Marco in the Park

by Nick Brady

Part 19

Friday morning was New Year's Eve and our week was drawing to a close. We had planned to stay until Sunday although that was flexible. Marco was awake before me and his thumping around woke me up.

I sat up and looked at him as he sorted through the pile of brochures on the desk. "What's up Marco?"

"I'm sorry. Did I wake you?" his grin told me it was not accidental.

I looked at my watch. "It's only 7:30, you are up early."

"Well there are things to do. Did you see the flier on the ziplines?"

"I saw it. Do you really want to do that?"

"Sure. Don't you think that would be exciting?" Marco asked.

I hesitated. "That might be more excitement than I need. Aren't those things kind of dangerous?"

"No, according to the brochure they are perfectly safe. You have a helmet and a harness, everything is cool. They have an instructor and everything."

I leaned back in bed. "I don't know Marco. Are you sure?"

"Hey, I would really like to try this. What's the matter, you chicken?" He began to make clucking noises.

"Now stop that," I scolded him. "If you are all hot for this thing then of course I'll do it."

"I'm just teasing you," Marco assured me. "If you don't really want to do the ride, you can watch and cheer me on."

"OK, OK, let me get dressed. What time do we have to be there?"

"The morning session is at 9:00 and it's not that far from here. Let's do the zipline and then we can do something else this afternoon," Marco was really excited.

I made a pass through the bathroom and dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. Marco was wearing the same.

"So are you the tour guide today?" I asked with a smile.

"Well, there are some things to do here that I have never done, and this seems like as good a time as any to try some of them," he replied.

"Sounds fair, but don't ask me to go skydiving."

He sorted through the brochures. "I don't see that offered."

"You would do that, wouldn't you Marco?" He just grinned.

We went down to the restaurant for breakfast to save time. Johnny almost looked surprised to see us.

"Well, you fellas are up bright and early. Do you have big plans for today?" Johnny greeted us with a smile.

"Ask Marco, he is in charge today," I told him.

"We are going to do the zipline this morning, and I have a surprise for this afternoon." Marco said.

I rolled my eyes. "Johnny, please tell me there is no place to go skydiving around here."

Johnny laughed. "Not on New Year's Eve. I know a place you can go to do that though."

"That's alright. Not this trip." I said with relief.

Johnny laid out coffee and orange juice and asked. "What would you like for breakfast this morning?"

Marco looked at the menu and then pushed it to one side. "I have had pancakes or waffles every morning. I think I need some protein today. What do you suggest, Johnny?"

Johnny grinned. "I can fix you up with a nice cheese omelet and some biscuits with sausage gravy. How does that sound?"

"Actually, that sounds pretty good," I said. Marco nodded his agreement.

"Coming right up," Johnny disappeared with the menus and returned quickly with the promised breakfast. "I made that gravy myself," he confided to us with obvious pride.

"You do everything," Marco grinned.

The breakfast was terrific. We found our appetites to be adequate to the task, cleaned our plates and headed for the zipline. It was aptly named 'Branson Zipline' and we were there in 30 minutes, in plenty of time to catch the first ride.

I immediately sensed danger. We had to sign release forms agreeing basically, that if we were killed or maimed it wasn't their fault. We were informed that although there was no specific age limits we had to weigh between 70 and 270 pounds. Our little group of nine souls contained no one who was outside the range. I looked around and saw a pair of teenaged girls with an older gentleman who might have been a grandfather. There was what was clearly a family group of four: Dad, slightly overweight Mom, and two boys maybe 12 and 14 years old. Dad looked amused, the boys were excited and Mom looked terrified. I decided that if she could do this so could I. On the other hand, if she chickened out I just might join her. Marco, of course, was almost bouncing with anticipation.

We were issued little yellow helmets and fitted for a harness. They fit around the chest and under the legs so that we were essentially sitting in the harness and held very securely. The harness would suspend us from a pulley with handles as we cruised down the wire cable. There was a safety lecture and some encouragement that this was very safe and injuries were almost impossible. I focused on the word 'almost'.

