Finally...the saga continues...
“That was great,” Mike said enthusiastically at the conclusion of the video of my debut with the Southwest Pennsylvania Philharmonic that he had persuaded me to watch with him. We were lying together on the chaise longue with Maxi, who was seemingly out for the count.
“Really?” I said uncertainly. Seeing the video of my younger self perform Mozart’s Concerto #9 in E flat Major (Jenamy) was weird. I felt as if I had no idea who that child on the screen was and I cringed at what I now recognized as the blatant imitation of my favorite recording of the piece. But the crowd had given me a standing ovation as I bowed, shook the conductor’s hand, and then shook each of the principal string player’s hands before taking another bow and walking offstage with the conductor following as the video faded out.
“What do you mean, of course it was! You kept smiling up at the conductor and you’re so into the music” Mike said, stroking my arm, “plus you looked adorable in that pint-sized tuxedo. And how many guys have a video of the moment they first met?”
“It’s not exactly the moment we met…” I countered.
“Did they post your encore?” Mike interrupted.
“Maybe…” I said as I scrolled through the videos the Orchestra had on their YouTube channel. Sure enough, there it was. With my finger poised to start it, I said to Mike “Are you sure you want to hear me play modern trash?”
Mike rolled his eyes. “I’ll be fine.”
I started the video, but I’d forgotten that before I played I’d made a speech thanking the audience, my piano teacher, the audition committee, Maestro Zimmer, the conductor, and the orchestra, of course my family, then said a few words about the piece. Yikes, even as a kid I sounded SO gay. Then I launched into Bartok’s Allegro Barbaro, one of my favorites, my hands flashing rapidly over the keyboard as I dug into the clangorous showpiece that lasted all of three minutes. It won me another ovation, and I heard shouts of “bravo” and a loud whistle.
“You hear that whistling?” Mike asked.
“That was me.”
“You can’t be sure of that.”
“Yes I can. That’s when I got the lecture about modern trash.”
“Why? The audience loved it,” I exclaimed.
“It bothers you that my parents didn’t like it? That was what – seven years ago?”
“No argument from me, honey,” he said. Then he pulled me still closer. “But that means I’m in the video, too, and...”
“Okay, okay,” I capitulated, raising my hand to indicate surrender. “It’s the first moment we met, fine. And it’s nice to know I have loyal fans.”
Mike nuzzled my ear. “I’m your biggest fan,” he murmured.
“In more ways than one,” I teased.
“Pervert,” Mike said.
“Just a simple observation, I didn’t specify.”
“Uh-huh,” Mike said back, tracing my cheekbone with his forefinger.
“You’re the one with a dirty mind,” I said primly.
“You can’t even imagine, honey,” Mike said, pulling me back against him – we were spooned together – so I could feel his erection.
Maxi, who was sleeping curled up next to me stirred drowsily, then settled himself again and went back under.
“Shh,” I whispered to Mike. “We’re going to wake up Maxi, he needs his rest.”
“Did he do anything other than sleep, eat, beg for handouts and go outside to pee before dashing back in for a treat from the doorman?” Mike asked.
“Hey, it’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it.”
“I’m not going to be able to hold out much longer,” Mike said, pushing against me harder. “Maybe we should just go to bed…”
“Mozart turns you on?” I teased. “Interesting kink. Some psychologist should do a study…” I jumped and was cut off by my gasp when he kissed my neck.
This time Maxi definitely woke up, stood, then shook himself before jumping down to the floor. He looked up at me imploringly, whining.
“Uh-oh, I think he needs to go out for a walk,” I said.
“You’re kidding me,” Mike said.
“He takes his job very seriously,” I answered.
“All right,” Mike sighed, and we slipped our shoes back on and went to the front hall with Maxi following us closely. We put on our coats and when I took out the leash and dog coat Maxi did his happy dance in front of the door.
“You don’t have to come with me,” I said as I put the coat, harness and leash on the wriggling dog, grabbing a plastic bag for safety’s sake in case I had to clean up a doggie mess.
“It’s after 9:00 and I’m supposed to be your bodyguard. I shouldn’t have let you go out alone this morning.”
I rolled my eyes, and gave up.
