Las Vegas: Gomorrah

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Brian

I had to ask Snowplow what the hell sand had to do with snow, but, as is typical for him, he shows me rather than tells me. So here I am out in the frigging desert training to ski without skis! I mean I’m like ‘huh?’ Sometimes I think my Creamcicle has a screw loose. Seriously!

But, let me back up a tick.

So, we came to Vegas shortly after visiting Sabrina in her new place in San Diego because Snowflake had never been to Vegas. I thought it kind of incredible that he’d never once been to Sin City, but after seeing his initial reactions to the place I had to accept it was true. My Snowbaby was a Vegas Virgin! I’m still like, ‘wow!’

I got Snowplow, Jimmy, that blue fucker (Mattie), and myself rooms in a place called the Tuscany just off the strip. It’s a nice place and I’d stayed there before. I hate staying right on the Strip because it has become so fucking overblown I’m afraid something might actually blow up with me in it if I stay there. My wallet thanks me every time I avoid the Strip.

My first choice is usually Hard Rock Resort right next to the Paradise Fruit Loop where some of the other gays hang out. It’s nowhere near the Strip and yet it’s probably the best deal in Vegas in all ways! Hard Rock and Luxor tend to be as gay as a Barbara Streisand concert at peak season. But, we are not in peak season right now so I was afraid I might run into actual families with kids this go around. Oh, fuck no!

We got two nice suites butted up next to one another. This way we’d all be together and I could keep an eye on both Snowflake and Jimmy. Not surprisingly, Jimmy’d only driven through Vegas on his way to LA and then San Francisco when he was escaping the Bible Belt. This is, at least, what he told me between leers at my crotch. So, he’s not familiar with the city ether. Yet another Vegas Virgin ripe for the raping! Oh, brother.

Mattie, I think, used to run male prostitutes in Vegas. Not really, but he seems to know every seedy and edgy club in the place just like ‘he been pimpin’. Obviously, our blue fairy is WAY more experienced with Vegas than any of us. But, I rather give Jimmy and Snowflake my X-rated version of the Vegas tour as opposed to Mattie’s possible snuff-film version.

So, I suppose, this brings me back here, to this ‘desert oasis’ in the middle of suburban Las Vegas. It’s called the ‘Whitney Nature Preserve’ and it looks like it has preserved a LOT of sand and cactus and that’s about it. But, it has what Snowflake was looking for which are lots of hiking trails.

It’s a nice enough park, I guess, if you like the ‘xeriscaped’ look, but I couldn’t figure out how any of it would help with ski training. I couldn’t figure it out until Snowflake pulled four bizarre looking contraptions out of the back of our rented SUV. I swear they looked like something out of a James Bond flick. I’d only seen videos of them before, but never in person. I have no idea on this earth or any other where he got the things. I imagine he got them through the REI catalog, but they could have easily been delivered by space aliens from Area 51, for all of me.

Snowflake calls them Air-Trekkers and they are those ‘gazelle’ stilts that acrobats use to jump really high and do backflips and shit.  I wasn’t sure I was into becoming a Chinese Acrobat just yet, but Snowbunny put me at ease. We’d just be ‘striding’ in them. He also brought some ski poles that were long enough to pole with while wearing the gazelle contraptions. So, I finally got the ‘skiing’ angle on all this, I think.

You know what? This is more fun than anything else I’ve done lately with my clothes still on! A person feels practically superhuman in these damned things! I think we both got up to 25 mph bounding along on our ‘gazelle hooves’.

In a way, that’s good and yet not so good all at the same time. See, Snowplow managed to get me up at the crack of dark to get over here and do this before the sun got too bad. This has got to be the earliest I’ve EVER gotten up in Vegas in my entire fucked up perverted life! Usually, I would get up around 2 PM because I’d have gotten back to the hotel around 6 AM from an all night rave. Ok, I’ll be honest, it’s always more like 8 AM, but no one watches the clock in Vegas! It’s just weird getting up here this early.

So, I’m actually out here prancing around like a zoo animal at 6 AM and I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had at any rave party no matter how good the drugs were! This is just . . . great!

Snowflake guides me up to the top of a bluff because his instincts tell him to. I don’t know what that means, but we have made excellent time bounding up here and although I’m sweating like a pig, it’s a nice cool feeling under the Raiders jersey I have on. The desert air in the morning at this time of the year is cool and dry. Though I’m sweating I know I’ll be dry in a matter of minutes as the dry air wicks all my sweat away really quickly.

As we stand on the bluff I find myself suddenly stunned at the view. The sun rising over the mountains behind Vegas turns everything every different shade of purple. The sky is pink, but the land is lavender. It’s unbelievably beautiful! I feel a stupid lump form in my throat and find myself sidle up to Snowflake as close as I can while still wearing these steel galoshes.

He says to me: “Ah . . . It is just as I supposed! The land and sky were hinting at a beautiful dawn coming and I was correct!” Snowflake’s face, pale as it is, takes on the same lavender and rose colors as the surrounding desert dawn and I have the powerful urge to smash my face into his and kiss him for all he’s worth!

“It’s so beautiful. Yeah, heh…” I moon sappily as I look at Snowflake’s glowing face as the sun rises and turns the purples and pinks into reds and oranges. He turns to look at me with those crystal eyes that catch every fire of the newborn sun and he has a bewildered look which is always such a cute expression on him.

“Why do you stare at me? The spectacle is over there!” He points.

“No it’s not . . .” I say softly with what must be the goofiest smile on my face. I then reach for him and take him by the back of the neck and pull him in for a kiss.

That’s when we both lose our balances and crash to the ground as our ‘hooves’ loose their purchase points. Both of us land rather painfully on our backs and butts, but no harm is done other than a few bumps and bruises.

“No voi vittu!” Snowflake exclaims. I have come to realize that anything with the word ‘vittu’ in it seems to mean something-or-another ‘fucking’. Hehehehe!

“Oops,” I say between snickers.

“It is not funny! We could have been hurt! I should have you run back to the car without the stilts! All the way!” Snowflake blasts me angrily as he tries to undo his gazelle boots.

That only makes me snicker all the more. I scrabble over to him and pin him to the ground before he knows what hits him. He has been so focused on his stilts that he doesn’t even notice me readying to pounce him!

“Let me up! I will make you run all the way back to the hotel if you do not behave yourself!” Snowflake says with this ‘sternness’ that is somehow unconvincing.

I laugh out loud in his face which then causes him to break down and laugh while trying not to. I lean in and smother his lips with a big kiss. Unable to keep from laughing we both start making stupid fart sounds from between our smooched lips. This only makes us both laugh harder.

“You shit! I am supposed to be mad at you, goddamn it!” Snowflake pushes at me in a way that is harder than he means to because of his massive strength. It pushes me off him rather violently! I land a short distance away on my back with an ‘oof’.

“Oh dear! I am so sorry! I did not mean to push so hard!” Snowflake comes to me in horror since I am now laying there on my back looking stunned.

Trick!

I grab him and wrestle him back around to where he is now on his back again and I’m back on top! We are now thoroughly dirty with desert dust, sand, and god knows what else!

“You Fucker! You are in a devil of a mood today, Brian Chesney! Vegas is a bad influence on you!” Snowflake growls at me.

