He paused for a long moment, a dramatic exclamation point underlining the climax of his powerful speech....."And if you elect me to represent your district in congress, I vow now, that I will close down the porn shops, those dens of iniquity that display in their windows for all to see, the filth they sell inside. I will close the homosexual gathering places, the evil Bars where they drink and meet and solicit their insidious encounters. Yea, I will close the baths and parks where they practice lascivious and sinful ways," and he straightened his back and looked into the eyes of his audience with his own eyes that burned with the flames of conviction, I hate homos," he said, pausing for emphasis after each word. "Vote for me and you will join the war against queers." He bowed his head. His speech was over.
The applause and shouting mingled, and rose to an uproar of approval. The several hundred, who had paid a thousand dollars each to attend the banquet at the Newport Hotel jumped to their feet with acclamation and approval.
The nominee, Todd Jenkins, left the podium to mingle with his supporters. This was the moment he liked best, when they shook his hand and patted his back, congratulating him on his stand, agreeing with his narrow hatreds with their clucking tongues.
He was a young man, just barely old enough to run for office, with no experience in politics except for having been student body president for two years at USC. Even then he was a notorious queer-basher, having been arrested several times for picketing the places of ill-repute with the energy of youth and the dedication of a zealot. He was a strong man. Powerful shoulders had been developed by spending many hours at the gym lifting weights, the muscles in his legs were solid from walking a Nordic Track. He was handsome too. The chisled lines in his face, straight and angular, were formed in regulated proportions that gave him the look of a man modelling Guess Jeans or Jockey underwear.
The power in the local conservative party in Orange County were pleased with their selection. He made a great candidate. He would be elected, they agreed.
In the front row, watching the performance was an equally handsome young man. His name was Danny Tobin. An attorney filling in as a reporter for the Advocate, the gay newspaper that represented the homosexual community. There was fear in his heart, for he realized the power of the candidates' speech, and the enthusiastic acceptance of it.
He stood back against the wall, away from the crowd of well- wishers and back-slappers, the wealthy of the community who could affod the high price of admission. 'Yes,' he thought to himself, 'Todd Jenkins was a tough opponent, that's for sure,' and then the juices began to flow in his loins, 'But I'd sure like to tangle legs with him,' and he chuckled at the impossibility of it.
Finally the crowd disappeared, and as the candidate gathered his notes from the podium, Tobin stepped forward.
"Mr Jenkins, have you a few moments for the press?"
Todd Jenkins looked up from his papers. His eyes locked to those of the reporter. Publicity was always welcome.
"Why yes, of course."
"Your speech was well-received, sir, a tribute to you."
"Thank you. I thought it went well."
"Yes sir, it did. Do you truly mean to close the adult book stores, gay bars and parks? Do you really mean to close the parks, too?"
"If the goddam queers gather there I'm going to close them. Yes sir, that's my platform. Like I said, I hate queers."
"Can I quote you on that, sir?"
"I want you to. I hate queers," and he paused and took a sip of water from the glass on the podium, "What paper are you with?" he asked with a smile. The two men, who were almost twins in age and stature faced each other. 'God, he is beautiful,' flashed through Dannys' mind.
"The Advocate," he answered with pride. His macho stance, with his feet spread apart, his back and head erect, seemed to be challenging the candidate.
"Shit! Another fucking queer!" Todd said and turned and walked away.
Danny waited a moment so that the candidate could leave the room. He was intimated by his arrogance and insulting hatred, and of his own inability to stand up for what he believed in; the acceptance of gays in a hostile society.
A sense of inadequacy depressed him. He wished he had spoken out and defended his paper, himself, and the life-style he loved.
It was raining. A light drizzle swirled in gusty patches over the dim street lights. It was the kind of rain that would last all night, quiet as cats' feet.
Todd Jenkins stood at the curb looking at his late-model T-bird. His hands on his hips, his head back, "Sonova bitch," he cried.
Danny walked up to him.
"You know who did that, don't you?"
"I can sure as hell guess. Shit that's what's making it all so difficult. No wonder we're hated."
"That's not the only reaswon you're hated, Buddy. You goddam queers always got to make some kind of a statement."
"Well shit man! As I recall you made some pretty lousy statements yourself tonight. All those things you said about the gays. Shit, you don't care a hill of beans about the porn shops and parks. You're just on the band wagon using it to get elected," he paused a moment feeling the drizzle penetrate his jacket, and looked at the flat tires, "Shit man, I'm sorry. But you asked for it you know. Look, my car's across the street. Come with me, I'll drive you anywhere you want to go."
