Loving an Artist

Chapter 4

Richard started sleeping in John’s bed seven years ago. He is still sleeps there when he isn’t flying. It is actually not the same bed nor the same condo. About a year after Richard moved in John bought a condo and moved to the 1430 S. Michigan Ave, one building north of his rental. Richard slowly regained his stamina after his bout with his mysterious Amsterdam ailment. He left his old apartment the day after Kevin and his friends helped move Richard’s stuff to John’s condo. Shortly after Richard moved in it became clear that John’s rental unit was too small. Richard needed more room to draw and paint.

Not more than a month later John called the realtor who had found him the rental and asked if there were any condos for sale in either the 1430 or 1440 buildings. She said, “I’ll check the listings and get back to you.” John was anxious so regularly checked the downstairs message bulletin boards to see if someone was trying to sell without a realtor. Nothing appeared on the board in either mail room. One night when they were eating dinner John said, “We’ve got to find a bigger place.”

Richard looked apprehensive and said, “I’m sorry I have screwed up your life. I’ll find something else. Just give me a little time.”

“No worry. I like you here so I called my realtor and asked her to find us a new place if she could. I haven’t heard back from her.” The phone rang. Uncharacteristically John answered even though he didn’t recognize the number. “Hello.” There was pause. “Hi, Marty.” Richard looked at me with his sleepy blue eyes. Finally, I said, “Will the renters let us see the place? OK, we’ll be over tomorrow about 11. Buzz when you get here.”

John met Marty at eleven because Richard had gone to the airport for a three day trip. He was stronger but still not 100%. Marty opened the door to a condo on the 5th floor of John and Kevin’s building. The condo was not directly below theirs but one unit to the north. The condo was rented but would be available for sale in one month. The owner wanted to sell and Marty said the renters weren’t in a position to buy. He told John that the owner was selling the condo unfurnished. John agreed with Marty, based on the comps, the asking price was too high. She returned to John’s condo and she drew up a sales contract for $10,000 less than the owner was asking. She called the owner’s realtor who told her he would contact the owner and get back to them. Marty called late the next day and said, “The realtor had difficulty locating the owner but the owner was only willing to come down $5000. John agreed with the revised price and would have a new condo in a month. John texted Richard the good news and texted John and Kevin to let them know they were going to have new neighbors.

The plan was to buy the condo for cash so there was no need for financing. John felt it was too early in their relationship to put Richard on the title and Richard didn’t object. They began discussing the furniture they need to buy. They discussed the paint colors and the type of rugs they wanted. Fortunately, the floors were flawless with thirty inch white marble squares. Richard had opinions about paint colors but usually deferred for the final decisions. Exasperated one night at dinner John snapped, “Stop giving in to me. I want you to feel like we are decorating our home, not mine. You’re acting like you’re a guest.”

“Goddamn, I am a guest. We’re not married. In fact, you remember that guy, Jimmy, the bodybuilder Asian guy who helped you. He called and we’re going out clubbing after I get back from my next trip.”

I was quiet, “I guess, I never… Sure go out. We’re not partners just roommates, right?” Selfishly John had made his relationship with Richard monogamous without any reason to think that was what Richard wanted. John tried not to appear disappointed. Richard got up and started clearing the dishes. In the days that followed John shopped on line and in person for a new king size bed, linens, bedside furniture and several light fixtures for the bedroom. He showed Richard pictures and got Richard’s preferences. In the living room they had already agreed they wanted a white or cream colored sectional, L-shaped sofa. Richard had in mind the type of glass topped coffee table he wanted. Many times John sat with him at the breakfast bar looking at pictures of coffee tables.

They both agreed that the windows would be draped in sheers like the rental. Richard wanted the light for his drawing and John wanted to be free to be an exhibitionist. He kept his regular gym workout routine whether Richard was flying or in school. His body was looking good and Richard complimented him regularly. John signed up for an investment class offered by one of the downtown investment companies. The class met twice a week for a month at the offices of the firm. After each class John had coffee with two retired guys who were slightly older. Melvin and Terry each had places in the South Loop. Melvin had had a partner but like John his partner had died.

