It took me a while to find parking by the hotel, so by the time I got to the coffee shop, Josh and Sam were already sitting at a table. Actually, they were _necking_ at a table, so I was a little hesitant to approach them, but just as my coffee was ready - I'm almost immune to the effects of caffeine at this point - they separated and waved me over to their table.
I went and sat at their table. "Thanks for inviting me along," I said, somewhat uncomfortable now that we were in a more quiet setting than the jazz club.
"We were enjoying your company," Sam said, "but we just had to get back." He looked at Josh as if for permission to continue. Josh nodded and Sam continued. "Josh has been...uncomfortable with music ever since the shooting."
I nodded but didn’t understand. Josh seemed to sense my confusion.
"What Sam is avoiding saying is that I've been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by the shooting. One of the symptoms I experience is that I associate music with sirens - the sirens of the ambulances and police cars that responded to the shooting. It's gotten better - I'm seeing a very good therapist - but I still get jumpy around music, and the more soulful the music is, the worse my reaction is. Our outing to the jazz club this evening was a test for me - could I sit in the same room with musicians and not freak out." I assumed that there was more to the story, but I wasn't gonna ask - I was amazed as it was that they were sharing such intimate details with me.
I felt the need to share my experiences. "I was stabbed on the job last February, and one of my students was killed. I understand PTSD, even though I haven't been diagnosed."
"It's the dreams that really do it to you, isn't it?" Josh asked. And immediately I knew I could trust him - he'd been through much of the same things I'd been through, even though it was because of different circumstances.
"I became self-destructive," I said. "Addicted to pain killers, reckless, out of control."
"Josh broke a window with his bare hand," Sam said. "He's been warned not to do that again."
"Thank you, Stanley," Josh responded with a grin. I didn't ask who Stanley was, but I wondered.
"Addicted, eh? That explains the club soda," Sam said. "Where'd you end up - Sierra Tucson?"
"No, Atlanta," I said, then paused. "How'd you...never mind."
"We work for Leo McGarry," Sam said, as if that would answer my unasked question. I knew whom they meant, but didn't know what they were talking about.
"Huh?" I said.
"Leo...my boss," Josh said, "didn't you...oh, right. You said the stabbing took place in February, which is right around when it all hit the fan for us. There was a witch hunt going on in January and February - Congressman Lillienfield decided to go after drug users in the White House. When all was said and done, Leo's past got dragged through the media, and it came out that he had done some time at Sierra Tucson for a drug and alcohol addiction. It wasn't pretty."
"Recovery never is," I responded. "Some people think you go away, you get clean, and you come back and you're fine. Others think they can never trust you again."
More significant looks passed between Sam and Josh.
"Trust is..." Josh paused, as if considering his words very closely. "...not easy. We've trusted people and been shot in the foot." He grinned sardonically at his choice of words, but then continued. "We've been afraid to trust people who have turned out to be God-sends." He paused again. "I trust Sam with my life - both literally and figuratively. Sam trusts me..." Another significant pause. "He's proven that enough times. And I think we can trust you, even though we barely know you."
I was flattered and confused simultaneously.
Sam looked at Josh. "J?" he asked, "do you wanna..."
"What my usually silver-tongued beloved is trying to ask, John, is if we'd like to retire upstairs. He does, I believe, wish to extend this invitation to you, as well," Josh said.
I wasn't quite sure what to say. I was being offered a chance to do...something...I'd never done before - the extent of that offer was unclear, and I wasn't sure I was ready for whatever these guys had in mind. Knowing that they worked for the government was not enough to put my mind at ease. I've known many people with staid day jobs who were into some pretty kinky stuff. And, to top it all off, I'd never been with another guy before, let alone two. I thought I should make that clear before we went any further.
"Uh...I'm not sure...I mean...I'm not..." Great, Carter. You're really making yourself clear there. But they seemed to understand.
"Don't worry, John," Sam said. "We won't pressure you to do anything you're uncomfortable with. We just enjoy your company and don't want the evening to end just yet. C'mon upstairs with us. I just wanted to go somewhere more relaxing."
Relaxing would be good. I'd been on the go all day, and my back was in knots. Maybe just sitting for a bit and talking with these guys would relax me.
