Sweet Spot Ch. 02bypodga©
"Not bad, Andy. You live here alone?" Paul sounded impressed.
Andy opened the gate and motioned for Paul to precede him through it into the garden, then stood looking at his home, trying to see it as Paul probably did. He wasn't glib or artless enough to pretend that this was just a place to live, although it was that, as well, and had been for all 42 years of his life. The house had been built in the mid-1950s, a one-story, minimalist brick structure that also referenced Greek traditional architecture in the light gray stone from Pelio covering one wall and the wooden shutters. Unlike his neighbors to either side, who in the past twenty or thirty years had torn their homes down in order to construct two-story buildings with garages to fit their growing families, Andy, an only child with no prospects of having children of his own, had maintained the existing structure and renovated the interior, tearing down walls to enlarge the living areas and installing new plumbing and greener heating and cooling solutions. Calm and sedate in the middle of a large garden and shaded by pine trees, the house bore testament to his family's successful ascent into the affluent upper middle classes.
"Yeah. My parents moved to a seaside condo in Rafina a few years back. My mom grew up right outside Newport, and as she got older, she wanted to be closer to the sea again. Anna lives two blocks away here, and she also has a summer home in Rafina, so it's convenient all around."
"Sounds like you're all on top of one another," Paul commented.
"Well, yeah. It's the Greek way, right? Greek-American families can't be too different, I'm sure."
"No, it's pretty much like here. My brothers' and sister's families and our parents all live within ten miles of each other in New Jersey, as well as my dad's two brothers and mom's first cousin and their families. I was the black sheep of the family, because I lived in Manhattan."
"Here, you can leave your bike next to mine in the entrance. Did they cast you out?" Andy asked curiously. He'd met a number of what he thought of as "real" Greek-Americans, that is first and second generation Greeks living in the US as opposed to him who happened to have one Greek and one American parent, and while some were progressive, many seemed to hold even more traditional and narrow-minded values than the villages they'd left behind, forming tightly-knit communities that could be very supportive, but also hellishly judgmental if you broke their rules in any way.
Paul propped up his bike and then dropped his bag next to it. He'd seemed in an odd mood since they'd left the tennis club, subdued yet also somehow excited. Andy wanted to ask him if he was okay, but that seemed presumptuous. After all, it wasn't like he knew Paul well enough to read his moods or attempt to actively address them.
"Would you like something to eat or drink? I was thinking of ordering in souvlaki, but we could get something else, if you want. There's plenty of choices."
"Aren't you going to show me the rest of your house?" Paul asked. He scuffed the toe of his sneaker against the small rug in the hallway. "No offense, but this doesn't look very new or thick enough to comfortable."
Andy grinned, both at the mischievous smile on Paul's face and at the thought of what his father would have to say if he ever found out that his son had fucked another man on a 19th century family heirloom.
"So that's a no on the food?" he asked innocently.
"Well, if you're hungry I can give you something to nibble on," Paul said suggestively.
Andy groaned at the bad joke, but then found his arms full of man intent on sealing their mouths together. He cupped Paul's ass and lifted him, and Paul helped by wrapping his arms and legs around Andy, his ankles crossing behind Andy's back. Paul's tongue filled his mouth; he tasted sweet, as if he'd been eating watermelon, and Andy chased the flavor with his own tongue back into Paul's mouth. After a while, he reluctantly let Paul slide down onto his feet again.
"I'm sweating like a pig," he said. "Lemme take a quick shower."
Paul licked his throat and nuzzled into the curve of his shoulder. "I don't mind. In fact, I like it."
Generally speaking, Andy liked it too, but he'd already had a full day before jumping into his tennis clothes to go meet his mother, Anna and Kostas. He gently shoved Paul back.
"I won't be five minutes," he said, backing away. "The bathroom is on the way to the bedroom, so it's not even like it's a big detour."
"Three minutes," Paul said firmly, trailing close behind and groping him all the way to where Andy firmly shut -- and locked -- the bathroom door in Paul's face.
"What if you have an accident in there? How will I help you?" Paul yelled from outside, but Andy was already stripping and ducking into the shower, not even waiting for the warmer water to flow through the pipes, and didn't bother to answer. His erection refused to retreat despite the cold dousing, so that was good, anyway.
