The journey truly begins for Greyson and Lucas. The weekend is filled with adventure (not THAT, ya pervs) and Francesca makes sure that the second week starts off with a bang!
GOODNIGHT & GODSPEED
It was the first Saturday of our Epic Life experience. To be perfectly honest, that was some of the most intense five days I’ve ever experienced. But I know that both Lucas and I were ready to move on to the next steps of the program.
The evening after Lucas’s momentous One-on-One experience, we didn’t talk a lot. We had a quick dinner at the poolside restaurant and decided to take a long walk on the beaches surrounding the lagoon.
When we got to the point furthest from the resort, I got to help Lucas take another dip in that grieving pool we learned about earlier. This was a much less intense trip, but nonetheless therapeutic.
We took our time walking back to the resort, with our arms around each other’s waist. Before we got back to the resort’s beach, I stopped and turned to face Lucas. “Thank you for trusting me to be with you as you work through this. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.”
“Of course, I trust you. You’ve been trusting me to show you new things on your own journey.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d be having a completely different experience had I not met you first. Thank God I looked into those eyes of yours before anyone else had the chance.”
“Who says you were the first?”
“You weren’t the first to look. But you were the only one I couldn’t look away from.”
I don’t know why. I took Lucas in my arms and pulled him in for a beautiful kiss. It was filled with more passion than I’ve ever experienced in my life. I could tell from Lucas’s reaction that he was feeling pretty much the same thing.
“I want you, Grey. Will you take me? Tonight? I need you inside me.”
“Oh, fuck! I’ve never—”
“You’ve already had a week of firsts—and you’ve learned quite well. I have a feeling this will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced in your lifetime.”
“What about you? Are you sure you’re ready?”
“Yeah. I know I couldn’t have wanted this until now. It’s my next step in moving on. We’ll be helping each other with a lot of shit.”
“My place? Yours?”
“Do you have any lube or condoms?”
“No—we can stop at the…”
“My place. I have everything we need. Let’s go—now!”
Lucas grabbed my hand and pulled me along as we ran back to the hotel. Breathlessly, we made it into the elevator and were nearly able to breathe normally as the doors slid open on Lucas’ floor. He grabbed my hand and pulled me with him to his suite.
Once inside, Lucas quickly shut the door and pulled me into the bedroom. “Jesus, Grey—I’ve not wanted or needed something like this in years!”
I think the thing that surprised me the most was how much I felt like a seventeen-year-old virgin all over again. Lucas was doing something to me that I never even dreamed could be done! Who knew feeling a tongue on your hole could feel so damned incredible? I nearly shot my load just from that!
But when Lucas hovered over me, grabbed my cock, and guided it into his ass. Oh, wow! My first thought was that this is nothing like being inside a woman! Oh, Hell no! The way Lucas flexed his muscles as he moved up and down on my cock felt like a hundred fingers touching every hot spot on my body.
As incredible as feeling my cock inside Lucas was, the best part was watching him. His sweat-glistened body looked even more amazing as he would work himself around me. Watching his head roll back with his blond hair flopping around was hot—but when accompanied with low, guttural moans of pleasure—that nearly sent me over the edge.
What actually sent me over the edge—giving me the longest and hardest orgasm of my life—was when Lucas raised himself so that only the head of my cock was inside him. He leaned back with his weight on his arms and groaned, “Now—Grey—pound me! Pound me hard!”
I started pistoning my hard cock in and out of Lucas so quickly that I was beginning to believe I was seventeen again!
In a matter of minutes, we were both yelling, cursing, and moaning as I flooded Lucas with my load, and he simultaneously covered me with his own.
Hours later—okay, I’m sure it was only five minutes—Lucas and I returned to earth. We were in each other’s arms. I gently pushed a lock of blond hair out of Lucas’s face and smiled, “What. The. Hell. Was. That?”
“That was the hottest sex I’ve ever experienced in my life. Are you sure you’ve never done this before?”
“Pretty sure. But I do remember having sex with my ex-wife—but—but—Jesus! This was so much beyond anything we ever did.”
“So, you liked it?”
“Liked it? Are you kidding me? I can’t wait to do it again—and again! Only—next time, I want you inside of me. All I know is I want to feel the things you were feeling. It looked like it felt good for you.”
“It was amazing. I haven’t wanted anyone inside me since—well, since Erik—and—I mean—you just took me places I had forgotten had existed. Actually—there were a few places I never knew existed.”
“Can you take me there, Lucas? Can you make me feel those things, too?”
“We will—I will—I promise. I just want to enjoy this time right now. Believe it or not, this is my favorite part of making love—holding, talking, cuddling, kissing—it’s the best right at this moment.”
