Goodby Phoenix

Justin was startled with Brian's reaction when he made his request the next day.  He had called Dale while Brian was taking his morning shower and had arranged to meet his friend after breakfast.  They were going to spend the whole day together. 


Brian had agreed immediately.  At first Justin wasn't too happy about the quick acceptance of his absence.  He wondered if Brian had tired of them being together twenty-four/seven.  Brian had allayed his fears when he explained that he wanted Justin to spend some time with his friend.  That was, after all, why Justin had come to Phoenix in the first place.


Brian decided he should call Cynthia and catch up on what was going on in the office.  He would find a computer that he could use in case he needed to log on and check his messages.  He might even do a little work.


Justin realized that Brian was being practical but also allowing him freedom to do what he wanted.  The man actually seemed to have heeded Justin's warnings and was putting his needs first.  All that was left was their talk about the rings.


Justin and Dale spent the day eating and talking and looking at art.  Dale picked up Justin from the hotel and took him to the university where he studied.  Justin met some of Dale's friends and had lunch with them.  They went to the Phoenix Art Museum and spent most of the afternoon looking at the collection.  Dale took them to some galleries featuring local artists and Justin thought about the sketches of a naked Brian that might turn up in these places someday soon.  They went for dinner as evening fell and spent a lot of time talking.  Justin was happy to have a sounding board for his situation with Brian.  He thought he knew what he was going to say when they finally talked about the rings but he wasn't a hundred percent sure.  Dale asked some very intuitive questions which helped Justin get his feelings sorted out.  He hoped Brian would like what he had decided.


When Dale dropped Justin off at the hotel just before midnight, Justin was a little drunk.  They had gone to a club after dinner and listened to music, talking between sets.  Justin had had several drinks, more than he probably should have.


He made his way carefully through the lobby of the hotel not wanting anyone to notice that he was a little unsteady on his feet.  It took several tries with the key card to open the door to the room.  Brian was lying on the bed in darkness except for the light from the bathroom, watching Justin trying to come in quietly.


"The wandering boy returns," he said scaring the shit out of Justin.


"Jesus, Brian," Justin laughed uneasily.  "You scared the guts out of me."


"Guilty conscience?"

"Why … why would you say that?"

"I was kidding."


"I hope so."

So what did you do all day?" Brian asked sitting up in bed and leaning against the headboard.


"Nothin' much," Justin giggled.


"Drank some … by the sound of it."

"We went to a club and listened to music.  I had a few."


"I can tell."

"I'm horny," Justin declared removing his clothes.

"Are you now?  I'm not sure I want a drunken fuck."

Justin snorted.  "You want any fuck."

"I'm very discriminating actually," Brian said with a smirk.


"Yeah right," Justin said falling into bed half on top of Brian.


Brian pinched Justin's ass earning a swat from his lover.  "Packed on a few pounds too by the feel of it."  Brian kneaded Justin's ample bottom.


"Want to help me work it off?" Justin asked licking Brian's chest and finding a nipple to nibble on.


"Still hungry?"

"Only for you."

"Right answer."

Brian flipped Justin onto his back and crawled on top of him.  He felt their cocks touch and a little jolt of pleasure sent heat up his spine.  He chewed on Justin's lips and licked along his jaw.


"Fuck me, Brian."

"Patience, grasshopper."

"I want you now," Justin pleaded.


"And you shall have me all in good time," Brian promised.  "Was that a whimper I just heard?"

"I … I don't whimper," Justin protested.  His head was spinning from the alcohol, but also whatever the fuck Brian was doing to his left tit with his mouth.  "Pleeease," escaped his lips with the next breath.


"I'm going to make you so hard you may spontaneously combust," Brian threatened with a feral grin.


"I … already … am," Justin gasped and reached for his cock trapped between their bodies.


Brian swatted his hand away.  "Stop that.  Horny boys need to be taught discipline."


"No," Justin stated loudly.


"Are you refusing me?" Brian asked propping himself up on his elbows but using the rest of his body to keep Justin pinned beneath him.


"No," spoken barely above a whisper.  "No," stated more forcefully.  "I'm not prepared to wait."


"Well, you better get prepared, oh cherished one!"


