Friday, April 17, 2009

Cullen's Fall

The guy was hot. Short, compact build. Brown eyes, olive complexion, salt
and pepper hair. Freshly showered, he returned to the bedroom and watched
as the kid, God, he couldn't be more than 21 or 22, greedily kissed his
wife's pretty pink mouth.

He was like a machine, fucked them both tirelessly all of last night and
was apparently ready for more this morning. Incredibly good looking with
shoulder length strawberry blond hair and pair of unbelievable violet eyes
he'd thought came courtesy of contacts but had been proven wrong.

He was a big boy, 6'2, no probably 6'3 or 4, every long, lean muscular inch
of him. There was an enticingly dangerous, hard edge to him. Cool set up
too. Nice basement apartment. Not in the best neighborhood but close to the
bar they'd met him in last night.

When he saw that they weren't coming up for air, he interrupted, "Um, I
couldn't find a towel." Reluctantly ending the moist, open-mouthed kiss he
had been exchanging with the man's petite, curvy wife, Cullen eyed his
naked body lustfully and said, "Why don't you bring that sweet ass of yours
over here and I'll dry you off with my tongue."

With a broad smile, the guy, John or was it Jim?, complied and eagerly
joined the two of them on the bed. He began to play with Cullen's hair as
he licked and kissed every drop of wayward moisture he could find. Cullen
trailed one hand up....Cindy's...yeah, it was Cindy and Jim, left thigh and
stroked her clitoris gently.

She gasped as Cullen suddenly thrust three fingers forcefully in and out of
her moist vagina, while continuing to encircle her clit with his thumb. She
raised her knees and spread her legs wider, while continuing to avidly
watch Cullen's mouth moving across her husband's body.

Jim was softly groaning as Cullen kissed the sensitive skin between his
thighs and fondled his engorged penis. Cullen leaned forward and swirled
his tongue around the head. "Suck it," Jim entreated. "Please," he
whispered.

"Wait," Cullen ordered. He looked at Jim out of playful violet eyes.
"Patience is a virtue." He enclosed the glans in his mouth and lashed it
with his tongue. Jim jerked convulsively. "Christ," he exclaimed.

Cullen held the glans in his mouth and jerked the shaft up and down
skillfully. Switching his attention to Cindy, he wriggled his fingers in
her pussy. She was panting and rocking on his fingers.

"I want to see you swallow his cock like you did last night." Cindy said
hoarsely. Cullen opened his mouth wider and engulfed Jim's cock inch by
excruciating inch. He and his wife watched eagerly, unbearably excited by
the view of Jim's hard penis in Cullen's mouth.

"Oh God, I'm gonna cum." Cindy shrieked. Holding Jim's cock in his mouth
and washing over the head with the flat of his tongue, Cullen
simultaneously thrust his fingers towards the bottom of Cindy's vaginal
canal and spread them wide.

He massaged the soft tissue of her vaginal walls and the smooth, curved
hump of her cervix, while rubbing against her swollen clit with the palm of
his hand. Cindy arched her back and clenched her thighs around his hand.

"Right there, right there," she cried. "Oh yesssss," she climaxed sharply
as Cullen continued caressing her hot, wet cunt. When he gently removed his
fingers, she collapsed back onto the bed and turned towards Jim, kissing
him hungrily.

Cullen sank his mouth onto Jim's cock until his lips were touching Jim's
gray and brown pubic hairs. He raised his mouth incrementally until his
lips were barely touching the head. Jim groaned with disappointment when
Cullen released his cock from his mouth. "Go grab a condom from that drawer
over there," Cullen requested. "The lube's over there too. I want you to
sit on my cock."

Cullen lay flat on his back. "C'mere you," he told Cindy, pointing to his
mouth, "Sit right here." Cindy obeyed rapidly, sitting her pretty brown
bush right over Cullen's waiting lips. He sucked on her clit delicately,
moaning into her cunt when he felt Jim's fingers caressing his cock before
applying a condom and lubricating it generously.

Cullen arched up into Jim's anus when he felt the hot, moist entrance
swallowing the tip of his cock, grabbing Cindy's firm buttocks reflexively
and grunting into her pussy. She was grinding her vagina all over Cullen's
face.

"God that feels so good", she said between rapid, panting breaths. Jim
reached around and pinched her nipples, hard, just the way she liked it and
she climaxed again. Jim steadily rose up and down on Cullen's cock, holding
onto Cindy's shoulders for leverage. His ass was so tight, so hot, that
Cullen was grinding upwards trying to capture every sweet rise and fall.

===================================================

As he turned on the nebulizer machine, Shannon assessed his father's deep
burgundy brown coloring with an expert eye. His father's complexion would
have been identical to his own without the unhealthy grayish tint due to
his illness. Not so bad today, he concluded.

He double-checked to ensure that the mask was correctly positioned on his
father's face. "Ok?" he asked. His father nodded. "I'm going to get the
rest of your medicine and bring your breakfast up here." His father nodded
again and closed his eyes wearily. With gentle, practiced motions,
Shannon's muscular arms lifted his father and plumped the pillows behind
him.

Once in the kitchen, he quickly prepared a cup of decaf and several pieces
of buttered toast and jelly. He returned to his father's bedroom just as
the breathing treatment was nearing completion. He assisted his father with
his medications and set up his breakfast tray so that everything he needed
would be within reach.

"I'm going next door to work out with Cullen. The phone is right next to
you and don't forget to put your oxygen back on when you're done eating."
His father nodded, a rueful smile on his face.

"Am I acting like I'm your mama again?" Shannon teased. "Yeah." His father
said in a raspy voice. "Too bad." Shannon said unapologetically. "I only
got one Pop. See you in a few. I'll be back to help you get dressed." He
called out, racing down the stairs on long, muscular legs.

He used his key to enter Cullen's small basement apartment. He didn't hear
any movement. Assuming Cullen had overslept, he quietly walked into his
bedroom. Cullen was on the middle of his king sized bed, crouched over some
guy, fucking him while a woman sucked the guy's cock.

Shannon stared, transfixed by the sight of Cullen's long, thick penis
rapidly going in and out of the guy's ass. It must have felt good because
the guy was moaning and groaning like crazy. Cullen suddenly noticed
Shannon out of the corner of his eye and smiled at him wickedly.

He raised his arm and flashed five fingers, three times and motioned with
his head towards his exercise room. Shannon walked away on unsteady legs,
entered the exercise room, closed the door and leaned against the wall.

God, his heart hurt. He knew that Cullen had lovers. Cullen was a legend in
their neighborhood. "Cullen's like Mikey in that commercial from back in
the day. Cullen'll eat anything, fuck anything too."

Shannon slid down the wall into a squat and buried his hot face in slender
brown fingers. "Suck it up and chill." He told himself grimly. "This ain't
nothing new."

Chest tight, he took a deep quavering breath and admitted to himself that
he wanted to be the one on his knees, Cullen behind him fucking him like
there was no one else on earth. "Stop thinking, stop thinking," he ordered
himself.

Only....he could not get the picture of Cullen's delicious body out of his
head. The way he was moving. Controlled power and grace. Hair dark with
sweat. Eyes hot and intense. Those eyes had captured Shannon when he was a
kid and never let him go.

He stood up, feeling as though the universe had shifted beneath his feet.
On automatic pilot, he removed his shirt and started organizing the room
for their workout. He was setting up the weights when Cullen entered.

"Hey baby, what up?" Cullen asked. "Nada man, just waiting on you." Shannon
replied quietly, keeping his back to Cullen. "Sorry bout that man." Cullen
said, sincerely apologetic. "I didn't even think to call you. They had to
park in the alley. There weren't any spaces out front last night."

Noting the tense set of Shannon's shoulders Cullen walked over to him.
Shannon could smell his fresh, clean, mouthwatering scent. Stomach
churning, Shannon thought frantically, "I am not ready for this now. I
can't handle this now" He was leaking. He could tell. All of the feelings
that he had kept hidden and suppressed for so long were oozing out.

Concerned, Cullen moved in front of him and looked into his eyes. "Is
everything..." his voice trailed off abruptly. The expression in Shannon's
dark brown eyes took his breath away and weakened his knees. Never in his
life had anyone looked at him like...like they would die to have him, crawl
over broken glass, walk through fire...like Shannon was looking at him now.

Hunger and desire were emanating from Shannon in waves of heat so intense
and tantalizing that Cullen was irresistibly drawn to him. He felt as
though he was immersed in white-hot fire. Last night might never have
happened. His cock was burning with lust. His hands slowly, carefully moved
to Shannon's bare shoulders and pulled him forward.

Shannon was unresisting, defenseless with longing. Almost reluctantly,
Cullen's mouth moved towards Shannon's. Torn between conflicting emotions,
Cullen hesitated but didn't stop. He had wanted this for too long. His lips
touched Shannon's soft mouth.

Shannon's lips, full and soft, felt like heaven. This could not be
happening. This was Shannon, best friend, brother. The sweet sensation of
Shannon's mouth beneath his had his toes curling on the carpeted floor.
His cock flexed and strained beneath the towel wrapped around his waist.