“Oh you just wait, Pigeon Pie. Vegas hasn’t even warmed me up yet.” I grin evilly and my hand finds Snowplow’s package and I grope him unmercifully. He stiffens reflexively . . . all over!

“You let go of me! I will not do this here! I do not want to get sand in anyplace uncomfortable!” Snowflake glares at me, but I see that wolfy leer in his silver eyes. I see the slight twist of a smile in his laugh lines. He likes where my mind is taking him.

“Alrighty then! I’ll just have to . . .” I jump up surprisingly fast and balance myself on the Air-Trekkers like I’ve been wearing them all my life. “. . . meet you back at the SUV so I can finish you off there!”

I quickly gather up the poles and dart off back down the path at a full bounding stride. I stop to call back to him: “You better get your ass in gear! I might just leave you here!” I grin at him and then bound off.

I hear more Finnish expletives that involve the word ‘vittu’ or permutations there-of, but before long I hear the machine-like sound of Air-Trekkers coming up behind me at olympic speed. I’m being chased by the Ferrari again! It calls to mind a time, not too long ago, when I heard similar sounds of olympic speed coming up from behind me. Only that time it was the swish swish of skis on the snow and not the sproing sproing of Air-Trekkers on the sand.

There is another difference this time too. The Ferrari is now chasing a McLaren! He can’t catch up to me so easily anymore.

You see, one way or another, between beach blanketing, clubbing, drinking, fucking, eating, and working very hard we’ve also been doing a lot of training. This latest bizarre foray into early morning physicality has been just one of what must be dozens of other gym visits or jogging trail visits Snowflake and I have been making the past few months. We spend most early mornings and evenings together working out and training together. I hated exercise before meeting Snowflake. Now I am absolutely as addicted to it as I am to him. It makes him so unbelievably happy to share this part of his life with me. It is a tonic to the both of us. We seem to feed off of each other’s energy.

I think I’m thriving off of that happiness, to be honest. I’ve never been in this kind of shape. I’ve even had modelling agencies try to pick me up because I’ve gotten so ripped. My fellows at the Center call me the ‘Sexiest Neurologist Alive!’ It’s funny to me and somewhat meaningless. I can be eye candy if they want me to be, but my love only belongs in one place and that’s in Snowflake’s heart. What a difference in my life! What a departure from how I used to live being the promiscuous fuck-buddy to all my friends.

We’ve been together such a short time, but it seems like I’ve lived more in these past few months than I have my entire life. This spring I completed a ton of hours on my internship for the year at the UCSF Pediatric Brain Center. I’ll be starting up again when I get back around late September. Probably by next spring I’ll be ready for my residency. Snowflake and I will have been together a year by then. How time flies when you are with the one you were always meant to be with! Work isn’t work at all if it’s done with the one you love most in the world.

I love Snowflake with all of my heart! I know that if he were to go away or die, I’d probably not make it. I’ve always been such an independent soul that it scares me sometimes how much I’ve come to need Snowflake near me. It’s like needing water or air. It’s like I can’t breathe if he’s not there with me to give me a reason to do so.

These thoughts make me slow my trot so that my prancing reindeer-prince can easily catch up to me. He takes my cue and slows down to keep pace with me. This is no time to race. It’s a time to share together and not to be split up by racing or other stupid macho shit. Our way back to the SUV is rather plodding and slow as compared to our mad dash out into the reserve.

We linger in the SUV after we get back, finishing a few energy bars for breakfast and drinking coffee from our thermoses. When we are done we look at one another, smile mischievously, and get down to some real ‘work’.

Afterwards, the inside of the SUV’s windows are completely steamed up and both of us are hoping that the rental company doesn’t UV-light the insides of their vehicles and charge extra for deep cleaning. But, really, the price would be worth it! Lying naked next to my angel of the snow, in the back of an SUV, out in the middle of the fucking desert, well it’s just about the best memory any guy can go to his grave having! It proves that he’s lived a life and lived it well!

Before long, both of us needing to shower pretty badly at this point, we slip on some shorts and head back to the hotel. Along the way Snowflake and I make sporadic comments about this and that. He then springs a new one on me. It is a question that I’d never thought to explain before now. It didn’t seem that important to me. But it was to Snowflake, for some reason.

“Truly, Kulta, how long have you been cross-country skiing? It has been a question I have been keeping to myself for a while now. But, it has been weighing on me of late.” Snowflake’s unusual use of a Finnish term of endearment catches me by surprise. He only uses words like that when he’s being even more serious than he usually is.

“Well, truth be told, I’ve been puttering around on skis since I was old enough to walk, really. Kind of weird, I know, being a Texas boy and all, but, well . . . Pop liked cross-country so we went to ski places allot.” I answer a bit more evasively than I thought I would. It always makes me uncomfortable talking about my Pop. Things there . . . ain’t so great, I guess.

Snowflake’s reaction to my answer is even more surprising than this out of the blue question of his. He turns and stares at me with his mouth agape like I just told him I shot JFK or something! What the hell?

“Really?” His voice cracks up an octave. Ok, this is just getting weird.

“Well, sure, Snowballs! You already knew I had some background in X-Skiing, I just never told you how much. It didn’t seem important. Plus, you were showing me things I’d never have learned in a million years just scooting around like I’ve always done.” I find myself chuckling at him and his disbelief.

“Am I really that bad at this that you can’t believe I’ve been doing it for most of my life?” It’s my turn to ask a pointed question if for no other reason than to see Snowmonkey squirm! Hehehehe!

Snowflake doesn’t squirm easily, unless I’m mercilessly edging him off on the floor of a rented SUV. So, he answers rather crisply, “No. That is not it. It is more like you are one of the most advanced skiers I have ever trained! I do not usually see that naturalness on skis among Americans except if they live in very northern states or have immigrated. Skiing is not a way of life here as it is in Finland or other parts of the North. It seems to have been so for you.” Snowflake says quietly and then starts fidgeting.

Why is this conversation so uncomfortable for him? I don’t get it. So, I’ve been skiing a long time. So, I’m not ‘your average American’. Maybe, this is a bit of cultural mind expansion for my main man’s platinum skull to wrap around. There are no ‘Average Americans’. This is a big country and there are a lot of different kinds of Americans. Though there is endless bitching about it on the news and elsewhere, this nation is still probably the most diverse nation on the face of the earth! We literally have ALL kinds here and, for the most part, we get along with each other rather famously all things considered!

“The skiing where I come from is nearly sacred for us. It means freedom and safety to know how to ski. It is not unlike learning to drive when in California. One must drive there to be free so the car is somewhat sacred in California. Skis are the same in the Forever White. Skiing is as natural to us as running might be for you, perhaps.” Snowflake continues quietly while staring at his fidgeting fingers.

“Well, I can’t say it’s ‘sacred’ to me as most things aren’t really, but it is important. It was the only thing me and my Pop really shared that was important. I guess it was a way for us to bond.” Unexpectedly, I feel tears well up in my eyes as this terrible wave of emotion washes through me.

“But, I guess . . . it wasn’t enough in the end.” I sniffle a bit and wipe my eyes with my arm so that I can keep them clear to drive. Where the fuck did this come from? Why the hell did this have to come up? What the hell good does it do to talk about shit like this? What does Snowflake care? Pop can fucking jump in front of a train for all I care! Whatever!

