[Forgive the pedantry, please, but it's pronounced plah-kett . Also, thanks to Drew and Tinn. --Tim]

Sam Taylor sipped the bourbon and grimaced. Not as good as the brand he usually preferred, but . . .He looked at the man who had offered it to him, the man who was lying on the bed, waiting for Sam to join him.

Not as good, no, but definitely not bad.

I clicked on "Send." Yahoo, after hesitating a few seconds, flashed up the names of the people to whom I'd sent that email.

"Oh, fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"

I didn't just think it. I said it, right there in my study. Fortunately, I was at home. My colleagues and students would have been surprised to hear such profanity from the mouth of Brian Morehouse Hunter, Jr., Ph.D., known to his friends and some of his students as Chip, newly-promoted associate professor of English.

I suppose I should back up a bit. Unbeknownst to anyone at the university where I taught, for three years I had been writing and posting gay stories on line. I'd acquired a following of fans and a circle of staunch online friends. I'd managed to meet some of them in real life and hoped eventually to meet more. But my colleagues at the university couldn't be allowed to know about my stories. It simply wouldn't do for a member of the English faculty to be posting "porn" on the internet.

Whatever their suspicions, I don't think anyone knew I was gay. Mind you, they wouldn't fire me for being gay. Officially gender orientation didn't matter. But writing porn? That would be unacceptable.

Unlike my life as a professor, my last two undergraduate years had been marked by frequent, steamy sex. Josh and I lived together in an off-campus apartment, and we had fucked like rabbits. I really liked Josh, not merely for his ass and his fine, fine cock. We were primarily just fuck buddies, though, and when we graduated and went to different grad schools, we wished each other well, but neither of us had serious regrets.

In graduate school I became infatuated. With Hank. Henry, actually. I even thought I was in love and that he loved me. We didn't live together. We both needed space and time away from each other to do our work, especially when we began the labors of Hercules, i.e., our dissertations. But I thought about him a lot when we weren't together, and I missed him, too. I didn't even want to think about what would happen after our degrees were granted. About a month before commencement, Hank surprised me by dropping in one afternoon. He never came in the afternoon. We had an understanding that afternoons were for academic work so our evenings would be as free as possible for what I thought was love making. Anyway, he came by to tell me he'd met this girl and they had gotten engaged. So he wouldn't be "available" any more.

What could I do? I said I hoped they'd be happy. And I began building a wall around myself. When I got my job at the university, I decided that I'd throw myself into my teaching and my research. No one need know I was gay. No point in getting close to people. So I worked hard, hard enough to become a popular assistant professor. But I lived like a monk. After a few years, however, in an effort to find some sort of outlet, I turned to the internet, first as a reader, and then, inevitably for someone interested in writing, as an author. By the time l'affaire Ken occurred, I had a nice list of titles in the Authors section, though it was modest compared with those of some of the really big names in that category.

I had some friends, also gay romance writers, to whom I sent each chapter of my current series, "Ivied Halls," for editing/beta reading. That fateful evening I clicked on a wrong name. Instead of sending the chapter to Harry Torrance, one of my regular editors and sharpest critics, I had mistakenly sent it to Ken Tremont, a departmental colleague.

Ken's name was in my address book because he and I had served on a college committee the previous semester. He was a linguist, but at our university linguists were considered part of the English department. Some of my colleagues resented them because the linguists weren't expected to take sections of freshman English. In fact, they didn't have to teach composition at all. They were considered to be the rebels, moreover, the non-conformists in the department.

Ken was a couple of inches taller than my 5'10". He had light brown hair, amazing green eyes, a turned up nose, lips I'd always wanted to kiss, a come-hither ass, and lots of attitude. He was cute. Oh, Lord, was he cute! But he was cocky. So far as I knew, he was straight as they come. And I'd just sent him a chapter of a gay romance, soliciting his response.

He'd have to realize he'd received it by mistake because the text of my email made it clear that this was a chapter in a series and that the recipient was someone who'd read all the previous chapters and made helpful comments about them.

The shit, I was pretty sure, was about to hit the fan, though probably not until Monday. It was Friday night when I'd sent off the chapter, and I'd have to get through the weekend wondering how Tremont would react. He could, for example, go to the chair of the department, and I could just imagine what she'd think about one of her faculty writing gay erotic stories. "My God! One just doesn't do that sort of thing!"

