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Dinner turned out to be nice. They had a lot of work stories to tell, and kept each other laughing heartily, with very few pregnant pauses.

Sitting together in the dark in the movie theater was a bit maddening. Every time Keith let his hand rest - primly - on David's nearby knee, the adjoining muscles clenched into what, to Keith, felt like a rebuke. He was surprised that David agreed to come back with him to his apartment.

It was Friday night, the first day of Keith's four days off. They'd spoken on the phone several times since the previous Monday morning near-tryst. Their conversations were short and congenial - several times they even discussed religion, and Keith was not surprised to find that they had some fundamentally different opinions on faith and Christianity. All the more reason, Keith decided, to make David his project.

For that was how he had decided to have a relationship with David - clinically. Although, now and then, just thinking about David's face, demeanor, body language, set off noisy emotional depth charges in Keith's soul, bringing out in him....what...paternal instincts? Maybe they were fraternal, Keith thought. Fraternal with a dash of lustful. Dash? Make that an avalanche!

But apart from that...Keith remembered how hard it was to come out, how much he sacrificed, professionally and personally - although certainly not permanently. Keith had no regrets. His friends were still his friends, his parents loved and accepted him, the cops didn't have a choice, at least on the surface. And whatever was lost had been returned to him two-fold - at least spiritually, if not materially.

Keith knew that he was at heart a good person, a compassionate man. He knew he was fearless about a lot of things, and he truly felt he owed that to his openness about his sexuality, and the hardships he had to endure to arrive at this point.

He wanted to show David that there was much more to lose, and regret, in living a lie.

I am what I am, Keith thought, and thank God for that - it was his daily prayer.

He wanted to make David like himself. He thought he could do that by showing David how much he liked him.

Except he didn't like him. He loved him. His love for David had already blinded him to the simple reality of how impossible their relationship might prove to be. He just wasn't destined to realize it until it was far too late.

David took himself on a self-guided tour of Keith's apartment while Keith fixed drinks in the kitchen. Keith found him in the living-room, pretending to be interested in the bookcase.

"I see you go for the minimalist look," David said. He took the drink from Keith, but stayed at the bookcase, near the window, as Keith sat on the sofa.

"I do, now," he replied. "The guy I was living with went more for the eclectic look. Lots of, whattayacallit....rick-rack. When he left, he took his rick-rack with him. I like it better this way."

"How did you tell your parents?" David asked.

"Wow. It was so long ago. I was still in high school. There was some bullshit going on - some kid was getting harassed. I wanted to get involved, told my parents so. They couldn't understand why, so I just said - it might as well be me. Give 'em credit for reading between the lines. I would have hated to have to spell it out for them. Believe it or not, I was really square. Really religious...I was even thinking about studying theology in college. To what end, I couldn't tell you. Anyway..."

"What'd they say?"

It didn't appear to Keith that David was going to be sitting his ass down anywhere near him in the near future, so he got up and went over to the bookcase, and stationed himself on the other side of the window.

"My father said what all father's say under the circumstances," Keith mimicked a deep, baritone voice: " 'But you play football!' "

David laughed, and leaned in a little, coming a fraction of an inch closer to Keith, who also leaned in, bringing them even closer together.

"What did your mom say?" David asked.

"Nothing. For weeks. And weeks. Possibly months."

They let the momentum of their laughter bring them even closer. Keith had already set his drink down - he took David's and placed it next to his on the window sill. David felt himself drifting towards Keith - and he finally understood the concept of magnetism and gravity, for surely it was the planet turning upside down that was drawing him into Keith's arms.

Keith pressed him against the side of the open window, pushing against him with his chest while his hands bunched around David's rear, squeezing hard and pressing David's lower body up into his groin. He kissed him the way David had been dreaming about for weeks, his lush, full lips gently bruising and incredibly soft. David ground his lips into Keith's jaw, intentionally scraping his skin against the course stubble of his chin and the sides of his mouth. Keith reluctantly moved his hands up to David's face, pulled him away, whispered "No," and got a good, close look at those incredible eyelashes. "Oh, you're fucking beautiful," Keith sighed, and placed his open mouth over David's, penetrating him with his tongue, searching for David's soul hiding somewhere deep inside his wetness. He pressed his thumbs lightly into David's closed eyesockets, and finally got his wish - stroking his thumbs gently down David's eyelashes, petting them.