Terry was married but his wife spent most of her time in their suburban home. His place in the city was their pied-à-terre which she rarely visited. After a few times meeting at the Dunkin Donuts on Wabash Terry invited John and Melvin to his place for coffee. That Tuesday a tradition of Tuesday morning coffee began and continued after the class was completed. John realized that when he arrived Melvin was already there. He suspected that they the two of them had something going on. Boldly one Tuesday morning after the coffee was poured John said, “Now tell me have you two found more than conversation to interest you.”

Melvin looked at Terry and said, “I told you John would figure us out.”

“It’s OK with me that he knows. He doesn’t know my wife and kids.”

John said, “I’m happy for you. You can invite me into your bed if you want to.” They laughed but he was serious. While neither guy was in good shape like John was. They were really pleasant guys and he missed the intimacy of lovemaking.

Melvin said, “We’ve only been together a couple of times but we like each other. Our sex is pretty tame. You’re invited but don’t you have a boyfriend.”

“I have a young guy who is my roommate but we’re not a couple even though I would like to be. He doesn’t seem that interested in me physically.”

Terry smiled, “I wish I looked as good as you.”

Boldly John got up and unbuttoned the long sleeved shirt he was wearing and pulled it out of his pants. His tee shirt came out as well. There was a collective “Whoa” when John pulled his tee shirt over his head. Terry said, “Keep going.” John paused and toed his shoes off, loosened his belt, unhooked his pants and slipped them down. What was inside his orange briefs was bulging. Melvin said, “I want to see what you’re hiding.” His briefs came off and they both stood up to touch him as if he was a marble statue.

“OK, it you guys turn.”

“Not me,” Melvin said. “I’m too flabby.”

“No you’re not, I seen it. Let’s strip together. And they did. All three men were hard but each looked different. John’s cock was the longest but not the thickest. Terry had that honor. Melvin said, “Mine won’t stay up very long unless someone helps me.” Both Terry and John reached for his cock. Terry stroked him as John cupped his balls. John began to rub his chest and tweet his nipples. Melvin’s eyes were closed and took a deep breath as Terry slipped his mouth over the end of his member. John alternated rubbing Melvin’s front and Terry’s butt which was pointed toward him. Terry turned toward John and slid his mouth down his cock giving him a treatment that he hadn’t had since before Howard became ill. John automatically moved in and out as Terry sucked. He could feel the movement in his balls and warned Terry who didn’t stop as John’s cum shot forcefully into his mouth. Still on Terry haunches he returned to Melvin who was still hard and was ready to finish.

John offered to service Terry and he happily turned toward John who was down on his knees and with a hand on each of Terry’s butt cheeks. He pulled Terry into his mouth who aggressively fucked John’s mouth who let his hand slip down Terry’s crack to his warm asshole. When touched Terry let out a “Whoa, watch out that’s my trigger.” Within seconds his cum filled John’s mouth. John didn’t immediately swallow but let it stay because he was afraid Terry would be insulted if he spit it out.

“Well,” Melvin said, “I think our coffee’s cold. Do you want me to make some more?” They shook their heads. “How about some water?” They followed him into his tiny kitchen where he handed each a glass of water.

“Could we do this every Tuesday?” Terry said.

“Sorry, my wife and I are going to be on a trip to see grandkids for the next two weeks. Maybe when we get back.”

“About the time you get back I’m going with some friends on a cruise in the Caribbean. Maybe after that.” As it turned out getting the three men together didn’t happen again. On the cruise Terry hooked up with an older guy not so much as a partner but to become his caregiver. Terry called a couple of times but one or the other wasn’t available. It had been an enjoyable experience but John wasn’t that interested. He wanted a real partner not as casual three-way.

