Afterglow

By Dabeagle

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The next few weeks were kind of wild, yet a low level tension sat over us as well. The wildness came from the endless well of passion that had been uncapped between us. Where Parker used to be mischievous in doing or saying things to me, he was now doing so in public, but in such a way as to reinforce our new status. We would hold hands in public, for instance which may not seem like much, but it certainly told me how much Parker was committing himself.

I don't think I'd ever had so much sex, either. It seemed like almost any situation at home could end up with us in bed or engaging in blow jobs, or just making out and teasing each other's bodies right where we were. It was exhilarating and kept me off-balance. Ideas that this was some short term thing never had a chance to form. As Parks liked to say, he was in it to win it.

The tension came from waiting to hear if he'd gotten the job. A lot of our future plans depended on our current living arrangement, which was facilitated by his being able to make a living more locally. We sat down two days after he'd interviewed and crunched some numbers to see where we were at.

"So, if I take on half the bills," he said while looking down at his laptop which was open to his bank account. "Right now I have about three months before I run out of money."

"Well, I don't see why you need to do that," I replied. "I have a job and I'm already covering the bills."

"Well," he said, turning his gaze toward me. "Costs will go up with me here. Food, electricity...."

"Not by an incredible amount," I said. "Besides, if you're cooking at home then it's a savings because I'm not buying prepared things." I paused. "Besides, this is only until we know about the job, right?"

He smiled and looked back at his laptop. "You know, I think I'm worried about the wrong things."

"What do you mean?"

"I've been consumed by the idea of getting this job as the lynch pin to making us work. That just isn't true, though," he said, closing the laptop and looking at me. "If I don't get this job, I'll find another one. The job doesn't make us, we do. I need to worry about the things that matter."

I blinked a few times and then smiled at him. "You don't have to worry about me, Parks. We'll figure out the money thing as we have to. For now, we're set."

He reddened slightly and coughed. "So. You followed the recipe?"

I smiled widely. "Yes! I followed all the prep instructions you left me and got it all cooking - it should be ready in about thirty minutes."

"I'll make a chef out of you, yet," he teased.

I laughed. "I always figured the girl that cooked best would win you!"

He snorted and tilted his head, giving me an unmistakably affectionate look. "Who knew I'd have to teach you how to cook so I could have you, huh?"

We looked at one another meaningfully for about ten seconds and then, as we were wont to do in those early days, got in one another's pants.

Four days later, he got the job.

~AG~

"Hi!" we greeted Janet as she let us into her house.

"Look at you two!" she beamed as we exchanged hugs and hung our coats in the closet. It hadn't been possible for us to visit Travis's grandparents for the Thanksgiving holiday, so we had come the Saturday afterward. Travis and I had only seen each other a handful of times after he'd left, so it was likely to have some awkward moments. Still, it would be good to see him.

We entered the living room just as Travis and his fiancee stood. "Hi! I'm Candace!" the slightly round girl said with a chirpy voice.

"Hi, Candace," I said with a smile. "I'm Shane and this is my boyfriend, Parker. Hi, Travis," I said as I gave him a one armed hug. I was a little surprised that he grabbed me hard to him and I ended up giving him more of a hug than I'd anticipated. As we separated he was looking at me with genuine joy, and I couldn't help but give some of that back to him.

"Little guy, got nothing left for me?" Parker asked with mock petulance.

"I have plenty for you, Parker," Travis said and hugged him, laughing as Parker lifted him and swung him side to side.

I was surprised when Candace leaned in and kissed each of us on the cheek. Smiling we took seats in the living room, only to stand again when Travis's grandfather entered and we greeted him as well.

"I've got food in the oven, so we can eat soon. I'm so glad you boys could make it!" he enthused.

"I'm sorry we couldn't make it on Thanksgiving," I told him. "I was working a fundraiser and Parker was working some motor-cycle thing."

"It was college hockey, actually," he said with some umbrage in his tone. I smiled at him, having known that, but enjoying tweaking him anyway.

"Are you still announcing?" Travis asked.

"Sometimes," Parker replied, still giving me the stink eye. "But my new job has me working with production and behind the camera stuff as well. I hope it adds some knowledge and depth to my resume."

"It's actually very impressive," I broke in, my voice filled with pride. "He gets production credits and that kind of experience doesn't limit him to sporting events, if he decides to pursue anything else later that interests him."

