by TA (Terry)
Frank arrived about six o'clock the next evening. One thing I hadn't told David was how unusual it was that the Vice President of Sales would be visiting a fairly minor sales rep in a backwater of Wisconsin. Our corporate offices may have been located in Milwaukee, but the business we did in the state, compared to say Illinois was miniscule. Part of the reason might have been that Frank liked me, but there had to be more to it than that.
When Frank pulled up in his silver 700 Series BMW I walked out to meet him. As usual he was impeccably dressed. For a big guy, Frank was always dressed to the nines. I found out later that every stitch he had on was made to measure in England, but because of his ever increasing bulk, the expensive fabric was always being tortured.
"Frank, how the fuck are you?" I extended my hand as I approached him.
"Marky! Hey, kid, could you have found some place to live that was maybe even farther off the beaten path?" Frank gave me a warm handshake that hinted at what his grip must have at one time. He shoved both hands in his pockets and seemed to be appraising everything.
"Peaceful, Frank, it's peaceful."
Frank looked around. "Well, Marky, it does appear to be fucking that."
"Frank, before we go in, there's something that I want you to know."
"Can't it fucking wait until you've poured me a scotch and I've met your boyfriend." Frank had a very self-satisfied smile on his face.
"How the fuck did you know about that?"
"Oh, Marky, I've known about scotch for a very long time."
"Well…I've known that you were gay ever since I first interviewed you." He smiled at me. "The Mark Chauvet that I hired was not the happiest guy on the planet." We were walking slowly toward the house. "Then a few weeks ago, I find myself talking to this totally happy guy. Even that dumbass buyer at General Instruments calls me to ask why you're so fucking happy. Fuck, it's hot. I've gotta take this jacket off." Frank peels off the jacket and takes off his tie and stuffs it into his pocket, his stomach now well over his belt. "Well, Mark, I make a few discreet inquiries and bingo … my Marky's in love."
I'm slowly shaking my head. "Frank, you're something else. So does this bother you? I mean, make you uncomfortable?"
"Mark, do you want me to fucking beg for a scotch?"
"Okay, come on. We'll get your scotch. You do know that you drink too much, don't you?"
Frank followed me into the house. "Marky, you won't think so in thirty years or so."
David was standing by the stove in Dockers and a light shirt stirring something. Frank walked towards him with his hand extended.
"You must be David. My name's Frank Connelly, and to the extent that your Mark has a boss, I guess that I'm him." The two men shook hands, both exuding charm while sizing each other up.
"Frank," David said, "we weren't sure what scotch you liked, but I figured Black Label was a safe bet, and I think I'll join you. Mark, scotch, beer, or wine?" David was bringing out glasses and ice. Then he looked at the coat over Frank's arm. "Frank, let me take your coat. I've got a wooden hanger in the closet. David hefted the jacket and looked it over. He looked at Frank and smiled. "Beautiful coat. England?"
I was starring at David, probably with my mouth open.
"You're right, David, I did have it made in England and
the Black Label will be just fine."
David hung up the jacket quickly and started pouring the scotch. "Mark?" He held up the bottle. "Want some?"
"Oh, no, no…I guess I'll have a beer." Suddenly feeling very clumsy.
David handed Frank and me our drinks and then smoothly moved us out onto the patio, telling Frank that it was cooler out there and more comfortable. Then he and Frank talked for fifteen minutes about our company and how it was doing. I guess that I was dumbfounded by David's knowledge. He had obviously done his homework, but it didn't sound that way. It sounded like he had this conversation every day of his life. Even Frank looked impressed. David was so fucking smooth, so at ease, it made me wonder what else I had missed.
David had just poured Frank and himself a refill when Frank held up his glass.
"A toast!" Frank looked slowly at both of us. "May you guys always be as happy as Marcy and I have been."
I was touched and it must have shown. Frank looked at me and smiled in a rather fatherly way.
"Mark, something that I don't think you know is that my grandson Christopher is gay. He's in his second year at Stanford. I'm going out to see him next month." He looked down at the table for a while and then raised his head and looked at us. "My asshole of a son has virtually disowned him and I want to let him know that not everyone in the family is fucking nuts."
David and I both sat forward in our chairs. "Frank….if there's anything that we can do."
"Thanks, fellas. I think everything is okay, at least for the moment. I try and call Chris every few days and we're getting to the point where he's actually beginning to tell me what he's thinking." He looked at both of us in turn. "What I want for him is what you guys seem to have. I'll feel a lot more comfortable when Chris is in a relationship, a nice stable relationship. Anyway, that's what I want to do, push him in that direction."