Our brief training completed we were loaded into a military type transport and trucked up to a rather high departure station, receiving information on the local flora and fauna as we progressed up the hill. From this vantage point we could see a long way. We hiked down a narrow trail until we came to a wooden suspension bridge that spanned a narrow gully. Despite my misgivings, it was solid underfoot and somewhat reassuring. A hundred yards or so and we came to the first zipline.

A waiting attendant gathered us together to speak more words of encouragement. There was the question of who would go first. The girls indicated that they had done this before and would be glad to lead the way. Their harnesses were snapped into the pulley arrangement and one by one off they went flying over a long chasm. We could hear the pulley singing along the cable and the squeals of delight from the girls. They appeared to be enjoying the experience. The older fellow was next and slid out without hesitation.

I graciously motioned the family group to go next, hoping by some miracle that I might find a way to avoid this without humiliating myself in front of Marco. Dad was hooked up and hurled himself out with enthusiasm. I wondered if he was a former paratrooper. Next were the boys. They looked enthusiastic and one after the other launched themselves out to follow their father. Next was Mom. She really didn't want to do this but felt obliged to follow her sons. After a pep talk from the instructor she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and basically fell forward. When the cable strap jerked her into a sitting position she screamed bloody murder but held on.

"You go ahead," I told Marco. Wanting to postpone my experience for as long as I could.

He shook his head. "No, you go on and I will follow you. Don't be scared Marty. This is safe enough and once you start flying you will enjoy it."

"OK, I guess this is it. If I die of a heart attack it will be your fault," I admonished him.

Taking a cue from the mother who was now out of sight through the trees, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and jumped out. There was a moment of terror then the harness line tugged firm and I was flying through the air, gaining speed as I descended.

To my surprise it wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. When I opened my eyes I discovered that the sensation was exhilarating. It was kind of scary but kind of fun and I decided that I was not going to die after all. In a few moments my feet landed on the other side of the chasm and another attendant caught me and steadied me on my feet. Just before I stopped I could hear Marco give out a loud whoop as he started his ride.

"Wahoo!" He shouted as he slid to a stop. "Man, that was fun!"

I was standing next to the attendant and Marco grabbed me as he came to a stop. "You did it Marty. Did you like it?"

"It scared the shit out of me, but once I got out there it was pretty exciting," I admitted.

Just behind me was our instructor who landed and started asking if anybody had any problems with their harnesses. He adjusted some straps and we set out hiking to the next zipline. The girls and the old gentleman were fine. They had enjoyed the experience as much as when they had done it before. Dad and the boys were laughing and bragging to each other.

The mom however, was not a happy camper. Her harness had hurt her and she was just too terrified to enjoy it at all. The instructor talked with her and tried to make her harness more comfortable, but clearly she was finished. He assured her that she was certainly not the first to decide this was not her thing and called back to the station to have a vehicle come up to take her back down. Here was my chance, but to be honest I kind of wanted to continue, and was not willing to chicken out on Marco. I was into this for the duration.

"Hey, I'm good. Let's do this thing," I said with false bravado. Marco hooked his hand around my arm and we started to hike to the next station.

The next zipline was not so bad. Having overcome my initial fear, I found it very exciting. The sensation of flying was real. We hiked over a few more suspension bridges and slid down a total of seven ziplines before arriving back at the station. Marco leaned forward and slid down with arms outstretched, pretending to fly. His grin practically swallowed his ears and the look on his face was that of pure bliss.

"Did you like that? Are you glad we came here?" Marco asked on the way back.

"I have to admit that I almost turned back, but once I got over that first zipline, I really enjoyed it," I said. "I never told you this, but I have always had a fear of high places and that first jump was tough for me. Once I figured out that the harness was secure to the cable and I wasn't so afraid I was going to fall, I enjoyed it,"

"Would you do it again?" he asked.

I thought for a moment. "I might if you were with me. I think I get a lot of my courage from you."

Marco didn't say anything but gave me a big smile. I had to wonder if he still thought our relationship was one-sided. I don't think he realized how much strength I drew from him.

We decided that we would eat lunch at the hotel and headed for the dining room. Of course Johnny was there to greet us.

"How was the zipline?" he asked.

Marco said "Great!" at the same time that I said, "Terrifying!"

"But you did it, right?"

"He did great, don't let him kid you," Marco assured him.

