I stared at Jeremy, wondering what he meant.
He sat up. “I mean, I don’t know if he’d be okay with it, or if he’d be all disappointed and throw away the rest of the photos and not even have me in his book at all.”
Ah. So that’s what was at stake here. I knew artists could be temperamental, but I doubted that Kureck would throw out all the work he’d done with Jeremy, plus all the effort he’d put into getting him to London, just because Jeremy wanted to keep his underpants on. But I really didn’t know. What I did know, and had to convey to Jeremy, was that standing up for your comfort level was important and worth risking whatever the reaction might be.
Sometimes I forgot how young he still was. I forgot that he might not feel confident in the face of an artistic talent and reputation like Felix Kureck.
“What if I come with you?”
“Martin, I don’t need you to hold my hand.”
“I know. But I could just be there for some reason we could make up. Kureck won’t dare to pressure you if I’m there.”
“Martin, no. I can look after myself.”
I nodded. But would he?
“I just have to decide if it’s something I’m willing to do or not.” He must have seen the way my jaw clenched. “Regardless of how you feel about it. It’s my body, Martin. My professional reputation.”
“Fine. You decide.” I tried without success to unclench my fists. Then I girded myself and recited the following, even though it just about killed me. “I’ll support your decision, either way.”
Jeremy stared at me, eyes wide. “I know how hard it was for you to say that.”
“Do you really?”
“I think so. Because you look like you’re going to pass out from keeping it all inside.”
I snorted and laughed nervously, which at least let some of the tension out. “I’m trying, Jeremy. I’m fucking trying.”
“And, uh, I know we kind of had a plan to get our groove on tonight but I honestly feel like just cuddling and watching TV if that’s okay with you.”
“Jeremy, that’s fine. You know that’s fine. It’s always fine.”
“If you need to jerk off or anything, go for it.”
I gave him a look. “I think I’ll be all right.”
I put our plates on the table and joined him on the bed, pulling him against me and kissing his forehead gently.
In the morning, while we hung about lazily in our hotel room so Jeremy could rest, I took him on an online tour of the places I thought might make good spots for our impromptu ceremony.
“There’s St. James’ Park. I was there yesterday.”
“Yeah, I had some time to waste, while you were at the studio.”
“You mean you weren’t just moping around here waiting for me to get back?”
“If you’re lucky.”
Jeremy winked, and I was pleased to see he was brighter than he’d been late yesterday. He might not have made a decision yet about Friday and what he would do if Felix wanted more of him than he was willing to give, but it didn’t seem to be stressing him quite so much. Maybe because I knew what the problem was, or might be, and I had given him my unconditional support, no matter how hard it might be for me to have him pose nude. Exhaustion may have been a big part of his up and down moods the night before, not to mention that emotional lability was a common symptom of MS in and of itself.
I brought my laptop over to the small table where he sat drinking the rest of his coffee and we looked at a few of the options. As I was trying to find a website I’d thought I’d bookmarked the day before, Jeremy’s hand snaked under my arm and pressed against the zipper of my jeans, making my dick hard in an instant.
I sidelined a glance at him. “That’s a little distracting, you know.”
He grinned and pressed more firmly. “I know.”
I returned my eyes to the computer screen, typing in another search while Jeremy slowly teased me through my jeans. It felt good and I resisted grabbing his wrist and hauling him over to the bed, because I wanted to play a little hard-to-get for once. His sessions with Kureck were making me edgy and, even though I didn’t hold any of it against him, I felt a little miffed and neglected.
“Here it is. This is in West London. We’d have to see if they have availability this weekend.”
“I have availability right now, Martin,” Jeremy purred, leaning up against me and rubbing me through my jeans over and over.
“I’d like to get this organized, Jeremy,” I said, stifling a groan. “I really want to get married as soon as possible.”
“What’s the rush, Martin? Are you pregnant?” Jeremy joked. “If anything, I’d be the pregnant one in this relationship. I’ve bottomed more than you.”
I sidelined a glance at him. “I didn’t realize we were keeping score.”
Jeremy grinned and shrugged. “I don’t really care. Except I do like to have your ass every once in awhile. Like, maybe today?”
