David awoke the next morning feeling a burst of excitement fill his chest before he’d even opened his eyes. I’m in LA! he thought dizzily. And Nate and I are…well, we’re OK.
He thought back with a warm glow to the kiss they’d shared before they said good night. It had been sensuous, lingering, and just plain wonderful. Any concern he’d been harboring that his attraction to the young producer might have been a onetime thing evaporated like mist in a hot sun from the moment he’d seen him standing outside his apartment. Bringing that image to mind even now caused his pulse to quicken: Nate, leaning on the doorframe, darkly alluring and mind-numbingly handsome. No, this was no passing fancy.
He remembered wondering if this was what love really felt like, and the memory brought a smile to his face. “Maybe it is,” he said aloud. “Maybe this is love.” He laughed. “If it is, God knows I’ve never been in love before because I’ve never felt like this about anyone.”
He glanced at the clock next to his bed and threw back the covers. Eight o’clock! Nate was picking him up at ten for breakfast, then they had meetings at Paramount for most of the morning. But then, Nate had planned an excursion for the two of them to someplace he would only describe as ‘special’. David smiled at the thought, remembering the warmth of Nate’s expression when he talked about it during dinner.
He called Nate’s face to mind as he stood in the shower. The warm water cascading over his body recalled the heat of arousal he’d felt simply looking at that exquisite countenance. Even recalling the kiss they had shared last night caused David’s cock to warm and harden. He closed his eyes, sinking into the daydream of what he hoped was ahead for them. He felt his own hand clasp his aching arousal and begin to slowly stroke. The pleasure surged through him, urging him to continue, to keep stroking, to bring himself to the release he’d been craving for hours on end.
But he forced himself to stop. Wait! he thought. He pressed both hands to the shower wall and leaned forward. He drew in breaths that were at first fast and trembling with suppressed desire. But eventually they grew deeper and more rhythmic. I don’t want to do it this way, he thought. I want it to be with him!
Yet, he didn’t regret his decision to stay here last night rather than with Nate at his apartment. He’d been exhausted and jet-lagged last night, and still a bit overwhelmed by the events of the day. But if Nate asked him again tonight his answer would certainly be different.
It wasn’t merely his charismatic good looks that enthralled David so completely. Nate was intelligent and curious – traits David had always admired. He was also a kind and generous man. There wasn’t a mean-spirited bone in his body. David also got the sense that he was a man of deep and enduring passion. The fire that burned when they kissed didn’t burn only in David, it burned in Nate too. He had felt Nate’s breathing quicken last night when their lips had met, and had heard his small exclamations of pleasure as their kiss deepened.
David tried to disregard the urgings of his body as he quickly shaved and dressed. He wasn’t sure what kind of surprise Nate had in store, and frankly he didn’t care. Just the thought that they would be together for the entire day was enough to leave David tingling all over with happiness.
He was also curious about the meetings Nate had set up for that day. He’d mentioned last night that Lance wanted to discuss several items from the documentary. He was focusing part of his story on one of George Washington’s lesser-known officers and he wanted David to research the man’s life to assure historical accuracy. He was also scheduled to meet with the writers creating the narrative accompanying the documentary to offer some guidance as to the manners and morals of the day and to the behaviors of Washington’s army in particular.
David chuckled. He could give them a few good stories about the ragtag and raucous militia men that Washington led, starting with how they damn near lost at New York and only managed to eke out a win by the skin of their teeth. Frankly, the deeper one delved into the personal stories of some of the ‘founding fathers’ the more incredible it was that they were able to form and sustain a government. Still, David thought, it will make for a good film. That kind of behind-the-scenes stuff always does.
He checked the clock, still forty-five minutes to go before Nate would arrive. He grabbed his camera and laid it next to his jacket where he’d be sure to remember it. He wasn’t making the same mistake twice. This time he’d be sure to get some pictures of Nate to take home with him. Then he fell into a nearby chair to wait and stared out his window at the mountains beyond.
