Skip - Part 7


Skip – Part 7

Since I was now a guinea pig, I was on the US Government's `payroll'. Andrew knew that a guinea pig confined to a hospital made for bad results. Therefore, with the help of a local realtor friend of his, he found a small studio apartment for me near Mass General. "Ugh, a tiny cracker box in the north of Boston" I thought to myself when he told me about it. The expression on my face must have shown my unintended snobbery.

"Wait until you see it, Aaron. I think you'll be okay with it. If not, I'll call my friend back. He'll find you another."

"Sorry to sound, or appear, ungrateful, Andrew. I've seen studio apartments all over the country. I have to wonder if I'd be better off at the hospital among other people at least."

"We'll see. Please know I won't do anything to you that we don't talk about first. I had to move on this one though, Boston real estate being what it is. Will you walk with me to the apartment?"

"Sure. Again, I'm sorry for my reaction."

My reaction definitely was presumptive. Never assume, ever.

We walked into a nice lobby to a redbrick townhouse building. I looked up at richly wood-paneled walls and soft lighting. We walked to the second floor.

Andrew handed me the key. I unlocked the door and stepped into a stylish, furnished apartment. Exposed brick, tile on the floor from the floor to the kitchen area, nice wood floors throughout the rest of the space. The kitchen cabinets were light and seemed to glow. Three tall windows flanked one wall. They looked out onto a courtyard at the side of the building. I was amazed to hear almost no street noise. There was a cherry wood cabinet against the opposite wall in the living space. Real cherry, not a laminate. This space was first class.

Andrew looked at me as I took it all in. He walked over to the cabinet, opened the doors, slid them to the back of the cabinet, and pulled down a full-sized mattress on a frame.

"Murphy bed. More contemporary that what you've ever seen I bet."

I nodded.

"But, I can't afford something like this, not even in a studio. This place is easily a grand, probably closer to $1200. My rent at home is half this and less. It's nice, but . . ."

"It's $1100 and you're not paying for it. I am, through a carefully made budget. Taxpayers are paying about one-third, but I don't think most would mind, considering what you're doing for us."

I was speechless. Then I noticed a small fireplace, set at an angle in the far corner. There were lit candles on the mantle and on a table in front of a mirror, and an enlarged photo of Beacon Hill brownstones, in black and white. Beautiful. I went over and touched the edge of the mantle. Fresh flowers were on a small table between two of the windows. The scale of the furniture was perfect for what looked like about 450 square feet.

"The bath is behind you, to the left of the kitchen."

I pushed the door open and looked in. There was a stackable washer/dryer beside the shower stall. It even had a small window that also faced the courtyard. If I had ever been given about $5,000 and told to furnish a small space, I could not have done half as well.

"Wow. So I have to sell my soul to live here?"

"Only half of it, to me. It's not much better than a deal with the devil because helping us won't be a walk in the park. This, however, is your home for whenever you're in the city. It's also only for you until you don't need it anymore, so you can personalize it to your liking."

"And ruin this? The only thing I would contaminate this space with is my clothes. Even then I feel like I'll be underdressed all the time."

"Nah. It's now your home, Aaron. Treat it as such. When I'm in Boston, I live less than a mile from here."

"Oh? Where do you live otherwise?"

"Maryland. You'll also be going there with me from time to time. The home office will want to make sure that you're doing well. My treatment plan is for holistic health; body, mind, nutrition, and spirit. Not necessarily religion; but spiritual health. I'm not just going to pump you full of drugs."

"I appreciate that. No slur intended, but my oncologist in NH has only drugs and radiation to offer me."

"You won't have radiation treatments, unless necessary. You won't be using your PICC line much either, except for fluids to keep you hydrated. The meds we're dealing with will be directly injected into the tumors."

"Wait. Tumors? Plural?"

"I thought you knew. Your oncologist knows. You have three. One is about the size of a peach pit. The other two twice as large."


"I know, Aaron. But please do one thing; trust that I have your back. I do."

"Okay. My instincts are usually right and mine says if you can pull this off," I said, holding my palms up and turning in the space, "then you can help me medically, too."

"Good. Any other questions?"

"Do I have a phone?"

"Yes, in the kitchen. Here, write down the phone number for your friends. It's also paid for, as is your cable, water, sewer, heat, and electricity. It's got gas heat, which you control."

"Like you said, home. What can I say? Where do I sign?"

