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    Wayne Gray
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Fleeting Eternity - 8. Awakening

"Broken Hearts Club?" Kent held the DVD case and read the back of Stanley's choice of movie for their night. "I've never heard of it."

Stanley had taken off his coat, and now the small-framed man moved around in his kitchen. The sound of plastic bags rattled as he took their dinner and set it on the kitchen counter. "I thought it might be something you hadn't seen. It's a nice movie. It's a gay romance that doesn't end in utter tragedy. Those are sort of rare." He shook his head and chuckled, then looked into the living room over the counter. "If you'd rather then we can watch an action movie or something instead. I've got a lot of DVDs to choose from, or we can watch Netflix."

Kent was curious about both Stanley's taste in movies, and in the subject matter itself. "No, it's fine." He put the case down on the TV stand where Stanley's flatscreen sat. He walked over to the bar and stood on the living room side while he looked into the kitchen where Stanley worked to portion out the orange chicken and fried rice onto plates. He leaned with his elbows on the bar and smiled at the room. "I like your place. It's a nice little house."

Stanley grinned. "Thanks! I got it thanks to the First Time Homebuyer program through the city." He nodded at the bar counter. "I put that in myself." He shrugged. "The house isn't perfect, but it suits me. And thanks to all the work it needs, I could actually afford it - barely."

Kent smiled. Stanley was busy, so he took the chance to examine the man. He wore a long-sleeved, red and white button-up shirt that fit his trunk well in length, but it was a bit loose around his middle. He wore gray wool socks too. Both of the guys removed their footgear when they entered to keep from tracking mud everywhere. It looked like Stanley also sported skinny jeans in an attempt to find clothes that fit his small frame. 'He's so little. Even smaller than Nate.' Though Kent couldn't help but notice that there was an ample bulge in those jeans. Kent's tongue unconsciously wet his lips.

"Hey." Kent jerked, and he realized Stanley looked right at him. A grin was on Stanley's face, and after a moment he motioned at the fridge. "Do you want something to drink? I've got beer, cider, juice, or water."

Kent knew that he got caught checking Stanley out and he cringed. "Uh, cider. I like cider."

Stanley turned, gathered a couple of bottles, and handed them across the bar to Kent. "Here you go. Go get comfortable. I'll be in with the food, and to set up the movie."

Kent sheepishly accepted the drinks and turned. He chose a seat on the corner of the couch and twisted the tops off of the ciders. Kent took a drink, then he put the bottle on the second-hand, scraped-up coffee table. He looked at Stanley's drink still in his hand. Kent bit his lip then put it down right next to his own bottle. He heard Stanley moving in the kitchen as he finished up, and Kent felt a moment of panic. He debated pushing the bottle further down. 'He's gonna think you want to sit right beside him.' Kent frowned, a worried, unsure expression, as he tried to decide if that was actually what he wanted. His hand hovered near the cider.

"Ready?" Stanley stood by the couch, and he smiled down, two steaming plates of food in his hands.

Kent let his hand drop. "Ah, yeah."

Stanley slid the plates onto the coffee table, and then he picked up the DVD case. Soon he had the movie in his player, and he walked around to sit on the couch. Sure enough, his hip was only a few inches from Kent's. He picked up the remote, and he smiled over at Kent.

Kent stared forward, swallowed, then he glanced at Stanley. His nervousness showed, and Stanley's smile faded. After a few seconds, he moved down the couch away from Kent. "Ah, okay." Stanley nodded to himself and hit the power button.

Kent felt the disappointment from Stanley, and then he felt it in himself as well. "You," he shook his head, "you were fine. Right where you were."

Stanley examined him, and a small smile graced his lips. He scooted back, close to Kent. "Cool."

Kent looked down at their knees and let his leg relax into Stanley's. The warmth from the thin fellow's limb made him smile. Tentatively, he put a hand on Stanley's thigh. He stared down at his hand. "Is this all right?"

"Yes," Stanley said, then he chuckled a bit uncomfortably. He pulled at the denim over his groin. "Sorry. Things are a little tight in there."

Kent grinned, and he looked into Stanley's blue eyes. The face of the small man was angular and long. He reminded Kent of a young Scott Bacula, back in the actor's early years.

Stanley swallowed, appearing nervous himself, then he leaned over.

Kent moved his head slightly to meet him, and a feather-light kiss from Stanley made his lips tingle. It only lasted a couple of seconds, then Stanley pulled back and he looked at Kent for a reaction.

The husky fellow blinked, then he smiled. Stanley returned it, and he bit his lip. He patted Kent's hand on his leg. "I, ah, I'll start the movie. And we should eat before it gets cold."