Jenkins looked up. A smile flashed over his face. "That's very nice of you after what I said about you and all." He put out his arm. "I'm Todd Jenkins," he said.
They shook hands with the warmth and friendly greeting of new acquaintances. Their grip was firm and strong and Danny felt a rush of adrenalin as their hands touched.
'God I want this man so much,' he thought to himself.
'Just because a guy works for a gay newspaper doesn't mean he's queer does it?' Todd Jenkins asked himself.
They drove in silence, each pondering his own thoughts.
Danny ever conscious of the animal attraction of the macho male sitting next to him.
"What you said tonight is partly true," he said. I know.
Some gays make a bad image to the straight world and the gay community resents it as much as you do. They're an embarrass- ment, sure, but you got heteros who are an embarrassment too.
Just because we see a couple of straights fucking on the beach, we don't say all straights do that, but you think all homos do their cocksucking in the park rest-rooms, just because a couple of guys get caught there."
"I see your point, but what about that St Christopher Day parade, down Santa Monica Boulevard last month? Guys half naked, arms around each other, kissing and groping?
Shit! You name it. I've watched them do it all. It's as though they're intentionally trying to shock the straights.."
"Don't you see, that's exactly what they are trying to do. They're making a statement, an announcement that his is the way we are, and no matter how you feel about it, it's us.
Sure we're queer. We admit it. We're not hiding it like we used to. Had to, really. We want out, out into the world, accepted for what we are. Human beings. Just like everyone else. We eat and shit and sleep and work and feel just like everyone else. The only difference is our men are attracted to men and our women to women. That's all. But why should you hate us for that? It's just the way it is."
Danny stopped talking, letting the words finish his declaration in a quiet pause sounded only be the windshield wipers punctuating the silence. And then in a low voice, like a penitent in a confessional, "I don't know anyone who is queer by choice, who wants to be queer. It happens, and you live your life as best you can."
Todd Jenkins mulled over the heavy sermon. Little darts of self-doubt zinged into hidden corners of his brain, touching sensitive targets that had too long been buried there. For once his glib mind failed him. All he could see was the disgusting antics of those queer misfits prancing down the street on their naked toes, huge sausages attached to the fly of their tight pants, swaying back and forth with each tinkerbell step. 'Shit!' he thought.
Dan turned to him. "Listen, it's early yet. How about you and I having a drink someplace, maybe a scotch or two.,"
he was eager now, his animated smile was open and friendly, an appealing gesture from an attractive adversary.
"Sure. I'll have a drink with you," Todd said, his enthusiasm expanding, his mind and words stimulated to debate.
The bar Danny selected was sedate with an atmosphere of quiet luxury, surrounded by muted colors and soft music.
They chose a booth away from the many groups that huddled close to the bar itself. Neither said a word until after they received their cocktails. Todd lifted his in a salute to his new friend, "Cheers," he said, a bashful smile flashed across his face.
"A Votre aimant." Danny answered with a smile.
Todd looked out over the room. The patrons were men.
Singles, doubles and in groups, dressed in business suits, shirts and ties. They laughed frequently to themselves as they spoke to each other. There was dignity here. It was as though they were in a private mens' club catering to the affluent.
"So this is a gay bar," he said sipping his Tanqueray martini.
"Yes, these men are gay. Like you said, 'Queer misfits, sinful and lascivious.' That man in the tan suit, over by the palm is on the board of several Fortune 500 corporations.
The man he's talking to is chief of staff at St Francis Hospital. These men are bankers, lawyers, doctors, you name it. They're all cocksuckers. Shit! They pay taxes just like you and me. Ah! What the hell. I'm not going to lecture you anymore. Sit back and relax and let's enjoy our martini and stop criticizing."
He looked at Todds' hands. Long graceful fingers wound around the glass. He felt a familiar stirring. Ah! How hopeless it was.
The gin seemed to relax Todd, and they ordered another sipping it slowly, their eyes made direct contact. How blue they were, Danny thought. The lashes that topped them were thick and blond.
"How long have you been a reporter with The Advocate?"
"Well, actually I'm an attorney on the staff. The magazine's operated on a shoestring you know. We really don't have much of a budget, so I fill in once in a while. When something comes up like your fund-raiser and there's no reporter around, I cover it. I'm glad I did tonight. I like meeting you." He looked directly into the steel blue eyes of his adversary. They were soft and liquid now, casting off a warm glow.
