"Charlotte wants to do Florence and Venice and take a cruise in the Adriatic."
"Sounds good. I'll take the butter please."
"She doesn't want to go alone, but Andy has no interest in art at all."
"No, he doesn't. That's for sure."
"You'd probably be bored stiff too."
"Yep, I would. Dinner's good - as always."
"Thanks. They were just putting the kale out at the market. I couldn't resist. Anyway, Charlotte wants someone to go with her, and I think a sisters' vacation would be just what we need. Our lives have grown apart and I feel like I hardly know her anymore."
I turned my eye to the back garden through the sliding glass doors out onto the deck. I didn't want her to see the smile on my face. "I think it's a splendid idea. We used to do separate vacations now and then - and I think it did us both a world of good. Tell Charlotte you'd love to go with her. Two, three weeks?"
"Three, I think. The cruise itself is ten days, she says."
"Go for it, hon."
I continued looking at the azaleas at their peak in the soft hours moving into twilight. Indeed it had been far too long since the last separate vacations. I'd supposedly gone to D.C. on a Smithsonian crawl while she went to London with her sorority sisters from college. And I had gone. But just not right away. Tennis with Samir. A hard-fought battle on a sweltering day where we'd both wound up "skins," and I ultimately lost in the third set because I was looking at his brown, well-muscled torso and his dancer's flexibility more than where the ball was being returned. Then we were fucking in the backseat of my Mercedes sedan at the back edge of the club parking lot, me riding his cock hard, him licking the sweat off my chest and chewing on my nipples. The first weekend of the vacation I found myself in my bed - Judy's and my bed - with Samir, young, virile, and hung, teaching me sexual exhaustion. Then I did go to D.C., Samir in tow, and spent more time sheathing his churning cock at the Key Bridge Marriott than visiting the museums on the mall. I was sore and unable to close my legs when Judy flew back from London - but I was purring like a sleek Persian cat. Best vacation ever.
But that was three years ago. Both of us retired now, Judy and I found that there was no reason we couldn't schedule our vacations together.
Another chance now. But a pity that Samir went back to Beirut nearly two years ago. I'll have to think. I've never had to look for it before. But it's been a long time. I'm not the young man I once was, although I've done what I could to hold off time. I think the gray hair suits me even better than the chestnut brown - and I may have thickened a bit, but it's not fat. Judy clearly still finds me sexy. She couldn't be hiding her responses in bed, and I've heard her girlfriends talk of their envy of her. Some of them have even been brazen enough to suggest a side sampling to me - when Judy wasn't listening, of course.
There's Daren out at Edgeworth. We had our fling before Samir strutted into my life, demanding my full attention. Luscious and exotic and so cocky - with every reason to be so. I'd go out and help Daren hay his fields. When we'd worked up a sweat and were having trouble keeping our eyes off each other stripped to the waist and pumping up our muscles with the lifting of the bales, we'd break open the beer in his barn and he'd lay me on my back on a freshly set bale of hay, wishbone my legs, and feed me with his cock. Daren was older than I was and I liked them younger. But what a monster of a cock. When Samir arrived, Daren and I sort of drifted apart, and we haven't spoken for more than a year now. Is he even at Edgeworth? He spends half his year on Long Island. And I think I read in the papers that he has a new wife.
* * * *
Judy and Charlotte left on a Monday morning. I drove them to Dulles and stayed around until I knew the plane had lifted off. Then I drove back home, a two-hour drive, and took a nap. Some way to start an unsupervised vacation, I thought, but I'd had to get up in early dark and I wasn't a morning person. I was bushed, feeling my age. I knew this wasn't a good start and that chances were dim I'd actually do anything. But I needed the sleep. I had Oratorio Society practice that evening, and those sessions were always grueling. It was free going for the next several days, though. There was plenty of time to decide what, if anything, I could do to make the time free of Judy memorable.
"Hi, you're in good voice tonight, Carson. What do you think of the Haydn?"