“Oh, Brian Baby, I am so sorry! I did not mean to bring anything bad up!” Snowflake looks horrified.

“It’s ok. Just stupid shit. Don’t worry about it. It goes away.” My voice sounds strained through my tightened throat.

His hand reaches for the back of my neck and he massages it lovingly. For some reason, I sense that his bond with me has deepened even further because of this stupid emotional revelation bullshit. His cool hand back there feels good and his magic fingers undo the knot that’s managed to form at the top of my shoulders.

“Skiing is sacred to you too then, Kulta. Yes, now I can understand where it comes from.” Snowflake says with a penetrating perception that causes me to take my eyes off the road and glance at him a couple of times.

“Where what comes from?” My voice has come back though it’s still a bit creaky.

“The passion! It’s what I don’t see in other skiers. It’s one of the reasons we connect, Brian. We share this most intimate of sacred passions. It *is* important! Very!” He withdraws his hand from my neck after a light squeeze.

Our trip back to the Tuscany is quietly pregnant with unsayable feelings. We just braze in them in silence the rest of the way back. When finally I get parked back in the lot, I can spare to look over into Snowflake’s face. His eyes turn and catch mine.

There I see, maybe for the first time completely, why this spirit is my soulmate. We are cut from the same cloth. We are parts of the same whole.

In essence, we’ve fallen from the same snowy cloud. Our ice crystals complement one another’s. Locked together we form one perfect and complete snowflake.

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Snowflake

The more I learn of him the more I love of him! It is like questing deeper and deeper into the ice cave of a glacier. It is only if you go deep inside that you can find the precious ancient blue ice that is so beautiful! The deeper you go, the richer the colour. So it is with my Brian Baby. My golden crumb’s heart glitters ever more beautifully the deeper I fall in love with it.

So, he too grew up skiing. Not as I did, it would seem, but in ways that had identical meaning. His connection to skiing is through his father. It sounds like it was the only real bond they shared as father and son. As such, it is sacred to Brian as it is to me. Skiing was something my Papa and I shared every day until the filthy Russians blew his leg off and he could no longer ski anymore.

He had been an accomplished skier. He had never competed but I saw him do such feats of endurance on skis that I could never match. He did these things in times of distress and war. He fought Russian invaders while firing long distance from his rifle while moving quickly behind trees and through forests. It took a cowardly Russian booby trap to stop him finally. They laid one just to destroy him personally!

They blew his leg off and so he could no longer ski from that point on. In the end, the devastating injuries he sustained would claim his life. My father only lived to 45 years old where he died by heart attack from a blood clot that had formed in his thigh as a result of his injuries. A valiant warrior who did honour to our family name, my father passed as a hero to me and to the few who ever knew him and what he did for Finland.

Before that time, though, he and I skied everywhere. He took me to the lakes and to the place that will forever be where my soul shall rest. A place where the night is never dark because either the sun is present at midnight or the Aurora burns so brightly that it casts enough light to read by! A place where, one day, I will take my Brian to see. He will be forever changed! That place is where the Rainbow Bridge touches Midgard! That is a place where gods must have once walked!

It is the Forever White under the Phosphorescent Sky!

My father taught me all there is to know about skiing. His old tricks and techniques still prove to be the edge I have over my competition during races. They all think it is because I am merely stronger or better conditioned that I win races, but it is not this. It is my father’s training that helps me to win. His spirit comes with me when I ski. It is when I ski that I feel his soul closest to mine.

So, it would seem, that this is a similar case for Brian.

Skiing is the one handle he has to hang upon that tells him that somewhere at sometime he still belonged to a father and was maybe even loved by him. The windows into Brian’s enigmatic past come open, from time to time, so that he allows me to see in.  Not surprisingly, I see pain and somehow this pain is eased when Brian is skiing.

His first idea for a ‘vacation’ was to join me at the Auburn Ski Club and begin an arduous training campaign to improve his skiing abilities. Others would have settled for a beach chair by the sea with a fruity cocktail in hand, but not Brian! Brian wanted to ski and to feel that connection to his family that he lost probably upon coming Out.

This is the root of the passion! With him and with me, we are joined in this passion because skiing is ‘family’. Also, in the same vein, our skiing together has helped him to work through the bad feelings that being excluded from a family can bring. Now, because of the skis, I suppose, he and I have become family. How amazing!

Perhaps, one day, he and I will make our family official. Maybe we will marry! We can do that now. We can do that and not worry about what anyone else thinks! But, such things are ever so distant into future time. Much can happen between now and tomorrow. We never know what is to come.

For instance, despite this new feeling of a deeper connection that I have to my Bri Bri, I am still haunted by something. It is a thought and a feeling that just will not go away. It is like a mosquito tormenting me in my ear. I cannot stop it from landing and biting and I hear it always. I do not know what to do with this thing that overshadows all my pure and loving feelings for my chosen partner.

Kris Sørensen continues to grow steadily in my thoughts. Where I hoped with passing time my physical infatuation with him would diminish, it has not done so. It has only grown stronger. I even suggested that he and Victorio Camarada not come with us on this trip despite the fact that Vic had deep connections here in Las Vegas.

Vic was amenable to it even when Jimmy and Mattie insisted on coming along with us. Perhaps Victor was hoping for some one on one time with Kris to deepen their relationship. I can hope this to be true! I did hope that my separating myself from Kris and getting out of our closed circle for a time would make my temptation subside.

But, strangely, distance has only made me think of Kris more. It tears at me on the inside! I love Brian and only Brian. His sex is the most satisfying I have ever had. He is absolute perfection.

But, Kris’s chemistry and mine are physically undeniable. I lust for Kris’s body. I want us to ravish each other until this lust burns out and we can go back to our respective lives.

I do not love Kris. I do not feel that for him. I only hunger for his sex. In the past, this would have been no problem for me. He and I would have had our night or even nights together and would have been done with each other. In Amsterdam, Oslo, or Helsinki it would have been an easy and expected thing. Love is not something usual in these places. Sex is, but it is done rather lovelessly. Two people scratching a mutual itch. Deeper feelings are not generally sought out. They unnecessarily complicate things. It makes things ‘messy’.

Such were my attitudes about men and women before I met Sabrina. She primed me to expect more from people. Her American sensibility that reaching for more was not only ok, but good and to be expected, eroded the ice fortress around my heart.

When I met Brian, I was all ready to have a real American love affair! I was ready to experience something I would never let myself experience again after what happened to             Tristan when I was a teenager. When I opened myself to Brian he filled me with the juices of life! He opened my eyes to true living! Love! Love is so much more than sex! It is a never ending wellspring of joy as well as bittersweet sorrow.

Yet, this new notion of love now is being challenged by my old habits and patterns. This love has somehow shackled a part of myself I thought was freedom. Perhaps, love is the freedom and all the meaningless sex I was having before was the trap. But, somehow, I feel that love is stifling my freedom to experience things.

It is all so very confusing to me. I wish I could forget Kris. I wish my body would stop wanting him. Brian should be enough and more than enough, but my old self requires variety. It will not let me alone until I have tasted everything and everyone It wants me to taste.

Sexual ‘freedom’ is a drug, I suppose. It keeps me jonesing for new experience regardless. What am I to do?

