Fleeting Eternity

Fleeting Eternity - Chapter 11: Next Steps

Kent waved goodbye to Liz as she locked up the bookstore. He had covered two of Nate's shifts during the week, and that meant a bigger paycheck, but it also translated to less study time. He was a little worried about his physics class, but he'd just have to buckle down on Saturday.

Nate was very thankful Kent was able to cover for him. "Kent, buddy, you're a lifesaver." Nate had sighed with relief on the phone. "There's a situation with the guy I'm seeing and we just need to keep an eye on him for a couple of days."

Kent noticed the use of the plural, but he hadn't mentioned it. Nate had sounded as if he was dealing with a lot already, and Kent didn't want to add to his worries. It was now Friday and Nate had called again a few hours ago. He sounded a lot better and confirmed that he'd be back to work starting tomorrow, to make up a few days that he had missed. Once they saw one another on Monday, Kent planned to ask what was going on. It had made for a bit of a rough week, but Kent and Liz made it to Friday.

Kent walked down the sidewalk to his car. He got in and checked the time. Kent smiled to himself. He still had a half-hour before Stanley got home.

Kent had plans for the skinny blonde. "He's not gonna know what hit him." Stanley started the vehicle with a lustful smirk and pulled onto the street, headed to Arcata.

Stanley was sore. Yesterday morning he had fallen while he carried a box of oil filters. His human resources lady had made him go to Occupational Health to get checked out since it happened while he was at work. They cleared Stanley of any significant injury, but they warned him that he'd probably feel the effects of the fall for a few days, and they gave him a doctor note to avoid lifting anything over twenty-five pounds for a week.

They were right about that. When Stanley had woken up that morning it wasn't so bad. But now, at the end of his day, he was stiff, particularly his back and his right leg, the one he had fallen on.

He slowly got out of his car and shuffled up his walkway. Standing in front of his door, he slipped the key into the lock.

Then something heavy pressed into him suddenly from behind, and he was now held firmly against the door. His back screamed in agony, and he cried out in both surprise and pain.

"Stanley, shit! I'm sorry!" Kent let him up, and he now had a concerned hand on Stanley's back. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to hurt you!"

Kent's misguided attempt at aggressively having his way with Stanley had gone awry. Instead, the small fellow's spine and hip throbbed in pain.

Stanley's eyes teared and he grimaced. He tried to tell Kent it was okay, but instead put his hands on his knees to try and stop his head from swimming. He finally took a full breath. "It's okay. You didn't know." Stanley hadn’t told Kent about his little spill at work. He didn't want him to worry, and Stanley had figured he'd be healed up before they hung out on Saturday. But, again, Kent had surprised him.

"What?" Kent's hand was still on his back, and he rubbed Stanley. It both hurt and felt good at the same time. "What happened?"

"Ah, I fell at work. Messed up my back and my right hip a little. I'm just sore." The worst of the pain passed and Stanley straightened. Then he took a breath. He saw the pale, worried expression on Kent's face, and he forced himself to smile. "I'm fine. Honest."

Kent grimaced. "I hurt you. I'm really sorry. I was trying to surprise you."

"Success!" Stanley chuckled then shook his head. "It's fine." He turned stiffly, careful to avoid twisting his aching back, and he finished opening his house. "I'm glad to see you. Come in."

They went inside, and as soon as the door closed, Kent gently folded Stanley in his arms. Stanley knew he felt guilty, and he started to say again that he was fine. But it felt so pleasant to be held, so he kept quiet.

"Sorry," Kent whispered, and he kissed Stanley's neck. "I'm gonna be really nice to you tonight, okay?"

"If that's what you want, Sir." Stanley smiled at the gentleness Kent used with him.

"It's what I want." Kent released him, then he reached for his hand. "Come on."

Kent led Stanley into the house, and soon they stood by the bed. Kent unzipped Stanley's jumper, then his hand lifted the smaller man's chin. "I don't want you to feel any pain, okay? Tell me if anything I do hurts you."

