The Man from Swift Current
© 2011 Russ Nielsen
All Rights Reserved




Chapter 55: My Big Mistake

We were in the car driving to my grandparents' home from our spring break vacation at Hilton Head.   The last week had been like a fairy tale for me.   My prince charming and I were living our "happily ever after."  We had spent every day on the beach.   Fortunately for us, the weather cooperated and we had beautiful warm, sunny days for the entire week.   The beach house we rented had a private deck where we could sunbath without being seen by any neighbors.   As result, we both had tanned all over.   Yes, we had feint tan lines but they weren't very noticeable.   Of course, we had worn our skimpiest swimsuits on the beach!   I chuckled as I remembered wolf whistles we got from a couple of older women.

Rick glanced over at me and asked, "What are you laughing about?"

"I was just remembering those two old women who whistled at us at the beach," I replied.

Rick laughed and said, "We sure gave them an eyeful!"

I grinned.   "You have to admit our swimsuits didn't leave much to the imagination."

Rick replied, "No, they didn't; but they sure let us get a great tan!  The last week with you has been the best vacation I've ever had!"

I said, "It was the same for me.   I especially enjoyed fucking each other in the surf.   There is nothing hotter than making out in the ocean!"

"I will never forget that night," Rick said, smiling at the memory.   "There was a full moon and we were the only ones on the beach."

I reached over to caress Rick's package.   He was already hard from just the memory of our night on the beach.   "What made it so memorable was this right here."   I gave him a meaningful squeeze.

Rick took my hand away from his dick and said, "Babe, you can't do that while I'm driving.   We'll get in an accident!"   He brought my hand to his lips and then said, "I love you too much to risk hurting you by getting in an accident."

I laughed and said, "I just couldn't resist.   You are so sexy; even when you're driving."

Rick glanced at me and said, "Hold that thought, Mr. Nielsen."   He returned his attention to driving.   "When we get to your grandparents' place, I can take care of your needs.   Just be patient!"

I pouted as he released my hand.   Rick stole another glance at me and chuckled.  "You look so cute when you pout."

"I'm not cute," I said, indignantly.

"Yes, you are, Babe.   Cute and cuddly," Rick said with a sly grin on his face.

"You make me sound like a great big teddy bear," I said, folding my arms across my chest.   "I'm not cute and cuddly!"

"Alright, then, let's try handsome, good looking, sexy and really ‘hot.'   Let me see, you are strong and wiry plus you've got the best looking butt on the planet.   It's nice and tight," Rick said.   He reached over and caressed the inside of my thigh.  Hearing my moan of pleasure, Rick said, "Now the shoe is on the other foot."   He moved his hand up to my package.   I leaned back and closed my eyes.  

He continued until I breathed his name, "Rick."

He took his hand away and left me hanging.   My eyes flew open, "Rick, you are so wicked!   You can't leave me in this state!"

"I said you needed to be patient," Rick said.

"But we still have another hour on the road," I whined.   "I can't wait that long."

"Babe, you'll just have to figure it out," Rick said, laughing at my expression.   "I love you, Babe."

I sighed in resignation and said, "I love you, too; but you're still wicked!"

We talked about our plans for school and the classes we had decided to take.   The next hour passed quickly and we were soon pulling into the driveway of my grandparents' home.

Grandma met us at the door.   "Welcome back, boys."

We gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.   "We're glad to be here," I said.  

Grandma said, "Take your things upstairs and freshen up.   Your Grandpa and I have already eaten our lunch; but we can have something ready for you in no time."

Rick said, "Don't worry about us, Grandma.   We grabbed a bite to eat on our way here."

"Grandma, is the pool ready to use?" I asked.

"Yes, Grandpa cleaned it a couple of days ago and the water is warm.   Your Grandpa and I went swimming in it this morning," she said.

"Good," I said.   "Rick and I are still working on our tans."

Grandma laughed.   "Both of you are pretty dark now.   I don't think you need to worry about your tan."

Rick said, "But we have to maintain it now."

Grandma threw up her hands in defeat.   "Okay, okay, have it your way.   The pool is open and ready for use."

