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Meant to Be

By Terry O’Reilly


Published by JMS Books LLC at Smashwords

Visit jms-books.com for more information.


Copyright 2017 Terry O’Reilly

ISBN 9781634864565

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Cover Design: Written Ink Designs | written-ink.com

Image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License.

All rights reserved.


WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold, shared, or given away, it is an infringement of the copyright of this work and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, with the exception of brief excerpts used for the purposes of review.

This book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It may contain sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which might be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America.

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To Fred, whose life philosophy—“What’s supposed to happen, does”—inspired this story.

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Meant to Be

By Terry O’Reilly

Chapter 1

Howie Bosley was on his way to meet his two best friends for their weekly reunion and round or two of drinks. Kelly Beacher, Ernie Butler, and Howie had been friends since college. They were so tight and nearly always seen together that on campus they were known as The Three B’s.

They were roommates their freshman year, and it didn’t take long for them to discover all three were on the same page sexually. Eighteen year old hormones raging, they had soon become fuck buddies. But as they matured, their sexual interests and needs took them on divergent paths.

Kelly’s philosophy now was so many butts, so little time. He couldn’t see why any guy would want or need to tie himself down to one partner when there were so many hot hunks out there just waiting to be fucked.

Ernie on the other hand was more of a romantic, declaring that love was the goal. So, once you found him, never let him go. The only problem was, Ernie had found love so many times, was always disappointed, and moved on, searching for Mr. Right.

Howie agreed with Ernie. Love and a stable relationship was the way to go. However, unlike Ernie, he felt the expression of physical love should be reserved until you found the one, had gotten to know him, and had actually fallen in love.

Subsequently, Howie had never been in any significant relationship, as most guys wanted sex to be part of the information-gathering process.

Yet, despite these different approaches to life, The Three B’s had remained friends long after they left school.

Howie walked into the dim light of the Pick-n-Play Bar—it was Kelly’s choice this week for the regular get together. Howie squinted around, trying to locate his friends. Apparently he was the first to arrive. He went to the bar, ordered a cosmopolitan, found a table, and sat down to wait.

He hadn’t been sitting more than a few minutes when a handsome, blond-haired young man in a tight, fuchsia tank that showed off an impressive set of muscles, came up, and sat down.

“Hi, I’m Jerome. Pass or play?”

Howie repressed the urge to sigh and roll his eyes. He smiled and said, “Thanks, but I’m waiting for someone, so I’ll pass.”

It was true. Not only was he waiting for Kelly and Ernie, he was also waiting for that special someone to come into his life and sweep him off his feet.

“Too bad,” said Jerome. “Well, if you change your mind and I haven’t found someone else, come find me.”

He left just as Kelly and Ernie walked up to the table. “Who was that?” Kelly asked, his eyes following the man as he walked away.

“That was Jerome,” Howie said, looking over his shoulder at the man as he sat down at another table, probably starting the same conversation he’d just had with Howie.

“And I suppose you said no to him—as usual,” Kelly said, and sat down.

Howie just gave him a withering look.

“Hey, if you don’t try a few slices, how ya gonna know which pizza you like best?” Kelly asked. “And this kid looks like a deluxe.”

“Let’s not do this again,” Howie said. “How are you, Ernie? How’s it going with the love of your life, um…Brad is it?”

Ernie had pulled up a chair.

“Brad and I broke it off.”

“Ah—too bad. How long were you two together? Four…or was it five minutes?” Kelly said and laughed.

“Screw you!” Ernie retorted. “I did meet a guy in the produce department at the grocery today. His name was Wesley. He was buying cucumbers.”

Kelly snorted. “And the way he fondled them told you he was the one for you, right?”

“Stop,” Ernie said with a chuckle. “Although he did have a very provocative way of handling them. We’re going out tomorrow night.”

“Go for it. And let us know how he handles your cucumber,” Kelly said, laughing. “I’m off to the bar. The usual, Ernie?”

Ernie nodded.

“You ready for another?” Kelly asked Howie.

“No, I’ll nurse this for a while.”

When Kelly left, Howie said to Ernie, “I don’t get it. You just walked up to some stranger, decided he was gay, and hit on him?”

“Well, how else are you going to meet halfway-decent man? In here? It’s the Pick-n-Play, remember. All these guys want is a quickie. Isn’t that what that Jerome kid was after? This isn’t the place to find the love of your life.”

“True enough, but the grocery store?” Howie asked.

“Yes, especially in produce. Guys who do their own shopping and are shopping for vegetables are usually stable homebodies who want a nice loving relationship.”

“But what if he wasn’t gay?”

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Ernie said offhandedly. “Where are you currently looking for love?”

“Where is who looking for what?” Kelly asked as he returned with the drinks.

“I just asked Howie where he was looking to find a man.”