Kent nodded. Stanley used the remote again, and the DVD began to play.

The careful, considerate treatment from Stanley was precisely what Kent needed to feel secure. He took a drink of his cider as the movie began then lowered the bottle. His fingers drummed lightly on the glass of the container. "If it's really okay, I'd like to spend the night." His voice was quiet but sure.

Stanley's smile became a full grin. He nodded. "It's okay. That's great."

Kent nodded. "Okay. Thanks."

He was comfortable, and he felt his trepidation slowly evaporate in Stanley's presence. He allowed himself to lean slightly into the warm man beside him, while Stanley let him go at his own pace. That was all Kent really needed.

Stanley watched Kent as he wiped the tears away while they watched the ending of Broken Hearts Club. Though the movie wasn't tragic, there were sad parts, and it was apparent that Kent was a sensitive soul. Kent glanced at Stanley and then laughed at himself. "Ah, damn it." He shrugged without real apology, and he rubbed his eyes with both hands. "I guess I'm just a baby."

Stanley's fondness for Kent grew. "No. It's okay." He reached up to Kent's face, and his thumb wiped a tear he had missed. Then he let his hand remain, and Stanley's eyes roamed over Kent's features. "I think it's charming."

Kent looked at him, then he let his eyes close. He put his hand over Stanley's and sighed. "I like this."

"Me too." Stanley got up on his knees beside Kent. "Tell me if you don't like something, will you? I want to do things with you, but only when you're ready."

Kent opened his eyes, and he looked at Stanley. He nodded, just barely. "I'll tell you."

Stanley could utterly lose himself in Kent's green eyes. He allowed himself to just look at him for a while, and Kent did the same. Then the younger, bigger guy leaned in.

He kissed Stanley. It started as something soft, with their lips barely in contact. Then, slowly, Kent opened his mouth, and his tongue began to make forays past Stanley's lips. Stanley struggled to stay in control of himself. He wanted Kent to lead the way so there would be no chance of pushing or upsetting the less-experienced man.

Kent didn't make Stanley wait long for more. The skinny fellow inhaled when Kent's hand slid down his front. His warm palm rested just above Stanley's waist, and Kent drew back to look at him. "Can I touch you?" he whispered and then nuzzled Stanley's neck.

"Yes." Stanley's mouth hung open as Kent tasted the skin on his neck. "You can, you can do whatever you want to me."

Kent pulled away and looked at him, as if to gauge if Stanley really meant that. Kent hesitated. "Anything?"

"Yes." Stanley smiled encouragingly. "Is there something you wanted to try?"

It seemed whatever was on Kent's mind, it embarrassed him. "I... sorta have this thing that I think about when, uh, when I jerk off."

Stanley grinned, and he leaned into Kent. "God, man, just tell me! I promise I won't laugh." His voice dropped, and his lips brushed Kent's neck as he whispered. "Tell me what turns you on." Stanley wanted to hear what Kent had to say so badly.

Kent exhaled, then he finally made the leap. "I think about holding a guy down, and, uh, and then doing things to him. Like, having sex with him while he's pinned, and stuff." He cringed. "I know it's weird."

'Aggressive! Oh my god, could he be a Dom?' Stanley felt like he'd hit the jackpot. 'He doesn't know it yet, and he'd need to learn, but he might be a Dom.' Stanley had only experienced one sexual partner who had allowed him to explore the submissive role. That pairing hadn't worked out, but it certainly wasn't because of what happened in the bedroom. He tried to keep the excitement out of his voice, though he was only partially successful. "It's not weird. It's actually very hot."

Kent looked at his face as if to see if Stanley was pulling his leg. When he saw the smaller man's lustful smile, Kent gave one back. "Yeah?" His face shifted to hopeful. "You'd let me do that to you?"

"As long as you've got a condom on, and as long as we've got a safeword, definitely."

Kent considered, but not for long. "Okay. I want to try it."

Stanley stood up, his cock straining against the denim of his jeans. Kent noticed with a grin. He reached down for Kent's hand. "Come on. We're taking this to the bedroom."

He led Kent into the back of the house where his bedroom was tucked away. Once there, Kent took the initiative, and he began to strip. Stanley was happy to see how eager and ready for this he was, and he too began to undress.

Once they got down to their boxers, Kent grabbed Stanley's wrist as he was about to take off his underwear. "Wait," Kent said and leveled a half-certain look at him. "I want to do the rest."

