More than that. Way more than that.
David and Jonathan.
By name and by nature.
Man love. The love of one male of the species for another male of the species.
And certainly not platonic. When they got into it, they got into it. Lusty, greedy, hungry, sucking, deep-throat oral. All arms and legs, face-fucking, soixante-neuf. Anal, sometimes hot, sweaty, grappling, winner takes all. Sometimes slow, languid, muscular, caressing. Other times hard-core rutting, snorting, grunting, ass-stretching, chest-thumping, Tarzan-yell straight out fucking. If you were ever invited for a weekend at their beach condo you would know.
But there were also quieter times, shared moments. Hunkered on a beach for instance, looking out over the water, skipping stones, tracing figures in the sand and watching them disappear. Or holed up in a cabin, cracking a single malt, straight up, ruminating on the problems of the day.
And there were also those moments when what was needed were the arms of one around the other, being held by the other, close, body to body, the steadiness of the one shared with the other, vital.
Two guys, hitting it off. Pool buddies, gym buddies, one spotting the other, urging the other for one more lap, one more rep, and then another. Out of the pool, the gym, jazzing each other. Socially. In their business dealings.
No PDAs, public or private. Unless you count ass-grabbing. At home. Never in public. And sometimes, in the kitchen when one was preparing something, – and let me tell you, both of them knew their way around a kitchen – the other would come up behind and put his arms around the other’s waist, rest his chin on the his shoulder. And sometimes, playful, grind his crotch into the other’s ass.
But no holding hands, no walking arm-in-arm, or arms interlocked around the other’s waist. Just the assurance that the other was by his side.
And no cloying terms of endearment. No ‘darling’, or ‘hun’, or ‘sweetie’. Nothing like that. ‘Bud’ or ‘Buddy’ or ‘Best Buddy’, yes. Maybe ‘Friend’, or ‘My Friend’. Or, more usually, in all that it meant, ‘Mate’.
Two guys who knew, when there was need to speak, what the other was going to say. When there was no need to speak, what the other was thinking. Two guys for whom there was no reason to think it had not always been that way, and would always be that way.
Alike as two who weren’t but could have been brothers. Everybody remarked on it. Age, height, build, colouring, temperament.
Six-four, give or take a half-inch. Muscled. Sleek. Slim. Some bodybuilders go for the big and muscle-bound. Not them, just the opposite. Fluid, liquid, articulated, aesthetic. And in the water, they both looked as good in the water as they did out of it.
And here maybe was the difference. They were both were into bodybuilding and swimming. David was the swimmer, into bodybuilding for what it could do for him in the water. Jonathon was the bodybuilder, into swimming for what it could do for him as a bodybuilder. But perfect. Both of them.
T, D and H, both of them. David, Celtic dark. Hair, black, wavy. Untamed. The bod, hairy but not furry. Black, wiry. Pecs, abs, belly, legs. Mostly he kept it clipped, – number three – neither ape nor clean. And the beard, dark, which likewise he kept to a three days scruff. ‘It’s sex-ay,’ he used to say.
Of course when he was up for a meet it all came down, the hair, the beard and the body hair, clean for speed. But the way it grew, it would all be back in a week or so anyway. Five o’clock shadow five minutes after he shaved.
Jonathan, as much the Celt, but bodybuilder clean all the time. Three days max and it was a whole body shave, head to toe.
Outgoing? Believe it.
Fun-loving? Yup, up for just about anything, anytime.
A wild side? You gotta be kidding. Definitely, a wild side! In those eyes, Jonathon’s particularly, always something dancing. At the same time, something deeper, mysterious, a bit of the dark side. David particularly. Touching on dangerous even.
Hang ups? Not them! Uninhibited. Really. ‘Live and let live’ – that was their motto.
They were a smart dressers, with an eye for cut and quality and what would look good. And more, with their athleticism, and putting themselves out as models, they knew how to make it look good. But, dressing only as circumstances demanded. At home or wherever, whenever, casino şirketleri shucking off shoes, shirts and pants. Naked. Always bare-assed naked. The freedom of nothing at all. Dress was optional for anyone invited or dropping in.
For certain, sharing the same space, something, or sometimes rubbing one or the other the wrong way, there would be words, stubborn silences. But always there was regard for the line that must not be crossed, and eventually, apologies, and the other coming round.
And invariably that meant, well, in up to the balls, humping, pounding, rocking and rolling, belly-to-belly, cheek-to-cheek, edging, then, arms wrapped around backs, legs-entwined, going for the gold, the sharp, hard thrusts, reciprocated, over and over, fingers clawing at the mattress, moaning involuntarily, and over the top, the ejaculation, powerful, shooting hot, hard, deep into the other; consummation, warm, spreading, sexual satisfaction, each continuing to hold the other, then drifting off; then waking, flip-flopping top for bottom, penetrating, deep, to the balls, again the waves of one body merging with the other, late into the night.
