I wish to retain all rights to this story. However, I am delighted to grant permission to any person to publish this story as long as there is no charge to the reader and as long as no changes are made to the story.

Copyright 2005. All Rights Reserved.


CHAPTER 52 — For Better or Worse

I was numb. A thousand thoughts, barely formed, rolled through my mind. And underlying them all was a bottomless dread.

Sometimes you just know things, and I had the worst feeling in my gut that this new disease was as serious as Roger made it out to be. I had noticed a couple of the news articles and ignored them, and now I deeply regretted it.

Roger had shaken me. And though I tried to convince myself that the odds of us having caught GRIDS from Robert had to be small — even if he had it – just the possibility filled me with a fear that I was having trouble shaking.

On the way back to Robert’s house to pick up the jeep and look for my pants, Scott pulled into the parking lot of a coffee shop. “We need to talk,” he said.

“Yeah,” Nu agreed.

In the back seat, Dan took my hand.

“What do you think?” Scott asked, once we had our coffee.

“I think we better pull in our horns until this thing blows over,” Dan said.

“Big time,” Scott agreed.

I glanced out the tall glass windows. The day was bright and sunny, and it seemed completely incongruous to think about death and disease.

“At least I’ve got Seany,” Dan said, patting my back. “We can take care of each other.”

“No, we can’t,” I said, shaking my head. “Not for a couple of weeks. Not until we’re sure that I haven’t got it.”

“I’m gonna kick the shit out of Robert,” Scott said, shaking his head.

“We need to warn him,” I pointed out. “If it’s not too late.”

“Do you think he has it?” Scott asked, looking at Dan.

“I hope to hell he doesn’t,” Dan answered.

“He wasn’t acting sick last night,” Nu pointed out. “Just stoned outta his mind.”

“I wonder how you can tell,” I said. “We should ask Roger… I mean like… are there signs? Or does it just show up like… wham!”

Nu shuddered. “I don’t like talking about Robert like that,” he said. “I mean… I like the Dude, you know? I hope he’s OK.”

“We all do,” Scott said. “Believe me.”

Nu nodded, but it looked to me like his eyes might be watering. It occurred to me that he might be more shaken than I was.

Nu pushed back from the table. “I need to take a whiz,” he said, heading for the bathroom.

Out of habit as much as anything, the three of us watched Nu’s butt as he walked away.

“What do you think of him?” Scott asked, looking particularly at me. “Of Nu?”

“He’s a sweet guy,” I said.

Scott nodded. “But I also meant… you know… he’s sorta hot. Don’t ya think?“

“Well, yeah… I think,” I said with an apologetic glance toward Dan. “You ought to know that, Scott, from last night.”

His eyes traveled to the bathroom door. “I was just thinking,” Scott said. “If I were to settle down with one guy for a while… like Dr. Reese said to do… well…” He glanced back at us and looked down at the table. “Well shit, if either Nu or me has anything, we already gave it to each other, and if we don’t… well… I wouldn’t mind being safe with just him.”

His eyes returned to mine. “I know he’s not the smartest guy.”

I leaned toward Scott. “He’s not dumb, Scott. He’s a nice guy. He’s got a hot body and a nice face, and beautiful hair. He lives here in Houston. And he likes you.”

“You think so?” Scott asked, turning to watch the bathroom door.

“He told me so. And,” I added, wriggling my eyebrows, “he’s a sexual black belt. I remember that well enough.”

Scott glanced up at me and smiled. “He was great with me, too.” he turned to watch the door again, thoughtfully. “He was better than great,” he said, half to himself.

“Why don’t you ask him, then?” Dan suggested.

“He said he doesn’t have a boyfriend,” I agreed, reaching across to rub Dan’s back.

Scott smiled, scratching the side of his head. “I’ve never had one.”

“I only just met him,” I said, “and I was stoned for much of the time, but I already know he’s tons cooler than most of the guys I’ve met in Houston.”

Dan punched my ribs.

“I said most,” I complained.

The door to the john opened, and Nu stepped out.

“Excuse me,” Scott said, standing up. He headed straight for Nu and when they met, he took Nu’s hand and led him over to the side.

Scott did most of the talking. A smile spread slowly on Nu’s lips. Then, leaning forward so that his forehead rested on Scott’s, Nu stroked Scott’s hair back over his ear. Scott said something else and Nu grinned. Then Scott hugged him.

