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 2006. All Rights Reserved.


CHAPTER 55, FINAL — And Two Became One


Absently fingering my diamond-studded earlobe, I looked out from our bedroom window. The road was still empty.

A northerly wind rattled through ice-covered branches of trees around the cottage, and the air close to the window was cold. Even though Dan wasn’t supposed to be home for a while, I decided to put another log on the fire.

Dr. Armstrong warned Dan that they’d have a late meeting. It was the first day back in classes at UT, and Dan’s professor wanted to plan out an ambitious semester.

It was the first day back at Trinity as well, and my day in classes had seemed interminable. Now waiting for Dan was just more of the same.

It was the first time we’d been apart since the ceremony over two weeks earlier. Two weeks of wedded bliss. Two weeks of being constantly together; of being completely relaxed, and ourselves, and in love. And much of that time, we had been in our own cottage, naked whenever we wanted, making love when we wanted. It had been two weeks in a different world; two weeks of honeymoon.

Turning to leave the small master bedroom, I made my way around the large brass bed…


Our flight left from New York at eleven in the morning. But even with the time difference, by the time we ate a late lunch with Roger and Mary, packed up more of Dan’s belongings, and left Houston in the Jeep and Bronco, it was late afternoon.

It was after dark when we pulled onto the gravel drive of the cottage.

“We take in only what we have to,” Dan said, climbing from the Jeep. “Everything else can stay until tomorrow.”

“I’m with you,” I said, grabbing my jacket and two bags from the back of the Bronco. Dan grabbed a couple of bags from the Jeep and I followed him up the porch steps.

He fumbled with his key in the dark, but finally managed to get the door open. He turned on the lights and walked right on through the long room to set our bags down in the master bedroom.

“Whoa!” Dan said, as he turned on the bedroom light.

I came up behind him and looked in. The ceiling was mirrored… over a brass bed.

There were two envelopes atop the denim bedspread. On one were the words, “The Bed.”

The bed is from Sarah and me. (She’s just as glad to be rid of it.) The sheets and towels are from friends at Trinity. We took up a discreet collection among Streak sympathizers. Hell, even your roommate and a couple of the football players contributed… but don’t mention that to anyone. Enjoy the bed! And sleep sometime. Tom

On the other envelope was written, “The Mirrors”

I wanted you to have mirrors over your bed, like I have over mine. I know how much you love them, Sean, and I know you’ll love them too, Daniel.

You’re a good friend, Sean. I hope you know that I know that. I hope everything is alright between us now. Oh, and Lenny and Jonny helped pay for the mirrors, and they helped Ken and me put them up. So thank them, too. Oh, and Ken would have gone in with me on the mirrors, but since we weren’t together when Jonny helped me buy them – well, Ken did something with your other friends. But he helped put the mirrors up so thank him too. Michael

“Incredible!” Dan said, walking around the bed while watching his reflection in the mirrors.

I lay down on the bed. It squeaked. Dan lay down beside me and we looked at each other in the mirror overhead.

“Yep,” I said. “We’ll like them.”

Dan winked at me in the mirror.

“First,” I said, getting up from the bed, “I’m gonna get comfortable and I’m getting a drink of water.”

“Comfortable?” Dan asked with a grin, watching me remove my shirt in the mirror. He held his arms open to me, and I bounced back over him on the bed. We touched noses and he wrapped his arms around my bare torso.

“It’s home,” Dan said softly. “Our home.”

“Our lake home,” I said.

“Our bed,” Dan said, wriggling his eyebrows.

I laughed and kissed him. He stroked my back and I stroked his hair as we kissed, and then ended our kiss with a little lip brushing. “Are you going to wear something else from your ‘trousseau’?” he asked with a smile.

“It’s warm enough,” I said. “And it’s our home. I was thinking of getting naked.”

Dan pecked my lips. “Naked is how I’m keeping you.”

“That,” I said, reaching between us to unbutton his shirt, “is mutual.”

He put his hands behind his head and watched as I opened his shirt and kissed the middle of his chest.

“You hungry?” he asked.

As an answer, I pressed my mouth to his flat belly, growled, and shook my head.

Dan laughed, grabbing my head and jerking his knees up. “I was asking,” he said, “in case you wanted to bring in our bag of groceries before you get naked.”

“Me bring in the groceries?” I asked, kissing under his sternum. “You’re the one who’s hungry. I have all I need to eat right here.”

Laughing, Dan pushed me away and rolled from the bed. “Finish stripping,” Dan said, “I’ll go out for the groceries.”

“Hey, there’s a stereo here,” he called from the long room.

I finished pulling off my clothes and stumbled out. Dan pointed to a Sony compact stereo that sat on a stand beside the fireplace. “And some cassettes,” he added.

I stepped over for a closer look.

“And there a bunch of envelopes on the breakfast table here,” Dan said, tossing off his shirt as he pulled up a chair. “The first one says ‘Stereo.’”

“Open it,” I said, coming over.

Knowing how much you both love music, we thought a stereo would be a better gift than a TV. You’ll already have enough trouble concentrating on your studies while living on a lake. We love you very much. Thank you for making us part of your special ceremony. Dad, Mom, Colin, and Laurie.

On the next envelope was written, “Opera Cassettes.”

I know how much you love arias, and I know when you like to listen to them. Here’s a set of great ones for whenever you two are ‘in the mood’. Linda

“Canoe?” Dan asked, before I finished reading Linda’s note. He opened the next envelope.

We sanded and repainted your canoe ourselves. It’s in great shape. You can do anything in it. Hint, hint. Explore the lake real good so that when we come, you know all the best places to shoot blackbirds. Smiles. Peter and Alan

“The canoe must be outside,” I suggested.

Dan fanned through the rest of the envelopes, reading them. “Steaks, Groceries, Hammock, Microwave, Cleaning and Grunt Work, Grill, Hot Tub.”

“Hot tub!” we both exclaimed at the same time.

“Did you see a hot tub?’ Dan asked.

“Not in here.”

“Outside!” we said together, jumping from our chairs.

I threw open the door and we rushed out onto the porch. We hadn’t noticed before because it had been dark. Now, light from inside made it possible to see a double-wide hammock on a stand at the end of the porch, a Weber grill next to it, and in new decking off the porch was the thick thermal cover of a round hot tub. From the cover, it looked big enough to easily seat four people.

We rushed over and removed the top. There was water in the tub, and it was hot. “Look,” Dan said. “The switches.” He knelt beside the tub and pressed two buttons on a small panel. An underwater light came on, the compressor kicked in, and bubbles streamed from the jets.

“Your dad is going to have to sell a lot more books if he keeps this up,” I said, rubbing my arms because it was cool outside. “I need to get in it, or go inside,” I said.

“Let’s read the rest of the envelopes,” Dan suggested. “I’ll get naked, too.”

We took the envelopes to the large area rug in the middle of the long room floor. I lay down on my stomach, and after he stripped, Dan lay down on me to read over my shoulder. His body warmed my bare back and his loose balls felt good sliding in behind mine.

I opened the hot tub envelope first.

Don’t worry, Sean. I know you worry about money. The hot tub is used — but almost brand new! A rich customer had Jonny pull it out because he decided that he wanted an in-ground hot tub instead of fiberglass. He asked Jonny to haul it off, and Jonny’s been deciding what to do with it. We decided to dump it at your place. Luv and kisses… Lenny and Jonny.

PS. I saw what Michael wrote on his note about the mirrors. We didn’t pay for anything with those mirrors except for the stuff to hang them. He paid for those mirrors out of his savings.

“Damn, the hot tub was Lenny,” I said.

“We owe him more landscaping work,” Dan agreed, wrapping his arms under my neck and pressing his cheek to my ear.

“That blows me away about Michael,” I said. “For a while, I really thought I’d wind up on his permanent shit list for pushing him to make up with Ken.”

“All your friends know how to put up with a lot,” Dan said with a chuckle.

“Asshole,” I murmured. But in my mind, I wondered whether I knew Michael as well as I thought I did, and if not, then maybe I didn’t know all the answers for him as well either.

I opened the envelope marked, “Groceries.”

We couldn’t let you come home to an empty cupboard. The pantry and refrigerator are full of your favorites, including red pop — . Love, Roger and Mary (Mary would like the two of you to start calling us Mom and Dad — Dad)

“Do you think they bought any butter?” I asked.

Dan laughed and wiggled himself on my butt. “You said the magic word. I think I’m getting hard.”

“What word? Butter?”

“There! You did it again!” Dan said. “Don’t get mad at me if my cock gets hard and just eases in, all on its own.”

“After the last couple of days,” I said, “I wouldn’t even be surprised.” I opened the envelope marked “Steak”

Guys, I had no idea what to get you, but then I remembered that you’re big time into meat. (Ha. Ha.) So I got a box of steaks, but since the freezer was so full, I had to take them out of the box and stuff them wherever I could — like you guys do. Oh, by the way, they’re Omaha Steaks. Save a few inches of meat for me. (Hell – I hope nobody else reads this. Ha. Ha.) Reggie

“Your former lover,” I said.

“That didn’t last very long,” Dan said. “I almost feel like we cheated the guy.”

“Somehow, I don’t think a guy like Reggie will suffer long,” I said, opening the envelope marked, “Microwave.”

The dive team took up a collection. Even coach contributed. It’s not a very big microwave, but it works great. We tried it while we worked here this weekend. I hope you guys enjoy it. Oh, and I promised to sign this from Caitlyn too. She helped take up the collection and threatened anybody who didn’t want to give much. But they all did Streak. They all like you — Ken

“Yeah, right,” I said.

“They probably do all like you,” Dan observed. “It’s just not always easy for straight guys to say they like a guy everyone knows is gay.”

“Why? I have no trouble saying when I like a straight guy.”

“Smartass,” Dan murmured, and nibbled the back of my ear.

I opened the “Cleaning and Grunt Work” envelope.

They let us come help. We rode with your mom and dad, Daniel. For our gift to you, we did most of the cleaning and grunt work. But we had a lot of fun. They let us spend the night here by ourselves, and we broke in the bed and hot tub for you – Big Time! – The Four Monkeys.

“That was nice of them,” I said.

“Would have been nicer if they’d taken pictures,” Dan said. “Especially of the hot tub and bed part.” Dan really was getting hard now; I could feel his cock thickening behind my balls.

“Or if we’d been here, you’re thinking,” I said, opening the “Grill” envelope.

We’ll light your fire, just as soon as you invite us over. We’ll even bring a couple of sausages for you. In the meantime… practice, practice… grilling, that is. Scott and Nu

The last envelope was the one for the hammock.

Hope you like the hammock. We’ve got one just like it, and we love it for sleeping and other things (that’s a hint). It might even hold all four of us when we come visit. Or when you come visit us! Jorge and Aaron

“You know, Seany,” Dan said, hugging my neck from behind, “I’m not sure any of these guys paid any attention to what we said or Roger said. They all talk like they still expect to get it on with us.”

“They think we’ll be safe,” I said. “And they’re planning on staying safe themselves. Honestly? I don’t think Scott and Nu will be getting it on with anybody else for a long time, though they might try with us. And you know Aaron and Jorge. They’re almost an old married couple already.

“Yeah,” Dan said. “But that doesn’t mean they won’t want to get it on with us, Seany.”

The sky was clear with a waxing moon, when we came out onto the porch again, this time with towels. We set them down on the deck and slipped into the hot tub.

The warm water was soothing. I sighed.

“You tired?” Dan asked, leaning his head back on the tub rim beside me.

“Yeah,” I said, looking up at the moon. “It’s been a long day.”

