tagGay MaleSay My Name

Say My Name


This is another departure for me, a single story, no chapters. As always, I like hearing from readers.


I was lucky enough to have a "clerk summer," which was a third summer for law students lucky enough to land prestigious clerkships. I was spending mine in Chicago, interning for the nation's most litigious law firm.

I needed a place to live.

I flew in and spent a weekend looking for apartments. Late in the day on Saturday, I looked at a "Laverne and Shirley" basement apartment in Lincoln Park. It was well-done, but overpriced for what it offered.

But, my tour guide was a 6'2" boy, aged eighteen, who had the blondest hair and the bluest eyes a boy could have. His hair was long, I later learned for Lacrosse. It was called "flow."

He looked very much like Nathan, from Queer as Folk, the import, not the American remake. The Nathan who would later be Jax on "Sons of Anarchy" and who would turn down the lead in those horrid "Fifty Shades" movies.

He was not my type. I liked dark eyes and dark hair and dark skin. I was more Brazil than Nordic.

He was the opposite. There was nothing dark or swarthy about him. He had light eyes and light hair and creamy white skin, but for a few blemishes here and there that betrayed his youth. He was the personification of innocence. Or so I thought.

He asked about my move to Chicago, and I told him. He stared into my eyes while I talked. It was unsettling. No one I knew maintained eye contact like that.

"To where did you go to college?" he asked, the "h" in where clearly spoken.

"Notre Dame."

"In what did you major?" again hitting the "h," this time in what.


He looked like he may burst. "Please," he demanded. "Please take this apartment. I need help with my Latin. It's destroying me."

He was about to be a senior in a preparatory school and claimed to be oppressed by Latin. I'm not sure why he thought his oppression may entice me.

He was big and floppy, like a puppy. I couldn't tell him no.

I didn't like the apartment, but I took it. I was placing myself in harm's way. By the time the tour was over, I wanted a puppy.

My first night there, he was at my door with his Latin book. I was unpacking, so Latin would have to wait. Happily, he offered to help me unpack.

He moved clumsily, like a foal that had not yet found its footing. He had large hands, and his fingernails were too long. Men should not have long fingernails.

He had juicy red lips, a nose that was a bit too small for his face, and bright blue eyes beneath surprisingly dark, thick eyebrows and framed by the longest lashes I had ever seen on a man. If they hadn't been on his clunky frame, I'd have described them as feminine.

He had a sinister smile. It was a little crooked, showing the teeth on the left side of his mouth, but not the right. When he smiled, he had dimples that would have made Eddie Cibrian envious.

He was downstairs the next night and the night after. He was an only child, and his parents were too busy living the high life to fret over him. He was living the dream, wealthy and young and, more importantly, free. He could do whatever he wanted, so long as he was neither heard nor seen.

He was at a year around school. Our morning schedules were similar, and I often met him on the stoop, my ascent and his descent coinciding. I was in a suit, my firm atavistic. He was in khakis, a blue blazer, and a rep tie, his school equally so.

He was eighteen only in how he moved. Having spent his life primarily with adults, he spoke like one. Having been educated with the best and the brightest, he was erudite and knowledgeable. I had gone to Notre Dame and Stanford, but I was hard pressed to raise a book he hadn't read or use a word he didn't know.

He was smarter than I was. And preternaturally assured.

He was happy to have an audience. He was figuring out what he thought, and he wanted to talk about it.

I didn't have anything else to do, so I listened. I was in Chicago for too short of a time to play like it would be longer.

I felt at first like a predator. I was twenty seven, almost a decade older than he. I had to be in charge.

I was not. I realized quickly I was prey, not predator.

He was after me.

The realization titillated me. I had played both roles. I was more comfortable in control. I was pretty sure I wasn't with him.

He started to touch me. There is nothing like the first touches, the hand on my shoulder as I made us dinner, a knee against mine as we worked at the table, a hand on my arm as we said goodnight. They jolted me.

He wore less and less. He had first visited in his school uniform. He now visited in shorts and t-shirts, his bare feet large, arched high, and, as with his hands, with nails too long.

Like the first touches, there's something about the first revelations of skin, especially skin you don't usually get to see. An upper arm. A side or stomach. A foot. He was showing them all to me, slowly. He certainly knew what he was doing and what it was doing to me.

