Friends and Other People
A slight coolness in the air verified that wearing standard jeans and a shirt on his first day of school was a prudent choice. Cray was also curious to see what the other guys wore at Green Valley and adjust his wardrobe accordingly in the future. 'Probably it'll be shorts and a tee for a while,' he thought as he waited in front of the house for the car pool ride. 'And I hope they have decent food to eat at lunch.' He didn't want to be late so he had taken a banana with him as an express breakfast.
He replayed the events of the previous day: the early morning 'messing around' with Henry, meeting Tim - a possible new friend - at the football practice field and the blatant theft of his bike by a punk asshole. 'What a frustrating turn of events,' he decided as he finished off the banana. Stranger was the confident resolve Mario had shown that he could help in solving the problem. 'I wonder what Mario meant by promising I'd have my bike back and not to worry about it?' Cray's thoughts were interrupted when a sun-faded Jeep Wrangler with roll bars suddenly squealed around the corner. He stood a little straighter and smiled when he recognized Tim as one of the guys wedged into the back of the dusty vehicle.
"Gamble, hop in with me...if ya don't mind getting a little friendly," Tim yelled. "You can sit on my knees and I'll introduce everyone. Toss the backpack behind us. Fellas, this is the new guy - Cray."
"Hi, guys," Cray said as he worked his way into the back of the Jeep. He bit his tongue and decided not to return a 'topper' to the comment about getting friendly.
Almost in unison, the four others returned the greeting and said their names. Everyone shrugged when they realized that no one had been understood. The Asian guy in the passenger seat said, "Later, dude," with a smile.
'I'll get their names at school.' He balanced himself on Tim's knees and against the interior wall as the driver engaged the gears and drove off. 'Glad this is a short trip or my butt would be numb,' he thought as he shifted a little to find more comfort. Between the greeting nods and smiles, he felt welcome. A fast inspection confirmed that this was primarily a cargo shorts, tee and sunglasses crowd. 'Gotta remember to wear the "shades" tomorrow.'
Tim told him that the driver's name was Chris - a tall guy with gelled hair that peaked in the center - and that everyone was starting their junior year. The others were friendly enough to give Cray confidence that he might have a shot at acquiring some buddies in the new school. They turned onto Arroyo Grande Boulevard and the traffic became denser as they neared the sprawling high school campus. Cray looked at his watch and confirmed it was just approaching 8:00 a.m. '15 minutes until the first bell and a prime time for arrival,' he calculated while watching the controlled chaos. Ahead, was a line of sedans and shiny SUV's that stopped long enough to spill out younger kids. Other students appeared to be arriving on foot. A smaller, third group dodged the traffic with their bicycles.
As they turned into the parking lot, the sight of Vince, Jr., and his 'goomba' buddies standing by the bike rack was slightly unsettling. Cray noticed that Vince was holding his bicycle and that an older man was standing behind the smarmy crew. 'I don't know if I'm ready for this,' he thought. His breathing became a little heavier and felt his banana-filled stomach tighten. 'God, please say Mario's right about the outcome of this meeting.'
"I see the assholes are officially back for another fun school year," Tim said as the Jeep came to a stop in a space halfway down the lot. "But it looks like your bike has returned. I hope you don't mind, Cray, but I told the guys about your introduction to Vince's world. This is nothing new; we've all gotten the Ditello treatment at some point in our lives."
"Yeah, I understand he seems to spread misery around like it's an equal opportunity." Cray eased out of the back seat and thought, 'Probably it's a misery loves company thing with the other guys.' He stood by the Jeep while everyone else got out, looked around at the other students walking to the school building and noted that some of the guys were wearing jeans. 'Good choice for the first day,' he decided. 'It isn't all that different from back in Provo.'
Amongst the nods and hellos that several students said to each other, Cray sized up a couple of things within his first moments on campus. Most important, however, was the common reaction when anyone saw Vince and his crew: everyone detoured and took a wide path around the 'goombas'.
