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Of the Beholder

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Jon turned to his newlywed husband, ready to reassure him as he had been doing the entire way to the hotel. Now they had finally arrived in the honeymoon suite and Jon patiently prepared to have the same exchange for the umpteenth time. “Yes, Stephen?”

“You know I’ve never done this before?”

“Yes, you told me. Several times, actually. I lost count at fourteen.”

“You know this is terra incognita for me, Jon. I mean, my prowess with women is renowned – I’ve had hundreds of girlfriends, after all – but I’ve never been with a man.”

“I know, love. I promise it’s going to be fine.”

“It’s not as if I would have been allowed to anyway. I would have had to be married to him for it to be okay, and not your wishy-washy liberal civil marriage. Real catholic marriage, before God. And you know that’s only been possible for a few months. So if I had been with other men that would have been wrong. I mean, you’re supposed to be married to a woman, too, before you sleep with her, but everybody knows that’s just something the gays use as an excuse because a real man has needs and the women are supposed to fulfil them and so if a guy doesn’t sleep around that means he’s gay, obviously, and-”

“Stephen. Stephen, calm down, it’s okay.”

“But those women are just practice so it doesn’t really count and you’re still a virgin when you get married like God says you should be and that used to count for men even more ‘cause you shouldn’t be sleeping with them anyway ‘cause it’s not really sex unless it’s with a woman and ‘cause it’s unnatural and it that means you’re a homosexual and God hates them only he doesn’t anymore and now men can marry men and it’s okay but that means you can’t be a virgin anymore if you’ve slept with men and even though gay marriage is now okay with God yours still wouldn’t be unless you’re a virgin so-”

Jon silenced Stephen with a kiss. “It’s okay, I promise.”

“All I’m saying is, I’m a virgin, so be gentle.”

“I will be, I promise you.” Truth be told, Jon wasn’t sure just how gentle he was going to be able to be. His past few months could be summarized as one continuous hard-on. It had all started when the pope has shocked the world by suddenly condoning gay marriage on a particularly cold February day. While the news networks were going crazy, Jon had sprinted over to Stephen’s office as fast as his asthma would allow, anxious to see how his friend was taking the news.

Jon knew that Stephen had somewhat of a personal stake in the matter, whether he admitted it or not, but had no way of predicting what the other man’s reaction might be. Stephen was unpredictable on even the most insignificant of issues; today he could have a distraught breakdown just as easily as an overjoyed dance party. As he sprinted (or, more accurately, jogged and wheezed) over to the Colbert Report studio, Jon ran through different scenarios in his head, trying to prepare himself for what was awaiting him.

He was most certainly not prepared to be roughly pushed up against the wall of Stephen’s office and to feel Stephen’s mouth on his, hot and demanding. But that did not make his response any less enthusiastic.

The next few weeks seemed to have gone by in a flurry of panting kisses, with Stephen storming into his office and crushing his mouth to Jon’s at random, then storming back out again and leaving Jon feeling somewhat frustrated.

Then, when Stephen had calmed down a bit, there were dates, sometimes at restaurants, but more often at their respective apartments, that always seemed to lead to heated makeout sessions on the couch. But though both their bodies desperately craved more, and though they often came very close, Stephen would never let it go any further than that. Inevitably, one of them would be leaving the apartment walking very carefully and awkwardly while the other sat on the couch, counting the seconds until he could finally free his aching dick.

Well, except for that one time when Stephen had been lying on top of him pressing against him and Jon had been thinking he needed to stop this soon. And then Stephen had rubbed against him just so and suddenly his hips had been snapping forward, completely out of his control and lights were exploding behind his eyes and Stephen was scrambling off him, trembling. The next thing Jon remembered was a sopping wet Stephen, who had apparently jumped under a cold shower as quickly as possible, clothes and all, apologetically asking him to leave.

Jon had confronted Stephen the next evening. Surely Stephen had to be suffering as much as he was? So why, why was he holding back?

“I have to be a virgin when we get married, Jon!” And he had said it with such hope and such faith that this was their future, even though they had never discussed it, that Jon proposed on the spot. Stephen accepted, but then made Jon do it again the next night because without a ring, it obviously wasn’t a proper proposal.


And now here they were in their honeymoon suite and the thought of what was finally, finally going to happen had Jon so hard he wasn’t sure just how much he was going to be able to hold back. He would try as hard as he could, no pun intended, to go slow and let Stephen be in charge, but his body had betrayed him that time on the couch… and oh fuck, the memory was making him even harder.



“Aren’t you going to do anything?”

“What? Oh, yes, sure, just-”

Apparently Stephen’s patience had run out, however, since Jon suddenly found himself pinned against the mattress with a hot tongue invading his mouth.

It was several minutes before Jon managed to manoeuvre Stephen off of him.

“Stephen… mmmh… no, really, you need to… ahh… slow down.”

Stephen reluctantly stopped his ministration to Jon’s neck.

“You don’t have any experience here, so I’m going to take care of you, okay?”

Jon pushed Stephen onto his back and started unbuttoning his shirt while at the same time trying to control his breathing. He slid the shirt off the other man’s shoulders and tossed it aside carelessly before running his fingers through the coarse hair on Stephen’s chest. A light tug elicited an enticing gasp and an accidental brush against a nipple was rewarded with a deep moan that made Jon’s dick give a particularly needy throb. He had to get on with this soon if he wanted to stay in control.

