Subject: Re: so close yet so far...
Dude. Things have improved. Details later, but for now I’ll say this... I left home a boy... I’m coming back a man.
Byron and I arrived at Fred’s Putt-Putt at 9:09 AM. We didn’t want to seem too eager.
We were the first ones on the entire course. It was a bright, clear, sunny, perfect beach day. The Pike clan thought we were nuts for choosing mini-golf instead. Chuck, the manager on duty, tended to agree. “If I could be on the beach right now, I would, no offense!” He leaned against a fake palm tree, chatting with us as we played, because, of course, we were the only people there. This was going to be more difficult than we thought.
“We’re gearing up for a mini-golf tournament back home. We kind of have to practice nonstop if we’re going to keep our game,” I explained, taking a page from Jordan’s book.
“Yeah?” Chuck looked interested. “You boys must be pretty good.”
“You’d be surprised,” said Byron nervously. He was lining up a shot, and I think I gave him performance anxiety. His hand slipped on the grip of the club at the last moment and the ball sort of glanced off the end and wobbled slowly into a rock. He looked up sheepishly. “To be honest, it’s not really a very good tournament.”
“He’s being modest. The thing is, we’re sort of deconstructing our game. You know. Trying some experimental stuff,” I said. I shot my ball into the wall. “See? That doesn’t work. Now we know.”
We fooled around the first few holes, just marking time, pretending to experiment with different kinds of swings, until some more customers arrived and Chuck got distracted. We made a half-assed show of playing through quickly to hole seventeen. When nobody was looking, we slipped back into the bushes and rounded the windmill. The board was still propped lightly against the hole where we’d left it the day before. We grinned at each other. Byron climbed in first, and I followed, replacing the board as neatly as possible behind us.
As soon as I straightened up and turned around, Byron was shoving me back against the wall, pushing my mouth open with his, thrusting his tongue into my mouth. Every hair on my body stood on end. Byron kissed like a drowning man finding water. He kissed like he might never be able to kiss again. Which was maybe true. The windmill was special magic, like Narnia. It might disappear at any time. We had to make the most of it while it was here. I slid my hands down Byron’s sides and fumbled with his fly.
“Mmm...” His voice was high in the back of his throat.
“Okay?” I asked in a whisper near his ear.
“Probably a really bad idea, but, yes,” Byron nodded quickly. “Yes, please.”
I grinned. “Good. Shut your eyes.” I’d been fantasizing about this all night. I had plans.
I carefully lowered his jeans, then the waistband of his boxers, and took a moment to look at every part of him. His closed eyes with his long, dark lashes. His red, kiss-swollen mouth, open and panting in anticipation. The wrinkles of his T-shirt against his flat stomach. The open fly of his jeans. The jutting waistbone. The beautiful cock, straight-out and erect and just a little bigger than you’d expect. This is how you know a guy trusts you: he stands there flat against the rotten wood of a tiny, spider-infested carnival attraction wearing his T-shirt and sneakers, jeans and boxers around his thighs, eyes closed, patiently waiting for you to do anything you want.
I knelt down, the soles of my shoes jammed against the wall behind me. His eyes were still closed, and he had no idea what I was doing. I reached out, cupping his balls with one hand, supporting the base of cock with the other, leaned forward, and took an experimental lick.
He made a strangled noise, and I glanced up, mouth still on his cock. He was looking at me now, his blue eyes wide, his face pink and flushed. I leaned forward, widening my mouth and taking more of him inside. He tasted sweaty and just a little salty, already starting to drip for me.
He lifted his head and gazed away, looking pained. I knew just how he felt--so turned on by a sight that you can’t even look. I loved having that effect on him. I looked back down at what I was doing. I slipped one hand around the curve of his ass while I wrapped my other hand tight around the base of his cock, jerking rhythmically along with the sucking of my mouth. I could hear him panting in the same rhythm. His hand landed on my head in that awkward way where you know the guy’s still not really looking. I could hear him exhale in rough, ragged breaths. His hand tightened painfully in my hair, and I could feel his cock swell in that danger-zone kind of way, and he managed to choke out, “I, um,” before that bitter-salty taste flooded my mouth. I kept my hand tight on his ass, holding him in my mouth as he spurted again, twice more, and then relaxed.
