A soft breeze blew though the night, caressing our bodies with its cool gentle touch.
When I placed my hands on his shoulders, it felt so broad and hard under my fingertips.
When my hand touched his cheek, it felt so hot but not discomforting so.
I looked up into his blue eyes which were crystal clear to me even in the dark.
He leaned downwards and the sudden taste of his lips on mine filled me, followed by a explosion of emotion within our mouths.
And then he pulled back, looked me in the face and said four simple words.
“Bryce, I love you.”
And just like that my insides turn numb.
“Wh-what did you say?” I stuttered. I must’ve heard wrong. There was no way he could say that!
“I love you.” Ray repeated again without any hesitation whatsoever.
Those words struck me like a sledgehammer in the gut. “You…you didn’t just say that.” I said, my breath coming out in quick short burst. “You you you don’t mean it!”
Pain flickered across Ray’s face momentarily before it became stern again. “I’ve never been more serious in my entire life, Bryce. I love you.” He took a step towards me.
Immediately I staggered backwards. The world around me began to spin uncontrollably from my hyperventilation. “You can’t love me! You…you just can’t!”
“I…I know I shouldn’t.” Ray said with his eyes downcast. “You’ve been nothing but a saint to me. I mean, taking me into your home, giving me full room and board without question. Even when you saw me grow right in front of your eyes, you didn’t turn me away. If anything, you are like a second father to me…but I…I couldn’t help myself. I’ve fallen in love with you, Bryce, and I thought you loved me too.”
“Wha-what makes you say that?” I panicked at the suggestion.
“I…I don’t know.” Ray said uncertainly. “It’s just that I felt that you found me attractive. There were times when I notice you staring at me, at my body. Whenever I moved, I could feel your eyes following me. You touched me a lot, and sometimes I could feel your hand linger awhile and maybe even give a little squeeze.”
Oh God, he’s noticed it! I mentally screamed in utter horror.
“However, I guess I was wrong. I’m not as attractive to you as I had hoped. I guess I’m just so big now that it must disgust you.”
“You’re not disgusting!” I blurted out on impulse.
Ray’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “I’m…I’m not?”
“You’re…you’re the most beautiful man I have ever seen.” I choked out. Why did I say that? It will only make things worse!”
A glimmer of hope shown in Ray’s eyes “Then…then does that mean you like me?”
“I…I don’t!” I spat out.
“But you just said-”
“Never mind what I said!” I clutched my head with my hands. “Just…just forget I said anything!”
Ray frowned as he reached forward. “Bryce, is there something wrong?” His hands touched me and I flinched back.
“Nothing’s wrong!” I lied.
“Bryce, do you…do you love me?” Ray asked.
There it was. The one question that I had been dreading and he had just asked it. “I…I I don’t love you!” I dug my fingers into my head until it began to hurt. “I don’t love you! I can’t love you!”
“Can’t?” Ray echoed, picking up that one stray word that made a world of difference.
“I just c-can’t!” I began shaking. The pressure was starting to build up quickly within me, and any moment now it was going to explode. “I can’t be in love with someone else. I just can’t! I’m…I’m not ready to love again...I still love Henry, and I don’t know if I can let go just yet.”
There was a long silence after I spoke that ate into me.
“Shall I…shall I leave?” Ray broke the silence.
My head snapped up. “No! No, please don’t leave. Please stay.” Fear gripped me as I thought of Ray leaving me, never returning.
Ray looked confused, and I didn’t blame him. He had just confessed his love to me, but I was both pushing him away and telling him to stay with me. I couldn’t imagine what kind of pressure he was under, but my heart just wouldn’t be able to take much more. Ray must’ve sensed the strain I was under because he guided me back indoors and to the couch, where I sat down still holding my head in my hands. In an attempt to comfort me, Ray rubbed my back with his left hand while holding my shoulder with his right.
It was only making things worse for me though.
“Are you…are you feeling any better now?” Ray asked.
“No…no…I don’t know.” I didn’t even look up. “I…I just feel so stressed out right now.”
Ray continued his rubbing. “Would you like to talk to me about it, to see if I can help alleviate some of the tension?”
