Rough, Naked and in Love
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by Ryan Field
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: When Carter decides to build a new relationship with dependable, knowledgeable Jeff, he tries to put aside his past and forget the ten magical years of gay marriage he had with his deceased husband, Domenic. He wants to let go of the grief and all the painful emotions, including the imaginary conversations he has with his dead husband when no one else is around. But when Carter and Jeff move from Los Angeles to New York to begin their new lives as a couple, Carter notices a few basic flaws in their relationship. And when they both begin to realize it's impossible for two submissive gay bottoms to have a satisfying sex life, Jeff brings home a powerful sex machine he hopes will solve their problems. At the very least, they won't have to argue anymore over whose turn it is be on top. But when Carter finally wears out the powerful motor in the sex machine and Jeff decides not to replace the machine with another, Carter eventually finds comfort with his new best friend, Bruce, who just happens to be Celeste's handsome young husband from across the hall. Though Bruce is seven years younger than Carter, and an ex-professional boxer, they both seem to have two important things in common: they are trapped in sexless, hopeless marriages and both crave emotional affection. But while Bruce is trying to come to terms with his newfound gay longings, Carter is still trying to let go of the horrible events of his past. And as things become even more complicated thanks to a few unexpected life-altering events, neither one of them is sure what the future holds. Or if the strong passion they've discovered will be enough to build a lifetime of love...
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance/Ravenous Romance, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: March 2011
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [234 KB]
Reading time: 162-227 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
On the horse-and-carriage ride through Central Park, Jeff pointed out famous buildings and sites of interest to Carter. He told Carter where they kept the horses that pulled the carriages, how often the horses were fed, and how meticulously they were groomed each day. Then Jeff explained, in his sincerest, driest, most knowledgeable tone, the way the wheels on the horse-drawn carriages were made, from the first nut down to the last bolt. He even went on to clarify in great detail how the leather-covered buttons on the tufted seats were made.
Carter listened and smiled, nodding his head, tapping his knee. Every so often he'd turn to the right and yawn. He knew how much Jeff loved trivia. Jeff had been researching the horse-drawn carriages that crossed through Central Park since they'd decided to move to New York. Carter also knew how Jeff paid attention to the little details concerning things most people didn't care about. If there was tour of a paper bag or toothpick factory, Jeff was the first one in line. If someone asked Jeff how a toaster worked, he not only told them were to put the slices of bread, he told them how the wires inside the toaster were connected.
Carter was used to all this by now. It was the reason he was with Jeff in the first place. Though he was only thirty-two years old, Carter had experienced enough passion and romance for one lifetime. Not to mention enough emotion. He already knew what it was like for his eyes to roll to the proverbial back of his head; he knew what it was like to have his heart beat so fast he went light-headed; and he knew what it was like to miss someone with such intensity he couldn't move his legs to get out of bed. When he'd met Jeff two years earlier in a Los Angeles bar, he smiled when Jeff had told him how the label on the vodka bottle was made. Then he'd taken a deep breath and sighed. His heart didn't start pounding and his stomach didn't thump. Instead, a sense of calm passed through his body. And he felt safe, for the first time since he'd lost his partner of ten years, Domenic.
When the carriage pulled up to the Plaza Hotel, Jeff was still talking about the leather-covered buttons and Carter was still smiling and tapping. The old guy driving the carriage yawned and turned back to face them. He sent Carter a sympathizing glance and told Jeff, "Hey buddy, we're here. This is The Plaza. Maybe you should finish the story inside, huh?"
Only, Jeff didn't hear him. The poor bastard was so involved in those leather-covered buttons he didn't even know the carriage had left the park.
So Carter smiled at the old driver and tapped Jeff's knee. "We're here, Jeff. We have to get out now."
Jeff looked back and forth with a dumbfounded expression. He adjusted his thick black eyeglasses and said, "Ah well, that certainly was a fast ride." He smiled at the old guy and handed him a tip. "We'll have to do this again sometime soon."
The old guy sent Carter another look and rolled his eyes. Carter smiled and reached out to tug Jeff's sleeve. "Let's go check in. I'm tired and it's getting cold and dark outside." It was early March and the wind had numbed Carter's lips. His face felt tight and dry and his hands had turned red. He hadn't been back east in a while, and he wasn't used to this weather.