Dan laid his hand on my thigh. “We haven’t made love since last night. Isn’t it bad form to let a day of your honeymoon go by without making love?”

“Didn’t we get a day or two ahead in New York?” I asked.

He chuckled. “Maybe.”

We barely talked, but simply soaked until Dan rose from the water. “I better get out of here or I’ll fall asleep. You ready for bed?”

“Yeah,” I said, following him up.

We grabbed our towels. “Hold on,” I said, stepping to the edge of the deck. Though the evening had cooled and I was wet, I was still warm from the water. “Gotta take a leak.”

Dan shook his head with a small laugh and stepped up beside me, laying a hand on my butt as his stream joined mine. “You love pissing outdoors don’t you?”

“And when I bathe,” I said. “The hot tub’s like a double whammy.”

I turned out the light and we climbed in from opposite sides of the bed, facing each other. Dan laid a hand on the side of my waist and pulled me closer. We laced our legs together up to our balls, and pressed bellies. “Welcome home, Seany,” Dan said.

“Welcome home, Danny,” I replied.

And then our eyes were drawn to the mirrors above, in which our moonlit forms were reflected. Dan threw back the covers and pulled our bellies snugger. He rocked his hips once, twice, watching our reflections. “Seany,” he said, thoughtfully.

“Yeah, I know,” I said, lifting my top leg over his hip, pulling my knee far up to open myself to him. I kissed the side of his upturned face. “Welcome home, Danny.”

I woke before him, and because the room was cool, I pulled on a t-shirt for warmth; just a t-shirt. And I pulled on slippers. When I entered the long room and looked out the front windows, something struck me as different about the lake; and then I realized that fog hung over it, thickly.

I had a fire in the fireplace and coffee brewed before Dan came out, rubbing his eyes, his cock thick from a declining morning erection. “Morning, Seany,” he said, coming over to where I stood at the window with my mug of coffee, to give me a hug. “Oh man, the lake looks cool,” he said.

We kissed.

“You’ve got morning breath,” I said.

“You’ve got coffee breath… not bad, actually.”

“I was thinking about taking my coffee out to the hot tub and watching the fog on the lake. Shall I pour you a cup?”

He pulled my shirt up so we could press naked bellies. “Yeah. But I’m sorta in the mood for a little more than watching the fog.”

I set my coffee mug down on the windowsill and reached around him to grab him by the buns, pulling our crotches snug. “I almost woke you this morning. I woke up hard as a rock, and your butt felt so damned good.”

He grinned. “Shall we? In the hot tub?”


New York

“This is unbelievable,” I said, looking out the twenty-fifth floor window onto a snow-covered Central Park.

The sky was overcast and rapidly growing dark. Snow drifted gently past lights that were coming on around the park and onto the streets below.

Dan came up beside me, leaning his shoulder against mine. “I like snow,” he said.

“It’s pretty, I agreed.” I gave Dan’s back a brisk rub. “Are you hungry?”

“Yeah, I am,” he said. “You want to order room service or go out?”

“Go out,” I said. “We need to do this right. Go out to eat, and then when we come back, we’ll properly debut our trousseaus. Lenny would never forgive us if we didn’t properly debut our trousseaus.”

We ate in the hotel restaurant, which took over an hour and a half. But the waitress was friendly and told us about local shops. The bus boy was friendly too, and encouraged us to visit the park.

“You’re something else, Seany,” Dan said as we stepped out onto the sidewalk to check out the area around the hotel.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“You make friends everywhere we go. That’s not supposed to be easy in New York.”

“Well, the waitress was friendly because she thought you were cute.”

“Yeah, right. You were the one she kept coming over to talk to,” Dan replied.

“No, I was the one the bus boy kept coming over to talk to.”

. . . . .

“Are you ready?” Dan called from the bathroom.

I quickly checked myself in the dresser mirror. My cock and balls were just visible through the sheer black nylon of my bikini briefs. I lifted my pouch and let it drop, satisfied with how I filled it. Then I tied the black, kimono-style, silk robe closed around my waist and made sure to tug the bottom of the short robe down to the tops of my thighs. “Ready,” I called, turning toward the bathroom door.

It opened, and Dan stepped out in black silk pajama bottoms; only the bottoms. He wore the baggy bottoms low, so that the waistband barely cleared his pubes; accenting his long, slender trunk and his white skin. Around his neck, was his black and silver necklace. Around his arm, he wore a black, leather armband.

We met at the foot of the bed, his delighted eyes traveling up and down my legs. “Oh, Seany,” he whispered.

“Oh, Danny,” I whispered back, running a finger along the skin above his pajama waistband.

Dan took the robe belt between a thumb and finger, and then slowly drew it until it loosed and the front of my robe fell open. Then he slipped his hands in and spread the robe open, looking down at my sheer briefs.

“Oh, damn!” he said softly.

. . . . .

I wept that night.

It was later, after we had made love. Dan had fallen asleep, spooned behind me. I snuggled back against him and stared out the hotel window at the lights of New York, tears streaming down my cheeks.

I cried because I was tired and because my heart had been stretched a million ways that day. And I cried because of Robert’s cough. I cried mainly because of Robert’s cough.

The day had been perfect; absolutely perfect, except for that one thing. As I lay in Daniel’s arms, I remembered the sound of it.

His cough came just as everyone had started dancing. Robert was off to the side, but I heard it; a racking, deeply congested cough. A chill ran up my spine. Scott heard it too, and our eyes had met in mutual concern.

. . . . .

That next morning, our first in New York, we explored The Village and found an entire gay subculture, complete with its own newspapers and shops, all in one place. Austin had begun to develop something like that, but nothing like we found in New York.

We met other gay guys everywhere we turned, and they gave us suggestions for places to visit and things to do in addition to the typical tourist things. Guys were friendly, and not just because they were flirting, though many did – no, make that most did. And a few were downright campy. It was fun.

Yet mixed in among notices on an occasional bulletin board, we saw small posters and bulletins warning about GRIDS or announcing meetings to discuss it.

It was hard to believe that in all that life, friendliness, and vitality, death could be lurking… lurking behind any of those smiles or in any of those seemingly healthy bodies.

That night, Dan and I visited a gay teen disco/club. It was on the second floor of an old, warehouse building near Queens, of all places. The entire building throbbed with a New Wave beat as we climbed the stairs to the entrance.

Inside, the large room was dark, but alive with flashing lasers and light balls. Like bursts of lightning against the far wall, strobe flashes illuminated a room full of bobbing heads and upright arms in a slight haze of body moisture and smoke.

We paid our cover fee and moved inside. Bodies writhed; alone, together, even in groups. Some guys had their shirts off. The room was hot, and not simply from the air temperature.

Dan looked the room over, his eyes wide and interested, and the music energized us both. He grabbed my hips and started dancing. I stepped closer, a leg between his, and began moving with him. We even removed our shirts. And though other bodies brushed and rubbed against ours, and though other hands stroked us — inviting, teasing, appreciating – we stayed together.

In the corners, guys were kissing and making out. When we stepped into the john, a guy was sitting on one of the stools, blowing another guy. Yet another guy waited his turn. “I wonder,” I yelled to Dan as we stepped back out on the dance floor, “how many of these guys have even heard of GRIDS!”

Lots of guys were friendly, but we fell in with a group of five or six who all appeared to be friends. They were as diverse as the Elephant Men in body types and races; it felt almost natural to hang with them.

At two in the morning, we went with them to an all-night diner. But we declined to go home with them afterward when they invited us to do some pot… and other things.

On the one hand, it was great to be out and gay; relaxed among so many other gay guys… and so out. And yet, it felt surreal to me. No one mentioned GRIDS. No one seemed concerned about much of anything, except for other guys.

If gays in New York had already pulled in their horns because of GRIDS, then I wondered what the hell they were like beforehand.

I even started to question in my own mind about how realistic Roger might have been about the whole GRIDS thing. Here we were among hundreds, perhaps thousands of gay guys; all healthy and cruising each other. Yet Roger had made it sound like GRIDS was killing people and could be the end of the gay world. Had Roger been overly concerned simply because Daniel and I were gay, and he was afraid for us?

Or was GRIDS out there, under the surface like some great iceberg, and all these guys were like passengers on the Titanic, unaware? And occasionally, unbidden, the sound of Robert’s cough echoed in my memory.

. . . . .

It was after noon on the second day when Dan woke me by fondling my balls. “Did you buy a swim suit when you went shopping with Lenny?” he asked.

“White and guaranteed to be completely transparent when wet,” I said with a yawn. “I couldn’t talk Lenny out of it.”

“Almost a string bikini kind of thing?” Dan asked. “Like almost no side seam?”

I nodded and moaned softly as Dan pressed the underside of my cock with the heel of his hand, and tickled my balls lightly with his fingers.

“Me too,” he said. “I bet you Lenny had us buy the same suit.”

Dan leaned over me, smiling down into my eyes. “Let’s order breakfast, shave our pubes – we need to again anyway – and then wear our new swim suits down to the pool.”

“You’re wicked,” I said. “If anyone else is there, they’ll be scandalized.”

“In New York?” Dan asked with a laugh.

The pool was on the third floor and our room was close to the top story. I wanted to wear clothes down to the pool, but Dan insisted on wearing only our suits, only agreeing to us carrying towels so that anyone we ran into would know that we going for a swim and not running around in our underwear.

“I don’t know what you’re worried about… Streak,” he said, as we stepped out of the room and closed the door. Dan held up the key card, trying to decide where to put it. Then with a grin, he slid it into the back of my swim briefs, right over a butt cheek.

“You better hope I don’t forget and jump in with it. I’m not sure water’s good for those things,” I told him as we headed for the elevator.

Two people were waiting together at the elevator; a man in his mid-forties, immaculately groomed and dressed in a sport coat and vest, and a young guy who looked no older than us, who had long, thick hair the color of mine and who was dressed in jeans and a sweater. Their eyes dropped immediately to the spots where the top of our briefs barely covered the base of our cocks. Both Dan and I had little muscles that flexed there when we walked and they were easily seen whenever we were shaved. People always seemed mesmerized by them. I certainly was by Dan’s.

Their eyes lingered on our packages. “Going swimming?” the older guy asked, in what sounded like a British accent.

“Yep,” Dan said. “Gotta wash the butter off.”

I know I blushed all over. But the older guy just laughed, and as we got on the elevator, he introduced himself as Nathan and the younger guy as Ethan, his nephew. Ethan smiled as though amused, and I thought, nephew my eye!

“We’re going down to see if the concierge can provide us with Broadway tickets for the next two nights,” Nathan said, as Dan pushed the button for the third floor and Nathan pushed the button for the first floor.

“Tomorrow night, we’re going to see Little Shop of Horrors,” I told him. “But we’ve had the tickets for a couple of weeks, and they were hard to get even then.”

Ethan’s eyes kept unabashedly traveling up and down our bodies.

“Are you here to celebrate the New Year?” Nathan asked.

“We’re on our honeymoon,” I told him, hoping to embarrass Dan like he had me, but there was little hope of that.

“Oh, the two of you?” Nathan asked with a smile.

“How lovely,” Ethan said, in an equally British accent.

The elevator stopped and more people got on, with several glances to Dan’s and my nearly naked bodies. Ethan backed toward us to make room. The doors closed, and then, with everyone facing forward, I felt Ethan’s hand grope me. I jumped a little, and I heard Ethan chuckle.

The elevator stopped at three, and as people parted to let us out, Ethan gave my package a final squeeze. I had to hold the towel in front of me as we stepped out because he had “thickened” me a bit.

“Cheeky blighter!” I said, after the elevator doors closed behind us.

