I heard a noise, a familiar noise, trying to wake me up, but I ignored it and just snuggled into Carullo. He had such an awesome body, so massive and hard, yet so soft. My mind was foggy, from being partially asleep, and from still being a little wasted. I lay there, in a daze, until I heard the noise again. Then two forces conspired to bring me fully awake in the space of just a few seconds. The first was my recognition of that noise. It was my phone, and the ringtone was ‘Hot Blooded’. It was Matt. Even as I jumped up abruptly, the second force hit me; an incredible need to pee. Carullo just moaned and rolled over. I threw on my clothes, which smelled nasty. They had that potpourri of party odors: stale beer, sweat, and smoke from weed and cigarettes.
I snuck out of Carullo’s room. He wasn’t out, so I didn’t want anyone to see me coming out of there in the morning, looking like I’d just fucked around with him all night. I went into the bathroom and peed, even as I pulled out my phone and looked at the clock. It was 8am. As soon as I finished peeing, I called Matt.
“Where are you?” he demanded a little rudely.
“On campus,” I said calmly. “Where are you?”
“I just got home,” he said. He was all pissed off at me, and it was pretty easy to figure out why. He’d made the long bus ride home, gotten to the ice rink and picked up his GMC, then driven home. He’d been all excited, expecting to find me waiting for him. Instead, he’d found me gone.
“I’m sorry,” I said, trying to make him less angry. “I got really hammered last night, and decided to pass out here. At least I think I made that decision,” I joked, implying that I was so fucked up I didn’t remember. “I’m going to go find my car and get home as soon as I can.” I was already walking out of the dorm as we were speaking.
I could feel his anger melt, even before he spoke. “Oh. Well that’s cool. I’m glad you didn’t drive. I’m gonna crash for a little bit.”
“Is it OK if I wake you up?” I asked, with a slightly slutty tone.
“It’s very OK,” he said, picking up on my mood. “Where did you crash?”
“I’ll tell you when I get home,” I said. I wanted to see his reaction to see how he handled it.
“Fine,” he said, clearly annoyed. “Probably with that Josh guy.”
“I’ll bet you’re hard just thinking about it,” I said, trying to tease him out of his bad mood.
“Dude, I’ve been hard for the last eight hours,” he said.
I laughed. “I’ll be home in a few minutes.” I ended the call and actually ran to my car, fired it up, and headed home, driving more like Matt than how I normally did. I’d had this big plan to be there to meet him when he got home, to show him how much I loved him and how much I missed him, and I fucked that all up. That was so unlike me. Normally I had a plan, a schedule, and I stuck to it rigidly. I began to flagellate myself for this obvious lack of responsibility and organization on my part, and continued with my self-abuse until I got home.
I found Escorial to be all but deserted. Evidently, Brad, Robbie, and Will had already left, another reason for me to feel bad. I all but sprinted to our room and found Matt lying in bed, snoring softly. I hurried into the bathroom and it says a lot about my pace that I cut a full two minutes off my shower routine. I dried off and walked back into our room, and paused to gaze down at him. He was sleeping so peacefully, and had such an angelic look on his face. That almost made me laugh out loud. He was anything but angelic. I was so glad about that.
I gently pulled the covers down, exposing his naked body, so fit and muscular. There was the scar on his chest from the dialysis tube, a stark reminder of how close he’d been to dying a few years ago. My eyes moved lower to his dick, which wasn’t hard, but wasn’t entirely limp either. I knelt on the floor and took it into my mouth, massaging it with my gums and with my tongue, getting him hard in almost no time at all. This is what I’d done to him the first time we’d been together, and it was something that not many guys could do effectively. I guess I had really strong muscles in my cheek and my mouth, muscles that gave me the ability to massage a dick without even bobbing up and down. He still wasn’t awake, but that just made me more determined. I kept working him, until I felt his hips rise up, and I felt his hand on the back of my head, lovingly stroking my hair. “Hey baby,” he said. I didn’t say anything; I just worked his dick until I brought him off. He flooded me, which was awesome, because I loved the way he tasted.