Or he could blackmail me. He really had me by the balls, and, sexy as he was, I had no reason to think he was particularly charitable or forgiving. Oh, he'd been friendly enough when we'd worked together, but he was the sort who didn't suffer fools gladly, and he was ambitious. Probably he'd want to use the advantage I'd given him to get in good with Kathryn Barnstable, the chair.

I wasn't about to grade papers on a Friday evening. It was late February and snowing outside. I had put on sweat pants, thick white socks, and a sweatshirt when I got home late that afternoon. I poured some Maker's Mark into an old-fashioned glass, padded into the living room, and switched on the TV.

It didn't matter much what I watched, for I couldn't concentrate on anything. I do know that Sam Waterston lost another case. Don't know how he keeps his job as ADA when he loses so often.

But I was worrying about what Tremont would do when he found that chapter attached to an email from me, so the comics on Comedy Central seemed especially aggressive, tasteless, and banal.

I didn't sleep well that night.

The next morning, I went to the supermarket, as I always did on Saturday, and despite the early hour, it seemed that nearly everyone in town was there doing weekly shopping. After I took the stuff home and put it away, I went to the gym to work out. The rest of the citizenry were at the gym. There was a wait for just about every piece of equipment.

By the time I got out, it was noon.

I went home and fixed myself gourmet tomato soup. I opened a can of Campbell's and sprinkled some tarragon on top of it. It didn't matter. I didn't taste it anyway. My mind kept going back to Ken Tremont, who by this time had assumed in my imagination something like the role of Nemesis.

That afternoon I watched an NBA game, but I don't remember who played, much less who won. I had promised myself that when I got the promotion to associate, I'd get a better place to live. The apartment looked particularly shabby and dreary that cold, snowy winter afternoon. I had paid off my student loans about a year earlier, and I thought I deserved something nicer in the way of lodgings. But that day I was glad I hadn't moved into something better. I figured when Tremont told Barnstable about my extra-curricular pastime, they'd come up with a way to rescind my recently-granted tenure. "Behavior reflecting discredit on the university," or something like that, no doubt.

I couldn't get to sleep that night, either. About 2:00 AM I got up, took a sleeping pill, got in bed, and jacked off. The cum landed all over my chest and stomach. Then I rolled over and slept until 10:00 the next morning. The hair on my chest was matted with cum, and I smelled terrible. Worse yet, though I was groggy from the damned pill, I couldn't get back to sleep. Grumbling to myself, I got up, pissed, and took a long, hot shower. By the time I had fixed myself my usual Sunday morning eggs, sausage, sausage gravy, and Pillsbury biscuits, it was nearly noon.

I managed to immerse myself in marking papers and planning my classes for the next few days, and before I knew it, it was supper time. I had the rest of the tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Since there was nothing on television, I bundled up and took a walk.

It had quit snowing. The streets had been plowed, but most of the sidewalks hadn't been shoveled, so I wound up walking in the street. The dry, cold air helped clear my head. Perhaps I was blowing this all out of proportion, exaggerating the threat posed by Ken Tremont and my careless mistake. Perhaps I could reason with him. Perhaps he would be inclined to be understanding.

Yeah, right! He gets a piece of porn from a fag colleague and he's going to say, "There, there, it's okay"? Unlikely.

Sunday night brought another bout of sleeplessness. After all, the next morning I had to go back to campus, where, in my imagination, Tremont was looming like some sort of evil sprite. Great looking, sexy as the devil, but potentially diabolical in other ways, too.

He didn't show up in my office on Monday. Nor on Tuesday. I taught my classes, saw students in my office, did lesson plans, marked papers, and fretted. Where was he? Why hadn't he shown up to confront me with the chapter? Was he in fact in secret meetings with the chair? The dean? The provost?

As I walked the hallways of our building, I imagined the students who smiled and said hello or nodded to me were really laughing at me.

"There goes Hunter. Never guessed he was gay."

"Oh, you've heard?"

"Yeah, like everybody knows all about the porn he's been posting to the net and everything."