“Why?” Dan asked with a grin. “Did he feel you up?”

“You’re supposed to defend my honor,” I said with a frown.

Dan laughed and threw an arm over my shoulder to steer me in the direction of the pool. “I prefer to show off your honor. It’s obviously appreciated.”

I frowned at him. “Cheeky blighter!”

Only one other person was in the pool; a gal in her twenties who was lap swimming. We watched her as we folded our towels onto a lounge chair and I laid the room key on top.

“Damn,” Dan said when he stepped to the edge of the pool and stuck in his toe. “It’s cold”

I came up beside him and tested the water. “About like the Trinity pool. You’ll warm up after a couple of laps.”

“Lap swimming is not what I had in mind,” Dan said.

“Yeah, I can imagine,” I told him as I shoved him in.

He came up sputtering and splashed water at me.

I dove in and swam for the far end. Dan came after me, and we warmed up after several quick laps.

“Well,” Dan said, catching his breath. “Let’s get out and see if the guarantee on the swim suits was good.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Whether the suits become transparent when wet, you cluck!” he said.

They did.

As Dan and I admired them on each other, the female swimmer climbed from the pool. She glanced at us and did a double take. Then she put on glasses that were with her towel and stared for a moment.

Dan turned boldly to face her and waved.

With an embarrassed smile, she waved back, gathered her things, and left.

“Did we offend her?” I asked.

“Only if she’s a lesbian,” Dan answered with a grin.

“I’m getting cold again,” I said, jumping back into the pool. Dan came in after me and we splashed around to warm up.

Dan grabbed me from behind with an arm around the waist and pressed his package against my butt. He was growing hard. “You’re so damned hot in that suit, Seany,” he whispered, pulling me to the side of the pool.

Then holding me with an arm around my belly, he began to tug down the back of my suit.

“What are you doing?” I asked with a gasp.

“Nobody’s around,” Dan said.

“Here?” I asked. “You want to do it here?”

“You told me you’d never say ‘no’,” Dan reminded me. “You said anytime, anywhere.”

He tugged down the front of his suit and rubbed his cock over my bare bottom.

“But here?” I asked again as I felt him work his cockhead into my crack.

“Here,” Dan said in a husky voice, as he probed in.

We were standing in chest-deep water on the side of the pool closest to the door; me facing the door. And once Dan was all the way in, he wrapped both arms around my middle and I leaned back against him, holding on to the wall for both of us as Dan began to pump.

The door to the pool opened, and Nathan walked in with Ethan, both wearing conventional speedos. Ethan’s was black and well filled. Nathan’s was red and not as filled, but he didn’t look bad for his age.

I barely had time to notice before Dan pulled abruptly from me and it was all I could do to clamp down my sphincter before water came in.

Nathan laughed as I pulled the back of my suit back up. “Don’t let us stop anything, lads. You go right ahead.”

With an arm around my middle, Dan pulled me back against him, but with our suits up. “Just keeping warm he said.”

“We can see that,” Nathan said with a grin. The two of them slipped into the water, and Ethan struck out across the pool. He had a smooth stroke.

“We may see you at the play tomorrow night,” Nathan said. “We have tickets.”

“I’m glad you could get them,” I said. “We were told the play is fun.”

“So I’ve heard,” Nathan said, drawing nearer.

“It’s getting a little cold,” Dan said to me softly. “Let’s shift to the hot tub.”

“Excuse us, Nathan,” I said as we moved toward the ladder. “We’re gonna get warm.”

“I thought you boys already were,” he said with a grin. Then as we stepped from the water, Ethan stopped swimming to watch, and Nathan shook his head. “Yes, you boys are already very warm. Those are marvelous swim suits.”

They followed us to the hot tub, and we talked for quite a while.

“I feel sorry for Nathan,” I told Dan as we showered off the chlorine back in our room. “Like your dad said, it’s gotta be hard to grow old by yourself.”

“And have to pay for companionship,” Dan said.

“Yeah, not much personality to ol’ Ethan,” I said. “I’m not sure how much companionship Nathan’s getting for his buck.”

“Or Pound,” Dan said with a grin. His smile grew sweet. “But we won’t ever have to do that.” He pulled my belly to his under the showerhead. “We’ll always have each other, Seany.”

He was growing hard between us and I closed my hand around his cock. “All I have to worry about is getting worn out,” I said.

Dan smiled, reaching behind me to grab my butt with both hands. “We’ll wear out together.”

January (cont)

I added another log to the fire and looked out the window-lined, south wall of the long room; out across the windswept lake. I thought about boiling water for hot cocoa. Would Dan like coming home to that?

I glanced at my watch, wondering how long Dr. Armstrong would keep him.

Stepping over to the thick denim drapes which Linda and Mary had chosen for the long room windows, I looked for any boats out on the lake. There were none.

The curtains were perfect for privacy, but privacy wasn’t a big concern. Most boats didn’t pass close enough to see much and we were higher up than lake level. But the curtains were good insulators, and I considered closing them to keep the room warmer. I liked the view, though, and decided to leave the curtains open for now.

I looked around the room. I was satisfied with my housekeeping; the room was ready for Dan. I was ready for Dan.

But then I decided that I wasn’t really ready. I was still dressed in what I had worn to Trinity. Returning to the bedroom, I undressed.

Watching in the ceiling mirrors as my pants dropped to the floor, I remembered the first morning we woke up in our new cottage and how, after we made love in the hot tub, we ate cereal, side by side, hands fondling in each other’s laps; and then we returned to make love on our squeaky brass bed, under the mirrors — all morning – until we fell asleep again, spent.

I hung my pants in the closet and glanced up at the reflection of my brief-covered backside, and I remembered the previous afternoon… watching in the mirror as Dan moved up over me. I remembered watching the reflection of his flexing butt rise and fall between my legs. I remembered him watching my reflection when I moved over him and made sure to flex my back, butt, and legs for him to see in the mirror.

Then my mind flashed back to even more vivid images; memories of the second night at the cottage, when I finally tried on Lenny’s black nylon stockings for Dan, he liked them… a lot, burying his blond head between my legs for a long time while I watched in the mirrors.

The next night, I wore them for Dan again, and that time, he wore the chaps he’d bought with Lenny. They were real chaps that somehow he and Lenny had been able to find in black. His white butt had been incredible to watch in the mirror with those on, as his butt moved between my stockinged legs.

We hadn’t tried the handcuffs yet; the ones that Lenny’s drag ladies gave us at our little wedding shower. We’d save those for Ryan.

My hand fell on my black, kimono robe in the closet. That’s what I’ll wear tonight, I decided, watching in the overhead mirrors as I pulled off my briefs. I lifted my cock and balls, airing them out, admiring myself. Then I turned to the dresser and searched through my drawer for the black, nylon briefs. A gust of wind blew against the house and I was grateful for a good furnace.

In my robe, nylon briefs, and slippers, I brought my textbooks to the breakfast table; our only dining table. Pushing the large butter dish to one side, I spread the books out onto the table and glanced out at the cold, empty lake.

Until Dan came home, it would be hard to concentrate. Of course, after Dan came home, studying would be even more difficult…

Honeymoon Cottage

“Anytime, anywhere,” became our private slogan and after we returned from New York, we practiced it avidly around the cottage. We made more love, first in New York and then at the cottage, than we’d ever made before. Morning. Night. We started waking with ‘feed me’ hard-ons again. We began waking each other at night.

We wore little or nothing around the cottage, and while the weather held up, only shorts outside. We constantly aroused each other. Like when Dan wore an apron – only an apron — to wash dishes the third morning in the cottage and I came up behind him as he bent over the sink.

He let me feel him up while he continued washing. But he slowed down when I entered him and made slow love. Afterward I knelt under his apron and sucked on Little Danny while Dan pretended to finish the dishes.

Dan began tackling me, just out of the blue. I’d be walking by the couch and he’d tackle me on to it, or he’d take me to the floor. We’d wrestle and as often as not, get hard and end up in a ‘touchdown.’

The weather grew even warmer those first few days after our return from New York. It was almost hot for a hill country January — upper seventies.

The third afternoon, Dan and I had put on shorts to go outside. While he carved our names into the decking around the hot tub, I examined the landscaping – that which had already been there and the little bit of new landscaping Lenny and crew had done. (He had left a rough set of plans so that we could finish the landscaping on our own — the way he thought it should look.)

The sun felt warm that afternoon, and it was good to be outside. A spot of bright colored moss in a plant bed along the porch caught my interest. It was nestled behind a landscaping rock, one that was covered with lichen. I’d always found mosses and lichens fascinating, and I got down on my hands and knees for a closer look.

“We’ll have everyone who comes carve their names on this deck,” Dan declared from beside the hot tub.

“Comes? Or ‘comes’ to visit?” I asked. “I hope you aren’t thinking that names carved in the deck will be like notches in our belt.”

Dan laughed. “No, but how about… they can’t carve their names until after they’ve made love with somebody in the hot tub. Like Scott and Nu will have to do each other, and Aaron and Jorge.”

“But not with us, right?” I asked, trying to decide what I’d call the predominant color of the moss.

“Not with us,” Dan agreed. “Maybe.”

I glanced back at him with a frown.

He smiled and blew a kiss. I blew a kiss back and then leaned back over the moss, teasing the small plants apart for a closer look.

When Dan’s hand slid between my legs from behind and came up under where my balls hung in my shorts, I jumped.

“Anytime, anywhere?” he asked, rubbing and leaning over me.

“I suppose that I need to be careful, bending over when I’m around you,” I said.

“Nah,” he said, pulling my shorts down off my butt and down to my knees on the ground, leaving me bare. “Do it all the time.” He cupped my now loosely-hanging balls with his hand, and backing up, bent to place his mouth in my crack.

I sighed and laid my head down onto my crossed arms, leaving my butt high. Dan didn’t normally get into rimming, but he knew I sometimes liked it. And he was good at it. He had a special way of working the hardness of his chin on my perineum.

Spreading my knees on the ground as far as my shorts allowed me to, I quickly grew hard. “You don’t have to do that,” I mumbled.

He lifted his head. “You like it,” he said. “It’s my business to give you what you like.”

“It is?” I asked absently.

“Yes,” he said. “Giving you pleasure gives me pleasure. Besides, I never want you going anywhere else for something special you like.”

“I won’t,” I promised.

“Well,” he said, rubbing my butt with one hand and pulling off his shorts with the other, “I could start to like this; especially if it gets you good and ready… is it getting you good and ready?”

“Oh yeah,” I told him.

He gave me a final tonguing and moved up behind me. I felt the tip of his cock probe into my crack as he folded his body over mine. “Good and ready?” he asked, pushing in.

I nodded and lifted my head, going up onto all fours to feel his body on mine.

Dan reached under me and stroked me as he began to move. He gnawed the back of my shoulders and roamed my belly and chest with his other hand. Then wrapping his arms around my waist, he pulled me back, sitting me up in his lap, into a position we both liked.

“Anytime, anywhere,” I murmured.

. . . . .

Later that afternoon, I was lying on the dock, right at the edge of the water. I was dragging the tip of a long, thin piece of grass over the surface where the water was only an inch or two deep. Several minnows had been there, but only one stayed and tried to follow the tip of the grass. I liked the brave little guy.

“What are you doing?” Dan asked, coming to stand over me.

“Sssh! I’m making friends with a minnow.”

Dan laughed and sat down beside me. He stretched sideways across the small of my back, propping himself on his elbow over me, and teasing me with a fingernail up and down my spine. “Animals, kids, and gay boys,” Dan said. “They all seem to like you.”