"We've got some safety in numbers today," Chris replied. "Let's walk over to scary Vince and get through this. But I'm so not into seeing this character first thing in the morning."
"Yeah, Henderson's version of the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' - except it's Arroyo Grande," Tim replied.
"Or maybe 'Scary Movie' in the desert." Chris decided to join in the 'put-down' fun...if only for a few moments before everyone clashed.
"Don't forget your backpack," Tim said.
"Thanks." Cray held onto his backpack and nervously walked up to the bike rack area and a very unhappy Vince. 'Looks like it's the good guys versus the bad punks,' he thought, 'with the punks outnumbered.' The man standing behind the boys looked very much like an older version of Vince. 'His dad?'
"Hey, Gamble. I brought your bike back," Vince said as the two groups looked at each other. Nothing else was spoken and the pause became uncomfortable for everyone.
"Say the rest," the older man said gruffly. "The last thing I need to do is hang around here."
"Okay, Dad. I...I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. It was really just a joke that didn't come off." He pushed the bike forward and looked down at the sidewalk.
"Uh, right. It sure didn't...I guess I should lock this up so someone doesn't steal it." Cray smiled slightly at the little dig he had gotten in and grabbed the bike by the handles. 'I don't know what exactly Mario said to the father,' he thought with a neutral expression, 'but it was effective. Good old dad makes junior look like a pussy cat.' As a token peace offering, he asked, "I guess I'll see you in homeroom?"
"Not this year. I'm going back east for school," Vince stuttered out. He looked at the older man and shrugged.
"Really? Well, good luck," Cray mumbled as he pulled away the bike. 'Good, friggin' riddance,' he thought while he found a vacant rack slot. He took off the front wheel and secured everything to the rack with his titanium lock. By the time he turned around, Vince, his friends and the father had split. Vince and his dad were walking across the parking lot while the 'goomba' goons were left standing next to Cray's new buddies.
"Man, who do you know?" asked one of Vince's friends with a mix of admiration and trepidation. "I've never seen that happen. That's totally awesome."
"What Vince did was wrong...that's all," Cray said with a shrug. "I consider this finished business." He nodded, felt uncharacteristically empowered and add, "It is finished, right?"
"Yeah, sure. Totally finished and cool." Vince's former posse looked at each other and silently moved away.
"Now, that's one for the record books," Chris said after the remains of Vince's crew were gone.
"A couple of those dweebs are half-way decent guys when they're not around Vince. I'll give them a second chance," Tim replied.
"I'm all for second chances," Cray said in a more upbeat manner. "In the meantime, I need help finding homeroom." Cray was aware everyone seemed unsure if any further comments were in order and they were all merely looking at him. He lightly slapped Tim's back and added, "Ready?"
"Let's go, guys." Tim led the way as the 'good guys' strolled towards the building. "Who the fuck do you know?" he asked.
"Friends, Tim. You might say I'm discovering that I've got some amazing, adult guardian angels looking after me; men who are plugged into this town." He was going to add, 'if ya know what I mean', but decided anything else should be left unsaid. "But why Vince isn't going to be in our class is a real mystery. Maybe one that's best left alone." Cray smiled and was inwardly proud that he had a little celebrity going for himself on the first day in school. 'As long as this doesn't get too blown out of proportion,' he hoped as they approached a corridor intersection.
"Okay, bro...later," Chris said. "See you guys at lunch. Maybe we can all get together this weekend?" He signaled a 'thumbs up' and walked down the left corridor with two of the car pool guys.
"Our homeroom is down the other way," Tim said as he motioned Cray to follow him. He tossed out casual greetings to several guys and gals while they sauntered along. Midway down the corridor they stopped. "Wait up for a sec. This is my locker and I need to stash my stuff. Be sure and get to the office during lunch hour so you can be assigned a locker." Tim twirled the combination lock, opened the door and stowed away his backpack.
