"You two," Wilson said, pointing his rigid finger first at me, and then Jesse, as he gave us a look that left no room for argument, "with me... now," he finished, more sternly than I wanted to admit hearing his voice.
Jesse managed to roll his eyes at me when I sighed, looking unsure about complying, before he grabbed my sleeve and proceeded to drag me along behind him saying, "Come on."
I couldn't decide if he was more upset that I was still hesitating when it came to people finding out that I was gay, or that this whole thing with Tim had happened in the first place, but it almost didn't matter anymore when he stopped abruptly as Wilson rounded on us looking rather perturbed. Somehow, feeling like I had let both Jesse, and Wilson, down in the last two minutes made me even more reluctant to look either of them in the eye at that moment. No one wants to feel like they let down the people they love, or acted in a way that would make them ashamed of you, but that's pretty much how I felt standing there listening to Wilson huffing out short breaths as if he'd been yelling and was out of air, even though he hadn't said a word yet.
"Wilson, I'm..." I started to say.
"Shut up," he said interrupting me, and I think I was almost thankful that he had so I didn't have to say anything as I stood there and nodded, my head hanging as I took great interest in the way my shoelaces wove in and out of the eyelets on my work boots.
"I want you both to listen very carefully to what I am about to tell you," he said pausing to make sure he had our attention and I saw Jesse nod. "I don't ever want to hear you let someone talk to you like that ever again, do you understand me?"
Umm, what? That wasn't at all what I had prepared myself to hear come from his mouth. I was waiting for the usual 'I don't want any trouble here', or maybe some sort of question about Tim's accusations and if they were true or not, or maybe even a 'You're fired', although I had to admit that I would have been pretty surprised if he had said that to me, but definitely not a pep talk.
"Well? What do you have to say for yourselves?" he almost demanded as we stood there glancing at each other, wondering what the correct answer was. "Stephen, look at me Son," he requested, his voice softening some, prodding me to obey as my eyes met his. "This your boyfriend?" he asked, although I could tell it pained him to do so.
I simply nodded, my mouth out of order, my words abandoning me, causing Wilson to almost roll his eyes at me, just as Jesse had only moments ago.
"Look, I wouldn't normally ask, it's not any of my business, but Robert would kill me if I didn't, so... I guess I'll make an exception this time. Dammit... I never really was good at this part. You two have got to stick together, and be strong, and not let assholes like that guy back there talk to you like that," he said adamantly.
"Robert?" I asked which only caused Wilson's jaw to clench tightly. "Never mind, I'm sorry," I mumbled out.
"For what?" Wilson finally sighed. "All I'm saying is that if you two are serious about this, you have to stop acting like he has any right to even think that it's his business what you're up to. All that's really important is if you guys are happy."
I managed to peek over at Jesse who was switching back and forth from watching me curiously, to keeping an eye on Wilson and his hard to read temper.
"Well, are you? Happy?" he prodded, and I nodded, the smile that crossed my face uncontainable, uncontrollable, which only started something that one could liken to a domino effect, because then, Jesse grinned proudly, as he always did, and that made me laugh, causing Wilson's thin red lips that had previously been pursed in aggravation, to smile.
"You two make some pair, you know that?" he asked rhetorically.
"Thanks," Jesse said before I realized I hadn't yet introduced the two of them.
"Wilson, this is Jesse Green... my boyfriend," I managed, blushing slightly as I chewed on the inside of my cheek in an effort to make it less noticeable. "Jesse, this is Wilson, my boss."
"Jesse Green huh?" Wilson mulled it over as he extended his overworked hand out and offered it to Jesse.
"Yes sir," Jesse replied, shaking his hand. "Nice to meet you," he decided as if he had just realized that fact.
"Okay, so can we all get back to work now?" Wilson asked, feigning annoyance at the interruption to the days' sales.
"Almost," I answered. "Thanks," I offered him with a smile.
"For what?" he asked as if the events that had just transpired were no big deal.
