This is the seventy-first chapter of an ongoing series. I've appreciated all the comments, questions and encouragement I've received from readers and hope to continue hearing from you. I try to answer all messages promptly. If I'm slow at times it is only because of the pressures of work.
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Back in our suite Peter went off to Roger's bedroom, where he'd left his clothes. I heard them laughing as I headed for a long, hot shower, and then climbed into bed alone.
Later, well after midnight, Roger slipped into bed with me. I felt his naked body press against mine and figured Peter had gone. I nuzzled against Roger and he pulled me over against him as I again drifted off to sleep.
In the morning, as I woke to the first soft light slanting through the windows, Roger put his lips to my ear, kissed me and asked, "how's your ass?"
"I'll live," I responded, pressing back against him.
"I remember the first time I was fisted," he said softly, his lips still almost pressed against my ear. "I didn't think I'd walk for a week."
"Did you? Walk, I mean."
"Yes, by the next day, with a long, hot soak, I was fine."
"I took a long shower last night."
"I'll run you a bath," Roger said, rolling out of bed. "A soak will make you right."
In an instant he was gone and I was immediately missing the warmth of his body. I did drift off again and was sleeping when he came back to get me up.
"Water's hot and the tub is full. Come on, kiddo." He pulled me from the warm bed and marched me across the room and into the bath. I settled into the steaming, perfumed water, feeling at once its soothing powers.
Half a hour later Roger was back, this time with a cup of black coffee.
"How are you feeling?" he asked.
"Great," I smiled up at him. "I think I'll live."
He'd shaved and dressed and looked ready to meet the day.
"Oh, the morning after," he smiled. "You must have been enjoying it last night, though. You were certainly begging Peter for more."
"Yeah," I admitted, taking a sip of the hot coffee, "I never felt anything like it before and I never had a climax like that."
"I know, it can be overwhelming, but you only want to do that with someone who really knows what he's doing."
"I guess so," I agreed, "but Peter just took charge."
"I wasn't worried," Roger said, "I knew Peter would take his time and not do you any harm. He's a real master at that sort of thing."
"He seems to be a master of a lot of different things."
"Wrestling, you mean?" Roger asked. "He took me fair and square, but next time it may be the other way around. I've won my fair share of our little matches."
"I wasn't just thinking of wrestling," I said. "I got the feeling he likes to be in control. Maybe he even likes to cause pain."
"He does, and he's good at it, but he's also willing to take it." Roger was silent for a long moment, standing just inside the bathroom door, looking down at my naked body stretched out in the big tub. "I don't like people who only enjoy it one way, giving or taking," Roger finally added. "A real man, in my book, can give and take, not just one or the other. In Peter's case, he'll happily fist fuck another man but he gets off on being the bottom, too. In fact," Roger went on, "we've done each other."
"So he's fisted you, too," I ventured.
"Oh, yes, a good many times, and I've done several other guys as well, not just Peter."
"I couldn't get over the feelings I was having when his hand was all the way in me. It was almost . . ."
"I don't know, I was just searching for the right word."
"Other worldly?" Roger suggested.
"Yes, I guess that's a good way to describe it. I felt as if my whole body was somehow transported."
"I know." He turned back to the door and then added, "soak a few more minutes, Rob. Then you'd better get dressed. We have an appointment at ten o'clock with the chairman of the board of the British Film Institute."
"I remember, I'll get out now," I said, standing up in the big tub and reaching for a towel."
"What about breakfast?"
"Just coffee," I said as I dried
The taxi took us through Trafalgar Square and along the Strand past Bush House to an old office building which looked as if it had been built before World War II. It had a heavy stone exterior and Art Deco style which suggested the 1930s.
On our way in the taxi Roger had outlined the reason for our meeting and the advantages of working closely with the government sponsored board.
Then, after reviewing the business for the day, he added, almost as an aside, "Peter invited us down to his place in Surrey for two or three days."
"I thought we were due to fly back to the States on Thursday."
"We are, but I can call Peg and clear it. She'll be all for us getting to know Amsted and his people."
"Well, it might be fun."
"I'm sure it will be," Roger smiled.
Peter Amsted's house in Surrey was not overly large but sat in a sizable parcel of private parkland and was surrounded by a brick and wrought iron fence which looked as functional as it was ornamental.
The house itself appeared to be Tudor but Peter was quick to point out that only a small portion of it actually dated from the sixteenth century. The larger part had been built in the 1860s by an iron magnate from Leeds who wanted to turn himself into a country squire.
We arrived just after five in the afternoon and were shown to separate but adjacent bedrooms. Apart from Peter, the only other person we saw was a man in his late fifties or early sixties who seemed to be the only staff.
Drinks, we were told, were available in the drawing room and dinner would be served at seven thirty. It sounded as if we were in for a leisurely evening but Peter assured us he had plans for the next couple of days.
"What's the dress code around here, Peter?" Roger asked. "Are we expected to be formal or informal for dinner?"
"Oh, it's just us men, and Simon is used to my bohemian ways. I'd say no ties this evening, informal, even by your provincial California standards."
Simon, I gathered, was the man who'd welcomed us and taken our bags from Oliver, who had driven us.
In my room I unpacked and ran a bath, as hot as I could stand, and soaked for half an hour. My rear was already much less tender. I really would survive!
