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SUMMARY: Two boys growing up together in an idyllic beachfront community share a passion for baseball. One excels at the game and plays it with reckless abandon; the other, less talented, studies the game and those who play it, hoping someday to share what he learns with others. Best friends since childhood, the two have seen how baseball can bring them closer together. Now, having just graduated from high school, it’s about to show them a crueler side of the game. Baseball is about to separate them even though neither wants that to happen. You can find a longer synopsis of the entire story here. Please note that italics are typically used to indicate what a character is thinking or saying to himself.
WARNING: This story is a work of adult fiction and intended for mature audiences only. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Unless otherwise indicated by context, all of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs portrayed or mentioned in this story are fictional, not depictions of real people, leagues, stadiums, teams and clubs. Please note that the story may describe, depict or otherwise include graphic portrayals of relationships between men and/or adolescent boys that are homosexual in nature. If you do not like or approve of such discussions or it is illegal for you to read such material, consider yourself warned. If you continue to read this story, you are asserting that you are fully capable of understanding and legally consenting to reading a work of adult fiction.
NOTICE: This story is my property and protected by the copyright laws of the United States and other countries. It may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission. You may download a single copy to read offline and to share with others as long as you credit me as the author. However, you may not use this work for commercial purposes or to profit from it in any way. You may not use any of the characters, leagues, stadiums, teams, clubs, or other fictional locations described in the story in your own work without my explicit permission. Nor may you use, alter, transform, or build upon the story in any way. If you share this story with others, you must make clear the terms under which it is licensed to them. The best way to do that is by linking to this web page.
NOTES: Please check these notes every week. If there is something I want to alert you to as I post each chapter, this is where I will I do so. March 10: If you want a say in what stays and what goes in the conclusion of the story, please take a look at the introduction to this chapter here before actually reading it. If you don’t care one way or the other, read on; and if you’re reading this after March 14, 2014, please ignore this message.
It was early when I woke up the following morning. Riley was still asleep. His hand was playing with himself from time to time like young boys sometimes do without realizing they’re even doing it; not enough to get himself fully aroused but enough to give me a good idea what he was dreaming about.
Spooning up behind him, I found myself going over what had happened the previous night. It had been everything I had been hoping for and more.
You were right, Ethan. Riley’s definitely the one you’ve been looking for all your life. Now you just need to persuade him to move in with you.
It’s just a question of figuring out how to do that.
Surprisingly, the plan came together quickly for me. I would need to be cautious in how I broached the whole thing, but there was no way Riley was getting away from me now. For the moment, however, there were other things to take care of.
Rolling him on to his back, I went down on Riley gently. At some point he realized what was happening; that it wasn’t just some dream he was having. He pulled his hand away and let me finish the job and he seemed to enjoy letting me do it.
But he was still tired and it was early so I spooned up behind him again and wrapped him into my arms. He fell asleep quickly; in spite of my best effort, I soon joined him. The next time I woke up he was standing next to the bed staring down at me. It was apparent he was aroused and he was already wearing a condom.
“Come on,” he said, dragging me to the side of the bed roughly, then down to the floor.
He positioned me on my hands and knees facing away from him. Kneeling down, he pressed into me quickly. Unlike the previous evening, he wanted to play rougher now and that made the whole thing even more powerful for me in some ways. He was turning me on not just by what he was doing, but by what he was saying.
I had never realized just how powerful words could be.
Eventually he finished and we took a shower together. While Riley dressed, I wrapped a towel around my mid-section and shaved. I was applying the after shave lotion when he walked back into the bathroom and took up a position behind me. He was dressed now and looked great and bumped his groin against my ass a couple of times as if ready for another go at my butt.
“You don’t hear me saying no,” I said to the smiling face staring back at me in the mirror.
“You’ll be late if we do,” he replied.
Following him down the stairs, I pulled together breakfast for us. Later, as we drove to the ballpark, I decided to set part of my plan in motion.
