We did settle into a routine, much as we had in both Minneapolis and Grand Forks. As Tim pointed out, "If you don't follow a routine, you get a lot less accomplished." He was right.
Morning was when Sherm and I did legal combat. He had two comfortable chairs in his office, and by 9:30 on mornings when the court wasn't hearing cases we sometimes sat and talked, usually ripping into something that one or the other of us had written. As the months went by, it became more common for us to work on a draft of an opinion written by another judge. Sherm would use these sessions to hone his arguments for when the judges were in conference discussing a draft opinion.
I shouldn't leave the impression that being a clerk for a U.S. Circuit Court Judge was all intellectual pursuit and pleasurable interaction with the judge. Rather, it meant handling a tremendous amount of paperwork as cases came in. As the smallest circuit, the DC Circuit has less of this, but it was still a fact of the clerk's life. But there were, at least with Judge Wilcox, many interludes of serious intellectual and legal pondering, discussion and writing.
One morning when I arrived at the court there were three chairs set up in Sherm's office instead of the usual two. The extra chair was occupied by the Chief Judge, whose draft opinion I'd taken apart the day before with Sherm. Sherm had played devil's advocate and defended the opinion, and I'd methodically taken it apart. It had reached the same legal conclusion both Sherm and I had, but was poorly argued. Sherm smiled as I entered and said, in such a mellow voice, "Tell Judge Sanders everything about his opinion that you told me yesterday."
Judge Sanders spoke, in a not hostile voice, "Sherm tells me you weren't impressed."
I had to trust that Sherm wouldn't get me in too deep. So I took a deep breath and said, "Judge Sanders, I've read quite a few of your opinions, and they range from good to brilliant. But I'm sorry to say that this isn't one of the brilliant ones."
The judge smiled. "Very tactfully put. But don't worry, most of the brilliant ones started out worse than this one. I depend on my clerk, Sherm, and one or two others, to make lemonade out of my lemons. It's your turn. If you can't be frank and honest, we should stop now."
We went over the opinion line by line, word for word, argument by argument, citation by citation. By the end it was more my work than his. It was also very good, even if I'm saying that about myself.
Judge Sanders read the final version - it was now four in the afternoon - at least he'd bought lunch - carried in. He looked at me and said, "Oh, the pain of being a clerk. All three of us know that this is more yours than mine, but my name goes on it. Your day will come, Charlie. With a mind like yours, you have a brilliant career in front of you. And next year you'll be ghosting opinions for one of the Supremes - probably Hiram Clark."
That was high praise, indeed. Sherm just smiled. I dreamt of telling Tim of my day.
And, of course, I did. At dinner. We still protected our dinner hour whenever we could - but it was later now, usually about 7:30 - sometimes later when Tim was delayed on campus. The kitchen of Winston House had been planned for a cook and butler to be able to work from the kitchen, so there was an adequate table in the kitchen for us to eat at - since it wasn't occupied by a cook and butler, which were certainly not part of the deal with Mrs. Longworth. And, because the kitchen had been planned around a cook, it was equipped with serviceable, but not fancy appliances. It did have a garbage disposal and dishwasher - the two really important ones in our opinion - after a stove and refrigerator. It also had a large freezer, which enabled us to minimize our trips to the grocery store.
Upon being told of my day, and of Judge Sanders' remark, Tim jumped up, came around the table and hugged and kissed me. "Oh, Charlie, you know he's right. But isn't it nice to be told?"
"It's more believable when somebody other than you tells me, Tim. You simply won't accept the idea that I'm not perfect. And you expect everything to go perfectly."
"When have I been wrong?"
"You haven't, I'll admit. But our charmed lives can't go on forever."
"Hard work and dedication, as well as brains and talent, are the key. I'll admit that we can't control everything, but what we can control we've handled very well."
"That's short for saying that we worked our asses off."
"Very true, but hasn't it been worth it?"
"Yes, Tim, it has. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing me along on this ride, and not letting me backslide."
"I love you, Charlie. But you know I push gently. The decisions are always yours."
"If what you do is gentle, I'd hate to get one of your hard pushes."
"You won't. Nor will anybody else. If someone has to be pushed hard, as soon as the pusher is gone the push is ignored. It wasn't worth delivering in the first place. Now, Charlie, let's celebrate tonight. A movie?"
"OK. To Hell with your studies, and my legal reading."