"That's so exciting!" Candace said, her voice rising. "I'll bet there are things we both do! I mean, things we both do for work," she said and widened her eyes comically as she looked at me. "I wasn't talking about Travis."

I paused for a second, slightly uncomfortable with what she was suggesting, but Travis coughed, turned red and said, "Uh, sorry guys. Turns out I've engaged myself to someone at least as open as my grandparents."

I nodded sagely, pushing down on those long-ago thoughts of Travis and I in carnal situations. Then asked in my best innocent voice, "So, she will use the strap on?"

"I will!" she said brightly, "but I draw the line when he calls out your name, Shane. I mean there is kinky and then something else, am I right?"

There was a dead silence in the room and then she started to laugh, immediately followed by Parker. I smiled slowly and nodded at Travis. "Well done."

He glanced at her, then to Parker before his eyes settled back on me. "You, too."

Travis's grandparents entered the room with glasses on trays, pausing before everyone so they could grab drinks.

"Janet," Parker said in a playful tone. "I know what you're up to, especially after last time. I'm not letting you get me drunk!"

She went still and deadpanned. "I thought we weren't going to tell anyone?"

Her husband looked at Parker and asked, "We can keep the video, though, right?"

"I give up! You two are the masters!" Parker said with a laugh, putting his hands in the air. We sipped our drinks and started to talk. Travis told us how he'd met Candace in a film class and how they shared a love of movies that had grown to more.

"I swear," Candace said as she set her empty glass down. "Most of my film classes were filled with self-absorbed people who thought they were the second coming of Francis Ford Coppola, or they were these strange people in dark clothing that didn't believe in frequent bathing. When Travis and I did a paper together about 'Gone With the Wind'," she said, her tone changing as she said the title and turned to look at him.

Together they said, "We hated it!" then started to laugh. She turned back to the room at large and said, "I was completely prepared for him to be this uptight, repressed little thing - just because he didn't fit into one of the other two groups."

I smiled. "Travis hasn't been repressed in years."

"I told her how you unleashed me on the world," Travis told me, a trace of smugness in his tone.

"He totally did!" she exclaimed. "So many guys are all for women to be bi, but then they snub their noses at guys who are! So when he told me he still missed his ex-boyfriend, I thought he was gay." She looked at Travis with a pleased expression and took his hand. "We kept talking, though and I'm so thankful. I think he's a far better man for having loved a man at some point."

"I always thought so," his grandfather piped up. "I think experiencing the world in general increases your knowledge and your place in it, not to mention how you relate to others. People who travel to other countries and experience their cultures are far more understanding."

"I agree," Janet said. "There are things I think that women could only learn from women, and men only from men. It's a good thing my husband and I never relied too much on being exclusive!"

"It's exciting in a way, right?" Candace jumped in. "We had this fascinating talk in one of my classes about the male gaze and how it affects film making and storytelling."

"What's that, now?" his grandfather asked.

"It's like this," Travis said, taking over. "Most mainstream things are made by straight males for consumption by straight males. Because of that, they are marketed and produced to appeal to them - like using girls in bikinis to sell beer or lingering on a woman's form in a bedroom scene, but not the male. It goes on the presumption that this is what people want to see."

"Right, but it leaves out half of the population - women!" Candace said with an amazed expression. "All this crap is made for straight rednecks - excuse me for being judgy," she said and guffawed. "But the most in-your-face way it's reflected is in porn where the shots focus on the woman and her body, to movies where male nudity is a rarity, but asking a woman to disrobe is practically normal."

"How fascinating," Janet said with interest. "I think I remember reading something about this at some point. Even when the movie is about a woman, they make her undress and not the man, even if it doesn't advance the plot. I prefer the books so much more."

"That's the part that bothers me," Candace piped up. "I love movies. I love the things that can be communicated with a look or the right shot combined with the skill of the actor delivering a line or striking the right pose. Some scenes are iconic because of those moments of perfection. The fact that films are made with that male gaze in mind is annoying beyond words."

I glanced at Parker and then back at Candace. "It doesn't affect the porn I look at."

"Smart ass," Parker said with a laugh. "I can understand what you mean, Candace. There is a lot of that kind of sexism wherever you go. It's even harder for women to succeed in the sports world. Think about how many professional female coaches or television commentators there are, especially compared to males. There is a wide gap there."

A beeping came from another room and we all stood as Travis's grandfather announced dinner was ready. We started to file out of the room, but Travis put a hand on my arm to hold me back. He looked a little red in the face, I wasn't sure why. He pulled his hand away and stuck them in the pockets of his khakis.