I casually mentioned that long nails on a man repelled me. The next day, all of his were trimmed. I'm certain he'd hoped I'd notice it and mention it. I noticed, but I didn't say a word. I was trying not to arm him. He couldn't know I noticed.

He teased me. He asked me to start running with him. The first day I did, he ran shirtless. He was built better than it appeared when he was dressed, his clothes too loose and hiding what lies beneath. His chest had definition but was bald, the way blonde's often are. His arms were thick. His waist was narrow. There was a light trail from his navel into his running shorts, which were far smaller than the gym shorts he wore when visiting me. His muscled legs were hairy and sinewy.

I should have known he would be built. Lacrosse is a brutal game; you have to be strong and physical to play.

I was compact and small and ran like it. He was gangly and long and ran like it. Matching me stride for stride, he was all arms and legs. He looked as much like he was flailing as running. It reminded me he was, in the end, still a kid. The dissonance between his conversation and everything else was laughable, his body not matching his brain.

I tried to talk myself out of where we were headed. I knew right from wrong, and he was too young to be right.

Still, I researched the age of consent in Illinois. I was looking for a reason to avoid what I knew I couldn't and, ultimately, wouldn't.

He was old enough to consent. I pretended to be disappointed.

One Friday, I arrived home to a "Please join us upstairs tonight for dinner" note on my door. Expecting his parents, I left my suit on. He answered the door in shorts and a t-shirt.

"My parents are in New York," he said, turning and walking away from me down the hall, almost certainly to show off what he almost always showed off. "It's just the two of us."

I removed my tie and opened my shirt. I shouldn't have. I shouldn't have done anything to signal I was comfortable with what was developing around me.

Maybe I was. I didn't want to be, but maybe, just maybe, I was calling his bet, at least a little.

"Then who was the 'us' in the note?" I asked.

"Why, me and Cali," he said coyly, pointing to the large, orange cat lying on the window seat. As if on cue, Cali raised her head, looked our way, yawned as widely as she could, and then looked back away, her head returning to where it was before she heard her name but received no treat.

"He thinks something's going to happen," I thought to myself. I knew better. I was going to summon all of my will and ward him off. "He's just a boy," I reminded myself.

He served wine like he'd been drinking it his whole life, the way Europeans — and apparently the American rich — do. It was fantastic wine.

It was quite a scene. We were at the dining room table, there were candles, there was soft music, and there was fantastic food—glazed pork chops and apples, baked asparagus, and roasted tomatoes. All kinds of colors. All kinds of flavors.

"I prepared it myself," he said. "I eschewed school and did a little chefing."

He was trying to impress me. He had put himself out.

"What if I had been busy tonight?" I asked.

"I pay attention," he answered. "This is your fifth Friday here. You've spent every single one of them alone in your apartment. I was fairly certain tonight was not going to be the night you chucked caution to the wind and ventured out."

He had been watching me. My stomach turned over at the thought of his interest in me. I felt like a small animal, exposed as the hawk circled, the tree too far away and nowhere else to hide.

And, he was, of course, correct. I had not had any plans. I worked hard during the week, and I liked my Friday nights to myself, to decompress and rest.

He was also, pretty clearly, on the seduction trail. The whole scene smacked of foreplay.

I hesitated on whether to leave without eating or eat and then leave. I settled on eat and then leave. I didn't want to put all his effort to waste. And, I didn't want to hurt him any more than I had to.

At least that is what I told myself. In reality, I was enjoying the dance. There is no drug that can match the euphoria of being wanted.

"Tell me," I asked, as we cleared the table, "what do you do when you get to do what you want to do?"

"Come with me," he said, holding out his hand. "I'll show you."

I didn't take his hand, but I did follow him up the stairs, cautiously. I didn't want to get trapped in something over which I didn't have control. If he had shown me to his room, I'm certain I would have.

He opened the first door on the left. It was not a bedroom. There were canvasses everywhere, some hung on the wall, many more stacked against each other on the floor. There was an easel in the corner, right in front of a large window. I walked to it. It held a partially completed painting of an African American man, rage clearly visible in the eyes but not on his peaceful face. It was contradiction. A raw one.