I turned my head and blinked, startled by the request.
“I’ll use protection if you’re worried about getting knocked up.”
“Very funny. And don’t you dare,” I breathed, my lips inches from his. “One of the great things about being in an exclusive relationship is not needing condoms.”
His hand came up behind my neck and he pulled me forward, locking our mouths in a passionate kiss that threatened to light the curtains on fire. When he pulled away he smiled from ear to ear and said, “I am going to fuck you so deep and hard I’ll be surprised if you’re not pregnant when I’m done.”
Desire flamed in me at that assertion. “I know you’ll do your very best.” I felt a bit nervous, and a lot excited, that Jeremy wanted to top today.
He didn’t do it often. More because of the dynamic of our relationship than for any specific reason. But Jeremy had taken my cherry way back when we’d first gotten together, after weeks of anticipation while he’d gotten me used to fingers and toys until I was begging him to fuck me. And finally, he did.
It had been one of the most transformative experiences of my life.
“You’re going to have to do some work first,” I said with my eyebrow raised, referring to the fact that I would need some preparation.
“Looking forward to it,” he said with a grin.
“Did you bring some of those, you know, whatever they’re called?” I asked, suddenly embarrassed. Jeremy was much less bothered by normal bodily functions than me.
He actually laughed. “God, Martin, if you can’t say it…You mean the anal douches I use to get ready for your monster cock?”
I blushed and nodded. “Yeah, those.”
“Why, yes, Martin. I did bring them. Lots of them. Enough for you to get yourself all shiny and clean for me to plow you like a farmer’s field.”
“Oh, I’m not joking. They’re in my kitbag on the bathroom counter. You can use more than one if you need to.”
I cleared my throat, pushed his hand away and stood up, closing my laptop. “Pretty sure one will suffice.”
It was a testament to my desire for Jeremy that this entire conversation and the prospect of using a douche didn’t deter me from my path. I made my way to the bathroom.
“Make sure you do a good job, Martin. I’m going deep,” he called. “Maybe you should do a full enema.”
He dissolved with laughter as I shut the door behind me.
“Omg, Jeremy, harder. Fuck, harder!” I moaned, completely undone and at his mercy. God, my boy was good at fucking. Why didn’t we do this more?
“Yeah? You want it harder? You sure?” He panted, keeping his careful rhythm.
“Yes! Please, please.” I was not above begging.
“Martin, you sweet little slut. I’m liking this side of you.”
I groaned as he picked up his pace a little. “The — the inside?” I quipped, unable to resist.
“Oh, you have no idea,” he moaned. “So fucking tight.”
“You feel like King Kong from here,” I panted, reaching down to fist my cock and groaning at the pleasure. “But I like it.”
“You do, don’t you?” Jeremy purred, thrusting harder. “I can tell.”
“Oh my God, you’re killing me. Yeah, like that! More!”
“Greedy, greedy. Next time I’m going to gag you.”
“Oh fuck! There, there, yes, oh God! Jeremy!” I yelled his name and climaxed in my fist as he plowed me like he’d promised. Right after that, he stilled deep and came with a low groan as he bent over me on the bed. After a few seconds he pumped a couple of times and shuddered as he whispered a curse.
“You okay?” I asked finally when he’d been still for a while. I felt him hot and close above me. He hadn’t withdrawn and I enjoyed that remaining fullness and the intimacy of it all.
“I like this,” he said in my ear, kissing the lobe and rubbing his stubbled cheek against mine. “Being inside you. Feeling myself slowly shrinking. Are you okay?”
“Oh God, Jeremy. I’m fucking amazing. I like this too.”
“You’ll be sore.”
“It’s okay. I asked for it.”
“Okay, you can get out now,” I joked, feeling him softening and sliding out anyway.
He moved off me and then made a noise in his throat followed by, “Oh Jesus, don’t move.”
As something wet leaked out of me, I clenched by instinct. “What? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. It’s just, seeing my spunk come out of you like that. So fucking hot.”
“I could go again. Right now.”
I looked over at him, surprised. He gestured at his dick which was, indeed, beginning to swell again.