"You already did, this morning. It's part of your profile now. Do you have any friends in this area?"

"One, a friend from New Hampshire who is in college out in Waltham."

"Male or female?"

"Uh, male. I sorta feel compelled to tell you that we sometimes are more than friends."

"This will be hard to believe, but I'm glad. You answered something that I was going to talk to you about later; your sexual health. I do know that you're widowed. I cannot imagine knowing my wife for 24 years and then someone taking her away from me. If you and a buddy are intimate, then I'm happy for it. How you perform sexually is a gauge to how we're improving your life in general. I'm guessing you didn't expect such a reaction from me, by the look on your face."

"Uh, no. Welcome to 21st Century medicine?"

"Yeah," he smiled, and then laughed. "I told you this is holistic health. You won't find anyone else doing this yet. The plan started two and a half years ago. It's taken us that long to find you."

"His name is Skip. He's also on the A-Team for my support system, along with his folks and younger brother, who is at Syracuse."

"You just answered why I asked. I'm not necessarily curious for the sake of being curious, but for the sake, again, of your mental health. Having an A-Team is very critical to your well-being, physical and emotional. You mentioned that you have nearly 24-hour help for your post-chemo days. You won't be allowed to stay here if you have a fever over 100. And you must call me if you fall outside of a range of well-being. Here's a medical alert bracelet. Let me have your wrist."

I did so. So far, so good. I understood and accepted `the rules'.

"And, here's a medical beacon of sorts. It's tied to 911, for emergencies, should you fall or be sick enough to need assistance. Even out in public, someone can press it and get help immediately."

"I'm in good hands. I'll call Skip and invite him over, since he's closer than any of my other friends."

I had put Skip and his parents as my emergency contacts for Mass General. Skip was a half-hour or so away by car, a bit more by bus or train.

"I would advise that you head for home, sort out your clothes so you can leave some of your fall wardrobe here, settle in here tomorrow, and then check in with me Wednesday morning at the hospital. You're going to be here for at least the next eight weeks, then here for a week to 10 days a month. Obviously, this apartment is move-in ready, so you sort out being here before you come over to the hospital. I'll see you on Wednesday. 11:00 is workable for me if you agree."

"Thanks for all this. One more question. I've asked several doctors and specialists for a prognosis for my cancer. What do you think?"

"I think that if any medical professional actually gave you a prognosis, he or she is playing God. I don't do that. We live day by day, Aaron, like you said."

"The future isn't where my life is; it's in the moments I'm in," I quoted.

"Nice. Who said that?"

"I did. When I was 16."

"Even nicer. I'm impressed. I'm going to have to remember that. What better way to live?"

We blew out the candles, locked up, and walked back to the hospital.

"So how many of us, being treated like this, do you have?"

"One. You. I know that you accepted the program before we provided you with a second home, but even that isn't enough to get `science projects', as you call them. Most cancer patients want the tried and true."

"I hated the tried and true. It sucked and my quality of life went from 10 to barely 1."

"My team and I will bring that up a bit at a time. I find you impressive. You have much to do in your life."

I drove home. I knew when Skip would be back in his campus dorm, so I called after supper and told him everything that had happened that day. He was excited for me.

"When will you be settling in there?" he asked me.

"Tomorrow, so I can try it out overnight and be at MGH by 11:00 on Wednesday to meet Andrew. Will you come out on Friday?"

"Yeah, count on it. How do you feel about christening that bed?"

"The only way I would not do that is if my dick fell off between now and Friday. That could happen because I don't know what these treatments will be like. Maybe I'll even glow in the dark, so I won't be afraid at night."

"Cool, you'll be easier to find in that big city. Is it noisy?"

"Not that I could tell. I don't know what it'll be like with neighbors home, but the daytime street noise was minimal. The only expense I'll have is groceries."

"What? It's paid for?"

"Yeah. $1100, inclusive. No out-of-pocket for me. Thanks to one-third of your taxes, by the way. The other two-thirds come from a government research fund. I'm on a free ride, except that I'll have to puke for science, and the aforementioned glowing in the dark."

"I'm really glad that you are being taken care of. Billy and our folks are going to be so pleased, too."

"I told the folks already, so they can keep an eye on my apartment while I'm gone. Your pop has a vacancy to fill for mid-September, so I'll make sure the townhouse is `model ready' to show off. They have the phone number to the apartment. I'm calling Billy after I hang up from you to share the news."