I didn't actually overhear such a conversation, but I fully expected to at any moment. Late Tuesday, just as I was ready to go home, I got a call in my office from Kate Barnstable's secretary. Would I please meet with the chair during my free hour the following morning? "Why, of course, I'd be delighted."

Well, here was what I'd been expecting. At least the other shoe had dropped. Tremont hadn't had the courtesy to come to me. He'd gone straight to the chair. A real hottie, but a bastard, obviously. I must admit I'd fantasized about his ass. I wanted to stick my face in it. And then stick something else in it. I had also fantasized about ravishing his mouth. Right then, however, I wanted nothing more than to put one of my size tens up his perky butt.

If they revoked my tenure, I'd have trouble finding a teaching position anywhere else, especially when the reason for the revocation became known. After supper I went to the mall. I walked around awhile and then went into the Cineplex. Saw a British comedy everyone had been raving about, but frankly don't remember much about it. While leaving the theater, however, whom should I bump into but Tremont and Patricia Jayce, another of the junior members of our department.

"Hey, Chip," Ken said, smiling at me, "did you enjoy the film?"

He was smiling at me? Was he that much of a machiavel? I mumbled something, he and Patricia smiled again, and we separated. I went home, took an Ambien with some bourbon and went to bed.

I don't know how long the radio had been playing the next morning before I woke up, but it was late enough that I had to skip breakfast. I just showered, dressed, and hurried to my first class.

It was after that class that I had my meeting with the chair. When I got there, Jo, her secretary, told me to go on in, that Dr. Barnstable was expecting me.

"Hello, Brian. Thanks for coming." She stood when I came in, and we shook hands. She smiled as if there was nothing wrong and asked me to sit down. Did I want coffee? When I thanked her but refused, she told me she wanted to submit my name for the curriculum committee for the coming year, but wanted to check with me first.

"You do? That's why you asked me here this morning?"

"Yes. Was there something else we needed to talk about?"

"Oh, no. Sorry."

"Brian, are you all right? You look a little pale."

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. "No, Dr. Barnstable. I'm fine. Really. And, yes, I'd be delighted to serve on the curriculum committee."

"Well, you'll get a lot of flack from colleagues whose proposals for new courses the committee rejects, you know."

"Yes, I realize that. But it's an important job, and I'm flattered you want me to do it."

She smiled, stood to indicate the interview was at an end, and said, "You look as if you aren't getting enough sleep, Brian. Maybe you're taking your work too seriously. You should get out more, be with other people."

"You may be right, Dr. B. Perhaps I have been too reclusive lately."

Okay. So Ken Tremont hadn't been to the chair. Yet. I still had some time before my next class, so I checked his schedule and walked along the deserted hallway to the classroom where he was teaching. The classroom doors in our building all have windows in them. I stood outside and watched as Ken taught. He had on a yellow cable-knit sweater, 501's, and leather ankle-high shoes. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but he was obviously leading a discussion. He walked back and forth in the front of the room, gesturing frequently, his face animated, smiling often. I could hear the class laugh from time to time, and he always joined in. As he paced around, I got a good look at both that fascinating butt and the substantial bulge in the front. The denim stretched over his package seemed faded, thus highlighting what was lurking behind it.

Face it: the man was simply yummy. And from what I could observe, he was an excellent teacher. I don't know how long I stood there, but when Tremont said something to his class and walked back to his desk, I knew the period was over. I hurried away to my office, hoping no one noticed the tent in my baggy corduroys.

For the rest of the day I concentrated on my duties. Ken obviously hadn't been to Barnstable, so maybe the situation wasn't dire after all. Or was he just delaying to make me sweat? That evening after supper it occurred to me that perhaps I should approach him about my mistake.

As it turned out, I didn't have to. The next day, Thursday, hearing someone clear his throat, I looked up. There he was, finally, standing in the doorway of my office. He had on an outfit similar to what he was wearing the last time I saw him, but the sweater was hunter green this time. He pushed a hank of his wavy light brown hair up off his forehead and gave me another one of his brilliant smiles.

"Uh, Ken, hi. Come in."

He came into the room as I stood. I offered my hand. He took it, held it just a little longer than I had expected him to.

We sat.

I cleared my throat, took a deep breath, and said, "I'm sure I can guess why you're here."

He grinned.