He let himself slide down onto the floor, weak-kneed. I crawled over and wrapped my arms around him. He pressed his face into my shoulder. I liked holding him while he breathed and shuddered. He was warm and damp all over and had that great, sweaty but clean, I-just-had-a-real-good-time scent.
He snuggled against me, making a happy little noise, and next thing I knew, his hand was pressed tight around my hard-on through my cargo shorts. I heard myself gasp. I gripped his arms, squeezed my eyes shut. Under the best of circumstances it doesn’t take much to set me off, and I was already totally buzzed from getting him off. I was nearly there from the pressure of his hand through two layers of fabric. So when he suddenly reached in and touched me directly, hot skin against skin, it was like, whoa, and I was done.
I lay there in a heap, leaning my cheek against his, just quietly melting. I was dimly aware that he was tucking me back into my shorts. His arms came up round me, and we just clung to each other there on the floor for I don’t know how long.
He jumped up suddenly, leaving behind a cool, painful tingle where he peeled his wet skin from mine. He was rubbing the seat of his jeans and looking around. The end of a putter was poking in from the hole. Byron had been jabbed in the ass by a golf club.
“I think I hit something! Mabel, there’s an obstacle in the obstacle!”
Crap. We got so wrapped up in each other, we totally forgot about leaving a path for play-through. These people must have been looking for their ball for ages. Why hadn’t we heard them complaining? We’d blocked out the outside world.
“Well, that’s just irresponsible... what are they doing, using it for storage? They should know... I’m going to complain to the manager...”
Byron’s eyes widened. I whirled around and found the ball jammed in the corner behind me. I grabbed it and shot it out the other side of the windmill. We heard the telltale sounds of a ball landing in a cup.
“Oh... here it is, John... You must have gotten a hole in one!”
“Well, I’ll be! I could have sworn I looked there first...”
We got up and took our safety positions and kissed a little while we waited for the couple to play on, but it wasn’t the same. I could tell Byron was anxious. We crept out a few minutes later, repositioning the board behind us.
“Wow, you guys took your time,” said Chuck when we came to return our clubs.
“Practice makes perfect!” I chirped.
We hop-skip-ran our way back down the boardwalk. We were basically prancing.
Byron grabbed my wrist, then let it go, then grabbed it again. “Jeff, did we just... I mean, was that officially... did we have...” He released my wrist again and glanced warily at a passing family of small children.
“Cupcakes?” I finished innocently.
He nodded. “Right. Yeah. I mean, what exactly counts as a cupcake? Where’s the line between a cupcake and a muffin, for example? How do we know when we’ve really had a cupcake?”
“I’d say that was it,” I said. “The judges are nodding yes. We had a certain kind of cupcake, let’s call it vanilla, but it’s still a cupcake, I mean, ‘cupcake’ is right in the name.”
Byron nodded, grinning. “Good. I’m glad. I wanted it to be you. You, um... you’re a really amazing baker. A-plus baking skills.”
“Thanks!” I beamed proudly. It’s actually one of the skills I’m most proud of. On my tombstone I want it to say, “Jeff Schafer: Told great jokes, tamed great waves, gave great head.” I nudged him with my arm. “You’re amazing, too.”
He shook his head. “Nah, I didn’t even, you know, give back. Sorry about that. I wasn’t thinking. Sugar coma.”
“Totally okay. I was about to... uh... something to do with icing.” Byron laughed. I admitted, “I’m better at giving cupcakes than receiving.”
“Oh. Right.” His smile faded just a little bit. “You’ve done that before.”
“Well. Yeah.” At first I felt a little insulted, like his A+ was only based on the curve of assuming I was new at this, and then I wondered Who else has he been with that was so great?, and then I realized, Oh. Right. I’m an idiot. Nobody. I was his first.