"Good call. I completely forgot about that. Could you go with me after lunch?" Cray asked.
"Cool. Give me a day and I'll be able to find my way around. I was only here once for the registration." Cray felt the day was finally getting off to a good start.
"You know you're going to be an urban legend before the end of the day, don't you?" Tim asked when they arrived at Room 221. "Vince and his peeps pissed off a lot of people."
"Is getting known that way going to be good or bad? I just wanna blend in." Cray hadn't planned being on everyone's radar screen...especially the teachers.
"Definitely good. We don't know each other very well but you seem to really have your shit together. That is, for a dumb ass from Utah," Tim said with a laugh. "Seriously, my advice is for you to be you and it'll pass. My teacher in the journalism class would say, 'this is a story that will be used to wrap tomorrow's garbage'. Just let it play itself out."
"I hope you're right. And thanks, for being a friend." Cray nodded and headed into his new homeroom with Tim. Some of the students' eyes were on him and a hush momentarily enveloped the crowd. Then, just as suddenly, the students started talking again. He looked over and watched the teacher, Mr. Blankenship, obliviously reviewing a pile of papers as the bell rang. 'So far, so good,' he thought as he followed Tim over to a couple of unoccupied desks.
"If you're okay with that one, consider the desk yours for the year," Tim said in a low voice. "Blankenship will probably ask each of us to introduce ourselves so he can draw up a permanent seating chart for attendance."
"Pretty similar to my last school." Cray put his backpack down by his feet and decided he was ready to tackle the day.
Mr. Blankenship called for order and, as Tim guessed, asked for everyone to stand, one at a time - in order of the seat rows - and introduce themselves. It was suggested that they briefly mention any highlights of the summer. Cray was relieved that he was one of three transfer students. When it was his turn, he quietly said that he had only recently moved to Nevada from Utah and was still in the process of getting organized. A few heads nodded when he mentioned his interest in Tai Chi and Kung fu. 'If they only knew the rest of the story,' he thought with relief as he sat down.
With his bike safely stored in the garage, Cray walked to the kitchen for an after-school snack. All in all, it had been quite a positive day. With Tim's help, and some total strangers, he had found all of his classes. At lunch hour, he comfortably fell in with a crowd that included most of the guys from the car pool and a few girls - Tim's girlfriend among them. 'Cute couple,' he decided. A few more new faces rounded out the loose friendly group who readily welcomed Cray. One guy - Michael - was really helpful...and very hot. Cray had also noticed a small taijitu - the symbol for yin and yang - on Michael's notebook. 'Hmm,' Cray thought, 'when we're alone, I'll ask him if he does Tai Chi.'
"Good afternoon, Cray," Mr. Ed said as he closed the oven door. "From the expression on your face, I assume it was an acceptable first day at school?"
"Super," Cray replied with a grin. "What with the problems yesterday over my bike, I wasn't sure what to expect. You're aware what happened with this other kid and me?" He inhaled the aromas in the kitchen and guessed Mr. Ed was roasting chicken.
"Picked up bits and pieces from Mr. Mario. I understand that he knows the father and spoke to the man about the young lad's misdeeds. But I saw you ride up on your bike. As Shakespeare wrote, 'All's well that ends well'." Mr. Ed raised an eyebrow, subtly asking for more details and proceeded to prepare a large bowl of salad greens.
"Yes. It did end well," Cray replied. "And this other guy, Vince, is transferring to another school somewhere back East. Oh, I met some other nice kids in my class. This really has the makings to be a great year." Cray opened the fridge and took out the milk carton. 'Guess one cookie won't kill my appetite,' he thought while pouring a glass of milk. Dinner was set out in an informal buffet arrangement on the kitchen counter six nights a week at 6:00 p.m. for about an hour. It was an ideal arrangement for the residents who came and went on no set schedule.
