Absolute Convergence: Housekeeping
Chapter Eighty-six
By John Yager
This is the first chapter of a new story about Robert Ballinger and William Amsted and their life together.

While this story is being added to the existing Absolute Convergence file, it constitutes an independent, self-contained narrative about one weekend. I've used the subtitle, Housekeeping, to distinguish it from the original series and from the first of these stories, which was subtitled Transformations. While it will be helpful for readers to know the earlier stories, this story should stand on its own merits.

Absolute Convergence made its first appearance in January, 2001, as a series which eventually ran to a total of eighty chapters, the last of which was posted in January, 2004. I never anticipated the series continuing for so long and I am still amazed by the incredible loyalty of readers who stayed with me from the beginning.

I am also sincerely appreciative for those newer readers who have contacted me from time to time to say that they've discovered the series and ventured through the collected chapters.

I'm always glad to receive comments, questions, criticism and encouragement and hope to continue hearing from you. I try to answer all messages promptly. If I'm slow at times it's only because of the pressures of work.

Andrew has agreed to continue giving me much needed proofing and editorial help for which I am sincerely grateful.

I also want to express special thanks to Budd, who gave me invaluable assistance with the Hollywood scene and the changes which were occurring during the periods described in Transformations and Housekeeping. Without his help this story would not have the degree of authenticity I was able to convey.

Copyright (© 2004) by the author.  This work may not be reproduced in any form without the specific written permission of the author. It is assigned to the Nifty Archives under the terms of their submission agreement but it may not be copied or archived on any other site without the written permission of the author.

All the stories I've posted on NIFTY can be found by looking under my name in the NIFTY Prolific Authors lists. If you'd like to receive e-mail notification of subsequent postings, previews of upcoming stories, and other bits and pieces, please let me know by sending your request to the e-mail address below.


Nineteen Eight two was an incredible year for William and me.

We'd been together for ten years and had grown as a couple in ways we'd never anticipated.

When you're in a relationship for as long as William and I have been together, you get to know so much about your partner that few things surprise you anymore. There is real delight, as well as a kind of special strength, in such intimacy.

Another gratification of a long-term relationship like ours is the credibility you gain in the eyes of colleagues and friends. Even people who demean gay relationships can't help being impressed by a marriage like ours that has lasted ten years.

The average length of a heterosexual marriage in the United States in 7.3 years. We had proven that, for us at least, a same-sex union worked.

In 1977, after I'd been promoted to the leadership of a project development team and William had taken over the management of Starmark, one of the smaller NSB production subsidiaries, we moved from the little rental house in Pasadena to an amazing place in Pacific Palisades.

I should explain for those of you who don't know Los Angeles that the area we moved to is along the coast between Santa Monica and Malibu. It may not be as well known as its neighbors, but in many ways it's more desirable.

Santa Monica is hectic and largely commercial. There are some great neighborhoods but much of it is plagued with traffic problems. It also runs back from the coast so that only a few blocks of larger apartments actually face the ocean. It does have good beaches but they are so close to the urban center that they are almost always crowded, at least on weekends when the weather is good.

Malibu is really little more than one narrow strip, built almost wall to wall along the beach. The beach is ostensibly public but it is hard to get to it, except at either end of the long strip of overpriced houses and at one or two public access ways squeezed in where parking is all but impossible.

In recent years Malibu has grown up into the hills across the Pacific Coast Highway from that original strip of beach houses, but it's the places facing the beach which everyone thinks about when they think of Malibu. As a township Malibu wasn't even incorporated until the early 1990s.

Pacific Palisades is hilly and consists mainly of a series of winding streets which stair step up a rather steep series of hills. At the bottom, across the Pacific Coast Highway, there is a long stretch of public beach, some parking areas and a few seafood restaurants.

Climbing higher you see houses built on leveled sites, some with spectacular views of the ocean to the south and the vast expanse of the city to the east.

The house where William and I made our home was actually almost a gift.

In the reorganization of NSB after Peter Amsted and his backers took over the Studios, William discovered it. An obscure subsidiary of NSB, Nigel Properties, owned the house and a great deal of additional real estate in some rather surprising locations.

There were the expected properties, of course, including studio lots and the Alvarado Court apartment complex where William and I had first lived together. But more surprising, Nigel Properties also owned a large parcel of land, over twelve hundred acres, north of Shoshone on the Nevada border, and a five hundred acre farm in the Missouri Ozarks. The tracts had been purchased in the 1960s for location shoots for movies and for a TV series and then almost forgotten.