He expertly opened Shannon's mouth with his and slowly invaded his mouth
with his tongue. Shannon groaned helplessly and lightly touched Cullen's
arms, stroking up and down. Cullen's skin was so creamy, so smooth. Like
satin.

When Cullen didn't reject his first tentative caresses, he moved his hands
around to his back, savoring the feel of Cullen's taut muscles beneath his
hands. Cullen's mind was racing feverishly. "What the hell was he doing?"

Shannon felt him start to withdraw and whimpered in protest, sliding his
fingers upwards and entwining them in the silken strands of Cullen's
hair. They moaned in unison. God. Cullen couldn't stop now.

He could not get enough of the honeyed taste of Shannon's lips under his,
Shannon's tongue in his mouth, Shannon's hands in his hair. He was moaning
and groaning uncontrollably into Shannon's mouth. Kissing him voraciously,
clutching his shoulders in a bruising grip, straining to get even closer.

Shannon held Cullen's head tenderly in his hands, lost in sensation, lost
in Cullen. Cullen was grinding against him hungrily, his erect penis
surging against Shannon's thigh. His hands slid out of Cullen's hair,
gliding down his chest to the towel at his waist. "Most beautiful" Cullen
whispered against Shannon's mouth.

Over the years, they had grown closer, as the few years between them lost
importance. Now, they were best friends, everything to each other. At
least, Shannon was everything to him.

It was the strangest thing. He heard himself think something that he had
never before allowed himself to acknowledge consciously. It was as if time
slowed...then stopped. He watched himself... totally immersed in Shannon.
Open and vulnerable. And then...he shut down.

He reared back, tore his mouth away from Shannon's and watched as Shannon,
dazed with arousal, licked his lips and looked at him out of cloudy eyes.
He groaned faintly and leaned towards Shannon's mouth.

He caught himself before he could resume their kiss. Heart racing with
fear, breathing shallowly, he grabbed Shannon's hand and guided it towards
his rock hard cock. "Is this what you want?" He spat out, voice cold and
hard. "You're just like all the rest." He said harshly. "You want my cock
right? Cullen will fuck anything. Right?" He finished bitterly.

Shannon looked at Cullen, his face stony and unreadable. Stricken and numb,
a moment of heaven he had never imagined or expected, turned to fucking
shit in five minutes. He forced frozen limbs to move and strode out of the
room silently.

Cullen stood there, unwilling to think about what had just happened. He
ignored the burning ache in his stomach, the heavy, unrelenting weight in
the center of his chest. He pulled on a pair of sweat pants and proceeded
to complete his workout, just as he would have done if Shannon had been
there.

The 100 or so feet from Cullen's house seemed like miles. He felt like the
skin had been peeled away from his body...one layer at a time. His deepest
self revealed and unwanted. He entered his house and released a gasping sob
of relief. Eyes dry and burning, he wrapped his arms around himself and
doubled over with a pain so intense that he had to bite his lip to keep
from crying out.

"Shannon is that you?" His father queried in a quavering voice. "Yes, Pop,
it's me." Shannon replied, voice breaking. He inhaled in and released the
breath slowly. "Hold it together," he instructed himself quietly and called
out, "I'll be up in a sec."

He bathed and dressed his father efficiently, automatically following the
morning routine they had established over the many years of his father's
illness. James Wright searched his son's drawn face with troubled eyes. He
was a handsome man in spite of his illness. Shannon looked just like
him...only a thousand times better, he would always joke, laughing when
Shannon blushed.

"Everything ok son?" he probed, knowing even before he asked that Shannon
was so protective of him that he would never burden him with any of his
problems. But feeling that he had to make the attempt to reach him. "Yeah
Pop," Shannon replied, voice deliberately casual.

"I'm sick son, not dumb," James said, his frustration evident. "I can tell
something is wrong." He continued, beginning to wheeze as his anxiety
increased. "Pop...Pop," Shannon said, leaning his father forward into a
position that would help him to breathe easier.

"Its all good. Look, it's just school. I have a couple of papers due that I
gotta work on and I'm a little worried about that and my work hours. That's
all." Shannon insisted.

James looked intently into Shannon's eyes, dark like bittersweet chocolate,
so loving and concerned. "Don't protect me." James rasped. He grabbed
Shannon's hand. "You're a good boy. You know I love you. No matter what. No
matter what." He said again emphatically.

Shannon smiled at him. "Yeah, I know Pop. I love you too. Look, the phone
is right next to you. I put your lunch next to you too. Make sure you drink
your water. All of it." James rolled his eyes and sighed. "Mom will be home
around 3 today. I have to work right after school. I'll probably see you
this evening when I get home, if you're still awake. As James sighed again,
Shannon said, "Ok, ok, I'll get out of your way, I'm going to go get
ready."

Shannon sighed with relief as he entered his bedroom, drained by the effort
it took to behave normally. He lay down on his bed and crossed his arms
over his eyes. He had learned at a very young age to conceal and suppress
his emotions. As a young child, he had been constantly admonished, "Shhhh,
your father's resting. Stop crying, it will upset your father. Go play
outside. Stop making all that noise."

Emotion stole his father's breath, just like death was stealing his life in
slow, heartbreaking increments. Their household was a loving one, but
eerily quiet most of the time. Everything was built around his father's
illness.

Maybe that's why he loved the noisy, boisterous O'Brien's. There was crazy
life in their house. They had acted like he was one of them from the
start. Cullen's younger brothers, Niall and Quinn, had seen him sitting on
his front porch shortly after his family had moved next door to them.

He was 4 years old, just about to turn 5. They had come over to invite him
to play and he had been absorbed into the family. Peggy, Cullen's mom,
always said that she had fallen in love with him at first sight. "I'm gonna
have to adopt you," had been her first words to him.

An only child, he was fascinated by them. They all looked alike, beautiful,
blond haired, blue eyed and of varying complexions due to the different
ethnic backgrounds of their fathers. It seemed as though Peg was always
pregnant and there was always a new baby in the house.

When he first started hanging out with Niall and Quinn, Cullen had been a
"Big Boy", Niall and Quinn's revered older brother. Cullen would do
anything for his brothers and sisters. They thought of him more as a father
than as an older brother.

When Shannon was around 12, Quinn, who was older than Niall and he,
discovered girls. He stopped playing around with Niall and Shannon. When
Quinn discovered girls, Shannon suddenly realized that he had no interest
in girls in a romantic or sexual way. He and Niall continued the mutual
jerk off sessions without Quinn and started going further.

Their sexual exploration was fun and playful. They tried just about
everything except for anal sex. That didn't feel right to either one of
them. Other than that, they did everything they read and heard about. Niall
liked to be tied up. Shannon did it because Niall asked but wasn't really
turned on by it. And he most definitely did not want Niall to do it to him.

Things changed between Shannon and Cullen around this time. Shannon and
Niall were on their way to the corner store and encountered Cullen about to
leave the house with some of his friends. Niall asked Cullen to come with
them.

Cullen had a look of pleased surprise on his face. Sometimes he was scared
that his brothers and sisters would resent him. He always had to be the
disciplinarian of the family. Their mother was either working or tired from
working; it also just was not in Peggy's nature to discipline anyone. He
looked at Shannon, "You want me to come too?"

That simple moment held a significance for Shannon that he never forgot. It
was as if he were seeing Cullen for the first time. Those intense purple
blue eyes held his for an endless instant of time in which it seemed as
though his response was of immeasurable importance. Shannon melted. He
nodded his head yes. "Cool," Cullen responded and told his friends he would
catch them later.

Shannon and Niall remained as close as ever. But now, wherever Cullen was,
you could be sure to find Shannon. Cullen never became impatient with the
adoring 12 year old. Not even when his friends teased him about it.

Cullen would often accuse him of thinking too much though. Whenever Cullen
came up with one of his impulsive ideas, Shannon was always the voice of
reason. When he came up with the idea for a weekly flea market to help his
mother pay for her car insurance, Shannon helped him organize and put it
together.

After they found a beat up motorbike on the side of the road during one of
their searches for merchandise for the flea market and painstakingly
restored it to good health, it was Shannon who made them wait until they
could save up and take it to a mechanic before they rode it. He also made
them wait until they were able to purchase helmets.

Then when Shannon turned 16, Cullen snuck Niall and Shannon into The
Shack. He had fake ID's for the three of them, courtesy of his little
brother Dyllan's friend Lacey's mother. He joked that Shannon was the
nicest drunk he had ever met.

Sweet natured Shannon became even more cute and quiet and sweet with each
sip of alcohol. As they were walking home, Cullen had looked at him and
said musingly, "Sweet sixteen and never been kissed." Niall smirked, "Oh
he's been kissed. He's definitely been kissed."

"Not by me" Cullen had teased. He pulled Shannon to him and lightly kissed
him on the lips. "There you go" Shannon had stood there for a few seconds,
eyes closed, as Cullen continued walking. Niall had taken a look at his
face and groaned. "Now you really got it bad." He had uttered in a laughing
whisper. "C'mon bro. Let's get your little sweet sixteen ass home."

