Setting The Wall Ch. 2/2

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And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go…
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…

–Robert Frost, from Mending Wall.

Part Two

We were making love. Tess rode me gently and I smiled up at her and softly stroked her breast.

“This is what it’s about, Max,” she whispered, “this is all for you.”

She leaned down and kissed me and the taste – the feel – was so familiar, so comfortable. And then it changed. Her tongue demanded things it never had before. I felt my pulse quicken as I responded with more urgency, more desire than I’d felt with her in a long time. She lifted off my cock and slid her hard body down mine and somewhere I wondered about that hardness; the feel of muscle and bone and…

I opened my eyes and it was Devlin who straddled me, Dev who reached for me and pulled me towards him. I tried to think how this could be so, but I couldn’t think, only feel and watch his face as it glowed in the early morning light. Gone was the brutality of our last meeting. Dev’s baby blues were gentle in the cool morning light and his mouth was curved in that little smile he always wore when he finally got me in the sack.

“You came back,” I whispered.

“I had to,” he murmured as he licked down the cords of my neck, “I couldn’t say goodbye like that.”

“Dev, I…”

“Shh,” he whispered, “let’s not talk anymore.”

With that he lowered himself until he was eyelevel with my cock. I moaned as he blew soft breaths over the sensitive skin and moaned again as his soft lips found the head and encircled it.

“Oh god,” I babbled, “don’t stop, don’t ever stop!”

“Never baby, I’ll never stop.” Dev slid his hand between my sweaty thighs and kept going until he found my hole.

“Ungh,” I gasped and spread my legs wider to give him more room. “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, that’s so good.”

“It’s what you need,” he said as he moved his fingers deep in my ass, “when are you going to admit that to yourself?”

“Oh god,” I tried to relax even as my heart pounded with excitement, “I want, I have to…”

“Jesus!” A laughing voice penetrated my dream and pulled me into consciousness. “Dude, you want to be alone for a few more minutes?”

“What the hell?” I sat straight up in bed and saw Pete standing in the doorway. “How the fuck did you get in?”

The door was open, dude,” he shook his head still laughing, “pretty damn stupid not to lock it if you ask me. Never know who’s going to just walk in.”

“Yeah, I can see that now.” I sat up in bed and yawned and pretended my heart wasn’t pounding and my cock wasn’t still hard from the vision of just a moment ago.

Pete grinned slyly, “So, who was she?”

“Who was who?” I asked back, though I knew what he meant.

“The woman in your dream, asshole!” Pete rolled his eyes. “Who was she?”

I was still too caught up in it to think of a story he’d buy, so I dropped my eyes and mumbled, “Who the fuck do you think it was?” At least I knew he could guess all day and not figure out the truth.

“Tess?” Pete sounded surprised, but it sounded like a good lie to me and I went with it.

“Well what did you expect? I mean I am marrying the girl, for Christ’s sake.”

He shrugged, “Hey, it’s just that you were really screaming there when I came in. And that was not exactly how I remember you with Tess when you’d go at it with her the back of my old Plymouth.”

“Damn. What? You used to listen?”

“Well it wasn’t like I had anywhere to go, you know? Kate and me used to finish a little earlier than you two sometimes and then we’d have to listen until you guys’d be done.”

Which was reasonable. Sex when you’re young is rarely performed in a comfortable bed or in a really private place. Pete and I had doubled all through high school mainly because his girlfriend, Kate, and Tess had been cheerleaders together. If I was honest about it, Tess and I had listened to those two making love a few times ourselves, and – apparently unlike us – they’d been quite entertaining.

“Anyway,” Pete was still trying to explain himself, “you guys were always pretty tame if memory serves me. Hell, I used to think of it as polite sex.”

“Fuck you.”

But even as I said it I knew that what he was saying was right. Tess and I had never had the kind of mind-blowing sex that I’d shared with Dev, or any man. Don’t get me wrong; it was good, but not the kind that made the hair on your ass stand on end. Tess didn’t seem to mind though; she’d actually said on several occasions that she liked how gentle a lover I was.

“Course that was a while ago,” he conceded good naturedly, “you might have learned how to actually do it since then.”

I saluted him with my finger and since my hard-on was now a thing of the past, got out of bed and went into the bathroom. But as I shot a stream of pee into the bowl, I admitted that not much had changed about Tess’s and my sex life since we were both 17. We were still polite lovers. Onwin After all this time, I didn’t expect anything different.