"Nice. You know what?"

"I do, but say it anyway."

"I love you, bud."

"I love you, bro. I'll be glad to see you on Friday. Don't jack off too much. I want to christen that bed in a large way. It'll require a large cum dump into my ass."

"I gotta go beat off now. Thanks for that! You're on my mind and I can't jump your bones in the next five minutes," he joked, or maybe he was serious.

"Oh geez, now I gotta go jack off at the thought of you jacking off."

He laughed heartily as we said good night. Friday. Oooh baby!

I called Billy, filled him in, told him that Skip and I were going to christen the bed, told him that Skip was jacking off, and that I had to go jack off at the thought of Skip jacking off.

Before we hung up, Billy said that he would go jack off thinking about Skip jacking off while thinking about me jacking off. Wow. Were we horny or what? And contagious.

I was wearing only my jeans, as usual. I lay down in the middle of my bed, opened up my jeans, and removed my balls and cock. It took little coaxing to get it standing straight up. I stroked the slight curve of my uncut cock with my fist wrapped tightly around it. In my mind, Skip was laying in his bed, stroking his own cut cock. Billy would have to find a private place since he lived in the dorm with a roommate, unless he had already turned the boy into an object of sex and lust and beat off alongside him. Well now, that just made me all the harder. Four guys lying on their beds, together or alone, jacking hot hard cocks, fingering tight holes, and playing with heavy balls. Skip's needed special attention. I put the image of me lying between his legs, rolling his solo ball around my mouth.

My breathing changed. I was going to come. I pulled on my left leg, put my knees over my head, positioned my cock over my mouth, and shot a juicy load of cum into my throat. I lay back on my bed, licked my lips, and let all the cum slide down my throat. After I fully enjoyed the taste, I got off the bed to take a shower.

Once showered and dressed, I sorted clothes into two suitcases; medium-weight into a smaller suitcase, and fall/winter-weight into the larger one. I packed two dozen of my favorite CDs. I would buy paperback books in Boston as I found time or desire to read. In the meantime, I packed six books that I had not read yet. I took two towel sets for my bathroom, laundry detergent, four plates and bowls, and drinking glasses and coffee mugs. This felt more like going off to college than going to the city to be a science project.

I left my pantry pretty much as it was. I put cereals and grains in Tupperware so they would keep better. Canned goods were golden. I took anything perishable and gave it to JD and Betsy, as the boys had before they left for school.

I would not need my car in Boston, so I asked Skip and Billy's folks if either could give me a ride to a suburban train station near the city, leaving my car at home in my garage. JD came to my rescue, not only to the train station, but door-to-door to my apartment in Boston. When I wanted to come home, he felt fine about coming to pick me up at my door. Or, if time were ever an issue, he or Betsy would pick me up at the outlaying train station.

JD, with surprise guest Betsy, and I left Tuesday morning to drive to the city. Drive time was one hour and mere minutes. Unlike me, JD found driving in Boston to be semi-easy. [Note this is before Google Maps or MapQuest for easy door-to-door directions. An iPhone and cool navigation apps was still Science Fantasy]. JD was more into urban challenges than I was. I am a country boy and always will be.

The folks were thoroughly impressed with my `government housing'. I gave JD the eye, reiterating my wishlist items for my townhouse from that previous discussion. He chuckled with me. They noticed what I noticed; that the neighborhood was relatively quiet.

We decided to walk the neighborhood to find where the good eats were. Betsy told me that MGH was the place of Billy's birth, though it was not planned. She went into labor on a mid-July summer's day when she and a young JD were in Boston for dinner.

We also went shopping for a bookshelf stereo system for the apartment. The cable had been active already when we plugged my small TV in earlier. I had bought full-size sheets and a blanket for the new bed. My bed in NH was queen-sized, so I did not bring linens from home. We bought fresh fruit and veggies, milk and bread. I would not be eating like the boys and I did on summer weekends, but I would not starve either. The kitchen was good enough for making meals for one or two.

Labor Day was just around the corner. Skip would be with me over the long weekend instead of the last fling in New Hampshire. Skip called me at my city residence that evening to remind me that his trip to see me on Friday was a four-day weekend, not a normal weekend as we had first thought. Awesome.

At 10:30, I headed out the door to MGH. It was raining a fine mist, so I had brought my baseball cap and my windbreaker to keep me dry. The hospital was a maze once one went in the front entrance, beside Emergency. Andrew was on some eighth floor of some building, and defied being found. I should have asked him to meet me at the main lobby, or door-to-door directions.

