CHAPTER 24 - Try Again
It struck me back then that if emotions were simply more logical, life would be incredibly simpler. But sitting alone in my room with Daniel, my heart took a most illogical turn.
It would have been logical to be angry with Daniel. It would have even been logical simply to not care about him any more. But the reality, with Daniel right there in the room with me, sitting at the other end of my bed, was quite different. My pulse rate jumped and I had a most illogical urge to embrace him, to hold him to me and never let go.
My cock was almost instantly hard as my body responded the way it had for two years whenever Daniel was around, and I was glad for the throw blanket that covered my lap. It was just as well that I couldn't get up easily either, because as much as I wanted to have Daniel back in my arms, we needed to talk; to work things out. Especially because there remained, deep in my heart, a dark corner of bitterness that grew harder when he sat down at the end of my bed. And perhaps that wasn't logical either.
I don't know how many of those emotions passed over me before I managed to put on a poker face. And I didn't cry, though another part of my heart seemed suddenly raw and incredibly torn.
He studied my face; my almost healed eye and nose, then he looked down at my surgery-scarred knee, which extended from under the throw blanket. “How are you feeling?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Better.”
Colin came into the room, frowning at Daniel. “I'm just getting my swimsuit. I'm going swimming with Tommy.” He frowned at Daniel as he got his suit and frowned at him again as he left.
Daniel watched quietly until Colin was gone, then turned back to me. “I guess he blames me for what happened, huh?”
“Maybe,” I said. “He's been real protective of me since I've been home.”
“You're lucky,” he said. “You know I always envied you having a brother like Colin.”
I bit my tongue, thinking that I'd been a brother to him; even closer than Colin.
Daniel smiled. “Can I take you for a ride in my new jeep?”
“You've got a new jeep?”
He grinned. “Dad's letting me have his old one, for school.” Then he stood up, motioning for me to follow.
I grabbed my crutches up off the floor and pulled myself up on them.
Daniel watched, a pained expression on his face. “I'm so sorry, Sean,” he said, but I pushed past him, and through the door.
Getting into his jeep in my condition wasn't easy. And the crutches didn't fit. “Just leave `em,” I finally told him, and Daniel ran them back inside the house.
At first we didn't talk, but that jeep had a lot of good memories for me. “I'm glad you're keeping the jeep,” I told him as he pulled onto the expressway. “If you ever decide to sell it, let me know.”
”Your dad still getting you a car to have at Trinity?” he asked.
“Yeah, we're going to look for one this weekend… if you want to help.”
“What are you looking for?”
We talked about cars for a good while, and I jokingly tried to talk him into selling the jeep. Then he asked about my aquariums and who was going to take care of them. And that led to a discussion of Ryan and his leaving for boarding school.
“It's probably good for Ryan to go off to school,” Daniel said. Things aren't well between him and his dad.
I shook my head. “I worry about him.”
Daniel patted my leg. “It's good that he has you as a friend, Sean, even if you don't get to see each other. He knows you're there.”
“Maybe we ought to head back,” I said, looking out the window. The time and the ride had flown past and we were halfway to the beach.
“No,” Daniel said, and I turned to see him shaking his head. “There are some things,” he continued, “ that I have to say, Sean. And I just realized where I want to say them to you.”
And I knew. It made sense. “The beach,” I said, nodding. It was special to us. Even more importantly, he knew it was special to me.
We rode quietly, and I stared out the window remembering other rides together. When we were almost there, I told him that I needed to call home to say we wouldn't be there for supper. But he volunteered to do that so I could stay in the car, and I didn't get out until we were at the parking lot close to the jetties on the south end of South Padre Island.
The sun was low and most people were off the beach for supper. When I climbed from the jeep, Daniel came alongside to help me and I put an arm over his shoulders. I smelled his scent and felt his familiar body next to mine. No matter who else I might have been with that summer, his was the body that belonged to mine, just like mine belonged to his, and now my body responded to his touch. In that moment, I almost gave in; I almost took him in my arms.
We lingered there, with his arm around my waist and mine over his shoulder. He pulled me tighter but I didn't give in to my feelings. Instead, I started to hobble toward the sea wall.
We sat down, just the two of us, and watched the waves and the seagulls as the sun set. A tanker entered the jetties, its lights bright in the growing darkness, and as I watched, Daniel scooted closer.
“Sean,” he said, taking my hand. He took a breath and then he just sat and I waited for him. Finally, he squeezed my hand. “It's funny,” he said quietly. “I rehearsed what I would say, over and over, but now...”
He lifted his eyes to mine, and then higher to my brow, to my hair, then over my face, over every feature. He wrapped my hand in both of his and looked down at them before continuing.
“From the very beginning… that first time we borrowed my uncle's boat and we talked about going to UT together… it seemed right, Sean. We belonged together. As far as I was concerned, UT was just the beginning. I know it sounds silly now, but I just always assumed that you and I would always be together.” He smiled down at our hands. “First in college. Then I figured that wherever you wanted to live after college, we would live there together and I would set up my practice.”
“And…” he squeezed my hand and I felt a drop of something wet on the back of it and realized it was a tear; Daniel's tear. He took a deep breath. “And every night you stayed at my house, every night we were together on our bike tour - our first bike tour - and when you stayed with us in Houston… all those times, it was the way it was supposed to be; you and me, together. Spending all day together. Sleeping together in the same bed at night.”
