I Read A Lot Ch. 04

bylill_street_writer©

Once all the nails were in place, I started hanging each frame and checking it with a level. Just to make things a little extra secure, I affixed blobs of gallery wax to the bottom corners under each frame. Pretty soon, all I had to do was hang the last picture. As I turned around and looked toward the wall that would display the larger work, I saw Tom about to pull away the paper covering it.

"Stop," I said. I didn't want to shout, but there was no way I wanted him to see the painting yet, not until tomorrow night.

"What's wrong?" he asked innocently.

"Umm, not dry." I just hoped he bought that. Lucky for me, he did.

With a shrug, he stepped over to the freshly painted wall and double checked the measurements. "Do you know how heavy it is? Should we use one of the heavy, picture-hangers?"

"Yeah, that would be good. But I'll hang it, all right?"

"Sure, it's your show, you're the boss," he grabbed the hook and banged it into the wall. If he was curious about hat picture, he didn't let on and I was relieved. It wasn't a huge deal, but I had worked hard on that one and hoped he liked it once he saw.

In the corner, against the wall was the last picture. I hefted it up, checked the wire in the back and placed it onto the hook. After a few final adjustments, it was done. "Tom," I called. "Why don't you gather up the tools and I'll write a note to Isabelle." Tom was nowhere to be seen.

With a big tool box hanging from his hand and a step and a step ladder over his shoulder, Tom walked past me and towards the door. "I think I have one more trip and then we're ready to go," he said as he kicked the door open with his foot.

'I love a man with a mission,' I said to myself and shook my head. Tom walked back through the door and smiled at me as he went to get the drop sheet and painting stuff. I swear, if he were any more excited about getting me alone, he would start whistling. Lucky for him, I felt the same.

Once we were in the car, Tom ran his hand up my arm and curled it around my neck and as I leaned into him, he kissed me. It was like the last two hours hadn't happened and we were right back in the utility room, desperate for each other and not really caring where we were. I sucked at his invading tongue and caressed it with my own. At some point, I fisted his shirtfront and tried to pull him into me. I wanted Tom so much, so deeply, my need scared me a little bit.

Tom lowered his head to break the kiss, "I've never done it in a car before, but if we don't get home, I might." His breath was as ragged as mine, and I thrilled at the idea that his desire for me was as strong as mine for him.

"I don't think Sandra can really handle us being together, Tom. She is still getting over us making out on the couch last week." My roommate and I had argued as politely as we could while neither had admitted fault. No matter that she could have her boyfriend stay the night, it seemed that I could not.

"Hmmm, if it's my turn to be alpha-male, then we'll go get your stuff. I'm taking you to my place."

"That's fine, cave man. Just don't go slapping my butt to make your point. And besides, my bag is in the trunk." I'm sure I blushed, but luckily, Tom couldn't see it.

"Pretty sure of yourself, huh?" And he turned the car in the direction of his place.

The drive to Tom's was quiet, but peaceful. I didn't yet have a word for why, but I felt at ease in Tom's presence. It didn't totally make sense to me, but I had to admit that it was true. Whatever I was doing, wherever I was, I felt sure that I would have more fun, be happier if Tom were there as well. In the past, I had experienced strong feelings for some of my flings, and I had felt a deep kinship with some of my friends. But not even with my first boyfriend, Mark had I felt those feelings for the same person. As we drove Tom would put his hand o n my knee after he shifted gears. Like it was the most natural place in the world for his hand to be, my knee became a sort of 'home base'. I was thinking that just maybe, Tom was feeling some of the same things I was, too.

Finally we arrived at Tom's place. It was an older, stone apartment building with probably more character than modern amenities. The windows were big and some of them had ari-conditioners mounted. Inside, we climbed the stairs to his floor. I was curious what his space could tell me about the man I was just starting to know. Once inside, my expectations were mostly confirmed. Rarely have I seen a place that so clearly reflects the person, I thought. The living room was lined with book cases from floor to ceiling and those were completely jammed with books. There were no little niches with decorations, like in a Pottery Barn catalog, here. The room looked more like a library than a place where one might entertain. He had a big chair and ottoman with a light behind it and a massive couch under the windows. Next to the couch were an empty plate and a book. Strewn on the back couch was an ancient afghan that looked like something my grandmother would have crocheted.

