“You think my father would like this tie?” Matt asked, as he picked up one that was pretty flashy. We were at Macy’s doing some Christmas shopping, an activity that seemed to accommodate his hangover and my weirded out state of mind.
“He’d say he liked it, but he’d never wear it,” I pronounced. “Try this one instead.”
He eyed the tie I’d handed him. “That’s boring. I’ll bet he’s got ten others just like it.”
“He’s an interesting guy, who dresses conservatively,” I noted. “This has a slight variation in color, not enough to make a bold statement, but enough to notice.” He shook his head, even as he took the tie over to the service counter and bought it.
“How is it that you know how they think?”
I chuckled. “They’re pretty easy to figure out. They’re a conservative Ohio couple, the country club set. Spend your time in the Ralph Lauren section. They’ll love what you get them.”
“I’m so fucking hung over, it’s making this almost painful,” he moaned.
“I think we’ve accomplished enough for one day. Let’s head back,” I said. He gave me a grateful smile, and followed me back out to my car. “Where did you end up last night?” I asked.
“Dude, I ended up in the fucking gym,” he said with this grin. “Ran into that guy who drives Nana around.”
“Yeah. That guy.”
I raised my eyebrow. “That dude is fucking hot. He’s like a body builder.”
“Yep,” Matt said. “And he’s a total bottom.”
“Yep,” Matt said again. “Ended up in the sauna with him and the dude got me hard, slipped on a condom, and took over. It was fucking awesome until Jeff showed up.”
“What happened?” I asked. I knew Jeff didn’t really like Matt, but I had hoped that would have faded since I wasn’t messing around with him anymore.
“He came in, and saw us, and kind of acted like he’d be into joining us, then he bailed. Said he had to get going.”
“Maybe he was jealous?” I wondered. Were he and Paulo a couple?
“I asked Paulo, but he was as surprised as I was. He said he figured Jeff would just join us. He joked, saying he’s never known Jeff to turn down a hot threesome before.” This was going to bug the shit out of Matt. He hated it when people didn’t like him, and he didn’t know the reason.
“I don’t get it,” I said. “So Paulo was good?”
“A blast. Even his ass is muscular,” Matt said with a leer, cracking me up. “So who did you end up with? My money was on Gathan.”
“Nope, I hit the mother lode,” I said. He looked at me, waiting for me to spill my guts. “Brad fucked me.”
He stared at me, amazed. “With that monster dick? Dude, you must be sore as hell.”
I laughed. “Nope. Took it like a champ.”
He was quiet for a minute, and that made me nervous. “What about Robbie?”
“He doesn’t know, and Brad’s not going to tell him, or at least that’s his plan,” I said. “I told him that I wouldn’t say anything to anyone except you. I promised that you’d keep your mouth shut.”
“So I’m supposed to look at Brad, you, and Robbie over Christmas and pretend that nothing happened?” he asked, being bitchy.
“Yeah. I’m sorry. I guess I should have made you promise not to say anything before I told you, but I figured that I could trust you on this.”
“You saying you don’t trust me?”
I looked at him calmly. “No, I’m saying that I trust you completely, that’s why I didn’t hesitate to tell you, and that’s why I told Brad it would be alright to tell you.”
“Oh,” he said, getting it. “What if this fucks up their relationship? You remember what that was like last year.”
“Do you really think that me having sex with Brad one time is going to ruin their relationship?” I asked him coldly. “So I’m to blame if they break up?”
“No, I’m not saying that.”
“It’s not like I raped him,” I said, even though I had been pretty forward.
“They’re just not at a very good place right now,” he said. “It has nothing to do with either one of us. It has to do with their kids.”
“It has everything to do with them, and almost nothing to do with their kids,” I said.
“Look Wade, I know that you like Will, but you have to admit that all of his drama has put lots of stress on them,” he said.
“Look Matt,” I said, mimicking him to show how pissed off I was, “I know you like JJ, but don’t you think that all of his drama is what is causing the problem?”
“You don’t have to be a smart ass!” he said, almost yelling. Neither one of us said anything until we drove through the gates.
