Friday brings an uncomfortable waiting neither of us can stomach. Whether or not Tyler avails himself of the opportunity, we’ve breached virgin territory. Possibilities have been raised; questions have been asked. Though we’ve answered our hearts and each other’s to the best of our abilities, nobody can see the future, not even Master.
Nine o’clock comes and goes; Tyler is with Eleazar now. Master and I are in a holding pattern. We don’t want to go out in case they call with questions. Our usual diversion is not an option, not with Master so distracted.
I prepare another cup of coffee in the Keurig, squeezing Master’s shoulder as I deliver the mug. He sighs and makes room for me on the love seat.
I knock his knee gently with mine. “You’re not too good at this part, are you?”
“Heh, this is nothing. You should’ve seen me while I was waiting for you to make up your mind.” He smiles at my sheepish grin and sips at the coffee.
“It’s good for you to be at someone else’s mercy for a change. Builds character,” I tease, as if Master needs any more of that.
“Oh, Dane. I think we both know I’m at your mercy night and day.”
We sit side-by-side, checking our phones every two minutes for a message that never arrives. After about twenty minutes of this, Master drops his head back against the sofa and sighs. “We seem to have some time to kill,” he says.
Was that an observation? A hint? A command? Not taking any chances, I toss my phone to the side and sink to my knees in front of him. “May I, Master?”
He actually looks surprised, and a wide smile brightens his face. “I’m already sorry I’m saying this, but I actually had conversation in mind.”
“In that case, I’m sorry, too.” Spilling my guts to Master no longer feels like being gutted by a rusty boning knife, but I’d choose giving a blowjob over talking any day of the week.
He nods, acknowledging my disappointment. “Come back up here with me,” he says, tapping the couch beside him. “I’ve been meaning to find the time to follow up with you on something . . . if you’re game.”
“Sure.” I search my mind for unfinished conversations, but my mind is filled with all things Tyler right now.
Master hitches up his knee and turns toward me. “At the workshop, you mentioned your first boyfriend. You’ve never spoken to me about him before.”
“Ahh.” Master must have been distracted, too, to leave this hanging so long. “Are you sure you want to hear this? It might make you mildly murderous.”
“I don’t like not knowing things about you.”
I’m about to make a flip comment about the canyon I could fill with what I don’t know about him when I realize he’s actually shared quite a bit about his personal life with me. And frankly, I’m not sure I have the stomach to know more. Unlike my Master, I can’t actually put all that imagery in a safe place.
“Okay, so . . . Gavin.” Master flinches ever so subtly as I say the name, as if someone raised a hand to hit him. “We met in seventh grade language arts. He was seated behind me . . . Carmichael, Carpenter, Coleman . . .” I can recite the entire alphabetical line-up if Master asks. “He was . . . cute.”
“Cute? I’m gonna need more than that.”
“Clean-cut blond, sweet smile, dimple on one side, kinda dumb . . . You know the type.”
Master’s lips curl into a smile. “A jock.”
“Eventually, but not when we first met. His feet and hands were three sizes too big for his body, and his voice cracked when he got excited—”
“So, basically, anytime he was around you.”
“Right.” I answer with a chuff. Staring into Master’s gleeful expression, I am reminded of his ginger jock, Liam. “Come to think of it, he might’ve been exactly your type, except for the blond hair.”
Master splutters out a laugh. “Only after his body grew into his feet. When was that, post-college?”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t know. His body wasn’t mine at that point.”
Master picks up the somber note in my voice, and the beautiful smile is gone. “Sorry.”
I shrug. “All roads lead to right here.” My fingers find the leather “M” sitting near my heart; the rhythmic stroking cheers Master.
“Indeed. Tell me the happy part?”
“Sure.” Master has already dealt with so many of my saddest stories, it’s the least I can do. “I had a pretty wicked crush-at-first-sight, but I honestly don’t think he even noticed. Boys weren’t exactly on his radar screen.”
“Ohhh.” Master’s mouth narrows into a small circle, the long “o” sound ringing off his lips.