But as they unfolded from the carriage, Carter noticed another couple pass by in a similar horse-drawn carriage. It was a young straight couple, and the beautiful young woman was practically sitting on the handsome young guy's lap. Their arms were entangled and their lips almost touching. Her chin pointed down, but she was looking up into the guy's eyes and smiling. The young guy whispered something as he caressed the back of her head. They didn't see Carter; they didn't see anyone else. But Carter smiled at them just the same, then followed Jeff into the plaza without giving them a backward glance.
After they checked in, they took a cab downtown to an Asian restaurant Jeff had researched on the Internet. According to Jeff, this little place had the best dim sum in the world. While Carter ate tiny dumplings shaped like a beautiful swans and frogs, Jeff told him all about the fine art of creating and preparing dim sum. On the way out of the restaurant, Jeff even offered the owner a few suggestions on how he could arrange the tables in order to seat more people. The owner tipped his head sideways, smiled at Jeff, and pressed his lips together with polite indignation. If Jeff had ever stopped talking long enough to notice, this was a look with which he should have been very familiar. Carter stood to Jeff's side with his hands in his pockets, holding back a yawn. He figured it would be wiser to let Jeff tell the owner of the restaurant about how the tables should be rearranged. If he hadn't, he would have had to listen to the story all the way back to The Plaza and he wasn't sure he could keep his eyes open that long. He'd been up since five o'clock Los Angeles time and every muscle in his body was ready to cave in.
When they were back at the hotel, Carter kicked off his shoes and removed his clothes. He left them in a heap in the middle of the floor and went into the bathroom to pee and brush his teeth. By the time he returned, his clothes were folded neatly across the arm of a chair, the bed had been turned down, and Jeff was lining his toiletries on top of a dresser. If Carter's first husband, Domenic, had seen Carter walk out of the bathroom naked in a strange hotel room, he would have chased him across the room, thrown him down on the bed, and parted his legs. But not Jeff Lingenfelder. Jeff didn't even turn to glance quickly at Carter's smooth tan legs and firm, round buttocks. He simply picked up his toothbrush, adjusted his blue paisley boxer shorts, and walked into the bathroom in his black socks. Carter climbed into bed, switched on the TV to The Learning Channel, and adjusted his pillows.
Carter wound up falling asleep in the middle of a TV show that discussed the way English Bobby helmets were made. His eyelids started drooping about the same time they were cutting the felt for the lining of the helmets, and after that he couldn't recall anything until he opened his eyes the next morning.
When Jeff poked him in the ribs, the sun was shining and it looked like a perfect late winter morning in Manhattan. "It's Saturday," Jeff said, reaching down between Carter's legs. "I think it's your turn this week." The giddiness in his tone seemed to outweigh the implications of this rather dismal statement. Evidently, though, he'd been keeping track of whose turn it was.
Carter opened his legs and rubbed his eyes. "Ah well," he said, "I think it's your turn this week, Jeff. It was my turn last week." They had sex on Saturday mornings, once a week like clockwork, unless Jeff went bird-watching. He usually went bird-watching on Sundays, but sometimes his bird-watching group met on Saturdays when there was a rare bird sighting. In which case, Carter and Jeff put sex off for another week.
"Are you certain it's my turn?" Jeff asked. "I distinctly recall it was my turn last week." His voice dropped and the corners of his mouth turned down.
"I'm almost certain," Carter said. Because they were both bottoms, they alternated each week. One week Jeff would be the top; the next week Carter would top. Only, Carter was lying now. Jeff had, indeed, been the top the previous Saturday. Carter remembered Jeff's penis going limp inside his body and they'd finished by masturbating side by side.
Jeff sat up and climbed out of bed. He went to his suitcase beside the dresser and started digging through it. "Looks like the perfect morning for Jolly Roger then," he said, pulling pairs of rolled socks from his suitcase and lining them up evenly on the arm of the chair. When Jeff was excited this way, especially when it came to Jolly Roger, his wrists tended to go limp and he spoke with a slight lisp. Nothing too obvious; just a hint.
Carter smiled and removed the covers from his naked body. He bent his legs at the knee, spread them wider, and reached down with his right hand to fondle between his legs. When he found his opening with his middle finger, he said, "Don't forget the lube." His hole felt tighter and drier than usual that morning. When Carter had been with Domenic, Carter had always been the bottom. There was never any question about it. After ten years of gay marriage, it had reached a point where Carter didn't even need lube to accommodate Domenic. But that was because they'd had sex almost every single day, not merely once a week. Sometimes the sex between them lasted for hours; sometimes it took less than five minutes. Carter could never tell with Domenic. The only thing he knew for certain was he was going to get nailed one way or another.