“I'm not a dreamer like you, Sean,” he said, releasing my hand only long enough to wipe his eyes on his sleeve. “It's not like I dream about us all the time the way you've told me you do. And when we were apart, it's not like I pine away for you,” he looked up at me, frowning. “I'm just trying to be honest. You know me and you know I'm not like that. Or at least I wasn't.” He smiled ruefully and I saw tears on his cheeks. “But I've been going crazy this summer, Sean. We belong together, and even if I don't dream about us all the time… when we are apart - when I'm away from you - I… I ache for you.”
He squeezed my hand tighter in his and scooted even closer. “I'm only alive, really alive, when I'm with you,” he said softly. “I can't lose you.” He clutched my hand more tightly. “I want us to be together, forever, Sean. Whatever it takes.”
I looked out over the waves, trying to sort through my thoughts. Oh, his assumptions and my dreams were one and the same. It had also been in my heart from those first nights on the boat that we would always be together.
I've heard people ask, “How do you know when the right person comes along?” and the usual answer from someone who knows, always seems to be, “You'll know.”
Well I guess Daniel and I both knew; knew from the beginning; from when we were sixteen years old. We were meant to be. That wasn't the question. Whether I would forgive him wasn't even the question. But he had said, “Whatever it takes,” and that was the question. What would it take to be together forever? What would it take to make it work? I wasn't sure I could answer that yet. But I did have another answer for him.
“Do you have any money on you?” I asked.
He leaned back in surprise. “Yeah, some.”
“Enough for a hotel room?” I asked.
He grinned and wiped his eyes again, sniffling. “I have my credit card.”
I joined my remaining hand to his and bent close, putting my forehead to his. “Beloved,” I said softly.
And instantly, he had his arms around me, his lips pressed to mine.
If there was anyone on the beach or in the parking lot, he didn't know it; he didn't care.
I didn't care either, but not in the same way. I still felt hollow inside. And that seemed wrong. I should be crying like Daniel was. I should be happy.
Daniel took a deep, shuddering breath, and pressed his cheek to mine, squeezing me even tighter. “I thought I lost you,” he whispered.
“My ribs,” I gasped.
“Oh,” he said, pulling back. “I'm sorry.”
But I took his hands quickly into mine and held them firmly. However hollow my heart may have still felt, my mind was clear, and whether the feelings would ever be like they once were, there was only one direction I wanted my life to go at that moment. “You won't ever lose me, Daniel,” I promised. “You may leave me, but you won't ever lose me.”
He squeezed my hands hard, and looked me in the eye. “I won't ever leave you.”
We rode silently up the island. I kept waiting to feel something, anything. If he meant what he said, we had made heavy promises; Daniel and I had basically pledged our lives to each other. I meant exactly what I had said and I think he knew it. Daniel had cried. But I didn't. Wasn't I happy?
Daniel pulled into the parking lot of one of the small island supermarkets. “How about if I buy us a couple of tooth brushes, toothpaste… and stuff?”
“Stuff?” I asked, with a raised eyebrow.
He smiled, almost shyly, and got out.
It was summer and even though there was a hurricane in the gulf, the island hotels were booked. So it took a few tries, but Daniel found the type of vacancy he wanted, a room with a king-sized bed, overlooking the gulf.
I called home to tell Dad we wouldn't be back until the next day and then Daniel helped me into the john. He unzipped alongside me, to take a leak at the same time. There was a problem, though. We both were hard.
“I guess there's no fooling you about how I feel,” I told him, smiling ruefully.
He patted my butt. “I know we still need to talk. At least you do; I've done all the talking so far. I'll be back after you're done.”
It seemed to take forever, but I finally was able to relieve myself. Then Daniel helped me back into the room and left me standing by the sliding glass door to the balcony while he took his turn.
I wrestled with what to tell him; what to say. I wanted to open my heart to him, but my heart felt cold and dark. Yet, I didn't want to just have sex. That would be wrong, because for Daniel and me, it was never just sex.
I could make love to Aaron and Jorge and be happy. I could get my rocks off with Colin and only worry about his conscience. But not with Daniel, he was my Beloved. He was my mate. My best hope of ever feeling warmth in my heart again, was to let Daniel touch me there.
He came up behind me and pressed his body to the back of mine. Wrapping his arms about my waist, he kissed the back of my neck.
“I do want to talk first,” I told him.
And so we stood there, my weight on my one good leg, leaning back into Daniel's arms. I stared out across the dark Gulf and told him of all the things that had gone on in my heart, starting from even before the bike tour. I told him how I felt when he didn't write or call when he'd said he would. I told him as best as I could, how I felt when he'd started talking about Jimmy in his phone calls. I told him how hard I'd worked for a cross-country scholarship and how in the beginning, I did it to be with him. But how it grew, and cross-country running itself became important. I told him about the dreams I'd had, dreams of winning races, of doing well, of even making the Olympics.
I told him about the tour; about how it ripped my heart out to hear him with Jimmy, and I pushed away from his arms, pressing my face to the glass of the window. In my mind, I could hear the springs of their bed at my grandparents' house; the sound of their laughter in Daniel's tent. And I hardened my heart again, and he heard it in my voice and didn't try to touch me.