“I like them,” I said. “Hey, I think my little minnow just blew me a kiss.”

Dan chuckled. “Leave it up to you to find a gay fish.”

“How do you know it’s a he?”

Dan drew his fingertip back down my spine again. “You really are unique, Seany.” He kissed my left shoulder blade.

“Are you going to pull my pants down again?” I asked.

He laughed. “We just made love an hour or so ago.”

“I thought we were on an hourly schedule,” I said. “Seems like I’m getting horny about that often now… and you’re like on a half-hourly schedule.”

Dan chuckled. “I was just loving you. Thinking how special you are. Seems to me that I’ve come out way ahead on this marriage thing. Tell me again what you get out of it.”

“Hmm,” I said, considering the question. “What do I get out of it? Let’s see… you mean besides having the most beautiful guy in the world as my lover? And besides having the most interesting guy in the world as my companion? And the cleverest guy to talk to whenever I want?”

Dan chuckled.

But I continued. “And besides being loved by the one person I want most to be loved by? And besides being needed by the one person I need to need me? Oh… and besides the having the world’s hottest sex? And,” I rolled up onto my side under his propped elbow, propping myself on my elbow as well. I smiled at him, draped over my side.

I continued in a quieter voice. “And besides feeling my heart swell up every time I’m near you?” I reached down to stroke his hair. “Besides being able to reach out and touch you whenever I want? Besides being able to sleep beside you every night? Besides the honor of belonging to you?” I slowly shook my head. “Geez Dan, I can’t think. You’ll have to give me some time to come up with something.”

Dan grinned, and then changed positions to stretch out on his side facing me, propping on his elbow to match mine. He laid a hand on the side of my waist. “I’m going to ask you that again sometime.”

I smiled. “Ask me every day,” I said. “I might be able to think of an answer.”

. . . . .

A very small food store was just down the road from us. The first time we stopped there for groceries, we kidded around at the dairy case over how much butter to buy. A clerk our age was stocking milk a few feet away. He heard us kidding and flashed a smile… a very attractive smile. Then he stood and made a point of bending over his stocking cart. His tight, western jeans molded a fine ass.

Dan shook his head as we left the store. “This being married business may not always be easy,” he said.

“No,” I agreed. “Of course, we never said we’d never do anyone else.”

Dan nodded. “Yeah, but for now, let’s keep saying ‘maybe someday’, because, Seany, I just have the worst feeling that if we start giving in to doing others, it could be hard to stop.”

I opened the back of the Bronco to load in the groceries. “Yeah,” I agreed. “And whenever I think about it, I know that I’d be crazy to do somebody else when I have you.”

Dan nodded. “The guy was cute, though… and that ass!”

“Are you saying that you want to get it on when we get back to the cottage?” I asked with a grin.

“Why wait that long?” Dan answered with a smile. “Unzip to drive back and let me get you started.”

. . . . .

I know that it sounds like we were doing nothing but making love those first few days at the cottage, but I’d point out that it was our honeymoon, and that’s what newlyweds do. And though we’d been lovers since sixteen; now we were married and enjoying the feeling of being married, of being together for the rest of our lives.

And maybe that was part of what drove us… the uncertainty of the ‘rest of our lives’. It had been weeks since Thanksgiving, and we were both healthy. But I worried. I couldn’t forget Robert’s cough. And though I never told Dan about it, he never had trouble reading me.

“Seany,” he told me one night, as I lay with my head in his naked lap, reading a novel as we listened to one of Linda’s cassettes. I had been distracted by the softness of his scrotum against my ear, and the firmer softness of his flaccid cock against my cheek, and by his scent. And it all seemed so incredible — us married, in a cottage on a lake. And then I remembered the sound of Robert’s cough.

“Seany,” he said, stroking my hair and setting his book aside. “You need to quit worrying about things.” He drew a finger across my brow. “You’re going to wrinkle up here.”

I smiled. “When do you ever give me time to worry? You don’t give me a chance.”

He chuckled and combed his fingers into my hair. “That’s why you have me.” He leaned his head back on the couch without taking his fingers from my hair. “Those first few days after Thanksgiving, when we were really scared,” he said, remembering. “Every day started seeming really special, you know? Because all of a sudden, it was possible that we wouldn’t always have lots of days left. And thinking like that, I noticed that when we were together, I couldn’t take my eyes off you… because I couldn’t know that I’d always have you. And I didn’t want us to waste any time, not being together, not doing what we wanted to do.”

He looked back down at me. “It’s supposed to be a good way to live — taking each day like it might be one of your last; like it might be all you have.” He smiled. “If we do that, then when we live to be a hundred – which we are going to do – we will have packed a lot in. Don’t you think?”

“We might have to go to work for a living somewhere along the line,” I said with a grin. “Roger’s not going to want to support us forever.”

Dan frowned. “No nine-to-five jobs, Seany,” he said. “We’ll do work we want to do; something we’re really into. Like studying genetics and behavior, or whatever.”

“Well,” I said with a sigh, “we’re definitely into those. We’ve been pumping genes and ‘behaving’ more than we’ve been eating.”

Dan laughed and mussed my hair.

. . . . .

It had only been a short run. Dan and I had slipped on shorts and run out to the highway, and then along it for half a mile and back. It was enough to test my knee and work up a sweat.

We caught our breath on the porch, leaning over the railing to watch the sun setting at the western end of the lake. The weather was still and warm, and sweat built on our torsos. I felt exhilarated. I felt triumphant. I had run.

I stepped behind Dan, wrapping my arms around his waist, bending over him, pressing my loins against his bottom. “Anytime, anywhere?” I asked in a whisper.

He reached back on both sides to grab my butt and pull me against him.

I licked sweat from high up between his shoulders and grew hard as I rubbed against him. Licking down his spine, I pushed his shorts down to mid-thigh and mine down as well.

I ran my hands over his skin, enjoying its wet smoothness and the excellence of the muscles beneath. I felt all over him, using my hands as one might use his eyes to appreciate beauty. I rubbed my cock in his crack until I was more than ready, and had good precum. I added spit to my precum and entered him.

We straightened up and he leaned back against me, reaching back to hold my sides. I ran my hands up and down his chest and belly, pressing my loins against his bottom; grinding into him, lifting him.

Boats moved on the lake and I hoped no one had binoculars or the interest to use them. I lifted Dan well up onto his toes with a long thrust and let him back down. I bent us backward, stretching us, and stretching me into him. We said nothing, but simply felt – felt our bodies, felt our sex, felt our joining. And we moved in a quiet dance to the sunset.

I came with only a murmur. And with final kisses to the back of his neck, I pulled from him. Then silently, I stepped from my shorts, and moved around in front of him. In just my running shoes, I faced him and backed my butt up on to the railing. Leaning back against a support post, I left one foot on the ground and lifted the other to the railing, spreading myself for Dan.

He moved forward, adding spit to his precum. I slid my butt forward on the edge of the railing and we watched as Dan entered me and his cock disappeared between us.

We relaxed. He gently but firmly pulled me tight by my butt, and I ran my hands over his angular shoulders. We kissed lightly. I leaned back against the post and with my hands resting lightly on his shoulders, we watched each other’s eyes, dropping them occasionally to watch his cock appear between us and then disappear inside me.

It was almost dark when he came. He pulled our joining tightly together and he stayed hard inside me while we kissed and our hands roamed each other in gentle caresses. The evening was still warm, and so when Dan stayed hard, we went again. Only this time, I stroked myself between our bodies while birds returned to their roosts in trees nearby, and out on the lake, boats returned to their docks.

I managed to come when Dan did, and he grabbed my cock, holding it to his belly as I squirted onto him.

It occurred to me that neither of us had said a word for half an hour. And it seemed to me that increasingly, there were times when our lovemaking transcended the routine; times when we were of one spirit, feeling and sensing the same things at the same time… together as one. There were times when our lovemaking elevated itself to something deeply communal; almost spiritual.

We stayed in each other’s arms, kissing tenderly and tracing fingers over each other’s skin even after Dan slipped from inside me and I stood up to face him. We held each other and rested the sides of our faces on each other’s shoulders, keeping each other warm in the cooling breeze as the stars came out.

“It seems so unreal sometimes,” Dan said, lifting his cheek to brush his lips on the side of my neck. “That we’re married. That we’re here…” he pulled my belly to his and our dangling cocks dangled together. “That you’re all mine,” he whispered, pulling me tighter. “That you’re all mine.”

A puff of breeze came up cool from the lake. “Let’s go inside, Seany,” Dan said. “We’ll do your leg therapy.”

“Wanna eat first?” I asked. “Get some nourishment?”

“I just got some,” he said, patting my bare butt.

January (cont)

Unable to concentrate on my textbooks, I returned to our bedroom. Through a gap in the trees, I could see where the road angled off and at least a mile of highway was visible. There was only one car headed our way and it wasn’t the Jeep.

Returning through the long room, my eye was caught by the landscaping plans laying out on the coffee table – the plans Lenny had left for us. We had gotten them out two days before, on Saturday. Knowing a cold front was coming, we wanted to dig up the spot Lenny had indicated for a fire ring.

I opened the plans in front of the windows, comparing once more the plan to the lawn beyond. Lenny had sketched a fence for Cutter partway down the slope, and then the fire circle just beyond that where there was a natural rise and drop off on the East side of the lawn. The only problem with the spot was that it was visible to other homes, but that also meant the spot was good for looking out over the lake.

Dan and I worked on the fire circle all Saturday afternoon. Since we had no materials for it, we simply cleared the grass and arranged some large stones around it. That night, we built a fire, and sat at it, drinking beer and talking about our plans for the cottage, and then about plans for my transferring to UT the next year and for us working together for Dr. Armstrong.

The fire died and we moved to sit side-by-side with our backs to the rocks, my arm behind Dan’s shoulders. And as we talked in the moonlight, he laid his head back on my arm, and I studied his features as one might study the view from a mountain top; noticing all the interesting and fine features of the landscape below.

My eyes lingered over the fine hairs on his temples, all silver in the moonlight… on the pale planes of his face, the line of his jaw, his lips, the moonlight glinting on his eyes.

And then Dan had to be Dan. “Let’s dance naked, Seany,” he said, standing up and extending a hand to help me up. “Let’s dance naked on the grass under the moonlight.”

“A wild frolic of the prince and the stag?” I asked, chuckling as I stood.

Dan laughed, laying his forearms on my shoulders and looking up at the moon. Then he looked around us. On the slight rise, not only did we have a good view, but others might also have a good view of us. He smiled.

“A wild frolic,” he agreed, pulling me into a neck hug. “I feel like a wild frolic, Seany,” he said. “I’m incredibly happy. It’s a beautiful night. And I want to see you naked in the moonlight.” He leaned back, grinning at me. “But I gotta warn you. The sight might make the prince horny as hell.”

“That’s ok,” I said, pushing his shorts down off his hips. “You have no idea what moonlight does to stags.”

The Start of the Ceremony

Mary had insisted on musicians. We would have been happy with a DJ.

“You can’t have a DJ,” Mary said, appalled. “Not at a… a ceremony like yours.”

“That’s right,” Dan said. “It’s tradition to have a polka band.”

“Not on your life!” Mary protested.

“We’d be fine with a DJ,” I repeated.

Mary shook her head decisively. “Not at the country club. Not at your ceremony.”

I glanced at the ten musicians sitting off to the side of the room and tried to decide whether they were a ten-piece band or an orchestra; the selection of instruments was eclectic. I saw violins and guitars.

