The pace was slow. Making love, when we wanted to, where we wanted to. There were the occasional sighting of people in the distance or on the horizon on boats, but we were pretty much alone. Tony was right, it was hard not to think that there was something we needed to do or somewhere to go. We were just used to….doing something!
“If you don’t mind…” I began as we made lunch. “….we’re celebrating our birthdays tomorrow. Would you mind just if we just spent the day here, alone? There’s a lot we can do here.”
Tony grinned coming up next to me as his arms came around me. “Like?” His kiss on my neck.
I grinned back. “We have some games and a TV that has access to thousands of movies thanks to the Internet and there’s the beach…”
“And…” Tony smiled nuzzling me more on the neck.
I chuckled feeling his hands travel over me. “And there’s that.” I turned to face him, arms going where they knew to go and pulled him closer. “We could spend the whole day in bed.” I said kissing him tenderly.
Tony laughed lightly. “I like that idea the best.” He hugged me and then looked around our villa. “This was a good idea, coming here. I feel the tension ebbing away.”
“No regrets I didn’t plan something…livelier?”
He chuckled. “This is as lively as I want right now.” He kissed me. “If we want more, there’s a town a few miles that way. It looked like it has some active places to go, but right now, you and I are the only people in the world.”
It was nice not to run to do something. Of course we did make love a couple of more times. We did go down to the beach and swam and lay in the sun. The only sign of humanity was the occasional boat we would see in the distance. Oh, and the airplane high above once. The world was still there, just not here. The weather was great. Not hot, but warm. Comfortable. The breeze was nonstop. This was the Mediterranean. I grinned as I felt Tony take my hand when we were lying out, bringing my hand to his lips and then back down. Not that he wanted or needed anything, just to make contact with me. That was love.
He and I both wore sunscreen. Being descended from Scottish ancestry did not protect my lily white ass from burning. And though Tony was naturally a little darker, he could burn too. In the evening we did turn on the TV to watch a movie and just lazed on the large sofa together, enjoying being together until it was time to end the day. His head resting on my chest as he sat between my legs and allowed me to play with his hair. We hadn’t put a thing on in two days! It was very comfortable.
The next morning I rolled over as I woke up, my arms around Tony again. Then I heard him. I rolled back over and there was Bucky. Looking in again, but this time his tail was already wagging. He knew what he’d find here. The little burro was back for more apples. I grinned as I got up and went to the kitchen getting not two, but three apples this time. Going out to the patio, I petted him and fed him the apples as I spoke with him softly. Then I washed up and crawled back beside Tony.
“I heard you washing, so I’m good.” Tony chuckled, but he hadn’t moved, his head still somewhat buried under covers. “I guess Bucky’s fine.”
“Just making his morning visit.”
Tony rolled pulling me to him. “Good morning.” Tony grinned kissing me.
We did dress that day. I had to call someone, I’d made some plans with for Tony’s and my birthday. It was all going according to plan.
Tony slipped his shoes on. No socks. It was casual. Both were dressed in slacks and a loose shirt, his of course was blue. Mine was red. What designer, I don’t know and couldn’t care less. He looked nice. “We’ve been naked so long, this feels odd now.” He pulled on his shirt.
“Being naked is more natural, but frowned on by society as a whole.” I chuckled and then I shrugged. “Of course, next time we can vacation at a place where naked is the dress code.”
Tony shook his head. “Right. I’ll believe it when I see it.” He stood. “So, where are we going?”
Walking over to him, I kissed him taking the keys. “I’m driving.”
Tony’s eyes widened. “Okay.”
It was not far and the restaurant was not crowded, but busy. I went to the hostess, gave our names and we were seated in minutes. Grandma’s Restaurant Liostasi was the name and it was beautiful. Near the water where we could see the evening shine over the shimmering surface of deep navy colored water. The tables were under a covered terrace but open to the air. It was part of a hotel and it had people dining at various tables. What pleased me was Tony and I weren’t the only male couple dining tonight. There were three others. Of course, there was the usual male and female couples, but no one even looked. I know I keep saying that, but it was odd for me, okay? Normally, Tony and I were looked at when we went out. Tony wasn’t shy about showing his affection to me, so I was used to the occasional odd look. Here there were none! It’s odd!!! No one cared!!
Again, no time limits, we dined just enjoying the peace, each other’s company and our meal. Then as the empty plates were taken away. The waiter smiled at me and nodded to someone who walked behind where the waiters came and went from. A girl brought out a cake with one candle lit. No one was going to sing or make noise, she just placed the cake down, left two plates, a knife and forks.