I fear I know what I must do and it will take more courage than I have. I cannot face losing Brian. Not over something so stupid as old habits that die hard. Yet, I must confront him with this. I have to be honest. I have vowed never to keep him in the dark about what is going on between us.

I owe him enough faith that he and I can talk about this and come to terms with it somehow. I have to know that he will not fly off the handle and desert me after I’ve said my piece to him. I must make an act of trust.

“Hey, Mr. Creamcicle! What’s the deal? You’re being awfully quiet over there. You doing ok?” Brian wakes me from my thoughts. I must be so deep in them that I’m causing a heavy silence. I do not blame Brian for checking on me about it.

“Yes. I was just thinking.” I say to him distantly. It is rather evasive of me, but I am not ready to broach this subject. I really must build my emotional strength to do it. Such things should not be talked about in cars. But, alas, Brian has never been one to leave things alone. I have a feeling it is his diagnostic persistence as anything else that keeps him probing until the malady can be exposed.

“. . . and you were thinking aboooout?” Brian waits for an answer I don’t think will come so soon. I do not wish to lie and so I do not.

“Oh, something for later. I don’t want to talk about it right now.” I say with finality. But that doesn’t work either.

“Are you mad at me? Are you still pissed that I knocked us both over and then laughed at you? Because that shit was funny! I’m sorry, but it was!” Brian giggles.

His jovial mood is contagious and a good way to deflect this conversation to a later time.

“You could have hurt yourself, my Butt Blossom. There could have been a scorpion or worse a rattlesnake! You could have hit your head on a rock! All manner of things! I will not have you hurting yourself over stupid things! There is plenty of pain in this world without doing stupid things!” I grumble. Actually, it is quite a true feeling I have in that regard. Brian must be more careful with these things we do! They are not without risk and he seems to treat his life so carelessly. You would think he would be more careful being a doctor and all!

“Oh, horseshit! Remember, Snowplow, I grew up in Texas and in backwoods California. I know when there’s a rattler around. This isn’t the time of day for them. It’s too cold! Same with scorpions. They go under a rock before the crack of dawn so they don’t become baked lobsters. The rock thing . . . that I might give you.” Brian concurs.

“Perhaps, but, you must know . . . when you hurt, I hurt too!” I glance at him and he glances at me and has a rather shocked look on his beautifully grizzled face. I got him out of bed before he had a chance to shave himself (all over) and then coif himself. He can be an overgrown ‘twink’ at times.

“I do not like to hurt over stupid things! So, don’t be stupid with yourself anymore!” I reach and squeeze his knee and he touches my hand while holding the wheel with the other. The moment purifies us both for the rest of the ride. We ride in contented silence and my mind quiets down. A touch, then, is all that is needed to make clear what was once foggy. Just a simple touch with love.

We pull back into the parking lot of our chosen hotel. I like the Tuscany. It is simple as compared to these other places along what Brian calls ‘The Strip’.

All these other places seem so very overwrought! One side of the street tries to mimic places in Paris and Hollywood conceptions of the middle east while the other side mimics places in Italy . . . some with astonishing accuracy!

The endless indoor malls connecting all the different casinos and hotels are so very easy to get lost in. I felt the need to hang on to Brian’s arm everywhere we went so as not to get lost. I do not like getting lost. I am not used to it. I am an orienteer so in the outside places I do not get lost. I know my compass and sun by day and I know my stars at night. But, in the subterranean ‘Netherworld’ of ‘The Strip’ I have no natural points of reference. Even the ceiling is disorienting! They paint it and light it to look like a perpetual twilight sky! During the murderously hot days this is actually quite the sanctuary, but I still do not care for it much.

Casinos are also something I will never understand. This is not because Finns do not gamble, because we most certainly do, but not with the abandon done in Vegas. I knew the place was famous for gambling and their casinos, but I had no idea how absolutely dazzling and vast these huge twinkling and noisy rooms were!  Each roulette table, poker table, craps table, and most especially each slot machine was a mystery to me. They fascinated me like a hypnotic drug! Brian had to pull me away from one machine or another more than once as I tried to study and observe it.

Alas, neither of us could stay long in any of the gambling parlours. The smoke in them from cigarettes and cigars caused both of our systems to become ill. Neither of us tolerate tobacco smoke at all well and, for some reason, these casinos were not very well ventilated.

The drinks were also disappointing. I asked for a straight vodka and basically got water. I was going to say something to the bartender, but Brian talked me out of it. Apparently one does not bring up shortcomings in a casino. It makes you a ‘trouble maker’ and the ‘eye in the sky’ does not like ‘trouble’ makers. I did not know what any of that meant, but I followed his lead as he knows this strange city much better than I do.

We later went to a very well stocked liquor store that had Finlandia vodka for a song! We could even drink out on the street with it like we were back home in Helsinki! We drank, had hot dogs, and rode the giant ferris wheel called ‘The High Roller’ at a place called The Linq. That was fun but, I don’t remember much after that. Hehehehe!

During most of our misadventures through Las Vegas, Brian and I were by ourselves. Mattie seemed to have another itinerary for Jimmy. I noticed both of them sneaking off while Brian and I were getting ready to ‘attack’ the Strip. Brian was concerned about Jimmy, but I assured him that Jimmy was far more resourceful than he looked. I also didn’t want Brian’s growing sense of overprotection for Jimmy to throw my little friend off from this experience with Mattie. He needs this. I know that Brian seems to know Mattie’s penchant for mischief, but I know Jimmy’s need for exposure. I will not let anything bad happen to Jimmy that he won’t be able to take.

Call it the trainer in me, but I must always encourage someone to challenge their limits and push beyond them so that they grow stronger.

Alas . . . I now feel I must eat my words as I enter our floor after our time out. I hear what Brian can only describe as ‘caterwauling’. I am still learning Texan. I must say it is almost as strange a language for me to pick up as Swedish was.

The sound of this ‘caterwauling’ causes me to go into automatic motion built on reflexes trained to burst forth without thought. I recognise Jimmy’s voice in the ungodly screams. It is this stimulus that prompts me. I barely hear Brian calling for me to ‘wait’! But such a thing my body is unable to do.

I bang on the door to Jimmy’s suite and am answered only by more sounds of apparent distress. My leg engages before my brain and the door kicks in at one blow of my ski trained leg and foot. My adrenaline numbs me to the pain now coming from my sorely bruised foot and bone shocked knee.

Upon seeing Jimmy strapped helpless to the four poster bed with Mattie seemingly biting the bejeezus out of poor Jimmy’s testicles, my arms and back engage with the same thoughtlessness as my leg and foot just did.

Mattie is hoisted bodily off of my little friend. The shock of my action, thankfully, has caused the blue haired fiend to cease his gnawing of my dear friend’s privates long enough to bellow a sharp ‘HEEEYYY! LEGGO!’.

I comply. I ‘LEGGO’ of Mattie out the door of the suite and against the far wall of the hallway! He hits with a thump and a pained grunt before sliding to the floor too stunned to move.

Brian rushes in, assesses the situation, and quickly goes to Jimmy’s aid. He quickly loosens the leather straps that hold his hands and feet and is quickly treated to a sharp kicking push from Jimmy’s foot that sends Brian reeling.

Like ‘White Lightning,’ as they say in Texas, Jimmy charges me and gives me a hard punch to the gut which causes me to lose all the air out of my lungs. I double-over in unexpected pain while Brian tries to right himself from the floor where he’s fallen.