"Here he is," Jeff said as he pulled Jolly Roger out of the suitcase. He smiled and held up a double-sided dildo with one hand and a tube of lubricant with the other. They referred to this sex toy as Jolly Roger because Jeff had a quiet pirate fetish. This two-sided dildo was about fourteen inches long, embossed with realistic veins and crevices, and had identical dick heads on both ends so two people could enjoy it at the same time.
Although Carter hadn't been in the mood for sex a few minutes earlier, he smiled when Jeff climbed up on the bed and squeezed some lube into his left palm. Jeff wasn't the rugged, determined top guy Domenic had been, but he was sweet, adorable, and eager when he was in the mood for sex. So Carter scooped the lube up with two fingers from his other hand and spread it around the opening between his legs. Jolly Roger could never replace the real thing, but it always left a big smile on Carter's face in the end. When his slippery fingers entered his body and he slid them in and out, his feet went up and his head fell back. And when Jeff went down on his back on the other end of the bed and pressed his knees against Carter's knees, Carter took his end of Jolly Roger and slipped it inside his body before Jeff even found a comfortable position.
But it didn't take Jeff long to get situated. When his ass was only inches from Carter's, he inserted the other end of Jolly Roger into his body, inched forward until at least half disappeared, and started grinding his hips slowly. Then Carter closed his eyes and arched his back. He started jacking with his right hand and caressing Jeff's familiar leg with his left. He rolled his pelvis and fantasized about Jeff being inside him instead of Jolly Roger. Though Jeff didn't have the bulging muscles Domenic had had, Carter had always been attracted to Jeff's lean body, especially the dark fuzzy hair on his legs. He was an adorable man. His body was simple and compact. Jeff had always reminded Carter of the sexy absentminded professor type. His dark wavy hair always had a tousled look, his black eyeglass frames usually tilted a little too far to the right, and his moderately hairy torso had a rugged, natural appeal most thirty-two-year-old guys would have shaved or waxed. Jeff's dick was nice, too. Though not as long as Domenic's had been, it was thick enough to hit all the right spots inside Carter's body. And he had massive testicles. Although, truth be told, that wasn't what Carter considered one of Jeff's best features. Those big low-hanging nuts always seemed to get in the way, and it was almost impossible for Carter to suck them both into his mouth at the same time. All that aside, if only Jeff had been a natural top man their sex life would have been almost perfect.
When the mattress stopped rocking and Carter finally lowered his legs, he saw Jeff's chest heaving and heard him gasping for air. He grabbed Jeff's hairy leg and squeezed it a couple of times. "I'm afraid I made a mess," Carter said. "I shot so far this time it went up over my head and landed on your pillow."
Jeff lifted his head and smiled at Carter. He moved back slowly and Jolly Roger slipped out of his ass. They'd both climaxed at the same time, and Carter could see the wet spots on Jeff's stomach. "What are you doing?" Carter asked. Usually Jeff kept the dildo in for a few more minutes, enjoying the post-climactic sensations. But he seemed eager to get up that morning.
Jeff didn't answer. He crawled on his hands and knees to the head of the bed and started licking the pillow Carter had soiled.
"Oh, you are a pervert," Carter said, pulling Jolly Roger out of his body with one quick tug. He laughed and shook his head, then lowered his legs to stretch them as far as he could. He'd had his entire body waxed in L.A. before he'd left. Though he was fair-haired and smooth naturally, he liked it when every inch of his body was smooth and clean. Actually, it was Domenic who'd liked him this way. It was one of the few traditions he'd maintained since Domenic's death.
Jeff lifted his head and licked his lips. "I'm no such thing," he said. "I like the way it tastes. It's like honey: nectar from the gods, so to speak."
"I'm going to take a fast shower," Carter said, climbing out of bed. "Then I'll order breakfast while you're showering so you won't be late." Jeff had an appointment with his new boss that day. This was one of the reasons they'd moved to New York. Jeff had been offered a great position at one of the leading advertising agencies in the country, a position far too lucrative to turn down.
"I can't wait to see the new place you rented," Jeff said. He'd moved to the foot of the bed and he was sitting on the edge now, with his legs open and his palms resting on his thighs.
"I hope the movers get here on time," Carter said. Then he stepped into the bathroom and closed the door without looking back. If he'd been with Domenic that morning, they would have showered together after sex, especially in a hotel room. They would have soaped each other up, rinsed each other off, and taken turns drying their bodies. But now Carter preferred to shower alone. It was easier that way. All he had to do was stand beneath the hot water and let all his troubles float down the drain. There were no distractions, no highs and lows, no worries about the future. With Jeff he knew what he had: a solid, dependable, decent guy who loved the taste of come and seemed to prefer dildos over real dick. What more could anyone ask for with a second husband? Even if the movers didn't get to their new apartment on time, Carter knew he'd be okay, because there wasn't much that could hurt him anymore.