“Roger needs to talk to more gay guys,” I said.

. . . . .

Dan and I found Robert in the kitchen after Nu and Scott dropped us off before taking off for Nu’s house.

Robert shrugged us off. “Yeah, I heard about it,” he said, leaning back against the kitchen counter, once again in his robe. He rubbed his head, wincing, before taking a sip of Coke. “There haven’t been that many cases.”

“It’s deadly, Robert,” Dan told him. “And there’s no cure. They say it’s really contagious.”

“They don’t even know how you get it,” Robert said.

“Yeah, they do,” I told him. “They know it’s from something that gay guys do.”

Robert smiled at me. “Well you sure did it all last night! Aren’t you worried you caught something?”

I nodded. “Yeah, I am.”

Robert looked down his nose at me. “Really?”

“Yeah,” I told him. And I told him why.

“Well I don’t have it,” Robert said, pushing off the counter. “All I have is a hell of a headache.”

“It’s that grass of yours,” I said.

“You seemed to enjoy it last night.”

“I did,” I told him.

He glanced at me and smiled, then gave the back of my head a rub. “I meant to give you some of that myself. It’s guaranteed to get a guy hot as hell.”

“Well it did,” I said, smiling ruefully. “But if I ever do any of that stuff again, it’ll only be with Dan.”

Robert glanced at Dan. “Stick around tonight, guys. We can do some together.”

Dan wrapped his arms around me from behind and pulled my body to his. “Seany and I are planning a private evening… at home.”

“What if I hold Sean’s pants hostage? Will you stay then?” Robert asked.

“You have my pants?” I asked.

“Yeah, Richard Thomas wore them home by mistake last night. Personally, I think he just wanted in somebody else’s pants,” Robert cracked, and then laughed at his own joke. “They’re in the maid’s room.”

“Thank him for me,” I said, as Dan pulled me back toward the hall to the maid’s room.

“No need,” Robert said, waving us away. “He showed us the pictures in your wallet, and we had a gay ol’ time.” Robert wriggled his eyebrows. “I think they’re all back… maybe a little creamy.”

. . . . .

We stopped by Linda’s house that afternoon, and she introduced us to her family. “So this is the famous Sean and Daniel,” her dad, a big, strapping, bald guy with huge hands, said as he shook our hands. He cocked his head to one side. “She thinks a lot of you guys and that doesn’t come easy.”

“We think a lot of her,” I said. “She’s one of a kind.”

“And we don’t say that easily,” Dan said.

“What did you tell him about us?” I asked, as Linda led us to a couch in the den.

“Very little of the truth,” she answered with a grin. “Want a soda? Coke? Sorry, we don’t have any red pop.”

“Coke’s fine,” I said.

“Me, too,” Dan told her.

Linda returned with the sodas and took a seat between us on the couch. “My mom and little sister agree with me,” she said. “You two are beautiful.”

“And they’re not seeing us in the best light,” I said.

“Not hardly,” Dan agreed. “We’ve got clothes on.”

“Punch him for me,” I told Linda.

Linda laughed. “So,” she said, leaning back between us, “how are plans coming for the ceremony.

We told her about the plans we had made with Mary the day before, and it was good to get our mind on other things. But then Linda asked about going out that night, and hinted that the three of us might want to try some bare horseback riding again. So we told her what Roger had told us about GRIDS.

“My dad warned us to not even do anything with each other,” Dan explained.

Embarrassed and frustrated, I felt my face flush.

Linda looked from Dan to me and laid her hand on my forearm. “That serious?” She asked.

I nodded.

“I wondered why you seemed quieter than normal,” she said, moving her hand to the nape of my neck and giving it a soothing squeeze. “Are you really worried?”

I glanced at Dan. “It’s hard not to be,” I told her. “I may have been exposed.”

“We were at a hell of a party,” Dan said. “Seany had a little too much beer and pot.”

“Here,” she said, turning to me and patting her thigh. “Lie down, put your head in my lap… just put your legs out over the end of the couch.”

I did, laying my head back in her lap. Smiling down, Linda started stroking my hair. “Don’t worry about things until you have to,” she said gently. “It’s always easy to imagine the worst. But it hardly ever happens.”

There was something maternal and soothing in the way Linda comforted me.

“There was just one guy there we’re really worried about,” Dan said. “And he seems pretty sure he’s OK.” He glanced down at Linda’s hand on my forehead. “I’ve been stressed too, you know,” he said with a grin.

