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The Messenger

by Joel Young


This story is the sequel to 'My Debate Partner,' published on Nifty (High School – May 27, 2000) and on the Best of Nifty web site. ' The Messenger' is the story of a sixteen year old boy struggling with his sexuality and depression. It includes a romantic and sexual relationship between the boy and a twenty-two year old man. This story is not intended to encourage nor promote such relationships. Rather, the story shows how such relationships can be harmful for teenagers and have a dramatic effect on their lives. If you are underage, or offended by this subject matter, please skip this series. The story includes a three-part prologue, sixteen chapters and a three-part epilogue. Both the prologue and the first two parts of the epilogue are written from the perspective of the high school boy as a grown man. This story is semi-autobiographical. All of the main characters are based on real people. Some of the events actually happened; others are pure fiction. With all that being said, I hope you enjoy 'The Messenger.'

I wonder if Joel can be persuaded to offer us My Debate Partner. Perhaps is enough folk wrote to ask him... ~ Webmaster

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Prologue Part I – My Debate Partner Revisited

Because I was paying for the trip myself, I decided to fly coach. I have always been frugal, and paying more than necessary for anything seems like a waste to me. My employer, however, always arranged first class seating whenever their staff consultants traveled on business. And, I found that I had grown to enjoy the perks of the more expensive accommodations. Today, in coach, I felt cramped and uncomfortable. I regretted not springing for a better seat.

Of course, my discomfort was probably just as much related to what was going on in my life as to my seat assignment. My ten year marriage had officially broken up today – the day after Christmas. My wife had become tired of my frequent business trips, our required relocation to Atlanta, and separation from her family in Ohio. And, when she developed health problems, she became isolated and angry. This morning, she had loaded up her car and headed back to Ohio with our two young sons. They were going to live with her parents. And, my wife had told me earlier in the month that she would be filing for a divorce.

As I sat on the plane, looking out of the window, I tried to put everything into perspective. The direction that my life was taking was so overwhelming, I felt numb. Not only was my family breaking up, but I was on my way to California to reconnect with my high school debate partner, David McAndrew. David was more than just my debate partner at Joliet High School in suburban Detroit. He had also been my boyfriend. And, despite a seventeen year separation with no contact or communication, he has been the love of my life since the day we met.

David and I were paired together as partners on the varsity debate team when I was a junior and he was a sophomore in high school. We fell in love, and he was the first person with whom I had sex. Our personal relationship ultimately enhanced our success as a debate team. We took first place in the State of Michigan championship that year. It had been a glorious time in my life - filled with love, success and sexual awakening.

But, David had been keeping a secret from me. His father had accepted a job in California, and David was moving away. Although he knew we were going to be separated on the day after the state tournament, he and our debate coach, Mrs. Weber, had made the decision to keep that information from me until after the tournament. They both knew how emotional I was. They knew that I would be devastated by David's departure, and that would have hindered my ability to compete and our chances of winning. Of course they were right, but when David finally told me he was leaving and admitted that he had purposely kept it from me, I felt betrayed. And, when David never contacted me again after he left, I was deeply hurt. I had become depressed and withdrawn.

A few days ago, and by pure chance, David and I had run into each other at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. It had been an awkward and uncomfortable encounter. We had been so much in love back in high school, but our chance meeting seventeen years later was unpleasant and disturbing. I wound up walking away from him without even saying goodbye.

Later that same day, however, I realized that I did not want to leave our chance meeting with hard feelings. At the airport, David had given me enough information so that I could finally find his contact information. After my wife and kids went to bed that night, I called David, and we talked. He told me why he never contacted me after he left Detroit. I was shocked to hear that my father had found out about the intimate relationship between David and me. Apparently, my father believed it was all David's fault. And, my father had threatened to break both of David's legs if he ever tried to contact me after the state championship.

During our phone conversation that night, I told David that my parents had died in a car accident nearly twelve years ago. I also told him about my pending divorce. He asked me to visit him in California. He said he wanted to see me again, and that he still loved me. And, since I have been in love with David since I was sixteen, I accepted his invitation.

