Marco in the Park

by Nick Brady

Part 9

I had my car gassed up and ready to go in the morning. We got up early and made coffee but decided to make some distance before we stopped for breakfast. It was a long 450 miles from Tulsa to Austin and with stops for gas and food we figured it would take at least 8 hours. I wanted to arrive at my mothers by early afternoon so we could spend a little time with her. I wasn't sure what sleeping arrangements we would need to make. I decided to play that by ear.

"How far from Tulsa have you been before?" I asked Marco as we drove down interstate 75.

"Not that far. I went to a campout in Arkansas with the Scouts one time when Grant was the Scoutmaster."

"Where did you go?"

"To Devil's Den State Park. It was kind of neat. There is a deep cave there that we went in. It was nice and cool down in the cave." Marco smiled as he remembered what had been a nice weekend for him."

"Where else have you been?"

He sat and thought for a minute. "I guess that's about it. That's the only time I've been out of the state. I haven't really been much of anywhere before."

"Well, you are getting ready to be in Texas in a few hours. Before we are through you will see the Gulf of Mexico."

He didn't say anything, but when I looked over at him he had a big grin plastered on his face. "Does that sound good to you?"

"Yep."

We drove for several hours then pulled into a rest stop with a gas station and a McDonald's. I was not a big fan of McD's but when on the road it was usually safe.

"Go on in and order me a Egg McMuffin and a large coffee. Get yourself whatever you want. I'll top up the gas tank and be right in."

By the time I got inside he was sitting with our food. "I paid. You can get lunch," he told me.

I noticed he was eating a Big Mac and fries. "Burgers for breakfast?"

He shrugged. "Their pancakes suck."

"You can't expect them to compete with yours, can you?"

He shook his head. "How long before we get there?"

"It's 8:30 now. I am guessing if we stop for lunch we will be in Austin about two o'clock."

"I could drive part of the way," Marco volunteered.

"Can you drive? We never talked about that."

"Sure. Who do you think had to take my mother to the liquor store?"

"Do you have a license?"

"Yes. It's in my wallet."

"You never told me you had a license."

"You never asked me. I don't need it to ride a bike."

I laughed. "You are a man of many surprises Marco."

"Do you want me to drive for awhile?"

"Umm, not yet. Wait until I'm tired. I am fine right now." I thought a minute. "I wish you had told me before. I could have added you to my insurance policy."

"Won't it cover me if you are with me?"

"Well, actually, I think it does."

"OK, let me know when you get tired." He gathered up our wrappers and tossed them in the trash. "You ready?"

When we got back out to the car, I sat for a minute and thought. "Let me see your license," I requested.

Marco pulled his wallet out of his hip pocket and handed me his drivers license. It was valid and current. "You weren't kidding, were you?"

He looked a little hurt. "I wouldn't lie to you Marty."

I took a deep breath and then let it out. "You never cease to amaze me. OK, I need to call Mom. Why don't you drive for a little while I'm on my cell phone."

He started the engine and pulled out on the highway. So far so good. "Have you done much highway driving?" I asked him.

"Not really, but it's easier that driving to the liquor stare at night. I won't get a ticket. Does your smart phone have a GPS thingy on it?"

"Yes, it does."

"Do you need to use that when we go through Dallas?

"Probably, but I think I would rather drive when we get into city traffic."

"Good idea. Tell me when."

He set the cruise on 5 miles over the speed limit and we rolled along. Damn if he wasn't a good driver. Nothing the kid ever did could surprise me. I called my mother.

"Hello, Mom?"