One surprise was the property at Lake Tahoe which, for all intents and purposes, had been Dexter Cohen's private retreat. It too was actually owned by Nigel Properties, and was therefore an NSB asset.

The land in east-central California and the farm in Missouri were sold, but the Lake Tahoe property was kept and run as an NSB executive retreat and conference center. One of the perks of our jobs has been our ability to use it from time to time for private stays and it remains one of our favorite places.

It was at Tahoe that William and I have always felt we really became a couple and we have often returned there to celebrate anniversaries of that occasion.

The house on Corana del Mar in Pacific Palisades, where William and I lived, had apparently been purchased in 1970 as part of a deal to attract a well known Broadway director to Hollywood.

The director had arrived with due fanfare, seduced by the romance of Californian and the promise of great profits of films. He only made three films, however, which were less than overwhelming. He then returned to New York and the house stood empty for several months. An enterprising film editor at NSB then managed to get a five year lease on the place at considerably less than market value.

In 1977, after the reorganization had begun, Peter told William and me about Nigel Properties and suggested we take a look at the list of properties NSB was going to sell. The Pacific Palisades house immediately got our attention.

We'd given notice on the modest house we'd leased for two years in Pasadena and were in rather urgent need of a place to move to. The Pacific Palisades house was empty but in need of work. NSB wanted to sell it, not rent it. I insisted that if we were going to buy, I had to pay half the down payment and half the monthly mortgage payments.

William could have probably written a check for the entire purchase price but he understood and honored my wishes, which put us in a bit of a bind. Given the value of Los Angeles real estate and the exorbitant interest being charged in those days, it was doubtful if we, or at last I, could afford it, but again, Peter stepped in.

William and I received raises with our new positions and they were collectively enough for us to make the deal. The down payment alone was $150,000, but we covered it with a second mortgage from the NSB credit union. An "executive loan," also Peter's doing, served as the first mortgage, and at an interest rate which was five percent below what banks were then charging.
We were able to finish the most needed remodeling and move in during the last week in August, 1977.

Additional remodeling and redecorating went on for another two months, but our bedroom and bath were finished before we moved in and the kitchen, while not finished, was usable.

The house was on the south side of the street and backed up to public land which sloped precipitously down toward the Pacific Coast Highway and the sea. The views from the rear of the house and its huge deck were spectacular.

The sloping land beyond our rear property was covered with a thick mat of undergrowth, which gave the hillside an unkempt, rural appearance, but was critical because it held the vulnerable soil and protected it from mud slides, a constant concern in other denuded areas.

Below us, across the highway, lay the sweep of beaches and the sea. To the south we could see the shoreline running on toward LAX and, further still, just where the sea and the horizon met, Long Beach.

The weeks following the NSB board meeting at which Peter Amsted and his colleagues gained control of the NSB empire, were incredibly hectic for all of us. Peter made three round trips between LA and London in a little less than four weeks. His concern was in shoring up needed financial backing from east coast American banks and their European counterparts.

I was faced with the organization of my own, much smaller kingdom and William found himself in similar straits. Needless to say, we arrived back at the house in Pasadena each night totally exhausted.

Our weekends weren't much better. Once the deal on the new house was struck we had to move fast, hiring a contractor, dealing with an endless list of decisions and doing a lot of the work ourselves.

We discovered that we had some natural skills for painting and interior design, perhaps a stereotypical gay talent, and spent several Saturdays and Sundays working side by side.
It was during those long, tiring days, that William continued telling me about his relationship with his father.

From our first meeting at Peter's house in Sussex in 1972, I'd been aware of the tensions between William and his father and, knowing what I did about Peter Amsted from my own experience with him, could only guess at the history of the father and son.

I wisely decided then that I'd never ask William about his relationship with his father, assuming he'd tell me in time, when he was ready. I'm very glad I made that pledge and very glad I was able to keep it.

Gradually over the years we've spent together, William has told me most, if not all, of what went on between them. But even today, after over thirty years together, William still sometimes surprises me with an account of some incident or some detail of a story he told me long ago.

That first Saturday William and I were working together at the new house, painting what would become our bedroom, he startled me by asking, "Would it be all right if I told you more about me and dad?"

"Of course, lover," I said. "I try not to ask, but it isn't because I don't want to know."

"Well, all right then," he said and then began. "We continued for quite a while, just having manual and oral sex with no attempt on Peter's part to push things."

