“This is some good weed,” Dally said, then we both giggled.We were just floating and swimming around in this little lake that was no larger than a big swimming pool.
“This is my favorite part,” I said, and positioned myself underneath the waterfall, letting the water cascade over my head.The beating sensation and the muffled roar as the water poured over me let me shut the world completely out, and just be in my own little zone.
I felt his body gently brush up against mine and moved myself forward, enough so the water cascaded behind me instead of over me, but that had the effect of pressing my body firmly into his.He smiled at me, and I put my hand on the back of his head and pulled him in, kissing him just like we had in his room, only this time, there was no one around to cock-block me.
He was a really good kisser, but it didn’t take too long for the action to move lower, when I felt his hard cock throbbing against my equally erect dick.He moaned into my mouth and began thrusting gently against me.I waited until I could get into his rhythm, then I began to thrust back.The whole thing, with the cascading water, his soft but cute body, his incredible lips, and his hard cock sliding against mine, was super stimulating.Normally I didn’t shoot my load that quickly, but I did today.That was probably a sign of how little I’d been getting laid lately.I broke off the kiss long enough to mutter “Gonna cum” then let my body take over as I worked a long orgasm out.
“You seemed to like that,” he said in a sexy way.I’d just blown, so I was relatively calm, but he was still fired up.
“I did,” I said, and led him to the edge of the water.He got a little nervous as he walked out enough to expose his hard dick.“Your turn.”
“What are you doing?” he asked nervously, even though it should have been obvious when I got down on my knees.His cock was really beautiful.It was long, about 7 inches, but it was actually kind of like him, in that it looked pudgy.There were no pronounced veins or ridges on it; it was just a simple, beautiful cock.I took him in my mouth slowly, smiling internally as he moaned, and I barely had time to bob up and down twice before he blasted his load in my mouth. I was kind of surprised he didn’t warn me, but it didn’t really matter, since I would have swallowed him anyway.
“That,” I said, as I squeezed the last drop of cum out of his dick with my hand, and licked it off his head with my tongue.“You seemed to like it.”
“I did,” he said, but a bit nervously.As if by unspoken agreement, we got out, dried off, and put our clothes back on.
He started driving, while I started a conversation.“You ever had someone blow you before?”
He looked at me, about to argue, then looked back at the road.“No.”
“Dude, I cannot believe that,” I said.“You are so hot, and you kiss amazingly well.”
He grinned and blushed.“Not as good as you.”
“As good as me,” I said, being cocky, and cracking him up.He pulled over at another cool place.This one was a little area at the top of what was probably the biggest hill on the ranch.There was a picnic table there, so people obviously came here from time to time.We got out and walked over to it, sitting with our butts on the table and our feet on the seats, side by side, looking out at the vista in front of us.The land seemed to stretch out beyond infinity.
“My dad used to bring me up here when I was a kid,” he said, and got sad.“Told me that all the land, far as the eye can see, is Dalby land.”
“It’s a big fucking ranch,” I agreed.
“I loved my dad, but he fucked everything that moved, and that totally fucked up my life.He’d meet someone, go off with her, and I’d be stuck on the ranch.”
“It wasn’t good when you went with him?”
He gave me an annoyed look.“I didn’t go with him when he was dating ’em.”
“That’s not what I meant,” I said, rolling my eyes in a half-assed way.It dawned on me that I’d just done ‘the Tony look,’ and that sparked memories of Tony Carbone and threatened to take me off on a major tangent.Fortunately, he stopped me.
“I really liked his second wife.Her name was Sherry.We got along well, and we lived together for three years.That was the only time I felt like I had a mother.” He got sad, and a tear fell out of his eye, so I put my hand on his shoulder in a caring way.“But my dad ran into someone who caught his eye and he started fucking her, and that ended them.”
“She wasn’t at the memorial, was she?”
He shook his head.“Last I heard, she was living in Australia.He broke her heart, and she left.”