“I…I-I guess.” I said. I attempted to speak several times after that, but every time I started to say something, I change my mind and stop myself. “I don’t even know where to begin.” I groaned.
“How about I help you?” Ray suggested. “Let’s start with Henry.”
I lifted my head and turned towards him. “H-how do you know about Henry?” I asked, surprised.
“You called me by that name just before I headed for the hospital.” Ray informed me. “And you also spoke his name once more just a few moments ago.”
“I…I did?” I looked back down. “I…I guess I forgot.”
“It’s alright; we’ll go at a slow pace.” Ray comforted me. “Now, I presume Henry is a key person in your life.”
“Was.” I corrected him, as much as it pained me. “He…he died three years ago.”
“Oh.” Ray said regretfully. “I apologize. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“No, it’s alright. I’m…I’m still trying to get over his death, and talking helps me. Henry was…he was my true love.”
“Your….your true love?” There was a small hitch in Ray’s voice.
“Yes, he was.” I sighed. “He and I…we’ve been together since we were just kids. We grew up and did everything together. We were so close that nothing could separate us. Somewhere along the way, we became even closer. So close that we began to have feelings for each other. Then, when we were thirteen years old he told me he loved me.”
Ray was silent as he listened to my tale.
“I was rather shocked, really.” I continued on. “I knew that I had some feelings for him, but I didn’t expect Henry to have feelings for me as well. And for him to tell me he loved me…it was almost too much for me to handle. Back then I didn’t know I was gay, and when he said those words I…I broke down just like I did a few minutes ago.”
I heard the words coming out of my mouth, but I couldn’t believe them. Tonight was an exact repeat of the night eleven years ago! The confession, my breakdown and even the calm reassuring conversation afterwards were almost exactly identical! Desperately I looked over at Ray.
He was huge, as I’ve said before. However, Henry had also been much larger then I was. I saw many of Henry’s qualities within Ray. The same humorous words, the intelligent dialogue, the gentle touch…When you got down to it, Ray could have been Henry’s brother.
“I…I can’t love you.” I said again. “I sorry, but I just…I just can’t!”
Ray pulled back a bit, but kept his hold on me. “But…but why can’t you love me?”
“Because I’m afraid that it’s Henry I love, and not you!” I cried out as I felt the dam inside me finally crumble away. “I see Henry in you every day, and it’s killing me inside! If I do fall in love, it won’t be the real you. I’ll love you only because I love the Henry I see in you!” I hunched over as I confessed my darkest fears to him. I could feel tears streaming down my face, but I was too far into my breakdown to even notice. My body was shuddering uncontrollably. Not only was I telling Ray what I feared most, I was realizing my own fears at the same time. “I c-can’t live like th-that, Ray. I c-can’t c-keep chasing after someone who’s n-no longer th-there. And I…I just c-can’t d-do something th-that horrible t-to you. I just c-can’t.”
Ray looked at me, speechless. His eyes searched me, as if looking for an answer to comfort the grown man down. Finally, he resorted to the one surefire thing that he knew would work. He reached upwards and calmly stroked my hair.
My shuddering began to subside as his soothing touch began to take its effect. Such a soft, gentle touch he had. Ray leaned closer to me, his body pressing into mine. His overdeveloped pectorals were pressing my arm into the crevice, enveloping it with muscle.
And then, Ray began to sing a lullaby.
The lullaby was simple and yet beautiful. It didn’t contain any words, but it didn’t need any. Ray had a magnificent singing voice, a mix of a brass tone with a light air to it. Gradually, all of my panic and fears faded away to a whisper. My body moved on it’s own as I laid down, resting my head on his lap as he continued to stroke me even after he finished singing.
Henry could never have sung like that. He couldn’t carry a tune with a forklift, I remembered. That fact made me feel a lot better for some reason.
“Have you calmed down yet, Bryce?” Ray asked, still stroking my head.
“Yea…” I said, feeling serene.
“I…I’m sorry I’ve caused you so much trouble, Bryce, I really am.” Ray said softly. “But…I can’t just ignore my feelings for you. I love you, Bryce.”
