STANDARD WARNING: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to individuals, living or dead, is pure coincidence. Do not read this story if you are offended by man-to-man romance or sex. Do not read if you are underage according to the laws in the country, state/province, county, city/town/village or township where you live. There is sex between males. You have been warned!
Copyright 2001 by
Nick Archer. Permission is granted to Nifty Archives, ASSGM, and
gaywritings, to post one copy. No part may be copied, reproduced,
republished, or reposted on another website without written
permission from the author.
Thicker Than Water
By Nick Archer
Matt woke up uncharacteristically early on Sunday morning. Tim was still peacefully asleep next to him. Matt shuffled across the bedroom carpet to the bathroom, relieved himself and checked on his sons.
Matt had long ago developed the sixth sense that parents have. Early in the evolutionary process, animals developed a sense of where their children are, their activities and their safety. In part, this sense developed to ensure the survival of the species. A part of Matts brain was always aware of where Tommy and Brian were, or when they should arrive back. If they didnt arrive back at the prescribed time, he became concerned. Concern turned to worry and worry to panic, as the gap grew bigger between the expected time of their arrival and the actual arrival time.
On his way back from the bathroom, he looked in on his two boys and Ryan. It was a manifestation of his parental sixth sense. Tommy was on his side, snoring lightly. His eyes seemed busy under their eyelids as if he were viewing his own personal videotape. Brian looked angelic, as he always did when he was asleep. A wave of nostalgia washed over Matt. He recalled standing in the exact same spot in Brians doorway and looking in on him the very first night he spent at the townhouse. Matt clearly remembered thinking what the hell am I doing? Have I taken leave of my senses? Ryan was asleep with his back to the room on the upper bunk.
Tim was still asleep, but he had thrown the sheets off. He was on his side; a position that accentuated the little potbelly he had developed this past summer. Matt snuggled next to him and ran his hand up and down his thigh. He loved Tims thighs. They were big and beefy and nearly hairless. In Matts mind, they looked even sexier since he had gained weight.
Tims breathing became irregular. "Dont rub my fat," he mumbled groggily to Matt.
"Your thighs are so sexy," Matt whispered in his ear, and then kissed his ear to emphasize the point.
Tim groaned and rolled over on his back. "Im fat."
"Youre not," Matt protested.
"I am too. Ive gained so much weight. Nothing fits anymore."
"I think youre sexy."
"I feel like a beached whale."
Matt was tiring of his self-pity. "My love for you is not based on the numbers on the scale, Tim. Even if I didnt think youre incredibly handsome and sexy, which I do, I love you with all my heart."
"Youre just saying that. I dont know how you can love me."
"I dont know how you can love me. After how badly I treated you last summer, keeping Brian away from you and dragging you out of the closet. I dont know how you put up with my moods and my temper." Matt straddled his lover, and pulled his gray boxer briefs off.
"Dont," Tim protested, but made no effort to stop him.
Matt leaned forward and kissed Tim with passion. "I love you, babe."
"Im fat," Tim repeated.
Matt gave his hip a playful slap. "OK, if thats the way you want it. Shall I call you Orca? Or perhaps Shamu? Or maybe Willie?"
"You " Tim attempted to tickle Matt. But since Matt was above Tim, he had the advantage. Matt pinned his wrists to the bed.
"Ill show you how to free your Willie," he said before he took Tims cock in his mouth. Tim stopped struggling and moaned. Tims chin pointed at the ceiling and his Adams apple stood out prominently.
Matt pulled on his balls with just the right amount of pressure. He knew Tim loved the sensation, but not to the point of pain. After a year of sharing sex, they had learned each others sexual language. The boys and their care took up most of their time when they werent working. So they had to insert their lovemaking - so to speak - into any available time they could find to be alone. Sometimes their lovemaking had urgency to it - like, Lets finish before the kids find us. Also, they understood each others physical preferences - such as what worked to bring the other partner to orgasm and what didnt. Neither one played a permanent active nor passive role in bed, although for anal sex, Matt was usually passive.
Matts throat muscles instinctively relaxed to allow the other mans cock to slide to the back of his gullet. Matt sucked on Tim almost to the point of orgasm. Tims cock began oozing precum.
