By John Yager
This on-going series has now continued for almost two years, far longer than I ever imagined possible. I appreciate the incredible loyalty of readers who've stayed with me from the beginning and those newer readers who contact me from time to time saying that they've discovered the series and ventured through the collected chapters.
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Andrew continues to give much needed proofing and editorial help, for which I am sincerely grateful. I could not post chapters as quickly as I've been doing without his invaluable assistance.
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The low drone of the jet engines was lulling me to sleep. Except for being a row or two further back, it was pretty much as it had been on our flight from New York to London just five days earlier.
I was again seated by the window and Roger was to my right on the aisle. I was dozing, he was reading. Everything might have appeared to be as it was on our flight to London but in that short time my life had changed in ways I could only begin to comprehend.
"William must have worn you out, sport," Roger said, looking up from his book and glancing over at me.
"The whole trip wore me out."
"Missing the kid?"
"Well, you'd better get used to it."
"Thanks, Roger, for pointing that out."
"Hey, I was just kidding. William is a wonderful boy, Rob, and I hope you and he remain friends, but be realistic. What are the chances of you and Peter Amsted's son ever really getting together on more than an occasional basis?"
I wanted to tell him that I'd be seeing William in a couple of weeks, but sensed, wisely, as it turned out, that I should keep that bit of information to myself.
Instead of responding, I just looked away from him, out the window at the void beyond.
Peter and William had driven us up to the airport in the Jaguar and we'd taken a late afternoon flight from Heathrow which would arrive at Kennedy at 9:00 pm local time. It was a seven-and-a-half hour flight but the time change was in our favor. From New York, I was scheduled for a midnight "Red Eye" to LAX. Roger was going on to see friends in Connecticut before returning to Memphis the following Sunday afternoon.
I guess I dozed a little more but was woken by Roger slowly stroking my right thigh.
"Rob," he said softly. I woke in a darkened plane and the low murmur of voices someplace back a few rows.
"You're sleeping through a great opportunity."
"Follow me back to the toilets and I'll initiate you into the Mile High Club."
"You've got to be kidding."
"No, really, it works, despite the size of those cubby holes. You stand up and I'll sit on the toilet seat and suck your cock."
I turned and looked at him, having difficulty believing Roger Bardwell, Dr. Roger Bardwell, noted professor, writer, cultural historian, was seriously proposing oral sex in a transatlantic jet.
"I think I'll pass, Roger," I finally said, not knowing if he really meant it or was just pulling my leg.
"Your loss," he grinned. "You're passing up a blowjob you'd never forget."
I turned back to the window and tried
In New York we went through customs together, then said our good-byes. "I don't know when I'll be in LA," Roger said, giving me a chaste hug.
"Well, I'll expect to see you when you do come west."
With that, he turned and headed for
the exit and a taxi. I followed the signs for my flight to LA.
When I arrived at LAX at some ungodly hour, Billy Bowlen was there to meet me.
"How did you know my flight?" I asked, surprised to see him.
"I called Miss Ball."
"No, but she called Mr. Cohen's office and got back to me. She said to say hi and tell you to call her when you got settled in."
"I'm really glad to see you."
"Me too," he said shyly.
"So what's the big news?" I asked as we put my bags in the rear of the NSB van.
"Well, it looks like Nixon is going to be reelected."
"That's not news," I laughed, "from what I read, even in the British newspapers, it's a foregone conclusion."
"Well, I did want to tell you one thing."
"Yeah?" I said, climbing into the front passenger seat.
"I had a date. Well, I guess you'd call it a date."
"Good for you, man," I said. "Should I ask if it was with a guy or a gal?"
"A guy, of course," he said with a surprised expression on his cute, clear face. He seemed truly shocked, even embarrassed at the very thought that I'd ask such a question.
"Did it go well?"
"Yeah," he grinned. "We had dinner."
"Are you going to see him again?"
"I think so," he said, then added with a quick sideways glance, "I want you to meet him, Rob."
"Sure, Billy, bring him around any time but give me a day or two to get my feet back on the ground."
"So is it really true what they say about jet lag?"
"I'll tell you in twenty-four hours," I laughed and then leaned back and dozed, leaving Billy to drive on in silence through the dark city, navigating the almost empty freeways. Oh, LA, I thought, you are certainly some crazy town!
When we got to Alvarado Court, Billy helped me carry my bags up to the apartment.