I strolled over, and was glad to see a set of drums. The guys were mostly young looking; in their twenties. A couple of them were cute, especially the one who appeared to be their leader; a guy with long black hair. “Ya’ll do know some things with a beat, right?” I asked.

The bandleader shook his head. “Just the B’s, man.”

“The B’s?”

“Yeah… Bach, Beethoven, and Bee Gees.” He winked.

As guests took their seats, the musicians played Tonight, from West Side Story, which Mary considered a great romance. I winced, hoping my family wouldn’t be put off by romantic suggestions.

I glanced down the table at Linda. It was almost time for her to sing.

We hadn’t seen her in person for three weeks, and she looked different somehow. I couldn’t put my finger on just how she looked different. At first I thought it might be her dress. It draped her becomingly, accenting what curves she did have, and it was red, a color that became her. But the difference wasn’t the dress.

I finally decided that she might have put on a little weight over Christmas, at least in her face. And I remember thinking that she was about the last person I figured for putting on weight, but it looked good on her.

She’d been busy on the phone with Ry over the previous few days, and Mary had passed on the written copy of Ry’s song that he had given me. I was anxious to hear her sing it. It was how we would open the ceremony.

Tonight finished and with the exception of one violinist, the musicians put down their instruments.

As Linda rose to come to the podium, I glanced over at Dan. Mary had wanted us to wear tuxes, but I was afraid that would make it too much like a wedding for the comfort of my family. So we had settled on suits of deep, rich brown and on high collared white shirts with French sleeves. We wore identical silk ties which Mary had looked hard for; ties with colors that matched the dominant colors of our hair. Dan looked beautiful.

Dan was gazing out over the room. It had been set up for a banquet. The head table sat in front of the wall of French doors leading out onto the balcony, so that behind us were trees and open sky. Dan and I sat on either side of the podium, with my family on my side, and Roger, Mary, Linda, and Stef on his.

I was glad Stef had made it. Since he had stayed with us at Roger’s and Mary’s, we had been able to visit late into the night the previous evening. He spent some time, telling us all about the girl he was thinking about marrying.

At four, round tables, arranged close to the head table, were all our friends. Other than Ry and Austin, everyone we invited had managed to make it.

Even Eric and Ferg were there with Caitlyn. The three of them sat at a table with Tom and Sarah.

I was pleased to see that Michael sat with Ken. They were sitting at a table with Scott, Nu, Robert, and Larry from Houston, and they had been talking together since they arrived.

Trev and the three other monkeys sat at a table with Lenny and Jonny.

Reggie sat with Aaron, Jorge, Peter, and Alan.

Moving around the tables, Howie was snapping pictures.

The lone violin began to play, and every eye turned to Linda.

The words to Ry’s song were sweet, but it was remarkable for its unique, minor-key melody; the song was poignant. When Linda finished, there were a few damp eyes, including hers.

She returned to her seat beside Mary, and Roger approached the podium. “We are here,” he said, looking around the tables, “to celebrate a remarkable friendship.”

January (cont)

I glanced up from the breakfast table. On the kitchen counter lay the packet of pictures that had come that week from Peter. In it were snapshots of our friends all working on the cottage while we were in New York.

There were shots of Roger and Mary loading in groceries, dishes, and boxes of Dan’s stuff. Lenny was in several, unloading my stuff, and planting. There were shots of The Four Monkeys cleaning and clowning.

Evidently they all worked on the hot tub and deck. In addition to guys I didn’t recognize (who I figured worked for Jonny), there were pictures of The Monkeys, Aaron, Jorge, Reggie, Peter, Alan, Lenny, Jonny, and even Linda working on the deck and around the cottage.

“It must have been a crazy couple of days,” Dan said, shaking his head. “I don’t see how they had the time.”

“Look how many were Elephant Men,” I pointed out. “They work fast.”

“Oh, shit,” Dan said. “Do you think they put on any shows in front of Roger and Mary?”

“Mom and Dad,” I corrected. “Nah, they probably behaved, except for The Four Monkeys when they were left alone up here.”

Dan chuckled. “Elephant Men and Monkeys. Of course, we could call them ‘Junior Elephant Men… or ‘Elephant Boys’.”

“If they worked hard enough,” I agreed. “From what I remember, their other qualifications measure up.”

The Ceremony – The Monkeys

They were so cute at the ceremony. They, Trevor and Tolly, sat together, holding hands through most of the ceremony. And after the ceremony, after my family left and we were all dancing, they danced mostly with each other and with Kyle and Jeff.

“Well?” I asked Trev when I danced with him. “How is your stay with Tolly going? How has it been, your first time with another boy?”

He grinned and quickly pecked my cheek. “Fantastic,” he said, then pulled my ear closer. “Kyle and Jeff are coming over tonight, too. And guess what,” he added, his eyes twinkling. “I called Mom and she said I can stay until next week and catch the bus back to San Antonio.”

“Was that OK with Tolly and his family?” I asked concerned.

Trevor looked surprised that I’d ask. “They invited me,” he said. “That’s why I called her.”

They invited you,” I said. “Does that mean Tolly or his parents or both?”

Trevor grinned. “Tolly begged his mom.”

The song ended and Trevor looked up at me expectantly. Aaron had started it when he danced with me and announced loudly at the end of it that he was going to ‘kiss the groom’. Everyone since had wanted their kiss.

So I kissed Trev, and he melted into me.

“Thanks,” I said to Tolly, when he asked to dance with me next. “Thanks for doing things right with Trevor.”

Tolly shrugged. “He’s cool… way cool. He’s staying over,” he said. “And after he goes back home, we’re still going to get together… as soon as we can. Probably at your cottage,” he added with a twinkle in his eye. “Him and me and Kyle and Jeffy wanna come stay with you guys at Spring Break.”

“We’ll have to see,” I said. “We may have a full house.”

“We’ll bring a tent,” Tolly said, patting my butt.

“You really like Trevor?” I asked

Tolly’s smile grew serious. “Yeah. I really do.”

“And you’re being careful? Wearing condoms?”

Most of the time,” he said.

My heart stopped. “Most of the time? Tell me you didn’t say that.”

Tolly frowned. “It’s hard to always remember… or take the time… we get worked up, you know? And it’s not like either of us has anything. Trevor’s never done anyone else and it’s been ages since I got it on with you guys.”

I stopped us, right there in the middle of the dance floor and looked him right in the eye. “You may be safe with each other for now,” I said. “But one of these days, one of you guys might get it on with someone who hasn’t been careful, and then ‘most of the time’ won’t cut it. One time might be all it takes to kill every one of you!”

The couples around us grew suddenly quiet. I realized that I’d overdone it, but after what Roger had said when he spoke, and after hearing Robert cough, I was shaken. And then Tolly had said, “most of the time.”

I pulled Tolly back to me, and hugged him to me to resume dancing cheek to cheek. “I’m sorry,” I said. “But I worry about you guys. Trev’s like my little brother, and you’re like Dan’s. It’s just that condoms are the only thing I’ve heard of that doctors think might prevent the spread of GRIDS, and I’d never forgive myself it anything happened to you guys.”

Tolly kissed me on the cheek. “We’ll be OK,” he assured me. “We will be careful; especially after what Dr. Reese said.”

“Please, Tolly,” I said, holding him close. “Be careful for all your sakes… you met Robert?”


“He goes to school in California and he sleeps around a lot. He’s a nice guy, but stay away from him. Stay away from guys like him.”

We danced quietly a moment. “Sean,” Tolly said.


“What you and Daniel did while ago… the things you said… I just wanna say that was way cool.”

“It felt way cool,” I said.

“I never thought about it before,” Tolly said, “you know… falling in love with a guy that way. Not that I haven’t wanted a boyfriend. What gay guy doesn’t? But I never thought about doing what you guys are doing. I will now.”

The song ended and Tolly looked at me with an expectant grin, waiting for his kiss. I just had to do it. I planted my mouth on his and bent him over backward.

The band had been running through a few show tunes, and struck up Moon River next. Jeff asked to dance with me.

“How’s the romance?” I asked. “How are you and Kyle doing?”

“Did you and Dan really become lovers when you were our age?”

“A year older. But we were already interested in each other at your age.”

Jeff looked thoughtful and pulled me closer, placing his cheek on mine. “Seems sorta crazy,” he said softly, “already meeting the person I’m going to marry.”

“Have you?” I asked.

He shrugged in my arms. “I love Wheezer,” he said. “Even if he isn’t the one I marry, I want to always be best friends, live close to each other, do stuff together.”

I smiled to myself.

When the dance ended, he gave me a sweet kiss.

Then Kyle asked for his turn and Jeff moved over to Dan.

“Hey, Wheezer,” I said with a grin.

“Hey, Seany,” Kyle answered with a return smile.

I pulled Kyle into my arms, and he laid his head on my shoulder. We started to sway to My Funny Valentine. I asked about him and Jeff. He told me about their plans to go over to Tolly’s that evening. And then I felt his hard cock brush my leg.

I laughed. “Already thinking about tonight?” I asked.

“No,” Kyle said quietly. “I was remembering what it was like that night with you.”

The memory of being over his small, young body flashed back in my mind. “Geez, Wheezer,” I said. “You’re going to get me hard too.”

He rubbed against me on purpose. “You and Dan stay safe, OK?” he said, tilting his head back to look up at me. “Someday, maybe we can do it again.”

We were both hard when the dance ended, and Kyle gave me a full-body press with our parting kiss.

But that was OK. Lenny asked to dance next and it didn’t matter that I brushed him with an erection.


January (cont)

A gust of wind rattled the windows. Still no Dan.

The photos from Peter weren’t the only ones to arrive that week. I got up from the breakfast table and retrieved two photo albums from the coffee table; the wedding album of the ceremony and all our guests, along with traditional pictures of the groom and the groom… well, however ‘traditional’ that could be, and the second album – the honeymoon album of pictures that Howie took of us at the garden home the day before.

I began with the honeymoon album.

The photos were excellent. Not only had Howie captured Daniel’s beauty and made me look awfully good, but many of the shots also did a remarkable job of capturing our love, our affection, and even our passion.

All included in the price I quoted for your wedding pictures, Howie reminded us in the note that accompanied the albums and the two small boxes of extra photographs. You’ll see that they turned out very, very well. I’d like to set up another shoot sometime. And sometime, I’d like to borrow one of those new, compact video cameras and try it out on you guys.

“I think he’s considering us his private models now,” Dan observed.

“You’re pretty,” I said with a shrug. “And I have good definition,” I added, repeating Howie’s words.

“We do photograph well,” he said, turning to one of five, eight by tens that Howie had included in the honeymoon album. “Damn!”

It was a photograph of me, arched on my back, my head thrown back on the black sheets toward the camera. Farther away, Dan knelt at my bottom. I had my legs around his waist, and he was holding me up by my butt, his cock inside me. Howie had taken the picture from a couple of feet away just above the level of the bed, looking back toward my upturned face and down my arched body toward Dan. From that angle, my chest and sternum hid our joining and the sight of my cock lying up my belly. But it left no doubt that I was impaled.

Howie had caught a moment when Dan had thrust. My shoulders were slightly twisted and my mouth open. Dan’s head was back too. Both of us had our eyes closed and brows furrowed in looks of exquisite concentration.

With my arms splayed straight out to the sides, the picture had an elegant symmetry, made stark by my light skin tones on the black sheets, and by the marble-like relief of our taut muscles against the soft sheen of satin. Dan looked magnificent, rising above me, his long torso tapering up to wide, angular shoulders. I looked like some fallen creature, under him, all yielded muscle and sinew… yielded in ecstasy.

“I want this blown up and put on the wall over our bed,” Dan said as soon as he saw it.

