John Opens the Bottle

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This is related to Lightning In A Bottle. You do not need to read “LIAB” to understand “John Opens The Bottle,” but you may want to.

By way of background, you will see that John was not honest with Mace when they met. Mace was not John’s first boy. In fact, Mace was not John’s first love.

This is the “LIAB” story from John’s perspective, in truncated form. It continues after Mace leaves John in D.C., explains how John’s marriages failed, and reveals whether John and Mace ever reconnected.

Part One

As soon as I saw the blonde boy in Bryan Cave’s library, I knew I wanted him. I do not now what it was, but it was palpable. I had resolved to leave those days behind me, but he instantly forced me to consider reversion.

He looked so young, I thought he might be a high school kid running books for minimum wage. I thought wrong. He was Mason Raymond Davis, the only 1L the Cave hired for that summer.

I raised my eyebrow and my hand to him as I walked by. I felt his eyes on my back as I walked away.

Mason – “Mace” for short – clearly did not know how attractive he was. He was too diffident, in both style and substance.

But, he was terribly attractive. He had thick blond hair, green eyes with an obvious circle of orange around the pupils, and a bright but elusive smile that dimpled his cheeks to match the dimple on his chin.

His face was not half as attractive as his mind. I had grown up privileged. I went to St. Louis’ Country Day School, then to Yale, and then to the University of Chicago. I had spent my life around smart people. Mace was easily the smartest. He saw and thought things I did not.

I had no idea if Mace was interested in what I was interested in. But, I knew I wanted to find out. I would have to play it slowly. One misstep could end my reputation and my summer.

My reputation was paramount, and I guarded it zealously, especially when I weakened and dallied with boys or men. It had started my last year of high school, as graduation approached. Until that point, I had only toyed with the idea that I might some day toy with a boy.

I was an actor. As a Senior, I got a large role in our Spring production of The Breakfast Club. I had the Anthony Michael Hall role. Cole Samuels, also a Senior, had the Judd Nelson role.

Cole and I came from opposite sides. I walked the line. I never did anything wrong. A Pisces, I was an 18 year old virgin. Not because I lacked opportunity, but because I was an avowed conservative and moralist.

My conservatism showed in my appearance. I looked like I could be President of the Young Republicans. I wore my brown hair short, parted on the right. I had silver glasses. I wore white oxfords and various shades of khakis, held up by an embroidered belt. I always wore loafers, usually without socks. I was a little pudgy. I followed the rules. I was headed for Yale.

Cole was the antithesis of me. One, he was older than all of us by two years. After junior high, his hippie parents had pulled him out of school to work in a mission in one of the Salvadors, El or San. It was supposed to be one year, but it had turned into two.

Two, he was unabashedly liberal. His liberalism showed in his style. He wore his dark hair long and loose. He shaved only when forced. He sat in the back. He listened to music in class. He pushed the edges of our dress code. He hated the line. After CODASCO, he was headed to the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, an experimental school dedicated to the study of something called human ecology.

Cole was also openly gay. He did not care who knew. He was way ahead of his time.

Other than in drama, our paths rarely crossed. We certainly were not friends. We were friendly only in the way that people are friendly because that is what is expected of them. My parents hated rudeness. They considered it low class.

I was paranoid when Cole asked me to read lines with him. I immediately suspected an ulterior motive. One of Cole’s best friends had the Ally Sheedy role, so she seemed a natural option if he needed or wanted to rehearse outside of rehearsal.

Genetically incapable of rudeness, I agreed. But, I insisted we work somewhere public. I did not want to be the subject of innuendo and rumor.

Innuendo and rumor swirled around Cole. Some claimed he went to the fruit loop in Forest Park for anonymous sex with older men. Some claimed he and his best friend growing up were boyfriends until they were caught and the friend’s parents forced him to DeSmet for high school to get him away from Cole. Some claimed he would blow a guy if asked, no expectations and no strings attached. No one admitted to asking.

Everyone at school called me Jo, short for John (my father was “John II” so I had forever been “Jo” to his “John” to everyone in my family). I was taken aback when, during our first time reading together, Cole took it to a more intimate level and called me “JoJo.” He lowered his chin and narrowed his black eyes when he did.

“Please call me Jo or John,” I said.

