Five Days II - Hot For Teacher

Five Days II - Hot For Teacher

Thursday, September 15th, 8:35 pm

   I met Max at the first parent-teacher meeting of the new school year. He’s my daughter Sami’s English teacher and, ever since her first class with him, she hadn’t stopped raving about how fun, passionate and enthralling he was. She also said how cool and sweet he was when she and her classmates had to meet with him outside of class to discuss projects or make up for stuff they had missed.

   Sami’s a really good kid and a great student but she’s just now hit that age where it definitely sounds cooler to say that your teachers suck than to rave about how wonderful they are, so I was thrilled that she didn’t have anything bad to say about this year’s crop of teachers, but I was especially intrigued with Mr. Grayson who Sami was definitely making out to be ‘all that’.

   When Sami came home from school, she was excited that I’d be meeting her teachers that night and started briefing me on what to expect.

   – So Dad, first, you’ll meet Miss Kane, my science teacher. She’s tough but she’s fair and she teaches really cool stuff and I really like her and she’ll tell you about the pig brain dissection we’re going to be doing in the second semester.

   I couldn’t help but laugh. Sami reminded me of when she was four and trying to tell me a story but kept getting interrupted by her older brother Sean. She’d try to talk as fast as she could, never stopping to breathe and inserting ‘ands’ everywhere so that everyone would understand that she was not finished yet!

   Sami went on to tell me about each of the teachers, what to expect, what to look for, what to ask, what to NOT ask, etc… it was totally hilarious, but she was so enthusiastic  that I listened carefully and respectfully.

   As she went on though, I kept thinking, ‘What about this amazing English teacher you’ve been raving about?’

   – And last, you have to go to English class where you’ll meet Mr. Grayson. He told me he can’t wait to meet you because he read your Bram Dooley books and he really loved them.

   – Oh really? You hadn’t told me that.

   – Yeah, he’s a fan. I didn’t want to tell him my dad was an author on my first day in his class ‘cause that always looks like you’re trying to be the teacher’s pet but when he said I had the same last name as Patrick Lamont and asked me if I’d read the Bram Dooley series, I just said, ‘Yeah, he’s my dad.’ He thought I was joking at first, but I sort of felt I needed to insist since he was going to meet you anyway at the parent-teacher meeting, right?

   – Right.

   – So even though all the other parents are going to be there, I think he might try to talk to you privately, you know? But please don’t embarrass me, okay?

   I chuckled and promised.

   – Oh and Mr. Grayson told us that we should remind our parents how awesome he is and that we’d get extra credit if our parents mentioned this.

   I laughed.

   – But he was just kidding obviously.

   – Obviously. He’s always kidding around.

   I liked him already.

*****

   When I caught up with Jennifer – Sami and Sean’s mom – at the school, we went around to each of the classes according to the pre-determined schedule my daughter had run by me.

   I kept looking forward to meeting Mr. Grayson and really wondered what he looked like. Jenn was just as intrigued as I was because she’d heard Sami sing his praises, too, when she was staying with her.

   When we finally walked into English class around 8pm after about ninety minutes and seven short lectures from Sami’s other teachers (‘Do you have any questions?’), I have to admit I was getting a bit tired and weary. But as soon as Max started speaking, I instantly understood why the kids were so enthralled and captivated by him.

   I had chosen to sit in the back as to not draw attention to myself thinking it would be better to be as discrete as possible during the lecture part and thinking I’d have plenty of time to chat with him after the question period.

   I kept expecting one of the parents to say, ‘Oh and by the way, my son said to remind you how awesome you are,’ but either nobody dared or everybody just forgot. I certainly hadn’t and, even though I was sure he’d said that jokingly because he sounded so modest and down-to-Earth, I still thought it better to keep quiet.

   During his presentation, Max made a point of looking around and smiling at all the parents, but when our eyes met, I felt an instant connection with him. I thought this was probably something that all the parents were feeling because his charisma was undeniable, but the second time our eyes connected, my smile widened a bit and it was clear, in that moment, that he had recognized me from the book jackets.

   – So thank you all for coming, he concluded. I know these evenings can be very long but it’s so important to us, as teachers, to connect with our students’ parents because it really does take a village, and I truly believe that we’re so much stronger when we work together toward giving our kids the best of us. Drive safely.

   He was met with applause and, as parents started getting up, some walked out talking amongst themselves and others went over to say ‘hi’ and shake his hand. Jennifer asked if I’d mind if she left right away because she had a big day at work the next day and she knew that Max would want to talk to me about the Bram Dooley books. I kissed her on the cheek and walked over to Max.

   When all the other parents had left, I moved forward, holding out my hand and we smiled at each other as though we’d both been waiting for this moment for a long time.

   – So… nice to finally meet you, Mr. Awesome, I said with a cheeky smile.

   He burst out laughing, taking my hand firmly.

   – Do you know that, this year, not one of the parents in my four groups dared to mention that? Last year, there were three! Bunch of wusses this year.

   I laughed.

   He started shaking my hand energetically.

   – I’m just kidding!

   He covered my hand with his left for emphasis on sincerity.

   – It’s really an honor to meet you, Mr. Lamont, he said, still laughing. Sami is an amazing girl.

   I thought it was so nice that he was honored to meet me as a dad even more than as an author. I’ve always felt that being a good dad was the best thing I’d ever done in my life and I’ve always been most proud of my children – even if some authors also consider each of their books as their children!

   I realized he was looking up at me – not figuratively, but literally. I’m about a foot taller than he is but I noticed he was also very bulky in the shoulders giving him a very sexy V shaped body.

   – I’ve heard so many great things about you and your class, Mr. Grayson.

   He literally blushed and looked down modestly, chuckling like a cute school boy.

   – Please call me Max, he said. Mr. Grayson is for the students.

   – Only if you call me Patrick.