"I just wanted a quiet minute with you," he said softly.

I gave him a rueful smile. "I always have a minute for you, Trav."

He tilted his head toward the kitchen. "Looks like you have most of your minutes tied up. I didn't see that coming." He took a breath. "Although, I guess it isn't that much of a stretch. You guys always had something special between you."

"I was surprised, too," I said. "It's been a long road of crappy dates since you left." I smiled at him affectionately. "Don't hold it against me, but I'm glad she said you'd missed me."

"Of course I did," he said, leaning to one side. "I still do. I still love you, Shane. I'm still in love with you. I don't think that will ever change."

"Are you - oh, I'm sorry," Candace said, placing a hand over her chest. "I didn't mean to interrupt."

"It's okay, Cand," he said with a smile. "I was just telling Shane I'm still in love with him."

She looked at me and smiled. "He completely is." I felt confused at her reaction as we started to walk down the hallway toward the food and as we entered the room she started talking again. "Travis has always been clear about what you guys have."

I glanced at Travis and took a seat next to Parker. "I don't know about 'have'. We haven't been together for a few years, now."

"It's still have, for me," Travis said quietly. "I know I had to go. I know I hurt you, badly. I never stopped being in love with you, though. You made me who I am, now."

"And I love you for that," Candace said, looping her arm with Travis's. "He explained everything your relationship did for him, and how devastated you both were to be separated. You have no idea how great it is to find a man who can express some emotions with out being a mess!"

I glanced at Parker, slightly uncomfortable. I'm not sure how polite it is to discuss feelings about an ex while said ex and my current boyfriend are both in the room.

"They had a good run," Parker said. "If you ask me, they were the right fit at the right time. I know I felt for Shane, but it wouldn't have been the right time for us to have been a couple. He was my first experience with a guy. I don't think I was ready to follow that down the dating road. Not then, anyway."

"You should have seen them," Janet said fondly. "They were very good for each other. Unlike some kids who start having sex, their relationship wasn't just about that. They spent time with their friends - Parker, of course," she said and made a lewd wink at him. He chuckled at her and shook his head while she continued. "There was Clint, and his boyfriend, Zane. Didn't you date a girl in there, Parker?"

"Angie, Clint's sister."

Janet looked at him blankly.

"Big boobs."

"Oh! Right," she said, smiling brightly and causing a ripple of laughter to run around the room. She titled her head and looked at Parker. "I think you were very wise, though it may have been hard to do. It's not easy to step back from a relationship where you've already been intimate."

"I know it still lingers," Candace said, glancing at Travis and then back to me. "I was actually hoping you guys would hook up while we were here."

"Excuse me?" I asked, a little shocked and pissed that she'd be so disrespectful of Parker.

"Well, not like I'd be cool with him being with a stranger, but you're not," she said reasonably. "I mean, if you're looking for facts and not just feeling, I can lay those out for you."

"Please do, honey," Janet said as bowls and platters started being handed around like there wasn't the oddest conversation in forever going on. I glanced at Parker, but he had on a poker face. What does that mean? Should I pit the kibosh on whatever she's about to say?

"People take concepts like love and try to place limits on it. I think what matters is what works for your relationship, and the fact is that being intimate with you is something I can't give him," she said, for all the world sounding reasonable. "I know sleeping with you isn't a random hook-up. It's an act with someone he loves, who loves him differently than I do. Sort of."

"That's got some truth to it," Janet said. "We always had a good sex life, but when I spent time with a woman it was always different. It was an enrichment to my life and my experience as a human being. Would you say that was true for you?" she asked, looking at her husband.

"Absolutely. Remember Ralph Emerson? Used to be in the Air Force? Wasn't a man before or since that could make me feel the way he did." He glanced around the room. "Something I'd have hated to miss."

"Okay, you know, I hear this, but," I said, placing my fork down, "for one, I'm dating someone. Sleeping with someone else is cheating in my book, and I think it's the height of disrespect to him and my relationship to bring this up. For two I'm not just hanging around, waiting to climb into bed like a toy who just needs Travis to put batteries in. I have feelings." I looked steadily at Travis, ignoring the look on his fiancee's face. "I love you, Travis. When you left, you broke my heart. I struggled with my self-worth, wondering why I wasn't enough to keep you with me."

