad.

After dinner, Travis dropped us off. Sensing we needed a couple of minutes of privacy, Billy headed off to the john, or somewhere. I closed the door, and took Travis in my arms, laying my head on his shoulder.

"Travis, I don't want this day to end. It has been the most wonderful day I can remember."

"I feel the same way, Jer. But, if today doesn't end, tomorrow won't come."

"I know. I just don't know how I'm going to survive not being with you tomorrow."

"You'll manage. You'd better, and you'd better get caught up on your classes too!"

"Yes, sir!! Travis, can I ask you a question?"

"You can ask me anything."

"How big is your dick?"

He laughed, and said, "Why? You think it may be too much for you?"

"No. I've just felt it almost every time we've kissed, and it feels big."

"I'm 8 and 1/2 inches on a normal hard. If I'm really horny, just before I shoot it grows to about 9 inches. And I'm not circumcised. What about you?"

"I'm smaller than that," I said, a little sad.

"You know, Jer, I've only been with two men. Thomas was about seven, seven and a half inches. But, he was better at making love, because he truly was in love with me. Size isn't important down there," he said, pointing at my crotch. "The only place size is important, is here," he said, as he touched my chest over my heart. "I wouldn't care if your dick was two inches long at full mast, if you were in love with me, it would satisfy me. OK?"

I smiled at him and said, "You always know what to say to make me feel better!"

"I'm just being honest. And I hope you're always honest with me. Dishonesty and lying are two things that will send me packing."

"Don't worry about that, Travis. I can't stand people who lie. Obviously, you can't trust them, and I don't want to be with people I can't trust."

"Good. Jer, I hate to go, but I have to. I'll call you tomorrow, ok?"

"Oh, Travis, before you go, let me write down my class schedule, so you'll know when I'm in class."

"You don't have to do that. I know how to find you."

"I know, but I'd feel better if you knew where I was supposed to be. I really want to be accountable to you. It's important to me."

I swear, Travis was getting misty eyed again. I wrote out my schedule, including times I normally was out of the dorm room.

Travis looked at the phone and said, "Be a nice boy, and I might get you an answering machine for Christmas!"

"You don't have to do that," I said. "Actually, I know exactly what I want from you for Christmas."

"Already?" he said, laughing.

Dead serious, I replied, "Just spending time with you is all I want."

That did it. Tears fell from Travis' eyes. "Jeremy, you are so sweet. You're gonna have me wrapped around your little finger in no time flat."

"I was hoping for my heart, not my finger," I replied.

He grabbed me, and hugged me tightly, sobbing a little into my shoulder. I was hooked. I knew I loved this man. I knew that I would move heaven and hell to be with him. And I was going to make good on my statement to be valedictorian. I wanted Travis's approval more than anything else in the world, even more than my parents.

He finally stopped sobbing, pulled back a little and kissed me, gently. Again, while it took my breath away, it was more gentle, and loving, the way I wanted it. Not hurried but slow and gentle, exploring each other's mouths with our tongues. I finally broke the kiss.

"I'm not going to say it, because I realize it's too early, but just so that you know, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with you."

"You sure it's not being in love with the idea of being in love?"

"I'm sure."

"Well, to be honest, I'm pretty sure I'm in love with you too. But I still want to take things slowly. How about dinner Friday night?"

"I'd love to, but, I'm real low on funds."

"My treat."

"Travis, that will be fine occasionally, but I can't let you pay for everything

we do. I don't feel good about that."

"I can afford it."

"That's not the point."

"I know. But I'd be more than happy to pay for everything. In fact, I wanted to take you to a really nice restaurant. You know, coat and tie."

"Well, we'll have to wait a while on that, because my coat and tie are at home."

"Then what would you suggest?"

"How about pizza, and we'll split the check?"

"It's a date! What time will you be ready, oh, wait, let me look," as he read my schedule. "I see you finish class at 3:30, so, you should be all showered and ready to go by, say, 4:30?"

"Yes, sir!!" I know my eyes were sparkling, because I felt them.

He leaned over, kissed me on the forehead, and said, "I'll probably call you before Friday."



"I can't wait. I love you."

He just looked at me, his eyes getting misty, yet again. He wrapped me up in another big hug, and with his voice choking with emotion he whispered, "I love you too."

We held the hug for a while. I so enjoyed being in his arms. He finally pulled back and said, "I really do have to go. Tomorrow's gonna be a heck of a day, since I laid out today." He put his finger on my lips to keep me from speaking. "But I am SO glad I laid out today. Thank you for one of the most wonderful days I've had in a very, very long time."

"Thank you, Travis, for everything. But, mostly, thank you for being you, and for loving me." I was trying not to cry, but I was so full of emotion, it was hard.

"Believe me, Jer, the pleasure, and the honor, of loving you is all mine."

"Yes, Travis. I am all yours. Now, and forever." I grabbed him, and hugged him again. I didn't think I was going to be able to let him go.

"Enough of this!" he said, wiping his eyes. "I'm going to leave now. But, I

will probably call you as soon as I get home. I love you, good night." He leaned over, gave me a quick peck on the cheek, and left.

Forty-five minutes later the phone rang. It was Travis, calling to let me know he got home safely, and that he just wanted me to know how special he thought I was, what a wonderful day he had, and that he was looking forward to Friday. We talked for thirty or so minutes, then said good night. I slept better that night than I had in a very long time.

**Back to the present**

"I didn't realize you guys fell for each other so quickly," Allen said.

"Quick, and hard," I said. "Allen, you know I love you, so, please, don't take this the wrong way, but, I don't know that I'll ever love someone as much as I loved Travis."

"I'm not offended, love," he said. "I have a first love, too. I'll never love anybody like you, probably the same way you'll never love anybody like Travis. I can live with that, as long as your heart belongs to me now."

"Look at your left hand, Allen. The whole world can see that my heart belongs to you."

I took his hand again, kissed it, and started the next part of my story.