That's when he had stopped playing with Niall. That's when he realized he
did not want anyone to make love to him but Cullen. He and Cullen had
become close so gradually, that he was afraid that if he revealed to Cullen
how deep his feelings actually were, that it would change things. Ruin
them.

If Cullen was not working or in school, he and Shannon were in the basement
apartment Peg had fixed up for him on his thirteenth birthday. By that
time, Cullen was providing almost as much income to the family as Peg was;
he was a hustler. He was too young to actually hold a job, but he always
found work he could do and get paid for under the table.

If Cullen were playing, he would have his lover of the moment park in the
front of the house so that Shannon would know to wait until the car left to
come over. He had given Shannon the one extra key he had made. Now, the
friendship that he cherished so much was destroyed. All because he could
not keep his feelings to himself. He knew how Cullen was. Cullen never
allowed anyone but his family to get close.

Over the years, Shannon had repeatedly observed Cullen pushing people away
when they tried to get too close. Other than his brothers, he had few close
friends. Shannon could count them all on one hand. Selena, his mother's
ex-boyfriend Joaquin and Shannon.

He resolved to focus on work and school. If he wanted, he could work extra
hours; they were always requesting help at his part-time job where he
worked as a customer service rep. The staff turnover was tremendous.

How do you fix it when you have hurt the one person who means everything to
you? His mother was constantly telling him, "Baby, you are just like
me. Heat up fast, cool down fast. But you gotta watch what you say. Words
hurt worse than fists." His younger brother Niall was the same way. Always
getting into trouble because of his big mouth.

The real problem was, he couldn't understand why he had reacted like
that. Touching Shannon was like a dream. He had never even allowed himself
to think of Shannon in that way. Even that time when he had kissed Shannon,
for his 16th birthday.

After it was over, he had made himself forget about how sweet it had felt.
He'd felt so stupid. The minute he had said, "Sweet sixteen and never been
kissed" he had realized that he had been waiting for an excuse to touch
Shannon. If he really let himself think about it, he had been burning for
him ever since that kiss.

As a matter of fact, when Shannon was around 15, his friend Selena had
asked him why they never included Shannon in their play. He hadn't even
wanted to respond to that. He had just told her curtly, "He's just a kid.
Even if he is the most beautiful boy I've ever seen."Selena had raised her
eyebrows but not commented further.

Every so often, whenever she was around the two of them, he would see her
watching the two of them together with a strange look on her face. She
would never explain why. She would just ask him, " Is Shannon still the
most beautiful boy you've ever seen?" When he would answer with a brief,
impatient, "yes," she would smile at him mysteriously. He hated that and
she would laugh at him when he told her so.

Now, Cullen was living up to his reputation. When he wasn't working he was
playing. It wasn't the same. He had always been driven by an almost
insatiable sex drive. He loved to give and receive pleasure. Now, he was
using sex as an anesthetic, to make him forget. It held very little
pleasure. When his mother tried to talk with him, she was met with stony
silence. When his brothers and sisters asked him about Shannon, he would
respond, "ask him."

A couple of months drifted by. He was scared to call Shannon and knew that
Shannon was too stubborn to call him. He was hovering around windows trying
to catch glimpses of Shannon.

When he did see him, the grief stricken look on Shannon's face destroyed
him. He looked drawn and fragile. And so sad. How could he have said all of
those things? No matter what he was doing, he had flashbacks of the look on
Shannon's face. He and Shannon had never even argued before. Missing
Shannon was a constant, gnawing ache in his chest. He knew that Shannon was
too stubborn to call him. The first move was going to have to come from
him. He had to do something; he couldn't let Shannon out of his life.

When he was 12 years old, he had made a vow to never hurt anyone, and to
never allow himself to be hurt, ever again. He remembered Shannon at
12. Following him around like he was Something Special. Whenever Cullen
would look at him he would smile. He had the sweetest smile Cullen had ever
seen. It would start in his eyes and light up his entire face. How was he
going to fix this? He didn't know how to get Shannon to forgive him.

The other day, he had finally come to the conclusion that Shannon had
adjusted his entire schedule so that he could avoid running into him. He
had decided to go to work late and sat on his front porch waiting for
Shannon to appear. Shannon walked towards his front door and stopped dead
in his tracks when he noticed Cullen. He drank in the sight of him. Their
eyes met for an endless moment.

His heart clenched painfully. "Hey." Cullen said softly. "Hey." Shannon
responded then quickly raced up the front porch steps and quickly let
himself into the house. Cullen looked at the space where Shannon had just
been. "Shit." He had briefly considered pursuing him and discarded that
idea. He'd have to think of something else. Shannon had locked the door
behind him and stood there, heart hammering wildly in his chest. He
couldn't believe that he had just run away like that. "I am seriously
losing my mind."

That night, as was becoming customary for him, Cullen awakened expecting to
find Shannon sleeping next to him. On many occasions, if it were getting
late, instead of going home, Shannon would sleep over. Tonight he had a
dream so vivid that waking up alone without Shannon there had been
unbearable.

Alone, desolate, in the dark, at 3 am, there was no escaping the very
concrete absence of Shannon. Now, there was no one to see that he wasn't
the strong one, the tough one. The one who could always take care of
everything.

All of the hurt, all of the misery, that he kept trying to run away from,
exploded out of him in noisy, racking sobs. He wiped furiously at the tears
flowing from his eyes. If he wanted Shannon back in his life, he was going
to have to make the first move, the second move, how ever many moves it
took to get Shannon to forgive him. He reached for the phone.

Shannon picked up on the first ring. "Can you come over now?" Cullen asked
in a subdued voice. Stomach fluttering with dread, he couldn't interpret
the silence that seemed to last forever. After a few moments, Shannon
answered hoarsely, "Ok, I'll be there in a few."

Shannon knocked on the door, unwilling to use his key. Cullen opened the
door and said softly, "I gave you that key for a reason." He reached for
Shannon's hand to pull him inside and dropped his hand awkwardly when
Shannon flinched away.

They sat on the small loveseat in the area Cullen liked to call his
den. "Shannon." Cullen said, then paused, throat aching. Shannon looked at
him and then away. He hadn't looked directly at Cullen since he had come
inside. "I don't want to talk about it." He said abruptly.

"I just want," Cullen started again. A jolt of fear reverberated through
him as Shannon stood up. "I can't talk about it now Cullen." Cullen stood
up next to him prepared to prevent him from leaving. "Please, sit down."
Cullen requested.

Shannon acquiesced reluctantly. "I'm sorry." Cullen apologized. "I didn't
mean to hurt you." He stopped, at a loss. Words were so unbelievably
inadequate right now.

There was an awkward silence. Cullen looked at Shannon admiring his dark,
dramatic beauty. Thick heavy eyebrows. Deep, mysterious, chocolate brown
eyes surrounded by a thick fringe of long jet-black lashes. Long African
nose. Full, precisely curved mocha brown lips. His gleaming, deep burgundy
brown skin was so soft and smooth.

Cullen looked at him with grim determination, eyes still slightly red and
swollen with tears. He was not letting him leave. He was not gonna let him
go...ever. He ran a hand through his hair in frustration.

Tense with nerves, Shannon held himself stiffly. Arms folded across his
chest protectively. Why had he bothered to come? He should have stayed
home. It would be better for both of them if they just let this go. The
crazy thing was, that as soon as he walked into the door, he had felt like
he was right where he belonged.

Cullen edged closer to him. "God, you are so fucking stubborn," he said
gruffly, grabbing Shannon's chin and trying to turn his head towards
him. Shannon resisted his efforts. Cullen straddled his hips and looked
down at him, patient and implacable. "I can be just as stubborn as you
are. I'm not moving 'til you talk to me or at least look at me."

They sat there in uneasy silence. Cullen hovered over Shannon, obviously
prepared to remain there for as long as it took for Shannon to relent.
Sometimes Shannon thought he knew Cullen better than Cullen knew himself.
He wasn't even really mad at Cullen. He had known how Cullen would react if
he ever showed him how he really felt. He just didn't know if he could
handle being so close to Cullen now and pretending that he didn't have
those feelings. But, he didn't think he could let Cullen go. He had been
dead without him. After an eternity, he pushed at Cullen, "Alright, you
idiot, get off me."

Cullen was weak with relief. "No," he taunted. "I'm just getting
comfortable. I think I'll stay here." "I don't know about you," Shannon
said, "but I'm tired. It's what, 4 o'clock in the morning? I still can't
believe that I actually got out of bed to come over here at 4 o'clock in
the morning." He finally looked at Cullen for the first time since he had
arrived. The faint smile on his face disappeared as he noted Cullen's
puffy, reddened eyes.

Their eyes held for a long moment. "C'mon," Shannon said. "Let's go to
sleep. I still can get a couple of hours before school." They settled into
Cullen's bed. Exhausted, after so many nights of being unable to sleep,
Shannon drifted off immediately, feeling comforted by Cullen's presence.