And off we went to see a movie. We let our hands roam in the uncrowded theatre, just like a pair of teenagers. We found a place afterwards where we could get malted milks, and generally tried our best to lose ten years. As soon as we were home with the door shut Tim turned and grabbed at my belt buckle. Very quickly he had my pants down to my ankles and my shirt open. He was quickly on his knees, playing with my dick - again just like he was still a teenager. Before I could make a mess on his hands and probably his shirt, he took me in his mouth and finished the job. Then he was standing, hugging me, and then kissing. I could still taste myself in his mouth. This was followed by one of his instant strip teases, and an invitation to chase him around the living room. I couldn't chase until I'd gotten my shoes and pants off, but I finally did. However, I didn't catch him until we'd made it all the way up to the fourth floor and the guest bed.
As he lay on the bed, where I had pinned him, he said, "Just use your hands, please." I did, and as soon as he came he grabbed my head and pulled my face down on his cum-splattered abdomen. Laughing, he said, "I wish we had our Grand Forks shower stall. But let's jump in the tub-shower up here."
We did, and I fear we left a pretty messy bathroom to clean up the next day. I was pulled, dripping wet, down to our bedroom, dried very quickly, and pulled into bed. "Hug me, Charlie. This has been a wonderful evening. Let's sleep."
We did, but were greeted the next morning with wet towels on the floor of our bedroom, clothes strewn around the living room, a mess upstairs outside the shower, and dinner dishes on the kitchen table where we'd left them as we headed out to the movie. "Charlie, I know it's against all of our rules, but let's just leave the mess until this evening." We did, and thank goodness we had no visitors before it got cleaned up just before dinner.
On campus Tim had found that Ricky was a really charming young man, who wasn't in the least intimidated by who Tim was, or by Tim's obvious scholastic as well as athletic prowess. Ricky was a solid student, though not in Tim's straight-A category. He was hoping to go into college administration as was Tim, though Tim didn't think he had aspirations of being a university president. His interest was student life. Since this most often meant dealing with disciplinary problems it was of least interest to Tim. Ricky, on the other hand, saw this as an important challenge to good school administration, and it was his main interest. They'd formed a strong bond of friendship, and got to eating most lunches together.
It wasn't long before Ricky was invited to have dinner with us in Georgetown. He rode from campus to Georgetown with Tim. Along the way Tim gave him a little background on where we lived and how we'd come to live there. For the first time Ricky seemed to be impressed with something about Tim. "You know Alice Longworth?"
Tim told him the story about being introduced by Thelma Wilcox.
Ricky responded with, "Thelma Wilcox. That must be Thelma Grindon. Her mother would've been Mary Steele Grindon. And, yes, Mary Steele and Alice Roosevelt would've been childhood playmates."
Tim was beginning to get a little insight into Ricky. He said, "Wait a minute. You're Ricky Steele. You must be related to Mary Steele, and thus to Thelma Wilcox, my partner's boss's wife."
"Relationships are always a pain. My grandfather was Charles Steele, and he was Mary's cousin, second cousin - I think. My father would be Thelma's third cousin, and therefore I'm Thelma's third cousin once removed. I've met her a couple of times at big Steele family gatherings. We are, by the way, the poor cousins. In fact, most of the Steele's are poor cousins these days. We didn't do well in the depression.
"So where do you live?"
"In a little apartment in College Park. My parents live in Arlington. I decided that I needed to get out on my own, and I didn't need a major commute from Virginia every day."
"What does your father do?"
"He works for the National Park Service, as a procurement specialist. Not very romantic, is it?"
"No, but one of millions of very necessary jobs to keep this country running. I have great respect for government service."
"Thanks. We don't hear that kind of remark very often. It's more likely to be some crack about when is my dad going to get a real job."
"People really say things like that to you?"
"Yep. Thanks for not being like that."
"So you really know Washington pretty well. Do you know Alice Longworth?"
"Not really. We've met a couple of times at parties given by one Steele or another. But Steele parties aren't grand affairs like Alice's. They're for friends, not socialites. But as Thelma told you, the Steeles and the Roosevelts go way back, and they still keep in touch from time to time."
He continued, "Winston House was in the Roosevelt family for years. My cousins and I played with friends there several times. The fourth floor was their bedroom and a playroom. I'll bet the house is very different now."
Tim said, "I suppose. Evidently it was loaded with antiques until we were to move in. All the antiques were put into safe storage where we 'boys' couldn't break them."
"I can believe that. Well, what're we having for dinner? Do you continue the grand traditions of the house?"