This time, there was a warm, fuzzy feeling inside my chest when I heard those words. “I…I know. But I don’t know if I really love you back…the real you. I…I’m just not sure yet.”
Ray moved from caressing my head to my neck and shoulders, causing me to shiver. The boy sure knew how to touch someone the right way.
“I am not Henry, Bryce.” Ray stated the cold truth. “And try as I might, I can never replace him because he’s in a place where I can never reach. I am me, my own person. I may seem similar to him, I’m sure there are things about me that are completely different from him. And hopefully, this will help you see my real self. And until you do, I will wait for your answer.”
I tilted my head so I can look up. I could barely see his face past his pec shelf. Luckily for me he leaned forward so I could have a better view.
“Are you sure you wish to wait for an old man like to make an answer?” I asked him.
“I’m positive.” Ray answered.
“It may take me awhile to find it, you know.” I informed him.
“There are some things worth the wait.” He told me with a firm resolve. Then a hesitation flickered across his face. “But…if I may, may I have one small request?”
“What is it?” I asked, puzzled.
Ray’s cheeks grew a slight tinge of pink. “May I…may I have one more kiss?”
I felt my own cheeks grow hot, probably matching the color on Ray’s. “S-sure.” I answered.
A corner of Ray’s mouth crooked upwards a bit shyly. Then, he leaned down and pressed his lips against mine and kissed me.
And I kissed him back.
2 years later…
“You know, its one thing to write a book,” I said as I peeled off my coat, “But it’s something completely different when you see it played out on the big screen.”
“Was it not to your liking, Bryce?” Ray asked as he hung his coat on its hook, his arm bulging in his dress shirt sleeve. “That is surprising, seeing how it received a standing ovation.”
“Oh it’s not that.” I said as I hung my coat next to his. “It’s just the guy who played David wasn’t what I imagined.”
“I thought he played his role very well.” Ray defended the actor. “His actions were in character, and his features matched the physical characteristics you had written in the original manuscript.”
“I know that.” I said as he and I began walking into the living room. “It’s just that I thought he wasn’t big enough for the role.”
“Not big enough?” Ray asked as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “I would have imagined a four time Mr. Olympia winner would have satisfied the requirements.”
“Well, the model I had for David was much, much bigger then he was.” I said, placing a hand on his arm.
“Is that so?” Ray grinned broadly. His face beamed like every other time I commented him on his body. In return, he tensed the muscle under my hand just a bit so I could have a feel of just how big and hard it was underneath the fabric. I held back a soft moan, and he laughed at my restraint.
“Well, how about a drink to celebrate?” I said, breaking off our little moment.
“Sure thing Bryce.” Ray said as flopped down on the plush white couch in our penthouse living room. “A Diet Coke, if you please.”
“Still drinking diet?” I chuckled as I headed towards the kitchen. “You already have the body fat of a super model.”
“Please, they have beer guts compared to me.” Ray said cockily as he patted his washboard stomach.
I chuckled as I poured out a glass of coke and took a bottle of chilled beer. I placed them on a silver platter and then brought it out. “For you, sir.” I leaned down and presented his drink in a sad attempt to act like a butler.
“Why thank you my good man.” Ray played along. “Perhaps I will even allow you to have the night off.”
“That’s very kind of you sire.” I continued as I set the platter down on the glass tabletop. “But I was hoping to further render you my services tonight.”
Ray raised an eyebrow, his curiosity piqued. “And what is it that you have planned?”
I fought back the urge to smile. Instead, I leaned in and kissed him on the mouth passionately. Ray’s eyes widened as I pressed my tongue into his mouth and pulled him into the most passionate kiss we have ever had. Before, we had always asked for permission, and a kiss from me was very rare to begin with.
Finally, after what seemed like ages I pulled back. For once, he seemed flustered and out of breath. My urge to smile grew stronger, but I had been playing this moment far too many times to have the moment ruined. So, I leaned forward so his ear was just within whispering distance.
“I love you too.”
Ray stopped in mid breath. I pulled back and saw his face completely frozen. He wasn’t even breathing.