“Yeah. I took what I could get. I helped him with his papers; we became friends.”
“Until one day . . .” Master says.
“Isn’t that always the way? Yes, after basically nine months of this platonic bromance, I guess I got a bit frustrated.”
Master chuckles. “Wow, nine months. That’s a long time even for you, and you’re beast at delayed gratification.”
“Beast? Oh, Master . . . please don’t tell me you’ve been playing video games again.”
“Nine months of frustration . . .” he prompts, adding a twirl of his hand for extra motivation.
I bite back my grin and return to the saga. “We were working our asses off—or rather he was working my ass off—on his final paper, an essay on To Kill A Mockingbird. I was sprawled out across my bed, papers strewn everywhere. He was just sitting there, propped against the headboard, looking all pretty while I did the heavy lifting as usual. I couldn’t really blame him; after all, this had been our pattern for months, but this time, something inside me just snapped. So I tell him, ‘Get your ass over here and at least pretend to help write your paper.’ He gives me attitude—‘You want help?’—and dive-bombs on top of me.”
Master is soaking this up. I’m tempted to embellish, but the truth is enough, and since I happen to remember it word for word, it’s not difficult to convey as it happened.
“Just like that, he’s on top of me, nothing between my ass and his groin but a couple of pairs of cheap basketball shorts. I’m pinned under his big, clumsy body like a beetle rolled onto its back, only I happen to be face-down, which, considering my raging boner, is a blessing.
“My lungs are squashed like twin pancakes against the bed, and when I’m finally able to draw breath, I get two nostrilfuls of his end-of-the-day sweaty pits. I’m acutely aware of every hair on his leg brushing against mine and every Doritos-breath gust he releases onto my cheek and how close his lips are to mine and how—oh, by the way—his dick just happens to be halfway up my ass. I’m in heaven, but it feels a lot like hell.”
Master seems to have a question or two, but he holds back. He’s pretty beast at delayed gratification as well, come to think of it.
“’How’s this for helping, Carmichael?’ Gavin says, and I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, not so much.’”
Master lets out a chuckle. “Poor Dane.”
“I try to pretend this is normal homework buddy behavior, that friends jump each other all the time while writing papers. I very calmly show him the paragraph I’ve been working on. Instead of paying attention, he riffles his fingers through my hair—”
“Not your hair! That’s mine!”
“Sorry, Master.” Oops. I haven’t even gotten to the bad part yet. “When I ask Gavin what the hell he thinks he’s doing, his voice turns all gooey and seductive, and his hot breath spills over the soft, ticklish part of my ear. ‘I believe it’s called motivation. You like this, don’t you, Carmichael?’”
“Oh, shit,” Master says, figuring out exactly what I did in that moment.
“You can say that again. Terror overtakes me because now I get it. He’s known all along, and he’s been using my crush as a weapon to get what he wants, but it’s not what I want him to want. Why do I sound like Dr. Seuss all of a sudden?”
“Ugh. What’d you say to that?”
“I did what any self-respecting gay boy would’ve done. I flew into a rage. I flipped him off my back, scooped up the pages in my arms, and threw them off the bed. I yelled at him to get the hell out of my house and regretted it the second he walked out the door.”
“You’re killing me, Dane.”
“Don’t worry, Master. We’re still at the happy part.”
“Jesus.” He shakes his head, and I give him a smile.
“He doesn’t get very far—maybe three steps down the hall—when he turns around and comes back, eyes wide with panic. ‘Please, Dane, I can’t do this without you,’ he says. I tell him he isn’t really my concern anymore. Meanwhile, my stupid heart is running the hundred-yard dash because Gavin came back! He takes a cautious step toward me—he knows I’m way out of control—and I summon every ounce of outrage, but it’s not enough. I can’t speak as he takes another step and then another, and soon, his knee is on my bed. He says he’s sorry, and then the other knee falls, and he drops the papers and crawls over to me . . .”
Master leans forward and licks his lips with anticipation. “And he kisses you.”
