A Walk In The Woods
The August heat was getting to him, so was his loneliness. Throwing on a t-shirt and grabbing his running shoes, Jay closed the sliding door behind him. Starting down the familiar pathway he admired the sun as it began to set.
Jay didn’t regret the decision; it had helped him realize what he was missing in his life, what it was that he really wanted; a commitment. A life with that one person who made him feel whole, who loved him faults and all, forever.
Jay feared he had taken too long to make his decision now. It was driving him crazy watching them together; at least he assumed they were together. The subtle touching seen through the window as Jay stood by the tree. Just out of sight, in the shadows, where the light from the back door that fell upon the yard didn’t quite reach.
Not knowing what to do about it, and being quite naturally shy, Jay did nothing. He just continued this nightly routine of walking through the woods, down the path past the glittering pond where they had shared so much. So many memories came to mind when he stared in the water, watched the way it rippled silently as the flow from the river beyond it fed the pool so very slowly.
The nights they’d lain here, made love in the moonlight on the grass by the side of the bed of water. Watching the cattails swaying in the breeze of the spring winds as they gathered for that one last storm before summer. That was the last time they were together as lovers too.
They’d spoken a few times over the last few months, about things left at the other house they needed. About certain concerts they had agreed to go to but were not now so what should Jay do with the extra ticket.
They discussed giving the trip to Hawaii to Jay’s sister and her husband as an anniversary gift, and agreed perhaps it was best; they wouldn’t be enjoying that trip either.
Jay sighed as he came to the tree where he’d stood every night since he’d made his little announcement. “God, I miss him.” He thought to himself. “What the hell am I going to do now?”
Leaning against the tree, lighting up a cigarette and praying Mark wouldn’t see the ember of it in the darkness beyond the house, Jay stared at the big picture window of the cottage where Mark lived. It’s wooden logs that made up the sides and the roof; the complete wrap around porch they had built last summer still shining with the stain they’d applied to the wood and the smoke trailing gently from the woodstove chimney made it a picturesque sight.
Remembering the night they’d met up again at “Modene’s Roadhouse” three years ago, gotten drunk and laughed at all the things they reminisced overdoing when they were younger; the stupid things mostly. They had grabbed a cab to Mark’s place, figuring Jay could walk the distance to his place from there but instead they had gone back to the living room of the newly built cottage.
They’d known one another as teens, been intimate once before but never really had a relationship. That first night in the cottage with Mark kissing his neck from behind as he pressed his hardness into the fleshy part of Jay’s ass though his jeans, sucking his ear lobes and breathing the heat from his body into Jay’s hair was the beginning.
Jay remembered everything from that night; despite the fact he’d defiantly had way more to drink then his usual three-beer maximum. He remembered the feel of Mark’s chest under his hands as he removed his shirt and the way it felt to kiss his chest, tracing a path down to his hardness where it was almost bursting out of Mark’s jeans.
Thinking of the way Marks hard shaft had rubbed against him, the pre-cum slowly trickling between them, mixing with his own and making the two of them slippery against each other, he felt a pang of jealousy in his chest.
As the light came on in the living room window, Jay snapped out of his reverie of memories and strained to see who was there tonight. Was Mark alone or did he have a guest tonight again? Was it the same guy he’d seen there all week, the one he was sure had stolen Mark’s love from him? It was his own fault, he knew, but that didn’t make it any different to him now.
Now that he’d finally made the decision to tell Mark how he felt, what he’d concluded during his time away, how much he missed him. Jay was determined that no matter what, even if Mark had moved on, he had to tell him. Mark deserved to know and Jay couldn’t live one more day without telling him, even if it meant he had lost him already.
Jay had to see him, had to look upon Mark’s face with it’s chiseled cheek bones, the soft full lips disrupted by the hard looking chin and well kept goatee Mark insisted made him look dignified rather then the ruffian look that Jay felt was only amplified.
He loved that goatee now as much as Mark did. Loved the way it teased him as Mark took his hardness into his mouth and sucked. The way it’s narrowed peak tickled at the puckered sensitive skin of his ass, the tightness of his balls and scrotum, with each motion of Mark’s head.
Not that it was the only reason of course, Jay loved it mainly because Mark delighted in it so much, took such good care of it and kept it trimmed and tidy. And it really did look good on him, much to Jay’s chagrin.
Before Mark, Jay had never been with someone who had facial hair. He just hadn’t liked it, didn’t like hair anywhere in fact. Jay preferred his partners’ clean-shaven, like he kept himself, both on the face and the genital area. Smooth skin just seemed so much more enticing, attractive and clean to Jay, but Mark loved that damn goatee, refused to part with it no matter how much Jay begged him and eventually it just grew on them both…literally.
Mark had remained insistent about it over the years, but graciously conceded to the removal of hair at the base of his cock, and around his balls. Jay figured the later was probably the best he was going to get so finally he left it alone, and just appreciated Mark’s consideration of even compromising at all to Jay’s benefit.