When I knocked on Roger's door and got no answer, I went on down to the drawing room, assuming he and Peter were already there. They were, in fact, seated opposite each other on matching sofas before a large but unlit fireplace. To my surprise, behind them, standing alone at the drinks table, was a younger man with his back to the room.
"Ah, there you are," Peter said in a friendly, jocular manner. Then, turning to the younger man, he said, "William, meet Rob."
The man who turned to greet me was so startlingly good looking that I felt almost speechless. He moved across the thirty feet which separated us with an easy, athletic gait.
"Hello, Rob," he said as he came nearer. "Dad's told me all about you. I'm really glad you could come."
He was my height, slender and fair, taller than his father and not at all like him in coloring or appearance. I wondered what Laura Sanders, William's mother, was like, and decided that as soon as we were back in LA, I'd look for photos of her.
"William," I said, taking his hand.
His eyes were blue and his hair was an infinite blend of colors, golden and pale yellows. His complexion was light but with the healthy glow of youth and vitality of playing fields and beaches and ski slopes. He was wearing gray slacks and a blue pullover which complimented his hair and eyes.
"I understand you are a Nathan Fellow."
"And one of Roger's former students."
"I sometimes feel as if I'll never cease being one of his students," I managed to say with a smile.
"What are you drinking?" he asked, going back to the drinks table.
"What are you having?" I asked, following him and not sure if I could handle anything very strong.
"Just orange juice for now. Dad will ply us with wine at dinner."
"That sounds perfect."
"Two orange juices then," he said with a brilliant smile.
We joined Roger and Peter, I instinctively moving to Roger's side on one of the sofas as William joined his father on one facing us.
Roger smiled and held out his glass to touch mine. Cheers," he said, which the rest of us echoed. Peter, I noticed, grasped William's thigh in an affectionate way, not quickly releasing it, but slowly squeezing and stroking it as our conversation continued.
William, for his part, seemed completely at ease with his father's show of affection. He leaned back in a relaxed way against the back of the sofa and extended his left arm behind his father's shoulders, while with his right hand he held his glass. Sitting across from them I couldn't see Peter's left hand, but it looked as if he were stroking his father's shoulder with the same easy affection with which Peter stroked his son's thigh.
I couldn't help thinking of my own father. I would never have felt comfortable touching him or being touched by him in a similar manner.
The conversation went on in an easy way, talk of films and filmmakers, banter about which actors and actresses were dating or marrying or getting divorced.
At one point William got up to replenish his father's and Roger's drinks and then, half an hour later, Simon came to the door to say dinner was served.
We were led through double doors into a huge formal dining room, around the long table and out through a set of doors on the opposite side. Through them we entered a sort of conservatory with a high glass ceiling and walls. Potted tropical plants were placed around the sides but the center of the space had been left clear, and in it an elegant round table had been set for the four of us. It was an informal but stylish setting for what was an excellent meal.
At each place bowls of chilled cucumber soup had been placed before we came to the table and Simon served an excellent dry Sherry with it.
We chatted as we ate and the conversation turned to William's final year at Durham University. I learned that he was an undergraduate at University College and reading literature. His plans and expectations became the primary subject of our conversation throughout the rest of the evening.
As soon as the soup dishes were cleared Simon served an elegant Salade Niçoise accompanied by a chilled white Burgundy. I noticed that two additional bottles of wine stood open and breathing on a serving cart and realized the truth of William's remark, that his father would 'ply us with wine at dinner.'
As the meal continued with poached salmon and then with roast lamb, a lighter red claret was followed by a heavy, venerable merlot. I quickly realized that I would have to pace myself and didn't try to finish one glass before moving on the next. At one point, when I moved the first of the red wine glasses back to make room for the second, I looked across the table at William, who was smiling silently at me. When I raised an eyebrow he nodded.
After the extraordinary meal we went back to the drawing room where Peter poured a fine old Taylor Port.
"Please, Peter," I said, "just a drop for me."
"Literally?" he asked.
"Yes, literally," I said.
"He means it, dad," William said, smiling over at me from one of the sofas. "Not everyone is as big a lush as you and mother."
I wondered if by 'mother' he meant Charlotte or Laura.
Again when I looked over at him he smiled. "Besides, Rob looks tired." William then added, "I think I'll take him off to bed soon anyway."
"Would that be okay, Rob?" Roger immediately put in. "Would you mind if I left you in William's care?"
"No, not at all," I responded, looking from him to Peter. I'd assumed Roger might be spending the night with our host and had also assumed that I'd be sleeping alone.
We all found places to sit but a subtle change had occurred without a word being spoken. Peter went over to sit by Roger and I joined William. But where Peter and Roger sat comfortably close to each other, William and I were at opposite ends of the sofa with a space of several feet between us.
The conversation continued for another half hour with Roger and Peter doing virtually all the talking. Then William rose, came over to stand in front of me and took my still half-filled glass. He set it and his own empty glass on the coffee table and said, "come on, Rob, I'm going to tuck you in."
I stopped to thank Peter for a wonderful evening and an excellent meal. Roger took my hand and pulled me down, giving me a sort of clumsy hug and a light kiss on the cheek. As he did so Peter gave my shoulder an affectionate pat.
"Sleep well, kiddo," Roger said.
"Yes," Peter echoed. "And William, I trust you'll be a good host."
"Absolutely, dad," he smiled. "Don't
worry about Rob. I'll take good care of him."
To be continued.