“Holy shit. You do like that.”
He gave me a grin. “I really like it. But I know you don’t want me in there again just yet.”
My face must have expressed some regret at the fact that I couldn’t accommodate him for a second go.
“It’s okay, Martin. Maybe I’ll just jerk off all over your ass, since I love it so much.”
He leaned down and bit my flesh, licking as if to apologize. “Mmm, you make me so horny.”
“Thought you wanted to come on my ass.”
“Changed my mind.”
I rolled over onto my back and locked gazes with him as he kneeled up over me, grabbing the bottle of lube from the bedside table.
I watched lazily as he pleasured himself with no compunction, revelling in his sounds of enjoyment. God, he was gorgeous — all glistening muscles and hard flesh, face a contortion of ecstasy when he finally climaxed, shooting semen all over my chest and chin.
“There,” he said afterwards, with a certain smugness. “Now I’ve thoroughly claimed you.”
Five hours later we sat at Abby and Rupert’s and David’s dining room table, drinking tea and sampling the cakes and pastries they’d laid out for us.
“So this is high tea, huh?” Jeremy said.
Rupert laughed. “No, this is afternoon tea. The good one.”
Jeremy raised his eyebrows at Abbey, who smiled.
“It’s a common mistake, Jeremy. Afternoon tea is the one with the scones and treats. High tea is a later meal like what you would call “supper” in Canada.”
“High tea is dull,” said Rupert.
“Rupert, be polite,” David, his father, advised gently.
“Sorry, I mean high tea isn’t as nice as afternoon tea.” He bit off a piece of treacle tart and chewed carefully, eyeing his father.
“So, Martin, is Ottawa as interesting as it sounds, with all the political stuff going on?” David asked, giving Rupert a touch on his back, as if out of appreciation for his effort.
Jeremy laughed, causing Martin to look over. “Sorry. I just. Ottawa is not that interesting. Parts of Ottawa are cool, but, generally, well. Yeah. Boring old government town.”
Martin smiled. “He’s right actually. Ottawa is a pretty conservative environment. It’s a great place to raise a family so, lots of public servants and most of the bars and restaurants shut down at one or two am. Earlier on weekdays.”
Abbey gaped. “What? Really?”
“Really. Downtown is a ghost town after about 10pm, except for Elgin Street and the Byward Market.”
“Thank God for Elgin Street,” Jeremy mumbled, his mouth full of cake.
Rupert stared at him, then glanced at David.
Jeremy noticed. “Sorry, Rupe. You’re doing much better than me.” He wiped his lips and swallowed his treat, returning Rupert’s smile.
“We live just off Elgin,” Martin said. “So at least we’re able to hit the street for a late meal or a night out when we need one.”
Abbey sighed. “A night out. What is this magical thing you speak of?” She glanced at David, who grinned.
“Actually, we’re planning to hit a club later tonight if you want to come,” Jeremy said, picking up another scone. “This is scrummy, by the way. Delicious.”
“I see you’re picking up the lingo,” Abbey said, “and we would love to go out tonight but we don’t have anyone to watch Rupert.”
“I don’t need anyone to watch me!”
“You’re six,” David said. “Abbey, if you want to go out with Martin and Jeremy, I can hold down the fort here.”
Abbey said, “Okay,” before the words were out of David’s mouth. “Oh, sorry, that sounded a little desperate, didn’t it?” she whispered, putting a hand to her lips and turning rather red.
“It’s okay. I get it.”
“Get what, Daddy?” Rupert asked.
David smiled. “Mummy works very hard looking after you and taking care of the house. She needs a night out with her chums now and then.”
Rupert smiled, turning bright eyes on Martin and Jeremy. “Okay. Mummy likes to dance.”
I nodded. “So does Jeremy. But I’m not really into it. Maybe mummy can dance with Jeremy. Would that be okay?”
“Yes!” Rupert shouted, nodding and standing.
Abbey’s cheeks reddened even more and David’s eyes widened but Rupert seemed to think it was a wonderful idea.