"Thanks, Grandma," I said.

"Run along now and we'll see you when you're finished your swim," Grandma said.

We mounted the stairs two at time.   I opened our bedroom door and we quickly unpacked our things.   Rick said, "Let's get a shower first."

I said, "You were reading my mind!"

We quickly stripped and jumped in the shower.   As usual, we enjoyed our time in the shower.   Rick's performance was a masterpiece!  Coming out of the shower, I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him passionately.   "Thank you, Babe."

Rick held me close and nibbled my earlobe.   "It was my pleasure," he whispered in my ear.

"And mine," I said as we rubbed noses.  We dried each other off and then put on our swimsuits (ones a little less skimpy than the ones we wore on the beach; but just barely!).   I looked in the mirror at our reflection and said, "We look like gingerbread men."

Rick came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my waist.   He nipped me on the neck and said, "You taste like one, too."

I grinned at him in the mirror as he continued to kiss my neck.   He ran his hands over my chest and then followed my treasure trail.   He slipped his hands inside my swimsuit as he started to caress my package.   "You know I can't leave this room with my dick sticking out of my swimsuit like that."

"Who said you were going anywhere?" Rick asked huskily.  I leaned back against his chest and lifted my chin to give him better access to my neck.   We didn't make it to the pool until much later!

We were lounging on the pool deck when Grandpa joined us.   He looked at us and said, "I can see you've been to the beach."

I looked up at him and said, "We did our best to soak up as much sun as possible."

"You did a good job.   In fact, you two could be models for some of those vacation commercials," Grandpa said.   He took a seat at the table next to us and asked, "How are your studies going?"

"I managed to get good marks in all of my classes," Rick said.

"I did the same in mine," I said.

"Good," Grandpa said.   "I was afraid that you two would be too much of a distraction to each other."

Rick looked at me and grinned, "Glenn can be very distracting at times; but we've figured out how to discipline ourselves so that we get our homework done before we have fun."

Grandpa chuckled and said, "I'm glad to see someone has some restraint in your relationship."

I gave Grandpa a puzzled look and asked, "What do you mean?"

"I've seen how you can't keep your hands off of your boyfriend," Grandpa said.

"I can't help it," I said.   "He's just so good looking."

"I'll give you that," Grandpa said.   He smiled and continued, "It's just that the last time you were here, you both were so love-struck that I wasn't sure either of you would be able to concentrate on your studies."

"You can rest assured that we know that we need to keep our grades up," Rick said.

"Your Grandma sent me out to let you know that dinner will be ready in about half an hour," Grandpa said.

I looked over at Rick and said, "Okay, we had better get a quick shower to clean off all of the chlorine."

Rick nodded his agreement.   "Let's go, Babe."   He stood up and then helped me up.   We walked hand in hand into the house and up the stairs to our room.

We quickly showered and dressed.   We wore matching board shorts and white t-shirts and flip-flops.   Rick kissed me before we left our room.   We joined my grandparents in the dining room.   They were already seated and we sat down across from them.

Grandpa said, "I'll say grace."   When he had finished, we dug into the delicious meal consisting of pork chops, mashed potatoes with milk gravy, steamed broccoli, a green salad and sweet potato pie.  

When we finished, Grandpa asked, "Glenn, will you play the piano for us?"

"Gladly," I said.   We helped clear the table and then made our way into the family room.   Grandpa sat in his favorite armchair with Grandma seated next to him in hers.   Rick opted for the couch.   He slid off his flip flops and stretched out on the couch.   He patted his rock hard stomach and said, "Dinner was delicious."

Grandma said, "I'm glad you liked it."

Grandpa said, "I'd like you to play Debussy.   The music is in the piano bench."

I opened the piano bench and retrieved the music book titled, "Debussy Favorite Piano Works."   I looked over at Grandpa and asked, "Which ones do you want me to play?"

"Start with Clair de Lune.   Then Reverie, Two Arabesques, The Girl with Flaxen Hair, and Golliwog's Cake Walk," he responded.

I opened the book to Clair de Lune and began to play.   By the time I finished playing the requested piano pieces, both Rick and Grandpa were fast asleep!   I looked at Grandma and asked, "What do you want to hear?"