"You probably need to get some sleep," he said. "I'll be back here at noon. We'll pick up your car."
"Billy," I said in true amazement, "you really think of everything."
"I had it written down before you left," he said, obviously pleased with himself, and bounded out the door.
I stood in the living room of my apartment looking at it in a new light. I tried to see it as William would see it. I tried to envision him there with me.
I loved that apartment but after the spacious Tudor manor in Sussex, my digs did seem very small.
Within twenty minutes I was in bed. I'd taken a short shower, needing to rinse the dust of travel and the smell of airports from my body. Then, lying naked in bed, I stared at the ceiling and realized I was suddenly and totally awake.
I thought jet lag was supposed to make you groggy in the middle of the day, trying to remember what I'd read in an airline booklet about international flights. I'd had no trouble adjusting to the time difference when Roger and I arrived in London.
Finally it struck me that the problem might not be the time difference at all. It was the first time in almost a week, I realized, that I'd slept alone and my body and brain were not adjusting well to my big, lonely bed.
I closed my eyes and went back in my mind over each event of every day I'd been away. I'd made notes as Roger had told me to do, but when I tried to read through them they sounded stale, clinical, and impersonal. In fact, each day of our trip had been filled with such an amazing array of detail that I knew I needed to try to write more personal recollections quickly before the rich tapestry of new experiences faded. Over the next few days, in the little free time I had, I managed to make a good start.
Eventually I guess I did fall asleep. At ten o'clock the phone woke me. I groggily reached for it and then became wide awake when I heard William's voice.
"Good morning, love," he said, almost purring.
"You sound surprised."
"I am," I admitted. "I've never got an international phone call before."
"Well, I guess you'd better get used to them," he chuckled, then quickly added, "I have some news which I hope may brighten your day."
"What?" I said, rearranging my pillows so I could sit up in bed. I'd been sleeping on my stomach and looking down at myself I realized that a network of rosy wrinkles ran across my chest and stomach. I also realized that my cock was completely rigid, as if it were demanding attention.
"I can be there on the first and I can stay until the nineteenth."
"That's wonderful," I almost gasped. "Sooner than you thought and for a longer time here."
"I did some skillful maneuvering. Would you believe Peter is paying for the flight?"
"I thought you said you had money of your own," I said, realizing I really didn't like Peter Amsted being involved in our business.
As we continued to talk, my hand moved over my stomach and found my cock. I slowly stroked it to the gentle sound of William's voice, willing him there with me.
"I did. I mean, I do, but Peter needed someone to take documents to Dex Cohen anyway and when I told him I was planning to visit you, he offered to pay for my tickets."
"So he knows you'll be staying with me?"
"Yes, he said I'd save him a few pounds as anyone else he sent would need a hotel."
"Did he," I said, feeling somewhat distrustful.
"It'll be fine, Robert," William said soothingly. "I know Dad pretty well and he does respect other people's privacy."
"Well, I'll take your word for it, but we'll keep the doors locked at night anyway, just so he doesn't walk in on us again."
"You always lock your doors in LA," William laughed. "Now, let me give you my flight information."
When we'd hung up, I brought myself
to a powerful and satisfying climax, thinking of the nights we'd have together.
William's surprise gave me only four days to get ready for his visit, and that included a weekend. With Billy's help I picked up my new car later that afternoon and went directly to the NSB studios, promising Billy a ride up into the hills to test the beast over the weekend.
I was fortunate to be able to see both Peg Solanski and Martin Basingstoke, dropping in on then without an appointment. They'd already had a long wire from Roger and Peter, which had been sent while Roger and I were still in Surrey, so they knew the gist of our discussions with Bell Corley.
Martin said he'd had a call from Dexter Cohen telling him to go easy on me for the next few weeks.
"He said you needed a little space," Martin said, looking at me with one raised eyebrow. I assumed that meant Cohen had had a call from Peter Amsted and knew William was coming to visit me. I was curious about just how much Cohen knew.
"I'm embarrassed that he'd be interceding for me," I stammered.
"Don't worry about it, Rob," Peg broke in. "Until we get these agreements finished with Corley, things will be on a slow track here anyway. Just get ready for your classes and try to relax a little. Life will get really crazy in a month or so."
From their offices I went by to see Nita Ball, but didn't find her and settled for leaving a voice message on her phone.