"I haven't the slightest idea - either about the grand traditions or what Charlie's fixing. He agreed to take care of dinner for tonight, and whatever he fixes, we eat."
We had sweet and sour pork tenderloin, one of Charlie's specialties. Ricky at least said he liked it, and from the amount he ate either he really did like it or he hadn't eaten in a week. Ricky enjoyed walking through the house again, but his memories were pretty limited to the fourth floor. He really missed the rocking horse that had been the center of the playroom!
The evening consisted of delightful conversation, and we gained many new insights into life in Washington, from someone who really knew the ropes. As arranged, Ricky spent the night, and rode back to College Park with Tim the next morning. He didn't have an early class, so Tim dropped him off at his little apartment. Tim did get a tour, but you can go through a one bedroom pretty quickly. He did note that it was clean and neat, and the living room/study showed evidence of someone who took his studies seriously.
Tim got a letter from Prexy that fall, telling us that the Association of Public University Development Officers would be meeting at College Park in December. Would both of us join the delegation from North Dakota? Prexy would be coming along with one other member of his staff. Our participation would allow the University to be well represented without the cost of bringing four people. Besides, Tim and I had raised more money for the University than anybody else, we ought to be there.
Tim wanted to put on the dog for Prexy - his expression, not mine. He decided that we should host a dinner for Prexy, Professor Williams the other representative from UND, appropriate persons from Maryland, the Wilcoxes, Alice if she was to be persuaded to come, and either Lady Bird or the Clarks, if they'd accept. Where to have it? I suggested two alternatives: Halversham's or get Felix in to cook at Winston House.
Tim liked both of those ideas. "How would we go about doing a dinner at Halversham's? It'd cost an arm and a leg; we don't have the money."
I said, "Let's ask Warren. He knows his way around."
Warren knew Halversham's even better than we realized. He gave us the real lowdown on the place. It seems that there's a back entrance through which chauffeurs and other employees (both Mrs. Longworth and Warren avoided the word servant) of diners came for dinner. There was an ongoing buffet, usually of things left over from lunch or the previous day. While your employer was eating out front, you were welcome in the back. No charge. Well, it probably got taken into account on your employer's bill. Who knew?
Halversham's bills were mysterious. You didn't get in the door unless you were known. A bill was never presented. Price was never mentioned. At the end of the month you got a card engraved with Halversham's name, with the name of the month and a dollar amount handwritten. That was it. No one ever knew how the amount was determined. No one ever questioned it. You always paid promptly. If the amount was questioned, you simply never again were able to make a reservation. Warren was convinced that no one ever got a bill that was beyond their means, and Halversham seemed to have as good sources as Alice Longworth. If you were coming too often, either because you were exceeding your welcome or your income, it simply became very difficult to get a reservation.
Warren's advice to us was to make a lunch reservation for the two of us. He advised us never again to arrive without reservations. The first time it was considered delightful naivete, the second time would be gauche, and we wouldn't get in, then or ever. Tell Mr. Halversham that you were considering giving a dinner, indicate who'd be coming, and ask if he thought Halversham's was an appropriate place to host it.
We did exactly that. Halversham was delighted with the idea. The date was set, and we issued our invitations. We included the President of the University of Maryland, asking if he'd join the President of the University of North Dakota as our guest. Also the Vice-President for Development. The Wilcoxes and Clarks were invited. As were Alice and Lady Bird - Lyndon was out of town. Tim felt he had to invite Ricky. That made a total, counting us and the wives of the President and Vice President of the University, of fifteen. Everyone accepted. Halversham was utterly delighted to have Lady Bird coming, and the President of the University - who was new to Halversham (the Maryland suburbs aren't part of the "downtown" set). Warren said that Alice would pick up Lady Bird, and I was sure that he'd be along.
Shortly after he accepted Tim's invitation, the President of the University asked Tim to come by his office. He greeted Tim warmly, saying, "I don't usually get invitations to dinner from first year graduate students, and even more rarely do they come with the business card of the President of the University of North Dakota enclosed. And, yes, I'll have to admit that I had to look up on the map to see where Grand Forks was. You're just barely in North Dakota!"
Tim smiled and said, "I don't usually spend my first six weeks on a new university campus without being invited to meet with the President of the University."
President Wolfe was a little taken aback and said, "Most students go their whole university lives without meeting the President."
"By this time in my first year at the University of North Dakota we were ready to start the endowment campaign that ultimately raised $25 million dollars."
"Fourteen other students and I."
"I was warned that you were going to be a most impressive young man. I guess I should've gotten to know you sooner."