* * * *
They checked out of the hotel at the same time and shared a taxi downtown. Jeff's appointment with his new boss was at a restaurant in Chelsea and he got out first. When the cab driver stopped, Jeff handed Carter a ten-dollar bill and said, "I'll see you later this afternoon."
Carter took the money and smiled. Unlike the way things were in Carter's first marriage, Jeff and Carter shared all expenses, right down to the last cab ride. They split the rent and all the bills. They had separate bank accounts and checking accounts. They'd even split the hotel bill and the dinner bill from the previous night. With Domenic, all their money had been mingled together the way straight married couples do it. Domenic had been firm about this: he'd insisted from the beginning. But Jeff thought it was easier for them to keep things separate and live more like roommates than a married straight couple. Carter didn't mind in the least. In fact, he preferred to keep things simple. He'd come into a great deal of insurance money after Domenic's death and he liked knowing he had a safety net.
Before he left the cab, Jeff asked, "Are you sure you can handle the bags alone?"
He was talking about the two carry-on bags they'd taken on the plane yesterday. The rest of their things were packed and arriving with the moving men that day. Carter nodded and said, "I'm fine. I can manage. You have a great meeting and I'll see you later."
Jeff patted his knee and said, "If you need me, I'll have my cell." Then he exited the cab without giving Carter so much as a kiss on the cheek.
The driver swung into 10th Avenue and Carter settled back in his seat, hoping he'd like the new apartment. Carter had rented an apartment on the eighth floor of an older building called The Penny Lane, on East 24th Street. The beige brick building was called The Penny Lane because the lobby had been designed to resemble the street from the old Beatles song, Penny Lane, with dark cobblestone paths and fake windows that resembled quaint English storefronts. Though the exterior of the building hadn't been renovated since the 1970s, Carter couldn't resist its retro charm. On the outside it was post-modern drab, almost dreck. On the inside it was old world, early twentieth century.
When he'd lived in New York years earlier as a student, he'd only lived a few blocks away from The Penny Lane building in a walk-up that had been more affordable at the time. He'd always admired The Penny Lane on his walks to and from class. He'd gone to The School of Visual Arts, with their main building around the block on East 23rd Street. This was where he'd met and fallen in love with Domenic. Carter had been a fine arts major, and Domenic has been a struggling model. The day they first met, Domenic had been posing nude for Carter's drawing class.
The taxi pulled up to the entrance of The Penny Lane and jerked to a stop in front of a bus. The cabbie sent the bus driver the middle finger and Luis took a deep breath and sighed. It was hard to believe fourteen years had passed since he'd been a student at The School of Visual Arts. It was even harder to believe he was back in New York now and returning to The School of Visual Arts to teach sculpture in a week at the West 16th Street location. When Jeff had been offered the job in advertising, Carter called an old friend, a former professor in New York, and asked if there were any teaching positions available at his old college. When he found out there was a temporary opening for a sculpture teacher because someone was going out on maternity leave, Carter applied for the job and got it.
In Los Angeles he'd taught sculpting and ceramic sculpture in a small private college for almost seven years. But he hadn't worked as a teacher at all in almost four years, not since Domenic's death. He'd been sculpting and working with ceramics at home to pass the time. Though he was apprehensive about teaching after all this time, a comfortable sensation passed through his body when he thought about being back in familiar territory again.
He paid the driver and gathered his luggage. He introduced himself to his new doorman and crossed into the main lobby of The Penny Lane. He stopped short in the middle of the lobby and looked around for a moment. The dark cobblestones still gleamed and the blue-and-white striped awnings still hung from the faux store fronts along the right wall. Before he turned toward the elevator, he caught a glimpse of a familiar face lurking behind a tall potted palm. He smiled and said, "It all still looks the same."
The image of his late husband, Domenic, smiled and said, "You're going to like it here, baby. Good times ahead." He was wearing those tight low-rise jeans Carter had always loved, the jeans that made passersby glance down fast and look the other way because his crotch bulged so much. And he wore a loose white dress shirt open almost halfway to his waist.
"I hope so," Carter said. "I'm still not sure moving back to New York was a good idea. I'm not as young as I used to be. I'm thirty-two now. There are so many memories."