Mutually exclusive. No strange C or A for them. Not that there weren’t opportunities. They were a couple of hot numbers. There was always somebody, of either gender, checking out one or the other and putting the moves on. But it was always ‘thanks a lot, but no thanks – the only one I am interested in is the one I’ve got!’
Sure, into bodybuilding as they were, and built, they would check out a dude with a good build, but it was the build more than it was the package that had them turn heads and take notice.
As for the package, they could have been doing porn. David, uncut, long, like seven plus. Skin-back, he called it the one-eyed monster. Not original. But he was not exaggerating. Jonathon, likewise uncut. But thick. The other one-eyed monster. Straight up when he was hard. Stood them in good stead as models. They had the goods for swimwear and underwear shoots .
What got them together? It was sort of their own Brokeback Mountain. A wilderness camping trip they had gotten talked into with a bunch of guys. It had turned wet and cold, and the choice was to spend the night shivering with your teeth chattering, or do the common sense thing, bunk in together, snuggle up and keep warm. So they zipped their sleeping bags together and got cozy.
How cozy and how much sleep they got, well … But apparently in the morning they were not the only ones not sure where to look when it came to squaring the other guys in the eye. There were several who came home with new fuck buddies.
But they were the only ones who took it further than that. It wasn’t long after that they moved in together, in time bought the condo, which eventually they flipped for the penthouse. The sexual attraction had been mutual for some time, but neither of them knew just what to do about it. It was the camping trip where, and when, it was consummated.
Started out they were working for the same dot.com, in different departments, dumped on the street when the company imploded. They got together on some contract work, which landed them a retainer and the breathing room to establish themselves as independents. To help keep the wolf at bay, they signed with an agency, did some movie background work, and some modelling gigs. As they got older they were in demand as mature models.
That was how the travel bug bit, ranging farther and wider on locales for photo shoots. It was their ambition to at least swim in all seven seas, set foot on each of the five continents. And they did manage to see a fair bit of the world. Latin America, the Mayan ruins. Oz, the Land Down Under, Bondi Beach, the Reef. Europe. France, Paris, the Riviera. Italy, Rome, Florence. Greece, Athens, the Greek Islands, Santorini. England and Scotland.
Scotland particularly. They kept going back. The Highlands and the Isles. Tramping the glens, sailing the lochs. The lure and the lore of ancient ancestral holdings, long gone. Leaving the car, searching on foot for what might remain. Misty mornings, rainy days, peat fires in the pub.
They had one favourite pub that did B and B. Ocean views on one side, the hills behind. Come and go as they pleased. Or not. Some days, particularly when there was no letting up to ‘the Scottish mist’, they would just hang about the pub, or likely as not hang the privacy casino firmaları sign on the door, and go for a ‘roll in the heather,’ as they called it.
So when did it all go wrong?
They were in Scotland. David’s 50th birthday. Apparently there is a cairn marking one of the Clan lands. Not easy to get to. But David figured this was where he wanted to be when he turned over his half-century. In the photographs, they are triumphant, but the hike there and back was more really than Jonathan could handle.
For maybe more than a year he had been off on what he had been able to lift, and on his times in the pool. He put it down to age, but there was the nagging suspicion it was something more. It was this hike that convinced them to get it checked out.
Their doctor, long time friend, put him through a battery of tests. And then he called them in.
Somehow it was what they had expected. But they were devastated by the prognosis, the doctor likewise. “Three years, maybe less, with care maybe longer.”
The symptoms were already well advanced, he explained. Rapidly progressing weakness. That they were already aware of. Muscle atrophy and the involuntary twitching. That too they were aware of. Eventually there would be spasticity, tightening, and the inability to stretch the muscles. Difficulties getting out words – ‘dysarthria’ – swallowing – ‘dysphagia’ – and, as more and more neurons were hit, ‘dyspnea,’ progressively difficult breathing. Until in the end ..
“ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Lou Gehrig’s disease. There is no cure. But it can be managed.”
“Sorry,” the doctor concluded. Sorry for them, sorry that he, knowing them as friend as well as physician, had to tell them.
Their lovemaking that night was particularly intense. Deep. Poignant.
“I want you in me as deep, as high up into me as you can get,” Jonathan said.
And David, kneeling, obliging, lubed Jonathan’s ass, and himself, positioned himself, guided the head of his dick to the other’s asshole, and pushed, Jonathan spreading his ass cheeks to him. There was the inevitable surprised quick whimper as they achieved penetration, then the waiting until the sphincter could yield to accommodate him, further whimpers as he pushed himself in, the other grinding his hips to draw him in as he pushed. Familiar sensations, yet not, never the same twice in all of the years, the one yielding to the other to allow full entry to his interior, until the other had reached the fullest extent of his ability to reach as deep and as high up as he could.
“Just keep it there,” Jonathan said, “I just want you there, to know you are there, just as you are right now.” His arms around the David’s back, he pulled him in to himself, holding him tight. And David obliged by pulling Jonathan tight to himself.