When I got to his area, I asked for him. His office manager said that he was waiting for me at the main lobby.

"Oops. I must be early. I missed him," I told her.

"No problem, Aaron. I'll send a message to his pager. My name is Amanda."

"Hello Amanda. A pleasure," I said, reaching out to shake her hand.

Ten minutes later, Andrew came through the door.

"Sorry, Doc. I should have told you that I'm insanely anal about being early for appointments. If you walk me out when I leave today, I'll be able to find you easier next time."

"My type of patient. I don't keep mine waiting, so it's nice that you're the same way. Come on back to the exam room so we can do a shitload of tests."

Amanda chuckled at `shitload'. "We're pretty informal around here," she told me. "He'll grow on you soon enough."

Andrew (aka `Doc', which I called him within his realm) drew eight tubes to blood, asked me to pee in a plastic container (which is tough for me; I'm not a pee-on-demand kind of guy), and set up an appointment for an EKG later in the afternoon. He wanted a baseline for himself instead of using mine before my surgery. I would have a CT scan tomorrow and an MRI of my back, in the region of my kidney, on Friday. We would do my first chemo injections on Monday.

My reward for good behavior that week was opening my apartment door and finding Skip standing on the other side, earlier than planned. Nice surprise, but I knew that he had skipped an afternoon class to arrive here at 4:00, instead of 5:30.

He put his arms around me, like a long lost friend, and kissed me passionately.

"Do you want me to show you around?" I asked between kisses.

"Yeah. Later. Much later."

"Do you want dinner?"

"Yeah. Later. Much later."

"Do you want to fuck my tight ass?"

"Yeah. Later. Much later. Okay, time's up. Why are we still dressed?"

We laughed heartily. I knew he was joking. We did not, ever, rush into sex or rush the act of sex. We would get into bed when it was time to feast. He held me across my waist from the back and checked out my totally cool apartment.

"Wow, love, this really is nice. Let's see, Dad needs to make a fireplace at your townhouse, then at Billy's, and then at mine. Maybe French door going out to our patios."

"I pulled that on him already. He just smiled. We could become high maintenance pretty quickly, though."

"I got a better idea. I'm very thankful that your folks brought me into town this week. They really are a blessing, and that your Dad feels fine about us just is the cherry on top. Do they have a room in their home that needs a makeover, but hasn't been started yet?"

"Yeah. Mom would love to have a finished basement, and a part of it to be a home office. Why, what do you have in mind?"

"We'd have to get their approval eventually, but how about you and I hire a contractor. He would do the design and materials plans. We'd tell the folks about it when he was ready to present the design, but it would be already paid for. All they would have to do is sign off on the construction start date. Do you think we could get Billy interested?"

"Yeah, in a heartbeat. An enticement would be two home offices, so Dad could work from home, too."

"Okay, let's put that on the back burner for a couple days. We'll call Billy over the weekend."

We toured the rest of the space, and then went out to get some food into us. I had not eaten yet, until Doc had told me it was okay. We took our time and walked to the North End for homemade lasagna. It was one of my specialties, but I had not made it for a long time. I would surprise Skip with one on a future weekend visit.

After we ate, we walked most of the streets of the North End, stopping to buy cannolis to enjoy as we walked. The night was peaceful for being in a normally bustling part of the city. We found a secluded spot in a small park, held hands, and kissed each other. We were startled a while later by a male voice.

"Uh, you two may want to move to another spot. This one isn't as secluded as you think. I'd recommend the corner over there. You make a nice couple, though. Good night."

"Good night, and thanks," I said.

We took his advice and moved. We sat together again, holding hands and kissing, until we were ready to head for home. Even though we liked Boston, being out late in any city, without a crowd around, was not cool.

When we walked into my apartment, we decided to make use of the working fireplace. I had found a local supplier for kindling and wood after talking to Andrew. His apartment also had a fireplace, so he knew where to go. I set the kindling and got it going. Skip selected a piece of wood that would burn a while, but not all night. I lit the candles that were on the mantle and a table. The glow of the room was warm and comfortable. Yeah, romantic, too. Sensual.