Cullen lay there quietly, too relieved and full of conflicting emotions to
sleep. He slept off and on, awakening once to find Shannon curled around
him. Slowly, gently, cautiously, he leaned forward and kissed him on the
forehead. Could not prevent the sudden thought, "I love you." He carefully
disentangled himself, turned over and fell back asleep.

Later the next evening when Shannon came over, Cullen started talking as
they were zoning in front of the television. "You remember when Joaquin
lived here right? You were real little and Mom has had what, maybe 20
boyfriends since then," he joked. "It was right before you started 2nd
grade, I think," he added trying to refresh Shannon's memory.

"I remember" Shannon said. "How could I ever forget? The first time I saw
him I thought he was trying to kill you." He conjured the memory of Joaquin
slashing at Cullen with a knife and Cullen's determination to avoid the
blade. He had been scared to death until Niall reassured him that it was
"just practice."

"Well, when Joaquin left, we were all so miserable. Mom was totally fucked
up, the younger kids didn't really get it, they were just miserable because
we were." Cullen paused, not really sure if he wanted to continue. Shannon
remained quiet, listening intently.

"Joaquin was the only father I knew. When he moved in with Mom, I had just
started school. I was the only white kid in the class and my Mom was living
with a Mexican. So, I was constantly getting my ass kicked." Cullen stopped
for a minute. He hated to think about it. Hated to talk about it, even
though it was Shannon. He had to talk about it though. He wanted Shannon to
understand him. Understand why he was so fucked up.

"The first couple of times it happened, he didn't say anything. The third
time, I came home with blood everywhere. I tried to get myself cleaned up
so my mom wouldn't find out. Joaquin came to my room while I was taking all
of my clothes off.

He just looked at me, like he was trying to figure me out. Finally, he
said, 'You too pretty ain't chu? That's why chu getting you ass kicked, anh
Cullen?' His accent was pretty strong then and I could barely understand
him."

Cullen laughed wryly. "I got a little mad. I wanted to say to him, you're
just as pretty as I am. I thought he was making fun of me."

"Then he said, 'Cullen, I teach chu, I teach chu to fight man. So you can
kick all dos li'l mudder fuckers in da ass.' He taught me everything, how
important it was to take care of my brothers and sisters. How they would
watch everything I'd do. And how not to be like him.

Drinking all the time. Getting in trouble all the time. When he left, I
promised myself that I would never, ever, hurt anyone like he hurt me and
my mom." He paused again, unable to remain detached from childhood memories
that still held amazing power. He continued, voice harsh, "I couldn't
understand how he could leave us like that. Not just me, but how he could
just up and leave his own kids like that.

I didn't understand then that he was an alcoholic. But that's the reason I
hardly ever drink. I remember all the fights they had when I was younger.
All of the fucked up things he said and did when he was drunk.

He's a completely different person now that he has cleaned his act up. And
he's sorry for all the things he did. But you know, sorry don't ever make
it better. No matter how sorry you are." He looked at Shannon as he said
the last.

His voice was so low that Shannon could barely hear him. "Anyway, when he
left, he and mom were so angry at each other, I thought I was never going
to see him again, ever. It was like losing my father all over again. Even
though I don't have any memory of losing my father. I was too young. I
can't explain it. It's like them leaving meant, that I was nothing, of no
importance at all."

"It's ok, Shannon said softly. "I kinda understand. I don't know what its
like to lose a father, because even with my father being so sick, he is
still here. I do understand what its like to be afraid to lose someone. I
live with that every day. I really don't know how Pop does it. Sometimes, I
think, if that was me, I would just kill myself rather that live like
that," He confessed in a hushed voice.

"Everyday I thank God that he doesn't, that he's stronger than I would ever
be. The promise I made to myself is not to ever let him know how much I
hate seeing him like this. How much I hate having to give him his medicine,
having to wash him and dress him like he is my kid, instead of him being
the dad. I hate myself for that sometimes."

Cullen looked at him and said, "I have missed you so much. If I didn't have
you to talk to, I think I would go crazy."

"Me too," Shannon said. "I mean, you know what I mean," he said.

Over the next few months, they both tread carefully. Each unwilling to do
anything to upset the precarious balance of their friendship. They settled
back into their usual routines of work and school and spending most of
their time together.

The one time things had almost fallen apart again, they had just finished
working out in the gym. Cullen had grabbed Shannon and put him in a
headlock. They hadn't wrestled in forever. Laughing, Shannon had tripped
him and Cullen had pulled him to the floor on top of him as he fell.

They had grappled for control, rolling around on the floor until Cullen had
pinned him. He had looked down at Shannon, savoring the feel of his hard
body beneath his. "I should keep you like this." He teased softly. "You
wish." Shannon said with a faint smile.

He bucked his hips trying to get free. Cullen rested his full weight upon
him to keep him from moving. He was slowly, unconsciously grinding against
him. Shannon had looked up at him, eyes half closed. Cullen had groaned and
buried his face in Shannon's neck. He tried to stop and couldn't.

It felt so good. Only the memory of Shannon's face during the months of
their separation prodded him to his feet. He jumped up breathing heavily,
cock hard and engorged beneath his sweats. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He
repeated huskily.

Unable to speak beyond the flood of lust that had poured through him,
Shannon closed his eyes, attempting to regain control. When he opened them,
Cullen was leaning over him holding a hand out. There was an electrifying
moment of sizzling awareness between them as their hands touched.

As Shannon stood up, Cullen was startled into saying, "When did you get so
tall?" "I'm not a kid anymore." Shannon had replied sharply. "Think about
it. I'm going to go check on my father, and then take a shower. I'll be
back later." Later, they both acted like nothing had happened.

A few days passed. Cullen walked into the exercise room to find that
Shannon had started without him. He looked at Shannon's broad back,
gleaming with sweat, narrowing to an impossibly small waist. His buttocks
were sculpted and firm. Long, muscular legs.

Cullen observed his graceful movements, mesmerized by the shifting
interplay of Shannon's muscles as he moved. He licked suddenly dry lips and
walked over to him. As he trailed a hand slowly across Shannon's back, he
said, "You're wet," in hushed tones.

Shannon tensed and the hairs on the back of his neck rose. He closed his
eyes. "Yeah," he said, voice deliberately casual. "Thought I'd get a head
start."

He cleared his throat nervously, then stood up and found Cullen right there
standing in front of him. He eyed Cullen warily and started to walk around
him. Cullen moved with him. Unable to help himself, he slid a hand down the
front of Shannon's body starting at his collarbone and down to the
waistband of his sweat pants.

"You're so....wet." he said again hoarsely. He raised his fingers to his
mouth and licked his fingers while Shannon watched intently, breath
quickening. "You taste good." Cullen said softly.

He slowly leaned forward and captured a rolling bead of sweat with the tip
of his tongue. Shannon's head fell back and his chest rose and fell
rapidly. "Cullen." He said softly, breathlessly.

Cullen touched Shannon's mouth with two fingers. "Shhhh...don't think." He
replaced his fingers with his mouth and rubbed lightly across Shannon's
soft, full lips. He pressed gentle kisses all over Shannon's face before
returning to his mouth.

"Don't think," He whispered softly. " Just let me touch you. Just for a
minute. I just need to touch you. Shannon whimpered. A soft, keening sound
of anguish and lust combined. The sound went from Cullen's ears straight to
his cock.

He devoured Shannon's mouth. Over the past several months he had relived
their previous kiss nightly. He had jerked off in the shower remembering
that kiss. He had spent the past several months exercising self-restraint
in innumerable ways and today seeing Shannon shirtless, hot and sweaty had
destroyed his control.

He licked and bit and sucked Shannon's sweet, delectable lips. He angled
his head so that he could thrust his tongue even deeper into the moist, hot
cavern of Shannon's mouth. He palmed both sides of Shannon's face trying
to pull him closer, get even deeper.

Shannon made a low sound of encouragement and Cullen groaned. Shannon's
hands moved caressingly up Cullen's arms, across his back and then to his
hair. The feel of the silken strands of Cullen's hair between his fingers
turned Shannon's knees to butter.

He was torn between fear, confusion and an aching, burning arousal. The
last time...the surfacing thought cooled his arousal. He removed his
fingers from Cullen's hair and placed his hands on Cullen's shoulders.

He pushed against Cullen gently and attempted to twist his head away.
Cullen ruthlessly deepened the kiss. Taking unfair advantage, he moved his
hands down Shannon's chest and softly stroked his nipples.

Shannon whimpered again and clutched at Cullen's shoulders. Cullen was too
far gone to stop now. He pinched Shannon's nipples. Shannon was trembling
in his arms. Hot, sweaty, his thick, heavy cock surging urgently against
Cullen.

Cullen tore his mouth away from Shannon. Gasping for breath, fighting for
control. He was one step away from pushing Shannon onto his back and
fucking the shit out of him and he was fully aware that Shannon had tried
to stop him a few minutes ago.

He leaned his face against Shannon's, breathing heavily. "Shannon, I want
you." He whispered. Shannon took a deep, ragged breath as Cullen's lips
traversed his neck and chest. Sinking down to his knees, Cullen place tiny
delicate kisses across Shannon's taut stomach, feeling the muscles clench
in response.