"Not really my preference, Jean," I answered. "Too many difficult runs that don't have much meaning for me. And thanks for the compliment. Harmonizing with your rich baritone makes me sound better than I'm really capable of alone, I think."
I was sitting on the edge of the tenor section, he at the edge of the basses, and I wasn't lying when I said I liked my singing to blend with his voice. When we were singing next to each other and his part weaving in with mine, I found it sexually arousing - raising images of our bodies entwined and working in harmony. I had almost moved away from him when I'd first had that sensation, but it was too enticing. Now I found myself seeking him out to sit next to in these sessions. And, as often as not, when I returned home after an Oratorio practice, I went straight to my bathroom and masturbated the arousing experience away.
We had both returned early from our fifteen-minute break between practice sessions and found ourselves sitting alone while other choristers swirled around us, still enjoying their break. He was French, a graduate student at the university. This was his first year with the oratorio society, and he was a real asset to our blend.
Tall and dark-haired, but alabaster skin. The complexion of a scholar, but he was well muscled. I knew he played soccer - which he called football - for the university team, and was somewhat of a star in doing it. His hair was long and curly - in fact, all that I could see of his body was covered lightly in curly black hair, contrasting starkly with the whiteness of his skin. His fingers were long and sensuous, and, what had disconcerted me the most, were his long toes, with dark curly hair on them and the top of his feet. He always wore sandals, with no socks.
And all of this was what made me want to sit next to him at oratorio society practice - his sexy appearance even more than his voice. His feet in his open sandals were so sexy. I fantasized sucking those toes. Samir had taught me that. I had sucked his toes when I massaged him before we fucked and then he'd suck mine as we were both building up to another fuck.
"Will you be joining us at Lucky's after the practice," Jean asked me. Lucky's was where those who lived and breathed the choir gathered after practice. I didn't live and breathe the choir and had never joined them for socializing afterward.
"No, I don't think I will."
"Have to run home to the wife?"
"No. She's off on a three-week art crawl through Italy - with her sister. I'm batching it."
"And still no incentive to have a drink with us?"
"No. Home to bed. An old man."
"No, that's not true. Age has been very kind to you."
"You don't have a wife to go home to?"
"No. Not even a boyfriend at the moment. I take my chances at the bar after choir practice."
His open expression of a boyfriend struck me dumb without knowing what to say next. I was saved by a familiar sound from the center of the room.
The conductor was tapping his music stand with his baton, insisting on a resumption of the practice session. I had no time to do more than give Jean a curious look, wondering if there was less behind Jean's comments than it seemed - whether I was just keyed up and looking for a connection too hard. He was French, and they were always on the make in words. Not always in action, though. Jean wasn't looking back at me, though. He was opening his music and giving his attention to the conductor.
I spent the rest of the practice looking at his long, hairy toes whenever I could, wondering if the length of his fingers and toes carried on to his other appendages, and also wondering if his chest and legs were as hairy as his arms. I liked a hairy man. Samir had been hirsute. His hair, even darker than Jean's, had been coarse and thick, though. I had enjoyed tonguing him and making swirls of hair on his chest, belly, and in his armpits after we've made vigorous love. Sami had obviously enjoyed that well enough as well to often give me another round of deep-plunging loving.
Another tenor asked me a question about whether we were on the right notes during one of the vocal runs on the Haydn right at the end of the practice. When I turned around after consulting with him on that, Jean was gone.
I was so keyed up now that I couldn't go home and go right to bed. Instead I drove from practice to Water Street, parked in a lot there, and walked the two blocks to Club 216. I hadn't been there often - and not since Judy had retired. When I'd gone before, I went in the afternoons while she was safely tucked away at her office. It's where I met Samir. It's where, tonight, I hoped I'd find some relief to start off my vacation. It didn't have to be someone long term or even for the length of the vacation. I was so keyed up tonight that I'd settle for a quick suck and fuck in one of the club's back rooms with someone I'd never see again. It would be nice if he were just young and had some body hair.
