* Larry *
I awaken in the dim early morning light to the comforting sensation of a strong pair of arms holding me, a firm masculine chest pressed against my back, and the unmistakable prod of morning wood against my backside. A familiar scent steals into my nostrils: Aramis. I sigh with content and nestle back into Ron’s arms.
Wait. Not Ron. Ron is…
The events of the previous evening come rushing back. I gasp and fling myself out of the bed, then just as abruptly skid to halt, realizing I have nowhere to run. I am naked in a hotel room. I cannot escape this scenario without delaying my flight at least long enough to dress first. Well, either that or causing a scandal in the lobby. I reluctantly turn back to the bed, wondering where my clothes have landed.
Oh, there’s my underwear, draped over the armchair. How did it wind up all the way over there? I retrieve it, pull it on, and sink down into the chair as the details of last night become clearer in my mind.
I first noticed Doug’s cologne when he moved in close to kiss me on the patio downstairs. Strange, really, that I spent the entire afternoon with him and did not notice it until just then. But it threw me: I was aroused and frightened in equal measure.
It shames me that my first response was to suspect Doug of manipulating me. How, even for a split second, I could have imagined that he would have wanted access to Ron’s plays—access I had already granted him, mind you—badly enough to find out what sort of cologne Ron used to wear and use it to seduce me…
I immediately disregard the thought that he might have gone to such extremes because he simply wanted, well, me. I may have a healthy ego, but I am not that vain. At a certain point, one has to simply accept the fact that even the best body is fated to acquire a certain amount of wear and tear over time.
No, Doug was open, generous, and spontaneous in his desire, without guile or stratagem. He let me know of his interest, and I reciprocated. As simple as that. The kind of simple I don’t remember experiencing since, oh, say, 1976.
And looking back in the sort-of light of almost-day, I don’t recall encountering a man as talented with his lips and tongue in at least that long. If that blowjob was an accurate representation of what Douglas Monroe has to offer in the bedroom, no wonder he was able to make up for lost time after his wasted Eighties!
Speaking of Doug, he must be a heavy sleeper. My precipitous flight barely seems to have disturbed him. He lies draped across the sheets, hair disheveled, his impressive manhood still partially visible, tumescent between long, sleek, pale legs. Even as I watch, he sighs and rolls over in his sleep, bringing more of his erection into view. I avert my eyes quickly.
Not quickly enough. I am already hard myself inside my Y-fronts. I had not even realized.
I stand up from the armchair and take a step toward the bed, torn between humiliation, lust, and guilt. I cringe remembering the way I fell apart in front of this man, took advantage of the pleasure and comfort he offered without giving anything in return, leaving him unsatisfied and no doubt embarrassed on my behalf.
Well, I suppose I could make it up to him now. After all, it’s only fair, after I cried all over the man, to reward him for his forbearance. He could have left me sleeping here by myself. Instead he stayed and held me through the night. Sweet of him, really. Everything he did last night was sweet. Who would have expected the quiet, intense artist I met four months ago of possessing such a generous soul?
Or such a generous endowment? I steal closer and sneak a second look. Or is it a third now?
God, he’s big. Not freakishly so, but, well, ample. Long enough to make me swallow apprehensively, and proportionately thick. On a shorter man, that penis would look unnaturally oversized. On him, it merely looks… like Doug. Tall and solid and unassumingly masculine.
Before I know it I’m on my knees at the side of the bed, bringing my head close to his groin. I close my eyes and breath in the scent of him. Not a trace of cologne now. Just the natural pheromonal musk of a grown man’s unwashed and aroused body, an invitation and enticement to sex.
Cautiously, deliberately, I stretch my head forward until I have just the tip of his penis, both firm and soft, silky smooth, inside my mouth. My senses explode. How long has it been? Old reflexes awaken, reminding me to loosen my jaw, tuck my lips over my teeth, relax my throat. I slide down an inch or so of Doug’s cock, working my tongue back and forth against the underside of the head.
Oh, yes. Now I remember this feeling. I had forgotten how good this was. How much I used to crave this.
I still crave it.
Doug grunts and shifts. I shift with him, scrambling onto the bed to maintain the connection. I hear his breathing quicken. If he is waking up, I definitely want it to be a good awakening.