And that led to another first for me—we talked, cuddled, kissed, and held on to each other as we took in each other’s happiness. I could easily see why this was Lucas’s favorite part of making love.
Is that what we were doing? Were we making love? Or did we just power fuck each other into this blissful state? I mean, I have developed feelings for Lucas. Is this what love feels like? I don’t know—I’ve never had these feelings before.
I can’t let it be love. No—not until I resolve this whole thing with Rafe. I know I won’t be able to let myself get into another relationship until that’s settled. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone involved if I had this undercurrent of—whatever it is—involving my best friend of my youth. I have to find him so I can apologize to him—hopefully, face-to-face.
“Hello? Are you there, Grey?”
“Oh! Yeah! I’m sorry. I was just lost in my thoughts.”
“What were you thinking about?”
“Regrets. I know Francesca says that we need to use the things we regret as tools to move on and create a new life for ourselves—blah, blah, blah. But damn—I so regret turning down Rafe sixteen years ago. I regret that I haven’t been having incredible sex all that time.” I giggled at my stupid comment, hoping that Lucas would buy it—instead of what was truly on my mind.
We showered before calling it a night, and somehow we found the energy for me to fuck Lucas in the shower. Yeah—I’m gay. I said it. I mean it. I love it!
The next morning, the phone rang at 8:30. So much for sleeping in! We were told to meet everyone in the lobby at 11:00. We were going on a field trip. They were going to serve us lunch when we arrived at our destination.
I asked Lucas if he knew what was up. He said they didn’t do anything like this in his introduction weekend, so it looks like we are both in for a surprise. The only other instructions they gave us was to wear something comfortable, along with closed-toe shoes.
By the time 11:30 rolled around, we were near the top of a small mountain—about 2000 feet above sea level. We finally passed the sign that told us we would be spending the afternoon at Maui Zip Line and High Ropes Challenge Adventure. It sounds like an adventurous afternoon!
As soon as we were out of the vans, we were led into the welcome center. They told us that after spending an afternoon with them, we would all be at least a little less fearful of the challenges we will be facing in the next week. The programs we would be doing will not only challenge us individually but will also help cement the bond between the entire group.
They showed us a few slides of what we could expect and then brought out some lunch—turkey sandwiches, chips, tea—not very adventurous.
After lunch, the adventure began. The first thing on the agenda was walking across a 75-yard suspension bridge. It doesn’t sound very challenging, but when you realize that the bridge is 1500 feet above the ground and that it starts swaying like a motherfucker when you’re halfway across—it challenged the fuck out of me! A couple of people in our group panicked and froze up in the middle of the bridge. They needed some help and coaxing—but they finally made it across.
I will say there was a very satisfying sense of accomplishment when your feet touched solid ground at the other end of the bridge. The other challenges on the course were exciting—and most definitely a challenge. I never felt in danger as we were all attached to a rope system controlled by one of the instructors down on the ground.
Lucas was amazing on the 50-foot rock-climbing wall—I was pretty good. It took me a little while to navigate some parts of the wall, but I made it to the top without falling!
The hardest/scariest/most terrifying part of the ropes course was called Leap of Faith. We had to climb up a 25-foot pole and stand on a two-foot square platform at the top. In front of us—about five feet out—was a trapeze. All we had to do was leap off the platform and grab the trapeze. Right!?!
Lucas went up before I did and almost got the trapeze. He said he still had a blast jumping off the platform. I, on the other hand, was more than skeptical. Jewish boys are not necessarily known as the best thrill-seekers.
As I was climbing the pole, all I could think was how grateful I was that I had a rope attached to my harness. I made it to the platform but had to take a few minutes before getting the nerve to stand up on top of it.
Now, from the ground below, the trapeze looks a reasonable distance away—easily catchable. But—when you’re standing on that platform, the fucking trapeze looks more to be fifty feet away instead of just five. I couldn’t move! I was frozen—just like those people on the suspension bridge.
“Grey! Grey! Grey! Grey!” Whoa! They were chanting my name. Funny how that little bit of encouragement can help you muster up the courage to go for it. I took a deep breath, crouched down, and sprung forward with my arms stretched out in front of me.
What the fuck? My entire body jerked to a halt. Did I—Holy shit! I caught the fucking trapeze! I hung on to it as the instructors lowered the trapeze to the ground. That was one of the most amazing feelings ever! Okay—one of the most amazing non-sexual feelings ever!
The final—and best—part of the afternoon was the zip-line back to the bottom of the mountain. There were four sections of the zip-line—each one more thrilling than the one before.