   I noticed that we hadn’t yet released each other’s hand and I started feeling this nice energy between us, this powerful chemistry that just seemed to be building. When he finally turned his eyes back up at me, I saw a mischievous twinkle popping out of his hazel irises that made my heart flutter. It was my turn to feel like some kind of infatuated teenager.

   – I guess Sami must have told you I loved the Bram Dooley books, huh?

   – She did. Thanks for that.

   – I really connected with the Billy Morton character.

   I smiled.

   – You would.

   He squinted, looking at me, intrigued.

   – What do you mean?

   – Well, from what I’ve heard about you from Sami since the beginning of the year, I think that if I’d known you when I created the character, you probably would have been the inspiration for him.

   He gasped.

   The character of Billy Morton is a literature professor who has a profound effect on young Bram’s personality and life choices. I explained to Max that, as I was writing, I was thinking of a very passionate English teacher I’d had in my sophomore year of high school as well as the Robin Williams character in Dead Poets Society.

   He gasped again.

   – I model my teaching on the romantic – albeit somewhat unrealistic – passion and contagious energy of that character, he admitted. That’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

   I smiled at him tenderly.

   – There you go…

   I was both impressed and amused with the fact that he had a very literary, written way of expressing himself verbally. We just stared at each other for a few seconds that felt comfortable yet awkward if that is at all possible!

   – Well, thank you, he said, finally breaking the silence. What are you working on right now?

   – I’m writing a screenplay, based on one of the minor characters in the second book of the series, I confided.

   His eyes widened in awe.

   – You’re kidding?  Is it Vlad Harmon?

   I was flabbergasted and burst out laughing.

   – How did you guess that?

   His smile widened and he suddenly looked like a child un-wrapping his most anticipated Christmas gift.

   – When Vlad popped into Bram’s life, I just fell in love with him, he admitted.

   For a second, I wondered if he was – consciously or unknowingly – coming out to me or if he was just saying ‘love’ in a fraternal or paternal manner.

   – And I thought the character could have been developed more so I was sad when he just moved away.

   I smiled and Max’s face suddenly turned worried.

   – Oh I didn’t mean that in the sense that you dropped the ball as an author – I understood why you needed Vlad to leave – but I just felt sad that he was exiting my life as he was walking out of Bram’s existence.

   – You’re absolutely right, I said. I felt the same way. And even though I still think I did the right thing for the Dooley series, I missed that character so much and felt I needed to bring him back somehow.

   Max smiled and took a deep breath, taking in what I had just said.

   – Wow… that’s amazing.

   – So the screenplay is about Vlad’s new love in the Netherlands, I continued. A guy named Milan who, sadly, complicates and – quite frankly – poisons Vlad’s life more than he nourishes it.

   Max looked fascinated.

   – I can’t wait to read it, he said. Wait, it’s a screenplay, right? I mean I can’t wait to see the movie.

   – Well, if you’d like to read it, I’d love to get your take on it.

   His eyes widened again.

   – That would be great. I’d be honored.

   – I’d really cherish your feedback since you seem to have developed deep feelings about the book series and its characters.

   – I have, he reiterated.

   – Maybe we could get together when I’m finished with the first draft? Sami says you’re a bit of an actor – playing out certain scenes from Miller, Shakespeare, Beckett and even Schnitzler???

   He laughed.

   – Yeah. Not my finest moment and I won’t be exploring that play again anytime soon because I really missed the point I was trying to make and bombed big time, but… yeah, I do like to act.

   – Nice. So maybe we could sit together and have a read through together…?

   – Really? That’d be great.

   – Cool.

   I stuck out my hand again and he took it. We looked deeply into each other’s eyes and I just felt this was the beginning of something.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2:45 pm

   The day after the parent-teacher meeting, Sami came home joking about how ‘My New Best Friend’ had talked about my books in class and how he’d told the students he’d used excerpts of the second and third books of the Bram Dooley series in a junior college class he’d lectured in a few years back. I was both flattered and titillated. That last part I didn’t share with Sami. I just told her I was honored.

   – Mr. Grayson asked if you’d be coming to our poetry and slam show in October. He wanted me to ask you if you’d be a celebrity judge.

  – Celebrity? I repeated.

   She sighed and shrugged.

   – I know you hate that word and I told him that, but that’s what you are… to some people.

   I laughed. She clearly meant ‘not to me’ which I thought was cute and cool.

   The next day, I sent Max an email telling him I’d be happy to be one of the judges for the poetry and slam contest and that I was available for a meeting if he needed us to get together to go over any rules I should know about and how the contest was to be conducted. Quite honestly – and you probably already guessed this – I was hoping for the meeting because I wanted to see him again more than anything else.

   I also added a paragraph about my screenplay, telling him that it was coming along and that I was hoping to get together with him before Christmas for our reading of the first draft.

   He must have been sitting at his computer during a free period or checking his emails on his phone because within a few minutes, I received a reply.

   “Hello, sir:

   I am so happy to hear from you and appreciate you offering up your time and considerable knowledge for our young participants during our poetry and slam contest. I’m also looking forward to reading the Vlad Harmon script with you. I’m sure it will be just… awesome. Hehe! As for the rules and info about the contest, I can email everything to you in a few days or, if you are available, I would love to meet you for coffee at Rochelle’s Bakery next to the school. Maybe this coming Tuesday at 4th period, around 2:45 pm? Tell me if you are available.

   Thanks again. I really look forward to working with you.

Max Grayson”

   My heart was aflutter as if I had just made a date and was in the exciting anticipation of hooking up with a hot boy. Then, I felt silly. How does a divorced bisexual father of two get all worked up about a ‘business’ meeting with his 14-year-old daughter’s English teacher? Crazy, right? Was I really seeing more into this than there was or was Max as infatuated with me as I was with him?

   When Sami came home from school that day, she was looking at me with an odd smirk.

   – So… how was your day?

   – Fine. And yours?

   – Great. How’s the screenplay coming along?

   – Very well, sweetie. Thanks for asking.