On a whim, Matt repositioned himself and spun Tim around on the bed. Tims eyes registered surprise as Matt did. Currently, Tim was on his back with his ass on the edge of the bed, Matts hands held up his legs from under the knees.
Wordlessly, Matt leaned over and kissed his navel. Then, he kissed a trail to the inside of his left thigh. There, he formed his mouth in an O and sucked for all he was worth, while his right hand clamped onto his steel cock.
Tim moaned loudly and Matt was afraid hed wake the boys. Since his mouth was occupied, he wasnt able to admonish Tim to be quieter. Tim began to pant and Matt watched as his diaphragm tightened and relaxed to provide air.
When Matt was satisfied that he had left a suitable purple souvenir on his inner thigh, he sank to the floor on his knees and turned his attention to Tims hole. The two men had seldom engaged in annilingus and even then only when one or both partners were inebriated. But, Matt was horny and eager to demonstrate to Tim the depth of his emotions.
Tims brawny hands gripped the sheets as if holding on for life.
Matt licked the pucker tentatively at first, and finding it clean, plunged in. He took pleasure in Tims reaction. Currently, Tim was whimpering, and the sound spurred Matt further. His right hand began to jack Tims cock. He wet his middle finger by placing it in his mouth. Matt rose up on his knees so that he could view the reaction on Tims face. With a slight grin, Matt pushed his finger into the hole to the first knuckle.
"Yeah, Matt. Oh, God."
"Like that baby?"
"Oh, yes," he panted. "More."
Matt increased the pressure, and shortly the finger had plunged in. Matt could feel the sphincter muscles contract around the base of his finger. He plunged down on Tims cock again as he began working his finger in and out.
Tim pushed down on Matts head as he bucked his hips.
Suddenly, Tim was cumming. "Oh, yes!" he grunted.
"Good boy," Matt encouraged.
Tim pulled his lover on top of him, gluing their bodies together with his cum. Their lips met.
"I love you, Matt."
"I love you, Tim." He loved to lie on top of Tim. He loved the feel and warmth of his body. It was almost as familiar to him as his own body. "What time is it?" He reached over to the nightstand. "Shit, its only 7:45."
"Im going back to sleep," Tim mumbled.
"Oh, I see how you are. I put you to sleep, do I?" Matt asked with amusement. "Well, Im going to take a shower first, and I wish you would do the same."
"Can I go first?"
"Sure, go ahead."
Tim eschewed even a towel for the short trip to the bathroom. The two men had established strict guidelines for nudity in the house, but they were reasonably certain the boys would be asleep yet. While Tim showered, Matt stared out the window at the late summer morning. He wondered again what Tim saw in him. He was a young man - Tim had just passed his twenty-fifth birthday. I would have never settled down with a man almost ten years older than me when I was his age. And on top of that, I would have never been tied down with a house and kids. Hes a special man, and Im lucky to have him.
When Tim slipped under the sheet again, smelling sweet and clean from the shower, Matt kissed him. Partially out of laziness and partly out of a sense of daring, he stepped to the bathroom nude as well.
When he had completed his shower, he opened the door to let the steam escape. Matt decided to shave this morning. They were taking the boys to the Santoro family picnic and he wanted to look good.
He finished shaving, rinsed the sink out, and hung the towel and washcloth up to dry. As he turned down the hall to the master bedroom, Ryan appeared in the hall.
Matt blushed and covered his gonads with his hands. This was exactly the type of encounter he had been dreading. "Morning," he mumbled.
As he scooted by the boy, Matt could swear he saw his blue eyes flash to his crotch.
A smile spread slowly across Ryans face. He was clearly enjoying Matts discomfort, or pleased with the fact he actually saw Matt nude, or both. Matt couldnt tell.
Matt slipped under the cool sheets again nude and groaned.
"I just ran into Ryan in the hallway."
Tim snickered. Before he could answer, Ryan burst into the room, and plopped on the bed between the two men.
"Ryan, dammit! Take it easy." Matt admonished. Long ago, Matt and Tim had established a No Sleeping with Matt and Tim policy. They had amended it a bit when both Matt and Tim admitted to themselves and each other how much they liked the intimacy of holding the boys. Not only that, but also the kids tended to open up and talk about what was on their minds. It was logical - the boy in question had the undivided attention of two adults.