"Yeah. What a surprise! I've been reading 'Ivied Halls' since the beginning. Great story! I didn't know that we had S.T. Comberbach right here in our midst. Clever name, by the way."

"Whoa! You read 'Ivied Halls'?"

"Sure do. I've loved everything about it except you don't have the accent quite right in your character from Kentucky, what's his name, Jody?"

"Wait a minute. Let's back up. You read my story. Ken, I don't want to draw any hasty conclusions, but does that mean you're - "

"Gay. Yes, professor. And if you aren't gay, too, I want to know where you've been getting all your information about male-to-male sex."

"Yeah, I'm gay. And it looks as if I've just outed myself."

"Only to me. And I won't tell anyone. I've been keeping a pretty low profile, too, since I got here."

"You must have. I had no idea. You were with Patricia the other night. What's with that, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Oh, Trish and I came here the same year, so we went through all the new faculty orientation bullshit together. We've just been friends. You know, we grab something to eat once in a while or, like the other night, take in a flick. But there's nothing sexual there."

I was still trying to process everything. "Does all this mean you aren't going to tell anyone that one of your colleagues is writing gay porn and posting it on line?"

"Chip, I wouldn't do that to anyone. You obviously made a mistake when you sent the chapter to me. I'd keep your confidence." He paused and gave me another of his brilliant smiles. "Especially since it was you who sent it."

"Whew, thanks, Ken. You don't know how worried I've been. Look, I'm off to class in a few minutes. Are you free this evening? I'd like to thank you by taking you to dinner."

Another smile. My cock began to stiffen.

"Sure. That isn't really necessary, but I confess I'd enjoy having dinner with you."

"Great. I'll pick you up. About 6:00?"

"That's good. Do you know where I live?"

I didn't, but he told me.

After he left, something came back to me. He had said he'd keep my secret, especially since I was the one who'd sent him the chapter, or words to that effect. Did that mean what it seemed to? That he liked me?

We went to a popular campus place that featured ribs. Probably because it was a nasty February weeknight, the place wasn't crowded. Not wanting our conversation to be overheard, we found a booth away from the other customers. We both ordered beer, and we decided to split an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms.

After Heidi, our bubbly waitperson, had taken our order, I lifted my glass to Ken. "Thanks, man. I could have really been in deep shit if a less understanding guy had received that chapter."

He grinned. "Yeah, I suppose so. Say, what about the guy you meant to send it to?"

"Oh, shit! I never did send Harry his copy. He's probably wondering where it is. Thanks for the reminder."

"No problem."

"Seriously, what I did is something I've always been afraid I'd do, and I try to be careful. But I'm really lucky that it went to you and not, say, Kate Barnstable."

He chuckled. "You mean you don't think our esteemed chair would appreciate your talents as a fiction writer?"

"Hardly! In fact, even though you're being so decent about all this, I'm still embarrassed. English professors may write fiction if it's see-ree-ous stuff. But I'm no Faulkner. I began to write for CRVBOY as a kind of release because I was so closeted after I came here."

He put his forearms on the table and leaned toward me, his sexy green eyes sparkling. "You know, that may be true now, but I'll wager things will be different in, say, fifty years?"


"Yup. I predict some PhD candidate will be doing a dissertation on the works of S.T. Comberbach and his circle as an aspect of early 21st -century culture."

"My 'circle'?"

"Sure. You often mention your writer friends in your prefaces, and I've read most of their stuff, too."

"I can't believe it! I wish I had known about this before. There have been lots of times when I've wished I had someone I could confide in about this shady little hobby of mine. And you were here all along."

"Well, now I hope you'll let me have advance looks at all your chapters."

I lifted my glass once more. "You got it!"

The rest of the dinner went by quickly. I came to see Ken in a new light. He was, as I knew, very intelligent. But he was much more tuned in to people than I had suspected. No wonder he was such a good teacher. There was also the fact that he looked wonderful! He wasn't movie-star handsome, but he had a taut, lean body, a great boy-next-door face with hair that flopped over his forehead, and beautiful skin. In addition to all that there was a kind of glow about him. I couldn't describe it, exactly, other than to say that he radiated a sense of fun, as if life were constantly offering up delightful surprises.