"You did all of these?" I asked, taken aback.


"They're good."

"Some are. Some are crap."

"This one's terrific."

"So far. There's plenty of space for me to screw it up."

I doubted it. With those eyes, the rest of the canvas didn't matter. It was a masterpiece.

"Your hands don't look like you paint," I said.

"They did," he said, moving to where he was against me. "But, my mother hates dirty hands, especially dirty fingernails. So, I learned to scrub them clean."

He was too close to me. We were at a breaking moment.

"I'd better go," I said, walking away from him and toward the door. "Before I can't," I thought to myself.

I could feel him following me. I hustled down the stairs. I needed to get while the getting was good, before I crumbled and fucked him, or let him fuck me, or both, on the hallway runner. One misstep, and that's where we'd be, my will broken.

"You can stay," he said, just as I reached the door. "My parents won't return until Sunday."

When I turned to face him, he was right in front of me. He put his hands on my shoulders, bore through me with his blue eyes, and added, "Stay. . . . Please."

I hid the fact my knees buckled. I couldn't cede that knowledge to him, arm him with that power.

I envied his boldness. In my life, I could never have laid it out like he just had.

"You're a nice kid, Timmy," I answered, finally able to breathe.

"Don't youthanize me," he said. "Call me Timothy."

"Fine. You're a nice kid, Timothy. But, you're just that, a kid. You're playing a grown up game, but you're not a grown up."

I saw that my words were wounding him. I stopped to spare him.

"I'm older than my years," he answered, refocusing his eyes on mine. "And, I know you want me," he said, much more softly. "I always know when a man wants me, and you definitely want me. You're not very good at hiding things."

I knew he was right. For years, I had tried in vain to stop my eyes from drifting where they shouldn't, and from revealing what I wouldn't. He was smart enough to watch my eyes. They showed him everything.

"You're only eighteen," I deflected.

"Is that the only reason you won't stay?"

"I'm also a tenant here," I said. "I don't want to risk a rupture with your parents." Carelessly, I added "Even for you." I shouldn't have. It was the inch he needed.

"I'd never tell," he whispered, just loudly enough for me to hear.

"Still," I whispered back, my breath caught in my throat.

"Still," he whispered, taking my word.

I was at a loss. His hands were still on my shoulders, his blue eyes alight with lust. I looked down in surrender.

"I know more than you think," he answered. "And, I didn't hear you say don't want to, which means you do. Which means you will."

"I won't."

"You will," he whispered, his face so close to mine I could feel his breath on my cheek.

I dipped out of his hands and turned toward the door. He put his hand on it and pressed the front of his body against the back of mine.

"You will," he assured me, lowering his mouth to my left ear and again whispering.

I had to hide that my knees had buckled again. I had to spend all my energy not turning around. If I had, I'd have surrendered. His breath in my ear took me away.

I didn't turn around. I waited until he relented, opened the door, and scurried out. I jumped down the stairs. I heard his whispered "you will" as a relieved myself that night, all the while imaging the juicy red lips from which those two hushed words had escaped were on me instead of my hand.

I avoided him the following week. When he knocked, I pretended I wasn't home. I knew he knew I was, but I pretended anyway.

Friday, there was an envelope under my door when I arrived home from work. In it, there was a single sheet of paper. It read "Time waits for no man. Answer when I knock. It's time."

He made me wait. I had arrived home about 6:30. He didn't knock until after 9.

In the meantime, I heard every tick of the clock, started to feel and then hear every beat of my heart, noticed, for the first time, the noises you notice only when all you're doing is waiting, and all you have to do is wait. The street. The HVAC. The birds.

The Heart song about waiting sloughed into my head. "I hear the ticking of the clock, . . . ."

I wondered which was better, the waiting or the getting. As I waited, the getting got bigger and bigger. If the wait didn't end soon, the getting would become impossible, too big. I'd back out.

I saw his feet. I heard his knock. I knew I shouldn't answer. I also knew I would. I was tired of desire losing out to fear.

"So," he said, shifting foot to foot. "May I enter?"

"You may."

I could see the hunger in his eyes and on his face. Before I could lock the door behind us, he pounced, like a cat stalking prey. His mouth was on my ear and my neck.