I tilted my head, looking at it from a different angle. “I think I’d title it,” I said. “The Prince and the Stag.

Dan took another look. “Yeah,” he said. “I can see it.”

But then when we saw the second eight by ten, I thought it would look good above the bed as well. It was a shot taken from above us, as we lay on our sides on the black sheets. I was spooned behind Dan, and we were tightly coiled. I had my arms around him and my hands rested on his pecs, pulling his back to my chest. His hands were on mine, holding them to his chest.

It wasn’t the photo that showed ‘a little cock’ between our bodies; but one that Howie had taken a moment before. The nesting of our folded bodies hid that Dan was hard and that my cock was inside him. But though our eyes were closed, it was obvious we weren’t sleeping. Our faces were turned upward from the bed, and our eyes were closed in concentration.

“We’ve gotta get black satin sheets,” I said.

“What would you title this one?” Dan asked.

I looked over our slender bodies, intimately nested, and at the way our faces tilted at the same angle with the same expression. “I’d title it the same as Ryan’s song,” I said. “Friends in Love.”

The third enlargement was of a picture Howie had taken of our faces from the side, just as Dan and I started rubbing. In it, I had run my fingers into Dan’s hair on either side of his head to hold it back, and Dan was looking down at me with that combination of affection, desire, and amusement that showed up as an aroused twinkle in his eye. I simply looked happy. Absolutely happy.

“This wouldn’t look bad in the bedroom either,” I suggested.

“No,” Dan said, smiling at the photo. “I’d title this one, Lover’s Delight.”

The two remaining enlargements were of us, individually. Dan’s was of him outside, water from the hot tub glistening on his muscles in the sunlight, his hair hanging wet and straight from the back of his head. It framed him from his naked pubes up, hands on his hips, head back laughing. The muscles of his neck and shoulders had tightened and he looked incredibly male.

Mine was taken on the edge of the bed. I was on my stomach, a knee dangling over the side, and I was propped up on my forearm so that my upper torso was up off the bed, and I was facing slightly back toward the camera. I looked flushed, which wasn’t surprising considering all the sex that Dan and I’d just had and that I’d just come from the hot tub.

My hair was a bit mussed and wild looking, but Howie didn’t let me comb it; he made me leave it that way. I had just asked if the pose was OK when he snapped the picture, capturing me with my mouth parted. It made me look panting and ready.

He had taken the photo from my side, a couple of feet away and a foot or two above the level of the bed; framing my length entirely on black satin. And he had made me tense my muscles, especially my butt, so that he could catch the musculature of my back and flanks down through my legs. I looked very long and very slender in the shot. My reddish-brown hair and pink skin contrasted dramatically with the black sheets. The effect was undeniably erotic.

“I look like I’m rutting on the bed,” I complained.

“And ready to mount,” Dan said, touching a finger to my butt in the picture.

We decided we’d title Dan’s, The Prince, and mine, The Stag. When Howie called to see what we thought of the pictures, we told him the titles and he liked them. “Maybe someday,” he said, “I’ll do an exhibit of photos of you guys, and we’ll call the exhibit, The Prince and The Stag.”

“Maybe Someday,” Dan and I agreed.

“We will have to get pictures done with Ry,” I pointed out after we hung up from the call. “He’ll want to be up on the walls too.”

Dan grinned. “Until he’s eighteen, we may have to keep Ry’s photos in the back room.”

“That might be cool,” I said. “It could be a little like he’s with us, even when he’s not.”

Dan thought about it. “I bet Howie could turn out something with Ry that would be really beautiful.”


The Ceremony — Piercing

Linda rose once more when Roger finished speaking. Roger had spoken about love in friendship in more discreet, but just as serious terms as he had to us at Thanksgiving, and the room remained quiet as Linda returned to the podium.

She had found where someone had taken the passage from Ruth that my dad had recommended, and put it to music; Entreat Me Not to Leave Thee. Linda sang well, though she started to cry.

When she broke up completely after finishing the song, I felt so sorry for her. After all, the only two guys she’d liked and been intimate with in months were getting married. I resolved that even if Dan and I couldn’t… shouldn’t make love to her, we could make sure she got out some; we could be good friends for her. And at Canyon Lake, we’d be living much closer to her.

Mary took Linda aside to calm her as Dan and I stood up at the podium. I reprised the Bible verse and thinking that led me to want Dan to pierce my ear. Then Daniel spoke, saying why he wanted me to pierce his. We tried to express to our friends, perhaps clearly for the first time, those feelings that we had long expressed to each other; feelings of love, affection, and a desire to spend our lives together.

We removed our jackets and double-checked our portable microphones where they were attached to the front of our white shirts. And then, as we had planned, Dan removed his tie and used it like a headband to tie my hair back out of the way. I removed my tie, and tied his hair back.

Then in front of our families and friends, I took Dan’s hand.

“Daniel James Reese,” I said, “I am your servant for life. All that I own, or ever will own is yours. All that I am or will be or can be, is yours. I hold nothing back.”

“For the rest of our lives, where you go, I go; your home will be my home, your hopes and plans will be my hopes and plans; your dreams, my dreams; your future, my future. Your happiness and welfare will be my constant occupation. For better or worse, Daniel, for richer or poorer, until death do us part… I am completely your servant. This is my solemn pledge.”

Up to this point, the words I spoke were words we had discussed between us. But now I took his hands in both of mine and put my forehead to his for one final promise. “I won’t ever leave you, Danny. No matter what. I won’t ever desert you… ever.”

Dan’s breath caught, and he lifted his head. His eyes met mine and started watering. So mine did too.

Roger stood to join Dan. Linda had recovered and joined them with a cube of ice, a cork, and a sterile needle all lying on a clean, white towel. (The chore of overseeing the ear piercing had fallen to Linda since she was the only person among us who had actually pierced an ear before… her sister’s.) Mary quietly set a tumbler of alcohol next to us and sat back down. Roger held the ear stud.

Dan took the cube of ice, I carefully took the sterile needle, and Roger took the cork. Then Linda tucked the towel into my loosened collar and spread it over my shoulder.

Dan used the ice to numb my ear. Then I carefully handed him the needle which he dipped into the alcohol. Our eyes met, and he smiled, his eyes full of love. Roger held the cork behind the lobe of my ear, and Dan lined up the needle.

He was careful; cradling my head in the crook of his arm as he quickly pierced my ear. He dabbed it with alcohol and then dabbed it dry; and then put in the stud after dipping it in alcohol. I gritted my teeth and couldn't avoid a high whimper at the sting.

"Well," Roger observed. "Using alcohol is one way to make sure you each remember this."

There were scattered chuckles.

Roger sat back down; Linda returned to her seat, and Daniel took my hand. It was his turn.

“I don’t know what strange chemistry draws one person to another,” he said, looking around the room. “Maybe when I’m a research psychologist, I’ll know.” His face grew serious and his eyes returned to mine. “I don’t know what magic makes one heart out of two. I just know that you really are my ‘other half’, Seany. We belong together. We really belong together.”

“We’re so different, but the fit is perfect. I admire so many things about you, things I wish I was; things you can be for us. And maybe there are some things I can be for you.”

I smiled with a perverse thought. I couldn’t help it. Dan squeezed my hand and gave me the slightest of frowns before continuing – the guy could always read me.

“The pledges that I’m about to make to you,” he said, his voice starting to tighten, “my heart has already made.” He swallowed hard and a tear ran down his cheek. “But the happiest thing I’ve ever done in my life is to say them to you now.”

“Sean Patrick Sullivan,” he said, “I am your servant for life. All that I own, or ever will own is yours. All that I am or will be or can be is yours. I hold nothing back.”

“For the rest of our lives, where you go, I go; your home will be my home, your hopes and plans will be my hopes and plans; your dreams, my dreams; your future, my future. Your happiness and welfare will be my constant occupation. For better or worse, Sean, for richer or poorer, until death do us part… I am completely your servant. This is my solemn pledge.”

He took my hand and placed it over his heart. With his other hand, he pulled my forehead to his. “You added a promise,” he said, “one we hadn’t talked about. You know I’m going to match it.” He smiled. “I promise that I will never leave you, Seany… ever. Not even in spirit. I may get mad at you, but I won’t ever withhold my love from you.” He leaned close and spoke softly. “You’re stuck with me for as long as we live.”

Daniel leaned back, holding my hand over his heart, and he smiled. There were tears on both our faces. Colin rose to stand beside me, and he held the cork behind Dan’s ear for me while I used the needle Dan handed me to puncture his ear lobe. I dabbed it with alcohol and then dabbed it dry; and took the ear stud from Colin and after dipping it in aclohol, carefully put it into Dan’s ear.

We made a final dab of ears as Colin and Linda sat back down.

A chorus of voices, led by Lenny and Aaron, called for a kiss. Dan smiled and we kissed lightly on the lips, keeping the kiss chaste for the sake of my family and then we sat back down.

January (cont.)

Dan still wasn’t home. The sun was getting low. I stood up from the table and went to the fridge. Then decided on water instead of beer. We had agreed to go easy on the beer. And grass would be only for special occasions.

Of course, the previous Thursday hadn’t been a special occasion at all, except that the photo albums had arrived and we were still on our honeymoon and we had yet to use Robert’s wedding present.

“I’ll give you my present later, before you leave,” Robert had said when he danced with me. “Don’t open it until you’re back at the cabin. It’s some of that grass that you and Nu liked so much at Thanksgiving.”

This was after I’d heard Robert cough, so maybe it was my imagination, but I didn’t think he looked healthy. He was pale, with red, watery eyes. “Are you OK?” I asked. “I heard you coughing earlier and you look a little… tired.”

“Nah,” he said, shrugging off my concern. “We’ve been partying a lot… what with everyone being home for the holidays.” Then he frowned at me. “I don’t have it, Sean. So relax!”

I tried. But when he kissed me after the dance, I kept my lips tightly pressed together, and excused myself to the bathroom afterward where I washed my lips with antibacterial soap from the dispenser. I made Dan do the same.

As he promised, Robert gave us his gift before we left. Lenny promised to deliver it for us without opening the box, though it was obvious that he guessed what it was.

Dan and I found the box in the bottom drawer of our dresser.

We hadn’t made love all day last Thursday. Instead, we’d gone canoeing in the morning, and went into San Marcos for a movie that afternoon and supper afterward. Back at the cottage, we found the albums sitting in their shipping boxes on our porch. UPS had delivered them in our absence.

After looking through the photos, we stripped for the evening, and I got out my guitar. As I played Dan’s song, we looked through the albums again. And then, he got out the grass.

We made love until dawn, and afterward, I could honestly say that the hottest, as well as mellowest sex I ever had in my life was with Dan. But the butter was hell to clean up.

The Ceremony – Roger

“This is happy occasion,” Roger said, returning to the podium after Dan and I sat back down. “It is a celebration of friendship. And in that spirit, it is appropriate that Daniel and Sean have asked me to take a serious moment to speak to you young men who are their friends, about something very important.”

Roger leaned forward over the podium, as if to speak more intimately. “Daniel and Sean asked me to speak to you the same way I have spoken to them… as my sons,” he said.

He looked from face to face. “Daniel and Sean are gay, as are many of you. We haven’t talked about that so far in this ceremony. The boys wanted the focus to be on their love and friendship. But they do express love to each other in the ways that gay men do. It is fundamentally a part of their relationship. And whether or not we are all comfortable with it, it is who they are.”

“But it is only a part of who they are,” he continued. “Though sexual intimacy is part of what binds them together, their sexuality doesn’t rule their lives any more than a heterosexual drive rules the life of a straight person.”