“Fuck,” I said, since I didn’t know what else to say.
“So that’s why I don’t do much with people.I’ve gone out with girls, and we make out a lot.Guess that’s why I’m good at it, what with all the practice.”
“Guess that’s why,” I said, grinning at him.“You didn’t even let them blow you?” I couldn’t believe that.
He shook his head.“I didn’t want to hurt anyone like my dad hurt Sherry.”
“Maybe you wouldn’t hurt her,” I said.“Maybe you’d be a good boyfriend.”
“Don’t want to risk it,” he said dismissively.“Don’t want to hurt someone that bad, and I sure as fuck don’t want someone else to hurt me that bad.”
I lit a joint and we smoked it, even as I collected my words.“I’ve been hurt before.It’s a risk.But it’s worth it.”
“I’m not seeing that,” he said dubiously.
“Being in love is an amazing experience,” I said wistfully, thinking of Zach again.“To bond with someone like that, at such a core level, is the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced.”We both ignored how incredibly stoned we both were.
“So I’m saying it’s worth the risk,” I told him.“It isn’t always painful, and shit, it doesn’t have to be painful at all.And even if it is, the good times more than make up for it.”
“You say that, but I watch you, and you have times when you think of him and you get real sad, sometimes you even cry,” he said.“It’s worth that?”
I thought of Zach and ironically, I smiled even as a tear fell out of my eye.“Yeah, it’s worth it.”
September 1, 2003
If I wouldn’t have been in a bad mood already, which I was, the fact that I woke up early on fucking Labor Day would have ruined it.Yesterday had been Buzz’s memorial, and it was irritating that none of my family members had bothered to call me and make sure I was dealing with it alright.I ignored the fact that if they’d called me, I’d have been annoyed that they did.Instead, they just pretended that I didn’t exist, which was so typical of them.Besides Darius phone call to tell me about the memorial, I hadn’t heard from any of them.I knew that Will and Darius were blowing me off because they were pissed off at me for the deal with Maddy, but they’d get over that eventually.Still, not even Stef had called me.
The only person to be nice to me was Carullo, and that was almost worse than being ignored by my entire family.He was so fucking cheerful and upbeat, while at the same time being so sexy, that it made him this really attractive person who was nice to me, but also off limits.He’d asked me to go out with him last night and I’d been a little rude when I turned him down, but there was no way I was going to go hang out at those gay clubs he went to.I’d be labeled and pigeon-holed as gay, and that would plague my reputation forever.I would have thought he’d figure that out by now.Instead I’d gone to a soiree last night, and it seemed like bad moods were the norm, because Bellona was in rare form, ripping into everyone but me.Even though I wasn’t the target of her rage, I had to deal with the people around her who were, and she’d sucked the happiness right out of them.
I sighed and got up, taking a long time to go through my normal routine.I purposely went slowly, since I had nothing to do today.My hair was growing longer and it looked great, especially today, but not even that was enough to put me in a better mood.I shuffled from my room to the kitchen in a sulky walk, and then froze at the entrance.There was a thin blond guy opening the refrigerator, which would have been odd enough, only this guy was stark naked.He was facing away from me, and it was impossible not to notice what a cute ass he had, and the fact that I noticed it and appreciated it really pissed me off.
“What the fuck are you doing?” I demanded, probably a little too loudly.
He turned around and looked at me in a bored way.“Just getting something to drink.”
“You’re walking around in the kitchen with no clothes on, in a place you don’t live, and you think that’s normal?” I asked pointedly.
“I came home with Johnny, and didn’t know anyone else was here,” he said calmly.That he wasn’t bothered by my presence, my mood, and my attitude was seriously pissing me off.I pretended that was the only reason I was mad, and the fact that he’d come home with Carullo and that they’d obviously fucked didn’t make me incredibly jealous.“Besides, the last time I was here, no one gave a shit.”