“I needed breakfast,” I said with a grin, even as I climbed in bed with him. I molded my body to him, my face against his neck, much as I’d been with Carullo this morning, but being with Matt like this was one of my favorite things to do. There was something about us, about our connection that made just lying together a surreal experience.
“I always think back to that first night we spent together when we were like this,” he said, being romantic.
“You mean after you’d been knocked almost senseless?” I joked.
“Yeah. And after you moved into the exact same position you’re in now, only then you pretended you were sleeping so I wouldn’t know how gay you are.”
I laughed at that. “And you were so pissed off that I wouldn’t sleep with you again the next night; you ran off to LA and fucked Cody.” It said a lot about how far our relationship had matured that I could joke about that. At the time, it had been pretty fucking painful.
“JP called me on that on the plane ride down there,” he said, reminiscing. “I told him that I was falling for my straight roommate, and told him that I was sad that you wouldn’t sleep with me again like this. He said: ‘So you’re mad at him because he won’t cuddle with you?’”
We both laughed at that. “I was so worried that I’d led you on, and that I couldn’t go where we both wanted to go. And I was even more worried that I’d end up there anyway, and it would be a total disaster.”
“And here you are, and it worked out pretty well,” he said.
“Yeah, it did,” I agreed.
“So where were you last night?” he asked, finally getting to the issue that was burning in his mind.
“With Carullo,” I said, even as I looked up to gauge his reaction. He just smiled.
“Did you enjoy yourself?”
“I did,” I said. “I have to call him later. I kind of rushed out of there before he woke up.”
“He’s a good guy,” Matt observed.
“He is. I ran into him, literally, when I was leaving the party. Somehow, that resulted in him fucking me.” Matt laughed.
“You sound like me.”
“Did you hook up with anyone while you were gone?”
“No,” he said grumpily.
“You sound like me,” I joked. Only he didn’t laugh.
“I think I’m getting there.”
“What do you mean?” I asked curiously.
“All this time it’s been so important to have other guys in my life, or even girls,” he said, giving me that cute grin of his.
He stopped, so I prompted him. “And now it isn’t?”
“Not really. Dude, I love you so much. I just want to be with you all the time.”
I smiled at him, and hugged him tighter. “I love you too. But I’ve been really happy lately, and I’m having a good time. It hasn’t changed how I feel about you one bit.”
“So you don’t want to be with just me?” he asked. I could tell from his voice how bad that hurt his feelings.
I sighed, a gesture of frustration. “I wanted that for so long, but now I’m not sure what I want,” I said honestly. “I can’t describe it. Right now I just feel so free and liberated.”
“You make me feel like I had you all tied up and shit,” he groused.
“You keep saying that, like it’s something you want to do,” I teased, only it didn’t work. I realized now that he was really upset about all this, and that he wasn’t in a mood to play around. “I have an appointment with David tomorrow.” David was my shrink. “I want to find out why I feel this way.”
“Maybe you don’t really want to be with me,” he said, laying his insecurities out on the table.
“Matt, come on. Think about what you said. What have I done that would even give you the slightest idea that I don’t want to be with you? Fuck, I fought like hell with Carl just to get you back. Where have I not been a good partner, a loving partner? What have I not done?”
He looked away sheepishly. “You’re awesome. I’m just fucked up.”
“Maybe you should go see David,” I teased, and this time he smiled at me. “You want to come with me?”
“To see David?” he asked, surprised.
“Dude, that’s pretty, I don’t know...” he said. “I would feel like I was intruding.”
“You wanted to say it’s intimate, because I’ll end up revealing my deepest thoughts,” I said. He nodded. “I’m inviting you into my brain.”
“It’s probably pretty scary in there,” he joked, to hide how surprised he was that I’d be willing to open up to him that much.
“I had this all planned out, that I’d come home and tell you that I’d figured it all out, and that you’re all I need. You’d agree with me, tell me the same thing, and we’d make love, and it would be wonderful,” he said.
“We can still make love, and it will be wonderful. I promise,” I said, smiling. He grinned back at me. “That’s a little spontaneous and impulsive for me, don’t you think?”
He laughed at my reference to my OCD habits. “I guess it is.”
