Rubbing Vignettes - The Wrong Way and the Right Way
Taking place some months after the events in Back To Normal
By Wren Boudreau
*****Part One: Doing it Wrong
“So, what are you getting Finn for Valentine’s Day?” Steven asked as he flipped through the latest Pottery Barn catalog.
Greg shook his head. “No idea.” He’d been wondering the same thing for at least a week now. He checked the bins of garnishes for the third time. Of course, nothing had changed. This was the lull before the pub came to life with its Friday night crowd and everything behind the bar was as ready as it could be. “I can’t seem to get past the usual clichés. Chocolates, flowers, jewelry… None of it seems like the right thing.”
It was difficult to buy gifts for a man, Greg decided. When he’d been married to Liz, it had been easy to pick out earrings or bracelets, little knick-knacks or bath stuff. But now, those tokens didn’t seem right for a man. Not his man, at least.
“You need to buy the cherry underwear and the chocolate body paints.” Aunt Coco said.
“Yes. I heard you the first twenty times.” There were just some things he didn’t want to discuss with his aunt, even if she lived in his head and knew everything there was to know about him, including his love life.
“Hey little brother.” Joe’s deep voice shot like an arrow through Greg’s cloud of musings. The big man perched on a barstool and tossed his coat on another one.
“Hey yourself. What’s up?” Greg liked that Joe was comfortable dropping in. Everyone on staff at The Green Lady welcomed him as a regular. Everyone except Steven, who seemed to get bristly anytime Joe came in, which in turn made Joe a little growly himself.
“I just ended a long shift. Playing poker tonight. Thought I could use a little wind-down time.” Joe was a detective with the local police and a long shift could mean dealing with bad guys, or it could mean endless paperwork.
Even though Greg already knew the answer, he asked, “What can I get you?”
Joe rolled his eyes. “You know you’re the only one who asks me that. All the other bartenders just put a mug of Iron City down in front of me.”
Greg pulled the draft beer. “What if one day you decided you wanted to try something different?”
Aunt Coco chuckled. “As if Joe would ever step away from his traditions.”
“You never know,” said Greg.
Joe tilted his head. “Like what? Gin and tonic?”
“Jack and Coke, maybe.” Greg flipped a cardboard coaster towards him.
Joe caught it. “Long Slow Screw?”
“Sex on the Beach? Bend Me Over? Slippery Nipple? Fuzzy Dick?” Coco was on a roll. “Between the Sheets? Doctor Pecker?”
Greg ignored her. “How about a Manhattan?”
“Maybe a Cosmo?” Joe held his pinky finger out as he lifted his mug. He shook his head. “Not my style.”
Steven snorted, startling Greg. He’d been so quiet Greg forgot he was there. He was studying the Crate&Barrel catalog now, leaning over so that the blond spikes of his hair fell over his forehead.
Greg raised an eyebrow. “What?”
Steven kept his eyes on the catalog. “If Detective Capello ever decided to change his drink order, it would be heralded by a marching band and pom-pom girls.”
Greg turned to say something to Steven, but Joe tapped his hand and shook his head. Then he nodded in Steven’s direction, a signal that he was going to yank a chain or two.
“Well, I don’t know about the band, but the pom-poms sound nice.” He sipped the beer noisily and wiped his lip with his sleeve. “In fact, I can picture it. First there’d be a Hummer, with a primo sound system blasting ACDC’s “Big Balls.”
Greg nearly dropped the glass he’d been filling with water. This sort of thing was probably why Steven didn’t like Joe much. Most people got the hang of Joe’s humor and played along, but Steven couldn’t seem to go with the flow. He’d stopped turning pages but continued to look down.
Joe went on. “Then there’d be the pom girls, and maybe some cheerleaders - you know, the professional ones with the big boobs and little outfits. After that, I’d be riding in my friend Mickey O’Hara’s 1970 Chevy Impala convertible, surrounded by Playboy bunnies in bikinis.” He paused as if lost in the vision.