They talked for about an hour. Tim enjoyed the conversation, but he came away with the sense that the President thought Tim's successes were simply because UND was a hick institution, badly in need of new leadership. He assumed that Tim had filled a vacuum. In his two years at the University of Maryland Tim always would have the sense that the University wanted to hold him at arms length. He never had that feeling in North Dakota.
Tim's dinner was on Friday evening, the only unscheduled night in the conference schedule. The break was designed to give people a chance to see something of Washington, however the insides of Halversham's was never imagined. Halversham put us at a table in the rear corner - there were no private rooms. After all, people came to Halversham's to see and be seen; what would be the point of a private room? Halversham certainly wanted the former First Lady and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to be seen.
Tim had learned to play the Washington game. There were two Senators eating together at a table for two. Tim knew them, got up and walked over, spoke to them briefly, and brought them over to our table, where they were introduced. The out of town folks were duly impressed. I think the Senators were equally impressed with the collection of folks that were gathered around Tim.
At one point Sally Clark, who was seated at the opposite end of the table from Tim and me, spoke up and asked, "Tim, when're you going to do that diving exhibition? Lady Bird tells me that she's going to sponsor it. Dr. Wolfe, can we use the University natatorium?"
Dr. Wolfe was caught completely off guard. "This is the first I'm hearing of this. Just exactly what is being contemplated?"
I said, "A fundraiser for the Red Cross. It'll be a diving exhibition by Tim."
Tim said, "I'm hoping that Billy Carson can join us. I think he and I would like to do some tandem diving."
Wolfe asked, "Who's Billy Carson?"
Alice Longworth piped up, "Even I know that. He's the world champion diver who succeeded Tim. He's dominating every meet he enters. With him part of the show, it's a guaranteed success. How do you two plan to split up the money?"
I said, "Five ways: 1/5 to the host school, 4/5 to the Red Cross, divided four ways between National and the local chapters of the District, Grand Forks, and Des Moines."
Alice said to me afterwards, "Charlie, Tim plays the game like he was born to it. He's a master. Lady Bird thinks he's absolutely charming. By the way, she thinks exactly the same of you - but tonight's really Tim's night, isn't it?"
"Yes. He couldn't resist putting on the dog for Dr. and Mrs. Edison, and I think he was just rubbing it in for Dr. and Mrs. Wolfe. Sherm and Thelma are used to him."
"By the way, thank you for inviting Ricky Steele. He's charming. I met him a couple of times as a little boy, and maybe once as a teenager. I was delighted to meet him again as an adult. I haven't seen his parents for years, I'm going to have to have them for dinner. You and Tim will join us, won't you?"
"We'd be delighted."
"Sherman and Thelma will have to come. It'll be a nice group. Do you know if he has a girlfriend?"
"I don't think so. As least, if he does, I haven't met her."
"No. I think Tim and I'd know if he were gay. He isn't."
"I didn't think so, but I didn't want to embarrass him with the wrong questions if he were."
This woman got everything right. If Tim was a master at the game, she was a grand master.
As he left, President Wolfe said quietly to Tim, "OK. You win. You aren't an ordinary student, and I should've had you in my office the first day of school - except you were still in Europe." Score one for Wolfe! "Come by some day next week and let's talk some more."
As Lady Bird left, with Alice, she said to both of us, "I haven't had so much fun in years. You two bring such excitement to living. The rest of Washington is entirely too stodgy - or else they get their excitement from liquor, which is worse. Lyndon will be back in town next week, I must get you all together. I think lunch at the Willard. I'll be in touch."
When our guests had gone, Mr. Halversham came up to us and thanked us for having the party at his establishment. "Having you two here sets a tone I've been looking for for years: younger, more exciting. And, of course, Mrs. Johnson and the Chief Justice certainly don't do our reputation any harm. You gentlemen come around for lunch whenever you can." I really think he meant it. It was difficult for us to be there for lunch, but whenever we could, we called up and asked if there was room - there nearly always was.
We got a bill for the party, well for the whole month of November which included our lunch. It was for $345. Where that number came from I'll never know. It was a ridiculous sum for a party of 15, with drinks. But you didn't argue with Halversham - either way. So we paid the bill, and said nothing.