“Lay down the other way,” Linda told him. “You can put your head in my lap, too.”

Dan did, and we lay head alongside head, stretched out in different directions. Linda used one hand each to stroke our hair. “You boys need a Wendy Darling,” she said, smiling down at us.

“And what’s a Wendy Darling?” Dan asked.

“Didn’t you ever read Peter Pan?” she asked. “Wendy was the only girl. She was a little older and she took care of the lost boys like a mother would; tending their hurts, stitching their clothes.”

Dan chuckled. “And we’re lost boys?”

“Well, yeah,” she said. “You are.”

“Well, actually,” Dan said. “We don’t plan on wearing any clothes to need stitching; not when we’re by ourselves.”

“I suppose you could bathe us,” I said.

“Or you could have our babies,” Dan suggested.

“Oh?” she asked with a raised eyebrow. “You’d keep me around for breeding purposes?”

“You can clean house, too,” Dan said.

“What’s wrong with breeding?” I asked. “I like breeding. Breeding’s fun.”

“Yeah, well you guys have the easy part. You don’t have to carry the results around for nine months.”

“I don’t know,” I said with a casual flourish of my hand. “I always thought that would be sorta wonderful; to make a baby with a guy and grow it inside you.”

I looked up. Linda was studying me, as if seeing something new about me.

“Is this a pregnant pause?” Dan asked.

“Linda’s looking at me funny,” I said.

“You gotta understand,” Dan said. “Seany likes kids.”

“Yeah,” Linda agreed, “I’ve picked up on that before.” She stroked my hair, looking down into my eyes. “But two guys are going to have trouble making babies.”

“Doesn’t keep us from trying,” I said with a grin.

“He’s always joking that I’ve gotten him pregnant,” Dan said. “Of course, Seany’s got it figured out,” Dan said, “about how two guys can make a baby.”

“Oh, Seany does, does he?” Linda asked with a smirk.

“Yeah, Seany does,” I said. “Gotta wait on the technology first.”

She smiled. “I think it’s cute how you call each other Seany and Danny.”

“And Little Seany and Little Danny,” Dan said.

“He means our…” I pointed at my lap.

“I remember,” Linda said, smiling. “But I’ve seen Little Seany and Little Danny and there isn’t anything little about them.”

“Affectionate diminutives,” I said.


“They like it when Little Linda comes out to play,” Dan said.

“I know they do,” Linda said, and then leaned over our heads. “Little Linda likes to play.”

It occurred to me that the kidding might be going too far. It was unfair to Linda to lead her on. We certainly weren’t going to do anything with her; not then, and probably not for weeks… if ever. We were gay after all, and about the time we could be sure we didn’t have anything, we were going to be married.

“How’s the hunt for a worthy boyfriend?” I asked in an attempt to deflect the conversation.

She frowned. “Not good. You guys raised my standards too high. It’s been a long dry spell.”

“Except last weekend,” Dan pointed out. “Have you already forgotten our night of bliss?”

“Geez, was that just last weekend?” I asked. “It seems like ages ago.”

“Tell me about it,” Linda said. “How long before you guys will know for sure that everything’s OK? You know… with the GRIDS thing?”

“Weeks,” Dan said with a groan.

Linda chewed her lip.

“So how was your Thanksgiving?” I asked, deciding to take another shot at changing the direction of the conversation.

Linda smiled. “Good.”

. . . . .

“You’ve got to quit joking with Linda like that,” I said, “about her having our babies. She might start to take you seriously.”

Dan smiled and reached across to rub my shoulder. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. But you do like kids, Seany. And I guess I’m sorry we won’t have any.”

I grinned. “Just waiting on the technology,” I said.

. . . . .

After supper, Roger and Mary cleared the table and spread out a map of central Texas. “We talked while you were out this afternoon,” Roger said. “You boys want to live together and we understand that. And after last night, we agree with you that it should be as soon as possible.”

He leaned over the map. “You know that I don’t want Daniel having to commute to Austin from San Antonio every day any more than I want Sean having to commute to San Antonio. But Mary had an idea.”

“That we could find some place halfway in between?” I guessed, looking down the map. San Marcos was closer to Austin; New Braunfels was closer to San Antonio. There wasn’t a whole lot on I-35 between them.