“Here’s the deal. You can be pissed at me, you can be pissed at Brad, but you can’t say shit about this to anyone. That’s the deal.”
“Who says I can’t?” he challenged.
“I do,” I said loudly, getting close to a yell. “I told Brad I could trust you, and that’s why I didn’t hesitate to tell you. So I put myself on the line for you. You blow it, you talk about this, and you betray my trust. It’s that simple.”
“You had no right to do that, to tell him what I would or wouldn’t do,” Matt said, his volume matching mine.
“Then I fucked up. I guess I shouldn’t have told you at all,” I said as I parked the car. “From now on, I’ll remember to keep you in the dark about shit I can’t rely on you not to tell everyone about.” I got out of the car and slammed the door, and all but stormed out of the garage.
“Wade!” he called. I raised my hand in the air and flipped him off, then went walking toward our room, but I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to be here at all. I turned around and headed back out to the garage. I passed Matt as he was walking down the hallway. He gave me a dirty look, as if he were the wounded one, and acted like he was going to block my path. I slammed into his shoulder, knocking him aside. I ignored him when he called after me and got back in my car and went for a drive.
I saw my cell phone ringing, and heard Matt’s ring tone, but I ignored it. I was normally so calm and so composed. It was only with Matt that I completely lost it, and that was because I loved him so much. I knew that, and he knew that, but I didn’t want to think about that right now, because I was too busy being pissed off at him. I didn’t think I was asking too much of him. All I was asking for was his silence. The core problem, though, was that when he didn’t fall into line on that immediately, it hit me hard, and that was because I remembered the deal with Carl, where he’d told Carl my father abused me. I’d worked hard to put that behind me, to tell myself that he had learned from that mistake. Only now, he was threatening, or posturing, that he was going to do it all over again. What he was telling me was that I had to keep shields up around him, that I couldn’t be completely open with him. That was bad. That was very bad.
I was probably capable of adapting to all different kinds of relationships, but the one guy that would be my soul mate, that was the guy that I needed to be completely open with. If Matt wasn’t going to do that, if he wouldn’t be that guy, we could still be together, but the intensity of our relationship, the closeness we shared, was going to get a lot lower. I drove to the Bay and walked out on the trails and wooden walkways they’d erected so people could primarily bird watch. As I did, I felt completely naked and exposed, like I was walking around out there without any clothes on, all because of Matt. He knew so much about me, he knew not just things, but he knew how I thought, how my mind worked. He knew all that, but if I couldn’t trust him, that just made me incredibly vulnerable.
I let myself dig deeper into my psyche, even though there was really no telling what I’d find buried there. I had reacted really strongly to his unwillingness to promise me he wouldn’t say anything, and I had good reason to, but the issue was broader than that. He’d implied that this was all my fault, that I’d been the perpetrator of some heinous act by seducing Brad, and that the future of his relationship with Robbie may be doomed because of me. I wasn’t sure that was right, that I’d have to take all the blame, but I had seduced Brad, I had been almost a predator, and if they didn’t make it, I’d bear some of the responsibility.
Matt had more patience with Robbie than most of us, but even he was having issues trying to understand him at this juncture. He saw Robbie’s pigheaded, stubborn behavior as being completely ridiculous, and as a scream for help. Robbie was his father. It made sense that Matt would worry about him, and want to stick up for him. It made Matt’s reaction to the whole thing totally logical, with one exception. He hadn’t agreed to keep his mouth shut. That was between him and me, and he’d blown it.
God, how I hated this. I hated being vulnerable, and I hated being this emotional. This happened because I’d let myself trust someone, because I’d let myself fall in love. I knew that the benefits, the sheer joy that I got from my relationship with Matt, was worth the vulnerability, but at times like this, when he made me question that, it seemed like it wasn’t. This was the hell I was going to consign myself to if I was going to love someone. This was the price I would have to pay.