I told him about my summer, my physical pain and my initial loneliness. I told him about Colin taking care of me… all about Colin taking care of me. I told him about the first weekend at the ranch with Aaron, and about the last. I told him how easy it would be to fall in love with Aaron, but how, as I sat under a mesquite tree watching Aaron and Jorge walk hand in hand, all I could think about was Daniel.
When I told him that, he stepped behind me again and wrapped his arms around my chest and laid his head on the back of my neck.
I told him how all the fight went out of me that summer, and how I let my mom take advantage of that; and how I didn't care. And I told him how hollow I felt inside and how it worried me, that even when he cried earlier that evening, I didn't feel anything, not really. “I mean,” I said, “it's right for you and me to be together, and I'm happy about that, in a that's-the-way-it's-supposed-to-be kind of way. But I still feel empty inside.” I pulled his arms tighter around me. “I'm sorry.”
He had been quiet the whole time I talked. But now he rocked me in his arms and pressed his cheek behind my ear.
“I'm sorry,” he said quietly. “I'm so sorry. I know I hurt you. But you've gotta believe me… there've been times this summer when I thought my heart would break. And there were things you said to me that hurt like a knife.”
I started to tense. I started to protest.
“Shush, shush,” he whispered. “Those things hurt most of all, because I know I brought them on myself. I hadn't appreciated you.”
He squeezed my stomach and kissed my neck. “Dad made me sit down with him to talk. He's a psychiatrist and talks all day long to everyone else. I guess he decided it was finally time to talk to me.”
He took a deep breath and the swell of his chest against my back was comforting, familiar. A freighter was on the horizon, moving down toward the jetties and the shipping channel. And Daniel rocked me in his arms.
“We talked about us, Sean. And you know what my dad said?”
“No,” I answered quietly.
“He told me to cut you a lot of slack. He said you had been traumatized. He said you would be dealing with grief and that your emotions would be all over the board.”
“Grief?” I said, feeling surprisingly as if Roger had pegged something. “But no one's died.”
“I'm not a psychiatrist's son for nothing. I knew what he meant. Dad's been researching grief. It's going to be the topic of his next book. So maybe he's seeing grief where it isn't, but you can grieve over a lot of things. You could be grieving because you won't be running this year at UT. A person can grieve when they lose something they worked hard for,“ he said quietly.
“Can you grieve,” I asked, “over losing the love of your life?”
“You can grieve,” he answered, “if you think you've lost the love of your life.” He kissed behind my ear. “So have you been sad?”
I nodded. “All the time at first. But lately, I just feel empty. Except when I was at the ranch with Aaron and Jorge. I started to feel better there. Maybe I'm getting over it.”
“Really?” he asked quietly. “Dad didn't think you'd get over it for a long time.”
I shook my head then. “No, I'm getting over it. If I feel empty, maybe it's because I don't feel so sad any more.”
“Sean,” he said, suddenly clutching my chest and pulling me back against him. He buried his face into the side of my neck and kissed me hard. “Can we make love?” he asked in a hoarse whisper. “I really need you… we need to make love.”
With a hobble, I turned in his arms and we embraced. And then I did feel something; incredible desire, a heart-aching desire, and though my ribs hurt, I clutched him hard to me. And my desire was strangely mixed with something else, a feeling almost like coming home.
He helped me undress, and when I was naked, he held me from the side, rubbing my balls and stroking my cock. “Damn, you feel good,” he whispered. We pulled back the covers. I crawled up into the bed and lay on my back, then watched as Daniel stripped for me.
His cock wagged under him as he crawled up onto the bed and over me. And then he lay down on me and we wrapped each other in our arms. Our mouths opened to one another and as his legs settled between mine; we moved together, cocks and bellies.
We kissed and rolled. I was on top when he tensed and I felt his warm cum shoot between our bellies. We kept moving and soon, I added my cum to his. And still we kissed, sometimes tenderly, sometimes with heat.
We slept little that night, our lovemaking punctuated by long conversations about nothing, and about everything. Toward dawn, we went out onto the balcony, naked in the breeze. And we shared a chair, me sitting in front, between his legs. And Daniel massaged my shoulders as we talked.
I leaned back against him and he nibbled behind my ear. “I have a question for you, Mr. Psychology Major,” I said.
“No it's not a question,” I said, reconsidering. “I'm going to tell you a thought I had; just a stray thought.”
He wrapped his arms over my shoulders and hugged. “What?”
“It occurred to me just now that how I felt about Aaron… when we were together… well, I think I was missing you. And he just set that off. You know?”
“Yeah, maybe,” he said and nuzzled into the hair behind my ear. “Hey,” he said. “That might explain some of the feelings I had this year.”
“You mean someone turned you on like Aaron did me?” I asked, and hoped he wouldn't name Jimmy.
“No,” he said. “I mean all those guys in Houston turned me on.”
“Hmm,” I said skeptically. “I'm not sure missing me was the only reason that happened.”
“Well,” he said quietly. “I'm not sure that missing me was the only reason Aaron turned you on.”
I shifted uncomfortably and Daniel gave me a squeeze. “I can't lose you, huh?” he asked. “No matter what?”
“Nope,” I said squeezing his leg.
“That's quite a promise,” Daniel said quietly.
I twisted in his lap and looked him in the eye. “I promise.”
He kissed me softly on the lips. “And I won't leave you,” he said. “I promise.”
“That's quite a promise.”