“Look around,” Kelly said. “What do you see?”

“Men,” Howie said with a sigh.

“Duh!”

“You know as well as I do that the guys in here aren’t looking for what I’m looking for—at least not in the way I am,” Howie responded.

“Which is?”

“Not hopping in the sack on the first date. Getting to know one another, falling in love.”

“You’re a dreamer. Nobody these days falls in love without first testing the waters,” Kelly said.

“He’s got a point,” Ernie chimed in. “I’m looking for Mr. Right just like you are, but nobody’s gonna wait to have sex. At least not for long. It’s what’s expected. Besides, it can be fun. There are a lot of Mr. Wrongs that are hot as hell in bed. You gotta kiss a lotta frogs before you find…”

“Yeah, yeah, I know—before you a find a prince, I’ve read the story, seen the movie,” Howie said with a sigh.

“Come on, Howie. You used to be pretty hot in the sack yourself back when we were in school, as I remember,” Kelly chided.

“Things change. I’m not judging you guys, but it’s not for me. I want a relationship built on more than sex,” Howie said.

“I can see it now—ole Man Bosley, that funny old bachelor that lives down the street, alone with his cats,” Kelly said melodramatically.

“Make fun if you want to, but I will find someone who wants the same things I do. And leave Sergei and Katya out of it,” Howie said, thinking of the two Russian Blues he had at home.

“Okay! Okay!” Kelly said, holding up his hands in surrender. “But just where is it you intend to find your saint? Where can you find a man like that except at church socials, and we all know how you feel about those.”

Howie winced. He had been raised a very strict Catholic and had long since given up on churchiness. Not that he didn’t believe there could be some higher power—God, if you will. He just couldn’t abide organized religion.

“Maybe I’ll meet someone at my gym.”

Kelly laughed. “That old man’s gym you go to? Now there’s an idea. They advertise, We’re a no judgement zone, so they get all these overweight, out of shape, old guys that aren’t into real fitness. Good luck with that.”

“They may not be models or bodybuilders, but at least they’re not stuck on themselves. There are some really nice people there. And they do care about real fitness, not just cosmetics.”

“Again I say, good luck with that. Anyone ready for another drink?” Kelly asked. “Ernie’s buying!”

Ernie punched Kelly on the shoulder and got up to buy another round.

“Maybe you could advise one of your clients on more than his retirement at that financial firm you work for. You could say something like, ‘You and I could retire in Sarasota very nicely on this nest egg I’m building for you’.”

Howie gave Kelly another withering look. “They’re all old enough to be my dad, and besides, it’s not ethical to hit on your clients.”

Kelly chuckled.

“There are a couple of very nice guys who volunteer with me at the shelter though,” Howie said. “Unfortunately, they’re married…but we get new volunteers regularly. Maybe someday, someone will come along and…”

“Jesus, Howie. The animal shelter? It doesn’t exactly qualify as a dating service. What do you get there for volunteers? Bleeding heart nerds, right?”

Kelly knew immediately he’d gone too far. Howie was the volunteer coordinator at a large animal shelter, and Kelly knew it was very dear to Howie’s heart.

“Hey, man. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be flappin’ my jaws. I just want you to find the right guy and be happy, if that’s what you really want.”

“S’okay,” Howie sighed. He knew Kelly had a point. Even though Howie didn’t agree with Kelly’s characterization of the people found there, neither the gym nor the animal shelter were likely to be the ideal place to find the love of your life. However, you never could tell. And, in Howie’s estimation, they were more likely to attract the kind of man Howie was looking for than a gay bar or a muscle gym.

The evening wore on, and the friends talked about other things. About eleven-thirty, Jerome came over to their table.

“You about ready to go?” he asked, placing a hand on Kelly’s shoulder.

Howie and Ernie looked questioningly from Jerome to Kelly. Kelly shrugged. “I found him at the bar when I got the last round of drinks.” Kelly laughed. “He looked lonely, so I thought I’d take him home. See you guys next week. It’s your pick, Howie. But let’s not go to Isabelle’s Tea Room again.”

“Screw you,” Howie said.

“That’s my job tonight, Sweetie,” Jerome said, massaging Kelly’s shoulders and smiling at Howie.

“We’ll have a little discussion about who screws who later…er…Jerome…is it? See you guys,” Kelly said as he got up to leave.

“Jerome is kinda cute, don’t you think?” Ernie asked Howie as he watched Kelly and Jerome go.

“I guess.”

“Maybe he is just a lonely guy lookin’ for love in all the wrong places,” Ernie said.

“Well, if things don’t work out with your cucumber-stroker, you can give Jerome a whirl when Kelly’s done with him, and he will be after tonight, you know,” Howie said.

“Hmm. I just might do that,” Ernie said.