"Yes, Sir." Stanley let his eyes slide shut as Kent pulled him close. Kent reached into the jumper, and his palms lightly stroked Stanley's back under the material. Kent's hands spent some time rubbing his spine and the muscles there, then Stanley smiled as they wandered down to his underwear. They rested warm and promising on his butt.

Kent breathed against him. Stanley knew the young guy was both upset with himself for hurting him and horny all at the same time. His skin tingled from the passage of Kent's soft touch over it, and he stood there, enjoying both the moment and the knowledge of what was to come.

"Let's get you comfortable," Kent murmured in Stanley's ear. Then he pulled back and peeled Stanley's jumper off his shoulders, down to his feet. He grinned at Stanley's now obvious erection as it strained to be free of his underwear.

Stanley let Kent handle him. The attention and treatment felt good, and he had no problems being utterly submissive to his husky lover tonight. Kent soon had them both undressed, and he smiled warmly at Stanley. "Get on your belly."

"Yes, Sir." Stanley gingerly crawled onto the bed, and flinched as he twisted his trunk a little. The muscles ached and complained, but he made it down into a prone position, and he sighed with relief now that he wasn't moving.

Kent knelt beside him, and his hand rested on Stanley's back. "Do you have massage oil?"

"In the bedside drawer." Stanley didn't turn his head, but he heard the drawer open. Kent made a little sound of victory as he found the bottle of almond-scented, slippery stuff.

Kent put some of the oil in his palm, and he waited for a little while it warmed. "Tell me if I hurt you. I mean it."

"I will." Stanley was very tired. Working with the injury was difficult. Everything was harder, everything took longer, and he was worn out. He inhaled when Kent's slick palms made contact with his skin.

The scent of almond spread in the air as Kent gently stroked the muscles of his back. "You can press harder," Stanley said, then he grunted a bit when Kent complied. Now Stanley's young lover's hands pushed firmly into the muscle along his spine.

Stanley groaned. Tingly waves of chill bumps rippled across his skin as Kent rubbed. Stanley's eyes rolled, and his mouth hung open while Kent worked. "Please don't be offended if I go to sleep."

"I won't be." Kent continued to run his warm hands over Stanley, from his neck down to the smaller man's rear, and over the sore muscle at his right hip.

Stanley made a noise as Kent pressed into his glutes. His right hip twinged, and Stanley got up on his elbows, his head dangling as he breathed through the moment. There was no longer a danger of him being lulled to sleep by the rub.

"Tell me it hurts, and I'll back off." Kent hesitated, and his hands slid to a halt. "Are you all right?"

Stanley nodded. "Yeah. I know I need it. Keep going, I'm okay."

Kent did. Eventually, the pain subsided some, and Stanley lay back down on the pillow. Now he rode that line between pain and pleasure, and Stanley shifted his pelvis to make his erection more comfortable.

Kent got up on the bed and knelt between Stanley's legs. His fingers then teased their way down Stanley's spine. Kent lightly traced until they barely touched his skin, and he slid them through Stanley's crack and across the muscular ring of his ass.

That brought an involuntary groan from Stanley. Kent kept playing with him. Stanley tried to avoid caving into his overt need for Kent. He wanted to be obedient, quiet and still. He wanted to be a good sub for Kent. But Kent did something to him nobody else had. Soon Stanley pushed back against his fingers, and one slippery digit entered him.

"God. Fuck, this is torture. Please, fuck me, Sir." At that moment there was nothing, absolutely nothing Stanley wanted more.

Kent pulled his finger out, and he patted Stanley's ass. "Roll over. Easy. Don't hurt yourself."

Stanley rolled. He did so with his spine straight so that it didn't stress the muscles in his back. He lay there and looked at Kent then smiled. "You can do it without a condom, Sir."

Kent paused. "Really?"