“What the…” he grunts. Then inhales quickly. düzce escort bayan “Oh. Larry. Oh, no. No, no, no.”
I’m actually a little offended. I didn’t think I was doing that poor a job.
“No,” he says again, gently pulling me off his dick. “That’s so sweet of you but you really don’t have to.”
I begin to protest; he shushes me with a finger against my lips.
“It’s all right,” Doug reassures me. “I don’t want you to feel obligated because I did something for you that I really wanted to do anyway.”
“It’s not an obligation,” I respond hotly. “It’s a… well, all right, maybe it is an obligation, but it’s hardly an unwelcome one. I mean, I’m sure you get this all the time, but what you’ve got down there is pretty hard for a gay man to resist.”
He doesn’t appear to know how to respond to that. A direct appeal to the vanity and the man acts nonplussed. Is he human?
“Look… why don’t we start over,” he says finally. “Good morning. How did you sleep?”
“Good morning,” I respond, pouting, and hoping it’s not too obvious. “Very well. Thank you for last night. For all of yesterday, really. And you? You’re sure you don’t want me to…”
He shakes his head firmly, though I notice his arousal, still glistening with my spit, shows no indication of subsiding. “Look, why don’t we get ourselves cleaned up, go find some breakfast, and I’ll drive you to rehearsal? After that…” he pauses, and with a smile I could swear looks downright sheepish, “…well, after that I’d definitely be open to doing a little more exploring with you.”
I can’t help myself. “Vertical or horizontal?”
He laughs. “Whichever suits your mood. Right now I’m desperate for a shower, coffee, and breakfast, but after that you can consider me at your disposal.”
* * *
Daniel sees us entering the theater and rushes to meet us.
“Daniel,” I begin, “I’d like you to meet…”
“What did you say to them?” he hisses.
“How did you know what to say to get them to open up like that?” he demands. “I tried everything I could think of. Nothing worked. And in one five-minute conversation you… they… it’s like magic!”
Oh. He means Shawn and Tom. I had almost forgotten about them.
“So… they were better during the afternoon rehearsal?” I venture tentatively.
“Better?” Daniel explodes. I have never seen our self-contained young director so animated. “They were transformed! You have to tell me how you did that!”
“Oh. Well, truth be told, I sort of stumbled onto something by accident and it seemed to answer a lot of questions we’d been having about their performance.”
Daniel raises his eyebrows, exasperated.
I can’t resist tormenting him just a little.
“Oh, and by the way, this is Doug Monroe. He’s writing an opera based on the plays. I thought he might enjoy sitting in on this morning’s rehearsal.”
“Professor!” Daniel shouts. Then collects himself. “I’m sorry, Doug. It’s nice to meet you.”
They shake hands. I can tell Doug is sizing up Daniel approvingly. Back off, Monroe. He’s taken. And your dance card is already full this weekend. I haven’t forgotten that offer of further exploration.
Where was I? Oh, yes, explanations. I lean in close to Daniel and lower my voice to emphasize the confidentiality of our conversation.
“It seems our two leading men are in love with one another. Or at least heavily in lust. I caught them going at it hot and heavy backstage yesterday. It immediately became apparent to me that they’ve been holding back on stage because they were afraid of getting carried away in front of an audience. I simply suggested that their performances might benefit if they relaxed their guard… just a little bit.”
Daniel’s face goes through an entire sequence of expressions, from shock, to amusement, to ire, to rueful comprehension. The thing is, Daniel knows the joys and risks of a backstage romance himself. He’s hardly in a position to hold the boys’ little fling against them. And he knows all too well that I will be sure to remind him of that should he be inclined to forget it.
He settles for exhaling explosively, running his hand over his head, and saying, “Well, if it couldn’t be me, I’m glad someone was able to figure out what was going on. Thank you, Professor. You’ve seriously saved the day.”
* Doug *
The rehearsal for the play is interesting, in ways I did not expect. I hadn’t realized before how carefully choreographed the actors’ movements were. I recognize several of Scott’s trademark touches, particularly the spiraling blocking drawing Thomas and Henry ever closer to one another. But the cute young director doesn’t seem afraid to impose his own vision on the production. His telling of the story slows things down judiciously, giving the more intimate moments in the script room to breathe.