The race for the Eastern Division championship and the wild card spots had been close since the All Star break and now every game in September took on heightened importance. The Warriors were scheduled to leave on a road trip on Tuesday and a lot of people were saying the trip would decide our playoff chances.
Having never been in a playoff chase before as a professional, a part of me was excited about the challenge; and yet being away from Riley that long would be hard. Hoping he’d volunteer it, I had been holding off asking for his phone number. Now, with time running out, I decided to press for it.
“I was wondering whether you have a cell number you could give me to stay in touch while I’m away, Riley?” I asked. “Tuesday morning we start a long road trip. I won’t be home until a week from next Friday. The point is, while I’m going to be away for ten nights, there’s no reason we can’t stay in touch. If you’re nice, I might even send you a shot of my butt.”
“That would be interesting,” he said, laughing, “but you just struck out, Ethan. Cells like that iPhone of yours are expensive; even if I could buy one, I couldn’t afford the monthly charges.”
I remember being annoyed. Being away from Riley was going to be hard; being totally out of touch with him would be agony.
“How about I buy you one?” I said. “They’re not that expensive and I could put you on my plan so you wouldn’t have to worry about those charges.”
“You must have better ways of spending your money,” he replied.
“As a matter of fact, I don’t,” I responded, glancing over at him. “Consider it settled. Soon enough you’ll be the proud owner of a spanking new iPhone. Figuring out all the features is your problem though.”
He didn’t say anything in response and I took silence as acquiescence. When we finally reached the stadium, I parked the car and pointed him in the direction of the place where he could pick up the ticket I had called in for him on the way over.
Like I knew it would be, it was a long day. Doc was a manager who believed in resting his veterans so some of guys only played the first game. But he had no compunction about playing younger guys like me until we were ready to drop.
I ended up playing well in both games. I even had a triple in the second one, the first of my major league career. It had been close, however. I had to slide into third base head first; and while I managed to elude the tag, I also ripped up my thigh. It wasn’t life threatening by any means, but it was one of those abrasions that liked to let you know it was still there if you weren’t careful.
Later, driving back to my place, I asked Riley whether he had enjoyed the games.
“I did,” he responded. “But eighteen innings is a lot of baseball, especially when you don’t have anything to eat.”
“Oh, jeez, I completely forgot about that,” I said. “I should have given you some money. We can stop if you want to eat out; or I can cook something for you back at my place.”
“It’s not a big deal,” he said. “There’s probably something back at your place that won’t require you to cook. You had a tougher day than me.”
“But I would like cooking for you,” I responded, lying.
I hated cooking for anyone, including myself, but Riley would have to be there if I was cooking for him.
“If you want to be the nice little girlfriend and make something for me to eat, I’m not going to say no. Just don’t expect me to propose anytime soon, Ethan. I’m not ready for a wife just yet.”
Sure you are, Riley; you just don’t know it.
Back at my place, I changed into shorts and made a simple pasta dish. Either Riley liked it or he was famished. He devoured everything I put in front of him. While he was eating, I asked what he had liked best about the games.
“I like it when you hit left-handed,” he replied, smirking. “I was sitting on the first base side and I love how you shake that ass of yours when you’re batting.”
“Do you?” I said. “You realize you don’t have to go to a game for that.”
Standing up, I turned around and waggled my butt at him.
“Awesome,” he said, reaching over and running his hand up and down my thigh and my ass.
“As a matter of fact, I think I could use a piece of . . . um . . . a piece of dessert right now,” he continued, smirking.
“You’re still hungry?” I said, teasing him.
“I am,” he replied.
“Just as long as we avoid rubbing this leg of mine,” I said, showing him the abrasion I had gotten sliding.
“Ooh, that’s nasty,” he responded, looking at it.
“We’ll definitely have to keep those legs of yours elevated,” he continued, grinning. “We can do it in front of the living room window. We’ll just rest your feet on the window sill and I’ll scoot in between you and the window. That should provide a thrill for any college kids walking by if they happen to look up.”