It was a busy night - a lot of movement around the big, dimly lit, smoke-filled room, with the only strong light being from the spot lights on the dance floor, where couples were clutch dancing, man with man, woman with woman. The tables surrounding the floor were similarly segregated, and as far as I could determine, a lot of testing out and shopping was going on. There were some gray hairs, but not many. And once again I felt too old doing this.
I headed straight for the bar and sat on a stool and ordered a beer. My eyes went to the door to the corridor off to the back of the club, where a beaded curtain separated the world of the shoppers from that of those who had settled on a deal. I knew what went on back there. It hadn't been that many years ago that I had gone with men to the cubicles back there and been transported to paradise - if only for twenty minutes.
Just beyond the beaded curtain, I could make out the silhouettes of a long and lean couple - young men - both in black leather. They were embracing, one having the other backed against the wall.
"Hi. Haven't seen you here before."
He was young. Blond, his head hair long and with downy hair on the forearm he had laying on the bar next to my beer bottle. If he had a pattern of hair on his chest too . . .
"I've been here, but not for some time."
"Been out of commission?"
"A long-term relationship." I didn't think he needed to know it was with a woman.
"Ah, so, into long-term relationships?"
I was listening to him but looking at the couple beyond the beaded curtain. The man pushing the other against the wall was dominating. A shirt was unbuttoned and open and a face was buried in a bare chest. A leg of the man against the wall was already raised and hooked on a hip of the other.
"Not necessarily," I answered. "Not tonight, at least."
"Interested in something?"
"Maybe. The night is young, though."
"And so am I. Here," he continued, as he took my hand and brought it to his crotch. "Young and hung . . . and available."
The couple beyond the beaded curtain were doing it now. As they were kissing. Legs were wrapped around hips and hooked at ankle. A butt was thumping against the wall, being pumped in a steady rhythm by the pelvis of the dominator. Fucking.
It's what I wanted to be doing.
I let my hand linger on his crotch, measuring him. He was hard. Hard for me. It was an exhilarating feeling.
The blond leaned his lips to my ear. "Thirty dollars for a suck, either or both, fifty dollars for a fuck. I do the fucking. Seventy-five for the full service."
I dropped my hand from his crotch, in shock. It wasn't that I didn't have the money. It was the shock of the assumption I'd pay for it. I'd never paid for it before in my life. It was deflating. I'd keyed myself up so high, and just like that, I had tumbled down.
"Uh. Thanks, but no thanks," I said. I turned and took a swig of my beer. And when I turned back he was gone. I could see that the couple beyond the beaded curtain were also gone - probably farther back in the bowels of the club, into one of the cubicles, to finish off with more privacy.
In my mind I tried to follow them in what they were doing back there - legs more spread now, cock digging deeper, a steady thumping rhythm established - but that exercise only depressed me. The atmosphere in the club was suddenly ugly and harsh. I felt like everyone was looking at me, staring at my gray head, wondering what the hell I was doing there. I wondered that myself too. I tossed down the money for the beer, not even finishing it. Lowering my head and not making eye contact with anyone around me, I walked briskly out of the club and to my car. When I reached home I stripped and went into the shower and, under a stream of water as hot as I could bear it, beat off to fantasies of what might have been. And then I climbed into bed and slept the sleep of an aging, forgotten man.
* * * *
It took me until Thursday to build up the courage to venture out again in search of the thrill that earlier separate vacations had brought me. The day was glorious, and I drove toward the mountains to one of the wineries that dotted the foothills of the Blue Ridge. The excuse was that I had a quarterly order of wine club bottles to pick up. The real reason was that Edgeworth was just seven miles past the winery, on the same road. I figured that if I got to the winery and chickened out on going farther, I could always tell myself that all along I'd only intended to come out as far as there to pick up my order of wine.
After I had gotten the wine, though, I turned the nose of the Mercedes farther west rather than back east, toward the town.
