Sleepless in San Francisco
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by Ryan Field
Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
Description: When young Noah Richardson sends an e-mail to the producers of the home renovation show "Dream Away," he has no idea that the host of the show, Jonathan Haynes, will be intrigued and touched by his sad story. Noah, his father, and their black lab, Tucker, have recently relocated to San Francisco to start a fresh new life and heal their wounds. And their house is in dire need of renovation. Jonathan Haynes is desperate to find an interesting house to film for the show. So he gets on a plane and flies to San Francisco the day after he reads Noah's e-mail. But Jonathan soon finds out that Noah's father, Ed, doesn't know about Noah's e-mail and he has to convince him to do the show. The fact that Ed and Jonathan wind up on the living room floor having passionate sex during their first meeting doesn't help. But Ed finally agrees to do the show. By the time construction begins, Ed and Jonathan can't get enough of each other. They start having secret encounters to satisfy their desires, never realizing they are building a solid relationship at the same time. Then a series of events takes control of their lives and changes them all forever. Ed's not sure what to do. He's in love with Jonathan, and he can't get enough of Jonathan's body. But he feels guilty about starting a new relationship with anyone. So he wrestles with the conflict and begs for a sign to help him decide what to do, which leads to a surprise ending that none of them could have predicted.
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance, 2009
eBookwise Release Date: October 2009
98 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [237 KB]
Reading time: 158-221 min.
Ed said his final goodbye on a Sunday morning in early September, one of those crisp, late summer days without a cloud in the sky. Ed and his son, Noah, had driven out to East Hampton to visit the grave of Ed's deceased partner, Jake. He had been gone for more than a year, but it didn't feel that long.
Ed stood next to Noah in front of a dark gray headstone that had a hot air balloon carved in the center, his hands clasped together and his eyebrows furrowed. Young Noah kept looking up at him with wide eyes and pinched lips. Noah's head tilted all the way back, because he was only half Ed's size. But they both had the same ash blond hair, the same slightly bowed legs, and the same strong chin.
A familiar blowing sound was approaching above their heads. There was no other sound like it. It whished and echoed and rushed. It was loud enough to make them both look up at the sky at the same time, and yet they didn't see anything at first. Noah shielded his eyes from the bright Long Island sunshine with his hand and looked to the left. Ed put his hands in his pockets and looked to the right.
A moment later, the noise grew louder. And Noah pointed to the sky and said, "Look, Dad. They're passing right over us."
When Ed looked up and saw that a cluster of hot air balloons was crossing over the cemetery, he smiled for the first time that day. There were too many to count: hundreds. They dotted the blue sky with the colors of the rainbow, some had stripes and some were solid. From a distance, they reminded him of upside down toy spin tops suspended above tiny, dark specks. He placed his hand on Noah's shoulder and said, "I'll be damned." Then he ran his fingers through his hair and shook his head back and forth.
Noah leaned into his father's side and smiled. "Do you think it's a sign, Dad?" he asked. "Maybe Dad's trying to tell us something." He'd always called Jake "Dad," too. Noah's mother lived in France, and Jake had been the only other parent he'd known.
"I don't know, buddy," Ed said, "But if I were the kind of guy who believed in signs and things of that nature, this would be a good example of one." His deceased partner had loved hot air balloons. He was always bugging Ed to go for a ride in one, but Ed had a fear of heights. So Jake had gone on balloon rides with friends instead. And he'd collected small models of them for years. And now his collection was packed in boxes that were sitting in a storage unit up in the Bronx.
They stood there watching the balloons pass until the last one was completely out of sight, and then Ed took a deep breath and said, "I guess we'd better get moving, buddy. We have a plane to catch this afternoon."
They were leaving New York for good. He'd closed his veterinary practice in the Village and he'd sold the townhouse in Turtle Bay. Their house in East Hampton had been rented for a year. Without Jake around, nothing was the same anymore. And they didn't have any extended family. So he'd decided to move to San Francisco--as far away as possible--to make a fresh start.