So, while the original policy still stood, they added the clause all night. This way, Matt and Tim could still enjoy affection with the boys, but assuage their worries of impropriety and inappropriateness. They had also made exceptions in the past. Brian had slept with them while they were in New Buffalo.
While Tommy and Ryan had no qualms about requesting affection, Brian was increasingly reluctant. As Matt told Tim, it was a perfectly normal and essential stage of his development. Brian was asserting his independence. Also he was increasingly conscious of how it looked to his peers.
Matt and Tim simultaneously hopped out of bed and demurely turned their backs to the boy while they slipped on underwear. Matt donned a pair of boxer briefs and Tim a pair of plaid boxers.
"Dammit, Janet, I love you, Ryan sang as the two men dressed.
Ryan was a walking encyclopedia of movie musicals, and could match a song to every occasion. It was a habit that was endearing and entertaining and could also be irritating and infuriating at times.
Matt couldnt help laughing while he shushed Ryan. The trio re-settled on the bed and found comfortable positions after some initial squirming.
Ryan snickered again. "Touch-a, touch-a, touch-a me. I wanna be dirty "
Matt laughed again as he put an arm around him. "Feel me, heal me, fulfill me, creature of the night." Matt completed the chorus to the song from Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Tim, who was facing the wall, mumbled. "I see you shiver - with antici .."
"Say it! Say it!" Matt and Ryan whispered as loud as they dared.
" .Pation." Tim completed, as he turned around and tickled Ryan.
Ryan was getting wound up. "Wait, wait ." He scrambled off the bed and disappeared. In seconds, he reappeared with a roll of toilet paper.
"Great Scott!" He shouted and tossed it onto the bed.
It was one of those Parental Dilemma Moments. Ryan was wound up with the attention and the fun of the moment. He was genuinely funny and original. Not many thirteen-year-olds would know the responses from Rocky Horror Picture Show by heart. Yet, Matt knew that if they encouraged him by laughing, Ryan would get so out of control he would wake Brian and possibly even Tommy.
Matt lowered his voice to a soft purr. "Ok, settle down buddy. Come on. Lay down here." He patted the space between Tim and himself.
"Oh man!" "He scrambled onto the bed. "I hate it when you talk to me like a dog. Come on, boy! Go lay down!"
Tim and Matt laughed. When he was safely cocooned between the two men, and had settled again, Matt stroked his hair. "How ya doing, buddy?" he asked softly.
"Good. I cant wait for the picnic."
Matt smiled at his enthusiasm. "I know you are. Youll get to see Patrick and Tony."
Matt closed his eyes again and felt sleep drift over him again. He became aware of someone sniffling. He wasnt sure whether it was a dream or reality. He reopened his eyes to see Ryan with his head buried in a pillow. Tim was rubbing his bare back.
"Whats wrong, Ryan?"
"I dont want to leave," he said to the pillow.
Matts eyes met Tims over the blond boys head. They had discussed this the other night. They were prepared for Ryans departure intellectually, but emotionally they didnt want to let go.
Matt ran his fingers through his hair. "We can still see you. You can come visit anytime. Your mom can drive you here, or I can pick you up after work. You dont live that far from Oak Ridge Mall."
The possibility hadnt occurred to Ryan. He stopped sniffling and rolled over on his back. "Yeah, that will work."
Tim smiled encouragingly. "And youll always have memories."
Ryan began to sing, "I've been living to see you, dying to see you but it shouldn't be like this, this was unexpected, what do I do now? Could we start again, please?"
Matt smiled at him. "Thats a pretty song. It sounds so familiar. What is that from?"
"Jesus Christ Superstar. But only the movie version. Not the original play. They wrote it especially for the movie."
Matt smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I remember. Remind me to have you on my team the next time we play Trivial Pursuit."
"Could we, what, hon?"
"Could we start again, please?" Ryans eyes were round, pleading and beginning to brim with tears.
Matt smiled bravely and pulled him close. "No, honey. Not unless they create a time machine." He kissed the top of the boys head. "Try to get some more sleep."
Ryan closed his eyes.
When Ryan reopened them, Tim was shaking his shoulder gently to wake him. "Come on, sleepyhead." Tim was fully dressed and Matt was pulling on a shirt at that moment.