Tim's and my lives did settle into a routine. For Tim it was go to school, study, practice diving and gymnastics, have dinner with me whenever possible, and sleep; well, sleep, etc. For me it was spar with Sherm, shuffle court papers, research and write, and practice my archery when I could find time. I found a range in Virginia, and they had indoor targets for the shorter distances. Winter weekdays, with the short days, indoor shooting was the only practice I could get. Weekends, I shot outdoors. Until we lost daylight savings time in the fall, and after its return in the spring, I could get in a little outdoor shooting after work.
I grew up in Indianapolis, where the most important person was the Governor, and I sometimes didn't know his name. I certainly never met him, nor did my parents. Minneapolis, for Tim, wasn't any more cosmopolitan. It still boggles my mind that the two of us were living in Washington, and actually entertaining the Chief Justice of the United States and a former First Lady. That this fit into what we called "routine" simply blows me away. Yet, the way it came about seemed natural enough: one thing led to another; one introduction led to another. One invitation led to a lot of others. We had to pick and choose, and Alice quickly informed us of the "rules."
She told us that when an invitation arrives, you can accept or reject it as you please. If rejecting, you must give some sort of an excuse, but studies for Tim, and some project at the court for me was all that was needed. But, once you had given an excuse for a given evening, or weekend, or whatever, you must not, under any circumstances, accept another invitation for that time. Going further, if you were going to accept any invitation for a certain time, it HAD to be the first one to arrive for that time period. No one must ever find out that their invitation had been rejected in order to take another. Always accept the first or none. If two invitations came in the same mail, you could choose, but you might actually be safer rejecting both! And don't cheat. You'll get caught. Our standing in 'the game' would be dead. We wouldn't recover.
We soon realized that our ability to enjoy Washington parties was limited, and our acceptances declined from about once a week to at most two a month. That kept us busy. We got quite a few invitations to dinner at neighbors in Georgetown, and these we were inclined to accept. Seldom were we encouraged to stay much past the actual dinner, so such invitations didn't ruin an evening. We liked not cooking, and enjoyed the company. We soon realized that we simply couldn't reciprocate such invitations, but Alice, the arbiter of such things, assured us that it was understood that two bachelor boys ("Sorry, guys, that's what people think of you as.") wouldn't be able to return all such invitations.
Inevitably we got a dinner invitation from the Johnsons. It came right after Christmas, for a date in early January: just the two of us with the Johnsons and the Robbs. Evidently this would take the place of the lunch at the Willard that Lady Bird Johnson had mentioned. We hadn't seen "Mr. President" since the picnic on the Ellipse. Johnson seemed quite pleased to meet both of us again, after the two evenings that we'd spent with his wife. He was as rough cut as we'd been led to expect, but charming at the same time. He seemed genuinely interested in the two of us, especially in the trials and tribulations of being gay in America. He readily admitted that he hadn't helped that, put it down to "politics," and made no apologies. But here in private, outside the political sphere, with elections behind him forever, he seemed quite accepting of us and our life together. "Takes guts. I like that."
Either Tim or I mentioned the Gang in answer to some question, and a detailed explanation was demanded. Stories of the Gang went on for almost an hour. Lady Bird asked, "When are you going to get together as a Gang again?"
We didn't know, but thought that we'd like to try to get everybody to Washington once.
Lyndon chimed in with, "Want to show off a little, huh?"
Tim said, "Damn right. Why would we put up with the party game in Washington if we weren't going to take some advantage of it? We really had fun entertaining two university presidents at Halvershams, with a Chief Justice and First Lady in attendance. You can bet that's still being talked about on both campuses."
Lyndon roared with laughter. "No doubt about that. In my early days in Washington I liked to do the same thing when the right folks were visiting from Texas. The best I could offer back then was old Sam Rayburn, but he knew how to impress the home folks."
Lady Bird said, "Now the best he can do is show off that he still has Secret Service guards."
Lyndon ignored that and said, "You want to get this Gang together?"
"Yes, we do. We just don't know when it'll happen next."
Johnson said, "Lady Bird, why don't we invite this Gang down to the Pedernales? At the ranch we'd get to meet them all." Lady Bird just smiled. Lyndon continued, "How about a weekend in late May before it gets too stinking hot?"
Tim and I were absolutely overwhelmed. Neither one of us was able to answer coherently. Tim finally got out, "It's a pretty big bunch...are you sure...you're not serious...."
"Somewhere in all this conversation I heard Charlie say that you don't extend invitations you don't mean. Well, give me credit. Neither do I."
I recovered. "We'd be delighted, and I can bet that the entire Gang'll make it, all twenty of them."
Lady Bird said, "I want to meet your parents, and Fred. Bring them along."
Life had ceased to be even remotely routine.