Noah stared down at the granite headstone and frowned. He reached forward and placed his right palm on the top and held it there for a moment, then turned to his father and said, "I'll wait for you at the car, Dad."
"I'll be right there, buddy," Ed said. Evidently, ten-year-old Noah was smart enough to know he wanted to be alone for a few minutes.
When Noah was gone, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small rock. He wasn't Jewish, but a Jewish friend of his had once told him to always leave a rock on top of a headstone when you visit a grave because it was a sign that someone had been there. And Ed knew he wouldn't be back for a long time. So he placed the rock on the headstone and said, "Take care, Jake. Thanks for the balloons this morning. I wish I'd been able to go up with you just once."
As he turned to leave, his eyes filled with tears. But when he looked across the lawn and saw Noah leaning against the car watching him, he tightened his lips and squared his shoulders. He had to be strong. The past year had been hard on his son. Jake had died suddenly in an automobile accident, and they were both still in shock. So he shoved his hands into his pockets, loped back to the car, and sighed.
His life felt so disorganized. It wasn't even his car. He'd borrowed it that morning from his best friend because his Range Rover had already been shipped.
A few hours later, they were back in Turtle Bay to do a final walk-through of the townhouse. Tucker, Noah's black lab, was there to greet them at the door. When his nails clicked on the wooden floors, the sound echoed through the empty rooms. Their lives had already been shipped out to the West Coast. The only things left were a stack of brown leather suitcases in the living room and a chipped soup bowl filled with water in the kitchen for Tucker.
A woman's voice called down from the second floor. "Are you guys back?"
"We're here," Ed shouted. His best friend, Lisa, was upstairs. She'd been there all morning supervising a cleaning service so Ed and Noah could drive out to East Hampton. Without her, he wasn't sure if he would have been able to survive the last year.
She came rushing down the steps, a short, thin woman with long blond hair and bright blue eyes. She wore tight jeans, a black leather Donna Karan jacket, and black high heels. When she reached the bottom step, she kissed Ed on the cheek and grabbed Noah's hand. "Can I take him out to lunch?" she asked. "It's the last time I'm going to see him for a while, and I want him all to myself."
Noah looked up and smiled. "Can we take Tucker, too?" He'd already attached a leash to the dog's collar, and Tucker was wagging his tail.
"Sure, kid," Lisa said, brushing the top of his head with her fingertips. "We can go to that little place on the avenue with the red and white umbrellas and sit outside."
"Hold on," Ed said, "I don't know if there's time. Maybe we should just wait until the cleaning guy leaves and have something at the airport." He knew they had to arrive extra early to get Tucker into his crate and safely boarded.
"But it's his last chance to have lunch here in New York, the only real city in the world," Lisa said.
Noah gave him a pathetic look and said, "Please."
Ed smiled. Lisa knew the move to San Francisco was the best thing for them both, but that didn't mean she was happy about it. She really did believe New York was the only real city in the world. "Just get back here in an hour," he said. "The plane leaves in three hours, and you're the one driving us to the airport." * * * *
Jonathan Haynes never had a problem finding a boyfriend. His hair was dark brown and straight, he got up at five each morning to work out at the gym, and people often told him he reminded them of a younger Keanu Reeves. He'd always dated one man after the other without giving it a second thought, and would have continued that way if he hadn't met Mike Sanders on the beach in Provincetown the previous summer. Mike was the serious type, a handsome, refined man in his mid-thirties who was ready to settle down in a monogamous relationship. And he wanted to do this with Jonathan.
It wasn't that Jonathan wasn't ready; he just wasn't sure he wanted to settle down with Mike.
He was always honest with Mike, too. He'd never officially committed to anything but dating. But Mike was one of those guys who called all the time and devoured his entire life. He took over his Facebook page and poked him; he Tweeted him on the hour. He also owned an established public relations firm. So he had the money to buy him expensive gifts and to take him out to fantastic restaurants all over New York. But there were two inherent problems at the root of their relationship that kept Jonathan up late at night staring at the ceiling.