"Yes. I got tested early this week." He grinned at Kent. "And I trust your status." Stanley already knew the history with Kent's co-worker, Nate. He knew there was nearly no risk Kent had picked anything up from that interaction.

Kent bit his lip, then his eyes narrowed. He stroked himself with the almond oil until he was slick and glistening with the stuff. He then applied some to Stanley. He carefully moved Stanley's pelvis until the guys lined up.

Kent smiled as he pushed himself into Stanley's body, and the two grinned at each other.

Stanley's head lolled back. "Mmmmm, your bare cock feels good inside me, Sir."

Kent slid the rest of the way, and he rested there a moment. "I'm glad." He leaned down, and the guys kissed. Kent let his pelvis begin to move, and Stanley groaned while their mouths were together.

Kent leaned back, took Stanley's hard penis in hand, and he stroked as he screwed. Kent breathed out. "Oh god. Man, this feels good."

"Come in me, Sir. I want it." Stanley wasn't going to last much longer, and he gasped. "Ah, god! Kent, I'm gonna come."

Kent sped things up, and he grunted as he got off. Stanley felt the warm pulse of liquid enter his body, and he orgasmed as Kent jerked him off. He shot almost straight up, thanks to how he was pointed, and it landed across Kent's hand as he continued to work on Stanley's cock.

The two young men trembled as they finished. Kent's breaths were a little shaky as he looked down at Stanley.

Stanley smiled up at Kent. "Mmmm. That was nice, Kent. All of it."

A smile appeared on Kent's face, but it was gone quickly as the younger guy looked down. Stanley frowned, a little worried at him. "Are you okay?"

Kent pulled his hips back, and he sat on his haunches. His expression looked a bit lost. Stanley carefully sat up as well. "Kent? What's wrong?"

The husky blonde clenched his jaw. He slowly shook his head. "I..." He blinked, and a tear rolled down his face. He let it fall unhindered. "I could sort of tell myself that this thing between us, that it was for fun. That maybe I wasn't gay after all. That it was just mechanical, and that it doesn't mean anything without more than physical stuff."

Stanley watched him. He scooted closer to sit beside him and put his arm around Kent's shoulders.

Kent hung his head. "I'm just trying to think of a way to tell my dad that I'm gay and that I love a guy."

Stanley stared at Kent's face in profile. The young man's eyes were unfocused, and he blinked slowly causing more tears to flow down his cheeks. He looked anguished, resigned, and vulnerable. Stanley swallowed his own emotion at Kent's admission.

"Kent." He reached and gently turned Kent's head, so the teary-eyed man looked at him. "Love is a strong word. Are you sure?"

Kent's eyes moved slowly over Stanley's features. He sighed, and he nodded. "Yeah." His voice was small, meek, and spoken in surrender.

Stanley stared. "Nobody's ever loved me." It was hard for Stanley to believe it. "Not, like, like this." Yet the quiet, sure way Kent spoke made it impossible for him to disregard it. The connection with Kent had deepened quickly for Stanley. Now he knew that it was the same for Kent.

Kent smiled. Tears filled the space between his closed lips as he did. He pulled Stanley close, again careful to avoid hurting his back. "You deserve better, but you've got someone who loves you now."

Stanley closed his eyes as Kent held him. "Anybody would be lucky to have you, Kent. I don't understand why you love me," Stanley squeezed him a bit tighter, "but it thrills me."

Kent and Stanley held on, and each allowed their dreams to grow and strengthen, all while safe in the arms of the other.

It had only been a few weeks since he had left Tad, but it felt like a lifetime to Chris. He lay and watched Tad's face as he slept and recovered. Chris knew that Tad was almost there. He was no longer sick, he just needed a little more rest. Nate was up, moving about the apartment, and Chris now smelled the scent of coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast. A pan rattled in the kitchen and Tad's eyes shifted under his eyelids. Then he blinked, and his dark eyes focused on Chris's.