Stanley grinned. "All right. Hang on a second." He pulled his lube and a condom out of the nightstand. Those went beside the bed. Then he held his arms up, as if in surrender. "Safeword is 'Mercy.' I won't touch you unless you tell me I can. I'm yours. Do what you like."

Kent's face looked as if Stanley had given him a pound of gold. Stanley and Kent both eyed one another, each sporting erections in their boxers. Kent stepped forward until he was directly in front of Stanley. His eyes had changed. They were still a little unsure, but Stanley saw something else in them now. Now, there was a spark of aggression - something that Kent had, until now, been entirely unable to explore.

Kent put his hands on Stanley's shoulders, then he let his palms rub down his arms, his smooth trunk, then to his boxer-covered hips. Once there, Kent slid his hand to cup Stanley's balls.

Stanley breathed. He wanted to touch Kent badly, but he hadn't been told that he could. Kent swallowed as he felt Stanley up. He gripped Stanley through his boxers and squeezed his cock.

Stanley's eyes fluttered and a wet spot appeared on his underwear.

"Oh man. That feels so hard. Do you like that?" Kent asked, as one hand toyed with Stanley's testicles, and the other stroked him lightly through his clothing.

Stanley nodded. "Though I'll come if you keep doing it."

Kent stopped moving his hand, and he grinned. "Not yet." He pulled Stanley's boxers down, then he took off his own. Kent brought his pelvis close, and his cock lay alongside Stanley's.

“You're not circumcised." Kent looked in some wonder at Stanley's penis. "That's cool. And yours is as big as mine." The guys were almost the same size, though Stanley's looked far larger, thanks to his tiny waist. That made "average" go a lot further.

Kent continued to touch and explore Stanley's body, while both of them leaked precome and they dribbled on their legs. After a few minutes, he pushed Stanley down onto the bed, though it was gentle. Stanley grinned at Kent from his back. He could tell the young man was still trying to figure out what he liked, and how far he wanted to go.

Kent picked up the condom, then his eyes slid over to Stanley. He smiled devilishly, and he handed it to Stanley. "Could you put it on me?"

Stanley was all too happy to do so. He sat up and relished the feel of Kent's slightly giving yet hard dick in his hand as the condom went on. "Next time, don't ask. Tell me."

"Oh. Okay." Kent grinned, then he nodded at the lube. "Put some on me." His voice hardened a bit, and he flushed red.

"Better." Stanley put some lube on his hand, and he stroked Kent with his slippery palm. His other snaked down to rub the husky guy's balls. Stanley knew he was being a bad sub, but he wanted to feel Kent’s body under his hands. Kent shivered, and his mouth opened in a breathy gasp. Stanley noticed. "Oh, I'd better stop that."

The men grinned at one another. Kent wet his lips. "On your back." His voice was firm now, no doubt in it, and a thrill went up Stanley's spine. He complied quickly, and he looked attentively at Kent, waiting for any further orders.

Stanley watched with great anticipation as Kent took some lube, and he knelt between his legs. He inhaled as Kent's slick fingers rubbed against his hole. Stanley closed his eyes and enjoyed the feel of Kent's digital exploration, as he slipped a finger inside. "Wow. That's really tight."

"It has been a little while for me," Stanley confessed. "But it'll be fine."

Soon the finger left Stanley's body and Kent walked himself forward on his knees, then his body pressed against Stanley's. Kent positioned his cock against the smaller man. Then he leaned over and pinned Stanley's wrists to the mattress, his grip firm and tight.

He couldn't help it. Stanley whimpered. It was a sound of desire, deep need, and one of submission.

Kent's eyes narrowed, and he pressed forward. Pressure built, and then, thanks to the amount of lubricant, the head of Kent's member entered Stanley.

Both men gasped. Kent swallowed and licked his lips. "You, you like that?"

Stanley nodded, and he raised his head. "Don't wait. Push it in." His tone was all need and desire.

Kent hesitated only a moment, then he buried the rest of his cock in Stanley. The skinny man under him twitched and exhaled in a groan. His cock jumped and it oozed precome on his belly. Kent still had his wrists pinned to the mattress in an iron grip. "Fuck." Stanley let his head loll.

Kent pulled back, then he pushed. At first slowly, then he sped up until he rhythmically pumped back and forth again and again. All the while he maintained the pin, and he began to breathe raggedly as he hammered Stanley.

The small man's eyes opened wide, and he stared at Kent. "Oh shit. Kent, I…" Stanley's jaw dropped, and he came in several spurts all over himself as his streaming penis rolled back and forth from Kent's motion. Kent released his wrists and leaned down to give the smaller man an intense and sloppy kiss, then he followed Stanley's orgasm with a groan.