“No gaziantep escortlar can do, JoJo,” he answered, again lowering his chin and narrowing his eyes. “Jo’s a girl’s name and John’s are for whores or for pissing and shitting. You’re no girl, and you’re too pretty for piss or shit.”

He was right. I was pretty. I had bright blue eyes and tremendously dark, long eyelashes. They looked fake and like I was wearing mascara. They were not and I was not.

Cole’s smile was sly, almost mischievous. His lips were full and bright red, and they usually stayed together when he smiled. When they did not, his smile revealed pronounced canines and a left lateral incisor that slightly overlapped with the central incisor.

Cole was not objectively beautiful. But, he carried himself with such confidence that he made himself seem more beautiful than he was. It was the confidence of someone who knew who he was and what he was doing.

As we read lines, Cole put his hands on me a lot. I flinched every time he reached for me. “What’s wrong, JoJo?” he asked. “I don’t bite. . . . Unless, of course, you want me to.”

I had seen Cole like this with other boys. I did not want it. “Stop it, Cole,” I warned. “I will quit working with you. I will.”

“You don’t want me to stop. And you know it.”

He was right. I do not know how he knew it, because I did not even know it. But, he was right.

After a couple of weeks of working in classrooms and libraries, we relocated our rehearsals to the second floor of my home, which I had all to myself. I do not remember who first suggested the relocation, but I knew it might portend something I did not know I wanted.

I was riddled with anxiety waiting for Cole to arrive. I do not know what threatened me more, the possibility of action or the possibility of inaction.

Cole arrived directly from swimming practice, in shorts and a tee, his wet hair tucked behind his ears. I introduced him to my parents and, after a brief exchange, we upstairs to my rooms to run lines. We went to my study and sat in desk chairs, opposite each other.

As I read, Cole moved to the floor and started sidling toward me. He grabbed the legs of my chair and slid his legs through them. He was directly in front of me, his strong hands slowly kneading my calves.

The touch of his hands titillated and aroused me. I was wearing only boxers and mesh shorts, and the effect he was having on me was obvious.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Only what you want,” he said. “You’re in charge. When you say stop, I’ll stop.”

I said nothing. I went back to reading lines as Cole’s hands moved to my thighs. With every squeeze, he went further up the leg of my shorts. I felt his thumbs where my thighs met my crotch and then on my scrotum. I was straining as he moved his right hand to my glans, running his thumb in small circles around it. I could feel myself leaking. When I looked down to see the evidence, I saw wild lust in Cole’s dark eyes. He took my hardness in his right hand and started squeezing and then slowly releasing it. He stared at me as he did.

“Stand up,” he finally said.

I did, and he pulled my shorts out and then down. I was staring down at him, my erection right in front of his face. He looked up at me, smiled, and asked if I was okay.

I could not answer. My mouth was so dry, I had gone mute. I nodded up and down.

He kissed my glans, using the tip of his tongue to lop up what I was leaking. I had never been in anyone’s mouth, and I was eager for him to take me. Without thinking, I tried to force myself in.

He put his hands on my hips and said “Easy, JoJo, slow down a little.”

“I cannot,” I croaked.

He took my glans in his mouth, his tongue swirling around it the way his thumb had. I thought I might pass out. I again tried to force myself in, only to be resisted by his right hand on my pelvis.

He took my balls in his left hand and took the length of me into his mouth. When I was so deep he was inhaling my bush, I felt the orgasm I wanted to suppress crash though. I did not want to come, but I could not prevent it. I filled his throat, embarrassed by how little control I had shown. He kept his mouth around me, and I felt him swallow whatever I had fed him before again feeling his tongue swirling around my glans and under my foreskin.

When he was finished, he looked up at me, smiled, and again asked if I was okay. I still could not answer. I could not believe what had happened and did not know what was expected of me. I pulled my boxers and shorts up and sat back down.

Cole moved back to his chair. He stared at me as he pulled his shorts aside and started stroking himself.

“You can help, if you want.”

I did want, but I had no idea what to do. So, I did nothing. I just watched him work his hand up and down the shaft of his penis, which appeared to be smaller and and thinner than mine.

Cole smiled at me as he jacked off. As he speeded up, I raised my eyes to his. He pulled his shirt up with his left hand, revealing a narrow trail of dark hair from his navel into his shorts. He came on his stomach, much of pooling in his navel. He worked out every last drop that he could. He shook his head and shuddered when he was finished.