"That's good to hear. It appears you're on the right path. By the way, I will need your assistance with a few things on Saturday morning. Would that be convenient?"
"Maybe about 10:00? I'm working at the hotel until about one in the morning." Cray found a peanut butter cookie in the bottom of the jar and fished it out.
"Excellent. Meet you here, then." Mr. Ed turned and nodded as Mario entered the kitchen. "Good afternoon, sir. Cray was just telling me how well his day went."
"Everything worked out okay?" Mario looked at Cray and winked.
"Just like you said it would. Do you have some time so we can talk?" Cray asked as he scanned Mario's image before him. It was one of the few times Cray had seen Mario in shorts and flip-flops. 'Must be a casual day for him,' he decided, while admiring his friend's taut, chiseled physique.
"Let me pour a glass of wine, you grab your snack, and we'll go out to the pool. I was planning on a little swim anyway before dinner."
Cray followed his 'uncle' and worked out in his mind exactly how he'd begin the conversation. It was only a little after five and the temperature was still quite warm. He noticed Mario motion for him to sit in one of the cushioned chairs by the Jacuzzi. The sun was positioned behind the house and offered a nice shaded area. He sat down, took a bite of cookie and washed it down with a gulp of milk.
"You look like one of those 'got milk' ads," Mario said. "You might want to lick your upper lip."
"Thanks." Cray shrugged with a smile and followed the suggestion. "I guess you knew that I'd get the bike back - although how, I don't know. What really surprises me is that this Vince guy is going to attend a different school all of a sudden."
"Back in Wisconsin to a military school; St. John's, I think. They build men or some bullshit like that. Cray, listen very carefully because I won't repeat this. Young Ditello was out of control. The incident that you had was just the latest in a long line of crap that kid had been pulling for a long time. I told you that I know the father. What I want you to know, confidentially, is that we both work for the same man. When I told the boss about your difficulties, he was pissed - pure and simple - and decided it was time to take action. Unlike most businesses, the less that is known about our activities or associates' actions the better. Vince, Jr., was indirectly a black eye to the organization because he drew unwanted attention and became a liability that needed to be handled. This is something that should have happened quite a while ago."
"Wow, the other guys told me that he was really a piece of work. Guess he'll be marching a lot...huh?" Cray asked while he digested what had just been said.
"Marching and drills are just part of the package. If Vince is going to be worth a crap to anyone or himself, he's got two years to make a turn-around. I hope the kid gets with the program because the alternatives down the road won't be pleasant."
"So when does he get sent to the new school?" Cray decided that it was best to re-direct the conversation to a safer level.
"He left at noon. The boss was up early and arranged everything with our people back east. Vince is probably at the academy being issued uniforms as we speak. So, now you know the story. I'm relying on you not to mention this to anyone." Mario nodded at Cray and sipped his wine.
Cray solemnly nodded and finished his cookie. He had been around Mario long enough to pick up the subtle meanings of the inflections in his voice. This was one of those times. 'He considers this finished business and I'm to keep my lips sealed,' he thought. "It's a done deal."
"You know what we both need? A little time in the Jacuzzi. You can tell me how school went and relax before dinner. I'm sure you've got some studying to do, later." He stood, stepped out of his shorts, kicked off the flip-flops and waved for Cray to follow him.
"Sounds like a plan." Cray got out of the chair and watched the muscled, nude backside of Mario walking to the Jacuzzi. He hadn't seen his hunky 'uncle' in the buff since the first night. 'Wow,' he thought as he took off his school clothes, 'what a total stud.' It was just the image Cray needed to motivate him to continue his workout routine. He stepped out of his briefs and joined Mario in the hot, pulsing water. 'Phew,' he thought as he submerged into the Jacuzzi, 'just in time. I feel a woodie in the making'.
"Wanna give me a rundown on your first day? I assume that you met some others who might become friends?" Mario asked with his eyes closed.