He felt Shannon's hesitation, felt him pulling back. He rubbed his face
back and forth across Shannon's stomach and wrapped his arms around his
hips. "God, Shannon, please don't stop me now. Please." He begged hoarsely,
aching with longing.

He froze in place. Muscles aching with tension, cock straining against his
sweats. His biggest game of all, played on himself. Pretending that things
could be like before. That he didn't want to be doing this. He waited an
eternity and then felt Shannon's hands gently playing with his hair.

Sighing with relief, he swiftly pulled Shannon's pants down and buried his
face into Shannon' sweaty crotch. He inhaled deeply. "You smell so good."
Glancing at Shannon's thick, heavy penis, he hissed, "Oh yesss", then
grasped the long shaft in his hand and planted a series of kisses all over
the erect cock.

Hungry and impatient, without warning, he engulfed Shannon's entire cock
deep into the back of his throat while grasping his balls tenderly in one
hand. Shannon's legs gave way and he collapsed onto the weight bench behind
him, mouth open in a wordless scream.

He stopped breathing, for an insane moment, while every cell in his body
processed the sensory overload. He inhaled sharply when Cullen removed his
mouth from his cock and licked the precum off his dripping glans. "Oh my
God," Shannon groaned.

"Cullen" he said through clenched teeth. "I need to cum. I need to cum
right now. I can't wait." Cullen looked up at him while he leisurely licked
his cock up and down. Shannon reached out with both hands. Cullen grabbed
his wrists and held them to both sides of his body.

He mouthed Shannon's balls. Kissing and sucking gently. Returning to
Shannon's cock, he licked lightly up and down again. Shannon made that
noise again. That sweet whimper that drove Cullen crazy. He groaned and
said, "If you promise to be still, I'll let you cum." Voice husky with
desire, Shannon looked at him and asked "When?"

"Soon" Cullen promised. "I just want to taste you. You taste so good." He
engulfed just the head and sucked softly, forcefully. Shannon bit his lip
and lifted his hips. Cullen removed his mouth from Shannon's penis. "You
promised," he chided.

Shannon's eyes stared earnestly into his. He nodded. "I'll be still. Cullen
opened his mouth wide and hovered over the top of Shannon's cock. Shannon
begged hoarsely. "Suck it....please."

Obediently, Cullen engulfed Shannon's entire cock inside of his mouth and
the back of his throat. Shannon's hands gripped the side of the bench in
his efforts to remain still. Cullen backed off his penis in excruciatingly
slow motion.

Cullen was shaking with desire. Aroused beyond belief at the taste of
Shannon and teasing him until he was crazy. "Still want to cum?" he asked
hoarsely Shannon nodded, unable to speak.

"Wait." Cullen ordered. "And don't move or I'll stop." He grasped the shaft
of Shannon's penis and pulled downward until the skin was taut. He took
just the head into his mouth and sucked tenderly for a few excruciating
moments then engulfed the entire length, from head to shaft into his mouth
and moved up and down rapidly.

He looked at Shannon's face when he stopped. His eyes were half closed and
nostrils flaring. His panting breaths were loud in the quiet room. "Still?"
Shannon groaned in frustration. "You still wanna cum Shannon?" Cullen asked
softly, voice trembling with excitement.

Shannon nodded once. "What?" "Yes", Shannon choked out gutturally. Cullen
pulled Shannon's hips forward a little and spread his legs. He gently
caressed his balls with one hand and slowly rubbed a moistened finger on
his tight puckered anus with the other.

Boneless, Shannon slid to the floor. His hips were rocking back and forth
and he was making that noise again. Relentless, Cullen grabbed his hips and
fucked his cock back and forth into his waiting, ravenous mouth.

"Not yet," Cullen said, taking his mouth away. Unable to withstand the
sweet torment any longer, Shannon screamed and then reached down to grab
himself. His thick hard black cock was throbbing mercilessly. Cullen pushed
his hands away. "Just a little more," he groaned.

Cullen leaned over him and took his cock into his mouth once more lifting
his mouth slowly then brushing his hand lightly across Shannon's stomach.
Shannon's muscles quivered. Cullen finally touched his own cock, rubbing
and squeezing it roughly.

He was right on the edge after teasing them both for so long. "Shannon" he
coaxed, "look at me." Shannon's heavy eyelids lifted slowly. Cullen almost
lost it right then at the look in his eyes. "Now you can cum for me." He
lowered his mouth onto Shannon's cock and sucked with a vengeance.

Shannon's penis erupted with a series of convulsive jerks, releasing thick,
creamy, copious jets of cum into Cullen's hot, wet mouth. Cullen swallowed
hungrily, out of his mind with desire, squeezing and jerking his cock
rapidly. His cock surged wildly in his hand, releasing endless streams of
cum as he moaned and groaned his pleasure and release around Shannon's
sweet cock in his mouth.

Before Shannon could drift off to sleep, Cullen helped him to his feet and
led him to the bed. Shannon's face was relaxed with satisfaction. Cullen
was turning on again as he recalled Shannon's excitement and how gratifying
it had been to please him.

He caressed the side of Shannon's face, contentment spreading throughout
his entire being. He looked down at him speculatively. Why was he making
such a big deal of this? This time he was the one who was thinking too
much.

Things could be just like before, only better. This is gonna be easy.

Shannon's eyes fluttered, then opened. He smiled at Cullen, dreamy and
satiated. Cullen stared down at him, focused and intent. Suddenly alert,
Shannon's eyes cleared and sharpened. "This is gonna be easy," he said in a
neutral voice, accurately echoing Cullen's thoughts.

Cullen slanted a glance at him. Just as he was thinking, "This should keep
Shannon happy," Shannon tilted his head, narrowed his eyes and said, "This
should keep Shannon happy."

"Shit," he said accurate once again. Rising up on an elbow, he laughed
wryly at Cullen's amazed stare. Simultaneously, amused and angry, he
assured Cullen, "I'm not psychic, man. I've just seen that look on your
face a thousand times, whenever you tried to talk me into going along with
some wild ass scheme of yours. You don't want me to start naming them do
you?"

Cullen eyed him sourly. "Not really, no."

Shannon's face lost all traces of amusement and turned solemn. "You were
right Cullen. I am just like all the rest." Remembered hurt appeared in his
brown eyes. I do want this." He grasped Cullen's cock.

"I didn't mean..." Cullen began hastily. "Let's keep it real." Shannon
said. "Maybe you didn't mean to hurt me, but you did mean what you said."
Shannon put his hand over Cullen's heart, "Only, I want this too. I want
all of you."

For a moment, Cullen just stared at him, violet eyes wide and troubled. He
was scared. His heart pounded violently in his chest and for a moment he
felt like the kid whose world had just been turned upside down. He looked
at Shannon, ready to promise anything. "Don't leave me." He thought he had
said it out loud. God.

"Wait" Shannon said as Cullen's mouth opened. "Please, just think about
it. Don't make promises you can't keep. He swallowed. "If you want, you
will always be my friend. I just can't do the fuck buddy thing with
you. This means something to me Cullen. When you touch me..."he paused,
unable to continue. "I love you. I love you sooo much."

Cullen was silent for long moments. "I'm scared." He confessed softly. "Me
too." Shannon admitted. He pulled Cullen into his embrace and tenderly
caressed his hair. "Let's go to sleep. I never sleep as good anywhere else
as I do when I'm with you."

He called Cullen on his cell phone midmorning the following day. "Will you
go out to dinner with me tonight?" There was a startled silence on the
other end. "Hello?" he queried, an amused smile on his face that he was
glad Cullen could not see. "Um, yeah, I guess," Cullen stuttered. "I'll
pick you up at 7."

Cullen's brother Quinn was very close to him in size, so he borrowed
something to wear from him. Quinn was the dresser in the family. He was
planning on being a businessman. He was a whiz with money and Cullen let
him handle the budget and anything to do with the family money. Cullen and
the rest of his brothers spent their free time in jeans and t-shirts. "Hot
date tonight?" he teased, dark blue eyes glinting with amusement. He stared
in astonishment as hot color filled Cullen's face.

Keeping a straight face with great difficulty, he helped Cullen select an
outfit. "You definitely could not have done this without me. He said
frankly. "Thank God I was here." He ran out of the room at Cullen's
threatening motions towards him.

At 7pm exactly, his sister Niamh called, "Cullen, your date is here."
"What???"

"Your date's here" she yelled impatiently. "Come up here." Shannon looked
at him apologetically. "Your mom insisted that I come through the main
house." Cullen shot Quinn a dirty look. Quinn smiled back angelically.
Cullen ignored the rest of his family, who were all watching avidly.

Cullen took a good, long look at Shannon. He was dressed in black. The dark
color showcased his creamy burgundy brown skin. The well fitting pants and
silk shirt he was wearing emphasized the muscular lines of his body. He had
a gold hoop in his left ear. His full lips were curved in a sexy half
smile. He had an arm full of red roses and held them out towards
Cullen. "These are for you."