Grandma smiled at me and said, "I think we should leave these two to take their nap while we go into the kitchen for some hot chocolate."  I got up from the piano bench and walked over to help her out of her chair.   "Thank you, Glenn.   I'm not as spry as I used to be."

We walked into the kitchen and I took a seat at the table while she prepared the hot chocolate.   She handed me my cup and sat down across from me with her own.

"Now, tell me how things are going between you and Rick," Grandma said.

I took a sip of my hot chocolate and then replied, "Besides being the sexiest man alive, he's my best friend.   I've never felt so close to anyone.   He treats me so much better than Ian did.   He is always asking me what I want to do and how I'm feeling.   Ian never did that.   Ian only wanted to have sex with me.   He never asked me what I wanted or how I felt.   It was all about Ian and never about me.   Rick never pushes me to do anything I'm not comfortable doing.   He challenges me to do new things, but never forces me.   I love him very much."

"Is he Mr. Right?" Grandma asked.

I thought for a few minutes before answering her.   "I think so, Grandma; but I don't know.   Sometimes, I get the feeling that Rick is really conflicted about our relationship.  It's like he's not sure he is really gay.   I mean, he was quite a womanizer before he met me; and he still turns the girls' heads when he walks by them.   I know he can't help noticing how attracted they are to him."

"So you're worried that he will dump you for a woman?" Grandma asked.

I looked away from her searching gaze, then finally nodded my head, "Yeah, I guess so.   Rick has never said anything and he is always kind and gentle with me.   I don't know why I feel so nervous about it."

Grandma said, "Rick is a very handsome man, Glenn.   He will always attract women to him; and men, too.   You need to get used to that fact.   You've chosen one of the best looking men I've ever met as your life partner; and as a result, you will have to deal with the attention that it brings with it."

I nodded my head in acknowledgment that what she said was true.   When I didn't voice a response, she continued, "Glenn, you are a good looking young man in your own right.   That is what has attracted Rick to you along with your charming personality."

I laughed and said, "I don't think so, Grandma."

Grandma smiled and said, "I beg to differ, Glenn.   Rick has found in you, his soul mate.   You have that special something that clicks with him.   I don't think you'll have to worry about him leaving you for a woman as long as you treat him with kindness, dignity and respect.  Above all else show him you love him.   Remember to always put your partner first; even before yourself.   I have also overheard you two talking about your penchant for flirting with other guys.   Don't you think that hurts Rick?"

I dropped my gaze.   Grandma sure seemed to know everything.   I finally raised my eyes to meet hers.  "You're right, Grandma.  I've asked him to be patient with me, because I know I like to flirt too much."

"Just be careful not to hurt him, Glenn.   You might think he's okay with you flirting with other men; but each time you make eyes at another guy is like a dagger through his heart.   It doesn't make for a very stable relationship if your partner isn't sure where your loyalties lie.   Rick seems to have a pretty thick skin; but underneath, he has a very tender heart and he's entrusted it to you," Grandma said.

I turned around in my chair when I heard Rick's voice behind me.   "Your Grandma is right.   I've given you the keys to my heart, Babe."   He leaned over and kissed me.

Grandma smiled at us and said, "Rick and Glenn, I may sound old fashioned; but I'm going to say it anyway.   Please focus your attention on each other.   Don't let yourselves be distracted by others who would destroy what you have.   Your Grandpa and I had a few rough years because of a woman who thought she could steal him away from me.   Always make the happiness of your partner your number one priority.   That's what I had to do."

Rick nodded his head.  "I'm trying to do just that.   I know that sometimes I fail miserably; but at least Glenn knows that he means the world to me."

Grandma stood up from the table and placed her cup in the sink.   She turned to Rick and asked, "Would you like a cup of hot chocolate?"

"Sure, Grandma," he replied as he sat down next to me.

She made two more cups of hot chocolate.   She handed one to Rick and she carried the other one into the family room and woke Grandpa.   I stayed in the kitchen with Rick.