Richard and John took possession of the condo in early November six years ago. The painters were reserved for their second day of ownership to paint our bedroom with a dark plum accent wall where the headboard would be. The rest of the room was painted off white with the tiniest tint of purple. The ceiling light was removed and a ceiling fan with a light installed. The main room was painted pale mustard that was almost white. In the main room track lighting existed with LED type bulbs which could be dimmed. The second bedroom which was going to be Richard’s studio was painted off white. The painters attached a six by eight foot framed soft board so Richard could hang his sketches and notes. Track lighting was installed so that it could be easily be redirected if Richard was sketching or painting.

They removed the white subway titled back splash and replaced it with luminescent brownish tiles which matched the brown in the irregular color in the granite counter top on the island. They used the same tile for a back splash in the master bathroom. The second bathroom got a new mirror. By the end of the week the sheers were installed and Friday afternoon the area rugs were delivered for the main room, the master bedroom and Richard’s studio. Even though they began moving a few things over from the rental unit they decided to keep the rental until end of November not knowing if painting and deliveries would happened exactly as scheduled. Richard had a busy travel month plus he had two major school projects to complete. One was copying a famous etching which took him many agonizing hours and caused his mood to deteriorate. He had a few dates with Jimmy but he didn’t seem that interested in the guy. He was too busy to have a social life. He did convince Jimmy to come to our new place to model. He sketched Jimmy first dressed in a standing pose. Richard directed him into the famous seated Rodin pose with Jimmy in his boxer briefs. The bulge in his briefs was impressive. Without a smile Richard asked Jimmy to get naked.

As Jimmy dropped his briefs he smiled and said, “I hope you’re impressed.” What they saw was impressive especially for an Asian dick.

“Impressive,” Richard said without noticeable emotion. “I didn’t think Asian dicks were supposed to be that big.”

“Koreans are.” He intentionally waved his dick Richard’s direction. Richard took up his pencil and started to draw. Jimmy had a totally smooth, hairless body except for the hair around his impressive penis and on the top of his head.

Twenty minutes later Richard said, “We’re done. You can get dressed.”

“I can’t, I’m too turned on. Can I use the bathroom?”

Richard turned to me smiling, “John, do you want to help Jimmy.”

John said smiling, “Sure, Jimmy follow me.” Jimmy looked disappointed but he had asked. John was sure he hoped Richard would accommodate his request. Once in the guest bathroom John put some lotion on his right hand and with my left hand pulled Jimmy closer. His cock was at full attention as John wrapped his hand around Jimmy’s member. After Jimmy’s short gasp John started a slow motion action as Jimmy kept pushing forward into his hand. Jimmy closed his eyes as he got more and more excited. With he end coming John pointed Jimmy’s dick over the sink as he shot a his load into the porcelain. John continued to stroke as Jimmy gasped at his tenderness. Finally, John grabbed a wash cloth, warmed the water before wiping off the lotion and the little cum that lingered on the tip.

“Thanks, I never had an old man do me but I might try it again,” he said smiling as he pulled up his briefs and then the rest of his clothes. Richard didn’t look up until Jimmy was dressed and ready to leave. Richard said, “Next semester I taking painting. Would you be interested in sitting for a portrait?”

“Sure, I had fun. Let me know. I’m starting a new job in the daytime so I’m not quite as available.” At the door Jimmy surprised John with a hug and a big smile.

As time went by John became more convinced that he wanted someone who showed that they cared for him. Richard was totally into his life. He didn’t seem to be interested in being more than a roommate. They were not modest around each other but other than an occasional hug or peck on the lips that’s as far as their relationship went. Richard was comfortable when they sat together with John’s arms around his shoulders as they watched television or Netflix. Richard would cuddle up close and John thought that was wonderful. They slept naked when it was warm enough. When their butts touched Richard didn’t pull away.

Sometime during our first spring in the new condo John invited Terry and Melvin over for coffee on a Tuesday morning. Richard was scheduled to be flying. Melvin, at the last minute, couldn’t come so I decided I’d have Terry for coffee and a little fun. We were standing in the main room as John started stripping. Terry watched adjusting himself. He took off his jacket and then his shirt. John was shocked at how good he looked, “What have you done to yourself?”