It was more like two and a half minutes by the time he was headed down the hallway, still damp and his hair dripping. Paul had put the time to good use: he'd shoved the top sheet down to the foot of the bed, flung his clothes in pretty much every corner of the room, and was now lying naked on the bed, his shoulders propped against the headboard, stroking his cock. Andy paused at the doorway to admire him and wondered if Paul had any idea just how hot and sexy he looked lying there, his tan dark against the white sheet and a paler narrow strip at his groin, his long limbs loose and relaxed.
Andy had to clear his throat to speak, but his voice still came out a little choked. "Hey."
Paul stopped jacking himself and flung his arm out, his whole posture open, an offering Andy couldn't refuse. He moved to the foot of the bed and kneeled on the mattress, crawling up Paul's body, until he was looking into those honey eyes. Paul smiled at him and ran his hands slowly up Andy's arms, over his shoulders and cupped his face. "Hey, yourself," he said, before pulling Andy's face closer to kiss him.
Paul wasn't naïve enough to believe that he'd moved out of closet and was now ready for an out, loud and proud life, simply because he'd faced down one 23-year-old jerk. The whole walk to Andy's house, he'd been trying not to think of the next day, when he'd have to go back to a workplace, where the news would have spread. He was fairly certain that the tennis club couldn't fire him, even if they were inclined to do so, but he could lose his private pupils. He wondered if little Libor's parents were homophobic. Losing the other kids would cost him money, but losing this one would hurt that part of Paul that still secretly wanted to achieve something in the world of tennis, even if it was only coaching one small promising boy for a summer.
Still, he couldn't really regret what he'd done either. He'd made the first step, and, as he lay there on Andy's bed, Andy's hair dripping cool water on his wrists, he felt the same elation that he had right after he'd walked away from Zois. He didn't know where things would lead with Andy, but for the first time in his life, the prospect of a normal relationship was there, within his grasp. And if he regretted waiting so long to make this move, well then, Andy was a hell of a consolation prize.
"Honey eyes," Andy murmured, and Paul, who'd never thought of himself as somebody that liked to be called by pet names, particularly not corny ones like "honey eyes", nipped at Andy's lips in order to hide the fact that he was turning into a pile of goo. He rolled them both over, so he was lying on top of Andy, propped himself on his elbows, and kissed along Andy's hairline, then the bridge of his nose, his gray eyes so that they closed, blond lashes fluttering over flushed cheeks, and finally his lips, lingering there, waiting for Andy to open his mouth for him and then diving in, tasting him. He rubbed his body along Andy's, his dick trapped between their bellies and leaking.
"You promised me something to nibble on," Andy said, when Paul lifted his head for a necessary breath.
"I did. What would you like?"
Andy reached between them and grabbed Paul's cock. "This'll do for the time being. Why don't you bring it on up here." He tugged hard, and Paul's hips necessarily followed, until Paul was straddling Andy's head. He reached down and petted Andy's silky blond hair. He wished he could see the expression in Andy's eyes more clearly, but he'd taken his glasses off.
"I've never done it like this, before. You sure this is okay?"
Instead of answering, Andy simply squirmed a little further under Paul, raised his head and damn near swallowed Paul whole. Paul leaned forward against the headboard, so that the angle felt more comfortable, and thrust into the wet heat. He heard Andy's choking cough, and tried to pull back, but Andy grabbed his hips and he held him in place, then actually pulled him deeper. After he seemed satisfied that Paul was going to stay put, Andy let his hands wander, one cupping Paul's balls and squeezing gently, the other tickling at his crack. Paul gripped the headboard with both hands, trying to hold off his orgasm, but he didn't really stand a chance against Andy's determined onslaught.
"Andy, let go, I need to cum," he gasped, pulling back with more determination now, and Andy let him go with a final strong suck. Paul tried to turn away, but his first spurts painted Andy's face, before he covered his dick with his hand. "Shit, I'm sorry," he mumbled afterward, and he moved one leg so as to kneel next to Andy's shoulder, rather than straddle him.
"You did it, you clean it up," Andy grinned, then hooking a hand around Paul's neck, pulled him down and kissed him, and Paul obligingly licked Andy's cheek, chin and throat clean.