“It’s nice that Joe can have his little fantasy life, isn’t it?” asked Coco.
Greg could see Steven’s jaw tighten; he must have been gritting his teeth.
Joe went on. “And Megan Fox would be driving.” He sighed. “She’d wear that corset-thingie she wore in that cowboy movie.”
“You mean Jonah Hex.” Greg laughed. “That wasn’t exactly a cowboy movie.”
“Doesn’t matter.” Joe sipped more beer. “She’d be so hot for me she’d stop the car, knock the bunnies out of the way and the corset wouldn’t be able to hold her fine attributes. She’d be all over me like polyester on a disco queen.”
Steven seemed to burst, releasing a breath he’d been holding. He looked at Joe. “You’re kind of pig, you know.”
“Yeah,” Joe nodded. “I kind of am.” He downed the rest of the beer in two large swallows. And belched.
Greg winced, knowing that Joe was pushing. “Jesus.” Joe studied the empty bottom of his glass. “You both need to lighten up.”
“I’m sorry. I just don’t find your brother’s brand of humor very funny.” He closed the catalog, grabbed a towel and began wiping down the already clean bar.
“That’s because you have a chip on your shoulder or a stick up your ass or some heavy baggage. Or maybe all three. You need to get laid. Or slapped. Or something.” Joe held his mug out to Greg for another.
Steven’s blue eyes seemed to jump out of his head. He opened his mouth, closed it again, and threw the rag on the counter, then stomped toward the stairs.
“Where are you going?” asked Greg.
Steven opened the door to the basement. “I’m going to the storage room to get…” He waved one hand in the air. “Something.”
Greg could hear Steven’s feet pounding on the stairs. He put a fresh beer in front of Joe. “You don’t usually let people get to you, big brother.”
“Steven can be a prick at times,” Aunt Coco said. “And Joe sees it as a personal challenge to win over everyone he meets. Except for, you know, murderers and rapists and thieves and such.” She sighed. “They just rub each other the wrong way.”
Joe shrugged and wrapped a big hand around the mug. Greg let him be. Coco was right. He forgot sometimes that Joe did have a few sensitive bones in his body.
A few minutes later, Joe said. “So. You and Finn doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?”
As always, Greg was grateful at how accepting Joe was of his relationship with Finn. It had been a long and painful journey before Greg came out, and Joe was there for him every step of the way, supporting him in his darkest hours, standing with him through his fears. He was as easy-going with Finn as he was with anybody, and the normalcy was one of the best gifts Greg could imagine.
“I don’t know what to do,” Greg said as he filled a glass with ice water for himself. “Any suggestions?”
“Chocolate and flowers won’t fill the bill?”
“It’s our first Valentine’s Day. I want to do something special.”
Steven appeared at the top of the stairs, with a box of cocktail napkins and several bags of pretzels. He took them to the far end of the bar where he set out a tray full of bowls, lining them each with a napkin before filling them with the snacks.
“What about a stay-date?” Joe asked.
“You know, like a stay-cation, but a date. Stay in, make the place all nice with candles and shit, get a meal delivered, watch a movie, and then let whatever happens happen. You could even go away somewhere and stay in. I’ve got a friend with a cabin up at Seven Springs. I can see if it’s free.”
Greg thought about it. He and Finn had both been busy lately, Finn with the pub and his sister’s upcoming wedding, Greg with his classes and volunteer work. It might be just the right thing to do. He jumped when Steven’s voice sounded from behind him.
“I think you should go out. Rent a limo so you can make out in the back. Go to Pittsburgh, visit the Carnegie Museum, ride the Incline, go skating at the Plaza, have dinner at a fancy restaurant. Dance at one of the clubs in Shadyside. Show each other off a little, work up a sweat. Have wild monkey sex in the limo on the way home.”