"For being as cool as you are, and for telling off Tim, and for not firing me when you found out I was gay," I shrugged, feeling stupid for ever even having that thought in the first place.
Wilson just snorted at the idea as he stalked off, back to work, leaving Jesse and I standing there sheepishly grinning at one another. "C'mon... boyfriend," Jesse said, "I think you better get back to work before he finds a real reason to fire you."
"Mmhmm, I guess I should," I agreed, hoping Tim would be long gone by the time I got back in there.
By the time I had hauled my cold, sticky, sap covered body into the house and into the shower, another four hours had passed. I was hungry, and I was glad that the warm water was there to reheat me and relax my tired muscles. When the water turned cold, I reluctantly shut it off and climbed out of the shower, drying off my hair before wrapping a towel around my waist and heading back to my room.
"Hey," I said, surprised to see Jules sitting on my bed waiting for me, feeling rather underdressed.
"Hey," she managed, as she took notice of my lack of clothing. "Uh, sorry..."
"It's cool Jules," I said as I headed for the closet, and the shirts it held.
"I talked to Jesse," she told me hesitantly, as if that explained her presence, "and my mom sent over a plate of meatloaf because she said she knows you haven't eaten yet and you'll probably be starving."
"Wait, you talked to Jesse?" I asked her, since that's about where I stopped listening, hearing his name had a tendency of making that happen.
"Umm yeah," she said hesitantly. "I called him to see if you guys had plans tonight and if you wanted to hang out with Sean and me, maybe go to a movie or something," she explained.
"Oh," I managed quite eloquently.
"You're not mad are you?" she asked, but before I could even think about that, and dismiss the idea entirely, she said, "He told me about Tim. What an asshole," she scoffed, crossing her arms in a show of disapproval.
I sighed as I managed to pull a t-shirt over my head and found my way to the edge of the bed. My fingers ran through my still damp hair as my hands clasped behind my head. It really bothered me that this was happening, but I guess it's to be expected. It was bad enough that Tim had to act like a complete asshole, but somehow I figured that wouldn't include everyone else I knew.
"You are mad," she decided, sighing along with me.
"No Jules... well yeah, I am, but not at you," I tried to add a smile for good measure, but I don't think she believed it. "I'm just pissed that all this crap with Tim has gotten so out of hand that now other people are getting involved."
"Well you shouldn't be mad about that, it's not your fault he's a total idiot," she argued.
"Jules," I rolled my eyes slightly, "no one likes feeling like they're causing trouble, and it's just frustrating when I have to go around feeling like I have to justify my right to love him, to be who I am, all the time."
"Well, it's not like we aren't best friends, I expect to hear this stuff from you," she said in a tone that told me I should have been the one to tell her and not make her have to hear about it from someone else, even if that someone was Jesse.
"I know, it's just I would rather it not happen at all, you know? And besides, I was working, and I already had to deal with Wilson's looks all night," I said feeling justified.
"Wilson? What does he have to do with Tim?" she seemed confused.
"Jesse didn't tell you that part of it?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No!" she insisted. "Tell me what happened," she practically demanded.
"Wilson overheard Tim hassling us and told him that he didn't sell Christmas trees to closed minded bigots, and then he sorta lectured us about gay pride," the thought came out almost as a question as once again, I wondered who Robert was, and why Wilson was so determined to make his point to us. Not that it wasn't a valid point, it was, just not one I had ever expected to have drilled into me by him.
"He said that?" she asked in awe. "I've never seen him turn anyone away, ever."
"Yeah, I know," I agreed, that same fact not having escaped my attention either, but getting forgotten in the rigmarole of speeches and introductions.
"Remember that one year he made you go drop a tree off at the Kirkpatrick's house when Chris' dad lost his job right before Christmas?" she recalled.
"Yeah," so did I. "So, what did my boyfriend have to say about going to a movie tonight?" I asked fingering the necklace I wore around my neck, the one he had given me.
"He said I should ask you, and then one of us should call him back," she relayed.