I assumed he was joking, but he wasn’t and soon enough he led me over to the front of the townhouse. It was weird, but I was only too happy to do it wherever Riley wanted in whatever position he wanted me in.
There was still one thing I needed to get settled before the evening was over. I waited until we had finished up in bed later that night and then raised it.
“Hey, Riley, I was wondering whether you could do me a favor.”
“Maybe,” he replied. “Does it involve doing something obscene to that butt of yours?”
“Not actually,” I said; “although doing this favor could earn you some bonus miles inside it.”
“That sounds good to me,” he responded. “What can I do for you, Ethan?”
“Um, well, like I told you before, the Warriors are going to be away on this road trip starting Tuesday; and while this place has a security system, I would be more comfortable if someone was staying here keeping an eye on it for me.”
“You wouldn’t have to be here all the time, of course; I realize you’re busy. Maybe you could just spend some time here whenever it’s convenient for you. I mean, it’s a pretty nice place what with that big screen television and all the rest of the stuff. What do you think? Could you keep an eye on the place while I’m away?”
“I don’t know, Ethan,” he responded. “Not that it’s a problem; in fact, it would be cool to have my own place, if only for a few days. But you only met me Friday evening. Are you sure you trust me enough to do something like that?”
“I think you proved you were trustworthy when you decided not to bareback me last night, Riley,” I said. “You could have done it and I wouldn’t have tried to stop you. I realize that was a mistake now, but why wouldn’t I trust you after something like that?”
He didn’t say anything in response.
“So can I assume it’s a done deal?” I asked. “I can give you the keys in the morning.”
“Sure,” he said. “It could be fun. This is an awesome place and it’s only for a few days.”
That’s what you think, Riley, I said to myself.
I’m thinking more than a just few days.
I’m thinking the rest of our lives.
Riley fucked me twice Monday morning and it just kept getting better and better.
“I have to go,” he finally whispered. “I can’t believe I spent the whole weekend here and you better not tell Gina and Marie either.”
“Can you have dinner with me tonight and then spend the evening here?” I asked. “I mean, I know it’s asking a lot, but I’m going to be away for ten nights. That’s going to be hard.”
“How about we compromise?” he said. “How about we have dinner tonight? I don’t think I should spend the evening here though.”
“Why not?” I asked. “Ten nights is forever.”
“You’re going to miss this, Riley,” I added, shaking my ass at him. “You know you are.”
“I will,” he replied, grinning, “but I don’t want you falling for me, Ethan. Don’t me get me wrong; it’s flattering, but I’ve been telling you from the beginning not to fall in love with me. It would probably be better if I didn’t spend the night here.”
I thought about pressing the point, but decided against it.
You have to be smart about this, Ethan. You don’t want him to feel trapped. He likes you. It’s just going to take a little time. It’ll happen quicker if you give him some space.
“Okay,” I said; “no boy pussy for you tonight, Riley. If you insist on settling for a cheap imitation, be my guest. But I’ll expect you here at 6 p.m. for dinner.”
He laughed when I said it.
“You’re actually funny when you’re not being serious, Ethan. I like that. See you tonight.”
I spent part of the morning buying an iPhone for Riley, getting him put on my plan, and making sure they gift-wrapped it nicely. Then I called in a reservation to a restaurant just off Dupont Circle where I knew we would have some privacy. Finally, I headed to Warriors Stadium.
I was in a great mood and it showed on the field that afternoon; even Doc Howard seemed satisfied with my performance for once. I got home around 4:30 p.m. and changed. Riley showed up around 6 o’clock, the time we had agreed on. I had deliberately made our dinner reservation for 7:30 p.m. to give us enough time to get a head start on the evening.
“I thought I wasn’t going to get any tonight,” he said, grinning, as I started to do a little striptease for him.
“Unlike you, Riley, I’m a nice guy,” I replied, joking. “Knowing what you’re planning on settling for later tonight, I figured I would take the sting off of that by showing you what you’ll be missing.”
He laughed, but his clothes came off as quickly as mine. I spent a long time pleasuring him until eventually he got around to giving my ass a really rough pounding.