One problem was that Mike tended to be slightly effeminate sometimes. He wasn't a flaming queen, and his wrists weren't limp. But every now and then he did this weird, almost-curtsy thing when he met someone new. And sometimes he spoke with a lisp. This wasn't a character judgment on Jonathan's part. Some of his best friends were extremely feminine. It's just that when it came to dating, he preferred men who didn't extend their pinky fingers and didn't shave their legs every day.
The other problem with Mike was in the bedroom. They never actually slept together because Mike preferred to sleep alone. And if the sex between them had made Jonathan's mouth water like the filet mignon at Le Cirque did, Jonathan imagined that he could have fallen in love with him. Mike was tall and lean, his hair was thick and blond, and he had a massive penis. But they were both bottoms. And when Jonathan quietly pointed this problem out to him (he knew who he was) one night after dinner in late October, Mike clenched his fists and swore up and down that he was versatile in bed, and that he could indeed be an excellent top guy. Then he dropped his pants, yanked out his big penis, and told Jonathan to get undressed and bend over.
Jonathan smiled and did what he was told with a huge smile. He tore off his clothes, got down on the floor on all fours, and spread his legs as wide as they would go. He was smaller than Mike, and his body was lean and wiry. He knew how to spread his legs and arch his back in an exaggerated way that most men couldn't. When Mike grabbed his hips and pulled him back, he closed his eyes and prepared for the mount. And when Mike covered his penis with a lubricated condom and pressed the tip to his opening, he took a deep breath and sighed. It had been a while, and there were few things in life Jonathan loved more than this.
But the moment Mike entered his body, his lips turned down and he stopped arching his back. Mike didn't grab his hips and squeeze hard like some guys; he touched them lightly with the tips of his delicate fingers instead. It was just like all the other times they'd tried to do this. So while Mike tried to buck his pelvis, Jonathan opened his eyes and looked at the clock on the nightstand to see how long it would take. The time before this it had only lasted five minutes.
This was bad. Mike bucked his hips without a set rhythm; he pushed in and out with awkward jerks and painful thrusts. His penis didn't slide in and out with ease. It invaded Jonathan's body with sharp pokes and misplaced moves. And the harder he tried, the worse it became.
Three minutes later, they both climaxed and Mike pulled out. Then he smiled and said, "See? I can be a top when I have to be."
Jonathan raised his eyebrows and forced a smile. "Ah well, I see that," he said. But the words when I have to be repeated in his head for a long time.
Then late one Friday night in early October, Jonathan stumbled across an e-mail that raised his eyebrows. The subject line of the e-mail read, "Sleepless in San Francisco." Jonathan worked in television as the host of a show on a do-it-yourself home improvement channel. His show was called Dream Away. The premise was that people planning to do extensive home renovations sent e-mails to the producers for a chance to have their home makeover televised. The show followed each step of the project from the initial demolition to the final result. Dream Away was now in its fifth season, and still the number-one show on the network. Jonathan's producer usually scanned the e-mails, then forwarded the most interesting ones to him for his opinion. He thought he'd read everything, until he read this one.
Dear Dream Away,
Me and my Dad just moved to San Francisco and my Dad's changing the whole house. We used to live in New York in a really nice place, but we moved away because my other Dad died in a car accident last year. We had a lot of friends there, but we don't know anybody here. My Dad thought he'd be able to sleep better in another city. But that didn't happen. So my Dad bought this big old house without seeing it first and we moved here. This place is falling apart. The other day my dog Tucker jumped off my bed and the light on the ceiling in the room under us crashed to the floor. The bathroom floor has a hole so big you can see all the way down to the kitchen. The whole place is falling down around us. But my Dad says by the time he's done with this place, he's going to make it the best house in San Francisco.
I'm a big fan of your TV show and I wanted to let you know about what my Dad is doing in case you're interested in putting us on your show. I think my Dad would sleep better if the house wasn't so bad. I know it won't bring back my other Dad who died, but it might help. I know me and Tucker would sure sleep better if that hole wasn't in the bathroom floor. And my Dad might start to feel better again.
