Montgomery Hall
A continuing series of interrelated stories


By John Yager

The following story is a work of gay erotic fiction depicting sexual acts between consenting adults.  If such stories are not to your liking or if you are not of legal age to read such stories in your jurisdiction, please exit now.

This is a work of fiction and in no ways draws on the lives of any specific person or persons. Any similarity to actual persons or events is entirely coincidental.

This work is copyrighted ã by the author and 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.

This is the first of a projected series of interrelated stories which will appear under the collective title, Montgomery Hall.   While it is expected that the individual stories will stand independently,  they should be more enjoyable if read as a group.  If you wish to receive e-mail notification of subsequent posting,  please let me know by sending your request to the e-mail address below.

Late July, a warm day, blue skies, white clouds;  I woke late, about ten, and lay in the big bed looking out through the louvers, taking it all in.   I was hard.  I'd been dreaming about a guy on the plane yesterday.  He sat across the aisle from me and just radiated sex.    Mid-twenties,  light brown hair cut so skillfully it looked as if it hadn't been cut at all.  You know the look.  Kind of  an  "I don't give a dam what you think,"  knowing full well that everyone who saw him,  both women and men, thought just one thing.  Sex!  He looked like he was born to the bedroom.   Nice khakis and a polo shirt which was just tight enough to let you see the body underneath was in really great shape, not so tight that it looked like he was showing it off.   Oh well, a lot more entertaining  than the video the airline was showing.  The last I saw of him was getting off the plane in Memphis.   That was probably as far as he was going and he was heading off to collect baggage.  Well so long, fellow, you'll make great fantasy material, none the less.

The air in the big bedroom  was filled with the sweet, almost too sweet, fragrance of peaches.  Ripe peaches, hanging on a thousand trees,  spoiled fruit, lying on the ground.  The smell of peaches and the soft drone of a million bees.

 It was warm now but it would be hot by mid-afternoon.  I'd better remember to turn the air conditioning on before I left the room or it would be too hot to sleep  until midnight.  The  "White Room" as my mother insisted on calling it, was just that;  white walls, high white ceiling, white furniture, mostly old stuff which Ben had painted for her, but put together with real flair.

Even the floor of the White Room  was white, or almost so;  wide pine planks which had been bleached and then  filled with white paint and wiped smooth so the pale old pine shown through the whiter highlights.  There were no curtains, but if there had been, I'm sure they would have been white as well.   Only the white painted louvered shutters covered the windows, letting in soft raking light.   My old room on the third floor had been redone for Bess, my eight-year old niece, who now lived with my mother most of the year.

So on each of my recent treks home I'd  had the White Room.  I didn't mind at all.   It was a wonderful room, big, open, and away from the main house so that it offered a degree of privacy the other bedrooms  did not provide.  I had come to love the light.  It was of a different quality each season of the year and it changed within it's monthly palette with each hour from dawn until the dark of night.   I also enjoyed the easy access through the wide French windows which opened into the little garden with its high brick walls.  It was a very private garden, at the very most easterly end of the big old house sticking out toward, almost into, the peach orchards.   It always seemed to be my own private retreat.  There were far more expansive gardens elsewhere on the property, including the vast rose gardens which dated from my grandfather's time.

Even in the little garden opening off the White Room, mother had continued the theme, planting only white perennials and small flowering trees, which thrived and bloomed most of the year.  There were delicate white azaleas in the spring, followed by the whitest Narcissus and then white lilies and then the lovely collection of white roses, which were her real pride.  Even in the winter the little garden glistened with the tissue-thin dried leaves of dollar plants which also became a staple of mother's fall and winter bouquets.  If there was snow, which was by no means an annual occurrence in this part of Mississippi, mother insisted on taking anyone who called out into the little walled enclosure to show them the amazing way the white mounds hung on the dark leaves o f the dwarf magnolias like some flouring wonder out of time.

 Mother always referred to the white garden as a  her "Little Jewel," and in truth, it was a small space, no more than twenty-five feet on each side.  There were  flowering  borders around its four sides and a small grassy square in the center.  The little lawn was just large enough for an old wrought iron table and a pair matching chairs, and the somewhat jarring chase lounge which I added a few years ago.  But, I always remembered, what was truly a small garden in Mississippi, would have been an unheard of luxury in Manhattan, where I clung to my cherished 1,400 square feet rent controlled apartment on Columbus Avenue, with its wonderful view out over the grounds of the Museum of Natural History.

Ben said the White Room was about the oldest part of the house, probably build about 1800 when my great-great-great grandfather homesteaded the place.  What was now the "Little Jewel," had probably been a walled kitchen garden when the wing had contained the cooking and laundry areas.   The big central core of the house, of which the White Room now appeared to be only a wing, had been built in the  1830s.  By then the family had become quite well off and wanted a house which reflected their position in the community.   That is when the house was given its name, Montgomery Hall.

I threw the sheet off my naked body and  stretched.   Ten o'clock and I had not been wakened.  Not that I minded.  My flights had been late.  I had expected to have easier travel, getting away at noon on Thursday and avoiding the weekend rush.  But, even so,  I had not gotten home until after midnight.  Odd,  I thought to my self,  do I still  think of Winona as "home?"  I've lived in New York for ten years, since graduating from college.

Even getting home that late the night before,  mother had insisted on giving me hot chocolate and her homemade cookies.   It had been after one in the morning before I had gotten to bed.   The sleep had  done me good after the long day yesterday.  The flight from New York to Memphis had ended with a long wait before the little commuter plane finally took off for the bouncy hop on down to  Winona.  I tried to read a brief I had stuck in my carryon  but the waiting area was crowded and noisy and I ended up just people watching, mainly keeping an eye out for the sexy guy who'd sat across from me on the flight from New York.  I figured he was already someplace in Greater Memphis, long since bedded down for the night with the partner of his choice.   It would have been easier and quicker to rent a car and drive the distance.  But that would have meant having an unnecessary car here and it would have been a problem getting it back to the airport.

I walked, still nude, out into the garden and flopped down on the chase lounge.   I don't like tan lines and it was a good chance to get some rays on by more private parts. The vinyl-covered pad was cool and a little damp but it felt great against my bare skin.  I wondered if it had rained.   Probably just a heavy dew and high humidity.  Another hour and the sun would dry it.  I think I dozed a little because when I went back into the house the bedside clock said a quarter after eleven.

There was an electric coffee maker on the dresser, an addition to the room which I had made during my last visit in April.  "If you must,  Martin, but be sure to it's white,"  mother had said when I suggested buying it.   "Not ivory, dear, not cream.  White.  I would only agree if it is white."  God love her.  My mother, the interior designer.

I found the bag of dark roast pre-ground coffee I had brought from Zabar's.  "Ground, Mr. Cutler?  You never buy ground.  You always want the whole bean."

"But this time,  Roger,  I want ground.   Don't have a grinder in my room in Mississippi."

"No grinder, Mr. Cutler?  We have a special on an excellent little electric grinder.   I'd be glad to sell you one."

"Thank you, Roger,  I may pick up one there, but I don't want to carry it on the planes."   In any case, I thought, if I do buy a grinder, it had better be white.

The coffee started, I went on into the bath and stepped into the huge shower.  I must say that when mother took it into her head to turn the old east wing of the house into a guest suite, she did it up right.   The tepid water poured over my body.  I felt as if I the dust of a thousand miles was being washed away.  Why is it that travel, even in the relative clean environment of airplanes, leaves you feeling as if you were somehow contaminated.  I had thought about taking a shower last night but by the time I got to the room, all I had energy to do was to strip off my clothes and crawel into bed.

Now I stood for several minutes just letting the water flow over my body, feeling as if the dust and grime of those thousand miles  was being gently washed away.  I opened a plastic bottle of shower jell.  It was pale green and the consistency of honey, and smelled of new mown grass, juniper and herbs.  Nice.   I remembered it from my last trip and reminded myself to ask mother where she bought it.  I squeezed the required quarter size portion onto a large sponge, worked it in and then began to run the sensual foam over my body.   I thought again of the stud on the plane.   If I'd allowed myself to give into the pleasures of the moment they could have easily become the pleasures of an hour or more.  But it was my first day home and I did owe it to mother to put in an appearance before lunch.