“How about I take turns dancing with them both?” Jeremy said. He turned to me. “You’re not getting out of it that easy, mister.” Then he looked at David. “Do I have permission to dance with your beautiful wife, sir?”
David just stared at Jeremy like he’d lost his mind. “You honestly think I have to give my wife permission to do anything? She’d bloody clobber me if I stood in her way.”
Abbey laughed and elbowed her husband in the ribs. “Yes, I would. Especially tonight. Don’t worry, I won’t touch. I might look, though. I’ll probably look.”
David grinned. “I don’t expect anything less. Have a great time.”
Abbey was able to recommend an LGBTQ+ dance club she’d been to on occasion that wasn’t too far and promised an exciting evening. Jeremy and I cabbed back to the hotel, had supper and chilled. Abbey came and picked us up at around nine thirty in her little red VW Golf.
“You made your escape?” Jeremy asked as he got in the passenger seat and I squeezed in the back. It was a bit cramped but at least we didn’t have to pay for a cab.
“Bloody right I did,” Abbey laughed. “Thank you for helping me break out!”
Dalston Superstore, a small, casual restaurant/bar and dance club near Stoke Newington, proved to be as welcoming as Abbey had assured.
After a short turn in a queue we were permitted entry into a crowded space where people of all genders, persuasions and styles mingled with drinks in hand.
“What’ll you have, Abbey?” I asked, for once excited by the music and chaos and close quarters. The casual, friendly vibe was exactly what I needed.
“Oh, I guess a rye and ginger for now.” She started to open her purse.
“Uh uh. We’re buying your drinks tonight, Abbey.”
“What? No, I can’t possibly accept —“ She stared at me, then glanced at Jeremy. “Well, at least I know you’re not trying to get me drunk to take advantage of me.” She laughed. Her eyes roamed up and down Jeremy quickly. “As much as I might like that.”
Jeremy grinned. “Sorry.” He pointed at me. “Taken. Also gay. But, if I wasn’t…”
Abbey held up her hand. “Stop right there. Let me indulge my fantasy.”
I laughed and went to the bar, getting Abbey her drink and a beer for Jeremy.
“What about you?” Jeremy said, since I’d not gotten anything for myself.
“I’m okay right now. I’ll have something later.”
“You better. How am I gonna get you dancing if you’re sober?” He looked around us at the crowd. “Speaking of dancing…”
“Downstairs!” Abbey said and pointed to the back wall where we could see the sign for stairs. “Follow me. And watch your step. They’re deadly.”
We made our way through the swarm of patrons and down a set of steep and slippery concrete steps into the bowels of the club. The crowd was nicely diverse. I saw flamboyant twinks, muscled gym boys, hardcore dykes, femmes, chubby bears and everything in between. Everyone seemed happy and intent on making the most of the small space.
“I fell down the bottom four steps once. Almost cracked me noggin’.” Abbey said, tapping her head. “God it’s nice to be back!”
As we moved into the darkened space of the lower level and were assaulted by loud dance music blasting from the speakers, I leaned in close. “You must have other gay friends then, if you’ve been here before?”
Abbey turned to me and grinned widely. “I do. And I, myself, am not entirely straight, although first appearances may dictate otherwise.” She winked.
Oh. Okay. Why had I assumed she was straight? “I’m sorry, I just thought because of…”
“The husband and the kid? Sure, I get it.” Abbey laughed. “Don’t worry about it, Martin. I love challenging assumptions.”
A Madonna song started playing then and Abbey squealed.
“Oh I love this one!” She threw back the rest of her rye and ginger in three gulps, passed the empty glass to me and said, “Come on, Jeremy!”
“Hold this? You can have the rest if you want,” Jeremy told me as Abbey pulled him into the crazy swirl of people.
I laughed at their antics and stood there with Abbey’s empty glass and Jeremy’s beer, watching them find a spot and get down to moving. I was glad we’d brought Abbey because I could never keep up with Jeremy at places like this. He was more outgoing and confident than me and loved to dance, whereas I always needed much persuading.
Observing and lurking on the sidelines, enjoying the music and the energy from a safe distance, felt a lot more comfortable.
