"It's nothing like you. You say your parents have known forever."
"He has to know someday, Dan. It's been two years. It's for Christmas."
"That's exactly it, Zack. It's Christmas. All those family traditions and memories. My mother died at Christmas time. My dad isn't that well. He's got high blood pressure. Christmas just isn't . . . no, please don't pull away from me."
Dan reached out and pulled the smaller Zack back into his embrace. They had both been sitting on the edge of the bed, Zack sitting between Dan's stretched thighs, with Dan's arms encasing the slight blond from behind and the throbbing underside of Dan's erect cock pressing into the small of Zack's back. Having captured Zack to him again, Dan held the slighter man in place with one heavily muscled arm encasing Zack's torso while he reached down and fisted Zack's cock with the other hand and began to stroke him.
Neither could speak for nearly half a minute. They couldn't have been heard if they did and were accustomed to breaking any conversation they were having, no matter how serious. A jet had come in for a screeching landing at Washington's Ronald Reagan airport, whose runways paralleled the line of Crystal City high rise apartment buildings where the two shared a small one-bedroom apartment. They both worked nearby, Zack as a steward for United and Dan as a physical trainer at a Gold's Gym in Pentagon City. Where Zack was slim and compact in keeping with the weight needs for an airline steward and with a pretty-boy face and frosted blond hair that also seemed to go with the job, Dan was a dark, hirsute six-foot-five body builder, whose muscles had muscles.
Dan loved exotic positions and could manipulate Zack's trim, boyish body at will, which both usually liked just fine, and Dan had equipment that seemed impossible for Zack to handle, which was a highly arousing turn on for both when Zack was able to sheath it all. Dan could hold an erection for hours, which Zack loved, and Zack could fire off every fifteen minutes and recharge immediately for hours, which Dan loved. They were the perfect, mutually arousing pair sexually.
This evening, though, Zack really did want to get away for a while. He felt like he'd burst into tears and reveal to Dan how important this issue was to him. Yes, his family had adjusted immediately and well to his sexual preferences when he was still a teen. But they were all gone now. There was no place for him to go at Christmas. Dan was his whole world now. But Dan had family—and a father who didn't know, or at least Dan said he didn't know. And Dan had family traditions and was expected home on his father's Virginia Shenandoah Valley farm for Christmas.
"Dan . . ."
"Shush. Don't be mad with me. Don't be upset. Relax. We've both had a tense day. You know what you want. I'm going to give it to you."
Zack moaned. He did want it. Dan's gymnastic positions made him melt, and Dan had said he wanted to try something different he'd seen in the sauna at the gym earlier in the day. And Dan was working Zack's cock with his fist. And Dan's huge cock was pressing in the small of his back.
Still, he had opened the subject up. He needed to keep the initiative now that he'd started pressing.
"He probably already knows, Dan. My parents said they'd known before I did."
"Shush now. Open up to me." Zack felt Dan rolling a condom on his cock and then the cool wetness of the lubricant at his opening. One, two probing fingers. He began to breathe heavily and to whimper. When he could manage three regular breaths, he could take the cock.
"It's been two years, Dan. I don't want to go another Christmas without you. We deserve to be acknowledged as a committed couple."
This entire statement, bold and painful for him to make—and possibly a declaration that would endanger their relationship was completely drowned out by the landing of another passenger jet at Ronald Reagan. And then another and another.
By the time the noise had abated, Dan had lifted Zack's pelvis and skewered the smaller man's channel on his sheathed cock.
Zack couldn't think of anything now but the fuck. This was what he lived for. He got plenty of offers at work, but he always now came home to Dan's cock. Nothing he'd ever experienced had come close to making him melt like the size and power and cocksmanship of Dan.
Fully sheathed, Dan pushed Zack's torso forward, between his thighs, Zack's torso was jackknifed with his feet planted on the carpet next to the bed. Dan crossed his ankles behind Zack's neck and grabbed the smaller man's wrists in his fists and pulled them wide and back.
"Now use your feet for leverage and fuck yourself," Dan growled.
Zack did so, concentrating so hard on the fuck that he'd let loose of the Christmas travel plans.
Dan could go forever and Zack was a fast shooter but also a fast reloader. When he ejaculated from this position, Dan told him to bring his legs back on the bed, with his knees beside Dan's hips, and then Dan grabbed Zack's slender waist with both hands and pulled Zack's channel on and off of his buried cock until Zack had come again.
