I hadn't decided to spend the day exploring the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park until I saw Heidi Hines getting 'the stare' from my wife while Heidi had her toes half way up my calf under the table at Riva's. It seemed a brilliant fix at the time.
My wife is a fascinating and powerful woman - all sliver blondeness, razor thinness and sharpness, and glittery silver nails flashing and fingers snapping and minions scattering to the winds. She runs the internationally acclaimed lifestyle magazine, Peak Today magazine, like a general determined and capable of taking and holding Moscow and of laughing in the faces of all those who never were able to do so. I love that name, Peak Today, with its in-your-face double entendre references. Not only does each issue define the new peak of fashion, vacation destination, trend, and latest celebrity, but it is also a play on her daddy's name - a reminder that the media mogul Clifford Peak will always be there to back up his daughter's decisions and to keep her magazine solvent and in distribution.
Not that Clifford will always be there in reality, of course; he is old as dirt and propped up by a bevy of specialists. But his daughter, Claudia, is loaded and primed and primped and ever ready to slide into his Manhattan corner office. She is ever timeless too. Few know just how well preserved she herself was - even I, who saw the marriage license, assumed her dates were lies. But I do know that somehow money and modern science have kept her supple and in fine shape indeed . . . for her age, whatever that is.
I was modeling for Peak Today when she 'found' me. And I was well bought. But I don't mind. She treats me like I have a mind to pay attention to in the midst of all that is thrown at her, and she is fun and . . . of course, very generous.
The Heidi pass, served up at Riva's on Chicago's Navy Pier while we were at a Chicago office strategy session, was something I was used to, and I didn't, for a minute, believe that Claudia felt the least bit threatened. It was more Heidi I was worried for. For all I knew, Peak Today would have a branch office in Botswanna as well. And, glancing to my left and catching the come-on stare of the statuesque, highly photogenic Sandra - no last name; just known by every fashion photographer alive as Sandra - I could see that I needed to beg out of further business 'meetings' with the magazine's Chicago staff, or Claudia would be shopping for a whole new crew there.
And Heidi was barking up the wrong tree altogether. While she was playing footsie and, probably mellowed by entirely too much good wine, starting to move into groping under the table cloth, I was stealthily eyeing the butts and baskets of the waiters gliding between the tables. God, Chicago had some hot men. I'd been very good about that in New York. But I'd probably had entirely too much wine at Riva's too - and there was something freeing about the whole Chicago magic mile 'thing.' Brisk breeze coming off the lake and wafting through the avenue tunnels lined with skyscrapers of such breathtaking beauty and ingenuity and style that they made Manhattan seem drab. Such a 'high' for me that I almost wasn't aware it had happened when Heidi's hand gently fell on my inner thigh. Almost.
She was intoning in a throaty voice that perhaps she wasn't needed at the office tomorrow and could show me the view from the top of the John Hancock tower, completely ignoring the intensity of Claudia's stare, when I came to her rescue, although she'd never know how close she'd come to seeing a Botswanna chief's hut and mighty member up close and personal.
'Great idea,' I said smoothly, as I reached under the table and brushed Heidi's hand off my thigh. 'But I wouldn't think of taking anyone away from the strategy session tomorrow. I'm not needed there. But an architectural exploration is a great idea. I think I'll take the El out to Oak Park and check out all of the early Frank Lloyd Wright houses out there.'
I could sense Claudia uncoiling from the end of the table. The perfect parry. I'd recently let Claudia know that what I'd really like to do was study architecture. I could model forever, I suppose, especially as long as Claudia and her magazine was there. But it was such work keeping in camera trim, and I wasn't dumb enough to think Claudia would always be there for me. I'd gone cold turkey on temptation the moment I realized that she had designs on me. Another man in my bed was certainly something her carefully maintained preservation would never tolerate. In fact, I had deftly managed for her to take me out of the bed of one of her best, much younger girlfriends, which covered all sorts of bases in that particular mating game.
