Reciprocity Ch. 01bydresbach©
First, I would like to thank CopperSkink for the time and effort he put into editing this story. At times his comments were brutally honest, but they were always helpful and I believe they improved the story immeasurably. Any errors of style, syntax or anything else one might find wrong with the story are clearly the fault of the author.
'Reciprocity' represents a loose continuation of a previous story of mine submitted at Literotica titled 'The Tent.'
My time with Mike and Danny lasted about a year. It was fun and exciting, but our lives were on completely divergent paths. I was going to college and getting a degree in biology while they continued to live and work in the same area they had grown up in and did not seem at all interested in ever leaving. It was not long before our mutual interests, at least those outside of sex, became narrower and less well-defined. Eventually my visits back home became more infrequent and as such we gradually fell out of contact.
I graduated with my biology degree in the early 80s, and was able to land a job with an environmental firm. On temporary assignment in one of the mountainous western states in the US, I was to be working with three other guys. Two of them were a little older than me and married; and the other guy, named Carl, was about my age. The company rented two small houses for us that summer in a small mining town and allotted us a daily per-diem for meals. Given that Carl and I were unmarried and younger, we shared one of the houses while the two married guys shared the other.
It was shaping up to be a fine summer. The only drawback was that there were few opportunities for a social life in the town where I was stationed. I was not sure how the older guys were able to stand being away from their wives for weeks on end because I know Carl and I were having a having a difficult time without companionship. It was particularly hard on Carl who was also trying to keep up a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend.
It was toward the end of my first month that events changed. On one particular day I was supposed to collect various insects from a ten-by-ten-meter grid that was located down slope from the proposed mine site. Carl was doing the same in another grid about five hundred yards west of me. The other two guys were off collecting water samples and fish specimens miles from our location. I was about ready to start collecting when I realized that I hadn't brought enough sample vials. I knew there were more vials back in the truck, but it was parked a good mile away. I really didn't feel like slugging up hill most of the way to get more vials, so I headed toward Carl's location, hoping that he had enough extras to spare.
It did not take long before I spotted Carl in a small clearing, leaning against a tree with his eyes closed. I figured he had a hangover from last night and was trying to sleep it off. I crept a little closer with the intention of giving him a good scare, when I realized that Carl was not sleeping, but jerking off.
Carl was a bit shorter than me and about ten pounds lighter, which gave him a wiry to almost frail appearance. He had closely cropped brown hair, cut, I suspect, to mask the patterned baldness that was beginning to form along the front margins of his head. He had an inverted triangle-shaped face with large brown eyes and a proportionately smallish mouth, both of which gave him an impish quality when he smiled. He was squatting in a catcher's position, knees apart and with his pants and underwear down around his ankles. I could clearly see his erection, which was about my size in length but a little thicker around the shaft. His pubic hair, which extended well up onto his stomach, was also thin like the top of his head, and a slightly lighter shade of brown.
I got a hard-on immediately, but not because Carl, who was a fairly attractive guy, was masturbating out in the open and seemingly unconcerned about what was going on around him; no, what really turned me on was the way he was jerking off. The best way to describe it was that he was caressing himself, and in a sense making love to himself. Slowly and gently he moved his fingers and hands around his whole body, first running a finger or two up and down his shaft, then shifting his attention to his scrotum, and then gently rubbing the interior of his thighs or buttocks. Every now and again I saw him swirl his finger around the tip of his cock, and most likely using that small drop of clear fluid to increase both his lubrication and pleasure. This was not the act of someone trying to quickly release built-up sexual tension, but instead it was the actions of a person trying to prolong his own self-enjoyment. This was something I had done to myself on many occasions, and watching Carl now I got the distinct impression that he, like me, had experienced homosexuality, or at the very least had fantasized about sex with a guy.
My cock was pressing hard against my jeans. I could not stand passively by any longer. This was probably going to be my best opportunity to have some type of human sexual contact this summer. I deliberated for only a few moments before stepping out into the clearing and saying, "That looks like fun. Mind if I join you?"