For Dan's own finish, he was on his back on the bed and Zack was hovering over him, reversed crab style, in the Kamasutra position called the butterfly, and staring at the ceiling. Dan had pillows under the small of his back, elevating his pelvis, and he brought his knees up between Zack's thighs, and athletically pumped the smaller man's channel until Dan gave a little jerk and cry and ejaculated. He then wrapped his arms around Zack's torso and brought the back of the small man down into his chest and belly, without losing the purchase of his cock inside Zack's channel.
Both men were panting and breathing heavily. They listened to the peak evening period of jets landing and taking off at the adjacent airport.
"Everything good, baby?" Dan whispered in Zack's ear.
"Yes, everything's good," Zack whispered back. But he was glad that his face was turned away from Dan's so that his lover couldn't see the sad expression on his face and the tears in his eyes.
* * * *
"You can tell him now, Dan. You should tell him," Jeff told his older brother. "You've always said you didn't because he'd be disappointed the family line wouldn't go on. But Elaine's pregnant . . . and the doctor's said it's a boy . . . so the Wilson strain won't stop."
"It's Christmas, Jeff. I can't tell him now—especially with Mother having gone at Christmas. It would kill him."
"He's strong as an ox, Dan. We shouldn't be keeping secrets from family like this. It weakens us. And how long have you been living with Zack now?"
"Are you being fair to him?"
"We manage. He doesn't care. He doesn't complain." Dan winced at the lie he'd told. He knew that Zack cared.
"I just don't like a secret like that being held back from Pop. He's not an ogre. Besides, he may know already. I guessed before you told me."
Dan set his chin in the way Jeff knew there was no more discussion to be had, and their father was signaling anyway that he had found "the tree."
The two brothers had been standing at the edge of the small fir tree lot their father had devoted to growing Christmas trees years ago, when both were barely out of diapers. It was one of the family's Christmas traditions. The three of them came out to the tree lot, their father picked out the tree for that year, and the two boys felled it and dragged it back to the truck. The family women—in this case Elaine, since both their mother and grandmother were gone now—were to be back at the house baking Christmas cookies. After lunch they'd then all drive into Harrisonburg and pick out the Christmas tree decoration for that year.
The Christmas tree decoration had been a tradition that their mother had brought to the family, but it was one that their father now insisted they continue even though the tree groaned with the weight of the mounting ornamentation.
The boys went upstairs to clean up for lunch while their dad sat at the kitchen table and worshiped his daughter-in-law, having just been told the night before of the pending addition to the Wilson family.
After Jeff had clumped down the stairs, Dan drifted into his parents' room. It still seemed to be his parents' room, although the smell in the room now—a musk sort of after shave smell—was all masculine. His mother's stuff was still laid out on her dressing table just as it had been the day before she went to the hospital for what was supposed to be a routine operation—but that wasn't. She had wanted to put the operation off until after Christmas and Dan's dad has insisted that she not wait any longer then she had to get that tumor out of her. Dan was sorry now that they hadn't waited. Apparently her condition was much worse than she'd revealed. She had wanted one last Christmas and they hadn't given it to her.
If only she hadn't kept the seriousness of her condition secret from the family.
Dan shuddered and felt as much as heard his sob. What was it that Jeff had said earlier in the day about keeping secrets in the family? He shook his head. He wouldn't think about it. He went into the walk-in closet, meaning to touch something his mother had worn that he could remember on her. But nothing of hers was here. The closet was full of clothes, but none of them were women's clothes. It was strange that his dad had bought so many clothes. But he was known to be absentminded. Maybe he just bought them out of habit. They were nice clothes, though.
The thought entered Dan's mind that maybe his dad was courting a woman again. What did he think about that? He'd be sad, but he wouldn't show it. His dad deserved any happiness he could find in companionship. Everyone did. That was one of the last things his mother had told them all—to continue with their lives, and to find companionship as good as she and Dan's father had known for twenty years.
Dan had to sit down on the bed in his parents' room for a couple of minutes to compose himself before going downstairs. Zack had been right. Same with Jeff. He needed to tell his father. His father would just need to be reminded of what his mother had said about each of them finding a companion for the rest of their lives. Jeff had his and maybe their father was stepping out too. Dan had his, but Zack had been right, having each other in secret wasn't full commitment. They needed others to know they had each other—especially family.
Just not at Christmas. Maybe after New Years.
Their dad was being unusually persnickety about a Christmas tree ornament this year. They went to several gift shops in Harrisonburg. Their dad was well know and well liked in the community. And he was flirty with the sales women in the stores. He would introduce Dan and Jeff to any of the women they didn't know, although they did know quite a few, including several who obviously were setting their hats for Mr. Wilson senior.
More than once Dan wondered if this or that woman was "the one." Dorothy Stulz in the Christmas shop on Port Republic Road ranked high on that list. Dan even overhead his father tell Dorothy he'd see her at New Years. Neither of the boys would be home for New Years. Dan hadn't wondered before what their father was doing for New Years, but now he was wondering.