"But college-" Travis said, but I cut him off.

"Could have been in Denver or any other in-state school where we could have stayed together. But you wanted UCLA. It took a long," I inhaled unsteadily, "long time for me to get over that...rejection. I have dated guys just to not be alone. I finally have that magic back in my life and I'm not going to risk it for anything." I looked at him pointedly. "Bringing up being intimate with you, even if I were single, is cruel, Travis. You think you could swoop in, we'd fuck and there would be no emotional wreckage? You'd go back to your life and leave me behind, again?"

Travis looked down briefly then met my gaze. "You're right, Shane. I guess I was only thinking of the good times we'd had, how I felt with you. I wasn't considering your feelings and what that might mean for you." He hesitated. "Maybe you're right, too, about the school. I felt so confident after our relationship, I was sure I could go out there and keep you, too. It was arrogant." He leaned forward. "I want you to know I didn't just move on, either. It doesn't make your hurt any less, but I paid for my arrogance, too."

I looked away from him. "I don't want you hurt, Travis. I'm just saying what we had...it was great. I thought it would last for a long, long time. But it's over. As far as that goes, you'll have to make do with your memories. I can't look back, not anymore. I have too much future to look forward to."

Travis got up from the table and came around to me, hugging me.

"I'm sorry, Shane."

I patted his arm. "Me, too."

He leaned back and looked me in the eye. "I love you. I love Parker, too. I want to be close with you both again." He looked around the table and then back to me. "We haven't mentioned it yet, but I wanted to wait until we were all together. We're moving back into the area. This spring when I finish my masters, I have a job offer. Candace found work with a post-production film company in Denver. We're going to settle down. Have kids." He looked back and forth between Parker and me. His look was heart-breakingly hopeful. "My kids will need family. Uncles. People to show them how to skateboard and how to be a good person." He looked at me pointedly. "A great person." His eyes darted back and forth between us. "They need the best people in their life. Only the best."

I was kind of shocked, and much of that was hidden in the ruckus as his grandparents celebrated his impending return. Janet got up to find a bottle of something special while her husband was just noisy and asking questions I couldn't process. I glanced at Parker who smiled at me and leaned in close to my ear.

"We can buy their kids the loudest, most obnoxious toys ever." I smiled and looked at his face as he nodded sincerely. "We can sugar them up and send them home. I'm telling you, there are possibilities, Shane."

I smiled at him. "What about the rest, Parker?"

"I agree with everything you said, and one thing you didn't."

I tilted my head, the question on my face.

"It would be cheating, and I'm glad we're eye-to-eye," he said and leaned in closer. "But you didn't tell him you still love him, too. And you do. It wouldn't hurt so much, what they said, if you didn't. That's okay." He smiled, a gentle indulgent look. "You always had room in your heart to love plenty of people. I'm the only one you get to love, you know, with your dick."

I burst out laughing, which caught everyone else's attention. Questions started to fly, but I just stood up and enveloped Travis. "I still love you, too, Trav."

~AG~

After dinner and more than one dessert, Parker and I headed for home. There had been offers to let us stay, but it didn't seem right, anymore. We politely said our goodnights and made promises to get together when Travis and Candace made their move. I think we could make it work. I wasn't sure about Candace yet, and I definitely needed Travis to get over any ideas he had about he and I. I had missed him, though, and it was great to see him. He looked good. Happy. I think.

"So," Parker said, taking my hand and rubbing along the back of my knuckles. "That was a pretty uncomfortable conversation."

I glanced at him and then back to the road. "I was angry, actually. Embarrassed. I'm not sure why she thought they could sweep in, drop Travis for a sex-date or something, and then just go back to their life. Who does that?"

"His grandparents, I guess," he replied quietly. "Relationships are hard."

I glanced at him again. "What do you mean?"

"I could handle school. College. Doing my job. I've never really run into any moral quagmires with either. I made mistakes, sure," he said with a nod. "Said things I maybe shouldn't have. But I have to say, in a way, I feel bad for Travis."

"Why?" I asked, dubious about his reasoning.

"When I was fifteen, you walked into my life. You threw down a moral gauntlet, challenging me to rise up to meet you."

"I what?" I asked, laughing and wondering if he was busting my chops.

"My brother was going to beat on me. He wanted to turn me into his conduit to being drugs into the school." He let out a deep breath. "You jumped in and risked yourself to help me." He paused, and then said in a thoughtful tone. "I don't think you did it because of your list. I think it's just who you are. As we got to know each other, I realized I felt for you like I'd never felt for anyone. I didn't know how to categorize it."