Jonathan read the e-mail two more times, then called his producer at home and told him he wanted to fly out to San Francisco to meet with the father of the kid who had written the letter. And he wanted to do this immediately. The show was set to begin production for a new season soon, and they still hadn't found an interesting home renovation to document. They'd received thousands of e-mails, and had narrowed the prospects down to two possibilities. One was a young family in Portland, Oregon, renovating a 1960s split level, and another was a retired couple in New England renovating a barn. But as far as Jonathan was concerned, both were as interesting as a glass of prune juice. One of the reasons his show had become number one was that the people on Dream Away were always just as interesting as the actual home renovations. According to his most recent contract, Jonathan had the final say as to who they would be.
When the producer pointed out to him that he didn't have an actual address in San Francisco, Jonathan waved his hand and assured him he'd get one. Then he hung up and replied to Noah's e-mail, asking for his contact information so he could speak directly with his father.
But Noah didn't reply. And Jonathan couldn't sleep that night. The thought of doing a show in San Francisco with a widowed gay father who had a young son made his heart beat so fast he could hardly close his eyes. It was relevant; it was warm; it was perfect for his viewers.
So the next morning he booked a flight, packed a bag, and took a taxi to the airport. He didn't even know where he was going until he finally landed in San Francisco and checked his BlackBerry. He'd just sat down in a rental car when he noticed an e-mail with a subject line that read, "Sleepless in San Francisco." It was short; just an address and no telephone number.
Jonathan quickly sent a reply and asked for a phone number so he could call Noah's father. He checked out the address on his iPhone, then sat in the rental car eating chocolate for almost a half hour, waiting. But Noah never replied. So Jonathan started the engine and put the car in gear. He took a deep breath and sighed, then headed to an address located in the Forest Hill section of San Francisco.
By the time he arrived at Ed's and Noah's house, it was after seven o'clock on Saturday evening. When he clicked off the engine and opened the car door, he straightened his shoulders and walked up a long spiral path that had been laid with red pavers. He stared up at the house and smiled all the way to the door. It looked to be one of those huge, old Mission-style places built in the 1920s, with an arched portico, clay roof tiles, and beige stucco. But the shrubbery was so overgrown he couldn't see the front windows, and the lawn hadn't been mowed in weeks. He looked back and forth, up and down, and lowered his eyebrows. It was perfect for the show.
And best of all, there was a cracked sign over the front door that read, Mi Casa de Mis Sueños. Half of the "s" in Casai was missing, and the Mis was hanging lopsided. Jonathan's eyes opened wide and he smiled. Then he reached for a tarnished door knocker in the shape of a long, thin greyhound and tapped it three times. He spoke a little Spanish, and he knew the sign over the door translated in English to My Dream House.
A second later, the front door opened and a humongous black lab lunged at him. He jumped up, placed his huge paws on Jonathan's shoulders, and licked his face. A man in his middle thirties opened the door wider and looked him up and down. Then he grabbed the dog by the collar and said, "Tucker, get inside now."
The dog jumped down, lowered his head, and clomped back into the house without hesitating. Jonathan wiped dog saliva from the side of his face and said, "He sure is friendly." He loved all animals, especially dogs.
The guy frowned and said, "A little too friendly." He was wearing long, baggy camouflage shorts, flip flops, and a loose V-neck undershirt. His sandy blond hair was cut short and looked as if it hadn't been combed all day. It also looked as if he hadn't shaved in two or three days. But it suited him well. He didn't look unkempt, just comfortable and casual. At the end of a long, dark center hall, a little boy with wide eyes watched the man's back.
Jonathan smiled and extended his right hand. "I'm Jonathan Haynes," he said, "I'm the host of the television show Dream Away and I'm here about an e-mail your son sent my TV show regarding your impending home makeover. I'd like to discuss the possibility of filming the entire renovation with you for the show."
But the guy didn't reach out to shake his hand. He ran his palm through his messy hair instead and said, "I assure you I have no idea what you're talking about, buddy."
Jonathan looked past him and asked the little boy, "Are you Noah Richardson? The one who wrote the e-mail titled, 'Sleepless in San Francisco'?" Then he looked at the father and said, "I've been going back and forth with your son with e-mails about your home renovation."
