"Plaquemines Parish" Part 12

By: Pee Jay



After Mike left for the office, Dave wanted to see the stats on my mage. I agreed but wanted to change into my work clothes and do it from his house. That way, I would be closer to work in the likely event we became engrossed, losing track of time.

At Dave's house, we logged on to the World of Warcraft armory and compared his hunter to my mage. It was obvious I was much better geared than he so I said, "I'm gonna own you in a duel." I had my mage up to level sixty and he was a poorly geared level thirty-five. He had no reason to be cocky.

He put up a weak rebuttal saying, "Yeah, but you can't kill my pet."

He knew he was full of it. I told him to log on in the morning and I'd `spank him', we both had a good laugh.

I was getting ready to leave when Daphne, Dave's sister, appeared in the doorway. Actually, she was blocking it. She had that angry look on her face again and I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out why she was so bitchy. It seemed like she was on a never-ending mean mission.

"What are you fags up to?" she asked.

I started laughing. With that mean-ass look on her face and the way she placed her hands on her hips, she should be going out for varsity football, maybe guard or tackle.

"Who wants to know?" Dave said.

She got a twisted look on her face then said, "Don't be a smart ass, homo. Did you kiss and make up with fag-boy there?"

I didn't get mad at her for referring to me that way. I did, however, feel the need to defend myself since she started it.

"You're one to talk," I said, "I can see the headlines in the school paper now. `Diesel Dyke Daphne Letters in Varsity Football - Caps Season with Full Ride to State'."

Dave burst out laughing and hauled me down with him, collapsing on the bed. We laughed our asses off for a couple minutes.

Dave said, "Be careful, Val. She might kick your ass."

"Or crush me to death," I added making us laugh some more.

While we were rolling around, slowly beginning to feel normal again, Daphne said, "What a disgusting site. They even laugh faggy."

"Get lost," Dave said. "The refrigerator's that-a-way." He pointed toward the stairs.

She gave Dave a smirk and the finger. We were both glad to see her turn sideways and shuffle out. She walked like a Sumo wrestler. Then I told Dave I had to gear up and get to work so he walked me to the door. I was tempted to kiss him but I kept my distance putting my shoes on.

When I punched-in at work, Rob was arriving.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey, yourself; has Roger invited you to the party?"

"No. When did he ask you?"


"Oh," I said. "I kinda hope he doesn't ask. I don't want to go."

"Why not?"

"I don't know. I'm not crazy about the idea, maybe `cause he's the boss."

"He has great parties. The restaurant caters them. The owner's will be there with their wives, too. They stay for an hour or so, then leave. That's when the fun starts. Last time I went to one of his parties, I got lucky."

"What was the party for?"

"It was the company Christmas party."

"Maybe he wants me to work. We can't all go."

"Well, yeah we can. You come when you get off work. By that time all the straight people are gone...get the picture?"

"Yeah," I said. It still didn't seem like a hot idea.

There would probably be alcohol and who knows what all. And as far as getting lucky? Forget it. I had enough romance for one summer. Staying under the radar sounded darn good. Then I couldn't help thinking about Mark. There're exceptions to every rule! I had to smile.

"What's so funny?" Rob asked.

I exhaled knowing he was going to get it out of me eventually, so I told him about Mark. I described his handsome face, his shiny light brown hair, his blue eyes and masculine frame. I even told him how firm his thighs were. That was a big mistake because I had to explain. Aside from recalling my poor judgment, relating the experience was beginning to excite me. Then I remembered wanting to move my hand higher to his crotch. Damn, I have to stop thinking about guys and dicks. It's turning into an obsession.

"So you gonna go out with him or what?"

"Probably not. I'd be surprised if he calls after groping him in public like I did."

Rob laughed saying, "I bet he calls. Anyone would give their left nut to be groped by you."

"Yeah right," was all I said then went about work.

I had one of my better nights as far as tips go. One of the other waiters called in sick so Rob and I split his section. It was hectic but proved well worth it at the end of the night.

On the streetcar going home, I told Rob how Dave and I decided to be friends. Rob told me about a guy he met in one of the bars in the Quarter. He planned to see him over the weekend. He was going to sleep with him if things worked out. He said his name was Colin and he was from Australia. He called him `an awesome Aussie' making me chuckle. I told him I wanted all the details come Monday.