"That's shit for the birds," Domenic said, with his deep, husky voice. This was one of his favorite phrases. He'd used it all the time when he was skeptical about something. "Memories are everywhere. You can't run from them. You'll be fine here, trust me. You're still a baby."
Then the elevator door opened and Carter turned his head. When he looked back at the palm tree Domenic was gone, as usual. Two young women stepped out into the lobby and headed toward the exit. They smiled and nodded at Carter. He started toward the elevator and smiled back. It always happened when he least expected it. He'd be walking along, not thinking about anything in particular, and then he'd catch a glimpse of Domenic out of the corner of his eye. Sometimes Domenic was wearing the low-rise jeans; other times he'd be wearing a black suit.
Carter knew it was his imagination and he knew it wasn't real. But he couldn't help looking forward to seeing Domenic's handsome chiseled face again. If he concentrated hard enough, he could almost smell Domenic's sweet, musky aroma. Even though he couldn't run his fingers through Domenic's thick brown hair or touch his square, lean chest muscles, it was nice to see all this from across a room or on a busy street corner. Domenic's warm brown eyes could always melt his heart and cause his chest to cave in. There were times when Carter thought these sudden, though fleeting, images of Domenic were what kept him going.
The elevator stopped at the eighth floor, the top floor in the building. Carter stepped out and made a left, then hauled his luggage down to the last door on the right. This part was all new to him. There were no memories here. Though he'd known the building and the lobby in passing, he'd never been inside the apartments. His heart started beating faster when he turned the key and stepped into the hallway of his new apartment. Up until now, he'd only seen photos the real estate agent had sent him.
It was better than he'd imagined it would be.
Beyond the small hallway, there was a powder room. Beyond that, a large living room, dining room area, and a modern galley kitchen to the right that had Brazilian cabinets and black granite counters. Next to the kitchen door was another door leading to a spacious bedroom and bathroom with walk-in closets. The hardwood floors had been refinished and there were three steps at the other end of the living room that led to a small nook for home office space. The back wall of the apartment was all glass, with two large doors that led outside to a terrace the same size as the living-dining room.
Carter set the luggage down in the middle of the living room and crossed to the glass doors. He opened them at the same time and stepped onto the terrace. He looked around and took a deep breath. He closed his eyes and listened to the sounds of the city. He'd been lucky to find this apartment when he had. The previous tenant had been relocated to a new job in Paris and he wanted to be released from his lease. When Carter had agreed to move to New York, the only requirement he'd had was they had to find an apartment with a terrace. After living in L.A. for so long, he knew he'd never be able to survive the city without being able to go outside in his own private space. He didn't care what neighborhood it was, or what floor they lived on. He didn't even care about the view. But there had to be a terrace with enough space to entertain in warmer months and have a container garden.
When he glanced to the left, he had a slight view of the East River. When he looked right, he saw the large clock on the tall building he'd never been able to call by name. He knew the building was famous for one thing or another, but he'd never bothered to learn the name. He made a mental note to mention this to Jeff later. With Jeff's penchant for small details and trivia, he'd not only find out the name of the building, he'd find out every last detail ever recorded.
The doorbell went off and Carter turned. A rugged young man with dark wavy hair stepped inside and smiled. He wore baggy jeans and a black and white plaid flannel shirt. Carter assumed he was the cable guy. He'd set up an appointment to have the cable, Internet, and phone hooked up that afternoon. "I'm sorry there's no TV or phone here yet. But I can show you where to set things up anyway. The movers haven't arrived yet." Carter had studied the floor plans and the photos of the apartment and he knew exactly where all their things were going to be placed.
The guy with the dark hair smiled, then turned back toward the door, placed two fingers in his mouth, and whistled as if he were hailing a taxi. A moment after that, a large brown lab slogged into the apartment and greeted Carter by nudging his nose between Carter's legs a moment longer than he should have.
The guy jogged over to Carter and grabbed the lab by the collar. He jerked the dog's head away from Carter's crotch and said, "I'm not the cable guy, buddy. I'm your neighbor across the hall, Bruce Christopher. And this is Patch. My wife, Celeste, is out with her friends and I saw your door open. Patch usually isn't this excited. He must really like you." His voice was so deep it sounded hoarse. He extended his right arm and shook Carter's hand with a grip so firm Carter almost leaned forward and made a face.
Carter laughed and patted the top of Patch's head. "It's nice to meet you, Bruce," he said. "I'm Carter Townsend. My husband and I are moving in today and I was expecting the movers and the cable guy at any time."