Part 1 - Introduction, Gettysburg and Manassas
I scanned the faces of the shoppers near the entrance of the large supermarket. "Hey! Mark," I fairly shouted on seeing him. It felt my heart leap. "How are you doing?"
I knew that the distance between us was too great for easy conversation, but I didn't want to miss the chance of talking with him, even for a short while.
"I'll wait," he called back, and he put his bag of groceries on the end of an unattended check-out station. I looked across the bank of registers but there was none with a shorter line. Mark perched beside his brown bag and grinned at me when our eyes met again.
Seeing Mark again brought back a flood of memories; memories that spanned years and experiences and emotions.
* * *
I first met Mark when I moved into my small "starter" house in the neighborhood where he lived with his parents. I had just landed a new job with a credit company in the urban sprawl east of Baltimore. I was walking home from the neighborhood strip mall early one mid-May evening when this young guy jogged up beside me and matched his pace with mine. He initiated a conversation that surprised me since we were total strangers.
"You're new here," he informed me. "To the neighborhood I mean."
"Yes," I replied.
"My name's Mark," he said. "Mark King. I've seen you around."
He stuck out his hand so quickly he nearly jabbed me in the ribs.
"Bill Adams," I said taking the offered hand.
He was immediately likable. He was not handsome which was strange because his individual facial features were striking. His pale eyes indicated openness and humor, his nose and chin were strong-looking and well-formed, his complexion was smooth and his lips were full and quick to smile. I thought of it then and I think of it now as sunshine.
As we walked together I glanced over his body. Sweat glistened on his tanned skin and matted his longish sandy hair to the nape of his neck. His muscles were long and sinewy and told me that running was a regular routine with him. We continued our small talk until we reached my driveway. On parting he clapped me on the shoulder and said, "I'll drop in and see you sometime."
"Sure," I said, thinking this was just a pleasant way to end our chat. "Do that."
A couple of evenings later, just as I was tossing a salad to eat with my steak, I heard a soft rap at my screened front door. I wiped my hands and looked across the open living room. All I could see was a halo of golden hair against a sky made bright by the setting sun. I turned on the lamp as I passed the sofa table on my way to the door.
When I finally made out Mark's features I couldn't mask my surprise and pleasure.
"Is it OK?" he asked almost sheepishly. "Are you busy or anything?"
"No. Sure," I said, answering his questions in reverse order. "Come in."
I unlocked the screen door and opened it wide. Our eyes locked for an instant and he smiled at me. I was suddenly aware of the pounding in my ears.
He glided past me into the small living room and turned, waiting for some cue from me.
"I'm just making something to eat," I said. "There's enough for two."
"Thanks," he said. "I already ate. I should go," he added.
"No. Not at all," I assured him. "If you don't mind watching me eat. Have a seat," I said indicating a bar stool. He sat on the living room side of the counter that served as a room divider while I returned to my salad making on the kitchen side.
"Sorry my place isn't more elegant," I apologized. "I'm just starting out on my own. Making mortgage payments and car payments at the same time means there's not much left for things like furniture and food."
He chuckled thinking I had made a joke.
We spent a pleasant few hours together. Mark sipped Coke as I prepared and ate my simple meal. Of course, I found out a lot about him. He was nineteen years old and was just completing his first year at the local community college. He was active in sports, hoped to major in American history at a state university, enjoyed photography as a hobby, and went camping with family or friends as often as he could. Sports aside, we had many interests in common and our conversation was easy. He left before ten, off-handedly quoting Franklin's adage about going to bed early and becoming both rich and wise. We laughed and I closed my door on his retreating form.
The next time Mark dropped in it was also at suppertime. This time he accepted my invitation to eat. He helped with preparation and clean-up.
Mark's suppertime visits became more frequent until they were commonplace. I couldn't be annoyed. I loved working side by side with him: the closeness and the naturalness of it. From time to time he announced that he would provide and prepare dinner. His specialty was spaghetti.
Once in a while Mark brought one or another of his buddies with him. Unlike when we were alone, conversation with these other boys frequently revolved around sex with girls. Mark seemed comfortable with the subject and apparently had had his share of experiences. I, on the other hand, not being prepared to admit that all of my sexual experiences had been with other men, listened in silence. Mark seemed to sense my discomfort on those few times when I was directly questioned and casually diverted attention from me with an offhanded remark or a change of subject.