"I, um."

"So when we fooled around...I had wanted to, but like I'd said, I didn't want to skull fuck you. I was afraid, but I wasn't really strong enough to resist once you told me it was okay." He squeezed my hand lightly. "After, I thought things would get weird. Then your father pulled his shit, and I almost lost you. I had thought about trying to date you, but I was kind of relived that Travis had caught your attention." He glanced at me and smiled. "Mostly because I wasn't ready to date a guy. I wasn't ready to be any more different than I was." He paused. "I could be different, with you. I wasn't sure I could be different with the world. So I took the easy way out. I kept you close, focused on our friendship. Dated girls."

"Parks," I said softly. "I never knew you were conflicted."

He shook his head. "Some of this comes from hindsight, Shane. I know I was confused, that I loved you, but I was also heavily into what my eyes could see." He hesitated again. "In college, I dated this girl. Abby. She was only the third person I'd ever been to bed with. Angie and I...we had some fireworks, man. No question. There were always things that came between us, though. I have to wonder, now, if I was just keeping myself available just in case...for you. Or...no, actually, some things I can't really keep my mouth shut about."

"Such as?"

"Well, Angie had a thing about being popular. She'd do or say something, and then I'd call her out. Sometimes she was good with it, other times she was all 'fuck you' and then I'd just keep it up to get under her skin." He chuckled and shook his head. "One of the places we were most in sync was the bedroom. But, I was talking about Abby."

I listened, fascinated by the look inside himself he was giving me.

"I had read about, and of course everyone's heard about, guys blowing really early, so I started working on edging, you know? When Abby and I started going to bed, I was going like I was trying to set a record. I looked down at her, once, and it was like she was checked out, just waiting for me to finish so we could do something else. Then she told me I took too long. It kind of knocked my confidence for a loop." He chuckled again. "I called Zane and we talked. I was thinking that, you know, you and I seemed to have done all right and maybe I had been worrying about nothing, but looking down at her in that moment had really made me question myself."

"I have no complaints, for the record," I said, trying to inject some playfulness into the moment. He responded by lifting my hand and kissing my fingers, which seemed touchingly tender to me.

"Anyway, she and I broke up. Steve went after my folks, and there you were...taking care of us. Doing what I would expect or hope from from someone who loved me. I almost," he said and he paused before continuing. "I almost asked you out, then. I talked to Zane and Clint about it, but they agreed that you were still raw from Travis. You were raw for years, and I was rebounding."

"I hate to say it, but they were right," I said quietly.

"I know they were." He coughed. "So then I went to work and on my second assignment, I hooked up with this woman. She was okay, but I found myself feeling empty later. Like, the release was good. Being in the moment was good. After, which is almost as important - maybe more so, sometimes - there was nothing."

"I used to feel that way with Travis," I confessed. "As much as I liked sex, the moments afterward are precious."

"Exactly," he said with a sharp nod. "We had that our first time, and I think it always stuck with me. It's one thing to show your body in sex when emotions are running high, but to be accepted afterward as a loved being is really what it's about." He glanced at me and smiled lightly. "The next time I hooked up, I went back to my room and I called you. So I could feel loved. When I...first slept with a guy it was because he reminded me of you, I realized. I felt so badly I didn't call you for a month." He paused. "Two and a half years later I went back to that place where I'd first hooked up with that woman, and I went to bed with she and her boyfriend."

"Jesus. I had no idea you had...I mean...."

"I know," he said quietly. "I guess I went through a slut phase." He chuckled and shook his head. "Actually, it was more about learning. Deduction, maybe. Eliminating what I did and didn't like or want. I think of it like whittling away the excess, and the collective pieces I was left over with was you. I didn't see it, for a while, and kept hooking up. But I always ended up calling you." He coughed again. "When I finally realized I needed to close the circle and go to the person I belonged with, I couldn't bring myself to call. I couldn't ask you over the phone if you were single. I didn't even know if we could find that...thing we had as kids." He took a breath, held it for a moment and let it all out at once. "I asked Vickie if you were single. It's probably why she had the inside track on what was brewing between us."

"When did you ask her?" I asked in shock.

"That first day. You didn't really think I had to go to the bathroom, did you?"

I laughed. "No, I didn't. I didn't know what you were up to, though."