I do not think Carl actually heard what I said, but the look of surprise he had almost made me burst out laughing. He started to stand up, but when he realized that in so doing he would have fully exposed himself to me, he quickly squatted back down on his haunches. The quick up-and-down movements with his feet confined by his pants caused him to rock awkwardly and fall forward, kneeling. He tried to pull his pants up from the kneeling position, but all he accomplished doing was to comically stretch his underwear up in a vain attempt to cover himself.
The whole time he was fumbling around with his pants he kept repeating, "Fuck, this is embarrassing," and "Don't you make any fucking sound when you're walking through the fucking woods?"
I laughed at his embarrassment, and said, "Sorry, but I needed some more vials, and I thought you might have some extras."
"Vile," Carl responded with a hint of animosity in his voice, "What's vile about it?"
I laughed even harder as I tried to make myself clearer, "Not vile, you moron, vials, as in 'sample vials'. Do you have any extras?"
Carl paused for a moment and looked at me as if he still did not understand the question.
"Carl," I said trying to snap him out of his apparent trance.
Carl finally responded, "What did you just say?"
"I said, 'do you have any extra sample vials?'"
Carl shook his head, "No, before that."
It was finally starting to register to him what may be transpiring between us. Even though I wanted to repeat my initial observation and request to join in, for some reason I felt I needed to play it coy, "I'm not sure why you're embarrassed. Guys jerk off all the time. Shit, what with the lack of available women in this town, all we can do is jerk off."
Carl was thinking about what I had said, and either absentmindedly or on purpose, had stood up without pulling his pants up. Even after the initial awkwardness of the situation and the amount of time that had passed since I had made my presence known, he still had a raging hard-on, and was no longer concerned about covering up. I thought this was a sure sign that he liked the idea of masturbating in front of each other. I was wrong.
"So, I'm horny, and I can see you're horny. You want to jerk off together?" I asked again as I put my hand on my belt buckle.
Carl got a stunned look on his face, and only stared back at me. It was as if he were doing some mental calculus about the pros and cons of my suggestion. Suddenly he looked down at himself and realized that his pants were still down around his ankles. Seeing that his cock was still sticking straight out and pointing at me, he quickly reached down and pulled his pants up in one fluid motion, and exclaimed, "No! What the fuck do..."
I started to laugh as if I was joking about the whole incident. Carl's face visibly lightened up, and an embarrassed smile passed across his lips as he said, "You fucker, you had me going for a minute there."
I was relieved that I dodged a potentially embarrassing bullet, but I was disappointed none the less. I continued to laugh and joke with him about the incident. Finally, Carl got serious again and asked, "John, you're going to keep this to yourself, aren't you?"
I didn't answer, but instead started to walk away from him and in the direction of the truck. Over my shoulder I yelled back, "I need to get more sample vials. See you at dinner. If you need me for anything, I'm working just to the east of you."
For the rest of the day I kept going over the whole incident in my head, and getting more frustrated and angry with myself that I had either handled the situation badly or that I had gotten the signals totally crossed. Would it have been better if I had just watched in silence and use the information later if another opportunity presented itself? No, I told myself, those situations demanded striking when the iron was hot. Could I have said or done things differently once I made my presence known? That was an unknown. I kept running different scenarios around in head, but none of them sounded any better to me at the time. I really could not think of anything I could have done better, so I resigned myself into thinking that if Carl had fantasized about sex with another guy, he just was not ready for it as yet. Maybe he'd never be ready.
At dinner with the other two guys, Carl was unusually quiet; and as each of us recounted what we had done that day, Carl kept giving me worried, side-long glances. I suspected he was nervous that I might reveal his morning indiscretions to the other guys given that I did not answer his final question about staying silent. I smiled to myself, thinking about his worried state, and was partially satisfied that someone else's mind was working overtime. However, once he figured out I was not going to tell on him, he started to relax and became his normal, jovial self. I, on the other hand, was still frustrated. So much so that when dinner was over I declined Carl's offer to go to the bars.
He got a worried look on his face when I told him this, and he asked, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," I said, "Tomorrows Friday and I just want to get an early start and get stuff done before the weekend. I don't want to be too foggy from staying out late."