Over the weekend, I shopped for canned and frozen food, buying enough to see William and me through several days if we chose to stay in, rather than going to busy, noisy, overpriced LA restaurants.
On Sunday I went to church and while having coffee after the service in the Parish Hall, was accosted by Thomas Patterson. He worked his way through the crowd, moving like an aging lizard, finally coming up to me and smiled a little wicked smile.
"Well, Young Robert," he wheezed, "I hear the London trip was a resounding success."
"Yes, it went well," I said, not wanting to be drawn into conversation.
"Not just well," he smiled as if he knew all my secrets. "My sources tell me you are not only marrying into money, but into considerable influence as well."
"What?" I said, my voice shaking. I know I looked truly shocked. Damn the old queen, I thought.
"Peter Amsted's son? You couldn't do much better than that."
How in hell could he have heard about William and me so quickly?
"I think you're making too much of it," I stammered, trying to back away from him.
"Well, time will tell," he sighed,
and, thankfully, turned and left me standing there in shock. I left soon
afterwards, anxious to get away before Patterson completely ruined my day.
Once home, I called Billy and confirmed plans for our drive. I offered to pick him up at his house but he flatly refused, insisting he'd drive his jeep to my place and we'd go on from there. I didn't press it.
We spent two hours driving up along the roads to Mount Wilson. I took it fairly easy, not wanting to overtax the drive train until it was properly broken in but, even at low speeds, both Billy and I were impressed. I offered to let him drive but he said he'd wait until "the new was a little more worn off."
We didn't talk much, other than about
the car, and I felt as if Billy was delaying more personal conversation
until a later time. We got back to Alvarado Court at five o'clock and he
refused to come up, saying he'd told his mother he'd be home for dinner.
On Monday I was able to complete my registration at USC, as well as purchase all the books I'd need for classes.
When I got home that afternoon I found a message from Nita, asking me to call.
"Hi, Sweetie," she purred when I got through to her office. "May, in Mr. Cohen's office, called to say I should be moving you to some larger digs."
"Really, what prompted that?"
"Oh, the boss just loves you, I guess," she laughed, but then went on without giving me a chance to respond. "Seriously, she said you and Peter Beastly Amsted's kid had something cooking and he'd probably be moving in. There's a three bedroom unit just down from the one you're in. If you like it I'll get it fixed up so you two lovebirds can play house."
I was silent for longer than was wise. Silence gave Nita a chance to read into it whatever she wanted.
"What?" I finally stammered.
"If you like it, Cutie Pie, I'll get it fixed up."
"What did May say about William?"
"William? Is that the dream boat's name? With a father like his he should be named Beelzebub or something equally satanic."
"Well, let's see . . . I think May said you two were . . . cooking. Maybe she used a different verb, but as I understand it, nuptial bells are ringing in the breeze."
"He's not like his father, Nita," I said, wondering how Nita knew Peter and just how much she really know about him."
"I know he's not, Sweetie, or at least I figured he must have avoided the curse if you like him."
"He's a wonderful guy."
"Well, bring him around. I'll probably agree."
"You don't sound at all shocked that I'm in love with another man."
"Man, woman, what's that got to do with anything?"
"Nothing, I just expected you to be down on guys getting it on with other guys."
"Lord help us Mr. Ballinger, I never said that."
"So you don't object?"
"I object to anybody who keeps you out of my bed, Sweetie, but girl or guy, it makes no difference to me. I figure everyone's a swinger at heart."
"Everyone I've ever known. It's the person we love, not which sex they claim."
"Does 'everybody' include you?"
"Oh, Robby, you do ask the most personal questions. I think I'll plead the fifth and not answer that one."
"Well, in any case, you aren't opposed to two guys or two girls falling in love."
"Oh, lord no. Take love where you can find it, sweetheart, there really never is enough to go around."
"You're welcome, Pumpkin, but now tell me what you think about the bigger apartment?"
"Well, in a few days we'll take a look, okay?"
"Take your time, it's not going anyplace."
Okay, Nita, thanks." Then it occurred to me that she might think I'd come by her office the previous Friday to ask about a larger apartment.
"Nita?" I quickly added.
"Yes, sweet cakes?"
"When I came by, it was just to say hi."
"Whatever," she said with an edge of laughter in her voice. "See ya," Nita added before she hung up.
I felt as if everyone knew more about
my love life than I knew, but at that moment I didn't really care. All
I could think about was that the next morning William was arriving.
To be continued.