Thinking of home brought other issues to mind. It was easier here in Los Angeles to put aside any lingering fears he might have about bringing Nate into his life. The day-to-day routine of his life in Virginia seemed remote, the problems he would face there less intimidating. Reality was a much different state of affairs. If the relationship he shared with Nate evolved into something committed and long-term, there would be many important conversations ahead for David, some of which might not be all that pleasant.
He knew the dean of his University well. They’d been friends for years, and each had an abiding respect for the other. Whether that respect would remain unchanged should he reveal a homosexual affiliation was a question David could not answer. Then there was the conversation he would have to have with his ex-wife and daughters. That was even more delicate and a much greater cause for anxiety.
David shrugged and put the questions aside. There wasn’t anything he could do about it now, and he wasn’t going to let thoughts of what ‘might’ happen in a more distant future intrude on the happiness he felt today. He grabbed his ever-present notebook and began writing down observations he could share later with Lance and the documentary’s writers.
It was ten minutes before the allotted time when his phone signaled a text message from Nate:
“I’m a bit early. Come on down if you’re ready. xxxooo”
David grabbed his notebook, coat, and camera and bolted for the door. When he arrived in the lobby, he saw Nate’s car parked outside and walked to it. “Morning!” he said as he opened the passenger door and got into the Nissan. “How you doing?”
“Doing great! Sorry to be a bit early. Guess I’m feeling impatient for the day to begin.” He smiled at David and reached over to squeeze his shoulder.
David returned the smile and reached up to briefly touch Nate’s hand. “Me too,” he replied.
“OK,” Nate told him, wheeling the car and pulling out into traffic. “We’re off to Tinseltown. Lance will see us first, then I’ll park you with the writers while I run a few errands. All in all, I figure we’ll be done by noon or maybe earlier. You nervous about any of this?”
David shrugged casually. “Not really. I’ve worked on these things before, though I have to admit I’ve never actually been in a Hollywood studio before. My daughters will be impressed. I’ll be on the same lot where they shot Star Trek. That’ll make me a big shot.” He glanced at Nate. “You told me to dress casually. I hope this producer doesn’t take offense to jeans and a T-shirt.”
Nate laughed briefly. “He’ll be wearing the exact same thing. And yes, the very same place they shot Star Trek, though the offices you’ll see today are not nearly as impressive as a movie or TV set. They look pretty much like any business office and a lot dingier than most. We’re the poor church mice of the filming industry.”
In spite of Nate’s words, David had to admit he actually was impressed when the guard waved Nate past him and they wheeled into the Paramount Pictures facility. They drove down a few side streets before reaching a small office building. “See?” Nate said, gesturing toward the building as they got out of the car. “Looks like an office in any strip mall.”
Lance Barrett was an imposing man who greeted David with a firm handshake. “Hello!” he said in a somewhat booming voice. “Welcome to Paramount. Nate’s told me a lot about you.” He gestured to a chair and invited David to sit down then turned immediately to Nate. “Lot twenty-one,” he said in a growling voice. “And first thing tomorrow I want you to meet me here. Come as early as you can. I’ve got something new we need to discuss.”
“Lot twenty-one?” Nate said in obvious disgust. “Jesus, Lance! Not again!”
“Yes, again,” Lance replied, obviously annoyed. “Go knock some brains into that asshole director and tell him I said if this happens once more, he’s out! Don’t worry about David. After we chat I’ll leave him to work with the writers. He’ll be fine.”
Nate patted David on the back, nodded to Lance, and left, leaving David feeling a bit intimidated.
In the long run, Lance proved to be extremely approachable. He was an intelligent man who understood the historical significance of the time period his documentary was exploring. He asked David numerous questions, referring many times to a page of hand-written notes on his desk, and nodded in satisfaction as David responded to each of them. They discussed the research that Lance needed on Samuel Blachley Webb, one of Washington’s aides. Finally, Lance nodded. “Nate’s right. You’re the real deal to be sure. Thank you, Professor. And now I have a couple things for you to sign and then I’ll take you to the writers.”
The rest of the morning was uneventful but the meetings lasted much longer than David had hoped. He ended up spending more than three hours conferring with the writers. Nate popped in a couple times to check on him, and seeing that they were still working, he went on to other tasks. By mid-afternoon David felt they had a good grasp on the pertinent facts, and he sent a text to Nate asking him to come and pick him up. He arrived only minutes later.