We sat in the light of the fireplace, facing each other. We sat crotch-to-crotch, wearing just blue jeans, of course. We kissed, of course. I know, we do that a lot. Kissing rocks! But, more is better, so he lowered me gently to my back and then took my right foot. He massaged it firmly with his thumbs. He licked my toes. I'm not much of a feet man, only that I really like the look of bare feet with blue jeans. I don't like sandals and flip-flops. Bare feet. My fetish. Yup—that's it.

However, Skip licking my toes, and bottoms of my feet, and tops of my feet, and ankles was just damn good. I was not hard, yet, but I tingled a lot. Not a half-assed man by any means, he did the same to my left foot.

"You like?"

"I like. But I have something a little better than that for you."

I unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans.

"Oooh, your cock up my ass?"

"Wait for it," I teased.

I pulled his jeans off. I lie between his legs and put his one-ball ball sac into my mouth. Then I licked underneath his ball. I poked my wet finger into his hole, followed by my tongue. I knew I did good when he moaned. Skip truly has a sweet ass. His pucker winked at me. I licked it again.

"Is it in yet," he tried to say seriously, but cracked up instead.

"Oh you'll know when it's in you, love. No question about when I stick my hard, hot, throbbing piece of man meat into your tight, wet hole. Um, did that answer your question?"

He laughed hard. "God love you, man. Talk dirty to me, whoa. Yeah, you answered my question."

"So, how `bout them Red Sox?"

"Yeah. Great. They're cool. World Series time for sure. Yeah. Now fuck me."

"Alrighty then. Pick a position, any position."

He gave it two seconds worth of thought and then lay on his side. I got behind him, grabbed my cock, pushed the head against his hole, and slid it in smoothly. I held his leg up, licking and kissing it. I had fucked him in this position only once before. The jury was still out on whether I liked it, but more importantly, he did, so I had my way with him. The curve of my cock is probably why he liked it so much. He could feel the curve fit his ass just right. I do admit to it being a bit smoother than other positions. When you please your partner first, then you please yourself, including emotionally. What is better than to fully love whom you are with? I could tell him in words, of course, but this was better.

I do not know how much time passed before I reached my peak. I knew he would rather swallow my load than have it lost inside him, so I pulled out, straddled him, and slid my cock into his mouth. I unloaded four healthy shots of cum and a couple dribbles. He swallowed and licked the head of my dick, while it was still inside his mouth. I shuddered as the waves of pleasure radiated throughout my body. I withdrew from his mouth and bent down to lick up a couple stray drops from his chin. Then I lay on top of him, kissing him and coming down from the sexual high.

"Good?, I asked"

"Nope. Outstanding. But, uh, love we didn't christen the bed yet."

"Maybe next time."

"Whaat? I fantasized for days about that bed, and you being on it."

"Eh. It's a bed."

"It's your bed. It already has your scent. Aaron's magnificent Murphy bed."

"Well, if you think we must."

"We must."

"Sigh. It's a dirty job, but if you really have to do me on my magnificent Murphy bed, I guess I can allow you to."

"I'm begging!"

"Really? Well, I . . ."

"Shut up already and assume a position, any position."

We had to pull it down from the cabinet. Then I lay down on my back. Then my side. Then doggy style. Then part doggy style.

"Sooo many positions, sooo little time."

"Are you done yet?"

"Do you hear me breathing heavy? I are not done yet. Half-baked, maybe, but definitely not done until you do me."

"Oh I'll do you alright. I happen to know that your favorite position is on your back with your legs over my shoulders. How about we start there, wise ass?"

"Okey dokey."

"No more sugar for you this weekend. You're positively high."

"High on you, love."

"Well then, we can only go higher."

"And deeper."

"Yeah. And deeper."

Deeper. Oh yeah. Mmmm, wonderful. I so loved his cock sliding into my ass. He pulled out and put it in again. He knew that me being entered was almost as good as me being pumped steadily and deeply. I raised my hips while he slid in and out of me, and clenching and loosening my hole.

He picked up his rhythm, raising himself up on the balls of his feet, pumping faster and very deeply. I moaned as he fucked me. My best bud in the world, fucking me in my new bed, in my new apartment, in the warmth of fire and candle light.

He got back down on his knees and slowed down, pulling nearly fully out and then slowly sliding back in. I knew he was close to coming. We kissed as he got closer and closer. Then he pulled out, straddled me as I had done to him, slid his cock into my mouth, and filled it with his sweet salty cum. I swallowed each shot. I licked the knob of his cock as it slid out of my mouth finally.


"No. Outstanding. I love you," he said.

