Backstage Romance Ch. 05byikhneumon©
* Jeff *
I mentioned earlier that improvisation was not one of my strengths. Where's a good playwright when I need one? I was straining with my words, hoping to somehow capture the intensity of what I was feeling in a way that would get through Daniel's reserve and convince him of my sincerity. Just feeding him, watching his lips accept my little offerings, gave me the most incredible sense of satisfaction. Then he took my fingers into his mouth, giving me a hint of what I already knew he was capable of doing with that tongue, and words deserted me. I kissed him instead, cupping his face in both hands.
When I felt I could speak again, I murmured, "Baby, it's getting cold out, and we have dinner reservations, but if you keep that up I might just decide to have you instead, right here on the roof."
Daniel's eyes smoldered as though he thought that sounded like a good idea. "What do you think about getting takeout instead?" he asked. "I don't know about you, but I'm ready to claim that rain check." Oh hell, yes! I had been extremely lucky to secure a reservation at the very expensive restaurant where I had planned our dinner, but I pulled out my phone and canceled without a second thought. I noticed we were both walking a bit stiffly as we descended the stairs to ground level. Yes, Daniel was definitely as eager as I was.
Noticing the way he paled and clutched at the handle as I pulled out of the university parking lot, I made a conscious effort to drive safely and responsibly. Was I a little reckless behind the wheel earlier? I couldn't remember. He did seem to relax a bit as I took us home, though a voice in my head was chanting, Faster, faster, faster the entire way.
Everything was staged for our return. Candles were waiting to be lit; the fireplace was set, with pillows and blankets laid on the floor in front of it. I helped Daniel out of his coat, and watched as he took in the setting. He turned to me with a smirk and commented, "Well, I see you studied set and lighting design as well as acting." Busted. Serves me right for falling for someone in my own line of work. Again.
"Haven't you ever been romanced, Daniel?"
The look on his face broke my heart. He seemed incredulous, as though he couldn't imagine why anyone would go to the trouble for him. How could no one possibly have treasured you before this? "Pizza and a movie would have been fine," was all he said.
"We can do that, too. Maybe tomorrow, even. Tonight's all about you. So make yourself comfortable while I get a few things set up."
"A few more things, you mean," he laughed, but he removed his shoes, stretched out on the blankets and watched while I shed my own coat, got everything lit or dimmed, as need be, and fetched plates and forks for our dinner.
"No, it's my turn to feed you now," he responded, taking the plate from my hands. He propped himself up against the sofa behind me, so that I was reclining against his shoulder, and proceeded to share Chinese takeout with me, rubbing his cheek and chin against my hair between bites. Being fed by Daniel was a different joy, I decided, a more playful and teasing one, and I couldn't decide which I liked better.
When we were finished, I caught his hand and returned the favor he had given me earlier, suckling his fingers gently. "You're wearing too many clothes, baby," I told him, and turned to help him out of his shirt and sweater.
It wasn't as smooth a move as I had hoped. We wound up sprawled out in front of the fire, Daniel on top of me, squirming and giggling as we fought to see who could get the other out of his clothes first. I had the advantage of height and weight, but with both of us making only a show of resistance, I think it was a draw. Well, technically, I suppose I won, because I still had my socks on, but that just made me feel silly, so I yanked them off and joined him, naked, on the blanket.
The night before I had been the one who got to explore his body and learn where he liked to be touched. This time he was the one running his hands and tongue across my skin, finding the sensitive spots on my hips, behind my ears, at the base of my throat beneath the gold chain. I held as still as I could, shivering occasionally, and ever so gently fondling his balls in their loose, silky sac as often as I could get my hands on them.
In his arousal, Daniel was no longer tentative. He was still gentle, but fearless in pursuing his pleasure and mine. Even more than the sweet physical torture he was inflicting on me, seeing this unashamed erotic side of him had me aching, hard, and oozing with desire. At last, I stilled him, turned him so that he was kneeling facing away from me, and wrapped my arms around him, nuzzling into his neck and nibbling his ear, picking up where we had left things off in the morning.
His penis was less tightly cut than mine, and the skin was intriguingly loose as it slid along his shaft with my strokes. His soft gasps of pleasure encouraged me to increase the speed and pressure. My balls were nestled in the cleft of his ass, and my cock head traced random designs in pre-cum across the small of his back. My left hand found his sensitive nipple, and he moaned, thrusting his hips back and forth into my erection, his cock into my fist. I found myself crooning his name into his ear as my own excitement climbed.
Too much, too soon! Can't come yet! I pulled back reluctantly and he yowled in protest. More, I want more, I heard in his voice, the same need that pounded in my chest. I pressed against his shoulders, pushing him down into a crouching position, and kissed my way down the arched spine, tasting my own sticky fluid on his smooth skin. I was shaking as I neared Daniel's inviting entrance. I had denied myself this pleasure before; I couldn't wait any longer. I paused only a second to admire his exposed pucker, tight and pink between the flexed cheeks, and all mine. Then I ventured in for the first taste of my lover.