"The guys who picked me up this morning - Tim and his buddies - were pretty cool. And I met a few others at lunch in the cafeteria. The classes are pretty much what I expected and from what I gather, the students in my class are a pretty smart group. Everybody seems to be gunning for college and the SAT exams this winter. I'll probably have to join a gym for Tai Chi, however. It doesn't look like they have any sort of club at school."
"Let me know if you need help with the gym. I could spot you for the membership this year."
"That would be super. I was told there's a 24 Hour Fitness around here that has kick boxing and stuff like that," Cray replied.
"It's goin' to cost you, however. If I turn around, would you scoot over and give me a little massage around the neck and shoulders? I need to loosen up and get rid of some tension. This whole Vince thing was a little stressful."
"Mario, it would be an honor...if you're not afraid a horned up teenager is going to take advantage of the situation." Cray snickered and moved over to Mario. He put his hands on either side of Mario's neck and started a deep, probing rubbing action.
"If I feel something besides your hands digging into my back, I'll just ignore it." Mario let out a chuckle and added, "It might be interesting but way too close to incest for comfort. I suspect that you'll find a special friend at school...when you least expect it. Oh, yeah, work those knots out."
"You got it." Cray kept on kneading Mario's muscles as he reflected on the possibilities of finding a 'special friend'.
"And that's it? We've passed and just need to print out the certificate?" Bob asked from the computer workstation in the living room. He had just taken the foster parenting test on a secure internet site. Drew had taken the same test earlier in the evening.
"Mitch said that we should bring the test results and the certificate to our interviews on Friday." Their lawyer, Malcolm Mitchell, had arranged for the two men to be interviewed together at the Child Services two days hence.
"I guess we must have also passed the criminal background investigation? Not that I was worried," Bob said with a chuckle.
"Not yet. The formal investigation will take another week or so. Apparently, Mitch asked the commissioner to interview us early due to our hotel pre-opening schedules. They pretty much know we're clean."
"Well, except for a speeding ticket in 2001."
"Thank God they didn't find out you were trying to pick up the cute police officer who wrote the ticket," Drew replied with a wink.
"How do you know they didn't find out? The cop car might have had one of those cameras with audio. You know how hot men and uniforms turn me on...not." Bob laughed and added, "Seriously though I'm just a one man-at-the-time type of guy and you're it."
"Ditto, here. Let's face it, babe, we're two, decent guys who will be great foster parents for a young gay male." Drew took a bow and added, "Speaking of which, I wonder how Cray's doing at school?"
"Talked to him late this afternoon and everything seemed fine." Bob had also given Cray his personal cell number. "The second day of school was mellower and he seems to be making some friends. In fact, one guy is also into Tai Chi. They are going to go to our gym on Sunday for a workout, kickboxing class and then practice some of the Tai Chi and Kung fu moves. Mario got Cray a membership."
"Maybe we'll run into him on Sunday when we work out. We could invite him and his friend for some early dinner but that might be considered too pushy on our part. You know, doing our 'dad' thing. Maybe we'll let him suggest something down the road."
"Good point. As we just learned, teens can rebel against adults on the turn of a dime. I know; it wasn't that long ago for me."
"And now you're an old fart of 25 about to be a parent." Drew let out a big yawn and added, "This hotel pre-opening is really crazy. I think I'll just make some valerian-laced chamomile tea, watch the news and crash." He felt bad that the stress and long hours were eating into his love life. 'Just gotta get through the next few months,' he decided. 'Kee-rist - my partner is a studly sex-on-a-stick and I'm ready for sleep.'
"No nooky tonight?" Bob asked with a sigh. "Guess I'll have to use my trusty hand to get a little loving." He turned and put on an exaggerated pout. "The only problem is, when I say 'I love you', there are only four fingers and Mr. Thumb looking back at me."