Kissing David. Tasting him.

David felt helpless against Keith's hardness. Everything about him was hard, except those incredible lips. His tongue was as hard as his cock, which David finally realized was what that rod-shaped stiffness was pressing into his groin. His brain was flooded with new sensations - Keith's erection, his large hands wrapped around David's skull, the thumbs rubbing his eyeballs - gently now, but what if...? Terrifying, wild thoughts alternated with the profoundly blissful realization that he was here, Keith was there, they were together, this was happening. No turning back. Why would he want to?

Still, he couldn't bring himself to reciprocate. There was that most unwelcome, maddeningly practical side to David that said: one wrong move and it's over. Let him do the work, he knows what he's doing. And he's not going to hurt you, so trust him. No matter what, trust him.

As if reading his mind, and maybe he was, Keith broke the embrace and instructed David to kiss him back. He switched positions with him, so that Keith's back was now against the window frame. If David wanted any part of Keith's hardness, he'd have to do the rubbing and pushing and thrusting.

After a few fumbling moments, it became clear to Keith that this position was not going to work. He fulfilled another long-held fantasy by hoisting David over his shoulder, instructing him to pick up the drinks from the window sill, and then hauled him into the bedroom.

He set David down, then positioned a standing mirror next to the bed. "Come here," he said, and placed David in front of the mirror. Standing behind him, he ran his hands up and down David's torso, pulling his shirt out of his pants. He kissed the nape of David's neck while working the shirt buttons open. They watched each other in the mirror, until Keith reached into David's loosened pants and took possession of his cock and balls - David couldn't keep his eyes open, as much as he wanted to see everything and save it for future reference. They squeezed shut involuntarily. David heard himself panting, a familiar sound that usually accompanied masturbation. Keith had taken hold of the back of his neck with his teeth, and was alternately sucking and nuzzling the base of David's skull, one down-covered square inch at a time.

David opened his eyes and watched as Keith's hand ventured from his groin to his chest. Keith flicked David's shirt open, then caught hold of his nipples in either hand and rolled them between his fingers, pinching and letting go. One of Keith's hands moved up his chest and grabbed his chin, turning David's face towards his mouth. He kissed him wetly, his tongue snaking out, licking the outside of David's mouth, the inside. David's tongue came out of its own volition, and was immediately engaged by Keith's tongue in a wet, writhing duel.

"Oh fuck yes," Keith panted, and turned David around, deftly pushing his pants down to his knees. He fell backwards onto the bed, pulling David on top of him, then slipped his hands inside his shorts and around David's rear, parting his cheeks wide. David tried to spread his legs open, was trapped at the ankles by his pants. Keith took him by the shoulders, whirled him around and dropped him onto his back against the bed, reaching down to untie his shoes, pull them off, and throw them out the open bedroom door, one at a time. David watched them sail, then kicked his feet out of his pants. Keith helped David out of his unbuttoned shirt, then pulled his shorts down and off.

"You're beautiful, David," he said, and he was really looking hard at David's body. He traced his finger from David's hairline, down his profile, over his adam's apple, to his clavicle, between his pectorals, down his belly, into his belly button, through the sparse, pale bush of his pubic hair, taking a maddening detour around his cock, finally flattening his hand against David's thigh. Applying gentle pressure, he scrubbed his palm down David's leg all the way to his toes, grabbing a sock along the way and pulling it off. He did the same thing to David's other leg.

He pulled David's legs open, forming a wide V, then took hold of him behind his knees and lifted his rear off of the bed, bending his legs toward his belly, getting a good look at the smooth, hairless cheeks of David's ass, and the pinkish-brown pucker of his asshole.

Watching Keith become more and more turned on was driving David crazy. He wrapped his fist around the tip of his own cock and began to pull on himself. Keith helped by leaning down and taking one of David's balls into his mouth, then the other, sucking one for a second, then reaching his tongue out to lick the underside of David's swollen cock ,then taking the other ball into his mouth and nursing it.

David was thrusting his pelvis forward in a slow rhythm. Keith looked up from his delicious project, and took David's hand away from his cock. He lifted his hand to his mouth, kissed his palm, and gave it a sloppy lick.