I got back in my car and drove back to Escorial, taking my time, and driving the speed limit. It was somehow satisfying to do that, knowing that if Matt were riding with me, he’d be coming unglued at my slow pace. I checked my phone, and noticed that Matt had called me three times, but he hadn’t left a message. I took that to mean he really hadn’t changed his point of view on any of this. I got back and parked my car, then went by Brad’s room. I needed to warn him, I told myself, but more than that, I needed someone to talk to. He was the only other person that I could truly confide in about my issue, with the possible exception of Will. I knocked and heard his deep voice say ‘enter’. I walked into the room and saw him sitting on his bed in sweats and a T-shirt, looking relaxed as he went over some papers.
“Hey there,” he said cautiously. “Are you alright?”
“Not really,” I said, opening up to him. Another person I trusted who could screw me over. I went over and sat on the bed next to him. “I told Matt that we slept together, and he wouldn’t promise not to say anything. You need to know that, and plan accordingly.”
Brad studied me, saying nothing, which made me uncomfortable. “That’s not what’s bothering you.”
“Not entirely. I trusted him not to say anything when I told him, and he wouldn’t promise not to. He breached that trust.”
“This is taking you back a few months, to when he told that guy your father abused you,” Brad said. I stared at him, amazed that he put the pieces together as if he’d been inside my brain.
“It’s a basic issue of trust,” I said lamely.
“You were all worried that our sleeping together would mess up my relationship with Robbie. It really has nothing to do with you,” he said, saying the same thing he’d already spouted off. It largely fell on deaf ears. “If Matt tells Robbie, it really won’t make much of a difference. So in the same way, I don’t want you to let my actions fuck up your relationship with Matt.”
“That’s not the point,” I snapped.
“Exactly,” he said. I smiled at him, getting what he was saying. These things that were happening were deeper than us fucking. For Brad and Robbie, there were too many issues to even contemplate. For Matt and me, the issue came back to one of trust.
“Nice,” I said, teasing him. “You should have been an attorney.”
“I’ll leave that to you,” he said.
“Thanks,” I said. He leaned in and hugged me, and I hugged him back, grasping on to him for some reason, like he was a lifeline to a sane world. We hugged, and it went on for longer than it should, but I didn’t want to let go. He was so strong, so virile, and I felt myself absorbing that energy from him like a thirsty man at a water fountain. He moved his hand along my back in what was supposed to be a tender gesture, but instead, seemed sensual to me. I moved my head sideways and nuzzled into his neck, kissing him gently even as I clung to him.
“Wade,” he said, trying to stop me. “We can’t do this again.” Only I wanted him, and he wanted me. I could feel how badly he wanted me just by holding him. I kissed his neck, and behind his ear, more fervently. He resisted, but only slightly, trying to break off our hug, and then with a load groan, he pulled me away enough to assault my mouth with his.
Last night had been a deliberate sexual encounter, paced to make it last. This time, it was more of a desperate coupling, the kind of sex two men have when they’re grasping for something, anything, to love, to hold onto. It was as if we were moving in slow motion, when in fact we were almost frantic. There was only limited foreplay, but when he entered me, I was ready for him, or as ready as I could be. He slowed down long enough to let me adjust to his huge presence, and then he started fucking me, really fucking me. It was hot as hell, but kind of disappointing, because I knew that at this pace, we’d be lucky if we lasted more than a couple of minutes.
Then he suddenly stopped and pulled out slowly, leaving a huge void where his dick had been. He moved his mouth down to my groin and started sucking on my cock, getting me really hard, and then he straddled me and began lowering himself down onto me. I felt the head of my cock pierce his ring, saw him smile down at me as my dick drove into him. “That feels so fucking good,” he said, the only words we’d spoken since we’d started having sex.
He pinned my arms back behind me, totally immobilizing me, something that really fired me up. To be there with this amazing man on top of me, my dick spearing him in the ass, yet for him to have complete control over me, was a total rush. I surrendered to him, and let him take over. He released my arms, but that didn’t make me feel any less submissive. It was like he still had me pinned down, even as he sat on my cock and gyrated up and down on it. I watched, amazed, as he stroked his huge cock, as he worked his way toward his orgasm. And then he came, with a loud growl, and his load spurted out of that huge monster all over my chest. He worked himself until he was completely spent, then he lifted himself off of me and lay down next to me, sprawling his body partway across mine, smashing his cum between us.