Tony looked surprised. “What? No Happy Birthday song?”
I smiled taking his hand. “I’ll gladly sing for you, if you sing for me, but I don’t know…” I shrugged. “…it seemed a quieter celebration was needed this year. I want you to know…I’ve never loved anyone as I do you. That you made another year, I am so happy you have. I look forward to forty more from you.” I looked at him. “I know from what I’ve read and heard, turning forty is pretty….intimidating. You look back on your life and wonder if things could have been different, should you have done something different? Are you where you’re supposed to be?” I smiled. “I’m telling you, you have nothing to worry about. For what happened to bring you to Charleston, I’m sorry it happened for the attack on the World Trade Center, but I’m happy you came to Charleston. I have the most important human being in my life now. You love me.” I chuckled thinking about it. “I have gotten a rose every week for nearly five years! Why? Because you love me! You’re a success, Tony. There are people out there that would love to have a tenth of what you have.” I saw his eyes begin to tear a little. “I love you, Tony. You’ve changed me. I love you. I love New York, I love Italy, I love Rome. All because of you. This is so close to perfection as I can imagine, like you’ve said before, I can’t imagine Heaven being any better. I’m happy, Tony. Because of you. I love you, Tony. Happy Birthday.”
Now he was crying. So much he had to use his napkin to wipe his face. He chuckled. “I don’t deserve you, Mitch.” He sniffed, then shook his head as I was about to say otherwise. “No, I feel like I don’t. You’re an amazing man. You love so much and so powerfully. You love me!!” He shook his head again. “I tried in the beginning to prove I was worthy of that love. The money, the condo, trips…the cars. You weren’t impressed by that.” He chuckled and then he looked at me. “I did do things I regret doing. I was living a life where it was all about sex and what I felt. Until I met you.” He took my hand and squeezed it. “You showed me what it is to love. Unconditionally and without looking back. I love you so much. We’re never parting.” That last was a statement. Not a confirmation, but just stated fact. “We belong together. God had to be involved in our coming together. No one else, no dating service, no Internet matching…nothing could bring us into this but God Himself.” He got up and pulled me to him hugging me tightly. “I love you, Mitch.” He kissed me, it was passionate and loving. “Happy Birthday.”
Now others were looking at us. Not repulsed, there were smiles on their faces. They could see love when it was there. Perfect strangers could see it.
Sitting again, Tony took the knife and cut. His eyes grew when he saw what it was. “Tiramisu cake!? They made us Tiramisu cake?” He grinned putting a piece in a plate for me.
I grinned. “What? Italy’s right over there.” I pointed over my shoulder. “It wasn’t difficult for them. Not much of a stretch.”
“Yes, but a cake!” Tony marveled. “Not Tiramisu, but a Tiramisu cake!”
I shrugged. “The Internet works here as well. They might have looked it up, but it’s online. Here it is.”
The evening was wonderful. Then Tony grinned. “Now, I want to go dancing!” He stopped the waiter. “Can you recommend a place we can go dancing?” Then he pointed at the two of us. “Guys like us?”
The waiter, who was very Greek, truly was not getting the question at first. “Like you…” then he nodded. “Ah, you mean because you’re a couple?” He said in accented English and waved to the whole island. “Anywhere. There’s Disco 69, Baru Bar, Ios Blue…they won’t even care. There are no set…” he had to think of the words. “…gay bars here? Clubs are everywhere here.”
I grinned at Tony. “I think we may move here.”
Tony smiled back. “We just might do that!”
I hugged the waiter, which he didn’t back away from, but wasn’t expecting. “This is a beautiful island, in a beautiful country with beautiful people. Thank you.” I said kissing him on the cheek.
Tony grinned to the waiter. The waiter chuckled. “What he said.” Tony said and kissed the waiter, too and then grabbed my hand and we headed out. The waiter got a very generous tip.
Finding a dance club or night club wasn’t hard, as our waiter waved to the rest of the island, there were dozens it seemed. So we gravitated to music we liked. It was a resort island and there were hotels everywhere here, so it was a busy town. We ended at Disco 69. What? I love disco! Tony liked it. But that’s where we headed. The cover paid and we were in the middle of all these people dancing and I did see a few couples that were the same gender. So when the song “I Love the Nightlife” began, Tony grabbed me around the waist and flung us both on the dance floor. Then ABBA sang “Dancing Queen.” We danced and danced. Then they began a slow song. I don’t know what song, all I know is when he brought me to him closer, his warmth and scent was intoxicating. Because we had both exerted ourselves the cologne I loved him to wear made his natural scent even stronger and his heat was making me dizzy.