“San Marcos would be cool,” I said, hopefully. I didn’t mind being the one to commute farther; not if it meant we could live together.

“Mary’s idea,” Roger said, “was this.” He placed his finger on the map at a spot slightly west of San Marcos and North of New Braunfels. “Canyon Lake,” he said.

Dan and I glanced at each other, open-mouthed.

“Mary and I have talked about getting a cottage on a lake somewhere. Have you been to Canyon Lake? It’s in the hill country.”

“Are you kidding?” I said. “It’s beautiful.”

“Well, we can’t guarantee anything,” Roger said. “But there are a lot of lake houses and cottages up there, and more on the rivers in the area. “Would you guys go for something like that?”

Dan whooped and hugged Mary. Roger smiled gently at me and kneeling beside my chair, he gripped my shoulder. I realized that I was crying.

I wiped my eyes. “I’m just sorta tired and today’s been a little stressful,” I said, trying to smile apologetically.

Roger gently wrapped his arms around me and pulled my head to his shoulder. “You don’t mind,” he said, softly,” if we’re in a mood to spoil you two?” He laid his head against mine. “I was so sorry when we – Mary and me — didn’t… keep in touch with you, Sean; not until Jimmy hurt you so badly and then it was too late. You don’t know how very deeply I’ve regretted that.” He pulled me tighter in his arms. “No more regrets, Sean,” he said, his voice thick with sudden emotion. “Life is too short; no more regrets.”

He cleared his throat and patted my back. “This weekend,” he said quietly, “reminded me… none of us has any guarantee about how long we’ll be around.” He rocked me in his arms. “Let’s make the most of it.”

I glanced across the table. Mary was smiling benevolently on us, her eyes full of tears.

. . . . .

I wanted to talk to my own dad. As soon as I could, I excused myself to Dan’s room, sat on the edge of the bed and called home. Colin answered.

“We missed you, Sean,” he said. “Have you been having a good time?”

I shook my head thinking, if only you knew. “Yeah. Interesting weekend. I was hoping to talk to Dad about it.”

“Sure,” Colin said slowly. “Umm, Sean… I’ve been needing to tell you something.”

I remembered. Dad had told me as much, but last time Colin wasn’t forthcoming. As much as I wanted to talk to Dad, I was sure that whatever was on Colin’s mind was important to him. “What’s that?” I asked.

“You know how our church has a revival every fall? Well this year, the guy – the speaker – was really good. I mean really good. You know… he made us think.” There was a pause. “I’ve become a Christian,” he said.

I laid my head back on the bed. “You’ve always been a Christian,” I said.

“No, Sean. Not really. I mean, I made a ‘decision’ when I was like five… when you did. But it wasn’t ever real, you know. I wasn’t living it, Sean… Sean, I’ve given my life to Christ.”

I closed my eyes. We grew up in the same church. I knew what he was trying to say. “So you’ve gotten serious about God?” I asked.

“Well that’s one way to put it.”

“That could be hard for you, Colin. How does Heather feel about it?”

“She did the same thing, Sean. We did it together.”

I laid my forearm over my eyes. “That’s not all you’ve done together. Are you swearing off sex?”

Colin took a moment to answer. “Yeah, Sean. We want to. We’re serious about this. I’m serious about it. And I feel good. You know that inner peace we’ve always heard about? I’ve got it.”

Well, I thought to myself, another storm to wait to blow over. Of course, it wasn’t like Colin and I were likely to be hopping in to bed together any time soon anyway. I sighed. Maybe it was good. Maybe it would keep Colin from jumping into bed with someone else, someone who could be carrying something… like GRIDS.

“I want to tell you more about it sometime, Sean, OK?”

“Sure. Maybe when we see each other at Christmas.”

There was a pause. “Sean… I’m trying to think through the whole ear piercing thing, OK?”

“What do you mean?”

“Just whether I’d still feel right about it… you know?”

“Colin,” I started to say, but my throat tightened. I swallowed. “I really want you there. I want you to stand with me.”

He didn’t answer, as though he was searching for words.

“Look, Colin… I’ve had a helluva day. Could I speak to Dad now?”

“Yeah,” Colin said, then… “I’m sorry.”

When Dad answered, I couldn’t speak. My throat was tight and if I tried to say anything, I knew I’d completely break down.

“Sean?” Dad asked.

I tried to say “yes” but only a throat-tight “uh” came out.