“Yeah,” he said and rubbed my shoulders. “And I mean every word.”
I faced forward again and leaned back against him.
“How do you feel?” he asked.
“Good,” I said softly.
Daniel squeezed my shoulder. “Ready for some sleep.”
“For a little while,” I said.
He was stroking the underside of my cock with his fingertip when I woke up; or more exactly, I woke up because he was stroking the underside of my cock with his fingertip.
I was laying on my back on the bed, my cock lying up my belly, and Daniel lay beside me, his erection pressed to the side of my leg. He smiled when I opened my eyes.
He moved over me, up on his hands as though he was doing a push up, and dropped his knees between mine. Then, he lowered his hips until the underside of our cocks touched and his balls settled on mine.
Of all the ways Daniel touched me when we were together, I probably loved it the most when his balls settled on mine. It wasn't just the intimacy of the touch, or the way it was so damned electric at times. It was simply that after all the times we'd made love, he belonged to me, and when we connected there, it was something right and wonderful and… well, happy.
With one arm still extended in a pushup to support him, he reached between our bodies with the other and took our two cocks into his hand. With a grin, he looked down between us. “Little Danny likes Little Seanny,” he said and squeezed our cocks together. “Little Danny says…” and here he switched to a falsetto voice, “Hug, hug. Kiss, kiss. Hi Little Seanny. I luuuuve you.” He squeezed his hand with each word, as if working a puppet.
I laughed and added my hand to his hand on our cocks. “Little Seanny says,” I said, switching to a falsetto myself and squeezing with each word, “My, what big balls you have, Little Danny.”
He grinned. “Why, the better to rub you with, my dear,” he said, squeezing.
“Oh,” I said, struggling to keep my falsetto instead of laughing. “And what a big cock you have.”
“The better to make you feel good inside, my dear,” he said, squeezing long and hard on the word, “good.”
I smiled slyly. “And what a cute butt you have.”
Daniel winked and squeezed our cocks together firmly. “Why, the better to make you feel all warm and cozy, Little Seanny.”
We squeezed our cocks together. “And,” I said softly, “What beautiful lips you have.”
Daniel smiled. “Oh, does Little Seanny want a kiss.”
“No,” I whispered. “Big Sean wants one.”
Daniel lowered himself the rest of the way onto me, his lips on mine, and I wrapped him in my arms, spreading my legs so that our balls stayed pressed together.
I held the baggy swim trunks up for Daniel to see.
“Nah,” he said, pointing to a rack of swim briefs. “I want you in speedos.”
“But I like these,” I said. They were brightly colored, light, and felt soft to the touch.
He grabbed up a pair of black briefs and tried to hand them to me.
“Come on,” I protested. “I like these. Besides, when I wear stuff like that, guys keep coming on to me.”
He paused and cocked his head. Then he smiled. “You're trying reverse psychology. Well what if I want to see guys get jealous because I've got you… hey, maybe we could do a rescue.”
“Well that settles it,” I said. “I'm taking these baggy ones.”
“I've changed my mind,” he said as I stood beside the bed in my new baggy swim trunks. He rubbed his hand over my belly. “Damned hot,” he said. “They make your waist look really small and, I don't know… you're muscles look harder somehow… maybe because of the contrast with the soft, baggy trunks.”
He walked around me, scratching his jaw, then thrust his hands into the back of the suit and grabbed my butt. “The suit just makes me want to do that.”
“Just in the back?” I asked with a grin.
He thrust his other hand into the front of my suit and grabbed my flaccid cock. “Hmmm. You're still going to draw guys like flies. We could have a rescue after all.”
“Not this time,” I said, seriously. “Just us, OK?”
He pulled his hands from my trunks, wrapped them around my waist, and kissed me on the cheek. “I was only joking,” he said softly. “We're still making up, and I wouldn't share you with anyone on this trip for anything.”
I hobbled to the beach with my arm on Daniel's shoulder. Low clouds provided intermittent shade and left patches of contrasting sparkling and dark water from the beach out to the horizon. The breeze was light and cool for summer time. I had to put down a sudden impulse to break into a run, to run down the beach. But my knee, sore from the trek across the sand didn't let me consider it for even a second.
Daniel helped me sit down in the soft sand.
And then he hopped up and down several times, invigorated by the cool breeze. The beach was full of people, including lots of young guys and girls. Several of them eyed Daniel's speedos and he smiled at them all.
Now I wished I had gotten the speedos Daniel wanted for me instead of my baggy swimsuit. At least then, stuck there in the sand, I could look like I belonged with him. My knee might as well have been a ball and chain.
“You ready to swim?” he asked.
“Shit,” I said. “Let me rest a second. My knee's sore from the walk.”
“Cool,” he said, and bounced off his toes a few more times. And then he ran several yards up the beach.
I was miserable. I wanted to run, too. My muscles ached to run. And Daniel looked so hot and sexy, and there I was, stuck in the sand in my baggy trunks. And suddenly, my eyes filled with tears. I pulled up my good knee, wrapped my arms over it, and buried my face in my arms. And sadness came over me, heavy and dark.
“Sean?” Daniel asked quietly, his hand on my back as he knelt beside me. “Are you OK?”
“No,” he said, “you aren't.”
He sat down beside me and put an arm around my shoulders. “What's wrong?”
I shook my head.
“You've been happy,” he said. “What happened?”