"Brian, please," Justin begged bucking his groin up against Brian.


"Behave," Brian ordered as his mouth captured Justin's in a long, long, smoldering kiss.  All the while his hands roamed Justin's body, stroking and rubbing and pinching and caressing.  Justin moaned and wriggled beneath the kiss and the touches.


"Oh God, Brian, I can't stand it," Justin gasped when Brian finally released his mouth.


"Yes, you can.  We've barely started."

"Ahhh, fuck!  Please, please, please."

"Did you miss me while you were gone today?" Brian asked nibbling on Justin's neck and that spot below his ear that drove him nuts.


"Not much," Justin said defiantly trying to regain some of his dignity.


"Not much?  Well, I don't like the sound of that.  I guess I'll have to see how much I can make you want me now."

"No, I was kidding," Justin reversed his words.  "I missed you so much.  Fuck me, please."

"Which version of this story should I believe?" Brian asked stopping his caresses and rubbing his chin.


"That I missed you more than anything, that I need you so much, believe that," Justin said hopefully.


Brian looked like he was thinking about doing just that.  Suddenly he slid down Justin's body and took the boy's purple and swollen cock in his hand.  He stroked it in a leisurely fashion as Justin writhed beneath him.


"More," the boy demanded.


Brian licked the precum from the slit and felt Justin arch up into his mouth while a huge groan escaped his lips.


He released the cock eliciting another whimper from Justin.  He started licking and nibbling on Justin's inner thighs and then his balls until the boy once again reached for his cock.  Brian slapped his hands away and flipped him over.  He began chewing and sucking on the full globes of Justin's ass working his way all around his hole but not touching it.


"Oh fuck!  Please, Brian, I can't stand it."  With that Brian licked across the pucker and Justin arched up gasping, "Yes, oh yes!"


Brian smiled.  He had Justin exactly where he wanted him.  He was going to give him the rimming of his life.  He nipped at the pucker then licked across it again.  He stiffened his tongue and probed the hole making it gradually open for him.  Justin called out again and again as Brian drove his tongue into the tight muscle. 


With a whimper Justin reached under himself hoping to stroke his cock and get some relief from the excruciating ache he felt there and in his balls.  Brian grabbed his hand and pulled it away.


"No," he stated.


Justin whimpered and squirmed rubbing his cock against the sheets seeking whatever relief he could find.  Brian continued to nip and lick and jab at his pucker.  Justin felt like he was going to either explode or implode.  He didn't know which and he didn't care.  Either would end his exquisite agony.


"Oh God!  Please, please, please," he begged losing all sense of reality, awash with sensations that threatened to incinerate him.


Brian stuck two fingers into Justin's mouth and the boy slathered them with his saliva.  He sucked up and down the fingers like he wished Brian would do to his cock.  Brian's tongue continued its probes and Justin was sure he was going insane.  Suddenly Brian withdrew his fingers coated with spit from his mouth and rammed them into Justin's hole.  Justin literally rose up off the bed and came with such force he thought the world had exploded before his eyes.  He crumbled into a heap on the bed trying to force air into his seemingly immobilized lungs.


He felt strong hands and arms turn him over and his breathing got a little easier.  He lay cradled in Brian's arms everything whirling maddeningly behind his eyelids.


"Baby," he heard a soft voice say.  "You all right?"

Justin thought he was nodding his head but he couldn't be sure.


"Justin," Brian said gently.  "Open your eyes."


Justin forced his lids to move but it took every ounce of strength that he possessed.  "Brian," he managed to whisper finally.


"I'm here."

"Am I?"


Brian chuckled.  "I have an armful of something delicious.  I think it's you."

Justin was beginning to focus on what had happened.  He could still feel little ripples of pleasure swing through his body, but they could never match the intensity of what he had just felt.


"I thought I was dying.  You almost killed me.  It was torture," Justin babbled.



"Can we do it again later?"


Justin grinned some stupid grin that he couldn't control, that simply wouldn't leave his face.  "Fuck, Brian.  What did you do?"

"What I … felt."


Justin grinned up at him looking into those amazing hazel eyes.  "You are … wonderful," he gushed.