"I feel that way too." He paused gathering his fragmented thoughts into a sentence. "Working for the Advocate, does that mean you're gay? I mean if I ask something out of line and you don't want to answer, don't, but it's hard for me to figure you for gay."
"Shit yes, man, I'm a cocksucker. Suck ass-holes and armpits, too," he paused and in a low, but distinct voice said, "I'd like to make love to your cock, Todd," and he searched the blue eyes for resentment. Finding none he continued, "Just you and me, alone at my place. I've got some videos I'd sure as hell like to show you. Vanilla stuff.
Might change your mind about us," he paused and took a sip, half expecting this gorgeous creature to get up and walk out leaving him alone, but then he added, in a whispered voice,
"How can you knock it when you haven't tried it?"
Their eyes still locked together penetrated hidden things yet untold.
"Ah!" he said pensively, "You have tried it."
Todd nodded, then taking his eyes from the pools of wisdom, looked about the room as though searching for something, not at all concealing his discomfort. The insight of the man sitting opposite him was upsetting, digging up secrets that had been buried for a long, long time.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Todd shook his head, "No," and immediately contradicted himself by signalling to the waiter to bring another round, to prolong their time together.
They fell into a comfortable silence that is reserved only to friends. Danny reached across the table and gently brushed his hand over Todds' hand. His fingers stroked the inside of his wrist. The music sang its song of love and men shifted from one group to another in the exercise of seeking a partner to take home with them. Danny pulled his hand away and, picking up his glass, he toasted his new friend.
"Here's to us," he said.
Todd smiled and nodded, but did not return the toast.
His glass remained on the table untouched.
The silence that hung over them was becoming, in a way, uncomfortable. Perhaps it's time to give up and go home. An end to an unsuccessful evening. But Todd took a deep breath and settled back against the cushions of the banquette. He closed his eyes, but not so tightly that he could not watch Danny through the veil of golden lashes. "My brothers' gay.
Not just gay. Queer, a pervert," he said, "He was older than me, must have been nineteen, maybe twenty or so. He was my hero. I idolized him. There was no one in the world so great as my brother. I wanted to be just like him. His name was Willie. We slept together all summer." He settled back. His eyes were closed. Danny knew he was reliving a dream so he said nothing. He sipped his gin to moisten his dry throat. Lust was building within. Exciting visions flashed in his mind.
"Well we did it. He sucked my cock, and I sucked his.
We fucked too. Did it all, I guess. Yeah, I'm a cocksucker A shit-ass, fucking cocksucker just like you, you and that judge over there, and that pretty TV hero. Shit!
I loved him. I'd do anything for him. Guess I did, and then he betrayed me. After all his promises, all that we did together. The love I gave him meant nothing to him." Todd had tears in his eyes. "Someone we both knew figured us out, and when Willie walked out on me, he tried to take over, you know, move in, but I'd had it with queers by then. Shit! I hate queers."
Danny caught his eyes again and locked them to his, "Do you hate me, Todd? Do you really hate me?"
"I don't know," he said with a resigned sigh, "and I'm not sure I want to find out."
He arose from the table, and turning his back on Danny, he walked out of the bar and into the rain. He could not say good-by to this handsome man who attracted him so. He didn't dare even to risk a glance at him.
There was a taxi waiting at the curb. He got in quickly, and with regret, gave the driver the address of his condo.
Todd sat back in the seat as the taxi sped away. He struck his hand against his forehead with an anguished slap.
"Jesus Christ!" he exclaimed to himself. His thoughts were teeming with self-recrimination. "What in the fuck was the matter with me tonight? Shit! I haven't thought of Willie for years."
Dear Willie. Sweet Willie. How easily he had taught him to accept what he was. What he was supposed to be. Brought him out into the gay world. Helped him live his life as he wanted, or as it should be lived. The promiscuous Willie found someone else, and then someone else again and again leaving a string of broken hearts. Todd closed his mind to sex. He sublimated it all into a pool of hatred. Being celibate wasn't bad. It left energy to grow in other ways.
Wasn't he going to be the youngest congressman in the state?
But the excitement of that possibility was gone. He thought of Danny. How handsome and appealing he was. He was so frank and honest about being homosexual. He spoke of it with candor. Even pride. And as he thought of him sitting across the table with fire in his eyes, Todd knew Danny wanted him, even before he had said, "I want to make love to your cock, Todd."
