Authors: Jim Provenzano
Tags: #Romance, #Fiction, #Adult, #Coming of Age, #M/M Romance
I Think of You
Every Time I Think of You. copyright Jim Provenzano, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1463778644 ISBN-10: 1463778643
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to action persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover Art; Getty Images. Used with permission.
Cover Design: Kurt Thomas
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.
Thanks to Adam Barrett, Jeff Ford and
John Harry Bonck for their early enthusiastic reads;
to Peter Fogel and Eric Himan for music assistance;
but especially to Stephen LeBlanc for advice
and support beyond the call of duty.
for Ed Gallagher
The open field outside my bedroom window beckoned and the woods beyond it promised another small adventure, the most unusual having nothing to do with wild animals or trees, but with a boy standing nearly naked in the snow.
On impulse and with a sense of restlessness, I snuck into the hallway and pulled a parka and gloves over a favorite worn T-shirt and sweatshirt. I left quietly to avoid providing a reason for my exit. “I’m going for a walk” might have seemed suspicious to other parents. As a mediocre distance runner who’d spent most of his free time in solitude, such jaunts were common. Besides, our days together over the holiday break had become a bit stifling.
My bedroom adjoined my parents’ and my libido had years before outgrown the confines of our small one-level house. Were practicality the explanation for my spontaneous hike, I could have sung my purpose that afternoon, ‘Wanking in a Winter Wonderland.’
Were I prescient, I might have said, “I’m off to meet my destiny, my other.”
Midway across the field, I cautiously glanced back. Our neighbors’ homes sat brightly in a row under sunshine bouncing off the field of snow. The back yards all faced the open field left undeveloped by the mandate of some deceased town elder with a penchant for kite-flying.
That afternoon there were no kites in the sky, merely a blank slate of blue. The sun, stark and silvery above, had begun to melt the nearly blinding expanse of iced snow that crunched under my footsteps. The ensuing shivers faded as my body warmed from the brisk walk.
I approached the strip of trees dividing Forrestville, the wealthy community of Greensburg town fathers and their families, from our mere middle class block of Pennsylvania homes.
Although I was probably being watched from the kitchen window by my mother, I felt I’d made a successful exit. My frequent off-season jogs and walks to the field, the adjoining woods, and eventually long runs to the countryside and mountain ranges a few miles away, proved my fascination for nature. In warmer seasons, my determination to pack a sleeping bag and spend a few nights in the woods left my generally supportive parents perplexed.
What probably would have shocked them, and the future college instructors, was the deeper motivation for my arborous interests. Our ranch house with its thin walls made the outdoors a much better option for what most other boys enjoyed in their bedrooms. I had developed a stronger sexual relationship with trees and plants than with any person.
Entering the edge of the small woods, I felt warmer and secure. I’d rarely encountered other people in that small expanse of trees and its charming creek, which is why I’d long considered it my own private refuge.
A thick blanket of snow lay at my feet, sleeves of it bending the limbs of shrubs. Bluish whites contrasted the dark limbs of the evergreen branches above.
Further in, the snow under the tall evergreens was softer, quieting my footsteps as I encountered something unexpected; a pair of grey sweatpants and a green parka hanging on a tree limb.
Then I saw him.
While leaning against an evergreen trunk, the pumping motion of one arm, his flexed buttocks and thrust hips revealed from behind what he was doing.
He turned to see me as I stood between him and his clothes, and thereby his escape, accentuating the hunter-meets-deer moment that was our first encounter.
Despite his pale skin, I saw how colorful he was. Most prominent was the red flush on his cheeks, fore and aft, the various tans and light browns of his backside, the green buffered light between his arms and along his almost stocky legs, and the nearly bluish-black of his hair, tousled and flattened, no doubt, from wearing the discarded ski cap at his feet.
At that sudden moment when he turned, me standing only a few feet away from him, I saw, after his initial surprise, the warmth in his eyes, which, on first sight appeared dark like onyx stones, almost black.
Unable to cover himself, he merely halted his strokes and looked at me, at first stunned. Despite having never met me, he welcomed me with a smile, as if expecting my arrival. Wearing only a pair of gloves and boots, the steam of his body heat rose from his groin and the arrested friction of his hands.
So many explanatory phrases reeled through my mind.
I wanted to say,
don’t stop. What a brilliant idea, bringing sweatpants that come off around your boots. Leather gloves work best, don’t you think? Isn’t it surprising how warm it is in winter under these evergreens? This is a great spot, but if you want to be truly daring, try the top of the nearby hill on a moonlit night.
Stuffing my glasses in a pocket, shucking off my T-shirt, sweatshirt and parka as one, ripping my jeans down to my thighs, I clumsily approached and wrapped his smaller body in a shocked but welcome embrace. Our prolonged wet kiss didn’t end until he’d clutched both our dicks to near completion. In a moment of inspiration, he tugged me by my erection closer to the tree, where we both spewed onto its trunk.
Quivering, knees buckling, our misty breath escaping with gasps and surprised chuckles, one thought remained at the forefront of my mind.
That thought was,
Where the hell have you been all these years?