Kent finished with a sigh, and he looked in fascination at Stanley. "Whoa. You came, just from me being inside you?" He pushed up off of Stanley and leaned back on his haunches.

Stanley chuckled. "Yeah. I can if I'm really turned on." He eyed Kent from his position under him. "I hope you had a good time, because I'd definitely like to do this again."

Stanley had never been more gratified to see a man grin in his life.

Sunday morning, before he had to go in for work, Nate looked around the coffee shop. He smiled when he saw his black-haired lover, and he carried his coffee mug over to Tad's table.

"Hey." Nate took his seat. "How are you?"

Tad nodded, and he sipped from his mug. "I'm okay." He glanced at Nate, then looked back down at his coffee. "Thanks for meeting me before you have to work."

Nate felt a finger of fear run up his spine. There was something on Tad's mind, and it showed. "Well, of course." He shifted in the wooden chair. "What, ah, what's going on?" Tad had texted him earlier and asked for Nate to meet for coffee. The shop was close to the bookstore where Nate worked, so it was easy for him to make it happen. The guys had spent last night at their own places. Nate had work today and Tad had a project to get through. Though Nate certainly missed sleeping with Tad.

Nate watched as Tad grimaced. "I need a favor."

Relief hit Nate like a thunderbolt out of the blue sky. He was so sure Tad was about to break things off with him, perhaps in an attempt to distance himself and save Nate from future heartache. But that hadn't happened. "What? What can I help with?" Nate tried hard to calm the jackhammer pace of his heart in his chest.

"You can say no." Tad shook his head. "If it's too hard, or whatever, just say no, and I'll figure out something else."

"Tad," Nate reached across the table, and he put his hand over Tad's, "what do you need?"

With a sigh, Tad brought his dark eyes up to meet Nate's. "I need to know, if I had physical copies of my comic published, if your bookstore would sell them for me. If they'd be a distribution point." He waved a hand. "I know you just work there, but I thought you might be able to find out." Tad smiled hopefully - a tiny little expression. "I mean, if I advertised well enough, I could even sign copies on site. Do a little promotion gig."

"Of course I'll ask." Nate smiled and squeezed Tad's hand reassuringly. Nate saw a few glances from other patrons directed at them, but none were hostile. "The owners of the store are pretty cool. I think they'll probably be fine with it. That includes doing a promotion thing."

Tad gave him a real smile. "Oh, that'd be so great." He looked down at their hands on the table. His smile melted into a frown and he blinked as his eyes began to glisten. "I, ah," Tad wiped his face, "I just want to get it done and out there. I don't want to just, to just be forgotten. I want my life to matter." His face began to screw up and he closed his eyes, squeezing tears from them. "Fuck. I'm sorry."

Nate steeled himself. Tad rarely showed his emotions this way, so when he did Nate was determined to be strong and supportive. He pulled his chair around to Tad's side of the table and sat right beside him. "Don't be sorry." He put an arm around Tad's shoulders and pulled gently so they leaned into each other. "You won't be forgotten. Your life does matter, and it will for a long time." He cleared his throat, struggling to hold himself together. "That's true as long as I live. Okay?"

Tad nodded, and he wiped his face. "Yeah. Yeah, okay."

"We'll figure out the comic thing. I promise. It deserves to get out there." Nate squeezed him. "It's such good work, and it has a great message. It's gonna happen."

Tad nodded again. Then he chuckled. "I, ah," he sniffed and raised his eyes to Nate's, "I really appreciate you, Nate." Tad bit his lip, and he slowly shook his head. "You don't even know how much. I didn't realize that I needed this till I had it."

Nate grinned. "Well, why don't you prove it to me tonight?"

Tad laughed. "All right. Deal." He took one more cleansing breath.

Nate had something of his own he needed to discuss, and he took the opportunity. "So, I need to talk to you too."

Tad nodded. "Go for it."

Nate still sat beside Tad, but he removed his arm from around him and leaned forward to put his elbows on the table. He watched the dark-haired man's face. "Chris and I have been hanging out." He grimaced a little at his confession. "It's just, he's the only one who knows what's going on, and sometimes I just need to talk to someone." Nate dropped his eyes and bit his lip nervously. "I'll stop if it makes you upset, or weirds you out."

Tad grinned. "No, it's good. I'm thrilled."

Nate looked askance at him. "What? Really?"

"Absolutely. He needs to talk to someone. He won't talk to me, and I'm worried about him. So, yeah, this is great." Tad nodded. "By all means, keep hanging out with him."