The events of the night were still blasting through my mind. Somehow in the last twenty-four hours, I’d realized that the control I’d prided myself on was nothing but an illusion. And in some ways that was a relief. I’d been lying to everyone for so long. What would if feel like to say, fuck it all, and just start telling the truth? But I knew that wasn’t an option. I had too many obligations, too many responsibilities, too much invested in the lie to ever start telling the truth. In three – no two days – I was going to walk into a church and swear before God and my family that I would love and honor Tess for the rest of my life. It was way too late to grow a conscience about that now.

I took a quick shower and jumped into some clothes. Pete was eating my last bagel when I was finally ready to go. He stuck his head in my bedroom and told me to get my ass in gear. Just hearing his voice, normal as always, made me feel better. Pete was a smart guy. I’d always valued his opinion and he thought I was doing the right thing. Okay, he didn’t know why it might not work out the way he saw it, but hell, even that was a good reason to think again before I did something drastic, something permanent. If he honestly thought I could pull this off and make Tess happy, then maybe I could.

Devlin Neeley was out of my life. Last night was a mistake I wouldn’t make again. Even if I did I wasn’t sure he’d ever trust me enough to agree to it. Why should he? I’d shown him over and over again that I wasn’t exactly trustworthy. We’d gone too far in a direction that was filled with obstacles and I didn’t think we could go back.

That wasn’t the case with Tess. She still believed in me. I honestly wanted that to continue so maybe if I really set my mind to it we could just swing it. With a little luck and some determination on my part, we could have the life we’d both always wanted. Now if I could only convince myself that the thought of living that life made me happy.

Pete was in the kitchen if the banging I heard was any indication. I was heading there when I saw something on the floor that almost stopped my heart. It was Dev’s wallet. It must have dropped out of his back pocket when he’d stripped his pants off. In the dark he hadn’t noticed when he re-dressed. I leaned over and snagged it, and quickly put it in my pocket. Not a moment too soon either, because Pete came through the kitchen door drinking my last beer.

“Jesus,” I said and hoped the pounding in my chest wasn’t noticeable, “It’s ten o’clock in the morning for shit’s sake.”

He took another swig. “So what? I’m on vacation.”

I shook my head and followed him out of the apartment. We headed over to the tux place. Tess had insisted that I buy mine. She said rentals never fit right. And Pete had decided that as an up and coming commodities broker he needed one of his own too. The rest of my groomsmen had decided they could live with the rentals. Now Pete and I were there for a final fitting while the rest of the guys would pick theirs up the next day.

We were the only customers in the shop. We went to the back and started to try on the new suits. Mine was okay, but Pete had lost a little weight since he’d been measured for it three months ago. The guy at the shop told us not to worry, the alterations would be done by the end of the day. Pete went into a booth to get changed, but I stood there for a moment looking at myself in the new monkey gear.

I looked okay if you were into white bread. My face is kind of bony and my hair is that nondescript brownish blond color that only looks good in the summer when it gets some streaks, but I’m tall enough and my shoulders are fairly broad, and if I my chest wasn’t as cut as it had been when I was lifting weights regularly in college, I still wasn’t too far gone. I also had a fairly decent ass and nice muscular legs, but they didn’t show up much in the suit. I was wondering if I needed a haircut, just a trim, before the wedding, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“You look great in a tux; not everybody does, you know.” The voice was soft and effeminate and I didn’t have to look at the face behind me to know it was Jesse, the guy that Pete had found so entertaining the night before. He was a friend of Devlin’s and yes, he was nelly as hell, but he was a nice guy too and I liked him a lot. He worked at this shop and I knew he’d probably be on, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t hoped he wasn’t.

“Hey, Jesse.”

“Hi, Max,” he smiled sadly at me in the mirror. “So you’re really going through with it?”

I turned scowled at him. “Don’t start that shit again.”

Jesse had been completely opposed to my marriage from the minute he’d heard about it. At first I’d even been afraid he’d do something drastic like outing me for my “own good” but I realized soon enough he wasn’t that vicious. He just believed that no one who was gay, or even bi, could really be happy Onwin Giriş unless they were totally open about it. He was honestly concerned I’d live to regret this decision. But his spiel was getting old, and with Pete about 15 feet way behind a thin curtain, I really didn’t want to get into it again.

