Castle Roland

The Tenth Year

by Hans Schreiber


The Tenth Year

Published: 8 Apr 14

The email surprised and unsettled me. I read it over and over again. I debated whether to reply or simply allow it to go unanswered. At length, I slid it into my delete basket but I knew it wasn't permanently deleted. When Josh attended my wedding this spring, neither of us addressed the elephant in the room. I assumed that by him not bringing it up, he accepted the logical conclusion. Now, this troubling email left everything in doubt.

I loved Josh. No, I love Josh. Always have, do now, and always will. We grew up together, running wild in the foothills all summer, skinny dipping at the pond, working on his dad's farm together, and hanging out at school. We were both on the football team and played baseball. We discovered life together. He was my first and only masturbation partner. He was my first sex partner. We shared our first beer and wad of chew together. He was my friend, confidant, and one man support group. I spent more time at his house than my own and his father sort of took me under his wing since mine was a messed up alcoholic. That made us a little like brothers as well as friends. Josh got me through my parents' bitter divorce. Without him, I don't even want to think about what life would have been like during those dark days.

As life goes, after high school graduation our lives changed. He stayed on his family farm and I went off to college in the big city. We knew it would happen, and even though we had spoken about it often and felt we'd prepared ourselves for it, we both broke down and bawled like babies at the moment of goodbye. We stayed in touch, texting and calling each other often.

We'd both dated girls during our high school years and we'd both engaged in some limited and awkward teen sex with a couple of them. We compared notes and shared our feelings about it. But, that never deterred us from sharing our love together in a sexual way as well. I never considered what we were doing as gay, it was just something fun we did as friends. Our sex play started at age thirteen when he showed off his sprouting pubic hairs and it was initially playful. As we matured, so did our level of sex play and it became a simple, natural expression of our bond with each other. Whenever we got the opportunity, we jacked each other off and occasionally gave each other a blow job. He even managed to deep throat me after a little practice and that still may be my favorite sex activity. At age 16, we did the big deed for the first time on the Fourth of July. Talk about fireworks, it was explosive. We'd talked it over and planned it out for probably six months in advance of it happening. We planned it out in great detail. I'll never forget it as long as I live. It was monumental.

"Cathy, I'm headed to the gym for my lunch break. I may be a little longer getting back today," I told the receptionist as I headed out. I'm an upward climbing, junior insurance executive specializing in property and casualty.

"Okay, Don. See you whenever," she said without looking up from her filing. "Do you want me to cover for you if a big suit asks where you are?"

"Yes, please. You're awesome." A kind word and an occasional box of fancy chocolates went a long way with her. It also bought me intel on the office rumors. Receptionists know everything.

I headed down to the mid-city fitness club I'd joined and went to my private locker. Normally, I'd swim or do the treadmill but not this day, I just wanted time to think. I stripped naked and grabbed a soft, white towel from the rack. Wearing only my flip flops, to protect my feet from God only knows what. I made my way to the dry sauna. A couple of middle aged guys were in there sweating like hogs ona summer day and looking a little flushed. Their over forty bellies obscured their male parts. I told myself that I wouldn't end up like that, but I knew that unless I kept up with my exercise regimen there was a good chance I would since I sat at a desk most of the day. I was finding that the luster of being a big city career guy was wearing off and it was more of a drudgery. I sort of envied Josh being out on the farm. It was hard work, but it had certain rewards that you would never get in an office.

I spread my towel over the hot boards on the upper deck and sat down, leaning carefully against the back wall until my skin adjusted to the heat. My ample genitals hung loosely between my thighs. I closed my eyes and intuitively sensed the curious glances from the older guys. I was used to it.

I thought about the email and the implications of it. I had to decide what to do and that decision would define my character and could potentially change my relationship with one or both of the most important people in my life. The email reminded me that this would be the tenth anniversary. I thought about the sign that Kerry had purchased for my desk at a craft fair we attended. "Integrity," it stated, "is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." I was pleased that she bought it for me and more pleased that she felt it was an appropriate representation of my character. It set me apart from my father, who had no integrity. He couldn't speak the truth even if someone else wrote it out for him and all he had to do was read it.

Kerry is the only person on earth who I love as much as I love Josh. Kerry and I met at an insurance convention cocktail party, dated off and on for three months and then steady for the next three months until we got engaged. Six months after that, we tied the knot, exactly one year from the day we met on April 15th. We were teased that although we'd never forget our anniversary, we'd be too broke from paying our taxes to celebrate it.

We'd had sex only four times before we got married and not at all until we agreed to date steady and agreed to not see anyone else. Once we were officially engaged, she cut me off. Her reasoning was that I should be marrying her for more reasons than just to get sex and I needed to prove to myself that I wanted her as a complete person and not just for a sex partner. The four times, however, were incredibly good. Turns out she loves my big cock. She wasn't very experienced and neither was I. Honestly, I'd only had sex with two girls in high school and two in college before her. Of course, Josh and I had engaged in lots of sex play, but that didn't count.He was my only guy I'd ever done anything sexual with.

As the warmth of the sauna began to penetrate my skin surface, I started to reminisce. I tumbled back in time to the day Josh and I first did anything sexy together. It was like I was there again, the memory was so vivid.

"Don, guess what?" Josh asked.

"What?" I responded absently.

"I'm growing some hairs on my dick. Are you starting to yet?"

I sat up and looked at him. We had been lying back on the hay wagon with our feet dangling over the edge. Our scuffed work boots were swaying freely. "Really? Wow! No, I haven't got any yet. Is it like, a lot?"

"Nah, not a lot, but some. And I'm not just talkin' peach fuzz, they're like actual black little hairs. Noticed 'em when I was ..."

"When you was what?"

He looked a little guilty like he'd been caught at something. He stammered out, "When I was you know, doing it last night in bed."

"Doing what?" I asked.

"You know. It."

"It? It what?"

He grumbled and studied my face to decide if I was messing with him. "IT!" He made a fist and pumped it up and down in front of the fly of his Wranglers.

"Oh. That." Now I was embarrassed. I'd never really done 'it' all the way. I'd only fingered it a little when it got boned up. I'd heard comments about it and while Josh and I had talked about all kinds of things including getting boners, we'd never discussed 'it'.

Our conversation was interrupted when we reached the hay field and had to jump off and start slinging hay bales up into the wagon. We were old enough and big enough for the first time to do it. Josh's older brothers took turns up in the wagon stacking and driving the truck. They switched places every hour, but Josh and I had to sling bales from the ground up to the wagon all day. Lucky for us, Josh's dad had a conveyor thing that followed the wagon and we didn't have to lift them very high to get them onto the conveyor. Still it was hard work and by the end of the day, we were both hot, sweaty, covered with prickly hay stems, and exhausted.

There was no room on the wagon to ride back since it was full of hay, so Josh and I had to walk. We told his brothers that we were taking a side trip past the irrigation pond to wash the hay dust and stems off us before going home and asked them to tell Mom. I called Josh's parents Mom and Dad since I was over there so much and they treated me so good. His brothers said okay and drove off. The walk across the hay field, that was now just stubble, was tiring. The uneven ground made it extra challenging. A particularly sharp stem was lodged in my bvd's and poking me in the ass crack with every step.

"Shit!" I exclaimed. "I can't take it any longer. I got a stupid hay stem poking me in the ass. I gotta get it out."

Josh laughed at me as I tore off my belt buckle and snap, then unzipped my Wranglers and jerked them down to my knees along with my whities. I fished around until I found the offending little stem and plucked it out of my underwear. Hay leaves and stems were plastered to my body clear down to my nuts. I pulled my clothes back up and buckled up my belt. "Way better."

Josh just laughed harder at me. "I can't believe you did that right out here in the open," he laughed.

"Why not?" Nobody's around except you. And you've seen me naked plenty of times."

"I guess. Just seemed weird seeing you get naked in the middle of the field like that."

"Do you like getting naked?" I asked as we resumed our trek to the pond.

"Kind of." Then he looked at me and smiled wryly, "Specially with you."


"Yup. Really."

"Well, don't go blabbing it around or anything, but I kind of like getting naked with you around too. Weird, huh?" I admitted.

"Kind of." We walked a ways and he added, "How come d'ya think?"

I didn't answer right away. I really thought about it. "Dunno for sure," I finally said in my profound thirteen year old way. "Maybe because I like you so much and I like seeing all of you." That made him smile. We picked up the pace a bit in anticipation of reaching the pond and seeing each other naked again. Neither of us said it, but I know we were both thinking the same thing and wanted to hurry so we'd have more time there. I know I was hoping that no one else would be there so we could jump in all naked.

When we reached the crest of the hill and looked down on the vacant pond, Josh gave me a push and took off running, "Last one in's a rotten eggsucker."

I lit after him and my sore muscles complained. But I wasn't about to let him make me into a rotten eggsucker. We reached the grassy edge of the pond and started pulling off our boots. Piles of hay leaves fell from them as we did. Then came the socks. Our plaid, long sleeve, western shirts came off quick since they had snaps instead of buttons. The guys at school joked around that they were designed by cowgirls for quicker access to their cowboys' hot bodies. Josh and I both struggled most with our Wrangler jeans. They were pretty tight fitting. Josh finished just ahead of me and sprinted for the water. He turned and did a victory dance in the knee deep water. His little package bounced and jiggled as he cheered, "I win, I win."

"Shoot. I got tangled up in my underwear."

"Ha, you're the rotten eggsucker. That means you gotta suck my eggs." He jiggled his balls.

"Yeah right. Not happening, dude," I laughed, "Besides you ain't got any eggs, those little things can't be more than a couple of gooseberries." He acted all offended but smiled in spite of himself. "Now these are eggs." I cradled my balls in my hand. I had outgrown him in the crotch area and recently had grown quite a bit.

He let out a slow whistle and agreed, "No bullshit about that. I hope mine start growing more soon." Then he raised his eyebrows and asked, "So you got any hairs?"

"Not sure. Let's check." He waded over to me and took a good close look along with me as I inspected myself. "Nah," I said disappointed. "Just fuzz. Show me yours." He proudly displayed his several black hairs. There was no denying it, he'd gotten some real live pubic hairs. "That's freakin' cool."

"I know, huh?" Then in his way, so as not to make me feel bad or inferior, he added, "But I'm sure the way you're growing down there, you'll be getting some soon."

"Hope so." We waded in deeper and rubbed ourselves all over to get the hay dust and leaves off of our sticky bodies. The cool water felt really good and it was so nice to get rid of the itchy chaff. We swam around a bit and then waded back out to the shore. We went over to our favorite drying rock and laid down on it. There we laid in the late afternoon sunshine, naked as the day we were born, with our hands propped behind our heads as makeshift pillows. I remember seeing a cloud that reminded me of Josh's big sheep hound float by.I looked over and stared at Josh's naked body and in particular the hairless armpit he was exposing. For some weird reason that turned me on - not enough to get me boned or anything though.

"Don," Josh asked breaking the comfortable silence we'd been sharing.

"Yeah," I answered.

"Do you do IT?" He sounded nervous asking the question. Like it was taboo or something to discuss that.

"Some." I answered honestly. At least I thought I did it some. In actuality, I was about to discover that I had never really done IT. I'd only barely done something like it.

"Do you like it?"

"Yeah, I like it. Do you like it?"

"KInd of." There was a long and less comfortable silence until he asked, "Wanna?"

"What?" For being the better student, I wasn't always quick to get things he talked about.

"IT, you goober. D'ya wanna do it?"

"Like here? Now?" I asked.

"Yeah. You wanna?"

"I dunno. Maybe. Do you?"

"Kind of." There was another long pause and neither of us dared look at the other one. My heart was racing and I felt a little hot in my face. I felt my willy starting to get puffy and that made me nervous.

"How do you like to do it?" he asked.