"So what are you doing for the rest of the day?" Johnny wondered.

"Don't ask me," I told him. "Marco is the tour guide today."

Marco had not yet revealed his plans for the afternoon but smiled and said "We are going to do the trail ride at Bear Mountain Riding Stables."

"Horseback riding?" I exclaimed.

"I have never done that and I really want to. Is that OK?"

"Sure. I think the one and only time I ever sat on a horse was at one of those State Fair rides where they walk a couple of ponies around on a kind of merry-go-round thing when I was probably about 8 years old."

Marco grinned. "Well now we can cross horseback riding off our bucket list."

Johnny took our lunch order and when he brought it to us he told us. "You know the restaurant is going to be closed tonight and tomorrow for New Year's."

"Sure, that's no problem," I said. "We haven't talked about doing anything tonight but I guess we should do something. Do you have any suggestions?"

Johnny smiled and informed us, "Eureka Springs is crazy on New Years Eve. Other than Halloween it's the wildest night of the year."

"Where should we go?" I asked. "We aren't usually into anything too wild, but this has been a week of new experiences."

"Well," Johnny said with a grin. "I am going to the Lumberjack Bar and Grill myself. They will have a band, dancing, and some wild entertainment."

Marco looked interested. "What sort of entertainment?"

Johnny's grin got bigger. "Oh a variety of things. Probably a drag show and lots of guys will dress up."

"I have heard of drag shows but have never seen one," Marco looked interested.

I shook my head, "Neither have I. I guess this will be a new experience for both of us. I'm good for this if you are."

"Sure. I am all for new experiences." Marco nodded.

We thanked Johnny and started out to the car. "You ready to ride the horses?" Marco asked.

"Sure. At least I will be close to the ground."

We arrived at the stables and milled around as a few more people showed up. We were a little surprised to see the family from our zipline ride earlier in the day. The boys recognized Marco and waved at us.

"Hey guys. How was the zipline this morning?" he asked.

The younger of the two replied enthusiastically, "That was way cool!"

"We rode that the last time we were here. It's like flying," his older brother added.

Noticing that the mother was out of earshot, Marco asked, "Did your mother do it the other time?"

"No, she stayed down on the ground. We talked her into trying it this time but she chickened out," the older boy said.

"Well, she got scared. We shouldn't have tried to talk her into it," the younger explained.

"I almost chickened out myself," I admitted. "That is a pretty scary thing to do."

"But you did it," Marco supported me.

"Have you been horseback riding before?" I asked the boys.

"Yes, but not like this. This is pretty lame," the younger boy said. "You just walk around on this ride."

"That's why our mother likes this. It's not scary." The older boy explained.

I laughed. "This sounds more my speed then."

When our group grew to 8 people the leader decided we were ready to go. We were walked over to the stable where some young guys had saddled up the horses and we were directed to a horse which was determined to be the right mount for the size of the rider. We were introduced to our horses by name and assured that these were reliable horses and would handle just fine despite any lack of experience of the rider. I was encouraged by this, Marco looked a little disappointed.

"Will we get to run fast?" he asked.

"Well, probably not," our trail leader acknowledged. "We will ride at sort of a walking pace. No running today."

Marco shrugged. "OK, at least I can check riding a horse off of my bucket list."

We mounted up, assisted by the young men who saw to it that we put the correct foot in the stirrup from the correct side of the horse. The horses stood quietly as if to get this over with. I might describe the demeanor of the horses as more bored than anything. With our leader in front and one of the attendants in the rear, we lumbered off.

We started down a well worn trail for a leisurely ride through a wooded area and then around a small lake. It was pleasant and rather relaxing. I rode just behind Marco and while he seemed to be enjoying the experience I could tell that he found it a bit less exciting than he had hoped for. The horses required no direction from their riders as they slogged along mechanically. The pace was just fine for me. I noticed that Marco kept looking around as if hoping to find the opportunity to make a break for a faster pace, but that never came. About an hour later we found ourselves back at the stable.

On the way back to the car I asked Marco, "Well what did you think of your first horseback ride?"

"It was OK," he grinned. "But I would like to have been able to go a little faster."

I laughed. "After the zipline, this was about the right speed for me."