He fell silent and renewed caressing the back of my hand. "Do you wish you'd been able to sleep with Travis?"

I sighed. "Not really. If I'd been single, I probably would have in a misguided attempt to find some worth again. I've become nothing more than my job, until you come to town. I think that was a big reason my relationships kept failing. The last time I'd felt like, as you put it, a loved being was in bed with Travis. When he left...I was devastated. The shot to my self-worth," I said and shook my head. "You know all this, though."

"Yeah," he said quietly. "So, now we've come full circle. It's taken me years after we first went to bed to figure out who I am and where I belong." He hesitated. "It's why I feel bad for Travis, though."

"Why is that? Are you about to make a joke about my abilities in the sack?" I asked archly.

"No," he said with a light chuckle. "It's because I figured it out before he did. I have my chance at happily ever after. He's just starting to wake up to the fact you're not there waiting anymore. I could be wrong, but I think he thought you'd always be there, waiting loyally. Now that part of him that was alive with you..." He hesitated again. "I don't think he and Candace will last. She's too willing to share him; you wouldn't have been. As much as I respect the way his grandparents are, not everyone is built like that. Travis isn't, and neither are you."

I squeezed his hand. "No, I'm not."

We rode in silence for a few miles. I was at peace with putting that part of Travis and I behind me, maybe for the first time. I was lucky, I guess, to have been genuinely loved more than once in my life.

"You know, it's not always going to be like this," Parker said.

"Like what?"

"I'm not cooking all the time. You're going to have to learn, Shane," he said, his tone teasing.

"I like you in the kitchen. Besides, I work all day," I told him, giving it back.

"When I come home from the road, I might cook. But you need to make me homemade stuff to last me while I'm gone, or I'll get fat." He paused. "You don't want me to get fat, do you Shane?"

"I like when it happens, sometimes," I said, trying to flirt.

He raised an eyebrow at me. "Sex, sex, sex. Is that all you think about, Shane? What am I going to do with you?"

"Probably what you have done, and then more," I said, breaking down into a giggle.

"I'm thinking about how satisfying it is when you hold off. Maybe we should wait like...a week?"

I glanced at him and my expression hardened. "No."

"What?" he asked innocently.

"It would devastate you, Parks," I said seriously.

His expression became curious. "How do you figure?"

"Think about how many people you've had sex with. How many times you had sex. Now, think about how many times I have." I looked at him significantly. "I can go longer with out it."

"Well, I could-"

"No, you couldn't."

"I think-"

"Nope."

He frowned and looked at me. "Are you trying to say you'll have sex with me for my own good? Really?"

"It's logical," I said in a reasonable tone.

"You're in so much trouble when we get home," he said.

"I sure hope so."

When we got home we were tired. It had been a long day. We climbed into bed, and then we did make love - the way I think of that term. That unhurried pace, the angelic caresses and the magnificent power of pressing bodies together so that the souls could touch. There was no wrong, there was no border or barrier. It was a transcendent experience where I felt as if my body were shifting into another form, my essence mixing with his to create something new, something better.

We cuddled afterward. I roamed with my fingertips, touching him freely and unable to stem the tide of gratitude that I was loved, again. I rolled in the pitch darkness, stretching atop him and kissing him lightly, reverently with respect for the sanctity of the moment.

"You're beautiful," I said to him softly.

His chest moved, a silent laugh, and he said, "You can't see me."

I put my hands in his, holding them wide and out toward the edge of the bed. "I see you," I said firmly. "I see you more clearly than I ever have seen anyone."

In a reverential tone he said, "Yeah. You do. And you still love me."

I shifted down a little, resting my head on his chest where his heart beat. I released his hands and placed one on his shoulder, squeezing slightly.

"I do," I said in response to his statement.

"I didn't realize I was proposing," he said with amusement.

"You can keep that in your pocket for when you do, Parks." Rather than answer, he shifted, rolling me to spoon and readying himself for sleep. He pressed his skin to mine, kissed the back of my neck lightly as if a kaleidoscope of butterflies danced on my skin. He pressed closer, his knees pressed into the backs of my own, his sated sex pressed to my behind, his chest gently moving against my back with each breath. This is the afterglow people speak of and so rarely attain. Once the thrusting, kissing and ejaculating is done. When the sweat is nearly gone and all that are left in the darkness are two souls bonded together in love...that's our sacred afterglow. Together we drifted into sleep, our souls joined in love.

The End

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