“John brought you back here before?” I asked.He was pretty careful about bringing people back here.I knew that because I usually didn’t run into any of the boys he’d picked up.
“No, I came here with another guy.He was older, but hot, and hung like a fucking horse.Gave me the ride of my life,” he said.
“Some old guy brought you back here to my condo,” I said, my tone showing him that I didn’t believe him at all. He evidently liked being naked in front of other people, since his dick was getting a little harder even as I pelted him with my rage.
“I think his name was Brad,” he said.Holy shit.This guy had fucked my father?“Brought me back here, bent me over the couch, fucked me senseless, then we ordered a pizza, and when the pizza guy showed up, he watched that dude fuck me too.Spent the night together.It was awesome.”I just stared at him, blinking, as I digested that.My father had gotten off watching the pizza guy bang this dude?
“Dustin, what the fuck are you doing?” Carullo asked, even as he barreled into the kitchen wearing nothing but a towel.He’d clearly just gotten out of the shower.
“Getting something to drink,” Dustin said.
“Can I talk to you?” I asked Carullo, trying to sound calm, when I wasn’t.
“Sure,” he said.I dragged him back to my room.
“Look, you want to bring people home, there’s not much I can do about that, but can you at least keep them from prancing around the house without any clothes on?”
“I didn’t think he was going to do that,” Carullo said.“I’m sorry.”
He’d said he was sorry, which was really annoying, since that automatically triggered me to forgive him.“That’s fine.Just don’t let it happen again.”
“You didn’t think he was cute?” Carullo asked, trying to tease me out of my crankiness.
“No,” I said curtly.“He’s not my type.”
“What is your type?” he asked in a seductive way.I just stared at him, until he realized I wasn’t going to answer his question.“Let’s go out.Come on.I’ll make it up to you.”
“Oh great.You’ll take me to the same sketch bar where you met that trashy little twink,” I snapped.I don’t know why that bothered him, but it did.He looked all offended, then turned and walked away; making sure the towel was firmly wrapped around himself even as he did.
September 1, 2003
I was enjoying an afternoon nap, a rarity for me, but we’d gotten back to Palo Alto early, especially with the time change, and since I didn’t have anything else on my schedule, I’d decided to indulge myself.I decided to do it right, by stripping down to my boxers and actually getting under the covers.I was lying on my side, which was my normal sleeping position, or at least it was recently.When I was with someone, I slept differently.I guess it was inevitable that that would make me think of Robbie, and how incredibly soft he was to lie on, and it was just as inevitable that I’d let that depress me.That was the thing that was on my mind when I drifted off to sleep, so when a relatively loud knock on my door woke me up, I came out of my haze in a confused, horny, and somber state.I briefly thought I was back at the Dalby Ranch, where this kind of knocking was normal, but the feeling of my own mattress quickly disabused me of that notion.
“Come in,” I groaned, even as I rolled over onto my back.
Jake came in, looking as fantastic as he always did, with a cheerful smile on his face.“Just got back in town.Thought I’d come here and report in.”
“Good decision,” I said.I noticed his eyes moving to the center of my bed, where I was tenting the covers up with my naptime erection.I drew up a knee to hide it, even as I felt myself getting embarrassed and annoyed, feelings that just got worse when I realized that I was probably blushing.
“I’m trying to decide whether to stick around, or whether to meet you downstairs in JP’s study,” he flirted.
“I’ll meet you downstairs,” I said curtly.I still didn’t know how I felt about him, and even if I did decide to fuck him, I wanted it to be a deliberate decision, not some hormone-induced fling.
“I’ll be there,” he said, and left me alone.I took about ten minutes to pull myself together, even though I couldn’t get my hair to look right.I kept my hair pretty short, which meant it was low maintenance and it was very business-like, but today the bedhead just would not go away.I got out some gel and managed to make myself presentable, then wandered down to JP’s study.That I was only marginally successful with my hair repair was obvious from the look Stef gave me.