Dazzled, unable to take his eyes off of Shannon, Cullen stretched his arms
out to receive them automatically. His sister Mary Katherine came to his
rescue. "I'll go get a vase." The rest of the family watched attentively as
Shannon moved towards him and kissed him tenderly on his cheek.

"You look...really good." Shannon said appreciatively. Quinn cleared his
throat loudly. The rest of the family shushed him but Cullen and Shannon
didn't hear them. "Thanks", Cullen said breathlessly. Mary Katherine
collected the roses. "Are you ready?" "Yeah." Shannon grabbed his
hand. "Let's go. Night everybody."

Shannon held the door of the car for him and helped him with his
seatbelt. Cullen had never had anyone treat him so solicitously and he was
feeling vulnerable and self-conscious. At the same time, since it was
Shannon, he was also reveling in it.

Shannon put in a Seal CD and they completed the drive in a comfortable
silence, enjoying the CD, a favorite for the both of them. When they
arrived at the restaurant, Shannon opened the door and helped Cullen out of
the car. The waiter led them over to a quiet, candlelit corner.

"Are we on a budget?" Cullen whispered. Shannon looked at him and smiled
sweetly. "No, baby. Get whatever you want." Cullen looked at Shannon, any
lingering doubts disappearing. Shannon was a man. He most definitely was
not a kid anymore.

While they viewed the menus, Shannon chuckled quietly. At Cullen's glance
of inquiry, he explained. "This reminds me of how excited we would be on
your payday. Remember how you would take us all to McDonald's?"

"How could I forget?" Cullen grumbled. Keeping his brothers and sisters and
Lacey, Kai and Shannon under control had been a trip. He smiled at the
memory. "And the time we thought Brodie had broken his arm when he was
clowning around in the playroom?" Cullen relaxed as he and Shannon relived
old times. He had been laughing in response to something Shannon had said
when Shannon grabbed his hand and kissed it lovingly.

Cullen blushed and Shannon immediately dropped his hand. "Sorry." He
muttered. "What?" Cullen looked at him incredulously. "You know me well
enough by now to know that I don't seriously give a fuck what other people
think right? Anytime you wanna touch me, anywhere...you just don't get it
do you? No matter what, you are always gonna be my best friend and that
means everything to me."

"That wasn't it," he added with a shy smile. "It's just, I've never had
this before." He spread his hands. "The flowers, the dinner...its
just...never mind." He shifted uncomfortably. Shannon smiled and took his
hand again. He smiled back.

When he returned home, his mother waved him into the main house. "I feel
like I'm on MTV or something," he complained. His brothers and sisters were
waiting around the dinner table as his mother pulled him into the
room. "You're our big brother," Mary Katherine said. "And this is Shannon,"
his mother added. "We love Shannon."

"Am I the only one who thinks this is strange?" Cullen asked. "We've been
waiting for you to wake up." Quinn said. "You knew?" "Cullen." Niall said
patiently. "Shannon is over here just about 24/7. You haven't had any
company for at least 3 months, maybe closer to 4 or even 5, hell, I don't
know exactly. I just know it's been awhile. And..."he paused dramatically
before he revealed the most telling evidence. "Shannon actually rode with
you on that piece of crap bike the two of you rebuilt. Now that had to be
love." "No shit." Quinn agreed. "For real." Niamh added. "Yup." Peggy
said succinctly and they all cracked up. Except for Cullen, who thought
they were all crazy.

A couple of nights later, Shannon invited Cullen to go out for a walk. They
took the back way, walking through several alleyways to get to the
park. The only sounds in the night their feet crunching on broken glass. "I
love night time," Shannon said in a hushed voice. He grabbed Cullen's hand.

"Sometimes I need this. Just to think and to be. He took Cullen to a
deserted area of the park. A hilly area where a wide expanse of the night
sky was visible. "I love looking at the stars. When I see stars and that
big, beautiful midnight sky, it makes me feel like nothing is
impossible. That something magical is just around the corner."

He took a deep breath. "After you kissed me...I couldn't sleep. Sometimes I
would come here." Cullen turned to him, sorrow in his eyes. "I didn't
mean..." "Shhhh, Shannon interrupted gently. "I didn't say that to make you
feel guilty. I said it just to tell you. Just to share something I'm
feeling. You're my best friend too."

Cullen said, "I was miserable without you. I would wake up expecting to
feel you next to me but you wouldn't be there." Shannon turned towards him
and gently stroked his hair. Slowly, he traced the contours of his face.

He looked directly into Cullen's eyes. "You are so beautiful. I am not just
talking about your gorgeous looks and there is no mistake about that baby,
you are gorgeous." Cullen flushed, mesmerized by the eyes looking so
intently and lovingly into his.

"You always take care of everybody. You always want to make things
right. Make everything ok. I have so much respect for you. For the way you
support your mom, the way you've raised your brothers and sisters. You are
everything a man should be."

Cullen's eyes filled with tears. He closed his eyes and tilted his head
back, overwhelmed with emotion. He swallowed and turned his face so that he
could kiss the palm of Shannon's hand. "Most beautiful," he whispered.
Noting Shannon's questioning look of confusion, he explained. "That's how I
think of you. You've always been the most beautiful boy I've ever
seen...man now," he added with a faint smile.

When they returned to Cullen's house, Shannon ran home to check on his
father. Cullen entered through the main house and just stood there in the
dark entryway for a moment. When he entered the family room his mother
looked at him and commented in amazement, "You are glowing. Oh my God. Oh
Cullen. Don't throw this away baby," she cautioned.

"Ma, right now, I'm not thinking. I'm just letting myself feel. I don't
want to ruin it." She looked at him worriedly, and shook her head. As he
was walking down the stairs, he heard her mutter, "Damn if we could bottle
that we'd be rich."

When he arrived home from work the following Friday evening, Shannon was
waiting for him. He prevented him from undressing, brushing his hands aside
and saying, "You've been taking care of people all day. Let me do that for
you." He undressed Cullen with practiced dexterity and walked him into the
bathroom. Candlelight gave the darkened room a warm intimacy. The air was
sweetly fragrant with the bath salts Shannon had used.

Cullen groaned when he sank down into the hot water, muscles aching from
lifting and moving heavy patients all day. "Oh man, how did you know I need
this? I was on the skilled wing today. None of the patients over there can
walk. They're all pretty sick."

Shannon decided to tell him another day that Peg had called to tell him
that Cullen would probably be sore and tired. Since he was the only guy
working the unit, all of the aides wanted him to help lift their heaviest
patients and Cullen would never refuse. "I'll take care of him," he had
assured Peg. "I know you will, babe," she had responded.

Cullen moaned blissfully when Shannon started washing his hair, enjoying
the fingers gently massaging his scalp. Shannon bathed him gently, enjoying
touching him. He dried him off lovingly.

"Go lay down on the bed. I'll be there in a sec. Shannon grabbed the baby
oil from where it was warming in a sinkful of hot water. Cullen was lying
on the bed face down with a pair of boxers on. "Take those off or they'll
get oil on them. I'm gonna give you a massage."

Cullen quickly complied. Shannon knelt at his feet and ran a sweeping hand
from his shoulder to his feet. "You're soooo....long" he said, gazing at
Cullen's body with appreciative pleasure.

"Oh God, that feels so good. My feet are crying. I've been on them for 16
hours straight." Shannon slowly moved from his feet to his legs,
luxuriating in the freedom of touching him all over. He was gradually
becoming aroused. His focus had been making Cullen comfortable. Showing how
much he cared for him. Not just wanting his cock.

He could not deny that just looking at Cullen's long naked muscular body
made him hot. His mouth was watering. God, there was so much of him. He
just wanted to explore him with his tongue, inch by inch. "Down, boy." He
told himself. "Chill." He groaned silently when he reached Cullen's small,
round, muscular buttocks.

Cullen's back was so smooth, so broad, so silky. He tickled him just a
little and jumped on top of him to keep him from turning over. Cullen
laughed and wriggled under him. Shannon stayed there for a moment,
relishing the feel of Cullen's warm, firm body beneath him. "Ok, I'll
stop," He swatted Cullen's buttocks. "Be still."

"Ow," Cullen yelped, subsiding underneath of him. "I'm gonna get you for
that. But for now, don't stop what you're doing," he muttered as Shannon
continued massaging his back and arms.

When he completed the back massage, he carefully turned Cullen over.
Cullen's penis was gloriously erect. It was the first thing he noticed. He
was overwhelmed with a wave of lust so intense that for long moments all he
could do was stare and contemplate the many ways he could take that cock
into his body.

His eyes finally lifted to see that Cullen had been watching him. He felt
naked and vulnerable. For the life of him he could not think of anything to
say because the only thought reverberating through his mind was, "I want
you."

He cleared his throat nervously and grabbed the baby oil. "I'm gonna
massage your feet," he said unnecessarily. Cullen was so exhausted that
when Shannon was bathing him, he thought that tonight was probably the one
night that he would be able to stand Shannon touching him so intimately
without jumping all over him.

The bath had been sensual and comforting at the same time. The massage had
started out okay, but when Shannon had playfully jumped on top of him, it
had felt so good. Feeling Shannon lying on top of him triggered the memory
of having Shannon's cock in his mouth. Heavy, hard, sweet and salty.