“Take your time, son,” Dad said. “Tell me about it.”

. . . . .

We started to kiss, but stopped, pulling back. “Guess we better not,” I said.

Dan nodded.

He crawled into the bed from his side and I crawled in from mine. Dan turned out the light, and we lay on our backs, looking up at the ceiling.

“Long day,” Dan said.


He took my hand, and I squeezed his.

“Scary, huh?” he said.

I nodded. “We’ve got a lot of friends to warn.”

“We need to call Ry,” Dan said. “But not until he’s back at school. My uncle would flip out if we called Ry at home.”

“But we need to call him,” I said. “Maybe even tomorrow night. That school has kids from all over the country and I bet most of them have been home for the holiday.”

“Think he’ll listen?”

“He has to,” I said. “Whatever it takes, we’ll make him listen to us.” Then I smiled. “I bet he flips out when he hears we’re going to live on a lake.”

“He’ll be bustin’ his brain figuring out how to join us for spring break.”

“No way he’ll be able to do that.”

“Maybe this summer,” Dan suggested.

“Summer,” I said, picturing us all summer on a lake. I glanced at Dan. “Oh, wow!”

Dan smiled; then his smile faded. I knew why. If the worst happened… summer might never come. He gripped my hand tightly. “Do you think we…?”

“You haven’t caught anything,” I told him. “I never saw that blond guy around Robert at all.”

He shrugged. “We don’t know that Robert has it. But we also don’t know that nobody else who was there has it. I don’t know anything about that guy I made it with. All I can hope is that I didn’t give Tolly or his buds anything.”

“You don’t have anything,” I repeated, primarily because it was incomprehensible to me that he might. “And maybe it’s really good that we ran into The Three Monkeys. Now we can warn them about GRIDS.” I squeezed his hand. “You remember the way back to Kyle’s house?”

“Tolly gave me his phone number,” Dan said. “I gave him mine.”

I lifted our hands and rubbed the back of mine on his hipbone. “Now you have a little brother, too,” I said.

Dan chuckled.

“Hey, maybe we can get Tolly together with Trevor sometime. Trevor will think he died and went to heaven.”

“If Tolly would go for it,” Dan said.

“Tolly will like him. You don’t remember what Trevor looks like without glasses,” I said. “His eyes are amazing.” I glanced at Dan. “I told you that I’m getting him contacts for Christmas, right?”

Dan nodded. “And his first lay, it sounds like,” he said.

“You wouldn’t mind, right?” I asked. “I know Tolly really fell for you.” I leaned up on my elbow. “Did you fall for him?”

Dan glanced at me and smiled faintly. “A little… yeah.”

“Well then,” I said, lying back down, “if anything happens to me, besides Ry, you’d have Tolly.”

Dan rolled up on his side toward me and took my jaw firmly in his hand, turning my face to his. “Don’t talk that way. If I haven’t caught anything; you haven’t caught anything.” He bent over me, his eyes bearing down into mine. “You’re the only one. The only one.”

His eyes glistened in the faint light; his fine, pale hair hanging down around our faces. He bent to kiss me and I turned away. “Don’t, Dan,” I said. “Not till we’re sure I don’t have it.”

With a groan, he dropped his forehead to the side of mine. “How long?” he asked.

“Till we’re sure,” I said. “Not till I’m sure I’m not going to give you GRIDS.”

He rolled to his back. “We’re about to be married, Sean.”

“And live on a lake,” I said.

Dan chuckled and rolled up on his side again to face me. Dim light from the open window behind him reflected off the smooth skin of his shoulder and made the stray strands of his hair silver. “It’s going to be so cool,” he said.

I rolled up onto my side, facing him, and placed my hand on the faint glimmer of his shoulder. “Way cool.”

“Wherever it is, it’s gotta be on the water,” Dan said. “Right on the water.”

“So we can skinny dip at night,” I said, grinning. “And make love in the shallows.”

“And fish,” Dan said.

“Maybe Peter’s uncle will sell us an old canoe.”

Dan grinned. “Yeah!” He laid his hand on my waist. “We’ll take our bikes and ride around the lake after classes.”

I frowned. “I don’t know, Dan. I’m not sure my knee’s in that good a shape yet.”

He squeezed the side of my waist just above my hips. “You’re going to run again, Seany. We’ll go out in the evenings and run.”

I smiled. “Maybe… if you’re running with me.”