On the first lick I was rewarded by his sudden intake of breath; I inhaled at the same time and dove in, kissing, nibbling and sucking like mad. Mine. Mine. Mine! Daniel was squirming under the assault, panting my name. His response only fueled my passion. I reached between his legs to play with his dick and found it dripping with his need. My hand was soon slippery with Daniel's natural lubrication. I withdrew my hungry tongue from his hole and tentatively probed the opening with one slick finger. It entered readily, and Daniel growled his approval. I twisted my finger, coaxing the muscles open and dipping deeper into his tight, hot depths. My baby was so ready for this.
I had stashed the condoms and lube close at hand for just this scenario. Planning ahead does have its advantages. A Boy Scout's always prepared, I remembered telling Heather. Except the Boy Scouts would never approve of what we're doing here. I drenched my fingers in lube and let it dribble down Daniel's crack, watching him shiver as the cool gel coated his most vulnerable place. Then back, back into his body where I belonged, teasing out his pleasure with two fingers, then three, as he whimpered. Finally, as my assault on his prostate became too much he yelled, "Fuck me, Jeff, God, please just fuck me!"
Moment of truth. I dropped my head to his back and breathed, in and out, slowly, five times, digits still lodged inside his eager hole. "Are you ready for this, baby?" Draw out the moment. Savor the anticipation. Remember this, for the rest of your life.
"God damn it, Jeff, I want you, inside me, now!" Not shy anymore, not modest or self-effacing, Daniel had transformed into a creature of pure need, tuned to my touch. I was the one who felt shy and insecure, even as I opened a condom and rolled it onto my cock. If you ever get anything right in this life, Jeff, let it be with this man right now.
Poised at the gateway to heaven, my dick head nudging against Daniel's entrance, hands on his hips, I breathed a silent prayer to whatever god watches over first-time lovers before I pressed forward. Daniel opened to me, and we both cried out as I slid into his body, joining us as one.
I held still once I was fully inside, allowing him to adjust, taking time to savor this connection, of being surrounded by Daniel and giving myself to him. I had almost forgotten to breathe. Finally he flexed his hips impatiently and murmured, "Everything all right?"
"Everything's perfect, Daniel. You're perfect."
"Then why aren't you fucking me?"
"I'm not fucking you, Daniel. I'm making love to you."
Only then did I start to move, with long, achingly slow strokes, while he arched his back beneath me and hissed, "Oh, yes!" He was so hot, and sweet, and so damn passionate. I luxuriated in the feeling as I withdrew almost completely, my body protesting the separation, then reclaimed my proper place within my lover, over and over. My lover. My Daniel.
He was keening, thrusting himself back on me, so I picked up the pace, letting him feel the ardor that drove me. His snarl of approval goaded me on to greater force and speed. The tight ring of muscle had fully relaxed now, granting me full access to his secret depths. I could do no less than take full advantage of that precious gift.
Before long I could feel I was getting too close. I needed to see Daniel's face, look into his eyes when I came. I pulled out, receiving a cry of protest from him, and urged him to roll onto his back, wrapping his legs around my waist. His eyes were wide and dark as I eased back into him. I brushed the hair back from his face; he turned his head to kiss my hand. And we set out together on the final rush toward completion.
The air was filled with the sound of flesh slapping against flesh, with the rich, heady smell of sex. Sweat was streaming off my face, falling onto Daniel's chest to mix with the lube and pre-cum already smeared across his torso. He stroked himself in rhythm with me as I pounded relentlessly into his welcoming ass.
Finally he caught his breath and looked up at me with an expression that could only mean one thing. My Daniel had reached his threshold.
"Come for me, baby! Come for me!" I urged. But he was already in the grip of his orgasm, wailing my name, cum flying from his cock in great sticky strands that coated his stomach and chest. Seeing his eyes roll back in his head, smelling the sharp chlorine smell of semen, feeling his ass tighten and grip my invading rod—all this was more than I needed to follow him into the abyss. I roared, slamming one final time as deep as I could into him, and let loose with six years' worth of pent-up need behind my ejaculation.
Someone was crying. I could hear it, great racking sobs in the darkness beyond my closed eyelids. As I came back to earth, I realized it was my own breathing I was hearing. My lungs were straining for oxygen as if I had run a marathon. Daniel was there with me, stroking my face and shoulders, soothing me, coaxing me back to reality.
I opened my eyes and drank in the sight of him, flushed and triumphant and serene.
* Daniel *
I woke up hours later in Jeff's bed. Giddy and barely coherent, we had stumbled into the bathroom to clean up, then somehow made our way to the bedroom. We barely had time to exchange a few tender kisses before sleep claimed us.
I wanted to sleep some more, but my mind was racing. I slid out of bed, doing my best not to disturb Jeff, put on his robe, and curled up in the window seat, looking out across his backyard. It was early in the morning, and the sun had not yet risen, but there was enough light in the pre-dawn to see that there had been a hard frost during the night.
I should have been reliving the unbelievable experience of making love to Jeff for the first time. Instead, I found myself turning over his words from the terrace in my head. You're the first man to catch my interest in six years, he had said.