By the time we got back to the vans, I felt like I could pretty much accomplish anything that came up in my life—good job, Epic Life! Mission accomplished!
That night, our small group—including Jack—all went out to an Italian restaurant. We wanted something non-Hawaiin for dinner, and Jack suggested the Pulehu Italian Grill. We all took cabs and met at the restaurant at 7:30.
I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Carbonara as much as I did that night! The nine of us had a wonderful bonding time away from the stress of the conference room. The only hard part was keeping my hands away from my very sexy, very charming, very hot Swiss sex god.
When we got back to the room, our hands—and mouths—were all over each other. We went straight to my bedroom and had all kinds of fun until three in the morning.
We made sure to turn off our alarms so we could sleep in Sunday morning—an entire day off. We may have planned to spend the afternoon on the beach. We may have intended to hit the resort’s gym for some good workout time. None of that happened. I mean—what else would you do when every time you woke up and found yourself in bed with the hottest man in the entire South Pacific?
Okay, we did manage to get out of bed a couple of times to let the room service people in—but as soon as the meal was finished—BAM! Dicks got hard and found their places in a mouth or tight ass! I was in fucking heaven!
Needless to say, we were both pretty wiped out when we walked into the conference room Monday morning. The way Francesca smiled at Lucas and me, I could swear she just knew that we had been fucking like rabbits all weekend.
We spent the first part of the morning in our small groups, talking about what we learned about ourselves from the One-on-Ones. That discussion turned into what we could do about it. Jack talked about how each of us probably had three or four people that we wanted to contact as a result of our One-on-One with Francesca.
I had four people—I needed to find Rafe. I must get new management. I want to sit with Elizabeth and apologize. I get to have a serious talk with my mother. When Jack told us we needed to pick just one of those things, I couldn’t pick one. I worked it down to Rafe and my mother. Jack suggested I choose the one that might be the more difficult one to make happen—I decided to find Rafe.
Next, we were given an hour alone—not even with our partner—to write a letter to the person we were going to reach out to. I went to my suite and—as suggested—got a pen and some paper. They didn’t want us to write on electronic devices so that we could avoid any unnecessary distractions.
I don’t even know where to begin—especially since I have no idea where you are, how you are doing, or if you even want to hear from me.
It’s hard to decide where to begin, so I guess I’ll start with this—I’m not Gary Mackolvich anymore—but you probably know that if you’ve seen me reading the news.
But it’s so much more than just a different name. Last week, I became a completely new person—ironically, I became the person you thought I was all those years ago.
You see, one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met kissed me. Just like I did all those years ago, I stopped him (yes, HIM) and told him I wasn’t gay. I went back to my suite and immediately saw your face—and the hurt I put on it when I rejected your kiss.
A few hours later, I came to the understanding that maybe I wasn’t quite so sure of who or what I am. My marriage to the only woman I’ve ever been with came to an end. And the more I thought about it, the two most amazing kisses I’ve ever experienced came from men.
Since that kiss last week, I have been on this fantastic ride of discovery. Your instincts were correct. I AM a gay man. I have never been so at peace with myself—except for one thing—I have this extreme desire to find you.
I need to look into your eyes and apologize for being such a jerk back then. I want to ask your forgiveness for cutting you out of my life when your best friend was probably the one thing you needed the most during that time.
Rafe, we will never get back the past sixteen years—and for that, I feel terrible. But, if you’ll agree to it, I would like nothing more than to see if we can start again—see if we still have what it takes to recreate the most incredible friendship of my life.
I miss you, Rafe. And—dammit—I still love you after all these years.
As I wrote my name on the letter, I had tears falling down my face. My heart was breaking the more I thought about Rafe. I was glad I had ten minutes before I had to be back downstairs. I went into the bathroom, splashed some cold water on my face, and threw some eyedrops into my red eyes. Much better.
I went back to the table, folded the letter, stuffed it in my pocket, and headed back downstairs.
Of course—this is how life seems to work at this conference—the elevator door slides open, and Lucas is there. From the redness in his eyes, I can tell he had a difficult time with his letter.
“That was so incredibly difficult. But it looks like you were able to get through your process okay.”
“Oh, hell no! I bawled my eyes out!”
“It doesn’t look like it. Wha--?”
“Cold water and Visine. Works every time you cry—or get stoned when you’re sixteen, and you don’t want your mom to know.”
At least the two of us were laughing and smiling as we entered the room. It was pretty easy to see that the exercise we had just completed took a toll on everyone.