Greg just looked at Steven. Aunt Coco hooted in his head.
“What?” Steven spread his hands out. “Valentine’s Day can be about more than the schmoop.”
“Schmoop,” Joe said.
Steven spared him a glance and spoke before Greg could get a word in. “There’s no rule that says you can’t get out there and have some fun, then get down and dirty on Valentine’s.”
“You’re goofy,” Joe said to Steven. He turned to Greg. “You can get down and dirty anytime. It’s okay to be romantic on what is traditionally a romantic occasion.”
“It’s also okay to put a little oomph into it.” Steven moved closer to the counter.
“What is wrong with staying in and spending time together?” A little trace of red appeared at Joe’s collar.
“Guys,” Greg began, but was ignored.
“What’s wrong with it?” If Steven had been taller, he’d have been leaning over the bar. “It’s giving in, that’s what wrong with it.”
“Giving in to what?”
“Giving in to all the straight people who think gays should keep their displays of affection at home, that’s what!”
“Oh my,” said Coco.
Silence settled around them. Greg didn’t know what to say. Steven did get passionate about equality issues, but this seemed a bit much, even for him.
Joe spoke through gritted teeth. “I’m not saying that’s why they should stay in.”
“I think it is. Maybe it’s subconscious, but I think your bigotry is showing.”
“Steven!” Greg couldn’t believe he’d said that to Joe.
“Don’t Steven me! Every time he comes in here he makes rude jokes and harsh comments, just to get a reaction out of me. He might be okay with you being gay, and maybe even with Finn, but I don’t believe he’s as open-minded as you think about the rest of us.” Steven’s breath hitched and he smacked the counter for emphasis. “And don’t even get me started on how he talks about women.”
“You little shit.” Joe leaned in, pointed his finger at Steven.
“Oh boy. Here it comes.”
“Every time I come in here, you’re dragging your ass and whining about something. If it’s not the guy you picked up last weekend, it’s the idiot professor at school, or it’s the latest bill that did or didn’t get passed somewhere in the country. And you look at me like last week’s leftovers. So yeah, I’m gonna rattle your cage, see if I can’t shake loose whatever’s stuck in your craw.”
“Joe,” Greg said. “Steven.” This wasn’t good.
Joe continued. “And I have never - ever - heard a woman complain about how I treated her.”
Steven’s hands balled into fists. “What’s stuck in my craw is that everybody thinks you’re the best thing since Klondike bars went national. But you’re just an oaf with a badge and a big mouth.”
“Stop it.” Greg tried to get between them, but Steven had stepped up on the riser under the bar and was now face to face with Joe. Greg looked around the pub to see what kind of attention they were drawing, but their few patrons were out of range and only a couple of waitresses discreetly listened in.
“And you’re just a little twink with a big attitude who thinks he’s better than everyone else.”
“You’re homophobic.” Steven spit the word.
Joe tightened his lips into a thin line as he studied Steven’s face. He shook his head and leaned back on his stool.
“No, I’m not homophobic. I’m you-ophobic.”
Steven sputtered. Joe stood and gathered his coat. He looked at Greg and said, “Call me if you want me look into getting that cabin.” Then he turned on his heel and stalked out of the pub.
Steven gave a little cry and ran back to the basement.
“Well, how about that?” Aunt Coco said. Greg just shook his head and finished filling the pretzel bowls, soon lost in thoughts of his lover.
*****Part 2: Doing it Right
Greg and Finn laughed all the way back to the cabin. Their walk in the woods had degenerated into a snowball battle that left them covered with the white stuff from head to toe. Just inside the door, they tumbled out of various layers of winter gear. Greg snickered at the way Finn’s blond hair spiked out in all directions, but Finn cracked up when Greg’s boot got stuck in his pants.
Their laughter died down as their lips met, and they shared a long kiss. Greg reached for Finn’s shirt, but Finn held him at bay. “If we don’t start a fire, our lips will end up frozen together.”