“YOU FUCKING ASSHOLES! WHAT THE HELL?” Jimmy yells at us both sharply. He then rushes over to Mattie in the hallway, naked as the day he was given over to his mother’s arms for the first time. I’m still coughing, amazed at the power behind little Jimmy’s punch to my gut!

Mattie rubs the back of his head and whimpers a bit. He too is as naked as the day he was given over to whatever passed for his mother. Jimmy holds Mattie’s head close to his bare bosom as if cradling his own child.

I have a feeling both Brian and I have grossly miscalculated something.

“What is WRONG with you two? What the FUCK!” Jimmy is still red with anger . . . and possible humiliation. Tears are forming in his eyes as he tenderly rubs Mattie’s back.

Other’s have come to dare look out of their own rooms to see the tragedy unfolding before their very eyes. One man eyes the nudity and the carnage and asks if ‘everything is alright?’

“Yeah, dude. Just a misunderstanding. Sorry for the disturbance.” Brian covers for us while Jimmy takes Mattie back into their room while glaring at the both of us. He finds he can’t close the door as I have ruined it.

The adrenaline comes out of me finally and I feel the pain of shame and regret flood through me along with the pain in my foot and knee.

“I am so sorry, Jimmy! I heard you yelling and saw Mattie and…and…” and I find myself blubbering. Brian has an irritated and cross expression as he looks on us as if we are all crazy.

“You fucking THREW me out the door and into the GODDAMN WALL, you MUTHERFUCKING ALBINO! ” Mattie shouts at me viciously. I wince.

“It’s ok, Mattie. Don’t get too upset. You might have hurt your head and you’ll give yourself a headache.” Jimmy says between sniffles.

“I already have a freaking headache! What the actual fuck, Dude? How in the fuck did you end up with these two psychos as ‘friends?’ Are you THAT needy? How fucking pathetic!”  Jimmy sucks in his breath in shock at the hurtful comment. Mattie seems to distribute his anger in all directions, not just at those who have wronged him, it would seem. He punctuates his disgust at Jimmy by lurching away from him.

“Ok, everyone just calm the fuck down. I get this was an accident, but what the hell were you two doing in here in the first place?” Brian seeks to defend my honour as well as Jimmy’s feelings from what he perceives as an imminent attack on all of us by the incensed Mattie the Merciless.

“What in Ru Paul’s Manpussy is it to YOU what we do, ‘Doc?’ Jesus Tap-dancing Christ! Get a clue and get the fuck out of other people’s business! How did you even get your ‘degree’ with that kind of dumb-fuckism?” Mattie’s venom starts to spit more caustically. I am almost frightened, actually. There is an almost psychopathic edge to Mattie’s blooming tirade.

Jimmy tries to reach for Mattie to calm him down but he violently shrugs Jimmy off and stands up sharply going for his pants. I tense waiting for something dangerous to happen. He might have a knife in there or something! It is rare I see someone that angry! Mattie’s slow simmering vicious anger is very concerning to me. I’ve only seen it in people who are truly cruel and remorseless! With each passing moment my suspicions of who Mattie is are crystallised into truth.

However, to my relief, Mattie just slips his black leather pants back on (no underwear) and then pulls on a black skull and crossbones shirt over his pale but bruised flesh. Somehow, the outfit tells the tale of who Mattie is better than even his words.

“I should go to the cops and press assault charges! That’s what I should do!” Mattie growls threateningly.

“Mattie . . . please! Snowflake and Brian just didn’t get that we were playin’!” Jimmy begs Mattie to reconsider.

Mattie rolls his eyes and gapes his mouth at Jimmy in an over-exaggerated look of long suffering disbelief.

“Well . . . that I can give them. With you WAILING like a fucking bitch cat in heat I wonder why? I thought it was funny at first, but then you just kept up with the racket! Talk about OVERACTING! Fuck me!” Mattie spits at Jimmy who cringes on the bed looking mortified. I suddenly have an urge to throw Mattie out the window next!

“I’m sorry, Mattie!” Jimmy whimpers. Now I am starting to get angry again. The ice cold chill of 30 winters fills my blood and I am all out of apologies. Mattie wasn’t the only one who was a victim here.

“You were biting him in the BALLS, Mattie Hunter! He was tied up! He was tied up, screaming, and I DO NOT TRUST YOU with him! You should have told me of your games so that I would have known it was not some cruelty of yours! You and your attitude has concerned me from the beginning! You have been nothing but mean to all of us from the start!” I hear that iron in my voice. It’s loud, but not yelling. It’s firm like frozen iron. Brian blinks at me, recognising the tone.

“Oh? That gives you the right to throw people around, does it? You meat-headed Swede! I wasn’t gonna before, but now I fucking AM. I’m going to the cops and having your lily white ass locked up! Fuck . . . you!” Mattie walks up to me and snarls. He does not back down, I will give him that. The Swede comment is tempting me to finish the job of beating him senseless, however.

“You do, you Sunuvabitch, and I’ll turn over all your weed and X you got in your stash to them! You can join Snow Muffin in the clink! I’m sorry for what he did, but nobody’s sending nobody to no goddamn lockup over this sick sad sorry mess.” It’s Jimmy’s turn to talk with a bit of iron.

Mattie turns with unbelieving eyes toward Jimmy. “Et tu fucking brute? I see. I see that once again I’ve found myself with another bunch of assholes that say they are my friends but then turn on me! Ok . . . whatever! I’m done.” Mattie lightly walks over to his ‘stash’, grabs it, and limps out the broken door.

“Mattie, I should take a look at you before you go wandering off. You could have a concussion.” Brian calls back to him with real concern. A healer to the last, my Brian.

“Fuck Off, ‘Doc.’ If I need a proctologist, I’ll get one off of Grindr! Adios, Mutherfuckas, and good riddance.” He walks away with his middle finger raised and his back turned to us.

Jimmy starts to sob and my heart breaks for him. It has happened again and this time I’m mostly at fault just like last time. I come to gently sit next to him. He was probably talked into this by Hunter. I’ve never known Jimmy to be into bondage games or S & M. I have a real feeling now that all the painful yelling was not all just . . . ‘overacting’.

I notice Jimmy’s legs are folded tightly underneath him as he lays back a bit on his pillows. Upon closer observation I see things that disturb me. I see welts and bruises and then ligature marks around his neck as well as wrists and ankles. He’s been at this for hours now, it would seem! I reach and touch his ankle. Jimmy winces and draws himself up and away from me.

“Jimmy, this looks like it hurts. Did Mattie do this to you?” I ask him as he hides his face by turning it into the pillow. I continue to stare at him knowing he will not be able to long stand it.

“It was just games. I don’t wanna talk about it.” Jimmy says with the hint of a creak in his voice. This concerns me greatly as Jimmy never hides things. He has always been very open. Painfully so at times!

“Come. Games are fun. This . . . does not look like fun, pikkuveli. It looks like I may have done the right thing today!” I say.

“I don’t have a boyfriend now thanks to you, Snowflake! I hope that isn’t the ‘right thing’ because if it is. . . .” Jimmy chokes and starts to cry harder.