"Okay... so, your mom's meatloaf is in this house? Is that what I heard before?" I asked her as I turned to look at her almost skeptically.
"Yeah, that's what I said," she huffed, knowing full well that she was going to go warm it up for me.
"I think I'm starving," I toyed with her further.
"I think... you should put on some pants while I go and warm it up for you, and then, I'll call that boyfriend of yours and tell him that we can't go anywhere until you get fed, since you're starving and all," she accentuated that last part for effect, rolling her eyes in some form of an over dramatization.
"Good plan Jules," I teased as I shoved her out the door and closed it on her put out expression, only to hear her practically stomp down the hallway and down the stairs.
I found my pants, but instead of putting on the dirty, sticky, sap covered pair I was holding, I found the pocket and fished my cell phone out and called Jesse.
"Hey," I said after he answered. "I was thinking, how about I pick you up in a half an hour, and we'll grab Sean, and we can all go see a movie, and then, maybe you can stay the night tonight?"
"I think I could manage that," he said, and I could almost see the smile playing at his lips as I listened to the possibility that rode on his words.
"Yeah, see you in a few babe," he agreed.
I grabbed some jeans and a sweatshirt and once I was dressed I went in search of that meatloaf, and then our boyfriends. As much as I wanted some alone time with Jesse to make up for earlier, I decided that spending a few hours with two of my closest friends in a dark movie theater wouldn't be so bad, I might even see a movie, I mused.
It's interesting how things mutate, as though we go through some metamorphosis, but not until we are ready to, and certainly not unless it's on our own terms, I decided, as I watched Jules climb into the back seat of my truck so Jesse could sit next to me, and Sean her. I remember a time not so long ago, when that was something that would have been neither acceptable, nor tolerated, but now, she had her own ideas for how to spend her parent-free time, and I was fairly certain that they didn't include sitting with me while her boyfriend sat with mine.
I was tired, and I had to work again tomorrow I reminded myself, but by all accounts, Jesse and I should be home and in bed, I grinned to myself at the thought, by midnight. Bed, I was learning to like that word more and more lately, in a way much more interesting than for sleeping in, the idea even more appealing when Jesse would be in it with me, I thought.
"What are you smiling about?" Jesse whispered as he elbowed me to get my attention, not wanting to disrupt the other people in the theater who were watching the movie.
I leaned over and quietly whispered in his ear, "You, in my bed... soon."
And then he grinned too, apparently the idea an inviting one, alluring enough to provoke the smile I was seeing. It seemed my suggestion roused inviting images as I watched him consider the possibilities. I had considered them too, and I definitely had some ideas of my own, just as soon as we were finished here.
I looked to my right, and saw that Jules was snuggled up against Sean in a way that I could only describe as comfortable, not just in the physical sense, but emotionally too, as if she was content to be anywhere, as long as it was with Sean. A familiar feeling, I understood it rather well, after all, it was pretty close to the way I felt about being with Jesse, except for when the occasional bed proposal nudged its' way to the front of the line.
Nudging, that's what I was doing trying to get Jesse up the stairs and into my room, a much closer proximity to my bed. It wasn't so much that I had to shove him up the stairs, but more the way he was holding onto me tightly as we fumbled our way up each step. Climbing the stairs, backwards, with someone's tongue in your mouth could be a new sport, it certainly takes agility, and balance, and perseverance, but eventually we made it to the top.
It wasn't graceful or efficient, but I decided I didn't care much when I felt his fingers grabbing on tightly to any part of me that he thought would keep us upright. I loved the way he seemed like he wanted me up those stairs just as badly as I wanted to be up them, but refused to sacrifice the chance to have his lips on mine in the process.
With my ability to think clearly waning rapidly, I pointed Jesse in the direction of my room before I went in search of my dad's instead. I knocked quietly on the open door, more to try and wake him and get his attention, than as a request for an invitation, and when he saw me standing there he asked, "Just getting home?"
"Yeah, I just wanted to let you know I was back, and Jesse is here. He's gonna stay, and I'll take him home on my way to work, okay?" I asked, assuming it would be.