So, here I was, on my way to reconnect with the love of my life – my debate partner from high school.

Prologue Part 2 – The Reunion

I had been so lost in thought that I was surprised when the plane began its decent into LAX. During the flight, I had decided that I definitely wanted to be with David again. But, I was nervous. What if he didn't like how I'd changed? What if life had changed us both so much that we were no longer the soul mates we once thought? Less than an hour ago, I had decided that I had to take things very slowly with David this time. That hadn't worked when we were in high school, but this time had to be different. We were adults now, and we couldn't behave like love-struck, horny teenagers.

I became even more nervous as the passengers were allowed to exit the plane. I had learned to pack light, and I had only carry-on luggage. I walked past the concourse to the baggage claim area, and I headed toward the terminal where David and I had arranged to meet. I had a knot in my stomach.

I stopped into the restroom before going to the terminal. As I washed my hands, I looked in the mirror with a critical eye. I wanted to look my best. I have always thought that my looks were just average. I was about 5 foot ten inches tall, and I had very dark hair and hazel eyes. Recently, the pressures at work and the stress of a disintegrating marriage had caused me to lose weight. I saw a face in the mirror that looked too thin. Fortunately, I still had my ruddy complexion and big dimples.

I saw David as soon as I came near the terminal. He was tall, and he had perfect posture. His blond hair was somewhat darker than it had been in high school, but it was still thick and beautiful. His overall appearance was athletic, and I guessed that he worked out regularly. He had a kind-looking face with classically handsome features and bright blue eyes. With just one look, I felt myself falling in love all over again.

He saw me approaching, and we were instantly drawn to each other like strong magnets. We both had huge smiles as we drew closer. There was a momentary hesitation before he took my travel case, set it on the floor, and reached out to pull me into a hug. I think we both wanted it to be a long, close and intimate hug - one that would start to satisfy our urgent desires to reconnect after years of painful separation. But, we were in public. We kept it platonic - mostly.

Without saying a word, David picked up my bag and motioned for me to follow him to the nearby parking structure. I was quite surprised when he pulled out a key fob and pointed it at a silver Tesla. It was a beautiful and sporty luxury car. I was impressed. The thought did cross my mind, however, that I would never spend that kind of money on a car – even if I could afford it.

David put my bag in the truck and then opened the passenger door for me. When we were both inside the car, we just sat there and stared at each other. When he reached out and touched the side of my face, I could feel my heart racing. He leaned toward me. Looking directly into my eyes, he said, "I've dreamed of this moment for years, and I can't wait any longer."

Then, he kissed me – passionately. There was no hesitation to make sure I was ready; no soft or tentative kisses to start. His kiss was immediately intense, as if he were demanding the return of a precious possession that had been stolen from him.

During our long separation, I often thought about how exciting I had found David's kisses. But feeling him close to me today and feeling the passion of his kisses again were even more amazing than I remembered. I was consumed by the love I was feeling for David. And, the physical excitement I was experiencing caught me off guard.

When the kisses finally ended, I was out of breath. "You'd better get me out of here," I panted. "Or, I'm going to have to strip you naked – right here, right now!"

Apparently, I'd changed my mind about taking things slowly.

Without taking his eyes off me, David turned on the car and put it into reverse. For a moment, I was afraid he was going to start driving like that – distracted and not giving his full attention to traffic.

"Eyes on the road, Cowboy," I said. "I want you in one piece when we spend the night together in your barn."

"It's hardly a barn," David replied. "But, anything you say, Pardner!" He turned his head, put on his sun glasses and headed for the freeway.

When he pulled into the underground parking garage of a high rise condominium building, David said, "This is it." He parked in a reserved spot, and we took the elevator to the 23rd floor. I followed him, and he opened his door and waited for me to go inside.

David's condo was amazing! It had big, open spaces and a fabulous view of a beautiful part of Los Angeles. There were only a few pieces of furniture, but they were large and obviously expensive. I guessed that he entertained frequently.

"Very impressive," I said.