I heard Tom's footsteps behind me, and then a tentative touch low on my back. He rumbled, "Are you sorry you got yourself into this? It isn't as pretty as your place?"

I turned to look at Tom's face and could see the apprehension in his eyes. He was worried that I would reject him. I wanted to reassure him and put his mind at ease.

"That's Sandra's place, not really mine. You're right though and she would have a fit if she saw your apartment." I could see Tom wince a little. "As far as I'm concerned, this is perfect: warm, comfortable and very you."

"Good enough," Tom said as he heaved a sigh of relief.

It was then that I heard the chirp of Tom's phone go off.

**Tom**

"Hey Mom," I tried to answer the phone casually. How is it that mothers know just when the worst possible time to call is? It could be dinnertime, the moment before you step out of the door, or just after a shower and you're standing there naked. Or now, when I was just about to wrap my arms around Gabe and kiss him all night long. I wondered how long this would take and if she would figure out what I was up to if I tried to get off the phone.

After a couple of minutes of listening to my mother and tracing circles on Gabe's lower back, I realized two things: one was that I couldn't concentrate with Gabe so close to me and the second was that my Mom needed more attention than I was giving her.

"Mom," I halted her mid-stream. "Hang on a second, okay?"

"Should I go?" Gabe turned and looked at me with those huge lion-eyes.

I shook my head, "No, never. Just go take your shower while I do this. There're towels and stuff in the cabinet. If you try to leave, I'll steal your clothes."

Gabe grinned a little wickedly and waggled his eyebrows at me. "Sounds good to me." And damned if he didn't swat my butt as he walked away. God, what a view.

"Yeah Mom, I'm here." And there I was for the next fifteen minutes. A long time ago, I had realized that mostly what my mother needed was someone to listen to her.

Before she hung up the phone she landed her parting, omniscient shot, "Why don't you bring your friend with you the next time you come?"

I cringed even though she couldn't see it. "Mom, were not there yet."

"Oh well," she sighed a huge, mother's sigh. "No harm in trying."

As I snapped my phone closed, I turned around just in time to see Gabe in my bedroom as he took off his damp towel and bent over to grab a pair of shorts. Holy God, how was it possible that this man was naked and in my apartment. Fantasy fiction is one thing, but this was a living, breathing apparition of everything I've wanted for so long, I had been convinced it didn't exist.

Soon, I was going to wake up and find out that that last month was a huge, elaborate dream. Gabe winked at me and pulled the shorts up his long, lean legs and over his very fine ass. I was hoping I didn't wake up for a little while yet.

His wink at me said he knew exactly the effect he had on me, though my open mouth probably made it pretty obvious. We won't even go into the erection that was pushing against the front of my pants. Gabe walked over to me, placed his hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear, "Why don't you take that shower, baby? I'll fix us a snack."

Once inside the bathroom, I was torn between taking the world's fastest shower and trying to get actually clean. I opted for something in between. As I began to soap my body, I found myself thinking about Gabe and what it would be like to be in there with him, sliding my hands down his chest, toying with his nipples, running my hands between. . . Since I didn't want the party to end before it even began, I turned off the hot water and did my level best to calm down and stop fantasizing. For once, my reality was better than my imagination and I wasn't going to waste my em, energy daydreaming.

In the kitchen, I found Gabe puttering around at the counter. He had found cheese and fruit and was putting a few crackers on a plate, too. The radio was on and he had it tuned to the late night jazz show I sometimes liked. In all, it felt very relaxed.

"Want a beer?" I asked as I went to the fridge and pulled two out. Without really waiting for an answer, I twisted off both tops and handed one to Gabe. "That looks great, thanks." And I snagged some cheese and a slice of apple.

We settled on the bar stools and munched for a minute in silence.

"How was your shower?" Gabe asked.

I glared at him a little, "Cold."

He laughed through his nose and looked away. "Oops," he mumbled.

Reaching towards the counter, I took his hand in mine and placed it on my cheek. It felt weird at first, like I was scripting the motion, but I still liked the way his hand touched me. In a second, he turned back to me and began stroking my face a little and I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the moment. We had been busy since the moment we had seen each other that day. There hadn't been a single moment, except in the utility room, when we just stopped what we were doing to be together. I leaned into his hand just that little bit and felt the pressure returned. He held me firmly in the palm of his hand.