“How’d it go?” Nate asked as they walked to his car.
“It was fine. I like Lance. Man has a brilliant mind, and he seems meticulous as all hell. Reminds me of me,” David quipped, grinning. “How’d your meeting go?”
“Same old fucking crap on a different day,” Nate moaned. “A director with a giant-sized ego wants more attention than he deserves. I set him straight.” He shrugged. “Hopefully for the last time. But now,” he said, smiling as they reached the car. “We’re outta here.”
Glancing into the back seat, David saw several bags that looked to contain food. “We going on a picnic,” he asked.
“We are indeed,” Nate said, smiling. “But the fun part is WHERE we’ll be picnicking.”
For some time Nate maneuvered his way around the LA freeway system with a skill born of long experience, then drove the car up a long and winding road that led to a huge sign reading Griffith Observatory.
“I’ve heard of this!” David exclaimed. “Quite a famous place.”
“Well, what makes today different is that the Observatory is closed,” Nate informed him.
“Then how do we get in?”
“Like this,” Nate said. He pulled the car up to a locked gate, stopped, then tapped out a number on his cell phone. “Hi,” he said into the receiver. “It’s Nate. I’m at the north gate. Thanks, buddy! Appreciate it. Bye.”
After a moment, a uniformed man drove up from to the other side of the gate, unlocked it, and motioned Nate to drive through.
As they drove up the winding road, rising higher and higher into the lovely, forested hills surrounding the Observatory, Nate explained. “I’ve worked with them before setting up location shoots. They’ve made a lot of money from their contracts with us and they owe me.” He laughed. “Letting me picnic at Observatory on the day they’re closed is a cheap payoff.”
He parked in an empty parking lot near the Observatory and they slowly approached the imposing building, each carrying one of the bags from Nate’s back seat. “Let’s go up this way,” Nate said, leading David to the left up a long flight of winding stairs that led to the rear of the building. Once there, they sat their bags to one side and turned.
They were on the Observatory’s rear patio. Moving to the enclosing stone wall, they stood gazing out over the vista that flowed northward from their high observation point. Spread before David were the Hollywood Hills with the iconic Hollywood sign clearly visible to his right. Nate pointed to their left indicating the city skyline. “There’s LA over there, and further west there’s the ocean. Pretty clear today.” His finger pointed further westward, “That’s Catalina Island over there.”
The view was breathtakingly beautiful and for a long time David simply stood, staring in wonder. There was a gentle haze over the entire area, the cityscape in particular, giving it a look of softness that was almost otherworldly. He had not expected to see Los Angeles in this kind of gentle light. All that he’d heard about this city made it seem harsh and difficult to navigate. But the landscape before him was welcoming and radiated a sense of invitation and acceptance.
“My God, Nate, this is amazing,” David said finally. “Thank you for this. I honestly hadn’t expected LA to look like this.” But Nate had left his side and David turned to see him setting up one of the many folding metal tables that were propped, against the Observatory walls. “Grab us a couple chairs,” he told David, motioning to his right where they were stacked.
They set up their picnic lunch and ate, gazing often at the imposing panorama that surrounded them. “I have to admit that I’m impressed,” David told him. “So beautiful here.”
“It’s one of my favorite spots,” Nate said quietly. “You can see all of LA without being in the middle of all the craziness that living here entails.”
“Are you happy in your job, Nate,” David asked slowly.
Nate shrugged and tossed his napkin to the table. “I’m reasonably happy,” he said, then sighed. “I picked a harder than usual course when I went into documentaries. More room at the top when you do features. The work can be satisfying, at least the artistic aspects can. But all too often I’m stuck just dealing with personalities, and that part is no fun.”
David asked about Nate’s family and discovered that he was the middle of three children. His sister, Bernice, lived in Idaho with her family and his brother, Terrance, was a civil engineer in upper New York state. His retired parents lived in northern California.
“May I ask…” David said, then hesitated.