Even though it was still chilly out, Maxi seemed to need to stretch his legs a little. I guess the coat kept him more comfortable in the cold.
“So what were your plans?” Mike asked as Maxi closely inspected the sidewalk and the black wrought-iron fencing in front of the building.
“My plans for what? Maxi’s walk?”
“I mean what did you want to do with your music?” Mike said with a chuckle.
I smiled up at him. “Are you asking me what I want to be when I grow up?”
Mike sighed. “You must have had some idea.”
“Sure,” I said as we followed Maxi. “I planned to be recognized as one of the great pianists and musicians of my generation. Not too much to ask, right?” I said sardonically.
“You’re ambitious,” Mike said. “You should be, you’re so talented.”
“But it’s not very practical,” I said, feeling a little depressed. I’d never really gotten over the rejection from Yale even though Em was right, it wasn’t really my first choice. I just knew that if I got accepted there it would go down better than a conservatory with my parents, who worried ceaselessly about how I’d earn a living, and why did I have to choose something so competitive, blah, blah, blah…like they hadn’t chosen difficult fields and been successful. My mom was a writer, for fuck’s sake, but she took pains to point out she dropped the idea of authoring the “great American novel” to be a journalist. And Dad had worked to establish himself as a top litigator in an already crowded field and made it. They didn’t seem to be able to transfer any of that experience when thinking about me. And when I wasn’t accepted by the Yale Music Department that had only fueled their worries.
“What do you mean?”
I sighed deeply and we walked a few more steps as Maxi continued to sniff every nano-meter of sidewalk. “For one thing, the arguments I had with my father were pretty…rough. I said a lot of nasty things about the University and I think I hurt him. It’s going to be hard to suddenly say I want to study music again.”
“You’re not going to tell me he feels the same after all the shit you’ve been through there.”
“Well…no…he’s pretty pissed off about the whole thing,” I conceded, remembering Dad’s confession of guilt when I visited for Thanksgiving. “It’s not only that. I’ve lost so much time and momentum.”
Mike looked mystified. “You’ve only lost what, four months?”
“You have to understand,” I said, “it’s like being…an Olympic athlete, you’re always in training. I can still play, sort of, but my hands feel like mashed potatoes with stainless steel cores. My best bet would be to win a big competition before the clock runs out when I turn 32, even though that’s not the sure thing it used to be. Whatever, I should have spent the last four months studying music, getting more repertoire under my fingers, preparing for smaller competitions and playing concerts. And I need to make connections, to build a network. If nothing else, any major competition requires letters of recommendation.”
“I’m pretty sure you can manage to catch up before 14 years have passed,” Mike teased. “C’mon Darr. You’re ahead of the game…”
“No, I’m not!” I snapped as I turned away to check on the dog. “That’s why I hate being called a prodigy. I’m a late bloomer by prodigy standards.”
Mike grabbed my shoulder and turned me to look at him. “You played an entire concerto when you were 11 with a professional orchestra and they hired you when you were 16…” Mike argued back.
“That’s a late bloomer,” I interrupted. “On YouTube, there’s a video of a nine-year old playing a Mozart concerto that’s as hard or harder than the one I did. And her encore was a Chopin etude that makes my Bartok look like Mary had a Little Lamb. To get anywhere you practically have to have a career, no one really comes out of nowhere to win a top prize. For the Van Cliburn, the holy grail of piano competitions, you need two-and-a-half hours of challenging solo piano music ready to spread over three recitals, learn whatever piece they commission, perform one of whatever major pieces of chamber music they decide on with whatever personnel they pick, and play two different concertos with orchestra. All of that within the space of about two weeks with limited rehearsal — from memory. I’d only ‘get’ to do that if I made it past a video audition and a preliminary audition here in New York. To have even a chance of success means learning the repertoire so well that playing the hardest pieces is like breathing.”
“That’s crazy, it sounds like a marathon,” Mike exclaimed.
“It’s more like figure skating,” I groused. “It takes strength and endurance, but about 99.9% of what determines who wins is the subjective whims of a bunch of musicians, not a stopwatch. And winning or losing can make or break a career.”