"Okay, okay...you made your point." Drew walked over and placed his arms around Bob's arms and chest. He leaned in and gently nibbled on Bob's earlobe before bringing out his tongue.
"Mmmm, that's one of the points I like." Bob squirmed a little as Drew's tongue darted around his ear. "You know how to get to me."
"Why don't we both have some tea and snuggle ourselves to sleep? As far as lovemaking is concerned, I promise you'll have more than a gooey fist to play with this weekend."
"I'll hold you to that," Bob said as he leaned back. He turned his head and commandeered a wet kiss on the lips.
"You know where you're going to hold me, babe. Just be careful on the 'nads." Drew stood straight and added, "Come on out to the kitchen while I heat up some water. I want to ask you about some things I've been bouncing around in my head."
"Oh, oh. This sounds serious." Bob got up from the desk chair and looked at Drew with a raised eyebrow as he followed him out to the kitchen.
"Well, yeah...but good serious." Drew proceeded to get out the cups and fill them with water. He put the cups in the microwave, punched in the time and hit 'start'. "I've been thinking about our growing family - if all goes well - and think we need more room. We've already moved the computers out of the spare bedroom so Cray will have space and we're cramped already. I think we should consider buying a home that's large enough to take care of all our needs."
"Whoa. I agree completely about needing more space, but there's a lot of shit going down the pike right now. Buying a house takes a lot of time and planning. Cray and fostering is one thing; getting Barcelona open at the same time will be a ball buster. Are we going to have time to juggle getting a new place and all that involves on top of everything else? Plus, can we afford it?" Bob got the tea box from the cabinet and took out two packages. He tore the foil and retrieved the two bags.
"I agree there's a lot on our plate right now. However, it's doable; particularly if you consider that the interest we would pay on a mortgage would be deductible on our tax returns."
"You got a point. As 'officially' being single guys, we really get screwed over by the I.R.S."
"Hear me out while we drink the tea." As soon as the bell rang, Drew took out the cups and plunged the bags into the hot water. "If you agree and think that the idea has some merit, I propose we first work up criteria for what an ideal new home should have. We should probably ask Cray, too. Once everything's on a wish list, we could give it to a real estate agent and let him or her find places for us to consider. We can look at listings on our own schedule."
"Makes sense, and I do like the whole idea, but what about the 'moola' thing? A nice three-bedroom home in the Green Valley school district could very easily hit four hundred grand to a half-mil. Then, when you add interiors...Drew, we'd need to hit a jackpot to handle that." Bob grabbed his cup and followed Drew back to the living room area.
"Most of the furnishings we now have can be moved. And, to make things easier financially, we should look at homes - or town homes - that are 'cherry' enough so there's not a lot of fixing up expenses. We can upgrade as we can afford it."
"Kinda like doing a room at a time?"
"Exactly. I spoke with Nick very briefly and he feels comfortable that my department has everything covered for the pre-opening and the actual opening. Except for that last two-week crunch, the training and opening are on schedule."
"Same here. My boss thinks I'm more than pulling my weight."
"There you are. The first phase is figuring out what we like within an agreed upon budget. Next, we start looking for places that match those criteria. And this softening real estate market only works in our favor. There are tons of listings on the market and general word is that the 30-year mortgage rate will hold at a low level for a while. We can look at places at our own pace and make a decision after the grand opening in November."
"That should work...although 'softening' is an understatement for the housing market. Sinking is more like it. If the seller needs to get out of the house, we might be able to strike a good deal," Bob added. "Motivated, I think is the term."
"And the banks may have some inventory that's been repossessed. I don't want to sound like a vulture, but there are probably some homes out there that the bank would like to get off their books at a discount. I could talk to the manager over at Gallant National."
"I'm nervously getting into this crazy idea, babe. But can you talk to me about money a bit more?"
"We've both got some savings tucked away. There's going to be some good bonus money if Barcelona hits all the goals within the first 90 days of opening. I was thinking of how we could swing this."