Toweled off and back in the bedroom, I found a pair of white cotton slacks which I had left in the closet on my last trip.   They seemed appropriate, not only to the room, but to the day, to Mississippi.  I would have thought twice about wearing  them in New York but here they were just fine.   A white polo shirt, dark brown leather belt and matching loafers and I was ready to meet the day, or at least what was left of it.  I wondered if I looked more like a house painter or an imitation southerner, maybe a bad impersonation of Truman Copote in his best pseudo-southern New York garb.  What the hell, it was fine.

Ben was in the living room when I came through.   "Good morning,  Mister Martin, sure is good having you home."   He was polishing brass fittings by the fireplace and rose from a knelling position with agility, pulling off long rubber gloves as he stood.  Ben had to be well into his sixties but he moved like a much younger man.   I had been meaning to ask mother just exactly how old he was.   I thought again that he, even more than mother, was the embodiment of Montgomery Hall for me.  He had, after all,  lived in this house longer than any member of the family.   Not that he wasn't a part of the family in every sense but biological.  He was here before my mother was born and delighted in telling tales of her childhood as well as of David's  and Susan's and my own.  He took pride in the house, even, I realized when I was a teenager, in the fact that his great-grandfather had been born a slave on the property.   That, I remembered, had bothered me.  How could he take such pride in such a history?  As I grew older I realized that he, as much as I myself, as much as mother or my younger brother David,  needed the sense of a fixed center which the old house represented.

"Morning, Ben.  What's left of it."  I approached him and took his extended hand, shaking it warmly and covering it with my left to give it an extra squeeze.  I would have loved to enfold him in a great, loving bear hug, but knew he would have been uncomfortable with such familiarity.    The width of his smile almost spanned his round face.

"Might good having you home."

"I bet you left some grits for me."

"Fried cornmeal mush and bacon,  Mister Martin, eggs too if you give me an minute."

"Well, Ben, before I commit to that big a breakfast  I'd better find out what mother has in store for the rest of the day."

"A right lot, I'd reckon.  She told me she gets  you to herself  `till four but that's when the crowds arrive."

"Crowds?  That means food and a lot of it.  I'd better keep it light for now or I'll jeopardize my boyish figure."

"Well, you hold onto it.  Your brother's not seen his boyish figure since his first year at Old Miss."

"By the end of his first year at Old Miss, David was a married man and a father."

"Well, some as got one talent, some as got others,"  he chuckled.

"Too true, Ben, and fatherhood is not one of mine."

"Nor mine,  Mister Martin."

"So what do you think, Ben?   Do I risk the mush or make due on cold cereal and skim milk?"

"I'd recommend the cereal, Mister Martin.  Besides the mush has been setting in that skillet so long now it's probably turned about three shades of green."

"Cereal it is, Ben,"  I said as he followed me out into the kitchen.  "But you could tell me where mother is and who, exactly, comprises this crowd which it going to descend at four o'clock?"

"Miss Ann's in the garden with that new boy,  much as I tell her to do her digging early before it gets so hot and the sun gets to high."  He  put a bowl, three boxes of cereal, milk, sugar on the table at the place which had been mine since infancy.   "Don't know your likings these days, Mister Martin.  You just take your pick."  He continued talking as he returned to the huge old range for coffee.  "The crowd is your brother David, his misses and their brood.  Then there will be the Penshaws and the Clarksons,  and of course Mister James and his family, including his mother, are coming.   I figures ten or eleven adults and a pack of kids,  near dozen best I can tell.  Your mother has planned for drinks on the patio and swimming for the kids and any of the older folks who wants.  I puts the croquet out this morning and there's tennis, should anyone want it, but as hot as it is, I doubt they do.  Then abut six o'clock she said to get the fire going so you and Mister David and Mister James could grill steaks whenever anyone's got ready.  Everything else is done fixed except the ice cream and I'll churn it when the time comes."

"A veritable feast, Ben, as always."

"Yes, sir,"  he said with a chuckle,   "I got feast enough just seeing you home."  He turned away and went off to find juice in the frig, embarrassed, I think by his admission of affection.  "By the way," he continued, as he returned,  "Mister James, he's  been calling `bout three or four times a day for the last week or ten days."

"Jimmy can't keep the dates of my visit straight?"

That got a real chuckle.  "Straight as ever, I figure.  Three or four times a day and that the times I answered.   Guess you mother got her share of his calls too."

"Am I supposed to call him back or something?"

"You do,  Mister Martin, and he'll be over in about ten minutes and then you mother will be real mad.  She wants you to herself for today, or what's left of it.  Mister James comes over and hauls you off and she'll be ready to murder that boy.   You'd best just leave things be."

"Well, I'll see him this afternoon."

"That's right, and you can tell him you slept late, as by rights you should, and then Miss Ann deserved what time was left before him and the rest arrived.   He can get his hands on you soon enough and, besides, it's time that boy learn some patients and restraint."

I laughed and said, "Ben, remember, `that boy' is the same age as me and, as much as I appreciate the thought, I am no longer a boy."

"Well, you is to me!"

"Well, thank you, Ben, but if James and I are boys, what does that make David?  A mere child?  Remember, he's two years younger than us."

"Your brother, Mister Martin, went from being a boy to being an old man the day he turned twenty."  He paused as he took breakfast dishes from the dishwasher and put them back in the shelves.  "I just don't know about him.  I look at you and I see the boy you was, the spirit and the wonder and  the fun.  I look at Mister David and all I see is a stranger who don't look like David, his self as a boy, I mean, and he don't look one bit like your father and sure as certain don't look like your mother or any Montgomery I ever saw.  I just don't know."

"Well, Ben, to his credit, he took over the family interests when our father died and has done an unbelievable job of running things.  I, on the other hand, left Mississippi the summer after I graduated from the university and have only been back for short visits.  I owe him a lot and I know mother is very grateful to him.  I don't know what would have happened when Susan died if David hadn't been here."

"Now, Mister Martin, don't get me wrong.  I know he's  been the work horse.  I don't mean to demean him one bit.   I just wish for Mister David his self he had s little more of the boy left in him."

"I know, Ben, and I agree.  But, you know, I think David is happy with his life.  He has a wonderful wife and wonderful kids.  For him,  his family and his work are the center of  his life."

"Well, all I can say is, God Bless him."

"Amen, Ben, amen."

I finished my breakfast and put the empty bowl and glass in the sink where Ben directed.   I refilled my coffee mug and was ready to go out into the garden but then I had a second thought and put it down again.  I returned to the sink were Ben was clearing fresh vegetables for a salad and put my hand on his broad shoulder.   When he put the knife down and turned to see what I wanted,  I put my arms around him and drew him into a warm embrace.  He was embarrassed, as I knew he would be, but he was also pleased.  His eyes twinkled when I turned to pick up my coffee and go in search of mother.  Neither Ben or I had said a word.

I heard my mother's laughter off to the south and headed toward it.  Through a sand of huge old oaks at the edge of the great lawn was  the beginning of the vast rose gardens.   She was setting on a little folding camp stool showing a young man whom I didn't know now to properly trim a grandiflora.   He was very tan, I noticed, considering his blond hair.   He looked to be about fifteen, sixteen at the most.

"Just above the juncture there,  Tim.   Lower  and you'll take the bud of the next flower cluster."

"Here Miss Ann?''

"Perfect, Tim.  You're a fast learner and I'll soon be turning the clipping over to you."

"Thanks you, ma'am.  I've been trying real hard but I never messed around with flowers before."

"Well, you're learning quickly, unlike some boys I've known."  She smiled at me as I approached.   "Just look at that fellow coming there, Tim.   No mater how I tried, he never could trim a rose bush without cutting out a season's flowering.  I could never tell if he was slow or rebellious, although I always suspected it was the later.   But one way or the other, you already have a jump on him.

