I could drive a tractor at twelve, a car a year later, legally a few years more, but driving Tony’s car made me nervous. Tony didn’t seem stressed about it, but I did my best. I was almost too cautious. He had me adjust the mirrors and seat, even the steering wheel, then hit a button on the console to save those settings. My settings.
We had a nice dinner at some restaurant downtown, but it was Friday night, so there were a lot of people on dates and various things.
I woke as the alarm went off. Hitting the clock, I silenced it and got up with a struggle. My hip was hurting. The hip I had been shot in. Grandpa could tell when it was going to rain when he had an ache, now I could too. I stretched my leg and did some squats not realizing I was being watched. Tony and I didn’t usually wear anything to bed, it was easier after we’d had sex to just go to sleep.
“That’s some interesting movements.” Tony said a little muffled from under the covers.
Looking back, I smiled at him. “Well, I have to.” I explained going back to my stretches. “My hip was pretty well destroyed. The ball and socket were shattered and I had a replacement. If I don’t it’ll hurt much more.” Then feeling my hip loosen up, I went over to him. “I need to shower and get to work.” I kissed him gently. “What are you doing today?”
Tony shrugged as he stretched. “Go see Nick. It’s Saturday, so nothing’s open for me to find work. I’ll just take it easy.” Then he pulled me down on the bed with him. “But you have time for a little love?”
I grinned. “I’d love to, but it’s gotta be quick.”
“We’d better not waste time then.” He kissed me passionately.
It was a nice way to start a day.
As I showered Tony came in to pee. “I’ll make dinner tonight.”
I pulled the shower curtain back. “Another Italian meal?”
Tony shrugged. “Is there anything else?” He grinned. “You won’t be disappointed.”
At work it was just a daily routine. People were checking out and the front desk was busy. I had to help at times. Supervise the housekeepers and instruct what needed doing that was not usual, as in more than just making up beds and vacuuming the floor. Then a florist came in about 2pm which I really didn’t notice other than who they were. We often got deliveries for guests celebrating anniversaries and various occasions.
“I have a delivery for Mitchell McKenzie.” The man said to Tracy. She as a young woman going to the College of Charleston that helped at the front desk.
I raised my head as Tracy pointed to me. “I’m Mitchell McKenzie.”
The man smiled at me. “Well, this is for you.” He brought over a half dozen red roses! Not a full bouquet, but they were pretty. He handed the vase to me and his clipboard which I signed thinking. He didn’t. But he did. I grinned as I looked at them, but looked at the little envelope. Opening it I pulled the card.
T loves M. Sniff me.
Smiling at what I saw, I raised the card to my nose. On it was the clear smell of Tony. It wasn’t just his cologne, it was, but there was the definite scent that said Tony. I guess I was smiling much bigger than I realized. Tracy was smiling at me enjoying my happiness.
“From someone special, apparently.” She commented. She knew about a man in my life. Most everyone at the hotel had heard the gossip. I told Tony the news would spread faster than any memo or email.
I nodded. “Very special.” I said softly. Tony was right, Italian men, especially this Italian man, was very romantic.
She smiled. “I can tell. You’re a lucky man.” She said enviously.
I didn’t break any laws getting home. Well, not more than usual. Speed limits were viewed to me as more of suggestions. I pulled into my driveway and walked in the house and sniffed. Now, it wasn’t Tony, but this wonderful aroma of something…I could smell garlic and bread…I walk in the kitchen where Tony smiled at me.
“Welcome home, Tesoro.” He kissed me. “That’s darling in Italian.”
I was never that big on pet names, but when he used it, it was very nice. “Tesoro. That’s new.” I looked at a huge pot as it boiled. “Are we having spaghetti?”
Tony rolled his eyes. “The first practical lesson, in Italian families, it’s not spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. It’s macaroni and gravy.” He grinned. “But no. This is baked ziti with sausage.”
I nodded enjoying our contact. “Got it.”
Tony smiled. “I know you do. Once the ziti is done, I need to bake it. That will take about an hour, maybe less.” He pointed to some bread he had ready. “Garlic bread will go in towards the end to be hot.” Then he looked at me cautiously. “You do like sausage, don’t you?”
I nodded. “I do.” Then brought him back for a longer kiss. “Thank you for the roses and the card.”
Tony blushed again. “So it worked?” He smiled. “Was my scent on it?”
I nodded. “It was. I caught it right off.”
Tony sighed with relief. “I wasn’t sure. Where I rubbed that card…” he waggled his eyebrows. “You said the strongest scent was in my pubes, so I rubbed it there.”
“Not in the florist’s shop I hope.”
He gave me a guilty smile. “Anything for love.” Then he shrugged. “No one saw me.” Then he shook his head. “What is it you smell? I smelled it and got nothing.”