And they continued holding each other, body with body, the one high up in the other. Holding, and being held there. No words. Just their two bodies together. Breathing now coming into rhythm. Heartbeats likewise. Muscle and sinew yielding to accommodate the other. Two souls reaching out each to the other.
No rutting. No ass pounding. No rush for climax. There would be, again, at other times, later, but not now. Now, holding each other, tight, hips grinding imperceptibly, gently, and the one high up in the one, gently stroking, the gentlest of love making, though the word never had passed either’s lips, of male love making, though again the word had never passed either’s lips, but love making, male love making, the love of one male for another being given its most intimate expression.
There were tears, which the other first thumbed away, gently, then kissed away. There were attempts at speaking, Jonathan, which David shushed, “Not now. Not tonight. There will be time,” he said.
Then, inevitably, the stirring in the loins. The thrusts a little harder. The give and take more insistent. Until, the nose of one buried deep in the shoulder of the other, the one pushing himself as high and deep as he was able, the other pushing back to take him, likewise, as high and deep as he was able, the muffled, startled cries as the one expended his life-force, shooting it high, deep into the other. They came together, David high up in Jonathan, Jonathan between their two bellies. Grasping each other, holding the other as close as it was possible to hold him. The little cries of having been completed, of having been güvenilir casino fulfilled. Tongues finding tongues, mouth pressed to mouth, the consummation complete.
And it was like that, each time after that. Well, maybe not every time. There were some nights of raucous, mattress thumping delight like before, but even then there was also the realization, unspoken, that each time now would be one time less, that one of them would be going on without the other.
Through the weeks and months following on the prognosis, the one came to assume more and more of what had been done jointly as the other became less and less capable. At first it was assistance getting into and out of bed. Then help standing. Then sitting. Walking. Dressing. Grooming. And the intimacies and indignities of personal hygiene.
Even as the penthouse took on more and more of the aspects of a hospital ward, and the load became ever more demanding, there were no complaints. As the one’s capabilities diminished, when depression took hold, the other became the anchor. Passion was sublimated in compassion. Ardour tempered with tenderness. When the slightest touch became painful, a jarring of the bed excruciating, the other opted for a foam pad and duvet on the floor. And as he became more and more expert in turning the other on the bed, the hands of the patient, now bird-like, touching, and, the eyes, gaunt, looking directly into the eyes of the caregiver, with a gratitude and much more, heartfelt.
Finally, in the end, the decision for a hospice. The patient, emaciated, fragile, the once-sculpted physique no more now than skin and bones. The other, moving in with his pad to be in close proximity, burned out beyond exhaustion, but determined to continue, even, or particularly, in the grief of imminent bereavement.
Very quickly they became something of staff favourites, with comment and compliments on the quality and extent of the care the one was able to extend to the other, and the general acceptance and humour of the other to his situation.
The stay stretched out to two weeks, then three, and into a fourth.
It was the afternoon of the Thursday of the fourth week when the nurse at the desk heard him cry out, looked up and saw David, lurching as he tried to stand, struggling for air, fists clenched at his chest, then collapse to the floor. She rushed to him, calling for assistance, fingered the carotid for a pulse, then the wrist, separated his fists, and began CPR. A second nurse went to the patient, saw the head as it turned, and felt for a pulse, waited, then laid the hand down.
Several years later, bantering as they did in the locker room, a group of gym buddies got around to talking about them, wondering what had finally become of them. There had been no funeral. No announcements of any final arrangements.
“I can tell you exactly what became of them.”
It was the City guy who worked the crematorium. “Nothing. I’ve still got them, waiting for whoever to decide who’s gonna take care of them.”
“You mean, nobody ..?” someone said.
“Nope,” he shook his head. “They had joint estates. The lawyers and insurance companies and the families are in litigation to decide who survived whom, and who is going to inherit. So in the meantime .. “
“Fuck. That can go on forever.” It was one of the older guys in the group.
Some while later, some months or so, this older guy asked the dude from the crematorium if there was anything doing.
“Fuck,” the older guy repeated. ‘That ain’t right.”
Some months later he asked again. And got the same answer.
Then he wanted to know, “What happens if the lawyers get it all, and nobody inherits?”
“Well, eventually, if they are not claimed, we’ll do a dispersal.”
“Whadda ya mean?’
“A dispersal. There’s a Memorial Garden where we scatter remains that have been unclaimed.”
“Fuck.” The older guy said again.
And later still, when the two of them were alone, the older guy raised the question again.
“Still there,” the Crematorium guy said.
Then, the older guy wanted to know, “What happens if they just sort of disappear?”
The Crematorium guy shrugged. “Guess they just sort of disappear.”
One autumn day later that year a small two-seater took off from a private airfield north and east of Oban. When the pilot leveled off over the Trossachs, he reached for a canister. Earlier, he had emptied into it the contents of two heavy-gauge plastic bags. He spun off the lid, banked, and let loose a long trail of grey-white ash.
Then, circling back, he dipped his wings, and disappeared into a bank of clouds.