It doesn’t get any better than this, I recall thinking.
Everything seemed perfect. Whatever reservations he may have had that first night, Riley was definitely getting into the whole thing by now, especially as I began to get a better sense of what turned him on and how to make everything work toward the conclusion both of us wanted. For his part, Riley seemed to like alternating between tender and rough. That suited me fine as well.
Eventually we finished up. Before we left the house, I handed him the gift I had bought that morning.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“See for yourself; it’s a little gift from me to you,” I responded.
He opened it up, but his reaction wasn’t what I was hoping for.
He looked at it carefully, then returned it to the box it had come in.
“Oh, jeez, I can’t accept this,” he said, trying to hand it back to me.
“Why not?” I responded, refusing to take it. “I told you I wanted to get you one and had enough time to do it this morning. I mean, the thought of being away from you for ten nights is driving me crazy, Riley. This way we can stay in touch.”
“This is way too expensive for one thing,” he said; “and, like I told you before, I can’t afford the monthly charges.”
“I’ve got those covered too,” I replied. “You don’t have to worry about anything. It’s my treat and I don’t want to hear any more about it. It’s just a cell phone, not a diamond ring.”
You’ll be getting one of those soon enough, Riley.
“Listen, Ethan, do you even know what my last name is?” he asked.
It wasn’t a question I was expecting, but he was right. In all the excitement, I hadn’t even thought about that.
“Um, well, I don’t,” I replied. “But you’re going to tell me now, aren’t you?”
“It’s Sanders,” he said. “My name is Riley Sanders and I like being your friend and, sure, we’re terrific in bed together. But you’ve known me for less than 72 hours. I would like to have a phone like this, but it’s over the top, dude. I’m not your husband or even your boyfriend. I’m just a dude you met a couple of days ago who loves fucking you.”
“Look, Riley, I’m sorry you think this is too much,” I replied. “It’s just that we’re leaving on this road trip tomorrow and I’m going to miss you so much. How about you hold on to the phone while I’m away? If you still feel the same way when I get back, I’ll take it back to the store or keep it as a spare or whatever.”
“I don’t want to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. I just want us to be friends. I haven’t had a really close friend in a long time and you mean a lot to me.”
He looked at me and shook his head.
“Okay, I’ll leave it here at your place while you’re away, but after that it’s your problem. Understood?”
“Whatever you say, Riley, and thanks,” I replied. “I really want to stay in touch while I’m away.”
Our final road trip of the year was long and tiring, taking us south to Atlanta for two games, then west to San Francisco, San Diego, and finally to Phoenix for three games apiece.
When we departed, the concern was that other teams would use the trip to put our playoff chances to rest once and for all. But that didn’t happen. In fact, it went the opposite way; after splitting the series in Atlanta, we went on to win both series in California and then to sweep the three games in Arizona. That moved us into first place.
In Phoenix I visited the park where I had run into Donnie and Tyler years before. I didn’t expect to find them there, but thought it would therapeutic when I didn’t. I was wrong about that.
Even though Donnie and Tyler were nowhere to be found, there were other boys and young men cruising the park. They were looking for older men with money to buy food or drugs or whatever it would take to help them get through the night. Like Donnie and Tyler, they were young and cute; I had even given some of them money, no strings attached.
But seeing those boys hustling like that only brought back all the sadness. This was America after all. How could it be that someone like me was being paid millions of dollars to play a game while young boys like them were forced to sell their bodies in a park late at night just to survive?
How could people allow something like that to happen in America?
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t come up with an answer, at least one that didn’t leave me ashamed of my country.
Away from Washington and all the pressures that had been building on me, I found myself more relaxed in some ways, looser; and that affected my game for the better. I stopped obsessing about hitting for power, stopped pressing for exactly the right pitch, and began taking whatever the pitchers were offering.
By the time we reached San Diego, my batting average had climbed above .300 and my on-base percentage was soaring as well. In a sign of confidence, Doc Howard moved me from seventh to leadoff and I responded well to the change. I was doing what leadoff hitters are expected to do. I was getting on base one way or another; and that brought my speed into play as the team began having me steal more often.