“Can you imagine,” Dan said, leaning closer. “Guys are going to want to come visit all the time.”

I smoothed my hand over his shoulder. “What will we do if they do?” I asked. “What if it’s someone like Aaron and Jorge who we know are safe… or even Scott and Nu after a few months if we know everything’s alright? Will we do anything with them?”

Dan smoothed back my hair. “Do you want to?”

“Not right now, no,” I said, caressing his angular shoulder with my palm.

“But we might want to later?” he asked.

“We might,” I said. “It might be hard to quit other guys cold turkey.”

“Even if we get tempted to do other guys, we don’t have to.”

“No,” I agreed, running my fingertip around his nipple. “None of them compare with you anyway. They never have. As long as I have you…”

He moved his face closer to mine. “I don’t want to wait weeks to kiss you, Seany.”

I pulled my face back. “I love you, Dan. I’m not going to expose you if you haven’t been.”

“What makes you think you have?’

“In case I have,” I said, sitting up. “Look, I’m not real sleepy. Maybe I’ll get a glass of milk.”

Dan sat up beside me. “I’ll go with you,” he said, but stayed me with a hand on my forearm.

I turned my head his way and he slid an arm over my shoulders and leaned close to my ear. “Seany,” he said quietly, “you don’t have it.”

I started to tell him that he couldn’t know that, but Dan went on.

“You’re my mate; my life mate,” he said, speaking softly, but gripping my shoulder. “You’re my best friend, my lover, my husband…” he shook my shoulder, “my wife...” he leaned his forehead above my ear, “my brother… you’re my everything, Seany. You’re my beloved. We’re already in this together.”

Everything in me wanted to respond; to say he was right; to kiss him and hold him close. I couldn’t imagine waiting weeks for that.

“The first time I saw you,” he whispered, “even as a kid, I knew I wanted to be your friend. Even then, what I felt for you was different than I felt for any other kid. And nothing’s changed. We belong together. You aren’t going anywhere without me.”

I laid my hand on his thigh. “But Dan,” I said, “there’s no going back. If I do have it, I’d give it to you and there’s nothing I could do to take it back.”

He kissed my shoulder. “I’m not afraid, Seany. I was afraid once, with Jimmy. And it almost cost us everything. I’m not going to be afraid now.”

“Maybe you should be,” I said, patting his thigh and standing up. “Sometimes it’s good to be afraid.”

Dan hung his head and sighed. “Why do you have to be so damned stubborn?”

“Because I love you, you asshole,” I said with a choking voice.

. . . . .

Wearing only boxers, we spread the map on the kitchen table, and explored the area around Canyon Lake while we sat next to each other and drank our milk.

When we finished, Dan got up, taking my glass from me. He set it on the table and turned me, and my chair, sideways. Taking my face in his hands, he stepped astride my lap and sat down; his package on mine.

His mouth moved toward mine, and he held my face firmly between his hands.

“Don’t, Dan,” I said.

“Are you afraid I have it?” he asked. “Are you afraid I’ll give it to you?”

“No!” I said. “I’m afraid I’ll give it to you!”

He put his nose to mine. “I’m not willing to wait, Seany. What are the odds either of us has it? Slim to none, right? I’m not waiting weeks to find out that we didn’t have to wait at all.”

“But if I have caught it…”

“Then they’ll have to come up with a cure,” he said, “I’m not waiting weeks to find out that we can never kiss again.”

I started to say that we had no choice, but Dan covered my mouth with his. He held my head tightly as his tongue probed deeply into my mouth. And I yielded. I wanted so badly to yield.

Holding him by his ribs, I opened my mouth completely to him and met his tongue with mine. I started to grow hard and he rocked on my lap.

Gripping his sides, I tried to push away. “No,” I said, gasping. “Kissing’s one thing, but…”

Dan found my mouth again and we plunged back into a kiss that was fueled by all the emotions of that day and a love more intense because it was threatened.

We were both hard when we paused next for air. With one of his forearms resting on my shoulder, he reached back to the table, to the butter dish we had pushed to the side to make room for the map. Dan lifted the cover on a stick and a half of butter and scooped up a dollop on the tip of his fingers. He took my right wrist and held my hand palm up, scraping the butter off onto my fingertips.

“No, Dan,” I said, shaking my head.

“Sean,” he said, frowning. “What are we promising each other? What are you promising me?”

I swallowed. “To be your servant for life.”