The 'evil sprite' had become someone I regretted having to take back to his apartment. I wanted to take him home with me. I hadn't had such a great evening since before Hank dumped me.

In my car, as I took Ken back to his place, a voice inside me warned me that I was getting to like this guy too much. It went on to say that if I did that, I'd give him the power to hurt me. Another voice said to the first, "Shut up! This guy's worth the risk. Go for it!"

When I pulled up in front of his building, he said, "Look, it's not late. Come in for a drink? I've got wine, beer, bourbon. Or, if you'd rather, since it's a cold night, how about some cocoa?"

I would have jumped at the opportunity to be with him a while longer if he'd offered me vinegar. "Yeah, sounds good."

"Then pull into the parking lot behind the building." He showed me where to park, and we went in the back entrance and up to his apartment. When we got there, he took my coat and put it in a closet. "Now, I gave you a choice, and all you said was 'sounds good.' What can I get you?"

What I did next was completely uncharacteristic of me. I decided to go for it, despite the risk.

"Ken, here's what I really want!" My heart pounding, I put a hand on each side of his head, fingers in the back and thumbs along his cheeks and pulled his face toward mine. His mouth was open and ready for mine when it got there. His tongue was inside my mouth, rubbing around on mine before I knew what happened. We probed and licked and sucked and nibbled cheeks, tongues, lips.

When we both had to gasp for breath, he pulled my head against his shoulder and asked, "How'd you know I wanted that?"

"I didn't. I was just hoping desperately you wouldn't mind."

He took me by the hand and led me to his sofa, pulling me down beside him. He unlaced and took off his shoes, the same ones I'd seen him wearing in class. Then he knelt and took off my shoes as well. Sitting beside me, he propped his feet on the coffee table, put an arm around my shoulder, and we both leaned back into the sofa.

"Chip, I've had the hots for you since I first met you."

"Me? Surely not."

"Yeah. I love the black hair, the 'stache, those sweet, soulful brown eyes. English professors are supposed to be nerds, not hunks. And how did you get those shoulders?"

Embarrassed and still disbelieving, I didn't say anything. I just looked at him. At those green eyes.

"Besides," he went on, "you seemed so unattainable. You know, you've always been friendly enough, but you seemed straight. And just a little remote."

"There's a reason for all that."

"Would you tell me about it?"

"If you really want to hear."

"I do, but first, let me get us something. How about bourbon?"

"You read my mind."

"Well, that's what Sam Taylor drinks, so I guessed maybe you did, too." (Sam Taylor was the main character in my series.)

He came back with our drinks, handed me mine, and sat down. He held his drink in his left hand and put his right arm around my shoulder again.

"Now, tell me. It must have been some guy."

I told him all about Hank and how I'd decided never to leave myself open for that kind of pain again. He was quiet for a while after I finished. "Do you know what happened to Hank?"

"Yeah, he's married, has two kids, and is teaching at Cal Berkeley. He emails me sometimes. In his last one, he said he managed to sneak in to the Castro for some good mansex once in a while."

"As the Brits say, he sounds like a 'right bastard'!"

"I've gotten over being bitter about Hank, though I can't help feeling sorry for his wife. But at this moment I'm seeing what I've been missing because I've been so, as you put it, remote. Now, I have a question for you, young man."

"Sure, Pops, go ahead." We both chuckled.

"Why did you wait so long to come to me after you received that chapter?"

"When I first got it, I was stunned. You didn't send it from the box you use as your email contact on the website. And there was a 'signature' on the bottom of the email. So I knew who good old S.T. was. I read the chapter, of course. The next day we both had classes. I tried to put myself in your place. It was possible you hadn't noticed your mistake. But eventually, you were bound to discover it. I thought you might be embarrassed, and I didn't want you to be upset with me. Then on Wednesday when I did come to your office, you weren't there. Jo, who was walking past just then, told me that you were in with Dr. B."

He ran the tips of his fingers up the back of my neck and into my hair. I shivered.

"Woops! Sorry!"

"Don't be. It felt good."

He took a sip of bourbon and continued. "You have to realize that I've had this major crush on you for three years now. When I got that chapter, it told me you were gay, something I'd always hoped was true. You create good characters, and they're all so decent. I just knew the person who wrote those stories had to be a special guy. Here, suddenly, you'd given me a key into your world. I was thrilled to have it, but scared to death I'd fuck up this chance to maybe get to, uh, know you better."