Phoenix proved to be a walkover for us. It was one of those series where everything went right, at least on the field; and winning eight of eleven on that road trip powered the Warriors to a two game lead in the Eastern Division, the first time the team had been there since May.
As the end of the season approached, we were hot. We were building momentum and confidence at precisely the right time and I was happy to be part of that. By the time we boarded our charter for the flight back to Washington, everyone was in a good mood.
I called Riley every night on that trip and thought about him even more. I had been friendless too long. I needed Riley and by now I was more determined than ever to get him to move in with me. I spent a lot of time thinking about that during the trip, going over things again and again in my mind.
I tried to anticipate possible objections and to have responses ready for them. Eventually I settled on an approach I was hoping he couldn’t refuse. I felt like it would accomplish what I was looking for without making him feel as if I was trying to control his life.
We won our last game of the road trip on Friday in Phoenix. By the time our plane touched down in D.C. late that evening, I was primed and ready. I got back to the house about 11 p.m. I had told Riley when our flight arrived, but didn’t expect him to be there and he wasn’t. I figured he was at Buzz with the girls.
After taking a shower I considered joining them, then thought better of it. I didn’t want Riley to think I was stalking him; better to let him come back to the place on his own schedule. It turned out to be a smart move because, surprisingly, he was back a little before midnight.
I heard him come up the stairs and enter our room. I pretended to be asleep. I could hear him taking off his clothes and it was an effort not to open my eyes and watch; and then he was climbing on to the bed and I could feel him move across it and come to a rest behind me. He placed his hand on my butt and rubbed it gently. In spite of my best efforts, I stirred.
“Are you ready to be fucked or are you going to just lay there pretending to be asleep for the rest of the evening?” he asked.
Then he snickered.
“I’m away for ten nights and that’s the best you can come up with to welcome me home romantically?” I asked. “Are you ready to be fucked?”
“I thought it was more romantic than bow wow or woof,” he said, pulling and tugging and pushing until he had me positioned on my hands and knees facing away from him. He was pushing my face into the mattress with one hand, pulling my butt back toward him with the other, and he was inside me before I even realized he was doing it.
He was definitely eager and pounded me roughly for a couple of minutes without whispering any sweet nothings or even a by your leave.
And you like it, too; you know it, Ethan.
Then, having exhausted the first wave of his passion, he pulled out, rolled me on to my back, and lifted my legs over his shoulders.
He was smirking at me because he knew I liked it as much he did. Soon enough I could feel his explosion; and then just as quickly as it had begun, he lowered my body and rolled on his side, looking at me.
“I just wanted you to know that pussy of yours was missed,” he whispered.
“That’s what I love about you, Riley” I replied. “You’re so romantic; but, yeah, I definitely missed you too.”
“Do you have a game tomorrow?” he asked, ignoring my rebuke.
“It’s in the evening,” I said. “It’s important. All of them are important at this stage, but we climbed into first place on this trip.”
“I read that,” he said. “I’m happy for you guys; eight of eleven is pretty damn good. You guys should be proud of yourselves.”
I remember smiling. It was like he had become some kind of baseball aficionado in my absence, but it made me feel good he had been thinking about me.
The following morning I decided to raise it with him.
“You know, I’ve been thinking about what a great job you did taking care of this place while I was away,” I said; “and about how my life is totally insane and I need help managing things. I was wondering whether you would consider moving in here with me, Riley.”
“And before you blow me off, let me explain. Like I’ve told you before, I have lots of people I pay to do stuff for me. I have an agent and a lawyer and an accountant and a financial adviser, among others. I pay them a lot of money to do things I don’t have enough time to do or because they know more than me.”
“And I was just thinking there are lots of things you could help me out with if we lived together,” I continued; “things it would make sense for me to pay you to do.”
“Like what?” he asked.