The seats were arranged in one large circle this time. It looks like we’re going to be doing some kind of group thing next. Once we were all settled in, Francesca stepped into the middle of the circle and began:
“Before we go to lunch, I want us to spend some time on the letters we just created. I imagine most of those letters might have been written to the person—or persons—that seems to be a part of the reason all of us came to Hawaii for these two weeks. I imagine that some of you may have written your letter to someone who is no longer living in this world. The point of the letter is two-fold—first, it helps put your narrative together for when the time comes for you to speak with the person to whom you wrote your letter. The second point is to help you give yourself a clearer path to the dialogue you’ll be experiencing. By reflecting on your One-on-One experience—and applying what you learned to your life—you should have a much clearer vision of how you can move forward with your life.”
The next part of Francesca’s talk had her picking someone to read their letter. She called on Travis to read his letter. Travis and his boyfriend (I’m guessing here) are apparently here together. Still, by viewing their body language and how they look at each other when communicating—there are some significant problems with their relationship.
With some gentle coaxing, Travis stood and read his letter. Francesca gave him the option of reading who the letter was written to or just beginning with the main content. I think we were all moved to tears as Travis read his confessions for his shortcomings in their relationship. Without sounding accusatory, he let the recipient know what he needed—and wasn’t getting—back from his partner. But the end of the letter got to me. It was a profound and earnest declaration of his love. He wrote of his desire to reinvent their life together. Travis ended his letter with a beautiful thought—“I don’t need you in my life. I choose to spend my life with the one man who completes my heart.”
Well, fuck! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house—mostly when Jordan, Travis’ “friend,” ran across the circle, wrapped his arms around Travis, and kissed him. Both men were sobbing, and Francesca was super cool about giving them some space.
After a few minutes, Francesca put her hand on Jordan’s shoulder as she asked him to read his letter. We were pretty blown away when Jordan’s words to Travis were nearly identical. There were more tears, hugs, and kisses when Francesca asked the two young men to take their seats.
“I want to tell the group here that Travis and Jordan agreed to come here to see if they could fix their relationship. They are staying in separate parts of the resort—by our recommendation—not necessarily by their choice. I’ve been assured that they did not collaborate on their letters.
“I can assure everyone here that Travis and Jordan have just discovered what their relationship has been missing. Can anyone tell me what that is?”
The three answers that seemed to be dominant were communication, honesty, and openness.
“Open and honest communication is the key to any successful relationship. Whether it be a relationship between you and your spouse, you and your business associate, you and your friends—with open and honest communication, those relationships will prosper and grow into something even more remarkable than either you can imagine.
“Now—Lucas—would you care to read your letter?”
“Oh, fuck me,” Lucas whispered as he stood to read. He took a couple of deep breaths and began reading”
I love you. I hate you. I resent you. I miss you. I love you.
This is the roller coaster ride you put me on when you ended your life. Only, I now understand that it wasn’t you who put me on this ride—I got on by my own free will. I chose to get on this ride—and I’ll be damned if it’s been impossible to get off.
I love you. I have loved you in some way since the very first day we met. When we were teenagers, you told me just how much you loved me and then showed me with a kiss that, to this very day, I can still feel on my lips as if it had just happened.
While you were the most handsome and beautiful human being I have ever seen in my life, the part of you that made my love grow—exponentially every day—was your heart.
I hate you. I hate that you never understood that the part of you I was the most in love with was not affected in any way by your accident. I hate that you never understood what I was saying to you whenever I told you how much in love with you I was.
I resent you for deciding to get what you wanted most brutally and permanently possible. You chose to end things in a way that would never give us a chance to work things out. I resent you for probably knowing that we WOULD work things out—and that scared you to the point that you felt there was only one thing to do.
And now—I miss you, Erik. I miss you every morning I wake up, and you’re not there. I miss you every time I see a snow-covered mountain and don’t see you racing down the side. I miss you when I meet someone else—someone who MIGHT just be the one to help me move on—and no one can come close to giving me the love you have given me. I miss you, Erik. I miss US.
The irony of all this is that I now understand. I understand WHY you did what you did. While most everyone else sees what you did as greedy and self-centered, I now know in my heart—you ended your life for me. You wanted to set me free of the prison you imagined you had put me in. When I look at what happened through YOUR eyes, I can see the loving, selfless man you always have been. For that, I love you.
I hate you.
I resent you.
I miss you.
I love you,
Francesca handed Lucas some tissues, and he dabbed his eyes.
“That was a beautifully written letter, Lucas. I know you can’t say those words directly to Erik now, but did writing that letter help you see anything?”
“Yes. I came here hoping that I would find a way to let go of Erik’s memory. But now—now I realize that I don’t have to let go of anything. I think I can let someone else find their way into my heart and be there right alongside Erik. I believe I can find room for anyone who wants to be in my heart.”