“We were just welcoming Jake,” Stef said pleasantly.Before I could respond, Will came in, and it was impossible to miss how angry he was, even though he was trying hard to hide it.
“Hey there,” Jake said, probably in a bid to settle Will down.That didn’t do it, but being in this setting with the four of us focused, presumably, on our issues, seemed to have the desired effect. He focused with us, putting his latest drama on the backburner.
“Hey,” Will said, and gave him a man hug.
“Am I to assume from your good mood that you were successful in your sleuthing?” JP asked.
“I have been very successful,” Jake said.“Let’s talk about the plane first.”
“Go on,” I prompted, which seemed appropriate since it had been my plane.
“I talked to some people, and they think it’s entirely possible to put together a bomb and make it look like the items you might find in the care package you described,” he said.“I followed up and found out the size and weight of that package, and confirmed that it would be adequate.”
“So it seems that now we must find out if that theory is correct,” Stef noted. He emphasized the word ‘theory,’ even as he gave JP a pre-emptive scolding look.
“Actually, we don’t,” Jake said.“The FBI is all over this.It started out as an alleged terrorist attack, so that’s their angle.Now that they have this info, they’ll be on it big time.They’re almost more excited that it may be drug cartel related.”
“It is nice to know that our tax dollars are accomplishing something,” Stef said.I kept my mouth shut, even though I wanted to point out that our tax dollars hadn’t yet accomplished anything at all.
“Indeed,” Jake said.“So we’re off the hook on that, unless it gets irregular.”
“Irregular?” Will asked.
“In this situation, we should be able to put the pieces together based on the information the FBI releases.If we can’t, that means someone is messing with the process, and then we have to jump in and fix it.”
“You make it sound easy,” I said warily.If influential people or interests were trying to stifle an investigation like this, one that would be pretty public, they would be powerful enough to make thwarting their plans pretty fucking difficult.
“It’s not, but I’m not all that worried about it, because it’s pretty rare for someone to be able to buy off the FBI,” he said.The skeptic in me disagreed with him, but I had plenty of time to argue the point later if things went awry.“So in this situation, we just have to keep an eye on things.”
“Monitoring is certainly less effort than investigating,” JP said, and that served to move us on to the next topic.
“That Israeli deal that Elizabeth Danfield gave you information on is indeed a time bomb, and it’s turning out to be a very interesting time bomb at that,” Jake said. He was grinning he was so proud of himself, which meant this must be really juicy info he’d acquired.
“Does that mean it’s not legit?” I asked.
“Oh, it’s legit.That deal actually did happen,” Jake said, pausing for effect.“Only the company the Israeli firm worked with wasn’t Omega, it was Triton.”
“Triton did that?” Will asked, which was fortunate, since the rest of us were too stunned to speak.
“They did,” Jake confirmed.I sat there with my mind whirling, thinking about all the implications this would have.But then one question surfaced, one that was so core to the issue that it emerged from the pandemonium in my brain, because it was about trust.
“Was Jordan involved?” I asked.
“No,” Jake said confidently.“I knew that would be a big deal to you, so I worked on that angle pretty hard, and it looks like it was routed through his father.” That would be Elliot Pfinster, who was probably one of the bigger assholes I’d met in my life.
“So Elliot pulled this deal together with the Israelis,” I said, shaking my head at this action that was all but treason.“He sold classified information to another government.”
“He did,” Jake confirmed.
“Why?” Will asked.
“It was very lucrative,” Jake said, assuming it was all about the money.It wasn’t.
“I think there were a lot of reasons for Elliott to do that,” I said.
“You do?” JP asked curiously.
“I do,” I replied.“I think that the money would probably have been useful, especially as strapped as Triton always was for cash back then, but I think it was also Elliot’s way of saying ‘fuck you’ to the government.”
“Really?” Will asked, trying to get it.