"What's wrong, lover?" Jeff's voice startled me. He was propped up in the bed, sheets around his waist and hair disheveled. Lover, he called me. I left my lover, I heard him say. Who did he leave, and why? A shiver of fear ran through me.
Jeff left the bed, wincing a bit at the cold, and reclaimed me. He brought me back to the warm cocoon of his bed and his arms, with the robe draped over us. With gentle fingers, he took my chin and turned my face toward him, the way he had done backstage on Halloween. I looked away guiltily. Jeff brushed my hair away from my eyes. "Hey, stop hiding from me," he chided. "Come on, you're scaring me, Daniel. What's going on?"
"I was just... well... wondering about what you said... about how your last relationship ended and you hadn't been interested in anyone else."
He waited patiently, eyebrows raised inquiringly.
"I know it's none of my business, I really shouldn't even ask you, but... I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about it. I was curious what happened. You don't have to tell me anything, I know. I was just... you asked what I was thinking."
Jeff digested that for a moment. Then he seemed to come to a decision.
"You're wrong about it not being your business," he started. "You deserve to know the truth about my past."
My stomach turned over. That sounded way too ominous. And if he was going to be honest with me about his past, how much did I need to tell him about mine?
"Do you know Pygmalion?" he asked.
"Well, I know My Fair Lady," I answered.
"Close enough, except in Pygmalion Eliza Doolittle doesn't come back to Henry Higgins in the end. That's pretty much the story of my last relationship. Minus the fabulous hats." He smiled briefly. I had a momentary vision of Jeff wearing a Cecil Beaton confection and winced.
He continued, "My first big break after leaving college was a show on Broadway. I was just the understudy, but I happened to be stepping in for the lead on the night an aspiring movie director was in the audience. I won't tell you his name, you'd probably recognize it. But he saw something in me that he liked. He arranged for us to meet, and there was pretty much an instant attraction between us. By the time his visit to New York ended we were lovers.
"I got offered a TV job in L.A. not too long after that and took it, basically so I could be with him. He started grooming me for a career in Hollywood—got me acting lessons, changed the way I dressed, taught me how to carry myself, coached me through auditions. He was Henry Higgins, molding me into a princess for the ball.
"It was good for the first couple of years. We were happy together, the sex was amazing—sorry, you probably didn't need to hear that—and our careers were both doing well. We were getting noticed, better opportunities were coming along. But my lover was slowly taking more and more control over my life. I only ever interacted with his chosen circle of contacts. All my old friends drifted away—except Scott, and even he could only touch base with me on the sly. All my career choices had to be made with my boyfriend's approval. I became his creation, not his partner, and I was so used to that being the status quo, it took me forever to even realize that there was no equality in our relationship."
Jeff paused a moment to gather his thoughts. "I don't think I've ever talked to anyone about this. Scott knows most of it, but that's because he was the only friend I had left to turn to when I finally broke free.
"I might still be there if we hadn't played the Hollywood closet game so well. If we had been open as a couple in the public eye, even if it had made our careers more difficult, we might have been able to see each other as equals. I don't mean to put all the blame on him—he thought I wanted all the same things he wanted, and I went along with him because I thought he knew best.
"But when Scott asked me to appear in one of his plays and I said yes, everything fell apart. I had just ended the TV show, and I wanted to return to the stage. There are so many layers between you and the audience in film, it's like acting in isolation. I missed the experience of performing live. My boyfriend wouldn't hear of it. He said he had worked too hard getting me where I was for me to throw it away playing to audiences of a hundred people in the sticks. His words, not mine, obviously.
"It got ugly. I had never stood up to him before, and neither of us handled the conflict well. He insisted I was being ungrateful and unprofessional; I threw in his face that we had never been honest with anyone about our relationship, not even our families. I haven't even come out to my own family to this day. The fight ended with him giving me an ultimatum: I could see things his way, or I could get my own place to live. He thought he was calling my bluff. While he was taking a starlet I knew he detested to a major awards show, I packed my bags and called a taxi. I timed it so that he got home just as the taxi pulled away. I'm really not proud of that little gesture. It was immature and spiteful of me.
"Scott wound up taking me in. I acted in his plays and slept on his couch for three months while—at age thirty—I slowly figured out who I was and what I wanted. To this day, I've never heard Scott say a good word about Ti-- about my ex. Even though I've told him repeatedly that I share an equal part of the blame for how things ended."
My throat closed up as Jeff finished his story. He looked exhausted from dragging all that ugliness and pain into the open. And ashamed. I thought I understood. Jeff liked to think of himself as a hero, the romantic leading man he was trying his damnedest to be for me. What must he be thinking now that I knew about the mistakes in his past?
I took his hand. "That was very brave," I told him. "It takes a lot of courage to leave a bad relationship, even when you know it's for the best." Courage I hadn't had for myself. I didn't deserve this man. I caressed his palm. "Thank you for sharing that with me." I love you. Even now, in a moment this intimate, I was afraid to say it out loud. Instead I asked, "Make love to me again?"
His eyes lit up. I didn't need to ask him twice.