Tim  knew she was kidding and looked a little embarrassed by  the entire situation.

"This, Tim, is my eldest son,  Martin Montgomery Cutler.  He lives a decadent life in New York City,  that well known capital of  sin, depravity and evil.  Fortunately, he only visits us three or four times a year, and then for only a very few days each time.   I'm sure if he came more often or stayed much longer he would have a very negative influence on our upstanding community, so it's all for the better that he's chosen to live his life as far away as possible."

Tim was smiling shyly and I had the distinct feeling that he longed to know more about my life in the forbidden city.

Mother rose and gave me a hug.  "Ben fed you,  I'm sure.  Now why don't  we leave this fine young horticulturist to his work and you take me for a walk?"

"I'd love to, mother.  And Tim,"  I added,  "it was a pleasure meeting you."

"Yes, sir, thank you,"   he said with a truly winning smile.  He was a good looking kid.

Mother and I walked through the garden, along the beds of well tended roses, and then on through the grove of old oak trees which opened to the little lake.  There was an old bench there and we sat for a while enjoying the day and each other's company.

"I gather you slept well,"  mother began.

"You noticed.   Thanks for not sending Ben to wake me.  I haven't slept that long since the last time I was here."

"I wanted you rested.  I'm sure Ben told you the while gang is arriving at 3:00."

"You shouldn't have, mother, a welcome home party just for me!"

"Well, that too,"  she smiled, "but I did want to get them all over and let them have their crack at you.  Then,  maybe, they will let us along and we can have a little piece and quiet around here for the next few days."

"Ben told me he'd gotten several calls from James.  He figured you'd gotten a few as well."

"Every time you come home that boy begins to behave like a love sick puppy.  I really do think something should be said,   Martin.  Isn't there anything you could do to help him learn a little restraint?"

I laughed remembering the similar conversation I'd just had with Ben.

"Well, certainly,  Martin, you live according to your own lights and I have never questioned that.   But you have done so with a certain since of responsibility,  I think."   She paused and I knew she was finding this difficult.  "I've known James since he was born.  His mother is still one of my very closest friends.  But James  chose to marry Angela Longworth, who is a very nice young woman and comes from a very good family.   Having made that choice, Martin, I believe James has a responsibility to live by it."  There was another rather awkward pause.  I waited.  "I guess it comes down, Martin, to the fact that you have certain freedoms which James does not have.  I just wish he would not risk embarrassing his wife and children and his dear mother."

"I really will try to say something.  Not that I haven't tried before."

"Well, do what you can.  I just don't want unpleasantness."

"You know that I've never had all that much influence on James."

"Martin, I find that laughable.  No one has more influence on him than you.   That has been a fact of life since you were both twelve or thirteen."

"Well, mother, if no one has more influence on him than me, all I can say is that no one has much influence."

"Martin?"  She paused.  I waited.  The silence grew.  I heard the distant cry of a circling hawk. I still waited, sensing that mother was about to say something of considerable importance and not wanting to detract her from it.

"Martin,"  she said again,  "guess I should say that I would never interfere in your affairs.  I respect your privacy too much for that.  And, besides,  you have never given me cause to think you ever make irresponsible choices."

"Thank you, mother."

"But you are a single man."  There was another pause.  "I mean, you don't have the responsibilities of a family, a wife and children."

"Yes, mother."

"I don't know why I am finding this so difficult."

I smiled.  "I think it's a conversation you've not needed to have before.  Maybe you lack a certain vocabulary."

"Exactly.  Well, bear with me."

"Certainly, mother."

"Well, you know, the men in our family, and perhaps to an even greater degree, the men within our circle of friends, have never been known for..."  she paused again.  "Well, for `constancy' when it came to their marital relationships."

"You're saying I come from a pack of unfaithful adulterers."

"Well, something like that."   She smiled but there was another pause, this one longer and more  awkward.  "I know it was once acceptable to excuse such behavior by saying that men's appetites were greater than those of women.   When I was a girl it was understood that a married man would probably have an affair by the time he'd been married three or four years and might very likely have taken a mistress by the time he'd been married ten.  It was known and excused.  But it was never talked about and any gentleman knew it was something he never mentioned.  And certainly ladies never discussed it.  As long as it was private, completely private,  it could not be an embarrassment to the man's wife or family.  It was easier then as well because no gentleman would ever take as his mistress a woman of his own class and social circle.  There was little chance in those days that his wife and his mistress would ever meet, ever be put in a position where  they would have to confront or acknowledge one another.  Why, I was fourteen when my grandfather died, and I, in all innocence, asked my mother who the veiled woman was in the back pew at his funeral.  It was not an appropriate question, even from a fourteen year old girl."  She smiled at me and her eyes twinkled.

"It's so much different now," she went on.   "The old class lines have largely disappeared, people meet in any number of ways and circles cross and re-cross.  It must be very difficult for young married couples."

"Yes, mother, and don't forget that with all our new sexual freedoms, it may as easily be the wife who is having the extramarital affair as her husband."

"Oh, Martin, don't remind me!"

"Well, it's true."

She waited for some time before continuing and I began to think the conversation was over.  Then she went on.  "I guess I just as well add that these days the husband's `extramarital affair,' as you put it, may as likely be with a man as with a woman, or the wife's with another woman as with a man."  She again waited a moment and then added, "not that such things didn't happen in my parent's or grandparent's time, but when it did, it was even less likely to be talked about."  She paused again.  "If you haven't figured that out, Martin, it's time you do.  Why, our family has quite a history of such...oh, how shall I say it, `friendships,'  is that an acceptable word?"

"Yes, mother.  At least I understand what you mean.  But I guess I must say I hadn't realized we had such a `tradition."  Within the family, I mean.  Why, mother, are you telling me I am not so unique and special after all?"
 She laughed again.  "I certainly wouldn't want to pop your balloon, Martin, but, yes, you were not exactly the first to go that way in our family."  She paused and then added,  "Maybe it's time you had a talk with Ben."

"I talk with Ben all the time, mother."

"Well, Ben is one of the most loyal and discreet people I know.  He would never talk about such things unless you asked him a direct question."  She was silent for a moment and then added,  "I guess in some ways I have to say, our more open society may be good.  All those secrets and secrets-within-secrets must have put an awful strain on everyone."

There, she had said it!  The cat was out of the bag.  The fat was in the fire.  The horse was out of the stable!

"I'd say so, mother."

"Well then.  I am not arguing for some miraculous change in human nature.  I've lived too long and seem to much of mankind's foibles to ever hope for that."

"So what you're asking for is a return to an older sense of decorum."

"Exactly, Martin!  And not to mince words or put too fine a point on it, I don't expect James to be anyone but James, the impetuous boy we know and love.   Why, when you were children and there was cake or pie on offer, he always wanted both."

I guffawed!  And, yes, I too remembered.  She was absolutely right, in both the literal and figurative sense.  Good old James never could quite make up his mind.

"So really, Martin, all I'm asking is that he show a little restraint.  He can deal with his needs as he sees fit, but please help him understand that we will all be much better off if he can just learn to do so with some sense of decorum.  I certainly don't expect him to deny his nature, and we both under stand that his nature is to want both the pie and the cake, poor dear.   But he has chosen to have a wife and children and I would hope he could learn how keep  his two lives separate.  That was an ability which our grandfathers assumed was every gentleman's right and duty."

I couldn't help laughing.  I put my arms around her and drew her into a truly loving embrace.  "Mother, I love you.  You do know that, don't you."

"Yes, Martin, I know it and I love you too."   There was another pause and then she went on,  "I was afraid you would think I was advocating some sort of institutionalized hypocrisy."

"Well, in a way, you are."

"I read a book a year or so which I still wonder about."

"What was it, mother?"

"Oh, I don't remember the title or the author, but it was advocating a more open view of sexual matters.  Oh, I remember, it was something about `coming out of the closet.'  I thought the author's tone seemed rather angry."