He had gone back to rubbing the back of my neck, and I was practically purring.

"I'm sorry you worried," he continued. "It was stupid of me not to see that. I was too busy trying to figure out how to use the mis-sent chapter to get where I am right now to think about your anxiety. Forgive me?"

"Yeah, probably. But let me get this right. Did I hear correctly? You have a crush on me? Surely you didn't say that."

"Yes, professor, that's exactly what I said. Wanna fuck me?" Then he saw the tears streaming down my face. "Oh, Brian, I'm sorry. That was too much, too soon. I should never have said that. Please say you forgive me."

I put down my glass and turned, taking him into my arms. "No, you don't understand. I've been alone so long. This past week has, as you suspected, been terribly tense for me. And now to have a beautiful guy like you say he wants me is pretty overwhelming."

He took out his handkerchief and blotted away my tears. Then he nuzzled my neck. My cock, which had been swelling during the last few minutes anyway, became fully hard.

He mumbled into the skin just below my ear, "So you might want to fuck me?"

I squeezed him tight, planting a kiss on his forehead. "Mayhap. Right now, can we just do some more of this snuggling? It's so nice."

"Sure, Bri. Anything you want."

We did sit there, arms around each other, kissing gently from time to time. After a while, I noticed that the clock on his VCR said 1:00.

"Damn! Ken, we both have early classes tomorrow. I've got to go home."

"If you must, babe. Sure you don't want to stay?"

"How about tomorrow night? That's Friday, so we won't have to get up early Saturday morning."

"Can you cook?"

"I'm a piss-poor cook, I'm afraid."

"Okay, professor, come here for dinner tomorrow at 6:00 and plan to spend the night." He looked at me seriously. "Is that okay with you?"

I grinned. "More than okay."

"You realize you are going to have to fuck me, don't you?"

I heaved a mock sigh. "Oh, all right. If you insist."

Friday took forever. Even more than usual it was the longest day of the week. I couldn't believe how all of my resolve to avoid entangling alliances had flown away. I couldn't get Ken out of my head. I couldn't wait to see him again that evening.

I took along a bottle of good cabernet and one of his brand of bourbon. We had delicious beef stew with a salad and crusty rolls. He had gotten a cherry pie and served that with some sort of Ben and Jerry's ice cream with a crazy name. We chatted during dinner about our classes, our students, teaching at the university, about anything and everything. We even discovered that we shared a taste for classic detective stories, particularly those of Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I hadn't had so much fun or been so relaxed in I don't know how long. Being with Ken was like being with a longtime lover -- except that we hadn't made love, and the sexual tension between us grew as the evening went along.

After the kitchen was cleaned up, I made him tell me about himself. I needed to know how sexually experienced he was. It turned out that he wasn't.

"Bri, I'm an anal virgin. I have jacked off with some other guys, and my undergrad roomie and I used to suck each other off once in a while. That's it! Does that make me uninteresting to you?"

"Ken, I don't think at this point there's anything you could tell me that would make you uninteresting to me. But are you sure you're gay? I mean - "

"Oh, yeah, I'm gay. No doubt about that. And I do want you to fuck me. I want you to be the one to take my cherry. Please tell me you will."

I kissed him. "I'm honored, studly. I've had many a stiffie looking at your beautiful butt. I guess I haven't told you that, have I?"

He beamed. "No. Really? For sure? That's so cool!" He reminded me of a boy just then. A beautiful, sexy boy who was offering me his virginity. I was touched, and the tears started again.

"Oh, fuck, Chip. What have I done now?"

"Nothing except offer me a beautiful gift, Ken. Forgive me for acting like a silly old queen."

"I categorically dispute at least two of those words."

I grinned. "Okay, babe, thanks. I will have to take things very slowly, though, and all you have to do is say the word and I'll stop."

"Well, then, what are we waiting for?" He stood and offered me his hand. When I took it, he led me into his bedroom.

I was tender and slow. I used lots of lube. I carefully worked to loosen his muscle and didn't even put on the condom until he assured me he was ready. He winced a little, but after waiting a minute or two, he asked me to continue. Then with a giggle he told me he'd used graduated dildos in the absence of the real thing. That's probably why he had so little pain. Soon we were into it.