“Well, take this house, for example,” I said. “I’m on the road a lot and it felt really good knowing you were here taking care of it. So that’s one thing you could do if you were living here. It’s a big place and you could have your own room if you want. I’m not saying you have to sleep in here with me. You could; but you could have your own room if you want more privacy. Whatever you want is fine with me.”
It was a lie, of course. I wanted him sleeping with me. I wanted him fucking me every night and more than just once. But first I needed to get him to move in.
“Plus I haven’t been doing nearly as good a job as I should working out in the morning,” I continued. “It’s hard working out alone; and that’s going to become more important once the season ends. I’m not going to want to be traipsing over to Warriors Stadium every morning. I’m going to find some place closer for my workouts.”
“It would be great to have someone to work out with. You could be like my personal trainer that way. I had a best friend back in my home town. I’ve mentioned him to you before. His name is Hunter and we used to talk about him doing stuff like that when I finally made it to the major leagues. But he went off to college and we drifted apart over the years. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. We just did.”
“Was he gay, Ethan?” he asked.
“No; he’s straight and I suppose that’s another reason it would have never worked out even if we hadn’t drifted apart.”
“How do you know he’s straight?” Riley asked. “Did he tell you?”
“Um, well, no; but I know he’s had sex with a girl, probably a lot more than one by now. But I know for sure he had sex with Mary Ellen, this girl both of us knew back home. He told me that.”
“I have sex with girls, too, Ethan,” he responded. “That doesn’t make me straight.”
“Yeah, but that’s different,” I replied. “I mean, you’re bi; and, honestly, I don’t even know why you’re asking me this anyway.”
“I’m just curious because you talk about Hunter a lot,” he replied. “I’m not saying he isn’t straight. He could be. Most dudes are; but it sounds like the two of you never talked about it. Maybe you should.”
“Yeah, well, maybe we will the next time I get home, but I’m certain he’s straight and you’re not going to get rid of me that easily, Riley. The point is, I need someone to help me out with all of that stuff I mentioned; and there’s other stuff as well I need help with.”
“I realize you wouldn’t want to be financially dependent on me if you lived here. You would want to have your own money coming in. And all of those things I talked about are worth paying you for. I think it would be a good deal for both of us.”
“How much?” he asked.
“Um, well, I don’t know exactly,” I said. “I mean, I was thinking maybe $750 or $1000 a week; more if you don’t think that’s fair. And you would be living here for free, of course, so you wouldn’t be paying any rent and I would pay for the food when we went shopping together. In fact, with my schedule, it would probably be better if I just gave you the money and you did the shopping. I could do the cooking.”
He looked at me kind of funny.
“You’re kidding, right?” he said. “You want to pay me $1000 bucks a week to fuck you. Is that what you’re telling me, Ethan?”
I remember being shocked when he said it and tried to block out the words.
“No,” I responded, trying to make him understand. “I wouldn’t be paying you to fuck me. I mean, yeah, sure, if you’re living here, I would want you to fuck me, not because I’m paying you but because you like fucking me anyway. But working out with me, taking care of stuff for me, that takes time and time is money. It wouldn’t be fair to ask you to do stuff like that for nothing.”
“It seems like $1000 a week is a lot of money for what you’re talking about, Ethan,” he replied. “It doesn’t seem like I would be doing very much; besides fucking you, of course. I gather I would be doing that a lot.”
“Well, yeah, I hope you would be,” I responded. “But that has nothing to do with what I would be paying you for.”
He just stared at me and didn’t say anything as if he didn’t believed me.
It’s true, I remember telling myself. It has nothing to do with him fucking me.
Yeah, right, another voice responded from somewhere deep within. It has nothing at all to do with him fucking you, does it, Ethan?
“Have you really thought about this?” he asked. “There are probably a few things you might want to consider.”
“Like what?” I replied.
“Well, for one thing, I’m not like you, Ethan. I’m bi, not gay; you know that. Let’s say I wanted my own room. Is it going to be a problem if I invited someone over; you know, maybe a guy, maybe a girl. Would that be a problem?”