"He probably was.   You have to realize there are a lot of people out there who believe we will never end prejudice in this country until the general public is forced to face the reality of  diversity.  I must say, mother, I tend to agree with them."

"I assumed you  did.  That's why, when I saw a review of that book, I ordered a copy."  She gave me a sly smile.  "I didn't exactly think I'd find a copy in Winona or Greenwood."

"No, probably not.  But if you had, would you have felt comfortable buying it?  I mean, buying it in a shop were everyone knew you?"

"Probably not."

"Well, thank you for ordering it and reading it."

"I want to understand, Martin.   Don't be too angry with me when I have such difficulty letting loose of my old fashion ways."

"I'd never be angry with you, mother.  I am so proud of you for trying to see the other side of the issues, not just rejecting them out of hand the way most people do."

"Well, I do try.  And the most important reason for trying, so far as I'm concerned, it because I love you and am so proud of you."

"Mother, I think you are undoubtedly one of the wisest and most compassionate people I known."

"Well, thank you, dear.  But if I have any wisdom, it is of the inherited kind, nothing original on my part."

"Well, maybe the principals are inherited, but your application of them to new circumstances and to our changing society is truly a marvel."

I felt very conflicted about our conversation didn't I couldn't tell her that.  She was trying.  But whether she understood it or not, she was advocating....what had she called, it?..."a kind of institutionalized hypocrisy."   In New York I lived an open and transparent life.  But every time I cam home I found myself falling into patterns of concealment and restraint.  What mother could not understand was that what she advocated, her "sense of decorum,"  was, in fact, a lie.  I found I even used another vocabulary when I was home, a New York language and a Mississippi language.    Well, one thing she had said had gotten my attention.   I would certainly having another talk with Ben!

    "Well," she said after a moment, "shall we continue our walk?"  I knew the subject was closed and our conversation was over.

We walked along the banks of the lake, over the little foot bridge which spanned the spring creek which fed it, and on to Dalton's Tower.  The tower had been built by one of my distant uncles, the younger brother of my great-grandfather, I think.  I suppose it would have been called a Folly in England, but it really was something more.  It was really a functional building, a sort of romantic retreat with a small setting room on the ground floor and a series of nooks and crannies off a cruel spiral stairway which mounted to the top.  Cruel because it was too steep for any but the most fit to climb, and even difficult for them because the steps were of irregular height.  I think it must have been built that way on purpose.  At the very top, rising just above the tops of adjacent trees, was a small chamber with narrow windows and wonderful views back over the little lake and the gardens and the house.   The door was kept locked but the location of the old iron key in a little wooden plaque beside the door, was an open secret among our extended family.  In the center of the top chamber was a raised stone platform about six feet in diameter.  On it lay a thick pad, almost a mattress, covered with dark green fabric, and on it a collection of pillows of  various sizes and shapes.  As a result of this convenient bit of built-in furniture, the chamber and the entire tower, for that matter, had been given a lengthy list of rather salacious names.  In more polite society it was called "The Trysting Tower," but the list went on from there, Dalton's Dick, figuring most prominently.

"Are you up for the climb?"  I asked.

"Not likely," mother responded.  "I'm doing well these days to make it around the lake without giving out."

We walked on, reaching the house just a Ben emerged with the first of many loads of provisions for the picnic.

"Come on, Ben,"  I called, "let's chuck the whole thing and go into town for a few beers."

He laughed a deep, hardy laugh and said, "and your mama would shoot us both when we got back home."

"Well, it was worth a try.   What can I bring out?  I know you must have a system all worked out."

"There's a stack of beach towels on the back porch.  They can go on the little table by the gate to the pool.  Then there are trays of glasses to go over there on the bar and stacks of plates to go on the serving table by the barbecue.  You get that done and then ask me again."  He went back into the house grinning broadly.

I carried out the specified items and then sat with mother and helped her roll flatware into clothe napkins and bind them with rather festive rattan rings.  It was a good excuse to set in the shade and continue our conversation.

"How's Bess?"  I asked.  "I haven't seen her yet."

"She is doing fine.  She spent the night at David's, some sort of bunking party.  They'll bring her when they come."

"Have you talked with Robert recently?"

"Only when needed.  I find my conversations with him increasingly difficult and can only say  I am relieved he seems to be taking less and less interest in Bess.  I think he is going to leave her with me all summer."

"And the next school year as well?"

"Oh, yes.  He is very agreeable about that, so long as I'm paying her fees at the  Lawton  School."

"Do you think she feels abandoned by Robert?   I mean, it must seem strange to an eight year old that her own father doesn't see her more than two or three times a year."

"Well, you know, last Christmas she asked to come back to Montgomery Hall a fell week before we had planned.  I don't think she gets on very well with  Cynthia or their children."  She paused , and then added,  I think she sees this as her real home and us as her family.  Ben and I do all we can and David and  Carol Ann are wonderful with her.  And she gets on very well with their kids.  I guess she and Patty think of each other as best friends,  more like sisters than cousins."

"She's had a tough life for such as young kid."

"We go on, Martin, but I'm sure you know that."

The time remaining before the picnic was to start passed quickly.  I asked if I should go change and was told not to.

"You look like the consummate Southern gentleman in that get-up, Martin."

"Maybe your monochromic fixation with guest room is having an influence on my choice of clothes."

"No, dear, I know you are too strong willed for that."

"Well I thought I might be asked for my painter's union card."

"Not in Winona, Martin.  Painters here are not unionized."

We laughed but it wasn't really a joke.

Our guests were due to arrive by four o'clock so I was relieved when  David and his family pulled in about three-thirty.  I liked Carol Ann, my sister-in-law, a lot.  She was a gentle, loving wife and a wonderful mother to their children.  What only became clear as you knew her longer was that she was also a very bright person.

They had Bess with them and she and the other kids gave me a big welcome.

David went over to greet Ben.  "Got everything ready,"  he said,  "I sure wish I had one of you at our   house, Ben."

Ben laughed good naturally.  "well I is all of me there is,  Mister David.  But if your mama fires me I'll let you know."

"Not a chance, Ben.  So far as mother is concerned, you have a lifetime contract."

David greeted mother and then walked with the children toward the pool.  I noticed that as he was approaching the gate to the  pool enclosure that he was joined by Tim, mother's young horticulturist.  They exchanged a few words and David was repeating his usual instructions to the younger kids as I joined them.  "Have fun but don't get hurt," he was saying, summing up his safety-first message, "and remember Mister Tim here is in charge."   Then he turned to me, saying,  "I'd have come over earlier but I knew mother wanted some time alone with you."

"Yes, she made it clear that she had first claim on my time until four o'clock.  Then I guess, I am up for grabs."

"Well, once James gets here, you will certainly get grabbed."

"Gees, David, I fell like everybody but me is in on the joke."

He threw his arm over my shoulder and smiled,  "well, big brother, he is certainly the president of your local fan club."

"Maybe I'd better call for new elections."

"Naw,  he's got the position for life.  You'll just have to live with it."

"Mother talked with me about him.  She wants me to say something to him."

"Not a bad idea.  Do you think he'll listen?"

"Who knows, but I am a rather charming and persuasive guy."

"Big head, too.  That part of the New York persona?"

"Seriously, David, mother thinks Jimmy could become an embarrassment...both to himself and his family."

"Well, maybe mother is overreacting.  Sure he talks about you all the time, but I think most folks just mark it off as hero worship.  It's an old southern tradition, you know, hero worship."

"Yeah, but aren't the heroes usually supposed to be dead, you know, beyond the sphere of fallible mortals?"

"Maybe for James New York is as good as dead."


It was at that moment that we were invaded by what looked like a convoy of SUVs,  oversized vans and, leading the pack, the bright red Italian sports car which I knew meant James had arrived.   Vehicles stopped, doors opened and a swarm of kids stampeded toward the pool.  James emerged from his coupe and went to help Angela, who had been driving their van with their kids and Jimmy's mother.  No one had told me Angela was pregnant.  I saw as James helped her from the driver's seat that she was very pregnant and I tired to remember if this would be their fourth or fifth child.  I stopped paying attention after the first two, James, Junior and Rebecca or Becky, she was called, and who had been named for James' mother.  Both of whom were my  God children.  It was at that point that I told James that if he insisted on having more kids, he could count me out.