It was an important experience for both of us. His first time. And for me a time when I felt that this might really be about love, and not just sex.

We did it again before daylight, even more slowly and lovingly the second time.

We slept late on Saturday morning. Late for me, at least. After breakfast Ken asked me to spend the weekend. I agreed provided I could go back to my place for clean clothes. I also told him I had to spend some time on Sunday getting ready for the next week's classes.

He wanted to get groceries, so we bundled up against the cold, took my car, and went to the supermarket. Then we stopped by my apartment, which he hadn't seen. I gave him the quick tour. He seemed disappointed.

"What's wrong? Too shabby for you? I know it isn't as nice as your place."

"Brian, it's too shabby for you. You deserve something nicer, homier, something that's got some personality, that's more you." He cupped my ass as he said that, and I just had to kiss him.

Then I said, "Maybe it does express my personality. Had you thought of that?"

He laughed. "This sorry-ass place screams of neglect, as if you just didn't give a shit what it looks like. I'd love to see what you'd come up with if you really started thinking about your living space."

I didn't say anything. I was thinking how much I might enjoy sharing my living space with Ken.

Later, as we carried groceries up to his apartment, he bumped me with his hip and then looked at me with a mischievous glint in his eye.

"Ya tryin' to start something with me, pup?" I asked, bumping him back.

"Might be, Hunter, might be."

I'd missed my regular gym time that morning, and Ken had fixed us a big breakfast, so I told him I didn't need much lunch. He got out the makings and we created a salad together.

That afternoon we snuggled on the sofa and watched movies. The first one ended about 2:30. Ken fixed cocoa and popped corn. Then he put something into his DVD player. It was an episode of Hercule Poirot. When that was finished, he put on Meet Me in St. Louis, with Judy Garland.

I laughed. "How gay is this!"

He took a sip of his cocoa and then licked my ear. It felt warm and sexy. "I've always wanted somebody to be gay with. Not just have sex with, though God knows last night you sent me over the moon. Twice."

I let my hand rest on his thigh. "Yeah, babe. I know just what you mean. Now, pass the popcorn and be quiet so we can hear the soundtrack."

I insisted he'd done enough cooking, so that evening we ordered in pizza, which we washed down with the cabernet I'd brought the previous night, and then we talked awhile, channel surfed awhile, and went to bed.

"It's your turn if you want to do me this time, Ken."

"Bri, I appreciate the offer, and someday I will. But I can't get enough of you inside me. Can we just do it like we did last night?"

"I may be able to work a few variations on last night's theme. First, though, tell me why you've been calling me Bri or Brian. You know my friends call me Chip."

Fully undressed and fully hard, he came to me and put his arms around me. His naked cock pressed against my boxer-covered cock. "Yeah, I like it. Brian's your name. Chip suggests you're a younger edition of your father. Since I didn't know him, I'd like Brian to be what I call you. Is that okay?"

I kissed the tip of his nose. "You'll have to meet Dad. He's pretty cool. But you, baby, can call me anything you want."

"Just not late for dinner?"

I groaned. "Oh, man, that's so old!"

"Yeah, but I couldn't resist," he replied grinning.

It was easier that night. More pleasure for Ken, less waiting for him to adjust to the size of my dick. We only did it once, but it was incredibly beautiful, a fantastic union. I think both Ken and I realized our sex that night was truly a coming together (pun intended).

When I woke, a weak February sun was peeking through the window. I was lying on my back. Ken was on his side, his head propped on one hand, looking at me.

"God, you're beautiful! I just want to lick you all over."

"No, Ken. You got that wrong. You're the beautiful one. I think I've fallen in love."

"No shit?"

"No shit, I promise."


"Yeah, babe?"

"Did you ever read Gaudy Night?"

"Oh, yeah, I love Dorothy Sayers."

"Remember how the novel ends?"

"Uh huh. Neat, isn't it?"

"Yep. So . . . placetne, magister?"*

I reached up, grabbed him, and pulled him down on top of me. "Placet!"**

* * *

* Literally, "Is it decided, sir?"

** "It is decided."

Thus Ken, who asks Brian if they are now a couple, gets an affirmative response.

The End.