We were lying in bed after yet another amazing round of sex, with me feeling almost euphoric, and with Carullo seeming upset.I almost rolled my eyes at his moodiness.“Thank you so much for sticking up for me tonight,” I said sincerely, wondering if that was what was bothering him.
“Pisses me off when those guys think they’re the shit, when they haven’t done anything,” he said, shaking his head in annoyance.
“Aren’t you friends with them?” I asked, since he didn’t seem to like them all that much.
“Toby and Tabitha are friends, the others are people I just hang out with,” he said.I was trying to figure out what he was talking about, then it dawned on me that it was probably like my ‘friends’ in the fashion industry.We did things together because we shared the same interests, but not because we actually liked each other.Then it dawned on me that I didn’t really have any friends, and that threatened to send me into a pity party where my mood was worse than his, so I changed the subject.
“Let me show you how I plan to redecorate your house,” I said.I sat up, reached over and got my pad, and stared at him until he got the hint and sat up next to me.“This is the main floor.”
“What?” he asked, totally shocked.“This isn’t decorating, this is reconstruction!”
“Well yeah,” I said, looking at him like he was an idiot.“You have to have the right space to work with.”
“Wow,” he said, getting the hint that I didn’t want to argue about how much it would cost or how much work was involved, I wanted him to appreciate my vision.“This is really cool.So like tonight, we’d have all been in one big room.”
“Exactly,” I said.“Here’s the upstairs.”
“What did you do here?” he asked, because those drawings weren’t as well illustrated.
“You have two bedrooms that are the same size, and one bathroom.I’m going to make the other bedroom about half the size it is now and give it its own small bathroom.I’m going to take the extra space from that bedroom and create a huge master bathroom, and a bigger closet,” I explained.
“Jay, that’s really incredible, the way you planned that all out, but I don’t know if that’s going to work,” he said sadly.
“Why?” I demanded, as I prepared myself for another argument on how he didn’t want me to spend money on him.
“Toby told me tonight that he got laid off,” he said.“He hasn’t even told Tab yet.”That was what he called Tabitha; they both thought it was cute.I didn’t understand this need for people to have these endearing little nicknames, but it seemed to be a thing.I was going to blow this off, but I sensed that he wanted empathy from me, so I tried my best.
“That’s going to be tough on them, especially since she’s pregnant,” I said.He looked at me oddly, which told me I’d gotten the empathy thing right, since it was totally unlike me to be that concerned.
“No shit,” he agreed.“So they may have to move in here for a while until he can find a job.They’ll need that bigger bedroom.”
“Don’t they own their own condo?” I asked.
He shook his head.“They’re renting.She works as a dental tech, so that’s not enough to cover their monthly expenses.Plus she’ll be off work for a while after the baby is born.”
“What does he do?”
He chuckled.“Toby’s in construction.He’s a nice guy, and he’s got a heart of gold, but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed.That’s why it’s a good thing he’s married to Tab.”
“She did seem pretty bright,” I agreed, although that was probably me being very generous with that compliment.Still, of all his friends, she was the only one I could probably tolerate spending an extended amount of time with.
“When I moved up here and didn’t know nobody, they treated me like I was part of their family.They’re always inviting me over for dinner, and they’re actually both great cooks,” he said.
“So we’ll help them out,” I said simply.
“It’s not that easy,” he said, then sighed.“You don’t get their mindset.They got a lot of pride.They don’t want other people stepping in to bail them out.”
“That’s ridiculous,” I said, scorning and dismissing those values that they had, and that Carullo probably had too.“You said they’re like family.Isn’t that what families do?Shit, my relatives have to fly out to New York at least every other month just to help me pull my head out of my ass.”That he laughed so hard at that was almost annoying.
“I offered to help out, but Toby wouldn’t hear of it,” he said.“But when things get really tight, they may change their minds.Who knows?”
“What happens if they move in with you and then the baby is born?” I asked. “That’s three people in that room,” I said, gesturing toward the guest room.
“I don’t know,” he said.“Guess we’ll figure something out.”
“None of you people believe in planning ahead?” I challenged acidly.What was with this group of idiots, who just went around bumping into walls and getting nowhere?
“Sometimes I plan ahead,” he said, getting cheerful again.“Let’s get cleaned up, then I’m going to take you out to breakfast and show you where I work.Then we get to come back and watch more football, only this time it’s the pros.”
“Terrific,” I said.I pretended to be totally unenthusiastic, which wasn’t entirely faked, since watching more football would bore me to tears.
He took me to a diner for breakfast, and laughed at me when I ordered an egg and a piece of toast.“You’re going to starve.”