Christopher swallowed as he looked into those deep pools. He still hadn't quite processed entirely through his feelings around Tad's condition, and he struggled. "Is it really gonna happen?" He wet his lips, and he reached. Chris's warm hand gently gripped the back of Tad's neck. "Will you really leave me?"

Tad's face was sad. "I will." He stroked fingers, light as feathers, over Chris's face, and he rubbed his lover's beard with deep, powerful affection. "I'm sorry. I don't want to."

Intellectually, Chris knew it was true. He knew what was going to happen, yet emotionally, he wasn't ready for the realization. Tad meant too much to him, and he was too precious. It just wasn't a possibility - not until now.

Christopher felt it start. He stared into Tad's eyes, and Chris's face twitched as he fought hard. But it wasn't a fight he could win - not this time. Chris had not cried over Tad's diagnosis. Not during the breakup, and not even in his loneliest moments. But all of those emotions remained. It all still weighed on his heart and soul. Tad watched as Chris began to tear up. The dark-haired man's face fell, and he raised up on an elbow. "Nate, come here."

Tad lay back down, and he pulled Chris to him. Nate appeared beside the bed, and Chris's body began to heave in wracking sobs. Nate took one look, and he got into bed behind the tall, brown-haired man. Nate spooned Chris as he clung to Tad and lay gentle kisses on Chris's neck, while Tad held on to his upset man.

"It's okay, Bear." Chris heard the words and the pet name from Tad, but he was completely unable to answer. "You'll be okay, you and Nate. And that's all that matters." Chris cried as his mind finally allowed him to comprehend. He was going to lose Tad, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. No treatment could save him. The light Tad carried around with him would go out and leave this world, and with it, a part of Chris would dim too.

Nate and Tad lay with him for a long while, and deep in Christopher's pained thoughts his resolve hardened into steel. As he breathed in the warm, loving space between the two men, Christopher made a promise.

"I swear, whatever you need from me Tad, you'll have. Just ask."

Tad's smile was beatific as he looked at Christopher.

"Don't stop loving, Bear." He leaned forward and kissed Chris's forehead. "That's all I want from you. Never stop loving."

"What's wrong with being gay?" Thomas asked. His thick, dark brown carefully trimmed eyebrows knit together. The slight irritation in the question wasn't lost on Markus. "I mean, I'm gay. You are too." He shrugged. "There's nothing wrong with us."

The pair sat huddled together at a table in the college campus cafe. They had yet to work their shift at the bookstore, and Markus had asked Thomas to talk before work.

Markus had it worked through in his head. He finally knew what it was that really bothered him about his sexuality. He shifted forward and Thomas too leaned in over the table in the college's cafe. "I have a question for you." Thomas nodded for him to ask. Markus stared at Thomas. "Have you ever been in love? Like, really in love?"

Thomas frowned. "No. What does that have to do with anything?"

"That's the difference." Markus nodded to himself and sat back in his chair. "I know that I'll never find love." He stared down at the glass of slowly warming lemonade on the table. "I don't deserve it. My mom knows it." He shook his head. "We'll never find it."

Thomas stared at him. He finally shook himself. "Dude, that's fucked up. Just because we're gay doesn't mean we'll never find love. And your mom is wrong." He made an indignant sound. "So just because it hasn't happened for either of us, and your mom is a homophobe, that means no gay person deserves to be loved?" He began to redden from anger. "So, all of the gay people who marry, and look so happy together, they're, what? They're just fucking faking it?"

Markus slowly nodded. "I'm sure they think they're in love. But, being gay is wrong. It goes against nature, and so there's no way we will be rewarded with that emotion." He looked into the angry, confused eyes of Thomas - his mind trapped in its circular logic. "Why would I be rewarded with love, when what I am is so flawed and wrong?"