The guy put his hands on his hips and looked back at his son. He lowered his voice and said, "Noah, what's this all about? Have you been e-mailing this guy?"
Noah stared for a moment, then sank into his shoulders. He slipped to the right of the doorway and disappeared with a very guilty expression on his face. The dog groaned a couple of times and followed him.
Jonathan smiled. He knew he'd have to work hard to explain all this. He was glad he'd worn his tightest jeans that day, the ones that hugged his ass and accentuated the natural arch at the small of his back. So he purposely dropped his briefcase. When he turned to pick it up again, he knew the guy was watching him. He bent down slowly and spread his legs wide. And when he rose again and turned to face him, he lowered his head and raised his large brown eyes. "I came all the way from New York just to talk to you," he said. "Won't you please just give me a minute of your time?" He wasn't above begging; he wanted this house on the show.
The guy took a deep breath and frowned. "You can come in for a minute," he said, "but I can tell you that I'm not interested in having my home, my life, or anything filmed on television." Then he stepped to the right and said, "I'm Dr. Ed Richardson. I'm a veterinarian."
When Jonathan stepped into the hallway and said, "It's nice to meet you, Dr. Richardson," a large white SUV pulled into the driveway and honked the horn. Noah came rushing through the hallway, carrying a backpack, and screamed, "See you tomorrow, Dad." Then he raced past them both and crossed to the SUV before Ed could grab him.
Ed waved at the man driving the SUV and shouted to Noah, "Thank you very much, Noah. We'll talk about this tomorrow." But Noah didn't hear him. He'd already jumped into the back seat and slammed the door. Ed ran his fingers through his hair again and said, "He's spending the night with a friend from school. Let's go into the living room. But I don't want to waste your time. My son shouldn't have sent you those e-mails without asking me first."
When they were in the living room, Tucker jumped up on the sofa and rested his head on Jonathan's lap. Jonathan noticed a walnut baby grand piano in a far corner of the large room. It looked expensive. The furniture looked expensive, too, but the wallpaper was faded and torn, the floors were stained and scratched, and the only window treatments were flimsy brown shades with frayed edges. Ed sat on a white wing chair beside a walk-in fireplace made out of limestone with hand-carved swirling grapevines. Ed scolded the dog for being on the sofa, but Jonathan ran his palm down Tucker's head and said he didn't mind at all. Then he opened his briefcase and showed Ed the e-mail Noah had sent. He explained why he was there and that he wanted to begin production quickly. He also told Ed that he was so excited about filming his project that he'd actually flown out himself to see it, which was something he never did.
Ed tried to be serious, but he couldn't help laughing at Noah's e-mail. "I'm going to have a serious talk with him about this," he said. "But the kid did write a damn good letter."
"He seems like a really cool kid," Jonathan said. And he wasn't just saying it. They both seemed like decent guys.
Ed shook his head and laughed again.
Jonathan noticed his legs were slightly tanned. He should have been staring at the cracked wall over the fireplace or the scrappy floors that needed refinishing, but he couldn't take his eyes off Ed's sexy, hairy legs. They were knobby and rugged and slightly bowed. He had the urge to go down on the floor and rub his face against them. He clenched his fists and tried hard to focus on business. He was usually in control, but there was something about Ed that caused a lump in his throat and made his legs weak. His stomach had never jumped and turned so much in his life.
Ed seemed just as distracted. When he spoke to Jonathan, he stared between his eyes and his lips and didn't seem to know he was doing this. He wasn't mad anymore, but he kept repeating that his son had made a huge mistake and that he wasn't interested in having his house on the Dream Away television show. But his voice wasn't as firm as it should have been, and there were long, awkward pauses in the conversation that Jonathan hadn't expected.