Our pillow talk that evening was certainly not routine. Tim opened with, "I can't believe Johnson's invitation. Can you?"
"Yes, I can."
"What got into him?"
"I'm remembering back to an evening in Grand Forks. You had just stood for two hours shaking the hands of half of North Dakota. Then the same thing that got into Johnson got into you, and you invited a little 14-year old kid to go diving with you in the middle of the night."
"Billy. Here was the great man tossing the little guy a gold coin. For Billy it was the chance of a lifetime to go diving. For you and me it'll be a trip to Texas. I see a lot of similarities."
"Maybe. Yeah, I guess you're about right."
"There's more. Billy became your protege. You can quite justifiably take some credit for his success. You can bask in his glory. I know you didn't have that in mind when you issued your invitation, but it's turned out that way."
"And Johnson wants to take credit for you. Right?"
"There has to be some truth to that. After all, it was his phone call that got me the interview with Sherm."
Tim said, "Well, you are going to the top without Johnson's help."
"First, I'm not going to the top. I'm heading to Grand Forks and leaving the Washington legal scene to others. But don't belittle Johnson's help. This is Washington, who you know counts for a Hell of a lot."
"Not just in Washington."
"I know that I know one great kid, and right now I want to make love to him."
"He's willing." It was a long night.
Alice Longworth and Sally Clark were determined that Tim would put on his fundraising exhibition. They had their site at the University of Maryland; they had their sponsor in the Red Cross - which was more than eager; they had their date - a Monday evening in early March; they had their performers - Tim and Billy, who had agreed to come.
Billy came almost two weeks early, and he and Tim spent almost the entire two weeks on the diving boards and platform at the University. They arranged for the pool to be open early and late so they could practice the maximum amount. I went out and watched their first Saturday practice. They were just like they'd always been when they dove together - lost in their own little world. I might as well not have been there. Sara had come to Washington with Billy, and had come to the pool with me. Now, as she sat watching with me, I don't think either of them were even aware we were there.
As we were sitting there Sara said, "Charlie, they're virtually one person up there on that platform. I know Tim loves you, and Billy loves me. But they also love each other. From now till their big exhibition they need to be together. Let's give them your master bedroom. You can come up with me in the guest room."
I suppose that I should've been surprised, maybe even shocked or offended. But I wasn't. I knew she was right. Tim and Billy related in a very special way, and Billy had shown on his birthday that there was a significant sexual element to it. I answered, "I'll bet you've talked to Billy about this, and that he's told you that he'd be comfortable if you and I shared a bed up on our fourth floor. Right?"
"Of course. And I'll bet that Tim'll have no problems with it either. But do understand, this was my idea, not Billy's."
I said "Tim and I haven't even thought about it, but I'm sure that you're correct. And Tim shouldn't feel guilty leaving me for Billy for nine days, and I don't think he will."
Tim and Billy became inseparable from then until the exhibition. Billy even went to the two or three classes that Tim felt he simply couldn't miss, even if he needed to spend full time working on diving with Billy. Sara and I would drive out to the University each evening and the four of us would eat dinner together. We'd watch them dive for a while, and then we'd head home. They'd follow not long after. A little conversation, discussion of the plans for the next day, and off to bed. The first night I said to Sara, "What're the rules of the game going to be?"
"No rules. Well, I know you and Tim have that rule about fucking other men, but since I'm not a man, that rule's irrelevant. Charlie, this week cannot end without your fucking me at least once. But in general, I want to be held by you, and loved. Tim tells me that there's nothing in the world nicer than having you spoon up behind him as the two of you sleep. I want to experience that."
I said, "I'd like to undress you. May I?"
Undressing a girl is different from a boy. I learned that quickly. First of all, the damn buttons on her blouse were the reverse of what I expected. After I got beyond that hurdle, I ran into the bra. Since I was in front of her, having taken off her blouse, I had to reach around and fumble with the hooks on the bra without being able to see what I was doing. Then her slacks buttoned at the side instead of the front. Thank God with her svelte figure she didn't need a girdle, or I might still be struggling. Shoes and anklet stockings came off easily. And there she was, magnificently naked in front of me.
I'd seen all of her before. How could I forget that fantastic birthday, and then Billy letting us watch him take her virginity? But now she was alone; mine. Eager. So was I.