After pulling into Edgeworth's farm lane and driving several hundred yards, the barn came into view and then, over a rise, the antebellum house with its white columns a football field's distance beyond the barn. There were three cars parked between the two structures. Daren's old Bentley was there, a sign that he was home. He insisted that he drive that to Long Island to have with him even if it needed to take several service garage stops en route. Beside that were a sleek new Jaguar sedan and a BMW roadster. I parked the Mercedes beside those and walked up to the house.
"Yes, Daren is here. But he and my nephew are out riding. Can I tell him who called."
"Carson. Carson Daniels. I'm sorry to have disturbed you."
"Ah, Mr. Daniels. Yes, I've read your books . . . and Daren has spoken of you. He will be sorry he's missed you."
I looked hard at the woman. She was anywhere between her early and late fifties, depending on how much work she'd had done on her. A statuesque blond, no doubt a model at one time. Tall, angular, New York chic. And with an English accent that I couldn't tell was affected or not. Elegantly dressed for not expecting visitors out in this isolated slice of paradise. Pretty much like all of Daren's earlier wives.
Not all of my books, I thought, as I was walking back to my car. I was sure she hadn't read all of my books. Not the early books - the ones that had brought me into the office of Daren DeMourier, the New York publisher, in my very fresh early twenties. The explicit books that told Daren, a good ten years my senior, he could close and lock his door and fuck me on the publisher's version of the casting couch. But he had been good to me then and for the years intervening, as we both aged - he preferred to call it mellowed. I'd aged better than he had, I thought, except for that thick, talented dick of his. He'd seen that I could write mainstream mysteries as well as I could write gay male smut. He'd done me a good turn there. And in watching him at work, I was able to make the transition to publisher myself in my later career, when I started running out of ideas for straight mysteries when what I really wanted to do was write about a New York homicide detective who loved taking cock rough and often.
The top of the barn was in my line of vision as I walked to the cars, and as I walked up to the rise of a hill, no doubt put there by man to block the line of sight between the house and the barn when farming was no longer the central and only reason for living here, I saw the two horses. Sleek thoroughbreds, they were. Standing politely at a hitching post at the side of the barn, their saddles still on. I knew enough about horses to know that if they'd been taken for a ride, their saddles should have been stripped off of them when the ride was over.
I was still looking at them when I arrived at the car park - and I just kept on walking toward the barn.
I could hear them before I saw them, so there was no surprise, really. The young blond man was laying on a hay bale. The legs I could see on either side of Daren's buttocks were, strangely, still booted in shiny black leather. I saw the ruins of a set of tawny-colored jodhpurs thrown to the side on the ground along with evidence of a red thong. These must have been cut off his body with a knife for him to still be wearing his riding boots. One of the booted feet was lodged in a wooden railing next to the hay bale. Daren was holding the other one up and out with his fist.
The youth was slim, the bared and heaving breast arching out of the flaps of his open riding blouse almost that of a boy. He couldn't have been much over legal age - but Daren would have been careful to establish that he was. That was what he'd done with me when he'd fucked me on his publishing house couch. I had been young looking too. That's how Daren liked them then. He made me show evidence that I was old enough. Then he'd fucked my lights out. He hadn't even asked me if I'd been with a man before - and I hadn't been as intensely and totally as he took me that first time.
Obviously Daren still liked them young - and as fresh as possible.
Daren's riding blouse was off, and the sinewy muscles of his back and arms were straining. He was still wearing his jodhpurs and boots, but I could tell that the fly had been undone and flared out so it wouldn't be an encumbrance. The way Daren was straining and the young blond was warbling and writhing under him - and the wild expression on the youth's face - told me that this likely was the young man's first experience with Daren's cock. In time, Daren stretched his young men's channels to fit. But at the beginning it felt like a telephone pole was being rammed up there. My butt twitched at the memory of that staff.
As I watched - just for a few moments, but long enough - I saw Daren reach for the youth's throat and stretch the young man's body up and his other hand ball into a fist that he not so lightly beat on the blond's pectorals briefly before reaching down and fisting the young man's cock and slow pumping him. I knew this was a sign that Daren was fully in - but probably still growing in thickness, stretching the youth's channel to the limit. And then the young man's body went limp and his head lolled to the side and the wildness of his eyes turned to a mixed look of awe, resignation - and want. Daren's buttock muscles began to contract and loosen, contract and loosen in the rhythm of the fuck, and the youth began to groan and moan deeply. These were phases of Daren's mastering that I knew so well.