“And if I say to do this? Are you going to break your promise?”

What were the chances I had anything? How hard would it be to wait? How long would we have to wait? Waiting seemed unbearable already.”

He moved his face close to mine and placed his buttery fingers on my temple. His eyes steady on mine, he drew his fingers down the side of my face. “To have and to hold,” he whispered.

He dipped the fingers of his other hand in the butter I held and cradled the other side of my face. “To love and to cherish,” he said gently, his eyes lingering on my mouth.

He drew a buttery finger across my lips. “From this time forward.”

A tear appeared in the corner of his eye. “For better, for worse.” He spread butter over my throat with his open hand and drew it up under my chin. “For richer, for poorer.”

He laid a buttery hand on each side of my face and smoothed them back over my ears, smoothing back my hair. “In sickness and in health.”

Placing the flats of his hands on the backs of my shoulders, he smoothed them down my back, lowering his lips until they just brushed mine. “Till death,” he whispered, “do us part.”

He kissed me, pressing my buttery lips with his.

Wrapping my arms behind him, I pressed my hands together, spreading the remaining butter between them, and then I laid them on his back.

“In sickness and in health,” I whispered, rubbing my hands down the hard muscles of his back and up again, pulling him closer. “Till death do us part… and maybe,” I pulled his ear to my mouth with a buttery hand, “not even then.”

We kissed again, and then Dan stood up, backing from me. He dropped his boxers and stood all slender and youthful before me, his erection pointing directly at me. Our eyes met and my chest heaved.

I held my arms open and he stepped forward. Perhaps we should have gone back to Dan’s room, just in case Roger or Mary got up for a midnight snack, but I didn’t even think about it, and it didn’t matter.

I gently took Dan by the hips and pulled him forward, burying my buttery face under his cock and against his scrotum, nuzzling him intimately. He ran his fingers into my hair and held my head while I clutched his butt and closed my mouth over his cock.

But I had barely begun to enjoy the feel and taste of him before Dan pulled away from me and sat down on my thighs. He reached into the fly of my boxers and fished out my hard cock. Then he scooped more butter and spread it onto my fingers. Taking some of it, he stroked it up and down my cock, his eyes steadily on mine.

He rose up off my legs, scooting forward. Taking my wrist, he guided my hand holding the butter behind his back.

I rubbed the butter into his crack, and into his opening.

Then reaching behind his back Dan grabbed my erection and lowered himself. He paused once he worked the head of my cock to his opening. Our eyes met, and with a determined look, he lowered himself in one, deliberate movement.

We smoothed butter over each other’s lean bodies, over every seam and muscle. Our hands traveled into each other’s hair and our lips slid across each other’s faces.

The butter in the dish steadily went down, and our bodies became increasingly lubricated. And then I grabbed Dan tightly around the chest, holding him still and tightly against me as my semen churned and readied.

Dan wrapped his arms around my head and laid his cheek on top of my hair, holding me, rocking me as I came, whimpering against his collarbone. “For better or worse, Seany,” he whispered as my seed shot up into him. “In sickness or in for health.”

He held me until I calmed, and then unwrapping his arms from around my head, he leaned back, smiling gently. Wrapping my hand around his hard cock, the tip of which rested on my belly, I leaned up for a kiss.

“Now you,” I said when his lips left mine.

Dan rose up off me, and I slid from the chair onto my back on the hard kitchen floor.

Dan used the last of the butter when I lifted and spread my knees out wide, and then he moved over me; his strong body between my legs, taut belly on my belly; pressing my still thick cock in between. As I slid my hands up and down his taut torso from tight butt to angular shoulders, I thought he could top me every time and I’d be happy.

When he drew close to coming, he wrapped his arms tightly around my shoulders. Laying my cheek against his temple, I held him while he pumped his sperm deep into me. “For better or worse,” I whispered. “In sickness or in for health.”

He began to relax. “Well, Danny,” I said. “We’ve done it now.”

Dan pulled out of me and slid his cock up alongside mine. Laying down on me, he planted his elbows on either side of my neck and wrapped his arms over the top of my head. “Are you sorry?” he asked, touching the tip of his nose to mine.

“Only if anything happens to you,” I said.

He held my head and pressed his cheek to mine. “I’m not sorry, Sean. No matter what happens; I’m not sorry.”

As always, emails are appreciated at btomandback@hotmail.com