"There's that uppity New Yorker who won't return my calls,"  he bellowed across the lawn as he deposited his wife in a big lounge chair under a picnic umbrella.   I started up toward the tables with David, leaving the children  under the general supervision of  Tim and David's  two older boys, Dave, and Monty.  They were all teenagers, although Tim was the oldest by a couple  years.  David told me they knew one another from having taken swimming classes and lifeguard training  together.    "And,"  he added, "They have the grudging respect of the younger kids.   I gather you'd already met Tim."

"Yeah, he was trimming roses with mother when I caught up with her this afternoon."

"Great kid.  I was glad mother found summer work for him.  His dad's an agriculture professor over at Valley."

"I guess it's a good idea to have him help keep and eye on the younger kids, but I'd think all of them would swim well.  You all have pools."

"Ours all swim pretty well now," David told me, "but we don't let any of them use the pool unless we're within sight.  But all the kids love Tim and he keeps them out of trouble.  Also, I think mother just wanted to include him in the party."

"What about James and Angela's kids?"  I asked.

"You mean swimming, are they safe in the water?"

"Yeah, that.  But also,  just what kind of children are they?"

"Oh, the older two are fine, really nice kids."

"Thank God,"  I smiled,  "I guess those two are my patch."

"Oh, yes.  James always introduces them as your God children."  He grinned but I had an odd feeling that he wasn't kidding.  "The younger boy, Bobby, is a hellion.  I guess he's six now.  Count yourself lucky you didn't get him, too."

"I told James two was my limit.  If they wanted to have more, they'd have to find another godfather."

"A very wise decision,"  he said as we approached the tables.  "You saw Angela's expecting again."

"Hard to miss, David, even for a confirmed old bachelor like me.  By the way, I lost count, is this the fifth?"

"Well, I guess  it's Angela's fourth pregnancy, but the two younger ones, the boy and the girl, are twins.  And mother told us Angela may be carrying another set of twins this time, so fifth, or fifth and sixth."

"God help us!"

"Yeah and amen, Marty.  Maybe you should suggest James get his tubes snipped."

"Yeah, right.  At least all mother asked me to talk to him about was `restraint.'  Or is that the same subject after all?"  We had continued to stroll slowly toward the others as we chatted.

"Well, at least the du Preys can afford a big family.  Did you know James just landed another big state contract over near Starksville?"

I didn't know,  but before I could respond we were within earshot of the assembled multitude.  I knew them all, of course.  We quickly fell into a friendly pattern of conversation and I was again amused to see how the same topics persisted from one of my visits to the next.

James had gotten Angela settled and gone to get her a large glass of lemonade.  Now, having fulfilled his husbandly duties, he hurried over to me, clapping me on the back and then pulling me into a powerful hug.

"So, now just try to get away,"  he said in a voice everyone could hear.

"Hello, James,"  I said, trying to put as casual face on it as possible.   James put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me back, holding me at arms length as he smiled broadly and looked me over from head to foot.

"My goodness," he purred, "the big city surely must agree with you."

James and I were almost exactly the same height and weight.  We were within days of being the same age but I could claim seniority.    But while my own hair was light brown and my skin tanned easily,  James was of much more dramatic coloration.  His hair was of a golden blond, which still streaked with white when he spent any time in the summer sun, just as it had done when we  were boys.   He looked tan, perhaps a little on the pink side, but I wasn't sure if that was from too much sun or just an excited flush.   We're both still in good shape for our age but not the honed condition we had been in when we both played quarterback in high school and at the University.   We had been closest friends since childhood.  Our families were as close as blood relations despite the fact that there was, in fact, no actual genealogical connection, at least none which had been discovered.  "Thanks.  You're looking great."  He did.

"God, I missed you,"  he said, and for once his voice was soft enough that only I could hear.

"Missed you too, buddy."  I smiled and gave him a friendly punch to the mid-section.  I hoped for the benefit of all looking on, that it looked appropriately butch, just two aging jocks playing "Remember When."

"Got to see you."

"Let's talk later."

"God, Marty!"

I broke from his hold and turned to face the others.   If they had been watching us, they pretended they had not been.  The afternoon continued.  I tried to keep my distance from James, not that I didn't want to spend time with him, I did.  But I couldn't talk with him about the real issues in the company of my family and friends, let along his wife and children and mother.

James looked hurt.   Every time I looked his way he was looking at me.  As soon as he saw me turn my gaze in his direction, he lowered his eyes or just looked away.   I think David sensed the tension between James and me.  In his usual efficient manner, he organized a complicated croquet competition, not just a simple game, but an elimination tournament.  But it had the desired effect, breaking the tensions and engaging everyone, or at least all the adults except mother and the Mrs. du Preys, younger and pregnant Angela and her mother-in-law.

The competition went on for ever and eventually  came down to what I took to be a sort of sudden death round between David and James.  I could tell David was still playing for the fun of it, but James seemed to have some point to prove and was playing as if a huge purse or a world title hung on every shot.  If the game had depended more on strength, James would have out-classed David in seconds.  He was bigger and stronger than my younger brother and moved as if he were the younger of the two.  I couldn't help but notice how James still moved with the smooth grace of a natural athlete.

Every time I thought the game was over, it seemed to take on new life.  It was only after the competition had ebbed and flowed in that way for over an hour that I realized that David, with his love of complicated games, had decreed some arcane rule about the winner having to achieve a three point margin.  The standoff could go on for ever!  Happily, mother eventually called the game on account of hunger and sent David, James and me off to the barbecue to grill steaks.  That seemed to be the agreed upon signal for a shift in the festivities.   Ben emerged with platters and bowls of  salads, vegetables and breads.  We, "Three Musketeers,"  took orders and began to put prime cuts on the grill.  The women retrieved the children from the pool and sent them off to change.  The drinks table was rearranged.  Lemonade was still allowed, as it was to be the principal libation for the kids.  But beer and the makings of mixed drinks were removed and replaced by wine glasses and a really wonderful Zinfandel.   Carol Ann came over to join us at the grill with a bottle and four glasses so the cooking chores were made considerably more enjoyable by both her company and the excellent wine.

"This is very good,"  I commented.

"Great, isn't it," David said as he held his glass up and swirled it, admiring the deep red color.  "Sonoma, '98.  I think it's one of their best years."

The last of the  steaks, for those who wanted theirs "nearly walking," went on the grill as we continued chatting.  Even James seemed to have been put in a more amiable mood by the friendly banter and the wine.  A couple of times during our steak grilling duties, he looked over at me and smiled.  It was an open, friendly smile and I felt as if any misunderstanding  between us had been healed.

Within a few more minutes our task was done and we began transferring the steaks to platters.  As usual, David had a perfect system,  dividing the steaks by degree of doneness so everyone could find what they desired.  Everyone gathered around the table which served as the buffet and David gave one of his simple, and gloriously brief prayers.   I think in the process he thanked God for the food and made mention of my visit.   I must admit I wasn't listening too well as I was looking across the table at James.  He really is a strikingly handsome man.

The children went off to one long table and got seated with the oversight of their mothers.  We adults filled our plates and move on  to the other equally long table were we were assigned our proper places by my mother, the reigning  lady of the manor.

The food was wonderful and the conversation easy and jovial.  The summer evening progressed into a cooler twilight.  Ben appeared with his wonderful hand-cranked homemade ice cream and plates of mother's cookies.  Hot coffee was served and, as if by prearranged signal, the light breeze shifted to the east, wafting over us the heavy sent of peaches and still cooler evening air. The ladies produced light wraps.    Suddenly I felt as if I was really home!  The air, the scent of peaches and the freshly mown lawns, the murmur of Mississippi voices, all conspired to bring back memories of evenings years ago when I was a teenager and this was the only world I knew.  And there in the midst of it was James!