We got up and headed to the elevator. While we waited for the elevator, Josh and Sam were holding each other close, as if feeding off each other for physical and emotional stability. Watching the two of them together was arousing me - a reaction I totally didn't expect.
When we got off the elevator and headed to their room, I began to have second and third thoughts about what I was about to do. I trusted them to keep their word not to pressure me, but I wasn't sure what I was ready for in the first place. Josh fished his key out of his pocket and opened the door, all the while being heckled by Sam.
"Remember in LA that time? When Donna had to open the door for you 'cause you just couldn't get it to work?"
"Who's Donna?" I asked.
"Josh's assistant...and keeper."
"She's _not_ my keeper," Josh said. After a beat, he continued. "That's your job."
"I'm _your_ keeper?" Sam asked with what could only be described as a leer.
"Well, maybe not," Josh answered with a grin.
I still didn't understand the dynamic between these guys. Hell, I don't understand the dynamics of same-sex relationships in general. And I could just imagine the difficulties of dynamics in a relationship between two strong-willed men. I decided to watch them interact for a while before jumping to conclusions.
Finally Josh got the door open, and we went into their room. Actually, they had a suite - must be great traveling on taxpayer money - and the door opened onto a sitting room.
"John? Can I offer you something to drink?" Sam asked, moving towards the refrigerator. "We have a fully-stocked fridge, 'cause we have a habit of working all day and I need to make sure Josh eats."
"Yeah, like I'm the difficult one," Josh said dryly.
"No, I'm fine," I answered. "Actually, can I use your bathroom?" I needed to use the facilities, and I wanted some time alone to just recollect my thoughts.
"Sure...go ahead," Josh said.
I went and used the bathroom and thought for a couple of moments. This night seemed to be all about trust - did they trust me, did I trust them, and, most importantly, did I trust myself. I wanted to see what would happen. And I wanted to be a little reckless - I'd been so careful since getting back from Atlanta, and I was a little bored.
I opened the bathroom door and returned to the sitting room. Sam and Josh were sitting on the couch, entwined. I just stood and watched them make out for a while. I could feel myself getting hard, but I didn't want to stop and analyze the reaction.
After a couple of minutes, when they seemed to still have no idea they were being watched, I cleared my throat. They broke the kiss but stayed seated close together.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt anything," I said awkwardly.
"No need to apologize. We were just..." Josh stopped. "Well, I guess it was obvious what we were just. But that's neither here nor there."
"J, you're blithering," Sam said with a smile.
"Yeah, I guess I am." Josh looked at me. "C'mon, John, sit down, take of your jacket and tie, and relax.
Sam got up off the sofa and started helping me off with my suit jacket. As he put his hands on my shoulders to ease off my jacket, he said, "Boy, you're really tense. I can do something for that, if you want."
"What?" I wasn't sure if this was an offer of a real back rub or an excuse to get me to take off my shirt.
"Trust me," Josh said. "Sam is a master at giving back rubs."
Well, I was here with both of them. I figured Sam was unlikely to start anything with Josh looking on. "OK," I said, and I loosened my tie and started to unbutton my shirt.
"Let me do that," Sam said. I faltered a moment and then stopped what I was doing - heck, if they were looking to take care of me, I wasn't gonna argue. It's been a really long time since I've let anyone take care of me.
Sam started where I had left off and very quickly had my shirt unbuttoned. After he had finished removing it, he pulled my undershirt out of the waistband of my pants and started to draw it up over my head. "C'mon, John, lift your arms." I started to follow his directive automatically.
It was at that moment that I realized that my scars were going to be very visible. I was suddenly very self-conscious, and I dropped my arms from over my head. I wrapped them around my waist, effectively stopping the removal of my shirt.
"You OK?" Sam asked.
"Uh...remember when I told you I was stabbed?" They nodded. "Well, I had very good surgeons, but they left a lot of scars. I'm...not attractive...when I'm naked." Oh, God. Did they think I was ready to be naked in front of them? "Uh, I mean...my abdomen is criss-crossed with scars, and...oh, Hell." I stopped.
"Don't worry, John," Josh said. "You've already seen _my_ scars. Sam doesn't care about what you look like - he's just gonna work the kinks out of your shoulders."
Sam nodded in assent. "Really, John. If you want, you can go into the bedroom, take off the shirt, lie down on the bed on your front, and all I'll see is your back."