“Christ, Ernie, I was only joking,” Howie said, “You wouldn’t really, would you? He’s just a kid!”

Ernie shrugged. “Why not?”

“Oh, come on, the guy’s a pick-up slut.”

“Ah-ah, judge not lest ye be judged. You can never tell what’s in a man’s heart until you get to know him. You can’t tell a book by its cover.”

“You’re just full of clichés tonight, aren’t you?” Howie quipped. “I’m heading home. I’ll text you and tell you where I’ve decided we’ll meet next week. And it won’t be Isabelle’s Tea Room,” Howie added when he saw Ernie begin to say something.

Ernie laughed. “Good night, Howie,” he said.

* * * *

As Howie drove home, he considered what his two friends had said. Maybe he needed to expand his search area. And maybe he did need to be just a bit more relaxed in how long was acceptable to wait before having sex. After all, his approach didn’t seem to be getting the results he wanted.

He pulled into the garage of his condo, rode the elevator up to his floor, and opened the door to his place. He was greeted by enthusiastic mewing, as well as leg rubbing, as Sergei and Katya, his Russian Blues, rushed to welcome him home.

“You guys certainly are the poster kids for your breed,” he said affectionately, as he picked up both cats, walked to the couch, and sat down. There was much loud purring and begging for tummy rubs. Russian Blues—tight bonds with owners, standoffish with strangers until they got to know you, Howie thought as he stroked the lush fur of the two steel grey-blue felines. When he’d first adopted the brother and sister from the shelter and brought them home, he’d hardly seen them. They headed for the closet in the guest bedroom as soon as he walked in the door. That still was their favorite hide-out whenever Howie had friends over. Even Kelly and Ernie, regular visitors to the condo, rarely saw them. Kelly even accused Howie of making them up, likening them to imaginary childhood friends to fill his lonely, sexless life.

“Well, you sure aren’t imaginary to me,” he said as he got up to feed them.

However, once in bed with the two cats snuggled on either side of him, Howie thought of Kelly’s quip about lonely Ole Man Bosley, the funny old man living alone with only his cats for company.

He absently stroked them, saying, “As much as I love you two, I don’t want what Kelly said tonight to be prophetic.” Howie resolved to be more open-minded about his search for a mate.

* * * *

Chapter 2

“Hey, Carl, it’s Matthew Timmons,” Matthew said into his cell phone as he walked across campus in the late afternoon sunshine.

Matthew was a grad student at the university. He was studying theology with an eye to becoming a priest. However, he had not yet entered the seminary. He knew a lot of men started seminary right after high school. He felt at that time he wasn’t ready. Instead, he went to a local college for his undergrad degree and then worked for two years at a small Catholic charter school, teaching sixth grade.

He still didn’t feel the time was right to start his formal training for becoming a priest, but had little doubt that’s where he would end up. He’d felt called to the priesthood ever since his days as an altar boy at St. Mary’s parish back home. So he decided to go to grad school, thinking he might as well take some of the required courses he’d have to take when he did finally get to seminary. That way when it did seem like it was time to take the plunge, he’d have a leg up on the course work.

Carl’s phone rang four times. Just as the voicemail message started, Carl interrupted it. “Hey, this is Carl. Sorry, I was in the john,” he said breathlessly.

Matthew laughed. “A little too much information. But I hope everything came out alright.”

“Very funny—but accurate. What can I do for you?”

“I was wondering if I could borrow your car?” Matthew asked.

“When?”

“Tomorrow night.”

“Going on a date, I hope,” Carl said in a teasing sort of way.

“Nah, nothing that exciting.”

“Hey, man, you’re not a priest yet. You’re not even a seminarian. Your gonads don’t have to be put on ice right now, ya know. You might as well use ‘em while you can. I read in one of my urology textbooks that lack of ejaculation can lead to prostate troubles.”

Matthew chuckled. “Thanks for the medical advice, Dr. Clark. You can bill me when you actually have M.D. after your name. In the meantime, what about the car?”

“Oh, yeah, sure. You can pick it up anytime. I’ll be in the library all evening. It’ll be parked in my space at the apartment. You know where I hide the keys.”

“The library, huh?” Matthew teased. “Your gonads okay with that? Not a lot of action there.”

“You’d be surprised, my friend. There’s an upper level bathroom that has a pretty good track record. You should check it out sometime.”

Matthew laughed again.

“So, where is Father Timmons going tomorrow anyway?” Carl asked.

“Just going to the gym,” Matthew replied.

“Want to keep that bod toned and ready just in case, right?”

“No, want to stay healthy, Dr. Clark. Just want to stay healthy.”

“If you say so,” Carl said.

* * * *

Chapter 3

Howie stopped at the desk of the gym to sign out a locker key. Chris, the young counter attendant greeted him.