“Ground rule number one,” Nate reminded him, smiling.
“How did they handle it when you told them you were gay?”
Nate smiled and shook his head. “My dad pretty much ignores it. Mom has no problem with it.” He glanced at David. “They’re good people and they love me, but they’re old-fashioned. I don’t flaunt things when I see them. They never knew Ray or even met him. But then he wasn’t much into families, not even his own.” Nate’s voice lapsed into bitterness as he spoke this last.
“That whole thing still troubles you, doesn’t it.”
“Wouldn’t it trouble you?” Nate asked. “Jesus, the guy could have left me with AIDS!” He shook his head in obvious disgust. “I hate that bastard!” he spat. “Could have fucked up my whole life.”
David nodded in agreement. “I don’t blame you,” he said gently, sensing the weight of this memory on Nate’s heart.
Nate shook his head. “Let’s not talk about that,” he said quickly. “This is our day.” He stood and gestured to his right. “There’s a few trails down there. Want to take a hike before we head back?”
David agreed enthusiastically and before long they were winding their way along sandy trails that led down the side of the high Observatory hill. The beauty surrounding them was only enhanced for David by having Nate at his side, and they stopped many times along the way to simply gaze into the distance and marvel.
Occasionally as they walked, Nate would take his arm and each time he did David felt a thrill of anticipation and a deep longing for more. They chatted as they explored the various trails, talking about family and friends, discussing the documentary and enjoying the beauty around them. Two hours later they found their way back to the Observatory, weary but content.
It was approaching twilight as they gathered the leavings from their picnic and deposited them in the trash. David folded the table and returned it to its spot against the Observatory wall, and then turned to see Nate leaning against the stone railing watching him, his extraordinary blue eyes glowing with an intensity that reminded David of flaming sapphires.
David walked toward him slowly and as he reached his side, Nate grabbed his jacket in a firm fist and drew him close. For a breathless moment they stood staring into each other’s eyes, mere inches separating them. Then with a soft moan, Nate pressed his lips to David’s, kissing him with an almost desperate passion, a passion that David instantly returned.
Again and again Nate covered his mouth with soft, slow kisses that David feared would drive him mad and he returned them with a fierce and passionate hunger. “More,” he moaned against Nate’s mouth. “Oh, Nate…more…please,” drinking Nate in with his open mouth, feeling Nate ardently returning his kisses, inhaling his breath, licking his mouth as though he hungered and thirsted for nothing more on earth.
Their kisses were a joining of the most achingly painful and compelling intimacy. They were a question asked and an answer given. David and Nate both felt overwhelmed by the intensity of their feelings…of their desire. Nate’s arms wound around him and he pressed his face against David’s neck while David’s own arms tightened, crushing Nate’s slender body against his. For a long moment they stood thus, both of them struggling for control.
David had never felt desire this immediate, this demanding. There was nothing alien in the feeling of Nate’s body against his own and he gasped with joy when he felt the hardness of Nate’s arousal against his thigh. He pressed hungry kisses to Nate’s throat, nibbling and licking his skin, totally lost in the intensity of his need…of the need they shared.
After a long moment Nate drew in a shuddering breath and leaned slightly back. “Still want to stay at your motel tonight?” He asked with a small smile.
“No fucking way,” David growled.
They stumbled to Nate’s car, their arms still wound around each other. After climbing in, David turned to look at Nate, and reached immediately for his hand. He couldn’t take his eyes off this beautiful man and his thoughts swirled at the thought that soon they would be together, really together.
Nate turned to him and smiled. “Scared?” he asked, squeezing David’s hand more tightly.
“Eager,” David replied, his voice quavered but he returned Nate’s smile. “And happy. Very happy.”
Nate nodded but made no response and the rest of the ride back to his apartment was nearly silent. David felt no hesitance, no reluctance. This was why he had come here. This was the moment he’d been dreaming of ever since their first kiss under Jefferson’s cherry trees at Monticello. This moment when he would make this extraordinary man his lover.