“Okay,” he sighed, “I just wish…”

Pete walked back into the room and Jesse shut up and found something to do at the till.

“Hey,” Pete said, “move your ass, I’m ready for another beer.”

“You’re always ready for another beer,” I responded, but I went in the back and put on my street clothes.

We arranged to pick up the tuxes around five that night and walked to the car. Pete wanted to go to Angelo’s, this little Italian place a couple of miles away. They had great pizza and it sounded good to me. Plus it was close to the hospital and there was something I needed to do there after lunch.

I had to return Devlin’s wallet. Pete and I had each taken our cars so we could go our separate ways after lunch, so I figured I was safe to do this and I also thought that after last night, it would be better if Devlin and I didn’t meet any more in private. I could just go to the lab and give him the wallet and then be on my way.

I told myself I was only doing this as a Good Samaritan act. Maybe Dev would need the wallet, and although I could have just gone to his place and slipped it into the mail slot, this would get to him a lot sooner. That’s what I told myself, and if there was any more to it I wasn’t willing to think about it right then.

It was already 12:30 by the time we hit the restaurant. It was packed and we ended up taking smoking just so we could get a seat sooner. As usual there were still a lot of empty tables in that room. We sat down in a corner and it wasn’t until I was seated that I noticed a large party at the opposite end. It was obviously some kind of birthday party or something. There were gifts and wrapping paper scattered all over the table and a large cake sat on a tray waiting for the main courses to be eaten before it was cut. From the looks of the uniforms of most of the people in the group, I could tell this was some kind of hospital party.

That’s when I saw him. He was sitting at the head of the table and laughing at something a little blond woman was whispering in his ear. Dev’s eyes met mine and the laughter died in an instant.

“Hey, earth to Max.” Pete was snapping his fingers in front of my face. “You ready to order or you gonna stare at the cute nurses all day?”

“Uh? Yeah, whatever you want.”

“Okay,” Pete turned to the waiter, who I realized must have been standing there for a while, “since my friend is being kind enough to let me pick, I say we have an extra large pizza with everything and double up on the cheese. Oh, and a pitcher of Stroh’s.”

I barely heard him. I was too busy trying to pretend I hadn’t seen the look in Dev’s eyes.

“So who are you looking at that’s got you so hot and bothered?” Max’s head swiveled around and he stared in the same direction as me. “Oh shit, isn’t that your boyfriend from last night?”

“Just shut the fuck up!”

“Hey, hey,” he spread his hands in surrender, “I’m only playing with you. But that is the faggot we met, right?”

“Jesus, you sound as bad as Ron,” I was suddenly furious at him and I let it show.

Pete looked at me clearly puzzled by my over-reaction. “Sorry, Christ! What’s with you all of a sudden? You’ve never been exactly PC yourself, dude.”

“And knock off the dude shit. We aren’t in college anymore. It’s time we grew up and acted like it, including cutting people some slack if they don’t happen to be just like us.”

“Okay, man!” He looked at me like he’d never seen me before. “Just chill, okay? God, I know you’re edgy, but don’t take the shit out on me.”

He was right. It wasn’t Pete who was seeing things differently, it was me, and that was not something I could easily explain. “Yeah, you’re right,” I forced myself to smile, “sorry.”

He nodded and we wisely changed the subject, but our normal easy relationship was missing. I think we were both relieved when the pizza finally came and we had something to do with our mouths other than talk.

We ate in silence. This wasn’t especially good either because it meant that we could clearly hear the laughter that was coming from the other side of the room. I tried not to stare, but I wasn’t very successful at it and so I saw Dev stand and walk away in the direction of the bar and restrooms.

It was my chance and I took it. “I’m going to the can,” I told Pete and abruptly stood.

I didn’t wait to hear what he said. I quickly walked into the bar at the front of the building. Dev was just passing it and I’d been right, he was heading for the john. I watched him disappear into the short hallway by the restrooms and I followed him. I thought about going in too, but decided it would be better to wait outside the door in case someone else was already in there.

The door swung Onwin Güncel Giriş open a minute later and a guy walked out. I backed up into the corner where it was dark and I blended in so I don’t think he saw me. I know Dev didn’t a few minutes later when he left, too.