"Yes, we are on our way. – About two o'clock or shortly after, I think. – Yes, Marco is with me. We just stopped for some breakfast. – Well, I know. I think you will like him Mom. He is really a nice person. – That's right, he is just 17. Yes, I know. – I think in many ways he is more mature than I am to be honest. – Yes Ma'am. Yes. I love him very much. – Mom, I am as sure about this as I have ever been about anything in my life. – Yes, he loves me too. I think this is the real thing. – We met early last summer. Yes, he is working and going to school. – Senior in high school. – Yes he does plan on college. Yes Ma'am. He is pretty sharp, straight A's so far. – An academic scholarship I'm thinking. – In that case I will try to help him. – I'm sorry Mom, I know this is kind of a surprise to you – Really? How long have you suspected – Really? – Frankly Mom, I think he is scared half to death that you won't like him. – Mom, if you will give him half a chance, you will love him as much as I do. – Ha ha, yes, he is a very good cook. – Mom, before we hang up, if you are a little uncomfortable about that, we plan to just get a motel room. – That's very sweet Mom, thank you. – OK, yes, about two or two thirty. We can talk about this some more when we get there – Yes, I love you too, Mom. Bye bye."

I clicked off the phone and slumped down in the seat. Marco was looking very curious.

"Well?"

"Marco, were you praying again?"

"Not really. I was hoping a lot though."

"I think you must have been praying again, because she was really pretty good. She wanted to be sure I knew what I wanted, was sure that we really loved each other. She wanted to know if you would make me happy and I told her that I was sure. I think she was afraid maybe you didn't really love me enough to work hard to make things work. Well, you heard my end of the conversation"

"She wasn't freaked out that your sweetheart was a high school boy?"

"Probably, but she said she figured out I was gay back in Junior High school. I know that must disappoint her but she said she just wants me to be happy."

"Do we need to get a hotel room?

"I don't think so. We'll just have to see what happens when we get there."

"Wow." Marco blew out his breath. "Your mother is nothing like my mother. I think I am looking forward to meeting her."

"You know what?" I shook my head. "I know she is going to have more questions, but I think this may go alright."

"Maybe I was praying. Maybe wishing for something real hard is kind of the same thing."

"Well whatever you did, keep doing it. Things are looking pretty positive.

Suddenly I felt wonderful. "I have come out to my Mom and she was way ahead of me. I told her I was bringing my boyfriend home to meet her and she didn't pitch a fit. I can't believe it." I began to do a modified happy dance right there is the front seat of the car.

"I'm beginning to feel a little better about this," Marco understated.

We turned the car radio up and rocked out to some good classic rock and roll. We sang with the Rolling Stones all the way to Dallas. "Wiiiild Horses!"

When we got close to Dallas I asked Marco to pull over and let me drive. We stopped at a rest stop to pee and grab some cold drinks. I set up the GPS to take us through Dallas to Austin and handed it to Marco.

"You are the navigator," I told him.

"Aye Aye, Sir." He did a good job.

When we crossed the Red River into Texas I pulled over to take a picture of Marco standing in front of the big "Welcome to Texas" sign.

We maneuvered through Dallas with no problems. We stopped about two hours out of Austin to eat lunch at a big truck stop.

"Places where truckers eat are supposed to have good food," I told him.

We trooped in and found a booth. "That Big Mac was gone a long time ago, I'm pretty hungry," Marco admitted."

"The chicken fried steak is usually pretty good in these places," I suggested.

We ordered two, with mashed potatoes and cream gravy over everything, apple pie and ice cream for dessert. My treat. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. We finished by going back to the restroom and enjoying a nice warm country fried shit, then got back on the road.

"It won't be long now," I said. "I haven't seen my mother since last Christmas."

Marco was kind of quiet. "Maybe I ought to call my mother, like wish her a Merry Christmas or something."

"I bet she would like to hear from you."

"Maybe." He pulled out his cell phone and called her. It rang for a long time.

He was about to hang up when she answered. "Hello, Mom? – No, it's Marco. – Yes, Marco. What? – I can't understand you, what? – Yes, it's me. What are you doing? – I'm in Texas with my friend. – Yes, the same one. What? – Well, Merry Christmas. OK, bye."

"How was she?" I asked.

"Drunk." That was all he said.