Gabe's lips touched mine and I'm pretty sure I groaned. How a kiss could be soft and firm at the same time, I still hadn't figured out, but I definitely loved it. He moved over my mouth with sureness and deliberation, not rushing. Somehow we were standing now and I was able to pull him closer to me as I moved a hand around his waist and tugged him to me. His fingers strayed into my hair and I wanted nothing more than to breathe him in and capture this moment in my memory forever. Our mouths opened and moved and I tried to tease his tongue into mine, but we met halfway, curling and nipping.

I was reminded by my again-straining erection that there might be a better location for this kind of fun. With this in my I broke the kiss, but barely separated our mouths. "Come with me?" I whispered to his lips. Gabe's forehead touched mine and he only whispered, "Yes."

Once on the bed, our actions became a lot less tentative. Our hands touched, roamed and traced the lines of each other's body. My undershirt came off, partly with my help and partly Gabe's. Since we had so far always been at his place with his roommate around, Gabe and I had not actually seen much of each other and I found myself desperate and greedy to feel every square inch of him.

Swiftly, I moved down to his neck and nuzzled the line of his collar bone and down to one pinky-little nipple I had been dreaming about. His chest was nearly hairless, with flat planes of muscle begged me to massage and feel them. I circled a nipple with my tongue and then sucked it into my mouth. Gabe's response was sharp and instantaneous; he drew in a quick breath, pushed his cock against me and groaned low and long. Liking that response, I caressed the nipple and pushed it against my teeth just a little to heighten the sensation. Gabe rewarded me with a stronger thrust of his hips and some garbled words I couldn't understand.

While I moved over to his other side to repeat the experiment, I moved my hands down and under him to cup his ass. The next time I nipped him and he thrust against me, I cupped a globe of his ass and squeezed to feel the flex of muscle in my hand. Gabe had a leg between mine and I was soon humping against that, mimicking the same action.

During the past month, I had dreamed of being with Gabe while I was awake and asleep. Images of what we had done and I wanted to do with him would flash through my mind. But now that I had the real thing in my arms, I couldn't deny that reality was better than any fantasy. My senses were overcome with so much smell and touch of this amazing man, and other than that, my brain was fried.

"Want to feel you inside of me," Gabe's voice penetrated my hazed mind.

"You sure?" I asked as I smoothed the hair from his face. "I'm not a total alpha-male, you know."

"Yeah, I know. We'll get to the other, but I want feel you all around me," Gabe said this and massaged my shoulders.

My brain re-engaged and I was able to function enough to remember where I stashed the fresh bottle of lube and condoms. Once I had these at hand, I moved back down Gabe's body and traced the lined of hair that shadowed his sternum down to his navel. The skin on his belly was so incredibly soft, like nothing I had ever felt and I couldn't seem to resist rubbing my face over and over it. The smell of him entered my nostrils and I finally had to satisfy my curiosity to see and feel and taste him. I nudged lower and let my mouth have the first taste of Gabe's cock. The tip was hot and wet and I brushed my lips over the surface eagerly to coat my mouth with him. Vaguely, I heard Gabe moan and could feel a shudder before I opened my lips and took him into me.

My eyes were closed and I reached out with my senses to feel him. The heat between our bodies shimmered, like a desert road on a hot day. My dick nudged under his balls and I wanted to be inside of him so badly, I thought I would fly apart otherwise. It was all I could do to roll on the condom and find the lube. I pressed a finger into him and heard twin moans fill the room. With my forehead pressed to his, we began to move together, matching out rhythm.

"Now, please," Gabe mumbled into my mouth as I rose over him and caressed his thighs.

One minute Gabe was with me and then the next, he wasn't. All while I held him in my mouth, I had still felt connected. I mean it isn't as if he had slipped into some magical realm and he had disappeared, rather it was like his body was there, but his will had eased away. Now, I had just entered him, pushed past his initial resistance and I felt enclosed in that amazing tightness and heat that made me dizzy and lightheaded. As I began to thrust into him, feeling him around me, I realized that I couldn't feel that connection between us. His hands on my back had gone still, his thighs gripped me more loosely.

God, what if I'd hurt him? Or scared him? Or just been too damned self-centered to notice his needs?