"Timothy," I whispered, pretending to resist.

"Shh," he whispered. "You will. I told you that you will."

He was powerful. He spun me around, and his mouth was on my mouth, kissing me. I had long been hung up on a boyhood friend, imagining it would be more than it ever was. That kiss was the first time I had kissed someone and not wished it was that friend. It was like being released from a cage, free for the first time.

I hadn't felt my belt or jeans being undone, but they were. I could feel his hands on me as his mouth was on my neck, my chest, my sides, my stomach, my hip.

I looked down. He was looking up, his hands under my shirt and then on my hips. I was right in front of him. He smiled up at me, the dirtiest, most lustful smile I had ever seen. I will never forget that smile. It almost blacked me out.

I watched as he took me. He watched me watching him.

As I got close, he stopped. "Say my name," he said. "I like to hear my name. Say it."

"Timothy," I said, as he returned to me. "Oh, God, Timothy," I said, as I got close again. "Timothy," I cried, as I filled his mouth.

It was over almost before it started, his enthusiasm and skill robbing me of any semblance of control. I hadn't warned him. I couldn't.

He moved back up and over me. He kissed me again, less hungrily. He gave some of me back to me, as if he was returning something he had borrowed.

We moved to the bedroom. He put his hands behind his head and allowed me to undress him. I took my time, like it was Christmas morning and he was the final gift, like I didn't want Christmas to be over.

I could tell he didn't wear deodorant. He smelled like a man, not a boy.

I contrasted my action with his. Where he had been greedy and uncontrolled, I was deliberate and restrained. He had come at me like he hadn't eaten. I went at him like I was sated, like he was the dessert after an exquisite meal.

He must have worn himself to the right. He curved that direction.

I took him in my mouth. I heard the air escape him as I did.

His hands were in my hair, and I felt him start moving with me. I added my hand and got serious. He stopped me, pulling me from him by my hair and standing me up.

"Not yet," he whispered. "I want this first," he said, turning, crawling onto the bed, and exposing himself to me.

"I'm clean," he said over his shoulder, sensing my hesitation. "Just for you."

He was. He was smooth. He smelled and tasted fresh. I ate him with abandon. I was no longer sated. I was as hungry as he had been.

He sighed and squirmed and started moving against me.

He got lost in it. So did I. So lost, in fact, I didn't even realize he had come, grinding against my sheets as I devoured him from behind.

We both got lost in the night. We did unspeakable things to each other. We fucked and licked and sucked and when we couldn't take any more we gave each other more.

In between, we kissed ferociously. And, we explored each other patiently.

When were were finished, there was no part of him I didn't know, no part of him I hadn't tasted, no fluid of his I hadn't swallowed.

Over and over, he insisted I say his name. "Timothy," I said, when he was as deep as he could get. "Timothy," I said, when he matched my rhythm, arched his back, and coated his chest and stomach. "Timothy," I said, when he toyed with me, his "flow" obscuring what he was doing with his mouth. "Timothy," I said, over and over and over.

When we finally had all we could take and fell asleep, our bodies were flaccid, facing opposite directions. His toes had been in my mouth, and mine had been in his. As sleep enveloped me, my last thought had been "the sun is coming up."

We missed the next morning, sexing and re-sleeping until well after noon. Once, when I had him in my mouth, he hooked his legs behind my shoulders and used them to drive himself as deep as he could. It was an experienced move.

When we finally decided it was time to stir, I couldn't ask if his parents knew where he was. Instead, I asked where he had learned all we had done.

"Fortunately, not all men share your conscience," he answered.

As I traced around his nipples and through his chest, he told me of stories of hooking up here and there.

"Those are boys," I said. "You said 'men.'"

"You just have to know where to look," he answered. "Once they're found, I get my way."

"Like you knew you would with me?"

"Like I knew I would with you," he answered, kissing the back of my hand as he did.

I made a mental note to talk to him about being safe. We hadn't been, and we should have.

He read my mind. "I'm clean," he said. "I get tested all the time. And, I'm always safe."

"We weren't last night."

"We could have been. I came prepared. But I got overwhelmed and couldn't think."

"I know what you mean," I agreed. "I felt like another person. One I didn't know."


"I don't know. Someone reckless and young."

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