"Buddy, in all due respect, you're a V.P. and I'm a junior manager. Maybe at some point I'll be in your league...but not yet."
"Then consider this. Would it be acceptable if we went into an ownership partnership of a house that is initially split 2/3's for me, and 1/3 for you? We handle down payment, mortgage, taxes and insurance...everything in that ratio. On a $400,000 house with a small down payment, it would probably be around $3,000.00 a month. We'd split it and your monthly exposure would be a thousand, max." Drew knew that Bob wanted to carry his own weight at an acceptable risk and wouldn't accept outright gifts.
"Hmmm. I can handle a thousand a month," Bob replied.
"At the point when you feel comfortable changing to a 50/50 deal in sharing expenses, we do it. Mitch could change the legal documents to show that change." Drew took a sip of tea and looked into Bob's eyes. He didn't sense he'd hit any tender areas.
"Shit, you have been doing some thinking about this. I suppose we'd work out a one-time payment from me to take care of upfront money you kicked in?"
"Something like that," Drew replied. He was pleased that Bob seemed so receptive to the idea.
"I must say I can't find any flaws in what you're proposing...as long as we can still handle everything else that we've committed to." Bob looked around the apartment and added, "Maybe we could replace a few things if we move. Some of your starter stuff out of college is ready for the Salvation Army." He grinned and sipped more tea.
"By the time we find a house, your sister will have given birth to the kidlet she's carrying. I'm sure that she'd love to help out on the decorating. Trish has a real talent in design." Drew smiled and thought, 'Might as well keep it all in the family.'
"As long as she follows a budget. She's getting very used to Bromley money," Bob said with a laugh. "I guess I've just signed on. Do me a favor and don't suggest a house with a big yard. The last thing I like to do is cut grass and pull weeds. And I could do without a pool if only because of the cost."
"Got it. But a back patio with a gas grill is a must." Drew smiled and knew he had Bob hooked.
"And a wet bar with a fridge outside, next to the grill. Maybe we could look in one of the older neighborhoods that have trees and vegetation? All these new developments with the 'desertscapes' look like you're living on the moon. Oh, the master bedroom should be on the opposite end of the house. No reason to teach 'junior' any bad habits by listening in on our late night activities."
"Or have 'junior' teach us any bad habits of his," Drew replied with a wink. He extended his left bare foot and rubbed Bob's leg.
"That, sir, is highly unlikely." Bob reached down, grabbed Drew's foot and raised it to his crotch. "At 16, guys have just scratched the surface."
"Speaking of 'junior', and I don't mean Cray, could I backtrack on the snuggling only suggestion?" He wiggled his toe and dug into his partner's cloth-covered balls. 'Oh, yeah,' Drew thought, 'I'm not that tired.'
"Don't be starting something you can't finish. There's no backing out once we pass the point of no return. 'Junior' has been alerted and it would be a shame to waste a woodie." Bob reached down, unzipped his shorts and guided Drew's toes into his open fly.
"Buddy, you've never complained of my finish," Drew said with a laugh. "I may be tired but I'm not impotent." He fished out Bob's hardening member and let his toes get more aggressive."
"I guess it's not likely to get athlete's foot of the dick," Bob replied, "but would you mind if we continued the touchy-feely activity in bed?" He gently eased Drew's foot away, stood up with his erection extending free from the fly of his shorts and added with a low voice, "Let me take care of you real good, tonight."
"I'll pick up the cups and meet you in the bedroom." Drew knew that 'take care of you real good' was Bob-speak for being the top part of tonight's equation. "Be careful where you walk; I'd hate to have you damage anything with that club that's sticking out in front of you."
"Babe, you better use plenty of lube cuz I'm ready to do some good damage." Bob winked, unbuttoned the top of his shorts and practically trotted down the corridor.
Drew smiled as he watched his partner enter the bedroom. 'Never take this wonderful man and our lives together for granted.'