"It sounded like Grandma was telling you how to make sure I don't have wandering eyes," Rick said, putting his arm around my shoulders.

"She was giving some pointers about how to keep my man happy," I said, smiling at him.

"So tell me; what is her secret?" Rick said.

"You heard her tell me.   Always put the happiness of your companion first," I said.

"I also heard something about flirting," Rick said.

I looked away from him and admitted, "Yeah, she did say something about that."

Rick reached up and put his hand under my chin.   He turned my head toward him until I was looking into his eyes.   "Listen to me, Glenn.   I know that you aren't looking for someone new when you flirt with the guys.   The problem lies in the fact that they don't know that.   I'm afraid that one of these days, a guy is going to take you seriously; and then what will you do?"

"I tell him I'm in love with you," I said, earnestly.

"But will he believe you if you've been flirting with him and encouraging his advances?" Rick asked.   When I didn't answer right away, Rick answered for me, "The answer is probably not."

"I'll try not to flirt with the guys, Rick.   I really will," I promised.

Rick leaned over and kissed me tenderly, "I trust you to do your best."

Rick finished his hot chocolate and then stood up from the table.   He put our cups in the sink and turned to me and said, "It's time for us to go to bed."

I started to protest, "But it's not…"

Rick put his finger to my lips.   "Hush, Babe.   I didn't say we were going to sleep."   He put his arm around my waist as we left the kitchen.   We walked into the family room to say good night to my grandparents.    We left them chatting in the family room as we made our way upstairs to our room.   Rick and I had another memorable evening satisfying our passion for each other!

We returned from spring break and got back into the swing of things with classes and studies.   Felipe started spending time at our home; after proving he could behave himself in other settings.   He kept his promise and didn't cause me and Rick any problems; or, at least that was true until I made a stupid mistake!   About a month before finals, Felipe was over at our place as usual.   We had just finished eating and were cleaning up the dishes.  

We were studying at the kitchen table when Rick looked over at me and asked, "Do you want to run out to the store with me to pick up some groceries?"

I looked my sweetheart in the eyes and smiled, "I'd love to go with you; but can we wait until I finish writing this essay?"

"I'd rather go now so we can settle in for the night.    Tell you what, I'll run get the groceries this time while you two study," Rick said, standing up from the table and retrieving his keys from the key rack by the front door.   "I'll be back soon," he called from the front door.

As soon as the door closed, Felipe got up from his studies and stood behind me and began giving me a back rub.   Felipe had done this before for me on a number of occasions; so I didn't think anything of it at the time.   "That feels good, Felipe," I said.   I leaned back and closed my eyes.

"I'm glad you like it.   Why don't we go into the bedroom where you can get comfortable and I can give you a proper massage?"

I opened my eyes and replied, "That sounds wonderful."   I should have listened to the little voice inside my head that kept saying, "Danger! Danger!" but I was so stiff and hurt so bad from overdoing our weightlifting yesterday I didn't really want to listen.   I gave myself a mental shrug and stood up from the kitchen table.

Felipe took my hand and pulled me up and led me back to my bedroom.   "Okay, strip down while I get you a towel."

Felipe went into our bathroom and retrieved a bath towel that he tossed to me.   I wrapped it around my waist.   I lay down on my stomach and stretched out luxuriously as Felipe straddled me and began working massage oil into the muscles of my aching back and neck.  Felipe's hands felt so wonderful to me.   He worked his way down my back.   Then Felipe massaged my feet and worked his way up my calves and thighs to my butt pushing the towel up.   He was working my butt cheeks over when Rick walked into our bedroom.

All I heard was a sharp hiss; then the door slammed shut, and Rick was gone.   After a moment of silence, Felipe said quietly, "I think Rick thought I was fucking you."

It took me a minute to comprehend what Felipe had said, "Do you really think that Rick interpreted what he saw that way?" I asked.

"I do.   In fact, I'm almost certain of it," Felipe replied his voice shaking slightly.

"Let me get dressed and we'll go out and talk to him and set the record straight," I said.

I stood up and dressed quickly and Felipe and I went out into the front room where Rick stood stalk still in front of the sliding glass door; with his fists clenched at his sides, staring out at the surrounding cityscape.