I chuckled. “Of course you didn’t. It’s your scent. Everyone has a scent. You’ll notice it at first the first time with someone. Or even a family. You walk in a house and that smell greets you. A unique blend of smells. Most people stop smelling it after a few minutes. For some reason, yours doesn’t.”
He nodded. “But is it sweet or…what?”
I thought. “The best way to describe it is…rich. It’s not sweet, and definitely not sour. A smell sort of like…well, it is what it is! Musk. Your musk. It’s a deep rich smell. Very nice.”
Tony nodded. “I hope so.” Then he grinned. “You’ll be smelling it a long, long time.”
“I plan to enjoy it.”
Dinner was wonderful. He was a good cook. As we cleaned up he and I talked about everything and nothing. I was learning about him as he was learning about me. Our conversations were becoming more personal. During our first dates, I learned about his life in Manhattan, the shows he liked and went to. Movies and music he liked. Now he was telling me more about himself and his family.
“Do you have a passport?” Tony asked as he washed a pot.
“Is that your way of saying I need one?”
He nodded. “It will be easier to get in and out of the United States.”
“Where have you been?”
He smiled. “England, Paris and Italy, of course. Even Australia once. I’d love to show you Rieti, that’s where my family came from.”
“Where’s that in Italy?”
“Northeast of Rome a few miles. Midsection of Italy. What about your family?”
I grinned. “Outer Hebrides. Scotland naturally, though there were McKenzies in Ireland as well. It’s an group of islands, pretty large ones, northwest of Scotland.”
Tony grinned. “Meaning I’m the one from the South, you’re from the North.”
I shrugged. “We were closer to the Arctic Circle.” I rubbed his arm. “That explains why you’re darker than I am.” He was dark, but he looked like he had a good tan.
He looked at his arm. “I’m not that dark.”
My eyes widened. “You’ve seen my ass. It’s lily white! My people didn’t develop that pigmentation yours did.”
He chuckled. “I like your ass.” He wrapped his arms around me, one of his hands came down cupping my backside. “Very nice shape.”
I grinned. “All of you is a nice shape. I noticed that last Sunday. Those jeans you wore on Monday confirmed it you have a great ass.”
“Want to see it now?” He grinned.
“I insist.” I grinned. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”
He grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bedroom.
The following day when I get home, Tony was reheating what we hadn’t eaten the night before. It tasted even better! He said the flavors married. Whatever.
Tony looked at me cautiously. “There’s a message for you on your machine.” As we ate. He was wiping up the sauce…sorry, gravy…with a piece of his garlic bread.
I looked at the answering machine most didn’t bother with having now. The only ones I knew would leave a message were my parents. “Did you hear it?”
He nodded. “It was kind of hard to miss. There’s a reunion coming up in June.”
I grimaced. “It is every year. Every year they ask me. Every year I refuse.”
Tony nodded. “But they are you’re family.”
“I certainly can’t leave you right now.”
He sat back a little. “You don’t have to. I’d go with you.”
“I wouldn’t put you through that.”
He sighed. “Through what? Being rejected? Will it be because I’m gay, Italian, Catholic, from New York? What?”
I nodded. “All of the above.”
He smiled. “Don’t you want contact with them? Imagine their reaction when they see me.” He said a little evilly.
I chuckled. “That would almost be worth it.” Then I shook my head. “I wouldn’t do that to you.”
He took my hand. “I’m a big boy. I can handle it. Maybe if they see who you’re with, they might cut you some slack. I’m a nice guy.”
“Baby, you’re a very nice guy. But they won’t see that.” I argued. “All they’ll see is that you’re not one of us.”
He grunted with a nod. “But they’d know about me. Just think about it.” Then he brightened. “Tomorrow, I need to take my car to the dealer here.”
I looked surprised. “Why?”
“It’s a Mercedes. It is under warranty. It needs an oil change and tires rotated, all that shit. And they have to have the records from New York.”
I grimaced. “Like having a child and medical records.”
“It is.” He grinned.
I shrugged. “It’s my day off.”
“Which I intend to spend with you. But Tuesday, I’m going to see some people I had sent my resume to.”
“Okay.” Then I grinned to him. “Did you see Terry?”
He grinned but shook his head. “I didn’t go.”
“Didn’t go to church!?” I couldn’t imagine him doing that. He was so…devout.
He shrugged. “It wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t there. She’d ask me about you and me. I couldn’t tell her that we’ve moved in together without you.”
“Next Sunday, we tell her.”
“So, I guess going to New York is okay at Christmas?” Tony asked, but his eyes had pleading look.
“New York.” I repeated.
Tony nodded. “You know, big city on the coast in the north. Where this Italian Yankee came from?”
I chuckled at him. “I’m the obnoxious wiseass, not you.”