David set my bag down. "I hope you like it here, Joel," he said. "I want us to spend as much time together as possible. And, I want you to be comfortable. So, let me start by being a good host. Would you like a cold drink? Or, maybe I can fix us something to eat?"

I was still a little nervous, and I thought a drink might help me relax. "A Scotch on the Rocks sounds good," I said.

"Yea, about that," David replied. "Sorry, but I don't drink alcohol. And, I don't keep any in the condo." He hesitated for a moment. "I've learned that alcohol and I don't mix well together. But, l can run down stairs and get something for you."

Although I really could have used a stiff drink, I was pleased that David seemed to be making good decisions for himself. One of the things that I had considered when I agreed to visit David was the possibility that he might be living a wild lifestyle out here in liberal California. At heart, I was still just a conservative, Midwestern boy. Well, conservative except for the gay thing.

"Thanks, David. But you don't need to go buy something," I said. I requested a diet cola, and David went into the kitchen and came back with my drink. He brought a club soda for himself. After I had taken a few sips and looked around a bit, David said, "Let's take the drinks into the bedroom and get comfortable."

I followed him into another expansive room with a great view. The only pieces of furniture were a king-sized bed and two night tables. There was a large-screen television hung on the wall across from the bed. David definitely liked the uncluttered style of decorating.

"Wow," I said. "This is amazing! I love the open spaces you have."

David seemed pleased that I liked his condo. He smiled and took my drink, setting it on one of the tables. "Come sit with me," he said. He sat on the bed and motioned for me to join him. I sat down close to him, and I realized my emotions were about to take control.

"I'm really glad you're here, Joel," he said. "Thanks for coming all this way. That means a lot to me."

I wanted to melt into his arms and tell him how much I had missed him. I wanted to declare my undying love for him. I wanted to tell him how much I had been hurting since he left. But, I couldn't even speak. It took everything I had to stop myself from starting to cry. Even so, I felt a single tear running down my face.

When David saw how emotional I was, he gave me the most loving and caring smile I think I had ever seen. He put a hand on the side of my face and looked into my eyes. It reminded me of a beautiful and moving song I once heard that included the lyrics, "You can hold me deep in your eyes." That was exactly what David was doing to me. He was looking past my face – maybe even past my eyes. He was looking into my soul and inviting me to connect with his.

I'm not sure who started it, but the next thing I knew we were all over each other. We pulled close together and shared an almost desperate kiss. He finally pulled away and whispered, "It's still there, Joel – the magic that happens when we're together."

I felt the magic, too. And, I wanted more. I started to undress him. I lifted up his polo shirt. It was navy blue with red piping, and I recognized the Burberry insignia. David helped me take the shirt off of him, and I couldn't resist exploring his manly, toned physique. My face pressed against his chest, and my fingers found his nipples.

Soon, I moved my hand down, and I began to message the bulge in his jeans. He leaned back and allowed me to undue his belt and to unzip the fly. I slid down off the bed onto my knees. After I took off his shoes and socks, David lifted himself up, and I removed his pants. I noticed the Louis Vuitton label on his jeans. Looking up into his gorgeous, soulful eyes, and seeing the huge bulge underneath his red briefs, I felt as if I were about to receive the gift I had always wanted, presented to me in the most magnificent gift wrapping imaginable.

I was still on my knees when David reached down and pulled up my shirt from the bottom. We slipped it off, and he pulled me to a standing position. He looked straight ahead as he unbuttoned my jeans, pulled down the zipper and carefully slid the pants down my legs, leaving my briefs in place. I sat down on the bed, and he helped me remove my shoes, socks and jeans.

David lay on the bed and pulled me down on top of him. The sensation of our almost naked bodies giving in to the urge to press close together was intoxicating. His hands explored my entire body as I held his head in my hands and kissed him deeply. I heard him moan when I pressed my hard cock against his.

When David tried to slide my briefs down, I broke our kiss and moved to the side. He slowly pushed the last remnant of my clothing off, and I was completely naked. He began caressing my cock and balls, sending shock waves of pleasure throughout my body. Then, he cradled my head with his left hand and laid me down on my back. He slowly ran his right hand down the length of my torso, and he took hold of my pulsating cock. I was paralyzed by the wonderful physical sensations I was experiencing. For several minutes, I lost all awareness except for the physical joy and emotional satisfaction of being with David again.