“Hey, Green Eyes! You don’t even have to finish that sentence. Mattie was never your boyfriend if he did things to you that hurt you, Baby. But, I do know that back at The Café in the Castro that you had heads turning right and left! Old Marvyn and I were talkin’ about you before Snowplow grabbed me off to dance to something he called ‘mulberries’. Frankly, we were both rather disturbed by the fancy Mattie had taken to you.” Brian has come to sit on the other side of Jimmy. He tenderly brushes my adopted little brother’s hair out of his eyes.

“I really liked Mattie though. I think I was in love with him! Now . . . he just ran away! Why were you guys ‘disturbed?’ ” Jimmy weeps and looks up at Brian rather accusatorially. He then flinches as some pain of a more physical nature torments him. Both Brian and I notice that he tightens his legs up against his stomach as he flinches.

“Jimmy, Sweetheart, let me see what’s going on down there. You look like you’re in pain.” Brian switches to his ‘doctor’ voice. It must be a similar change that he hears when I switch to my ‘trainer’s’ voice.

“I’m ok.” Jimmy says weakly.

“Nope. That’s not the right answer. Don’t worry, Buddy, all of us have had something like this happen to us at one time or another. I know I sure the fuck have!” Brian lightly rubs Jimmy’s knee. The touch does do something for Jimmy. That old infatuation Jimmy has for Brian is still there and Brian’s mere touch works to instantly relax Jimmy. I should be jealous, but in Jimmy’s dear case, I can never be.

“You. . . have?” Jimmy seems amazed by Brian’s revelation. I know that Jimmy holds Brian to some standard of macho manliness that is a complete distortion of reality. However, that notion compared to the vulnerable truth Brian is revealing does seem to be making Jimmy release the tight clamp of his legs all the more. I slowly study what I can see as Jimmy opens himself to reveal his private matters.

“You better fuckin’ A believe it, Kid! I could go on and ON about the fucked up shit I’ve been put through. It’s why I’m very careful about who I hang out with and especially who I fuck around with . . .” Brian looks to me and I find myself smirking.

“. . . fuck-ed around with, that is.” Brian recovers, but does so unnecessarily. He is very old fashioned in a lot of ways, my Brian.

“But, I decided I didn’t like that stuff so I basically said ‘no’ to it. You have to. Some guys get off on making other guys do shit they don’t like doing. I was always afraid Mattie might be one of those . . . but wasn’t so sure until now.” Brian looks to the wall, pensively, looking like he is remembering things about Mattie from past experience.

“Why . . . why didn’t you say nothin’ if you knew he was a freak like that?” Jimmy’s voice shudders a bit as some of his respect for Brian seems to slip away.

“I wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to cock-block you, Jimmy. You are a man like I am. You deserve a chance to check things out for yourself. I didn’t know Mattie would do this. If I had, I would have said something a lot sooner. Honest, Jimmy. I’m shocked right now! Mattie never let on that he was into this kind of stuff!” Brian says with what I have come to read in him as complete sincerity.

“I . . . appreciate that, Bri Bri. It was just games . . .” Jimmy says while closing himself up again. Brian reaches for a knee and squeezes.

“Let me have a look at those scrumptious meatballs again, ‘Muscles.’ Do it for me for old times sake, K?” Brian gently encourages Jimmy and after a long sigh he opens his legs.

I can’t help but suppress a gasp! Something old and savage in me rises and I have the urge to hunt Mr. Hunter down and spit him over a fire . . . balls first!

“Jimmy, my delicious little morsel, those balls are swollen and turning purple! Mattie did a number on them. I need to get you on some anti-inflamitories or you are going to be in a world of pain by morning.” Brian says with a clinical sternness that causes me to freeze.

“Yeah . . . ok. They are starting to . . . hurt more, I guess.” Jimmy whimpered now that his injuries were exposed.

Brian leaves the room in a rush and I rise to go with him until I hear him say: “Stay with him, Jusse.” When he uses my proper name, I have come to understand that Brian has become all business.

Brian leaves on his mercy mission and I come to sit next to my little friend once more. He will not look at me for shame and yet I long to see those green eyes. They should be smiling as always. What a wicked thing to do to someone like Jimmy! To take that smile from his eyes. I did it once and have felt guilty about it ever since.

“I’ll never find anyone to love me, Snowflake. I try so hard, but all I ever get is used!” Jimmy’s eyes fill and his shoulders start to shake as the tears fall down his rosy cheeks.

“I know how you feel, Jimmy. You know I thought the very same way for a long time. Then Brian came along and then someone wise told me about the ‘mulberry pickin’ time.” I smooth his fine silky dark brown hair. It still has a little sweat in it from his ordeal. My poor Jimmy!

“Yeah . . . seems like there ain’t gonna be no mulberries for me no-how. Every time I find a bush of berries . . . they’re all . . . poison.” Jimmy sobs the last part.

I bring my friend into my embrace and hold him rocking while he cries out his broken heart. Ah . . . how many times have Jimmy and I held each other like this? Too many times to count. You would think we should be the match, but it has never been the case. To have sex with Jimmy seems as taboo to me as having sex with my own brother or, worse, son! Jimmy is my family, but not my lover.

“You know how I got my gold medals, Jimmy?” I ask my leading question.

“You raced faster than everyone else because you are the greatest skier on earth?” Jimmy asks between sniffs.

“This is true, but not after many tries. Many, many tries. I lost and I lost and I lost again, but . . . I kept trying.” I say.

“. . . ok?” Jimmy says muffled into my bosom. He seems to not know where I am going with this.

“That was my trick, Jimmy. I kept trying. Sisu. That is what we call it in Finland. You try and you try and you try and you never give up! You do this because, in the end, the long journey and the long fight is worth it.” I say emphatically. Sisu is my religion. It is what we Finns all need to survive our long winters.

“K, but what am I trying for? To find a boyfriend that won’t bite my balls anymore?” Jimmy looks up at me and, though, from any other tongue that comment could be considered sarcastic, from Jimmy’s it is an actual direct and honest question. Jimmy is never sarcastic. He is always straight forward. It is one of the reasons I love my boy to the very death.

“Something a bit more than that, I should think. That’s the first pass of the relay. It is the objective, but not the goal. The goal is to see love and recognise it. The prize is when you can take it and make it your own. Somebody smart named ‘Jimmy’ taught me that.” I say and squeeze Jimmy a little tighter at which he seems to struggle a bit.

“Urrrmph . . . Smrfflake!! Skeezin too ‘ard!” Jimmy complains as he squirms within the confines of my arms.

I release him readily. Again, my own strength is something that always gets away from me. For instance, I had no desire to toss Mattie quite so far and I definitely did not want to dash him against the wall!

Jimmy gasps and shakes his head out a bit. His face is a bit red. He then giggles. It is like the sound of golden chimes to me! He is bouncing back already! Ah, he is a miracle!

“I’m gonna have to start calling you Polar Bear from now on. You squeezed me like a toothpaste tube! I hope nothin’ came out!” Jimmy says more with awe than irritation while looking around himself to be sure he didn’t have an ‘accident’.

I snicker as well and I feel the urge to ‘noogie’ him. Brian did this to me one night and the bizarre nature of the gesture was an instant hit with me. I do it to him now quite a bit, much to his irritation. I satisfy my urge with a slight ruffling of Jimmy’s hair.