It was a lie, of course. I really just wanted to get back to the house and relive my frustration.
Carl thought for a moment, and then asked, "Well if you're not going out there's no point in me, either. I'll just come back with you. Besides, I need to talk."
Great, he wants to make sure I don't tell anyone about what he was doing. I felt half inclined to tell him right there not to worry about it so that he would go off to the bars by himself so I could masturbate in peace, but I decided to wait until we got back to the house. I just hoped he didn't want to spend hours talking about it incessantly.
Once we got back to the house, I got a beer, sat down in the living room, and asked, "Okay, what's the problem?"
"No problem really; I just wanted to thank you for not telling the others what you saw."
I smiled weakly at him and said, "Like I said to you this morning, it's no big deal. Everyone does it, and now and again everyone gets caught doing it. It's forgotten."
I thought about my own personal history, and started to laugh, "The same thing happened to me, but I think I was in eighth grade. A guy who I thought was a friend walked in on me just as I was shooting my load; embarrassing as hell. I thought my life was over right then and there."
"So what happened?" asked Carl as he leaned toward me.
I shrugged my shoulders and said, "About what you'd expect. Rumors spread throughout the school, and I was the butt of a lot of jokes. This went on for a few weeks I think, but then I realized something: almost all of the kids I cared about and who really cared about me really didn't give a crap what I had done. So I got over it. And you know what the funny thing is? That the asshole who tried to make my life hell is now selling shitty carpets in some shitty little store somewhere. So who do you think is more embarrassed about their lives: me, who as a kid got caught doing something everyone does; or the asshole, who at this moment has to try and sell carpet to the very people he used to look down his nose at in school? The last laugh is indeed the best."
After I revealed my own embarrassing history, I see Carl take on a more relaxed demeanor. I was also getting over frustration earlier although I was still horny. Images from this morning continued to invade my consciousness, and they were putting my cock in a constant state of readiness.
We got a couple more beers and continued to talk about the events in our past. This was probably the first time Carl and I talked about anything other than work-related stuff, and I was surprised to find we had done a lot of similar things. We seemed to have the same taste in women, we had similar friends in college, and we even had similar dorm-mates in our first year. Eventually, our conversation returned to the events that occurred earlier in the day.
"I'm still trying to figure out how you were able to sneak up on me without me hearing," he asked shaking his head to emphasis his wonderment.
I laughed at his question before answering, "I didn't, quote-unquote, 'sneak up on you'. I walked toward you as I normally would. It's just that you were so into yourself that you didn't hear me."
Carl nodded his head in agreement and laughed, "I can't deny that fact. Fuck, I was horny. Stupid of me too since I knew you were working close. And then you pop out of the woods. I just about crapped myself."
We both started laughing uproariously as I recounted the startled look he gave me and the clumsy dance he performed as he was trying to put on his clothes without standing up.
"Yeah, you fucker," Carl continued with a sarcastic grin, "The whole time you're laughing at me, and I don't know what I should do or what's going to happen. I kept thinking about the nightmare of high school and all." He paused for a moment as if in thought, and then added, "And then to top it all off, you made that joke about joining in."
"Was it?" I asked with a smile.
Carl stopped laughing and stared at me as if he did not understand the question. I waited for him to respond, but when he didn't, I continued, "Truth be told, Carl, I watched you for some time as you played with yourself. It was a real turn-on."
I paused again, waiting for him, but he just sat in his chair, staring at the floor. I could see that the wheels in his mind were turning as if he were trying to decide if I was serious or if I was just pulling his leg again. Finally he said, "I...I'm not sure what to say."
I smiled sympathetically and said, "You don't have to say anything. I'm just being honest, and to continue along honesty's path I need to say that I wished I had done things a little differently."
"Differently, how?" he asked.
"Oh, maybe I shouldn't have asked. Maybe I should have just dropped my pants and started feeling myself in front of you. Maybe that would have eased your fears."