He had been fighting that memory. Because he was scared. He was confused.
He was not entirely sure what Shannon wanted from him. When Shannon turned
him over and he saw the look on his face, his cock grew even harder.

He held himself rigid. That look made his mouth grow dry. He was sick with
wanting Shannon. Every cell in his body flooded with desire. When Shannon
said that he was gonna rub his feet, he had nodded his head. Feet were
safe.

Only he hadn't realized that there must be nerve ending in his feet that
connected to his cock because Shannon's hands, so warm and sure, moving
over his feet, were driving him crazy. When Shannon's hands moved to his
calves it was no better and when his hands reached his thighs, Cullen's
stomach muscles clenched further and his hands gripped the sheets. He was
struggling to breathe evenly.

Shannon's hands brushed lightly against the side of his testicles. Cullen
arched convulsively and groaned. "Oh God, Shannon." He said brokenly. He
rolled over and buried his face into the pillow next to him.

Alarmed, Shannon stroked his arm. Cullen shuddered. "Shannon," he said,
voice muffled. "I am trying to be everything you want me to be. But I swear
to God, I am going crazy."

Shannon moved the pillow away from his face. "What's wrong?" "I want you,"
Cullen yelled at him. "I want you so much that I hear the sound of your
voice over the phone and I get hard. I want you so much that... I don't
know. I mean...I don't even have the words."

Shannon stared down at him in consternation. Cullen said. "I don't know
what you want from me." Shannon jumped up and started grabbing his
clothes. Cullen snatched them away. "Shannon" Cullen said desperately.

Eyes burning with hurt, angry tears, Shannon looked at him and said
roughly, "Haven't you listened to anything I've said to you? What do you
think everything I've been doing over the past couple of months has been
about? It's been for you, not for me."

Throat tight with frustration, he stopped for a brief moment then
continued, "I wanted you to see how special you are to me. I want you...I
want you to love me Cullen. That's all I want. That's all I'm asking for."

He attempted to retrieve his clothing but Cullen refused to let them
go. "Shannon don't leave. I can't stand this." "I've been trying...."
Shannon's voice broke. Minutes passed. Unsteadily, he continued, "I want
you to get to know me." Cullen walked over to Shannon on unsteady legs, and
stood in front of him, looking into deep chocolate eyes, dark and complex.
They were almost touching. "I love you." He insisted.

Shannon shook his head. "You love who you think I am. You still see me as
the little kid who had had a crush on you and followed you everywhere. The
little kid you had to protect and take care of. That's how you love me."

Face taut with strain, violet eyes serious and intent, Cullen said
emphatically, "You're wrong." "If you knew me," Shannon challenged
heatedly, "you would never have thought that all I wanted from you was your
cock. If you knew me, you would have realized that I wanted much more." His
voice softened involuntarily, "I want you to be my best friend, my lover,
my boyfriend. I can give you so much. We could have something incredible."

"You keep throwing those words at me." Cullen protested, stomach churning
with guilt. "You're never going to forget are you? You're never really
going to be able to forgive me."

"I don't think either on of us should forget it," Shannon responded
quietly. "Sometimes I think that's all you think you're worth. That your
cock is all you have to offer."

He pulled Cullen's head towards his, entwining his fingers in Cullen's
hair. He devoured his mouth in a voracious kiss that shook Cullen to the
core. He kissed him over and over. Short, soft, sweet kisses on his
mouth. Deep, lingering wet kisses that had Cullen's knees shaking.

Shannon had Cullen backed up against the wall. Cullen was incoherent with
desire, returning Shannon's kiss with frenzied passion, moaning and
groaning into his mouth.. Totally enveloped in the sensation of Shannon's
mouth against his. Shannon's hands pinned his wrists against the wall.

Shannon nuzzled into his neck, bit his ear. "You are so beautiful," he
murmured. Head back, Cullen panted for breath, heart racing with excitement
and arousal. Shannon ran his hand down Cullen's body, creating a path of
chills everywhere he touched. Grasping Cullen's achingly erect penis, he
said fiercely, "You are more than this to me." He captured Cullen's mouth
again. His warm body pressed against Cullen's well-oiled, muscular length.

"I want you so much." He whispered. "I want all of you. I want to feel you
inside of me. I want to be inside of you." His words, the movement of his
body against Cullen's, and months of wanting and not having pushed Cullen
over the edge. His cock twitched and pulsed against Shannon's abdomen.
Agonizingly pleasurable, forceful jets of cum erupted between their bodies.

Exhausted, Cullen collapsed against him. They stumbled over to the bed.
Shannon took Cullen into his arms and stared into the darkness. He had
pushed too hard. What made him think that he could force Cullen into loving
him, force him into a relationship? When he thought he could move without
awakening Cullen, he left and went home.

Cullen had awakened. He let Shannon go without uttering a word or
indicating in any way that he was no longer asleep. He lay there for
interminable moments and then walked into the bathroom.

He looked at himself in the mirror. Over the past several months, he had
been playing hide and seek with himself and he knew it. Every time he had
acknowledged how important Shannon was to him, he had hidden the knowledge
away from himself or minimized his feelings.

He cringed when he thought about the many ways Shannon had opened his heart
up to him, over and over and again. Yeah, maybe sometimes he did have days
where all he thought he was good for was a good fuck. Whatever. It was time
to stop acting like that little boy who thought everybody he loved would
leave him.

He called Shannon first thing in the morning. "I heard you leave last
night." He said abruptly. "I know I'm a fucked up mess Shannon. Please,
just be patient with me."

Shannon sighed. "You didn't even have to ask. I feel like I'm pushing you."

"You've got it all wrong," Cullen said. "Look, just come over for dinner
tonight."

Shannon looked around in wonder when he arrived at Cullen's apartment later
that evening. The usually cluttered space was spotless. Soft music was
playing in the background and enticing scents were drifting over from the
small dinette set in the cornier. An amber glow filled the room.

Cullen took Shannon by the hand. "You didn't eat did you?" Shannon shook
his head. "You ordered me not to" he said with a half smile. "I thought you
might be taking me to McDonald's." Cullen said ruefully, "I guess I
deserve that." Suddenly serious, Shannon said, "Hey, that would've been
cool. I'm just teasing you." "Shannon" Cullen said, softly, sitting him
down in a chair and kneeling next to him. "What?" Shannon asked warily.

"You said I don't know you, but you're wrong. "Yeah, it took me a minute to
get used to the fact that my best friend isn't a little kid anymore, but
the important thing is, that the things I love about you have never
changed. Your heart...big as the sky."

Throat tight with emotion, looking at Shannon intently, he added, "The way
you stand by the people you care about. Your strength, the way you deal
with anything that gets thrown at you. You say I help you...you help me
too. If you hadn't been there for me to talk to, just you being there..."
his voice trailed off.

"I've been so scared, so scared to fuck this up, afraid you would leave me
if I loved you too much. Here." He thrust a small box wrapped in gold paper
at Shannon. Shannon sat there, unmoving, holding the box.

"Open it," Cullen commanded. Gingerly, Shannon removed the wrapping paper
and opened the box. Inside were a gold chain and a small gold key. Shannon
looked at Cullen, his heart in his eyes. "You said you wanted my heart,
you've always had that," Cullen said in a low voice, eyes glistening. "Now
you have the key too." He put the chain around Shannon's neck. He knelt
back in front of Shannon and caressed his face gently.

"You have always been the most beautiful boy I've ever seen." Shannon
smiled sweetly through his tears. He pulled Cullen onto his lap and held
him close. "I love you so much Cullen," he whispered.

Shannon started unwrapping the aluminum foil covered food. Cullen moved to
get up but Shannon refused to let him go. He took a slice of ham and fed
Cullen a bite and then took one for himself.

He pulled Cullen forward and licked the grease from his lips. He held his
fingers to Cullen's mouth and watched avidly as Cullen licked and bit his
fingers. Unbuttoning Cullen's shirt and pulling it off, he said, "I want to
look at you." He grabbed another slice of ham and licked and kissed
Cullen's lips between bites. He fed him bits of cooked cinnamon apples and
watched while Cullen licked and sucked the sauce from his fingers. Cullen
continued sucking even after the syrup was gone and Shannon's fingers were
clean.

Violet eyes hot and intent on Shannon's, Cullen kissed his palm and then
slowly slid his tongue across his hand. He shifted his weight on Shannon's
hardening cock. Half closed eyes followed the path of his tongue as he
moved from one finger to the next.

Shannon licked his lips. His cock flexed urgently beneath Cullen. "You like
that? Cullen asked, voice low and husky with need, as he took one of
Shannon's fingers into his mouth and sucked on it gently. Shannon nodded
his head. Cullen nipped at his finger, took it from his mouth and started
sucking on another. Shannon eyes slowly closed.

Cullen took the finger from his mouth. "That's how I wanna suck your cock."
Shannon's breath hissed between his teeth. He shifted his hips upward,
grinding his cock into Cullen's ass. "Do you remember how it felt when I
sucked your cock? Cullen whispered hoarsely. Shannon nodded slowly, unable
to speak, voice clogged in his throat.