   And I wasn’t lying. Max’s email had set me on fire, giving me an extra boost of inspiration as I was so looking forward to sitting with him and reading through the script, hearing his voice as Vlad. Maybe it really was only a romantic vision of having him as an ally to create this character, have it come to life in the flesh, but I really did have a nice feeling about it.

   – And I hear you’re going to have coffee with your ‘New Best Friend’ at 4th period next Tuesday?

   I suddenly felt strange and didn’t know if Sami approved of me developing a relationship – even a working one – with her teacher. I didn’t feel ready to talk to her about the feelings I was developing for him and didn’t really feel the need yet as I didn’t know if they were really mutual (what would be the point of making a big thing out of it if nothing was going to happen, right?), but I didn’t want Sami to feel betrayed or uncomfortable in any way.

   Talking very slowly as if I needed to choose my words very wisely, I asked:

   – Are you okay with that?

   – Does it mean I won’t have to take the bus after school? You’ll drive me home?

   I laughed. She was so practical!

   – Yup. That’s why I asked him to meet me for last period.

   She laughed, too.

   – Liar. He suggested the time and place. So there!

   I laughed again.

   – You got me. Now go do your homework before dinner.

   She sighed.

   – Ugh! Your New Best Friend is a slave driver. When you meet with him, can you tell him to take it easy on the homework?

   – Get out of here!

*****

   That whole weekend, I couldn’t stop thinking about Max and even started fantasizing about kissing him, hugging him, undressing him, nibbling on his nipples, sucking his cock. I didn’t allow myself to go any further – even in my fantasies – because I didn’t really know what he was into… if anything with a guy! Was I reading him right or was I seeing only professional admiration and the beginning of a budding friendship?

   I decided to hit Rochelle’s Bakery early and brought my laptop to work on the screenplay. I read back a few scenes and started writing a new one. The creative juices were flowing and I was thrilled to see how quickly this story was coming along.

   When I looked up at the clock and saw the time, butterflies started invading my belly in anticipation of Max’s arrival. Then I thought to myself, looking back at the screen on my computer, ‘Ugh! Here we are meeting in a public place again. If this vibe I’m feeling is real, what are we going to do? Start French kissing in the middle of this café, right next to the school where he teaches?’ I chuckled to myself.

   – I really can’t wait to read that screenplay.

   He startled me. It was as if he’d suddenly appeared from the sky. I smiled at him. He was even more handsome than I remembered from the parent-teacher meeting. Why? Was I building him up in my mind? Was I making him more of an ideal than he really was? I’d had the ideal woman in my life: Jennifer. The mother of my children. And for the last few years, I’d pretty much abandoned the idea of finding the perfect man. Somebody I’d find physically attractive, sure, but whom I’d also feel an artistic, intellectual, cultural affinity with.

   Then, this just came pouring out of my heart.

   – I can’t wait to share it with you.

   Too much? Too compromising? Well, at least it was sincere.

   He sat in the armchair next to me without taking his eyes off of me as he said:

   – Sweet.

   He could have meant it in the way teenagers say it: ‘Cool’. He could have meant it in the way that he thought I was sweet or that it was sweet of me to say that. Or maybe he meant all three. My head was spinning but, at that moment, I just felt it was a question of time. We would get together. We just had to accept that it wouldn’t happen today. Not right now.

   He opened a folder on the coffee table in front of him and briefed me on the poetry and slam contest, explaining how it worked, what the rules – but especially the goals – were, etc. …

   – Do you have any questions?

   I burst out laughing.

   – What?

   – All the teachers we met on parent-teacher night finished their presentation with that question… except you.

   He suddenly looked mortified.

   – Crap! Did I forget to take questions?

   – No, I replied. You just said ‘Did I miss anything?’ I thought it was a nice change.

   He seemed relieved.

   – Oh good. After four of those meetings in the same night, I’m always afraid my mind will go numb and I’ll forget something important.

   I was amused and endeared by his insecurity. I thought it was odd yet moving and reassuring that he still took teaching – and even those parent meetings – to heart.

   – I don’t think so. I think you had all those parents eating out of the palm of your hand.

   He smiled and looked at me coyly.

   – Even you?

   – Especially me.

   We just sort of stared at each other for a few seconds as if we were both waiting for the other to say something, take the relationship to the next step… but neither one of us dared to.

   – Are you ready to go?

   Both Max and I were startled by Sami’s voice.

   – Hi, Mr. G. Hey, dad. Are you guys done?

   Max and I looked at each other and smiled. I had a feeling he was thinking the same thing I was. ‘We haven’t even gotten started yet.’

Friday, September 30th, 4:30pm

   I kept thinking about Max constantly but – even though I consider myself a very imaginative person, after all, I am a writer of fiction – I just couldn’t find a good enough excuse to get in touch with him again. I found myself pining for him, wishing to see him again, asking my daughter how her day at school had gone in hopes – mostly – that she would tell me about Max and her English class.

   Then, the following Thursday, Sami was feeling under the weather and Jennifer sent me an email telling me she was keeping our daughter home from school. On Friday, she wasn’t feeling any better so she stayed home again. I didn’t make too much of it as she is a great student and never tries to cut class unless she has a good reason.

    I did call though to make sure it wasn’t anything too serious and she told me it had to do with her period so I left it at that, knowing that that was not her favorite topic of conversation, let alone with her old dad.

   A few hours into the day, I received an email from Max and my heart leapt.

   – Really, you crazy fool? I said to myself out loud, shaking my head in discouragement.

   When I saw the ‘object’ of the email – ‘Sami’s absence’ – I was a bit disappointed and felt that I was not being a very good dad. Shaking my head at myself, I clicked on the message and read it:

   “Hello, sir:

   I knitted my brow at him still calling me sir, but then I thought: ‘Okay. This is a professional email. He’s writing to me as Sami’s teacher, not as a potential love interest.’