"Stop for a minute," Keith said. He moved away from David, reached into his nightstand drawer and took out a package of wet-wipes, some lubricant, and a couple of condoms. He put the two condoms on David's belly and pulled out a wipe, instructed David to lift up his rear, and then gently probed the opening of David's asshole with the tip of his wipe-covered finger. It constricted, and Keith waited a second, whispering "relax, baby" while leaning down to kiss David's bent knee. When he was able to move his finger a few centimeters deeper into David, he swabbed at his inside gently, discarded the wipe, got another one and cleaned around David's perineum.

He seemed to remember something, went into the living room and quickly returned, pulling his shirt off before coming back to the bed. Suddenly, music - a sultry saxophone, bass, some drums - drifted in from outside the bedroom.

"You're gonna get loud," Keith promised. "Don't want the neighbors calling the cops."

He'd already kicked off his shoes somewhere between the livingroom and bedroom. Now he unzipped his pants and pulled them off, along with his underwear. David had lifted himself up onto his elbows so he could watch, and he wasn't disappointed.

Nope. No way.

Keith stood between the mirror and the bed, and gave David a guided tour of his body. He held his hardening cock in one hand, and moved his other hand across his chest, speckled with course hair, then down his rock-hard stomach, stopping to linger just below his belly-button. Keith's cock, rising and pointing at David, bobbed and jerked with a life and mind of its own. Keith pressed it upwards towards his belly, giving David a good view of his dusk-colored scrotum. He lifted his balls in the palm of his free hand, demonstrating to David their weight, their gravity, their heft, their inalienable, imminent claim to David's own body. David began to stroke himself again.

Keith responded by jumping onto the bed, his arms outstretched like Superman. "You have to laugh," he said, landing next to David. "Dicks and balls take themselves so seriously."

He swept David into his arms and rolled onto his back, neatly transferring David into an upright straddling position atop his pelvis.

He searched around the disarranged bed sheets. "Did we lose the condoms?" he asked. David reached over, found one, began to unwrap it. "Good, good boy," Keith said. "What about the lube?" David found that, too, handed it to Keith.

"Here's the thing," Keith said, as he rolled the condom onto his cock and took the cap off of the tube. "It's better with you on top, because then you're in control. It's gonna hurt at first - you're not going to want to take me in. Your instinct will be to resist. You have to get past that. If it takes an hour, even better. I like it slow, don't you?"

David had never had it slow before. He'd never had it at all, so he was paying strict attention. Sitting on top of Keith, their cocks knocking against each other like some fleshy kinetic sculpture, he could envision himself wide open, wetly accepting every inch of Keith's hardness, no matter how painful. The one thing David knew was that he was going to walk out of this room a different man, and no-one, including himself, would be able to prevent that.

"I trust you," David said.

"Angel, " Keith whispered. He massaged David's upper thighs, reached around and caressed the upper cheeks of his rear, letting his fingers slip in and out of the tight divide between David's cheeks. David closed his eyes and sighed, allowing himself to be swept up in the sweet, gentle sensation of Keith's touch. He felt something hard and cold slide in between his cheeks, and he instinctively lifted himself up so that Keith could penetrate the outside of his asshole with his finger. He felt the cold slick blob of lubricant as Keith swabbed outside and inside his anus. He felt himself opening up - he hoped it was enough - and his cock becoming hard. David leaned forward, toward Keith's chest, until his cock was just close enough to knock itself between his belly and Keith's, like a passionate metronome. The sound of flesh slapping against flesh was driving him wild. He lifted his rear higher and spread his knees outward, feeling them slip against the bedsheets. Keith concentrated on David's asshole, situating the head of his cock at its entrance, and letting it tap against the widening pucker. Knocking on David's door, he thought. Let me come in. I'll never leave you.

Keith hadn't realized he'd said that out loud. David was looking at him, his lips parted, his eyes wide. Beautiful green eyes. Those lashes - Keith's little whisk brooms. He couldn't help himself. He couldn't stop himself. "I love you," he said.

David sucked his breath in, held it, lowered himself onto Keith's cock.

"Breathe, David," Keith instructed.

He let his breath out in a slow whistle. His asshole had constricted around Keith's cockhead, and would let it go no further.

