Different Strokes

“God, it’s hot,” I thought. The air was so thick it was difficult to breathe – and, looking up at the sun, I saw it was surrounded by a milky haze. I sneezed.

“Bless you.”

The familiar voice behind me in the queue caused me to shiver despite of the heat – and, after taking a moment to compose my features, I turned and smiled at my next-door neighbour. I hoped my face didn’t reveal the emotions fighting for control of my thoughts.

“Well, thanks Steve. I didn’t know you were back in the country. How was your trip?”

“Oh – so-so I guess. I got back a couple of days ago. My editor seemed to like my reviews so I’m not out of a job yet. How are you doing? Still seeing Brian?”

“No – it didn’t work out.” I hoped he wouldn’t ask for more details. How could I tell him that one of the the reasons it hadn’t worked out was that I had lost my heart to the man who was standing no more than two feet away from me?

“And how’s Jacky?”

There were a few seconds silence – and I was aware of the pained expression that flashed across Steve’s face before he answered.

“Ah – yes – how is Jacky? Well – to be perfectly honest – I have no idea how Jacky is. It seems that a future with a high-flying, financial whiz-kid holds more promise than with a poorly paid, hum-drum, food critic. Didn’t even have the guts to tell me to my face. I found a note on the kitchen table when I got back. No – I think I’m safe in saying that it’s over between me and Jacky.”

“Oh Steve – I’m really sorry to hear that.” (“You liar,” I thought to myself. I was anything but sorry.)

I was saved from revealing my true feelings by the voice of the ice-cream salesman. My mind went into overdrive – and I found myself turning to Steve and saying, “Damn freezer’s on the blink again – so I guess I won’t be getting the giant sundae!”

It seemed so contrived that I was sure he would never fall for it – but heard him saying, “That’s not a problem. You can put it in mine until yours is fixed.” There was a twinkle in his eye – and I realized that he had seen through my subterfuge – and was more than willing to play along with it. I had known in the two years since he had moved in next-door that Steve liked me – maybe even more than that – but he was a faithful partner and had never made a pass at me. But perhaps things were going to change.

Walking back to Steve’s house we made small talk. Steve told me about some little out of the way restaurants he had discovered on his travels. A tiny pizzeria in Naples, home of the original pizza. A little pancake house in Oosthout in the Netherlands that had served the best bacon and cheese pancake he had ever eaten. A small restaurant in France, whose waiters absolutely refused to understand his French, but had produced a meltingly delicious “fruit du mer”.

It was obvious from Steve’s words that he was a true food connoisseur and, once inside his house, it was clear that he was a very good cook too. I could see pans bubbling on the stove and the air was filled with the most appetizing aroma of spices and herbs. I was surprised that Steve would take that much trouble just for himself. I lived almost exclusively on TV dinners and fast food and was an abominable cook.

Putting the ice cream in the freezer Steve said, “If you haven’t eaten yet you are more than welcome to eat here. I tend to cook far too much when I’m feeling miserable. It’s my own special brand of therapy. There’s nothing more relaxing than to create a wonderful meal out of basic ingredients. Almost magical in a way.”

“That sounds good. I was planning on having something out of the freezer – but was a bit worried about dishing up a plate of salmonella!. Most of the stuff in there looks as if it should go in the trash rather than the oven.”

“Well – you’re welcome to eat here until you’re freezer’s mended. I’ve got more than enough. In fact you’d be doing me a favour.”

He told me to sit down and, setting another place, he began to ladle large amounts of some sort of stew onto my plate. It looked and smelled really good – and was delicious.

Over the meal we continued our conversation about Steve’s travels. He’d seen an awful lot of the world. A lot more than I had. I hated flying and avoided it when I could. It had been a constant cause of argument between Brian and I. He was a party animal, a real worshipper of the high life and had often accused me of being dull and boring. I’d learnt to live with it – as he’d known when we met that I was a home lover and I wasn’t planning on changing my way of life for him. Being quite a bit older than him I could understand that it was important to him to discover new experiences and I’d often turned a blind eye to some of his more outrageous escapades.

Until, that is, he began staying away at nights. I knew he was seeing other people – and although he said that they didn’t mean anything to him – and assured me that he was always careful to practice safe sex I wasn’t prepared to live like that. When he suggested that I make up a threesome with him I realized that we were just too different to make things work.