"And you're drunk."

"Not anymore.  I might be insane but you sobered me right up."

Brian laughed out loud.  "Feel better now?"

"I feel … glorious, intense, magical…"  His voice trailed away.  "I love you," he added as his eyes closed.


Brian decided to let him sleep for awhile.  Then they had to have their talk.




As it turned out Brian fell asleep waiting for Justin to wake up.  They both awoke as the first rays of sunlight snuck in between the still not quite closed drapes.

"Morning, Sunshine," Brian said as Justin gave him a kiss.


"What happened last night?"

"Did something happen?" Brian asked with a smirk.


"You know…" Justin replied blushing from head to toe.


"You must have dreamed it.  You were drunk."

"Not that drunk," Justin protested.


Brian pulled him in for a kiss.  "Want to hang out around the pool today, maybe do a little shopping … and talk?"


"Yeah, I think it's time," Justin agreed.


They got up and showered together.  They fooled around and Brian got a different taste of the delicious ass that only his tongue had feasted on last night.  After breakfast they drove into town and did some shopping.  Brian found some possible gifts for Gus but nothing that really cried out to him.  They both knew their Phoenix holiday was winding down.


They had a nice lunch at a restaurant downtown and then headed back to spend some time at the pool.  Brian made sure Justin was slathered with lots of sunblock after their swim.  The sun was warm and relaxing.  As it began to set they decided to have their talk in the privacy of their room.  Justin didn't want his feelings broadcast across the hotel.


When they returned to their room they both were subdued afraid of what was to come.


"Are you ready for this?" Justin asked.


"I … don't think I'll ever be ready for this, but we need to do it."

Justin nodded.  "I've given this a lot of thought, Brian."


"So have I."

"And you want us to wear the rings?"


"Tell me why."

Brian looked at the floor collecting his thoughts.  "I … really feel like it's time that the world knows that we are committed to each other … in every way."

"That's a great reason," Justin said sincerely.


"But…?" Brian asked hearing the proviso in Justin's voice.


"Do you think wearing the rings will make any difference in our relationship?"

"What do you mean?"


"Well … if I had been wearing the ring would you have treated me any differently at the loft?  Would it have stopped me from leaving?"

"Probably not," Brian admitted not liking the direction this seemed to be taking.


"So I don't really see why we need the rings.  I think they will bring more trouble than they will good."

Brian stared at his partner.  He was being turned down again.  Justin didn't want to wear the ring.  He didn't want the world to know that they were committed to each other.  Brian turned away.  He didn't want Justin to see the tear that had escaped his eye.


"Brian, I'm not refusing to wear the ring," Justin said softly.


"What?" Brian asked.  "That's sure as hell what it sounded like."


"I want you to realize that I don't need the ring.  I know what we are to each other.  Maybe you need the rings though, and if you do, I'll wear it."

"I … I don't understand," Brian admitted.


"All the reasons we had for putting the rings in the sculpture are still there.  Nothing has really changed, except maybe your acceptance of our relationship.  If that's the case and you want to make that statement to the world, then I'm in.  But I want you to understand that it really won't change anything for me.  I love you either way and we're probably going to fuck things up again and we'll fight and hopefully make up, ring or no rings."


"Jesus, Justin, I thought you were a romantic."

"I used to be.  I guess I still am, but … what you did by coming after me and saying you'll put me first, that means more to me than any ring ever could.  I understand you … most of the time … and I hope you understand me."

"I thought I did until right now, but I don't think I know you at all."

Justin grinned.  "A little mystery's a good thing…" he said hopefully.


"Not necessarily.  I need to think about this."

"Good," Justin said.  "That's what I hoped you'd do.  I don't think we should rush into anything."


"If … if I say that I want us to wear the rings, you will, right?"

Justin nodded.  "If that's what you decide."

"But given the choice you'd leave them where they are."

Justin nodded again. 


"Let's go to bed," Brian said.  "I think I need to fuck you."

"Sounds good to me."  Justin grinned at his partner hoping to lighten the mood.


"I thought maybe we could drive out into the Painted Desert tomorrow."


"I like the sound of that," Justin said moving into Brian's embrace.  "I love you.  That's all that matters."