“Clearly I’m not,” I said acidly, referring to my love handles.God I hated being fat.
“You can get all pissed off about it, but I’ve never seen you look better,” he said, then leered at me.“Makes me want to skip our tour and go home.”
My whole body tingled when he said that, and I was ready to agree, but then decided that his showing me around was probably a big deal, at least to him.Plus it wouldn’t hurt for me to show a little restraint; there was still some of the innocent princess in me, the same persona that Alex had gone nuts over.“There’s time for that after our tour.”
We walked out to the car and he paused to admire it, then we both got in.“I love this car,” he said, as he turned on the MDX.“Thanks again.”
“You’re welcome,” I said.“I like it much better than the Buick.”
“No shit,” he said.He drove to the southern part of town, to a pretty developed commercial area.“This is where I work. The ESPN Campus.”There were a number of sprawling two- or three-story buildings linked together, and what looked like a field of satellite dishes arrayed across the street.It was set in a small wooded valley, and looked picturesque in a suburban kind of way.
“This is a really nice area,” I said, noting some of the houses around it. “Why didn’t you move closer to work?”
“Because houses around here are pretty expensive, and there are no condos,” he said. He was right, in that I hadn’t noticed any shanties or condos during our drive in this part of town.
“I’m actually kind of surprised you bought a condo instead of a house,” I said.“You seem like the kind of guy who would mow the lawn on weekends.”I assumed that’s what all homeowners did.
“Yeah, it would be cool to have a yard, but I was pushing the budget as it is with that condo,” he said.We were driving north again when I saw a sign advertising custom homes for sale.
“Turn here,” I ordered.
He did as I said, even as he questioned my motives.“Why?”
“I want to look at these houses,” I said.
“Why?” he demanded suspiciously.
“I want you to walk through this home with me and tell me what you like and don’t like,” I said, gesturing at the display home they’d built.
“Waste of time,” he grumbled, even as he parked the car.“You have the most amazing taste.If you pick it, it will rock.”That was really flattering, so I gave him a big smile to thank him.
“Humor me,” I said.We walked in and were assaulted by a real estate lady, who tried to ask us all kinds of questions to see if she could talk us into buying a house today.“I want to look at this house first,” I said, shutting her down.
“Go right ahead,” she said, mildly annoyed at my brusque manner, but I wasn’t about to spend what little time I had here in inane conversation with her as she tried to pry personal information out of me she could then turn around and throw at me to try to convince me to buy a house.She handed me a spec sheet on the home even as we walked out of her office in the garage and up to the front of the house.It would have been much easier to just walk in through the door to the garage, but evidently they made you do that so you’d have to go through the foyer and be impressed.I handed the spec sheet to John.
“Christ!This house costs $400,000!”
“So,” I said, as if money didn’t matter, which it didn’t, at least not to me.“We’re here to look at how they decorated it.”We walked into the house and started wandering around.
“Man, look at this kitchen!” he said, amazed at how big and open it was.
“Do you like this two-level island?” I asked a little apprehensively, since I hated it.One edge was raised up so barstools could fit there.
“Not really,” he said.
“Me either,” I agreed.“It breaks up the space too much.”We wandered around, with me pretending to pay attention to his comments, until we’d pretty much micro-analyzed everything.
“We need to get back,” he said, looking at his watch.“Football starts soon.”
“I want to find out where they got their granite and marble,” I lied.He started to get frustrated, just like I hoped he would.“Why don’t you go back and have Tabitha come pick me up later?”
“She’s sick of football, so she’d be totally up for that,” he said, happy to have a way out of this bind.
“What’s her name?” I asked, referring to her last name.
“Tabitha Treighard,” he said, and spelled it for me.“Thanks Jay!” He gave me a kiss, then all but tore out of there, leaving me standing there staring after him like a jilted bride at the altar.
I reminded myself that this way I’d miss watching a bunch of football games, and that perked up my mood again.I followed him at a more deliberate pace and found the real estate lady waiting to accost me.“Let’s see your other floor plans, and the lots that are available.”It was funny to see how my abrupt manner totally confounded her complex plan to give me her sales pitch.
“Pardon me for saying this, but you look a little young to be buying a big suburban home,” she said, trying to crack a joke, when she was really trying to insinuate that I couldn’t afford it.
“Jeremy Schluter,” I said, holding out my hand to shake hers.“Stefan Schluter is my grandfather.Maybe you’ve heard of him?”