I went over to Rick and slid my arms around his waist, "Rick, Babe, Felipe was only giving me a massage.   I wasn't cheating on you," I said as I ran my hands up and down the very prominent six pack.   "I love you, remember?"

Rick still stood stiff and unrelenting in my embrace.   "Rick, don't be angry with me.   I promise you we weren't making out.   Yes, I love Felipe as a friend; but not in the same way I love you.   Please let go of your anger and listen to me," I begged him.   I leaned my head against his back.

Rick took a deep breath and slowly unclenched his fists.   "I thought Felipe was fucking you when I walked into our bedroom."

Felipe said, "I know you thought that was what was happening.   I'm sorry that I caused you to be angry, Rick.   You know that I love Glenn and that I would never do anything to hurt him.   He loves you very much and would never cheat on you."

Rick looked at Felipe, "Yes, I know that you love Glenn.   I guess that's why it made me so angry; especially since you promised not to cause problems between us if we let you back into our lives."

Felipe cringed at the fierce anger he saw in Rick's eyes, "I'm sorry, Rick.   Maybe I shouldn't come around here anymore.   I don't want to be the cause of contention between you two."

The edge in Rick's voice was like steel, "I think that would be a good idea; at least for now."

I wasn't sure how to react to what I was hearing.   On one hand, I thought Rick was being unreasonable.   On the other, I kind of understood why he was so angry.   Felipe has been very open about his love for me and I had tried not to encourage any kind of relationship with him, other than that of being his friend.   Rick has always been very possessive of me and doesn't like to have anyone get too close to me (man or woman) because of his bad experience with his ex-girlfriend.

The only close friends besides Felipe I have are my cousin, Keith, and his wife, Kerry, who live in the same complex as we do.   I'm not complaining, since Rick is my life partner; but he has become so oppressive about it in the last few months it seems.   I heard the door close as Felipe left our condo.   I feel really bad for Felipe.   He doesn't have many friends here either.

This last episode made me wonder what was going on in Rick's head.   "Rick, can we talk?"

Rick's back was ramrod straight and his muscles taut as he turned around in my embrace.   His face was a mask of barely contained fury.  

Rick said through his clenched teeth, "Yes, we need to talk."

Rick didn't respond to my embrace; even when I put my head on his chest and hugged him as tightly as I could.   Finally, I withdrew my arms from around his waist and collapsed on the couch in frustration.

I looked up at Rick, "Okay, I'm listening."

"Why do you always make it so hard for me, Glenn?   You know how sensitive I am to you letting other guys touch you!   I've tried and tried to overcome my feelings of jealousy but I can't continue to ignore the fact that you seem to be in love with Felipe!"   Rick's face was dark with rage as was his voice.

"Yes, I love Felipe, but not in the same way I love you Rick!   I'm in love with you and have been since we first met!   That hasn't changed!   Yes, I'm guilty of enjoying Felipe's willingness to give me a backrub!"

"It was more than a backrub, Glenn!   He had his hands all over your body and you let him do it!"  Rick shouted at me still clenching and unclenching his fists.

"You're right.   I was enjoying his ministrations too much.   I'm sorry I've made you angry.   Can you forgive me?" I asked, hoping to diffuse some of Rick's anger by admitting that I was enjoying Felipe's hands too much.   I was still a little confused by Rick's angry reaction to what I thought was a perfectly innocent event.

"I could forgive you if it were the first time it's happened, but it's not!   Felipe has made it abundantly clear that he's in love with you and you've encouraged him!   It's like you enjoy throwing it in my face that you've got someone else who wants you.   I feel like you really don't want to be with me anymore the way you flirt with Felipe right in front of my face," Rick's voice cracked with the strength of his emotions; his feelings of anger and frustration, along with the heartache were trying to express themselves at the same time.

I was shocked to say the least.   Rick had never mentioned anything to me before now about his feelings about Felipe; at least not since before spring break.   "You've never said anything about your feelings to me about this.   If you'd said something to me, I would have backed off all the goofing around.   I thought you enjoyed having Felipe around as much as I did."