“I remember our last Senate hearing, and how self-important Elliot was, and how he was so condescending when he addressed the Senators.He thought he was so much smarter and more important than them.With an attitude like that, I could see him taking this deal and rationalizing it.”
Stef nodded thoughtfully.“He would convince himself that the information really should not be classified in the first place, and that the government was just throwing up bureaucratic roadblocks, unnecessary ones, in front of good commerce.”
“Exactly,” I said.
“Dude, there are some seriously fucked up people in your world,” Will said, making us all chuckle.
“Yes there are,” I agreed.Many of the people I did business with were ruthless, dominated by greed, and with the ability to be somewhat unscrupulous, but the machinations of this group were stunningly beyond that norm.
“It would seem that Alexandra Carmichael was being forthcoming with you,” Stef said, changing the topic.“She has taken the blame as she promised, and her tip on this agreement is obviously true as well.”
“I don’t know what to think about that,” I said, confused.It was strange that Alexandra would be so charitable to me after years of hating me.It just didn’t make sense.“And based on our difficulty in finding out about Lord Preston, it seems likely that lead may be interesting as well.”
“I’ve never heard of a firm dropping an investigation like they did,” Jake chimed in.“It’s weird.”
“It is,” I agreed.
“Well that’s where my attention is shifting next, to finding out more about His Lordship,” Jake said, then seemed to realize that was a little too assertive considering he was working for me.I didn’t let it bother me.I appreciated people who were direct and assertive.“As long as that works out with your plans.”
“I think the only mysteries we haven’t solved besides Lord Preston are the questions as to who raped Elizabeth Danfield, and who beat up Scott Slater,” JP said.
And then those two pieces came together perfectly for me, in one of those rare moments where I feel almost clairvoyant.I briefly thought about how Stef seemed to have these visions of clarity, and for once, I felt as if I’d experienced the same thing.“Alexandra did it.”
“What?” Will asked.
“I think she set up Scott Slater to get beaten up, and I think she set up Elizabeth Danfield’s rape,” I said.
“How do you know that?” JP asked me, forever concerned about our lack of data when jumping to conclusions.
“Well, I don’t have proof, but it’s a pretty good bet, I’d say,” I said.They looked at me blankly.“At virtually the same time that I restock Alexandra’s war chest, Elizabeth Danfield is raped and Scott Slater has the crap beaten out of him.Those are the two people Alexandra would hate the most, with the exception of me.”
“It is surprising that she has not yet come after you as well,” Stef noted.
“Maybe she does not feel strong enough to take on all her foes at once,” JP said.“Perhaps she has picked you as her ally.”
“She has said nothing about that to me,” I said.
“She does not have to be so explicit when she has offered you bona fides of her good faith,” JP said.“She has done everything she has said she would.”
“She has,” I said, even as my core being refused to trust Alexandra.
“I am mindful of the rapprochement between France and Austria, the diplomatic revolution of 1756, where Austria shifted her alliance away from Britain to France, who was previously her perennial enemy,” JP said, warming up to his historical theme.“To seal the agreement, almost as a sacrament, Marie Antoinette was married to the Dauphin of France.”
“I don’t see the relationship between those things,” Jake said.It was unlikely that he would have been as exposed to French history as the rest of us, so it was hard to know how much of what JP said he would be able to put into context.
“Much as the alliance then was sealed by the Austrians sending Marie Antoinette to France, so the Carmichaels are sending Christopher to us,” JP said.
We all thought about that, until Will broke the calm with some humor.“Does that mean they’re sending him here so I can fuck him?”We all laughed at that, even Stef, which was a nice change, since lately he’d just sneered at Will’s sense of humor.
“I very much doubt that the Carmichaels are planning this so Christopher may surrender his carnal charms to you, such as they may be,” Stef said.
“That is most unfortunate,” Will said, mimicking Stef’s style.I wasn’t sure if JP got that they were both making fun of him with their pontificating, since it was so similar to his style.
“In any event, I would recommend that you proceed with caution,” JP said, directing that at me.