On the way back to Eureka Springs Marco told me, "That was nice really. I understand that they can't just turn a bunch of people loose on those horses, but I liked it. I liked the way they smelled."

"How they smelled?"

"Yeah, the horses. When they got warmed up, they smelled good, kind of a sweaty horse smell."

"You liked the way they smelled?"

"Yes, didn't you?"

"I guess I didn't really notice that. "You don't miss much do you Marco? You are more aware of your surroundings than I am I guess."

"I guess," Marco shrugged. "I had a good time today. I got to do some things for the first time, and I like driving through these hills too. You can see a lot of things."

I looked around as Marco drove. "Like what? What did you get to see?"

"Well you were with me. I felt like I was flying this morning. It was really cool to look down at the trees and the birds while we went down the zipline. And I think horses are the most beautiful animals in the world, their long faces and curved necks, the way they move. They are so strong and yet they let us ride on their backs. It is amazing really. And these trees are full of hawks."

"Hawks?" I looked around blankly. "There are lots of trees around here, but I don't see any hawks."

"Look there, and there, and there is another one up high in that tree over there," he pointed in several directions but I saw nothing until a large bird soared out of the tall tree he last pointed out to me. "Don't you see them?"

"Yes, now I see the one that flew. How can you see so much more than I do?"

Marco glanced over at me looking a little surprised. "I just look around. Don't you look at things? Don't you try and see what's around you?"

I shrugged. "I guess your eyes are better than mine."

I couldn't help but be impressed by the way he constantly sucked in whatever was around him and savored the experience. His senses were keen and he was constantly alert. He saw and heard, even smelled everything that his senses could reach. Once again I was amazed at the depth of this young man. All these things fit with my understanding of him as having the sensitive temperament of an artist. He may have been disappointed with the ride but didn't miss a thing.

Soon we were back at the hotel and went up to our room. We were both tired and sweaty after the day's activity and decided to shower and get cleaned up for our night out. We showered and washed each other as usual. I loved to shampoo his beautiful hair and help him rinse as he turned naked in front of me. His lean brown body shone with the water and his muscles rippled as he turned and stretched for me to rinse the soap from his torso. He seemed not to be aware of his own beauty but accepted my hands as they passed over him. How could he not see himself as I saw him? We see what we want to see, I supposed.

We dried each other off, passing the large bath towel between us, then went to the bed and stretched out to relax. I could feel the results of the zipline as my muscles cooled and tightened. Marco stretched in first one direction and then another as he unwound. He really did remind me of a cat, so supple and relaxed. We lay close enough to touch, enjoying the nearness of our bodies, but more interested in napping than sex, at least for the time being.

Almost 2 hours later I woke to find Marco on his side, with his arm thrown over my chest and his face propped up against my shoulder. I ran my hand over his arm and marveled at the smoothness of his skin. I wondered if there would ever come a time when my heart failed to swell with love at the very sight of him.

I shook his arm gently. "Hey Marco, it's 7 o'clock. Are you hungry yet?"

He stretched first then opened his eyes and scowled. "Umm. I'm starving." He sat up and looked around. "Gee, it's already dark outside."

"Do you want to find somewhere to eat? The hotel kitchen is closed tonight." I reminded him.

"That's right," he seemed to return to the moment. "It's New Year's Eve isn't it. Does this place Johnny told us about serve food?"

"It's a bar and grill. I think that means they serve food," I suggested.

Marco grinned. "Why don't we go on over there. I am ready to party a little."

That was good enough for me. We got up and dressed in our finest khakis and sweaters. Marco decided that his white sweater was a little grubby so he put on a nice dark red sweater that was fairly new.

He sat down on a little side chair with his back to me. "Would you braid my hair please?"

Brushing and braiding his hair was one of the things I loved to do. I stood behind him and began to brush out his long silky black hair. It came down past the middle of his back, not quite to his waist, but close. We both realized he needed to have it trimmed, but he knew I loved it long and left it uncut mainly because of that. I separated it into thirds and began to braid it as smoothly as I was able. It was soft but very thick and fell into a long heavy pigtail which tapered down to a point which I tied off with a loop of black elastic. It looked very handsome against the blood red sweater. When I finished it, he leaned his head back and puckered up for a kiss.