Once inside Nate’s apartment, David wheeled and clutched Nate close in his arms again, pressing his back against the closed door, kissing him again and again with a fierce passion. He felt Nate’s fingers moving to unbutton his shirt; he shrugged out of it as quickly as possible, his own fingers fumbling to do the same for Nate, wildly eager to feel Nate’s skin against his own.
Then, with their naked chests pressed tightly together and still kissing passionately they half-walked, half-stumbled to the bedroom, falling onto the bed with Nate sprawled underneath David’s body. Whimpers poured from their throats as their kisses grew even more intense and intimate, their tongues meeting in moist caresses as their bodies rocked and thrust together in a vain attempt to find the friction they so desperately sought.
“Wait,” Nate gasped finally. “David, wait.”
He slid his hand between them and tried to unsnap David’s jeans. Sensing what Nate was doing, David reared back and unzipped his jeans, then struggled to remove them along with his boxers while still kneeling on the bed. “Damn!” he muttered, drawing a soft laugh from Nate.
“You know what, buddy?” Nate said with a smile. “We might be better off to just get rid of these.”
Laughing, they both clambered off the bed and helped each other removed their final articles of clothing. Jeans, boxers, socks were quickly removed and dumped unceremoniously onto the floor. Then they returned to bed, Nate on his back and David leaning over him.
Breathing heavily, David stared at Nate’s body, the lean, muscular chest, the firm abdomen, the curve of his muscular thighs. It filled his eyes, and his body responded with an almost violent surge of desire. He quickly covered him with his body, moaning as he moved slowly lower, kissing his throat, his chest, licking and nibbling his nipples, never for a moment sure of what he was doing but driven to his actions by a hunger unlike anything he had ever felt before.
After a moment Nate’s hand covered his and gently moved it to his cock, pressing David’s fingers against the hardness of his arousal. “Please,” Nate whispered, and in answer David closed his hand over Nate’s phallus. He began a slow, deliberate stroke, bending as he did to kiss and nuzzle Nate’s body. After a moment Nate reached to a table beside the bed and removed a small tube from the drawer.
“Try this,” he whispered, and squeezed a generous dollop of lubricant into David’s hand.
David stroked again, helped now by the lubrication. “Oh, God, yes,” he breathed. “Jesus, Nate, I love this!” This wasn’t the first time he had touched another man’s penis and he felt no reluctance, no hesitation, only bliss. This wasn’t a body part. This was touching someone he cared about deeply, this was a way to give him pleasure. Faster and faster David’s hand moved, his own desire growing more urgent as he heard Nate cry out and watched his hips arch to meet David’s hand until finally he cried out David’s name and came, his body clenching in ecstasy until he lay panting and spent.
“Jesus,” Nate gasped at last. “Jesus, David. You’re fucking amazing.”
David smiled in happiness and wonder, his own nearly painful arousal momentarily forgotten in the joy of seeing Nate’s face aglow with happiness from their lovemaking. “Yeah,” he murmured in teasing response. “For a rank amateur.”
“You’re no amateur,” Nate murmured, lowering his lips slowly to David’s cock. David gasped as he realizes what Nate was doing then he saw Nate raise his head and smile.
“Your turn,” Nate whispered, then lowered his lips once again to David’s hard arousal, capturing the distended flesh in his mouth and enveloped him. He could feel David’s thighs quivering against his hand and hear him gasp and moan Nate’s name, but all this came from a great distance, drowned out by the roaring in his ears and the intensity of his need.
His lips and tongue devoured David’s full throbbing erection sucking him deep, then eagerly tonguing the taut surface as he raised his head. Again and again his head dipped between David’s legs until the sounds pouring from his throat became desperate and demanding, and Nate could feel the body beneath him writhing in anguished desire.
“God!” David half-screamed. His fingers clenched in Nate’s hair. “Ohhh God…yes…” he moaned, eyes closing as Nate’s fist closed around David’s saliva-slickened phallus, adding a rhythmic stroking to the exquisite torture of his mouth.
Nate heard him gasp and felt his body stiffen. He could almost taste how close David was to coming, then he felt David spasm hard and heard him cry out. In the next instant he tasted the musky, half-tart flavor of come and his eyes closed, totally lost in sensuous bliss, swallowing every drop.