"Just with my fingers. How else?"

"Same. I just use two fingers and my thumb. So should we?"

"Okay. I guess. You start." I wasn't sure if I did it right and I didn't want to make myself look dumb.

He reached down and took his partially hard willy in his fingers and started stroking it. "Now you do it too. We both have to do it."

I looked away from his stiff little dick to mine and copied his actions. I'd never rubbed it by sliding the skin up and down like he was doing. I'd only fingered the sensitive head with my fingertips and lightly rubbed a finger up and down the length of the shaft before. His way felt really good. I turned my attention back toward him and watched as he stroked himself. It was so exciting to watch and he was completely focused on watching me rub mine. My larger size was even more obvious when we were boned up. I used three fingers and could have used my whole fist if I'd wanted to. I didn't though. I didn't want to look like I was showing off.

I'd never rubbed it so long before and the good feelings just kept coming and getting stronger it seemed. Each time I pulled the skin down off the tip part, I got an extra little shot of the tingles. I felt my other muscles starting to tighten up and I noticed that Josh was going a little faster and he'd gotten a real serious look on his face and his neck muscles were twitching. All of a sudden, he raised his head up and watched his dick instead of mine and his body jerked a little. "Uh, uh, uh," he grunted. He pulled the skin down all the way and a little spurt of piss shot out.

"Wow. What happened?" I asked.

"The 'splosion," he gapsed. He looked over at me. "Don't stop. Keep going 'til you get the explosion on yours."

I started back up rubbing mine and the good tingles got stronger. Instinctively, I gripped it tighter and went faster. Soon my butthole tightened up and I had to raise up and watch like he'd done. "Oh wow! Holy shit!" I cried out as I got my own 'splosion'. Everything was jerking and twitching all on its own, especially my willy.

The memory faded and I smiled wide as I lay there in the sauna reliving my first orgasm that I'd shared with Josh. If we hadn't been bonded before that, we certainly were after that. We'd broken into a fit of uncontrollable giggles afterward and I'd rubbed the clear juice that spurted from my willy between my fingers. It wasn't pee after all. We finished lying on the rock and letting the sun dry us off while our bodies adjusted back to normal. Finally, Josh sat up and said, "Guess we should be getting back for dinner."

"Yeah. I guess." That was all we said. After that, we found every safe opportunity to do IT together that we could. Once in a while we took some chances and did IT when it wasn't so safe like in the school locker room and in the bathroom at scout camp.

I'd been so absorbed in my daydream that I hadn't noticed the middle age guys leave and the younger, fit, thirty something guy come in. I was startled as a leg brushed against mine. I twitched and pulled away as I opened my eyes and sat up. The sauna was empty except for the two of us. I couldn't register at first why, with an empty room, he'd chosen to sit so close to me that his leg rubbed against mine. As he was apologizing for startling me, I figured it out. I looked down at my semi hard dick and realized he'd considered it a little bit of advertising.

I pulled one end of my towel up over my privates and slid away a few inches. Then I accepted his apology while I made a clear showing of twisting my wedding ring around my finger. He smiled a bit sheepishly and slid a few inches the other way. I realized I'd been in there way too long and was overheated. I excused myself and climbed down to leave for the showers. The handsome thirty something leaned back and spread his legs to show me exactly what I was missing out on. I wasn't interested, though. Josh was the only boy for me and always had been. That raised the question whether he still would be now that I was married. I'd worried myself sick over how he'd take the news of me getting married. It seemed all unfounded though, since he never showed anything but happiness and support for me over it. He flew out to be my best man and even his parents came with. My mom was on the same flight, and since my dad and I still don't speak, Josh's dad continued in his role as my surrogate father by delivering the speech and toast at the wedding dinner.

The shower stalls at this gym had no curtains or doors on them. I didn't care for that because I couldn't take a whiz or jack off because of it. I suppose that may be the very reason they don't have any on them. I did kind of enjoy the curiosity stares I'd get from other guys, though. It's a bit vain, I know, but isn't everyone a bit vain in some way or another? The cool water was refreshing and I relaxed in it. I selected one of the end stalls at the end of the far corridor where few guys ventured.

I let my mind drift back to different times Josh and I jacked off together. Some were really memorable. That got me thinking about our first blow job. Now that was memorable. We were fourteen and freshmen. We'd spent the past year and a half jacking off together and had graduated pretty quickly into jacking each other off instead of just doing our own. That was so much more fun. We did it to each other at the same time at first, reaching across but that was kind of awkward. So that morphed into taking turns jacking each other off and taking more time with it. We took turns on who got to go first. I preferred doing his first so I'd still be horny while I did him. It just made it better that way. He also seemed to take longer doing mine after he'd already cummed since he wasn't all anxious for his turn.

One day, we were over at my house watching TV when we decided to try our first blowjob. We were watching MTV, which we could only do at my house because his mom blocked it on their cable. My mom was working at the diner and my old man was passed out on his bed, snoring. There was a very inappropriate music video on and we both got horned up from it. We were stroking ourselves over the top of our jeans and we looked over at each other and smiled that knowing smile. We both knew what we really wanted to do. I got up and made sure the old man was totally out. I pulled his door shut and headed back to the tiny living room.

We rented a small, old farmhouse. It was falling apart and only had two small bedrooms, one bathroom with a shitter that had to be plunged half the time to get it to flush. There was a small kitchen/living room combination where you entered the house. My bedroom was so small it didn't even have a closet. There was a single bed and a dresser. My shoes and boots went under my bed and I hung my clothes on a pole that I'd fastened from wall to wall over my bed. Sometimes, the shadows from the clothes cast weird shapes on the wall from the moonlight. Sometimes the shadows were funny and I'd find cartoon images in them. Mostly though, they were eerie and even downright scary. Not as scary as the beast in the bedroom next door, but scary still. Sometimes, I'd hear my old man having his way with my mom through the thin walls and I'd pull my pillow over my head and wish I could escape to Josh's house. I was glad to be an only child. I was an unplanned pregnancy - a bastard, as my old man often reminded me.

In the gym shower stall while I relived my first blowjob, I shampooed my hair and then turned away from the opening to face the blue tile wall. I rubbed the slippery shampoo on my dick and balls and coaxed myself into a hard-on. I slipped back into my memory.

When I got back to the living room, Josh already had his dick out of his fly and was stroking himself. I pulled mine out and sat next to him on the worn out couch. We sort of sunk into each other as a result of the sagging springs. We reached across and started jacking each other. By this time, Josh had grown enough that I could get a full fist on his dick and he could get two hands on mine. Well, more like a hand and a half at that time. We sat next to each other enjoying a nice jack when one of the singers started licking her lips all provocative like. "Damn, that's hot," Josh said.

"No shit," I agreed. "Way hot. Ever wonder what a blow job would feel like?" I ventured.

"Kind of."

"Me too." We continued stroking in silence and gawking at the provocative video. "Wish I had a girlfriend to try it with," I added.

"Yeah." A longer pause ensued. I felt the tension between us.

Finally, Josh mustered the courage to say it. "Don, you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"I don't know, Josh. What're you thinking?"

"I think you know what I'm thinking. So do you think you might wanna try it?"

"Maybe. Do you?"

"Kind of."

I peered down the narrow hallway towards my parents' room and then leaned down into his crotch. This forced his hand off my dick and he sucked in a nervous breath. I just took the plunge, like jumping into a cold pond or asking a girl out, it was one of those things that if you thought about it before doing it, you'd chicken out. I still remember the thrilling sensation as his soft dickhead passed over my lips and his firm shaft slipped into my mouth. I was tentative atfirst, going slowly and only halfway down.

"Oh my god, Don, that's so awesome. I can't even tell you. Suck me harder please," he begged. I increased my suction and my speed as well as my travel distance. I was able to take his whole dick in so that my nose rubbed on his jeans. A couple of times he jerked and cautioned me to watch my teeth.

"Sowwy," I said without spitting him out.

He laughed and said, "Don't you know it's not polite to talk with your mouth full?"

"Wan me do spid id oud?" I mumbled.

"NO!" he exclaimed. I chuckled and went back to work on him.

I kept sucking and was enjoying the taste and feel of his hard dick in my mouth. It was an incredible turn on and I was boned up so hard, I thought I might explode. I sensed he was getting close and I started to worry about him cumming into my mouth.

"Warm me," I said.

"What? Warm you? How?" he asked.

I pulled off and said, "Warn me. Not warm me. I want you to warn me before you cum."

"Oh, yeah. Sure. Now start sucking again. Holy crap it's the most awesome thing ever." He grabbed my head and pulled me back down to his quivering cock.

I complied and it didn't take long before he was tapping on my head to pull off. He immediately grabbed his dick and jerked himself off in a crazed frenzy. Cum shot clear to his neck and seemed to just keep exploding from his rock hard dick. I watched in fascination as my own dick demanded attention.

"My turn. My turn," I said impatiently. "Suck me now."

He put me off for a few minutes while he regained his composure. Then he returned the favor. It was great. It was better than great, it was phenomenal. The sensation of being engulfed in a warm, moist cavern was like hearing surround sound for the first time. It was so completely different and so much better than anything I'd experienced before or could even have imagined. He couldn't take mine all the way in, but I didn't mind. I loved it. I loved him for doing it to me. It took me only half the time he'd needed before I had to tap him out and I barely gave my willy two strokes before it shot heroically over my bright green, John Deere t-shirt. "Nothing runs like a Deere" it proclaimed. Right then, my thick, white cum was running down the side of the tractor image.

Like the first time we jacked off together at the pond, when this latest new adventure was ended, we broke into uncontrollable giggles. We pulled our cum soaked shirts off and set them aside. I reached over and took his softening dick in my hand and he started softly stroking my chest and abs. We stared at each other dreamily, in a sort of daze. I thought for a moment he was going to try and kiss me, but he didn't.

When I returned from my trip down memory lane and regained awareness of reality, I realized I was holding my shrinking erection in my hand. Cum was slowly sliding down the slick blue tile. The warm water was streaming against my right side and I realized I'd just jacked myself off in a public shower. I twisted nervously since I'd become aware of the sound of another shower across the tile corridor. There stood Mr. thirty something, smiling and jacking himself off. He winked at me. I grimaced, shut the shower off and grabbed my towel from the hook. I scurried off with my flip flops slapping the bottoms of my feet in a rapid staccato.

He came into my locker area while I was quickly dressing. "Great," I thought. "He would be lockered near me." He opened his locker and fiddled around without dressing. He was purposely showing off his fit naked body to me and the other guys in the locker section. When I was putting my shoes on, he stepped over to me, still nude and his dick dangling against his balls. No one else was left in our locker bay at the time.

He slipped his business card into my shirt pocket and said, "I know you're married, and I'm in a relationship too. But it doesn't hurt to get a little mysterious skin now and then. In fact, it keeps things more interesting at home. If you're ever interested in a little harmless fun, call me." I didn't say anything. He smiled and sauntered back to his locker. I tied my last shoe and left.

I pulled the card from my shirt and read his name. He was a commercial realtor. I started to toss the card in the trash as I left the fitness club, but then tucked it back into my shirt pocket. I honestly don't know why I kept it. It's still in my card file on my desk. It's just sitting there teasing me and tempting me just like the deleted email from Josh that wasn't really deleted. I looked at the time on my phone and realized I'd been gone way too long. I called Cathy.

"Cath, I'm not coming back. Tell Steve, I'm sick and went home early."

"Will do. I've got your back."

"You are a jewel."

"Nice. I like jewels. Remember that on my birthday." She chuckled.

I hung up and pulled the card from my pocket. Randall Stewart was the name on it. I walked to a small sandwich shop I liked and then dialed the number. "Hello, this is Randy?" He had a very deep voice.

I paused.


"Umm, hello. You don't know me and this is kind of odd, but, well, I'm the guy from the club in the sauna and showers just now."