Nate marveled at the genuine relief on Tad's face. "Well, all right." He smiled at Tad, then he shook his head. "I really didn't know if you'd be all right with it."

"And as a result, you asked me." Tad examined Nate, his gaze one of contemplation. He cocked his head a little to the side. "This thing between us is almost like a relationship or something."

Nate laughed, then he shrugged. "Well, I guess, if that's what you want, then it could be. I'm open to whatever you need from me." He looked hopefully at Tad.

Those dark, intelligent eyes examined Nate. Then he slowly nodded. "Okay. You know what you're in for. If you're really ready for that, then, okay." He lowered his head, still looking at Nate. Tad's gaze was intense. "But I need to hear you say it."

Nate made sure his face held only his regard for Tad and none of his fear. His voice was as steady as he could manage when he uttered his next words. "I know. And I can handle it."

Chris got back to his apartment after having spent much of his day out hiking. It was a rare, sunny day in February, and he had taken full advantage of it. He had stripped down to his underwear, as he was getting ready for a shower to rinse the sweat off of his body. Though at the moment he was in his bathroom, trying to find the source of his discomfort. Christopher looked at himself in his mirror, and he picked a thistle out of his beard. He looked irritably at the offending burr. Chris tossed it into the garbage, then walked into the tiny kitchen.

Before he jumped into the shower he needed to start his dinner. He opened the fridge and looked for what he'd planned for his dinner. He felt as if he were starving, and he had committed to healthier food. He knew he needed to eat better stuff than the frozen microwaveable meals.

"Ah." He found his thawed chicken thighs in their plastic ziplock bag. Chris pulled the bag out, opened it up and poured in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Then he salted and peppered the chicken while it was in the bag. He resealed it, then he massaged the chicken to squish the oil, salt, and pepper all over. Once he was satisfied with that, he put the chicken into a small baking dish and turned on his oven.

Christopher whistled while the oven warmed, and he chopped up half a head of cauliflower. That was also treated with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then the vegetable went onto a baking dish in a single layer.

His cooking skills weren't anything fancy, but he could make good-tasting, simple food. It was the sort of fare he enjoyed, so that worked well. The oven beeped as he finished placing the cauliflower, and everything went in to cook. He set a timer for fifty minutes, then he washed his hands.

As he dried them a knock came. Christopher walked to his door, looked through the peephole, and he looked down at his furry body. 'Eh, he's already seen this much.' Christopher opened it. "Hey, Nate." He smiled at the redhead.

Nate blinked at him as Chris, again, wore only his underwear to greet him. Then he shook his head, returned his smile, and nodded. "Hey, Chris. You got a minute?"

"Sure. Come in." Nate stepped inside, and Christopher shut the door. "What's going on?” He walked back into the kitchen to pull stuff for a salad out of the fridge. It also served to hide his nearly naked body behind a counter. Now that Nate was inside, Chris felt self-conscious about it. "Sorry, I was just about to get in the shower."

"Don't worry about it." Nate went to stand at the kitchen counter near where Chris worked on his dinner. "I felt like I needed to come tell you." He made a face and scratched his head. "Ah, Tad and I made things official today. We're dating. Like, boyfriend dating."

Christopher looked at him, and competing emotions ran through his mind. He felt a weird flood of jealousy and thankfulness, all at once. "Oh." He frowned and looked down at the bowl of greens. "Well, that's good." He nodded and forced his mood to lighten. "Yeah. It's good." He smiled at Nate. "Thanks for telling me."

"Well, of course." Nate wasn't done yet. "And, I told him about us." He glanced at Chris's crotch, reddened then forced himself to look away. "Err, that came out wrong. I told him that we hang out sometimes."

Chris eyed Nate. "Yeah? How'd that go?" He wasn't sure why, but his stress jumped as he waited for Nate to respond.

"Good. Well, great, actually." Nate shook his head and smiled. "He was really happy we're talking." Nate's expression shifted to fond. "He really loves you, you know? He's happy you have someone to talk to." He motioned at both himself and Chris. "That both of us do."

Chris relaxed. "I guess. I don't know why, but… yeah, I know he loves me. I love him too. And, wow. Well, I'm glad to hear that he's okay with us talking." Why he felt such relief, he wasn't quite sure. All he knew was that he didn't want to be forced to stop hanging out with Nate. Chris felt the best he had since the breakup ever since Nate started coming by.

"Yeah." Nate's smile disappeared as he looked at Christopher. Nate cocked his head a little to one side, and his frown deepened.

"What?" Chris raised his hands to his face. "What is it? Is there another burr?"