We wished each other goodnight then I alit at my usual stop. I went straight to bed when I got home.

The next morning, I lay awake in bed with my dick so hard I thought it would explode! I was fantasizing about Mark. I took a hairbrush from the drawer of the nightstand and a bottle of lotion. I greased the handle of the brush and lubed myself. I moved my legs further apart spreading my cheeks and began to rub the handle over my hole as though it were a boner attached to some hot stud, someone like Mark. I stroked myself with the other hand feeling good. The euphoria was enough that I wanted to work the handle in.

There was a knock on the door, pushing my panic button. I scrambled for the sheet but I was lying on top of it. Raising my ass, I kicked it to the foot of the bed. I sat up and pulled it over me then lay there panting, and doubtless, red-faced as the sheet slowly deflated.

"Come in," I eked out.

The door opened and Mike stepped in asking, "What was all the commotion about? How come you're still in bed? Are you feeling okay?" Then his eyes did a quick scan making him grin. The sheet had come to rest.

"I'm fine Mike," I said meekly. "I slept a little late is all."

He stood there grinning like a schoolgirl then nodded and went downstairs. I was so thankful he left. I looked down at myself to see my boner poking the sheet up and realized he'd seen it and the lotion. I was embarrassed to the max and more than grateful he hadn't witnessed the rest of it. I was still boned up so I went to the bathroom to jerk off; which I did successfully with the door locked, fingering myself...it was gooood!

Mike and Steve were in the kitchen finishing their coffee, ready for work.

"Morn'in Steve," I said on my way in.

"Morn'in Sport."

"Did you take care of business?" Mike asked.

God, I couldn't believe he said that. What a dick! My face was growing warmer by the second. I sat at the table as if nothing were said.

"What business?" Steve asked.

"Sport, over there, was tending to some personal business this morning."

He was grinning like mad then Steve got the gist of it and chuckled. I lowered my head to my arms on the table. I was mortified. Actually, dying seemed like a viable alternative.

"Just go to work you guys ...the sooner the better."

Steve was laughing loud with Mike threatening to outdo him. I wanted to crawl under the table; it was that bad.

Steve walked over and massaged my shoulder saying, "It's okay. There's no reason to be embarrassed. It's a pretty normal guy thing." Then he tried hard to stifle another laugh but it didn't work.

"Is it a normal guy thing to barge in like that?" I asked trying to deflect some attention to Mike.

"Hey, I knocked and you said to come in. That's not barging in. If you weren't ready you should have said something."

"Yeah, like anything I say is gonna stop you from doing what you do... Mr. Nosey."

"Whatever," Mike said.

"See what I mean?"

Mike turned around to warm his coffee. He had a big mocking grin on his face.

Steve changed the subject. "We're taking off on the boat for the weekend. How does that sound?"

"I would like to go but I can't. I have to work Saturday night."

"I'll take care of Roger," Mike said. "You're not staying here alone."

"I don't want to get fired Mike. I need that job."

"Believe me, everything will be fine. Roger owes me one. He wouldn't dare fire you unless you really screw up."

I studied him intently. I wondered why Roger was in his debt so I asked, "Why does Roger owe you?"

"That's privileged information bound by attorney-client confidentiality. That's all I can tell you."

"Whoa! Roger was in trouble huh?"

"He had a problem and I helped him with it. So don't go spreading any rumors based on what you don't know." He said pointing a finger. "Do I make myself clear?"

"Yeah, Mike, loud and clear. So where are we going?"

Steve said, "We leave first thing Saturday morning for Avery Island."

"I was there a couple months ago with Dave and his family. Maybe you could drop me off at Mom's and pick me up on the way back."

They both agreed and Mike said he would call Mom's office to see if she was okay with the idea. They left for work so I took my cell phone and book out on the deck. I powered up the phone and saw a new message so I highlighted it to listen. It was Mark! He called last night while I was at work. My palms started getting sweaty at the thought of returning his call.

I was reclining on a chaise lounge so I selected his number from caller id then hit send, holding my breath. It appeared to be a cell number from the looks of it. A couple rings later and Mark said, "Hi, Val, how are you?"

"Good thanks. Sorry I missed your call, I have to keep it off at work, and I was working last night."

"Forget it. I was wondering if you'd like to ... I mean if you want to do something. Like hang out or go somewhere."