I had expected that.
“Um, no, it shouldn’t be,” I said. “I mean, I wouldn’t want someone taking up permanent residence here or something like that. But having someone over every now and then? That wouldn’t be a problem.”
“Every now and then, Ethan; is that like, once a week, once a month? How about every night? Would that be okay?”
“I’m sure we can work it out, Riley,” I replied; “something reasonable. But I was under the impression you liked having sex with me as much as I enjoy having it with you. Why would you want to sleep with someone else if I was keeping you satisfied? I’m pretty motivated to do that. And you’ll be the one calling all the shots in the bedroom. I’m fine with that.”
“Look, Ethan, you’re a terrific dude and I’m not trying to be a wise ass,” he responded. “But you’re moving way too fast and taking too much for granted. I like you. I do, but I’m not the only dude in the world. There are lots of guys who would make a better boyfriend for you than me.”
That last comment cut pretty deep. I had played just about all my cards and he was still resisting.
“Look, Riley, what’s it going to take; more money, no strings at all? What’s it going to take to get you to move in here with me? I need you. You’re so good for me, Riley. Please; I’m not asking a lot. It’s however you want it to be.”
He just shook his head.
“You don’t even realize what you’re saying, do you, Ethan? It’s however I want it unless I want it some other way than you want it to be. You don’t know anything about me, Ethan, and you’ve never asked very much. Where I was born and raised? How I ended up in Washington? How I scratch out a living?”
“Nothing, Ethan; you’ve never asked me any of those things. All you know is I turn you on; that you like being fucked by me, so much so you’re willing to pay me to do it but have convinced yourself it isn’t about being fucked when it is.”
Not knowing what else to do, I pleaded with him.
“It’s going to be however you say, Riley. I’ll do whatever it takes. Just give me a chance. Just tell me what I need to do, what you want me to be.”
“Listen, Ethan, if I could answer that myself, I might be able to help you figure it out. I want you to be who you are because you’re a terrific guy, but you’re playing a game that doesn’t want to let you be who you are. I think you’ve been looking for something for a long time and I happened along at the right moment and I think it’s been good for both of us. I’m glad it happened.”
“Me too, Riley,” I replied. “You’ve made me very happy. And I think maybe we could really become best friends if you move in with me now.”
He looked over at me and smiled.
“Maybe is an interesting word,” he said; “it implies possibilities without guaranteeing them and possibilities are what keep us going.”
I didn’t really understand what he was trying to say so I made a little joke of the whole thing.
“I think maybe we should get up now, take a shower, spend the day doing fun things together before my game this evening, and then, to make it a perfect day, I think maybe we should think about doing something else, together. I’ll let you decide what, Riley.”
“Good ideas, Ethan,” he said, embracing me momentarily.
“But why wait until the end of the day?”
We didn’t wait until the end of the day; and while we did a lot of fun things that day, what we did that morning in bed was the most fun of all.
Riley decided to pass on the game that evening. I was sorry about that because I had a monster game that night and just being with him all day was what made the difference. When I finally got home that evening, he wasn’t around. I thought maybe he had decided to go Buzz.
Wandering into the kitchen, I spotted an envelope addressed to me. There was a note inside from Riley.
Hey, dude, just wanted you to know today was the most awesome day of my life because it was about you loving me and me loving you and it was the best experience I’ve ever had with another dude.
Look, Ethan, I have some things I need to figure out about myself so I’m going away for a while. I know I should have told you this in person, but I just couldn’t man up enough to do it that way. I guess I’m a poor excuse for an alpha male for doing something like this. But I’m human enough to say I’m sorry and I hope you’ll forgive me for just writing this note.
I’m not sure when I’ll be back exactly, but I’ll definitely look you up when I do. Think about what I told you. I want you to be happy and think you can be.
It’s probably hard to believe but they do have television where I’m headed so I’ll be watching you in the World Series next month.
Love you . . .
I remember sitting there at the kitchen table reading the words over and over again.
And then I began to cry.