His left hand and forearm returned to push mine down, emphasizing that I was still under his control, while he scooped up some of his load with his right hand and smeared it all over my dick. His hand, lubed by his own load, slid up and down my pole, while I writhed and whimpered underneath him. I felt my orgasm building, and then it was my turn to cry out as I shot my load all over the side of his body, and my chest and abdomen.
I lay there panting, even as he nibbled my neck affectionately, and rubbed my cum and what was left of his all over my body, really making a mess. “Shower,” he said, making me chuckle. We rinsed off quickly, as if we were trying to hide the evidence, then I put my appearance back in order and snuck out of his room. I was lucky that no one was there to catch me like last time.
I went down to the nursery and found the nurse holding Riley. He was being a little fussy, so I took him from her and sat with him in the big rocking chair. I gently held him, his head comfortably lodged against my shoulder, while my brain calmed itself down from this latest indiscretion of mine. I don’t know how Brad figured me out so well, but that man knew how to ignite my whole body. Damn. From a sexual standpoint, he was the best fuck I’d ever had. That led me to compare him to Matt, and that let loose a whole series of emotions. Renewed anger with Matt, more guilt for sleeping with Brad again, and fear; fear that I’d crave the rush Brad gave me, and not be happy with the sex Matt and I had.
“I heard you came back,” Matt said, jarring me out of my thoughts. “I was looking for you.”
“Here I am,” I said, in a neutral tone.
“You want to come find me when you’re done?” he asked. “I really need to talk to you.”
“I don’t want you to yell and bother Riley,” he joked.
“I’m done yelling,” I said.
He walked over and then knelt in front of me, putting his hand on my leg for emphasis. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to freak out on you, and I’d never betray your trust.”
I nodded. “I shouldn’t have freaked out on you either,” I said. “It’s just that that issue is a big deal to me. You hit a sore spot.”
“Because of what happened before,” he said somberly.
“Yeah, because of that,” I said.
He put his head on my leg, and I put my hand on his head, stroking his hair even as I held Riley. I felt wetness on my leg, wetness from his tears. “I’m so sorry,” he said, almost a sob. It was weird, because I wanted to hug him, but I couldn’t, because I was holding Riley. “I wouldn’t have said anything anyway.”
“That’s all you had to say,” I said, stroking his head. “I’m not trying to bust your balls, but this isn’t something you can joke with me about. It’s one of those weird things that come with me. I have to know that I can trust you completely. When you do shit like this, you make me question that.”
“I know,” he said, defeated. He looked up at me, his beautiful lavender eyes demanding that I forgive him, even though he knew I would. “Everyone’s so pissed off at each other all the time and I’m just worried that things will get worse.”
“I get that,” I agreed. “And you’re worried this will be the thing that tips the scales, and ruins Brad and Robbie?”
“It probably wouldn’t help, but it won’t be the thing that ruins them, if that happens,” he admitted. “Robbie is being so fucking stubborn right now and JJ’s like this little psycho dude, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”
“It happened, it was a lot of fun, and I think Brad really needed it,” I said, ignoring the fact that I probably needed it more. What had he released in me anyway? What the fuck was that?
“I’ll keep my mouth shut, and Robbie doesn’t have to know,” Matt affirmed.
“If Brad wants to tell him, that’s his deal,” I said.
“Won’t Robbie be pissed at you for keeping it a secret, and pissed at me if he finds out I knew? If Brad tells him, it makes us part of a lie.”
“Not my problem, not your problem. Brad’s problem,” I said, making it sound like I didn’t give a shit, when I did.
“I guess you’re right,” he said. Riley started to cry, so I tracked down the nurse and passed him off to her, and then Matt and I went back to our room and had make-up sex. It was awesome, but nothing like I’d experienced with Brad. What the fuck did he do to me?
December 21, 2000
“Is Brad meeting us down there?” Matt asked me as we went to Nana’s hotel room to escort her down.