"Burr? No." He stepped next to Chris. "Here, let me see." He pulled Chris's hands down away from his beard. Then Nate pushed Chris's chin up. He made an amused sound. "I thought so. Your beard is lopsided."

Chris pulled away from him, suddenly very conscious of his state of undress. "It's not that bad."

"I noticed it like eight feet away." Nate motioned at Chris. "Come on."

Christopher felt the weirdest sense of deja vu as he trailed after Nate. They entered the bathroom, and Nate started the hot water. Next, the redhead stood close and smeared shaving cream on Chris's neck. The brown-haired man's eyes blinked slowly as Nate's warm hands rubbed the stuff on him.

Nate picked up the razor. He didn't even ask if it was okay, Nate just started trimming Chris's beard and neckline. Chris dutifully stood still, and he allowed himself to be groomed. 'God, he's so close.' He moved his hands and put them over his crotch. His dick shifted as it began to fill out. 'Shit. Okay, no more underwear with Nate. Never again.'

Nate pulled the razor away, looked carefully, shaved a tiny bit more, then nodded, satisfied. "There. Perfect." Instead of letting Chris rinse his face, Nate took a washcloth, ran warm water over it, and he gently cleaned Chris's neck and his beard of shaving cream. Again, Chris merely let it happen. It felt pleasant to be touched, even if it was all above his shoulders.

Nate smiled at Chris as he put the washcloth down on the sink. "There. It looks good. You're all better now."

Chris looked down at Nate. The two guys were still very close, and they stared at one another for a long moment.

Christopher cleared his throat. "Uh, thanks." He nodded. “I always have trouble with getting the line even." He stepped aside, and Nate quickly moved past him into the living room.

"Yeah. I could tell." Nate bit his lip. "So, I'm gonna go. I just wanted to let you know that stuff about Tad and me."

"Yeah!" Christopher nodded and looked down at the floor. "Yeah, that's, uh, thanks for coming by." He still awkwardly and obviously had his hands over his groin.

It was impossible not to notice, but Nate didn't mention it. "Okay, see you." Nate left in what seemed to be a hurry.

Chris stared at the door. Then he frowned and looked at his crotch where his cock lay hard and throbbing under his hands.

"What the fuck?"

* Stanley and Kent had quite the moment together. Stanley allowed Kent to explore his naturally aggressive tendencies in the bedroom, and Kent gave Stanley exactly what he needed in the process
* Tad had what he considered a big ask of Nate. Nate agreed to help get Tad's graphic novel into Eureka Books, his place of work. They also committed to boyfriend status - despite Tad's condition
* Nate drops by Christopher's place. In what Chris considered a joke, he showed up at the door in his briefs. Christopher regrets that choice later, since his body is on its own program. Nate leaves in a rush

Chapter eight is on the books. There's a lot centered around Stanley and Kent this time. I'll admit, when I first started this story, I needed another arc - another story to tell within the larger plot, but one that tied into that main plot as well. I also wanted to challenge my regular readers a bit. Up until the start of this tale I had largely written easily digested HEA (Guarded was an anomalous blip on my writing). So Kent and Stanley became part and parcel of Fleeting Eternity. Why they might be a challenge is hinted at in this chapter, and more on them is coming.

Really though, I needed another arc because the main storyline was tough to write. Kent and Stanley were a relief-valve for me. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's what they were.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter. There's more to come. Chapter nine… it's a bit of a whopper. It'll show up on Sunday. Thank you all for reading. Please, feel free to comment. I appreciate every one of you who take the time to read, rate, and say a few words concerning the work that I do.

Copyright © 2019 Wayne Gray; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Stanley and Kent make a cute couple. Tad asked Nate to help him get his novel in the bookstore. Nate and Christopher seem to be coming more than friends slowly.

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I love the scene with Nate helping Chris with his beard... it’s so sweet and intimate and mirrors their friendship in many ways, I think. Kent and Stanley persist in being adorable. ❤️ 

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I will join others in congratulating you on the way in which you portray intimacy believably and easily. It’s one of the ways you open your readers to your characters. It’s a great gift you share with us. 

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6 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Stanley and Kent make a cute couple. Tad asked Nate to help him get his novel in the bookstore. Nate and Christopher seem to be coming more than friends slowly.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Chris.

I definitely think Kent and Stanley go well together - that they fit pretty well.  And yes... something is going on with Chris and Nate.

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5 hours ago, Thorn Wilde said:

I love the scene with Nate helping Chris with his beard... it’s so sweet and intimate and mirrors their friendship in many ways, I think. Kent and Stanley persist in being adorable. ❤️ 

When I first wrote that scene, I could picture it so vividly in my mind.  These are two guys who have barely met... but they're bonding quickly, just sliding from strangers into friendship naturally, inexorably.  I like it.  🙂

Thanks, Thorn!

