Holiday Companion


“Artistic-style gay male, 43, new to town, seeks local older male to introduce him to the holidays here. Companionship, local concerts, plays, restaurants, university sports. Holiday cheer and travel later if found compatible. Nonsmoker please.”

I had never advertised like this in a paper before, but Gill, an older, sometimes boyfriend of mine in Washington, D.C., told me I should try it, and Bernard, another D.C. artist friend and occasional hookup, told me it would be a good way to get introduced to the gay and artistic communities in the university town I’d just moved to.

“You know you can’t live long without sex,” he’d said.

“What I need here, now, is just someone to help me dive into the local cultural community,” I’d answered.

I’d already had a few hookups, but they were one-time casual and were with guys from the gym I started going to as soon as I moved here right before Thanksgiving. They weren’t guys who shared cultural interests with me. It was a bad time to move. Everyone was concentrated on the holidays and most already had the companionship they needed.

This was a university town, rich in culture, little of which I’d found yet. It had several different festivals going. I’d been hired as executive director of a new one, on photography, which was run in early summer. I had until spring to get networked into the artistic community and to get the festival up and running, but it had been hard going connecting with anyone I could be networking with. The first step, Bernard had said, was to find out what was happening on the cultural scene here.

Hence the drastic step of a newspaper ad.

I was already seated at Hamilton’s on the pedestrian mall, the former main street of the town, when I saw him at the door. I had to laugh, because I’d already seen him, without having made contact, at the gym, where I had found him attractive. He was an older guy, but solidly built. I thought he looked familiar in the photo he’d sent me after the e-mail connection was established, but that had been a photo of a younger man. The age difference didn’t bother me, though. He was still handsome and distinguished looking, with something of a military bearing. The first thought I had at seeing him was of Daddy Warbucks. He had been tall and substantial, yet trim when I saw him at the gym in his athletic gear. Here, of course, he was bundled up against the winter weather. I had threatened snow all day. Here he looked rich, in control, and in keeping with the major university in the town.

What distinguished him the most was that he was bald. He did have bushy gray eyebrows, though, which suggested he was at least slightly hirsute. He struck a commanding figure as he stood at the door, waiting for the maître d to direct him. But then he saw me, smiled, and walked, confidently to the table. He was wearing an open, long, black cashmere coat with a pristine white silk scarf around his neck that was hanging down his chest. Everything spoke of “well off.”

“David?” he asked, pulling a black leather glove off a slender hand, with long, sensuous fingers, and extending it for a handshake. His grip was firm, confident, but not crushing. His smile was genuine, warm. “That is you then,” he continued. “I remember seeing you at the gym but, I didn’t want to say anything about it in the e-mail exchange in case it wasn’t you. I’m Theodore. Theodore Daniels. Please call me Ted. May I sit?”

And thus began an hour of interesting, comfortable discussion. We were eating early, as we were meeting for the first time to go to the Oratorio Society’s Christmas concert at the old, restored Paramount Theatre on the mall a few blocks east of the restaurant. I had walked to the mall from my apartment in the old, elegant apartment building on Altamont Street about four blocks north of the walking mall. I hadn’t asked how Daniels had gotten there. We planned for dinner here and the concert and then drinks at a bar near the theater afterward if it was working that far. And we had agreed that it was then to be each to our own homes to assess whether we wanted to take in more events this Christmas season with each other.

“I just retired from the university,” he said. “I was a professor of linguistics there for thirty-five years. I’m sixty-three now.” He looked at me to see how that went down. I knew he must be older than that to be retired from the university, but he wasn’t walking with a cane and, as I thought I remembered from seeing him in the gym, he moved really well for even sixty-three and was in solid condition. I took it he was nervous about his age in terms of answering a personals ad. “And you?”

“As I noted in the newspaper ad, I’m forty-three, just arrived in town, and wanting to see what’s going on here during the holidays.” By noting that I’d given my age in my ad, I guess I was noting that he hadn’t given me an age until now. It could have mattered. In this case it didn’t. He was well-preserved and seemed quite the cultured guy. I had gone with older men for some time, if not that older. canlı bahis Of course, I was beginning to realize that I was becoming the older man for younger men to go with. The men I’d taken home from the gym here had been over ten years younger than I was. All things change, I guess.