His hands tightened around Cullen's hips. "You taste sooo sweet." Cullen
murmured. Shannon groaned. Cullen unbuttoned his shirt with trembling
fingers. Shannon shrugged it off rapidly.

Cullen licked his neck. "God, you taste like heaven." Shannon shivered as
Cullen trailed delicate butterfly kisses across his shoulders, neck and
face. Cullen stood up and pulled Shannon with him. He brushed Shannon's
lips with his, back and forth until Shannon grabbed him by the back of his
head so that he could deepen the kiss.

When Cullen resisted, Shannon groaned with frustration. "Kiss me," he
begged. Cullen opened his mouth and sucked on Shannon's tongue. Shannon's
toes curled and he gripped Cullen's shoulders. Cullen deepened the kiss and
slanted his head so that he could taste more. He rubbed his hands across
Shannon's back, and then started to trail kisses across Shannon's chest.

He licked and nibbled on Shannon's nipples. Shannon's body was suffused
with electricity at the contact and he emitted a harsh, throaty groan. With
hot, moist lips, Cullen kissed his way delicately across Shannon's body
until he was on his knees in front of him. He rubbed his face back and
forth against Shannon's hard cock, kissing and mouthing his penis through
the material of his pants, then stood up and walked Shannon over to the
bed.

They undressed each other tenderly, between languid, unhurried kisses.
Shannon looked at Cullen's naked body and said hungrily, "You're so long, I
just want to climb on you and ride. "That can be arranged." Cullen said
with a wicked smile. Shannon pushed him onto his back. "I have been
dreaming about this for a long time." He said.

Cullen watched him, violet eyes hot with desire, enthralled at the sight of
Shannon tasting and exploring him, beginning at his feet and working his
way up leisurely, his mouth hot, wet, avid. He moaned and his hips jerked
upwards eagerly when Shannon's tongue slid up and down his calves and
thighs, then trailed up his thighs to his taut stomach. Cullen's penis
pulsed and twitched. Shannon looked at him, unable to believe that
something he had fantasized about for so long was actually happening. He
ran a hand lightly across his penis. Every muscle in Cullen's body
tightened.

His hands flexed, then gripped the sheets beneath him. Shannon suckled
hungrily at his stomach and chest. He looked at Cullen speculatively. He
was biting his bottom lip, his eyes half closed and blazing violet
fire. Shannon grasped his penis and leaned over. "Don't," Cullen said
through gritted teeth "I won't be able to last."

Shannon looked at him. "I have to," he said before sinking his mouth onto
Cullen's cock. He then lifted his mouth so that it was enclosing just the
tip of Cullen's penis. His tongue lashed at the head, swirled around and
dug into the tip. Cullen's eyes rolled into the back of his head. "Oh my
God."

Shannon sucked greedily, savoring the velvety warmth of Cullen's engorged
cock in his mouth. He slowly lowered his mouth until it was buried into
Cullen's sweet smelling pubic hairs. He swallowed...over and over, allowing
the muscles of his throat to provide friction and suction.

Cullen screamed hoarsely, "I...I'm gonna cum. I can't stop it." He said
thickly. He placed his hands on Shannon's head, trying to push his head
away. Shannon shook his head no...moaning and groaning onto his cock,
incredibly aroused by the taste of Cullen. He grabbed his testicles and
squeezed gently. Cullen arched his back and his cock bucked against the
back of Shannon's throat, pulsating wildly. Shannon swallowed the thick
jets of creamy ejaculate eagerly.

Cullen collapsed backwards onto the bed, pulling Shannon towards him and
kissing him passionately. He kissed his way across Shannon's body
feverishly, then dove between Shannon's legs. He rubbed his hot, sweaty
face into Shannon's thighs, his balls, allow over his cock. God, he smelled
sooooo good. Intoxicated with Shannon's scent, he growled hungrily,
possessively, the sound loud and fierce in the room. He buried his mouth in
Shannon's anus. God, Shannon had the sweetest ass he had ever tasted. He
licked and bit and sucked at the pulsing hole.

He looked up at Shannon, then sucked his middle finger, moistening it
generously with his saliva, and inserted it gingerly inside of Shannon's
asshole. He held Shannon's eyes with his. "This is where I want to be," he
said hoarsely, adding another finger while grabbing lube from the
nightstand. Shannon spread his legs wider.

Cullen lubricated his fingers and painstakingly inserted them, adding one
finger at a time, watching Shannon closely to gauge his responses. "I've
been waiting for so long, I can't wait. Don't make me wait, Cullen,"
Shannon moaned, "Give it to me. Just do it." Cullen moved over him, lifting
his legs so that they were on his shoulders. Cullen looked into Shannon
eyes as he slowly and carefully entered him.

He penetrated him tenderly, gazing down into melting brown eyes that saw
him...who he really was....and loved him anyway. As Cullen's penis sank
into him, Shannon felt as though his heart and soul had burst wide
open. "Oh God, Cullen." Cullen stared into his Shannon's beautiful eyes
and fell, time and space disappeared and he fell...into a place prepared
especially for him...warmth, overwhelming love and care...Shannon.

He entwined his fingers with Shannon's. As he stroked slowly in and out, he
knew their souls were intertwined as well. "Cullen you feel so good inside
of me," Shannon groaned. Cullen felt as if he would never catch his
breath. His voice clogged in his throat, he was on sensory overload. Being
inside of Shannon was like nothing else on this earth.

His bones felt liquid. Shannon's body was so hot, so moist, so sweet,
gripping him so tightly. Shannon spread his legs and lifted his hips.
"Shannon," Cullen said, throat tight. "If you, if you...," his head fell
back. The sweet honeyed friction was going to kill him. "If I what?"
Shannon asked breathlessly, moving his hips sinuously up and back down
again.

"Oh God," Cullen said through gritted teeth. He held Shannon's hips still.
"Wait. Don't move," he commanded. Shannon clenched his ass around Cullen's
cock. Cullen shook his head and moaned. "I can't help it," Shannon
whispered. "It feels so good." And then he made that sound, that sweet,
anguished hungry whimper that drove Cullen crazy.

Cullen lost control. He gripped Shannon's hips and began thrusting into him
rhythmically, forcefully, powerfully. He shifted Shannon's hips and
repositioned him until he got the response he was looking for. Shannon's
nostrils flared and he stiffened. Short moments later, as Cullen continued
stroking his thick cock in and out, Shannon melted in his arms, shivering
helplessly. "Cullen, don't stop that feels so good. Don't stop, don't
stop. Cullen fuck me."

His eyes closed and he started making that sound continuously until it was
reverberating around inside Cullen's head. He fucked into Shannon savagely,
months of restrained lust, desire and need surfacing. Years of craving
Shannon and concealing that hunger even from himself. Barriers to his heart
and soul melting away under the force and persistence of Shannon's love.
Heart and soul wide open. He felt as if there were no end, no beginning,
just the two of them, inside of each other.

He climaxed in an explosion of love and lust. "Cum with me," he entreated,
plunging his aching cock in and out of Shannon's ass furiously. "Cum with
me." He wrapped his arms around Shannon and buried his face into Shannon's
neck. He was lost in sensation, lost in Shannon. Shannon's smell, the taste
of him, the feel of him skin to skin. His cock pulsed and burned. When he
came, it shook him from head to toe, intense, heart stopping pleasure
enveloping his entire being. "I love you, I love you, I love you," he
moaned over and over. Overwhelmed with emotion and his need for Shannon.

Shannon was right there with him, glorying in the passion and intensity of
their fucking. Mindless with the sensations coursing through him. When
Cullen came, hunching into him savagely, holding him tightly, possessively,
he took Shannon over with him. Shannon cried out Cullen's name repeatedly,
wrapping his legs around Cullen as if he would never let him go, his cock
spurting furiously, cumming in a violent, uncontrollable rush.

Cullen collapsed onto him, gulping for air, not releasing him from his
tight hold. Shannon continued to embrace him with his legs, not wanting to
let go either. "You're mine," Cullen said fiercely, "and I am NEVER letting
you go." He reached between them and pulled at the key around Shannon's
neck. "And I am yours," he said simply.

Shannon lay beneath him quietly, heart too full to speak. Cullen rolled off
of Shannon, onto his back and settled him into his arms. "Look at me," he
said to Shannon softly. Shannon looked at him, happiness and contentment in
his eyes. "You know me," Cullen said gently. "What do you see?"

"Mmmm..." Shannon said quietly, looking at Cullen thoughtfully. "You have
the 'this ought keep Shannon happy' look on your face again." "What else?"
Cullen asked. Shannon looked into his eyes for a long time. Cullen looked
back, eyes serious and unwavering. Shannon started to speak, then stopped,
eyes filling with tears. He shook his head, afraid, and unable to believe
what he saw. "Say it," Cullen said tenderly. "Please," he added. "Forever,"
Shannon said, voice quavering and unsure, still questioning. Cullen
caressed Shannon's face lovingly. "Forever, Most Beautiful, I will keep
Shannon happy forever."

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