Finally, I reached for his red briefs, and I took them off. We wrapped ourselves around each other as he rolled over on top of me. Between kisses, we looked into each other's eyes. I pulled up on his torso and guided him into a kneeling position in front of me. I had to feel his cock in my mouth again. That had been one of my favorite fantasies for the last seventeen years.

Even in high school, David's cut cock was very large. It had been over seven inches when hard, and it was perfectly shaped. Today, I noticed that it had grown even larger. Like a starving man invited to a to a sumptuous dinner buffet, I felt as if I might start drooling.

I let my tongue gently glide along the underside of his rock hard penis. I went back and forth, licking just the first inch or two. No longer able to restrain myself, I took the head fully in my mouth and slid down as far as I could. I closed my mouth tightly around him as I pulled back up.

"Oh, my God," David panted. "I love what you do to me!"

I feasted on his manhood, savoring each mouthful as David started to thrust in and out of me. I put my hands around his sides and encouraged his movements. I wanted him to know that I was enjoying this every bit as much as he was.

After several minutes, David pulled away from me. "I have to slow down," he said. "I want to make this last." He slipped off the side of the bed and pulled me over close to him. "Now, it's your turn," he said.

As he began to make love to my almost painfully erect cock, I couldn't help but gasp at the startling bolts of excitement I felt. I allowed myself to let go and just bask in the magical sensations I was experiencing once again. It had been more than a decade since I had been with a man. And now, nothing could have been as wonderful as making love with David again.

When David came back up on the bed, he kissed me. Then, he spoke softly. "Do you remember what we did on our last night together?"

I remembered everything about that night. It was the day we had won the State of Michigan debate championship. After we got home from the tournament, David had walked to my house around midnight. I had snuck him into my bedroom.

I smiled, but looked away from him. "You mean the only time I told you I wanted you inside of me?"

Nodding, David asked, "Do you still want me, Joel?"

I pulled his head down so I could whisper in his ear. "I wanted you then, and I want you now," I said.

The passionate expression on David's face turned into a devilish grin. He sat up so he could reach one of the night tables. Sliding the drawer open, he took out a box of condoms. The box was still sealed in its clear, plastic packaging.

"Are those really necessary?" I asked.

David looked surprised by my question. "Well," he said. "I know I'm completely healthy. But, I don't want you to worry."

"I know that I'm perfectly okay, too." I said. "And, I don't want anything unnecessary to come between us. Put those away."

Somewhat reluctantly, David put the box back in the drawer. He reached for something else, held up a bottle and grinned. "Is some of this okay?"

It was "Gun Oil Premium," one of the most expensive personal lubricants on the market. I had seen it once before in a New York City boutique. I had been shocked at the price.

"That will be more than okay," I said. "I've noticed that some - well, male enhancement - has occurred. And, I'll take all the help I can get."

"Would it also help if I made the room a little cozier for us?" David asked. "It's kind of bright in here."

David closed the nightstand drawer and picked up a remote. He pointed it at the windows and pressed a button. Dark, mesh shades started to rise from the bottom of the windows all the way up to the top. When the shades were completely up, there was a twilight feel to the room.

"Nice!" I said.

David pushed another button on the remote, and music began to play. When I realized what David had selected, I almost laughed. It was Ravel's Boléro - the classic, instrumental background music for sex.

I decided not to comment on David's choice of music. It was obvious to me that he had carefully planned this part of our reunion, and I wanted him to enjoy it thoroughly. Besides, I'd never "done it" to Boléro. And, it might be fun for both of us.

"Cozy enough for you?" David asked.

"Perfect," I said. "Now, get over here and get me back in the mood."

David placed the remote back on the table and put the bottle of lubricant to the side of one of the pillows. We cuddled up close, face to face. This time, his kisses started out slowly. We kissed over and over again as our passions increased. Soon, we were both breathing heavily. David reached for the Gun Oil, and he began to lubricate us both as he kissed me deeply. My desire for him was all-consuming, and I maneuvered us into position.