   Since Sami missed today’s English class and we watched the end of Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting, I just wanted to make sure that she could watch it and catch up during the weekend as I will be quizzing the students Monday on this movie. I am hoping you have it in your collection of DVDs but if you don’t and can’t find a copy in a rush, please get in touch with me so that I can lend you my copy for the weekend. If you are available, the best thing would be for you to drop by the school at the end of the school day to pick it up.

   I hope you will get this message in time.

Max Grayson”

   Good Will Hunting? Hum… another excellent film with Robin Williams in a memorable role. Did I detect a pattern here?

   I have to admit I was kind of surprised that I didn’t have that movie in my collection, but I wasn’t horribly disappointed when I went on line and found out that my local DVD store didn’t have it in stock but could deliver it in 5 to 10 business days.

    I wrote back to Max telling him I really appreciated him going beyond the call of duty like that and that I would need to take him up on his offer to borrow his copy for the weekend. I told him I would wait for him in my car in the faculty parking lot at 4:30 and would look out for him to make sure we didn’t miss each other. I also promised to make sure Sami would bring it back to him first thing Monday morning.

   At 4pm, I was already in the school parking lot, feeling like some kind of weird stalker. I sent Sami a text message telling her that Mr. Grayson was lending us his copy of the movie so that she could be up to date for their Monday morning quiz.

   “Isn’t he the nicest?” she texted back with two winking emoticons.

   I smiled but squinted. Did she feel what was going on, too? Did she approve? Was she amused? She certainly seemed ‘entertained’. When I told her I was waiting for him in the school parking lot, she replied:

   “You’re the best daddy in the whole wide world! Thank you!”

   I smiled.

   “And tell Mr. G he’s the best friend you’ve ever had! Haha!”

*****

   When he finally came out of the school, I opened my sun roof and stuck out my hand, waving him over to my car. I could see that he was looking around and finally spotted my wave. As he walked over, I was hoping he wouldn’t just come to the driver’s side window and that he’d come sit in the passenger’s seat for a while so we could talk. I felt strange that I had actually missed him since our last encounter, but those emotions were real.

   I did bring down my window but thankfully, he walked over to the passenger side with a wide smile on his face. Oh how his smile was contagious and incredibly sexy!

   He opened the door and hopped in the car.

   – Good Will Hunting, huh?

   – Yeah. Another one of my favorites. Such a powerful message and such a rich screenplay.

   – I agree… not to mention a pretty awesome cast.

   – Yup. Pretty and awesome, he said looking me straight in the eye. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck… a good-looking pair of dudes…

   I was surprised he was suddenly talking more like a street-wise guy than like the literature professor I’d grown accustomed to. He noticed my amused stare.

   – What?

   – A good-looking pair of dudes? I repeated.

   – Isn’t that the expression Vlad uses when describing the guys across the street in the café in San Bernardino?

   – Oh my God! I exclaimed. You remember that? Wow… I guess it is. I must have evacuated that from my brain after what happened in the real San Bernardino two years ago, huh?

   He reached over and kissed me passionately. I was not expecting that but it was a very welcome surprise. I kissed him back. He was holding the back of my neck with one hand and running his fingers through my hair with his other hand. The kiss lasted a very long time yet I wished it could have lasted even longer.

   – I’ve wanted to do that since the first time we met, he said when he finally pulled away. But I didn’t know if… you wanted to. If… it made any sense because you’re Sami’s father and… wow. I’m rambling. Sorry.

   – It’s okay.

   – I’ve been attracted to a few of my students’ dads through the years but… I’ve never acted on it. It just didn’t feel right, but… with you, I…

   – It feels… organic.

   – Organic.

   – Chemical.

   – Chemical.

   – Inevitable.

   – Yeah. That’s the word.

   At the same time, we breathed a sigh of relief. It felt so great to have that out of the way. I did feel strange about where we were though. I looked around to make sure nobody had seen us.

   – What are you doing this weekend? he asked.

   – Watching Good Will Hunting with my daughter, I replied, smiling.

   – I couldn’t believe you didn’t have it already.

   He was scrutinizing my face as though he was trying to catch me in a lie.

   – I have to confess…

   – I knew it! he erupted, clapping loudly in his hands. You do have it, don’t you?

   I laughed.

   – No, no, no! I swear! I did have it but somebody must have borrowed it because I couldn’t find it. That’s the God’s honest truth.

   – God sure works in mysterious ways, doesn’t he?

   – He does. So what are you doing this weekend?

   He almost looked disappointed.

   – I have this wedding I have to attend on Sunday. It’s this huge thing. My best friend is getting married in Cape Breton – that’s where he fell in love with his fiancée while they were on a camping trip with friends – and he vowed if they ever tied the knot, that’s where it would happen. So we’re leaving tonight. The rehearsal and dinner are at the end of the day tomorrow and I need to come back right away after the wedding on Sunday. I’ll be driving through the night to be here for class Monday morning.

   – That’s crazy.

   – What wouldn’t we do for our friends, right? I’m the best man so…

   – So you’re not going for nothing.

   – Exactly. I’m driving back with the maiden of honor.

   – Really? I asked, intrigued. Maybe that’s the next wedding we’ll be attending, huh?

   – Nah. Been there, done that. Gina’s my ex. We’ve known each other since high school and we’re still great friends. But that’s it.

   – Huh… just like Jenn and I. We had a great time together, had two amazing kids, but it was time to move on. We’re still great friends and really thankful for the time we had.

   – Sweet.

   There was that word again. And there we were, gazing into each other’s eyes like two love-struck teenagers in the parking lot of a high school. I couldn’t help but be amused.

   – Would you mind if I kissed you again? he asked.

   – This might not be the best place…

   – It’s definitely not the best place, but if we were in a better place, I’d want to do much more than kiss.

   I burst out laughing from the shear surprise of that bold sentence coming out of his mouth. We quickly looked around and, when we saw that the coast was clear, we stole another kiss. I felt my cock twitch in my pants and desperately wanted to feel Max’s body pressed against mine but this was neither the time nor the place.