Brian nodded.  He held Justin against him trying to figure out what to do, what Justin's words meant, and what lay ahead for them.


Soon the embrace became a caress and kisses followed and then a night of long, slow lovemaking.  Dawn would find them sated and exhausted.




The drive to the Painted Desert was beautiful.  The huge cacti and beautiful colors of the rocks and sand made the trip very interesting.  They stopped once for Justin to sketch a scene he particularly liked.  When they actually got to the Painted Desert which was really a badlands area with rolling rocks of many colors, it was after one o'clock.  It had taken much longer to get there than they had thought.


Brian had bought a disposable camera and they took some pictures.  Justin would have liked to sketch but he was hungry, the bag of chips he had brought only tiding him over for awhile.  Reluctantly they headed back towards Phoenix.  Along the way they noticed signs for gambling casinos run by the local Native Americans.  They came upon a shop purporting to sell authentic Navaho goods and Brian pulled in. 


"I might find something for Gus," Brian said.


They entered the store and Brian began looking around.  Justin was immediately intrigued by the man behind the counter.  He struck up a conversation with him and asked if he could draw him.  Somewhat reluctantly the man agreed and Justin was soon sketching happily.


Meanwhile Brian had selected a Navaho rug that he thought Lindsay might like and he had found a Raw Hide Rattler which was a stick with a rawhide pouch on one end decorated with beads and containing the rattle.  It was adorned with feathers and made an interesting noise when shaken.  Brian thought Gus would like that.


Brian came up behind Justin and shook the rattler in his ear.  Justin jumped and giggled. 


"What are you doing?" he asked.


"I think this is Gus' present."

"Nice," Justin agreed.


"The noise ought to drive Melanie mad."


"You are so bad," Justin said still working on his sketch which was almost finished.


Brian looked at the man behind the counter who waited patiently for Justin to finish.  "That's very good," Brian said seriously judging the representation of the man.


"Thanks.  I'm done Henry.  You can move."  The man stretched and flexed his muscles that he had held still for so long.  "You make an excellent model," Justin told him, "unlike someone I know."

Brian gave him a swat.  "I'm in eighty percent of his drawings," Brian stated somewhat proudly.


"Henry, this is my partner Brian."

Brian held his breath wondering what the reaction of this middle aged Native American man would be to Justin's announcement.


"Not a business partner, I take it," Henry observed.  Brian shook his head.  "Nice to meet you, Brian."

"Thanks.  You have some interesting things in your shop."

"It's not my shop.  I'm just filling in for a friend who's sick."


"Thanks for letting me draw you," Justin said.  "Would you like the sketch?"


Henry took the drawing and looked critically at it.  "This is excellent, Justin," he said.  "I think I'll frame it and give it to my granddaughter who is getting married tomorrow."


"You think she'll like it?" Justin asked munching on the granola bars that he had seen in behind the counter.


"I know she will.  Say, why don't you and Brian come to the wedding?  It's in Phoenix.  Didn't you say you were staying there?"  Justin nodded.  "She's marrying an Apache boy that she met at university.  Times change," he said wistfully.


"You don't like her marrying outside the tribe?" Brian asked.


"It wouldn't have been my first choice, but she makes her own decisions and he seems to make her happy.  The wedding should be interesting.  She's incorporating some traditional Navaho and Apache things into a modern ceremony."


"We'd love to come," Justin gushed not noticing the look on Brian's face.




At 2 pm the next day Brian and Justin entered the hall where the wedding was to be held.  They were amazed by the myriad of clothing from traditional to modern that the guests were wearing.  Henry spotted them and found them a seat beside him.


Soon the bride appeared in the doorway on the arm of what must be her father, a man who looked like a younger version of Henry.  She wore a traditional Indian wedding dress of four colors.  Henry explained that each color represented a direction – black for north, blue for south, orange for west and white for east.  They faced east towards the rising sun which represented their new beginning.


There was some ceremonial chanting and smoke.  The man officiating talked about the two lovers and their commitment to one another.  Then he read the Apache Wedding Prayer.


                                           Now you will feel no rain,

                                           For each of you will be shelter for the other.