"Well, that was fast."

"No. No I'm not calling for that. It's just - I just need to explain."

"No you don't. What do you really want, uhh ...?"

"Don. My name's Don."

"Okay, what do you really want, Don?"

"I really would just like to talk to you. Could I buy you lunch?"

"Lunch? Okay. Where?"

"Just down the street. A sandwich shop called Miguel's."

"Give me five and I'll be there," he said.

"Great. Thanks." I hung up and wondered what the hell I was doing. I went in and ordered a table for two in the back. I'd only been seated a minute when Randall slid in across from me. He was as handsome dressed as he was naked. He wore a shiny blue grey suit with a bright blue cravat in the pocket and a silky tie to match. His light beard was well trimmed and manicured.

The waitress came right away and we both ordered a soup and half sandwich combination. "So, Don, what would you like to talk about?"


He snorted out a laugh. "I see. That's a pretty large topic. Anything more specific?"

"I have this problem. I need some outside perspective on it and I don't have anyone in my life who I can ask about it," I admitted.

"So you're going to ask a complete stranger?"

"I know. It's crazy. But as I was about to toss your card in the trash just now, I couldn't do it. The idea, crazy as it is, just hit me. You obviously - how should I put it? You obviously aren't shy about talking about sex since you basically propositioned me in the gym just now."

"Fair enough," he agreed. "So what do you want to know? Are you curious about gay sex? Thinking you might like a walk on the wild side just to try it out?"

"Not really. No. That's not it. I grew up in a small town and had a best friend. His name's Josh. We were really tight and almost like brothers. He got me through a lot with my fucked up family. We were really close. REALLY CLOSE, if you get my meaning."

"Yeah. I get you. The two of you fucked around together. That's cool. So what's the problem?"

"We have this tradition thing going, where every year, we meet up on the Fourth of July and reenact our first time for doing it."

"Doing what exactly?"

"Fucking each other's ass," I blurted out as if it were completely normal.

"Aha. So?"

"So, I just got married to this magnificent girl in April and figured that would be the end of it. Then today, I got an email from Josh, asking about my plans for coming back to do our annual trip up to Stony Ridge."

"I see. You want to be the good friend to Josh and keep up the tradition he counts on every year and at the same time you want to be the faithful husband to your new wife. Am I right?"

"Yes," I sighed in relief. "Exactly."

Our food came and we started to eat as we pondered the information I'd just shared. "Why did you select me to confide this in?"

"Mostly because of what you said about mysterious skin being good for a relationship. I don't know if I agree with that, but it intrigued me. What do you mean by that?"

"Okay. I'm gay. You figured that out, I'm sure. So I'm coming at this from a different point of view than a woman might. Guys are wired differently, even gay guys. Nature made us into sexual creatures that are naturally on the prowl. It takes a great deal of restraint and frankly unnatural discipline for guys to remain monogamous. Women on the other hand have a desire to build a nest and raise babies. Men are a necessary evil to that end. That's why, in my opinion, so many marriages go south once the woman's got her brood. She no longer has the same nature driven need or interest in sex and her focus turns to the kids. The man gets bitter and justifies cheating on her. It all then ends badly. It would be so much better if they just were honest about their needs and found ways, safe ways, to fill those needs."

"But, I'm not there. I don't have kids yet and the sex with Kerry is still fresh and great. I don't have unmet needs. Hell, if anything, she wears me out sometimes."

"Then why are we having lunch?"

"Because of Josh. I ..."

"Love him?"

"Yes. I love him. Wholeheartedly."

"And I suppose you think he needs to know that you love him? You think he needs your annual physical expression of that love? I'd be willing to bet, he needs it more than ever now that you're married. Is Josh gay?"

"I don't know. I don't think so. He's dated and had sex with girls. You're really insightful."

"I'm a graduate of the school of hard knocks. As for dating and having sex with girls, so have I. Does he still?"

"I don't know for sure. There's no one special he's dating right now. I know that. He just says he hasn't found the right person yet. We don't really talk about that much."

"Tell me more about you two and your friendship," Randall requested.

I shared with him the details of our first time at the pond which is what I was thinking about when he touched me in the sauna. I shared all the things we did as boys, playing army or Cowboys and Indians in the foothills. I shared how his family took me in like their own and how Josh always listened to me when I was sad over my messed up family. I shared the details of our first blow job together which is what I'd been daydreaming about when I absent mindedly jacked off in front of Randall in the shower. "That was fun to watch, by the way," he interjected. I blushed a little. "Keep going," he encouraged.

"When I was fifteen," I began with a new quiver in my voice, "I was over at Josh's house helping with chores. We planned on going over to the fair that night and I'd forgotten a change of clothes. Josh's brother, Jimbo, drove me over to my house to get them. He waited in the truck while I ran inside. My room was right next to my parents' bedroom and I knew my mom was supposed to be at the diner for her shift. But I could hear them going at it hot and heavy. I hated listening to it. I knew my mom didn't really like doing it with him anymore, especially when he was half drunk. I was just going to rush into my room, grab my clothes and then escape when I heard her say, 'Holy fuck, Donald, that's the spot. Pound me harder you fucking animal.'"

Randall looked at me pitifully across the table as I continued, "I froze. It was not my mother's voice. Almost against my will I was drawn towards the open door. I stepped up to it and looked inside to see my filthy old man mounted on top of my Aunt Julie, my mom's slutty sister. I flipped out. 'Stop it! What the fuck do you think you're doing?' I screamed." Randall placed a hand over his mouth and motioned for me to go on.

"They did stop and stared at me. I was out of my mind with rage and confusion. I barely had any respect for my father and what little I had was now completely gone. He yelled back at me to get the fuck out of his house. 'It's my house too. How could you do this to Mom? Aunt Julie, how could you do this to your own sister?'"

"She looked me square in the eye, wrapped her skinny legs around my old man's backside and said, 'I ain't doing it to my sister, you stupid little fuck. I'm doing it to her hubby here.' Then she laughed in scorn. 'But don't you go telling her, you little bastard,' she added nastily. I needed a moment to control my tears. Randall reached over and placed his hand on mine in a kind, understanding gesture.

"I swore at her, 'The fuck I won't, you bitch. I'm going to the diner right now and telling her!'"

"My old man pushed off my aunt and screamed, 'The hell you are!' I ran and he came after me. He caught me at the door and threw me onto the old worn couch. I threw a punch and landed it square on his jaw. That enraged him and he began punching me. I curled into a ball and screamed and cried while he dropped his disgusting naked mass on top of me and pounded me. Josh's brother heard the commotion and came in to see what the hell was going on. I heard my old man grunt as Josh's big brother kicked him right square in the nuts from behind with his cowboy boot. The old asshole rolled off me onto the floor, writhing in pain."

"Good for him," Randall said. I hate fuckers who abuse their kids.

The waitress came by to see how everything was and Randall waved her off. I continued, "Jimbo delivered a second blow to my old man's ribs eliciting a painful scream from him. Aunt Julie came out of the bedroom holding a towel over her naked front, 'I'll call the police if you don't get out of here right now!' she yelled.

'Go ahead and call the fucking police. I dare you,' Jimbo yelled back. Then he got down in my old man's face and said, 'If you ever touch even a hair on Don's head again, I'll fucking gut you like a slaughtered hog. You got that?'

My old man's eyes widened in fear and he agreed. 'Got it. I got it.'

'Good. Get your shit and let's go,' Jimbo told me. I did just that. Only, I got as much of my things as we both could carry, which was pretty much everything I owned. We drove to the diner and I told my mom what had happened. She broke down and sobbed and Madge gave her the night off. We took her back with us to Josh's house where we both stayed until my dad moved out. Neither of us missed him, but I was pissed that he took the TV with him. I did miss that."

Randall was silent for quite a while after that story. He sipped his tomato bisque and kept his eyes on me. I just sat there fighting off tears from reliving the nightmare of that night. Finally, he spoke, "All right, that's some hardcore shit in your closet. So Josh helped you through that time, did he?"

"Yes. If it wasn't for him, I don't think I would have even wanted to keep living. After an ugly divorce, where it came out that my mom and my dad had been cheating on each other, my dad disappeared for good and my mom drug one loser after another into our lives. So I got a pretty dim view of married life. But it's different with Kerry. She's so perfect. She loves me and I love her and I don't want, can't ..."

"Do to her what your father did?"


"It's not the same thing. He was an asshole. No question about that, and I'm sure he left you with some baggage, but your mom was screwing around on him too. What about her? Don't you blame her?"

"Some. Not as much. At least she tried to be a parent. He was just a mean ass drunk. I couldn't blame her for trying to find some love somewhere else."

"I see. But you don't think you have any right to seek love somewhere else since you have this perfect relationship going with, Kerry is it?" Randall asked.

"Yeah. God, you get it."

"Maybe. But didn't Josh come first? Didn't your getting married to Kerry violate the relationship with him?"

"Well, yeah. I guess, but we weren't a couple. We were just ..."

Randall stopped me. "Just what? Just old friends? All that shit about him saving your life and being like brothers and sharing all that sex together was just what? Meaningless? I bet my dick it wasn't meaningless to Josh." There was a scolding tone to his voice as he said that.

"I never really thought ..."

He interrupted me again. "Fucking right, you never thought. I also wouldn't be surprised to learn that Josh is gay and you're clearly straight, with maybe a streak of curiosity, so you don't think like he thinks. You were just into it for the shits and giggles and sure, you loved him on a certain platonic level even though you played around together, but I bet you he loves you much more deeply than that. I bet he's so emotionally wrapped up into you that he can barely function right now. I'll bet my dick he's one miserable, sad son of a bitch since you got married. That's what I bet. I know first hand. I fell madly in love with a straight guy once. We even fucked around together, but in the end, I was left an abandoned wreck while he carelessly moved on with his life as though our time together had meant nothing at all. It fucking ripped me apart. Tell me more about this Fourth of July thing you guys had going."

"Well," I began, "since the blowup of my home life, I'd spent as much time as possible at Josh's house. We slept in the same bed and I helped on the farm like I was part of the family. I even went to church with them on Sundays a lot. Josh and I were on the football team and the baseball team together and hung out at school during lunch. I helped him with homework and he listened whenever I needed to vent. We played around together quite a bit but never approached the subject or made any moves toward actual fucking. That was just someplace we never went with each other. Honestly, it never occurred to me. I was completely content with jacking and occasionally sucking each other off. It was on Valentine's Day that Josh surprised me with a Valentine card. I still have it. He taped a package of Skittles to it. That's my favorite candy."

The waitress came by and cleared our dishes and asked about dessert. We both declined. When she walked away, Randall looked at me and said, "A Valentine card? That didn't clue you in? How dense are you?"

"Apparently, very dense." I went on with the rest of the story, "In the card, he wrote something like, 'Since neither of us have girlfriends for Valentines Day, I thought I'd let you know how important you are to me. I love you, man.' It made me tear up. I told him that I loved him too and how much he meant to me. I told him we would be friends forever. I opened the Skittles and we shared them while sitting on an old tractor out in the yard. We were bundled up in thick coats, hats and gloves. There was snow on the ground and the snow was gently falling around us. It was late evening and the sun was setting. It was completely silent and so peaceful. We simply sat silently next to each other enjoying the moment. Josh pulled off his gloves and reached over and touched my cheek. 'Do you like it when we share sex stuff together?' he asked."

The waitress brought our check and I handed her my credit card. Then I went on, "I looked him in the eye and answered honestly, 'Yes, I like it a lot. Why wouldn't I? Besides it feeling good and being fun, it's emotionally satisfying.' He left his hand on my cheek. 'It's like that for me too. I've wanted to try something else together and I've been thinking about it a lot,' he said without breaking eye contact. 'Don't freak out when I tell you,' he said with his voice slightly shaking. I promised that I wouldn't. He pursed his lips and then asked 'How would you feel about getting really connected sometime? Like really connected.'"