There was no way to answer him, even if I knew what to say. And I had no idea what to say. I wasn't sure why I hurt inside. I just hurt.
He rested his forehead on the side of my head and wrapped both arms around my shoulders.
I wondered what people would think seeing us sitting together like that, but Daniel didn't seem to care at all. I rubbed my eyes on my arms and he hugged my shoulders.
“What is it?” he asked. “Is it my fault?”
“No,” I said, leaning against him, not lifting my head. “Maybe you're dad is right. Maybe I need some time to get over all this.”
He squeezed my shoulders, and then gently stroked my back. “You want to talk about it?”
I shrugged. “What's to talk about? I just feel sad.”
“Did something make you sad? Just now?”
I chuckled. “You can read me. Maybe you should be a psychiatrist after all.”
“Or your best friend,” he said softly. “Or your lover.”
My stomach knotted hard, squeezing out more tears. Daniel rubbed my back and kept his forehead against the side of my head. I kept my head buried in my arms. We could have had a crowd around us watching. I didn't want to know.
“What are you thinking?” he asked.
I shrugged again.
“What made you sad?”
“I wanted to run,” I told him. “I wanted to run with you on the beach.”
“We'll run,” he said. “Before long, you'll be well and running again.”
I didn't answer.
“Sean,” he said, giving my shoulders a small shake. “You told me the doctors said you'd heal up. That you'll run again.”
“The doctors said,” I corrected him, “that I would heal up, and they said I should be able to run. But they don't know if I'll be fast again. And sometimes,” I said quietly, keeping my head buried, “I wonder if I will heal, because it still hurts like hell when I try to put much weight on it.”
“You afraid?” he asked quietly.
“I'm afraid I won't even be able to walk right.”
He pulled my shoulders tighter and kissed the side of my head.
“That's not all,” I said. Now that I was talking, there was something else I wanted to say. “I know you said you'd never leave me, but you sorta promised that before…”
“And I'm still here,” he interrupted.
I took a deep breath. “But I worry about losing you… especially now that I'm a cripple, and because I'm depressed all the time.”
“Well,” he said, laying his head on the back of my neck. “First of all, I'd be a jerk to leave you, after all this was my fault to begin with, and second, I'm going to be a psychiatrist and if you're depressed, why you're just that much more interesting.” He chuckled. “Third, my body loves your body. And fourth,” he lifted his head to whisper into my ear. “I love you with all my heart.”
He rested his forehead above my ear. “I love you,” he continued, “like the Gulf has water or the sky has air. You can breathe all you want; you can drink all you want - you can limp the rest of your life, or get soft and fat, you can be depressed, you can be mad at me… I love you. And that's that.”
I dried my eyes on my arms and glanced around. No one was staring. I glanced at Daniel's face, inches from mine. “I'm not going to get fat. Or soft.”
“That's good,” he said with a mischievous smile. “Because I like you hard.”
That afternoon, he carried me on his back down to the jeep and drove me to a medical supply store in Brownsville; one he found in the phone book that was open on Saturday.
“If they don't have one we like here,” he said. “We can go over to Mexico. I bet they'll have something.”
Daniel wanted to buy me a cane. “Just until you are well,” he had said. “It'll be much easier than crutches.”
The store had aluminum canes; ugly aluminum canes. But then Daniel found a display bucket with several wooden ones. A dark one caught my eye. It was made of dark wood, varnished to a high gloss and gracefully carved with an elegant, pistol grip handle. The height was right, too.
I tried walking around on it. “Believe it or not,” I told him, “I think I can get around better on crutches.”
A clerk was nearby. “Did you injure your knee,” she asked.
When I told her I had and explained my surgery, she nodded, knowingly. “You'll like the cane,” she said. “It will encourage you to take more weight on your knee and as you start to heal, you'll appreciate how much easier a cane is to take with you than crutches.”
“Now to the mall,” Daniel said as we got back in the jeep. “To try out the new cane.”
“I did just try it out,” I complained. “Returning to the car. My knee still hurts, so let's head back.”
Daniel shook his head. “No, I've been thinking. I want you to quit worrying about my leaving you. We've promised each other, and we need something solid, like rings, or maybe not like rings… I mean, it's not like we'd wear each other's high school rings. But we need to have something… like a ring, just to remind ourselves; you know, make it official.”
So he hauled me around the mall, eventually carrying me on his back. And we found no rings that he liked. He thought friendship bracelets weren't a strong enough statement. Nothing suited.
But as we were driving away from the mall on the back road to the beach, we passed a tattoo parlor. “That's it!” he cried out. “Matching tattoos.”
“You've got to be joking!” I said, as he swung the jeep around.
“On our butts,” he said with a grin.
We looked at several sample tattoos and nothing seemed suitable for a lifetime of wear. Besides, the shop looked sleazy. “We'll think on it,” Daniel decided.
Then he stopped at a small market and returned to the car with several narrow felt-tip markers. “We can try out different designs,” he said. “See what looks good on our butts.”
“Daniel,” I said, looking at the markers. “These are laundry markers; indelible laundry markers. They might stay on as long as a tattoo would,” I groused.
“Cool,” he answered with a wink.
We stayed over that night. In fact, we received our parents' approval to stay two more nights. And that night, I dreamed that Daniel and I were running on the beach. We wore the swimsuits that Daniel bought for us in Houston; the hot ones. And Daniel looked like a stallion racing in the wind, and I felt alive and happy to run; run hard.