One of the interests Mark and I had in common was the American Civil War. One evening he and I were lounging on my patio with his friend Chris. When I mentioned that I planned to go to Gettysburg in early July to watch a reenactment of the battle, Mark became excited and it soon became evident that the two of them would be going with me. Mark had lots of camping equipment and eagerly took command of that aspect of our trip. Chris and I bemusedly accepted his instructions of what we were to supply and which tasks we were to perform.
Not surprisingly, it was hot and humid during the activities in Gettysburg. We became increasingly sweaty as we followed the course of the battle's third day and took off our shirts, marveling all the while at the stamina and perseverance of the reenactors in their heavy woolen uniforms. It was a blessing to get back to the campground and hit the showers.
I had often seen Mark jogging shirtless around the neighborhood and admired his beautiful body. The sandy hair of his head was matched by blond body hair that, where the sun bleached, glistened platinum against the golden tan of his flawlessly smooth skin.
Now, as he stretched and twisted under cascading water, it was all but impossible to keep my eyes off him. Muscles rippled and played as he lathered from head to toe but it was the place where jogging shorts created a stark contrast between golden tan and creamy white that mesmerized me. Trails of soapy bubbles glided lazily downward in the dark cleft between beautifully rounded ass cheeks and over flaccid cock that arched languidly over heavy balls.
Chris, too, was beautiful to see. He was the antithesis of Mark; dark where Mark was fair, meaty where Mark was slender, smooth where Mark was hairy and clearly four inches taller than Marks five foot, eight inch frame. His cock was both longer and thicker than Mark's, and it grew and expanded as he indolently lathered the big ball sack that hung loosely behind. As I watched his sensual display, my own cock began to lengthen and thicken. To avoid embarrassment I diverted my eyes to the flaking paint on the cement blocks of the shower walls.
I turned again and glanced in Mark's direction. Apparently he had been watching me all the time. Rather than diverting his eyes quickly, he looked directly at me and allowed the amusement he apparently felt to register at the corners of his eyes and mouth.
We sat over cold sodas at our campsite late into the night. The air was still and humid and we were avoiding the stuffiness of our tent. Finally I stretched and said, "Well boys, since I'm the old man of this group I'll make the first move," and I crawled into the tent.
Once inside, I lowered the lantern flame, stripped and stretched out on my back next to the eastern wall of the tent. I listened to the voices of Chris and Mark for a while before dozing off.
I roused when they finally jostled their way into the tent and watched as they settled down. Chris kept his underclothes on and took his place by the opposite wall. Paul glanced at my naked form, stripped down to his white cotton briefs and laid down between Chris and me. He reached up and turned the lantern completely off. When he lowered his arm, the touch of his hand on my arm was too firm and lingered too long to have been accidental.
Mark and I were so caught up with Gettysburg that we decided that we wanted to stay an extra day. Visitors for the reenactment were leaving in droves so keeping our campsite was not a problem. Convincing Chris to stay, however, took all of Mark's tact, humor and persistence.
The next day Mark and I scrambled up hills and over rocks, reading markers and pointing out features we knew from reading. Although he enjoyed our company, Chris was becoming increasingly bored and began to lag further and further behind. That night, he was the first to turn in.
Mark and I talked late into the warm night of things only the young find engaging and profound. Mark became animated from time to time and in his enthusiasm over one point or another would reach across the picnic table and touch my arm or hand. His touch never failed to make my heart race.
It was nearly midnight when we finally crawled into the tent. The lantern's soft glow revealed Chris sleeping childlike by the far wall. As I had done the previous night, I stripped naked and settled in my spot. And as he had done, Mark lay between Chris and me wearing only his briefs. For reasons of his own, he lowered, but did not extinguish the lantern light.
I lay quietly for a moment remembering Mark's touch of last night. Mimicking that touch, I moved my hand across the gap between us and rested it on his forearm. He did not react to my touch. I rolled onto my side and began to knead my way up his arm to his shoulder.
"Is this OK?" I asked quietly.
"Sure," he answered. "Feels good."
I raised myself to better massage him. The low angle of the lantern's soft light defined and accented the muscles of his broad back.
Starting at the top of his shoulders, I massaged firmly, working my way slowly up his neck to his hairline and the hollows behind his ears. He was relaxed and his head rocked gently as I massaged my way back to the base of his neck. I rubbed across his left shoulder to the large muscles of his upper arm. They were relaxed and pliable in my firm grip. I worked my way gradually down the smaller muscles of his forearm, continuing my purposeful kneading on hand and fingers. I echoed that massage on his other arm.