                                           Now you will feel no cold,

                                           For each of you will be warmth to the other.

                                           Now there is no more loneliness,

                                           For each of you will be companion to the other.

                                           Now you are two bodies,

                                           But there is only one life before you.

                                           Go now to your dwelling place

                                           To enter into the days of your togetherness…

                                           And may your days be good and long upon the earth.


Brian felt Justin's hand seek his and squeeze.  He could see the tears in Justin's eyes and he felt them in his own.  That prayer said so much about their own relationship.  That was exactly what they both wanted out of life.

Brian squeezed Justin's hand and leaned against his shoulder.  None of this was lost on Henry who watched with interest the interplay between the two men.


That was basically the end of the ceremony.  Brian and Justin followed the line of well-wishers along with Henry and were introduced to the happy couple.  They were seated at a table with Henry for the dinner and generally had a good time.  When the dancing began, they enjoyed the traditional Navaho and Apache dances performed by some of the guests.  Then the more modern dances began and Justin would have liked to dance with Brian.  Brian didn't think it would be appropriate for two men to dance in this setting.  He didn't want to upset any of the guests or Henry.  Justin had to agree.


When they returned to the hotel later on both men were quiet.  Justin undressed his lover and together they lay down on the bed and made sweet love for a long time.


"That was a beautiful ceremony," Justin said after recovering from one of their sessions.


"Yeah," Brian agreed.


"Is something wrong?" Justin asked.


Brian hesitated.  "I'm ready to go home."

"I am too."

"With me?" Brian had to ask.

"Definitely with you."


That earned him a long, sensuous kiss followed by another intense session of lovemaking.


A long time later Justin felt Brian's hand rub along his side and hip.


"You awake?" Justin asked in the dark.


"Um," Brian replied.


"Is something bothering you?"

"The rings."


"I don't know what to do about them," Brian admitted.


"Do we have to decide right now?"

"I thought that's why we came here."

"It was, but I don't think there's any point in making hasty decisions."


Brian was silent thinking about what Justin had said.  Somehow the rings didn't seem so important anymore.  They were just a symbol.  What they represented was right here in the bed with him and that was all he needed.


"Get some sleep, Brian.  We can go home tomorrow."




The next day they booked an afternoon flight back to Pittsburgh.  Justin called Dale and he came for a visit to the hotel and had lunch with them before they left for the airport. 


Part way through lunch he had to ask if they had made a decision about the rings.  Brian gave Justin a withering look indicating his displeasure that Justin had discussed their business with his friend.


"I needed someone to talk to," Justin said.


Brian remained silent.


"I didn't know the rings were a secret," Dale said unhappy to have caused friction between the two.  "I'm sorry I said anything."

"Don't sweat it," Brian said and Justin gave him a little smile.  Maybe he was still putting Justin first.


They packed and left for the airport no decision having been made about the rings.  They returned the car and checked in at the airline desk.  As they waited for their flight to be called Justin walked over to the windows and stared out at the tarmac.  He felt Brian come up behind him and he leaned back against the strong chest.


"I'm going to miss Phoenix."

"Yeah," Brian replied.


"I really appreciate that you came with me and that you stayed so long."

"I would have stayed as long as it took," Brian said sincerely.


"I love you."

"And I want you to be my shelter, my warmth, my companion," Brian whispered referring to the Apache Wedding Prayer.


"And my lover."

"And your lover."

"That's all I need," Justin said softly.


"The rings don't matter anymore.  I learned a lot on this trip.  If I have you that's all I need.  Nothing else is important."


"So do we leave the rings in the sculpture?"


Brian nodded.  "For now."

"Do you think we'll both want to wear them at some point?"

"Maybe, but it really makes little difference.  It won't really change anything, as you said."

"I'm happy, Brian, truly happy."

"So am I."

"Do you think we'll feel this way in a couple of weeks?"

"Who knows?  Life gets in the way."


"But we can always think back to Phoenix."


"And remember the good times."



"They're calling the flight," Brian said.


"Goodbye Phoenix.  Let's go to our dwelling place and enter into the days of our togetherness."  He felt Brian's hand take hold of his as they made their way to the plane.

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