Wow! First off, I couldn't believe he called and second, he wanted to ... I guess you'd say ... go on a date. Hell, yes, I do; now, how to do this without appearing overly anxious?

"I'd like that," I said as calmly as I could though my stomach was knotted. "Where do you live?"

"Metarie; how `bout you?"

"In the lower Garden District on Magazine Street and I don't have a car."

"I have one. It's not so great but it's mine. I bought it with my own money."

"Oh," I said somewhat impressed. Here was a guy that didn't have things handed to him; he worked for it! I liked that. "Hey, it's better than my car."

He made a half-hearted laugh then said, "Well, how `bout it?"

There was really nothing to think about so I said, "Okay, when do you want to get together?" I thought that sounded better than `when do you want to go out'.

"How `bout Saturday night? We could go out to eat or see a movie or walk around the Quarter. I don't care."

"The Quarter is off limits for me," I said. "And Saturday morning we're leaving on the boat for Avery Island." That sounded too pretentious so I added, "It's not mine or anything. I'm going as a guest."

"Oh," he said with disappointment.

"Do you have to work today?" I asked.

"Yeah, but I'm on nights now. I go in at four in the afternoon and get off whenever."

I thought about getting him off whenever, maybe sooner! It made me smile.

"You feel like coming over? I don't have to go in until three."

"What do you do?" he asked.

"Oh, that's right I never told you. I'm a waiter, too."

I told him where I worked. He was impressed with the restaurant. It was evident that I made more money. Our restaurant was one of the best in town—with a reputation to match—and he was working at a private club. They didn't have the traffic that our restaurant had, and our prices were much higher.

He agreed to come over, so I gave him the coordinates, then we said goodbye. I was quite excited and nervous as could be. I was attracted to him and wanted him to feel the same way. I went upstairs to shower and clean up. I wasn't sure what to wear. I held some shorts up in front of the mirror before I made my decision. I chose a T-shirt and sandals to go with my favorite pair of shorts, then went back to the bathroom to check my hair. After some adjustment, I was pleased with the look so I went downstairs to leave a note on the door. I planned to be `relaxing' on the deck when he arrived, if that were possible.

Relaxing was the last thing I was able to do. It seemed like forever, but twenty minutes later, I heard a car pull in the driveway. Mark came around to the side gate and let himself in. I watched as he crossed the narrow strip of lawn and scaled the stairs to the deck.

"Hi; your directions were perfect."

Good God, everything about me froze up. He was wearing a sleeveless muscle shirt and short shorts. His legs had some hair below the knees and his arms were muscled with noticeable traces of light brown hair around his pits. No wonder his thighs felt firm, he looked like a super model or, more accurately, super stud, I wasn't sure. One thing was for certain, he was one hundred percent male oozing sex appeal.

"Hi; make yourself comfortable," I said motioning to a chaise lounge. "Can I get you something?"

He straddled a chaise and sat down. "An ice tea if you have it."

I watched him squat and sit. He was magnificent! His body was to die for. All I could think of was `how could I possibly compare'. I felt small and insignificant next to him though we were nearly the same height. I couldn't help thinking what it would be like, him lying on top of me.

"Okay, I'll be right back," I said.

I went to the kitchen and paced around stroking my hair. This guy that captivated me was ... well, captivating me. I wanted to be with him so bad. Then I wasn't sure what I wanted. Did I want to be with him, meaning spending time, as in relationship, or was it sex I had in mind? I guessed it was sex. How else could I explain the bulge in my pants and the itch I was feeling? I wanted that itch scratched so bad I could hardly stand it.

I composed myself and poured him an ice tea. I took it outside and handed it to him.

"Here, I forgot to ask if you wanted sugar or anything."

"It's fine. I prefer unsweetened tea."

My chaise was facing his at an angle so looking at him was easy. I had my sunglasses on so I wasn't worried about staring. My gaze moved downward taking in every curve and bulge. His tits were nice firm mounds, the nipples forming their own mini-tents under his shirt. His biceps and legs were defined not to mention his face and that round butt—it was too much. I was engrossed in his masculinity when he said, "This is a nice place you have here. What's that building used for?" He nodded toward the guesthouse and garage.

"The front portion is the garage. Behind it is a guesthouse. It was originally the servant's quarters but Mike and Steve converted it to living space for guests."