"Okay, goodnight Stephen," my dad mumbled, mostly asleep again already.
"Night Dad," I said as I swung the door most of the way shut and hurried back to Jesse.
I kicked off my shoes as I shut the door behind me, finding Jesse seated on my bed holding my journal, the one my mom had given me. He was just holding it, but then he looked up at me teasingly, as if it held all of my deepest secrets and now, he held them in his hands. I wasn't worried at first, not until he gave me that look, the one that taunted me saying 'I'm going to read this, and then I'll know what you say about me', and maybe it was reactive, but I shouted, "No!" and jumped on him, wrestling the book away from him, or trying anyway.
Somehow, even though I outweighed him and was slightly taller, he managed to wind up on top of me, sitting on me with my journal in his hand, his arm extended way over his head in an attempt to keep it away from me. Maybe I was too tired to fight anymore, or maybe I realized that I didn't have any secrets in there that I needed to keep from Jesse anyway, but I just gave up, shrugging in indifference at him and provoking a skeptical and challenging look to appear on Jesse's face momentarily before he pulled my journal up against his chest and laid down next to me.
"I wouldn't really read this unless you said it was okay," he offered quietly, seemingly concerned he had overstepped some boundary. "I just saw it sitting there and realized that it knows so much more about you than I do."
"I don't have anything to hide from you Jess, you already know all my secrets anyway," I comforted, hugging him to me. "Besides, if you really want to look at it, I'm fine with that," I decided out loud.
"Yeah?" he asked hesitantly.
"Yeah," I agreed.
"Well, maybe another time, I'd kinda like to see all the stuff you wanted to tell your mom," he admitted. "But not right now," he decided as he turned slightly to reach the nightstand and replace my journal to the spot he had taken it from earlier.
"Okay, then what do you wanna do?" I asked him, enjoying the comfort of my bed and being next to him and the quiet and privacy we had to do it in.
"Well, I do believe, if I remember correctly, that you had a few ideas of your own earlier," he said teasingly as I felt my cheeks color slightly.
It was true, I did have some ideas that I'd like to follow up on, not that the memory was ever far from my mind anyway. It had been six days since Jesse had made love to me for the first time, and there hadn't been a day since that I didn't have some secret smile break out across my face as I remembered what it felt like to have him inside of me, how he looked as he moved in and out of me, the look of ecstasy on his face as he came inside me, the same look that I wore knowing I had given him something I couldn't ever give to anyone again.
"Mmhmm, that's right," I agreed, encouraging him back over me as my mouth eased over his, moaning as the weight of his body landed on my own, pressing his erection into mine. His tongue swept passed mine briefly before I felt it land on my neck, accompanying the gentle suction from his purposeful lips, as I willingly gave him more room to explore.
"God Jess," I groaned, my words hanging thick in the air momentarily before they were gone, a reflection that dulled and faded as it was replaced with the next sensation, each one stronger, more effectual, than the one before it.
His movements halting as he sat up, the only weight and pressure he offered me now directly on the place I wanted it the most, and I rose to meet it in appreciation. He only smiled at me, knowing the feelings that he was producing in me, before he slid further down until he was standing in between my legs, leaving me wanting. I was watching his face, his eyes, as I felt his fingers against my stomach where he found the button to my jeans, and used it to remove them, and my boxers, all at once before he quickly got out of his own where he stood next to my bed.
I sat up quickly, reaching back to pull my shirt over my head, my vision restored just in time to see him make the same deduction to his clothing, leaving us both quite naked, just as I preferred it. He really was beautiful, his long lean body just slim enough to make me believe that I could make him feel safe when he was next to me, but still with enough muscle to make him a viable opponent, I decided, as I remembered him sitting over me earlier as he was victorious.
"Lube?" he asked, and I nodded in agreement, turning over and crawling to reach my nightstand drawer, and I felt his weight move the bed as he climbed back on with me before I felt him slide right up behind me and grab my hips, his hardness sliding cautiously, yet determinedly, over that sensitive area on its way upward.