"I did until Felipe started showing his feelings for you, again," Rick responded still looking like a boiler ready to explode.

"Rick, Felipe has always had feelings for me.   We talked about it when we first invited Felipe to our home.   Remember?" I asked looking Rick in the eyes.

"Yes, I remember.   And I remember telling you not to encourage him and that I really wanted Felipe to know you were already taken," Rick said glaring at me.   "From the very beginning, you have flirted with him even though I asked you not to do it."

"That's not true, Rick!"   Now I was starting to get angry.   Up until now I'd tried to stay calm and respond in a rational way but his inaccurate statements were getting the best of me.   "You asked me to just look and not touch!"

"Exactly!!  So what do you call Felipe giving you a full-body massage?" Rick shouted at me.

"I've already admitted I made an error in judgment.   What more do you want?" I responded heatedly.   Not giving him time to answer, I continued, "You have already sent Felipe away and I doubt he will come back unless you personally invite him to return; so you've achieved your goal!   Rick, I need to have friends as well as a husband!  Felipe is the only person other than my cousin, Keith, and his wife, that we associate with anymore.   I love you, Rick, but I need to have more of a social outlet than what we have now!"

"So now my company isn't good enough for you?   Since when did we need to have a social club to be able to function as a couple?" Rick shouted at me as he started pacing back and forth in front of me.   "You do this to me every time we have an argument.   You divert attention away from the real problem, and try to confuse the issue with statements that have no relevance, even tangentially, to the situation," Rick said finally sitting down in the armchair across the room from me.   

His whole demeanor changed as his anger abated and only the hurt remained.   The deep sadness in his eyes pushed aside the coldness I felt in my heart.   I recognized that I was the cause of his unhappiness; and that made me feel terrible.   I didn't like feeling that way.

"I'm sorry, Rick.   You're right, again.   I have a difficult time facing my own weaknesses, so I try to divert attention away from them so I don't have to face them.   I'm not very good at self-improvement, Rick.   I have always expected others to fix their own problems; but I've never tried to fix the ones I have," I said, pausing to take a deep breath.

"I know that I've expected you to be there for me and I haven't been there for you like I should've been.   I've treated you pretty shabbily," I said; recognizing that maybe this conversation was happening too late to make a course correction.   I looked down at my feet; not daring to raise my eyes to Rick's as my tears started to cloud my vision.

After a few moments of silence, I looked up with tears staining my cheeks as Rick crossed the room and sat next to me.   He put his arm around me and pulled in close, and I rested my head against his chest.   "We should've had this conversation a long time ago," Rick observed quietly.

"Yes, but what's important is that we are having it now," I said; hoping that it wasn't too late to fix what had gone wrong in our relationship.   "Can you forgive me for being so self-centered and uncaring?" I asked as I took his hand in mine.

"I'm not sure I can, Glenn.   It hurts too much.   I know that I should be able to let it go; but I'm still haunted by what happened to me with Angie.   I know I'm being overly possessive of you, because I'm so afraid of losing you.   I've heard you tell me over and over again that you love only me; but when I see you flirting with someone else, I can't help but think that one day you'll abandon me for someone else," Rick explained; pleading with me to understand his feelings.   I could feel his arms trembling as he held me.

"Yes, you've become very possessive of me and I've tried not to chafe at it, because I love you so much.   We both need to be more alert to the other's needs.   Can we try to make a fresh start?" I asked, hopefully.

"I'm willing to give a try if you are," Rick said.   "I'm not sure I can handle having Felipe back in our home.   Can we just be a couple for now?"

"Okay, but at some point, I want to host a party for some of our classmates.   Will you help me plan it?" I asked.

"I'm willing to do that; but not until after school gets out for the summer," Rick said.  

I straddled Rick's lap and wrapped my arms around him and tenderly kissed his lips, "I love you, Rick Lernier."

Prev To be continued . . .

A Note from Russ:

Debussy - Clair de Lune -

Debussy – Reverie -

Debussy - Golliwog's Cakewalk -

Debussy – The Girl with the Flaxen Hair -

Debussy – Arabesque No. 1 -