"Thank you Marty," he said. "I can't do that like you can."

"You look very beautiful," I told him. He smiled at me and stood as if he were ready to go.

We pulled on our coats and walked over to the Lumberjack Bar and Grill. By the time we got there it was about 8:00 and there were already quite a few people there. We saw what appeared to be mostly same sex couples, predominately male with a few females. We felt like we might fit in.

We took a small table and looked around at the dimly lit bar. It was a big place with a bandstand which was empty for the moment although recorded music was playing from speakers on the ceiling. Nobody was dancing but there were small groups of men milling around and talking to each other. We noticed a slender man dressed in tight black jeans and a matching jean jacket. Underneath he was bare except for a leather harness which crossed across his chest. I noticed that he seemed to be looking at our table, then he smiled and started walking towards us.

Marco looked over at him and called, "Hey Johnny!"

Johnny came up with a big grin. "Good to see you fellas. Are you ready to see in the new year?"

Marco laughed, "I almost didn't recognize you without your apron."

"I ain't working tonight," he said. "I am a-partyin'."

I pulled out a chair for him. "Sit down for a minute. Are you by yourself?"

"No, I'm with some friends," he nodded towards the group of men he had been standing with. They were sort of a rough looking bunch, several with leather gear and caps.

Johnny sat down. "We're all pretending to be tough guys," he chuckled. "They's a good bunch though."

"Can we buy you a drink?" I asked.

"Well I guess you can, thank you. You guys is dry though."

"Yes, we just walked in. Do we fetch our own or will somebody come over to take our order?" I asked.

"Yeah, a guy will be over here in a minute to see what you want. When it gets busy though you will have to go over to the bar for your own drinks," he said. "But did you guys tell me you don't do alcohol?"

"We don't usually drink much," Marco answered.

"Hey, that's OK. They's got lots of soda, or if you like they got some O'Doul's. That's pretty good."

"What's O'Doul's?" Marco asked.

"It is a non-alcoholic beer," I told him. "Actually it's got a little alcohol in it but very little. I have had it and it's pretty good."

"I could try it I guess," Marco said.

Johnny raised his arm and waved at a guy behind the bar. After a minute he walked over to see what we wanted.

A burly bearded man came over to see about us. "What can I do you for?" he asked.

Johnny introduced us, "This here's Jimmy. Jimmy, these are my friends Marty and Marco. They been stayin' with us over at the Cliff this week," he lowered his voice, "This here is their honeymoon sorta."

Jimmy broke out in a big grin. "Oh yeah? Well good for you. The first one is on the house. What can I bring you?"

"O'Doul's for us, and we are buying Johnny a drink. Whatever he wants," I told him.

"Just bring me a Bud Light," Johnny asked.

Jimmy laughed and walked back to the bar, returning with our drinks.

I reached for my wallet. "Nah, that's OK. Johnny is a good customer. I will spot him his first one too."

He turned and went back to work. "Thank you," I said to Johnny. "It pays to have friends."

"Ah, you is good guys. I have enjoyed you this week," he stood to rejoin his friends.

Before he left I asked, "Will they make us a tab or what?"

"On a regular night they might, but it will get crazy in here tonight. You will need to pay as you go," he told us.

"That's cool, I just wondered. Hey, thanks for introducing us to Jimmy. You have been great to us this week. We have felt right at home," I said.

Johnny just grinned and walked away. "We need to leave him with a really nice tip when we leave," Marco suggested.

"That's for sure. How is your O'Doul's?" I asked.

Marco took a sip. "That's not bad. It tastes like a nice smooth beer but without the nasty alcohol taste."

I laughed. "I think that's what you call near-beer."

Marco took another drink and nodded his head. "I like that. But I'm still hungry. I wonder where we get something to eat?"

"I'm not sure, but Jimmy will know. Hold our seats and I will go check on food."

I walked over to the bar and inquired. Jimmy handed me a menu and I looked it over, ordered a couple of cheeseburgers and a large order of fries, paid up front and returned to our table.

"A cheeseburger and fries OK with you?" I asked.

"Always," Marco grinned.

In about 10 minutes a young guy brought our food and a bottle of ketchup. "You guys good?"