Mike was quiet for a minute, digesting what I’d said. “Then you don’t have any more time to waste. And give me the plastic bag.”
“Why?” I said confused. “What does the plastic bag have to do with anything?”
“Because Maxi just...”
“Ugh. I’ll take care of it,” I said, moving to clean up the little pile.
“I’m a farm boy, remember?” he said with a grin as he grabbed my wrist. “If there’s one thing I know it’s how to scoop up animal poop.”
I gave up and let him take the plastic bag while heaving a deep, exasperated sigh.
“One more thing,” Mike said as he efficiently cleaned up after Maxi. “Do you really want to be a pianist?”
“Yeah,” I answered, feeling as if I were confessing to an addiction. “It’s like a sickness,” I added.
“Just checking. You don’t make it sound like much fun,” Mike said as he tied the plastic bag shut.
“I love the piano and the music. It’s the stuff you have to do to get a career going that’s a pain in the ass,” I said, heading for the corner of Central Park West where there was a handy trash can to dispose of the dog’s leavings. Maxi balked, now ready to go home. For a little dog, he was unbelievably strong. I surrendered to the inevitable and picked him up.
“You’re going to spoil that dog,” Mike remarked.
“‘Going to’? That ship sailed years ago,” I parried. Maxi licked my cheek, ecstatically happy at not having to walk.
I paused for a moment, trying to think of a tactful way to phrase what I was going to say, then gave up. “Why is the whole…piano thing so important to you?”
Mike look surprised. “I want you to be happy, Darr.” He tossed the bag and its noisome contents into the trash, and we turned around to go back home.
I nuzzled Maxi’s head and said, “I’m happy.”
That didn’t sound convincing even to me.
“Uh-huh,” Mike said. “So when you sit in the window seat and stare at nothing, you’re full of joy?”
I didn’t have an answer ready.
“Besides sweetheart, you gave up so much when your parents sent you to the University, just when you should have been starting out at Juilliard. You could have left…”
“No,” I said firmly, interrupting. “I couldn’t.”
“Yes. You. Could. Have,” Mike said emphatically, grasping my arm and halting me in mid-stride. “You didn’t, and, yeah, I’m happy you stayed.” After a pause he admitted, “I wanted you to stay. But that feels kind of selfish, especially when you were so brave going back at that asshole Zercher like you did. And you still wanted me after everything.”
“None of it is your fault, don’t you dare say that. Don’t even think it.” Maxi squirmed in my arms, and I realized I was squeezing him too hard, so I put him down.
“Fine,” he conceded. “Is it okay I feel lucky and that I’m proud of you?”
I stared at him, speechless.
Mike grinned broadly. “Wow, two for two.”
“That’s the second time in the past five minutes that you haven’t had a comeback.”
I was unable to keep from laughing, and Mike put his arm around my shoulders.
“You must be tired, we’d better get to bed immediately,” he murmured into my ear, somehow managing to make that innocent sentence sound like an indecent proposal.
When we got home, the apartment was dark and quiet; my parents obviously hadn’t gotten back. Maxi had wolfed down the treat the doorman had for him, and once freed from his coat and leash trotted off for a drink of water and to settle for the night in his favorite spot: on the carpet near the radiator in the living room.
Mike and I retreated to my bedroom while the retreating was good – before Mom and Dad got back and fired off the inevitable barrage of questions about how was Em and how was dinner and what did we do and on and on and on…I wasn’t in the mood, and judging by the bulge visible in Mike’s jeans he wasn’t either.
More charged cum! was the thought foremost in my mind as we quickly shed our shoes.
Our lips met in a sweet, melting kiss that made me dissolve into a puddle.
Then something struck me belatedly. “Am I really that bad?” I asked.
“Huh?” Mike said, obviously not quite comprehending the question.
“Do I always have to get the last word in?”
He treated me to one of his devilish grins. “Oh, yeah,” he answered. “You’re a terrible pain in the ass.”
He grabbed my butt and squeezed it through my jeans.
I smacked his left shoulder, so he grabbed my right wrist to immobilize that arm, then imprisoned the left arm when I raised it to land a matching blow to his other shoulder as he laughed.
“You want me to tell the truth, don’t you honey?”