“This requires a little more thought. I mean, even if we’re cool with that, there are other guys out there we have to worry about. Guys we’ve been with that would be hurt if we just cut them off.”
He pondered that, and looked guilty, because he hadn’t considered that. “Fuck. I forgot all about that. I can’t really do that to Carullo again, cut him off. I hurt him really bad before.”
“And if we blow him off right after he fucks me for the first time, he’s really going to freak out.” Sometimes it was easy to forget that other guys had touchy male egos too. “Dude, he’ll think he did something wrong.”
“Shit,” Matt said, getting that. He got a little playful to lighten the mood. “Did he do something wrong? Wasn’t it good?”
“Not a damn thing,” I said, smiling. “He was fun. A nice guy. He’s like a gentle giant.”
“That’s how I always thought of him,” he said knowingly. “I guess this thing with Hot Jeff really bothered me.”
“I can see why it would. It bothered me too. That’s why it’s over.”
“The sex was great. I mean, you have to realize that in my mind, there are two different scales. There’s sex with you, which is on a whole different level, then there’s sex with anyone else.” He grinned at my compliment to his sexual prowess. “On the ‘with anyone else’ scale, he’s up there.”
“I can see that,” he said grumpily. “The dude is smoking hot. And he’s probably had a lot of experience.” I ignored that barb at Hot Jeff’s past, at his life as a hustler. That hadn’t really bothered me, and I was glad I didn’t get all hung up on that. It wasn’t fair to Hot Jeff, to judge him for his past.
“He wants a relationship. A monogamous one. That’s something I can never give him.” He looked at me carefully. “I told you that when we found someone that’s a danger to us, we have to end it.”
“I thought you had to end it if I thought it was dangerous.”
“I think it’s better if I figure it out first, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’m such an idiot.”
“Duh,” I joked. “You haven’t done anything wrong, and neither have I. I got together with a guy who was a lot of fun, and when it got a little weird and became a potential issue for us, I ended it.” I leaned up so I was looking into his eyes. “I was honest with you about it, and you were honest with me about how you felt.”
“So you’re saying things are working just fine?”
“That’s what I’m saying,” I asserted.
“I think you’re right,” he agreed happily.
“You know what time it is?”
“Yeah. It’s like 9am or something,” he said, trying to look over at his clock.
“Nope, it’s time for me to make love to you,” I said in my sluttiest voice. Sometimes I was amazed at how different I was, at how much I had opened up and let my sexual being out. Before I met Matt, I never would have said something like that. He drowned out those thoughts by kissing me, and then I made love to him, and it was magical, just like I’d told him. As good as Hot Jeff had been, as awesome as Carullo was, no one took me to nirvana like Matt did. No one.
October 23, 2000
San Mateo, CA
I sat in David’s waiting room reading my psychology book, marveling at how ironic that was. Matt had wanted to go with me, but he had a quiz in one of his classes, and that won the battle of priorities in his mind. I was actually kind of glad about it, since I wasn’t sure what David would say, and I wanted to be able to digest it before I talked to Matt about it. That, and I had a lot to tell him, and I knew that if Matt were there it would take longer. When meeting with David, sometimes an hour didn’t seem like enough time, and sometimes it seemed like too much. I had a feeling that today it wouldn’t be enough.
“Wade?” he said, standing at the door to his office. I smiled and followed him into his inner sanctum. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time on pleasantries, but got right down to it. I hadn’t seen him since Riley was born, so I had a lot to cover. I sort of rattled it all off, almost a soliloquy, sucking up a good half hour of our time. “You’ve had an eventful month,” he said, when I finished.
“It’s been busy,” I said, smiling.
“I needed all of this background, but I’m wondering how you feel about all of this?”
“In other words, you want to know what’s bothering me?” I asked with a grin.
“That’s another way to put it.”
“I think the issue with Matt is at the top of my list,” I told him. “It really bothers me that we’ve gotten to this place where we can have other partners, and instead of it upsetting me, I feel really liberated. And I tell Matt that, and it pisses him off.”
“Or hurts his feelings?”
“Or that,” I agreed.