Stephen whimpered ever so slightly as Jon slid his hands over both nipples and cried out when Jon pinched them, arching against Jon’s body.

“Get on with it, already!” But Jon was busy placing hot kisses on the other man’s chest because somehow, the mixture of taste and smell and sound and feeling was oh-so intoxicating. He began trailing lower, delighting in the way Stephen was squirming beneath him.

“Jon… please… I need… oooh … more!” Stephen’s hands tugging at his belt were making it impossible to focus.

“Anything you want, love, but you need to… ahh… stop that or this… ngh… will be over far too... oh…too soon.”

Stephen stilled his hands enough so Jon could concentrate on undoing Stephen’s pants and pulling them off. The flag-colored boxers also quickly found their way to the floor and Jon slowly ran a finger along Stephen’s finally freed cock, slick with precome, causing him to gasp and thrust his hips, desperately seeking more friction. Carefully, Jon wrapped his hand around Stephen’s dick and began to slowly stroke it. Stephen cried out and pulled Jon on top of him, thigh pressing against Jon’s hard on and, oh God, it was too much for his self-control. With an embarrassing whimper, he started frantically thrusting against the other man.

Suddenly, he found himself flipped onto his back, Stephen kneeling above him. “Pants off. Now!” he panted. Before Jon had a chance to catch his breath, Stephen had removed his pants and boxers and had taken Jon is his hand. All of a sudden, Stephen’s was roughly stroking his aching dick while his mouth was doing incredible things to his neck and it was all Jon could do to not come right then and there.

He took several deep breaths and regained just enough control to get his left hand to start stroking Stephen again, though his rhythm kept faltering every time Stephen twisted his hand just so.

“Oh God, Jon, I… ahh… I need you… ohh… I need you inside me, now!”

This was enough to jolt some part of Jon’s mind out of its daze.

“We can’t, Stephen, I’m sorry, but, that, that’s just too difficult for us right now. You need preparation and… ahh.” Something cool and slick came into contact with Jon’s dick and he barely had time to wonder where Stephen had gotten lube this quickly before-

“Holy fuck!”

He was suddenly enveloped in heat and soft skin and Stephen and it was too good, too tight, too much and now Stephen was moving and he was bucking his hips and Stephen was crying out his name and clenching around him and heat was pooling in his stomach and he was shuddering and stars were exploding behind his eyes and

“Oh, God. Stephen!”

And the world faded into a fog of bliss.


When Jon regained the capacity for thought, Stephen was curled up next to him, one arm draped protectively across his chest. Jon turned his head and found Stephen’s brown eyes gazing at him with… apprehension?

Jon did the only thing he could think of. “I love you,” he muttered and pressed his lips to Stephen’s.

“Love you, too.”

This seemed to ease the tension a little bit. But what could this possibly be about? Everything about today had been perfect and- oh, of course.

“Stephen,” Jon said gently, “this wasn’t your first time with a man, was it?”

Stephen averted his eyes. “No,” he whispered to the ceiling.

“But why would you lie about that? I know you said that’s what God wants, but he would know the truth anyway, wouldn’t he?”

Stephen muttered something too quietly for Jon catch.

“Stephen, come on, look at me. Why?”

Stephen turned to Jon, but chose to stare at his collarbone instead. “For you.”

This had Jon perplexed. “For me? But why? I never wanted you to be a virgin.”

“That’s because you don’t understand how it works, Jon. You’re only ever supposed to sleep with the person you’re married to because it’s God’s will, of course, but also out of respect for your spouse!”

“Out of respect for… Stephen, I don’t feel disrespected because you’ve slept with other people. I have, too. I don’t want you to deny your past. I love you, past and all.”

“But there’s not supposed to be a past, Jon! You’re supposed to have such respect for the person you’re going to marry that you don’t sleep with anyone else, even before you meet them!”

“That’s… very romantic, Stephen, but, I mean, you didn’t know you were going to be allowed to marry someday.”

“That doesn’t matter! Nobody can really know if they’re going to marry. That’s why it’s such a show of respect. If you had an actual person in mind, it’d just be a matter of not betraying them.”

“It sounds to me more like you’re supposed to put your life on hold for someone you’re not even sure exists.”

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.”

“Listen, Stephen – do you feel disrespected because I’ve been with other people?”

“No, of course not!”

“Why’s that?”

“Because you’re not a catholic. And anyway, I don’t care who you were with before, as long as you’re mine now.”

“But that’s exactly how I feel about you, too!”

“What you think doesn’t matter, Jon! Because even if you don’t care, I’ll still know that I failed you. I should have waited for you, I should have stayed a virgin, and I didn’t.”

Stephen’s eyes were shimmering with tears and Jon realized with a start just how important this was to him. He had to be careful about what he said next.

“You know, Stephen, I think virginity might just be in the eye of the beholder.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I really do think it’s only for people who can get married. They’re protecting their future spouse by not sleeping around. But the other people can hardly be expected to be celibate their entire lives. Now, the Pope officially allowed gay marriage in February. Have you slept with anyone since then? Since we’ve been together?”

“No, of course not!”

“Well, then you’re virgin enough for me.” Jon pulled Stephen close. “But your keeping your virginity did leave me frustrated for months, so if you feel like losing some more of your virginity tonight–“ Jon didn’t get any further than this before Stephen’s mouth was on his again and a hand was tangled in his hair. Soon, all virginity issues slipped Jon’s mind completely.