“W…wh-wha-what…d-did you j-j-ja-just say?” He stuttered.
“I love you too.” I repeated, this time breaking into a grin.
Ray took three quick breaths and then lunged at me, kissing me. We kissed and rubbed each other. I ran my hands all over his body, feeling the hard, steely muscles through his shirt as I allowed two years worth of pent up emotion pour out. His broad back and shoulders, his hard stomach, his thick arms. I was lost in a sea of muscle, and I didn’t want to be found. We sucked face for probably five minutes straight before we broke apart to come up for air.
“Y-you don’t know how long I’ve longed to hear those words.” Ray gasped.
“Yea, I know.” I also gasped.
“And it only took you two years.” Ray joked.
“Actually, I figured it out about two and a half weeks after you told me how you feel.” I said.
The look one Ray’s face when I told him that was absolutely priceless!
“Wha-WHAT?” He cried out. “Why didn’t you tell me then!?”
“Because,” I reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck, “Happy 18th birthday love.”
Ray blinked. He blinked again. “I…I forgot today was my birthday.” He admitted.
I chuckled. “In all of the excitement of the movie release, you forgot it was also your birthday?” I said, although I had known from the start. “Well, today you’re officially an adult, so what we’re about to do next is perfectly legal.”
“What are we going to do next?” Ray asked dumbfounded. He becomes like that sometimes when I outsmart him.
“Oh, you’ll see.” I said seductively. I could barely contain myself as I thought of how it was going to be a lot of fun breaking him out of his child-like innocence and introducing him to the full features of an adult life. Then, I pulled him towards our bedroom, with him trailing behind me. I secretly hoped that I would be able to keep up with him. After all, we had a lot to celebrate that night, and he was more vigorous then I was.
I glanced back at my lover and took in his pure size and weight. Ray was a muscle god. At 7’9” 395 pounds, he dwarfed me completely. Muscle upon muscle rolled and rubbed against each other as he walked fluidly behind me. And at the front of his pants was a monster, nestled within a pair of plaid boxers.
Oh yes, he was much more vigorous then I was.
Before we reached our king sized bed, I turned my head towards the window to look outside.
A gentle rain had begun to fall outside, as if it was Henry’s way of telling me that he was blessing this event.
“Thank you.” I whispered, and then turned my attention back to Ray.
A gentle rain had begun to fall outside, as if it was Henry’s way of telling me that he was blessing this event.
“Thank you.” I whispered, and then turned my attention back to Ray.
Ray dashed the forming tears from his eyes as he finished reading the last line in Bryce’s manuscript. He read that line on the computer screen over and over again. It was just so…so beautiful. Although Ray had been with him that whole time, and even five years afterwards, it wasn’t until reading this that Ray realized just what exactly Bryce had gone through. Such sadness and emotion…and Ray didn’t even see it at all. No wonder Bryce didn’t want him to read it until it was finished.
Ray rubbed his eyes. No time to become emotional, Ray thought to himself. Bryce had told him to proofread the manuscript for mistakes. To Ray’s surprise, there was a lot more mistakes then usual. For one, Bryce had many grammatical errors, which was rather odd. And Bryce had gotten several measurements wrong. For starters, several of the stats Bryce had written were proportionally incorrect.
Ray was supposed to be correcting these mistakes as he read it, but he became so caught up that he read it straight through without stopping. Bryce had probably felt the same way, unable to stop to make corrections lest he lose his train of thought. Ray was enchanted by this story about another side of how it all began.
About their story.
“Ray, dinner.” Bryce called somewhere through the door. Ray was suddenly aware of an empty feeling where his stomach was located. The smells of dinner wafted up the stairs and through the door, causing a bit of drool to form on the side of Ray’s mouth.
“Coming.” Ray called back. Before he got up from his chair to head for dinner, his eye caught something. There was still something on the bottom of the page. Ray quickly scrolled down and read the words written there.
For those who have lost the ones they loved,
Never give up on life.
Though you may be lost in your sorrow,
The storm shall one day pass
So that you may be able to see
The rainbow waiting just beyond reach.
For my True Love…
Both of them.