At several points the actors playing Henry and Dr. Swanson, both of whom I recognize from the Lexington production, escort düzce pause to ask Daniel something along the lines of “Last time we did such and such. Did you want that again?” Daniel ponders each question or suggestion carefully, then gives his decision clearly and firmly, without fuss. I can see why Scott felt confident enough to hand his pet project off to him, even though Daniel couldn’t be further apart from him in temperament.
It’s also intriguing to watch a different cast perform these roles. Shawn Fletcher’s take on Thomas Reeves is more brash and youthful than Jeffrey Williams’ measured portrayal. As if to balance out his energy, Tom Buchanan is playing Henry with more introspection than he did in Lexington. And Nicole Foster’s Evelyn is much more girlish and naive than the poised debutante portrayed by Angela Freeman. That’s the fascination of live theater: there’s no one definitive way to play a role.
Larry observes quietly, only interjecting an occasional comment to Daniel, a script sitting open but largely unattended in his lap. He probably knows these plays by heart. I can’t watch him for very long, though. I keep getting the urge to kiss the back of his neck.
When rehearsal is finished, I make a point of being effusive in my praise to both Larry and Daniel. Daniel accepts my compliments graciously, then excuses himself to consult with Nicki about something.
Larry turns to me. “Would you like to join us for lunch?” he asks. “It’s likely to be a lot of shop talk, but we might be able to squeeze in some time to get Daniel’s thoughts about the libretto as well before I have to prepare for my afternoon lecture.”
“I’d love to. But, if you don’t mind, I think I’d better run back to Aaron and Todd’s for some fresh clothes and let them know I’m still alive. Maybe the three of us can find time for lunch later this week. I wouldn’t miss the lecture, though. I didn’t get the chance to hear you speak in Lexington. Back here when?”
“2:30. Right here on stage; the actors are using the rehearsal studio this afternoon.”
I glance around quickly and, seeing no one around, risk sneaking a kiss. Larry responds with unexpected fervor. Last night was not just a fluke, then. “I look forward to it. See you then.”
* * *
“Hall of shame!” Aaron crows the moment I walk through the front door. “Hail the conquering hero, home from vanquishing the virtue of Texas manhood!”
I crack up. “Where do you get this stuff?” I sputter.
“Do you like it?” He grins. “I’ve been working on material all morning, waiting for you to get home.”
“Well, you got me. But not for long. I have to get back to the college to hear Larry’s seminar.”
“Larry? You’re on a first name basis with this guy now? I guess that means the meeting went well, huh? You’ll have it in the bag after I tell you what I’ve found for you.”
I cock my head at him, puzzled. Aaron is beaming.
“As it turns out,” he proudly explains, “there isn’t such a bad pool of talent here in this town. With Todd’s help, I found you a tenor and a soprano. Ben Merritt and Tiffany LeBlanc. You know them?” I shake my head. “Well, I think you’ll be impressed. While you were out seducing hillbillies, I made them copies of the music and told them to get practicing. They’re up for a read-through either Thursday or Friday, whichever works best for Mr. Larry. Don’t forget to ask him when you see him at his talk thingy.”
I can’t help myself. I plant a huge, wet kiss right on Aaron’s bearded face. “You, my man, are the best friend ever. And I’d show you exactly how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me if I didn’t have to conserve my strength for my date tonight.”
Aaron melodramatically reels and clutches my arm. “Date? As in round two? The same guy? It was that good?”
I am so strongly tempted to spill the whole adventure. I’m bursting to confide in someone, and Aaron would provide the perfect appreciative audience. But something stops me before I open my mouth.
Larry’s tears have no place in a locker room conquest story.
Instead I shake my head. “That good?” I repeat. “We’re just getting started.”
And that, funnily enough, seems to more than satisfy my friend’s voyeuristic appetite.
* Larry *
While at first I am disappointed when Doug declines joining us for lunch, after a split second’s reflection I decide that this is to my advantage. If I keep my discussion with Daniel short, I will have time to race back to the hotel and clean up a bit more thoroughly than my hurried ablutions this morning permitted.
At some point between my crack-of-dawn panic and our parting kiss at the end of rehearsal, my subconscious appears to have decided that just one taste of Douglas Monroe simply will not satisfy. I don’t dare risk more than a few brief glances in his direction during the lecture, for fear of becoming distracted. I do spot him the moment I enter, though, sitting near the rear of the theater and to düzce escort my right. His posture is deceptively relaxed, but his eyes are intent.