He paused to think about things, and noticed that I was agitated. “Wade, I have more than an hour today if we need it,” he said. I actually laughed then, at my compulsive nature, and how I was trying so hard to stay on schedule.
“I’m sorry,” I said, apologizing for being so rushed.
“No worries. Let me ask you a question. When’s the last time you’ve been uncommitted, where you weren’t in a relationship?”
“Before Matt and I got together,” I told him.
“I disagree,” he said. “I think you’ve been in a relationship since you were twelve, since your father started molesting you.”
I stared at him, shocked at what he’d said. “That wasn’t a relationship!” I snapped. My reaction told both of us how far I had to go to still work things through with my father.
“Not like you’d think, but your body really wasn’t your own, and you really didn’t have the freedom to give yourself fully to another person.”
I thought about that. “I remember when Matt and I first started dating and he wanted to know if we were monogamous, and I told him I couldn’t be. I told him that because I knew that if I went home, I’d have to...” I trailed off. I couldn’t say it.
“So then you finally ended that, and now you’re in a relationship with Matt, only you hadn’t really given yourself permission to be with other people.”
“Until now,” I said, finishing his thought. “I’ve been worried about this feeling. I know it’s been driving Matt nuts. He’s worried that I’m so excited about being free because I really don’t want to be with him. I knew that wasn’t true, but I’ve spent all this time searching my soul, trying to figure out if that’s it. I knew it wasn’t, I just couldn’t explain it.”
“Well, we’re just hypothesizing here, but it makes sense that if you were given some freedom after all these years, you’d enjoy it. Some men need to do that, to ‘sow their wild oats’ as it were. You never really got that chance until now.”
“But I could have sex with other people,” I objected.
“I don’t think we’re talking about sex. We’re talking about relationships.”
“Oh,” I said lamely, my mind whirling.
“It doesn’t sound like you were talking about just having sex with other people when you set this deal up with Matt. You were talking about developing little sub-relationships under the umbrella of your relationship with him.”
That sent my mind whirling even harder. The way he put it, it really didn’t sound realistic. “I didn’t think about it that way.”
“Is that what you want?”
“I don’t know what I want,” I said honestly. “I like this freedom, but I’m worried that I’ll end up hurting Matt, or another guy I’m with.” David’s words had made the whole thing seem much more intense.
“I think that’s a risk, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what is happening. It sounds to me like you both have been very open and upfront about what you’re doing. And you don’t seem unhappy with things.”
“He came back last night and told me he was willing to be with just me. He’s never done that before, never been there before. I’m wondering if I should have grabbed my opportunity and taken him up on it,” I said.
“If he wanted that last night, he’ll be willing to consider it today and probably tomorrow and the future. It may have been an impulsive reaction to missing you. I think those kinds of commitments need to be thought out carefully.”
“That makes sense,” I agreed.
“It sounds like you’re doing much better with your father.”
I guessed that he was changing topics just to ease my mental stress. “I am. He really stood with me against my mother. That took a lot of courage on his part.”
“Perhaps. Maybe he’s feeling like you were. Maybe he’s trying to get a little freedom too.”
I didn’t say anything, I just thought about that. Was his outrage at my mother personally motivated? Did I just give him an excuse? Was he sincere? “You think this was just a convenient opportunity for him?”
“Wade, I’m not saying that he wasn’t sincere. She violated a lot of principles that are probably important to him. You’ve explained to me how important family is to you, and how your father ingrained that into your brain. Those things are presumably just as important to him. It may just be a nice coincidence.”
“A win-win situation?” I asked, and forced myself not to laugh at using Stef’s term.
“Possibly.” He paused to let me think about that. “Why do you think you were so involved with Will, and his situation?”
“We’re tight,” I answered succinctly. “He needed me, and I care about him.”
“Do you have romantic feelings for him?”
“No!” I insisted harshly. I got the feeling that he’d asked me that question just to rip loose some emotions from me, which pissed me off, but I let it pass. “I call him ‘little brother,’ and that’s what our relationship is like. He comes to me with problems he can’t talk about with the more hotheaded members of his family.” David chuckled at that. “He was there for me when Riley was born.”