I wasn't sure whether she wanted to undress me, or watch me undress myself. And I wasn't sure if the spell she was casting over me would be broken if I asked her. She avoided the issue by kneeling down and unzipping my fly. She took her time, and seemed to be debating whether to move to my belt or work her hands inside my fly. Instead she reached around and pulled on my buttocks, with her fingers pressing into the crack. That pulled me forward and her face was driven into my groin. She kept pressure up from both her face and her hands, and clearly could feel my hardening response.
She backed off, and used her hands to work my briefs out of the way, so that my penis stuck out of my fly. She took it in her mouth and licked it, but quickly paused and just held it in her mouth. Still holding it, she worked my belt buckle loose, undid my pants, and slipped them down. She couldn't pull down the briefs, because she'd actually pulled my dick out through one of the leg holes. She said, "OK, I give up. Get your clothes off."
I did. We hugged, and then fell onto the bed. We slipped under the sheet and just held each other. Soon she turned around so we were spooned together. "Hold me Charlie, let's sleep."
We lay that way a while and then Sara said, "I'm not being fair, am I? Boys want an orgasm. I can't tease you by sucking your dick and leaving the job unfinished."
"Bullshit. Be honest, do you want my hands, my mouth, my ass, or my cunt?"
"Before I have to give you back to Billy - all four. Tonight, just your hands."
She got up on her knees between my legs and put her hands in my groin area. She pulled my knees up a little so she could reach down to my ass. Her hands moved all over, concentrating on my balls and my nipples, with frequent diversions to play with my anus. She licked her finger a couple of times and was able to penetrate about an inch. When she finally zeroed in on my penis, it exploded quite rapidly. She'd learned well from Billy.
Once I'd come she pushed me on my side and backed into me. She said, "It's sticky. Maybe it'll hold us together all night." We were both asleep quickly, and we slept like babies.
Tim came upstairs and woke us up the next morning, saying, "I'd better look out, it seems Sara may be taking my place."
"No more so than Billy's taking mine downstairs."
"It'll never happen, Charlie."
"I know, Tim. The same for me. But I'll have to admit Sara was wonderful last night. And I haven't even gotten to her cunt yet. I'm saving that for tonight."
"Billy and I are off to dive. You and Sara have a nice day together. You might even consider getting out of bed and putting some clothes on. Though if it were me I might just stay right where you are for the day."
Sara got up, still completely naked, kissed him, tweaked his groin, and said, "Off you go with Billy. But before we go back to Grand Forks, I'm going to suck your dick."
Tim laughed and said, "You'll have to catch it first." With that he was out the door and down the stairs.
Sara and I had a delightful shower together: long, hot, and sensuous - achieved through sight not touch - for a change. As we dried off Sara fooled me. "Charlie, we're going to have a nice day together today. But let's keep the sexual engines idling not shut down." She tossed me her panties. "You wear these today, and I'll wear your briefs. That ought to keep our minds from wandering too far."
She was right. We walked down to the Mall and spent the day at the museums and monuments. But our minds couldn't shake a sense of the sexual, heightened by having on each other's underwear! Billy sure got a prize when he found Sara!
At dinner that evening Sara told our partners our game for the day. They both roared, and immediately grabbed my pants and pulled them down to see "my" panties. Sara got the same treatment. We were allowed to dress to finish the meal! Billy said, "Charlie, you said that you were saving Sara's cunt for tonight. Tim and I are going to watch. Let's head upstairs."
I couldn't believe that Billy was going to be comfortable watching someone else, anyone else, fuck his wife. But there he was, calmly sitting in the corner of the bedroom, expectantly watching me approach Sara. Sara saw my hesitation and said, "Charlie, it's OK. Billy and I have talked. We both know that he and Tim have a sexual relationship that goes way back. It wasn't physical for years, but it was there. There was always an electricity between them. Billy would never be the diver he is if it weren't for that. He knows he can't have a share of Tim and stake an exclusive claim on anyone else, including me. We all have to be equals in this room. Now fuck me."
I did. It was glorious. When I was done Billy came over and kissed first Sara and then me. "Thank you, Charlie. I love you like I love Tim and Sara."
I'll have to admit that I'd harbored doubts about Tim's and my sexual escapades. But that time with Billy convinced me. Sex is good and wonderful, and can be shared. In the sharing can come many blessings.
And the proof was in the pudding on exhibition night. The night before the show Tim and Billy slept together but didn't have orgasms. They said they wanted to be "hot" for the show. They were. Oh, God, were they?