“Oh no,” Greg said, “no freezing of body parts.” He turned toward the big stone fireplace. A stack of wood filled an opening to the side, and it wasn’t long before he had a good blaze going. As he slipped into the bedroom to get the lube, Greg happily noted that Aunt Coco seemed to be out for the weekend.
While he was doing that, Finn went around the cabin lighting candles and closing curtains.
Greg dropped the lube by the hearth on his way to meet Finn in the middle of the room for another kiss. This time he did get to open Finn’s shirt, one button after the other in a slow march from neck to tails. Finn’s breath came out in little stutters when Greg’s fingers brushed the skin of his chest and stomach. Greg took Finn’s left hand, kissed his palm and licked each finger, peeking up at Finn. The man watched intently, lips slightly parted. God, he was beautiful. Greg unbuttoned the shirt cuff then gave Finn’s right hand the same treatment. Greg slid his hands up to Finn’s shoulders and pushed the shirt off his body, letting it slide to the floor.
He loved touching Finn, running his hands over the soft skin and hard muscles. Greg pulled him close for another kiss, and Finn slid his own hands under Greg’s sweater.
“You’re going to be too warm in this,” Finn said against Greg’s lips as he pushed the sweater up.
Greg smiled. “I hate to be uncomfortable. Better help me get it off.” They parted just enough to get the sweater up and over Greg’s head. Another kiss, hands stroking bare chests. They reached for each other’s belts at the same time, and laughed when their knuckles bumped.
“It might be easier to just do our own,” Finn said.
“Faster, too.” Greg already had his belt unbuckled. In seconds they had jeans, underwear and socks tossed aside. “Much better,” Greg said as they stepped toward each other, skin to skin from top to bottom, cocks growing harder by the second.
“Mmm.” Finn kissed Greg’s jaw and his neck, making Greg smile and tilt his head to give him more access. Little goose bumps popped up on Greg’s skin when Finn nuzzled under his ear.
“You know how to melt me,” Greg whispered.
Finn’s breath puffed against his skin. “It’s just a matter of try, try, try until you succeed.”
Greg pushed back so he could look at Finn’s face. “I’m glad you tried,” he said. “Glad you succeeded.” Finn had saved him - from himself, his fears, his pain. He hoped Finn could see just how he felt about that.
Finn’s long look said he understood. A longer kiss brought them to their knees on the soft rugs piled in front of the hearth. Finn’s fingers tightened on Greg’s ass, making him gasp and then laugh into Finn’s kiss. Finn loosened his hold and rubbed his hands over the same spots, warming the skin and making it tingle.
Greg leaned so that his groin pushed forward into Finn’s, while their upper bodies moved apart. He ran his fingers across Finn’s nearly hairless pecs and over his shoulders. Their cocks brushed against each other. Finn slid his hands up Greg’s back, pulling him in for another kiss, a kiss that started as a soft meeting but quickly grew into a clash of teeth and tongues and lips, as if each wanted to devour the other.
Finn tilted them to one side, and Greg let himself fall with him into the rugs and pillows on the floor. They landed with Finn on his back and Greg draped over him, still kissing, and rolled around a bit until they were comfortably settled with legs entwined. The feel of Finn’s cock next to his own encouraged Greg to rock his hips.
“Feels good when you do that,” Finn whispered.
“I don’t know why we needed the fire. You’re hot enough for both of us.” Greg propped himself up on one arm and slid his other hand down Finn’s stomach and through the soft trail of hair that led to his cock.
“You say the sweetest…gah!” Finn thrust his hips forward when Greg’s fingers rubbed the silky, sensitive spot underneath his balls. Finn’s leg - the one that wasn’t caught between Greg’s - moved restlessly. “Oh God, your touch.” He closed his eyes and threw his head back, and Greg cupped his balls, caressing them with his thumb. Finn was beautiful; even though Greg knew they’d been meant to find each other, he still felt enormously lucky.