   – Man! I wish I didn’t have to go to this wedding. Or at least I wish I didn’t need to drive a million miles to get there and a million miles to get back.

   I smiled.

   – We’ll find some time to be together when you get back.

   He whipped out his smart phone and looked at the time. When he spotted mine sitting there in one of the cup holders, he grabbed it, turned it on and started dialing a number.

   – What are you doing?

   His phone rang and he picked up.

   – There. Now you’ve called me so you’ll have my cell number in your phone.

   He smiled.

   – But don’t call me this weekend.

   I knitted my brow.

   – I want you hard at work on that screenplay of yours, he ordered. I’m almost as anxious to read it as I am to kiss its author again.

   I reached in and kissed him.

   – I have to watch Good Will Hunting with Sami this weekend, I reminded him, waving the DVD box in the air.

   – Only the last 45 minutes. She’s seen the first part in class already.

   I laughed.

   – Okay then. In that case, I guess that does give me some time to write.

   He smiled.

   – You better.

   He kissed me again and hopped out of the car. I watched him walk away and couldn’t help but feel that something wonderful was just beginning. I looked down at the DVD box and smiled but then a worried look overcame my face.

   How was this going to play out with Sami?

Tuesday, October 18th, 9:45 pm

   The next day, I picked up Sami at Jenn’s and took her back to my place so she could watch the end of the movie. I was thrilled when she suggested we watch it together from the start.

   – I don’t mind, she said. It’s really good, Dad. You’ll see.

   I laughed.

   – I know, honey. I fell in love with this movie before you were even born!

   – Oh, yeah? And who’s your favorite? Will or Chuckie? she asked. I like Chuckie. He’s kinda hot.

   – I’m sort of partial to Will…

   Sami’s face lit up and she shouted, clapping once, loudly in her hands:

   –I knew it!

   I couldn’t help but notice that she’d said and done exactly the same thing as Max in the car the day before.

   – You like short guys, don’t you, Dad?

   If I had been eating or drinking, I would have choked. I suddenly felt like a child caught in a lie… or with his proverbial hand in the cookie jar.

   – What? I do? Well, yeah. I guess I do. I guess it really is true that opposites attract. But Matt Damon isn’t that short, you know? He just looks shorter because Ben Affleck is almost 6’4”.

   – I know! He’s dreamy!

   I chuckled.

   – Sweetie! He’s ancient now! I joked. He’s like over 40! Almost as old as your old dad.

   – Not in Good Will Hunting he isn’t.

   – Yeah, but that was almost 20 years ago!

   She blew raspberry and blew me off with a nonchalant:

   – Whatever… do you want to watch the movie or not?

   – I’ll make the popcorn.

*****

    Sami went back to school on Monday, bringing back Max’s copy of Good Will Hunting and I went on line to order myself a new copy, still wondering who had borrowed my first, convinced that I had had that film in my collection at some point.

   When my daughter came home from school, she said:

   – Your New Best Friend sure looked tired today. He told us he went to a wedding in Nova Scotia and started giving us a geography lesson on the interactive white board. He was acting really weird, talking all romantic about marriage and engagements…

   I felt myself start blushing and smiling like an idiot.

   … and love and shit.

   That word snapped me out of my daze.

   – Sami!

   – What?

   – Language.

   She rolled her eyes at me.

   – Sorry. Anyway… he was just going on and on like he was another person. We even thought he’d forgotten about the quiz we were supposed to get but then he was freaking us out so bad with all this romantic stuff – except for two or three girls in the back who kept going ‘awww…’ every few words – that at some point, before some people started throwing up, Dylan Scott said, ‘Sir, aren’t you supposed to quiz us today?’ and everyone was relieved!

   I burst out laughing and couldn’t wait to talk to Max about this.

   Unfortunately, it would take a while for me to see him again.

   We exchanged a few emails, but every time we tried to make an appointment – I try to not call it a date because it feels so puerile – something would come up and the plan would be quashed.

   The first thing I knew, almost three weeks had flown by and it was time for the poetry and slam contest at school. That morning, Sami told me she wouldn’t be coming home after school because she was on Max’s committee to help set up everything in the auditorium. She said she’d be having pizza for dinner, courtesy of the committee and that she’d be riding home with me after the contest. ‘Okay,’ I thought, ‘she certainly has everything planned out for the day.’

   – Oh and I almost forgot…

   I realized I was almost holding my breath as though Sami was either going to reveal something that was going to be very embarrassing to me or that she was going to say something that would be terribly crushing somehow.

   – What’s that?

   – Your New Best Friend said to remind you that Christmas is only a little more than two months away. Whatever that means…

   My first instinct was to make something up, like ‘Oh, I told Mr. Grayson about what I wanted to get you for Christmas because I needed his help’ or ‘Mr. Grayson had this idea for a class project that’s really top secret and…’. Ugh… then, I thought, ‘Really? You’re going to start lying to your daughter now?’

   – Yeah. Since he’s a Bram Dooley fan, I told him about the screenplay and, when I’m finished with the first draft, I suggested we get together for a read through.

   There you go. How refreshing. The truth.

   Sami started making weird cooing sounds, making fun of me.

   – Max and Patrick, sitting in a tree…

   I interrupted her.

   – Actually, it’ll be kind of cold for a tree in December….

   – Ha, ha…

   Nonetheless, I was happy with the way I’d handled that conversation because, if Max and I ever actually became… ‘something’, ‘anything’ more than we were, Sami wouldn’t be completely shocked.

*****

   When I got to the school, I was greeted by a senior who ushered me into one of the dressing rooms in the auditorium with my two fellow judges, a local theater director who was also one of the high school’s alumna and this huge – literally and figuratively – hip hop music producer who happened to be an old friend of the head of the school’s music department.

   We introduced each other and had a nice chat until Max finally blew in like he was running late and going out of his mind.

   – Hi, everybody! Thank you so much for doing this. We really appreciate it. I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to talk to you yet. We just have so many last-minute preparations.