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1 hour ago, Parker Owens said:

I will join others in congratulating you on the way in which you portray intimacy believably and easily. It’s one of the ways you open your readers to your characters. It’s a great gift you share with us. 

Interactions between characters are my favorite things to write.  Intimate moments are particularly gratifying, because I get to show these connections growing.  I really like that stuff.  I'm glad you enjoy that part of my writing, Parker.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  🙂

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Can I just add that beards are sexy as hell? That scene was quite erotic, even for the characters! A well groomed, edged, and/or edgy facial sculpt; that's a turn on.

... Of course, my grandfather -- his face shaved smooth for as long as I can remember -- laid down the knowledge of the ages when he noticed me beginning to grow a beard in my teens: "Only a man's crazy enough to grow, cultivate, and groom something on his face that grows wild on his ass." He added the caveat of a wink and a grin, though. I think he approved.

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23 minutes ago, BryanC said:

Can I just add that beards are sexy as hell? That scene was quite erotic, even for the characters! A well groomed, edged, and/or edgy facial sculpt; that's a turn on.

... Of course, my grandfather -- his face shaved smooth for as long as I can remember -- laid down the knowledge of the ages when he noticed me beginning to grow a beard in my teens: "Only a man's crazy enough to grow, cultivate, and groom something on his face that grows wild on his ass." He added the caveat of a wink and a grin, though. I think he approved.

Beards ARE sexy as hell.  I agree.  That scene was a lot of fun to write.  Most readers can feel the tension between them.  Even though we're firmly in Christopher's perspective, I think it comes through that Nate is feeling that same electricity in the air.

Your grandfather sounded like a character.  🙂

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Stanley is a great addition to your cast of characters! I love the way he interacts with Kent. I also like the growing friendship between Nate and Chris. I'll repeat what others have said: I really liked the beard trimming scene. Rather erotic! If Tad's cancer kicks in Nate and Chris can care for him, mourn him, and fall in love. You have created some great characters, and I am really enjoying their story! Thanks. 

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4 minutes ago, JeffreyL said:

Stanley is a great addition to your cast of characters! I love the way he interacts with Kent. I also like the growing friendship between Nate and Chris. I'll repeat what others have said: I really liked the beard trimming scene. Rather erotic! If Tad's cancer kicks in Nate and Chris can care for him, mourn him, and fall in love. You have created some great characters, and I am really enjoying their story! Thanks. 

I love my little Stanley!  He's attuned to Kent - attentive, careful.  Yet, he's human, and a young, horny guy.  He constantly fights with his own urges to avoid a situation Kent might not totally be ready to try.  In the process I think it makes their interaction sweet and sexy both.

Yeah, who would have known standing next to a furry, muscular guy in his underwear while you clean up his facial hair would be so erotic?  😋

Thanks for reading and commenting, @JeffreyL!

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I foresee much complexity, with a dose of misunderstanding thrown in! 

Interesting chapter. Thanks

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I really like the "side arcs".  They are closely enough related to enrich the plot vs distracting from it.  The interplay in the course of the chapters adds to the quality of the reading experience.

Kent and Stanley's little divergence from run of the mill vanilla m4m sex is refreshing, as well.  Dominate/submissive sex can be really involved and complicated but it doesn't have to be.  I think I'm going to enjoy watching them explore to find what works for them.  It isn't explicitly stated, but "safe, sane, and consensual" will go a long way toward keeping them out of trouble.  Also, we've come a long way from the days when all gay fiction was supposed to end in heartache and misery at the very least and Stanley saying that finding a gay romance without a tragic ending was nice reinforces our progress in a subtle manner.  The guys might ending up being a relief valve in several ways.

Another great chapter.  Proud to be on the journey.

Tom

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2 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

Stanley is a great addition to your cast of characters! I love the way he interacts with Kent. I also like the growing friendship between Nate and Chris. I'll repeat what others have said: I really liked the beard trimming scene. Rather erotic! If Tad's cancer kicks in Nate and Chris can care for him, mourn him, and fall in love. You have created some great characters, and I am really enjoying their story! Thanks. 

You hit on the third act we're all hoping for (and NOT hoping for, as Tad's such a great character), I think.

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1 hour ago, Hawgdad said:

I really like the "side arcs".  They are closely enough related to enrich the plot vs distracting from it.  The interplay in the course of the chapters adds to the quality of the reading experience.