"Well, old buddy?"   We were a little distance from the others and he was at my side.  "Will the garden gate be open."

"Sure, Jimmy, it's already open."

"I knew I could count on you."  We stood for a moment not speaking, then he asked, "what was that all about earlier?"

"We have to talk."

"Serious talk?  Oh,  Marty, I don't like the sound of that."

"Well, then let's do it first and get it over with."

"First thing?  I'd rather put it off indefinitely.  I brought my car because I told Angela I had to go directly from here up to Memphis for a meeting in the morning.  She'll take mother home."

"And you'll really just drive around and come back here a little later."

"Something like that.   But my car's too conspicuous parked on the back road.  Everybody in the county knows it's mine.  I'll drive out to our equipment building and come back in a pick-up.  Take me about half an hour."

"Take your time.  Mother will probably want me to have a night cap with her."  As I looked around I saw our guests were saying their good-byes.   "I guess the picnic is  breaking up."

"Yeah,  kids' bedtime.  Angela's tired, too."

"You don't have to worry about her being alone?"

"She's still got over a month to go,  Marty."

"Gees,  Jimmy, what did you do to her?  She looks about eleven months pregnant."

"Probably another litter,  Doc  Henderson says.  She'll be fine."

I looked at my watch as he strolled back toward the others.  It was almost ten o'clock.

We walked over to join the others and see them off.   James helped load up their kids and help Angela into her huge utility wagon.. "I'll call you in the morning, hon,"  he said, leaning over to kiss Angela, "and you've got my mobile number if you need me."

"Don't worry, dear,"  his mother spoke up from the passenger side,  "I'm staying over at your house tonight.  Keeping Angela company."

"Well, don't you two party too late," he kidded as they drove off and he slipped into the low seat of his own oversexed, overpriced road toy.

David and Carol Ann were loading up their brood as I walked on over to their van to say good night.  I noticed Tim had joined their two older boys in the rear seat   "Great evening, Marty,"  David called from the far side of the van.  I guess we'll see you Sunday at church."

"Mother hasn't said anything about it.'

"Don't worry, she will.   I guess you were having your talk with James."

"Not yet, at least not the serious part."

"Just setting the stage?"

"Something like that.  By the way, it looks like you've traded Bess for Tim."

"Yeah, the girls got to have Bess sleep over last night so the boys get Tim tonight.  Well, Marty, sleep well.  Maybe I can get away and come `round tomorrow.  If not we'll see you Sunday."  And so said, he and his tribe were off.

Ben joined mother and me once he had cleared the tables, waving to the departing company.  "I guess that's `bout got it, Miss Ann,"  he said when the last car had pulled away.  "I'm heading up to bed, so I'll see you in the morning."

"Night, Ben, and thank you,"  mother said as he left us on the veranda.  "Now, Martin, let's relax with a brandy before we go off to bed."

I followed mother through to the front room, the formal living room of the old house.  "Just a small one for me, dear,"  mother said as I reached for the crystal snifters.   Instead, I poured us each a small liqueur glass of her fine old brandy.

"Well, mother,"  I said, raising my glass to her,  "that was an especially nice evening.  I feel properly welcomed back into the fold."

"Thank you, dear.  I'm glad you enjoyed it."  We were silent for a moment, enjoying the brandy and one another's company.   "Picnics are so much more pleasant than some formal dinner parties.  Especially with the children.   By the say, Martin,  I will be going over to Greenwood in the morning.  You just as well sleep in, if you want.   I should be back in time for lunch."

"Hot date, mother?"  I teased.

"Yes, smart aleck,  a hot date with the building and grounds committee at the church.  And also, Martin, I hope you'll be going with me on Sunday.  We are invited to lunch after the service with the Millers."

"Sure, mother, if that's part of the package.  Does your increased involvement and regular attendance mean you have come to terms with the new rector?"

"Certainly, dear.  I liked him right from the start."

Somehow that was not as I had remembered it.

We finished our brandy and said our good nights.  She went up to her bedroom as I went through to the east wing and the "White Room."

When I entered the room I heard the shower running and knew James was already there.  I locked both doors, the door back into the main block of the house and the door, actually French windows,  out into the little garden.  Then, thinking better of it, I opened the garden doors again and  when through to the gate, which I secured.  It would provide all the privacy we needed.  I left the French windows open, feeling the cool evening air waft in, and with it, the sweet fragrance of ripe peaches.  The scent was heavy, almost too heavy, but it carried with it something very erotic.

Having secured our privacy, I turned back the bed, undressed, throwing my white clothes into the hamper in the bathroom, before sliding back the shower stall door and stepping in to join James.

"Hi, lover,"  he greeted me, slipping his powerful arms around me and pulling my body to his.

"Remember, we talk before we play,"  I barely managed to speak before his lips pressed against mine and any inclination, let alone, any facility, to say anything,  ended.

Oh, god, the joys of a familiar lover!  I had known James all my life.  In many ways he had always been closer than David, my own brother.  We had played together as infants and there were certainly enough photos to prove it.  We had been cub scouts together and then gone on into the troop with older boys.  We had camped and explored and hiked.  We had discussed every question, every mystery which could confront the minds of boys.  And, of course,  chief among such questions was sex.  We had spent many a "sleeping over" at his house or mine, discussing, debating and playing.  We had accustomed ourselves to being naked together.  Jimmy's body was as familiar to me as my own.  There was no part of him, no view of him, that I did not know.

But such play, such exploration, continued through our childhood and early teenage years without crossing that invisible but monumental line into actual  sexual contact.  Then, when we were fifteen, we did  cross that line.  For the first time we explored together the world of sexual intimacy.   Jimmy was my first lover and I was his.  We had taken our time, not so much out of timidity as out of wonder, not wanting to move on to another level of sexual activity until we had mastered the ones we already knew.

And when we did move on, from touching to mutual masturbation, from kissing to oral sex,  and finally,  to fingering and probing and finally, when we were seventeen, to fucking, we took with us the thrills and skills we had already learned, not abandoning the old skills,  but incorporating them into our next discovery.  I did not have sex with another person until I was nineteen.  And then only because Jimmy admitted to me that he had been unfaithful.  I sought revenge as much as I sought variety.   Hey, man, if he could bang some dumb cheerleader, I could to.  It was my first, and one of my few, hetro experiences, and I knew right from the get-go that it really wasn't my gig.

But Jimmy liked girls.   During our high school years we both did the requisite dating.  After all, we were both stars of the local football firmament and for Mississippi teenagers, it doesn't get any bigger than that.

At Old Miss we did our part.  We pledged the same frat, shared a room our first two years and an apartment our last two.  We both played football, trying to fill any position needed.  But neither of us was ever big enough to be really good at any position other than quarterback and we were not the best quarterbacks the university had in those days.  We got our share of time on the field but we were never really stars the way we had been in high school.

The fall of my second year, my brother came up to Oxford as a freshman.  I knew David was bright.  He had always done well in school and had  convinced our parents to let him skip his last year of high school and take an early admission to Old Miss.  He was in love with Carol Ann, the daughter of one of our most prominent local physicians, and they wanted to get married at once.  If it had been me, God forbid, our parents would have talked me out of it, or just plane laid down the law and said no.  But David was a different sort of kid.  He was analytical, cool headed, and very determined.   He knew what he wanted and he and Carol Ann prevailed against all the arguments  both sets of parents could put forward.

They were still seventeen when they got married that August, and went off for a short honeymoon to our family place near Gulf Port.   When they arrived at Oxford, they moved into "Married Student Housing,"  a euphemism for a cluster of little apartment on the edge of the sprawling campus.   I guess they just settled into the live style of an old married couple.   I hardly ever saw them at the university and was completely taken aback when they announced over the Christmas Holidays that Carol Ann was pregnant.   Little Dave was born in early May, and to everyone's amazement, they had the tenacity to stay in school.   By the time they graduated together in 1991, they had produced their second child, Monty, my namesake, and were ready to come back to Winona and take up their stolid, responsible lives.  David went to work for my father and Carol Ann taught half time in the local elementary school.