“Nope.” My eyes crinkle with the rare delight of surprising Master. “He shoves me onto my back, straddles my hips with his knees, pins my hands over my head, says, ‘Goddamn you, Carmichael’ . . . and then, he kisses me.”
“Fuck me. Now you’re getting me excited.”
“Tell me about it. Hottest moment of my life . . . up to that point,” I’m quick to add.
“How was the kiss?”
“Wonderful . . . and terrible. Neither of us could breathe for all the angry huffing and puffing, but he wouldn’t get off. The fucker nearly suffocated me, but damn, what a way to go! He finally pulls up, then looks down at me like I’d held a gun to his head and made him do it. ‘I’m not gay,’ he says.”
“’Course not,” Master says. “What’d you say to that?”
“I said, ‘Fine. I am.’”
“Were you out already?”
“I wasn’t in or out. It was a moot point. I knew I liked boys, obviously, but there was no reason to go public with the information. Nobody would’ve cared.”
“Oh, Dane.” Master’s frown saddens me.
“It’s fine. Until this happened, I was content to keep my little crushes inside. It was safer that way.”
“Please don’t tell me he called you ‘faggot’ and left you there like that.”
“No, he was stuck. Not just because he needed me to finish his paper, but because we both knew he wanted me. He had a lead pipe in his shorts, and there was no hiding it.”
“Is there more happy before the shit part starts?” Master asks.
“Yes,” I say, easing his apprehension. “Gavin stares down at me for a few long seconds while I watch the gears turn in his head. Finally, he says, ‘You’re my best friend.’ I say, ‘Yeah,’ waiting with my heart in my throat to see where he’s heading with all this. ‘I think I’m confused,’ he says.”
“I know. He was really messed up over it. I tell him, ‘It’s okay to be confused, and it’s okay to feel things for your best friend. I do.’ Honestly, I didn’t know which way was up at that point, but I would’ve said anything to make him stay.”
“Zero self-preservation instincts,” Master mutters not quite to himself.
I let that one go because it’s totally fair, but I’m so much better now. “Somehow everything shifts with my admission, and I’m suddenly the expert in not-gay-sex-with-your-bff. He looks at me and asks, ‘Have you done this before?’ God help me, Master, I lied. Gavin looked so lost; he needed me to say yes, and I did. It wasn’t entirely untrue; I had done it a million times in my head.”
“Seems reasonable. So you said yes. Then what?”
“Then I see the light bulb come on. He grins hard enough to make his dimple dance to life, and he says, ‘Hey, aren’t gay guys really good at giving bj’s?’”
It’s not often I have Master twisted around my little finger—unless you ask his opinion, of course. I savor the moment of suspense before spilling my secrets. “And I say, ‘If you get the hell off me, maybe you’ll find out.’ That boy rolls off me so fast, he nearly takes me with him. He flops onto his back beside me, folds his hands behind his head, and gives me the well-what’re-you-waiting-for.”
“Who could blame him?” Master says. “So, did you draw it out and tease him?”
“I’ll give you one guess. I was thirteen years old, and I’d been waiting almost that long for this moment!”
“Hmm, that’s an NFW,” Master answers with his aren’t-I-cool grin, which I ignore, because now we’re getting to the good part of the story.
“I hop up onto my knees, peel off Gavin’s shorts and tighty whities, and put my lips around his sac. He moans so loud, I have to stop to turn up my stereo so my parents don’t hear us. When I get back to the bed, he’s holding his dick straight up like an all-day sucker, and he has this wild look in his eyes. And then he says everything I’d been waiting to hear since the first day of school. ‘Put it in your mouth, Dane. Please. I’m so horny.’”
“You got the beg!”
Master’s eyes gleam with arousal. I love that I can do this to him without a single touch. “So I tell him to lie back, relax, and enjoy the ride. I wrap my legs around his thigh and lick every inch of his cock. It tastes so much better than I’d imagined—like salt and earth and man—finally. I go to town on that poor dick. Gavin groans; he’s already close. I dry hump his leg and put my mouth all over him, not even paying attention, just sucking and licking and tasting him everywhere at once. He goes nuts, thrusting his hips so hard and quick, he nearly chokes me to death when he comes!”