He left the room in silence as if the heartfelt little encounter had never happened.
Matt and Tim exchanged looks again.
Later that morning, Matt watched nostalgically out the window as they approached Arie Crown Forest Preserve. The green, leafy oasis beckoned as Tim steered the Jeep off busy Mannheim Road.
The air temperature seemed ten degrees lower under the thick canopy of oak and maple trees.
Tim, who was driving, glanced at the three boys in the backseat. "Remember what Matt and I told you. Stay out of the woods."
"Why?" Tommy asked, although he knew.
"Because the woods are dangerous. There may be things going on back there that we dont want you to "
"Just stay out of the woods," Matt interrupted him. Tim doesnt need to go into lurid details about what goes on back in the woods.
Arie Crown Woods was a notorious cruising area. During the seventies and eighties, the woods were an open sex market. It got so bad that families began to avoid the woods. Responding to complaints, the forest preserve police began to arrest those involved in open sex. Their raids and undercover work was really minimal because they knew that the rumors alone that were circulated among the mostly closeted cruisers would deter many. Sexual activity really trailed off when a body was discovered in the woods. For one whole summer, one half of the three-mile loop was closed to traffic.
"If its so dangerous here, why do they have the picnic here?" Brian asked the obvious.
"Tradition," Matt answered shortly. The Santoro family picnic was a Labor Day tradition for fifteen years. Because some people traveled from Michigan and as far away as Florida to attend, they decided to continue holding the picnic at Arie Crown. Besides, the Woods were adjacent to the Stevenson Expressway so they were easy to find.
Tim turned to Matt and asked quietly, "Do you want me to drive around the loop?"
"Sure," Matt answered. Tim drove around the gently undulating curved drive. The underbrush grew close to the pavement in many places. The woods were lush and verdant at the height of the summer season. Sunlight filtered through the canopy of trees and projected a checkerboard effect on the forest floor.
Tommy breathed in deeply. "It smells like a forest," he observed.
"Look! I see deer!" Brian exclaimed.
The shy, graceful creatures responded to his voice through the open window and leapt into the forest.
They parked as close as they could to the grove that was marked with signs printed out on a computer printer. They announced that this was the grove for the a la Familia Party.
Matt has asked if he should prepare a dish for the event, but Tony laughingly told him that it was unnecessary because they already had so much food, they would send leftovers home with them. The boys did bring a Frisbee and a 16-inch softball. Brian was carrying these.
The pavilion was identical to the ones in the Forest Preserves close to their home in Park Forest. The pavilion was built of flagstone and had a huge fireplace at either end of the building, just like their cousins in the Sauk Woods. It was in a large clearing in the forest about a hundred yards from the parking area.
"Piggyback ride," Tommy demanded to Tim as they strolled the path to the pavilion.
Ryan stopped in front of Matt and demanded the same thing.
"Oh," Matt groaned teasingly, "Im too old for this." But he hunkered down and allowed Ryan to mount him.
The path from the parking area to the pavilion allowed them to take in the sights and sounds. Young mothers tended to their babies under the shade at one end of the concrete patio that surrounded the pavilion. Older men in dark socks and shorts played bocce in a grassy area just beyond. Four grills on the patio at a corner of the building offered their savory incense to the forest. Inside the pavilion, three wooded picnic tables had been placed end-to-end. This was the serving table. They could see that it was already set with bowls and covered dishes. All that was missing was the food from the grills.
As they neared the pavilion, the delicious aroma met their nostrils and made their stomachs growl with anticipation. Italian Americans base their celebrations around food, and the picnic was no exception. They could smell hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, but also good Italian sausage. One of the people attending the grills was also cooking strips of sweet bell peppers. Huge bowls held pasta and tortellini salads and the sweet smell of olive oil mingled with the sour smell of the red wine vinegar and fresh herbs. Matt recalled that Tony said there would also be Italian beef. The beef was slow-roasted at home with spices. It was one of Marys specialties. There was a whole platter of sliced cheeses. Of course, there was mozzarella, cheddar and American. But there was also pungent Asiago, provolone, and Romano. There was a stack of bread that was so huge; it looked like a supermarket display. Various kinds of buns and crusty Italian rolls were piled high. The foods displayed the hospitality of the family, the importance of food in social gatherings and blending of Italian and American cuisine.