Kent and Stanley's little divergence from run of the mill vanilla m4m sex is refreshing, as well.  Dominate/submissive sex can be really involved and complicated but it doesn't have to be.  I think I'm going to enjoy watching them explore to find what works for them.  It isn't explicitly stated, but "safe, sane, and consensual" will go a long way toward keeping them out of trouble.  Also, we've come a long way from the days when all gay fiction was supposed to end in heartache and misery at the very least and Stanley saying that finding a gay romance without a tragic ending was nice reinforces our progress in a subtle manner.  The guys might ending up being a relief valve in several ways.

Another great chapter.  Proud to be on the journey.

Tom

Ultimately, the goal is to weave everything together in a way where all the arcs all connect and are dependent on one another.

Kent and Stanley are fun for me.  Their exploration is one I designed specifically to sort of ease my vanilla readers into D/s.    To prove the Life isn’t harmful, and that it’s fulfilling for the right pair.  For established D/s folks, it’s going to be child’s play.  But, that’s where Kent and Stanley are right now in their evolution.

Stanley's not wrong about the state of gay romance.  It just seems that a happy ending is anathema to many gay love stories.  More is coming out now that's not an utter tragedy, and that's great.  We're just people living our lives.  Show the sad, but show the happy too, damn it.  That's really what we need.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Tom!

Edited by Wayne Gray
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4 hours ago, Fae Briona said:

I loved this chapter, with the initial steps Stanley and Kent are taking.

Thank you, Fae.  It's a slow, steady progression for them.  Stanley might be more experienced, but he's still not far along himself.

It was fun to write them.  Thanks both to you and @Mikiesboy for the many questions answered and feedback given.  It was really helpful.

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found this story after reading Silverwolf and Guarded. This is my favorite one, though i cry a lot. i love the way the 3 main characters go though the story : it is hard to find good stories with more than 2 persons involved in the same love :) . i know that’s when 3 peoples are in love, jealously is often the result but i like to believe that sometimes only love can take over everything. when i started reading, i just disliked Nate, but i changed my mind when i kept reading. can’t wait next chapters, even if i know i will keep cring 🙈😂

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2 hours ago, Danilo Syrtis said:

found this story after reading Silverwolf and Guarded. This is my favorite one, though i cry a lot. i love the way the 3 main characters go though the story : it is hard to find good stories with more than 2 persons involved in the same love :) . i know that’s when 3 peoples are in love, jealously is often the result but i like to believe that sometimes only love can take over everything. when i started reading, i just disliked Nate, but i changed my mind when i kept reading. can’t wait next chapters, even if i know i will keep cring 🙈😂

Hi, @Danilo Syrtis.  Thanks for reading and commenting.  It's great to hear that you enjoy my work.

This story... yes, it's an emotional rollercoaster.  As you've seen, all three of these guys have feelings of some sort for one another.  Lucky for us, Tad isn't a jealous guy.  Though, he also didn't watch Nate shave his ex-boyfriend.  That may be pushing things, even for him.  😉

Nate has changed.  Love really does change people, and he absolutely loves Tad.

Stay with me.  Next chapter comes tomorrow, and... wow.  It's a big one!

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Tad is the glue that bonded Nate and Chris....it’s interesting that Chris let Nate even his beard up, something Tad always did for them when they were together;  It’s even more interesting that Nate wanted to.  

Shallow Nate is forever gone and in his place is a loving mate and friend, as I doubt he was ever really a true friend to anyone before Chris.

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1 hour ago, FanLit said:

Tad is the glue that bonded Nate and Chris....it’s interesting that Chris let Nate even his beard up, something Tad always did for them when they were together;  It’s even more interesting that Nate wanted to.  

Shallow Nate is forever gone and in his place is a loving mate and friend, as I doubt he was ever really a true friend to anyone before Chris.

Yep, you got it.  Tad caused Nate and Christopher to meet, and he even encourages it.  It's who Tad is - to look after those around him first.

Nate finds someone in Christopher that he likes to be around very much.  Chris feels the same, but has an obvious attraction to our redheaded firecracker.

Ah, the glorious complications of human interaction.  😄

Thanks for reading!

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Deepest darkest Kent. 😂😆opps that’s in England.

Tad and Nate, hmmm still think it should be 🐻 and Tad.

🥵😉

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46 minutes ago, Bft said:

Deepest darkest Kent. 😂😆opps that’s in England.

Tad and Nate, hmmm still think it should be 🐻 and Tad.

🥵😉

Yeah. Tad and his Bear ...

The story is really about to take the turn that will remain the overriding theme for the rest of the book. Stick with it.

Thanks for reading.

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