“No!” I said as I tried to twist my wrists out of his iron grasp. “You’re supposed to lie and say, ‘Of course not, sweetheart, I…”
“…love that you always end my sentences for me,” he interrupted
By now I was giggling as we wrestled, though Mike clearly had the upper hand.
“I do not,” I gasped out, as he pushed me back towards my bed.
“Yes, you do,” he laughed back and tumbled us on to the bed pinning me in place.
“Someone could end up sleeping next to the dog tonight,” I threatened as I twisted under him fruitlessly.
“You know you’d miss me too much,” he answered and began kissing my neck in what he knew were the most sensitive spots.
“I would not,” I gasped out as my back arched.
“Yes, you would,” he said, nudging my knees apart with his right leg, not that he had to nudge very hard, then covered my mouth with his own in an intense kiss.
Still giggling, I managed to break off the kiss and say, “If anyone finishes sentences around here, you do. You did just now.”
“Yeah, so the score is one to ten million,” he teased.
“An insult!” I exclaimed. “I don’t have to take this…”
“Oh yes you do, you’re going to take whatever I want you to,” Mike said humping against me between my legs, then gave me another steamy kiss, thrusting his tongue in my mouth to wrestle with my own.
My struggles were weakening markedly as we kissed more deeply and I wriggled around until my legs wound around Mike’s waist. Our playful wrestling became sensual: he released my arms to tangle his fingers in my hair, holding my head in place, while I wrapped my arms around his back, my hands following the lines of his perfectly V-shaped torso to his ass so that I could pull him against me more securely. He growled in the back of his throat and began to thrust against me, hard. I pushed back against him, feeling the tingling ache of need that always centered in my butt. Mike broke off our kiss with a moan, breathing raggedly.
“I’ve gotta fuck you now, I’m about to cream my jeans,” he rasped.
I tugged at his t-shirt to pull it off, but Mike rose to his knees, hurriedly unbuckling his belt and unbuttoning his jeans; his huge dick popped out as soon as he pulled down the zipper, visibly quivering, with a bead of pre-cum at the tip. He fumbled with my belt, then was unzipping my cords and pushing them down along with my briefs, freeing only my left leg, then pulling my legs over his shoulders.
“The duvet!” I exclaimed, not wanting to have to hide stains from my mom.
Mike huffed out an impatient breath, yanked off his t-shirt and spread it under my raised hips. Then without bothering to lube, he began to push inside of me, his pre-cum smoothing the way only marginally. I flinched a little, but he continued to press forward, forcing his way inside me.
“I know it hurts, honey, just relax. Take it, I know you can,” he whispered in my ear.
I was panting, and felt perspiration beading on my forehead, my chest, my arms, all over my body as I willed myself to relax and open for him. My belt clinked as Mike started thrusting, easing himself past my clenching sphincters, deeper and deeper until he was balls deep inside my butt. He pulled back, and it burned but with a purifying heat that vaporized all uncertainties, all barriers. I calmed my breathing, consciously taking in deep breaths as slowly as I could and exhaling as gradually as was manageable.
After a few more minutes it got easier, though that might have been Mike’s pre-cum…or maybe I was bleeding…or both. His thrusts grew stronger as he felt me relax underneath him and join in his rhythm.
My cock was now erect and I cried out, “Fuck me harder, yeah, more, please, more,” I begged. “I need you, now…”
My helpless pleading was interrupted by his shout, “I’m cumming, take it,” as he rammed against me, brutally, three times, collapsed on top of me, then froze, burying his dick inside me to the root.
I could feel his cock twitching inside my asshole as he shot his dirty load, and it throbbed against my prostate; that set off my own orgasm, wringing another shout from Mike as my sphincters clenched and released his sensitized rod.
We lay entangled on my bed as our breathing slowed, then calmed; post-coital languor kicked in immediately.
“Wow,” I sighed.
“Uh-huh,” Mike murmured.
Then I took advantage of the moment and landed a smack on his right shoulder blade.
I could feel him shaking with laughter, and he kissed me on the mouth again.
“Just for that, I’m going to fuck you all night,” he growled.
“Promises, promises,” I answered.