“Please get me something,” he urged. He cleaned himself with the tissues with which I returned. Then, he just sat and stared at me, smiling broadly.

“That was my first time,” I finally said, breaking the silence.

“Mine, too,” he answered. Suprised, I raised my eyebrows at him in response, and he quickly added “With a turtleneck.”

“When was your real first time?”

“Last summer. He was older. He taught me a lot.”

“Was he, like, your boyfriend?”

“Kinda sorta. He was a friend of my brother’s. We snuck around behind my brother’s back. He doesn’t know about his friend.”

“What happened?”

“He went back to college.”

I had a million more things to ask him. I had a thousand things to say to him. I did neither.

“You should go,” I said.

“Okay,” he said, standing up and adjusting himself. Before he left, he kissed my forehead and said “Let’s pick up tomorrow where left off today.”

As I jacked off that night, the image in my mind was of Cole on his knees, my penis in his mouth. It was the first time I had ever masturbated to image of a guy.

I was terrified Cole would tell everyone. I walked the halls of CODASCO the next day waiting for someone to ask if it was true. No one did.

That evening, Cole again showed up directly from swim practice. Unlike the day before, there was no pretense. As soon as I closed the door to my study room, he pulled me into him. I was very ambivalent about the idea of kissing a boy, but he was silently insistent. His mouth was firm and warm against mine, and my ambivalence quickly melted away. We kissed hard and long. As we did, he took me in his right hand through my shorts and announced “I’m going to suck you so hard” into my mouth.

He then proceeded to do just that, kneeling in front of me and working his mouth back and forth on me as he moved his hands from my nipples to my sides and, finally, to my hips. He moved me back and forth, forcing me to meet his slurping mouth. I lasted longer than I had the day before, but not by much. When I was finished filling Cole’s mouth, my legs were so wobbly I had to sit down.

Cole slipped his shorts off and stood before me, his circumcised penis in my face. “Your turn.”

I had never touched a penis other than my own. I tentatively took it in my hand, only to discover his penis felt, well, like my penis.

“Does it taste bad?” I asked, looking up at him.

“No. It tastes great.”

I took him in my mouth. He did not taste bad, but he also did not taste great.

I had no idea what I was doing. I think whatever I tried was wrong.

“Let me help,” he said. I was not sure what he meant, until he placed his left hand gently on the back of my head and his right hand around the base of his penis.

“Move your mouth with my hand.”

I did, urged on by the hand in my hair. I was surprised by how easy it was once he showed me what to do. I was also surprised by the feeling of control I had as I moved back and forth with his hand.

I felt him start to roil. I tried to pull off, but his left hand held me steady as he came in my mouth. I swallowed and gagged. His cum was bitter and pungent, but I had no choice but to swallow and swallow as he came and came.

“Blech,” I said, when he was finished. “That did not taste good at all.”

“That’s my fault,” he said. “We had asparagus with dinner last night. I should have skipped it.”

“What you eat affects how it tastes?”

“It does. A lot. I’ll eat better tonight.”

The next day, I was hard before Cole arrived. I feared my parents would notice. I tugged on compression shorts just before going down to answer the door.

Cole was a vision. He had his dark hair pulled back in a pony tail. He had not shaved. He wore a black tank, white shorts, and no shoes.

As soon as he was through my study room door, I locked it and pulled him into me. “I want to make out for as long as we can,” I suggested.

“Okay,” he said. “Lie down.”

I did, on my bed, and he laid himself down on top of me. We were mouth to mouth, chest to chest, and crotch to crotch. We kissed and kissed, our tongues fighting and our crotches grinding.

When our mouths were raw, Cole offered that he “had an idea.”


“Take your shorts off, and I’ll show you.”

As I removed my shorts, Cole removed his. I felt stupid with my shirt on, so I pulled it over my head. He did the same. For the first time ever, we were naked together.

Cole told me to lie on my side, my legs bent to expose my crotch. When I did, he followed suit, only opposite. It was obvious what he wanted, so I took him in my mouth as he took me in his. He put his right hand around the base of my shaft and moved it in rhythm with his mouth. I did the same to him, matching my rhythm to his.

He stopped long enough to suggest that I “try to wait until he does.” It would take some effort, as I thought he likely had more control than I, a neophyte to all of this, did.