He hung up and looked out the window. "Maybe your mom will adopt me," he said, then looked over at me and laughed, "Some things never change."

Just after 2:00 we pulled into my mother's driveway. It was a small three bedroom ranch house with an attached garage. The yard was well kept and there was a Christmas wreath on the front door. We left the bags in the car and walked up. I knocked.

Mom opened the door and looked at us both. "Mom, this is Marco. Marco, this is my mother Irene."

She just stood there for a minute then stepped out and gave me a hug. She looked at Marco who was smiling shyly, then she said. "Well come on in, it's cold out here."

The house looked just as I remembered it. There was a little Christmas tree set up in front of the window. The place smelled like cookies.

She looked us over. "Where are your bags? You don't travel that light. Bring them in and put them in the house. I hope you can stay at least one night."

Marco hustled out to the car, fetched our bags and followed me into my old bedroom. A set of bunk beds was stacked on one side, a desk and chest of drawers on the other. The model cars I made when I was younger were still laid out on top of my desk, my old clothes were hanging in the closet. Nothing had changed.

"Is this where you lived while you grew up?" he asked.

"For as long as I can remember."

Marco picked up one of the model cars and examined it. "Did you make these?"

"Probably when I was in junior high."

He looked around and breathed deeply. "It smells like you."

I smiled. "Do I have a scent?"

He nodded and looked at the cork bulletin board on the wall behind the desk, still littered with my pencil drawings, photos of school friends and other memorabilia. "Did you draw these?"

"Mom never throws anything away. She keeps this room like she expects me to move back in tomorrow."

"How long since you really lived here?"

"Seven, eight years. Since I graduated high school. I stayed back here for parts of the summer, but since college I just visit occasionally."

Marco nodded and looked around the room as if viewing a museum exhibit, mentally cataloging all the artifacts.

Just then my mother stuck her head in the door. "Are you boys hungry? What did you have to eat? There's some cookies in the kitchen."

"No, Mom, We ate about noon, but I always have room for some of your cookies," I told her.

We followed her into the kitchen and sat at her little dinette nibbling at a plate of chocolate chip cookies while she updated me on the status of various relatives I didn't know that well. She poured us coffee. My part of the conversation was to nod and appear interested.

She had questions for me: how was my job, how did I like living in Tulsa, was I still going to church, was I making nice friends? At the last she paused and glanced at Marco, who was listening but had remained silent. Now it was my turn to talk, to try and answer all her questions. She was my mother and, of course, she wondered about these things. This went on for almost an hour, or as long as the cookies lasted. It was a conversation that had excluded Marco.

I stood from the kitchen chair and stretched my back. "I'm about ready to sit on something more comfortable. Why don't we move into the living room?"

We walked into the living room where Marco and I sat together on the sofa, mother on the chair opposite.

She turned her attention to Marco. "Please Marco, tell me about yourself." Her gaze told him that she expected him to explain himself.

Marco was on the spot and appeared rather uncomfortable. But he sat up straight and looked my mother in the eye. He cleared his throat and began.

"Well Ma'am, I am a senior in high school and I work as a waiter at a nice Italian restaurant in Tulsa. Last summer I also worked as a bicycle courier, and will probably do that again once school is out. I am not on good terms with my mother and have not seen her since I started living with Marty last June. I think I am part Seminole Indian but I really don't know who my father is. The most important thing I want you to know is that I love Marty very much. He is the kindest, most generous person I have ever met and he has been wonderful to me."

My mother looked intently at him and seemed to relax a little in her chair. "That is quite an introduction young man. What else do you want me to know?"

"I don't know what else to tell you. To be honest, what I want more than anything is for you to like me, and I'm afraid you won't.

Mom sat very quietly, thinking about what he had said. "Am I to understand that the two of you are gay, and are lovers?" Her voice trembled a bit.

Marco nodded his head. "Yes Ma'am. That is true."

"I want my son to be happy," she said, never taking her eyes off of Marco.