"Hold me then, love, so I'll know all night."

And he did.

When I woke up, he was lying beside me, watching me.

"How long have you been doing that?"


"Watching me sleep."

"Oh. An hour maybe."

I looked at the clock near the kitchen. 5:20 a.m.

"It's only past 5:00."

"I know. I had a nightmare. When I came out of it, I had to watch you. That's not such a bad thing, you know. I love you."

"Really? How can you?"

He smiled. He liked my teasing. "With all my heart."

"Wow, that's a lot."

"More than even you know, love."

"Well, I can imagine. You used to call me your bud, now you call me your love," I said, kissing him tenderly on his lips.

"You are both. It's why I have to tell you. You might forget."

"True. I'd have to be brain dead, but it's possible."

"Don't joke about that."

Oooh, I'd struck a nerve. "I'm sorry. You know my sense of humor."

"I saw you . . . that way. That's why I woke up."

"I'm not going anywhere, Skip. You haven't finished paying for this apartment yet."

He smiled. "I love you so much. When I'm not with you, I find it so hard to concentrate on what I'm doing."

"Better stop that. You'll flunk out of college and I might have to take care of you for the rest of your life."

"You say that like it's a bad thing."

"Of course it is. Hey, a man with two sweet apartments can't ever go back to being an average Joe. I plan on you being my sugar daddy."

"I'm too young. You're practically robbing the cradle as it is."

"Yeah, I know. But you love me because I'm hot. You dig me. I'm the ut."

"Yeah, to all of the above. I wish you'd stop sticking your boner into my leg and stick it in my ass."

"Wow, a real boner. You want it inside your ass? Won't that hurt?"

"Be gentle."

"Okay. If you think I can."

"I know you can."

I put his legs over my shoulders and slid ever so gently into his tight pucker.

"See," he said. "I knew you could."

"Because I love you."

"Really? I thought it was just wanton lust."

"Well yeah, there's that. But love overrides wanton lust."

"Kiss me. And fuck me. You can love me and lust me at the same time."

I could, of course. You would have to be a raging homophobe not to do both to this sweet boy in my bed. When I wasn't kissing him, I was staring into his eyes. I could see his beautiful soul in those eyes. He smiled. He knew what I was thinking, again. I was nothing if not easy to read. And not to mention that I think we're psychically connected. I slid out of him and then immediately entered him again. I did this several times. As I said, entering is as good as fucking. It's like going in for the first time, over and over. He moaned as I fucked him.

"I should take it easy on you. It's only Saturday morning. We have until Monday you know."

With that, I pulled out of him and slipped out of bed, walking to the kitchen. Three . . . two . . . one.

"No way, Jose! You are an incredible tease. You call that a fuck? Where's the load up my ass? Where's the love, baby?"

I laughed. I wagged `the love' in front of me, thrusting my hips forward, moving them from side to side. My cock hit my hips on each side.

He was out of bed faster than I could imagine. He reached around to my back and down to my legs, laid me down on the cold tile, and sat on my hard cock. He rode it as if he had never had sex and was going to explode if he was not fulfilled. After a few minutes like that, I carefully laid him on his back on the floor without taking my cock out of his ass. Sliding my cock most of the way out and then all of the way in was just eventually more than I could take. I kissed him while I unloaded inside his tight hole. I shuddered when I was done, and a soft pop followed as my cock slipped out of his ass.

"I take it back that you're a tease. And I know where the love is, baby. It's right here."

He touched my face.

"And here."

He touched my heart, in more ways than one.

"And here."

He kissed me.

"Wow. I must be special," I said, not too seriously.

"You are. You are very special. And you love me. I'm . . ."

A tear formed and overflowed his eye. "I do love you so," he said. "Don't ever . . ." he choked up. I knew what he would have said.

I kissed away the tear. "Yes I do love you. Andrew will try very hard to help me. For now, that's enough."

He nodded and kissed me again. We lay still on the floor for a while. I was about to doze off when he picked me up and carried me over to the bed. We snuggled into each other's naked bodies and necks. He kissed mine before we went back to sleep.

Around 8:00, we wanted breakfast. Actually, I wanted him inside me, but I could wait a while. The closest MacDonald's that I knew of was on Tremont Street or at Downtown Crossing, not too far to walk. We who are used to driving most anywhere soon got used to walking everywhere. I preferred that, actually, because I could do errands in one big loop.