I wondered briefly if Daren wore a condom now. In the days we'd first fucked, that hadn't been considered necessary. And Daren had a forceful ejaculation that both flooded the channel in ways that really let you know you had been seeded and that went on at great length. I missed those days. When Daren had fucked me, I knew I'd been fucked. When Daren's buttocks tightened and he grunted his completion, it certainly looked to me like the blond nephew knew he'd been fucked as well.
I turned and walked back to the Mercedes. There was no relief for me here. Daren still liked them young. I had probably been lucky that we went about it for so long that he hadn't realized that I had aged out of his preference zone until there was a hiatus in our relationship.
* * * *
"I wondered if you'd ever come home."
"I had a pickup at a winery out toward the Blue Ridge," I said, holding the three-pack carton up for Jean to see - as if I needed to justify my absence from my own house. I had seen him sitting on my front porch by the front door as I drove up the hill of the curved driveway and into the garage I'd opened automatically. Rather than going on into the breakfast room from the garage, I came back out of the open garage door and to the front porch.
"I don't understand," I said, genuinely confused. "How did you know this address?" I'd only seen Jean at the Oratorio Society practices. I had no idea how he knew where I lived. Although then it occurred to me that we all had access to a master Oratorio Society mailing list on the Internet. But I was running up a false lane on that.
"I followed you here. Monday night."
"Monday night? I didn't - "
"No, you said you were coming straight home. But you didn't. I wanted to see you more than I wanted to go to the bar with the choristers after the practice. So I followed you. You went to Club 216."
I stood there, looking into his face. He knew what Club 216 was. And he knew I'd gone there.
"I saw you in the club. And I saw you leave and come here. I find you very attractive. I would like to fuck you if you'll have me. I tried to tell you that the other night."
That was the point that I almost dropped the carton of wine. But he was quicker than I was, rising out of the cushioned garden chair on my front porch and steadying the wine before it crashed to the ground, helping to lower it to the brick walkway and pulling my numb fingers away from the handle. My eyes were downcast, looking at those elegant, sexy, hair-covered toes of his. As always he was wearing leather sandals without socks.
"Shall we go inside?" he asked.
"Yes," I whispered - in that one word telling him all he needed to know, giving all over to whatever he wanted.
"Here, give me the key; I'll do it. I'll do everything," he said, as I botched the job of trying to get the door key in the slot, my hands were shaking so badly.
"Are the French always so straightforward?" I murmured as he worked the key in the door.
"When we see what we want, yes. And the French are inventive in love," he continued. "I hope you don't mind."
We didn't get the door shut behind us, but we pulled far enough into the foyer to not be seen from the street - although there was enough tree cover between the house and street set below the rise the house was on that there wasn't much danger of that happening anyway.
We stood there rocking against each other, deep in a kiss, his hands cupping my chin to hold me too him, and mine ineffectually drooping at my sides. My thoughts went to the couple fucking against the wall on the other side of the beaded curtain at Club 216 and my cock gave a lurch. Jean obviously felt that as he pulled away from the kiss and gave me a smile and low, throaty laugh. He moved his hands to palm my buttocks and pull me tight into his crotch, and I could feel the hardness of him too. He began moving his pelvis against mine in a slow rhythm, and his lips went back to mine and I opened mine to him.
His hardness against mine and his tongue inside my mouth cavity inflamed us both. We were tearing at each other's clothes. We were in a duel, as he unbuttoned my shirt and pulled it off my back while I was busy at the same time trying to pull his T-shirt over his head. My heart raced at, first, the sight, and then the feel on my chest of the profusion of black curly hair on his chest. My hands went to his belt buckle and fumbled with his zipper, while he just took the waistline of my trousers on either side and jerked down hard, making them clear my hips and fall down to my knees. I stepped out of them, while he knelt before me and started sucking my cock through the cotton material of my briefs.