"When you start to relax, " Keith said, "lower yourself onto me. Take it in a little at a time. Slide down. Slowly. So sweet. So sweet, David. So beautiful. Kiss me."

David leaned all the way forward, and they kissed noisily. The movement of his body threatened to dislodge Keith's cock, little more than an inch inside of him, so Keith began to thrust forward, and heard David whimper even as the kiss continued. Keith lifted himself up, as if to roll David over, but David pushed him down flat on the bed, then leaned backwards, letting gravity, reflex and muscle force Keith further into him.

David swallowed hard, and held his breath. Remembered Keith's instruction to breathe, so he did, loudly, letting himself down a fraction of an inch lower - letting Keith in a fraction of an inch deeper. Keith helped by taking David's cock and rubbing his palm up and down the underside, occasionally flicking his thumb against the glans. He caressed David's face with his free hand, then slipped his forefinger between David's lips and finger-fucked his mouth.

David slipped down a little further. Deeper. The pain was acute, wonderful, just short of unbearable. Keith thrust forward, David reciprocated, and suddenly Keith was in, all the way. Slowly, rhythmically, David rode Keith's pelvis, crying out in pain and ecstasy. Keith grasped his rear so he could control David's wild thrusting, until he caught sight in the mirror of David's taut back, the dimples of his cheeks, could see trickles of sweat streaming between David's shoulder blades. Keith held on to the rim of the condom as he quickly withdrew from David, twisted him around onto his hands and knees, facing the mirror. Keith positioned himself behind David, positioned his cock against his now-smeared asshole, and penetrated him slowly, burying himself inside David up to the base of his cock, and began some serious fucking, his balls slapping against David's perineum. They looked into the mirrored image of each other's eyes, both panting, mouths open, tongues thick and wet and lolling helplessly. Keith tried to keep the weight of his body off of David, but he so wanted to crash down on him, crush him into the bed, reach his cock all the way inside and up into David's heart, to be inside of him, impossibly deep. Possess him, deliver him, turn him inside out and heal him, make him better.

But fucking him would have to be enough. Keith was so deep inside his blissful fantasy of possessing David that he was barely aware that David was calling his name. He reached around, held onto David's cock and stroked it maniacally, long after David had climaxed, smearing the cum up and down, even as he felt David's erection fade. Keith never stopped stabbing at David's asshole. David had crumpled face forward onto the bed, short, clipped, involuntary moans pushing out of his diaphragm with each rigorous thrust. Keith reached under David's chest, his hand sticky with cum, found David's nipples and squeezed much harder than he intended. He pulled David upright, forced his face around, and kissed him somewhere near his mouth, but David slipped away, and Keith settled for the side of his neck, which he bit and sucked as he came inside of David. Keith collapsed against David's back, forcing him down onto the bed, finishing him off with several strokes until his cock became rubbery and threatened to slip out of the condom.

Keith came to his senses, carefully withdrew from David, making sure the condom stayed on until he was completely out.

He surveyed the curves of David's body. David lay on his belly, his head to the side, his hands laying flat, palms down, on either side of his face. Ofcourse the first thing Keith noticed was the flutter of David's eyelashes.

He moved quietly from the bed, discarded the condom, and pulled out several wet wipes. He gently cleaned between David's cheeks.

"I think I have to go to the bathroom," David mumbled. "But I think you may have to carry me."

Keith stretched out next to him, pressing his cheek against the bed, looking directly into David's glowing green eyes. David was smiling. Keith recognized that smile from church. Maybe Mona Lisa wasn't so sad, after all. Maybe Da Vinci had painted her after she'd had a good old-fashioned butt-fucking.

David closed his eyes. Keith closed his. After awhile, he felt David's gentle caress against his cheek, felt his fingers move down his arm, rubbing his well-developed upper-arm. After awhile Keith fell into a deep sleep, but not before thinking that he should probably turn the music down.

When he woke up in the morning, David had gone. Somehow David had managed to pull the soiled sheets from the bed without waking him, and folded them neatly in a corner of the room. The drink glasses had been returned to the kitchen, rinsed and placed in the dish drainer.

David had left a note on the table.

See you in church, it said.

End of Book of Love, Chapter One

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