As the music increased in volume and tempo, I could feel David's hard cock rubbing up against my ass. I spread my legs wide and pressed back. David lifted his torso up and pushed his manhood slowly into me. As much as I wanted him, I felt a sharp pain. I was not used to being penetrated, and I was being stretched beyond comfort. But, I didn't care. I was making love with David, and there was nothing in this world that I wanted more. I put my hands around his buttocks and pulled him in deeper.

Fortunately, the Gun Oil started to work, and my muscles relaxed. I lay back and felt the wonder of having David close, sliding in and out of me. I looked at his trim and fit torso, saw the look of joy and pleasure on his face, and I heard the building intensity of Boléro. I was definitely back in the mood.

Breathlessly, I moaned, "Oh, my God. It feels so good!"

My head was pushed back, pressing against the headboard. My eyes were almost closed, but I caught a glimpse of David's face. He looked like masculine beauty at its best – strong, confident and aggressive – softened only by the smile of pure sexual pleasure and love.

Ignoring everything else around me, I closed my eyes and focused on the sensations I was experiencing – the sound of Boléroslowly building to a crescendo; the feeling of David thrusting himself in and out of me; the deep feeling of love for David flowing from my heart, and my own overwhelming sexual excitement. I lingered in these ultimate pleasures as I took hold of my throbbing cock and stroked it. I tried to hold off, but then I heard David say, "Let go, Joel. Feel the magic with me."

I completely surrendered myself, and I came with climactic ecstasy and relief. I heard the last strains of Bolérothundering in the room as David moaned loudly. I looked up and saw his beautiful face as he went over the edge. We languished in the slowly fading fireworks of sexual fulfillment. And, we drifted on the emotional relief of finally recovering the soul-satisfying joy of our love for each other.

Prologue Part 3 – Tell Me a Story

I slipped back into bed with David after a quick trip to the bathroom. He wrapped an arm around me, and I cuddled up against his chest. He kissed the top of my head. I felt protected, and I loved how our intimacy didn't end with orgasm.

"Are you comfortable?" David asked.

"Totally," I answered. "In fact, I'm so comfortable that I might just stick around for a while. Unless you're going to kick me out now that you've had your way with me."

"Kick you out?!?" he said with incredulity. "Well, I hadn't planned on it. But, I suppose that decision will depend on you. Are you going to behave yourself?"

"That would depend on your standards for my behavior," I teased. "If you're asking if I will do whatever it takes to keep you incredibly happy, and so sexually satisfied that it blows your mind, then yes. I promise to behave myself!"

David looked at me with a smug smile. "Those are dangerous promises to make, Joel. You may remember that I like the challenge of pushing things to the limits."

"Oh, I think I'm up for any challenges you have for me," I said. "You may recall that I always keep a few tricks up my sleeve."

"Yea, I remember. But this time, we'll have to wait and see who comes out on top," David said. He rolled over on top of me and began kissing me again. Too soon for me, he rolled off onto his back and pulled me next to him.

"For a minute there," I said, "I thought we'd have to put Boléro on again."

"All in good time, Babe," David said. "I'm not fifteen anymore, and I can't go two or three rounds in a row like we used to."

I pretended to be upset. "Are you kidding me? Do you mean I'm hooking up with a guy who's almost over the hill?!?"

"Hey!" he said. "That's not nice! Don't forget that I will always be five months younger than you – and two inches longer."

I decided this line of teasing needed to come to an end. "Of course, David. You're absolutely right," I said in a patronizing tone. Then, I patted the top of his head.

"Well," he said. "That's better."

We had been quiet for a while when David asked, "Can we talk about something serious?"

"Sure," I replied. "We can talk about anything you want."

"Okay," David said. He paused before continuing. "Are we – you know – back together? Like we used to be? I mean – exclusively together?"

"That's what I want," I said. "Just you and me."

"Good," David said. "Then, you'll be my boyfriend again?"

"Of course I will," I told him. When I leaned over and tried to kiss him, I noticed that something seemed to be bothering him. I gave him a puzzled look, and he turned his head away.