After breakfast, we went to a market for groceries. It was not in Skip's or my budget to eat out for every meal. I also found that groceries in the inner city were a good 10 to 15% higher than in the burbs, so we shopped carefully, even with splitting the bill. The good news what that everything was fresh. We bought deli meats and cheeses for sandwiches for lunch. We bought outstanding produce to make into a salad and a side for dinner, which would be a small ham with sweet potatoes. We bought a small cake at a bakery on the way home.

"I have an idea. Would you be up to being introduced to Andrew, my doc?"

"Yeah. I'm sure he's curious. I'm stunned that he's so open-minded. You scared me when you half-way came out to him."

"I knew I could trust him to be okay. I don't know why, I just did. He's a good man."

I called Andrew. A woman answered. I introduced myself. She told me her name is Claire, Andrew's wife. She called him to the phone.

"Hi Aaron. All settled in, I trust."

"Yeah. It's very comfortable here. I owe you and your realtor. I'm calling because Skip came in from Waltham for the long weekend. I'd like you two to meet, if you got time over the weekend?"

"I'm open. Today would be great. Would you guys come for lunch? You can meet Claire, too."

"Okay, sounds good. We're flexible, so you name the time."

"You're about 15 minutes away, walking distance."

He gave me his address, saying any time after 12:00 would be fine. He offered a suggestion for the lunch menu and I agreed readily. Skip and I sat in the oversized chair near the sunny windows, held each other, kissed, and listened to music. At 11:40, we headed out the door. Fifteen minutes later, as he said, we were at Andrew and Claire's front door.

Andrew opened the door and showed us in. He and Claire lived in a one bedroom flat in a building similar to mine. Little wonder he knew I'd like it. Except for a full kitchen, dining area, and bedroom, his place was very much like mine. Claire said hello from the kitchen and said she'd be out in a moment.

True to her word, she came out of the kitchen with iced tea and four glasses on a country-themed tray.

"Hello Aaron. Hello Skip, nice to meet you both."

She had addressed Skip and me correctly, which means that Andrew had talked about us. To what degree, we did not know. I blushed slightly. She saw it and smiled.

"Now Aaron, don't be embarrassed. I know about you professionally. Andrew was going to save the introduction until next week when we would meet. We are partners in the office and with the hospital in DC. I'm a psychologist, which means that Drew and I are a perfect complement to his idea about holistic health, especially concerning cancer patients. I understand that you, Skip, are a survivor of testicular cancer?"

"Yes, ma'am. Short-term; only about 20 months."

"You're doing well?"

"Yes. I have my next checkup before Christmas. I feel just fine, so I'm back to college at Bentley. I had to take a year off, so it's good to be back."

We drank our iced teas as we talked. Andrew went to the kitchen for a bit. He returned with a plate of BLT's and fresh early-Fall fruit.

"Come on over, boys. Lunch is ready. Bring your drinks."

"So you're the cook of the family?" I asked Andrew.

"Sort of. I'm the best bacon maker in this apartment. Claire and I are both good cooks, so we share the duty. The traditional, and too old-fashioned, idea of the wife cooking the husband's dinner won't fly. Claire actually works longer hours than I do, as she has more patients. I have you. We are together here only on weekends."

"I, too, have you on my patient roster, so I'm pleased. I hope you will be as well. I know you are widowed, which is more than enough of a burden for a 33 year old. Being diagnosed with cancer, having a kidney removed, your second kidney in peril, sick to death on conventional chemo—it's a lot to handle. How long ago did you lose your Kate?"

"Six years. I spent two and a half of those years in the hospital and then in rehab, including learning how to walk again as if I was a child."

"When I found out about your accident, I asked for more research money," said Andrew. "I have a theory about trauma-induced cancer. I'm convinced you have cancer because of the trauma from your injuries. You're truly are my ideal `science project'."

"I'm glad I am, kind of. It's not a life I want, but I have to live it. Andrew told you of my personal quote?" I asked Claire.

"Yes. I have the idea that you are an exceptional man. You won't be just our `science project'. We want you to complement the two of us the way he and I complement each other. This is a team now. I do also understand that you two share more than just a friendship."

I blushed again. Skip did, too.

"It's to your benefit that you have someone to share with, no matter how much you share. Everyone needs love, Aaron, and to feel special. You have a loss that you obviously turned around into something healing. I would guess that the love between you is quite profound."