"Yes, Ma'am, so do I. When we first got together I promised him that I would try my best to make him proud of me. I love Marty and I want him to be happy too."

Mom did not reply but shifted her gaze at me, expecting me to comment.

"Marco works very hard and is a straight A student. I am proud of him, very proud. He is determined to be an equal partner in our relationship. I love him Mom, and we seem to make each other very happy. He goes to church with me and is thinking about being baptized." I smiled at her. "He's a good cook too, better than me."

Mom blotted her eyes with a tissue and sat quietly for a minute. "I'm sorry, but this is hard for me."

"Mom, I know this is not what you would have chosen for me, but it really feels right. I could have kept this hidden from you, but I want you to be part of our life. Please try to understand."

Mom blew her nose into the tissue. "I do understand son, but he is so young, and I'm afraid for you."

"It's hard for all of us, that's why I have put this off until I was more sure of things. I wanted you to meet Marco, so you could see for yourself that he is a good person, and that we love each other." Now my voice began to tremble. "Please accept us."

Mom sat looking at the two of us. Finally she took a deep breath and let it out. "If you love each other and make each other happy..." She forced a smile. "I'm sure I will learn to love you Marco. Please try to be patient with me."

I stood and went to Mom, wrapping my arms around her. She hugged me back, then raised her arm and looked at Marco. He came near and let her include him in the embrace. It was teary, but the acceptance was real.

The silence became awkward and Marco and I stood.

"Well," my mother said. "If you boys want any supper I need to get started." She rose and went into the kitchen and began getting things out of the refrigerator.

Marco looked at me with uncertainty. "Where are we with this?"

"I think we are fine. If I know my mother, this subject won't come up again." I glanced at the kitchen to see if Mom was looking then gave him a quick kiss. "Why don't you go see if you can help with dinner."

Marco nodded and went in to the kitchen. "What can I do to help?"

"You might snap those green beans if you know how." She pointed to a grocery bag of pole beans on the counter.

Marco looked under the sink and found the trash can, and began to snap the ends from a mess of green beans. When Mom saw him at work she pulled a crock pot from under a cabinet and sat it in front of him. He set to work without another word. I stayed out of the way. From time to time I could hear her giving him instructions, telling him where to find things. He was accepted. The smell of fried chicken filled the air.

At one point I heard her ask him. "Can you make cream gravy?"

I heard him reply, "Yes, Ma'am."

Then I heard him ask, "Where is the silverware?" followed by the sound of dishes being laid on the table and the clink of silver.

Before long he came back in and sat down. "She is a good cook."

I mouthed, "I love you," at him, and he smiled.

He mouthed back, "I think we're OK."

After sounds of clanking from the kitchen, Mom came in the living room and announced. "Dinner is ready if you're hungry."

We sat down at the table laid out with my all time favorite dinner from Mom's kitchen: Pan fried chicken, fresh green beans cooked with bacon, and steamed rice covered with cream gravy. I was at Mom's house!

"Wow, this looks great, Mom. You know this is my favorite."

"I know. I can't speak to the gravy though, that was Marco's doing," she said with a little smile.

Marco smiled. This chicken is really good."

"My Mom makes the best fried chicken in the world!" I enthused, trying not to overplay my hand.

I poured the gravy over a large helping of steamed rice and tasted it. "Gravy's good."

"It's not bad," Mom admitted.

It was good, very tasty and we complimented the cook by making pigs out of ourselves. Dessert was a blackberry cobbler.

"Hey Marco, you need to get the recipe for this."

Marco grinned. "Oh no, this is out of my league. This is a Mom thing."

Mom smiled at that. Things were looking better. It was a nice dinner. After we ate Marco and I tried to do the dishes but Mom insisted that she wanted things put away in the right place. She let us help but supervised us closely. After we cleaned up, we took her to a movie she wanted to see. I wasn't much on the movie, but she liked it and it precluded awkward conversation. By the time we got home and had another round of cobbler it was bedtime.