Terry smiled, “You inspired me. I’ve lost twenty pounds and been to the gym more than ever before in my life.”

“Keep going I can’t wait to see the whole package.” He took off his shoes and socks before dropping is pants. He was commando.” His chubby hard cock slapped against his stomach. “Nice, really nice. Congratulations, the gentleman you’re caring for has something nice to look at.”

“Yes, but he requires twenty-four hour care. I hired a nurse for the daytime so I can go to the gym. I am with him at night. I still have my place but I get there infrequently. He pays me well.”

John stepped toward Terry moving toward his lips. Terry didn’t draw back so their lips touched. Terry’s lips were warm and soft. John felt his dick touch Terry’s. John started to put his arms around Terry. The door opened and there stood Richard in his flight attendant uniform. He didn’t say anything as John stepped back from their kiss. Richard walked straight toward us, “You guys look fantastic. Having fun?” He didn’t seemed surprised or upset. John, on the other hand, was embarrassed.

Richard went into the bedroom and closed the door.

Terry said, “That must be Richard.”

“Yes, I so sorry I thought he was flying today. He must have returned early. He usually lets me know when his schedule changes. I hope we can continue later. I’m out of the mood.”

Terry picked up his trousers as Richard came into the room totally undressed. Terry looked at him. Richard flatly stated, “Guys, that was beautiful. Come into the studio.” Considering that Richard gave an order Terry put his pants down and the three men went into the studio. Richard began arranging the lights. He said, “Guys, your kiss, I want to capture it for a painting. I’ll take pictures so I can remember the feeling I had seeing you two. Do you think you can do it again?” At this point both all dicks were flaccid.

“I’m not sure I can get that hard with you watching,” John said.

“Don’t worry let’s do the kiss first and then we’ll deal with the cocks.”

He positioned Terry first and had John stand back. John stiffly stepped toward Terry like he had done before. John looked awkward as he tried twice. As Richard snapped away he said, “John, relax it’s only me.” He took a deep breath and went up to Terry who looked surprised. John kissed him passionately for what seemed like a minute. The camera was clicking on all around. When John pulled away they didn’t have to worry about getting their cocks up. Richard said, “Stand close together with your cocks touching but not smashed against your body. John smiling pulled Terry in him as their dicks lay beside each other. Richard clicked away until he said to them, “OK, I’ve got what I need. When I get the preliminary painting done I want you individually pose for me so I can get your bodies and facial details exactly.

Terry said, “Sure.” He dressed quickly and left. John didn’t see Terry again until the painting was almost finished. On the three early canvases Richard was trying to get expressions and stances exactly the way he wanted them. Richard asked me to invite Terry over for his sitting. Terry arrived and the three got naked as they did before. Terry was even more buff. John and Terry stood with their lips and dicks touching as Richard worked quietly. Richard would look up and back to the canvas constantly for twenty minutes. Terry’s cock was leaking and John instinctively reached down and flicked the end of his cock. He smiled as they continued their kiss.

Richard said, “Done, do you want to see what two extremely sexy men look like?” Terry and John walked toward the canvas he was working on. The painted image captured the feeling John had when he kissed Terry the first time. Tears filled his eyes. Terry didn’t speak and intensely stared at their images. “Well, do you like it?”

“God, who are those two men?” Terry said. “That’s so good. What are you going to do with it?”

“It’s my final exam project for the painting class. There will be a show of our work in the main lobby of the fine arts building.”

“So people are going to see us like this.”

“Unless you object. I’ll have to tell the instructor the models object.”

“No, what about you, John?”

“I have modeled for the students before so there is nothing I have they haven’t already seen. Richard are you going to sell the painting?”

“I don’t know if it belongs to me or the school. They may want to auction it off for money for the department. I’ll have to ask.”