“I have,” she said, totally onboard now.“Let me show you what we’ve got.”She laid out a bunch of floor plans, which I glanced at briefly, then showed me the map of the neighborhood and pointed out the best lots that were still available.I picked out a lot that backed up to a pretty wooded area, reasoning that some privacy would be nice, then I rummaged through the floor plans and selected a one and half story house.It was about the best of the options she had, but that wasn’t saying much.I spent at least an hour going over it, making tons of changes to make it actually livable.It was funny, because she was probably happy about it since it would cost a shitload of money for all those change orders, but at the same time, it annoyed her because it would be a lot more work for her.I made sure that upstairs there was a separate master bedroom and two other bedrooms.The upstairs master had its own enlarged bathroom while the other two shared one.Downstairs, I got rid of the living room since Carullo would never use it and turned it instead into an office/guest room, complete with an additional bathroom.
“I think that should give you enough to go on,” I said to her, even as she frantically scrawled notes on the paper.
“I’ll have them draw up the plans and send them to you,” she promised.
“I need you to make a copy of that for me first,” I said.
“Of course,” she said, a little frazzled.I signed a bunch of papers and she made copies of those too, putting them in a folder of sorts with the builder’s name emblazoned on it.The whole thing was a pathetic attempt to make it look classy.
“There’s one more thing I need,” I said.“I have a friend who lives here who works in construction and he needs a job.”
“Mr. Schluter, I can’t make hiring decisions for the builder,” she objected.
“I think that if you hired him for three months and he sucked, you at least gave him a chance, and if you had to fire him after that, I’d understand,” I said.“And if you did me that favor, I’d be willing to work through you to do all the finishing work, rather than contract it out after the house was done.And I won’t argue with you about the pricing.”
“Our pricing numbers are standard and not discounted,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow to challenge that.“Then I can accomplish the same thing for my friend by having you build this thing with standard features and then I can let him come in and redo it with the materials I want.”
I watched her run those numbers through her brain, realizing that the cost to hire an idiot for three months was probably a lot less than she’d get bargaining with me on this house. “Give me his name and number, and we’ll talk to him.If we can’t work out a deal, we’ll revisit these building estimates,” she said.
“Perfect,” I said, and wrote her a check for the deposit.“I’ll come back in a couple of weeks to firm up all the choices.”
I had time to wander around the display home again before Tabitha arrived, and it was no surprise that she was in a foul mood.“I’m sorry I’m so late,” she said bitterly, and wiped a tear away with an almost theatrical gesture.She clearly wanted to tell me her sob story.“You can drive if you want to,” she offered, since she’d driven the MDX.That was clearly John’s bribe to get her to pick me up.
“No thanks,” I said, which seemed to surprise her.I was lucky that she didn’t give me the third degree about that until she discovered that I didn’t have my license.
I followed her to the car with my folder of papers and she didn’t say anything until she started driving toward Carullo’s.“This is a really nice neighborhood.They have great schools.I always hoped we’d be able to afford a house here, but that isn’t ever going to happen.”
“You never know,” I said conversationally.
“Did you know that my dumb ass husband got fired yesterday and didn’t bother to tell me until this afternoon?” she demanded.I wanted to question why she married him in the first place if he was such a dumb ass, but I kept that to myself.Besides, she’d probably tell me he had a massive dick and go off on some sexually charged rant that would end up making me blush.
“Bummer,” I said, trying to sound sympathetic.
“So now I’m going to be paying all the bills, but what happens when I go out on maternity leave?Then we got nothing,” she said.
“Maybe he’ll get a job before then,” I suggested.
“He sucks at construction,” she said, shaking her head.“Don’t get me wrong, he’s really good at it, but he’s a perfectionist, and he works slowly to get it right.That’s why he can’t keep a job at these places.They want you to hang a room of drywall in two hours.Takes him four because he’s so busy making sure everything is all lined up and perfect.”
“Then he’s just been working for the wrong kind of firm,” I said, talking about shit I probably knew nothing about.Unless it was about color, I was unclear as to why anyone would ask me for advice.“When we hire people, that’s the kind of work we want,” I said referring to my family.“We’d love a guy like him, who cares most about getting a job done perfectly.”
“You’re saying he needs to work for rich people?” she asked.
“That’s what I’m saying,” I told her.She pondered my words and if nothing else, at least I’d shut her up for the drive back.