“Or it can,” he said quietly. “I know that for young people, the sex drive can be overwhelming. But sex has always been dangerous without wisdom. There has always been the danger of unwanted pregnancies or social diseases. There has always been the tragedy of broken hearts, abuse, and defilement when one person uses another for their own gratification. And when sex becomes casual, there has always been the danger of it losing the tenderness and intimacy that makes sexual relations the remarkable intercourse between two souls that in its pure state, it can be.”

“And now there is an even greater danger to you in this room,” Roger said, straightening himself and frowning down into the eyes of each of our friends.

He took a deep breath. “Just a few years ago, on the Ebola River in Africa, an entirely new disease appeared. It was like something out of a horror movie; a disease that virtually dissolved internal organs. Ebola Fever infected over two hundred people, killing over half of them. A few months later, it appeared again, in a different strain, and infected over three hundred people, killing eighty-eight percent of them.”

He looked from person to person. “They found the virus that causes it, but there is currently nocure.”

“What I’m trying to say,” Roger said, his voice rising, “is that there are deadly diseases out there, new diseases for which we don’t have a cure and for which we may not have a cure for some time to come.”

“The disease that now threatens you may have a mortality rate higher than Ebola. It’s real and it’s here and it’s striking down young gay men, just like you. We don’t know for sure what causes it or how it spreads. And we certainly don’t have a cure.”

“We do know,” he said, “from the way venereal diseases have spread among gay men, that this new disease is likely to spread quickly, and devastatingly. That is… unless gay men change their behavior.”

“I’m going to be blunt,” he said, “painfully blunt… look around you. Look at each other.” He paused to let us all do just that. “If this disease keeps spreading,” he continued, “and if your behavior is like that of other gay men, then you will not all be here in a year or two. Some of you will be dead.”

January (cont)

I left the album open on the breakfast table and walked back to our bathroom, checking out the window on the way, to see if Dan was coming yet. I glanced at the elephant men pictures on the wall in a corner of our bedroom and stepped over to one photo with all of us in it; the one where we were all pressed front to back.

Dan was right about how easily I felt love for guys after making love with them. As I looked at each smiling face in the photo, I worried for them. I wanted us all around next year and the year after.

Ceremony — Blessing

Roger’s words left the room stunned. It was almost like daylight itself had rolled back.

He looked slowly from face to face and then gathered his breath. “It doesn’t have to be that way,” Roger said. “You can live. You can live well. Look at these two,” he said, gesturing at Dan and me with either hand. “Do you think they will be unhappy, confining their physical intimacy to each other?”

“Or is it more likely that they will find deeper meaning and significance in a sexuality that is based in deep, abiding love? You heard them promise to never leave each other. I know these young men. They mean what they say, and I know their character. They will do what they promise. You know what that means?”

“It means that when they are old, they will not be alone. They will have an intimate companion with whom they have built a life. A life-long partner that they have shared every day with. Someone with whom they have shared their dreams and triumphs, as well as their pain and failures. Someone who has stood with them when no one else did. Someone who has shared all their joy and adventures. Someone who has shared their sorrows. Over the years, they will accumulate memories of their days together… many, many memories; memories that will be treasured because they are shared.”

“Should they both live long enough to face the cold night of old age, they will do so hand in hand… together. And when the first of them does fall, the other will not be alone. When you have shared your life as these two plan to, you are never really alone again.”

When Roger finished, my dad stood and came to the podium.

“When Sean and Daniel called to tell me that Dr. Reese would be acting as Master of Ceremonies,” he said, “they asked me if there was something I would like to do. Without hesitation, I told them there was. I told them that I wanted to offer up a father’s prayer for them.”

Dad looked over the tables of mostly young men and his kindly eyes filled with tears. “As I listened to what Dr. Reese told us, I felt the concern of a father, for my son, Sean, and for my adopted son, Daniel. And as I look at each of you, I feel that concern any father feels for young men going in harm’s way. With your permission, I will make my father’s prayer for you all.”

Dad bowed his head, and we all did. “Oh, Lord,” he began, “you are the Heavenly Father. You have given life to us all. And to dads like Dr. Reese and me, you have given the ability to feel some small part of what you must feel for your children.” Dad took a deep breath, pausing to collect himself.

“Those feelings fill me with awe,” he said quietly. “Yet they give me the confidence to ask of you everything for these special children.”

“Give them life and not death,” he prayed. “Help them know the difference. I know that in this life, there is always suffering; but they are young, Lord… let them find joy as well. Let them find much joy… save them from mundane living; give them life with depth and heights. Show them what is noble and good, and help them always choose those things. And show them the greatest adventure of all; let them encounter the Living God, and let them discover the awesome reality of Your love.”

Standing between us, Dad laid a hand on my head, and one on Dan’s. “Bless their friendship and their life together and make it rich beyond measure. Give years and years of days like treasures... and when their way grows dark, when they are most fearful and alone, lift their eyes to You and let them find Your peace; lift their eyes to You, and let them find… You. Show them always, the highest way. And when their journey in this life is through, may it have been good; may it have been exceedingly good.”

Dad paused and glanced at Mary. She nodded. And then as prearranged, Dad prayed a blessing on our meal.

Mary signaled the servers. The room was quiet as they carried in trays of salads; very fancy salads with spring greens and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. They served the head table first. By the time they started on the other tables, people began to loosen up again, and conversation grew.

Colin came over to me and knelt beside my chair. He hugged my neck and just held me for a long time. I patted his back. “I love you,” he said quietly.

I nodded.

“Don’t get mad,” Colin whispered in my ear. “I gave you a Bible… I know you have one, but this is like a Bible for your home… every family should have a Bible,” Colin said, and he blushed.

I smiled. Colin had called Dan and me a family.


After we finished eating, the band struck up with Just an Old-fashioned Love Song. Dan danced with my mom; I danced with Mary. And then we switched off.

“You’re going to be the death of me, Sean,” Mom said.

“Why?” I asked, figuring I might as well let her get it out of her system. She wouldn’t spoil things.

“Because,” she said, “as much as I think homo… as much as I think being gay is wrong, I was still touched by your ceremony.” She leaned back, looking me in the eye. “You may not believe this, but I’m glad you have Daniel; I’m glad you have a friend like him.”

She frowned slightly, her eyes still on mine. “I hope you don’t shut us out of your lives.”

I shook my head. “As long as we can sleep in the Bronco or you pay for our motel, we’ll come visit.”

She smiled. “Does that mean that when we come visit you, we’ll have to sleep in the Bronco, too?”

I looked her in the eye. “If that is what will make you comfortable.”

Her smile faded and she looked thoughtful. “I really don’t know,” she said.

“Well,” I said. “You’ll have to decide sometime, because you’re invited.”

The song finished and I returned Mom to their table. Dan returned Mary. But no one moved out onto the dance floor. They were all busy talking.

So for the next song, I asked my little sister to dance.

“You have to invite us to the lake real soon,” she said.

“I already did.”

“Good. I want to swim. And I want you and Colin to take me fishing.”

“OK. What do we get out of it: Will you do the cooking?”

“Nope,” she said. “That’s what Daniel will do.”

I laughed, and lifting her, swung her around before putting her back down. “Precocious little nut,” I said, “you’ve never tasted Dan’s cooking.”

She grinned.

When the song ended, Linda asked me to dance.

“Thank you,” I said, pulling her into my arms as the next song began. “You sang beautifully; it added perfectly to everything.” She smelled wonderful. And she felt good in my arms. There was always something a little different about holding a girl in your arms… at least it was true when I held Linda.

“It was a beautiful ceremony,” she said. She pressed her cheek to mine. “I envy you two,” she said quietly. “But I think I envy Dan just a little more. You really are special, Sean. You’ll always be special to me. Remember that, OK? You were always the special one.”

I nodded, feeling sorry for her once more. She sounded sad — resigned, but sad. “You will always be special to me, too,” I said. Should I tell her? Would it make it harder? Probably not, she already knew… “Linda,” I said. “You will always be the girl I would have married if I were straight.”

She nodded. She had known.

Dan was beside us as the song ended, and he asked Linda to dance next. Caitlyn came beside me right away. “My turn,” she said.

“You’re something else, Streak,” she said, stepping into my arms. “You guys even had me crying, and I think two guys getting married is a little loony.”

“Why’d you want to come, then?” I asked, leaning back to look into her face.

She smiled and shook her head. “Guys!” She laid her head on my chest. “You can all be so dense sometimes.” Then she lifted her head again, a mischievous sparkle in her eye. “Know what?” she asked.


“Ferg tried to hide it, but he got teary-eyed too.”

I smiled. “You weren’t surprised, were you? We both know that inside the blustery football player is a sweet guy.”

“Yeah,” she nodded, laying her head back onto my chest. “Maybe I won’t cheat with you after all.”

The band shifted gears with the next song, Saturday Night Fever. Scott, Nu, Lenny, and Jonny stepped out onto the dance floor. That’s when my family prepared to leave.

Mom hugged me and her eyes were watering. She shrugged it off and tried to smile. “I see that someone gave you a crock pot,” she said. “Those are great. I’m going to send you a crock pot cookbook.”

My little sister hugged me happily. “We’re going to come see you real soon,” she promised.

Dad hugged me and held me close for a long time. “God has had you in the palm of His hand son… all this time,” he whispered. “I’ll keep praying every day that He keeps you there.”

People had quit dancing while my family was leaving. But as soon as they were gone, Aaron grabbed my hand and pulled me out onto the dance floor. The band began playing Blue Moon, and Aaron pulled me tightly into his arms.

Jorge approached Dan, and they joined us on the dance floor.

Aaron nuzzled the side of my hair as our bodies moved to the music. The old electricity was still there. We felt it in each other. We felt it in our embrace. And I knew he was getting hard like I was. Whatever it is that passes between two male bodies, causing nostrils to flare even before erections brush together, it passed between ours.

“Remember, Sullivan,” he said. “We agreed that we’re going to be special friends for a long time.”

“I’m married, Aaron,” I said, trying to keep our erections from touching without looking awkward.

“And I’m not stupid,” he said, leaning back to look at me. “I know what we feel for each other. Jorge and Daniel know it too.” He nodded toward our lovers, dancing a few feet away.

“It doesn’t mean that anything has to happen between us,” I said, “except that we stay friends.”

He looked hard into my eyes, searching them. Then he nodded. “We can try, Sullivan. If that’s what you want to do. Then he pulled me close again, nuzzling once more into the side of my hair. Our erections brushed. “We’re still fire and gasoline,” he said.

And then, when the song ended, Aaron announced loudly, “I think we should all get to kiss the groom… make that, the grooms.”

Guys cheered, and Aaron pulled me into an embrace, kissing me full on the lips. Nearby, Jorge gave Dan a milder kiss.

“Next time,” I said, catching my breath as I pulled away. “You get a knee to the groin.”

Aaron laughed.

. . . . .

Lenny smiled when he felt my erection. I had pulled him into my arms for the next dance after Kyle’s, and Lenny’s leg brushed my crotch almost immediately.

“Getting ready for tonight?” he asked with a grin.

I nodded, pulling him close, my cheek against the side of his hair. “More than ready.”

“So I don’t need to get you any readier?” he asked, amusement in his voice as he pressed his body closer.

“No you don’t!” I whispered loudly, backing from him.

Lenny chuckled. And then he grew serious. “I’m really happy for you, baby. You are so perfect together. And gorgeous, too. You look beautiful today, baby.”

I smiled. “You should have seen us yesterday,” I whispered. And then I told him about the ‘honeymoon pictures’. Lenny howled.