"How long did that go on?" I asked, surprised that Peter was so patient with his son.

"Until I was sixteen," William said. "I guess when things did go further it was really my doing."

"You prompted something more?"

"Yes, in effect," he said. "I'd continued playing around with my friend Samuel at school. In fact, soon after Peter introduced me to oral sex, I initiated Samuel."

"I bet Peter was right, you'd gotten better at it by then."

"Yes," William laughed. "Peter certainly saw to that, but he didn't have to do all that much. I wanted to master the art, so to speak, and it wasn't long before I was able to deep throat Peter's big cock."

"Did he teach you that amazing swallowing thing you do?"

"No, I figured that out for myself," he grinned.

"I bet Samuel was one happy camper, once you got back to school."

"Well, yes, but it wasn't all that simple. As soon as I was back at St. Aden's, I asked Samuel if he knew about 'blow jobs.' He was less interested than I'd assumed he'd be, claiming oral sex was really 'queer' and not something 'normal' boys did.

"I managed to bring the conversation around to oral sex a few more times and eventually told him that I'd like to suck his cock. He refused the first time I asked but a few days later he brought it up, asking if I really meant it.

"I said I did, but only if he promised never to tell anyone. 'I think you'll like it,' I said, 'and if you ever tell anyone, I'll never go down on you again'"

"'All right,' he said, very seriously, 'I promise.'

"He'd managed to get a key to the sports equipment room and that night, during our free study time, we went there and I did it.

"His cock was smaller than Peter's and I was amazed how easy it was for me to take his entire length. Needless to say, he was hooked.

"I gave him blow jobs a dozen times, never asking him to return the favor, before he began to get curious about it and ask what it was like.

"'It's great,' I told him, 'but I can't describe it. If you want to know, you'll just have to try it for yourself.'

"The next time we were able to get alone, he did try, and of course he was awful. He gagged badly and almost retched, but in time he got quite good."

"It all ended," of course, "when Samuel finished at St. A's and went off to the University of Exeter."

"Did you ever see him again?"

"Oh, yes, from time to time. He's married now, with a brood of kids, and I've more or less lost touch."

"You said you prompted what followed with your father," I said. "I guess that was after you and Samuel parted ways."

"Yes, it was when I was staying with Peter in the summer of 1967.

"I'd been disappointed when I got down to Sussex in July because Charlotte was there, and it seemed I was destined to sleep alone. That evening after I'd gone to bed, Peter came to my room.

"'Don't worry, Willy Wanker,' he teased, using one of his pet names as he ruffled my hair. 'Her Ladyship is leaving for Switzerland on Sunday and you can take her place in my bed.'

"On Sunday night I walked naked into his big bedroom and climbed into his bed.

"I'd grown significantly during the last year and my body had begun to fill out. I'd spent hours in the gym, working out with weights and I was proud of my budding physique.

"'My, my,' Peter said, as I snuggled against him. "Who is this young god who just came to seduce me?'

"Not seduce, you dirty old man," I teased, "I came to learn a few new tricks."

"'Oh, what did you have in mind?' he chuckled, laying aside a well marked script he'd been studying.

"Is it true men fuck?" I asked brazenly. I'd learned with Peter that no question was beyond the pale and I also knew that when I wanted to know something he'd tell me. There was no point beating around the bush."

I laid down the paint roller I'd been using and stared at him. "Hell, William, you were asking for it!"

"Yes, in effect."

"So what happened?"

"Well, first he laughed. 'What rude tales have your school chums been telling?' he asked.

"'Seriously, Peter,' I said, pressing my young body against him.

"'Seriously? In a word, yes, it's true men fuck other men, which I guess was what you were asking,' he said, laying the script aside.

"'How's it possible?' I asked, looking down at his hard cock. 'That thing is a lot bigger than my little hole.'

"'Yes, but I'd bet you've passed some equally thick turds in your time.'

"'Yeah, I guess so,' I agreed, blushing at the idea.

"'Well, what's the problem, then? If you can open up to let a cylinder that size out, you can open up to let one in.'

"'I'd never thought of it like that,' I admitted.

I lay there a while as he ran his fingers through my hair, gently stroking my head and neck. Finally, I got my nerve up and asked the next question I'd been wondering about since hearing boys at school talking about this intriguing, but seemingly forbidden topic.

"I can see how it might be great for the guy doing the fucking, dad, but how could the guy being fucked enjoy it?"