He chuckled back. “It must be rubbing off.” He took my hand. “We’ll stay with Kathy and Al. Louise and Mike will be staying at Mama’s and Papa’s with their kids. Nick and I had planned to stay with Kathy before I met you. They have room.” Then he was again looking pleading. “I’d love to show you New York. We’ll fly up and spend the holidays there.”
I nodded. “Sure. If we’re doing this relationship thing, we might as well face the music.”
Now he was grinning larger. “I’m going to show Rockefeller Center, take you to see the Rockettes.” Then he said excitedly. “You get to see MY neck of the woods!”
“Your neck of the woods.” I repeated. “Where’d you hear that? I don’t think you used it up there.”
“One of Nick’s roommates says it all the time when referring to where Nick and I came from.” Tony waved it off. “You’ll love it, I swear.”
I smiled. “How can I not? It grew you!” Hugging Tony to me, my hands through his hair. God, I loved this man!
Monday started lazy. For both of us. Until his phone rang. He reached across me to the bedside table.
“Is there a reason your phone is over here, not over there?” I said as he grinned, knowing he was giving me full exposure to his armpit and scent.
“Yes.” Tony grinned. He checked who was calling and flipped his phone on as he rested on me. “Hello?” Then I enjoyed the fact that he remained on me as he listened and spoke. “We’ll be there this afternoon. Thank you.” He flipped it shut. “We got the condo.” He said matter of fact. “We’re going to get the keys this afternoon.”
I grinned pulling him in a kiss. “You are a tease! You know when you do that I want to touch you.”
“That’s the point! It’s not a tease. A tease is tempting you with something to make you want and not give what that is.” He chuckled settling down on me. “I want you to! I’m telling you to.” He said simply. “Touch me!”
What better invitation could I have? I did! He had talented fingers so I encouraged him to touch me, too. He was very good.
It was later that day when I saw him as a true Italian. We were at the Mercedes dealership while he was getting his car looked at. There were other customers there, but there was an older woman sitting waiting for someone to finish…whatever. She was in her sixties, but a younger man, about thirty something turned and spoke to her. In Italian! The South was changing and there were many here from all over. Her hair was grey and the young man’s hair was black but not like Tony’s black hair, but it was clear he was of Italian descent.
Tony got up and approached her. “Posso portarvi qualcosa? C'è un caffè che è abbastanza buono.”
The woman looked up surprised at Tony. “Tu sei Italiano!?”
Tony smiled and nodded. “Sì, ma sono nato e cresciuto a New York City.”
The woman smiled bigger. “New York City! Mio marito è stato sollevato nel Queens. Mi ha portato da Roma.”
Then it was two friends, who never met having a pleasant conversation. I smiled at Tony when he looked over to me. I needed to learn to speak Italian! Then the other man walked over and they all three started to talk!
One of the salesmen came over as he heard them chatting. “What is it they’re speaking?”
The old me came to the surface. “Mandarin Chinese!” I shook my head. “I don’t speak a word other than a simple thank you and other words, but I recognize Italian when I hear it.” I frowned. “You’ve never traveled out of South Carolina, have you? Or even heard it on TV?” I smiled at Tony’s happy interactions. “I’m eager to learn.”
We drove to Essex and Tony got the key and had me wait upstairs at the door. The elevator dinged and Tony came rushing out jingling keys as he came. “Of course, there will be an inspection I insist on before we sign, but it’s ours, baby!” He didn’t push me aside, but reached around me and unlocked the door. Then pushed me inside. Then he slammed me against the door kissing me hard his hands traveling over me.
“I love you, Mitch McKenzie.” Tony said hoarsely. “Thank you for loving me. My life wasn’t making sense in New York. I come here, meet you and then it just…changed! It is making sense again! I adore you, Mitch. I promise, I’ll do whatever needed to make us happy. To make you happy.”
I smiled at him panting a little. “I am happy, Tony. You love me. I love you. All I need is you.” I wrapped my arms around him, bringing his warmth closer. “All this…” I pointed to the condo. “…is nice, but you are the more important part of us. We are an us! I love you.”
Tony’s face just lit up. “I know you do. It’s in your eyes when you look at me. No one’s ever looked at me like you do. I hope you can see it on mine.” He looked with such longing.
I nodded. “It is.” I kissed him in a deep, consuming kiss as I heard a zipper lower. But not mine. “We’ll have to bring lube next time.” Then I chuckled. “Unless you’re okay with cowboy lube.”
Tony looked confused. “Cowboy lube.”
“Two hunky cowboys on the range didn’t always have lube.” I grinned. “They used spit.”
“Oh.” Tony said, then shrugged. “What the hell?”
In case I didn’t say it before, Tony wasn’t a small man. His cock could grow to a size some would give pause, but lube worked fine as he made love to me. Spit worked, it was just felt a little different. Mine wasn’t as fat as his was, but he liked it fine. Both of us looked at each other afterwards.