. . . . .

“Michael and I are talking again,” Ken said as we danced. He smiled. “We’ve missed each other.”

I was relieved. I had been afraid that Michael might have lost some motivation if his needs were being met in Lenny’s bedroom.

“I know he’s been sleeping with Lenny and Jonny,” Ken said, watching me. “But he says he’s been odd-man-out and he knows it.” Ken leaned forward again, resting his cheek against mine as we danced. “Look, Sean, I don’t know if Michael and I will work out… long term. I doubt that we ever do what you and Dan did today. I mean… I want to go to grad school somewhere. I’ve got a career to start. Michael and I might wind up going different ways. Besides, we still have a lot to work through just to stay together for now.”

He sighed in my arms. “But we agree that we love each other,” he said, “and for the time being, we can be safe partners for each other. We’re starting from that.”

. . . . .

“Am I forgiven yet?” I asked Michael when we danced. “For pushing you to get back with Ken.”

“I forgave you right away,” Michael said, laying his head on my shoulder. “I just haven’t agreed with you. Not everybody is supposed to be together, Sean. “And you can’t forgive everything right away. Some things take time.”

“It sounds like you and Ken are going to try though, right?”

“Yeah,” he said, nodding.

We bumped against Lenny and Reggie who were dancing together. Lenny laughed and bumped butts with me.

“I'm curious about something,” Michael said as we moved away.


“While you and Dan were exchanging your vows, I was looking around and it just struck me as funny, I mean… here you’re promising to be together forever and all, and yet… haven’t you had sex with a lot of the people in this room?”

I looked around. “Not the band,” I said.

Michael laughed. “I’m almost surprised.”

“Michael,” I said, “all this is sorta weird to bring up right now, you know?”

He nodded on my shoulder. “What started me thinking about it,” he said, “was that even though I knew you did other guys and all, when we were together, you made me feel special. And I wondered how many other guys here felt like they had been special to you.”

I looked around the room, and it occurred to me, that whether they felt it or not, they all had been special to me. But things would be different now. As I looked around, I wondered how different. I wanted them all to stay special.

I kissed the top of Michael’s head. “You are special, Michael,” I said. “Very special.”

He smiled, looking up at me. “I just realized… Kenny makes me feel that way, too.”

. . . . .

Stef asked me to dance once he’d had a few glasses of champagne.

“It could almost have been me,” he said, laying his head on my shoulder when I pulled him into my arms.

“We were best buds,” I said. “But it wasn’t ever the same.”

Stef nodded. “Maybe not for you, Sean.”

“Stef,” I said quietly. “I’ve felt bad for a while about how things went with us. I should have told you a long time ago about how sorry I’ve been.”

Stef shrugged. “I loved you. I still do.”

He leaned back, looking up into my eyes. “We’re still good friends,” he said. “We’ll always be good friends. But we’ve gotten out of touch. Maybe I’ll come visit you guys sometime?”

I nodded. “Maybe someday.”

. . . . .

My last dance was with Dan, and everyone cleared the floor. When the first few notes from Superman came from the band, we glanced over and the bandleader gave us a saluting wave.

“Why are they playing that? Have they seen you without clothes?” Dan whispered in my ear.

“Quiet, you cluck,” I whispered back. “The movie was a romance.”

“You take it how you want,” Dan whispered, nuzzling my hair. “I’ve seen you without clothes and you look pretty super to me.”

I chuckled and kissed behind his ear. “And I’ve seen you,” I whispered. “Yeah, appropriate theme.”

He pulled me close and our ear studs brushed between our faces. I said, “Ouch!” And we switched our faces to the other side.

“Some Superman,” Dan said.

“That’s not where I get hard as steel,” I whispered.

We tried moving as to a waltz, though the beat wasn’t exactly one, two, three; and we each tried leading and following. Then something clicked and we moved as a couple.

The softness of his cheek against mine and the warmth of his breath on my neck aroused me. I forgot the others in the room as we danced and my focus became the lean, male form in my arms. Physically, Dan was still a youth, as was I. And yet, it seemed to me that we had somehow stepped finally and irrevocably from childhood into the ‘rest of our lives’.

And each of us had stepped from ‘me’ to ‘us’. I felt it as we moved together with the rest of the room watching. I felt it in the way that he held me, and that I held him. “You belong to me now,” I whispered.

He nodded. “Completely,” he answered with his mouth to my ear. “And you belong to me.”

“Completely,” I agreed. “From now on, when you lay down at night, I will be there. When you get up in the morning, I will be there. We won’t be apart any more than we have to.” And then I smiled. “And when we’re together, you no doubt will try to always make it an adventure.”

“No doubt,” Dan agreed. And then he kissed me low on the side of the neck. “I’m thinking of an adventure right now.”

Not in front of your mom and dad,” I said.

And then the music ended. While we were still in each other’s arms, Dan ran his fingers up into the back of my hair and he clutched a handful. Our eyes met. And then he placed his lips on mine. We embraced, and around us, our friends applauded.

. . . . .

It was time to change before leaving. But first, Dan grabbed my hand and while no one was looking, pulled me out through one of the French doors and out onto the balcony.

The winter sun was bright, and there was a winter sky; high, blue, and without a cloud. The tall pines lining the fairways were deep green. The fairways were a rich green. The water hazards were blue, reflecting the sky.

“Seany,” he said with a grin, pulling me to him. “Feeling any different?”

“Yeah, I think I’m getting hard because your leg is between mine.”

“No, you asshole,” he said, grinning. “Do you feel any different now… after the ceremony… now that you’re officially stuck with me for life.”

“Yeah,” I said, taking him by the shoulders and gazing into his eyes. “I feel all settled inside. Like everything is right. I feel…” I searched for the words. “I feel peace. Like the world is the way it’s supposed to be. I feel incredibly happy.”

A puff of breeze blew through Dan’s hair, blowing pale golden strands free from its perfection. I smoothed them back. “My lover,” I said softly, “my brother, my husband,” I smiled, “my wife.” Then I whispered, “my beloved.”

A new song started inside, Linda’s favorite, You Light up My Life.

Tears whelmed up in Dan’s eyes again. “I love you so much,” he said, laying his hand on my cheek. “My heart feels…” his voice failed him. A tear rolled down his cheek. He cleared his throat. “My heart feels like it’s going to burst.”

My eyes filled with tears too, and I pulled him close, hugging his neck, pressing my wet cheek to his. “I know,” I said softly. “I know.”

He sought my lips with his. We kissed, our mouths wet with tears. And there on the balcony, under the sun, we wept as we kissed. Dan I held each other tightly and I was ready for us to be away.

January (cont)

Headlights turned into the drive and I heard tires on gravel. Pushing back from the breakfast table, I straightened my short robe and moved to stand in front of the door.

I could hear Dan’s steps on the gravel; he was running. He bounded up the porch stairs and threw open the door, saw me, looked me up and down with a grin, and slammed the door behind him.

“All I could think about all day was you, Seany,” he said, stripping off his coat.

“And all I could think about in class was you,” I said.

He stepped up to me and slipped open my robe, sliding his hands in and onto my sides. “Oh, damn, Seany,” he said, looking down my body. “Tomorrow’s going to be even harder to be away from you.”

He slipped the robe off my shoulders and it dropped to the floor. His hands slid down the outside of my arms, and he bent to kiss first one nipple and then the other. He kissed down my belly, and kneeling, nuzzled into the front of my nylon briefs.

“I kept thinking about Little Seany,” he said, pulling down the front of my waistband to free my cock. When it sprung free, he clasped it in his hand and kissed the crown. Then he swirled it the way he knew made my knees weak.

He closed his mouth over my crown and tugged my briefs down my legs. When they fell to the floor and I stepped from them. Dan stood up, and I wrapped my arms around his shoulders. We kissed, and Dan grabbed me by the butt, lifting me from my feet. I wrapped my legs around his waist and Dan carried me back to the bedroom.

He lifted me on to the squeaky bed and I lay back, stretching out under the mirror, bending my slim body, admiring the length of my cock up my belly, and parting my legs for Dan.

He pulled off his clothes and then climbed up between my legs, his cock wagging under him, and he lay down on me, his cock pressing in alongside mine; his balls settling on mine. Above us in the mirror, his familiar body stretched over mine, his hips settling between my legs, and his blond head nuzzled in beside mine. I watched the reflection of my hands as I spread them over the back of his shoulders and I was moved by desire for him; a desire that had been building all day.

I was also moved by love; a love growing stronger and deeper and more incredibly intimate every day. I pulled him tight.

“Touchdown,” he whispered. “Now I’m really home, Seany.” He nuzzled in under my ear. “My Seany… my Beloved.”

The rain grew louder on the roof. And wind blew through the trees.

. . . . .

We had just finished a late supper when Scott called. “Robert didn’t go back to Stanford,” Scott said. “He’s in the hospital. They think it’s pneumonia.”

“Could he have caught it since Thanksgiving?” I asked.

“Geez, Sean. How would I know?” Scott answered.

“I just wondered. Maybe he said something.”

“No,” Scott said. “I have no idea.”

“We’ll have Roger call you,” Dan said from the bedroom extension. “My dad’s got a friend, another instructor who is a diagnostician and knows a lot about GRIDS. Make sure Robert sees him.”

. . . . .

The night sky had cleared. Stars came out, and a full moon hung over the lake. The cold wind still blew, but we snuggled with our legs entangled, under a blanket, in front of the fire. “There’s nothing we can do, Seany,” Dan said, stroking my face. “Not for Robert if he has it; not for us if we caught it. We just have to wait and see.”

I nodded. “And make the most of every day.”

Dan grinned. “That’s it.” He pulled me tightly too him. “We live each day like it’s all we’ve got… and we live to be a hundred, Seany.”

. . . . .

The fire was almost out when my softening cock slipped from inside Danny. I pulled his back tightly to my stomach and nuzzled in behind his hair. And I began to hum Daniel’s song.

He snuggled back to me and I laid my cheek behind his ear and hummed quietly. And when I reached the song’s refrain, I softly sang it in his ear…

My heart was born without a home… and without its brother
But in a touch, a voice, a smile… it found him in another
Oh, and … Daniel is my home… Daniel is my brother
Daniel is my friend… and Daniel… Daniel is my lover
Oh … his touch, his voice, his smile… Daniel is my lover
Oh … his touch, his voice, his smile… Daniel is my brother



In 1982, the term AIDS was used for the first time for the disease previously referred to as GRIDS. There were 853 known deaths reported in the United States that year.

In 1983, the number of known deaths climbed to 2304.

In 1984, the number was 4251.

In 1985, the number was 5646.

The annual toll peaked in 1995 when the number of deaths was 48,371.

At the end of 2002, over a half million victims had died from AIDS in the United States alone.

Currently, over a million people in the United States are living with AIDS. Over fifty additional sexually transmitted diseases are active in the general population.

We wish to thank all our readers who have stayed with us on the long journey that this rewrite of Sea Change became. Your encouragement and endurance have been wonderful.

Online authors like us receive no compensation for our work, other than emails from our readers. Please take a moment to let my editor, Michael, and I know that you have read this story by emailing to btomandback@hotmail.com. It will be greatly appreciated

And one final note: We’ve been asked before by readers if we have any drawings or pictures of our characters, either from Sea Change or The Least of These. We thought it would be fun to get your ideas. For the next few weeks, we invite our readers to send any drawings or photographs that you think are good likenesses for any of our characters from Sea Change or The Least of These. We will collect them, and return those we consider best candidates to all readers who submit photos. The photos will not be published or otherwise distributed, but please respect copyrights.