“Excuse me. We were informed about a disturbance. Is everything all . . . oh dear!” a voice comes into the room neither of us recognise. Jimmy quickly covers his nakedness while I stare at the newcomer. But the person at the door is not looking at either of us but at the wreckage I left of the door.

“What happened to this door? It looks kicked in! Did someone try to break in? Should we call the police?” It is obvious that the man at the door is the Hotel Manager. His suit and ‘Tuscany’ tie rather tell the tale.

“I apologize. It was my doing. I heard something going on in here that needed attention and my instincts kicked in. Literally in fact.” I tell the manager.

“What ‘something’?” the manager suddenly goes from politely stunned to professionally angry upon hearing this. Property damage is frowned upon in hotels, I have come to understand. Many have had one too many encounters with guests who take it upon themselves to trash their rooms and expect the hotel to pick up the damages.

“It was me. I fell down and hurt myself in the bathroom. I was calling for help. Snowflake is my friend so he did that to help me.” Jimmy says with a little boy’s uncomplicated yet pitiful manner.

“Oh. Uh . . . well are you ok? Do you need us to call an ambulance for you? I’m truly sorry you injured yourself in one of our suites!” Ah, Jimmy’s remarkable cunning always amazes me! Jimmy has instantly turned the tables on the manager and now he fears a lawsuit! Hehehe!

“I’m ok. My friend Dr. Chesney has gone to get me some medicine for the swelling. It will make it better. He promised!” Jimmy continues to deepen the score with the manager. It is hard for me not to laugh. Jimmy is so good at this!

“Oh . . . ok. *Dr.* Chesney? Ok, well . . . um. That’s good. Ok, well, I’ll just send Maintenance over to replace the door. I’m very sorry about the trouble and I’m terribly sorry you were hurt! Do not worry about anything else and I hope you continue to *safely* enjoy your stay here at the Tuscany.” The manager smiles meekly and then scurries away as fast as he can without looking too obvious. Hehehehe!

I give Jimmy a high-five. He returns it with a smirk. He then sinks back into his funk. He really liked Mattie! I wonder who could be Jimmy’s match and where on earth we could find him. I don’t like to see the sunshine of Jimmy’s smile dim for even a second.

We will try, try, and try again!

“Sisu. Sounds like sissy.” Jimmy gets this pensive look like he is seriously considering such a ridiculous similarity between the two notions simply because they sound the same. Then he smiles and nudges me with his knee. I swear, I will noogie Jimmy to death when he gets fully recovered! He is so adorable.

Before long Brian comes in with a package from a local nondescript pharmacy. I should think that he would have gone to a CVS or Walgreens rather than trouble himself with a local place that is hard to get to, but then he pulls out the contents of the bag. They are three prescription drugs!

“What’s that?” Jimmy eyes the packages suspiciously. One is a cream and the other pills. Also, to Jimmy’s horror, Brian also pulls out a hypodermic needle kit and a small vial.

“Oh no you’re not! I’m NOT gonna let you give me no damn shot!” Again, Jimmy quickly folds his legs under himself protectively. I am still trying to figure out how Brian got ahold of all this stuff without a prescription!

“Ok. Then I’ll save it for later when you end up with some kind of awful strep infection in the balls. That ought to be a lovely time!” Brian rolls his eyes.

Jimmy looks to me and back to Brian hoping for a defence against this latest attack on his body, but I shrug and say: “He’s the ‘Doctor,’ Jimmy. I would do as he says.”

“Really? Mattie could have given me an infection? Awww!” Jimmy suddenly looks so downcast. I pick up his hand and squeeze it softly. He looks at me with tears. The sight of them is breaking my heart all over again!

“Probably not, but it’s better to be safe than sorry about these things. I have my favourite Vegas doctor’s ‘cocktail’ in this shot. 5 CCs of this and you’ll be good against just about everything nature can throw at you . . . unless Mattie is a vampire. Which he might just be from the looks of him.” Brian grins which makes both Jimmy and I melt with the same sigh. We look at each other and giggle.

“I also have some anti-inflammatory cream and some pain pills . . . the good ones. Don’t fuck me and overdo it on this stuff, Jimmy! My Doc friend here is a good sort and is able to bend rules around if I give him a diagnosis, but if you get hooked on this shit, I’ll feed you to the fishes. You understand, Jimmy?” Brian says with that same sternness that I heard earlier. It’s very ‘doctorly’ and it makes me want to jump him right there! It is so sexy!

After some whining and whimpering, Jimmy get’s his meds and is very glad for them later on as his swelling gets a bit worse. He won’t wear pants for the rest of the afternoon and so we are treated to the view of his naked bottom well into the evening. It is a mercy that he has such a cute little butt.

Miraculously, Brian’s tender loving care has brought Jimmy back to normal by late evening. We have all been napping all afternoon and watching television. Jimmy and I got caught up on the Housewives of Beverly Hills while Brian played music in his ears and did some work as well as checking on Jimmy now and again. It was rather a contented and quiet afternoon for all three of us. ‘A vacation from our vacation,’ as Brian says.

By 10 PM we are all bored and Jimmy wants to go out so as to forget the whole Mattie thing for the day. It is something I encourage in the spirit of sisu. Get right back up and get back on the track! That is how one wins races!

We find ourselves, this evening, at the Piranha dance club in the Paradise Fruit Loop. It is considered the one place gays need to visit during their ‘gaycations’ in Vegas.  I enjoy the place very much! It is very colourful inside with touches of beauty and menace that compliment each other. There are pretty purple lights that shine through aquariums full of fake piranha fish. Somehow, the fish look like fanged ghosts in this filtered light. It is quite the contradiction that hits me when looking at these fake fish.

They are so beautiful and yet so terrifying, even if they are fake. Such beauty, such fakery, and such menace – how symbolic they are of Las Vegas; this very Gomorrah of the modern age!

Anyway, Brian has managed to make arrangements for us to go upstairs into the VIP lounge. It is a place surrounded by plush booths that overlook the dance floor below that is filled with spinning and writhing beauties that are not unlike the piranhas in the fish tanks.

The bartender here actually pours real drinks as opposed to those watered down things I had on the Strip. Again, I’ll have to watch my vodka or Brian and Jimmy will have to be carrying me out to an awaiting taxi cab.

To my joy, Jimmy is absolutely delighted with the place. His eyes are wide with wonder and that sparkling smile remains fixed to his face. I feel that the pain meds have something to do with this sparkle and shine, but I hope that most of it is genuine happiness and not drug induced euphoria.

I also hope that all memories of Mattie have vanished from his mind entirely either by the wild nature of this place, his drug induced state, or by the rapid emotional healing factor Jimmy seems to have. Perhaps there are mulberries to harvest for him here? To my spying eye, I see many candidates for a ‘berry’ juicy good time. Oh, that was bad, Lumihiutale!

“Do you think it would be ok for me to go dancing, Brian? I love the music here! It’s so . . . danceable!” Jimmy bounces a couple of times in his seat and get’s his answer as he winces in pain. Awww! My poor little Jimmy! He looks so disappointed.

“I’d hold off a couple of days on that, Jimmyboy. You need to let your nuts heal a bit more before you start bouncing around like you do.” Brian admonishes.

“Do you want a drink?” I offer in way of consolation, but Brian has to cut that off too.