Greg looked down at their pricks. Finn was so hard that his glans was completely exposed, and now his uncut cock didn’t look much different from Greg’s circumcised one. Each had leaked a bit. Greg couldn’t help circling his finger around the tips, then making a trail of the pre-cum first down his own shaft, then Finn’s.
Finn raised his head to watch. “You’re killing me here.”
Greg leaned in to kiss him. “What can I do to save you?”
“Stop playing around.”
“I thought you liked it when I play.” Greg brought his fingers to his mouth to taste their combined flavors.
Finn kept his eyes on Greg’s hand. “I do. But there’s only so much gentle I can take.” Greg pulled his fingers out of his mouth and rubbed them up and down Finn’s cock. “Fuck.” Finn dropped back on the pillows. “Harder, you tease.” He reached for his prick but Greg batted his hand away. Finn groaned, and Greg decided to have mercy, mostly because he was feeling the effects of his own ministrations.
He reached for the lube and squeezed some onto his own cock, glad the liquid had warmed in front of the fire. He spread it on himself first then coated Finn’s cock with it. He wrapped his hand around both of them, enjoying the multiple sensations: the grip of his hand on himself, the slide of Finn’s skin riding up and down, and the feel of the two of them rubbing together. God, it was good.
His supporting arm shook and Greg had to drop down. Finn turned enough so they were chest to chest, and when he wrapped his hand around Greg’s, Greg didn’t stop him. Their hips pulsed in tiny movements as their hands pumped, forcing their cocks to rub together, pressing and grinding and sliding. Greg tucked his face against Finn’s neck, taking in the scent of him. Finn’s hot breath huffed in rough bursts across his hair. They grunted and moaned; everything seemed to freeze in time except for their hands, and then Greg felt the shiver in his balls, the slight burn up his shaft and the almost-pain that meant he was oh so close.
“Gonna,” he managed to blurt out.
Finn responded with a rough “yeah.”
Greg could hardly tell which was his orgasm and which was Finn’s as their cocks throbbed against each other, pushing spunk out and over their hands. He couldn’t move while the last contractions curled through him, then it seemed like he was boneless. Finn must have felt the same way, because his legs dropped open and the tension in his chest disappeared. He let his arm fall to the side, smearing cum across his stomach. Greg couldn’t seem to move his own hand, and watched in a daze as the cream sort of dripped down over it.
“Gah,” said Finn.
“Urm,” said Greg.
Eventually their breathing returned to normal, and the lube and the spit and the cum started to feel gooey.
Finn squirmed a little. “I can’t feel my arm.”
“I think my hand is stuck to my dick.” Greg rolled to his back, freeing Finn’s arm and loosening his grip on his sensitive bits. He turned his head to look at Finn and found him staring back.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” Finn said, his voice soft and low.
“Happy Valentine’s Day.” Greg smile was so big it hurt.
They sat up, slowly, and, laughing a little, helped each other to their feet. Greg wrapped his arms around Finn’s shoulders as Finn gripped his waist.
“Love you,” Greg said, feeling the words from the depths of his soul.
“Love you back.” Finn didn’t need to say it; Greg could see it in his eyes.
Their kiss was gentle and sweet and romantic as all get out. Until Greg’s stomach rumbled.
Finn chuckled as they eased apart. “You run like clockwork. It must be dinnertime.”
“Then let’s get showered before the delivery guy gets here.” Greg turned toward the bathroom.
“Hey, I’ll follow you anywhere, as long as you keep rubbing me the right way.”
Greg stopped, hung his head, and groaned. He looked at Finn. “That was pretty bad.”
“Maybe so. But you still liked it!” Finn pinched Greg’s ass, planted a kiss on his cheek, twisted around and took off. “Last one in the shower has to wear the edible thong.”
Greg smirked. Finn didn’t know about the chocolate body sauce. Yet.