“Hey, Mr. Bosley.”

Howie smiled back at the handsome teenager. It seemed strange to him to be addressed so formally. He wasn’t all that much older than Chris. Or maybe he was. He was approaching thirty. Where had the time gone?

“Sorry, but the computers are down,” Chris said, handing Howie a clipboard with a key sign out sheet on it.

“No problem, Chris. How are you?” Howie asked as he printed his name on the paper.

Chris handed him his key. “Doing great. Just two more weeks until graduation.”

“What are your plans?”

“I’ll work here for the summer, and then I’m off to State.”

Howie smiled. He and his cronies, Kelly and Ernie, had also gone to the state university. “You’ll love it. I’m an alum.”

Chris smiled. “Maybe you can put in a good word for me with the scholarship committee.”

Howie laughed. “I doubt they’d even know who I was. I never contribute to their alumni fund drives. Sorry.”

Howie rechecked his locker number on the key, wrote it on the sign out sheet, and headed for the locker room. He located his locker and started to undress. As he did so, he let memories of the summer before his freshman year at State float in his mind. That was the summer he’d realized he was gay. Never much into dating, he’d not given his sexuality much thought. He beat off regularly looking at straight porn on the web. But that was as far as he’d ever gone.

Then Mr. Graham came into his life. Howie had worked for a pool maintenance business that summer. Mr. Graham’s pool was one of his regular weekly assignments. For the most part, when Howie arrived to do a pool, the clients weren’t home. Mr. Graham, however, always seemed to be there, sunning on the pool deck, and usually clad in only a skimpy Speedo. Mr. Graham was an attractive man and well-built for his age, which Howie surmised to be around forty. Howie was curious as to why he appreciated how well Mr. Graham filled out the pouch of that Speedo.

Mr. Graham was always very friendly and encouraged Howie to take breaks, sit with him, and have a Coke. Soon the breaks were moved indoors to the kitchen in deference to the heat on the deck, and then to the family room where they’d be more comfortable. There Howie discovered his interest in the porn he watched was more about watching the hunky men doing their thing than the females in the videos. It also explained Howie’s curiosity regarding Mr. Graham’s crotch.

He spent the summer lost in lust with Mr. Graham. Soon after arriving at the university, he discovered his roommates, Kelly and Ernie, were on the same page sexually as he was. Thus began their four years of sexual exploration.

As Howie bent to step into his jockstrap, he idly wondered if Chris, the receptionist, was on that same path. He’d pulled the jock up to his knees when he raised his head to see a boyishly-handsome man walking toward him. The man had a body to rival the gods. He was wrapped in a white gym towel, fresh from the showers. He smiled at Howie as he approached. Howie realized he was still bent over, pulling up his jock, and that his head was at cock level with the man, and that Howie was rapidly getting hard.

He flushed with embarrassment as he stood, struggling to pull up the jock and stuff his semi-hard cock inside.

The Adonis stopped before him and said, “Hi. How ya doin’?” He turned to his locker, which was directly across from Howie’s. He casually removed his towel and laid it on the bench between them.

“Hi…I’m…uh…good,” Howie managed to say.

It took Howie exactly ten seconds to fall in love with this man and decide that was enough to meet his criteria for falling in love before having sex.

Howie dallied around, slowly putting on his shorts and tank top, and tying and retying his shoes. All the while, he was taking in the masculine beauty of this god-man in what he hoped was a surreptitious manner.

The guy was dressed and ready to leave before Howie was done getting ready for his workout. He smiled at Howie and said, “Maybe see you here again sometime,” and walked away, leaving Howie to watch him go.

Howie’s hard-on strained against the elastic limitation of his athletic supporter.

The man was all that Howie could think of as he wandered from workout station to workout station. He mentally checked off his Mr. Right wish list with each repetition of every exercise.

Should be handsome: check. Should be well built: check. Hairy chest: check. Bonus: nice ass - double check.

Howie sighed deeply as he lowered and racked the bench press bar, completing the last set of his workout. He lay on the bench for a moment longer and closed his eyes, letting the Adonis’ last words resonate in his head. Maybe see you here again sometime.

Did that mean what Howie hoped it did: that the man was interested in him?

“Hey, man, ya done or are ya settlin’ in for a nap?”

Howie’s eyes snapped open and he saw a sweaty, heavyset man staring down at him as Howie lay on the bench. “Oh, sorry.” Howie quickly sat up and threw his towel over his lap to cover the hard-on which was tenting his shorts.

After taking his shower and dressing, he checked the number on the locker the god-man had used: 1026. When Howie stopped at the front desk on his way out to drop off his key, he ran his hand down the sign-out sheet on the clipboard. He blessed God for allowing Murphy’s Law—anything that can go wrong usually does—to extend to computers.


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