The natatorium at the University of Maryland was full. Exhibition tickets were some of the hottest tickets of the season in Washington. It would've been standing room only, except the fire marshall insisted that the seat limit was the safety limit for the building. Tim and Billy walked in wearing matching Speedos, cut just as sexily as the law would allow. No towels, no flip-flops, just boys. Billy was 19 and Tim hardly looked a day older. The top of the diving platform had been specially widened for the show, and there were two matching springboards - one on each side of the platform. They started with a speed climb up the ladder to the platform. They shared the single ladder and their feet worked exactly together: the two outside feet hit a rung, and then the two inside feet - touching - hit the next rung. They hit the top and their movements were exact mirror images. And then they were off into the air. A one and a half with a full twist - Billy twisted to the right and Tim to the left - exact mirror images. They did the same dive again, but this time Billy went left and Tim went right. Then both left. Then both right. The only way that they weren't perfect mirror images was the fact that Billy was 7 and a half inches taller than Tim. But they had accounted for that in their timing, and I swear they hit the water at exactly the same instant.
After that first round of dives they paused on the platform and talked to the audience. They told stories about each other and their diving together. Billy told a story or two from the Olympics that were new even to me! It seems that autograph hunters trailed Tim even more than I'd realized, even into the locker rooms. One swimmer found him in the shower and handed him a plastic disk and a waterproof pen. Yes, Tim had even signed that! He'd been so embarrassed by all the attention that he hadn't told the story. But Billy had witnessed it.
Then back to diving. They tackled every difficult dive in the book. From the platform. From the springboard. Sometimes as twins; sometimes as mirror images. Then they stopped and told everybody to count the flips. Tim did a triple while Billy did a double - they had a perfect simultaneous entry. I don't know how they did it.
Tandem diving is now an Olympic event. It wasn't even dreamed of before that night. In one night they single-handedly created a new sport: tandem diving. It would be almost two decades before it became an Olympic event, but it started that evening.
The audience seemed to understand that they were sharing in something really special: an athletic event as well as a superbly choreographed ballet.
There was an intermission to give the divers a little break. Afterwards they changed style and played around. They played pat-a-cake as they sailed downward. During the next dive Billy spanked Tim, and Tim returned the favor as they came up the ladder out of the pool. Afterwards, I told them I had been worried that they might try patting the front sides of their suits. They told me I needn't have worried, they had been saving that for later in the shower!
After the clowning, each did some single diving. It was flawless as usual. But it couldn't hold a candle to the tandem diving. That was absolutely amazing - they were as good in tandem as they were singly, and the dives they did in tandem were as difficult or more so than the ones they did separately. It was truly like one mind was controlling two bodies. Their last dive, the most difficult, left no doubt in anyone's mind who were the best two divers in the world. Though Tim had left competitive diving, the world now knew, and the newspapers said so the next morning, that everybody else was completing for the number three spot, regardless of the color of the medal they took home.
When the applause finally stopped Tim came forward and said that there were some special people that he wanted to introduce:
His partner, Charlie.
Billy's wife, Sara.
His parents, Norman and Betsy.
Billy's parents, Bill and Martha.
His high school diving coach, Nelson Waters.
Billy's high school diving coach, Al Sanders.
The UND assistant diving coach, Bess Phillips.
Larry Knudsen got a special introduction. "I want to introduce Larry Knudsen, who coached me through four years of college and has been coaching Billy for three years. To Larry we owe any success we've had in diving. His guidance, patience, knowledge, and love have made us the divers we are today. We owe you an incredible debt of thanks, Larry." Well, it wasn't a lie, but it was pushing the truth. Tim and Billy knew it. Larry knew it, and he knew they knew it. But there's no question that while Larry hadn't been their technical coach, he had established and run the program in which they both flourished. Tim's language may have been exaggerated, but Larry deserved a lot of credit. He was almost in tears after Tim's words.
And the Gang. All of the original eight were there and were introduced: Tim, me, Tom, Franklin, Hal, Ronnie, Jim and Andy.
Tim then introduced the President of the American Red Cross, and the two individual sponsors of the event: Sally Clark and Alice Roosevelt Longworth. As the President spoke, Tim and Billy quietly withdrew from the group, climbed the platform, waited for a pause in the speech, grabbed each other tightly, and flew into the air. Their carefully planned, but not rehearsed with the people in the group by the pool, cannonball was 100% successful. Everybody was splashed. The heads of Billy and Tim came up out of the water; they kissed each other and dove in again, coming up at the main ladder. They climbed out, waved to the crowd, yelled "Good Night," and were gone. The show was over; the speech blessedly unfinished.
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