"You bet," I assured him. "Thanks."

"Not a bad burger," Marco decided after taking a big bite. "Not as good as the one at Crystal Bridges, but not bad."

The fries were almost too hot to eat but a good dose of ketchup cooled them off. We were hungry. As we munched we looked around to see that the crowd was picking up and tables were at a premium. Before long a band began to set up. At 9:00 they began to play.

"Pretty good band," Marco declared. Couples began to dance around and the party started hopping. After a couple of numbers we got up and started to wiggle our asses, pretending we knew what we were doing.

About 9 o'clock the show began. A very busty heavily made up woman took the microphone and began to sing in rather a deep voice for a woman.

I leaned over to Marco. "I think that's a guy." I said.

"Oh really?" he grinned. "This is new to me."

"It is for me too," I replied. "Maybe we need to get out more."

The 'girl' singer was pretty good actually. She sang a couple of numbers then was replaced by another drag queen, this one looking much more believable. She started doing some Judy garland covers and drew a big round of applause for a rendition of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow.'

"She's pretty good," Marco said with surprise.

The show went on for about 45 minutes then the band started playing again. Lots of people got up to dance and I went back to the bar for two more O'Doul's. We were having fun. We saw Johnny out on the floor dancing with another guy. Both had shed their jackets and were sporting only harness and caps above the waist. By now the bar was full of people, mostly guys in sporty garb.

"Marco leaned over and shouted to me above the noise. "I got to go pee. What about you?"

"You afraid to go by yourself?" I asked.

"Not really, but it would be OK if you went with me," he replied.

I laughed. "Sure. I need to go myself. But we might lose our table."

The guy at the next table must have heard me because he shouted over to me. "Go ahead buddy. We will hold your table for you."

"Thanks," I shouted back. I stood and Marco and I sauntered over to the toilet.

There was quite a crowd in there, mostly queued up for the urinals, some appearing to be spectators. As we waited our turn we looked over to one of the stalls. They had no doors and in one of them a couple of guys were doing more than taking a piss.

"Geez, look at that!" Marco punched me and pointed to the activity in the center stall.

A very muscular black guy had another guy bent over at the waist. We couldn't see much of the guy in front of him, but he was leaned over the stool with his pants around his ankles being serviced by the black guy. They were going at it hard. What was mostly visible was the muscular black ass pounding away at his partner. That explained the spectators.

By the time it was our turn at the urinal I found that I was almost erect. I glanced over at Marco to notice that he was not. When we stepped back we observed that the black guy had been replaced by a skinny white guy and the man inside the stall seemed to be available to all comers. It turned me on.

Marco tugged at my sleeve. "Let's go," he said.

I stuffed my erection inside my pants and followed him out. We found our table again and someone must have protected it because our O'Doul's were still there.

"Thank you," I shouted to the guy at the next table.

"I fought them off for you," he shouted back.

We sat down and Marco gave me a curious look and leaned close. "That got a rise out of you, the guys in the toilet I mean."

By now I was a little embarrassed. "Well you don't see that every day," I answered.

We danced a little but mostly just watched the crowd. After a bit a good looking guy stepped up on the band stand dressed in a tight outfit that looked kind of like a track suit. I thought he might be going to sing but when the music started he began to dance around in a provocative way. Then he started unzipping his clothes.

"Shit, that's a stripper," Marco exclaimed.

"Looks like it," I laughed.

Sure enough, first the jacket was removed and tossed to the crowd, then the pants which had zippers down the outside of the legs. Before long he was wearing nothing but a bikini and a muscular, tanned body. There was lots of undulating and suggestive rubbing of his hands over himself. Soon the bikini was lost and he was wearing nothing but a very tiny sort of a jock strap that did nothing to conceal his package. The crowd was getting very noisy.

The stripper then stepped down off the bandstand and humped his way over to the closest table. While he rotated his hips and thrust his crotch at the guys sitting there, one of them reached out and put his hands over the stripper's crotch for a good feel. That was the idea apparently, and the show started getting serious. Another guy pulled the front of the jock strap down and the strippers very large erect penis flopped out. There was a token attempt to cover himself, then he proceeded to the next table. There was wild applause.