When a police car passed the house with its siren blaring, Tucker jumped off Jonathan's lap. His briefcase flew through the air and the contents landed all over the floor near Ed. He went down on his knees to retrieve the mess, and Ed reached down to help him. Ed's legs were spread wide. There were papers next his left foot; the BlackBerry was next to his right foot. And four packages of condoms had landed on the chair, right between Ed's legs. They both reached for the papers at the same time, ignoring the condoms. Jonathan accidentally grabbed Ed's hand. Ed stopped moving. His hands were large and his fingers were thick. Jonathan squeezed harder and he didn't pull away. Ed clutched the arm of the chair with his other hand and looked him in the eye. "Tucker has a problem. He freaks out when he hears sirens. He'd chase them down the street if he wasn't in the house."
"Ah well, Dr. Richardson," Jonathan said. He wouldn't let go of his hand.
"C-call me E-ed," he stammered.
And while Tucker continued to bark and howl at the front window, Jonathan's head went down between Ed's legs and he pressed his lips to his crotch. He opened his mouth and gently bit the soft, cushiony bulge protruding through the fabric. When he closed his eyes and inhaled, Ed's camouflage shorts smelled fresh and clean. He looked up at Ed's face for a moment to see his reaction. His head was back, his eyes were closed, and his mouth was open. So he pulled down Ed's zipper and reached inside his shorts.
When he pulled his penis through the opening of his boxer shorts, Ed spread his legs wider and sat all the way back in the wing chair. His penis went from a semi-erection to a full erection in seconds. Jonathan held it in his palm and wrapped his lips around the head for a minute, then placed both his hands on Ed's thighs and swallowed the entire thing. It was about seven inches in length, but it was thicker than most. Jonathan had to open his mouth extra wide to take it all to the back of his throat. And when he pressed his tongue against the bottom of the shaft and began to suck, his mouth was so filled with flesh his cheeks barely indented at all.
But Ed's unusual girth didn't stop him from bobbing his head up and down as fast as he could. He was forced to take short breaths through his nose; his face felt hot and flushed. His hands went up under the camouflage shorts and he squeezed Ed's hairy thigh muscles hard. This was the first time in his life he'd ever felt such wild, irrepressible rush of energy with another man.
Ed must have been feeling the same way, because he grabbed the sides of Jonathan's head and lifted his face. He stared at him for a second, then stood up from the chair. When he pulled Jonathan up, he wrapped his arms around his body, and kissed him on the mouth. His chest heaved; his thick tongue filled his mouth. Jonathan rested his palms on Ed's shoulders and leaned back in his arms. Ed stopped kissing and bit his chin, then he went lower and started sucking his neck. Jonathan's head went back and his mouth fell open. Ed's heavy beard sent shocks of pleasure from his toes to his eyelids. He applied so much pressure to Jonathan's neck, there were suction noises coming from the sides of his mouth.
Jonathan finally reached down and wrapped his hand around Ed's erection, then he took a deep breath and whispered, "Don't stop."
After that, everything happened fast. Ed took complete control. He reached down to the chair for one of the lubricated condoms that had fallen out of Jonathan's briefcase and lowered him to Persian carpet on the living room floor. Then he pulled Jonathan's pants down to his ankles and rolled him over so he was face down. He pulled the cushion from the white chair and shoved it under Jonathan's stomach to lift his pelvis. It only took seconds for him to remove the condom and cover his penis. He didn't bother to remove his camouflage shorts or his V-neck undershirt; he didn't even take off his flip-flops.
When he climbed onto Jonathan's back and pressed the tip of his erection to his hole, Jonathan arched his back, stretched his left arm forward, and grabbed his own erection with his right hand. There was a brief moment of initial pain; he grabbed a handful of fringe on the carpet with his other hand and bit his bottom lip. But then Ed's penis slipped all the way into his body without a single hesitation or a moment of awkward discomfort. There was a second of pain, but it didn't last long.
Ed didn't take his time. He bucked his hips so fast, Jonathan's head wrenched up and down. But surprisingly, Ed's rhythm remained steady and even, and each time he went deep he took a deep breath and grunted. His penis stroked Jonathan's insides with such rapid sensations Jonathan began to edge before he even realized it was happening.
A few minutes later, they both climaxed at the same time: Jonathan came on the carpet and Ed filled the condom. Jonathan closed his eyes and his body went limp, then Ed rested all his weight on his back and sighed.