"What is it?" I asked. "What's bothering you?"

"It's hard to talk about," David said. "It's just that we've been away from each other for so long. And, truthfully, I'm a little worried. What if you're disappointed in me now? What about your wife? I'm absolutely sure I want us to be together again, but how will we work everything out? It's not going to be easy, and I don't want to lose you again."

I sat up and put an arm around David. He turned back toward me and put his head on my shoulder. It was my turn to make David feel protected.

"It's going to be okay, David," I said. "I love you. I've been in love with you since I was sixteen years old! That's never going to change. Sure, there will be hard times, but we've got each other again. We'll work things out."

"And your wife?" David asked. His voice sounded a little shaky. "What if she wants you back?"

I really wasn't ready to talk to David about Valerie. But, it was a fair question.

"Valerie and I are through," I said. "She ended it. She left me. It was a bad marriage, and we were both miserable. Now, she's set me free, and I am glad it's finally over. Valerie and I will always be connected because of the kids. We both love our sons. But Valerie and I don't want to be together anymore. And even if Hell did freeze over and she wanted me back, I'd tell her the truth. And, the truth is that I love you, David. I want to be with you. And, I have no problem telling that to Valerie."

I stopped for a moment, thinking about the reality of what I had just said. I had never actually thought about how I would tell Valerie about David.

Thinking out loud, I said, "She's going to flip out. But, I guess that will just have to happen - sooner or later."

"I didn't realize it was so bad," David said. "I'm sorry, Joel. I hate even thinking about you being miserable."

"The really bad part started about three years ago," I said. "We thought that a second child might make things better. But of course, it made everything between us even worse. Don't get me wrong – we've both loved Joshua since the moment he was born. But, the stress of caring for another child, along with the problems we already had – well - it brought out the worst in our relationship. For the last year, we haven't even shared a bedroom."

David seemed taken aback. I didn't understand why he looked so puzzled. "What?!?" I asked. "Why the look?"

"Sorry, Joel," he said. "It's none of my business. Forget it."

"No, whatever it is, it's okay," I said.

He hesitated for a moment. "You're not saying – I mean – it couldn't have been a year since – you and she - well, you know."

I knew what he was asking, and I was amused – even though I felt somewhat embarrassed. But, I decided to be perfectly clear. "Yes, David. Up until a few minutes ago, I had not had sex in over a year."

"Not even with somebody else?" he asked.

"Nope," I said. "Valerie cut me off, and I was too honest – or maybe too guilt ridden – to cheat."

"Is that what you're doing with me?" David asked. "Cheating?"

"Absolutely not!" I said.

"Well, you are still married. How is that not cheating?" he asked.

It took me a while to figure out how to respond to David's question. Although I felt like he was putting me on the spot, I was actually pleased that he seemed to have high standards about being faithful in a relationship.

"Well," I finally said. "I look at it this way. If you shut the barn door on your own horse – in the rain – and you tell him never to come back - then you really have no right to complain if he seeks shelter under someone else's tree."

David looked thoughtful. "That's the second time you've mentioned a barn since I picked you up from the airport. What is it with you and barns?"

"It's nothing really," I said. "Just a silly fantasy. I've always wanted to play cowboy - and have sex in a barn. But, put that aside. Do you understand why I'm not cheating when we're together?"

"I guess," David said. "I'd feel better about it if you were already divorced. But, I do understand. And, considering the circumstances, I'm happy to be of help when you're 'seeking shelter under someone else's tree,' as you call it."

David paused. "Wait a minute," he said. "Were you comparing me to a tree?!?"

"David," I said. "You may be – almost – two inches longer than I am, but you're hardly as big as a tree!"

"Almost?" he challenged.

I knew better than to respond.

"By the way," David said. "I've missed listening to you play with words." Then, his face lit up. "Hey, you should tell me a story!"

I thought he was kidding. "Yea, right," I said. "You think I'm going to make up a story for you – off the top of my head?!? No way!"

"I knew it was too good to be true," David said as he pretended to pout. "You promise you'll do anything to keep me happy, and the first thing I ask for, you refuse."