Thomas made a frustrated, noise. "Wh- wow, man." He stood. "You know, I don't think hanging out with you is a good idea." He nodded, mostly to himself. "I'm sorry. I just figured out how to like myself, and I can't do that enough for us both." He waved a dismissive hand. "Good luck."

Markus watched him go, but he didn't feel much about it. He took a sip of his lemonade and he knew all that had happened, he deserved.

Tad was up. After days of sickness and recovery, he was up. More, he was hungry. Nate had made them all breakfast, and each of the men sat on the couch. Chris was in the middle, while Tad and Nate sat on each side of him.

Chris had a rough morning, and he was still quiet as he slowly ate his food and drank his coffee. The broad-shouldered man was embarrassed at his display earlier, but neither Nate nor Tad slighted him for it. Tad knew it was part of the process, and one needed for Chris to really get through what was coming.

Tad watched as Nate gently stroked Chris's hairy leg and the redhead kissed the side of Chris's face. Then Nate saw Tad looking, and he blushed.

Tad grinned. "It's okay." He hugged Chris and shook him a little. "He's ours. I'm yours and Chris's. And you're Chris's and mine." Tad reached over and patted Nate's shoulder across Chris's body. "Okay?"

Nate smiled, and he nodded. "Yeah. Okay."


A few minutes later they finished eating. Tad took their dishes into the kitchen and washed up. He dried his hands and came back into the living room.

Nate was on Chris's lap, facing him. The redhead and Chris kissed, slowly, deeply, and Nate's t-shirt lay on the floor. Both guys now only wore their underwear, and Tad saw Chris's erection under Nate's rear as he ground himself up into Nate ass.

"Wow." Tad bit his lip and fondled himself through his boxer briefs. "That's hot."

Chris and Nate both grinned at him. Chris patted the couch. "Come here."

Tad did, and he got on his knees beside his tall lover. "You feeling better?" Tad asked with a smirk.

"I'm getting there." Chris rubbed Tad through his shorts and Tad closed his eyes as Chris's strong hand massaged his cock.

Nate nibbled on Chris's neck while Tad and Chris kissed one another.

Tad was definitely interested in more than sleeping now. He pulled his lips away for a moment. "Hang on, I'll be back." He stood and looked down at the two men on the couch. "You guys get naked."

They both grinned. Tad left them to it, and he went to the bedroom and grabbed their lube. Tad then made a quick stop in the bathroom. He wasn't long, and he returned to find Chris on his back on the couch and Nate straddling the big man's hips. Nate leaned over and the men made out. Tad watched for a little.

"Man, guys, that's so hot." Tad smiled, and he stepped over next to the couch. "But I can't just watch."

Nate sat up, and he rubbed his face. "Mmm. Beard burn."

"Yes, I love it." Tad rubbed Chris's beard, then he smiled. "Speaking of which, I'm nice and clean, Chris."

The hazel eyes of Chris flared. "Come here." He reached eagerly for Tad.

Tad straddled Chris's head, and he settled his butt on his lover's chin and mouth. Chris's hungry tongue wasted no time, and Tad jumped as he felt Chris lick his hole. "Fuck, I've missed this."

Nate stood up. He took the lube from Tad and smeared it on himself, then he gave Chris's heavy dick a few slippery strokes. Chris grunted in approval, but he never stopped tonguing Tad.

Nate straddled Chris again and began to slide Chris's member into his body. While Nate did that, Tad leaned forward and stroked Nate with an underhand grip while he kissed the redhead.

Nate bottomed out and groaned. Then he firmly grasped Tad's dick. Nate and Tad masturbated one another, and Chris's tongue was inside Tad, while Chris's cock slid into Nate.

Tad was more stimulated, physically, than he had ever been in his life. He tingled with endorphins and leaked precome. Nate moaned around Tad's mouth as they kissed, but the first to go was Christopher. The broad man's grunts grew louder, and he stopped moving his mouth for a moment. Chris bucked his hips up into Nate, and the redhead gasped. As a result, Nate came, and he shot all over Tad's groin, hand and belly.