'Brilliant idea, Travis,' Claudia twittered from the other end of the dinner table. 'I will indeed require Heidi's full attendance tomorrow. In fact, I think I would like to go over the boards for the 'Chicago Scene' column for the rest of the year. Unless you aren't prepared - '
'But of course, they are all ready for you,' Heidi said sweetly. Claudia was too far away to see it, but I could see the light beads of perspiration forming on Heidi's expertly powdered upper lip. I had no doubt she'd be working all night. Better than Botswanna, though.
I had already lost interest in this particular game, one I'd played so many times before. A luscious tush in tight white trousers was wiggling its way through the narrow gap between our table and the next. I felt myself going hard. I could only have been happier if he'd been turned toward our table for his passage. I was much more interested in the working end of a man's anatomy. Ah, the temptation. But then a bit of panic, and I looked back at Claudia. Good, she was all business talk; she hadn't seen me take that look. It was so much easier in New York, where I was left pretty much alone except when she needed some arm candy or those nights she summoned me to her bedroom - after having adjusted the lighting down low and just so.
The trip out to Oak Park from the loop on the El Green Line was a real lesson in urban design - a negative lesson. Within just a few blocks off the lake, the fabulous skyscraper architecture turned abruptly into a thick band of scudsy urban blight. Ash-covered tenements and abandoned mid-rise buildings screaming of poverty and decay. But it wasn't long until we were entering into suburbia, and when I got off at the Oak Park station and started following my guidebook to Chicago Avenue and the early home and studio of the architectural great, Frank Lloyd Wright, the developer of the Prairie Style, I was exhilarated. I loved his suggestively oriental motifs and his use of wood and shingles and sharp angles here in Oak Park. Within a few square blocks, a large collection of houses were built on designs he'd developed through exploration and adaptation. Many of the houses were moonlight designs, sold under the table when his work was fully employed by an architectural firm. I saw so many examples of his work as I made my way to Chicago Avenue that I marveled that his employers didn't find him out. But then, of course, they did in the end and canned him for his dishonesty.
The young man looked familiar. When I had turned to admire the Egyptian-like columns high up on Wright's Unitarian church design, Unity Temple, I caught sight of a young man who had followed along behind me from the El station. I wondered why he'd come from the El station too, but then it dawned on me that I'd seen him on the station platform at the Loop in downtown Chicago and then fancied I'd glimpsed him on the train as well. And even at the Loop platform, I had the impression of familiarity, although I hadn't thought about it at the time.
Ah, well, I thought. Probably just my mind playing tricks on me. But he wasn't exactly forgettable. Rather the Marlin Brando-in-his-wild-boy-days look. Or James Dean. Dark and glowering in a pouty, pretty boy-covered-in-black leather fashion. Sort of rough. A vision of Jimbo floated across my mind. God, that had been a good run. My danger period. Motorcycles and black leather. About as far away from modeling Calvin Klein for Peak Today as you could get. In the past now, though.
I turned and, finding Chicago Avenue, had no trouble in the least deciding which of the buildings was the Wright house and studio. I spent a fascinating hour touring the house and steeping in the brilliant - but sometimes unfunctional - design world of a major architect who spun his magic in one unified concept from the outer shell of the space down to the furniture and the dishes in the cabinets.
I was almost so overwhelmed and preoccupied by what I'd seen when I walked back out onto the raised terrace at the entry into the house that I didn't see him. He was lounging languidly on top of the wide stone wall, one leg raised challenging with black jack boot grinding into the aging cement of the wall ledge as if dismissing the scene and era that Wright had so painstakingly painted.
'You must have liked that. You spent more time in there than anyone else, I think.'
'Excuse me?' I asked. He'd addressed me like we knew each other well and had just suspended a conversation we were having before I'd entered the museum. 'Have we - ?'
'Met?' he finished for me. He swung his leg down and moved his elbows to his knees, his legs in wide stance. A lock of curly hair dropped onto his forehead.
James Dean, I thought. Very James Dean. Maybe a model I've met somewhere?
'No, we've never met,' he continued, 'But I know you. I know you very well.' He'd had a cigarette lit and he just flicked it into the shrubbery on the other side of the retaining wall. He could start a fire like that. I didn't think that Chicago had suffered the drought we were still having in on the East Coast. But a lit cigarette anywhere . . .