   He shook everyone’s hand, purposely coming to me last, clearly resisting the urge to kiss me, but giving me a discrete wink.

   – So I’ll have Brian come in and brief you before we get started and I really hope we can talk a little more at the end of the evening, okay?

   Everyone agreed and Max left as quickly as he’d come in.

   I couldn’t help but notice that he was even sexier when he was running around like a mad man.

   I didn’t see him again before he showed up on stage at the end of the evening, holding the envelopes we had handed to Brian with our decision for the three prizes to be awarded.

   After all those ‘and the winner is…’ moments, Max – acting as master of ceremonies for the evening’s conclusion – asked us up on stage to introduce us, handed us a nice little parting gift and thanked all the parents and friends for coming.

   Once my fellow judges had left, I sat there in the dressing room, waiting for Sami to finish what she needed to do as a committee member – and secretly hoping that Max would sneak in to see me.

   When he burst into the dressing room and slammed the door behind him, pressing his back against the door as if he was running away from people chasing him with guns, he closed his eyes, pretending he was out of breath and said:

   – I can’t believe it’s finally over.

   I turned away from the mirror, twisting to face him on my chair.

   – …and I can’t believe I finally get to see you again after all this time.

   He twisted the knob in the door, locking it, and walked over to me.

   – You look amazing in a suit and tie, Mr. Lamont, he said, smiling.

   – Really? I replied. Because you look completely ridiculous in a suit and tie.

   He burst out laughing and got between my legs, running his fingers through my hair and bowing down slightly to kiss me, first with his moist lips closed and then lightly parting his mouth open.

   – I’ve been waiting for that forever, he said.

   – Actually, it’s only been eighteen days, I replied, smiling. But you’re right. It has felt like forever.

   We kissed again, him still leaning down on me because I was sitting. It was oddly nice feeling smaller than Max. It was so great, finally feeling his mouth on mine again, his soft lips caressing mine and his teeth lightly grazing them. I loved the feel of his warm, wet tongue sensually flicking mine. I felt shivers run up and down my spine as his hands caressed my hair and massaged the back of my neck. I reveled in the feel of his passionate breath blowing what felt like love in my mouth.

   After kissing me for a while, he stood up, pulling his mouth away from mine and hugging me with all his might, my face pressed against his strong chest. Again, even though I am much taller and huskier than he is, Max made me feel as though he was protecting me in his strong arms.

    – Mmmm… you feel so good, he whispered. You taste so good. I thought I’d never feel like this again.

   I could also feel his hard cock on my belly through our clothes and, even though I definitely was looking forward to being naked with Max and making mad, passionate love to him, there was something irresistible and sexy about just sitting there, hugging him, caressing his back, his butt and the back of his legs.

   – We can NOT go another eighteen days without seeing each other, he whispered.

   – Please tell me you don’t have another wedding to attend in Cape Breton next weekend…

   – I don’t, he chuckled.

   – Good.

   – Please tell me you can come over to my place Saturday night for a romantic dinner…

   – Hum… that sounds divine.

   – Is that a yes?

   – Actually, I’d like a raincheck.

   He pulled back, his face completely drained and suddenly sad.

   – No, no, no, that’s not what I mean, I quickly rectified. Please tell me you are available to come join me Friday night at the cottage I rented for a week… starting tomorrow morning so I can finish the first draft of the screenplay and have the perfect setting for a reading with my New Best Friend.

   His face lit up.

    – What, really???  You’re done?

   – Almost. Two more days of intense work and – by the time you get to Sugarbush…

   – Sugarbush?

    – Vermont.

   – I know it.

   – Just before ski season… off-season. It’s beautiful in the fall and not as pricy…

   – Genius.

   – So you can come?

   – You bet. And when you get back next week, I’ll cook you an amazing dinner at my place. How does that sound?

   – Sounds awesome, Mr. Awesome.

   He chuckled and blushed and leaned down to kiss me again.

   When we heard the doorknob rattle, like someone was trying to get in, Max called out:

   – Come in!

   Then, he winked at me.

   – The door’s locked, said the voice on the other side.

   As he walked over, Max said:

   – Really? How did that happen?

   He unlocked the door and opened it.

   – Have you seen my dad? asked Sami.

   Max opened the door wide and pointed at me.

   – Right here. Thanks for all your help tonight, Sami. It was nice to see you again, Mr. Lamont. Talk to you soon… and thanks again for coming.

   – My pleasure, Mr. Grayson.

   Max left and Sami looked at me, and then looked at her teacher walking away toward the stage.

   – You ready to go? I asked.

   Sami was looking around the room as if it had some mystical secrets.

   – Sure, she said, her mind in another dimension.

   – What’s wrong?

   – Nothing, she whispered. Do you know that this is where Sean lost his virginity to Laura Brier when they were in the senior play together?

   I guffawed, remembering something to that effect, but just coming to the realization that Max and I had just made out where my son had had sex for the first time in his life.

   – Really? I said. Isn’t that interesting?

Friday, October 21st, 8:00 pm

   The next morning, with Sami and Sean at Jenn’s and in school, I struck off to Vermont for six nights as I had planned. I was hell-bent on completing the final draft of the script which was really coming along splendidly and I was looking forward to moving on to the next step of my love for Max.

   I had come to the conclusion that this would be the weekend during which we would consummate our relationship and that I would need to come clean with my children when I got back. Of course, I wanted to talk it over with Max first, but I was pretty sure that he would be comfortable with my decision. If he wasn’t, I did have a plan B, although I was certainly less comfortable with it: We would sneak around for the rest of the school year and when Sami moved on next year, Max and I would reveal our love to my family… and his, which I remembered I knew close to nothing about.

*****

   When I got up Friday morning, I went for a long walk in the woods around the cabin to clear my mind and fill my lungs with fresh air before my final read-through of the screenplay before Max’s arrival.