Randall was completely engrossed in my story and so I carried on, "As usual, I didn't get it. Like you said, I'm a little dense sometimes and I asked, 'You mean like cutting our fingers and becoming blood brothers or something?' He smiled and his eyes glistened in amusement at me. 'No,' he said. 'I'm talking about connecting into each other and becoming one body. I'm talking about sexual intercourse. I'm talking about making real love to each other.' When he said that, I was stunned. 'Oh. You want us to fuck!' I blurted."

"Josh flinched at the crass term I'd used. He said, 'No, not just fuck, make love.' Then he added, 'Fucking is such an ugly word. I don't want it to be a meaningless sex act, like just a new way to get our rocks off. I want it to be special and unique. I've been thinking we need to plan it out and make it really, really special. I want us to connect into each other's bodies as a way to show each other that nothing can separate us. Nothing. Ever.'"

"I remember," I told Randall, "those words as if he was speaking them again to me right now. They were emblazoned on my heart. I told him, 'I get it. I agree. I want to prove that to you also.' Then, he slid his hand around the back of my head and pulled me gently toward his face but stopped to let me decide. I gave a small nod and closed my eyes. He pulled me to his lips and we kissed. He didn't kiss me and I didn't kiss him. We kissed each other. It was tender and we held it for a long time - neither of us wanting that feeling of love and total acceptance to end. We never kissed again after that until the Fourth of July."

Randall took a drink of his water and rubbed at the corners of his eyes. "That is a beautiful story. But please share, if you're willing, your experience together on the Fourth of July."

"I'm willing. I've told you so much already, there's no point not sharing everything with you. I think you are in a unique position to give me valuable advice on how to deal with my dilemma," I told him. "After that night, all of our sex had more meaning than before. Pleasing him was more important to me than getting my own needs met. That's how it is with Kerry. I'm more into making sure she has a good orgasm than I am into just getting my rocks off and she, like Josh, always does her best to make sure the sex is good for me."

"That's important. I agree." Randall took another long drink of water and said, "Go on."

"We planned everything out and settled on the Fourth of July. We were sixteen and could drive. We arranged to borrow a truck and to go up near Stony Ridge. We'd hiked up there as Boy Scouts and we both loved the place. It was beautiful, high above the tree line and we could look down on Stony Creek Reservoir. On the Fourth of July, the local towns all contributed toward a fireworks show over the reservoir. We didn't really know exactly how what we had planned was supposed to work. We decided we needed something slippery and we settled on Crisco shortening. It worked out well enough but I wouldn't recommend it because of the smell."

"No, I guess not."

I continued on with my reminiscing, "We packed the truck and drove to the trailhead. We hiked about four miles early in the morning. We swam naked in a small pond encircled by quaking aspen trees for maybe an hour. We decided to setup our camp there by the pond. We remained naked as we setup our tent and pumped up our air mattress. We started a fire and cooked hot dogs and heated baked beans that Josh's mom made for us. After that, we ate brownies and drank lemonade. We sat next to each other on a towel beside the fire, completely naked. 'Are you ready for this?' I asked him. 'You still want to go through with it?'"

"How old were you guys again?" Randall asked?

"Sixteen," I reminded him.

"Same age I was when I did it for the first time. Keep going and give me all the details," he insisted.

"Okay. So Josh answered me with unwavering determination, 'Definitely. Do you still want to?' I smiled and nodded. 'Yes, I definitely still want to.' I rolled over and pulled him on top of me. Our bodies pressed together and I caressed his back and butt cheeks. We both grew hard and we began to kiss. Then we began making out, swapping tongues and frantically rolling around on the towel and the meadow grass. We were grabbing at each other in a passionate fit of sexual desire. We humped against each other's bodies and our dicks rubbed against each other's dicks and in our soft pubes as we did that. It was really hot. After a while, we forced ourselves apart, knowing we wanted to save ourselves for the main event later that night. We stood and ran, hand in hand, into the pond. We swam and horsed around together in the water for another hour or more. When we were done, we dressed and played cards together for a while. We'd brought our mitts and we played catch together a while. Then as evening was coming, we hiked up to the ridge. We saw a fox and many birds along the way. We came across an ant hill and watched in fascination as the worker ants moved endlessly, busily engaged in building their home. 'What a life, work, work, work all day every day.' I said. Josh smiled and said, 'Could be worse though. They could be farmers.' That made us both laugh because we knew how much work farming was. We'd been doing a lot of farm work up to our day off that we were enjoying so much. Josh then instructed me on a bunch of ant trivia. He'd done a school report on ants and knew all kinds of crazy things about them. The main factoid that stuck with me was that most ants are sterile workers and never have sex. Only a handful of male drones are fertile and can service the queen. I'll never forget what Josh said, 'I'll probably end up like those worker ants, stuck on the farm and sexless.' It seemed like such an odd comment to me."

"Am I going on too long? I'm probably keeping you from getting your work done," I asked Randall. I realized we had been there a long time and the restaurant was nearly empty.

"No, I'm fascinated. Please carry on and give me plenty of details. I'm loving it. This is a fascinating story and sort of hot." Randall settled back in his chair.

"Okay. We hiked up to the ridge where we had a great view of the reservoir. We spread out our towels and we broke out our dinner of chicken salad sandwiches and Ruffles potato chips with ranch dip. We snuggled up next to each other as it got dark and then the show started. The fireworks from that vantage point were magnificent. They were practically right in front of us. While we watched, we pulled our dicks from our pants and slowly stroked each other, being careful not to go too far. After the grand finale and the final boom of the exploding pyrotechnic, we kissed again. It was long and tender like it had been on Valentine's Day while we sat on the old tractor. We packed up and hiked by flashlight back to our camp. 'Stop,' I whispered. 'Look.' There were two deer taking a drink from the pond. They looked up at us and we stood as still as statues. They apparently decided we posed no threat and went back to taking a drink. We watched, motionless until they wandered away and then bounded into the brush. We removed our boots and socks then entered the tent and kneeled on the air mattress."

"Now you are getting to the good part," Randall said leaning forward. "Go on."

"I reached over and pulled Josh's shirt off," I continued. "He reciprocated. Then we removed our gym shorts and boxers and wiggled out of them. We crawled toward each other and hugged. Our penises hardened immediately and pressed between us. We rubbed our hands all over each other's bodies. I told myself this was good practice for when I would have sex with a girl. But it was more than that and I knew it. It was a real expression of love I had for Josh. We began to kiss. We began to swap tongue and make out. We fell down onto the air mattress and I moved down and sucked Josh's dick into my mouth and sucked on him while I played with his balls. Then, he pulled me off and returned the favor. I ran my fingers through his strawberry blond hair. He then opened his throat and swallowed my tip, engulfing my entire dick within his mouth. I gasped in extraordinary pleasure. Over and over he swallowed me whole and I began humping into his mouth. It was phenomenal. I had to pull him off before I blew my wad prematurely. I was reluctant to do it though and had to force myself. 'Damn Josh,' I gasped, 'how did you learn to do that?' He smiled slyly and asked, 'Do you like it?'"

"Oh my god," Randall interrupted, "I love to be deep throated."

I smiled and agreed that it was probably my favorite sexul thing to do and told Randall that I was hopeful Kerry would perfect the art of it someday. Then I continued with the story, "Of course, I told Josh, 'Hell yes, I liked it. It was amazing.' Then I asked him again, 'How did you learn to do it?' He answered me that he'd been practicing on carrots. I got an image of him sticking carrots down his throat and gagging himself and I laughed. Soon, we were both laughing but then as suddenly as we started, we stopped. 'It's time to do it,' Josh said seriously. 'Yeah. Remind me who goes first again?' I asked. 'Me,' Josh replied. 'I put mine in you first, then you do me afterward.' I nodded and laid on my back. I raised my legs and held my knees up. I was both nervous and excited. Josh opened the Crisco and smeared some over my hole and slid a greasy finger into me. Then he greased up his dick and slipped between my legs. The glow of the battery powered lantern showed the intent expression he wore. This was no game for him or idle fun between friends. This was serious business and obviously important to him. He pressed his tip to my hole and asked, 'Are you ready?' I nodded and said 'I guess.' He pushed his way in and I instinctively resisted at first. Then I managed to relax and let him move farther in until he was buried completely into my body. We were connected. He laid down on me and we kissed while he held himself within me. 'We did it. We're connected. We are like one person instead of two right now,' he said. I agreed, saying, 'I really like it. I like having you inside me. It feels so good. I love you Josh.' He smiled and told me, 'I love you too, Don. I will forever. Nothing can ever change that now. Not ever.' I felt in that moment a wave of emotion wash over me like I'd never felt before or since, until I met Kerry. I'd never ever really felt love for my father and while I loved my mother, it was different than what I felt in that moment for Josh. A blanketing warmth and a content peace spread over me."

Randall was wiping tears from his eyes with his napkin at this point in my story. I finished up, saying,, "Then, Josh began to slide in and out, slowly at first, testing it out. He quickened his pace more and more until eventually we were thrashing about madly. The pressure on my prostate as he slid back and forth over it drove me crazy. We kissed and bit on each other's lips and necks while he fucked me.Whether he liked that ugly word or not, that's what was happening. It was hardcore fucking, period, end of story. And, it was exactly what we both wanted in that moment of intense passion. His body began to stiffen and twitch and then he shoved himself so deeply into me that I thought he'd come out my throat. He cried out in frenzied ecstasy and exploded his cum into me like a firework bursting into bright colors in the night sky. Over and over again he shoved himself into me and cried out as his cannon shot yet another firework deep within me to explode in the darkness. When he finally finished, he collapsed on top of me and slowly pulled himself out. I felt so empty when he did that. I wanted it back up there rubbing that spot somewhere up under my balls. He rolled over, exhausted, unable to even speak. I was so worked up that I wasted no time. I greased him up quickly and smeared some Crisco on my dick. I climbed on top of him and shoved his thighs apart in a desperate rush to get inside of him. I poked and jabbed until he reached between us and guided my anxious missile to his launching pad site. Immediately, I pushed my way in. He gave no resistance. He admitted to me later that he'd practiced that part with a carrot as well. I began humping him as frantically as he'd been doing me. Josh whimpered in pleasurable grunts with each thrust. In no time, I was overwhelmed by the most powerful orgasm of my life, and I shoved my large dick as deeply as possible into his silky smooth bowels and unloaded my aching balls into him. He flexed his ass ring around my cock and groaned in reaction, which served to further heighten the experience for me. When it was all over, we lay draped across each other, panting and sweating. We fell asleep that way, spent and oozing only to wake later that night and clean ourselves up. We kissed and cuddled in the sleeping bag until we fell back to sleep. When morning came, we repeated the event once more, only we went much slower and I enjoyed it in a different way. It was less animalistic and more deliberate and meaningful in the morning. We took our time and enjoyed the slow, steady motion within each other as we slowly coaxed out one more amazing orgasm together. And that's what happened on the Fourth of July ten years ago and has been reenacted every year since. It is the only time we ever engage in intercourse and we look forward to it all year long. Neither of us even hints about doing it any other time. That day alone is our day to declare in the most certain of terms that we still love each other and will forever. Now, he has emailed me wanting to know my plans for this year's celebration even after he was the best man at my wedding this past April and should know I can't be still doing that with him. That's why I invited you to lunch and told you all this personal stuff that no one else on the planet knows about. So tell me, what the hell do I do?"