Dark-haired youngsters chased each other around trees while their parents seemed content to watch them while they sat in shaded lawn chairs and sipped vino. Some older kids were playing Running Bases. A mother rubbed insect repellant on her daughter. Another mother poured soda from a two-liter bottle into cups for three curly-haired toddlers. A young man, who was wearing a wife-beater, perhaps in his twenties, was swinging kids around by holding onto their wrists and ankles. They squealed with delight. The whole scene was permeated with a feeling of contentment and the joy of being together.
Matt and Tim spotted Patrick and Tony from a distance. Tony was wearing a wife-beater and denim shorts. Patricks outfit privately amused Matt. Patricks wardrobe was gradually changing as he became more comfortable with his sexuality. Patrick, too, was wearing baggy denim shorts that ended just above his knees. From the looks of the denim, Matt guessed that they had been purchased recently and washed once - perhaps twice - but no more. But it was Patricks shirt that made Matt grin. It was a normal polo shirt. But it was pink. Matt wondered if Patrick had ever let any pink garment touch his skin in his lifetime before this shirt.
Ryan dismounted Matts back, ran up to the two men and hugged them one at a time, Tony first, then Patrick.
"Matt!" "Tim!" "Grandpa Patrick!"
Patrick shook Matts hand and gave his son a hug and several hearty pats on the backside. Tommy also hugged Patrick, while Brian settled for a handshake. Tim shook Tonys hand. Matt was chatting with Patrick so he didnt notice how long Tony gripped Tims hand. But Tim noticed. He flashed a look at Tony.
"Id like you to meet my mother," Tony said to the new arrivals.
Marie was the queen bee surrounded by a hive of activity. She sat at a table in the shade attended by her daughters and daughters-in-law. If her drink needed refilling or Marie desired a tasty tidbit, one of the women would serve her with quick and quiet respect. In some ways, she was the queen. She was the matriarch of the family and therefore treated with deference and esteem.
Marie also took the opportunity of a captive audience to regale them with her slightly askew opinions:
"You know why the hot dogs always taste better at the hot dog stand? Because the guy doesnt wash his hands after he goes to the bathroom."
Or: "O. J. Simpson is guilty. Know how I know? Who do you call if youre really in trouble? Your mama. Who did O. J. call from the white Bronco? His mama. Why? Because he knew he was guilty and in trouble."
Or: "Dont let your husbands drive down Archer Avenue alone on a Saturday night, because they might see Resurrection Mary."
As she did this, she waved her lit cigarette in the air as if it were a baton.
"Mama, this is Patricks son, Tim." Tim shook her hand.
She smiled lasciviously.
"This is Matt Rosato." Matt remembered his manners and in the custom of his fathers side of the family, kissed Marie on the cheek.
Marie melted. "Oh, such a nice Italian boy." She patted his cheek.
Matt grinned. He knew he had scored major points with his greeting. He introduced his sons, who politely and formally followed Matts lead by kissing Marias cheek.
"Que bambini bella," she said to Matt. Then a puzzled look crossed her face. "But, a blond and a redhead? Must have been the milkman."
Matt chuckled. "Theyre adopted, Tia Maria," he said using the Italian word for auntie.
"You and your wife must be proud."
"Im not married." Not to a woman. Matt held his breath and prayed one of the boys didnt open their mouths.
She crossed herself. "You are a saint. A true saint. God bless you for taking care of these boys. You boys are lucky to have such a father. Youre teaching them Italian, of course?"
"No," Matt said sadly. "I never learned it myself."
"Italian is a beautiful language. It is the language of love and romance." She turned to the boys. "Go run and play now, boys. But stay close. Were going to eat soon. Theres pop in those coolers over there if you want a drink."
If Marie understood the relationship between Matt and Tim, she wasnt letting on.
Ryan, Brian and Tommy took the Frisbee to a corner of the clearing. There was a well-worn path nearby. It was wide enough for a vehicle - had motorized vehicles been allowed - and it led back into the woods. They started tossing the Frisbee between them, when a handsome dark-haired boy approached them.
"Can I play?" he asked shyly. "Im Frank." He was as tall as Brian but much thinner. His hands and feet were much larger and looked like they belonged to another person. He was wearing a wife-beater over baggy nylon shorts.