“How did you feel about things when he had problems with his relationship with his father?”
I felt my mind whirling yet again, trying to digest his question and its implication. “You think I fought for him because no one fought for me?”
“Is that what you think?”
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “I would have been there for him anyway.”
“I think you would have too. But you were very involved. It sounds like you were important to getting him to come home.”
“I don’t know,” I repeated. “My uncle was the only one that I had to talk to, to stick up for me, but even he really couldn’t do that. My mother was just too powerful. All he could do was give me moral support. When he died, I really was all alone.”
“But when Will was all alone, you were there for him?”
“I guess I was,” I agreed. “I hope I remember all this shit when Riley is a teenager.”
He laughed at that. “You probably won’t, but that’s alright. I’ll remind you.”
“Good,” I said, smiling. “What do you think I should do about my relationship with Matt?”
“What do you think you should do?” he asked me. Such a predictable response from a shrink.
“I asked you first,” I teased, turning on my charm. He smiled at me, but said nothing. “I don’t know. I guess I can go either way on this thing.”
He nodded. “I think that you are enjoying these other men, but Matt is feeling threatened. Right now, it’s like you’re out there, and if you meet someone, you can spark up a new relationship. That must make him feel like you’re a bit of an unguided missile.”
“You mean because he has no control over who I get with?”
“I don’t think he’s upset about the sex. I think it’s the relationship aspect of things. I think that if you engaged in sex with a man you just met, he’d be all right with that. But you don’t really work that way.” He was right. I didn’t work that way.
“So when he comes home at the end of the day, he really doesn’t know if there will be a whole new man in my life, and he has no idea if he’ll like that guy or not.”
“That would explain why he is so much more amenable to guys that you are with together; guys that he knows.”
“How funny,” I said, even though it wasn’t. “It’s usually me that freaks out over uncertainty.”
“You must be really important to him,” he said.
“I am,” I agreed, knowing that it was true. “So you’re telling me that it would be a good idea to have tighter guidelines about who we pull into our relationship on the front end?”
“I think those are your words, but I could have used them.”
I walked out to my Audi, pretty confused and disoriented. That was really a lot to digest. It was a nice fall day, one of those Bay Area days that reminded me why it was so awesome to live here. I rolled down the windows and turned up the sound system, blasting the music so loud that it almost hurt my ears. Almost. I drove back to Escorial but didn’t go inside right away; instead, I went out and saddled up the stallion and went for a long ride, giving both of us a good workout. The horse hadn’t gotten much exercise lately, and he wanted to really cut loose. He wanted his freedom too. We charged across the land, most of the time at a full canter, and finally got back to the stables in a much better mood.
I took a shower, made dinner reservations for both of us, and called Matt. “Hey baby,” he said cheerfully.
“Hey big guy,” I said, just as cheerfully. “Are you done for the day?”
“I’m on my way home. Why?”
“We’re going out to dinner. We leave here in 43 minutes,” I said, being specific about the time.
He snaughed. “Good thing I’m fast.”
“Not all the time,” I said.
“Is everything OK?” he asked nervously.
“Yeah.” He waited for me to go on, so I did. “I just wanted to talk to you about my meeting with David, and I’m hungry.”
“Alright,” he said nervously.
“Everything is fine,” I said, trying to reassure him. It didn’t really work, and that was even more evident when he got home and I saw his expression. He was being all grumpy, but I knew how to cheer him up. “Can you spare five minutes and still be ready on time?”
“I think so,” he said nervously.
“Good.” I pushed him onto the bed, pulled off his pants, and gave him a really short but intense blow job. He grinned at me when I was done.
“You trying to tell me not to worry about things?”
“Did it work?”
“Yep,” he said, and took a quick shower. I drove, since he didn’t know where we were going. I tooled up I-280, heading toward the City. He didn’t ask me where we were going; he just let me set the pace and the destination. He let me be in control. I liked that. “So what did David say?” he finally asked.
“If you wanted to know, you should have gone with me,” I teased.
“Ha ha ha.”
“He said you were a complete asshole, and he was amazed that I’m still with you,” I said, pouring it on.