"I think I'd be more comfortable with that," I said, happy that they didn't kick me out then and there for leading them on - if that's what they thought I'd done.
"Over there," Josh said, pointing to the door that wasn't the bathroom.
I went into the bedroom but left the door open so they could hear me - I trusted them not to come in before I was ready. I stripped off my undershirt, then lay face-down on the bed. "All set," I called out, and in just a minute, Josh and Sam came into the room.
I turned my head so that I could watch what was going on around me. I guess the other two wanted me to feel like an active participant, 'cause they moved into my field of vision without me having to ask.
"Don't get concerned, John, but I just can't give back rubs while wearing a dress shirt," Sam said. Josh immediately started unbuttoning Sam's shirt, kissing Sam's chest as he bared it. I felt myself getting hard again from watching them. I think they got a little distracted as Josh latched his lips onto Sam's left nipple and sucked there for a while. I'd never been into the sensation, but Sam seemed to be enjoying it - he threaded his fingers through Josh's hair and held him in place, all the time moaning Josh's name over and over. After a bit, Josh switched to Sam's right side, and Sam moaned even louder.
And I just kept getting more aroused.
After a couple of minutes, Sam seemed to remember my presence. "J," he said, "we're ignoring our guest."
"You're right," Josh said. "C'mon, love, show him what you can do."
Sam went over to the dresser and took a bottle of lotion from a shaving kit. He came back to the bed and climbed on. "John, to do this correctly, I need to straddle you, but tell me if you're uncomfortable, OK?"
"OK," I said. Sam seemed to be going out of his way to put me at ease.
I heard him uncap the lotion and squeeze some out onto his hands, and then I felt the first touch of his fingers on my shoulders. I wasn't quite ready, and I yelped at the coolness of the lotion.
"Shh, John. Relax. I'm just gonna get a feel for where you're the most tense," Sam said. With the lightest of touches, he ran his fingers across my shoulders, down my spine and then back up my back.
"Ooh, you're tense all through your back. This is gonna take a while. Just lie there and let your mind wander, OK?" Sam started massaging a little bit harder, working the knots out of my shoulders, working his way back and forth over the tight muscles. I could feel myself beginning to drift.
It was like all the tension in my back was flowing directly into Sam's fingers. I let my mind wander back over the day, over whatever. I didn't really notice the time passing; I was enjoying the sensations of the massage too much.
After a while, Sam said, "John, your belt is in the way. Would you mind horribly if I asked you to take off the belt and lower your pants slightly? It's totally up to you. Seriously." And he stopped moving his hands and moved off his perch on the bed.
I thought again for a minute and then arched my hips up so that I could get to my belt buckle. I undid the buckle and the fastenings of my pants, then Sam slid the pants down to my knees.
"Tell me the minute you feel uncomfortable, OK?" Sam said. He straddled me again and started massaging my lower back, now open to his view.
That's when I remembered the rest of my scars. "Uh, Sam?"
"Sh...relax," he said, smoothing the lotion over the worst of my scars. "They're just another part of you. They're nothing to be anxious about."
As Sam worked his way down my back, I could feel him pressed up against my body. The heat of him was affecting me, as was the feel of his erection against my body. I figured his arousal was caused by Josh's presence...and the fact that periodically Josh was coming over to tweak Sam's nipples with his fingers. Every time Josh touched Sam, Sam thrust his hips and his erection came closer to my ass. I wondered if it was some sort of seduction method these guys had cooked up to get me to sleep with them, but Sam seemed too intent on actually giving me a good massage for that.
When Sam finally reached my hipbones, he stopped and got off the bed. "John? Lie there for a bit and see what you feel like. I think I got all the knots out, but let me know if you're still stiff anywhere."
I didn't think he meant my cock, which was the only place I was currently experiencing stiffness.
Staying under the blanket, I slid my pants off the rest of the way, then rolled over onto my back and propped myself up against the headboard.
From my vantage point on the bed, I could see Josh sitting in a chair by the foot of the bed. He was still fully dressed. Sam walked from the bed straight to him.
I was hoping to learn more about these guys by watching them in private. I settled back on the bed.
"Hey," Sam said.
"Hey," Josh answered with a smile.
"What'cha think?" Sam asked.
"I enjoy watching you...you know that."
"Oh, really?" Sam said with a slight leer.
