Travelling Home Ch. 05

A gay story: Travelling Home Ch. 05 Chapter 5: Home

I sit on the side of the pool, my legs dangling over the side into the water, watching Alex swim laps. My nephew is sixteen this year, and in two weeks he’ll be starting his last year of high school. He has his father’s blond coloring and stocky body, and his mom’s sweet disposition. I love hearing from my sister how popular he is in school; it does my heart good.

Alex hoists himself out of the water to sit next to me. “How long are you going to be here, Uncle Joe?”

“Until Sunday. Then I’m gone for two weeks.”

“What about him?”

‘Him’ is sitting in a deck chair in the shade, leaning forward with his knees on his elbows, thumb-typing on his BlackBerry, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, the perennial lock of hair hanging in his eyes. As if sensing that we’re talking about him, he glances our way and gives us a quick smile, then turns his attention back to the small screen.

“He’s flying to Vienna Tuesday morning, but he’ll be back Thursday.”

“So, he’s your boyfriend, right?” Alex asks hesitantly, and I smile at the word. It’s been a long time since David and I were boys.

“I guess so,” I answer, my voice choking a little as I realize that it’s the first time I’ve admitted it out loud.

David may have stopped counting running days, but I haven’t, even though I cheat and also count the days we haven’t gone on a run; today is day 1168. My assignment in Stockholm ended in February, and I’m back on the internal audit team, leading it this time. I could be based pretty much anywhere, so long as I have access to our network, and as head of an international, rather than a regional, team, I’ve been around the world. These days I travel more than David and, if truth be told, Athens is pretty damn inconvenient for intercontinental travel, because you always have to get to a hub like Frankfurt, Amsterdam or London first. It means that both of us add at least half a day to each trip we make, both going and returning. We debated moving, at least for a couple of years until David stops working (by which time he assures me he will have also convinced me to retire, because he needs someone, who can fold shirts better than him, to travel with him; I’m playing hard to get until he promises that he’ll only pack T-shirts). For me, and I’m pretty sure for him, as well, the discussion took place only because we felt we should at least pretend to have considered the practical option.

Sometimes weeks will go by without our being in the same time zone. It’s fine; we both know that we don’t have to worry about the logistics of how and when we might see each other again. All we need to do is come back home, and if the other isn’t here, he will be, eventually.

My family has had a little trouble adjusting to the presence of David. Though she’d never admit to it, my mother always thought I’d eventually grow out of being gay, and for my sister, brother-in-law and nephew, it was pretty much a theoretical concept. They’d never seen me in a relationship. Never seen me in love.

There’s a splash and I watch David’s lean, tan body swimming towards me underwater. He comes up right in front of me, his hands on my knees and spits a stream of cool water onto my chest, making me jump and laugh. He grins, and sinks back into the water, still holding onto my knees, his wet lashes glistening, his hair slicked back.

“Everything okay?” I ask him, and he nods.

“Everything’s fine,” he says happily. “Everything’s perfect.”

Next to me, Alex stands up hurriedly.

“Uh, I need to get going, Uncle Joe. I’m meeting with friends.”

I look up at him.

“You’re welcome to have your friends come and hang out here if you ever want to,” I invite him for the umpteenth time, although I know that he won’t. I asked him about it once, if he was ashamed of me, even though I don’t really know what I would have said, if he’d answered yes. Alex set me straight; it wasn’t the gay part that prevented him from introducing me to his friends, it was the old uncle part. Which isn’t to say that he’s exactly comfortable around David and me when public displays of affection happen.

“Thanks, Uncle Joe. Maybe some time.” He pulls his T-shirt on and pushes his feet into his flip-flops. “Bye, guys.” I watch him until he walks around the corner of the building, then smile down at David and wrap my legs around his body.

David slides his arms around my waist, his hands against my back under the waistband of my trunks. I lean over and kiss the top of his head.

“Behave,” I warn him, when he nuzzles into my crotch.

“What would the neighbors say?” he murmurs in a shocked falsetto voice, then his fingers wander further down my butt, his mouth along the hardening length of my cock, so that I can feel his hot breath through the wet cloth.

“Oh, hey, stop.”

“Your mouth says stop, but your dick…”

“Jesus, David,” I laugh, and I reach behind me to grab his hands and shove him away, dunking him, then slipping into the water myself in an effort to cool down. “If you really want to start something, do it where you can finish it, as well.”

He waggles his eyebrows at me.

“I really, really, really want to start something.”

Fine, then. I climb out of the pool, pick up my towel and his BlackBerry, cigarettes and lighter, and I head for the building entrance, dripping water all the way up the stairs. I set everything down on a chair in the entrance of our apartment, and head for the bedroom, pulling off my swim trunks as I go along. I don’t look back, but I hear the splat of a wet swimsuit hitting the floor behind me.

He cannons into me, and we both fall onto the bed, he on top of me. After nibbling at the back of my neck for a while, he raises himself up a little, so that I can turn over onto my back, then lowers himself onto me, smiling down at me, his hair dripping in my face. I brace my feet flat on the bed, and rock my hips up, so that our cocks rub together.

“You’re so cute when you’re determined.”

“Cute? Cute?” I slap his bare butt. “Don’t call me cute.”

“You’re cute as a button. Always were,” he laughs, then swoops in for a kiss. “Hey, did I tell you my mother found our fourth grade class picture a few days ago? She sent it to me.”

I’m not really interested in class pictures at the moment. I raise my head to capture his mouth again, searching for his tongue with mine, and I pull his body harder against me, my hands splayed on his tight butt. He submits with enthusiasm, bracing his elbows against the bed on either side of me, and rubbing against me, his cock sliding along mine. I raise my knees higher, spreading them further apart.