“God, Dane! How’d you hold yourself together?”
“I didn’t. I came two seconds later in my shorts. Our combined staying power was, oh, forty seconds.”
Master has a good laugh. “Sounds about right for your first time.”
“Right. So, I swallow the massive load and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, scared to death to look into his eyes. He tips his chin downward and looks down his nose at me, and his mouth turns up into the most beautiful, lazy smile I’ve ever seen. He says, ‘We’re gonna need to do that again.’ I’m delirious with joy and oxygen-deprived from my orgasm, so of course, I say, ‘Right now?’ and he laughs so hard the bed shakes. ‘Nope. Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day.’ And I’d never been so happy in my whole life.”
“Hold it right there,” Master says. “You’re about to shatter the pretty picture, and I just want to stay here a few more seconds and enjoy it.”
I lift my eyebrows. “We could stop right here if you like. My offer still stands—not that you need me to make it, of course.”
“Nice try, Dane.” Master closes his eyes for the promised few seconds. “Okay, hit me.”
I prepare myself with a deep breath in and out before retelling the story of my first true heartbreak, the devastation I never thought I’d live through or recover from. And for the first time ever, it doesn’t hurt. “Gavin and I snuck away to my bedroom every day after I got home from dance, and he finished up at track. We were insatiable. His inhibitions fell away quickly, or he decided he didn’t care enough to stop long enough to worry about labels. We were the same in public as we’d always been. Maybe we were more affectionate now, but if anyone noticed, they didn’t say anything. When school let out for the summer, our free time expanded. He had basketball camp, and I had theater practice, but when we came home, our time was our own. We bopped back and forth between our houses, ate dinners together almost every night, had sleepovers every weekend.”
“That sounds delicious.”
“It feels like a dream now. A little bubble of perfection that had to pop.”
“Not all bubbles have to pop, Dane.”
I take Master’s offered hand and rest our clasped fingers on his knee. “They do when one person in the relationship isn’t ready for it.”
“Of course, I didn’t see it then. Not until September rolled around. Gavin had grown three inches over the summer. He was elected captain of the basketball team. His teammates had some lovely new sayings like ‘no homo’ and ‘that’s so gay.’ It wasn’t as if Gavin was intentionally mean to me; he pulled away in little pieces, one bite at a time. He stopped coming over after school, started avoiding me in the halls, and made his mom tell me he was ‘unavailable to take my phone calls.’ I could hear the pity in her voice. She knew what was up, but she couldn’t do anything about it.”
“Yeah, well . . . you know me. All I could think about was ‘Poor Gav; he must really be hurting, forced into hiding like this.’ I waited for him to find his way back, but he wanted to pretend we never existed, even if it meant giving up our friendship. Next thing I know, he’s dating the head cheerleader. Homecoming king. All-American boy.”
“God, that sucks.”
“I don’t know which hurt more: losing my friend, losing my crush, or losing my suck buddy. But one thing was clear—I would never give anyone that kind of power over me again.”
“Oh, Dane.” Master scoots closer, wrapping his free arm around my back and drawing me into a hug.
I accept his comfort on behalf of thirteen-year-old me, but I let Master know I’m okay. “I know, right? I make one lousy promise to myself and fail again and again.”
“Spectacularly,” Master replies, sharing the cathartic chuckle.“And a submissive is born.”
Jayme and Chaya deserve much of the credit for this chapter. Their behind-the-scenes support always proves invaluable, but this particular chapter was a late addition, tricky business! Jayme helped me mold who Gavin would have been as well as where and how to insert him (so to speak) into the story. Dane's retelling involved some challenging tenses and punctuation, and without Chaya's keen eye, it could've been messy! And of course, as always, my appreciation goes out to you ladies who take the time to read and comment here or in private messages. Your words delight and inspire me! MWAH!