Randall sat back and adjusted his crotch. I'd apparently given him a significant hardon. I'd given myself one as well. "That is quite a story, Don. I think from what you just told me that we can safely assume Josh is gay and he is deeply in love with you. If this annual event is a declaration of your lifetime commitment to remain friends forever, then this is his ultimate test of that for you. I can't tell you what you should do. I know what I hope you will do, but I'm not going to tell you. I will tell you this, though. If you decide to go through with it and carry on your tradition with him, for God's sake, keep it between you and him. What happens on the other side of the rainbow, should stay in Oz. Don't be bringing it back to Kansas and tell Kerry about it. There's no value in burdening your wife with this kind of information and you will only end up damaging or ruining your relationship if you do. Just be damn sure you play it safe. You have to start using condoms with Josh, if you do decide to keep fucking with him."

"We already started doing that," I explained. "The second year we started using them. We'd both experimented with girls during that year and Josh was actually the one who insisted we start using them. I always wondered if he'd maybe done some things with other guys as well, but I never pressed him about it. Maybe he was worried I had. I know he worried about me when I went to college and asked me often about any girls or guys I was messing around with. I always told him the truth about the girls and that there were no guys. Not sure he believed me. He told me when he dated as well, which wasn't much." I rubbed my face in my hands and mumbled, "I don't know what to do. I can't hurt Josh, but I can't cheat on Kerry. I can't be like my old man. I don't know if I could keep that kind of secret from her. I'm really not a very good liar. I don't know how it would change my sex life with Kerry if I were to go through with this with Josh."

"Let me ask you something, Don," Randall said. "Are you certain that you're straight? For a straight man, you certainly engaged in a lot of gay sex with Josh over the years and it sounds like you liked it."

"Of course, I'm straight. I'm married."

Randall laughed. "Oh, trust me sister, you wouldn't be the first guy in a mixed marriage. Just because you found a woman you connect with, doesn't mean you aren't at least bisexual at heart."

"Well, Josh is the only guy I ever did anything with."

"Yes, but is he the only one you ever thought about doing it with? I noticed at the gym, when you were leaving the sauna, you gave me more than a casual glance and you weren't making eye contact, if you know what I mean."

I blushed. I knew he was right. I did entertain fleeting thoughts, but they were only fleeting. The waitress came by and said they were closing up soon and asked if we wanted anything else. It was a breakfast and lunch only place. Lots of places in the financial district closed after lunchtime.

"If you want to talk some more, I have a place we can go," Randall offered.

"I've taken up so much of your time already. I shouldn't impose on you anymore. I appreciate you listening to my crazy life story. I know that's not why you met me here."

"You're certainly right about that. I thought you were interested in a little afternoon tryst. I'm more than a little disappointed about that, but your story was fascinating and I'm glad you shared it with me. My day's basically shot at this point anyway and sadly, I've got no big deals in the fire at the moment, so what the hell. Come with me. I think you still need to explore this thing some more and maybe I can help direct your thinking a little."

"Thanks. I guess I would appreciate that if you're still willing."

"More than willing. Don't you know, drama is what gay men live for? Next to hot sex and good food, drama is our favorite thing in life."

Along the way to wherever he was taking me, Randall told me a little about his life. He shared his experience of growing up as an only child as well. He was raised by two lawyers, who were consumed with their careers. He always felt a little like an expensive trinket they liked to show off to friends and then put back on the shelf next to their other pieces of art. He'd recognized early on that he was gay and came out during high school. It was readily accepted in his private school and no real surprise to anyone, he said. He fell madly in love with his college roommate and they had a two year fling only for the roommate to suddenly bring home a girl and announce completely out of the blue that he was moving in with her. Just like that, he was gone and it left Randall in shambles for a long time. He talked about flitting from one gay relationship to another until he found his current live-in, Dante. He said the two of them were honest with each other about not being monogamous and so it was cool. Sometimes, they even got into a little cuckolding. He had to explain to me that this meant they enjoyed watching the other one having sex with another guy. Sometimes they'd do it secretly from the closet and sometimes, they'd sit there openly in the room and masturbate while it happened. That was all very hard for me to fathom.

"Don't you want to find someone that you can be committed to? Someone to grow old with and that you know you can depend on to always be there?" I asked.

"Of course. Every girl's dream, right? Find Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Nice dream, but hard to get. So I take what I can get." He swiped a card and entered a high rise. He punched a code in on the elevator and we were whisked up to the 15th floor. The hallway was nicely decorated and then we entered a room. It was his condo. He lived in a downtown condo. The place was nicely decorated with mirrors and strange African art. There was a wooden carving of a well hung African warrior completely nude and holding a spear in one corner. The colors were blazing orange and vibrant greens. Unusual, but it worked. I was a little uncomfortable being in his apartment. "You live here?"

"Yes. Dante and I share it. He already had it when we met and I kick in half the payment. It's very convenient being downtown and we're close to the night life. Do you like it?"

"Sure. It's nice."

"Please sit down." He directed me to a plush, leather couch. "I'll be right back." When he returned, he'd shed his tie and left his shirt halfway unbuttoned. He brought me a glass of red wine. "It's a nice smooth vintage. I think you'll like it."

I did like it. "Yes, it's very nice. Just like you. You are a very nice person to do this for me. Thank you."

"My pleasure. You clearly needed to talk this thing out. So let's explore this gay side of you a little bit more. Why do you insist that you're not at all gay?"

"I don't feel gay. I don't have any desire to go seek out guys. I only looked for and dated women in college. Josh is the only guy who really turns me on."

"But you showed interest in me at the gym. What about that?"

"Curiosity more than interest."

"Maybe. You kept my card. Most guys I do that to, and before you ask it, the answer is no. I don't do that often. Only when I really, really like the looks of a guy and feel drawn to him do I do that." I smiled at the underlying flattery. He continued, "Most guys I give my card to toss it back. Some even threaten me. You just took it without complaint."

"I started to toss it in the trash, but then I thought maybe you might have some insight into my problem."

"Is that the only reason you kept it? Be honest."

I sighed. "No," I admitted. I didn't really think about you being able to help me when I first kept the card. I thought about that later. Honestly, I don't know for sure why I kept it."

"Is it possible you entertained the idea of doing what I'd suggested?"

"No. No, I didn't ..." I stopped myself and reflected on why I had kept the card. Why hadn't I tossed it? Maybe he was more right than I wanted to admit. "Maybe," I said softly. Randall refilled my wine glass. I took another long sip.

"So is it possible that you love Josh more than just as a friend? Is it possible that deep within, you know that he fulfills a certain need for that kind of gay relationship?"

"It's possible. Sure. God, it's all so confusing."

"It can be, yes," Randall affirmed. We sat in silence and sipped the wine, lost in our thoughts. I searched my soul and considered what he'd exposed to me. What was I made up of? Was I more like my father than I wanted to admit? Was I just suppressing the gayness in me? Did I have the courage to hurt Josh in order to stay true and honest to Kerry? Did I love Kerry with all my heart and could I stay faithful to her? I knew I would never stray with another woman, but would it be cheating if I simply shared an expression of friendship towards Josh. Kerry wouldn't object if I donated my blood to save his life, why should she care if I donated a little sperm for his welfare? It wouldn't impact our lives either way. For that matter, would it be cheating if I had chosen to do something more than just talk with Randall? I supposed it would be cheating in that case. I wondered if even confiding all of this with Randall, a total stranger, instead of with my wife wasn't already a breach of my marriage commitment. We'd promised each other to love, honor and cherish and to be honest and open with each other in all things. But how much had she shared with me? I really didn't know about her pre-marital sexual experiences in any detail, only that they were, like mine, limited. At least my heterosexual ones were limited.

After finishing my second glass of wine, I set the glass down and looked at Randall. "I'm still very confused about what I should do. Maybe, even more confused."

"I'm sorry for that. I wish I could simply tell you what you should do, but that would not be right since it would not be your decision. This must be your decision. Only then, will you be able to live with it, whatever you choose." He placed his hand on my shoulder, near my neck and gave it a gentle squeeze. "My, you are tight as a snare drum. This thing really has you tensed up. Come with me. I might not be able to solve your dilemma but I can help you with your tension." He stood and then offered me a hand. He lifted me from the couch and led me to a bedroom. In the middle of the room stood a professional massage table. There was a towel draped over it. He hit a dimmer style light switch and adjusted it to a soft glow.

"What's this?" I asked.

"I'm a trained masseuse. My parents insisted that I work while I attended school, to build my character. I took a physical therapy class and part of it covered massage therapy. I found that I enjoyed it and took a night school course. I worked weekends and some evenings at an expensive resort near BC giving massages. I'm quite good at it. It will help you relax and clear your mind. Undress to your boxers and lie on your stomach."

I started to object but he hushed me with a finger to my lips. He assured me it would help and that there were no ulterior motives. He loosened and removed my tie and then unbuttoned my shirt. I relented and pulled the shirt tail free of my pants and took it off. Randall undid my belt and then knelt and removed my shoes and socks while I finished unzipping my pants. I dropped them and climbed onto the table. It was just a kind gesture from a kind, sensitive man who wanted to help me, I told myself. There was really no harm in it. I really was tense and perhaps it would be just what I needed to clear my mind.

I closed my eyes and moaned softly when he pressed his thumbs into the small of my back and then rotated them down and under until his palms spread the tension outward from my muscles. He really was very good at it. I'd only had two other massages in my life. One was with my roommates in college and included a 'happy ending' from the young Asian girl for an extra $100 that I didn't really have to spend. I wouldn't have gone except my rich roomie offered to pay. It was utterly dissatisfying. Jacking myself off was actually much better than that experience had been in spite of her allowing me to rub her breasts while she performed the illegal act on me. The other time was at a resort and that was much nicer. It was done by a man and was completely non-sexual. It was very relaxing and enjoyable, but that masseuse was not nearly as talented as Randall was. Randall was truly exceptional at it.

He worked my back and neck thoroughly before moving down to my legs and feet. As he ground his knuckles into the bottoms of my feet, an erogenous zone for me, I began to bone up. I resisted it but it was difficult to prevent. Then he worked back up my legs and reached under my boxers and caressed my ass cheeks. I thought momentarily about objecting, but it felt so good and he had been trained as a professional. Then he kneaded each cheek briefly before taking the hem o fmy boxers and sliding it down. He pressed his strong hands into the bare cheeks of my ass. He applied more of the sweet smelling massage oil to my ass and began working it over. He used a warm, damp cloth to clean between my crack and then slipped a finger between the crack of my ass and fingered my rosebud while he rubbed the space between my balls and my ass with his other hand. I could not control it any longer and became fully erect. He stopped what he was doing and pulled my boxers hem back up. He patted my ass and said, "Roll over."

I resisted.

"It's all right. No worries that you've got anerection. It is a normal reaction to such touching. If you didn't, I wouldn't be doing a proper job. Now roll over." He gripped my hip and gave a gentle pull. I relented again against better judgment. I honestly did want it to continue. I was really enjoying it. I told myself that it's just a massage.

Once I was over, I kept my eyes closed tightly and felt renewed tension over the innappriate nature of the experience. I was mostly naked, boned up and being rubbed down by a horny gay man. I wondered what I was doing and considered stopping him and leaving. But I did not. He began on my chest and abs. Then he did my legs and once more my feet. Then, as I feared, he took my boxers down. He lifted my ass up enough to pull them down and took them completely off. I did not fight against it. What happened next shocked me from my complacent denial. When he slipped my large penis into his mouth, I opened my eyes and lifted my head to witness my dick disappear into his warm, moist mouth. He did amazing things to my dick with his tongue and then he swallowed me whole and allowed his throat to stimulate my tip by clenching and releasing against it.

Suddenly, a wave of panic overcame me. I took his face in hand and pulled him off me. "Stop!" I cried out. "This is wrong! What the hell am I doing? I can't violate Josh's trust like this. I can't."

Randall stood up and looked me in the eye. "Josh? Not Kerry?"