It was instinctive, the way I pushed back against him causing him to push harder against me, his mouth on my shoulder as he gently bit down on the skin there occasionally, his own agreement to the current position we were in, obvious, from the sounds it elicited from him. My head dropped to the side as I kneeled upright in front of him, his chest against my back, as my fingers gripped his thighs, the bottle of lube dropping to the bed below us.
His arms snaked around my waist momentarily before they went their separate ways, one sliding up over my chest until it found my nipple, rolling it between his fingertips, while the other moved in the opposite direction until it found my cock, waiting for his touch. My head dropped back on his shoulder as I let him know I wanted more, his hand stroking up and down my erection slowly, and the sensations he was creating as he continued to rub his own hardness up and down against me, caused me to continually battle against myself over which I wanted to feel more.
Dizzy with the feelings he was creating in me, he turned me around and laid me down so quickly I didn't know what was happening, and then his tongue, as it had earlier that afternoon, licked firmly across the head of my dick. I sucked in a breath of air as I felt his mouth take me in fully, fantastically. My fingers found their way into his long locks of hair as his found their way against my hole, providing the added sensation that I had been longing for.
I didn't know when he had found the time to open the lube and put some on his fingers, but I didn't care as I felt first one, and then eventually two, of his fingers slide easily into me, touching that spot inside me and causing me to instinctively lift my hips off the bed as I tried to bury myself further in the warmth and softness of his mouth. As he sucked me, his tongue finding a way to swirl around the top of my dick each time he came up, before swallowing me again, his fingers explored further until I couldn't take it anymore.
"Jess, please, I'm ready. Don't make me wait anymore," I begged, breathless, wanting more than anything to feel him inside me again.
He didn't say anything, but I felt him remove his fingers so he could get himself ready and then, as if so close to ecstasy, but so painfully far too, I felt him just touching me as his hardness slid back and forth over my hole again, his lubed hand stroking me again before he stopped moving, only for a second, and then he pushed against me until I felt him enter me slowly.
That perfect pain, the one that was so worth every moment of it, the seductive hint of what was to come, the one that stayed with you afterward as a reminder of what you had done, washed over me as I gasped out loud. Jesse watched me, deciding when I was ready for him to move again, to push further, as he stroked me, his thumb rubbing over the head of my erection on each pass before he pushed in further.
He leaned down to kiss me, my mouth demanding against his, as he gave mine what it wanted, pulling out and then pushing back in, rubbing over that spot again as he did, making me moan into his mouth as his tongue pressed against mine hungrily. He sat up again, his hand struggling in the small space left between us, in favor of more room to move it over my own erection, allowing me to see his face as he moved in and then out of me again and again. Over and over I watched images of pleasure play across his face, watching as he sucked in a breath of air as he sunk further into me, only to exhale, and then do it all over again.
Jesse looked amazing, hotter than I can remember him looking, sweat glistening on his chest, his golden hair waving back and forth as he moved in and out of me, and the added sensations of his hand stroking my dick had me on overload as I came all over my chest, the extra movement on my part bringing him with me into climactic ecstasy before he collapsed on me, sweaty and out of breath, but I didn't care, I soaked him up completely.
After we laid there for a few minutes, coming back to reality, the quiet intimacy of being next to one another, just holding him, and being held by him, I rolled away slowly, quietly. It was hard to tell if he had fallen asleep or not from the way his breathing had calmed, but I had to pee, and I was getting sticky.
"Aww baby, where are you going?" he whined as his comfortable place was disrupted.
"Just to the bathroom, I thought you were sleeping," I said quietly as if he was asleep and I was trying not to wake him.
"Okay, I'll come too," he groaned, not wanting to be getting up just yet.
"Okay," I shrugged. "I'm getting sticky," I added as he looked me over and laughed.
"Yeah! You are a total mess," he said, trying to suppress the laughter I could see was fighting its way to the surface. "You really should be more careful when you..."