October 12, 2003
Santa Cruz, CA
I woke up early and looked over at Jake, who was sleeping peacefully on his stomach.I drank in the beauty of his back, appreciating how now that he was asleep and relaxed, his smooth skin hid the contours of his muscles.I got philosophical, thinking that when he was awake, his muscles took over, and you could see them through his skin, but when he was asleep, the skin was in charge, and it hid the muscles.I giggled at my idiocy, then pulled the blanket down lower to reveal his ass.God, it was gorgeous.I gently began to run my hands across his glutes, appreciating the same thing I’d noted about his skin and muscles, while noting the effects were even more pronounced on his ass.He had the cutest dimples on his ass cheeks, as if to mimic the ones on his face.
I let my fingers explore his crack, with its light dusting of blond hair. I had noticed in my recent hookups that a lot of the guys were trimming their pubes down pretty far, while completely shaving their balls and their asses.I liked that Jake left a little hair there.It made him seem more like a man, and less like a boy.He moaned, which made me giggle again.I reached over and grabbed the lube I’d put out last night, and used that to lubricate my fingers so I could gently probe him.I went from barely penetrating him, to damn hear fucking him with two fingers, when he turned around and grinned at me.“Good morning.”
“It is definitely a good morning,” I said.He made to roll over, so I pulled my fingers out, then started probing him again even as I kissed him.I slowed down my finger fucking speed and inserted a third finger, then went even slower as I worked my fourth finger in.
“What are you doing?” he asked me in an excited way.
“I’m going to push my fist into your ass and make you cum so hard you’ll see stars,” I said, in a dominant but slutty way.
He moaned, rolled his eyes back, and completely surrendered to me.I made sure to use lots of lube, then formed my hand into the shape of the ‘silent duck’ and slowly pushed it into him, even as I stretched and elongated my fingers to make it easier for him.It was inevitable that when I did this I would compare fisting him to fisting Robbie, but what was strange was how different they both were.With Robbie, it had taken me a lot of time and effort just to get my hand fully inside of him, but Jake seemed to have a lot more control over his rectal muscles, so for him, the entry time was pretty short.His anal walls seem to grab my hand and wrist, as if to welcome me, instead of fighting to keep me out.
Once I opened him up and got to explore, the differences between him and Robbie were just as pronounced.Robbie had a very sensitive prostate, something that I could manipulate without much effort.Jake’s prostate wasn’t very sensitive at all.With Robbie, my favorite move to make him lose his mind had been to use my knuckle to rub against it in a circular fashion.I tried that on Jake, and it didn’t seem to have any impact, at least nothing significant enough to make me keep doing it.Robbie liked me to keep my hand in his ass and play with him, while Jake thrived on the in and out motion.I had expected this whole experience to be not a little unnerving, and had braced myself for that, but it ended up being a lot of fun.I had a blast experimenting with him, with seeing what really drove him wild, and just like with Robbie, I could sense when he’d had enough, and he needed to get off.“Holy fuck!” he yelled.“Gonna cum!”Those last two words came out as a shriek.
“Fuck yeah,” I said.“Blow that load!”
“Ahhhh!” he shouted as he threw his head back, while my eyes were focused on his dick, which started to erupt. Since he never got completely hard, it was really hot when he came, because it came out more as lava pouring out of a volcano than an eruption from a geyser.I was so horny I couldn’t stand it, so I decided to try the same trick I’d used on Robbie.Just when he was coming down from his orgasm, I pulled my hand out, bent his legs back, and shoved my cock in.His eyes bulged as I pounded him for another couple of minutes before I blasted my own seed inside of him.
“Fuck!” I said, drained and satisfied, as I collapsed on the bed next to him.
He rolled onto his side and propped himself up so he could look at me when he spoke.He put his hand on my chest and sensually stroked my pecs.“That was the most amazing sexual experience I have ever had,” he said, with his blue eyes boring into mine to emphasize his sincerity.
“That was awesome!” I agreed.“So according to what you told Will, and what Will didn’t tell me, but you thought he told me, this means I love you.”
He chuckled at my goofy way of phrasing it, then gave me a really sincere look.“Brad Schluter, I love you.”
I smiled at him, and felt myself get euphoric with that feeling I hadn’t experienced for quite a long time; the feeling of new love, and the knowledge that this time, it wasn’t some mere infatuation.“Jake Pike, I love you.”
Our interlude was interrupted by a loud knock on the door.“You guys want to get up and eat?” Will asked.“Waves are waiting.”
“Give us a minute,” I said, unable to hide my giddiness.
“You cannot fuck again,” he said through the door.“The neighbors called to complain, and that’s saying something since the closest ones are half a mile away.”
“Just go eat,” I said, trying to sound severe, although the effect was lost when Jake and I giggled.
“Whatever,” Will said.“We’ll meet you in the water.”I heard him walk away, and then Jake snuggled up to me and put his head on my chest.