We pulled apart, swaying, mutually dazed.
He hastily dressed and started ambling downhill and toward the row of back yards on the other side of the woods. As I fought to slip my clothes back on with much more difficulty than my abrupt disrobing, he had already walked yards away from me. I fumbled for my glasses, dropped them in the snow, retrieved and wiped them. Through the moist droplets on the lenses, I saw him standing a few yards from me, waiting.
Fully expecting that our encounter was the end of it, that he had regained his senses in a moment of regret, I was prepared to spend every successive afternoon of my winter break returning to that spot like some sort of lone creature pining for its lost mate.
But he simply cocked his head for me to follow, as if accompanying him were a matter of course.
The route into Forrestville had several paths, none of which I’d ever dared to take beyond the woods. Years before, I’d been in the neighborhood annually, one of many costumed children dropped off in cars by our parents on Halloween. The rich folks always gave away the best candy.
His steady pace, and a few footprints in the opposite direction, made it apparent that he knew the way. Was it his scent I’d unconsciously been sniffing all these years? Was he the real reason this little acreage held such interest for me?
I felt more like a trespasser than ever, sidling along a path between two large homes and out onto the street. But no one materialized to scold us or query our presence. Our footsteps broke fresh snow through yards, until we were upon shoveled and salted curving asphalt.
Had we been lovers of the opposite sex, this would have been the beginning of a class division romance of operatic proportions. As we were two horny seventeen-year-old boys, our encounter was a mere conspiracy.
“You live here?” I asked as we approached the largest mansion on the block, an imposing red brick Tudor house with a huge porch, a three-car garage, and a coned tower at one corner of the roof. I remembered being daunted by it on my childhood Halloween visits.
I hesitated. In the few post-virginal minutes I’d spent with this handsome guy, he appeared to me a vision of lustful perfection, but might as quickly disappear from my life if I insulted his home.
But out it came. “They used to call your house Collinwood.”
“Oh, jeez,” he snorted. “From
“You townies. You’re a hoot. Come on.”
Despite its imposing presence, the interior of the house was warmly colored, full of inviting furniture, paintings and at least two fireplaces. The oversized living and dining rooms managed to maintain a cozy feel.
“Sorry, no ghosts,” he grinned as he led me around in socked feet after we’d removed our boots in the foyer. An enormous Christmas tree stood fully decorated yet unlit in the expansive living room. He led me into an equally large kitchen.
Our smirking silence gave his family’s housekeeper reason to offer me a few suspicious glances as she prepared hot chocolate and cookies, leftovers from what must have been a busy holiday season.
“Who’s your new friend, Everett?” she inquired, as she stirred a small pot. It seemed she knew to have it prepared after her ward’s outdoor trek.
A lesser version of that initial brief dark-eyed panic flashed on his face again as he rubbed his hands for warmth. He stared at me, realizing silently that we hadn’t even bothered to share each other’s names.
“Reid. Reid Conniff,” I said, nodding curtly, as if I were some sort of servant. I had no idea how to behave. For the first few moments I mistakenly thought this portly woman was his mother.
“Mom’s often away,” Everett said as he led me to sit at a table with him. “My sister moved out a few years ago. So, it’s just us more often, eh… old girl?”
Everett’s deliberate omission of mentioning a father led me to believe that divorce was the most probable unspoken explanation. Although I had no knowledge of his normal behavior –our woods encounter couldn’t be regarded as an unbiased litmus test– I felt that Everett was performing for me with an air of casual ease that wasn’t normally the case in such a household.
As she served us mugs of hot chocolate, Helen’s vague inquiries about our sudden friendship were met with the most involved lie I’d ever heard. My own family life never included fanciful tales or any kind of scandal. I was unlearned in the art of the elaborate fib.
Everett breezily unspooled a convoluted plot about a hiking group organized by some schoolmate’s local cousin and a sign-up sheet at the local library. As his tale continued, after his simple knee nudge under the table, I nodded agreement.
Helen, either satisfied or bored, said, “Just so long as you’re not up to anything.”
“Up?” Everett quipped, nudging me again. I took the reference to be sexual, and blushed. “Helen’s tried to spank me, but she could never catch me. Here, these are the best.”
He pushed forward a plate of cookies in the shape of Christmas trees with green glaze and sprinkled decorations.
“Trees, with icing.”
Getting the inside reference to our amorous encounter, I nearly coughed up hot chocolate. Everett took another cookie, dipped it in his mug and ate heartily, his eyes on mine. “Reid,” he whispered, as if savoring the sound of my name.
“He’s misbehaved more often than not,” she scolded.
“Really?” I said. Neither replied. Everett merely smiled and slurped from his mug.
“Thanks!” Everett saluted, nodding toward me to leave with him. I popped the last branch of a tree cookie in my mouth and offered a mumbled, “Thank you.”
As if to offer me a sort of warning, Helen said to him, while looking at me, “What will you get up to this time?”
What we got up to over the next several months was a blossoming of my new life, my first attempt at knowing another boy by his gestures, his sound, his taste. I would dare to dive headfirst into another world of clumsy, passionate and impulsive acts.