"Oh shut up! Come on already," I said as I grabbed his arm and yanked him out of the room behind me.
We were totally naked and covered in some blend of stickiness, but I didn't care, I just wanted to pee and get clean. I grabbed a couple towels from the hall closet as we passed it so we could take a quick shower, this way I wouldn't have to shower in the morning before I took Jesse home and went to work. We were so exhausted that we just washed, mostly leaning against each other for support, and then went right back to bed.
When I woke up the next morning to the intruding sound of my alarm clock that rang way too soon, Jesse was wrapped in my arms, his bare back pressed against my chest. I loved waking up like this, my nose buried just underneath the ends of his hair against his neck. I reached over and shut off the alarm, Jesse inching backwards toward me as he felt the absence of the warmth my body provided him. I snuggled up against him, wanting just a few more minutes like this, careful not to fall asleep again or I'd be late for work.
Kissing him gently on that soft spot just behind his ear and then again on the back of his neck, just below the hairline, I rubbed his stomach and softly said, "Morning Jess, we gotta get up."
He groaned in protest, comfortable next to me, wrapped in my arms, before I rubbed his stomach once more and kissed his cheek and then got up. I got dressed in something warm, and before I headed for the bathroom to brush my teeth, I went over and kissed Jesse and said, "Wake up sleepy head; I have to take you home in a few minutes."
I ran into my dad in the hall on my way back to my room, and I silently thanked myself for remembering to close my bedroom door, sure my dad didn't want to see Jesse naked in my bed.
"Morning Dad," I yawned, realizing it was going to be a long day on just a small amount of sleep.
"Morning Stephen, you look tired," he pointed out.
"Yeah, we got in late, and yesterday was sorta just... tiring, wore me out I guess," I recalled.
"The first day is always busy at the lot," he observed.
"I know, but that wasn't so bad," I decided. I had done the same thing four years in a row and I knew what to expect.
"Well, then what happened?" he asked, wondering if there was more to the story.
"Well, Tim, from the team..." my dad nodded, remembering him, "his family came to buy their tree yesterday, and Jesse was there visiting me, and he said some really... not nice things to us, about us," I explained.
"Oh? Like what?" he questioned, trying to keep himself calm, but I knew him and it was obvious he was mad already.
"Well," I hesitated, "he saw us walking together, we weren't even holding hands or anything, and he just started saying all this crap about how he can't go anywhere without running into us 'faggots'," I explained, that word rolling off my tongue painfully. "Anyway, we tried to handle it, to explain that this was a public place, and that I worked there, it's not like we were following him around or anything, but he just wouldn't let it go."
"So what happened?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"Well, Wilson walked over when he heard the commotion, and basically told Tim that he didn't do business with bigots, and so either Tim could tell his dad that they would have to find their tree somewhere else this year, or he would," I went on.
"Wilson did that?" he seemed somewhat surprised.
"Yeah! And then, Tim left, and he sort of gave Jesse and I some sort of pep talk," I wondered aloud again, still confused how that had come about. "I was so sure he was gonna be pissed at me for costing him a customer, or for causing trouble at the lot, which I swear I didn't mean to have happen, but instead, he didn't even care about that at all," I explained.
"I know you didn't mean for any trouble to happen," he said, and I smiled weakly. "And you guys are okay?" my dad asked, concerned that Tim might have crossed the line somehow if Wilson had to step in.
"Yeah, I guess. I mean, I know there is always gonna be someone who isn't okay with what we are, but... I just hate that I don't have a good way to handle it except to tell them to fuck off, which with guys like Tim, won't help anyway," I said.
"Well, you can't please everyone Son," he told me. "So you off to work then?" he asked me.
"Yeah, as soon as I take Jesse home, I'm going over to the lot," I told him.
"Okay, well, I'll see you later then. Try to have a better day today," he added with a small smile as he walked past me to the bathroom.
"Yep, see you later Dad," I said before I went back to wake Jesse up for the third time.
© 2007 Viv