They lay in this same posture for many minutes, the only sound that of their heavy breathing. Then finally Nate crept up and lay his head on David’s chest and was instantly enfolded and held close.
“Well?” Nate asked, smiling against his lover’s skin. “What are your thoughts on gay sex now? You still think you need that book?”
“This wasn’t gay sex,” David replied slowly, bending to kiss the top of Nate’s head. “This was a trip to heaven.” He tipped Nate’s face up to his and kissed him tenderly. “And I know I still have a lot to learn.”
“Relax,” Nate told him. “I’m a good teacher.” He giggled softly. “You think you’ll be a good student?”
“With you as my teacher?” David asked with a wink. “I’ll be a straight-A student…. Uh, so to speak.”
Nate finally got up and wandered to the bathroom, returning with a towel which he used to wipe away the traces of their spent passion. Then he crawled back into David’s waiting arms. “Glad you decided to stay,” he murmured sleepily.
“Yeah,” David replied, slowly stroking his back. “Me too.”
When Nate awoke the following morning he was surprised to find that David wasn’t beside him. Rising, he donned a pair of sweat slacks and followed the noises he heard coming from the kitchen. There he saw David, dressed in jeans, happily bustling around making breakfast. “Coffee?” he asked Nate, turning with the pot in his hand.
Nate laughed. “Well, you could have woken me up. You’re supposed to be the guest here, not the chef!”
David picked up a wrapper from a fast food breakfast sandwich and waved it at Nate. “Seems to me like you could use a chef!”
Nate sighed and shook his head agreement. “I eat way too much fast food,” he acknowledged. “I just don’t have time for cooking or to eat healthier meals.” He shrugged. “Fast food for a fast life.”
“Worries me that you’re not taking care of yourself,” David said softly. He poured Nate a cup of coffee, then touched his cheek and leaned down to claim a kiss.
“Well, my, my,” Nate said, shaking his head teasingly. “Whatever happened to that staid university professor who had seven panic attacks just thinking about gay relationships?”
“You gave him an education that he couldn’t get in school,” David replied wryly. “Hey trust me, the chicken-shit university professor is still alive and well. This part’s the honeymoon. We haven’t discussed a lot of the more…shall we say…troublesome aspects of gay relationships. Like…for instance…maybe…,” he leaned toward Nate and whispered conspiratorially, “anal sex?”
Nate laughed. “Anal sex? You worried about that?”
David threw him a look as he began to fry eggs and bacon. “I was teasing, Nate,” he assured him. “There’s absolutely nothing that we could do in bed that worries me. I may be a novice but I’m not a virgin.”
Nate laughed again. “Well, one sex act at a time, buddy. We have plenty of time to work our way up to anal sex. But a little word to the wise for future reference… with enough lube anything’s possible.” He winked, drawing another laugh from David.
A few minutes David shoveled large quantities of bacon and eggs onto Nate’s plate and then his own. “Telling my daughters, not to mention my university might be more problematic.”
Nate began to eat, shaking his head. “Relax. Let’s get something to tell them before we worry about making announcements. This relationship’s still only days old.”
David joined him at the table, and began eating his own breakfast. “You’re right, of course,” he said. “No point jumping the gun. Nothing’s been resolved.” He glanced sheepishly at Nate and caught him grinning like a loon.
“Oh, knock it off,” Nate told him with a wry smile. “I may not have proposed yet, but you’re not stupid. You know I’m crazy about you. But we still need to move slowly, don’t you think?”
David nodded and agreed, then devoted himself to his breakfast. He had awakened this morning feeling happier than he could ever remember having been in his life. The night before with Nate had been incredible. He’d never known such desire or such pleasure. It was beyond anything he’d ever experienced. Now, he couldn’t help but look ahead. Was this man part of his future? Was he merely a pause in David’s journey?
He turned his gaze to Nate, marveling at his beauty and his sweetness and felt a burst of renewed happiness when Nate reached across and took his hand. What the hell, David thought happily. If it is a honeymoon, it’s the best one I’ve ever had. I’m going to stop worrying and enjoy every minute.
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