When he asked about Mike and Steve, I gave him the abridged version. He kept peppering me with questions so I started from the beginning and told him to stop me if he was getting bored. I began with the move to Louisiana and finished with meeting him at the yacht club. I gave him every detail including our shack, everything. I even told him the part about Dave. I omitted the reason we weren't together. He asked a few questions along the way, which I answered.

I finally shut up, not because I was trying to hide anything, I was getting tired of monopolizing the conversation and afraid of boring him.

"Wow," he said. "You've been through a lot in the last few months. Do you like living with Mike and Steve?"

I didn't hesitate. "Oh, yeah; I like it a lot. I think of them as Dad's. I can honestly say I care for them, maybe even love them." Then my face began warming up.

He smiled, "You don't have to be embarrassed to say you love someone. I think it's nice."

I asked him how he came to work at the yacht club and other things about himself. He said he'd been working there for years. He used to work at the marina and got the waiters job when he was old enough. He said the waiters were the best-compensated employees, management aside.

He said he was going to be a senior in the fall and I told him I was, too. I told him the part about being one of, if not, the youngest in my grade and how I would be turning seventeen shortly after school started. He was going to turn eighteen in January.

We talked about all sorts of things. He told me he had a brother, but when his parents divorced, he went with their father and Mark stayed with their mother. He said his mother re-married and he respected his stepfather but there really wasn't much love there. He said both of them worked. Then he seemed to get embarrassed as he told me about his house and how it wasn't as nice as this one.

I assured him it was nicer than our shack reminding him that this was in no way my house. I told him I was a tenant here and it was home for now but that would change down the road. I was very clear and gentle when I told him, `it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor; what's important is how you are when you're rich or poor' and I expressed it sincerely, punctuating it with a smile. It was an expression Dad often repeated to make us feel better. I hoped it had the same effect on him.

It was getting late in the afternoon to the point I had to consider getting ready for work so I said, "I'm glad you came over. I really enjoyed the afternoon but I have to get ready for work."

"So I guess we won't see each other this weekend. When are you coming back?"

"I'll bet Mike and Steve would let you come along if you want." I cringed inwardly having said it. I was planning to stay with Mom and that meant he would see our shack. Hell, he'd have to spend the night there! What did I open myself up to?

"I don't know," he said. "I've never met them and I only met you a few days ago. I don't know."

"They're going to drop me off at Buras in Plaquemines Parish so I can spend the night with Mom. You already know who she is. Think about it, okay?"

"Okay, how did your mother meet Bill, anyway? He's on the board of directors at the club."

"I'm not sure. She came home from a meeting here in town and said she met him, then they started dating. That's about all I know."

"He's one of the nicest members at the club, everyone likes him," he said. "Would you like a ride to work?"

That sounded much better than the streetcar so I said, "You sure?"

"Yeah," it's only a couple miles out of the way."

"Okay, come on in. It'll only be a few minutes."

I led him into the kitchen and re-filled his ice tea then told him I would be down in a flash.

"You need help changing?" he asked.

Well that sounded pretty good, but now was not the time for messing around so I said, "Next time, I'm running a bit behind." Then I headed for the stairs.

As I changed, I couldn't help thinking how nice and genuinely sincere he was. The fact that I was attracted to him was old news. I really liked the way he thought and handled himself. He could have any guy or girl he wanted, yet here he was with me! He was so different from Dave. He was thoughtful and deliberate, not assuming and reckless, though Dave's disdain for authority held a certain fascination. And he worked for his money, I liked that. It made him seem down to earth. At least I didn't feel inferior for having to work. That was nice, he understood the way things were.

Whereas Dave was gregarious and self-confident ... one might say cocky at times, Mark tended to be deliberate and respectful. I liked his sincerity, I could relate to that. And handsome? Mark had the looks and the body. Though Dave's looks were nothing to discharge, his body didn't measure up reminding me of my own inadequacies. I finished up and went downstairs.

"Ready?" I said.

Mark was sitting at the table looking at a magazine. He looked up and said, "Wow, you look good in your uniform."

I was embarrassed so I stood there looking down and said softly, "Thanks."

He rose and said, "Ready as I'll ever be." Then he winked and smiled.

I smiled and thought about licking him. He looked that delicious.