“Excellent. Remember, the human heart is limited only by the restrictions we allow our brains to place on it. We find that many times in our lives, our minds, and our hearts work against each other in a near-constant battle. When we can take control of our thoughts—thus freeing our hearts—we will find that our truth prevails. And when we allow our truths to prevail, we will find ourselves living the best life we can live. Thank you, Lucas. You may return to your seat.”
Francesca then told us we were free to go and have lunch. After lunch, we should try to find a way to contact the person we wrote our letters to—if that was possible. We were to return to the room at 4:00 to wrap up the day.
Lucas and I got some sandwiches and went out to the beach. He decided he was going to reach out to Erik's sister. He hadn’t spoken with her since the funeral and wanted to clear the air with her.
I decided that I would call Rafe’s mother and see if she could help me get in touch with Rafe. I skimmed through my phone and was thrilled to find that I still had the family’s phone number in my address book. I just hoped it was still a good number.
After eating, we rode up to our suites—with a brief kiss before I stepped off the elevator.
I went into my suite, took a deep breath, and dialed the number I had found. My heart was pounding as the phone began to ring.
“This is Mary Miller. May I ask who’s calling?”
“It’s Greyson—I mean—It’s Gary Mackalvich. I don’t even know if—”
“Oh! Dear God! Is it really you, Gary? Is something wrong?”
“Yes. It’s really me. And no—nothing’s wrong. If anything, everything’s beginning to be right for a change.”
“Okay. I—I can’t believe I’m actually talking to you! I see you on the news nearly every night, and—oh, wait. Should I call you Gary or Greyson?”
“Greyson is good. It took a while, but my mother has finally started to call me by my new name.”
“Speaking of, how is your mother? I do miss her, you know.”
“I’m sure you do. She’s doing well. Mom stays busy with her volunteer work. She still makes a fuss over me and the stupid things I still do.”
“Well, that’s what mothers are supposed to do. Greyson—is there a reason you called? Not that I’m complaining! It’s so wonderful to hear your voice!”
“Well, there is something I need. I need to find Rafe. I need to talk to him about what happened all those years ago. I need to clear the air with him and—hopefully—try to restart our friendship.”
“Oh, Greyson! That’s wonderful! I still don’t know what happened back then, but I know it broke Rafe’s heart. Sometimes I think he’s still aching over it. I know he misses you.”
“That’s good to know—I guess.”
“Look, as much as I want to, I don’t think I should give you Rafe’s cell number without his permission. But I do have your number on my caller ID, so would you mind if I give him this number and have him reach out to you if he wants to?”
“Oh! Yes! Please give him my number. I have to ask that you not give it to anyone else. It’s my personal cell number, and the last thing I want is for the general public to get hold of it. I hope you understand.”
“Of course I do. Oh, you dear boy! It is so good to hear from you again! Please have your mother call me. I would love to have a restart on our friendship as well.”
“I’ll do that.”
“Excellent! I’ll hang up now and call Rafe. He’s off Monday nights and should be home. When is a good time for him to call you back?”
“Any time of the day—or night. This is more important than anything else going on in my life.”
“Thank you for calling, Gar—I mean, Greyson. This is so exciting. I don’t think you’ll be waiting too long to hear from Rafe.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Miller. Thank you so much for your help!”
“It’s my pleasure, dear boy. Bye Bye!”
The call ended, and I stood on my balcony. It was so strange. In so many ways, I felt like I was that awkward seventeen-year-old kid again. Part of me was terrified of what might happen next. Another part of me was excited at the possibilities.
Then—it was happening. My phone began buzzing. It was from a New York number, but not one I recognized. I took a deep breath and answered the call.
“Hello? This is Greyson.”
“You fucking son-of-a-bitch! It took you long enough! What? Sixteen fucking years?”
I can't wait to start the next chapter and hear what Rafe and Greyson have to say to each other.
And then there's Lucas. Now that he's finally willing to open his heart to someone, is he hoping that someone is Greyson? Is it too late now that Greyson has found Rafe after all these years?
Sorry, I didn't quite get to Greyson's mother this chapter--but I DID get a Jewish mother worked in--just not the right one!
Don't worry, THAT conversation will be happening soon! I promise!
Thanks for your support. This is another difficult story to write (at times) since so much of it is personal to me. But at the same time, it's making me think about some of the things I learned in my own experience--and that's been pretty therapeutic for me in these tough times.
I'd love to hear what you think! Is any of this stuff making a connection for you? Or is it a little too far off in left field for you to connect with?