Watching the window closely now, Jay saw Mark walk to his computer desk, sit and begin typing an unknown correspondence to an unknown recipient. He continued to watch, keeping an eye on the area he could see by the doorway to the living room, hoping to find out if Mark was alone or not. After a short while Jay decided he was fairly confident no one else was in the cottage tonight, good.
Taking a deep breath Jay stepped out of the shadows and into the light spilling from the house, expecting Mark would notice the figure on the lawn right away. When Mark didn’t, Jay figured whatever he was writing had his full attention and certainly must be important if he was that engrossed.
Jay made his way up the flat rock path through the grass, remembering the day they put these in. It had been hot, humid, and not unusual for a July day. They’d gotten in Mark’s truck, after deciding they wanted the flat rocks as part of the landscaping down the yard to the tree line and the path beyond, gone to the quarry and picked out each piece by hand.
Jay had enjoyed the time with Mark, as he always did, regardless of the hard work it meant he would be doing. He actually reveled in the projects Mark came up with, as it was a great way to burn off the stress and frustrations of his normal daily life.
As a newspaper editor for the city, he sat at a desk all day, picking out the errors the journalists had made in their submissions to the paper, working against the 4 p.m. deadline for the next morning’s paper to be in, error-free and complete for the printing. He worked out the arrangement of the advertisements around the local news and the top stories, and the overall final look of the paper. It had to be appealing to the customer.
The editors job paid very well, and it was interesting at times, but it certainly was monotonous in its daily routine and he got tired of sitting all the time. Not one for the gym, he really didn’t get any additional exercise above the walks he took every evening so working on the yard with Mark was a pleasure in itself, in addition to spending the time with him.
Putting the rocks in the grass had seemed like an easy enough project at the time. Really how hard could it be to create a path of rocks, he’d thought. He’d found out quite quickly that there was so much more to Mark’s plan than just throwing the rocks on the grass, as Jay would have done.
Mark wanted them all dug out and the grass removed from beneath them. He had informed Jay they had to be level with the grass if they were to be walked on, and it was not just about the look of them.
Mark had decided on a certain placement for the rocks, in a curving pattern not just a straight line. So instead of the anticipated 2-3 hours Jay had figured on it taking them, it ended up they spent the entire daylight hours, from 7 a.m at the quarry until almost 10 p.m at the cottage, completing the project. Jay had finally admitted Mark’s ideas were perfect and the end result was a lot more appealing then it could have been if left up to him.
Jay had been exhausted by the end of the day, whereas Mark, used to his physically demanding job as a construction worker, was still revved up and ready to go. They’d both grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat on the deck in the lounge chairs to relax before grabbing a shower together.
Listening to the night sounds around them was very peaceful, almost hypnotizing in it’s not quite black, more bluish purple skies, the crickets making a chirping noise as they rubbed their hind legs together and the fireflies flickering over the flowers near the line of trees at the end of the property. It was all so serene, enchanting and very romantic.
Comfortable in his lounge chair, half his beer drained within minutes of sitting, Jay had begun to drift off with the sounds. Inadvertently his eyes had closed and he’d fallen into a gentle beginning slumber where he was not quite asleep but neither was he awake.
He’d not heard the creak of the chair when Mark had gotten up, so off was he into his head. Nor had he heard Mark’s footfalls as he crossed the short distance between their two chairs.
He’d stirred and just slightly noticed the feathery light caress of his hair when Mark began to stroke it’s softness, loving the way the stress lines that marred Jay’s face on a normal day faded to almost nothing when he was so peaceful, so happy and so relaxed. The continuous motion of Mark’s hand through his hair had only lulled Jay into a deeper sleep.
So when Marks deep laugh rang out in the quiet of the night after a snore had escaped from Jay, it startled him a little. He’d jumped and opened his eyes to find Mark on one knee before him, stroking so softly at the hair on the side of his face, running his fingers gently over Jay’s cheek and down over his lips.
Jay had smiled up at Mark from his slumped position in the chair and made a move to sit up. Mark encouraged him to remain where he was with a hand to his shoulder, but not one word interrupted the sounds of the evening around them.
Mark had traced a path down Jay’s hairless chest, just beginning to dry from the sweat of the day’s work. He’d placed his mouth on Jay’s nipple, giving it a little nip before moving down, to his navel and the hipbone just protruding from his jeans.
Undoing the zipper Mark had reached in and began to stroke Jay’s already hard shaft, cupping his balls as he went to the base again and again, bringing Jay almost to completion with those loving motions alone. Instinctively knowing Jay was almost ready to peak Mark had quickly pulled Jay’s jeans down around his thighs and placed his hot mouth around him and began to suck.
As Jay remembered the following hours that evening, on the deck, in the shower, his cock hardened in his jeans once again. Oh how he missed the feeling of being with Mark, his hands running over his hard body, kissing him, licking him, and just loving him.
Damn it! Why did he have to screw things up by deciding he needed a break! Now the possibility that Mark had moved on this summer, when he was left alone, made Jay hurt in ways he never knew possible. His chest ached at the loss before he even knew if it was true or not. His mind imagined all the things his lover was doing without him, with another, and it made him furious.