"This way," I said motioning toward the back door. I led the way allowing him to exit then locked the door.

We got in his car and he fired it up. On the way to work, he looked my way a few times and smiled. I wasn't the least bit embarrassed staring at him. I had a weak moment so I said, "I'm glad I met you."

"Me, too, I hope we can be friends."

That screwed me up big time. Of course I wanted to be friends, I was hoping for something more. He was smiling at me though, that was a good sign. I decided not to dwell on it.

He pulled into the parking lot facing the front door. He cut the engine saying, "I saved your cell number on my phone. Is it okay to call you after work?"

"Sure," I agreed, "If I don't answer it's because I'm still working and it's turned off. I'll call you back when I finish."

Rob was approaching the front door so I reached in front of Mark and tooted the horn. When he looked our way, I stuck my hand out the window and waved him over. Then I turned to Mark and said, "I would like you to meet a friend of mine, Rob. He's a good guy."

I introduced them and they shook hands exchanging pleasantries. After some small talk, Rob excused himself and went inside telling Mark how nice it was to meet him. Before he left, he gave me a nod and a smile. I was very sure he would have something to say later.

"I should get going, too," I said. Then I stared at him wondering if it would be okay to kiss him. I really wanted to, but I didn't want to make a fool of myself again.

"Okay," he said. "Do you want to get together tomorrow?"

It was an easy decision for me. I wanted to be around him as much as possible. I hoped the feeling was mutual.

"Yeah, you wanna come over and sit in the spa tomorrow? It's very soothing."

"Okay, we'll talk later." With that, he leaned over and kissed me.

It happened so fast, all I could do was purse my lips then it was over. I climbed out of the car and walked toward the front door. I was on autopilot walking mindlessly. He started his car and before I went in, I turned to have a quick look. He waved through the open window so I waved back then went inside.

Rob was setting tables as I walked through the dining room to punch-in. I looked at him with a big grin on my face, he was smiling, too. It looked like I might have some explaining to do.

The evening passed quickly with Rob and me discussing Mark every chance we had. I was getting tired of talking about it, so I asked him about Colin which made him back off. I was glad for the temporary respite. At the end of the night, I waited by the front door for him to finish.

As I paced around biding time, Roger approached saying he and Mike talked and it was okay for me to be off Saturday. I thanked and assured him, I had no choice in the matter so he wouldn't think I was copping out. He invited me to the party at his house the coming weekend, so I thanked him again and said I would let him know after I asked for permission. I thought that would be a good way to get out of it, should I decide to. Before we said goodnight, he told me to bring a friend if I wanted. Then Rob and I rode the streetcar home.

We talked about each other's romantic interests.

I said, "It would be nice to meet Colin sometime."

"We'll work something out one of these weekends. By the way, are you and Mark together now? You don't waste much time," then he laughed and elbowed me.

"Time will tell. He's coming over tomorrow. We're going to hop in the spa. I don't know him very well, but what I know I like. I wish I didn't have to leave this weekend."

"Take him with you."

"I don't think that'll happen. Mike and Steve haven't met him yet and he probably has to work."

The ride home was to the point where we didn't have to ring the bell for our stop. The driver knew where we got off. As the streetcar slowed down, I rose and we wished each other good night then I descended to the pavement waving at the driver. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and powered it up. There was a message from Mark so I listened, then called him. As the phone rang, I sat on the bench at the stop under the wash of the streetlight.

A couple, three rings and he answered. "Hi, Val, where are you?"

"On my way home."

"Me, too, how was work?"

"Okay I guess, are you still coming over tomorrow?"

"Yeah, I'll be there for lunch," then he chuckled.

"Sounds good, bring a bathing suit. Have you given any more thought to this weekend?"

"Yeah, we can talk about it tomorrow; sleep well."

"Thanks, you too."

Then we said good night and hung up. I walked the six or so blocks to the house and let myself in. I turned the lights off as I made my way to my room and went to bed.

As I lay in bed with my hands behind my head, I recalled what I knew about Mark. Sure, the physical aspect was there; I was focusing on Mark the person, the Mark that had a job and bought his own car. Mark, the guy that lived in a lousy house with his mother and apathetic stepfather. The guy that worked his way up at the yacht club to waiter ... that Mark. And lastly, certainly not least, Mark, the hunk of maleness. He was calm, confident, and a bit reserved, mindful of the people and situations around him. I liked his sense of honor and dignity, it underscored his charm. I pulled a pillow between my legs and grasped one with my arms then rolled to my side.