David looked directly at Frank. "Sometimes, Frank, a gay guy needs to talk to another gay guy. Now I'm sure, without even looking, that Stanford has a bunch of gay organizations and probably all the counseling in the world, but if he ever needs to talk to an older gay guy, I'd be happy to talk to him about anything."
"I appreciate it, fellas, and I will mention it to him. Did someone mention food?"
"Oh shit," David said, "I forgot about it. Well everything's done except the steaks. It'll only take a minute." David jumped up and started throwing the steaks on the hot grill, putting baked potatoes on plates, and generally setting up the meal.
Frank turned to me and said. "You are one lucky son-of-a-bitch! Well…..I guess it's not like you don't fucking deserve it."
"I know, Frank. I know. And I don't deserve him." Then I remembered his remark. "How the hell did you know that I was gay from my interview."
Frank laughed out loud. "Kid, it's your training. You can't fucking lie for shit, and actually you didn't even try to lie. Whenever I asked you about women or shit like that you got this weird look on your face and told the absolute truth. Marky, don't ever go into the spy business."
David had called us to dinner and we were beginning to chow down when Frank said. "Marky, do you have any clothes that you didn't buy at J. C. Penney's?"
I stopped eating and stared at him. "Whadya mean? What's wrong with my clothes?"
"Mark, at the end of this month I want you to call my office and tell my secretary that I told you to come in to see me before I go to see Chris. And…..I want you to be dressed to impress." He turned to David with an exasperated look on his face. "David, you gotta help him out here."
David looked at him. "What kind of impressive do you want him to be?"
Frank waved his hand. "I dunno, but something better. Maybe a little European."
"No problem. I'll take him in at the end of the week." I was beginning to feel like I wasn't there.
"Just what the fuck is the matter with my clothes?" They both looked at me like I was three.
David asked. "Is this a permanent look? I mean does he need a whole wardrobe?"
"Yes, very possibly if everything goes as I think it might." He turned to look at me. "There may be changes coming. I should know by then." Then he looked like something just dawned on him. "Do you have any money? I mean you can afford to buy the clothes can't you?"
"Well yeah. I mean how much will this cost? I've got twenty-two thousand in my checking account."
Frank and David both yelled together. "Twenty-two thousand in your checking account?" They were looking at me like I was from another planet.
"Yeah….well….I've been meaning to open a savings account."
Frank looked at David. David said, "I'll take care of it, Frank. I'm a banker." Frank was just shaking his head.
Later that evening we both walked Frank out to his car. As he was about to pull away the driver's side window hissed down and Frank stuck his head out. "Don't forget the end of the month. This could be….no, will probably be very important. I need you there."
David and I cleaned up the patio and then went in, washed dishes and put things away. Finally about ten o'clock we went into the living room. I laid down on the sofa, pulling off my tee shirt as I did. David got completely naked before following me and snuggling down into my arms, again using my upper arm as a pillow.
I had in the back of my mind the idea that I might want to get a little even for some of the abuse that had been heaped on me earlier. Actually, I was thinking in terms of a pretty aggressive fuck, with David as the recipient. Not, mind you, that I would ever hurt him, and I did realize that David and Frank only had my best interests at heart.
When I finally looked down at David I realized that he was crying. I was stunned. I didn't know what had caused this and I was very afraid that it was something I'd done. I touched David's hair. I was totally lost.
"Oh David. I…I …didn't mean it. Baby, don't be mad at me." I turned his head gently toward me. "Please, David, don't be mad."
"He's gonna offer you a new job." The tears were streaming down his face. "I heard the way he was talking. You're getting a new job and he'll want you to move to the city."
I suddenly realized what he was getting at. I looked down at him. "God, David! You know you're gonna fucking kill me." I looked away. "When I see you cry it's….it's like I'm being stabbed in the heart."
David turned his face to the side so that he wasn't looking at me. I turned it back.
"David, please understand……there is no me…..there's only us." He was wiggling under me in a way trying not to hear me. I kissed his eyes. He started to speak and then stopped. "There is nothing that Frank could offer me, David, there's nothing that anyone could offer me that would make me leave you." I was holding his head steady and David was staring at me. "I agree that it sounds like Frank has got some new job in mind. But, David, he can only offer, then it's up to you and me. Yes, you little fucker… you and me.
"Nothing, David, no power on this earth is getting me to leave you. If Frank offers, then we'll decide. But, David, 'we' will decide. Not me and not even you, 'we'." I kissed David hard and after a while he started kissing me back.