With renewed determination at the thoughts running through his mind, Jay stepped up to the back door and knocked loudly. He waited impatiently for the door to open, yet was surprised when it opened quickly with suction of air around him.
“Why’d ya knock? Did you forget the key….” Mark’s voice trailed off.
At the surprised look on Mark’s face Jay assumed he’d been waiting for someone, and it wasn’t Jay. He felt his anger rise quickly, jealousy again ripping through his chest.
“Jay. This is a nice surprise.”
“Hi.” Jay spoke softly, “Were you expecting someone?”
“No, not really. Come on in. It’s nice to see you.” Mark lightly drawled, with the hint of southern accent he picked up every time he went to visit his sister. “Can I get you a drink? I was just about to have a glass of wine myself.”
“No.” Jay replied forcefully. The anger in his voice reflecting the thoughts running through his head about how Mark had been spending the last few evenings. “Thanks.” He added in an attempt to soften his previous response. It wouldn’t do to piss Mark off before they’d even talked, before he had a chance to tell him he’d made a big mistake in leaving.
Mark had a temper and one thing he disliked the most was people who spoke to him with an attitude or in a way that suggested they were incapable of holding on to their emotions. Jay had learned this from experience when they had first begun dating. Mark found it disrespectful and did not treat people in such a manner himself so he didn’t like it being done to him.
Although his trade implied he was rough to the core, he was really quite refined and expected others to behave that way as well.
Following Mark to the kitchen Jay remained silent while Mark got a glass of “Brunello Di Montalcino”, a sweet wine subtle in its overtones of blackberry, black cherry, chocolate, sweet vanilla and made in a little medieval town just outside of the town of Siena, Italy where his parents now lived in their retirement.
Every year for his birthday they sent him a case of the very expensive wine, which he savored as his only desert on a rare basis, usually only on special occasions.
Like his behavior, Mark’s taste in wine was very refined. Perhaps it was one of the things leftover from growing up as a surgeon’s son in one of the richest neighborhoods of Austin Texas.
Jay wondered what the special occasion was as he felt another pain in his abdomen.
Motioning for Jay to follow him to the living room Mark asked, “So, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company? It’s been so long.”
Nodding his head was Mark’s only ascent for Jay to continue. He was a man of few words on most occasions however his body language spoke volumes to most people, Jay in particular as he knew him so well. Jay knew that despite the outward appearance of calm Mark was swirling with curiosity.
In a rush of words Jay told him all that he had thought about for the last months, how he had made a mistake in asking for the separation. Beginning to tear at the last words Jay told him that he’d realized he wanted to make a life with Mark, a commitment, to have a future as Mark had asked for when Jay had turned him down before. The time they’d been apart had been hell for Jay and he had so hoped to reestablish the relationship they’d had and start creating the future together.
In the silence that followed his words, Jay waited, holding his breath and expecting the knife to turn deep in his heart when Mark told him it was too late.
The sound of a door opening and closing in the front of the house startled them both and broke the stillness of the air around them, but for Jay the tension increased to an almost panic state. He assumed this was Mark’s new lover coming in, possibly coming home. It cut him to the core to think Mark may have moved someone in. That someone was sharing his bed, his life and was now the recipient of his love and attentions.
He was a mix of anger and pain and it was killing him not to fall at Mark’s feet and beg him to take him back, to love him again but he knew that was not Mark’s style. Once Mark was out of a relationship, there was very little that could rekindle the love and feelings that had been shared. He was a man who made final decisions when he made them, with little regret.
Jay made a quick move towards the back door, intending to leave even though he’d not given Mark a chance to respond. Seeing Mark’s new lover through the window was one thing but he sure as hell was not planning on meeting him in person! As the tears began to trickle down his cheeks Jay was almost too the door when the stranger emerged from the hallway by the kitchen.
Jay stopped dead in his tracks, a look of almost pure horror on his face. He knew this man, but couldn’t place the face for some reason. The shiny dark hair, falling gently to his shoulders and the hazel eyes set deep into the face, a face that had a perfectly formed nose, soft full lips that even most women would kill to have, and a chin that was almost sculpted as if an artist had created it complete with a cleft perfectly placed in his chin.
Jay was mesmerized, recognition tickled his mind but yet still not revealing why he knew this person, from where. The guy was absolutely hot in Jay’s opinion. No wonder Mark was attracted to him he thought, he is everything that I am not. The perfectly tanned skin enveloped his Adonis-like chest and abs accompanied by arms as thick as a wrestler.
This guy was all man, all muscle, and all sex appeal. Unlike Jay, whose pale skin, only just a firm body, and fair features made him feel like an unattractive person. On a good day, Jay was very insecure about his looks, his appeal. Today he felt exceptionally lacking when this other male was in the same room.
With a look of confusion on his face at Jay’s attempted exit Mark said, “Jay, this is Lyle, Trina’s fiancé.”
As Lyle stuck out his hand, Jay let out the breath he was not even aware he was holding in such a rush he felt dizzy.