Mark Bartel slid out of the taxi and waited while his suitcase and garment bag were liberated from the trunk. A quick look upward confirmed that the rain had stopped and the sun was in the process of banishing the clouds from a sky that had gone from gray to blue.
He paid the driver then gratefully pulled a set of keys out of his pocket and let himself into his condo. The place was just the way he’d left it a week ago, except for one glaring absence. His dog, Chip, was still at the Goddard’s. Mark’s English setter had joyfully taken on the role of playmate to the Goddard family’s seven-month-old golden retriever pup. According to the latest report he’d received from Sandy Goddard, her biggest worry was keeping the two of them from wrecking the furniture as they raced around the house together.
As he made his way to the bedroom, a smile tugged at his lips. He was so grateful to his lover’s sister for offering to keep his dog while he was away. Chip had only been boarded at a kennel once when Mark had had to go out of town on business, and that one time had been enough. His beloved pet had felt abandoned and refused to eat. By the time Mark had returned five days later, Chip was a pitiful picture of dejection and Mark had vowed never to let it happen again.
Setting his suitcase down beside his bed, he draped the garment bag across the mattress then started to strip. The change from business attire to leisure wear was something he’d been looking forward to since dressing early this morning. Not that his current attire was uncomfortable. Perhaps, he mused, it was just symbolic in nature, changing clothes to truly proclaim his coming home and the contentment that arrival brought. With that thought and others randomly filtering through his mind, he traded his suit for soft faded jeans and a casual, dark navy button-down shirt.
Leaving his discarded clothes on the quilt, in bare feet he padded out of the bedroom, through the living room, and into the kitchen. Wiggling his toes against the cool linoleum of the kitchen floor, he took a glass from one maple-fronted cupboard and poured himself some orange juice before picking up the phone. A touch to one button put the speed dial to work and he took a drink while the numbers clicked by.
Mark quickly swallowed then grinned when a deep, rich and slightly disgruntled voice answered on the second ring saying, “About time you called me, babe.”
“You weren’t getting impatient, were you? I told you what time my flight was getting in,” he answered.
“It’s been forty-five minutes since your plane landed.”
“Well, jeez, Joe, you know it took time to get home from the airport.”
“I said to call me when you got in.”
“So I waited until I got home. The important thing is I called. Quit nitpicking over a technicality.”
“Hey, in my line of work, technicalities matter.”
Mark could hear the smile in Joe’s voice. “Yeah, yeah. So are you coming over when you get through with work for the day?”
“I haven’t touched you in a week. You really need to ask?”
“Just checking.” A quiver of anticipation shook his stomach at the huskily intoned promise of Joe’s words.
“We’re actually wrapping things up early today. I should be there in about an hour and a half.”
“Are you ‘working working’ or filming another show?” Mark knew his question would get a rise out of Joe. He was a very talented and capable carpenter who also worked for a production company that produced a popular woodworking show aired nationally on the public broadcasting network.
“I resent that. It’s all work, you know.”
“I know, I’m just kidding. Then I guess I won’t go pick up Chip.”
“No, don’t. He’s fine where he’s at for another day; besides, I’ve got something I want to show you.”
Mark chuckled. “I’ll just bet you do.”
“Smart-ass. I’m not talking about my cock, though you can count on seeing that, too. Believe it or not, I have something else in mind.”
“I’m not telling. Just be ready to go when I get there.”
“Ready to go
? We’re not staying in? But what about…?” Mark paused just short of blurting out what he really wanted to say.
“Sex?” Joe asked in a raspy purr.
His lover had no reticence in speaking his mind, and apparently no trouble reading Mark’s. He felt his cheeks heat. Even though he and Joe had been together for six months now, when it came to their shared intimacy, he still found himself getting embarrassed at odd times. Joe was definitely the dominant male in their relationship, even though Mark was finally cultivating the nerve to make his own demands.
“Don’t worry. You’ll be taken care of before the night’s out. I’ve been dreaming of nothing but being buried in your hot little ass since the day you left. All I can think about is how damn good it feels when that tiny pink hole of yours is stretched tight around my cock.” Joe’s already deep voice sank an octave and took on a husky tone that made Mark’s stomach do a jittery dance. The feeling was far from unpleasant. “I’m going to fuck you until you’re filled with my cum, and then I’m going to keep on fucking you until we’re both totally and completely satisfied. And just so you know, I don’t
plan on being satisfied anytime soon.”
Instantly aroused and just plain stunned, Mark’s mind went blank when the blood in his brain deserted in favor of heading for points just south of his belly button. For several heartbeats, silence reigned supreme.
“Mark? Babe, I know you’re there. I can hear you panting.”
“I’m not panting,” Mark lied while simultaneously trying to slow his racing breaths. “I’m just trying to unswallow my tongue.”
“Do a good job of it. I’ve got plans for that tongue later.”
“Are you sure you want to go out?” Mark heard the plaintive note in his question but refused to be embarrassed by it. It had been a long and difficult week. Joe’s teasing was just one more reason to make him want to forget everything in his lover’s arms.
“I’m sure. I promise I’ll make it up to you. There’s just something I want to show you and talk to you about. Please?”
Mark’s senses went on alert at the transformation of Joe’s attitude from teasing to serious. Whatever it was he wanted to share, it was serious. “All right. I’ll be ready when you get here.”
“Good. See you soon.”
Mark hung up the phone and frowned. What in the world could Joe want to show him so badly that it made him willing to delay welcome home sex? Whatever it was, he hoped it wouldn’t take long; he needed Joe to reaffirm a truth for him. It was one that he and Joe had discussed before, one that simply asserted that while it was nice to have the support of friends and family, they didn’t need anyone’s approval to be together. Mark had never been more grateful for Joe’s attitude on that subject. The visit he’d paid to his parents left him not only hurt and angered but had shaken him more than he thought possible. How was it they still had such power over him when he’d been so sure he’d left that abandoned, inner child behind?