Written by Beth
Author's Note: I'm thankful for Tim Bayliss, Chris Rawls, and for sex, and not even always in that order. This story is mostly like meringue, but it gets slightly more substantial by the end.
The dinner table looks like a battlefield, but we've left
the spoils, escaped to the living room with good wine. I
feel sated, decadent, and perfectly happy.
"Okay, um, let's see." Tim leans back into the couch,
stares at the ceiling for inspiration, and I look eagerly,
fondly, at his long neck, the line of his jaw, the soft curve
of his ear.
"I mean, this should be easy. What kind of a person am I if
I *can't* come up with something I'm thankful for?"
"Very, very bad," I tease. "Which actually, Tim, might be a
good thing, you know?"
He laughs under his breath, then sits up to take another
drink of wine. That's right, I think. Get yourself nice
and relaxed. We've both been so busy recently that we
haven't had much time together and I'm dying to make love to
"Okay." Tim puts down the wine glass and looks out the
window. "I'm grateful for the trees."
I make a face. "*Lame,*" I say with feeling.
"It is not!" he says fiercely. "I *love* trees! Trees are,
are, they're beautiful, and they give us shade, and they're
nice in the fall. They're quality life forms all around."
"Maybe," I say, and lean over to pour him a little more
Merlot. "But really--I think you can do better. Isn't
there something a little more, I don't know, *specific* to
your life that you're glad for?"
"Oh. Oh. So this is *serious.* So I'm being graded here."
I have to smile a little because he's so perfectly sweet
when he's trying to be sarcastic.
"Just give it the old college try," I say. "That's all I
He stretches a little, then slowly turns to look at me,
knowing full well that my eyes are helplessly locked on his
"I am thankful that I only died *once* on the operating
table this past spring," he says deadpan.
*That* brings my glance up to his face. His eyes are
glinting and his mouth is dying to smile, but he's holding
back for effect.
I play it straight. "Good," I say. "Very good. Because
you could have done it, say, *twice.* Definitely a bonus
He runs a hand though his short hair, then looks at me.
"And to think that you didn't believe I had it in me to be
"No, no. I knew that you could do it. I never lost faith."
Tim smiles. "All right, then. Your turn." He's goading
just a bit, wanting me to up the ante, I can tell it, and so
I give him a long, hard look and then say, as calmly as I
can, "Personally, I'm grateful my parents waited until
*after* they found out I was gay to disown me."
"Hey!" Tim says, and laughs out loud, the sound just a
little bit frenzied. "You are *so* lucky!"
I nod gravely. "Blessed, Tim. I'm downright blessed, and
don't you forget it."
"I can really see that, you know? Because really--you were
probably *ready* at age seventeen to be without parents."
He says this last softly and compassionately.
I frown at him because he's violating the spirit of the
thing by being gushy. Tim smiles at me, then reaches out
and squeezes my hand. "All right," he finally says. "My
turn again. *I* am grateful, Chris, that the two of us
have been so busy lately."
"Yeah?" I ask, looking down at our entwined hands, watching
as his long fingers stroke my knuckles.
"Yeah," he answers. "I'm grateful because . . ."
I look intently at him, try not to breathe hard.
"Well, mostly because it's gonna feel that much better when
I get you into bed tonight," he says confidently, easily.
"Oh. So you think I'm going to just--that I'll--"
"Yeah," he says quickly. "I do, Chris."
I have to laugh then. "Don't get all smug just because
you're right. You could blow it at any minute, my friend."
Mercifully, he lets the double entendre go. "Here," he
says, leaning forward and picking up the wine bottle.
"You're not drunk enough."
"I don't want to be that drunk," I say. "I want to feel
you, to feel this."
Suddenly he look stricken. "You don't think that I don't,
do you? Cause really, Chris, I just--"
"Stop, stop, stop," I say quickly. "It's not like that at
all. It's just that I've had a lot more than you."
"Okay," he says, but he puts the wine down, pushes his glass
away a little. I look at him in mingled annoyance and
amusement. He can be such a grave little boy.
One good thing to do with petulant children is to distract
them. "So," I say. "You wanna watch football?"
He groans. "Fucking Cowboys. No. No I don't. I mean, the
least they could do is *vary* who plays, you know?"
"Yeah, but don't you wanna look at the tight little pants?"
"Jesus, Chris," he answers, then laughs out loud. "Way to
ruin a manly man sport."
I grin. "That's what I'm here for. To broaden your
horizons." Then I take a long, deep breath, because at long
last Tim's moving, he's coming alive and inching across the
couch toward me. I lean back into the cushions and open my
arms to him.
"I'll broaden your horizons," he says, laughing, and then
his mouth covers mine hungrily, eagerly. I grab him tight
and revel in his warmth, in the scent of him. His large
hands are already at my waist, pulling my shirt out of my
pants and sliding underneath. It's been so damn long; I
want him so much; he feels so fucking good.
"It's okay, baby," he says softly, his voice deep, and I
realize that I'm making soft, desperate noises of desire.
He tenderly kisses the side of my face, then moves hands
down to my belt buckle.