Jesus, he actually said that. A rush of blood flooded into his loins as he remembered it. Yet Todd killed all possibilities of their friendship growing into something lasting and important. Snuffed it, by running away.
He was twenty six. The last ten years had been lived in a desert, caught in the quicksand of self-imposed restriction.
It was time he accepted himself for what he was. Ah Danny, how he wished he had not left him. He was the key that could re-open his life. He saw the smiling face with the dark eyes burning like coals, looking into his secrets with a knowing smile. How handsome he was. He remembered the long graceful touch of his hand. What would it feel like to have those fingers touching elsewhere?
He was fully hard now. His cock begged him to let it out, out into the open world. Ah Danny, he thought, I wonder what you look like without your clothes. Is your naked body as beautiful as your face and fingers. Todd smiled, for he knew it was.
He could hear the ring of the telephone before he unlocked the door. He ran to it and picked up the receiver.
"I just wanted to say goodnight," Danny said.
Excitement rushed into Todds' loins at the sound of the voice of his new friend. "Look," he said, "I'm sorry, really sorry. I know I acted like a shit tonight. But you shook me up Danny. Turned everything upside down.
I had it all worked out you know. All of a sudden, I'm not sure."
"It's okay Todd, don't worry about it."
"You must think I'm crazy, or something. Shit!"
"Let it go, Todd. It's not like were not going to see each other again is it? Look, how about you and me having lunch tomorrow? The Grill at the Biltmore. Say one o'clock?
I'll be in the Mens' Bar." And before Todd could answer he hung up?
Todd looked around the empty apartment. For the first time a siege of loneliness and confusion overwhelmed him. I could be at Dannys' right now he thought. Without realizing it, he undressed, placing his clothes carefully on hangers in his closet. When he was naked, his hands touched his body.
His cock was hard, flushed with the hot blood of lust. He had been celibate too long. He walked outside onto the balcony that fronted his bedroom. The rains were falling in a gentle pattern, warm and tropical. They surrounded his body like a heavy blanket. He knew he was visible to people in the condo across the courtyard that separated them, but he didn't care. In fact he felt a surge of pleasure at the possibiity. He knew he was handsome. Exhibiting his body became fun. Ah! That's what I have missed in my life, fun.
He touched his cock again. The luscious sense of touch. His feet stood apart in shallow puddles of rain water. He began to masturbate. He knew he was watched. He felt the stares of unknowns, saw the glow and smelled the sweetness of marijane from the patio across the way.
"Look at me," he cried silently, and sensuous thrills shivered his body, thrilling his spine. He thought of the hours he had just spent with Danny, of the lunch tomorrow.
The macho masculine Danny. The angular contours of his face, the jutting jaw shaded with the shadow of his sprouting beard. His lips were full and half open. Kissable. He sould love this man he knew. I don't hate queers do I? He reached to his cock. It was so erect it hurt, pushing out into the night, filled with the blood of passion. He began the slow and gentle stroke. He knew he had to release it, to shoot to exhaustion if ever he was to sleep, but he was startled out of his fantasy by the sudden and sharp sound of the telephone. It rang, then rang again.
'It's Jon and Cris,' he thought, 'They must have seen me on the balcony,' and he chuckled at the thought.
"I just wanted to say goodnight," Danny said in a quiet voice. Excitement surged in Todds' loins.....
"Can I come up?"
"Where are you?"
"Downstairs....in the lobby. I couldn't sleep."
Before Todd could answer, Danny hung up. A thrilling warmth flooded over him like a giant blush. He's here. He's coming up. Ah, my God! Ah Jesus! He's here. He ran to the front door and pulled it open. In his excitement he forgot he was naked. He waited for the elevator to open, but Danny, caught in his own whirlpool of passion was too impatient to wait for it to descend to the lobby. Todd lived on the third floor. Danny ran up the stairs, taking two steps at a time.
'He sounded surprised when I told him I was downstairs in
the lobby,' he said to himself, 'But he sounded excited, too.
Like as though he wanted to see me.'
He felt his body expand with the rush of anticipation.
So much more than he expected. He pushed the door leading into the third floor lobby. The light from the small fixture hanging from the center of the ceiling was subdued, casting shadows in the corners of the room. And then he saw him standing there, in an open doorway. My God! He was naked!
Oh my God! How tense was the moment of this meeting. Danny could not believe that his beloved friend was there waiting for him, naked. Naked! Oh my God!
He stopped his sudden motion, standing but several feet away. Could this be real? Or was it merely a dream, a fantasy?