"'Oh, my pretty blond boy,'" Peter teased, 'you'd certainly be surprised.'

"That gave me the opening to ask my next question. 'Does that mean you've done it?'

"'Yes and yes,' he laughed. I took his double positive to mean he'd fucked and been fucked, which made the question of roles unnecessary.

I was silent again, not knowing how to push the topic further, and eventually drifted off to sleep.

I dreamed that night about Peter fucking me and woke on the threshold of ecstasy, the dream manifesting itself in a dazzling orgasm.

"Fortunately, I'd rolled onto my side with my back against Peter's body, so I left a puddle on the bed, not on his leg, which would have been the case if I'd been in my usual position.

"When I woke again it was light and I could hear the shower running. I made my way to the bathroom and groggily opened the door of the shower stall, staring into the fog, where Peter was rinsing himself.

"'May I come in?' I asked. It had been two or three months since I'd seen Peter and nearly a year since we'd been alone together like that. I somehow wondered if the rules had changed.

"'Certainly, young sir,' he chuckled, taking my hand and drawing me to him. He kissed me squarely on the mouth and I sighed, opening my lips to him. It felt so good to be back in Peter's arms.

"When we broke from the kiss, he took the soap and began to wash me, as he'd done many times before, unashamedly washing my chest and legs, lathering my patch of pubic hair and stroking my cock and balls. Then he turned me around and reached over me to place the palms of my hands against the tile wall.

"Starting at the base of my neck, he washed my shoulders and arms and back. Then, when he reached my buttocks, he slid his foot between mine and pushed them apart until my legs were separated by a yard or more.

"With my ass exposed to his sight and touch he washed me there. Then, first running his fingers over my twitching pucker, he pressed one finger into me. I knew what he was doing, but had no idea how far he'd go. I'd more or less given him permission the night before. At least I'd let him know I was very curious, and assumed he'd take it from there.

"He worked one soapy finger into me, twisting it until he found my prostate. I had no idea what he was doing or what part of me he was touching, but I felt as if I were going to explode. The gentle prodding of his finger was like an electric shock and my cock was suddenly very hard.

"Each time he touched that spot my cock pulsed and, without its even being touched, I realized I was getting very close to coming.

"When he withdrew his finger I whimpered, wanting more. I didn't have to wait long before I felt him prodding my ass again. This time it hurt a little and I realized he was using two fingers, not just one.

"As he opened me wider, his fingers slipped in and again he touched that amazing spot. He played with my ass for a while, not stimulating me too much, clearly not wanting me to come too soon.

"Eventually, I guess he thought he had me open and relaxed, and he removed his two fingers and began to work on me again, with three.

"For a minute or so it really hurt. I guess I groaned a little.

"'Press back, Will,' he said, and I did. He held his fingers still and let me do the work. Slowly, I felt the ring of my ass relax and all three fingers slipped in.

"Once he had three fingers in my tight boy ass, he began to twist them, first clockwise half a turn, then back, counterclockwise, until I thought I'd scream with the incredible pleasure he was giving me.

"Eventually, with three fingers in me and my ass fully relaxed, he began to prod rhythmically, as if he were fucking me with his fingers. Each time the tips of his fingers passed over that special spot I moved a notch closer to coming.

"Eventually it was too much and with a growl so deep and loud I didn't realize it was me making the sound, I came. It was a powerful climax, my spunk shooting up over the tile wall and then, before my gaping eyes, running back down in slow strands until it hit the floor and was washed away in the swirl of water around my feet.

"Peter put his free arm around and steadied me against him as my body shook in reaction to what he'd just done. He slowly pulled his bunched fingers out of me and let me slump back against his chest.

"When I'd regained my strength, he turned me to face him and kissed me again.

"'I had three fingers in you, Will, together they are almost as think as my cock. Any questions now about how as man, or a boy, for that matter, can take something that thick?'

"'No,' I managed to mutter.

"'You seemed to enjoy it,' he smiled. 'At least you certainly came a flood.'

"'Um,' I muttered.

"'So are you still wondering why a guy would enjoy getting fucked?'

"'No," I said, smiling up at him as he ruffled my wet hair and gave my tender ass an affectionate slap."

William broke off his story at that point and we set about the business of cleaning up rollers and paint trays. It had been a long afternoon and we were due at a dinner party at seven o'clock.

I knew I'd hear more of his account of his relationship with his father, but it would be told in his own time, not because of any prodding on my part.

To be continued.