"God!" I gasp as he fumbles, as his hands torture me, and
then reach out to show him how it's *done*--I bat his hands
away and then neatly and quickly unbuckle and unbutton him.
Tim's eyes go wide when I have him in my hand, when I stroke
him nice and slow, just how he likes it. Now it's his turn
to tremble, to go weak.
"You like that," I say and squeeze for emphasis.
"Oh yeah," he murmurs back, but then reaches down and drags
my hand away.
"What?" I ask.
"Let's go upstairs," he says. "I need more room."
Such a nice Thanksgiving. Chris is lying face down on the
bed in front of me, slowly rocking hips back and forth and
moaning a little bit, completely unselfconscious about his
pleasure, his need. When I reach for the lubricant and
spread it on my fingers, he moans again, spreads legs for
me. I bite my lip, deeply turned on by the sight of him
and, yes, deeply, deeply thankful that he's mine.
When I slowly work a first finger into him, Chris sighs in
delight; when the second comes, he's even further gone,
gasping my name and calling out in high, excited tones.
Seeing him like this is astounding; it's incredible how much
he wants to be penetrated, the great erotic thrill he
derives from it. I feel myself get even harder as I realize
that I'm the one he's chosen to let inside; I'm the one he
lowers all of his defenses for.
"Oh . . . that is so fucking good, so sweet!" Chris groans.
"Mmmm," I say, entranced by him, loving the grip of his
tight ass on my fingers and the way he sighs when I stretch
"I want you in me, Tim," Chris urges a bit later. "Don't
make me wait, baby, don't, just right now, okay?" His voice
is almost plaintive, very sexy.
"I'm right here, Chris," I say, and reach for the lube
again, coat my cock with a liberal amount.
"Yes! Yes!" Chris whispers when I position myself against
him and slowly begin to push, and then I'm groaning as his
ass spasms and opens for me. I push in to the hilt.
Chris has pressed his face into the pillow but I can hear
him sobbing in pleasure, can see his back shaking. I put
hands on his hips, caress his flanks, trying to soothe him,
but it's not going to work, it's not what he wants. Chris
rears back instead, trying to get me to go deeper, to
thrust. And how can I resist him, how can I deny him
anything? Slowly, carefully, I thrust as deep as I can,
unable to stop myself from crying out as I do because he's
so, so tight, so hot, so ready. It's the best feeling in
the universe, fucking Chris deep and slow and hard,
listening to the sounds our bodies make together, and I do
it until I can't think, until the entire universe is nothing
but aching and throbbing and lovely, lovely pressure. I
scream his name and then come like a truck, completely let
go for the first time in what seems like forever. It's
messy and desperate and intense, everything wonderful in the
"Oh god," Chris says weakly when I gently urge him to turn
over, to face me again. His chest is smeared with sweat and
come and the sheet underneath him is damp.
"So, was that good?" I ask, and he glares at me for an
instant but he can't hold it for long--he's too exhausted.
I pull him into my arms, kiss him, and stroke his wet,
sticky skin, and Chris relaxes, smiles, murmurs contentedly.
Now *this* is a Thanksgiving; *this* is how it should go. I
drift off to sleep with him in my arms.
Four a.m. and Tim's in the bathroom retching and weeping a
little. I'm out of the bed in a flash, wincing as I move
but determined to get to him, to comfort him. Of course
this would happen on Thanksgiving, and I'm furious with
myself for forgetting what memories this holiday in
particular holds for him.
I knock hard on the door, loudly say, "Tim's it's Chris.
It's Chris. Can you let me in?"
"I know it's you," he says tiredly, then slowly opens the
door. He's sitting on the counter, his face tired and
drawn. I feel my gut wrench in sympathy.
"Nightmare?" I should keep this calm and understated, not
He wipes his eyes, coughs. "Yeah."
I take a tentative step toward him, my heart pounding.
"It's okay," he quietly says. "You can touch me."
I put a hand on his shoulder, squeeze once.
"I'm so sorry," I murmur.
He nods, sniffs. "You know, it's funny. I'd kind of
thought that since you and I--I thought I'd be able to get
through one of these without him, you know?" He lays his
head down, rests his cheek on my hand for a moment.
"Trauma doesn't just go away," I offer.
"Yeah, well, it's been thirty fucking *years,*" he angrily
says. "And I just can't kill the memory; I can't--"
"Don't get mad at yourself. You're not the one--it's not
"You sound like Frank," he says and laughs a little.
"I sound like anyone who loves you," I answer, then reach
out and ruffle his hair a little bit. He looks exhausted.
"Let's go back to bed," I say. "Let me hold you."
"You go," he says. "I'll be there soon."
"Soon, I promise," he says. "Really."
I give him a long, worried glance, but I go--I have to.
He's got to be able to control *something* about all of
Back in the room I change the sheets, fluff up the pillows,
then slowly settle down, but there's absolutely no way in
hell I'm going to be able to sleep, not right now. The only
thing I can do is breathe as softly as I can and listen hard
for sounds from the bathroom. Please hurry, Tim, I think,
and the waiting begins.