I found an out-of-the way spot for the empty glass, then stood in a dark corner sipping Jeremy’s beer and watching my gorgeous boyfriend dance his heart out with his new bisexual bestie. I’d decided by now that Abbey was pretty fucking amazing. I wondered if she and John and Rupert would come to our wedding ceremony, if we ever got our shit together and organized the damn thing. It would be nice to have some new friends there since our Canadian friends couldn’t attend at such short notice.
I was lost in my thoughts when I felt a light touch on my arm, looked to my left to see a very attractive young fellow with gelled brown hair in Docs, blue disco shorts and a white mesh shirt looking at me with grey eyes rimmed in black khol eyeshadow.
“Hey there, handsome. Fancy a dance?”
Despite myself my cock twitched in my pants at the look he gave me. The London accent didn’t hurt. He was cute, there was no denying it. He was a little shorter than me, about the same height as Jeremy. I glanced over at Jeremy who was lost in the music and the fun he was having. My eyes came back to the saucy boy at my side.
“I’m not a very good dancer,” I confessed, smiling and feeling warmth in my face and elsewhere.
He grinned. “S’all right. I can shake it for the both of us. What’s yer name?”
“Good to meet you, Martin. I’m Simon.”
I took another pull on my beer. I needed to be slightly buzzed for this. “I’m actually here with my partner,” I said, gesturing to the dance floor. “But he’s already dancing with a friend.”
Simon looked at the crowded floor and returned his dark gaze to me. “Well, then, perfect. So you can dance with me, yeah?”
I laughed, charmed by his cocky attitude that was tempered by a sweet smile and non-threatening manner. He waggled his eyebrows, gave me an appreciative once-over and nodded at the dance floor.
“Come on. Don’t make me beg, Martin.” He winked at me. “Because I just might if you say no.”
Simon had a tight little body, the cutest dimple in his cheek, and eyes that could probably convince a priest to take a risk on a night of passion. How could I refuse him? Besides, I was on vacation in London, at a cool club, and Jeremy himself would kill me if I passed up this opportunity.
I nodded. “Okay. Sure.”
Simon’s eyebrows flew up and he gently took the beer out of my hand and passed it to someone passing by. “Here.”
The stranger said, “Cheers, mate!”
Simon grinned at my surprised expression and said, “I’ll buy you one after.” Then he pulled me by the hand into the crowd of uninhibited clubbers.
His hand felt warm and soft but I started to feel some panic at the thought of dancing with a complete stranger. But when would I have this opportunity again? Anyway, Jeremy was only a few feet away and when he caught sight of us, his eyes widened and his chin dropped and it was so worth it. I grinned sheepishly and shrugged, trying my hardest to keep up with the energetic twink shaking his booty next to me. There was no way in hell I could but I moved as unselfconsciously as I could manage, trying not to look like a complete nitwit. I was nowhere near drunk enough for it but I tried to enjoy it regardless.
Simon didn’t seem to have any problem with self-consciousness. He danced with unrestrained enthusiasm and didn’t seem to care who noticed. His eyes kept meeting mine with a secret interest and it made me feel good to know that I still had some level of charisma, even though I was approaching the ripe old age of forty.
All of a sudden, I felt strong arms slide around me and turned to see Jeremy as he embraced me from behind. He gave Simon a smile and a nod. “I see you found my boyfriend.”
Simon laughed, nodded, and placed a hand on my cheek wistfully before he spun in a circle and looked back at us. “I did. Couldn’t have him standing all alone on the sidelines so I brought him to you.”
“Actually, he’s my fiancé,” Jeremy clarified.
Simon nodded, and flashed a smile. “Lucky you.”
As Jeremy moved out from behind me, keeping one arm around my waist and grinding himself against my hip with a bold dance move, Simon’s eyes widened and he finally stopped moving to the music.
“Bloody hell, are you a model or something??? You’re super hot!”
Jeremy and I both laughed and then Abbey popped up in front of us. “And who might you be, gorgeous?” She asked Simon, face flushed and eyes bright with energy.
“Simon. And you are?”
“Abbey, just a friend of theirs. Married, domestic, boring. Here for a three hour escape from my dreary home life and for the eye candy.” She gave Simon the once over. “You’re lovely!”