In the morning, I was the first one down, as usual, so I started the coffee. I took some bagels out of the freezer then went upstairs to retrieve the book I was reading and take a whiz.

I took up my post at the kitchen table, reading. I was into Steve's stash of spy stories in the guesthouse. The one I was currently hooked on was "The Scarlatti Inheritance" by Ludlum. It was an older copy of another thriller, difficult to set aside. I liked the idea of not having to pay for them, too.

Steve was first down. I watched him to see what frame of mind he was in. I guess I did that because of Mike. Steve was always Steve. Mike, on the other hand, was the wildcard. So I said, "Steve, I met someone."

"Nice; who did you meet?"

"His name is Mark. I would like you guys to meet him."

"Sure, why don't you invite him over?"

"Steve, I really like him. He works at the yacht club where Bill's a member, that's where I met him."

He came over placing his coffee on the table and sat next to me.

"I think you should take it slow," then he put his arm around me, "I don't want to put a damper on things and I especially don't want to see you get hurt. Remember how sure of yourself you were with Dave?"

I nodded knowing where he was headed. "Yeah," I said quite sure this would be different. "I know what you're going to say."

"Good; I'm going to say it anyway, okay?"

I didn't have much choice so I said, "Yeah; okay."

He took a sip of his coffee collecting his thoughts then set it down. "Val," he said deliberately. "We both think highly of you and want what's best. If I could wave a magic wand and make Camelot, I'd gladly do it. Unfortunately, that's out of the question. It's wishful thinking. There are obstacles and disappointments as we go through life, lessons to learn, too. I don't want to see you go through anymore of that than necessary. What I'm trying to say ... you've experienced a lot these past few months. So, be cautious and guard your affections. They're easily given and hard to recoup when they've been exploited. You're going to have a lot of those situations. You're a very attractive young man."

"Steve. I want it to be different with Mark. We have a lot in common, too."

He chuckled and I had to look at him. I knew he was trying to help by voicing his concerns; I really appreciated it. What I wanted was his blessing.

"I really like him," I said.

"What do you like about him?"

"Well you should see him, Steve; he's sooo handsome. He has a job; he works. He bought his own car, too. He's sooo good looking. He's interesting, smart, and responsible. In case I forgot to mention it, he's sooo handsome!" Then I couldn't resist smiling.

Steve couldn't help being infected by my enthusiasm.

Mike was standing in the doorway wearing a suit, holding his coffee in one hand. He had a grin on his face. He looked like model material, hotter than Hades. I had to smile when I noticed the gel in his hair, thinking `he looks good when he primps'.

"I hope you don't plan on tooling around town in his car, Sport. You need permission when you deviate from your appointed rounds."

"I know, Mike. Geez, give me some credit, will ya?"

"I'll credit you a certain ceremony, not so long ago, when said permission went overlooked," he raised his eyebrows and cocked his head.

I rolled my eyes as I stood up saying, "How can you always be right? Oh, wait a minute! I remember a certain attorney with a hangover ... not so long ago," I said in passing. Then I pointed at him while raising my eyebrows and cocking my head.

"You lil sh...," he caught himself, "twerp."

"Clean that mouth up, mister," I said with authority.

Then I felt a foot contact my ass. I had the feeling I bested Mike, evidenced by his kick. I held my cheeks taut in the event he wasn't done kicking my ass. I asked him, "Is it okay if Mark comes over to sit in the spa this afternoon?"

He turned around giving me a cold look. `Uh oh, here comes the bad news,' was all I could think.

"As long as you keep things above board, it's okay. I have court today, so I may be home early, depending on when our case is called."

I wondered why Mike was being so strict. He never did that when Dave came around. Come to think of it, the situation was different. I was going to leave if that's what it took to be with him; good Lord, what a mistake that would have been!

"Okay, Mike; whatever you say."

"When can we meet him?" Steve asked.

"Maybe today, if you come home early. I have to leave by two-thirty for work."

Mike motioned for me to approach him so I did. He gave me a firm hug and I returned it with equal fervor; then he said, "See ya later, Sport."

Then Steve and I hugged, and they left for work.