I stood there for several moments luxuriating in the exotic working of his tongue and teeth on me through the material. I was swaying slightly, not sure I'd be able to remain standing, not even sure I wouldn't fire off much too quickly. Then he was pulling on the waistband of the briefs and I was stepping out of them and he was swallowing me deep - and humming - the resonance on my cock making me groan with pleasure. His hands were clutching my butt cheeks - possibly the only thing that was holding me upright.
"Wait. Please," I murmured. "I don't want to come yet. Here. Sit over in this chair. Please."
He pulled his mouth off my staff and looked up quizzically at me. But he smiled. "No, we wouldn't want you to come too quickly, would we?" he said. And then he obediently stood and walked to the chair we kept next to the secretary in the foyer and sat down and looked coyly at me. Upon retrospect, I think that was the last time he let me give a command for the next several days. And I shudder with pleasure at the memory of the commands he gave me.
As he turned and sat, I pulled his trousers and briefs down to his knees to make it easier for me to remove them, which I knelt and did. Looking up and seeing his cock for the first time, I gasped with pleasure. It wasn't thick, but it was impossibly long and curved menacingly up toward his flat belly like a Saracen sword. A perfect match for his long, sensuous toes and fingers. And he was hirsute. He was pelted with black curly hair all over his body.
He looked on in amusement and then with astonishment and interest as I unlaced his sandals, one after the other, and licked up the soles of his feet, again one after the other - and plopped his toes - one after another - in my mouth and gave them suck.
He was breathing heavily and running his hands through the gray hair on my head as I tongued my way up his pelted calf and thigh. He groaned as I took his balls into my mouth, lodging one in each cheek, and began to hum just as he had done with my cock. The suck I gave his cock would have been almost anticlimactic after that if I hadn't also run a hand between his thighs to his hole and snaked a finger in to find and rub on his prostate.
I was working his piss slit with my tongue when he croaked "Enough of that. Now it is I who might come too quickly."
I laughed and said, "Just as you said, we couldn't have that. Come, I will show you what's upstairs."
I offered my hand to him, but he rose on his own, taking his trousers up with him. "Show me."
I started to mount the stairs, Jean behind me. But half way up the stairs, I felt his chest come down over my shoulder blades and he was forcing me down on the stair treads.
"What - ?"
"Hush. I can't wait for the top of the stairs. And I'm French. We do it right here." He was encircling my waist with his arms, but he also had his trousers in a hand and was fumbling around in the pocket, coming up with a string of condom packets. He ripped one off the string and heaved the rest of the string up onto the upstairs landing.
I remembered that these had once been called French letters and I laughed nonsensically at the coincidence.
I panted, plastered to the stairs, breathing raggedly in anticipation, as he opened the packet and rolled the condom on his cock. Then he was pulling my hips up with his arms embracing my belly and pulling my knees up onto one of the stair treads.
I felt his bulb at my entrance, and then I closed my eyes and panted and moaned as I felt him enter and enter and enter me. Having gotten the measure of my channel and demonstrating to me how deeply I would be pierced, he pulled back and, with that upcurved cock of his started rubbing, punishing, making love to my prostate as one of his hands went to encircle and squeeze and work my cock.
I came quickly and would have collapsed if he wasn't holding me up with an arm wrapped around my belly. He laughed a low, throaty laugh, whispering something in French. And then I was yowling and writhing under him as he thrust deep inside me again and rode me hard in long and deep strokes to his own ejaculation.
"Can . . . can we . . . go up to the bed now," I whispered through heavy pants.
"No, not the bed. We do it in every room, on every other surface. In positions you've never imagined before - so often you'll be begging for mercy. I will take you to hell and to paradise. But not on the bed. I'm French."
And we did all of that - for most of the remainder of my glorious separate vacation.
It was three days even before I remembered that the front and garage doors were open and a carton of wine bottles was sitting out on the front walk.