I thought of anodyne things like chores and homework to try and distract myself from what his hand and his mouth were doing to me. It worked briefly, but not for long.

“Sorry, I said, but I cannot hold back any longer.”

Cole met my announcement by gripping me hard and sucking me harder. I came harder still, stopping what I was doing to him so I could ride the wave of my orgasm as far and as high as I could.

“Fuck,” I exclaimed, forgetting my manners. “That was incredible.”

“It was,” he agreed. “Now, get back to work, and finish me.”

I did as I was told, turning around and kneeling between his legs as I sucked him the traditional way. When I felt his hands in my hair, I gripped his scrotum with my left hand and worked his shaft with my right hand and my mouth.

“Oh God,” he said, as he raised his hips and came in my mouth. I forced him back down, used my hands to press his hips to the carpet, and milked him dry with my mouth. After I swallowed all he gave, I started to laugh.

“Why are you laughing?” He asked.

“You were right. That tasted much better.”

“Yep. No asparagus last night. Pineapple juice this morning.”

We went on like that, running lines and exchanging blow jobs. When the play was over, Cole and JoJo were not. He kept coming over, and we kept at each other. Cole was a cocksucker, in the truest sense of the word. He loved doing it, and it showed in how good he was at it. I joked that it was no accident his initials were CS, as if his name had preordained his talent.

“What can I say?” he mocked back. “I’m a pig for dick.”

He was. He blew me over and over and over, way more frequently than I blew him.

At school, I kept my ear to the ground. I heard nothing. Cole was truly discreet, and we were cautious. We pretended not to know each other, almost every day.

He transgressed at graduation. After he had collected his diploma, he caught my eye as he returned to his seat. When he did, he winked at me. I flinched. I closed my eyes, certain all the world had seen that wink, that the earth had stopped spinning, and that when I opened my eyes I would be at the center of the glare.

I was not. When I opened my eyes, graduates continued to walk, and parents continued to applaud. My graduation neighbors continued to include me in their irreverent banter.

CODACO’s graduation party is an all-graduate event. I ran into Cole as I worked my way around. He was stunning in an untucked white shirt, dark jeans, and no shoes. He shook my hand and said “Congratulations, JoJo.” As always, he lowered his chin and said “JoJo” mischievously.

“To you, too, Cole.”

He moved his mouth to my ear and whispered softly. “I thought perhaps we could celebrate privately later. . . . Can I stay with you tonight?”

I did not know how to answer. Part of me was afraid, as what he proposed seemed to be a new level, one for which I was not sure, in the din of the party, I was ready. The other part of me wanted to grab his wrist and flee with him at that moment.

“I didn’t know you two knew each other,” interrupted Jennifer, a classmate I had been working on for the past few weeks and with whom I thought I was about to close the deal. I had pledged to lose my virginity before I left for college, and I had identified Jennifer as the most likely to help me keep my pledge. We had been best friends since kindergarten. Her birthday was the same day as mine, and that coincidence had seemed at five years old to be the perfect reason to be best friends. Our friendship had endured since.

“We ran lines together for the play,” I interjected, quickly.

“Yes,” Cole added. “I was struggling. Jo graciously offered to help me.”

“Well, it worked,” Jennifer added. “You were fabulous.”

“Thank you,” Cole answered, winking at me and sauntering off.

She was right. I had been good, but Cole had been great. He was talented in a way I was not.

Later that night, I caught Cole alone, outside. He had his keys out and looked like he was ready to leave. He gave his keys a quick jangle and smiled at me.

“I’ll be waiting for you,” he said.

Lust pierced me. I could not wait. I pulled Cole behind a tree and pressed my lips to his.

“Jo?” I heard Jennifer call out. Instinctively, I pushed Cole away.

Unsure of what she had seen, I barked “Get off me, Faggot.”

“What’s going on?” Jennifer asked, coming around the tree.

“He pulled me behind the tree and tried to kiss me,” I said, hustling to her side. “I told him to get off me.” I was sick as I lied.

As we walked away, I looked back to Cole. He was staring disdainfully at me, shaking his head back and forth disgustedly. My stomach knotted, as I saw no mercy in his face.

I lost my virginity to Jennifer that night. As I slid in and out of her, I imagined she was Cole. We had never done that, and my betrayal meant we never would.

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