Afterward he stretched out next to Andy, one arm resting across Andy's stomach. Andy laced their fingers together and turned his head to look at him. It was darker in the bedroom now, the last of the daylight fading, and Andy's features were in shadow.
"Why didn't you just cum in my mouth?"
Paul shrugged. "Too many one-night stands. I'm clean, but I'd like one more test, if we're going to be doing this."
Andy remained quiet, but his fingers tightened around Paul's momentarily, as if he was flinching, and Paul's cheeks went hot at the realization that maybe he and Andy weren't on the same page about what 'this' was. "I mean, not that I mean we have to do this-"
"We don't have to, but I certainly want to," Andy interrupted him firmly.
Paul let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding.
"Yeah. I want to, too."
Andy was still hard as stone, and planning on doing something about it that involved lube, a condom and Paul's ass, when Paul's stomach grumbled loudly and at length. He figured Paul wouldn't object to pushing dinner back a while longer, but it would take thirty minutes minimum from the time they called for the food to even show up, and he didn't feel like rushing things or fucking to the musical accompaniment of Paul's belly. Their first time had been too quick. This time around, Andy wanted to take his time, drive Paul crazy and keep him coming back for more.
"Listen, why don't we take a break, place our order, and get something to drink? Can you stay a bit longer?"
"I don't know. The thing is, I've got the bike, and I'm not too sure how well lit some the streets on the way home are."
"No problem, I can drive you home. Or you could stay over, if you want."
It felt like Paul took a long time to answer and Andy's first instinct was to jump in and push harder, but staying, for however long, had to be Paul's decision. Instead of saying anything, he reached over and caressed Paul's cheek with the back of his fingers.
"The trouble is, I go through so many shirts and I don't have any more clean ones with me," Paul said slowly. "If you could lend me a couple, I could stay over, and make a quick run home tomorrow, after my morning classes. I should have more than enough time, before the afternoon sessions start."
"Sure, no problem," Andy responded, firmly quashing the impulse to tell Paul he could run his clothes through the washer and dryer and come back to his house for his breaks anytime he wanted to, even if Andy was at work. "So what will it be? Souvlaki? The place I order from makes really awesome chicken, but their pork is also good, if you prefer that."
"Do they have salads, as well?"
"Uh, yeah, I think so. They should. I've got the menu in the kitchen."
In deference to the delivery guy, who would eventually show up, Andy slipped on a pair of shorts, but Paul just wore his briefs, and Andy instantly discovered in himself a strong kink for the deceptive innocence of snow-white BVDs against tan skin and lightly furred thighs.
Paul perused the menu with a frown, taking so long over it that Andy thought the place must not have salads after all. He threw a quick look over Paul's shoulder.
"Hey, more choices than I thought, even a couscous-lentil salad. Can't decide?"
"I'm just not too good at reading Greek yet. I learned at Saturday classes, back when I was in grade school, but hadn't really practiced until I came here in March, and I'm still not very diligent about it. Yeah, I'll have the couscous."
"And what about the souvlaki? How many? Chicken or pork?"
"I don't eat meat. Just the couscous, please."
"You don't eat meat?"
"How 'bout lamb?"
Paul grinned, obviously recognizing the reference to 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', and shook his head.
"Boy, you weren't kidding when you said you were the black sheep of the family. Not only gay, but a vegetarian, as well? I can just about picture you at the Pappas family gatherings: no wife, no ankle-biters and then you won't even touch the psito? Yikes! "
"They don't know I'm gay."
Paul shook his head. "Look, why don't you call in the order? I can tell you all about it later, if you want, though it's not very interesting."
Andy tried to hold Paul's gaze as he hurriedly placed the order, but Paul was twitchy, wandering into the living room and back, minutely readjusting the positions of Andy's Kinder Egg toys on the kitchen shelves.
"Your family doesn't know you're gay?" Andy asked after he'd hung up, just to make sure he'd heard correctly.
"You know they don't allow these in the States?" Paul asked, his back turned, still fooling around with the toys. "I think they found lead in the plastic, or something."
"Hasn't killed me yet. Paul. You're not out to your family?"
Paul finally turned around to face him. "Why are you so surprised?" he asked harshly. "I can't be the only closeted guy you know."
"I'm sorry. I just thought... I'm sorry."
"What are you sorry about? It's not your fault."