I wasn’t surprised having seen him—and earlier at the gym, where he seemed perfectly at home—to know he’d had a responsible position at the university. “I’m the new executive director for the photographic festival in June,” I offered, “and I wanted to start networking with other artistic types here. I found that the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays aren’t a very good time to start that.”

“No, I suppose they wouldn’t be,” he answered. “And they can be a lonely time too,” he added.

His eyes looked a little sad as he said that.

“Yes, they can,” I said. I hadn’t thought about it, but that was true and probably was a reason I’d taken the bold step of advertising. In D.C., I’d had a set of friends I could count on to get me through the holidays. “I’m sorry, but you seemed to be sad when you said that. Is it is unusual for you to be alone for the holidays?”

“Yes. I’ve had my mother living with me for several years, and she passed in the fall. And I’ve just retired, and although I’ve been invited to faculty parties, it just isn’t the same going to those when you no longer are in the game. I guess it’s hit me this Christmas season. It’s probably why I answered your ad.”

“So, you aren’t married or otherwise entangled?”

“No. No entanglements. An interesting way of putting it, though. I’ve never thought of being entangled before, nothing that regular. But now I don’t have family obligations or professional duties and relationships any more. I guess I have to start thinking about the changes in my life. I think I might take up international traveling again. I’d done a lot of that before my mother became ill. Have you done much traveling, David?”

“I’ve moved up and down the East Coast fairly regularly, and a studied the photographic arts and museum management out in Los Angeles,” I said. “But I haven’t done much travel internationally. That has always attracted me, but I haven’t had someone to travel with, and I think you enjoy it more when you can share experiences. But that would be a change. And Christmas is probably a bad time to be doing that—a bad time for changes.”

“Yes, precisely,” he answered, although I wasn’t sure what part of what I had said had struck a chord with him. I didn’t pursue the point, though. Our chatting became more disjointed as our meals had been served. But I determined that he was involved in culture in the city and that this had been another reason he’d answered my ad. He was on the board of the Oratorio Society, for instance, and he had planned to come to this concert anyway but was happy that he didn’t have to go alone. He also was active in the university’s drama program and had noted that the fine arts schools were close to where he lived, near the university.

As we were eating dessert, though, he picked up more directly on the central questions.

“And you? Is there no one else more regularly in your life? I did observe at the gym that you were friendly with several of the other younger men—men more your age and younger than you. There seems to be a group of young men at the gym who are very keen on fitness and being toned up. You were certainly part of that.”

“Part of that?” I asked.

“Toned up. You have kept your body in excellent shape.”

“You have as well, I noticed,” I said. :I do have a few guys at the gym I’m friendly with, yes, but none seem interested in the cultural networking I need to do here in town.”

“You share other interests with them?” he asked, again looking at me pointedly from under bushy eyebrows.

“Yes, other interests.” I didn’t elaborate. I’m sure he knew that they were sexual hookups. They were interested in one-time sex, and I took a few of them home, We banged away at each other. I was good for a flip-flop. I like to think I was good at both ends of a flip-flop. But it wasn’t what I said. “None of them are regulars in my life outside of the gym. There are no special others in my life, no, and certainly not here in town yet. I had a few flings in D.C., and I was married for sixteen years.”

“Married? To a woman?” His dessert fork was half way to his mouth, and he was looking at me quizzically again from under bushy eyebrows.

“Yes, to a woman. But we’re long divorced. Amicably so. But I found that we weren’t compatible. It wasn’t women who made my heart go all aflutter.”

He laughed at that. “Well, having your heart go all aflutter must be very nice. I’m sorry to say it’s never happened with me.”

“Never?” I asked.

“No, never,” he said, taking another sharp look at me. “But that, of course, was in my former life, when I had family obligations and a career—and when I didn’t reach the Christmas holidays and suddenly feel lonely. And not,” he added, “before I was bahis siteleri so bold as to answer personal ads in the newspaper.” Then, before I could say anything, he laughed again and said, “But I guess we’d better finish up and get to the concert. It’s just up the mall, but we don’t want to make a spectacle of ourselves and be late.”