"We better get to sleep," I told her.

"Yes, it is getting late." She nodded to Marco and showed him to her spare bedroom. "This is a good bed. I'm sure you will be comfortable in here."

"Yes, Ma'am, thank you very much." He said not a word, but picked up his bag from my old room and took it to the room he had been shown.

"Well, goodnight Irene, goodnight Marty." He went into the room and closed the door.

Mom hesitated a moment and said. "I hope you don't mind."

"House rules apply. Goodnight, Mom."

When I woke up the next morning, Marco was sitting in the kitchen with my mother drinking coffee. From the tone of the chatter, I guessed that they were doing fine. Mom made us waffles and cooked link sausage. We stoked up for our drive.

About ten o'clock I made motions to leave. "I want to stop in San Antonio for lunch so Marco can see the Alamo and eat somewhere on the River Walk. Then we want to drive on down to Padre Island so he can see the Gulf."

"Have you ever been down there?" she asked Marco.

"No Ma'am, I have hardly been out of Tulsa my whole life. This is sort of an educational trip for me."

Mom gave us a knowing smile. "Well there are lots of things to see between here and Padre. I won't keep you."

Marco put our bags in the car and we stood in the front yard making our goodbyes. "Thanks for everything, Mom," I said. "I'm sorry I haven't been down to see you for so long."

Marco extended his hand to my mother. "Thank you very much Irene. It was really nice to meet you."

She took his hand then pulled him into a hug. "I couldn't not like you Marco. You take good care of Marty and I hope you will come again soon. You will be welcome."

I gave my mother a big hug and whispered into her ear. "Thank you Mom. I love you."

She got a little teary, then waved us goodbye and went into the house. We looked at each other, got in the car and headed south."

"What do you think?" Marco asked.

"I think it went very well. Better than I had hoped. I think you won her over with your cream gravy."

"Your Mom is really nice. I understand where she's coming from. She was cool." He thought for a minute. "I can't really see her putting up with an abusive husband."

"No, she's not like that. I guess she wanted to make her marriage work, but when he started playing rough, she cut him loose pretty quick."

"She is a strong person. I like her a lot. I'm glad she was OK with me."

I took a deep breath. "I got to tell you that I feel just great. This was my big coming out scene and I was dreading it. Seeing you made all the difference to her. You were a big help. Probably more than you know."

Marco smiled. "Really? Well good. I'm glad we got past that. I feel pretty good too." He looked out the window as we came out of the hills around Austin. How far is it to San Antonio?"

"Not that far, maybe another hour. I think you will like it there. We will look around a little and have lunch on the river. The San Antonio river is pretty cool."

"Why? Is it like a big river?"

"Not really, but it cuts right through downtown San Antonio and they have made a nice attraction out of it they call the River Walk. There are some big hotels that rise up right next to the river, and all up and down there are cafes and bars playing music. It is a lot of fun, especially at night."

"But we won't be there at night, just for lunch, right?"

"That's right. Maybe next time we can stay there overnight and listen to some good music. They have jazz, dixieland, all kinds."

"No rock and roll?"

"Well sure, I imagine that you can hear some rock and roll. Maybe you could bring your fiddle and jam with them."

"Right. In my dreams."

"In some of the little Dixieland places they let people sit in with them, for real."

"Next time we come down to visit your Mom, right?"

"Right."

"But tonight we will be at Padre Island, right?"

"That's right," I said. "I should have printed out an agenda."

"I'm just thinking about what we are going to be doing. This is a big deal for me, you know?"

I looked over at him, so young and eager for new things. "I know, Marco. I'm glad we are doing this together."

"I hope we can find a room with a good shower and a big bed. I would like that."

I chuckled at him. "We can do that."

We drove into San Antonio about 12:30 in the afternoon.

"San Antonio is the second largest city in Texas," I told him.