“That’s what he said,” I told him. I knocked on the door, and waited patiently for Paulo to answer it. Nana had insisted on bringing him along. She viewed this trip with a lot more fear than she’d be willing to acknowledge. Just being back in Virginia, in the place where my mother had so much power, had put her on edge. Never mind that my mother was all but a recluse, hiding out at Goodwell, and that Nana was here as my father’s co-host, and thus immune to any kind of force at all. Never mind that it was inconceivable that anyone would spirit the co-hostess of the Senator from Virginia’s holiday party away. But that was logic, and her feelings superseded that, something not unusual at all for Nana.
“Come on in,” Paulo said with a smile. His eyes lingered on Matt in an irritatingly lustful way, probably remembering their fuck, but I ignored that. Matt and Paulo hadn’t done anything wrong as far as our relationship was concerned.
My ruminations about Matt and Paulo were cut short when Nana appeared, wearing a really pretty holiday gown. She was wearing her diamond earrings and necklace, items that she’d inherited from my great grandmother. The last time I’d seen them they’d been on my mother. “You look fabulous!” I said to her enthusiastically.
“Incredible,” Matt added, validating me.
“Why, aren’t you two just the most charming young men ever?” she asked coquettishly, sounding like the quintessential Southern Belle.
“I see you’re wearing the Garrett diamonds,” I said with a grin. They were worth a small fortune. Their last appraisal had valued them at close to ten million dollars, and that had been four years ago when Nana had been committed.
“I sent a demand letter to your mother, requiring that she return them. She obliged me.” We chuckled.
“Are you ready to make your debut back into society?” I teased.
“Bah,” she said, as if it meant nothing. She put one hand through my arm, and her other hand through Matt’s, and we led her to the elevator, with Paulo walking a discreet distance behind us. The elevator whisked us down to the ballroom, where we found my father waiting for us.
“Eulalie, you look terrific,” he said, pouring on the charm.
“Listen to you, Jeff,” she said, in her same flirtatious tone. “You’ve been in politics so long, lying is a habit now.”
He laughed. “Not this time.” He turned to Matt and me. “It’s good to see both of you. Thanks for coming.”
“We wouldn’t miss it,” Matt said.
“Now if you’ll allow me,” Dad said, as he took Nana’s arm, “I’d like to escort my date into our party.”
“Just don’t go thinking I’m one of those easy women you usually pick up,” Nana said.
“I picked up your daughter,” Dad joked.
“As I said…” Nana said.
We formed an entourage around them, making the rounds as they went from group to group, chatting with various people. My father excused himself at one point to talk privately to Senator Lugar, and that left Matt and me alone with Nana. “Dad said he invited James Belleguard to the party.”
“He still running that bank?” Nana asked.
“They merged and now they’re combined with a Boston bank. That’s the bank Trevor works for.”
“That’s the one he got into all that trouble with?” she asked. I’d told her how my mother had bailed him out, and how she now owned his soul.
“That’s the one. I asked Dad to try and get Trevor’s life back for him, but he hasn’t been able to do that. I think Mr. Belleguard is enjoying having that hanging over Trevor’s head.”
“There he is,” Nana said, looking across the room at a portly, balding man. “Let’s go see him.” She was off before I could say anything.
“She’s certainly on her game tonight,” Matt joked. Nana was a social beast before she’d been locked away, but being out in society again, and having a spotlight on her, seemed to energize her.
“Why Mr. Belleguard, how nice of you to attend our party tonight,” Nana said as she approached their group.
“The pleasure is surely mine, ma’am,” he said politely. “Seeing you looking so young and spry gives me hope for the future.”
“I’m sharp as a tack, and fit as a fiddle,” Nana said, then got down to business. “You mentioned that you were going to send someone out to see me after the holidays?”
“I most certainly am,” he said.
“Hopefully this meeting will go better than the one I had,” I said to him curtly, to let him know how annoying that had been.
“I hope so too, Wade. That was really horrible. I wanted to thank you for the letter you sent, explaining why you severed your relationship with the bank.”
“I’m glad you understood my reasons,” I said, even though he’d made no acknowledgement that he had.
“I hope you’re not going to hold that against me,” he said to Nana. “We’d just been through a merger, and they decided to send some Yankees down to tell us how to run our business. We’ve solved that problem.”