"I'm sorry, Mark. I guess that I get to feeling insecure." David was wiping the tears from his eyes with the palms of his hands. "I just panicked - I wasn't thinking." He looked at me. "I didn't mean to do that." He waved his hand in the air. "Just pretend that that didn't happen."
I stepped over David after I stood up, then leaned down and lifted him off of the sofa.
"Wait, Mark! Don't drop me." He was trying to look down to see where the floor was.
I held David in my arms and kissed him. "Let's go to bed." I walked into the bedroom carrying David. He was beginning to smile.
While we were walking, I said. "Now, what is this shit about my clothes?" I laid David down on our bed and lay down on top of him, between his legs, supporting the bulk of my weight with my elbows.
"Mark," David was lightly poking my chest with his finger. "You're a 46 long with a 36 inch waist. That's a 10 inch drop. The drop is your waist size subtracted from your chest size. A standard drop is 6 inches and when you get to a drop like you have, nothing fits as well as it should." David was still lightly tapping my chest. "So what we need to do is take you shopping somewhere where they know how to deal with that. The place I shop in Madison will be able to handle it. They have some suits that are heavily tailorable, practically made to measure."
David kept talking and I put an expression on my face like I was interested, but actually I just wanted to hear the sound of his voice and watch him talk. I really didn't give a fuck. If he and Frank wanted me to buy this crap, then I would, but right now I just wanted David to talk to me. He's so beautiful and when he's talking about something his eyes just dance, and I get to stare at him without having to explain why and stroke his hair cause he doesn't seem to notice it. So he could have been telling me I was gonna have to castrate gorillas and it wouldn't have mattered, I just kept nodding. Eventually I lowered my head to his chest and he just kept talking. It was wonderful, I could listen to his heart beating, his breathing, and I had him in my arms.
I must have fallen asleep, because when I woke up it was morning. I had one arm across David's chest, but I had him pushed all the way over to the edge of the bed. I looked at the clock and it said 6:23 - another seven minutes until the alarm went off. Why was it we never seemed to have time to fuck anymore? Even if I woke David now, there still wouldn't be time enough for much of anything. I pulled him to me, knowing that I'd probably wake him, but it didn't seem to make much difference since he had to get up in seven minutes anyway. He made kind of a mumbling sound but didn't resist, and soon I had my arms around him. I decided that we would need to talk about this and somehow make time for us.
That afternoon, David and I went to Madison to the place where he buys his clothes. Before we went in, he told me to give him my credit card and not to look at the prices. I said. "You're kidding, right?"
"Mark, the way I see this is that Frank is going to make something happen and he needs you to look good and the only way to really do that quickly is my way. Now if you start looking at prices, it isn't going to make it any cheaper and it's just going to hurt more. I'm asking you to trust me and to just go along with whatever I say, can you do that?"
Well the way I saw it, I was screwed no matter what I did, so I just handed David my VISA and thought, 'Fuck it'!
Twenty-two hundred dollars later I felt dazed. That, by the way, represented only three suits, two pairs of shoes, some shirts, ties and belts. David looked satisfied. He said that we'd made a good start. Oh fuck!
When we got home, we got the good news that David's house had sold at the price he was asking. He was supposed to meet the buyers at the bank the next day. The people who bought David's house were incredibly nice people, it turned out they raised dogs, Weimaraners, and the cyclone fencing around the property was perfect for them. Joe and Eileen Oberhoffer were their names and we became friends instantly. David and I walked over after they moved in and David went nuts for the puppies. He was lying down with them, covered in puppies.
God he looked beautiful! That black hair again askew and those emerald green eyes flashing.
David was dressed in jeans, and that thirty-inch waist and cute little butt made him look unbelievably sexy, and being covered in puppies, well that didn't hurt either. In any event, the Oberhoffer's became good friends of ours. Our being gay seemed to be taken by them to be a given and apparently made no difference whatsoever. They added a lot to the remainder of the summer, sharing many a cookout with us.
A few days later, David and I picked up my new clothes and as much as I hate, and I do mean hate to admit it, they did look great. The end of the month and the end of the summer were pretty close to being at hand, so I called Frank's secretary and made an appointment. Gloria, Frank's secretary, was even nicer than usual and the feeling that I was getting some sort of new job offer was stronger than ever. I decided that it was time for David and I to have a talk.
I waited until after dinner and then pulled him down with me onto the sofa fully clothed. I was lying on my back and David was straddling my hips.