“I know how to be gentle,” Will said, making me chuckle.
I responded to JP, who was getting irritated with us. “That would seem to be obvious.”
Stef switched topics on us again.“If we take Triton public as we planned, and this comes out during the IPO, it could cause us a lot of problems, and cost us a lot of money.”
“I don’t see how we’re ever going to be able to do the IPO and refloat the stock with this out there,” I replied.“We’ll have this hanging over us, just waiting to drop and slice the deal to pieces.”
“I had not fancied having our investment in Triton being a permanent scenario,” Stef said.“We each have a substantial part of our net worth tied up in Triton stock.”
“Maybe that’s the plan,” Will said.“Set things up so Triton crashes and burns, taking us with it.”
“That would hurt us, and may even handicap our abilities to do future venture capital deals, but it wouldn’t take us down,” I said.
“You know, as you’ve described things, it doesn’t sound like whoever is doing this is trying to destroy you,” Jake said.
“Then what are they trying to do, whoever ‘they’ are?” Will demanded.
“Maybe they’re just trying to weaken you,” Jake responded.
“That is an interesting hypothesis,” JP said thoughtfully.“If that is the case, the big questions appear to be who is trying to weaken us, and why.”
“Maybe I need to go out to Connecticut and talk to Alexandra,” I said.
“I think you should see what Mike has to say this week when you see him,” Stef said.
“When you’re in Connecticut, maybe you can swing by New York and deal with JJ,” Will said, with real fire in his eyes.I should have known that it was JJ that had gotten him this pissed off.
“What do I have to deal with?” I asked calmly.
“Maybe you can teach him not to treat everyone he comes in contact with like total shit,” Will spat.
“I wasn’t planning to be in New York for that long,” I said.It was funny to watch Will try not to laugh at my joke.
“I got a call from Carullo, because he’s planning to move out,” Will said.“He’s tried really hard to be nice to JJ, but all JJ does is use him as his whipping boy, and that’s getting really old.”
“If they cannot harmoniously coexist, then perhaps that is not a bad idea,” Stef said, walking into this battle even though all of us knew that he shouldn’t.
“John Carullo is staying there as our guest, and that means that we should be treating him courteously,” Will said to Stef.He was all but breathing fire now.“If we had someone staying with us here, and I was so rude to him that he felt like he had to move out, would that be OK?”
“It would not,” JP chimed in.“And I would certainly not want to have that conversation with Isidore.”
“Did something new happen?” I asked, sensing there was more.
“John keeps trying to do things to cheer JJ up.He’s asked him to go out about every damned day, and JJ just blows him off, acting like he’s so high and mighty he can’t be seen in public with Carullo,” Will spat.“So this morning, he walked into the kitchen, and found some guy that Carullo had brought home hanging out.”
“Why was that a problem?” Stef asked.
“Because the dude was stark naked,” Will said.
“That is not exactly what one would expect, even if he were cute,” Stef said.
“Evidently he didn’t think it was a problem since the last time he was at the condo, he basically wore nothing the entire time,” Will said, then zeroed in on me.“Said he met this hot, older guy who gave him the ride of his life, and then they ordered a pizza, and when the pizza guy showed up, Dustin, the naked dude, seduced the pizza guy and the hot older guy watched the pizza guy fuck him.”
“Did he remember who this older guy was?” Stef asked, even though he knew it had to be me since I was as red as a beet.I was too busy trying to sink into my chair.
“I think he said his name was Brad,” Will said.
“He was that guy I picked up in the bar,” I said lamely.
“He was hot,” Will agreed, remembering him.
“I didn’t know you were into voyeurism,” Jake said to me, smirking.I couldn’t even bear to make eye contact with JP and Stef.“He said you gave him the ride of his life.”
“I’ll go to New York and talk to JJ,” I grumbled, then all but ran out of the study to try to find a way not to be completely embarrassed.I heard them laughing as I left.