We had a terrible scene when he left – with him accusing me of being just as boring in the bedroom as I was in life and I’d vowed that I’d be a lot more careful in choosing my next partner. It was then that I had started fantasizing about my next door neighbour. I’d always found him physically attractive but had thought him to be happy with Jacky. I had resigned myself to thinking about him in bed at night and masturbating myself to an unhappy climax. I had never dreamed that there was a real possibility of our having a relationship.

These thoughts were having an unfortunate effect on me and, emerging from my dream world I was aware that Steve was looking at me with an amused expression on his face. I realized that I had been staring inanely at him.

“Shall we get down to the real reason you’re here?” he said.

My mouth dropped open and for once in my life I was speechless.

“Neither of us are kids anymore and I’d have to be a complete idiot not to get the message. And before you start trying to think up excuses – there’s absolutely no need – because I feel the same way as you do.”

“I…I…” Good grief. I hadn’t felt this insecure since I’d been a teenager and had discovered that I seemed to view life differently than my friends. It had taken me a while to come to terms with it but once I had accepted it I felt an awful lot happier. I’d taken ownership of my life and ever since I had been completely confidant in myself. This was the first time that I wasn’t completely in control and it was a strange feeling. I decided to just relax and let things take their natural course.

I stared at him, willing his lips to touch mine. As if he could read my mind, he pulled me up out of the chair and then we were clinging to each other kissing as though nothing else existed in the world. I felt as if I had found something which I had been searching for all my life – and it wasn’t just sexual passion – it went much deeper. I knew then that this man could become my whole world – and I could only hope that that was what he wanted too.

His tongue explored my mouth and I gripped his shoulders forcing our crotches together. I was pleased to discover that he was aroused as I was. I slid my hand between our bodies and, undoing his pants I slipped my hand inside and began to stroke him. I felt him jerk and his pre-cum moistened my palm. Sliding to my knees I freed his dick and, feeling his muscles tense I glanced up at him. He was leaning backwards against the table, obviously needing its support. I could feel that his legs were shaking and as I slipped my lips around him I heard him groan. I began to move my mouth up and down, slowly at first but as I heard his breathing quicken I started to increase my tempo. As my movements speeded up I also began to take him deeper until eventually I could feel him hitting the back of my throat.

Whatever Brian may have had to say about my bedroom techniques I knew I gave a great blow-job. Steve was only seconds away from coming, .but with what was obviously a great effort of will he pushed me away. I looked up at him in surprise.

“Take it easy,” he gasped. “We’ve got all day. I want this to last a long time. God knows I’ve waited long enough for it!”

I was confused at his words. I knew that I had been carrying a torch for him for a long time. But this was the first inkling I had that he had felt the same.

“I could never have been unfaithful to Jacky – our relationship meant a lot to both of us- or at least I thought it did,” he said bitterly. ” But many the night that I’ve fantasized what it would be like to be with you.”

I was astonished. It was hard to believe that whilst I’d been having fantasies about him, Steve had been doing the same about me only a few feet away. We had both been blinded to the attraction we felt to each other by the glowing youth of our partners. It seemed as though we had wasted a lot of valuable time.

“Come upstairs to the bedroom,” Steve said. “We’ll be a lot more comfortable there.”

Five minutes later we were lying naked together in Steve’s large bed. With one hand he was stroking me whilst with the other he was gently probing my asshole with a lubricated finger. Then I felt the pressure of his condom sheathed dick pressing against me. He was a lot larger than any of my previous lovers and I was a little apprehensive – but I had no need to be. He was a very considerate lover and although he was as turned on as I was he took his time. Gradually I felt myself being filled my his massive cock. He moved slowly at first but as his arousal increased his strokes got faster. I’m usually the quiet one but for the first time I yelled out as I came. Seconds later I heard Steve’s moans as he too climaxed.

Afterwards as we lay together, almost asleep, I heard Steve’s voice say, “Well John I don’t think you’ll be needing to get your freezer fixed after all, do you?”

“Different Strokes” Copyright © 1999 by Lynne den Hartog. All rights reserved.

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