“Fuck me,” I groan against his mouth, but he ignores me, shifting his weight onto one elbow so that he can reach between us. His warm fingers wrap around my cock, jacking it, and it’s nice, great, fantastic, but not enough. “David, fuck me.”

“Come for me first, Jordie,” he whispers. He finds that particular spot right under my ear, sucking and licking at it, and I can no longer talk or beg or even think. I just writhe against him, needing to feel him against my entire body, needing to feel him inside me. “Come on, Jordie,” he urges again, his hot breath against my wet skin making me moan, and his fist tightens on me. “Come for me.”

“No,” I mutter, “no, no,” but it’s just a sound, because my muscles are starting to clench, and my orgasm is rolling through me, an unstoppable, swelling wave, and I mindlessly repeat ‘no’ with every spurt.

David rolls off of me for a split second, then he’s back, hooking my left knee over his shoulder as he simultaneously lubes his cock. He pushes against my hole, one long, hard, burning thrust into me, filling me, and I reach for him and pull him down onto me, relishing in the way his rigid length stretches me, in how the weight of his body traps my cock between our bellies. He cups my head in one hand and smiles down at me.

“You’re so fucking hot.”

“Not cute?” I ask, lifting my butt, taking him deeper.

“That too,” he grins, his hips matching my thrusts. “In a studly way, of course.”

We move together, almost lazily at first, then more quickly, the intensity building, until I feel his liquid heat inside me.

“I can’t remember any pictures from ACS,” I tell David afterwards, as we lie together, his head on my shoulder. The sheets are damp, but we’re too comfortable to move.

“Yeah, I can’t remember having seen one myself before now. Do you want to see it?”

“Sure.”

He gets up, leaves the room, and returns a moment later, holding a large yellow envelope. He hands it to me, then lies down on his side next to me, propping his head on his hand. There are two pieces of cardboard in the envelope, to prevent damage to the photo. I slide it out carefully. The colors have faded, the reds now orangey. There are two rows of kids standing in front of a blackboard, most of the row behind standing on some sort of low bench. I catch sight of David immediately, right in the middle of the back row. He’s grinning straight at the camera, and I can clearly see the adult face in that of the child, the straight dark eyebrows thicker now, the chin a little more square, but still clearly him, the shape of his eyes, the full lips. The tips of his collar spread out across his shoulders, like wings.

“Look at you,” I murmur. “Snazzy threads.”

He smiles.

“I loved that shirt,” he says. “I must have worn it special, for the photo.”

I scan the faces looking for my own, not finding it. I must have been absent that day.

“And see? I told you. Cute as a button.”

“Where—?” I start to ask, but then I see myself. I’d been looking at the kids at the right and left ends of the rows, imagining that’s where I’d be standing, at the edges. Instead I’m right in the middle of the front row, David’s hands on my shoulders, a wide smile on my face.

“Huh,” I exclaim.

“We don’t look like arch-enemies here, do we?” he asks, correctly guessing the cause of my surprise.

“No,” I say slowly. “No, we don’t.”

He laughs.

“Maybe you picking fights with me all the time was your way of showing that you liked me.”

“Oh, yeah? Well maybe the fact that you didn’t beat me to a pulp every time was your way of showing that you liked me.”

He turns on his side and kisses my cheek.

“Who knows? All I know is that I like you plenty now.”

I can’t control my goofy, besotted smile, even though I try. “That’s good, then. Because I like you plenty, too.”

These days I try to return home as soon as possible, so I end up on a lot of flights that reach Athens shortly before or after midnight. In the summer the planes are noisy, full of excited tourists starting their vacations, but in the winter they’re half-empty, quiet. It’s late September now, and I’m one of only two in business class. The cabin lights are dimmed for landing, and I close my eyes, half-asleep, waiting for the thump of the wheels on tarmac, already envisioning the taxi ride home, climbing the stairs to the apartment, seeing David. It’ll be past two in the morning by the time I get home. I wonder if he’ll still be awake or if he’ll be sleeping in our bed, and I picture myself slipping under the sheet next to him, kissing his neck, lying against his back, as I’ve done so many times before. I can almost feel his skin, its warmth, how its texture changes beneath my hands when I wrap my arms around him and caress him from his chest down to his belly. I can almost smell him and taste him, hear him mumbling a greeting, sometimes so sleepy that he speaks Hungarian, half-caught in some dream. God, I miss him.

I stride through the sliding doors into the arrivals area and head left, towards the exit where the taxis queue, impatiently dodging a family with two carts stacked with luggage and a young couple embracing right in front of the gate, blocking everybody’s way.

“Jordie!”

I turn around and he’s there, in a blue polo shirt and knee-length khaki shorts, smiling broadly.

“Hey! I didn’t expect to see you here!”

We rarely pick each other up; we spend enough time on our way to and from airports as it is. He smiles and hugs me, the male-friends-pat-on-the back thing, only with no distance between our bodies.

“I couldn’t sleep, so I thought I’d surprise you.”

“Is everything okay?” I ask him, as I walk beside him on our way to short-term parking. David can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and only wakes up when the alarm goes off, and sometimes not even then.

He hesitates, then takes my hand, twining our fingers together.

“Everything’s fine. I just wanted to see you.”

“What, you couldn’t wait half an hour?” I laugh, even though his words make my heart swell in my chest.

“No. No, I don’t think I could,” he says simply, then squeezes my hand briefly before letting go, so that he can unlock the car and store my suitcase in the trunk.

And I finally say it to him, right there, in an airport parking lot at 1:30 in the morning, the car between us, and even though my voice sounds a little strangled, I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life.

“I love you, David.”

He smiles at me.

“And I love you, Jordie. I think maybe I always have.”

I climb into the car, and let David drive us home.

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