Returning to his shoulders, I alternated close kneading of small areas with firm broad sweeps, working down to the small of his back. His hips swayed as I roughly rubbed first his left side then his right. I slid the tips of my fingers under the waistband of his briefs to continue my downward massage. After several passes, I tugged to lower the top an inch or two. Mark misinterpreted my intent and lifted his hips to facilitate my removing his shorts altogether. I slipped them off and dropped them to the tent floor.
"Spread your legs," I whispered. He did, and I knelt between his knees. I looked over his long smooth form and marveled at his beauty. Every aspect thrilled me, but none so much as the first sight of his balls lying on his mattress, vulnerable between his muscled thighs.
I massaged those thighs in unison, mirror-like, until I reached the smalls behind his knees. I then paid attention to his right calf and foot, crossed over to his left foot and massaged back up to his knees. My hard and seeping cock brushed against him repeatedly as I massaged up to his perfect ass. Reluctant to give up my intimate contact, I glided my hands over his back, ass and thighs.
Finally I reluctantly stopped, lay on my side facing Mark, and reached above his head to turn off the lantern.
"Good night, Mark," I said.
"Night," was his brief reply. I heard him grope for his briefs and tug them on.
The Saturday after we returned from Gettysburg, Mark and Chris were chowing down on my patio. Mark was already deep in plans for our next camping trip. Next weekend we would go to northern Virginia, devoting Saturday to First Manassas and Sunday to Second. Chris was not enthusiastic, but there was something contagious about Mark's enthusiasm and he allowed himself to be buoyed by his friend's eager planning.
The battlefield at Manassas was less crowded than Gettysburg. On Saturday, the three of us retraced the Union's course of that long ago July day from its auspicious beginning to the rout at its close. Chris became increasingly restive and began to lag behind as the day wore on.
Mark told Chris about the massage I had given him at Gettysburg and that night, without consulting me, asked him if he wanted me to give him a back rub. Chris agreed without emotion and took off his shirt. He was bigger than Mark, taller and more powerfully built, and I enjoyed rubbing him down. Mark watched me massage Chris's back and kept the conversation alive with chatter about that day's activities and those planned for the next. When I finished rubbing Chris's lower back and attempted to lower his shorts over his impressive ass, he baulked, but Mark assured him that that was the way it was done and he acquiesced. When I slapped his butt to let him know that I was done he slipped his shorts up and lay on his side facing Mark and me.
Then it was Mark's turn. I straddled his butt and began to massage his shoulders. He fell silent. The only sound was the constant wind rustling through the leaves and the slaps and chops I occasionally administered to Mark's larger muscles. Then I heard Chris reposition himself and his breathing became heavy with sleep. I took more time and lavished more attention on Mark than I had on Chris. Before I started to knead Mark's ass I glanced at Chris. He was sleeping soundly. I removed Mark's shorts and then my own. I reveled again at seeing his loose balls settled between his spread thighs and feeling his hairy legs with my own as I knelt between them. I continued his massage. With each reach and change of position, my hard-on trailed over naked flesh.
As I had done at Gettysburg, I kneaded his ass before working down one leg and up the other, returning to manipulate his beautiful ass again. Mark remained completely relaxed, even the several times I sliced the edge of my hand through the warm cleft of his ass. On the last pass I rested my thumb on the slightly moist anus.
"Roll over," I whispered in his ear.
"That's OK," he demurred.
"Roll over," I repeated. "I'll do your front."
He lay motionless for a moment. Then he reached up and lowered the flame of the already dim lantern. His hard cock bobbed when he turned onto his back, then rested on his lightly haired belly. I had never seen Mark's cock hard before. Mesmerized, I delayed overlong in continuing his massage. He caught me staring, then closed his eyes when I started to rub his scalp and temples.
He was wonderfully relaxed and I lavished attention on the large muscles of his chest. Then I started to knead his abdomen. His erection lifted off his belly in little jerky movements, and a silvery strand of precum tenuously connected its narrow slit to the tight blond curls that grew in a narrow path between his navel and pubic bush. His balls were tight against his body deeply wrinkling his scrotum.
The further I massaged down his right leg, the softer his cock became until it finally rested on his abdomen. It stiffened and lifted again, however, as I worked my way up his other leg. I jostled his tight balls as I encircled the root of his cock with the fingers of both hands, forcing droplets of precum from his cock slit by pressing against his perineum with the balls of my thumbs. I encircled his shaft with my hand and stroked upward to his glans, but Mark grabbed my wrist and pulled my hand away.
"Sorry," I said. "I thought ..., I didn't mean ...," and I left any further apology unexpressed.
Mark's closed his eyes. He did not see my own oozing cock near his lips as I stretched to extinguish the lantern.
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Part 2 will appear soon.