"Are you serious? I asked. "You want me to make up a story for you – right now?"

"No," he said. "Don't make one up. Tell me a real story – about you. It will help us catch up with each other."

"I've already told you about my marriage," I said. "I think you should tell me a story about you."

"Oh, no!" David declared. "You're not turning the tables on me. You are going to tell me a story about you, and I'll confess – I mean share - another time."

I could tell that he had purposely appeared to misspeak, just to pique my curiosity by implying he had some mysterious confession to make. At the same time, I knew I would eventually give in to his request for a story. So, I saved myself the trouble of protesting any further.

"Okay, okay," I said. "I'll tell you a story! But, I'm only doing it to please you."

"I know," David said. "You always try to please other people. Even in high school, you wanted to make everybody happy. Don't you ever do anything just to please yourself?"

It was a perfect set up that I couldn't resist.

"Of course I do!" I said. "When Valerie cut me off, I pleasured myself all the time. Thank goodness for the privacy of hotel rooms when I traveled."

"That's not what I meant, Joel, and you know it," David said. "And, by the way, I didn't need to picture you ejaculating by yourself in hotel rooms all across the country." He paused for a moment. "I sure hope you tipped the housekeepers!"

"Hey," I said. "Do you want to hear a story or not?"

"Oh. Sorry, Joel," David replied. "I was just kidding. Yes, I do want to hear a story."

"Okay, then," I said. "But, I'm still not sure what you want to know. At least give me a clue."

"Let me think," he said. "I want you to tell me – about the first – guy - you were with after me. My guess is that it was in college."

David looked at me for confirmation that his guess was correct. I turned away, looking a little embarrassed.

"Your senior year in high school?" David asked.

"Well -- not exactly," I said.

David looked shocked. "You found somebody new in your junior year? Right after I left?!?"

"David, it wasn't like that," I said. "I wasn't in love. It was - I don't know - just a crush. End of story."

David shook his head. "Oh, no! I've got to hear all of this. I'm going to settle in, get comfortable, and you're going to tell me everything – from beginning to end!"

"Good grief," I said. "You make it sound like you want me to tell you a bedtime story."

"That's right," David said. "I want to hear a sexy, adult bedtime story – about you and - whatever his name is. And, don't skimp on the good parts."

"You're a horn dog!" I exclaimed. "You want everybody to think you're this rich, successful Adonis. But in reality, you're just a horn dog – a common, everyday horn dog!"

David gave me a questioning look while shrugging his shoulders, as if to say, "Of course I'm a horn dog! So what?"

"Well," I said. "At least you admit it."

"Hold on a minute," David said. "I need to use the facilities."

"Is that what you call it?" I asked. "Using the facilities? David, we're two grown men. You don't have to use such refined language."

I decided to tease him some more. "Of course, you could just say that you need to go potty before your bedtime story."

"Funny, Joel. Very funny," he said.

David left the room and came back shortly. He tucked himself back into bed and scooched around to get comfortable, just like any kid getting ready for his bedtime story. "Okay," he said. "You can start. But, don't tell the story like you're talking to me. Tell it like you're reading from a book."

"Okay. Fine," I said. "I won't tell the story as if I'm talking to you. But, I am telling it in the first person point of view. I'm not going to pretend that I'm some omniscient observer who's not a character in the story."

"I think I learned about points of view at Joliet," David said. "But, I don't really remember much about them. What do you mean?"

"I mean I will tell the story as the narrator, but I will also be one of the characters," I said. "When I refer to myself, I'll say, 'I did this' or 'I thought that.' When I refer to someone else, I'll say, 'She did this' or 'he did that.' And it won't sound like I'm having a conversation with you. Is that okay?"

"Great, that will work," David said. "So go ahead. You can start the story now."

"Wait," I said. "Do you want the short version, or are you looking for the long version with all the gory details?"

"Gory details, please," he answered. "It's still early, and I'm not the least bit tired."

I had to take a moment to think. I really wasn't sure how to tell David about Ben. After all, I wasn't proud of what had happened.

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