"Sure," Brian smiled.
They tossed the Frisbee between them. It was obvious that Frank wasnt very good. Brian enjoyed the feeling of superiority of being better than Frank. He exchanged looks with Tommy, who understood without words what Brian was trying to say.
With a mighty fling, Frank tried to send the Frisbee back to Brian. A stray gust picked up the Frisbee. It hovered like a UFO for a moment, and then darted into the woods.
Oblivious to the possibility of poison ivy, Brian bounded into the woods. He walked deeper and deeper into the woods as his eyes scanned the forest floor for the bright orange disk. He thought he heard the crack of twigs as if someone were following him. Brian had wandered near a path. Standing on the path and leaning on a tree was a man. He was slim and short. He had a goatee and dark sunglasses. His hard cock was out of his jeans and pointing at Brian. The man licked his lips.
"Shit!" Brian muttered to himself. Before he turned to run, he couldnt help watching the man for a long moment. His heart beat wildly in his chest. This must have been what Dad was talking about. This must be why we are supposed to keep out of the woods.
It was like looking at a car accident. He wanted to stare longer, but knew that he would be caught up if he didnt move.
The man took a small and tentative step toward Brian and licked his lips again. Brian turned and ran like the deer he had spotted earlier. He almost tripped over the Frisbee, and paused only long enough to scoop it up before he re-entered the clearing.
"Whats wrong with you?" Tommy asked once Brian handed him the Frisbee. Tommy was referring to the fact that Brians face was pale and he was sweating profusely.
"Nothing," he said as he handed Tommy the Frisbee and started walking toward the pavilion. "I dont feel like playing anymore."
Tim had made up his mind that he was going to stay as far away from Tony as possible. But Tony had other ideas.
"Im concerned about your dad," Tony said to Tim.
"Its his health."
"Whats wrong, Tony?" Matt asked. He was concerned, too. Long ago, Patrick had made a play for Matt. It was at a time he was divorcing his mentally ill wife Jeannie and at the same time questioning his sexuality. Matt made allowances for these stresses. It had never happened again. Matt had a good relationship with his father-in-law. Patrick was also good with the boys.
"Its personal," Tony said.
"Matt knows everything," Tim said with irritation to Tony.
"Thats OK," Matt said, knowing full well that Tim would tell him everything later. "Ill go talk to Marie." Without a backward glance, Matt walked back to the pavilion.
Tony led Tim down another path into the woods. "So, is my dad sick?" Tim asked.
"No, hes fine. Its you."
"Me? Im not sick."
"Hes worried about you."
"Theres nothing to worry about."
By this time, they were out of earshot from the rest of the picnickers, but they could still see the pavilion through the thick underbrush.
In a breathy voice, Tony turned to Tim and said, "Im worried about you."
"Worried about what?"
"That youre not getting enough sex," he said as he grabbed his crotch.
"Stop it. Now. I mean it." Tim started walking back toward the clearing. He knew that Tony wouldnt dare to do anything in public.
Tony tried to block the path. "Ive got to have you, Tim. You are so sexy. I know Matt doesnt give you what you need."
Tim shoved him out of the way.
"Chicken shit!" His voice was elevated. "You dont know what I can give you."
"Theres nothing you can give me, asshole, besides herpes."
Tony tried to grab his crotch again.
Just then, they had reached the clearing again. "Dont touch me!" Tim yelled.
"Shh-h-h!" Tony knew that keeping Tim quiet was key. A look of panic flashed in his eyes.
"Im not going to shut up!" He took Tony by the collar of his polo shirt. "Im only going to say this once more. Keep - your - fucking - hands - off - me."
By this time, Matt could hear Tim yelling. He leapt out of the picnic table and rounded the corner of the building. Matt was not the only one who heard him yelling. Most of those in the pavilion heard him yell as well.
Tim was just releasing Tony when Matt spotted them at the portal of the trail.
Tim had seldom seen Matt as angry as he covered the distance in several strides.
With his index finger, he poked Tony in the chest. "Keep - your - fucking - hands - off - my - husband." Matt punctuated each word with another poke in his chest.
"Whats going on here?"
Mary appeared at the edge of the patio with a questioning look on her face.
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