"Look at all the tall buildings," Marco was impressed.

"We saw tall buildings when we went through Dallas," I reminded him.

"Yes, but these are all mostly in one area, Dallas had their buildings in different places. It didn't look as cool."

"We never really drove to the main center of Dallas. You're right though, Dallas is more spread out.

When we got to the old center of town, Marco wondered, "What is that real tall building with a thing on top?"

"Over there? That's the Tower of the Americas. That was built in 1968 for the World's Fair they called the Hemisfair. There is a restaurant on top."

"Could we eat there?"

"Maybe, but I would have to sell the car to pay for it. You have to pay just to ride the elevator to the top. But the whole thing rotates so you can sit as your table and see the whole city as it turns around."

"It sounds cool, but maybe I don't want to eat there that bad," he said.

"You know about the Alamo, right?" I quizzed him.

"Sure, That's where Davy Crockett, Sam Houston and those guys got in a big fight and held off a bunch of Mexicans, right?"

"Right, it's right up here, see? We will drive right by it. There it is."

"Is that it? I thought it would be bigger."

"No, it was just a little mission church. They kind of used it for a fort."

"Can we go inside?"

"Sure. They have a nice little museum in there. You can see Davy Crockett's coon skin cap in there."

"Really?"

"I think so, want to go inside?"

"Yeah, park this thing and let's go."

I parked on the street about a block away and we walked over. Sure enough there was a nice little museum and a gift shop where Marco considered buying a replica coonskin cap until he turned it over and saw a 'Made in China' sticker on it.

I don't need a Chinese raccoon," he said.

We had fun looking around, then went out in the back where there was a nice garden. I took some pictures of everything and made Marco stand in front of the Alamo for a 'I was here' photo.

Then we decided we were hungry and hiked over to one of the intersections where we could walk down some steps to the River Walk. Now he was impressed. We walked down one side, crossed a footbridge and back up the other side. Big tall hotels rose right up from the walkway. There were lots of little restaurants with chairs outside where we could eat.

"Can we eat in one of these places?" Marco wondered.

"Sure, that was my plan."

"Cool, do you know a good one?"

"They all have their menus posted outside so you can look them over. You go ahead and pick one. They're all pretty good," I suggested.

We slowed down and started looking at menus. "They're all kind of expensive," He noticed.

"That's OK, You are paying as much for the experience as for the food. Don't worry about that. When are you going to be back here again?"

He looked some more. "How about this one?"

We sat down at a table right next to the water. A cute little Hispanic girl came out with a menu and took our drink order. We looked over the menu and ordered something that looked interesting for under $20.00. While we waited, we did some people watching. Lots of people were walking by, talking and enjoying themselves. It was warmer here than in Tulsa, and being down between the river and all the buildings sort of insulated us.

"Look!" Marco pointed to a flat boat with tables and chairs tooling up the river. People were eating their lunch on the boat while taking a tour. "This place is cool!" A bunch of ducks were scurrying out of the way of one of the dinner boats. "I would like to come back here and stay for a couple of days."

"Maybe next time, Marco. There will be plenty of next times."

He looked at me and smiled. "I sure hope so."

Our lunch came to us and we devoted ourselves to eating. "This is pretty good," Marco said. But you're right, the best part is being here and looking around. It makes me feel like I'm rich, eating in a place like this."

We finished our lunch, split the tab, and walked around some more. Before long, we found ourselves back at our starting point and hiked back to the car.

"This was worth the trip, right here," he said.

"I knew you would like it."

We got back in the car and drove around a little more before starting south towards the Gulf. We drove by the big North Star Mall and didn't stop, but admired the giant cowboy boots at the entrance. There were lots of things to see in San Antonio, but we would save them for the next time.

We took Interstate 37 South out of San Antonio at about 3:30. Once back on the highway, I stopped for gas and then let Marco drive some more. He did good. He was as careful about his driving as he was with everything else.