After Terry left John became unusually bold. He went up behind Richard who was rinsing the dishes. He put his arms around Richard and buried his dick in the dishwasher’s butt. Richard didn’t object as he turned around and moved toward John’s lips. He didn’t resist and their lips cautiously touched. John pushed into him and wrapped his arms around him. Richard did the same. Richard opened his mouth for John’s entry as he smoothed the hair on John’s head. They stayed together as they snaked tongues inside each other’s mouth. They didn’t speak as Richard took John’s hand and led him into their bedroom. He pulled back the sheets, got in and beckoned John to join him. Their sex was sensual, sweet, slow and the first of many times since then. The first intimate sex together remained special.

Their lives returned to normal the next morning as Richard hurriedly dressed and left for the airport. John didn’t see him for three days. When he got home he was tired, told me he was going to shower, put on clean clothes and go for a meeting at school. He invited John into the bathroom as he stood before the mirror shaving before gettinginto the shower. Richard said that the meeting related to planning a special auction of pictures from the various painting, water color and drawing classes.

“Apparently,” Richard continued from behind the shower curtain, “The instructors feel the combined work of this semester’s classes was good enough to schedule this auction. The students get to vote on which items will be auctioned and which will simply be priced. The school has asked us to bring names and email addresses of everyone we would like to invite. Do you have a list of your gay friends and the people in your investment group?”

“I do. How do you want it – on a flash drive or print out. I also have emails for all my friends on Facebook. Do you want that, too?”

“Sure, why not. I think a thumb drive would be best. I only have emails for my flight attendant friends. That’s only a few.”

While he was in the shower John found a thumb drive and downloaded the three lists which amounted to about fifty email addresses. Richard was dressed and ready to leave by the time the flash drive was ready. He told John he would be eating with his classmates. About ten he arrived back home. He looked puzzled. “What happened?”

Sheepishly he smiled, “The instructors want my painting of you and Terry to be the featured item in the auction. The administration thinks it’s too pornographic.”

“So they aren’t going to allow it to be auctioned?”

“No, they want my painting and a few others to be viewed only by those who want to see it. That’s not my worry.”

“That’s great. I’m sure my friends will want to see us.” In bed no more was said about the auction.

The auction didn’t take place until the following September after the fall semester began. Advertisements appeared on building bulletin boards around campus. The faculty assistant used a cropped version of Richard’s painting for the flyer. Richard reported positive reaction from the students. Several of John’s friends called or texted wanting to know if there was more to the picture. He assured them that there was.

On the early October night of the auction the brightly lit third floor gallery in the fine arts building was filled. People were sipping wine, beer and soft drinks as they wandered around looking at the marked paintings and drawings. Soon ‘Sold’ signs began to appear on various pieces. Richard’s painting plus four or five sketches of me from the drawing class were in a small room next to the main gallery. There were plenty of John’s friends who wanted to see the entire picture of Terry and him. Richard and John talked to Terry and Melvin who were anxious to get the auction going.

Promptly at 7:30 the head of the fine arts faculty welcomed everyone and said that the proceeds of the event would go to the scholarship fund. She introduced a gentleman from the business school who would serve as the auctioneer. She asked if anyone had failed to get a bidder number. Several hands went up. Students approached them to get their name and give them a number.

In addition to Richard’s painting there were three other paintings, two water colors and six charcoal sketches to be auctioned off. The auctioneer started with a charcoal sketch of John by a talented girl, Rachel, from Richard’s class. The bidding started at $50 and got up to $150 before bidding concluded. Several other sketches and four pictures were auctioned off before the auction for Richard’s painting started. The auctioneer said, “Let’s start the bidding at $500.”

Terry raised his hand and said, “I bid a $1000.”

“Whoa,” came from the auctioneer. “Do I hear $1100?” Two hands went up. The bidding continued as Richard and John stood looking at each other. Before bidding concluded the amount had increased to $4500. Unfortunately, Terry had to drop out of the bidding. The auction price was a pleasant shock especially for Richard. He was approached by three couples who wanted his card. They asked if he would paint portraits of them. Richard was excited and energized.