After my conversation with Steve, there was a lot to think about. Sure, I was attracted to Mark; who wouldn't be? I wanted this to be different. If it weren't for Mike and Steve, things could have turned out disastrous with Dave. Mark, on the other hand, wasn't privileged or maybe I should say, spoiled. He worked, too. He knew what it was like.

Mark showed up at lunchtime with a pizza, so we ate in the kitchen. He was curious about the guesthouse, so I took him inside when we finished. The place was starting to have a musty smell, so I turned the air conditioning on to remove some of the humidity. The furniture was covered with white sheets so it was difficult to get a good appreciation of the decor. He particularly liked the little den where Steve kept his stash of spy novels.

Then he got his bathing suit and changed in the guesthouse while I changed in my room. We sat in the spa for a couple hours talking. I learned his last name was Doucet and wondered if I had some sort of telepathy for picking guys with French heritage. He said his family didn't know he was gay and wanted to keep it that way until he graduated high school and was out of the house.

I asked him if he was ever involved with another guy and he said he was for a short time. It was two summers ago while his parents were divorcing. He and his brother were living with their maternal grandmother in Alexandria; he said she was a Natchez Indian. Their association ended when his parents finalized their divorce and he moved in with his mother.

When I asked him about his surname, he said it was his father's, who was Cajun. He laughed then said, "Mom's half Indian. That makes me twenty-five percent Indian."

I was a little confused so I asked, "You mean from India or the native American kind?"

"Native American, she's half Natchez Indian like grandma."

"Oh," I said, "If she's half Indian, what's the rest of her heritage?"

"She's half French and half Natchez Indian. Well, that's what she claims, but Grandad's family has some Irish, Italian, and Dutch mixed in there. We don't argue with her, it's pointless," he said with a sigh then smiled. And a charming smile it was at that.

I had the impression she was resolute when it came to her ancestry, and it wasn't worth arguing as far as Mark was concerned.

"Have you ever explored the Indian side of your heritage?" I asked.

"Yeah, I've done some reading and actually visited some historic sites. The Natchez were part of a larger group called the Plaquemine culture ranging from eastern Louisiana into western Mississippi. Actually, it's pretty interesting. Don't get me started or I'll bore you to death."

"I don't find it boring. I think it's fascinating. I wouldn't mind seeing some historic sites, either. Maybe I'll suggest that to Bill, he's kind of a history buff. He's into that kind of thing; he's interesting, too."

"Oh," he said. "I was researching the St. Johns' Eve ceremony you guys went to on the net. What was it like?"

I gave him the complete and sordid story including the trip to Mother Wattle's shop in the Quarter. This time I included the part about Dave and Greg. Then he remarked how fortunate it was for him that Dave did what he did. It was still a little too fresh in my mind to see the good, if any.

"Why do they call her Mother Wattles?" Mark asked.

"I have no idea but if you ever meet her, you'll see the name fits her to a tee. That's her mambo name. Her real name is Cleopatra Renaud. Why?"

"Because wattle-and-daub is a primitive building material the Natchez and other tribes used to form walls for their huts."

"Oh," I said smiling. "I see what you mean about getting you started."

He splashed water at me in a playful way; I couldn't withhold a laugh.

"So are you going with us this weekend? It'll be a good time. The only thing is," I hesitated, "You'll have to spend the night in our shack ... it's not fancy, but it's real clean."

"I have permission at work, the problem is home. I don't know what to tell Mom. She doesn't know you or Mike and Steve. And I definitely don't want her to find out about the gay thing."

"If you really want to go, we can let Mike work it out. He's a master at talking in circles without being dishonest; he's an attorney." Then I chuckled. "Besides, he always knows the right thing to say."

"Well, okay, if you think he can work it out without causing a problem, let's go for it."

"Great," I said. "You won't be sorry."

Then I put my arm around his neck and gently pulled him in for a kiss. When we parted, he said, "Is that all?" smiling.

We both had a chuckle as we looked into each other's eyes.

I checked my phone for the time, it was getting late so we both made a move. I told Mark he could wash the chlorine off in the guesthouse while I showered and changed upstairs.