I dreamed that we ran and I never got tired. But when Daniel did, I lifted him over my shoulder and ran into the surf, tossing him. And as he came up, I wrapped an arm around his back and pulled his chest hard to mine. “You belong to me!” I yelled over the surf. “You'll always belong to me”
And I awoke in the dark to find that Daniel was on his back beside me. I had an arm over his chest and my good knee over his erection. I was hard too, pressed to his side.
I rose up on my hands and knees over him, or more exactly, hands and one knee, keeping weight off my bad knee. I slipped a forearm under the small of his back, and then pulled his belly forcefully, firmly up to mine.
“You belong to me,” I whispered in the dark. “You'll always belong to me.” Then, holding him arched up beneath me, I pressed my mouth to his neck, possessively, hungrily. I moved down his body with my mouth and hands like Aaron had done to me earlier that spring; making love to him the way a man makes love. I made him ready, very ready, and then I took Daniel, the way a man takes a woman. His body belonged to me and I knew it as well as I knew my own. I brought him to the edge of ecstasy, and I drove pleasure into his body with a cock as hard as it had ever been in my life.
He came, writhing under me; writhing with my pounding, his cock thick between our bellies. And I poured my seed into him, driving deeply. And when we were done, I wrapped him in my arms and sucked the warm skin of his neck and said it again. “You'll always belong to me.”
And Daniel never said a word until the end when his body relaxed as I clutched him to me. And then all he did was to sigh and say, “Wow!”
And as we fell back asleep, I returned to the dream of running with Daniel.
In the morning, I awoke holding Daniel. He was on his back, the back of his head resting on my extended arm, my other arm over his belly, his hip bone resting against my crotch. I pulled with my arm over his waist and snuggled closer.
“You awake yet?” he whispered.
I stroked his belly and nuzzled his hair. “Yeah. Sorta.”
“I've been awake,” he said. “But I didn't want to move. This is nice.”
“Um, hmm,” I agreed and took a deep breath, taking in his scent.
He put his hand over the one I had on his belly. “That was something last night,” he said quietly. “You've never been like that before. I liked it.” He rolled his head on my arm until our noses touched. “I take it, you feel better.”
I kissed him. “Yeah,” I said. “I feel a lot better.” Then I smoothed his straw-colored hair back from his face. “I'm going to run again someday,” I told him.
He smiled. “After last night, I believe you can do anything you want.”
Monday morning came and we still hadn't decided what designs to try on each other's butts. We talked about it when we first awoke, but then made love, Daniel's body spooned by mine, and we fell back asleep that way.
I awoke next when Daniel rolled me to my stomach and pulled down the sheets. “Just stay that way,” he said, and returned to the bed with the markers.
He sat down beside me and ran his hand over my butt.
“Did you figure out what design you wanted?” I asked.
“Not really,” he said. “I thought about putting `Property of Daniel Reese,'” he said, drawing an arc over the top of my butt with his fingertip. “But I think a symbol would be better. You don't have that big of a butt.”
“Well I guess that's a compliment,” I said, reaching back to stroke his leg. “Your butt definitely isn't big enough for `Property of Sean Sullivan.'”
“Geez,” he said. “It hurts even thinking about all the tattooing that would take.” He rubbed my butt. “At least it's a nice, smooth, writing surface.”
I twisted to look back up at him. “You don't mind that I don't have much body hair.”
He leaned forward over me, and grabbing my shoulders, put his lips beside my ear. “Your body is perfect. I may have gotten off on some body hair for variety's sake, but your body is exactly what I like best.”
“Well then,” I said, smiling and closing my eyes, “Don't mess it up with a big, ugly tattoo.”
He sat back up and swatted my butt. “Well then, inspire me… Oh,” he said, as he lifted his hand. “Hmmm.”
“What?” I asked.
“I think I just got inspired.”
“My handprint on your butt.”
“How did that inspire you,” I asked concerned. “If you think I'm going to tattoo a handprint on my butt, you better think again.”
“Not a handprint,” he said. “But maybe…”
I felt him put his hand on my butt, then move it around, testing different placements.
“I told you,” I said. “No palm print tattoos.”
He knelt up beside my hips and put his left hand on my left butt cheek. “Not the palm print,” he said. “But the outline of my hand.
“Your hand's too big,” I said.
“Your butt's too small,” he replied. “Almost… but, if I put it like this…” he placed the heel of his left hand at the top of my butt crack, and extended his fingers down my left butt cheek and out to the side. “This would work even better than the `Property of…' thing, “ he said, applying the tip of the marker to my butt right at the heel of his hand.
“You're crazy,” I said.
“No, lookit,” he said. “This way, when you're about to loan out my butt to somebody who turns you on, he'll see my hand and ask, `hey, what's this?' and you'll say, `It's my boyfriend's hand. I belong to Daniel Reese.'”
“Yeah, that will really turn someone on,” I said. And then I thought about it. “Daniel,” I said, as I felt the marker move on my butt, “how are we going to do that?”
“Well I figured I'd do my hand like this and you do your right hand on my right butt cheek. And that way, when we stand side by side, with you on the left, it'll be perfect, just like we each have a hand on the other's butt.”
“That's not what I meant,” I said. “I mean, what about other guys?”