“After all this time, you still take my breath away.” I smiled at him.
“Like you do to me every day.” Tony kissed me passionately.
“You always smell so good, and now…” I grinned.
Tony chuckled. “Why else do you think I’d wear it?” He thought a second. “It should be renamed. How about Mitchnip?”
I rolled my eyes. “I don’t know if there are enough Mitches in the world to merit that change, but it works for me.” I pulled him into another, hungrier and longer kiss.
It was me that had to stop. Just for a minute I said to Tony.
“You were worried about turning forty?” I said as we looked for a table. There was one occupied by a couple, but the table held six so we walked over. “Is anyone sitting here?”
The woman, about twenty-five smiled, petite with brown hair next to a man that was sandy blonde headed. “No, sit.” She waved us down.
“I’ll get us some drinks.” Tony said as he started to walk off.
“Get me…” I began.
He turned back his eyebrows raised. “Something else? You think I don’t know by now what you get?” He gave me a somewhat exasperated look. “White Russian.”
“Sorry.” I grinned to which he nodded, bent and kissed me.
“Forgiven.” Tony said and walked off to get the drinks. He turned again as he walked but kept walking. “Don’t do that again.” He wagged his finger at me grinning.
“You two are so cute!” The woman at the table said to me. Clearly British. “And I’d say you two have been together a while.”
I nodded. “We’ve been together four years.”
The woman shook her head. “You were confusing me there a while.” She smiled. Her boyfriend or whatever was listening, he just smiled at me. “You were dancing so nicely together, those were some interesting variations on the old disco style, but it like you’d done it before a few times, but you have this…” she sought a word, “…newness about you, like it was a new relationship.”
I nodded. “It’s still new for us.”
“But four years is great!” She claimed touching the man with her. “Maybe Stuart should hear this.”
The man, about thirty rolled his eyes. “Stuart won’t listen.” Then he smiled at me. “My brother thinks because he’s gay he can’t have anything permanent.”
“Why not?” I asked not understanding. “We’ve been married for all but the first year.”
“Married?” The girl asked, but interested.
“As married as we can be legally right now.” I nodded as Tony came with my drink and sat. “This is my husband, Anthony Delveccio.” Then I extended my hand. “I’m Mitchell McKenzie.”
“That’s Tony and Mitch to friends.” Tony added shaking their hands.
“Amanda and Bret Michaels.” The man greeted. “We’re on our honeymoon.”
“Congratulations!” I could see they were comfortable together. Now I knew why. “You picked a wonderful location. I love Ios.”
“Thanks.” Amanda smiled. “To both statements.”
“Okay, I’m asking a stupid question.” Bret began, but was smiling. “Can either of you teach me some of those moves you did? Maybe so I don’t step on her toes?” He looked at Tony with a grin and did the seventies move with his arm across his chest and up and then he asked. “You lead, right? Stuart tells me the guy that’s taller usually leads.”
Tony grinned at me. “Well, we both have, but yes, I usually lead.”
“Our dancing is a little different.” I grinned. “There are times mid-dance we switch and the other leads.”
“It sort of evolved.” Tony nodded and shrugged. “Of course, in the religion he was raised in, they were not allowed to dance.”
Amanda’s eyes widened. “Really? Why not?”
I chuckled. “It can lead to fornication.”
Bret rolled his eyes. “Well, sure, but that’s natural.”
I nodded. “It is.”
“You’ve made up for lost time.” Amanda laughed. “You two seem to be in sync.” Then she smiled. “But you sound different. You’re both Americans clearly, but the accents are very different.”
“I was raised in Queens, New York.” Tony replied. “He was raised on a farm in the mountains of the South.”
“Really?” Bret marveled. “But it works apparently.”
I took Tony’s hand. “It does.”
A few more dances and then it was time to go back. Tony drove home.
“I had a good time tonight.” Tony commented with a smile.
“As did I.” I nodded. “This has been a good trip.”
Once back at the villa, we had barely gotten in the door when I grabbed him, pushing him backward to the bed as I pulled his shirt open.
“Couldn’t hold off any longer?” Tony chuckled as my fingers ran up his chest.
“You didn’t want me to.” I growled kissing him in our hungry, devouring way. “That’s why you wore the cologne. The Mitchnip?”
“Yea, I wanted you to.” Tony nodded as I pushed him back on the bed. His fingers in my hair as I sniffed down his chest and unzipping his pants. “I love you, Mitch.”
I grinned looking up at him. “I know.”
Tonight was not so slow or gentle, but full of love.