Their dad settled on a Christmas tree ornament in Dorothy's shop but, upon leaving, he said he wanted to check out an antique shop in Dayton just south of Harrisonburg.
Dan was glad he'd been brought here. The proprietor, an old school friend of his father's named Ted, who Jeff and Elaine also seemed to know, had gathered very interesting items, and, while his father and Ted conversed, the younger Wilsons crawled all over the store.
When they'd worked their way back to the front of the store, Ted was wrapping a delicate porcelain angel.
"I've found the perfect ornament," Dan's father said—with Dan wondering how their father had found it, as he hadn't been looking around the shop. But as if he'd read Dan's mind, his father continued. "It was right here under my nose all of the time. Sometimes we don't see for looking. And did you know that angels were male? This one is authentic. Isn't he handsome?"
Dan had to gulp when he saw the angel figurine. The features were the spitting image of Zack. "Yep, he sure is handsome."
Dan's father was still working his own thoughts, though. "Elaine, I'd like you to take the other ornament I bought. I'd like to start a family tradition of giving one to my grandson every year. By the time he gets married, he'll have a nicely decorated tree. And then when—or if—other children come along, we'll set up their own Christmas traditions for them too."
Everyone but Dan was in a convivial mood on the way back to the farm. Dan didn't know why he couldn't get into the mood. That was a lie, of course. He couldn't get in the mood because Zack wasn't with him for Christmas. Dan felt so torn. Here his father was making yet another Christmas tradition. Dan felt trapped by family Christmas traditions. It was like it was Christmas traditions that were holding Zack at bay. But he knew it wasn't about anything that Zack was doing. He could kick himself, because it was all his fault. All his weakness.
He was buried within himself after they'd gotten home, the fire had been lit in the fireplace, Jeff had brought out the wine, and Elaine had appeared with a plate of freshly baked cookies. Dan went through the motions but all could tell he wasn't mentally or emotionally in the room.
"What's the matter, son?" Dan's father suddenly stopped and said in the middle of a conversation he was having with Jeff. They were all gathered around the fireplace. There were two empty places—one on a sofa and the other an easy chair—and Dan felt the absence of not only his mother but of Zack as well.
"Nothing, Dad. Everything's great."
"Well, not everything's great with me, Dan. We have about ten minutes, maybe less, and in that time I think we need to clear the air."
"Ten minutes? Clear the air?"
"Yes. When are you going to tell me about this young man of yours? Are you going to keep it a secret for another year?"
Dan glowered at Jeff.
"Don't look at Jeff like that, son. I've known what your preferences were for years. Yes, Jeff and Elaine have talked to me about this airline man of yours, but I had to beat it out of them. You were so on edge last year at Christmas, and I made them tell me why you weren't having as good a Christmas here as usual."
Dan mumbled something that none of the others could decipher and not even he knew what it was.
"Jeff says his name is Zack. Does he have anywhere to go for Christmas?"
"No," Dan said after a strangled pause. "No one is left in his family. He's back at his . . . our apartment in Northern Virginia, I think."
"You think? You don't know?"
"No, not for sure."
"You aren't afraid he'll be out finding someone who wants to be with him for Christmas—who isn't afraid to be with him at Christmas?"
Dan's head went down and he swallowed a ragged breath. He hadn't even thought of that.
"Well, son, I understand you've been living with him for a couple of years. That makes him family in my book. So, in a few minutes, why don't you go get that cell phone of yours and call him and see if he'll come down here for Christmas?"
Dan stood up, tears of gratitude and relief in his eyes. Just like that his father had cut through all of the fog. Of course he wanted Zack here for Christmas. His family would love Zack.
"I said in a couple of minutes, son. Something else is going to happen first."
"Something else?" Dan looked toward Jeff and Elaine, but they were both giving him knowing smiles. Whatever was happening, they knew about it.
The doorbell rang, and Dan's father stood and said, "Ah, right on cue."
He opened the door to Ted from the Dayton antique store, who stood there, his arms full of wrapped Christmas presents.
"This is the first and last time you have to ring that doorbell, Ted," Dan's father said and then turned toward Dan. "Ted has lived here—with me—for three years, Dan. You weren't the only one who couldn't come clean. Every Christmas he went and slept in his shop while you were here—and I let him. But when I heard you weren't bringing your partner home for Christmas, I realized how unfair I was being to mine. OK, you can go make that call now. And, dammit, welcome home for Christmas, Ted. You can put those present up in our bedroom. We'll bring them back down after we have the tree trimmed."