The rest of the audience is an interesting mix of students, faculty, some local press and theater aficionados, and small contingents from the gay and lesbian student alliance and community center. There is enough potential material in my presentation about the creation of these plays that it may eventually become a book, touching on everything from the queer theatrical tradition, to the state of gay rights and culture from the Seventies through today, to the Shakespearean allusions woven throughout Ron’s work.
In a mere fifty minutes, of course, there’s no time to explore any of these points in detail. But it holds people’s attention, and the question and answer period afterward is rewarding and revealing. It soon becomes apparent that most of the young people in the audience have no concept of the depth of disdain and fear that society once harbored toward us. When a few who come from more rural areas or conservative religious upbringings speak up about the taunts and even physical violence they or people close to them still endure, the more urban students seem incredulous.
I’m living history. What a curious notion.
At one point in the conversation Doug speaks up unexpectedly. “I don’t think any of you kids realize what it was like, not that long ago, to have to take a sick partner to the hospital, never knowing when you might be separated from him, with no legal right to stay by his side as he was suffering, even dying. Or knowing you might be turned away, refused care altogether.” His eyes are hard and dark. He knew someone who was treated that way. So did I, for that matter. More than one.
A few students stare at him, wide-eyed and skeptical. I have to remind myself not to judge them too harshly. They’ve grown up in a world of gay-themed television programs and lesbian talk show hosts. A few more, though, savvier to the indifferent ways of the world, nod in agreement, as do many of the older attendees. The wounds of the past are still raw among that group. I can see the signs plain on their faces.
“That’s what this whole battle over marriage is about, when it comes right down to it,” Doug continues. “Not romantic gestures or pretty weddings, as nice as those things are. The fight is for the right—the basic human dignity—to be able to care for the person you love and have that commitment given the same legal recognition and respect as any other couple.”
I shoot him a grateful look, which he acknowledges with a slow, solemn nod. I let Doug’s speech sink in for a few seconds before I ask for the next question.
When the Q&A is over, and the stragglers have dispersed, Doug finally unfolds himself from his seat and strolls down to join me near the stage. My heart pounds in my chest with every step that brings him closer.
“Good job,” he congratulates me. “I probably would have strangled a few of those nitwits. Learn some history, kids!” he shakes his head in disbelief and waves his hands as if dismissing the whole matter. The cold look in his eyes and the set of his jaw ease, give way to something much warmer. It’s a welcome change, but I have to admit, I thought Activist Doug was damn sexy, too.
“Anyway, what’s next on the agenda?” he continues. “I guess it’s a bit early, but would you like to go to dinner? Or for more sightseeing?”
I surprise even myself by reaching out and laying my hand against his cheek.
“Right now I’m far more interested in dessert,” I tell him.
He gets my drift. A wicked smile spreads across his face.
* * *
Safely back in the hotel room and away from the world, I waste no time in getting Doug’s clothes off and his cock back in my mouth where it belongs. This time I sense no resistance or reluctance on his part. He leans back against the pillows, long, elegant limbs splayed, eyes half closed, moaning softly in his throat in response to my efforts.
And I am making those the best efforts I can muster. I may not be able to fit the entire thing in my mouth, but no spot on that fantastic pillar of manhood—head, underside, shaft—is going to go unattended. But it’s when I stray down to his clean-shaven balls that he cries out and thrashes his head from side to side. I back off. “Did I hurt you?”
He is panting. “No, no, just… intense. So intense. God, you’re good.”
That’s all the encouragement I need to pounce on him and treat that sac to as loving and thorough a tongue bath as he has ever known. Doug all but howls from the stimulation, seizing the sheets in his fist to prevent himself from thrashing around and interrupting me at my welcome task.
Finally he pulls me up, dragging my unwilling attention away from his crotch, up into a ravenous kiss, wrapping his arms around me and holding me close. His spit-slick erection rubs maddeningly against my own. I hump into him, dignity be damned. This man is driving me wild with a need I have not experienced in years, and judging by the ardor of his kiss, Doug’s need is running nearly as deep.
When we finally separate, he places his hands on either side of my face, his forehead against mine, and looks into my eyes. His own eyes blur in my vision into a single mesmerizing pool of quicksilver.