“No, we certainly don’t want to draw attention to ourselves,” I said, having no idea why I phrased it that way or why I should care. It was just two lonely old men each trying to get through the Christmas holidays and seeking a bit of culture along the way. But was that all I wanted in putting that ad in the paper?

The concert was very nice. Ted knew a lot about music and had been a baritone in the Oratorio himself once. I admitted I’d been a second tenor in Washington’s Gay Men’s Chorus, which interested him and we talked about the Christmas segment of the Messiah and how many times each of us had sung in that and where during the interval, where we grabbed a drink at the bar. I was surprised how many foreign countries he’d sung the Handel piece in, but I guess that went with his specialty in linguistics. While we were at the bar I noticed that many of the other patrons knew Ted and greeted him. When it was convenient, he introduced me. It seemed he was well placed in the cultural community, and this was definitely helping me meet people I would be working with over the next few months.

In the second half, I kept looking down at his arm resting on the chair arm between us and finding myself wishing he’d put his well-manicured hand on my knee. I had let him know I was gay. It was in the personal ad, and he would not have answered the ad without taking that into account. And in our conversation at dinner I hadn’t hidden that I was active with men.

But then I’d bring myself up short. This was just a feeling each other out meeting and a chance to get out for an evening. I couldn’t expect any more on a first meeting. I did find myself thinking of it as a date though, even though we’d split the cost of dinner down the center. In any event, he was being very friendly but not the least forward. He knew I was gay, from the moment he read the ad. I hadn’t figured him out completely yet, though. He didn’t shy away from me being gay, but he hadn’t directly committed himself. Maybe he wasn’t gay but just didn’t care if I was. That’s all that I’d advertised for, wasn’t it? Hmm. I’d have to think about that, I decided.

After the concert, and after he’d greeted and talked with several of the choristers, the conductor, and members of the orchestra as well as other patrons—again introducing me where it seemed appropriate—we went looking for a bar.

The end of the concert had been that first junction at which we had set a reckoning. We hadn’t set anything but the dinner and the concert and had left the afterward possibility open. But before I could think how to ask the “what next?” question and suggest a drink at a bar, he stepped up to that plate himself. He was an “in command” sort of guy, but he did it smoothly without making any waves. He was, of course at least twenty years older than I was, and this was his turf, so it was natural for him to take the lead.

“How about a drink now?” he said. “The Skybar is just across the mall and there are a few more bars on the mall we can walk to if that one’s crowded. I’d like to continue our conversation.”

“Sounds good,” I said. It sounded terrific.

As good as it sounded, though, the bars were all crowded, and Ted admitted that he wasn’t excited about noisy, crowded bars. I agreed with him. I did agree with him.

“We could go to my place,” he said. “I have wine—or beer, or something harder, if you wish.”

The “something harder” gave me a little jolt, but I stayed with him as he continued.

“My car’s here in the Market Street garage, and if you live at the Altamont, you are just a short walk from my house on Fendall Terrace. Maybe fifteen minutes for a guy in as good a shape as you keep yourself in.”

“Wine would be very nice,” I said.

“Beer with the younger guys at the gym but wine with me?” he asked, a twinkle in his eye.

“Of course,” I answered, but thinking on that, I could see the difference. One-night stands with the younger guys at the gym, but something of higher quality and to savor with this older man.

His house proved to be a cozy stone cottage that had been expanded over the years to ramble up a slope and must have been worth a fortune as picturesque as it was and as close as it was the university while still being on a very private side street. The original structure was oriented toward the street, showing a stone wall with a chimney in the center and French doors on either side of it. He parked his Mercedes in a pad just in from the street and we walked up a wide flagstone path, rising in irregularly placed steps to a walk past the right side of the stone façade and beside a hedge-sided walkway to a covered entrance.