"Okay, baby, talk to me. What do you think about this whole Frank thing." I was rubbing his thighs.
"It scares me." He held up his hands. "No, wait…I mean while the whole idea of uncertainty is scary…well, this is gonna happen no matter what we think."
I brushed his hair out of his eyes. "You said yourself that they've never really treated you the same at the bank, and David with your degree you can get a job anywhere."
"I know. God, your dick feels big!"
I took both his hands in mine. "No dick talk! David we have to decide this." I was trying to sound severe because I didn't want the conversation to deteriorate, but I still had to smile.
"I know." David said in an exasperated voice and then laid his head on my chest. "There's this huge part of me that doesn't want one fucking thing to change, but this other more realistic part of me knows that it has to." He mumbled into my chest, "God, you feel good." He moved up on me a little and kissed me, then laid his head under my chin.
"We, I mean the company, uses this great service that you just call and they ask you like a million questions, then they turn out a resume for you." I kissed the top of his head. "Want me to get their number?"
David lifted his head and looked at me. "Hey, do I get a fuck outta this?"
"You bet, baby."
"Mark, for this fuck, you wouldn't consider wearing your old uniform….would you?"
"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, David, grrrrrrrr!"
As it turned out Frank was right all along. It's really hard to tell how much of what happened was engineered by Frank, but his fingerprints were all over it. Ultimately our company was bought out by a German company and Frank was made Managing Director of American Operations.
One of the many parts of the new company, when you include the European operations, was a manufacturer of tools used to make weaponry and that's where Frank planned to use me. I guess that in the three days that I was in Milwaukee, I met with sixty or so executives and engineers from the European subsidiaries. They wanted a hunk of the U.S. armaments business bad and offered me the job of Regional Sales Manager for everything west of the Mississippi, and as it happened, that included sixty-five percent of the very special businesses they were interested in, very special indeed.
David had come with me to Milwaukee and the first day that I got back to the hotel I told him that I thought it was a deal. God, I was tired.
"I know, Frank called me and told me."
"He fucking what?"
David was sitting on my butt rubbing my back. "Don't get all excited. He just called and said it looked like it was going through and I might want to look for a house."
I grunted. "And that doesn't seem outta line to you? I didn't even know for sure."
"Frank was just trying to keep me involved. He's a smart guy. He was covering his bases."
"Oh fuck! We have to find a house! David how the fuck are we ever gonna do all this?"
"Not only a house! I still need a job you know." He was digging his thumbs into the base of my neck.
I looked back at David. "Shit, you're right. I totally forgot about that. Sorry, babe."
"Frank is sending a real estate agent over tomorrow. You're going to be in meetings all day. You trust me to pick out a half dozen houses as finalists and then we can go together to look at them?"
"How do we get a mortgage when we don't even know for sure you're employed. Oh God, a little lower. Yeah, right there."
"Well, I kinda already took care of that, well in a way anyway."
I lifted my head and looked back at David. "Do I want to know the details?"
"Uh, probably not." He leaned over and kissed me. "Just be glad that I'm on your side."
I reached back and pulled David down onto the bed and wrapped my arms around him. He looked up at me with so much trust. "I am glad, David." I kissed him for a very long time while running my fingers through his hair. I slowly undressed him, the shirt button by button, sucking on his nipples; the shoes and socks one at a time, massaging his feet; his pants and underwear together and very quickly.
The sex began gently, but quickly escalated as it always seems to do. By the end of it we were both lying on our backs panting at the ceiling.
I picked up David's hand and kissed it. "You pick out the house, babe. Whatever you think will be good."
David turned on his side and looked at me. He laughed a little.
"What? What's so funny?"
David laughed again. "If you only knew how good my ass feels." He put his hand on my chest. "I'll get pictures and floor plans tomorrow, we can narrow it down to say a couple, then make an offer. Would you rather have more land, more house, or both?"
I pulled David on top of me and kissed him. "The most important thing for me is that you like it."
David rolled his eyes. "God, you're so easy."
I was stroking David's hair. "Shit, tomorrow is going to be a bitch of a day, but if you need me call. You know it's weird how Frank thrives on this. You ought to see him, Mr. Internationalist. He does it so well."
Stroking David's hair was having the usual effect and I gently rolled him off of me, got behind him and took him in my arms. While he was falling asleep I was worrying … could I do the job … would we find a house … would David find a job … would he like it here … and most important of all, would he keep loving me?