"How far to Padre Island?" he wanted to know.

I looked at the GPS on my phone. "About 300 miles, I'd guess another four and a half hours."

"I think I can do most of that," Marco offered.

"Drive until you start getting tired. You need to stop to stretch your legs every hour or so."

We drove for a long time through flat open country. As we got farther south we could see evidence of oil drilling rigs.

"There doesn't seem to be much down here," Marco observed.

"Not really. There are some big cattle ranches around here, and we will pass through an area where there are oil wells. This is the Texas prairie."

We stopped a couple of times at rest stations to stretch our legs and pee. Marco insisted that he was enjoying the chance to drive so he drove most of the way. It was a little monotonous but he looked alert, so I let him have it while I sat back and relaxed.

We merged from I-37 to US 77 just West of Corpus Christi when I took over the driving. "Let me spell you Marcus. You have been driving all afternoon."

I drove down US 77 as far as Harlingen where we cut east to Port Isabel on the coast. By that time it was getting dark and Marco was asleep, slumped up against the passenger door. I turned back north on Padre Boulevard and started running up the long barrier reef that was South Padre Island.

Marco woke up and looked around. "Where are we?"

"This is South Padre Island. We need to find our hotel," I told him

"Where are we going to stay? There's lots of hotels around here."

"Oh, this place is crawling with hotels. It is a big resort town."

"It's dark already, I can't see much. Can we find a place to stay?"

"Don't worry Marco. I already have reservations."

"So where are we staying?"

"I have already booked a nice room with a king size bed at the Blue Bay Inn. It's just up ahead, according to the GPS."

"Are they going to have a problem with the two of us sharing a bed?" Marco looked concerned

"No, they are a little more open minded than my mother. When I booked the room I told them that I would be staying with my boyfriend and he didn't even hesitate."

"Cool. Where did you find this place?"

"A little bird told me. Actually David recommended it. He and Wayne were down here last year. Here it is now."

I pulled in and Marco stayed in the car while I checked us in. I came back out in a few minutes dangling the keys. I parked the car and we grabbed our bags and went inside.

"I got us a room with a balcony. I think you will like it." We took the elevator to the third floor and found our room.

I opened to door and Marco looked inside. "Hey, this is nice, it has a little kitchen and everything!"

The first thing he did was take a flying dive at the king size bed and bounce a few times. Next, he ran to the balcony and looked out.

"It's right on the water! How cool is that?"

"Actually, we are on the west side of the island, what they call the bay side. The Gulf and beach are a block east, just an easy walk away."

Marco stood looking out into the dusk. I walked up and wrapped my arms around him. "I hope you like it."

He spun around and hugged me so hard I could hear my ribs crack. "I love it. This is the coolest thing ever! Thank you, thank you," then he kissed me quickly and turned around again to look out over the bay.

"Hey. I am starved. You ready for some dinner?" I suggested.

"Yep. I am treating." Marco insisted.

Since we had been in the car all day, it felt good to walk and stretch our legs. I asked the desk clerk to recommend a place nearby to eat. He suggested Gabriella's Italian Grill, only a block south on the other side of the boulevard.

On the walk over to the restaurant I made a suggestion. "Since you are concerned about sharing expenses, I can pay for the room, and you can pay for our meals. That will make us come out about even. What do you say?"

Marco smiled. "That sounds like a deal."

Turns out Gabriella's wasn't bad, although when we walked in we saw a lot of people eating pizza. We took a cue from them and decided to split a large Italian sausage pizza and washed it down with Coca Cola. It was good.

After we ate we walked another half block east to let Marco see the Gulf. The temperature was mild, not warm, not cool. There were still a few people packing up from a visit to the beach. We walked along hand in hand, hoping we wouldn't attract attention. Marco took off his shoes and splashed along in the wet sand, laughing when the waves ran over his feet.