“So we’re in no hurry?” he asked.
“I do have waves to catch,” I said, like I was joking, even though I wasn’t.I recognized that surfing was going to have to wait while we had a conversation.
“Was that weird for you?” he asked.
I could have stalled by asking him what he was talking about, but I knew what his question was about, and there was no reason to play games with him.“Not at all.It was a fucking blast.”
He hoisted himself up and looked at me.“Seriously?I mean, I could see where it would have been.”
“Robbie and I went through a phase where we were allowed to see other people,” I said, remembering that hellish experience.
“You still seemed pissed about that,” he said.
“I am,” I agreed.“It just fueled my insecurities and made me think I was a shitty lover.But the one thing we had that we didn’t do with anyone else was fisting.It was unique, and somehow having something special like that made it possible for me to tolerate the other guys.”I wondered if he could read me well enough to know that I was lying about that, and how I’d never been able to really tolerate the other guys.
“So you don’t feel like you’re cheating on him by doing it with me?” he asked in a confused tone, since I’d been making almost just the opposite point.
“No,” I said firmly, and this time I meant it.“First of all, he’s dead, and secondly, if he were watching us, he’d be happy for me, and he’d be cheering me on.”That made him laugh.
“He sounds like a pretty cool guy,” he mused.
“He was, most of the time,” I agreed, remembering his strengths and his weaknesses.“The other thing is that you’re both so different.”
“How so?” he asked, since I’d really piqued his curiosity about that.
“Robbie had a really sensitive prostate,” I explained.“For him, the best part about fisting was when I had finally gotten my hand in him and I could play with his prostate.”
“I liked that too,” he said, making me chuckle.
“Remember that thing I did to you in the beginning, where I was using my knuckle to go in circles around your prostate?” I asked.
“Yeah, that was nice,” he said.
“That was Robbie’s favorite thing, and I could get him off just by doing that,” I said.
“Really?” he asked, shocked.“I mean, it was nice and all, but that won’t do it for me.”
“I know,” I said.“That’s one of the ways it’s so different with you.”
He thought about that for a bit.“I guess it’s a good thing it’s not the same, because that makes it easier for you.”
I shook my head.“That really wouldn’t matter at all,” I said.“You’re such different people, it really wouldn’t be the same regardless.”
“I guess,” he said, unconvinced.
“When you’re with me, do you compare me to the other guys you’re with?” I asked.I was pretty sure I hadn’t been able to completely hide that it made me jealous.
“All the time.I wonder why I’m settling for such a crappy piece of ass,” he joked.I tried to laugh but wasn’t very convincing.“Does it bother you when I have sex with other guys?”
I paused for a bit, to try and form my words so I didn’t fuck things up.“It bothers me, so I pretend it’s not happening.”Before he could ask me another question, I beat him to the punch.“Does it bother you when I have sex with other people?”
“Who are you fucking?” he asked, all pissed off, which was hilarious and annoying at the same time.Still, this was a touchy topic for me, so I knew I had to make my point now.
“One of the things that’s a deal killer for me in a relationship is a double standard, so what that means is that if you’re going to have sex with other people, it’s okay for me to have sex with other people,” I said firmly.
“That’s fair,” he grudgingly agreed.We lay there in silence for a few seconds.“It bothers me.”
“So there’s the rub,” I said.“It’s one of those things that we have to figure out and agree on, and then deal with as best we can.”
“Were you this calm about it when you dealt with Robbie screwing around with other guys?” he asked.That was so funny I started laughing, and even when he gave me a dirty look, I couldn’t stop.I finally got myself together.
“No, I wasn’t calm at all,” I said.“You should ask Will, JP, or Stef how well I handled that.”
“Maybe you just don’t love me as much,” he said, letting his insecurities out and laying them on the table.
“That’s possible,” I agreed with a tone that made it seem like I thought he was right, and watched that piss him off.It was ironic that we were comparing him to Robbie, and I was using the same strategy I had occasionally used with Robbie, where I’d let him get pissed off before I made my point.“It’s also possible that I love you more.”
“I’m not seeing that,” he said.“You guys were together for a long time.”
“We were, but I don’t think time necessarily determines how deep feelings are,” I said, being philosophical.
“I think that’s part of it,” he said, which made sense.
“I also think I’m different now than I was then.I think I’ve mentally matured, and I can see things a little more logically and I can keep my emotions from dominating me as much as they used to,” I said, hoping I was right.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to do that.Maybe you can teach me how to do better,” he said.
“I can try, but I’ll have to do that later.Right now I have to eat, surf, and then drive home to meet my crazy aunt.”