“He’s finally right about something,” he joked back. “Where are we going?”
“The Cliff House,” I told him.
“Last time I went there was with JP,” he said. “Food was great, views were even better.” He changed the subject and talked about our hockey team, and how everyone played, filling the time up until we got to the restaurant. We didn’t start talking about my meeting with David until we sat down at our table and ordered.
“This is nice,” I said, looking around at the restaurant.
“So what did David say?” he prompted again.
“I told him about this feeling of freedom and liberation I have now,” I said. “He said that basically I’ve been in a ‘relationship’ for a really long time, if you count that thing with my father.”
“That’s not the same as what we have!” he said, much too loudly. His words upset me so much that it must have been visible to him. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not even close, and you know that,” I said. “But I wasn’t really free because I always had him there, and then you were there to save me.”
“So you want your freedom?” he asked me, horrified.
I gave him a really dirty look. “No. I don’t want my freedom. I’m not unhappy at all. It just bothered me, and you, that I felt that way. Now that I think I know why, it makes sense. It doesn’t change anything.”
“Well if you feel that way, don’t you need to do something about it?”
“No. It just weirded me out.” He didn’t understand that. To him, it was wrong that I’d feel that way, it was a problem, and it needed to be fixed. “It’s all part of this baggage I carry with me, because of my father. It has nothing to do with us at all. And to be honest, now that I know about it, it’s not really a big issue.”
“You mean you don’t feel a need for your freedom?” he asked, and revealed how irked he was by this whole thing by sneering when he said ‘freedom’, even though he didn’t really want to.
I thought about that. “Are you happy?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” he asked, being all defensive.
“I’m really happy with things, with us,” I said, smiling at him. He smiled back, but something was bothering him. “But David suggested something, and I think he had a good point. He said that he thought we might need to set up some better controls over who we bring into our relationship.” I sounded like an accountant when I said that.
“Why?” he asked me, not a little pissed off. He was kind of losing it, but I let him freak out a little bit. I knew him so well, and I knew I could settle him down, but I wanted him to really think about this, and I figured that would probably mean he’d get a little upset as he did.
“He said it probably freaks both of us out, to know that we could leave in the morning and come home at night with some new guy that we want to be involved with. He said that I must seem like an unguided missile to you.”
He stared at me, and his mouth dropped open, as the reality of that statement washed over him. “It is a little whack.” He was so predictable. He’d gotten all pissed off, but now that he’d figured things out, he was calm again.
“So how do we fix things so you’re as happy as I am?”
“I’m thinking that if someone is going to be more than just a fuck to either one of us, we need to agree on him. Or her,” he said, raising his eyebrows playfully.
I thought about arguing with him, but that would be stupid. If there was someone he didn’t like, I wouldn’t want to be with that guy anyway. If he was being unfair and petty, that would mean we had deeper issues to deal with. “Sounds good to me,” I said.
He blinked at me, surprised, because he’d expected an argument. “You sure you don’t want to fight about it first?” he asked playfully.
“There’s been enough conflict in our family lately.”
“Our family,” he mused. I looked at him strangely, but he just grinned. “I think that’s the first time I’ve heard you casually refer to yourself as one of us. That’s pretty fucking cool.” He meant that I’d actually internalized and accepted it. I thought about it, and realized that I had.
“I guess it is,” I agreed, grinning back.
We finished dinner and started driving back. I felt good about where we were, and being good with Matt meant that I could handle just about anything. I let him drive, because he liked my car, and he liked the control of being the driver. His cell phone rang and he answered it, which kind of irritated me, because he gets distracted when he talks on the phone.
“No shit? Really? When did this happen?” I heard him say. He continued to utter more generic responses, which normally wouldn’t have bothered me, except he looked sideways at me nervously as he did, which made me think that the call involved me. Maybe it was Carullo and he was all pissed off at me. I let my mind fly around from possibility to possibility for a bit, and then reined it in. I’d find out soon enough. He hung up and looked really somber.
“What was that about?” I asked.
“That was Chitworth. Carl’s little brother is in jail.”
“Jason?” I asked curiously.
“For beating up his girlfriend.” I stared at him, totally horrified