I was slammed with guilt. "Kerry too, yes, of course. Josh and Kerry. I, I can't do this to either of them. Oh my God, what have I done?"

Randall placed his hand on my chest and pressed a finger to my lips. "You just did what you really wanted to do. Deep down, you knew where this would lead and you wanted it. Don't lie to yourself. Accept who you are and if you choose to engage in it, fine. If you choose to deny it for the sake of your relationship with Kerry, then fine. But don't deny its existence. That's the most dangerous thing you could do and will mess with your head every day. Remember, what happens over the rainbow, stays in Oz. Got it?"

"You don't need to tell me that."

"Are you sure you don't want me to finish you off. You've let it go this far, you might as well get the reward. I'm very good at it and I'd love to taste what you've got to offer."

"No. No, I'm sorry. I need to go."

Randall looked disappointed and shrugged. "My loss. I hope you settle your dilemma and I hope whatever you decide to do, you find joy and peace in your decision. Just in case you're ever interested, keep my card." He leaned in and kissed my dick, then walked out. "Kerry and Josh are very lucky to have you," he said as he left. "And from the sound of it, you're pretty damn lucky to have both of them. If Josh didn't live on a farm, I'd be tempted to try and steal him away. I could never live on a farm."

I quickly dressed feeling like an absolute jerk. I was dumbfounded as to how I'd found myself in such a compromising situation. I couldn't believe I was that vulnerable over this whole thing with Josh. My feelings for him ran deep within my psyche and I now realized it more than I'd ever allowed myself to believe. In all honesty, I knew that if Josh had opposed my marriage to Kerry, I probably would have called it off. But he hadn't. He had been completely supportive and seemingly happy for me. I left without seeing Randall, perhaps he was in his bedroom getting himself off since I'd left him hanging. That would not have surprised me.

I walked briskly back toward downtown and decided I should get my car out of the parking garage before people started leaving work and saw me since I was supposed to be sick. I hated telling lies. I believe that if you just tell the truth, life is so much easier because you don't have to try and remember what you told to whom. It also seemed like one lie leads to another and then another until you eventually get caught. Then you not only have to suffer for the thing you lied about but for the act of lying as well. It only doubles the mess. If you tell the truth and face up to whatever you hope to avoid, you usually can deal with the messy shit and move on. When you lie, the shit is always still there just waiting for you accidentally step in it. And sooner or later, you usually do.

I drove to a park where I liked to go and think. I bought an iced coffee at Starbucks before pulling into the park. I walked over to my favorite bench near a fountain and sipped my coffee and stared at the streaming waters, semi-mesmerized. I tried not to think about what I'd just done but it pushed its way into my thoughts. I blew out a sigh. I'd cheated on everyone. I'd fallen into Randall's trap, and to be honest with myself, I had to admit that I'd let myself. I somehow wanted to cheat and prove to myself that I was the same kind of scum as my old man. Prove that I didn't deserve either Josh's love or Kerry's. I struggled with feeling worthy of love after my screwed up family life. But no one seemed to care. They just loved me anyway. I was thankful that I mustered the courage to escape Randall's lair before it went too far. But didn't I want it to go further? Didn't I want to test my interest in the wild side? Was I gay to some degree, large or small? Did I quit too soon before really finding out? So many more questions than answers.

I set the coffee next to me on the bench and pulled out Randall's card. I held it between my finger and thumb and stared at it. Then I reached into my pocket and pulled out my cell phone. "Hi, it's me. Let's do dinner - Antonio's, I'm in the mood for some good pasta and sauce - early, so we still have plenty of time for some additional activities - we'll see, whatever pops up. Bye." Then I stood up and walked to the trash can and tossed Randall's card into it along with my receipt from lunch. I felt a little better with the evidence gone.

When I finished my coffee and still hadn't come to any real conclusion, I drove home. When Kerry got home, she jumped into my arms and gave me a big kiss. I looked in her eyes and was flooded with guilt. I felt my face get hot and blush. "I'm so happy you came home early. I'm excited for dinner tonight. I love Antonio's and I can't wait to get my hands on whatever pops up later on," she bubbled.

I smiled. I didn't deserve her. I really didn't. "Yeah, I'm excited too." When we got to Antonio's it was still early enough that I got a private booth near the back. We ordered wine and I resolved to only drink one glass. After we gave our order and I heard about the events of her day at the office, she asked me how things had gone with my day. This was my first test. I momentarily thought, "Oh, not much, I just got this email from my old friend, Josh, wanting me to come visit for the Fourth of July and engage in our annual anal intercourse up on Stony Ridge. Then I met this stranger at the gym and went for an erotic massage and blowjob in his downtown condo. Just another day."

Instead, I started down the path of lies. "It was uneventful really. Do we have plans for the Fourth of July?"

"No. Do you want to make some?" she asked brightly.

"Remember last year when I went for the Fourth of July to visit my best friend, Josh?"

"I do remember that. You were really excited about going. Didn't you two go camping or something?"

"We did. We've been doing that for the past nine years. We started when we were sixteen and this would be our tenth anniversary of doing it together."

"That's great. I didn't know it was that kind of a tradition with you guys. That sounds great to me. I'd love to go camping with you and Josh."

I swallowed. I hadn't seen that coming. "I'd love to go camping with you also, but the thing is, Josh is having some hard times right now and kind of needs me to be there for him like he was there for me when my parents divorced. What if we went camping the following weekend and I flew back to help poor Josh out on the holiday?"

She looked sad and very disappointed, but didn't express it out loud. "I understand. If he needs you then you have to go. What's his problem?"

"Usual. Relationship trouble. He got dumped after a long relationship and he's really hurting. He even went to the wedding. Probably not a good idea that he did."

"Oh. I understand. That's why I love you so much. You're always putting others ahead of yourself." She leaned over the table and we kissed. She smiled and her eyes emanated love for me, a love I definitely didn't deserve.

"It stays in Oz," I thought to myself, "on the other side of the rainbow." What I said out loud was, "The reason I love you so much, is because you're so wonderfully understanding and sweet yourself. Thanks. Where should we go when I get back?"

"I'd like to go Big Pine. But would it be all right if we stayed in a cabin. I'm not sure I'm really ready to do that whole tent and no shower thing yet."

"A cabin with a shower it is. Suits me better too. Sleeping on the ground is losing its luster with me also. Did I ever tell you about the time on a scout trip when ..." I was interrupted with our appetizer arriving. Lie one was in the bag. I spent the rest of the dinner sharing old stories about Josh and I and some of the fun and crazy things we'd done together. Kerry was fascinated and shared some happy childhood memories of her own. I was reminded why I loved her and how easy it was to be with her. We laughed easily and I pushed Randall completely out of my mind, back to Oz.

When we got home, I checked the mail and let the dog in. I got on my computer and booked a flight for July 3rd. I emailed my boss and told him I was feeling much better but I would need July 3rd and 5th off since I needed to travel back to my hometown for personal reasons. Then I emailed Josh and told him what time I'd arrive at the airport some sixty-five miles north of our little farm town. Lastly, I booked a weekend at Barlow's Big Pine resort for me and Kerry the following weekend. I was pretty sure the word 'resort' was being used very loosely. I printed the confirmation off and walked into the bedroom to share it with Kerry. When I walked in, there were candles burning, giving off a nice vanilla fragrance. My beautiful wife was lying naked on the bed. Soft classical music was playing and she had the cleanup towels lying between our pillows. I smiled. "About time," she said, "I've been waiting for something to come along and pop up."

I quickly pulled my clothes off and as I freed my boner, I asked, "Something like this maybe?"

"Exactly like that."

I jumped on the bed and crawled between her legs and we began making out and thrashing around. The sex was good, like it always was with her, up until she pushed away and slid down, kissing her way along my chest and abs towards my dick. When she sucked me into her mouth, I reacted badly. I jerked it back out and reached down under her cheek. "What? I thought you loved doing that?"

"I do. I really do, but not tonight. I'm just not in the mood for that tonight."

"Okay," she said a bit bewildered. "We don't need to do that if you don't want to." Then she crawled up on top of me and mounted herself on my partially shrinking dick. That brought it back to full erection and I was glad she was taking control of the sex instead of leaving it up to me. I wasn't sure I could have managed it once Randall crept back into my head, triggered by her sucking on me. The guilt that flooded over me when she sucked on me was overwhelming. I struggled to ignore the guilt and I faked the passion and I had to really concentrate hard to achieve an orgasm. That had never happened before. I was worried I couldn't ever rid myself of the guilt and I'd be saddled with it forever. I knew Kerry sensed something was wrong, but she wisely didn't press me about it.

"Back to Oz," I muttered.

"What?" Kerry asked.

"I umm, said like going to Oz. You're like the Wizard of Oz when it comes to making love."

When it was over, she draped her soft body over me and we kissed tenderly and exchanged expressions of love for each other. I blew out the candles and we spent the rest of the evening just enjoying each other's naked softness.

Before I knew it, the third of July had arrived. I kissed Kerry as she dropped me off at the airport curb. "Have fun," she said.

"Thanks. I'll try. I'll miss you."

"Miss you already," she said. We kissed again and the curb cop headed our way to make us move the car. I grabbed my bag and headed in. Josh was taking care of all the camping gear so I didn't need to pack much. Since we normally spent the holiday mostly naked, what was there to really pack?

When I landed and texted Josh, he replied that he was already at the curb waiting. That made me smile. Trusty Josh was always there to pick me up. I tossed my bag in the back of the truck and off we went.

"How are things on the farm?" I asked.

"Good. Jimbo and his wife are taking the north sections and I'm taking over the south sections. Pops is finally retiring and turning the farm over to us. Jacob, the smart one, is living in Denver and works as an environmental engineer. He has no interest in the farm. I suppose I'll live at home and take care of the parents as they get older. It's a good life, I suppose. I sure miss you, though."

"Miss you too. I'm surprised you can carve out time at this time of year for this trip if you're running your own acreage."

"Have to. Some things are just too important to miss. This is one of those things." He looked over at me with a loving expression.

"Yes. Yes it is."

"I wasn't sure you'd come - now that you're married and all. I'm sure glad you did. Was Kerry okay with it?"

"Sure. Kerry's great. She was totally supportive." I chuckled and added, "She wanted to come camping with us up on the ridge. I had to tell her a little white lie to get to come alone."

Josh gave me another long look. "That wouldn't work out at all now, would it?"

"No. Not at all." We chuckled over it.

"I think I got everything ready. I even got the Crisco in the sandwich bag. Mom made us the same baked beans with molasses in them that you like so much and brownies, just like the first time. I hope this can be just like the first time."

"Me too, I guess. Except for doing it raw, of course."

"About that. I went into the city and got myself tested. I'm clean as can be and I'm sure that since Kerry and all, you must be too. I was thinking we could do it bare just like the first time again. Want to?"

"I guess. Sure." I smiled. He beamed. "You're really excited for this, aren't you?"

"Kind of."

"Kind of my ass. You're stoked up like a barn fire over it."

He laughed. "I can't lie. I have been thinking about it for a long time. It's important to me, you know? It means a lot that you came. It really means a lot."

"Josh, can I ask you something?"

"Of course. That's what being forever friends is all about."

"Are you gay?"

He swerved and then corrected and looked at me stupefied. He didn't answer for a while even after he had to look back at his driving.

"Kind of."

I laughed. "Kind of? Either you are or you're not. You can't kind of be gay."

"Okay then, I'm gay." He swallowed hard "I kind of thought you knew that."

"I'm a little dense about that stuff, you know?"

"Yeah, you always were. Does it change things between us? Me being gay?" There was absolute desperation and fear in his quivering voice.

"Not really. I just wanted to know, forever friend to forever friend." A silence ensued. That had been a conversation killer. I could see the turmoil in his expression and he was trying to focus too hard on his driving in order to avoid making eye contact with me. I wished I could get inside his head and hear what he was thinking.