   I was so excited, so thrilled at the idea of sharing my writing with him because I knew that we’d have such a great time reading these scenes together and that he’d give me such relevant and valid feedback to help me better the story since he was such a Bram Dooley aficionado. I was also looking forward to sharing my bed with him which was sending shivers of anticipation through my whole body.

   Even though it was just the first draft, when I finally typed THE END at the bottom of the last page around four thirty in the afternoon, I just felt exhilarated. Looking at the time, I thought, ‘Max probably just left school. He’s on his way here.’ I felt a twitch of anticipation and excitement in my pants, but at the same time, I felt that it wasn’t only sexual. I was looking forward to kissing him, hugging him, spooning with him, watching movies, sharing meals. Speaking of which, I was really looking forward to cooking this bad-ass meal I had planned for his arrival. I prepared the Cornish game hens I’d bought and the raspberry-red wine sauce and took out the apple pie I had cooked the day before, preparing a special maple sugar sauce for it. I didn’t know if he liked wine, but I had found the perfect Cabernet sauvignon.

   My timing was perfect. When Max finally got to the cottage, I was just about to burst with excitement.

   – What an amazing place, he said when I opened the door to greet him.

   – You didn’t have trouble finding it?

   – No. Your directions were perfect. Plus, with my GPS…

   He kissed me in the open door before we even got inside. My knees melted and my cock did not. I started thinking, ‘We’ve been wanting this for a while, but there’s this great meal in the stove.’

   – Are you hungry?

   He smiled at me.

   – Famished. But if you want to wait, we can eat later. I’m open to anything.

   I smiled and I am pretty sure I blushed. Although I was absolutely dying to rip his clothes off and had spent the last two days imagining us making love in every room of the cottage, I thought it would be even more amazing if the anticipation built up even more.

   We had a terrific meal and he ended up being as much of a wine aficionado as he is a Bram Dooley connoisseur. Instead of setting up the table so that we would eat face to face, I actually put the place settings on the same side of the table and we sat next to each other. Through the whole meal, we kissed and fondled each other, even feeding each other bites of food and moaning with pleasure. I was so happy that he liked my cooking and appreciated my choice of wine.

   – I can’t wait to read the script, he finally said as I brought coffee to the table after dessert.

   – I’m looking forward to that, too, but tonight, I just want to make love.

   – Mmmm… that sounds amazing.

   I leaned down to kiss him and he rose from his chair, grabbing the sides of my head and massaging my scalp and my neck with his fingers as his mouth tasted the last drops of maple sauce from the apple pie.

   We didn’t break our kiss as we moved toward the den where I’d started a fire just before dinner. I had brought my own thick, mohair rug I had just bought on my way to the cottage. I knew I would want to make love in front of the fire and I knew there was no way I would use whatever was already here!

   You would think we would have wanted to rip each other’s clothes off from all the anticipation we’d imposed on ourselves, but there was just something that was making us patient, wanting this – our first time together – to last a long time.

   – Is this really happening? he asked me as we slowly stretched out in front of the fire.

   – It is, I replied. I can’t believe it either, but it really is happening. The question I’m asking myself is ‘Are you for real?’

   – Me? You’re the one who’s perfect. I should be asking that question.

   – Me? Aren’t you the awesome one?

   He chuckled and blushed in that cute, self-deprecating way of his.

   – I’m an awesome teacher but in general? As a guy, a man, a boyfriend, a lover… the jury’s still out.

   I traced his beautiful, scruffy face with my fingers in the firelight.

   – We all have history. We all have baggage. We’ve all done things we regret or might not be proud of. The only way we could be history and baggage-free is if we were toddlers.

   He laughed.

   – Yeah. True.

   – And as far as you’re concerned, where we are right now… me in my late forties, you in your late thirties…

   – Early forties actually…

   – Really?

   – Yup.

   – Okay. You in your early forties... you are Mr. Awesome for me, just the way you are right now. And honestly, I didn’t think I’d find somebody like you. Somebody I’d be able to share my work with, my life, my bed…

   – You mean your rug…

   We chuckled.

   – And the bed upstairs and the bed back home…

   He smiled.

   – Even when the kids will be home? he asked, almost wincing with worry.

   – Even when the kids will be home… eventually. We’ll definitely cross that bridge when we get to it. Sooner than later, I think.

   We smiled at each other.

   – I want to stop talking now, he said. I spent the whole day talking. I want to make love to you now.

   We kissed again and his hands slipped under my sweater, caressing my belly and my chest, reaching to my back and lightly scratching it with his nails, sending shivers of pleasure through my whole body, making my nipples perk up and goosebumps cover my arms and butt cheeks even though we couldn’t see them yet. My cock was hard as a rock and had started oozing pre-cum. We still hadn’t rubbed each other ‘down there’ yet and that was just fine.

   I pretty much mimicked what he was doing because I thought, ‘If he’s doing it to me – instinctively guessing what I like – it’s probably because he likes the same stuff, right?’

   Our kissing got more and more intense and our clothes started coming off, partly because the fire was roaring and we were starting to heat up. I explored his hairy chest with my fingers, grazing his hard nipples which made him moan with pleasure. I traced down his little belly and when I got to his navel, he winced, laughing:

   – Sorry. I’m a bit ticklish down there.

   I chuckled.

   – Oh okay. Hehe! That’s so cute.

   – Don’t make fun of me, he smiled.

   – I’m not.

   – I’d gotten better, he admitted, but now, I haven’t been with anybody in a while so…

   – I get it, I smiled. I’m the same with my feet.

   I pressed down harder with my hand, not using the tip of my finger anymore so as to not tickle him. He liked that.

   He started kissing down my neck, getting acquainted with my shoulders and my chest, nibbling on my hard nipples, which is not something I like usually, but I suddenly felt completely different with Max. As he was about to make his way down my sternum, I lightly pressed his face against my chest, encouraging him to stay on my left nipple a bit longer.

   – Oh you like that, huh? he said.

   I just moaned with pleasure, content with not giving him a full explanation right then and there.