After a few minutes, he stopped to roll up his pant legs, waded out up to his knees and reached over to scoop some water to his mouth for a taste. "It's salty! It really is salt water!" Then he laughed and splashed back to me. We hiked back to the hotel and to our room.

Marco went into the bathroom to pee and I heard him yell, "Cool! Come look at the shower!"

I went in to look, not sure what he was so excited about. Then I recalled that I had requested a room with a walk in shower. Sure enough, there it was.

"This is so cool! Let's take a shower, OK?"

We did. It was nice to have so much room for our usual shower dance. He washed me and I washed him. As I was rinsing he knelt down and began to suck me. I looked down to see my beautiful Marco with the water pouring over his head and shoulders, his long dark hair spread over his back. He held my ass in one hand and my balls in the other. I took a mental photograph that will last me forever. After a few minutes of this, he sat down on the floor of the shower and seemed to be getting into really sucking my cock. It was heavenly but I had to make him stop before I creamed in his mouth.

"Hold on, Marco. Let's make this last." I turned off the water and we dried each other, then went to the big bed and turned back the covers.

The room was cool and it felt nice to pull the clean sheets over ourselves and snuggle together. It had been several days since we had been able to have sex together and we started to kiss very passionately. We lay on our sides with our knees intertwined, our erections rubbing together, hands exploring backs and buttocks. There was no hurry. We had all night.

I rolled him over on his back and swallowed his lovely cock as far down my throat as possible, smelling the fresh soap in his pubic hair. He stiffened and took my head by the ears and held on, making sweet mewling sounds.

He kicked back the covers and cried, "Oh shit, I'm so horny, I don't think I can wait!" I tried to pull away, but he had a death grip on my head.

I decided quickly that if he was that ready I should let him go ahead and cum. I pulled down on his cock, stretching his foreskin back tight and sucked him dry. He gasped, cried and filled my mouth with his sweet fluid; first freezing stiffly, then sagging limp.

I milked his shaft, pulling out what semen remained and licking it from his cock like melted ice cream. "Easy big fellow. We are in no hurry here."

He stretched like a cat and smiled up at me. "I'm sorry Marty. I just couldn't hold off. That was really intense," He broke out in a big smile. "Now do what you know I like."

He rolled over on his stomach, spread his legs and arched his back to present me with his ass, which I proceeded to eat like sucking the seeds out of a melon. I licked him, pushed my face deep between his cheeks and slobbered on him. He reached back and spread his ass apart to let me get in farther while I attempted to stick my tongue as deep in his ass as I could. He made some lovely noises that told me that my efforts were being appreciated.

After several minutes of this, I was dripping precum like a leaky faucet. "Yes, please do it. Please fuck me Marty."

He pulled his knees up under his chest and tipped his ass up like a cat in heat. There was no need of any additional lubricant. I pressed the head of my dick against his asshole and was granted immediate admission. I was afraid that I would enter him too quickly but he pressed back against me, impaling himself on my very hard cock.

"Oh Marco, oh baby, that feels so good."

I slid deep in his gut and felt him gripping my cock with the muscles in his ass. It was incredibly tight and I was horny as hell. From the movement of his hips, I guessed that he was ready for me to get on with the show, so I let go and emptied myself into his gut. I wrapped my arms around his waist and tried to push my cock into his liver. He threw his legs down so that I was stretched out flat over his back and rocked from side to side until I went limp. We held very still for several minutes before I rolled off and lay on my back, panting and trying to catch my breath.

"How was that?" Marco asked in a chirpy voice, then laughed out loud.

"Jeez, I thought you were going to kill me," I gasped.

"Don't die yet." He was still laughing. "We didn't even get the sheets dirty," he giggled. Then ran in the bathroom to return my deposit to the toilet. He came back onto the bed with a hand towel which he used to gently wipe me clean.

We kissed a little more then I pulled the covers back up. We cuddled together like a couple of puppies and fell sound asleep.

Just before he fell asleep, I heard Marco murmur, "Let's do this again in the morning."

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