This continued as the stripper wiggled his way from table to table. One of the men bent close and took the stripper's cock in his mouth and began to suck him. After a moment of this the stripper pulled away and presented himself to another man. This progressed until he began to get close to us. I found myself very hard and reached into my khakis to adjust myself to a more comfortable position. I was enjoying this.

Marco stood and shouted over the noise. "Let's go."

"Hey, it's not even midnight yet," I replied.

Marco didn't answer but grabbed his coat and started for the exit. I followed reluctantly.

Once outside in the cold air I asked him," What's the matter Marco? That was hot!"

Marco started walking back to the hotel at a good clip. I had to hurry to catch up with him. "What's the matter?" I repeated.

When I was at his side he looked at me. "Sorry Marty, but that's not my thing. You can go back and enjoy the show if you like, but I don't like that kind of thing."

"How do you know? Have you ever seen that kind of show before?"

Marco shot me a look of anger. "Go on back if you like. I'll see you later."

Of course I stayed by his side as we returned to our hotel. I wasn't sure what to say. The stripper had turned me on and now I was embarrassed again. We went up to our room in silence.

Once in the room he went into the bathroom and relieved himself. I could hear his urine hitting the water in the toilet. I sat down on the edge of the bed and waited for him to return. When he came out he glanced at me with an angry face and went into the other room to sit down on the settee. I went into the bath and emptied my own bladder then went in to join him. He was starring at the picture of the Indian that was resting on the mantle. He didn't look at me when I sat down next to him.

"Would you have sucked that guy's dick?" he asked without looking at me.

"No, of course not," I protested.

"Are you sure? You were rubbing yourself under the table," he accused me.

"Hey, it was erotic. The point was to turn us on. Where do you get off being so damned righteous? The first time we ever met we fucked on a park bench like a couple of rabbits," I protested.

"If that guy had stuck his crotch in your face you would have sucked his cock," he repeated.

"No I wouldn't have," I answered, privately unsure of what I would have done.

We sat in silence for several minutes as I tried to see the scene from his point of view. I thought about this very inexperienced 16 year old who I had met only a year and a half ago. I was his first real lover. We fell deeply in love and married, promising to be faithful to each other. Since we had met I had brought him into the church where he had gone through a deep religious experience and found a home there in that community. Now we had gone to a bar to see guys fucking in the toilet and a stripper who walked through the room inviting random guys to suck his cock. I was clearly turned on by the scene. I wasn't sure myself what I would have done. Obviously he was hurt and confused.

I took a deep breath. "I'm sorry Marco. I guess that whole scene sort of brought out my dark side. I was the guy who used to look for sex in public toilets, remember? I thought all that was past but I found myself really turned on by that stuff tonight. It sort of took me back to some things that I am not proud of. I don't blame you for being upset. Really, I'm sorry Marco."

I sat with my head down and felt really remorseful. I could tell that Marco was very disappointed in me.

He sat with his eyes fixed on the Indian with the Swan. "We promised each other Marty. I don't want to share you with some damn male stripper, not with anybody."

I felt my eyes fill with tears and turned to Marco, putting my arms around his waist and laying my head in his lap.

"I'm sorry Marco. I love you. I don't want anybody but you. I'm sorry I disappointed you."

Marco laid his arm across my shoulders and put his other hand on my head, rubbing my hair under his palm. "I love you too Marty. I love you too much to share you with anybody. I didn't like that place tonight. It didn't turn me on, it made me feel dirty."

I found myself weeping into his lap. "I was afraid that if you knew all about me that you wouldn't respect me." I admitted. "I'm really sorry Marco. I didn't mean to hurt you, to disappoint you."

Marco leaned over and kissed me on the cheek. "You are who you are Marty. I love you more than I can tell you. I keep thinking that this bubble will burst and I will lose you. I guess I have to admit I'm sort of possessive of you. I'm sorry for that, but I am who I am too."

We stayed like that for awhile, my head in his lap and he rubbing my shoulders in a very loving way. Finally he made as if to move and I sat up and looked at him. His eyes were wet as were mine.

He smiled at me. "It's after midnight and the start of a new year. Maybe we should start over. How about if we take a shower?" he asked.

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