Suddenly “I wanted it to be you” made a lot more sense. And here he’d been thinking he was my first, too. He knew I’d gone out with other guys, but I guess I never did tell him exactly what I got up to with Chip Ransom.
I ran a hand over the back of my hair. “I’m sorry, man. Did you think...?”
He shook his head, pasting on a smile. “I didn’t think anything. It doesn’t matter. There they are.” He waved down at his family and made his way down the steps to the beach.
Funny how you can be on top of the world one moment, then crash, you’re back down to Planet Earth.
Everyone seemed to have gotten along fine without us. Becca and Adam were swimming. Nick was playing on the beach with Squirt and a small girl. Mr. and Mrs. Pike were reading under a beach umbrella. Byron waved at her to let her know we were home. She nodded back.
“Guys!” Squirt came running toward us.
“Heya, buddy!” I said, slapping him high-five. “What’s up?”
“Nick says you guys want me to show you how to build a sand castle.”
“Absolutely we do,” said Byron.
“Okay, well, you have to start with a good foundation.” Squirt dropped down into the sand and began digging with his hand. “Help me build a moat.”
We got to digging.
“Hey,” said Byron, “you know how to make a witch castle, right?”
Squirt rolled his eyes. “Adam showed me. I don’t like it. I’m making a real castle.” He pushed Byron’s hand away from his pile of sand. “Watch how I do it.”
Message received: don’t help me. Byron and I kept digging the moat while Squirt worked on the foundation for the castle.
“I wanted it to be you,” Byron had said. That was sweet, like he couldn’t imagine liking anyone better than me, even an imaginary future guy who, by definition, he’d like enough to sex up. I felt exactly the same way about him--he was the yardstick, and all other guys would be measured in Percents Byron. He was easily #1 if you rank the guys I’ve dated in order of prettiness, sexiness, sweetness, niceness, smartness, funniness, or general amazingness, but there was one list where he’d never be #1, and that was chronological.
Until now, I’d never bought that parental line about how you should wait to have sex with someone you really, really care about, or even want to marry. I wasn’t in love with Chip or anything, and he definitely didn’t have any kind of gooey feelings about me, but the sexy stuff was fun, and it satisfied some pretty furiously burning curiosity. B.C., Before Chip, I felt like a clueless, confused dope. A.C., I felt experienced, sexy, wanted. I knew what to do in the bedroom--well, the back of the Buick. I was 100% sure of my love of cock. You can’t buy that kind of confidence.
I still didn’t regret it, exactly. But I was weirdly jealous of Byron. His how-I-lost-my-virginity story got to be our story, this awesome romance. My story was so practical. “I wanted to try sex, so I located the first available and interested guy.” They say you never forget your first time. I don’t plan on forgetting any of my times, but I’d forget Chip a hundred times before I’d forget Byron.
“Maybe I was wrong,” I said. “Maybe vanilla cupcakes isn’t real cupcakes.”
“There’s cupcakes?” Squirt asked hopefully.
“Sorry, no such luck. We’re talking about a birthday party we went to earlier,” said Byron.
“Oh,” he said, immediately losing interest. “I’m building the walls right now,” he informed us.
“It’s okay, you know,” Byron told me. “I know you have a past. It’s allowed to mean something.”
“Yeah, but I’m saying it didn’t.”
Byron frowned. “So, what, then? Cupcakes don't mean anything to you?”
“I didn’t mean it like that,” I whined. Codedly arguing about sex in front of a child: I was recreating my parents’ marriage. But Squirt seemed to have forgotten we were there. He was totally engrossed in his castle, singing a little song to himself. “I’m just saying, maybe you’ve never really had a real cupcake and neither have I.”
“Oh,” said Byron. “Are you sure?”
I shrugged. “You said yourself it’s a judgment call.”
“I don’t know. You made a pretty good argument before.” He gave me a sheepish sidelong smile. “And I don’t want to take my V-card back.”
“Don’t worry.” I promised him. “You won’t have it for long.”