He grinned. “Thanks! Wanna take a spin? Looks like these two have become inseparable so…” He glanced regretfully at Jeremy and me and nodded at Abbey. “Come on, honey, let’s shake it!”
Abbey laughed and turned to us. “Sorry guys, but I’m going to have to take him up on it. I don’t get invitations like this anymore.”
“Go for it. Just remember, you’re married,” Jeremy said, meeting Simon’s gaze and holding it. “Married.” He pointed at his ring finger and then at Abbey.
“It’s all right. I don’t swing that way anyhow.” He looked at Abbey, eyebrows raised. “But I bet you can tear it up, yeah?”
“Oh honey, you better believe it!”
I lost the rest of their conversation because Jeremy grabbed my hips and pulled me close, grinding against me so aggressively my dick went from semi to full on hard in an instant. I think I groaned.
“Martin, that was so hot.”
“My dancing? Huh.”
“Well, no. Watching you with another guy. A hot guy, at that.”
I glanced back to where Simon was bopping with Abbey. “Yeah, he is pretty cute, isn’t he?”
“Hey, hey, excuse me?” Jeremy said, taking my chin and turning my face his way. “I’m pretty cute too. Or so you’ve said on occasion.”
“Oh baby, you are the cutest,” I confessed, pulling him against me. I don’t know what was happening, except that I was drunk on happiness and maybe the freedom of being in a strange city surrounded by strangers. But I think Jeremy liked it. When he crowded against me I felt just how much he liked it.
“I hope you weren’t this hard when you were dancing with Abbey.”
Jeremy laughed. “Nowhere near. Only happened when you came over.”
We danced until two, taking breaks to go upstairs, drink and visit the unisex toilet. Abbey spent most of the night dancing with Simon and his friends, since Jeremy and I couldn’t get enough of each other.
Luckily, Abbey didn’t need more than a couple of drinks early on to fuel her exhibitionism since she was our designated driver. Jeremy and I may have been a little drunk when we all decided to head home.
I dissolved in a fit of laughter as I fell on top of Jeremy in the back seat of Abbey’s car.
“Oh, excuse me, so sorry.”
But I wasn’t. He smelled so good, even with his hair sticking to his skin and sweat spots on his t-shirt.
“Hey, hey, no boffing in my car!” Abbey said firmly. “Wait until you’re back at the hotel, you yobs.”
“I though you were sitting up front,” Jeremy said, laughing and halfheartedly pushing me away. “Won’t Abbey be lonely?”
“Don’t worry about me, fella’s. I’ve had enough fun to last me at least six months now. I need to switch back into mum and wife mode on the drive back.” She glanced in the mirror. “Have fun back there. Not too much fun, mind.”
“Oh, you are definitely getting back into mom mode,” Jeremy quipped.
“Har, har. Seriously though, that was the best time! Thank you so much for taking me there!”
“Well, actually, you were the one who took us there.”
“You know what I mean. If you guys hadn’t been going out —”
“Hey, Abbey,” I said with a slight slur, leaning forward and talking close to her ear as she put the car in gear.
“Wanna come to our wedding?”
“Seriously? You’re not just asking because you’re tipsy?”
“No, no, I meant to ask earlier. You, David, Rupert. You’re all invited.”
“Martin, we’d love to come. When is it?”
Jeremy spoke up. “We don’t even know. This weekend sometime. It’s going to be very informal.”
“Let’s say Sunday. We’ll do it Sunday.” I hiccupped.
“Where? We haven’t even picked a place, Martin.”
“What about our place?” Abbey said. “If the weather’s nice we can have it in the garden!”
“Seriously?” Jeremy said, stunned.
“Why not? It’s not every day I meet two hot Canadian blokes who want to get married in my home city! And, seriously, all I had planned for this weekend was laundry and Rupert’s swimming lesson, which is on Saturday. Come on, please, please, please???”
I met Jeremy’s gaze and he nodded.
“Yes. That would be perfect,” I said, suddenly feeling much more sober and sincerely grateful. “Thank you.”