"Sam..." Josh said with what sounded like exasperation but didn't translate that way onto his face.
"How're you doing?" Sam said.
"Better, really, love. Ever since we left the club, I've been fine. I promise."
"Honestly. Ever since Christmas I've been nothing but honest with you. I wouldn't conceal anything from you."
They'd seemed to have forgotten that I was there. That was OK by me.
"Sam...baby, trust me, OK? I will be fine. Every day, I'm that much better than I was the day before. It's bad enough with Leo checking on me every day - sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. I need to know that I can recover without pressure from you." He paused. "No, pressure's the wrong word. But I know how you get when you're worried about me. I can't be worried about you at the same time and still get better. So..." he said, reaching out and grabbing at the waist of Sam's pants, "I need to be distracted." With that, Josh unbuttoned and unzipped Sam's pants. "Take 'em off, love. And the boxers, too."
Sam hurried to do Josh's bidding. It was very obvious to me that Josh controlled this relationship. He was "the man" and that left Sam as...
Any thoughts of Sam in feminine terms fled from my mind as Sam finished disrobing. His...attributes...were impressive, and he was quite hard. I wondered briefly if that was a reaction to Josh, or whether, just minutely, there was some reaction to me in that erection. I was then flustered by the fact that I was turned on by Sam's being turned on by me. I saw my hard-on jerk under the covers, but the other two men in the room were too engrossed in each other to notice.
"Love," Josh said in almost a whisper, "what do you want?"
"You," Sam answered, his hand straying to his cock.
"Don't do that," Josh said.
Sam's hand immediately stopped moving.
"Love, you have me. Always. But what about John?" Josh continued.
"John can find his own. You're _mine_." Sam said with a smile.
"That's not what I meant, love, and you know it. Do you want to leave John all alone like that?"
Sam turned to me. Seeing him full-on made my breath catch. He was gorgeous. Trim, sleek body - it looked like he worked out regularly - the lightest dusting of hair on his legs and chest.
"Like what you see?" Josh asked with a grin. "You can touch...I don't mind."
"J..." Sam said, whirling toward where Josh was still sitting.
"Overdoing a bit?" Josh asked him.
"Sorry, love." Josh smiled again. "Sorry, John. I know you don't know us. I'm really not a pushy, possessive jerk. Well, sometimes I am. But Sam's his own person."
"You've got that right," Sam said. He turned back to me. "Do you..." He seemed to not know how to word the question without embarrassing me or himself.
"Can I? Touch you, I mean?" I asked. Sure, I'd felt other men's bodies - Hell, I touch male and female bodies all the time. But this was an opportunity to actually feel and explore for totally personal reasons.
Sam walked over to the bed, and I scooted toward the middle. "Would...would you lie down with me?" I asked.
I think Sam could sense my hesitancy. "Sure," he said, sitting on the bed and swinging his legs around so that he was in a semi-sitting position like I was. "And if I do anything you don't like, please let me know immediately."
I nodded, too unsure of my voice to speak. Sam took my left hand and placed it lightly on his chest. The flat planes of his torso were warm to the touch. I trailed my fingers hesitantly across his pectorals, lightly brushing - accidentally - across his left nipple in the process. Sam drew in a sharp breath.
"Found one of his weaknesses so soon, eh, John?" Josh said from his vantage point on the chair at the foot of the bed. He'd moved slightly so that he was in direct line of sight of both of us.
I repeated the motion, more confidently this time, and Sam gasped again. "Lick me, John," he moaned. Feeling somewhat adventurous, I leaned over and flicked my tongue out and touched it to his nipple. At Sam's repeated gasp, I did the same to the right nipple.
"Oh, John. Harder." This time, I used a bit more force in bringing my tongue to his nipples.
"He likes it when he's nibbled," Josh said.
I wasn't quite sure I knew what he was talking about, and Sam saw the confusion on my face.
"He means like this," Sam said, and leaned down to my chest. He kissed my chest lightly, then fused his lips to my right nipple. Just as I was getting used to that new sensation, Sam scraped his teeth lightly over the now-hard nub. Pain-pleasure roared through me.
Sam pulled back the blanket. "Can I get a bit closer?" he asked. At my nod, he angled his body so that he was lying on his right side, facing me.
That's when he noticed I was still wearing my briefs.