“Oh,” he said quietly, tracing his hand. He made it all the way to the first finger before he answered. “If we were rooming together, the answer would be easy, we only do rescues together.”
“Yeah,” I said. That made sense, at least to two eighteen year olds.
“I don't know,” he said, carefully tracing over his fingers. “Guys are still going to turn us on.”
“Especially at UT,” I pointed out. “There are a lot of gays there.”
“There are bound to be some at Trinity, or at least in San Antonio,” he said.
“Well I'm not sure how many I'll run in to.”
“I guess,” he said, making several short strokes with the marker, “it depends how often we get together.”
“Hmm,” I said, thinking. “So if we get together every weekend, you'll be fine? No boy sampling… no guy appetizers between weekends.”
“Hey, you get tempted just as much as me.”
“I never sampled guys like chocolates,' I pointed out.
“OK, lookit, maybe I should have never said that.”
“But you did it. You did `sample' all sorts of guys in Houston and there are gonna be lots of guys at UT.”
“Yeah, but now we'll see each other on the weekends,” he said. “So what if some guy wants to suck your cock or have you fuck him during the week. Just do it. Of course,” he said, finishing the outline of his hand, “I'm going to wear you out real good every weekend.”
“It's not me that I worry about,” I said.
“Ha!” he said. “That's a joke. I'm the one who should worry.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” I asked.
He lay down on his side beside me and stroked my back. “Sean,” he said quietly, “guys like you. There's just something about you that appeals to other guys. Hell, even Aaron has fallen for you. And Ryan, and Jorge, and the twins…”
I started to protest, but he shushed me.
“The twins, especially Peter, have a crush on you and you know it. And then there's Stef, and Scott in Houston. And even Cowboy… whatever his name was… on the bike tour picked you over me. Guys just like you.”
“Yeah, but you're the one who's hot. You're the one they all turn to look at when you walk into a room. You told me,” I pointed out, “that you could have any guy… well any gay guy, you want. And there are plenty of those in Austin.”
“Sean, you fuck up,” he said and gave my back a vigorous rub. “You're hot, too. You're six feet tall, you've got a body to die for, and you've got incredible eyes…” his eyes moved over my features and he smiled. “You're hot and there's something about you that makes it easy for guys to fall in love.”
“Not with my bumpy nose,” I said.
“Oh, come off it. Your nose is fine. Your nose is almost the same as it was before. Like I said, I'm the one who should worry.”
“But you're the one,” I said, “who picked up another lover; Jimmy.”
He frowned. “And what about Jorge? Or Aaron?” he said. “Look. Other guys are going to turn us on. If it works out, we can do them together. But if it doesn't, let's not get worked up about it. You're going to get horny between weekends and so am I. The thing is, just handle it like we handled rescues… we have fun. We enjoy it. But it doesn't mean anything.”
It all sounded logical, but it didn't sit right. “Yeah, but,” I said, “I can see you doing a different guy every night in Austin while I don't have anybody in San Antonio. And somehow, that doesn't seem right. I'll be looking forward to us being together… you know… intimate and loving… and you'll be like, all worn out.”
He stroked my hair and smiled. “Maybe I'll watch my appetite and save my snacking for the weekends. Who knows, maybe I'll save guys for us to rescue together every once in a while, and only occasionally do one during the week.”
“Just don't fall in love with anyone else, OK?” I said.
He smiled and patted my butt. “I belong to you. And I'm not leaving, remember? And,” he said, lifting his head, “you should see your butt. It looks cool with my hand on it. Now you do mine.”
We stood, side by side, looking back over our shoulders at the mirror. “It could work,” he said.
“As a tattoo?” I asked. “I'm not so sure.”
“Well don't wash up. Let's leave them on a day or two and see what we think.”
“We may not have a choice about leaving them on. I'm not sure how quickly they'll wash off. In fact,” I said, twisting my butt for the mirror, “I'm worried that your hand will still be there when I get to Trinity.
He laughed. “Perfect.” And placed his hand on my butt, over the outline.
I did the same to him.
His eyes met mine. “You're dad said I can stay at your house,” he said, “but I have to sleep on the couch. He made it clear; no messing around in your home.”
I smiled. “You want to make love again before we head back.”
He nodded. “Yeah. I know we just did, but one last time.”
“So you afraid you wore me out?” I replied with a sly smile. “We only did it once last night, and only once this morning. I'm plenty good for more.”
He smiled and turned me to face the sink and the mirror. Then he pushed between my shoulder blades, bending me forward over the sink. I rested my hands on the counter and Daniel leaned close to my ear as he rubbed my back. “I think we need to take each other's butts… sorta make the handprint real.”
“Cool,” I said, my cock already rising.
While I remained bent over the counter, Daniel kissed down my back, caressing, stroking with his fingers, tracing down my sides, drawing his hands under my chest, down my stomach to my hips.
Then he swept his hands over my butt, caressing each cheek. He knelt behind me, stroking my butt, down the outside of my legs. He spread my feet, and then stroked up inside my thighs.
“Man,” he said, “I love how you're made. You are so beautiful back here.”
Bending farther, I rested my forehead on my forearms while Daniel lifted my balls in his palm, and blew lightly between my legs.
“Ummm,” I moaned.