"No, I know. I didn't mean to bring up anything unpleasant."
Paul's shoulders dropped a little. "It's why I'm here," he said more quietly. "To come out."
Andy gaped at him. "In Greece? What did you do, read the 'Last of the Wine' or something and think it's still like that here?"
"The last of what?"
Andy sighed and sat down at the kitchen table. After a brief hesitation, Paul came and sat down, as well, his hands clenched together on the table.
"'Last of the Wine' by Mary Renault. It's set in Athens, around the Age of Pericles, and a large part of the book is about the love affair between these two men, Lysis and Alexias. That's what spelled things out for me, because heaven forbid that we should learn about homosexuality in high-school history classes or even biology, for that matter. Not when I went to school, at any rate. You should have moved to Sweden. Or the Netherlands. Or pretty much anywhere in Europe but here."
"Yeah, but my Swedish and Dutch are even worse than my Greek." Paul joked, but the accompanying smile didn't reach his eyes. "Anyway, it wasn't really about the destination. I just needed to get as far away from my family and friends as possible to do this, and I thought they'd kick up less of a fuss if I told them I'm coming here, rather than Sweden or even California, for that matter. I think they think I'm searching for my roots. Then, when I'm more ...used to it, I'll go back and tell them."
"Do you still have family here?"
"Not in Athens, that I know of. There are a few cousins down in the Peloponnese, near Kalamata. I'll have to look them up eventually."
Andy smoothed a finger along the grain of the wooden table, surreptitiously inching his way towards Paul's clenched hands. He wasn't sure his touch would be welcome; Paul seemed to have hunkered deep into himself.
"I will come out, Andy. I already told somebody at work, earlier." Paul suddenly sounded scared, and Andy stopped being afraid of rejection and trying to be subtle, and simply covered Paul's hands with his own.
"I don't care, Paul. It doesn't make any difference to me, if you're out or not." He wasn't sure that came out quite as he'd intended, and he sought to clarify: "I mean, I do care, but only in terms of how it affects you or your happiness. I wish I could do something to help."
Paul shook his head and drew his hands out from under Andy's. Andy pretended not to notice, and stood to get them both a beer, then sat down at the table again. Paul accepted the bottle, but didn't drink. From time to time he'd look up at Andy, then his eyes would quickly slide away again. He seemed to be waiting for something more, but Andy couldn't begin to guess what that was.
"Me, I was outed," he said finally. "I'd just graduated from college, in the States, and one of my friends came over for vacation. We went to Mykonos, which had a lively gay scene, even twenty years ago. We weren't the subjects of the photograph, a well-known hairdresser was, but there I was in the background, in a gay club, sucking face with a guy. Somebody recognized me when they saw the picture in a gossip rag, and the rest is history. My dad's in politics, and at the time he was a key member of the conservative party, so you can probably imagine the shit storm that followed."
Paul was finally maintaining eye-contact. In fact, he was staring so hard, he was barely blinking. "Wow. What did you do?"
"There wasn't much I could do. Just kept my head down, until the next big scandal. My dad refused to discuss the subject in the press, saying only that he loved me and that my personal life had nothing to do with his political beliefs or performance, but he was under a lot of pressure, even from his own party, to resign. He wasn't too happy about the whole thing, still isn't, but he's there for me if I need him. But there were plenty of people, close family included, who were actively angry at me or disgusted by me or whatever, and they cut off all contact." Andy spread his hands. "But at the end of it all, I was out, and it was almost a relief, you know? There wasn't anything I needed to do, it just happened and finally the dust settled and I went on with my life."
"I read somewhere that all gays have a duty to come out. If people knew who we were, that we're just like them, they'd have to accept us."
"Maybe. In my experience, though, a lot of people easily find plenty of reasons why you're different than them and deserve to be hated. Coming out is a decision every person has to make for themselves. Nobody has the right to tell you how you should live, and that includes the LGBT community."
The doorbell rang then, and Andy went to pick up the food. By the time he came back with the packages, Paul had turned on the radio and was shuffling through the pre-set stations, finally stopping at one playing Hadjidakis.
"My mom listens to this a lot. You'd think he's the only Greek composer."
"He isn't?" Andy raised his eyebrows in exaggerated surprise. "Do you want another beer?"