Inside, it was all stone walls, bahis şirketleri polished wood paneling, lush Oriental carpets, expensive-looking bric-a-brac, and books, books, books. It was obvious that the man had traveled and collected widely, expensively, and with discernment. The living room, two steps down from the foyer, was off to the left, and was the side of the structure that was facing the street. The stone fireplace dominated the far wall, with bookshelves on either side between the French doors. A Christmas tree, which Ted lit up when we entered the foyer, rose beside the fireplace. The fireplace was laid with wood and Ted went over and got the fire started while I acclimated myself to where the various doors from the slate-floored foyer led.

Straight ahead was the open double door into a dining room, with a kitchen off to the right. I could see a hallway beyond the kitchen, which Ted told me led to a bedroom and bath for his mother’s companion, a position no longer filled, and a laundry room. Immediately to my right were double glass-paneled French doors leading into a library, with walls of book lining the room, Another short set of stairs between the library and kitchen led up to two large bedrooms, as Ted showed me later, each with a bath. To the right, above the library and behind a guest bath, and incorporating the bedroom hallway, was yet another bookcase-lined narrow room with two French doors leading out to an enclosed side terrace.

By the time I’d gotten back from the guest bath, Ted had wine glasses in his hand and had exchanged his coat, and his shirt as well, with a silk dressing robe. He put the sounds of Frank Sinatra at Christmas on whatever sound system the house had. He motioned me to a commodious overstuffed sofa facing the fireplace. A cocktail table in front of the sofa held what looked like a brass cigarette box and coasters for the wine. The cigarette box gave me pause. I had specified a nonsmoker in my personal ad. I hoped Ted didn’t smoke. The house certainly didn’t give off the unavoidable smell of a smoker, though.

I have no idea now what we talked about as we sat in the sofa, looking at the fire and Christmas tree, sipping red wine, and listening to Sinatra croon away. All I know was at some point he’d moved closer to the corner I was wedged in, that his arm had gone around my back, and that the front of his dressing gown had opened to reveal that his pecs were firm and were lightly covered with curls of gray hair that continued down his sternum to his belly, which was flat and firm for a man his age. He was hovering over me, gesturing with his right hand to emphasize whatever topic he was expounding on. I also knew that I was breathing a little heavily and hoping that this was leading somewhere.

It did.

He stopped in midsentence and focused my attention. “But that’s not what you want to hear, is it?”

I had no idea what he was talking about and was afraid he would discover I was more fixated on his chest hair than what he might have asked me, so I didn’t respond. That didn’t seem to bother him, though. He put his wine glass on his coaster and then took mine from my hand and put it on my coaster. He moved smoothly and I asked no questions nor impeded his movement in any way. Nor did I react against him cupping the back of my head and pulling my face into his for a deep kiss.

When we came out of that, he smiled into my face and said, “I think you want to hear the answer to the one question you haven’t me yet, David.” He was unbuttoning my shirt as he said that. He opened enough buttons to insert his hand under the material and palm my left pec. His thumb was on my nipple. I was beginning to harden elsewhere. I couldn’t resist the suggestiveness of his hand on my chest and I raised mine and ran my fingers into the gray curls on his chest, an index finger touching on of his nipples. I heard a sigh. That quite likely had come from both of us.

“What?” I asked breathlessly. Having started me going with the nipple pressure, he continued unbuttoning my shirt.

“You haven’t asked if I fucked on the first date. I do. I fuck on the first date. And you, David? Do you fuck on the first date?” Having finished with the buttons on my shirt and flaring it open, his hand at moved to unzipping my fly.

“Yes,” I responded breathlessly. His hand was already inside my fly, gripping my cock. He was in command, taking charge.

“You’re getting hard, David. Is that for me? At my age can I still make a younger man go hard?”

“Yes,” I answered. “You’re not too old to me.” I was wondering who was going to fuck who, though. Ted had the answer for that too. He stripped my trousers off as I reclined into the corner of the sofa and was lying on top of me, worrying one of my nipples with his mouth and stroking my cock hard with his hand.

“Very nice,” I heard him murmur. Then, smoothly, he had his trousers and his dressing gown off and he was naked on top of me, moving down my body, and taking my cock in his mouth. My right leg was trapped between his body and the back of the sofa. He folded my left leg up into my body, holding it there with a grip under my knee. This rolled my ass up, and his tongue went under balls, down my taint, and into my puckering hole.

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