'Excuse me,' I said again. 'I don't follow. How - ?'
'I work at Riva's. I saw you eyeing the waiters last night. I'm interested. I followed you from town. My name is Colt. You wanna go somewhere?'
I was speechless. No, of course I didn't want to 'go somewhere.' The nerve. But, speaking of nerves, I suddenly wasn't in full control of mine. Nor was I in full control of my bodily responses. He was direct and brutal. Jimbo surfaced in my mind again. Temptation. A web of temptation. I'd been so careful.
'I'm sorry. I . . . I came to see the Wright houses.'
A nonsensical answer. Completely flummoxed. But it got me off the terrace and propelled along the walking route around the neighborhood that would bring me by the best examples of Wright's work.
Colt gracefully unfolded himself in a fluid motion and fell into step beside me as I strode out in what I hoped was a determined and controlled manner.
'I give good fuck,' he said. 'I know of a nearby - '
'Please, I just came to see the houses. I'm a student of architecture. I came to see the houses.' It was pushing it a lot to claim I already was studying architecture, but this wasn't a time for sense. I was completely flustered.
'And a hoity-toity male model, too,' Colt muttered. 'I've seen your pictures in those magazines. And hot for men too. I saw the way you looked at Jim.'
'Jim?' I blurted. Did he know about Jimbo too? How could he know all of this.
'I am not interested, I say.' I tried to sound authoritative. But my voice was quaking. Ah the temptation. I knew it wasn't true I wasn't interested. He seemed to know it too. 'I am just going to walk around and look at some houses and then I'm getting back on the train and going back to the loop. You're wasting your time.'
'I don't really think so,' Colt said in a quiet voice. 'But I'll just walk with you. I lived here for a couple of years. I can tell you more about these houses then that guidebook can.'
And he was right. He did know more interesting things about the houses that at least added to what the guidebook told me. By the time we got to the Robbie House, I had stopped trembling and felt the tension start to drain out of me.
But then he put his hand on one of my butt cheeks as we were walking and leaned over and told me he knew of a secluded garden just down that street over there, and I abruptly cut short my Oak Park visit.
'Please. You've got to leave me alone. I'm not interested. I'm going back to the El now, and if you don't just stay here, I'm going to go into one of those stores over there and call the police.'
He just stood on the corner then as I strode indignantly off toward Oak Park Avenue. I'd seen enough of the houses anyway. The day wasn't a loss. Certainly a minor victory. I'd faced temptation and overcome it. All to the good.
The train car I picked at the Green Line station was almost deserted. That is, until Colt sauntered down the aisle and sat down in the seat facing mine. The train had already started up, so I had no place to go.
'This has got to stop,' I hissed.
'I want to get it on with you. I want to fuck,' Colt said in an even voice. He sounded so matter of fact and sensible about it. 'And I've seen you. You want it too. I can tell. I can see it in your basket.' He had leaned over and placed a hand on my crotch. What he found there confirmed everything he'd said.
'I'm getting off at the Cicero station. You can follow me off - or not - whatever you want.' His hand was still on my cock, holding it close through the thin material of my gabardine slacks. And he left it there until we were slowing down in the approach to the Cicero station. And I let him leave it there.
As we were pulling up to the station, which was smack dab in the middle of the smoldering ghetto area, Colt stood and moved to the door. When it slid open, he glided out. Just before it slid shut, I stumbled to my feet and pushed myself out onto the platform, the door shutting behind me in a curtain-closing little whooshing sound of finality.
We came down off the platform onto a trash-littered street running between a bank of grayish buildings of nondescript function. The building closest to the raised track had its windows boarded up. I walked a good ten paces behind Colt - or, rather, he sauntered and I stumbled along, dragging myself, arguing with myself the whole way.
A block and a half down the street, which was totally deserted, Colt turned right into an alley.
We fucked far back in the alley, in a dim corner behind some big, green trash dumpsters.