The dim light gave a seductive etheral quality to the vision of his beloved. How beautiful he was. How strong and powerful, his body with broad shoulders and slender hips. The calve muscles bulged with strength and power, but narrowed to trim ankles. He scanned the golden body hair that sprinkled across his chest, light around the nipples, but thick in the deep sternum. A thin line of it slid down his flat and quivering stomach, past the navel to the treasure of his cock, that solid piece of hard muscle that jutted out from his pubic bush. Oh my God! His cock! Oh Jesus God! Danny lost himself to the unexpected, and lust consumed him.
Todd. Todd, the celibate, the almost-virgin. His body thrilled at Dannys' intense stare, Both men were momentarily stunned into inaction as they each tried to cope with reality. It was the offering of the prey to the hunter.
Danny was the first to recover, the first to move out of the tableaux of this meeting. In a frenzy, he tore at his clothes, tossing them in all directions, revealing his own body, offering it to his new love. How perfect it was. So strong with muscle, lightly furred, slender and sinewy, mach- masculine. 'No nelly queen here,' thought Todd as his throat dried with hunger and fire.
They each fell forward into brawny arms that encircled hot flesh. Their lips met. Wet and open in a deep prolonged kiss of heat. Their cocks rubbed, one against the other pushed back into their bristly pubic hair. The forgotten pleasure, swooped over Todd in an ever increasing crescendo.
'Aaaaaaaah my God!' he thought, as his tongue, wild and uncontrolled, explored Dannys' mouth, tasting him. His hands wrapped around Dannys' buttocks, pulling them together so that their cocks could dance their own dance.
Todd pulled Danny inside his apartment and closed the door. Somehow they stumbled into the bedroom and onto the bed where Danny lay on his back. Todd looked at him, seeing all the hidden secrets of his body, and bending forward, he licked the salty pocket of the armpits, the neck, the nipples, the button, then down to the toes, the graceful arch.
Slowly, his tongue made saliva trails up the inside of Dannys'
hairy legs. Oh God! it's time now. Jesus Christ!
Danny lay motionless. Only an infrequent sigh, a whimper or moan expressed his pleasure. And Todd kissed the hairy testicles, the wrinkled velvet skin that covered his balls.
He was intoxicated by the smell, the many odors of passion.
Dannys' huge cock swayed back and forth. Todd touched it with his hand to steady it. Ah! The aliveness of that solid member. The tip was exposed, for the foreskin had rolled back over the ridge, and he licked it tentatively with his tongue. It had been a long time since he had looked at another man's cock, and he was entranced by the sight of it, and in a burst of lust, he took the cock into his mouth.
Loving it. Sucking it. Bobbing up and down. There was a wonderful sense of pleasure and completeness. Yes, he had forgotten that, the exquisite pleasure that comes when one connects with an erect cock.
Danny was crying now. He thrust his hips forward and back, fucking his hard cock in and out of Todds' mouth, and Todd sucked and wrapped his tongue around the smooth slick tip of it. The ecstatic pleasure grew and swelled like a giant ninth wave, until Danny could hold back no longer. The sweetness of the erupting semen suddenly came back to Todd, overwhelming him as the spurts of hot cum struck the back of his throat. And the realization that this was Danny, this was Dannys' sperm he was swallowing caused his ejaculation.
Ah! The two-fold pleasure was exquisite. Better than he remembered it to be. And he ground his throbbing cock into the mattress and sucked on Danny until at last the pleasure turned to pain, and they separated, and folding their bodies together, they lay in the wonderful afterglow of communion.
No words were spoken. There was no need for them now.
Tongues had other things to do. They expressed their love with kisses and licking secret parts. Danny was overwhelmed by the passion of his homophobe foe, the candidate, who had spoken the cruel words of hate. It was as though a dam had burst its side and spilled its contents in all directions.
Could love happen so fast, he wondered?
Early in the evening, his moments of desire were only that, the need of another cock, tangling legs with a new body, but suddenly a spark ignited the pleasures, seeking and giving. The spark of love, the fire of real and honest passion. And Todd, in his naivity, gave of himself to his liberator. Freed at last from the restricting band of unrequited love, from the disappointments of the past, he revelled in the enormous surge of pleasure that washed through his body. His life now would take a sudden turn to the left, bathed once more in the hypnotic freedom of choice that he had for so long a time denied to himself.
And as they sucked and fucked the night away they sealed their commitment, their intense caring and love with the mortar of body fluids that were never to wash away.