"Josh, it doesn't matter to me at all. I still love you completely. It's no different between us. Honestly." He smiled a relieved smile and his countenance lifted.

"Do your parents and brothers know?" I asked.

"Kind of. They suspect. I've seen no need to throw it out there. I just don't date and I probably won't. I got my trusty hand and my memories to get me through my sexual needs."


"Of us. Lord Almighty, we had some incredible sexy times together. I miss it. I wish things didn't have to change. I wish every day I could go back to middle school and we could be young lovers again."

I was taken back that he chose the word 'lovers' instead of friends or buddies. It highlighted what Randall had warned me of. He was in love with me. He had our relationship on a different emotional plane. I used that as a springboard to change the subject. Our conversation switched to reminiscing about the good old days.

At the farmhouse, I was greeted by Josh's mom and dad and Jimbo. My mother had been invited and it was good to see her. She looked better than she had in a while. She had no live-in lover and hadn't had one for a while, since before my wedding. She'd gotten a job at the school and quit the diner. I realized how I'd shut her out. I should have known all of that and I resolved to be a better son and call her more often. Jimbo and his wife were there with their new baby son, James Junior. It was fun to watch Josh dote over the baby and play the role of the proud uncle. We had one of Mom's famous meals with roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, fresh green beans and Jell-O salad. There were apple dumplings for dessert.

"You just can't get that kind of cooking in the big city," I said. "Thanks."

"Glad you liked it." Josh's sweet mom humbly said. "Weren't that much, really."

We sat around and shared small talk and memories over coffee until Jimbo announced they needed to get James Junior home. Josh changed him and dressed him in his onesie pajamas before turning him over to Jimbo's wife. He gently kissed the little one's forehead and walked them out. When he came back in, he said, "We better get some sleep for our trip. Leaving early, you know. I'll be over at five to pick you up. Be ready."

"Five. Damn. I'd forgotten that time comes twice a day since moving away from farm country."

"Shoot. Day's half over by five," Pops joked. We all laughed. I drove my mother home after giving hugs all around. The place was cleaner than it had been. I complimented Mom on it. She seemed pleased that I noticed. My room hadn't changed. I hung the few clothes I'd brought on the rod overhead and then went to the living room. I sat next to Mom on the same old worn out couch.

"How are you doing, Mom?" I asked.

"Good Don. I'm doing real good."

"I'm sorry I haven't called more. I'm not a very good son."

"You're a much better son than I was a mom."

"Don't say that. You did your best and I know you had it hard. I love you, Mom." She started to cry. I slid over and put my arm around her.

"You don't know how good it is to hear that from you. I love you too, Donald. I'm so sorry for all you had to live with growing up. Sure is a good thing Josh and his family took to you. I'm just so sorry I wasn't better."

"You were fine. It's all right. You seem so good right now. Are you happy? Do you need money or anything?" I asked.

"No. I don't need anything. My new job's wonderful. They treat me so good and the pay is better. I'm fine. I'm so happy for you. I'm so glad you found such a nice girl to marry. So sad she couldn't come with you. Maybe next time?"

"Definitely. Maybe we can come for Christmas. I'll talk with Kerry about it."

"I'd love that. My place isn't too fancy, but I do keep it clean now."

"Kerry wouldn't care either way. She's the least judgmental person I know."

"She's a jewel. You treat her good, you understand me. You treat her good."

"I will Mom. I will. I better get to bed. Good night."

"Good night, Donald. Sweet dreams."

"Sweet dreams."

As I lay in bed, thoughts flooded my brain like rapids in a raging river during spring runoff. Josh was gay. He thought we had been young lovers. He was desperately looking forward to this anniversary of ours and my mother had fixed her life and worried that I didn't love her. I called Kerry and it was so good to hear her voice. Even though it was late, I needed to talk to her. I'd already called her earlier and let her know I'd arrived safely, but I just needed to hear her voice again to chase the other demons out. Not the least of which was Randall. I didn't want to spend any more time on the other side of the rainbow. I didn't want to have to leave a pile of messy shit behind to avoid at every step. If I felt guilt from the little thing I did with Randall how would fucking with Josh affect my sex life with Kerry? I couldn't, wouldn't hurt Josh and I couldn't, wouldn't hurt Kerry. But I didn't see how to do that without going back to Oz. "Good night. I love you," I said to my sweet wife.

"Love you more," she replied. I thought how true that was and wondered why since I was so unworthy of it.

Morning came quickly. I swore I hadn't slept more than ten minutes when the alarm on my phone went off.

Josh was outside waiting when I stepped out at 4:55. I tossed the few things I was taking, toothbrush and deodorant, a change of clothes and a swimsuit just in case the pond had other visitors. I almost hoped it would. I could use that for an excuse to evade my dilemma if other people were there.

Josh recounted all the different little adventures of our nine other trips to Stony Ridge along the drive to the trailhead. I chipped in once in a while, but mostly I just listened to him go on about it. We arrived and I merged my small pack into the larger pack that Josh had for me. As we started hiking, it felt like I was a boy again and had no cares or worries. It felt like we were the same old sixteen year old buddies going on another carefree adventure we'd been on that first trip. I remembered how excited and nervous I had been on the first time.

"Look," Josh said excitedly. "A massive ant hill." He bent down and began studying the ants.

"Just like the first time, right?"

"Kind of. Except the ant hill was more up on top of the ridge. Ants would sure make good farmers. Wish I could hire some summer hands with their kind of work ethic. Since they tightened up on immigration, I can't hardly find a worker worth his salt any longer."

We watched for a while and then headed back along the trail. "I sure liked watching you with James Junior last night. You're going to be a super uncle to him."

"Yeah. I love the little bugger to death. Isn't he cute?"

"Kind of," I joked.

He spun around and stuck his hands on his hips. "Kind of?"

"Okay, okay. Extremely cute."

"Better." Then he asked me, "Are you and Kerry planning on kids?"

"Definitely. We're thinking three is a good number."

"Great. Any chance I can get Godfather status?"

"Nope. No chance about it, That's a 100% certainty."

He stopped and turned around. He walked back to me and took my face in his hands. He leaned his forehead against mine. "Thank you." He then kissed me. I kissed back.

When we broke the kiss, I said, "That's a violation of the anniversary rules you know. We never kissed until we got to the pond before."

He laughed. "A new tradition here and there can't hurt."

When we did reach the pond, it was vacant. Truth was, it had always been vacant. It wasn't the kind of place people would be drawn to. It was just a small pond in a small clearing somewhat off the beaten path. We shed our packs and stripped naked. We ran into the pond and splashed each other. After a time, we stood in thigh deep water and came together to embrace. "You grew a few more pubic hairs since that day in the irrigation pond back when you showed off your first ones to me."

He laughed and jiggled his balls. "Not only that, I got real eggs now instead of gooseberries."

I laughed loud and hard. "You remember that?"

"Kind of. I did have little berries back then. I never could catch up to you. You have one desirable package. Does Kerry appreciate what you've got?"

I shook my head and said, "I think so. She seems to. I'd really rather not talk about Kerry while we're up here. This trip is about you and me."

He smiled and said, "Sure. You and me. Thanks." We embraced again and we began kissing. I lost myself in the boyish memories of sharing our bodies and our love. I was flooded with a warm glow as we kissed in the pond with the cool water on our legs and the heat of our groins pressed together.

We made out for maybe ten minutes before I felt something slippery brush against my leg. I jumped and cried out, "What was that?"

"My tongue, you goober."

"No, something touched my leg."

"Fish. Look at the dark shapes swimming there."

"Someone's stocked the pond. What if they show up to do some fishing tonight?"

"Then they'll end up with quite a story to tell at the bar tomorrow night. Won't they?"

"I guess," I agreed.

We headed out and laid out a towel on the grass. We built a fire and roasted our hot dogs and heated our beans. We talked freely and comfortably. I managed to keep Kerry and Randall well out of my thoughts and it was just like old times with Josh. "So you plan on going through life without a companion?" I asked.

"Kind of. Don't have a lot of alternatives."

"You could leave and go to a city where you could find others ..."

"Others like me?" Josh filled in.

"Or like me. Someone you could love and who could love you back. Someone you could make a life with."

"I don't think I could live like that and I don't want anyone else like you. There was a time, I pretended that somehow I could have you. You were all I ever wanted. When you left for college, I knew better. I knew that was the end of it for me. I held out hope, though, as you kept coming back every year for our annual Stony Ridge trip. Then when you got married, I knew that was it for sure. I planned on forgetting about inviting you again. But I really hoped we could keep it up. I can't tell you how happy you made me when you said you were coming. It helped me know that you really loved me - that it wasn't just lip service. It showed me that it wasn't just about getting some sex until you could get it from a woman."

"Josh, have you done sex stuff with anyone else besides me? Guys, I mean. I know about the girls."

Josh hung his head. "I lied about the girls. I drove to Denver a few times and there's this place where you can find guys for..."

"Casual sex?"

"Kind of."

"How many times did you do that?"

"A few. I'm not proud of it. I started when I was seventeen. It wasn't like doing it with you. It was empty."

"Yeah. I get that. It was never fulfilling for me either with the women I did it with until I met Kerry."

"I thought you didn't want to talk about Kerry. Just you and me, remember?"

"That's right. Just you and me up here." I leaned in and kissed him. He kissed me back. We dressed and tossed a ball back and forth. We tossed a Frisbee and challenged each other to try and hit trees around the clearing. Finally, we packed up our dinner of chicken salad and chips and lemonade and of course, the brownies and hiked up to the ridge.

We ate and chatted while we waited for the fireworks to start. "Isn't this wonderful? Just like old times," he said as he scooted next to me and took my hand in his. I thought about Randall and what he had told me about how much Josh loved me and how I needed to not hurt him.

"Josh," I began.

"Yes?" He sensed my serious tone.

"I need to tell you something. I need to be completely honest with you. Last week when I got your email…" I paused to make sure I phrased it right. "I was a little conflicted over it. I left work early and went to the fitness club to mull it over. While I was there, I ..." I wanted to get it off my chest. I wanted to confide my guilt to someone.

"You don't need to explain. I understand. I was afraid of this."

"Wait. What do you think I was going to say?"

"You can't go through with this anymore. Now that you're married you can't be with me anymore. Right?"

"Well, that was one of my concerns, yes. But I was also concerned that maybe I really wanted to be with you. I thought maybe I needed to be with you instead of with Kerry. In some ways, I do. I love you, Josh. I really love you. And I'm not just talking like a brother here. I mean real, sincere love." I was glad he'd interrupted me. I was glad I hadn't told him about Randall like I'd been planning to do. I continued speaking my heart surprising myself with what I was saying, "I think I could make a life with you and be perfectly happy and content. I hadn't realized that until I had a chance to really explore that side of myself with someone I confided in. I'm really confused about who I am right now, but I'm certain that I love you and I always will. The question is how."

"What about she who must not be named?" Josh asked, trying I think, to lighten the mood.

I chuckled. "Well that's the problem isn't it? If I'd realized this about me and you before she came into my life, it would be easy. Now, not so much."

"You're talking crazy shit now. Leaving Kerry for me? No way. I'd never let you do that. I love you with all my heart, Don. I always will. I want you to be happy more than I want anything else. Kerry makes you happy and you two belong together. I'm thrilled you love me enough to even consider that. I mean that."

At the sound of the first cannon boom and subsequent explosion of brilliant red and blue sparks, we cozied up and put our arms around each other. We fell into silence as we watched the fireworks explode over Stony Reservoir with childlike wonder. Fireworks always brought out the little child in me. When the finale burst forth with its seemingly endless array of color and popping and whistling sounds, we smiled at each other and kissed again. We'd never kissed so much before our own grand finale in the tent. But it felt right this time.