When I was satisfied with my appearance, I went downstairs to clean the kitchen. I looked out the window to see Mark crossing the yard with a towel over his shoulder and his bathing suit dangling from one hand. Damn, he looked good. I thought about Steve's comments that morning and wondered where this thing with Mark was going. He was so darn nice and well mannered. He could charm ... what could he charm? He could charm the pants off me! I smiled and started to clean up our mess.

Mark knocked on the back door. It was rather humorous in a way. I thought he would feel welcome enough to come in, but he didn't. It was exactly what I would have done given the same situation. It was nice that he did, not making assumptions like someone who will remain unnamed. He was being respectful and courteous.

"Come in," I said loud enough.

He kicked his sandals off at the back door and asked, "Where should I put this towel?"

"Throw it on top of the washer and dryer in the laundry room. It's the door next to the back door."

He turned to retrace his steps and I couldn't help but notice his physique. His shirt was tucked into his shorts; there was a lot of skin showing. His leg muscles articulated as he walked; the rest of his body moved in concert, causing me to do a jig in my pants. It was clear that I wanted to have sex with him. Whether or not things went further, who could say? In my mind, I understood the `take it slow and easy' approach Steve was advancing, I wanted that too. Though, I wasn't sure how long I could stick to it!

I finished loading the dishwasher and wiping the counters. Mark stood behind me and pressed his half-naked body against me then wrapped his arms around mine so I couldn't move. He held me fast with his face nestled in the crook of my shoulder and neck. It felt wonderful. He kissed my neck and asked, "Are you ready to go?"

Geez, what a ghastly thought, "Yeah," I said. What I really wanted was to stay where I was ... where we were.

He released me saying, "Okay, I'm going to ring out my suit and wait for you in the car."

"I'll be out in a minute." I hoped there would be many more opportunities like this.

I locked the back door then watched from the yard as Mark backed out allowing Mike to pull in. I walked over to Mark's car and said, "That's Mike," motioning to the garage. "C'mon, I'd like to introduce you."

We met Mike as he was coming out of the garage. I introduced them and they shook hands. Mike was grinning big time while Mark appeared a little uneasy, so I said, "Mike?"

"Yeah?" he said loosening his tie. He was carrying his suit coat over the other arm.

"Mark has permission at work to go with us this weekend, but he's worried about his mother. He doesn't know what to tell her, and she's never met us."

"Whoa, Sport. You're getting a little ahead of yourself aren't you? We haven't discussed this yet."

"We're discussing it now, Mike. And your help is sorely needed," I said with my most convincing or conniving voice. I wasn't sure which but the situation called for weighing the anchor and pulling the stops.

Apparently I was a little too eager to get things worked out. I obviously skipped the asking permission phase. Well, in a sense I guess that's what I was going for, too. But hell, this was important; it required any tactic that was effective. I could only hope and pray I chose the right approach.

"You're trying to do an end run and it's not gonna work. Would you like to start at the beginning?"

I sighed, then looked at Mark who didn't have a clue what was happening. I had to grin then I looked back at Mike who was standing there looking like General MacArthur. God, he can be obstinate when he wants to.

"Okay, Mike, here goes. Can Mark come with us this weekend?"

I looked at Mark who had a confused look on his face. It was too funny but I managed not to laugh or grin. Mike held his ground making me seriously worry what was going on in that brain of his. I was beginning to panic so I looked him in the eye and silently mouthed `please'.

He shifted his weight and said, "It's okay; he can go. Next time, let's take it from the top or you may not like the answer." Then he raised his eyebrows as if to ask `got it?'

"Duly noted, Mike," I said, "And thanks."

He started to walk toward the house so I said, "Mike?"

He turned around, "Good Lord, kid, you're wearing me out; now what?"

"Do you think you could talk to Mark's mother?"

He sighed throwing his jacket over one shoulder, "Yeah, give me the info," he said sounding defeated, then turned to go inside.

"What was that all about?" Mark asked.

"I neglected to ask Mike in advance ... that's what he was objecting to. I knew he and Steve wouldn't mind. We already talked about you," I said then patted his shoulder. "C'mon; let's give Mike your mom's phone number."

So we did, then Mark drove me to work. He was acting a little aloof which was troublesome. I supposed it was because of the way I handled things with Mike. I guess it was a little presumptuous, but I was trying to ensure the desired outcome and, anyway, it worked. That was the big thing.


To Be Continued ...

Thanks to Wayne and Chris for your help.