"Hey," I whispered to him, and I brushed my lips against his. "Where'd you go?" Gabe had his eyes closed, his neck craned away from me a bit. "Are you hurting?" He just shook his head a fraction. Whatever was happening, I needed to concentrate on Gabe and not on my dick. I started to pull out.

In a flash Gabe moved his hands down to my ass and pulled me into him as he opened his eyes. "Don't leave," he said and he stared at me with those lion eyes, glowing and a little wild in the dim light. "You feel right, you fit."

"Tell me what's wrong," I said as I traced the line of his jaw with my fingertips.

Gabe just shook his head. "Nothing really. I just can't seem to stop thinking."

Yeah, I could totally relate to thoughts spinning out of control with no sense to them and nowhere to land. Sometimes I felt like I was flying to bits. But not right now, not with Gabe's presence anchoring me. "So let's just slow down until your brain can catch up, hmm? We could switch, if you want." Gabe shook his head a little. I went on, wanting to fix the situation, wanting a solution. "We don't have to do this tonight. I'm not in any hurry."

A strangled moan of frustration came from Gabe's throat and he said, "You wouldn't be mad about waiting?"

Into the space under his Adam's apple I mumbled, "We have years to make love." The skin on Gabe's neck was driving me crazy and I ran by nose up and down feeling the softness and the curve and the scent. He had missed a little spot shaving and reached out to touch it with the tip of my tongue. I darted my tongue out to taste the delicate skin at that little juncture between Gabe's collarbones and I felt him shudder.

"Years?"

"Mmmhmm." I answered, but I was a little too busy to form a coherent word. It was as if I had been in Kansas and now in Oz, I could experience all the colors I had only heard of. The skin on Gabe's chest, with his smattering of golden hair had a totally different texture than the skin behind his ear. Experimenting a little, I rubbed the bristles of my chin down the centerline of his chest and then swept over towards a nipple. Distantly I registered that I could feel the rise and fall of Gabe's breathing under my chest. Gabe's nipples were especially sensitive and I played until I began to understand just how much attention he liked and when I had begun to cross the line into too much. Soon, I could feel his erection hardening stiff under my belly and his moans of pleasure reached my ears. At some point, my hands had wandered and I found I had been stroking his hips, sides and ass.

I could talk about before: what I had felt with other lovers and try to compare how this felt different, but that wouldn't really be fair to what I experienced that night with Gabe. In some way, I finally felt that I was actually inside another person. This wasn't the usual experience of feeling that wonderful engulfment, that surrounding heat and tightness on my dick. It was more as if I was reaching out with every sense I had and was travelling through Gabe's veins, running along his nerves and beating with his heart. If it were possible, I wanted to make love to him from the inside out in every way. And the most amazing part was that Gabe let me into his mind, and heart and body; he trusted me completely. It was a gift so precious, it would have brought me to my knees.

"Tom," Gabe gasped. "Do that. . . aghh. . . again." I guessed we didn't need to wait, after all.

Whatever it was, I must have done it right, so I did it again. Later we would have time to analyze and figure it out. Right at that moment, I just loved everything we were both doing to each other. Gabe had his hands firmly on my ass and he was gripping and moving his hands in a way that made no sense, but felt great.

"Yeah?"

"Mmm hmm," Gabe managed through clenched teeth.

The wetness on my belly was becoming harder to ignore and I realized that it wasn't all our combined sweat. Something down there needed more attention than it was getting. I reached and ran my hand down the length of Gabe's cock. He was hard, nearly rigid with need. I used opened palm to feel the strength in him before I wrapped my fingers around it and set a tempo that mostly matched the one of our combined bodies. Gabe's reaction, a low, low groan made it obvious that I had really done something right. Our rhythm felt like the rocking of the sea, gentle, inexorable and totally out of our control.

Between the motion, the smells and sounds, every sense I had was close to being overloaded. Like seeing a wave crest coming, I was sure that I couldn't last much longer. But there was no way I was leaving Gabe behind, wanting. I hunched over his stretched out body to find his incredibly sensitive hot spot. Taking a sweet nipple into my mouth, I gently circled it with my tongue. This new attack must have changed my angle just enough too, because he set up a little shout and bucked up into me. His whole body vibrated with a tight sense of nearing climax. I continued to assault one nipple then another, stroked him firmly, and met his increased rhythm.

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