As the last sparks died out and the sky fell dark again, we gathered up our things and began the trek back to camp. This was the moment of truth. I had Josh's permission to opt out. I knew he had been honest about it. It would be one less thing to leave in Oz and I was thankful for that. I looked back at the sky where the bright glare of the fireworks show had been. I was sorry that it had ended for another year. But I was glad I got to experience it. All things, it seemed, no matter how spectacular, had to eventually come to an end.

When we reached the tent, we pulled our boots off and crawled in. Josh knelt on the bed and waited for me to make some kind of move or comment. I waited to see what I would do myself because honestly, I had no idea still. I turned on the battery powered lantern, and I crawled slowly toward him. I kneeled across from him for some time. Then I reached out and pulled his shirt up and off. He tentatively did the same to mine. Then I removed his belt, unbuttoned his jeans and pulled down the zipper. In a minute, we were both naked. I pulled him into an embrace and asked, "How does this go again? Who goes first?"

He snickered, "I put mine in you first. Then you do it to me."

"That's right. Well, what are you waiting for?" I dropped onto my back and hoisted my legs, grasping my knees. He sprang from the bed and retrieved the Crisco. He smeared it over my bud and pressed some into my hole with his fingers. In a flash he was between my legs like a hog on slop. I felt the familiar push against my ring and I relaxed it for him. He pushed all the way in and then laid on top of me. We kissed, then we made out, then we got serious. We thrashed and bit and groaned out loud as he pounded me. I relished the intense sensations against my prostate and it nearly made me cum prematurely. At last, he repeated the experience of our first time, driving himself deep into my ass and crying out in complete ecstasy. When he was done, he pulled out and rolled off me, panting and smiling contentedly.

I greased him up and smeared some over my dick and then made my entry. I was pretty worked up and now I'd made the decision to go forward, I was very into doing it again with him. At first, I caught myself comparing the difference between his anus and my wife's vagina, but that had a chilling effect on the process so I focused solely on Josh's anus. I gave him an equal ass pounding to the one I'd just received from him and like the first time, ten years before, I came quickly. I howled like a wolf as I unloaded my balls into his warm body, firmly connected with the boy I loved - the boy I'd love forever. When I finished, I left myself lodged within him and we kissed tenderly until my flaccid dick was expelled by his constricting anus. Like before, we made no effort to clean up. I felt my ooze dripping from his ass onto my limp cock. We kissed and snuggled until sleep overtook us.

This year, we didn't wake until morning had arrived. When we did stir, we looked at ourselves and began to giggle, like when we were young boys. I kissed him and he kissed me back. "That was wonderful. It was just like I remembered it," I said. "Did you enjoy it?"

"Kind of." he answered with a smirk.

"Hey!" I complained.

He laughed since he'd gotten the reaction he was looking for from me."Kind of FREAKING UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING!!" he exclaimed.

"That's more like it." I kissed him again. "Ready for round two?"

"You bet. Are you? You don't have to if you don't ..." I pressed my finger to his lips.

I positioned him and smeared some Crisco on my growing dick. I entered him and slow danced his prostate for a good thirty minutes. We didn't talk. At least not with words. A warm glow filled me as I slow fucked my best friend in the world. My first lover and life long confidant. Just before I let myself crest and cum again within him, I said, "I love you, Josh." He kissed me hard on the lips as I tensed up and spilled myself into him.

I rolled over, made myself available to him, and he slipped easily into me. "We are one, once more. Just you and me, inseparable. Forever friends."

We kissed tenderly as he humped me slowly. After ten or so minutes, he quivered and thrust into me delivering his load. When he was finished, he raised up on his elbows and said, "I love you, Don. I love you with all my heart. Because I love you, I have to let you be with Kerry without feeling pressured to keep doing this every year with me. You need her and she needs you and you don't need me in your head whne you're with her. I will always love you, though. Thank you for loving me. It's enough to know that you do. Thanks for giving me this one last gift."

The hike back was hard. Not physically, but emotionally. I felt like I had just experienced my last fireworks show and though I was sad to see it end, I was so glad I had been able to be part of it. I knew then I could leave everything that happened there over the rainbow in Oz where it truly did belong. I wasn't worried about stepping in the mess. There was no mess. All was right and all was good.

The goodbye at the airport the next day wasn't nearly as hard as I'd anticipated. Josh was actually in quite high spirits. I promised I'd be back with Kerry at Christmas time. I hugged all around and complimented my mom on her new hairstyle. She beamed. I hugged Josh for a long time and said, "Friends forever?"

"Kind of," he answered.

"All's good then."

"All's more than good. It's great."

I was so excited to see Kerry when she picked me up at the airport. I twirled her around and swept her into a swooning kiss. I tossed my bags in the back seat of our Avalon and off we went home. We no sooner got inside the house and the door shut than she dragged me to the bedroom. We tore off our clothes and had intense sex.

"So how was your time?" she asked as we lay together during the refractory.

"Nice. I got to see my mom and she's doing great. She has a new job at the school and she's really transformed herself. I need to call her more often. I've been neglectful of that."

"Want me to remind you?"

"Sure. I'd like that. You need to do something to earn your keep around here."

She smacked me in the arm, "Excuse me, whose paycheck is bigger?"

"Yours," I admitted.

"Besides, you get your money's worth in bed. Don't you?"

"Kind of," I smirked.

"KIND OF?" she said indignant.

I laughed. "That's something Josh always says. You're definitely an E ticket ride in bed. No argument from me."

"E ticket?"

"It's a reference to Disneyland. Back in the early days, the Disneyland tickets had different values and all the good rides took an E ticket. The lame ones were A tickets."

"Oh. You better think I'm an E ticket. So am I Space Mountain or Star Tours?" she asked in her playful manner.

"If you ask our neighbors, they'd probably say you were California Screamin," I joked.

She hit me again. "Oh you." I pulled her into me and we kissed tenderly. A warm glow spread from our lips down through my body. I wondered how on earth I could be so lucky as to be loved by two such wonderful people as Josh and Kerry.

"Do I satisfy you when we make love. Is there something you'd like that I don't do for you?"

"You're great. Sometimes, I think it might be fun to try some of those sex toys just to mix it up, but we don't really need them. That monster of yours definitely gets me off."

"That's cool. What kind of toys?"

"I don't know, like something that vibrates might be fun. Why? Is there something you'd like you're not getting?"


"Don't be shy. Tell me."

I hesitated. I was afraid to tip my hand. "Maybe something that stimulates my prostate. I heard that can be amazing. I don't know. I don't really need anything. You're amazing in bed and I'm really good at it. You're especially good at sucking on me. I sometimes wish I wasn't quite as big so you could get it all the way in, but being big has advantages too."

"You're so funny." She snuggled against me and started fondling my balls with her fingers. "By the way, how is Josh?" she asked.

"Good. He's fine now. It's good that I went. He needed confirmation that I still cared about him. I doubt he'll ever marry. He's pretty broken up over the loss he experienced. I really care about him. We will be friends forever."

"That's nice. If you ever need to go visit him, I'm good with it."

"That's good to know. You're so supportive. I love you."

"I love you more," she said.

"I know. I don't know why you do, but I'm glad."

Our time at Big Pine the following weekend was fun. We swam and sailed on the lake and we took long nature walks. Along the way, we knelt and watched the activity at a large anthill. "Did you know that there is roughly the same biomass of ants on this planet as there is biomass of humans? Also, ants can carry up to fifty times their body weight," I spouted.

"No. How did you learn that?" she wanted to know.

"Josh. He's really into ants and now he's an uncle. I forgot to mention his brother has a baby boy and Josh is the most amazing uncle to him. He loves him to death."

"That's sweet."

"He asked if he could be a Godfather to our kids when we have some."

"Did you tell him yes?"

"Sure did. That okay?"

"Of course. When do you want to start a family?" she asked.

"Soon. I said. Soon. Not before next summer though. I need the next promotion."

When we went to bed in the cabin that night, we snuggled naked under the covers. "I have a surprise for you," she said. She slipped under the covers and spread my legs apart. She greased up my butt and then pressed some sort of sex toy against it. The smooth round toy slid up against my prostate. Then, Kerry took my rock hard penis into her mouth and to my utter surprise, began deep throating me while she stimulated my prostate with the curved toy. I came in very short order with a powerful orgasm that she took completely in her mouth. While I was gasping for air, she pulled the toy free of my clenching ass and slid back up to face me. "Like it?"

"No. I loved it! Where did you find that and when did you learn to deep throat?" I asked.

"I did a little internet research on how to please a man. It suggested both of those. All I ever want is to please you," she said.

The sexual experience was overwhelmingly good but the nature of it triggered a wave of nagging guilt in me over the homosexual activity I'd hid from her. "Kerry," I said very seriously. "I need to confess something to you."

She looked a bit nervous and asked with some trepidation, "What's that?"

I was about to spill my guts about the blowjob with Randall and the anal sex experiences with Josh. I don't know why I felt the need to be so stupid. I thought about Randall's comments about leaving things in Oz. "I need to confess my undying love and devotion to you," I said. I smiled and pulled her into a kiss. When she laid her head back down on my chest, I caught myself humming, 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'."

It was early December and I stopped at Miguel's for a sandwich. I'd just started on my Reuben and was looking out the window when I was surprised by someone sitting across from me in my booth. Startled, I looked up to see Randall. "Fancy meeting you here," he said.

"Hello, this is a surprise. What are you doing here?" I asked.

"I was having a craving for the tomato bisque," he said. "A really nice guy I met at the gym told me about this place and I've been coming here ever since."

"How're you doing? How are things with Dante?"


"Oh, I'm sorry. What happened?" I asked.

"I came home and found the lock changed. It turns out I got replaced by a younger, boy toy with a larger penis than yours even. I couldn't compete."

"I'm sorry. So what now?"

"I don't know. I don't think I can take any more shallow relationships. Maybe I'll join a monastery or something. I wish I could find someone for a legitimate, long term relationship."

"I hope you can. I'm truly sorry for your loss."

"Thanks. It wasn't really much of a loss. Open relationships don't really make much of a basis for long term stability. So what happened with you and Josh and Kerry?"

"It's all good. Your advice was useful."

"Did I give you advice? I thought I'd just evaded you."

"Well, you did give me some things to think about. You just wouldn't make the final decision for me. You did mess with my head some by seducing me on the massage table."

He flicked his eyebrows. "Sorry about that. I was just really hot for you. I was very horny and you were more than a little vulnerable. So who won? Kerry, I assume, since you're here and not there."

"We all kind of won. I went and made passionate love to Josh. He was good with the fact that it couldn't ever be more than what we shared on the Fourth of July. When I got home, I took your advice and left the rainbow activities in the land of Oz. My relationship with Kerry is stronger than ever. We're going back for Christmas this year and we'll see how I deal with Josh and Kerry in the same space. One sad thing though, is that Josh plans on living his life alone without any hope of companionship. Like a sexless worker ant, destined to be alone."

"I'm happy for you that it all worked out. That is sad about Josh."

We finished our lunch with small talk and parted ways. I wished him well. He stuck another one of his cards in my pocket as we parted and said, "You never know."


It was the Fourth of July of the following year and I sat on Stony Ridge shoulder to shoulder with Josh watching the fireworks. I was excited for what was coming later on in the tent. When the grand finale finished and the sky went dark, I turned and kissed Kerry. Josh turned and kissed Randall. In the tent, later that night, I howled like a wolf as Kerry deep throated me and stimulated my prostate with my favorite toy. Nearest we could tell, that was the night our child was conceived. I had to smile and even laugh a little as Randall and Josh cried out in shrill shrieks of orgasmic delight across the meadow. Apparently, they'd managed to cum together.

Emails are welcome. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. I will try to reply to all who share with me. Sincerely, Hans