Moving has got to be like the worst thing ever and we were doing it on what was so far the worst day of the year; it also happened to be David's birthday, October 29th. I was at our old house getting the moving van on its way while David was at the new house waiting for the moving van to arrive there. He was also waiting for the new furniture we bought to be delivered and for the furnace guy to come and get that working properly.
After the movers left our old house, I had to take off for the city for what I hoped would be a brief meeting at work. By the time I and the van both left, the snow was coming down at an unbelievable rate and what should have been a two hour drive became a four hour drive. I had three birthday presents for David, but so far I hadn't told him about any of them. I kinda wanted them to be a surprise. I'd been in touch with David all day using my cell phone, and things were going from bad to worse. It didn't look like I was going to even get to the office until something like five o'clock, but they said that the meeting was still on, God only knew what time I'd get home. So far twelve inches of snow had fallen, and they were predicting another eight with blizzard conditions.
On top of all of this was David's general mood. While he had gotten a great job with an insurance company, he hadn't started it yet and he was nervous about that. Then there was all the shit attendant to buying a house and getting it functioning. The furniture that we had wasn't really right for the new house, so we had bought a lot of new stuff, which was suppose to be delivered today, but now who the hell knew. Basically, David was sitting there with a few lamps and some blankets that he'd bought. The furnace for some fucking reason wouldn't get the house above fifty-five and while they had promised to come out, now all bets were off. Every time I talked to David he sounded worse, not that he would ever say anything, but I could hear it in his voice. Everything regarding the house had fallen on David's shoulders and the weather was turning everything into a disaster. On top of that he had to be thinking that his lover had forgotten his birthday.
It was eight o'clock when I finally pulled into our driveway, which seemed to be covered with a foot of snow. Thank God for automatic garage door openers; I was able to pull right into the garage. I really wasn't sure what my reception was going to be, so I took David's first birthday present in with me.
David had built a fire in the fireplace and had brought out all the quilts and pillows. He'd created kind of a nest next to the fire. He looked so tired and well, kind of defeated, which is not David at all. Nothing ever defeats him. I looked around the corner from the kitchen.
"You still talking to me?"
His voice was a hoarse whisper. "Sure. It's," he raised his hand and then dropped it, "it's just that nothing has worked. I've tried everything, Mark, and nothing works. We don't even have a bed." He turned away from me.
I went over, sat next to him and put my hand on the back of his neck. "It'll be okay. Honest, baby, it's gonna be okay. I got you a birthday present." I handed him the large box.
"How did you know it was my birthday?" He turned away from me again. I could tell he was crying. "I don't know why I'm so down. I'm sorry, you don't need me to be like this."
I pulled him to me. He was dressed in gray sweats. "It's okay to be down, David, but tomorrow all of these problems will be gone. I promise I'll make it okay."
David lifted up the blanket. "Why don't you get under the covers, you'll get cold."
"I have two more presents for you, David, out in the car. I'll get them." I kissed David and walked out to the garage. I opened the car door. "Joe, I hope I did the right thing bringing you here. I hope he's ready for you."
I walked back into David and knelt down in front of him. "David, this is Joe." I opened the hunting coat I was wearing and Joe jumped out onto David's lap.
David came immediately to life. "Oh wow! A fucking puppy!" He smiled fully at me and for the first time that evening I saw those emerald green eyes flashing. The puppy was trying to climb David, seeming to use his pink tongue for propulsion. "You got this from Joe and Eileen."
"Yep. You like him, then?" I sat down next to David and watched the two of them play.
The puppy had turned into a licking machine and was working on David's face…I was a little envious.
"I fucking love him!" David was trying to keep the puppies tongue out of his own mouth by twisting his head. "I don't even want to think about how we're going to take care of him, but we'll work it out. He likes to French kiss, that's a good sign."
"I like to French kiss too."
David turned to me. "Oh, baby, I've been a total bitch!" He moved Joe so that he was cradling him where he had less freedom of movement. "Kiss me and tell me that you still love me."
I knelt and took David's face in my hands. "I still love you." I said seriously and kissed him, the puppy wiggling between us.
"Okay, buddy, what's the third present? What, you thought I'd forget?"
"Well okay but…don't freak out…I mean, it doesn't have to be like official or anything…if it makes you uncomfortable." David looked confused.
I took out the little blue box.
David said. "Tiffany's!"
"I wanted something good."
He opened the small blue box. "They're wedding rings." David looked a little shocked.
I took out David's. "Yours has an inscription."
David looked at me and then took my hand. "What does it say?"
I moved my lips very close to David's
"For David, my life."