“Nope. With that Oxycodone running through his system he needs to stick with the virgin drinks. Not a good mix, alcohol and opioids.” Brian stares Jimmy down to confirm he understands.

“Ooookaaay.” Jimmy moans like a petulant teenager. I think, emotionally, that’s what he is, actually. Bless my little Jimmy!

Scanning the now full VIP area I look at who has joined us up here. Many very well dressed people! Brian must have spent a lot of money to get us up here, although I’ve noticed Brian has ‘friends’ almost everywhere that do things for him. This is not surprising. Who could *ever* say no to him for anything?

A particular boy catches my eye and I lock on to him. What is more, he has locked on to someone too. But that someone would be Jimmy and not me for a change. He is an amazingly beautiful young man who, oddly, reminds me a lot of Jimmy in looks, but in a softer less ‘silly’ way. Jimmy sparkles and glitters with energy most of the time. This boy has a soulful glow that soften his looks. He has a sad longing in his eyes as he looks at Jimmy. It is almost heartbreaking to see.

The boy’s eyes are remarkable! They are a glowing hazel colour, bright as sunshine. They are framed by the most beautifully sculpted eyebrows I have ever seen! His hair is a light brown with hints of blonde and slightly combed forward around his face. He attempts to avert his eyes from Jimmy as if afraid of being ‘caught’ looking. Before long his eyes catch mine and they go wide before he quickly looks down into his drink. His companions are entirely oblivious to his sudden ‘closure’. They are your typical gaggle of overindulged young ‘Twinks’ as Brian might call them. Very self-obsessed and it is a wonder that they should keep such a blushing flower within their midst.

Upon continued observation I notice that an older looking young man with similar looks leans over and hugs the boy an then noogies him which brings a bright sparkling smile to the boy’s sweet face! Ah! When the boy smiles the whole room lights up! What a gorgeous person!

I read a little between the lines and come to see a story at play. This boy must be the younger relative of the slightly older guy. The boy is shy because this is his first time in a place like Piranha. He may be shy for other reasons too. Perhaps he is ‘Out’ for the first time. Perhaps, this is his first time looking for a boyfriend. The boy looks young. He is younger than Jimmy, actually. Perhaps just 18 years old and is only allowed in here due to the influence of one of his friends.

The boy connects with my eyes again and then looks even more frightened and returns his eyes to the table in front of him. Awww! He is so very much Jimmy’s complement. The shy one no one notices, but is perhaps the most beautiful person in the whole place . . . besides Brian, Jimmy, and myself of course.

I manage to get Jimmy’s attention as he has been bouncing up and down on the couch in time to the EDM pulsing through the room. Brian has been looking at his phone for most of the evening, distracted by something. I shall have to ask him what it is later.

I nudge Jimmy who stops bouncing long enough to pay attention to me. I point in the direction of the beautiful boy across the room.

“He likes you!” I whisper.

“Really?” I don’t know why Jimmy should sound so surprised, but he is. I nod and look back over to the beautiful one. Jimmy follows my line of sight and as he does the boy looks up too . . . finally. The two lock!

“Wow!” Jimmy mouths. The other boy sees this and I can see a blush rise to his cheeks. He tries to look away but can’t keep his eyes off of Jimmy’s for long. The magnetism is too much. The boy laughs nervously and his relative (his big brother I am suspecting) catches this and assesses the situation immediately. He nudges his little brother and waves in our direction, beckoning us to come over.

It is all the invitation Jimmy needs and he begins to actually climb OVER me to get out of the booth since he has been protectively sandwiched between Brian and me. I push him back down into his seat and Jimmy looks at me as if I am crazy.

“We were BOTH invited! Let me get out first and then we can both go over, yes?” I look at Jimmy with that look that settles him down. He looks miffed, but I love the effect it is having on the boy across the room. He is now giggling as he sees Jimmy’s goofiness. To see this boy laugh is even better than just seeing him smile. He really is a special creature!

“Where the fuck are you two off to? I said no dancing!” Brian wakes up long enough to not catch anything that has been going on.

“We are not going dancing. We are going to go pick mulberries.” I tell Brian who then looks at me like I’ve just downed one too many vodkas. I help Jimmy out of the plush booth and we both walk over to the boy’s table.

“WHOH! Oh my fucking GAWD! Who in the hell are you and where have you BEEN all my life?” The blondest and loudest of the twinks looks at me with shock.

“Oh cool your ass down, Mitch. I brought them over because Mason got a lock on that little cute one right there.” The older one points at Jimmy who giggles, but he only has eyes for the boy I now know as Mason.

“Wow! You are obviously NOT from around here, El Lindo! Papi got no tanlines! Hehehehe!” There is a sexy hispanic one sitting between Mason’s brother and the Mitch person. He looks me up and down like I would make a fine lunch and giggles at his own comment. He is extremely ‘fem’ as Brian calls it. He even sports makeup.

“Ju can call me, Cecilia, El Blanco Lindo, or ju can just call me your little beech for the whole evening. I don’ care.”  The latino actually wiggles in his seat. I am not accustomed to latino gay people, but I always enjoy the ones I do meet. I find it endearing that he calls me ‘Blanco’ not unlike Sabrina. I am told that means ‘white’ in Spanish. It is always said with appreciation so I never take offence at that word.

” ‘Cecilia’s’ name is actually Miguel, but whatevers. My name is Dixon or Dixie if you like. What’re your names?” The older brother asks.

“I am called Snowflake and this is my little friend Jimmy.” I introduce us.

“And my name is Brian, just in case anyone FORGOT!” Brian says behind us. I look back and smile at my love who smirks at me with mock irritation.

“Gawd! I’d go four-way with you hunks all week long! I’ll fucking MARRY all of you guys! I’d get to wear the wedding dress of course. Should we get Elvis to do it or Liberace?” Mitch mentions which causes both ‘Cecilia’ and Dixie to laugh out loud. I notice Mason is trying to disappear into the cushions. He is the object of our being here so I bring him into to our meeting.

“You are Mason, I believe. Yes?” I ask the obvious. Mason hides his face in his hands and giggles. Dixie nudges him hard with the heel of his hand.

“Mason! Dude! Manners!” he admonishes.

For the first time we hear Mason’s sweet little voice. It is a bit deeper than I thought it would be, but ever so soft. Jimmy literally leans into the sound of Mason’s voice.

“Hi . . . I’m Mason.” Mason says meekly and looks up into Jimmy’s eyes and is instantly lost.

“Hi . . . Mason. I’m Jimmy!” Jimmy says a bit breathlessly and then moves to sit next to Mason who at first scoots away from him, but then reverses himself and scoots closer. He simply cannot help himself!

“OMG! That is the CUTES’ thing I ever see! La Amor Verdad! It is true love! I die!” ‘Cecilia’ seems to melt into Spanish inflected squeaks. Mitch holds him for effect and Dixie crosses his arms and nods as if he is the genie that has just made it all come together.

“Hi . . . Jimmy. I’m Mason.” Mason breathes his name again into Jimmy’s face as they come closer and closer together. Brian and I look to one another with the same melting feelings. This is so beautiful! It is so . . . familiar!

“Yeah . . . I know. You told me. I like that name.” Jimmy breathes back and suddenly the two young beauties are locked in a kiss. The way Mason acts . . . it may very well be his first one!

Awww. Another mulberry picked!

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