If David was the stolid family man, I was the playboy, after a fashion.  I certainly studied hard and made good grades, graduating cum laude.  But my life was punctuated by fraternity parties and the usual round of social activities.  Jimmy,  who is just as smart, didn't study any more than absolutely necessary, and slipped by with average or below average grades.  I guess Jimmy knew he was going back to Winona and take over his family's business.  I could have done the same, but didn't want to. As far as I was concerned, that was David's role.   I knew there was no life for me in Mississippi and I was planning my way out.

So for four years we dated, Jimmy a lot and me when I had to.  We had a fair choice of the prettiest girls from the best sororities and,  Jimmy, at least, took them gleefully to bed.   I found that I could do the deed when push came to shove, but it just never turned me on.  So, I guess, it was pretty clear;  Jimmy was bi, I was gay, gay, gay!

But there were many nights when Jimmy returned to our shared room frustrated and horny.  He had made out but hadn't made IT.  And his first words when he came through the door on such nights were,  "let's suck dick."  I was always willing to oblige.   During our senior year, Jimmy began dating Angela and within weeks I knew it was serious.  She was from an old Mississippi family, with roots as long and as deep as the du Preys , or for that matter, the Montgomerys.   It was clear that he was really in love with her, but it didn't stop him wanting sex with me.  So we did our thing with Mr. Reagan and George the First and  retro and punk, such as it was in Oxford, Miss, Miss-missing-out-on-the-mainstream-issippi.

We graduated in the spring of 1990.  I spent two weeks at home, during which I was Jimmy's best man.  I saw him and Angela properly married and shipped off to Switzerland for a two week honeymoon, from which they returned "with child."

 I headed for New York, law school and a new life.  I'd been admitted to Columbia and had a summer job with an old and respected  law firm in Manhattan.  I moved into digs in the East Village and got down to the business of redefining myself.

So here we were, over ten years later.  James was the father of four and I was bucking for partner in a firm which had been around when my ancestor were fighting at Vicksburg, the same firm, I should add, where I had started as a summer acolyte in 1990.

Jimmy moved against me,  his lips freeing mine to move over to my neck and then my shoulder.  "God, Marty, why you so mean to me?"

"I'm not mean, Bo, just trying to keep you from humpin' my leg `till we got alone."

"No, man, you is mean.   Not calling me back, making me wait."

"No, Jimmy, we just got'a talk..."   His lips closed over mine again and the will left me.  Mother's entreaties would just have to wait.

His hands moved down over my back, gripping my ass and pulling it to him, grinding my hard cock into his own.   Okay, what can  you do?  The only thing you can do,  which is flow with it.  We could always talk later.  At that point we both switched to autopilot and the bumpy flight began.

Jimmy reached for the soap and began to lather my ass, running his fingers up and down my crack, massaging my buttocks and then, slowly at first, inserting a finger into my pucker.  I knew where this was going,  but didn't mind a bit.

As his fingers worked their magic on my ass, his mouth continued to attack mine.  His tongue moved slowly, sensuously, over my lips, requesting admission.  I opened a little to him, making him work at it.  His tongue slipped into my mouth, just enough to move over my teeth.  We both moaned and I gave up any attempted resistance.  I opened my mouth to him and worked my tongue into his.  His lips immediately closed around it and he began to suck it as I probed as deeply as I could.

He pulled my left thigh up and I wrapped my lower leg back around him.  That gave him better access to my ass.   He ran the bar of fragrant soap over my buttocks, working up an abundant supply of thick suds.   He chucked the soap was back in its rack with a bang and a rattle.  The guy was impatient.  He wanted it now.  His fingers were again exploring.  One thing was certain,  when Jimmy went after my ass, he wanted it immaculately clean.

A soapy finger again slid in to me, gently circling my sphincter, massaging it, relaxing it.  Oh, Jimmy is good, very good.   As we continued to kiss, our tongues now moving freely from mouth to mouth, his finger slipped easily into me.   He began to rotate it,  working the tight muscles, reminding me that we had a long night ahead.  We were both breathing very hard.

Jimmy broke away from our kiss and began to lick my shoulder as he muttered his little rubrics of love.  "Oh, Marty,  baby, I want it all."   Yes, I thought, we all do, Babe, we all want it all.  But most of us have learned that some choices are necessary.   Jimmy still wanted both the cake and the pie.

"Let's get out of here and dry off.  There's things I want to do to you that's best done in bed."  His finger slipped from my ass and he gave me a rather sharp slap to the butt, turned me and give my backside a final through rinsing.   We broke from our embrace and I reached for towels, finding a generous supply on the shelf by the sliding shower doors.   Ben must have been in freshening things up while the picnic was still going on.

"Come here, boy,"  he whispered after we had dried ourselves and each other .  We moved toward the big bed.   We again embraced and our mouths again met, continuing our explorations.  It was as if we had to repossess each other after three months apart.   "You know what I'm craving."

"Got a pretty good idea."

We flopped onto the bed and Jimmy quickly moved me its center, where he flipped me onto my back and hovered over me, positioning my body to his liking.  He knelt between my legs and lifted them up until I was curled into a tight knot with my knees against my chest.   In that position my ass fully exposed to him.  He bent over me, took my hard cock and began to lick it.  He pulled the knob of my dick into his mouth and swirled his wet tongue around it, savoring the clear fluid which I always produced so quickly and in such abundance.   He knew not to do that vary long or I would have lost it.  His wet tongue worked a path down the length of my shaft, circled and wetting my balls.  Then he sucked them, first one and then the other, into his hungry mouth.

We were both moaning but were quickly moving way beyond words.   His mouth continued on behind my balls, licking, nipping, leaving me very wet and very aroused.  Oh, yes, Jimmy is very, very good.   His tongue found the pucker of my ass and circled it, leaving it wet and yielding.   His tongue circled my pucker again, this time doubling back, doing little pirouettes around its twitching center.  I could feel spasms of pleasure start in my ass and radiate out like sonar waves until my whole body was on the verge of  tripping over into some never-never land of sensory overload.

Jimmy was moaning.  I was moaning when I wasn't begging for more.   His mouth closed over my ass like a seal on a vacuum pump.   He began to suck.   I cried out with the pleasure of it.  His tongue, now very wet and pointed into an arrowhead of rock hard flesh, was probing, insisting on entry.   How could he do that, I wondered, create a suction with his mouth while his tongue pushed forward, demanding admission to my ass.

But then I stopped thinking all together, just lying there, taking it, giving in to the mounting pleasure.  His tongue was in me, slithering forward like an erotic snake.   It reached my sphincter and my sphincter gave up without even trying to mount a defense.  I felt the heat and wet of him, pushing all my resistance aside, making me only want one thing, and that was more of him in me.   Why could I never resist him, never get enough of him?

In the old days he could come in from a date, walk into our dorm room, all hot and cocky, and say "let's suck dick," and I'd be pulling my shorts off before he had the door locked.  He could lie to his wife about some trumped up meeting in Memphis, walk into my room and take a shower, knowing that when I came in and found him there, I'd buckle in seconds if I even tried to  resist.

"Oh, god, Jimmy,  I can't take much more of that."

He raised up from my ass and looked up between my elevated legs with his sparkling, mischievous eyes.  He was running his eyes up over my hard, twitching dick, over my abs and chest and my mouth, locking like the modules of a space station, his eyes locked on my eyes.  "So what you want, stud?"  he growled,  "tell me what you what you want?"

By that point his tongue had reduced me to a mass of quivering submission.   "Fuck me, goddamnit, you know what I want!"

"Make nice, baby.   I know your mama taught you better than that."   He had raised up as he spoke so he was towering over me.

"Shit, Jimmy, get your dick in my ass!"

"Not good enough."    His growl had taken on a menacing undertone.

I glared at him.  "You bastard.   You get me so hot I can't stop shaking and then you want to play power games.  Is this the way you treat your employees?   I'm sure as hell glad I don't work for you."