"Yes, ma'am. It is. As is the respect. Skip knows how I feel about cancer because he's felt the same thing. He had two years to live with it."

"Good for you both. Don't let the arrogant or ignorant among us label you. I can't see that a reasonable person would feel they could put someone else into a neat little label."

"Four great minds in one room. We talked about that over the summer. Skip's parents know about our feelings, too. We didn't say anything. His dad spoke up one day and told us what you just said."

"Then it must be true. Parents. Go figure."

We laughed together. We finished our BLT's and were eating fruit as we continued to talk.

"You're enjoying the apartment?" Claire asked.

"Yes. Thanks to an awesome doctor and a real estate agent."

"You're welcome."

"You?" I said in surprise.

"Yes. Not a professional, but I have a business sense as well."

"Bless you, sincerely. I, uh, WE both think it's a great place. Did Doc tell you that I scrunched up my nose when he said `studio'?"

"He did. Now you know not to pre-judge."


Another laugh from us all. No pre-judging and no labels. I'm looking for the secret button that will let me out of my own little wonderland, but I don't think I'll press it. I like my `fantasy' world just fine, thank you.

When we ran out of things to talk about, Skip and I both got hugs at the door, from both of our hosts. Claire also kissed each of us on the forehead, the way a mom would. I saw pictures of two young children, so I knew she was one as well.

"Nice couple, huh Aaron?"

"The best. I'm in good hands. Do they make the tears from this morning fade away?"

"Yeah, love. I'm sorry for adding that to your burden."

"No, bro. Don't ever keep the worries inside you. I can't read you like you read me, so talk to me."

"I will, love. I promise."

We walked down to Boston Common since the weather was so nice. A couple of guys asked if we'd join in on a pickup basketball game. They were short two. We joined in and played all out for over two hours. Skip scored three three-point shots. In the dictionary, there is a picture of Skip beside the `Jock' entry. I scored one, nearly a second one, and my fair share of points. I had played basketball in high school, so it was nice to see that I had not lost my touch. Hot and sweaty, we bade them goodbye and asked if they play often. They did, and invited us to join them again whenever.

"I guess they liked our points."

"Yup. And at least one of them liked your basket," Skip told me.

"Yeah, I saw that."

"Do I have to worry about you being unfaithful?" he joked.

"I have eyes for only you, bro. No joke."

"How did I get to be so blessed?"

"You suffered, for a while. I'm the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow."

"Amen! No joke."

Hot and sweaty guys need a shower, so we went home. We got hot and sweaty again on the living room floor to make the shower all that more worthwhile. Afternoon delight. We weren't hungry when we were done with the sex and the shower, but the ham for dinner would take a while to bake. I decided to roast the sweet potatoes at the same time. We made a salad and put it in the fridge. Skip went to his duffle and brought out a bottle of white wine.

"I almost forgot I brought this. I'll put it in the fridge."

We found that we had time on our hands, so we decided to go outside and check out the courtyard that was outside my windows. It was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon while we talked about current events and school. My alarm went off on my watch about an hour later, telling us to finish making dinner.

We sat next to each other at my coffee table. By love, not by habit, we kissed before we ate, being grateful. The wine was good. I needed to buy two wine glasses; we drank ours out of regular `milk glasses' as I call them, because I drink a lot of milk. The ham was awesome; pineapple, cloves, scored like it was in a gourmet magazine. Sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon, one of the best salads we ever made, and later, chocolate cake. It had to be special because this was our first real meal in my apartment.

We could have gone out to walk, gone to a movie, or fucked. We did none of that. We sat in the oversized chair and hugged each other. Even the kisses were minimal, but of course, there were some. A Saturday night in a major US city, two young studly guys, in love, just sitting at home, listening to music, and holding each other. I know what you're thinking, but life does not get better than that. We were not even nekkid. Blue jeans and bare feet, as usual.

How long would Skip and I have to hold each other? Only Andrew could help with that answer. Would Skip ever want to get married, and raise a family? Maybe someday. But not right now. Right now, we had each other in our arms and life was as good as it ever gets.

We got into bed at 12:30, snuggled together as if we had not spent the evening doing so, kissed for a short while, and fell asleep while holding on.

Things were about to take a turn for the worse, so that 4-day/3-night weekend was the only thing that would hold me together. Even Billy would have to come from Syracuse. JD and Betsy would feel the need to be close. Life was gonna suck for a while. Without them, all of them, I would die.

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