He leaned his back against a blackened cinderblock wall, jutted his hips out and widened his stance and pushed me down on my knees between his legs. He unzipped himself and pulled out a long, plump cock and forced my face into it. Just like Jimbo.
When he was feeling hot and serviced enough, he pulled me up to my feet, unbuckled my belt, unzipped me, and pushed my pants down off my hips. I stepped out of my trousers and out of my briefs as well, and then he had me chest and cheek to wall, with my butt and legs jutting out from the wall and his tongue working between my butt cheeks until I was moaning and writhing and begging for him.
I heard him tearing a condom packet and trembled through the moment he took to roll it on and then he stood and nuzzled his young, fat, hard cock up to my now-loosened and moistened crack. I gave a little lurch and groan when he had his cock head inside me. Excited. I was excited. Well past temptation now. No saying no now and walking off, dignity intact. He held there for a few seconds, as he ran his hands up under my shirt and spread his palms over my heaving pecs. Then the long, slow slide into me, as I arched my back, and moaned my acceptance. Oh, how I'd missed this. I had no idea how much I had been missing this.
He started to pump me and to pinch and roll my nipples between his thumbs and fingers and to suck on the hollow of my neck. And I was transported into another world. All possession and ecstasy. His heavy breathing was enough to tell me he was lost in the fuck as well. And I started a rhythm with my pelvis and an undulation of my canal walls around his invading dick that had us working as one perfect fucking machine. I turned my head and our lips met and his tongue pushed in. I wrapped a fist around my throbbing cock and started stroking myself off. And I lost all sense of time and place until that series of little jerks, the death of ejaculation. He pulled out of me then, swept the condom off in one swift movement, and creamed the small of my back.
Afterward he told me that this was his weekend El stop. That he lived in one of the downtown hotels and rotated around the restaurants during the week but came back here on the weekends. Then he said he wanted me to come back to his room with him so we could fuck properly.
But I declined. I was feeling guilty now. Temptation had gotten to me, but I couldn't risk falling back like this. This had to end right here. It helped that I was satiated; that I'd gotten my rocks off in the preferred manner for the first time in months.
He didn't try to stop me as I dressed and walked out of the alley on wobbly legs. He didn't come back up on the Cicero station platform while I was waiting for the next train, and he wasn't on the train with me - at least in my car - for the ride back to the Loop.
That night Claudia got the fuck of her life. We probably both thought it was induced by guilty conscience, although she no doubt thought I had guilty feelings over the come on by Heidi and some sense of reciprocal feeling - after all, Claudia was probably old enough to be Heidi's mother and Heidi's beauty and allure were still largely natural. But I knew better. I knew that my guilty conscience had the name Colt slapped all over it.
Breakfast at Chicago's Marriott Downtown Hotel was lavish and, for a change, Claudia and I had been able to take it in together. She usually was all powered up and half way through terrorizing her staff at the office before I rolled out of bed. But I had plowed Claudia three times the previous night, in a vain attempt to erase what I was really randy for, and she had called in late (and exhausted) for her morning meetings.
Still, she had eaten her three grains of Rice Crispies and finished two cups of black coffee while I was barely finished grazing the buffet, very much in the need of restoking from even more sex than Claudia was aware of, and had returned to my seat when she pecked me on the cheek, gave me a wondrous smile in which I could see the semen swimming in her eyes, and fluttered out of the room between genuflecting hotel flunkeys.
I had barely dug into a cheese and mushroom omelet when I hotel key was thunked down on top of the neatly folded copy of the New York Times at my elbow.
This actually wasn't all that much of a surprise. This happened to me a lot in the dining rooms of New York hotels catering to rich and lonely golf widows. And I'd gotten a whole hell of a lot of experience and variety in playing this game in years past.
But the surprise came when I looked up. Colt was standing at my elbow and staring down at me with laughing - and knowing and possessing - eyes. He was decked out in full waiter gear.
'This is the hotel I stay at during the week,' he said. 'I'm going off duty. Ten minutes. The room number is on the key.'
I took nine of the minutes to wolf down as much of the breakfast as I could. I knew I'd need the fuel. Such a strong web temptation weaves.