He slapped me hard across the face.   We both liked it a little rough and our sexual journeys often took a somewhat violent turn.   But this time I was caught off guard.  Before I could stop it, my eyes were watering from the sharp sting to my cheek and I bit my tongue,  trying to regain some measure of control before speaking again.   I would not let him win at this game.   I saw we were both breathing hard but sensed that for some reason I couldn't understand,  I was rapidly moving onto another emotional level.  A kind of icy calm swept over me and all of a sudden I realized that in some perverse way,   I,  not Jimmy,  was in control.

I reached up and clasped his shoulders, drawing him down on to me.  I guess he thought it was an act of submission, a gesture of surrender, taking the solid weight of his  body onto mine.    He collapsed onto me,  limply,  unguarded, as if by his new tenderness he was asking forgiveness for his outburst.  It was at that moment, when he lay supine against me, that I acted.   I heaved up with more strength than I knew I had, flipping him over, off me to the side.  Then, before Jimmy could react, I yanked his powerful body back into the center of the bed, where a split second earlier,  I had laid.  Then I  fell with the full force of my weight onto him.

There was a kind of   "oomph" as the breath was driven from his lungs and his whole body screamed for air.  But I didn't let him have it, the air, I mean.  I dove for  him, covering his mouth with my own as my right hand came up to cup his nose, denying him breath as my right elbow pinned his weakened and quivering left arm flat on the bed.   I must have hit a nerve because when he tried to free his arm he uttered a muffled groan and gave up on any attempt to lift it.  His right arm, though, was free, and he began to pummel my side and shoulder, attempting in vain to free himself.

Jimmy's mouth had gaped open as he instinctively tried  to suck air.  Instead it was my mouth he sucked!  I held him firmly, running my tongue languidly over his teeth and then probing deep into his mouth, further adding to his sense of vulnerability.   I was feeling the need for breath as well, but not as desperately as Jimmy, who, after all, had, quite literally, had his breath knocked out of him.  His eyes  began to widen as he realized I not only controlled his body, but also his breath.  He flailed again and again at my shoulder with his one free fist, but I would not retreat.  In his panic, Jimmy's cock had lost its erection, becoming soft, spongy, trapped between my belly and his.  My own cock, equally trapped, was has hard as a rock, pulsing against him, demanding release.

Finally, when I sensed his need for air was reaching a point of urgency, I gave him mine, not moving my mouth from his or removing my cupped hand from his nose, but breathing in through my nose and then expelling the air through my mouth into his.  It was a strangely intimate action, as if his very life was dependent on what he took from mine.

Jimmy settled down under my weight, under my control.  His eyes lost their look of panic and his body became limped and compliant.  His right hand which had been balled into a fist, striking out at any part of my body he could reach, relaxed and began to move with seductive grace over my shoulder and back, coming to rest after a few moments on my upper arm, where it gripped my biceps and then began to slowly, sensuously, stroke the balled muscle.

I released his left arm and it came up immediately, moving around my neck and then moving down over my shoulder, finally coming to rest in the small of my back, where it pressed me to him.  His urgent groans had become a seductive murmur as we went on exchanging breath, my fresh breath passing into him through his gaping mouth, he in turn exhausting his spent breath back into me.

He began again to suck my tongue,  sucking it hard, as if it was a cock, letting his own tongue roam over it,  circle it, charm it.

We moaned together and I realized that his own cock was hard again, throbbing against me.  His hips began to undulate, moving  slowly and seductively.  He was humping against me.

I moved my mouth from his, just a little at first.  Then I reclaimed it, sealing his mouth with mine.  Then I came up again, letting him breath on his own, unassisted, by my mouth and lungs.   He moaned deeply and   attempted to move up against me.

"You okay, Puppy?"  I whispered in his ear.  Puppy.  It had been my secret name for him, the name I only used while we were making love.   Only we knew it and neither of us could   remember its origin.  At such times he always called me Bo.

"Oh, yeah,"  he responded, a soft whisper.

I wiggled around a little, forcing his legs apart and settling in between them.

"Get your legs up.  I'm going to fuck you."

He complied immediately, bring his legs up and locking them around my torso.  My cock moved against him, pushing into his exposed crack,  seeking and finding his pulsing rosebud.   Old habits, I thought, my body knowing his, his knowing mine.

"You wanted me to beg for it, didn't you?"  I whispered into his right ear.


"Well, it didn't work, did it?"


"I'm not asking, Pup.  I'm taking."


"I'm taking what's mine."

"Yeah,"  he moaned again as the wet, weeping head of my cock slid into him.

I rested there, not wanting to hurt him, wanting to give his little-used ass time to adjust to my presence.   It wasn't long before he moaned again.

"Yeah, Bo.  Do it, come on in me.  Come in all the way."

I pushed forward slowly, watching is eyes as I entered him.  His eyes always gave me all the direction I needed.   When they screwed up a little I held back, moved a little slower or stayed stone-still and waited for the little, almost imperceptible nod.  Then I  again pushed in a little more.

"Oh, yeah, Bo, get it in me,"  he moaned again.  "Fuck me, man, fuck my hungry ass," his voice was slipping into the drone of an esoteric chant, ceasing to be words, ceasing to be intelligible.   His voice was taking on an animal quality,  the quality of raw, urgent, hot, man to man sex.  "Yeah, fuck me, man, fuck me, lover. Fuck me Bo."

I pounded him mercilessly,  rammed forward with such strength that shock waves moved through his whole body with an almost cosmic force.  He stayed with me, riding it out, wanting more, demanding that last ounce of my might,  joining me to him, making us one.

In moments like that I realized that in some real sense Jimmy and I really were linked, not just by our bodies, but by our vary souls.  A part of him belonged to Angela and parts of me had been claimed by a succession of lovers from Paris to Rome, from New York to San Francisco, but on some mystical level,  Jimmy was truly mine and I was truly his.

It couldn't last.  I felt the end approaching like a summer storm,  like a storm front moving in.   My brain was reeling with  images of us together, in my old bedroom as kids, exploring. experimenting, then groping in  parked cars, steeling a few moments, wanting to be alone, wanting each other.  There were images of us in our dorm room and then the apartment at the university.  And finally, there were images of us in this room, this bed, during earlier visits, images of him fucking me, of me fucking him.  The  scent of ripe peaches swept over us, filling the room, mixing with the equally erotic scent of sweat and hard, pounding, male sex.

"Almost there, Pup,"  I murmured, "going  to flood your ass real soon unless you want me to pull out first.

"Oh, god, Marty, don't leave me, don't pull out."  I thrust into him again.

"No rubber, Bo.  Not wearing a rubber.  Maybe I should pull out before I come."  Again, my body pounded into his.

"Who gives a shit," he hissed.  I rammed my flaming cock into his willing ass,  nearing the end, I couldn't keep it up much longer.

"I'm okay, Pup.  Been tested, I mean.  Just been tested.  I'm safe,"   a partial withdrawal, almost all the way out this time.  He must have thought I was going to leave him and gripped my buttocks all the more strongly with his ankles, which were crossed and locked behind me.  It was hard to say a single word, let along a complete sentence.  We were both gasping for air with each attempt to communicate.

"Fuck me, Bo, just fuck me hard."  I rammed back again, hard, mercilessly and  went over the edge.

The shock wave began in the pit of my gut, moving down through my groin.  When the shock wave hit my balls, it gained  strength and speed like a tropical storm moving over warm seas.   My cock pulsed and expanded, it twitched and then held suddenly very still, as if it was awaiting the meltdown of our mutual core.  Then, like a burst dam, my semen shot from me, hitting the walls of his gut with such force that he moaned like he had been shot.  While I was still in the midst of the spasm, I felt Jimmy's own seed spill forth,  filling the sharply defined valleys of his hard belly and overflowing, trickling down his sides, forming little lakes and pools in the wrinkles of the ravaged sheets.

Ben would not have to wonder what went on in my bed tonight!