   After a few more minutes, we went back to kissing each other, loving every second our mouths indulged in perpetual discovery. I brought Max back up from the horizontal position to a face to face, on our knees, in front of the fire. I took a few steps back and gazed at him in the firelight.

   – You’re beautiful, you know?

   Even in the dim-lit room, I could see him blushing.

   – No, I’m not.

   – You are, I insisted. You’re perfect to me.

   – Thank you, he said as though he didn’t really know how to argue with that. You’re my ideal man, too.

   I reached in again and kissed him before I started unbuckling his belt and unbuttoning his mustard-colored pants. He looked down, giving me free access as I zipped his pants open and slipped them off his butt and down to his knees, as far as I could go in this position. I kissed him again before I slipped my hands inside the back of his boxer shorts, cupping his hard butt cheeks, lightly squeezing them until I used the back of my hands to bring his shorts down. His hard little uncut cock sprung free, making me catch my breath.

   Every time I am with a new lover, no matter how I feel, when I see his penis for the first time, I have the same reaction of amazement. This time, I realized that I was actually in love with Max and with every last inch of him.

   He looked into my eyes and seemed worried that I would be underwhelmed with his size. I felt it would be better not to comment either way because I have never been a size whore and I was actually thrilled with his beautiful, hard manhood.

   He got up and eased out of his pants and shorts, making sure to whip off his socks at the same time. There he was, standing nude in front of me, beautiful and vulnerable, and I just wanted to love him. I caressed his hips, drawing circles with my hands and fingers, trying not to tickle him, exploring all around his cock which kept bouncing as if it was begging for my mouth to engulf it.

   He opened his legs a little and his balls fell loosely away from his thighs, hanging heavily. I do think I gasped a bit but I don’t know if he noticed. I cupped them delicately in my right hand and caressed them with my fingers, making him moan. I brought my face closer and whiffed his delicious musk as my nose buried itself in his crotch, between his cock and balls.

   I stuck out my tongue and tasted the salty sweat, losing myself in the pleasure of loving Max. I could feel him sway lightly on his feet as my tongue started swabbing his balls. I made them dance on my hot tongue, even poking the sensitive skin under his balls with it. When I sucked them both into my mouth, I felt him swoon, his legs becoming wobbly. By holding his hips, I was able to pleasure his balls freely, pressing my nose against the base of his hard cock.

   – Mmmmm… Patrick, that feels awesome, he whimpered.

    I smiled, flashing back to everything that word had meant in the last few months and feeling even more aroused, strangely enough.

   I started stroking his cock with my left hand, feeling just how rigid it really was as I kept sucking on his balls in my mouth. He thrusted his hips, fucking my hand and groaning sexily. I felt like stroking my own cock but really didn’t care that I still had my pants on. We’d get to me later. But one thing was for sure: I certainly didn’t want him to shoot his load right away. This was going to last. We certainly weren’t going to bust a nut and collapse on the mohair rug, snoring till tomorrow morning, even though we pretty much had already professed to each other that we’d be having a lifetime of sex together.

   I pulled away just long enough to take his balls out of my mouth and engulfed his cock in one fell swoop, turning my mouth into a powerful vacuum. He drew air through his teeth, expressing his pleasure as I grabbed his hips and tongued his whole cock without taking it out of my mouth. I loved how it felt to have his whole pole in my mouth and suddenly felt possessed with the obsession of making him explode against the back of my throat. Somehow, I felt that, even if he came now, we wouldn’t be done. He’d probably still be hard and raring to go on. I started stroking his cock with my tongue and lips, vacuuming the cum out of his balls.

   His breathing became heavier and heavier and I felt his balls rise in his ball sac.

– Mmm… Patrick, you’re driving me crazy. I’m going to cum. Mmm… argh, you have to stop if you don’t want me to… Oh! Oh! I’m cuming!

   His gush of cum, crashing against the back of my throat like a wave on the rocks during a tsunami, was just as exciting for me as it was for him.

– Oh my God, this can’t be happening!

   His voice was low and gravelly all of a sudden, yet slightly whimpering and begging for mercy. I made sure I sucked out every last drop of hot cum I could get before I got off my knees, kissing my way quickly up his torso, planting my mouth on his so he could feel how appreciative I was of the load he had expressed his love with.

   – I can’t believe you just did that, he said, out of breath when we pulled out of the kiss. I’ve never felt so completely… with anybody like that before in my life.

   His eyes seemed to be glistening with tears and my heart melted. He swallowed hard.

   – Can this really be happening so… completely? he asked. So fast?

   – I think it can. It’s up to us to make sure we keep it alive and real.

   He got up on his toes and kissed me again, his passion as bright as the strongest blaze in the fire.

*****

   That night, we made love till the morning. We explored every inch of each other’s body, loving each other by the fire, in the shower, in the master bedroom. We lay in each other’s arms whispering ‘I love you’ to one another as though we were testing it over and over and confirming it without the least doubt.

   We fell asleep in each other’s arms as the sun was coming up but we didn’t sleep long because Max started whispering in my ear, just like a child on Christmas morning:

   – Patrick… Patrick… Patrick… I want to read the script, my love. Patrick… when are we going to read the script? Patrick… Wake up. It’s time to read the script.

   I woke up laughing.

   We showered together again, probably longer than we would have needed to, enjoying each other’s body as we washed. Once we’d had breakfast and gone out for a hike in the autumn foliage, we came back to the cottage and I took out the two paper copies of the script I’d printed out.

   We had an amazing time reading the story of Vlad’s tortured love story with Milan in the Netherlands, pausing regularly to take notes and for me to take in Max’s great comments and feedback.

   – Man! I feel so bad for Vlad, said Max when we turned the last page. I wish he could meet somebody as awesome as you.

   I chuckled and smiled as I reached over the table to squeeze his hand. He was right. Well, maybe not about me being awesome – what would it sound like if I said that, right? –, but about us being lucky to have found somebody to share a truly fulfilling and enriching love story.

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