Carl still didn't say or do anything. I was starting to wonder if I was barking up the wrong tree. Maybe he really wasn't into guys but was too nice to come out and tell me. Or maybe I was being too coy, not making my intentions clear. My frustration was coming back again. I wanted to push him into my direction but I was afraid that if I pushed too hard he would clam up. Still, it was getting late, I was getting tired, and I was a little drunk, all of which was adding to my impatience.
So I came out and asked him, "What would you have done if I did just that?"
Carl finally opened up, "I don't know; I guess I wouldn't have felt so embarrassed. I certainly wouldn't have worried about you telling anyone."
I laughed and said, "True, but what would you have done?"
Carl thought for a moment before answering, "I guess I would have continued playing with myself as you put it, but it sounds gay."
"Yes, I guess in some quarters of society it does."
"But I'm not gay," Carl said quickly.
"Well, in the strict sense of the word, I'm not either."
Carl got a quizzical look on his face, "What do you mean 'by a strict sense of the word'?"
"I mean that the term 'gay' has come to signify men strictly having sex with other men."
Carl still looked confused, "Right, but what do you mean 'I'm not gay either in a strict sense of the word'?"
Jesus, was he being purposefully obtuse, or was I being that convoluted? Probably the latter, so I just cut to the quick, "I've had sex and enjoyed sex with both men and women."
"Oh man," Carl exclaimed, "You've had sex with guys? I can't picture that; you seem so normal."
I laughed at the innocent, dead-panned way he made his statement, "Yeah, well I am normal, to a certain degree anyway. But really what is normal when it comes to sex? I think Freud said that the only abnormal activity in human sexuality was having no sex at all. If that's the case then both of us have been very abnormal lately, or have you been getting laid the past month and a half without me knowing it?"
Carl ignored my last question by asking one of his own, "So if I asked you to suck my dick, you would?"
I sat back in my chair and smiled. Finally, the conversation was starting to get interesting, "Maybe, but I wouldn't want to feel like I was being taken advantage of. I would demand some form of reciprocity."
"Reciprocity?" he asked with another quizzical look.
"Quid pro quo," I added.
Carl still did not understand. Maybe he was that dense.
"If I scratch your back, I would expect you to scratch mine."
Carl finally understood my meaning, but he did not respond. Instead he gave me a look that was difficult to describe. It was not a look of revulsion or anger, but one that exuded some manner of curious reluctance. I thought he was close to the tipping point, and only needed a good firm push, so I added, "I understand your reluctance. Trust is a hard commodity to come by in situations like these."
Carl shook his head, "It's not that I don't trust you..." he hesitated for a moment as if he was having one last debate with himself, and then said, "Oh fuck it, I guess we could jag off together if you want. I could get into that."
After two hours of talk, I was thinking about something more than jerking myself off. I needed some actual human contact, or I was going to burst, "I'll tell you what: strict reciprocity be damned. How about I give you a hand job, and if you like it you can give me one."
"Just a hand job?" he asked suspiciously.
"Yeah, just a hand job."
Carl smiled and slyly asked, "And what if I don't like it? What happens then?"
I had to think for a moment. Arrogant as it may sound, I had not considered that possibility. I could not think of anything at the moment so I just shrugged my shoulders and said, "I don't know. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess. I certainly can't force you to do it."
Carl hesitated only a moment before answering, "Okay, what do you want me to do?"
I told him to take his clothes off and sit on the edge of his chair. In the meantime I got a bottle of lubricant from my bedroom. When I got back to the living room Carl had disrobed from the waist down, but he kept his t-shirt on. His cock was already hard, and I could see he was already breathing heavily in nervous anticipation. I pulled up another chair and sat down in front of him.
I began by rubbing the inside of his thighs. Always starting at mid-thigh and going up to just below his stomach, but never touching his member. I could feel a slight, but continuous trembling throughout his whole body, which told me he was either very nervous, very excited, or both. I brushed one of my fingers down along the underside of his shaft. His cock jumped at my touch. A small bead of pre-ejaculate fluid formed at the tip of the head. I smiled to myself. He was already in such an excited state that a couple of tugs would most likely make him pop, but I was going to try and draw it out for as long as I could.