Tad smelled semen and the manly scent of both Nate and Christopher. He had a tongue inside him, and his cock was wrapped snugly in Nate's grip. There were sexy grunts and moans from both of his partners, and all of his senses were tuned into that moment. There was no denying what happened next. He let out a terrific groan, and his body clamped down on Chris's tongue. He felt the bearded man grin under him, and Tad experienced the most intense orgasm of his life. He unloaded as Nate stroked him, and strands of his come tangled in Nate's red pubic hair.

All three guys continued to move and breathe through their almost simultaneous releases. Finally, Tad slid forward a bit, off of Chris's jaw. The dark-haired man was now nose-to-nose with Nate, and he put his arms around the sweaty, grinning redhead. "I wondered how well this would work." He laughed. "I guess I don't have to worry about it."

They were all three in Tad's shower, and they each took turns cycling under the warm water. Nate went first. Once wet, he rotated to the center. Chris now stood under the water, and he grinned at Nate. He held a bar of soap, and Chris lathered Nate's cock, then he reached around and did the same to his ass. This while Tad stood behind him and let his hands tease and run over Nate's skin.

"Oh God. I'm never going to get rid of this boner!" Nate laughed as he felt Tad's cock in the crack of his ass, and Chris's insistent hands continued to play with him.

They finally got on with the business of getting clean, though it took far longer than it would have if they had merely taken three showers. Nate didn't mind. None of them minded. He thought about their situation as they dried themselves on the two available towels in the bathroom.

Christopher dried Tad's back while the dark-haired man mused. "I need to find a spot for a third towel."

Nate finished, and he put on the flannel PJ bottoms and t-shirt he'd brought into the bathroom. It was still early Saturday morning, and it was raining. Nate wasn't going anywhere for a few hours, and he wanted to be comfortable until he did have to go to work. He had a shift to cover at the bookstore later in the day, but he still had time to spend with his pair of men. Plus, they needed to discuss some things.

"So, since we're all dating, is Chris going to move back in here, Tad?" Nate asked. He spoke with as little inflection in his voice as possible. Though he definitely felt some worry about the answer.

Tad pulled his favorite fuzzy sweater over his head, then he looked at Christopher and smiled. "I'd really like it if he did." Tad took Christopher's hand, then he held out one toward Nate. Nate stepped, and now all three of them held hands. Tad immediately voiced the problem. "But that's not equal. And I want us to all be together."

Chris nodded. "I agree." He looked around at Tad's apartment. "When it was just us, this place was fine." He shook his head. "But we need more space now."

"Well, I don't want to cause any trouble," Nate said. Though, truthfully, he was glad that Chris and Tad wanted him in their home as well as their lives.

"You're not, Nate." Tad grew thoughtful. "Okay, so maybe it's time to think about renting a house."

This had already been on Nate's mind, and he had a suggestion. "Well, instead of a house, how about a new, available apartment in my building?" Nate's apartment complex had a newly renovated available spot. It was $1,500 a month, three bedrooms, and was on the third floor of his building. Nate went over the details and the guys considered.

"That sounds fine to me. I want to be able to wake up, and know you're both right there." Chris nodded, and he squeezed their hands. "Yeah. We should go take a look at it."

Nate grinned. "Okay, cool." He drew both men in for a hug, then kissed each of them in turn. "I'm thrilled I met you guys."

Murmurs of agreement came from Christopher and Tad, and Nate enjoyed the feel of both of their hands on his back.

The three fellows took a seat on the couch, and they started a list of all of the things each of them possessed in their individual households. Then they began another one of the things they would need to buy together - things that would belong to them all.

As Nate looked at the growing list of their shared responsibilities, he couldn't quite help but smile.

Author's Note: Please let me know your thoughts about the chapter at the following email address link.   Wayne Gray

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