He drew his fingertips back under my balls to my perineum, and then he pressed them up, rubbing me between the legs while he kissed first one, then the other butt cheek. I felt his teeth on my skin and the wetness of his tongue. I rose on the toes of my good leg as he rubbed under me, lifting me.
And then he pressed his face into my crack, licking with his tongue, teasing my entrance. Looking down between my legs, I saw him stroking himself as he rubbed between my legs with his other hand and tongued my butt, getting me ready. And oh, I was getting ready!
When he rose to his feet I braced myself. He grabbed my hips, positioned his cock in my crack, and then holding my hip bones with both hands, he pushed in, slid off, backed up, and came in lower. This time, he found me and pressed in, slowly filling me.
When his pubes pressed against my butt, he put his hand once more over the outline he had drawn of his hand. Holding it, he leaned forward over me. “I claim this body in the name of Daniel Reese,” he said in an officious voice. “To hold in perpetuity, and to love forever.”
I looked up to see him grinning in the mirror. His eyes locked on mine, and his face grew serious. He bent farther over me and with his other hand, he grabbed my opposite shoulder, pulling me back as he pushed even deeper with his hips, his eyes watching mine. “Your butt belongs to me, Sean Sullivan,” he said, softly. “And all the rest of you, too.” Then he kissed behind my shoulder all the while keeping his eyes on mine. “And I'm never letting you go.”
Then he closed his eyes and kissed my back.
He took his time, alternately kissing over my back and standing to thrust. And then his pace quickened, and he held me by the shoulders as he drove up into me.
I watched in the mirror as, eyes closed, his head rolled back. The muscles in his belly and chest worked as he moved and the muscles in his neck grew thick; his skin flushed.
It would have been easy to let go and come with him. He felt good inside me, thick and stimulating. But I kept my hands off my cock and saved myself for my turn.
I did squeeze him with my butt though, and kept my ass muscles firm as he pounded faster and faster.
He pulled hard on my shoulders and arched back as he pumped and I looked away from the mirror before I came just from watching him. And then he gasped and pressed hard into me. I felt his cock throbbing. He pulled out and shoved in again, lifting me up on my toes with his thrust. He pushed in farther and arched back farther, pulling me up by the shoulders.
Then he wrapped his right arm around my waist and lifted as he drove up into me and I leaned back onto his chest as he held me up on my toes and shot the last of his load into me.
He slowly relaxed, and lowered me. We bent over again and he rested his belly and chest on my back and kissed my shoulder blade. “Oh, damn,” he said with a sigh.
“My turn,” I said, my cock hard and demanding.
He kissed my shoulder blade again and pulled out slowly. He hugged me from behind and whispered in my ear before he let me go. “Say the words,” he told me. “Like I did. Claim my body.”
So as we traded places, I did as Daniel had done, kissing, caressing down his back, feeling his flanks, reaching under to stroke his stomach, surveying his body before claiming it. And in the whole world, I was sure there was no body anywhere near as wonderful as his.
I knelt behind him on my good knee, admiring the muscles of his butt and legs. I traced up the inside of his thighs with my fingertips and he spread his feet. His balls hung low and I lifted them on my palm, testing their weight, feeling their damp softness. I blew on his perineum, still thick from his sex, and then rubbed it, lifting him on his toes.
The skin of his butt was white, smooth, and cool to the touch. I kissed his butt cheeks; soft skin over firm muscles, and then I buried my face in his crack while I rubbed under him.
His scent was stronger than normal, and mixed faintly with the scent of his hole. Normally, I wasn't a big fan of rimming, but I was so ready, so hot, it only stimulated me more.
Then I rose to my feet and held his hips, rubbing my cock over his firm butt, admiring his long lean lines, before I positioned my cockhead in his crack and worked it toward his hole. He backed to me and I pressed in, taking his tightness slowly over my glans, and then paused when his ring closed behind my crown. Almost throbbing to a climax right then, I held my breath, thinking of other things, of Trinity and UT.
And then I pushed in slowly, his tightness moving down my shaft, his warmth enveloping me. I paused again when I was all the way in and gritted my teeth, holding off. I was so damn close. The sight of his narrow butt, nestled in my lap, his long, lean back rising up from our joining, his angular shoulders, the hardness of his back muscles, the perfection of his skin, the softness of his hair. I glanced at him in the mirror and tried to smile. “Just give me a sec.”
I put my right hand over its outline on his butt and grabbed his left shoulder with my left hand. I was right on the edge and his body felt so good. I smiled, and tried to remember how he had said it… “I claim this body in the name of Sean Sullivan. To hold and enjoy and love forever.”
Our eyes met as I bent over him. “You belong to me, Daniel Reese. Your butt,” I patted it, “… all of you. And I'm never letting you go.”
Then I drew back the length of my cock and plunged in hard, standing upright, lifting him, and I came, holding myself deep, lifting his shoulders, all the weight on my one good leg. And I pulsed semen into him until I was dry.
With a final sigh, I bent over him, kissing high on his spine and wrapped my arms under his chest, resting my weight on his back.
“You OK?” he asked. “Is your leg OK?”
“Oh yeah,” I said.
He patted the back of my hands. “Did that seem silly?” he asked.
“Did you mean it?” I asked, my eyes closed, enjoying the hardness of his back under my cheek. “Did you mean what you said?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I meant every word.”
“Me too,” I said, hugging him. “Not silly at all… Beloved.”