“I’ll forgive you for that with one condition,” Nana said. He looked at her, his expression asking her what it was. “Trevor Armistead gets his soul back.”
“I beg your pardon?” he asked. I almost laughed. Trevor really had no soul, so it was reasonable for him to be surprised.
“That whole tawdry affair, with him borrowing money from the bank, and it looking like it wasn’t a loan,” Nana said, spinning it perfectly. In Trevor’s own mind, Trevor had ‘borrowed’ the money and would pay it back, but in reality, he’d just taken it. “It’s forgotten, and you give me proof of that.”
“And we retain management of at least half a billion of your assets?” he asked.
“At competitive rates,” Nana agreed. Belleguard swallowed hard, knowing they’d take a hit on their income from Nana’s money, but he really had no choice, especially with my mother out of the picture.
“I think we can agree to that,” he said smoothly, and shook Nana’s hand. We moved off after that, heading to a different group.
“Thanks, Nana,” I said.
“Trevor’s an idiot, but at least we’ll save him this time,” she noted, quite accurately.
“Isn’t that your old friend, Maybelle Merriweather?” I asked. They’d been ‘friends’ for years, although their rivalry for social prominence had sometimes been less than friendly.
“It certainly is. Look how fat she is. Let’s go say hello.” Nana headed toward her, while I winked at Matt.
“Maybelle!” Nana said with faked enthusiasm. They greeted each other and they gave each other fake kisses on the cheek, just as my mother did.
“Why Eulalie Garrett! Last I heard they had you locked up in some crazy house!” Maybelle clearly couldn’t resist throwing a few jabs Nana’s way.
“And you’ve been here in the Capital,” Nana said. “Who’s been in the crazier house?” That made everyone laugh.
“It’s so nice to see you looking so healthy,” Maybelle noted.
“I feel great, and I’ve got to tell you that it certainly was a great way to lose some weight. I’m lighter today than I was twenty years ago!” Nana said.
“Well that’s just wonderful for you,” Maybelle said caustically. She was probably a good thirty pounds overweight. At least. “I do hope you enjoy your time back in Virginia. Will you be moving back here?”
“I’m not sure what my plans are, but right now I’m enjoying my great-grandson,” she said. “And my grandson,” she added, putting her arm around me.
“I remember when you were just a little boy,” she said to me. “You’ve grown into such a handsome man. And you have such a handsome boyfriend!” She made the reference to Matt in such a way that it was supposed to be polite, and it was, but she was also trying to remind everyone that I was gay, as if that were a bad thing. I ignored her undertones.
“Thank you, Mrs. Merriweather,” I said. “I think so too.”
Brad came down and said hello, then began making the circuit, talking to people who may be helpful in his various business dealings. I kept my eye on him when I could do so without Matt noticing. God, he was handsome. His dinner jacket was perfectly tailored, and he wore the emerald cufflinks that matched his eyes, an accessory that was both extravagant and tasteful. I watched him interact with the men and women that he met, looking confident and self-assured. He reeked of power.
The party was winding down. Nana had already vanished upstairs, as had my father. Matt was talking to Maybelle Merriweather’s grandson Jim, a guy who was rumored to like cock, but who was firmly in the closet. He was tall and ungainly, the kind of guy who would normally not catch my eye, but here, all dressed up, he looked hotter than he normally did. Matt came sauntering up to me, a playful look on his face.
“I think I’m going to go take a walk with Jim,” he said. “You’re welcome to come find me in our room.”
“I’ll be up later on. Have fun,” I said, chuckling. The two of them left, and I scanned the room again and found Brad finishing up a conversation with a congressman.
“You have a good time?” he asked me.
“I did, but I’m done with the party,” I said.
“Me too. It was a good function,” he said. I agreed, and we walked to the elevators together.
“What floor?” he asked as he pushed the button.
“Yours,” I said. He didn’t argue, he didn’t object. The elevator ride seemed to last forever, and we rushed out of it and back to his suite. We didn’t have much time, but we made the most of it, with another amazing sexual ride. When I left his room, I was literally tingling. What was this demon he’d unleashed inside me?