I hadn’t been loud, but the sound of my voice affected him like a gunshot. He froze and then he took a moment, like he was steeling himself to face something awful. Then he turned and smiled. I didn’t care much for that smile.

“What do you want, Max?” His voice was soft and controlled, but I could see it was taking a lot out of him to keep it that way.

“I think we need to talk,” I hadn’t really been thinking that at all, but suddenly it seemed like a good idea.

“I doubt it, but go ahead.” He stepped towards me and for the first time, I got a really good look at him. He looked like shit. There were bags under his eyes and lines around his mouth I’d never seen before. It didn’t make it any better to know that I was probably the cause of both.

“I, I,” now that he was listening I had no idea how to begin or even what it was I wanted to say, “I guess, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I was.”

He blinked his eyes wearily, “About last night? Or everything?”

“Both,” I blurted out, then tried to explain when I saw the pain creep into his eyes, “no not like that, not sorry about meeting you or…” I took a deep breath. “I never meant to let things go this far. I never thought you’d feel…”

“Max,” his voice was tired, “don’t apologize. It was as much my fault as yours, more. I knew where you were coming from. You never made any bones about it. I should have walked-no, run away as soon as I realized what was happening. I kept putting it off thinking, ‘One more day…'” he smiled sadly. “Jesus, it’d be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. I didn’t even realize what it was until it was too late. Love. Devlin Neeley had fallen in love. Who’d a thunk it?”

Oh God, he’d said it. Used the ‘L’ word. I didn’t know what to say, so I kept my mouth shut and looked at the floor. Dev just laughed though you could tell he wasn’t amused.

“Oops, sorry about that. I know I should have kept that little secret to myself, but what the fuck.” He laughed unhappily. “I was always so sure that I was this tough guy. That nobody would ever get my heart and use it for target practice like I’ve seen happen to the rest of my friends. Hell, that’s why I always picked guys like you. Somebody who only wanted sex with another hot guy.” He shrugged. “Really arrogant of me wasn’t it?”

On impulse I reached out and tried to grab his hand. He reacted like I’d burned him and stood so fast he almost tipped his chair.

“Don’t,” his voice was thick, “please. We both know that this can’t work. Let’s not draw it out. We’ll only end up fighting again and I don’t think either of us wants that.”

He was right. It was too late. Maybe if we’d realized sooner… No, I couldn’t go there. I turned to leave and then I remembered the wallet. I held it out to Devlin. “Here, I found this, this morning.”

He nodded and took it quietly. “Goodbye, Max. I hope that you find whatever it is you really want. I mean that.”

I dropped my eyes and studied the grit on the floor. “I know you do. And Devlin, I know you might not believe this, but I really do…” I looked up and it was then that I realized he’d slipped out of the room. I wanted to follow him, but knew that really wasn’t an option. I turned back in the direction of Pete’s and my table and walked back to it on shaking legs.

Pete wasn’t there. I looked over and saw him at the front by the register. We’d only eaten half the pizza, but apparently he’d had enough and I hadn’t been hungry since I’d seen who was sitting across the room. I made it over to Pete just as he was getting the receipt. He didn’t look at me, but walked outside as soon as he’d pocketed his change. I followed behind him, barely registering where I was going. The conversation with Dev had rocked me. All I wanted to do was crawl in a hole somewhere and lick my wounds and try and figure out how my life had gotten so fucked up.

We made it as far as the parking lot before Pete turned to me. I never saw his fist coming, but I sure felt the explosion as it connected with my cheekbone right below my eye.

“You bastard!” His voice cracked in anger. “You lying asshole.”

I staggered, but I didn’t fall and now I stared at him in shock. Sure, Pete could be a hothead and this wouldn’t be the first time we’d gone a few rounds. But that had been years ago in high school when we’d both had so much testosterone we hadn’t known what to do with it. Nothing, no sign, prepared me for this onslaught and I had no idea what got into him.

And then something snapped deep inside my gut. All the confusion I’d felt in the last 24 hours – hell, the last couple of months, translated itself into a white-hot rage. I wanted to hit something. Hit it hard, and Pete was right there in front of me. I nailed him in the solar plexus. It would have brought me down, but Pete was fanatical about lifting. It was something I teased him about. I always said the muscles were his way of making up for his height. So when I hit him he grunted, but that was about all the reaction I got.

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